Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Service in Spanish 0328 GMT 13 March

(Live broadcast by Cuban Premier Fidel Castro on the seventh anniversary of
the attack on the Presidential Palace at the University of Havana)

(Text) Comrade students: This date, which marks the moment of the highest
heroism in the history of our university, and because of that is a day
which shall always end in a ceremony such as today's--one by the students
principally--will be a date of greater importance every year. It will not
happen again as in the past when glorious dates lost their sense of emotion
and force in the vacuum where all the effort of those who struggled a fell
appeared to be lost. This date will have more and more force each time,
essentially because that effort and that sacrifice did not disappear into a
vacuum. Their fruits will flourish more and more as time goes on. The
future will show us this truth because the future will be ever more
apparently the nuture of our youth, the future of our students, and because
the fatherland will be more and more one immense school, an immense

This space, this space that today is filled with youths, will not be large
enough to hold our students, and that is why it will be necessary to do as
has been done. Who have come to the ceremony at the university entrance?
What scholarship students have come to the ceremony of the university
entrance and (applause) of our non-university scholarship students? Well,
the best students, Those with the best conduct. (Applause) Those with the
best record. If anyone who does not belong in this category has slipped
through, it is his responsibility exclusively, but that was the way the
problem was resolved, because it is already a problem, that of deciding who
may come here because there is not room for all in this entrance and that
is why those who had the most brains were selected.

In this way year after year in which the number of students will be greater
and greater, the most studious and most worthy will meet at this entrance.
A position here, even if it be only standing room, to commemorate this day,
to be able to come here, to have the honor of being here, will have to be
won during the year. Half-jokingly, at the beginning of these ceremonies we
told some comrades that in our times there was not such a crowd on the
steps of the university. In our student days, the steps were very seldom
crowded. These are the differences, the profound and palpable differences
between the past and the present.

However, above all one must think about and look toward tomorrow. We, the
revolutionaries always think of tomorrow. Recently on a tour we made of the
primary school, also of scholarship recipients, in Santa Maria del Mar and
continuing on to the school city located in the former (Sarara--phonetic)
Center (commotion in audience) which seems to have a representative here,
as I can hear (applause) and afterward continuing to various places,
practically spending hours on the streets, observing the changes in
conduct, discipline, attitude, and even in the physical appearance of our
students, I told a student that this was similar to a tour of the future.

On a day like today, during a ceremony like this, we must think above all
about the future. We must look toward the future. Sometimes we ask
ourselves, what is the panoramic vision of our youth? What are their
feelings on a day like today? What do they think? As we recall the respect
in which we always held our martyrs, of the men who gave their lives for a
cause, for our country's cause, our people's cause, when we recall history,
history since the struggles for independence, and the struggles in the
republic, and recalling the respect which our predecessors inspired in us,
we have asked ourselves: What must the feelings of our youth be?

Could our youth feel that the struggle has ended? Could they feel that the
most brilliant pages have already been written? Could they feel that the
most heroic and the most meritorious has already been achieved? That our
youth no longer have the setting (for?) combat wherein to test their
mettle, to test their revolutionary and patriotic qualifications. We
sometimes have asked this of ourselves. Nevertheless, whoever thinks that
history has already been written, whoever thinks that there are not many
more brilliant chapters to write, would be in error, because there are many
chapters still to be written by everyone, particularly by you. There is
still much to fight for, much to do yet, much to create yet.

But the battles waged against Batista and his Camarilla, the battles waged
against his Myrmidons and criminals were then only the beginning of the
revolution. They were not, however, the most difficult battles, because the
battles we are waging against imperialism are even more difficult. Yet
there still remains a more difficult battle than the ones we are waging
against imperialism. Some of you must be wondering what battle that can be.
Well, it is the battle against the past; against the past and its
reactionary ideas; against the past and its evil habits; against the past
and its vices; against the past and its system of privileges, and the
exploitation of man by man; against the past and its ideas, the ideas, I
repeat, that it left us; the way of looking at things, of looking at life;
the egoistic concepts; the idea that birth and growth are always embued
with that idea of difference between what is mine and what is yours and the
concept that what is mine is mine above all.

These ideas acquired firmness during centuries, practically. In
revolutions, however, ideas have a great importance because the classes and
the ideas of the classes are fighting then. The reactionaries try to make
their ideas attractive to the largest number of persons possible. They try
to take advantage of, and avail themselves of, the influences that the old
ideas exert on people and, of course, on the students of our university and
higher schools, on the students who will constitute the vanguard in the
technical field and also in culture and ideas.

It is clear, of course, that here we do not mold parasites for our society
but workers for society; servants of society and not its exploiters. We
mold workers who will be, in every labor center, the ones who are endowed
with the most ample and profound learning, culture, and understanding. The
enemy takes advantage of ignorance, and ignorance is part of the past. When
I speak of the past and its vices, I think first of all of ignorance. These
vices are the great allies of the reactionaries and the imperialists.

Last year, on this same date, circumstances obliged me to criticize the
suppression of an invocation to God appearing in Echeverria's testament.
With all the honesty and sincerity that must be the honesty and sincerity
of revolutionaries, I made that criticism because I judged that act to be
wrong and not revolutionary.

Those comrades understood the criticism and acknowledged the error. Today I
am going to speak of others who, invoking God, want to carry out a
counterrevolution. (Applause) This is related to what we spoke about, the
most difficult battle of all, and that is the battle against the past and
how that past tries to return by all means possible, and how the
reactionaries use all possible methods, and how the imperialists, those
monsters without hearts--because they are not interested in anything but
the amount of gold which they can accumulate day by day, month by month,
and year by year, because no imperialist, no capitalist, no exploiter is
interested in anything else, and this is understood by anybody who has a
minimum of reasoning power--are not interested nor will they ever be
interested in anything else but in their own advantage, their own benefit.

It is clear that they try to make the world believe that in fighting for
their personal benefits they fight for the progress of humanity. We well
know how trivial many of those believers were who arrived at the church in
the morning still under the influence of rum they had ingested in their
aristocratic and privileged clubs. We know how pious those people were.
They were so pious that one bloody Christmas like that of (Cole--phonetic),
in one night murdered more than 20 proletarian fighters. That was a minor
thing for them, which did not interrupt the year and celebrations. They did
not even feel any qualms for the hundreds and thousands of dead in that
struggle, and who even in the days after Batista, on 31 December itself,
the day he fled, were surprised in the midst of their celebrations.

It was clear that the next morning they said that they were very happy
because Senor Batista had left, but it was because they undoubtedly
believed that they were going to have a freer hand to exploit our people
even more. We understand the piety of those gentlemen who, although they
had never been in church before, no sooner had the agrarian law been passed
than they began to go to church every day. (Laughter, applause). Well and
good, the people knew them.

Imperialism tried to turn the Catholic Church on the revolution, and
imperialism was unmasked. Some reactionary sectors of the church tried to
use the Churches against the revolution, but they were also unmasked.
Waters began to seek their own levels, and the imperialists began to lose
their hope of being able to use the Catholic Church as an instrument of
their counterrevolution.

The revolution remained firm in its principles of respect for the religious
beliefs of any citizen, respect for religion. It did not seize churches. It
did not close churches. It did not place obstacles in the path of the
activities of any priest who was prepared to exercise his purely religious
office. It can even be said that conflicts began to disappear between the
revolution and the Catholic Church. So that from the first months of the
revolution there was talk about many cases of counterrevolutionary
activities in connection with the Catholic Church. Afterward that talk was
no longer heard. And practically, now it is scarcely heard.

Events have shown that it is possible for a revolution to respect religious
beliefs, how a proletarian revolution in power can uphold this principle;
and how a revolution respects the religious sentiments of any citizen. This
is not the same as respect for the counterrevolutionary activities of any
reactionary cloaked with religiousness. (Applause)

What did the imperialists do? Were they satisfied? No! They changed tactics
and even changed their church. We will see this many times. We will see the
enemy of the classes changing tactics many times because this struggle will
be long. It necessarily has to be long. This class struggle, this struggle
of ideas is not liquidated in 24 hours. The most difficult battle, the
longest battle, was not the battle against Batista; the battle against the
imperialists, the battle against the reactionaries, the battle against the
exploiters, the battle against the past, as I said a few minutes ago (is
the longest and most difficult battle--Ed.)

We will see the enemy changing tactics many times. This is what imperialism
did. It changed tactics when it saw itself crushed in the cities by the
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. (Applause) The encirclement
against them became so tight that they had to move out of the cities and
went to the countryside where the dispersal of the population makes
vigilance more difficult than in the city. For some time now the activities
of two or three religious sects, which were, to be exact, founded in the
United States, and which have been used as a vanguard of penetration in
Latin America, sects which were found and subsidized by the imperialists,
because, (he chuckles--Ed.) gentlemen, the imperialists sharks do not care
about God, nor about religion, nor about anybody, because they have no
other God but their gold, and their profits. (Applause)

Furthermore, the imperialist sharks have a very weak moral and ideological
position in the face of the reality of exploitation, since the imperialist
sharks find it very difficult to justify to anyone the existence of
millions of illiterates, and of exploited persons, and of hungry people,
and of premature deaths, and of an average life span that hardly reaches
30 years in many nations in this continent. And since this is very
difficult to defend with logic, and with arguments, and since they have
very little to offer the hungry one and the exploited one, very little to
offer them in this life, a life which is shorter for the masses than for
the exploiters, then they make use of a magnificent expedient--to offer
them marvels in the other life. Perhaps the poor see the marvels in this
world in the houses of the rich.

I can imagine how a poor man sees the sky, and perhaps he imagines the sky
to be a big automobile, silver dinnerware, a palace, or a roast loin of
pork or beef on his table at home. That is to say, the poor imagine--who
knows what--that they are cultured, that they are healthy, that they have
those marvels that the rich exploiters enjoy in this world and that they do
not wish to leave for the other. (Applause)

Well, then, the oil companies used to send ahead of them, to wherever they
wished to penetrate, the missionaries of some of those sects. Those who
have never been in some of these places are horrified by the results of
superstition and deceit instilled in ignorant minds. And since if there
were, for example, a family of lepers already converted to one of those
sects and wanted to send its children to the hospital it was told: "No,
because this hospital is Catholic and it is better for them to die because
this life is for suffering and dying in order to achieve the other life."

Naturally, it was not then as it is today, that is, a clash between
religious and political ideas, and since no political ideas were involved
it was a clash of religious fanaticism. Humanity has seen a great deal of
this clash between fanaticisms. Millions and millions of human beings fell
in this struggle among the fanatics behind which hid determined class or
national interests.

For some time now we have observed an unusual activity in our
country--activity never shown by these sects that are directed straight
from the United States since they are not directed from Rome. These sects
are directed from the United States and they are used as agents of the
Central Intelligence Agency, of the State Department and the Yankee policy.
Naturally, they employ very subtle methods. Naturally, they are going to
exploit ignorance; they are going to exploit superstition; they are going
to deceive the most ignorant, the most humble campesino.

So while our revolution organized its anti-illiteracy campaign and
mobilized tens of thousands of youths in order to eradicate illiteracy, the
imperialists mobilized their religious sects. They subsidized them and
scattered them through the rural areas taking advantage of the revolution's
tolerance in order to carry out activity that was devoid of religious aims.
The aim of this activity was eminently and essentially political and
counterrevolutionary. Then news and reports began to arrive, especially in
the areas where the counterrevolution was actively working, about the
presence of elements of these sects. How do they work? What do they do?
They work in a very subtle way. They exploit superstition. Everybody knows
what superstition used to prevail in our rural areas. Anyone who has lived
there must remember the absurd things they used to tell us, things that
were converted into beliefs. For example, if an owl-faced person went by,
one should say (solabaga--phonetic); (laughter) if a rooster, and things of
the sort (sentence as heard).

It was like something found in the history of Rome by Titus Livius.
Certainly, there was not much difference between the phenomenal
superstition prevailing in the ancient world and ours-- that ancient world
in which all problems were solved, first of all, by a (God?) who would be
asked which was the best day for a battle, if fate would be favorable or
adverse. There was a continuous sacrifice of fowls and animals. In general,
it was a continuous living amidst superstition and deceit--the product of
the ignorance prevailing in those times when many phenomena, natural
phenomena could not be even explained. That ignorance is what the agents of
the imperialists are going to exploit.

That ignorance is what those agents of imperialism are going to
exploit--very subtle, of course-- not out in the open. They will go to a
zone where three may be counterrevolutionary agents, where the Central
Intelligence Agency has tried to create bands, where assassinations have
been committed such as that of the teacher Conrado Benitez, or literacy
brigade teacher Manuel Asunce Domenech. (Applause) It is there that they
will preach, just there where young people are murdered, where peasants are
murdered, where workers are murdered, where they must defend themselves
against the bands and the assassins. This is where the agents of
imperialism appear--saying that there should be no fighting, that weapons
should not be used-- and carry out a softening-up process.

Using religion as a pretext, they say: Do not use weapons, do not defend
yourself, do not be a militiaman. Or else, where it is necessary to pick
cotton or coffee, or to collect sugar, or to do some special work when the
masses are mobilized some Sunday or Saturday, they say: Do not work on the
seventh day. Using religion as a pretext, they begin to preach against
voluntary work. They preach that allegiance should not be pledged to the
flag, and they say to the parents: Do not send your children to school on
Friday so that they will not have to pledge allegiance to the flag.

Can our country, a country which has had to fight so much for its
independence and for its flag, a country which has left so many heroes
along the path, a country which has given the lives of so many young
people, of so many workers, of so many peasants, and of so many fine men
and women for its destiny, tolerate anyone preaching such irreverence
against the country, this irreverence against the flag? (chanting "Fidel")

Can the country which defends itself against a powerful enemy 90 miles
away--an enemy that constantly threatens to attack us with all its
strength--permit anyone to preach this false patriotism, this abandoning
the battle, this refusal to take up arms, thereby contradicting the
national anthem, which, ever since the days of Cespedes, has been: Run into
battle, run for your valiant arms?

Can a country which must produce to overcome the enormous difficulties
caused by the economic blockade erected by the most powerful and
reactionary nation on earth, can a country which must work for its future
permit this fraud against work? And what has this to do with religion? What
has this to do with anyone's religious feelings? Therefore, I told you that
it is necessary to fight and to fight hard.

They will hardly come to this university to preach (their argument?),
because they will not find a hotbed (word indistinct). They will hardly
come here and tell people not to go to the doctor but to say a prayer for a
cure. They will hardly do it, but they do not come here. They go there
where ignorance is to be found, ignorance left in our country by 60 years
of imperialist exploitation. There, enemies must be unmasked to the masses.
They must be revealed to the masses. The proletarian masses the peasant
masses, the students, the intellectual workers who have had a chance to
acquire more culture and a more scientific attitude must combat lies,
superstition, deceit, and, above all, the counterrevolutionary farce which
seeks to hide behind the screen of religious feeling.

They are enemies of the revolution; they are enemies of the proletariat;
they are enemies of the peasant; they are enemies of the nation; and they
are instruments of the imperialists. Our people know these pseudo-religious
people well, particularly in the rural areas. As one comrade says: One of
these groups is known to our peasants and our militiamen by the name of
Batiblancos--Batiblanco with "b." (Applause).

They have appeared in many of these places. There are three main sects, the
principal instruments of imperialism, today. They are: Jehovah's Witnesses;
the Evangelical Band of Gideon (boos), and the Church of the Pentecost. It
is a peculiar thing--and it is a proof of the revolution's tolerance, an
extraordinary proof of the revolution's tolerance--that this latter group
has a school, called the Biblical Institute of the Pentecost, where it
prepares its cadres in the province of Las Villas near the town of Santo
Domingo. It is directed by a North American. A Yankee is the director of
this school!

How far does the tolerance of the revolution go? How far? In recent days,
at the request of the Swiss Embassy and in accord with our policy,
departure was authorized for a number of gentlemen who claimed to be U.S.
citizens, or who had some U.S. relatives, or whose daughters had been born
in Florida. They used these reasons for leaving the country. How strange
that they (the United States--Ed.) did not take any of those gentlemen who
are at the head of the sects! How peculiar! Why not them? Well, why take
those who are working on their own? Those who have schools and are training
their cadres to spy, to observe our national territory, to carry out
counterrevolutionary campaigns among the peasants, and to combat the
revolution? See how far the tolerance of the revolution goes! We have a
Yankee director in one of a cadre school of counterrevolution, disguised
under the veil of religion. Is our country obliged to permit this? (Shouts
of "No!" from the crowd--Ed.) Do the imperialists take us for idiots?

It is clear, comrade students, that the conditions of ignorance inherited
from the past--conditions in which these circles can predict certain
results--cannot be changed in one day. We have placed much stress and
special interest on the training of teachers. The faster the revolution
advances, the more convinced we become of how right we were in this. Thanks
to the teachers, who were mobilized in the first months, in the first and
second year of the revolution, we now have schools throughout the country.
You know the effort that was necessary. It was necessary to come here to
the university to find teachers for the new secondary and preuniversity
centers. Many young comrades of the university have distinguished
themselves as magnificent teachers at those schools and some of them have
even been appointed directors.

And yet, how much is left and how much effort is still necessary to
completely meet our needs! These Pentecostal gentlemen have a school in
which they instruct their agents for eight months; but our teachers, who
begin in Las Minas del Rio, must study for five years, and even then they
will still have to take improvement courses of different types. In Topes de
Collante, a first-cycle school, there are at present some 3,000 youths of
whom the first group will complete its first cycle and will then have to
study for two years in a pedagogical institute. This year, an effort was
made to enroll a certain number of teachers. The sixth grade certificates
were requested, as I once said, and almost 50 percent turned out to have a
third or fourth grade scholastic level and some not even that. This has
shown us that we will have to undertake a much greater mobilization for the
coming term if we are to meet the quota of 5,000 to 6,000.

This (the teacher situation--Ed.) like everything else in our country, was
largely a farce. Not only were there 1 million illiterates, but many who
held sixth grade certificates possessed only a second or third grade
scholastic level (several words indistinct). The teachers we are now
training will be the new contingents who will enter our teaching
profession, in which, within a few years, we will have many thousands of
graduates. They will be the ones who will go out to the schools to really
teach, to bring the children up to the proper level of education, to
instill in them from an early age the habits of a social life, correct
social habits. For if it is true that not all human beings have the same
characteristics, the same temperament and character, (it is no less true
that- Ed.) education has a decisive influence and that education is the
only thing capable of developing the positive inclinations of the human
being and of combating his negative inclinations at an early age. But to do
this we need the technician, the teacher, the expert, the one who knows how
to train a child, the psychology of a child, and the character of a child,
and how a child is inspired and trained.

We have many revolutionary teachers because in that society of privilege,
exploitation, and ignorance--despite the adverse conditions--many talents
were developed. (Many persons were--Ed.) trained in various specialities,
in medicine, in engineering, or as professors and teachers. Of course,
those were not the conditions of today (several words indistinct). Could a
peasant girl study to be a teacher? Or the daughter of a worker at a sugar
central? No! The normal schools were in the cities, principally in the
capitals, and there were no scholarships.

Today, all the education students, all of them, are scholarship students
and they begin their studies in the mountains. It is clear that in this way
we will obtain fine teachers, particularly if we continue to concern
ourselves in the proper sense and if we continue to use all revolutionary
means, new means like those used in a teachers school operating in our
capital, a school of which we spoke on another occasion and which today
contains nearly 10,000 peasant girls, girls of 15 and 16 years of age who
are carrying out an impressive task with an extraordinary sense of
responsibility. They teach in the morning, study in the afternoon and
evening, and then return to their dormitories to review everything. This
demonstrates what can be accomplished, what can be done with the youth.

One of the things our revolution possesses is how to measure moral and
human values, and the dynamism and activity of the youth. We have obtained
fantastic results, impressive successes, of which the literacy campaign was
a very eloquent test. Attention must be focused on the training of teachers
and professors, because they will be the vanguard soldiers in the struggle
against ignorance and against the past. In the future no one will have to
relate these things--these incredible things about how the imperialists
train their agents and carry out their activities-- first of all, because
we are going to combat them. The masses will confront the frauds. They will
be able to distinguish between the man and woman of good faith, not
forgetting the thousands and thousands of sincere believers who have been
deceived, imbued with ideas arising from their ignorance, from their lack
of knowledge about the world. They are good people. What must be fought are
those responsible for fraud and the facilities which they now possess. They
must be made subject to the laws of the country (applause) and, above all,
opposed wherever they are, unmasked as agents of imperialism and enemies of
the country. (Applause) We must oppose them on our farms and in our peasant
associations, with our mass organizations, and with our United Party of the
Socialist Revolution. (Applause)

To the degree that we organize ourselves, advance on all fronts, and
overcome our deficiencies, we will win the battle on all fronts. This gives
you an idea of what you have ahead, of the task which lies ahead of you. Is
this, perhaps, the only evil that manifests itself? No. There is another
series of evils which are the direct result of the past, the inheritance
left us by capitalism. What are some of these, for example? The anti-social
delinquent, the crook, the rat! In the struggle against imperialism and the
agents of imperialism, our revolution, centering all its efforts on that,
has not taken sufficient measures against another kind of evil, which is
the inheritance of capitalism: It is common crime. There are parasites who
grew up under that society, who in no way resign themselves to work; who,
rather than earn their bread honestly by working in the fields or in the
public projects--if they do not know anything else--prefer to get in 15
minutes what it would take them a month or two of honest work to earn. And
so, they steal a television set or a radio, or (crack a safe?).

Yes, and there are the judges who release them. There are judges who do not
cooperate with the police. (Applause) And, of course, this is the result of
still other factors: These judges are some who desire to create problems
for the revolution. Then, there are also the archaic laws under which the
man who robs an automobile, radio, or electrical appliance from any family
is regarded simply as a Juana Cabibe! (Laughter) A Juana Cabibe is one who
makes a mistake in good faith, not a criminal. There have also been cases
in which the police have arrested the same crook twice on the same day.

Of course we are not going to exonerate our police of their responsibility.
They must pay special attention to the problem and adopt effective and
energetic measures, and they must realize that they must fight hard against
that vice, which was left us by the capitalist society. There have even
been comrades who thought that through absolutely philanthropic methods
they could combat that social evil, that with good advice they could bring
a criminal back to orderly life and social coexistence. These are
illusions, the results of the archaic laws, the attitude of some judges,
and the lack of social mindedness for combating an evil which sows terror
among families.

There are families that are in terror over the activity of that kind of
antisocial element, fearing they will be robbed, fearing an accident, and
fearing that they will be the victims of an aggression by robbers. There
are neighborhoods, for example, like the neighborhood of Alta Habana, where
many doctors live, in which they have informed us of the state of anxiety
their families are experiencing because of those activities. There are many
other neighborhoods like this. Why? Because the rats are walking around
freely. Quite simply, it is the duty of the revolution to combat that evil
in an efficient manner (applause) and to adopt severe measures. As long as
they can go out into the streets under a small 100 peso bail, those
organized businesses--I say organized because they have their network of
distribution and sale of products they obtain by theft--experience no
difficulty in obtaining the 100 or 200 pesos.

They sometimes use children--which is worse. They use minors to enter the
houses and open them. Consequently, there is a need to take severe
measures, In the first place, there must be exclusion from bail. (Applause)
But that is not enough. Whoever steals from a home in which a family is
located, that is to say, whoever robs while the family is in danger of
falling victim to physical harm, whoever robs with violence from homes and
the people (deserves--Ed.) capital punishment! (Applause) Whoever steals
under the guise of an official agent--capital punishment! (Applause)
Whoever seals with the use of minors--with all the more reason
(deserves--Ed.) capital punishment! (Applause)

We know that the criminal is the product of society, that the criminal is
the product of the abolished society. We cannot, therefore, refrain from
taking measures to protect the families, society, and the people from his
activities. We cannot refrain from taking drastic steps because otherwise
society would be exposed to the free activities of these antisocial
elements. They must be combated just as a disease, a plague, an epidemic is
fought. (Someone shouts an indistinct phrase--Ed.) Well said. The comrade
has reminded us of the pool rooms. (Applause) We have not discussed those
problems, but many comrades have approached us to speak of this matter and
of the number of vagrants and lumpen who gather in many of those places. I
was telling you, comrades, that there is still much for us to do; much,
because there are still a number of infectious centers of delinquency and
vagrancy. Most significant of all, social classes that sustain and nourish
those centers and the vices that originate them still scorns and
anathematizes work-- capitalism.

Who are those vagrants? They are not just the crooks. There are other
by-products of capitalism and of the reactionaries and the exploiters.
(Several words indistinct) because if they did not leave us factories, they
did leave us all kinds of vice in this country. Imperialism is prolific in
creating all these vices. Everyone remembers what used to take place in
Guantanamo when the Marines walked around freely. Everyone knows what takes
place wherever Yankee forces are found. What corruption! What vices they
introduced because they must entertain their troops!

The product to which I am referring is not exactly prostitution now, a
harmful and evil vice against which we are now patiently, carefully, and
cautiously struggling with the proper methods. They (the prostitutes--Ed.)
are the victims! Prostitution is another by-product of the capitalist
society. It degraded women in such a way, it deprived them of means of
making a living, of the decent means with which to live. It dragged
thousands and tens of thousands into that disgusting work. No, the doors of
the technical professions were not open to the women. Some 50 percent of
the medical school students were not girls training to become nurses,
doctors, or teachers. Women were not made administrators of thousands and
thousands of stores as was provided for by the last nationalization law.
No, the future of women was very different. It was quite different from the
honorable future every woman now has in our country.

Some of those who have taken their little daughters from the country have
taken them out of a country in which the woman is beginning to have full
rights, every opportunity, and where prostitution in its thousand forms is
being abolished. They have taken them to the country which is the classic
source of all vices. It is not just happenstance that the
counterrevolutionaries have taken their bolita (the numbers game--Ed.) and
their illicit activities to Miami. It is not just coincidence that they
have founded many houses of prostitution in Miami and in many other places
in the American countries where they have landed.

There are other evils to which I must refer--that of the vagrant, the
"lumpen," including the "lumpen" with high incomes, the sons of bourgeois
elements who do not study or work. What do they expect? That capitalism
will return so that they can live as vagrants? What are they dreaming of? I
do not know what they are dreaming of, because it appears now that the
imperialists do not want to receive them. They do not want to receive these
bourgeois elements in Miami or elsewhere in the United States. How

The revolution resisted the drain, the colossal campaign to take our
technicians from the country, by making a campaign against the revolution
among those who were leaving. Of course, they took great care in presenting
the problem of the migration from Cuba as a problem related to the
revolution, but the revolution had only changed the character of that
migration and the composition of that emigration. Formerly, the emigrants
were the many unfortunates, the many people who did not have a place to
work. Everyone will remember, before the revolution, during the 40s and the
50s, the long lines of persons in front of the Yankee embassy requesting
visas, and how difficult it was to obtain a visa.

When the revolution came, it opened the doors wide to those who wanted to
leave, but what has happened? The imperialists have closed their doors.
They (the would-be emigrants--Ed.) lost the battle against the revolution!
They lost the battle. Therefore, the worm pit cannot say that we are to
blame. No, because our doors are open to those who wish to leave the
country. (Applause) They have tens of thousands of visas, but
transportation has been suspended.

As you know, the government permitted departure on the ships that brought
the payment of the indemnity, and three ships left that way. But for the
fourth ship, what did the imperialists invent? They invited a German ship,
which after arriving here, was going on to Germany. This was done so as not
to give anyone a chance to leave. They suspended the lines. They claimed it
was (too expensive?). The possibility was discussed that from the dollars
paid by those who were leaving, half would remain in Cuba and half would go
to the company. These dollars, of course, had to come from abroad.

This is to say that the Cuban Government has created no obstacles. The
imperialist agencies are trying to conceal the truth because, apparently,
they do not want problems over there with the worm pit. It seems they
already have enough of that element. What happened? They gave tens of
thousands of persons residence permits. Many of them resigned from their
jobs, which, in many cases, were magnificent and juicy positions in the
shade. Many people who belonged to the aristocracy or the petit bourgeoisie
were shanghaied once again.

They are going to stay. But let them not think of recovering their
comfortable little jobs. We feel that they should do physical work, which
is what is most needed at this time. Let them work in agriculture. We will
give all of them work, if they wish, but it will be in agriculture. I ask
the forgiveness of the peasants who (phrase indistinct). If they want, let
them begin in the rural areas. It would be good to suggest to our
administrators--those sometimes magnanimous and excessively generous
employers--to take good care not to make room again for those gentlemen who
had everything ready until the Yankees came and stopped their departure.

The free country, North America, the country of the free world, the free
country, which does not permit anyone to come here which became frightened
by the possibility that anyone would come to Cuba freely and prohibited
travel to this country, even going as far as imposing a fine on a
courageous Negro newsman who dared to come to Cuba (Applause)--how
ridiculous the free country has become among our people and our revolution!
How ridiculous it appears--not permitting anyone to visit Cuba--as compared
to this country, which permits the departure of anyone and permits the
entry of the visitor of any country in the world; which permits any North
American to come; and which does not close its borders to anyone.

What a ridiculous position they take against our country, against our
fatherland. The ones who have been made to look even more ridiculous are
the ones most recently shanghaied-those who were leaving for the free world
when the free world slammed its doors in their faces. Now, of course, if
they want to live here, it cannot be as vagrants. Work must be done here.
Let them not try to find the cat's four feet. You well know what I am
trying to say: That the revolution is not obliged to tolerate vagrants,
that it has no obligation to tolerate parasites.

The revolution cares for the youth, the sick, the invalid, and the aged.
Everything is for them. They are the only ones who have a right to live
from the work of others--children, the sick, the invalids, and the aged,
But the lazy who live off of others? Why? Do they think our workers are
willing to work their lives away in our factories and fields to produce for
them? What rights have they? None. Let them wake up and straighten up and
know that they must work in order to live here. (Applause)

Of course, there is yet another type around here, another by-product whom
we must combat-- the youths of 15, 16, or 17 who neither study nor work.
They hang around like the lumpen on the corners, in bars, in the movies;
and they take liberties and act licentiously. A youth who neither works nor
studies, if he thinks of life at all, thinks of living as a parasite, of
living off of others. If the imperialists do not accept them there in their
free world, then let them prepare to work. (Applause)

This by-product of capitalism will not be tolerated. Some of the
bourgeoisie do not send their children to school, so they neither study or
work. What about the girls? What future will they have? Do they love them
so much that they do not want to see them turned into students or workers?
What do they want them to turn into? (Shouts from the crowd--Ed.)

Let us attend to the essentials and not the details. What happens? These
types exist, and they are learning to be lumpen and vagrants and criminals
with the consent of their parents. Of course, they do not clash with the
revolution as a system, but they do clash with the law and as a result they
become counterrevolutionaries because they see law and order in the
revolution. They are counterrevolutionaries. This is what all those who
rebel are, those who are insolent, as insolent as the

You, youths, above all, never forget this! Always keep it in mind! Just as
the revolution unites the best, the most firm, the most enthusiastic, the
most courageous, so the counterrevolution unites the worst, from the
bourgeos to the marijuana runner, from henchmen to the thief, from the
owner of the central to the lazy professional and the vice-ridden elements.
All these elements join to combat law and society, to live as bums, to
obstruct. All the worst elements join together, Never forget that.

Many of these people are in those places-in the pool rooms, on the corners,
in the bars. All these things must be studied. The important thing is the
principle that we cannot permit them to aspire to be lazy. (Someone
comments from the audience--Ed.) Just a moment, you have not permitted me
to complete my thought, Many of those lazy pepillos, sons of the
bourgeoisie, are walking around there with trousers that are too tight.
(Laughter) Some of them have little guitars (phrase indistinct), and they
have taken the extremely liberty of attempting to go to some of the places
of public attendance to organize their (word indistinct) shows, (laughter)
with their (lyres?).

Let them not confuse the calmness and equanimity of the revolution with
weakness, because our ( society cannot make room for these degenerates.
(Applause) The socialist society cannot permit that kind of degeneration.
Youths who aspire to that sort of thing? No! For trees that grow twisted,
the remedy is no longer so easy.

I am not going to say that we are going to take drastic measures against
these crooked trees. (Laughter) (Several words indistinct) There are many
theories of the scientists--l am not an expert in this matter--(laughter)
but I have always observed one thing--that the fields do not yield this
kind of inferior product. I have always noted, and I always bear it very
much in mind: I am sure that, aside from any theory and medical research, I
understand that there is much of environment and (several words indistinct)
in this problem. But they are all linked, the little bum, the loafer, and
the (two words indistinct). (Applause)

And what do you think, comrades? What does our strong, enthusiastic,
energetic, optimistic youth, fighting for the future, ready to work for
this future and to die for it, what do they think of all these vices?
(Shouting from the crowd--Ed.) We believe that our agriculture needs
manpower. (Applause, shouts of "Yes!") Let this worm pit of bums and the
other worm pits not confuse Havana with Miami.

It appears that they have not grasped the spirit of the country in which
they are living. It appears that they are trying to ignore the fact that
the proletariat has a hard hand because it works hard, with (word
indistinct), and the proletariat has a hard hand when it is needed. It
knows how to have a hard hand calmly when this is necessary, without
extremism. We are enemies of extremism. We are enemies of incorrect
methods; we are enemies of (word indistinct); but this does not mean that
the revolution does not have a hard hand and that the workers do not have a
hard hand, because our workers know that the imperialist enemy had a hard
hand, a very hard hand, and the workers who know the history of the commune
of Paris, our workers who know the history of Spain, our workers who know
the history of the times when the proletariat had to suffer the hand of the
reaction, know what the counterrevolution wants for them, what it wants for
our people, for our young people, for our women, for our peasants, for our
workers, for our soldiers, for our militiamen.

There are times when I ask myself, what do these gentlemen imagine, when
someone crosses Fifth Avenue and sees so many houses which house tens and
tens of thousands of young people, so many schools, so many programs in
action? We ask ourselves, what do these gentlemen think? Do they think they
will recover this? Do they think they will recover their little houses and
throw into the streets the children and our workers and our peasants, evict
them from our preuniversity and technological schools, evict them from our
universities, evict the children from the farms for children established on
many of these recreational estates? Do they think? Do they dream Dantesque
dreams? In what world do they live? What do they imagine about our people,
our young people, our proletarians, our peasants, of the worthy men and
women who in so great a number have been born of this land?

But let them not dream that they will find a single stone standing in this
land, these insolent Yankees, evil-mouthed imperialists, warmongers, war
inciters, charlatans. What do they imagine, these base politicians who have
converted our country into a scapegoat for their political campaigns, for
their inadmissible aspirations, these monopolies of both parties which are
the same? What do they imagine? What do they think?

(They are blind men?) who do not see the world of today as it is, who hide
their heads like the ostrich, who try to ignore a continent in ferment, who
try to cure the ills of America and its hunger and frightful poverty with
mercurochrome, and to the extent that they despair over their failure in
America, to the extent to which the wave of revolution grows in America,
their hysteria increases and their hatred grows. And they must know that
from this country they will not be able to gather even the dust, or in any
case the dust of which Maceo spoke, (stained?) with our blood.

The weapons we have and the arms which are coming into our hands are
adequate to receive any aggressor as he deserves to be received. Right now
we are recruiting the personnel for our most modern weapons and we need
technicians. (Applause) We need students of the technology school; we need
high level personnel. What we have decided to do first is to select our
personnel from the armed forces and then from the work centers, because in
many work centers there are many good young people, revolutionary young
people, who are working on unimportant jobs, jobs which could even be
abolished. What we have asked of the ministries is that the place of any
young person who transfers to this service be abolished in order to
economize. And finally, we would select some students, since we need
personnel of a high level of culture and with technical knowledge to be
able to use the modern weapons and which are at our disposal. (Applause)

And we must prepare ourselves; we must prepare ourselves on all fronts, on
all fronts--on the production front, on the studies front, with all the
reorganization measures which are being taken, and on the defense front. We
must not neglect any front. We must be able to count on magnificent combat
units so that the imperialists will not even dream that they are going to
get (several words indistinct) in our country.

They know that Cuba fights. They learned this at Giron. They know it very
well. They are still discussing what happened (applause), what happened and
how it happened. They are discussing and arguing about what happened or did
not happen. It happened because it had to happen, because we gave them what
they deserved, because we received them, but not as they expected,
naturally. And we can talk of this again because we hear them arguing and
they do not know anything about, whether they bombed or whether they did
not bomb, (several words indistinct) and they believed that we would be
here like dunces with our arms crossed. Never shall we stand like dunces
with our arms crossed. The revolution will never be caught with its arms
crossed. (Applause) And the revolution will always take all measures
(applause) of a national and international nature, (applause) and it will
take all steps to defend itself, to resist.

They calculate, they dream, and they accuse Mr. Kennedy of not having a
definite, clear policy which will give results. But where is this policy?
Where can this policy be? This policy does not and cannot exist. And the
other policy, that proposed by the warmongers, leads to their own disaster
because we have made our calculations too. The Pentagon figures and we
figure. They imagine and we imagine too. They take certain steps and we
also take certain steps. (Applause) This is what happened at Giron. They
figured and figured again and they were in error. Well, the next time they
will be in error too. And with the revolution they will always be mistaken,
until they learn their lesson, until they understand that the only road
left to them is to respect the sovereignty of this country, the dignity of
this country, the rights of this country, the self-determination of this
country, the independence of this country. (Applause) And any other road
will be wrong.

So let us prepare on all fronts to work with enthusiasm always, regardless
of obstacles, regardless of the action of the enemy, regardless of the
ignorant. Reason is on our side. Right is on our side. We have the energy.
We have the initiative. History is on our side. Comrade students, both men
and women, future technicians of the fatherland, intellectual,
revolutionary vanguard of our people: Let us fight; let us work; let us
organize; let us organize our party, develop our mass organizations, fight
the enemy on all fronts; let us give battle wherever we have to; let us
prepare for all contingencies. Contingencies do not frighten us.

The imperialists have much more to lose than we. We here today can say what
Marx and Engels said in their communist manifesto, "The proletarians have
nothing to lose but their chains." Fatherland or death; we will win!
(Shouts, applause)