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Castro: 1993 Speech to Outstanding Athletes
Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the banner-awarding ceremony for the Cuban athletic delegation that will participate in the 17th Central American and Caribbean Games, Havana, date not given

Dear athletes of the Cuban delegation: Even though it was not part of the program, I did not want to leave without speaking to you briefly. The last time we met was before the Olympics. Before that we met for the Pan-American Games, and now we are meeting here on the occasion of the 17th Central American and Caribbean Games.

I hope you do not underestimate the importance of these competitions. We are not going there to humiliate anyone. We are going to compete fairly and chivalrously with athletes from our brother nations of the Caribbean and Central America. We are going there to express the quality of our sports and the great advance it has experienced in our country. We are going to participate with honor, dignity, and pride. We are going to demonstrate what can be done, when it wants to be done, and when sports are given all the attention, support, and stimulus they require.

Our delegation already performed an extraordinary, heroic deed during the Pan-American Games. We ourselves imagined that we would be Pan-American champions and that we were going to obtain more medals than the United States -- more gold medals. The heroic deed during the Olympic Games was also great, a heroic deed that filled our country with pride. Obviously, we will present ourselves in these games as the strongest and most well-prepared delegation.

Predictions on the number of medals have been made. I know that those who make the predictions always try to be modest in order to obtain more medals than expected. But, we are not worried... [changes thought] I personally do not care so much about the medals. I know they will be many. We might even have to send an extra airplane to bring home the medals that you will win there. What we care about is that you are the most educated delegation; that you be the most disciplined delegation; the friendliest delegation; the most fraternal delegation; and the kindest delegation. What we care about is that you compete with honor, patriotism, and with all your energy.

Medals are worth much, but the medal of the fatherland's prestige is worth even more. The battle for dignity is worth more; the battle for honor is worth more; and the battle of loyalty to the fatherland is worth more. These are the first medals that we want you to win. For the rest, we know that in the sports area you will write another page of glory and honor in Revolutionary Cuba's sports. Socialism or death; fatherland or death; we will win!

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