Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Television and Radio Services in Spanish 0327 GMT 22
October 1965--F

(Live speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at opening ceremonies of the
national athletic games, closing event of the observances marking the fifth
anniversary of the integration of the Cuban youth movement, from Havana's
Pedro Marrero Stadium)

(Text) Comrades and lady comrades of the Union of Communist Youth (UJC)
(applause), all of the youths: First, we want to congratulate the pupils of
the Manuel Fajardo National School of Physical Education (cheers) for their
magnificent gymnastic presentation; also the directors of the school, the
organizers of the gymnastic presentation, the instructors, and all those
who made possible this brilliant accomplishment of our athletes.

It is raining somewhat (crowd laughter), but surely the comrades of the
technological agricultural institutes whom I see here in considerable
numbers, will not feel bad if it rains at this time. It will not make the
sugarcane workers feel bad (chuckles) and it won't make the farmers feel
bad (chuckles), nor will it make anyone feel bad. And let it go on record
that this is not artificial rain. It was not produced by FAR aircraft by
dry ice seeding. It is quite natural.

Really, enthusiasm, optimism, and happiness reigns in this fifth
anniversary of the integration of the Cuban youth movement. We arrive at
this anniversary with a youth organization which has moved forward
considerably in its organization, consciousness, and responsibility. We
arrive at this fifth anniversary with youth dedicated entirely to
revolutionary activities in the various fields; with youth in the
university, in the centers of technological instruction, in the
preuniversity schools, and in the secondary schools; and with youth engaged
in work and most especially in our Revolutionary Armed Forces (applause) in
the first rank of the revolution.

Our youth organization can arrive at this fifth anniversary greeted by this
extraordinary athletic event which marks the first national athletic games.
What does all this mean? It means the integration of all those duties of
our revolutionary youth: both the duty of study and of general cultural
development, such as their duties with regard to work, their duties in the
defense of their country, and their duties in the athletic field. This
makes us see the magnificent future of our new generation. The successes
being achieved in all fields are visible.

For example, in the field of sports, in the pre-Olympic games that took
place in Mexico, which will be the site of the first Olympics in Latin
America, our athletes won no less than 14 medals. (applause) You should
recall very well how difficult it was during the first years of the
revolution to win a medal in an international event. You will recall the
backwardness in our sports, the lack of participation by the people, the
lack of sports centers, the lack of coaches, and how in these short years
we have begun to achieve real triumphs. Our country is beginning to be
taken seriously in sports. Even some arbitrariness has been perpetrated by
hampering (our--ed.) participation in certain international meets, such as
happened in baseball, where actually there is no one now who can beat us.

We also know who is trying to prevent the participation of Cuba in the
competitions which will take place in Puerto Rico this coming year, where
our country has the right to participate, and how the U.S. Government has
said that it will not give us visas. But it is also known that in this
regard the International Olympic Committee maintains a firm position and
has said that if they do not allow Cuba to participate they will have to
give up the sponsorship. (applause) And of course, we will not give up our
right to participate in this event. (applause)

Our country is getting ready for important sports events in the coming
years. And it also is getting ready for the 1968 Olympic games, and above
all it is getting ready for the 1972 Olympic games. Why? Because all the
results of this immense sports effort will begin to produce after a certain
number of years have passed. Without a doubt our role in 1968 will be a lot
better than in 1964, and in 1972 they will have to reckon with Cuba in the
world Olympic games. (applause)

Why? Because sports has become an activity of the entire nation. Sports has
been changed into an opportunity, we could better say, for all our youth.
Because, in the future years, the number of technicians in all the fields
of sports, the number of teachers, well-prepared teachers, teachers who
have an extraordinary enthusiasm are being trained today in our sports
schools. How? It has just been demonstrated here with the students from the
national school. All these comrades will soon begin to undertake certain
jobs teaching sports to our youth.

We know besides that these comrades have made a great effort in the
building of the very school where they study, that is, we did not build a
big enough place,and working there with their own efforts they have been
building the school, and we know that a great awareness has been created in
that center. We also know that many who have had the opportunity to visit
them have been impressed. We know now that every growing contingent of
technicians and sports instructors will be distributed all over the nation
to teach our youth.

But this is not the only thing, in future years, the number of schools, the
number of scholarship students, the number of school cafeterias, the number
of interns will increase considerably. In the future years (applause), the
nourishment of our children and our youth will begin to improve
considerably. A healthy life under the best hygenic conditions under the
best nourishment conditions, is necessary so that a strong, healthy youth
can be developed and grow--a youth which can serve as a base for all the
effort that is being undertaken in the sports technique.

The fact that in our country today 1.35 million children are enrolled in
the primary schools, the fact that through the INDER courses physical
education is being taught in all the schools, the fact that today all the
effort that the nation undertakes. . . .

(Editor's note: Castro stops at this point and asks: "What do you say? You
cannot hear over there?" Someone in the crowd shouts something and Castro
replies: "Come here, you can here over here." Castro pauses and gestures
good naturedly with his hands pointing to the microphones. Apparently
talking to the sound technicians, he says: "I hope you do not fail me now."
The crowed shouts and yells as rain becomes heavier. Castro, thoroughly
soaked,moves his mouth and says nothing. The audience yells and Castro
asks: "Well can you hear me now?" /crowd shouting/ Is it that they have a
cold. Now you can hear? /Castro chuckles and crowd shouts; Castro comments
off-mike/ You'll read about it in the paper tomorrow, in the newspaper,
tomorrow, /crowd continues shouting/ What? If you cannot hear what can we
do /crowd shouting/ Can you her? Oh, speak over there? And the rest? /crowd
shouting/ Ah! Wait, wait. I cannot understand you. What did you say? /crowd
shouting/ He cannot hear? You cannot hear. You? Where? Where? Here? Not
there? All right. /pause/ It is cold." /Castro pauses, wipes the rain from
his face, and continues his speech/)

I was telling you, comrades, that these facts together with all the
circumstances that prevail in our country today--all the effort realized
goes directly into the improvement of the living conditions of our
population while it can count on a youth that is increasingly more zealous,
increasingly more responsible, increasingly more conscious, and
increasingly more revolutionary, to make it possible beyond any doubt for
us to play a role that will become considerably more prominent in relations
to the rest of our sister nations where, unfortunately, the revolution has
not yet arrived, but where it will certainly arrive also. (applause)

Despite the fact that in these past years the revolution has concentrated
its efforts in the field of education and we have progressed well along
this path, I wanted to take advantage of this occasion to tell you that our
duty in the years to come, in the next 10 years is to make an even greater
effort in this field.

When there are a number of schools throughout our countryside to permit us
to offer housing, food, and full education, to approximately 1 million
children; I mean to say, then our entire juvenile population, from primary
school to university level, can receive free education, recreation, medical
care, clothing, shoes, breakfast, lunch, and supper, as a whole. It should
not be difficult to attain this reality in the next 10 years. We will have
brought about the most extraordinary revolution of all time in the field of
education, welfare, and of the training of youth, of the new generations of
a country. (applause)

And without a doubt it is quite possible that we may have attained this by
that date; without a doubt we will be in the first place in the world. And
that the experiences and the attainments we achieve will doubtless be of
great use to other peoples also. What factors do we count on for this? We
actually have in the farm and cattle-raising institutes now a total of
10,000 students (Castro repeats the figure), and by 1970 we will have
30,000. When the new course begins at Minas del Frio, we will have some
20,000 youths studying to be teachers. (applause) We already have, for
example, 600 students studying in a school of higher level to be teachers
of physical education and sports. (shouts and applause)

Understand that by 1975 all those technicians, more than 40,000, will be
producing. Think of all these teachers who will be teaching. Think that all
of you will be experienced teachers and many behind you will have studied
and they will have graduated. Think of the great number of universities
technicians who will begin to graduate in the future. Think of the levels
of education, culture, food, the levels of medical assistance, and the
standard of living levels for all the country by that date.

We will not only be able to carry out all those aspirations, but we will be
able to help other nations. We will be able to send technicians to other
nations as they gain their freedom or as they ask us for their help. The
number of nations that asks us for physicians, technicians in agriculture,
and technical assistance in general is increasing.

That is why it must be said here, when someone says that there are so many
engineers needed, we must ask them: for us alone or for the rest also; when
they tell us that they need so many physicians, agricultural technicians,
so many teachers, so many technicians of any level, we must ask ourselves
if they are for us alone, or if they are for other countries that are less
fortunate than we or have not had during these past years to opportunity to
advance as we have, that others less fortunate than we do not have at this
time the magnificent path that our nation has. It is for this reason that
there will never be an overabundance in any technical or scientific branch,
in any profession.

We hope that this enormous educational movement will bear such fruit, will
bear such results that we will not only be able to increasingly satisfy our
growing and ambitious dreams, but we will be able to help with a sense of
solidarity and generosity as our obligation to other nations demands. Our
youth must prepare itself for that great historic national and
international mission. Our youth has an historic mission before it which is
farther than the bordering stars of our small fatherland. Our youth has a
mission in all that underdeveloped world, in all that world which struggles
against imperialism and colonialism, and someday will have the urgent need
for technical cadres to dedicate themselves to the task which we have been
dedicating ourselves to during these past years.

Fortunately, when the revolution was triumphant, corrupt technicians, many
of whom were educated in that bourgeois society, left the nation, drawn by
imperialist promises. It must also be said that there are many technicians
full of patriotism who remained in Cuba and who have helped the
revolutionary considerably in forming its new cadres. (applause) But in the
end, what is our situation today? It is much better, and so that is why we
do not need to explain further. Our enemies abroad find it strange that
once again we have adopted a policy of this revolution which deals with
those who do not want to live under socialism, who do not want to live in
this society. (shouts of "Let them leave") (shouts and applause)

We will not expel them from this land, because from this land we do not
expel anyone. But we do not hinder them, on the contrary, we give them
facilities so that they may leave the country. (applause) Because our hope
is for the formation of a truly free people and a truly free society--a
society of free men and women, of men and women are advanced, of men and
women who are conscious, generous men and women, working men and women,
revolutionary men and women, socialist men and women--men and women who are
communists! (applause)

Such a nation will develop, improving itself, advancing more each time,
making use of its patriotic capacity, of its human resources--and we will
achieve those objectives with our new generations, our new youths, our
children, with the newborn babies, and those increasing numbers who will be
born in this nation (Castro pounds his fist on podium) and will occupy
(applause) the positions which are left vacant by those who leave, because
we know that within a few years there will no longer be any "Camariocans."
(crowd shouts)

We will see the time when there no longer are any counterrevolutionaries,
because that bad weed is an old bad weed. It is a bad weed which grew in
that heartless, ruthless society, in that society enslaved by privilege and
exploitation and injustice, in that rotten society. But in the
revolutionary society, that bad weed does not grow. And from today's
children there will not be any counterrevolutionaries tomorrow, because
they will not be educated in that corrupted demoralizing world, but in this
new, revolutionary, and promising world.

This can be seen in many children. How many children have said when they
come to look for them, that they do not want to leave their fatherland.
(applause) This is an example of greatness and admirable patriotism, and
there have been many such cases. That is why, in this problem of those who
want to leave, the revolution considers it its duty to help, maintain, and
guarantee the most complete education for all minors of either sex who have
the capacity to decide and then do not want to leave their fatherland to go
live in the heart of the monster. (applause) And in such cases, if the
situation should arise--many of these cases have taken place--all they will
have to do is go to the mass organizations, the party, or the revolutionary
officials and ask for aid, scholarships, or for that opportunity to live,
grow, and educate themselves in their own country.

We have also had cases of elderly people who have not wanted to leave the
country and in some cases they are left alone and the revolutionary also
considers that it is its duty in these cases to aid, maintain, and
guarantee decent care for all those people who find themselves in this
situation and are going to be left alone and helpless. (applause)

Since we are talking about this problem, I want to take this opportunity to
clarify that when we proposed that those who wanted to leave the country
could do so in a legal way, we were referring to those who naturally, in
agreement with the regulations and norms which are in force, have the right
to leave the country. That right does not extend to those men of age who
are subject to the draft (applause), in other words, between the ages of 17
and 26, or who will reach that age within the next few years. Because if we
did not do this, we would have a privileged status for some while others in
order not to fulfill their duty would say, "I am leaving." Besides, we know
that imperialism recruits the Cubans into its army when they are of
military age and in many cases sends them to Vietnam and in other cases
sends the with their interventionist troops like they did in Santo Domingo.
We are not ready to provide that enemy of the nations with cannonfodder.

What they have done with youths in many cases is to train them and take
them to counterrevolutionary bases, and they have carried out invasions
like the one at Giron, pirate raids (Castro stutters at this point) which
they have carried out, and naturally before we will allow a youth to leave
so that later on he can come back in a guise of a mercenary and we have to
shoot at him, it is preferred that he remain here and fulfill his military
duty. (applause)

I understand that it was necessary that this explanation be made so that
there be no misunderstandings or doubts at all and that, or course, the
negotiations would continue as to the manner in which those who have the
right to leave will leave. And it does not depend on us alone that these
negotiations end as soon as possible. Therefore, I take this opportunity
when we are gathered with our youth to clarify these points. I think you
are perfectly in agreement with this (? policy). (applause, cheers)

Very well, we have a situation now where, in place of the newspaper LA
TARDE, a newspaper soon will be published that is basically aimed at the
youth. (applause) It is something that will interest the youth but must
also be a quality newspaper, and the things written there ought to interest
all the rest too, even "honorary" youths, or those who do not have the
title of honorary youth. Well, there was a tremendous discussion. What
should the paper be called? There were two names left after the
elimination. In view of certain disagreement, I proposed that it be
submitted to this assembly of the youths. They had two names here. Don't
you say anything, not one word so that the first one given will not gain an
advantage. You will be quiet when you hear the names and then you will
vote. Here is one name, it is DIARIO DE LA JUVENTUD, another name, REBELDE.
There is an agreement here. Then, let us see what you want to do. Well, you
can do what you like. I said: Do not make to much noise, but this is now

Those in favor of calling it DIARIO DE LA JUVENTUD? (cheers) This vote is
close. One moment. Those in (Castro interrupts himself) All right! Those in
favor of calling it REBELDE. (loudest prolonged cheers) The mass here, the
mass here, close to this platform, in quite a spontaneous manner, since I
think no one has had time to campaign, has proposed a new name: JUVENTUD
REBELDE (loud cheers, unison chanting: rebelde, rebelde, rebelde)

It seems to be--who is opposed to it being called that? (pause) Well, it
seems to be that in this very democratic election of a name (Castro
chuckles), it is practically unanimous in favor of this name, and actually
I vote for it too because it is very nice: JUVENTUD REBELDE.

There are those here who say the ballots were swallowed. Where did this
name come from? (crowd cheers) Now I see that all of you are claiming
paternity over the name. Actually the name belongs to all of you. (crowd
shouting) But you do not know one thing--it seems that many comrades
simultaneously became involved in this. He was one of them. Well, the best
thing is that all of you come to an agreement and take eight days to select
the name and then you will give them a free subscription for at least one
year as a prize to the originators of the name. (Castro laughs) What is
more, all of you who think that you have invented the name should write to
the newspaper and we hope they will not bankrupt the newspaper by writing
them too many letters. (Castro laughs again)

Then I think that beginning tomorrow this newspaper, to be called JUVENTUD
REBELDE, will be published. (applause) This means one more step forward,
one more step forward in the revolutionary road, one more step forward on
the path of socialism, one more step forward toward communism. Who will
live under communism? Our youths, our children, the new generations who
grow and who will be formed with a social conscience.

This is why, you comrades of the youth movement, the generation which made
socialism, will receive the torch to carry forward to communism. (applause)
And this shall be the essential task, the extraordinary and glorious task,
the historic task of our new generation. Long live the Union and Communist
Youth of Cuba! (crowd shouts: viva!) Fatherland or death! We will win!
(crowd shouts: We will win!)