Force May Conquer a Nation; But It Can’t Govern It

(Excerpted from Castro’s May Day speech.)

Washington’s reckless policies have led the world to face ever more difficult problems. For that reason, it is no surprise that social demonstrations occur in different parts of the world, such as those in Spain, which led up to a significant and encouraging action, an extraordinary and almost exclusive event carried out by the Spanish people, particularly Spanish youth.

Their heroic political struggle during the elections led to the humiliating defeat of the previous Spanish government’s shameful attempts to use the atrocious events of 11 March to its benefit and in support of George Bush’s warmongering.

The current Spanish government has honoured its commitment to withdraw its troops from Iraq, a laudable gesture; however it is now also morally obliged to secure the return to their countries of young people from Latin America who were sent to Iraq at the request of the previous Spanish government.

The nations of the world, including Cuba, do not harbour animosity towards the American people, nor do they desire the death of US soldiers, many of whom–black and Latin American–were forced by poverty and unemployment to enroll in the war machine and are now the victims of a mindless, unnecessary conflict.

Millions of people have become aware that this is a war of conquest, which violates international law and disregards the authority of the UN and its rules. Today, the Iraqi people are struggling for their independence and legitimate rights.

In that kind of war the whole arsenal of a superpower is out of the question. Such a power may conquer a nation but cannot govern it.


Fidel Castro’s column appears in Granma.