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[Revolutionary Government Stenographic Department Text of the Address by
major Fidel Castro at the Inauguration of the Valle del Peru Primary
Semi-boarding School in the Municipality of Jaruco on 15 November 1968;
Havana, Granma, Spanish, 18 November 1968, pp 2-4]

Worker and peasant comrades:

We will have a short ceremony because currently everyone has much
to do. We are completing a year in which an enormous effort has been made
on all fronts, and yet between now and 31 December there is still much cane
to plant, much clearing to be done and much cane we must begin to cut, as
well as clearing for and planting much coffee, planting and harvesting much
rice, planting and harvesting many root and other vegetables, and many zebu
cows to be taken to the new pastures, many cows to be inseminated and more
cows to be milked. Because this coming year we will have a somewhat larger
number of cows ...

(Someone in the audience shouted "And goats as well!")

Some, yes. The comrade in charge of this plan is here somewhere.

(Someone in the audience shouted: "I want to say something and I
want you to listen to me for just a moment, Doctor...")

There are two ceremonies being held here tonight, then!

(From the audience: "The workers of the Majana Goat and Sheep Farm
are here.")

I know it. From the goat and sheep farm which is along the highway
there. Is that the one? But there is still land to be developed around here
(laughter). Well, I am not going to say that things are going badly
anywhere, because naturally some things still remain to be done there.
Also, the goats leave there, they go to Majana, where there are much better
conditions and more space for their development.

Are you from Majana or from Zenea here?

(Audience:  "No, Majana.")

But you come from here?

(Audience:  "No, from Majana.")

Oh, you are from Majana. Then, you are working on the Majana plan.
I was mistaken, I thought you were a part of the little plan for this area

This is the zone where goat's milk will be produced for those
children who cannot drink cow's milk because they are allergic to it. There
is a little girl around here somewhere who must drink all kinds of milk
because she talks so loud. For half an hour now, she has been trying to say
something to me! (Laughter.) And they she says: "He can't hear!"

Where is the little girl. Probably she wants to say something now,

(From the audience: "Ask her a question, Fidel, so you will see.
Ask her why Che Guevara died.")

Does she go to this school?

(Audience: "No.")

Where does she come from?

(Audience: "The Camilo Cienfuegos Center.")

Then you have come a long distance!

Well, first she must go to the primary school, and then acquire
technological training, and then if one is going to be a technologist one
can go to a school for cadres.

No, No, the person who wanted to speak just a moment ago.. There
were three or four who wanted to speak. Now the boy over there. Where is
the boy?

(Audience: "Ask him a question, Fidel.")

No, I do not want us to bring the children here to test their
intelligence and frighten them. The children should not be put on exhibit,
certainly (applause). Moreover, the intelligent children are no longer an
exception in this country. In general, some are gifted in one way, some in
another. But the function of society is, precisely, to develop all the
minds. And when all the minds are developed, then we will truly be
approaching collectivism. Because we had lived in societies in which a few
had knowledge, a few minds were developed. Thus they produced the
individuals they needed, those necessary for everything. But when the
entire society develops the intelligence potential it may have, then no one
person will be essential, there will be no mind which is more valuable than
the others, no mind less valuable than the others, and we will have the
entire potential of a society of millions of people with their minds fully

It is precisely for this reason that the revolution must give
education such priority, and it is precisely for this reason that such
projects as these are constantly being carried out, that so many projects
like these are constantly being completed. Perhaps the schools more than
anything else are a reason for our happiness and general rejoicing.

On many labor fronts new projects are steadily being completed.
Among these some schools have been built. But the importance of this school
for us lies in the fact that it is a truly new type of institution. It is
not a matter of the building. The building is the least important thing,
although it is naturally the basic essential. This school, with regard to
its basic construction, is not the same as the isolated little schools in
the countryside with which you are all familiar. But naturally, without a
material base, one cannot develop an institution.

But the most important thing is not the building, but precisely
the organization and the concept of these schools. Naturally, an isolated
school is a very inefficient one. First of all, it has a teacher, and we
all know of the problems of the isolated country teachers. First of all,
they have difficulties in teaching, because of lack of means, of teaching
materials to impart this education. The students have problems, too. In
most cases it is very difficult to resolve the problem of water, of
sanitary facilities, not to speak of the possibilities of physical
education, sports and other activities.

Moreover, as we know when for some reason there are heavy rains
and the roads become impassable, the teachers cannot reach the schools.
There are always some teachers who, whatever happens, struggle and manage
to reach their schools, but sometimes real material problems arise. In
other cases, the very living circumstances of the teacher are a problem:
where can he sleep, where can he eat. There are sectors in which there are
always helpful people among the population who take an interest. Others are
more indifferent. But in any case, the teachers in the isolated schools
experience many difficulties. Many of them come from distant places.

In addition, when for some reason the teacher is ill or some other
problem occurs, the students are left without a teacher. And often we find
schools in which the teacher has been absent ten days, 15 days, because of
illness or for some other reason.

This means that in every way the isolated schools represent a very
outdated and inefficient system.

On the other hand, these teachers have to teach all grades. There
is just one teacher for the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth
grades. And they have to teach the various grades and all the subjects in
each grade in the same classroom, in the same place and with the same
equipment. They do not have the special training for the proper education
of pre-school or first grade children, which is very different from the
proper teaching of the fourth or fifth or sixth grade levels.

On the other hand, in these schools we have now, naturally,
planned for a teacher for each grade and also for specialization by grades
and by subjects. In other words, since the students in the fifth or sixth
grades are beginning to study certain subjects which are a little more
complex, the fifth grade will not have the same teacher for all classes.
Instead, one teacher will instruct these students in certain subjects, and
for other subjects these will be other teachers.

Moreover, the school is regarded as a center of great activity in
the overall development of the children, with the participation of the
family, with the participation of the entire community in which the
children live.

There is something else which is completely new, that is, the
physical education teacher and the proper fields for sports and athletics,
the equipment and all the facilities needed for this.

There is also the problem of meals. The students in this type of
school will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here, but will sleep at home.
They have every reason and every incentive to attend school.

Thus, they will receive education which is not only mental but
completely physical, too. They will receive a complete social education.
They will also participate in other activities, part of the time, those in
the fourth and fifth grades, at least. And here, for example, we have the

Although there is much material here to examine, it is worthwhile
to see, for example, how the day is planned for each grade. Here, for
example, we have program for the first grade, divided into A, B, and C
categories -- everyone has his program:

First grade A. 8 A.M. -- arrival at the Center and breakfast.

8:15 A.M. -- morning assembly.

8:30 to 10:25 A.M. -- classroom activities. Reading, writing,
mathematics and manual training.

10:25 to 10:40 A.M. -- snack.

10:40 to 12:30 P.M. -- library or open air activities. Listening
to music, story hour, public shows, reading of illustrated and story books,
recreational games, oral expression.

12:30 P.M. -- lunch.

1:00 to 2:00 P.M. -- recreational activities.

2:00 to 3:10 P.M. -- classroom activities. Recitation, reading,
music appreciation and writing.

3:10 to 3:25 P.M. -- snack. Already the third meal of the day, or
the fourth! Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack.

3:25 to 4:30 -- open air activities. Physical education, games,
recitation, observation and experimentation.

4:30 to 5:00 P.M. -- socially useful work.

5:00 to 6:00 P.M. -- baths. Recreational activities.

6:00 to 6:30 P.M. -- supper.

6:30 to 7:00 P.M. -- recreational activities.

7:00 P.M. -- departure from the center.

This, for example, is the program for the first grade A.

Now let us look at the fifth grade schedule.

8:00 A.M. -- arrival at the center and breakfast.

8:15 A.M. -- morning assembly.

8:30 to 10:25 A.M. -- humanities. Spanish -- daily class. History
three times a week. Geography three times a week.

10:25 to 10:40 A.M. -- snack. These children even get snacks in
the morning!

10:40 A.M. to 12:20 P.M. -- sciences. Biology daily and
mathematics daily.

12:30 P.M. -- luncheon.

1:00 to 2:00 P.M. -- recreational activities.

2:00 to 3:10 P.M. -- other activities. Library twice a week.
Interest circles once a week. Labor education twice a week.

3:10 to 3:25 P.M. -- snack.

3:25 to 4:25 P.M. -- physical education. With all this
breakfasting, lunching and snacking -- all day long -- they have to have
physical education, if these children are not to get too fat! (Laughter.)

4:30 to 5:30 P.M. -- productive work twice a week. Study hour
three times a week.

5:30 to 6:00 P.M. -- baths.

6:00 to 6:30 P.M. -- supper.

6:30 to 7:00 P.M. -- recreational activities.

7:00 P.M. -- departure from the center.

In other words, all this is planned, including something very
important I did not mention -- the scientific interest circles, another of
the basic activities which contribute to awakening the mind, a vocational
calling, interests. And we are speaking mainly of interest in all the
sciences and all the activities which are basic for a people preparing for
the future. We must bear in mind that this is a country which is working
for the future and preparing itself for the future.

Preparation for the future is not an easy task in any country in
today's world, but it is much more difficult for a country which is lagging
behind the others in science, in technology, in education, in culture.
Because science, technology, are advancing at a tremendous rate. And,
naturally, what can one do where there is illiteracy, where the vast
majority of the population has not had second grade, third grade, fourth
grade education.

Reading the program here, we note the daily mathematics classes.
But this is no longer the old mathematics which we learned by heart when we
went to school, the famous addition, multiplication, subtraction and
division tables which a small percentage of the population learned. This is
mathematics using new methods, ideas which are also very revolutionary in
the technique of teaching. Because apart from all these other new things,
education is being revolutionized. Prejudices are being discarded, and the
potential of children to learn things which years ago it was believed they
could not learn is being discovered. It has been found that the earlier
certain intellectual activities are begun, the better they are carried out.
The possibilities which exist in children for study are being discovered,
along with the fact that it is precisely if they begin these studies at
this early age they can go very far.

Imagine what we now have in our rural schools: mathematics taught
daily by specialist teachers. And not only in the fifth grade, but
beginning with the first grade. Because naturally, our educational
institutions must be up to date. And in this connection, an effort is being
made to keep up with all the latest techniques in the realm of education,
because it is no longer a matter of teaching everyone, but teaching
everyone in the best possible way. Not only must everyone go to school, but
everyone must learn in the best possible way and as much as he can. This is
not learning for its own sake, but learning to live in a community in which
there will be innumerable and varied tasks to be performed.

Naturally, everyone will receive general education, general
culture. But also, everyone must receive specialized training for the
activity in which he will engage within the community.

This plan is interlinked with the other institutions, for example,
the basic secondary schools which are also being built, the technological
institutes and the universities.

Very soon now, the Compulsory Education Law for all children of
school age will be debated.

We cannot remain indifferent while there is a single child who is
not in school. Because what prospects has he? What kind of life can this
human being have, this isolated, ignorant individual untrained for any of
the activities of the future? Because the activities of the future cannot
be carried out without training. In the past there were things which seemed
very simple, which any one could do.

Now, modern machines are very complex. A few days ago we saw some
of the machines our country is importing: 300 hp CD-10 bulldozers. How much
does each of these machines cost? Each one costs 70,000 dollars. These are
also enormous machines, fully equipped with hydraulic systems.

And one asks himself: can one give this machine to just anyone?
Can one put a machine which costs this much, a machine of such power, a
machine of this complexity in the hands of just anyone without proper
training, without a proper sense of responsibility? These are machines with
tremendous productivity, which can move as much earth as it might take
10,000 persons to do by hand. And when one regards one of these machines
and realizes that it will be increasingly thus -- when the cane combines
come they, too, will be very complex machines -- one understands that the
use of many modern techniques in agriculture requires training. It is not
the same as when one works simply with a team of oxen, although the oxen
still have to be used. And in these very rainy months, the oxen have
practically saved the situation in cane planting in some provinces through
the work they have done.

Of course, in the future we will not be planting cane in the
spring. We plant cane in the spring because we do not have sufficient
irrigation. When all of these irrigation plans are completed, it will not
be necessary to plow the land in the spring. Everyone knows how hard this
work is, how it destroys the equipment, how it wears out the machinery and
what low yields there are when one must plow and plant in spring when the
weeds grow faster than anything else.

But naturally, given the conditions under which we have had to
work, the oxen have helped us greatly. But in the future neither oxen nor
hoes will be used in agriculture. The planting will always be done in
periods when it is possible to use machinery, with irrigation, and the
basic crops such as sugar cane will be planted by machines.

Now the machines cannot be used in the rainy season. It is
necessary to wait until the soil is drier and looser before the machines
can be used for planting, so now we have to plant by hand. Also, the
tractors cannot be used. But in the future we will not have to use the
tractors to cultivate the cane which has been planted either, because weed
killers will be used, and it is perfectly possible, if weed killers are
applied before the cane sprouts, there will be practically no need for the
hand of man to touch the cane fields which are now taking up so many
hundreds of thousands of hours of his time.

Now in order to use weed killers, much greater knowledge is needed
than to use a hoe. One must understand soil types, the degree of humidity,
the proportions in which the weed killers are used, the proper times for
their application -- in other words, this is work which requires rather
specialized knowledge. The same is true in using insecticides and
fertilizers. Practically none of the new techniques can be used without a
new kind of training. In other words, the work could not be carried out by
these means with the level of training which existed before.

It is even true, currently, that having purchased a large number
of machines, trucks, motor graders, bulldozers and tractors, we are
doubtless still handling this machinery with something of the old way of
thinking from the time when there were only oxen, the time when how to care
for such machines, how to grease them, how to maintain them, were unknown.
We underestimate the importance of greasing, of maintenance, of tightening
a screw, all of these things. The fact is that we still think in the old
way and have the old habits of working with tools and methods which are
very much out of date. There are many individuals who lack a sense of

Because of the urgency of the plan, it has been necessary to
improvise courses for operators and drivers. Then we find that some,
intoxicated with the idea of speed, tear along the roads endangering the
lives of pedestrians, and well as their own, but most important,
endangering the lives of others. Because in any case it is debatable
whether or not an individual has a right to take stupid risks for himself,
but what is entirely out of the question is that anyone has a right to
place the lives of others in danger. In addition to this, the machinery is
often ill cared for. The result is that it produces only 50%, or 40%, or
30% of the work it could. Often there are collisions involving equipment,
and all of this equipment costs a great deal of money.

And we have all kinds of people, with varying concepts of
responsibility. Some are very serious, but there are also many new
apprentices, some of whom without any prior experience are assigned a job
like driving a truck, whereas in the past one watched and learned for ten
years before given a chance to drive a truck or a tractor.

In other words, we still do not have a high enough level of social
training, of technical training even for our situation today. Because what
we will have in the future will require much more, vastly more than this.
We will need conscientious people on all levels who take care of equipment,
who extract the maximum profitability from them, who know how to apply

A country cannot develop if it does not use technology. Anyone can
understand that if we want to produce ten million tons of sugar, plus half
a million tons of rice, plus all the other things we need so that the
people's requirements will be fully met in all sectors, so that we continue
the full speed development our country needs -- this cannot be achieved
with primitive techniques, with the hoe and the spade and the team of oxen.
This is absolutely impossible, as anyone can understand.

Constantly we are acquiring new institutions, more schools, more
technological centers, a large population. And now it is not a question of
those who eat and those who do not, because now it is necessary to work for
all and to satisfy the needs of all for clothing, shoes, housing, and food
in proper quantity and quality. And then it is not only a question of food
supplies, but of the industrial development of the country, for which we
must also pay and resources are needed to pay for all this.

If the country does not make use and apply technology, we cannot
accomplish this. Everyone knows this and that our current problem is one of
manpower everywhere. We need people here, we need people there. Because we
must somehow carry out all of these activities, and for this reason we find
ourselves obliged to make the great efforts we are making now. However, in
the future, it will be an effort of basically a different kind, it will be
much more intellectual than physical work. Currently the work is mainly
physical, but in the future our work will be much more intellectual than

And the country would not be able to develop nor could our people
achieve their aspirations without succeeding in mastering technology. But
this is not a thing illiterates can do, nor those who are half-educated
either. Nor in the future will fifth or sixth-grade education suffice. It
suffices to say that within ten years a young person with only sixth grade
education will be regarded as half-educated. Within 20 years, a person in
this country who has completed basic secondary training will be regarded as
practically uneducated. Imagine, a secondary school student regarded as
uneducated! Because this basic secondary education will represent only the
minimum knowledge every citizen must have on general matters, general
culture, general understanding. It is on this basis that he will proceed to
training for production.

Thus, he who has completed basic secondary education in 10 or 15
or 20 years but has not continued his studies will, from the point of view
of production, be uneducated.

All of the industrial machinery of today is also very complex.
Already each requires special knowledge in order to operate it. This is
true in all sectors. A teacher does not become a teacher by completing
basic secondary education, but by studying in a normal school. A nurse does
not become one through her basic secondary training, and a mechanic does
not learn mechanics by simply completing basic secondary education. In the
future, it will not be possible to engage in any activity without this
specialized knowledge. It is toward this that we must work. The present
generation must make a much greater effort today and must wage a tremendous
battle for development, because it lacks equipment, methods, and even

We have been purchasing much new production equipment, but it must
be admitted -- as I explained a while ago -- that much of this equipment is
still beyond our technical training level, and we are incapable of
extracting the maximum from these machines. And anyone can see this. Any
peasant, any worker can see when a machine is being properly used and when
it is not. This they can understand. And the fact is that in many cases our
training level is not equal to the equipment. And I have been speaking of
agricultural activities, industrial activities, social activities. These
cannot be carried on without education.

This is the reason for our need to advance education to the
pre-university level. Thus, education will include not only primary and
secondary schooling, but also technological institute training.

In the future what we now call the baccalaureate will not exist.
We will have technological institutes, but they will be for the sciences.
For example, those who are going to study medicine or biology will attend
such institutes. But they will all be specialized in accordance with the
later studies which will be pursued or the use to which the knowledge is to
be put. Because this business of the baccalaureate and technological
institutes is still creating a certain division. In the future they will
all be technological institutes.

We must advance rapidly toward these goals.

And the primary schools of the future must be like this one. You
can see how much work we have to do. In order to build this school,
hundreds of laborers worked intensively. It should be noted that they
completed it in record time and despite the heavy rainfall. It should be
noted that the laborers who worked on this school made a tremendous effort.
The workers and the technicians who designed and directed the building of
this school during a very rainy spring also managed this on terrain rather
difficult to work. Despite everything, they completed this school, which is
a marvel.

Although we have already seen another school similar to this, its
predecessor in Boca de Jaruco, this is still better, more perfect, because
as time passes improvements are made. And this school has premises for the
teachers and certain other modifications.

(Someone in the audience shouted: "We are completing the Juan
Manuel Marquez School Work Plan.")

The work plan for the future? Already? Well, bring it here!

We were saying that we have visited the other school, but now we
have come to see it again and it really seems to us that we are seeing it
for the first time: the dining room, the drawings, the design it has, the
appearance, the organization. It can truly be said that this school is a
marvel. It can be said that it is a communist school. And I can assure you,
moreover, that no one in our country in the past, not even the sons of the
very rich, could go to a school anything like this, nothing which could
match this (applause)!

In other words, we are having some ideas, developing some
concepts, accomplishing some things which exceed anything known before in
our country. Unfortunately, what we have accomplished is still limited.

(The plan was handed to him.)

Fine, this is the work program drafted for the teaching and
service workers' collective of the Juan Manuel Marquez semi-boarding school
in Boca de Jaruco. This is the plan. We will read it later. Not now,
because it is rather long, but without a doubt it is very interesting and
very good.

So you see, that in order to implement a program a certain special
training is needed. In the past nothing was done on the basis of plans.
Things were done from one day to the next without any planning. And
finally, you now see how all the activities are being planned, which aids
greatly in their achievement, because each individual knows his task and
this is a notable advance in the organization of labor.

We were saying that this school is now the best that could be
conceived. In the future, there will be even better schools -- no one knows
in what way, but the human mind continues to work and to conceive better
things. However, to date, this is the most perfect achievement we have as
far as primary schools go. This, indeed, can be said without the slightest

The teachers, the new comrades, have a great future ahead of them.
They were selected from among recently graduated students. I believe that
they will acquire tremendous experience here. Imagine what they will have
learned about pedagogical and educational matters in 10 or 15 years.

Thus, here we have new people, with much work ahead of them, with
much to learn, because these establishments will continue to improve

Now, then, the number is rather limited, but in the next five
years, in the next seven years, we must try to build hundreds of schools,
and if possible, thousands of schools of this type.

(Someone in the audience interrupted.)

What did he say? Yes, that they should be the same. I believe that
the Boca de Jaruco School is similar in practically every respect. Boca de
Jaruco does not have teachers' premises, no ..

(Audience: "The school in Jaruco.")

Ah, Jaruco. I thought you said Boca de Jaruco.

The other is ... Which was the first?

(Audience: "Boca de Jaruco was the first.")

Boca de Jaruco, then.

(Audience: "Of the primary schools.")

The first primary school? But not of this kind. Of which are you

(Audience: "They want ...")

Ah, they want -- but everyone wants something.

We are building the schools in the places with the greatest need,
honorably, in the places which had the least. The other, for 600, which is
being built, is in a zone very much like this, although distant, called El
Cangre, and the fourth will possibly be built in Cayajabos, beyond Madruga.
We are selecting the sites in accordance with their conditions, the
isolation of the area, the extent to which they have been neglected.

(Someone in the audience shouted: "Jibacoa.")

Jibacoa will be the fifth. The fifth will be in the Jibacoa zone.

Gentlemen, I want to tell you something. There are places in this
country which have been neglected for 400 years! And now I will tell you
something else: at the beginning we believed that the most neglected areas
were in the provinces of Las Villas, Camaguey and Oriente, which is true --
and in Pinar del Rio, which is also true, because the regions were entirely
neglected provinces. But there was the fiction that this situation did not
exist in the province of Havana, for example. But it is interesting that we
found there were sites in the province of Havana as neglected as some of
the most forgotten corners in the province of Oriente.

(Someone in the audience shouted: "Bainoa.")

Well, Bainoa is not so neglected now. We have put a thousand into
roads and highways and all of these things there, and in Picadura and all
that area. We now know all of the areas of this province more or less, we
are rather familiar with them.

This Valle del Peru site has its history. This place is apparently
linked with Havana. Now, gentlemen, I can tell you that when we came t see
this site, something over a year ago -- it was something like 14 months ago
that we explored this territory with Comrade Betancourt and other comrades
from the province, we tried to come south several times but we could not
use this road. Out of several attempts, we only found the trip possible
twice. And on one of these occasions we got stuck 14 times! And once we had
to leave the jeep behind. This will give you an idea. And during the trip
it took us no less than two hours to cover the road leading to Jaruco, near
where the new road from San Jose and which now ends at the central highway
was also being built. Two hours!

It should be noted that currently there are two highways under
construction and the work is well along.

Moreover, this brigade will remain here laying out other highways
and building all the access roads called for by the agricultural plans.

There is a group of comrades responsible for physical planning.
They are using the same method as for all the other plans: first, the
complete plan is drafted, using maps, with a thorough analysis of the crops
or agricultural production in which each region engages, where all the
various productive installations will be, and all of the roads which will
be needed. And finally, just as in planning for a building, a complete plan
for the whole is drafted.

Thus, the brigade which is now finishing over there will remain
here. Later it will turn to parts of the existing older roads, widening
them to make a standard highway, and completing all the access roads.

Thus, the 600 caballerias of this valley region will be
interlinked, and the brigade will remain here as long as necessary. All the
main roads will be paved. It serves no purpose to build the roads which
disappear after one spring's rains. We must have paved roads, which in the
long run are more economical. Thus, those who want to use these roads can
even travel on roller skates! I do not say bicycles, mind you, but even
roller skates, because these routes will be wide enough to serve all of
their purposes suitably.

Now a distance it once took two hours to cover can be traveled in
six minutes. We reached here in six minutes. In the past it took two hours,
with breakdowns of equipment, broken parts, waste of fuel. Because possibly
one thing no one in this country has ever estimated is how much fuel, how
many parts and how many hours of labor and how many vehicles were wasted
for lack of communications routes. I need not explain this to those living
in this area. There were times when not even a horse could get out of here!
And under such conditions, it was impossible to ship any product from here.
Even a sick person, an individual in urgent need of medical attention,
could die before he could be taken to a place where there was a doctor.

And this situation was a terrible one of total neglect, total
abandonment. This neglect and abandonment lasted centuries, because we do
not even know when people first inhabited this area. Possibly it was
shortly after the arrival of Columbus, when the province of Havana was

And there are many similar regions in this country which we are
exploring, which we are discovering. We are trying to find the regions
which are in the worst condition in order to develop them.

It should be noted that providing communications routes here not
only benefits those who live in this region but the country as a whole as
well, because here we have an area with an excellent microclimate, suitable
precipitation, which for the most part was practically unexploited,
underutilized. And otherwise how could we bring fertilizer here, how could
we bring fuel, how could we bring machinery, wherever they were needed, how
could this have been done? If a labor force had to be brought in, or wire,
fencing, livestock, food, whatever --how could this be done? How could we
make these 600 caballerias productive? And many of them still had to be
bulldozed, because they were covered with brush, etc.

This is a region with rivers, one in which it is possible to
establish reservoirs sufficient to irrigate a large area. It even is one of
the regions in which the rainfall is relatively good and the soil has not
been exhausted. In every way, it is possible to keep the land in optimal
production throughout the year here with relatively little water.

In other words, not only will the people in this region benefit,
but the entire country, the entire province, the inhabitants of the City of
Havana will also. Why? Because it is a crime, so near a human concentration
of 2 million people, the residents of this province, to have zones, valleys
like this, with magnificent natural conditions, producing practically
nothing. And how could what was produced be shipped out? When a farmer
loaded a few liters of milk on horseback at 2 in the morning and traveled
several kilometers to where they could be put on a truck and taken to a
pasteurizing plant, what arrived there was colonies of bacteria! And when
this milk with its colonies of bacteria had been processed, its find
quality had been lost.

How can one hope to have healthy food for the people if there is
no refrigeration to preserve it? The climate of this country is warm. No
matter how clean animals and barns are kept, there are always bacteria in
the surroundings, and without refrigeration, the bacteria multiply
fantastically and change the quality of the milk. It is not a question of
obtaining milk, but of obtaining milk of proper quality.

It is also known that in the province of Havana there were many
cows with brucellosis, thousands and thousands of them, and thousands and
thousands of tubercular cows. One of the things which was done last year
was to slaughter all of the cows with tuberculosis or brucellosis. And the
effort which has been made in the livestock breeding sector is so great
that already this year, despite the loss of these thousands of cows, some
of which indeed produced 10 or 15 liters of milk but which were tubercular,
we can predict that in 1969 more milk will be produced in the province of
Havana than in 1968.

In other words, not only is a great livestock herd being developed
through a tremendous effort, but the number of milk cows is being
increased, by producing the F-1 variety based on the zebu strain.

In this connection, too, I can tell you something about what is
going to be done here in this valley.

But how can electricity be provided here? How can there be
refrigeration if there is no electricity? And how can electrical lines be
brought in without roads and highways? And why should there be electricity
if there is no production? Because if there is electricity but we have some
pastures full of starving, thin cows, then there is no milk to refrigerate
and no need for electricity.

I have explained all of these aspects so you will understand the
importance of the development of a region, and the importance first of all
of roads, and all the other things.

It is extraordinary that we already have electric lights here. On
the other hand, we hear talk of the thermoelectric plants in Mariel,
Nuevitas, Santiago and elsewhere, but we have never seen more electricity

It is good that this is possible. I believe that it is a great
historic event that this valley now has electric lights. This is an
historic event like the others. The highway is one and the school is
another. In a sense all of this is historic and in a sense none of it is.
It is because it is truly new, but it is not in the sense that it is but
the beginning of what we must continue doing here and what we must do in
many other parts of the country.

Hundreds of families lived in this region. The little schools I
saw were poor ones. The little schools which existed here made one sad. The
difficulties with education were tremendous and there was total isolation.

In a word, we believe that it was necessary to begin to do here,
given the natural conditions of this site, what we also had to begin to do
in other places. There is a similar situation in the Cangre zone, which is
still more vast than this one, and a whole series of other places.

We must go first to those places where there is greatest need for
our highway, for a school, for a beginning. And this policy of priorities
is what we must pursue. We cannot provide all of the regions of the country
with this type of institution now, because this is what we would very much
like to do. But we must give priority to the places which have been most
isolated, most neglected, and which have the greatest need for these

When one undertakes the project like this one here no one has the
slightest doubt but that it is a very just thing, very necessary, and
something which will be very useful to everyone. And naturally, this
provides some idea of the effort we must make.

Also, it is necessary to mechanize construction. For this reason
precisely, we must expand our cement production capacity. But obviously,
while we have to build factories, schools, hospitals, warehouses and
dairies, we need houses on the other hand, because all of these needs have
accumulated over a long period.

There are those who say "My house is falling in on me." But if it
were only a matter of a single house! Here, everything is collapsing, and
where nothing was collapsing it was because there was nothing at all. In
many places, there simply were no schools. In many places they could not
say "the schools are collapsing" because there were no schools, not one
single school, neither an old one nor a new one, nor one of any kind.

Obviously, we understand when those who have needs speak out about
them. If it pains us when a need is set forth it is simply because we
cannot meet it now, not because we do not believe that it is human and
logical for the people to feel the need and to see it. Obviously, in the
past the people did not even dream of having homes, whereas now they do.
But it is a question of everyone everywhere. Because what existed here
mainly were houses which leaked, houses which collapsed, both in the cities
and the rural sector. Obviously, we can do something, and at least we have
built the school, because now there are 300 children who, when it rains,
are safe and dry here, and if it is muddy, they have a highway on which to
come here. In other words, not at least the children have what has been
provided here, and this is an advance which affects us all. If you build
three houses you have only helped three families, but if you build a school
like this, all the families benefit. This will serve not only the children
of school age but also those which have been born but have not yet reached
school age, and even those yet to be born. Even they have their rights here
and their place will be here, too. And the best experience is that which
will be acquired in these establishments.

There are many things to be done, many projects to be undertaken,
social and economic, in addition to the problems of housing. The important
thing is for us to know what these needs are, that our people have the
determination they do today to advance at all costs, and that we have the
enthusiasm with which we are advancing today. Because there can be no doubt
that we are changing everything.

Yesterday, we visited some of these sites with a delegation from
the German Democratic Republic, and some of the Cuban comrades who were
with us said that they could hardly recognize these places, places where
they had been just a few months ago but which have changed. All of this
region and all of the others are changing. Work is being done all over the
island. But, naturally, as the population of Havana is the largest, the
cumulative effort of so many hundreds of thousands of persons working in
this province is changing it at a tremendous speed. The entire picture is
being transformed very rapidly. Wherever one looks, there is a small or a
middle sized or a large dam, a canal or a new project or a school, roads,
highways, planted fields.

It should be noted that currently the province of Havana already
has 500,000 caballerias of winter cane planted in double and triple furrows
(applause). Added to the spring planting, this makes almost 2,500
caballerias of cane. And by 31 December there will be some 4,200
caballerias of cane planted, between 4,000 and 4,200 caballerias planted in
this province in one year (applause). The largest plantings of cane in this
province in the past varied between 200 and 300 caballerias. And similarly,
there will be about 100 million coffee plants set. There have even been
some extra plans drafted for setting plants in other provinces, which will
serve as nurseries, and will later be planted in the province of Havana.
There are zones in which plans call for the development of citrus fruit
crops in the coming year, and an effort will already be made this year and
some 20 additional coffee plants will be set out.

The plans are being developed everywhere, in the south, the north,
the east, the west, the center, in the hill areas, on the plains,
everywhere. And wherever communications routes are established, the
opportunity for work is created. Progress can be seen everywhere. This is
because so many are working. The men are working, the women are working,
the students are working, everyone is working. It must be said that the
people are making a notable effort with great enthusiasm. And this is
already visible, it can be seen, and it is something which will be even
more obvious in the future.

What will this province be like within two years? I believe that
we will not recognize it ourselves, not even those of us who have been to
so many places traveling and inspecting the plans, because the advanced
surprise us. For example, this little school. Passing here some 15 days ago
one saw only some cement blocks in place, and a few days later it is
finished, painted, landscaped and all. Suddenly there is a dairy where
there was nothing before, complete with fencing, windbreaks, installations
and all. Everything is being changed at a great rate. And, naturally, this
is the result of the work which is being done. The results will be seen in
the material sector, in the abundance of products.

In this same region, for example, I have already mentioned the
milk production plans. Here there was a little of everything, a little
sugar cane far from the Camilo Cienfuegos Sugar Mill. However, there were
vast flat areas with irrigation near the sugar mill which can be
mechanized, but were not planted to cane. What are we doing? We are
planting all of the Bainoa Valley with sugar cane for the Camilo
Cienfuegos, the Boris Luis Santa Coloma and Martinez Villena Sugar Mills.
Three sugar mills in a great valley, where we will have fully mechanized
cane growing and irrigation. No longer will there be any need to cut cane
on one of these hills and transport it many kilometers.

Thus, in the planning for the province of Havana, it was decided
that this area should basically produce milk, that is, it should be a
livestock breeding area, apart from consumer products for the population.
Except for products for self-consumption, the basic output of this region
will be milk.

Here is number of dams, including the Maposton Dam will be built.
It will control the Maposton River which, during rainy periods, rises and
floods everything below it, inundating the malanga, sugar cane and other
crops there in the Guines Valley. Thus, the waters of this river and of all
the others will be controlled and can flood nothing. The water will be
stored so that man can use it when he needs it, and it will not destroy the
work of man when the imbalances of nature occur.

How many times this year has that part of Guines been flooded, and
how much work has had to be done there digging drainage ditches! Obviously,
there must be ditches, and it is necessary to provide for drainage, but a
large part of the waters which have been flooding the lower areas will not
reach there. They will remain here and will be used in irrigation here as
well as lower down. Thus, in all the places where there are ravines and
rivers and small, medium or large dams can be built, this will be done to
irrigate pasture areas.

We will have an eternal spring in this valley. There will be no
more dry and wet seasons. Production will remain stable throughout the
year. You know how it is today: double the quantity of milk in spring, and
half or less than half the quantity in the dry season. And this cannot be,
because the needs continue throughout the year. Thus, this will be a
valley, like all of the other places where we will have irrigation and new
cultivation techniques, where there will be eternal spring. There will be
reservoirs and the necessary irrigation installations, and high

But to give you an idea: this Peru Valley will provide as much
milk as, for example, the entire province of Havana did some years ago. If
the plans are carried out as drafted, we should reach a total of no less
than 200,000 liters of milk a day in this valley. Obviously, this will
require the mechanization of milking. None of the livestock plans can be
carried out without milking machines. Because who could milk so many cows
and produce so much milk? To all of this work will be added the coffee, the
sugar cane, and all of the other agricultural tasks.

In other words, we must modernize and electrify this zone,
providing installations with the proper refrigeration and milking machines.
Not now, for we are just beginning to produce the dairy herds. There are
not enough milk cows yet to fill these valleys. Indeed, there are already
in the country a half a million of the F-1 strain, including calves,
heifers and cows, all of which will be producing by 1970. Oriente already
has some 100,000, and Camaguey more than that number. And so it is with all
the provinces. But we will not take the F-1 cows from Oriente to put them
in these places because the population there needs milk. Havana has more
dairy stock, more cows of pure strains, than the other provinces. But
compared to the tremendous number of milk cows which the provinces are now
acquiring through the crossing of the Holstein and the zebu strains, they
are acquiring a much larger volume of zebu stock. Havana has a smaller
dairy herd which is increasing on the basis of the existing milk cows. But
since it would not be just to take the F-1 cattle which has been bred there
from the provinces, we will produce the F-1 stock Havana needs in the
province of Havana.

And now some 30,000 zebu cows have been brought in. In the month
of January we will have some 100,000 in the province of Havana. By the end
of next year we will have more than 200,000. This is a part from all of the
dairy herd and its offspring. Also the national genetic organization has
some 100,000 zebu cows in its genetic centers producing F-1 cattle for the
province of Havana. These will be the only cattle of this breed produced
for Havana in the province itself so that in Havana in January 100,000
zebus will be producing cattle of the F-1 strain, some of which are already
being inseminated here. The best specimens of the bulls we have been chosen
in order to produce high yielding cows.

It is already known, and even skeptics are now beginning to see
and believe it,that the F-1 strain produces much milk, particularly milk
with a high fat content. F-1 cows produce milk with 33% more fat than the
Holsteins, because they inherit the capacity to produce volumes of milk
from the Holstein and the capacity to produce high fat content milk from
the zebu. They are hardly animals well adapted to our climate and they
maintain good production averages.

Thus, the increase in the herd in the province now is for the most
part in zebu cattle. Next year, the pasturage plan will be continued until
the necessary increase in areas has been achieved. Thus, the work now is
relatively simple. It is basically the work of the artificial inseminators.
Then the F-1 calves will be born. The females will be raised and the males
will be slaughtered at a given age. Thus, we still have time here in this
Peru Valley before we must begin milking on a vast scale, and this is the
time which will be needed to complete the rest of the work in this region
and the balance of the projects. Because electricity is needed. Without it,
the region cannot possibly be developed and these cows cannot possibly be
milked. Electricity is needed for the refrigeration equipment, the
mechanical equipment, the irrigation, and for the consumption of the people
of the region.

Thus, this region is being developed in the interests of the
country, not only in the interests of the residents of the region. When a
region is developed, the entire country benefits. It is not only the local
population which receives these benefits. All of the country profits when
such a place produces these large quantities.

And thus the various plans, well conceived, are being developed.
There are projects being carried out and plans and projects being drafted.

The plan is one thing and the draft for it is another. The draft
must include all of the details in the picture, a basic task.

Now, then, since the school has been built, the second thing we
are going to build is the polyclinic here (applause). First, the highway.
Without the highway there could be no school, because to try to bring the
materials for the building of the school here along those infernal roads of
the past would have been madness. The second thing was the school. Along
with the school, electricity has been brought to the region. Now, in the
vicinity of the school, we will build the polyclinic. And we will continue
to develop. Next will come the commercial center. And finally, the various
installations which will complete the modernization and transformation of
this region.

The polyclinic, too, will be a very modern thing, and it will also
be a communist polyclinic, as the public health comrades and the others
working on the plan have conceived it. Obviously, we will not have a
hospital with surgical facilities here, because there is no need when we
will have the Cienfuegos road, which will pass near here, and the even more
direct Jaruco road, which will also lead into the Cienfuegos road. Thus,
the trip from here to a surgical hospital in Havana would be a matter of 25

Already a person living here can travel to downtown Havana in a
fourth of the time it used to take. This is as close to Havana as many of
its suburbs. What I mean to say it that we will build a well organized
medical clinic. One does not set up a surgical "shack" anywhere, because
surgery requires specialists, the most modern equipment, the most expertly
trained doctors. And so to operate in a small ill-equipped premise, I am
speaking of medical premises, would endanger the life of the patient, you

It would not be good medical practice to try to do everything
here. We must provide the service which is needed here, so as to avoid the
need for the people to go to Havana or elsewhere to obtain these services.
These will include general medical consultations. If a problem which
requires further care or special treatment is diagnosed, then the patient
will go to one of the hospitals set up in the region or in the capital.

Thus, the entire system is based on the service which must be
provided. We will provide here the services which should be provided
locally, and which today one must climb on his horse -- well, no longer a
horse -- must take a bus or a truck or whatever to go to another town. Then
there will be a polyclinic, which is the kind of medical service we regard
as ideal for a locality as this one. And we are serious about this.

This is the draft project. Comrade Josefina Rebellon, the
architect who planned this school, has also designed the polyclinic. And I
say again that to draft a plan such as these it is necessary to have
knowledge. If we did not have the architects, none of this would be
possible, neither the school nor the plan. Because the architects also work
on the planning of the highways and the physical planning of the region.

There will be waiting rooms, treatment and vaccination rooms,
rooms for pediatrics and obstetrices. I am going to read a little bit about
the program which this hospital will have, representing almost what
medicine should be by the year 2000. Advances have been made and it should
be thus. We are going to do everything as it should be done. There will be
a waiting room with rest rooms, a staff room, consultation rooms for
pediatrics, vaccinations and treatments. There will be an area for the
exclusive use of children of school age, an area for adults, and another
for joint services. Thus, the polyclinic will render service to the region
but also to the school children. In the event of any problem, there will be
a polyclinic a few steps away. The school children will have a waiting room
with rest rooms, a staff room, and offices for pediatric consultations,
vaccination and treatment. The adults will have a waiting room with rest
rooms, an admissions office, a records office, a staff room, and
gynecological and obstetrical services. There will also be premises for
dental work, laboratory, fluorscopy, examinations and storage space.

The hospital unit, linked with the polyclinic by a long hall, will
include the following: 12 rooms with bathrooms and related facilities,
treatment rooms, a labor room, a sterilization room, an admissions office,
treatment baths, and storage facilities. Outside catering and laundry
services will be used.

There will be a resident physician, who will also have access to
the specialized services in San Jose, including pediatrics, obstetrics,
gynecology, x-ray, dentistry, etc.

There will be four resident nurses, a laboratory technician, and a
health assistant.

There will be a women administrator.

There will be a women to handle admissions, the records and

There will be three general assistants.

There will be two janitors.

For transport, there will be an ambulance and two drivers.

The following programs will be developed: first, examinations for
non-pregnant women, medical consultations, gynecological consultations,
regular checks for the early detection of cancer of the throat and breast,
and dental checks.

There are certain illnesses which are still a scourge, but the
basic remedy is detection in time. One of these is cancer.

Nowadays medicine in our country is advancing so that periodic
examinations are made making it possible to discover incipient cancers in
time. This is of key importance, because this disease cannot be cured if
discovered too late. However, unfortunately, science has not succeeded in
finding a cure for this scourge of mankind. However, preventative medicine
can do much to avoid the consequences of the discovery of this kind of
illness too late.

In prenatal care, there will be no less than eight medical
examinations of each pregnant women in the area.

There will be dental checks, that is to say, of the teeth.

In postnatal care, there will be at least two post-parturition --
that is the medical term -- examinations.

In the program of child care, there will be medical and dental
checks of the entire juvenile population of the area.

Nursing babies under a year will have at least nine
preventive-curative examinations in the first year of life; one each month
up to the age of six months, and one every two months up to the age of one

All of this will contribute to reducing the problems of infant
illness and mortality to a minimum, to eliminating them, and it represents
a very great step forward.

Pre-school children from 1 to 4 years of age will have at least
three preventive-educational consultations each year.

School children between 5 and 14 will have at least two
preventive-educational consultations each year.

For adults -- those 15 and over -- there will be full medical and
dental aid. Each individual will have a health card. There will be a
program for the control of communicable diseases, vaccination of the entire
population on the basis of age groups, anti-polio immunization in
accordance with the national program, examinations for tuberculosis, and
vaccinations of various types for children.

And finally, not to go into this at too great a length, there will
be a whole series of programs for the control of water supply, sewage,
garbage, [vectoria], and dairies, checks on all meeting and school
premises, sanitary checks on children's establishments, food hygiene
programs, sanitary checks on milk production at the various stages:
production, transportation, and storage; and general checks on the
production, handling and consumption of foodstuffs.

All of this is a very advanced program of struggle against and
above all prevention of illnesses. Thus we will have here one of the most
modern polyclinics, and it will serve as a model for those which will be
built later in other places.

We appeal to the public health comrades drafting the plan to make
it consistent with what they regard as the ideal for medical services in
this place.

And the zone will continue to develop. We hope to have the maximum
cooperation from the workers and the peasants locally in the development of
this entire region which is changing rapidly.

It will not be the only one, because work is being done in many
other regions throughout the country, but we do indeed, want this place to
try to serve as a model in all of the things which are being done, because
those who are in the vanguard can always render the others service through
the experience acquired. Whatever may not be perfect here we will try to
perfect in the next place. The experience gained here will contribute to
many other places. And there can be no doubt, things will be better done
because we will have more experience. But there can be no doubt what is
being done here is very modern, very advanced, and will bring extraordinary
benefits to the population of the area, and it will also benefit the
economy and the entire country.

And as I promised -- perhaps I have not kept my promise -- that
this ceremony would be brief, and repeating again that we all have much to
do, I will close by wishing the teachers, all of the teachers at this
school and the children at this school the greatest success in this
magnificent establishment which has just been created through the work of
our people.

Fatherland or death!

We will triumph! (Ovation.)