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Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 1537 GMT 2
December 1964--F/E

(Live speech at inauguration of Jose Antonio Eschevarria University City)

(Text) Comrades: In reality it cannot be said that this is a university
city. Today we are inaugurating the first school of this university city.
There are still some projects to be finished. Many--or rather
several--other buildings are under construction. But why are we forced to
advance this inauguration? Is this perhaps a demagogic act? No. In general,
the Revolution can be said to make much less propaganda about its works
than has ever been done before. There are innumerable projects being built
all over, many of which are even ignored. In the final analysis, the
propaganda made about the work of the Revolution is not rpt not the most
important thing. In truth, the basic reason why this inauguration is being
carried out now is that the need arose to make use of the buildings already
finished. We saw ourselves forced to begin to use these buildings.
Actually, the School of Technology has already begun operations with
several hundred students, among them the colonizers, as they call
themselves (shouting), of architecture. This need arose from the headlong
development of education in general in our country, which is already
beginning to be manifested in an equally headlong manner at the University
of Havana.

Since it was necessary to begin to work here already, and since there were
a number of finished buildings--buildings which were in adequate condition
for us to use--that is, if the institution, if the school, has already
begun to function, it was proper that in one way or another we hold this
ceremony of inauguration. However, more than the inaugurate a university
city, we come to confirm the intention to complete this university city. We
have come to confirm that commitment, that will to continue with this
magnificent project, as we have been up to now, dedicating to it the
resources that it has been possible to dedicate to it amid innumerable
needs of all types in the nation.

The concept of a university city is changing. Concepts changes with
realities. In the past, the idea of a university city would have been,
essentially, of an area where all the buildings corresponding to a
university would be assembled. At the present and in the future it will be
really impossible to limit the concept of a university city or a university
in that manner. This means that in the future there will be no city capable
of encompassing a university. In the future, the concept of a university
will be too great to be contained in a number of buildings. The idea of la
university will be too dynamic and too real--to practical--to be situated
in a complex of buildings.

In the first place, the country no longer has only one university. The
country already has two more universities, and this is neither the result
of a policy, nor the result of local pressures, nor the result of political
demagogy. It is the result of a need which has caused the rise of two
universities with seriousness, good organization, satisfactory and rising
academic levels, and scientific approach. They are growing and developing
and their importance and worth is seen more every day. They are the
universities of Las Villas and Oriente. There, also, in the universities of
Las Villas and Oriente, we must build dormitories, we must construct
buildings. That means that they are working on buildings in three

But the very concept of the function of a university is growing, and all
the time we understand better that a university must be something more than
a center where some go to teach and others go to learn from books or in
laboratories. That former concept of a university has to be expanded, and
it has to be something more than a place where some go there to teach and
others to learn. What is necessary is for the concept of la university to
involve research-- but on research carried out the width and length of the
island. There is research to be carried out in the street.

There is, besides, practice--work--as part of the complex, for in the
future we aspire not for what we have today--we live in an era of
transition; in the future we aspire not to have the student who divides
study and work as a professional activity. This is simply the result of
years lived in the past and is the result of the character of the
transition which certain determined periods have, and it is (considered?)
necessary to have this period to carry over one from one system to another,
from one method to another, from one stage to another. This has resulted in
the first place from paralyzation of the university for many years, which
forced many students to find a job; and resulted at the same time from the
stage of the socioeconomic situation in the country, which changed the
matter of finding employment into a vital matter for a youth and which was
an influence in the early part of the Revolution. It was also a consequence
of the participation by the students in the revolutionary process, which in
turn made them find tasks outside the university--the result, in turn, of
the reincorporation into university activity of many students who
practically had forgotten the idea of study. It has been necessary simply
to find many forms and to have to face many problems stemming from the
contradiction between the time which the students dedicate to work and the
time which they should dedicate to study.

From this, a series of initiative arose--conflicts of interest between the
interests of production, the interests of the enterprises where the
students worked, and the interests of the teachers, of the university. It
was therefore necessary to constantly discuss formulas of one type or
another type in which it was even discussed whether this place or that was
more or less important, whether the time was sufficient or insufficient.

And we who very frequently talk with the students and listen to their
problems in this type of thing realize and think that the day must arrive
when it will not be like this--when these problems will really not exist.
We believe that all this is transitory and necessary, but we must very
firmly propose to overcome this era. We must propose very firmly to create
future conditions for study and we must concern ourselves firmly with the
development of the concept that at a determined time, a determined stage of
the life of the youth, work should not be a professional activity--work
should not be a way of life--it should form part of the training, that is,
the education of the youth.

There are a series of centers which are organized on this basis. We have,
for example, the Pedagogical Institute, which really operates on this
principle, in which the student, during the last two years, divides work
with study in an important social function. Already there are more than a
1,000 students--and this year possibly it will close to 2,000--students of
pedagogical institutes who will be teaching in primary classrooms, thus
making it possible for many of other present primary teachers to improve
themselves and in turn become professors of secondary or preuniversity
education (applause).

The Camilo Cienfuegos school city was organized or formed with the same
concept. A series of technical institutes such as the Institute of Soil and
Fertilizers and other institutes which will start in operation in January
and other worker-technical institutes are organized along these lines. In
other cases, they are going to fulfill a third social function, for some of
the institutes, besides being centers of education, will be centers of work
and military units to defend the Revolution (applause).

And it could be said this is a new dimension of activity for youth which
the Revolution has introduced, and it can be said that with it, the role,
the function of a youth in our society, is rounded off, completed,
perfected, while at the same time he is trained, he produces and works as
part of his training, and he lends his collaboration and his effort to
other needs which the country must fundamentally fulfill.

This means that with this newest contingent, education is already being
organized according to that concept, and logically the time will come when,
at the ratio at which this new contingent advances toward the universities,
that concept will also be applied to the universities--that the students
works not only as a means of making a living, but works as part of his
training at tasks related to that very same training. Such paradoxes as a
student of agronomy working in a (three words indistinct) or a student of
economy working in a veterinary laboratory or a veterinary student working
in foreign trade will not occur. This means that all such incongruities
must be overcome and in the future, the activity, the work of a student
will be not as a profession but as a means of training, because work is, in
addition, the great teacher--work must be the great teacher of youth an
simply what can, right from the beginning, qualify a man to understand his
duties, his obligations, the duties of life, and this we must try to apply
to him even from his earliest age, as we are already doing in certain
institutions--the children's state farms.

Of course, this is not an easy task. In this same problem of the children's
state farms, we were faced with the fact that one of the most difficult
things was to find a director for a children's state farm--one who
understood this, one who was capable of orienting the children without
committing 25 stupidities. For that reason we tried--and I say "we tried"
because unfortunately that idea was left somewhat up in the air, that idea
did not receive all the attention land all the enthusiasm it should have
received, and in a school for directors of children's farms, work was not
done as it should have been.

It is necessary to have in mind that many of these ideas require the men to
carry them out, they need the cadres to carry them forward, and of course
these early times are characterized by an absence--but a poverty, a
veritable poverty--of cadres at all levels and of all types. However, in a
type of school such as those children's schools, there was created also
this idea that the children should perform certain tasks, task within the
limits of their intelligence and their physical development. That is the
way we should view education--practically, from the first grade to the last
year in the university. That must by an aspiration of pedagogy in the
Revolution, in socialism, in communism.

However, today we are in the transition period when troubles of all types
have presented themselves, and there is no doubt that these things affect
training. There is no doubt that the youth who has to devote six, seven,
eight, or five hours several days a week to an activity that on many
occasions is not related to his studies--in order to perform this activity,
he has to neglect his studies. We see this--this anguish--which many times
is reflected by the student--this contradiction, this preoccupation with
professional work.

We said recently that in the past the preoccupation which was felt and was
shown was that so many thousands of youths arrived at their majority and
that so many jobs were needed every year. Today this is not our problem.
Today we even orient toward the idea that it is better for a youth to take
up studies and not a job. Our problem today is not jobs. Today the problem
of unemployment is not the most pressing thing, and if there is still the
pressure of a certain type of unemployment, it because of lack of
qualifications in those sectors where the pressure is.

There can be a certain demand for work, on the one hand, which does not
coincide with the demand for technicians, with the demand for technicians,
with the demand for a certain number of trained personnel. This means that
lack of qualifications is still a factor which can prevent the problem of
unemployment form being 100-percent resolved. We have even been driven to
adopt certain measures to keep the enterprises from contracting students.
The enterprises naturally worry about their work. The enterprises worry
about their specific obligations. Since the Revolution cannot be specific
but must worry about everybody, it has to worry above all about the future;
it must defend the youth, must defend the programs of youth training from
those pressures of a specific type which take the students from the schools
at best, and sometimes pay them too high a salary and sometimes a salary
which is not necessary for boys who, in the face of the opportunity to earn
150 pesos, leave the preuniversity school, leave their studies, and in
reality do not contribute to their fatherland, to themselves, or to anyone
else what they could if they continued their studies.

From this, much measures necessary to protect the student centers from work
contracts that have been made--in a certain sense it is against the
pirating of youth or a certain form of piracy. This is a matter which has
not yet been overcome completely, because there are still organizations
hunting students, and if they have a demand for economists of this type or
for technicians of that, they are even capable of offering him a job as a
porter in another organization in order to hold him. Since these practices
still exist, it is necessary to struggle against such evil practices, these
practice of vice. Well, what do we think? That a previous commitment to the
educational center should exist whenever they try to contract a young
student. Also, this case can only arise because of necessity, a real
necessity, because of his family. But he should be given the alternative of
choosing between authorization to work under the given circumstances or
receipt of a subsidy, which in such cases is really justified because of a
real need, so that this student may continue studying.

We believe that if a real, a true need arises in the family--not just any
need, but a vital need--which could affect a youth because of his spirit,
his desire for study, because of his ability, something more can be
promised, and if it would be in the interest of the society for him to
continue studying society should take care of his problem in order to
permit him to continue studying. Naturally, this youth could work later at
certain activities, not as a means of earning a living, but as a part of
his development. And we must move toward this aspiration.

Also, the need arose to reconcile study to military service, and from this
came the military preuniversity and technological instruction schools, so
that the years of military service would not mean a suspension of a youth's
training. Thus the two things could march forward together--study and
military service. The day must come when the cream of our youth will have
to be students. The day must come when secondary education and
preuniversity education is obligatory, if that concept is not. The day must
come when no one will have the right to remain uneducated within society
because the uneducated within society are a burden to all society.
Moreover, society has the right to demand that no one be a burden on it.
Therefore, we have the idea of the duty of all children and even all youth
to study up at least in intermediate education. We could--perhaps the day
will come and without a doubt life in the university will present the
importance of our obligation to study--that every youth should study up to
and including the preuniversity schools.

Also, the day will have to come--naturally when the mass of students will
be gigantic--when the higher studies will be carried by the virtue of
selection, although I sincerely do not see this day anywhere, because that
which we see more and more every day is that needs grow to unsuspected
limits in matters of technology and trained personnel. It can be said that
the development today is not limited by our economic resources. The
fundamental limitation of our development today is the human factor. It is
in the grade of technical training, because there are already factories
which have been built but are not operating anywhere near capacity--they
are not operating to the limit of their capacity--because they lack
technical personnel.

We acquire merchant ships, for example, and we have a tremendous problem
obtaining mechanical engineers for these ships, and also officers,
captains, trained personnel. A new factory is built and the same thing
occurs. From this one can say that the fundamental limitation to our
development is not economic resources but human resources, and it could be
said that with a higher level of training than we have today, our
production would be much higher. Moreover, everyone can see how many
resources are underused, how many resources are poorly used in the
countryside, in the factories, in any place because of a lack of
sufficiently trained personnel.

But for training in all fields, it is necessary to have specialists in an
endless number of things ranging from those who set up work norms to
specialists in the organization of an administrative department--in
planning, in economic questions--in brief, specialists in all of the things
which have to do with the needs of society. And if they do not exist, we
will have--as we have--an infinite number of problems, or, as many people
say: "And such a problem, and such a problem, and such a problem."

It can be said that many people daily indulge in subjectivism, and I note
this when I speak in the streets with them and in speaking with the
students. They indulge in a certain idealism, and many persons believe that
such a thing can be done better, or some other thing, and that it does not
progress better because of the results, perhaps, of some person's bad
faith. In the majority of cases this is not so. We fall into th
subjectivism of believing that an unprepared people can confront the
complex tasks and problems of a modern society. We fall into the
subjectivism of forgetting that to confront all these tasks and activities
efficiently, it is necessary to have a level of qualification we do not

It has not been the masses only who have been guilty of that subjectivism.
The revolutionary leaders have indulged in this subjectivism. Practically
all of us have been guilty. This subjectivism contains in underestimation
of technology, a belief that anybody can direct a certain enterprise, or
that anyone can carry out a certain activity. What happens is that many
people, directing many things--complex things, untrained people--regardless
of how much goodwill and interest they may have, do not resolve the

It is clear that in certain circumstances negligence, confusion, and poor
personnel selection have a certain effect. We believe that when selection
is made on the basis of a need, that when the selection of each man for
each position is made on the basis of his qualifications, difficulties will
be much smaller, selections will be much better, and because of that the
question which we consider as essential--lack of training--will not weigh
us down.

Nobody, under certain circumstances, would thing of calling on an ignorant
person to do anything. For example, nobody would think of calling on
someone who has never performed an operation on anybody to perform a
surgical operation to save the life of a relative. Anybody understands that
it is an absurdity to call a butcher to perform a operation of (word
indistinct). It would be just as absurd to call a doctor to work in the
slaughterhouse and do a butcher's work. However, to many people it is--or
was--the most natural thing in the world for an individual who had never
even seen a cow to manage a dairy or a state farm, or that an individual
should manage a sugar central or an enterprise which requires true
technical knowledge, and know nothing about the production process.

Many were guilty of such subjectivism during the early times of the
Revolution. However, on many occasions this was not even subjectivism, but
a need. And of course, in many things, the technical level we still have is
embarrassing. For example, I believe that we have present the students from
the School of Veterinary Medicine, the animal husbandry school, the ones
who are studying veterinary, and we can say that in this sector our
technical level is poor. I have very seriously said that the majority of
our veterinarians studied to raise dogs and cats, that is, to treat dogs
and cats. That is why you used to see many of our so-called veterinary
doctors who had a little dog at the door of their home, because veterinary
medicine was viewed, not as something of primary importance to production,
but as a way of life--to treat the chihauhua, fox terriers, and all those
other breeds of little dogs owned by families who could afford dogs. This
does not mean that we are enemies of dogs. We do not feel any enmity toward
dogs, and we sincerely believe that dogs should also be treated. We do not
have any phobias about dogs. But I ask, how much meat and how much
milk--this is for those who love dogs very much--what milk and what meat
can we feed the dogs if there are not cattle, if there are no veterinarians
to tend to the cattle? (applause) The only way would be to apply the policy
of the past, when there was milk and meat for the dogs but no milk or meat
for children, no milk or meat for the people.

All right. That was the kind of society that trained that type of
technician. It trained them in the center of Havana. There are,
unfortunately, still some classes in the center of Havana which we have to
deal with. We even have to--and I say this with all sincerity and with all
frankness to the comrades of veterinary medicine--discuss where the
veterinary school should be. We have to discuss that: (applause) whether it
should or not be in the university city. Where else could it be? There are
two practical reasons why it should be here. There are (word indistinct)
not (word indistinct) things. The level of our technicians in veterinary
medicine calls for it. Truly, the animals here receive inhuman treatment
(laughter). However, we must take care of them because they are the ones
which feed us. They are the ones who feed the sick. Animals have a very
important role in human health. What medicine can there be for the human
being who does not take nutrition into account? They are simply therapeutic

We have to cure people, or rather we have to prevent them from becoming
ill. We have to prevent them from having to go to hospitals. We do nothing.
Of course, we must have magnificent hospitals, but we must try to have
medicines of other types to prevent illnesses among the citizens. Without
adequate nourishment, this cannot be done. This means that lack of
attention to animals has an influence on human health.

Our animals are treated in and inhuman manner, inhuman for man and inhuman
for the animal. The technical level of our veterinarians is very poor, very
poor. I believe that this is a sector which really has to worry, which has
to improve and has to put itself to studying; and the Association of
Doctors of Veterinary Medicine has to adopt measures to help them: to
obtain the material, books; to organize courses, lectures--in short, to
make an effort in that respect because our economy needs it, because they
have to play an important role in the training of the new veterinary
technicians. Otherwise the boys and girls will graduate with a very poor
technical level and they will graduate with inadequate technical training.

We believe--this does not mean that we do not have good veterinarians--a
small number, of course--or good professors also. This does not refer to
the the goodwill of many veterinarian technicians who are working with
enthusiasm, and many of whom we know. They are working and participating in
a number of plans. However, I was just citing an example.

Our technical level in matters of economy and planning is very low.
Actually, we have no technicians in that field, and it is a tremendous need
which is noted in plans, in revolutionary work, in everything. Technicians
experienced in problems of foreign trade and so forth--I want to tell you
that our needs cover all fields. Of course, there are some branches of
science which are fortunately more developed. It can be said that medicine,
for example, is amply developed in our country (applause), although I would
say that of therapeutic medicine, therapeutic medicine only, not of
preventive medicine. Our medical research is poor, as in general are
practically all branches of research.

In other activities--architecture, for example--we must say that it is
advanced in our country (cheers). I am not qualified to say what levels
other branches of technology have acquired, because they are not so easy to
see or appreciate. I cannot say what level civil engineering has reached. I
thing that we are poor in that field. The best proof of that is that when
we drafted the hydraulic plan for Oriente we did not have--we had very few
technicians who knew anything about the matter, and to carry out the
Oriente plan we had to go to the senior class in the university and win
over a number of youths who are going to graduate and persuade them to take
up engineering, to take up specialization in hydroelectric construction.

I believe that we have a few civil engineers, that the level in some cadres
may be very advanced; but in general it is poor. Industrial engineering and
chemical engineering--in this entire field it can be said that we are
really very backward. I say this sincerely: we are very backward. We must
understand this. If we do not begin by understanding it, we are cooked. If
we do not begin to understand our weaknesses, our shortcomings, and our
failures, we will be fooling ourselves, deceiving ourselves. I believe that
one of the things that we must overcome--we have been through several
little years of revolution already--and that is to get of all self-deceits,
subjectivisms, idealism, and the lack of understanding of realities.

We have to learn because, if the Revolution does not teach us anything,
then we are truly incompetent. Life would have us baffled. However, I
believe that it teaches and that we learn much; but in many things we have
very low levels, and I return once more--and do not be afraid that I am
going to talk too long--to the idea of the concept of a university and onto
another subject: research.

In the university, it is not a matter of some going there to teach and
others going there to learn. All must go to the university to learn. One
does not go to the university as to a kindergarten. One must not go as to
the first and second grade, where the ABC's, grammar, and the most
elementary rules of arithmetic must still be taught to the children. In the
universities, we must learn many things which are not in books, which
relate to the realities of life. In the university, we must research the
realities of life and the reality of the concrete life of each country,
because there is knowledge that may be called universal there is knowledge
that cannot be universal. There is knowledge which must consist of the
application of that knowledge which is universal to certain concrete
realities, and in many cases these things can be seen clearly.

The technology of agricultural-livestock production in a cold country
cannot be the best technology for agricultural-livestock production in a
country with our climate. And though that field embraces certain universal
principles, diseases here are different; there are different parasites;
veterinary treatment is different; feeding is different. The types of
animals, the conditions of our climate that allow us to carry out
procedures very superior to those of the could countries, indicate very
clearly that to apply such technology to our country would be an error.
What does this mean if, in addition, we are a country located in a tropical
zone where practically the greatest part of the underdeveloped countries
are located--where we cannot take advantage of many things to the utmost,
say the sugarcane for example? Many procedures can be applied, but even
then there are the specific conditions of our climate, our degree of
moisture, our maximum and minimum temperatures, a number of factors which
pose the need for research in sugarcane even though it is a type of crop
planted in climates similar to ours.

In many other aspects of agriculture veterinary medicine, and I think even
human medicine, and in an infinity of problems, we cannot apply the lessons
learned in other climates, in other conditions. The need to investigate
naturally follows, and because of this we have to investigate everything.
We gave schools of the humanities, students of political science, students
of economic science. I have seen the students of economic science very
concerned with matters of texts, books, education, and other matters of
this type and who believe that there are great planning experts in our
country, that there are great economists in our country; they believe that
in this or that organization they are going to teach them to plan and they
are going to teach them economy. This is really in error because all the
organizations need economists and planners to help them, and if we hope
that we can learn there we are wrong.

I understand that in this field it is necessary to analyze much, to study,
and also to do research on the concrete problems we have. Then we must
begin to change some purely academic and purely theoretical concepts, to
study methods and textbooks for more practical methods. We must organize
and form study teams so that each of the branches will research the
problems we have because, in short, they are things we have to develop,
sciences that are about to develop in our country.

As a matter of fact, if we had sufficient economists we would not be faced
with the tremendous necessity of having a school of economy, a school that
must function properly. So the university must plan to face the problems;
the university must carry out its task in the street, investigating
everything. So what the university does is to become an institution whose
concepts grow in statute and embrace the entire national territory.

At the beginning, we call it university city, but now, as the concept of
university develops, we cannot, for example, plan to have the medical
students come here because all the hospitals are very far from this area.
Medicine must not be only theoretical; a good part of it must also be
practical. The medical students must do a great deal of their
apprenticeship with their teachers in the hospitals. They must help in the
hospitals and at the same time get the practical knowledge they need from
the best-trained active technical personnel. So it would not be right to
put the Medical School faculty here.

For this reason, we have developed the Faculty of Basic Sciences or the
School of Basic Sciences, which offers the basic courses to be taught, I
think, during the first three years of medical work there, where we have
erected such magnificent buildings: that is, at the Institute of Basic
Sciences at Victoria de Giron (applause). We are now building a center of
scientific investigation next to this institute, which will train teachers
who must teach the basic science courses. We have a tremendous need for
basic science teachers. On some occasions, upperclassmen have had to teach
these courses. As a matter of fact, we need highly-trained specialists and
men who have spent years in study. So, this center of scientific
investigation is going to train teachers of basic science. This
investigation center is located next to that institute.

The Medical School will be located in the area where the hospitals are to
be found. It would be a mistake to place the medical school here. So, just
as the Medical School must be near the hospitals and the Technology School
must be located near a large city with some industries, like our capital,
so the School of Agricultural-Cattle Science must not be located near the
industrial centers, but near the agricultural area, where the animals are.
That means that the school must be located in the rural area (applause).

Moreover, we are going to build--and the plans for it are about finished--a
center, an institute of animal nutrition there, where the School of
Agronomy today teaches its advanced courses. This will be a high-grade
center of investigation. Thus, we shall be erecting the centers of
investigation that are going to help the general economy of the country.
These centers will also be near the schools which are training various
kinds of technicians.

(Someone in the audience asks Fidel Castro something indistinct--ed.) Well,
I have only quoted certain aspects of this matter. We cannot apply the some
general formula for each one of the schools. We must continue studying the
nature of each school so that we can continue solving the problems that
each one faces. Still, it is very correct to have a school of technology
and a school of sciences and this university city of Jose Antonio
Echeverria will have the schools of technology and sciences. These two
schools will play an important role in our university. They will play a
most important role and must increase their enrollment considerably.

At the present time, some 4,000 students are taking technological courses
and some 2,000 of them science courses. Really, these are figures that do
not even come close to our aspiration and need, and moreover no one here
today can say how many of them we must have. Today we might estimate how
many students we must have, while 10 years from now we might have to revise
these estimates. The general tendency in the world is toward an increased
need for technicians, in accordance with the development of science.
Therefore, no one can say exactly what the size of this university city
will be in 1980. Today, its size is governed by what our resources can
afford. Of course, it has its athletic events; it has lodgings for 700
students and this capacity will be increased.

In this way, we will continue developing this center. We will see to it
that it is developed as much as possible. The limit of its development
today is governed by the resources we can invest in it. We can only have a
general idea of what we may need in the future--say, how many chemists will
we need in 1980. What kind of specialized chemists we may need; no one
knows, nor can any one say how many of them we need. Generally speaking,
the country can estimate its need for doctors, teachers, professors,
engineers, and so forth, in general terms. Still, no one can really say how
many of them we need, for this will depend on the progress that is made,
the experience that is acquired. As our knowledge of economy
increases--because it is impossible to say if, in the matter of planning or
economy, we do not achieve a level that will permit us to plan for 1970,
1980, or even 2000.

It is possible that our planners are now considering how they are going to
build the cities of the future and where they will be located. We are
definitely evolving from a nation that had no plans and wallowed in
anarchy, as our society developed in the past, to a nation with reactional
and planned development. Most of the men, the cadres and the technicians
who are to work on this plan are just now learning. This is why we are
deficient in economic planning and in many other aspects. That is the
reason for the shortcomings of effective planning. We are constantly faced
with this reality--we see it constantly. this is basically why education is
important. That is the main reason why today we can officially inaugurate
the effort that has been made in this university city.

We have to say that a different concept of student centers can be
seen--green areas, trees, better living conditions for youth. One can see
facilities for study because presently the student's life should be
surrounded with facilities needed for study, for research. This center
should have all the laboratories needed for study, for research. This
center should have all the laboratories needed for education. Its library
should have all the modern books and should be up to date in all the fields
studied in this university. You can see clearly that this university is
very different from the university I knew. That university--full of
history, full of glory--nevertheless was poorly equipped for study. That
university of ours, of the past, was famous as a revolutionary center, as a
center that stood out in the country; but from an educational and technical
point of view it was nothing. The conditions of student life, the
conditions that led to study did not exist. There were no social activities
based on the university, or technical of teaching staffs within the

It stands to reason that now that we are building, we must look forward to
the day when we will have the staff that is needed, when each professor is
properly trained, when the student-instructors also have the necessary
training (applause). Beyond doubt, we will have a magnificent center on
this site. We must never stop our efforts to continue to develop this
center, We are actually surrounded by sugarcane, and that is no joke; but
we should not have to cut that sugarcane down, because from that cane will
come the money from which we will develop this university center. We will
remove this sugarcane when another building is built, and the same plot or
a bigger plot with bigger production will be planted somewhere else. We
have chosen a large site which has plenty of room for growth.

This university will be an ideal center to study. It will have the best
conditions, and we should all feel very proud to think of what the future
student's life will be like. We should feel satisfied to think what the
student's life will be like for those that are here and for the
thousands--10,000, 15,000 and maybe even 20,000--that will some day study
here. They will be trained here under ideal conditions.

There is something worth mentioning about these buildings; a new
construction technique. You have already noticed the distance from beam to
beam. Those of us who know nothing about engineering believe that we are
the best suited to judge it. However, the distance, the width of this hall
and this ceiling impresses me. That floor was set on the ground, it was
prefabricated. That is the way the rest of the buildings are being built.
That is an advanced construction technique used here. I must say that the
comrades working here have mastered the technique of prefabrication, its
efficiency and practicability.

Although as time goes we may find something that could have been improved,
right now it is beautiful. The comrades have been able to use their
imagination and intelligence, and have achieved that combination which we
all attempt: something that is useful and economical as well as beautiful.
We must never forget this (applause). We should never believe that
esthetics clash with economy, nor forget that esthetics is one of the
necessities of men and society (applause). It helps to raise and improve
living conditions. It is not the same thing to study in these buildings as
to study under other conditions. It is not the same to study in a prison or
in a place void of vegetation that is not good for the spirit or the

We must not confuse esthetics with luxury. These are two separate things.
Gentlemen, if we want to save, there are many ways to save. If I see that
they want to save by removing a device from a building to accomplish a
saving, I would say that there are 1,000 ways we could save more
intelligently. I could ask whether the savers, who are the enemies of
esthetics, do not worry about bureaucracy, which costs more than esthetics
(applause). Gentlemen, we have the right to ask that our funds be spent
intelligently and with the idea of a better life for the people--a better
and more pleasant life for all the citizens.

Sometimes we waste here and there and try to pinch pennies elsewhere. Why?
Who says that there can not be a solution to those problems? Let us fight
bureaucracy--waste--because there are many ways to hide waste. For example,
it is not difficult to find waste in highway construction. In buildings,
they waste because they add frills here and there, and everything gets wet
when it rains. In other words, it is no good. Furthermore, they find
employees (audience interrupts Castro--ed.) I see that the architecture
students are making their first criticism of the rebuilding efforts here.
That is all right, but let them talk to the builders so that the wrongs are

It is easier to see material waste than hidden waste. When one passes by a
building, one wonders how much it cost, but one does not think about how
many millions are spent on the people who are filing papers inside the
building. That is not seen (applause). I repeat again--because it is always
necessary to repeat to prevent any confusion--that bureaucracy is not the
same as administration. We must see to it that these two things are not
confused. We must see to it that existing administrative needs which must
perfected are not turned into a means through which we create a sort of a
gigantic subsidy, a means through which funds flow endlessly. But the needs
are rising.

Some comrades have asked me how we are going to wage the battle against
that evil. How should an individual act? Listen to our answers: We said:
The first thing that we must do is create an awareness among the masses. If
we want to overcome organized manner. How? Through the party and mass
organizations. I say this sincerely. And I say frankly that I do not trust
the administrative apparatus when it comes in fighting bureaucracy, because
the administrative apparatus and organizations are essentially the ones
that have created the evil of bureaucracy. We must not forget this. They
have not been able to check it and cannot check it. Many times, in places
where a minister cannot be all eyes and all ears, capable of seeing it
all--in many factories, in many firms, and one way or another, unnecessary
personnel have entered the offices, and they have been unable to control
this. I believe that this a political battle, and this battle must be waged
by the political apparatus.

Many other evils have occurred: for example, the transfer of men for rural
areas to the city. This happens because many people go out in search of a
little job--say at a beach. They go to a public beach and find many working
at a public beach and find that they are former rural workers. Obviously,
they had a magnificent opportunity to go there to get an easier job. This
is logical and natural. This citizen is not to blame. The one to blame is
the person who organized this. The ones responsible are those who selected
the employees in that work center. Gentlemen, this policy that we must
start establishing certain kinds of work in which certain men cannot be
employed--since society has an infinite number of jobs, some more adapted
to men, others which are better for women--this does not mean that there is
any kind of discrimination, because real discrimination comes when a man
wants to remain in a little clothing store selling bloomers (loud shouts
and laughter) and the jobless woman (sentence uncompleted--ed.)

We have a need to resolve these problems--an infinite need. Work in
clothing store seems more adapted to women than work behind a crane lifting
a (words indistinct) or a woman in a fishing boat. There are an infinite
number of activities which are better for men. We really discriminate
against women when we leave them jobless in society. The women is left
jobless in society if the man is carrying out kinds of activity that could
be done perfectly by the women. Therein lies discrimination and a
nonrecognition of the reality of an enormous variety of social functions
and the fact that men posses certain kinds of aptitudes, as do women.

The right thing to do is to study all of these things and all these
problems. In the future, we should hand out jobs to the woman in this
infinity of activities while the men carry on other activities in
production. We must concern ourselves with all of these things. We must be
alert and vigilant!

This does not mean, however, that you should feel depressed about this. No
male worker in a clothing store--it is worth saying, so I am going to say
it--really, he is not to blame. Many people entered this kind of work when
we had a tremendous number of unemployed. And, of course, many
administrators did not concern themselves with these things, either.

We must make rational use of the human resources in the country. We must
aspire to put the utmost number of the country's people to work--the
maximum number of people to work rationally and productively--the maximum
of material goods and services for distribution among the entire
population. We do not have to know university mathematics to figure this
out. This can be figured out by a second or third-grade student. This is a

In addition, political organizations must be alert. Comrades of the party,
above all those in the interior, are already working in this direction. We
must direct our efforts in two directions: namely, we must rationalize
work--eliminate all sorts of wasted manpower--and we must study. If we
build new factories, we must not employ new people. We should give the new
people some fellowships, give them a chance to train, (to allow us time to
find them absolutely rational employment in relation to our current

It is incredible how certain tendencies toward squandering have been
developing. It is unbelievable how sometimes even hundreds of men are
killing time. They are doing nothing in many instances. Well--we must
become aware of those ills. And in addition, we must struggle in a
organized manner, not through the administrative apparatus, but through the
political apparatus, and in an adequate manner.

We have thought that in order to rationalize the work force, we must leave
no one idle. It is preferable and better for the country's economy to pay a
man to study if he is getting wages to kill time. Let us tell him: "Look,
we are going to set up a school to train you to work." We must do these
things. We must do it with labor, with the aid of the political
organizations and the mass organizations. In the last analysis, there is
where we must focus our efforts: to struggle against these vices; to
struggle against these evils; rationally utilize our human resources, our
material resources and the country's financial resources. There is where we
must save basically, because whatever we save in this connection, we will
be able to invest in creating better material and spiritual conditions for
the people.

We can invest in raising the standards of living, in developing our
economy, in building works like these. It is in this area--and all of this
rationing indicates it--that the esthetic also forms part of the needs of
man, that it is part of the needs of a human being, because one day we will
no longer have these burdens of rationing that we have today. We will not
have the problems of a scarcity of milk, of this or the other. Such a day
will come, and you know that as soon as one need is met, another one
arises. First we will fulfill the most vital, the most essential needs, and
later the others. That is why we must reconcile those two criteria: and we
have reconciled them here, the economic and the esthetic--the functional
factor. I do not know what the architectural students think, but I imagine
that they are going to (find some fault?) with the buildings. If they are
correct, they can discuss it with the comrades who are working on this.

However, I must say that I sincerely believe that Comrade Soto, Comrade
Blanca, and the other comrades who have worked here merit sincere
congratulations for what they have accomplished (applause). They have
worked with enthusiasm, with zeal, and a real passion for their work. A
major part of the work is the product of the interest that they have taken
in this project. We must stimulate them to continue to work.

We must say that they have always displayed a revolutionary spirit and a
sense of duty and devotion. It means very much to them and to all of us
that this project, so justifiably and in all worthiness, carriers the names
of Comrade Jose Antonio Echavarria (applause). All who knew Comrade Jose
Antonio Echavarria, as a revolutionary as well as a person, a youth, his
personality as a student, kind in nature, happy--all of the characteristics
of his person--the remembrance of as youth who was really generous,
valiant, self-denying, and who gave his life for his country, who gave his
life for the Revolution--a symbol of abnegation and sacrifice and the
history of our students, of his participation in the Revolution. This is a
great satisfaction for all of us. It is a great satisfaction that, as I
said before, impelled by a need to utilize this building, the dedication
ceremonies have been advanced and happily coincide with this date, 2
December--a date which brings to mind the memory of other comrades of Cuban
youth, of the rest of the comrades who, along with the students, joined the
revolutionary struggle and became involved in that battle for the future of
their country which fortunately today is already producing material works
of this kind, and above all, spiritual projects of this kind.

I could say that the most impressive part of all is not what can be seen on
stone, but what can be seen in the spirit, in sentiments, in attitudes, in
the promise of our youth. Because I must say that we sincerely believe in a
better future, most of all because we see our youth, because we look at
today's students, because we see our technicians, and this satisfies us
fully and justifies what this has cost us. We must not forget the cost of
what our youth of today have. We must not forget how many blows our youths
had to withstand. We must not forget how many abuses were suffered, how
many demonstrations were dissolved by police bullets and blows.

Before, in times of old, the students were not body and soul devoted to
study, science, or work for the future. They had to be fighting all of that
corruption, against all of those injustices and vices. It has cost a lot.
When we see how all of these difficulties were overcome and howl these
struggles brought about a more lively, growing, ever more knowledgeable
generation, growing more and more enamored of their studies their
professions, and of work, we believe that this compensates for the
sacrifices that it cost. Comrade Rebellion spoke here, impressed by this,
of what some day other people, such as the people of Venezuela, the people
of Guatemala, the people of the Congo, the people of Vietnam (applause)
will also have an opportunity of doing--no matter the sacrifice--but we
must say that sacrifices do matter.

Sacrifices must be made, however painful they are. Those sacrifices do
matter. They hurt. It hurts to see the people having to pay such a high
price. Some people pay higher prices than others. Such is the case with
Vietnam. The enormous sacrifices having to be paid directly in the fact of
Yankee imperialism, which, virtually defeated there, still talks like a
blackmailer and an aggressor of extending the war--playing with fire there,
in its unjustifiable and undesirable plan to maintain its colonialist and
imperialist domination over the peoples, just as they tried to do over us.
The (word indistinct) with their calumnies against the Revolution.

However, we must not forget that we lived under their control, and what did
they leave us? What economic development? What cultural development? What
technical development? What standards of living in 60 years?

With blockades and all, with aggressions and all--not in 60 years, but in
the course of a few years, we cannot help but see the advances of a great
people, the advances of a people who are masters of their destinies. In 60
years, indeed! Within 60 years, there is no telling what this country will
be able to do. The role of the revolutionaries is not a prophesy, but in 60
years. (away with?) the fifth the imperialists left us in this country,
(away with?) corruption which they left us! (applause) Away with immorality
and away with vices. Once we were not a strong, united people fighting for
a cause. We are a people who have risen to high levels of lofty sentiments
and patriotism. Our people were divided. Every man and woman was virtually
made into a beast, enemies of each other, and we were left with poverty and
backwardness. This is what they defend in all of these countries.
Imperialists domination lasted 60 years here, during which we suffered.

That is what the peoples fight against--the sister nations in Latin
America, the peoples of Africa and Asia. In reality, they (cannot bear?)
those sacrifices. The sacrifices which the peoples must pay are great
indeed. The crux of the matter is that, despite these sacrifices, the
people keep going forward. The peoples do not take into account the cost in
blood of asserting their right to life, to freedom, to live better. They do
not stop to measure this. On occasion, they have had to pay very high

We help the people who are fighting with our solidarity, with our
(encouragement?), with our militant solidarity, and also with our
revolutionary work, because we must say that revolutionary work is an
important factor, a factor for encouragement, a stimulus. The revolutionary
work counteracts the enemy's campaigns, the enemy's calumnies. It serves as
an example and as a stimulus--all of this!

Thus, when news from Cuba reaches the students on this continent, or when
visitors from the continent come here an see how our youth lives and works,
when they see how our three universities are developing, see the imposing
advancement of science and culture--a certain guarantee of a formidable
future for our people, it serves them as stimulus and encouragement. That
is why, in everything that we do, in every success that we attain, we are
combating the enemy of the people, we are aiding those who struggle, we are
encouraging those who fight, because we are sure that as the number of
people who fight for their independence increases, the struggle will be
less costly and less bloody, and it will be harder for imperialism to
contain it.

One day it intervenes in the Congo; the next it threatens intervention in
North Vietnam. We await reports of the fighting that is spreading as a
result of the action of the heroic people of Venezuela (applause). Reports
arrive saying that after the army bombed and evicted people and perpetrated
all sorts of horrible things, the fog and rain favored the Venezuelan
guerrillas. Stories like this are very familiar to us. This story about fog
and rain, that the guerrillas will not allow contact, and so forth and so
forth--after they got tired of bombing and evicting people--this is nothing
more than a confession of their failure--as the mercenary armies will be
doomed to failure in their struggle to defend the interests of imperialism,
shedding the best blood among the people, as there the blood of the
students is being shed--the blood of the peasants, the blood of the
workers, the blood of the fighters and revolutionaries (applause).

However, the struggle of the people against imperialism is growing. It
grows, it spreads. It is a historical law that this law will be fulfilled.

The peoples in one manner or another--we, peacefully--tomorrow, if they
attack us, we will use all our weapons (applause). If one day they should
attack us, then we would have to pay a high price, but the price we would
exact from them would doubtless be even much higher (applause). We have had
an opportunity to learn. Men and women have learned how to handle weapons.
Our stock of arms has increased, and we will certainly know how to use
them. We will use them adequately. If one day--if they allow themselves to
be dragged by their aggressive impetus, we are sure that they will not be
able to pluck mangos from low branches in this country.

Very well, we feel in solidarity with all of the peoples, and we work. We
aspire to work in peace. We aspire to continue to develop our work in
peace. However, this is not attained only with good sense or only by words.
It is necessary for the enemy to realize the price it must party for its
evils, for each of its actions of banditry. That is why we must always be
prepared to defend ourselves (applause).

We were telling our comrades (several words indistinct) that this spirit of
study and emulation of study should grow and be developed, and they should
analyze and work to solve all of these things we have spoken about, which
are the concern of the Revolution. I want to tell you that this task is not
our task, not the task solely of the leaders of the Revolution--it is a
task of all. The solutions of the problems cannot be found by a single man
or group of men; only the people, only the masses, only with everyone's
efforts can they be overcome.

In this effort, you young people now attending the university will have a
basic role. You must become aware that you will have a very important role
in the effort to resolve all of those problems and all of those things over
which you are now concerned. We see how each citizen asks himself about
this, and that, and the other. In the last analysis (they have something to
say?) (several words indistinct) but to ask what important part will be his
in the solution and the attainment of all of those things which concern
him. Fatherland or death, we will win!