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Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0139 GMT 29
September 1965--F

(Live speech by Premier Fidel Castro at Ceremonies Marking Fifth
Anniversary of the CDR at Havana Plaza de La Revolucion)

(Text) Mr. El Mahdi Ben Barka, chairman of the preparatory committee of the
first tricontinental conference; (applause) distinguished guests; comrades
and lady comrades of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution:

Every year this ceremony holds a surprise in store for us. (applause) No. I
do not say a surprise for you. I mean a surprise for us, (applause) I mean
to say we always find it to be a larger one every year. (cheers, applause)
And at times one asks himself: how are the committees doing? (cheers) Have
they gone to sleep on their laurels? (applause) Have they lowered their
guard? (applause) As far as one can see here, neither have they gone to
sleep nor have they lowered their guard. (applause)

And we always have some other little surprises also, such as the situation
today in which we cannot hear well on the platform. (commotion) Therefore
the comrades who are closer will have to read many of the things said here
in their newspapers. (commotion) We will have to use signals to speak to
them. (chuckles, crowd commotion) But it seems that down there below you
can hear pretty well. (crowd shouts) It must be some problem concerning the
specialists on matters of this kind. (crowd outburst)

However, the important thing is that you can hear well. (applause, shouts)
Oh, I can hear well, of course. You have a magnificent, strong, and clear
voice. Your voice is that of the Committees for the Defense of the
Revolution. (crowd shouts) If the Committees have not lowered their guard
this is a very good thing. Neither can the Committees lower their guard nor
can the revolution detain its vigorous march. The Committees mark their
fifth year today. The Committees are five years old today and five years
are five years. (applause) And five plus two (crowd shouts) are seven
years. In other words, soon, the revolution which is a little older than
the Committees will also reach its seventh anniversary. (applause)

These have been seven years of a tremendous effort, none can deny that. An
effort more or less productive, not as productive as some of us wished. I
believe that we cannot and should never feel satisfied with what has been
done. But we should be convinced of something and that is that a revolution
does not allow either truce or rest. The work of seven years has brought us
many things. But, nevertheless, how much more will we have to exhort
ourselves to work and struggle in the coming years.

The organization attained by our nation, its level of political and
revolutionary consciousness--of which this very event is a proof among many
others--is impressive beyond any doubt. However, in the coming years, we
should exert ourselves to organize our forces better, use our strength
better, gain even greater profits.

We still have many things to do. At first we had to defend the revolution
itself, resist aggressions, and continue forward. This was the most
important. The people have had to work, create, organize while on the move,
amid difficulties. The most demanding always idealized that everything has
not been done perfectly. That everything has not been done perfectly, we
all know. That everything can be done better, we all wish.

The difference between the conscientious person and the not-conscientious
person is that generally the not-conscientious persons believes that things
are easy. He believes that difficulties do not exist and they blame the
lack of training, or vice, or the bad faith of men if things do not
improve. The conscientious person knows that the difficulties exist. He
knows that nothing can be accomplished if effort is not put forth, without
any training, without any experience. The conscientious man does not
imagine that things are easy because things seem so easy many times when
one is less revolutionary. Things seem easier when men have not been faced
with the need to solve those problems. And things are like they are and
they seem like they are when men face the difficulties and try to solve

In these years of revolution, the apprenticeship has been adequate and our
revolution in many things is seen as an example. However, there are some
problems which have not been solved yet by our revolution. I am talking not
only about problems of the material order--there are many problems of the
material order not yet solved by the revolution. To cite a clear example,
the problem of housing is a problem not solved yet by the revolution, a
problem that the revolution has not yet begun to solve, a problem that the
revolution has yet to solve as soon as possible (applause), because it is
very important and also has an extraordinary influence on the economy and
production. Those who have studied the housing needs of our country
estimate that to satisfy, let's say in 1975, that is to say, to have
satisfied by that date the housing needs of our population--and by that
date they estimate it as approximately 10 million persons--we must build
1.2 million housing units. To build 1.2 million housing units, we must
build 100,000 housing units per year. To build 100,000 housing units per
year, with present methods we would need some 2 million tons of cement for
housing alone.

Cement production in our country when the revolution triumphed was scarcely
800,000 to 900,000 tons a year for all construction needs. A plant is being
built in Nuevitas. Another will soon begin to be built in Las Villas
Province. But this will not be enough. And another new plant ought to be
built before 1970 to attain on that date a total of 2 million tons. And
nevertheless, 2 million tons would be what is needed to build each year the
housing our country requires to satisfy its real necessities.

We will have the 2 million tons by 1970. We cannot use this tonnage simply
for housing. There are infinite needs for it and this can be seen
everywhere. How many schools, for example, are needed? We also have the
problems of school buildings. Because of this there are cases of children
who have to wait until they are six years of age to be able to go to
school. What is more, a certain type of private school has proliferated to
which some families send their children who still have not reached that
age. The problem is simply one of a lack of school buildings.

Nonetheless, we must find the means to build the 100,000 housing units a
year. We can resort to a given technology and in this sense the Public
Works Ministry (as heard) technicians are working with extraordinary
interest in order to resolve this problem and not with cement alone--in
other words, with much less cement than is traditional in this type of
construction. And they are, for example, developing some techniques with
use of (?clay) to make something even stronger than bricks, which could
serve as a material for the construction of housing using a minimum of
cement. Of course, this implies the solution of some problems even more
difficult, which is the problem of the roofs.

The need for housing is everywhere. In the city and in the countryside and
we are sure that these comrades, in view of the effort they are making,
will find the adequate solution and we can begin as quickly as possible to
try to attain the total of 100,000 housing units a year which we will need
to resolve in a real manner our needs. (applause)

For this we are studying the way of building multistoried units using this
material for the walls, although the framework of the building must be made
of cement and reinforced steel. But its a problem which to our
understanding has a solution, and we are sure we will find a solution and
resolve it.

I gave you this example of our material needs and of solutions still to be
found, but I can cite others--the problems of roads for agriculture. An
impressive agricultural development is taking place in our country. Those
who have gone to the countryside, those who have had a chance to do some
volunteer labor know about the enormous effort the people are making in
agriculture. All this also requires a development, not only of housing, but
also of roads. We gain nothing by producing enormous quantities of products
in our countryside if we lack the roads to get the products out, if we do
not develop a communications system to keep up with such development.

Fine, according to the estimates of the comrades who work on the farm
front, it is considered necessary to build 100,000 kilometers of roads in
the countryside and 100,000 kilometers are 100,000 kilometers. I again use
this method here to stress the importance of given figures. This also
requires a great effort in equipment and an important job. In other words,
as the very consequence of our development, in the years to come we will
face enormous tasks of an economic and social type. And, of course, we
hasten to begin these tasks and to fulfill these tasks. It will be
necessary to use our human and material resources and our natural resources
better. Moreover, to resolve these tasks of a material nature, it will be
necessary to resolve problems which are of an institutional nature, to
undertake other tasks which are not material but institutional, but which
have a great importance for the future advance of the revolution.

Our state apparatus, for example, in the surge forward during the middle of
our revolution like a new creation which was to replace the old state
administrative offices, has naturally suffered from all the deficiencies
which a new and complex thing such as this inevitably brings along with it.
But a considerable effort has been carried out recently to improve the
efficiency of state administrative offices, and in some of those offices,
the efficiency has advanced considerably, while in others it has not. Some,
however, which are of great importance have developed a high level of
organization and efficiency.

However, there is something that is related to this. It is the effort to
put an end to the phenomenon or to the vice of bureaucratism, this is to
say that which we call bureaucratism, which is that hypertrophy of the
administrative offices, of that accumulation of bureaucratic jobs of that
type. It has been worked on intensively, particularly when the harvest was
over from one side of the island to the other. The plan to battle
bureaucratism, which is being carried out in the best manner possible and
overall with the aim of using all surplus personnel who have been placed in
certain (Castro fails to complete thought--ed.). Schools dealing with this
problem are now being organized and are making considerable strides in this
area and will continue to advance. It can be seen already that there is now
a real brake holding back that increasing torrent which was carrying away
the offices and the ministries. This is a hopeful reality.

Although the problems do not exist in an isolated manner in the middle of a
society, we have asked ourselves what the relation is between this brake,
which has been established against bureaucratism, and the fact that the
number of letters received in our offices has increased--let us say in the
offices of our palace, as we have shared them with our Comrade
President--because I find something with which I am very satisfied. It is
that here was an office, a premiership, which in reality, I am pleased to
say, saved the republic the expense of close to a million pesos and this
saving has made up for those offices which produced absolutely nothing.

In the offices of the Presidential Palace, numerous letters arrive daily on
different questions and problems, which are studied by a group of comrades.
Recently it was noticed that there was an increase in the number of letters
from persons who present their problems. The causes of some people, for
example, who have become widows. They were wives of some men who worked as
taxi drivers, or as self-employed carpenters, and who died and left their
widows without any means of support. The mother of six, seven, or eight
children is in a hopeless situation, because in the type of job her husband
had, he did not belong to a firm or to a central factory, thus they were
not included in the retirement benefits or pensions which aid a family in
such cases.

I repeat that the number of letters which speak of that problem have
increased in the last few months. We have asked ourselves: can this have
some relation to the fact that a brake has been put on that type of a
problem which precedes the increase of bureaucratism. It is possible that
this has had some influence. There are cases in which, for example, a
worker has a taxicab which is old and can no longer be used in his work.
Then the problem arises. The increase of this type of necessity led us to
the proposal of investigating all such family cases.

Of course, there have been several schools created where, when tragic and
difficult situations of that type occur, immediately scholarships are made
available to the children of the families. But that is not enough, because
they also need to live. Therefore, we have been thinking of finding. an
economic solution in all those cases, in which there would be labor
centrals where these persons could continue to work and work for a living
even though their productivity is not too high. After all, the productivity
of 500 to 1,000 pesos per year is an increment of 1,000 pesos in the
economy, even though it is, of course, low productiveness, However, it is
preferable to no productiveness at all.

We also believe, and in this sense we are taking productive steps, that in
our socialist state, in our socialist nation, if it is true that at this
time during which we have to invest our resources in working instruments
and factories and not in luxuries, there will be things which we cannot
obtain. It should be an essential principle that there should not be one
single destitute person in the heart of our socialist society. (applause)

It is true that in our fields unemployment has disappeared completely. It
is true that more than a half a million people are working now that were
not working before the revolution. It has not been as easy in the cities to
find employment for everybody, but with the employment of women in many
jobs, we are also finding the way to partly solve this problem. But
full-time employment is not enough, since full-time employment does not
mean the satisfaction of all the needs of each and every individual of a

There can be families that with three or four members of the family
working, the income is 500 or 600 pesos. There are cases of women who are
widowed with seven or eight sons without any pension and then even if she
works the income would not be sufficient and furthermore it is very hard
for a woman to work and keep a family of seven or eight sons. (applause)

It will be necessary for all of us to care and try so that there will not
be one single case of this type. It will be necessary that we build the
schools needed and it will be necessary, too, that we see that the nation's
aid reaches any person who is truly destitute. Could we (applause) consider
that we have reached a social, fair state because the majority or the
largest majority of the people have solved their problems? As long as there
is a single person who has not solved his problem we will not be able to
say that our society is absolutely fair. (applause)

(At this point someone in the audience shouts: "Hey, Fidel." Fidel says,
smiling: "It seems that we have one of those cases there, but we are not
going to discuss it here. Well, we will talk. Let me know. Write down on a
piece of paper and bring it here. Give me your address and I will give you
an appointment, yes, you." Then Castro directs an aide to "give him some
paper." applause and long pause. Audience then shouts in unison. "Fidel."
Another long pause and then Fidel continues his speech)

I wanted to tell you that we all should be aware of the obligation and duty
to worry about all these matters. Now, I was telling you that in our
country there is a great effort being made to perfect the administrative
apparatus and that great advances have been made in this area while in
others we have not. But we are determined that not a single one be left
where the results of this effort of improvement are not seen.

Indeed, it is true that there was one of these offices of which I talked
about last year when I was talking about another institution which is also
five years old. You know which one? (audience answers) The urban reform.
(applause) The urban reform is almost a twin sister to the Committees of
Defense as far as the dates of birth are concerned. One good thing, but it
did not develop, improve, or grow as the Committees of Defense did.
(applause) I must say, in a sort of administrative autocriticism, of all of
us, that it is unbelievable how long this trash existed. This trash that
this organization was, (applause) so scandalously inept, so scandalously
inefficient. Everything can be explained in the midst of all the tasks of
life or death with which this revolution has had to cope. And that it
should come almost at the end of five years, just when we were beginning to
worry, seriously about how we were going to deal with the whole problem of
the handing over of the free right or the usufruct of housing to its
tenants who were benefitted by that law in the midst of that administrative
chaos. Because the most absurd things, most erroneous, most slovenly
methods were the methods used by that organization where, at long last we
began to see that it had a considerable number of counterrevolutionary
elements. (applause)

They were incapable or they did not even want to create an efficient
collection team. On many occasions, many people would go to pay and they
would send them from one place to another, (crowd reaction) in many cases
they did not even keep a record of those who had paid or had not paid.
There were heaps of bills in storage. It was a truly chaotic situation and
it is the one which Comrade Justice Minister Yabur is trying to overcome.

The Revolutionary Government has entrusted him with that very hard job of
unraveling all this mess over there and make it possible for those who have
really fulfilled the law to receive the benefits and that no one will
receive them by mistake without fulfilling the law. (applause)

But, finally, when five years of the law are up there will be considerably
less work in this respect, inasmuch as a large part of the population will
not have to pay rent. The law had some suggestion of a small tax to create
a fund to cover those families affected by the law when their income was
below given limitations and they were to receive a pension. But, really, we
believe that a small tax is nothing and solves nothing, and really will
give more trouble than income. I think that our obligations toward those
persons affected by the law can be well taken care of in such cases when
they do not have any other income or so meager an income that they need to
receive or continue to receive what was being paid them as people affected
by the law.

As you know in this urban reform, the cases of those with 3,000 houses and
those with just one rentable house were mixed together. For a long time
here, some people as soon as they put a few pesos together would invest it
in a house to get a small income. Many of these people were affected by the
law. Naturally, the law was not aimed at these people. It was aimed at the
big landlords (Castro coins word "casifundios" playing with the word
latifundists--ed.) (laughter) or casifundistas, I do not know how they
called these people. But they were affected. (Castro does not complete
though--ed.) At any rate there were many people who did not even collect.
They had a little house and they did not even pay for it. (Castro chuckles)
At least (word indistinct) the urban reform law rather than affecting them,
benefited them, because they began to collect. I think there is a case
there. (crowd laughs)

And in short, the law will be observed insofar as it refers to the
continuation of the payment of some type of pension to people without any
other income, which is what came from the payment as indeminification of
the urban reform. And a small tax shall not be imposed. This problem of the
taxes is, to a certain extent, an old capitalist conception. Does this mean
that a tax is not needed for social expenses? No. In any form it is part of
the annual production and has to be invested in hospitals, schools, roads,
research centers, industries--in short, in a series of things. Part of the
national product must necessarily be dedicated to this.

But the system of the little tax of half a centavo, the little tax stamp of
two centavos on a little box of this or that, or so much tax on a bottle of
rum, this is completely (word indistinct). It is a capitalist method of tax
collection, because there are simpler and better methods under socialism.
If the bottle cost 20 centavos more with the tax, then you simply sell it
for 20 centavos more and the tax concept is eliminated. The tax collection
is made by various means and, above all, not just with the income from the
factories or agriculture.

It is done essentially through the apparatus of commercialization. There
are some who do not understand some price problems at times. There is
something which, for example, is not very popular. The high prices in
certain cultural centers.

I want to say at least two words about this. I have had a really
interesting experience about this. There was a time when the shortage made
it impossible for many restaurants to remain open. Many workers in these
restaurants found themselves unhappy because of the lack of, or shortage of
products, and apparently by the lack of a future in the food handlers'
field. We began to open restaurants and new restaurants and, naturally,
everyone was satisfied with this because it was evidence and proof that
there was a concern about that question and that the situation was becoming
better. However, with the need to effect an equalitable distribution,
logically enough a family had to have a ration book to purchase the things
it needed. No such book was required to eat or purchase things in a
restaurant so that they could go there to buy or to eat.

Once upon a time here there were some of these people who had amassed a lot
of money and every day they went to an expensive restaurant to eat steaks.
Then there were two alternatives, either the restaurant was closed, and
with it went a place of employment, or the restaurant was kept open as a
collection center. That is what was difficult to understand--a collection

If those prices were reduced the result would be that those with a lot of
money, aside from saving their ration coupons, would also be able to eat
meat every day at a lower cost. If the restaurants existed--and some were
very luxurious--what were we to do? We had to maintain and utilize them to
get even. Because when there is not too much surplus money in circulation,
then it will be much easier to gradually rid ourselves of the ration book.
We must not forget that the money collected from those who have too much
helps those who have less to find, in the streets, those products the
former buy with their surplus money (applause). I believe that this is a
basic economic principle that the masses can understand.

Well, now, what we should adopt as a policy for the development of these
social consumption centers is not to establish luxurious restaurants. We
should establish good, clean, and pretty restaurants (few words
indistinct); popular restaurants. But naturally the price of restaurant
food will never compare with that in a workers' dinning hall. The workers'
dining halls charge only for the cost of food. In some school dining halls,
at times the charge covers a little over the cost of food, and in some
cases the children of families without resources to pay for what the
children eat are charged nothing. There are things that people do not seem
to understand. Naturally, they would like to eat in restaurants at
give-away prices.

The restaurants are social consumption centers, At the beaches, they are
established as a social service and sell at the lowest prices possible. The
social consumption centers are sources of income and prices are and should
be, at least until we arrive at communism, higher than those charged in
workers' dining halls. The comrades working in that organization would like
nothing better than to sell for less money. It is always more attractive to
sell at lower prices. But how few defenders has that organization which
collects much of the money that is invested in schools, in the country's
economy, to build dining halls for workers, hospitals, or to help needy
families found at the national level. How few defenders it has had.

On one occasion, we suddenly saw in one of our humor periodicals a fierce
criticism against INIT (National Institute for the Tourist Industry--ed.)
because it served a cheese which apparently was not up to par. It appeared
that INIT was to blame, but that organization was not to blame.

It was another organization which produced the cheese. That organization
(INIT) suddenly had no cheese, hot dogs, fritters, fish, meat. In other
words, it took us years to develop a policy, and the other organization
left INIT without cheese because it was reorganizing and other
organizations left it without fritters and without fish. It was left with
practically nothing. The other organizations forgot that when an ingredient
was lacking, a problem would be created in a social consumption center,
which had been created by the revolution, a problem that harmed the
revolution. None of us like this. No one that has a sense of responsibility
likes to see an organization that is operating smoothly to suddenly begin
to deteriorate.

The people like to see that once an organization is going smoothly it
improves and never operates at a level lower than that achieved. (applause)
And the criticism was falling on an organization. I say with all sincerity
that this organization was criticized mercillessly and unjustly, It became
necessary to speak to each of the organizations that supplied that
organization to stress to them the economic importance and the social
importance of the social consumption centers so that they would take care
not to let the stocks of specific articles in there centers deplete

A superficial analysis was made and immediately an organization was blamed.
In this case the organization that was less to blame was held responsible.
Others have followed another policy. What have the JUCEI's done in some
places? Let me go on record that I am a defender of the JUCEI's and of
local development and administration. But what were the JUCEI's doing?
There was an INIT restaurant serving at standard prices which were not
give-away prices but neither were they too high. The JUCEI people would
come and establish a small restaurant next to the INIT restaurants and
would sell their food at a much lower price in competition with the former.
Naturally, it is very attractive to sell at low prices and the people would
come and say: "You see how well administered the JUCEI is, how
conscientious and at what low prices it sells. Then look at the other
people, look at their high prices. What a robbery."

This sort of "rabble-pleasing" policy was being instituted. This was not a
revolutionary policy because none of us, no sincere revolutionary
administrator, no sincere revolutionary, would ever deny the people what he
could give them. However, it would be demogogic to want to give more than
can be given. And we want to give more. When we speak of socialism and of
raising production, it is because we want to give more and, when we speak
of communism, it is because we dream of the day when we can give everybody
all that they need and all that they can consume. (applause)

Gentlemen, there are such persons around, because these ills--where was
this type of lack of understanding taking place mainly? Perhaps in the
sugar mills? No. Perhaps in the coffee fields? No. Perhaps in the cane
fields? No. Unfortunately as yet we have not been able to establish neither
luxurious, modest, nor any type of restaurants in the fields.
Unfortunately, we have not been able to establish a cafeteria in each sugar
mill where most of the country's revenue is produced. We have not been able
to establish cafeterias in the cane fields or the mountains where coffee
and lumber are produced. Many of these things existed in some cities but
mainly in the capital.

It is perhaps the workers, who have dining halls in their factories and who
know what type of food is served to them and at what prices, who do not
understand this? No. Generally speaking, this lack of understanding comes
from the petty bourgeoisie and bureaucrats, because in the final analysis
they have more means to enjoy a few more things than the rest of the
people. We will have to say that this lack of understanding which we could
call petty bourgeoisie or bureaucratic takes place in our capital,
sometimes because of lack of orientation, awareness, or because of
demagogy. Many times the people who lack understanding are the ones that
are less interested in socialism and more interested in communism. If in
fact they want everything for free, they should work harder than the rest
in order to arrive at communism quicker. (applause)

There is only one way to have everything we need and lack: by raising
production, but producing all those goods in quantities which are more than
enough to meet all our needs. We have not arrived at communism, and we are
still far from communism even though we have some communist things such as
education which is absolutely free, the scholarships which are absolutely
free, the hospitals--the national hospital services--which are absolutely
free, housing which for many persons will be absolutely free. In reality
these are a few things that we could say properly belong to a communist
stage. Because the communist formula, as most of you know, consists in each
giving according to his ability and receiving according to his needs, and
the socialist formula in each giving according to his ability and receiving
according to his work, that is according to his contribution, not according
to his needs. We are on the path of socialism. We have not yet reached
communism. However, we have many things which are received according to
needs, but it is impossible to have everything. The day will come when the
abundance of goods will permit us more and more to either increase salaries
or reduce prices.

We would be inclined, not toward the policy of reducing prices, but rather
toward improving salaries as circumstances permit for those who are the
worst paid within society (applause). When we have a certain amount of
surplus economic resources, which would be best? Reduce a product by ten
cents, which is going to benefit everybody--the ones who receive high wages
and the ones who receive low wages--or would it be better to increase the
pension of one of those sugar workers who still receives 40 pesos, which is
not enough?

I believe that any person with an elementary sense of justice or fairness
would say "it would be better to improve the pension for that old man or
old woman, or improve the wages of that one who does such hard work and
makes so little, or improve the wages of those who are working in certain
sectors which are important for the economy." And all these things, all
these opinions must be the opinions which rule in the solution of our
problems. (shouting from the crowd presumably on matters of their

Well, anybody understands that if I stop to talk with you, the ceremony is
finished and I would at least need a computer to take care of all of you.
(shouting continues) Now remember that we are speaking of general problems.
We are going to try to look toward general things, precisely so that there
will be fewer individual problems. (applause)

That is why we are talking of the need to perfect our apparatus, to perfect
our organizations, and of the effort we must make in this respect. However,
to carry out all this the presence of our party with ever-increasing
authority, with more prestige, and with more efficiency is necessary.

Our revolution needs to conclude the organization at all levels of the
party. Our party needs its central committee, that is the organizations of
its leadership, its leadership organizations. Up to now we have had a
national leadership. We must form the central committee of our party
(applause) where the most genuine exponents of the revolution will be
present, (applause) and we must begin to prepare ourselves for our first
congress which must take place at the end of next year.

And something else, we must begin to concern ourselves with drafting the
constitution of our socialist state. (applause) Within the next few days
our national leadership will meet to discuss these questions, and begin to
take very firm steps in this respect. In the next few days, all the
regional secretaries of our party and the presidents of the provincial
JUCEIS and provincial bureaus will also meet to discuss the plan of
organizing local power as a task for this year along the length and breadth
of the country, to exchange opinions with respect to the functioning of our
party, the democratic norms which must rule in our party, and the measures
which will guarantee that, with the methods adopted by our revolution to
form the party with the permanent participation of the masses, we will
fulfill the aspiration of having our political apparatus fully organized,
fully functioning and acting, and that the party will be the most complete
representation of the working masses of our country. (applause)

These are the aspects of institutional order that we will find ourselves
obliged to face in the near future so that the administration of our state,
the organization of our state, the democratic bases of our state, and the
institutional foundation of our revolution may also be presented as
examples of creative and revolutionary spirit, so that those throughout the
world Who interest themselves in Cuban questions, questions about the
revolution, may find the most complete answer with respect to all the
aspects and all the parts of our revolution.

We must efficiently attend to all labor fronts, internally and externally,
and not a single aspect of revolutionary work must remain unattended and
unstudied by the committees of our party so that there shall not be a
single thing done haltingly in our revolution, so that there shall be no
loose wheels, and so that everything will be attended to in a systematic
and efficient manner. In this process we have arrived at conditions and
circumstances in which we can--and it is our duty to aspire to this.

At the beginning of next year we will have an event of high importance, the
tricontinental conference. (applause) Who will meet? The representatives of
the anti-imperialist and revolutionary movements of the three
continents--Asia, Africa, and Latin America--will meet. (applause) As
Comrade Ben Barka so aptly put it, it will be the first time in history
that the representatives of the revolutionary movements of these three
continents will make contact in a conference of this type. Undoubtedly that
event will be very important. Undoubtedly that event will have great
repercussion among the anti-imperialist and revolutionary movements, among
those who fight against imperialism, those who fight for national
liberation in these three continents which have been the scene of the worst
type of exploitation, slavery, and colonialism.

And we must prepare ourselves worthily for this event. We must prepare
worthily to be the scene of this international event. And we mush hail it
with our efforts in all areas and in all fronts so that our country and our
revolution may be worthy of receiving it in its bosom in a hospitable
manner, and be the site of that tricontinental conference. (applause)

Naturally there are many subjects on which we could speak tonight. There
are many current events, particularly on the international (word
indistinct), but in the next few days we think of meeting again with the
representatives of our party, with the representatives of all the cells of
our party, in a public ceremony where we will swear in the central
committee of our party (applause), and I hope that on that occasion my
voice will be a little better than today and to discuss those questions and
some others.

Also on that next occasion, we will speak to the people about Comrade
Ernesto Guevara. (prolonged applause) The enemies have circulated many
speculations and many rumors, at times confused, at times trying to
confuse, and other times planting doubt, saying: "Is he here?" "Is he
there?" "Is he alive?" "Is he dead?" And we will read a document by Comrade
Ernesto Guevara which will explain his absence during these past months.
That will be in that ceremony to which I refer. (shouts of protest.
Evidently the crowd thought he was going to read it at this time--ed.) I
cannot do it now because I do not have the document here and I simply
announce that--you did not understand me well (shouting). I said that on
that occasion we were going to read that document and to discuss some of
the subjects which because of circumstances--my voice is somewhat
hoarse--we are not going to discuss today. We are going to do this at the
meeting of our party.

The enemy, to what does it dedicate itself at this time? What does it
think? You saw me here with a piece of paper. I am not even going to read
it now because (shouting)--it is not a document. It is a news bulletin. I
was tempted to read it (shouting) so that you could get an idea of how far
off the track the enemies of this country are. It is from the magazine TIME
from the United States (jeers, whistling). It is titled "Cuba, Rumors of
Growing Unrest." It says: "The community of Cuban exiles in Miami lives on
hopes and is eager for stories about their country. Six months ago there
were rumors circulating on the mysterious disappearance of Che Guevara, 37
years old, and for a long time the most important figure after Castro in
the Cuban communist heirarchy. Last week the case of Che moved to a lower
plane"--now once more it will move to a higher plane. (laughter) "Last week
the case of Che moved to a lower plane because of a new crop of stories
which spoke of sabotage and attempted assassinations within Cuba.

"Some were doubtful but others at least were based on facts. However, all
indicated a growing unrest in Castro's afflicted island. Ramiro Valdez,
Castro's interior minister, issued this warning in a speech last week "we
must fight against internal differences." Correct! "against sabotage,"
correct! I agree to that, "against acts of terrorism," there are fewer
every day, practically all the organizations have been dismantled, a good
part of them with the help of the Committees (applause), "against acts of
terrorism and attempted assassinations."

"According to reports, a week ago saboteurs set fire to two Cuban
(?fishing) boats in the Bay of Santiago. Another report says that a Cuban
antiaircraft battery downed a Cuban army transport in the belief that
Castro was on board." (Shouting) It continues: "It is true that an airplane
was shot down last June, but according to Havana radio it was an accident.
Another report refers to an unsuccessful ambush of a Castro automobile
convoy in Pinar del Rio Province and a bomb placed in an electric power
Castro was to speak in (word indistinct).

"Last week there was a rumor widely circulated in Miami by the
Revolutionary Student Directorate which says that it has contacts in
clandestine circles close to Havana--in Havana. According to the story, on
27 June, Castro was returning in automobile from Santa Clara and had just
arrived in Havana when a group of workers near the highway took out their
weapons and fired, killing a guard and a chauffeur. (laughter) One version
says that Castro was hit and another says he was not. All this can explain
why Castro ordered the citizens to return their arms before 1 September and
the purge began of all except the firmest Castristas of his government.
Castro said over the radio: When it is possible to have a revolutionary
technician for the post, it must be filled with a revolutionary even if he
is not a revolutionary. It is necessary to have a revolutionary attitude
for our problems.

What do you think about this? (noise of crowd heard) What do you think
about the way the conceited fellows think? (crowd's shouts) Undoubtedly
either they drink too much or they smoke too much, or they smoke the wrong
thing. But I thing that this is a good occasion, here at the ceremony of
all the committees of the country, to laugh a little at our enemies. And
that is the way they go. That is the way that the UPI and AP continue to
send truculent, terrible cables, something terrible, something dangerous
always happening, to give this picture of Cuba to the world. There is
something with which our enemies keep up a constant campaign, but something
also that is dirty and fraudulent. It is in relation to the departures from
the country.

You all know the districts, some had more and some had less, although you
did not live in Miramar or anything like that. Almost everybody left from
there. Those were always the districts of the high bourgeoisie. In the
others the most that ever happened was that a neighbor left, or sometimes
more than a neighbor, a relative. Everybody knows how the people left the
country, how there were two planes which left in the morning and afternoon,
taking gentlemen who had been given visas by the United States, because
they tried to take doctors, technicians, and skilled labor. They tried to
leave this country without technicians and the country answered, with the
slogan of "he who wants to go, let him go." No hindrances were ever placed
against anyone.

In the long run, they did us no damage, because they took many lumpen from
this country and many loafers and a class of elements who have organized in
Miami and New York gambling dens, houses of prostitution, and traffic in
drugs and narcotics of all kinds. In short, they took off the scum of the
country. (applause) When they realized this, permission had already been
given to scores of thousands, more than 100,000 persons, including, as a
result of the rumors of patria potestas, many children who certain
families, really acting in an idiotic manner and letting themselves be
confused by a nonproletariat family, sent to the United States in order to
go later.

When the October crisis came, the imperialists out off the trips, totally,
but not only cut off the planes but they tried to interrupt all the lines.
They exerted pressure on shipping lines; they pressured airlines so that no
one could leave Cuba and this included many families Who had sent children
or relatives and later these could not come nor the latter go. This was the
policy of the imperialist Government of the United States. They,
exclusively they, are the ones who prevented any departures.

On the other hand, what do they do? When one of then says he has a relative
there, he goes in a boat, in a little boat, or anything. What for? To make
incessant propaganda against the revolution, to tell terrible things, shady
things. To their it does not matter that more than one person has drowned.
This is not important at all to the imperialists if it serves them to make
propaganda. Incessantly UPI and AP and the press, and the imperialists are
making a campaign with those who go, when it is they who close all the

We have meditated about this. Illegal departures are not permitted. Among
other things, what is gained? The risks that are taken to join a family or
simply because they do not like it here and want to go? We do not force--we
have no reason to force--absolutely anyone to like our revolution, to like
socialism, to like our ideals and communist society. We have. enough people
who fight for it and are ready to give their lives for it. (applause)

That is why we have never given reason for what they have done for almost
three years, making propaganda, fraudulent and dirty, with these cases. It
is said that we machinegun those that want to go and that we do horrible
things against them. Well, we must put an end to this once and for all.
How? Well, we think that there is a good method. It is not we who are
opposed to the departure of those who want to go, but the imperialists, and
since this is the fact, we are even ready to fix up a little place
somewhere so that all who have relatives here will not have to run any
risks, will not have to expose their relatives to any kind of risk.

We could, for example, fix up the port of Camarioca in Matanzas, one of the
closest points, so that to all who have relatives we could give a permit to
come by ship, regardless of who they are, with all guarantees, giving
advance notice in time, by correspondence, and if they cannot, let them
then address the correspondence to the Ministry of the Interior so that
they may have all guarantees and, if they wish, a 48-hour stay in a little
room so that once there, they may send notice to their relatives to come
get them and take them by a safe means.

So, it is not we who have to be watching. (applause) Now it Will be seen if
it is we who do not wish or if it is the imperialists. If it is we, we are
to blame for anyone's drowning in trying to reach the American
paradise--the Yankee paradise--this word "American" was stolen by these
gentlemen, because this word also includes all the inhabitants of this
continent, and not them alone. Who is to blame, I repeat, when someone gets
drowned trying to reach the Yankee paradise? Let it be shown whether it is
they or we, by sending a letter to the Ministry of the Interior, or send a
letter by--I am even going to set a date--say 10 October, arrangements will
be made, including even shelter. We are not even going to charge them for
food, (laughter and applause) Let them come here and stay here up to 48
hours, and we will help them to get in touch with their relatives and move
them to the United States.

It is not we who are interested in preventing them from going,
but--something more--we could arrange for many little boats--better than
those they use sometimes--and those who want to go at least as far as this
type of boat permits, should also write to the Ministry of the Interior,
asking facilities, (applause) and we shall try to see that at least they go
by a means safer than those that on occasions have been used, because it is
not we--it has never been we--it is the imperialists--who have created the
in possibility and the difficulty and they use this in a cynical and
rascally way to make propaganda against the revolution.

This is our policy. No one wants to go need go in secret. I invite them,
no, we will end them a little boat to go. Among the little boats, I do not
say that we are going to furnish fishing boats, but many of those boats
that are laying about, luxury types or things which are not used. They can
even wait for them near Cuba and they can go without danger and without
risks of any kind. Now the imperialists have the word. We are going to see
what they do or say. (applause) And we hope that the people will agree with
this idea and this (?thing). (extended applause)

You see that there are some who wish to go for whatever reason, either
because they have relatives or because they dream of that paradise, there
are many repentant ones at this time and they should have a little calm. It
is only necessary to have a little patience and we shall see things.

In the future years how many will yearn, how many will weep to come back to
stand again on this land, betrayed and despised. (applause) We know how
many already think. We know very well how many people there think, and we
know that across their spirit and (word indistinct) the desire and
ridiculous hope, ridiculous illusions, dreaming and dreaming imaginable
things and (few words indistinct). I do not know what they are concerned
about. The revolution is consolidating itself more every day. With its new
steps, the revolution will become institutionalized more every day. Its
march and its path will be ever surer; its direction will be increasingly
indestructible, because it will not be the direction of a man but the
direction of a party and a man can die (applause) but not a party

This revolutionary phenomenon, these events of a social nature, are of such
a magnitude and dimension and such characteristics that never will those
elements blinded by hatred (few words indistinct) and of heart be able to
understand. Only the people are capable of understanding this. And only the
people can understand these truths and believe in these truths without the
need of making (?tensions), without the need for self-deception, and thus
our path is tranquil. It is sure, it is firm, it is irrevocable--it is

The future is ours and toward it we march forward, going farther, and
leaving all redundant things, going farther, leaving behind all that
poverty and human meanness, and we shall increasingly see submerged in the
night of oblivion those who did not believe in their country, who did not
believe in their fatherland, who betrayed it (applause), who abandoned it,
while a luminous sun lightens the future of our people and our new
generations. Fatherland or death, we shall win!