This great humanity shouted "Enough!" and started walking: excerpts from Che's speeches
Ernesto Che Guevara Ερνέστο Τσε Γκεβάρα (1928-1967)
Excerpts from two speeches of Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara, translated on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his assassination by the CIA, on October 9, 1967
Speech in Santiago de Cuba on November 30th, 1964, on the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the uprising of the city led by Frank País
[...] Our victorious struggle had two consequences: the awakening of the peoples of America, who saw that one could undertake a Revolution (and triumph), could experience how a revolution could be made, find that all channels (to the popular uprising) were not closed and see that it was not necessary to constantly receive the blows of the exploiters, and that this path towards emancipation was not as long and arduous as could imagine or think some party leaders who fight hard against the oligarchies and against imperialism in every country.
At the same time, we have opened the eyes of imperialism. Imperialism has also started preparing to drown in blood the new Cubas that may emerge. And before he died, Kennedy had already said they would not admit new Cubas in the continent. And this was repeated by his successors, who are wolves from the same litter, so we should not think that they could have a different philosophy. Not only did they reiterate [Kennedy's words], they also demonstrated their intention to carry out this action, to accomplish it not only in America, but in all countries of the world in which the struggle was created, where the revolutionary struggle developed.
They tried to kill Algeria, but Algeria won its freedom. Today, they try to liquidate the people of Vietnam, but the people of Vietnam is stronger than them, and Vietnamese people continue day after day to record new victories over imperialism, forcing him to pay with the blood of [US] soldiers, and paying himself a tribute [of martyrs] to the huge amount of casualties caused by imperialism against the people of South Vietnam. And the struggle continues and will continue until victory. This revolution began even before ours in North Vietnam, and was consolidated before we could arrive triumphantly in Havana. But you have to keep fighting.
Laos is in the same condition. And in Africa, there are many people who have taken this (revolutionary) path. With varying degrees of success, but they took that route. And Portuguese Guinea triumph in its struggles.
But today, the memory more present, more poignant than any other is certainly that of the Congo and Lumumba. Today, in this Congo so far from us and yet so present, there is a story that we need to know and an experience that we should learn from. The other day, the Belgian paratroopers stormed the city of Stanleyville. They slaughtered a large number of citizens and, finally, after having regrouped and murdered them under the statue of Professor Lumumba, they stole the statue of the former President of Congo.
This tells us two things: first, the bestiality of imperialism. A bestiality that has no fixed borders or does not belong to a particular country. Hitler's hordes were bestial, as are North Americans today, as are the Belgian paratroopers, as were the French imperialists in Algeria. For it is the very nature of imperialism to demean men to their wildest impulses, to turn them into blood-hungry beasts, willing to slaughter, to murder, to destroy until the last picture of a revolutionary, a supporter of a regime that fell under their boot, or who fights for his freedom.
And this statue to the memory of Lumumba, today destroyed, but which will be rebuilt tomorrow, reminds us of the tragic history of this martyr of the revolution of the world, and the fact that you can never trust imperialism, not even for the least thing, absolutely nothing. Under the banner of the United Nations in the Congo, Lumumba was assassinated. And these are the United Nations whom the Americans claim should inspect our territory! These same United Nations! [...]
And we have the ever increasing satisfaction to see that the name of Cuba crosses through the fields of America, and also through the fields of other countries of the world who are fighting for their freedom, always meaning the same thing: the image of what can be achieved through the revolutionary struggle, the hope for a better world, the ideal for which it is worth risking one's life, sacrificing unto death on the battlefield in all continents of the world. [...]
Speech at the UN, December 11, 1964
[...] Now, yes, History will count with the poor of America, with the exploited and humiliated in Latin America, who decided to start writing themselves, forever, their history.
And this wave of indignant resentment, of trampled rights and justice reclaimed begins to rise from the lands of Latin America, and this wave will not stop. This wave will increase with each passing day. Because this wave is formed by the masses, who constitute the majority in all aspects: those who accumulate wealth through their work, create values, turn the wheels of history and now wake up from their long stultifying dream which was imposed on them.
Because this great humanity shouted "Enough!" and started walking. And its march of giants will not stop before conquering real independence, for which they have already sacrificed many martyrs, more than once, in vain. Now, in any case, those who die will die like those of Cuba, those of Playa Giron : they will die for their unique, genuine and inalienable independence. [...]