Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana in Spanish to the Americas 0245 GMT 7 Jan 67 E

[Fidel Castro speech at the inauguration of an housing project near Havana,
covered live by domestic radio and television and international radio]

[Text] Invited guests, workers, and peasants of the Havana belt; new
residents of the new houses in tonight's little town -- I understand that
they are present here too, right? Have the keys been distributed yet?
[crowd shouts reply] Not yet? [crowd noise] So, if the keys have not been
given you, what did the kings bring you? [crowd reaction to reference to
Latin equivalent of Santa Claus; Castro's response indistinct]

That is the problem; what will the town be named? [suggestions from the
crowd] No, that can be decided by the committee. Moreover, the town is
still too small. [remarks from the crowd] When we have a bigger town. [At
this point Castro and the audience maintain a mostly indistinct colloquy
relating to the town and the people]

The inaugration of a small town like this is in itself not of great
importance. The importance of this little town, in the first place, is that
it was completed in only 44 days and it already has 111 houses in addition
to a children's playground, a nursery, a business center, an athletic
field. Only the school is lacking. It seems they did not have time to make
the school, too, during the 44 days. Nevertheless, there are 336 children.
In any case, this town should have--the building of the school should begin
immediately. It will be the new type of school we are building in these
cases for primary school students, that is to say, a school in which they
will receive breakfast, lunch, and supper at school. [applause]

In that way, this town will become a little model of how we should organize
things in rural and urban areas. This, the children's nurseries, will make
it possible for all adult persons to be devoted to work. That is to say,
they will not have the obligation to be constantly cooking, washing,
ironing, and doing all those things which constitute an enormous part of
women's work.

That type of school is the one which will be built in the future, so that
we expect that as the rate of construction is speeded up, all the infantile
and juvenile population will have their institutions organized, from the
nurseries to preuniversity schools.

This town is also significant in that its existence constitutes the
completion of the first stage of the Havana belt plan. The Havana belt plan
began on 17 April and should be completed in 1968. It involves the
agricultural development of all the areas surrounding the capital of the
republic. This program includes housing for the workers and the peasants of
the entire area. Part of the area belongs to the state: another part
belongs to the small farmers.

The plan, as I was saying, involves the integral development of that land,
as well as of the necessary agricultural installations. Up to the present,
458 housing units have been built in the Havana belt, as well as 130 small
[word indistinct], 100 chicken coops, 69 stables, 338 projects of other
types--dining halls, warehouses--and 280 projects in green areas.

The area of the Havana belt program covers approximately 2,300 caballerias.
For the European guests in our country who do not measure in caballerias, a
caballeria equals 18,000--19,000--hectares approximately. For example, the
area includes from 6,000 to 7,000 hectares of pasture somewhat farther
away. Moreover, it will include of forest land two forests, one almost in
the heart of the city, along the shore of the Almendares River, which will
contain some 500 hectares; the other forest will be near 100th Street and
contain approximately 300 to 400 hectares--I do not remember the exact
figure. Those forests will also be completed next year.

In addition, there will be a botanical garden, which will also cover some
500 hectares. That botanical garden will in the charge of the Havana
University School of Botany. Also, the area will contain the Havana city
zoological park. There is a plan to develop a botanical garden in each of
the provincial capitals to meet needs for study and recreation, for a
well-designed botanical garden is not only extraordinarily useful in an
economic sense, it is also very useful in terms of study, and it is also a
place for recreation. All the pertinent areas have been set aside for all
these needs.

There are also some areas that will be covered by the dams being built. The
2,300 caballerias will have irrigation, that is, the 30,000 hectares will
be irrigated.

In a certain sense, this constitutes an achievement in hydraulics. Why?
Because the total population of Havana and its environs is more than 1.5
million persons. Moreover, the colonizers of this country published a study
made over four centuries ago. The city of Havana is in one of the narrowest
regions of the country, in which there is no big river. Of course, there
was the Almendares River, but it is a little stream. Those who know rivers
know that the Almendares cannot be considered a river. But Cuba is a long
and narrow island, and we do not have any large river. There may be small
rivers which dry up at times.

Perhaps the first settlers of Havana city considered the Almendares River a
great river for the establishment of the city here, and the city grew for
four centuries. With the establishment of our pseudorepublic early in the
century, along with the phenomenon of intervention and colonization by
imperialism, the phenomenon of bureaucracy and the phenomenon of the growth
of the city came into being, and all the wealthy families in the
country--landowners, sugarmills owners, factory owners--came up to live in
the city. That is why so many luxurious houses can be seen in the city,
houses which today shelter, I estimate, some 70,000 students. The wealthy
built some truly sumptuous houses. And the city grew. With the bureaucracy,
petty politics and patriotism, the city continued to grow until it reached
its present size.

Nevertheless, this province does not have an important river. It possesses
considerable underground water sources because, aside from rivers, there
are some natural dams that nature provided this province with.
Nevertheless, a good part of that water must be set aside for the use of
the population. That constitutes a problem.

This province has magnificent agricultural soils, but agriculture gets
competition from industrial and [word indistinct] water consumption in the
city of Havana. That naturally presents the need, in the future, of some
plants to purify that water and use it for agriculture. At the time,
perhaps in a more distant future, we may be presented with the need for
some solution based on the use of desalinated seawater. But we should not
concern ourselves with that now. It is further away and requires a new
technology and much investment.

And we have a problem of shortage in the city, despite that competition
between the consumption of the population and of agriculture. If, under
these conditions, that entire area can be irrigated and if the major part
of all the agricultural lands of the province can be irrigated--that, I was
saying, would we are doing is damming all the small streams, the small
rivers, wherever there is the chance to make a small dam, a medium dam. In
short, we will have to build--and we expect they will be completed this
year--some 200 microdams in addition to a large dam on the Almendares
River. It is not the Aswan Dam, it is a dam for, let us say, 80 or 90
million cubic meters. Taking into account the natural rainfall in the
province and the type of crops, 100 million cubic meters would permit the
irrigation of some 15,000 hectares.

Since the crops will be around the [words indistinct] to consume much
water. The policy of damming all the water, following the slogan of "Not a
drop to the sea," is the one being applied throughout the country. Special
emphasis has been placed on it in Havana Province for two reasons: because
the largest concentration of consumers resides here, and the largest
concentration of workers. This province has the advantage of possessing a
large conventional labor force. That is why we can see that everything in
this province is advancing considerably, for, in contrast to Camaguey
Province, which has agricultural lands about 4.5 times greater than that of
Havana Province, it has, on the other hand, a population approximately
one-third that of Havana Province. So here we have a very large potential
human labor force to accelerate all that development. Therefore, the
hydraulics policy being followed in the Havana cordon plan is the one that
will be followed throughout the province at an accelerated rate.

There was a real contradiction in this province. It seemed like the most
developed agricultural province. Many times, when there was talk of various
plans, everywhere one heard the statement that there was no land for more
agricultural development. However, we decided to survey the province piece
by piece, with maps and with visits to all areas of the province. We were
able to see that Havana not only has the necessary land to raise the
majority of the agricultural products it needs, but also enough to
participate to a great extent in the country's export business. We have
estimated about 28,000 caballerias for agriculture. This, converted into
hectares, amounts to 280,000 hectares, on the one hand, and half of 280,000
gives a total of 420,000 hectares that the province has, already having
subtracted for towns, highways, industrial installations, and the very few
nonagricultural areas constituted by steep hills. [Castro's mental
arithmetic as heard] [words indistinct] including the steep hills in this
province. The first stage of this project to cultivate hills in the
province is already underway, and as a matter of fact, success seems
promising enough.

Therefore, in the Havana belt itself, planting of the hilly areas will be
done in terraces with protective [words indistinct] to prevent soil
erosion, offering the possibility of working with machinery in the hilly
areas. Thus, all the terraces will be [word indistinct]. Moreover, we are
experimenting with the technique of accumulating top soil elsewhere, as
well as on terraces, for the type of crops being planted.

In other words, there will be very little area in the province not used for
agricultural purposes. All the cultivated areas will be surrounded by the
forest belts to protect them from the drying effects of the winds, physical
damage, [words indistinct]; and wherever possible the most important
agricultural fields will be protected against hurricanes. We do not have
freezes here.

There are large areas in the country devoted to the raising of citrus
fruit; among them in Havana Province--within the Havana belt--we will have
some 4,000 hectares devoted to raising citrus fruit. Thus, the citrus
products that will be consumed by the Havana population will practically be
raised within the city limits, that is to say, it will be on the very line:
where housing ends, the citrus fruits will begin. Also, in the remainder of
the province, approximately 7,000 hectares will be devoted to (?raising
citrus fruit), a small portion of the country's total.

Florida, for example, is one of the United States' leading citrus fruit
producers. The North Americans are famous as producers of a great deal of
citrus fruit, estimated at above 5 million tons. A large part of the citrus
products raised in Florida is grown on land that is much poorer than ours.
They have two disadvantages: they have the hurricanes--almost all the
hurricanes that hit the Caribbean end up in Florida. We are not going to
say we are glad, for that would not be proper. However, it happens, and
some of these hurricanes also hit our country. So, we have a natural enemy
in the hurricane.

However, in Florida and California, they have another natural enemy, that
is, freezes. When a cold wave hits those areas, (?the crops are
threatened), so much so that they use artificial heating to protect the
crops. Fortunately, we do not have that problem. Fortunately, as far as we
know, this country has had no freezes. Therefore, we only have one natural
enemy, that is, the hurricane. If Florida, with a poorer land than ours and
faced with two enemies, can have a large citrus industry, there is no doubt
at all that we are going to have a better citrus industry than Florida.
There is no doubt at all about this. [applause]

I was saying that there is available in Havana Province a certain amount of
land that will make it self-sufficient in the supply of citrus products.
The rest of the land is suitable for tropical products. Therefore, we are
trying to attain different common objectives. The first is to make use of
this land but to do so correctly. In our view, the most rational thing has
seemed to set up clusters of (?colonies) [words indistinct] and
tree-growing areas that will contribute to purifying the atmosphere around
the city. The second objective is to grow some product that does not need
too much water. The third objective is to raise a type of agricultural
product that (?will enhance) the capital area. The fourth objective is to
raise a valuable product that can be easily taken care of by the large
labor force available to Havana.

I (?used to) tell you that was no land in this province. As a matter fact,
the truth is that it was being very badly used, horribly used. As a matter
of fact, the farmers around the Havana area were practicing a very backward
type of agriculture. We must say that because the facts are evident [words
indistinct]. It was fundamentally a fast-consumption agriculture. To give
you an idea of the way in which this land was being exploited, we must tell
you that the revolution initially concentrated its effort in the provinces
that have large areas of land available, especially those that have large
tracts of state-owned land.

When the land reform began, approximately 70 percent of the country's total
agricultural area passed into the hands of the state to be exploited by
national enterprises as national centers of production. Thirty percent of
the land remained in the hands of small owners--sharecroppers, squatters,
renters. Under the land reform, they were exempted from paying rent. (words
indistinct) Since the small farmers (?operate) in a densely populated area,
they can only own a half hectare or one hectare of land. The total
agricultural area [owned by the state] is much greater then the combined
land area owned by the small farmers.

Even though we had a land reform, there were in the country large landed
estates. To give you an idea, one U.S.-owned landed estate in Cuba included
200,000 hectares of land. Thus, the land reform was tremendously radical.
Cuba is not an overpopulated country. Thus, the small farmer naturally has
at his disposal more acreage than it would be possible for him to have in a
densely populated country. The revolution exempted the small farmer from
paying rent and helped him in other misfortunes. It granted him money,
credit, and what help it could--to the extent of the country's resources
and the experience all of us had, which certainly was little enough.

Many of the comrades in charge of agriculture developed a sort of
indifference to the way in which the small farmers exploited their land.
Therefore, only the state-owned land appeared on many maps. So we asked
them: Who lives there, in that empty space? The answer was: Well, a small
farmer. We asked: Perhaps this small farmer does not live in the country
and the production of this land does not interest the entire country? Our
small farmer had a backward form of agriculture, inherited from the
condition of the country's underdevelopment and technical backwardness and
the illiteracy that was so widespread in the country. All of this made for
a greatly backward agriculture that used no machinery, no fertilizers, no
adequate cultivation technique, no adequate seed variety, no irrigation--in
a word, this was the existing situation. Of course, a land that gets no
fertilization and a land that is not irrigated produces poorly and cannot
be relied upon. This was the situation.

We had to find a way to integrate the small farmer into the productive
process for it was up to the small farmer to increase the productivity of
this land. However, the small farmer did not have sufficient resources to
do so. It was necessary that the entire country help in this and to draw up
plans, keeping in mid the country's experience in the matter. So, it was
necessary to wipe out a stage--to wipe out a stage of commercial relations
between the socialist state and the small farmer.

What do we mean by "commercial relations?" There was a period of the
revolution when, if there was a shortage of carrots the collection centers
would fix a certain price for the product. So if there was a shortage, the
price of the carrots would go up. If the next year there was an abundance
of carrots but no beets, the price of beets would go up. Another time they
would raise the price of arum, and so it was grown (?instead) of coffee.
This was a situation that never ended. We have passed that state.

It happened or could very well happen that the country had a sufficiently
efficient and modern sugarmill in a certain area and that a farmer would be
planting carrots around the mill, or perhaps beets. The problem was solved
by raising the price of the cane to compete with the carrots and beets.

[words indistinct] moreover, if the price of the product of this sugarmill
was raised, the same would have to be done in all the other mills, because
those who cultivate the same cane with the same amount of work should get
the same price for it.

This was the policy, which moreover was associated with a series of
processes, [words indistinct], contracts between the banks and farmers, and
contracts between the farmers and the collection centers. Once the farmer
signed the little piece of paper with the collection centers, promising to
deliver a certain quantity, he would have practically the right to sell at
any price any amount left over to him. Finally, we reached the conclusion
that this kind of relationship would never help us develop agriculture and
do what would be best for the country. Even more, it would not contribute
to the creation of a revolutionary awareness among the farmers.

If the country had a sugarmill at a certain spot and about (?100) hectares
around it in production--let us say 13.4 hectares or one caballeria--and a
(?few) cows that produced a little milk, what happened? We estimated that
when a dairy is located beside a sugarmill, one kilometer from it, about
500 quintals of (?milk) have to be transported to supply the mill with
milk. These are our quintals, which are half of the European quintals; they
are quintals calculated in pounds instead of kilograms, approximately 25

As for the cane that was transported to that mill: if instead of the
caballeria that was there, another was used situated some 10 kilometers
away, it turned out that the transportation required, measured in
kilometer-tons, was 1,000 times--hear this, now--1,000 times more to
transport high-yield cane to the mill from 10 kilometers away than to
transport the milk to the mill from a distance of one kilometer. The only
really reasonable thing was to shift milk production to a distance of 10
kilometers and locate the cane one kilometer from the mill. Quite simply,
cane 10 kilometers away implied transporting 1,000 times as much
weight--that is, 500 times as much--in half the time, in the six months of
the sugarcane harvest--it was necessary to transport 1,000 times as much

There were abundant examples of that situation. There were even many state
dairies in areas near the sugarmills. Now the cane is being brought near
the mills; it is being planted on state land and on private land.

Now then; how were we to work with the small farmer? After all, with his
backward production, the small farmer had a rather wretched income, and the
national economy received a rather wretched gross product from that land.
If in order to develop that agriculture we had been obliged to become
involved in a policy of contracts and prices and more contracts and more
prices, we would never have been finished with it. The farmer would have
said: Well, I am going to mortgage myself; I do not want debts; I do not
care to plant that stuff here; I feel insecure. In short, the problem would
have been insoluble.

What did we do? We changed the entire old system of the relationship with
the farmers. We feel that if this farmer produces one ton, the country
receives one tone: if he produces 20, the country receives 20 tons, because
what the farmer produces will be consumed in the country or exported by the
country. Any loss is to the economy of the whole country.

Hence, beginning with the premise, we launched a new policy, under which we
are advancing toward the rational, optimum use of all state and private
land. And since we have the advantage of starting at a very low level of
productivity on this private land, we can rationalize the use of this land
in a way that will let both the country and the farmer gain by it. (?We
began by having the state make all the investments), that is, if the ground
had to be broken or planted to new crops. This also includes productive
installations, and it now, under these programs, also include housing. And
this is not being done through a mercantile policy; the farmer is not
mortgaged; he is not going to owe the state one penny.

We develop that production unit, then, and the farmer's obligation [words
indistinct] proper technical methods and get the most out of it. If a crop
is involved that requires additional aid in work, national manpower forces
are mobilized and the crop is gotten in, just as planting is done and those
tremendous projects you have all seen around Havana are carried out.

After all, through optimum use of that land we are going to create such an
abundance of all these products that in a not too distant future the
products involved in these programs will also drop out of mercenary
circulation. So then, society is cultivating state land, deciding on
investments in land that does not belong to the state, making the
investments, contributing to its development, contributing to its
exploitation, in order to create a productivity that will allow the country
in effect to withdraw all these products from mercantile circulation. This
means that our country seriously proposes to progress toward communist
distribution. [applause]

This of course must be based on the maximum development of technology,
productivity in work, and productivity of land. In the immediate present,
all the rural people who receive the benefits of the microprograms are
bettering their situation extraordinarily. As in this case, if they lived
in a rather unhealthful hut, they are provided with housing, and working
conditions that are incomparably better.

To get an idea of what this program means economically, taking the example
of this Havana belt, suffice it to say that the value of per hectare
production will be increased 20-fold. This means that every hectare of the
ones we are working will, when it is in production, be producing economic
returns 20 times greater than it was previously. In talking with farmers,
we have analyzed their output--of milk, as an example--and we explained to
them how, at their present level of productivity, 1 million hectares would
be required just to supply the city of Havana with milk. Actually, we are
going to supply the city of Havana adequately with milk, and with cheese as
well, and to a great degree with butter [applause] from about 80,000
hectares of land--with 80,000 and supply it at a level that would be double
what would be possible at the peasants' level of productivity on 1 million
hectares. This is to say that a real revolution is going on in agriculture
in this province, as in the rest of the country.

How have the farmers received these programs? They have naturally received
them with great joy, extraordinary optimism, extraordinary happiness. And
so the contradiction that existed between private ownership of the land and
the low productivity of that land and the interests of the rest of society
has been resolved, has been resolved, has been overcome in the only way
that is of interest to us and the only way we must overcome any
contradiction in the bosom of our revolutionary society--that is, in the
ranks of the workers and peasants--without any clash.

Truly, one of the most difficult problems in revolutionary processes has
been the land question and the case of the small farmer. A farming
proletariat existed in our country; there was a mass of small farmers, but
there were also big landholdings, some worked more intensively, but almost
all worked on a minimum scale; and they were worked by paid workers. When
the revolution introduced land reform, it did not parcel out the land.
People who already had land, were in possession of land, small farmers who
paid rent and paid part of their crops to the big landowners, were released
from all payments. On the other hand, a distribution of land from state
land was not instituted.

Had we distributed the land, it would have provided one of the greatest
chances for the failure of this revolution. We would have fallen into the
grip of an ultraunproductive miniholding system that would have forced us,
immediately afterward, to begin instituting socialization of the
distributed land. No distribution was effected, and under conditions
existing in Cuba, distribution was not necessary. Earlier, distribution had
become a sort of dogma in political doctrines. Luckily, we understand in
time that, in view of conditions in Cuba, distribution of undivided big
landholdings would have been a step backward.

Thanks to this, we had a firm foundation for developing a modern
agriculture with great emphasis on mechanization and technique, that is, on
the way to mechanization and technology. At the time, all this has enabled
us to develop, with the peasants, a policy of agricultural development and
of an agriculture of modern technique without clashes. In other words, we
did not rush into distribution; we did not distribute. As a result, we have
not been obliged to socialize.

Actually, when the country attains a system of communist distribution, then
society in its entirety will in fact be working to produce for the whole of
society. That is why we are disposed to help the farmers, disposed to
develop the farmers' productivity, improve their housing, improve their
living conditions in general, build roads, highways, and installations of
every kind so the farmer will see practically all his needs satisfied. A
communist distribution will imply satisfying the material and intellectual
needs of all society.

This means that the contradiction represented by the existence of a large
proportion of land belonging to society as a whole and another part of the
land belonging to the farmers individually will be resolved through
distribution in the future. In our opinion we have found a happy solution;
we have therefore not expressly promoted cooperatives. If some farmers want
to join, they do so.

The counterrevolution told the peasants that since this was socialism their
land would be socialized. And we told the peasants: Since this is socialism
we are not going to socialize your land, for socialism is the alliance of
workers and peasants; it is not forced socialization of the peasants' land.
We will respect your wish to go on as an individual farmer or a cooperative
farmer. Really, with the new ideas about the development of agriculture, in
a not too distant future every inch of land in the country will be
producing what suits the country's interests. Next to the sugar mills,
cane; in the dairy industry areas, milk; in the citrus regions, citrus
fruit; in the pineapple areas, pineapples; in the banana areas, bananas; in
the starchy food regions, starchy foods; rice areas, rice; and in short, in
every section of agriculture.

This will allow us, in time, to be making rational, optimum use of the
land, in keeping with the country's various needs, in every province, in
every region, and in keeping with the characteristics of the land, to
produce what the country needs.

You can see how this program to develop the areas around the capital is
moving fast. How did the microprograms begin? The microprograms began with
a few farmers, and others asked: What are these microprograms? And little
by little, as the program gained prestige, more and more farmers wanted to
join in the microprograms. Hence a large majority of the peasants in the
Havana belt--I am tempted to say many more than 90 percent--are included in
the programs. And what is happening all over the country is that the
farmers are asking: When are the microprograms coming? [words indistinct]
introduce it as fast as they want and we would wish to as well.

In the Havana belt, housing needs to solve the problem of unhealthy
districts and unhealthy huts and housing for all those working there amount
to 4,100 more units. Luckily, yesterday a communist labor brigade made up
chiefly of students from the Havana provincial school built--collecting
remnants, (?pipes), and iron here and there--they performed the feat of
building a cement plant with a 100-ton daily capacity in 6 months.
[applause]. This plant was not in the national planning schedule, it was
not in the country's plans; it grew out of the imagination of the comrades
of the province.

Yesterday, then, they finished the little plant which will begin producing
at once. And with that cement--aside from the cement to be produced in the
two big plants that will be completed the second half of this year--it will
be possible to give a big impetus to this whole program in Havana Province.
With the efforts of Havana workers and the extra cement they are going to
produce, we hope the housing problem can be solved for all the workers and
peasants in the Havana belt this year, 1968. [applause]

Beginning the second half of this year our country will be able to increase
housing construction considerably. These past few years we have been
limited by the need for cement. This town was built in 44 days. Now then,
to satisfy this country's housing needs it is necessary to build the
equivalent of 100 towns like this every month for 10 years. That is the
amount of construction required to meet all needs of industrial,
agricultural, and social development. Add to this all the schools that must
be built throughout the country, social installation in general, hydraulic
installations, factories, roads, highways. It is a tremendous task that
must be accomplished in construction. But luckily, in a fairly short while,
we expect to mechanize cane harvesting completely. That will make available
to us 300,000 workers whom we can incorporate into construction work
basically and, or course, into other economic activities, too.
Mechanization of cane work is the thing that will release the extensive
work force we need for construction. That is why I was saying that the
(?actual) importance of this town amounts to very little. During these
years the revolution has not exceeded 10,000 housing units a year, and the
construction of some 100,000 a year is needed.

Currently, the effort being made in construction, the effort in the
industry is directed at mechanization of construction and establishment of
the basis for prefab construction. We need to mechanize construction as
well as use a great number of workers in these activities.

Beginning the second half of this year, housing construction throughout the
country will be boosted considerably. Now, where are we going to place the
main stress? We are going to place the main stress on the rural areas, in
housing constructions, and basically we are going to stress construction of
housing for workers on the people's farms.

In the future, construction will not utilize the system of isolated houses;
we must move toward utilization of the land and economizing on land. We
must use space vertically, and so the comrades in the construction ministry
are trying out this new building, 17 stories high, which they are also
putting up fast by the prefab method. We will not put up such big buildings
in the rural areas, but we will build vertically more than horizontally,
and the policy that will be pursued is to give the rural areas preference
over the city in housing construction, and to give preference above all to
workers on state farms.

And we will also be building more and more, resolving the problems of
peasant housing. This means that the rural areas will have priority over
the city in construction. And this is very logical and fair. I do not
believe that anyone will argue the point. [applause] For the residents of
Havana Province and for all who may be interested in the plans for this
province, I have to tell you that behind the fruit belt will be the dairy
belt. The dairy belt will occupy land beyond the fruit belt. It is being
established on rolling land not fit for other types of crops, where we will
have 80,000 hectares of pastures that will comprise Havana's dairy belt.

The same thing that we do with coffee cannot be done with cattle. Cattle
have a slower natural development. They are not like coffee,, of which 1
million seedings can be produced in a few weeks. By 1970, Havana will be
completely self-sufficient with the coffee we are going to plant this year
in Havana Province, some 100 million plants. It is enough to say that the
coffee that is consumed in Havana today has to come from 1,000 kilometers
away. It is grown in the mountains of Oriente Province and the people in
Oriente have to go to the mountains by the tens of thousands to harvest
coffee; and then a good part of that coffee has to be hauled 1,000

Havana will produce the coffee it consumes, and by 1970 it will be
supplying itself completely with coffee. This coffee will be planted as a
secondary crop, that is, it will be planted in the same areas as the fruit
trees. That will happen in only two more years. Each province has its own
cattle plans. Each province will develop its own cattle plan. A province
such as Camaguey, with few people and many head of cattle, will, with its
massive plan for crossbreeding with dairy cattle, have more milk cows
sooner than Havana Province. However, Havana Province must produce its own
milk cows. It must produce them with the dairy cattle existing, the zebu
cattle we are going to change, through insemination, into dairy cattle.

In this plan, which takes into account the milk requirements of the
province, the best sires are being selected so that dairy cattle of high
productivity will be produced in Havana Province. That is why the increase
in milk production will be slower in this province than in others with
fewer people and more cattle.

Now there is one thing that is being well done, and that means the
application of a health policy with respect to our cattle. It includes the
elimination of all cows with brucellosis and all cows with tuberculosis.
The problem of brucellosis and tuberculosis is endemic in almost the entire
world. For example, in Europe, cows that do not have tuberculosis or
brucellosis bring higher prices for their milk. They have not really been
able to eradicate either tuberculosis or brucellosis. We, in our cattle
policy, although we proceed more slowly, are eliminating, and we intend to
eliminate all tuberuclar cows in the province. We also intend to eliminate
all the cows with brucellosis. That means eradicating those types of
diseases that have become endemic and permanent in Europe, for example,
from the dairy sources in Havana Province and the entire country. They are
fighting it with vaccinations and various procedures, but they have not
been able to eradicate it. This means that we are going to develop cattle
of high quality and healthy cattle in the dairy belt beyond the fruit belt.

After this come the flat lands with irrigation, where the sugarcane belt
and the root crop belt will be established. This will no longer be a belt,
but a strip, because to the south of the province we have magnificent flat
land with possibilities of irrigation, where all the root crops and all the
vegetables the province needs will be produced. At this time, root crops
and vegetables are brought from even as far as Oriente Province, 1,000
kilometers away. In addition, the sugarcane necessary to maintain all the
centrals of the province at peak production will also be planted.

In the plan for 1970, Havana Province includes the production of 100,000
more tons of sugar than it planned for 1970. [Castro hesitates and then
goes on] In addition, Havana Province will produce a considerable part of
the rice that it will consume. Therefore, it is going to supply all the
milk it needs, cheese, it is going to supply itself with almost all the
butter--of course, there will be other areas which will produce much more
butter than this province. It will produce the fruit it needs. It will
produce the vegetables it needs, the root crops it needs. We call potatoes,
malanga, yucca, plantains, and so forth root crops (viandas). They have a
different name than in Europe. We have to speak here for the Europeans and
for all. Possibly those Latin Americans here understand our measurements
better, our language, but I do not know whether many understand it because
I do not know whether intellectuals are very familiar with the problems of
agriculture. [laughter, clapping] At any rate, you will forgive me if I
have spoken too much on these problems, not forgetting that it is the
material base for the cultural development of the country. [applause,

In addition to supplying itself with practically all it will need, except
for a few items, Havana Province will export no less than 100 million
pesos' worth of agricultural products. That is, Havana Province, Havana
Province alone. This means that it will supply itself, by means of this
revolution of technical development which is taking place in the province,
with practically all items, except a few, and it will export and obtain for
the country 100 million pesos in foreign credits. Thus it will be that the
population of this province, the population of the City of Havana, will
redeem itself from that type of colonialism, colonization to which it
subjected the rest of the country.

Havana, more than just being the capital of Cuba, was the metropolis of
Cuba. Now Havana can be the capital and not the metropolis because it will
cease to be a burden and become a tremendous help for the country because
of its enormous labor force, its enormous technical resources.

Havana has the mission of producing technicians for the interior of the
country, a great many needed by the interior of the country. It has the
duty to help the rest of the country, and it is already doing so in many
ways. [Someone shouts at him from the crowd.] There is no postoffice? But
do not interrupt me now. Save the letter for me and give it to me. [More
unitelligible shouting] Well, if you break the thread of everything I am
talking about, the cows, coffee, caballerias, hectares, there may be great
confusion here.

And now what were we talking about? [He turns to the other people on the
speakers' platform while the crowd laughs.] I believe we were talking of
Havana, the capital city, and not Havana as a metropolis.

At this time many of the citrus seedlings of high quality, which are going
to be used in various plans in the interior of the country, are being
produced in Havana Province. This means that already it is lending
technical aid to the rest of the country.

By 1969, by the end of next year, the 400,000-odd hectares of the province
will also be under cultivation. That does not mean that production is going
to be halted. From 1969 to 1975 the participation of this province's
agriculture in the country's exports will increase even more than the
figure of 100 million pesos in addition to supplying the requirements of
the future population of this region.

Of course, in future development plans we must see to it that Havana does
not grow much more. Havana already is of considerable size, and we must
develop the interior of the country. We must see to it that the phenomenon
that was present for such a long time, that of an emigration toward the
capital, is definitively halted. If possible, many Havana youths with
technical training should go to work, as they are already doing in Embil
and many other places, in the interior of the country. For this we want to
create the necessary conditions.

Fortunately, neither in this city nor any other Cuban city are there any
beggars. Perhaps those here who come from large, very opulent cities with
many neon signs, with much luxury with much show, will miss the beggars
here in our capital, beggars who were so plentiful. They will note the
absence of houses of prostitution in this city where, unfortunately, in the
past, under imperialism, tens of thousands of women could not find any
other employment. That vice, so common and widespread in great, very
developed, and industrialized cities, does not exist in our country. You
will not find loafers, you will not find children in the streets who are
not studying, or doing absolutely nothing. Our country is overcoming all
those chronic vices.

We still do not have great economic development, but we can say with
absolute tranquillity and absolute certainty that our country already has a
rate of development and progress such as can be stopped by nothing and no
one. [applause] Our people work with more and more enthusiasm, with more
and more consciousness, with greater organization, more machinery, more

Our rate of progress is notable and is something uncontainable. I imagine
that the imperialists and this country's detractors must observe this
progress with much bitterness. And even today they have to admit that the
country is advancing. Therefore, they have not been able to make their
usual campaign with respect to the problem of oil, and they have had to
admit the real fact of the enormous increase of requirements, or the
increase in requirements as a result of the enormous effort to progress
that is being made in Cuba. They have to admit this already.

We are not too far from 1970, and already the skeptics, those who let
themselves be deceived by imperialist propaganda, those who thought that
this country was a very radical and very revolutionary country, but
incapable of organizing and incapable of developing, the skeptics who felt
sorrow about Cuba, who thought that Cuba brought discredit to the ideas of
socialism because there were no statistics--these will have the opportunity
to feel comfortable and stop thinking about those things, because they are
really going to see a country which not only knows how to be profoundly
revolutionary and internnationalist, but is a country capable of overcoming
the immense obstacle: the problem of underdevelopment in today's world.

At the same time, the imperialists will have to observe bitterly these
successes and will lose the propaganda instrument which they have used so
much against the revolution, because imperialist strategy was to do the
unspeakable to make it fail, to create as many obstacles for us as
possible. Then they could say: "See, socialism is no good. Socialism is not
the path." It is the same thing as a doctor who would do everything
possible to kill a patient in order to demonstrate that a medicine was no
good. That has been the policy of the imperialists, to do the unspeakable
so that our economy would fail and then say "You see how socialism is not
the solution."

At the same time that imperialism makes the efforts that it says that it
does, particularly an effort with words, efforts of the imagination, to
help the other countries of Latin America develop, the truth is that by
1970--the obvious, unquestionable, and irrefutable reality is that in 11
years our country will have leaped ahead great historic distances, will
have achieved great progress, while the rest of the countries of Latin
America will be suffering a worse economic situation, worse backwardness,
greater under-development. There will be an even greater difference between
them and the countries which will have developed economically.

As we said on 2 January, the imperialists have looted and continue looting
the nations of Latin America of their technicians, doctors, engineers, and
trained personnel. And they loot not only Latin America. Even some
countries of Europe such as England are victims of looting by the United
States, which pays enormous salaries. The British Government has been
concerned lately with counteracting the enormous withdrawal that the United
States makes of English technicians. The Yankee imperialists loot all the
world. They loot the underdeveloped, the developed, the poor, the rich--all
the world.

The situation of our country by 1970 will suffer no comparisons of any
type. There is little enough time left. They have made a lot of propaganda
this year about our sugar. Certainly, this year we have a very bad drought.
Up to 1972, this country will have a high degree of dependency on climatic
conditions with respect to its main crops. However, this is a situation
that will diminish progressively and, by 1972, we will no longer need to
look to the heavens to see if it is going to rain or not rain. Our
agriculture will have freed itself of all the hazards of climate, that is,
with respect to rainfall--not so with respect to hurricanes. They are
something else. We cannot yet control them.

Nevertheless, in spite of the enormous drought, the work done with the
sugarcane, the fertilization of the sugarcane has compensated to a
considerable degree the effects of the drought. So they are not going to
make much of a campaign based on this sugar harvest. This sugar harvest is
going to be a good harvest, and we say this without fear. The sugar may
fall a few points, more or less, but we say and repeat that the 10 million
tons by 1970 will be reached inexorably. Inexorably! [applause]

There is more than enough sugarcane now, given the enormous effort being
made at this time to achieve that goal. That is the truth of our country.
We have many more resources. At this very place there have been
concentrated, with their operators, the rubber-tire tractors, the
caterpillars with their women operators. There are brigades of small
tractors here operated completely by women. [Applause] Tonight they
concentrated the 200-odd machines which are working in the Havana belt.

As we said on 2 January, from 1960 to this date some 35,000 tractors have
been brought into our country. And those 35,000 tractors, added to a
remaining some that are a little older, make a grand total of approximately
40,000 tractors that we have available at this time. And those 40,000
tractors are working at this time. They are not only working but in many
cases they are working night and day. This means that for every tractor
there are two or three operators, and we have much more organization. Much
more maintenance. Therefore, we believe that at this time the advance of
the country is truly uncontainable, and there will be no difficulty which
can even delay our economic development.

I understand that the brigade--that those who were going to work in the
eradication of marabu around Havana are present here. It was said that by
28 September there would not be a single marabu plant in the area around
Havana. It appears, however, that by March there will not be a single
marabu or aroma plant in the area around the City of Havana. This give us
an idea of how everything is accelerated, because at that time it appeared
unlikely that this could be accomplished in one year. It is practically
being achieved in a period of six months.

I believe that with this ample explanation, a bit boring perhaps, which we
have been giving you--boring particularly for our guests who are here
tonight in large numbers, having very agreeably come to participate in this
small celebration--well, perhaps the primary things of the belt and the
province's agriculture and some things about the country have been
explained. Now if there are any of you who want to ask questions, we are
here at your service. [applause]

[Someone shouts a question--indistinct.] According to the poem of El Indio
Nabori, the houses were to be turned over today, but it turns out that it
is not today but tomorrow. I am going to tell you the truth, and that is
that the fault is ours, and, more than ours, that of the Havana Cultural
Congress. What do you think of that?

The cement plant was going to be inaugurated on the 4th, the town here on
the 5th. However, the congress was inaugurated on the 4th. On the 5th we
inaugurated the plant. And on the 6th day of this month, we inaugurated
this little town. That is why there has been a lag of 24 hours. I think El
Indio wrote "Tomorrow," but I do not know how he arranged his poem, if he
did, because I have not seen a copy of it. He probably said "tomorrow" and
it turns out that it is today. [Laughter] The houses have been left for

[Question indistinct] You do not live in the town? And how many in the
family? Only four? But more will come, true? [Laughter] Then you are going
to have a house that is too big for only four in the family.

[Unintelligible question] What? [More shouting and laughter from the crowd]
Does the town have electricity? A business center? A children's park? A
social club? A sports field? And it is going to have a school. But
carramba! We are not done yet. There is no transportation. [Laughter] Well,
good. (?Obviously) you are going to get transportation, no? Surely Comrade
Faure knows about this and every time there is a new little town he
resolves the problem. But I want to know one thing: After that, what? What
do you need after that? What do you need afterward?

[More unitelligible shouting] You, where do you work? (Unintelligible
answer) In Arquitecto? In Alquizar? That is a long way away. Then the
transportation that you are concerned with is the transportation in

[More shouting] Ah, very good.

[More shouting] I do not know what you want. [Applause] Well, the sooner
this ceremony ends, the sooner this night goes by, the sooner these new
residents can take possesion of their houses. So thank you all very much.
Fatherland or death, we will win! [Applause, cheering]

[Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services at 0232 GMT, before Prime
Minister Castro's speech, report that seen on the speakers stand with
Castro are many Cuban party and government officials and others, possibly
delegates to the Havana Cultural Congress. Identifiable are party
organization Secretary Armando Hart, Maj Rene Vallejo, and Osmani
Cienfuegos. The inaugural ceremony beings with the playing of the national
anthem, followed by Cuban poet El Idio Nabori's delivery of the verse he
has written especially for the occasion. Maj Fidel Castro then begins the
above speech.]