Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 0340 GMT 23 August 1961--E

(Live speech at closing of Writers and Artists Congress in Havana)

(Summary) This congress was a new thing for the people. Some who are still
incapable of seeing what the revolution is--and one must be very blind for
that--have wondered about this congress. Some may have thought that it was
meant to crush the artistic spirit and to put pressure on the writers and
artists. That is why the democratic and fraternal spirit of this conference
is important.

The writers and artists in this congress are those who have stayed at home
and are producing and working in our country. I do not know how many
writers and artists have left since the revolution reached power. I am sure
that the ones that left are not good writers or artists. The reactionary
writers and the mercenary artists have left our country with the intention
of not returning. There are doctors, architects, and professors who have
left. A doctor that leaves the country when for the first time medicine is
being given to the poor, when hospitals are being built for the poor, when
medical service is free, when there is no immorality, when there are no
criminal deals based on health of the people--he who is capable of leaving
his country under those circumstances without caring for the lives that are
lost certainly is not the most decent and honorable.

The crime of a doctor leaving is more sensational, but the same thing is
true of the lawyer, the engineer, the writer, and the artist who leaves the
country. That was part of the plan of action against the Cuban revolution.
What shall we think of a professor who leaves when all the children are
given an opportunity for an education and when 300,000 Cubans are working
to wipe out illiteracy? The enemies of our revolution did not think it
sufficient to try to leave our people without economic resources, markets,
quotas, sources of supplies for our factories, raw materials, replacement
parts; so they have done all they could to leave our country without
doctors engineers, professors and artists.

They may be able to take from our country those who were formed by the old
society. They are harvesting the fruits of what they planted for many
years. But we know that while some desert, the universities and schools are
being filled with tens of thousands of revolutionary youths who will
constitute the generation of technicians and professionals of the
revolution. We will see if the grasp of bribery can be effective among that
generation. They will never drag to treason the sons of the workers and the

Those who stay behind will have a little more work to do because of those
who have left, but more important, we will have more work because we must
forge the future. All of us must be teachers. The future is much more
important then the present. Our work is more important than we, ourselves.
It is with that spirit that this congress has gathered. There is a sincere
and spontaneous spirit of unity, devotion to the revolutionary cause, the
reunification of personal ambitions. Such unity is only possible because of
the revolution.

We do not have to tell you what you should do. You have ideal conditions in
which to work. The revolution has given your work new value and importance.
Now you have a chance to work for the people that writers and artists never
had under any former system.

Yesterday I met with the workers of a sugar central, and I could see their
infinite happiness. They were proud because they had worked. They had
increased production of their mill 30.24 percent, they had shown what the
revolution can do, they had created new wealth for the fatherland. I admire
those simple workers. You too are workers, you must create wealth.

All the people are organized to work. Now the Union of Artists and Writers
is also organized. It is independent of the trade union organization, which
has other ends. Some artists and writers belong to one or the other, and
some belong to both. Now the political organizations of the revolution are
being formed, and we will have the units of the United Party of the
Socialist Revolution. All the people are organized, even the children.

The revolution is invincible. The cowards who have fled cannot beat those
who kept their convictions. We have destroyed the myth of the invincibility
of imperialism. The lives we lost defeating their aggression have saved the
lives of the hundreds of thousands who might have died if the imperialists
had achieved a beachhead here.

The magnificent youth chorus you heard tonight is an example of what we can
do. But we need teachers. You must select the youths who will go the the
National Art School. It will begin operating next year and will hold 3,000.

On 28 January we will have the Latin American Congress of Writers and
Artists. That will be another triumph of the revolution and a stimulus for
others in Latin America, where there are so many revolutionary writers and
artists who form committees of solidarity with the Cuban Revolution. We
greet them warmly. We hope they will soon reap the harvest of their
efforts. We wish them success as writers and artists and as seeds of the
fatherland of tomorrow.

Fatherland or death, we will conquer.