Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0124 GMT 14 Mar 69

[Speech by Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro from the steps of Havana
University at ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the attack on the
Presidential Palace--live)

[Text] Relatives of those who fell on 13 March, honored guests, students,
workers: Some main topic has always concerned us on this historic date
which brings us together on the university steps. This year we want to talk
about a topic which cannot help but be important on this 13 March. We want
to talk about the university. [applause]

We do not pretend to present an exhaustive or definitive exposition on what
university institutions should be in a revolutionary process because even
our own ideas, our own concepts, are also developed along with the process
and ideas enriched by daily experience. We all thought we had some ideas,
more or less, about what a university should be in a revolutionary process,
but actually the ideas all of us had were more or less vague.

We talked about university reform as we talked about agrarian reform. In
all we knew about university reforms, in all we know about agrarian
reforms, in all we knew about every aspect of what the work of the
revolution ought to be, were we to compare our experiences with our initial
ideas, we would find that not exactly the same thing occurred in all

The agrarian revolution that developed in our country has practically
nothing to do with the first underdeveloped ideas of what an agrarian
reform ought to have been: A revolution which we called reform when we did
not even understand that the land problem could not be resolved through
reform, but rather through profoundly revolutionary changes.

We had exactly the same situation in the university. It could not possibly
have been otherwise, because the ideas of the initial period were draw from
concepts molded in the bosom of the society in which we then lived, and in
which there arose, as legitimate and important aspirations of our people,
the demand for the implementation of a number of measures and changes
which, within the framework of that society, were really practically

The watchword of the agrarian reform could be considered a watchword within
a revolution that should be reformed, or to put it more clearly, within a
society that ought to be revolutionized. And when society is really
revolutionized, then all those ideas that might have been considered
reforms, conceived at a given time, become totally obsolete in terms of the
real needs of a revolutionized society.

We also want to say that this transformation of ideas regarding the
university took some time. We must say that during the entire revolutionary
process we could always count on the enthusiastic participation of the

It is also proper to acknowledge with satisfaction that never in the bosom
of the revolutionary process did there arise a single contradiction between
the process and students. This has special political merit because we must
say that the makeup of the university student body was heterogeneous. But
even within this complex and heterogeneous character of the student mass,
more can be said--that the majority of the student mass came from those
sectors which were classically labeled as petit bourgeois within society.
And in some cases, they were also bourgeois sectors.

We must say that logically, a considerable part of this social atmosphere,
the habits, the ideas, the customs, were formed by the students of the
university. I mean by this that a notable change took place in the way of
thinking and acting of that mass. And this is a good example of the
importance of ideological and moral factors in the conduct of man, because
this mass marched in step with the university and became more radical. And
its convictions became more profound to the degree that the revolution
became more profound, to the degree that the revolution became more

And we can today proclaim with satisfaction that in the order of ideas, of
political positions, of attitudes, the students of our universities
unquestionably occupy a vanguard position in the bosom of the revolutionary
process. [applause]

Yet, a vanguard position cannot in this case be only in the political
field. It must be a vanguard position in the technical and scientific
fields as well. It must be a vanguard position in the path that all society
must one day follow.

As you know, every idea always have some impact. New ideas, all new ideas
always produce some waves. But new ideas are not always easily understood.
Hence, when on occasion it has been asserted that some day the university
will be universalized, these words, which are not some play on words or a
riddle, and so forth, express an idea, and idea which not everyone accepts
easily at first since they do not and cannot conceive that a university can
become universal. They cannot conceive that university learning can be
universalized, and that an entire people can reach the level of what we
call university education.

This is part of and stems from the overall concept, the overall picture we
have always known. It stems from the old arrangement of the old society. It
is the product of a society where knowledge was the heritage of an
insignificant minority--the mastery of technique and science. And we do not
know the large number of vices, of habits, engendering the condition that
knowledge is the privilege of a minority.

Nevertheless, it is hard to reconcile the concept of a revolution with the
idea that there will be always within that society a minority possessing
knowledge of science and technology and a majority ignorant of the same. In
the first place, we cannot conceive how future problems can be solved if
this knowledge is not universalized. In the second place, we cannot
conceive how a communist society can come about without the
universalization of scientific and technical knowledge.

Some think that there will always have to be a part of society doing
so-called menial work. Some think that there will always be some men doing
intellectual work and only intellectual work, and another part of mankind
doing menial work and only menial work. This work which requires long and
interminable hours uses tremendous energy, physical energy, practically
animal energy by man.

The old work--the work which in practice made man a man, which lifted him
from his primitive state to the extent that his work became gradually more
intelligent--as that work becomes totally intelligent, totally preceded by
intelligence, menial or animal work as such will disappear.

That is why we can have no concept of a people's educational development
that does not equate, in its final results, to the development of all a
people's potential faculties, of all its potential intelligence.

In the beginning the revolution began practically from scratch. It began
struggling against illiteracy. After the battle against illiteracy, the
battle of general learning, primary education for everyone, began. The
problems it involved--of teachers and schools--were huge, and many of those
problems still exist. Subsequently it was the struggle for six-grade
education, which has also produced notable results in the number of workers
in our country who have completed all their primary schooling and have gone
beyond it.

In the near future all the people will discuss the problem of general or
compulsory education up to the preuniversity level. [applause] That is, not
only to the sixth grade, not only to junior high school, but up to
preuniversity level. The last leap will have to be a much more gradual one,
that is, in stages. We are not saying that it will be a leap from the
primary to the preuniversity level. It will take us a long time until we
reach the final jump, which will be universal university learning. Indeed,
it will not be a jump. It will be simply a result of the earlier jumps,
because once learning up to the pre-university level becomes universal, the
step to universalizing university education will flow normally.

In a certain sense this is happening with thousands of students graduated
by technological institutes, who attained the pre-university level, went
into production, and are studying university subjects, taking their tests,
practice, and examinations. Therefore this level has been reached despite
difficulty today, as conditions for this type of study exist in a very few
places in our country.

Therefore, our next basic step will be to establish by the law of all the
people, by the participation and understanding of all the people, universal
education for all children and all youths of various ages through
preuniversity. This will demand enormous effort for all of us. This will
demand enormous effort of all the higher level students because we do not
have and we will not have for many years other cadres, other teachers to
begin to carry out this program, than the higher level students. And this
is being done today on a sizeable scale.

This will help resolve some contradictions--the contradiction between
defense and studies. This is one of the patent contradictions in the
revolutionary process. Let us say that there are three contradictions: The
enormous necessity of development, the enormous necessity of the defense of
the nation in the conditions in which our revolution is evolving, and the
enormous necessity of study.

We must overcome these contradictions. These contradictions must be solved.
The contradiction between the necessities of underdevelopment and of study
are resolved to the degree that work is combined with study. Work combined
with study is developing today at the secondary, preuniversity, and
university levels. However, it is developed to the extent of our

Today we have the school-plus-farmwork plan and in the future we will have
schools in the farms. Rural secondary schools will be located in the farms.
And soon we will begin to build the first rural secondary schools in the
countryside. This will contribute to the solving of this contradiction.
Therefore, the enormous mass of hundreds of thousands of youths who are
taking secondary education will do so in institutions in which they will
combine their studies with production activities of the type which is
possible at that age. It will be the type of work they are able to do.

The technological and preuniversity schools are participating today in the
hardest job we have, the sugar harvest. There is no question but that a
serious contradiction confronts us. In the face of the tremendous necessity
for training technical cadres, three-or four-month periods have to be
devoted to productive jobs as a basic necessity. This is logical because
those who used to do that work in the past, that category which was part of
the bottom rung the most exploited in our society, was the machetero who,
between the sugar harvest season and the dead season not only did the most
arduous jobs but was always the victim of the dead season of long month of
layoffs, living in appalling conditions. Now this category no longer exists
and never again will exist in our country.

And we can in no way ever conceive of a society in which this kind of work
always falls on a part of society. And logically the ranks of macheteros
have not grown during these years. The ranks of the macheteros have been
thinning out and this is because they have been leaving to operate
machines, tractors, trucks and to perform a countless number of diverse

And since this process has been taking place much sooner than we have been
able to resolve the sugarcane mechanization problem, it is logical that
other sectors of society, among them the students, the soldiers, the
industrial workers, everybody in fact, have had to participate to
ever-increasing degrees in the sugarcane harvest.

But it is also urgent and of utmost importance, it is of highest precedence
in the revolution, to mechanize the canecutting process. This is one of the
problems which at this time occupies the priority attention of the
revolution. Logically, we cannot long permit a situation which forces such
a vast employment of energy, of students, of workers from industry, because
other branches of the natural economy, industry and construction, and other
sectors demand the investment of such energies.

Moreover, we believe that the type of activity in a sugarcane harvest is
not the ideal type of activity for students within the framework of the
scheme to couple study and work.

In addition, we have the third necessity, that demanded by the defense of
the nation against imperialism. This necessity forces us into the
circumstances of employing a sizable mass of young men at the peak of their
strength in the job of defending the nation, of training to defend the
nation, of mounting guard in defense of the nation.

We will therefore have to reconcile the problem of defense with the problem
of studies and with the problem of production. We shall solve this problem
by linking it with the phase of preuniversity education or technological
education, as we will call it. In the future there will be no distinction
between technological and preuniversity education. All schools will be
technological schools, some of the type of technology and some of other
technologies. Those who are in preuniversity schools today will be
science-technology students, plus those in posttechnical studies.

Hence, military training will be received in the technological education
period, in other words, once secondary education is over. Secondary school
will be a year longer. Part of the studies will be done in the
technological school, in other words, 4 years. What for? Because many boys
are admitted to secondary schools when they are too young, and we want some
of the studies they are going to undertake in the later stages to be done
in secondary school. Hence secondary school will be 4 years. They will be a
year older when they are admitted, but they will also get a year more of
study in the later phase. In other words, in the technological schools.
Once in the technological schools, they will take the proper courses and
they will also receive military training there and they will also be part
of the mass of our revolutionary armed forces.

Therefore, some day in that phase, studies, military training, and
productive work will be done, but in another ratio. In other words, with a
different intensity. It cannot be 3 consecutive months, because time will
have to be divided among studies, military instruction, and a shorter time
than in the past will be spent in productive work--as training rather than
a necessity.

We expect that by that stage we will have solved the most serious problem,
that of total mechanization of canecutting, to the extent that with
machines, chemistry, and constantly increasing productivity of work, this
tremendous constant need which we have now will not arise. And at a given
time the work being done by these technological students will have much
more importance as a part of training, rather than an essential need of the
country. Thus these ideas contain the criteria which guide us toward
overcoming the contradictions I mentioned earlier. But these contradictions
must be overcome with the participation of all the people, and with the
support of all the people.

The problem of the huge number of repeaters in school, the problem of a
comparatively large number of boys and girls who do not attend
school--these problems must be totally overcome, and they must be totally
overcome with the active participation of the people. [applause] We do not
think three is a single conscious citizen in this country who thinks it
possible to admit that this society will accept illiterates in the future,
that this society will accept ignorant persons in the future. What will be
the maladjustments, and what will be the problems of those individuals who,
compared with a mass with greater and greater knowledge, remain backward
and ignorant of everything.

In the future there will not be a single productive process or service in
the country which will not require a considerable degree of knowledge.
Among other things, aside from the problems of an individual who is left
behind, like an island of ignorance in the midst of a people growing in
knowledge, there are problems arising from the uselessness of an uneducated
person, who will be a burden, a problem in the future for all society.

We must learn to see things in perspective, and understand that is is
everyone's task to fight tenaciously, decisively against all these
shortcomings, all these possibilities which still exist that a child does
not go to school. They will become society's problems, candidates for
delinquency, for conflict with the society they cannot adapt to, and in
which they can scarcely live.

Society still has a long struggle against these faults, these vices, the
vice of delinquency which still exists and will remain for a long time. A
parasite from the past, a milestone from the past, it feeds on the ranks of
all those youngsters without preparation, without knowledge, culture, or
consciousness. There are also cases of individuals who use minors for
criminal purposes. Since the law punishes robbery with a certain severity,
they resort to using minors criminally.

The very concept of minors is elastic. It is a sketchy one and some of
these concepts will have to be revised. If we consider age 16 old enough to
serve in the fatherland's armed forces, protect it, and die for it, why de
we not consider them answerable for robbery or other criminal activity of
any kind [applause] at age 16, 17, or 18?

Evidently this is an old concept, and the revolution must analyze it so
that society will face this type of problem. There are habitual offenders
in society; there are some who are incorrigible, who because of their
record, their inveterate habits, are incapable of adapting to normal
living--incorrigible, unrehabilitated, and some on whom prison life has a
negative and dismal influence. Our country will have to study the whole
problem of its penal institutions for common delinquency, since in recent
years the idea of struggle against counterrevolutionary delinquency was
uppermost--persons who acted against the revolution. The other struggle was
somewhat behind. In principle, our society believes and feels the need to
give every man a change and every chance, but it will also have to face
those virtually unsolvable situations, cases of incurable criminals,
including those in prison who continued to commit evil deeds, who continued
on occasion to commit murder and extend their imprisonment. There is a
whole world worthy of sociological study for society to determine what to
do with this class of incorrigible individuals and with the habitual
offenders. We may have to face the need of eliminating them radically.
[applause] It is true that we have individuals who take up this life and
practically no method exists to correct them. And some of them even take
advantage of that type of impunity after they are penalized in order to
continue their criminal activities.

The struggle against crime will have to be a basic task of society. But we
must keep very much in mind and we must be fully aware that this struggle
will be all the easier, all the less necessary, from the moment the nation
is able to master the problem of education from a very early age and from
the moment it can establish the conditions enabling every individual to
receive a complete education.

We do not conceive that this type of delinquent can be engendered in a
society that has achieved that aim. And though it is never possible to
predict what the isolated behavior of some men will be, because science
will have to speak its piece in that field too, because scientific
explanations will have to be sought for those problems in that field also,
it is unquestionable that the problem of delinquency will be considerable
reduced to the degree that education is generalized and with it, culture,
and with culture, the conscience of all society.

Of course, these problems are important, but there is an even more
important problem in our judgment. It is something to which little
attention has been given before--how is it possible to build communism
without universal education. Not just from the production point of view
now, not just from the technological point of view now, but from the point
of view of man's attitude toward work.

Moral factors have often been discussed, the moral factors that move men,
the moral motivations. Evidently it has been set forth almost as a problem
of conscience. Actually, there is also another facet to this moral problem.
It is not as though we see work as something unpleasant for which a moral
effort is needed to do it, for which conscience is needed to do it.

If we speak about conscience, about moral motivation only in that sense, it
would be a narrow point of view. Duty, work cannot be placed in the
framework of the old concept in which duty was viewed as sacrifice. We must
place it within a new concept just as work. It is certainly admirable to
see the great possibilities in the offing that men may find in work itself,
one of there greatest incentives.

Yet, the motivation for this work is not produced, or if you like, is
produced in direct proportion to the level of knowledge, of the level of
culture. It is less with a lower level of culture. We have had a chance to
see this ever-increasingly in the past few year. How in the nature of work,
above all in the nature of technical work, in the nature of scientific
work, in work that is directed by intelligence, one finds one of the
deepest motivations of man. And we have observed that this occurs to the
same degree that the level of certain activities increase. We have
especially seen it in the university students.

We have seen how entire groups are dedicated to certain activities with a
feverish spirit. And it is no longer work being done with a sense of duty
alone, with a sense of need, but rather of work which is done with
pleasure, work which of itself stirs up enormous interest, work which of
itself becomes one of the most pleasant of man's activities.

And if we want all men to work some day with that spirit it will not
suffice to have a sense of duty, it will not suffice to have moral
motivation, it will be necessary for the nature of the work, directed by
man's intelligence, for the marvelous nature of the work to be one of the
basic motivations. And this will be possible to the degree that all society
is capable of assimilating that nature, of mastering it, and of discovering

We have seen it countless times, in any workplace where the work is
routine, rudimentary, when a single fact is not needed, when no type of
technology has to be applied, activity becomes routine. And to the same
degree that technology has to be applied, that data has to be used, that
controls have to be used, that daily observations have to be made of a
number of the consequences of what is done, there is awakened interest and
enthusiasm among the workers.

There are even workers who do not have a very high level [of preparation]
and who begin to acquire that level and this often occurs among students.
Tonight, certain remarks were made regarding study as a necessity and a
duty. Actually, we should talk to the students about study as a pleasure.
Logically, that could not have been said 15 years ago in a university.

What was a university in the past? We have often defined that university as
a kindergarten for adults. Actually, most of us who went to those
universities went because we were sent to those universities and because
they could [afford] to send us to those universities. What was the content,
what was the objective, and who was going to be easily led to believe that
study under such conditions was a pleasure?

At best it was a great need, for some persons, to solve an individual
problem. And the fact is that the majority of the students at that time
sought ways of studying the least bit possible and having the most fun.
Anything was fine except studying. And all of us, one way or another--there
may be some honorable exceptions, and I see here some comrades who possibly
were at the top of their classes, though unfortunately I cannot count
myself among them--but I actually recall how everything, all the
atmosphere, was in that university which, when we compare it with the
university of today, above all with the ideas of what a university can and
should be, there is no possible comparison.

Yet life compels us to study constantly; reality forces us to study all our
life. Henceforth, there will be no one, none of you, who will be compelled
by reality to study a lifetime. For you will anyway, and you will do it
with even greater pleasure when you realize the need for it, when you see
and grasp that nothing else will be possible, that there is no other

Recently, an eminent scientist, one whom for political reasons was
imprisoned in the United States for a number of years, said on leaving
prison that he would naturally have to begin studying again. This is
because anyone who ceases to study any scientific field, who does not study
because he does not want to or cannot, will find, in a period of 15 years,
due to the impressive strides in modern-day science, that he is virtually
ignorant of 90 percent of the most important knowledge.

By the same token, whoever fails to study for 10 years after graduating
from university will find that at the end of that time he is practical an
ignoramus in his field. He might of course possess the practice, the daily
mechanics, but with little chance of development if he does not
simultaneously develop the theories.

Thus there will be no one, none of you who can escape or even want to
escape studying all your life. Every member of the society must do this.
Moreover, you will have much more time for this, for in the same measure
that man masters technology and applies it to productive processes and
increases the productivity of work, in the same measure that all society
participates in the productive processes, each component element of that
society will have much more time for recreating-type activities, cultural
activities, and intellectual activities.

Thus those ideas which were mentioned, those ideas which were the essence
of Marxist thought: The combining of study and work, the combination of
intellectual and manual labor, are not simple phrases but ideas embodying
the essence of the society of the future.

Another phenomenon that has been observed is that intellectual work and
only intellectual work becomes a painful task for man, and how the
possibility given many persons who had always performed intellectual task
to perform some manual-type work provided a great number of them with a
kind of freedom, a kind of pleasure, and this despite the fact that some of
the activities were hard manual labor to which many were unaccustomed.

Such work like canecutting, we said before, will no longer arise in the
future, though there will be other manual, manual-mechanical, or some other
kind of work. However, they will go from intellectual work to working with
machines, working with equipment, or some other kind of work.

These are the premises of the idea that learning, even university learning,
must become universalized. Also recalled by the comrade who spoke in the
name of the students, were the activities the university is carrying out
now. It is forthright to acknowledge, with pleasure, that a great
qualitative change has been effected in the university.

That qualitative change has been directly related to the university's being
incorporated into the principal tasks of the country, the development
activities of the country. This is being done more and more, yet it is not
only the university which has profited qualitative, for the activities in
which the students have been taking part have also profited qualitatively.
One of the greatest lacks in our country at this stage is the lack of
technical levels, the lack of knowledge.

Among the people there is much more potential energy now being developed,
and energy yet to be discovered, potential knowledge, potential
intelligence already developed.

This does not mean that there is no more intelligence in the brains of our
fellow citizens; but knowledge is lacking. The level of knowledge among the
cadres is really still very low.

You would be surprised at the number of important work centers that are
administrated by comrades who have completed the sixth grade, high school,
and an exceptional few with preuniversity students, and almost none, almost
none with university preparation. The fact that thousands of productive
centers where hundreds of thousands of persons work are in most cases
managed by persons with a really low level of knowledge presents a great
problem for the country.

Of course, in many cases these persons are wide awake, intelligent, pursue
a great vocation; but this, unfortunately, is not enough. It will be more
and more necessary and the country should expect that the cadres
participating in activities have a high level of technical preparation.

This implies, of course, the duty of all cadres to find some time for
studies and for improvement. But the problems that derive from this are
tremendous problems. And in this phase, in which the level of knowledge in
productive processes is so scarce, large numbers of professors and students
concentrated in the university possess knowledge in many matters that are
fundamental for the development of the country.

There are some activities, such as that of the doctors, in which it has
become customary that they serve in specific hospitals, and at the same
time in many hospitals teaching is practiced. No one could conceive of the
existence of a hospital without doctors. We are totally accustomed to this
idea. And it would seem horrible to us should there be a hospital without
doctors. However, it seems almost natural to us that there be a sugar
central of half a million arrobas of cane daily, or of one million, without
even one engineer, without one economist. It has almost become natural to
us that there be large factories, large productive units in agriculture,
and many branches of industry without even the minimum of qualified
technical personnel, without any university-level technicians or a small
number of such technicians.

Mention has been made here of the participation of students in the Havana
Province road plan. Sometimes we imagine that highways can be built without
civil engineers, that a bridge can be built without the participation of an
engineer, or that a building can be constructed without the participation
of an architect.

Actually, this has happened many times. For this reason, when engineering
students lend a hand in this field, the results are visible, the results
are obvious, the help is of extraordinary value.

At this very moment in the country there are more than 100 roads and
highways. How many engineers do we have at the head of these roads and of
these highways? Innumerable cane, cattle, and other agricultural activities
pans--how many agronomists do we have at the head of those plans? Today it
is necessary to use a technician, a group of technicians, to the maximum.
It is necessary to work on the basis of general instructions, norms of a
general nature, norms of fertilization of a general nature. The day will
come when each of these activities must be carried out on the basis of
specific norms--each specific place with a perfect knowledge of the soil.

Students of the schools of biology, chemistry, architecture, hydraulics,
economy, and engineering have been cooperating in the development of the
coffee plan in the south of Havana Province. In these laboratories, which
have been established in the vicinity of the university, tens of thousands
of soil analyses are being made for one plan alone, tens of thousands of
analyses for one plan alone.

We have seen students early in the morning working hard on these soil
analyses with the cooperation, or under the leadership of their professors.
Some day, we will have to know all the soil of the country with minute
exactness. They ware gathering all information. They are pointing out where
there is more or less phosphorus, more or less potassium, more or less
organic material, in the same way that students of biology have been
examining the soil from the biological point of view--what type
microorganism, what type nematode there is that may affect a specific kind
of plant.

The microbiology of the soil, the nutrients of the soil, the depth of the
soil, the texture of the soil, all these indispensable elements are being
examined there. As a result, possibly no other plantation of this kind in
any part of the world has achieved even half of this technical level. We
will have a plantation of this type equalled by no other in any other

Hydraulic engineers, civil engineers, planning experts, and everybody else
have cooperated. This plan at time brought together what could almost be
called a council of scientists. They have discussed for many hours the
position of the windbreak, points where irrigation canals should pass, the
distance that specific sprayers can spray, and the innumerable technical
problems that only a group of trained persons can resolve to give form to a

They have been cooperating in their plans in the Ceiba zone. They are
cooperating in south Matanza in the Jaguey Grande zone, and there we are
thinking of concentrating a large portion of our comrades and of these
technicians. That is to say, the technical university support in the
agriculture field will be quite evident in south Matanzas in the citrus
plan, a very serious plan which calls for a great amount of soil
cultivation because there are times when the soil is full of rocks and
stones that must be removed in order to allow workers to work easier. The
south Matanzas plan will have some 5,000 caballerias of citrus fruits;
there is nothing similar in any other country.

The same groups, olivadentes--the same as they call the rector of the
university--because it includes economists, agricultural engineers, civil
engineers, hydraulic engineers, electrical engineers, chemical engineers,
biologists, and a lot more, will move from Havana toward the south Matanzas

We hope that the comrades--those working on the Cienfuegos road, who are
working in the construction of that road, will speed up construction to
facilitate traffic between Havana and South Matanzas. These problems are
your responsibility.

They [The technicians] are going to cooperate in the Guanes plan; they have
been cooperating in the Isle of Pines plan and many other plans. All of the
many important new activities in which the university students are
participating more and more every day concern us.

We asked the comrade rector how are the reserves of university technicians,
of professors and students, because there are so many activities that
sometimes we are afraid that our reserves may become exhausted. But
fortunately there seem to be an ample number of university students, and
besides we are already seeing the results of the policy which prevents the
contracting of students to work as professionals while still students. That
is why we now can count on tens and on some occasions hundreds of students
to take care of some of these tasks, because before there existed a vicious
practice or the bureaucratic trick of trying to employ the first year
chemical student or biology or engineering student so he would be under
their control upon graduation.

Luckily, we have been eliminating that practice. The students will
participate, they will provide any type of support as a member of the
university. They will go to work wherever the needs of the country demand
it and not where they most skillful manager or the capable minister or vice
minister had sent him because the student may have been superior to the
rest of the students. That is not the way to correctly solve the problem,
that is the easy manner of resolving problems and they will never find
solutions to any problems. Thanks to that there is a GRANMA, thanks to that
many services can be rendered.

The university next year, in the 1970 harvest, will have a great task. The
technology students will go, during the 10 million harvest, to Camaguey
Province [applause] to work and to lend their technical support at the
collection centers and in the sugar refiners. [applause] Other colleagues
will go and work during that period in their activities, those in civil
engineering and architecture will have tens of thousands of kilometers of
trails, roads, firelanes and the woods for mapping [as heard]; those in
architecture have a lot of physical planning to take care of, many
industrial service installations and housing to build, and many other
projects to take care of.

The same for the biology comrades, they are counting all the pine woods in
Pinar del Rio, 14,000 caballerias of pine woods where they select the plus
pines, female pines, and plus male pines. Plus pines seems to be a special
category of pines by virtue of which they are considered as the best in the
species and from where the seeds for genetic work should be obtained from
the reforestation purposes. The effort made by the biology students in this
activity is commendable, how they have spent the hours in those mountains,
working the entire week and collecting important data for the country and
sometimes living under very rough conditions;

The experience of the political science students in the Camilo Cienfuegos
Sugar Refinery is also very interesting because there, at a labor center
with all the various types of problems, is where theory is perfected, is
where knowledge for the essential and the fundamental things is also

It is difficult to think of a political cadre or a specialist in
sociological or political matters who ignore the productive process and who
ignores the conditions under which the work of the human masses unfolds. We
are sure that it will give them an extraordinary experience.

In our opinion, the country will greatly benefit; it will likewise profit
from the quality of the technicians who will emerge from our universities
trained in that type of activity.

What we are striving for, as far as possible, is to provide the means to
the university for carrying out those activities. And we acknowledge that
those means are not enough. Nonetheless, the enthusiasm with which the
university has undertaken all those missions and the success being achieved
through that work encourages the country to exert an effort toward
affording the university the means it needs for this task.

Another new project is that of the 30 students currently being trained as
specialists in engineering for terracing hills in Cayajabo, in Pinar del
Rio Province. For they have their university there, virtually in tents.
They work there and hold their classes, receiving their training there.
That constitutes a fine example of a university that begins to transfer
itself from its own site.

The 30 architecture students in the agricultural command post in Havana
Province who are training as specialists in physical planning also have
their university there. They hold their classes and are being trained
there. Thus these first experiments of a university's physically
transferring itself from its traditional site and converting a project in
the mountains into a university classroom and converting the classes of
physical planning of an agricultural directorate into a classroom of the
architecture school are examples of how it will be possible in the
future--insofar as we have more professors, and insofar as we have
qualified personnel where they belong--to go ahead and establish university
classrooms in every working center.

These examples point up the process by which the present university will
disappear, to become an institution, a type of teaching which will be done
in every working center.

The day will come when we clearly realize that there could be no better
place, say in the ultramodern nitrogen plant now being built in Cienfuegos,
for training the chemical technicians specializing in that work,
specializing in the production of fertilizers.

The country already has splendid industrial thermoelectric plants; it is
building very modern plants for producing fertilizers. And thus all this
industrial development will provide future university classrooms. The
middle-level technicians will go there and have their university there. By
means of this process the day will gradually come when each farming base,
each sugarcane plan, each cattleraising center, each forestry plan, will be
a kind of agronomical school where all who work in those activities will
receive their advanced studies, once compulsory universal education up to
the preuniversity level is established.

Once this is done, entire generations will enter production with that
(education--ed.) level, and whole generations will proceed to receive
advanced courses in their working centers. Furthermore, if hundreds of
thousands are to study, it will be impossible for them to do so in

The old idea, the classic university, will vanish as such, it will vanish
as such a concept, it will vanish as the institution which belongs to a
clearly outdated society. Thus production itself, the productive
activities, the productive processes, will constitute the material base,
the laboratory wherein all workers will receive their higher learning in
the future.

That is how we see, how we conceive the development of higher learning
institutions in the process of our revolution. And let it not be forgotten
that some day the progress of this revolution will only be able to be
gauged by the, it will not be, by the growth of our agriculture, which will
be tremendous; [as heard] it will not be by the yearly growth of our
industrial production. The measure by which this process can make gains
will be provided by the percentage of youths engaged in higher learning, it
will be provided by the percentage of the sum total of the persons in this
country who are carrying on those studies.

And that will be the yardstick, the most important and legitimate measure
of how much this country progresses, because everything else, every other
advance we make in the future shall be a byproduct of what gains our
country will be able to make on the path of study, the path of mastering
technology and science.

These facts are evident. Perhaps we might lack will, perhaps we will lack
energy, perhaps we will lack clear insight to aspire to go so far. But we
do not believe so. We do not believe that if our people have come this far,
if our people have surmounted difficult phases; if our people today face up
to their present problems, with a virtually great shortage, technical, a
great shortage of cadres; if our people are waging the most difficult
battle in these present months; if our people are confronting the most
typing phase to win the battle against underdevelopment; and if amid
difficulties they are successfully standing steadfastly, the task of
attaining these goals we are talking of tonight will be no more difficult.

But, in addition, the university will not be connected only with the
productive process, it must be connected with research. And the
universities should be centers for all kinds of research.

This university already has a research center near the basic medical
sciences school where very serious projects are being carried out. This
university already has a number of task in the fields of agriculture,
economy, and other activities assigned to it.

We believe that if the best professors are assembled in the university, if
it is our duty to try to assemble the best trained personnel in the
educational centers--for these are the ones who will mold the new
generations of technicians--their knowledge should be used in research,
just as research should form part of the future technicians' training. What
we man is that professors should conduct research, and that research should
be included in the training of future technicians.

It is necessary to proceed forthrightly in this sense. Our country cannot
afford the luxury of doing otherwise. If we have only a little, we must
know how to use it. We must use it rationally. And we must progress in

At this time the university is training postgraduate students for certain
agricultural-type research centers that will be developed in the near
future. In this respect it is heartening that a large number of university
students will provide the bulk of those working in those research centers.

In research, our country should do two things: gather information on
everything that is being done elsewhere--we should not invent again what
has already been invented; and, at the same time, conduct concrete research
into what we concretely need to solve given problems. [We should] adapt the
results of research in other countries to the conditions in our country.

The revolution will definitely advance to the maximum in the field of
research. This is another fundamental idea which we must not forget for a
single instant. This is how our university will continue developing. This
is how the concepts that the university will be universalized and cease
being what it is now will continue to be developed.

What then will these centers become? What shall we do with them? Naturally,
this tremendous activity of higher studies must be directed. Post graduate
studies will be conducted in the future. In other words, we will proceed to
a superior level. For when we have tens and hundreds of thousands of
technicians, then thousands of these will take postgraduate courses
annually like some courses given last year. Some will be one year, some
even longer. But these will not be known as university studies. They will
be studies of another kind, postgraduate students. And the group of persons
attending these courses or the student body will not be called such
[university students]. Many of you may possibly attend these courses as
high-level graduates.

As when we referred to technicians, here is a candidate who is asking for
information, and he is so doing because he know that we are recruiting
cadres and students to be made cadres in nuclear physics research and to
get nuclear physics professors. The Institute of Nuclear Physics has been
established and we have asked for maximum support from the university in
selecting from the nuclear physics students a grouped from which we may get
our professors of nuclear physics and form the research cadres of the
Nuclear Physics Institute which was recently created. In some colleges, we
have a limited number of personnel, and that is why we have to split their
tasks. Sometimes you receive and sometime you must give, and in this case,
we must give. They are few and we know that it will limit the development
of this institution. In the future, they will be fine physics students;
they will study here and everywhere. There will be groups in many places.

The university must aspire to develop itself to the fullest in all fields,
and all the other universities must do the same, maybe more in some fields
than in others. Our problems of today are the result of our poverty and our
needs--which in some cases we count in tens and in other cases in hundreds.

The doctors have made a valuable contribution tot he research technicians
course in veterinary science. So the doctors, on the right track and ahead
of diseases, are going to make a valuable contribution in animal health,
which will in turn be very important for human health.

There is a large number of students graduating, and close to 70 students
are receiving a two-year course at the National Scientific Research Center
which will prepare them for work at another research center which is being
built. But the most important thing is not the building or the equipment,
it is the student. Since we are on this subject, it is necessary to speak
about a typical defect of technicians, of scientists, of researchers, and
of the capitalist society. If someone feels we are talking about him, he
can always think instead that we are referring to capitalist society.

Something has been handed down from that society like a vice that
accompanies that activity, which was a minority activity. When in a society
only one person knows anything in a little--town there is only one doctor,
only one engineer, one person who has specific knowledge, he occupies a
privileged position, morally, socially, economically. And, logically, that
situation created the traits of professional jealousy, pride, vanity,
superiority complex, and one and only. And we must painfully accept that it
will be necessary to struggle for a long time to allow the most important
virtue, the most essential virtue, the first virtue of a technician, a
scientist to be imposed. That virtue should be modesty. And remember this

How many human relations are poisoned, how much cooperation is made
impossible, how much gossiping, how much newsmongering, how many
contradictions have resulted from the fact that man has not yet been
sufficiently able to control that primitive spirit that he carries with
him, the egotistic spirit, that individualistic spirit, that superiority
complex? How much must we struggle to control even forms of expression, to
instill in man that what is important is the task, the accomplishments, the
content of what is done, regardless of whether or not his merits are
recognized, whether or not he is given credit for originating an idea or an
investigation. If everyone is going to increase their knowledge, it will be
necessary to learn to live modestly, to learn to think and work and act
modestly, without anyone feeling superior to others.

Man has always been able to reap what men of though have created throughout
history. He who does the most, who contributes the most, is insignificant
basic all the knowledge and ideas that he inherited, and which served him,
at a specific moment, as instruments to make what is called a contribution.

Sometimes relations are poisoned because of professional jealousy and
immodesty, because of these small bourgeois vices that, unfortunately,
still exist. And if anything needs saying, needs urging, as part of the
formation of our future technicians, that thing is the struggle against
immodesty, that struggle against vanity, that struggle against
individualism. And we shall always measure a technician, a scientist, not
by his knowledge, but by the degree of humility and modesty with which he
is able to contribute his knowledge to mankind. This is important, and our
experience has taught us so. We must say--and this is why we were saying
so--that it is a vice that comes down to us from the old society against
which we must fight as we prepare our new generations. We must be able to
wipe it out.

These are some thoughts on how we regard the university at this time, how
we see a university revolution. And this university, which is called the
University of Havana, should be called the University of the West. We have
a university of the east, one of the center, and that of Havana, which
should be the University of the West. It could be called something else.
What I mean is that it should be conceived of as that of the west.
(applause) It exercises its activities in the Isle of Pines, in Pinar del
Rio, in Matanzas, and in other provinces, because above being the
university of the west, it is the university of the revolution, the
university of Cuba. (applause)

We must prepare ourselves--we are in the year of decisive effort; but we
must prepare ourselves above all to invest our effort in a correct way, in
a useful way. We must, therefore, prepare on time the participation of the
university in the 1970 sugarcane harvest.

The 1970 harvest goes well in one sense--in the plans for planting cane.
All of the basic material for the 1970 harvest is being ensured. The season
is favorable in some areas--relatively dry, or, let us say, without using
"relatively," very dry in Oriente Province. However, most of the hydraulic
work is being done in Oriente Province. And this province will receive the
reinforcement of the necessary equipment for irrigation. If nature
discriminates against Oriente Province, the revolution will make Oriente a
priority in the provision of irrigation equipment and in an effort to
provide the water that nature denies it. So, drought in Oriente will be
compensated by such an effort. Hard work is being done on hydraulic
projects throughout the island so that we may be able to face a drought.

But there is a difficulty still in connection with the present harvest.
This harvest has not yet reached the desired rhythm. And this is not a
mobilization problem. No one believes more mobilization will be necessary.
It is a matter of organization, of organization. (applause) This shows up
our weakness in this field.

It is true that simultaneously with the harvest we are fulfilling our
program of planting, fertilizing, and weeding, which requires energy, time,
attention, and which must be done. It is true that the effort devoted to
road construction, hydraulic projects, and drainage is gigantic and uses up
much energy and time. It is true also that throughout the spring, trucks
and hoisters were used in planting. But it is also true that we are still
weak, that we still have weaknesses in our organization.

Ignorance in many places is reflected in the organization of
transportation, in the organization of collection centers, in the
organization of cane cutting, in the organization of industries. In all
this organizing weaknesses are reflected. And during the coming weeks, our
country should make a special effort in these areas of organization.

At a moment when the sugar price is satisfactory, at a time when our
country is approaching a great achievement in its work, we cannot permit
one single cane fit for grinding in 1969 to be left uncut. [applause]

Always, every year, when the rain starts, at the end, excuses are
heard--too much rain, too many problems. It is the intent of the revolution
this year not to order the end of the harvest until every can is cut in
every province of the country. [applause]

It is not a matter of saying that some of the cane can be cut in the
succeeding harvest, which could begin earlier. This is a matter of
commitments by the country regarding the sugar it must export. It has to do
with the needs of the country. Its our duty to win the battle of 1970, but
it is basically our obligation also to win the battle of the 1969 harvest.
If the 1969 harvest is to prepare the ground for the 1970 harvest, then it
will. If we must grind cane in June, we will grind in June; and if we must
grind in July and August, we will grind in July and August. [applause] And
our cadres, our parties, will have to learn to fight and win simultaneous
battles, and they will have to learn to put into effect simultaneous
plans--sugar cane, livestock, the 1969 harvest, the 1970 harvest, the rice
program, and all the other plans. It is necessary to learn to win
simultaneous battles. The people have the ability and disposition. There is
enthusiasm. We must contribute what is missing, that is, common sense,
organization. We must improve ourselves.

We were saying that we have many limitations, but we must learn to overcome
them. The will of the revolution, the will of the people, continues to be
to wage and win the battle completely. The lag in the harvest implies that
it will continue through May and June, while the new plants will be
undergoing cleaning and sprouts will be fertilized and cultivated.

A tremendous mixture of activity in a limited period of time.
Unfortunately, this results in us getting behind schedule, and extends the
tense pace of work in the six-month period beyond May, beyond June. We must
face up to this situation and solve it, above all because this harvest is
the forerunner--this year's work will produce the first great results of

The development of our sugar production has tremendous importance as a
source of foreign currency for the country with which to acquire the
necessities for our development. It has great bearing on the standard of
living of our people, on our cattle industry. Next year, we shall have 1
million more tons of molasses for our cattle. In other words we will have
the necessary syrup to greatly improve our cattle feed. This harvest,
therefore means much this year, and the harvest of 10 million tons means
very much to our country and our people.

We have called this a year of decisive effort, and it is truly one of
decisive effort. But this effort must be invested very rationally. We must
invest it intelligently. This is the situation at this moment. Certainly,
we advanced much during this this year.

In conclusion, we must say that in today's struggle we have the great honor
of having at our side the worthy mother of those heroic Bolivian
revolutionaries Coco Paredo and Inti Peredo. [applause] The applause of the
people better expresses our sentiments of support for the solidarity with
the cause of the Bolivian people, the cause of their sons, which is also
the cause of our people.

We also have as usual the representatives of the heroic Vietnamese people,
[applause] symbol of the determined struggle for freedom. The Vietnamese
people have always had our unconditional support, and in these moments
their watchword, revolutionary and historic watchword, is that a peaceful
solution in Vietnam depends on the withdrawal of the Yankee and puppet
troops from that country. [long applause] They have all our support and the
backing of our country.

Fatherland or death, we will win!