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Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0233 GMT 19 May

(Speech by Prime Minister Castro at ceremony concluding the Third Congress
of the National Association of Small Farmers /ANAP/ at the Ruben Martinez
Villena Technical Institute, Rancho Boyeros--live)

(Text) Comrade delegates to the Third ANAP Congress, the Yankees must be
hit hard in many things, (shouting) but we must also hit them hard in
agriculture. (shouting, cheering) To hit the Yankees hard in agriculture is
to defeat the main weapon, or one of the main weapons, they have been using
against our revolution, and that is the weapon of economic blockade, the
weapon of hunger.

That is why, since our Central Committee has already expressed in the
statement published today its opinion on international political problems,
tonight we are going to speak here of agricultural problems. (applause) It
is a magnificent way of hitting the Yankees hard. Just a little more than
eight years have passed since the victory of our revolution, and we believe
that after eight years you the peasants, as much as we the leaders of the
revolution, are in a better condition than ever to speak and understand
each other. The peasants now know much more about revolution than they knew
eight years ago, and the leaders of the revolution know a little more about
agriculture than we did eight years ago. If you know much more about policy
and we know a little more about agriculture, it is truly easy for us to
understand each other.

This does not mean that we also knew about policy at the beginning of the
revolution. We must say that we have also had to learn much during this
period of eight years. Was it perhaps easy to understand each other during
those early days? No, it was not easy. You knew little about policy. We
also knew little. When I speak of policy, I refer to revolutionary policy.
We did not know about agriculture, but you knew more than we did, but you
also knew very little about agriculture. After all, I hope you do not get
angry when I say this. (shouts of "no, no") But this is so even now.

We know little. I know that someone will rise up and say "I am an expert in
this," and another one stands up and says "I am an expert in something
else." There are some experts, this cannot be doubted. There are some very
good farmers, some of whom know about tobacco. Good. There are others who
know about cane. Good. There are others who know about citrus fruit. There
are others who know about livestock. But when we speak of knowing, we refer
in general to the knowledge of the great mass of farmers, we refer to the
knowledge of the immense majority.

But I am not going to speak about those problems at this time. Rather, I
want to refer to the problems that made it difficult for us to understand
each other well. Among the peasants there was always, from the beginning, a
great confidence in the revolution. That is, faith in revolution was never
lacking among the peasants. But what was not known--the problem which had
not even been resolved in a completely satisfactory manner in the
world--was the problem of agrarian reform. What is an agrarian reform? Much
is still said in the world about agrarian reform. Everybody has a different
concept of agrarian reform.

It is a fact that our young revolution was faced with one of the most
difficult tasks in the problem of agriculture: how to carry out an agrarian
reform. There were those who said: "It is very easy. Distribute all the

At that time, the most general idea in the country of how to carry out an
agrarian reform was the idea of distributing all the land. And, truly,
today we see with all clarity that that idea was an idea which would have
been perfectly suited to a capitalist society. In that capitalist society,
it was impossible from any point of view to do with the land, from a
technical and productive point of view, what can be done when all the
resources of the nation are used for that purpose. It would have also been,
at the beginning, the easiest of all the agrarian reforms. So many
thousands of caballerias, so many peasants or agricultural workers who have
no land--how can it be distributed? One caballeria per man? There is not
enough land. There were hundreds of thousands of people who lived or worked
in rural areas who wanted land. Half a caballeria? There was not enough to
go around. A quarter of a caballeria? An eighth of a caballeria? We refer,
of course, to agricultural caballerias. It did not come to distributing
Turquino Peak, or Cayo Romano, or Cayo Largo, or the Zapata Swamp. It was
agricultural land, an eighth of a caballeria. If we had distributed land on
the basis of an eighth of a caballeria--today we can say it, but five or
six years ago we could not make such a categorical statement--had we
distributed land on the basis of an eighth of a caballeria, this revolution
would have gone down the drain.

And of course, since we were not going to go down the drain, then the
contrary would take place: the need to begin to gather all the eights of
caballerias again. When the time came to use a machine, a combine, apply a
complete hydraulic system, or a plane for fumigation or fertilization, it
would otherwise have been impossible from any viewpoint.

Naturally, we know this now when we cultivate the land. When we increase
the area of arable land, when the number of cows to be milked increases,
when the number of arrobas of cane to be cut increases, when the quintals
of coffee to be picked increase, there are insufficient hands. Then the
need for machinery arises. Of course we would not have been able to use the
machine. The need to apply technology would itself have forced us to
reverse our course had we begun by distributing the land.

What solution did our revolution seek? The peasant, who for years had been
working the land, who had been used to this type of work and this types of
production, who had been paying rent, or who had been paying for third
party rights, or who had been paying 50 percent--all those forms of
exploitation existing against the peasant--this peasant was already used to
that type of work. This peasant liked that type of work. This peasant's
whole mentality was adapted to it. Let us leave this peasant there. Let us
free this peasant from paying rent, that is to say, from exploitation. Let
us begin to give this peasant all possible services: educational, medical,
credit, communications, in short, all the things which we can make
available to him.

But why convert a farm worker, why convert a worker who one day can be a
farm worker using big machines and technology, into a minifundist
landowner? We must make a distinction. There is the peasant who had 10
hectares, or 20 hectares, and who can grow a crop. There is an infinity of
workers who have a little plot here and others who have a little plot
there, and these are really self-sufficient plots. This is why the
revolution decided not to distribute the large latifundia. This was not an
easy task. This was not an easy task to understand. The bourgeois would
say: look, the state has taken over the land; look, now they are going to
be wage workers of the state. Since there were peasants with all sizes of
plots, every time an agrarian reform was made they tried to sow fear.
Naturally, it was essential to make a second reform. Why was it essential?
Because a large part of the landowners who still had 20, 25, 30, or 40
caballerias, the great majority of these landowners practically had an
attitude of sabotage to production.

It was necessary to make another agrarian reform. Then it was proposed.
What did they do then? They began to say: no, it will be your turn later.
Then the revolution declared, this revolution has been declared, (Castro
rephrases) has been characterized by living up to everything it has ever
said. It has been characterized by its seriousness and by its word. It
said: there will be no more agrarian reforms. (applause) And simply, the
process of laws and agrarian reforms lasted only until that moment.

The bourgeois and the landlords used many things and many arguments. In
general they would tell the peasant: this is socialism. Since it is
socialism, they are going to socialize your land. We would come and tell
the peasants: this is socialism and because it is socialism we are not
going to socialize your land. (applause) Socialism is a realistic,
scientific conception of society. Because the poor and exploited peasantry
is precisely an ally of the working class--and since the poor and exploited
peasantry is an ally of the working class--the peasant has to be treated
like a revolutionary, like a comrade, like a friend, with all the political
consideration he deserves. (applause)

Because, what is a revolution? A social revolution is the close union of
all the exploited against the exploiters. A peasant who was working his
land and was paying rent and for lots of things was an exploited man. That
peasant exploited no one. That peasant worked the land with his hands and
he was exploited. That peasant, perforce, had to be an ally of the
revolution, and in our revolution the peasantry played a very important
role because the first guerrilla groups began to form in the mountains
among the peasants. (applause)

The arguments of the reactionaries trying to sow fear and confusion may
have influenced some of them, but I believe that at this time there is no
longer a single peasant who will let himself be deceived by any of those
fairy tales. That is why we can speak in this language in which we
understand each other perfectly well, with all frankness. (applause) We
believe the solution of the revolution was a very good one, when it adopted
the decision not to distribute the lands of the large estates, as well as
when it adopted the decision to respect the methods of production of the
poor peasants--to let them continue in the ways that they were using--and
to make no attempt ever to socialize the small peasant. (applause) In
particular, we recommended that cooperatives not be promoted. Why? Because
if the cooperatives had been promoted, there would have spread--I do not
refer to the credits and services cooperatives which you all know and have
organized, but to the problem of joining the land holdings--there would
have spread the campaign, the lie, that we wanted to socialize the
peasants' land. Of course, it is unquestionable that a large area of land
facilities production and productivity much more, but we said: "It does not
matter. There are enough lands in the large estates filled with marabu and
brush producing nothing. Therefore production can be increased
extraordinarily even though productivity cannot be increased in the same
manner among the small farmers due to the parceling of the land."

Today we see with all clarify that this was the most correct policy that
could have been employed. Does this perhaps mean that we believe in the
system of small farms? No, we do not believe in it. Does this perhaps mean
that we believe that maximum yield and productivity can be achieved through
small parcels? No, it does not mean that. It means that the revolution
follows a truly realistic policy, that the revolution follows a correct
policy. And when a revolution follows a realistic policy, it shares the
realities that exist in a country, it shares the situations that exist in a
country. I--and this is something that happens to me a lot each time I tour
the mountains--I suffer extraordinarily, I suffer extraordinarily because I
have seen the colossal destruction wrought by man in the mountains. When I
tour the Sierra Maestra, El Escambray, the mountains of the second front,
many of the regions of the country, I cannot but feel sorrow to see how man
has been destroying nature. And that nature is the nature from which other
generations will have to live in 20, 50, or 100 years. That is the nature
from which double, triple, four times, five times, ten times more people
will have to live than are living today. One even asks himself: does it
have the right to leave bare rocks for the future generations? And the
answer, naturally, is that it does not have the right.

One also asks: Does that Cuban, that peasant, bear the blame for having
been forced to commit that crime against nature? No. No. Who was it, what
was it that forced that human being, that man to climb to the top of a hill
to fell the forest, to burn the timber, to plant anything for one year, two
years, until the rain came and washed away the topsoil? What forced him to
do this? Was he there because he wanted to be? Did he go there knowingly?
No, he was forced by an inhuman social regime. He was forced by a social
regime of exploitation. He was forced by a selfish social regime. That man,
if he knocked on any door to beg for bread for himself or his children, no
one gave him bread or work.

That society condemned man to live any way he could, to die of hunger if he
could not make a living. This was what forced great masses of men to take
refuge in the mountainous regions as the population grew, and to begin
there without any resources whatsoever, without roads, without credit,
without anything, to plant anything in order to live. Of course, the
population continued to grow, and when we traveled through the mountains
during the war and we arrived in some truly inaccessible places and we saw
a man working up there at 800 meters at an incline of 70 or 80 degrees, and
we saw that man making that effort, we would way to ourselves: how many
times have our peasants been slandered--they were called loafers, lazy. And
to see that man almost in the clouds, almost tied down there so as to be
able to plant anything. We would also say to ourselves: what will happen in
this country when these few hills remaining (words indistinct) will all be
occupied, all denuded, all eroded? Then all we will have left is the sea
for refuge. When the revolution triumphed, there was practically not a
single place where lands were not occupied.

Those men were forced due to that social system to destroy a good part of
the wilderness. Naturally, the forests had disappeared and, for example, we
see that one of the most serious problems in our countryside is the problem
of housing. It is a difficult problem that we will resolve because the new
cement plants are being built for that purpose. But a board to make a door,
to make a table, even on occasion to bury someone, is unavailable. How can
it be available? To explain the lack of lumber in this country we have to
tour the mountains, not to mention the plains. For a long time now not a
single tree has stood in the plains. Such denuded lands in the mountains!
Such denuded forests lands! There, where lands were unsuitable for farming,
such as the pine forests, where the peasants therefore had not gone, there
the land eaters came, there the lumber exploiters came planted not a single
tree. Surely there are peasants here from the (?Alcarrasa), Pico Verde,
Pino del Agua, and Pinalito areas who surely know the lands about which I
am talking. These lands are generally literate lands, red lands where only
pine trees grow. At present we have even learned to make these lands
produce, as in the case of Pinares de Mayari.

But naturally, these lands were denuded and nobody used them. However, this
is unbelievable, on occasion we have seen some peasants who were so
optimistic that they have planted vegetable plants and bananas in such pine
forest hills. Of course, such banana trees which grow one meter, two meters
long and bear no fruit and the vegetable plants no vegetables. In such
lands, really, the most reasonable thing, the only reasonable thing, to do
is to plant forests. And this is just what we are doing. I was saying that
it is not that we created the small plots method as the ideal production
methods, I was saying that the society compelled an undue use of the land.
Many times it compelled a criminal use of the land.

In the plains, it is not that the land is always used in the most correct
way, it is that the effects of erosion in the plains are much more gradual,
and, naturally, the same thing does not happen as in the mountains with
many step sides from which in a short time the vegetation layer completely
disappears. There are many lands with some erosion, but in general the
effects of erosion do not occur in the same way as in the plains.

(Words indistinct) that the most rational way, the most productive way,
both for the land and work, is not the parcel way. However, our policy was
to maintain the parcels, our policy was not to encourage the association of
such lands. Our policy was to be patient, to fight to introduce technology
even though it still is not sufficiently introduced within this production
method, and to respect the will of the peasant to produce in the way that
the peasant is used to, in the way that the peasant like to produce. The
peasant has his mentality, many times he does not even want to have a
neighbor near him. He is horrified at the idea of being made to live in a
house that is next door to another. There are many peasants who (?feel)
this way. They do not want to have any trouble with neighbors. They do not
want trouble between the families of a neighbor and another neighbor. They
do not want arguments. They feel utterly happy living alone, living
isolated. Of course, this is not the ideal way to live, and often when one
passes by one of these solitary places, one notes above all, the two
classes of human beings who suffer most from this. They are the human
beings who live in the great isolation that peasant families usually live
in. Even we--one day we were touring--we, the comrade president and other
comrades, were touring a place known as (Puriales--phonetic), (El
Purio--phonetic), between Mayari and Moa. We saw very steep mountains, some
pine tree forests. We were making some plans, and we went by one of those
forest trails. After an hour and a half in the most inaccessible, remote
place we found a mud dugout. And from that mud dugout, one and one-half
meters high, there emerged a man, a women, and (?10) children. (laughter)
It looked like those little circus cars that you have seen where half a
dozen people emerge. And this happened there. A doctor was with us and
began to inspect the children. They were yellow, rachitic. They began to
explain the problem of the children: that they had parasites, that they
spit out worms. Of course, the comrade doctor saw the problem, that it was
a problem of parasites arising from the place where they lived.

I told them--no vehicle ever passes by there--to take the children to the
hospital. There was a hospital 15 kilometers away. (Words indistinct) but
the doctor said: "Well, anyway, within a few weeks these children will be
the same again." Those children were amazed when they saw a vehicle.
Imagine--in the midst of the forest--it was a charcoal burner. Obviously
not all situations are so extreme. But we always notice children. That is
the problem of the children, that they have no place to play and that they
live in isolation, and also the problems of women, the problem of washing,
stoves, water which often has to be carried a long way, and in the
mountains it is a tremendous problem.

It is true that isolated life is the life the peasant prefers. The ones who
suffer primarily are the children and the women of the peasants. I mean
that this is not an ideal situation. But, of course, there is always a
solution because there are schools, school plans, medical services,
communications, mountain boarding schools. All in all there are a number of
plans which can, even under these circumstances, improve the situation of
the family and the children extraordinarily. However, our policy has always
been and will always be one of absolute respect, absolute respect for the
desire of that peasant to work in the manner which be believes best all the
time that he believes it best.

We ask: "Will there be small farmers within 40 years?" We say: "If within
40 years there are still peasants who wish to be alone, isolated, working
with a yoke of oxen, with very low production, and he wishes to remain that
way, we will leave him alone, even though it be 40, 50, or 100 years
hence." (applause) Does this mean that they will remain forever? No, this
will not remain forever. It will not remain forever, not because of any law
of any type but because of the incredible, enormous development of
agriculture in this country, the development of the Cuban society, the
enormous development of technology, the enormous development of social
programs and education programs.

Already we see many cases of peasants who lived in the mountains with two
sons in the army, two girls studying here on scholarships, another a nurse
there, another a teacher over here, and they have been left alone. And they
say: "Listen, I am very well. Everybody has left us and, really, we would
like to move. We would like to sell." In the Sierra Maestra, since we did
not want any illegal transactions, we decided to authorize the ANAP and we
gave them the resources to buy and to make legal some illegal cases that
were some years old. There were some who left their land and others took it
over. We had many illegal cases. We legalized those cases all at once--some
sales were made illegally. Then those who want to leave the mountains can
sell to us, because if they do not, the same thing will continue to these
mountains and we will always have the same problem of one leaving and
another taking over, each time leaving less topsoil and the mountain barer.
We will buy from those who want to sell.

Now, who could have sold 10 years ago? Naturally, however, many peasants
have their children studying technology. Do they have many chances to work
on the plains? Not enough facilities. When they were authorized to sell, in
a few weeks 4,000 peasants sold out. We had to ask the comrades of Havana:
"Hold on. Hold on, hold on because you are going to leave the mountains
unpopulated." Then the problem was something else: that all of a sudden the
land was going to be uninhabited. And not only this. We said: "Buy from
those who are alone, those who are very old, those who cannot work. If a
peasant is young and he can work and he wants to sell, say 'No' that he
must stay up there,that he is needed there, that the coffee must be cared
for, that all that must be cared for."

Well, some of them sold out and then they would set up some little fried
food stand on some highway. Gentlemen, this is going backward. We are in
fine shape if that peasant who is up there--even is he is producing little
on a hillside, and truly we prefer to have him up there even if the hill
deteriorates--becomes a fried food salesman and instead of the hill
deteriorating the peasant deteriorates. Whoever ceases to be a producer
with his work to become a salesman of fried food ceases to be a worker and
becomes a businessman.

But how easy that is to do any place here, with all the money the people
have. It is something like what happens with the little taxicabs. In some
places those jeep drivers--who know them better than you (laughter)--how
much do they charge? How much do they charge? (shouting) Those who have a
jeep? Unfortunately there is not enough transportation yet. Anybody with a
jeep can get rich. Then an individual with a little car (laughter), with a
jeep, can make 40 or 50 pesos a day. He can make three times more during
the year. What am I saying--three times more? About 10 times more than a
peasant who works half a caballeria of cane and works hard to do that. Then
this man is privileged. Anybody who sets up a fried food stand--and he can
do it with some of those caritas beans (laughter) and with a little bit of
black market lard (laughter)--he says: "I get that little pig, I render
some lard, I set up the fried food stand, and I make 50 pesos."

Obviously, if everybody starts selling fried food nobody will make even 50
centavos. But for us it is going backward if a peasant comes down from the
mountain and starts selling fried food. It is going backward. Another
problem: they did not have housing. Then they built a ramshackle hut, a mud
hut. We still do not have the means to say: "Look now, if you want to have
a house for yourself, a boarding house, we can give you all this." That is
why we tell the comrades of ANAP: "Hold on, hold on. This cannot be done in
a hurry under any circumstances." If somebody was able to do it, it was
because he was old, or because he wanted to retire, or because his children
were in school and he wanted to live in the city or go to a farm or get a
little house someplace and live on retirement income, closer to his
children. It has to be done in an orderly way. It has to be done when it
can be done.

Comrade Pepe insisted to me: There are still many old peasants in the
mountains. We must have authorization to resolve these problems, Comrade
Pepe was saying to me a moment ago. Let us study the problem well. Make a
list of all those concerned. What does this mean? That none of these
historic problems that have been created, such as emigration from the
mountains, the denuding of the mountains, can be resolved in one day. We
have plans to reforest the mountains. We think that some day all the
mountains will be reforested. Will there be a shortage of coffee plants in
the mountains? No. Coffee will be a byproduct of the forests in the
mountains. The forest will be the main thing. We are aspiring to the day
when we can take to the peasant in the mountain--and the day is not
distant--all he needs, even his vegetables. We will tell him, in other
words: You do not have to plant banana trees there on the side of that
hill. We will take bananas to him every day. The stores will have
vegetables available, as well as all the grain, everything he needs. You
will produce coffee and rare wood. You will care for the trees. In short,
we are thinking about a long process to rebuild our mountains. The most
necessary cases, as I was telling Comrade Pepe Ramirez, have to be studied,
but they should not come down if they do not have a house to live in,
because we cannot resolve anything, we cannot resolve any problem in this

Therefore we have proposed that a very careful study be made of all the
cases of peasants who want to leave the mountains. What does this mean? The
development itself of the revolution, the new living conditions that are
being created will progressively turn those lands in the mountains into
forest lands, and in turn the lands will be turned over to the natural land
fund. This explains why we, in cases where a peasant wants to sell in the
plains, propose the option, on the part of the revolutionary government, of
buying. We do not want to increase the number of small farmers. When
somebody wants to sell, let him sell to the nation. Let the lands become
state lands. What does this mean? That in a period of 30, 40, 50, 100
years, whatever number, the day will come when the ANAP will cease to
exist. Does this worry you. (shouts: "No!") Who expects to live over 100
years? (laughter)

You do understand what the policy is. Later we will talk a little about
agriculture. Now we are talking about the revolution's policy regarding
agriculture and agrarian reform. In other words, someday the result of the
process--an evolutionary process--we expect, will be completely fulfilled
as one of the most serious promises of the revolution without any further
agrarian laws ever, and that through the process in which the sons of the
peasants will become technicians and acquire other customs, another
mentality, another conception. And this is happening now. We have had to
send many youths to agriculture, while many sons of peasants are studying;
and the son of a peasant who spoke here is no longer interested in small
plots. It is not that he is not interested in small plots because he scorns
that life. No, it is because he detests having to live again in the hut
with the dirt floor; it is because he understands that he cannot grab a
team of oxen to begin to produce food for the people, because with that
team of oxen he is going to produce food only for himself, his family, and
a few others.

But how can you supply a population that doubles and triples in number
unless machines are used? Of course, we are introducing machines, tractors,
but are you going to use the planes? He already has that headache. Right
now we are spreading urea on the sugarcane. This is a formidable procedure.
A plane applies urea to 100 caballerias in one day. Do you know how many
men are need to apply the same amount on the ground by hand? At least 2,000
men--2,000 men. And you need about 50 trucks to carry the 2,000 men. You
need to set up 20 fertilizer dumps, 20 different locations. You have to
ship the bags of fertilizer to all the fields. Besides, if it rains, the
fertilizer has to be applied immediately because nitrogen has to be applied
while the ground is wet. What happens? It rained this afternoon, but three
days later that rain is lost because it is impossible to find tens of
thousands of men to apply nitrogen right after it rains. With a plan, one
man, a helper from the airfield, a single nitrogen dump, urea in this camp,
one man piloting the plane, transport in a trailer to the airfield--in one
day, and at the most opportune moment, when the soil is wet, the urea is
applied to 100 caballerias. Last year, when urea began to be used, a pilot
fertilized 160 caballerias in one day. Three thousand men could not have
done that work. (applause)

Of course, if the son of a peasant enters a technical institute, acquires
all the modern techniques, reaches a conclusion and says: Gentlemen, when
even the oxen have been or are getting liberated from work, how can a man
keep on working like an ox? (laughter) And what does a man produce working
like an ox? He produces slightly more than an ox, (laughter) for himself,
for his family, working extremely hard. Peasants who now have had the
opportunity, for example, of becoming familiar with the sugarcane
loader--and if they are sugarcane men--will recall the time when they had
to get up at two in the morning, yoke up the oxen, go to the field, load
the cane, take it to the crane, return to the field, and cut cane all day
so that they could take a load to the crane.

The peasant had to work 15, 16, 17 hours. Did he become rich? No, he did
not become rich. And he had to do work that the human body cannot take. Did
the peasant die? No, he did not die, but how long did he live? The question
is not "did he die?" but rather "how long did that man live who had to do
such hard, brutal work?" Before, in the sugar harvest, the canecutters had
to work 15 and 16 hours because the cane had to be cut and loaded canestalk
by canestalk onto a cart. Can the people become rich cutting cane by hand
by loading it canestalk by canestalk on a cart, working 15 and 16 hours?

It also happened that there were so many people without work that they were
not even allowed to work the 15 hours because the work was not enough to go
around for so many people. Then they worked less. When they had the change
they worked the 16 or 17 hours. A total or 40 million tons of sugarcane--40
million tons--yes, more of less, 40 million tons were loaded by the
agricultural workers of this country, canestalk by canestalk onto the
carts. Now more than half of the sugarcane is loaded by loaders, and this
year the small farmers will have new loaders for the coming harvest.
(applause) This means that the working conditions for men are being eased.
Sugarcane is being loaded with machines. The day will come, the day will
come, when all the cane will be cut by machinery because this is a problem
that has to be solved. We have no other remedy but to solve it. We have to
solve it and we will solve it.

However, right now, all the sugarcane in Las Villas, Camaguey, and Oriente
is going to be sprayed with foliar urea three times from an airplane. The
peasants from the northern part of Oriente have perhaps seen the good
results that urea has on sugarcane, how even our estimates of the amount of
cane were short, how that sugarcane turned green, how it grew. However, now
that the problem has arisen, we are going to spray urea. And are we going
to spray the small farmers' cane from the airplanes also? Then the problem
arises: It is impossible because the airplane has to become a cricket
hopping from field to field. What are we going to do? We are going to give
them ammonium nitrate. With one ton of urea sprayed from a plane we
calculate that we increase production by the same amount as would result
from four tons of ammonium nitrate spread in the rows. This means that by
applying it by hand we have to use four times more fertilizer.

Of course, the airplane--supposing that it sprays 50 caballerias per day on
the average--does the work of 1,000 workers per day. That is where we have
problems. There is a technique which could save us an enormous amount of
work and it cannot be used. Man has to do it, the small farmer has to work
like an ox, spreading fertilizer along each row, and a machine as
formidable as an airplane cannot be used to do the same work with one
one-thousandth of the effort that that man is putting out. I explain all of
this to you so that you will understand why the son of a peasant who comes
here and enters a technical institute, graduates from the institute, has
the change to continue studying in a university, says: "No, I am not going
to work like an ox." And he does not return to the small farm. That is
unquestionable. He does not return and his attitude is proper. What does
this mean? It means that the time will come when there will not be a single
peasant's son who is not a technician. The best proof of this is the fact
that the technical institutes this year will receive 40,000 students, and
in 1970--and this is a plan that has been expanded--there will be 100,000
students in the technical institutes.

In 10 more years, (applause) in 10 more years there will not be a single
youth from the rural areas in this country who does not have a junior high
school education and a technical qualification. Do you understand that this
is the road? Do you understand why we must wait 10, 20 and 30 years? Do you
understand that a realistic revolution has to understand the realities of
today's reality if our peasants and tomorrow's reality will be your
children? The reality of tomorrow will be technicians like this one who
will graduate from our technical institutes and will take university
courses. They are going to be richer than you, of course, because they will
produce 8, 10, 15, 20 times more than you with one-tenth the work you do.

They will use the airplane in large numbers, machinery, modern techniques;
the rural areas will be completely electrified. The ox will no longer work.
Horses will work, that is, horsepower in tractors, in electrical machinery.
(applause) If all the water from a deep well pumped for irrigation had to
be carried bucket by bucket we would be in terrible shape. Would we produce
everything we needed? Would there be enough food for all these people?
Today a motor works with fuel. It can work with electricity. But we will
have to put all machines, all technology, all electricity, all power,
everything to produce for man.

That time is far away, but not too far. The day will come when there will
not be any miserable huts in our country. There are many still, many
miserable huts in our country. And in the same way as when we see our
eroded mountains, we suffer when we see so many mud huts in the rural
areas. Sometimes there is not even enough thatch, and there is not enough
thatch because it is needed in the poultry farms, the dairies, and many
other things. As you know, the coffee plans are gigantic and the quantity
of thatch that has been taken to the coffee nurseries is gigantic. There is
not enough thatch from the royal palms. If too many fronds are cut off,
then there are no royal palm nuts. There is not enough thatch from the
palms. And, naturally, the number of houses in very poor condition is
great. Some day our rural areas will be electrified. Some day all our areas
will be filled with towns where they have running water, electricity, gas
stoves, in which the children will not have to walk two kilometers.

They will go to school. In the morning, they will have their breakfast
there, their lunch, and their dinner. They will spend the day at school and
will return home at night. There will be no more need for the wooden bowl.
There will be no more need to carry water. (applause) The little candle and
the lantern will be things of the past. The children's life will become a
thousand times better. The women's living conditions will be incomparably
better. However, who are the ones to enjoy this? You? Your own children. It
will be your own children because they will be the ones who will adapt
themselves. They will understand all the advantages of a different way of
producing things. What of the present day farmers? The peasants will
continue to live as they are. They are not having a bad life, of course.
Living conditions will improve for the farmers. They will have improved
communications. There will be many more schools and many more of

I have pictured for you two eras, a distant one and a current one. I have
tried to give you an idea of how, in my opinion, the rural areas of the
future will look within 20 years, when new generations will apply
technology and will work and produce differently than we produce today.
There are many farmers who own a very small piece of land. Some farms are
semiproletarian. When (?the farm gets populated), many farmers immediately
leave for town. If living conditions are bad, living conditions are worse
still in the huts. There are still tens of thousands of workers in the
sugarcane farms living in rustic huts with their families. There are tens
of thousands of workers living in barns. Our construction efforts should
logically be directed toward creating improved living conditions for these

It is true that the farmers are still housed poorly, but the farmer has
resolved many problems which the workers in the sugarcane farms have not
solved. Moreover, they are helping the economy considerably with their
work. It is logical for the mass of material to be invested currently--and
I believe that you recognize this to by very fair--in improving in living
conditions of workers who are toiling on farms. (applause) You might now
say: Well, these are problems of the future. What about today's problems?
In today's picture, what is expected of us? What is required of us? How are
we to produce? How are we going to get the most from our efforts, the
utmost? How are we going to make our lands yield the most for our families
as well as for the country? These are today's problems which concern us the
most--what we want, what we expect from the small farmers how we believe
farming will develop.

Some years ago, farms looked shameful. A bunch of people with no
experience--and we have explained this on several other occasions--without
experience, sometimes merely with a good disposition--maintained the farm
in deficient production. They were poor farms. The farms have, of course,
received the most resources. The farmers have been given greater resources
because we want to grant the farms privileges over and above what we have
given the peasants. We had the largest tracts of nonproducing land on the
farms, covered with manigua and marabu. Speaking quite frankly, the food
that was being produced on the farm was much more certain than the food
produced among the farmers.

We will explain. There are many kinds of farmers. There are farmers who are
extremely honest, who work tenaciously, and who do not want to get rich by
selling their goods at three or four times their value. There are farmers,
especially those living near the cities, who would sell an egg for 30
centavos. If they raised a hen, they would sell it for five pesos-or
perhaps 10, as the case might be. Witness the policy of the revolution: The
revolution has not even prohibited the peasants from doing this. Any
peasant who wants to, can stand on the highway and start selling guarapo, a
hen, or anything he wishes. No one will interfere.

Sometimes, things sell for five times their value. There are many little
carts near the large cities carrying their little jugs. This is (?done
freely). (Their owners--ed.) buy 5 or 10--3 or 4--liters of milk (words
indistinct), and is sold four times higher. Gentlemen, you understand
perfectly that the (word indistinct) can pay one peso for a liter of milk,
but the (word indistinct) costs him more--if he steals it. We might as well
be frank. (applause) Anyone who sells lollypops anywhere can get 50 pesos.
He can make 50 pesos. These people buy a liter of milk. They can buy this,
that, or the other.

Not all peasants have this concept of their social obligations. Some
speculate calmly, and their conscience does not bother them. What is our
policy with speculators? To be calm. Will we imprison anyone for practicing
this form of robbery, which is speculation? No! No, this is not our way of
handling things. Anyone who wants to stand on the highway and ask 100 pesos
for a glass of guarapo, let him do it. Let him sell his guarapo for 100
pesos. Anyone who wants to stand on the highway and sell a liter of milk
for a peso, it matters not that he sells the liter of milk for one peso. I
will explain to you the way to solve this problem. It is simple; it is
easy. The day will come when this individual will run after the milk truck
as it goes by and shout: "Say, do not leave me the milk here!" (applause)
You know why? I will tell you. The day will come when fruit, vegetables,
and even milk will be distributed free of charge to all of the people.

We know--we know what we are going. we know the future levels of production
in this country within a few years. We know how many cows are being
artificially bred. We know how many calves are being born. We know how much
milk is produced by the first cross of the Holstein with the Zebu cattle,
and we can estimate--we can estimate--and we know the quality of milk that
can be produced, as well as the quantities of fruit. We know how many
coffee plants we are planting. The time will come, gentlemen--the time will
come when we will be able to give the people a choice of coffee in the
marketplace, free of charge. (applause) Why? Gentlemen, the plans for
coffee that we are making are so serious that it is enough to say that we
will plant more than 200 million plants (words indistinct). Between now and
1970, we will plant over one billion coffee plants. (applause) (words
indistinct) And when we reach the point where we are producing millions and
millions of coffee bags, then no one will have to board a bus, resort to 20
tricks to get the bus driver to allow that individual to put (coffee-ed.)
up on top by bribing him with a small pound of coffee, bring it down, and
speculate with it.

We will not have the peasant of old. Today we take the farmer fertilizer,
we hand him credit, we build roads for him, and offer him free medical
service--everything free. Many times we have to plead with him--listen
(?leave us) a small sack of coffee because the (words indistinct) men must
also drink coffee. Sometimes we find some peasants in the mountains who
say: These shoes are old. (words indistinct) but you drink coffee seven
times a day. You drink coffee seven times a day, and the worker who makes
shoes--poor thing--would like you to send him a little bit more coffee.
Each person has his task to do. (applause)

I simply want to explain clearly to the peasant comrades all these things
which are true. Hypocrisy would be rampant if we did not understand each
other--if we came here to bring out only the good, all of the virtues, all
of the merits, all of the patriotism of our peasants without bringing out
at least some of the defects of some of the peasants. (words indistinct)

Very well, the day will come when the peasants from Victoril, or from
Matias, or from Bernardo in the Paleneque area, or from (?Bayaste) in the
Guantanamo area will witness the speed with which the brigades are building
roads and highways. Be August, we plan to have 40 brigades building roads
in the mountains and in the fields--40 brigades. Therefore, our fields will
be crisscrossed by roads. Trucks will travel over these roads, and the
peasants will then be able to put up a sign that will read "Please stop
here to pick up so many coffee bags." Why? Because there will be surplus
coffee. Suffice it to say that we will plant 100,000 hectares of citrus
fruit--with irrigation. We are already starting to plant them. Among those
100,000 hectares of citrus fruit, we will plant coffee. Suffice it to say
that in the enormous (?areas of) reforestation in many places where the
soil is favorable, we will plant coffee also.

Therefore, when the citrus fruit trees grow (words indistinct), forest
coffee plants will produce (words indistinct). I believe it is a very wise
idea to eliminate the (?paperwork). The people are not going to be educated
(?through paperwork), gentlemen, in their duties and their obligations by
turning them into petty lawyers. (applause) "You signed here. I have one
more liter of milk here. I have a liter less here."

We have been patient. We believe that this is good. This gives us a moral
authority. This gives us the right to speak out frankly, in all sincerity.
We know the path whereby all of these problems of speculation will
disappear. The egg is a good example. What has happened to the egg will
happen to everything else, even with poultry. We will someday produce a hen
which will amaze this country. We are not doing it now because we (?are
concentrating) first on the egg, which is more easily distributed. However,
we are in the process of increasing production.

With all the exportable surplus this country will have in the years ahead,
we shall be able to produce chickens--as we are producing eggs today--in
astronomical quantities. Then the sale of chickens on the roadside will
disappear. The sale of chickens will disappear because when a citizen is
given the products he needs--and in many cases these products will be in
enormous quantities--an end will be put to (words indistinct) he will not
buy. He will be given it.

Already this year, when there was a surplus of white cabbage, it was
distributed free. If this year we have a citrus fruit surplus--for we are
fertilizing 4 million citrus fruit plants--when there is a surplus of
citrus fruit, it will be distributed free. The policy which will be
followed in distribution is that whenever a surplus of one of these
products is produced it is to be distributed free to the population.

We are socialists (applause) We are not capitalists. There you will begin
to see the great difference. When capitalism had a surplus, because the
people had no money, it was dumped. So things were being dumped, on the one
hand, and people were dying of hunger on the other hand. Here, the path of
communism is the path in which not only is education given free, as it is
being given today; medical care, which is already being given free today;
housing, for which most of the people already do not pay, but also, little
by little, gradually, as production is increased through the use of
technology, through the work of all the people (leaves sentence

Some people are going to ask how coffee will be harvested (words
indistinct) it is going to be harvested through schools in the fields,
through the thousands of secondary schools we are going to have throughout
the country, where the students will combine work with study--because there
is no better way to educate a man than to teach him very young to work.
Someone has said: Won't we invent a machine to harvest coffee? We answer:
We would do damage to education. We cannot mechanize everything. If we
mechanize everything, how are we going to give a young man an idea of what
work is? We shall have to leave many things (unmechanized--ed.), but not
the most difficult--canecutting, road construction. This is hard work. But
the work of picking oranges, harvesting coffee--these little tasks,
particularly with these coffee plants which are going to be among the
citrus plants on completely level ground, this work can be done by boys
without any trouble.

So what will this coffee cost? Well, it will require fertilizer. We shall
export part of the coffee and we shall import the fertilizer. Irrigation of
the citrus plants will require some fuel. We shall import some fuel with
what we get for exports. What else? To pick it is part of a boy's
education, so that they will not become--imagine, from proletarians they
would become aristocrats. (laughter) They would now know what it is (?to
pick coffee.) Really, although man aspires to increase production, to use
machines, we must also wish man not to lose contact with nature. So all the
youth in our country, all of them, will receive an education in which work
will be combined with study.

Therefore, we can do all this kind of cultivation. The capitalists cannot
do it because they have no way to do it. They would have to pay. They have
the marketing problem. We will have no marketing problem. How much coffee
will we produce? Enough for the free consumption of the people, let us say.
(words indistinct)

We who are responsible for the health of this people, we think that it is
consuming a great deal of coffee. (laughter) The people are very nervous.
There is much insomnia among the population--health standards, average age,
and so forth and so forth (laughter). There is much marital discord,
because marriages are disturbed by the excessive use of coffee (laughter,
applause). (Words indistinct) We shall argue, who not a great campaign
advising people not to consume coffee? We are going to (words indistinct)
to distribute coffee (words indistinct).

The day will come, gentlemen, when as the result of increased production,
money will be worth nothing. (applause) Of course, since we were born we
have been taught to value money. You find yourself anywhere, in any field,
in any little town, (words indistinct). There is almost no one who does not
value money, who does not want money, because money buys everything.
(shouting) This is how everyone will live in the future, here, right here.

Man is taught very early to value this thing called money. It is an
intermediary between man and what man produces. Man works. One produces
potatoes here. He is given money so that with the money given him for the
potatoes he may buy milk, coffee, sugar, clothing, tobacco, everything
else. This one produces coffee. He must be given money so that with the
money given him for the coffee he may buy potatoes, milk, and so
forth--less coffee if he drinks (?too much) and sometimes (words
indistinct--laughter). Another produces clothing, and with the money for
the clothing he produces, he then buys potatoes, milk, coffee, everything
else. The money is an intermediary.

We should have more scornful term for it. We should say that while
intermediary between man and the products that man creates. The day will
come when a man will produce and turn in his potato crop and get nothing
for it. Then he will go and get in return for it coffee, rice, sugar,
clothes, shoes, and everything he needs. Then we shall suppress that vile
intermediary which is money. That is communism. (applause)

Thus, in explaining this to you small farmers, there might be some one
among you who say: "Well, although I am 80 years old, I feel young." That
is even better. (laughter) You may have a better life at 80. He may ask: "I
am a small farmer, what do I do? Can I be a small farmer under communism?
We tell him: "yes, if you want to, but how do you want to live?" He
replies: "Well, let them pay me for what I produce." We ask: "What are you
going to do with the money? This would mean placing lists in all the
markets with the names of those who cannot get things free because they get
money for their goos. We cannot do that.

We cannot indicate on that list that mister so and so, of such and such
address is deprived of all rights and has to pay for everything he gets. We
ask him: "Look here, you want to sit down all day?" He replies in the
negative. We ask him: "Why?" And he replies: "Well, because I have spent my
entire life working, getting up at five in the morning, and I cannot live
without working." This is what many peasant say; they say they cannot live
sitting down.

We tell him: "Listen, you have to go to the doctor, see if you have to g to
a hospital." He replies: "No, I do not want to go to the hospital. Every
day of my life, I get up at a certain hour and I am not dying. Why should I
go to a hospital?" We reply: "Well then, if you cannot sit down, then keep
on working. Turn in all your products, and when you go to the store you
will not have to pay for anything you need."

What am I trying to tell you? I am trying to say that the day will come
when man will work out of habit. You must understand that we are not going
to create a millionaire mentality in all these children, or a lazy man
mentality, or the mentality of a parasite. Naturally, you and I are
discussing here a matter affecting the small private farmers amid a
socialist revolution. We are discussing the subject of communism. I want
you to know that this subject of communism is very complex. It is complex
because it frightens? No, because many people are not afraid of anything.
It is complex because there are many people who have heard many lies about
communism and who have many doubts about how to attain communism? We have
no doubts about it.

In a recent tour of our rural areas, we have seen our youths. What is the
news from Oriente, Camaguey, Guane, Las Villas, and everywhere? What was
being said at Guane? The girls helping the technicians were working there
at different tasks with great joy. We said to ourselves that it is
impressing and admirable. To give you an idea of what 2,000 of those girls
did in Guane, suffice it to say that every one of you has five citrus trees
growing in Guane--each one of you. (applause) You may ask: "Are you going
to have those girls sow cane?" We reply: "No, because they have cane there,
and (?they) will send you the oranges, the refreshments, the things you
need." Everyone of you has five trees growing there. There are about 40
million trees there.

When we saw this, we said to ourselves: "Well, these comrades come from
humble origins, generally speaking, and they have a certain maturity."
However, when we went to Banao, we found out that the university girls had
been just as successful. When we arrived in Camaguey, the party comrades
and those in charge of agriculture told us what impressive things the
students were doing. (Words indistinct) these girls have left the party
leaders and those in charge of agriculture impressed with their attitude
toward work. The joy and enthusiasm they have shown for work is incredible.
No one has paid them. They have not received a single penny. This means
that a new generation is arising--a generation that looks at work with
different concepts. Those who are sowing citrus trees or coffee plants
there, or who are fertilizing a banana grove or cane, know that they are
creating wealth. Wealth for whom? Wealth for (?themselves).

On some occasions, we met a group of girls in a citrus grove, and we asked
them: "What are we going to do with so many citrus trees?" They replied:
"Export the fruit, give it to the people." In other words, their reply to
the question of what are we going to do with all this or that was "give it
to the people." They are already beginning to understand that the people
are the only ones to benefit from everything that is done, built, created.
They are beginning to understand it with great clarity.

The new generation will grow up with very different concepts. This new
generation will grow up having a very different concept of vile money.
Capitalism thinks of money in terms of bill but for different reasons. It
is crazy about money. We consider it vile (vil) and the Americans also
consider it bill. (There is a play on words here: Castro contrasts the
meaning of the Spanish word "vil" to that of the English word "bill"--ed.)
(laughter) That is, bill with a capital "B". We call it vil with decorum.

Money is the intermediary between man and man's products. This new
generation grows up with different concepts, and the production figures
will permit us to do that. Therefore, can there be small framers under
communism? Yes. If anyone should ask himself that question and wonder how
he can live under communism, we say that he can live as he does not with
one difference. He will not pay for anything he needs. Such a man might
ask: "Well, if I do not have to pay for anything, what am I going to do
with this paper?" Well, (?you can turn those bits of paper in) and get what
you need. You can get cigarettes, matches, clothes, or cigars.

Someone will ask: "Is there enough clothing for everyone?" The answer is
that there is enough of what you need. At most, the comrade in charge of
production may tell you: "Listen here, no more free clothing is being
distributed because every women is purchasing 25 dresses." (words

Recently, we were able to see several different high quality items of
clothes made of synthetic fiber produced from cane bagasse. Just think how
much bagasse in this country can be converted into fiber. Imagine the
amount of clothes that can be made. You may say: "All right. However, I
want to wear a woolen skirt, and we have no sheep here." Well, sir, we can
send synthetic fiber to where they have wool and get it, because if they
have sheep there they do not have bagasse. (applause) This is an example,
because wool is not of much use here. It is usually a warm country.

However, I do want to say that the technical possibilities are
incredible--really incredible. The production possibilities are limitless.
What is needed to achieve them? What we need is for the people to work, for
everybody to work. Many women are joining the labor ranks as the day
nurseries are built and as new activities that they can do well are opened.

In the future, the entire population will work. Of course, the old folks,
the ill, and the very small children will not be working. The entire
population will be like a huge anthill--a huge beehive which, helped by
know-how, will be capable of producing everything that man needs and more.
For example, beginning in 1970, our country expects to build 70,000 or
100,000 houses a year. (applause) Will these houses be sold? No. Who will
get these houses? Those who need them. Will they have to pay a penny for
it? No. Even if it is worth 5,000 pesos? No!

Even now, as a new (?settlement) is built on a ranch, the people pay
nothing for the house. Almost all of them pay for water, and I think they
are now going to decide not to collect for water anywhere. Someday there
will not be a charge for electricity, either. One hundred thousand homes a
year! Before, if one wanted a house, one had to win it in a lottery.
Perhaps, one could win a soap contest, which gave away one house a month.
One would have to win the singing soap contest to win. How many people
dreamed of having a little house, a roof over the head, "a roof for my
happiness," and so forth and so on!

Ladies and gentlemen, the revolution has been creating these "roofs," not
many of them, unfortunately, because only some 7, 8, or 10 thousand houses
have been distributed. These are not many, but no one had to win them in a
raffle. Beginning in 1970, 100,000 families will receive a "roof" every
year. In 10 years, this will amount to 1 million houses. A house is a bit
of wealth that man creates with his labor, that is built by those who
produce the cement, those who produce the (?frames), and those who
transport the materials. You might ask who is going to build all these
houses--the construction workers and the machines. Prefabrication methods
will be used to a great extent. We will have prefabricated homes which will
be produced on a mass-production scale. If we had to build each of these
houses brick upon brick, (?it would be impossible). The solution of the
problems lies exactly in the use of machines and know-how. Thus, our
country will be solving all these problems with the help of the entire
laboring population and with the help of know-how.

Comrade peasants, I decided to use some of the time of this third congress
to talk to you about these matters which I suppose are of interest to all
of you. (applause) However, we still have today's problems. What do we want
from you, and what are we doing to achieve what we hope to get from you? It
is necessary that the land which you own must yield maximum production--the
maximum production. (applause) What are we doing about this--so that the
land can yield maximum production and so that you, with the use of
machinery, as far as is possible, and with the use of technology, can
obtain the maximum production for the work done and the maximum production
from the land? We have some illustrative examples.

Practically all of the mountain coffee plantations are already producing
from 50 to 60 quintals per caballeria. Over a year ago the plan for
applying technological processes to coffee production was begun--the
massive application of fertilizers, the pruning of coffee trees, the
replanting of coffee trees, the use of more productive varieties of coffee
trees, and, in conclusion, intense work with coffee production was begun.
Now, 27,000 coffee growing small farmers from Oriente Province are
presently using the method, and coffee production is growing fast, not as a
result of new plantings but from the old coffee plants of which we have
between 11,000 and 12,000 caballerias.

It is a shame to produce 60 or 70 quintals per caballeria. It is perfectly
easy and possible to produce 200 quintals of coffee per caballeria which do
not amount to more than 20 quintals of coffee per caro, as the peasants
call them. Of course, since fertilizer has begun to be used, the peasants
have only one phrase to explain this--the coffee trees are like new, the
coffee trees are like new. We have talked to hundreds of peasants and have
asked them about the effect of fertilization on the coffee trees. They say:
"Look, these coffee trees were old. They are 15 years old. They were dead
and now they are like new."

If the peasants, with the use of fertilizer, have seen the rejuvenation of
their coffee plantations,and a peasant that lives around San Lorenzo de
Cespedes whom we met on the last tour that we took around Oriente Province
in the Sierra Maestra heights, told me--he is a peasant farmer, a good
farmer, who uses the methods well--he told me: "Listen, you said that we
were going to reach the 2 million quintals in 1970." I said, "yes." He
said: "But we are going to reach them in 1969. We are going to reach them
in 1969." Yes. How come? "Look, I was only producing 300 quintals, by 1967
(words indistinct), by 1968 so much, and by 1969 I will be producing 800

Yes. He had seen the results of fertilization in the coffee plantations,
the increase in production, the blooming of the trees, how the flowers
stuck on the trees, how the bean stuck, and how everything stuck. And this
peasant was telling the truth. This peasant was saying the truth. The goal
of 2 million quintals in 1970 will be amply overfulfilled. It is with the
old coffee plantations, with the old coffee plantations alone, that we will
achieve the 2 million quintals. Some peasants have found this out and above
all there is something interesting--practically 100 percent of the peasants
are applying fertilization. Everytime that some of these methods are
introduced, there are some peasants who are more advanced and they begin to
test. There are other peasants more weary who wait to see that happens. And
of course, the effects have been so unbelievable that 100 percent of the
peasants (words indistinct) are fertilizing the coffee trees. Well now, a
similar thing is being done with the tobacco.

There is a series of principles which must be applied to the peasant
agriculture. First, it is necessary that peasants everywhere be producers
of everything. Let me explain this. One of the worst thing that can be seen
when one tours the countryside is the lack of specialization in the
peasants. The peasants should specialize themselves in one, two, or three
products, but mainly in one product. What does this mean? Some peasants
should basically be tobacco growers. These are the peasants who have grown
tobacco most of their lives in the valley of Pinar del Rio, Santa Clara,
and in different places. Other peasants should basically be coffee growers,
others should be livestock raisers, others should be vegetable growers,
others should be fruit growers. In other words, we must try to see that the
peasant should not have a variety of products, all that mixture and that
each one has a specialty.

Sometimes the peasant is not to blame for the lack of specialization that
can be seen. We are partly to blame. It is true that there are regions
where coffee has been produced and they still continue to produce coffee.
But there was a region, for example in Oriente, where the peasants produced
beans. These were the peasants of Velasco, a region with the best climatic
conditions for the production of beans. All of a sudden, there was a lack
of papayas and the price of papayas went up. All of a sudden the supply
(department--ed.) sets such and such a price for papayas and the peasants
of Velasco started to add things up. Beans take so much work, bring such
problems. If I plant papayas, I will earn ten times more. And the Velasco
peasants began to quite growing beans and started growing papayas.

What king of business could the country have with this? We had to spend
foreign currency to import beans because, instead of planting beans,
papayas were being grown. Gentlemen, the papayas are a type of crop so easy
to grow that with a little fertilizer, irrigation, and a good variety of
papaya, more papayas can be produced in 100 caballerias than can be
produced by 10,000 peasants planting small plots of papayas. In addition,
in order to gather these papayas, the trailers must be converted to
trolleys. They will have to look for a quintal of papayas here, there, and
there. We will have sent a man with a piece of paper from supply, contract,
what have you--all these things. (applause and laughter)

We have produced to a few groups that they produce all that papaya because
there are a few crops that have incorrectly been assigned to the peasants,
some crops which have been stimulated by some sky-high prices. There was a
shortage of placero tomatoes and up went the price of placero tomatoes. Of
course, there are some peasants who have always grown placero tomatoes.
Very well, those who have grown these, give them the right to continue
growing placero tomatoes. But all of a sudden some peasants who grew sugar
cane saw that their neighbors, in two or three cordeles and with a lot less
work, earned much more money than they did with 50 cordeles of sugar cane.
It did not matter that a sugar mill was being built or expanded there, that
all the necessary things were there, all of a sudden the peasant would say
no, no, I will plow under the sugar cane which costs a lot of headaches and
will start growing placero tomatoes. Of course, if everybody started
growing placero tomatoes there would be an oversupply of placero tomatoes
and they would not be worth a half cent. These are capitalistic methods.
How did one work during the capitalistic times? There is a surplus of this,
so I will not grow this. I am going to grow that in which there is a
shortage. Everybody goes crazy growing this, and then this becomes surplus
so they quite growing it and start growing something else. We cannot start
to grow thing under the conditions in which the capitalist produced things.
We must say that supply, we cannot blame supply for everything, but the
price policy which was followed was incorrect. (applause) There is a lack
of carrots, we discuss it with two or three groups and all the carrots
needed to build a mountain of carrots are produced.

We cannot start to stimulate the growing of carrots here, the placero
tomatoes there, the beets over there, and the papayas here, because
gentlemen, this involves infinite confusion, problems, and headaches. The
peasant who traditionally has grown something which he knows, that to which
he is used to, it is understandable that he may become disenchanted with
what he is doing or that he believes that he is working more and is earning
much less than that other. Actually, the peasant who has traditionally
grown tobacco, let him continue to plant tobacco, improving his methods and
raising production. The one who has grown hay, that has livestock, let him
continue to develop his livestock. The one who has grown vegetables, let
him continue to grow vegetables, the one who has grown rice, let him
continue to grow rice. The one who has grown potatoes, let him continue to
grow potatoes.

The one who has grown sugar cane, this is a different problem. There is one
problem with the sugarcane and that is why I had not included it here, not
that I had forgotten about it. (word indistinct) I have been giving you all
these examples (words indistinct). The peasants of Velasco have done very
well. We talked with them, they have been given opportunities, and all
continue growing beans. They are all enthused with the bean production and
the task to raise production per caballeria. Of course, it is not enough
simply to set a policy, to establish a correct policy on prices, and have
some lectures. It is not enough to tell the peasants that they should not
produce papayas, start growing beans again. No, this is not enough. We must
go there to talk to them, ask them what they need, how many machines? Do
you have fertilizer? How to apply fertilizer. Irrigation can be used to
that they can produce during a drought too. How to use a formula here?
Where to get irrigation equipment? We must have the resources.

We believe that what the tobacco growers must do is to work to apply
organic material, fertilizer, irrigation. There is a whole program for
tobacco involving the construction of small hydraulic works to increase the
production of tobacco considerably, doubling or tripling its yield through
the use of organic matter, fertilizer, and irrigation. There is a whole
plan for tobacco as there is for coffee and we must make these the
principal products of the country.

Of course, the peasant wants to produce something else for his own
consumption. Fine! That a peasant who is a coffee producer, should also
want to produce for his own consumption is fine. I assure you, from what I
have been able to ascertain, to see in all the fields, that with a few
well-tended cordeles, with the use of fertilizers, any peasant can produce
all he needs for his family, everything he needs. In other words, each
peasant can have a principal crop--tobacco, coffee, cattle, fruits and
vegetables--and, at the same time, have a portion of his land, if he wants,
devoted to producing what he needs for his own consumption. With a
commercial crop as his principal crop and then crops for his own
consumption, often the peasant uses too large an area for the cultivation
of produce for his own consumption with a very low yield. Often the
peasants use 40 cordeles to supply themselves with what they need at home
when they could get along with 10 cordeles by using fertilizer.

Naturally, this must be accompanied by a policy on the part of the
revolution. The revolution is distributing fertilizers, pushing the use of
fertilizer in all crops. Sometimes there is a banana growing region. There
are 500 caballerias of bananas, (words indistinct) this is a small farmer,
or we find a mixture of crops, a malanga here, corn there, a banana there,
a pig here, a cow there. Why does this peasant not cultivate bananas since
the whole region is a banana growing area? Then he could leave part of the
area for his own consumption, the planting of malanga if he wants to, corn,
if he wants, (words indistinct) whatever he wants, planting bananas (?over
most of the land) so that if the planes pass over and fumigate and
fertilize his banana crop (words indistinct) take care of it, because this
piece of land is abandoned, either because he has no resources or because
he makes his living mainly from other work and similar (words indistinct).

This means that we must seek to have the peasants specialize in certain
crops, as they have not done up to now. In some crops they have made much
progress, as in the case of coffee.

In the mountains, our policy will be different. We want to bring to the
peasants through the communications network which is being built,
everything they need from the plains, so that they will not have to
cultivate in the mountains bananas, corn, and 20 more such items. Now how
do they plant in the mountains? Is is an infallible thing. They plant with
the slope. I have not yet seen in the mountains a single peasant who (?does
otherwise). I have seen just one in the mountains. Bananas they plant
(?from below). I asked why. One said it is easier to walk. Another said
water comes if I plant this way and carries the seed, or because (words
indistinct) for whatever reason, there is not a single peasant in the
mountains who does not plant with the slope. Collection centers have been
established in some of the mountains. We came (words indistinct) and we saw
the banana plants here and there. What is this crop, a commercial crop?
Yes. To whom is it sold? To the collection centers.

Is it right, in these mountains where Hurricane Flora left scarcely any top
soil, to plant bananas when we are planting hundreds of caballerias of
bananas with irrigation in the plains. There are more than 500 caballerias
of banana land planted in the Cauco Valley. By next year there will be
2,000 caballerias of banana growing land. (applause) There will be 2,000
caballerias of banana plantings in the Cauco Valley. (more applause) It
will be every easy to bring to the peasants in the mountains all the
bananas they need, and if they don't grow bananas they can grow coffee. The
policy has been wrong. The planting of bananas has been encouraged up
there. We have been talking with the communities, asking that they choose
land to produce malanga because there is a theory that malanga can be
produced in the mountains and malanga can be produced perfectly well in the
plains. We are looking for land in order not to ask the peasants to plant
malanga in the mountains.

In other words, in the mountains we are going to follow the policy of
supplying the peasant with everything he needs, including fruits and
vegetables, so that the peasant will produce coffee in the mountains. Now
that coffee is being planted as (?vine-stock) we have been recommending
(?the planting) of gandul between the coffee plants. Gandul is not a crop.
It is a plant. It protects the soil from erosion. It produces a grain which
serves for human consumption or for livestock. (Castro appears to be
talking with bystanders--he continues) We have been recommending (words
indistinct) which feed chickens. If it is planted among the new coffee
plantations on a curve with three meters between (?plants) gandul beans can
be planted there, fertilized, and it serves to feed pigs and chickens, and
for direct consumption when it is fresh. Many peasants eat it with rice. It
is correct not to plant corn in the mountains. Another type of crop must be
planted which makes work easier and does not destroy nature.

Finally, I said at the beginning that very little is known about
agriculture. I want to add, with the exception of--a few peasants, there
are some very curious peasants (leaves sentence incomplete--ed.) We on the
border of Camaguey and Las Villas, on the border of the Jatibonico, met a
peasant who impressed us. He had a small citrus fruit plantation. He had
planted everything. He had done everything. He had a magnificent
production. (Castro apparently talks to the crowd) This peasant who planted
cedars, citrus fruit plants, and (?pasture-land) there, was making a
turbine there with great labor, he was (words indistinct) a motor. He
sought fertilizer (words indistinct) he was applying technology there with
admirable tenacity. This was a real farmer, this peasant.

On entering the La Monteria in the Sierra Maestra, we found the rare
example of a peasant who had had the (?initiative) to plant a mahogany
tree, a "baria," a cedar, various fine wood trees, (words indistinct)
(applause) This peasant had planted several dozen trees. He had done
something very rewarding. To see so many forests destroyed without anyone
planting (words indistinct). The peasant was declared exemplary peasant of
the region. (passage indistinct) A passion for planting fine wood trees has
developed, so that the comrades in the Manzanillo area (passage
indistinct). It is not enthusiasm which is lacking. There is abundant
enthusiasm, but proper guidance is missing. Proper guidance is what is
missing. (applause) The lack of guidance is not lack of good faith. It is
the result of all the accumulated ignorance in this country.

I want to give you an example. Today I was talking with a group of comrades
who are promoting the cultivation of pines. (?We asked) about seed because
the development of pines is limited by the quantity of seed. They told us a
new technique has been found for planting pines. The trunk of the plant is
cut and crossed and at least 12 (?sprouts) come out from the trunk. I asked
how. They showed (?me some samples). But no one knew about this here. In a
technical magazine which arrived (words indistinct) I said, is it possible,
in this country where there are at least (?some) people who claim to be
agronomists, and no one knew this? No one knew it. It is as simple as
Columbus' famous egg. (laughter) From the cutting of the pine, it could be
reproduced and no one knew it. It is incredible the number of things we did
not know and even what we do not know yet. This is why correct guidance
does not exist. Correct instructions often have not been given because of
ignorance. But, as I was telling you, in the Jibaro and (?La Monteria) area
we had to say to the comrades: "patience." Why did we say this? We were
thinking of bringing a great forestry development plan to the Sierra
Maestra in 1969. We were thinking of creating nurseries throughout the
Sierra of from 200 to 300 million seedlings of fine wood trees so that the
peasants who wished to plant them might take them.

But now, in 1967 and 1968, we are working on coffee. We are applying
technology to the production of coffee, replanting the coffee plantations,
developing the coffee plantations. If into this coffee plan which we are
carrying out in 1967 and 1968, we introduce at this time a forestry plan,
one thing will interfere with another. I say no. It will continue in this
region as a pilot plan while (words indistinct). It is our intention to
take transplanted trees to the peasants free and to give them fertilizer
free, since forest trees require 10 or 12 years before they produce, not
more. We believe that a mahogany tree, a "baria," a cedar--any of these
trees--can be cut perfectly well in 12 years if we fertilize them.

However, we intend to carry out a plan in the Sierra Maestra. We are also
going to undertake a plan in the mountains area of Escambray beginning in
1969. We cannot do so sooner because we are now working of coffee. In other
words, there are some peasants who like to worry about methods, who are
interested in improving the land, and who care to plant a tree. There are
peasants of this type. It is really very stimulating to us every time that
we meet this type of peasant.

In addition, I am going to tell you something else, that is, that the level
of agricultural know-how among the small farmers is the same as it was when
Diego Velazquez began the colonialization of this country. Our
agriculture--the agriculture of our small farmers--has the same technical
level that it had four centuries ago.

However, there were always a few crops in which irrigation and
fertilization were used in certain areas, such as potatoes, tobacco, and
rice. But with the exception of these, livestock raising, cane growing in
general, vegetable growing, and the rest of our agriculture are
anachronistic, anachronistic. No one ever thought about fertilizing a
single banana tree. In Oriente there are banana groves that are 20, 30
years old and that have never received a pound of fertilizer. When I say
this, I am not blaming you. I am not blaming you, I am simply referring to
a fact, facts about our agricultural conditions in the past. There was no
technical fertilizer, market, or credit knowledge. There was nothing.

I want to tell you that our agriculture is very backward. Our small
agriculture is very backward. Tell me something. It there a banana growing
peasant here? There should be several here. Is there a banana growing
peasant from Holguin, from Banes? I want to ask you something. How much do
you have planted in bananas? Three rozas, six rozas? (Someone shouts from
the crowd: "Sixteen Rozas.")

Oh! Sixteen rozas. And how many quintals have you gotten a year, the year
in which you got the most production? How many? How much? 1,700. Bananas or
plantains? Of bananas, how much do you think can be obtained from one
caballeria? Somebody who has grown bananas, speak up. Three thousand
stalks? How many bunches? How many quintals of bananas will that make?
2,000? Can 2,000 quintals of bananas be produced on one caballeria? Two
thousand quintals? Will that be possible? It can be done? Can that amount
be produced, more or less? Two thousand quintals? On two rozas of land. Do
you know, for example, according to our calculations based on the results
from some little experimental plantings, it is possible to produce up to
20,000 quintals of bananas on one caballeria? If we had not been very busy
these past days we could have suggested that the comrades of the congress
should visit some experiments being conducted. (applause) These banana
trees began bearing at five months, and before the end of a year were
producing bunches weighing from 70 to 85 pounds. It will be possible to
produce as many as 40,000 bunches on a caballeria, with the plants at
proper intervals.

I will give you one crop as an example: coffee. Some 50 or 60 quintals per
caballeria were being picked. We are preparing plantations, from some of
which we expect to gather up to 1,000 quintals per caballeria. Some crops
in Cuba were grown with the aid of some technical skill. And where this
appears it is not so easy to double production. But most crops in Cuba can
be tripled, quadrupled, quintrupled, and in some cases the yield can be
raised 10-fold. That is precisely the goal. We intend, since the revolution
is in a position now to do so, to provide farmers with maximum resources so
they will boost productivity, double it, triple it, quadruple it.

For instance, at present fertilizer for banana trees is already being
distributed to all small farmers. (applause) Fertilizer for coffee is being
distributed to all small farmers. The quantity of four tons a caballeria
has been distributed to all cane growers, and they will be given from one
and a half to two tons of ammonium nitrate a caballeria in addition.
(applause) All tobacco plantings are to be fertilized, and an effort will
be made to irrigate to the greatest possible extent with the construction
of small dams. Fertilizer has been distributed for growing root crops, for
growing beans, for all crops, for orchards, and for all small farmers who
are growing citrus fruit.

This is to say that work is going forward now to apply technical know-how.
Artificial insemination of small farmers' livestock is beginning to be
introduced. Stockraising is one of the sectors of agriculture under the
ANAP in which some of the most extensive work must be done. Already, as I
was saying, insemination is being introduced. Wherever you go in this
country, you see thin cows; some poor little thin cow, from which they are
getting--I do not know what they are getting out of that cow; they are
drawing the life out of her.

Everywhere, a cow tied here, a cow in a lot without anything to eat. When
one has some knowledge of the care that should be given animals, he suffers
on seeing this. Very few peasants have specially planted pastures. Almost
all that they have is natural pasture. In general, the small farmers'
pastures have never been fertilized. There are tens upon tens of thousands
of caballerias devoted to stock. We propose to give the same boost to
stockraising that we are giving to coffee, tobacco, root crops, and all the
other crops.

What livestock policy do we expect to pursue? In areas close to the capital
and big cities, we are going to promote dairying. But as a general thing,
in the provinces of Las Villas, Camaguey, and Oriente, we are going to make
two proposals to the peasants, or three. First, plant special pastures,
including legumes together with grasses. Second, fertilize the pastures.
Third, orient the small producer not toward milk production but toward
breeding stock.

Why is this? Except in the western areas, where milk production is a
tradition with the peasants, where there is a heavy concentration of
population, in the rest of the island it is much easier for a peasant to
have a herd of breeding stock than a dairy herd. Diary cattle cause a great
deal of work, many headaches, daily milking. It is much easier for a
peasant to have a caballeria in pasture for cattle, pasture specially
planted for the purpose and fertilized; to keep from 30 to 40 cattle on it;
and produce from 25 to 30 calves a year, with a minimum of work involved in
shifting them from one field to the next. Almost just watching them--a
peasant can take care of a herd of 30 to 40 cows almost just by watching.

That would mean a good income for the peasant, and it would be an income
without many problems. Milk, which causes more problems, can be produced on
the state farms. Take the Bayamo area, for example. When the complete
program for the Bayamo area has been executed, these farms in that region
will produce 1.5 million liters of milk daily. It is easy to pick up that
milk, because it will be concentrated at a few hundred dairies. The same
amount of milk, if produced by the small farmers, would require a trip to
10,000 places every day to pick up 10 liters here, 15 there, 20 over
yonder. And this milk would be produced in 10,000 different ways, under
10,000 different conditions of hygiene. And, after all, it is something
that can perfectly well be produced on the state farms.

This does not mean that if a peasant of Bayamo is a dairyman and wants to
go on being one we will not help him, we will provide insemination for him,
we will see that he has resources, we will make everything available to
him. We merely . . . . (apparently some one in audience speaks; Fidel
begins a conversation--ed)

You already have (F-1--phonetic). Where are you from? (?Outside) Las
Villas. What district? Next to the town? How much pasturage do you have?
How many cows? How many do you think you can run there? A caballeria and a
half? Then you have specially planted pasturage? You already have a
caballeria in pangola grass? Do you have it divided into fields? How many?
Have you ever used fertilizer? How much? You have to be a (?modern)
peasant, (laughter, applause) (words indistinct) what I am talking about.
Are you going to have (F-1) of Brown Swiss or Holstein? Holstein. Do you
want to be a dairyman or what? (words indistinct) And how many cows can you
milk a day? You have to be milking 25 cows a day. It is hard work.

For you, for example, if instead of milk cows there--I am not telling you
to give up milk cows; I do not know the exact situation of the people of
(?Taguasco), but what I want to tell you is this--on that caballeria and a
half you can run from 40 to 50 head. If instead of inseminating that stock
with Holstein, you inseminate with Charolais or Santa Gertrudis, when you
have (F-2), when you have (F-3), then you will have find quality beef

On the half caballeria, divided into 10 fields and fertilized, you just
have to move the cattle from one field to another every four or five days,
and you would produce--do you want me to tell you?--in money, you can
produce 7,000 or 8,000 pesos in cash every year on your caballeria and a
half in a very easy way. (Another question is apparently asked--ed.)

That is right. Look. What I am proposing, we cannot begin doing it now.
Why? Because it will be 1970 at least before the great increase in milk
production as a result of all the work that has been undertaken. In 1967,
1968, and 1969 we still need milk produced by the private farming sector in
Las Villas, Camaguey, and Oriente. In Matanzas and Havana provinces we will
always need it, because much pasture land belonging to the small farmers is
here, as well as a heavy population concentration.

That is why we are going to suggest that the state farms produce the milk
while the small farmers produce beef. The state farms too will produce
beef, because, for instance, in a region like Camaguey, where there will be
from 2.5-3 million cows in the future, 1 million will be used for milk
production. Another million will be used for breeding, and the rest, from
the private sector of agriculture, can be used for producing beef.

Why are we suggesting that state farms should produce the milk? Because
dairying requires hard work, it requires refrigeration, it requires
equipment for keeping the milk. All that milk has to be picked up. It is
easier to pick up the milk if there are 100 dairies supplying 1,000 liters
each; the trucks go to 100 places. The milk is kept cold at 100 places. But
the problem of keeping milk and picking it up is much greater at a place
with only 50 liters or 70 or a 100.

How many liters are you producing now, for example? No. Daily. Seventeen
liters. Just think, to collect--and you are a good farmer--to collect
20,000 liters--100,000 liters--of milk, it would be necessary to go by the
places of about 5,000 small farmers like you, every day. To keep that milk
under sanitary conditions, refrigerated, while collections were being made,
it is necessary to put 20,000 (words indistinct) there. This can be done
perfectly well at 100 places.

On the other hand, if you produce beef, then you hand over your product
once a year, when the dry season begins, or any time. It is necessary to go
there to pick it up just once. And you--what you have to do--and that is
why it is much easier to produce beef than milk. What we expect to do in
the future is help all peasants plant all their natural and special
pastures, (?not to say brush plots), with special pastures. (Pangola and
kudzu, that is what is needed on your farm. That half caballeria, (words
indistinct) in kudzu and a strip of pangola grass, so nitrogen applications
will not be needed, and you will have a much better feed.

Is not Emilio there somewhere? That is a pity, because Emilio is getting
110 liters of milk from eight cows, eight young cows that are averaging 13
liters apiece. Pangola grass-Guinea grass with kudzu, rather, in this case.
Emilio is a peasant from San Andres.

If a peasant wants to produce milk, let him produce milk. In general, we
will propose that he produce beef. You do not need to worry, because next
year your cows will be inseminated with the Charolais strain, or the Santa
Gertrudis, the one you like best among the beef breeds. In Las Villas
Province we may inseminate with the Santa Gertrudis or Charolais, beef
animals. The (F-2) is three-quarters beef animal and one-fourth--what you
have is Brahman. In four years you will have transformed your stock.

We will possibly use the Charolais as one of the principal beef breeds,
because it is an animal of fine quality, great value. And so the peasants
who, for example, devote themselves to stock-raising from Las Villas to
Oriente will have beef animals, of beef breeds.

(Apparently some one addresses Fidel and he answers--ed.) What is it? Yes.
Inseminating dairymen's cows? That is right. We must not change that now.
This year we are going to inseminate from milk breeds, because that work
has been begun, because that idea is relatively recent. Therefore, the
insemination comrades will continue working in Sancti Spiritus, in
Bayamo--but that does not matter. (applause)

If next year you, or your region, have the (F-1) of Holstein and Brahman,
that (F-1) of Holstein and Brahman is inseminated from a beef animal, and
it will be raised much better than the Brahman, it is transformed, for a
milk animal, if it has good pasture, rears a much better calf than a
Brahman. This (F-1) can doubtless nurse a calf that will easily reach 700
or 800 pounds in a year, provided it has pasture.

What I am explaining to you is a general orientation for the future: to ask
the stockmen--and this is precisely what they like; stockmen prefer raising
animals to producing milk--and we have thought that they like to raise
beef, if is means less work for them, and if in addition collecting the
milk is a much more difficult problem than collecting beef, why then we
would suggest that the peasants should tend to raise beef animals while
milk is produced on the state farms.

That policy is for 1970 and beyond. By 1971 we can tell any peasant, from
the boundary between Matanzas and Las Villas to Baracoa, we can tell him:
If you wish, devote yourself 100 percent to producing beef. Of course,
around Santiago de Buca, Cienfeugos, the city of Camaguey, right around the
big cities, it is logical to go on producing milk. But even in places like
Bayamo, which is an area of (word indistinct) importance,state production
will be 1.5 million liters of milk.

This means the peasants can be given the opportunity to raise beef instead
of producing milk, letting them choose what they prefer; that is the
orientation we wish, devote yourself 100 caballerias of pasture for the
Bayamo stockmen. We will not carry this program on a big scale to the whole
country this coming year; to Havana Province, yes, in this area. In 1969 we
plan to give a tremendous boost to planting pastures among the private

And this coming year we can begin inseminating with beef breeds, this
coming year, already, because calves born in 1969 would not be in
production until 1970--until 1971 or 1972, and by that time milk production
will be tremendous, and it will be more important for the peasants to
devote their pastures to growing beef.

That is the general orientation. Some peasants are going to devote
themselves basically to growing tobacco; others, starchy foods; others,
beef; others, beans; others, rice. Rice growing, too, will be given a big
boost in the areas of Manzanillo and Bayamo. A program involving the small
farmers will be established in that region, for irrigation, fertilizing,

The policy that will be pursued is one of specialized production. This is
nothing new. When I say specialized production, I am not saying anything
new. It is what has occurred traditionally. I mean, not (?always) changing
from one product to another. If a problem arises because some product is
not satisfactory to a peasant, a solution can always be found for that

There is the problem of cane, which I have not mentioned. The problem of
sugar cane is more complicated. There are provinces, like Matanzas, Las
Villas, Havana, where the small farmers' role in growing cane is a very big
one. This means that we cannot tell them: Since growing cane causes
problems and headaches, quite growing cane. We cannot tell them to stop
growing cane, because there are the mills, the installations, everything.
Why? Because they have hold of a large part of the cane-growing land.

It is even necessary to keep insisting and striving, because there has been
a policy that goes contrary to the national interest. What policy is that?
It is preferable for us to seek any other solution rather than that of
quitting cane growing. And in the provinces, where the small farmers grow a
great deal of cane, we cannot look to any solution other than asking them
to go on growing cane while we see--within the limits of that crop--what we
can do so they can be compensated and feel satisfied with what they are

In some places like Camaguey, where very little cane is grown by small
farmers, the comrades of the province proposed to me that, except for areas
very near the mill, it would be possible in many places to plant on state
land the cane of many of the private farmers and let the latter devote
themselves to cattle raising. In Camaguey raising cattle is a tradition,
the small farmers have very little land in cane, there is enough state land
to which those plantations can be shifted, and a solution can be sought
here for the cane problem. Still, in Las Villas and Camaguey--in Las Villas
and Havana and Pinar del Rio and Matanzas--that cannot be done, because the
land is not available, the mills are there; it is impossible to do without
the cane growing. The thing that must be done is to mechanize, provide
loading machines, attain maximum productivity.

Here, routinely, something incredible has been happening. According to our
ANAP comrades, the only farmers paying taxes in this country are the
sugarcane farmers. This is incredible. The coffee farmers used to pay
taxes--their taxes were abolished. The government has a draft law to
abolish taxes among the sugarcane farmers. (applause)

Sugarcane is, of course, very important to our economy. From it we derive
sugar, syrup, (?bagasse), sugarcane tops which is good for cattle feed.
Sugarcane is a very important product to our economy. (words indistinct)
its cultivation is not as inexpensive as some other types of cultivation.
It turns out that the only farmers paying taxes here are the sugarcane
farmers. Let us put the blame on the ANAP. The blame must be placed
somewhere, so let us blame the ANAP. (shouts among the audience) (words
indistinct) then the sugarcane farmers are to blame. The sugarcane farmers!

It turns out that if we are paying the (word indistinct) taxes and in
practice (words indistinct) taxes have been abolished, they were paying
taxes. It was a discount that was being made through the sugar mill (?as
has been explained) (voices from audience) What happened to them? What
happened to the small sugarcane farmers? (inaudible voices from audience)
This year? do you mean this year? (more voices from audience) Oh, no! No
taxes will be charged this year. (applause from audience)

Well--tell me one thing--these taxes were in effect because it was the law.
But if this problem had been posed before it would have been settled.
Starting this year, we have been announcing that this tax has been
suppressed. In other words, this year you will not have to pay any taxes on
the sugarcane which has been cut. (applause) This is one of the things
which I precisely was talking about concerning the inaccurate norms. It is
one of the inaccurate things which has survived. We are interested in
increasing sugarcane production, in reaping a harvest of 100 million
(tons-ed.), an it turns out that the sugarcane farmers who produce
approximately 25 percent of the sugarcane are paying taxes. Incredible,
isn't it?

Of course, the taxes were in effect. Why? What did the sugarcane farmer use
to pay? Before, he paid rent in addition to the taxes. The rent was
abolished, but the tax remained. (inaudible voiced from audience) Very
well--(more voices from audience) how much do you pay, comrades? Tell me,
how much money do you pay in taxes?

Wait a minute--(more voices from audience) therein is contained social
security in this (words indistinct) percent. (move voices from audience) Do
tell me--you do not have any right to social security? (more voices from
audience) How so? (Fidel speaks away from microphone, followed by loud
laughter from audience) The problem consists that in accordance with the
sugar (words indistinct) law, the so-called (word indistinct) had to be
registered. (?Those who did not register) had no right under the law.
However, (words indistinct) the revolution (words indistinct) we had been
talking with comrade (words indistinct) to conduct a survey and seek a
solution to this problem. Why are there some who pay it (words indistinct)
and there are others who also pay without having (words indistinct)
(audience laughter). (words indistinct)

The small farmers who cultivate bananas, for instance, do they pay this
(word indistinct) discount? No. No small farmer pays this discount.
(audience shouting) which? Because look, there is a part which corresponds
to the workers, right? (voices from audience)

Look, gentlemen, I am going to tell you what I think about all of this
problem. When I first started to speak here tonight, I explained to you the
problems of money--all of these kinds of problems. I explained to you how
money was going to become progressively less important. I explained to you
about the problems of production. Do you want me to tell you what these
taxes are all about? (words indistinct) do you know what really matters?
Instead of producing 40,000 arrobas per caballeria, you should produce
80,000 per caballeria. This is what matters! (applause)

What is the point in paying 100 pesos on the one hand if you must produce
1,000 on the other? What can those 100 pesos buy? (?The truth is that) the
country is interested in producing 1,500 quintals of sugar more from one
caballeria--that we might be able to export and bring back goods equivalent
to the value of those 1,500 quintals per caballeria. What we are interested
in is to (?increase) production because here we distribute what is
produced. (words indistinct) to have breakfast with one peso in the
morning. (audience laughter)

Has anyone ever eaten a couple of fried eggs costing 10 pesos? (audience
answers "no") Isn't this true? In (?Gran Terra), we recently discovered a
peasant who had the habit of eating glass Well--(word indistinct) to the
hospital, he was seriously ill. He had been eating glass. (words distinct)
This 11 percent is not eaten. One east that sugar which is produced on this
caballeria of land. The sugar that is produced on this caballeria of land
is distributed. The fact is that all this is anachronistic.

What do we believe? We believe that these anachronisms must disappear
because they are of no importance to us. What we are interested in is cane.
What we are interested in is that you produce double what you are now
producing on each caballeria. Therefore, in any segment of small
agriculture--were one a merchant, he would say "no"--it is better to raise
the tax to 25 percent. However, a farmer who works his land is not
interested in this, (?He is interested) in his social security. However,
everything depends on one's view of things. If we not collect from each
peasant 100 pesos or 200 pesos every year waiting until he gets old (few
words indistinct) until he retires. As a matter of fact, what that peasant
is going to consume 20 years from now he is not now producing.

We believe that every worker should have the right to receive a pension,
without exception. (applause) As far as the small farmers are concerned,
what should interest them is to produce, and in order to produce they need
technical know-how, machinery, fertilizers, financial help, and direction.
They need direction. (?They are not) interested in the economy, not at all.
At any rate, we are going to consider the problem of pension as a right of
the small farmer. (voices from audience) Gentlemen, we have said the money
will be of no interest to anyone. In the future, the pension, also, will be
of no interest to anyone. In the future, the pension also will be of no
interest. When one has everything he needs, will he need a pension to get
it? (shout of "no" from audience) However, now there are farmers who need
it and we are still not at that stage when one can get something at no
cost. We believe the solution lies in giving every farmer a pension, as
long as he has been a farmer, has worked, who can guarantee his
(?products), who has not been involved in small illegal business affairs,
speculation, or things like that. He will have the right to get a pension.
(applause) (few words indistinct). Therefore, it is necessary that the
anachronisms that still remain (?be overcome). Would the cane growers be
satisfied if this were taken away from them? (shouts of "no" in audience)
Would the cane growers be ready to make the maximum effort to apply
fertilizers, technical know-how, and production? (shouts of "yes" from
audience) By liquidating all that? (shouts of "no" from audience)

Can we count on your maximum cooperation for the 10 million-ton sugar
production plan in 1970? ("Yes" from audience, applause) That is good. I
wanted to tell you, since we have touched on various kinds of crops
tonight, that there might be a peasant (words indistinct) who produced
tomatoes, beets. We are not talking about such cases, and we do not mean to
say that we are going to reach the point of saying: Well, I am not going to
plant any more beets--or whatever we are planting. We are not going to
affect anybody.

What we are saying is that we are not going to encourage the cultivation of
such crops as beets, carrots, papaya, and produce of this kind which get
very high prices and which have veritably raised hob with agriculture. Let
each one cultivate the crop he is used to--his traditional crop, whatever
it is, whether tobacco, sugarcane, pasturage, coffee, or vegetables--and
let each one feel satisfied with what he is doing and get the maximum of
help to increase the productivity of his land and his work. This is what we

And to have a price policy, one that will not create (leaves sentence
unfinished--ed.) It is a bad system. It runs counter to our ideas. It is
against socialism when any old product is made so scarce that the prices
become sky-high and people start producing it, especially when it is a
product that can be cultivated in a few caballerias in a farm.

That is what we intended to tell you--our wish that the peasants
specialize, tend the crop they like--the principal product--and try to
obtain a maximum production from their land and their work. In other words,
we must introduce much more accurate guidance in private agriculture and
above all, introduce technology. Technology has to be introduced. In coffee
and tobacco, some have more than others, but in livestock above all,
technology must be introduced. In our agriculture, livestock-raising under
the latifundists was very backward. A few latifundists had a few very
pretty little animals they would exhibit at the fair. Almost all of them
had natural pasturage. Almost none of them had artificial pasturage.
Practically none of them had introduced leguminous fodder; none of them
introduced fertilization, insemination, or pasturing. In other words, it
was a (?pathetic) livestock with a few pretty bulls. We have to put all
this nation's (?energy) into the problem as if this country were a
livestock fair from one end of the island to the other. (applause)

And the problem of skinny cows and hungry animals has to disappear. The day
has to come when we will feel as sorry when we see a skinny little cow as
when we see a skinny child, since, after all, these cows are the ones
providing the milk so the children will not be skinny. It should hurt us to
see the livestock going hungry. (applause) Animals are not our enemy.
(applause) They are our friends, and they help to nourish us. It is
criminal to allow a cow to go hungry. It is criminal. It is not just, it is
not revolutionary. If cows could protest, they would organize and they
surely would have staged a big protest in this country. But I, at least,
make myself the cow's advocate here. (crowd commotion) A question? (comment
from a man in the crowd--ed.) With tobacco? You people pay taxes? Oh, my
God! (laughter) Interest on loans? How much is being paid here as interest
on loans? (voices from audience) It is true that (incomplete sentence--ed.)
Well, gentlemen, I see you want to get rid of everything. Let us also get
rid of private property once and for all. (laughter) I am saying that
because the prices on many products have been increased, price improvement
has been made on many products. We have tried to help small farmers to the
utmost. Now, I do not know about the matter of taxes. But look, they tell
me that tobacco men do not pay taxes. (shouts of "No!" from audience) Then
what discounts are given to you? (voices from audience) Interest on loans.
And do you want me to tell you something? It is double garbage in the
double sense of the word. It is a great pile of garbage. It is garbage,
ideologically speaking. We should not charge any interest tax because this
is the capitalist's way, to tell the truth. It engenders bureaucracy, and
it does not pay enough to take care of those who have to handle the

You are right. We are going to study this problem--that umpteen taxes have
to be paid. Ten, eight, seven, we reduced it to almost nothing, but it
continues to be interest. And this matter of interest is a capitalist
thing, gentlemen. That is the truth. It is money earning money.

What society is interested in when it gives a peasant a loan is to enable
him to work and produce and not to go around trying to make a miserable
amount from what he produces to pay it. This does not resolve and economic
problem. This is an anachronism and a vestige of the past.

The peasant is right. Speak. (voice from audience) They tell me that
pertains to the credit cooperative and accounting expenses which the bank
will carry. It will not change anything for it. Gentlemen, look, the truth
is that what you are proposing (unfinished sentence--ed.) We have been very
busy all these past days. This is why we were unable to make greater
contact with the congress. Otherwise, all these questions would have been
resolved in the light of the new ideas of the revolution. The revolution
has grown, the revolution has evolved, the revolution has developed. The
ideas of the revolution have progressed. In the light of those ideas, this
little interest charge which engenders bureaucracy and resolves nothing--in
light of these ideas, that discount of 11 percent, and all those things in
a sector such as sugarcane, which is of such importance to the economy--in
the light of ideas which are more revolutionary every day, a revolution
which even aspires one day to do away with money by giving the people
everything they need, just as now we given them education, hospitals, and
all those other things; all of those things appear--all those remains of
the past appear to be truly anachronistic.

What interests us--what interests us in the light of our ideas is that a
peasant, instead of producing 30,000 arrobas, produces 60,000 or 80,000
arrobas of sugarcane per caballeria. What interests us in the light of
these new ideas--these truly revolutionary ideas--is that a peasant in his
caballeria of land, instead of producing 300 quintals, produces 600 if
possible; that instead of 2,000 quintals of plantains, he produces 4,000;
5,000; 6,000; 10,000; that instead of 10 skinny cows per caballeria, he
raises 35 or 40 fat cows per caballeria; that if a citrus fruit tree
produces 500 oranges, it produce 1,500. Comrade peasants, that is what is
eaten, that is what is distributed. To take a peso here and not increase
production over there is a deception. Let the peasants have a larger income
by producing more, because by producing more the people will have more of
all those things that the peasants can produce. Anybody understands that.

If instead of the skinny cows--the 10 skinny cows which produce six skinny
calves, which remain for three years in the pasture before reaching 1,000
pounds in weight--that peasant has 40 cows and produces 30 or 35 or he
would even produce almost 40, but we are going to suppose 30 or 35 animals,
which will weigh in one year or 18 months, 1,000 pounds--that peasant is
producing six times more meat, and the people will be eating six times more
meat, or the country will be exporting more meat to buy other things that
the people need. I think this is very simple.

Many old ideas cling to us. Many old ideas remain to influence the minds of
people. We have to introduce new ideas in technology and eliminate old
ideas. I believe that what I am explaining is understood by you perfectly
well. It is clear--somebody wanted to say something? What is it? (shouting
from crowd) Just a moment. There is confusion here; two people are talking
at once.

Let us see, which of you is the younger? (applause) Good, then you can wait
to speak. (laughter) Let the one who is furthest away speak. No, I mean
that one who is farther away and will have to shout louder. (someone
shouts) No, not you, the other one. (shouting from crowd) Gentlemen, are we
going to hold a second congress here tonight, this early in the morning?
(laughter) No, you have already had your congress, and those problems have
been discussed. The problems of loaders and all those have been discussed.

What is of interest now is general orientation, general orientation, but
let us give the second man who wants to say something a change so that he
can have his turn. (talking from crowd) Very well. They say that agronomy
no longer has to approve credit. They say the the peasant organization and
the bank are the ones who negotiate the problem. (shouting) That is good.
We must introduce the peasants organizations further into the operation of
light machinery, the problem of credits and all those things. As the
participation of the peasants' base organizations increases, they will help
us resolve those problems extraordinarily. (applause)

Speak up comrade. (voice from audience) Is this rice on dry or irrigated
land? And how about Yaguazas (a type of duck): how many are shot down? Did
you know that there is a company of hunters killing Yaguazas in Sancti
Espiritus? Ah, you have nine hunters there? How many Yaguazas have you
killed lately? One thousand two hundred Yaguazas? The Yaguazas are the
number one enemy of rice, but this year the Yaguazas will be put out of
action. (applause) (more shouting) And where is yours? I passed by there
the other day. If you tell me how to get there, I will make a visit there
to speak about rice. What is the name of the place? The
Agricultural-Livestock Society. Well we also recommend to some
tobacco-growers of Las Villas, with respect to technology, that after they
gather the coffee crop, they spend the rest of the year cultivating. We
proposed that they plant some carita beans in the spring so that the land
will not be bare.

Let us check it out. Those beans are fit for human consumption, as well as
for animal consumption, and they protect the land and provide organic
material. But precisely because of what I said previously, we are going to
begin with a small farmer. Some small farmers will check them out so that
they can see the results, so that they will see that--far from harming the
land--they help it, and protect the land better in the spring when the bare
soil is very subject to erosion. But all the peasants are accustomed to
just planting and then scratching the land all year with the cultivator. We
are going to try them.

And about rice. Few of you produce 1,000 quintals. We must produce at least
1,500. Is that clear? (shouting) Good. And we are going to visit that
agricultural-livestock association soon. Very good. It is getting late,
huh? Has everybody had his turn? It is 0130. (laughter) Well then, we are
in agreement that this last comrade may speak. Word of honor. Yes, speak
up. No, no, no, you have no honor. You are already making (Castro laughs)
You have given me your word of honor that nobody else will ask to speak.
(shouting) Wait a minute. We had agreed with Milian that we are going to
send some over here. Where are they? Ah, good. You brought four. Which are
they? (voices from audience) Very good. We also got the pygmy gandul (a
type of arbutus with edible seeds--ed.), which is the one we wanted to

Well, we are going to taste them. You brought them did you not? Say, you
certainly brought enough of them. (laughter) Well, thanks a lot, thanks a
lot. Let us see. (shouting) That is not difficult. We can send the shells,
but I can tell you beforehand that there are 600 hunters who are organizing
to go to all the ricefields. (laughter) In what area are you? In Aguada. Is
there a lot of rice there? And a lot of Yaguazas? What do you need? Some
shotgun shells? What do you prefer, the shells or somebody to go there and
put an end to the Yaguazas? (shouting) No, do not leave. I am going to
explain to these comrades that the hunters are workers who are sportsmen.
We have given them the task as volunteer labor to go hunt over there.
(laughter) They are enchanted with the idea, of course. (laughter) Speak
up. How many shotguns shells do you need over there? How many, say it,
(shouting) How many Yaguazas do you have there? (laughter) How many
Yaguazas do you have there?

What base peasant organization is that? What is the name? Van Troi. This
takes in all the ricefields there? Very good. Day after tomorrow early in
the morning you will have 1,000 shotgun shells in the ricefields so that
you can kill the Yaguazas. You can cook up some fricassee of Yaguaza also.
They are very good. (laughter) Now we have a little problem, comrades, one
which you brought up here. It is a problem I have found prevalent
throughout the island. About three years ago, I heard people complaining
about the problem of people who have land and are not farmers. This is the
truth. I go to the provinces and the party, the workers, the volunteer
workers, the peasants--what do they say? Well, they say that there is a
gentleman there for whom they have to cut the cane every year, they weed it
and he never shows up there. He does not even furnish water for the people,
nor help, nor anything.

This problem has been brought up to us hundreds of times. It is very
irritating to ask a worker to leave his family for three months and then
find out that he is cutting cane for an absentee landowner who lives in
town running a business. Sometimes they run a funeral parlor, an apartment,
or a retail business. Something else--do not forget, either, that there
were some urban bourgeois who went out and bought land like the ones we
were speaking about. They did anything, some little stand of a jeep, and
they gathered together some 8,000 or 10,000 pesos and they bought land.
That is why we have established--and we ask for your cooperation so that no
illegal sales of land will be made--that sales will not be recognized. We
have clearly explained the policy that is going to be followed because of
the existence of all these problems and because all these other things are

The workers who have to cut the cane, the ones who leave their families for
three months, we understand well that they will resent having to go over
there to cut the cane for a gentleman who lives in town. This is
unquestionable. Well now, we believe that we should seek a solution for
this problem. Not a drastic solution or anything like that, that is my
opinion, my opinion. I do not advocate interventions or anything like that,
but that the owners be given the option that if they wish to really become
farmers they move out there and dedicate themselves to really working.
(cheers, applause) If they do not wish to become real farmers, they have
the choice of selling the farm. I believe that is the most correct formula
to avoid creating problems, fear and insecurity. Give the one who wants to
become a farmer a chance to become one, and if he does not wish to dedicate
himself to working, or he cannot, or he has some other reason, then let him
sell the land.

Of course this must be discussed with the peasant base organizations so
that there will be no problems of interventions or things of that type. Do
you believe that this is a correct solution? Do you believe that it is
fair? (shouts of "Yes") I believe, comrades, that tonight has been
characterized by a somewhat disordered manner of speaking of many things.
On my part, I do not wish to say that you have been that way, but I believe
that the man ideas that could be of interest are being discussed even if
without much order. At least we have tried to be as clear as possible on a
number of ideas which it is important that the peasants know about.

We have great confidence in the peasants. We believe that we understand the
psychology of the peasants. We know of the support of the peasants for the
revolution, the loyalty of the peasants to the revolution. That is the same
position that the revolution will always have toward the peasants. The
revolution is educating the children of the peasants. The revolution is
making technicians, engineers, agronomists, civil engineers, doctors,
skilled workers out of the children of the peasants. The process, the
social development of the revolution, the development of education, will
continue to grow. As I told you, in the technical institutes along we are
going to enroll 100,000 many of whom will be the children of peasants,
between now and 1970. We are going to increase the number of schools in the
rural areas also, in the areas of Las Villas, in Banes, in the Escambray.
In all those districts we are going to establish a number of schools and
increase their capacity.

The number of students in the country who are being graduated from the
sixth grade is more than 80,000, and the young people know what it is all
about, the children know what it is about. It is incredible how the
children have understood the things that are good for them, that are of
interest for them. Not long ago we were in the Sierra Maestra, in the
southern part, and we entered one of the valleys of the place. On our
return--every time we go in they wait for us as we leave--some children
with some papers--a boy approached me and said: "Read this letter." He
lives there near the road. The letter said: "Mayor, we want you to help us,
because we really need a little piece of land to produce food," and all
that sort of thing. The boy wrote the letter. I asked the mother: "What
does your husband do?" She said: "He works on a highway construction."

He was a worker who was working at building the highway. I said: "But lady,
do you think that you are going to resolve a problem for yourselves or the
country with a little piece of land?" I said: "Would it not be better if we
gave scholarships to your children?" Then the boy said: "Yes, yes, yes."
The boy with the letter said: "Yes, yes, that is better." (laughter) Then I
said: "Look, I cannot resolve this business about the land because that is
not the policy that we follow. The little piece of land does not resolve
anything. We are making great plans precisely to resolve the problem of
provisions through building roads. If you have so many children, we will
help you. Immediately, the others who were around all wanted scholarships.
The other children, his brothers and sisters, all the children wanted the
change to study. And they understood that for them it was a thousand times
better to have a scholarship to study than if they received a little piece
of land there to continue living under the conditions in which they live

Truly, among the children there is awakening a consciousness, something
impressive. We think of continuing to develop educational plans. We believe
that there is practically no corner of the country that does not have a
school. It seems to us that all the corners of the country have teachers.
There are some places where the school installations are very bad, huts.

We are also going to work in that direction, and we are going to continue
to improve communications in the interior of the country, also. We are
going to continue to develop our hospital programs in the interior of the
country. That is, we are in a condition to bring progress to the rural
areas much quicker than we have up to now. In the coming years, the
increases in production are going to be considerable in all aspects.

We have spoken here of coffee and plantains. We spoke of milk, and for
example, with respect to milk, the results being achieved in the
crossbreeding of milch cows with beef cattle--that is, the crossing of
Holsteins with Zebu cattle--we are getting cows which at the age of 24
months are giving 18, 19, and 20 liters of milk per day, after their first
calf. We believe that after the second calf of that crossbreeding, we can
achieve as much as 25 liters of milk. The problems of milk are going to be
resolved. Next year we will plant in state lands 20,000 caballerias of
pastures. We will apply 100,000 tons more fertilizer to pastures next year.

Therefore, production in general, not just sugarcane alone--you all know
how the care of canefields is being carried out at this time, in spite of
the fact that we have a bad drought. March, April and May have been dry,
but we have no fear because the sugarcane has been taken care of. It has
been fertilized. All the sugarcane in the country, nearly 90,000
caballerias, is receiving four tons of fertilizer, some of it six tons, per
caballeria. All the sugarcane will receive at least two additional tons of
ammonium nitrate or three sprayings with foliar urea by airplane per
caballeria. At this time we have 60 airplanes ready for fertilizing, and
although it appears that this is a dry year, we have much confidence in the
effects of good care, the attention paid to sugarcane, and fertilization,
that we are sure that we are going to have a considerably larger harvest
next year than we have this year.

We do not want to state any figures yet, but we are preparing for a very
big harvest next year as the result mainly of the increases in yield per
caballeria. In coming years, many of the types of problems that we have
known up to the present will disappear. Many of the problems of supply--of
supply of machetes, wire, and all those things; of provisions, shoes,
clothing and in general, many of these problems, will disappear.

Cotton growing is increasing. This year we will plant 1,000 caballerias of
cotton. Next year we are thinking of planting at least 3,000 caballerias of
cotton. Rice growing is also being increased considerably. This means that
at this time there is not a single area in agricultural production that is
not receiving a maximum impetus from the revolution. The quantity of
machinery that we have available has increased considerably. The number of
bulldozers for roads, for water projects, for clearing land has increased,
and we are going to give more resources to the private farmers.

In addition, it is believed that we are in a condition to move
progressively, as you have asked, toward making the state farm groupings
responsible for helping and supplying the small farmers. In the beginning,
we thought that the best way to help the peasants of the ANAP would be
through the state farm groupings, but two or three years ago there was not
enough organization in the groupings for this. There was not enough
control. Many times they were not even capable of achieving their own goals
or completing their plans. We were worried about the possibility that if
the groupings were given the resources for the development of agriculture
in the ANAP, there would be problems. They might many times devote
themselves to fulfilling their own farm plans to the detriment of the small
farmers. That is no longer the case today.

The control, resources, and the efficiency of the state farm groupings is
much greater. The state farm groupings themselves have been told that they
must count on the small farmers' production, and that it is not enough to
talk about it. Many times, they forget the other production. They are
asked: "How much cane do you have?" They say: "So much." "And how much do
the small farmers have? This also goes into the economy and must be

At this time, many of the directors of state farm groupings have a true
interest in helping the small farmers, a true interest for increasing the
production of the small farmers. Therefore, we in the future will demand
from the party secretary, from the leader of the state farm grouping, an
accounting not only for the state production but also for the small
farmers'. (applause) And let there be no talk about how much cane was
produced by the state farm grouping but rather how much cane was produced
by the region. (applause) How many vegetables were produced--not only by
the state farm grouping--but how many vegetables were produced by the
region. Therefore, we are not going to do this abruptly. We are going to do
this according to the degrees of resources that each region has available,
so that we do not do this overnight and run into difficulties later.

For example, in the area of Manzanillo, the state farm grouping is already
going to help increase the rice crops of all the small farmers of the
region. It is going to help them to prepare the land, resolve the problems
of irrigation, seeds, fertilizer, harvesting, everything. In Bayamo region,
the state farm grouping is also going to make itself responsible for
helping the small rice farmers. In Bayamo region also, the state farm
grouping is going to be responsible for helping the livestock raisers of
the region in the planting of pastures. I already told you that next year
we are going to plant 1,000 caballerias there. In the Guane region, the
state farm grouping is going to help the small farmers in the tobacco,
citrus, and tomato plans. As each state farm grouping reaches a proper
condition of organization and resources, we are going to make them
responsible for assistance, help, and development of the agriculture of the
small farmers. It appears to me that we must not do this in a hurry, that
we must not do this overnight.

We must do this over a period of from six to eight months, region by
region, as soon as we have the assurance that the change is going to help
agricultural development. Then all the fertilizer that is received will be
consigned to the region for state agriculture and the small farmers. The
same with wire, money, ropes, resources, everything. It will be much
easier, because now everything is sent out there is two ways. Fertilizer
goes there through one way and then through another. Such a thing through
one way and such a thing through another. It appears that the suggestions
you have made are very reasonable, and we will move in that direction,
precisely to make things more dynamic, to facilitate everything much more.
We believe that this separation of supply functions through one way and
another is truly harmful.

Comrades, we hope that by the next congress we will have more time to meet
with you. During these past few years we have been trying to learn, to
know, to understand, the problems of agriculture, of all agriculture. We
have been making many contacts with the peasants. We have been acquiring
much interesting knowledge of importance in our work. We think we will
continue to apply that method. We think that we still have many things to
learn. We still have many regions to visit. Every time we visit the
provinces, we go to a new region. We know practically all the regions in
Oriente, but for example, we still have not been to the region of Velasco,
where the famous bean growers are located.

We still have to visit part of the Puerto Padre region and Tunas. We still
have a few regions to visit in Camaguey. We still have some regions to
visit in Las Villas, but since we have always begun at the most mountainous
and most remote regions, it will not be difficult for us to continue
visiting various regions of the country. We always learn much.

Really, one of the worst things, one of the most terrible things for all of
us, is that we practically did not even know the geography of the country.
How can one conceive that rice can be planted in the area of Guamo, Birama,
and all those places if those places have never been visited? How can many
of the plans be executed if we do not know the place? Agriculture is just
like war. In war, battles cannot be won if the terrain is not known, and in
agriculture, battles cannot be won if the terrain is not known.

We propose to acquire a profound knowledge of all the regions of the
country so that all projects, all plans, all solutions, will always be
selected from among the best. We also believe that there is a need for the
peasants to give attention to technology, to give attention to the methods
of cultivation, fertilization, irrigation, and selection of seeds.

I assure you, comrades, that the present production of the small farmers
can be easily doubled. With an even effort, it can be tripled in sugarcane,
coffee, tobacco, vegetables, cattle. We are executing a series of very
concrete plans in the province of Havana, in various parts of the country,
to show the peasants how it is possible through technology to double and
triple production in a relatively easy manner. Why is this? Because our
methods are very antiquated. Because our technology is very backward and,
naturally, when for example, a person is used to traveling along a road on
a burro and he takes an automobile, he covers the same road in one-tenth
the time. We are supposing that this is a level road. However, if he takes
an airplane he travels the distance 30 times faster.

Or course, if a person changes from an automobile to an airplane, he only
travels twice as fast. If he goes from the burro to the airplane, it can be
20 times faster. And we are on burro in our agriculture. It is not
difficult, therefore, to double or triple and in some crops to quadruple
and quintuple our production because we are riding a burro, something worse
than a burro, we are on foot. (laughter) And it is possible for us today to
take an airplane, to take an airplane, as far as technology is concerned.

This means that it easy for us to multiply our production because, since we
start from no technology, by using a little technology we can double and
triple production. Our revolution truly intends to reach these objectives,
not only in state agriculture, but also in your agriculture. We would
accomplish nothing if we had enormous success in state agriculture, an
enormous advance in state electricity, if we do not have a similar advance
in your agriculture. And it is necessary that, as far as possible,
agriculture of both sectors advance equally in technology for the best
interests of the country.

We will not be able to apply such technology as the airplane, for example,
but as far as possible, mechanization in crops can be achieved. Tractors
can be used, fertilization, seed, a series of methods, which even in spite
of the disadvantage inherent in dealing with small parcels of land, can be

This is what we expect of you. This is what we expect of this congress,
which has been a good, well-organized congress--that you will apply
technology; that from this congress come the decision of the peasants to
apply technology; that you will make it a technical agriculture; that you
will technically revolutionize your agriculture. And let us not any longer
have to undergo the suffering, the shame of traveling through those rural
areas, along those roads, and see so much backwardness, from a technical
point of view, in agriculture.

I know that the canegrowers, well, they want to grow cane all their lives,
and I have seen them here very enthusiastic because of the things that have
been proposed. They like cane. The tobacco grower likes tobacco. The coffee
grower likes his coffee. Each peasant loves the crops to which he is
accustomed. Well, let us show all this love for our crops, and let us
improve on them by increasing, doubling, tripling, and quadrupling
production. All of you know perfectly how much satisfaction you feel when
the cane is good, when the cane is tall, when coffee has many beans, when
the cow gives much milk. It does not matter if many times work in the
fields is hard. There are few activities which compensate man so much as
activity in agriculture. There are few activities which compensate man so
much and give him so much satisfaction as success in agriculture. What we
expect from you--naturally with the help of the revolution, with the
maximum help from your revolutionary government--is that we give a
technical impetus to agriculture, that we do rational things, that we keep
present the interests of the country, that we act as true revolutionaries,
that we increase our consciousness, that we censure those who speculate,
that we struggle against those who introduce vices and idleness and
parasitism among the peasants.

It is important to increase the revolutionary consciousness of the
peasants, to abandon certain concepts which are not those of
revolutionaries, to forget those little price lists, because, really, the
man who goes around with his little price list to see what he is going to
plant, does not kill cows. He does not starve his cows to death in order to
plant some carrots to make more money. A man who loves his work, who lives
his crops, does not go around with his little price list. The problems of
prices are resolved. If a peasant of any sector understands that the crop
he is planting takes a lot of effort and pays very little, there is always
a way of helping him, encouraging him, or resolving his problem. Prices, in
any case, must be established and a better price paid for those crops that
are more difficult to raise and less remunerative, less encouraging for the
peasant. But let us not introduce those opportunist prices to resolve a
problem for a producer. That creates disorder.

We expect from the peasants a sense of responsibility, a sense of duty
toward the workers of the entire country, a sense of duty toward all the
people. The country and the revolution have done their utmost for the
peasants. The workers of our country have done their utmost for the
peasants. We, knowing that the peasants are revolutionary, knowing that the
peasants have always helped the revolution with much enthusiasm, expect
that they will have this attitude in production, in work, toward the entire

In the next congress, I promise you that we will meet for a longer time. I
promise that we are going to discuss many of your problems one by one.
Everything that is discussed will be analyzed. Everything that can be
resolved will be resolved. But in the next congress we are going to speak
more on technology. We are going to resolve all those problems about
stores, or that other thing, whether there will be taxes, and all those

In the next congress, which will be held in 1969--you have two years to
prepare--the basic subject will be technology. (applause) That is why the
things that are going to be discussed will be: What methods are being
applied? What are the most advanced methods? What are the greatest yields?
Who are the peasants who care for their crops the best? Who are the
vanguard peasants?

We must have many more tables, much more fervor so that no one will be
surprised when one finds a truly progressive peasant in technology. The
most natural thing is that every peasant be progressive, that every peasant
who cannot overcome the problems of technology in production should
represent the peasants. (applause) The next congress is going to be an
eminently technical congress. I really lament not having more time for this
congress, because I was really interested in this congress in discussing
many of these questions longer, but I expect to prepare myself for the next
congress also. (laughter)

I expect to have much more knowledge on all problems, and I expect to spend
entire days talking with you. I expect to have better knowledge of the
problems of the country, of the regions of the country, and of each of the
crops. And sincerely, always, whenever I get the chance, I spend some time
studying. I recommend to the comrade peasants that they do the same. There
are some peasants who know plenty. There are also some who boast about
knowing more than they really know. They exist. But in the next congress,
come prepared to discuss the technical problems of agriculture. Come
prepared, because it is going to be an examination, an examination. We are
going to test all the peasants in the next congress on how they use
fertilizers, what formula they use, what is meant by a formula. What does
this mean? What does that mean? We must begin to study. Are we in
agreement? (shouts of "yes") Good. Then in two years--I am not going to say
that I am not going to see you before then, because I expect to see you
again soon anyplace, in any field, look for me. I expect to go everywhere.
However, in two years we are going to have a technical meeting here, and we
will be interested in knowing if in these two years--in which, undoubtedly,
there will be a great advance from the political point of view, a great
advance from the point of view of revolutionary consciousness--how much we
will advance from the technical point of view.

You told me: "Hit the Yankees hard!" We are going to hit the Yankees hard
by revolutionizing our agriculture, overcoming out backwardness, making our
agriculture technical. The most painful blow that the Yankees are going to
receive is when they learn that we are producing 10 million tons of sugar,
when they learn that in spite of their blockade, in spite of their
aggressions, we have overcome all our problems. We will abolish the ration
book and resolve the problems of supplies, but not with respect to the
supplies of long ago, not supplies on the level of what we had to eat
before. One of the hardest blows that the Yankees are going to receive is
when we manage, in spite of all the obstacles that they have tried to place
in our path, within the next few years, in 1970, to abolish the ration book
and all those problems, but on a level of consumption twice as great per
capita as that the people knew before the revolution. (applause)

Or course, we do not struggle in the field of economy moved only or
basically by the idea of having a better standard of living, of being
richer, no. For us the struggle to develop our economy and achieve economic
successes is part of our ideology. We have our ideas on how socialism is
constructed, on how communism is constructed, and facts will prove who is
right. We are not only speaking of our capitalist adversaries who want the
failure of the socialist revolution, but within the socialist camp itself
there are different concepts on how socialism in constructed, on how
communism is constructed. And we, at the same time that we develop the
revolutionary consciousness of the people, at the same time that we
strengthen our ideology, at the same time that we develop our
internationalist consciousness, also have the desire and intention of
showing that for developing an economy and for constructing socialism and
communism, the path that we are following is the most correct path, it is
the most revolutionary path. Fatherland or death! We will win! (applause)