Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Text of Castro Speech

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 2334 GMT 1 May

(Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion
culminating the May Day celebration--live)

(Text) Comrade guests, comrade macheteros of the millionaire brigades
(prolonged applause), workers: If we have not lost count, this is the
seventh May Day since the victory of the revolution (applause), and I do
not believe that anyone who has witnessed this parade can doubt that it has
undoubtedly been the greatest in terms of colorfulness, enthusiasm, and the
number of workers participating. (applause)

Why does happiness among the masses grow on this date? What is the
difference between our first May Days and the old May Days? Those who
cannot or do not want to understand revolutions and their power should have
the opportunity to witness one of these May Days. Among the masses of our
country the concept of work and the worker has changed profoundly. To the
degree that the revolutionary awareness of all our people has developed,
the idea of work and the honor of being a worker is something that is felt
and understood by ever-increasing sectors of our population. Work in our
country is no longer a means of enrichment for a privileged minority, nor
will it ever be again. Work is no longer nor will it ever be again the
object of exploitation. The sweat of the men and women of our country will
never serve privilege again; it will never serve the exploiters.

Moreover, it is not true that because of this, because of the revolution,
we will have fewer millionaires in our country. Now we have more
millionaires. (applause) However, the millionaires are not millionaires
under that old concept of millionaires who amassed hundreds and hundreds of
pesos and who acquired a fortune of millions of pesos and tens of millions
of pesos through the blood and sweat of the people. There is no other way,
nor could there ever be any other way in any era of history, to become a
millionaire unless it is through the exploitation of work, because nobody
with his own work alone creates enough wealth to accumulate millions of

The millionaires of today are not those who exploit their neighbor's sweat,
but rather those who with their sweat are very capable, as are the
macheteros who have cut a million arrobas of sugarcane and are so honored
here at this event. (applause) Here we have more than 3,000 macheteros who,
by belonging to brigades that have surpassed the figure of 1 million
arrobas, deserve the title of millionaire macheteros. They are not
millionaires who possess another's fortune. They are millionaires by virtue
of their work. They are millionaires because they give to the nation riches
that can be measured in millions of pesos. Not one of them, not one worker,
will ever be thought of in the old concept of a millionaire--and he does
not need to be. Yet they will make the nation a millionaire; they will make
the fatherland a millionaire. (applause)

The very few millionaires who existed before did not cut sugarcane. They
did not sweat one drop. Those who were millionaires were precisely those
who never worked, but made others work for them. There were a few
millionaires even though the nation was poor. The people were poor. To
justify their right to exploit the nation, they alleged that society could
not progress without their intelligence, leadership, or administrative
ability. They alleged that they contributed their intelligence to society
and furnished it with their intelligence, and business experience. And they
alleged that man was not a species of animal moved by self-interest; that
only a morbid interest could motivate men to make an effort in the battle
of beasts, of men against men, and that society could advance only with
such baseness and egoism. They considered that people were incapable of any
virtue. They thought that man was incapable of any unselfish and generous
sentiments. They thought that humans were beasts, and beasts in the double
sense of the word who were capable of devouring each other and incapable of
doing without that privileged minority of exploiters.

Fine. Our people have dispensed with that minority, and our nation has not
been sunk because of that, nor with everything that the Yankee imperialists
have added to that to sink it. (applause) The nation has not gone backward.
And it is true that that minority accumulated not the intelligence but the
experience. It accumulated everything possible that was bad. It learned the
art of deception, exploitation, and stealing. It had the opportunity to
direct business establishments, factories, sugar centrals, large estates,
and business establishments of all types. It is true that no worker, no
laborer managed or learned to manage a sugar central, a factory, or
productive farm. It is true that when a revolution takes places in a
country such as ours, the first thing that happens is that the property of
these gentlemen is confiscated, since it involved the fundamental means of
production of the nation. (applause)

But people do not acquire overnight all the necessary experience to replace
that minority of exploiters which has the experience. The greatest hope the
reactionaries harbor for the failure of revolutions is the idea that the
workers, the exploited, our workers and our peasants, will be incapable of
managing the nation. In turn, one of the important contraditions in a
revolution--as we have said on other occasions--is the need to make
everything in the country new: to make its administration entirely new, to
make its state entirely new, to make its armed forces entirely new, to make
its economic structure entirely new, to replace those who have been heading
the public institutions, factories, and centers of production with the
little, with the scarce, with the nonexistent experience available to
workers during the first phase to implement that task.

While it was true that a minority had the experience and a considerable
part of the management and production known-how, what was untrue was that
the minority had exclusive possession of the intelligence of the nation,
because there was much greater intelligence in the masses of the people.
There was much more potential capability, much more energy, a much better
attitude to move the nation forward. The fact that at the end of seven
years, or at the end of the seventh year, there has been such a
considerable increase in the strength of our working people, of the Cuban
revolution, shows how the initial obstacles, how the most difficult stages
have been coped with. Because of this, because it was necessary to prepare
the people, the revolution was undoubtedly correct in its basic interest in
developing education, in raising the level of instruction and culture, and
in raising the technical level of our people.

Today, after seven years during which we had to do everything, anew, we no
longer have the old, bourgeois state; we have the new socialist state.

True enough it was that during the first phases this state was not and
could not be very efficient; true though it also was that this new state
still had many vestiges of the past; true enough it was that it was also
permeated by the influence and by the participation of some elements of
that minority which was never able to adapt itself to the revolution; true
though it was that the spirit of that class did have a considerable
influence on the low efficiency of the new socialist state, no one can
doubt that this new state has increasingly rid itself of those elements who
were unworthy of the revolution and the people, has increasingly rid itself
of that bourgeois spirit, or of that petty bourgeois spirit, and has
already begun to be an incomparably more sufficient state. And of course,
without any doubt whatsoever, it is infinitely more efficient than the
former state existing in our country.

And anyone who assesses the situation dispassionately and objectively can
understand how administrative efficiency grows year by year, month by
month, day by day in each of the branches of revolutionary administration.
Likewise, who could doubt that other tasks--our ability to create the new
revolutionary armed forces, and in spite of the fact that when the war
ended none of our fighters knew even how to march, stand at attention,
salute, give commands to a squad, company, battalion or division; who could
doubt that the revolution, faced with the need to defend itself from its
imperialist enemies, the need to create a powerful army--not, as the
imperialist detractors of our revolution write in their mercenary and lying
press, to maintain the revolutionary regime or to oppress the people,
because when there is identification between revolutionary power and the
people in a country, as there is in ours (applause), when a revolution,
when a new social system has such support from the masses, it does not have
to arm itself to maintain that system, or that power .... (Castro fails to
complete thought--ed.).

That power would have no reason for being if it were not a power of the
people and for the people. It would have no reason for being because,
actually, that which characterizes the socialist state, the socialist
revolution, is just the opposite of capitalist society, the capitalist
state, which was an instrument of force in the hands of a minority to keep
the great masses in ignorance, poverty, exploitation, oppression, and
misery. (applause) The revolution is the power of the immense majority of
the people against an insignificant minority.

However, no great forces would be needed to confront those insignificant,
weak forces. The reason for the development of the armed forces of our
revolution is the need to defend ourselves from a powerful foreign enemy.
What is more, that force of the revolution is great, is considerable, and
is capable of resisting that enemy, because it is not a force separated
from the people but rather precisely and essentially the force of the
people. (applause) In the past seven years those who did not know, those
who did not understand, those who had never gone to a military school
learned their work. They acquired the training necessary to perform it and
perform it with an infinitely greater efficiency than any officer educated
in the military academies of the capitalists, to perform the tasks and the
missions that defense of the country requires.

And the same thing happens in the administration of our industry, in the
administration of our agriculture, in the administration of our hospitals,
in the administration of all the production centers of our country. In the
early days there were very few who knew how to perform the tasks that the
economy and production required. However, from everywhere there have risen
men capable of resolving those tasks.

An example is the countryside, whose progress can be seen simply by
observing the parade of the various working sectors of our country. One no
longer sees such a great mass of public administration workers. No, that
mass has been reduced considerably, and instead, for the first time in the
past seven years, there paraded today a very large contingent of workers
from what is called the labor reserve and who are the men and women of our
country (applause) who previously worked in various administrative or other
types of centers and, where their work was not indispensable, were
transferred to education and training centers. This was done so that we
would know how to use all our resources rationally, so tens of thousands of
young men and women who can study, who can acquire great knowledge which
will be needed more and more by our country, went to those study centers,
to those training centers.

And what happened to those men and women was not what used to happen before
when the manual or intellectual labor force was constantly deprived of its
livelihood, as once happened whenever there was a political change,
whenever there was any kind of elections. Those were not changes but
political deals, because change is the description that can be given to the
difference between the past and the present. What used to take place then
were trades between crooked politicians. (applause) Then thousands and
thousands of men and women were fired--left without jobs. They were
replaced by others who belonged to the clique of the winning party in this
political trade.

Now those men and women are studying and continue to receive the same wages
they received in their work centers. We have also been able to observe in
today's parade how much the forces of some services have grown--medicine,
for example, the ever-increasing number of doctors, nurses, and nurses
aides (applause) who join the public health services of the nation. And
even more impressive is the growth of our educational force, the
extraordinarily large numbers by which our professional and teaching forces
grow. This is the force at the service of educational workers.

There are new sectors heretofore unknown. One of them is that of the women
workers and the children's nurseries. (applause) In the past, naturally,
there existed no facility to take care of the children of women who wanted
to or could work.

Today brigades of women agricultural workers paraded here, thousands and
thousands of women of the capital who have gone to work in agricultural
production plans. Another entirely new sector, for example, is the immense
contingent from the national scholarship student centers. In the past,
naturally, only the children of wealthy families could go to a high school
or a preuniversity school if there were no schools in their town, and the
majority of Cuba's towns did not have them. Today that is an opportunity
any humble boy or girl has in this country, a country where everybody is
humble. (applause)

If there is something outstanding in these May day parades, and
particularly on this May Day, it is to see that process of the
incorporation of women into work. (applause) In the past the chances for a
woman to obtain work were truly limited. In that sense discrimination truly
existed. However, in addition to this it was logical that in a country
where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of men were without work, no--or
very few--opportunities existed for women. We already know what kind of
work the capitalist society reserves for women. We already know how fond
the bourgeoisie was of contracting women, driven by need, to work in
amusement centers, to work in bars as one more commercial attraction. We
already know the considerable number of women in our country who were
dragged into that tragic way of survival which is prostitution.

We already know that our bourgeoisie had developed and established many
brothels in our country. There were bawdyhouses in every city in Cuba.
There were houses of prostitution for the Yankee tourists. There were
whorehouses for the Yankee marines. There were houses of ill-repute in
Havana. There were sin houses in Guantanamo. We even know that in that area
the bourgeoisie was so condescending that not only did it provide the
Marines with whorehouses, but on many occasions it made its daughters
available to them. There are many stories in Guantanamo about all this and
about the parties at the naval base to which many of those people sent
their daughters. In short, this type of activity, this type of work was, so
to speak, one of the denigrating types of work which the capitalist society
and all capitalist societies reserved for women.

That evil could not be uprooted from our country overnight. Yet we can say
proudly and with satisfaction that just as the revolution has overcome and
eradicated many other vices, such as gambling; just as the revolution has
eradicated mendicancy; just as one would now never expect to see a homeless
child roaming the streets -- and there is not a capitalist society without
beggars, homeless children, brothels, gambling houses, houses of vice, and
corruption of all kinds! (applause)--just as the revolution has done all
that, so it has also practically eradicated prostitution in our country.

Today there are countless dignified activities, there are increasingly
countless decent, attractive activities for Cuban women. Thousands upon
thousands of Cuban women have entered public health work. In these years of
the revolution many thousands of young women have been trained as nurses
and nurse aides, or as general medical aides. Thousands of women have
entered into work at centers for scholarship recipients. Tens of thousands
of women have entered into teaching. The number of women who enter
technological institutes and technical training centers is incomparably
greater, and we get an idea of this by the fact that the number of women
who have entered the school of medicine is almost as great as the number of
men who have done so. Thousands of women have entered child nursery work.
And thousands of women have not only entered into service areas of
production but are also participating in the direct production of material

For example, women are planting trees at tree farms or planting coffee
plants. Practically the entire poultry plan--which consists of 4 million,
at this moment, something over 4 million laying hens, and by the end of
this year, to maintain the necessary quantities for our year-round needs,
will reach a total of 5.8 million hens--this entire foodstuff production
item which is so important for our country is being managed by a female
work force. Hundreds of poultry centers are being run by women. Women have
entered farm production work, performing such suitable jobs as vegetable
production. Women have gone into the raising of steers and rabbits. In
short, countless activities are available to them, and an extraordinary
number of women have found decent jobs, remunerative jobs, satisfying jobs.

This used to be the agony of the majority of the citizens of the country;
how to find work, how to make a living? It is truly incredible how much men
suffer under capitalist society because of that essential problem, that
elementary problem of finding a job to earn a decent living! That is why,
on a day like today this phenomenon of which I am speaking can be witnessed
directly when we see the composition of our labor force. However, there is
something more. Not only are the women of our country going to work in
production in large numbers, but they are turning out to be extremely
efficient workers, and we have heard many words of praise for the women's
work, their sense of responsibility, their lack of absenteeism. (applause)

That is why the revolution makes efforts to build more schools, makes
efforts to establish more school cafeterias to give women more and more
opportunities to work. However, when we speak of creating facilities so
that women can work in production, it is not only or simply that society
wants to help women; it is not only that. Society has the duty to help the
women, but at the same time society helps itself considerably by helping
women (applause), because this means more and more workers who work in the
production of goods and in the production of services for all the people.

It is known, for example, that one of the means created to help women in
work are children's nurseries. In the children's nursery the workers
themselves pay a certain amount in proportion to their means for the care
of their children. However, women who have already gone to work in
agricultural tasks are receiving the benefit of not having to pay for the
children's nursery. (applause) The Revolutionary Government intends by the
end of this year--and that means in the coming year--to see that no working
woman will have to pay for the children's nursery. (applause) We believe
that this will give increased incentive to the Cuban woman in her work. We
likewise believe that it is just. Society gains from the work of every
woman. Society gains to the free that it allows a woman to receive her
wages without having to use part of them to pay those expenses of the
children's nursery.

If, for example, all education is already free, if there are approximately
150,000 young people in the national schools, boarding or under
scholarships without paying a centavo; if, for example, all medical
services in national hospitals are free; if a large part of our people no
longer pay rent in our country because five years ago the urban reform law
was passed (applause); if more than 100,000 peasants received their land
free; if any person who feels destitute, who needs help, can get it from
the state merely by requesting it, what reason can we have for charging for
the children's nurseries?

Naturally we have not yet reached communism, and even in the early days we
believe that these services should be paid for. However, experience has
taught us daily more about the ever-increasing power of the people's labor
force, the ever-increasing power in creating wealth for the people, the
working people. We have been able to witness, for example, how much the
entire nation earns as a whole by the incorporation of let us say, 1
million women in production--that those million women produce the
equivalent of 1,000 pesos each per year. A million women means 1 billion
pesos in created wealth. The part contributed for the costs of nurseries
can be seen by this fact.

Logically then, I repeat, all things absolutely cannot be free of charge,
because that can come only when we arrive at what we visualize as
communism. But thereupon, even though formulas are talked about, formulas
are talked about, socialist formulas and communist formulas--and one says
that, according to the formulas, in socialist society each one gives
according to his capacity and receives according to his work, and in
communism each one contributes according to his capacity and receives
according to his needs--I ask myself, I ask myself: What do we do at this
stage, while we are building socialism, in the case of a family in which a
woman, for example becomes a widow and she has seven children whose
capacity for work is little? If she receives according to her capacity, she
could in no way feed and clothe her seven children.

Could the socialist state then wash its hands of the fate of that woman's
seven children? Could it allow those children to grow up barefoot, rickety,
and undernourished simply because we are going to apply that formula and
give to that woman according to her capacity while forgetting about her
needs, waiting for communism to arrive to apply the formula for needs? No,
we cannot wait. That woman would lose and the children would lose. That
would be cruel. Moreover, society itself would also lose. Society should be
interested in seeing that it produces healthy citizens, that each human
being has the necessary things to live decently. A child would need much

This, then demonstrates that no formula can always be applied literally.
And generally, in political and social matters, the formulas are always
bad. We believe that as far as all these problems of socialism and
communism are concerned one must meditate, reflect upon, study,
investigate, and analyze a great deal. Even though industrial technique and
science in general has developed to an incredible degree, social science is
still greatly underdeveloped.

We hear formulas, we read manuals, but nothing reveals as clearly as a
revolution that while we must learn and evaluate the experience of other
nations in all its importance, each nation should try not to imitate but to
contribute to such underdeveloped sciences as the political and social
sciences. (applause) We are developing our own ideas. We understand that
Marxist-Leninist ideas require an incessant development. We understand that
a certain stagnation has resulted in that area. And we also see that at
times formulas are quite universally accepted which in our opinion can move
away from the essence of Marxism-Leninism. (scattered applause)

We believe that the construction and development of socialism, that the
march toward a superior society such as a communist society, should
necessarily have its laws and its methods, and that those methods should in
no way be the same as those of a capitalist society. We believe that the
methods and laws do not come together in blind laws or in automatic rules.

We believe that they should be based more and more on the ability of the
nations to plan, to improve the methods of production, to foresee--in two
words, to rule over and dominate those laws and not merely be playthings of
those laws.

Of course, this Plaza de la Revolucion is not a professorship of economy,
nor do I pretend to be a professor on this question. I must say much more
honestly (applause) that I feel like an apprentice, like another student,
like a curious bystander in regard to these problems. On a certain
occasion, on the constitution of the Central Committee, we said that
(applause)--that we did not believe that communism could be conceived of
entirely independent of the building of socialism, that communism and
socialism should be built, in a certain sense, in parallel, and that
(?words indistinct) the process and say, "Up to this point we build
socialism," and then say, "Here we build communism" can be an error, a
great error.

Moreover, among other things, in the eagerness to attain socialist goals
one should not renounce or put off the dependent and training of the
communist man. (applause) When I said this, which after all is not the
remark of a master, or of an apostle, or of a professor, or of an authority
in revolutionary theory, and much less of a kind of small ideological pope
(applause), some foreigners--not a few readers of manuals--were astonished;
not a few--few persons--and it is not because I have counted them but
because I estimate the amount by the number of those whose curiosity was
aroused by this statement.

Persons accustomed to having their thoughts and ideas as well arranged as
they may have their clothes in the closets of their houses were connected
by this statement. I do not doubt that some might have (?questioned it), if
perhaps they were not making statements with so much sacrilege concerning
this order of things. After all, I believe that in this order of things
this is the worst sacrilege. When I talk of sacriliege--the catechism
taught me when I was a child, at least in words, that that is the worst
sacriliege--and it seems that Marx also studied the catechism, since on
many occasions he uses terms of this kind--these words, after all, are not
an imitation, but something which I have been able to see by reading Marx's
words--the worst sacrilege is the stagnation of thought, the thought that
is staggered, the thought that rots. (applause)

We should not permit revolutionary thought to stagnate, much less to rot.
And when we made these statements were were simply (?replying to) some
questions, questions about which we need to meditate and which all of us
should study. Some things in our peculiar Cuban experience teach us that
this attitude can be very helpful, (?as in) our own experience in effecting
agrarian reform in Cuba, which was different from all the practical and
traditional canons. This was when we made the peasant evicted by the
leaseholder an owner of land, but on the other hand we did not divide the
latifundia to create minifundia, and we preserved those lands in the same
status as the factory, as great centers of agricultural production. If we
had not done this, in a country like ours, which depends and will depend on
agriculture for the attainment of its fundamental programs and as a
fundamental source of sources for its development, we could not possibly
have achieved any solution.

The great plans we are carrying forward will increase our agricultural
production to an impressive degree--and not precisely with those little
machines which passed through here, because those little machines are too
small to express our potential, in quantity and quality, in agricultural
machinery--because here, comrade announcer (applause), whom we can in all
justice excuse, because he is not only a good announcer but also a good
worker and a good worker in (word indistinct) works, but we cannot demand
that he know anything about tractors (applause) or that he know about
plows, plows which in reality are the worst plows we have, and in our
agriculture we are increasing the number of 17,000-pound plows which are
dragged by powerful tractors.

With the amount of agricultural machinery and the quality of agricultural
machinery (?used) today and whose management, whose (two words indistinct)
we attain through considerable efforts in reorganization, thanks to the use
of technology and machinery, we can doubtlessly assure that our country
will attain extraordinary successes in agriculture. If anyone doubts this,
let him consider at this time in the technological institute alone there
are 20,000 youths studying agriculture. In 1970 we shall graduate our
20,000 students and (?enroll) 40,000 more. (applause). This means that we
advance, but we need a much more powerful force--a technical force of
incredible magnitude--(?to guide) us in consolidating and strengthening the
positions we attain.

None of these things, which constitute a hope for the country, could have
been attained if we had used the scholastic formula of dividing into
fractions the big cattle and sugar latifundia and other large agricultural
areas. We would not have been able to even to accomplish what we have done
in the rural area, where, thanks to some development, unemployment has
totally disappeared. The millionaire canecutters present here can, better
than anyone else, bear witness to the fact that formerly (applause) the
farm workers worked only three or four months, and that even in three or
four months they had less work than they now have any work day of the year.
Could we have resolved the problem of unemployment?

We must say that our revolution in its early days had various tendencies
toward mechanical imitation. We copied from some advanced country, and
later we changed the imitated system because it did not work. Consider the
consequences of those who imitate. To imitate is always bad. To copy in
life, to copy revolution is like copying in an examination. (applause) No
one can graduate as a revolutionary by copying. (applause) However,
fortunately we did not copy in the matter of agrarian reform. We have
always considered this a great piece of wiscon, as the avoidance of a great
error which might have been committed.

Throughout the world formulas are drafted--economic and political--and
logically some countries have more experience than others. I repeat: We
should not underestimate, much less scorn, experience, but we should guard
against mechanically copying formulas. (applause)

It is said that if some countries are going to build communism--it is even
said that not a few communist parties, when a country said that it was
going to build communism, repeated after it that they too were going to
build communism. Nevertheless, we humbly believe that communism must still
be developed and completely in a world divided between countries with
(?abundant) work productivity and countries without any work productivity.
Can anyone, can any nation bring about the building of communism in a
single country without the productive forces and technology being first
developed in the other underdeveloped countries of the world? (applause)

Because, repeating once more that I consider myself only an apprentice
revolutionary, I think that socialism can be built in a single country.
Communism, up to a certain point, can be built, but communism as a form of
absolute abundance cannot be built in a single country in the midst of an
underdeveloped world without the risk that involuntarily, without wishing
it, immensely rich peoples will in future years (?exchange with them),
trading immensely poor countries, peoples under communism and peoples in

We ask ourselves--we who want the best for our people, who who want no
child in the country to be without all the proteins, the vitamins, the
minerals, and the food he needs, and to insure that he received a complete
education--we ask ourselves: If, in the midst of a world full of poverty,
tomorrow we can think only about ourselves, only and exclusively about
ourselves, about living in the land of abundance with our scores of
thousands of agronomists, engineers, teachers, and our superdeveloped
technology, how can we live in that abundance, (?with) a communism based on
abundance or on superabundance, when we see about us other nations which
did not have the opportunity or the luck of waging a revolution in the age
in which we are waging it and which within 10 years may be living in even
poorer conditions than those in which they live today?

And I think that we should aspire to find satisfactory levels in the feeing
of our people, in the education of our people, so that citizens can be
fully developed physically and mentally and enjoy the satisfaction of our
medical assistance, of housing. We do not need much to achieve this. I am
sure that with the natural resources of this nation, with the work, and
with the little technique, we will not be long in reaching these levels.
(Applause) But from there on, let us not think that our duty is to struggle
so that each of us may own an automobile. We should be concerned that each
of the families of those nations which have stayed behind us will at least
have a plow. (applause)

Our duty today as a poor, underdeveloped nation is to develop the maximum
effort to rise above that poverty, above that need, above that
underdevelopment. But in the future we will not be able to think about
complete abundance while there are other nations which need our help. It is
necessary that beginning today we educate our people and our sons so that
tomorrow, when we have fulfilled those needs, tomorrow our ideal will not
be wealth (applause); our ideal and our first duty will be to aid those
nations which have stayed behind us. (prolonged applause)

Let us educate our people in that concept of international duty. Let us
educate our people in that sense of international duty so that in this
nation, within 10 years, there will not be a single person who will say
that we do not have more because we are helping someone else--so that we
can have a kind of man who will think that others are human being just as
he is and that he believes it is better to give than to receive. (applause)

If in future years some of our people think in this manner, it will
undoubtedly be because we, the leaders of this people, were not able to
fully educate our people politically. It will be because our party was not
able to educate the people in that profound sense of internationalism
without which no one can be called a Marxist-Leninist. And even this May
Day--the International Labor Day -- would lack sense if the people did not
have that profound sense of internationalism. (applause).

For this reason we are deeply satisfied, we are deeply satisfied by that
profoundly internationalist content which our workers have given their
international date. We have had Vietnam and Santo Domingo in the center of
all this great and impressive parade and meeting today. They have been in
the center of everything. (applause) That indicates that our party is
moving ahead well and that it is educating our people in the most profound
sentiment of internationalist duty and in the area that we are brothers of
the same blood and the same flesh of the other peoples of the world who are
exploited or attacked by the imperialists. This has become imbedded in the
hearts of each one of the sons of this country.

I present these thoughts because I find myself in need of explaining that
as yet we have not arrived--and we will have a delay in arriving, and we
will delay even more in arriving--at the highest forms of what we could
call a communist way of life, to the degree that the rest of the world lags
behind in this march, and that therefore all may not be pleasant. However,
we do believe that those things essential to the human being--health,
adequate food, physical and mental education, cultural development,
housing, all those things essential to man--we must seek to satisfy at the
earliest opportunity with the resources of all of society, with the goods
produced by society, in such a manner that we may be able to say that
within 10 years we will have sufficient school cafeterias where all
children may eat free of charge (applause); and that the shoes, clothing,
and toys that the child will receive will not depend on the mother having
10 children and being able to work, but rather will depend on the
needs--including health and housing needs--that this child has as a human

And like this child, every person unable to work because of age will have
his needs satisfied. Within 10 years this old person--he is old and cannot
work -- should not continue to want for anything because he is a member of
a family which depends on a worker whose working capacity is very limited.
It will not be the fault of the old man, who needs to eat and dress, that
his son on whom he depends has a very limited working capacity. Applying
the socialist formula to him, the old man would go hungry, we may be able
to say within 10 years that not only every worker who retires will receive
a pension, but also every man and woman in our country, by virtue of the
fact that he is a human being and because he is too old to work, will have
the right for society to give him a pension--whether or not he belonged to
a specific sector of industry--more importantly because he belongs to the
human race, more importantly because he belongs to our society (applause).

Within 10 years the worker will not endure any family burdens, because the
old man who lives in his home is not a burden. Nor will he be a burden to
the worker economically speaking. No will any old person feel that he is a
burden to anyone. Society, using all resources of its production, will be
able to give every child, every old person--altogether, any person unable
to work--what he needs from the resources of all of society. In other
words, (several words indistinct) if we incorporate all active people in
work, if we are able to organize our human resources so that all active
people produce something, if we are able to (?incorporate) 1 million women
into labor, if we are able to raise the productivity of our work through
technology and to the degree that the youths and students also participate
in their training (passage indistinct).

This year we are giving away any textbooks free, while technical books will
be sold at cost to all those who want them, to all those who need them.
Why? Because of a principle which we can reduce to this phase: inexpensive
books and expensive beer. Furthermore, we have a good-quality beer. But
technology is much more important to us. It is more important that we
acquire technology for our jobs to increase our job productivity. This is
more important than to drink beer. Free books for students, the rest at
cost, and the price of beer high. This way the beer will subsidize the
books. This way, those who drink beer not only will enjoy their beer on a
summer afternoon, but also will enjoy the satisfaction that they are
contributing to the development of technology and the students. (applause)

(word indistinct) that not only has the revolution freed the worker from
exploitation -- not only has it eradicated forever the system by which man
and his work are bought and sold like merchandise--but also the revolution
has made special efforts. It has pushed the educational development of an
entire (?nation), so that presently nearly 40 percent of our nation's
population studies.

Some 1.3 million children, approximately 250,000 (?students of) institutes
and technological schools, preuniversities, and secondary schools, 28,000
university students, and 900,000 adults are in improvement courses, so that
2.5 million people are studying in this country. Farewell to the millions
of the enemy; because if ignorance and the lack of education are the
instruments which the exploiting capitalists used, farewell dreams. Because
an entire nation is dedicated to overcoming them, to studying, to
organizing itself, to arming itself, and to working, they will never
recover that past. Let them not even dream about it! This is not a mere
statement. It is logical and clear--we cannot say as clear as night, but as
clear as daylight and as obvious as night--that this will never be, never!

Enemies are busy weaving schemes. They are busy weaving schemes, but they
do this to console themselves. Well, after all, if they want to console
themselves, let it be. A certain McCloskey--or I do not know what the hell
his name is--one of those idiots, (?paranoids) who are constantly issuing
statements in behalf of the U.S. Government, was saying what a terrible
situation Cuba is in. What tension and how (?sad). What a terrible thing.
Poor idiot. Poor devil. We sometimes ask ourselves: Does he really believe
this? Or does he make believe that he does? Or maybe he does believe it.
This is nothing odd. At the time of Giron they believed and believed and
believed, and later they bemoaned and bemoaned, and they are still

What did they believe? What did those idiots believe? What did those idiots
believe? That all they had to do was to land a few dandies from the country
club, from the yacht club, from the (beaver--phonetic) and other clubs, and
the sons of millionaire landowners--millionaires not by arrobas but by
pesos stolen from the people (applause): that a mercenary band of dandies
would land and the entire people, acclaiming them as liberators, would
carry them on their soldiers and give them all--the bars, the houses, the
income from the land; would reopen the gambling dens, the houses of
prostitution, and the centers of vice; would deliver to them the women and

What did these imbeciles believe--without having any idea of what a
liberated people (?thinks), without having the least idea of the suffering
of the masses, the hunger, the uncertainty, the fear of everything, because
in that monstruous society, if a man died, if a poor worker died, what
became of his wife, what became of his parents, what became of his
children? The least that he could hope was that one day they would traffic
with his daughters, so that would become prostitutes. What did they
believe, those who do not have the slightest idea of what a free people

Imbeciles, charlatans. Did they believe that at the first signal of the
landing of the slavedrivers the slaves would run to put themselves at their
feet? So that they might again put on the chains? They still believe that
these people want those chains, that these people long for those chains!
No! They do not want chains. Those who want chains, those few who want
chains--but not chains for themselves, because they never worked, because
they were never slaves, but were slave drivers--these are the ones who want
chains, but not for themselves, but chains for the others. These should be
(word indistinct) by force so that they may leave this country. (applause)

Convicts who wish chains for the others make their report to the
imperialists, saying that there were so many left. They count those who go,
but the big imbeciles do not count those who remain. In this case they even
exaggerate the number of those who go. They exaggerate, saying that a
million want to leave, and it is not we who put a limit on those who go; it
is they. They have estimated all the relatives or acquaintances they have
in the United States, and they have said a million, and there are many
people they put on the list of acquaintances who, when asked if they want
to go, say, I'm crazy to go there." Apparently this is the way they count

They do not count, for example, the Puerto Rican who went to the United
States. They do not take into consideration the immigration from other
countries, while they try to make it attractive to get a greater number to
leave Cuba so they can make propaganda. But we are not losing; we are
gaining. It is not a million or a half million.. We count between 100,000
and 200,000 persons, many of them having relatives there. Many of them go
because (several words indistinct), because they are incapable of
(?feeling) all the warmth and all the greatness of a revolution.

In the United States, during its war for independence, many North Americans
who did not want independence went to Canada. We estimate between 100,000
and 200,000. But it was not we who set a limit; it was not we who forced
them to stay here for many months. It is they, and when we (?summon them to
go and make it possible), they cynically say that we (?opened the doors) to
make propaganda. (applause) And they opened them. Now we say to them: Why
don't they take all those who want to go and be done with it? (applause)

For every one that goes we shall have the necessary funds to give another
scholarship to the child of an agricultural worker or a canecutter.
(applause) Next year we shall create 20,000 scholarships for families of
workers and canecutters who still live in shacks and under very difficult
living conditions.

We will be organizing an ever more united people, a more homogeneous
people, a people more compact, enthusiastic, and revolutionary. We will,
more and more, have a people who will live up to the slogan of "Fatherland
or death," because, as when someone wants to clean rice, beans, or whatever
is to be cooked from time to time, above all, as housewives know, they get
water, put the food in the water, stir it up, and the dirt comes to the

In the same manner the imperialists--and we should say this once and for
all -- committed a strategic error in their effort to take our technicians
away. In their effort to wage propaganda they facilitated the emigration
from this country of the class of people which they wanted to use for the
counterrevolution. They took the counterrevolutionary class. They took
almost all of them, and they might as well take the few remaining once and
for all. They should take them. We challenge that cretin who spoke on
behalf of the U.S. Government to take once and for all those who want to
leave. It is not we who set limits; it is they who set the limits. Their
mask was removed a while back. They cannot remove their mask because they
have virtually no mask to take off.

I said that they were creating this sort of illusion regarding the
revolution, regarding its force, regarding revolutionary cohesion. The
revolution has never been stronger; the people have never been more united
with the revolution; the revolution has never been more invincible and
firm. Never have the perspectives of the revolution--in regard to
advancement, organization, and work--been better than at this very time.

A factor which has been fully exploited in waging what type of campaign was
the problem of sugar production during this harvest. We explained
thoroughly what happened the previous year. We reached a level of 6 million
tons and (few words indistinct). At the beginning of the year we explained
that our country had suffered the worst drought since statistical data
began 60 years ago. We explained all the data. We explained how much rain
fell in Las Villas, how the drought was especially severe throughout Las
Villas, Camaguey, and Oriente, where the bulk of the cane plantations are
located, where the bulk of our cane production is located. We explained how
in Las Villas only 50 percent of the average rainfull occurred. We
explained that in Camaguey and Oriente a little over 50 percent of the
average rainfall occurred, and that this necessarily would not affect the
production of vegetables, potatoes, and other crops raised by irrigation,
but that it would substantially affect cane production. No lies were told.
No judgment was concealed. Everyone certainly knows that we have not been
remiss in making the necessary criticism or self-criticism.

On this occasion, unfortunately, a natural factor intervened to interrupt
the process we wre carrying out. It affected cane production substantially,
even over and above the initial estimate. Production in Las Villas
Province--a single province which suffered most from the drought--was
affected to the extent of 500,000 tons of sugar. In other words, in Las
Villas Province alone production decreased--it was the province that had
the greatest decrease--by almost half a million tons of sugar. An equally
substantial decrease was experienced in Camaguey Province despite the
enormous effort, despite the fact that according to data supplied by the
Sugar Industry Ministry the average sugar yield for this date was 12.08
compared with 11.8 last year at this date.

We reached 4 million tons on the 27th, but we will not reach 5 million
tons. It is painful, but we are not discouraged nor do we hide it. What do
our enemies do when last year we said we produced 6.05 million tons? They
said it was a lie, it was a lie.

They have exaggerated the figure even when we say that the production will
be so much and when we admit that the estimates have not been very exact
and the production figure is whatever it is. Now they say that last year's
figure was true. They have already begun to say that last year 6.05 tons
were produced. That which they said was not true they now accept as true to
take advantage of the present conditions.

It is necessary that our canecutters, our farm administrators, exert
themselves to insure that the last cane is cut except that whose yield does
not exceed 40,000 arrobas. This is because to cut 40,000-arroba cane would
be a mistake. This would affect the production of the coming year. All the
40,000-arroba cane is being cut so that we can come as close as we can to
the 5 million tons. Though our enemies sing about victory, that does not
make a difference. We know what is being done. We know the amount of cane
which has been planted. We know how well advanced the fields are, the
amount of fertilizer we have this year. We know the number of cultivators,
the amount of fertilizer we have.

We also know that if this year's weather conditions are maintained in the
coming year by a wide margin, it will be we who will laugh at our enemies.
Our athletes have adopted a slogan, one of those which you see around here
which says, "We will see you in Puerto Rico," and we say, "We will see you
in 1967. We will see you with the sugar production of 1967." (applause)

In the coming year, if we struggle, we will struggle to achieve the highest
figure in our history. We fight, we exert ourselves for this, and it will
be, beyond any doubt, a great harvest. We will not take all the credit. We
still do not control the rains. We still have not mastered the technique of
artificial rain. We are working on it. We are not going to achieve that
victory in a coming big harvest. Part of that victory will be because of
the best year, the best rainfall year which we are experiencing. Part of
the victory will be because of this. The other part of the victory will be
because of the intensive effort being made in the planting, in the
fertilization, at the farms, in the fields, in such a way that in almost
all the provinces we have made the party comrades and agricultural cadres
commit themselves to end the first weeding on 26 July but to struggle for
the second weeding and in many places the third weeding by 26 July.

The sugar cane will be fertilized as never before in our country. It will
be cultivated as it has never been cultivated before. We will have greater
yields per caballeria than any attained before. When the capitalists
produced more than 7 million, they cut almost 120,000 arrobas. They cut all
the reserve cane. We will reach similar figures with fewer caballerias of
cane. As far as the sugar industry, which is and will be for some time the
fundamental base of our agriculture, the most serious problem, the hardest
problem to reach--the 10 million--has been solved, technically. It has been
solved with the collection center. (applause)

Here are the millionaire canecutters. Some of these brigades have been
cutting for the collection centers, and they have cut twice the amount for
the collection centers than they previously cut with the traditional
method. Of course, it will be 1970 when we have collection centers in the
largest part of the nation's sugarmills.

Here we have data from a brigade present here which has taken as a basis
for estimating the cutting yield in one system over another system. In the
international brigade of the sugar workers trade union battalion--I believe
this brigade must be here; raise your hands, comrades--from 16 to 28
February, these comrades cut clean cane for lifters. Working from 16 to 27
February, 378 hours, or rather 378 man-days, they cut 155,350 arrobas.
Cutting for a collection center, from 1 to 15 March, in 442 man-days, they
cut 372,089 arrobas. Average cane cut without a collection center was 411
arrobas a day per man. Cutting for a collection center, these same men cut
an average of 842 arrobas per day (applause). In other words, they cut
twice as much cane.

This bears out what we have verified with many workers--the opinion that
while cutting for a production center a worker yields twice as much with 25
percent less effort. With the collection center, the workers will produce
more with less effort. Consequently, they will receive a larger income, and
150,000 macheteros will suffice, at the rate of 400 arrobas per day--no,
800, assuming an absentee rate of 20,000 per day. In other words, with
130,000 macheteros at the rate of 400 arrobas per day per machetero, this
means that with virtually half of the macheteros a harvest of 10 million
tons of sugar cane be obtained. (applause)

Hence, the task of building collection centers, 50 of which will be built
next year in Camaguey Province, not only entails an enormous savings in
manpower and not only raises work productivity, but also promotes savings
in railroad transportation and promotes substantial savings in vehicle
transport for the movement of cane to the collection center. It will,
perhaps, also increase production in the sugarmills. Furthermore, it will
facilitate mechanization in fields that can be worked with machinery, with
a much simpler machine which can even be manufactured in our own country.

In other words, for us the most difficult problem of harvesting a
10-million-ton harvest is already a solved problem. This, naturally, will
insolve a substantial increase in the millionaire brigades, because it will
be much easier to become a millionaire brigade with a yield which is twice
as large as the usual yield.

Furthermore, in agriculture this year, because of the better rate of
rainfall and because larger areas have been planted, there is a
considerable increase in tobacco production, a considerable increase in
coffee production, a considerable increase in milk production. We have
already had a considerable increase in vegetable production. Some 50
caballerias of tomatoes are being planted in the Oriente mountains, so that
early this summer we will have salad tomatoes which are being grown in the
Oriente mountains (applause). For that reason I was telling you that under
present circumstances we will be able to face the future with optimism--not
a false optimism, not an illusory optimism, but an optimism based on
concrete facts, on clear realities. This is our situation.

This is our situation in the subjective order of things; that is, regard to
the conscious force of the revolution and the organization, greater
knowledge, greater experience, greater resources. Our situation is quite

As to outside matters, the dangers threatening us from abroad are the same
that have always threatened us, with the difference that we are
increasingly stronger, that we are and shall be increasingly better armed
and better trained--better prepared in all ways to resist any imperialist

And in this matter of imperialist aggression we count primarily on our own
forces. We must not go on expecting from anyone (applause) but from

We do not think that it is good for a people to entrust their defense
security to others, but rather to themselves, especially when we see what
is happening in Vietnam. (applause) To tell the truth, it neither frightens
nor discourages us. It teaches us and prepares us. (applause) It
strengthens our spirit, and we know (?what we can do). We are a hard bone,
a very hard bone to gnaw. (applause)

But we can not do less than feel indignation at seeing the aggressive,
barbarous, and criminal acts of the imperialists against the Vietnamese
people--the criminal, repugnant, and cowardly aggression, the piratical
aggression which places Mr. Johnson among the greatest criminals humanity
has known (applause), among the greatest pirates (applause), because there
is a little difference between Yankee barbarity in Vietnam and what the
Nazis did in Austria when they annexed Austria, or when they tore
Czechslovakia to pieces, or when they invaded Poland. We know well those
brutes and that barbarous aggressive policy.

Farther yet, thousands of kilometers away, the imperialists bomb in the
very heart of Asia. With hundreds of planes they massacre women and
children. They carry out chemical warfare, no less against a socialist
country, and they do so with sufficient impunity. Regardless of the causes
and the reasons, the imperialists boast of tremendous aggressiveness, of a
criminal aggressiveness. We know the imperialists well, how cowardly they
are, how opportunist they are, how they take advantage of others.
Therefore, (words indistinct) and they commit all kinds of abuses.

And they will continue to do so. We said this at the time of the October
crisis; they will continue to do so as long as they do so with impunity,
until they are halted. And we really believe that peace depends much more
on making the imperialists see what they can do and what they cannot do.
(applause) And if in the long run they are permitted to do what they want,
to carry out their piratical acts of vandalism, this does not contribute to
peace. This is an enormous error. It contributes to increasing the dangers
of war.

The crime of Vietnam hangs on Johnson's conscience, and the crime of Santo
Domingo--but not on Johnson; Johnson is nothing more than the
representative of the financial oligarchy, of Yankee imperialism. These
crimes, these vandalic actions weigh on its filthy conscience. Do they,
perhaps, intend with this to intimidate the people? Do they perhaps intend
to scare the people this way?

Here is a good example--the example of Cuba--that vandalism no longer
scares the people but prepares them for the struggle. (applause)
Imperialist vandalism makes our people more firm and determined.
Imperialist vandalism shows us its criminal and savage entrails. It reaps
the hatred and indignation of the people and prepares them for the
struggle. That is what they will achieve with their vandalism.

In Vietnam, Santo Domingo, and throughout that world which is attacked,
inflamed, and harrassed by the imperialist generals, the thoughts of our
people, our revolution today, the International Labor Day, to to the
fighting people--our message of solidarity to Vietnam, to Santo Domingo,
the revolutionary fighters of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. (applause)

Today our people fulfill the dictates of their conscience and their
internationalist duty in an examplary manner and place in their hearts and
thoughts the heroic fighting people who will defeat the imperialists,
because all the people united, carrying out that order, that mandate of
Karl Marx--to unite against the imperialists in the struggle against
imperialism, to help each other, to support each other--will be more
powerful than the imperialists.

Today we shout with more feeling than ever before: Long live the heroic
people of Vietnam! (audience shouts: Long live!) Long live the heroic
people of Santo Domingo! (audience shouts: Long live!) Long live
Marxism-Leninism! (audience shouts: Long live!) Fatherland or death, we
will win!