Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana in Spanish to the Americas 0300 GMT 25 November 1965--E

(Recorded speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro closing the plenum of
coffee growers in Santiago, Cuba)

(Text) Comrades, representatives of the peasant associations of the coffee
growing zones of Oriente, there was a need to have a talk with you and I am
going to explain why in a manner that you will understand perfectly well.
During the past two years, the revolution has been making a special effort
in agriculture. As you all know, an effort of great magnitude is being made
with sugarcane in such a way that already last year we produced 6 million
tons and we have a goal proposed of 10 million tons for 1970.

In spite of the entirely adverse conditions this year in the three
provinces which produce the largest amount of the country's sugar, our
sugar production will be high nevertheless and nobody doubts that the goals
established for 1970 will be met.

Likewise, a gigantic effort is being made with cattle raising. All of you
know that thousands of pastures and new dairies are being built throughout
the country. A special effort is being made with fruit trees and root
vegetables. An enterprise has just been organized for the purpose of giving
impetus to tobacco production, in quantity as well as quality in view of
the enormous increase in the domestic and foreign markets. A special effort
is being made in practically all fields of agriculture. A plan of great
proportions on the planting of vegetables during this season has been

However, we have done nothing yet with coffee and we understand that the
turn has come for this important item of our agriculture and our economy
(applause). All of you are coffee growers, or children or relatives of
coffee growers, who have been coffee growers for tens of years. You became
coffee growers under the most difficult conditions under which any
agricultural worker ever worked in our country. These ranged from the task
of emigrating to the forests of the mountains, impelled by powerful reasons
of economic order, to reach rough places where the work is much more
difficult, where communications do not exist, without a centavo in your
pockets, without anybody's help, without anybody's guarantee, without any
title which would protect you in the future, on many occasions not even for
yourself, but for a landowner or some proprietor, or some creditor. In
addition they had to battle the vicissitudes of war and the vicissitudes,
sometimes more cruel of nature--two years of war and in addition a
hurricane and in some zones two hurricanes consecutively. And so it was
that when our coffee production reached more than 1 million quintals
without technology of any kind, without fertilizer of any kind, and it
reached a production of approximately 1,250,000 quintals, there came
Hurricane Flora with its terrible total of material losses and above all
the most painful loss of human lives.

Later, Hurricane Cleo passed through the area of Sierra Maestra and still
later, as if all that was not enough, there came the drought which lasted
approximately seven months in some regions of the country. All this at a
time when demand for coffee consumption was higher than ever; this, at a
time when the people had the most money to spend on coffee. In such fashion
these natural disasters coincided with the greatest demand, with the
greatest needs of coffee consumption, until this present year we reach the
most critical point with a production, which, due to these causes, will not
surpass by much the total of 600,000 quintals.

Coffee is a product greatly prized by the people. Coffee is a product which
weighs heavily in the economy of the country. In addition, coffee is the
product from which 27,000 peasant families live in the mountains of
Oriente, and in addition coffee (transmitter goes off the air for about 15

We must make the effort in this item of our regional agriculture. We have
been analyzing all factors of economic, social, and technical types, the
problems posed by a labor force, the tremendous problem posed by the
gathering of the coffee crop. You know how during the past years thousands
and thousands of young students have been used in the mountains. However,
at times, as has happened this year, when the harvest is delayed due to
rains, the withdrawal of the students coincides with the beginning of the
school year and we are faced with the need of finding other means and other
procedures to resolve the problem of a labor force for the gathering of the
coffee harvest.

In addition, this situation of coffee weighs strongly on the economy and
the living standard of the 27,000 peasant families who live from and depend
primarily on coffee.

Many things have come to the mountains. An extraordinary help of a social
nature has come to the mountains. Scores of hospitals and dispensaries have
been opened in the most remote places. Medical assistance is for the
peasants one of the most fully satisfied needs of the revolution and what
in past years was a nightmare for any family is today tranquillity. Death
rates, the percentage of infant and adult deaths, have been reduced
considerably. Education has also come to the mountains to a very high
degree, to such a degree that approximately 40,000 girls have gone through
special schools organized for them.

Thousands have continued higher studies. There is not one corner without a
school or at least a teacher giving classes in a hut. An infinity of youths
from the mountains have been studying in various educational centers under
scholarships. In the mountains, since the hurricane, shoes for school
children have been distributed free and hundreds of thousands of pairs of
shoes have been distributed during the past few years. They will continue
to be distributed until the day when we can make this a matter of general
practice for all of the peasant children first, and all of the city
children of the country also (applause).

As a result of this effort, there has been the extraordinary case that the
highest school attendance in the entire country has been in no other place
than in the mountains of Oriente with a 98-percent attendance at schools
(applause). This means a true educational revolution which speaks very
highly of the organization achieved by our educational organizations and
above all of the consciousness reached by the vanguard of teachers who give
their services in the mountains. (applause).

Bank credit has come to the mountains. Something else has come. As a result
of the hurricanes there was a forgiveness of debts in the amount equal to
damages suffered. Roads have come to the mountains and particularly the
highways are getting here. The Mayari Arriba highway was finished. The
Baracoa highway, except for a few kilometers, is completed. The highway
which will join Niquero with Pilon and Santiago with Pilon are advancing at
an accelerated rate. It will have a length of 220 kilometers. Its roadbed
is already approaching the town of (?Espirito) where in years past one
could only go by schooners which took many hours and sometimes days to get

The day is not far off when it will only take four hours to travel by
highway (words indistinct) the coast, from Santiago de Cuba to Pilon.
(applause) The necessary highways and roads will continue to be built,
(applause) just as school rooms, mountain boarding schools, educational
centers, and other such institutions will continue to be built.

However, despite all this, the economic situation of the peasants is not as
satisfactory as we would like it to be and as it could be, for several
reasons such as the natural erosion of the soil in the mountains where they
have (word indistinct) and have planted their coffee, because of erosion,
and floods, because of all these reasons of natural wear and tear. It is
well known that it was only necessity which lead to the planting of coffee
trees in the mountains, thereby destroying so much wealth in lumber that it
is unlikely that all the coffee possible to produce there could compensate
for it.

Naturally, before there was a revolution, coffee was planted in the
lowlands where labor productivity can be incomparably higher and where
man's efforts can be accompanied by the machine which is somewhat
difficult, if not practically impossible in mountains with inclines ranging
from 20 to 90 degrees.

Nevertheless, the coffee is there; the families are there, and until better
conditions exist in the lowlands, until the technical problems of the
plantations in the lowlands can be solved and sufficient (word indistinct)
can be planted in the lowlands to solve this problem, we must give all the
necessary attention to coffee production in the mountains for many years.

As long as there are peasants there, and as long as this coffee is needed
and there are peasants who want to cultivate it, we must see to it that the
efforts made by those men every year produce the maximum for themselves and
for the country. (applause)

This is the problem at hand and that is why we have called this meeting.
What factors do we consider essential? In the first place, a technical
factor is considered to be essential. The other essential factor is
economic. It is necessary in the first place to set ourselves the goal of
doubling and tripling our present coffee production through the application
of the proper technical means and measures, a production whose yields are
of 60,000 quintals per caballeria--which means 6,000 quintals per
(?carro)--or 80,000 or 90,000 quintals per caballeria. In some places 90
quintals have been maintained. This yield is too small. (as heard)

Of course, not all coffee plantations enjoy the same conditions. Not all
coffee plantations are sown at the same height or on the same levels or in
the same soil. The soil in which they are planted is not equally worn.
However, we must set ourselves the goal of attaining no less than 200
quintals per caballeria (applause), that is, no less than 20 quintals per

In some cases it may be difficult, while in others it will be easy to
attain these goals. However, all of you will understand that if they worked
years in order to sow five-six-or 10 (?carros), the value of the effort and
sweat spend over a period of many years is not equal if the result of this
effort is 50 quintals every year instead of 100, or 100 instead of 200. One
of the virtues of technology is to double the value of each hour which each
one of you has spent on the land where you spent part of your lives.

Technology was never applied. Why? With what? Who was going to buy the
coffee? And how was it to be paid for? Who was going to teach technology?
There was a surplus of coffee. There was no money to buy the coffee.

More than 20,000 families were growing coffee without any assistance from
technology. If we consider that, despite this, they succeeded in planting
enough coffee to produce more than 1 million sacks in these rugged and
craggy mountains, we must admit that their efforts were admirable,
impressive, and worthy of better results.

Therefore, we must initiate the era of technology in coffee growing and not
technology for one, two, 10, or 100 caballerlas, but for all caballerias.
If we are to be guided by strictly technical principles, 100 percent
technical, forgetting other social and economic factors, we could come to
the conclusion that of the 10,000 or 11,000 caballerias, only some 4,000,
5,000, or 10,000 are worth cultivating, renovating, and fertilizing because
they have the least incline, are situated on the least worn soil, have the
greatest vigor, and are therefore where labor would give the greatest

It is true that on the most worn land and on the most mistreated
plantations-- those having the worst soil conditions--labor will not yield
as much and fertilizers will not yield as much. However, since we need
coffee and since, moreover, thousands upon thousands of families earn their
living with this coffee--this coffee which is not on the 3,000 or 4,000
caballerias, but on 10,000 to 11,000--we must take this problem into
consideration. What are we to tell the peasant living here? It is necessary
that, while fertilizers and technology will not give us such good results
here as elsewhere, it will still give us some results and therefore, we
must all work. (applause)

Talking with some of our technicians who have made such a magnificent
effort studying the problems of our coffee and who, with such enthusiasm,
have participated in this task has brought us here, I said to them: "Find
the oldest coffee plant for me even if you like one of those coffee plants
that the French had in the last century. I promise that I will make it
produce coffee (applause)."

Now, necessity forces us to act in this fashion. If we had enormous
reserves of coffee we could say: "We must liquidate that plant. Let us
plant new ones." But this is not the case. What we have is an enormous
deficit of coffee, and we have to use even the last plant, except those
that we are going to remove to plant another, in a work of renovation of
the coffee plantations. I am sure that even the worst plant, when it is
pruned and fertilized at the right time and in the right manner, is going
to produce much more coffee than it is producing now, and this is the first
thing that all must understand.

Now each plant must yield something and yield more than it is presently
producing. This year there are 30,000 tons of fertilizer available,
(applause) but we are making efforts to have another 30,000 available
(applause) so that in 1967 there will be 60,000 tons of fertilizer to be
applied, and 100,000 to be applied in 1968. (applause)

As you know, fertilizer must be imported. However, we have a quota on the
world market of 15,000 tons, that is something more than 300,000 quintals
of coffee. If we have a surplus, we can easily acquire the fertilizer we
need to produce more coffee and (?if) we do not have the coffee, we will
not have fertilizer. If we do not have fertilizer, we will not have coffee.
And what is best, not to have fertilizer nor coffee with which to buy it,
or to have coffee and fertilizer to grow more coffee? Clearly this
apparently vicious cycle is resolved by beginning with one of the other,
and since we cannot begin with coffee, we must begin with fertilizer. We
must make an effort so that the economy of the country will furnish this
initial fertilizer in these first two or three years, so that by 1969 we
can export enough coffee to have 100,000 tons of fertilizer per year plus
some foreign credits for some other needs of the economy. I believe, and
this is because of the faith we have in technology, that we could even
reach a production of 2 million quintals. I believe something else, that
these 2 million quintals, if we propose to obtain them, could be produced
in the same year in which we will reach a production of 10 million tons of
sugar (applause).

In other words, if we have goals in sugar production, we should also have
goals in coffee production. Without sugar, we have no coffee, and without
coffee, we need no sugar. (applause) I say that because I do not think that
it is (?an impossibility) or a fantasy. It is easier to resolve the coffee
problem than it is to solve the tobacco or sugarcane problems. With
tobacco, we must choose the lands and develop sowing. With sugarcane, we
must expand plantations, enlarge the sugar mills, and even construct some
new ones.

With coffee, we already have the land. We already have the plantations. It
is simply a problem of increasing the production of those lands through
(?fertilizing). The coffee has already been planted. The plants are already
grown. All we have to do is work with this coffee. That is why I say that
this goal is not so impossible to attain. It is not very difficult to
achieve. Let us suppose that our consumption increased
considerably--because previously, we consumed from 600,000 to 700,000
quintals; later, we consumed 900,000 quintals--and let us suppose that we
consume someday 1.3 million or 1.4 million quintals, we would have a big
reserve which would enable the country to face a severe drought or a little
or big hurricane and we would not have to ration coffee.

We would then be able to export one-half million quintals of coffee;
200,000 quintals would be enough for us to get the foreign exchange we need
for 100,000 tons (presumably of fertilizer--ed.). The other 200,000 or
300,000 could be invested in other benefits for our economy, since we need
not only fertilizer, but other things that are consumed in the fields.

Our coffee has a special price in the market. Our coffee is particularly
cherished because of its variety and its quality. Our coffee sells up to
800 pesos per ton. Other types of coffee sell for 600 pesos. So it is clear
that from every angle, it is highly beneficial for our economy for us to
give all necessary attention to this industry.

One of the problems before us and which will remain with us as we increase
production is, of course, manpower. Fortunately, coffee harvesting comes at
a time when demand for manpower is less throughout the other farming
chores. At this time, the sugarcane harvest is not yet upon us. At this
time, spring is over, as well as the planting season, land fertilizing,
sugarcane cleaning, and the rest of the cultivation. At this time, we have
more available manpower.

We believe that the work carried out by students should not be done during
the months of September, October, and November, but during the months when
demand for manpower in the fields is the heaviest, during the spring
months. In the future, the coffee in this province should be harvested with
provincial manpower. (applause)

This, of course, requires an increase in the earnings sought from the
coffee crop. That is, that the increases--but before talking about
increases, I must say, I must explain how we figure out the peasants'
earning increases. Is it only measured by the price? No. The price is part
of the revenue. (We figure it--ed.) principally by the increase in
production. A farmer will have, for instance, 100 instead of 50 quintals
from the same area, the same plantation. In addition, those 100 quintals
will be paid at a somewhat higher price.

Of this increase, part goes to the harvester, the other part goes to the
farmer. This increase will be of approximately--taking into account
increases and other measures of which I will speak later--11.57 (presumably
pesos--ed.) per quintal of low grade coffee, (?and) 13.62 per quintal of
what we call washed coffee. (as heard)

In this manner, prices will increase from 44.50 to 52.00 pesos per quintal.
(applause) In addition, here is some date: (?On) the natural coffee--the
washed coffee from 50 to 60 pesos (applause), the tax of 2.62 per quintal
of coffee will be abolished. (applause) In those cases where the producer
sells (?coffee beans) the purchase prices per 28-pound cans are as follows:
(?coffee bean) for (?dryers) from 2.05 to 2.45. (applause) (?Coffee beans
for grinding) from 2.20 to 2.75. (applause)

This is equivalent to a general increase over the prices of which I spoke
per quintal of natural coffee of 11.50, of which 6.57 will be designated
for the farmer, and five pesos for the harvester. Why? (applause) Because
without the harvester, we have no coffee. (applause) We accomplish nothing
by having a lot of coffee, if we have no one to harvest it.

That is why we thought of increasing the price of natural coffee cans from
(?55) to 80 centavos. (applause) This is equivalent to five pesos per
quintal of the 11.57 which (?is established) according to the estimated
increases. Washed coffee will also be correspondingly increased in prices.
The 65-centavo can will sell for 1 peso.

We believe that these wages will be highly stimulating and that we will not
lack manpower for the coffee harvest, (applause) and that many families
(applause) in the fields, and even in the cities, will feel encouraged to
participate in the coffee harvest. (applause) Inasmuch as this is a special
manpower problem (that people must go--ed.) to far-away and hazardous
areas, it is necessary for us to have also a special wage system for the
coffee harvest.

Think of what it will be when we must harvest 2 million quintals of coffee.
Bear in mind what the coffee will mean to our economy and what a million
quintals is worth--or 2 million quintals--and how important it is for us to
cultivate and harvest this product. That is why we must establish a sort of
preferential wage scale, bearing in mind these situations and how these
persons arrived at these measures.

(Few words indistinct) launch themselves with enthusiasm into the
harvest--those farmers, who are a majority, who have no large coffee
plantations--will be encouraged to harvest their own coffee, (applause)
because they will know that each can of coffee they gather is 80 centavos
more that will remain with the family, and that a can of coffee can be
picked even by a child in a morning. This, of course, entails a commitment
for all to make a common effort. Your duty is to make the utmost effort
(words indistinct).

Some students on scholarships tell us that while they were working
harvesting coffee, the coffee plantation owner was sitting at home doing
nothing. To harvest coffee is not as hard as to cut cane. (words
indistinct) This work is generally done under the shade. It is a kind of
work that can be done even by those persons without much effort. That is
why coffee harvesting should be done with the efforts not only of the (word
indistinct), but also of the farmers' family. It is to his advantage, also,
because that farmer will get more revenue if he harvests more coffee with
his family.

To carry forth these plans, we need the efforts of our peasant
organizations led by comrades of the party and the INRA technicians. We
could not carry forth this plan without mobilizing the masses, without
taking this problem to the heart of every association and unless we
initiate immediately enthusiastic work in this direction.

Of course, in this fashion we will put these measures into effect as soon
as possible and it has been decided that as of this year, these prices and
these wages will be paid for this coffee harvest (cheering, applause).
These measures, then, will be applied retroactively to 1 August of this
year. In accordance with this, the differences in price of all the coffee
delivered will be paid as of that date (applause).

These benefits will also reach the agricultural workers, and they will
receive the difference for the tons of coffee picked (applause). It is
necessary that we understand that the only way to carry out these plans is
to begin work immediately, call each of the associations to a meeting, and
establish the collective pledge of beginning immediately to carry out these

For these, other elements which we know are needed. The lists have already
been prepared to obtain the estimated, or corresponding analyses have been
made to learn the approximate number of machetes, files, horseshoes
(shouting). Of course the problems--when we speak of horseshoes we also
speak of nails because we cannot do anything with horseshoes without
nails--include scissors for pruning and we also know of the other materials
such as the pressing need for cement for the dryers. Someone was talking
about some of the other things which are needed--mules, of course. However,
mules unfortunately are not built in shops (laughter). We are very
conscious of the fact that we have to care for those mules extant, to
collect all that we can, and to raise as many more as possible in the
mountains and in the plains, and to teach them to climb mountains, because
if man can learn, why not mules?

Meanwhile, we must also try to resolve another problem, using the highways
that are being built and the roads that may be built because now it is no
longer the problem of bringing out the coffee, but also the very important
problem of bringing in the fertilizers and other materials--(long pause)
well, all in all comrades, all those materials. Absolutely nothing is going
to be forgotten because, if we did, we would not be able to carry out these
plans. I have been thinking about something more, although we cannot yet
make an absolute promise. We have been thinking about some of the problems
of supplies--the time when we can begin to bring the bananas from the Cauto
valley to the mountains, for example, the possibility of bringing some
quantities of provisions such as rice, for example, so that we will depend
as little as possible on the destruction of the forests. However, the
peasant now depends on coffee for his primary income and that is a great
step forward. The bad thing is that the situation of coffee forces him to
abandon coffee and forces him to destroy forests to plant something else
which will be a better business.

Self-supply does not destroy so many forests. There will always have to be
self-supply by the peasants themselves. However, we must also study what
possibilities we have for improving supplies in the mountains. That, as you
can see and understand, requires an effort on the part of everyone and a
great effort which must also be a loyal effort by all. It must mean not
only the pledge of working, and working well, with the support of the
peasant associations, but also supporting yourselves in these same
associations. Speculation with coffee must be fought vigorously, the
blackmarket in coffee (shouting). Speculation does not benefit anybody.
Speculation is bread today and hunger tomorrow. The true solution, the
long-range solution, the final solution is technology, work, the materials
necessary to apply that technology and to increase work productively. That
is the solution for you and for the people. The peasants can earn a little
more or quite a bit more now that there is a shortage of coffee, not
tomorrow when there is a surplus, by selling a pound of coffee for five
pesos. But assuredly, those who drink that coffee are the ones who still
have a lot more money than the others. Assuredly, it is those who still
have higher incomes who are going to drink that coffee. And we have to
produce coffee not for just a few, but coffee for all. These increases,
these increases which mean millions of pesos, will have to paid by the
public treasury because, as long as coffee is rationed, these increases
cannot be transferred to the consuming public.

The public treasury will have to pay these increases and wait until there
is enough coffee so that it can be sold unrationed, in which case the
coffee will be sole freely at a higher price which will pay for these
increases and the costs that the country has to pay in the mountains. This
is not the cost of hospitals and schools, but the cost of roads, highways,
equipment for transportation and, all in all, all the needs that must be
fulfilled. The public, which because of necessity pays high prices--there
are those who sell at five pesos, some can buy at three pesos, two pesos,
and it would be very difficult in this black market to find it at two pesos
(presumably per pound of coffee-ed.)--is going to pay for coffee a higher
price than it pays today, not because of an economic necessity, but to
establish a certain limit for the consumption of coffee.

On the contrary, we would run the risk of drinking coffee needed for (word
indistinct). And we need to drink coffee, plenty of coffee, yes, but we
must have some coffee left over so that we can buy fertilizers which will
allow us to have coffee. And we will be able to establish prices which will
fluctuate between 1.20 and 1.50 when we are able to sell coffee without a
ration. Meanwhile, until coffee can be sole unrationed, the economy of the
nation will have to pay for all these costs. The public treasury will have
to pay them and will have to wait for increases in production to permit the
unrationed sale of coffee regulated by the price, not the ration book. This
will mean the end of the black market.

The same thing will happen there as happened with eggs which were sold at
25 to 30 centavos until the 4 million chickens began to lay. (passage
indistinct) The same thing will happen with coffee. In this business of the
black market, there are some officials who are so liberal that in the very
vehicles in which they travel they sometimes take a pound or more of coffee
(shouting). It is necessary that the pertinent organizations take the
measures to bring those who commit this crime against the interests of the
economy and the people before the revolutionary courts (cheering,

The peasant associations must be the standard bearers in this struggle
against speculation and the black market. We are sure that they will answer
this call. We also expect the maximum effort of the administrators of those
units (several words indistinct), and they will also apply the principle
and the watchword. (passage indistinct)

We believe that this (?is the) correct policy and manner of placing coffee
in the place where it belongs within the items of our agriculture. We know
the needs of the nation. We know the needs for construction materials
(several words indistinct) the thousands of houses leveled by the
hurricane. They had not all been rebuilt yet when another hurricane in
Pinar de Rio razed thousands of tobacco sheds and forced lumber, cement,
roofing to be sent there. You all know how a cement factory is being built,
and the work is very advanced. You know how another factory is beginning to
be built in Las Villas Province, how we are working s that we can have
those construction materials which, like coffee, used to be surplus but
today are in short supply, because before there was coffee and cement
enough for storage in warehouses but today every bit of it is for

What exists is needed to satisfy the needs of the people and, if there is
no more, it is because we have not produced more. But there will be more to
the extent that we can produce more. The hurricane, as you know, forced us
to limit the distribution of sugar. However, the effort of the sugar sector
last year ended the rationing of sugar. (words indistinct) and in such
fashion all of us desire that there be the largest possible quantity of
goods for the people which will mean the largest amount of welfare.

What exists is needed to satisfy the needs of the people and, if there is
no more, it is because we have not produced more, but there will be more to
the degree that we can produce more. The hurricane, as you know, forced us
to limit the distribution of sugar. However the effort of the sugar sector
ended the rationing of sugar with the approval of our peasant farmers and
in that manner we desire that there be the largest possible quantity of
goods for the people which will mean the largest amount of welfare.

We are still far from having reached all our aspirations for the standards
of living we wish to have in the future. But, without a doubt, no one can
deny that in these years, despite the inefficiency of each project which is
begun (two words indistinct) toward the profound change, despite the
struggle against our enemies, and despite the blockade of the imperialists,
we have progressed and progressed a great deal.

Those, who recently traveled with us through the mountains, saw how much
change has occurred in our mountains, how many improvement there are now,
but above all they saw the spirit, enthusiasm, organization, in our
parties, mountain militias, peasant associations, (applause) educational
and medical services. They saw the strength, the discipline, the number of
persons who have passed from the fifth to the sixth grade, how many
children are studying in the schools and the many dreams and hopes of the
people. There is not one single person who does not say what he wants to be
or what he wants to study, and there is absolutely not one who is not
convinced that what he wants he will be able to have--that this is his
opportunity. (applause) This is his hour in our fatherland.

How different he is from the one who is without hope, dreams, ambition, or
security. Men used to fear death in former times because then it meant
hunger, loneliness, and helplessness for his children. Today those men feel
free from those fears, (shouts and applause) and they used to ask what the
future held for their children. They used to ask how hard those large
numbers of children the peasant women bear would work. Today they know the
answer and they have lost those fears, knowing that they do not have to
talk with anyone to be able to study, to work, to send their children to
any school, the best schools, better schools than the ones the children of
the rich used to attend. (applause) The revolution has today made those
rights possible for every one without exception. Those rights formerly
belonged only to the privileged few. The people know where the hospitals
are, the attention they will receive.

While we need our mountains and while the peasants want to live there, I
know that there are many peasants whose children are studying to be
technicians, and some of these children will go to work tomorrow in the
fields. It is possible that some want to reunite with their children, and
others want the rights which the workers enjoy, such as the right to a
pension, and to retirement.

The day will come when we will be able to offer the peasant to better
alternative as soon as we have enough housing, or when we will be able to
offer the peasant a better standard of living in the fields for that person
who may say "I want to leave from here." Many will not want to do that.
Many will prefer to live and die here where they have worked all their
lives and we understand that, because in the mountains where one works and
suffers, one learns to know how to love them that way. We too, who have
lived in those mountains, have become deeply attached to the peasants, and
we love those mountains. Today that we need them vitally, let us do the
most we can for them. Let us work to the maximum so that we may receive
maximum returns. Let us take care of waste their resources. Let us not
waste their resources. Let us take care of the land, take care of its (word
indistinct) and give it water and nourishment, the nourishment which fires
have taken from it, and we will see how those mountains will respond to our
work. They will respond to our efforts.

There have been times when some peasants did not have confidence in
applying technology, in using fertilizer. But we have passed through some
areas, such as the peak of Monpie where three years ago on one of our trips
up Turquino Peak, we recommended that they use fertilizer, apply
technology. Now, today on that peak there is a production of coffee which
is the pride of the peasants. As soon as the peasants see the results of
technology, they immediately understand its importance and they want to
apply it. Now, let us do this, but do it as a group. We must have
confidence in the results that this will bring for your well-being and for
the well-being of the nation. That is why this effort is so important.

We asked Comrade Armando, Comrade (?Fello), the comrade leaders in
agriculture in Oriente when we would go to work, when we would hold this
meeting, because there was no time to lose, not a minute to lose to buy and
acquire whatever was necessary and rapidly acquire those things which are
needed to put us to work. We promise ourselves to go to work immediately to
resolve all these necessities, and we expect you (shouts and applause) to
immediately join your comrades when you return and discuss the use of
technical and practical methods. We have to regroup all the technicians
that we have and assign them according to regions so that they can teach,
in a practical manner, the measures that the peasants should apply.
Technical work must be carried out. We must apply and use to a maximum
those cadres that we have. We must open immediately the Baracoa school
again to increase the number of technicians. (applause)

Through (word indistinct), we must explain to them how things are done, how
the (?form) is carried out, how fertilizer is done. Here is a practical
measure the comrade technicians essentially proposed today: 1) Three (word
indistinct) as a minimum will go to the coffee plantations; 2) Prune and
regulate the shade; 3) Prune and remove shoots from the trees on time; 4)
Fertilize without poisoning the entire organic fertilizer at the coffee
plantation like the (words indistinct) which is the reason for coffee being
ruined, waste of other crops and refuse which can be harvested in the area;
6) Cover the coffee plantations by replanting the clearings. 7) Destroy the
unproductive trees and replace them with quality plantings. Naturally this
will require that the most careful attention be given to the nurseries; 8)
Foster the (word indistinct) by fulfilling the technical guidance, by
fulfilling the slogans--"Let there not be one coffee berry left
unharvested. Let there not be a coffee tree unattended. Let there not be a
single farm unattended. Forward with the technicalization of the coffee. We
will raise the production with the technicalization of the coffee. Let us
carry forward this program. Let us all take this as our own goal as a
matter of honor, the goal of 2 million quintals of coffee for 1970.
(applause and shouting) Fatherland or death! We will win!