Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Speech on Sugar Production

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0042 GMT 8 June

(Live speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at ceremony in Oriente Province
celebrating the production of 6 million tons of sugar)

(Text) Comrade workers of the Antonio Guiteras and Jesus Menendez centrals,
comrade agricultural workers, small farmers, and workers in general of this
Puerto Padre region:

Many times we have met, moved by many reasons (continuous shouting from an
unruly crowd--ed.)--I said that the people have met many times for various
reasons under various circumstances in this long revolutionary battle, but
few times (shouting continues: Fidel mutters some unintelligible
asides--ed.)--but few times (Castro pauses as shouting continued--ed.)--few
times with as good a reason as today, a reason of happiness and optimism,
the reason being this success of our comrades--to celebrate a victory which
has been achieved through the efforts and sweat of our people.

We do not feel happy in this aspect (Fidel Castro stops and says: "Fainted?
Somebody has fainted and they are taking him out, We must give him a little
sugar." The shouting continues-ed.) You know what is happening? Although
this park is large, there are so many people here that truly there is no
room for all of them. They have told me (drops the sentence as someone
shouts to him-ed.)--Well, each time that you break a record and you attain
an important goal (presumably this is in answer to an inaudible question
from the crowd-ed.).

Well then, I have been informed that there are almost 100 truckloads of
people who have not been able to get here yet. All right. When all those
who have fainted are done, let me know (the crowd continues to make a great
noise, making it impossible for Castro to continue speaking--ed.).

Enough, enough! All those who are agreed that we can begin, raise their
hands. All right, we are going to continue (shouting continues--ed.). Well,
let's have a little order, Let it not be said that the workers of the
Antonio Guieteras, the Jesus Menendez, Puerto Padre are not able to
organize a ceremony well and to pay attention, because this business of the
early days of the revolution when they pushed and shoved must cease.
Everybody must be still; stay in place and be quiet. Good. (Shouting

That's enough! We are going to continue this ceremony so that--the truth is
there are a lot of people here. You are very crowded and under these
conditions one really does not feel very enthusiastic about speaking for a
long time, even though I am not as crowded as you are. So let us proceed,

I was telling you that--and the workers expressed it when this sack, this
symbolic sack was packed, and there existed a happiness that was reflected
in every face--real satisfaction among all our workers that was not the
result of luck. Occasionally misfortune occurs, let us suppose, which
cannot be avoided, such as Hurricane Flora. On other occasions, fortunate
things happen. But nothing satisfies man more than the successes achieved
by his efforts and work. This is the success that brings us all together

Now, I am going to tell the truth. This sack which was packed in a symbolic
sack, because it could not be marked with complete exactitude. Some may
ask: "Well, is that the 6 millionth sack?" In a symbolic sense, yes; but in
the literal sense of the word, no, because there were several centrals that
were in their milling operations, simultaneously packing sacks. Who could
say which was the 6 millionth sack, the one that completed the 6 million
tons? Moreover, no one could predict with certainty the exact hour, because
of the rains, which could have delayed the hour or advanced it. The date of
7 June was estimated, some time in the afternoon, that is to say, with a
margin of safety so that the ceremonies would not be held before the
completion of the 6 million tons. In this case, it was preferable to err on
the conservative rather than the optimistic side.

In fact, the exact hour in which the sixth million was completed was 1216.1
hours today (applause). This was figured out because after several hours
one can find out what has been produced every hour, and the exact time
could then be established. The sack we have packed here has also been
estimated from the afternoon reports, on the basis of the rate of
production of the centrals. The centrals remaining were producing
approximately 4.62 tons per minute. The sack that was packed here was the
sack representing the 6,002,245th ton (applause). That is to say, we are
already well over the 6 million mark, and we may be over the 6,005,000 mark
in the morning hours tomorrow, more or less. You can figure it out. You
know that we are producing 4.62 tons every minute. That is the production
at this time.

As you are able to see already, because of the degree of organization and
the certainty there is, the goals can be announced in advance and the goals
are met. Not a single goal was unfulfilled (applause) even though they were
not easy goals, even though they were difficult goals. Every one realized
they were difficult to achieve, but that stimulated our workers and our
party comrades to make the maximum effort. That is why there were two
difficult goals, one of which was the May Day goal for 5.1, which was
followed by the goal of the sixth million.

The goal of 5.8 was fulfilled before 30 May. There were fewer centrals
working by that time. The rains were beginning. However, the goal of 6
million by the 10th was surpassed, and it was a really difficult goal, and
you know perfectly well under what conditions the work has had to be done.
There may be a few days of harvest ahead--8, 10, or 12 days of harvest.
There may be a central in operation in Oriente that traditionally mills
until the end of June; but it can be predicted that we will be close to
6.04 (million--ed.) tons when the harvest is over. This represents an
increase in production of--although those calculations must yet be made
with precision--I calculated upwards of 57 percent in two years.

As for last year--at last we are going to report the figure of last year so
that the news agencies will not make any more mistakes, because they are
always talking nonsense--despite the hurricane, the harvest was carried out
and something more than 4.4 million tons was produced. The leap has been
from 4.4 million-plus to 6 million-plus (applause), so approximately 1.6
million tons more have been produced.

Now our workers know what it is to produce sugar, because our workers were
always the ones who produced the sugar, not the ours of the sugar. Our
workers were the producers of the sugar, not those who enjoyed the benefits
of the sugar. They were the ones who, for more than a half of century, were
working and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the harvest in order to be
able to live from sugarcane work. For more than half a century, they worked
for the landowners, the latifundists, the foreign enterprises.

The imperialists thought that the revolution would not be able to achieve
those results. Undoubtedly, they apparently believed that they produced the
sugar, that the magnates, the foreign companies, were the ones who cut the
sugarcane and the ones who operated the transportation and the sugar
factories. How else can it be explained? It is that they thought that they
had a monopoly on intelligence and that if a master or a very well-trained
personage was not around, the workers, whom they considered ignorant
people, incapable and unintelligent people, could never replace them and
advance the economy.

The workers know perfectly well how much effort is required to produce 6
million tons of sugar, and because of this nobody can understand the merit
and significance of this effort better than the workers. On this occasion,
the most important thing is the increase of the sugar production that was
produced by the effort that was made after a hurricane. You know because
you also know what a hurricane is, what Hurricane Flora was, and how it was
necessary to do two things--rebuild the affected area, aid the affected
area, rebuild countless bridges, hundreds of kilometers of highways and
roads which were completely destroyed. Thus, in the destruction that the
hurricane caused, work was begun.

Under these conditions and in the midst of all the difficulties--despite
the threats of aggression, despite the effort that our country had to make
to defend itself constantly, despite all the attempts to sabotage the
economy, all the attempts to stop the progress of our economy, despite the
blockade, despite the fact that all the locomotives we possessed were
almost all from the United States and there were no spare parts, despite
the fact that much of the machinery that industry requires found
difficulties in getting spare parts--the fact is that, thanks to an
extraordinary effort in both agriculture and industry, this goal has been

That our country has reached 6 million tons against all calculations and in
the face of all the predictions to the contrary will without any doubt have
worldwide repercussion. Possibly, the status, the prestige, and the credit
of our country has grown. Comrades who have been abroad have reported that
already, in many places abroad, they are beginning to talk about the
economic successes of our revolution, and that in many places these things
are considered, precisely for these reasons, as solid and indestructable
parts of the revolution. They are beginning to look with admiration
because, to the same degree that our enemy has tried to make the road
difficult for us--in the midst of this hostility--we move forward. The rest
of the countries begin to look upon us not only with sympathy which derives
from the heroism, from the valor, from the revolutionary spirit of the
people, but also to see our ability in the economic field to face the
blockade, to face the difficulties, and to advance.

It was said that to win the battle of the harvest was to win the battle of
the economy. We have plenty of sugarcane. It was only necessary to cut all
the sugarcane. You know that today is not like before, You know that,
before, there were dozens and hundreds of thousands of men anxiously
awaiting the sugarcane harvest to be able to work. You know that there is
not a single month, a single week, a single day when the men in our
countryside want to work and do not have work, that the dead time which
(hurt?) all the life of our country, that was the terror and anguish of our
workers, has been left behind, has disappeared--and it has already
disappeared forever (applause). The number of men who today are engaged in
public works is four or five times greater. The number of men who work
today in various fields of agriculture is much greater. Unemployment has

Harvesting sugarcane is hard work. We still do not have enough machines.
And yet, despite the last two years of effort, our success will still
depend largely on the effort that will be made in this difficult task of
cutting cane in 1966 and 1967. Moreover, by 1968 production will increase
considerably because we will have a greater number of machines and the
fields will be much better prepared for mechanized cutting and the machines
will be much better perfected. However, in a decisive year, this year--all
of these years are decisive--if we manage to overcome the obstacles and we
reach the goal, we can have the most absolute certainty and confidence that
from now on no insurmountable obstacle will remain, nothing will remain to
be done that we will not be able to bring about.

Some minutes ago, a very outstanding comrade worker who, although he was
ill, cut 100,000 arrobas of sugarcane. Comrade Pepe Ramirez (applause)--he
told me that next year he proposed to lead a brigade to reach 2 million
arrobas of sugarcane. He also predicted that some 200 brigades would reach
2 million arrobas next year. And what he actually said. I believe--I do not
have the slightest doubt, because after what we have seen this year we know
that anything is possible, we know that any goal is possible. The number of
workers who have passed 100,000 arrobas--I believe it is more than 18, and
there is still a little sugarcane to be cut--and there may be some who pass
120,000 or 130,000.

There is one comrade machetero. Comrade Mora, who is estimated to have cut
at this time 180,000 (applause) despite the fact that Comrade Mora had to
lose some days. He had some difficulty with his eyesight. However, I
believe that to prove the mettle of a revolutionary worker and the
extraordinary human quality of comrades such as these, it is enough to say
that this comrade, in spite of his eyesight, is something we all must
admire, and he had serious difficulty with one eye and some trouble with
the other. And yet it was almost impossible to persuade him to stay behind
for three days to see the doctor. I asked him to stay behind for three days
to see the doctor. I asked him whether he was following the prescribed
treatment, and he told me that he had followed it until he had come over
here to Oriente, and that he is waiting to wind up the harvest before he
can resume treatment. This means that even over our desires, wants--because
we, when we find citizens of this type, what we want is precisely that
their health be preserved above all--in spite of what we desired for him,
his duty, his work, his goals, his enthusiasm were above everything else,
above his own health, above his very own eyesight.

I believe that this is a truly exceptional act of heroism. It is not the
courage that a man demonstrates one day when faced by danger, but it is a
daily courage, self-sacrifice and stoicism. These are everyday heroes,
quiet, modest, tireless workers. It is a great satisfaction to us that many
of these outstanding workers are members of our party, and that Comrade
Mora as well as Comrade Rondan are secretaries of the party cells in the
state farms where they work (applause). That is how the history of our
country is being written today, because a duty must be fulfilled all the

Many youths died in the struggle or were murdered by the tyranny. Many of
them fell in the fields of battle. Some of our comrades accomplished
unusual feats of prowess like those of the columns under the command of
Comrade Camilo and Guevara. They went from the Sierra Maestra to Las Villas
Province (applause). They were constantly harassed by airplanes, pursued by
the enemy. They had nothing to eat. They were without the advantages of the
mountains and the forests to protect themselves from pursuit.

Men have sacrificed themselves at other times, as during the sabotage of
the La Coubre, when the workers, amid the fire and explosions, helped each
other; and on other occasions, as at Giron, in the battles against bandits
in the Escambray, and in dangers during the October crisis, this other
serene, resolute spirit has always been shown: this other heroism of the
people. Under these circumstances, without laying aside any of these
virtues--because we do not know at what moment we will have to exchange
instruments of work for a weapon, we do not know when we will have to
concentrate our attention, when the country will see itself
threatened--however, today in work (transmitter drops off air for a few
seconds--ed.) showing in all its magnitude the revolutionary spirit and
heroism of our people.

Great must be the disenchantment of the enemies of our people! Great must
be the disillusion of the exploiters! Great must be the (transmitter drops
off the air again for a brief period--ed.)--exploiters who lost their
privileges because (transmitter drops off air again--ed.) The people are
giving them an extraordinary lesson. These people--whom they viewed with
contempt with insolence with disdain--these people are doing these
extraordinary things. What moral right can they have to face up to our
workers? What moral right can those exploiters have left (applause)? What
moral right can those mill owners have, the landowners, against the workers
who have cut more than 100,000 arrobas of sugarcane? What moral right can
they have against workers who have been separated from their families for
entire months? What moral right do they have against the ten of thousands
of volunteer workers--more than 50,000-who went to Camaguey Province from
various places, but mostly from the capital of the republic, to work in the
harvest even though they had other jobs that were not as hard as cutting

What moral right do they have against that spirit of the people, against
that patriotism of the workers? What moral right, with what right can they
stand and face any of these heroes of our labor? That is why this victory
has to be--we said that this victory is for the imperialist something like
an atomic bomb of six megations, because this is also something, from an
ideological point of view: a demonstration that under socialism everything
is possible despite the fact that we are an underdeveloped country, a
country where there were more than 1 million illiterate persons..

How have all these things been done? In truth, comrades, we must stage that
we are really only beginning. From now on, the imperialists are going to
see what revolutionary people are when they progress, when a revolutionary
people advance (applause), because now there is this consciousness, this
responsibility, this knowledge, this organization that can be seen
everywhere in our country and which without any doubt augurs even greater
successes for in the same manner that we have reached these 6 millions,
without a doubt we will reach the 10 million tons in 1970.

In this regard, the work to expand the centrals, all the projects, the
contracting for the materials, the equipment, the raw materials are very
advanced. The program to expand the centrals will begin. All the centrals
capable of being expanded will be, and in addition, the construction of at
least one new central is being considered. I am telling you this because,
up to the present, you are the champions. When the new central arrives, you
will have a very strong competitor. The location of that new central is
being studied, and it is possible it will be build in the Cauto area
(applause) and be irrigated with the water from the dam system being
constructed in the Cauto Valley. The waters of the Buey River will irrigate
the 2,000 caballerias which will supply that central with sugarcane. About
97 percent of the sugarcane there will be cut mechanically, Naturally, with
irrigation, with the proper cultivation, there should never be a caballeria
there with less than 100,000 arrobas of sugarcane.

All the centrals that can be expanded will be expanded. An extraordinary
effort will be made on drainage plans and dam construction in order to have
the greatest possible amount of irrigated area. To achieve the 10 million
tons, we need the most advanced technology, the correct use of the proper
varieties, the proper fertilizers. And to guarantee high production in
certain areas, it is necessary to use water, although naturally, during
periods of ample rainfall, one caballeria can produce more: production is
always stable when water is available at the proper time. We must increase
the yield of the canefields every year because Cube is among the lowest
countries in the production of sugarcane per hectare or caballeria.
Although we are among the leaders in sugar yield, backward agriculture
without technology or fertilizer made the average yield per caballeria very

Land cannot be expanded, but production per caballeria can be. We must
increase it continually because we will not have to have a lot more land to
achieve the 10 million.

Now, the program to expand the industry and the program to plant sugarcane
will advance together. A bigger harvest is expected next year. We hope to
achieve 6.5 tons. It will also require a serious effort because, as you
know, during the last few months some places have had no rain for seven
months, others for almost six months. You have seen how dry the fields
were; but the rains came with the 6 million tons. Now our fields are
turning green again. The spring has been extraordinarily late, later than
in other years. But we will see how it develops, how the July and August
rains are. Nevertheless, with better use of fertilizers, with greater and
better care of the sugarcane, we expect that even with these difficulties,
production will increase to 6.5.

Nevertheless, another great jump will take place in 1967. This is because,
from this time, on we will begin to prepare the new lands and to plant, at
the end of this year, the sugarcane that will serve to reach 7.5 million
tons, which will be the biggest harvest in the history of Cuba. In 1968 we
should pass eight, and in 1969 we should reach (word indistinct).

Ten million tons of sugar represents more than just 10 million tons of
sugar: it means almost 4 million tons of molasses, food for cattle. Almost
4 million tons of molasses is equivalent to 100,000 caballerias of corn at
a rate of 800 quintals per caballeria. Because of the nutrients in molasses
as compared to corn, that amount of molasses contains the nutrients
supplied in 100,000 caballerias of corn that yield 800 quintals per
caballeria. Imagine: 100,000 caballerias of land planted to corn and
yielding 800 quintals per caballeria! The molasses produced from 10 million
tons contains as many nutrients as in those 100,000 caballerias.

We are also going to develop the cattle industry simultaneously, and we
will use the molasses to feed the cattle. At the same time, we will develop
the sucrochemistry industry, the utilization of bagasse to make pulp. With
the reforestation plans being carried out, in the future we will be able to
mix bagasse pulp with wood pulp and we will have another tremendous export

It will not be the 10 million tons of sugar but the almost 4 million tons
of molasses that will enable us to become a meat-exporting country. The 10
million tons will also enable us to find another source of reserves. They
also mean the extraordinary possibilities of using pulp and of other
branches of sucrochemistry. One caballeria of sugarcane producing 10,000
arrobas will provide a large income from the sugar, but it will also
provide much income from the other lines. That is to say, they also signify
the development of other branches of the economy.

How will our enemies react--what will they say? Well, in the past, a
dispatch would appear every day saying that the harvest was ruinous, that
3.8 had been produced, that there were 3.7 after the hurricane. They would
have been the same this year. They were mistaken: it was not 3.8 (as
heard--ed.) after the hurricane; it was four.

However, how will they react? Already they are trying to prepare their
ammunition because one of their favorite arguments is gone. Earlier, as I
was standing here, some of you nay have noticed that I was reading
something. They were some news dispatches from UPI and AP, those agencies,
and I was, laughing. It is something truly amusing. Today is a day when we
should enjoy ourselves (applause, laughter) and it is well to check, to
check what they say. It is sad, but I am going to read them to you. I say
sad because (shouts of "read them"--ed.)--Well, they say:

"Havana, 7 June (AP)--Prime Minister Fidel Castro (several words
indistinct) will personally fill and sew up the sack of sugar that will
indicate that the sugarcane crop has reached a total of 6 million tons.
This is the most important economic achievement of the revolutionary regime
since Castro assumed power." They say Castro, but it was the revolutionary
people who assumed power (applause). "Castro will do this in a ceremony in
the Antonio Guiteras sugar mill in Holguin in Oriente Province. The
ceremony will also indicate the official end of this year's harvest." A
lie: we still have about 35,000 or 40,000 tons of sugar to be manufactured.
The people of Oriente say they will remain cutting came until 13 June.

It goes on: "Castro will speak immediately afterward." Well, we are all
talking here. "The ceremony will indicate the recovery of the sugar
industry, which is the most important pillar of Cuban economy in the
percentage of foreign credits. Before the victory of the revolution. Cuba
produced on am average of 6 million tons annually." A lie, a lie: only four
sugarcane harvests--two of them during the revolution, two of them during
the revolution--have passed the 6 million mark, and one in 1952, when they
impose.d restrictions again. This was the biggest one. However, everybody
knows the story of the restrictions on the sugar industry. They produced
5--a little over 5 million tons or 4 and 4-plus million tons--and the
workers were idle and the cane uncut because the magnates were not
interested in whether the worker worked but rather in whether the price
(several words indistinct), and to speculate with the sugar. Therefore,
there were only four sugarcane harvests of over 6 million, and two of them
have been during the revolution; although none of then have been under
conditions of such effort, or faced with greater obstacles as that of this

The article continues: "In 1961, during the height of the campaign of
nationalization by the revolutionary government, sugar production rose to
the extraordinary level of 8 million tons. (shouts) Production began to
decline rapidly."--And this I am going to read to you verbatim so that we
can learn to analyze these people: "When the revolutionary government
embarked on a rapid industrialization in 1961 and a program of agricultural
diversification, a policy that is now called 'anticane policy,' millions of
hectares of sugarcane fields were razed. Thousands of sugar workers were
transferred to the cities." These people transferred on their own account
(several words indistinct) because they were accustomed to the dead time
and they viewed the dead time as a veritable demon.

"There began a program of diversification (word indistinct) to begin to
work in newly created heavy industry. Castro began a catastrophic policy
motivated by the desire to eliminate sugar as the principal product of
Cuba."--Which linked us to the economy of Yankee imperialism.

See how these gentlemen hide the truth and lie. The reason why it was
decided to cut all the sugarcane in 1961 after the land, the sugarcane
estates, were nationalized, was because the sugar quota was abolished for
Cuba by the United States. There were 20,000 or 30,000 caballerias of
sugarcane that were not cut. We were deprived of our quota and we were
deprived of our markets.

At that time we did not have the markets we have today. At that time we did
not have an agreement with the Soviet Union for 5 million tons of sugar, an
agreement of increasing sales. Cuba had always aspired to sell more sugar,
even under capitalism. However, obviously, it was the liberal people, the
people who worried more about the economy, who aspired to this. The
landowners did not want a policy of expansion, but rather one of
restrictions because they preferred to prevent prices from fluctuating; but
above all because the sugar markets for the country were limited. They had
no markets and they did not try to find markets, because if they had tried
to find markets, based on the fact that this country has the best
conditions to produce sugar, they could have competed with anybody if, it
had been necessary; the country would have been able to defend its markets
in Europe. It was difficult. Why was it difficult? Because there was a
trade agreement with the United States and American merchandise paid lower
tariffs and other countries were not prepared to buy sugar from countries
that did not buy them, but bought from another country.

That is how they lost markets. In addition, they were never prepared to
exercise a policy which looked to the future. What did the country win when
sugar production was restricted? Well, if they did not restrict it, prices
could fall, some difficult years could result. But in the long run, nobody
would have been able to complete with Cuba. In the long run Cuba, as a
country whose natural conditions make it a country particularly suited for
sugar production, would have been in a truly favored position, in the
position it should have had in the markets.

However, they did not think of the future, nor did they care about the
future. They restricted sugar production so that prices would stay at a
level favorable to them. As a result of that, new cane and sugar areas
began to develop in many parts of the world, because the policy followed by
Cuba helped its competitors. The policy followed by Cuba favored the
development of a sugar industry to the detriment of the only product of our
economy, to the detriment of the principal product of our economy.

That is why there were more competitors all the time. There was more and
more sugar production. And what did the Cuban Government do? It met with
the sugar-producing countries and they made agreements to restrict
production. Whom did that benefit in the long run? Cuba? No. Our population
had doubled and our people continued to live from the same amount of sugar
as 30 years before. Because of this, the plight of the masses grew more
desperate each day.

This was the policy that the capitalists followed. And when the revolution
triumphed, there was no other market than that of the United States; and
when over a night and morning they took the market from us to ruin us--for
they believed that this blow, this stick could not be endured by
anyone--this abolishment of the quota and death to all of the world dying
of hunger led to revolution. However, they erred. New circumstances
prevailed in the world, new markets for sugar: the socialist camp with
hundreds of millions of human beings whose economy was developing and whose
population needed sugar. In 1961, however, we did not have markets for
sugar and 33,000 caballerias remained uncut. Thus, we decided to cut this
cane and plant other crops. As time passed, new possibilities were created.
New markets began to appear, and now we arrive at today's situation in
which there are practically unlimited markets for our sugar.

This was the fundamental reason for the reduction in sugar production--the
traitorous blow (few words indistinct) economic aggression by the United
States which deprived us of the sugar market and forced us to reduce the
sugar surplus, that actually stagnated sugar production, because without
markets, what were we going to do with so much sugar? And because of this
it was reduced.

They do not say this. They do not say a word about this. They want it
understood that the sugar production was reduced capriciously because there
was an industrial program. Which? There was an industrial program and there
is am industrial program. Look at the thermoelectric industry that
practically (applause)--this thermoelectric industry is practically going
to double the capacity of electricity in our country, electricity being a
fundamental base for industry because the textile machines and countless
other industries work on electricity. Are these powerful thermoelectric
centrals that are being built in Santiago de Cuba there by chance?--and in
Mariel? They say that in two years they will fulfill the energy and
production capacity of energy in our country. What about the cement
factories that are being built? What about the textile factories that are
being built? What about the hydraulic works that are being developed for
agriculture and industry?

There is a program of industrial development. But naturally, industrial
development is not accomplished in the moment when it is wanted, nor at the
rate that one may want because above all you need technicians, many
technicians. Who were the technicians? When a sugar central was planned
here, an American engineer came. When a factory was planned, an American
engineer came. How many qualified workers were there in our country?

There cannot be industrialization without qualified workers. There cannot
be qualified workers without education. There were 600,000 children in our
country without schooling, more than a million citizens who did not know
how to read or write. How could there have been a mass of qualified
workers, of highly qualified workers?

Now everybody is studying. There are no children without schooling. Some
100,000 youths are studying on revolutionary scholarships. Education has
developed incredibly in these years. Hundreds of thousands of workers are
studying for the sixth grade. Dozens of technical institutes and schools
have opened. We are preparing our population, we are preparing our youth,
we are preparing our workers for industrialization. And this cannot be
denied: how can there be industrialization without technology, without
technicians, without medium and high-level technicians? How can there be
industrialization without education? Nobody can deny that it is exactly on
this that the revolution has placed the most emphasis, and that the
cultural and educational progress of our people is moving at an incredibly
rapid rate. This will allow us to solve some of the basic needs of
industrialization. This is technical training of the people.

Economic resources are needed. What do the underdeveloped countries have?
What resources do they have except the poverty left them by the imperialist
exploiters, the hundreds of thousands of unemployed, for what industry was
there here? Practically none; everything was imported. Then, naturally, am
underdeveloped country does not have abundant resources.

At first a great effort must always be made. You did not produce the 6
million tons in one day, no. It was the effort of a long sugarcane harvest,
of from five to six months. And not only was our country an underdeveloped
country, but one of the most influential countries, because of its economic
and military power, was filled with hate against our country and has dome
everything possible to create difficulties--invasions, sabotage, the
organization of bands of counterrevolutionaries--everything possible and
impossible to place obstacles in our country's path.

However, through the efforts of our people and with the help of the
socialist countries, primarily the Soviet Union, we are going forward to
the degree of our efforts with our program of industrialization, which is a
logical thing. In the early days of the revolution, as in all things where
the majority of the people lack experience, what had to be dome in each
case was not always exactly known; and when industrialization was discussed
it is possible that, precisely because we suffered the problems we had with
the sugar--the lack of market--there existed, perhaps, and underestimation
of the importance of agriculture. But it is not only us: the industrialized
countries are beginning to understand the importance of agriculture better
all the time because they are beginning to see that industry developed very
much, but that nevertheless the production of food did not develop at an
equal rate.

Today there are some 3 billion people in the world. Within 35 years, there
will be 6 billion people. The population of the world is increasing much
faster than the production of food, and the production of food has shown
itself to be an enterprise in which the spectacular advances achieved in
some branches of industry cannot be duplicated. Thus, the world will more
and more have to face the prospect of a world with many hundreds more
inhabitants, growing incessantly, and without sufficient food to satisfy
the demand. That is the prospect. That is what creates the tremendous
demand for certain agricultural products. That is why the demand for
agricultural products grows. Doubtless, a country with the natural
resources of ours, applying the most modern science and technology to
agriculture, can obtain fabulous quantities of foods of various types and
have a satisfactory position, not to mention a privileged position.

But we have not given up industrialization. No, we are carrying
industrialization forward; but we are fundamentally accenting agriculture
because it is in agriculture that our immediate possibilities are. It is in
agriculture that results are going to be seen the soonest. You see how
pastures are being created for livestock, and the results of these efforts
will begin to be seen immediately. With these rains, the increase of milk
production will be seen and what this production and the development of our
livestock means. And we intend to develop our sugar, but we also intend to
develop our livestock. We intend to develop the production of fruits,
vegetables, and all in all to develop our agriculture to the fullest.

It is not that we have abandoned industrialization, and that is another one
of those gentlemen's lies, one more mark of ignorance on their part.
Perhaps they are very sorry that we are doing things properly, that we are
not going crazy, and that we are doing things which require more
investment, more time, when the best thing in view of the situation in our
country and in the world is to develop our agriculture to the fullest.

That is why--Now I shall go on to read this cable: "However, the production
of sugar so far and affected Cuban exports so greatly that the country was
faced with a lack of currency to pay for industrial equipment and the raw
material for the production of consumers items, and the importation of
foodstuffs. This led to the establishment of a severe rationing system,
which is still in effect."

What they do not say is that the people used to be rationed the year round
here--and without ration cards, without ration cards. What it does not say
here is that (few words indistinct) many people, the immense majority, did
not have the money to buy clothes or a pair of shoes. Then the shops had a
surplus. When all those hundreds of thousands of people who had never worn
shoes, who had lacked the most elementary things, had the wherewithal to do
so, then there were not enough shoes or clothing.

Of course, some people ate meat in the rural areas. When meat began to
reach the agricultural workers and the rural areas, it was logical that
there would not be enough because there would be enough for some, but not
for all. They seek to ignore this. With the change brought about in the
condition of a nation which had claimed hundreds of thousands of unemployed
and in which the people had no money, when everyone is working and has
money, what is most just? If we did not do it this way, then those who
still have more money than others would buy your quota, they would buy your
share of meat and the worker understands this, but not the man with lots of
money, who was accustomed to having more than the others. How ever, the
workers who lived their lives and had this experience do understand it; and
(applause) it says: "The situation reached a critical point in 1963. On
this occasion, the premier was forced to completely modify his previous
stand and to proclaim that once again agriculture was the axis of the
national economy, and that for a long time sugar would be the only product
which could supply foreign currency." Sugar alone--how mistaken they are!

"Industry was relegated to the background with preference given solely to
current consumers' goods, agricultural equipment, and fertilizers. Heavy
industry was abandoned completely. As of then, the government bent its
efforts to increasing sugar production and began mechanization of the
crop-gathering operations with the importation of Soviet cane cutting and
lifting machines to solve partially the manpower shortage, which was
estimated at 150,000 men, as a result of the fact that the workers had
transferred to the industries.

"Despite the government's efforts, the 1964 harvest was a failure.
According to reliable evaluations, production was only 3.7 million tons."
Lies! It was 4.4 million. Of course, at that time they laid emphasis upon
disparaging the revolution, saying it was going down in order to create
difficulties for it However, naturally prices were good, and the harm they
were doing on the one hand kept the prices up on the other, and we kept
quiet. That is why we issued no figures, since we had no intention of
cooperating with their campaign.

"The success of the present crop," it goes on to say, "which even surprised
official circles, which were only expecting 5 million tons"--I presume they
are referring to U.S. official circles, don't you? That is what this refers
to. "--which were only expecting 5 million tons is due to several factors:
the excellent weather conditions which prevented the flooding of the
sugarfields and made it possible to cut all the available cane; the
organization of 60,000 voluntary canecutters, who with thousands of
soldiers were divided into brigades and equipped with mechanical
canelifters which led to a higher productivity.

"Also contributing to the result is a better transportation system. What
about it? When they were expecting transportation to be paralyzed, that not
another train would be moving here, the Soviet locomotives, the French
locomotives, the British locomotives began to arrive. The trains began to
move, repairs had begun on the locomotives, and they (?were operating).
These are the facts.

The cable says: "The transportation system improved from the field to the
sugar plant through the importation of 2,000 Soviet trucks; there was
better machinery maintenance in the mills, and the harvest began early last
year--in December, that is, one month sooner than is usually devoted to the
cultivation of the sugarcane.

"The sharp recovery of sugar production is considered here as a first step
in the general improvement in the entire Cuban economy." Listen well. Now
they are beginning to recognize that. "Castro will be able to meet his
commitments with the Soviet Union and have enough sugar for sale to the
Western countries in exchange for currency. This year. Cuba will send 2.6
million tons to the Soviet Union, which are being paid for in articles and
products such as able industrial equipment, articles of general use, and
foodstuffs. Cuba will also sell sugar to other communist countries,
including China, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia."

It has not been announced how much sugar will be sold on the world market.
Reports say that it is expected that sugar production will amount to
considerably more than 6 million tons in l966 and 7.5 million tons in 1967.
The maximum goal is 10 million tons--or the sugar atomic bomb, as the
maximum goal for 1970 is called.

"Thus, Cuba is embarking upon an ambitious plan which will include new and
very extensive plantations. It is expected that 30 percent of the arable
land will be planted to sugar in future. Another aspect of the program is
the expansion of the sugar mills with the construction of several new ones,
and an increased mechanization of the harvest. The cost of these last two
points on the program, with Soviet assistance, is estimated at 451 million
dollars. Official Cuban circles say that only after the success of the vast
program will Cuba be able to think of another industrialzation campaign and
an increase in the production of consumers articles and food production, so
as to put a definite end to the present rationing system."

As proof that we will not have to wait so long, we have wanted to tell you
that the Revolutionary Government feels that as a result of the high level
of production attained this year, as of 15 June sugar will again be sold
freely throughout the country (applause).

We must say that despite the sugar rationing you know how it came
about--despite that, sugar consumption amounted to some 400,000 tons,
150,000 tons more than--or a little more, some 200,000 tons more than
prerevolutionary consumption. Despite the rationing, 400,000 tons of sugar
instead of 200,000 tons, to give an idea of how consumption has increased.

However, it must be said that this was particularly good news for the
peasants, (?although) in the sugar producing zones large quantities have
been sold since early April. There is no doubt that although the peasants
of our mountains and in the interior of the country in general had larger
quantities than were available in the capital--for which it was a greater
sacrifice--I am certain that they will all joyfully receive this news that
sugar will be sold again freely as of 15 June. But we are not ending sugar
rationing yet. You know how things are, don't you (applause)? It will
happen to milk, too; be a little patient and it will be milks turn, and the
root crops, because suffice it to say that no larger quantities of malanga
were planted.

We will also apply fertilizers and increase production to satisfy
consumption needs. This means that all the malanga seed available in the
country was planted. More malanga was not planted because there was no more
seed. Some 500 mules brought the malanga seed from the mountains, and still
more caballerias could have been sown. More was not produced because not a
single seed was left, Double last year's amount was sown on state land, and
the small farmers also expanded their production.

The bananas which have been planted and which are being planted,
particularly here in this zone of (?Mil), in the Cauto region alone, amount
to 500 caballerias. Never have 500 caballerias of bananas been planted here

But not only this: there are other plantations--fruit trees, fruit trees
are being planted in fabulous quantities. Of course, fruit trees take four
or five years, but the years pass quickly, and the time of the earthly
paradise will come.

Therefore, despite the fact that we are an underdeveloped country, that we
must spend large amounts of money in investments, we are progressing in the
struggle to obtain larger supplies, despite the fact that it is not the
sane to satisfy the consumers' needs in a nation, a nation with empty
purses, to meet the needs of a nation in which everyone is hungry, and
everyone has the security (applause) of work and the opportunity to work.
Naturally, it is necessary to supply and to produce for the masses, and not
for a privileged minority. That is why much more has to be produced; that
is why the Consumption of sugar could not be met by 200,000 (?or) 300,000
or (?even) of 350,000.

There is no country in the world--because there used to be many countries
which consumed more sugar than we, Now we hold the very first place in the
world in per capita sugar consumption. That is our right, since we produce

Livestock production is being developed, and a few little beans have to be
sown (laughter). But look. I shall now explain something to you. I am going
to explain something to you. It is an economic problem. If we produce
100,000 arrobas of sugarcane per caballeria and sell it, and obtain from
that caballeria, shall we say.

18,000 pesos for the sugar, and then import beans; and, for example, with
18,000 pesos we can buy 2,000 quintals, let us say: how many caballerias
would be necessary to produce 2,000 quintals of beans? (various answers
from the crowd--ed.) How much, how much is needed for 200,000 quintals
produce, beans and rice, without fertilizer--without, without technology?
Some 200. With 100,000 arrobas produced on one caballeria, we cam buy the
equivalent of the beams sown on 10 caballerias. What does that mean, and
why am I talking about it? For example, perhaps we could produce wheat
here--wheat with a very low yield, and to satisfy cur wheat needs, who
knows how much land we would have to use for a very low yield? However, we
import the wheat with the sugar we export, and our country does not enjoy
the best conditions for producing wheat, but it does for sugar. Should we
produce wheat or sugar? (crowd shouts: sugar--ed.) We must produce sugar
and import wheat which our country cannot produce with the same ease and at
the same cost. We must produce sugar and sell our sugar for wheat, because
not all climates are the same. It is better to import some foodstuffs,
because difficulties exist.

It might be pointed out, for example, that beans are an item not easily
obtained because the places that used to supply us were places where the
United States had great influence, and with the blockade and the break in
relations, why, we have difficulties in getting beans. That is why beams
are planted, But it is not a crop that will solve the country's economic
problems. It is necessary to plant what one can, but if we say, "let us
stress beans," thinking of our present difficulties, which we will not have
in two or three years--because we are entering into more and more markets,
we are entering into more and more trade relations--rather than beans, it
will be better to produce meat and export meat.

We have 6 million head of cattle. You know that some years ago we
(?introduced) a policy of not slaughtering (?cattle). Why? Because we
wanted to increase our cattle herds. With a 10-year program, we hope to
increase the country's herds to 8 million cows--cows, (?without counting)
the other cattle. If we do the same calculation in the case of beans as for
cane, we realize that you have to plant beans every year, plough the ground
every year; if there is too much rain, the beans suffer; if it does not
rain, the beans suffer. When you plant a caballeria to pasture, well cared
for, and fatten 100 head of cattle, or 50, you have the pasture, you have
no troubles; it is a sure crop. Meat is produced, and it is one of the
items most in demand throughout the world. And it is an item that is paid
for in (?free) foreign currency, the type of money we have the greatest
difficulty in finding because of the U.S. blockade.

In the case of beans we face two difficulties. One is the matter of foreign
currency; but even with the currency, sometimes we have great difficulty in
buying them because in the places that grew then and where we used to buy
them there are difficulties caused by U.S. pressure. But in the future we
will supply ourselves with beans fundamentally by virtue of our exports,
exporting much fruit, much sugar, meat. When I say "export meat," it does
not mean depriving ourselves of meat. We are going to be producing more and
more meat. The quota has been raised already in different provinces--if
almost all.

It must be said with regard to Oriente, which is a populous province, it
was not possible to increase the quota this year, but next year we expect
to increase the meat quota in Oriente (applause). We expect to increase the
meat quota in the province. And in addition, export (presumably means
Production--ed.) is increased to such an extent that we can increase
consumption and increase export.

Some 600,000 or 700,000 head of cattle used to be slaughtered in Cuba; in
the future we will slaughter more than 2 million every year. And we will be
able to increase consumption, and we will be able to export. The first
exports of meat have been made this year. What a surprise for the
imperialists. The first exports were made this year; some 3,200 head of
cattle were sold to Italy. And it must be said that our cattle arrived in
excellent condition, good health conditions. They were deemed of fine
quality. And I am going to say something more: hardly had a steer appeared
in Europe when requests began pouring in, because neat is an item so much
in demand it can be called "red gold." You know there is black gold--oil;
well, meat is red gold. It provides an assured market in another sector,
and the development of our livestock resources parallels the development of

In the livestock development plans, we expect to attain in the neighborhood
of 30 million liters of milk daily through a 10-year program. Do you know
what that will mean? Almost four liters of milk per capita, almost four
liters of milk per capita. It will be an unlimited source Of protein for
our country, in the form of milk, ice cream, yoghurt, cheese, butter--every
form. We will attain an output allowing us to consider ourselves one of the
best-fed nations in the world. Livestock means meat, it means milk. How
much milk will we consume? All the people are able to consume, and the rest
will be exported. There will always be a market for what is not consumed

No country consumes that amount, (?Do not) think you are going to consume
four liters a day per capita. Of the 30 million, we will consume 8 or 10 or
12; that leaves us 20, including the production of cheese We will develop a
tremendous milk industry, We are planting tens of thousands of hectares to
fruit trees. Producing ice cream, for example, is very good for a hot
country like ours. This line will be developed too, extraordinarily;
tropical fruit sherbets of all kinds, a source of protein, a source of
carbohydrates, a source of vitamins, a source of minerals. Health will
improve extraordinarily.

And milk is the number one food (?for man), the most complete food. A
country that can dispose of unlimited quantities of milk and where
everybody will be in a position to acquire it--and by that time there will
be many more schools. When the time comes that there is a surplus of milk,
milk will be given free in school. (Words indistinct) Throw it away? Not
milk the cows? No; when there is extra milk we will begin sending milk to
all the schools and all the school lunchrooms, and we will develop our
school lunchroom program. And the time will cone when all the children
leave in the morning for school, have lunch at school, and go home in the
afternoon. The time will come (applause).

The people will need money less and less. For example, I am sure that many
young people from here are studying in the capital, at preuniversity
technological institutes. How much does this cost them? Nothing. And they
are well cared for there, and studying, becoming technicians, the
technicians that will make our country's industrial development possible.

Here we will never stop producing anything, because when something is
surplus it can be given away. If it cannot be exported, it can be given
away here or elsewhere. What we will not do is stop Producing something. Of
course, all these articles, in a world whose population is increasing more
every year, while food output does not increase--all this food, all these
products will have a market all over the world.

We were saying that when almost all countries were agricultural, and
industrialization began in some countries, the first man that produced a
truck, the first truck made, said "you must give men 100 bulls for this
truck." And anybody who wanted the truck had to pay 100 bulls, when there
were one or two industrialized countries. Industrialization continues, on
and on. Automobiles are produced today in fabulous quantities; trucks, all
sorts of equipment; factories are paralyzed because they have no market;
workers are out of jobs because they have no market. The time will come
when a man with a bull can ask what he pleases for it. Do you understand?
The situation will be reversed because much of the world has become
industrialized, and because of capitalist development, this
industrialization has been anarchic. All these industrial countries in
Europe are competing among themselves or with other industrial countries.
Europe is competing with the United States; the United States and Europe
are competing with Japan; in short, all these countries face constantly
growing competition.

It is not as easy to produce meat as it is to produce autos. Automobiles
come off assembly lines in flowing streams. Not so with cattle. Do you

We have a big population. Workers in an industrialized country with a high
standard of living, with automobiles, radios, television, still want more
meat. They want fruit. They want other things that they do not have. It is
easy to meet the car payments but it is not as easy to buy meat because
meat is extremely high. Demand for all of those articles becomes greater
all the time.

We, a tropical country--what can we produce by way of tropical fruits?
Citrus fruit. Do you know what a caballeria of citrus fruit--I spoke to you
about a sugar cane caballeria--a caballeria of sugarcane that yields
100,000 arrobas sold at six centavos is equal to 18,000 pesos. A caballeria
of citrus fruit cultivated with all modern technology--besides giving work
to the population. Particularly to the women--this is a kind of work which
they can do--a caballeria of citrus fruit can produce 100,000 pesos.

And the citrus fruit--you have already seen how important the sugar is.
However, sugar is produced practically everywhere, because when sugarcane
sugar cannot be produced, it is produced from sugar beets. It is expensive.
Sugar beet sugar costs twice as much, sometimes three times as much as it
costs to produce sugarcane sugar. However, it is produced because there is
no other way in which it could be produced, because all of the Cuban trade
was controlled by the United States.

Take for instance a lemon, a grapefruit, an orange, or a tangerine. Many of
the countries that can produce beet sugar cannot produce any of the fruit I
have mentioned. They could not produce it even in a botanical garden. It is
impossible to produce some of this much-wanted fruit which has a market.
The same applies to vegetables.

There are times, for instance, in Europe, that to produce a tomato--it must
be produced in a hothouse with artificial heat and light. And the tomatoes
come out like so, and very expensive. (?We know this because we have
compared with) the tomatoes that are produced here. Where? On a piece of
land with no other light than the sunlight and with no other heat than the
heat of the sun, and with no other roof than the sky.

It is enough to put in the tractor and plow, sow, fertilize, and cultivate.
How much cheaper this is than to produce puny tomatoes in a glassed-in
house with artificial light and heat! Furthermore, they do not taste--they
do not have the flavor that the tomatoes grown under our adequate climatic
conditions have. This is the advantage of our country.

This is something that we are discovering. And these are the possibilities
which we are uncovering. And this is what bothers these people--that we are
learning to do things.

I would ask: If we have two caballerias, and we can choose what we are to
plant--say beans or citrus fruits--what would yield the most in the long
run? The beans, which give us 200 quintals--1,500 pesos--and we have to
continue sowing the next year and the next, and the next, and the next? Or
the caballeria of citrus fruit, which can yield us 100,000 pesos which can
enable us to buy--well, gentlemen--almost 50 caballerias of beans?

Of course, we still have problems; but the difficulties created by these
problems are being overcome and our position in foreign trade is more and
more sound. We will continue to overcome until someday we will be able to
stop telling the peasants of Velasco, poor fellows, "plant," and asking
them for added efforts every year for the beans.

Furthermore, we have a bean-growing area here and we are maintaining it. We
try to encourage bean-growing here and we are trying to produce the
greatest number of bean from that area. We are to import beans, although
with difficulty. However, the proper thing is--because we are thinking
about the future--that we should not abandon the magnificent possibilities
of the future to solve a problem.

Economically speaking, it is unwise, when we have the privilege of
possessing a climate like ours, which can produce items in tremendous
demand and enable us to get 100,000 pesos from a caballeria--that is what
we must plant! Because that is what will really enable us to buy everything
we want, all we need, with our exports. That day will come. That day will
come only if we recognize it, only if we become aware that we must develop
the basic products of our economy. Later on we can trade, sell what others
do not have--things which they cannot have or do not deem it advisable to
have--so we can buy those things which we do not have because we cannot or
because it is not to our advantage to have them. There are many of these
things that I an sure that each citizen, when he meditates on them and
analyzes then well, will begin to understand--why the sugarcane, why the
livestock, why the fruit--the produce of course, as that lady used to
say--if there is produce, there are no problems. That is why (words

I swear to you that (?we have not planned to export produce). However, I am
going to tell you something else. Did you know that we are already
exporting eggs? What do you think of that! Another piece of news
(applause). Exporting, gentlemen, for one year--one year--so that you can
see how a good piece of work is done--well planned, when schools are set
up, when personnel are prepared, when technology and science are applied.
How many eggs are the hens laying? The (?quota) was 6 million, and the hens
have overfulfilled the quota. Sixty million, not 6 million--the sugar is
six and the eggs 60 million, Let us not get them confused. What happened?
In March they produced more than 90 (million--ed.). Well, for you this is a
ceiling. But April came around and they produced more than 90. May came
along, gentlemen, and we thought that they would produce about 80 because
this was not the best climate; and again they produced more than 90 million
eggs. They are dogged hens (applause).

Very well--it has to come. In August, production decreases. However,
regardless of the decrease, it will possibly not go under 70. In addition,
as the thing is looking good, markets have appeared for the eggs; we have a
program for half a million hens--not only to have a surplus, but in order
to export eggs--to export eggs. What are we to do?

They will come in handy because we want to follow a program to begin to
produce pullets. We need some chickenfeed factories, chicken
slaughterhouses, certain expenses. We will then have to use the egg and
sell it to buy the things we need to develop hen production. We are
exporting eggs and meat.

We are increasing citrus fruit production. We are increasing nickel
production--nickel exports. We have nickel markets, magnificent nickel
markets. In essence, in essence, everything is going fine in the best
possible manner and very different from the way our enemies expected.

Under these circumstances. I am not going to say that it is going to be our
big business in the future to export eggs. Eggs are also produced in many
parts of the world. They import grain and produce eggs. But for us, for the
time being, it is a great satisfaction that a surplus of eggs has been
produced and that exportation has been possible at this time.

Well now, how are sugar prices? The price of sugar is very low. The price
of sugar was very low (short passage indistinct). It is bad to depend on a
product which rises and falls. Of course, we have fixed prices for most of
our sugar and a good price of six centavos, but the sugar sold on the
so-called world market, which sometimes is 10 cents and sometimes two
cents--the price is a little more than two cents. What does this mean? It
means that we cannot obtain much foreign currency for the sugar we export.
This means that we shall not have the comfortable position we had when
sugar was priced much higher. But it is not a desperate situation; it does
not mean that we are going to be deprived of anything.

What is happening to sugar? Many countries are shouting to high heaven.
Many bourgeois sugar-producing countries in various parts of the world are
being ruined. Many which had programs to develop sugar production, thinking
that (?Cuba was going to fail) have realized the situation and have stopped
all plans. The result: we may have one year, two years, three years with a
low price. We can stand it. We will stand it for a part of the sugar we
export. But does this mean that we are going to resort to restrictions?
Well, although all this will have to be discussed and analyzed, we incline
to the view that we should not enter into any restrictive agreement, such
as led in the past to the rise of new (production areas?) to the detriment
of the economy of our country.

The price is low: so let those who do not have natural conditions for the
production of sugar not produce it. Let them buy it and produce other
things. We can stand it because we sell most--much of our sugar we sell on
the socialist market at higher prices. But we cam fight, we can compete in
the matter of sugar. We are afraid of absolutely no one. We shall see what
happens to those who put themselves to developing thin industry, thinking
of Cuba, at the cost of Cuba. We shall see what happens to those who took
the quotas from Cuba (few words indistinct). They are going to have a
surfeit of sugar. Do you understand?

What problems there are when the price falls, social problems (few words
indistinct). It is clear that the capitalist system is consistent. In the
capitalist system, the capitalists sacrifice the others and they make no
sacrifice. But the others will not be able to stand this two-cent price,
and while the others are limiting their production, let us go ahead. Why?
Because we are thinking of the future. (Several words indistinct) To
acquire solidity, to occupy the place we should occupy on the markets. The
price of sugar fell, but did the wages of the sugar workers fall? Did our
canecutters earn any less this year? No, they earned more. They received
higher wages. Why? Because under socialism, unlike capitalism, the sugar
worker is not independent, nor does he live apart from the economic
interests of the textile worker or of the transportation worker. No, the
workers are one class, closely united, and since it is important to develop
the economy, then even if the price of sugar falls, the canecutter is
encouraged, and Cuba is the only country where, in the same year when the
capitalist countries have had problems of all kinds with their workers
because of the price fall, with the price practically at two cents on the
world market, workers' wages have gone up. What security this means for
you, to know that we are not (?going to be dependent on prices), knowing
that we are ready to compete with whomever it may be necessary to compete!

For if they come to us and say: Listen, we are going to come to an
agreement with you Cubans to produce a little less sugar, then the price
will go up--no! If you cannot stand these prices, withdraw from the market
or produce sugar for your domestic market, but do not come to us, we who
are the sugar champions, to ask us to restrict our sugar production

I believe that the people understand this perfectly. We are speaking
clearly because we want to state things as they are because what purpose
has the revolution other than to fulfill its task, to develop the country,
to prepare a better future for all of our people? How is this better future
to be prepared? This is what we must know. I think that no one doubts today
that we are going ahead seeking thin better future, that no one doubts
today that the worst is over, that no doubts today that we are close to
overcoming the greatest difficulties. We are on the way to better things.
Some time remains, two or three years, not more, and things will all

We had infinite needs (?in all fields). Schools are needed, (Phrase
indistinct) houses are needed. Everything is needed. Our needs are
countless. Today, on our way to Holguin, we saw how many huts were still
standing in the city of Holguin. We also saw (few words indistinct) many
ruins. But also we saw many multistory buildings constructed by the
revolution and, in the midst of these buildings, opposite a little square,
in the poorest part of the city, Lenin Hospital (applause) rose
impressively, its equipment donated by the Soviet Union. This will be a
magnificent, extraordinary hospital, which will complete the hospital
system of this province.

Hospital dispensaries have been established in all the mountains. Hospitals
under construction have been completed. New hospitals have been built. If
you come to Holguin, you will see that the largest building is that
impressive Lenin building, the guarantee of the health of the loved ones of
our citizens, of their families, a guarantee of life. This is what this
hospital means: security (applause). It means that never again will it be
necessary to beg for a little paper from a politician for admission to a
hospital or for medicine, that humiliating, painful custom of the past.
That hospital whose fundamental mission is to save lives, to alleviate
pain, will serve the people, science.

If you continue on the central highway, you will see that in Bayamao
another impressive building rises, the Rayano hospital. Thus our country
has been filled with hospitals, and this abandoned province, so lacking in
hospitals, is now finding its needs increasingly fully satisfied.

But how many things we still need! How many schools, how many classrooms
are old and inadequate. How many houses we need, We need many things.
Years, many years will have to pass before this needy, poverty-stricken
people will be able to say we have finally all we need in schools,
hospitals, and housing. And all this will take time, but we shall arrive at

There is a magic wand which solves this problem. This magic wand is work.
From work, as if from a magician's hat, will come all the things we need.
From work came the hospitals. From work came the schools which have been
built. From work comes this road which will join the central highway, which
will save all this winding turn of Holguin. From work comes the road under
construction which will shortly be completed, leading to Baracoa itself.
Now no senator is needed for Baracoa, one who would spend days, years,
talking of the Baracoa highway while stealing the money. No, no little
politician of that kind is needed. What is needed is the revolution, a
revolution which works (applause) quietly, selflessly. Overcoming great
obstacles in engineering, it is carrying out works such as the highway
south of the Sierra Maestra, which will join Santiago de Cuba with Pilon
and Manzanillo, giving tens of thousands of families access to the
resources of that place.

All of this comes from work. Similarly, when a catastrophe occurs, such as
the unfortunate disaster of Hurricane Flora, politics, loans, trickery, and
thievery do not occur. Help reached the peasants of the mountains and the
plains--perhaps not all that they needed, but all that there was. It
arrived promptly, rapidly, without humiliation for anyone, without anyone
being asked for a reckoning, without anyone having to be made to feel that
he was asking for a favor. This is the difference between the present and
the past.

Our needs are many, out work will provide for them all. Work will continue
to provide for our country more hospitals, more schools, more housing,
recreation centers, aqueducts, sewerage, and everything needed so that the
people will riot have to live as they lived before and so that our working
people will be able to live as they have the right to aspire to live. The
revolution was made for the people. The revolution was for them.

The revolution means that everything will cone from the land and the work
of man. Our workers understand this. This explains their enthusiasm, the
efforts made by the regular workers, by our volunteer workers, by the
brigades. Indubitably, these brigades in the province of Oriente are doing
it because of this fervor for work, because of their conscientious
enthusiasm for duty.

This is because no one looks on it as he did before, as a punishment, a
burden, as it was when the worker was despised, when the worker was
humiliated. Now work is recognized as the most worthy, most enabling thing
a man can do. It is viewed as something honorable. This explains the
satisfaction and the pride of our vanguard workers, of our exemplary
workers, of our heroes in this sugar harvest (applause).

Today, when the hour was approaching and calculations were being made about
what time, and some said one time and another said another, we were all
overflowing with enthusiasm. There were various ideas about the exact time,
and various calculations. And this was characteristic of today, when
everyone was very happy: The Comrade Minister of Labor, (apparently
corrects himself--ed.) the Comrade Minister of the Sugar Industry and I
made a bet. This is not a bet of the kind which is prohibited, is it? Well,
whether it was good or bad, he said one time an I said another. So we bet
our watches, and I came out with two watches. (Editor's noted at this
point, Fidel Castro explains that during the revolutionary fighting he
needed two watches, but not now. Therefore he has one too many, and thinks
that the best thing to do is to give one to a vanguard worker of Oriente
Province. In the midst of much shouting from the crowd, he then presents
his watch to a worker. Background shouting from the crowd largely drowns
out Fidel Castro's words. He appears to be exchanging remarks with the
crowd about 1966 sugar production goal for the sugar centrals he is
addressing. He them continues his speech. This aside takes about 11

There is something else I wanted to say here. It is the decision we made
that the sack completing the 6 million tons, the 52,000th, the sack which
was symbolically filled here symbolising the 6 million, will be dedicated
to the people of Vietnam (applause). The workers of our country will
dedicate and send this symbolic sack to the people of Vietnam. I believe
that the best thing we can do, while the imperialists are sowing death and
destruction, is to give the people of Vietnam the sack which completed the
6 megatons.

With regard to this, there is also something very amusing I heard. I was
told that a journalist asked Comrade Reinaldo Castro what he thought the
imperialists would think about the 6 million tons (Fidel is laughing--Ed.)
He said that for them it would be like having a tooth pulled (laughter).
Certainly the imperialists would feel as if they had a tooth pulled. For
all of us it is a day of triumph, a reason for rejoicing. They will not be
able to conceal this. Now, when we say 6 million plus, they will have to
respect what we say. When we say 7 million, they will have to stop to think
and wonder about this miracle. How is it possible? They will have to stop
to think. And let them prepare to do so, because we are going up year by
year, and one fine day they will also have to swallow the bitter sweet or
sweet-bitter pill of 10 million tons; Nor will it be so far off.

All these people have all said all they had to say. Now the facts are
speaking, and the facts are more eloquent than words. It must be said that
this success is a success for all the people, because the people worked
with real passion and enthusiasm. I say all of the revolutionary people.

When I say people, I exclude he four counterrevolutionary cats (shouts and
applause drowning words) It is impossible to know where those people will
stick their heads in. For now, let them hold them up if they want to keep
them safe or at least in place. This is not a threat. After all, this
counterrevolution is completely discredited. This does not mean we should
let our guard down: never let our guard down, no--on the contrary, (?after
being disarmed), they attempt more.

I was saying that the cane harvest was due to the efforts of all our
revolutionary people, work shared by our mass organizations, work that was
given a maximum boost by our revolutionary CTC, administrative work in the
sugar industry, efficient administrative work by the agricultural
administration of our farms. Coordinating it all, providing all the
enthusiasm that made success possible, was our party, which during the past
few years has been gaining experience, organization, capacity, efficiency.
It must be said that our party put itself out for the sugar-making. The
cadres of our party dedicated themselves body and soul to work, setting an
example, for this victory.

This shows what strides have been made in maturity and efficiency by our
party, and that, unlike the early days of the revolution when this
organization and efficiency were lacking, today we do have all this, and we
have a party increasingly tempered in action, a party that has come from
our best workers. It is truly cause for satisfaction for our party to see
party militants among the most outstanding, the most productive workers.
But it should be said that all these men, if some are not party
militants--it must be said that the merit of their work and their effort
means that they are deserving, and in any circumstances, at any assembly. I
am sure the workers will propose their names.

With this success for all the people, all the revolutionary people feel
themselves encouraged today and happy. This is not so that we can rest on
our laurels, but to let us know we are moving ahead; and when one is going
forward, one should speed up still faster. We must step up the impetus. The
next sugar-making season will begin in five months or so. The mill chimneys
will not be idle many months. Repair will begin at once; and with repairs,
the programs of improvement, maintenance, and expansion of capacity,
because (few words indistinct) in their present situation, improve
maintenance, make better repairs, and in addition, in the agricultural
sector, tend the cane, the new plantings.

Hardly had it rained when the workers swarmed into the fields, and in
Oriente they have already planted 1,500 caballerias of cane in a few days,
planting day and night, with water, under the rain, or after the rain.
Before them it was impossible to plant, and so some planting was delayed.
The plantings must be tended. We are confident that they will be well taken
care of, because the countryside is imbued with great dynamism, spirit, and

We must not rest on our laurels. We must go ahead preparing for next year's
goal. We still have two hard years ahead, when machines will still not be
playing a decisive role: 1966 and 1967. Therefore, we must now get back to
work. The pastures, the new dairies, and pasture planting were waiting on
the cane harvest. Thousands and thousands of caballerias of pasturage must
be seeded. Six hundred grazing centers must be created in Oriente this
year, because next year that goal must be increased; for considering the
strength and vigor of the province of Oriente it is possible that in the
field of livestock it can make the same effort as was made in the cane

Next year, even if the sugar yield should be some 6.5 million, Oriente
aspires to achieving the highest output ever. It expects to surpass 2
million tons. I believe 2.02 million was the highest figure. And this
province intends to reach new heights even if the nation as a whole does
not. If this impressive effort is made in the field of livestock too, the
possibilities are unlimited.

One has to go up in a plane to see the vast expanses of land, but it is
still in natural pasture or undivided ranges. When they are all divided and
seeded, the amount of livestock this province can carry--it can be the
first province in livestock as well as cane. As I said, this will mean more
milk, more meat, more shoes--for this is a very important point; the raw
material for shoes comes from cattle.

I take this occasion to congratulate the comrades of the province, the
comrades of the party in this province, the leaders of mass organizations
of our province, and the workers of the province, and at the same time to
urge them, while riding high on this success, with the enthusiasm and
optimism legitimately derived from what has been accomplished, to continue
forward. When it seems the utmost as been done, facts demonstrate that more
can be done. When it seemed that revolutionary awareness in our people had
reached the apex and that no more was possible, facts are showing that
there is more revolutionary awareness now than ever. This is a visible
fact, a palpable fact; in the people, in the workers, there is a deeper
conviction, a greater enthusiasm, a firmer revolutionary awareness. This
can be seen.

I want to take this occasion too, to congratulate the comrades who are
emulating--the western brigades emulating with the eastern brigades. Who
will win in this emulation? First of all, our country will win, our people
will win, our revolution will win. We know that all have done their utmost,
and that is the important thing. We want to congratulate all comrades here
present who have cut more than 100,000 arrobas, and 100,000 arrobas is
100,000 arrobas. We have said we are going to award prizes, We have said we
thought they deserved a house. Now there are about 18 of them. But we
believe they deserve the house--those who need one (applause)--because the
prizes are there. We know these workers did not do it for the prizes; those
efforts are not made for prizes. They did it out of love for work, for
their calling. For then, the prize is nothing but an honor; but it is only
right for us, in addition to honors, to show them, in the form of something
that can be useful to them and their families, this appreciation felt by
all the people. They will take the prize as an honor.

And this is an extraordinary prize. When the prizes were established,
nobody had thought about 100,000 arrobas. And so, aside from the prizes
due, there will be something more: the house will be built with a garage
(applause) because next year, among the prizes, besides the motorcycles--we
are giving motorcycles with sidecar so they will not turn over--100 autos
will be included next year. It will be unlikely that anybody who cuts
100,000 arrobas will fail to win an auto, and if he has a house--why, it
will have to be built with a garage, so that next year (word or two
indistinct) to get the car. We know the families will enjoy it especially.
It will be a satisfaction to them to be able to offer their family, their
children and wives, something that is a result--not what they worked for,
because that was not the idea--but a result of the appreciation felt by the
people, who wish in this way to reward their vanguard workers, the ones who
distinguished themselves most. Because the work is hard, very hard, work in
the cane fields.

It used to be the worst paid work. The ones who produced all the country's
foreign currency, the currency those gentlemen talk about, were the sugar
workers. And what did those workers receive? Who enjoyed life, who spent
that money? What did the worker receive, the man who produced it all?
Nothing: contempt, mistreatment. The wade paid him when he was working--if
he fell ill I believe eight or nine days' wages was all they paid him, and
after that it did not matter whether he had five children or 10 children;
if he was unable to work, that man was supposed to live on his imagination.
That is what capitalism provided If he fell ill, eight days' pay, and then
die. If he needs more, has greater expenses, is ill, has a family--he dies.

The revolution put an end to that system and established relief; not relief
equal to wages; if it is not equal it is because the nation's economy still
does not have enough resources. The country cannot give what it does not
have. It would be a deception. But as our economy improves, it will be
possible to provide more, more security to the man who is ill. As of now,
he has medical care assured him and part of his wages for as long as his
illness lasts, whether nine days or nine years. His job is assured; the
education of his children is assured. His own education, if he feels an
inclination to improve himself, is assured, and the opportunity to live in
a decent manner.

We are not rich yet; we still have much poverty; but we do have
self-respect. Now no citizen, no humble person, feels like a nobody. He
feels what he is and all that his country is worth. He feels his strength,
which is his strength and that of all his brothers. He knows that feeling
of self-respect which comes ahead of wealth, the feeling of self-respect
that has enabled us to defend the revolution and resist. In the future,
conditions will continue improving for us year by year, and them, together
with his security, this honor, this self-respect, this understanding, this
correct evaluation--together with this self-respect we will also have a
great deal of wealth.

When we talk about wealth we do not do so selfishly. We Cubans do not want
to live very comfortably while forgetting everything else. We believe every
people, even though they are underdeveloped and poor, can make progress. We
believe every people can win justice, We believe every people can forge
their future. We believe any people in Latin America, Asia, or
Africa--anywhere in the world--can do the sane as we. When we speak of our
triumphs, when we proclaim our triumphs, when we look to the future full of
hope, we are not looking just for ourselves alone, but for all peoples the
same as ourselves.

When privilege, injustice, exploitation, and abuse are eradicated in all
nations as they have been eradicated in our country, all peoples, like us,
will march forward and all peoples will have a right to aspire as we do. We
dream of and aspire to a better future, for ourselves and for all peoples.
Fatherland or death, we will win!