Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Source:  Revolucion (Revolution), Havana, 17 December 1960

Fidel says:  "Revolution means destruction of all privileges and of the
entire past; and since rights emanate from the people, the revolution is
the power of the people."

The national planum of union secretaries-general, on the workers social
circles, was closed last night, in the CTC auditorium, in a brilliant
ceremony, at which the chief of the revolution, Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz
delivered the summation.  This event was attended not only by
representatives of all of the Cuban worker organizations but also by such
agencies as the Cuban Women's Federation and the Association of Young
Rebels; the ceremony was further attended by the six Provincial
Commissioners and numerous city commissioners.

... Workers, in the hands of the peasants, in the hands of the youths.

And who can deny that the workers and the peasants constitute the vast
majority of the people?  (Applause)

The Clergy Thought That Their Power Was Invincible

It seems that the revolution is much harder to understand for those who
simply lived on the idea that their powers were immovable.  Imperialism
thought that its power was invincible and immovable; the clergy thought
that their power was immovable.  I am not talking here about the good
priests, because there are good priests (applause).  For example, we have
Father Lence (applause); Father Lence is a worthy and honest Cuban priest
and so is Father Sardinas (applause)  who joined the Rebel forces in the

But in addition to them and above them, there were other hierarchies
which were influenced by Franco-style thinking (shouts from the audience)
and by imperialist thinking (shouts from the audience), who believed that
their dictates were generally applicable and all-powerful dictates; and
then there were the interests of the ruling and exploiting class which
controlled all of the centers of culture, all of the newspapers and
magazines, all of the public opinion media here; they controlled the
military machine, they controlled the political machine, they controlled
all of the government agencies and all of the media for influencing the
people and keeping them ignorant.

They controlled all of the newspapers.  And today they complain!  The
counterrevolution complains that it does not have any counterrevolutionary
periodicals, the counterrevolution complains that there are no
counterrevolutionary radio stations, no counterrevolutionary universities,
no agencies of counterrevolutionary authority.  It complains that it does
not have an army; it complains that it cannot control the labor unions of
the country anymore the way it used to, by means of gangs of gangsters and
corrupt and criminal individuals, that is.  Of course, they are not as well
off today as they were but they completely forget the poor landless farmer,
the starving sharecropper, the exploited and oppressed worker, the humble
people, all of whom were victims of all of these injustices and all of
these inequities and they did not have any means for defending themselves
and nobody defended them; they could not go to a newspaper and tell them
their misfortune; they could not go to a radio station and denounce the
injustices that had been perpetrated against them; and the ruling and
exploiting class had an absolute monopoly on all areas of power, all means
of communication.

Who could go to a newspaper here to ask them to let him write an
article against Yankee exploitation, against the Yankee monopolies?  Who
could ever hope to talk to a single vice president or manager of any of
these enterprises of the big interests that published these periodicals,
who could ever ask any of them to publish a revolutionary proclamation or
an article against the situation that existed at that time?  Nobody!  All
we had was the deception coming from the political parties which broke the
nation up and kept it divided into a thousand little pieces, in the
exclusive service of those interests.

The revolution has done away with this state of affairs.

It is quite clear that the revolution has come to do away with that
state of affairs, to end things the way they were.  All the people have to
do is to ask themselves:  how could there have been a revolution if the
revolution had not taken all of the measures which it did take?  How could
there be a revolution if the foreign monopolies had not been nationalized?
How could there have been a revolution without an agrarian reform, without
an urban reform (applause), without an independent and truly sovereign
policy, such as the one which the revolutionary government has pursued?

That is the kind of change to which those interests do not resign
themselves and never will resign themselves.  This is why they find it so
hard to understand why the revolution took all these powers and authorities
for itself.  We do not want any problems with the Church, for example.  We
do not try to create any problems with the Church; the revolutionary
government is not at all concerned with the Church; on the contrary, the
revolutionary government is quite happy to be able to proclaim the right of
any citizen to worship in any way he sees fit (Applause); the revolution
does not want to prevent any priest from praying, preaching, or practicing
his religion, regardless of whether he may be a Catholic, a Protestant, a
Mohamaden, or any other religion.  The revolution has no reason for denying
the right of any citizen to worship according to his beliefs, nor the right
of any clergyman to preach.

But we can ask the worthy gentlemen of the Catholic Church -- whose
counterrevolutionary activities are becoming more and more visible each
day, more and more obvious and more provocative and ore constant -- we can
ask them whether by change they think they have the right to prohibit the
revolutionary government from promulgating revolutionary laws (Applause)
and arrange the social system and the civil order in the way in which this
would be best in the interests of the people.

We Do Not Want to Clash With the Church

We are not going to clash with the church; we are not going to advise
the bishops as to the chapter in the Bible about which they should talk on
Sunday (Applause); nor are we going to tell them what sermons they should
preach in the churches; we are not going to ask the bishops who their
friends or their enemies are; if they are enemies or friends of the
Protestants; if they have broken away from or wish to move back together
with any of the Christian groups in the world, with the Protestant churches
or with the Russian Orthodox Church (Applause).

If they want to join a great council, we are not going to interfere in
those activities; if they want to adopt some kind of agreement on religious
doctrine, we will not interfere in those activities; if they want to
straighten out the differences which have existed between various groups of
Christians, we are not going to interfere in those problems, nor are we
going to send a letter to the cardinals in order to tell them that it is
bad for them to dictate in this or that question of religious matter or
that they ought to arrive at this or that agreement or this or that
disagreement.  Nothing of the sort is going to happen to anybody.  These
are religious questions which they ought to take care of themselves.  And
this is why we ask ourselves this:  why do they have to interfere in the
political questions of the revolutionary government?

The Circular Latter

Christ said:  "My kingdom is not of this world."  Why do they get away
from spiritual questions and why do they want to interfere in political
questions?  And above all, why have we recently been getting a circular
letter here -- not addressed to me -- but addressed to the Pentagon, to
Washington, addressed to the AP and UPI?  Why was this circular letter
sometime ago proclaimed in the churches and then handed over to the UPI
and the AP?  I will not dignity that letter with an answer -- and,
moreover, it was not even addressed to me; it was addressed to the
counterrevolution, it was intended to damage the fatherland and in
addition, I hope the bishops will pardon me for saying this, it contained
some big lies such as the lie to the effect that a number of priests had
been arrested and other things of that nature; these are falsehoods and
they are not for consumption by public opinion but rather for international
consumption for publication in the UPI and AP; this letter is intended to
picture the revolutionary government as some kind of government that
persecutes the priests and the Church and that outlaws religious sentiments
-- all of this in connection with interests which the good Catholics are
perfects familiar with.

One of the Commandments of the Law of God Is:
Thou Shalt Not Lie

One of the commandments of the law of God is -- gentlemen archbishops
-- not to lie (Applause).  Allow me to remind you of this with all
respect, if I may.

And recently, they have been circulating this so-called letter, this
collection of falsehoods -- and I wish they would forgive me for the
discourtesy of not having replied to them because I did not feel any
obligation to keep up this kind of correspondence with the gentlemen
archbishops -- (Applause).  But I do know that it is the duty of the
revolutionary government to clarify these questions:  what right do they
have to stick their noses into political problems?  One of the things which
they emphasize most is the problem of Communism which supposedly is trying
to take over the government.  First of all we must tell them that the
government does not have to answer to the gentlemen archbishops for its
conduct (Ovation); the revolutionary government is not accountable to the
Falangista clergy for its political activities.

They Bewail the Loss of Their Sinecures

What is the motive behind this wild attitude?  Is it perhaps the fact
that the revolutionary government, loyal to its policy of ending this sort
of thing, these sinecures, encountered many cases of "bribery" in the sugar
plantations and refineries (Applause) and that it was very simply our duty
to do away with this sort of thing?  This is why the bishops and the
archbishops are so violently against the fact which we called "bribery" in
connection with these sinecures; they pretend to speak in the name of the
humble priests.  But who could say that they were ever concerned with the
fate of the humble priests when the best parishes were not always exactly
in the hands of the humble Cuban priests or in the hands of Cuban priests
who were humble?  (Applause)  There was a lot of privilege and favoritism
that went with these parishes and with positions in the clergy; and the
good and humble Cuban priests were systematically sidetracked and the good
assignments went to the fascist priests who did not give a
hoot...(Applause)...who did not give a hoot about the feelings, nor
the problems of the Cuban people.

It Is Antirevolutionary to Divide the Cubans

One of the refrains which these gentlemen bishops and archbishops have
to repeat is the one about the government functionaries who are supposed to
have said that to be an anti-Communist is to be a counterrevolutionary and
that, in spite of this, the government itself has not said a word.  And
who, pray tell, told the gentlemen archbishops that the government has to
say what they think the government ought to say in their interests?
(Applause) Now, how do they want us to answer this question?  Do they want
an answer at all?  Well, to put it very plainly, we certainly do believe
that to be an anti-Communist is to be a counterrevolutionary (Ovation),
just as being a counterrevolutionary means being anti-Catholic,
anti-Protestant, and anti-anything else that might tend to divide the Cuban
people.  That's all there is to is (applause).  Anything that tends to
divide the people and play into the hands of imperialism is

And if anybody here had organized a movement along these lines, the
Communists would not have attacked him for that (applause); I have been
following this situation very carefully and I must say that I have
observed that the Communists have maintained a rather tolerant attitude
toward a series of attacks which have been made against them by the clergy.

All right, now:  why, if nobody prevented them from preaching in the
churches, if nobody prevented them from preaching their beliefs, if nobody
at all has ever gone there to disturb these activities, if it is correct
that sincere beliefs should be respected -- and I am talking here about
sincere faiths, not the faith of those who say one thing and do another
thing because this is pure hypocrisy -- (applause), in other words, any
sincere belief, not the belief of those who leave the country and run to
Miami -- if all this is true, why do they keep saying that they are "great
democrats" and that the deserters and those who have sold out are doing a
good thing?  Have you not noticed that all those who sell out to
imperialism and who betray the revolution follow one pattern?  They run off
to Miami and then they promptly accuse the revolutionary government of bein
Communist.  This even includes the judges who a few days ago left the
country even though they had been collecting their checks until the day
before they left; this even includes some of those who were in cahoots with
the cops, some of the men who had been condemned to death by these judges
themselves (laughter); and now they are going to tell us that they have
left because ours is a Communist government, and so forth and so on.

All right, the sincere faith of anybody, his political ideas and his
religious ideas thus certainly merit respect.  Could it be that they cannot
coexist with the sincere beliefs of the citizens?  In the name of what
right are they talking when they try to deprive others of the right to
preach their ideas?  Is it not correct and just to have all ideas, which
men sincerely believe, exist together?  Nobody here prevents anybody from
engaging in his activities or in having ideas of a religious or other
nature; there is only one type of conduct which the revolution has
forbidden, only one idea which the revolution has forbidden:  the

If the revolution puts through the agrarian reform, then it must
consider those, who do not want this agrarian reform, to be enemies; if the
revolution nationalizes the foreign trusts, then it must consider those,
who want to re-establish the foreign trusts, to be enemies; if the
revolution demands national sovereignty, then those who once again want to
subjugate the country to the imperialist yoke, must be considered enemies.
In other words, the revolution has forbidden only those activities and
sermons which are against the revolution, such as the people is now
carrying it out, such as the people wants it and such as the people
interprets it.  This is simply a trick by the revolutionary forces in the
history of mankind, a trick by the big interests and the big privileges,
the trick of wanting to confront political ideas with religious ideas,
although the two of them do not fit into the same framework because they
are different issues.

Religion, Cooperatives, and the Stars

What does the agrarian reform have to do with the mystery of the Holy
Trinity?  (Applause)  What does the urban reform have to do with the rites
of the Holy Trinity?  What do social, material, and economic facts have to
do with religious problems?  What does a cooperative have to do with the
convent?  (Laughter)  And what does a people's farm have to do with a
religious order?  What do they have to do with each other?  There are many
beliefs in our nation; some believe in and are devoted to Saint Lazarus;
others are devoted to the Virgin; still others are devoted to Charity, etc,
(applause).  There are many and varied beliefs; some believe in the
horoscope and they always took at their horoscope at the end of the year to
see what might be coming up next year; others believe in the stars; others
will believe in their dreams.  But these are manifestations of the spirit
and of human nature.

Long ago, for example, people believed in the Moon.  The Aztecs, for
example, worshipped the Sun; others worshipped the Moon or the stars;
others, still, worshipped certain animals; this is all part of the history
of mankind and it is a very complicated problem, this problem of religious
beliefs.  But what do we care about the beliefs of a member of a sugar cane
cooperative, of a worker in the nationalized industry?  What does this have
to do with the material benefits which he gets, with the cut in his rent,
with the benefits his children get?  What does this have to do with an
increase in jobs?  Whenever we set up a cooperative or whenever we created
an employment center, we have never asked anybody what he believes in,
because this is not our problem; these are not the problems of the
revolutionary government.  (Applause)

Kingdom of This World

The problems of the revolutionary government very simply are
[Unreadable text] social, economic and educational and cultural nature; we
are concerned with sending doctors to the rural areas so that families will
not die because they have no medical assistance; we are concerned with
trucks and hospitals and schools for the rural areas (Applause); we went to
undo the injustices that have been committed and develop industry and make
the land productive; this, very simply, means a continued effort to build a
new world for our people, in our kingdom of this world.  (Applause)

That is the nature of our duties.  As the governing officials, it is
our obligation to resolve these problems and we comply with our obligation
when we resolve them, even though we may have to nationalize the electric
power company or the land of the "United Fruit" company (applause), or even
though we may have to cut rents or put through an urban reform or even
though we may have to take the measures which we have to take.  To tell the
truth, we have not exactly inherited a clam lake here; this country was not
at peace when we took over; it was a world of privations and miseries.

What we found in the rural areas, what we found in the cities, what we
found everywhere was a world of injustice, a world of abuses, a world of
senselessness; and we have made very effort to improve and change this

It was not we who clashed with any religious sentiment; it was certain
interests that hypocritically invoked their sentiments; it was those who
said that they represented those sentiments, those who were allied with the
worst economic interests that were affected by the revolution; they are the
ones who provoked this clash between religions sentiment and the political
and revolutionary sentiment of the people.

Revolutionary Tolerance

Can anybody say that we have not made very possible effort to avoid
these conflicts?  Can anybody say that we have not been tolerant?  And we
certainly have worn ourselves out, pardoning priests who have been
conspiring and carrying arms and planting bombs and engaging in activities
of all kinds!  (Applause).  And that is the only truth here.

Perhaps that is why they thought they were immune; perhaps this is why
they came to believe that the revolution was afraid of them; well, this was
nothing more than a correct, calm, and serene attitude on the part of the
revolutionary government toward some of these gentlemen who, it seems, came
to think that the revolution is afraid of them.

The revolution does not want any conflict with the church.  Oh, how I
wish that they would reconsider; how I wish that they would realize that
they are making a mistake, that there own religious ideas, which they
pretend to preach, actually inflict damage on them; oh how I wish that
they would understand that they are causing anxiety in many good Catholics!
This reminds me of a case I know about, when the individual involved was
about to die; the person involved was a religious individual, by the way;
the person declared that she sympathized with the revolution and, if this
was a sin, she would not repent for this sin of sympathizing with the
revolution!  (Tremendous applause)

And it is very sad and very painful that they cause all this anxiety in
the souls of many people and all of this uncertainty, without any reason
whatever.  It is very said that a militia woman goes to mass and, because
she is a militia woman, that is to say, because she is an honorable girl
prepared to defend the fatherland, they refuse to giver her communion.
(Applause)  This they would not possibly deny to any other woman whose
conduct might be far from moral and patriotic, certainly much less so than
the conduct of that militia woman.  (Applause)

The Sin of Being a Revolutionary

And we we see that all of the sins can be pardoned -- except the sin of
being a revolutionary, the sin of being a patriot, the sin of being
prepared to give your life for your country and your people and your humble
class.  (Applause)  All of the immoralities, all of the robberies and other
crimes are pardoned but they do not forgive a man who is a patriot and a
revolutionary.  How far they are from the truths taught by Christ!  And
how good it would be for them to remember that Christ who washed the feet
of Mary Magdalene!  (Applause)

And these are the realities -- but we do not want anybody to become
alarmed.  We are reasonable people, we are not trying to force anybody to
fear anything.  I spent some years in religious schools; I know very well
how they inculcate ideas; I remember many things.  Generally, they did not
use the method of reasoning.  There were many things which took me a
tremendous effort to understand; above all ,this was true in connection
with my reading of history and with the lessons of history.  They do use
the weapons of the faith and the faith of the believer; very often in
history they have used them in a negative sense, that is to say, in an
anti-social sense, in a specific political sense; the reactionary forces
and the counterrevolution were defeated in the economic field and in the
social field; and so they now tried to inject a malignant virus into the
field of faith of human beings in order to turn them against the progress
of humanity and against the progress of the peoples and against the
interests of the peoples.

They use many weapons and they have certain powers, particularly when
the human being involved has not yet achieved complete control over
himself, when he cannot yet reason calmly and coldly and correctly; I am
saying this because this is the only way to arrive at the truth and
justice; if they threaten me with all the evils of this world and with all
of the evils of the next world, if they threaten me with all the things
they do threaten me with, and if they make me appears as headed for the
worst fate unless I renounce the truth, then I would still say exactly the
same thing that I am saying here and now, the same thing that I am saying
to the Indian whom they offered to baptize while they took him to the
bonfire on which they were going to burn him alive (Applause); and that
heroic Indian Hatuey, the first Cuban who had the opportunity to see
certain things that are difficult to understand, replied as follows to the
offer they made him:  "if you are going to wind up in Heaven, they I
wouldn't want to go to Heaven."  (Applause)

Respect of Religions

The revolutionary government wanted to avoid this type of conflict and
it still wants to avoid it.  But if the revolutionary government is
involved in conflicts of this type, then this is not its fault.  The
revolutionary government has honestly done everything possible to avoid
these conflicts; and the revolutionary government will never be against
religious sentiments.  The revolutionary government will never be against
any church; the revolutionary government will not become involved in a
discussion of questions of religious doctrine.

And if the revolutionary government is forced to take measures against
those who want to destroy the country, those who want to destroy
the revolution, then these will be measures taken against the Pharisees,
measures against the hypocrites, measures against the "whitewashed tombs"
and not measures against any religion or against any institution of that

The revolutionary government proclaims this posture because that is its
sincere posture; and the people, who know much, understand perfectly well
that this is the correct posture.  (Applause)  However, the people must
know and the people must also understand that the revolution must defend
itself against the attacks from its enemies and detractors; and the people
know that the revolution will defend itself.  (Applause)

And we are aware of what we are doing here; we know what the situation
is; we know who our enemies of today and tomorrow are; we know what
struggles we have ahead of us and we shall confront them calmly; we know
who will always be against us and we know who will always be with the
revolution.  (Applause)  And we are ready for all struggles that may come
our way; international campaigns will not stop us; we know that imperialism
has made very effort and used all of its influence in order to support the
high hierarchy of the Catholic Church against the revolution, in order to
serve its own ends throughout America and all over the world, in order to
mobilize Catholic opinion all over the Continent against the Cuban
Revolution.  But over there, they have not gone through our experience;
over there the only information they have comes from the UPI and the AP;
over there, they have shut everything down, including the office of Prensa
Latina [Latin Press Agency]; they might be able to food and confuse certain
sectors of the people of Latin America by presenting the revolution as
being against the Church.  Exploiting that situation and knowing that the
revolutionary government is very much interested in avoiding these
conflicts, some priests have stepped up their campaigns to the extreme and
they have reached a new high in their counterrevolutionary activities,
encouraging terrorism and crime; they have even encouraged the
assassination of officials of the revolutionary government; they have
encouraged the criminal hands of blood dripping cops.  For what?  In order
to deprive us of life, in order to deprive the revolutionaries of their
lives, in order to deprive them of their lives as true patriots.

We Are Not That Kind of Blockheads

What do they think this is anyway?  Do they think that we are the kind
of men who run from a fight?  Do they think that we are the kind of men
who would stick their heads into the sand rather than face the dangers?
Do they perhaps think that we do not know how to tackle those who want to
annihilate us?  (Applause)  Do they believe by change that we are not calm
enough to reason philosophically?  When men assume a duty, such as we have,
then they know how to fight against all contingencies; and we also know
that a revolution is a life and death struggle between the revolutionaries
and the powerful interests who oppose them; and we know that in this life
and death struggle it is not we who are going to lose; nor are we going to
be so naive as to fail to respond properly to this threat.  A revolution is
a long and hard struggle; and a revolutionary knows that he cannot yield
one inch (applause); a revolutionary knows that for the revolution to
retreat is to perish and therefore a revolutionary always prefers to die
while advancing rather than to die while retreating!  (Applause)

Advance in the Face of All Risks

When a true revolutionary falls, he falls while advancing; and the true
revolutionaries advance in the face of all risks; the true revolutionaries
make every effort to fight the struggle with intelligence and they do not
allow themselves to be held back by impulses. No!  They advance calmly
toward their objective; they use their intelligence and their valor.

For us, there is only road:  push the revolution forward until we clash
with whomever we may clash!  (Applause)  We do care what enemy we have
before us!  (Applause)  We do not care whether it is imperialism or the big
allies of imperialism.  And if all of the reactionary powers of the world
were to unite against us, it would not matter, because we know how to
tackle them!  (Applause and shouts of:  "We shall win!")  And we will take
the measures that are necessary, you can be sure of that.

We are not surprised that a judge should leave this country; we are not
surprised when a bishop writes something against the revolution.  These
things do not astonish us!  But we want the enemies of the revolution to
know that we cannot want them to become too enthusiastic about this; let
them not deceive themselves; let them know what they are going to run into;
we know what we are worth and we know what to do and we shall not hesitate.

The Revolution Will Drive the Traitors Out

Once and for all, the revolution will make it easy for all kinds of
traitors to leave the country.

So far, I have been talking about the priests; I might conclude this
portion by telling the judges that if they want to go, well, why don't you
go now!  This is a good time to go!  We know that there are also good
judges and good magistrates among you.  They are the kind we need, because
we need the job they do for us; but nobody needs the bad ones.  They can do
anytime they want to.  We are going to see that they get out!  (Applause)
And, then, let them go over there.  How ridiculous they are!  They thought
that everything was going to go on the way it always has.  And now they
found out different and now all these parasites are on the way out and they
leave the country and go over there, shouting "mea culpa."  And where are
they going?  They are going into humiliation and shame and charity.

I am going to tell them once and for all; I am going to tell the
Yankee government, for its information (shouts from the audience) that it
should not entertain any illusions as to what it can do with that million
pesos because, here, gentlemen, here in Cuba, these people had much more
than a million to meet all of their many needs; they had 200 and 300
million pesos.  If it is your idea to rally all of the parasites, well,
don't kid yourselves:  with 1 million pesos you won't achieve anything.

A Thousand Parasites at a Thousands Pesos a Month

A thousand parasites at a thousand pesos a month -- how expensive life
is over there; rents are high and many things cost a lot of money over
there; a thousand parasites at a thousand pesos a month will cost them 1.2
million pesos a year, in other words, 1.2 million dollars a year; and
10,000 parasites will cost them a lot more, even though they only pay them
a hundred pesos; many of them could not possibly live on a hundred pesos;
they are not accustomed to getting along with a hundred pesos; 10,000
parasites in one year would cost them 12 million dollars, no less; and
50,000 parasites would cost them 60 million dollars; those parasites are
not accustomed to getting along on a hundred dollars.  We want to warn
these parasites because many of them are accustomed to having their cars,
their yachts and their good life for that sort of thing -- well, you
figure it out for yourself -- for that sort of thing they are going to need
at least 2,000 pesos, for example.  Now which among these gentlemen, which
among those judges who used to live on a thousand pesos, are they going to
be able to support with a hundred dollars over there?  Well, let him go!
And they are the people who might even someday ask to be allowed to return.
And so imperialism will find that this whole thing will cost it a lot more;
let them not have any illusions over there, this is going to cost more than
a million.

And to these gentlemen know what fate awaits them over there?  Now,
re-read the counterrevolutionary sheets and bulletins also.  And we read a
letter in one of those counterrevolutionary periodicals in which the writer
has this to say:  "Why don't you print these letters from Colonel Esteban
Ventura to Prime Minister Dr Miro Cardona?"

And then one of the editors of this counterrevolutionary periodical
suggests to Ventura that he write the following letter to Miro Cardona.
It would certainly be worth-while to revise some of the paragraphs because
it will give us an idea of the dishonor and the shame and the humiliation
which all of those traitors are going through over there, because even the
cops feel like decent people when they stand next to them; because the
cops, who assassinated 20,000 people here, will say:  all right, we had
reason to assassinate these people if they were bad but you have come here
now only in order to tell us that they are bad.

Now, what about these cops?  How could a cop feel next to a deserter,
next to one of these magistrates?  Perhaps he feels like a hero, perhaps he
feels like a real honest person, perhaps he feels like he is a decent
gentleman.  And then, a counterrevolutionary periodical of the cops
suggests that Ventura write the following letter to Miro.

My dear Professor:

Since you have a reputation as a great criminal lawyer -- a teacher of
teachers -- and since I have a reputation as a criminal -- a war criminal
-- I believe it is my duty to address myself to you in order to confess my
sins and my errors, with the same sincerity with which you state that "this
is Communism."  I would like to ask your Excellency to forgive me for
asking you to review the mistakes in my case, among which the famous jurist
might perhaps find the cause of his mistakes.  But please pardon me without
any mental reservations, as I pardon you, for having taken 20 months to see
what I saw 40 months earlier:  that "this is Communism."

The only purpose of this card is to appoint you my defense attorney in
the case involving the 20,000 dead.  This is a defense, not for me, the
defendant, but for you, the implacable prosecutor.  And once you have been
exonerated, you will see how I will also benefit from this exoneration.
You can be sure, you outstanding criminologist, that my salvation lies in
your "defense."

Dear professor, I was never more than a simple police officer, assigned
to a precinct.  I zealously guarded the tranquility and peace of my
neighbors who slept well because they were entrusted to my custody.  I was
not a politician.  I had no special aspirations.  I did not even have nay
ambitions of rising any too high in the unit or organization to which I had
belonged for so many years.  But then they began to plant bombs in my
precinct.  And the neighbors, who were under my custody, were unable
to sleep.

From the very first moment on, I understood that "that was Communism."

And I tackled the task of combating this with all means -- instead of
going off to Miami.  And as they stepped up their violence, I stepped up
the methods of repression.  But I did this, knowing that these evildoers
did all this because they wanted to take over control of Cuba in order to
enslave it.

The public became accustomed to viewing these things in a rather
oversimplified manner, as if this were a movie of sorts.  And the Red
propaganda of the "20,000 dead" converted me -- with your blind help and
the other illustrious men of Cuba -- into the "heavy in the movie."  And
then my name suddenly turned up among the stars, like the other characters
in these horror movies, like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Ventura.

What a terrible injustice this was, dear professor!  I, who have always
detested terror, became the "heavy in the movie" in order to fight terror
with terror.  Because I thought I was in the right.  That was the kind of
right, the kind of justice which you explained at the university.  I
believed in the law.  That was the kind of law which you taught to your
students with singular mastery.  I believed in order.  That was the kind of
order that could exist only on the basis of your ingenious mastery of this

Sometimes, in order to prevent others from committing these
monstrosities, I committed them.  And the society which I defended and
preserved did not thank me.  While they applauded others, they criticized
me.  But you became one of the "good guys in the movie."  This was because
I hauled a terrorist into court and you -- the eminent criminologist --
defended him.  And then I took him away, after he had been cleared, with
the blessings and the applause of a majority of the people.  And because of
this the criminals were able to triumph more and more.  How could they
possibly help winning!  In a country where a hapless Ventura persecuted the
criminals while an adventurous Miro Cardona defended them; in such a
country the criminals are bound to triumph because the court is in the
service of crime.  The judge's robes served as cloak for the terrorists and
for terrorism.

An attorney of your stature, Dr. Miro Cardona, is capable of proving
that the criminals are the police and that the police are the criminals.
Instead of wiping out crime, you wipe out the police.  This is what
happened in Cuba 20 months before you suddenly realized that "this is
Communism."  And this is 40 months after your modest and unfortunate
servant became aware of this.

Perhaps both you and I bear a great deal of the responsibility for what
happened in Cuba.

Because I was "a little bit of a Miro Cardona."

And you, because you were "a little bit of a Ventura."

I, for defending the right, against those who attacked the government.

You, for defending those who killed, first from their station among the
opposition and then from their position in power.  And for defending the
government alongside with those who attacked the right.

You, because you wanted to kill me and could not.

And I, beacuse I could have killed you but did not want to.

Just as I could kill all of the Communist leaders who were hiding
behind the "26 July" mask.  All of them with the exception of "Che" Guevara
the only one who was not "my prisoner."  But all of the others -- from
Fidel on down to the very last -- did pass through my bloody hands, as the
heavy in the movie.

Please defend me, illustrious legal counselor, brilliant man of
letters, eminent jurist, teacher of teachers.  But do not defend me by
saying that I was wrong but by saying that you and many others were wrong.

Do not base your defense on "the good guy that I am."  Base it on the
bad things which all of those whom you defended were.

Tell the world and tell history that Fidel Castro is worse than Esteban
Ventura.  Because Ventura persecuted those who persecuted others.  He fired
on those who did the shooting.  He killed those who killed.  He abuse those
who abused others.  He destroyed those who destroyed others.  And he
assassinated those who assassinated others.  If there was any exception --
very unfortunately so -- then this must also be charged to those who
through their violence forced me to use violence.

While Fidel Castro, his little brother Raul and all of the other
criminals who surrounded them, with morbid pleasure assassinated anybody
who opposed this vile and treasonable Communism, while they handed the
sovereignty of Cuba over to despotic Russian imperialism, you, as Prime
Minister, defended them.  And then they established Communism.

For me, who had done so much to prevent this from happening, there was
no Prime Minister to defend me.

Defend me then, you superman of the law.

"The world is a small and funny place"... and so here we are, the both
of us in exile.  For identical reasons.  And both of us are now persecuted
by the same enemies.

"That is Communism," you said then.  And we all believed it.

"This is Communism," I said a long time ago.  And, poor little me,
nobody believed me.  Not even the teachers of teachers.  The same
crest-fallen illustrious professor who, when it itched him here, scratched
over there and who now that it itches over there scratches himself here.

Professor:  it is never too late to repent for the benefit of the
fatherland.  And you know that you have exchanged your judge's robe for a
uniform, in order to joint the "death units," with sincerity, valor,
courage, and patriotism.

Yes, I can almost see all of this equipment for the criminalistic war!
A British-style tin hat, a set of dark glasses, an olive-green shirt,
olive-green trousers with nylon suspenders, a pair of boots, and above all,
on top of it all, the insignia of the great gentlemen, as befits your
investiture, all dressed up in steel like Lohengrin, with a lance and with
a pen, ready to write The Diary of the Campaign of the Units of Death.

This is the last law, the retroactive effect, put out by the notable
jurist.  Or it is something more:  the retroactivity of the professor
toward the days of Ventura.

Now it is he who has to kill Communists.

And I will skip this phase.  How I want the law and justice.  The chair
-- yes, the chair is you, doctor.  Do not abandon me again.

Why did you not drop in at the 5th precinct, some day, and I could have
given you everything necessary to kill Communists.

Please don't do it now, doctor.  You have to realize that nobody will
thank you for this.  They will criticize you, they will slander you, and
they will invent 80,000 deaths.

I want you to know that they have just launched "Operation Cow" in Cuba
and I would like you to follow my advice:  let them all be killed by the

Please, now that I am becoming a little bit of a Miro, don't you be as
much of a Ventura.

Let the extremes get together.  How did we "get together" you and I, in
this Miami, this sweet and peaceful quiet, comparable only to the peaceful
quiet that surrounds the "units of death."

Is this really Communism?

All right them, "defend yourself."  Because by salvation lies in your

But in the meantime, rule as you wish, here in the "units of life," of
your humble and unfortunate admirer.  Esteban Ventura Novo.

This, then, is the destiny of the traitors and this is what the
traitors and the deserters have swapped:  the respect of their people, the
admiration of their people, for the irony of the worst criminals and the
worst subjects.  This is what they have to take there and this is what they
are now fully justified in saying; even a fellow like Ventura -- or anybody
else who tries to interpret Ventura's thinking -- now comes out looking
like a hero, justifying all the crimes which he committed.  This is what
they have to bear up under, over there,but I can only hope that the same
thing happens to them that happened to Raul Chibas, in other words, the
first thing that happened to him when he arrived in Miami was that he got
slapped twice for having been the president of the Revolutionary Tribunals.
(Applause)  And this is how they pay the traitors. They want to make
themselves appear decent in comparison to the cops and the cops want to
present themselves as being decent in comparison to them.

They Have Forfeited the Honor of Staying Here and Fighting

These are the things which they have renounced, the honor of fighting
here for the people, the honor of staying here, creating prosperity for the
people, the honor of being here, writing our history, the honor of being
here, weapon in hand, ready to fight and die with honor.  (Applause)

This is what they renounced, in return for the sad role of cowards, of
miserable individuals, in return for becoming degraded individuals, the
subjects of laughter and ridicule and the irony of those whom we defeated
in battle yesterday, those whom we are today holding at bay, and those
whom we will defeat tomorrow, a thousand times over, whenever they try to
come back to the fatherland; and we will always face our enemies and we
will win!  (Applause)  And the deserters, the deserters and the traitors,
compared to our enemies of yesterday, will be the humbled and unhappy
victims of ridicule and laughter. This is the eternal prize which traitors
always earn.  It is a good thing for us to remember this because we have a
long struggle ahead of us; we have a long and tough struggle ahead of us.
We never believed that the struggle would end on 1 January and we smiled at
those multitudes of opportunists who suddenly came out of nowhere; we
simply smiled at those who fooled themselves because we were fighting men,
we had spent many years fighting, and we knew that this was just a truce,
that we still had a long fight ahead.  And this is something that did not
worry us too much, by the way, because that was our mission and our

Many Comrades Have Sacrificed Themselves

And so we face a long struggle ahead.  Many comrades have sacrificed
themselves since 1 January 1959 and they have fallen while doing their
duty.  One of them, our comrade Camilo (applause) lost his life while he
was traveling from Havana to Camaguey, because of the treason perpetrated
by Hubert Matos; and most recently, we lost Comrade Fajardo (Applause) who
also died doing his duty.

Yes, we know we have a long struggle ahead.  And the coming year will
be a good year; it will be a good year in every respect; it will be a year
of struggle in production, a year of revolutionary struggle; a year of
struggle against the terrorists and struggle against all of the subversive
attempts of imperialism.  Let us prepare ourselves for the year to come
which is the year of education and the year of the consolidation of the
revolution.  (Applause)  And it is also the year of the great battles of
the revolution, of the great struggles of the revolution, against all
enemies regardless of who they may be, against as many enemies as we might
have, regardless of how powerful they might be, and we will go on with the
people, with those who are in truth with the revolution until the end, we
will go on and on with them (applause).  And we must temper our spirits for
the battle that is to come.

Let Us Commemorate the Days of the Victory of the Revolution

Here we are going to have another meeting very soon, someday in
January, not the 1st of January, because we are going to have to celebrate
the New Year; but we are going to commemorate 2 days, on the 1st and 2nd:
and we are going to commemorate the victory of the revolution.  (Applause)
And on the 2nd, we will have a parade of the people in arms (applause); and
we will commemorate the 2nd with a big parade of the rebel army and the
battalions and the units of the militia which are already trained and
organized (applause).

On the 19th, we are going to meet here again with the sugar workers,
the sugar cane cooperative members, and the small planters; we are going
to meet here to take up the policy to be pursued during the harvest; and
this will likewise be followed by a big reunion.  Everybody is being
mobilized now; the workers, the cane cooperative members, and the small
planters are mobilizing for this.  In spite of the maneuvers of some of the
big planters, who are trying to prevent the convocation of the small
planters, we will go through with this.  The FNTA and the Administration
of Sugar Cane Cooperative Members have summoned the planters to attend this
meeting and they do not intend to hurt anybody through this; and, since
there has been a sort of deadlock in the organization of the planters, they
have summoned the planters to a meeting so as to enable them democratically
to elect their delegates who will then come here to meet with the workers
and with the Sugar Cane Cooperative members.  They communicated this also
to the director of that organization.  In reality, however, that
directorate has been influenced not by the interests of the small planters,
but by the interests of the big planters, something that also happened in
other producer organizations.

The Revolution Helped the Little Planters

In reality, we think that it is quite correct for the planters to meet
here in assembly, that is, the little planters, who have been benefited by
the revolution; they were liberated from the obligation of paying 5% for
their land rent; they now are the owners of their own pieces of land and
the revolution is able to help them here.  Let them therefore come here,
let them get together with the industrial workers and the members of the
Sugar Cane Cooperatives in order to discuss issues which are of concern to
the entire nations and which of course involve the topic of sugar.

But, before concluding, let me say something about the reasons behind
this meeting ... (laughter); perhaps some of you here think that we have
forgotten the reasons for this.

I would like to talk about 2 things now.  Here is one piece of news
which might disillusion the people a little bit:  yes indeed, sometimes
there must be a little bit of disillusionment, especially when we make the
mistake of entertaining illusions; in this case we must confess that we are
guilty of an error which caused us to engage in some illusions; you all
know how the people can start imagining things; the people are intelligent
but they also have a lot of imagination.  And we are responsible for the
fact that some illusions have been created in connection with the problem
of the Christmas bonus.

Compliance with Christmas Gift Agreements

Let me say right here and now -- in answer to the assertions by the
counterrevolutionaries to the effect that we were going to take your
Christmas bonuses away from you -- that this is not only false but that we
have every intention of complying with the existing agreements.  In other
words, everything that was paid in terms of Christmas bonuses last year --
in any enterprise -- will be paid by the revolutionary government also this
year, under the heading of bonuses.  In other words, first of all, no
worker sector will be sacrificed in this respect, in other words, it will
not be deprived of any of the benefits which any particular sector might
already have obtained in this sense; but that is not all; we were also
going to give a Christmas bonus to all of the workers, this time.

Of course, we did this out of a desire to underscore our intentions
here -- but we made a mistake in this respect.  The result was that
everybody engaged in tremendous illusions about this bonus and as a result,
the effect of this was negative, since the people had big illusion sand
then nothing came of them.  The fault is ours here and we certainly want to
say this here in all sincerity.  This will be a lesson for us for next time
in other words, we are not going to put out any advance notices of any kind
on anything.  (Applause)

There Will Be a Bonus for Everybody

In spite of everything, we said that there would be a bonus for
everybody even though it may be a modest one; in other words, there will be
something for everybody.  What are we trying to say here?  Well, we want to
say that no worker will be left without his Christmas bonus.  First of all,
we had the bonus which the government gave to the public employees last
year and they will get the same one this year; in other words, we have
those who already had their bonus; but then there are those who had not
gotten anything at all, to this day.  And so we thought that it would only
be fair for everybody to be given a bonus, at least the amount necessary to
enable everybody to have their nice big Christmas dinner.

But, what happened?  Well, many people simply did not do any figuring.
Many people did not do any calculating; they preferred to look at the whole
thing more in terms of their desires than in terms of their common sense.
And when this involves 2 million workers, you simply have to do some
figuring.  When you deal with 2 million workers, any amount, no matter how
small, adds up to an enormous amount involving millions.  Now if you
multiply this by 2, then you get 4 million, assuming you start with just 2
pesos; if you multiply it by 5 you will wind up with 10 million pesos.
Now, there were people who were thinking in terms of one month or half a
month; but they did not multiply 2 million by 100; that would give us 200
million!  In other words, they did not do any figuring.

Yes, indeed, the revolutionary government does want to improve the
situation of the people but:  how could we have accomplished the tremendous
job we did accomplish, with all of the contributions made by the people
toward the purchase of arms and aircraft, toward "Operation Cow," toward
the agrarian reform?  How could we have accomplished all this if we realize
that in just one day we sometimes spent 3 times or 10 times or 20 times
more than all that amount?  That would be in conflict with the policy which
we have been pursuing.

At any rate, we are going to give a bonus but this year it might be
very small; it might be very modest.  This is what I am trying to tell you
now.  (Applause)  What we are going to give you will not solve all the
problems but it will be enough to buy some pork chops or a turkey or a
chicken -- and I mean pork chops, because there will be pork this Christmas
too; in other words, there will be enough for a nice Christmas dinner; not
for solving all problems; at any rate, although this will be a small bonus,
if you multiply this by 2 million you will see that you arrive at a very
large amount involving many millions!  This year the bonus will be very
modest and next year there will be a little more and the year after that
there will be a little more, still; every year, there will be a little more
and we will be able to give those bonuses as a result of the increase in

Anyway you look at it, the nation will make an effort here; this is an
effort which the nation must make, and I am sure that the nation can make
this effort, above all in order to help those who have not yet gotten
anything.  And we have certainly tried to see to it that everybody would
get something, all the way down to the cooperative members, in other words,
everybody.  Everybody is going to get something, perhaps it might be very
little, but the good thing is that everybody will get something; and nobody
will be turned away with empty hands.  (Applause)   This is the thing that
constitutes our effort in this respect.

We of course should not talk about the miracle of suddenly coming up
with millions of pesos because that would be self-deception.  This was one
of the issues which I wanted to explain here.  Within 2 or 3 days, we are
going to give this small bonus, a bonus for everybody!  (Applause)

Cheaper Toys

And here are some other things which I want to clarify.  Every effort
has been made to purchase toys and these toys are going to be cheaper than
in the past.  (Applause)

We have also a tremendous poultry output for Christmas.  We already
have 400,000 frozen chickens and we have 50,000 turkeys on the way to the
slaughterhouses, along with several dozen hogs.  Last time, we indicated
that the egg shortage would develop around the middle of the month and now
that deadline would seem to be postponed another 10 or 15 days.  The
difference is not very great but it is my duty to explain this here,
likewise.  I want to make this point here because everything is going to
our heart's content as far as our population plans are concerned.
Moreover, we want this to be the best Christmas ever and we want to the
people to have greater purchasing power because we now have something like
200,000 more people working, ever since the triumph of the revolution.

Now, these small bonuses will nevertheless add up to several million
pesos more which are going to be circulating all over the country and we
made every effort to see to it that there would be enough merchandise to
purchase for this extra money in circulation.

Worker Circles

The other thing we have to take up here is the problem of the workers
social circles and the children's circles; this is another reason why we
have met here today; and this is an initiative -- now, don't you go
thinking that I am going to talk a lot about that, I will be very brief on
this -- as I said, this is an initiative which is already in full swing.
You are well informed on it; but, basically, I want to introduce some new
information here and explain something about what we are doing here; I
tried to do this in the beginning but then I had to go into other things,
because these points came up at the time and I wanted to take them up when
they came up; and so this particular issue was left for last.

To put it very simply, the social circles are the expression of a new
reality in our country.  In the past, who had social circles?  Who had
festivities?  Who had clubs?  Who had an opportunity to engage in sports?
Who went to all of the competitions and contests and so forth?  Who went
swimming?  Finally, who had an opportunity to do all that?  A minority of
the people:  those who had the money.

In all cities and towns and settlements, they had these social
facilities.  But neither the sugar cane worker nor the sugar mill worker at
the plantation or at the refinery were able to avail themselves of the
facilities of these social installations; this was a privileged society all
over the country.  In all towns and settlements, there was discrimination
in these social facilities; these were social facilities for the rich and
the poor of course had no means of recreation and no opportunities for
engaging in sports.

Of course, everybody knows that the rich are not great athletes.  Cuba
used to play a ridiculous role in any international competition.  In the
Olympics, for instance, it was a shame to see what a place Cuba occupied
because those people, who were accustomed to living so well, had no spirit
of sacrifice for becoming good athletes.  The good athletes must come from
the people; the good athletes must come from the working classes; the good
athletes must come from the humble classes of the people because they are
capable of making sacrifices, of being constant, of being tenacious, of
having all of the enthusiasm and interest that is necessary for competing
and for winning.  In addition, the big athletes simply must come from the

But the people here did not engage in sports; sports were for the
"young gentlemen"; in general, the only poor citizens who learned to play
ball or to engage in sports, in those days, were to be found, for example,
at the sugar plantations and refineries; that is where we got our ball
players from because that is the only place where they had an opportunity
to get their hands on a bat and ball and there they more or less had to
become members of the team; and then, after a long and rough
apprenticeship, they finally reached the major leagues.

In other words, we had athletes coming up from the people only in some
fields of sports, we had some boxers, for instance.  But they did not come
up in any large-scale volume; there was no mass of athletes coming from
the people.  We propose to develop sports along with artistic, cultural,
and athletic activities for the people as a whole; we want to give the
people recreation and relaxation centers.  In other words, we want to bring
to the people something that in the past was the exclusive property of a
minority, in other words, we had a very small group of highly placed
families in Cuba who concentrated on these activities.

This gave rise to the idea of creating the workers social circles.  The
first workers social circle was the Cubanacan circle; it is older, I
believe, than the Baltimore circle.  I do not exactly recall what it was
called.  But this is how the first social circle was created; we made our
first attempts along these lines and we set up our first objectives; and
then the idea began to snowball and now it is a reality; and it was
certainly helped along by the enthusiasm with which our comrade Minister of
Labor and the comrades of the Revolutionary CTC tackled this effort.

Next year we are going to create 300 workers social circles.  We have
several hundred comrades from the construction industry, works foremen, who
are studying plans and who have been working on this for a number of days
now.  In January we are going to launch the construction of 300 workers
social circles.  (Applause).  Furthermore, we are going to create
children's circles.  (Applause)

Sliding Membership Fee Scale

Let me explain what I mean by that.  The fundamental problem, in the
workers circles and the children's circles, was how to support these
centers.  At the Cubanacan circle, we set up a membership fee, a kind of
sliding scale but whenever you set up a membership fee, there is the
problem of collecting it; and this takes a kind of machine or apparatus to
collect the fees.  There is, or instance, the case of the rather inactive
member who does not pay his dues and in the end you have to establish a
very complicated mechanism for this.  And then we have the case of the
casual laborer who sometimes did not work for one, two, or three months at
a time; some months he would pay his dues and some months he would not; and
that was also a problem.

On the other hand, we could not possibly think of establishing new
contribution requirements because the people, the workers, still cannot
understand the extraordinary benefits which they can derive from their
social circles.  This whole thing might even look like an extra burden on
the workers.  And so we planned various moves; one initiative which was
taken by the comrades of the CTC was to work on a holiday, in other words,
they were going to put in one day's work on a day on which they were not
obligated to work on their jobs, and they wanted to contribute that day to
the social circles; we thought of the 7th, but the meeting for the 6th was
postponed until today; and so there were no more discussions on this with
the mass of the people concerned; nobody explained this in greater detail;
nobody discussed this with the people and we suggested that we ought to
find some other formula for discussing this.

The Finance Commission studied various proposals.  We certainly want
this problem resolved, that is, the problem of how to take care of the
economic aspects of the workers social circles and the children's circles;
we thought we had found a formula which we now want to present you here
since you represent all of the unions throughout the country.

But, before I go any further, I would like to explain the purpose
behind the creation of the children's circles, side by side with the
workers' circles.  The workers' circles will be places where you are going
to have libraries, athletic centers, and we are going to have physical
education instructors, sports coaches, in other words, we are going to
cover all kinds of recreational facilities, festivities, cultural
activities, artistic activities, libraries, in other words, all of these
activities which help improve the life of the workers on their days off, on
their holidays.  And we are going to coordinate all this with a national
program of tourism and vacations.  We are studying a plan for the
scheduling of our vacations; instead of having a vacation of one month each
year we are going to have 20 days every 7 months.  (Applause)  We know, for
example, that many workers in the United States get just one week of
vacation each year; during the first 2 years, they get no vacation at all.
We are going to be able to give everybody 20 days of vacation every 7

Bonus Vacations

But, in addition, we are studying a plan for all nationalized
industries under which we would grant special bonuses amounting to 1 week
of paid vacation for the worker and his family; this would be a reward for
workers who are outstanding in their work; it would be a prize for their
correct conduct on the job.  (Applause)  But, we want to tie the workers'
social circles in with all of the tourist centers throughout the country.
Now, why do we want this?  Every worker, who is a member of a workers'
social circle -- when he goes on vacation, for example -- should be able to
find a very pretty little cabin in any tourist center; now, if he is a
worker, for example, he makes 90 pesos and that cabin costs 4 pesos; now,
under this plan, he would pay 2 pesos -- no more; in other words, he would
only pay 50% of the cost.  (Applause)

And so, we are going to set up a rate schedule.  Now, what happens in
the case of a tourist center here?  Well, let us assume that we sometimes
have a house, a big cabin, perhaps, or two housing units, which are made
available at a price in keeping with the cost, for example, 8 pesos or
let's say 6 pesos; and motels would cost 5 pesos.  All right, comparing
this to the old prices in the past, these would be very low rates; but
they would still be beyond the reach of a worker who makes 90 pesos or
perhaps 120 pesos.  How can we solve this problem?  Well, very simply, we
can solve it by establishing a rate schedule.  Anybody who can pay, anybody
who has a large income, anybody who makes 300 or 400 pesos, will pay 8
pesos or 6 pesos, as the case may be; but if a worker makes less, then it
is only fair that he should pay less.

This is the sort of thing we want to organize, for example, through the
workers social circles.  All of the tourist centers will have hotel
facilities where a worker will be able to go for just one peso.  Now, what
happens if he wants to spend a whole week there?  Well, that will cost him
7 pesos.

Now, take a worker who makes 90 pesos; he can go to those hotels with
his workers' social circle membership card and he will pay 50 centavos.
(Applause)  And if he comes with his family, the reduced rates will be the
same in the hotels; everybody will be able to get meals at popular prices.
And there will be reduced rates on sleeping sites, as well as in all of the
hotels and motels and roadside inns.  You might have a worker from a sugar
plantation or from any of the nationalized sugar refineries, and he might
come to Havana; he might want to go to the hotel "Habana Libre"; or he
might want to go to the "Hotel Nacional"; the rate might, for example, be 5
pesos; well, he shows his membership card and he gets his correspondingly
reduced rates, in other words, a reduction of 50% or 40%.  Now, suppose he
brings his family -- well, the same thing applies in that case.

Very soon, membership in the workers' social circle will tell the
workers just how much they can save in terms of reduced rates; when a
worker makes less than 100 pesos, he will get a reduction of 50%; if he
makes between 100 and 150, he will get a reduction of 40%; if he makes
between 150 and 200 pesos, he will get a reduction of 30%; if he makes
between 200 and 300 pesos, he will get a 20% reduction; and if he makes
more than 300 pesos and if he is a member of a workers' social circle, he
will have a 10% reduction.

In other words, all of the foremen, all of the public employees, all of
the members of the armed forced, all workers are going to get these
benefits.  Let us take the case of a comrade police officer who makes 115
or 120 pesos; he goes to a Workers' social circle, he gets married, he goes
on his honeymoon, and he decides he wants to spend 3 days at Varadero or in
Cienaga de Zapata; and he goes to a motel where the rates are 4 pesos.
What kind of reduction would he get there?  Well, he would get about 40%.
Now, if he is also a full-fledged member of the Workers' social circle
(applause), how much would he have to pay then?  Well, he would have to pay
2.40 pesos for that motel room; and all he would have to do is show his
workers' social circle membership card.

This is one of the advantages; in addition, he can attend all of the
fiestas and festivities and go to all the beaches.  A member of a workers'
social circle is a member of all of the circles throughout the island; he
can go to the "Cubanacan" he can go to the "Marti," or to the "Camilo
Cienfuegos" Children's recreation centers; he can go to any workers'
social circle.  If he wants to go to the one that is nearest his home, if
he wants to go to the beach with his family, regardless of what he wants to
do, he will have all of the same benefits which all of the other members of
the "Cubanacan" circle have there.

Furthermore, the workers' social circles will extraordinarily emphasize
the development of sports and cultural activities among the workers and the
people.  Our circles will not exclude anybody.  Assuming you have a rich
fellow there -- and we have quite a few rich people left -- assuming he
wants to join, assuming there is a rich fellow who wants to join this
workers' social circle, well, we will have a special rate for him.  For a
certain membership fee, he can be a member; the workers' social circles are
not snobbish; they will even let the rich in.

And so we are going to develop cultural and sports activities
extraordinarily.  All of the festivities, regardless of what type they may
be, just so long as they are moral and decent, will promoted in this
fashion; I am saying this because the people on the public beaches have
demonstrated that they have a lot of decency and that they know how to
behave properly -- much better than those who said that the people had no
decency; they said that the people had no decency (applause) and they said
that the people are a "rabble," they said the people are a "mob"; but the
people on the public beaches have demonstrated that they can behave much
more properly; and in the workers' social circles, all of this would be
much more proper and much nicer.  But we are not going to institute the
kind of complete puritanism which would mean that you would not have any
festivities at all or you could not even have a beer; of course, these
festivities and parties and so forth will be confined to Saturday and
Sunday; and on Sunday, they will have to break up at 1800.  And so
everything will be properly regulated.

Now, next year, where are we going to celebrate our Christmas and our
New Year?  In our 300 workers' social circles -- which we will have by next
year!  (Applause)  Furthermore, many workers will work in the social
circles; there will be many teachers and many physical education
instructors and other people who will guide the members in artistic and
sports activities.  These social circles will create jobs for thousands of

Children's Circles

Along with the workers' social circles, we are going to set up
children's circles.  Now, what are these children's circles?  Very simply,
we wanted to give them this name, something like the name we gave to the
people's farms; these are the farms where the children are going to work
and engage in various activities; these will be the children's farms; now,
following up on this idea of the people's farms, we thought we ought to
call these school centers, this area for child advancement, by the name of
children's farms; comrade Augusto Martinez then suggested that, since these
were actually child-level worker circles, we ought to call them children's
circles.  And we thought that it was a very good idea to call them
children's circles.

Now, what is a children's circle?  Let me explain.  You know, there are
many women, many wives of workers, many working women who have children; in
these cases, the child becomes a real tragedy for the working woman who
has to go out and make a living.  If they have a modest income, they need
somebody to take care of the child.  And a considerable portion of their
income goes for that purpose; or they have to give up their job and they
might even have to do something that is even more bitter:  they might have
to give up the idea of having children.  Now, many families do not have
children because the woman must work and would not have any time to take
care of the children and she does not have place to take the children

Yes, they did set up magnificent nurseries!  The city has some.  But
the people who are well off have no problems.  What do the families, which
are well off, do?  What do the rich families do?  They may have 1, 2, or 3
children because they have 1, 2, or 3 domestic servants; and I want you to
know that there are homes here, around the country club, which used to
belong to people who have left Cuba; and they had as many as 5 domestic
servants in those houses.

Now, how could a working woman who gets married and whose husband
works, how could a woman like that, who has a job, how could she ever have
children?  She certainly could not afford 2 domestic servants.  Many times
she could not even pay for part-time domestic servants.  The
counterrevolutionaries, who suffer so much as a result of all the things
which the revolution does, they have set themselves the task of inventing
the problem of the "all-powerful fatherland"; whenever the revolution does
something, they suffer a lot and so they begin to invest problems of a
religious or sentimental nature and problems of all kinds.  One of these
absurd things concerns the question of what we are going to do.  Well, here
is what we said:  we are going to take the enterprises away from the
monopolies; we are going to take the land away from the big landowners; we
are going to take the privileges away from the privileged.  All right, they
knew that the people was very much in agreement with that.

Protection for the Family

And after they had been deprived of all this, they said:  "now the
revolution is going to take the children away from the parents."  This of
course is absurd.  First of all they said:  "this is a Communist
government."   And then they said:  "this Communist government will take
the children away from the family because it is an enemy of the family."

In other words, they have made up a story about Communism and now they
apply it to us.  This entire campaign which they have launched against
Communism is quite odd; they have presented Communism as an enemy of the
family; it would be interesting to take a look at some Soviet films that
are now being shown here in Havana.  (Applause)

First of all, we have heard it said that no Communist country ever has
taken any children away from anybody; so, I want to make that point, first
of all; second, we have seen a number of Soviet motion pictures which are
certainly worth seeing -- with all due respect to the archbishops, I am
here indeed saying something in favor of a Soviet motion picture; I do not
know whether I am committing a sin by doing this, perhaps a very serious
sin; but I certainly hope that they will forgive me for saying this.

No art can produce that which does not exist.  Art cannot be invented,
nor can it be faked.  It would be very good if they were to compare some of
these Soviet movies with some of the American movies.  I have seen some of
these movies, for instance, "The Destiny of a Man," or "A Serious Thing";
in these movies, the central issue is the life of the child, a particular
child; I can say very sincerely that I have never seen a movie as
thoroughly human as this movie, and the other one; both of them were very
deep and profound, very brotherly and full of human sentiment; the Yankee
motion picture industry could never turn out a movie like that.  (Applause)

Savage Yankee Movies

The most savage movies, the most inhuman movies, movies full of scenes
of killing of Indians by white men; killing of Africans by white men; an
apologia for crime, an apologia for egotism, an apologia for gangsterism;
that's what we have here; the most savage movies, the most inhuman and the
most mentality-disturbing movies that affect both the adults and the
teenager and the children -- those movies are undoubtedly the Yankee
movies.  But we here have had an opportunity to see Soviet movies, because
they used to be prohibited; and I simply want to say here that we have
never seen movies of such profound human depth here before; I would like to
urge everybody to see these movies because the people are the only judge in
this respect; these would certainly help dispel all of these lies and
falsehoods which we have been getting here about those Soviet movies all
over the years.  (Applause)

Many people accept these lies out of ignorance or lack of perspective
or lack of judgement in analyzing these things and judging them.  First of
all, we have never heard any talk of any socialist countries in which
children were taken away from their parents.  Second, we made this
revolution with methods that were quite peculiar to our own environment,
methods of our own, in other words, with a style that was very much our
own.  Among others, we have the habit of always telling the people the
truth with all frankness and absolute honesty.

The counterrevolution is only interested in such questions as:  how can
we confuse everybody?  how can we plant fear?  How can we agitate
everybody's imagination?  Well, we are going to tell them here and now that
nobody is going to take anybody's children away. First of all, the very
first thing we did was to give thousands of children a home, a place to
stay; those were the kids who used to go around the streets begging; there
were no families to take care of them; nobody gave them a bed and nobody
gave them a decent home.

Second, the revolution has been helping the children even of those men
who fought against us, men who came to fight against us, and who died
fighting against us; we have helped those families and those homes and
those children. The revolution has given this to all children of Cuba; it
has provided teachers in even the most out of the way places in the
mountains, so that we can teach the children and so that we can also teach
the parents; we have built a school city in the Sierra Maestra region.  One
of the great concerns of the revolution has been aid to children; we give
aid to those children who never have had anything; we give them schools and
recreation centers and we provide a means of livelihood for their parents
and them.  And the revolution can compare its work with the egotistic
society in which we lived; the revolution not only wants to protect the
child but it also wants to protect the rights of human beings to have
children (Applause) and to be parents.

The Poor Could Not Afford To Have Children

The egotistical society in which we lived took away something more; it
deprived millions of humble persons of the right to bring children into the
world, the right to have children.  (Applause)   The cruel society in which
we lived, for instance prevented a domestic servant from having children;
the cruel society in which we lived for instance prevented a working woman,
with a modest income, from having children, the cruel society in which we
lied would deprive a widow of the right to work because, if she was a
humble widow, she would not have anybody with whom to leave the children so
that she could go out and get a job.  (Applause)  And it subjected that
woman to the worst possible situation and it confronted her with the worst
possible problems.

That was the cruel society in which we lived, which forced many mothers
to leave their children to welfare because they had no place else to take
them and because they could not bring them up properly.  (Applause)  In the
inhuman and cruel society in which we lived, only the rich had the right to
have children the easy way; the poor, who had children, paid for this with
misery; they paid for it with the pain of having to see their children
walking around without shoes; they paid for it with the pain of having to
see their children under nourished; they paid for it with the pain of
having to see their children deprived of medical care, they paid for it
with the pain of having to see them sick and living in unhygienic
conditions; they paid for this with the pain of having to see them dying of
epidemics, gastroenteritis, and typhoid fever.  Who does not recall the
thousands upon thousands of children who died of epidemics in the rural
areas alone?

The cruel society in which we live, in the name of whose privileged the
revolution is now accused of trying to deprive parents of their children
-- it was that cruel and inhuman society which assassinated the children of
the humble families, which forced them to give their children away to
welfare and which deprived millions of women of the sacred right and the
human right and the natural right of having children and becoming mothers.

In the name of that cruel and egotistical society, they now try to
confuse the people and they try to confuse the revolution which has
consecrated the right of mothers to have children; which has consecrated
the right of the humble to have children; which has guaranteed the humble
family the right to bear healthy children; which has guaranteed life to all
children of Cuban families because each life the revolution saves, each
child which it saves, will be saved by those doctors who go to all those
hospitals, and these doctors have been specially assigned to those families
and to the task of saving these mothers.  The revolution guarantees every
Cuban woman the right to be a mother:  (Applause)  This is not only the
right of the rich women; it is the right of the humble women, the working
women, who cannot afford four domestic servants nor even one, to take care
of their children.

This is precisely what the social circles are going to be:  a place
where any woman who works and has a child, will be able to take that child
while she works and then she can pick him up after work.  Can a domestic
servant, who makes 30 pesos, have children?  Yes!

No More Giving Children Up for Adoption

Now, let us take the case of a domestic servant who has a child.  Is
she going to have to give up the child?  No.  In the past, she had to take
the child to the welfare society -- or, worse than that, she could not have
any child to begin with. Can she have a child now?  Yes.  In the morning
she takes the child to the children's circle and then she goes on to work;
in the afternoon, she picks up him again.  How much will it cost for a
child there, where the child gets food and medical attention and where it
will be living under hygienic conditions and where it will be getting good
food?  How much will it cost a working woman who makes less than 40 pesos?
Well, it will cost her 10 centavos per day.  (Applause)  Now, figuring on
20 working days, she would be paying 2 pesos.  Any mother would gladly pay
2 pesos a month or perhaps 2.50 a month, to avoid having to take her child
to the welfare society.  (Applause)

Let us assume she makes more than 40 and less than 60.  How much would
she pay then?  Well she would pay 20 centavos per day.  If she makes more
than 60, but less than 80 -- well, she would pay 30 centavos per day.  If
she makes more than 80 but less than 100, she would pay 40 centavos per
day.  If she makes more than 100 but less than 120, she would pay 50
centavos.  If she makes between 120 and 130, she pays 60 centavos.  If she
makes between 130 and 140, she pays 70 centavos.  If she makes between 140
and 150 pesos, she pays 80 centavos.  If she makes more than 150 pesos, she
pays 1 peso.  The service which that modest girl, who makes 40 to 35 pesos,
is worth much more than the 2.50 pesos a month which she pays; it is worth
15 or 20 pesos. This is the kind of aid she gets.  This is what guarantees
mothers the right to have children.  Otherwise, she would have to hire
somebody to take care of the child but that would cost much more, because
she would also have to pay all of the expenses, all of the food for the
child, plus medical expenses and medication; in other words, these are all
the things which she now gets from the children's circle, where the
children will stay up to the age of 5 or 6, until they are old enough to go
to school.  In those places, they will get all of the attention they need;
they will be able to play games -- and they will be a great weight off the
chests of the mothers.  Now, you all tell me whether or not this is a great
service that we are rendering to the families and to the mothers of Cuba?

So much for the children's circles.  We would really be remiss, if we
did not tackle this task.  We would not be accomplishing anything through
our workers social circles if we did not solve this problem for the working
women.  This, of course, is an extraordinary service for the people; tens
of thousands of women will be thankful for this. There will be mothers who
will be brining 2 or 3 children there; a mother who has 3 children under
the age of 5 can take them there.  If she is a humble woman, if she has a
small income, she will pay much less for her children there; she can leave
them there while she goes to work and in the evening on the way home she
can pick them up again.  These are the children's circles.  In other words,
we are going to organize the workers social circles and the children's
circles together.

But, of course, all of this costs money; the 10 centavos we get from
these mothers will not be enough.  We have a number of projects for setting
up an economic organization here. The money will have to come from
somewhere.  The workers social circles will also have an income during the
various fiestas, from their lunches, etc, in other words, they will have
various sources of revenue.  But that money will not be enough either.  Let
us imagine for example, that we have 300 children's circles which cost us
something like 2,000 pesos a month; that would give us something like 6
million pesos per year.  Ten or 20 centavos would not add up to enough
here.  Perhaps the only mother who really pays her way is the one who makes
more than 150 or more than 140 pesos and she pays for what the service is
worth; but all the others who make less than 100 pesos and even less than
120 pesos will pay less than what the service is worth -- and that means
that we are going to have to look for some money somewhere.  We will need
millions of pesos; we will have to make investments in construction
projects and we are all going to have to look for various resources
elsewhere; we are going to see if we can mobilize the resources of the
adjustment fund which currently supports the nurseries; we are going to
see what government resources we can mobilize; but we will still need more
money and the amount we will need will not be small if we want to push this

As I said before, the membership fees are a big problem here; some
people pay them some of the time and others do not and this will require a
rather expensive dues collection mechanism.  More contributions for the
social circles would constitute a serious burden on the budget of the
workers.  And, so, what are we going to do?  Well, there is one possible
solution and this is a solution which I would now like to propose to you.

Three for Industries and One for the Circles

We are just about to finish the first year of the 4% contribution for
industrialization.  This means that all of you have made a contribution
which will be converted into bonds which in about 4 years will begin to
yield interest.  Many people thought that this problem of industrialization
would drag on and that they would not get anything; however, what everybody
contributed during this first year of the 4% contribution, will, at the end
of the 5th year, begin to pay interest, in other words, in 4 years from now
because we have already one year behind us.

There were some movements that were inclined to renounce this idea and
we oppose them; we did not want this right to be renounced.  Why?  Because
we want everybody to continue to have faith in the revolution -- that is
all we are concerned with here.  This contribution was a sacrifice on the
part of the people and if somebody now promotes a slogan to the effect that
this sacrifice and its benefits should be renounced -- well then,
certainly, this will cause the people to lose faith in the initiatives of
the revolutionary government.  The revolutionary government said that this
would be a contribution toward industrialization, that the interest would
be 7.5%, compound interest, that is!  And the government wants to honor its
word and it wants to keep its promise!  (Applause)  This is something
like money in the bank.

All right, now, the proposal which I would like to present here now is
this:  instead of 4%, we ought to earmark 3% for industrialization and the
remaining 1% for the workers' social circles and the children's circles.

This does not imply any great sacrifice for industrialization because,
as a result of our nationalized industries, we will have more resources for
industrialization; our industrialization plans are going ahead on schedule
although we cannot speed them up, even if we had money, because we have to
draw up the projects, and there is a series of efforts which we must
accomplish first and which will require time.  This is why the
industrialization plans will not suffer in any way.

And so we might dedicate 3% to industrialization and the remaining 1%
we would be turning all of the workers who contribute 4%, into members of
the workers' social circles, and they would not have to pay any other dues.

This would apply as of 1 January, assuming that you agree (shouts from
the audience:  "Yes!") and then we would not have to spend any money on
collecting these dues because they would be collected by the social
security bank.  As of 1 January, all of you would be members of the
workers' social circles and you would have a right to apply for your
membership card, with all of the advantages that I mentioned earlier.

In other words, the revolution has begun to turn over one-quarter of
that contribution to the working class already; now, this leaves 3% for
industrialization, as of 1 January, and 1%, which will mean that you can
receive the extraordinary benefits of the workers' social circles and the
children's circles.

And we will have the funds available to put thousands of men to work,
building these circles; we will also have thousands of jobs for people who
can then be employed in these circles in order to provide all kinds of
services for the entire working class.  But these membership cards will
signify something more:  they will signify the right to special prices and
rates at all tourist centers, for cabins, motels, and hotel rooms.  In
other words, once this entire situation is operational, you will certainly
get an idea of all of the services and benefits you can avail yourselves of

Now, what do we do next?  Well we ought to tackle the task of promoting
the social circles energetically -- and I am talking here about the
secretaries of all the unions, the commissioners on all of the city
councils, the lady comrades in the Fedration of Cuban Women (applause), and
the men and women comrades in the Young Rebels (applause); and they must be
aided in this by the comrades in the construction industry federation
(applause); this is the task we have for them.  And I something else to
propose here:  the Latin American Olympics are schedule for 1962; we have
to send a team to these Olympics, a team made up of workers, to represent
the workers, and we have to win a dignified place for our fatherland and
for our people at these Olympics!  (Applause)

Two Creative Goals

In these 300 circles, we are going to begin with athletic fields; and I
would like now to propose that we accomplish the goal, next year, of having
300 workers' social circles functioning, along with an equivalent number of
children's social circles; this means that we will have two great tasks for
next year -- I am saying, two great tasks, but we are going to have more;
we are going to have to fight against the counterrevolution, among others;
but at any rate, we will have two great creative tasks or goals.  In the
midst of the struggle, we are going to accomplish these goals; there are
two big victories which we are going to win here and we are going to win
them in spite of the counterrevolution; we are gong to win in spite of the
fact that the counterrevolution wants to sabotage the efforts of the
revolution.  This does not matter to us; we will build as we march; we will
build under fire; we will build under imperialist aggression; and we will
continue to push on!  (Applause) They will not force us to give ground!

Next year we are going to wipe out illiteracy!  Next year, there will
not be a single illiterate left in Cuba!  (Applause)  We can already see
how this struggle is going to go; we will make our maximum effort from the
very first moment on, and if that is not enough, then we will mobilize more
teachers and we will make an even bigger effort; we will mobilize the whole
people to fight against illiteracy, just as we mobilized the militia, and
we will win that battle, that great historical battle; and we will create
300 workers social circles and we will create the first children's circles,
for the benefit of the families and the mothers of Cuba.

These are the goals we must accomplish next year.  And I want you all
to remember that the revolution has accomplished all of its goals and that
the revolution has accomplished and will accomplish all of its purposes!