Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0214 GMT 14 Mar 68

[Speech by Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro from the steps of Havana
University at ceremonies marking the 11th anniversary of the assault of the
Presidential Palace--live]

[Text] Let us try to prepare conditions for this event. It seems to us,
because of some experience we already have in public meetings, that it
would be good if we, so to speak, resolved an irregularity which has
cropped up tonight. We have some empty seats here. The comrades who are
over there may move up to the platform and the comrades who are in those
rows can move to the sides, some this say, others that way. Let us be close
in all ways, eh? [7 minute interruption ensues while Castro awaits the
rearrangement so audience, walking the length of the platform to direct
people to their places] Go that way, go around there. This matter concerns
you. If you do not cooperate--good. [Castro appears annoyed as the
rearrangement fails to proceed to his liking] Yes, but it seems that there
are more over there than one could see from here. It looked as if there
were three rows, but there are about 20. Well we will have to make a
self-criticism of the organizers of this event, I mean to say, a criticism.
[crowd noise]

Comrades of the Central Committee, comrade students, comrade members of the
party, members of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, of the
leadership of the Cuban Women's Federation, of the unions--workers all,
gathered here tonight:

It appears that the steps are not large enough for all the representatives
of the revolutionary forces who are attending this event. I wish to begin
by telling you that the speech tonight is doing to be a boring speech. It
is going to be a boring speech because we find it necessary to enumerate a
series of facts and figures for the purpose of showing what we intend to
do. It will be necessary for all of you to pay the greatest attention
because always, when one deals with figures and numbers, it is necessary to
concentrate one's attention if one does not wish to become too bored or to
not understand.

We know there is a series of problems in the air. We know many people are
waiting for the chance to attend a ceremony to hear opinions on many
problems. It is true that during the early days of the revolution, public
opinion in the capital was characterized--and I say this because it is
true--by being somewhat voluble, and it required us to appear on television
frequently to explain problems of all types, great or insignificant. We
still recall those times, when if a Pardo Ilada departed, we had to go to
on television to explain why a Pardo Llada departed. If a traitor such as
Diaz Lanz resigned or deserted, it was necessary to go on television to
explain the problem of those desertions. If one day, after presenting us
with a beautiful snapper, Sr. Miguel Quereda left for Miami from Varadero,
it was necessary to go on television to explain that problem, that scandal.
We still remember that on that occasion we were still convalescing from
pneumonia and it was necessary to get out of bed to go on television to
explain the problem.

Why? Because of that certain volubility that characterized public opinion,
particularly in the capital. It had its times of optimism and pessimism,
enthusiasm and discouragement. On some occasions in confronting the first
problems of he revolution this fact could be seen. Later, the awareness of
the people of the capital became firmer and more stable. Of course, it is
not necessary to explain something every week or every day, but for us it
is obvious that some problems demand explanations. A number of events have
taken place, and of course on this question of explanations, we do it in
order to better show the people, instead of just saying something. It has
always been the method of this revolution to explain problems to the
masses. This revolution has been characterized by the explanation of as
many problems as possible.

I say "possible" because unfortunately not all problems can be discussed
publicly. We are a constituted state and as a constituted state, of course,
we have to conform to certain norms. In this complex and difficult world in
which we live, we cannot always discuss each and every one of the problems
in public view. Is it because of a lack of trust in the people? No, never.
It is simply because there are questions of diplomatic kind, questions that
have to do with relations between states, and things of that sort, or
matters that could be prejudicial if known by the enemy. Of course, here we
do not go to the extremes to which they go in the United States, for
example, where it is said that there are documents in connection with
Kennedy's assassination that will be disclosed, if I recollect correctly,
in the year 2050 or 2060. But, certainly we cannot discuss all problems
every day, nor can all questions always be discussed in public view.

It is not because of a lack of trust, nor will it ever be so--a lack of
trust in the people. But we expect the people also to trust their
revolutionary leaders and government. [applause] And the revolutionary
leadership should always feel that trust and that support in the difficult
and arduous tasks and responsibilities that it must assume.

Some questions, such as the problems of the microfaction, are give wide
publicity, the widest possible. On that occasion we explained a number of
things to the people for many hours and our speech was not published. And
it was not published for the same reasons which we explained. We studied
the feasibility of publishing it in part, but generally we prefer to
publish all or nothing at all, so that partial explanations do not appear.
We hope all the same that 150 years will not pass before somebody gets a
chance to read some of those documents.

At any rate, if it is true that some of the political-type actions by the
microfactional elements and the microfactional phenomenon might have been
more extensively treated--we did treat them extensively in the Central
Committee meeting--it must be said with certainty that the microfaction as
a political force--seemed significant. As a political movement, its actions
were of a grave nature, and as a current within the revolutionary movement
it was a frankly reformist, reactionary, and conservative current.

We understand perfectly well that there are many currents of this type
circulating in the atmosphere of these times. But after all, we believe
that the problem of the microfaction is already resolved. The revolutionary
tribunals were not as severe as many would have wished, but, after all,
unnecessary severity has never been characteristic of this revolution.

All the same, in our judgment there are other questions which are more
current, more timely, of more interest, and more important. It goes without
saying that today we are not going to deal basically with international
problems and our international relations. At this time, there is precious
little to say, and you know perfectly well, for example, about our Central
Committee's decision not to send a delegation to the meeting of communist
parties which took place in Budapest. At this time, this also is not a
fundamental question. In other words, the study of this question is not at
this time something of utmost importance.

There are questions of a domestic nature, that is, questions that have to
do with our present circumstances and with the development of our
revolution, that are much more current. Concretely ,we wish to discuss the
circumstances of protests--yes, protests, circumstances of a certain
discontent, a certain confusion, and a certain unrest in connection with
supply problems, fundamentally in connection with some concrete measures,
such as the question of the elimination of the milk ration during these
months for adults in Havana.

Some people apparently remained unsatisfied with the explanation that was
published in the newspaper, and if some people remained unsatisfied,
possibly those persons of good faith who remained unsatisfied may have had
good reason. It was a brief note which explained the fundamental reason why
the measure was adopted. It did not include all factors nor was it an
exhaustive explanation. In addition, at the same time there have been a
certain number of rumors circulating during past weeks in the capital of
the republic. The question of rumors, of course, is something which is old;
the absurdity of some rumors is also somewhat old.

However, as I was saying, at the same time rumors were spread that eggs
were going to be rationed, and queues were formed in front of the
establishment where these articles were sold to buy certain quantities,
some of them excessive. Rumors were spread that bread was also going to be
rationed. Together with these questions of provisions, they say that a
queue was formed in front of the marriage palace [laughter] because someone
said, or some people said, that weddings were going to be forbidden for
people unless they were who knows what age. [laughter] That reminded us of
that story of Patria Potestas, which, with a law and everything--a law
which was of course apocryphal--was spread by counterrevolutionary
elements. That thing about Patria Potestas is something so ridiculous that
only if we were to ask Comrade Llanusa to give us some idea of the work
that the Education Ministry has to do to make room for all who request
scholarships, all who request school dining rooms and children's nurseries,
could we have some notion of the real and material impossibility of some of
those absurdities.

To our knowledge, it appears that humanity has complied with that
injunction, which is called divine, to grow and multiply. We truly do not
know by what means or how marriages are going to be forbidden. Under any
circumstances this is ridiculous. But of course, as likely as not, some
opportunist picked up the rumor to hasten his marriage. [applause,
laughter] Somebody over there said: "Now he is talking." [laughter] Perhaps
he is one of those who was worried [laughter] about this problem of
weddings. The truth is that we ask ourselves what basis there is for this
certain unrest, that uncertainty. Naturally, we give ourselves answers. In
part, they have a real basis because of real difficulties. In part they may
be related to circumstances such as, for example, the relations of our
party and our government in the international field.

It is possible that the need to ration gasoline, together with the
circumstances of the meeting of the Central Committee that severely judged
the pseudorevolutionary current represented by the microfactional elements,
may have been factors which helped to create a certain state of unrest and
uncertainty. And I said that, together with real difficulties, one day
there appeared an oil well--and of course that appearance of this oil well
might not even have been given any publicity if it has not been for the
fortuitous circumstance that the well came in no less than a few meters
from the Via Blanca highway, practically in the midst of the town of
Guanabo. We said that perhaps we would not even have published it because
we really are opposed to building up false hopes. We are opposed to
creating exaggerated optimism regarding any problem. We first wanted to
know the potential of that well, to really evaluate it, and of course, to
avoid having everybody say that the problem of fuel is already resolved
because one well has come in, as though the opening up of a well were the
same thing as digging a trench or a water well.

A brief, scant note was published which explained that the well should be
evaluated first. Nevertheless, the news of the well spread like wildfire
throughout Havana and, of course, this was not a rumor, or at any rate not
a [word indistinct] rumor. Immense optimism--excesses of optimism--can to a
certain degree be related to excessive uncertainty or excessive unrest. We
believe that the spirit of the revolutionary should be a calm spirit under
all circumstances, in the face of adversities and difficulties, as well as
before successes. A revolution under any circumstances is necessarily a
process filled with emotions of all types, efforts of all types, and
struggles of all types. That is why there is time to learn about each and
every one of the emotions, past and future.

There is time to acquire experience about each and every one of the
emotions, but we said to ourselves that this tremendous surplus of optimism
might have been related, as I said before, to a certain situation of
uncertainty. If one is certain about what is done, a little petroleum is
good news, but one must have the will to resolve things with or without the
well, with oil or without oil. [applause]

At the same time, these facts revealed a certain lack of information; they
revealed that we do not know how to make the most effective use of the
information media available to us and that we do not even know how to make
the best use of the formidable organizations that the revolution has

It is known that through the party, through the Committees for the Defense
of the Revolution, through the women, the trade unions, and youth
organizations, the revolution can in a matter of hours shake the republic,
agitate the nation, give the lie to any rumor, give a million squelches to
all the rumormongers and all the ones who sow pessimism and defeatism!"

Let us say that it is our responsibility when we do not make more effective
use of public means or the organization channels available and hence do not
supply enough information to the rank-and-file revolutionaries. But at the
same time, one can still note certain insufficiency in political education,
a certain lack of political instruction, in the sense that we really know
how to give to the term "political instruction." A greater knowledge of
contemporary world problems is needed, a greater knowledge of the
tremendous problems of today's humanity, a great knowledge of the problems
of the economic structures and, above all, of the problems which a nation
like ours ought to resolve and in what conditions it must resolve them.

All the same, in our judgment there are other questions which are more
current, more timely, of more interest, and more important. It goes without
saying that today we are not going to deal basically with international
problems and our international relations. At this time, there is precious
little to say, and you know perfectly well, for example, about our Central
Committee's decision not to send a delegation to the meeting of communist
parties which took place in Budapest. At this time, this also is to a
fundamental question. In other words, the study of this question is not at
this time something of utmost importance.

There are questions of a domestic nature, that is, questions that have to
do with our present circumstances and with the development of our
revolution, that are much more current. Concretely, we wish to discuss the
circumstances of protests--yes, protests, circumstances of a certain
discontent, a certain confusion, and a certain unrest in connection with
supply problems, fundamentally in connection with some concrete measures,
such as the question of the elimination of the milk ration during these
months for adults in Havana.

Some people apparently remained unsatisfied with the explanations that was
published in the newspaper, and if some people remained unsatisfied,
possibly those persons of good faith who remained unsatisfied may have had
good reason. It was a brief note which explained the fundamental reason why
the measure was adopted. It did not include all factors nor was it an
exhaustive explanation. In addition, at the same time there have been a
certain number of rumors circulating during past weeks in the capital of
the republic. The question of rumors, of course, is something which is old;
the absurdity of some rumors is also somewhat old.

However, as I was saying, at the same time rumors were spread that eggs
were going to be rationed, and queues were formed in front of the
establishment where these articles were sold to buy certain quantities,
some of them excessive. Rumors were spread that bread was also going to be
rationed. Together with these questions of provisions, they say that a
queue was formed in front of the marriage palace [laughter] because someone
said, or some people said, that weddings were going to be forbidden for
people unless they were who knows what age. [laughter] That reminded us of
that story of Patria Potestas, which, with a law and everything--a law
which was of course apocryphal--was spread by counterrevolutionary
elements. That thing about Patria Potestas is something so ridiculous that
only if we were to ask Comrade Llanusa to give us some idea of the work
that the Education Ministry has to do to make room for all who request
scholarships, all who request school dining rooms and children's nurseries,
could we have some notion of the real and material impossibility of some of
those absurdities.

To our knowledge, it appears that humanity has complied with that
injunction, which is called divine, to grow and multiply. We truly do not
know by what means or how marriages are going to be forbidden. Under any
circumstances this is ridiculous. But of course, as likely as not, some
opportunist picked up the rumor to hasten his marriage. [applause,
laughter] Somebody over there said: "Now he is talking." [laughter] Perhaps
he is one of those who was worried [laughter] about this problem of
weddings. The truth is that we ask ourselves what basis there is for this
certain unrest, that uncertainty. Naturally, we give ourselves answers. In
part, they have a real basis because of real difficulties. In part they may
be related to circumstances such as, for example, the relations of our
party and our government in the international field.

It it were said that all of us, or the immense majority of us, were highly
ignorant when the revolution triumphed, it would simply be the truth. It
would also be the truth if it were declared that in large part we were
aware of our own ignorance; we always go back to that 8 January when we
experienced a feeling, when we arrived in the capital, that we had felt
when we landed from the Gramma on 2 December. Perhaps it was not the same
feeling, but the awareness we had that day was that we had much to learn in
the field of guerrilla struggle and in the field of arms.

Since we had already had that experience, this time we were not taken
unaware and we understood that our situation was a similar one and that we
had much to learn in the coming years. We believe that the awareness of
those truths--the awareness of every revolutionary of his own limitations
and of his ignorance--is something extremely useful, because he who is not
aware of his ignorance will never learn, will never progress. We have also
known cases of revolutionaries who not only were ignorant but who thought
that they knew a lot. They not only thought they knew a lot, but on
occasion made some of us believe that they knew something. Today we can say
that in this process all of us have learned something, although it must be
said once more than there is still much to learn; no revolutionary should
be ashamed to acknowledge his limitations. The life of all revolutionaries
must always be an eternal apprenticeship. I say this because I hold that no
revolutionary must ever dodge any responsibility and no revolutionary must
ever try to conceal difficulties. No revolutionary must ever fail to face
up to any responsibility or difficulty.

We were saying that these real difficulties existed. How much of the
responsibility falls on us we shall only know in the future. The important
thing is everybody's conviction--the conviction of each and every one of
us--that we have done the utmost possible in each instance and
circumstance, that we have tried to do the best possible. How much far
greater experience on the part of all the cadres of the revolution would
have helped nobody can say, but there is no question about one thing, and
that is that the objective and real circumstances in which a nation in our
circumstances faces its future are real circumstances and are also
difficult to surmount. In other words, objectively, even if 9 years ago we
had had the experience we have today--putting aside questions of details,
the fact that we saved ourselves from some pipedreams and that we did not
believe some lies--there is no question whatsoever that we would have acted
exactly the same as we have acted.

This revolution has passed through several periods, through various
circumstances and special moments. We can say that were we to relive each
one of the decisive, basic decisions even with all the experience we have
today, we think that the decisions would have been exactly the same. And
the revolution, at certain times, perhaps did not prevent in time the
creation of certain tendencies among the masses. One of these tendencies
was one which led to a somewhat comfortable situation, the idea that we
were protected, the idea that we would never have any problems. When the
very famous intercontinental missiles were mentioned on one or two
occasions, everybody here began to talk the next day about intercontinental
missiles and counted on them as if they really had them in their pockets.

No matter whether it was a meeting in a peasant area or any other place,
orators talked about the very famous missiles. And we remember that we were
always somewhat concerned about this theoretical use and abuse of the
alleged missiles.

In our judgment, this tended to create a certain complacent mentality--the
idea that "we are protected, we cross our arms"--when, in reality, the only
intelligent, correct, and revolutionary course was to think always of
ourselves, of our own strength, and never to fail to make the utmost effort
lest someday we might see ourselves faced with the necessity to confront
direct aggression by our imperialist enemies. We have to think first about
ourselves and believe only in ourselves, always ready to sell our lives
very dearly without expecting anybody to come to defend us.

In the economic field also, a certain mentality emerged of reliance on the
idea that help would be immediately forthcoming to resolve any problem. It
created a certain mentality of reliance in the sense that it could isolate
the people from the idea that the primary effort, the decisive effort and
the decisive factor, had to be of our own making, and that our first duty
as a county with an underdeveloped economy was to think of making a maximum
effort to give the maximum impetus to the development of the economy, and
not to view the path ahead of the revolution as an easy path or a path with
everything resolved.

It would always have been preferable to educate ourselves in the awareness
that while help from abroad and resources from abroad--in the difficult
period when a country embarks on the most difficult path of economic
development--are important, the most important thing is always our
willingness, our conviction that with resources from abroad or even with no
resources from abroad, we have forged the will to make this country move
forward. [applause] We can certainly say that that would have been the best
revolutionary education of the people. Of course, such revolutionary
thinking is not something for the weak, nor is it something for the small,
the hesitant, the voluble, pessimists or defeatists. We must say that our
masses have not yet purged themselves enough of those real factors, those
subjective factors that to a certain degree still remain.

We are still a people characterized by great enthusiasm and determination
at decisive moments, people capable of giving their lives at any movement
or any day, capable of any heroism at any moment, but still lacking the
virtue of everyday heroism, still lacking the virtue of tenacity and the
virtue of showing bravery and heroism not only at dramatic moments but each
and every day. This means that we still lack a certain tenacity and a
certain firmness in our heroism. It must also be said that truly bourgeois
institutions, ideas, links, and privileges still remain among our people.
In this we cannot deny our guilt or deny our responsibility. We have always
wanted things to be done as well as possible; we have always wanted to
stabilize things a little more every day, but there is no doubt of any kind
that institutions have lasted much longer than they should have, privileges
have lasted much longer than they should have, and those privileges and
those institutions nourish the currents of which we spoke and maintain
those weaknesses amid the people.

It is in the light of these facts and these circumstances, the background
of a certain unrest and spreading of rumors, that we address you today. Of
course, for your information, allow me to express some of the real
difficulties that we have and let me explain what they consist of. We are
going to refer concretely to the problem which gave rise to a certain state
of misunderstanding or discontent, and that is the problem of milk. Let
this serve as a concrete matter in our (?dealing) with other more important
questions that we must analyze.

Let me give you some data about milk production in the last few years, the
increases, and the present situation. In 1962, 219,414,000 liters of fresh
milk were collected; in 1963 217,151,900. I am going to give you round
figures. In 1964, 225 million; 1965, 231 million; 1966, 329 million; 1967,
324 million.

Besides fresh milk production, collection increased somewhat, and of course
production would be higher; it increased to something more than 100 million
a year. Besides this, imports on condensed milk amounted in 1959 to 4,663
cases; 1960, 6,683; 1961, 6,719; 1962, 12,698; 1963, 16,643; 1964, 21,637;
1965, 22,192; 1966, 16,455; 1967, 19,692; and in 1968 plans call for 18,000

In addition to the imports of condensed milk, we have the imports of
powdered milk, powdered milk with which to reconstitute milk. There were,
from skimmed milk, in 1959, 27 tons; 1960, 1,826; 1961, 1,469; 1962, 5,561;
1963, 10,867; 1964, 11,278; 1965, 17,045; 1966, 16,061; 1967, 17,387; and
in 1968, the plan calls for 16,405.

The figure of 17,387 acquired last year cost 5.92 million pesos in foreign
currency, that is, convertible currency. The projected expenditure for this
year is 5,642,000. Additional imports of whole milk were made from treaty
countries; in 1959, 232 [no unit mentioned; presumably tons]; 1960, 117;
1961, 3,209; 1962, 405; 1963, 19; 1964, 711; 1965, 3,665; 1966, 1,561;
1967, 2,156; and in 1968 it has been possible to obtain 2,000.

Of cream, of milk--that is, in powdered form, also to reconstitute milk,
another type--last year 5,547 tons were also acquired, and this year 3,000
have been acquired.

Of cereal mixed with milk, in 1967, 1,467 tons were acquired; and for this
year, 3,000 tons have been acquired.

This means that during these years there has been an increase in both
imports and domestic production of fresh milk. Production of evaporated
milk--that is, part of the fresh milk was processed into evaporated
milk--in 1957 was 317,415 cases; 1958, 355,000; 1959, 129,000; 1960,
214,000; 1961, 314,000; 1962, 360,000; 1963, 267,000; 1964, 223,000; 1965,
640,000; 1966, 713,000; 1967, 715,000. So it rose from 129,000 in 1959 to
715,000 in 1967.

In the same way, production of condensed milk rose from 1,726,880 in 1959
to 2,705,524. That has been the more or less sustained pace in the growth
of milk production. And yet, this year decreases have been noted in the
production, and hence in the collection, of fresh milk, for instance, in
three provinces in the interior, chiefly, and in Havana. In Las Villas, in
January 1967, 131,000 liters were collected a day; and this year, 122,000.
In Camaguey, 159,700 in January 1967, and in 1968, 135,400. In Oriente,
180,200, and in January 133,700. In Havana, 184,000 in January 1967, and
173,800 in January 1968; and in February, 190,000 in 1967, daily, and
138,700 in February 1968.

This means there began to be a considerable decline in the daily pickups
during these 2 months. In addition, although the number of tons of powdered
milk purchased, in convertible currency, remains about the same, there is a
decline of some 4,000 tons in the number of tons of powdered milk it has
been possible to acquire from treaty countries.

Hence a situation presented itself in which it was necessary either to
increase and invest several million dollars in the purchase of more
powdered milk, or adopt the measure which was put into effect; that is, the
elimination of the quantity of milk that was being distributed to the adult
population of the city of Havana. Failure to do this would have implied
reducing the amount of milk in cities and provinces of the interior whose
milk consumption is below that of Havana.

We have figures here on how milk has been distributed by provinces during
these 2 months in which, as you have seen--in Las Villas, Camaguey, and
Oriente, for example--there has been a considerable drop in the production
of fresh milk. Nevertheless, in January last year, in Las Villas, 119,000
liters were distributed daily, and this year 130,000. In Camaguey, in
January of last year, 106,000, and this year 127,000. In Oriente, 155,900 a
day in January 1967, and this year 946,000.

It was the same in February. In February 1967, 111,000 liters were
distributed daily in Las Villas; in February this year, 113,000. In
Camaguey, 98,000 a day in February of 1967, and 113,000 a day this year. In
Oriente, 154,000 a day in February 1967, and 185,000 this year.

For the first time it has been necessary to send powdered milk, to make
reconstituted milk, to provinces like Camaguey and Oriente, which had never
received powdered milk. Otherwise the levels of consumption in those
provinces would have been affected.

What is the general consumption of milk in the country? It is not exactly
the same in every province; there are regions with a greater stock-raising
tradition and higher milk production, and in some cases consumption was
historically higher in some regions than in others. Now then, what is the
consumption, in general, in different areas of the country?

In 1967, from birth to 6 years of age, 1 liter a day, in Guane. In Pinar
del Rio, birth to 6, 1 liter. That is, 1 liter. When I mention the ages, I
am referring to those who receive 1 liter. In Artemisa, birth to 6;
Guanajay, birth to 6; Costa Norte, birth to 6; San Cristobal, birth to 6; 1
liter, and from 7 to 13, 1 liter. That is what they received, and in 1967
people over 65 got a liter.

In metropolitan Havana, birth to 7, 1 liter; for every five persons older
than 7, 1 liter a day. The distribution of 1 liter a day to every five
persons older than 7 years was not present in practically any other region
in the country.

In Matanzas: They had 1 liter from birth to age 7 at Matanzas; birth to 7
at Jovellanos; birth to 7 at Colon; birth to 7 at Cardenas; birth to 7 at
Jaguey; and birth to 7 at Union de Reyes.

In Las Villas the figures vary: In Santa Clara from January to May, 1 liter
from birth to 4; May to December, 1 liter from birth to 6; and one-half
liter from 7 to 13, from May to December; that is, in spring. At Cienfuegos
from January to May, 1 liter from birth to 4; May to December, from birth
to 6; and one-half liter from 7 to 13. Thus in certain towns of the
province they received more during the spring months than during the dry
months. There was more or less the same situation in Camaguey, although
almost all had one-half liter from 7 to 13 years old. This year they have
it from birth to 6 years.

In Oriente, see what a difference: One liter from birth to 3 at Santiago;
birth to 7 at Bayamo; birth to 4 at Guantanamo; birth to 4 at Palma
Soriano; birth to 5 in Manzanillo; birth to 2 in Holguin; birth to 2 in
Mayari; birth to 2 at Banes; birth to 2 at Baracoa; birth to 6 at Victoria
de las Tunas; and this year they receive one liter from birth to 2 in
almost every region.

To avoid cutting off the milk that was received by the adult population of
Havana, it would have been necessary to deprive children between birth and
2 years of age of their milk in many places in Oriente.

There are other factors. We have pointed out the problems of the drop in
domestic production and some decrease in imports. What about the rain last
year as compared to the year before? There is one province, Pinar del Rio,
where the rain was not bad. In 1966, 1,558 millimeters of rainfall; in
1967, 1,649. In Havana in 1966, 1,651; and in 1967, 1,242, a difference of
some 400 millimeters. In Matanzas, 1,702 millimeters in 1966 and 1,338 in

However, in these three provinces, where the rainfall was not bad, the rain
came very late. In Havana Province, for instance, it was practically June
when it began to rain. In Las Villas in 1966, there was 1,587 millimeters
of rain, and in 1967, 1,042, a difference of more than 500 millimeters. In
Camaguey in 1966, there was 1,468 millimeters of rainfall, and in 1967,
960. In Oriente in 1966, 1,324 millimeters, in 1967, 834. These statistics
are taken from figures obtained at the various sugar mills by the Sugar
Ministry. We also have more extensive figures from the Water Resources

Now, while these total figures reflect a considerable decrease in rainfall
in these provinces--Las Villas, Camaguey, and Oriente--they may perhaps not
really indicate the extent of the drought, because besides the amount of
rain that falls, the date it comes and the spacing of the rains are also
important. We remember how in Las Villas and Camaguey in early June more
than 10 inches fell in a matter of 24 hours, and then more than 2 months
went by practically without rain. And we remember the Province of Oriente,
in July, about the 26th, and this year practically not a day has gone by
[words indistinct] the extent of rainfall. And it was truly a desperate
thing to see how in Oriente it hardly rained, either in the spring or in
the fall. For example--so you will realize the importance of rain--from May
to October, in the two driest years before this one since the triumph of
the revolution, 1962 and 1965, from May to October 718 millimeters of rain
fell in 1962, a dry year; and from May to October, 753 millimeters fell in
1965, another dry year. That means that during the decisive spring and
autumn months, the rainfall was the least ever remembered in the province.
It was truly a dry year; there is no reason why we should blame the
weather, and yet neither can we excuse it. However, we must examine these

I have told you about the rainfall and now we could add another fact that
is just as interesting, that is, the price of sugar--the price of sugar in
the area of convertible currency during the past few years.

In 1963, the price of sugar reached the 8.48 cents per pound. This was the
average price. In 1964, the average price was 5.86 cents per pound, in
1965, it was 2.12 cents. In 1966, the price was 1.86. In 1967, the price
was 1.99 cents per pound. In 1968, it is still under two cents.

It is a well-known fact that part of the raw materials and essential
products that we cannot obtain through agreements must be acquired through
convertible currency. The price of sugar has been lower than it was, let us
say, some 30 years ago. If we look at the prevailing prices from 1952 to
1965, we see that they were as follows: 4.28, 3.52, 3.37, 3.35, 3.58, 5.27,
3.71, 3.08, 3.25, 2.91, 2.96, 8.48, 5.40, 5.86. [Last two figures as heard]

Possibly, very few persons have any idea of the incredible effort and work
that we have had to do to maintain the country's economy. Not only this,
but we have been making considerable effort in the development of the
economy. How many persons have thought about or have considered these
prices and the consequences they would have had at any time in our
country's history? It would have resulted not merely in a reduction or
suppression of the milk quota for adults. Who would have assured us that
children up to the age of 7 could have been guaranteed one liter daily, day
after day, whether the sugar--with which we obtain that liter and with
which we have imported considerable quantities of powdered milk--was 8.48
or whether it was the prices that prevailed in 1965, in 1966, and in 1967,
and that prevail in 1968? How many people asked themselves this? How many
of them analyzed the problem? How many thought about it?

Logically enough, our population has been growing considerably. Naturally,
this country cannot rely on food reserves. It has had to shift to a
day-to-day basis. Moreover, year after year this country has had to make
important purchases of equipment and machinery for its development. Year
after year, religiously, it has to fulfill these obligations. This country
has been confronting this task in areas where it must obtain an important
part of its imports with the sugar price below the two-cent level. Under
these conditions, 1 year of heavy drought as the past year is enough.

If many of you have not had the opportunity during the entire year perhaps
of worrying once about this, the men in charge of the economic agencies and
those who head the government have worried about these problems everyday
and every hour; and they have tried to find solutions to these problems.

A great effort was put last year into the fertilization of the sugar
fields. We had hoped that this effort would have led to a considerable
increase in production. The country has also been making a great effort to
develop its livestock industry. Those who are engaged in this effort, those
who are informed about it, and those who hear about it as in today's
speech, or read about it in a newspapers, or are interested in these
things, must know and know fully well what we have been doing in this
field. We can say that in no other field have we been making a more
intensive, serious, and promising effort than in the livestock industry.
Suffice it to say that since the triumph of the revolution, we have
imported more than 10,000 breed stock inseminators. Suffice it to say that
from the triumph of the revolution--when we had not a single inseminator in
this country--to this moment, we have trained 3,000 inseminators. The
landholders did not leave us thousands of inseminators nor thousands of
technicians who even knew what insemination meant. [words indistinct]

A type of cattle called Zebu generally gives no milk at all and, if it
does, only gives one or one and one-half liters. Thousands, tens of
thousand of men have been struggling these years with these animals (?to
get more milk from them). The fact is that cows are not made in 24 hours
and a female calf does not mature in 24 hours. Both cannot produce milk 24
hours. Right now our country has hundreds of thousands of female calves and
heifers. They are the result of the crossing of milch cows with Zebu
cattle. However, we must wait; we must wait until they start producing.

This process can be stepped up, to a certain extent, as we are now doing by
impregnating heifers at the earliest age. Of course, it takes time to
achieve results.

It has taken time from the moment we discovered what insemination was and
the need for insemination to the time we trained the first inseminator in
this country--and later a few dozen of them who began to inseminate the
first cows--that we sent some veterinarians abroad to learn the modern
technique, that we set up the laboratories, that we constructed the
insemination canters, and that we imported one by one up to 10,000 breed
stock inseminators. No country has done this on the scale of our country.
Even countries that have much greater resources than our country have
hardly done it.

I am sure that all the countries of Latin America put together have not
imported in the past few years even half of the breed stock inseminators
that Cuba has. From the time we invest the sum of 10,000 dollars in the
acquisition of one of the best breed stock inseminators to develop our
future cattle production to the time the first heifer of this insemination
process starts to produce milk, a period of at least 50 months is required.
[words indistinct]

These processes cannot be (?accelerated). They are natural processes that
require an inevitable waiting period because the former landholders did not
make any plans for us. The exploiters of this country--the imperialists and
their allies--did not worry about making plans so that our people could
have some day a liter of milk, or perhaps more than a liter, for not only
the children but per capita.

Some, (?unquestionably) counterrevolutionary elements--the enemy takes
advantage of our difficulties to wage an organized campaign that is
directed from abroad--have spread, among others, the lie that we were
sending milk to Vietnam. The Vietnamese have never asked us for milk but if
they had, we would have known how to react properly. [heavy applause and
shouts] Our most elementary duty would have been to send them milk, half of
what they requested and, if necessary, all of it, because the Vietnamese
are sacrificing something else for us. They are sacrificing something else
for the world. [applause] They are offering us and shedding for us their
own blood. They are also shedding it for all the people of the world.

I cannot but think that these people who want to destroy this beautiful
sentiment of solidarity developed by our people are treacherous people.
These people who want to destroy our internationalist awareness are ones
who are only interested in the malicious dissemination of similar
treacherous lies. They are doing so for the benefit of the imperialists,
for the benefit of those who are shedding tons of Vietnamese blood there.
There are cases there of children from 7 to 15 and adults without milk, of
children from 1 to 7 years of age without milk, but also, children
destroyed by shrapnel, children destroyed by bombs, children burned alive
by napalm. The civilian population and the fighters in North and South
Vietnam--while we, here, with greater or lesser difficulties, confront the
problems of development--that heroic people sees destroyed its work of many
years and sees the death in the battlefields of scores of thousands of its
best sons, and on the day that we no longer have enough honor, dignity, and
shame to react and fight against and confront and crush any cur who may
come to do such things, on that day it would be useless to consider
ourselves revolutionary. [applause]

Who can consider himself revolutionary? And what good would the word
"revolutionary" be if the concept of a revolutionary were to be reduced to
such mean dimensions? And the imperialist enemy makes propaganda aimed at
the military man, because these efforts our country is making today, great
efforts for the bread of today and, above all, for tomorrow's
bread--[Castro changes thought] No one has made an effort such as the
effort made by the imperialists to hinder us, to make difficulties for us,
to create all kinds of problems for us in order to starve this revolution
into submission. And the hopes of the imperialists rest on those weak,
soft, and cowardly elements, their associates, their willing or unwitting
allies. They constitute the hope of the imperialists.

Of course, they have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to go to
receive from the hands of those imperialist murderers the blockaders of our
fatherland the miserable crumbs of bread, that shameful bread with which
the imperialists receive those who renounce having a fatherland and who do
so, not when that fatherland is experiencing an hour of infamy, but when it
is experiencing the most glorious hour of its entire history. [applause] It
is logical for them [presumably the imperialists] to try to dessemble to
the maximum and to conceal the truth of how that country has carried out a
tenacious policy and has used all its political and economic influence to
hinder the development of this country to the point [of asking] whether we
buy from Vietnam and Korea. There is no single country whose trade
relations with the rest of the world have been cut to a higher degree by
the imperialists. Many times it is not even a question of having the
reserves. Sometimes the reserves are available and there is no place to
buy, or one must buy at much higher prices. And the imperialists have done
the unspeakable to create difficulties with one strategy: To starve this
nation into submission; with one hope: the hope put in the soft, the weak,
the cowardly, and the traitors. [applause]

It is good to note, for example, that the capital, where these actions
reach their highest expression, the region of the country that,
historically and even after the revolution, has had or enjoyed a higher
standard of living--even now, after 9 years of a revolution that has
followed a policy of meeting the needs of the interior of the
country--still today, in Havana, with a population of 27 percent of the
country, Havana Province accounts for 38 percent of salaries, 35 percent of
internal trade, and 49 percent of commercialized services. In 1967, the
total wages received by the population of Havana Province was
1,094,000,000. Moreover, other income of the Havana population, added to
salary income, makes a total of 1,433,800,000. That is the income of Havana
Province. The expenditures, what it spent are: on internal trade, 847.7
million; in food services, 254.5 million; and in other expenditures, 321
million. That is the high income, but in this province, expenditures were
similar to the income.

In regard to medical services, the capital still enjoys many things that do
not exist in the rural areas, despite the hospitals, magnificent hospitals,
that have been built in the interior of the country. Sometimes one can
travel tens of kilometers without finding a road, or a road was not to be
found because not a single electric lamp post was to be found. There are
some who have practically never seen one [electric lamp post] except during
a visit to a city. There are many things [some have never seen]: sports
installations and housing units, in many cases--there are not sufficient
numbers, but many families have had the chance to get good housing for a
modest payment, or to a large degree, free of charge--the athletic
installations, sports events, and cultural events. In short, necessarily,
the population of the capital has a much better situation than the rest of
the country. And it must be said, without any doubt, that the rest of the
country has been making much greater efforts during these years.

Naturally, this does not imply blaming the population of Havana, for the
population of Havana is massively, and with incredible enthusiasm, joining
in the work. The population of Havana is fundamentally, and over and above
the currents that remain among people who have an ideology contrary to the
revolution--[Castro changes thought]

We recall the battalions of the workers and students of Havana which have
been mobilized in every difficult situation, in numbers of tens of
thousands, fighting against bandits in the Escambray or marching to meet
the mercenaries who invaded this country at Giron, or in each of the
difficult moments, such as the October crisis, and on other occasions.

We also recall the tens of thousands of workers who are cutting [sugarcane]
for entire months in the remote and unpopulated regions of Camaguey
Province. And we recall that combative sector, which is clearly in the
majority and clearly revolutionary, of the people of Havana. However, it is
necessary to say this so that the revolutionaries will be informed; so that
the revolutionaries will know to what to hold; so that the revolutionaries
will know; so they will raise their guard; so that they will not permit
themselves to be confused; so that they will not have to remain quiet in
the face of any miserable provocateur.

Those circumstances resulted in lines where they sell eggs sin the poultry
stores, and in people purchasing 20 and 30 pesos worth of eggs. They almost
forces rationing. Yes, they wanted to get in a few days all the chickens
available, and we would then have to ration them. Of course, those who
react in that way are the ones who make the problem of provisions more

How the production and collection of eggs has grown: In 1962, 174 million;
in 1963, 190 million; in 1964, 297 million; in 1965, 911 million; in 1966,
1,011,000,000; in 1967, 1,173,000,000; and in 1968, estimates are,
approximately 1.2 billion.

Doubtless, at this moment there is a record number of laying hens. But it
is also true that the weather has not been the best. There were late cold
spells this year, strange things, as you have been seeing, in the weather.
However, production will be at worst equal to that of last year. And of
course, unless the chickens go on strike, we doubt these plans will go
unfulfilled. And if any chicken were to say: "I will not lay this egg
because a counterrevolutionary is going to eat it," I can assure you that
the chicken would be completely justified. There are many of them who are
waiting and who eat more eggs than anyone else. What are they waiting for?
For the little plane to arrive?

Of course, no one can know how much consumption will grow here, because
this was a plan for 60 million eggs per month, and it is now at 100
million, and these problems still present themselves. Reserves are
maintained in some periods of the year because chickens have seasons, too.
They lay more in some seasons and less in others.

Doubtless, weather factors were adverse this year. The late rains in the
west considerably affected the production of root crops. In Oriente, they
affected those crops in the spring and the fall and practically throughout
the year. They affected the production of milk. They even affected the
production of beans. The situation this year is not any easier, but in fats
we will have amounts similar to that of last year and the same with rice.
This year, only toward the end of the year, we will begin to receive the
fruits of the effort, the considerable effort, being made in the expansion
of rice production. In beef, more or less the same. In beans, we will have
10,000 tons less; that is, 82,400 against 93,100 tons. And exactly the same
is happening [Castro changes thought] The solution can only be found by
using reserves we need for other and more important needs, above all to
meet the obligations of the country.

In wheat flour we shall have some 27,000 tons more than last year. In fish
and shellfish we shall have some 26,000 tons more than last year. This is
far from a comfortable situation, since we must bear in mind the increase
of the population, but, of course, we hope that the weather will not be so
implacable this year. There is still no rain in Las Villas, Camaguey, and
Oriente [words indistinct], but we must be careful because the rain map is
in three colors--we mean the map of the weather bureau--red when it rains
much, blue when it rains less, and green when (?it sprinkles), but in the
newspaper map only one color and many little points are shown so that when
three millimeters falls, one believes that it rained. Unfortunately, the
newspaper (?has not invented) signs to indicate how intense the rain is or
how much rain there is because we want all the people to know what is
happening with the rains, so as to have a little better information and
knowledge of the problems. It continues not to rain in the west. However,
frequently rains occur in this period. The climate is good and we believe
that the general conditions are more moist, and we hope that this year the
rains may be better.

This drought had led to considerable speculation about sugar production,
and it is a fact that the drought has affected the sugar production. In the
province of Oriente, it has reduced it by practically the equivalent of 1
million tons of sugar. If this had been a normal year, the production of
the country would already have amounted to approximately 8 million. But it
is not a disastrous sugar crop either; far from it. At this time 2,476,306
tons have already been produced and 1,916,500 arrobas have been milled.
Still to be milled are 2,217,000 arrobas. Hence the sugar crop, despite the
tremendous drought, will certainly exceed 5.5 million tons of sugar.
[applause] More than half remains to be milled and at a time when the yield
is highest.

How long will this country have to depend on whether it rains or does not
rain? Can there be a secure economy and guaranteed production so long as
these conditions are not overcome? Toward what are we directing the effort
of the country at this time? We are directing the greatest effort toward
the construction of hydraulic works. Every day it is increasingly evident,
increasingly unquestionable, that if we want a sound agriculture, the first
factor against which we must insure ourselves is drought. A drought in a
crop [words indistinct] such as sugarcane is reduced by 30 or 40
(?percent). Some (?crops) it kills [words indistinct] plant corn or kidney
beans, it is lost. If you plant malanga at the wrong time, in June, it does
not produce malanga. If it is not planted in March, or at the latest in
April, it does not produce malanga. If it is planted without rain it also
does not produce malanga.

The area of irrigated land in Cuba was insignificant. Those who
oversimplify and perhaps those who are halfway serious believe that to make
dams is like stringing a kite. To make dams, ask Faustino, ask those who
have worked at the hydraulic institute how many things are needed to make a
medium-size dam. The location of the dam must be determined. The pertinent
geological studies must be made. The proper soil must be found. The plans
must be made. If it had not been for the work of several years, for the
intense planning work, we could not now give the impetus which we are
giving to the hydraulic works because (?we would have lacked) equipment.
Nevertheless, this year earth-moving equipment with a new capacity of 60
million cubic meters of earth [words indistinct] is being incorporated into
hydraulic construction. A huge semiaccelerated program is being carried

By making maximum use of the available resources, what do we propose to do?
First of all, we propose to assure the sugarcane [crop]. The matter of the
10-million-ton sugar crop has become something more than an economic
target. It has become a point of honor with this revolution.

It has become a measure of the capacity of this revolution. Our enemies
have placed all bets on our not achieving it. The microfactionals enjoyed
and hoped for the failure of the revolution, that is to say, the failure of
the revolutionary line inside the revolution, with the idea that we would
not achieve 10 million. Then we would have to become more peaceful,
quieter, more docile, more submissive; in other words, we would stop being
revolutionaries. Of course, revolutionaries would rather die than stop
being revolutionaries. [applause]

In other words, we understand how the target of 10 million has become the
measure of the revolution and that if the revolution is to be measured by
it there is no doubt that the revolution will achieve this target. We must
prepare ourselves to produce this sugar crop even if we should have years
as bad as this. The country at this moment is making a considerable effort.
In the first place, the increased planting will exceed 25,000 caballerias
of land planted. We aspire in the next 18 months to exceed the figure of
some 20,000 new caballerias for irrigated sugarcane as well as to drain
considerable areas of land in cane-growing areas. This does not imply
giving up other targets.

This year, throughout the length and breadth of the land a colossal effort
is being made in various directions, not only with sugarcane, but sugarcane
is the principal target. The number of machines and the number of men, but
above all the quality of these men, make it possible to predict success.

Those who read, those who are informed must know that thousands of men have
been working day and night for months throughout the island. Those who
(?come off the street), although it be to visit a friend or a relative,
will be able to see that the machines stop neither day nor night and the
Havana workers themselves will be able to see frequently the lights of the
tractors working at night and at dawn. It appears that there are many
machines in the belt. In the belt there is approximately one for each 170
or 180 machines in the rest of the country. They have come out with a
bulletin which is called NOTICORDON DE LA HAVANA (?There should be) another
called "Beyond the Belt." Since NOTICORDON is interesting--really, it is
the first little newspaper we read in the morning--it is also necessary to
give the population a little perspective of what is being done beyond the
belt. There are some who ask whether they are not going to plant malanga in
some of this land, which is clay land, or whether they are going to plant

This problem was explained, let us remember, on the occasion of the
inauguration of the village of Valle Grande. At that time we gave a lengthy
explanation of what was being done, why it was being done, of what it
consisted, and what was being done in other parts of the country. Some say:
Why do they plant so much coffee? If it had been done in 20 years they
would not have realized it was a great deal of coffee. In one year, yes,
because never was a planting plan carried out so fast as the Havana plan is
being carried out with the massive and increasingly enthusiastic
participation of the workers of the capital. It is enough to say that in
the Province of Oriente, where approximately 1 million quintals of coffee
is harvested, this year, despite weather conditions, the province has
already produce some 900,000 quitnals of coffee as the result of the effort
that has been made. But it must be said that these 900,000 quintals are
produced on small irrigated plantations over an area of 20,000 square

Here in the Havana belt, as much coffee will be produced as a byproduct of
the fruit orchards, for coffee is a byproduct of the fruit orchards, as has
been produced in Oriente over an area of 200 square kilometers. We estimate
that the amount of equipment needed to pick the coffee in this belt is some
100 times less than what is needed to harvest the present coffee
plantations dispersed in the mountains in Oriente, with all the
consequences involved in transportation to bring fertilizer and personnel,
to harvest and transport the product, and not only to harvest it over an
area of 20,000 kilometers, but also to carry it another 1,000 kilometers to
be consumed here in the capital. The capital will at least plant its own
coffee and produce its own coffee, apparently fairly soon. It will even
export a little coffee.

The Oriente plantations will not be abandoned. Far from it, the coffee will
be picked there too, and coffee will be exported. We do not believe there
will be a surplus of coffee, but if there is, so much the better. (?It is
easier) to face the problems of surplus than those of shortages. It is a
matter of rationalizing efforts, taking into consideration a series of
factors, consumption needs, market possibilities, economic plans, and, in
short, a whole series of factors.

A microfactional chatterer said: "See how they are planting there, and they
do not plant citrus fruits. They are going to plant mangoes." One of many
cases of malicious ignorance, because, influenced to do so, he may have
read one page about citrus fruit, but he does not know where the devil one
can plant citrus fruits so that [word indistinct] does not kill them, so
that they will not rot. As a matter of fact, there are 400 caballeries
devoted to citrus plants in the Havana belt, from (?Artilla to
Rojas)--magnificent soil.

All that efforts makes it possible throughout the country to arrange,
organize, and rationalize agriculture well. The country is making a truly
gigantic effort at this time, and not only on one front, but on several
fronts; and not only on hydraulic projects, but also on roads. The figures
on caballerias of land--new caballerias of land--entering production this
year are unprecedented in the history of our country and in the history of
the revolution itself. It will take a bit of time, but everything takes
time and one must know how to wait. When many of us were mentally forming
the idea of the revolution, we were locked up, isolated, in the cells of
the prisons. Nevertheless, wee never thought it would be impossible to
carry out the revolution. Some men have had more experience than others,
some moments of adversity and difficulty. Those who have not learned this
become discouraged by difficulties. Others have learned--and it is
necessary above all for our people to learn it and for all revolutionaries
to learn it--that there is nothing that could deter or block the will of a

We have spoken of (?how) these matters basically originated, by an analysis
of these problems. Some material still remains, but do not worry. In the
past few days, someone here shuffled a few papers and found a study on
these matters made by a Catholic University group in 1956. We think BOHEMIA
magazine plans to publish an article including that material. In essence,
it is a poll--please have a bit of patience, for it reveals some things
that some may no longer recall, while others will recall them--that says
that the poll had three principal goals. The authors say: "To make, for the
first time in Cuba, a detailed and accurate statistical study of the living
conditions of agricultural workers to serve as a firm basis for an analysis
of socioeconomic problems and find solutions for them; to make it possible
for those in the cities to have a chance to see the reality of our rural
areas and understand their difficulties; and--last in order but not in
importance--to be able to declare, with knowledge of the causes and with
evidence in hand, that Cuban peasants suffer from abandonment and impotence
because of national selfishness and that our nation will not be able to
aspire to true progress as long as proper attention is not paid to our
rural areas. "The City of Havana is experiencing a period of extraordinary
prosperity, while the rural areas, especially the agricultural workers, are
experiencing conditions of stagnation, misery, and despair that are hard to
believe. At the conclusion of one of the meetings we held during these
months, Dr. Jose Ignacio Vasaga said something we shall never forget: 'In
all my trips through Europe, America, and Asia, I have rarely found
peasants who lived more miserably than the Cuban agricultural workers.'"

It explains how the agricultural workers numbered 350,000 and 2.1 million
persons were dependent on them; that they had an annual income of only 190
million pesos--that is to say that despite constituting 34 percent of the
population, they received only 10 percent of the national income.

Then the report notes how every one must feel responsible for all of that,
and so forth. It said that Cuba was still young as a republic, and so
forth, and that, "as a small nation, subject to the economic orientation of
the big powers"--read that as imperialism, said in a very delicate manner
so as not to anger the Yankees--"Our beloved fatherland continues to suffer
intensely from the evils of absentee latifundism, in which wealth is
produced in the rural areas but is enjoyed in Havana. Surprisingly, the
Cuban agricultural worker, deceived by the governments and ignored by the
leaders of all the national sectors, remains honest, moral, and human,
waiting sadly but with dignity for the better trained and equipped to come
and pave the way and show them how to march toward development and
progress. Would God that this study of the economic situation of the Cuban
agriculture serve as a beacon to demonstrate the present injustices, as
information for the detailed analysis of the causes, and as a basis for a
just and rapid correction." It seems that God so wished. [laughter]

They say that they undertook a well-organized investigation to see what the
peasant ate, on what he lived--of course I am not going to read all of
this, but ... [Castro pauses, apparently turning pages] with a bit of
patience, I will find ... [momentary silence.]

"Only four percent of the interviewed mention meat as an integral part of
their normal diet. With regard to fish, it is reported by less than one
percent. Eggs are consumed by 2.12 percent of the agricultural workers, and
only 11.22 percent drink milk. Bread, universal food par excellence, symbol
of human nourishment itself, is consumed by only 3.36 percent for our
agricultural workers population."

Here they have the consumption levels of 2.5 million persons. They were the
ones who planted the sugarcane, cut it, weeded it, and maintained it. "The
index of tuberculosis infection: With regard to the index of tuberculosis
infection, 14 percent of the peasants interviewed are presumably suffering,
or have suffered, from tuberculosis."

Typhoid fever, too. Thirteen percent suffered from it. Thirty-six percent
had parasites--were aware that they had parasites. In that way, it explains
what medical attention was like. The most interesting fact is the
following: "Eighty point seventy-six percent said they received help from a
paid doctor, that is, a private doctor who charges for his services.

Only eight percent receive free attention from the state, and this is a
very significant fact. One must always bear in mind, however, that this
refers to the worker in the interior. The owner or the union provides
medical attention to four percent of the agricultural workers, and another
four percent get professional assistance from private dispensaries."

"Medicine. "To prepare this chapter, each interviewer first asked if there
were medicines in the house, then requested to see the medicine there at
the time. In each cast, note was made of the type of medication and the
laboratory that produced it, if dealing with a pharmeaceutical specialty.
The most important results obtained are the following: in 70.49 percent of
the houses, there was medicine at the moment of the interview. Of these
medicines, 46.67 percent were prescription medicines. The rest were
composed of pharmeceutical specialties, which are referred to as patent
medicines, that is, those made by laboratories and sold in pharmacies in
prepackaged form. Of this patent medicine, 74.77 percent came from ethical
laboratories, that is, firms that are worthy of confidence. The remaining
25 percent came from nonethical laboratories, commonly referred to in Cuba
as 'chivero laboratories.' These laboratories operate in the following
manner: they produce a series of products which are almost completely
useless and which have very small production costs. They are presented to
unethical doctors as a business. The doctor prescribes that product and
receives half the profit. Since the product is sold at a high price, the
illicit business becomes an important source of profit for the doctor, to
the extreme that many doctors, especially in the interior of the nations,
charge nothing for visits and live exclusively from the profits made from
the business with the chivero laboratories. One-fourth of the medicines
prescribed by the doctors for the peasant is useless."

That is not a red nor a subversive organization. It is an organization that
decided to make an investigation that would recall the incredible
conditions in which a large part of our people live.

There are still many people among the masses who ignore one of the most
worrisome and serious contemporary problems. It is the problem of
underdevelopment, that word that is heard so many times. What is it? What
does "underdeveloped world" mean? How can it be explained in a clear and
precise manner? The word is divided between developed and so-called
underdeveloped countries. Euphemistically, they are referred to as
"developing nations"; in the argot of the international organizations, they
are called developing nations. We want to bring some facts to help our
masses see the Cuban problem within the context of the situation of the
world today.

Those developed nations, some of them began their development more than 100
years ago. They developed slowly. On many occasions, they used resources
extracted from colonies that were mercilessly plundered, resources
extracted from the masses, who were exploited to an incredible degree. The
histories written, the chapters written, by Marx and Engels about the
situation of the working class of England, about workers who labored 15 or
16 hours, about children under 10 years of age who worked entire days under
the worst possible material conditions are well-known--that is to say that
from the sweat of the colonies and of the workers, they extracted the
resources with which they made their investments, and those countries
developed themselves.

Industry was developed, basically, in Europe, the United States, and
Canada, so that today, those countries with a developed economy have gained
an incredible margin of advantage over the rest of the underdeveloped
world, which they exploited in the past and which, today, they exploit
directly in many ways, with new institutions, and indirectly.

But let us see figures of the gross product of the developed nations, what
their production was in 1960, and what their estimated production will be
in 1975.

The United States, with a population of 180 million inhabitants, in 1960
produced 446.1 billion dollars. This was the gross output of the U.S.
economy in 1960. By 1975 it will attain the figure of 865.4 billion
dollars, with a population of 235 million.

In 1960, the gross output of Western Europe was 394,659,000,000 dollars,
with a population of 353 million inhabitants. It is estimated that in 1975
it will be 750,748,000,000 dollars, with a population of 402 million

In 1960, Japan had a gross output of 55,604,000,000 dollars, with a
population of 93 million. Its gross output for 1975 is estimated at 138.35
billion dollars with a population of 106 million.

Canada had a gross output of 31.53 billion dollars in 1960, with a
population of 17 million. It is estimated that its gross output in 1975
will be 63,517,000,000 dollars, with a population of 23 million.

This is basically the world of the developed capitalist countries. We
should include among them South Africa and Australia. Therefore, these
countries--the United States, Western Europe, Japan, and Canada--had a
gross output of 927,893,000,000 dollars in 1960. It is estimated that these
countries will have a gross output of 1,818,015,000,000 dollars [in 1975].

What was Latin America's gross output in 1960? It was 61.75 billion, with a
population of 204 million people. Compare this with the gross output in the
United States! It is estimated that the gross output of Latin America in
1975 will be--this is an optimistic estimate and it seems it will not be
attained--117.8 billion dollars, with a population of 290 million.

The gross output of Africa in 1960 was 21.72 billion, with a population of
240 million people. It is estimated that its gross output is estimated in
1975 will be 40.5 billion dollars, with a population of 338 million.

The gross output for the Middle East in 1960 was 7.3 billion dollars, with
a population of 51 million inhabitants. Its 1975 gross output is estimated
at 13.7 billion, with a population of 76 million people.

The gross output for Asia, except China, in 1960 was 68.75 billion dollars,
with a population of 797 million. Its 1975 gross output is estimated at
129.3 billion, with a population of 1.14 billion inhabitants.

In total, all the countries of the underdeveloped world had a gross output
in 1960 of 159.5 billion dollars, with a population of 1,294,000,000
inhabitants. This means that the gross output of the entire underdeveloped
world was one-third that of the United States and less than half that of
Western Europe.

It is estimated that in 1975 the gross output of the underdeveloped
countries may reach the figure of (?301.3) billion dollars. This means that
in 1975, the entire underdeveloped world will have a gross output much
lower than that of the United States in 1960. The entire underdeveloped
world, with a total population of 1,294,000,000 inhabitants in 1960, will
have a population of 1.85 billion people in 1975.

Thus, in 1960 the developed world produced 12 times more per capita than
did the underdeveloped world. It will produce in 1975 14 times more per
capita. While the gross output of the developed world will increase by some
900 billion, its population will increase by only 122 million people. The
population in the underdeveloped countries will increase by 529 million
inhabitants, but their gross output for every person born in the developed
countries will increase by 7,350 dollars annually, while in the
underdeveloped world the increase in the gross output for every person born
will increase by only 150 dollars. The gross output for every person born
in the developed countries will be 29 times higher than in the
underdeveloped countries.

Now, turning to the available income per capita in the United States in
1960, it was 1,792 dollars. In 1975, it will be 2,564. It will show an
increase of 802 dollars.

The available income in Canada in 1960 was 1,296 dollars. It will be 1,981
dollars in 1975. This is an increase of 685 dollars.

The available income in France was 1,078 in 1960 and will increase to 1,848
per capita in 1975. This is an increase of 770 dollars.

The available income in England in 1960 was 1,087 and it will increase to
1,733 by 1975--an increase of 763 dollars.

The available income in Japan in 1960 was 393, and it will increase to 860
in 1975--an increase of 467.

The underdeveloped countries as a whole average [words indistinct] in 1960
an available per capita income of between 70 and 85 dollars. This income
will average between 90 and 110 in 1975. Thus, while the income in the
United States will increase by 802 dollars, in Canada by 685, in France by
770, in England by 533, in Italy by 763, and in Japan by 467, the
underdeveloped countries will show an increase of approximately 20 to 30
dollars. Thus, while in 1960, the U.S. per capita income was about 22 times
higher than in the underdeveloped counties, in 1975 it will be 25 times

The difference in the trade balance of payment between the developed and
underdeveloped countries in 1960 amounted to 4.64 billion dollars; it will
be 10.5 billions in 1970 and 18.9 billions in 1975. We must add to this
incredible situation of poverty the profits made on investments. This means
that we must subtract form what is due the underdeveloped countries the
amounts that the monopolies and companies take away from these countries;
we must also add to this another form of subtle but evident exploitation,
that is, that as long as the developed world imposes its conditions on the
underdeveloped world, the underdeveloped world will have to sell its
products at ever-decreasing prices while paying ever-increasing prices for
the finished products it acquires from the developed countries. It has been
estimated that by 1975, the price of tea, for example, will go down six
percent, wool six percent, cotton three percent, cocoa nine percent,
leather and fur nine percent, yucca 14 percent, and rubber 32 percent.

This is the situation. It has a solution; there is a way out. Why has this
situation been brought about? Can any underdeveloped country repeat the
history of those countries when they started industrialization? If not,
why? What are the factors that constitute the main obstacles? One of those
factors is population increase. Let us see how the population is increasing
in the world.

In 1967, the world population increased by 70 million in 1968 the world's
population will reach 3.5 billion. Some 118 million will be born in 1968
and 49 million will die in the same year. At this pace, by the year 2000,
the world population will amount to 7 billion, and for many of you,
especially students, the year 2000 is not too far.

The previous FAO estimates were that it would amount to 6 billion. At the
present rate it will reach 7 billion at the end of this century.

Now what is the situation in Latin America? Let us see what the U.S.
population statistics office says, according to information received
yesterday. The population statistics office predicted today that within 32
years the population of Latin America will increase by 157 percent, the
highest rate of growth in the world. The present population of this area,
which is 268 million, will amount to 690 million by the end of the century.
In comparison, the office says, the population of North America and of the
Soviet Union will increase by about 42 percent in this period and the
population of Europe by only about 25 percent. In other words, while the
population of Europe, which now amounts to 180 million--no, it is 353
million--and which produces almost 400 billion, that is to say, which was
353 million in 1960 and which produced some 400 billion, will increase in
the next 32 years by about 25 percent, while the population of Latin
America, which amounted to 204 million in 1960 and produced 61.75 million,
that is to say, less than one-sixth of Europe's, will increase to 390
million in a 32-year period.

The office warns that Latin America, with the exception of Argentina,
Chile, and Uruguay, is in a position only slightly more favorable than
Africa, which has the highest index of infant mortality and illiteracy and
the lowest per capita income and longevity. It goes on to say that the
highest indexes of growth are those of El Salvador, 3.7; Dominican
Republic, 3.6; Venezuela, 3.6.

At the same time, the office observes that the areas included between
Mexico and Panama is the fastest growing area of the world, where the
population will double in about 20 years, if it continues at the present

It continues: It almost always happens that the countries that have the
greatest increase in population are those in which the great proportion of
destitute children presents grave social and economic problems.

The office continues saying that one (?alarming) aspect of the present
world population situation is the increasing lack of balance between the
food production index and human reproduction. It says that every day there
are more than 190,000 new mouths to feed. The research group points out:
Yet, not even one-third of the billion additional calories needed to supply
this human mass, even on a starvation level, is being produced.

That is what the population statistics office in an imperialist country,
the most imperialist of all the imperialist countries, says. Constantly,
almost every day, dispatches appear on this tremendous problem of the
increasing population of the world without increasing food.

New Delhi, India, 2 March--(?REUTERS)--The sterilization which had been
carried out up to now on a mass basis in India will prevent the birth of 10
million children in the next 10 years, it was stated today before
Parliament. The minister of family planning, (Tripa Chandrase) declared
before the Council of State, the upper house, that a total of 3.5 million
persons have been subjected up to now to sterilization operations. This
surgery is voluntary in India, whose population of 515 million is
increasing, according to recent official statistics, by 13 million a year.

In November, after a veritable storm of questions in Parliament, a plan
which provides for the compulsory sterilization of fathers who have three
children was rejected. (?Chandrase) also said today that the Indian
Government has proposed to establish laws this year which will raise from
15 to 18 years the age at which Indian girls may marry. (?Probably one of
those rumormongers read a dispatch he confused it with something else.
[mild laughter]

But finally, this is something which must be increasingly watched because
is really constitutes one of the most serious problems of the world today.

We shall see the effect it has on development problems. You can already see
what the imperialists propose: birth control methods, including
sterilization and almost compulsory sterilization. In other words, in this
situation, the sterilization of mankind. Not long ago the U.S. secretary of
state was saying with alarm that if science and technology did not find
solutions for the problem, the world would be exposed to a thermonuclear
explosion. They are so frightened in view of this insoluble situation that
they say, let thermonuclear bombs come, exploding everywhere. It appears
that this bomb which is being incubated--[Castro fails to complete
sentence], yes, it appears that it will continue to be incubated and it
cannot be subjected to agreement or controls of any kind.

Now then, how and why does this phenomenon tremendously affect, along with
other factors, the problem of the development of the underdeveloped part of
the world?

The countries that began the industrial revolution in the past century were
England, France, Belgium, Germany, and Italy, among others.

How much was the population of England growing when it began its industrial
development? It was growing at 0.6 percent a year. At that time, however,
various plagues, diseases, and epidemics restored a kind of natural
balance. Epidemics came and liquidated a large part of the population. The
modern advances, the current medicines that have practically liquidated
many of these epidemics did not exist then. So England was growing at 0.6
percent, France at 0.4 percent a year, Belgium at 0.7 percent, Germany 0.8
percent, Italy at 0.8 percent. With a increase of 0.7 percent of the
population, it could increase by 40 percent by 50 years.

In other words, with a 0.7 percent growth, the population could increase by
40 percent every 50 years. During the first 40 or 100 years of their
development, these countries achieved only 1 percent increase of their
gross product per inhabitant per annum. This means that the countries that
began the ear of industrial revolution succeeded in increasing the gross
product per inhabitant only 1 percent per annum during the first 60-100
years of their development. Despite their exploitation of colonies in many
cases and merciless exploitation of the workers, of the children and women
of the world, they succeeded in increasing the gross product by only 1
percent annum. For this they invested every year only 6 percent of the
gross national product. This means that by investing 6 percent of the gross
national product with a population growth of 0.7 percent, they improved
their economy at the rate of 1 percent a year. Only when their income was
three of four times higher than the average per capita income of the
countries currently underdeveloped, that is to say, when they had four
times more available per capita interest than that which a person in the
underdeveloped world has today, did they raise the percentage of investment
of the gross national product to 12 percent. That is to say, when they
already had reached a level four times higher than that which any
underdeveloped national now has, they raised--or the raise occurred, since
it was not planned but occurred as the result of events--the percentage of
the gross product appropriated for development to 12 percent.

Now then, this is the history of how the development began, what the
population growth rate was, what percentage of the gross national product
was invested, what percentage they increased, and what they increased in a
period of from 60 to 100 years.

If, on the other hand, a nation grows at the rate of 2.2 percent in 50
years, its population will triple. So that if the developed countries, when
they began their development, increased their population by 40 percent or
could increase it by 40 percent, in 50 years, the currently underdeveloped
nations, any underdeveloped country which increases its population by 2.2,
will triple its total population in 50 years and will need to invest not
less than 12 percent of the gross national product simply to compensate for
population growth.

This means that while the countries of which we are speaking, by investing
6 percent compensated for their population increase ad increased production
by 1 percent per annum, a currently underdeveloped nation with a 2.2
population increase needs to invest double that simply to compensate or
population growth and without increasing per capita production pre annum.
If, because of this enormous population growth, this country wants to
increase the gross national product per inhabitant by one percent per
annum, it will have to invest no less than 16 percent of the gross national

In the way, a country whose growth rate is 2.2 will, by investing 16
percent of the gross national product, compensate for population increase
and increase its production by 1 percent per annum, so that in 80 years it
would double its income. This income today is 10 times less than Europe has
per capita and 20 times less than the United States. That is to say, a
nation whose population grows 2.2 percent, investing 16 percent of the
gross national product, would increase its production 1 percent per year
and would double its current income in 20 years, which is one-twenthieth of
the United States per capita income.

To increase the per capita gross production of a nation by 2 percent, a
nation whose population grows 2.2 percent must invest 20 percent of the
gross national product. None of these developed countries every invested 20
percent until their income was already five or six times higher than the
current income of the underdeveloped world.

Very well, in the case of Latin America, as we have seen, it is not 2.2.
Why did that 2.2 show up? Because it was taken as a index, in the United
Nations, of the average growth of the population of the underdeveloped
world. However, that is not the truth, it is growing more. So Latin
America, with a growth of 3.2 percent of population, in order to achieve an
annual 2 percent growth per capita of its gross national product, would
have to invest 25 percent of the gross national product. It would have to
invest 25 percent of gross national product, which it will not invest and
which it can never invest, even under the present political conditions.
Having an incomparably superior per capita income, no country that
presently developed has every invested such a figure.

Now there comes another problem relating to this increase of the
population--let no one be frightened, for we are not promoting planning or
control. Those are measures being proposed by the imperialists to the
underdeveloped world. The measures that we want--the only ones that
(?resolve)--are different. An increase of 2.2 percent of the population in
countries where the average life-span is low--many people are born and
people live shorter lives--means that more than 30 percent of th population
is less than 10 years old and cannot participate in production. That is to
say that, among all the things linked to this enormous annual increase,
more than 30 percent are less than 10 of age, while in the developed
nations, the children under 10 range between 15 and 18 percent of the
population. That is, the rich, those who have more available income, have
many fewer persons under 10, almost half of the number in poor countries
with low per capita income. The percentage of the population that is under
10 is twice as high in an underdeveloped nation as in a developed nation.

In developed countries, the production of food per capita grows no more
than 2 percent per year, despite the slight growth of its population. With
all the technology, the developed countries achieve increases averaging 2
percent. In Latin America, combined-- when I say combined, I mean an
average because some have more and some less--with a population growth
greater than 3 percent, it was, in 1961, 2 percent less than it had before
World War II. The 1967 "United Nations Yearbook" says: In Africa, as well
as in Latin America, where no increase has been registered in food
production since 1965, food production declined in 1966. The level lost
cannot be easily recovered, becasue it would require, in 1967, an increase
of 7 percent to equal per capita level of 1964.

In this desperate race against time, when population is increasing by three
percent, when stagnation is taking place or there is a decline, the effort
required to be made in order to achieve the former level is almost
impossible. That is to say, they are called upon to produce a phenomenon
[word indistinct] from the decline of per capita food production.

The problems of developing the production of [word indistinct] are very
serious, very serious, especially when many of the locations already used
for agriculture are the best lands closest to the cities. The problems of
transportation, or roads, of technology, of irrigation, or fertilization
that present themselves are very serious. Production can be increased
incredibly, particularly when one starts at very low technical levels. But
what is difficult is [to get] what is necessary to be able to apply those
levels of technology.

What factors made development possible, in that period of the first
countries, that hinder development today? We have spoken of population, the
growth of population, of the percentage of population under 10 years of
age. One of those factors is modern technology, which involves an
investment cost that is incomparably higher than in that era. You will
understand that during the ear of the wagon pulled by oxen or horses,
during the ear of the first (?simple) machinery, during the ear of the
early machines, without too much technology, cost, or investment, men who
had practical experience would construct a certain machine. The cost that
had to be invested per worker--that is, to hire a producing worker--the
amount that had to be invested was equivalent to what a worker earned in 5
or 8 months.

Today,with modern technology, to build an industry in an underdeveloped
country, the amount that must be invested in machinery equals the salary
earned by a worker in 350 months, or 30 years. Take any cement plant and
this becomes clear. Or if you prefer, let us take the new nitrogen plant,
the plant of nitrogen fertilizer at Cienfuegos that will cost more than 40
million dollars in foreign exchange, or 60 million [as received]. It will
hire fewer than 1,000 employees. And of course fertilizer cannot be
produced in any other way than by really modern machinery, becasue
otherwise it would mean wasting fuel and everything. The production of
nitrogen, if it is to be profitable, must be done with really modern
equipment, and that industry costs the country some 60 million, more than
60,000 pesos per worker.

In other words, the complexity of modern technology demands a huge
investment that amounts to some 60 times more than was needed during the
era when those countries started the industrial revolution. Another thing:
Almost all the redimentary machines with which the industrial revolution
was started could be built domestically, so that England and France
imported approximately 1.5 percent of the machinery used. They imported 1.5
percent. The underdeveloped countries, for the technical complexity of a
modern machine, have to import no less than 90 percent of the machines
needed. It is clear that building a wagon is not the same thing as building
a locomotive. In other words, the first machines with which they started
their industrial development were build in the country concerned.

Today, any machine needed by an underdeveloped country must be imported.
And it must pay a high price, because that machine is very expensive and it
costs the country 60 times more per worker. This is not the only thing;
that same technical complexity demands trained workers specialists who have
trained for a long period of years in costly training programs.

Of course, these are not the only problems. We are merely pointing out some
problems that serve to explain the present phenomenon, the inescapable
obstacles that the underdeveloped countries of the world must face. Another
thing that must be taken into consideration is that in the underdeveloped
countries sectors of the population are dedicated to nonproductive
activities--(?remains) of bureaucracy, commercial activities--so that a
large portion of the population and the resources are invested in these
activities. This is speaking of the problems objectively. The objective
difficulties also have their subjective problems, such as the social
system, political regulation, feudal exploitation of the land, oligarchic
and forced governments imposed by imperialism or neocolonialism, domination
of the economy by the imperialist monopolies, and plundering of the natural
resources, including the plundering of technical resources. One of the most
serious problems is that of illiteracy. We find that in 1950, 90 percent of
the nations in the underdeveloped world had more than 50 percent of
illiterates--more than 50 percent illiteracy.

Of course, understanding these things gives us a clearer picture of the
monstrous crimes that the imperialists commit in the world, of the
monstrous crime that imperialist policy, which represses the revolutionary
movement, signifies. This is a policy that imposes aggression and war. It
manufactures all kinds of puppet governments. Why? To keep the world under
these conditions. Why? To cater to the interests of the financial
oligarchies of those countries. Becasue when a country has achieved
industrialization, its standard of living depends to a considerable
extent--or will depend--on the productivity of labor, on the equipment of
its industry, so that is can attain a high per capita production.

Naturally, even though all privileges and the exploitation of man still
exist, the life of a worker in a developed capitalist country is not the
same as the life of a peasant or worker in an underdeveloped capitalist

The United States not only has a modern industry, technically equipped,
with a high rate of productivity; it not only appropriates natural
resources; it not only extorts and exploits much of the world through its
monopolistic enterprises and through unequal trade; but in addition it
takes technicians away from the underdeveloped world.

Here is a figure. Of 43,000 engineers who emigrated to the United States
between 1949 and 1961, 60 percent came from underdeveloped countries.
Remember the figures: population growth, gross national product, incredible
current difficulties for an underdeveloped country; and on top of all that,
of 43,000 engineers who emigrated to the United States in a period of some
12 or 13 years, 60 percent came from underdeveloped countries.

Of the 11,206 emigrants from Argentina to the United States between 1951
and 1963, 50 percent were skilled engineers. Half of 11,206 Argentine
emigrants, 50 percent, were skilled engineers. Of course, in those
countries, since there has been no revolution, they carefully choose the
people whom they let in. It is not like here, where they take "lumpen,"
bourgeois, big landowners, police thugs, all kinds of people.

They have not been able to do much selecting here. From the countries of
Latin America they allow a limited number of people, and they choose highly
skilled technicians.

In 1950, from the world at large, 1,500 engineers and scientists emigrated
to the United States.

In 1967, engineers and scientists emigrated to the United States at the
rate of 100,000 a year. In this way, the United States, taking advantage of
its tremendous economic resources, is plundering the world of its technical
and scientific brains, particularly the underdeveloped world.

This is a situation that affects not only the underdeveloped world. Europe,
too, in spite of those figures, in spite of that standard of living, in
spite of that development, in spite of its technology, is beginning to hurt
because it is beginning to lag behind the United States, becasue the United
States plunders its technicians, buy whatever industries it can in Europe.
It even invests only 10 percent of the value of the enterprise, for they do
not make the purchase with American money taken to Europe; since they have
gained control of the most advanced technology, they mobilize the capital
they need for their investments inside Europe itself.

We have observed this phenomenon. Often it has been a matter of their
having bought an Italian factory, or a Spanish plant, or an English or
French plant, or in any country. Sometimes, as happened to us in the case
of the rice combines, a social problem was practically created, because of
a kind of rice combine we tried to buy in Europe, for which negotiations
were proceeding with a plant in Belgium. In the end it was impossible. Even
though the workers were idle, they would not sell the machines. The workers
were for it, but they did not sell becasue an American firm owned stock in
that plant. And when an American firm owns stock in a plant in Europe, the
plant is not controlled by the government of the European country involved;
it is the U.S. Department of State that has control, the Commerce
Department, the U.S. Government.

Europe is hurt by the way the United States acquires its industries,
penetrates, sacks a country of its best technicians, and pursues a policy
of penetration that threatens to leave Europe behind the United States.

We have seen, or tried to see, or have a panoramic view of these facts,
about which manuals do not speak, just as they fail to speak of some very
important matters such as the problem of unequal trade by which the
developed world contributes, or in some way plunders the underdeveloped

The concrete situation of Cuba, a country which is beginning its economic
development after the revolution:

The rate of population increase in Cuba during the past 5 years averaged
2.3 percent a year. This figure is three to four times more than in the
rate in industrial countries when they began their development. In 1953,
36.3 percent of the population was under the age of 15. In 1967, 37.9
percent was under 15.

In 1953, 6.9 percent of the population was over 60. In 1967, as a result of
the increase in the average life span, 7.2 percent of the population was
over 60. These figures appear to be small: form 36.3 to 37.9, and from 6.9
to 7.2, but you will see what affect that have on the percentage of active

Taking the group between 15 and 60 years of age as the population of
working age, the change of the age-group structure means that in 1926
[corrects self]--in 1967 we have 226,000 fewer persons of working age than
we would have if the structure of the population was the same as in 1953.

That is to say, if we had the same population structure as in 1953, 36.3
percent under 15, and 6.9 percent over 60, we would have 226,000 more
people between the ages of 15 and 60.

So the population increase on the one hand, and the average life span on
the other, means that there are more than 200,000 fewer people of working
age. By 1970, according to estimates, the population will reach 8,349,000.
By 1970, under the age of 5 there will be 1,214,000; from 5 to 9 years old,
1,125,000; from 10 to 14, 916,000. By 1970, then, there will be 3,255,000
persons under the age of 15, that is, 39 percent of the Cuban population.

Just think how this adds to production--the production of milk, the
production of food, the production of everything, for a population whose
percentage is increasing, a part of the population. Now then, with a 2.3
percent population increase yearly, and almost 40 percent of the population
made up of children under the age of 15, the effort that must be put forth,
that our people must of necessity make, is considerable.

Just to compensate for population growth, it is necessary to invest at
least 12 percent of the available gross national product to make up for the
growth; to grow at a rate of one percent and double income in 80 years, let
us say, no less than 16 percent of the gross product; and to develop the
economy at a rate of at least five percent of increment in the gross
product per capita per year, 30 percent of the available gross national
product. And this effort must be made basically with the active population
of the nation, that is, about half of the population, leaving out the
children and people over 60.

State Investments

Naturally, we are giving indications of how the investments that must be
made fit in with the world in general. This does not mean that things
happen with mathematical exactness. Everything depends on where investment
is made. We have many more possibilities in agriculture. It is an available
natural resource. There is the matter of climate. Developing agriculture
does not require the same degree of technology as iron and steel industry,
for instance. It does not require the same level of investment. In short,
there are sectors and sectors, where investment is more or less. But today
(?this) is the only way to explain more or less how a country's development
(?is shaped), the obstacles it encounters, the population growth, the
influence it has--in short, an idea of the investment that must be made.

Investing something means not consuming it. A good example is furnished by
the foreign currency we have. If we devote all of it to consumption and
none of buying a machine, or irrigation equipment, or machinery for
draining land or for water resources work, the result is quite clear: today
we will eat, [but] we will surely not eat next year, and less and less as
time goes by--less and less as time passes, with the growth in population
and increasing dependence on climatic conditions and unpredictable factors
of every sort. That is clear.

Now then: these past years, how have investments increased? In 1962 state
investments came to 607.6 million, in 1963 to 716.8, in 1964 to 794.9, in
1965 to 827.1, in 1966 to 909.8, and in 1967 to 979 million; in 1968, the
estimate is 1.24 billion pesos.

In 1967, adding state investments to other acquisitions such as the
increase in numbers of cattle--not slaughtered so as to add to the
numbers--the increase in the number of cattle, increase [words indistinct],
and so on, the nation devoted 27.1 percent of the available gross product
to development.

That included the nation's resources, even outside resources that are
mobilized. In other words, we can buy a bulldozer or powdered milk credit,
one of the two. Credits mean payments that must be made later on, and those
of you who have visited the piers know how many machines are being imported
into the country. The most important thing is how much a machine imported
into this country produces. The machines are organized into brigades with
military-like regulations and the best maintenance. The number of machines
imported into the country is far greater than at any other time.

In 1968, the amount invested will amount to 31 percent of the available
gross national product. We believe that no underdeveloped country is
presently coming close to this effort, not even remotely. Regardless of the
fact that the results cannot be seen because the projects being promoted at
Nuevitas have taken years in building, early this year the first cement
plat will begin to operate. We have the cement plant at Siguabea, the
construction of the fertilizer plant at Cienfuegos and Nuevitas, and
investments like the dam at (?the Mayari River) which took 4 years to build
and was finished in August--it still has not given a drop of water, but we
have it there, with a capacity of 250 million cubic meters. We hope this
year it will be filled and can be used for irrigating large areas.


We have been making great efforts. We have made big investments in
education, in the universities, and in the teaching plans. We have made an
effort that started with the elimination of illiteracy. Starting with
practically nothing, the country has made these efforts, although the
results cannot be seen--regardless of the fact that these results cannot be
seen yet. In these efforts, we must say that in these investments, the
value of voluntary work is not taken into account. In other words, the
volume of the voluntary work is in addition to the figures we cited. Those
hundreds of thousands of persons that have been mobilized in any given day
to fill coffee bags, to plant, to work, to dig ditches, and those who work
the length and breadth of the island in similar mobilizations, each effort
made, each tree planted, is an effort added to this 31 percent of the gross
national product dedicated to development. This country will look upon this
one day with deep satisfaction and will be glad of what is being done
today. It is true that we are working for the figure, but in a sense we are
not working for future generations. This generation will have the change to
see the results of the work being done today. There is no doubt about this.

In general terms, what is the state of education? There is an enrollment of
2,193,741 persons studying. There are approximately 250,000, counting
children, teenagers, and adults, in boarding schools, and semiboarding
schools 150,000.

The truth is that there is a fact that should not be mentioned now, but it
would be lamentable to forget it and it is related to the subject when we
talk about the problems of supply. For example, in 1965, the social
services for educations--in 1965, meals were provided for 156,300. This is
in 1965. In 1968, this figure rose to 389,300, including the boarding and
semiboarding students. Health and social aid: in 1965, meals were provided,
to 62,300, and in 1968 to 108,500; recreation and sport: 900 in 1965 and
9,400 in 1968.

Listed here too are the fishing fleet and crews of ships that increased
from 6,300 to 9,400, and the employees of those centers that were increased
from 30,600 to 50,500.

These were the personnel that attended schools and boarding schools.
Harvests and other moblizations: in 1965, 228,000 and in 1968, 397,000.
Workers eating in dining halls: in 1965, 130,400, and in 1968, 544,000. So
that in addition to distribution by ration card, there was an increase in
daily meals served, from 626,300 in 1965 to 1,529,200. According to these
figures, the number of persons fed increased by approximately 1 million.

If I remember correctly, those in education amounted to 80 percent of the
population of Matanzas Province; 1,529,000 persons [now] amount to three
times the population of Matanzas Province. The increase from 1965 has been
from 626,300 to 1,529,000, according to these figures. If a mobilization of
any kind is made at any place, we have to serve them food. This does not
include defense and internal order. This is why, when we are speaking of
the state of education, I have cited these figures.

Primary education: There is an enrollment of 1,391,478; and in secondary
education, 177,087, of whom basic secondary takes 160,308, preuniversity
16,779, and technical and professional training 45,608, including
industrial technical institutes, fishing schools, and so forth.

Primary teacher training schools, 18,121, universities, 34,532. Adults
studying, peasant-worker education, and women training--405,602; other
training, 7,092. Worker technology institutes, 46,595 students; juvenile
agriculture-livestock raising schools, 28,832; construction shop schools,
10,663; ITN, 1,626; Public Health Ministry, 6,060; physical education and
sport superior schools, 2,462; and in nursery schools there are 33,622.

Student increases: in the primary grades, student enrollment will increase
from 1,391,478 to 1,443,000 in 1969, and in 1974-75 it will reach 1,636,698
students. There will be a great demand for teachers. Even though we have
many classes for teachers at Minas del Frio and (Topes de Callarte), we
will not have enough teachers, we will not have enough teachers.

There still is some absenteeism. For example, in the 6-12 year schoolage
group, approximately anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 children do not attend
school. We have here a liability already being built up for the
future--anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 children that do not attend school.
The midlevel students at present amount to 240,820. These figures are
feally impressive. They will increase to 269,000 in 1970, and in 1974-75
they will reach 530,000. These figures do not include studies made or
projections of the worker-peasant institutes that, of course, will decrease
as the superior education centers receive students from the primary schools
and the school system.

This is the state of the education, where a great effort has been made, and
yet this effort is not enough. The Education Ministry will now grant some
40,000 scholarships for various students, and an effort is being made to
solve the problem of guiding youths toward the activities in which they are
needed, because they are needed in everincreasing numbers; above all, the
teacher problem is very important. It will increasing numbers; above all,
the teacher problem is very important. It will be necessary to resort to
the use of television in order to solve this problem. If we do not resort
to the use of television in midlevel and preuniversity education--we will
not be able to take care of such an increase if we do not resort to such a
technical media as television. It will be impossible to train--there will
be enough teachers for such a mass of students, that is increasing at such
high rates.

Preliminary experiments with television are being conducted and we believe
that we will be one of the first countries to use television as an
education tool. We have two powerful television stations and the education
program is assigned to a channel that barely covers the entire nation. In
the future, any investment in television should be made for educational
television and to establish technological institutes and real universities
in the future, because the future calls for this as a vital essential. The
problems of the future world demand uninterrupted studies, practically
[word indistinct]. Any nation that does not do this will become stagnant
and will stay behind the rest of the world. The problems of the future
world demand that television be used to the maximum as an educational tool
and to support that huge educational movement, taking into consideration
the tremendous scarcity of teaching cadres, that we have.

We were saying that our people are making a great effort. However, we do
not believe in the least that this has been the generation of Cubans that
has had to make the greatest effort. There were other generations of
Cubans, like the generation whose historic epic we are commemorating this
year on the first centenary of the start of the fight for independence of
this country. Perhaps we do not fully, comprehend how much we owe to that
generation, that pointed out to us the road of the struggle at a time when
there were also autonomists, reformists, and even annexionists, who rose up
in arms because, it seems, there was already, at that time, discussion
about methods and ways and there were charlatans of every type who avoided
the challenge of the time.

That generation fought 10, 30 years, but did not with independence. The
generation of the early years of the republic saw the country (? hobbled)
by the Platt Amendment and the Yankee forces were granted the
constitutional right to intervene--forces that do not need constitutional
rights to perpetrate their crimes. These generations did not have many of
the things that our people have today.

We have spoken of economic development, and in these past few years our
country has made considerable social progress. It has virtually eliminated
illiteracy. It has given every youth the opportunity to study and every
youth and citizen the opportunity to work. It has given them the
opportunity to engage in sports; it has given them social opportunities; it
has given them the opportunity to have a house and health care. It has
given them a number of opportunities that could not be attained or enjoyed
by the generations of Cubans that preceded the present generations.

This generation is making a great effort and must be ready to make an even
greater effort if circumstances so require. When we speak of this
generation of Cubans, to whom do we refer? Do we refer absolutely to every
Cuban? No. That would not be true. That would be lying. The part of the
people we refer to is considerable and it is the part that bears the main
weight of this epic battle for the development of the country. It is not
the entire people.

Private Enterprise

We were saying that we have been very benevolent, even very generous,
because while hundreds of thousands and even millions in our society are
working somewhere--whether at cutting cane, or working on the Havana belt
project, or any other place along the length and breadth of the
island--there is still a considerable number of persons who do not
participate at all in this effort. To a certain extent, those who work are
forced to work for themselves and also for those who do not work. They are
forced to work for the lazy, the parasites, and the privileged. They are
forced to work because of certain exploitation practices that still exist
in our country.

If we can reproach this revolution for anything, it is not for having been
extremist, but rather for not having been sufficiently radical. We must not
lose the opportunity. We must not fail to seize the hour and the moment to
make this revolution more radical. We must end up being a revolutionary
people. [applause]

There still remains among us a real scum of privileged persons who live on
the work of the others and who live considerably better then the rest. They
watch the others do th work. They are drones in perfect physical condition
who put up a stand or open a small place and earn 50 pesos per day in
violation of the law, the health measures, and everything else, while they
watch trunks go by laden with women who work on the Havana belt, or harvest
tobacco in Guines, or work elsewhere. [applause, shouts] If people were to
ask what kind of revolution is this that allows these groups of parasites
to remain after 9 years of revolution, they would be completely right to do
so. We believe that we must firmly propose to put an end to every
parasitical activity that still remains in the revolution. [applause,

We see incredible things which, when analyzed, makes us realize how
profoundly (?evil) they are. For example, there still remain in Havana--in
this capital of the republic--955 private bars making money hand over fist
and selling everything. [shouts of disapproval] They are really not even
bars. The less we have of public or private bars, the better off we will
be. [applause]

Nobody is against someone being happy and no one is against the people
enjoying recreation and having fun, but the problem is that this nation has
many more important tasks than this to fulfill--many more vital tasks. We
have mentioned before the effort that this country must make, and this
means years of work. As long as we do not clearly understand this fact that
is based on the statements that we have discussed, we will not have
adopted, correctly and to its fullest extent, the correct policy of the
revolution. Nine hundred fifty-five bars! [laughter from the crowd]

I am (?not) going to read the list of these bars to you for several
reasons, but we have made many investigations of these bars--who they are,
who buys, where they buy, how much they sell, how much they make, what they
do, who frequents them, and what they discuss. [applause and shouts of
approval from the crowd] They themselves cannot even imagine. We have their
names and everything else. [applause] We do not want to go into details
because many of them have families and we are not going to go into details
or names. It is enough to mention it in general terms.

A series of investigations and a statistical analysis were ordered, for the
party's benefit, of the material different comrades had gathered to
acquaint ourselves and give us a concrete knowledge of the problem and to
undertake solutions involving the social and economic nature of our
revolution. This study was made by CTC militants involving information from
the Plaza, Centro Habana, Guanabacoa, Boyeros, Marianao, and Diez de
Octubre regions. For the study the CTC members undertook all types of
research with the cooperation of the comrades from the vigilance front of
the CDR's. Because of the methods used in this study, we could not consider
it statistical proof that gives us a true picture, but undoubtedly its
contents will be useful in understanding the extent of this problem and it
may serve as a guide for future actions. Because of its political
importance, we cite the cases studied by the CDR members.

Results of the investigations; types of sales, block number one.

As can be seen in the block, the outstanding type of sale is alcoholic
beverages. It was discovered by the comrades who made this study that the
state enterprises has not supplied any beverages to the Centro Habana
region for the past 4 months.

Gross income and profit:

16 percent of them have a daily income of at least 50 pesos, 10 pesos, 25
pesos, and 30 pesos; 43 percent of them have an income of from 50 to 99
pesos daily; and 41 percent of them more than 100 pesos. Some of them have
an income of more than 200 pesos daily. Net profit: 55 percent of them have
a profit of less than 25; 13 percent, from 25 to 49 pesos daily; and 32
percent more than 50 pesos daily--50, 100, 150, and up to 300 pesos.

Revolutionary attitudes,, morals, social service, and other (?items).

Revolutionary attitude: 72 percent of them are opposed to our revolutionary
process. Clientele: 66 percent of the customers who frequent these places
are antisocial. Social service: None of these businesses provide any social
benefits for the people, that is 78 percent of them do not. Other
businesses: 28 percent of the bar owners have 9other businesses. Sources of
supply: It was proven in the investigations that 66 percent of the bars
(?operate) illegally; only in seven of them could the source of supply be

Summary: results of the investigation of private bars:

Illegal purchases of alcoholic beverages, bad revolutionary attitude of
both the owners and employees, antisocial clientele, and a disservice to
the people.


They should be taken over by the state or closed. [applause] Should they be
taken over, they must not continue operation as heretofore. A study of the
needs of the area should be made. Many of these bars are located in places
that were originally private homes and that can be used as such again. The
majority of these bars have good air-conditioning systems and they can be
used as dining halls or for other state centers. This was a general
investigation of the privately owned businesses in Havana.

Results of the party's investigations.


Of 6,452 privately-owned business establishment located in the Havana
metropolitan area, 1,819 lacked legal permits to operate. This is 28.2
percent of the business establishments. This means that almost one-third of
the establishment were operating illegally. The areas of Boyeros and Plaza
de la Revolution had the highest percent of illegally operated
establishments--41 percent in Boyeros and 20 percent of the establishments
investigated lacked legal permits. In the 70 investigations made the
municipal administration, the percentage of illegal operations found was
lower--only 10 percent.

Sanitary conditions:

Practically half of the establishment had bad sanitary conditions. In other
words, the sanitary conditions were classified as average to bad.

Of the 6,102 establishment that supplied data, we find that 2,471 are
average and 567 have bad sanitary conditions. The establishments
investigated on 10 October were the ones that presented the most disastrous
sanitary conditions. Almost two-thirds--61.9 percent--of them had bad or
average sanitary conditions. Nevertheless, in Plaza de la Revolution and
Guanabacoa, approximately one-third of the businesses involved in the
investigation revealed conditions that were not good.

Departures from the country [Castro apparently reads topic headings]:

Another of the figures researched refers to the future people without a
country. Requests for permission to leave the country were fixed at 499
individuals out of 8,508 investigated. The highest percentage of requests
for permission to leave are in the regionals of Guanabacoa, Marianao, and
San Jose, while the lowest percentage is that of Centro Habana. In the
figures obtained on fried food stands and other analogous, small stands, it
was observed through the reports that a large number of individuals who
intend to leave the country are carrying out this type of business, which,
at the same time that it provides them with abundant income, allows them to
establish continuing relationships with lumpen and other antisocial
counterrevolutionary elements.

Physical condition of the owners:

Approximately two-thirds of the owners of private businesses were
apparently in good physical condition, with extreme figures that run from
59.6 in the Diez de Octubre regional to 77.8 in the Guanabacoa regional. Of
the 6,176 cases reported, 3,914 were found to be in good physical
condition. In a physical condition classified as "poor," were 8.8 percent
of the owners, while the incapacitated amounted to 3.3 percent. In fair
physical condition were 24.6 percent. This means that almost 90 percent are
considered to be in good or fair physical condition.

Other characteristics:

The number of owners who worked directly in the business was also
investigated. In metropolitan Havana it reached 87.6 percent. This means
that 12.4 percent of the owners receive profits without contributing any
physical effort to the business. These owners, in 14.9 percent of the cases
investigated, receive income other than that from the business
investigated. The highest percentage is in the Boyeros regional, where 22.4
percent of the owners have other incomes. In a study of 60 investigations
made by the municipal administration, 80 percent of the owners lived off
their businesses only. The exploiting characteristic of these owners of
private businesses can be seen when the figures are analyzed with respect
to the use of employees in these businesses. This happens in 31.1 percent
of the cases, almost one-third of the businesses investigated. The highest
percentage was in Centro Habana, where 40 percent of the owners have
employees whom they exploit.

This figure is lowest in the Boyeros regional. An investigation was also
made as to whether the family of the owner had other sources of income.

This was so in 21.9 percent of the cases, with maximum variations ranging
from 18 percent in the Guanabacoa regional to 35.2 percent in the Boyeros

Political integration:

An investigation was made on this subject among 2,056 owners of private
businesses in interior Havana by the municipal administration and by the
municipal administration in metropolitan Havana, and a specific survey of
small stands gave very variant results. The greatest percentage of those
who were not participating in the revolution was among the owners of fried
food stands, where out of 51 individuals who reported the information, 39
of them, 95.1 percent, were counterrevolutionaries. In the interior of
Havana, the percentage of those not participating reached 77.7 percent. The
most prominent was the San Jose regional, with 80 percent of owners who did
not belong to any political mass organization. In the survey carried out by
the municipal administration, the percentage of nonparticipants decreased.
The moral and social behavior which goes hand in hand with a revolutionary
attitude was evaluated in the survey of the stand operators, where our of
18 individuals reporting, 18 were antisocial and amoral elements.

In block No 9 we have analyzed the time that the owners have been working
in their businesses. The percent of the owners in the interior of Havana
having less than a year in business is 10.2. Those having less than 8 years
averaged 36.6 percent. This means that they established themselves after
the victory of the revolution. In San Jose, this percentage is the highest:
57.7. This means that in San Jose more than half of the owners established
themselves after the victory of the revolution. The lowest percentage is in
Mayabeque, with 35.7. In the studies made by the municipal administration
of metropolitan Havana, the figure was 51.7.

Specific analysis of the fried food sellers:

In this work a special study was made of a group of individual stand
operators who sell fried and other food. The most widely sold article is
egg omelet, generally bread with egg omelet. Of the 50 establishments
investigated, 43 of them sold omelets. This is due to the easy acquisition
of the materials. In second place are fish croquettes and rolls. After
these come (?French-fried potatoes). Sold in lesser amounts are stuffed
potatoes, friters, and sardines. In others, shrimp, fish, squid,
hamburgers, sugarcane juice, cigars, matches, milkshakes, candy, coffee,
and soft drinks are sold. The study made in these cases was made by a group
of extraordinarily interest militants. These studies bring into prominence
the political importance of finding a solution to the problems created by
this mercantile infrastructure, one which appears where the state
organizations do not give adequate service to the people. The lumpen find
suitable means for making profit and living from all vices, exploiting the
rest. We have 10 cases which clearly illustrate these problems.

Gross sales and profits:

The gross income of the stand operators reaches unsuspected heights.

Twenty percent of the stands have gross sales of over 100 pesos daily, 35.5
percent have a daily gross of from 50 to 99 pesos, while 44.5 have daily
gross sales of less than 50 pesos. In the Centro Habana regional, all the
investigated establishments sell more than 5,000 pesos [presumably daily].
Profits made daily run parallel with these incomes. Twenty percent of the
owners make more than 50 pesos daily and 53.3 percent of the stand owners
make more than 25 pesos daily. These profits are explained by the great
difference existing between the production price and the sale price, and
also the sales volume.

As an example we will cite that of a fried foods stand on Luyano Avenue,
which sells more than 200 units daily. The production price for croquettes
is centavos and the sale price is 20 centavos. This is a 150 percent
profit. Fried potatoes cost eight centavos to produce and sell for 20
centavos. The profit is 150 percent. Fish rolls, 10 centavos, sale price 35
centavos. Profit is 250 percent. Omelets cost 11 centavos to produce and
sell for 30 centavos. The profit is 173 percent. The average daily sale was
66.4 pesos with average daily profits of 43.57 pesos. This means 22.83
pesos for costs.

Characteristics of exploitation:

Forty-six percent of the owners work for themselves, but there are another
44 percent who hire employees and, on occasions, the owner does not even
work personally but only comes around to collect the proceeds of the sales.
Forty percent rent out the stands, but the rest exploit employees. And
finally, some 10 percent operate their stands in partnership with another
individual, sometimes a relative. With respect to the origin of
merchandise, 20 percent of the owners, according to the study, appear to
buy their materials legally through quotas established by the Internal
Trade Ministry or through the use of the family rations. Another group, 18
percent, supply themselves illegally, from the purchase of raw materials on
the black market to the stealing of lard in bakeries and the illegal
transfer of cooking oil from groceries and even state groceries.

Others go out into the rural areas for their supplies and buy products at
above fixed prices. The most common method of obtaining merchandise--see
here--is through legal channels and illegal purchases. In block No 15 you
can see that 18 percent of the owners have another business, position, or
income in addition to the food stand. [Castro displays charts and graphs to
illustrate his talk]

This is common among any type of owner who embarks on any type of business
or buying and selling. Some work in state work centers, while others
receive some type of retirement pension.

Summary and conclusions:

We present the results of the investigations made by municipal and
provincial administrations and the party with respect to private
businesses. We arrive at these characteristics:

A) Lack of legality of these businesses; B) Poor hygienic conditions
existing; C) Low participation of the owners in the revolution; D)
Antisocial living conditions; E) Dirty business such as theft and bribery
in the obtaining of raw materials.

It is emphasized that San Jose has the largest percentage of
nonparticipants in the revolution and the largest percentage of owners with
counterrevolutionary activities and the largest percentage of stands
establishment after the victory of the revolution.


Absolute prohibition by the Internal Trade Ministry, Public Health
Ministry, and the local administrations on the opening of new
establishments of this type. A gradual supperssion of these types of
businesses must be carried out guaranteeing that the people will be
supplied with similar food items with greater cleanliness. Three
consecutive phases are proposed, and then many more. Some may be shipped.

In general we are either going to create socialism or we are going to
create a small-stand society. [laughter] We are not even referring to the
economic effect, in spite of the obvious results of all these businesses.
[Castro mumbles something in an aside and there is some laughter from the
crowd] The state sector and the private sector sell through private
groceries 77 million pesos worth of merchandise of a total of 248,961,703
pesos. Truly a study of the entire country has been made. We spoke of this
problem on 26 July. We saw how that type of business increased, how it grew
year by year, how the quantities of incomes and profits increased, how the
number of people who abandoned productive work to go into that type of
business increased. Hygienic problems increased. There is now a problem of
public health. This had been studied.

The problems of children increased. They took children out of school.
Corruption and bribery increased, illegal activities of all types.
Gentlemen, we did not make a revolution here to establish the right to do
business. That revolution came about in 1789. Or was it--yes, in 1789. It
was the era of the bourgeois revolution.

Everybody has read something about that. It was the revolution of the
businessmen, the bourgeois. When will they completely understand that this
is the revolution of the socialists? That this is the revolution of the
communists? When will they completely understand [applause] that nobody
spilled his blood here fighting against tyranny, against merenaries,
against bandits so that the right would be established for someone to make
profits of 250 pesos daily selling rum or 50 pesos selling fried eggs, or
omelets, while all those girls who work in those places earn a modest
salary, the modest income allowed under the economy of our country and the
development of our country? Who has said this? Warnings are of no use.
Those truths are worth nothing. They are squeezing the last drop out of
those things as long as the privilege exists. They cling; to the privilege
until the final day, and that final day in near at hand. The final day is
near at hand. [applause, cheering]

In a clear and decisive manner we must say that we intend to eliminate all
manifestations of private business. [applause, cheering] Anyone who can
work will be given work, and anyone who cannot work will be given what he
needs. Nobody is denied a living here. How many scores of thousands of
persons have asked for help from the revolution? And they have been helped!
Not a concession but as a duty.

It has been explained that no one has any reasons to be foresaken. No one.
Everybody has the right to be helped or to be given work. And if we cannot
give him work we will give him help. We expect to be able to find more work
for all those who need it. Work is what we will have more than enough of in
the long run. Only with work can we win the battle of underdevelopment.
There still remains the desire to be businessmen.

We recall how EL DIARIO DE LA MARINA, which was the spokesman for
capitalism, spoke and threatened that any measure that infringed on the
sacred freedom of business would discourage business and was a curb on the
development of trade. And who is going to tell us, when we could not have
taken more steps than have been taken in this regard against capitalism and
capitalism is trying to crop up again everywhere? Of course the blame
falls, naturally, on our unsuspecting and ingenuous and careless
revoluntionary comrades. And some of them are not comrades. Some of them
can also be found in grocery stores, retail outlets, committing crimes,
stealing, and selling on the black market. This shows the necessity for
stepping up vigilance.

All kinds of contracts were drawn up, contracts for 100,000 and 200,000
pesos to manufacture this or the other thing, and the Ministry of Light
Industries was created to study all such problems in depth, to seek all
possibilities for resolving all these needs because many problems arise
from need, whether it is a pair of house slippers or a sieve, anything.

With a scrap of anything they would make anything. One day they discovered
a man in Las Villas who was farming out homework to 300 women with the
scrap from some kind of raw material which he obtained. They were making
rope, hammocks, anything. Whoever says that capitalism has been discouraged
is lying. Capitalism has to be uprooted! Parasitism had to be uprooted!
[applause] Exploitation of man has to be uprooted! [applause]

In every way it must be said quite plainly that it goes without saying that
the revolution does not wish to go around educating our enemies free of
charge, but neither can it go fearfully about seeking out whatever enemies
are necessary to seek out. It must be said that there will be no future in
this nation for private business, the self-employed, private industry, or
anything. Whoever is self-employed, then let him pay for the hospital, the
school, let him pay for everything, and let him pay dearly for it!
[applause] It is very comfortable, let everybody else pay for my school,
the hospital, for my family. If medical care costs 50,000 pesos, it is paid
for me, everything is paid for me. And he does not pay for anything. It is
a way of living off the work of others and of exploiting others.

Capitalism was an escalator of exploitation, a pyramid way up there from
which the people lower down were exploited, in turn exploiting those lower
down. Often the workers would exploit others because there were workers who
made five times as much as canecutters, workers who could buy a car of the
type sold in the United States, making wages of 300 to 400 pesos. They
would more than likely have jobs in some American bank branch office or in
the office of some monopoly firm. But the man who cut the cane and
sustained the economy, the one who was really paying for the car, the
gasoline, and all, was the one who did not have anything to eat.

Capitalism established the escalator of exploitation as a matter of
principle, and it is plain that we have to uproot it. We simply cannot
encourage or even permit selfish attitudes in a man unless we want him to
follow his instincts of selfishness and individuality, the life of a would,
the life of a beast, of man as the enemy of man, the exploiter of man,
hindering man. The concept of communism and socialism, the concept of a
superior society entails a man free of such attitudes, a man who has risen
above these attitudes, who has feelings of solidarity and fraternity toward
other men.

And this leads us directly to a topic, the famous topic of incentives. For
a long time incentives were discussed in theory and it seemed as though it
were a question of methodology, but in our judgement it was a far deeper
matter. We do not want a communist man to be molded by stimulating his
greed, his individualism, his individual appetites! [applause]

If we are to fail because we believe in man's capacity to improve his lot,
we shall fail if necessary, but we shall never renounce our faith in man!
[applause] Often we have seen men who are motivated by a sense of honor,
giving more than their due, giving their blood, giving their life,
motivated by deep-seated moral factors. Of course, I do not pretend to make
an exhaustive study of these matters. Suffice it to say that it is not just
a matter of principle for us, but rather an objective and real matter. Can
an underdeveloped nation perhaps indulge in the luxury of doing otherwise?

When we say the figures did we perhaps not understand clearly the deep
abyss, the misery, from which this nation had to rise after having been
left by colonialism and imperialism in a state of backwardness in every
technical and economic order, in every sense? Cannot it be understood that
this country must invest the last centavo, that it cannot invest anything
in superfluous things? Are we going to stimulate people by giving them cash
even if nothing can be bought with it? Are we going to stop investing so
that we can make up the vast advantage other nations have over us, in order
to buy nonessentials and superfluous things--so that the peso will be worth
something and so that a man can earn a peso and get something, get
everything he wants?

We have seen the effect of money, how money is the instrument giving man
access to wealth, how money permits man to enjoy everything without work.
We have seen how a bar owner made 300 pesos by exploiting people, and also
100 pesos, and 150, because of money, money, and the power of money.

Pity that at present we still cannot do without the instrument of
distribution which money is, but at least we ought to get rid of unlimited
access to money and of any privilege in connection with money. But some
day, if we want to reach communism, we shall eliminate money. [light
applause] There are thousands of people, tens of thousands of people who
[applause continued] do not use money. Students on scholoarships, and, of
course money is still the medium for many things, to go to the movies, to
go here, to go there, [words indistinct] things, and countless things. It
exists as a medium of distribution, but it is a bitter instrument, a
temporary instrument toward whose abolition we must march! [applause]

I understand perfectly well the price of saying some of these things; that
some worn-out academic types with blunted revolutionary sensitivity, some
great-great grandsons of revolutionaries, will call me an idealist
promoting idealist unattainable things. Watch it lest some microfactional
type will say: petit bourgeois idealism. This may be petit bourgeois
idealism, but the groceryman, the bar owner making 300 pesos is not petit
bourgeois at all, is he? [Voice from crowd: "Yes!"] The empire of money,
corruption through money, is an instrument between man and the goods that
man creates. But we are working, we are creating wealth. A people who see
how hundreds of thousands of people are pitching in to work, how work
engenders enthusiasm, and enthusiasm engenders work, and work engenders
wealth, and plentiful wealth!

The Marxism which I think I understand is the Marxism of Karl Marx. I may
be wrong, I cannot say I am so wise that I am infallible, that I never err,
but at least the type of communism in which I have believed is the
communism which I am proclaiming here! [applause] It is the communism
[applause continues] [Castro does not resume thought] and if I understand
Karl Marx and his most profound ideas well, it is that real fraternal,
human, generous communism for which we must struggle and we shall
struggle--and we shall bring it about.

For any other type of communism it is not worthwhile--what sense would it
have? As to material incentives here, who can offer more material
incentives than imperialism? With its developed economy, with its
technically equipped industry, it can offer more than anybody and in fact
it does, and those who pack up and leave to go there under this or the
other pretext are evading the reality of their fatherland, they are evading
the work of today, to go and live there [in the United States] as a
parasite, in a certain sense, to make more money and have the things
available in a nation with such a standard of living, as we said, with an
average income 20 times greater than that of an underdeveloped nation. Not
20 times more than Cuba, but six or seven times more than Cuba. All the
same we shall begin to shorten the distance by doing what we are doing. But
many use the pretext that the revolution [is to blame], many who do not
have nay (?feelings), who do not have a spirit of struggle, are incapable
of feelings for anything, and they emigrate to that imperialist nation
which uses the advantage of its high standard of living to bribe whoever
they want, a technician or lumpen proletarian, they will take anybody. Some
day, you will see, [Castro leaves thought incomplete] there are some who
are beginning to take things from there.

Discussion of Hijacking

It appears that yesterday they brought an airplane, and it appears that
there were three Cubans of those who left. They go fed up, seized the
airplane and brought it here. The crewmembers over there talked follishness
and about mysterious things. The truth is that we collected from the plane
and let it go, but we must remind them that they have a good number of
little boats and airplanes belonging to us in the United States which they
have not returned to us, and that they must return them. We do not have any
reason to be going to all the bother of returning
anything--[applause]--including a helicopter--because they have received
murderers over these who have murdered crewmembers, and vessels, and they
have them over there.

It is true that they are old junk, but it is a moral question. Even if it
is only junk, they should be taking measurers through the Swiss Embassy and
others to load a ship and bring all that junk over here. They cannot blame
us for their airplanes being here because they began the (?party). They
encouraged and taught--and for a long time they harassed this country. They
urged, "Take a boat, take an airplane." But we do not encourage anybody.
Truly, we are sitting here calmly watching how they harvest the fruits of
their shamelessness and piracy of all types. They taught people how to
commit horrors and now they are beginning to suffer the absolutely natural

They enjoyed their outrages against this country and now they are paying
the consequences. The ones who are taking the planes for reasons of all
types, including for the sport of it, have almost chartered an air route
[to Cuba].

Of course, imperialism can offer substantial and varied material incentives
with the standard of living of a developed economy and with incomparably
superior income to that of any underdeveloped nation. What shall we do to
cope with this, what duty has the revolution other than to buttress the
awareness, to elevate the moral values of the people in every way, to
foster an internationalist sentiment of solidarity, a sentiment of justice,
of equality, of love for the fatherland, of love for the people, of love
for the struggle; to have the satisfying challenge of facing up to a great
task, a historic task, coping with it and surmouting difficulties? Such are
the kind of people we must develop. All the rest is ridiculous.

The results of having strayed too far this path have also begun to appear
in other places.

Independent Effort

(?But) we shall follow our path, we shall build our revolution; we shall do
so, basically, by our own efforts. Great is the effort we must make! A
people who ]are reluctant to make an effort do not even have the right to
mention the word "independence," nor even the work "sovereignty." Let us
struggle boldly, among other reasons to reduce to the utmost our dependence
on everything that comes from abroad. [applause] Let us struggle to the
utmost. We have known the bitterness of having to depend to a considerable
degree on things that come from outside and how that can become a weapon
and at least creates a temptation to use it against our country. Let us
struggle to achieve maximum independence regardless of the cost.

Obviously, this [idea] offended the principles of the microfactionalists.
It was as crime. Dignity was a crime. Shame was a crime. The revolution was
a crime. The country makes efforts, it has made an effort with fuel, with
gasoline. It has effected considerable savings which have allowed that fuel
to be sent to the immense work of agriculture. The situation is tense. Our
machines, working day and night, face a tense situation with respect to
fuel and oil, but we are taking full advantage of what we have and we are
doing a maximum of work.

This means that our machines will not remain idle, our plans will be
fulfilled; and since the machines that we have are not enough, we are also
using a large number of oxen, beasts of burden, and we must train the oxen
and learn how to drive them.

Now, to do even more than what is being done with machines, and in case
some day we have more problems with fuel, let us do with oxen part of what
the machines can do. [applause]

Natural Resources

There is oil in the ground of our country. Our problem today is to dig
wells. Of course, it is not easy to drill. But it enough to say that of the
country's total surface area of 111,000 square kilometers, 56,000 have
oil-bearing strata. It has been proud that there is oil in many regions of
the country. We have to drill, and drill deeper. There is even oil of
magnificent quality in various places at greater depths. Our primary effort
must be made in drilling. The well at Guanabo produces 90 tons daily. The
well that is being drilled 125 meters from there has already yielded some
oil and has a pressure at least twice as high as that of Guanabo.
[applause] The country has fuel. Our problem is to drill and many of of our
efforts are at present being aimed in that direction. In agriculture it is
water, and in fuel it is drilling.

Naturally, our refineries are producing at maximum capacity. Three
refineries producing at peak rate indicate that there is a need for other
refineries. Logically, when a refinery is producing at its maximum, any
repair, any problem, even any sabotage [does not finish the thought]--We
must redouble, triple vigilance over our refineries and increase the
revolutionary consciousness of our workers. The CIA has always made a
maximum effort to harm us in that way. Any sabotage of a refinery could
mean a blow to the country at this time.

Of course, at any rate, we will have to import some type of fuel, because
not all oil can be burned into gasoline or gas-oil or whatever one wants.
Nature determines certain proportions. Of course, what we need more of is
gas-oil. Part of the gasoline that is saved is being turned into gas-oil as
much as possible. Within certain limits, production of gas-oil in the
refinery can be increased over that of gasoline. Therefore, the gasoline
that is saved is in part being used to make gas-oil and fuel oil.

In addition, the first work is being done for the exploitation of an
asphalt mine which will begin to produce on the order of a half a million
tons per year. Studies are being made to use asphalt in the production of
cement, electricity, in sugar centrals--using national resources to the
maximum. Plans are also begin made to use the gas that is coming up at
Guanabo to power some industrial plants. Necessity forces us and will
undoubtedly develop the exploitation, the search for an the quickest
exploitation of our national resources. It is also known that we have large
nickel deposits. We will need to make new investments in nickel, whose
price is increasing. In addition, one day we must produce steel. Fuel and
steel, technical development, the training of masses of technicians becomes
an essential problem for us. Many times a machine is idle because there is
a lack of sheet steel or angle iron, or other things. The need for sell is
everywhere. We can produce steel, lead, nickel--in particular, we must
exploit nickel. With its byproduct, iron, we can develop steel production.

We cannot make investments now because now we have to make, not great
investments that take years before production begins, but those that will
begin to produce immediately, such as a small dam, a large dam, or
anything; but it must produce--goods, wealth, food--quickly. Efforts are
being made now in everything that may contribute to or strengthen the
situation immediately, or in some other things that have immediate effect
on development, such as fertilizer and cement. The investment in
steelmaking will have to be much greater, and we must make it between 1970
to 1975. Before 1970, we must concentrate our maximum efforts on
agricultural development and on all the other lines on which we are
working: we must continue the development of the fishing industry, the
development of transportation and construction. And this year will be a
year of great impetus in all areas of water resources, roads, and, in
general, of the blacing in production of new lands and of making conditions
to secure us against everything--against droughts, plagues.

We have hurricanes, but we are thinking of surrounding all fruit areas with
strong windbreak barriers. Therefore, if there is a hurricane, it may knock
down a year's crop of something but cannot destroy the trees. That problem
has required special attention.

Many university research groups are working on all those fields. The
comrade rector told me that we really have a university now in the field of
research and work, and he told me how it is participating in research and
work and how it is watching and waiting to resolve all the problems of our
economy. This means that we already have our path traced up to 1970, and
from 1970 on we must center our attention on industrial investments or
other types. Notwithstanding this, agriculture will force--the milk
industry will force--us to build many plants for producing powdered milk
and cheese. Agricultural production, the production of citrus fruits and
the development of coffee production and all that will force us to create
the pertinent industries.

We will have great tasks in the coming years, but without a doubt our
deepest conviction is that in the not too far distant future we will begin
to see the first fruits. And we expect that some of the difficulties which
we have today will not be around next year. However, we must always be
prepared. The best thing is a prepared spirit. If the next year is better,
good. If it is twice as good, so much the better. But we must always be
prepared for a similar situation or worse. And all this without becoming
discouraged, without allowing anyone to come to demoralize the
revolutionary, without refraining from answering, without refraining from
responding, without refraining from acting. That is your duty and that of
all of us revolutionary militants and the mass organizations. Everything
must be a lesson. Everything must strengthen the revolution, every
experience. And we understand that this moment is one for embarking on an
all-out, powerful, revolutionary offensive. [applause] We must be more
serious and increase our spirit of work, our revolutionary consciousness,
the combativity of the masses, in order that they [presumably the
counterrevolutionaries] will not be encouraged by anything. Some worms and
the imperialists have felt encouraged because of the fact that we have our
opinions,because of the fact that our country has its own personality and
its own ideas on international policies, absolutely ample and absolutely

However, we must say to all of them, to the microfaction and to the
worms--after all, they are united by the same umbilical cord--that they
must not be encouraged by anything or by anybody. They must never forget
that this revolution was maintained on high by a handful of men; six,
seven, 12. The flags of this revolution are being waved by the best, the
most noble, the bravest, and the most combative of our people. [applause]
They will know how to rise to the heights of these 100 years in which they
began their struggle for independence, an independence whose struggle was
begun by that generation and was finished by this generation. They will
know how to defend it to their last breath, to the last drop of their
blood, because when we say "Fatherland or death," we mean fatherland or
death. We will win! [applause]