Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Radio Centro in Spanish 1420 GMT 26 August 1961--E

(Summary) A congress of production has been convoked, and all those who are
concerned with national production are here. What are the objectives of
this congress? There are several. First, to inform the people, to let them
know what is going on and what can be done, to let them know what our
difficulties are and what are our possibilities and so that the people will

Nothing can be done without the participation of the people. We could all
be in agreement here and adopt good plans and means but when you return to
the workers and they do not know what went on here, it would be impossible
for them to give all their effort to their work. Then all the work would be
left to you.

You all must understand that each worker must feel as one with that effort
and understand that effort. You must all feel bound to the people; they are
going to be bound to the work. Then you will not have responsibility to the
government but to the people.

In your hands is our national production; on you depends national supplies
of all kinds--agricultural and manufactured--and their distribution here
are represented all the federations, the people'se, granges, livestock
cooperatives, peasants associations, foreign trade, the Ministry of
Interior trade, INRA, and the Ministry of Industry. Practically all the
ministries are represented. The revolutionary organizations, women's
federation, youth rebel types, committees of defense, the workers through
their federations, and the CTC, are also here, we face our problems.

The revolution has advanced greatly and continuously in all fields. The
revolution is not faced with a crisis of production. Nevertheless, we have
problems of supply. It derives principally from the fact that our people
have a capacity of consumption of 500 million pesos more each year over the
capacity of consumption they had before the triumph of the revolution. This
naturally has raised demand in an extraordinary way. Thus the problem to
resolve is how, with the resources we have, to satisfy the demand for all
the basic articles for the people. That is of great importance for the
revolution, economically, socially and politically.

We know that in other goals the revolution has already gained results, and
that from this great congress we will also have great results. We have in
our hands the totality or almost all of national production. In some things
the solution of shortages in some articles cannot be solved immediately.
The greatest number of problems we faced in order--first agriculture, then
industry, then foreign trade, then interior trade, and then transportation.
In each sector of production different colleagues will speak. After them,
we will determine subjects for discussion.

It is possible that each one of you may be called on to speak and explain.
Each one of you must place his problem before us through your
representative. After the speeches all your written suggestions may be
turned in. In that manner, the fundamental questions will be discussed by
the congress. Some questions cannot be isolated into separate fields. if we
are capable, we can analyze all those problems in an orderly manner. Then
we will make a resume after the congress is ended. It could also be that
some questions will not be discussed due to lack of time or due to lack of
material. In that case in the final report those questions will be dealt
with. This is going to require great order on our part. We are in a hot
hall. We are going to be here a long time. There will be short
intermissions for meals. It was planned that this thing last two days, but
due to unforeseen circumstances it may last three days. According to the
number of discussions, we may have two or three sessions daily. As long as
the people know what our difficulties are and what we can and what we
cannot do, the majority of the people will participate in the national
effort. This meeting has aroused certain expectations among the people. It
has had the certainty of having dispelled doubts among all you here
present. It is a review of the work you have been doing, a recounting of
your task.

Among the people, there is extraordinary interest in what is going to be
discussed here, because any shortage affects them. We will analyze problems
and measures to be applied to them. We intend to analyze the goals of
production, and to acknowledge here before the people what may have been to
discredit anybody. This is a meeting of revolutionaries, of responsible
friends who are doing their best.

We are meeting to constructively criticize, to find new means to face
problems and to obtain positive results, and to discuss problems with
honesty and responsibility.

It is impossible that an assembly of 3,000 all participate. What is
important is that everybody be represented and that all that is of interest
to the people be brought up. It is impossible for all of us 3,000 to speak.
But all should be heard through somebody. We expect the greatest order, the
greatest discipline. It is impossible for all to take the floor. We are all
going to carry on this congress so that these problems can be solved. Some
of the issues are in regard to imports. We have a bank for imports. Some
problems concern industrial articles-- that organization is here
represented. Some concern agriculture and that organization is here.

Now we have the problem of distribution and transportation of these
supplies; there are articles such as lard which requires a time of about 18
months to resolve. There are articles which we can resolve in less time.
There is a series of articles which would not have been short if we had had
a little foresight. Sometimes we have gone on great agricultural programs
to supply lard, cotton, and so forth. We have planted great acreages for
some things. Yet nevertheless we are still short.

We started having a shortage of potatoes because something else was short.
The lack of one product would cause shortages in others. In general we
should aspire to resolve all problems that are possible to resolve and we
would have no excuse for not resolving those problems which are in our
power to resolve.

As a consequence of blockades by imperialism and economic aggression, there
are those problems which we cannot resolve right away. This we can explain
to the people and they will be satisfied, but those things which can be
resolved we have the duty to resolve, because in the same way that the
people have placed all their confidence and all their faith in us, we must
respond to that confidence.

As we did when we mobilized and managed to annhilate the enemy invaders in
less than 72 hours, we must likewise win this battle of production. For the
enemy not only has attacked us with arms, it has attacked us on the
economic front. That is why the enemy took our sugar quota and blockaded
our repair parts for transport. It prevented us from getting raw materials.
It has blockaded our imports, taken away our quotas, prevented us from
getting credits, sabotaged our plants, and reduced to a minimum our trade
with the United States. Now it talks of new measures against us in its
impotence, because of all the failures of the past. The enemy is trying to
kill us in our economy. For the enemy, power is to take the profit from the
sweat and blood of the workers.

That is why, when a nation tries to establish its own culture and give its
people a better standard of living with rights for all, the enemy forces
try to crush the revolution with their stealthy criminal measures and why
they tried to injure us in our economy. But they did not take into account
our revolutionary spirit which has faced all these measures. We know how to
defend our country. They thought that the masses would turn against the
revolution because lard was scare.

Much attention will be required for many hours and it is certain that the
people will listen with great interest. It is a revolutionary act, a very
democratic act, and the people will be very satisfied because they were
previously unaware of all our efforts and advances: They do not know of all
of these things, but we know the enthusiastic spirit of the people, a
revolutionary spirit which is growing every day. They are offering
sacrifices by working in the fields where they were not accustomed. You all
know how the men responded to the call for militia, how they answered the
call for committees of defense and the work they are performing, how any
call for volunteers has been answered, how many who had never cut cane
before went out. The people have always answered almost in unanimity. When
we talked or recruiting 100,000 youths we did not know whether we had that
many available, but we knew that the people would appear.

We must turn each man into an active participant of the revolution so that
each person knows the problems and is conscious of our future, and that
each one is responsible in his work center to accomplish these work and
these goals. This is what we are going to do to win this battle of
production as we are doing in the massive education of our people.

The enemy thought the masses would blame the revolution instead of the
imperialists when difficulties arose. But the enemy has been mistaken in
other things. Our masses are not as the enemy thinks but patriots who are
accumulating knowledge and also accumulating hate for the enemies of its

It is not enough that the masses remain firm with the revolution. We must
use every means at our disposal to give our people the maximum of welfare
even in the midst of this phase of imperialism--even in the midst of these
years which are the hardest. The people are always prepared to support the
government and will continue to support it even more if they know that we
are fighting for them. If we are doing the maximum, it is possible to face
shortages and difficulties. That is why this historical congress is being

We must immediately now give the floor to colleague Regiono Gotti
(applause) who will speak about the JUCEI, then colleague Rios on industry.
I am going to mention them swiftly. No applause, please. Then Martel for
sugar, for ANAP Pepe Ramires (applause). Shut up. The fisheries--Perez,
Barba--fruit; Cabre--machines. Then after their speeches we will discuss
some of the questions on agriculture and we will have a critique on that
field. Then we will have (a talk on?) industries--Che will speak.

Then we will have one speaker in the name of the sugar industry, then
mining, then a discussion on industry, then one on the livestock industry,
then foreign trade, the interior trade by ministers of each one of them.
This is not a strict order but this is basically what we are going to have.
These are the men who can give the information needed.

It is possible that some of you may have to come up here and tell us about
your particular charge. In that way we hope to finish this congress in two
or three days.


Havana Radio Centro in Spanish 0048 GMT 28 August 1961--E

(Speech by Fidel Castro at national production congress)

(Summary) Today we have a solution to the problem of the peasant. We give
him credit to plant cacao and coffee. Some peasants will have land of not
so much value due to mountains. Some will plant trees. There are families
who suffered much during the fighting, and thus there were plans to set up
hospitals in mountain areas. There were many plans concerning the mountain
regions and they had to be solved.

Recently the peasant acquired credit, but there was nothing in the stores.
When this happens everybody (finds out?). The time comes when currency has
to be saved and the country has to take some economic measure as a result
of enemy action. (But then the cities got things and the country did not?).

What I want to say is that there was a disproportional development between
capital and the rest of the country. (Castro then makes some comparisons
between consumption in Havana and in the rest of the country--Ed.)

This unequal development shows that the country did not develop as fast as
the city. We have here electric light, frigidaires, and so on. We are going
to send codfish to the mountains. We are going to send coffee to the
mountains where we have many literacy brigades. The country people have
families to feed. If we have some scarcities we are going to share these
scarcities with the rest of the country. The forgotten part of the country
made many sacrifices.

Codfish will go to the mountains as well as condensed milk. Basically there
will be much going to the mountains. Of course some will stay in the
cities. Many products were sent to the mountains and that is why they did
not appear here. There are many articles which increased in production--
things for children and dietetic products. The production increased from
1957 to 1960--some 200 percent.

Powered milk also is asked for children. That is being sent to the
mountains. So when the city lacks some things it is because they are going
to the mountains. This congress has heard various people. Some comrades are
wonderful workers, but do not set things down well. Some would rather go
and produce something rather than talk. Some comrades want to say certain
things. Some of the comrades in provinces want to speak.