Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


[Following is a translation of the complete text of the summation
speech delivered by Fidel Castro at a meeting of directors and
cadres of the Schools of Revolutionary Instruction on 27 June
1962. The original text appeared in the Spanish-language Communist
newspaper Hoy (Today), Havana, v. 24, no. 152, 30 June 1962, pages

Comrade directors of the Schools of Revolutionary Instruction:

I know from experience with these long meetings -- and I have had
a great deal of experience with long meetings -- that at the end, when it
is time to make a summation or draw a conclusion, it usually happens that
the people are already tired. And we ourselves are a little tired, after
being here so many hours. Yesterday we had an even longer session. This
one, I believe, has been a bit faster and shorter.

In the first place, I want to give you our impression of the
meeting. Actually, this meeting makes a very good impression on us,
although generally we can never feel entirely satisfied with what we may
have achieved from work. This is because all revolutionary work -- and all
revolutionary work has many things to overcome -- has many gaps and
defects, especially in the first part, in the first stage of a revolution.
And it can be no other way.


In reality, one receives the impression here, at a meeting such as
this one, that a great movement of revolutionary education can truly be
seen in progress -- slowly, overcoming natural obstacles, stumbling,
falling, rising again and struggling.

The comrades representing the National Management of the Schools
of Revolutionary Instruction in each province who have spoken here have
done so in a serious and responsible manner. They have shown that there is
a number of comrades seriously involved in the work of revolutionary
instruction, that they have taken up their task with high responsibility,
and that they are comrades whose talent for the work they are doing can be
seen. In addition, we know that this movement of revolutionary instruction
or education has been organized from practically nothing.

We know that a large part of you were students in precisely the
first courses that were organized and that this organization that already
has several hundred male and female comrades dedicated to this work has
been formed as a product of selection in the schools.

It is logical that we should have much more in human resources now
-- which is the important thing -- than we had when the schools were first
being organized. So is the obvious fact that all of you are young comrades
who have the possibilities and opportunities to continue developing,
preparing, and fitting yourselves for this work that has only begun.

The fact that this organization was formed out of nothing and the
outlook for brave revolutionaries to continue to come from the schools
themselves -- brave youths, raw material of quality for continuing to form
cadres for this movement of revolutionary education -- permits an
optimistic image to be drawn of the prospects that this movement has.

And of course this effort or this possibility is important and
encouraging, because of the importance that the elevation of the political
level of the cadres and the masses has for the Revolution.


We have been perhaps less demanding than the academies, the
universities, the institutes, or the [state?] organisms. There are
educational centers that were already established: centers of technical and
university education that are very demanding. Well, they can afford the
luxury of being demanding, if they already have a number of trained
teachers, even a small number, or if they have the possibility of
contracting instructors to teach engineering or medicine, or to teach in
the technological schools.

However, the Management of the Schools of Revolutionary
Instruction could not say that it had a team of highly experienced
teachers, nor much less could it be imagined that we would, for a task of
this kind, contract for teachers and technicians to teach revolutionary
instruction here, in Cuba. Nevertheless, what is being taught is more
important than medicine, engineering, or architecture. It is more important
than any university department. In addition to being the most important,
what is being taught is the most difficult. What is being taught is also a
science, but the most complex, most difficult, and most profound science.
And it is not a dead science, but a science in full historical development,
because in the first place, what can there be more difficult and more
complex than a revolution? What can there be more difficult and more
complex in the life of peoples than politics? What can there be more
difficult than that which has to go along learning in the mist of the din
of struggle and daily battle, and which has to go along extracting more and
more knowledge from the struggle itself and from each battle? And also
because politics, the Revolution, and all these activities of human society
in general are usually camouflaged from the eyes of the people, hidden by a
multitude of facades that block the true background of political and social
questions from the people's view.

In addition, it is something that has to be learned in the midst
of passions, class hatreds, and tremendous conflicts of interest.
Therefore, politics and the Revolution are something much more difficult
than anything studied at universities.

We have been less ambitious, but nevertheless we are more
ambitious. That is, we have been content to begin utilizing the little that
we had, and nevertheless we aspire to being able to some day to use the
great deal that we are forming now. We have been more practical because we
have advanced along these paths, advancing slowly if you wish, but gaining
ground every day. We have been gaining ground, achieving on the path of
political science everything that we propose to win. And when we speak of
political science and revolutionary science, we are referring to the only
political science and the only true revolutionary science -- Marxism.


The fact that our people, all of us -- some later, and others
earlier -- have been going along making the only true political and
revolutionary science that exists into our own means a great deal for our
Revolution -- a convulsive and daring process that enters into history
firmly and resolutely, defying so many difficulties.

From the first moment of our Revolution, for the very fact of
being a revolution, for the fact of having unloosed the revolutionary
forces of our society, for the very fact of having faced the enemy
resolutely -- and the enemy was none other than imperialism --, for the
very fact of having faced the enemies of the peoples -- and the historical
enemies of the peoples were none others than the exploiters of the peoples
--, for the fact of having unloosed the class struggle in all its
dimensions, we arrived inevitably at the only ideological formulation at
which we could arrive. We have made the extremely rich experience of more
than a century our own. The extraordinary wealth of knowledge that Marxism
envelops signifies an extraordinary advantage for us in this struggle.

This is because Marxism is not only the true science of politics
and of revolution. From the time that man has been conscious of himself, it
is the only true interpretation of the process of development of human
history. And we have done nothing less than enter into this immense wealth
of experience and knowledge and onto this field with that we had and
develop a movement of the magnitude of this movement of revolutionary
education. And nevertheless, we have been gaining ground modestly, very
modestly. We have advanced and we have already practically established the
bases for continuing ahead.

Nevertheless, we have to be conscious, very conscious, of the fact
that we are just beginning and that a very long stretch remains ahead of

But we are not studying Marxism out of simple philosophical or
historical curiosity. No. It is vital, fundamental, and decisive for us to
study Marxism and to teach Marxism. To study Marxism and to teach Marxism
are vital and decisive for the Revolution.


For a normal political process, for a revolution of little lies,
such as those "revolutions" that we have seen around many times -- and
which demagogues or people with evil intentions called revolutions for the
purpose of confusing the peoples about true revolutions -- it was not
necessary to study Marxism, nor to study anything. Even if it were,
studying to be a politician was enough for any of them. In the era of this
kind of politics, nobody had to study anything at all. But in the mist of a
revolution, a true Revolution such as this one is; in the midst of a change
that is so deep and so daring; in the midst of a conflict of such
historical dimension as the conflict in which we are engaged with the most
powerful reactionary force in the world -- it is necessary to study, and
truly to study. We have to enter into it in depth, and call on all the
weapons and all the forces of science and truth to shine forth. We have to
learn and to teach, in the first place, in order to orient ourselves and to
be able to orient our people correctly. Study and teach, because it is
vital and decisive for the Revolution, since historical forces and
antagonistic and irreconcilable interests have clashed here in a
life-or-death struggle. Thus, we cannot be irresponsible or superficial. We
cannot toss study to one side, but rather must seize it. Because we shall
find our best weapons in it. In it we shall find the clearest explanations
and we shall find the orientation that we must give to our people, because
in the collision of these historical forces, idologies are clashing. And
the enemy is using his best weapons and his most subtle lies. The enemy is
making use of all the force of tradition. The enemy makes use of ignorance,
and in the end, he makes use of all means. And therefore we revolutionaries
must make use of the best weapons of truth and of the clearest reasoning
for the masses. With the weapons of truth, reason, and revolutionary
passion, we must teach the masses and carry them victoriously forward.


I believe that no one will have any doubts about the importance
that, for these reasons, the Schools of Revolutionary Instruction have.

Unfortunately, the objective of the schools has sometimes been
misunderstood. Unfortunately, there were irresponsible people -- such as
there are everywhere -- who frequently believed that the Schools were a
diversion for adults, a kindergarten for problematical persons, or a
correction center for persons spoiled politically.

And this has happened not only with the Schools of Revolutionary
Instruction, but has frequently happened with other schools. Many times the
administrator elected for a school has been the one that was obstructing
them the most, or the first one that occurred to them. Unfortunately, we
have had many people in many places whose brains were not able to
understand the idea of the importance of education in any field -- not just
in this field, which as the field of political education is the most
important one, but also in technical education or any of the many teachings
that the Revolution has for imparting to the masses.

Unfortunately, mistaken conceptions have been encountered in our
schools, and the consequences of them suffered. The schools also suffered,
as did the mass organizations and the political apparatus of the
Revolution, from the consequences of mistaken conceptions on the role of
the masses in the Revolution, and consequently on the importance of mass
organizations and of the organisms designed to strengthen the revolutionary
consciousness of the masses. And cadres were taken from schools, as they
were taken from mass organizations and political committees, in a policy
that tended to produce permanent anemia, depriving all organizations of
their best cadres.

So it was not surprising that they would remove a school director
in order to appoint him, for example, administrator of a warehouse, or
remove a national trade-union secretary to place him as a fund
administrator, or remove the secretary of a trade-union section and name
him chief of a mechanical workshop. In reality, this is simply the product
of a mistaken conception. It involves a position that is conclusive with
respect to the revolutionary: his attitude toward the masses.


Either one has faith in the masses or one does not have faith in
them! And the method depends on this position with respect to the masses: a
mass method or an anti-mass method.

The anti-mass method is characterized by subjective selection, by
pointing a finger, subjective methods, selection by pointing a finger, and
a messianic idea about the importance of the functionary and administrator.
It tries to haul the people along with horses, instead of letting the
people walk, instead of making the people walk.

Clearly an erroneous conception led us to erroneous methods, or an
erroneous attitude to the masses led us to erroneous methods and to results
that are simply absurd.

Well, but this does not have to discourage anyone, and it has not
done so. And the spirit with which errors have been corrected has been a
truly revolutionary and truly Marxist spirit, which is leading to the
strengthening of all revolutionary fronts, and whose fruits will be seen.
And they will be seen soon. All of us shall understand it, absolutely all
of us.

Because within the Revolution there are also many honest people
who can be mistaken and who do make mistakes. But since they are above all
honorable and essentially honest, they understand quickly and perfectly
where there can be an error and they overcome it.

Mistaken methods were leading us to the formation of a party that
was filling up on us more and more with opportunists and medio- crities --
that is, to having no party at all. Mistaken methods were leading us to
spend millions and millions of pesos -- which come from the workers' sweat
-- in educating not the working class, but in many cases the petty
bourgeoisie, and to "patching up" people. And we saw the consequences in
more than one course and more than one school, when poor quality shone
forth -- the poor quality of certain courses or of parts of certain
courses, naturally.


Of course, the task of revolutionary education has to go closely
linked with the task of the organization of the revolutionary vanguard,
with the task of the formation of the revolutionary party of the working
class, because they are two inseparable things.

If there is no revolutionary party and no revolutionary method,
there will be no revolutionary education. And if there is no revolutionary
education, there will be no revolutionary party.

A party of bureaucrats can be perfectly organized. Mechanical
methods can be applied perfectly, and then instruction will respond to
these methods and to this conception, because education cannot be freed
from the consequences of errors.

The conditions that are now being created are different. The doors
are closed to all kinds of opportunists. There were those who taught that
the rectification of errors was justification for other errors. There were
even those who, failing to understand the matter of antisectarianism, tried
to disguise their anti-Marxism as anti- sectarianism. And, nevertheless,
the rectification of errors did not mean a step backwards, but a great step
forward on all fronts. We had to take a great step forward on all fronts,
because we were suffering the consequences of errors on all fronts,
including the economic, among others, where we were suffering the
consequences of anarchy, irresponsibility, and chaos.

It will take several months, but the results of the effort that is
being carried out will be seen in the economic field also. In the political
field, it is going slowly, but -- oh! -- the number of rascals that have
been squeezed out and left behind, the number of rascals and opportunists!


What a sad business that the deserter, the traitor, the weak, and
the coward, pushing more than anyone else, should be appearing and
flourishing everywhere. The more so because he is the most dangerous. The
opportunist is very dangerous, because he "squeezes" and then pushes
everything that he can. And nevertheless, in the works that are being
carried out, what a magnificent selection of the revolutionary comrades!
What magnificent composition! Because it is composition that is based on
what it must be based on -- quality, revolutionary honesty, the conduct of
every revolutionary, and the link with the masses.

What great purity! Not great in number, no. But great in the
quality of the negative elements that have been filtered out within nothing
less than the vanguard apparatus of the working class.

Oh, and this has been reflected immediately on this work front.
Because we had the opportunity of discovering that we were spending
millions of pesos to educate not the working class, but the petty
bourgeoisie. And, gentlemen, let us not tell tales. We have to integrate.
Yes, we have to integrate everything that wants to be integrated.
Certainly, everything that can be won! We must drive them toward the
proletariat, and not toward imperialism and reaction. This is quite clear,
but this in no way means educating the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie
and turning the petty bourgeoisie into the vanguard of proletarian

Let us speak clearly here among ourselves, among the bourgeoisie
and proletarians that we are by origin, gathered here. Let us speak clearly
without anyone's blushing, because in the end and final analysis, a man's
stand in the revolution is that which he himself takes up. Whether he takes
the position of the petty bourgeoisie or that of the proletariat. And the
petty bourgeoisie can take up the position and ideology of the proletariat,
and the revolutionary attitude that is the proletariat's.


However, let us not think that we are fomenting or developing
proletarian spirit by developing the petty bourgeoisie. We shall develop
proletarian spirit by developing the proletariat and educating the
proletariat, including liberating it from many of the bonds and shackles
that remain, because the vices and all the consequences of having had to
live within a capitalist and antiproletarian society did not operate in
vain and have not ceased to make their mark on the proletariat.

The proletariat's spirit is stronger, comrades, and more robust.
As a class, their characteristics are different than the spirit of the
petty bourgeoisie and, naturally, the spirit of the bourgeoisie.

And the virtues of the proletariat are more solid, stronger, and
firmer, and there is no need to reason this out at length. As I was saying
to the comrades of the School of Revolutionary Instruction of Havana
Province, the spirit of an office worker in a ministry is not the same as
that of a miner who works 1,000 meters below ground. We see constantly that
the spirit of the office worker is not the same as the spirit of the
peasant who turns the soil every day. Because even this peasant -- this
peasant who is no proletarian but who must face up to hard and harsh Nature
-- develops a firmer spirit and a capacity for greater self-sacrifice, a
more accentuated capacity for sacrifice.

This can be seen. The selection for the schools were made "by
pointing." So-and-so goes to the provincial school, so-and-so to the
national school. Characteristics, qualities, and merits were absolutely not
taken into consideration. Nuclei were selected "by pointing" and even
"clandestinely." But we are not dealing with this today. I am only making
reference to it. Unfortunately, it was this way. Of course, many good
people can often be picked out "by pointing," because any "pointing" can be
to a great individual. there were many good people that were "pointed out"
in the nuclei, but their status as members of a nucleus had nothing to do
with their conduct and their merits, but rather with the good fortune that
they were known, that the person who organized the nucleus knew of their
existence. It had nothing to do with the masses, nor with an opinion of the
masses. It was also this way for the school. And it turned out that the
Revolution was spending 10 million pesos -- 10 million pesos! And real
pesos, because they were for food and material expenses. Ten million pesos
were being spend on this.


Clearly, the entire effort that the comrades in the schools were
making was limited in its results by these methods.

From now on, the functions of the school will be very different.
One comrade put it this way: "Only history can say whether it was good or
bad to patch up many people," and I concur with this comrade's point of
view. Even when the selection was not the best or ideal one, the school did
not stop producing its effects on many people. It did not even stop
patching up a great number of people, but really patched them up, of
course. But the schools are not for patching, and independently of whether
history says that patching was good or bad, there is no room for doubt that
the only correct thing at this time is for the schools to be turned into
schools fundamentally of the working class, nor do we have to wait for
history to learn this.

The new composition of the student body is already being reflected
in the schools. Because not only do the schools have a better program --
the product of experience, naturally, a more detailed program, and a
program that naturally is undergoing adaptation, until later on the
material that is to be studied at each level is established; apart from the
programs, there is already a different composition in the schools.


And here is the proof. The previous course in Havana Province had
only 18% industrial workers, the greater part being of non-proletarian
origin. And at this time there are 46.2% industrial workers in the Havana
Province School.

That is, the composition has increased from 18 to 46.2%, and this,
certainly, is a high percentage if one takes into account that we are an
underdeveloped country.

Office workers, 15.48%. The previous proposition was possibly the
reverse. I say possibly, because I do not have the exact figure here.

Technicians, 5.31; public administration, 4.87; armed forces,
3.98; educational workers, 1.33. Students of proletarian origin have
defensive influence now in the school.

Naturally, in many provinces there is not even any industry, but
there are agricultural and non-industrial workers, and of course it was
customary to have a large proportion of bureaucrats in the provinces.
Because although Havana is a seat of bureaucracy par excellence, this is
countered by the fact or the presence of a large number of industrial
workers, since of the little industry that we had in our country, a large
part was in the capital of the republic.

The composition is changing now in the schools and in the future
-- as Comrade Lionel explained -- 80% of the students in the provincial
schools will be selected by merit in the basic schools.

The members of nuclei and the best workers, workers selected from
each center, will go to the basic schools. That is, workers who are not
members of the nucleus can go to the basic schools. There can even be the
case of a worker who is not a member of a nucleus turning out to be such a
good student and so correct, punctual, and obviously revolutionary in his
behavior that he will go to a provincial school, even though he is not a
member of the nucleus. What is very possible is that this worker who went
through the basic school and the provincial school has a great chance of
being accepted afterwards in the nucleus of the work center from which he

Naturally, the schools will not be for nuclei alone, but rather
for teaching the masses and the working class. They will be useful for
discovering intellects and revolutionary heads and character. They will
also serve to strengthen the revolutionary nuclei, not only ideologically,
but also numerically.

However, the members of the nuclei come first, of course. But
there is also a program for these members, and the material is being
assembled. Of course, many of the members of nuclei have already gone
through the basic schools. These comrades will help those who have not gone
through the basic schools in studying the program and material that will be
sent to every nucleus. Material is being printed for the study circles of
the nuclei, in which the members will study with the assistance of those
who have already gone through the basic schools.

Other workers who are not members of the nucleus can also study at
these study circles, thus introducing them to the material so that they can
go to the basic schools later. Selections for the provincial schools will
be made in the basic schools. Twenty per cent of the quota for the
provincial schools will be reserved for cadres, comrades who do not come
directly from the basic schools, but rather are political cadres.

That is, a margin has been left for selection by Party organisms
for the provincial schools.


Now then, what is one of the first things that you have to explain
to the students in every course? That the course is not going to give them
any privileges; that the course is not going to give them any special
rights; that at the end of the course they are going to return to the place
from which they came; that they will not come out of the course as leaders
for the simple fact of having completed a course; that their work will not
be changed as a result of the course; and that the school is an opportunity
for strengthening their political knowledge, but that they will return to
the place from which they came. So that nothing happens like the case of
that agricultural worker who went to the Sierra Maestra School and, on
finishing the course, told some of this comrades on the [state] farm:
"Look. They have forgotten me. Here I am, still hoeing on this farm."

This man went through a three-month course, and when he returned
to the countryside, he thought that he no longer had to work as he did
before. But even more, when they go to a provincial school, they must be
impressed with the fact that they will return from there to their places of
work. Because the provincial schools also have as their basic mission
educating cadres that are already cadres, preparing militants, and making
good workers better.

But what is going to happen? Will the 900 students that go through
the provincial schools, for example, be turned into cadres? No. We had to
take many cadres and teachers from the first schools. But this is not the
objective of the schools. They will return to their place of work from the
provincial school.

When the Party needs to turn a militant into a cadre member,
naturally it will select the militant who is best prepared. But this does
not mean that he is automatically turned into a cadre member on finishing
the school. Instead he will return to his nucleus, to his place of work.


What the Revolution is interested in is having in every place of
work prepared workers; workers with high political education; workers
capable of orienting their comrades; workers capable of explaining
socialism, or arguing with defeatists, of arguing with the ignorant, of
taking issue with the arguments of enemies; of explaining the reasons for
every difficulty; and of explaining the past, the present, and the future.

What the Revolution needs in every place of work is capable
workers with the most political education possible, because the more
revolutionary militants with a high level of political education we have at
the place of work, the more force and solidity the Revolution will have,
and the more support among the masses.


Because, gentlemen, it is a basic principle that the Revolution
and the Party are not instruments for personal gain. Make it clear to every
pupil and student in the schools, as the first principle, that being a
revolutionary means abnegation, sacrifice, and humility. It means being the
first in the most difficult work, the first in example, the first in
effort, and the first in danger. This business of exchanging a hoe for a
tractor -- no! And dispel from anyone's mind the notion that the school or
the Party are vehicles for anyone's personal gain.

A hoe is exchanged for a tractor in a school for tractor drivers,
in a technical school. One job is exchanged for another by technical
achievement, not through this school or the Party. The Party is not a
benefice; it is sacrifice. The Party is seeking nothing for itself.

Let us teach them, first, that nothing is for the individual
revolutionary. Everything is for the Party. And let us defend every
revolutionary from those administrators who try to take a good trade- union
cadre member away from the trade-union organization and put him in a
workshop, or try to take a student who has finished a school and turn him
into the chief or administrator of something. Because these administrators
who operate this way are the enemies of our effort, enemies of our effort
to create a great revolutionary party.

Because then there will be people who want to go to the school to
see if they get better work when they return. And then when we have a good
revolutionary militant, they will take him away and make him a chief. They
will then have a chief, but we shall have lost a militant, and a
revolutionary militant interests us more than an administrative chief. This
is a basic principle.

For administrators, administrative schools. For administrative
cadres, go to the masses, because the masses are a great quarry. What we
have to do is create a situation so that no one is elected to anything for
having gone to a cadre school or for being a member of a nucleus.

Every nucleus must make efforts to see that in every place of work
there exist conditions that will permit any worker from the masses, any
member of the masses, to be promoted to more important administrative
positions and to tasks of responsibility because of his merits, his
ability, and his qualities. Let any worker arise from the masses. Let no
worker see only the privileged in the nucleus. Let no one see the nucleus
as a springboard for personal position. The nucleus is not this, nor is the
militant. We are much more interested in this humble militant with a humble
salary, converted into a bulwark of the Revolution, than in the militant
converted into an administrator.


If at a given moment the most capable, most competent, and most
knowledgeable worker must be selected from a department, and this turns out
to be a military from the nucleus and they take him, that is all right. But
let them not take him because he is a militant. There can be someone in the
same department who is not a militant and who has more knowledge and more

And what should the militant do? Back the other one. And if they
are going to take him anyway, say: "No, don't call on me, because my
comrade has more knowledge and more experience and can carry out the job
better than I. He would not be able to carry out my role here as a militant
and soldier of the Revolution as well as I, but he can carry out the role
of chief of that department or fill that production task better than I."

These are the conditions that we must create in all places of
work. That is, conditions so that the best values arise from the masses and
so that the best minds for each task arise from the masses.

It cannot be imagined that when a theater needs a violinist they
should turn the porter into a violinist because he is the best militant of
the revolutionary nucleus. Another violinist must be sought. The porter
cannot be turned into a violinist. And if he does not have a musician's
mind, we must not make him a musician. We should make him anything else but
a musician. We must try to extract the best values from the masses.

The political organization will always be a selection. The
political organization is not the masses; it is the leader of the masses.
It is what leads the masses, advances the masses, and creates the
conditions that permit the best to arise from the masses -- its best values
to work for society and for the fatherland.

These are the conditions that the Party must create everywhere.
What method and what line are we going to follow? Well, we are going to
follow the line of defending the Party cadres, of defending the cadres of
mass organizations and of schools, and let the schools go on training
cadres. But let them not take cadres from the schools. And let it not
happen that one day when a factory administrator is needed, we take a
school director and put him in a factory, which would possibly mean taking
this comrade from something that he knows how to do and placing him in
something that he does not know how to do.


We must defend the school cadres. The cadres of mass organizations
must be defended. And above all, the political cadres must be defended more
than anything else. We cannot have them moving political cadres about, or
removing them from their organizations. It takes a great deal of work to
make a good cadre. It takes years to acquire experience, and it is simply a
mistake and an outrage to take the cadres away from mass organizations.

Because the mass organizations are the most important ones that
the Revolution has. And their political apparatus is the most important of
all, more important than the administrative apparatus, because while a good
administrator is certainly important for production, he is not the one that
impels production. It is the masses that do this, and the masses are moved
by their organizations, their trade-unions, their youth organizations and
women's organizations, the Defense Committees, and the militamen.

No, this is a "messianic" idea. The administrator is not the "non
plus ultra." Certainly a poor administrator does more damage than an
elephant in a china shop, because he impedes the work of the mass
organizations! (Applause) He impedes the work of political cadres and mass
organizations enormously, but what can an administrator do alone, no matter
what a marvelous administrator he is, if there is no spirit of work among
the workers, if there is no emulation, if there is no vanguard in every
place of work, and if there is no one to set the standards and give an

To work in a political cadre, just as working in a mass
organization cadre, must be the highest honor that the Revolution can
confer for every revolutionary, so much more so since he will possibly be
paid less and his income will be more modest. In the end, this must not be
important to the revolutionary, and we have to make revolutionaries. To be
a revolutionary means marching at the vanguard of everything, in the
vanguard of ideas. Being a revolutionary means contemplating with realism
the objective conditions of every historical moment, but at the same time
understanding that these objective realities do not conform to the supreme
ideals that the revolutionary carries within himself, the supreme
aspirations. Just as right now, objective realities dictate many privileges
yet to us, and within our society, despite all the advances we have made
and within being able to avoid it, there still exist many privileges and
many privileged situations.


The revolutionary contemplates this truth with objective vision
and with a true sense of history, but he knows that this is transitory, and
that for himself, his position has to be one of being above all these
privileges. He must be prepared to abandon any privilege at the time that
is should become necessary.

Revolutionaries are the ones that go ahead. Reality is imposing
inevitable inequalities for many years -- inequalities that exist within
our society and will continue to exist for many years.

We compared the case of the physician who was doing 60
consultations a day in Rural Medicine and earning $240.00 [ = pesos -- Tr.
note] with that of the owner of a candy factory who was earning $3,000.00 a
month, and we commented on how sad it is to think that "someone like you,
who every day are helping 60 people to keep their health, earns ten times
less than one within our society who, without helping anyone, earns twelve
or fifteen times more than you do." These are the realities that exist and,
unfortunately, will continue to exist for a time in our country -- a time
that will be shorter to the degree that we dare to defy these privileged
classes that remain [in?] the power of the Revolution. (Applause)

And if the power of the Revolution is defied by these classes,
inspired by imperialism, then their interests and their position as a class
will last here as long as a sugarplum lasts at a school door. (Applause)

We have already arranged things for replacing it if circumstances
require it. For this purpose we are committed to the task of making a
powerful revolutionary party, we are creating the conditions for being in a
position to go out and confront the enemy whenever and under whatever
circumstances it should be necessary, and we are developing a new method
and a new conception.


Our method previously did not allow us to wage battle against this
class. Why? Because finding administrators for 160 centers was not an
impossible task. Finding 160 men was not an impossible task -- 160 more or
less competent comrades. While the struggle was with the upper bourgeoisie,
we could go on ahead with our previous methods -- the method of taking from
here, taking from there, looking here, and looking there. But when the
battle was to be with this much more numerous class, then if our methods
were the previous ones -- our finger methods of taking from here and taking
from there and soon there would be no place to take from -- then how would
we face up to this class? Ah, when the methods are mass methods and when
3,000 are needed to study administration, we select them by assemblies of
the best workers, and we do not give this finger task to anyone, because we
trust the brain of the masses much more than men's fingers. (Applause)

Because it is more difficult to deceive the masses than to deceive
men, to win over the masses than to win over men, and to flatter the masses
than to flatter men.

If we know how to extract all their values from the masses, as we
have extracted more than 300 youths to go to Helsinki. And what an
impressing and extraordinary thing it is to see how they have selected the
best youths at the schools and mass centers! An infallible method, and we
have proof of it. Because we learned that there was a girl from Cienaga de
Zapata, practically illiterate, who came to a little school and who had
such talent as a writer and whose intellectual qualities were so
conspicuous that she went from there to a teachers' school. And we learned
later that her comrades had chosen her unanimously to go to Helsinki. We
said to ourselves that this is no accident. It was logical.

When we learned of a "Camilito" who had advanced so much in two
years, from illiteracy to a basic secondary [school], a boy of obvious
qualities, and when we later saw him chosen by his comrades at the
newspaper, we thought, "No mistake is possible there." Because it was clear
and evident to us that when the masses selected, they chose people of whose
brilliant qualities they had already heard. And where these boys were,
they, and not others, were chosen.

When in Oriente the army chose a sergeant who, when a group of
mercenaries landed, followed them indefatigably with a handful of men until
he liquidated them, or when they chose that deputy who, when he was
surrounded by counter-revolutionaries and called on to surrender, told
them, "I should surrender in my free homeland!," and fired on them, killing
two and causing the rest to flee. (Applause)

We thought, there can be no accident; the masses do not make
mistakes easily; the masses have a high spirit of justice. Clearly, some of
the comrades chosen to go to Helsinki were not chosen by the masses.
Certain athletes, chosen for their muscles, or certain comrades with
artistic qualities, chosen for their qualities in the need for organizing
some artistic groups. But the immense majority were chosen for their merits
and by the masses.

What a significant method! How it elevates merit in the eyes of
society, how it elevates sacrifice and the concept of labor, and above all,
how it elevates the opinion of the proletarian and toiling masses, since it
shows everyone that no one can "run like a rabbit" past here, because there
is an ever more developed opinion, a vigilant opinion, a correct opinion
that knows where there is merit and where there is falseness!

How this will help us in our gigantic historical task, how it will
help us to make a better people, how it will help us to create a true and
real consciousness of the Revolution of labor -- how it will help us!

And these are the only methods with which one can find, if they
are needed, 20, 30, or 40 administrators in any town, large or small. We
have the proof in a small town here, where the counterrevolutionaries were
on the offensive. The bourgeoisie made use of an inevitable incident that
had occurred with the public force, which had gone out to surround a group
in a thicket, where they had hurt a dispatch carrier in company maneuvers
the day before. On calling on these elements to halt, they fled, whereupon
one was killed and one hurt. An absolutely accidental happening that had
nothing criminal about it.

The bourgeoisie, old political sergeants who became rich in the
shadow of Guas Inclan or Orue, or by exploiting the workers in that town,
went out into the streets, closed their shutters and businesses, and tried
to stage a counter-revolutionary "show."

When we heard of this, we proposed to the National Leadership a
thorough investigation of all the antecedents, of the weaknesses of the
organizations and of the masses there, of the weaknesses of the Revolution
there, and the reason for the errors committed -- there were certainly
many, since they had permitted the counter-revolution to acquire enough
forces to promote a show -- for the purpose of taking the appropriate
measures. However, considering at the same time the fact that under a
capitalist system a member of the bourgeoisie who closes his business can
pass as the possessor of great virtue, that the great citizen who closes
his business, that civic-minded citizen can pass for a good citizen and
civic-minded person under a capitalist system, under a bourgeois system.
But for a member of the bourgeoisie to close his business under a socialist
revolution will never be tolerated! (Applause)

Because here no exploiter can ever pass for virtuous, and let him
be content! Let him be tolerated for the time that it is necessary to
tolerate him, but let him not begin to gamble against the proletarian
revolution, because he exposes himself to the immediate cessation of his
position as an exploiter much sooner than he would have been able to


What did we do in that village? We analyzed the causes of our
weaknesses and errors, which are errors that are committed in many places:
a wretched political cadre, discredited and a poor example; an entire
series of other errors. We assembled the mass organizations, with all their
weaknesses. The workers, the women, the defense committees, the militia,
the young communist organization were assembled. There was practically no
nucleus. The mass organizations were assembled. On one hand the mass
organizations were assembled, and on the other the state security [police]
arrested all the bourgeoisie in that village (applause), except for a
certain few who had maintained a good attitude to the Revolution and had
not closed. And immediately afterwards, an administrator for each business
was named by the masses from within the revolutionary and mass
organizations (applause). See! From the inn of a Portuguese that was there
to the tile works of the area, going through groceries, pharmacies,
bakeries, and every business whose owner had participated in the
counter-revolution. (Applause)

And the masses knew how to choose, and they chose the best one for
every shop and everything. And there was no one to choose for the pharmacy,
so they had taken one from the pharmacy, and they spoke of a militia
comrade who was in Sagua, "Bring him for the pharmacy -- he is a great

And what happened? They ended up revolutionarily intervened and
confiscated. (Applause) Administrators were named immediately by the mass
organizations. An economic commission to supervise the work of every
business and every administrator was set up. An accountant to keep the
joint account of each of the administrators was appointed, to be supervised
by the economic council. A board of revolutionary organizations was named,
to which the economic commission would have to account for its actions.

The inn did not go over to a combine, nor did the tile works. New
organisms had to be discovered, and we discovered them. Because later a
tile works in Trinidad was intervened and put into a combine, which is like
putting a needle into a haystack. Sometimes these businesses are intervened
because the owner leaves, or for whatever reason, and they are put into the
sack, the bottomless barrel of a combine. (Applause) We can imagine a
combine of sugar centers, great factories with similar problems and similar
replacement parts, but who can imagine a combine of grocery stores or of
inns? It happens sometimes, as, for example with the INIT, which has a
cafeteria in Consolacion del Sur with just two employees, and a bar in
Baracoa. They have gone over to it because their owners have gone or for
whatever reason, and this is simply absurd.

From right there among the people, an administrator was appointed
for each thing with a modest salary, warning him that his position was not
in perpetuity and that if he did not work well, he would be replaced, with
an honorary economic commission to oversee the work, and with a board of
revolutionary organizations. If someone does not work out, all the
organizations are notified, the economic commission is notified, the
problem is solved immediately, and changes and solutions are made and
measures taken at the local level.


And what do we have in mind? That at the end of the year a general
assembly of the people be held, and that the administrators give an account
of the administration of that property to the people (applause) -- that
local socialized property, local socialized enterprises which continue to
function as well as the inn functioned previously, under the administration
of the Portuguese. Now it continues to function under the administration of
a comrade from the people, supervised by an economic commission, an
accountant, and in addition by the mass organizations.

The result: by nightfall the inn was serving food and hot bread
was to be had in the bakery, and by the next day everything was going as
well as -- if not better than -- it had before.

What actually happened there in that village? I am referring to
the village of El Cano in Marianao, in case I have not mentioned the name
here -- an area of a great deal of politicking influence on the part of the
old caciques. The bourgeoisie there owned all the businesses, all the
machines, all the automobiles, and all the trucks. They all had telephones
in their homes and owned all the money, and they had control over the
workers and gave them orders -- the bosses of the place. Money, control
over workers, to whom they gave orders every day . . . automobiles, trucks,
telephones. Well, all their automobiles were confiscated -- 28 automobiles
confiscated! All their trucks were confiscated, and all their telephones
were removed and transferred to workers' homes. (Applause) Their power
crumbled like a house of cards. The only thing of theirs that was not
touched was their bank accounts. This was because the Revolution, which is
interested in saving, has to establish the principle that money kept in
banks is sacred, as it did during the currency changeover (applause). And
also so that they would not begin playing the part of poor beggars on the
streets the next day. They were left with enough to get by on (laughter),
while they either adjust or leave for Miami!

But what happened? They had mobilized 60 or 80 persons. At the
meeting of the mass organizations there were 200. Not everyone had been
summoned, but only a selection.


A ceremony was held the other day, and over 2,000 citizens of that
village went. What does this prove? That even in that village where these
negative elements had great influence, where there was a great negative
influence from the past, the proportion in favor of the Revolution was ten
to one. It was proved there by the facts. The humble sectors, the workers,
and the dispossessed responded with spirit, energy, and enthusiasm.

When our organization becomes strong; when in every municipality,
village, and place we have a trained, disciplined party secretary, educated
in faith in the masses and convinced that there is an infinite quarry of
values in the masses and that the men and women whom we need for every task
are there among the masses -- ah, then we shall be in a better position to
wage battle against the enemies of the working class and against the
enemies of our workers, at the village, city, province, or country level,
if circumstances should require it.

This example serves to illustrate the importance of the vanguard
apparatus of the Revolution. It serves to orient revolutionaries and to
warn counter-revolutionaries and the bourgeoisie, so that they will know
that we are not playing with revolution and that they will have to avoid a
clash with the workers -- that they have to avoid a clash with the working
class and that they have to learn to respect the proletarian revolution,
and that they know what they have to answer for if they defy the power of
the proletarians.

Therefore, comrade directors, it is important that along with the
first lessons -- those to which we made reference on the role of the
school, the spirit of sacrifice with which one has to go to the school and
to the Party -- it is necessary to explain to the students that our
revolution is traversing a period of sharp class struggle, an inflamed
struggle of national and international classes; that a numerous rural
bourgeoisie of middle proprietors exits; that a numerous urban bourgeoisie
exists, with automobiles, money, telephones, resources, gadgets, and with a
certain culture; with a profound class hatred for the proletariat, with
their eyes fixed on foreign lands, an enemy of the homeland, with their
eyes fixed on the power of imperialism, dreaming of razing the proletarian
revolution, dreaming of establishing again their odious system of
exploitation and parasitism in our country, their system of hunger and
poverty. Their pitiless system for the masses, obliged to live without a
future and without hope.

And these classes dream of this. Teach the pupil that the
revolution was not made on the first day, nor in the first, second, third,
fourth, or fifth year, and that the revolution is a long battle, a long
struggle, such as the struggle to win power was. But after winning power we
have to continue struggling harder than ever against this class, its
influence, and its reactionary spirit. These are the ones that make
difficulties for us when we free the peasants from restrictions, because
they are our allies. When we adopt measures to make it easy for the
peasants to sell their products, they go out and pay $10.00 for a chicken,
or $50.00 for three turkeys.


They are the ones who, since they have money and resources, go to
"Rancho Mundito" and buy 4,000 quintals of malanga on a single Sunday. The
malanga that we need to fulfill the requirements for rationing for six days
in the capital of the republic. The malanga of workers' children and of
humble families. They go in their automobiles to buy it, paying any price.

They are the ones who add to our difficulties at this time of
difficulties and promote speculation. They bribe, throwing themselves to
feed at the expense of those who have no machines or resources like the
parasites they are, at the expense of those who cannot pay $50.00 for three

These are the ones that create problems and interfere -- these
very ones. And this class exists and will continue to fight against the
Revolution, if they do not decide to accept the stage of inevitable
transition, if they continue to be encouraged by imperialism, and if they
do not resign themselves.

It is logical that they should feel heartened and emboldened in a
country like ours, 90 miles from Yankee imperialism, the greatest
reactionary power in the world. For this reason, we must resort to the
theory of the class struggle in order to give a clear explanation to the
students in the schools, so that they do not fell into illusions -- that
illusionism into which many who thought that the Revolution was a promenade
and was already made fell. Those that fell into this idealistic position,
foreign to the reality of history and to the essence of what a true
revolution is. So that every student who finishes the schools will
understand the age in which we live and this struggle, in order that he
understand and be able to explain why the Revolution has to struggle
arduously and overcome huge obstacles. This is because the conscience of a
true revolutionary, a combative revolutionary, individuals prepared to give
battle at any time, must be created in every one of the students who
finishes the schools. Because what we can neither accept nor imagine is the
revolutionary who sees the enemy in the street and does not engage him, who
sees the enemy speaking of the Revolution and does not rebuff him
immediately. Because if there is one revolutionary in the street and 100
enemies come along, then even if alone, he must take a stand before them
and make them kill him if necessary. (Applause)

This is the attitude of one who is convinced of a cause. It is the
attitude of a true defender of a cause. He does not look to see how many
enemies there are, but rather thinks of the cause he is defending against
the unhealthy interests of the mercenaries, cowards, exploiters, and

The Revolution today is facing the enemies of the proletarian
class, the lumpen, all kinds of parasites, the instruments of imperialism,
and those who are ready to play games with the imperialist who is
blockading us. We must smash the pot on the head of those who would go out
with it to play games with Kennedy. (Applause)

Because it is there exploiters, these reactionaries that are
trying to increase the homeland's difficulties, that Yankee imperialism is
happy with. With these mercenaries, exploiters, bourgeoisie and the lumpen
that has joined them. Because there have united against the proletariat
latifundists, speculators, all kinds of traders, politicians, yesterday's
flunkeys, "fixers," whoremongers, and all kinds of vicious people, because
it is the embrace of the lumpen, vice, and crime with privilege and

These are our enemies, and they shall always be. And for the
enemy, no consideration; for the peasant comrade, for the working comrade,
for him who works for society with his mind or his muscles -- our heart and
our life. For the enemy, from wherever he comes to face us, our fist; for
the enemy, a hard fist and destruction, from wherever he comes to challenge
us. (Applause)

Because they are hoping for a St. Bartholemy of the proletariat, a
St. Bartholemy of revolutionaries, a St. Bartholemy of the humble. They
dream of this; they dream of the time when they can bathe the soil of the
homeland in proletarian, peasant, revolutionary, and humble blood and
implant their odious, vicious, corrupt, and infamous world.

And since we know that they are dreaming of this, this is what
they are going to find any time that they confront the proletarian
revolution. Because the Revolution has power, conviction, morals,
enthusiasm, and all the dignity necessary to do battle with its enemies and
to eliminate its enemies, if it is necessary to eliminate its enemies.


We understand very well that this is a struggle of life and death.
We understand very well that a revolution is a battle that can end only
with the triumph of the revolutionaries or with the triumph of the
counter-revolutionaries. Plus the fact that history teaches that it ends,
in every historical time, with the revolutionaries that know how to
interpret this historical time.

And therefore, we know that even though they do not resign
themselves easily and although they do the inexpressible, victory will
inexorably end up on our side. We know what a revolution is, and we know
who are the antagonists that face each other in a revolution. We also know
that this Revolution is developing under special conditions, which perhaps
would not be the same if we were at a distance of many miles from Yankee
imperialism -- and I say only perhaps, because the Yankee imperialists have
their hooves stuck into every continent. But the fact is that the
circumstance of our being 90 miles from them makes our conditions special
and our situation special, and this greatly determines the attitude of the
class enemy -- the special circumstance of the proximity of imperialism.

For this reason they find it hard to resign themselves; for this
reason they feel encouraged; and for this reason only the facts will
determine objective reality and will dictate the future of our relations
with this class to us. But in any case we must prepare to give battle. We
must be ready to give battle if it is necessary -- to give them battle in
whatever manner it should be necessary.


We shall not give battle unnecessarily. We shall never fall into
unnecessary extremisms. We prefer not to have to fall into these
extremeisms; or put in a better way, they cannot be called extremisms when
they are necessary. It would be better to say: "We prefer that it should
not be necessary to do it; we prefer for the Revolution to follow its
rising curve without being obliged to take drastic measures against our
class enemies." We would prefer for them to resign themselves to the
Revolution and to resign themselves to disappearing gradually without any
great sacrifices for them, rather than for us to have the need to make them
disappear as a class drastically.

But you will understand that in contemplating the problems of the
revolutionary process, that for this we need to strengthen our mass
organizations, our revolutionary apparatus, our cadres, and the ideological
and political level of the masses.


Comrades: The energy of our Revolution at this time is impressive.
The advance of the people on all fronts is impressive -- the way they have
advanced in the military field as well as in the labor field. The effort
that is being made everywhere at this time is impressive. This very
movement of revolutionary education is impressive. The number of schools
for the propagation of Marxism and the tens of thousands of men and women
who have finished these schools exceeds all our dreams.

Only rarely and in few places has there been such a steep rise of
the masses toward education and truth. Everything is impressive, and more
impressive yet when one considers the difficulties that we have ahead of us
and the obstacles that imperialism has put in our path. It is impressive to
see about 100,000 students on scholarships studying, the movement of
education and training that there is all over the country, and the effort
that is being exerted everywhere.

Of course, along with the difficulties, we have had more good
fortune than other revolutions, because we have had three and a half years
to do this, whereas the Soviet revolution, for example, had to spend these
three years fighting foreign intervention on the battlefield. They could
not have done what we have been able to do, what we are going at this
moment -- the impulse that we are giving to the revolutionary education of
the masses.

And this allows us to strengthen ourselves. It allows us to give
solidity to the Revolution. It allows us to have the Revolution take deep
roots and solid and indestructible bases. It allows us to think of our
Revolution as an irreversible fact, as a bright episode in the history of
our continent. It allows us to have greater security and more faith in the
final victory of our people.

Let us explain and teach and study in order to be able to see more
and to teach more; to understand realities; so that there will be no
mysteries for any of us in revolutionary work; and so that we learn to know
our enemies and our friends and the allies of the working class -- the
small peasants. Such as that admirable peasant from the mountains, who has
given tens of thousands of brave and stoic sons to the Revolution's armed
forces. Such as that peasant from the eastern mountains who, in defending
the proletarian revolution, has fought against mercenary bands in Matanzas,
Las Villas, and everywhere. Learn to know this ally. Let us strengthen
ourselves on all production fronts in order to take clothes, shoes,
medicine, teachers, and doctors to this peasant, and to give him economic

And, of course, we already know that we do not have all the
teachers or doctors that we need. We already know, and it is very painful
to think of it, that there are teachers who teach hardly two days [a week?]
and doctors who do not condescend to give consultations to the sick. We
know it, but it does not matter. We are not only making an effort to raise
the revolutionary conscience of the teachers; we are also turning out new
generations of teachers, new generations of doctors, and new generations of
technicians. Just as we are turning out new generations of fishermen
together with the project for the construction of great fishing fleets;
just as we are turning out new generations of administrative cadres; just
as we are impelling the future of the homeland with faith and conviction
and without becoming discouraged because of the present difficulties,
because we know that they are temporary; and also because they do us honor;
and also because we know that they make us strong (applause); and also
because the people become strong not in abundance, but in sacrifice,
struggle, and adversity. And we know what the people are capable of.


Everything depends on our understanding and knowing how to make
the others understand that a revolution is not a promenade or a bed of
roses, but of sacrifice -- a hard and self-sacrificing struggle. On our
knowing that we are not living in normal times and that the Revolution is a
tremendous struggle -- a war that changes form. Sometimes it turns into
armed battle, and sometimes into class war, unarmed [struggle], sabotage,
campaigns, resistance, or interference with revolutionary work that can
take the form of armed struggle, as it did at Giron and as it did in the
Escambray during the campaign against the range there. The enemies will
never rest in their task of trying to sow terror; murdering teachers,
militiamen, and workers; and committing the repugnant and odious crimes and
the reactionary gangs have committed everywhere. Know that this is a hard
struggle. And we know what the people can bear, because we saw them in the
Sierra when neither we nor the people had salt, sugar, or cigarettes. What
we had was airplanes and bombs, and families living in caves. And with what
stoicism they bore it all, knowing that this was the struggle, that this
was the war, that better times would come!

We also know that the people are unyielding and that they are
capable of the most inconceivable sacrifices, and that when the timorous
and faithless are being brought to their knees, the people begin to react
energetically and bravely -- to react against their enemies. The enemies
have become boastful, and the reaction of the people was not late in
coming. It can already be seen. It can be seen everywhere, and it will be
seen ever more. It will be seen on 26 July, the fourth anniversary after
the triumph of the Revolution, which will also be a day of struggle and
recounting, and a day of battle. We shall mobilize the people right there
in Santiago de Cuba, and send the revolutionary message to the entire
nation from there.

Comrades of struggle, combat, and offensive, you must begin this
new stage in the schools with this spirit. You must go to teach your
students with this spirit.

Homeland or death! We shall win! (Applause)