Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Television and Radio Services in Spanish 1414 GMT 2 Jan 68

[Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at Havana Plaza de la Revolution,
marking the 10th anniversary of the Cuban rebellion--live]

[Text] Honored guests, workers: On this 10th anniversary our commemoration
is characterized by its simplicity. There is no military parade, in spite
of the fact that we considered the 10th anniversary as a possible day for a
military parade. Actually, this has been a year of hard work. It has been a
year of great efforts in all fields, of great savings in every sense, in
which every man and woman in our country has played an important role. And
since work and the fulfillment of the assigned goals were more essential to
us, we decided, confident that we were interpreting our people's best
interest, neither do spend a gallon of fuel in military parades on this
10th anniversary, nor to lose a single moment of work. [applause]

What is more, a year of great effort also begins. A year of 18 months
begins, [hesitant applause building up] because this year we have to
complete the 1969 sugar harvest and part of the 1970 sugar harvest!
[applause] Therefore, we must do two sugar harvests. And next year, the
traditional next year, in other words, next December, and most certainly, 2
January, we may possibly not meet at this plaza because a number of
citizens of this country will be cutting sugarcane. [applause] Therefore,
next New Year's day will possibly be on 1 July. [background laughter near
Castro, crowd shouts rising] Next Christmas will be more or less between 1
and 26 July. [crowd shouts] It is not that we propose to change traditions.
[Castro chuckles] It is not that we are definitely renouncing the classic
seasons to which we have become conditions. [Castro chuckles] We shall
return to normal New Years! We shall return to normal Christmases. But the
machines will have to see to that; the machines will have to come to the
rescue of our traditions. But the fact remains that we are deeply involved
in this great work and, above all, we shall accomplish it! [applause]

Several commemorations of this type have taken place in recent years, but
this commemoration certainly has gathered the most people ever at the Plaza
de la Revolucion. [applause] This is not only a great multitude but a
compact one, and there is something that is much more valuable than the
extension of compactness, it is a multitude, a people who are
extraordinarily more aware. [applause]

And we sincerely think that there are reasons why the revolution's
awareness and strength have grown. And we think that we have
well-established reasons for optimism. And we think that this optimism is
based on real and palpable facts. And we think that the time is approaching
when we will not be as interested in material satisfactions which will come
as we will be in the moral satisfactions and in the time and the
circumstances in which this has been possible.

It is natural that on this 10th anniversary in which we have practically
graduated not yet as revolutionaries, not with a university diploma, but we
could say that we have completed the primary grades of the revolution and
we are entering junior high school, ending 10 years and beginning the next
10, when the most difficult 10 years have ended and the most fruitful 10
begin, when the period ends in which we passed from practically absolute
ignorance to a certain level of accumulated experience, when we have
attained a pace of work and progress far exceeding the pace we had in the

It is natural that we give a very brief synthesis of the effort, an account
rather than a keynote, an idea of what the result has meant to the
revolution, and at the same time the general line, the task of the next

Our country has made its effort specific and we believe that this is of
interest in the field of cultural development in general, in social
development and at the same time in economic development.

We do not need to talk about something which many know as the educational
effort, begun at once, characterized by the eradication of illiteracy, the
enormous progress made up to this time in this field. This is not only
symbolized by a teacher for every child, but also in the fact that we have,
after 10 years of revolution, more than 300,000 scholarship students. In
this, our country has unquestionably and over the long term led every other
country in Latin America.

Nor is it necessary to emphasize the effort made in public health, where we
have left all other Latin American communities far behind, also in the
field of social development, the social institutions of the revolution
which brought social security, that is, the right to retirement and pension
to all the working sectors of the country. And this year it culminates with
the happy event--decided, discussed, and defined by the masses--that the
minimum pension will be at the beginning of practically from this moment 60
pesos for all the retired and pensioned, a measure of benefit to
approximately 180,000 persons, marking for all Cubans equally the road to
well-being and security for all those who in one manner or another have
contributed to creating the wealth of this country.

Other notable steps in the social and political order have been the
measures--also discussed by the masses this year--related to the wages
earned by workers who act like communists on the job, on those occasions
when illness prevents working, or for families whose support is cut off, or
lose their lives at work.

These have been among the many institutions established which have brought
about human and dignified conditions for all citizens of this country.
These are some of those for which we can all feel rightfully satisfied.

In the ideological field the road followed has been infinite. The people of
today and their political culture, organization, discipline, awareness, and
sense of duty can hardly be compared to that of the people 10 years ago.
Nevertheless, a revolution must rest on an economic structure. The economic
structure is one in which our people set themselves the most difficult
goal, the most most extraordinary tasks: face underdevelopment under modern
world conditions. Faced it as our people did, without any experience, as
they did with only the enthusiasm of their masses, because the few who knew
how belonged almost entirely to that privileged minority which was not in
agreement nor could agree to changing the economic structure of this
country. And it was, as we said last night conversing with some visitors,
as though with great ignorance about everything, overnight we set ourselves
to take charge of everything and make [something] of everyone with no
experience at all, but further than that false illusion which produces the
class society, the capitalist society, the illusion of shelves filled with
goods,that illusion so highly flaunted by the privileged societies and
which makes the masses believe in the illusory idea that an exaggerated
plentifulness exists and that all that is necessary is a breakthrough to
reach and have access to those inexhaustible riches as if they were mines
with infinite resources.

What the masses ignore is that these supposed riches are nothing but the
surpluses of misery, the surpluses of misery which they must have in order
to incite people to incessant work, in order to force work amid
unemployment and underemployment from the citizens of a nation. Naturally,
this is illusory wealth which disappears in a few short days, a scant time
after the masses have a brief access to this wealth. We also learned
something from that privileged, underdeveloped society which, far from
creating infinite wealth, still has to create all this wealth. And the
masses really know now that the wealth has yet to be created because the
masses know how to add and subtract and multiply and divide. And when you
divide any of the levels of production which that society achieved among 8
million persons, even a second grade schoolboy would immediately discover
that that was a miserable production. [Castro chuckles]

It was a time when 80 or 90 percent of the children did not have milk. Some
50,000 cows sufficed to supply milk for all the children, and there was a
surplus of milk in some dairies, just as there were hundred of thousands of
children who did not have 2 centavos to buy a fraction of a liter of milk.
[applause] But when milk is supplied on an equal basis to all the children
who are born in this country, when it was to be given to all of them and
they all have that right and that opportunity, without exception, then not
even 50,000, or 100,000, or 200,000 cows are enough. Then we need half a
million cows. And of course, now all the milk is really being divided among
all the children or aged persons or persons who need it or persons who want
it. We certainly do not have a half million cows; a half million cows are
now growing in this country and many other half-millions will be born in
the next few years and there will be somewhat more [applause begins] than a
liter of milk, not only for all the children but for all the citizens of
this nation. [applause] And this will take place certainly in the not too
distant future. And therefore all this is understood perfectly well.

Now then, has the revolution increased wealth in the first few years? No,
it has not increased wealth. What is more, our people did not increase the
wealth of the nation in the first few years of the triumph and were even
unable to produce the little that was produced by that privileged society.
What was produced here was produced under very unhuman conditions. Hunger,
disease, lack of housing, evictions, the worst and most terrible things
threatened every human being.

Sugarcane as cut. Some 40 millions of tons [corrects himself] of arrobas
[corrects himself again] of tons of sugarcane, some 40 million tons of
sugarcane were cut by hand and they were loaded canestalk by canestalk. The
sugarcane workers of this country used to cut more than 50 million tons of
cane and they loaded it stalk by stalk. They earned a miserable living from
this work--15, 16, 17 hours of work [a day] or else it was hunger for them,
for their children; it was despair; it was death.

When such subhuman conditions disappeared, it was logical that nobody would
have to work 17, nor 16, nor 15, nor 14 hours, to make a living. It was
logical that 12, 11, 10, 8 hours would be worked and sometimes slightly
less, because some persons were carried away [Castro chuckles] in reducing
their workhours going from the extremes of excessive workhours to minimum

Logically, conditions changed before the machines could replace that excess
of work. This, of course, does not count something that is most worthy of
taking into account, which is the absolute change in administration and its
inexperience. But it is true that the people were unable and could not
produce more in the first few years than the capitalists, and consequently
farm production decreased. And so we went down from a certain level.

Farm production today is increasing at a rate of 2, 2.5, 3 percent a year.
In the underdeveloped nations, above all in Latin America, in most of the
nations it sometimes increases not at all, sometimes it increases 1
percent, 1.5, 2 percent, and in general it grows in tandem with the

Ours did not grow with the revolution; in fact, it was decreasing, it
decreased at a time when sugar production was much less than that of
capitalism. And we arrived at three eight [Castro does not indicate whether
this is 38 or 3.8] million tons of sugar. We must analyze these facts if we
wish to have an adequate notion of what has been the final result of our
apprenticeship and our effort in these years.

Nevertheless, something really extraordinary. We are the beginning of 1969.
However, in 1970, Cuban farm production will be approximately twice what we
had before 1 January 1959. [applause] Really an extraordinary thing.
Perhaps incredible. Something which undoubtedly, when one analyzes all the
history of farm production increases in all countries under all
circumstances, will have nothing even resembling this kind of achievement.
Because doubling farm production in 10 years is something which not even
the so-called developed countries can do. As a matter of fact, this
doubling has not been achieved in 10 years. It was done by an effort
lasting less than 5 years, with the effort, organization, experience, and
the concept attained after 5 years of revolution, so that this country will
double its agricultural production in a period of not more than 4 years at
the most. We say merely that in this year of 1968 the bulk of the sugarcane
for the famous 10-million-ton harvest has been planted. [applause]

And the results of the 1970 will be nothing. What really will astound many,
astound the skeptics and frighten the reactionaries, will be the farming
achievements of our country in the next 12 years. We have given 12 years in
order to compare it with what other countries are doing.

Recently in neighboring Jamaica there was a meting of the UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) attended by our delegation. The food
situation in our countries was examined at that meeting. With the
participation of delegations from many countries, it was learned that the
situation is tragic, that it is tragic for almost the entire world, but
especially for Latin American countries.

Here are some of the data serving to illustrate what is being done in all
those countries, and what we are doing here. Why these incredible advances
we are making at this time, and those we shall make in future years? How
much is agriculture growing, and how much will it grow in those countries
in the next few years? Why? How much it is growing and how much will it
grow in Cuba, and why? What has happened to the famed Alliance for
Progress? What is needed? What do our fraternal Latin Americans expect from
1970 to 1980?

We with our revolution, a bold historic undertaking, began by reducing our
production. But now we too have realized it is inhuman. We have learned to
multiply; it will multiply again. That is, we shall not add to quantities
we had, but multiply the quantities we had. [applause] The FAT drafted
guidelines for a world plan of farm development. The FAO is an organization
of the United Nations, in which many qualified technicians analyze the
situation objectively and forecast future occurrences for the world. Among
those who work in the FAO, there are many who are busy with the future food
supply for humanity. Of course,they have often been alone in their
campaigns because predicting the food future is of no concern to the
imperialists and reactionaries; it is, if not solved, a sure portent of

In the index development plan proposed for Latin America during 1970 and
1980, an approximate agricultural increase--for South America, that is,
from Colombia and Venezuela to Argentina--a 3 percent agricultural increase
is proposed annually. The true growth in the past years for these countries
has been less than 2 percent, and this 3 percent growth proposed, if
achieved, is mostly to compensate for a population increase, which in some
countries is more than 3 percent, and in other countries it is somewhat
less than 3 percent annually.

Now, given what Cuban farm production will be between 1968 and 1980, some
years will be greater than others. There will be years of considerable
increases, above all in 1970, but the average in those 15 [corrects
himself] in those 12 years, how much will Cuban agricultural production
increase based on facts available to everybody and based on resources in
our hands and based on a people who have made the work their own task.
Really, today the most important thing is not the concepts, which are much
more developed, the created institutes, the enormous resources we already
have, but the subjective factors which have been created among our people.
This is really the fundamental thing and it is these factors which will
bring about these results.

Now then, Cuban agriculture production in the next 12 years will
increase--and we give this figure with absolute tranquility and we assume
full responsibility for it--at an average rate, in the 12 years, some years
it may be more and some years it may be less, but it will reach an average
rate of not less than 15 percent a year. [loud applause]

We take this opportunity to add that this figure, during this period,
exceeds by severalfold that attained by any nation in the world in a
similar period. We are not saying that Cubans are better workers than
anybody or wiser than anybody, but we have the fortune of gathering various
factors together--the concept of our agrarian reform, the concept of our
agricultural plans, the massive application of technology, and above all, a
people such as this one carrying out this work in a tropical climate. A
tropical climate is the hardest place to surmount natural factors at the
outset. But when these natural factors are surmounted then we profit from
the sunshine and hence from daylight and hence we have a year-round

Once the droughts have been controlled, once the hurricanes have been
mastered, with adequate protection to the crops against this type of
phenomenon, once the floods have been controlled, once the plagues, the
weeds, and thickets have been controlled, and once the land has been
cleared of heavy vegetation, in short,once technology is mastered and the
work has been mechanized, then it is possible to achieve results
unachievable in other nations without year-round sunshine and daylight

But we are drawing these comparisons with other nations which do have
sunshine and daylight the year round, not with Canada or Finland. We are
doing so with nations having the same conditions as ours.

Good, then let us see what the FAO proposes as an annual increase in arable
lands for the next 10 years. They have prepared a 20-year plan. We have
extracted a 10-year plan from it, the next 10 years. In the next 10-years
an increase of 15 million hectares of arable land is projected for South
America. At present those nations have some 100 million hectares of arables
land and FAO proposes a 15-percent increase in arable lands in 10 years.

Cuba's present arable lands amount to some 300,000 caballerias. This is
statistical data. Often caballerias of land are planted in crops which
should be changed as is being done, sugarcane being moved near the
sugarmills, rice crops where they should be, and each crop in its place.
Thus, often so-called arable lands will have to be planted again with other

Even so, in the next 10 years, the arable land of 300,000 caballerias will
increase to half a million caballerias. In other words, from 4 million
hectares to 6.68 million hectares.

Therefore, an increase of 15 percent in arable land is projected for Latin
America and in that period Cuban arable lands will increase by 75 percent.

The increase in agricultural production is achieved by the application of
technology and the expansion of arable land. We are going to increase both

Fertilization plays an important role in the application of technology, in
other words, in the increase of yield per agricultural unit. The FAO
program projects a total production of 2 million tons net content of
fertilizer for all South America. What does net content mean? It is the
formula which can be produced chemically in 1 ton of 100 tons applied to
the soil. Many people know this but there may be some who are not familiar
with agriculture and who need this explanation. It is not 100 percent
nitrogen. It could have 20 or 25 percent in a complex fertilizer. Fifteen
percent phosphorus, let us suppose 15 percent potassium, a relatively high
figure. The net content is not 100 percent, but 50 percent of the net
content. The formulas are variable. To apply 2 million tons net content of
fertilizer, one must calculate that between 6 and 8 million tons of
fertilizer have to be applied to the fields.

Well, this year Cuba is applying more than 1.5 million tons of fertilizer
to the fields. This is approximately half a million in net content. But for
South America, 2 million tons net content of fertilizer are proposed. Let
us say, some 8 million tons gross. In 1975 we will apply 1 million tons net
content of fertilizer, approximately 4 million tons gross. Therefore, in
1975, Cuba will be applying half of the fertilizer that is proposed for all
South America.

Third, irrigation. Now this is serious. The FAO program calls for an annual
increase from now to 1975 of 200,000 irrigated hectares. Irrigation plays a
decisive role.

But the most important thing is not water as such, which helps growth and
checks the effects of drought, but because water permits planting at an
optimum date, fertilizing at the proper time, herbicides at the right time,
preparation of the soil at the optimum time, optimum use of machinery and
manpower distributed throughout the year, optimum crops, so that all these
factors give more than just the direct benefit of water on the plants. That
is, the possibility of optimum use of technology is a factor generally not
considered when one speaks of water. It not only insures against drought
but also permits optimum application of technology.

For a country like ours it is most important. For a country which has
sunshine year round it is much more important than for one like Finland, I
repeat, which has frost for a good part of the year. Even if they had water
they could not do anything with it. But during these months we do not have
frost, nor do we have water. Ah, if we did have water in those so-called
dry months, and they are indeed, then the advantage would be indisputably
extraordinary. For this reason, irrigation is to us--although it seems a
bit strange--a very special factor, more so than for any other country in
the temperate or northern zone. Any northern country can build dams and
assure water for August, but they cannot cultivate in January or February.
With water we can provide against drought in August, but we also cultivate
in January, February, March, and we irrigate. That is, we take advantage of
the light and soil all year round and machinery, technology, and manpower
the year round. If not, we must wait resignedly for rain, and in 15 days
plant the entire crop. But that is impossible. The result is that weeds
grow long before planting is done. We know it well from the caballerias of
sugarcane we have had to plant in the rain these past years, especially
this year.

Well, in this program 200,000 more hectares of irrigated land are proposed
annually for South America. So, beginning in 1969 and going to 1975 our
irrigated area will increase by 300,000 hectares a year. That is, 50
percent more than is planned for the rest, for South America, if they do
irrigate 200,000--it is not certain, because it is only a plan--and we know
the conditions for this plan.

These are data based on the resources we have. So that these data reveal
the absolute inability of those countries at this time to do anything which
resembles a respectable development of agriculture, that is, production of
food which even resembles or approximately or compensates for the
population increase. While they can propose to increase farm production to
match the rate of population growth and maintain it at that level of hunger
and underconsumption, in Cuba the farm increase per year, the average
increase for the next 12 years, will be seven times greater than the annual
population growth. And the cumulative effect of a 15 percent increase in
1968 and in 1969, and afterwards 15 percent in 1975, cumulatively is simple

However, the Cuban area compared to South America, which has 17.3 million
square kilometers, is only 111,000 square meters. The geographers state
this. For your information, it is a bit more. But about this figure, of
111,000, Cuba has 158 times less area than South America.

Inhabitants: Cuba has 22 times less population than South America. However,
it will use half the fertilizers they use in 1975, and we will increase
annually more irrigated hectares--although logically the total quantity of
land increased cannot be the same with the difference in size--they propose
to increase 15 percent in Cuba in 1975.

What resources are available to do this? Was this an easy thing? No, it was
not easy. Could we have done this at the beginning of the revolution? The
truth must be told. At the beginning of the revolution we did not even know
the geography of Cuba. Not even geography. Let us say not even the
landscape. Imagine the farm development of a country by those who do not
even know its geography. We did not know it. Neither the capitalists. They
knew only their own parcels, their large parcels. But we had to know,
almost to discover the geography of this country. And we did not know it.
Some of us knew a part of the Sierra Maestra quite well, and some knew
corners of some provinces, but the geography of the country where
development had to be carried out and staged was unknown. That is, what was
visible. How can we talk about what we cannot see? We knew nothing about
our geology. Nothing. Some mines owned by U.S. monopolies were known
through prospecting. We did not know about how much nickel, whether there
was any petroleum, chrome, manganese, or anything else.

How much rainfall was there? In some places it was known because of rain
gages on some sugar plantations. How much water flow there was in the
rivers was unknown. At water meter had to be put there to find out, for
several years, to obtain an average annual flow. To construct a dam--anyone
would say building a dam was easy but one first had to know where the river
could be dammed; the geology of that proposed dam, whether it was hollow or
compact, whether water filtered or not. No one knew anything about all
this. That is, neither what flowed in the rivers, nor where there was a
watershed, nor the geology. All of that had to be researched, and of course
there was no geologist or designer for dams, nor anyone who could possibly
qualify; just a very few. Logically, none of us learned to build dams when
we did not build any. It is logical and elementary. Neither did we have
this kind of personnel,nor could we have trained them in a few years, and
we still do not have them, because with our bare technical knowledge we
could not have done this, not by a long shot. Machinery to do this? The
same was happening to use that is happening there. As we were saying
recently in Santiago de Cuba to the students, this country had 300,000
automobiles. However, in the Sierra Maestra there were 300,000 persons not
just without teachers, or without a physician, but even without a road.
Without a road. We did know that and we do know it.

Tractors: No statistical data available but the FAO estimated that there
were some 5,000 in 1950. In 1958 there were some 7,000 or 8,000
rubber-tired tractors in this country. But the enormous number of machines
necessary to carry out a plan like this one was beyond dreams. The
operators for all this equipment, the mechanics, the qualified personnel to
organize and direct all this work was beyond dreams.

Now then, how many machines do we have now to support these statements? How
many machines and on what strength and factors do we base this program? In
the rest of South America, logically, 3 percent cannot attain it. They
cannot attain it. They import millions of automobiles and cannot attain it.
They would have to stop this importing and that would be impossible. No
wealthy man in those countries would resign himself so much as to ride a
bus or to get a new model automobile every year. And those are the ones who
rule over there and administer everything. Perhaps they may impose some
little tax but then they mark up the prices on everything and they laugh at
everybody and spend their time on trips to Paris or the United States or
Europe in general. We are not going to campaign against any nation here but
I want to say that they spend their time traveling throughout the world.

They take their big bankrolls with them and they bank it abroad because
they think it is safer over there than in those nations (?seething with the
despair of hunger). Of course it remains to be seen whether they will
retain that 3 percent, if they will achieve that program.

How do we support these statements? Actually we have organized all the
basic forces for agricultural development in an organization known as DAP,
or National Agricultural and Livestock Development. In DAP is centered all
the basic machinery for the construction of dams, drainage systems, wells,
irrigation systems, highways, roads, bridges, railroads, land clearing, and
mountain terracing.

How many machines does the DAP have at this moment?

Well, in basic equipment, that is, bulldozers, motorized scrapers,
scrapers, levelers, loaders, rollers, cranes, dump trucks, well diggers,
and trench diggers, it possesses 6,138 of these basic items of equipment at
the moment, (?as of) December 1968, 6,538 [as heard] machinery. [applause]
In complementary and auxiliary equipment, it possesses 3,190 pieces of
machinery including concrete mixers, compressors, mobile work shops,
greasing plants, (?tank) trucks, pressers, pavers, asphalt applicators,
stone crushers, mobile electric plants, and so forth. This is a total of
9,328 pieces of machinery, with an approximate value of 150 million pesos
in foreign currency.

This is the enormous force that supports and guarantees our development
plan to which we have referred. And these items of equipment and [words
indistinct] are supported by the labor of 40,676 men, of whom 22,705 are
skilled workers. Work is being done simultaneously on more than 20 dams and
numerous underground water sources. As a result of this effort, in 1969 the
country will--in only 1 year--incorporate 2 billion cubic meters of water
in its agriculture. Of this amount, approximately 1 billion cubic meters
will be provided by dams, and an approximately equal amount will be
obtained from underground sources. This will be more than enough to equal
and surpass the figure of 300,000 hectares.

But we must mention that this figure will grow, will grow in 1970. It will
be larger in 1970. Thus our aspiration, which once seemed impossible, to
arrive at approximately 15 billion cubic meters by 1973 will be achieved.
The total water potential in our country? To reach approximately 20 billion
cubic meters by 1975 will be to reach our total potential. As a result,
nearly all the farmland of the country will be under irrigation.

In parallel, in highways and roads, we have at this moment 120 brigades, of
which 101 were organized during the past 18 months. We are presently
working on roads and highways on some 115 work fronts, 115. So, by 1975,
the country will have no less than 40,000 kilometers of asphalt highways.
And without highways there can be no agricultural development. This is
impossible. It is just as impossible as in agricultural development not to
know geography. It is impossible to transport machinery, fuel, fertilizers,
technical assistance, without communications. Of course I can imagine what
communications must be like in South America, but Cuba will have
approximately 1 kilometer of paved highway for every 2 square kilometers of
unpaved surface in 1975. And there are more than 100 brigades doing this

Besides there are the dams, irrigation systems, and drainage, which are an
important aspect of agricultural development. These are projects that
cannot be used because the water is being accumulated.

Well, in 1969, this equipment will be made complete with about 3,000 other
machines. So, by December 1970, our farm and livestock program will have
12,000 pieces of equipment, basic and auxiliary equipment. With this force,
with these resources, without any possible error, this agricultural and
livestock program, which even this year has begun to show signs of its
imposing shape, is insured.

For example, for the 1970 harvest, how much did we plant in 1968, the year
that has just ended? Not the whole year, but since about the beginning of
spring? [words indistinct] 27,250 net caballerias. Some of these suffered
from excess rain or, in some cases, from droughts, and had to be planted
twice,but they are planted. The 27,250 caballerias which are equivalent to
364,150 hectares. And during the coming 5 months, 14,000 more caballerias
will be planted, 12,000 with irrigation, which will increase this to
180,000 more hectares.

Thus, within a 12 month period this country will have planted the
incredible figure of 41,250 caballerias of cane, that is 551,150 hectares
of new cane. For an idea of what this volume signifies, we just have to
state that the harvest this year will be achieved from shoots. All the cane
which had been used before has never been replanted.

Thus, with the new cane which has been sown, during that 12-month period, a
harvest of over 5 million tons could be reaped, in other words a harvest
that is virtually reaped from new shoots sowed only 12 months previously.
And why? Because we had this force of thousands of machines to support that
land, opening roads, breaking the ground, draining, making dams, drilling
wells, plus the complementary equipment for irrigation.

Thus you have an example before you. At the first of the year we did not
have all these machines. The machines began accumulating this year, many of
them. But nonetheless in 12 months we sowed so much cane that we could reap
a harvest equal to what we are going to reap in 1969.

Naturally in 1970 we will reap both harvests--that is, with all th shoots
and all the old cane--for we will have about 116,000 caballerias of cane
for 1970, 1,554,000 hectares. Moreover, this plan for the 10-million-ton
harvest has been implemented taking into account the possibility of a dry
year, a dry year. We therefore feel, naturally counting on the effort
ahead, quite assured. This is why everyone says, "the 10 million will be,"
and there are only a few who are skeptical about the outcome of our effort.
But work has not been limited to cane, since other cultivation has gone
ahead, the production of farm foodstuffs. The results are beginning to be

Havana Province, for example, which received many farm products and
vegetables from the interior, is now receiving almost nothing from that
area. And in 2 years it has raised, from the 3 million--that is, what was
bought in 1967--to 7 million [weight not specified] of farm products,
fruits, and vegetables. This will increase to 9 million in 1969, and to 12
million in 1970. In other words, there is another boom harvest of farm
products, fruits and vegetables in this province. [applause] It need only
be said that this province will produce as much fruit and vegetables in
1970 as the entire country produced before the revolution.

In rice, a notable effort has been made. In the coming year we will have an
additional amount of rice, which will allow us to increase consumption.
This year--I said the coming year, but it is this year, a reflex, in other
words, not 1970 but 1969--we have foreign trade negotiations pending. And,
supposing we import the same amount in 1969 as in 1968, we will still have
an additional 100,000 tons of rice, 100,000 more. [applause]

Consumption has not been raised until we arrive at the import figure, so as
to avoid inconvenience. In other words, we are waiting to ascertain our
imports, and we hope they will be the same as last year, and as soon as we
are sure of the figures we will increase rice consumption.

In any case we produced 50,000 tons last year--I mean between 1967 and
1968--and between 1968 and 1969, or from May 1968 to May 1969, we will have
150,000 tons, three times as much. [applause] Furthermore, for 1970, for
1970 this will again multiply, again multiply. This is because some factors
already show, even when we still lacked materials, multiplying increases in
cultivation, multiplying increases.

A considerable number of coffee seedlings have been planted, as well as
other plants. Some figures: In point of fact we have been unable to put
forth an equal effort in pasturage, but it will be done this year, in 1969.
Half a million dairy cows are growing at this time--calves, heifers, young
cows, and such--which will also, most of them, begin producing in the last
half of 1970. Thus milk will also be multiplied in 1970. Thus rice, cane,
legumes, vegetables, rice, milk--the whole range will be multiplied in
1970. [applause] Naturally, to continue all this effort we must keep
mechanizing. There would be only one way not to achieve this, and that is
if we do not mechanize rapidly, or if we had to substitute manual work for
all the cane, all the farm production. Mechanizing is imperative,
all-essential. For this country with 8 million inhabitants cannot do that.
For all the cane must be cut. Some cane areas will have to be
redistributed, new mills will have to be expanded to handle the cane in the
hilly countryside, to mechanize all the cane between 1970 and 1975, to
mechanize milking, where could we get all the persons who are going to milk
those cows?

We must abandon old methods, replace them with machinery. In other words we
will have to make a great deal of investments--not in basic development
equipment, but for the exploitation of all these lands. We must benefit
from all those harvests. This also implies a special effort in acquiring
farm machinery, tractors.

Over the past 10 years we have imported 42,000 tractors. And taking into
account those which have been worn out during that time, we have 35,000
tractors net in farming at this time. This is still much more than we had
before the triumph of the revolution, that is why we do not have to many,
nor can this be [word indistinct].

Let me present some figures. In 1966 there were 14 million tractors in the
world, of which 94 percent were in the developed countries, and 6 percent
in the underdeveloped ones. What a difference. In other words, our
developed world had over 13 million tractors. Yet the more needy, the
underdeveloped world had less than 1 million.

The developed countries have 19.3 tractors per 1,000 hectares, or 65
caballerias, yet the underdeveloped ones have 1.13 tractors. But at this
moment Cuba already possesses about 8 tractors per 100 hectares.
Nevertheless, a country like Denmark, with 43,000 square kilometers--less
than half Cuba's areas--has, or had 2 years ago, 162,362 tractors.

Of course, where there are small farms more tractors are needed. We do not
need that many, but rather tractors which are more productive and which
work longer hours, although, since our farming is extraordinarily
intensive, we will have, we will need, tens of thousands of tractors.

It therefore follows that to attain an average of what the developed
countries have, we would need to import over the next 10 years some 8,000
tractors a year. To this we must add, over the next 5 years, 6,000 cane
combines, and over the next 2 years, to complete 2,000 rice combines, we
must calculate the number of personnel, trained workers, and operators to
drive and maintain this equipment. Over the next 10 years we will need
80,000 new tractor drivers, and a total [as heard] for the tractors and
combines--hundreds of drivers for driving farm vehicles. And, as for the
ones to maintain that equipment, the country must have, at the end of that
10-year period, approximately 180,000 trained workers in the mechanized
farming sector. This gives an idea of the dimension of the effort for
training technical personnel, only in the mechanized farming field.

Now what importance, for our country and future, is putting such special
stress on farm development, for seeking and use of all the country's
potential? At the present time there are 3.5 billion inhabitants in the
world. But within 10, 13, that is 30 years, there will be about 7 billion.
To supply so that population farm production must be increased by 6 percent
annually. Yet this increase is half that or less now.

However, at this time there has been an increase, as never before, that is,
the population increased at such a rapid rate in the world, that it is more
rapid than the rate farm production is increasing even now. In other words,
in the next 20 or 25 years humanity will have to face one of the most
serious problems it has ever had to face.

In this respect, we are fully aware of the difficulties which the problems
of development entail, just as we know that a revolution must be effected,
or that the tremendous difficulties which such a task involves for a
country with backward economic structures could not be solved. Therefore,
humanity has before it an epic effort, and it is genuinely encouraging to
see that in this regard our country will be obtaining results that will set
us virtually in the forefront among the underdeveloped countries in the

Hand in hand with what has been done in the field of industry, tremendous
work has been accomplished in raising the capacity o the sugar mills, in
developing electric power, the construction industry, transportation, and
the production of fertilizers. At this time two huge fertilizer plants are
going up and others are to be built in the coming years.

But not only farm production will rise during this time, for in 1970, the
production of fishing, the fishing fleet, will be about eight time what it
was before the triumph of the revolution, eight time. [applause]

Moreover, our merchant fleet has also been greatly expanded. This singular
growth of our fishing activity is nothing like what has occurred in other
countries. This expansion of our fishing fleet--for we were an island
without a fishing fleet and without a transportation fleet--in any case
everything we export must be sent by sea, and everything we import must
come in the same way.

We had neither sailors nor a maritime tradition. It was necessary to create
a tradition of fishermen, for it must be said that it actually has been
created. And an irrefutable proof is that new generation of fishermen which
is represented by the crew members of the Alecrin [applause] who are
present here today. [prolonged applause]

This episode of our fishing boat, which shocked our citizens because of the
provocation involved, because of its arbitrariness, and especially because
of the very worthy and brave attitude of its crew [applause] is an episode
which intrigues our people. What should be done in the face of this
arbitrary act? Of course, our country is not one of unlimited means which
could under any circumstance confront aggression of this nature thousands
of kilometers from our coasts. Such an episode, of course, could not have
taken place anywhere near here. [applause] It happened thousands of
kilometers away.

But of course we could have taken reprisals. The provocation was very
irritating. Very irritating, because of its nature, its arbitrariness, the
arrests, questionings, an unlimited insolence. And we had the means with
which to have taken certain reprisals. However, how did the revolution act
in the case? We asked ourselves: What was behind all this? Then, any
reprisal against the government could have implied measures that would also
affect the Venezuelan people in a certain sense because there are
Venezuelan ships around here, and we could capture them in the same way
that they arbitrarily captured our. [applause] They do not have many, but
they are around. But they were the Venezuelan workers, and if we carried
out th same episode at night, shooting against a ship, what blame would
those crewmen have?

Also little planes of all nations fly the air corridors, and if they
practiced air piracy against us we could take over a few planes. [applause]
While we are not in a position to confront a provocation in those parts, we
are able to take reprisals nearby. We are neither crippled nor unable to do
this, because we could force those little planes to go to hell. [applause]
However, we realized that our duty was to contain ourselves, to analyze the
facts carefully, and to act calmly. They had no way of doing anything. We
had the force with which to completely sink that little fleet, if they went
near our shores. [lengthy applause] In other words, we have the ability to
defend our country within a short distance of its coasts. And the
provocation was really irritating.

But what was there behind all this? We understood. The band of thieves and
assassins that had been governing that country [Venezuela] for all these
years, who are sold hands and feet to the imperialists, was so lacking in
prestige, so rejected, that it could not even win an electoral farce.
Gentlemen--and we know how those things once worked in Cuba, how votes were
bought--in a country where the ruling groups have at their fingertips lots
of money from the exploitation of oil, which is left them by monopolies,
after leaving them the holes; they leave them the holes plus a portion of
the value of the oil, but what they take out is so much that the part that
is left still amounts to more money than that owned by many countries.

Everything is bought in these elections: radio time, television time,
newspaper and magazine space, posters, Panama hats, all those fellows with
cigars, and uniforms. Imagine all the energy that that country puts into
this, sadly for itself, yet the group so lacked prestige that it could not
even win the electoral farce of rejection. And there were several
candidates. This is unbelievable. In Cuba, for instance, there have been
bad governments of thieves of all types, assassins, but they won the
elections under those conditions, buying and doing the normal things.

What did they do when they saw their defeat, their failure, their rejection
by a small margin of 1 percent, among many rivals? They turned boldly and
desperately to search for an international event. Apart from other matters,
anything that Cuba might have done would have created the perfect situation
so they could say: The fatherland is in danger, there is a danger of war so
the change of government could not take place now. This would have fitted
like a ring on a finger, and the smallest incident, it is possible that the
slightest incident would have changed the results and statistical data have
shown this.

We, therefore, realized that the one determining factor was patience. Then
came the farce, and we were right. The ship had been captured 100 miles off
the Venezuelan coast, 100 miles, with a Japanese expert, a teacher in
fishing, without the remotest evidence or proof or anything of the sort.
They kept it after the farce. And after it became evident that nothing had
been gained, we were certain that they had to release the ship.

On the other hand, our patience could last for a while but it was not going
to last indefinitely. We waited. This damaged our economy, and our
government will claim a month's indemnity, so that it can appear in the
records that they have a monetary debt [applause], and we expect the
Venezuelan Government to recognize and pay this debt. It better, because it
is bad to have debts.

But this maneuver was obvious, and it shows the lack of scruples, the
measures taken by these bold bandits, the plunderers of the people, the
flunkies of imperialism, when they find themselves in crisis like this.
What a big difference between the Cuban revolution and the Venezuelan
comedy! What a difference between the forces of our people, our revolution,
its future outlook, devoted to work, assured that the future of the country
is in their hands, and the cast of fake actors who, despite spending
hundreds of millions of pesos for votes, hardly have acquired sufficient
votes to insure even seats in the municipal council. This is unbelievable,
but it is an everyday lesson. How many lessons we have learned and will
learn, gentlemen, during the next decade!

How different is the picture in the rest of Latin America? The Alliance for
Progress, that invention that was made allegedly to bring about a peaceful
revolution, will progress be brought about by the development of which so
much has been written? Some naive persons may have been confused, or even
some of its supporters. But we have here an article that should not be
wasted, which really should be printed, and I suggest this, by our press.
It is entitled "The Alliance for Progress Scandal." And do not think this
was published by a leftist paper, by a leftist writer. No. It was written
by a gentleman who was an official of the Department of State of the United
States, who is an expert on Latin American affairs.

It is published by none other than LIFE magazine. It would be worthwhile
for revolutionaries to read and analyze this article, because it is the
most perfect picture of the frustration, failure, and confession of the
incredible things that were hidden behind the Alliance.

If we had been the ones to expose this, they would have said that it was
because we are their enemies and are agitating from platforms, repeating
slogans. But no, it was written by an official who has access to
information, and I doubt that any revolutionary could have written more
eloquently. Some data follow. For instance, it says that national income
continues to be poorly distributed after 6 years of the Alliance. Examples
are Colombia, where 5 percent of the population receive 30.5 percent of he
country's total income; Brazil, where 5 percent receive 31 percent of the
total income; El Salvador, 33 percent; and Costa Rica, 35 percent--that is,
where 5 percent of the population receive more than 30 percent.

Half of the population that is allocated in the lower brackets receive 20
percent of the income in Colombia and 5 percent receives over 30 percent,
and 50 percent receives 20 percent; 25 percent in Argentina; 19.7 percent
in Brazil; 16 percent in El Salvador; and so forth. But what is most
impressive is what is published in this article. And of course it would be
better that the newspapers published it so you may read its conclusions
regarding the Alliance, what it says about agrarian reform, what it says
about how Yankee firms have intervened and have pressured politically in
Latin American countries, imposed conditions. So we have here a picture of
the Alliance for Progress that should not be wasted, and which should be
read and studied by our people.

Well, we are not dogmatic. We not only study Marxist or revolutionary
documents. We can even study one of these documents because it is an
outlined confession of what had been said, of all that the Cuban revolution
had been saying regarding the incredible lie, and regarding the false type
of remedy that was used in the face of the revolution, and about which they
are disillusioned, defrauded, desperate, and at the point of ruining the
whole comedy, which has turned out to be humiliating for Latin American
peoples and even for the very partners in the venture. For this reason, we
will not use this time for this subject. It is better for you to read it in
the press. And, of course, what a contrast! What a difference!

For our country the solution has been hard revolution. This does not mean,
however, that we are now without problems, out of danger. It would be an
error to believe such a thing. We have many more facilities, much more
strength, and much more experience, but we still need to work very hard and
we must face difficulties and danger.

In the economic field we must make even greater efforts. As an example,
recently we have been consuming more and more alcohol as fuel in our
country. There are less and less coal makers. This is logical. Those people
who had been living in deplorable conditions along the coast have been
getting other jobs. More coal expense. And it must be said that the
revolutionary government, therefore, is responsible for not having foreseen
this problem or for not having taken proper action. But what do we get from
all this? The country presently consumes 600,000 tons of molasses to make
alcohol for fuel and 600,000 tons of corn to make charcoal for cooking.

Alcohol is the worst kind of fuel. It can be a fuel or it could be
converted into something else. Let me explain: If we used 600,000 tons of
molasses in one of the old centrals to produce 125,000 to 140,000 tons of
alcohol that is to be used for fuel, the cattle would suffer during the dry
season, for we still do not have the conditions nor the means to adequately
feed the cattle and irrigate pastures, and the cattle get thin. But that
600,000 tons of molasses could be used to produce 125,00s0 tons of beef on
the hoof. This means that we are converting a product that has a high
energy yield and is very nutritious for cattle into fuel for cooking. This
is a problem which cannot yet be overcome, but this year we plant to
substitute 125,000 tons of kerosene for 125,000 tons of alcohol. Kerosene
is one-sixth as expensive as alcohol. Also, we will gradually replace the
alcohol-burning kitchen stoves with those that burn kerosene.

This means that in 1970 we will have not only [word indistinct]
molasses--increased by the 10-million ton harvest--but also 600,000 tons
more of molasses to feed the cattle, and if there is a surplus we will
export it. However, the fact that we are going to attain more wealth does
not relieve us of the possibility of continually using things better.

All steps are being taken to acquire equipment because we cannot suddenly
say we are gong to stop producing alcohol. It is painful to say this, but
it assuredly is our fault, the fault of those responsible for foreseeing
these situations, though it had been a custom in a society like this which
is constantly growing. Under capitalism, alcohol was a business, and it was
even used for gasoline. The fact is, however, that while molasses sells at
20 to 22 pesos, foreign exchange that is, and almost 4 and a half tons have
to be used to produce 1 ton of alcohol, a ton of alcohol brings 100 pesos
worth of foreign exchange and kerosene only 20 pesos. Obviously, for a time
that was a poor business under capitalism. There was no one to give the
molasses to, no one to purchase the meat that was produced. And it was
actually a business to commit such a foolish action.

But there are other things which affect the economy. We have the
sugar-consumption problem. We see consumption increasing more and more. But
what is occurring? Consumption per capita is higher than in any other
country in the world. This is logical; we are sugar producers. Frequently
sugar has offset the deficit of other products. But what happens? Why, many
persons feed sugar to hogs, they feed chickens, cows with sugar. And the
result is that 200,000 tons more are being used.

Now, what is this year's solution? Those 41,000 caballerias which were
planted in 12 months are really the sugarcane that would have been cut this
year, but cannot be cut because it is planted; the 41,000 and the other
cane which for some reason or other was lost and had to be replanted [as
heard]. This means we had to provide for about 45,000 hectares, the land
already planted and that which is pending. All the new cane, the best cane
is already planted or being planted. This undoubtedly effects this year's
harvest production. And yet the 1969 harvest is of major importance to our
economy, to keep acquiring equipment, to meet our commitments, and to
maintain the growth pace. We are not yet in 1970. Then there will be hard
sugar, since we will be cutting magnificent cane, a large quantity of new

But this is not the case this year. Everyone has their eyes on the 1970
harvest, but attention must be given to this year's harvest. We must work
hard, never neglecting the cutting of the shoots and cutting it at the
right time so we can turn to planting the buds next spring, and for the
1970 harvest. Good, it is just that at this time when the price has
risen--for there is an agreement, an agreement in which Cuba played an
important part in concluding--a good price. In fact, for us to waste
200,000 tons of sugar means a loss of 15 million in foreign exchange.

Let me tell you what you can buy with 15 million: in 3 years--for much
equipment is bought over a period of year, but I am going to say only 3
years--one can buy 1,800 bulldozers of 180 horsepower. This is virtually
more than all we can have working today in the DAP. One can buy 3,000
trucks of 10-ton capacity. Despite all the brigades we have working on
roads, how many Cubans are still waiting for roads to be opened, some of
which will have to wait for years?

How much happiness the possession of such equipment could bring. Yet, in a
self-defeating way we waste national wealth with which we could purchase
1,800 bulldozers or 3,000 10-ton trucks, more than we already have in this
vast program. Or we could purchase a huge fertilizer plant like the one in
Cienfuegos, which is costing us some 40 odd million. In previous years
sugar was very cheap--it was worth 1.25 or 1.30 [centavos]. But not this
year. It stands at 3 centavos. It is only right to bring up the interests
of all the people. It is necessary to avoid this waste of sugar. We have
saved fuel, why then can we not save sugar?

Some persons do not realize the harm they are doing. If necessary this
year, we should adopt measures of saving or let us limit consumption to a
reasonable limit. We have talked with peasants [applause] and they agree,
[applause] then the best thing would be even to set a reasonable limit,
even more than the people consume, this year. Let us say a larger quantity
in the countryside and less in the cities, which in any case would be the
actual amount, even a little more than is actually used, and save those
200,000 tons of sugar. [applause] If you agree [shouts, applause] say 6
pounds [applause] in the capital, 6 pounds per capita in the rural areas,
monthly. [applause] Let us see. [applause] Can you do with 6 pounds here?
[shouts, applause] Are you agreeable that that will be enough? Do you go
along with the idea? Could we make it more in the interior, in Camaguey,
Las Villas, and Oriente? Then we could save over 10 million in foreign
exchange in a year during which we will also begin enjoying the fruits of
the development of the economy. [applause] If you want, this measure will
go into effect tomorrow. [applause]

Anyway, as I was saying, we have an increase, and as soon as we decide on
the deliveries of the imported rice or ascertain the amounts of this year's
harvest, we can raise the amounts. Naturally in 1970 we shall see. In other
words, other products will be increased.

I believe that the people will have to consolidate the efforts that have
been made in this country. After having come this far in 10 years we cannot
let the fruits of victory slip from our hands. Though we must become more
rational in using these resources, this does not mean that anything can
keep us from moving forward more and more rapidly. There are many more
machines to be bought, farming must be mechanized.

During the next 10 years this country must make tremendous investments in
construction. We must now equip the construction front, after the DAP. It
must be supplied all the mechanical hoists and equipment it needs to build
with and to use all the cement we are going to produce.

We must solve social needs, family needs. We must keep developing this
country. We are going to have more, soon, fortunately. But we must have
more and simultaneously invest more, both things, to raise the country's
income, but continuing to develop. We still have to emerge from
underdevelopment. We have not emerged yet; we are on that path, but we will
have not emerged. We must grasp this, and by the same token we must be
aware of the tasks ahead. We have mentioned risks.

We know, for example, about the perils which have been threatening us from
the United States, new individuals. There is a new tenant in the White
House: Mr. Nixon. Mr. Nixon has distinguished himself by several things,
among others, by speaking always in threatening and very aggressive terms
about Cuba, saying that the blockade will be intensified, and so forth. Mr.
Nixon and Mr. Eisenhower began the economic aggression against Cuba. They
organized the mercenaries for the invasion of Giron and they began the
blockade. Hence the threatening, virulent language of Mr. Nixon cannot
intimidate us. They did not intimidate us 10 years ago when we were
practically unarmed. They cannot remotely impress us now. We are now
incomparably stronger than then. Gentlemen, to talk of blockades at this
time when we are already on the eve of seeing the blockade torn to pieces
[Castro does not finish sentence] because Kennedy had to live through the
said experience of Giron. Mr. Nixon will face the equally and perhaps more
bitter experience of seeing this country emerge from underdevelopment,
achieving an increase in agricultural production not achieved by any other

Truly we should like to imagine what the imperialists will say in 1970. We
are impatient to see what they will say now, what (?kind of) argument, what
trick, what story they are going to talk about when faced with these facts.
Mr. Nixon will face the bitter experience of seeing the blockade torn to
shreds yet he talks of an intensification of the blockade. This gentleman
lives a few years behind the times, something like 15 or 20 years behind.
He talks about pressure on the countries which trade with Cuba at this
time, pressure on countries with which the Yankee monopoly competes,
countries in which Cuba has consolidated its credit, because it is one of
the few countries which pays punctually, with interest and all. Because our
slogan is that it is better to go hungry than to fail to pay a single debt
because it would affect the credit of this country, [applause] credit with
which we have purchased much of this machinery, part of this machinery. Now
we shall begin to see the fruits.

If we examine what we invested in all this we can realize that it would not
have been worthwhile for us to have spent what we had for what we needed;
it would have been a drop of water in the desert and we would have solved
nothing during these years or in the future. Actually this country is going
to do incredible things with relatively little, basing itself on technology
and this machinery.

At this point, for them to think that the blockade is going to succeed will
cause some people to smile. We must pay for the purchases we have made. To
think that the countries which have sold us much and want to sell us more
are going to come and join in Mr. Nixon's blockades simply makes one feel
like laughing.

Thus the language of force is not intimidating us because we have been
cured of it [applause] The blockade now moves us to laughter, and not from
delight. That is the actual fact, but we must bear in mind that that is
necessary to fight hard, work hard, and keep preparing.

Perhaps it is worthwhile to consider that our country's merit lies in the
fact that it has been accomplishing all this while there is a need to use
large resources for defense. Because of an actual need we must keep
building military constructions, military installations, and military
fortifications, with a huge number of comrades on constant service in the
armed forces, for the defense of the country and the revolution. This has
demanded much of our effort and it will continue to demand it. For we
cannot let our guard down. We cannot be neglectful. We must keep
strengthening ourselves, not only economically but militarily. [applause]

This is [word indistinct] will also continue working in those fields, since
it is more worthy for the country, with these obligations burdening it, to
be able to successfully face and surmount the problems of underdevelopment.

Thus, next time, with more effort, more experience, more resources, we
shall still have to continue struggling hard. Imperialism has also received
very serious lessons, very serious blows, such as the historic blows which
the heroic people of Vietnam have dealt it. [applause]

And the people of Vietnam have shown the imperialists that they are not
omnipotent. Against them the Yankee imperialists have lost their teeth and
claws, and they are going to find themselves forced to abandon the
adventure which in part they are already abandoning. They are definitively
now seeking how in the devil to do it. They are in the position of one who
cannot leave and cannot stay. There are definitely in crisis, a historic
defeat. They will have to withdraw from Vietnam, and in the long run the
heroic, incredible forces of that people will end with victory, and they
are already ending in victory! [applause]

The brother people of Vietnam, who have done so much for the revolutionary
peoples of the world with their blood and their sacrifices, count on our
solidarity and our total support [applause], the people of Vietnam, the
comrades of the party of North Vietnam, the glorious Comrade Ho Chi Minh
[applause], and the comrades of the South Vietnam Liberation Front.

Our country has been able today to express optimism and joy over the
successes attained, for the magnificent prospects of the future, but,
nevertheless, these expressions would not be entirely just, this
satisfaction of ours would not be honest if we attributed it all to
ourselves alone. It must be said at this moment in which we glimpse success
for our country, in which we see a magnificent future shining, how much it
has meant to us to have the solidarity of the socialist camp, and
especially that of the Soviet Union. [applause]

We have had on some occasions differing opinions and have express them with
all honor, but at the same time this same honor obligates us to point out
that the aid was decisive for this country in those difficult years. The
time when our production was declining in the first years, [applause] food
was sent to Cuba; at the time when the threats were great, arms were sent
to our country. You can guess that those arms are worth more than all the
equipment we are using in our development, for arms are very costly, and we
received them free! [applause]

It must also be said that we on occasions did not have the products--poor
crops--and we could not make the pertinent deliveries in connection with
imports and on many occasions these were less than the quantities that we
should have delivered. However, this did not affect the imports by Cuba, a
situation which naturally, in the coming years, cannot occur as a result of
our effort. This even helped us to do something that I was saying: to meet
our obligations with the countries, the other countries with which we did
not have the same kind of relations; it helped us to maintain our credit,
to obtain the other types of equipment that we could not buy in the
socialist camp in short, in all justice we must say that this aid was
decisive for us.

And in comparing the situation of Latin America, the Alliance for Progress,
which already the imperialists themselves confess in explaining the reason
for Cuba's successes [Castro does not complete sentence] let it be known
that this has been the (?result) in the first place of a revolution, a
legitimate revolution, a correct idea of how to make that revolution, of
how to mobilize its forces, how to exploit its natural resources, which
will permit us to have a tremendous specialization; about the use of the
resources, which will permit us to have a tremendous specialization; and
about the use of the resources of the country--extraordinary successes. A
prerequisite or indispensable requisite is that the people have become
aware of the economic objective, have become aware of the duty to work.

These factors were decisive; decisive was the decision of a people to
defend their revolution at any price and to carry it forward. [applause]

This, and the international solidarity and the economic cooperation with
our country, blocked by the imperialists, gave the result today that will
be a surprise to our enemies and the pride of the world revolutionary
movement, because Cuba's triumphs will not be the triumphs of Cuba but the
triumphs of the revolutionary movement, an example for the underdeveloped
peoples of the world, [applause] a solution and a path for those who suffer
hunger, misery, underdevelopment, and exploitation. It is necessary for us
to know and understand the determining factors, and at the same time we
express our joy over these successes. We express at the same time our
profound gratitude to those who have helped us.

We have now only to name this year--this year--we already know the name of
next year--the year of the 10 million. [applause] But before the 10
million, an effort must be made. Every year many people think of a name and
I think generally another name comes up. Someone has to propose some.
[shouts of "the effort?" "The heroic effort?" Someone shouts "the heroic
people"]. Look at this coincidence. I was thinking about something similar.
We could not say heroic because the effort has been heroic this year, which
has also passed.

I would say the decisive effort. What do you think about that? I you agree
with this name, we christen this year 1969 as a year of the decisive
effort! Fatherland or death, we shall win!