Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Source:  Revolucion, Havana, 6 July 1961

In a sensational and eagerly awaited appearance before the entire
nation on television and radio, the Prime Minister of the Revolutionary
Government, Comandante Fidel Castro, made an exhaustive analysis of the
problems of supply, the recent economic aggression by the imperialists, and
also, in contrast, the renewed aid from the socialist world. The panelists
questioning him were Comrades Raul Valdes Vivo, Comandante Guillermo
Jimenez and Ithiel Leon, with Comrade Luis Gomez Wanguemert acting as

The Prime Minister said that the problem of fats in Cuba will be
resolved within 18 months, that is to say, by the beginning of 1963. He
stressed that the Soviet Union has said it will ship 10,000 more tons of
fats to Cuba during the balance of the year, while our country is taking
steps necessary to deal with the recent imperialist economic aggression. He
emphasized the labor increase in Cuba and the resulting salary totals,
which had already exceeded 1,100,000,000 pesos in 1960, representing a 15%
increase over the preceding year.

The interview developed as follows:

Moderator: A very good evening, television viewers. Today, the
transmitters of FIEL bring you an appearance by the Prime Minister, Doctor
Fidel Castro, in which the highest leader of the revolution will certainly
deal with important subjects such as the economic aggression of the US
imperialists, of which there are new and more provocative manifestations
every day; the lard embargo imposed by the State Department, using third
persons so that the US public itself will not realize that it is trying to
force the Cubans to surrender due to hunger, contrary to what the
Washington government pretends to be doing; and the question of supply, in
which all television viewers are certainly interested.

For the first question, I will yield the floor to Comrade Valdes

Journalist: The task of the panel members tonight is a very easy
one, particularly following Comrade Wanguemert's introduction, in which he
has for all practical purposes formulated the first question.

Commander Castro, the people of Cuba all over the country are
awaiting your word with regard to the criminal embargo on lard the US
imperialists are imposing, the problem of supply and the measures which the
revolution is undertaking in this sector, with particular regard to
production goals, which we understand reflect a real leap in comparison to

Doctor Castro: We must begin with a big of history about this lard
problem. First of all, I do not know whether the people will already have
forgotten that almost all of what we consumed in Cuba was imported from the
United States -- the vast majority, in all sectors. We must remember, for
example, that even the balance of payment has been unfavorable to us in the
past ten years, such that we have bought from the United States, that is to
say, there has been a balance of payment favorable to them in the past ten
years, thanks to the imbalance in trade, the expenditures on transport,
insurance company -- in a word, we have paid them a billion dollars more
than they have paid us.

In fact, when we sold our products in other parts of the world, it
was to offset the imbalance we had in our trade relations with the United
States. Thus, we see that we depended absolutely on them, and that also we
were working for them.

This balance was also influenced by what we had to pay in interest
every year on the utilities owned by the monopolies and the American
companies and American businesses in Cuba.

Thus, all of the food which was consumed in Cuba, a large part of
the foodstuffs which were consumed here, came from the United States, along
with the vast bulk of the agricultural, transport and industrial machinery.
The replacement parts, naturally, came from the United States, too, because
it was there these machines were manufactured.

Then, the Cuban revolution occurred, and the revolution undertook
to transform this state of affairs, in brief, to implement the desire to
make the country economically independent, and at least to establish a
balance in our trade, in our exchange with them, in our balance of payments
with them, in which connection it was necessary to take a whole series of
steps, steps which first of all tended to establish a just social regime,
and secondly, a system of trade exchange, a foreign trade policy which
would also be just, freeing us from subjection, from the conditions wherein
we were completely at the mercy of the United States, economically -- and
then we began to pass the first measures which affected them, naturally, in
various ways, first of all, affecting the interests of the monopolies and
secondly, affecting that trade policy we had with regard to them.

Of course, they tried to avoid this by every means. In no way did
a policy which might also be imitated by other peoples in Latin America and
which in the long run might ruin the entire system of exploitation they had
established throughout the world, suit them.

Then -- and this is the story known to the people -- the economic
attacks against us began. They thought it would be easy, they certainly
thought that it would be easy to liquidate the Cuban revolution, since our
economy is one entirely dependent on the US economy.

"Economic independence" was the slogan of almost all the
politicians in Cuba, something which was repeated in all the speeches, by
all the parties, including the bourgeois parties. Everyone said that it was
not possible to have political independence without economic dependence.
And this is true.

And naturally they, relying on this dependence of Cuba upon the
United States, a highly industrialized country, a country which is
economically powerful, by a country which is small and underdeveloped, they
thought that this country could not advance along the path of economic
independence and revolution, because it would be crushed.

So true was it that economic aggression represented a powerful
weapon that the peoples of Latin America, the governments of Latin America,
reached certain agreements about it, and expressly condemned economic
aggression in agreements of an international nature, because even the
bourgeoisies and the dominant oligarchies in these countries had come to
understand the danger represented by the weapon of economic aggression
against the peoples of Latin America, such that they decided to form a
clause condemning economic aggression as a principle of international law
which should govern the relations among countries on this continent.

The first thing the United States did against Cuba was to use this
weapon, economic aggression. Possibly there are many people who believed
that it would be very difficult to wage this struggle. The people of Cuba
have waged it. Naturally the struggle has been facilitated by the new
balance of forces existing on the international level.

The campaign of economic aggression against us began with the
policy of threats: "We'll get them;" "We'll pull out." There were
statements in the Senate, statements in the press, in a word, a whole
campaign to strangle the national economy.

The first battle which was waged here was that concerning oil.
They simply tried to leave us without oil. Doing this to a country is a
truly serious thing. Cuba immediately signed its first trade agreement with
the Soviet Union, in accordance with which they would buy a million tons of
sugar, selling us in exchange a considerable quantity of oil, which,
moreover, they would sell us much cheaper than oil sold us by the US
monopolies. Soviet oil was almost a dollar a barrel cheaper than that sold
us by the US monopolies here, oil which we had to pay for directly in
dollars, and which was one of the reasons for the imbalance in exchange

When Cuba made this agreement, which was perfectly legitimate,
exercising its sovereign right, implementing its desire to establish broad
trade relations with all the countries of the world, a desire which has
been one of the goals and aims of all nations throughout history, as soon
as Cuba decided to sign this trade agreement, selling sugar, which was one
of our problems, because if we left much cane standing, the harvests would
have diminished progressively, and so the best thing the Cuban people could
do was to sell sugar, then when we made a profitable agreement, as Brazil
is currently doing, for example, having established trade agreements with
the socialist countries involving several billion dollars, agreement very
advantageous to Brazil, because it will be able to place its surplus on the
socialist market ...

Journalist:  Two billion five hundred million...

Doctor Castro: Two billion five hundred million, in five years, is
it not? I believe it is more...

Journalist:  A third of all Brazilian exports...

Doctor Castro: Well, they will be able to place the surpluses they
have on the socialist market, in coffee, cotton and other products, for
example, which has always been a tremendous headache for that nation. Well,
similarly, Cuba signed a trade agreement, except that immediately, the US
monopolies, which was the repercussions this kind of agreement might have,
which saw, among other things, the possibility that Cuba was establishing a
pattern which eventually, because of all the advantages it offered the
nation, might be followed by other countries, as it is being, well, then,
they decided, high-handedly and disdainfully, that they were not prepared
to refine Soviet oil.

Those days seem very far off now, because naturally we have
advanced. But analyzing it coldly, it seems truly absurd that a group of
refineries established on our national territory and obeying the laws of
the country could tell the government that they were not prepared to refine
Soviet oil. Well, today this seems very far off to us, but then they did it
quite naturally, as they do all these things so casually which represent a
humiliating insult to other to other governments and nations. So they
decided not to refine Soviet oil.

As soon as Cuba said that they must indeed refine the Soviet oil,
then they planned a maneuver which would leave us without oil. You will
remember that the problem was created entirely by them, because they could
have refined the volume of oil requested of them by the Cuban government,
which was less than a half -- I think it was a third of all the oil they
were refining.

They figured that if they refused to refine it, then we would have
to do one of two things: either accept their refusal or simply take steps
against the companies, in which case the country would remain without a
source of oil. Because in their thinking about this, they assumed that we
would not be able to resolve the problem of oil supply.

Obviously, the problem confronted by a country deprived of oil, or
deprived of a half of the fuel it needed, was a very grave, a tremendous
problem, which would create a truly serious situation for any government in
any country. This was their first maneuver.

This maneuver, then, ended in the seizure of the refineries and
the problem was resolved thanks to the effort the Soviet Union made to
supply us. They knew that the Soviet Union had oil, but they believed that
they would not be able to provide the transport necessary to supply us with
all the oil we needed.

The Soviet Union made the effort, managed to contract for the
number of vessels needed, and you will remember that this was done just in
time, because just as we were beginning to run short of fuel, the first
Soviet vessels began to arrive bringing oil. In other words, Cuba succeeded
in resolving a great problem: the first great problem to be dealt with by
the revolutionary government. The monopolies lost their refineries, and the
country had its fuel. This was the first serious blow they dealt us.

Well, then, they began to consider the sugar problem. The United
States was the main market for our sugar. Thus, sugar was the main source
of our foreign exchange income. The country was adapted to a sugar export
economy, importing a whole range of food and manufactured articles. Food
and an infinite number of other things which could be produced here were
also imported from the United States. Naturally, cutting off a market
abruptly, the basic market, the sugar market, for our country, also
represented a tremendous blow to our economy, and was a deed which also
involved the need to resolve a problem.

At the time when the US government decided to suspend our sugar
quota, the revolutionary government, by means of a foreign exchange saving
policy consistent with our national interests, that is to say, by investing
its foreign exchange in all the essential consumer articles, those needed
by industry and also for economic developlment, succeeded in increasing our
monetary reserves, which had dropped from 500 million pesos to less than 70
million. And with an austerity policy, involving ceasing to import a whole
series of luxury articles which were going to a minority in the country, a
privileged majority, we achieved a great increase in our reserves.

Naturally, the imperialists could not accept this calmly, and they
decided to take an aggressive step against our country, making an attack
which further violated that principle of international law on which all the
nations of Latin America had agreed. And in a violent and unexpected step,
they entirely blocked our exports of sugar to the United States.

Given this situation, the Soviet Union and the socialist countries
again acted, and in view of the situation in which the imperialists had
left our country through their economic attack, they decided to buy 4
million tons of sugar from us at a price above the world market quotation.
Taking into account that the Soviet market and those of the other socialist
countries are cheaper than the US market, this step, with the purchase of 4
million tons of sugar at 4 centavos, served again to offset the tremendous
blow dealt to our national economy by the suspension of the sugar quota.

The imperialists found themselves faced with failure once again.
They failed first with oil, and they found that they had failed again. In
taking the aggressive economic step of suspending our quota, they perhaps
felt that they could liquidate the revolution, but they found that the
revolution emerged victorious from this new test.

Since the imperialists could not accept this situation, they had
to think of new forms of economic aggression.

They knew, for example, that all our rolling stock for transport
and agriculture had been bought in the United States, and that therefore,
we needed to continue purchasing replacement parts from the United States,
although we did not want to, because they were American machines, and we
had to obtain our parts there.

The imperialists knew that all our national industries, the
majority and the most important of our national industries, were US
manufactured, had been produced in the United States, and the country
needed to purchase replacement parts from the United States.

They also knew that our industry was installed by them here, and
that our industry was not basic industry, but processing industry,
transforming important foreign raw materials, and that they therefore
depended on raw materials coming from the United States as well. Then they
took a further step, which was to block exports of raw materials, of
replacement parts for transport vehicles, tractors and agricultural
machinery and in general, and moreover, for all the industrial
installations of US origin.

We must realize that the embargo on replacement parts meant, in
view of the fact that every industry, for example, the electrical industry
or a refinery, and industrial plant, maintains a stock of replacement
parts, of thousands and thousands of them, from the tiniest spools to the
most complex kinds of motors.

Thus, they thought that this, too, would create an insoluble
problem for the country.

Naturally, the revolution had been taking certain steps, had
purchased some millions of dollars worth of replacement parts for
agricultural machinery and transport vehicles before the embargo was
imposed, with a view to being able to maintain our agricultural production.

But they took a further step, that is, they placed this embargo on
all replacement parts. What were they thinking of? They though they would
be able to leave our country -- to paralyze our factories, our agrarian
revolution, our transport. This was their third step.

In other words, all these steps were designed to liquidate the
revolution. They were taking measures in order to kill the revolution.
First, they wanted to deprive us of oil, second, they suspended the sugar
quota, that is, they took away our market, and third, they deprived us of
raw materials and replacement parts for agricultural and industrial
development. In other words, they wanted to paralyze our factories, our
tractors, our transport, and these are measures which can really place any
country in a difficult situation.

Again, the revolution confronted the problem and took a series of
steps. Some measures had been implemented in advance. We also sought
replacement parts on other markets. We made efforts, and searched the
markets and sources in socialist countries for a supply of these parts. At
the same time, we promoted a policy for their manufacture here, making use
of the ingenuity, the skill and the enthusiasm of the workers to produce
the largest possible number of replacement parts. And the fact is, that as
of the present, the revolutionary government has also survived this test,
and has emerged victorious following this new attack by the United States.

Simultaneously, in the agricultural sector we have been tying to
establish in Cuba the groundwork for the breeding of poultry, swine,
livestock, a whole series of animal husbandry enterprises. Because, for
example, we depended for chickens entirely on US production. Cuba imported
chicks from the United States because they were bred there. All of the
poultry raising in our country depended on the import of chicks from the
United States.

Turkeys were imported from the United States full grown. Hogs were
brought from the United States. We bought ham, bacon, butter, fat. We
imported some 50 millions pesos worth of fat. Then, almost at the very
beginning, the revolutionary government initiated a policy tending to
produce such chicks here as well. There was no reason to have to import
them from the United States if we could establish our own breeding base
here, too, that is to say, flocks of laying hens which would eventually
produce and reproduce. In other words, we wanted all the poultry breeding
enterprises to be national, while at the same time, we imported purebred
hogs to establish a breeding base here. We imported milk cows, too, to
develop the dairy industry, and to be able also to satisfy the growing
demand of the population.

Then, when they realized that we were importing, trying to
establish a national policy, a policy tending toward self-supply of all
these projects without depending on foreign sources, they took a further
step, and they placed an embargo on chicks, hens, hogs and cows, too: they
even placed an embargo on cows!

Then it became impossible to import even these things from the
United States.

They, with their always hypocritical policy, stated that they
would not place embargos on food. Of course, "they are so noble, so good."
The US government is "go generous," and has "such respect" for our country,
such a desire for a "higher standard of living for our people," as the
committee of these "good people" said. Of course, they have deprived us of
oil, they had suspended our sugar quota, they had refused to sell us raw
materials and deprived us of replacement parts for factories, for trucks
and for agricultural equipment. They also made it impossible for us to
import these things, but they were "very good" and "did not want us to
suffer from hunger," and thus, therefore, they stated that they would not
block exports of foodstuffs. Well, hogs are food, cows are food, cows
produce milk, which is food. Poultry yields meat, which is food. But what
was important to them was to prevent us from developing production here, so
that we would have to continue to import. Then the only thing on which they
did not place an official embargo was foodstuffs, in a typically
hypocritically policy.

I think that the most characteristic aspect of the policy of the
US government is hypocrisy. In other words, while they commit the most
horrible deeds, they try to make it seem that they are noble and good. If
they were so noble and good they would not have blocked the shipment of
foodstuffs to Cuba! We have seen all of these hypocritical evidences in all
the aspects of the policy of the US government.

So they refused to help us even to this point. Cuba continued
then, with greater efforts, purchasing the stock for poultry breeding from
Canada, cows from Canada, and also hogs from Canada, in order to continue
with the plan of development for these branches of agriculture.

And then what happened? They had imposed an embargo, but the
poultry and the swine were passing through the United States from Canada en
route to Cuba. Then they took still another step: they prohibited the
transit of hogs and chickens and cows to the United States en route to
Cuba. Thus the cows and pigs and the chickens had to make a longer trip,
they had to come from Canada by plane or ship, because they didn't even
want them to cross the country.

Meanwhile, there was a tremendous volume of traffic in bombs,
planes, war material, mercenaries and war equipment from the United States
to Guatemala and Nicaragua, while there was traffic in chickens, cows, pigs
and production goods from Canada. They then, naturally, while they were
promoting this other traffic in weapons, explosives and sabotage, they
tried to prevent our people from obtaining supplies. In a word, they simply
wanted to strangle our economy, and to asphyxiate the revolution, simply
through hunger and misery. In other words, "we will force the people into a
situation of shortage, we will force the people into hunger, to annihilate
the revolution."

Thus it was that they took a whole series of steps of this nature.
Naturally, these were not the only ones. They were not content to try to
deprive us of fuel, to suspend the sugar quota, to place an embargo on the
shipment of raw materials, and replacement parts for transport,
agricultural and factory machinery. They also placed an embargo on the
shipment of these animals which were intended to promote the agricultural
production of our country. Also, they began to prohibit other exports from

Thus, for example, Cuba exported molasses. This was not covered by
the law they had passed in Congress, and they, of course, had already
attacked Cuba in many ways through legislative measures. Now they began to
use another tactic, exerting internal pressure to prevent the importers
from purchasing Cuban products.

Cuba was selling sugar cane molasses worth approximately 12
million dollars to the alcohol industries and also for fodder and other
uses in the United States, and so they exerted pressures on the companies
to prevent them from buying our molasses. And thus, one by one, all of our
export articles have been blocked, by means of direct pressure or internal

And they have not simply tried to prevent us from trading
with the United States, but they have also tried to prevent us
from trading with other countries.  Whenever they have been able
to, they have exerted pressure, as they did on Canada, and
which Canada resisted, in an effort to prevent Canada from trading
with us.  In other words, they have not been content to try to
block our trade with the United States itself, but they have
also made use of their power and political influence with other
countries to prevent us from trading with them, too.

And, of course, it has not been this alone, because they have also
promoted the traffic in explosives, threatening to carry out a whole
campaign of terrorism and sabotage and organizing counterrevolutionary
bands, finally organizing a mercenary expedition against Cuba. In other
words, this is the outcome of their entire policy against us, since they
have not been able to liquidate us, for they then began a policy of
destroying factories, placing a bomb in the electric company. The Central
Intelligence Agency began to act through the traitors and those who will
sell out their country and join in this campaign of the aggressors against
our country to destroy the industries. If they sabotage the electrical
industry, the refineries, if they could burn "El Encanto," or "Ten Cent,"
or "Fin de Siglo," if they could destroy or sabotage, they did not care if
it cost them lives of workers or humble men of the people. This was not
important to them. They were carrying forward their systematic and criminal
policy of attack upon our country.

They did not care that "El Encanto" had always been a private
enterprise owned by some gentlemen who earned millions of pesos from it and
spent them in other countries. When that enterprise became the property of
the people, when the workers at that center were not working for an
exploiting boss who got rich at the expense of the workers, but came to be
a national enterprise, then they said: "We will destroy this national
enterprise," "We will destroy the electrical monopoly," which was certainly
never sabotaged by the Central Intelligence Agency while it was a monopoly
owned by US companies, when it collected such high rates from the people.
But when it came to be owned by the people, when the electrical rates were
lowered, then they said: "We will destroy the electrical company."

And so in addition there was this whole policy of sabotage,
organizing counterrevolutionary bands, violation of our national territory,
air attacks and the burning of our cane fields. "Not only will we suspend
the Cuban sugar quota, not only will we try to prevent other countries from
buying Cuban sugar, not only we will halt the purchase of molasses, but we
will also destroy the cane!"

This whole series of acts of sabotage and systematic aggression
organized by the Central Intelligence Agency was to culminate, moreover,
since they were not satisfied with all this, in a military invasion of the
country. And in fact, they launched a military invasion, using their
mercenaries, landed by their vessels, supported by their planes and
completely equipped by their stocks of weapons, according to plans drafted
by the Pentagon, in which the Central Intelligence Agency, the State
Department and the government of the United States, that is to say, the
executive branch, also participated. Obviously, while they told the world
that it was not theirs, that the problem of Cuba was a problem among
Cubans, etc., etc., well, they were carrying out their criminal aggression,
in which they also suffered a crushing defeat.

Then, if we analyze it, they took all the steps they did, and were
defeated by the revolution. The sabotage was defeated, the
counterrevolutionary bands were defeated, and the planes -- well, it will
be daily more difficult for the planes to continue making excursions here,
we will make it increasingly difficult for the planes dropping weapons to
violate our national territory dropping weapons. They have to run some
risks greater than those they ran before. And their planned and organized
expedition of mercenaries was entirely defeated and the result is that they
left here, abandoned to their fate, the men who undertook the adventure.
The revolution has been triumphing over the imperialist measures one by

But these were not the only steps the imperialists took. The
imperialists are trying to isolate Cuba from the other Latin American
countries. At the Costa Rican conference, they did not succeed in imposing
their will. The people reacted and took a step further, formulating the
Havana Declaration, an historic one. As the months passed, they with their
aggressive intent tried again to rally, to establish a coalition of the
countries -of Latin America against us. They sent a series of missions,
they sent Berle, they sent a whole string of diplomats to hold gatherings
within the Organization of American States, and finally, they sent their
"star performer," Mr. Stevenson.

Mr. Stevenson had already done very badly in the United Nations,
because of the role he played there, because of the lies he perpetrated,
all of which were found out, because all of those were acted like master
liars, deceivers of the worst sort.

It was Stevenson, with his so-called "alliance for progress," and
his offer of 500 million dollars for all of Latin America in a plan for
offering money first and making political conditions for it. The results to
date have been in no way satisfactory to the imperialists. What has
happened is that the other countries have also adopted a sovereign and
independent policy, for example, Brazil, and they are carrying forward a
policy of trade exchange with all the countries of the world. There is also
an Ecuadorian mission within the socialist countries, and it is possible
that new trade relations between the Latin American countries and the
socialist countries will be established, while the emissaries of the
imperialists are running from one end of Latin America to the other,
offering dishonest plans to the government.

There has been a tremendous reaction from the people. Stevenson
had to travel secretly through Latin America. Imagine a visitor who could
not say what day he would arrive, where he would arrive, who sometimes said
"I am traveling to this airport," but had to land at another, and to hold
meetings in the outskirts of the cities! There were protests demonstrations
and there were deaths resulting from this. The students, the workers and
the democratic and progressive groups in Latin America demonstrated their
rejection and the truth is that Stevenson was hidden and smuggled through
Latin America, talking with all the governments.

They themselves have revealed that Steven's dealings failed

Journalist:  Only Stroessner welcomed him.

Doctor Castro: Stroessner met with him, welcomed him and told him
that everything was fine in Paraguay.

The situation then, is that Stevenson's trip has so far proved a
failure, too. He did not succeed in rallying support, and they are
continuing to harp on this point, but the results to date have been that
the United States has also been defeated in the democratic sector. Is it
because we are such great diplomats? No, it is not because we are such
great diplomats but simply because the proposals of these gentlemen and the
policy they pursue is so unworthy and so hateful and so repugnant to the
peoples. They have not realized that they are living in a different
historic era and that Latin Americans are not going to endorse their plans
for aggression just because they appear with their offers of money and
demand opposition to Cuba as a condition.

First of all, they talked of 500 million dollars, but when
Stevenson returned, what the Latin American governments had made clear is
that they would need something like 3 billion dollars to begin with. This
was serious problem for the government of the United States, at a time when
they were even suspending pensions, when they were effecting savings,
because there has been a very heavy flow of gold out of the United States
and so they had to take steps, and when they came to Latin America ...
First of all, they had never recognized Latin America, they realized for
the first time that Latin American existed after the Cuban revolution
occurred. Then they came forth to make offers and they spoke of an
"alliance for progress" -- an alliance for progress between the shark and
the sardines.

Then, the governments told them that they need three billion
dollars at least for ten countries to begin with. Ten countries, and some 7
or 8 of those with rather difficult situations are still lacking. Moreover,
Mr. Stevenson found that the economic situation is worse than it had been a
year ago, because it seems that a year ago he had made a trip through Latin
America, and he finds that things have changed greatly. What he found after
all of the policy of aggression against our country, and after all the vile
deeds they have committed, there is a greater feeling of revulsion
throughout Latin America than he saw the preceding year. He returned to the
United States with this impression, and there things remained.

Naturally, all of these things and the situation have still
further aroused the feeling of hatred and the spirit of aggression against
Cuba. Cuba has inflicted many defeats upon the imperialists. The people of
Cuba have stood firm and have been winning battle after battle against the
imperialists, and naturally this has rendered them furious.

Then, after this failure on the part of Stevenson, another series
of events ensued. First of all, they broke off negotiations for
indemnification, trying to push the blame on Cuba, but we were able to show
that it was not Cuba which changed the conditions, but they, and that they
were miserably deceiving even those serving them. First they sent the
expedition here, and they were mistaken in all their calculations. Indeed,
they were mistaken! But the fact is that those who made the mistakes, the
Pentagon, Kennedy, Allen Dulles and those people, did not suffer. On the
other hand, those who found out what these mistakes could mean were those
who landed here.

Then the government asked the imperialists, put the imperialists
to the test, to see if they value their servants, if they value their
mercenaries, the people who failed in this adventure. So Cuba raised the
question of indemnification.

They, eternal hypocrites, came back and said that yes, the are
humane, that they would "exchange tractors for lives." s The lives of the
invaders were safe, because the revolutionary government itself had placed
the question before the people and had said that it did not want to take
harsh steps. It raised this question, although the crimes committed were
crimes worthy of the harshest penalty, the most extreme penalty, and the
people, moreover, were very agreeable to any harsh measures which might be
taken against them. But the lives of these gentlemen, except for the war
criminals, were in fact, pledged in a statement by the government in this

Then they, so "noble, humanitarian, generous, good, respectful of
human life," they with their "charitable and generous souls" agreed to
negotiated with us, "the cruel and evil ones," and to "raise the standard
of living of the Cuban people" and to undertake a humane task. The
revolutionary government agreed and said why not, that this humane gesture
of theirs was very nice, but that it would be much more humane, instead of
offering material indemnity, if the imperialists were, for example, to talk
with their associates and their accomplices in this Bay of Pigs adventure,
such as the governments of Nicaragua, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and
indirectly, Spain -- Spain is farther away but indeed there were some
Falangist priests who were Spanish -- in a word, all those governments
which were more or less involved in this problem for various reasons -- we
suggested that they release an equal number of Guatemalan, Nicaraguan, US,
Puerto Rican and Spanish prisoners, because they were talking of what a
humane gesture it would be to free these prisoners. These prisoners had
been held for some weeks only, but in Spain, for example, there are men who
have spent 16 or 17 years in prison or are still in prison after 20 years.
Albizu Campos had spent the last few years, the last decade, in fact, in
prison. In the United States such men as Henry Winston were imprisoned, and
naturally, now, it seems that Kennedy has become aware of Henry Winston and
has decided to free him. But this had not been done up to the day and the
moment when the revolutionary government raised this humanitarian question
and proposed an exchange. Because Henry Winston, an outstanding leader of
the workers in the United States, was imprisoned as a young man fighting
against fascism. He was imprisoned by the reactionaries in the United
States, and while in prison he suffered from illness, and because he was
not properly cared for, he went blind and his health deteriorated gravely
during the years he spent in prison. He was about to be released, because
in fact he had almost served his sentence. Then Cuba made this suggestion
to the government, to the committee which the government had appointed,
because the revolutionary government was willing to accept this fiction of
a committee of private citizens, because we were sincere when we made our
offer and we were prepared to carry it out.

This committee did not say a single word on the problem of a real
exchange of prisoners. It continued to pursue this tractor joke, and
finally abandoned even that, they did not want to send the tractors.

The imperialists, after all the attacks that they had committed
against us, after the embargoes, after blocking the export of replacement
parts for agricultural machines in order to paralyze our agrarian reform,
found it very painful to send us equipment, and as a result, they turned
their backs on those who served them, breaking off negotiations and talking
of honor. But this was a strange concept of honor, because they had offered
500 small tractors, worth 4 or 5 million dollars. This they were prepared
to do. Then, later, they said no, that since it was tractors Cuba had asked
for... that their "honor" would not permit...

That is to say, their honor would allow them to pay indemnity of 5
million dollars, but it would not allow them to pay indemnity of 28
million, plus transport, because we must remember that transport must be
included in any negotiations. I say we should not forget, because these
people do forget.

So they broke off negotiations with regard to the tractors, that
it to say, there were a whole series of symptoms reflecting their
aggressive attitude.

A commission of technicians came, because they had already tried
to break off negotiations several times, but the government had made
suggestions which prevented this. The commission of technicians came, and
they sent journalists. Naturally, we talked extensively with this group of
newspaper men who came here, we explained everything to them, and we took
them to visit various places. They did so and many of them reported their
impressions rather objectively in the United States. And then naturally, we
received a report accusing some of these journalists who came to Cuba, UPI
and AP representatives, and correspondents of the major newspapers in the
United States, of being communist. Thus, these people are afraid, they seen
phantoms everywhere. Now they have been saying that these journalists were
communists or were becoming communists, and that some in the delegation of
prisoners were agents of the Cuban government.

Here we see such mistrust... We have acted in completely different
way. We produced the very prisoners they were discussing, there. But they,
for their part, reacted with mistrust of their own people. In other words,
they do not believe in anybody. The imperialists do not trust even their
own shadow.

Thus they broke off the tractor negotiations and blocked the
purchase of molasses being made by a US company. Then in the press and in
the Congress a whole series of aggressive statements against Cuba began to
appear, and in addition to this, there was another series of actions. For
example, yesterday a group of mercenaries attacked those in charge of a
plane, a group of counterrevolutionaries, and took it to Miami.
Immediately, a sheriff appeared there, who must be like one of those in the
western bandit films. I imagine this sheriff with a star here and a
wide-brimmed hat -- this sheriff appeared there and seized the plane.

Mr. Valdes Vivo:  This sheriff was conveniently handy.

Dr. Castro: Yes, the sheriff was there. And then we remembered
that on 1 May exactly, a Puerto Rican commandeered a US plane, a plane
belonging to an American company, and landed at the San Antonio Airport.
Then that gentleman was the subject of an investigation here, and then,
immediately, the plane with its passengers was returned.

Thus, the Cuban government, on 1 May -- well, the plane was
returned, but on the other hand, now a counterrevolutionary group has taken
a plane and gone there. There is a sense of balance and a sense of
reciprocity on the part of these gentlemen which is very peculiar to

Possibly they believed that we would not dare to keep one of their
planes if it should be brought here. Well, I want to tell them one thing:
any plane brought by anyone from the United States and landed here will
remain in Cuba for good. (Applause).

It is simply that if they do not return this plane to us, well,
then, the government will adopt a new policy in this regard, and we must
always expect that what has already happened once may happen again at any
time, and that it will occur to someone else to seize the plane and take it

Certainly all of these things show that we have always acted in a
decent manner and they have always acted in an indecent manner.

But there is also another hateful and repugnant thing. These
fellows used firearms against those in charge of the planes, knocked them
down and hit them with the gun butts, and these gentlemen are welcomed
there as heroes. They already did this once with a certain Mr. King, who
seized a vessel, murdered the rebel in front of his wife and daughter,
kidnapped the wife and daughter, and then King was one of the heroes who
came here in the invasion. Now this King is here in the hands of the Cuban
authorities. It would not be strange if at any time we should seek out one
of these gentlemen here, in one way or another, and then the time would
come to settle accounts. Always, criminals will have to face justice sooner
or later.

But they, with characteristic insensitivity, welcomed the
criminal, and do not blame him at all -- they believe that anyone has the
right to take a life, to commit a treasonable murder -- and they welcome
him there. This is the imperialist morality, this is the morality of the
monopolies and the exploiters.

Thus, they have the plane, and now they are beginning to talk
again of training mercenaries, of publishing photographs, with an impudence
-- because also they have a very narrow view of the rights of others. While
they are constantly saying that Cuba represents a subversive danger to
Latin America, and that it is necessary to take steps to isolate Cuba, that
it is a danger to the continent, they are daily publishing in their
newspapers reports of the acts of subversion and sabotage they are
organizing. They calmly publish in their newspapers the fact that mercenary
troops are being organized to carry out commando attacks, with photographs,
pictures. Another periodical reports that they have given a hundred
thousand dollars to the miserable Manolo Ray to carry out sabotage and acts
of terrorism. Another states that there is a colonel there who is giving
instruction in 32 ways of killing. This is like the little books teaching
one "how to win friends," "how to stop worrying," because it seems that the
imperialists have also put out a little book called "32 Methods of Murder."
And also, they are organizing groups of these saboteurs and criminals in
Latin America, quite calmly, for they are not concealing it, while every
day they attempt to represent Cuba as a subversive danger, yet they in bold
and open fashion, with a very narrow view of law and morality, are not
worried about putting these things in print. They must think it is their
right as a shark to do what the royal appetite dictates. Thus they have not
the slightest shame in publishing this type of thing.

Thus, finally, the last step they have taken is that of blocking
shipments of lard to Cuba. Once again they have acted hypocritically. They
did not adopt a direct measure, but have acted through third persons.

With regard to the lard, we have been exposing ourselves to this
for some time. The first thing the lard exporting companies did was to ask
the Cuban government to pay in irrevocable credit notes, payable at the
time the lard leaves the factory. This is in violation of all international
practices in accordance with which letters of credit are payable when the
goods are shipped. The US companies demanded that we pay for the lard there
at the factory. In other words, the notes would be cashed there at the

This represented a risk for Cuba, that is to say, the risk that
they would pull a fast one in the process, and we would get the lard for
lose the money.

Mr. Valdes Vivo:  But a sheriff could...

Dr. Castro: We would have had to pay 700,000 dollars approximately
for all the purchases. To maintain a normal supply, it is necessary to
purchase certain quantities valued at a total of about 700,000 dollars.

Thus, this was the first step. Although it was a risk, Cuba
agreed, because this is the traditional market from which we have obtained
lard. And we had to purchase there, because of our high lard consumption.
There was no other market on which we could purchase in similar quantities.

We had either to go without lard or run the risk. So we took the
risk, making these purchases effective at the plants -- 700,000 dollars for
each order.

Then other difficulties developed. First, there was the ferry
problem. The transporter said that if they were to send the lard from there
we would have to send them the tanks from here, and they also began to
create a whole series of problems, such that the normal supply of lard
dropped off as a result of the problems the transporters were creating.
Well, we sent them the tanks, too, and agreed with what they said.

Then, as they could not stop or sit sidle, they thought of another
idea. There was a US claimant, a certain company which, of course,
succeeded, and this could not have happened if it were not simply on the
instructions of the State Department, if there had not been a court embargo
placed on the lard in transit toward Cuba, such that in fact, we lost some
600,000 dollars, because a part had already been shipped but the other part
was there. And then they established a precedent. The export company
demanded that we pay in cash there, while on the other hand, any claimant
can present himself with a demand for an embargo, and they keep the lard
which is en route.

And this was simply what they did, placing us in an impossible
situation. We have already lost 600,000 dollars, and with this precedent,
we are exposed to the danger that whenever we buy lard, this will happen
and they will keep that which has not been shipped. And this is even
illegal, because the lard was not being shipped to the Cuban state, but to
an enterprise which has nothing to do with the state. Legally, they had no
right to seize the lard sold to an enterprise because of any kind of debt
claim against the Cuban state, and therefore, they did an absolutely
illegal thing, violating international law and practice, and they
established a precedent with the sole purpose of depriving us of butter,
and this is simply yet another attack. This is the history of a series of
aggressions, which culminated recently in depriving us of lard.

Moreover, they have a problem with lard. In the United States they
do not consume animal fat. They eat ham, pork derivatives, other pork
products, but they do not consume lard. You know how these people are,
there is much advertising and many other things -- the fashion, and all of
that there, well, the fact is, that they consume a type of vegetable fat,
and lard is thrown out. Lard there is a byproduct, as is cane molasses.
This byproduct, a byproduct like cane molasses, is sold at a lower price
than elsewhere. Thus, they sought, for this byproduct of theirs, a market,
and we were that market. They had someone to buy this surplus item, and if
they had not, they would have had to throw it out. So they sold it to us,
and they sold it to us cheap, but they sold it.

Meanwhile, we Cubans, since we always bought lard there, never
concerned ourselves with the problem of resolving the fat problem here. And
in the rest of the world, it is very hard to buy this volume of fat. For
example, the socialist countries have planned economies organized in such a
way that production is adapted to consumption, with their needs. They have
some surpluses and they have made certain efforts, but in no way would they
have a surplus such as this.

Other countries, such as Argentina and Holland have a certain
surplus of lard, but nothing like the quantity Cuba needs to meet consumer
demand. Thus, the problem created by the lard embargo is that if our
imports are suddenly cut off, before we have worked out a solution, we are
out of luck.

Journalist:  What does Cuban consumption total?

Dr. Fidel Castro: Cuba is a very high consumer if compared with
other countries. Nineteen kilograms per capita per year are consumed in
Canada, 4 in Ceylon, 4 in China, 3 in Japan, 3 in Pakistan, 18 in Austria,
17 in France, 16 in Greece, 16 in Italy. There are some Nordic countries
which consume even more than we do. We consume 20.58 kilograms per capita.
We have a monthly lard consumption of 8,000 metric tons.

Edible fats, 6.65 tons; vegetable oils, 1,600 tons; olive oil, 600
tons; and butter, 285 tons, making a total, calculated for a population of
6-1/2 million, of 133,800 metric tons of fats.

Thus, there are not enough fats on the market to meet this need.
Therefore, their measure directly limits our available fat. This means that
this is a problem which is not the problem of oil, or the problem of sugar
or other products, but a problem of nothing available on the market. There
is some in Holland and other countries, limited amounts, which is moreover
likely to rise in price as a result of this situation.

Obviously, they will have to eat the lard. The imperialists will
have to eat the lard or fry with it, because they do not eat it. The lard
producers there must be disgusted. Cuba purchased more than 20 millions of
dollars worth of lard from the United States. Indeed, we were the consumers
of the lard which they had as a surplus.

But there is a program which has been carried out with a view to
domestic production of fats. The consumption of fats derived from pork and
oil totals some 50 million dollars in our country. How is the revolutionary
government planning to resolve the problem, then, and when?

It rapidly initiated a program for developing hog breeding, while
at the same time it planned the installation of a series of oil extraction
plants. All of this has already been planned, therefore, and now, between
this year and next year, oil extraction plants with the capacity to produce
40% of the total consumed will be built.

These plants will already be operating by the end of the months of
June, July or August 1962, and when they have been built, all of this will
be coordinated with the plan for sowing soya beans, peanuts, cottonseed and
other oleaginous crops which are being tested, and they will produce 40% of
the fat Cuba needs (applause). The rest will be animal fat.

This means that unlike what they are doing, prohibiting visitors
from the United States to come to Cuba, we neither prohibit nor do we make
it impossible to visit and remain in the United States, nor are we thinking
of doing so. It is good to clarify these viewpoints of the revolution at
this time, prior to this 26 July, about which the imperialists new agencies
and the imperialist and reactionary press are circulating the most terrible
lies, urging the people to prepare for 26 July, to buy tickets before 26
July, because something will happen on 26 July.

What is going to happen on 26 July? What are they going to prove
on 26 July? Who is concerned about these rumors? Have the people of Cuba
ever lost anything on a 26 July? Has any worker, peasant or humble family
of the people, any exploited Cuban or one who is discriminated against ever
lost anything on 26 July, on 1 May or on 1 January? But the people have
always gained something with each revolutionary law.

The people cannot be deceived by tales of any kind. The people
cannot be deceived by rumors of any kind, because the people know that
their revolutionary government will never do anything against them, will
never go against their interests, and it is for this reason that the people
are here commemorating the 26 July anniversary joyfully. They are here and
they have always been whenever they have been summoned to the revolution
plaza, because the people do not fail, and it suffices to look around to
the place where we are now from this vantage point where we have viewed the
other gatherings in order to be able to say that this 26 July there are
more people than on the two earlier 26 July celebrations, even though the
mobilization has not been of a national nature, as it was on 26 July 1959,
when all the peasants were mobilized. And also, today two great gatherings
have been held in Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey.

The people have come to provide the reactionaries with an answer.
They have come to give the imperialists an answer. They have come to tell
them we are present here, do not forget that we are here.

The men and the women of the people have not come here today
because they were told to. They have not come here today for exercise, no.
The people have come here today, as always, to manifest their feeling, to
show that their revolutionary spirit has increased, to show that their
revolutionary conviction is more adamant. They have come here today to say
that they want the revolution and they want to continue implementing the

Obviously, the reactionaries, incapable of rallying even a fifth
of the people who are here today, obviously, because the exploiters can
never rally the exploited, those against whom they discriminate, and those
who are here are the people, they are not the speculators, not the thieves,
not the estate owners. Here are the people and only a just revolution can
rally the people.

Only when a people counts, when the people are with something,
when the people decide, is it possible to rally the people. Obviously, the
reactionaries, the imperialists say that they are the great democrates, but
we who can count the extraordinary support of the people here, one by one,
we who can count one by one the hearts and the souls supporting and
defending the revolution, it is we who know what this represents.

For the exploiters, this is not democracy. Democracy for them is
petit politics, this mask they want to use to conceal the most evil
exploitation of man by man. For them, democracy is the system in which only
the privileged minorities,the parties which monopolize the resources and
the wealth of the nation, count. For them, this is not democracy.

Obviously, this is not democracy for them, because they do not
know what democracy is. For them, what we had before was democracy. And who
has forgotten what we had before? No government could rally one-tenth of
the people who had gathered here. And to rally the people they had to force
government employees to come, they had to bribe hungry people by
distributing money, And even with all this, they could not rally the

Corrupt politicians, misappropriators of funds decided about the
problems of the country. The people counted for nothing. That which we had
in the past is what the imperialists call democracy. This petit politicking
which serves to conceal exploitation is what they call democracy.
Obviously, it is the democracy of the monopolies, of the great estate
owners, of the US companies.

What we have, naturally, is not the democracy of the exploiters.
Do the exploiters, the foreign monopolies, the large estate owners in Cuba
have the right to govern the country? The exploiters do not have that right
because the right to exploit is not the right, but simply an intolerable
privilege, one which mankind has had to tolerate because the people accept
privileges while they cannot rid themselves of the burden of them, but when
they can, privileges cease.

Nowadays the exploiters do not govern in our country. Those with
the great privileges, as the people say, have been called to account. The
supposed rights of the exploiters have disappeared in our country.
Democracy as the imperialists see it is democracy in which the people have
no rights and in which the exploiters decide everything. This democracy of
the exploiters is the democracy of which the imperialists speak. We speak
of the democracy of the workers, the peasants, of free men and women, the
democracy of the majority of the nation, of those who were exploited in the
past, of those who had no rights, of the humble, by the humble and for the

For this reason, the people are not concerned about rumors. Who is
it who is concerned with rumors? We imagine that the first to be concerned
about the 26 July holiday is Mr. Fulgencio Batista, who is in Lisbon, I
believe, or some place like that.

The first to be concerned about this date are the great ruffians
and murderers. Those who have reason for concern about the 26 July holiday
are the great exploiters and those who enjoy the great privileges.
Certainly, these people will always be concerned about 26 July.

That date is a sad one for the imperialists, the foreign
monopolies, the great gamblers, the great smugglers, the generals who
lorded it over our country. It is a sad and painful date for the great
criminals, for all the enemies of the people.

And obviously, the revolution is painful and sad for all those who
have seen their privileges disappear with the revolutionary laws. The
people are not concerned about these rumors, however much the
counterrevolutionaries may sometimes invent the most absurd things, like
the rumor that we were going to deprive families of their authority.
Experience has shown that the people are not concerned about these rumors.
It is those who are displeased by the revolution who are concerned and who
start rumors. Obviously, the owner of a large estate, of an apartment house
or a bank is inspired by fear of everything which reminds him of the
revolution or of the date 26 July. That date is as painful to them as the
date 10 March is gratifying.

But nothing was going to happen on 26 July. What was it that was
to happen here but which did not? Are there so many privileges remaining to
the reactionaries in our country? Are there so many interests left to them
here that they are concerned about the new laws of the revolution? The
basic laws of the revolution have already been issued. For some time now
they have been approved, the laws which radically changed the social and
economic system in our country has been in effect in our country for some
time. The date 26 July is simply a joyful holiday for all of the people.

In connection with this holiday there was no special law, no
extraordinary law. The great revolutionary laws, including agrarian reform,
urban reform, the nationalization of the foreign monopolies, etc. -- these
basic laws which changed the course of the history of our country were
approved some time ago.

If considerable privileges had been left to the exploiter classes,
certainly these privileges would have disappeared some time ago, because
the revolution would not have waited for this fate, almost three years, to
do away with these privileges.

The revolution would have done much damage, whatever it was
necessary to do against these great privileges. For this reason, there is
no reason either on this date or on any other for rumors about
revolutionary government measures, because all of the major measures of the
revolutionary government have already been approved.

On 26 July nothing ended. On 26 July, everything began. The
revolution began on 26 July. Were the counterrevolutionaries perhaps afraid
that they would not be allowed to leave Cuba? Well, let them have no fear,
because here no one is prohibited from going away to live, to enjoy the
marvels of the Yankee imperialism.

We know that there are individuals who cannot adapt to a
revolution, that the parasites cannot adapt to a revolution. It is very
difficult for the exploiters to adapt themselves.

[Section evidently missing from original here] to sacrifice them.
The females should not be sacrificed, because we must use them for
reproduction. And this, meanwhile, until full production is achieved, will
help in resolving the fat problem.

Let them not seek to create public health problems!

Journalist: Commander, the productive garden being created in
Havana, and the duck hatchery...

Dr. Castro: But they should not raise pigs there, they should not
create problems!

Journalist:  Also, there will be no shortage of swine.

Dr. Castro: We can talk of this later. Obviously, then, it should
not be done in the courtyard of the home, because then it is true that
there may be public health problems. An effort must be made to do this in
the outskirts.

And then, there is speculation with pork now. We are going to try
to avoid this. Among other things, we are going to distribute pork from the
people's farms through the supermarkets, so that at least those who want it
will have competition, apart from the fact that it will be regulated. There
are always some families which buy fat pork and fry it at home, then drain
the lard, and also using the cracklings with vegetables or rice or other
things like that.

No, it will not be so difficult for the Cubans, not by a long
short. We know where we can produce and we have all the conditions
necessary for resolving the problem.

Well, then, what will happen in the next 18 months? Naturally, it
will be necessary to take an effort in the rural section to provide our own
supply. But apart from this, we have a certain volume, that is to say, not
all the fat we need, but what we can purchase on the market, a limited
quantity, and what we can purchase from the socialist countries, although
this will not meet the total demand.

However, just today, as a contribution to the alleviation of the
situation, the Soviet government has informed us through the Ambassador
that they have decided to sell us 10,000 more tons of fat during the
balance of the year (applause).

The Soviet government has always been concerned about all of these
evil deeds of the imperialists, this is a fact. Always, before we have made
any effort, they have spontaneously done something each time we have been
attacked by the imperialists. This happened with the oil, and with the
sugar. You will remember when they cut our quota by the first million, then
they offered to buy this million from us. When the quota was cut to
nothing, they then decided to buy 4 million. With regard to the polio
vaccine -- you will remember that the base there sent some old vaccine, and
then tried to make propaganda capital of it, but they had sent us old
vaccine. Well, now I have read that in the United States they have finally
decided to use the Soviet vaccine (applause).

This shows that the policy of peace will be a much more sensible
and useful policy for mankind than all of this policy of war, and thanks to
this vaccine it will be possible to increase the number of lives saved from
the scourge polio has been. Well, then, they went us the vaccine, and now
as soon as they understood the problem which had arisen with the embargo on
lard, making an effort for us, because they have planned production of
this, they have offered these 10,000 tons. This will give us a stock which
will not meet the need, but it is something, and it will in part alleviate
this situation. Now what we must do is to take steps to do away with this
problem of waiting lines in the stores with regard to lard (applause). I
passed a waiting line this morning and I greeted the people in the line
there, and everyone was very enthusiastic.

Now the people understand these situations perfectly.

What is it that we must do to avoid speculation? Lard is one of
the very few articles which have given rise to this problem, for the
reasons we have explained. What must we do? In order that no one need wait
in line, nor suffer inconvenience in the stores, we have already made an
overall study of the fat available. And now we must rapidly organize the
distribution of this fat in all the shops and distribution centers. How?
Well, each one, each family, will purchase in his own sector, where he

This problem must be resolved with discipline. The people must
play their part in it. There are two or three little things which show that
it is not possible to expect everything from the government.

With the problem of houses this occurred. There were people who
wanted to resolve the housing problem on their own, violating the rights of
the rest of the citizens. They did not pay much attention, and they
occupied the houses, and they wanted to continue occupying the houses.
Well, in any case, we repeat here that all those who have occupied houses
illegally, without authorization, will find themselves in the position of
having to surrender these houses. Once again we repeat it, because the
government will implement this principle, since it is a matter of the right
of the people, and individuals cannot redistribute things. This is an
evidence of egotism, of individualism, of "my-own-housism" (applause).

We know that there are families which have tremendous needs,
certainly, there are many, and some, pressed by this necessity, are
resolving the problem by breaking down the doors. Houses were turned over
to the CTC [Central de Trabajadores de Cuba -- Cuban Workers' Organization]
with the instructions that they were to be given to the largest and most
needy families, those who have always lived there in those tenements and
other such places. However, many of the houses were distributed as certain
ones wished.

But the CTC has been doing a truly just thing. Now 150,000 persons
have asked for houses. Everyone wants to have a house. Moreover, there are
many more working people, many problems resolved, many weddings, and the
people do not want to live with their mothers-in-law (laughter). No, they
want their own homes at all costs.

We must take into account the number of workers and the materials
needed to build a house. And the maximum number of houses which our
capacity to produce cement dowels permits is being built.

The problem of housing has always been one of the most serious
problems in all countries, and also, the greater the industrial development
of a country, the easier it is to resolve it. On top of everything, we have
to import cement and dowels to build houses, too. There are a limited
number of plumbing and carpentry and foundry teams, and we cannot build
more houses than these, although we are building many houses.

But we have had a problem with the many who have emigrated and
returned, with the increase in families, the weddings and all these things,
and also the idea, which has become general, that everyone should have his
own house. Because obviously there are many needs, and some are very
pressing, it is true, but those who are in pressing need will always, if
they search, certainly find four or five or ten or a hundred whose needs
are still more pressing. Because those who have four children in one room
will find that there are those with eight children in one room. What has
been done in these cases, in accordance with the instructions issued to the
CTC, was to redistribute them, charging 10% of what they earned. Imagine a
worker earning 90 pesos who has 8 children. Well, he will pay 9 pesos,
probably, for a three-room apartment.

This is the most just thing. No one can say that this is not the
most just thing. Thus it is that we have been distributing houses. But
obviously, it is necessary to collaborate with the revolution. This is the
duty of the citizens, and when they do not collaborate, well, then, the
revolution simply has the obligation to make them respect the rights of all
the people. And the revolution will safeguard these rights. Let no one
deceive themselves that by tricks or lies or otherwise he can fraudulently
remain in the place to which he has not been assigned, unauthorized.

There have also been problems to resolve, for many technicians and
engineers have come in connection with the industrialization, the factory
plans. There are not enough houses! Obviously, the houses in the outskirts,
not those in the cities, have been allocated to the technicians, but many
needs which have had to be met have developed, and this is a problem which
much be resolved.

Therefore, a review of all this housing will be made. Workers who
will devote themselves to this exclusively are being trained. No blows, no
trickery -- because there are people who say, who want to fight when it
comes to applying for a house (applause)! These days are now past.

One of the things which disgust the people most, in fact, is when
they see someone pulling a fast one, because there are those who respect
the law and have applied legally. Obviously, they could not all be
satisfied -- there are 150,000 of them. There were something like 4,000
apartments, houses and apartments, and 150,000 applications. And it made
the people truly angry, those who have observed the law, when others come
and by means of an arbitrary, forceful action, take charge of things. It is
the duty of the revolution to see that things are done in orderly and just

And the same thing happened with the lard business. The ambitious
ones appeared and wanted to have all the lard in their houses at all costs.
These were other individualists, other selfish persons who wanted to
resolve the problems their own way, and force all the others to run from
place to place and stand in line.

If we, as a result of the imperialist aggression, have less lard
than we need, what must we do? Distribute it fairly -- this is the only
thing which can be done patriotically and legally. We are no longer living
in the era of privileges, and the majority of those with the privileges
have left Cuba. Who are those who want to replace those who enjoy
privileges? Who are those who want to live with the egotism of those
millionaires, who do not care if the others have nothing but want to have
everything, who want to have ten pounds in their houses while others have
nothing, and because they have more money, because they have greater
resources, want to buy up everything? This must not be. We must guarantee
all that they will receive their fair portion in this 18 months of shortage
ahead of us.

How? Well, we must distribute through the stores, in accordance
with the number of persons residing in the district. This must be done in
organized fashion by the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution and
the Women's Federation (applause). And without fraud, without fraud!
Legislative measures will be approved to sanction those who try to get
around this right of the citizens, and those who try to speculate and to
sell in the shops. Each shop, however, will certainly receive quantities
consistent with the number of residents there who will buy their lard from

Then there will be distribution by families. Depending on what is
available, we will distribute the equivalent of a pound of lard and a pound
of oil monthly per person, that is to say, for each person over one year of
age. This will be more or less a half of what is needed, meeting a half of
the consumer demands, but everyone will have guaranteed his share of the
supply there is, on the basis of this system, without having to wait in

Thus, it will be necessary to register in the proper trade
department, store, shop or "minimax," whatever kind of store there is, in
the rural sectors and in the cities. This will be done by the people who
live in what we might call the jurisdiction of this shop. Then, we will
distribute the total quota available in the country to each one of these
establishments in accordance with the number of persons registered.

We must do this in orderly fashion, so that the system will
function well. We must ensure that it functions well, in order to spare
ourselves worry and headaches.

If we have as volume less than what we need, we cannot allow some
to have more and others less. We must guarantee that each has his share.

This will be done as soon as possible. We will see if things have
been organized now to function on the 20th of this month. And instructions
will be given in the newspapers, via radio and television. All the norms,
the way in which it will operate, will be explained.

This is one of the few articles, in fact, which has created this
problem for us, for which there is no solution. There has been no solution
since the time it developed, but in any case we must deal with its
limitations until we have resolved the problem with our own production.
This is the way in which we are going to resolve the fat problem. There is
no doubt that with this and the plans of the INDER [Instituto Nacional de
Deportes, Educacion Fisica, y Recreacion -- National Institute for Sports,
Physical Education and Recreation], and all of these sports matters, many
people will be "put on the line" (laughter).

This is a warm country, and it is our custom to consume
considerable fats. Without a doubt, we consume as much or more as a cold
northern country. Here in a semi-tropical country we consume an
extraordinary volume of fats. But, well, this is part of our customs, and
we can produce all the fat we need.

And meanwhile, we must overcome this new obstacle and inflict a
further defeat upon the imperialists with these measures resolving the
problem, showing them that they cannot sing a song of triumph in this
matter of aggression. And now, there are very few things, because they can
no longer -- the imperialists have practically nothing left to try against
us (laughter). They have racked their brains, and all they have tried has
failed. In fact, they are imposing a sacrifice upon us, but it is not a
great sacrifice. Fortunately, the revolution has advanced triumph without
requiring that the people make great sacrifices.

There is one important thing which I am going to mention here so
that the people will understand.

The production of almost all items has increased extraordinarily.
Obviously, there are some items, such as cigars, which, however much we may
consume, we will have in surplus, because we are a cigar and tobacco
exporting country. The increased consumption of cigars and tobacco is not
notable. The increase in coffee consumption is not notable. We are a
country which has a surplus of coffee and we are an exporter of coffee.
This year we have already produced ten thousand tons of cacao for export,
but we have said "no, we will leave them here, because if chocolate
consumption increases this year, the people will have chocolate without any
problem." The increase in sugar consumption, which is enormous, has not
been noticeable either, because of our fantastic production. We are a sugar
exporting country.

Now there are other items which do not exist in such abundance as
coffee, tobacco and sugar, and naturally the great consumption increase has
sometimes created shortages.

There are some people who ask, therefore: "And why is there no
cheese?" Well, sir, because there are many people eating cheese (laughter)!
The increases which have come about in the production of cheese are not
sufficient. In milk, despite the extraordinary increase, you have seen that
in this dry season there was no shortage of milk. Milk production was
maintained at a hundred thousand liters more than last year, and now there
are half a million liters. A new dairy basin in the Pinar del Rio zone has
been established, and it is yielding about 30,000 liters. By the beginning
of the year this basin will be providing 100,000 liters (applause).

In eggs, of which there was a certain shortage at the end of last
year, the supply, which is increasing extraordinarily, is now normalizing
the situation. What, then, is happening with some of these articles which
were not previously produced in large quantities? Although the production
of all of these articles has increased considerably, the consumption in
some cases has exceeded the production increase.

Why? And in one case, that of most, it is truly incredible. Why?
The people will understand perfectly well from the figures. In other words,
the increases they have received in salaries, the increases in income from

There was always talk of the large number of unemployed persons,
and now the large unemployment figure has practically disappeared,
particularly in the rural sector. Because, naturally, it is in the rural
sector that there are more factors allowing a rapid increase in labor,
lands which were uncultivated. And in this connection, we have the problems
of the sugar harvest, making aid to the rural sector in cutting the cane

Also, the number of construction workers has increased from 30 to

But let us compare the salary figures with those for the year 1958
-- non-agricultural wage income, not including construction workers. The
figure for 1958 was 723 million, and that for 1960 is 1,106,700,000 pesos
is wages (applause).

This means that between 1958 and 1960 there was an increase in
non-agricultural wages, that is to say, in industrial wages, an increase of
380,700,000 pesos in two years in non-agricultural wages. Including
agriculture with the agrarian reform, including construction workers, we
have salary increases from the triumph of the revolution to the present
time of no less than 500 million pesos.

Now let us make a comparison with 1961, because there has been an
increase. In January of 56, [sic], the non-agricultural wages -- for 1959
the figure was 56 million and for 1961, 89,220,981 pesos and 23 centavos,
according to the data received here. February 1959 -- no, comparing 58 with
61, the figure was 58 million for 58 and 89 for 61. February 1958: 67
million; 1961, 124 million. March 1958, 69 million; March 1961, 102
million; April 1958, 64 million; April 1961, 112 million.

This means that between the figure for the first four months of
1958, 259 million, and that for the first four months of 1961, 428 million,
there is a difference for four months nonagricultural wages of 169 million.
This is the difference.

And let us examine the other figure, the difference between the
early months of 1958 and 1959. Let us see. The figure for January 1958 was
58 million, January 1959, 56 million. This was the paralysis of the first
months of the revolution. For February of 1958, the figure was still higher
than for February 1959, in other words, 67 million in February 1958 and 66
million in February 1959. Still, in February of 1959, in the early days of
the revolution, the figure was no higher than that for the preceding year.

But let us see. For March 1958, 69 million, and for March 1959, 72
million. Already we note the increase in the wages. April 1958, 64 million;
April 1959, 68 million. Already 14 million more, in only 4 months of
revolution, in the matter of wages. And thus it has developed gradually.
The revolution has meant and extraordinary increase.

Let us remember, first of all, that there were many workers who
were dismissed from their jobs or persecuted. They presented themselves at
the sugar mils and plants to demand their jobs. A series of increases in
wages came about, but the most important thing is that the number of
persons employed increased. If, for example, there are 12,000 more
teachers, these are 12,000 persons who were not receiving an income before
but are now. Also, there are 70,000 more construction workers. Not to
mention the very large number of agricultural workers who were employed
only three months a year.

If you go to the people's farms and cooperatives you will find
cases, for example, which we have studied by asking direct questions. How
many children do you have? Ten, I think, something like that. How many of
you were working before? Just me. How much time? No more than two or three
days a week. This was a worker earning two pesos, or a little more, working
two or three days a week and with 8 or 10 children.

And now you ask how many in the household are working. Six of us.
How much do you earn a day? Nineteen pesos a day. Because one is a tractor
driver, and has a higher income, and another is an agricultural worker.
Thus, a family which had an income of two pesos and something, for three
days work a week, now has an income of 19 pesos a day. This is found in
many cases, this is the common thing in the rural sector.

It was natural that we had to give work to the people. And in
doing this, what would happen? Would we pay them lower wages? Would wages
drop? No, wages would not drop, and we would not pay less to a man who was
beginning to work. It was necessary to ensure a more equitable
distribution. And the natural thing was that family income increased

This explains why there are some 500 million pesos more paid in
pages. And naturally, when wages increased by 500 million pesos, the
purchasing power of the people increased. There are some items with regard
to which there is no problem, for example, sugar. You can buy all the sugar
you want. We are not going to run out of sugar. You can buy all the coffee
you want, there will be no shortage. One can buy chocolate, tobacco and
cigars as much as he wishes. There will be no shortage of tobacco and
cigars. But there are other items which we do not produce, which we are not
producing on a large scale as we do coffee, tobacco and cigars, for
example, cheese, meat and dairy products. Although there has been a
tremendous increase, no matter how much you milk a cow, she will not give
more milk very morning. There are more people who want to drink milk, and
it is possible to undertake great programs. They have been undertaken.
There are plans for the training of insemination technicians and the
development of special breeding establishments. Because also, no one was
concerned with the development of such breeding, nor the development of
livestock breeding to obtain more meat with less fodder, and to obtain more
milk in less time. So now the revolution has to resolve the problem, but it
cannot do so overnight.

With some articles there are problems -- shoes, among other
things, because there are vast numbers of militiamen and brigade members.
The production of boots has been multiplied by 8, and still there are
people seeking boots. The production of shoes has been increased
substantially, and shortly the shoe supply problem will be definitively
resolved. In textiles too,there will be no shortage. Now all of the plants
are producing the maximum, and as this is not enough, we have also imported
substantial quantities of cloth to resolve the problem. There are items the
production of which we cannot increase at this speed, although we must make
an extraordinary effort.

The demand for everything has increased. Books? Yes, the demand
for books has increased, and with books there is no problem, because the
National Publishing House is producing fabulous quantities of books, and
now will still more dynamic organization, there will be greater book

Imagine that there are 500 million pesos more, because in reality,
gentlemen, the revolution has been giving, the revolution has not been
taking away. We have undertaken a profitable revolution. We are now
prepared to understand these things. Add to this the drop in rents, add to
this the many things which are cheaper, for example, the movies,
amusements, the beaches. Well, services to the people in education, in
medicine and recreation have increased extraordinarily, and the prices have
remained the same for many things. We have kept the same prices. In some
things, such as textiles, the price went up in the early days of the
revolution. There was a price rise with regard to shoes too. In other
things, the same prices prevail. The price of meat has remained the same,
along with the prices of eggs, milk, the whole series of things, root
vegetables, potatoes, malanga. I know that there has been a certain
shortage of malanga recently. Naturally, the counterrevolutionaries began
to circulate lies, some of these very rare stories like that about sending
the children to the Soviet Union. Now they say that we are sending malanga
to the Soviet Union. The problem of malanga is a rather simple one. The
fact is that there is one period during the year when there is less
malanga, because there are various seasons in the year. Well, in this
period, the malanga comes from the hills of Rancho Mundito. Well, what has
the situation in Rancho Mundito been? There has been no one to pick
malanga. Everyone was cutting cane. Everyone there was working at the
people's farm, because if you go to the Pinar del Rio 2 zone, you will find
that there are some 8,000 workers there. All the people from all the
villages everywhere, everyone -- even the people from the hills have gone
there to work at the people's farm.

Thus, there was much malanga planted, but no one to harvest it.
Then, some workers were asked to go there from the zone of Guira... Guines?
No, it was Guira. Isn't that where Severo is? Well, a group of men was sent
from there to harvest malanga in the hills, but these people were not used
to the hills and they missed the plains, and returned. Then there is a
forest militia which has been planting eucalyptus and doing forestry work.
These are some new boys who have been organized in the militia and have
been stationed there near the Guanahacabibes zone. And they have to bring
reinforcements from there to harvest the malanga in Rancho Mundito.

This is the problem. There was malanga, but there was no one to
harvest it. Now the problem is being resolved. Obviously, this was a period
of the year when we depended on the mountain zone. The usual growers did
not have any then. Now there is a great abundance of it. It will be
necessary to regularize the harvest, such that there will be a supply all

Where potatoes are concerned, you know that they cannot be kept
throughout the year, and there was a period when we had to import potatoes.
We even had to go to look for land in the mountains, and already this year
50 caballerias have been cultivated, and there are 200,000 quintals of
potatoes for this shortage period, for regulating the potato supply up to
the end of the year.

The prices on all of these articles have remained the same. Now
steps have been taken at the Havana market to lower the prices, and they
are being lowered. You know that if one goes to buy a pineapple at a stall
there, it costs 30 centavos.

Every time I go there and ask for a pineapple, it costs 30

Well, what is a mango worth? 20 centavos. But how can a mango be
worth 20 centavos? It is simply that there has been a tremendous rise in
the price of these articles. And the peasants are paid 35 or 36 for
pineapples, less than 40 centavos a dozen, that is to say,they are paid 3
and some centavos for a pineapple, and then it is sold to the public at 20,
25 or 30 centavos.

Thus there has been absurd speculation and rising prices here. It
was necessary to take further steps, but you understand that every time it
is necessary to approve measures, a number of people are affected. Because
this was a country which lived in a state of indescribable parasitism. And
whenever the revolution wants to "right some wrong," someone is hurt, even
though we do not want it.

And thus the revolution must continue to resolve the problems, and
is the revolution to blame? But there were absurd things of this nature,
and so what happened? The public paid more, and the farmer sold cheaper,
and was paid less and sold for less. This blocked production. The people
could have consumed much more and the farmer could have sold much more.
Certain steps were taken and there has been an actual process of price

With regard to meat, Havana consumes almost all the beef in the
republic. Havana eats and eats. If the people's farms send more beef,
Havana eats more beef. An average of almost a thousand animals a day. We
must keep production up or they will have to eat the cows in the interior.
We will not accomplish anything if we eat the cows.

Thus it is necessary to develop poultry production, hog
production, and fishing. Raul has quite rightly said that we must eat more
fish and more chicken. The problem is that Raul did not know that there was
no more fish or chicken, that we are now in the midst of production plans.
Well, this is precisely what we must do, but we cannot do it overnight.
That is the problem, because all of this is in the process of development.
Yes, it is necessary to eat more fish and more chicken, but we are
precisely in the midst of this -- of producing more fish and more chicken
and more pork.

Meat production in Cuba was based on large landholdings. How did
this work? It is good that we should understand all this. Well, the large
estates were worked by farm peons, and one alone cared for 800 animals
there in natural pasturage, one man for each 1000 caballerias. In the past,
a bull was 36 months old before being sold on the market. This is a very
primitive production method.

To produce more meat on less land and in less time, it is
necessary to engage in intensive production, that is, to fatten in the
barns. Now, the raising of meat in the barns, by the intensive method,
cannot be done at the same cost, naturally. Intensive methods of fattening
with fodder in the barn produce better meat, more meat on less land and in
less time, but at a higher cost.

The price of meat is frozen here at 43 centavos. We have what is
called prime quality meat, which is that produced in the barns with fodder,
but this means feeding corn, and corn must be raised. This is not the same
as having one man on natural pasture land, where there is no need to make
investments of any kind.

Obviously, this method was cheaper, but it took 350,000
caballeries of Cuban land. Almost all of the land in Cuba was devoted to
the raising of livestock which barely met our needs. And this is now
agriculture was.

Little by little, we must move toward production of the intensive
type, that is to say, better quality meat but higher cost, while also
increasing poultry and hog production, in order to alter the consumption
ratio as well. And some day, when all of the meat is being produced
intensively in the barns, the prices will be different, and the ratio
between the consumption of beef and fish and poultry and pork will be
different. We will have to work these things out in a rational and logical
manner. Meanwhile, however, we must continue to struggle to supply the
market. However, in Holguin they were slaughtering 200 cows a week. If we
slaughter the cows, then we are lost. We will have no meat. We must not
slaughter the cows.

Thus, we must continue to develop. Little by little, through the
supermarkets, we will increase distribution of high quality meat, and
continue breeding. We must always have cheap meat, or fish, or poultry, or
pork. We must have some cheap meat. These are the plans, so that the people
will have sufficient meat, and always some cheap meat. Nor is it possible
to east beef always, because then livestock breeding would have no future.

And we must not only think of producing here, but of exporting
meat one day, because Cuba has excellent conditions for producing and
exporting. Thus, all of the meat production must be planned on the basis of
the most scientific and rational norms. But this is another of the items
the consumption of which has increased extraordinarily.

Now along with this we have the plan for poultry production.
Currently there is a shortage of birds. Why? Because the two and a half
million chickens consumed in the past were imported from the United States.
We have now decided to establish the basis for poultry breeding and
domestic production. Production currently is running about a million eight
hundred thousand. We did not want to bring more chicks from there for
incubation here, but to bring breeding stock for development. This is
developing fully and proceeding rapidly. For example, this production which
is about 1,800,000 a month now, as compared with the demand of 2-1/2
million -- what it has been in the past, will increase to 5 million birds
by the month of December, 5 million (applause). By December there will be
chicken without restrictions. But, by the month of March of next year, the
total will be 7 million, which is the goal set for poultry production. And
there will be chicken.

Thus the plan for the production of poultry and hogs is advancing
rapidly, but the plan for poultry production, incubation, breeding stock,
laying hens and fodder production , all of this which is necessary to
achieve this production is the most advanced currently. Thus there is no
problem with eggs. Havana consumption totals some 1600 cases, and
production will reach some 2,500 or 3,000 cases by the end of the year.
Eggs will also be unrestricted.

Milk production, too, will increase. The production of poultry
will increase tremendously, that is, to say, we can already depend on a
type of production other than that of beef alone, because there is no
livestock industry which could meet the demands being made with regard to
meat, because there are 500 million pesos more in the hands of the people.

These are the basic consumption problems. Shoes: resolved.
Clothing: resolved. Medicines: resolved. Poultry, to be resolved in
December, and also pork, poultry and fish. Fish production is increasing,
too. We have established a goal of 0 million pounds this year, that is to
say, an increase to some 8 million a month. Also, they are struggling to
reach 100 million pounds, in order fully to satisfy the demand. I believe
that all that is produced the people will eat, because they have money.

We must resolve the problems branch by branch, through an increase
in production. And we now know one thing. The first thing a man does is to
eat. Then he clothes himself, then buys a house, and then turns to
amusement and all these things. But the first thing on which he will spend
his wages is on food. And think of his family in which the father worked
three days a week, and is now receiving 1900 pesos a day and working
throughout the year. Because everyone, when he goes to the store, comes
away loaded.

Let us examine rice production in 1958, for example. The total was
2 million when the revolution came to power. The current production is 5
million. this means that there has been an increase of 3 million in rice
production. Now, then, the increase in consumption has been from 6 to 8
million. On the earlier date, two were produced and four imported. Now we
are producing 5 and importing 3. The production increase per capita has
been from 100 to 130 pounds of rice. And the fact is that everyone, all of
us, are eating more rice. And the rice is improved in quality. Now our
domestic rice is of a much better quality.

And this per capita figure is an average, because in the past,
some ate 300 and others 30. We have divided the total of rice consumed
among all inhabitants, but in reality things were not like this. In fact,
some ate for 3, some ate for 1, and some had only a third of a portion.
This means that the per capita figure now is more truly per capita, do you
see? Because the per capita average for this family of 10 or 12 people with
3 days work a week was certainly not 130 pounds. The per capita average for
people who had high incomes, the large estate owners, who ate chicken with
rice every day, and paella on Sundays, and rice with shellfish on Mondays
-- these people consumed 300 pounds of rice. Now there is a per capita
average of 130, which in fact is more nearly the truth. Is this not the
case? Ask the family there at the Camilo Cienfuegos People's Farm.

These are the things the people should know, so that no
counterrevolutionary can come to confuse them, and so that they can say
what a little old lady on a bus told a counterrevolutionary: "Look, I don't
care if there isn't any lard, because before I had to eat the Malanga
without lard, and now at least I have the malanga and lots of other
things." And this is the truth (applause).

These figures speak for themselves. There are 500 million pesos
more in the hands of the people, and the people must make an effort to
increase production in all these branches, which account for the main
expenditures. Because when the food problems are resolved, we can resolve
the problem of shoes and of clothing, and the problems of education, which
are very important. There is no doubt at all that in the educational sector
the people are receiving 200% more than what they received before. That is,
the revolution has managed to raise the level of educational services
extraordinarily. And those in recreation too.

The revolution has succeeded in establishing a large number of
recreation centers to which the people are going -- beaches and athletic
fields. A fondness for the beaches is now developing, and sports are
gaining unusual popularity. Also gatherings in the social circles are
increasing. The people have a large number of social circles where they
enjoy amusements on Saturdays and Sundays.

Thus the people are receiving a whole series of services which are
within their reach today thanks precisely to the resources they have,
because they have 500 million pesos more, let us not forget.

For this reason, beer consumption has increased greatly. All
consumption has increased.

Thus, these branches remain in which we must make a great effort.
All of the people must adopt these slogans, in all the agricultural
production centers. The advancement of all these production goals must
become the slogan of the peasants, of the workers on the farms, of the
cooperative members, of the small farmers, of the associations, of all
revolutionaries, because here the only thing to do is work. The problem is
to work, to organize and to advance.

In the agricultural sector, in agricultural machinery, there will
be 5,000 more tractors -- 5,000 -- this year, acquired from the countries
with which we have agreements, that is to say, the socialist countries.
This is without counting the tractors obtained by way of indemnification.
If they come, fine, but if they do not, there will be 5,000 tractors.

Along with all this, there is a program for training technicians
in agriculture, mechanics, inseminators, zoo technicians. Right now, 300
Soviet technicians, very young, are working with us, because we proposed an
exchange of a thousand peasants. We will send a thousand peasants, and they
will send us 300 technicians. Among the peasants we have sent there were
117 agronomical engineers (applause).

We are sending 1,000 peasants who have been welcomed with great
honor in the Soviet Union. There were celebrations -- well, the arrival of
the peasants in the Soviet Union was quite an event! And then, they went to
the various machine and agricultural schools to study there. Al of this
will be a great contribution. The time will come when they will return,
they will go back to the cooperatives and the farms, and this will provide
great impetus.

Parallel with this, there are the cutting and sewing and the art
instructors' schools. In a word, there is not the slightest doubt that
agriculture will develop in extraordinary fashion, and the time will come
when in truth we will have unusual abundance, when supply will fully meet

Currently, the revolution was undertaken, naturally, for the
people, the revolution was not undertaken for the minorities. When the
economy is organized in the service of the interests of the minority, that
minority is the master of the land, of the factories, of the clubs, of the
best schools, of the universities -- of everything, the beaches, in a word,
of the funds in the banks, of the foreign exchange, of everything. Then,
naturally, that economy wastes substantial resources on big cars, jewels,
expensive clothes. Many articles are produced which are for this minority.
A revolution cannot be thinking of goods for minorities, of producing very
pretty things for 10,000 families to buy. A revolution has to resolve the
problem of the rest of the population, not the 10,000. If the 10,000 adapt
to the standard of living of the people, well, then, they do and fine. But
the revolution must produce for the masses. It is absurd to produce luxury
goods and to build fabulous homes. Because it makes no sense for the
revolution to put 200 workers to building a palace of 20 rooms for one
family. And this is what happened before: the work of 200 laborers,
building materials, the wood and all that was used to make a little palace
for a single family. What must the revolution do? Well, it must not build
palaces. They build those in the past, and they were fine and very pretty,
and they are useful, because now the rural people and the peasants are
there, and it is wonderful, nothing has been lost (applause).

The owners of the palace have left. Some of them hid their
treasures in the walls. Always a man of the people came later and told
where they were. And so broken walls began to appear everywhere. They
planned to return, this is the truth, because otherwise why would they have
hidden the silver, the crystal and all these things? And they hid them,
because at a short distance from here there is a hollow wall in which a
whole series of treasurers was found. It is as if we were living in the
days of pirates (laughter) because things were hidden and there are many
people looking for treasure here, testing all the walls. There are homes in
which people have been living for days, and then treasure appeared. It will
drive us crazy, this mania for seeking treasure (laughter). So they went.
The revolution was not going to give these houses to single families. It
put 40 peasants there, and later there will be 40 scholarship students.
This is the proper thing. The revolution is not going to invest the work of
200 workers, nor the material, in the building of a palace. The revolution
will build 10 houses with the same material, with these same workers.
Instead of building a palace for 200,000 pesos, it will build 200 houses.
Anyone can understand that the purpose of the revolution is not to build
palaces, and to invest materials and human energy in resolving the problems
of a single family! It must resolve the problems of 20. National
production, too. There are some people who go to the socialist countries
and what they find there is not this handful of baubles produced in a
bourgeois country, because obviously, in these bourgeois countries there
are tens of thousands of workers laboring to produce pretty little things
for a minority, while a large part of the people remains in misery.

A revolution and a revolutionary government must produce for the
masses. The days of the pretty little things will come -- we will produce
them, too, and better than they did, but for everyone (applause).

If you go to the home of a wealthy bourgeois, and certainly the
person who lives there was better off than anyone. This was the paradise of
the monopolies and the upper bourgeoisie. Not even in the United States
itself did they build such palaces as existed here. Then you find a pretty
little parasol, with a handful of baubles and trinkets. You find glass
tables, beautifully carved objects, innumerable things. But for a worker's
house one must produce a set of rules for sleeping and eating, comfortable
and functional. But this industry cannot produce itself. Well, this was all
right with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was all right for our
embassies. Well, now we have more serious ambassadors, and we are training
them, because if we send them a service of gold or silver and one of these
people encounters the enemy, the gold or silver service will be taken away
from him! But now, there are in the foreign service better people, and we
are training cadres of revolutionary people. Well, then, our embassies can
have gold and silver services, all of the things which were here in these
houses, these treasures, are going there. They are fine for visitors'
accommodations, for receptions too, let the visitors come, fine. And those
things which are of great value will go to a museum.

But we do not need to produce any of this here, because for the
worker, for the peasant living in a hut, what we have to produce is an
immediate house, first of all, and furniture, and sanitary facilities and
all these things, because the revolutionary regime produces for the masses.
An exploiters' regime leaves the masses in misery and produces for the
minority, and has a large volume of industry devoted to producing things
for minorities. A revolution cannot do this. Let them produce huge
refrigerators and kitchens, with several separately controlled ovens! What
a marvel, what progress in these bourgeois capitalist countries, because
they have huge kitchens! But go a little further, and you will find a
fellow cooking on a pile of stones (laughter)! A fellow suffered! So let
them produce for the minorities.

Are we going to produce these large kitchens? No, we are going to
produce much smaller little kitchens, but so that everyone will have one of
these instead of nothing. And if one day we can produce large kitchens for
everyone, we will. When labor productivity is extraordinary and
industrialization tremendous and the people have nothing else to do, then
they can work a little and produce whatever they want.

This day will come. It is incredible, but with automation, for
example, they already have a seven-hour work day in the Soviet Union. I
believe that in 1965 it will be six or four. Well, I didn't want to believe
what they told me (applause).

The day may come when the people say: "Four hours is very little,
we are too idle. We will work a half an hour more and produce large
kitchens." And then they can produce large kitchens and all of that, but
the revolution will not advance by producing these luxurious kitchens while
the rest of the people lack everything. The economy of this country cannot
be thus, and this is what the revolutionary people must understand, that
the people and the revolution produce for the masses, for the great
majority, and are not concerned with these luxuries, the luxuries of the
minorities. All the rest, the building of a beautiful recreation center,
the beautiful tourist center, some of these projects were undertaken at a
time when it was necessary to provide jobs, but they also serve the
interests of the people.

We must produce and we must work for the masses, and thus raise
the standard of living of the masses, because this is a revolutionary
regime. And we must dedicate all the human effort, the energy of the
workers, their skill precisely to resolve the problem of the masses, mass
producing houses. But obviously, before mass producing houses, it is
necessary, for example, to establish another plant for sanitary facilities,
another cement factory, because we are accomplishing nothing if we build
houses without proper facilities there.

We must provide sanitary services, too, and we must develop the
porcelain fixtures plant, and increase our production of construction
materials. Until we increase it -- we are already operating at full
capacity -- we cannot build more houses than we are building.

And obviously, we must also consider the investment in a house. It
is necessary to make an investment of four, five or six thousand pesos, and
to use a number of workers. We must increase our capacity to produce
construction materials in order to increase housing construction. And we
have some problems now, for example, the manpower problem in many places,
it is true.

Certainly, this problem is preferable to the old one, that of 200
men in a little village there, brutalized, living in somnolence and
boredom, as was the case in many towns which we now find empty. Where are
these people? They are on the people's farms.

Naturally, the imperialists always painted the Cubans as idlers,
as Indians with wide hats staring at the ground, and they had no work, no
food, no nothing.

And the problem of labor, too, depends on diet. The human body
needs a certain number of calories and it needs proteins, and if one cannot
get them, there is only one way to protect one's self, and that simply by
making less effort. This is the famous idler of which the imperialists
talked, the man who was suffering from hunger. But they wanted him to make
an effort as if he were receiving all the nutritional and energy elements
he needed.

And now this is our problem, now we are beginning to have a
manpower problem. Now we must concern ourselves about producing machines to
cut the cane. What did this mean, the fact that we had to invent a machine
for this? Anyone who talked of inventing a machine for cutting cane here
would have been lynched by the trade unions (laughter)! And rightly,
because they were working three months a year, and on top of that, a
machine to cut the cane? But now, everyone is going crazy inventing
machines to reap corn and maize and harvest beans and to cut cane.
Incredible, but true!

And talking of these agricultural matters, I have forgotten
something, and that is, that this coming year, in the cold season, 15,000
caballerias of beans will be planted. This is another item which we were
importing in part and producing in part, and as of November of this year,
we will also have beans without restriction, without problems (applause)!

In this matter of beans, too, there was such an increase in
consumption that it was necessary to undertake an emergency planting, in
the spring, when it is the most risky, and now, within 30 days, we will
have 200,000 quintals. With this and with the imports the bank is making,
well, we will have resolved the problem by the end of the year, and this
will do away definitively with the problems in connection with the other

As to rice, consumption of which I told you has increased, and
which was imported, it represents a sector in which we do not so urgently
need to increase production because of our trade with the Chinese People's
Republic and other countries, such as the United Arab Republic. We must see
more urgently to other articles now. Obviously, we will continue to
increase rice production, but not with the intensive effort we will devote
to the production of oleaginous crops and grains, beans and other articles,
because in this connection we do have sources of supply and good prices,
and thus no great haste is necessary in the plans for developing rice,
although we will continue gradually until we produce our own supply of this
crop, too.

There are the basic problems.

I believe that what we have said more or less contains the
arguments to explain to the people, so that the people will understand and
so that everyone will know how things are going. We sincerely believe that
things are going well for us. Let the imperialists, the
counterrevolutionaries, those who may begin again to harass us, to raise
their heads, beware! Let them watch out if they raise their heads again!

The revolution has behaved very generously, it has not been very
harsh. But let those who want to attack again and under new forms of
struggle against the revolution beware! It is simply that the revolution
will defend itself.

And if we know that the counterrevolutionaries will make a new
effort, that the imperialists will make a further effort, no one will rest
on his laurels! We have forgotten to say that one of the great efforts the
country has had to make is in defense, and that each time it has had to
undertake these great mobilizations, tens of thousands of men have had to
abandon their agricultural and industrial work, and this is another of the
problems we have had, a cost we have had to pay for defense, for
mobilization, a loss we have suffered in production, but no one will
believe that the imperialists...

We have listed here a whole series of aggressions and steps taken,
but let us realize that the imperialists will always take a further step.
They will not resign themselves. The imperialists do not give up and they
will take further steps, new steps, more steps of all kinds against the
revolution, and thus we must not rest on our laurels.

A revolution is not a joke. A revolution is not such a simple or
tolerable thing for the international reactionaries, and they will continue
struggling against us. What we must do is to have confidence in triumph and
to fight as we have fought thus far, in order to continue winning all the
battles against the imperialists in every sector.

The imperialists are planning further aggression against Cuba.
Without a doubt, the new attacks will be still more violent, because I do
not believe that they will make the same mistakes again, although they may
make others. They will make errors in any case, not the same ones, but
other errors.

These are the things I wanted to say.

Moderator: Dr. Castro, wouldn't you like to say something about
condensed milk?

Dr. Castro: Well, fine, I will explain this problem. The
production of condensed milk has increased greatly too, but despite
everything there is not enough. This is an example of how a revolutionary
industry is concerning itself with increasing production and avoiding the
waste of raw materials.

For example, you know that the bottling industry is well
developed, too, within the dairy sector in capitalist countries. Because
this is a type of production which is adapted... obviously, condensed milk
is condensed milk, but there is a whole series of articles we had, which
were used for trips, excursions - in a word, they were also, in the second
sense, consumer products for a minority. There are some which all of the
people consume, but it is costly, and involves production... The socialist
countries dedicated themselves first to producing other items which were
more important, in the short run, than the production of tin plate and all
these things, were are costly.

But you have here an example (holding up two cans, one larger than
the other, of condensed milk). In Cuba this type of condensed milk was
produced, and then it came in a type of container of this size. The tin
plates for making condensed milk cans were of this size, and so they made
them thus, and all of this was thrown out, wasted. Well, now the dairy
industry of the revolutionary government has produced this type of
condensed, concentrated milk. In other words, this holds a liter of milk,
and the other one a liter and three-quarters, using the same quantity of
metal which was needed before to make one tin. Today we make a tin holding
one and three-quarters cans of condensed milk. This is that type, and it
will be put on the market too.

Do you know what this means? It means a serving for the country of
1,050,000 dollars in tin plate, because first we save this part (pointing),
and second, this is concentrated. This will be put on the market too --
this is a liter and three- quarters. This one sells for 20, and the other
will sell for 35, that is, the equivalent in milk quantity the other
contains. Another type, which means a saving, because often the militia,
hospitals, many kinds of centers use condensed milk in large quantities --
this is a type which contains the same quantity of milk as one of these
tins and three-quarters more, and it is a savings. I carry it, among other
things, in order to do a little advertising for this condensed milk
(laughter). For my money, this is better, because it is thick milk.

Moderator:  Comrade Jimenez.

Journalist: Along with the mobilization initiated by the
revolutionary sectors for the coming 26 July celebration, some small groups
of counterrevolutionaries, although there are not many, have undertaken to
propagate a series of "stories" to the effect that the revolutionary
government will take this occasion to issue some laws. Would you care to
say something about the coming 26 July celebration?

Dr. Castro;  What do they say we will decree?

Journalist: They say, for example, that the government will "pour
it on," that the revolutionary government will confiscate the small
businesses and industries which still remain, and even that it will also
confiscate the personal property of some individuals, such as cars, kitchen

Dr. Castro:  Kitchen appliances (laughter)?

Well, my boy, what are you going to do with counterrevolutionaries
and their "stories"? As long as there are counterrevolutionaries and as
long there is a revolution, and there will have to be one for a long
time... Obviously, there will be more revolution and fewer
counterrevolutionaries as time goes on (applause).

The counterrevolutionaries regroup behind every stone they find in
their path of retreat, and wherever something remains they can mobilize,
stir up, agitate in order to resist, to create fear, to arouse mistrust,
they do it. But what have they achieved in almost three years of
revolution? Because as far as we can see, we have advanced greatly since
the beginning, and the counterrevolutionaries have dropped further back
(laughter). They do not want to see things properly, they do not see the
extraordinary path of the revolution, and they do not see its strength, its
popular support. They are not even capable of realizing that there are
100,000 teachers instructing the people in reading and writing. They are
not capable of it.

Just compare: what do the counterrevolutionaries have in the first
months of the revolution? Everything -- the economic resources of the
press, the television, the radio -- everything, while the people had the
revolutionary forces and awareness, not very well developed. The people
were weaker, they did not have this unity, they did not have this strength
they have now.

They had the entire city, all of the sectors of every area. There
were no Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. There was no militia,
no battalions. All of the things which exist today did not exist then. Now
we have a whole army of teachers, an increasingly well defined
revolutionary element, an ever better developed organization, increasing
the profound political integration (applause).

Today there are thousands of men who have gone to school to take
military training. There are many, many schools of all types -- literally
all types, operating. No one realizes how many people there are in the
schools now -- they can hardly be counted. I have already lost count
(laughter). They are in civilian schools for military training of all
kinds. We have better organized revolutionary institutions. All of the
departments of the government are better organized and have greater
experience on all levels. Then, there is the series of reforms which have
been undertaken in all sectors, in the education sector, in the

Now all of those bulwarks, the "white belt" which surrounded
Havana is a belt of revolutionary students everywhere. All of those houses
in Tarara, all those places where the people hid to engage in terrorism,
bombing and plotting -- all of that -- you go there now and you find
schools for revolutionary teachers, schools for peasants, schools
everywhere. There are a thousand houses. Now what are they? Strategic
positions. Revolutionary students, sons of the workers at the sugar mills,
young people from the villages where there are no basic secondary schools
are going to study there on scholarships, because we must work with these
people, because they are the future engineers and technicians. They cannot
produce now, and this is why we must produce more meat, more fish, more
chicken, more beans, more rice, more everything.

Then we have the defense committees which are better trained and
have greater discipline with every passing day. We have military strength,
political strength, organizational strength, experience. The masses have
been mobilized and organized. We have the workers, the workers' movement,
the women's movement, the young people's movement -- everything, my boy.
Listen, it is not that I am an optimist, but we have really left the
counterrevolutionaries behind, and since the Bay of Pigs we have been
gaining on them. They will raise their heads again in one month, or two or
three or four or five or six, but they will have to do battle with a much
stronger giant.

When the revolution began they had everything -- imperialism, the
press. The revolution had no organization or resources. It had nothing. It
was weak even in the very awareness of the people. But today the revolution
is a giant and the counterrevolution is a miserable little worm which is
retreating further every day, beaten, discredited, demoralized. Every day
this is more obvious, for the allies of the counterrevolution, the
imperialists, are also very stupid people, people who have published all
these things, who have had no shame whatsoever. Just count up the money
they have spent, look at who organized and commanded them and gave them
orders. They have fallen into a situation so disgusting that every citizen
rejects everything which represents the counterrevolution as distasteful
and repugnant. The counterrevolution is a rotting worm (applause).

Mr. Valdes Vivo:  In the last stages of disintegration.

Dr. Castro: A new generation is developing with a tremendous
revolutionary spirit, and it will constitute a tremendous reserve for the
revolution. When the people begin to tire, all of the new young people will
be there. When we are already a little weary, a whole new trained
revolutionary army will be ready. Who can withstand it? And also, none of
us is tired yet, we might say by way of warning just in case (applause).

We are no longer fighting the first battle. In the early days, we
all had to outdo ourselves, there were many problems. Today, many things
have been organized, now there is a strong and organized whole which is
methodically dealing with all the problems. The revolutionaries themselves
now have tasks different from those of the early days of the revolution. It
has become easier. I am not saying to you that we enjoy comfort. It is al
the same, whatever comes. There are periods of calm, and periods of
agitation, but then we are used to this.

Now everything is being planned. We proceed by planning, too, by
organizing and allocating time. It must be thus, it must be. In the early
days there was tremendous personal work. Now I appear less frequently on
television than in those early days. I had to appear then, every three or
four days. Then indeed there were "stories" and they were always trying to
confuse the people a little. Not any longer. There have been changes in all
these things.

Moderator:  Comrade Ithiel Leon.

Dr. Castro: Oh, yes, the 26th. What we plan is a large rally on
the 26th (applause). On the 25th there will be a great sports parade with
70,000 athletes, although there will also be 100,000 teachers. What a sight
it will be when all the teachers march!

On the 26th, there will be a great rally. It will not be like last
year, when we had everything. There will be a great gathering, so that the
people will not be... no parade, because with a parade and a rally it tires
the people greatly. And thus we are planning one thing for the 26th,
another for 1 May and another for 2 January. Possibly there will be a
parade, a workers' parade, on 1 May, and a popular rally and military
parade on 2 January. This, then, is what we will have.

Oh, and on the 27th, we will inaugurate a whole series of projects
at the Bay of Pigs. Thus, we have plans for the 25th, 26th, and 27th, and
the celebration will be brilliant. We will have Gagarin as a guest
(applause), and this will be a great event. It is quite possible that
General Lazaro Cardenas will be here, too (applause). Moreover, there is a
commission, a high level delegation from the Korean People's Republic
(applause). Thus, the celebration will be a splendid one.

And are we, the revolutionaries, concerned about the 26th? No. It
is the counterrevolutionaries, those who are frightened. The
revolutionaries are not worried about this date. The revolutionaries always
welcome it happily, because it will be a day of revolutionary affirmation.
How many 26 July holidays will we have to celebrate? What will they say in
ten years? Will they be saying the same thing, will they be spreading the
same stories? That will be when not a single stone remains behind which
they can plot their intrigues.

Moderator:  Comrade Ithiel Leon.

Mr. Ithiel Leon: Commander, Comrade Jimenez has spoken of the 26
July holiday, and I would like to mention another date, also a celebration
in July, that on the 4th. Would you care to send a message to the people of
the United States who have been betrayed by the monopolies and the
professional warmongers?

Dr. Castro: Incidentally, we have today received some telegrams of
support from young US citizens. In fact, I think that a reaction is
occurring in the United States among the young people, among the workers,
among the Negro people in the United States.

First of all, we would like to send a greeting to the Committee
for Just Treatment of Cuba (applause), a very brilliant group of Americans.
Courageous in the face of the hysteria and McCarthyism, they are defending
the revolution and sympathizing with it and recruiting members for the
Committees for Just Treatment for Cuba. We also want to send greetings to
the Freedom Travellers (applause), who have also been courageous enough to
face up to the racists and the fascists in the United States. We also greet
the maritime workers and the crews of the vessels which have been waging
the struggle there for equal treatment, for an end to the violation and the
exploitation resulting from the operation of US vessels under the flags of
other countries in order to cheat on wages, to pay miserable wages, those
who have been waging the proud struggle there. Various movements which
without a doubt represent the concerns of the laboring masses of the United
States, and against which Mr. Kennedy has just applied the fascist
Taft-Hartley Law, this law they put through there, this monstrous
anti-workers' measure. And the curious thing is that Mr. Kennedy has
boasted that he voted against this law, he opposed it, and now, at the
first opportunity, he has applied it, used this law against the workers of
the United States.

And we greet the working class in the United States, the
intellectuals and the students. We know that there are moral forces,
revolutionary forces, healthy and honest forces in the United States which
have merit, because in the midst of that hysteria, deceit, and systematic
lies, -- recently some periodicals in France and Canada have made studies
of the lies perpetrated by the news agencies and the press in the United
States, of how they have distorted everything. And, among other things,
they say that what they have published has not been made known to the
people of the United States. They are a much deceived people, a people who
are the victims of a whole series of lies and falsehoods invented by the
minority, this increasingly reactionary, fascist, warmongering,
imperialist, desperate oligarchy.

Because all of the evidence shows that this exploiting oligarchy
is desperate. This is why it is dangerous. It is dangerous