Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

by Doctor Fidel Castro Ruz

Released by the Department of Public Relations, Ministry of State, Republic
of Cuba, Havana, 15 December 1959, pp 1-48

On Tuesday, 15 December, the Prime Minister of the revolutionary
government, Doctor Fidel Castro, spoke to the nation from the
rostrum of the National Federation of Sugar Workers.  The setting
and the speech were of singular significance with regard to the
current Cuban situation.  The Federation, wisely headed by Conrado
Bequer, was the first workers' organization to assimilate the new
spirit of the Cuban revolution, substituting a broad patriotic
appeal for effort and sacrifice for the old economic thinking
which was exclusively concerned with salaries.  In the month of
January the sugar workers postponed their demands and abandoned
their immediate hopes in order to complete the harvest.  They set
no conditions, but set an example along the noble path of
generosity.  This policy, inaugurated in January, was confirmed in
the last plenary session of the sugar workers, when an agreement
to surrender 4% of wages as a contribution to the industrial
development of the country was unanimously adopted.

The words of the Prime Minister, exalting, the position of the
sugar workers and their example of revolutionary fervor and clear
national devotion, were both a message and a test.  Faithful to a
policy of sincerity, Fidel Castro appealed to the people for
vigorous unity of action and feelings, in order to deal with the
enemies of the fatherland.

Department of Information,
Publicity and Public Relations,
Ministry of State


Comrade Sugar Workers:

I should like to thank the Congress for providing us with the
opportunity of attending this opening session.

I would not have wanted to be absent from this ceremony, for many
reasons:  because I have never failed to be present at the key events for
workers, and also for another reason -- because this was the Congress of
the Sugar Workers, because this was the first Federation, which in the
early days of the revolutionary government, took a step forward and
responded so admirably in those uncertain days, when the harvest was
delayed, when Cuba most needed sugar, when it was most urgent to advance
our production, and I can never forget that on that day, when we ask the
sugar workers to put ahead of all their claims, however just they might be,
the slogan of saving the harvest, because the country was in urgent need of
the resources it would receive from sugar -- I can never forget the spirit
of sacrifice and the faith with which the sugar workers embraced that
slogan, abandoning all their claims, deciding not to strike, thanks to
which it was possible to produce almost six million tons of sugar.

That event was notable because it occurred at the very beginning
of the revolution.  In those days the atmosphere everywhere was confused.
In those days there could not be the total identification which exists
today between the workers and the revolutionary government.  In those days
it still remained to see what the conduct of the revolutionary government
would be.  In those days everything remained to be seen, and it had to be
demonstrated that it was true that finally a truly honorable and
revolutionary government would be established, because despite all, our
people had suffered so many deceptions, such deceit, that although everyone
was happy, not everyone was certain of the future.

It remained to be seen if finally this beautiful reality had been
achieved, if finally and for the first time we would see the realization of
the dreams of the men who for more than a century fought for our
fatherland, fought so that our people could be master of their fate, to
have a worthy place among peoples of the world, and also to have a place in
the history of the world.

A Revolution in Truth

And as there had been so long a fight, and as the effort had been
frustrated so many times, it was almost essential "to see in order to
believe."  If you were to make this sacrifice you made almost a year ago
today, it would not have the merit, it would not be of the same value as it
was then, because today it is known what the revolutionary government is.
Today the people have already seen, the people know that it is correct.
Now, the people are not only happy, and not only nurture hopes, but are
also certain that they have a revolutionary government.

On that occasion it was necessary to come to beg the workers for
confidence, to ask them for faith.  It was not the same as speaking to you
now, now that we see ourselves with greater confidence, not only with
greater sympathy but with greater confidence as well.  It was not on our
side alone:  we had confidence in the workers, and the workers had hopes of
the government.  Today the workers not only have hopes but also have
confidence in the government.

For this reason, it was necessary on that occasion to explain, and
to persuade, because in those days, as you recall, everyone was with the
revolution.  And how could it be possible that everyone was with the
revolution?  Why?  Some because they had hopes that this was a revolution
in truth, and others because they hopes that it was a revolution of deceit.

You will recall that everyone approved of the agrarian reform, and
everyone even offered money for agrarian reform.  There was a slight
difference, a question of zeros, and not on the left.  Everyone approved of
the agrarian reform because there was a constitutional law which ordered
the elimination of large landed estates and the establishment of the
maximum land area for each type, for each farming enterprise, and everyone
approved of this article in the constitution, everyone approved of putting
a limit to the landholdings, but there was a difference of zeros.  Some
were fully in agreement with agrarian reform running to four zeros, that is
to say, a 3 + 4 zeros.  Agrarian reform which would establish a maximum of
30,000 caballerias of land meant a little more only than the holdings of
some foreign companies in our country.  Others were more drastic, and
approved of agrarian reform running to 3 zeros, agrarian reform with a
limit of 3,000 caballerias of land.  Others were a little more radical and
approved of agrarian reform running to two zeros, but the revolutionary
government, analyzing the needs of our economy and our people, established
agrarian reform involving one zero.  There is almost no difference, a small
matter of zeros.  But in those days, many people were juggling with these
little zeros.

If the revolutionary government had undertaken agrarian reform
running to four zeros, many people here among those who had land,
particularly these companies, would have said that this was the most
democratic, most just and most humane revolution in the world.  But because
of a simple matter of zeros, in fact, one only instead of four, they are
saying that this was the most communist agrarian reform in the world.

Times Are Different

This was not a problem of ideology, nor of patriotism, nor of
principles.  It was a problem of zeros.  If, with regard to rents, we had
not taken a zero away from the owners of apartment buildings, and really it
was not a zero, because all we took from them was half a zero, they would
have said that this was the most democratic and most just revolution in the
world, and that we were a group of sensible men, good governors, etc., etc.
But for only one half a zero, what they want at the very least is for the
war criminals and the band of assassins who sacked and caused bloodshed in
our fatherland should come back to rule again in our country.  For a matter
of half a zero less in their profits.

And thus, this is the entire problem the revolution has today with
those who were with the revolution, according t what they said, on 1
January and 5 January and 10 January,and even on 30 January, because they
began to desert us here as of the time of the first revolutionary law,
which lowered rents.  It has all been a matter of nothing but zeros in the
profits of some few.  This has been the problem of the revolution, and it
is why a part of those who were with the revolution in January are not
still with the revolution now in December.

For this reason, the times are different.  In those days, everyone
wanted a revolution in accordance with his thinking, that is, some wanted a
false revolution, as always, and others wanted a true revolution such as we
had never had.

But, after all, this has served to educate the people.  This year
of revolutionary government has served to educate the people and,
fortunately, although we are somewhat fewer, we have on the other hand a
people with a much higher level of revolutionary awareness.  And there are
some things which it is almost gratifying to remember, for example, the
role of some periodicals and what they said in those days.  Everyone
remembers what gems of support they gave the revolution.  Because they were
frightened at the idea that the revolution would take from them the checks
they had received from the bloody hands of the tyranny.  If we shake the
tree, if we shake it well, I believe that we can purify the republic.
Still there remains much for us to shake down.  Little by little, and in
some cases there is no need to shake the tree, because rotten fruit falls
of its own accord.  And we give thanks for some of these periodicals.  What
little shame they have!

They Seek Foreign Intervention

In those days, with that guilt complex, with that conscience
loaded with sins, how meek, how good, how patriotic, how revolutionary they
were!  And now see them, today.  It was enough to see them after the
passage of only a few months, with a revolution which was so generous --
and all the people know this -- a revolution which was so generous that it
did not want to shake the tree free of all those sins.  Sins, yes -- the
sin of selling one's conscience, of writing in favor of a bloody and
plundering government, the sin of robbing the republic.  And they insult so
generous a revolution, they insult it as they never insulted any other
government -- the honorable revolution, the loyal revolution, the clean
revolution, the revolution which is taking care of the people -- they are
insulting it as they never did the most thieving and the most criminal of

And this is not all.  The worst is that while on the one hand they
insult us, on the other, they claim that there is no freedom of expression.
While on the one hand, they insult us and write things they never would
have dared to write against corrupt, criminal and plundering governments,
on the other hand, they carry daily dispatches from the Inter-American
Press Association or other such organs saying that there is no freedom of
expression in Cuba.  And then, then still this is not enough, for they also
are indignant when the government defends itself, when the government
speaks, when the government answers, when they are not only insulting for
the sake of insulting and slandering for the sake of slander, but are doing
so in an effort to plunge the country into days of blood and struggle,
slandering in order to open a narrow breach for the mercenaries and the
criminals, for exploiting foreign interests to open the pathway to the
country's aggressors, the invaders of the fatherland, to open the path for
foreign intervention, for the game in which these periodicals are really
engaged today is the game of the reactionaries, a conscious, premeditated,
studied and deliberate attempt to promote foreign intervention in our

And for this reason they are trying to lead a government which for
eleven months has done nothing but serve the interests of the people, as no
other government ever served them, which has worked honorably for the
people, as no other government has ever worked, to serve the interests of
the country, as no other government ever did, into a situation where it
will be the victim of aggression by the most negative and the most immoral
anti-national interests.  And this is why one no longer reads in any of
these periodicals accusations other than that the revolutionary government
is communist.  And they do this in such a persistent and shameless way,
that not a day passes, they do not rest a minute in this ruinous and
miserable task, in this effort to sow confusion and doubt, to promote
division, to weaken the revolution, so that the nation can be made a
victim, in the midst of confusion, weakness and deceit, of foreign
aggression.  There can be no doubt that the purpose they are pursuing
deliberately and with premeditation is of no other nature, and the people
must be very aware of this.

And the first thing we must ask is what they are seeking or trying
to gain through this campaign, what do they imagine they can accomplish,
what will they profit from this flood and lies and criminal and purposeful
propaganda against the nation and against the government it represents.
What will these priests gain -- these people who could never call
themselves priests of Christ or priests of the truth, but are priests of
treason and crime, who have gone to the United States, unmolested or
threatened in any way but any one, to establish themselves there and to
have themselves photographed with the traitor and criminal Pedro Luis Diaz
Lanz, allied today with the worst war criminals an the worst anti-Cuban
interests in his plans for aggression against our fatherland, and saying,
as they have: "The Reverend Eduardo Aguirre, a Cuban priest who has come
here seeking asylum, says that Fidel Castro plans to separate the Cuban
church from the Vatican.  He says that Castro has set forth this idea to
members of the clergy informally.  During an interview arranged by Tomas
Milan, a Fort Lauderdale radio station reporter, Rev. Aguirre said:  "He
suggested that a national church independent of Rome be established."
"This is what is done in communist countries to divide the church and
weaken it."  Rev. Aguirre said that he and another priest, Juan R.
O-Farrill, came to seek political asylum and that they are the first Cuban
Catholic priests to do so, it being their intention to denounce the Castro
government as a communist dictatorship.  He refused to name any of the
clergymen with whom Castro spoke, stating that no true priest could do such
a thing.  Castro might found a church for himself, but the people would
know that it was a church without priests.  Cuba has about 7 million
inhabitants and perhaps 90% are catholics.  Others present at the interview
included Pedro L. Diaz Lanz, who commanded the Cuban Air Force and fled to
the United States and denounced the revolutionary government, saying that
it was infected with communism.  He and his comrade, said Rev. Aguirre,
also fought with Castro.  Cardinal Cushing was right when he spoke a short
time ago of the silent church in Cuba.  The priests cannot speak freely in
Cuba now, and it was for this reason we fled.  Before we worked with the
revolutionaries to overthrow the dictator Fulgencio Batista, but the
communists have been distorting the revolution for their own aims...  Now
it is dangerous for men with our ideals to remain in Cuba."

Revolution and Religion Are Compatible

And I ask you if these gentlemen can be priests of Christ?  And I
ask the people, I ask even the most impassioned of our enemies, our enemies
because we undertook agrarian reform or because of any other of the
revolutionary laws, I ask if this is just.  I ask if this can be said after
a Catholic Congress such as was held in Cuba, with every government
facility, despite the fact that we knew, as all the people did, that there
was a reactionary trend encouraged by the Diario de la Marina (Coastal
Daily) and its followers which wanted to transform the Catholic Congress
into a counterrevolutionary political gathering, although this trend was
not the trend of the Catholics, but of a handful of reactionaries who
wanted to appear as saints, halo and all, although they were but a few
demons of a reactionary and counterrevolutionary nature, demons of egotism
and exploitation, although this reactionary trend tried to turn an
eminently religious ceremony which had nothing to do with politics, because
this was a question of the religious faith and feelings of the people, into
a political gathering, and although this reactionary trend encouraged by
the Diario de la Marine, the periodical Advance (Advance) and the rest
tried to create problems and conflicts between the political conscience and
the religious conscience of the people.  These two types of conscience can
perfectly well exist together when they are based on justice, based on
good.  I do not believe there can be a single just measure in human
society, not a single good work in the civil society of man, which is not
based on a healthy and just religious conscience.  If religions is the
embodiment of the just and noble feeling, if it is the incarnation of a
good idea, an ideal of good, the revolution is the incarnation of the most
noble, most just principles of man.  This is because the revolution battles
the evil in human society, the revolution struggles against all those
defects from which people suffer.  It is only those who play the farce,
only the hypocrites, only those whom Christ called the scribes and the
Pharisees who attempt to turn religion into a tool serving egotistical,
petty, and inhuman interests.

The Tremendous Plot of the Alien Interests

Then what reason and what justification can anyone find, after the
respect which the revolutionary government has shown for all the religious
institutions, such that even one of these priests -- and we have
irrefutable evidence -- Mr. O-Farrill, because he does not deserve the name
"father," nor to call himself a priest -- met with another in Santo
Domingo, Mr. Velasco, a Trujillo messenger and his accomplice, and yet we,
knowing of this fact and have irrefutable proof of this fact, since a
priest was involved, and since we did not want the slightest friction with
the church, and since we did not want to provide a slightest pretext for
anyone to claim an act of hostility on the part of the revolutionary
government, we stayed out of the matter and even refrained from any public
statement.  That is to say, we never even revealed this fact and now you
see how the revolutionary government is repaid, now you see what they are
doing, and I ask myself if this is just, I ask the people and all honorable
men, and even those of our enemies who might have the virtue of being
honest with themselves, if this is just.

And what is being sought?  To attract foreign aggression to our
fatherland.  This is the vast plot of the alien interests, and as we have
our feet planted on the ground, as we know the strength the revolution has,
I ask what the national reactionaries have as weapons with which to
overthrow the revolutionary government?  What chance do the foreign trusts
have to overthrow the revolutionary government?  And if they no longer can
count on strength within the country, it is obvious that all their plans
are based on foreign forces and foreign resources.  And since the only way
of trying to destroy the revolution is by force, and they do not have
forces in the nation, however much deceit and confusion they may sow, what
forces are they counting on, if not foreign forces?  And if they cannot
even remotely count on national resources, what sense is there in invoking
foreign forces and foreign resources to destroy the revolution, when there
could never be strength enough in the country to destroy it?  What goal are
they seeking thereby?  They are seeking no goal than to destroy the
fatherland, if this is necessary, rather than resigning themselves to the
loss of their privileges.

And the question I ask myself as a Cuban, the question we must all
ask ourselves is whether even though they believe we are mistaken, even
though they felt differently from us or believed that we think differently
from them, even though they think the worst of us, even when they believe
what they deceitfully say about the revolutionary government, what is ours
is not a thousand times preferable, if the worst, although Cuban, is not a
thousand times preferable.  Anything is preferable to seeing the fatherland
destroyed and trampled by the foreign boots.  Anything is preferable to the
spectacle of seeing our people in the trenches with the rebel soldiers,
fighting to the last drop of their blood in defense of our national

For we, when we take up arms, do not flee to pound at the doors of
foreign powers, we do not flee in search of the support of foreign
interests.  We knew that our cause was just and we came to seek our support
in the people,  came to seek our support in the strength of the nation,
we came to mobilize the resources of the nation, without stopping to
consider how many of us there were or how many guns we had.  We came to
struggle against the tyranny without ever even considering the idea of
mobilizing foreign resources, for if our revolution had not had the hope of
the support of the people, it would be because it was not just.  If our
revolution, the revolution we propose to undertake, had not been able to
hope to count on the people, it would have had no reason to exist, and only
because there was a reason for it could it hope to count on the people, and
could be accomplished.

The Camps Defined

When foreign resources are needed it is because one is not in the
right.  When one cannot hope to count on the people, it is because one is
not in the right.  When it is necessary to seek the support of foreign
support and resources against the people, it is because one is not in the
right.  And when one is not in the right it is never possible to count on
the people.  For this reason, it is necessary to go abroad, like miserable
traitors, to mobilize foreign resources and arms against the fatherland.
And it is in this task that they are engaged, and no one should believe
that the fact that two priests of any other citizen adopts this attitude is
a simple happenstance.  No, this is the task in which the Diorio de la
Marina, the periodical Avance and the like have been engaging
systematically and day after day.  This is the task, deliberate and
conscious, to which they are dedicated, because they know perfectly well
what they are doing, they know perfectly well what they are proposing, and
they are well aware of the consequences and the facts prove this, and they
want these events repeated for which reason they say "the first."  It is
obvious that they hope that many other similar ones will occur, although
what can they gain thereby?  These events will only serve to reveal them
for what they are, to open the eyes of the people, because the people can
never justify such conduct.

A priest who seeks asylum because he was tortured under the
Batista dictatorship, and who goes now when the revolution has never had
the slightest disagreement or difficulty with them, nor was any even
mentioned, and who goes now to join with those who tortured him, to join
the same forces which fought him -- what purpose does this serve if not to
open the eyes of the people?  And the revolutionary government hopes that
to the honor of the church, the Catholic leadership and the ecclesiastical
leaders in Cuba will answer him and tell the truth in the face of this
change, with the international cable agencies have undertaken to broadcast
all over the world, painting with revolutionary government as persecuting
the religious ideas.  For they could do nothing but invent in order to
accuse us, even saying that we want to found a church, accusing us of
wishing to separate a Cuban church from the church of Rome, as if the
agrarian reform, the rents law and all the revolutionary measures had
nothing to do with religious problem, as if it could interest us in any way
to interfere with the religious feelings of anyone.  We can never be
hindered by religious feelings.  What hinders the revolution is
counterrevolutionary feelings, and the revolutionary government hopes that
the ecclesiastical leaders will answer the imputations of these priests
fully, who were even so disrespectful as to go against the statements of
the ecclesiastical leadership in answer to a US Cardinal who stated that
the revolutionary government had seized religious property.  For it has
been some time now that they have used every maneuver, obviously trying to
create this problem, for they cannot find anything to cling to in combating
the revolutionary government.

And it is under these conditions that we are ending the first year
of revolutionary government, with some fewer of us, but with a much more
aware people, and this is why we say to you that the gesture made last
February by the sugar workers was a much worthier one than had it occurred
today, when the Cuban workers had had the apprenticeship of the year of
revolutionary government.

This means that the camps have been perfectly clearly defined
here, and the workers are not concerned in the same way that they were
before, because they know that we are not defending interests contrary to

An Effort to Confuse the Workers

It is curious, as the Minister of Labor has stressed, that these
organs which have always been opposed to the interests of the workers are
not agitating under the slogan of the salary differential.  It is curious
that when there is no differential, precisely because of the low price of
sugar this year, lower than in any of the preceding years, these same
periodicals, which have never defended any of the interests of the workers,
are talking, in order to create problems for the revolutionary government,
of a differential when none exists, because if there were one, who here can
doubt that we would some time ago have given it to the workers?  And would
that there had been a differential of 10 cents per pound on sugar, so that
we could already have given it to the workers.  And if we needed the
workers' money, it was not to put it in the pockets of the great industrial
mandates.  No, if we needed the workers' money, if there had been a
differential, if this money is needed in the future, we will ask the
workers for it.

With what bad faith these reactionary elements act, approving a
differential when there is none!  It is strange that they should defend the
workers so now, to see if they can create doubt and problems.  It is
curious that they speak of a differential now, why do they not talk of
agrarian reform?  Why do they not speak of the "little holdings" of the
great landowners, of the great foreign companies, which have thousands of
caballerias of land?  Why do they not support agrarian reform?  Why do they
not speak out in favor of the distribution we are making?  Why do they not
talk in favor of intervention in the large landholdings?  Because there is
no differential, but there is indeed much land in large holdings to help
the sugar workers, yes, to aid the farm workers and the sugar industry.
Why do they not speak of the thousands of caballerias held by foreign
companies?  Why do they not write articles promoting agrarian reform?  And
yet they never speak of these things.

This means that it is in the interests of these impudent people to
see how much confusion they can create, but the workers are clearer than
ever.  And it is precisely this which pains them.

What has this first year of revolutionary government been like?
When has there been such peace in the country?  When has there been such
order?  When has there been fewer strikes and social problems?  What is the
reason for this year of greater peace and order, fewer strikes and social
conflicts?  The identification which exists between the workers and the
revolutionary government.

When they began to combat agrarian reform they said that
production would drop, that agrarian reform was a disaster which would ruin
production and they even said that Cuba would not manage to fill its sugar
quota.  A year has passed and those statements were false, and it is very
evident that we can produce the sugar we are turning out currently, and the
double if we wish.

When just the contrary of what they said would happen occurred,
when instead of lacking sugar to meet the quota, we have more than enough,
and after telling us we would not be able to produce the quota, now that we
have shown that we can produce the quota or more, they talk of removing the
quota.  That is to say, first, they said that we would not meet the quota
because of this awful agrarian reform, and now that this has proven false,
when it is obvious that we can meet the quota, now they say the contrary --
that we can product it, but the quota should be removed.

This is a proof of how unjust the arguments against the revolution
have been, how false these arguments have been, because between the
beginning of the year and the end of the year they have claimed two
drastically different things, because they were wrong, since-the original
claim has proven false.  But this is not all, for if the agrarian reform
has not yet been able to move faster, do you know why this is?  Because of
the steel strike in the United States.

Production Increase

This means that they said first that agrarian reform would
decrease production, because it would completely upset the organization of
agriculture, but the fact is that if agrarian reform has not moved more
rapidly, it has not been our fault, but because of the social conflicts
existing in the United States.

And while there has been no strike in Cuba, the strikes in the
United States have prevented our agrarian reform from advancing more
rapidly.  This means that once again they were mistaken.  Agrarian reform
not only guaranteed the sugar quota, but there is more than enough cane,
and not only is there a surplus of cane in the country, but we have
produced a million and a half more quintals of rice, we have produced more
than a million quintals of corn and we have planted 400 caballerias of
cotton.  Next year we will have begun the cultivation of 20,000 caballerias
of land more in crops.

And if the agrarian reform has not advanced more rapidly, it was
because of the strike -- but curiously, not here!  In the United States
there was no agrarian reform, but there have been strikes.  In Cuba, we
have had revolution and agrarian reform, and yet there have been no

Strikes disturb production.  Why?  Because days of work are lost
and days of work lost mean lower production t the end of the year, because
if 70 days are lost in strikes, this means 70 days less of production.  If
work is done all the year, production is higher.  And in Cuba, where there
is a revolution, and which is where precisely they would like it believed
that the revolution is in difficulties, the fact is that there have been no
strikes and for this reason, production in Cuba this year has been greater
than ever, because there were no strikes.  On the other hand, in the United
States, where there was no revolution, nor agrarian reform, there were
strikes and a drop in production, including that of steel, and there was a
drop in tractor production in the United States, and because of that,
agrarian production in Cuba dropped.

Elimination of All Forms of Plunder

I wish that someone would answer these arguments, and explain why
there were no strikes in Cuba.  Were there no strikes by chance because
the revolutionary government prohibited strikes?  Was it perhaps because
the revolutionary government suspended the right to strike?  No, and the
extraordinary aspect of this fact is that there were no strikes despite the
fact that the workers had the right to strike, despite the fact that the
revolutionary government did not prohibit strikes, despite the fact that
the revolutionary government did not persecute the workers.  This means
that the extraordinary fact is that there were no strikes precisely because
the workers did not want to strike, precisely because the workers wanted
production to increase.  Although it is said that this is not a democratic
government, that it is a bad government, that it is so contrary to the
interests of the country, nonetheless the workers themselves, freely and
spontaneously, did not want to strike, because they are aware that a day
lost is a day's production lost, and because they know, moreover, that they
do not need to strike because they have a revolutionary government which
will always do what is just.  They know that they have a revolutionary
government which sees to their interests and that what this revolutionary
government wants is to raise the standard of living of the humble classes
is our country.  Thus, if the revolutionary government does not raise this
standard of living one point more it is because it cannot, not because it
does not want to.  It is because it is aware of our current economic
situation.  It is aware that we are an underdeveloped country which must
develop, that is, we have a government which is not demagogic, because
Cuba would be lost today with a demagogic government, without a serious,
responsible, just government, one eternally watching over the interests of
the people, one whose main goal is to raise the standard of living of the
humble classes in the country, a government which did away forever with
plunder here -- not only plunder of the public treasury, because it should
not believe that this was the most important type of plunder eliminated
here.  No, there were other kinds of plunder -- that of the speculators and
that of professional gambling, the plunder of those who paid two or two and
a half pesos for a product to the peasants, in order to sell at six cents
per pound -- and not only the robbery of the public treasury.  We did away
with many other kinds of plunder, and if one remains here, no one should be
concerned, because sooner or later we will do away with it, too.

This is to say that the revolutionary government, after the
reestablishment of all trade union rights, after reestablishing the right
to strike, the right to parade on 1 May, the right to choose leaders, after
restoring all the workers' rights, could count on their spontaneous and
free support, and this attitude on the part of the workers freely and
spontaneously avoided strikes.

Can this be a bad government?  When there is greater social peace
in our country?  When there is greater calm in agriculture and industry?
And, how strange that this has occurred in the midst of a revolution and in
the midst of agrarian reform!  What moral right have they to criticize us,
those who have not been able to resolve the social conflicts in their own
countries?  What moral right have they to fight us, to promote revolution
against us, if they have not been able to resolve the social problems in
their own countries, while we on the other hand are resolving social
conflicts in our homeland.  We are not only solving labor problems, but
other which go way back, such as the stain of racial discrimination, which
by means of an educational process, a process of training consciences, by
persuasive measures, we have been eliminating.  This is a task which other
countries have still not been able, after many more years of existence than
our republic, to resolve.  What moral right have they to promote
revolutions against us, when we are not only resolving social conflicts
resulting from economic problems, but also age-old prejudices, like the
problem of racial discrimination?

One Hundred Million More for the Workers

Then can a government be doing badly which has not only increased
agricultural and industrial production, has resolved social conflicts and
is resolving the greatest difficulties in the midst of a revolution,
despite slander, despite counter-revolutionary campaigns, one which has not
even prohibited open opposition of the revolution, open slander of the
revolution, open writings against the revolution and open promotion of
foreign intervention in our country?  Without using violence, without
committing a single act against human rights, without perpetrating the
slightest action against human dignity -- for who had been tortured in this
year of revolution, who has been attacked by the public forces, what crimes
has the revolutionary government committed, what plundering has there been
in the revolutionary government, what treason has been committed against
the interests of the nation by the revolutionary government?

What, then, has the revolutionary government done but to resolve
the problems of the country, to advance in the midst of a crisis in the
sugar price, in the midst of campaigns, when our monetary reserves were
exhausted, because certainly the revolution came to power when the
economic situation in the country was more difficult?  And the
revolutionary government, despite this, has still been able to increase the
income of the workers by more than a hundred million, a hundred million
more in wages.  The workers have higher income than when the sugar prices
were highest, income not only in terms of salary increases, but income
resulting from lower housing ranks and lower costs of other articles of
popular consumption, an increase in income produced by putting an end to
the activities of the speculators.

This means that despite the fact that the revolution came to power
when the economic situation of the country was the worst, when there were
the least reserves in the national bank, when prices and exports of sugar
were lower, despite these adverse circumstances, the revolutionary
government, facing up to these difficulties with determination and courage,
has not only resolved social conflicts, not only battled age-old evils, not
only established ten thousand schools, not only increased agricultural
production, not only increased industrial production, but also it has
raised the standard of living of the workers, distributed land among the
peasants, provided greater employment, constructed more public projects
than ever -- and this without attacking the human rights of anyone, without
torturing anyone, without attacking anyone, without maltreating anyone,
without violating the rights of the human individual -- that is to say, in
the midst of a climate of respect such as never existed before, in the
midst of a climate of freedom which never existed before, in the midst of a
climate of confidence which never existed before in our fatherland.

Who can deny it?  And yet, never has there been such a campaign as
is being waged against Cuba, never were such maneuvers organized when our
compatriots were being murdered here, no one organized such campaigns, no
one told the tourists not to come when men were being tortured savagely in
the police stations, when the young people were found murdered in the
streets, when the people were suffering in the midst of a revolutionary
convulsion, no one organized a tourist boycott, and yet now that peace is
greater, now there is not a single policeman who fails to respect each
citizen or who robs anyone, or who demands cigarettes of anyone
whatsoever, now that not a single human right is violated, when our people
feel confident, when our peasants do not have to live in terror of the
Rural Guard or the threat of the machete, when the people do not have to
live under this terror and this fear of seeing persecutors in the street,
or hired ruffians planning to murder the citizenry, when happiness and
confidence is greater, why shouldn't any worker feel confident, any
peasant, any humble man or man of the people feel confident when he sees a
rebel soldier, and why should he not feel the comforting sensation of
knowing that this armed and uniformed man is his friend?  When our people
are most happy, when the workers can  parade on 1 May, when they can meet
in their factories and in the trade unions without being attacked, shot or
persecuted, when there are no gunmen or gang members imposing their will on
the workers, when the workers and the peasants and the students not only
feel safe, but have ceased to be the persecuted and become the defenders of
the nation, no longer the victims of the armed men, for it is the workers,
students and peasants themselves who are the armed men who defend their
rights and their fatherland.  When these facts have become beautiful
realities, which never occurred before in our country, why should there be
a boycott against tourists and why should tourists be told not to come to
Cuba?  When the beaches are no longer for the few, when the beaches on our
beautiful coasts are beaches for all Cubans, when the fields in our
countryside are not the fields of the few, but the fields of all our
peasants, when there is greater order, more respect, more happiness on the
part of our people, why should we advise tourists to come, and yet they
were discouraged when the people here were being tortured and murdered in
the streets, when the workers could not meet in their trade unions nor
parade on 1 May, when the peasants lived in compounds, in their humble
huts, without a single inch of earth to sow, when those with colored skins
could not bathe in the sea because they were persecuted, when humble men,
white or black, could not go to our beaches, when our peasants did not have
these thousands of schools which are being built, when the fortresses were
garrisioned by armed regiments hostile to the people and there were no
schools such as that in Camaguey which now shelters 5,000 students, and
when the fortresses, such as that of the Military City, are being converted
into a Higher Cultural Center and a Technical Institute which will prepare
the engineers and technicians in general the country needs for its progress
and development, when these beautiful realities are occurring in our

Questions to the Reactionaries

Why tell tourists not to come to Cuba?  Is it perhaps that they
fear they will see what a happy people are like, is it perhaps that they
will see what a just revolution is, is it perhaps that they fear that the
example of Cuba will become an example in the US?  And why, while these
beautiful realities exist in our country, instead of tourists would they
rather send planes loaded with bombs and ships carrying mercenaries and war
criminals charged with crimes?  Why, if they cannot count on the people?
And why do they incite attack from abroad?  Why do they slander the
revolution?  Why do they urge intervention in our fatherland from foreign
countries, why do they incite the interests opposed to Cuba, when for the
first time the Cubans are masters of their land, when for the first time
the Cubans have a true fatherland, when for the first time Cubans are thus
masters of their density, when for the first time the Cubans are free, when
for the first time, the Cubans can choose their own path, when for the
first time the fatherland is not a barracks, a landed estate, or a colony,
when for the first time the fatherland is free and our workers are free?
What right have they to write an article entitled "Democracy Made in
Moscow," written in the libelous journal which receives so much money from
the bloody dictator?  What right has he to write "Democracy Made in Moscow"
who wrote not a word when the hired ruffians were assassinating the workers
and imposing their terror.  Avance -- what is it?  And who is this Mr.
Jorge Zayas, who said not a word when Mujal's hired thugs imposed terror
upon the workers for seven years, when he said not a single word when the
workers' rights were being miserably sold and the workers were not allowed
even to parade on 1 May?  What right had he, while the CTC [Central de
Trabajadores de Cuba -- Cuban Workers' Organization] was carrying out its
duty, the order of the National Congress, which was the expression of the
will of the delegates representing all the workers of Cuba, to eliminate
the counterrevolutionaries from the Cuban workers' movement, because the
fatherland is in danger, and the fatherland needs defenders, and it needs
loyal men, and not those in whom it is not possible to have confidence
because history does not permit confidence in them, and when the CTC
carrying out this order of the democratic and majority representation of
the workers' of Cuba, citing those who because of their past conduct,
because of their shameless photographs in which they appeared with war
criminals, because of their friendship with blood thirsty men who
sacrificed the lives of the worker and the lives of young people,
fulfilling the mandate and valiantly confronting the obstacles encountered
in the elimination of these elements whose conduct did not permit their
trust of the workers -- what right had he to write against the CTC in this
libelous article, a string of slanders under the title "Democracy Made in
Moscow," when he wrote nothing against Eusevio Mujal and his dictatorial
and treasonable methods, against this tyrant of the workers' class, during
seven years of bloody tyranny, when he wrote not a word, what right have
such people to write "Democracy Made in Moscow".?

We Speak in Spanish and in Cuban

However, it is logical that they no longer speak Spanish, it is
natural that they no longer use Spanish, because it has been a long time
that these gentlemen have been speaking only English.  One does not talk of
such a sell-out policy, of such servility, in Spanish.  And it is good to
say that here we speak in Spanish and in Cuban, while they there speak in

What justification is there for this campaign of slander?  What
right is there, when Cuba is giving evidence to a fact which has no
precedent, when Cuba is taking action which has no equal in the annals of
our history?  When the workers, and not the best paid workers, not the
workers who are employed all the year, but the workers who work only some
months of the year -- we mean the sugar workers,in the industry and
agriculture, the workers who have a lower standard, the workers whose lives
involve more sacrifice -- spontaneously and unanimously agree to surrender
4% of their income for the economic development of the country?  When these
events are occurring in our fatherland, when we are witnesses to this
spectacle of unselfishness in which the workers get to set forth ten
revolutionary slogans and to sacrifice from their salaries, their modest
and inadequate salaries, 4% to turn it over and make their considerable
contribution to the sacrifice in the fatherland we are building, when
examples such as these can be seen in our fatherland, what right have they
to appeal for intervention from abroad in our country?  When a people are
making such sacrifices spontaneously, not because the government issues a
law which forces them to surrender this 4%, but because the workers freely
and spontaneously decided upon it, what right has anyone to hinder the
efforts this people is making so heroically for a better destiny?

Certainly that moment at which the executive board of the Sugar
Workers' Federation handed to us the resolutions containing this agreement
by all the sugar workers unions in Cuba, this moment was without a doubt
one of the most glorious and promising in the history of our fatherland,
because this was one of the most intelligent and most revolutionary
gestures which has been made by the workers' class, possibly in any country
in the world.  This action in which the workers deprived themselves of part
of their income to invest it in the development of the economy of the
country is possible a unique action in America, and one which gives our
people the right to a great future, to enjoy a better fate.

Toward A More Developed Economy

The workers will not lose this 4% of their income.  It is like the
seed which is sown, the seed which instead of being consumed is planted,
because the worker will receive not only the benefits of a higher standard
of living when the economy of our country develops, when all of the labor
force is producing, but he will receive that some 4% twice over, or 3 or 4
times over, if he waits 20 years.  This means that the workers who are
today surrendering 4% for industrialization will not only enjoy the
benefits of a better developed economy, as their children will, too, but
they will also receive the benefits of greater production, because this 4%
will be 8% in years, 6% in 5 years, and 12% or 16% in 20 years, that is to
say, for each peso he will receive 2 in 10 years, and 4 in 20.  Since it is
precisely a loan which the workers are making, the government pays compound
interest at 7-1/2% approximately, which quadruples the money in 20 years,
because the habit of the people here was to keep their money in banks. The
banks invested and received interest, and now, with the People's Savings
Certificates, the people directly receive an interest which is high,
because it is not interest paid to a middleman, but interest paid to
the people.  To us, it is not important if a peso today will be two within
10 years, it is not important if a peso today will be 4 within 20 years,
because within 10 years our production will be more than doubled, and
within 20 years, our production will be more than quadrupled.  And for a
peso today, the nation can pay back two in ten years, or 4 in 20, because
its production will multiply, and there will be goods which the worker can
buy with his money, since the solution to the problems of the country, the
raising of the standard of living, is not a question of distributing pesos,
because if we distributed 500 million pesos today, tomorrow we would be
ruined.  The republic will be ruined, because either no goods would be left
or the prices would be multiplied by 10 or 20 gimes, because pesos can be
redistributed, but the goods and the products existing on the national
market cannot be increased or multiplied overnight.  And then, we would
either have to import and spend the money we have for importing machinery,
or we would not import them and those existing in the country would be
exhausted or their price multiplied many times.  Thus, it is very clear
that the nation is confronted with a problem of multiplying its production
and that to do so we must invest today in order to be able to enjoy the
benefits of this investment tomorrow.  It is like the man who sows a seed
instead of consuming it, and at the end of a certain time he gathers the
harvest of this seed he sowed.  And this is what you are doing now, sowing
the seed of a better future.

You all know that of this 4% you will not lose a cent.  You all
know that this contribution will be invested and that the little seed will
be multiplied many times, and this will not be to the profit of private
groups, but to the benefit of the entire people.  It will not serve to
profit private interests, but to profit the people as a whole.

The Lamentable Privileges of the Past

For this reason, in having reached the point where our workers
understand this, on having achieved this degree of revolutionary awareness,
the workers' class has given evidence of insuperable capacity and
intelligence, and has provided an eternal lesson to those who denied
culture to our people.  That is to say, rather than culture, sufficient
political awareness to understand these problems.  This awareness was not
acquired in the universities, this awareness was not taught to our people
by the teachers.  It was forged in labor, this awareness was forged by
sacrifice, by that great teacher which is pain, that great teacher which is
injustice, that great professor, hunger, because only suffering and
injustice could teach to our people what they could not learn in
the universities or schools, because our people did not have schools within
their reach, nor universities.  The universities were for the privileged
minorities, and it was only exceptionally that one or another was able to
overcome the obstacles which stood in the way of a man without resources
who wanted to study for a profession.  Access to the universities was not
allowed on the basis of talent, but of privilege, it was not a question of
being intelligent or having a talent, but first of all, having money, and
for this reason we have to deal today with the consequences in terms of the
educated, who are not exactly the children of humble families.  The
educated, for the most part, are the children of the powerful families, and
for this reason I say that if we shake the tree well, that is, if we are
able to shake out all the reactionaries in the state, you can be sure we
will purify the republic, because unfortunately there are few
revolutionaries among the privileged classes.  I am speaking the truth,
because I am neither a demagogue nor a hypocrite, and I am stating this
truth, although it means a little more time for you to remain here, if you
will do the honor of hearing me now, because the great truth is that the
state is infected with reactionaries, this is the great truth, and I would
cease to be an honest man if I did not say so.  Among the men who had the
privilege of going to the universities, there are many reactionaries, and
there is a logical explanation for this, because access to cultural centers
was not within the reach of the humble man.  If you wish an example, I am
one.  I was the only one of several hundred boys to be able to go to the
university, and I was the only one because I was the only privileged youth
among those hundreds.  I, the privileged one, could go to the university,
but no son of a carter, a cane cutter, or a worker on that estate could go,
either to the university, or even to the institute, and it is very possible
that few reached the fifth grade, because there they had only a small
school to which the children did not even go because they lacked shoes and

And these hundreds of boys did not have the slightest chance to go
to a university, and I believe that this example is rather eloquent.  And
if among the hundreds of boys only one had an opportunity to go to the
university, no one can dispute that going to the university was a privilege
of those who had resources.  And what happened there must have happened in
many other places in Cuba.  What happened there, and the sugar workers,
particularly the agricultural sugar workers are well aware of it, was what
happened in all the parts of Cuba.  The sons of the landowners could go to
the university, but not the sons of the cart drivers.  Then, when the
time had come for placing the men whom the state had trained in the
universities as technicians, those who were educated came from the ranks of
the privileged classes.  And this is the problem we have with the rebels.
Who are they basically, if not peasants who unfortunately did not have a
chance to go to the universities, and when the triumph of the revolution
came, they were men who had been brave, who had been useful in war, because
they had the virtues needed in war, but we could not use them in peace time
work.  If only we had been able to put one of these revolutionary native
sons in each key government post, in each key state project, in each
important state center, how we could have shaken the tree!  How we could
have shaken it, if the native sons from our fighting columns had been
university doctors!  But because they were not, although many times we can
use a commander at the head of a project, many of these peasants have had
to be kept in reserve, because now they know how to fight, but they are not
yet doctors.  We have them here, with their guns ready, able to defend the
work of the revolution whenever necessary while we rebuild the life of the
country in such a way that every talented young person, however humble his
origins, can become a technician.  And for this reason, one of the measures
we are going to undertake involves not only the building of school cities,
but we are going to establish 50 rural secondary teaching centers, so that
from each of the 10,000 little schools we are creating in the country, the
most intelligent child can be given, as a reward for his talent and his
effort, the opportunity to go to a secondary center and from there to the

Secondary Education in the Rural Sector

For this reason, we are going to create these secondary centers
for 20 caballerias of land each, so that these humble students cannot only
study, but also be self-sufficient there, and the state can cover the
costs, for there, in the secondary centers, they will not have to pay, but
will receive books, teaching and food, clothing and all care and they
themselves will aid in such a way that while they study they work and
cultivate this land to contribute to their self-sufficiency.  And for this
reason, we are going to build not only these basic secondary educational
centers, but we are going to build school cities and now the rebel soldiers
are building the first one on the slopes of the Sierra Maestra.  It will
accommodate 20,000 children and will have 500 caballerias of fertile land
for their supply.  And this school city will be completed, according to the
pledge of honor made by the Las Villas Tactical Forces, which are building
this school city, by 26 July 1962.  It will consist of 35 units of 530
children, with 105 sports fields, or rather not 105, because there will be
105 for polota, and 105 for other sports.  There will be 310 sports fields
in all, and all the necessary installations, including stadiums, a museum,
a zoo, hospitals and laboratories.  Around all these units, near the units
for the older children, there will be plants where they will produce many
of the articles they consume.  And beyond the plants will be the 500
caballerias of crop land.  There, the students will not only study, but
they will also learn to work, such that the older students will not only
study but will work as well, because one cannot train the mind or fill it
with theoretical knowledge if one does not teach something else which is
very important -- learning to work.  This means that the younger children
will study and the older ones will work.  This center will be the greatest
and most complete in the world, the first.  We have planned to reserve nine
other areas to build nine other school cities after we have made the first
experiment, the first city which is being built by the rebel soldiers.
This means that the rebel soldiers are not only turning over their
fortresses, but they have also gone to build school cities.  And if the
plan is carried out in full, we will have in addition to all the fortresses
which are being converted into school cities, 10 school cities with a
capacity for 200,000 children of workers and peasants.  They will enroll
there at 8 years and will graduate at 17 or 18, with the opportunity of
enrolling in the universities, and they will receive there the most
complete education, such as is not provided in any educational center in
Cuba -- more complete and broader still than that provided by any
educational center in Cuba.  And thus the son of the carter, the son of the
cane cutter, the child of the most humble family will have an opportunity
which only the privileged had before.

And every intelligent child of the small public schools will have
an opportunity to go the rural secondary educational centers, and any one
of the dozens of thousands of young people entering the school cities,if
they have talent and the will, will have the opportunity to go to the
universities, and then, within a few years, the revolution will have
revolutionary technicians.  Then the government will function better and
the republic will advance faster.  By this I do not mean to say that all
the professional people are reactionaries.  I am saying that a sizeable
portion is and that another part is revolutionary, but it is my duty to
speak the truth, and the truth must be spoken in full measure, that is, not
by halves.  How was it?  Not by halves, but it must be stated in full
measure, and there will be professional people listening to me, and many of
them will say that it is true, because I am only speaking the truth.  Some
times it happens that we need a professionally trained person to send to
the rural sector, and there is none.  What is sadder still, sometimes we
need a professor to send to the rural sector, and there is none, and the
truth must be spoken, whomever it may hurt or wound.

Is it not possible for a professional person to be a
revolutionary?  Certainly, I believe that he can be one and it is his
obligation to be, because he has had the opportunity to gain an education
which it is his duty to use for the good of his people.  But if we wish to
establish the foundations for a better future, we must begin now, and for
this reason the people must be daily more aware that being a revolutionary
is not an easy task, that a revolution is not completed overnight, and that
a revolution is a long and hard path, if we truly want a better destiny.

We Are Not Working to Wage Propaganda

If only this had been done 50 years ago, if at the end of the War
of Independence the government had fallen into Cuban hands, revolutionary
hands, if since then schools had been built instead of barracks, if since
then, if instead of rural guards serving as the defenders of the landowners
and the foreign companies an army had been organized like that we are
organizing, as the friend of the people, defender of the people, and
creator of services and goods for the people, if instead of entrusting the
defense of the nation to mercenaries, it had been entrusted not only to an
army which was a friend of the people, but to the people themselves, if
instead of an army serving the interests of landowners and foreign
companies we had had an army to defend the people jointly with the native
sons, the workers and the students, instead of an army against the people,
instead of an army against the natives, instead of an army against
the workers, how different life in our fatherland would be today!  How
different the situation of our families would be!  There would not be a
single family living in a miserable hut, there would not be a single Cuban
without work, and we would have technicians by the thousands, every last
inch of earth would be producing, and our fatherland would have today a
standard of living like no other people on earth.  But we had fortresses
instead of school cities, soldiers who were enemies of the people not
friends, we had barracks instead of schools, and as a result, we have
reached this moment in the history of our fatherland, 50 some years after
the day independence was declared.  Under these adverse conditions, we must
undertake to build everything.  And we must devote ourselves to this task,
because no one completed it for us, but we on  the other hand must do it
not thinking so much of ourselves but of those who will come after us.  And
those who do will be better than we thanks to us.  They will live better
than we do, thanks to this generation.  And not only must this task be
carried forward, not only must it be accomplished against great obstacles,
but also we must defend it.  When a few days ago I met with these rebel
soldiers who are building the first school city -- a work which has not
been publicized in the periodicals, nor need it be, because we are not
working to wage propaganda, I saw the old schools and little buildings
built on the edge of the highways, which it provokes shame and indignation
to see, built boldly as they were for propaganda purposes.  We are not
working for the purpose of show and a very curious thing happens, and I
have seen it even among intimate comrades in the government who have seen
in certain works, and said in surprise:  "But I knew nothing about it,
nothing!  How is it that nothing is known of it?"  And I thought somewhat
philosophically, from the psychological point of view it is perhaps even
better thus, for if much publicity is given something, later no one is
impressed.  It is better even for no one to know anything, and then there
is surprise when the projects are seen.  And when I visited this project
which is the school city and saw there the rebel soldiers full of
enthusiasm, working up to 9, 10 and 12 hours -- I arrived at night and I
found them placing the stones of one of the buildings at something like 9
P.M., because this work cannot be interrupted.  The day before I had
visited Manzanillo, where there is a rebel battalion doing sewerage work
and preparing the ground for the building of the Fishing City.  In another
place were rebel soldiers in the block plants preparing to build houses for
the peasants, and currently there are thousands and thousands of soldiers
working, but when I saw the enthusiasm of those who are building the school
city, and saw how much they are in love with the project, I thought that
when the time to fight comes, those soldiers will be better still, for
they have a clear and precise awareness of the good they are doing.  And
when they think that the foreign mercenaries and invaders might perhaps, or
certainly, convert these buildings being built with such love for the sons
of the peasants, into barracks, they will know that these soldiers will
have to kill them to destroy their work, they will have to liquidate them,
for in the trenches where they are fighting they will be thinking of
the project they left behind and which is waiting for them, of the project
which the enemies of the revolution want to destroy, of the project that
those who intend to convert the fortresses we are making into schools back
into military establishments again, want to destroy.  And these soldiers
will be better, simply because they feel useful to the republic.

Those soldiers in the old army, what reason had they to fight
except to defend the millions and the palances of their commanders, except
to defend the landowners and the foreign companies, except to defend
murderers and thieves?  However, this army, like this people of ours, has a
very great and beautiful work to defend, and therefore, it would be good
for those who dream perhaps on a summer night that the past might return,
that the criminals might return, that foreign domination of our fatherland
might come again, to think of these things, because our people and our
soldiers have a very great and very beautiful work to defend.  And, our
people and our soldiers, in order to defend the land, and in order to
defend this work, will cling to the soil of the fatherland, a land which
they cannot take over while there is still one Cuban left to defend it.

Who Says That They Will Burn Our Cane?

For this reason I have faith in the revolution, because of these
things we witness with our eyes, because of these events which only the
blind and the egotistical cannot see, but which leap to the eye of our
people, because they see soldiers abandoning the fortresses to turn them
over to the children and plunging into the task of building, not new
fortresses, but new schools, because they see workers giving a part of
their income for the development of the country, with no one asking them to
do so, because they see things such as these -- that is why I have daily
greater faith and confidence in our revolution, although it makes those who
are impotent in the face of these facts sick with malice and anger, so
that they demand foreign forces and resources to come and reestablish their
privileges.  For this reason I have full and absolute confidence that the
revolution will advance and that no one can hinder it.

Now we are going to begin the harvest.  What amazing predictions
we have as it begins!  How different the situation is from that other
harvest which began late, from that time when we came to make that dramatic
appeal to the workers.  This year we will begin the harvest early.  And who
says that we will not have a harvest?  Who says that they will burn our

What cane?  That of the owners of the land where we are going to
organize the cane cooperatives next year.

What cane?  The cane where our workers ware going to give their
support.  The cane which will be that of our peasants, the cane from which
foreign exchange will come, with which we will buy equipment and factories.
Who said that the saboteurs and counterrevolutionaries are going to burn
the cane?  Who says they are going to prevent the harvest and sabotage the
harvest and burn the cane with our peasant patrols on guard?

Who says it is possible to sabotage the harvest with 500,000
agricultural and industrial workers defending it!

Who says they can prevent the harvest when we have such a
formidably united and organized federation as the National Sugar Workers'

Last year the slogan was to complete the harvest.  This year it is
to defend the harvest.

We will see who will burn the cane, because the cane this year
will be defended not by a pair of rural guards.  It will be defended by 500
pairs of peasants in every sector.

Gradual Mobilization of the People

Let them come with a small plane to burn the cane, because we will
put out the cane with the machetes, and we will make fire barriers, and we
will put out the fire and use fire-fighting measures and take every
possible step.  Let them set fires with planes.  It does not matter,
because we will defend the cane with the machetes even though they drop
incendiary bombs.  For if the machetes do not serve to fight, and if they
cannot reach a plane, at least they can reach the fire.

Thus, if they burn with planes, we will put out the fires with
the machetes, even if it kills us.  It does not matter if they have bases
at many points and there is one thing which is very important, and I must
stress this to the people, and to the workers, because it is a thing which
concerns us.  Does anyone know that what concerns us more than any little
invasion which may be in preparation is not the invaders?  The invaders
will last as long as "a meringue in a school boy's room."  What concerns us
is that all the people may go crazy an leave their work and factories,
coming to beg for guns, because this would create terrible disorganization
for us.  This must be done little by little.  This is very important.
Gradually we are training the first groups.  We do not have sufficient
personnel for the training of all the workers yet.  We are already training
the first groups among the peasants.  We are giving a 45-day course and
there are already 200 of them.  Those enrolled paraded on 7 December in
Cacahual, and with a martial comportment and discipline which was the
admiration of the people.  And this, naturally, is a program which takes

For this it concerns us that if there is any such situation, the
people will all come to beg for guns to fight.  This cannot be: it is
necessary to be calm.  It is very important that production not be halted
for anything.  We will continue to mobilize the people to the extent that
we need them.  Everyone wants a gun, naturally, but we must proceed little
by little.  We must advance rapidly, and the important thing is that
production, neither in the harvest nor in the industry, nor in transport or
in anything be interrupted for anything.  Everyone hopes he will be called
up.  If necessary, we will call up the people, depending on the nature of
the struggle, because two or three hundred invaders can be dealt with
easily.  It depends on the kind of invasion.  Everyone must be always
ready.  I imagine that we will have to fight a battle here at least once a
year, speaking optimistically.

The situation is intolerable for the enemies of the revolution.
They see that it is stronger every day, and that it is supported by the
work which the revolutionary government is doing.  Every day it has greater
strength in the people and the awareness of the people is awakening more
every day, while the beaches on the surrounding countries are full or
exiled war criminals and counterrevolutionaries, and more are joining them
daily.  And you will hear many "rumors" currently, and talk of expeditions
and things like that.  But be calm, because the trust is that I have seen
the people, and they are not concerned that they will come, but rather the
concern is that they will not come.  Everyone is confident here.  Everyone
is certain of what will happen when they come.  They hardly have anything
left to do but come, because on the other side, they are costly guests, and
here they have some status as counterrevolutionaries.  Here their slogan is
"Better to die than to flee but live" -- no, "it is better to die
fighting than to live fleeting."  Their slogan is "It is preferable to die
fighting than to live fleeing."

Well, then, the curious thing is that they had a chance to die
fighting instead of living and running.  It is not the slogan, it is the
actions of the counterrevolutionaries.  And the situation is untenable,
because with all of the campaign which has been waged and organized by the
counterrevolutionary press, confusion was created among the
counterrevolutionary elements and they went abroad, and there are those who
truly believed that this would be difficult.  I say to them that the tree
shakes down poor fruit of its own accord.

The Development of Oil

And the situation is such that those who have all these interests
opposed to the revolution have no other alternative left, with the steps
which have been taken, with the campaigns which have been organized and the
mobilizations, with the money which has been spent -- all of these things
point inexorably toward aggressions against the revolution.  Thus, it is
important that the people, whenever it may come, be clearly aware that they
cannot go crazy and interrupt what they are doing, nor can production be
interrupted, because any difficulty or aggression which must be faced must
be dealt with in an orderly fashion and on the basis of a plan.  For us,
the battle is not won when we repel one invasion or two or twelve.  For us,
the battle is won when we overcome the economic difficulties, when we
succeed in overcoming all the obstacles, because we are being attacked with
every weapon.  Not only are they going to send mercenaries, but they have
imposed an economic boycott upon us.  They are creating all kinds of
difficulties for us.  They are boycotting tourism, and threatening to lower
our quota, and using every method to show us that they will try to encircle
us with hunger, but after all, we know what this means, because we
experienced it in the Sierra Maestra.  They are going to try to turn the
entire island into a sort of Sierra Maestra, but it is also true that we
are planting melanga at full speed, and even, to improve things somewhat,
an oil well producing 1600 barrels per day has been developed, and we will
continue to prospect until we find al the oil we need, but we must always
be prepared for what is most difficult.  If that does not come, at least we
are prepared and if we are prepared for the most difficult, we are prepared
for what is easy.  The people of Cuba must be in complete combat readiness.
The counterrevolutionaries over there do not count here.  Those who proceed
with their little campaigns and play the role of traitor as they are doing
now against the interests of the fatherland, those who do the best for
themselves they can, know like our people what is here.  We are clear about
this and we know that the true people will defend the revolution to their
last drops of blood.  Here it is known that there are economic
difficulties.  Let them continue their "high life," all of these people who
spend for luxuries.  Or else they must prepare to wear cotton clothing, to
drink Cuban local water, to consume Cuban products and to sacrifice
luxuries.  They must know that when economic difficulties result from the
campaigns they are waging against Cuba, we will not sacrifice the local
peasants or take his foodstuffs away, nor the tractor fuels.  We take fuel
from the Cadillacs before we do from the factories.  There they continue
with their game and their little campaigns, because when the time comes to
make sacrifices, the first thing is necessary to sacrifice here is luxuries
and surplus.  After all, I know how the local people live and I know how
the sugar workers and other workers in the country live, and I know that
they do not use Paris perfumes, they do not dress in silks or laces, I know
that they do not smoke American cigarettes and that they do not spend on
luxuries.  I know what a humble family consumes, and we have figures on
this, for this reason we have the figures and when the time comes for
restrictions, it is for this reason, too, that we have Che in the National
Bank.  Who was it who was concerned when w appointed Che as President of
the National Bank?  Certainly it was not the native people, the sugar
workers or the humble peasants.  Those who were concerned undertook to wage
campaigns against Che, to slander him and to question his thinking, and to
belittle his extraordinary merits.  They attempted to make him into a
phantom, and they did so, not for the people but for themselves.  Now when
they speak of Che they are frightened.  They frightened themselves with the
very phantom they created.  First, they created the phantom and then they
were frightened and it is obvious who it was the other day who went to
withdraw paper currency from the bank -- paper!  They went to take "their
paper" from the bank, because money is money when there is an economy, when
there are monetary reserves, and there are the measures we ourselves are
taking, defending the reserves.  And obviously, if there is no economy, if
there are no reserves, the money is only paper, but these gentlemen
believed ... some of them went with the hope of withdrawing paper money
from the bank.  If they take "their paper" from the bank, we will turn out
new paper.  This means nothing.  There they can engaged in
counterrevolutionary maneuvers, taking the money from the bank.  All that
is needed is to order the printing of new money.  If this happens, here, no
sugar worker will lose a cent, because it is certain that no sugar worker
has a bank account.  Thus, in the final analysis they should not imagine
that any indignation is that of the people.  If they had a little more
common sense, they would sleep tranquil, certain that we are not going to
touch their "paper."  On the contrary, in defending our economy, in
defending our reserves, we are guaranteeing the value of the paper, and she
was put there precisely to strengthen our effort to defend our economy and
defend our reserve, such that they have value, the paper money.  But if
they commit the madness of engaging in counterrevolutionary campaigns,
taking their paper from the bank, the only ones to suffer will be
themselves.  Possibly there are even some ungrateful ones who will not
thank me for this advice I am giving them.

Organization of Internal Tourism

But it is good that they should know that paper will serve to
purchase Cuban products, because paper will not serve to buy foreign luxury
products, and the longer they waged campaigns against tourism in Cuba, the
more resorts we will build, because now we have a tax on alcoholic
beverages and we are investing this in tourist centers and public beaches.
But there are centers where the people will be able to go, there are
centers as good or better than those of the millionaires.  However, they
are not for millionaires, but for the people.  The millionaires will be
able to go, too, if they want, but these are for the people.  They say that
while we are here, well, they will wage the campaign boycotting tourism,
but it does not matter.  Nor does the little bit of money which foreign
people spend here.  Let them spend here, let all come who wish, let them
come here, because after all Cuba has very precious things which it takes
time develop and neither a year, nor five years, will be enough to enjoy
the delicious things which Cuba has and which we are preparing to be within
the reach of all.  For this reason, for the time being, we are cutting
short foreign exchange, for those who are seeking dollars to get out, we
are cutting exchange short, but it does not matter, for on the other hand
we are organizing tourism, that is to say, a chain of marvelous tourist
centers with the advantage that they will be within the reach of all the

Thus the paper money will have to be invested here, and in
national products.  In Cuba we are producing even more true marvels.  Did
you see how La Marina protested when we established the surcharge on
imports?  Because as a result of this, the small number of products which
were being needlessly imported, will begin to be produced here, providing
more work, and more life for the country, because for the first time in the
history of our country, there is a policy protecting our products and
natural industry which never existed before.  Indeed, industry in Cuba was
languishing, always awaiting protection!  It could not resist foreign
dumping!  It could not resist dumping!  And now there is no dumping which
crosses the protective trench which we have established for national
industry!  And this is the situation.  We must continue analyzing these
things.  We must defend our products and save our foreign exchange to
invest it, gentlemen, not in Paris perfumes or in Cadillacs.  We must
invest it in tractors and in machinery and, naturally, in the things in
which we must invest, raw materials for industry, fuel, the essentials.  We
cannot exchange the sugar which you produce, we cannot exchange it for rice
or for perfumes.  What is paid us for this sugar you produce must be
invested in machinery, because if we do not invest it in machinery we will
not progress, and this is a senseless thing which has been done here.
While five million were spent on tractors and agricultural machinery, 35
million were spent on automobiles, and this was madness.  The land went
uncultivated and the people were dying of hunger.  This was senseless.

And if, gentlemen, if it is necessary to make sacrifices, and if
the humble workers who are laboring three months a year surrender 4%, the
comfortable families here can easily sacrifice a little of their luxuries
to the benefit of the people who are making greater sacrifices.

Thus, the more they press against the revolution, the harder we
will press ourselves, and the more they try to blockade us, the more
drastic the measures we will take here will be.  We are not by any means
painted into a corner!  Let them know it, that there is a people and an
army ready here to take steps.  For they believe that they will intimidate
the revolutionary government and the people, and they do not know that what
they are going to do is strengthen it.  The more measures they take, the
harder we will try here, and the people will make sacrifices, but the
greater sacrifices will be made first of all by those who have been
enjoying a very comfortable life and those who have been enjoying luxuries.

Institutions to Defend What Is Cuban

Che -- so that no one will be deceived -- Che is not here to
engage in any rash action.  Che is here just as when we sent him to Las
Villas to prevent the enemy troops from reaching Oriente.  I sent him to
the National Bank to prevent the outflow of exchange, and so that the
resources we have in exchange can be invested correctly.

The people already know that when it is necessary to sacrifice, we
first sacrifice the luxuries, because it does not matter that some have to
sacrifice some luxuries here when the peasants, for example, of the Zapata
Swamp and Guanschacabibes and elsewhere had neither homes nor food, nor
even a pan to cook in, nor shoes nor medicines, because they have many
things which they did not have before.

First we are going to resolve all the basic problems of the
people's life.  We are going to give bread to those who are hungry, and
after that there will be time for luxuries.  When everyone can purchase
Paris perfumes too, and nobody is suffering from hunger, and when we
already have machinery and factories and equipment and all that, then we
can spend on luxuries.  I believe that this is clear.  Everyone understands
this and it is clear.

Thus, we are all clear in our minds here.  Let them shout to the
heavens or to Washington -- for that is where they will go to wail to Uncle
Sam.  They will go to complain there.  We know this.  This is a people
which is aware, which is on its fee, which knows that it has to do and it
is going to do it.  All the rest is water under the bridge, all the rest,
all the campaigns and all the accusations of communism and all these things
are water under the bridge.  I have said "that it will be history which
will judge us," "that the landlords will not come to judge us, that this
revolution is our revolution, that it is a radical revolution, a social
revolution, and we have not deceived anyone," because I said this before
the first shot was fired here.

But it is our revolution, our Cuban revolution, these are our
laws, our measures, our institutions to defend what is Cuban.  Who can
accuse us of not having passionately and devotedly defended what is Cuban,
the interests of our people?  Can they claim that the government did not
recover any land?  That the government did not safeguard the interests, the
wealth of the country?  What government has ever pursued a policy to the
benefit of the country like the revolution is doing?  Thus it is a thing
about which no one has doubts.  The foreignizers are those who speak
English, who no longer even speak Spanish.  The foreignizers are those who
are defending pro-foreign monopolies.  The foreignizers are those who are
urging foreign powers to come here to defend their privileges.  About this
we are clear.  All the rest is water under the bridge.  We have nothing but
a single party.  Cuba!  Cuba!  We have but a single idea and a single flag.
Cuba!  Cuba!  And we have a sole purpose: to aid the people, to achieve a
happy destiny for our people.  This is what we are doing, as opposed to
those who are sold out to foreign interests, those who defend the interests
of the privileged, those who are sold out to established interests.  We are
dedicated to the people.  And they can no longer deceive us however much
they write and talk, they cannot confuse us.  There is no need -- the
people did not go to the university, but they attended the school of life,
the school of hunger and pain, and there they learned and they are not
going to be deceived, they are not going to be hindered, because what they
want is to hinder the people, this is what they want -- to confuse them,
destroy them, divide them, sow doubt and division, to weaken them in order
to trip them, and we will see if after all our people have suffered, after
all they have dreamed of having an honest government one day, a government
defending the people, a government which would put an end to all the
injustice, all the petty politicking, which would do away with corruption,
immorality, vice and all the evils from which their country has suffered,
if they can be confused.

Something New Is Invented Every Day

We will see if after all the work and all the suffering through
which the people have passed to achieve this, they will let themselves be
deceived.  We will see.  This is what they want and what they are thinking
is to trip us up again, but they will not do so, because here they will
hinder no one.  It does not matter what they write.  We will let them

For this reason, we can speak to the people, because previously
they alone spoke.  They alone.  There was no one to speak to the people,
but now, no, now we are in competition.  Now they are writing their lies
and we are speaking our truths.  They are writing their lies and we are
doing our work, work which can be seen but about which there has been
little propaganda.  But the people are seeing them little by little and
each day they are more surprised, and above all, the people think of the
many difficulties and obstacles which we have had to overcome to advance
with this work, and the people are aware, while they are trying to confuse
and hinder the people.  Every day something new is invented, but they know
they are powerless to reach the people, they know that in the hearts of the
people they have no place.  Indeed, there are certain circles and very
aristocratic places where La Marina is read with pleasure and with
extraordinary satisfaction, and the curious thing is they deceive
themselves.  They believe that the indignation of certain aristocratic
clubs here is the indignation of the cane settlements.  Well, they are
different, and their concerns are different, because in the cane
settlements nobody ever spent his time pouring himself drinks or playing
bridge or canasta or any of these things.  In what cane settlement here do
they play canasta?  Or poker or bridge?  And where are the clubs of the
cane settlements?  They are those we will build ourselves.  We are going to
build them in cooperatives here, in addition to clubhouses, workers' clubs,
cooperative members' clubs and the schools.  Now, yes, now they will have
them.  Thus it is that they cannot reach the hearts of the people.  It is a
battle which is being wages.  They are seeking what is foreign, we are
seeking what is Cuban.  They are seeking foreign resources, we are seeking
Cuban resources.  They are seeking foreign money in order thus to wage
counterrevolution.  We are seeking the workers' money to wage the
revolution.  They are seeking foreign mercenaries, we are training the
peasants and the workers, the students and the people.

Thus, they fight with their lives and their slanders and their
filthy weapons, and we fight with our truths, our morality, our right
principles, the justice of the unblemished cause which we are defending.
Thus things are clear.  It is the struggle of the nation in defense of its
destiny and we are going to see who will win, we will see who triumphs,
because of one thing we are all sure, and that is that the nation will
emerge triumphant.  And one thing of which we are certain is that they are
not going to be able to destroy the revolution, invent what they may, say
what they may, talk through they may talk.  And while they promote more
aggression, more lies and more boycotts, the revolution will be stronger.

They Cannot Tolerate These Workers' Congresses

There are things which the enemies of this revolution cannot
tolerate.  Before, when the workers were here, it was the persecutors who
made trips everywhere, obviously they made trips everywhere to avoid
attacks upon them.  But wherever there was a workers' gathering, they went,
watching.  They said it was to maintain order, but they went with their
boots and their "blackjacks."  Why this term?  There is a perfectly good
word in Spanish.  Well, they used the English term "blackjacks" because
this is a foreign weapon, a foreign weapon they use to defend foreign
interests, and for this reason they use the English word.  But they went
with their weapons back and forth.  Also, in the Military City, with their
hostile faces, they were also the army commander and all the others.

What they cannot tolerate is these workers' congresses, at which
the President of the Republic sits on the rostrum.  What they cannot
tolerate is that before they knew, all the companies and all these
interests knew, that they took their orders from the commander of the army.
What they cannot tolerate is these workers' congresses at which the head of
the army presides.  What they cannot tolerate is these workers' congresses
which instead of having persecutors going back and forth watchfully, have
the chief of police sitting at the speakers' table with the workers.  The
commander of the navy is not here now because he is working, but others are
here.  (Voice from the audience:  the Prime Minister is here!)  We do not
count, we are always here.  Now I am speaking simply of the officials
present.  Raul is not here now, because he is working, but the heads of the
regiments are.

And then the workers think, now, indeed, we are confident, now,
indeed, we are well off.  Because before we left here and they were waiting
for us with their machetes.  This is what the landowners and the great
interests wanted, that when the workers left here they were awaited with
machetes.  What they cannot tolerate is the beautiful spectacle, this
complete identification between the people and the government leaders, the
people and the military leaders, this fusion between the people and the
government, this fusion between the people and the army, because the army
is with the people, and the people are the army itself, and the people are
training and preparing, they are arming for struggle.

We Must Sacrifice To Prepare for the Future

It is these things which they cannot tolerate.  It is these things
which make them ill, and for this reason they wrote "Democracy Made in
Moscow," because they cannot tolerate them.  They do not say so in Spanish
but in English.  But do you know why?  Because they are not speaking to the
Cubans, did you know that?  They know that in Cuba English is not spoken,
but they speak in English because they are speaking to the Americans.  For
this reason, they write in English.  They are perhaps also speaking in

Here I think these things are quite clear.  We already know of the
shortcomings from which we suffer.  However, what are we doing with this
identification and this force?  Are we using them to abuse anyone?  No.
Are we using them to engage in demagogy?  No.  Are we going crazy and
undertaking to redistribute everything?  No.  Because we know that that we
must do is to produce, to increase our production, to sacrifice ourselves
to prepare for the future, because indeed, we would be defeated if we used
this identification, this strength, to consume and not to produce.

Our problem is to produce, to multiply all production, to raise
the standard of living of all, to built many houses, many beaches, to
produce more clothing, more food, more of everything, so that the greater
production, a larger part, a larger proportional part will go to each
family.  It is thus that we are making use of this identification, I
believe that in view of the fact it is the first year of revolutionary
government and in view of the evil left us by the republic, it is something
what has been done, it is something the advance we have made.  Thus, the
republic is advancing marvelously well.  There is no other problem but the
counterrevolutionaries.  There are no strikes, no social conflicts.  All
the battles are being won.  The country is setting an example for the
world, and there is no other problem here than those the
counterrevolutionaries want to create for us.  Thus, our people are an
example, our people can give lessons today in democracy, and lessons in
social peace and lessons in progress, to those who still have no resolved
many of these problems.

Workers Should Not Be Concerned About Their Demands

These are the things which must be taken into account in
evaluating how the country is advancing.  Never has there been a greater
order in the rural sector.  There is no need for a rural guard.  Who is
ensuring order in the countryside?  The native people, it is they who are
seeking to order in the countryside.  And there is remarkable order, fewer
cases of crime than ever.  There is absolute and total peace in the rural
sector and in the cities, because everyone is alert to defend what is his.
Before the problem of maintaining order was that of the landowners.  Today
the problem of defending order is that of the people, because for the first
time the republic is the people, and not a small group.

And that fatherland -- for the first time in Cuba we have today
what Marti proclaimed -- a fatherland for all and for the good of all.
Thus I believe that there is little to be added at this meeting.  I must
say to the workers that they should not be concerned of the question of
their demands which we will discuss here, everything connected with the
harvest and overproduction.  We are going to discuss the problems here with
the Federation in amicable fashion.  We are going to discuss the problems
and the things which you have outlined and the plans we have for housing
for the rural sector, the plans for the city, for the schools,
cooperatives, roads, all these are advancing.  The plans for tourism.  Here
we have the Director of the National Institute for the Tourist Industry,
Comrade Baudilio Caestellanos, who is with us here.  All the plans, because
we are forgetting nothing, neither the sports field nor the sports
equipment, in a word, we are forgetting nothing.  Already you see how we
have distributed sports equipment and we are still going to distribute
more, until everyone here can engage in sports, and no young person will
lack sports facilities even in the most modest Cuban settlement.  We are
studying, in a word, all that we were never able to have.  We will not
forget anything within our plans, and we are going to discuss all these
pending questions.

The pension plan, too.  Here we have the President of the Social
Security Bank, because all of this is in our plans, for example, the
increase in pensions.  We are studying a series of revolutionary laws with
regard to the laborers, because some thousands are involved in this, and we
are studying the question of including all this in the labor legislation --
problems of medical aid, labor accidents, vacations.  All of these laws are
under study at the Ministry of Labor -- vacations, retirement, the laws
which will include all the laboring sectors in the retirement plan,
contributions for workers' housing and the employers who should contribute
to the construction of the housing.  All the laws in favor of domestic
employees and their inclusion under social security, such that not a single
worker in Cuba will will not be covered by social security services, the
retirement plan, pensions, everything.  Not only this, but we want to
increase the minimum pensions.  Possibly we can increase them to 40 pesos
as soon as the laws are approved, with the contribution of all.  Then we
are going to have a plan to increase them annually, such that as we
increase goods and services we can continue to increase the portion paid to
pensioners.  Thus, we will not only cover, but will annually increase if
possible, the minimum pensions, and we are going to establish compulsory
vacations, such that in all fixed employment a substantial portion of the
workers will begin work and there will be no workers who will not enjoy
paid vacations, that is to say, this is another important problem, because
it affects the question of employment.  Not only will we seek employment in
agriculture and industry, but we will also seek greater employment by means
of the fulfillment of the laws on vacations and retirement, when we have
improved income.  Also, we said last year that this had been the last year
of hunger in the countryside, because when I came and saw and said that the
cane was not being properly cleared, I said it was the last year of hunger,
because after all, agrarian reform still cannot control this cane and
plantings, because the money we have we need for development of promotional
crop raising and we do not have sufficient organization.

It does not matter, this will be the last year of hunger in the
rural sector, and in fact, this is now certain.  It is the 16th day of the
money, and the last year of hunger has passed.  We are finishing up and in
the countryside hunger is gone for good.

Funds To Be Leant to the Federation

In rice alone, there will be 6,000 caballerias more this coming
year, and it is extraordinary how the crops we have planned are increasing
employment, in addition to the cane cooperatives.  In the coming year we
must clear the cane fields well, and not only this, but planned development
for 1961.  As we did not sow this year, we must sow in 1960 not for 1961,
but for 1962, and in 1961 we will do the clearing and the fertilizing
necessary and sow for 1962.  Thus we will have no problems with this matter
of clearing.  Now, the cane cooperatives will clear thoroughly and will
plant the fields, and finally, hunger will have disappeared from the rural

And although this year there is no differential, nonetheless the
sugar workers have other things in exchange.

Not only you have told me that you had a free Christmas Eve,
because Comrade Bequer has talked with us about the situation of the
workers during this difficult year, and moreover, of the fact that it was
possible to have a free Christmas Eve, although no differential.  Then he
talked to me of a plan to provide not only a free Christmas Eve, but a
Christmas Eve dinner as well, and he explained to me, spoke to me about the
possibility, of what he would believe to be a possibility of a law ordering
an advance to industrial workers of 15 pesos and to agricultural workers of
10 pesos at least for Christmas Eve.  Then we decided that we could issue
the law, but we are faced with the fact that it has not been approved,
while are we seeking it and 20,000 problems have been encountered as to
whether it will be approved or not.  I have thought, however, of a better
solution so that you will not tell us you have no money, finding the money
ourselves and lending it to the Federation.  Thus we have made a
calculation and it would come to some 4 million pesos, and then we thought
of the following situation.  We are going to try to obtain the four million
pesos.  We are going to try to find them as an advance for this year, in
view of the present date, the 15th, and the fact that although we have
reached some agreement with the plantation and settlement people, it cannot
be arranged in time.  First we must discuss it and there will be
considerable conflict, and we are studying this other plan since there is
no differential this year.   Thus, the National Institute for Agrarian
Reform will lend the National Sugar Workers' Federation the four million
pesos, and the workers will receive it as an advance.  It is not much,
unfortunately it is not much, but at least, we are beginning this year and
we guarantee at least dinner at home this year, which has been the last
year of hunger in the countryside and which will be the year of the free
Christmas Eve dinner.  And we are going to lend this money so that the
workers can have their dinner, and this money which we will lend from the
Agrarian Reform Institute will be made up from your harvest income.  You
will use it and we will invest it.  After the harvest is over, this money
will be repaid.  And we will invest it in agrarian reform, in the plans we
have for the year 1960.  Thus, as of now you can agree here how you will
make the loans, fill out the papers, plans, receipts and whatever is
necessary, so that later it can be discounted when you are working.  We are
not going to collect interest from you, much less from the workers.  As we,
as the Agrarian Reform Institute, have had to invest many millions in corn,
coffee and the promotion which is being done, and we were temporarily
without resources, I just today, before coming here, made contact with
Comrade Diaz Azterain, Minister for the Recovery of Goods, to ask him how
much there was in the fund.  Then, fortunately, I learned that there were
funds to lend us, to give to us, because the recovery money, you know,
goes to agrarian reform, and thus we can invest it.  Then I called and
arranged for four million of the recovery funds to be sent to us and this
is what we are going to lend to the Federation.  Thus, you will have
another satisfaction, not only a free Christmas Eve, but one with a dinner,
and also we are going to lend you the money recovered from those who
mishandled it so that this will be the best dinner ever.

This is the news.

I know that it is very modest, but it will be very honorable and
an effort consistent with our current resources in this year when there is
no differential.  We hope that year by year, then, the Christmas Eve dinner
will be better.  And we will discuss the other things here, including
matters pertaining to overproduction and the conditions of the harvest, all
of this year, and all of your suggestions on all these things which you
believe you need, in addition to the many plans which we are making too,
among them, that for housing.

(Someone in the audience asked for a moment of silence in memory
of Camilo Cienfuegos.)

(A minute of silence was observed.)

Many thanks.

It is truly said that I was not able to bring here today, because
I attached it to the case file, the report Comandante Camilo Cienfuegos
sent me from Las Villas, and the moving words in which he told of that
meeting of the sugar workers on the Northern Front in Las Villas, and which
I had occasion to read yesterday at the trial of the counterrevolutionary
plot perpetrators in Camaguey.  He told, in truly impressive terms, of the
emotion he felt at that meeting, where hundreds of sugar workers inspired
words which I hope to be able to read at another congress.  For the rest,
and to conclude first of all, our thanks for this large attendance despite
the hour.

Support of the Peasants and the Workers

We reaffirm our sympathy for and the confidence we have in the
sugar workers.  I hope that I will never have to lose an opportunity to
attend a Federation Congress, because that gathering was a memorable one at
which the first revolutionary outlines were set forth, and thus the sugar
workers federation, the largest, has also become one of the most organized,
the most united, the most combative, in the vanguard of the National
Workers' Federation, and it is one moreover in which industrial and
agricultural workers are mixed, that is to say, the factory workers and the
native farmer.  This is a native federation.  It is a true blending of the
peasants and the workers, because in no other vector are the worker and the
peasant so merged as in this federation, which is like a reflection of the
revolution, which is the close union of the workers and the peasants, and
along with them, the rest of the people.  Thus, we are confident.

The revolution is confident, because it is advancing with a firm
step and it is supported by the strong arms of our peasants and our

It has been many days since we spoke to the people, and it makes
us very happy to have been able to do so on this occasion in the Congress
of the Sugar Workers.  I hope that all the rest of the delegates present
here, if they have been able to resist sleep somewhat, and I am certain
that a large have, have also listened to our statements here.

Another year of revolution approaches.  This has been the first
year.  The year of identification, the year of initiation, the year of
organization.  The coming year is approaching and the revolution is
advancing in full swing, entering this second year organized and in full
creative work.  That is to say, we lost time in the early months of the
first year, in the months of organization, but the revolution is going into
its second year with tremendous impulse, and we hope that the second year
of revolution will be a still more fruitful one than the first, and that
we will advance not only more organized, but stronger.  We are not
beginning the second year as in those first days when we were all mixed up
together, the true revolutionaries and the counterrevolutionaries.  This
time we are together, but we are not mixed up.

Those who are with the revolution as the year ends, now that it is
know that this is a true revolution, are true revolutionaries.  And those
who are with us now, those who will be us as the second year of the
revolution begins, are those who will be with us to the end.

Now there will no longer be disagreements or resignations for
reasons of jealousy, and those who are with us can count on each other, as
we know we can count on who our enemies are.  And despite all the
revolutionary laws and the disagreements, the revolution has tremendous
force.  I recall that I said one day at the beginning that the revolution,
the strength of the revolution would diminish in extent, but would increase
in depth.  The strength of the revolution is much greater, since those who
are with it are truly persuaded, not merely sympathizers as on the first
day.  Instead they are ready to die for it, and the next year will be a
year of struggle.  Almost without fear of error I can dare to say that the
next year will be a year of struggle and that we will have to shed blood,
that our people will have to shed their blood to defend their revolution.
Unfortunately, it is us:  soldiers and citizens will have to fall defending
our work.  And we will have to deal with attacks.

Thus, all those who at the beginning believed that everything has
been done, those who believed superficially that the revolution is
completed simply with the conquering of the military forces of the
dictatorship, that everything was already finished -- those who believed
this and even were sorry they could not have done more -- will see that the
revolution was not completed, battle ended.  This was the struggle against
the armed forces of the tyrant.  We destroyed the army, but the privileges
remained intact.

On 1 January the military dictatorship fell, but the privileges of
those who supported this dictatorship remained intact.  The war ended, the
armed military struggle, and the revolutionary struggle against the
privileges, a longer struggle a harder struggle, began.  And the
privileged persons, who no longer have armed armies in the country, will
organize and train armies of mercenaries.  Those enjoying privileges never
resign themselves to a revolution.  Those with privileges unite and
reorganize and, in particular, there is one fact which has never failed to
appear in the history of revolutions.  That is that the privileged, when
they do not have a force to defend them within the country, seek foreign
aid to reestablish thee privileges, and this law has never failed to
operate in the history of the revolution.   Those who enjoyed privileges
will arm armies again -- it will not be the so-called army of the republic
because that was destroyed, but they will arm mercenary armies to try to
reconquer power.  And this is a law which never fails in revolutions.

And all that you have seen this year, all these campaigns, all
these plans, all these maneuvers, are designed for the same purpose -- to
prepare the conditions for counterattack.

They Will Have To Fight The People

On the first, a revolutionary battle ended, but this will not be
the only battle.  As in war, after one battle comes another, and after
that, yet another, and thus on 1 January, a battle ended.  The enemies
retreated as we retreated into the Sierra Maestra after a defeat, but he
will return to the attack.  I recall that we had to fight off some five
offenses, and then the defeated enemy retreated toward foreign coasts.  But
the enemy regrouped and reorganized.  After all, that army was organized to
defend the privileged, the great interests.  With one army destroyed, the
major interests and those with important privileges are organizing new
armies.  They are not resigned or satisfied, because they never resign
themselves.  They were not satisfied with the bombs they dropped.  They
were not satisfied with the planes they use to machine gun us.  They are
buying more equipment, and I have not the slightest doubt that we will
again have to face bombings and we will have to deal again with battles,
and we will have to face bloodshed, because on the first a battle was won,
but the revolution must wage other battles, because at no time in history
and in no revolution in the world have the established interests and the
privileged persons who were defeated resigned themselves without attempting
to win power back.  And in this coming year, 1960, they will try to regain
power, or that is, they will make an effort, perhaps not the last.  They
will do it, and we, following our norm of always guiding the people, -- as
we did in war, speaking the truth to them, explaining things, because we
have nothing to hide -- we are telling you that they will try, because they
have many millions, much support, many interests behind them, many
resources, and many campaigns abroad and here encouraging them.  And in the
coming year, I am certain that we will have to defend the revolution with
weapons in hand.  And I say this without fear of being mistaken.  Would
that I were mistaken, but we can neither blind nor deaf to the teachings of
history.  They will come, of this I am certain, as I am also certain that
we will annihilate them.

And these are the facts, almost fatal facts, because they are
inevitable facts.  All of you have seen the generosity with which the
revolution applies its powers.  All have seen that we have reestablished
the revolutionary courts, but we have been generous, and our courts have
applied the law with great magnanimity, great equanimity.  They have made
very generous use of the authority they have, although we do not believe
because of this that the courts, on occasion, may not have to make full use
of all their authority.  Because to date there have been plots, plans for
invasions and small uprisings, and the promoters have even been caught by
the native people themselves, conspiracies, betrayal, counterrevolutionary
plans -- but there has been not bloodshed.  For this reason the
revolutionary courts have been able to be generous.  This was generosity
which the enemies of the fatherland cannot expect if the blood of our
soldiers and our peasants, our workers and our people, must be shed another
time.  We have been moderate, because this did not harm, this benefited the
revolution, because it strengthened its morality, because the blame will
never be ours.  We will never to to excesses.  But it would be said if this
confused the minds of the counterrevolutionaries, because the attitude with
which the nation will punish the invaders who come again to bloody our land
will be a more harsh attitude, and those who come should know that they
will have to fight a people who are ready to die.  But also, the invaders
will have to fight to the last drop of blood once they set foot on Cuban
territory, because once they come here to establish the hateful and
infamous system of the past, they will have to be prepared to die fighting
or to die before the firing squads.