Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish 1248 GMT 27 September 1966--E (FOR OFFICIAL

(Text) Pinares de Mayari, Cuba, 27 September--Maj. Fidel Castro, first
secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), has
announced that the production of fertilizer will be the principal field of
industrial development in Cuba until 1970. The Prime Minister made these
statements at a meeting in central Oriente Province with university and
vanguard students who are following the route taken by the Frank Pais
column, which was commanded by the present deputy prime minister and
revolutionary armed forces minister, Maj. Raul Castro, during the war of
liberation. The students, numbering more than 1,000 were in the fifth day
of their trip through the Pinares de Mayari area when they met up with
Fidel Castro, who was visiting the area.

This area, on a mesa some 500 or 600 meters above sea level, is the site of
a special vegetable planting program (words indistinct). A vast program of
pine tree planting is also being carried out, and the exploitation of
nickel deposits is also planned for future years. The region is considered
one of the richest in this mineral and it also has deposits of cobalt and
chromium. A fleet of 150 trucks is already working on the transportation
and spreading of organic fertilizer.

With regard to the growing of vegetables, Fidel Castro announced that from
8,000 to 9,000 women will be engaged in this work when the proper
conditions have been established. Toward this end, construction is planned
for shelters and for nurseries to care for the women's children after the
construction of an agriculture technology school has been completed with a
capacity for 500 scholarship student. These students will first have to
complete the second year of basic secondary school in order to enter the
school and they will quality as intermediate technicians upon completion of
their studies.

Fidel Castro then explained that once this group graduates, each of its
members will be given charge of the cultivation of three caballerias in the
area. He added that the first 300 students in the soils and fertilizer
institutes will soon graduate and that by 1970, some 12,000
agriculture-cattle technology institute students will have graduated.

After noting the need for the technicians to move into the rural areas, he
again criticized the tendency of some state organizations to contract the
technical career student before they complete their studies, calling this
piracy. He went on to stress that this situation and the inherited shortage
of technicians are causing large areas of production land to go without
technicians, while the technicians are filling bureaucratic posts. He said
that he principal contribution of the cities to the rural areas should be
in terms of technicians, for the cities should restore to the rural areas
the product of capitalist plundering. In this regard, the Prime Minister
said that all the technicians should be placed in accordance with the needs
of the country, and he said: "We must promote a minimum of urbanism and a
maximum of ruralism."

Fidel Castro called the great cities a distortion caused by the anarchic
conditions of capitalism; "the great urban concentrations are not
self-sufficient and they are uneconomical." He added that after the
conditions of the exploitation of man by man, there remained the
exploitation of the rural areas by the cities. He said that "in the future,
no big cities will be developed, only medium-sized cities with every
service and comfort."

Analyzing the geological conditions in the Oriente area, the Prime Minister
commented humorously that when he was a child, the climbing of the mountain
to the mesa near his birthplace, some 500 to 600 meters high, was his first
experience in the practice of the guerrilla warfare he led later in the
Sierra Maestra.

Further on he spoke of the economic conditions of the peasants in the area
who had to move to the mountains, victims of the landowners in the
lowlands. He declared that they helped enrich the guerrilla army and led to
the triumph of the revolution. After explaining that a census giving an
exact figure had not been made, he noted that approximately half a million
peasants live in the mountains, mostly devoted to the growing of coffee.
Fidel Castro said that the characteristics of the land and the lack of
technical knowledge have prevented the peasants from increasing their
productivity, but that the revolutionary government intends to contribute
to the development of the crops with the introduction of appropriate manual
machines and the use of fertilizers. In this regard, Maj. Fidel Castro
announced the intention of using 400 young pilots trained specifically for
the aerial spreading of fertilizer. They will be used over 500,000
caballerias in special areas.

Speaking of the economic development of some fields in agriculture, he said
that the mountain regions will produce no less than 3 million quintals of
coffee and that in Camaguey, a program of planting fine lumber-producing
trees, such as cedar and mohogony, is being carried out. He added that
strawberries are already being harvested in the area of Banao, Las Villas,
to be used in the production of Copelia brand ice cream. Grapes and
asparagus are also being harvested in that area. The grapes are being used
in the first experiments in making wine and the asparagus will soon be used
by the national canning industry.

Then Fidel Castro spoke of the need to have the leaders of the revolution
move to the rural areas to investigate, on the spot, the needs of the
peasantry, and he gave the example of a noticeable shortage of technical
books in these areas, while their circulation was required by the existing
avid desire to learn, Reiterating that books should be printed for the
peasant communities, he said "that will be a task for the Book Institute."

Finally, the Prime Minister termed impressive the revolutionary spirit of
the men who live in the provinces of the country, the agricultural workers.
As an example, he noted that all the mountain areas are filled with
mountain units (of soldiers and militiamen) which maintain firm devotion,
and he warned: "Let whoever want to check it fire a shot around here! It is
an invincible force which has been created here!"

Once the conversation ended, the students continued their march to Piloto
del Medio to make camp. They continue their march today to Paraiso, some 13
kilometers from where they were yesterday.