Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Service in Spanish 2136 GMT 5 Jan 69

[Speech by Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro at dedication of semiboarding
school and polyclinic at El Cangre, Havana Province--live]

[Text] Honored guests, workers and residents of the El Cangre area: Today
we dedicate a school and a polyclinic here, yet just about how the weather
is threatening, it is somewhat cloudy [crowd shouts] and nobody can predict
how much rain is going to fall if those clouds we see over there come this
way. [crowd shouts] At any rate, I have some data on some papers over there
and it would not be too practical to read too much data under the rain, but
we will see what the weather brings. At any rate, if the year begins with
water it begins well, especially if you realize that 54 days have gone by
without rain in this province. The weather was behaving badly and was even
going against the traditional rainfall statistics, since this is a region
where it always rains some at the end of November and in December. Last
year it rained quite a great deal in the spring but there was no rain at
the end of the year in this area and the comrades who have worked so hard
were somewhat worried about the weather situation. Fifty-four days without
rain dries the soil up greatly. Yesterday, it rained, wet the soil better
in other places, but if it rains again today it would compensate
considerably for the drought during earlier weeks.

The significance of this school is, in the first place, that it has been
built--both the school and the polyclinic--with the extraordinary efforts
of the brigade of workers which made them possible. The school has been
built in some 6 months, approximately, but this magnificent polyclinic
which you see there was built in 33 days. [applause] It was built by
construction workers supported by a strong vanguard workers core from
various sectors, who completed this school in 33 days and the one in Valle
del Peru in 30 days. [cheers, applause] There is a small difference which
shows what can be done by working with a truly revolutionary spirit.
Certainly we have never seen a building built at the speed the polyclinics
were built. [rain begins to fall on Castro and his notes]

It is going to rain no matter what. [Castro chuckles] It is the notes that
are going to get wet. [crowd shouts] I wanted to give you some data on
education in our country, quickly, if possible. There were 7,567 schools in
1958 and 1959, and what schools they were. At the present time there are
14,726, in other words, practically double the number of schools which
existed before the triumph of the revolution. There were 17,355 teachers.
At present there are 47,876 teachers. This refers to primary education. A
total of 717,417 pupils were registered before the revolution. That is only
counting the ones who actually went to school. At present there are
1,444,395 registered pupils, or more than double.

In basic secondary and preuniversity education there were 2,580 teachers
before the revolution. Today there are 10,449. Before the revolution there
were 63,526 pupils. At the present time there are 172,144. In basic
secondary education in the country side, there were seven new schools just
in (?elementary) education, with 125 teachers and 1,748 pupils.

Specialized education: In 1961-62, after the revolution, there were 20. Now
there are 110. In 1961-62 there were 148 teachers. In 1968-69 there are
1,118. In 1961-62 there were 843 registered pupils. At present there are
7,947. [applause]

Primary teacher training: Before the revolution there were 692 teachers
preparing as future primary teachers. At present there are 1,084. There
were 8,899 enrolled in the former normal teachers schools. At present there
are 19,166 young people training to be teachers.

In the few years we will need 3,000 new teachers a year, and in basic
secondary and preuniversity education we will need 70,011 additional
teachers a year in 1969-70. [as heard] In 1970 we will need 1,532 new
teachers. In 1971, we will need 2,345, and in 1972, 2,821 new secondary and
preuniversity teachers. No, of... [Castro checks though notes] Is this
right? Yes, secondary and preuniversity teachers.

Technical education: I recount the normal education. [pauses to check
notes] The one I read before was on teaching personnel and what we have at
present. In other words, those who are registered and are taking courses.
Now comes technical education, intermediate and professional technical
education. Number of schools and teaching personnel: In 1958-59 there were
20 schools. Now there are 38. Teaching personnel: There were 818, now there
are 2,180. There were 6,259 students registered. Now this refers to
technical and industrial education.

Agricultural education: Previously there was practically none. Now there
are 37 schools with 2,335 teachers and 36,812 students. The fishing schools
are also new. There are two with 175 teachers and 3,115 students.
Therefore, some things such as agricultural education and fishing education
have grown, have been created, and have a large enrollment. Industrial
education grew from some 6,000 students to almost 30,000.

Industrial guided studies: 3,068 pupils. Higher education: There were 1,053
teachers in higher education. Now there are 4,449 teachers. There wee
25,599 students matriculating in higher education. Now there are 40,147.

The ratio of students has also changed. For example, 18.5 percent of the
students are in the school of technology, 16.2 percent of the students are
in medical school, 7.4 percent are in the school of science, and 20.3
percent are in the teachers school of the university.

Worker-peasant education: 365,720 have completed the sixth grade. That is,
more than 350,000 adults have a sixth-grade education. [applause] There are
57,244 courses. These are very accurate figures. [applause] The total
number of scholarship students is now 244,718. The number of semiboarders
is 160,818. [applause] So more than 400,000 young persons and children eat
in our schools. They already exceed 400,000. That is also part of
consumption in the country.

The data here about books are a bit long. Well, we must see what we have
done in education and what we have not done; What has happened in education
over a 10-year period.

First the literacy campaign; second, the conversion of many barracks into
schools; third, extension of educational services to the most isolated
areas of the country; nationalization of learning; establishment of the
scholarship plan; the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and
Recreation-Education Ministry (INDER-MINED) plan; physical education and
sports for all students at all grades; development of monitors
movement--pupils who help teachers; development of scientific-technical
clubs; development of the semiboarding policy; development of specialized
learning; development of adult education via worker-peasant education
plans; development of the line to train teachers and professors; constant
advancement of teachers and professors; application and development of
schools-in-the-fields; application and development of new study programs;
drafting of new texts with participation of collective bodies made up of
students and teachers; development of technological, industrial, and
agricultural learning; development of courses directed by skilled workers
and intermediate level technicians; massive use of television and radio for
education; expansion of university students and creation of new schools and
careers; development of the scholarships-abroad policy based on specialty;
successful experimental application of military learning in technological
institutes; the linking of students with the six-by six production
plan--harvesting, school-in-the-fields--as part of their training;
development of the audiovisual media industry; establishment of a school
library system; application with the participation of organizations and
taking into account the criteria of economic development. These are the 28
points along which education has progressed in these years. [applause]

The principal problems, [crowd shouts] the principal questions which
require much progress: The number of school dropouts--the number of pupils
who failed their grade is still high, and they abandon school. Of those
enrolled last year in the city areas, 83,009 [crowd shouts louder] Oh, an
umbrella. The lady who offered me her umbrella is the mother of heroic
Comrade Tamara Bunke, who died gloriously in Bolivia. [crowd cheers] That
is, the number of school desertions totals 137,440. Now, [he mumbles about
the paper] the paper is wet, I cannot.... [he flips the page]. There is a
datum here with I cannot overlook. [he mumbles, then laughs] It is the
enrollment datum. I think it has turned up. There are 1,702... [he corrects
himself] I say 1,702,139 enrolled, counting young persons and children.

Now, according to statistical computations, how many young persons and
children are there between the ages of 6 and 16 years in the country? There
are 2,182,000 [applause] so there is a difference of 400,000 children and
young persons between the ages of 6 and 16. What are they doing? What are
their occupations. What does it mean for the country? What does it mean for
the future generation of the country? There are 1,702,000 enrolled and the
other 400,000 [are not]. What can we expect from the future, the future of
this country, and for the future of these youngsters?

Of these, about 200,000 are 12-16 years of age. Possibly the greatest task
we must accomplish in education is to have 100 percent of these children
and young people in school. I think that our people understand. [applause]

We are establishing the first measures and establishing the school plan,
and guiding the general alinement on which each school is drafting its

This guidance embraces all the aspects indispensable to planning the
educational process, and especially establishes the link between the
community and the school, the role of the family, of mass organizations, of
the state institutions. The school plan is the only educational plan and,
as the alinement expressed it, the party organizations must assure the
measures needed for its success. The fundamental measure which will
contribute to eradicating the problems which we set for ourselves makes up
the bill for compulsory education [applause] of 13 grades which will soon
will be discussed by the people through said organizations, and the
principal laws are being discussed with the masses, as you know.

This was done in connection with vanguard youth. It was done in this way
with regard to the question of decent pensions. And we are now going to
have an extensive discussion of the law on compulsory education for 13
grades [applause] for all children and youths to the age of 16. This plan
aims at increasing the education level of the people in accordance with the
nation's scientific and technical development needs as well as implementing
the general educational system which will assure an articulation of the
various factors contributing to the integral education of man. The law's
preamble foresees some of the problems, which have been called potential
factors for the inadequate behavior among youth, determining parents
responsibility, responsibility of the tutor or guardians of minors under
16, and establishing the measures that are recommended for nonfulfillment
of educational duties on their part.

We have a problem of scholastic retardation. From primary to sixth grade
there are 621,510 scholastically retarded children. From seventh to 10th
grade there are 76,506 scholastically retarded. From 11th to 13th grade,
there are 4,646.

There is a program in existence regarding scholastic retardation and, above
all, regarding those who are greatly behind in school for the purpose of
guiding them toward the study of certain specialized subjects among the
many specialties of which we need, at this time, skilled technical and
industrial jobs for all these youths. Our need for immediate-level
technicians is enormous. Some boys are too old and are too far behind and
the plan is to separate them into groups and not to mix those with others 4
or 5 years older. At any rate it is a long-range program and if it was not
raining so had we could extend our remarks on this subject. [crowd shouts]

Now comes the problem of this place where we are now. El Cangre.
Essentially, I think you can have a good appreciation here of the material
factors which hamper the development of education in the country. Here we
have this huge area in which thousands of persons live. The school is far
away and the children have to go long distances to go to school. There are
not enough roads. In other words, many of the factors which are affecting
school retardation, absenteeism from school, and in the dropouts, are
related to the lack of material wherewithal for the schools. In this
program, it is not only the will and the effort that are involved, for this
must be the maximum, it is still without question the material needs of
education that we must cope with. We really need thousands of schools like
this one.

Figure it out. This school will hold 600 pupils. Of course there are 1.5
million primary school children. Of course, some schools are better off
than others. Some time ago we inaugurated the one in Valle del Peru. Now it
is the El Cangre school.

Regarding this place, I have to say this: I thought that the isolated areas
in Cuba were in Oriente, Las Villas, Camaguey, Pinar del Rio. It is amazing
that in this Havana Province itself some places are more isolated than
Baracoa. [crowd noise] After all, Baracoa already has a paved road with
street lights and splendid engineering works. However, you have seen how
many kilometers you have to walk from the main highway to get here. And in
what terrible shape things get in spring; nobody can move, nothing can move
through here. You just cannot explain how people can live here and how
agriculture can be developed under such conditions. Logically production
cannot progress under such conditions.

This place, like Valle del Peru, and possibly as much or more than Valle
del Peru, is a place that is absolutely cut off in this province. Here were
hundreds of thousands of persons completely without communications, without
roads, without transportation, without anything. The development of this
area is the outcome of the systematic exploration of the province, of the
island, to ascertain which were the most underdeveloped areas and the most
isolated areas in the nation.

Now this place has a road which is due for completion next week, and the
development of this area began or had to begin with a school and a
polyclinic, in addition to the road. The first thing is communications,
then the school and the polyclinic. Parallel to this, the agriculture
begins to be developed in the area. But in this El Cangre area with its 561
pupils, 345 are scholastically retarded and 219 are at least 2 years

The pupils in this area were distributed in, I think, 15 distant schools.
This also reflects the problem itself of scholastic retardation. Therefore
this school, and this is most important, will have a truly modern
organization. It can be said now that it would be difficult to find any
school anywhere in this country with the organization this school is going
to have. There were 15 rural schools and the pupils attending these schools
had to travel long distances, which hampered school attendance in the rainy
season due to the poor conditions of the roads. One teacher taught all the
grades in these schools. Sometimes, because of the lack of resources and
time, pupils did not take part in programmed activities.

In this new semiboarding school, the pupils will receive the benefits of a
graduate school, its curriculum will be in accord with the reality of the
existing scholastic retardation, and its teachers will devote all their
efforts to the development of activities leading to better instruction of
their pupils--the training of the new man--an objective pursued by
revolutionary education. The aim of training men more capable of continuing
the construction of a new society, men such as El Che envisioned them, more
just, more humane, and more revolutionary. [applause] The modern buildings
of the new school center are made up of classrooms, administrative
quarters, library, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms with lockers, sports
facilities, and housing for teachers. Many green areas surround the school
or will surround the school because they have just been planted. The
classroom furniture will be adapted to the age and development of the
children. They are equipped with audiovisual facilities needed for
education in every grade. They will have blackboards, murals, toys for the
lower grades, geography mockups, anatomical models, and mathematical
materials. An ample library for pupils and teachers will be available. The
school will have a record library and a motion picture projector, a
television receiver, and other facilities. [applause]

The baseball, baskethall, volleyball, and (?horseback riding) facilities
will permit the fulfillment of curricula and sports plans, contributing to
the scholastic development of all pupils. Teachers will live in the school.
Their quarters are provided with facilities to allow them to prepare their
lessons and to study. The messhall is large and has marble-topped tables.
The kitchen is well equipped and has a refrigerator, cold-storage room, and

All the pupils will have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at school. They will
receive clothing and shoes to permit uniformity of dress. [applause] Every
day the school buses will take the children to school and from there to
gathering points near their homes. The school will have 80 preschool
children, 134 in first grade, 112 in second grade, 83 in the third, 91 in
the fourth, 51 in the fifth, and 20 in the sixth. The total is 571 who will
be taught with the best resources as a function of rounded education. To
implement the new psychoteaching concepts of this center, the following
classrooms will be opened: kindergarten, two rooms with 40 pupils each;
first grade, three rooms for normal students, one room for slow students;
second, grade, two rooms for normal students, two for slow; third grade,
one room for normal students, one for slow; fourth grade, one room for
normal students, two for slow; fifth grade, one room for normal, one for
slow students; sixth grade, one room for normal students, one for slow. All
will be on the same schedule, from day to day, all activities, month after
month, that is, along with activities of the separate grades. Here is all
of it.

First of all in the curriculum is the internal organization of the classes,
organization of the morning sessions, structure of the board, drafting of
the general regulations, maintenance of the center, attendance and
punctuality, student production, vocational guidance, pioneers movement,
commemoration of historic days, participation and sport area, cultural and
recreational activities, library, productive work which is essentially
useful, nutritional education, a really new thing.

This area covers 1,535.8 caballerias of land; has a sugarcane area of
761.4; state-owned land is 484 caballerias; private land measures 1,051.
Out of the area of 761 caballerias, sugarcane was planted this year on 362
caballerias have been totally planted--and which will be happy by this
shower. [applause] This territory will contribute to this year's sugar
harvest a total of 27,315,400 arrobas, with an estimated industrial yield
of 650; it must be a bit more. They will produce 37,695 tons of sugar. For
the 1970 harvest, the contribution will increase to the figure of
68,180,300, representing a production of 90,324 metric tons of sugar. This
is for the 1970 cane harvest in this region alone. That is [increase] from
37,695 tons to 90,324 tons of sugar in 1970 with the cane planted and the
water falling on it now. [applause]

Nevertheless, in the future this area will not raise sugarcane. In the
future we will have developed the entire south [Havana Province] with
irrigation on flat lands because this soil is not ideal for sugarcane. Much
of this soil, although fresh has many udulations in it. There is a flatter
part which will remain planted in cane, but the rolling part, in the plans
for the province will, like the Valle del Peru area, become dairy country.
This will be in the plans the future development of rolling land, and
sugarcane will grow on flatter land.

Now, these are (?good) lands. In the future there will be a survey of
mechanized lands on a large scale to utilize machinery in these places, and
it soon will have its dams which will be built in the coming year. So that
farm development is still to come. Much sugarcane must be planted, which is
[now] scattered on thousands of parcels. All of this is being done to
organize a production truly worthy of this place in the future, as it must
be in the entire country. We cannot make progress otherwise with schools,
hospitals, and everything we have developed here. There will be 10 dams.
They are not large dams; in Cuba we do not build very large dams because
there are no large rivers. But is hurts when the water flows down to the
sea. We must retain it. These dames will impound 22 million cubic meters,
the largest the Seco River dam with a volume of eight million.

The system will utilize the waters of this area which, regardless of dry
seasons will contain a certain quantity of water that is not being used.
Also used will be the waters of the Mayabeque River which will be carried
by a pumping installation to be built in the Buenos Aires locality, between
Guines and Catalina de Guines, with a capacity of 500 cubic meters per
second, with which approximately 30 million cubic meters of water can be
pumped annually. This water is not utilized now either. Then the entire
system can impound some 50 million cubic meters of water to irrigate an
area of sugarcane, pasture, and citrus fruit.

Near the semiboarding school, near the sports area, we plan to build a
small dam with a volume of 300,000 cubic meters in a water area of 26
hectares which can be used as a recreational area for the students and the
residents of this town, aside from its agricultural use. All the dikes of
the dam will be built with landfill from the town of the same place, which
will permit doing much of the work mechanically.

Road networks: This territory is one of the most isolated areas of the
province. It lacks roads or highways almost completely. The increase in
farm production inherently requires the integral development of a region
and this is impossible without building lines of communication, the ways
which permit linking this territory to the existing highways of more
important areas: the El Cangre road to the main highway, whose construction
is being completed and which later will extend to San Nicolas de Bari,
southward; the El Cangre road to Lomerio de Amori, toward the east, which
connects to the Madruga highway at Pimian; the extension of the highway
coming from Guines to Madruga, which will connect it to Madruga and Guines;
and further, through the territory in the south side the Havana-Cienfuegos
expressway, which is under construction [applause] and has six lines on
this stretch, establishing direct communication to Neuva Paz and Havana.
[applause] That is, in this hospital there will be a variety of services,
physicians, but what is more important, any person will be taken to any
hospital in the capital over this highway and road in a matter of minutes.
[applause] Before, patients had to be carried on a cot, on a cot.

Now, following the urbanization of this region, all this is a plan among
the 100 we will have as resources permit gradually for what we call
urbanization of the rural areas. In the rural areas everything must be
planned; all the plans are being drafted as though a structure were being
built, as this hospital is being constructed.

It is not as in the past, the rudimentary and backway artisan's method,
when an administrator would say a dairy barn is being built here, a stable
here, that there, that there, in short, how it has always been
traditionally done in agriculture. Everybody located things where he
pleased. Sometimes he does not have water or the water is not good or the
soil is inadequate.

The same holds true for cultivation. Cultivation today is still
prehistoric. Nature has not divided the soil according to its
characteristics. Soil is not good for everything. Yet, in the traditional
system, rice, sugarcane, potatoes, yucca, sweet potatoes, malanga, pasture,
orchards, in fact, everything is planted on the same piece of land, on the
same acreage. Some soils are best for bananas, some are best for sugarcane,
some are best for pasturelands. Each type of crop requires a proper soil.

There is no question that an agricultural system is absurd when a farmer
has to plant 25 crops in every place and he has to be an expert in 25
crops. At present, all crops are being located according to regions:
sugarcane in the plains, in areas where mechanization is possible, where
irrigation is possible, near the sugarcane mills. In the future, sugar
plantations in the mountains will have to be relocated because they cannot
be mechanized. If we do not mechanize, goodbye to any hopes of developing
this country because if we have half a million men cutting sugarcane then
how are we going to build the thousands and thousands of industrial
buildings, social buildings, and housing which the nation needs?

This is why we must plant the sugarcane near the sugarmills. In order to
economize on transportation. Previously, sugarcane had to be moved many
kilometers from the sugar plantations. You have no idea how much this costs
to the nation in fuel and rolling stock. Economy is no longer the concern
of individuals here. Here when a peso is lost anywhere, it is a peso all
society loses. When a gallon of gasoline is wasted, when one more tire is
worn out than necessary, what is lost here, what is spent in one place,
deprives us of it somewhere else. So when we talk of saving, it is saving
for the whole nation. Anything wasted anywhere affects us all. Here we
could say what Hemingway said: for whom the bell tolls? When a peso is
wasted here, a peso is lost to everybody, a millionth part, if you like,
one eighth of a million part for a citizen in this country, particularly
for those who have less.

Logically, development will help people from the bottom to the top
progressively. From those who have less until they are on a level with
those who earn more. In other words, each peso wasted here is lost by
everybody. This holds true for poorly used land,land that is eroded, is
lost to the nation.

Agricultural plans are being handled as projects. Now there are architects
who are working on physical planning. They point out the roads, the
windbreak barriers, where the installations go, where the drainage canals,
where everything goes. We are seeing a progressive process of
specialization of agriculture.

Towns will have to be built. The task was absolutely impossible because
drinking water had to be piped to each isolated house. Power and light had
to be supplied to each isolated house. All utilities had to be supplied in
that way. Of course, this is a very long-range problem, the matter of
creating a process of urbanization. In some sectors, we are already doing
this. We start the process with the school. It continues with a polyclinic,
the first two are the most important things, then comes the construction of

The plan leads to the creation of a town which is projected for a
population of 3,000 persons, taking into account the cultivation, that is,
the population living here and the work to be done here.

There are 1,137 families here now. About the status of housing, I have here
data on the status of housing in this region. It is a terrible thing. There
are 1,381 houses. Of these 45 have water--3.2 percent--and 82 percent have
wells. But 204 have no water, not even wells.

[Those having] sanitary services, 114; latrines, 155; 990 have neither.
Thus, just think, 82 percent with wells, they use well water, and 71.6
percent have no latrines. The result this has on health is genuinely
terrible, an incredible condition.

Thus, 90 percent of the houses are built of lumber and thatch. As for
ventilation of baths, there are 109 good, and 282 bad. Baths? 992 have no
baths. So the development of the basic living conditions is essential for
the integral development of this region. Of the total families, 85 percent
lack the indispensable means of subsistence in five villages, Guines,
Catalina, Madruga, Pipian, and Nicolas de Bari, which are now located
between 9 and 14 kilometers from the centers of activity.

As a result, all of this brings on the needs to delineate the area on which
the new village will exercise its influence or radius of action. For this
we must take into account the different geographic characteristics:
topography, rivers, intervening hamlets and their size and the existing and
proposed roads, and the size of the population that could be reached with
the region's agricultural development.

On setting the radius of action over the bordering towns--the radius of
influence of the new village that will be constructed will lie in the
center. Within this radius now lives a population of 2,133 persons
comprising 515 families who will live within it because they are closest to
the village's radius of action.

The projected village of Cangre will have an action radius of an average of
5 kilometers; it is planned with a 5 kilometer radius of action. It will be
built around the already constructed semiboarding primary school for 600
students and the zonal polyclinic, over a very flat area having good road
communications, in keeping with the proposed road network. It will have a
two-lane highway which will run between Guines, capital of the region, and
Madruga. This present road will be shortened, to make for better
communications, and to insure that it skirts the town, so it will be

We have also completed a two-lane highway which will connect with the
central highway to the north, establishing a direct link from this town
with the villages of Madruga and Catalina. This road will reach the
village, cross it, and continue south up to Nicolas de Bari. Most of its
traffic will be during harvest time. The new village has been planned to
serve 3,000 inhabitants, providing them with housing and services that are
conveniently situated to fit the life of a farming community. The center of
the project-village will respond to the new organization. Services will be
located around a very broad and open plaza, facing outward, in such a way
that the buildings that surround it will leave ample room for different
activities, so that they can accommodate the plans of mass organizations
and assemblies, and do that such services as post offices, telegraph,
barbershops and beauty parlors can be incorporated into the same buildings.
Also, there will be a social building of culture house, like a
sociocultural and recreation center, where different activities, meetings,
mobile movies, chess contests, cultural development, and so forth can be
held. And a third center of stores, storehouses, for the inspection and
handing out of clothing, light shoe repair shops, with reception and
delivery for major repairs.

The buildings will be located in such a way that they will have a small
promenade between them, the center of which will have open air coffee shops
also facing the main square. At the south of the main center there will be
the children's circles with lawns which, with the semiboarding school to
the left and the polyclinic to the south, will be part of the composition
of the center, including the sports area of the school, as a integral
element of the village. Opposite the center, separated from it by a narrow
lawn, will be the bus station. Other green areas will be organized as
recreation zones or children's playgrounds, and also as a reserve where a
new service can be installed. The main street will cover the housing zone,
like the center, making entry and exit from town easier.

Now then, on what basis must this new urbanization be carried out? Many
peasants live in isolation, and many are used to that way of life because
they have done so all their life. Some will want to live in town, and some
will not. The urbanization, as it has been conceived by the revolution,
must be strictly on a voluntary basis. We are now developing the plans. The
peasant enjoys self-consumption. There are places like Nancahuazu, which
has a zone where everything is together, near town, because it is not a
rice area. For rice uses planes and fumigation, and it is impossible to use
the plans or cultivate rice in vast areas where there are people.
Agricultural development calls for many plans--cane and cattle. Many of the
plans [does not finish sentence] Well, not all the self-consumption of the
peasants comes from the cultivation in which the region is going to

We believe that with the development of production, self-consumption itself
will be senseless. Now, since there are insufficient products, interest in
self-consumption is great with the plans no in progress and the speed with
which they are coming along, the time will come when a peasant will work at
something that is specialized. He will work, and he will have all products.
They will come to him well packed, refrigerated, and well preserved. They
will have everything, much more than they have now. For however much they
can obtain from their plot, the plot does not yield everything.

It possibly does not give pineapples, sweet bananas, or something else.
Thus they have only part of what they need. And in the future every family
will have every farm product that is produced anywhere in the country.
[applause] For example, in the Artemisa area, when the new belt plan was
being carried out, some would pass by a belt of plantains which were being
removed, and they are still being cleared out, and say: "There are no more
plantains." They did not consider that the plantain plants were
disease-ridden and did not produce anything. And as they did not know about
the other plans, they only saw the plantains near the highway.

Nonetheless, we have planted high-yield sweet bananas in 400 caballerias.
At this time, besides plantains--because we are putting each thing in its
place, and this plan will be completed by the end of this year, as it will
be carried out all this year--we have a total of 700 caballerias of
bananas, 700. I believe there will be bananas that the people of this area
will not eat. It seem to us, since this is the time of consumption, as I
said, of the 60 million eggs, [words indistinct] have already become about
120. [laughter] And the plans, or almost, almost, some 120 million. In
other words, over 100 million eggs are being consumed. This is why,
naturally, sometimes some product is scarce and others are more abundant.
There will only be stable consumption when there is an abundance of all
products. (the people say: "The 10 million go!") No! The 10 million have no
other choice but to go. They go! Already they have gone! [applause]

The 10 million will be produced.  Yes, the 10 million will be reached.  But we still
have to sow a little more cane and this is being done.  [prolonged applause]  But
I can assure you of one thing: the real problem will be the cane we have to cut.

In the next few years, along with all the other plans, will be the rice
plan, the vegetable and the fruit plans. We are working on some plans that
the revolution is going ahead with. The rice problems will be solved sooner
than what we had thought. And many of the plantings are gaining speed and
in this respect there is the cattle, although we must give this a lot of
help. This year too we must plant vast pasture areas so we will not fall
behind. We have done much in genetics, crossbreeding, and the production of
Brahmas. Nonetheless we must insure sufficient pasture and feed cattle in a
more technical way.

Good. In other words the plans will supply enough. The plantains will come
from where they are being produced--in Alguizar, Guira de Melana, and
Artemisa--to the people and everywhere. The fact is it is easier to
distribute. I know we will distribute something. Imagine where one would
have to be distributing in tens. . .individually, milk products, for
instance, and ice cream.

Where could a peasant have some ice cream, individually? Listen, only if
each one had a box of dry ice. The fact is they have always lived without
any of this. But what I wanted to say is that, with the urban development,
any peasant who wants to can go and share things in the village; he can
live in the village with his whole family, and with all facilities. [words
indistinct] This procedure, because the peasant who wants to remain
isolated always remains there, and he keeps living in the conditions that
he wants to live under. The entire process with all the small farmers has
always been that way.

This, then, is the basis. There are peasants, for example in the Nancahuazu
area--for that is full of people now; that village is almost developed,
because there are houses and wells there and it is a rice-producing
region--I met a woman who worked in a school. She had, let me see, she had
seven children. I believe there were seven. Yes, she had seven children.
Five were in school, in the semiboarding school, and two in the nursery.
She worked in the school, but she also had a house, electricity, since that
was free everywhere in those villages. Besides the five children she had in
school and the two in the nursery, she at her meals at the school, and
besides she worked and earned a wage in the school. It could be that she
attended to fewer children at school than she had herself. It could have
been less, you understand, but she may have been a teacher who worked in
shifts, an adult to attend five or six students. Thus she had more things
than she could have had if she had had to solve her own problem. She has
everything and a wage besides. Naturally this is just; it is no privilege
for that woman. That is a right due every citizen and human being. As I
said she had five children in school and two in the nursery. Thus her
economic problems disappeared, practically. And the peasants too will see
their economic problems vanish.

Some peasants have kept producing products individually, others have sold
out, others become landlords, renting their land to a plan. Actually we do
not like to buy. We have preferred to use other procedures when they rent
their land. Why? Because this gives more security, peasants feel more
independent, and they can join the plans and work in the plans. These are
the paths our revolution has been developing and carrying out to overcome,
to be able to use technology, to overcome underdevelopment.

Without question, the peasant manner is of isolated production with an ox, being
impossible to use a machine, and the peasant without the aid of technology,
electricity, or anything else, who lives amid conditions that keep him backward.
Nonetheless, the fact that we believe the peasant is backward does not imply
that we consider that we have to impose a solution.

The fundamental policy of the revolution toward the peasants is that everything
that is done in connection with them must be on an absolutely voluntary basis.
This is the policy of the revolution.  A peasant says:  I want to die here on
this tiny piece of land, there, on that piece of land.  I do not want to work that
way but to keep working the way I am used to and that is a consumption area.
However, if we are near a sugar central, the main farming must be sugarcane.

This cannot offend us, for if machines are not used the cane will be lost.
A (?plan) must come in and plant most of the cane in the private areas. The
rest of the people--there were peasants who could not plant or attend the
cane with an ox or anything. Yet all the cane was planted. Furthermore, not
one centavo was charged. In other words we have encouraged that. We are
going to continue. Now, sirs, what is happening? Why in any plan that the
revolution is carrying out output per hectare will be 20 times what it is
today. There is an incredible underutilization of the small farmers' lands.
With modern techniques 20 times the yield per hectare is extracted from a
small farm. Moreover output-per-man will be 20 or more times the
productivity per man.

In the rice plans in the south, how much rice can a peasant cut? Some 200
weight per day, and some more and some less. Let us see a rice Reynaldo
Castro cut up to 500 weight. But do you know how much high-yield,
low-growing rice a modern machine, or which we have a few, reaps? Five
hundred weight in one day.

Imagine, one man along does the work of 250. [applause] So with the
machines, the productivity of work, the application of technology--that is
why the revolution can pay the peasants, develop urban areas, give him
better living conditions than he enjoys now. For the fact is that he even
had worse conditions before because in the past he produced a little and
had to give up half or one-third, or pay for everything. Now he does not
have [to pay] for educational services or doctors. He has credit, he has
help; if a cyclone strikes and ruins his harvest, his debt is written off.
In a word he is and has much more than before. Even so, with all the new
plans, peasant families will change unbelievably. Just keep in mind the
life of all the children in this school. Not even children of millionaires
could dream of this school.

In point of fact the children of the peasants in this region have what
children of millionaires never had. [applause] They never had a school of
this quality. [applause] Thus, in a genuine sense, that
polyclinic--[applause] where the women, the children, and the sick will
come--did the wealthy people in this country have it? [shouts of "no, no,
never"] Around the corner, with all those laboratories and all the services
this hospital will have? [shouts of "no, no"]. The millionaires did not
have it. Yet little by little, with its resources, its strength, with its
technology and its work, the revolution will continue building for all
citizens of the country--naturally it will take years--what not even
millionaires had in this country. [applause]

For frequently a millionaire would go to a doctor, and it was convenient
for that doctor to keep him sick. The doctor would give him all kinds of
prescriptions, and he kept the millionaire in a bad state all the time
[laughter] with a real illness or an imaginary one.

No one will find imaginary illnesses here. Since there is no money--for
these doctors all work and get paid by society--no, not one centavo will be
spent here. This hospital will never know what a centavo is. Nothing will
be paid here. Money will cease to exist here, and so, progressively,
[applause] on this path, on this path and in that school, money ceased to
exist in that school there.

We once explained that money could not be suppressed arbitrarily, since
there are differences of income. We first must work to equalize incomes. Of
course the things we are accomplishing like this to help the sick and the
children are investments, such as those for health and education. They are
investments made by society, whose interest is to have well-fed and healthy
children. In any case living conditions are improving extraordinarily this
way. However, these changes cannot be imposed. These changes must be the
result of persuasion and conviction. Habits and customs, the will of a
single peasant, must not be outraged. Let this be known that the bases of
the process are; the process which when implemented will change the entire
country, even its appearance, its panorama.

Perhaps some of you have seen a tall avocado tree, bare and with naked
branches reaching upward, left that way by the last cyclone that stripped
it. Frequently one sees a mango or avocado three which look ghostly because
it was in the path of a cyclone. Such trees cannot be planted if they are
not shielded by solid windbreaks. They can stand until a cyclone hits; and
the banana plants, until a "banana gust," as the peasants call them, blows.
Bananas must be protected with windbreaks. That is our concern, the
so-called windbreaks. And they must be strong trees, these anticyclone
curtains. Mamey trees are planted in banana, citrus, and fruit orchards in
Santo Domingo, for they know that no cyclone can topple them. That is
right, and Ocubre, another very strong tree. The anticyclone windbreaks are
made of Ocubre and Mamey de Santo Domingo. There a caballeria is divided
into six parts so there is solid protection. But this is not only
protection against cyclones but also against damage that occurs during the
blooming season from the south wind, which usually blows during what they
call Lent. These blow the blooms off the mango, the bananas, and

Thus we are constantly worried. If it is not the drought it is the losses.
Is it reduced yield? Is the harvest ruined? Are supplies affected? And then
the hurricane levels plantations, winds which blow the blooms off. In a
word, man cannot live in such circumstances. We cannot resign ourselves to
live as if we were in a jungle.

Man cannot live at the mercy of nature. Man must control it. This is why we
must do away with the inroads of drought in this country, and rapidly. And
we will do away with everything else so the people's assets and resources
will be protected. So, every plantation that is planted, must be planted
without thinking that a hurricane can come in 6 years and destroy it when
it is in production. Therefore the tree will not be isolated. All
plantations will have their windbreaks, particularly in the southern part
of the province, where those winds blow sometimes, and there will be at
least 10 stretches of 100-kilometer-long windbreaks.

There every kilometer per hectare of cane will have windbreaks. Of course,
when the area is planted with bananas, the windbreaks will no longer be in
kilometers, but in shorter lengths. However, that will mean other things,
an increase in evaporation and reforestation. Frequently windbreaks help
produce rain. This is because in our country the saturation level is
attained in a very short time. Increased evaporation very often brings

Thus, the entire panorama, even the climate of the country will change. For
everything can mercilessly destroy--forests, land erosion, badly made
roads--and if you looked at a map of Havana you could see a great deal of

Many roads, highways, form a circle like this. Do you know how far this
dates back? To from 4 centuries ago, when the famous distribution of royal
lands was made. They owned all that was around this, and the roads were
built around there. Many of the roads date from the time of those

Then the politicians came, and put an end to this road, kept another from
passing there, and all the roads converged like this, changing directions
anywhere. All the roads now are being laid out approximately straight,
saving transportation. These are rational communications. But the country
needs to be totally transformed. If Columbus once said, it is said that he
said it, although it is not recorded, they still say that he said that this
was the most beautiful land human eyes had ever seen. By the same token it
will also have to be said again that this is the most beautiful land human
eyes ever saw. But this will no longer be because of nature, but because of
man's labor. [applause] This country where 8 million live is going to be
reconstructed. Later, there will be 15 million living on this land, later
on 25 million, and there is no virtue in destroying all this. Of course, it
started to decay over the centuries, but is must be reconstructed, and
truly, with the help of work and machinery in the same way a hospital was
constructed, and a miracle, and a miracle was performed. The country will
be reconstructed, and it will be in its entirety. We said on 2 January, we
already have more than 9,000 machines working in agriculture and livestock
development, and I also said that 3,000 more would be added in 1969. It
looks as if I made a mistake and said that in 1970 there would be 12,000
machines, and it is not in December 1970. It is in December 1969, December
of this year that we shall possess more than 12,000 basic equipment and
auxiliary machines, strong hydraulic projects, drainage projects, and roads
for development of the country.

Here, the polyclinic also has a complete program to attend and care for the
health of the population. This polyclinic will have an area specifically
designed to be used by school children and babies of the town, with an area
for adults and another area for complementary common services. For schools,
there will be a waiting room with all the sanitary services, a pediatrics
ward, a convalescent and immunization ward. For adults a waiting room with
sanitary services, admission office, guard's room, genecology and
obstetrics. As complementary services, it will have a dental office,
laboratory, fluoroscopy, control and storage room.

The hospitalization unit, connected to the polyclinic by a wide passage,
will include the following facilities: 12 shower rooms, convalescent wards,
labor rooms, central sterilizations, locker rooms and baths, pantry and
storage areas. In other words, the old-time problem of getting a blood
test, or any other type, instead of having to go to the city, all this
bother, all these services will be directly given in this school. And of
course, through the road, the school, and the polyclinic, the struggle will
have to start.

Days ago, on 2 January, we spoke to you about the growth of our agriculture
in the next 12 years. And we spoke about the number of irrigated
caballerias, the number of fertilizers, the number of machines, the amount
of new land to be put into production. But we have to say that the increase
will not be attained in this way alone, since technology will have a
decisive influence on the increased returns.

But every day we discover greater potential in our country. As an example,
some figures, the F-1 heifers, a cross between Zebu, of Holstein and Zebu,
have been bred with a 33 percent increase in fat and protein, mainly fat,
33 percent more than pure Holstein cattle. Naturally, the inherit from the
Holsteins the milk capacity and from the Zebu the fats capacity.

And approximately 70 percent of the F-1 breed achieve productions of up to
3,000 liters of milk per year. That, on the average, is nearly 70 percent
in 305 days. Nearly 70 percent reaches 10 quarts during the first time it
gives birth; an enormous production!

The cattle plan contemplates development to the point of reaching approximately 5
million milk cows by 1975, 5 million milk cows.  The large majority will be of the
F-1 type.

In coffee, our country's potentials are also enormous.  In Matanzas, 28 coffee bushes
have an average of 10 to 12 pounds of coffee, and at the proximity it has been planted,
of course.  Now we have begun planting it nearer so as to obtain a higher number of
plants and a faster production, but if an approximately 14,000 or 15,000 coffee
plants per caballeria can be obtained, calculate what can be done applying genetic
selection, a technique so as to obtain more than 1,000 quintals of coffee per

In rice new varieties have produced up to 3,000 quintals of unshelled rice per
caballeria, up to 3,000 quintals.

In sugarcane, we have in Matanzas Province a 12-month type sugarcane, 12, no, not
12 months but 20 months, which reached 347,000 arrobas per caballeria, 347,000.
[applause]  Gentlemen, this country's potentials are something of which to be proud.
Let's not only think in averages of that type.  In the future, all sugarcane will
be of the 2-year variety. We look forward to an average not lower than 250,000 arrobas
per caballeria with irrigation, and we have the means in cattle as well as in rice,
coffee, sugarcane, and that same work must be continued for all the other products
planted.  In forestry, selecting the best trees in the different forest fields, because
the need for wood is great and we do not have forests here, except for the ones
that have been established this year, and it will take some time before they can be
exploited.  The technical potentials of our country are incredible.  The most serious
problem that we have is the working force; that is, the necessity to mechanize
ourselves and everything in general:  agriculture, construction, all procedures,
the day will come when we will see kitchens like those in some countries, central
kitchens where food is precooked, as in the hospitals, for example.

A comrade of ours who was in Sweden tells about a food processing shop
where food for 6,000 beds, that is, for the hospitals, for 6,000 persons
would be prepared by, if I can remember there were some 12 women, 12 women
in a central shop, and they packed the food in special packages, so that
the only thing left to do was to get it to its destination, to the hospital
where it would be heated in special packages and in a central shop. Twelve
women prepared the food for 6,000 persons in the hospital.

In Havana hospitals, there must be some 500 cooks, 500; that is, we have an
enormous job if we want to benefit from all the potential possibilities of
our country, from technique and mechanization. It is for that reason that
we must make everyone study. To reach this point, we must have a population
with a high level of technical preparation and knowledge.

To reach the maximum in production with the minimum of work, to attain the
highest goals, the highest objectives and the highest welfare, the highest
development of our country, we must study a great deal, apply the
techniques, and mechanize. In the sugar centrals, some 100,000 workers will
work. The time will come when some 30,000 workers will be able to do the
work of 100,000 workers, with much more production, because the centrals
can be developed, they can start to be automated. Naturally, all that
requires investments, vast resources. But it must be a process of
continuation in the application of technology, machinery and research
study. And those are the possibilities ahead for our country. Not only
because of irrigation, fertilization, but also because of the selection,
the genetics, in short, the application of technology.

From 1970 to 1980 we probably will not increase sugar production. We will
maintain the 10 million according to the needs of the markets. But we, with
the same amount of land, will increase sugarcane production, and the cane
syrup will be used to feed cattle, that is, to produce molasses in general,
to be used to feed cattle, a very good food for the production of milk,

The other day, we were talking about how many persons, at the time when
sugar production is limited, were wasting sugar under present conditions by
feeding it to pigs, chickens. This is now. In the future, sugarcane will
not only be the base for production of the 10 million tons of sugar but
also for the production of fowl, meat, pigs also,but in the form of whole
molasses. In the future the country will use sugarcane surplus over the 10
millions for the large-quantity development of the production of fowl,
pigs, cattle meat production, milk consumption, that is, in sugarcane is
found the wonder of this country, the wonder. There is no other cultivation
able to produce so much nourishment per caballeria as a caballeria of
sugarcane. Two hundred fifty thousand arrobas of sugarcane per caballeria
every 2 years [applause] adds up to, [sentence not completed] There is no
caballeria producing any other product capable of producing so much
nourishment that man can transform, can transform even into proteins by way
of a fermenting process, into food for the production of pigs, molasses,
chickens. Some day, sugar will also be given to the chickens. Already part
of the chicken feed is to be given with sugar, but then it will not be
indiscriminately given to any kind of chickens, but it will be used in a
rational manner. Ten pounds will not be used to raise one chicken. Maybe it
could be raised with 2 and a half pounds, or 3, according to a suitable
ration. And those chickens can be distributed, of course, to all the
population. So, in sugar there is a future after the 10 millions. But us,
with the same amount of our land in sugarcane, will produce at least 50
percent more sugarcane, and all of the increase will be used for the
production of cattle meat, pigs, fowls, eggs, milk, because the consumption
of these will probably continue to increase. And the prime factor in
increased production will be sugarcane.

On the occasion of the day of 2 January, as was to be expected, did the
reactionary press and the reactionary elements talk about the things Cuba
is doing, of the sugarcane it has planted, of the impressive development
that this country is going through, that the blockade is nearly torn to
pieces? No! Then, what stands out? The rationing of sugar in Cuba. The only
thing. The rationing of sugar.

But the rationing of sugar in Cuba, what the American papers have been
speaking about periodically, results in a unique rationing: 6 pounds in
part of the country, 7 pounds somewhere else. That level of direct sugar,
equals an average of 78 direct pounds annually. Note, if all that is
consumed in other forms is added, it comes out that this rationing of ours
offers more sugar than the per capita consumption in the United States. It
is more than that consumed in the United States. They must have forgotten
to add that up [applause]. As a "great" thing, they have pointed out that
we celebrate Cuba's anniversary with the rationing of sugar. No! We
celebrate the day of the anniversary with 15 million more in foreign
exchanges which we are going to have for our development. [applause] That
is the way the lie goes. They do not have any more trees from which to hand
themselves. [laughter]

We will wait patiently. Well, we have had patience for 10 years, and now
there is not much further to go. Next year--and perhaps even this year--we
shall see how certain products begin to increase. We do not wish to brag,
but we shall see how our rice plan works out; we shall see how consumption
is next year; that, and everything else. And what will we produce after
1970 when our agriculture is fully developed, and all that, with more
sugarcane over the 10 millions. Of course, now it has approached the point
that we will not agree to less than 250,000 arrobas per caballeria in the
future. These goals will become commonplace; that is, harvesting every 2
years, not having to cut all the can every year, thereby making it possible
to plant much less every year, which will be cut by machine in the level
areas. We will have to start a progressively staged expansion of sugar
central capacities in order to produce the sugar and to grind more
sugarcane for molasses. So, there are the prospects. And we think of the
future of our country, a magnificent future, a practically won victory.

Seeing the people today, and having seen the masses concentration on 2
January, that disciplined mass, its organization, its interest, reminds me
of the war when we were nearly winning the war in 1958. Our fellow
soldiers, every one was taking part in the struggle with great optimism,
and that is the image that after 10 years, we see in all the people.

Finally, we wanted to propose a name for the school. We have with us on
this anniversary, many visitors, dearly beloved persons, very much admired:
Tamara's parents are with us. [applause] Many centers in our country bear
her name. Also with us is the mother of a distinguished, heroic Latin
American revolutionary combatant, the mother of Camilo Torres. [applause]
The parents of our Camilo, Camilo Cienfuegos, are always with us.
[applause] The names of our heroes, both Cuban and Latin American heroes,
are names given to educational centers in our country, and on this
occasion, we, in homage to the Columbian people and to the heroic combatant
who was Camilo Torres, wish to propose that this school bear the name of
Camilo Torres. [applause] Camilo Torres was a priest; now there are many
like him. They follow his example and struggle for the revolutionary
transformation of the peoples. The revolutionary change of the Latin
American society is the enterprise and the task in which all men of good
faith will have to participate, all those who are aware of the immense
crime committed throughout an entire continent.

While a country like the United States approaches the moon and flies
thousands and hundreds of thousands of kilometers through space by virtue
of its industrial and technological development, it also maintains the most
iniquitous exploitation of a 100 million human beings who are thousands and
thousands of millions of miles away from even the possibility of reaching
this technology and who today must walk behind a plow, or an ox, or with a
mule seeking sustenance, and who have no road or even a school or a medical
instrument or medicine with which to save a life--when there are still
subhuman conditions in the world, when so much poverty still prevails in
the world--and that country has spent so many resources in making war on
peoples, in supporting the oligarchies and the reactionaries. These facts
are a reality to any thinking man, who things with a little honesty and
love for humanity and with love for his people.

It is not important whether he be Marxist or Christian or professes any
other philosophy. It is enough that he objectively understand these
realities, and it is all the men of progressive thought, of human
sentiments, of just thinking, who are called to organize this task, and
this task, as we said in the Declaration of Havana, would one day unite the
Marxists and the honest Christians and would unite men of the widest ideas,
of the widest and most varied beliefs, and the case of Camilo Torres shows
this: a priest who went there to die with the combatants for the liberation
of their people. [applause]

And, therefore, it is all a symbol of revolutionary unity which should
preside over the liberation of the peoples of Latin America, and therefore
we are honored and proud at the same time to be able to christen this
vanguard school in our country with the name of Camilo Torres.

Fatherland or death, we shall win!