Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Television and Radio Service in Spanish 0254 GMT 29 Sep 67

[Speech by Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro at a rally at Havana's Plaza
de la Revolucion commemorating the seventh anniversary of the Committees
for the Defense of the Revolution--live]

[Text] Comrades of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, I must
say that once more the CDR's have surpassed themselves. This ceremony
tonight can only be said to be without a doubt the largest, the best
organizated, and also the most beautiful. [applause] The red berets
[applause] with which you have wished to symbolically express the profound
combative and internationalist sentiment of our people, have undoubtedly
helped to give this crowd the impressive uniformity, the appearance of an
immense army on the march which the CDR's present tonight. [applause]
However, our committees have not only improved in organization,
martialness, and appearance, but they have also improved in enthusiasm. And
something more: they have improved in efficiency, they have improved in
prestige. [applause]

Few social creations have progressed as far in only seven years of
existence as this genuine mass institution which was created by our
revolution. The tasks of the CDR's which came into being during the most
difficult time of the struggle against the counterrevolution, have been
increasing more and more, to the extent that today they cover a large
number of activities of all types. The CDR's not only have their specific
tasks, but also when it is necessary to perform any new task, when it is
necessary to make an effort in any sense and there is not one who can
immediately perform it, the immediate solution is to call on the CDR's
certain that they will know how to do it. [applause]

Our revolution and our party have a legitimate right to feel satisfied and
proud of this institution. The experience of the past years has shown us
that they will improve every year, and every day of the revolutionary
process itself will indicate to us how far we can go with this new form of
mass organization. In recent days we have been able to see how the CDR's
have become a magnificent type of liaison between the masses and the
institutions of revolutionary power. You know that our revolution is not
characterized by its creation of abstract institutions. You know that one
of the characteristics of our revolution is that its tried to create
institutions corresponding to reality and not to the imagination. That has
bee the method of this revolution. The revolution did not begin by creating
abstract institutions, and certainly the few times that the revolution has
created abstract institutions, it has discovered in the long run that it
was a mistaken method of creating social institutions.

Many times the institution, the administrative organization, for example,
resulted from a table or organization, a manning chart, from the perhaps
somewhat feverish imagination of some creators of imaginary institutions.
When the table of organization--we there any of you who do not know what a
table of organization is? [crowd shouts "No"] I imagine that those who say
"No" had the same experience as I. If I were to be asked that I known about
a table of organization, I would say that I do not know a single thing.
[laughter] If I were to be asked if I am unaware of what a table of
organization is, I would say "no."

In my opinion, a table of organization is something that is practically
impossible to understand; a table of organization is the straitjacket with
which an attempt is made to clothe with imaginary creations with reality of
social life; a table of organization must be the highest creation of
sterile intellects, capable of creating nothing in reality, a table of
organization should be in the final analysis the schematic diagram, if you
wish, or the abstract symbolism of an organization which is created to
fulfill real needs of society.

Many times the phenomenon of bureaucracy has been spoken about.
Fortunately, bureaucracy is one of those phenomena of which we can speak
today, if not as something which has been defeated--because bureaucracy is
like a Hydra--then as something which is in retreat. May times bureaucracy
and tables of organization were closely related. An official appeared--and
there have been more then enough officials in this revolutionary
process--and we must also say that many revolutionaries believe that to be
an official is a misfortune, a thankless task. Very few real
revolutionaries like posts as officials, but it is undeniable that many
tasks require men to head them. The table of organization mania was not
always the result of the lack of revolutionary spirit. It was many times
the result of ignorance, a problem of concepts. A pseudorevolutionary
official or an ignorant revolutionary believed that the first requirement
was to build an ideal table of organization and then later to fill that
imaginary table of organization with names.

Experience has taught us that when the reverse was done, the plan of
organization truly responded to real needs, the result was always very
different. However, as I said, bureaucracy and tables of organization are
two phenomena which are closely associated. And bureaucracy is retreating,
although we much always be very alert. If we were to say today that
bureaucracy has been defeated we would be making a great mistake.
Bureaucracy still have some powerful bastions in the midst of the
revolutionary administration. [shouting, applause] Bureaucracy has been
eradicated largely at the highest levels of administration, but much
bureaucracy still remains in the intermediate organizations.

This means that the process of struggle against the bureaucracy must be
tenaciously and vigilantly pursued if we do not want to see the phenomenon
of bureaucracy suddenly advancing again in the near future. The revolution
is a process of struggle on many fronts. When the revolution disregards a
single front, it will find that counterrevolutionary vices will begin to
rapidly gain ground there. This means that it is not an evil that has been
eradicated, nor has that of the tables of organization. However, in spite
of this fact, in essential things this revolution has not been
characterized by schematics, this revolution in essential things has not
been characterized by abstract creations removed from reality. Some may
ask: "Do you have a genuine socialist constitution? And we could say: "No,
we do not have a socialist constitution." What then is the constitution of
the state? It is the oldest bourgeois constitution on whose skeleton the
revolution has established countless amendments.

This means that we have a socialist legislation based on the skeleton of a
bourgeois constitution. Of course, historically, many social movements were
primarily characterized by the creation of a law of laws, a constitution.
The result is that throughout the process the constitution became a sort of
inviolable taboo and in the long run it became an ineffective intellectual
creation incapable of responding to reality. Our revolutionary movement,
for example, did not wish to being by creating an abstract creation and
then through this abstract creation establish a showy so-called socialist
constitution. And how glad we are that we did not. How glad we are. In the
light of our present experience and looking backward to the impenetrable
darkness of our past ignorance, we understand with absolute clarity how
many errors of concept, how many unintelligible things, how many unreal
absurdities and abstractions a thousand leagues removes from reality such a
constitution would contain.

When our country in the 10th year, or in the 11th or the 12th year of the
revolutionary process, in 1969 or 1970, decides to draft the constitution
demanded by the new social relations at the same time that it fulfills the
aspirations of this revolutionary process, undoubtedly it will not be some
perfect creation. It will still suffer, as any human thing, from many
imperfections, but it will be infinitely superior to what we could have
done in the first month of 1959.

However, the history of this process has shown that reality precedes the
abstract drafting or explanation of reality. This process has taught us all
many things and this very mass institution, the CDR, is a living proof.
Never, not in any classical book of revolutionary theories has such as
institution been mentioned. In what program, in what manifesto, in what
pronouncement has there ever been anything said about an institution
similar to this one? It was not in books. In a constitution in 1959 it
would not have been possible to say a single word of what has now become
one of the most fruitful creations of our revolution. The CDR's would not
be there. And I ask myself if in the final constitution that our revolution
will draft in coming years, we can leave out the CDR's? [applause] Can we
ignore the existence of this reality, of this formidable mass institution
which the revolution has created? Undeniably we cannot. If suddenly we were
not to have the CDR's if suddenly we were to act as if they did not exist,
how many primary tasks which this institution today performs would cease to
be done in all areas, in all aspects! Many of the multiple activities which
the CDR's have participated in this year have been mentioned, and these
activities increase. The CDR's participate in the extraordinary increase
that has taken place in volunteer blood donations for our hospitals, just
as they participated in the recent tasks of the livestock census for the
purpose of obtaining important information, exact information needed for
the economic plans of the country.

They participate in the education front. They participate in the front of
public health, particularly in the tasks that have to do with preventive
medicine and there are more and more tasks of that order. At one time it
was in vaccinations, and there are now diseases that are practically
eradicated in this country. There is a disease in which our country
occupies a singular position in this continent, a position of complete
eradication, and that is the complete eradication several years ago of that
scourge of the child population, poliomyelitis. There is not a single case
in our country. [applause] Every year families used to come to anguish,
lashed by the scourge of poliomyelitis. There were hundreds of cases, and
something more terrible was that sword hanging over the head of every

It was not a problem of how many, but the problem of collective insecurity
which such a disease created. It has been eradicated by preventive methods,
by an activity on the front of public health carried out primarily with the
support of this institution. This task has become even more perfect, more
profound, because the CDR's are also participating in the prevention of
diseases which, discovered in time, can be prevented or their terrible
results ameliorated to a very high degree. Thus, year by year the struggle
for the people's health becomes more perfect, more effective, more
profound. The role of this institution front has been decisive. Its role in
the production front grows more prominent, and all in all it shows a
growing activity.

Lately, the role of the CDR's has become more prominent as a liaison
between the masses and the institutions of revolutionary administration.
This institution of the masses par excellence, the CDR, is moving toward
new forms of social development, toward new forms of social institutions,
toward new liaison machinery between the masses and administrative
institutions, toward the development of genuinely new and efficient forms
of democracy. As time goes on we will continue to find and perfect such

There is nothing more difficult than to find the social mechanisms ideal
for each thing. If we know how to take advantage of the experience of
reality, we will find them in all order, in all fronts. We are not teachers
of history, but disciples of history. We learn from the revolutionary
process and the revolutionary process itself, with its infinitive variety
of new things, with its infinite possibilities, will always have to be the
great teacher of the people, the great teacher of all the revolutionaries.

The best book, our true texthook in matters of revolution will be the
revolutionary process itself. Therefore, when we prepare organizational
charts about what we have created, these charts will not be products of the
imagination; they will be products of reality. And we know, we are sure
that in the institutionalization and in the organizational charting of the
institutions, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution will play an
important role.

This institution was created by struggle. This institution rose form the
necessity of the struggle seven years ago against an enemy which brazenly
displayed its activities, egged on by imperialism, which they though was
omnipotent, which they thought was invincible, which they thought was
superpowerful. But this mass institution, which was created at a given time
because of a given need, showed its capability of responding in subsequent
years to many other different needs. This has developed the institution to
what it is today--not only an institution on guard and always on guard,
because on the basis of principle we will always be one guard, we will
always be alert! [applause] It will be on guard with one hand and have many
other activities to do with the other hand.

Our revolution is in a very interesting period. While talking to some
comrades in an attempt to sum up the earmarks of this process, I told them:
The first years were the years of ignorance and after the years of
ignorance came the years of agony and after that will come the years of
triumph. Were you to be asked in what stage we are in, what would you
reply? Are we perhaps in the years of ignorance? [crowd shouts: No] No.
Although this would depend on what we understand triumph to be. Of course,
to a certain extent, all the years of the revolution have been years of
triumph against something. Years of victory on some front. From the first
day, from the day we won the opportunity to being to make our own history,
the year of literacy, for example. The years in which the people's strength
grew, the years in which we defeated the assault of imperialist
aggressions, the years of the agrarian reform, the years of the
nationalization, every year, step by step conditions were created. Every
year great triumphs were achieved. But when we talk about triumphs, we
refer to the moment when our country will begin to touch, to receive, and
to have the abundant fruit of our arduous efforts in these years.

The years of ignorance were the first years of the revolution, today we say
that we are in the years of agony. Why the years of agony? Because today we
know many of our great possibilities. Today we are working in many areas
with great possibilities. Yet, often we are not able to do what we know we
could do. Often, nature has imposed on our efforts an obligator time

Agricultural Projects

Never, as in these recent years, has the spirit of work, the creative
spirit of the revolution, achieved such high levels. Never, as in these
times, are we working so seriously in so many areas. Today, the ratio or
the percentage of the masses of the nation which is mobilized, which works,
is greater than at any other time. Hence, we see, for example, what has
just happened in Las Villas Province, more than 150,000 citizens were
mobilized to go to the Escambray Mountains to plant 103 caballerias of land
in two days. [applause] The planting in just two days of 103 caballerias of
coffee is an impressive task. But this could not have been possible without
previous constant work in the preparation of the plants, selection of the
soil, and in short, a number of prior tasks. it would have been impossible
without such a mobilization of people. But as impressive as the result of
the effort, is, more impressive still is the magnitude of the mobilization.

The figure really seems incredible and when the comrades of the province
talked about this mobilization, which was to have been of 100,000 persons
initially, there were skeptical comrades who thought the figure was
somewhat unattainable. Yet, not only was it achieved but it was achieved
with magnificent organization and this shows various things.

It shows the level of awareness of the masses. It shows the level of
organization attained in our country. And to a certain extent it shows the
level of resources the nation already can count on. It is a measure of our
revolution's strength and capability. Large mobilizations also take place
in other provinces--singular efforts are taking place in practically every
corner of the nation.

On that day some six million coffee plants were planted; however, if we add
up all the ones which have been planted in the past few months and the ones
to be planted from now until the next spring, they come to the respectable
figure of 350 million plants. [applause] In these months, approximately 50
plants are being planted per capita. If from the moment when the plant is
planted, we multiply 50 by six, 60 by six, and we consider that a mass
labor force of 150,000 planted six million in two days, 60 times that is
equal to two days of work by 90 million persons. We are not figuring this
on the number of trees or on the basis of millions of trees but on the
basis of the number of people needed and the time needed to plant them.
This gives you an idea of the magnitude of the work, of the efforts of the
masses in just a single one of the many work fronts of the revolution.

You will live in the city of Havana may ask yourselves when will it be our
turn to plant our coffee plant or fruit plant. And we say to you: patience,
because your plants are now in the seedbeds; patience, because your plants
are now in the nurseries, or patience, because your plants are still in the
trees which are producing the seed from which the plants will come.

The residents of Havana will also have their turn in this great effort. The
residents of Havana are already participating to a high degree in a type of
revolution which is alto taking place in our capital. Great efforts were
being made throughout the nation--on the Isle of Pines, in Guane, in Maisi,
in Escambray, everywhere--but what has been happening around the capital?
The poorest agriculture, the most backward agriculture, was the agriculture
in the areas around the capital.

This was due to many reasons. Here were many former dude ranches. Here,
where there is a larger population to fee, to supply, there was a bizarre
situation in which there were thousands of small recreational farms. There
was a backward agriculture, above all in the areas closets to the city,
peasants without great technical knowledge and about whom nobody was

We also ought to add that those who were concerned with the peasants were
some of those who like to buy things at any price, in any way. Often they
would come and pay them a pile of pesos for anything. This did not
precisely stimulate technicalization. If a peasant produces a sack of
anything at all and he is paid 20 pesos for that sack, why should he ever
worry about producing 1,000 sacks? We must say that the black marketeers
also contributed to the technical backwardness in the areas around our

Often we would see produce coming to the capital from Oriente, Camaguey,
Las Villas. How expensive it is to ship a quintal of anything from Oriente
to Havana, some 1,000 kilometers away! Was it logical for the lands around
the capital to be underutilized? Was it logical for such backward
agriculture to continue?

Often, a little dried, yellow cornstalk would produce a little corn to
suffice for the owner of the plot of land or his friends, who would but a
chicken on the black market. Could we allow this index of low productivity,
this backwardness in the environs of our capital? When in the rest of the
nation agriculture was being technicalized and was making great leaps
forward? No. But there were other problems.

This was one of the cities of the world most bereft of trees. Large number
of vacant lots, plots of land without a tree. Many old residential
districts which remained were parceled and some speculators moved in to
plant this or that variety of apply to sell later any way they could. There
were avenues without a single plant, whole square kilometers without a
single tree. Then it was conceived to put Havana Province and the
agriculture of the capital in tune with the effort being made in the rest
of the nation.

Thanks to extraordinary effort by the party in this province, with the aid
of the mass organizations, and most particularly by the CDR's, the face of
our capital is being changes. And in the span of 12 months, no one will
recognize the environs of this city.

A considerable number of roads were also being developed in the provinces,
above all in the mountainous areas of Oriente, in Las Villas, and in Pinar
del Rio. It was suddenly discovered that there were large areas in this
province without roads because everything depended on who had latifundia,
which politicians were rich latifundists in which regions. Then there were
or were not roads as the case might be.

(?You can study) about countless small areas in the province that were
utterly cut off. It was also decided to carry out a road construction
program in the countryside of Havana Province. This plan is in full swing
here, just as in the rest of the nation.

There are millions of fruit tree seedlings, coffee plants, lumber tree
plants, ornamental tree plants that are growing. Considerable quantities of
equipment have also been consigned to agriculture in this province.

Within a few months--let us say by this date next year--we can give a
prize, a prize--hear it well--like the one you used to give (?for a pitch),
a radio commercial. It think it was to No. 28. What was No. 28? Who ever
had 28 was given a red beret, I do not know on what street; oh, yes, it was
on Galeano Street. Was the man finally found? Yes--well, we would give some
prizes to whoever can find in the city's environs, by this time next year,
a small Marabu weed, or an (aroma) weed, or even a single brush plant.

Let us see if, among all of us, we can look for and find, by this date next
year, a single one of these leguminous plants. Because we must say that
Marabu is a leguminous plant. In other words, it produces it own nitrogen
but it is a leguminous plant which, with exception of soil protection and
certain organic properties, does not produce anything. We are going to
replace it with other leguminous plants that produce very useful grain both
both human consumption and for the production of poultry, meat, beef, milk,
and all that.

There is a marvelous leguminous plant which grows splendidly well around
here and has not been planted in large quantities because there was no
seed. A sufficient quantity has been planted now, however, to produce all
the necessary seed. A similar policy against the badlands, against the the
unproductive lands, against the lands covered by (?aroma) weed, manigua,
and Marabu brush is being pursued throughout the nation.

But we were saying, you were asking yourselves--when? Well, by next spring
your turn will come to plant the coffee and other fruit seedlings, because,
as you know, the drought period begins now. It beings more or less in
November and lasts until April or May, depending on the year. There are
years when the rains begin earlier, and years like this one, when
unfortunately, they are late.

It may rain well in this province, but in the dry years what happens is
that the rains are late. It always rains in the summer because it seems
that we have in the Gulf of Batabano a steam kettle which, with the heat,
creates a rainfall area microlocalized in this province. In other words, it
heats the water. Because of the shallowness of the waters between Havana
and Isle of Pines, water vapor increases, and then this water falls on our
province. This province has a good rainfall even in dry years.

Therefore, in April or May all the fruit trees and coffee seedlings will be
ready, all the lands will be prepared, all the holes will have been dug,
the organic material will have been placed in the holes; and in a few weeks
we will plant 100 million coffee plants. [applause] But this coffee will be
worked into--this coffee, which will be temptation--the coffee will be a
secondary crop in relation to the 2,000 caballerias of fruit orchards.

We have been making an effort to rationalize agriculture in this province,
in the areas nearest to the city, and because of soil conditions, climate
conditions, and health conditions, we prefer to plant these areas with
fruit trees. In the areas immediately behind will come the pasturelands for
milk production; and in the best lands, those with underground irrigation
coming from underground sources, in the wide plains of magnificent
irrigated lands, we will have the areas for cultivation of produce and
vegetables. Nearest to the sea, in the most low-lying areas, will be the
rice-producing areas.

When we plant coffee in the areas near the city, it is a secondary crop to
make use of the space between avocado, mamey, mango, sapodilla, or citrus
trees; or any of the plants of the fruit trees planted there.

However, almost all this area will also be irrigated. You may have already
seen some little microdams that are under construction. We will build as
many of these microdams as are physically able to be installed in all these
rolling lands around the capital, and the 2,000 caballerias will be
irrigated. Worked into the fruit orchards will be the coffee.

But listen to something interesting: the Province of Havana will get to
supply itself with all the produce it needs, all the milk it needs. As far
as the milk goes, it will take longer, because this is also tied in with
increasing the number of cows. In other words, Havana will be
self-sufficient in coffee and not only self-sufficient in coffee, but also
will have a coffee surplus to export. This is incredible, is it not?
Everybody thought that coffee was something in the mountains, but we have
learned that certain varieties can also be cultivated in the plains--and of
good quality too, with good productivity. Such are the earmarks of the
years of agony, not the years of ignorance. [Castro chuckles]

Well, when I was telling you about the periods I forgot one of the stages:
we said it was the years of ignorance, the years of agony, the years of
intensive work, and the years of triumph. I was saying that next year will
mark the stage of transition between the years of agony and the years of
intensive work with resources available for such work. We are indisputably
in a transition stage.

And so we know today that this solution is possible. Then this province
will be practically self-sufficient in all the products it needs for
consumption. We call this effort a type of national liberation movement.

Why do we call this Havana Province agricultural program a national
liberation movement? Do you know why? Can you guess? It is very simple; it
is because in a sense the capital colonizes and exploits the rest of the
country. The latter has to send it food, from Oriente, Camaguey, Las
Villas, Matanzas, and Pinar del Rio. To the extent that this province's
farming areas produce the food and capital requires, they will free the
rest of our national agriculture from exploitation and colonization.

Then the people of Las Villas will grow starchy vegetables for themselves,
the people of Matanzas for themselves, and the people of Camaguey and Pinar
del Rio. Some things will always have to be sent and received, because this
province, for example, produces one of the best wrappers for tobacco
twists, and when a Las Villas man is smoking a good cigar with a Havana
wrapper he will remember that he received something from this province;
although they produce fine fillers there, they do not produce good
wrappers. So then, this province's farming areas will grow what it needs
for its consumption, thereby sparing the national economy the
transportation of millions of quintals over hundreds of kilometers. That
will mean a net saving in transportation and labor. There is enough land,
if we consistently carry on this battle against idle land.

And the peasants of the province are cooperating to the utmost in this
effort. It is true they are being helped. You could note something else, a
painful contrast. You used to be able to go into the country around this
capital, and would hardly go a few hundred meters from the splendid avenues
that grace the capital, from the 15 to 20-story apartment buildings, when
you would find a miserable, half-ruined thatched hut. Many farmworkers and
peasants used to live that way in the neighborhood of the capital.

Together with this agricultural development program for the capital areas,
social development is going forward, and construction of housing for all
the families in the capital area who used to live in precarious conditions.
The peasants, the farmworkers, are receiving the aid needed to solve the
housing problem. Furthermore, through an entirely new method, they are
being helped to put in their citrus and coffee and other plantations; their
housing problem is being solved, and yet they are not being charged
anything at all; nor will they be charged anything for it.

Some will ask: is not this going to be a bad deal? We say no. A caballeria
of land that does not produce anything is poor business; that is a bad
deal. But when everyone of these caballerias, thanks to this program, which
includes the intensive use of technological advances, is growing 10 times
more, 15 times more, 20 times more, then that is a fine thing for all
society. It is worth many times more than all the efforts we put forth now
in building housing and starting plantations. Bad business--always remember
this--is the unproductive condition of much of this land.

Obviously, the peasants let themselves be guided, they have confidence.
They are told what should be planted there. As you know, some of the land
belongs to private peasant owners, while some belongs to the state. In some
places that were unpopulated, like the Isle of Pines, more than 90 percent
of the land is nationally owned, but in Havana Province more than half is
privately owned, because in Havana Province the land was in more parcels.
As you know, the revolution is based on the alliance between workers and
peasants, and so the small farmers were freed from rent and given different
treatment from that accorded the bid landowners.

Do the peasants always respond loyally to this spirit of alliance? No, they
do not always respond loyally. There are many cases of peasants who try to
further their own interests exclusively. They forget the rest of the
country and speculate with their products. At times in the mountains--that
is where these cases are least frequent--we have come across peasants who
say: "Look, we wish they would send more of this or that product." And we
say: "Look here. You known that those products must be made by workers who
do not have land, who do not have coffee. And yet often, when you pick
coffee, you keep enough to have coffee 20 or 25 times a day. On the other
hand, the workers who make the shoes you want sometimes go without coffee
all day long." [applause]

Of course it is worse when a peasant sells to a speculator. Not all
peasants respond to the spirit of the worker-peasant alliance. Some behave
like very bad allies; but that is not the spirit of the vast majority of
peasants. The immense majority of peasants respond loyally to the spirit of
the worker-peasant alliance. What they often need is guidance, technical
guidance. What they often need is orientation. And with all these programs,
which include the land of small owners as well as state land, we are seeing
how, when proper guidance is provided, the vast majority respond
enthusiastically and loyally to what benefits them collectively as well as

Hence we announce that the city of Havana and its inhabitants will also
have their opportunity. Of course Havana has tremendous manpower. If in two
days Las Villas were able to mobilize 150,000 how many could this capital
mobilize in two days? Perhaps half a million people. But it is not
necessary to mobilize half a million, because naturally we are not going to
do all the planting in two days. It will have to be spaced out. But the
capital too will participate in (?planting) its fruit trees, its coffee
plants among the fruit trees, and legumes between the coffee plants.

I am not at this time going into a detailed explanation of what the program
consist of, but we are interested in having the people who take part in it
all understand, and having the party and the committees teach them just
what task is being done. To sum it sup, we will say that in the
neighborhood of the capital not a single Marabu bush or arum will be left,
that in a 12-month period, farming not just around the capital but in the
interior of the province too will change considerably, for some 5,000
caballerias are to be planted in starchy vegetables next year.

The machines are already at work. In Havana Province alone, right now, some
500 new machines are preparing the land, breaking the soil, on both state
and private land. We were saying the capital will not need food sent from
the interior. There is just on exception, just one exception, and that is
in the case of a hurricane. A hurricane can come and smash everything. We
are therefore obliged as a matter of policy to have an acreage at least 25
percent larger than requirements. Why? As a precaution in case of
hurricanes. That way, if a hurricane hits Oriente, the other provinces can
sent starchy vegetables to Oriente. Starchy vegetables are not the same as
rice or grain, which can be stored in a warehouse. These vegetables are
gathered and distributed fresh. If a hurricane hits a plantain grove, the
plantains are destroyed; the malanga is destroyed, the yucca is destroyed,
the corn is destroyed. Unfortunately, almost everything is destroyed when a
hurricane hits. You remember last year's hurricane.

So, as a matter of policy, the country will maintain an area larger than it
really needs as a precaution against hurricane damage. A way to prevent
hurricanes has not been invented yet. No remedy against hurricanes has been
(?tested) yet. But one measure is to have crops distributed all over the
country, as we are going to do with citrus trees and other fruit--strategic
dispersal of crops against hurricanes--more acreage than necessary.

In addition we have a means of defense which we will develop to the utmost.
This is windbreaks. Windbreaks protect against mechanical damage done by
strong winds, drought produced by dry winds. You probably wonder if there
are any hurricane-breaks. Among the various kinds of trees provided us by
nature, we are hunting for trees that could successfully resist hurricane
winds to protect the fruit trees, the banana plantations, and we believe we
are finding some varieties of trees able to resist the force of hurricane

We tell the comrades we must plant such windbreaks that a man can sit
behind to read his newspaper in the midst of a hurricane. Perhaps we are a
bit too optimistic, but there are some kinds of trees which we believe will
meet those requirements. I mean, right behind the windbreak it always blows
a little harder. The windbreaks must be no more than 150 meters apart.
Windbreaks protect against the wind to a distance proportionate to their
height, several meters. It we plant good windbreaks against hurricanes we
will be able to in large measure to protect our fruit trees and banana

Our agriculture in general must greatly increase the use of windbreaks
against any type of wind. Sugarcane often yields somewhat less as a result
of being knocked down by any kind of gust, particularly cane that yields
heavily. As we introduce the technology into our agriculture, we plan to
apply all these techniques, truly indispensable to a modern highly
productive agriculture. But as for hurricanes, we will protect ourselves
with all these measures and with windbreaks, too.

Some hurricanes are very capricious. Hurricanes have their laws. They even
have different trajectories. In August, the latter are usually rather
straight; in September a bit curved; in October more curved; and in
November the curse is so pronounced that it almost reverses itself. In the
history which has been published on hurricanes, there are two tremendous
ones, two or three. As you will know, the (?Santa Cruz) hurricane was
famous. The atmospheric pressure dropped to 686 millimeters, while normal
was 760. Winds were estimated at 300 to 350 kilometers. Those are strong
winds. I do not know how our stout windbreaks would withstand winds of 300
to 350 kilometers.

But of course, hurricanes of that type do not occur frequently. There are
frightful hurricanes, such as Flora, because they begin to frolic over a
province and they cause tremendous damage, not because of the winds but
because of the floods. There are hurricanes that are capricious: for
example, a frightful hurricane, according to the history of hurricanes, in
August 1831, a hurricane entered through Guantanamo and left through Mariel
after passing through the entire island. And 20 years later, another
capricious hurricane, in August, entered through Oriente and left through
Pinar del Rio. That is to say that in a period of 20 years, two hurricanes
went through the island from one end to the other. Can you imagine one of
those hurricanes now, going through the island from one end to the other?

Of course, those phenomena do no happen frequently, but we must be
prepared, more and more every year, against those natural
phenomena--droughts, hurricanes, floods, of course, each of those phenomena
teach a lesson. Flora resulted in an awareness of hydraulics--to make dams,
to make drainage. Naturally, Flora marked the initiation of a great plant
for hydraulic development that will grow considerably in coming months.

There are two phenomena: the excessive rains create awareness of drainage:
droughts create awareness of dams. Some of them, like Flora, create
awareness of both at the same time--the dams of control the big floods and
the drainage systems to insure the elimination of the excess water.
However, in short, our country should arm itself with all those resources
against natural phenomena. Each province should have an excess of what it
needs so as to be able to help other provinces, which is the only case in
which legitimate aid is needed.

I was telling you that the power to create, the power to do things, the
power to make great plans has grown extraordinarily in these times. The
strength of the revolution is enormous, and I cited as an example the
immense mobilization of Las Villas Province. Our country already has a
quantity of equipment much greater than in any previous year. Practically
no ships enters Havana port without brining tens of bulldozers, ten of
motorized graders, tens of [word indistinct] (?cylinders), dump trucks.
Anyone who wants to tour Havana port could testify to the hundreds, the
thousands of machines of all types that have been arriving in recent

The giant bulldozing brigade is already being organized in Oriente
Province. They must already have some 70 bulldozers there. On 1 November,
they will have 150 big machines, when they being the bulldozing at the
beginning of the dry season. In early January, they will have 200 big
machines organized in a brigade, in a giant brigade; organized by army
officers, commanded by army officers. Many of them will be operators of
tanks and military machines who have been in our army for several years.
Those machines will work ceaselessly, day and night. They being on 1
November and they will not stop again for a single day until they achieve
in the country what I told you we would achieve in Havana in 12 months: not
one thicket or single Marabu plant, or a single arum plant except in the
botanical gardens. Whoever may want to see a Marabu plant in the future
will have to go to the botanical gardens.

The brigade will begin to clear land for an increase of 8,000 new
cabellerias of rice next year. That is to say that once the fulfillment of
the sugarcane plan is guaranteed, once the fulfillment of the pasture
sowing for the cattle program is guarantees, once the fulfillment of the
expansion of all the necessary crops is guaranteed, we will greatly expand
the cultivation of rice next year. Where are we going to plant the rice? on
sugarcane land? No. On orchard land? No. On bean land? On cotton land? On
root vegetable lands? On tobacco land? No. Those plantings will be expanded
in low-lying places that tend to flood, where they will not compete with
any other crops necessary to our economy.

We could not do this three years ago. We could not do this two years ago.
There were not enough resources; there were not enough machines. However,
today we have those resources; today we have those machines. We will not
say that the cultivation of rice is economically better than that of
sugarcane or of many other crops. However, since we can now do it on land
that has no other use and whose best use is in this case for a plant
resistant to flooding, resistant to damp conditions, we will plant on these
lands the rice required to increase our consumption.

However, also next year, inserted among orchards, in the pastures, we will
plant no less than 20,000 caballerias of legumes for one harvest--that
legume of which I spoke--for human consumption and for the production of
feed for poultry. Therefore, next year, approximately at the end of the
year, the increase of some items will be notable.

As you know, in poultry raising, for example, the main effort was made in
the production of eggs. There was not enough feed to produce eggs and
chicks. We decided to produce one of the two, the one which would offer the
best return for the food invested in the animals and which could best be
distributed. As you know, a plan was made for 60 million eggs monthly. What
happened? According to all calculations, every statistic, 60 million eggs
would have been plenty. Well 60 million were not enough; 70 million were
not enough; and that plan of 4 million laying hens rose to more than 5
million. Despite that, with production surpassing 90 million per month, it
is still not enough in order to provide for eggs to be sent everywhere.
However, basically, the supply of eggs has been resolved.

Nevertheless, the chickens could not be seen, because, naturally, all the
feed was devoted to the production of eggs. However, by the end of next
year, and using the seeds of that legume we are going to plant in
considerable quantities next year, by the end of the year--since the
harvest will be brought in at the end of the year--chicken production will
also being to be increased.

So, we shall resolve two plans, that of the rice and of the chickens, which
we thought would not be resolved until at least the 70's or the end of '68
and early '69. Why? For all the reasons and because of the enormous
impetus of the revolutionary work at this time.

Presently, and for some time to come, we will be prevented from consuming
all the coffee we wish. With the planting underway--and those little plants
being planted in the Escambray--some of you may ask, when will they produce
coffee? Those little plants will produce their first coffee beans in 1969.
Those plants are very [word indistinct]. Moreover, some plants which are
now in nurseries and which we will plant next year will also produce their
first beans around Havana in 1969. Some of these efforts will bear fruit
quickly, the planting of rice and of legumes; a bit later, not also fairly
quickly, the planting of coffee; and, a bit later, the planting of fruit

In general, all the crops are being expanded. The cotton crop has already
been considerably increased this year. It will be expanded much more next
year. Today, our revolution has the strength to do in one year what it
needed six years to do before. Next year, our revolution will have even
more capacity to expand work than during this year.

Construction Projects

Next year, at last, the first two cement factories will be completed. In
the second half of next year, at last, we will have much greater amounts of
cement than during these years, and the agony of the cement, the agony of
the little sack of cement to repair a wall, to repair a roof will
disappear. That agony of cement, the agony of the construction
materials--for the cement this country has was hardly enough to build
shelters, schools, hospitals, warehouses, hydraulic works, roads, and
factories--[sentence not completed]. On the other hand, there was the
accumulated need for all types of housing. However, next year there will be
no arguments, no words, because we will have at least several hundreds of
thousands of tons more cement than during this year. So, little by little,
from these shortages, from these miseries which restrict our development,
which restrict the prompt fulfillment of the needs accumulated over scores
of years, over practically hundreds of years--because, naturally, if in
hundreds of years irrigation projects were not built, we must build then in
future years; if in hundreds of years roads were not built, we must build
them in figure years; if in hundreds of years canals and drainage systems
were not built, we must do it in future years; if aqueducts and sewers were
not built, we are faced with all those accumulated needs; if not enough
housing was built, if not enough cement factories were built, we find
ourselves confronting those accumulated needs.

And with the revolution, we first acquired an awareness of our needs long
before acquiring an awareness of our poverty. The people first understood
what they lacked before they arrived at a complete understanding of how
poor this nation was, to be able to resolve all those things which they
needed, all those things which they needed, including those urgently
needed. Those years of daring and difficulties will soon be left behind and
we will have the means to resolve those pressing needs which have been
accumulated for centuries. This is why the optimism, the enthusiasm of our
people are justified. We should be very far from being satisfied; we should
be far from feeling satisfied because this will never be. We should be far
from imagining that what remains to be done is easy, because this will
never be so. We should be far from imaging that what we have to struggle
for is little, because this will never be so. We will still have to face
many problems, many errors, many deviations, and many vices.

Increasing Commercial Activities

At the beginning, I was talking about one of the evils of the revolution
that we had to fight against intensely, and that was the evil of
bureaucracy, because bureaucracy is an illness, a vice that any citizen can
understand. An intelligence which goes sterile, labor that lies idle,
efforts for the creation of resources which are (?not) needs, tendencies in
the mind, in the conscience, tendencies toward convenience and inclinations
to build a different house form the rest of the people--the revolution
bravely faced and still faces these problems and it will conquer them.

Is this perhaps the only vice, the one of the many which surge as a
tendency in the heart of the revolution? No. On 26 July, we spoke about a
problem that should worry us. We spoke about a tendency as nauseating or
more than the bureaucracy that also was developing in the heart of the
revolutionary process, and that tendency is the increasing commercial
activities, the tendency to develop new industrial activities. We pointed
to the circumstances and conditions that favored the development of these
activities, but along with this there developed also a tendency in several
people [word indistinct] within the society, activities outside the
productive tasks in order to obtain, with the least effort, a privileged
income. This is how numerous new businessmen came about, many of them, the
biggest majority, without authorization and some of then with the
authorization of some idiotic municipal official in the early stages of the
revolution, people without any vigilant revolutionary conscience who
authorized and legalized activities which led toward parasitism. And thus
after a survey we found out that there are many, thousands, scores of
thousands of new businessmen after the victory of the revolution. What
sense does this make? This phenomenon is similar to bureaucracy. It is
really necessary that the people understand these things.

It is necessary that the people understand these problems. We do not
consider the small businessman as someone who had to be repressed. These
same, that is, the small owners generally, just like the small farmers,
just like the small businessman, were treated differently by the
revolution. This is only logical and just. Many small farmers were
exploited by the big ones. Small businessmen were exploited by the large
businessmen. And the revolution is a process of the exploited peasant,
workers, and small exploited producers against the large exploiters. The
revolution did not intervene in the small stands, but it did intervene in
the large chain stores, like the (?Centenos), El Encanto, Fin de Siglo, all
the large stores; it intervened in the bid trade establishments, it
intervened in the large latifundia. However, it followed a very different
policy with the small farmer. It followed a very different policy with the
small businessman and the small producer.

Does this mean that we want the smaller farmers to grow? No. There is a law
that states that when one small farmers wants to sell, the nation has a
right of priority to buy the piece of land he wants to sell. Because we
think that some day, 20, 30, 40 years from now, the land, like the air,
will not be anyone's private property but will belong to all the people, to
all of us. [applause] We explained this to the small farmers at the
beginning of their congress. We respect the small farmer, we help him, we
provide new methods for production and we give him all he wants to increase
production, but we do not promote the buying of new farms. Because any farm
that is sold, the people will buy it. This is the principle. We do not
intervene in the affairs of small businessmen. But does this perhaps mean
that the revolution hoped to develop small businessmen? No. To respect the
small businessmen did not mean that anyone who wanted could start a new
stand. It is one thing to respect a situation that existed. However, to
develop and promote this situation is something else.

Why? Because the people can make a great effort--the province of Las Villas
can well mobilize 150,000 persons, men, women, youths, and old people; the
revolution can well send hundreds of thousands of students to schools in
the countryside; the revolution can well mobilize agricultural columns of
youths; the revolution can well mobilize the masses, raise the national
gross production, produce much more grains, milk, coffee, cotton, food,
shoes, and more of everything. However, if will all the effort provided by
the masses and with the production provided by these means, the small
businesses multiply and scores of thousands of small stands appear which do
not participate in this effort and which are going to use the grow
production created by the masses to earn bigger incomes than a man or woman
from the country, bigger incomes than a plantworker, or an agricultural
workers, then instead of a few exploiters, we will have scores of thousands
of small spongers, of small exploiters and we will be creating a large
social strata that is going to develop and grow outside of the creative
effort which is dedicated to commercializing behind the scenes, in other
words, to deal with the products of the peoples' sweat.

This way, in the future too, the distribution of the goods that the people
produce will not be anybody's private activity. In the future, the goods
that the people produce will be distributed by a distributing network owned
by all the people, so that nobody can have the right to earn 100, 1,000,
2,000 pesos a month with products from the peoples' sweat. [applause]

This means that we have not followed a policy of intervention of small
stands and of the small businessmen. In other words, we have not followed
that policy; but this does not imply that we should accept with folded arms
the multiplication of these small businesses, and that in the long run,
progressively, taking into consideration all the cases of that aspiration
of society within a period of, I am not going to say 30 or 20 years, but
long before that, this type of business, the trafficking with the profits
produced with the sweat of the people, will disappear as a social activity.
We are not working, we are not asking the masses to make a greater effort
so that outside of the effort by the masses a social stratum that will
become a parasite and an exploiter of the people can be born.

This does not mean that those citizens who are dedicated to these
activities are delinquents. No. We know many persons who did that in good
faith, as something that is standard, natural, and we know that they
participate in the militias and in all the activities. However, they
believe that this is the most legal and natural thing to do. We do not want
to create commotions. We know how private business has been used to the
black market, how it has been used to foil the rights of the masses. We
know of many businessmen who save the merchandise for their friends. We
know of many businessmen who deceive the people. [applause]

Of course, we have had patience, but it is not an unlimited patience. This
calm spirit of the revolution should not be abused. This treatment of the
revolution should not be abused, this matter of giving everyone adequate
treatment, of treating small businessmen differently from big proprietors.
This should not be taken advantage of. Anyhow, it is necessary to stress
that we are going to look into this problem, that the revolution is going
to continue delving into the studies on this problem. The revolution will
take some measures so that no new small business stands will be established
in the country, and it will take the necessary steps so that progressively,
little by little, all the distribution networks will pass into national
networks owned by the nation. The only small private property that will be
continued longer will be that of small private land ownership, because of
this type of ownership of our allies, the peasants, will need a long
evolutionary process. The promise of the revolution that the small farmer
will always be respected in his desire to remain a small farmer as long as
he wants, including all his life, will be fulfilled. Of one (?is for sale),
it will be bought.

And so it is necessary for the people to understand that the revolution is
a process, and that those problems, those social ills, do arise, and it
would be harder--or, to put it this way, we would rather combat 100 big
businessmen, do battle with the ten-cent stores, Sears, or the few big
owners. The battle of the proletariat against the big owners is a
relatively easy task, but it would be a serious mistake for the revolution
to lower its guard, grow careless, and make possible the unnecessary
emergence in society of a host of tens of thousands of small businessmen,
that is, the formation of a more numerous mass against which the battle
would be still more painful.

For let there be no mistake about it: any time a battle presents itself to
the people, the revolution will engage in it and wage it with intelligence
and without hesitation. The workers' revolution must continue to its
conclusion. The workers' revolution must be vigilant against the
development of problems, vices, or ills that can in the future give rise to
painful new struggles in the ranks of society. How much better it is to
adopt precautionary measures in times, to prevent the emergence of new
classes, rather than afterward having to repress those new classes with the
overwhelming might and power of the revolutionary people, who make up the
vast majority.

We appeal to the conscience, to the analytical spirit of the people, to
their spirit of watchfulness, to the need to form an awareness, for often
the man of the people understands one, or two, or three, or four, or 10
ills, but will pass by two, four, or 10 others without any clear awareness
that it is an ill. It is necessary then for the masses to participate, to
understand the need of the revolutionary process to wage a consistent
battle, always watchful, always vigilant, always foreseeing. If the ill of
bureaucracy arises, tackle it, always alert, always vigilant, always
watchful. That way we will spare ourselves traumatic measures that way we
will in the future avoid painful measures.

Jobs and Education

Forestalling an ill in time averts drastic remedies; it averts radical
therapeutical measures, that is, surgical remedies. And in the years ahead
the revolution should not have to pass laws like the ones it passed in the
early days. We believe that today's problems, if we analyze them, if we
ponder them and discuss them, can all be solved gradually without creating
any painful situation, without creating any traumatic situation, without
anybody being thrown out of work.

The revolution has a right to aspire to develop productive activities among
the people. It is the revolution's right and duty to think of a future time
or a future society where everybody who can work will work, where all who
enjoy youth and health and are old enough to work will work. Our future
society must be a society entirely of workers. Of parasites, let there not
be even one per million in that future society. For it we have one parasite
out of a million people in that future society, the revolution's work
cannot be considered finished.

We must strive consistently to create that future society. To be sure, it
is necessary to be patient, it is necessary to be persistent, it is
necessary to be constant to attain those great historic objectives over a
period of time; but I am sure it we set ourselves the goals--as in the case
of every goal our people have set themselves up to now--we will attain it.

We believe that on occasions like this it is always necessary to sound a
warning about something. I was saying that the revolution has a right to
aspire to that. The revolution has a right to proclaim that it will make
every effort and will at all cost prevent the proliferation of those
activities, because this very spot on a certain 28 September witnesses the
proclamation of every citizen's right in this country to receive help from
society, the proclamation of every citizen's right in this country not to
be abandoned. Our revolution proclaimed the revolutionary state's duty to
see to it that not a single citizen in need should be abandoned. And the
revolution has pursued that policy consistently.

The revolution does not proclaim a citizen's right to help from society as
an act of charity. The revolution does not give charity, the revolutionary
state does not give charity. When the revolutionary state finds a needy
family and provides scholarships for the children and aid to the woman;
when the revolution helps a sick person and when the revolutionary state
gives him protection, it is not doing an act of charity, it is going a duty
and it is honoring a right of every man and woman in this country.

There used to be charitable institutions. There used to be a kind of public
charity, organizations that were devoted to dispensing public charity,
handing it out, propagandizing it. That belongs to an odious past. A
citizen was humiliated while he was helped. Aid was a kind of insult.
Within a socialist concept, within a communist concept, where goods and the
means of production belong to society as a whole, to the entire nation,
where wealth does not become anybody's private property but is part of
collectivity's patrimony, every human being is a member with equal rights
in the bosom of the great family of human society.

Hence, the revolution has pursued this consistent policy. Nobody has been
denied this right. Nobody can continue in want in this country if he
applies to the Revolutionary Government and explains his problem. The
Revolutionary Government is not carrying on a campaign in this matter. It
does not public a list of problems solved for thousands, for tens of
thousands, for hundreds of thousands of people, for it is merely doing its

We still do not have much, but the little we have is enough for nobody here
to be neglected, for nobody here to go hungry, for nobody here to suffer
from want. [applause] It is hard to find the unemployed in this country,
[woman's voice: Here is one!] because there is more than enough to do. If
there is an unemployed person in this crow, [woman's voice: Here is one!]
wait there, I will provide work this very night, after this meeting ends.
[applause] For, gentlemen, I know of a very few people who have told me: "I
have no job," but I know of thousands, tens of thousands, of tasks and
opportunities waiting for manpower in order to proceed.

Let nobody ask me for an office job, because I will never give anybody a
job in an office until the day I die. [applause] Let somebody ask to fish
in the glacial seas, and we will put him aboard a trawler fishing for cod,
so he can haul in hundreds of tons of fish. Let him ask to transport out
products to the ends of the earth, and we will put him one one of the new
merchantmen to transport our products to the ends of the earth. [applause]
Let him ask to teach, and we will send him to some corner of the country to
teach classes. Let him ask to become a technician, and we will send him to
a technological institute, as we have done with tens of thousands of young
workers. [applause] And we will provide for his wife and children 5 years,
7 years, 10 years if necessary, and without presenting a bill of collecting
interest for it. [applause] Let anybody ask us for work in any productive
task, and we will find him productive work. Let him tell us if he is not
prepared for something and wants to study, and we will send him to study,
regardless of education or age. [applause]

Nobody who wants to do something useful, nobody who wants to study
something useful in our society will go without a positive reply. And if
everybody here (?who) wants to study (?shall) study, everybody will also
have to work. Our students too, who are studying to the number of hundreds
of thousands, are increasing their participation in productive activities
by the hundreds of thousands.

Regarding this matter of studies, it must be admitted that we have not yet
attained the levels we are aiming at. What did the people use to say?
"There is not one miserable school here. No teacher comes here. There is
not the least opportunity to study. There are a million illiterates."

Those terms have disappeared from our language. No area is left without a
school. There is no child without a teacher.

No person remains illiterate in the country unless he tried hard to be an
illiterate. There is no longer a lack of facilities for an education. There
are plenty of opportunities. Our revolution has reached the stage where it
can offer every youth and adult the opportunity to study. Well and good;
have we perhaps achieved everything with this? No. We now have a different
proposition. All the opportunities to study are not taken advantage of. Not
all the youths and teenagers go to school. Not all children go to school.
if it was painful to see the people without any education, the child
without a teacher, it is more painful and very harmful to see teachers
without any students, schools without any students, and the opportunity
going begging.

For example, the juvenile movements are being organized. The juvenile
columns are being organized. Many youths who are neither working nor
studying join there columns. And I ask myself, if there is in any part of
the country a 14-year-old youth who neither studies not works, it is
because something is still wrong. It is because something is still wrong.
How can be have these youths who neither study nor work? How can this be
possible in the bosom of our society? It is perhaps that someone has the
right to aspire to be ignorant? Is it perhaps that someone has the right to
aspire to be a vagabond? Has anybody the right to allow his son to be a
loafer, a vagabond, a future delinquent? Because any youths who do not
study or do not work in the bosom of a society of workers, what can his
future be? He will be either a parasite or a delinquent and in almost every
case he will be unhappy. If one wants to find out about the sense of
irresponsibility of a family, ask then if the care if their son studies.
Because a family in the bosom of our country who does not care if their son
is an incompetent, an uncouth person, an illiterate, is a family which does
not care for well being, for the future, and the happiness of that
offspring. It should be the objective of our revolutionary education that
not one single boy can be found in any corner of our country who is not in
primary school or a single youth who is not a secondary school. The
obligation of education should also be obligatory. It will be necessary
that laws be passed to punish those parents who do not fulfill the basic
duty of sending their sons to school. [applause]

It should be made a social crime, a crime against the interests of society,
the parents' irresponsibility in connection with the education of their
sons. Could we have made a crime of this during capitalism which needed
illiterates, which needed paid slavers, and which needed many illiterates
to do the worst jobs? But a society which aspires to progress, a society
which aspires to justice, a society which aspires, through work and
technology to satisfy human needs cannot view with indifferent an ignoramus
and an illiterate in its bosom. Modern production constantly requires more
knowledge and modern production requires more technology.

It was not the same thing to man Christopher Columbus' ship as it is to man
a 10,000-ton ship today. It is not the same thing to man a sailing ship as
a trawler. It is not the same thing to drive a team of oxen as to drive a
modern machine. It is not the same thing to produce for a few hundred
thousands of citizens in the country as to produce enough for millions and
billions of human beings in any modern country. This is why if bureaucracy
is a vice, if the tendency of developing parasitic activities outside of
production is a vice, it is a vice--more than vice, a crime--that a single
child can be found in the bosom of our society who is not going to school
or a single youth who is not going to a secondary school. [applause]

The revolution has hopes that in the future compulsory military service
will become unnecessary in the proportion that education really becomes
compulsory. Because if all the youths of school age are studying in
secondary schools, if all the older children are in technological schools
and in preuniversity school, it will be easy to teach military training in
those institutions, to teach them military methods as part of their
education, and it will not be necessary to call on anyone to spend three
years merely fulfilling him military service in the future. Military
training will be changed into an additional course, another method of
training for all youths.

Should there be scores and scores of thousands of youths taken from their
studies? It is because some of these vices have their associates. Many
times th bureaucrats, the diagramists, have recruited 15-year-old boys to
work in the office. If that youth needed work because of a need in the
family, how much better would it have been to give that family some aid and
to make a technician out of him! But there are also many private interests
who pay a youth anything so that he can tend the small stand, so that he
can be there in the trafficking of merchandise. They pay him anything and
they corrupt a young man. These private interests which are outside
production many times conspire against the training of youth, and this is
why our Labor Ministry should take very strict measures in anything
connected with the contracting of youths.

We should have measures which absolutely prohibit all working contracts of
youths, in private activities as well as state activities. We believe that
a magnificent temporary solution has been achieved by our juvenile
movements because, when they organized the juvenile classrooms into
brigades to work in agriculture, they took many youths who neither studied
nor worked and now they work part time and study the rest of the time. It
is necessary for our revolution to think about this problem and adopt all
the measures so that education can reach the level required, so that
education can really be mandatory, and so that there is not--I repeat, so
that there is not--a single youth, a single child who is not going to his
corresponding school. As we accomplish all these objectives, our revolution
will become more solid, stronger, more capable, more vigorous and more

The committees today are seven years old and our revolution will soon be
nine years old. [applause] It we can take advantage of our past experience,
if we can take good advantage of the teachings of these years, the
experiences of these years, the new resources which we have created, what
promising and fruitful years await us in the future!

During the early years of the revolution, some saw the revolution as a
temporary phenomenon. Some had the delusion that the revolution would
tumble. A revolution here? A revolution in Cuba, 90 miles from the United
States--the all-potent, the masters? Impossible. Many thought this. They
took their little boats, their little planes, and they went to Miami to
await the toppling of the revolution. The big buildings of the rich
bourgeoisie and oligarchs were filled with scholarship students, with young
students, and many of these youths are already in the university and many
are already working in production. It is interesting to know that in the
coming years more engineers will be graduated in Cuba than all that were
graduated in the past 50 years. [applause] It is interesting to note that
in spite of the emigration of the technicians who heard the song of the
imperialist siren, the number of technicians in increasing. The number of
doctors is increasing. Oriente University has already graduated its first
students of medicine.

We must honestly admit that when the comrades from the Public Health
Ministry established a school of medicine in Santiago, when there was not
even a building there not professors, we thought this was a mistake. We
thought it almost impossible under such conditions to be able to organize
the school of medicine in Santiago, Cuba. However, with the help from the
school of Havana University, with the aid of the professors, with the aid
of the competent personnel who work in public health, and thought the great
efforts of many who spent months in Santiago teachings, and later others,
recently the University of Oriente graduated its first doctors and, I
believe, their first stomatologists. This is heartening. In the same way,
our three universities in coming years will graduate the young technicians
who, with a revolutionary mentality, will fill the vacancies and the needs
in our factories, in our industries, in our fields, and in all the working

They thought they would ruin us. The imperialists know the value of a
technician. The revolutionaries were not unaware of it. But there is
something the imperialists do not know. But the revolutionaries do know: it
is the value of the revolutionary, [applause] and we were interested in the
revolutionaries. The effort made by imperialism to leave us without
technicians increased the determination of the revolution to train
technicians. This work has acquired such magnitude that in the course of a
few more years it will be absolutely impossible to make a comparison
between any other country on this continent and Cuba, even in the field of
agriculture. We will be in a position to farm in as modern a way as
countries with the most advanced agriculture. In the next seven years, that
is, from now to 1975, let us say, seven years and a half, counting
technicians of medium and higher levels, this country will graduate 100,000
technicians for agriculture--100,000. [applause] In the history of
education, this will perhaps go down as the greatest accomplishment even in
such a short time.

Action by the enemy always leads to action by the revolution, and the
enemy's attacks and maneuvers and aggressions leave the revolution
constantly stronger and stronger. The action of the counterrevolutionaries,
those little bombs that went off seven years ago, another 28 September like
today, gave rise to this powerful, overwhelming revolutionary mass
organization. [applause] The imperialists' threats gave rise to our
revolutionary militia. [applause] The imperialists' threats and acts of
aggression developed the fighting capacity of our people, so much so that
today, indisputably, we have the soundest and best equipped armed forces of
any country in Latin America. [applause]

The drain of skilled and technical personnel encouraged by imperialism has
led to the most gigantic process of technical education in any country in
contemporary times. Blockades led to solutions; enemy plans to starve us
led to ideas, resolve, and the plan to develop in the coming years an
agriculture that we will be able to show to the world as one of the most
extraordinary achievements of this revolution. [applause] In direct ratio
to the enemy's threats and acts of aggression against us, we have been
generating more and more revolutionary strength, we have been promoting
more and more revolutionary accomplishments.

And today the situation is not what it was a few years ago. We are no
longer as weak as we were only five or six years ago, when the imperialists
allowed themselves the luxury of organizing a mercenary expedition in an
attempt to crush this revolution. Of course, they made a mistake. Neither
1,000 mercenaries, nor 2,000, nor 10,000, nor 100,000, nor a million could
have taken over this country. They could have started a war of indefinite
duration against this people, but useless in any case. In those days the
imperialists counted the planes we had, the pilots we had, and reckoned
whether the planes were new or old. They counted the guns, the tanks, the
rifles. The men in the Pentagon did their figuring, CIA agents went to
Guatemala, saw a big landowner, immediately organized a training camp,
reached agreement with the puppets, organized bases, organized everything.
The Pentagon generals met with CIA colonels to draw up plans. And according
to arithmetic and the electronic computer and the maps and the calculations
and all the other factors that were weighed in the minds of those
gentlemen--minus the moral factor--a group of mercenaries could overthrow
the revolution. At least they are not that badly mistaken today.

International Affairs

During the past few days, the very famous OAS has met once again [boos from
audience] to try, they say, to take steps against Cuba. At other times we
might have had to declare something like a semistate of combat alert.
However, this time it has not be necessary. Precisely when the OAS met on
24 and 25 September to judge Cuba, 150,000 men and women of Las Villas went
to the Escambray to plant coffee. [applause]

Why declare a combat alert? We are no longer so weak, and in the vent of
any aggression against this country we can muster a really considerable
mass of forces--a mass of men and equipment of considerable dimension--and
rapidly. That is to say that while our enemies met to voice threats, our
people continued on their way and in their tasks unperturbed. They no
longer have to deal with the revolution of the early days. They now have to
deal with a much better organized people, with a people much better
developed politically, culturally, and in a revolutionary sense, with a
people better prepared to face any contingency, and with a people who work
with ardor in order to be less and less vulnerable to their enemies.

Why speak of the moral background of this farce, of this new ridiculous
meeting of lackeys and puppets of imperialism? The United States met in the
OAS to try Cuba for subversion; no other than the United States did
so--that is, the king of subversion, the father of subversion, the state
that intervenes everywhere and in every corner of the world, the bloody and
barbaric state that uses the most cruel and inconceivable weapons against
the people of Vietnam, [shouts and applause] the barbaric and savage state
that has been the scourge of this continent for a century, the state that
seized from Mexico an immense portion of its territory, the state whose
insolent marines have landed so many times on and soiled with their
indecent boots the sacred soil of the countries of Latin America.

One day they took their mercenary soldiers to Mexico to seize part of its
territory; another day they occupied Vera Cruz; still another day they
tried to influence its destiny. On another day, they landed in Nicaragua to
occupy it for years, murdered the country's best sons, and murdered the
immortal Sandino, the most illustrious revolutionary fighter and that
fraternal country. [applause]

They seized part of the Panamanian soil. They dispatched expeditions of
buccaneers to the countries of Central America. They landed in Santo
Domingo several times, and in Haiti. They perpetrate massacres, as in
Panama. More recently, they sent 40,000 soldiers equipped with the most
modern weapons to intervene brazenly in the Dominican Republic.

Let us not mention Cuba or the villainous acts, the acts of piracy,
banditry, and crimes they have committed from the time of the La Couxre
explosion until today, until recently, when in the presence of journalists
from all over the world we questioned the CIA agents who came here with
maps, with [word indistinct], including their pistols with silencers and
poisoned bullets to make attempts on our lives. All these villainous acts
have been committed with the complicity of the (?puppet) governments that
back imperialists.

The Yankee state, the Yankee government joined with the Guatemalan
Government, from whose country the Giron expedition left; or with the Coast
Rican Government, from whose country the pirate expeditions of
CIA-organized commandos sailed for many months; or with Nicaragua, whose
Puerto Cabeza was the springboard of the invasion with ships that flew the
flags of different countries and were escorted by the Yankee fleet. These
bandits--the gentlemen who seconded the plans of imperialism--cannot be
labeled anything else but bullets and we must call them so here, in the
United Nations, and everywhere else. [applause] They are nothing else but
bandits and the greatest of them is Yankee imperialism. In the schools of
this bandit, the officers and repression and crime of the Latin American
oligarchies pursue their studies. In these schools, where they teach the
science of killing in different ways and of torturing in 100 different
ways--in these schools that the imperialists have in Panama and in the
United States--the officers of repression are trained to perpetrate crimes
and repression against the revolutionary movement of Latin America.

The mercenary "Green Berets" of the Yankees are present, as they frankly
admit, in many countries of Latin America. And yet these bandits meet to
try Cuba. On what moral grounds? In the name of what (?ideal) or what
principle can these gentlemen decide to try and sanction Cuba for its
policy of solidarity with the revolutionary movement? [applause] Well, once
again they have met. Once again they have (?presented) the repugnant farce,
and the lackeys that are the most servile and who have surrendered the most
to imperialism have been the most aggressive.

The representative of "Tachito" Somoza was there. However, this "Tachito"
is the son of that big gangster and murderer who killed Sandino at the
orders of the imperialism, which for 30 years ruled that country as a
colony. it was from this country that the Giron mercenary expedition left.
[Words indistinct] "Tachito" is there among these men who act as if they
are feudal monarchs. "Tachito" the criminal, the bandit was there. Also
there was Balaguer, the Trujillist imposed on the Dominican people by the
Yankee bayonets. His representative was there. The criminal executioner
Duvalier, who has converted his country into a corner of hell with his
notorious "Tonton Macoutes" and his murders at every hour of the day or
night, was there. They say that he went to judge and sanction Cuba.

Also present among the judges was Alfredo Stroessner, that most illustrious
democrat and that most renowned representative democrat of this continent.
The representatives of the oligarchies, the representatives of the gorillas
were there--the men who have sold their souls to imperialism and who have
handed over all their wealth, their mines, their hides, and their bones to
Yankee imperialism.

There, among the most aggressive gorillas, was the representative of the
Argentine gorilla. We do not know what is wrong with this gentlemen, but he
was very bellicose. I do now know whether it is because he may have heard
reports, rumors mentioning Comrade Ernesto Guevara [loud applause, shouts]
as participating in flesh and book in the liberating guerrilla movement. He
must be nervous, this gentlemen Ongania. What is striking is what he said
there. He said that his Argentine Army and his Argentine Navy were ready to
invade Cuba--eve alone, if necessary.

Unquestionably, the reply of Comrade Alarcon was impressive. [applause] He
reminded this thundering little guerrilla that the Argentine generals have
never won a battle, that the Argentine generals have never fought in any
war, and that our people have already had some experience in this field
fighting against the mercenaries.

Really, Alarcon was reminding him of a great truth. These little Argentine
guerrillas who wear the flaming torch insignia on their shoulders and rows
of metals on their chests are the most illustrious, renowned, glorious, and
heroic generals who have seized the Casa Rosada Palacen. In what wars have
they fought? Ah, in the most glorious, unforgettable, immoral war of the
Casa Rosada Palace! A few tanks go out, park in front of the palace, (?an
officer comes out and issues a manifesto). Immediately, we have 25 ranks of
marshals, two kilograms of flaming torches, three kilograms of medals, so
many more thousand dollars in salaries.

How frightfully ridiculous--these archglorious general thunderingly
threatening to invade Cuba! Many of these generals have never in their
lives heard a shot fired, never. The only shots they have fired all their
lives have been against defenseless and unarmed peoples. Well, now, these
persons are the most aggressive, they are more papist than the Pope.

There is also another ridiculous thing about this international event, and
that is that even the representative of an English colony, a colony that
(?has passed) from English to Yankee hands--the representative of a
republic called Trinidad-Tobago, an English colony until recently and now a
Yankee colony--also participated in the OAS meeting to judge and sanction
Cuba. What ridiculous things we see in this world--really embarrassing

However, one of the things apparent in the OAS meeting was the
demoralization. Unquestionably, these people are the victims of all these
contradictions. They are the victims of their own brazenness. They are the
victims of their own stupidity and idiocy. Logically, they do not have an
iota of shame, modesty, or logic. Many of these governments--in
justice--maintained the same cynical posture. We must say that some of them
even assumed positions that reflected the shame they felt for having to
participate in that ridiculous and sterile farce. Of course, there was
noted--as has been the case in the recent past--a single honorable
exception, a single government, and again it was the Mexican Government.
[applause] this is the only country in Latin America whose rulers have
maintained a dignified, independent posture. It is the only state whose
government has systematically resisted all this inglorious, indecorous, and
shameful imperialist policy against our country. For this reason, the
Mexican state and the rulers of this state have really won the respect of
our country. It is the only government, the only state of Latin America for
which our government feels profound and sincere respect. [applause]

Among the worst characteristics of the policy and the agreements taken by
this immoral organization is the manifest attempt to starve our people to
death. They are so brazen, so ridiculous, and so unrealistic that they
believe that--accustomed as they are to their morals of bandits--there
might be someone in the world that will agrees with the policy of economic
blockade that imperialism has been imposing on our country with the
complicity of those Latin American governments. One of the most criminal
acts, one of the things that can wound the conscience of the world is such
a policy.

While all the men of this world who are a little cultured are becoming
aware of the tremendous problems facing the underdeveloped countries and of
the enormous distance that separates the industrialized countries from the
underdeveloped countries; and while all the economists of the world, all
the men who have a universal preoccupation, gather to analyze and to see
how they can find a solution for the most difficult problem of the
underdeveloped countries, imperialism and a group of lackeys, who are dying
of hunger, who are kicked about, and who are underdeveloped, appear before
the world and proclaim that manifest policy of adoption an economic
blockade against a country whose only crime has been to try to free itself
from imperialist tutelage, underdevelopment, exploitation, and hunger.
[light applause]

They even want to go to the United Nations and--although the United Nations
is far from being a symbol of trust and although it has really been to a
certain extent the instrument of imperialism and (?most of the Americas)
have supported many of the imperialist misdeeds--at least there is in the
United Nations a considerable number of votes and opinions that are very
far from agreeing with or approving such policy. The imperialists and their
starving lackeys are trying to proclaim to the world their criminal policy
of economic blockade. The lackeys are discussing whether they (?will play
the game) or not, and clearly, he who lives in a glass house cannot throw
stones at his neighbor. All these gentlemen who live in glass houses--in
houses with broken glass--hesitate and have their doubts about whether or
not they should bring the Cuban case to the United Nations. We do not know
whether they will or not and we do not care.

However, we are going to bring the case to the United Nations. Indeed we
are. We are going to denounce in the United Nations the policy pursued by
imperialism, [applause] the criminal imperialist policy against the world,
and the disgusting, repugnant, and criminal policy of economic blockade
against Cuba. What will the Yankee representative be able to say when he
has never had the courage or the nerve to face the Cuban representative and
always runs away when the Cuban representative arrives? The Yankee
representative leaves the assembly. Why? Because imperialism has committed
so many crimes; because it has shown so many contradictions. Among other
things, I believe that our representative there can bring some books--for
example, books published by the collaborators (?Kennedy, Schlesinger,
Sorensen), by many others who have devoted themselves to writing, and by
serious American journalists, those who have related the story of the CIA
on the shores of Cochin. We believe that we should divulge there the whole
history of the crimes and acts of banditry committed by (?them).

They will have to listen to us in the United Nations, even if they do not
want to, [applause] because (?it) is an accomplice of every one of the acts
of banditry and villainy committed against Cuba and against the Latin
American countries. [Words indistinct] we shall see what the representative
of the principal bandit says--that is, the representative of the U.S.
Government. We are going there to discuss things.

The question is not that easy and the imperialists are learning little by
little that the feeling of arrogance and invincibility is fading, not only
because of Giron--where they suffered (?defeat)--and not only because of
the Cuban revolution--which they have tried to belittle vainly for nine
years and have achieved nothing else but being forced to watch it grow
stronger. They have learned, above all, not only from the defeats inflicted
on them by other peoples in other parts of the world, such as the defeat
inflicted on them by the heroic Korean people, [applause] but also
essentially from their great teachers, the great master [words
indistinct]--that is, the heroic, the thousand times heroic people of
Vietnam. [applause]

The heroic people of Vietnam have taught the Yankee imperialists an
unprecedented lesson because, against the fortitude of these people, their
infinite valor, and their infinite capacity of resistance and suffering,
the most modern techniques of Yankee imperialism have failed. A total of
100,000 soldiers was not enough, so they sent 200,000 of them. However,
these were not enough, and so they sent 300,000 and more until they had
half a million regular Yankee soldiers there, without counting half a
million more puppet soldiers of several nationalities.

It must be said that the imperialists are being defeated in Vietnam. It
must be said that while the imperialists were on the offensive a year ago,
today they are practically on the defensive. [applause] The Yankees will
not be able to easily forget this lesson. They have waged other types of
war, colonial wars, imperialist wars, but they never have had to face a
revolutionary people in a war, and this time they are learning an
unprecedented lesson. What has happened to the (?imperialists) in Vietnam
is teaching them that it is not so easy. It is teaching them that times
have changed. It is teaching them that technology is shattered by the
determination and fighting morale of a revolutionary people. The
imperialists know that it is not so easy, not in the least, to carry out
any adventure they advocate against our country.

It is clear that when the gorillas speak of invading Cuba and of their
forces being ready, it is just a tale. They are thinking of the Yankee
Marines, the Yankee air force, and the Yankee fleet. Of course, they think
they can come as cooks with the Marines. (?In the final analysis) what the
gorillas offer imperialism to invade Cuba are cooks, dishwashers, and
servants. After all, a general, like an Argentine general, for example,
would perhaps feel very honored to be the aide of a U.S Marine sergeant, to
cook for him, and to wash his clothes.

Well, all the guerrillas armies composed of all gorillas can come to Cuba
together, any place, but they will not last more than (?four) hours.
Everyone knows that. (?They are emboldened by) the Yankee fleet, the Yankee
army, the Yankee technology, and the Yankee military resources. However,
not even the Yankees could come to our country expecting to have a military
picnic. The Yankee must know, unless they are idiots all their lives and
all the time, that they must be a little careful and make no such mistake
in the case of our country, because the thing is not that easy.

For that reason, they are splashing about (?Chapoteando) in their
contradictory, impudence, and immoral acts. They say that they are going to
try to put pressure on Europe. (?Unbelievable), the starved have gathered
to threaten Europe with a blockade, practically. They are going to boycott
and blockade the firms, countries, and governments that trade with us.

The starved! The situation is really tragic because the problems that the
peoples of Latin America must face in the coming years are going to be very
difficult, very difficult, indeed. Why so? Because of the situation that
has been developing in world trade.

The United States maintains powerful tariff barriers to protect its
products, to protect its business, to protect its cottons, and to protect
all its products--including the semitropical--and to protect its grains.
Not only this, but it subsidizes its agriculture in order to practice
dumping with some of its products, many of which are products of Latin
American trade. Even recently, at the international coffee conference, a
dispute arose between the United States and Brazil. Why? Coffee constitutes
for Brazil a decisive part of its economy and the Brazilians developed an
instant coffee industry to increase their exports. However, come
monopolistic firms in the United States established their own instant
coffee industry. These firms get their coffee from Africa, mix it with some
Arabian coffee, and make a good business out of it.

The U.S. representative proposed at the conference that Brazil place a tax
on the exports of its instant coffee, otherwise,the United States would set
up a tariff to protect the U.S. producers of instant coffee. In other
words, the U.S. imperialist state would adopt any step to protect the
interests of some companies dealing in instant coffee, even though this
would mean the ruin of a country with 80 million inhabitants. These are the
principles that guide imperialism in its international policy.

Thus, the United States forms an economic community by itself that is
protected by its tariff wall. Western Europe forms another economic
community and is also protected by its own tariff wall. Within this second
community are to be found some of the former colonies that are still
producing tropical products for Europe. England, together with some other
countries, has its own tariff wall.

On the other side, we have the community of socialist countries. Thus, the
countries of Latin America constitute a region of the underdeveloped
world-a region, heavily in debt, that received less and less money for its
products, that has to face all these barriers put up by the developed
countries, and that is not protected by any system of economic community.

This is the situation of the Latin American countries and this situation is
the worst one [words indistinct] because even former colonies of European
countries get benefits from the tariff barriers set up by the European
community. As this community increases, as more countries enter this
community, countries that produce meat, wheat, coffee, and sugar will enter
it and new barriers will interfere with the trade possibilities of the
Latin American countries.

Such a situation could not but offer a dark future for the peoples of Latin
America. And yet the representatives of the governments meet with
imperialism, whose interests are absolutely opposed to the interests of
their peoples, to blockade Cuba and even threaten Europe with a blockade.

But problems deriving from tariff barriers are not the only ones. One fact
stands out: the United States seeks to grab the world's markets for its own
industrial products. With its industrial goods, the United States seeks to
create privileged conditions in Latin America and other parts of the world
for competing against Europe's industry. The European countries know that
the United States makes us of every legitimate and illegitimate weapon to
monopolize markets. U.S. monopolies compete with European industries. It is
ridiculous, illusory, moronic to believe that Europe will yield to any of
those whims, any of those maneuvers, any of those stupid measures adopted
by imperialism and its Latin American lackeys.

Yet the daring of imperialism and its lackeys goes still further, still
further. They even want to blackmail the socialist community, they even
want to threaten the socialist community, they even mean to demand that the
socialist community, too, should practically desist from trading with Cuba.
To what a degree of cretinism, imbecility, and illusion have they come!
Along that road, taken by imperialism and its lackeys, they will travel to
the greatest of failures.

They started on the road of aggression against Cuba, the path of violating
Cuba's rights, the path of violating Cuba's rights, the path of violating
international law, the long road of all the misdeeds past and present
against our country, and they have finally reached a blink alley, a
ridiculous situation, failure, where it is hard for them to do anything one
way or another, adopt a measure to this end or to that, because the
alternative to their knavery, the knavery of a military attack on our
country, is an adventure which they must think about three times over at
this juncture.

That is the actual situation, and so our country had remained unperturbed,
calm, in the face of the fresh imperialist maneuvers. And there, in the
United Nations, our representatives will take charge of speaking some
truths that imperialism and its lackeys have coming. [applause] Our country
must continue forward, working hard in every field, strengthening its
economy, strengthening its defenses, so that with every passing day and
every passing month we will be better prepared, both militarily and
economically, to resist any aggression, any armed blockade, any imperialist

We should know that the years ahead will always be full of danger, but that
does not discourage us, it does not discourage us. We are working
enthusiastically with our eyes on the future. We are preparing ourselves to
face any eventuality of any nature, on any front, secure in the knowledge
that we are a people constantly better prepared, a people always more
aware, a people ever more sure and that we can calmly and resolutely face
any difficulty, and aggression.

We are working for the future will all our might, with all our spirit; and
we will defend this future and this right to our future with the last drop
of our blood, [applause] to our last breath. [applause] We are much
stronger and our course is much clearer than nine years ago. [applause]

We are much stronger and our course is much clearer than seven years ago.
We are much stronger and we have a much more fully aware people, [applause]
a much better organized people, a much more revolutionary people, a much
better armed people. [applause]

Hence we trust the future. Let us commit ourselves fully to continuing to
press in our task. Any may each year, each month, each day be an addition
to our discipline, our awareness, our enthusiasm, our firmness, and our
strength, of which our defense committees have today given instructive and
exemplary evidence. [applause] Long live the Committees for Defense of the
Revolution! Fatherland or death; we will win!