Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana, Union Radio, in Spanish to Cuba, Mar, 14, 1960, 0454 GMT--E

(Editorial Report)  In a hookup with other Cuban radio stations, a live
speech by Premier Fidel Castro was broadcast at a ceremony in front of the
University of Havana in honor of the martyrs of the Mar. 13, 1957 attack on
the presidential palace.

The Premier asserted that two great tasks confronts the Cuban people:  To
defend the revolution and to see to it that it progresses.  The occasion,
he said, could best be symbolized by the idea of a man working with a rifle
at his side.  "We cannot abandon our rifles or our work.  If we abandon
either we are lost, and in either case the revolution would be defeated.
This revolution must be carried forward with both rifle and work.  Our
noble cause should have no enemies but it has.  They threaten the work of
the revolution and also make it lose time, energy, and resources."

Recently, Castro said, a Yankee paper reported that we had spent so many
millions in arms.  Neither this paper nor anyone else should care about
what we spend on arms.  We are not going to tell them how much we have
spent.  We have to account only to the Cuban people.  What must be pointed
out, however, is that most of the revolution's resources are not being
invested in arms; they are being invested in tractors and machinery.  I
wish we did not have to spend a single penny on arms.  That is how it
should be, if our sovereignty were respected.  If we have to spend on arms
the fault lies with the criminals and their associates.

Castro asserted that Cuba's arms should not worry anyone because they are
not for the purpose of attacking others but for Cuba's defense.  The
nation's task is not easy, he stated, adding that we must worry about
aggression and about counterrevolutionaries; about the fight against
unemployment and illness; about underdevelopment and misery.  Castro said
that without foreign aid our enemies would be nothing; they could be
defeated by our children.  He then asked:  When are planes that bomb our
sugar mills, our people and our plantations, going to stop?  When are
military maneuvers going to end?  When are aggressive threats going to
cease?  He then said it seems we will have to live several years under
present conditions.  Our people must prepare for a long battle because the
causes which motivate these aggressions are strong.

We must prepare for a long fight but we do not care how long it may be.  We
are willing to pay the price for progress and sovereignty.

The Premier declared that in spite of all campaigns against it, the
revolution is finding sympathy among a considerable number of Latin
Americans and also among persons in the United States.  Cubans, he said,
have been victimized by monopolistic news agencies but the revolution now
has sufficient means of information to arrest the campaign of
counterrevolutionaries.  But friendly writers and pens must be sought
abroad.  Students, Castro declared have an important task--to mobilize the
nuclei of friends which the revolution has on the continent.  The battle is
to win opinion abroad.

He warned:  We must be ready for every contingency; we must not take a
single step backward; we must not sacrifice an atom of our rights.  We are
ready to face anything because we know that we are going to emerge

Referring to the Platt amendment, Castro said it was imposed by force,
imposed on a people already disarmed.  For generations, he declared, Cubans
have been exposed to threats.  The threat now is an economic one, he said,
adding that a reduction in Cuba's sugar quota could come at any time.  It
is a threat held over us.  The President has such a plan to submit to
Congress; it is a reprisal.  Some in the United States oppose such a
measure because it would be a reprisal.  But we are ready to resist
economic aggression.  We would have to spend less and make greater
sacrifices but we will do so.

The present revolution, Castro said, is strong because it has the people
behind it.  If this were not so it would be weak and impotent.  Only a
revolution supported by the people can defend itself from many enemies.
This unity of our people must be maintained for we are opposed by powerful
forces.  We want to leave something for future generations.  Proof that the
people are resisting and can resist is to be seen in a letter we received
today.  Addressed to the President, the labor minister and me, it states
that the sugar trade union has agreed to tell the government that Havana
sugar workers are ready to freeze conditions of labor and wages and if
necessary to have wages lowered.  That is a most revolutionary action taken
by any labor sector.  These workers are aware that enemies want to strangle
us economically and they have taken steps to back the revolution.  These
workers say that if the sugar quota is lowered they are willing to accept
less pay.

Castro declared that on a day when honor was being paid to those who had
sacrificed for the nation, it was fitting to strengthen the spirit of
sacrifice.  When those being honored today made their sacrifices, victory
was far distant, he pointed out.

These martyrs, he said, should be gratefully remembered and the revolution
must not be a mere word.  There must be readiness to make any sacrifice

The people, the Premier said, may not understand university reform as well
as land reform but it is just as necessary and important.  Reform, he said,
should apply to all universities in the nation.  Advantage must be taken of
the opportunity which comes but once.  What is done today will pay off well
in the future.

A new Havana university, Castro stated, will be named after Jose Antonio
Echeverria.  We have the name for it but no resources.  What are we going
to do?  We are going to build it using the resources of the people.  We
will use the services of architects and engineers and "many arms" will be
put to work.  The work will be purely voluntary.  Not a single stone will
be laid unwillingly.  We have collected for arms and other things; later we
shall collect funds for this university.  We hope that the fifth
anniversary of Mar. 13 will see the commemoration of the new Havana
university center.  This is another reason for defending the revolution.

Castro spoke 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Rolando Cubela, president of the Federation of University Students, who
preceded the Premier, said that as the Mar. 13, 1957 anniversary was being
observed "we cannot help thinking back and we are filled with great
indignation in seeing how there still are in our country those so lacking
in understanding as to try to hinder the revolution and shed more blood for
their paltry interests.  Can these people not see that the people are happy
and satisfied with this revolution?"  All Cubans, he said, "must sacrifice
to the utmost so that this revolution shall not be frustrated."

University reform, Cubela stated, "had not been completed as quickly as we
had hoped.  But the chief aspiration of all university students--the
university city--already is being planned:  On this Mar. 13 we can say
here that the university is with the revolutionary government.  The
university brigades named after Jose Antonio Echeverria have one mission,
one obligation:  Defend our revolution.  In face of the worst plots and
threats and aggressions, threats of whether marines are coming or not, we
can say:  With Fidel the country will prosper."

Faure Chaumont, secretary general of the revolutionary directorate, who
likewise spoke prior to the Premier, echoed Roland Cubela's observation
that after a year of great achievements it seemed incomprehensible that
there can be persons "still seeking to point out defects in the
revolutionary regime's work and create obstacles for the government."

We think, he said, that perhaps most of these people never suffered under
Batista's tyranny, never went hungry, never were ashamed.  What do they
want?  What are they aiming at?

"The citizens of this new Cuba," Chaumont declared, "should have unshakable
faith, determined to go forward without stopping the revolutionary work for
an instant.  This is a work that cannot be stopped.  This work is not to
reaffirm anyone's enjoyment of power; the greater the obstacles the
stronger the revolution and its work will become."

The Cuban revolution, he said, will spread through Latin America so that
the Latin Americans can wage war against imperialist aggression. When that
day comes, the Cuban revolution, the Latin American revolution, the world
revolution, will decide the final freedom of all subjugated peoples.


Havana, COCQ, in Spanish to Cuba, Mar. 12, 1960, 2250 GMT--E

(Text)  The Labor Ministry today issued the text of the new labor law
approved by the cabinet.  Among other important things, the new law deals
with the right of the worker to protection in his job; the dissolution of
the intelligence committees (as heard--Ed.) in the ports of the republic;
and the solution of many questions facing the labor department.

The law considers reconciliation as the most suitable means of solving any
possible labor conflicts.  The Labor Ministry is also granted the broadcast
facilities for handling the transitions made necessary by the pertinent

According to the new law, problems will be solved in three stages,
beginning with labor-employer reconciliation in the labor delegations.  The
establishment of labor courts has been virtually completed.

The law stipulates that any worker dismissed from his job without a firm
decision having been reached by a competent authority will have to be
reinstated immediately by the head of the proper delegation.  To be
reinstated the worker has only to request it in writing within 30 days
after his dismissal.  The head of the delegation will decree the requested
reinstatement and the worker will return to his job.  The head of the labor
delegation is to appoint a delegate with orders to accompany the worker to
his place of employment to have him reinstated.

The law deals with everything in connection with registration,
modification, or annulment of collective labor contracts.