Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Text of the speech delivered by
Dr. Fidel Castro, Prime Minister
of the Cuban Government, before
the Delegates from the 21 American
nations assembled at Buenos Aires.

May 2, 1959



La Habana, diciembre 4 de 1959.

Mister Chairman, Delegates:

First of all I want to beg your pardon for breaking the rule according
to which I am supposed to speak sitting down, as it cramps my style; I
really feel much better when I stand up.  Besides, due to this veritable
invasion of reporters and journalists it would be impossible for me to see
the rest of the delegation.

Then I want to thank you all for the welcoming words with which we were
received at this meeting, and at the same time I want to say that it is a
great honor for me to be present at this conference, which we Cubans expect
to yield excellent results.

Our presence here shows how much this meeting interests us Cubans.
This great interest is due to two different reasons:  one is our conviction
that economic development is of paramount importance to the Latin American
people; and the other is the belief that the hour has arrived for the
people of Latin America to make a really serious effort to find a real
solution, a real remedy for our problems and ailments, which are really
economic.  That is why we don't hesitate to declare from the--start, our
adherence and our support to the happy initiative of the--President of
Brazil, and to take advantage of the occasion it gives us to endorse and
sponsor it.

Since we arrived in this country we have spent our time,--which by the
way, has only lasted twenty some hours--in reading and carefully studying
the statements of the various Delegates.

I did not bring a written speech with me; I decided that it would be
better to run the risks inherent in spontaneous utterances and absolute
naiveness of speech; sometimes the typewriter betrays the mind and, since
we have confidence in the truths that are already becoming evident in the
conscience of our Continent, there is no reason to hesitate to express
what we feel clearly and spontaneously.

I happen to be a newcomer in these meetings; furthermore, in our
Country we are new Government; and perhaps it is because of that our ideas
are fresher and more faithfully representative of the people's hopes and
ambitions, as we are still feeling as people, and are speaking here as
people; as people living a very special moment of their history; as people
who have faith in their own destiny.

I am here to speak in the name of my people, supported by that--people
and with the frankness customarily found in our people.  Having listened
attentively to the speeches delivered here, we have found that they are
really magnificent examples of public speaking as an art, and that they
contain excellent pronouncements and unquestionable truths...  There is no
doubt that the thought of the capable men of our Continent has posed with
great wisdom the problems adversely affecting the interests of the
Continent.  There is no question that our minds are sufficiently clear to
analyze and understand our problems; and there is no doubt that we handle
them wisely and actually find good solutions.  The trouble is that very
often they never become realities.

So, international conferences have become veritable contests of elegant
oratory.  The result is, and I might as well be frank here, that the
peoples hardly hear anything of what is discussed in those international
conferences.  The people are hardly concerned about the matters and
questions discussed at international conferences.  The--people hardly
believe in the solutions reached at the international conferences.  The
fact is that they don't have any faith left.  And they don't have any faith
because they don't see any really tangible results, and because very often
the results are openly contradictory to the resolutions and the principles
voted and adopted at those international conferences.  They don't have
faith because our people have been waiting for real results, for beneficial
achievements, and they don't see them anywhere.  Consequently, that promise
should be our starting point; we must begin by admitting the obvious
reality, the evident fact, that the Latin American people have lost their
faith in the international organizations at which their respective
countries are represented, because very often their own national interests
are not adequately represented at these conferences.  Therefore, it is
imperative to awaken the--faith of those people, and that, gentlemen,
cannot be accomplish with promises, or theories, or pretty figures of
speech.  The faith of the people is restored with realities, with actual,
tangible solutions to their problems, and we must take very much into
account that the most harmful vice that can take hold of the conscience of
men, and of peoples we well, is the lack of faith in themselves.

We have to face here, as naively and sincerely as possible,
the--problem of taking advantages of the possibilities we may have of
exerting any really effective influence toward the solution of our
difficulties through the joint efforts of all the people of this
hemisphere, and the coincidence of criteria and attitudes, since we already
coincide in needs and coincide in hopes, in our desire to solve the
problems of Latin America.  Because it should not be forgotten that those
people actually exist, that they are flesh and blood realities, and that
their problems are pressing, that their economic and political difficulties
are very serious, and that we should inexcusably shortsighted if, as
leaders of the nations of this continent, we do not find soon enough, as
they become indispensable, satisfactory solutions to all those problems and
difficulties, or at least to the most pressing ones.

There is no question but that we all coincide on the same fundamental
standpoints.  All of us have a definite knowledge of the needs of our
peoples, because they are not difficult to see and understand.  In fact, we
are all facing identical problems, and if there happen to be any slight
variations, they consist simply of variations in the way to approach their
possible solution.  But at the bottom we all know what they consist of, it
is quite possible that that we will soon discover how they can be solved
and settled once and for all.  In my opinion our failure to approach those
problems with a unanimous determination and clearly defined purpose is
simply due to old ideas and conceptions which we are carrying about, heavy
and obsolete as they are, precisely at a time when we are facing entirely
new problems, and definitely fresh--difficulties.

In expressing an opinion here regarding the ways and means suggested
and proposed as possible solutions for our problems, I would say that the
first thing, the fundamental element, is not the formula sought, or
whatever procedure may be developed to solve our economic problems.  The
fundamental thing is the mental attitude in which we are going to apply
that formula or follow that procedure; the fundamental thing is
the--quantity, the size of the dose of medicine, we are going to administer
to get relief from our ailments.  We can reach correct and quite
appropriate conclusions as to the solution of every one of our problems,
and we can start working on that solution, but discouraged, without
much--enthusiasm, skeptically, or else with the belief that the shortcoming
with which we are familiar, because their magnitude and scope, because
their effects and consequences, can be remedied or corrected with doses of
medicine which are far from being adequate to eradicate the maladies they
are expected to cure.  Yes, we have something like a tendency to apply
anesthesias rather than medicines, pain killing pills rather than real
cures, and the result is that we soon come across the same trouble all over
again.  So I believe that the essential factor is the state of mind, the
moral attitude, the faith and determination with which we--tackle the job!

I am one of those men who are firm in their belief that there is no
obstacle, no matter how high; no difficulty, no matter how complex, which
cannot be surmounted and settled if one faces it with real determination
and courage.  In our case of our Continent, of our various--countries, of
our governments, the problems stemming from the widespread underdevelopment
of Latin America, are really the most important, the most transcendental,
the most pressing of all.  More pressing perhaps--than those we have heard
about here, more serious than what they have been represented to be here,
because the representatives of the various Latin American countries who
have attended this meeting cannot ignore the problems of the others, cannot
ignore the specific problems faced in the interior of each of their
countries...and the democratic governments constituting a majority of those
represented here today are perfectly aware of the risks which the
constitutional representative government of each of their respective
countries is running simply as a consequence of the problems incidental to
the economic underdevelopment.  It has been said here that one of the
causes of economic underdevelopment is the--political unstability, and
perhaps the first truth we should proclaim here, as clearly and loudly as
possible, because it is as obvious as daylight, is that the truth of the
fact is the other way around; the truth is that the political unstability
of the administrations and the people of Latin America is not now, as it
was in time long past, the cause but the consequence of their

That is one of the fundamentals truths we ought to proclaim and admit
here, because it is not a matter of going to the roots of our
history--which is very complex and has followed a course entirely different
from that followed by the history of the Northern colonies--to find the
causes of present realities, of the contemporaneous ailments of twenty
underdeveloped countries in which we cannot, under any circumstances,
search for the causes of their underdevelopment in their political

We, the men who have to attend to government duties and tasks, some
with more experience than the latest arrivals at such responsibilities,
which we have reached, not with a heavy baggage of experience, but with a
great load of honesty, with a tremendous quantity of earnest desire to do
the right thing and of good will toward all, with a firm determination to
do something beneficial to our peoples, to all those who in one way or
another, we, who share the responsibility for the government of our
Country, study and observe as closely as possible, analyzing--their
internal problems, and clearly understand that truth.  But there is still
more.  We all know of the prodigious efforts of Latin American during the
last ten years to get rid of military dictatorships.

Although this is really an economic conference, I am not the first one
to invade the field of the problems of principles about which we are all so
deeply interested.  Furthermore, I don't see the economic ideal can be
divorced from the political ideal; I don't see how the political problem
can be separated from the economic problem.  The reason why I said a while
ago that economic underdevelopment conspires against constitutional
governments, which are veritably strangled by poverty and hunger, and
sooner or later fall in the hands of armed minorities is due precisely to
the fact that we have known only two types of governments.  One is the
government through physical power, government exercised--violently by sheer
force, in which all liberties are denied; the freedom of the press, the
right of free assembly, the right of association and free elections are
promptly dispensed with, and public peach is maintained through violence
and oppression.  They keep what they call internal peace at the cost of
blood and tears of their victims; and they accumulate misery and hatred,
anguish and despair; they restrict, restrain all the hopes and desires of
the people who, once those barriers are torn down, are born to
constitutional life full of ambition, of hopes, of unsatisfied needs, which
they try to satisfy peremptorily, as soon as possible, making use of all
the rights made available to them by the new government, and then, since
the big problem, the tremendous problem, is that there is no sufficient
wealth to satisfy all their needs simultaneously; inasmuch as the existing
goods are not enough for all, every kind of conflict and dispute arises,
which are soon considered and--branded as signs of anarchy by the never
failing enemies of democracy; which are soon described as chaotic disorders
by those who ambition to take power again through force and violence.  And
when the democratic government cannot make use of its theories, its
reasons, its concepts of justice and wisdom to solve those problems, these
become worsened giving occasion to the theories to the effect the first
requirement of the capital investor is absolute peach and order, which
means no strikes, no noise, no demonstrations, no liberty.  The capital
investor, it is said, won't help to develop the country because a series of
requirements must be met first; but what they do not say, what they avoid
mentioning, is what has been invented by Man to achieve such ideals
conditions--through democratic ways and without shackling the people,
without taking anything from the people; or what democratic government that
will apply the measures necessary to comply with the investors'
requirements can keep itself in power?

Yes, the democratic government must sacrifice its popularity while, on
the other hand, the armed minorities keep waiting for their change to wrest
the government from its lawful holders.  And I ask you, how can a
constitutional government solve this dilemma?  Or is it that we are going
to admit, finally and conclusively, that there is no solution which does
not make things worse, that the ideal system is the government by force,
the rule of the strongest, within our respective countries, thereby
definitely forsaking the democratic ideal?

What would become of America if the constitutional governments
presently existing should fall in the hands of armed minorities?  What will
their destiny be if we do not find really effective solutions for such
problems?  What will happen to America if those minorities that do not know
of any solution other than terror and violence, exile and utter destruction
of all human liberties, succeed in wresting power from those democratic
governments precisely at this time when our ailments are becoming more and
more acute, when our insufficient growth and our underdevelopment are
improving somewhat?  What would be the alternative left to the peoples of
America?  What would be the consequences of all that?  Who could stop those
movements, with the tremendous conflicts that would naturally ensure, which
might possibly lead to a terrible civil strife, to a bloody struggle
between the imperfections now fighting in this World?  Who can say that, by
following that road, the American Continent is not running the risk of
being lost to the--democratic ideal, which is the ideal of this continent?

Here it is not a question of fear--and in this respect I find that the
statement of the Delegate from the United States is correct--.  It is not a
question of anybody coming here to stir up fears...No...When we speak of
realities there can't be any second meaning; when evil is pointed out,
there can't be any concealed intention, because if they were concerned
about that, if the United States are really worried about the possibility
that America might fall in that pit, we in Latin America are more
interested than the United States in avoiding a fall of that sort, because
we don't want our America to be used as a battlefield.  America does not
want to become, because of errors of judgment and--shortsightedness on the
part of some, the stage of widespread strife and sporadic fighting, into
which other places in this World have been transformed.  So, when we speak
as we have, we are thinking of the--Latin American interests, because while
we do run that risk, such is not the case with the United States.  No, they
are not in danger of that.  We have problems here which do not exist in the
United States.  There, economic stability, that ironclad economy of
theirs, has insured (added of course to other factors inherent in their
idiosyncrasy) the political stability of that northern nation.  That's why
it is often very difficult for them to understand the problems of our Latin
America.  In the eyes of those who have not confronted such problems I
suppose we must look as a race of men who are not qualified or mature
enough for self-government, who are utterly incapable of solving our own
problems.  That's why it is very likely that the consequences of certain
different causes which have nothing whatever to do with them.  That's why
the real source of many of our troubles have to be told here, that we, as
people, are not to blame for such conditions; that the trouble lies, first
and more than on anything else, on our social and economic
conditions....and on the fact that we have not been fortunate enough to
develop our resources, which is just the opposite to what has happened to
the Northern countries; in other words, that the causes are not to be found
in the ability for self government, or otherwise, of Latin Americans, and
are not be found either in the intelligence or lack of it of the Latin
Americans, but in their economic problems, the appalling economic problems
chronically confronted by these people of Central and South America.  And
it is most desirable for such truths to be told clearly and frankly.  I
feel certain that we are not doing any harm to anybody by telling them to
you, and that the real harm is done when--those truths are withheld when
the real facts are concealed or disguised.  These truths ought to be told
to both the Latin American and the North American delegates, and then they
ought to be told to the people of the United that their
Government will have to pay attention to public opinion there and,
inversely, their Government cannot do anything about those problems if the
public opinion in their country do not understand these problems.  That is
why what we ought to do here is what we did recently on behalf of the Cuban
people, that is, to go there, to the people of the United States, and
present our problems, pose them clearly and frankly, as we did; and I might
as well admit here that we were pleasantly surprised when we saw that the
truths we have to tell many times at these meetings were told to the people
of the--United States, and they were prompt to understand and cheer them.

We all agree that it is imperative, indispensably necessary to develop
the economies of the peoples of Latin America.  We are all fully conscious
of their economic backwardness.  We all know that, for instance, the
average consumption of Latin American amounts to about one sixth of the
individual consumption of a North American.  That means that we consume six
times less...that our families, our youngsters, our workers, our
professional people, our writers and poets, all of use consume six times
less than what the American workers and the American families consume.  We
are all conscious of the fact that the only way to raise our incomes to
that level, or perhaps even to still higher levels, is through the economic
development of our countries.  We have invoked the word cooperation because
we are conscious of the fact that each one of us, individually considered,
can do little or, rather, nothing, to achieve that much needed economic
development.  We are all fully conscious and convinced of our impotence.
We all know that what we are confronting cannot be overcome individually by
by any of us, and that's why we resort to the call for cooperation.  But I
ask if it is that we, the Latin American peoples, are going to divide our
adverse balance of payments, our miseries and our economic crises.  When we
speak of cooperation we are thinking of the countries that can offer us
that cooperation; yes, that cooperation to which we the Latin Americans
have to devote all our efforts; and to merit which we, the peoples of Latin
America, must necessarily implant standards of irreproachable honesty for
public officials, we have to be morally clean if we want our economic
development to run abreast of our honesty in government...because it might
happen that, all other conditions being equal, Cuba might advance to a
considerable extent while other peoples lagged behind, because the
political standards now prevailing there make the money invested in
industries find its way to the hands of a dictator, or make the capital
invested there to work in the interest of the powerful, to make rich men
still richer, and to keep dictators in power; and certain nations of our
Continent could miss the benefits we might derive from that cooperation

It all depends on our being able to get our peoples out of that
atmosphere, to awaken them from that drowsy stupor in which they have been
kept, for so long, and make them fall behind a great national undertaking,
which in this case coincides with the great Latin American undertaking and
a great continental undertaking.  In effect, we in Cuba are confronting
that problem and we know that there is only one way to give employment to
the 700,000 unemployed we have there; the truth being that we cannot give
banknotes that are not worth anything, we cannot feed them with thin air;
we cannot assign them to improductive jobs, to remove a rock from a place
and drop it in another.  The only solution to this problem is, simply, to
establish industries, and when we decide to establish new industries, we
are met by problems, such as the necessity to pay for them, not in pesos,
but in gold or dollars; and if there is no gold and there are no dollars,
then, how are we going to purchase the equipment to start those industries?

Then we find that the industries established with our resources cannot
sell their products in the quantities that they would have to be sold to
pay for what we have to import and leave something besides; no, they don't
even produce enough to pay for our imports which means that we soon find
that we have resources of our own at all.

So, even assuming that we could mobilize our own resources, assuming
that we had any resources of our own to mobilize, and assuming that we
could manage to establish a new industry, we find that there are quite a
few industries for which the domestic market is obviously insufficient.
Stamping plants, for instance, and automobile assembly plants.  The same
applies to the manufacture of penicillin, whose domestic market is not
sufficient to warrant a large investment.

I am only mentioning some examples.  We could mention many others which
show that all the Latin American countries, you, we, all of us cannot think
of establishing many industries, because our countries do not have domestic
markets large enough to consume their production.  Hence our conclusion
that it is imperative to expand our domestic market.  How?  By making a
single, common, enormous market out of Latin America as a whole.  Of
course, this could not be done overnight; a whole--continent cannot be
adjusted to such regime in a short time; still, we can work toward it as a
future objective, because it is an unquestionable fact that with our
limited markets, the small nations at least cannot develop our industrial
resources unless we can count on a wide market whose consumption capacity
will warrant the investment required for such development and for that
expansion... But there is still more:  the industries established to
supply the domestic market must have that market, because an industry
cannot prosper of it does not have people who will buy its products and
here we have to refer to another tragic predicament of Latin America, and
that is that most of our population is rural, made up mostly of peasants,
farmers, planters...and as a rule that rural population has no fixed
income.  That is why we have predicted the--solution of Cuba's problem on
two specific undertakings, to wit:  the Agrarian Reform Program, and the
Industrial Development Program.  The fact is that if our peasants and our
small farmers do not have any fixed incomes, who is our industry going to
sell its products to?  Hence we have reached the conclusion that the
Agrarian Reform Program is--essential to our industrial development, aside
from the fact that the appalling number of our unemployed can only be
reduced if we make some of them produce at the manufacturing plants for
those who work on the fields.  That is, simply speaking, what is
technically known as the increased productivity and production of
agriculture.  But we have to call it in a more specific way.  We call it
Agrarian Reform.  Because if the problems of Latin America are like the
problems we have in Cuba, there is no other way to solve those problems, I
mean, the only way is through the Agrarian Reform.  As to the fiscal
aspect, it is necessary that the taxes be paid, not by those who have the
least, but by the others, the ones who have the most.  Consequently, we
must adopt fair taxation systems.  Yes, those nations whose leaders really
want to solve their national problems must be ready and willing to make
whatever adjustments and sacrifices may be necessary.  We realize how
enormous the problems we have to solve are, how heavy the expenses which,
for instance, represent the armed forces in certain countries, where
they--absorb the lion's share of the national income....  I know that these
problems are very difficult to solve...but what I want to say is that we
must reach the conclusion that our cooperation, I mean, the cooperation of
our peoples, the peoples of Latin America, is something which we ought to
try to bring about the conditions which it is within our reach to produce,
because they are not depending on poverty, they are depending, to a large
extent on us, because, to be honest the only thing to do is to decide to
abstain from stealing, and that, after all, does not have anything to do
with the existence of extreme poverty; it depends on the existence of
decency, honesty and loyalty in the ruler.  Consequently our cooperation is
fundamentally a human cooperation, a great desire and a great effort to
solve, to bring about the conditions--considered essential to our economic

As to the capital required, did not we say that if we can not sell our
products in sufficient quantities we will never be able to count on our own
resources, and will never be able to save money, because, how are we going
to save money by subjecting the people to still more--hunger?

Then, how are we going to raise the capital we need?  Here we are going
to state the views of the Cuban delegation: there are three ways to do it:
saving, securing public financing, or private investments.  It is my
understanding that so far economists have not developed any other way.  The
first one might be a solution; if we could sell freely all of our
production, for which it would require for the United States (which is the
most intensely industrialized of all our countries, followed by Canada, of
course, but our trade relations being mostly with the United States) to do
away with all the restrictions affecting our basic commodities, our primary
products, and by doing away with all those--restrictions, including
subsidies, barring our products when they compete with theirs, they would
permit us to sell our products and thereby to procure the foreign exchange
and the gold exchange needed to mobilize those resources.  In the
particular case of Cuba we can say that if Cuba could sell eight million
tons of sugar we could really mobilize all the capital needed for her
industrial development.  That would be a solving formula, but it would
require a drastic modification of the--economic structure of the United
States and I don't want to dream about utopies here.  We know from
experience of the tremendous difficulties always encountered when anybody
tries to eliminate any of those restrictions, such difficulties being
caused by certain national interests, vested interests, and we are
conscious of the fact that such a relief from restrictions would be (if
anybody wanted to do away with them to the extend necessary to permit a
really substantial increase in our exports) one of the most difficult
formulae for the United States to--adopt.  Consequently, for the time being
that road seems to be a tremendously difficult one.  Perhaps at some future
time the United States might be able to adopt a policy similar to that
adopted by England in her good days, which consisted of devoting her
domestic effort to the production of industrial articles.  This would be
possible in the United States where despite the fact that agricultural
productivity is extremely high only a small proportion of the population is
engaged in agricultural activities.  But we must be conscious of the
present difficulties as we see them.  The other formula, the private
capital investment, is the formula advanced for the last few years as the
real solution for the problem.  The trouble is that this formula is not a
solution at all.  Sometimes it has been insinuated, and on occasions it
has been mentioned more or less secondarily; but if we analyze the
possibility for private investments to offer a real solution to our
problems, we have to ask ourselves the following questions:

In the first place, private investments demand certain requirements and
qualifications which must be met before any investment can be considered.
The first one is climate, which seems to be extremely important.  Do you
know what is understood by climate?  Can there be any climate at a place
where there are 700,000 unemployed?  Can there be any climate at a place
where the people receive the lowest income you can possibly imagine?  It is
a well known fact that when a country achieves a certain level, no matter
how low, it is very difficult to lower it, because any action in that
direction costs popularity to all constitutional governments and when
constitutional governments lose popularity they also lose the government.
Now, how can there be a--climate in the midst of the conflicts created by
hunger, misery and need?  Particularly if we know that those conflicts
cannot be settled unless it is by force, and that from the very moment when
they are settled by shear force, we are no longer democrats.  How, then,
can we have that climate which is demanded as a condition precedent of
private--investment, which would, moreover, solve the generical problem of
the entire Latin American continent?  Because we are not discussing
here--the solutions required by this country or that; we are speaking of
all of them.  Naturally the investment bound capital would go to those
countries offering the highest economic levels, the best standard of
living, because there the so-called labor conflicts would be less serious;
but that same investment capital would not even consider taking a chance on
the most backward countries, economically speaking of course, because those
are the areas in which labor troubles and unrest are more serious and
abundant.  Consequently, very large areas would be left to their own
fortune and the investment of private capital would never solve their
problems.  However, there are still other kinds of investments in which
private capital is seldom interested.  For instance, a hydroelectric power
plant project costing one, tow, or three million dollars is not attractive
to private investors; they would not be interested.  They will like oil
wells, real estate, and other safe investments; they want safety, the sure
thing, the investment with the least risk; and specially those offering big
returns.  So, those large projects have to be--financed by government
agencies and large banks because they could never be carried out with just
private capital investments.  Moreover, can we, under present
circumstances, create a better climate, a better environment for those
capital investments?

The precarious governments of America can look for it, and by saying
this I am only trying to tell you what in our judgment is the real
situation of our governments.  As a result of a certain economic situation,
some of them could offer a better climate; but if that better--climate
cannot be offered, if it is not better now than it was yesterday or
heretofore, just how can we expect any investment capital to solve our
economic problems for the future?  How can we expect problems which have
seemed hopeless for ten, twenty or thirty years, to be settled now that our
development program cannot forge ahead and the general unrest is growingly

Besides, let us imagine that private investments could and would solve
all our problems.  We know that the disputes arising at every--moment, or
which can arise at any time between management and labor, when this
conflict assumes nationwide proportions or when the dispute is, for
instance, between a North American company and the native workers of some
Latin American country, that those disputes, I repeat, overstep the
borders, and the factors of resentment and lack of understanding become
important and harmful.  That we do not want; we want to solve our problems,
but we want to do so in harmony with everybody, we want understanding and
mutual respect and friendship among the peoples of our Continent.  The
experience gained heretofore shows us that we must seek lasting solutions,
no solutions for fifteen years which will revert to problems, perhaps worse
problems, twenty years hence.  We must seek definitive solutions.  It is
not a matter of our opposing private investments, but it is our belief that
we should foster and encourage private investments of native investors,
that we ought to enlist the assistance of domestic capital, given through
the credit agencies of the Government, and also of capital mobilized
through international credit institutions.  We do believe in the
desirability, the experience, the ability and the aggressiveness of private
capital, but we ought to look forward to private investments by native
companies.  Does that mean that we are trying to exclude international
capital investments?  No, it does not.  The fact is that when there is a
kind of enterprise which attracts international capital, it will have the
same assurances, rights, and privileges granted and recognized to domestic
enterprises.  However, we simply are not looking for the solutions already
found, which have proved to be short of efficacy as such; we are seeking
new solutions which will solve and settle our problems and difficulties
once and for all times.  Therefore, the honest conclusion to be drawn from
that is that those favorable climates you hear so much about, those
theoretical climates, are not within our reach to offer or create them.
The fact that the investment-bent capital goes to the place where its
products are more likely to be readily sold at a good price, and the
additional fact that the backward, the most underdeveloped countries, are
precisely the ones most desperately in need of investment capital, foreign
or otherwise, prove that we cannot propitiate such climates.  So, if only
the third of these three ways of raising capital is left, that is, the
so-called public financing, why not reach the conclusion that
under--present circumstances, the easiest form of cooperation is public

We don't ask for donations of capital; we don't want gifts of money; we
just want financing capital; we want the capital required for our economic
development, which we intend to return with interest.  Of course that
capital might represent a sacrifice on the part of the American people, but
in this case they would be making that sacrifice in the interest and to the
benefit of future generations of Americans.  We, too, will be working for
our own future generations, because the truth is that we will not benefit
directly by that cooperation.  Actually, those benefits and that help will
be harvested by future generations of our peoples, who will have a
different manner of living, who will live in happier and more comfortable
surroundings, who will not be under-nourished or insufficiently clothed.
Because I happen to believe that if we manage to solve our economic
problems we will be laying the real foundations of a humanist democracy,
based on the password of democracy with bread for the people, a doctrine
that could not be surpassed in its power to inspire devotion and loyalty.

The problem we are posing does not directly affect the economic
interests of the United States.  Trade among the wealthy countries of
Europe is much more intense than among poor countries.  The present--trade
between the United States and Canada is much more profitable and extensive
now than when the Dominion of Canada was an underdeveloped country; and
likewise, the trade currents between the United States and our America will
gain momentum according as our peoples are developed and we are able to
raise our levels, if we exploit all our natural resources, if we create an
internal market in each country and a common market among all our
countries.  Then we will have met all the conditions required for a real
development which some day might be equal to that now enjoyed by the United
States, which by that time will in turn have been developed still further
on....  But if the two hundred million--people of Latin America could
consume what is consumed today by the present one hundred and eighty
million Americans, (one hundred and--seventy-nine millions I understand) we
would have the true basis for a fully and completely developed Latin
America, without unemployment, because today the United States not only
gives employment to its own people, but also to hundreds of thousands of
Latin Americans who go there to work...

Just recently I had the opportunity to get together with tens of
thousands of Latin Americans who are working there, in a country where they
have been allowed to work, where they earn good wages, where they should
feel comfortable and contented....and yet, they long for their own
countries, they are homesick and want to come back to work in their own
lands...I have even seen cases of men who are getting five hundred dollars
a month and are ready to come back to work in their own country for one and
fifty or two hundred pesos.  But the truth is that our youth, our people,
have to go North, they have to look to the fully developed neighbor of the
North to get the opportunity to work they need so badly.  We should create
employment in our own continent for all--those people who emigrate (and
there would be many more, millions of--them, if they were easily and
readily admitted there); we should give all those people who travel North
to try to make the decent living they can't find at home the most cherished
hope and aspiration of Latin America a real economic development.

After analyzing these things, in which direction should the efforts of
Latin American go?  Why, naturally, toward the public financing of our
countries by the only country which, because it is the most developed among
us, can afford to help us in that way.

The Cuban delegation, the experts of the Cuban delegation, estimate
that the economic development of Latin America requires financing to the
extent of thirty billions of dollars, invested within a period of ten
years, if it is really desired to bring about a full development of those
countries.  The size of this figure should not alarm anyone.  These figures
are in the minds of all of you because there are bona fide statistical data
and computations showing our population, our needs, our rate of growth, the
millions needed to give employment to a given number of workers....; those
figures are based on real expense estimate, the fact being that
we turn the problem in our minds, pose all the -- equations, and think of
the figures, but do not bring up what is most essential; the question of
how can we get the money.

Well, I can tell you that the only place where we can get it is the
United States, and the only way is through public financing...And moreover,
that public financing is the easiest way for the united States, because if
any other procedure were resorted to (for instance, the elimination of
restrictions) we believe that, from a political standpoint, it would be
much more difficult to accomplish what we want.  Experience has taught us
in recent years that the United States was perfectly--capable of applying
that procedure to Europe and the Near East, and we ask:  why ignore that
alternative, which was considered best at other places, when it comes to
deal with Latin America?

We believe that such a program would benefit, not only the countries of
Latin America, but the United States too, and in a great measure.  In our
conversations with American journalists and our dealing with public opinion
at large, with people who are fond of studying these international
questions, I found that there was a real disposition to accept this one
thesis.  This is because there is not question that there is no other one
sound enough to replace it, if it is true that a real solution for our
manifold problems is earnestly desired.  To the American public opinion we
should argue, rightly and without fears (since nobody should be afraid to
tell the truth), that it is in their own benefit as much as in ours, what
we suggest must be done.  If we do this, the American government and
American public opinion at large will be persuaded of the soundness of the
statements we have made here today.  Not many days ago a report was
published to the effect that three United States--senators had taken some
steps to that end.  But the important thing is that when we all feel
convinced that by so acting we will arrive at real and lasting solutions,
not half baked solutions, but full and--definitive solutions, not half
baked solutions, but full and--definitive solutions, then we will really do
something about our problems, thereby fulfilling a democratic aspiration
and the most cherished dream and hope of this Hemisphere.

Consequently, I believe I have done my duty by expressing these ideas
to this distinguished Committee.  Many thanks!