Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 1616 GMT 2 Jan 68

[Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion,
marking the ninth anniversary of the Cuban revolution--live]

[Text] Gentlemen, guests, workers, soldiers, students--[shouting applause]
perhaps if the units which paraded were to move forward a few steps, we
could permit the people at the end of the plaza to approach. Therefore, we
request the comrade officials in charge of the units [sentence not
completed. The crowd moves closer with much shouting and whistling.]

This year, on the ninth anniversary, there was a change in the traditional
parade. What was the fundamental reason for this? Every year we invested a
great deal of energy and time, much equipment, and large quantities of fuel
organizing these parades. In addition, considerable damage was done to the
various streets by the heavy pieces of war machinery. This does not mean
that our military parades have been ended forever, but simply that they
have been rationalized. They will be reserved for the most important
holidays such as, for example, the 2 January 1969 holiday, when the
revolution will be 10 years old. [applause] Nevertheless, all of us were
very satisfied and pleased with today's parade because the units that
represent the basic foundations of the revolution marched past here. Our
workers, represented by the macheteros who are going to cut the sugarcane
in this coming sugar harvest, paraded by here. [applause]

They deserved some of the thunderous applause as a just acknowledgement by
our people of those who have been the true nameless heroes in these years
of hard revolutionary endeavor. They are the men whose work has made our
sugar harvest possible under present conditions, for there is no longer, as
in the past, an enormous army of unemployed to do this work, and we have
still not completely mechanized canecutting, though we expect to do so
within a relatively short time.

They have filled a primary requirement, together with the soldiers of our
army and the students of our technical institutes who worked in the sugar
harvest. [applause] They are the force with which, together with the
professional canecutters of the entire country, we have guaranteed the
sugar harvest these past years. They are the primary guarantee of the sugar
harvest of 10 million tons for 1970 [applause] at the same time that there
will be growing participation by machinery in the sugar harvests.

Past here paraded the cadets of the military schools of the various
branches of our armed forces also a unit of "Camilitos," which are the
schools where the youngsters who are the future cadres of our Revolutionary
Armed Forces are enrolled. [applause] The students of national schools
representing noresident students of the secondary and preuniversity schools
are paraded here, as well as the students of the technical-worker
institutes, the students of the technical-industrial institutes, units of
scholarship students, medical students, a unit of the university students,
and a unit of women who work in the Havana belt. [applause]

The fundamental sectors of the main fronts of the revolutionary effort have
been represented here. For all of us it was a reason for profound optimism
to see here, after nine years of revolution, the tens of thousands of
youths who are the greatest treasure of these past years, the most
formidable investment of our people during these years in the field of
teaching, in the field of education, culture, and technical development.
Our new generations paraded here. No one can have the slightest doubt that
they will be considerably better prepared to cope with all the tasks of our
people and all the tasks of our future society.

Present here also as guests are the comrade members of the Che Guevara
Invasion Brigade. [prolonged applause] They are a formidable example of
what can be done with discipline, organization, and revolutionary spirit.
They have achieved a productivity never achieved elsewhere in similar
agricultural work. They have already, in only two months, bulldozed more
than 4,000 caballerias of land in Oriente Province. [applause] That is why
is was believed proper to invite them to be here in this reviewing stand on
this ninth anniversary. Among the guests are the delegations attending the
commemoration of this anniversary and more than 400 persons who will
participate in the Havana Cultural Congress, [applause] distinguished
writers, artists, and scientists from practically all parts of the world
who will participate in this transcendent cultural event.

In this manner we are commemorating this new anniversary and the beginning
of a 10th year of work. We must say that this anniversary arrives at one of
the most formidable moments of the revolution, when our people's spirit of
struggle and work has without doubt reached its highest point. It also
initiates a year which without doubt must be a year of very intensive work,
because 1968 will be a year in which we must make the greatest constructive
effort and which will still be considered one of the hard years of the
revolution. It will be a year that will see us accomplishing enormous tasks
and exerting enormous efforts. Without a doubt, it will also be one of the
years that will allow us to view the future with more optimism.

Our country has undergone nine years of hard effort. These efforts have
been increasing, and, or course, the rewards for some of these efforts are
now beginning to be felt. Other rewards, the most fundamental, are not far
off. This year should mark an even greater leap forward in the organization
of the work of all the people, in the utilization of the resources
available to us, and in greater progress also in the field of production.

Since we are talking about this year and about the efforts that we should
make, I want to point out precisely where we ought to make one of the
greatest efforts, because it will constitute one of our difficulties in
1968. I am referring to the fuel question.

In the past few weeks you may have noted increasing fuel difficulties. You
may have observed the lines that formed at the gas stations. We are going
to explain to you the reason for these difficulties.

In the first place, we want to explain how much the consumption of fuel has
increased in the past few years and why. In 1958, 3,012,000 tons of fuel
were consumed, as follows: fuel oil, 1,786,000 tons; gas oil, 399,000 tons;
kerosens, 130,000 tons; and gasoline, 697,000 tons.

The consumption increases in the past eight years have been: fuel oil, in
1967 the figure of 2,736,000 tons was reached, a 53 percent increase; gas
oil, 937,000 tons, a 135 percent increase compared to 1958; kerosene,
285,000 tons, or 119 percent increase compared to 1958; and gasoline,
909,000 tons, or only a 30 percent increase compared to 1958.

Note, for example, how consumption of gas oil, which is the fuel used for
tractors and heavy transportation vehicles, was somewhat more than half the
gasoline consumption. Gasoline consumption was almost double that of gas
oil because it was mostly for automobiles. All the same by 1967 gas oil
consumption in the nation exceeds gasoline consumption.

Well then, how did this consumption increase? The period 1961-1962 and 1963
were years in which sugar production decreases occurred because of the
circumstances stemming from the elimination of our sugar quota by the U.S.
Government, which created a state of skepticism regarding sugar throughout
the nation. In those circumstances, together with the low level of
organization in those times and the lack of administrative efficiency--a
result mainly of the colossal change in structure that took place in our
agriculture--sugar production reached 3.8 million tons in 1963. Therefore,
in 1961, 1962, and 1963 there was practically no increase in fuel
consumption. There was an overall increase of only one percent.

But beginning with 1964--as a matter of fact, after the catastrophe caused
by hurricane Flora--and in the light of new concepts, new experience, and
better organization, there was a marked increased in production tasks
throughout the nation. In 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1967 you can note a
sustained rate of increase of approximately 5.5 percent per year; 5.5
percent per year was therefore the increase in fuel consumption in the
years, I repeat, of 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1967.

Now then, in what were these fundamental increases in fuel consumption
invested, in what industries, in what activities? In the first place, in
the electrical power industry, which consumes almost 1 million tons of fuel
oil--in other words, 34 percent of the fuel oil that was consumed in 1967,
which was 2,736,000 tons.

What has been the increase in the production of electric power? Electric
power production has increased 68 percent compared with 1958. It is
estimated that in 1969, with the commissioning of the Nuevitas and O'Bourke
powerplants, electric power production will double compared with that at
the start of the revolution.

How did electric power production, which is a fundamental base for the
development of any nation, increase in the past few years? In 1958,
1,794,000,000--no, [Castro corrects himself] 1,794,900,000 kilowatt hours.

[Tabulation of Castro's reading of figures follows]

Year                              Output [million of kilowatt hours]

1959                              1,993
1960                              2,145
1961                              2,237
1962                              2,258
1963                              2,344
1964                              2,494
1965                              2,592
1966                              2,803
1967                              3,019

This explains the increase in fuel oil consumption between 1958 and the
present, and above all the increase in the past few years.

Secondly the Sugar Industry, which consumes more than 600,000 tons of fuel
oil or 20 percent of the national total for this type of fuel. It is used
in the production of refined sugar, crude sugar, transportation, power
production and alcohol production.

Thirdly the cement industry, which at present consumes almost 180,000
metric tons, or six percent of the national total of fuel consumption.
Cement production in 1967 is 15 percent higher than that achieved in 1958.
In turn, the average annual production in the past five years--803,000
metric tons--is 40 percent higher than the five-year period of 1954-58, in
which the average production was 572,000 metric tons.

With the new cement plants that will begin to operate during the latter
half of 1968, the cement production of 1958 will be doubled in 1969 and
practically tripled by 1970.

The average national fuel oil consumption index per ton of cement produced,
including electric power output at the Mariel powerplant, is 220 kilograms
of fuel oil per metric ton of cement. The fuel consumption projected for
the new plants is: Siguaney, 175 kilograms of fuel oil per metric ton of
cement. In other words, it will consume 116,580 tons of fuel oil a year.
And the Nuevitas cement plant, which will also begin to operate in the
second half of this year and which will produce one ton per 160 kilograms
of fuel, will consume 96,000 tons of fuel oil a year.

The nickel industry, which consumes almost 330,000, that is, 11 percent of
the total, in 1967 was able to double 1958 production, which was the second
highest in the capitalist era.

How did nickel production increase? It grew from 18,000 tons in
1958--[Castro corrects himself] it dropped to 17,880 tons in 1959. [balance
of figures tabulated]

Year                          Output [in tons]

1960                                14,520
1961                                18,120
1962                                24,900
1963                                21,630
1964                                24.060
1965                                29,134
1966                                27,854
1967                                34,900

This was done with practically the same installations we had at the victory
of the revolution, due in considerable measure to the extraordinary work of
the workers in the nickel industry, who put the Moa plant into operation
and who this past year produced 34,000 tons.

At the same time, the metallurgical industry, which in 1959 produced 6,000
tons of steel, has already this past year produced 120,000 metric tons.

Now we have consumption of gas oil figures. Up to now I have explained the
consumption of fuel oil. Agriculture consumed 275,000 tons of gas oil in
1967. This means 29 percent of the total consumption was for agricultural
and transportation activities. According to estimated figures on cultivated
areas, permanent as well as temporary crops, the area increased from
177,545 caballerias in 1958 to 277,00 in 1967. This means an increase in
cultivated land of approximately 100,000 caballerias.

Our cattle, for example, have increased considerably in number. In 1952
there were 4,042,000 head of cattle. There are no figures for 1958.
However, as early as 1961 there were 5,776,000 head. From 1961 to 1967 the
number increased from 5,776,000 to 6,146,800 head of cattle according to
the census taken a few months ago. This means that from 1958 to 1967 the
cattle of the country increased by approximately 2 million head.

This is not all. As many know, these cattle are being changed in type. Most
of the heards of cattle of Cuba are already under programs of artificial
insemination and are being radically changed into cattle that produce more
milk and meat. In the next 36 months, half a million head of cow will begin
producing. That is why in the next three years we will begin to reap the
fruits of this arduous effort, this policy of not slaughtering cows. This
is why slaughtering has been limited to steers or cows not fit for
reproduction. This explains the considerable increase in our cattle, which
will become one of the most important items of our future economy.

Second in importance as a consumer of gas oil is the Transportation
Ministry, which consumed 220,000 tons. Very well, total cargo traffic has
increased, and here the yardstick is ton-kilometers, just as in electricity
it is watt-hours. This means that if 10 tons are transported 100
kilometers, we will have 1,000 ton-kilometers. Cargo traffic has increased
from 4.87 million ton-kilometers in 1963 to 16,797,000,000 ton-kilometers
transported in 1967. This means it has increased by two and one-half times.
On the other hand, this year, transportation of passengers by all modes
reached 1.25 million passengers. This means that a total of 1.25 million
persons were transported somewhere. This is figured by the number of
persons transported per year. It exceeds by 525 million the passengers
transported in 1962.

Another important consumer of gas oil is our merchant marine. The number of
Cuban merchant ships before the revolution was 14 units, small ships with a
total capacity of 48,000 metric tons. The present Cuban merchant fleet has
42 ships with a total capacity of 258,000 metric tons. This is an increase
of 438 percent.

The Construction Ministry is another consumer of gas oil, one which
consumed 67,000 metric tons. This is seven percent of total production,
that is seven percent of the consumption of the entire country. In 1963 it
had a volume of 521 million pesos in construction and installations in the
country. In 1967, the estimated volume rose to approximately 700 million
pesos. This is an increase of 65 percent. The plan for 1968 calls for an
increase to 850 million pesos.

The National Fishing Institute consumes 5 percent of the national total of
gas oil, with 49,000 tons. Fishing has practically been tripled with
respect to 1958. From 21,000 tons in 1958, it went to 60,000 tons in this
past year.

Other consumers of gas oil are the Industries Ministry with 67,000 tons,
the Sugar Industry with 29,000, Water Resources with 21,000, and the Food
Industry with 19,000.

Gasoline consumption increased relatively little. It consumed principally
in transportation activities, production activities, and private
automobiles. Kerosene, a product used a fuel in the kitchen, increased from
130,000 tons in 1958 to 286,000 in 1967.

Aside from this, how much equipment has been brought into the country in
these years? From 1960 to 1967 the figures are as follows: 35,014 tractors,
5,436 dump trunks, 23,936 flat-bed trucks, 1,603 truck tractors, 2,931
panel trucks, 3,556 buses from socialist countries, 938 British Leyland
buses, 7,314 rural cars, that is, jeeps, 1,614 bulldozers, 567 roadgraders,
873 excavators and cranes, 1,355 cement mixers. The tractor park for
agriculture increased from 9,200 in 1960 to 35,000 in 1967.

To this must be added the methods in which these machines were used. The
agricultural plans for next year have practically doubled the number of
hours worked during the past months. The fields of 48,000 caballerias
planted to various crops, permanent or temporary, will increase to more
than 8,000 caballerias in 1968. [as heard]

Activities such as the loading of sugarcane, of which more than 40 million
tons were loaded by hand, today is loaded by machine to a great extent.
This means that these machines have served to considerably accelerate the
development of the country. They have served to alleviate the working
conditions for the entire country and are there precisely to insure a
greater rate of development for our agriculture. As you can see, the
equipment which has been brought into the country has not been luxury
equipment, not for pleasure trips, not for amusement. It has been equipment
for work by the people. It has been equipment for increasing production and
the expenditures in fuel that have been made have been primarily in
productive activities.

Our country, a country in which there were only a few thousand tractors and
approximately 300,000 automobiles, (?now has some) 4,000 tractors, and the
number of automobiles has been progressively decreasing. The amount of
collective transportation equipment, that is, buses, has been increased. In
addition to all the activity in the economic field, we have an enormous
increase in education work, which requires considerable use of
transportation and other services that use fuel.

We also have a considerable increase in medical services. Nevertheless, in
spite of the considerable increase in productive activities, from 1964 to
1967 the rate of increase of fuel consumption was 5.5 percent per year.

The supply of fuel also increased. In 1964 there were no difficulties. In
1965 there were no difficulties. In 1966, however, difficulties began. In
the second quarter, the quantities of fuel received were not enough for the
year's fuel requirements and it was necessary toward the end of the year to
request an advance against the fuel purchases for the next year to fill our
needs. In 1966, the following was received to be charged against the fuel
purchases of 1967: 23,571 metric tons of fuel oil and 37,222 of gas oil.
However, in 1967 our difficulties became more acute. At this time it was
necessary to request an advance of 70,000 tons of fuel oil, 26,000 of gas
oil, and 20,000 tons of gasoline.

The following were received: 44,922 tons of fuel oil; 13,515 tons of gas
oil, and 21,292 tons of gasoline, a total of 80,000 tons. [figures as
received] Under these circumstances supplies were becoming exhausted in
such a fashion that any delay of delivery by a ship because of stormy
weather, as has happened in the past weeks, or minor repairs in the
industry, could cause the paralysis of some important sector of our

In 1967 requirements increased 8 percent and supplies only increased 2
percent. This is spite of the advances at the end of 1967 [as heard]. Not
only did supplies become exhausted and make it necessary to work with
minimum fuel reserves, but it was even necessary to request certain amounts
from the armed forces reserves. This means that not only did supplies
become exhausted, but it was necessary at the end of 1967 to lay hands on
reserves that are very important to us, reserves that are practically
sacred, the reserves of our armed forces, running the risk of seeing
ourselves in the midst of an aggression practically without fuel reserves
for our military units. To all the expense of the economic expansion and
the development of the country--and an underdeveloped country has to work
very much in this type of activity, which involves the use of fuel to make
its economy progress in a solid manner--must be added the fact that our
country, unceasingly threatened by Yankee imperialism, finds itself
required to maintain enormous forces under arms whose equipment is
practically all motorized and requires fuel for combat. In addition, in its
preparation and training, it is necessary to use fuel. In spite of the
enormous savings which the comrades of the armed forces have made, they
also participate to a certain degree in the consumption of fuel in the

At the same time there has been some increase in the national production of

Year                          Oil extraction (in tons)

1959                               27,600
1960                               25,400
1961                               28,100
1962                               43,300
1963                               30,800
1964                               37,300
1965                               57,400
1966                               69,100
1967                              113,600

It has been planned to produce 140,000 tons next year and 250,000 tons in

I have explained consumption and supply to you in detail. It is necessary
to say that the Soviet Union has made a considerable effort to supply us
with fuel. [applause] That effort is shown, for example, in the arrival of
162 ships bringing fuel in 1967. This means one ship approximately every 54
hours. However, everything appears to indicate that the ability of that
country to supply us with fuel at the growing rate of our requirements is
limited. We are in full development, at the most decisive moment of our
economic advance, as is shown by all these figures. With a year of enormous
work before us, in April the giant heavy equipment brigade will have 600
caterpillar-tread machines, 500 new 10-ton trucks for the construction of
hydraulic resource projects--which will arrive in this country between now
and August--and more than 700 construction and various other types of
machines for the construction of the giant brigade, the clearing of land,
the construction of roads, and the construction of hydraulic works, there
is the enormous cultivation plan for next year, which is to assure the
planting of the necessary sugarcane and the availability of sufficient cane
for the planned 10 million tons of sugar and will require the planting of
25,000 caballerias of sugarcane next year, as well as a considerable
increase in the cultivation of vegetables and rice that will practically
triple the surface area planted in 1967.

This enormous effort, the start of production by two large cement
factories, the start of production in the next 18 months by two big
thermoelectric powerplants--in short, the rising development of our
country--logically requires rising fuel consumption. Our national output is
limited. Our means of payment to acquire fuel from other sources of supply
in the coming three years are very limited, practically nonexistent. but it
is precisely in these years of work in which we are creating new resources
for the nation's economy that our economy must not become paralyzed, or
rather, our economic development cannot nor should not suffer any
shortages, much less become paralyzed.

The large number of machines that we have acquired in the past few years
must be used to the utmost of their potential. Nothing would please the
imperialists more, no dream more enraptures the imperialists, the
reactionairies, and the counterrevolutionaires, than to see our economy in
trouble because of fuel problems.

No greater effort has been made by CIA agents than those to create
obstacles and sabotage our fuel-producing installations. Imperialism knows
that fuel is a basic strategic product for the development of our economy,
as it knows that it is a basic strategic product for the defense of the
country. It is also known that in the event of aggression there would be no
way of sending to this country fuel for our fuel tanks and for our fighting
tanks, for our arms in general. [applause]

I call attention to this fact because it implies an imperative need for the
country to become aware of the importance of fuel. If supplies are limited,
if our internal production is also limited and our means to acquire it from
other sources are nonexistence, what must we do with the fuel we have?
[Castro shouts] What is your answer? [The crowd shouts: "Save it"] Yes, we
must save it. You have answered correctly. The slogan of the revolution
[loud applause]--in all work centers, in all industries, in all
transportation centers, wherever fuel is used--must be to save fuel!

All this creates the need to establish rigid controls over the use of fuel,
rigid controls first of all in state activities. This is true because
production states activity, with its nationalized industries, its
nationalized transportation, its tens of thousands of tractors, its new
cement plants, and, finally, with its increased production of nickel, with
its increased merchant fleet and its increased fishing fleet, consumes the
major part of the fuel in the country. A relatively small part is consumed
by private automobiles. Therefore, rigid controls of state consumption are
necessary. Exhaustive use of all our transportation capability is
necessary. Not a single truck must travel empty, nor must a seat go

Our transportation organization [applause] our planning and party
organization have been studying the flow of traffic on the highways. They
have made an exhaustive study in Oriente Province. They are also doing so
in the other provinces, analyzing why each trip is made, why a transport
returns there and another full there and empty here, in this way studying
what savings can be made.

In the same way, in agriculture, in construction of all kinds, and practice
that means the slightest waste of fuel must cease, such as the unnecessary
use of agricultural machinery for anything. This leads us to the need to
establish rigid controls on the use and exploitation of agricultural
machinery. We must make use of the improved organization we have achieved
in these years to establish real discipline in this matter. In our sugar
centrals, maximum fuel economy must be practiced by the operators, the
workers, the technicians, and the administrators, using [words indistinct]
opportunely so that not a single gallon more fuel than necessary is used.

In all areas and taken from all points of view, a rigid policy of saving
and control is required if we do not wish the limitation of fuel to become
a brake on the economic development of the country at its moment of
greatest growth.

Similarly, although the measure may appear disagreeable, rigid control of
gasoline used by private automobiles is also necessary. There are many
people in this country who own cars [applause] -- not everyone who has an
automobile is a bourgeois here. (?Used) cars were brought in by tens of
thousands; they were smuggled into the country in the past and filled our
country with low price cars. This involved the importation of replacement
parts, tires, and fuel every year; and many persons bought one kind of car
or another. Many of them in the mobilizations come in their own cars. There
are also auto transport cars.

Finally, this sacrifice will be necessary. The understanding and
cooperation of all will be necessary to establish in these years -- for we
do not know how long -- controls on the use of gasoline for automobiles,
taking all necessary measures immediately to establish this control, which
becomes a strategic matter, a basic matter for our revolution.

There is another problem, too. We cannot continue to take reserves from our
armed forces. We cannot take another single (?drop) of gas oil from our
tanks, or gasoline from our trunks and fighting tanks [applause], because
the fuel resources are an essential element of the defense and the life of
this country. But at the same time we cannot continue with this tension,
with our tanks empty, waiting for a ship, day after day and week after
week, knowing that delay of a single ship causes problems.

We cannot continue with these constant requests for advance shipments
because this is not good for our economy. But even more than this, we
cannot continue this policy of constant requests for advance shipments
because it also is not good for the dignity and the decorum of our country.

This is why our Political Bureau adopted the decision, based on the reasons
we have clearly explained, to establish rigid control over the use of fuel,
with the certainly that from all points of view, this is the most
appropriate measure for the country.

Our country is beyond any doubt marching forward. Some are beginning to
understand this, but perhaps many of the slanderers of this revolution
cannot imagine the magnitude and the acceleration with which this country
will begin to enjoy the results of the efforts of these years. We were a
nation with an abnormal economy, a nation colonized by ferocious and
unrelenting imperialism, an exploited nation, a nation with more than 1
million illiterates, a nation without a basic industry, a nation without
any technology or technicians, and a nation from which the imperialists
even attempted to lure away the doctors, to leave us without any engineers.
Our nation serenely and calmly said, those who want to leave, let them
leave. [applause] Those who want to leave this nation, let them leave it.
We are a nation that undertook the path of education, a nation that started
by teaching more than a million adults to read and write, a nation that
started opening schools throughout the country's breadth and length and
establishing schools so that there would not be a single child without
schooling in the country. We started training teachers, establishing
schools for workers improvement courses, worker teachers, labor technology
institutes, training new technicians by the scores of thousands -- with a
more liberal sense of duty and social obligation and with superior human
and technical understanding.

We faced the imperialists' pirating of technicians -- a pirating that was
undertaken against us not only because of the habit of raiding that is so
characteristic of the imperialists, since they pirate technicians
throughout the continent -- by paying high salaries the imperialists take
thousands of technicians from all Latin American countries every year; they
buy them with money -- if the imperialists have 10, 15, or 20 times more
doctors per thousand inhabitants than countries in Latin America, this is
not enough, they still buy doctors throughout the continent in order to
have more while the underdeveloped nations have less; they even buy
engineers, and they even try to buy artists, writers, poets, or whatever
shines or is worth anything: this is the Alliance for Progress, they wanted
to pirate our technicians not only because of the habit of pirating, but
also to hinder the revolution's path.

But the revolution stood up and faced the problem in the best way, not by
establishing a prison for technicians, not by making any technician remain
here even when we needed them most; but we opened our doors so that new men
could come and take their jobs. [applause]

In the coming three years, more engineers will graduate than were graduated
during the period from the beginning of the century to the victory of the
revolution. [applause] We already have more doctors and a better
distribution of them. We almost did not have enough space in our schools to
train those who wanted to study medicine. Some 1,700 enrolled in that
field. The nation faced all these problems in the proper way, beginning
with the illiteracy campaign and up to the most important specialties; and
we have trained them. We have different conditions. We have better

A people who were without the habit of organization enquired the habit of
organization and everybody became a student, and everybody became a soldier
of the fatherland, and everybody began acquiring a sense of organization
and discipline.

Everybody who has seen today's parade, particularly our distinguished
guests, will be wondering if we are a militaristic country. No, we are an
organized country, we are a disciplined country, and we are a people
transformed by force of circumstance into soldiers, and as such [applause]
and as soldiers we are disposed to be good soldiers. And we increasingly
apply discipline and methods of organization to all activities. And our
people are advancing toward a new concept of education and a new concept of
military service. Why is this? With the development of institutions and the
education movement, ideas have developed too. Hence, today we have a
comprehensive concept. And our country will establish obligatory education,
not just to the sixth grade, but to basic secondary school, and not just to
basic secondary, but it will establish education on an obligatory basis for
all young people in certain age brackets -- that is, the ages during which
they should be engaged in these studies -- obligatory education will be
instituted up to preuniversity level. [Applause]

We will establish the obligations of all members of society as regards
education because a country like ours cannot afford the luxury of having
any illiterates in its ranks 10 or 15 years from now. Any illiterate would
be a hindrance, a drag, a mortgage, a burden to society. Not only is it
impossible to tolerate the luxury of illiterates, it will be impossible
even to afford the luxury of having citizens without a sufficiently
high-level education. In 20 years it will be impossible to tolerate the
luxury of having a single young man without a technical or professional

We feel sufficiently encouraged by the experience of these years to
contemplate this ambitious prospect, so that among the criteria of these
educational standards our national can include one to the effect that every
citizen must not only be educated and have a broad preparation and culture,
but must also have technical training for production. And in a sense this
is what is happening, for taking part in the parade are tens upon tens of
thousands of students from technological institutes, who are the same time
are workers that cut cane and also soldiers that defend the nation.

And so our entire future educational system and our organization will move
toward the establishment of institutions for children in the day nurseries;
the establishment of a partial boarding system in primary schools so that
primary school children will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at school
and go home to sleep; the establishment of secondary schools in nonurban
areas, where pupils will be boarded; and the establishment of technological
institutes and preuniversity and all kinds of centers that will also be
boarding schools.

But at the same time that mandatory education is established at the
preuniversity level, men and women alike will do military service for the
fatherland. [Applause] Military training and preparation for fighting will
be like one more course of instruction that every citizen of this country
must always know, [applause] since the revolution's right to exist, the
revolution's right to life, and the country's right to build its future
require a tempered people, a people prepared for every order, a militarily
trained people.

The present concept of military service, then, will disappear gradually,
for in years to come, if we carry this concept forward consistently, nobody
will be in the first or second grades at the age of 15. If anybody is in
the second grade at age 16, it is because he did not go to school, it is
because his parents were indifferent, it is because of indifference by the
parents' organizations, or indifference in educational organizations. There
will be no more instances, as there are now, when the third and fourth
grades are still taught to many young people in the service, and you wonder
what these young people were doing when they were 10, 11, or 12 years old;
either they were exploited in one way or another--perhaps on occasion by
their own family--without a thought for their education, or they were the
victims of their parents' indifference, or the victims of incompetence on
the part of educational institutes in the early years of the revolution.

Every child must go to school, and every young person must go to secondary
school, and every young person must go to a preuniversity institution. And
we were saying that men and women will have military training, because
failing to give women military training would be discriminating against
them, and I am sure no woman in this country [applause] would agree to
being exempted from military training in the technological institute that
concerns her--particularly in our revolution, where women plays such a
decisive role and displays increasingly outstanding activity.

That is the outlook for the years ahead. That is the outlook we must work
for henceforth.

And in the field of economy, our agriculture will already be considerably
developed, basically by 1970, and the fundamental emphasis of the nation
will be placed not only on basic industries such as cement, electricity,
and others, but the decade from '70 to '80 will already be the decade of
great increases in the industrial installations to develop the products of
a developed agriculture, as well as to meet the needs of an advancing
modern society.

That is to say, after nine years, having overcome fundamental difficulties
and being better prepared than ever for difficulties that may present
themselves, we can see a pleasant panorama, and we have a right to feel
much more confident of what we do. And this country, which undertook the
revolutionary road nine years ago and which has been going further and
further along that path, will never leave the revolutionary path, will
never cease to penetrate deeper and deeper into the field of revolutionary
ideas and institutions.

As long as imperialism exists, our policy will be that of frontal and
unhesitating struggle against that imperialism, [applause] that imperialism
which is beginning to feel concern, which is beginning to be concerned over
the economic development of this country, which is beginning to feel itself
defeated by the achievements of this country; that imperialism which
devotes itself to the most ridiculous things, that imperialism whose
consuls even run to try to sabotage a deal for a quarter as well as one for
a million pesos; that imperialism which organizes campaigns to prevent us
from acquiring see, as the Vera Cruz consul did in relation to the purchase
of certain quantities of Mexican seeds that our country was purchasing in a
perfectly legal way.

It was painful to us, very painful, to see how effective those campaigns
were and how--in the name of some unknown hypothetical danger of
competition with a nation that sells its sugar or its pineapple to the
United States, to which we have no intention of ever again selling any
pineapple until imperialism is finished, [applause] -- moreover, that was a
country that received a substantial part of our sugar quota when
imperialism took it away from us--painfully, the view prevailed that we
were future competitors. And this is how the underdeveloped countries
unites; this is how we help one another!

Sugar is our principal crop, and whoever wants any variety of our best
varieties of sugar, let him come to get it in Cuba. [applause] Our cattle
industry is developing, and we have no doubt that in the course of a few
years, it will be one of the best cattle industries in the world. Whoever
wants exemplary samples of any breed, whoever wants semen from any of our
best bulls, let him come get it in Cuba; whoever wants any kind of seed,
let him come to get it in Cuba, because we do not fear any kind of
competition. And we, our working people, if we do not find coordination and
cooperation among the countries of the underdeveloped world, we will have
no alternative but to go forward in production and reach the limits we know
we are capable of. We know that we are capable of many things, and we know
that, in sugar, there will be no one who can compete with our country in
any sense of the word. [applause]

Moreover, we will be important producers of meat for the markets of the
world, in quantity and quality. And we will be important producers of
tropical crops, and in citrus fruits we will place ourselves among the
leading countries of the world; and the same will happen with coffee, with
bananas, and with pineapple. [applause] Here we have the Cayena Lisa
variety of pineapple. We have counted all the plants, and we have a little
flag near each plant, and we are culling the shoots, and we will produce
more pineapple than anyone else in the world can produce. [applause]

It is clear that it is difficult to explain some attitudes. And we know
that other countries have Cayena Lisa, including Guinea. The Republic of
Guinea has the variety of pineapple and we have magnificent relations with
its government. And we will not be short of the seeds of the varieties we
may be interested in obtaining. [applause]

At one hand, the imperialists are exerting all kinds of pressure,
sabotaging our development by all means; and the more they sabotage it, the
more determined we are; the more resistance they try to make us, the
greater is the accumulation of force with which we are determined to
advance. [applause] We have learned that lesson of historic dialectic
because this nation has become great along the road of difficulties and
struggle. The road of great obstacles, of great difficulties, is where the
conscience, the dignity, and the strength of this country have been
developed, just as the heroic struggle of other people against the
imperialist enemy develops them and make them stronger, because that is a
law of human society, that is a law of history.

And thus the people most highly blessed by universal recognition, the
people most admired throughout the world are today the people of Vietnam,
because of their heroic and unprecedented struggle--[applause] a people who
have grown to indescribable proportions, a people who are defeating the
imperialists, a people who are leading the imperialists toward an
inevitable defeat, a people against whose integrity and heroism the Yankee
armies and their modern apparatus of destruction and death have crashed.
Those people have know how to rise to the heights of their glorious
mission. Those people have given all the peoples of the world, and
especially our people, a grand, unforgettable, and fruitful example. That
is why they count on our solidarity without any hesitation or condition and
under any circumstances; for whatever or whereever, we are with Vietnam.

Our country will carry forward its internationalist policy of solidarity
with the revolutionary movement throughout the world without hesitation of
any sort. [applause] Our country will expand its revolutionary ideas and
will carry forward its banners as far as it is capable. In addition, our
country will keep its own character, a result of its experience and its
history, and in ideology keep its own views, its most absolute
independence, and its very own path determined by our own people, our
experiences, and our tasks. These are the prospects for the future; these
are the prospects for the generations that paraded today on behalf of our
people. And with this spirit we should look forward to the coming years.
Each passing year is a year in which our people work with more fervor, with
more organization, with more accumulated experience, with more technical
development, and above all with more revolutionary development.

Today we have only to name this year of 1968. And we want you to tell us,
[shouting in the background] in other words, from what I hear, you are
proposing that this year be known as the year of the heroic guerrilla.
[prolonged applause and shouting] Then, this year will be know as the year
of the heroic guerrilla, [applause] as the most appropriate name for this
year because of its characteristics and its spirit and as a tribute of
veneration, memory, and affection to the heroic Maj Ernesto Guevara
[applause] and the heroic fighters who fell with him. [applause]

The imperialists publish names of Cubans who died with Maj Ernesto Guevara.
Yes. We are not going too publish names, but we say that if other Cubans
died fighting along with Maj Ernesto Guevara, that is quite in keeping with
this country's history, with its internationalist, revolutionary spirit.
[applause] It is nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing is more honorable
for this country than for sons of this country to be capable of dying in
battle, shedding their last drop of blood for the liberation of the people,
the liberation of mankind. [applause]

And if they think those Cubans will be forgotten, that will never happen;
for like Maj Ernesto Guevara they will live forever in our hearts, and
someday not only our people but an entire continent will pay them just
tribute. [applause]

Let this year be worthy of its name, worthy of Che's example in every
respect; in austerity, in work and in the fulfillment of duty. Fatherland
or death; we shall win! [applause]