Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

University Speech

Havana CMQ Television Network in Spanish 0225 GMT 25 July 1962--F

(Editorial Report) Premier Fidel Castro on 24 July made an unscheduled
speech from Santiago de Cuba University. The telecast was intercepted in
progress. Castro said among other things: "The revolution always has its
eye set on the future, on the fatherland about which we think, on the
society which we conceived as a just and worthy society. It is the
fatherland of tomorrow, the society which we begin to build today and which
we will build stone by stone. As we see things, our most important task is
education. We must educate youth for many things. We must educate for a new
life, a different life, for a new style of production capable of satisfying
all the aspirations of our country. But this is also a revolution which in
the field of education gives proof of the differences between the life
being organized for our people and what life used to be in the past.

"We could make many comparisons, Castro said. This does not mean that we
can ever feel satisfied with what we have achieved. If we compare what is
done for our country today, what is done for our people in the field of
education, and what was done in the past, the judgement of history would be
on the side of the revolution."

Castro then gave a lengthy account of what he called the poor educational
heritage left by the previous government. Castro said that was a chaotic
society, without plans, without prospects, without future. It was logical
that the university reflected that society. The highest aspiration of
people was gold, he said. They wanted to live off the work of others and
there was no interest in production and very few wanted to be agronomists.
Many wanted to become lawyers, myself included," he said. The audience
applauded this.

Castro added that "a good lawyer had a sure job in any Yankee monopoly.
Their job was to evict, to collect, to help crush the humble man, the poor
man. If he was a good doctor, he immediately was in demand, he charged more
each time, he became gradually a doctor for the wealthy." Castro said:
Revolutionary peoples have to face up to the task of forming a new
generation of technicians. This did not occur to us. Many factories were
deserted by the technicians. Today, Castro said, we visited a factory which
ought to be the pride of the revolution. Its workers are model workers.
They are truly revolutionaries. The plant is in this city. It is a wheat
mill. In this plant 106 persons work. They used to produce 1,300 sacks per
day. Today there are 16 less people working there and no university
technicians. The engineers left. The laboratory staff left and the workers
themselves replaced them. They did not get discouraged, they took their
places. Castro continued: With less personnel they now produce 2,000 sacks
per day or 50 percent more. They make many of the replacement parts of the

In the midst of bitter struggle Cubans laugh at their misfortunes, Castro
said. He asked: "What are those miserable deserters compared with these
men?" It is logical that the engineers deserted Cuba, they were too
"domesticated to resign themselves to live without the generous hand of the
exploiters." How can those miserable ones think that they can win over the
indomitable spirit of our workers and humble people! They cannot understand
that there is no returning to the old system.

Castro then described the killing and the sabotage. He said that there was
no sabotage in the factories when they were Yankee factories. He said that
the revolutionaries are not unjust. "We do not become cruel. We defend with
passion. It is logical that we defend our right to life passionately. It is
just that we annihilate all who try to violate this right to life and
creation," he said.

Castro said that because there are those who did not resign themselves to
the situation and tried to do all the damage possible, a guillotine was
necessary in the French Revolution and that is why the firing squads have
to operate in the socialist revolution. This drew applause. I understand,
Castro said, how much propaganda is made in Latin America against the Cuban
revolution and on the subject of firing squads. He said: "There is so much
alarm and concern about it, even at times among our own friends. It takes
so little trouble to understand it. This is natural, because in America we
have been accustomed, as we were accustomed to it in our country, to the
hate of the exploiters." Castro said that once the Batista war criminals
had been executed a halt was called to capital punishment but that this was
an illusory thing to do as it turned out.

According to Castro, the most important function of society is education
and the most important function in a society is that of a teacher. The
revolution attaches first-grade importance to the teacher and to teachers'
education, he said. It will form a generation of new teachers. He
continued: When we extend education up to the sixth grade in the rural
areas and in the mountains, where it would be difficult to set up schools,
we have the teachers who can select those boys who show inclination toward
study and intelligence. They will go to the school centers which are no
longer Utopian. From the primary school to the university, a gigantic
effort will be made. Teachers will be educated, instructors will be gotten,
and the empty places of the deserters will be filled. The revolution will
multiply these instructors in unforeseeable numbers. They also will be of a
quality which the deserters could never have believed possible.

Castro said: You will see here many visible accomplishments. But there are
other accomplishments of greater merit still--the work that the revolution
is carrying forward with the people, particularly with the younger
generation. Revolutions do not work for today, but for tomorrow. The
younger generation is the tomorrow and their life is the tomorrow. We feel
more satisfied when we know that the schools, the institutes, the
university are no longer fairy tales, but a reality within the reach of
all. Thus they will go on growing up and one day their names, the names of
many of them will be known as eminent scientists in our fatherland and

Those who opened up the new world of the cosmos and of space travel, Castro
said, were not the bourgeois technicians. They were the sons of workers and
farmers of the Soviet Union. They had, as we do, deserters. Those who
opened up science and solved problems which could not be solved until now
and who opened the perspectives of new worlds of unsuspected possibilities
were young men like these. Today the highest percentage of physicians and
engineers in the world is in the Soviet Union. History teaches us these
things. We understand it not because history teaches us this, but because
we can see that here already.

In the face of the hatred of the imperialists and their slander, we shall
go ahead on this road, Castro reiterated. We shall go on with this
magnificent people, with our youth. We shall go on creating a new world. We
shall be on advancing on the cultural front and in education. Our young
generation has sports fields, food, clothing, tools for study, and all they
need. Today, on the ninth anniversary of the revolution, it is a great
satisfaction for me that I can tell you comrades these things which are not
dreams but realities, Castro concluded.