Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana, Fiel Network, in Spanish to Cuba, Sept. 9, 1960, 0512 GMT--E

(Speech by Premier Fidel Castro to shoe industry workers in CTC auditorium)

(Summary) Comrades of the shoe industry: We had thought to take advantage
of the opportunity of the closing of this congress to discuss various
topics of interest to our country and our people. As always, we must take
advantage of such occasions to discuss and try to clear up questions of the
revolution. I had become enthused with this opportunity, but things are not
altogether good. First because it is late, and second because there is a
hurricane around here. The rains may be heavy and many families are taking
precautions. About the shoe industry I will speak little, although this is
a shoe congress, primarily because I do not understand much about the shoe
industry. The shoe industry in our country is changing from the work of
artisans to one of mechanization. We had a craft that could not compete
with the factories; we found that raising wages would increase prices and
competition with factories would not be possible. It was a difficult
problem to solve. The Ministry of Labor sought a solution because it was
necessary to try to increase the income of workers in this industry. But
there were other problems, including that of prices. Any change in prices
would affect the economy of the poorest families. It was a difficult
problem, but finally the ministries of labor and commerce and the INRA
department of industrialization, along with the workers, found a solution
within our capability. Some day we will have a completely mechanized
industry--when mechanization does not displace anyone. This will take time.
Many things in a revolutionary process must be carried out slowly.

Despite aggressions, despite the fact that the revolutionary process is
complex and difficult the revolution can feel very satisfied with what it
has been able to do.

The primary thing is to continue to advance.  Sometimes harm is caused
without being able to prevent it.  We do not want to intervene all firms.
Some think we do, but that is not true.  True revolutionaries study

They must always think of future gains and not sacrifice the future by
hasty action.  That is the norm of the Revolutionary Government.  We have
made great advances on many fronts, but will never be content with what we
have done.

It is worthwhile to compare the lies we believed before the revolution with
the present political maturity of the Cuban people. They were falsely
informed by international news agencies. We Cubans have been able to see
that the interests of the majority of a people are what count; that a
people for the first time has the feeling that it is master of its own
fate, that no Cuban need feel ashamed of being poor, that no Cuban Negro
must feel ashamed of being a Negro. When one realizes that the majority of
the nation is conscious of its role, it is inconceivable that there are
still those who want the people to fail. One is filled with indignation at
how they take advantage of the ignorance of the people to launch them on
hairbrained enterprises.

How can there be elements in Cuba connected with those abroad?  Have they
not learned from the experience of Pinar del Rio?  Who would think that in
our mountains there could be guerrillas supported by exploiters in our
country?  All this shows ignorance of what the revolution really is, that
it must be based on the people.

Who should we be indignant against? The fools or the ones who sent them? It
is amusing how the interests affected by the revolution do not tire of
provoking these incidents. It is even more incredible that they hope such
aims can be attained. Today, for example, in the mountain area of Las
Villas a revolutionary army patrol learned of the location of armed
elements and proceeded to overpower them. There were two former soldiers of
the tyranny and a former lieutenant of the revolutionary force. How was it
possible for him to decide to join them in guerrilla warfare against the
revolution? We found out who sent them arms. They were landed estate owners
affected by the revolution.

When we see such things we ask: Who are these people but the mere
instruments of those of bad faith, who arm them and offer them American
support and lead them to believe it is just a matter of being in the
foothills for a few months and that the Marines will come soon? They have
been trying to create counterrevolutionary centers. They are trying to
implement plans against our country. The most absurd thing one can think is
that guerrilla warfare can be promoted under these conditions. What does
that force us to do? (Shouting) And I say it without hate, I say it with
pain: we must mobilize our forces against those instruments who live abroad
comfortably, calmly set up espionage services and pull the strings. What
hurts is that we have to mobilize our forces against those who are only

It hurts us to think that there are Cubans who, because of ignorance,
permit themselves to be dragged into such a situation, especially when they
are serving foreign interests.  We are forced again to show them that they
can not promote guerrilla groups.

There is no other course but to make a third expose.  We hope it will serve
a purpose, that they will not continue to do such illogical things.  Why do
they make these mistakes?  Because they are incapable of understanding,
because they are blinded by hate born of their affected pockets.  If they
could understand, they at lest would leave our government alone and
in peace.

We have many things ahead of us.  They should leave us alone, but they try
in vain.  They don't have a chance, for not even the monopolies can crush
our revolution.  A counterrevolution can never succeed in our country.
They may delay us, but they will lose more than we lose.  They can be sure
they have paid dearly for the harm they have done us and that they will
continue to pay.  They don't want to leave us in peace because they know of
the advances of the revolution.  If their system were better they would
leave us to sink alone.  But our advances are so great that their empire in
Latin America will sink in a few years.

Just think how we have borne up under aggression and what the revolution
has been able to do. In just 18 months we have been able to increase
industrial production 35 percent. Unemployment has ended in many regions.
Not all, but many regions no longer have unemployment.

They cannot take away our success.  Every attempt against us we convert
into a desire to triumph.  We want to triumph for our own good, but when
our triumph is the defeat of the enemies of humanity we desire it even
more.  Our strength to triumph is due to those who are trying to defeat us;
they generate revolutionary energy.  But they don't understand this.  They
don't understand a thing.  We have wondered how they can explain why they
have failed so miserably.  They must be going mad trying to figure it out.
They have lost the faculty for reasoning.

Why have we been able to resist their international machinations?  Because
the revolution is more united every day; every day each one here is more
purposeful, more determined.  What still must be learned is that through
education the people will progress.

The schools in the mountains are almost finished.  Soon the teachers will
arrive.  The youth brigades will graduate the first 2,000.  In the Sierra
10,000 will go to work.  Another project of the revolution is the militia
units.  They will be armed; they are not being trained in vain.

On May 1 we will see them parade.  The revolution has many plans.  For next
year we have a battle to wage with the aid of all the peoples:  A battle
against the last vestiges of illiteracy.  In a single year the revolution
will wipe out illiteracy.  Do you remember DIARIO LA MARINA?  Selecciones?
The plant in which these publications were printed?  The same place which
fooled the people will be used to educate them.  The same presses will
print books for the people.  They spoke of freedom of the press but only
wanted the right to follow their own interests.  A new geography will be
printed.  Nunez Jimenez has worked hard on this.  There will be books on
economic problems and about military subjects.  Soon we will print a number
of novels, novels important for the militia and the people.

Today one sees the people guarding their interests because they are owners
and they take care of that which is theirs.  All unions, schools, clubs
will soon have libraries--50,000 libraries.  We must also give impetus to
workers' social circles.  We want to have these circles in every town, in
every sugar central, and in every workers' camp.  In the next Olympics we
will enter a great team through these social circles.

These are a few of the plans.  There are others, but we will save them for
another occasion.  We will soon speak about social security.  these
plans--the books, the workers' social circles, and the campaign against
illiteracy--will be our goals.  There are other things we must do in spite
of aggressions, and imperialism.  I want to ask the people here if they
are in accord on these plans of the revolution?  (Applause)  Within a few
days we will have a plenary session of the unions, of the CTC, to ask about
these things.  But for today, nothing more.