To die for our country is to live

October 23, 1962

This is excellent! The waiting is over. The Russian cat has leaped out of its Cuban bag. Not only Kennedy, but the whole world, knows about the Soviet missiles here on our island. I need to speak to our people tonight, on radio and TV. I need to call them to arms, to buoy up their spirits, and make sure they understand their mission. The gringos have invaded our island, in one-way or another, a half dozen times since our revolution in 1895. They even claim the right to invade us, under the pretext of establishing “democracy” in Cuba. What a joke.

This time, Uncle Sam is preparing to invade us again. This time, the whole arsenal of U.S. power will be visited upon our people and our island. I need to tell our people—yes—this is the right formulation: “if they invade our island, they will exalt our nation!” That’s it exactly. When I was a schoolboy in eastern Cuba, the nuns and priests used to tell us that when we die, if we have been good Catholics, we will be “exalted” and will enter heaven. No purgatory for us. Certainly not hell. This is a good metaphor for our nation. Yes, the nation will die. Yes, the nation will be utterly destroyed in an American nuclear attack. But our exaltation lay precisely in our ability, this time, to destroy the evil empire of the Americans. A thousand years from now, a socialist world will remember our tiny republic and the bulwark against American imperialism that provided the trigger for the Soviet Union to destroy the United States of America, once and for all.

As a Marxist, I don’t believe in god any more, of course. It’s a pity, in a way, because there is no one to thank for this almost divine mission we will carry out. As our national anthem says, “to die for our country is to live!”

I have a couple of regrets, I suppose. I regret that I will never see another baseball game. I regret that I will never smoke any more glorious Cuban cigars—rolled, as we like to say to the foreigners, on the inside of the thigh of a Cuban jinatera, a Cuban prostitute. And well, of course, I will miss those thighs, soft and beautiful and the color of rich Cuban coffee.

Adios world, hello immortality!