Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Speech at Elektrosila Plant

Moscow in Spanish to Cuba 1400 GMT 15 May 1963--L

(Recorded Speech by Fidel Castro at Leningrad's Elektrosila plant on 15

(Text) Dear workers of the Elektrosila factory, dear people of Leningrad:
The October Revolution began in Leningrad; that is to say, all that exists
today in the USSR, which we have seen during our visit, began here. But it
seems that we are going the opposite--we are ending here. (Applause) And in
fact, after a long tour, we are a little tired. It seems that we have a
great deal of resistance to physical effort, but we have not the same
resistance in the face of emotional strain. (Applause) And truly we have
been under an extraordinary strain in this sense from the moment we arrived
in the USSR.

Perhaps the Soviet people are not yet aware of all the honors and proofs of
friendship and affection that we have received throughout the whole
country. Perhaps it would have been better to be a metallurgical worker, as
you are, rather than a prime minister, a revolutionary leader. (Applause)
But I understand that you do not have to exert yourselves physically too
much; you have machinery which does the work of thousands of men; all the
processes are automatic.

When I was visiting one of the shops, I met a worker who told me that he
had retired, but that every day he came to the factory to work and he is
very happy with his work. And we think that this is a fine job. How moving
it is to see that a worker feels love for his work so that he cannot
imagine life without his job. But of course, this can only happen under
communism. What worker in a capitalist society that cruelly exploits him
goes to work willingly? This is the tragedy of the workers in capitalist

When we visited Volgograd, we went to the power station and we asked where
those machines had been made. We were told: In Leningrad! (Applause) When
we went to Irkutsk, we visited the power station--the first thing that
every town showed us was its power stations--and we asked: Where were those
generators made? They told us: In Leningrad! (Applause). We went to Bratsk
and saw the impressive works with powerful generators and strong shafts
which are only made in (words indistinct), and we asked the same question
and obtained the same answer: In Leningrad! (Applause)

Everywhere we have seen your work; everywhere we have come across products
from this factory. And truly, they are impressive pieces of machinery. They
have harnessed all the rivers for the service of the Soviet people, they
have harnessed millions and thousands of millions of horsepower; they have
dominated nature. They have, in fact, begun to work for mankind, not to
dominate and exploit mankind, not to accumulate strength to oppress
mankind, but to free mankind, to help mankind achieve its freedom. This is
what you are doing. (This is what you did in the revolution, in the long
and beautiful story of it?) (Words indistinct) and with all the successes
that you have achieved.

We are in Leningrad, and we can hardly believe that we are here, that at
last we are able to know this town so full of history. This meeting in this
shop reminds us of the meetings of the proletariat of Leningrad in the days
that preceded the revolution, when the revolution was brewing, and when it
was necessary to struggle very hard to defend it. This is really the image
of the heroic Leningrad for all of us.

Workers of Leningrad, our delegation greets you on behalf of the workers of
our country. (Applause) You have praised very highly our revolution, but in
fact we have done very little, very little. We are only beginning. We are
certain that we shall go ahead; that the revolution cannot be destroyed,
that it is rooted in the strength of the people, of the masses, and that it
can count on the powerful shield, as it was said here, of the friendship
between our two countries. (Applause)

Long live the workers of Leningrad! Long live the friendship between Cuba
and the Soviet Union! (Applause)