Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0300 GMT 1
February 1967--F

(Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro on 30 January to students and
teachers of the Ruben Martinez Villena Technological Institute for Soils,
Fertilizers, and Animal Husbandry and the teachers, workers, and students
of the Council of the Plan for Technological Education--recorded)

(Text)  Comrades of the technological institutes:  (cheers)  A few weeks
ago when we gathered on the steps of the university on the occasion of the
graduation of the first students of this plan, I explained to them our idea
that it was absolutely indispensable to combine work with study.  I
described the type of technician we wanted to produce.  I also explained
the concept of a time when tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands
of citizens, young citizens of course, will have acquired a command of
technology and how, when that time comes in our society, the manual and
intellectual work of all men and women capable of producing would make
that idea a reality.

I explained that during these years the incorporation of all youth, all
students in production was an economic necessity, that in coming years
there would be no economic necessity because the increase in labor
productivity through machinery would make these massive mobilizations
unnecessary.  Moreover, when that time comes and there will be no purely
economic necessity, there will be a pedagogic need to incorporate students
in physical, productive labor activities.

During these years there prevails this need of an economic character.  We
had planned to incorporate the technical institute of this plan in March,
but the imperious need to do it in February has presented itself.  This
meant partly to change our plans, introducing a certain upset in our
scheduling.  However, these schools are characterized by their dynamic
spirit, by their flexibility, and that is why when the need presented
itself we proposed this to the comrades who directed this plan.  We faced
them with the necessity for a quick, emergency effort, and for planning the
problem with students and adopting steps to make this mobilization in

Not only students of the worker and agricultural-livestock technical
institutes will be mobilized but also the students of the Education
Ministry's technical institutes will be mobilized.  The students of the
Manuel Fajardo Physical Education Institute will also be included in this
effort.  (applause)  This means that other technical institutes, whether
they are of an agricultural-livestock character, an industrial character or
other types, will be mobilized.  This means putting into effect to a high
degree the ideas we expressed at the university.  Perhaps some will think,
those who are a kind of educational technocrat, that this could perhaps
affect technical training.  We do not believe it.

Yesterday we talked with all the professors of the first complete rural
school, which we inaugurated recently in Pinar del Rio Province.  I
explained to them how in our opinion if we managed to get those boys and
girls to devote 50 percent of their time to study, 30 percent to productive
work, and 20 percent to physical education and sports and recreational
activities in general, we will have managed to achieve what no other school
has ever achieved.  Never, in any school, never have the students devoted
50 percent of their time to study.

The very idea of school was repulsive to students, their time in the
classroom, for a reason that we did not understand because we were
incapable of understanding, because they were incapable of explaining it
to us, and because they could not explain it to us because it would have
been necessary to tell some of those children in that era:  "Spend all this
time in this classroom and listen to these teachers and forget about work,
because the children of the rich will never have to work."

Or we would have had to say:  "Come into this classroom all you who come to
these little shabby schools and listen if you feel like it to this teacher
who comes here two or three times a week, because it does not matter if you
study or not.  It is better if you do not because you will have to work as
slaves all your lives for the bourgeois and the land owners."

Thus some were the children of the rich and others were the children of the
poor.  To live in a society divided into these two categories, is no reason
to give any great incentive to study, nor was there any way to explain it,
nor were there any people capable of explaining it, nor was there anybody
capable of understanding it.  That is why we viewed the classroom as a
prison, a book as an enemy, the teacher as a disagreeable and unbearable
person.  That is why never, never, in any school did any student study more
than 50 percent of the time or even 50 percent of the time.  Perhaps they
never studied even 30 percent of the time.

The children wasted their own time just as they did classroom time.
Discipline was something that was imposed and could not be a matter of
conscience.  You know what the idea of a vacation was--three months spent
idling in the streets, (laughter) students and teachers both.  Did they
indulge in sports?  Where?  Where?  Did they really have a vacation?
Where?  How?  And then there were other vacations for Christmas and another
during Holy Week.  All day Saturday and Sunday was a vacation, and many
times so were Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

If it had not been because of the days that the teacher did not come to
school, the days when the child did come because it was too far or when the
child did not attend because he did not want to or could not--the students
of these technical institutes would not have had to begin at a second-grade
or third-grade level.  This was after the literacy campaign and the
improvement courses; there are many in these technical institutes who are
very advanced in their studies who were illiterate when the revolution won.

We explained to the teachers and professors of Pinar del Rio school how the
idea of vacations must be changed to an idea of true vacation so that the
school can organize the children's vacations.  They would be given a month,
but it would have to be an organized month in which they would go to the
beaches or to true vacation centers or take trips to the forests or related
activities which are true vacations.  Three months would not be necessary.
A month would be enough and another week and a half at the end of the year
and a week in between, some 50 days of true vacation plus recreational and
sports activities on Saturdays.  It is true that if you spend all week at
your books, no matter how well you know the importance of books, you will
feel a desire to lay aside your books at least once a week.  (laughter,
cheers)  The same is true when you spend many days away from your
books--you feel the desire to open a book.  (applause)

To the degree that you progress, as you acquire more training and more
culture, you will feel that need more and more--the need for books.  This
means that the schooling and the life of children and youths can and must
be organized in such fashion that the combination of work, study, sports,
vacation, recreational activities, and physical education will make
children's and youth's activities incomparably happier and more
enthusiastic.  Of course our conversation yesterday dwelt on integral
schools where they begin at 10 or 12 years.  The institutes are not this
type of school.  The institutes in the future will be attended by students
from the integral schools--in the far distant future because they are too
many of these institutes for the integral schools to provide with students.

These schools will be fed from existing primary schools and those that we
describe as "isolated schools," or perhaps more graphically, or, I do not
know, perhaps less graphically but by the certainly deprecatory term of
"shabby little schools" of the rural areas.  They are those isolated little
schools where there is no physical education teacher, high school teacher,
library, record library, barbership, first aid room, sports fields or any
of those other things that the complete school has, where everybody is
uniformed, well-dressed, and well-fed.  The isolated school is the
opposite.  In the morning the students arrive, some dirty, some clean, some
barefooted, some with shoes--because sometimes even when they have shoes
they are accustomed to going barefooted--some well-fed, some hungry because
sometimes there are too many in the house and there is not enough food.  In
other cases there are not too many but the ones who take care of them are
not too diligent, or there are too many and there is no one to wash their
clothing or cook the food for so many children.

Naturally in these new schools there is a kitchen with modern equipment
where a cook also increases his productivity.  There are very modern
laundries where the laundresses increase the productivity also.  Life is
changing, and things are better.  Unfortunately, however, things in this
country will still take a lot of time, because it will take us at
least--and this is if we hurry a lot and if we work hard, and if we win
over bureaucracy, and if we create a growing consciousness of study and
work and more organization and more efficiency in everything--10 years to
make things right and to have at least a million students in these schools.
Then everything, laundry, ironing, cooking will be done primarily by

Meantime these schools have grown and will grow much more.  It has been
possible because sometimes they have even been installed in field tents.
It has not always been possible to build a school as elegant as this one,
although we will have them someday everywhere, but we are progressively
moving toward a total change in our teaching, and I do not believe that
anybody has any doubt about this.  If someone stops here today and looks,
he can see that this is true.  Let no one have any doubts that we will
march in the vanguard of the world in the matter of training the new
generations.  This will mean--I say this with no fear and without
chauvinism of course, but with great conviction--that we will be in the
vanguard of revolutionary ideas.  It will mean being in the vanguard on the
road to socialism and it will mean being in the vanguard on the road to
communism.  (applause)

This does not mean we have proposed leaving the others behind.  But if the
others stay behind, we are not at fault.  If, without proposing to do so
but simply because we want to do things well, we become a revolutionary and
ideological vanguard, we are not at fault.  However, undoubtedly from what
we see, hear, and read, many are lagging behind.  But we advance, and this
is the road; events justify our optimism.  You are, or should be, a
vanguard within that vanguard.

We have great confidence in this plan, in these schools.  We will see that
the students of the complete schools will be better than you.  We do not
know this, but we expect it.  However, we know that the immense majority of
you, workers that you are--I repeat--the immense majority of you, as men
who have known what I am talking about and who have known the hardships of
life, the hardships of a life without hope and future, have the right to
understand this.  You have the chance to be vanguards.  You have the chance
of playing that role.  And we, although we have said this on other
occasions, expect the new ones to be better.  We can say we believe that
those of today, that is, you, are good.

Why is your incorporation as of this date in productive activity a result
of necessity?  What produces this necessity?  It arises from the
contradiction between the revolution's enormous education effort, the
enormous effort on a number of fronts, particularly educational defense,
and construction fronts.  At the same time it arises from the revolution's
economic plans which must serve as the basis of this development, primarily
the agricultural plans, which are the axis of our efforts during the years
between now and 1970.  As a result of this, we already have, for example,
nearly 20,000 workers studying under this plan.  All of them are from the
rural areas, from the mountains, children of small farmers, children or
workers, or young workers.

While that mass grows, on the one hand, the mass of men who handle our
growing number of weapons also grows.  The number of men who devote
themselves to building houses, schools, hospitals, highways, warehouses,
factories, and economic construction in general also grows, and it will
grow more every year.  Agricultural production also grows.  It grows in the
amount of sugarcane to be harvested, the number of caballerias of land to
be cultivated.  And the growth of that production in construction and
agriculture, for example, is not accompanied by a decree of mechanization
in which productivity is increased twofold, threefold, fourfold, fivefold,
and in many cases sixfold.  When is agricultural productivity increased
sixfold?  When a man, instead of spreading fertilizer by hand, sprays it
with an Antonov-2, then he does not increase it sixfold but multiplies it a
thousandfold because a pilot does the work of a thousand men.  This year
more than 50 airplanes will do intensive fertilizing work in the canefields
and pastures.

However, the problem is not yet resolved, because the harvesting of
sugarcane by machinery is not so easy, or anything like that, not just any
sugarcane, but sugarcane of high yield per caballeria.  We are developing
this.  The problem of cutting canefields yielding 80,000 or 100,000 arrobas
per caballeria, where the cane tends to fall over because of its height has
not yet been resolved.  Research is being done in several directions, to
develop sugarcane with few leaves, sugarcane that grows straight and does
not tend to fall over but has a high sugar content and yields many arrobas
per caballeria, much sugar per canestalk, and much cane per caballeria or
whatever surface area it may be, and sugarcane that does not fall over, as
I said before.

This is one of the directions in which we are working.  However, work is
also being done on the machines, to develop machines that will cut
sugarcane that is tall and falls over.  Advances are being made in that
area.  Soviet technicians have worked on this.  Cuban technicians are
working on it.  Some of the machines already developed by the Soviet
technicians, particularly the latest model, have advanced in the task of
cutting tall cane that leans over to a certain degree.

On our part, the introduction of the collection and preprocessing stations
will contribute considerably to resolving the problem of mechanizing the
sugarcane harvest, because then each combine will no longer have to have
the upper fans, and the only problem left to be resolved will be that of
tall cane and cane that falls over so that we can bring it to the stations.
This year we have more than 50 of these stations.  They have demonstrated
some very interesting things.  They have demonstrated that they easily
allow the canecutter to double his productivity.  They have demonstrated
that industrial productivity is increased by 10 percent, that is, the
industrial capacity of the centrals is increased when the sugarcane is
processed through the stations.

They have demonstrated that transportation capacity is increased, but also
that the station can process either the cane that is cut by hand or cane
cut by machines that leave the leaves on the cane.  And so today we use
them to increase our productivity in cutting cane by hand, but tomorrow
they will help us resolve the problems of the machine, because the cane can
then be cut by combines which will send the cane to the stations with the
leaves on it.  In the matter of combines, the main problem to be resolved
is to develop machines which will cut high-yield sugarcane and machines
capable of cutting sugarcane that falls over or tends to fall over.

(Editor's note:  The following portion of Prime Minister Castro's speech
was taken from a Havana PRENSA LATINA /FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY/ transmission
at 1250 GMT 31 January 1967.)

Even when this has been achieved, a time will come after 1970 when all the
sugarcane which is in the mountainous regions and cannot be handled
mechanically will be transferred to the plains, where pasture and other
crops are now growing but can be grown quite well in hilly regions.  Then
we will be faced with the problem of organizing the plantations so that the
sugar plantations will be established in areas where they can be handled

You are well aware of the fact that this is a complex task which will take
years to carry out.  However, during these years we will have to harvest
greater quantities of sugar.  In Oriente Province an estimated 1.5 million
arrobas will be harvested this year.  This means that Oriente Province is
producing more sugar than when total production topped 7 million
(presumably tons--ed.).

National sugar production still is not up to that, and this year we will
not exceed that figure, which is the highest to date.  That was when the
landowners cut all the cane.  Later the harvests were restricted.  However,
next year we must exceed that figure considerably.

An enormous amount of fertilizers has been used throughout the country:
fertilizers for coffee and fertilizers for sugarcane.  The newly cut cane
is being fertilized now--something that was never done before--so that at
the close of the harvest almost all the canefields will have been
completely fertilized with a product of a much better quality than has been
used.  Moreover, all the sugarcane on state and private plantations will
receive early fertilization.  To this must be added several applications of
leaf urea, which planes will spray on the state plantations, and additional
applications of nitrate of ammonia for the cane on private plantations
where because of the distance between them, it would not be very
advantageous to use planes.  This, together with the additional land--an
estimated 90,000 caballerias by next year--should enable us to exceed that
famous harvest when all the cane was cut and amounted to more than 7

Of course, this, along with a gigantic plan to step up pasturage--in view
of the fact that the livestock population has increased without a
proportional increase in pasturage, that other crops are being increased,
and that all sorts of agricultural plans, such as reafforestation, are
under way--requires the presence of many workers, particularly during the
harvest months and in spring.  At the approach of spring we shall also
mobilize the secondary and preparatory school students.  They are our
reserve for then.

However, as I told you, there is much sugarcane to be cut in Oriente
Province . . . (Someone in the crowd asks:  "What about the university?")
They too.  At the proper time.  They are being held in reserve.  I told you
that we had 1.5 million arrobas in Oriente Province.  By the end of this
month 300 of them will have been cut.  This will leave some 1.2 million
arrobas.  This means that beginning February a daily rate of some 12
million arrobas of cane will have to be cut.  February, March, and April
are when the sugarcane harvest is in its prime.

In Camaguey, we must exceed 10 million in order to finish the harvest early
enough to complete the spring plans and sow more cane, fodder, vegetables,
rice, and various crops in general in this province.  Oriente has not as
yet reached 7 million (Havana Domestic:  10 million) per day figure.
(Havana Domestic inserts the sentence:  In Camaguey they have not exceeded
7 million.)  Hence there is a need to mobilize this reserve for Camaguey
and mobilize those from city schools to Oriente.  This will include the
students who have been there longer, since the first days of February, and
the students who entered this year since mid-February.  I believe that
they, too, will be impatient to start, as will you, to take part in this
great effort.

What does the effective and important contribution of the students and the
technological experts mean to this plan and to our sugar harvests in these
two years?  It means the possibility of increasing the plan.  If we did not
do this, we would have to apply the brakes here and say:  "Not one more
worker can study or become a technological expert.  Not one single worker
from our fields and from our mountains can enter into these plans."
However, your efforts will limitlessly open the way for our workers.  It
will allow us next year to include 40,000 students in this plan.

This plan will enable uninhibited growth because the contradiction between
these plans--which are implemented mainly by youths from rural areas--and
increased agricultural production will no longer exist.  This will happen
because you and those who will follow you next year will be there when
manpower is needed the most.  Our plans called for involving 40,000
students by 1970.  Very well, we will have that many by the end of this
year!  (applause)

Comrade Lionel is already talking in terms of the figures for 1968, 1969,
and 1970.  I had to tell him:  "Lionel, you have beaten me in the
emulation."  (laughter and applause)  "Your figures are well over my most
optimistic imagination!"  What does this teach us?  It teaches us that far
from making us lag behind and far from hindering our aspirations, the
problems posed by the revolution teach us to overcome difficulties and even
to set our sights higher.  This precise problem and its solution have made
possible the development of these plans.  This is a true example of

When you start studying matters related to dialectic materialism and
historical materialism, when you want a clear example, here is one:  A
contradiction, such as the one I have pointed out, between the growth of
our educational plans and the growth of our economic plans poses a problem.
The solution of this problem allows us to expand those plans.  Therefore,
if the contradiction had not arisen, we would not have developed so much.
Our plans will develop as a result of the contradiction.

Not all of you, of course, will join.  We need those of you who are
graduating to conclude your studies.  This compels us to concentrate on
this group and to allow them to finish this year so that we can assign them
some other kind of activity.  There are also those students who have
entered the technological institutes, such as the Forestry Institute, who
will later lend their services in the planting of forests.  There are those
students attending the coffee and fruit tree technological institutes.
There are those who must remain in the school.

Finally, we shall mobilize the lady comrades for other plans, primarily on
the Isle of Pines (applause), where there are enormous quantities of kudzu
seed to be collected for planting next spring (applause).  For those of
Oriente, I have already explained how some will join in the beginning of
February and others in the middle of the month.

Thousands and thousands of young people are also joining in agricultural
work in various plans.  I think that it is possible that many of these
young people who are joining in agricultural work would like later to join
in this technician training program, which is constantly growing.  Tens of
thousands of soldiers have joined in and next year it will have to be a
general order.  The greatest number of men of the armed forces will join
in.  The students of all the technological institutes will join in.  This
will mean that practically all of our young people will join in
agricultural plans in the sugar harvest and in the spring crops.

This makes us increasingly a people of workers, students, and soldiers.
This is [Unreadable text] because you, besides being students, are soldiers
and workers.  You symbolize this idea and you symbolize an indispensable
directive for this country in the years ahead:  the necessity of being a
people of whom all will be workers, all students and all soldiers
(applause).  For this it is necessary to continue to look into ones
conscience, to go deeper into ideology.  For this it is necessary to
continue to sweep away away conservative and reactionary ideas.  It
is necessary to sweep away anachronistic ideas on all levels.  The
bureaucratic spirit must be swept away.

This movement of yours, this movement of young people toward the
canefields, and [Unreadable text] antibureaucratic counteroffensive, are
all part of the same thing.  The battle [Unreadable text] the bureaucratic
spirit is a battle almost as difficult as the battle against imperialism,
and, naturally, more difficult than the battle against the landowner
because there were few landowners, while there are many with a bureaucratic
[Unreadable text] in this country.

By this we do not mean to minimize the importance of administrative tasks.
When we [Unreadable text] bureaucracy, let it be clearly understood that we
do not say administration but, rather, an excessive growth of
administrative tasks, a massive, futile, parasitical, and unproductive
concentration on nonproductive tasks.  When we talk about fighting against
bureaucracy we mean reducing to the necessary minimum the number of men and
women engaged in activities which do no directly produce material goods.
The only way to dignify administrative work is to free administration of
the bureaucratic concept and of the bureaucratic burden so that there may
be proportionately less of it and at the same time making it increasingly

This demands constant improvement by those who must devote themselves to
strictly administrative activities because bureaucracy is often the result
of ineptitude.  Ineptitude is not the only cause, but it is one of the
causes, although the principle cause is the petty bourgeois spirit, the
lack of awareness of what the human resources of a country mean, the lack
of awareness of what the material resources of a country mean.

To create bureaucracy is to wash human resources down the drain, to convert
a man or a woman into causeless, parasitical citizen, and to waste human
intelligence and energy which should be devoted to things useful to
society, to things useful to human beings.

Therefore, we must be inflexible against this criminal, antisocial, and
unjustifiable waste of human resources, an evil which existed under
capitalism and which has not disappeared under socialism.

The same applies to the squandering of material resources--those who fail
to keep up the machinery, those who care nothing about saving raw
materials, fuel, or oil.  They have no idea of the cost of things because
they still think in terms of a class who never felt the need to produce
material goods.  Therefore, they know nothing of the effort involved, the
energy their production required, or perspiration that goes along with

You play a very important role in this battle against bureaucracy.  This
battle is part of our training and deep study of our revolutionary ideas.
Each hour you spend at those sugarcane fields, where the work is arduous,
each hour you spend under the hot sun giving your utmost effort--not only
will your shirt become damp with perspiration, but your entire body will be
bathed in sweat--each hour, each minute will be impressed upon you--the
advanced generation, the future of the homeland and of the revolution--the
importance and the value of each centavo, each peso--the importance of each
material good, the material and natural resources of our society, and above
all, the importance of the human resources of a society.  You will also
become aware of the path that a society must travel to win its bread, which
does not fall from heaven, the effort involved in producing each material
good, and the need not only to save material and human resources but also
to increase the productivity of labor.  With the sea of today's
perspiration we will produce oceans of material and spiritual goods for
tomorrow two, three, four, five, and ten times our present production.

If anyone should become aware of the necessity to increase production it is
you, the gigantic mass of technicians of the future who will be at the head
of production units as technicians and also as physical workers in
production.  This hard work, yes, paradoxically enough and also
dialectically, will be what will create in you an awareness for the need to
study, the meaning of the proletarian revolution, the habit of conserving
material and human resources.  It will give you an awareness of a need to
raise production levels--the socialist and communist point of view!

The youth of our generation have attested to the high degree of maturity
and self-sacrifice in the lengthy marches during the day an night, hungry
and thirsty, many times eating only a snack during the whole day.  They
have displayed this maturity through sacrifice!  They have won honor and
glory by their efforts.  Many of them, virtually all of them, continued to
overcome their difficulties in this same spirit.

Today, or at least at this moment, the glories which were won yesterday
with that effort must now be won in production.  In these canefields you
will be writing part of the history of today.  I say part of it because we
do not know whether we shall have to write the other kind of history, too:
history such as Giron, the history of the mountains with weapons in hand!
(applause)  In the canefields you will be writing part of the
self-sacrificing, stoic history of today.  You will be writing your own
history, the history of the present, and you will be laying foundations for
the future.

You will receive a considerable portion of the fruits of this effort.  Many
of those who fought eight or nine years ago in the mountains, did not even
see the fruits of victory.  Those who fell did not even see the victory.
Others knew that the fruit of the work of the revolution was still very
distant and few would enjoy them.  But you will receive a large part of the
benefits of this work.

When we talk now of a developed economy, of high productivity, this is
something which is not too many years will benefit you directly.  It will
benefit all the people.  It will benefit, more than anyone else, your own
children; it will benefit those who are today entering these full-time
schools in a higher grade, ad most of all those who are entering the

But you are already working for yourselves, you are working for your own
future.  This will encourage you in your work.  Each time you raise your
arm in the midst of the heat and the hard effort to cut the cane, you will
think, and to think this will encourage you, that are working for
yourselves, that you are working for a future and for a society whose
material benefits, and above all, whose moral benefits you will fully

Therefore, calling on this spirit, in the name of this truth, we hope that
what has been said on other occasions will be said of you even more:  that
technological school students are magnificent workers, that technological
school students really cut cane.  (applause)  We hope you will maintain and
increase this prestige.

Four big sugar centrals of Camaguey will be in your hands.  (applause)  It
will not be as it was previously, of always bad cane.  Now you will have
good cane on bad cane.  You will have four sugar centrals.  So let it be
said of these centrals that they are at the top in production.  Let it be
said that no more cane can be cut or no more cane can be milled than you
are capable of cutting.

By 1 May, this goal of 200 million, between you and the technological
students of school city is certain to be reached.  (applause)  Fatherland
or death!  We shall win!  (ovation)