Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish 0320 GMT 6 Nov 69 C (FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY)

[Fidel Castro speech [Unreadable text] November at the Revolutionary Armed
Forces theater, presumably in Havana, to the officers and men representing
all the troops who will work in the sugar harvest]

[Text] [The first two paragraphs of Castro's speech are supplied by a
report carried by Havana Domestic Service in Spanish at 1130 GMT on 5
November. Subsequent material is text as supplied by Havana PRENSA LATINA.]

Yesterday afternoon our commander in chief, Fidel Castro, made a speech in
the MINFAR Theater to the soldiers and officers who represented all the
troops who will take part in the 10-million ton sugar harvest. He began his
speech saying that the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) are a decisive
factor in this 10-million ton sugar harvest and that a maximum effort has
been made to keep back only leaders and personnel absolutely necessary for
the maintenance of equipment, to maintain some units in full fighting
readiness, and to keep some courses in progress. He added that although
this is an almost total mobilization this does not mean that we are going
to be disarmed. There will always be forces available against any attempt
to attack us, and something more important, there is always the ability to
mobilize all the armed forces and the people quickly in case of a
large-scale aggression.

Fidel said that during these 10 years we have lived under an almost
permanent combat alert and our country has had to devote most of its
energies and best contingents of men to the defense of the country, which
is under a condition of permanent danger and threat of aggression. He
emphasized that a large number of men have taken up the machete but their
weapons are within reach.

[Havana domestic service report ends at this point. PRENSA LATINA text

Many of the original comrades, a very large proportion of the comrades who
participated in the initial struggle in the mountains, have remained in the
armed forces during these years. That is, during this period our country
has had to dedicate most of its energy and the best of its contingents to
the defense of the fatherland, in a situation of constant danger and
threatened aggression. Now, a large number of men have simply taken their
machetes, but their weapons are at arms reach! And, of course, if they
should force us to interrupt the harvest to face an aggression, I am
absolutely certain that it would hurt us very much, it would hurt the
people if their effort, for which they have been preparing all these years,
were interrupted. Undoubtedly, the pain, the hate, and the decision with
which they would fight could not be surpassed by any other circumstance.

Some counterrevolutionary spokesmen talk about petty invasions,
infiltrations, and things of the sort. We already know quite well what the
prescription is for some of those actions. We recall how the
counterrevolutionary bands of Escambray--when for a while there was the
illusion that guerrillas could be organized against a revolutionary
country--forced us to mobilize many men, to invest much funds to liquidate
those bands. But they were eradicated completely and totally, because those
who tried such adventures against the revolution knew what awaited them.

Likewise, if in the midst of this harvest they try to interrupt us, if
during this harvest they execute infiltrations in our country, what we can
assure them beforehand is that none of them will leave here alive! What we
can assure them is that those who survive in combat will die anyway before
the firing squad!

Our soldiers in battle try to exterminate the enemy, but when they
surrender they are made prisoners. This is normal and a historical practice
from the beginning, from the first nuclei of revolutionary fighters, which
we have maintained and will continue to maintain. Our soldiers do not fire
on a person who lifts his hands, because from that moment the task is not
his any more, from that moment the matter becomes one for the revolutionary
tribunals and the laws! But the law is going to be applied with special
vigor against those who attempt to interrupt the work of a people who
completely, body and soul, undertake a task that is as decisive as this. So
let this be a warning to the charlatans and to the counterrevolutionary
merchants of adventure.

Now, let us concentrate on the main matter of this meeting this evening.
There are representatives here from all the units that are to take part in
the harvest. Already there are many contingents in the canefields, others
are preparing to leave for the fields, and others will incorporate during
the harvest.

In all--we will provide some figures--the Revolutionary Armed Forces will
incorporate 54,612 men in the first period, beginning in November; by
January, 67,632 men will have been incorporated, and during the final phase
75,240 men will participate. These figures include only a portion, the
officers and soldiers who will operate the Henderson combine machinery.
Here is included approximately half of that personnel that during this
first phase will participate as cutters until the combines for the harvest
are completed. So, counting these comrades, the total will be approximately
80,000 men.

But there is a reserve, besides--We want to think of it really as a
reserve, which will be employed in critical places, when in each of these
places maximum effort has been made with available resources. We have a
reserve of approximately 25,000 men. It is taken for granted that at a
specified moment during the harvest an important part of these reserves
will be employed.

We have classified them in order of priority, so that having to employ all
the reserves under certain circumstances would be painful since some of
them are made up of persons who work in very important activities. And, of
course, we hope we will not have to employ all the reserves.

I really have the deep conviction that if we work well, if we correctly
employ the resources we have, it will not be necessary to mobilize all the
reserves. Undoubtedly, it will be necessary to mobilize the 25,000 men to
complete the harvest of the 10 million.

But approximately 100,000 men from our armed forces will participate in
this harvest. And that is a respectable figure. Of course, our armed forces
are of a respectable size, considering the size of our country. But
also,among all revolutionary countries, among all socialist countries, our
country is in a peculiar situation in that we are located only 90 miles
from imperialism, that is, the most powerful imperialist; a power that
carries on its aggressive wars as far as 15,000 and 20,000 kilometers from
its own coasts. We have had to live these years and we will live these
years and we will have to live many more years in the face of this reality,
which we cannot disregard or forget even for an instant.

We are very far away from the socialist countries. We are here alone,
geographically, 90 miles from the United States. And this is one of the
reasons, the principal reason why we are obliged to keep a powerful army.
Sometimes it is reported that the Cuban army has so many men, so many
weapons, and that it is the strongest armed force in Latin America.

Analyzing it from the standpoint of the number of men and by the
technological knowledge that we possess, it is without a doubt the
strongest. But if it is analyzed also with relation to its technical
training, the revolutionary content of that force,the objective of that
force, the spirit of the force, and besides, if the rest of the people are
taken into account, undoubtedly it is an objective reality that our
country, from a military point of view, cannot be compared with any other
Latin American country, and, of course, this is not because we have arms as
our hobby, but because this has been a really important need in our

But with all this, the fact that at a given moment 100,000 men of our armed
forces, without counting the Interior Ministry--which also has made an
important contribution, within its possibilities, to the 1970 harvest--are
participating, is equivalent to saying that the greater portion of our
armed forces will be taking part in this harvest battle.

This has a series of implications--revolutionary implications, economic
implications, and political implications. In the first place nothing
pleases us more than to know that you will participate in this decisive
battle of the revolution because the revolution sometimes has to fight
battles with arms in hand, and other times--and this is very important
too--with instruments of labor.

And the economy is an important part of the revolution. The economic front
has been where the enemy has tried to hit us and destroy us. Our economy
was the target of imperialism when with its blockade it tried to sink us,
to sink the revolution. Economy is a very important front of the
revolution, one that has received most of the enemy attacks.

So, when the revolutionary army participates in that front decisively, it
is fighting, it is waging an action that cannot be deemed less important
than the action it has to fight with weapons in case of aggression, in case
of an invasion.

In other words we, the revolutionaries, should realize there is not only
one front: there are various fronts. At one moment the battle is waged on
this front, and at another on another front. We must work in that direction
,since that is a struggle that does not wait for events but is constantly
being waged.

Moreover, there is nothing more pleasing than to think that our armed
forces are decisively participating in this struggle.

We cannot fail to recall the origin of the armed forces, origins which were
so modest in the beginning--of such small contingents of men in the first
phase--and how, over these years the struggle has been accumulating a
volume of experience, a volume of experience, a volume of organization, a
volume of tremendous experience--how it has grown, nourished from the
people, and how it has grown as the needs demanded.

But undoubtedly this a triumph of morale, a triumph of the revolution, and
a triumph of our cause. One fact which to us indeed constitutes a reason
for pride--much much more than the magnitude of our strength, much more
than the magnitude of our technology--is the fact that we can say in this
continent that our armed forces, an essential part of the revolution, an
essential part that is indissolubly united with the people, is an
institution that participates in the tasks of development in a decisive

In other countries of Latin America attempts have been made for the
so-called civic participation of the armed forces, but these have been
limited to constructing a small stretch of road, a little highway, or a
small school.

From the historic point of view, from the social point of view, from the
political point of view, the fact that are armed forces are not a
privileged segment of the population in a country that must face arduous
tasks--as occurs in all the Latin American countries--is a highly
revolutionary thing. The armed forces do not constitute an unproductive
segment of the country, but basic factors in the development and work of
the country.

This fact, more than our arms, more than our technology, points up the
essential difference between our armed forces and the armed forces of the
rest of the Latin American countries.

It is fitting to point out that there is one country at this time where the
armed forces are playing a revolutionary role. As you know, this country is

Without a doubt this too is an all-important event, for the armed forces
were the instruments in those countries which imperialism always used to
preserve its privileges and maintain its hegemony.

This is why we should observe the unfolding of the political process in
Peru with deep interest. For there, without the slightest doubt, a new
phenomenon, an important phenomenon has occurred. This is why when I talk
of other countries I do not talk about all the countries. Rather, I say
almost all the countries of Latin America, because it is necessary, even
good, even pleasing, to be able to mention some exceptions.

But this circumstance of the role being played in our country by the armed
forces also stands as an example for all the rest of the underdeveloped
world--it blazes a path. This is because without a doubt all the countries
that are developed due to the problems they have with colonialism, with
imperialism, will have to pay special attention to their military defense
and possess strong armies. For countries that do not have a developed
industry, that do not have a developed economy, the need to have strong
armies undoubtedly constitutes a heavy burden for their effort.

But our country points the way: It points to a new type, the new character
of the armed revolutionary institutions. Armed institutions will have to
exist for a long time, armed revolutionary forces will have to exist in
countries as long as imperialism exists.

Thus the illusions that the revolutionaries or some revolutionaries
entertained, at one time or another, that once the exploitation of classes
vanished they could wholeheartedly devote themselves to the people and
work, that expenditures of energy and resources for the armed institutions
would be unnecessary, are totally groundless.

As long as imperialism exists, and as long as the country must defend
itself from foreign aggressions emanating from imperialism--even when the
revolution has been totally consolidated in the internal order; even when
the society of exploiters and exploited has vanished; even when the
fundamental role and function of the armed institutions in those societies,
which had been to preserve the sway of the exploiters over the exploited,
has vanished; and even when those circumstances of internal order have
totally vanished in any country--the circumstances of international order
will force those revolutionary countries to possess numerous and strong
military contingents and to give special attention to the problem of the
armed institutions for an indefinite time.

Now then, in our country, that contradiction--between the country's
poverty, between the underdevelopment of the economy, between the
tremendous demand of energy and resources to undertake in a few years what
other countries have accomplished in 100 or 200 years--that contradiction
has been resolved by us precisely through the decisive and fundamental
participation of our armed forces in the tasks of development.

This is why in this case, and at this decisive moment, in this decisive
battle, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba are playing a decisive role.

We have talked of the numbers of men. The entire country has mustered huge
forces for the harvest; the civilian organizations and a huge number of
workers and peasants have been mustered by the party and the Central
Organization of Cuban Workers; the youths have been mustered by the
Centennial Youth Column; middle school students have been mustered. This
means that the decisive forces in this harvest, the fundamental forces are:
the mustered workers and peasants, the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the
Centennial Youth Column, and the students of the technological institutes
and the pre-university students. These are the decisive forces.

There are very few of the common canecutters left, as you know. That
category of workers ceased being built up since the triumph of the
revolution. Many of the oldtime workers were workers of 55, 60, and even
more years of age; tens of thousands of these old canecutters were retired.

Many other caneworkers participated in the revolutionary process; these
were incorporated into the ranks of the revolution and became revolutionary
soldiers, workers of the revolution. Many others were also taken into the
Interior Ministry.

All-in-all we have constant evidence of this: At a given moment a group of
comrades organized a microbrigade of canecutters and some extraordinary
macheteros begin to stand out. Then there are the comrades in escorts, in
the state security, and comrades who work in various activities.

Then we say: "well, why is this?" And the answer is: "He used to be a
canecutter," "He was born in a canefield," or "he has cut cane for years."

And we constantly found one of the old canecutters who cut 500 or 600, or
700 [measure not given], though they now have different jobs.

Many other canecutters, since it was logical and just, were made operators
of tractors and general equipment. There are 50,000 tractors in our country
today and there were 5,000 or 6,000 prior to the revolution.

A large number of those equipment operators came out of the ranks of
regular canecutters, many others have become agricultural technicians,
inseminators, or have entered technological institutes.

When a school for equipment operators was opened, how could one deny the
right of a man who spent 10 years, 15 years cutting sugarcane to become an
equipment operator?

So that category was constantly reduced. Thus, you arrive at a railroad
spur--spur number such and such--where 200 canecutters are needed and there
are seven regulars, 15 regulars. The regulars in this harvest of 1970,
after 11 years of revolution, possibly constitute 10 or 15 percent of the
harvest labor force.

So that totally, during this harvest, in a given moment, there will be some
350,000 men cutting cane. We must say--as we pointed out during the
ceremony beginning the harvest--that the estimate were made on relatively
low yields by the men doing the cutting: that the estimates have been made
with yields practically of 100 to 105, 110 arrobas to start with.

If we are going to talk on the problem of the productivity of the cutters,
we must, with all sincerity, say the following: That these phenomena serve
to show the fact that in our country work habits really did not exist. Let
us not talk about work discipline.

We must bear this in mind: The essential contradiction that is
disappearing with the revolution and the possibilities it has created for
the workers is the oldtime canecutter. Thus, a category of worker that was
on the bottom rung of living conditions is disappearing.

It was the worker who impatiently, sorrowfully, uncertainty, waited whole
months until the moment arrived in which they let him cut 100, 150 arrobas
every day, and it was not all that he could cut. Because in that era, with
the huge army of unemployed which we had in the country, even then the
quota of daily cutting was rationed and the cutters did not always cut what
they wanted to cut, and during those restricted harvests and a mass of half
million unemployed, many of whom received a quota of sugarcane which they
could cut, and they had not only to cut it by hand, but also carry it by
hand! So that there were a large number of people hoping to become
canecutters. Dozens of thousands of workers spontaneously went from
Oriente, Las Villas, and other provinces to cut sugarcane in Camaguey.

Now, that could have been substituted only by machines. But since sugarcane
cultivation is in tropical areas, fundamentally in underdeveloped
countries, and almost all the countries had the same problems Cuba had, the
machines could not have been introduced because it would have resulted in
unemployment. The same things happened with bulk sugar and with many other
activities. You will recall the strikes which the workers were forced to
carry out against the machines simply because they took the work away from
them and left them hungry.

In that situation, sugarcane mechanization would not be developed
practically in any country. In a country like Hawaii, which is a territory
of the United States and where there is sugarcane, they developed a number
of different methods which did not prove satisfactory in our country. They
used bulldozers to move the sugarcane; then they had to use huge quantities
of water washing it, employing huge investments to do all that, and
besides, each enterprise developed its own different technique. That is why
being a difficult product to harvest--not like rice, you can see how easy
it is to harvest rice in a combine, because the harvesting of rice has been
mechanized for some time. The mechanized harvesting of corn and wheat was
developed in industrial countries--adequate machinery for sugarcane cutting
was never developed.

Here, we had to start inventing, to start that difficult and long road with
the first combines with all the problems derived not only from the harvest,
but the terrain, the rocks, the tree stumps. Many of the areas in Camaguey
must be virtually cleared again with bulldozers because the tree stumps
remain, because those lands and other irregular terrain were cleared by
hand for dozens of years.

And that has been the process. The first combines were made in the Soviet
Union, then some Cuban designs were manufactured until the design of a
strong machine, not too complicated, which apparently is the one with the
greatest possibilities to solve the problem combined with the distribution
centers, has been definitely achieved.

The first combines cut and cleaned but the fact is that we had to put what
amounted to a distribution center on top of each combine because it had to
have enough blowers, belts, and equipment to clean the trash. They were
fragile and complicated machines.

The distribution center made to increase the productivity of the canecutter
turned out to be the ideal equipment to combine with this new machine,
which cuts the sugarcane but does not clean it.

Thus, at this time, considering the upper part of the La Libertadora
machine--because La Libertadora was still the old concept without
distribution center, that is: the machine with the distribution center on
top. Now the Henderson is a bulldozer which has a device--a strong machine
which cuts the sugarcane and carries it to the distribution center.
[sentence as received]

In that way we can be progressing with the distribution centers. That is
why the program to build 300 distribution centers next year has been

That is a tremendous effort, what it means in the industrial setup is to
provide electricity and solve all the problems which are part of that kind
of enterprise and to try to assemble some 300 centers every year. And by
1973, practically the whole country will have distribution centers.

Logically, we will first have distribution centers, then machines for all
the areas. You know that we have quite a bit of sugarcane in hilly terrain
where no machine can be used. In the next years, to achieve 100 percent, we
will have to relocate areas,including the dismantling of some mills, and
build some new mills to arrive at the mechanized 100 percent. But first we
will arrive at the 100 percent in the distribution centers and later, at
last, at the 100 percent with distribution centers and machines to cut the

The machines must be mounted on bulldozers. The acquisition of all those
bulldozers is going to be a hard task. The construction of all those
machines implies a task of years.

And we are thinking of building for next year, for the next harvest, no
less than 600 machines and try to reach some 1,000 machines per year. This
means [word indistinct] 1,000 bulldozers per year only for the cane

Nonetheless, this was a genuinely difficult task, one which had no
precedent in any other country, but which was necessary to resolve. But
this took more years than the disappearance of the category of the regular

In other words, there will be 350,000 men cutting cane, at a given moment,
in this harvest.

It must be said--as we pointed out at the beginning of the harvest--that
the estimates were made on the basis of a relatively low yield per cutter;
that the estimates were made on a virtual initial yield of 100, 105, and
110 arrobas.

But if we are going to dwell on the productivity of the canecutters, we
should with all sincerity say this: That these phenomena serve to point up
the fact that there actually had been no working habit in our country. We
are not talking about working discipline. That discipline is hard to find
in a country lacking a highly developed industry. Industry does much for
disciplining a worker in view of the productive processes involved.

A country with few industries, a country, the majority of whose population
are peasants who are used to working like an ox, with a hoe, and beginning
to work at this or that hour, or to wait for rain... amid such an uncertain
situation with uncertain factors for carrying out work, had no conditions
to develop the habit of working.

The harvests were carried out with relatively low yields. For actually, as
I explained before, there was an excess of canecutters and furthermore, the
country had neither habits nor organization for working.

When the loader is introduced, when the truck is introduced, and when the
tractor-drawn carts are introduced, all this demands control, all this
demands organization, all this demands maintenance, all this demands
precision, all this demands discipline.

You know from experience drawn from the new military techniques: that
modern armament, electronic equipment, the tanks, the modern weapons pose a
series of exigencies that did not exist and even less when we had the
guerrilla army; that the problem boiled down, perhaps, just to a small oil
can for oiling the rifle once in a while, or just attending to the
ammunition, a knapsack, a little food, or a small gun, a squadron, a
sometimes a column, to be moved forward. We had none of all these enormous
problems of services, supplies, and maintenance demanded by modern

To reach the present level of discipline in our armed forces it was
necessary to promote the task of mastering the technology and to possess a
new and demanding technique. It must be said that that technology has
decisively contributed to the process of rapidly developing the
organization and discipline of our Revolutionary Armed Forces. For
otherwise all the means of combat of all those units could not be managed
in peacetime and even less in war.

By the same token, when the loaders, trucks, tractors,--almost all the
hauling is being done by tractor and combine, and not oxcarts--required
discipline, precision, exactness. These habits were nonexistent.

We should furthermore say, with all candor....because every country should
be cognizant of its virtues as well as its defects, that this is not a
question of the disdainful concept which the reactionaries had of our
people, when they justified their actions by saying: "The one who gets
ahead works," "all the people are lazy," or all those things. That is not
the case because, all to the contrary, the people on many occasions have
given infinite proof of their spirit for sacrifice, work, and a willingness
to do anything.

The problem hinges on habits, discipline, and precision--habits that did
not exist. And what historic factors helped accomplish this? It must be
said that slavery as an institution existed here for almost 4 centuries;
all heavy and hard work was done by men in chains under the fierce lash of
a taskmaster.

When that hateful institution disappeared as a result of our independence
struggles--and there followed conditions which converted our country into a
semicolony--labor forces were frequently imported to do that type of work.
Either that, or the conditions of hunger and poverty set aside a large part
of the mass and foisted on them difficult conditions for such activities.

So too, the philosophy that whoever worked was a fool prevailed for many
years. It was thought that the smart one did not work, that the smart one
went into politics, that the smart one invented some business. Thus it was
that for years, up to the revolution, physical work by man was practically
despised and denigrated. Moreover, this virtually became the philosophy of
many persons.

The conditions of capitalist exploitation, the corruption, the politicking,
for decades were inculcating the poison, the abhorrence of work, which was
looked upon almost like punishment.

All these historic conditions influenced underdevelopment more. The
handicraft methods of production greatly contributed toward this country's
not acquiring working habits.

With the revolution, an awareness, enthusiasm, were acquired. But
enthusiasm alone does not solve the problem; awareness alone does not solve
the problem, though it is fundamental. Creating the habit of working, the
habit of organization, even for precision, requires a culture. This
requires a level of culture that our country did not have. Or with a man
who did not know how to sign his name, with a man who did not know even how
to add, or estimate anything, it was difficult to organize anything.

Furthermore, many tasks are complex: the task of directing the movement in
a sugar central, the itinerary of trains, the program. So, we are not
studying things, even to the point of producing the first computer which in
a sugar central will daily indicate the best itinerary for the trains. This
is because a program is made but circumstances constantly change. Thus this
problem is such that to solve it adequately even having checkers there,
well-trained men to calculate things is not enough; because no one can
assure that the calculation is the best. In addition, the number of factors
and elements that must be handled daily is too great to enable executing
the program in the best way.

However, there is a possibility of charting the itinerary of the trains and
the distribution of the transportation equipment by means of setting
computers in each sugar central.

Look at how even our traditionally historic sugar industry needs modern
technology, needs electronics, needs computers, needs computers to carry
out its work in optimum conditions.

The level of the population's training, which had been very low, the level
of culture could not help, and in no way whatever help in the organization,
the precision, and the discipline of the working habits.

For any time that a man stops his tractor or truck at a corner, or forgets
to send the trains to the loaders, or miscalculates, he creates all kinds
of difficulties. Right now, to carry out the work at the loaders, the
carriers, the carts, the loaders, and the cars must all be on the spot to
carry out the daily work.

If there is a lack of trains, the canecutters logically must stop work; if
there are no lifters the cane piles up in the fields; and if there is a
lack of drying equipment, it is indeed some kind of problem.... Almost
anything can interrupt the process.

Moreover, our country--and I repeat and insist on the point--never had
these working habits, and it is these that are being developed. I would go
so far as to say that at this phase of the 10 million, one of the most
important things, one of the most important byproducts that we are going to
acquire is a greater habit for work, a greater organization, and a greater

This fact is genuinely notable and historical for our country; it will not
be the slaves who performed the hard work in the past nor the unemployed
threatened with being starved in the recent past who will insure the
obtaining of a harvest that will astonish the world by its size.

Our country will have reasons to be highly proud of that harvest--and this
will be a historical change that completely upturns, that completely
changes the concepts that held sway in our country for centuries--to be
carried out by men who are not driven by hunger, unemployment, or poverty,
and to be done by the participation of the people mobilized by the CTC, the
MINFAR, the Youth Column, the students, and entirely new forces.

And there is not the slightest doubt but that this stands as something
which was brought about gradually but nonetheless is still a veritably
historic event: It is still hard work, but it will not be done by the
slaves; it is still hard work, but it will not be done by men threatened
with starvation. And this fact, without any doubt will net us something
every important for the future; discipline, and working habits.

It no longer will be just a question of overflowing enthusiasm to do things
any which way; it no longer will be just a question of a desire, nor just
awareness, but rather organized awareness and effort used in the most
intelligent way.

And even when in the not too distant future those activities will be done
by machine, this does not mean that once the problem of mechanizing the
cane, of cutting the can,e this industry will be held back in the country.
All to the contrary, our country will enter new phases of economic
development, more complex phases; the needs are enormous in all fields, in
construction, in industry. We are entering a phase of genuine industrial

The enemies of the revolution have become tired of talking foolishly about
whether Cuba has attempted an accelerated development of industry and later
abandoned all that and turned to single crops cultivation. They will awaken
from their illusions in a hurry because there never has been less one-crop
cultivation than now. The 10 million amazes them and they believe we are
only dedicated to sugarcane.

Agriculture will be notably diversified. We must say that it was almost 80
percent of the gross product of agriculture. It will turn out to be 20 or
25 percent of the gross product of Cuban agriculture. And I am not talking
about sugar--which is still less--, I say sugarcane because there will be
much more sugarcane than for the 10 million and it will be devoted to other
uses also related to agriculture such as livestock, milk production, beef,
poultry, hogs. We can say that sugarcane will be the fundamental base of
the concentrates to fatten cattle, pigs, and poultry.

In short, sugar will be approximately 15 percent of our gross agricultural
product in 1980. The sugarcane will, as a whole, be a little more because
it will also participate in support of other aspects of agriculture.

Thus never--paradoxically--has there been less single crop cultivation than
in the 10 million tons of sugarcane campaign. The rice plans have a
tremendous impetus so that--as we said a few days ago--you will have
another phenomena in 1971: There will be a surplus of hundreds of thousands
of tons of rice after eating all the rice that we want to eat; it is
another one of the plans which is quickly progressing. The transformation
of livestock by insemination and other techniques. [sentence as received]
In short, we are working in all aspects of agriculture. In regard to the
production of feeds, we have also progressed--quite a bit in the fishing
industry which has had a tremendous increase in these years.

But we entered a serious phase of the industrial development. It was right
to emphasize the effort in agriculture. We had to guarantee, first and
foremost, feeding for the people; that was essential. But important
industrial installations have been built, above all in energy, in
electricity, in cement, mechanical industry, fertilizers, and so forth. Of
course, not yet in the volume which the country needs. But the industrial
development of the next years is going to be approximate to or equal to the
development of agriculture in these years.

And agriculture will continue to be developed naturally will need many
industries to process the products, but industry in general is going to
have a tremendous flowering in the next 10 years so that we, with an
insured feeding base, are already entering a serious industrial type of
development of which we have spoken in general terms. We have not wanted to
be precise simply because we do not want--many of our plans are being
studied, being analyzed, but they are advanced--to alert the imperialists
to our fundamental objectives so that they will not devote too much time to
sabotaging what we want to do.

We have to say that the blockade is ever more unpopular and the blockade is
ever more full of holes, and really prestigious for our country.

The officials of the revolution receive attention everywhere they go.
Interest is expressed in industrial techniques. The attention they receive
is tremendous.

But, in any event, we are seriously studying the development of the country
from 1970 to 1980 and it will be fundamentally industrial. What does that
mean? That we need increasingly more organization, more work habits. Then,
it will not be the problem of the manual cutting of the sugarcane, but the
development of a series of activities which require a population with high
technical standards, which require work habits, discipline habits, even
though it will not be the physical labor of the canecutting type. All we
are going to accumulate in these years is going to be decisive for the
country in the future.

Then we will have to say that the estimate for the sugarcane cutting has
been low. Everyone who has cut sugarcane knows what it is to be 2 hours, 3
hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, and even 10 hours cutting sugarcane; everyone who
has cut sugarcane knows what an average man, not a supercutter, not--as we
said the other day--one of those Oriente Province soldiers who averaged
more than 800 arrobas in the month of August, leading us to the conclusion
that with the conditions of the climate in Oriente, the heat in Oriente in
the month of August, that was undoubtedly a great deed--But average men
know what can be cut in 1 hour, in 4 hours, and in 8 hours. And anyone
knows that when they have some training in the sugarcane, when the first
days go by - because the sugarcane has its traumatic moments, the moment in
which every bone in the cutter aches, in which all the hands have blisters,
in which the trash, everything, is an arduous job, those first traumatic
moments--when the first calluses appear on the hands, when the body adapts
a little to the activity, any cutter without hurrying, in cane which is not
out of this world, can cut 120 arrobas after having been in the field a few

Everyone knows that even a figure of 200 arrobas in one day is not a great
effort, not even for an old man, not even for an old man! A young comrade,
20 to 25 years old--it is possible that maybe men 40, 50 years old, have
stronger bones, as we say--undoubtedly, if we see him walking, practicing a
sport, we see that that young comrade does not get tired.

When athletes are being trained they keep at them for 4 hours executing
tremendous exercises. And a young man who cuts for eight hours, if he does
not have problems with the spinal cord, if he does not have any organic
problem--we are talking about cases of normal persons--who seriously cuts
for 8 hours, can cut 20 in the second or third week of cutting cane and can
cut 300 when he has been cutting for 2 months. If not, let us have a test
some day: We will choose any 30 men. We will submit them to a test with a
determined type sugarcane, normal sugarcane--not sugarcane in optimum
conditions, no; not Casa Grande blue cane superdeveloped in 18 months; no,
in a normal sugarcane--proving that a man seriously working during 8 hours
can cut 200 arrobas, and without an extraordinary effort can surpass the
200 arrobas.

Now, it is necessary that a man who undertakes a task of 2 hours, 3 hours,
4 hours, work seriously, that he goes for that purpose. If he converts the
canefield into a club, into a place of conversation, a place where
everything is talked about, then the yield will greatly decrease. If one
does not concentrate on the cane, then, naturally, the yield will drop. But
a man who works seriously for 8 hours can easily cut, not for the
distribution center but for the crane, an average man, more than 200

A little willingness is required, a bit of tenacity is needed, and a bit of
philosophy is also needed. If one understands the importance of the matter;
if it is understood that this work of the present is going to free us in
the future--by means of machines--from precisely this kind of physical
effort; if it is clear that this work has to be done by us--the people,
that we are no longer living in times of slavery, luckily, that in our
situation if our country wants to advance, if it wants to develop, it must
face its obligations seriously and resolutely, and that we are not working
for the owner of a sugar mill or a plantation, that we are working for the
country--for the whole country, and that each cane that is cut is going to
benefit the whole country, and that labor is taken in a spirit of
sportsmanship and enthusiasm...

Because, after all, every time a man has to face a problem this becomes a
test for that man. It is a test of his character, a proof of his will, a
test of his integrity as a revolutionary and as a man. And the concept of
man implies the disposition to face tests and labor. It is true that the
work is rigorous in the same way that it is rigorous to climb a mountain,
to walk long hours climbing hills and mountains. We have sometimes seen
university students climbing the mountains for the first time, full of
bruises, and after a week, 2 weeks, they adapted and were able to
accomplish their task.

We have all had to climb hills, and hills always cause fatigue, hills are
always difficult, especially when one is carrying a sack on his back. And
yet, when we had no need to climb hills, we frequently felt the desire to
do so, to repeat these difficulties, to climb hills with a sack on our
back, to walk long distances. And we always feel satisfaction when we
remember the time when we faced up to this task and were victorious.

And we shall always remember with pride each effort realized; and we shall
remember with the most pride that which cost us more, not that which cost
us less. We shall always remember with greater satisfaction the difficult,
not the easy! I am certain that work of this kind will serve to temper a
man's spirit, to strengthen his character, to make him harder, to make him
a better fighter.

It is no longer a test of valor to face a risk. Another kind of valor is
needed--the valor of perseverance, the valor of tenacity, the valor of
resistance. This is an important morale matter. It is what draws us closer
to the true concept of the revolutionary, to the concept of manhood. And
more than of manhood, of a revolutionary, which--as Che used to say--is the
most honorable title, the highest post to which any man can aspire--to be a

That is what draws us close to those men who have made history, that is
what draws us toward our Mambises. Ten years of fighting under such
difficult conditions against better equipped armies, suffering terrible
hunger, terrible sufferings of all sorts, 10 years! And we always admire
the tenacity with which are Mambises resisted and persisted for 10 years,
and the fact that those who fought during those 10 years fought also in
1984. What for? Only to see the country taken away. Only to see our country
in the hands of the Yankee invader. To see the country in the hands of
shameless politicians, thieves of all kinds. After so many years of
struggle they did not have the satisfaction to say "this is our country, we
own these lands and this wealth, we are master of our future."

And our generation has struggled, our generation has made sacrifices. But
this cannot be compared--and I say this sincerely--with what other
generations, less fortunate than we are, have done; it cannot be compared
with those who fought for 10 years. Our struggle was shorter, our effort
was less.

We have, however, worked for the last 10 years. War is not the only thing
that counts. At one time war was the measure of the people's disposition to
serve the country. During these years, war has occasionally been this
gauge; but more often, work has been the measure of our disposition to
serve our country and to serve a cause.

But we have had a special privilege--we have inherited the efforts of those
who struggled during 10 years. We have had the privilege of seeing our
country freed from the hands of an intruder, freed from the hands of fat
owners of sugar centrals, of lands, of which whole caballerias were
bought--they bought land by maps for a few measly pesos, then enslaved the
combatants, their descendants, the people, by means of the economic
conditions of capitalism.

We have had a rare privilege--we have been freed of all that. We may have
an inefficient administrator and we suffer, but he is not mister so and so
and we teach him or change him if he is not fit for the post. We suffer
other things, but is is in our own hands to solve them. No one hinders us
or can hinder us, only our own limitations, only our lack of vision, only
our own inability to resolve our problems can prevent us, only our
technical level, our cultural level, for which we have struggled, are
struggling, and must struggle even more in the future.

For the first time we can say "this land, this factory, all that our eyes
can see, is Cuban." All that your eyes can see is the people's. There is no
other owner but the people; all benefits derived belong to the people. And
this is the privilege that this generation has had--it is a generation that
has reaped the struggles of Cubans during 100 years! It has this
opportunity for the first time.

Of course, future generations will have other tasks. Perhaps they will have
it easier. They will have other living conditions, made possible precisely
by this generation. But what is the least that we can do--those of us who
reap the fruit of the sacrifice and effort of Cuban revolutionaries during
100 years, those of us who have had this opportunity--But to fulfill our
duty, with honor, but to do something for the present, and to do all that
we are doing for the future.

This is how all-soldiers, workers, students, youths of the youth column,
and the few regular (?canecutters) that are left in the country--should
undertake their task with regard to the 1970 harvest.

A few days ago we explained the decisive economic importance of this
harvest; not only the political importance, but the economic, and basically
the economic. We do not want the 10 million [tons] simply so that we can
proudly say that "we have produced 10 million!" Is this a matter of honor?
Yes; honor is involved in this. Is it a matter of fulfilling one's word!
Yes; our word is involved.

But this matter is decisive for our economy, it is decisive for our future,
it is what is going to open the way to great achievements in the future.
That is what we must think about. We must fulfill our task with enthusiasm,
thinking of its importance, and thinking--as I was saying--of the fact that
this is what draws us close to our Mambises, to the revolutionaries. It is
what draws us close to all that we have admired.

It is what draws us close to the fighters who gave their lives in the
mountains during the war, or in the underground, the fighters who gave
their lives in Giron, the fighters who gave their lives in Escambray, the
fighters who gave their lives in Bolivia or in other places serving the
cause of the revolution.

This is what draws us close to the good revolutionaries, the heroes, the
martyrs of our country's history. This is what draws us close to those who
fell, those who gave more than we did, for they gave their all. They could
not even live to see this moment of beginning the work, the moment of
beginning to cut the cane of the first sacks, and the infinite pleasure of
cutting the cane for the final sacks, of this economic victory for our
country that indubitably will make a deep impression everywhere in the

Millions of persons anxiously and wishfully await Cuba's success in this
endeavor. Representatives of the fighters from such far off places as
Vietnam will come to cut cane with us--five fighters of the South Vietnam
Liberation Front and five North Vietnamese fighters. Those who have to
confront a million Yankee soldiers over there, in a magnificent,
extraordinary, and moving gesture, withdraw five men from their battalions
to come and cut cane here with us.

What a splendid example! And what a symbol of the importance which other
peoples are attributing to our country's present effort!

Many young men want to come from Europe to cut cane. Hundreds of youths
from the United States want to come here to cut cane for the 10 million
harvest. Just imagine how bitter and caustic such a gesture of the North
American youths is in comparison with those who sought to sink and drown
our country!

Recently hundreds of Soviet technicians and diplomatic officials also went
forth to cut cane so as to participate in the 10 million harvest. And I am
sure that if we had the means of brining all the youths willing to
participate with us in this task--whose significance they do not
overlook--we would most likely have too many cutters.

But there is more: We believe that if we put forth a little spirit, if we
put forth a little spirit, we would have more than enough [cutters] with
what we have. If we put forth a little spirit we can bring the centrals'
milling to 100 percent capacity, above all after the first weeks and as the
cane's sugar yield reaches the maximum.

And you, the comrades who are to direct and coordinate these activities,
must keep in mind the need to act, to carry out all the necessary steps so
all the factors conducive to the fulfillment of the cutting program, the
delivery of fresh cane to the centrals, the drawing of carts, trucks,
cranes, the railroad flatcars and all these means--at first we will have
some trouble with the loaders because those we ordered for delivery in 1969
are only now arriving, but of what we have we must make the best organized
use. We must be attentive to all details, to all those factors of
organization. Thus, you can prevail upon, act, and move even in matters
that do not depend on you.

The army, the armed forces, in discipline par excellence, are the most
experienced, the most disciplined. It is necessary that the constructive
influence of that organizational discipline, the experience they have, be
constantly lent. Every time you see something halting the work of the
cutters, holding them up, or affecting the freshness of the cane--all these
factors must be kept very much in mind. You can do much in this sense.

Targets have been set, but of course those set for cutting in Camaguey are
the highest. But actually we should consider these as minimum goals. I
trust that these goals will be exceeded.

Some targets have been set higher than others. But I can assure you
conscientiously that these are modest targets. It has been calculated that
the armed forces will cut 18 percent of the cane. We believe that by full
use of the reserve, and exerting fighting spirit, conscious that it is a
battle like the one they will have to wage in a trench to face an invasion,
they can exceed this figure by 18 percent.

I sincerely believe--and I am not exaggerating and I am not utopian--that
it could be said that with the forces you will muster you can cut up to 30
percent of the 10 million harvest!

Logically, if the other forces, such as the column, the technologists
[students], the workers and peasants, if the rest of the forces do their
utmost, you cannot cut 30 percent. This is because there are enough persons
so that it would be hard for you to do so even if you exerted 100 percent
of your will. In other words, you have the strength to do this, though I am
certain that if the other forces likewise do their utmost it will be hard
for them to leave you enough margin to cut the 30 percent.

You understand me perfectly well: if the column [Centennial Youth], if
everyone raised his quota, everyone would have a high percentage share.
Nonetheless, you have the forces for the 30 percent even without using 100
percent of the reserves, but only 15,000 or 20,000 men.

This is of tremendous importance. The enemies thought that by threatening
us, by harassing us, forcing us to employ great human resources in
possessing armed forces to meet the situation, they could do tremendous
damage to our economy.

But what a lesson! What an example for our enemies! What a lesson to
imperialism! What an example for the other peoples, that we should be able
to say that in this historic battle the Cuban armed forces played a
decisive role, played a fundamental role!

By this revolutionary path we thereby resolve the contradiction that they
had created for us.

In all truth we can feel sure that this victory will hurt the imperialists
more than the one of Giron. More than the one of Giron! For this will quash
their lies, their false arguments. This will ideologically disarm the
reactionaries, the imperialists, and the capitalists. This is because they
have tried to make the world believe that man must be a slave, that man
must be despoiled by hunger to make him work, that man is incapable of
living in a more fraternal, more human way.

They have tried to combat revolutionary ideas, the socialist ideas, the
communist ideas with the argument that man is capable of carrying out a
task only by means of material type pressures.

They have bet their all that we cannot; they believe it is impossible, and
they are convinced that it impossible that a country which no longer has
the oldtime canecutters can harvest 10 million. And what that lesson will
mean politically, morally, and revolutionarily is worth more--no doubt
about it--much more than the 10 million tons of sugar.

It will be a great ideological victory of the revolution and the
revolutionary camp! It will be a victory that not only Cuba but hundreds of
millions of people will celebrate! It will be a victory that all the
socialist countries will celebrate, a great moral victory, a great
ideological victory over imperialism, over capitalism, over the
reactionaries! A lot of things are being bet at this moment. A lot of
things are at stake at this moment.

And as for us fighters, for our officials and soldiers who are now going to
join in this battle, our wish is that they be like the fighters in Giron,
like the fighters of the Escambray, like the combatants of the October
crisis, like the Mambises when they carried their machetes.

We want them to behave as if the enemy were invading our coasts, to behave
as they would in the midst of a war: with all the heroism, with all the
valor, and with all the abnegation which they can draw up when defending
their cause, when defending their flag!

Let us do this in homage to all the fallen, in homage to all who made this
fatherland possible, in homage to all who made possible this privilege of
seeing the country master of its destinies!

Let us do this in homage to all the dead comrades who gave their lives here
and in other lands! Let us do this in homage to the great thinkers!

Now that we are going to be the standardbearers of the best thinking of
Marx and of the best thinking of Lenin, let us likewise do this in homage
to Lenin, whose centennial is completed this year!

We are now the standardbearers of those ideas, the standardbearer of that
cause. Let us defend it with all the dignity and honor of which we are
capable, and carry it to victory!

Fatherland or Death, We Will Vanquish!