Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana CMQ Television Network in Spanish 1735 GMT 9 April 1961--F

(Live concluding lecture of the cycle "Education and Revolution," by
Premier Fidel Castro)

(Summary) The problem of revolution and education can be viewed from the
theoretical and practical point of view. There can be no revolution without
education because a revolution means profound changes in the life of a
country. The first problem for the revolution concerns the fight and defeat
of the old ideas and traditions and prejudices. The revolutionary ideas
must make headway and become understood by the people. Previously there
were many topics that could not be discussed. Certain concepts had acquired
the character of a dogma which could not be questioned.

The revolution questioned all these dogmas and conventional truths which we
would better call lies. The revolution started with a revision of all these
lies. Any citizen may compare what he knew before January 1959 with what he
knows now. He will have to admit to having learned much during the last two
years--above all, because of the speed involved in the learning process
during a revolution. We who have had the responsibility for the
revolutionary process would have also have to admit that we have learned
very much.

When we started the armed fight, virtually none of us had any knowledge. We
have learned much from experience. Our experience today, after having
solved many problems, is very much greater than it was at the start, but we
had good will and sincerely wished to comply with out duty. On the other
hand, there is no university career specializing in government, because
government is such a difficult and complete matter. Many times, the
government in our country was in the hands of people who did not lack
education but integrity--unscrupulous politicians who controlled the
government and who did not know the problems and did not want to solve
them. At least we had the intention of solving these problems in the hope
that we would gain experience in the process.

We have tried to enrich the people's experience with our own and we have
learned from the people. We have learned much more from the people than we
have taught to them. We have learned much merely by talking to physicians,
teachers, workers, and farmers in respect to the apprehensions, wishes, and
aspirations of the people.

The masses of the people have acquired political knowledge which they did
not have prior to the revolution. The people were very ignorant of
international problems. We got our information only from North American
news agencies, and North American magazines and books. Our newspapers were
at the service of North American interests.

We understand now how many lies and how much poison were foisted on the
people. It is odd to read the atrocity reports published abroad and the
impressions gained from them by people who are visiting us in Cuba. They
received the impression that we have chaos and a state of civil war. When
they come here, they see order, happiness and enthusiasm. They contrast the
situation here with that of former years and with the situation in other
countries. Those cable agencies are not merely sources of information; they
are also commentators who slant the news according to the convenience of
the imperialists. For many years, our country lived virtually isolated from
the world.

African Image

Cuba did not play any role in international affairs. It was a small island
which many considered as a "key" adjacent to Florida. The North American
universities are very deficient. They have a kind of Hollywood culture with
gangster stories, westerns, sex films and so on. For example, in their
films they represent the Africans as savages. African educated people and
professionals are not portrayed. They never speak of the culture of Africa.
How much poison have we not absorbed in our infancy and adolescent years!
There are a few independent North American companies which make movies that
criticize the social order and the evils of the society in which they live.
But so great is the boycott and the power of the monopolistic movie
companies that they virtually suppress films of that type. There are some
movies that are good and instructive. For example, the movies of Charlie
Chaplin, the revolutionary artist, were instructive. They virtually
expelled Chaplin from the United States.

Who wants to get an idea of the cultural degradation and distortion merely
has to look at the truculent titles of these films. Imaging the influence
of which these pictures on the savages of Africa and the cowboys of the
west have on the North American students. They read about the white men
assassinating redskins--the redskins whom they are persecuting today are
the revolutionaries.

Here in Cuba, the Platt Amendment lasted many years. Afterwards, the
constitutional form was changed, but the amendment continued in force. The
United States established a law of de facto intervention. There was no need
for a Platt Amendment in Haiti, Santo Domingo, Nicaragua and Mexico. The
United States merely claimed the right of intervention. They landed their
marines. They exerted their influence through the iron control of countries
depending on the market of the United States. It was for this reason that
the Latin American countries called a conference in which they agreed to
condemn economic aggression and to regard it as a type of political
aggression. The agreement had no practical value because the imperialists
do not observe the laws and norms of international law and ethics.

The commotions which have affected the entire world and the life in the
United States in recent years have led to a greater American student
interest. Only recently, our country became known as a sovereign and
independent country, after the victory of the revolution. Even among the
American republics, Cuba was not considered an international reality. It
was considered a Yankee or pro-Yankee island. The Cubans themselves
considered themselves unimportant in the world, without vote or voice. In
the United Nations, they voted in accordance with the wishes of the North
American delegate. The same happened in the OAS.

Historical Revolution

After the victory, our people have taken a great interest in international
questions. We began to understand what the United States is; what
imperialism means; and what a country is like whose wealth, resources and
industry are controlled by foreign monopolies. Through our suffering, we
have learned the history of the revolutions. It is interesting to read the
books of the French revolution and the Russian revolution in order to see
that their problems are also our own. The problems of the French revolution
do not give goose pimples to anybody today, the feudal nobility and the
monarchy have disappeared. At that time, the parasitic class of the blue
bloods tried to prevent the rise of the new class of merchants,
industrialists, and workers. Of course, the clergy at that time was allied
with the blue-blooded people. It was at that time that the blue blood of
Germany, Austria, Poland, Russia and other countries made war on France in
support of the Bourbons.

The revolutionaries of that time were forced, in order to defend
themselves, to make use of the guillotine. This started the campaign
against the guillotine and the terror of the revolution.

The same happened with the Russian revolution. Foreign interest had bought
in Russia petroleum wells, coal and iron mines, public services and banks.
The revolution was not only directed against the decadent system of the
monarchy--which was a monarchic system in which the blue blood had
associated with those of orgeat blood, owner of mines, and industrialists.
It was directed against the privileged classes and against the segments who
controlled the political and economic development of the country at the
expense of peasants and workers. Again the same happened--all those who had
orgeat blood in the world joined with the blue blood against the socialist
revolution--the workers and the peasants.

In Spain, the reactionary forces--the priests, nobility, industrialists,
and finance capital--could not have defeated the Spanish people, but they
were allied with the Hitlerian tanks and planes and with fascist
divisions--all fighting against the heroic Spanish people in the midst of
general indifference by the well-to-do in France, England and the United
States. The later did not want a social revolution in Spain. They
established a committee of nonintervention. At the same time, they sent
arms to the enemies of the Spanish people.

Whenever a social revolution occurs in one country, the ruling classes in
the other countries react against that social revolution.

Where is the reaction against the Cuban people? All reactionary governments
in the world are against us. All governments of politicians and thieves are
against us. All the governments of estate owners and exploiters of Indians
and Negroes and farm workers area against us. All the administrators of all
oil, mine, electric power monopolies anywhere in the world are against us.
All these reactionaries and the militarists at the Pentagon, the
Interamerican Defense Broad, the United Nations, the OAS, and the
Interamerican Press Association and all reactionary international
organizations are against the Cuban revolution. No politician wants to lose
political control and no military case wants to be replaced by a
revolutionary army, no estate owner wants an agrarian reform. No oil
company or mine monopoly wants nationalization.

Colonialists Support Yankees

We are experiencing what had occurred during the French and Russian
revolutions and what is happening now in the Chinese revolution: We are
passing through the stage of isolation and blockade by international
reaction. When the Cuban delegate makes a proposal, the Yankee delegate
proposes something else. All colonialists countries are for the Yankees.
They are disguising their form of colonial domination. The colonial powers
seek out groups representative of the economic interests of one small
segment of a country, give them scholarships and indoctrinate them and then
have them elected presidents and leaders of those countries which are no
longer colonies in name. In fact, they are dominated by the colonialist

The methods vary. We see that in the criminal and unjust intervention in
the Congo, which is a humiliation for Africa. Although the assassination of
Lumumba, ought to have resulted in the complete solidarity of all African
governments, this has not happened. In a number of republics recently
installed by the British and French colonialists and other European
countries, a group of people trained and indoctrinated by the imperialists
is in the government amidst the masses who have no voting rights and who
are illiterate. Those are really colonies ruled by people with a
colonialist mentality, although the countries are nominally independent.

The policy of the imperialists and colonialists in the United Nations is to
turn a great part of their territories into pseudorepublics, in order to
obtain more votes in the United Nations. All the governments of thieves
vote against the Cuban revolution. All colonialist and imperialist
countries vote against Cuba. All governments in which the blue-blooded and
orgeat-blooded people prevail vote against Cuba. We are surrounded
virtually by reactionary oligarchies in which money and monopolies have the
upper hand. Their policy toward Cuba is identical to that of the
international reaction against the French, Russian, and Chinese

The people are learning in their own flesh the lessons of history. I
believe that today no American college student ignores that Cuba is
completely independent. At least they should know that we exist in the
geography of the world. The fact that our country has acquired prestige in
the world can only be denied by the cable agencies. They are trying to
influence the low income groups among the people with lies and
inventions--fantastic stories. But where does the support of the revolution
come from? Who are the members of the committees of solidarity with the
Cuban revolution? Not the magnates and not the Yankee monopolies. But the
workers of the lowest income group may very well be their members. There
are no estate owners or millionaries, or intellectuals sold to the
monopolies, but farmers, workers, honest students and people are found
there--patriots and anti-imperialists.

The victims of the oppressors and the Negroes of Africa are with the
revolution. All humanitarians are with the revolution. All the
contrabandists are our enemies. All the gangsters are our enemies. All the
drug and narcotics peddlers are our enemies. All the dealers and peddlers
are our enemies. All the owners of monopolies and oil wells are our
enemies. All intellectual mercenaries are our enemies. But there are North
American writer who sympathize with the revolution.

Hired Propagandists

Who is against us? All the people who can be bought by money. We would not
think of mercenaries to defend us. Would anyone want to buy Jules Dubois?
Nobody would buy him, even if he offers to come for nothing. This would be
repulsive, immoral, and improper. The international reaction buys everybody
who is for sale. All the writers for imperialism are in its pay--hired
help. The revolution would not buy one single pen. In the Department of
State and the central office of the intriguers and cretins headed by Allen
Dulles, everybody who is for sale is being bought. They have various pay
scales. We have an abundance of books here, all kinds of books for 15, 20
and 25 centavos. What paper is used for that? The paper which was formerly
allocated to newspapers that shut down or went broke. Why? They made
propaganda for the reaction. They earned thousands of pesos in checks and
cash sent to the directors.

Another means of bribery was the advertising with which the great
monopolies paid this press. A power company did not have any competition
here. It did not need any advertising, nevertheless, it spent large sums,
millions on advertisements. The telephone company was another monopoly. It
invested 2 or 3 millions in the press which served its interests. What a
fraud and injustice toward the people when all newspapers, magazines, and
radio stations carry songs of praise for such a company or monopoly. Such
things occur everywhere and such methods were used to buy that parrot
(Parod Llada--Ed.)

The monopolies are offering many thousand dollars for a book that has not
yet been written. For so many thousands of dollars, so many books against
the revolution. They fostered corruption, encouraged gambling by lotteries,
and wasted paper and machinery and the energy of many man for work which
was useless and detrimental to the country. Along with this propaganda for
the corporations went praise for the government, for a senator or a
government official. They flattered that society with high-sounding titles.

Now you hear more and more of the community farms, cooperatives, school
association, child centers, farm associations, agricultural plans, and art
centers. Instead of news about emulation drives, volunteer work in
sugarcane fields, there was gossip. There were no poems by Guillen. Now we
have printed books for schools--books of political, cultural and literary
interest. The people have access to the books--millions of books, but there
is no praise for vices and lies.

Revolution Says `Read'

Prior to the revolution, the worker was told to believe; he had no access
to books. The revolution tells the people "read", because this is the road
of the truth. The revolution forges ahead, despite the plot of
international reaction. People whose legs are weak and whose spirits are
bland lag behind. People who imagine Yankee legions advancing toward our
country and a "mister" in command in the streets of Havana, the return of
traitors, the school centers reconverted into barracks, the beaches barred
to the people, end the privileges redistributed. All of them remain behind.

The people have made preparations. The traitors believe that if they only
open their mouth, the masses will follow them and people will be behind
them. They are so intoxicated in the counterrevolution that they believe
that the people are waiting for the moment to liquidate the revolution.

Let them remember the victory of the Soviet Union. Every day a revolution
was to break out among the enslaved people. When the Nazis invaded the
Soviet Union, they thought the giant with the clay feet would fall. What
happened was exactly the opposite. In all countries the oligarchies were
incapable of resisting Nazi armies, but the panzer divisions were
destroyed. The same happened in the French Revolution. There were traitors,
but the French people defeated the feudal monarchies of Europe.

This is the great mistake of the reaction. They group together, they
intoxicate each other with the lies that they themselves have written. They
have a fixation that they only need to come here. They believe their own
lies. Our people are active everywhere in all respects. As an example, more
than 10,000 people climbed Turquion Peak in December alone. Previously, the
peak was held in awe by the people, a legendary mountain. Only a few had
made the climb.

There are other projects. The literacy campaign is a gigantic plan.
The counterrevolutionaries cannot see that. They have illusions. The
people of Cuba have really not had a opportunity of showing all the
energy that they are capable of. But they will in the moment that
the fatherland is in danger.

May Day Mobilization

The people will/display their energy on May Day. We have all indications
that the mobilization of the first day of May will be gigantic. However,
the counterrevolutionaries are playing a repulsive role. They are serving
the foreign exploiters, colonialists, discriminators, and peddlers. What a
shame for their descendants when they have to say that "my father was a
counterrevolutionary." But the sons of the revolutionaries and of the
people will be able to say with pride that "my father was a revolutionary"
and that "my father was a militiaman" and that "my father was a teacher."

We are merely starting. The people are learning. Nobody is selling out and
nobody is buying anybody. All that has disappeared after the revolution.
Meanwhile, the counterrevolutionaries are meeting and they say: "Let us
see, who is not a thief among us?" The revolution was generous and
everybody had a chance but who could forget that Miro Cardona was the
defender of Cacigas who assassinated Jesus Menendez? Cacigas was the
assassin of a Negro labor leader and of an upright revolutionary. Who is
intoxicating himself? The man who does not work. The counterrevolutionary
does not produce anything. He is a consumer and a parasite.

The revolution has made an impact on many professional men, many of whom
had hoped to benefit by social privileges which the revolution has
abolished. They suffered a trauma. They felt that the revolution had
deprive them of profit opportunities, such as those of buying a ranch, or a
business, or another source of income. They left their profession to do
other things, while the country needed technical experts. This explains why
certain physicians have preferred to work as elevator men and as janitors.
Not that theses are not honorable professions, but those physicians would
not have been janitors here. They could have exercised their profession
with a decent income adequate for their needs. But they went over there--to
take orders from a man who would grunt at them every day: Alright.

But when things do not go "alright," they are dismissed, because as a
janitor they do not have any workman's rights and are not eligible for
union membership. A worker in this country is a union member and takes an
active part in its and in public affairs; he is a militiaman, takes up a
rifle, watches a building, is part of a battalion, organizes production
plans, and so on. They have left--victims of a trauma.

How is it possible that a Negro can go to the Hotel Nacional? Why may all
the people go to the beaches? Why does the water not become contaminated?
They cannot admit all that. That a worker should acquire human rights is
incomprehensible to them. Those people left to play a part.

Many professors left the University of Havana. Do you know which ones? The
worst, I tell you. There were professors who never gave lectures, year
after year--and they accepted their pay checks. Some of these men got jobs
in the United States--all the jetsam that leaves here, they take them over
there and let them teach.

Education of Poor Neglected

Meanwhile, the poor people in the rural areas had not the slightest chance
of an education. The children of worker families in rural areas could not
attend secondary schools. The workers of all Cuban towns could not send
their sons to college. Many professionals who were educated at the
university have left their profession to go into other fields. The
revolution has wanted to give primary schools to all parts of the country.
Most of the teachers came from the towns. Normal schools were in the main
towns. The students of these schools were town people. People from the
working or middle class of the towns studied at the teachers college. There
were not enough teachers for the mountain areas. We asked for volunteers to
teach in the mountain areas and had several thousand applicants whom we
tested in the mountain ranges. Then we decided to establish teachers
colleges in the mountain area. Normal schools students will not need to ask
their families for support. Any son of a worker or a farmer can be a
teacher. The government gives him a scholarship and his expense.

At the same time, we have undertaken a university reform which will make
our universities the best in the hemisphere. We have already more than
1,000 scholarship students, and lodging facilities in Havana alone for
3,500 scholarship students. Any Cuban who has the vocation and ability can
undertake a university career.

The comrades of the urban reform made a mistake in good faith. They had
several thousand homes to distribute. They then asked that applications
should be submitted. The result was that 150,000 applications for these
homes were submitted, although only 5,000 homes were available. This meant
that 145,000 applicants had to be kept waiting. This was a mistake, because
false hopes had been raised which could not be satisfied.

Urban reform has a very serious and tremendous job, including the
organization of collections and payments to the affected small homeowners.
They have done good work, but the housing problem was a terrible headache
and there have been people who occupied homes on their own initiative.
Nobody may keep a home that was acquired illegally. There will be no

People could not resist the temptation of seeing homes empty. but the laws
of the revolution may not be violated. We do not have a completely
developed construction industry. Although this industry is currently
producing at maximum capacity there is a limit beyond which we cannot go.
We do not have the means for buildings homes for all.

Construction Lags

We cannot devote the resources of the nation to housing construction alone.
If an apartment requires an investment of from 4,000 to 5,000 pesos,
imaging what sums would be required if a home is built for everybody who
wants it. Although all the cement plants are already working at a maximum
capacity, it is not enough. Several materials in the construction industry
require foreign exchange.

The output of the factory of sanitary products is not enough. With all
that, everybody wants to get married. Alright go ahead, but do not mind
living with your mother-in-law. The in-laws must also show understanding.
They must be understanding with the engaged couples and give them
facilities. There is no other solution. If everybody wants to put off
marriage until he has a home the bride is going to have to wait a long time
and she might change her mind.

We shall give priority to the families with the most children and the
lowest income.

Almost all the counterrevolutionaries who assassinated the teacher Conrado
Benitez have been captured. Almost 500 individuals were (seized). Very few
have escaped. Ninety percent were captured. All those bandits who have
tried to start an insurrection have behaved the same way: They did not put
up a resistance. All they did was to run away. Wherever they dare to show
themselves, we shall annihilate them. As fast as they have been located,
they will be put out of combat with the necessary force. We have combat
units in readiness. We have enormous number of battalions. Even if enemies
would appear from 25 different directions. Each day, we have more combat
units with better discipline and better communications--ready to give
battle at any time wherever the enemy may appear. This is the situation in
the country.

Face More Deprivations

We shall have to face one problem, which we raised the other day. We shall
have to reduce even more our expenses for the purchase of commodities from
abroad as a result of the blockade, the economic aggression, the
suppression of the sugar quota, and all the other measures that have
blocked completely the sale of our goods on the world market. Our foreign
exchange expenditures must be curtailed. We must get used to making certain
sacrifices. We must deprive ourselves of certain articles temporarily. Some
goods will have to be rationed because of their scarcity that all may have
the same quantities, and particularly those who are working. We cannot
vacillate in this respect.

The counterrevolutionaries and their masters hope that such shortages will
help their plans very much. The people and the government will be fighting
in the front lines in defense of the revolution in this life-and-death
struggle that can only end with the victory of the people. Only those who
do not work are complaining. They do not want to make any sacrifice.
Remember that the war of independence lasted many years. Whatever shortages
there may be, we can promise the people that they will not lack clothes,
shoes, food, medicine, education and recreation.