Fidel Castro

Revolution can only be carried out by the dictatorship of the proletariat, because the State must be in the hands of the classes who have been oppressed up to this time.

The State is a force at the service of the interests of the dominant class. For example, the Greek City State, that dawn of democracy, was the domain of a class that held the slaves under subjection by the repressive forces of the State. Rome did the same thing through her legions. Representative democracy is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, who also use the State, and particularly the army, to defend their interests from the oppressed classes. In all such forms of government, the exploiters, who represent a minority, act as dictators for the class that they embody.

We know that the State represents the domination of one class over another. If the State exists, it should be in the hands of a social class. And now at this time, the control of the State should be exercised by the majority class, which must suppress the capitalist class. The State passes thus into the hands of an organized proletariat as the governing class. This is absolute democracy, in which the proletariat exercises public authority and converts all means of production into the property of Society.

What role does each person play in the revolutionary struggle? Who directs it? Who is in the vanguard? What revolutionary goals can be sacrificed? What does the proletariat gain if the struggle is left in the hands of the bourgeoisie, who then consolidate their position? What can be given up, and what not? This is a question of tactics. It is necessary to try to unite a number of different segments without sacrificing the fundamental objectives of the revolution. I am of the opinion that the revolutionary parties should not make concessions to the bourgeoisie, nor play their game. Let them play our game! Those that err in this matter will be aiding their class enemies.

1963 Interview

This does not mean that it is enough to have a correct position and that is all. No, even among those who really want to make revolution many mistakes are made; there are still many weaknesses, that is true. But logically we will never have deep contradictions with anybody--no matter their mistakes--who honestly has a revolutionary position. It is our understanding that we must leave behind old vices, sectarian positions of all kinds and the positions of those who believe they have a monopoly on the revolution or on revolutionary theory. And poor theory, how it has had to suffer in these processes; poor theory, how it has been abused, and how it is still being abused! And all these years have taught us to meditate more, analyze better. We no longer accept any 'self-evident' truths. 'Self-evident' truths are a part of bourgeois philosophy. A whole series of old cliches should be abolished. Marxist literature itself, revolutionary political literature should be renewed, because by repeating cliches, phraseology, and verbiage that have been repeated for thirty-five years you don't win anyone; you don't win over anyone.

Speech delivered to the first OLAS conference on August 10, 1967

Never in the history of mankind has such a generalized and destructive aggression taken place against all of the world's vital systems. In the underdeveloped world, underdevelopment and poverty itself are the main factors that today have a multiplying effect on the pressure exerted on the environment. The over exploitation of arable or grazing land, improper agricultural practices, and the lack of financial and technical resources add to the harmful effect of adverse climates. In addition, the eagerness to obtain the greatest profit margin of natural resources and industrial capacities-in the case of capitalist exploitation, national or multinational, in or outside the Third World- adds its serious destructive quota and adds additional ways of contamination and degradation to the environment.

In the developed world, there are lifestyles that encourage irrational consumption and encourage waste and destruction of nonrenewable resources. These lifestyles multiply the tensions and effects to local and world physical environments at unprecedented and previously unimaginable levels.

For the first time in his history, man is capable of altering the equilibrium of the principal vital systems and breaking the natural laws that have governed evolution on the planet. Man can wipe out life if he unleashes nuclear war. Man actively affects, through genetic engineering, the accelerated mutation of species that required thousands of years to form in their natural state. For the first time man is capable of changing the course of life.

He is already doing so by acting directly on the environment. Every day the effects of the irrational race of man in his aggression against the environment are more evident. A short time ago for affluent societies these were faraway worries-worries that were detached from their immediate concern. Today, however, these worries are not a distant threat but a common reality for all peoples.

1992 Speech to U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED)