Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Television and Radio Services in Spanish 0145 GMT 21 May 70

[Speech by Cuban Premier Fidel Castro from a television studio--live]

[Text] Please excuse me for having arrived somewhat late, almost 45 minutes
late, for this program because I had to gather a large amount of data in a
very short time for the report I wanted to make tonight.

Later I will explain the precise day that I wanted to make the sugar
harvest report and the reasons why I brought up this problem yesterday.

I want to begin by reminding you of the origin of the plan of the 10
million tons of sugar. Since trade relations began with the Soviet Union in
the wake of the aggressions by the United States which deprived us of our
sugar quota, the Soviet Union began to buy the surplus sugar that the
American market had lost. They bought the first sugar at more or less world
market prices. As you know, part of the sugar is sold on what they call the
free world market and another part is sold through agreements between
various nations. Sugar prices vary--generally, agreement prices are higher
than free market prices. A large part of the sugar is marketed through

Of course, in view of our country's situation at the time--it had to have
all the petroleum and a variety of raw materials and equipment brought from
the Soviet Union--there was no other way to get it other than from the
Soviet Union. As a result of this, our imports increased notably, yet our
ability to pay was limited. The quantity of sugar that we could sell was
limited, as were some other good which were also sold to the Soviet Union
when the U.S. blockade was imposed.

Of the products we exported, sugar was number one, follow by a quantity of
tobacco, a quantity of minerals, in other words, sugar, tobacco, nickel, a
quantity of rum. These basically were our country's exports, they were the
principal commodities.

Due to the conditions created by the U.S. blockade, we had difficulties
other than that of just foreign exchange. Therefore, it was in the
socialist camp, and basically in the Soviet Union, where we began to
acquire a large quantity of commodities, of products and merchandise needed
for our economy.

As a result of those conditions and the needs of a developing nation--we
might even say a disorganized nation, as is any nation in the midst of a
revolutionary process--the trade imbalance with the Soviet Union grew each
year. And as our needs for imports for the nation's development increased
and had to increase each year if we wanted both to improve the standard of
living--even though it was only a modest percentage each year--as well as
develop the nation's economy, we could see in the prospective analyses of
our economy's development that imports were going to increase notably and
that in turn, exports could not increase since, aside from the sugar, the
nickel we exported to the Soviet Union had a limit--the capacity of our
plants--and nickel plants are extremely expensive. They require a large
outlay of funds, over a period of years and must take time for research,
plans, before they can go into production.

The rest of our export commodities were also very limited. We had but one
possibility for increasing our exports to the Soviet Union, and because of
this, we proposed to the Soviet Union that we establish a long-term sugar
export agreement. In this way, we could begin to satisfy the growing needs
of our economy and above all, of our development.

Sugar was practically the only product whose export quantities we could
increase most quickly. First of all, because we had some under-utilized
capacity and second of all, because there were many sugar mills which could
increase their output with relatively small capital outlays. Some of them
had installations for greater capacity but had some bottlenecks which
blocked an increase in production. But these could be resolved and the mill
expanded with certain capital outlays. We could also increase the length of
the harvest.

At the outset, the revolution's development plans envisaged the export of 3
million tons of sugar to the Soviet Union at 3 centavos a pound. this is
equivalent to approximately 88 pesos a ton. This meant that the value of
our exports was 264 million pesos. When we analyzed the need for imports,
the difference became increasingly greater for each year that passed.

If we limited our exports, although an export of 3 million tons would be
considered a considerable quantity, and at a price of centavos, which was
the approximate market price at the time, it would have been practically
impossible to establish a solid base for the increase in imports that the
nation needed.

Thus, we proposed a long-term agreement with the Soviet Union based on our
possibilities of increasing sugar production. With the Soviet acceptance of
Cuba's proposal, it was agreed to increase our exports until we attained 5
million tons of sugar. In addition, the price was not 4 centavos, but 6.11

Thus, in our prospective plans, the value of our sugar exports would
increase from 264 million pesos a year to 672 million pesos. Therefore, the
3 million tons was a prospective plan envisaging a sugar harvest of 7 or
7.5 million tons. The export of 5 million tons at 6.11 centavos a pound
would increase the value by an additional 408 million.

The needs of a developing nation are so great that even with this huge
increase it is scarcely enough to establish a trade which would allow us to
satisfy all our needs.

We must realize that in fuel alone our country consumes more than 5 million
tons [of petroleum] a year. The new thermoelectric powerplants, the
industries which we have been acquiring, a whole variety of equipment
acquisitions, raw materials and also foodstuffs, because we also import
large quantities of foodstuffs from the Soviet Union, especially cereals,
including wheat.

Therefore, this is the reason for making a plan for the increase of sugar
exports, and it was most certainly not a whim, nor the desire to establish
difficult goals, nor the glory of attaining 10 million tons of sugar, but
rather a real need. Besides, it was the only possibility our country had.
It was the only area where by making the best use of the land, by
increasing production by hectare, by taking advantage of all construction,
by extending the harvest season, and by making some investments, we could
increase our exports by 400 million pesos. This is the economic base, the
reason for the 10 million plan.

When we talked about 3 million it was based on a sugar production of about
7 to 7.5 [million tons]. When we talked about 5 million, we would have to
increase the sugar production to about 10 million. Besides the Soviet
market, there were other markets in the socialist camp. Our sugar exports
increased to the point that we had to meet a trade agreement we had signed
with the Soviet Union, which was most satisfactory to us, and other
agreements with socialist nations, as well as exports in the area of
convertible foreign exchange and domestic needs which practically tripled.
This is the reason for the 10 million. Some people doubted whether there
would be a market for 10 million.

The problem that our country has been faced with since the relations were
broadened with the socialist camp, ins spite of the blockade...In spite of
the blockade, the problem of the country is not a matter of markets, but
one of production. Our country can really find markets for any amount of
sugar that it might produce. This is the reason for increasing sugar
production to 10 million. This required a mill expansion program. It must
be said that 10 million was the maximum, but prior to that we had to
produce 9, 8, 7, and 6. In reality, during the years 1964, 1965, 1966,
1967, and 1968 the increase in sugar production was not achieved for many
reasons. The drought was the reason in some instances, and in others the
lack of capacity, and fundamentally, insufficiently qualified personnel in
the supervision and organization of these activities in order to achieve
those increases.

During 1963 we had the lowest harvest in history, 3,882,000; and 1964, we
had 4,474,000, later, in 1965, we had the highest of that period,
6,156,000; in 1966 we had 4,537,000; they increased and decreased in
accordance with the drought periods. In 1967 it was 6,236,000; In 1968 it
was 5,164,000; and in 1969 it decreased to 4,459,000.

Therefore, in reality, in 1968 we should have produced 8 million, and in
1969, 9 million; it should have increased by degrees. At the end of 1966, a
year of low harvest, 4,537,000, a meeting of all leaders in agriculture,
industry, and government was held to agree on adopting a realistic effort,
a maximum effort, in order to increase sugar production in the area of
agriculture, wind up the 10-million-ton harvest, and recover in the
remaining two years the increase that should have been accomplished in the
previous three years.

At the time, our country also had more resources available. AT the 26 and
27 November 1966 meeting it was decided that during 1967 it would be
impossible to accomplish great increases because we lacked bulldozers and
other things that had been purchased and would arrive in the country in
1967, But in 1968, very late indeed, we would have the equipment and all
other requirements to plant, and even though we had been unable to attain
our goals in previous years--we had fallen well behind--we would make a
supreme effort to achieve the goal in 1970. Parallel to this plan, we were
developing the industrial outlay program. We had never thought that the
industry would be the cause of upsets in this matter, but rather the
agriculture part of it. We were not producing more sugar as a result of
lack of capacity in the mills, but the reason was always the lack of cane,
that is, there was not enough raw martial to achieve the harvest. Every
year there was unused capacity, even though we were carrying out the
program with 1970 in mind, at least to wind up 1970 with the 10 million.

The meeting I mentioned was held in Santa Clara, and was broad in scope.
Notes were taken of all those long reports and analyses in order to
determine what areas had to be planted with cane, the yields, areas by
mills, because there were mills which had excess capacity but no land.
Others had too much land and very low industrial capacity. Finally, we had
to reconcile the industrial data with the agricultural data in order to
have sufficient cane to achieve 10 million in 1970. At that meeting all
figures were determined: caballerias that had to be planted, the cane
needed for the 10-million-ton harvest by provinces, the yields that had to
be attained. The meeting was broad in scope and precise in details. That
meeting was the starting point for the whole program. Very interesting
things were discussed in those meetings such as the 3-year plan and several
reports and discussions about varieties that are most interesting.

The essential part which I want to point out is the figures that were
agreed upon for planting and production for the 10 million harvest, that
is, the 1970 harvest. We had to plant a total of 110,000 to 112,000
caballerias. The program was distributed as follows: Oriente Province had
to grind 2.19 billion arrobas with an approximate yield of 12.70 in order
to achieve a production of 3,196,000 tons of sugar; Camaguey, 1,999,500,000
with 12 percent sugar production for a production of 2,750,000 tons; Las
Villas, 1,544,000,000 with a yield of 12.54 for a production of 2,225,000
tons; Matanzas, 722,000,000 arrobas with a sugar yield of 11.9 for a
production of 987,000 tons; Havana, including the four mills that were
transferred from Pinar del Rio, and which were transferred with their plans
as agreed to in Santa Clara, was to produce 505 million arrobas with a 12
percent yield and a production of 697,000 tons; and Pinar del Rio, after
(?deducting) four sugar mills, 120 million arrobas with a 12 percent yield
and a production of 167,000 tons. This would make a total of 10,027,000
tons of sugar.

Now then, how did we establish the sugar yields, more or less? AT that time
we had a great discussion on the agricultural part, the cane fields. The
sugar yields were established by practically taking the historic yields
into consideration--not even them--in part the historic and in part the
yields of the capitalist period, taking two factors into consideration,
that the harvest was going to be somewhat longer and therefore it would be
difficult to get a very high yield.

However, at the same time it was realized that all the cane of the
capitalist period was of varieties that had been surpassed in both cane
production and sugar production by new varieties that were being rapidly
introduced. For example, what yield was established for Oriente Province?
12.70 which is the same yield as the 1952 sugar harvest was the largest
one. it was the year, after the war, in which they warned,it was after the
coup d'etat, after the coupists assumed power on 10 March, that they
announced that it was to be the last year of a free harvest.

The capitalist therefore tried to cut the very last stalk of cane and it
has been charged that they altered the figures in some cases, in the belief
that the quotas they would receive later would be on the basis of the cane
they ground that year. Thus they made their famous sugar harvest of
7,298,000 tons, 96 degrees polarization. This was their biggest harvest,
and afterward they even stored sugar away, some 2 million tons.

However, let us accept them as valid figures in terms of total production
volume. The provincial yield figures were gathered and that year, with cane
varieties inferior to the ones we have today, they achieved as 12.70 yield.
This was the yield established for Oriente Province. That year Camaguey
achieved a 12.26 yield. Yet, a yield of approximately 12 was calculated.
Because here we had a province, practically two provinces only which were
assigned yields higher than they achieved in the capitalist harvest.

For example, a rough national yield of 12.30 was calculated on that
occasion and I am trying to ascertain all the figures for each one of the
rest of the provinces, and this is why, even though it was 12.30, some
provinces had a higher sugar yield. But we have... only two provinces, Las
Villas Province whose yield in 1952 was 11.98, was assigned a yield of
12.54. Mantanzas was.. why the 12.54 yield? Because of the yields Las
Villas obtained in the past few years.

In turn, Matanzas was getting much lower yields. But in 1952 it achieved a
12.17 yield. On that occasion it was assigned an 11.9 yield, lower than it
achieved in 1952. Havana had 11.75 in 1952 and it was assigned a higher
yield of 12 percent considering the historic yields in the past few years.

Therefore, two provinces were assigned yields higher than the historic
yields--Las Villas and... higher than the 1952 yields... Las Villas and
Havana. One province had a similar yield and the others, Camaguey Havana,
and Pinar del Rio, had a yield of approximately 12 percent.

Therefore, when that meeting took place in Santa Clara, the yields
established were not exaggerated. Because the yields were based on yields
obtained with inferior quality cane. And the yields were not really of such
great concern because we knew the results of the sugar yields obtained from
the new varieties and almost the entire new program was on the basis of new
varieties which had been replacing the varieties of the capitalist period.

The big capitalist harvest was produced with a 12.25 yield. The 1970
harvest yield, even though it had much better can varieties, was
established on the basis of 12.30, broken down in approximately this way.

Now then, let us point out other figures, the ones concerning the beginning
of the harvest--I forgot to add that the total quantity of cane needed for
the 10-million-ton harvest, as agreed to at the Santa Clara meeting, was
7,081,000,000 arrobas of cane. Of course, we worked so as to have a much
higher quantity of cane because it was illogical to set up a program
limiting production to that quantity.

Hence we established the policy of creating a reserve of cane in some
provinces with industrial capacity surpluses in case some failure occurred.
For example, we adopted the policy in Havana and Matanzas Province because
there was a big discussion in the Las Villa meeting to the effect that
there was no more land in Matanzas and Havana. It was the old theory that
all the land was under cultivation, that there was no water, but after the
meeting we set ourselves the task of seeing what were all the possibilities
of increasing sugarcane production in Havana and Matanzas Provinces because
they were going to have underutilized capacities.

An effort was made to create an additional cane reserve over and above this
figure as well as an additional quantity of sugar. Actually, all the
provinces were advised not to limit themselves to the production, to
planting of just the cane necessary for this figure, but to try to exceed
the cane goals or the quantities of cane needed for the harvest.

When the harvest began--the summer harvest came first and then came the
10-million-ton harvest, I mean to say not the 10-million-ton sugar harvest
but the massive phase of the harvest--at the Chaplin Theater meeting I
estimated a quantity of 7.5 billion arrobas based on estimates for the
harvest. This was the cane available for the harvest. Since part of that
cane had been cut--some 180 million arrobas had been cut in the summer--it
was determined because of imperative commitments of the nation, that sugar
deliveries had to be made before the end of the year, and that is why we
had to make that effort in the summer.

On that occasion I said that we need 7.3 billion arrobas of cane with an
11.75 yield to achieve the 10-million-ton figure. It was 11.75 physical
yield because, actually--I will make this clearer later--therefore if we
had 7.5 billion arrobas according to estimates, then an 11.75 yield was
enough. This was more or less between 11.90 and 11.95 based on 96 degrees

Therefore we needed 7.3 billion arrobas of cane with 11.75 yield to achieve
the figure of 10 million. In other words, if we had the quantity of cane
available, then we might have a surplus of cane and this is why I then
pointed out: According to estimates there are approximately 7.5 billion
arrobas of cane available. The expected yield is 11.75 physical, and on the
basis of 96 degrees polarization it will be about between 11.90 and 11.95,
on the basis of 96 degrees polarization which is the historic figure that
has been used in our country and throughout the world to measure tons of
sugar. Then, it added, this means that the country has enough cane to
produce 10.3 million to 10.4 million tons of sugar, based on the 7.5
billion estimate with that 11.95 yield and even lower, and which was what
was scheduled in Santa Clara.

In reality, we start the harvest on the premise that there is excess cane.
Despite that, the yield problem was overemphasized at the meeting, in
publications, in queries, and in the following meeting. I want to point out
that in one of the main paragraphs, these details were determined with
precision. It said: Factors that contribute to a high yield and which
counteract the effects of a long harvest, and in some instances an early
one, are the composition of the shoots. In no prior year or in any previous
harvest did our country have such quantities of early and average ripening

Previously, the greater part of the cane was of the 2878 variety, almost 80
percent of the cane was of that variety, which is a late ripening cane. In
many instances the need to cut that type of cane in early months would
affect the sugar yields. However, in this instance the amount of 2878 cane
has been greatly reduced, and more than 50 percent of the cane is of the
early and average ripening type, and I could have added of higher sugar
yields. We pointed out many interesting factors in the harvest and we
explained that with respect to the cutting of the cane, the most important
factor is the cutting program, that is, cane of different varieties and of
different ages should be cut at each mill in accordance with a program.
There is another very important point, most decisive for the harvest, and
that is the freshness of the cane, the minimum amount of time between the
time it is cut and ground.

Everybody, all the workers and the people, have heard many times that if a
cane is cut and it takes days to get to the mill, it will lose value in
weight and in sugar yield. We have heard this many times.

It is possible that many of us ignored to what extent delayed cane can
affect sugar yields. We pointed out data that was compiled in a study that
was carried out in Camaguey. The cane needed for production of 10 million
tons of sugar with a 48-hour average of cut time, that same can with 7 days
of cut time would produce approximately 8 million tons of sugar. Please
notice the difference between a 2 day and a 7 day average. The same cane
needed to produce 10 million tons would produce only 8 million tons. This,
not considering the inconveniences of delayed cane in the industrial
process, particularly the outlays for sugar, creates and multiplies the
difficulties in the industrial process. Thus, it is important that everyone
learns these figures, and the decisive importance of transporting fresh
fresh cane to the mills, and coordinate the effort and the work, organize
it and supervise it in a way that these principles in relation to the time
to grind the cane are carried out in the proper manner, and are strictly

But there are other problems in the canefield, such as cane that is left
behind and which is some instances amounts to 5, 8, or 10 percent. Five
percent in a 10-million-ton harvest amounts to enough cane to produce about
500,000 tons. Later, we added that none of these factors can be
disregarded, none of these factors can be neglected, because the total
amount of cane left in the fields, on the roads, or on the tracks, could be
equivalent to almost 1 million tons of sugar. The fulfillment of technical
norms for cutting and lifting also affect the industrial process.
Therefore, at the beginning of the harvest the emphasis was placed on all
those matters that could affect all of this from the cutting point of view,
the program, the freshness of the cane, the varieties, all of that, that
is, to combat and overcome all those factors or possible deficiencies in
the agricultural area with the sugar industrial yields in mind.

There was not much emphasis on the problem of yields at the mills. There
was not much emphasis because that had not been the problem in the past. In
previous years the yields were generally very good at the mills, without
the cutting program, without fresh cane, without any of those measures,
which never were stressed before as they were for the 1970 harvest. Later,
in the first months, except in November and December, they were grinding
particularly in Havana and Matanzas, with yields higher than those
estimated for that period, because in reality it was being proved what the
varieties could do to the yields. Havana Province started cutting early
ripening cane on 28 October at all mills. Nevertheless, when we noted that
some mills were having low yields for unknown reasons, the measure was
adopted to stop those mills, a policy of yield protection. That became more
and more evident. In December, in Oriente Province, Comrade Guillermo
explained the complicated situation that was occurring with industrial
improvement programs in the province. He reported that the situation was
complicated and that the industrial improvement program was behind and as a
result there would be some difficulties with the harvest.

We went to Oriente, where we held a meeting to analyze all problems.
Comrade Almeida accompanied us, and he brought along the comrades from the
Industrial Improvement Department.

An analysis was made and the situation was beginning to get complicated in
December. At that time the problem of truck transportation had not
surfaced, but there were some mills which were going to finish the harvest
very late because of delays that occurred in December.

We had the problem that most of the cane was accumulated at the Guiteras,
Menendez, and Argelia Libre sugar mills due to the industrial outlays made
in previous years. Besides, these were the mills that had large quantities
of surplus cane, and where the industrial problems were beginning to show
up in the harvest. In December, measures were adopted in that province,
mill by mill, each and every mill and its critical points were analyzed.
Decisions were made, because we were aware that we would be confronted with
a spring harvest. The Guiteras mill and others were scheduled to finish the
harvest in July, so it was necessary to make necessary arrangements in
order to make the spring harvest. [shuffling papers]

We began analyzing the Manati sugar mill, all the cane it had, the measures
that had to be adopted the topographic problems in the area. The Antonio
Guiteras mill had to grind 207 million arrobas; it had ground 8.36 million.
On 4 December, it had a total of 207 million to grind, No. 199 million. The
[daily grinding] capacity of 15 December was 460,000 arrobas due to delays
in industrial improvements. From 15 to 30 January it would increase to
660,000 and from February up to 860,000 arrobas daily. Even if it would
have achieved this problem,there would have been 30 million arrobas
remaining on 30 July. Then the decision was made to seek means, to look for
railroad rails and construct 40 kilometers of railroad tracks in order to
move the excess cane to other mills and grind it. At that time the truck
discrepancy had not arisen. Therefore, in the best of cases, it was an
approximate shortfall of 30 million arrobas that would remain unmilled and
had to be transferred out. A similar situation existed for the Jesus
Menendez, the Peru, and the Urbano Noris. We analyzed the status of the
industrial improvement program one by one and discussed the steps that
should be taken. We decided to halt all road and mountain highway
construction not connected with the sugar harvest.

We pooled all the facilities of the provinces toward road building. We even
pooled the dam construction equipment for some dams whose construction was
about to start. We left some construction brigades working on the
completion of the Nipe and Sabanilla dams but three dam construction
brigades with all their equipment were assigned to this work. One of them
on the rice project and two on the sugar harvest.

We took all the steps to assure the completion of the project from the
first days of December. Later, in the middle of December things remained
the same. The province had to achieve 12 million in December and it was not
achieving it because of the problem of industrial setbacks and this even
forces us, to a certain extent, to start some mills a little earlier
because we had to make sugar deliveries. The giant mills were not

The situation remained the same in January and therefore the overall
problem was getting worse. The railroad line for the Guiteras sugar mill
was not enough to resolve it. Now it was not 30 but 70 million arrobas that
they were going to have left over, and in addition to all this, no solution
was in sight.

It was, in fact, this complex situation at the Guiteras sugar mill which brought
about the idea of the trucks, that is to say, not to depend on the railroad line
because truck transportation is more flexible and can reach some mills that
complete their harvest early, like the Rio Cauto and other mills. We could
not link them by railroad.

We returned to Oriente Province and gaged the situation. We noted similar
problems in Camaguey and Las Villas, particularly yield problems. it was
obvious that were we to keep up that rate with the yields...the yields
concerned us in two ways from the moment because they were below what they
should have been and secondly, because if all that cane was going to be
ground in July it was going to be ground with low yields.

We estimated the cane that would remain and we felt that a reasonable yield
had to be achieved to get a 10-million-ton harvest with such cane. Of
course, if such yields prevailed and if we could rely on sugar mills that
were going to grind in August and September--because the Guiteras was set
to work from September to the end of January--if the Guiteras milled its
cane despite the railroad line, then we would not be able to achieve yields
sufficient for the 10 million. Therefore, we would lose the battle of the
10 million halfway to it. Therefore, we took a great number of steps, above
all in connection with Oriente Province.

I forgot to point out that in order to be able to give a big push in
December to the industrial improvements still to be completed, the lagging
industrial improvements, we decided to use the Communist Brigade of
Cienfuegos which is our best industrial construction brigade and the whole
brigade was sent to Oriente Province. The decision was taken on the same
day, 4 December. It was done so that the industrial improvement program
would receive a tremendous boost from the high-caliber, high-spirited elite
workers of the Communist Brigade of Cienfuegos. It was one of the steps to
assure that the mills would grind what they should grind.

After that trip we went on television to give a briefing on the situation.
At the time, even the cane estimates increased. The 7.5 billion-arroba
estimate was increased. Why? Because it rained in Las Villas, in Camaguey,
and even in Oriente, it rained hard in January. Therefore the rains were
conflicting with the yields, and it was one of the factors affecting our
judgment. However, logically, the rains could also increase the available
volume of cane.

Therefore, based on estimates at the time, we could see the possibility of
making 10 million so long as we maintained the yields above all. Of course,
we then adopted the whole plan for the movement of the cane to forestall
any cane grinding in July when the yields dropped. The whole program was
based on the historic curve. We shut down some mills that were ahead and
would be completing their season by mid-April. We took all the steps which
were explained in detail on that occasion.

Later we took additional steps because the situation was one thing at a
given time and then it would become more complicated. Therefore, we made a
decision at the beginning, at the end of December, at the beginning of
February, based on calculations that a sugar mill will increase its
capacity in mid-February, but it turns out that it is the same in
mid-February, and April comes and it remains the same, and it is the end of
April and it is the same, then every additional setback in production in
terms of certain capacities forced us to take new steps, new maneuvers.

On that occasion we reported on the state of the harvest. We said that the
basic strategy was to maintain yields. At the time, we said that first of
all the difficulty in the harvest was centered principally in Oriente, Las
Villas, and Camaguey Provinces. The harvest, we said then, was going
perfectly in the rest of the provinces, that is, Matanzas, Havana, and
Pinar del Rio.

In some of the provinces, like Camaguey, the problem is not in daily
grinding. Camaguey Province has been achieving a satisfactory grinding.
Camaguey's basic problem is centered in some mills which we have called
"critical" and in comparatively lower yields. I say comparatively because
Camaguey's yields are more or less on a par with the province's historic
yields. However, compared to the yields in Matanzas, Havana, and Pinar del
Rio, it was lower at the time.

In other words, while these provinces were getting yields exceeding the
historic yield curve, Camaguey was not behaving in the same way. In Las
Villas Province yields are quite good but there are persistent grinding
problems, and above all problems with some critical mills. And the major
difficulties are centered in Oriente Province.

In the first place, the difficulties in Oriente Province are related to the
volume of grinding and, to a certain extent too, to the yields. The sugar
harvest is an activity that is undertaken in 152 different places in the
country and abstract, overall figures have a relative value. In order to
evaluate an overall figure it is necessary to have an on-site projection at
each one of the points where the harvest is taking place.

What do I mean? I mean that on a given day the grinding could be somewhat
lower, but if on that day the mills with surplus cane and which have
problems grinding to top capacity, even though overall grinding is somewhat
lower, it is not a major shortcoming. There may even be a high grinding and
we may find that the so-called critical mills have a relatively low
grinding, then, although the progress of the harvest looks good overall,
yet the shortcomings are greater.

Now, there are mills with cane surpluses and they also have industrial
problems. These are the really critical mills because mills that are
operating well can be peaked to maximum output and we can gain time and we
can resolve the problems. Now then, mills with cane surpluses and
industrial problems are indeed somewhat of a greater problem.

At the time I said something about the progress of the harvest in the
provinces in terms of the human aspect, the workers, First of all, let me
be specific about Oriente province's problems because they are the most
complex. We could see that Oriente Province was achieving daily grinding
figures of 9 million arrobas, occasionally 10 million arrobas. This being
the case, it was essential that it achieve a higher grinding figure if it
were to have a satisfactory harvest.

Many persons asked themselves what was the problem, whether it was a
problem of the work force, whether it was a problem of industrial
difficulties, whether it was a problem of organization, and whether if
Oriente's yields did not behave according to plans, why was this so,
whether there was a good cutting program, whether fresh cane was being cut,
whether the harvest was well or poorly organized. [Castro reading rapidly]

In order to be able to give first-hand on-site information abut Oriente's
problems I went to the province and stayed there about 2 weeks. I was there
in December noting the problems, [Castro still reading at a rapid rate] the
setbacks in industrial improvements, and taking a variety of steps to step
up the completion of the industrial improvement program.

On this occasion we were able to specify with full objectivity the basic
problem of Oriente Province which, so far, is not in the work force, not in
the problem of fresh or stale cane delivered to the mills. In short, the
problem has not lain in any of these points. Insofar as the morale of the
workers in Oriente province is concerned, it is splendid. This most
certainly holds true for the cadres and the leaders of the province. The
cane is being around according to a program, and they are fresh when
ground. There is a good harvest organization.

Now then, the number one problem in Oriente is the problem of industrial
improvements, something that can be clearly determined. In order to
understand it, we must say that in Oriente Province with its 39 mills,
large industrial outlays were made in 20 of them. I explained what each of
the mills had to grind, what the status of each mill was, and the
percentage milled up to that time.

All of what was condensed into one paragraph, which reads as follows: The
fundamental problem in Oriente lies in the fact that mills which need
11,675,000 arrobas capacity actually have a capacity of 9,222,000 at the
present time. Of these 20 mills, 16--the most important--which should have
a capacity of 10,673,000 arrobas, actually have a capacity of 8,218,000 and
have ground at 61.56 percent of their capacity.

The mills in which no industrial outlays were made milled at 74.07 percent
of their capacity. Now then, in theory, those 20 mills have an 1 million
ton capacity, 11,675,000, in theory they had 9,222,000. and they were
really milling a little better than 50 percent [as heard]. We could not
talk about 9 million because we had to figure 61.65 percent of 9 million
and you get less than 7. That was the number one problem. The reasons for
delays were explained. Some of the tandems had arrived late, and we will
say something else. There is some equipments for Oriente Province mills
that has not yet arrived in the country. The reasons are strange to the
country, but the equipment has not arrived as yet.

Later he said the number two problem in Oriente concerns the yields, which
are far behind the goals set for that province. We can say two things abut
this! We believed that the provincial goals that were set in yields were
two ambitious; they set very high goals for yields. For example, they were
expecting to achieve 13.56 yields for the first 10 days in February. The
top yield that has been achieved is 11.56 after having adopted several
measures, which means that they were far behind the set goal. If the set
goal was high, the one that was being achieved was very low. We pointed out
something significant. We could already observe that Oriente could not
achieve the 3,196,000 tons, but that we had to struggle for at least 3

After February, in Oriente we sought yields--that is, they talked about
13.56 in the first 10 days in February--and we sought an average yield,
including March, April, and May--all those months at that time--of 13.3 of
the remaining cane to be ground after 1 February. This is less than what
they had planned, but it was in accordance with the historic curve and the
quality of the cane. We decreased the yield that they had programmed. We
figured that the cane remaining to be ground would yield 13.3 after 1
February in order to achieve the 3 million tons.

Las Villas should have achieved 12.5 after 1 February, and Camaguey should
have also achieved 12.5. this at least had implied a nonfulfillment in
Oriente, also a nonfulfillment in Camaguey, even though they were achieving
12.5, but we were going to offset the deficit with a possible over
fulfillment in Las Villas, Matanzas, and Havana. At that time those were
the possibilities to compensate Oriente's deficit, but it was indispensable
to achieve reasonable yields with the remaining cane in order to attain the
10 million.

At the 9 February 1970 meeting, we were ahead of the capitalist harvest by
1,860,000 tons [presumably 1952], and the bulk of the cane had not been
ground, that is most of the cane. [Castro seeks assistance] How much had
been ground up to that date? I cannot remember now. On 1 February we had
ground 2,540,000 arrobas, and 5 billion remained to be ground, almost 5
billion. Now then, in February it was still possible to achieve the 10
million, but with a strong effort, and of course with all the contributing
factors, and we had to fight to protect the yields. In that instance the
difficulties were reported, analyzed, and the necessary corrective measures
were taken. In addition, we sent to Oriente the groups of leaders that had
been supervising Havana mills, groups of economists, as we mobilized as
many resources as we could to Camaguey and Oriente Provinces in order to
build roads.

However, the problem of having the necessary trucks to transport the cane
was also present. In that period of time we sent 519 new CIL 130 trucks to
Oriente to take care of the transportation problem. We also sent some
rebuilt trucks for a total of about 800 trucks, including some from the
army reserve which were in Oriente Province. Since that date, in order to
overcome the great difficulties we asked the university to send the largest
possible number of engineers and students from the technology school to the
Guiueras and Jesus Menendez mills. We asked the Sugar Ministry to
concentrate the largest number of technicians in the Argelia Libre mill in
order for it to achieve a million of 935 million arrobas.

However, all measures, absolutely all that could be adopted at the time,
were taken. Since then, we took up the struggle for the yields with all
provincial parties and leaders, with everybody. Since that time the
struggle for the yields became the battle of the 10-million-ton harvest. If
we lost that battle, we were going to loose the 10 million.

If we analyze the behavior of the yields as days went by during that period
of time, it can be determined that for a while they had reacted favorably.
All the mills that had stopped, all of them that were ahead of schedule,
when they restarted were milling 2 or 3 arrobas more in sugar yields, all
of them without exception. Repairs were made to them and the results were
outstanding. But we also began to learn several things that we had not
discussed here. We had talked abut the yields being below the historic
curve and we had talked principally about the milling problems in Oriente.
We saw the milling problem as the basic problem in Oriente. We could
observe that the mills with the large industrial improvements were
affecting us because these mills cut down our grinding, because these mills
were going to prolong the harvest, and because they were going to affect
our yields at the finish by forcing us to grind cane in June and July which
could have been milled in February, March, and April when the yields are

At that time, we had not learned something else, which was that the mills
undergoing large industrial improvements not only were not milling enough
cane, but that they failed to get the full amount of sugar by about 2 or 3
arrobas of sugar per 100 arrobas of cane they milled. How did we find this
our? In reality, how was this accomplished? They were failing to extract
the sugar from the cane. We started to transport the cane, for example, the
cane from the Cristino Naranjo mill was sent to the Arquimides Colina mill.
What did we observe? The Cristino Naranjo mill was one of the ones that was
supposed to be milling 400,000, and it was not even milling 200,000 and we
even had to shut down in order to complete the industrial improvement
program. The two mills, the Cristino Naranjo and the Maceo had to grind
800,000 arrobas. They were expected to get into full capacity by the
planned dates, but they did not and never exceeded 200,000.

But what happened with the 200,000 they were grinding? The gross yield:
Cristino Naranjo, 28 February, 10.24; Arquimedes Colina; 13.4. They were
grinding at Arquimedes Colina the same cane as that of Cristoni Naranjo. In
just 1 day, 27 February at Cristoni Naranjo, 10.54; Arquimedes Colina,
12.43. Cristino Naranjo, on the 26th, 10.53; Arquimedes Colina, 13.16. And
thus, successively the same cane ground at Arquimedes Colina was netting
almost 3 arrobas more than what Cristino Naranjo was grinding.

And then a new and quite serious problem arose: The centrals with
industrial investments not only ceased grinding but were even ceasing to
draw the sugar from the cane they were grinding.

This was converted into (?milk production), that turned out to the
point that with transfers [of cane]...on the one hand it did not grind, so
we decided to begin taking the cane from Cristino Naranjo, not just to
Arquimedes Colina, but also to the America-America Libre. Why? Because
America Libre gets its cane from high elevation; it has a high yield in
June. And we began taking the cane out of Cristino and El Maceo for
America, for Lopez Pena, to meet the new complications, to proceed to save
the yields, not just the grinding but also the yields.

This was organized, and there you have 50 arrows. I want you to know this,
for there is a map now. All the movements are shown by the 300 arrows
there. Why? Because there are new variants, new differences new
complications, and new situations. It was a tremendous struggle,

Now the fact is that we expected the way the yield would turn out, and we
observed that in Camaguey the first leap occurs. It goes over 10 or so to
11 or so. This is a notable leap after all the measures of the centrals
that were stopped and all the measures. The leap in one week is by 1

This was very encouraging in February. On the 6th of February, Camaguey
still had 10.66; on the 7th it had 10.65; on the 8th it had 10.93; on the
9th it had 10.91; 10.88, this was on 12 February. Let us see on what day it
leaped. Even at....It was after the 15th. [shuffles papers and mumbles] 27
Camaguey still appears with a very low yield. Then, it is not the leap in

There is a moment, no! But in the same month of February a leap in Camaguey
appears. And on the 23d it is 11.16; on the 28th it is 11.50. I cam assure
you that--I am not going to waste your time--that Camaguey in 1 week jumped
1 arroba of sugar. Of course it was yielding 11.50, but far below. Yet we
could envisage the hope that the figure would be exceeded.

However, we see that on the same day, the 28th, under a planned yield of
12.73, there was actually 11.92, which is good. On the 23d, the planned
yield was 12.73; it was 11.69, that is how it was, and since the leap in
Camaguey--a yield of 12.58--there was 11.19.

It was still cloudy weather. In Oriente there was no rain in February,
although it always rains there. And of the January rains we did not get a
single drop of water, although it was pouring rain in Camaguey, like in Las
Villas. All the time there was no excess of water, but there was even a
drought, a very prolonged drought. In some areas like Jobabo and in another

Thus, the yields were not forthcoming as expected. And there were still
some unknown factors connected with the overall totals of cane--precisely
because of the rains, and up to that moment,the cane that was being
cut--the estimates were higher, that is the cane yields were higher than
the estimates, the yields were higher in respect to the cane that was cut.

In other words, the new cane generally was making up quite a high yield.
Now all the gains obtained by transferring the cane were diminishing. Also
diminishing progressively was the possibility of the 10 million, but there
was still a reserve: cane planted in June, July, and August of 1969.

That was cane that at a given moment would make up the shortage of 200,000
or 300,000 tons, that could be cut, that could be cut. Nonetheless, this
situation continued to exist. however, it was becoming more and more
evident that the production of sugar was below that which was needed for
the months of February, March, and April.

And the yields were more than 1 arroba below what they should have been.
Naturally, production has a cumulative effect. The yields in January and
February, better said, February, March, and April, affected sugar
production by more than 500,000 tons, 500,000 tons of sugar; the yields had
this effects.

Since the time of our appearance, earlier this year, there arose some
deficits in respect to the initial estimates made for cane. There were some
deficits in Oriente Province and in Havana Province, where a certain amount
of reserve cane was being cut.

So, estimates were being made periodically--and in April, we estimated the
cane during the first few days in April--to ascertain what the actual
situation was, and to examine the problem of the production that was cut
back due to the sugar yield.

For instance, I am going to point out some figures, the yield behavior in
1952 and other interesting figures. But the object is to point out that in
early May we held the first meeting here in Havana. However, the labor
minister adopted a method whereby no comrade, no provincial leader would
have to come to Havana. So we followed the method of visiting the

We did this with the knowledge that in a province where the battle is being
waged, thousands of things had to be attended to, thousands of problems had
to be solved, and we had to be in constant contact with them, all the
problems of connection, and each and every difficulty.

Nonetheless, we decided--that is in the beginning of May, when all the new
data on the hand was available--to hold a meeting here in Havana, and the
comrades from all the provinces came, the comrades of the industry likewise
were present.

In this meeting, it was necessary to declare that can production was
falling below estimates. In Oriente there was a drop of more than 100
million arrobas; in Camaguey the estimates were being maintained more or
less; in Las Villas there was a reduction of about 70 or 80 million
arrobas; in Matanzas the reduction was 20 or 30 million; in Havana the
reduction was 100 million. We already knew about Havana, the drop had
occurred. However the main reductions revealed at the time were in Oriente
and Las Villas, some in Matanzas, and some more in Havana Province.

The situation by that time wiped out all hopes for the 10 million harvest,
taking into account the cane shortage and the yield, and considering
digging into the reserve of the (?so-called winter cane). But there was no
use doing that, because we could not attain the 10 million.

We pointed up a factor which I felt was important--something I mentioned in
my previous appearance--and it was this: On that occasion, we said: In
other words, there is a problem we should face: the problem of grinding and
the problem of yields.

In our opinion, the problem of yields now comes first, we said on 9
February, because if we play down down the importance of yields and put
forth the effort we should to grind all that cane, we run the risk of
waging a battle that is lost beforehand, we run the risk of waging a battle
that is lost beforehand.

Put it this way: A battle must be waged maintaining all the safeguards from
beginning to end, to insure success, to maintain the principle that the 10
million must be defended to the end.

In point of fact, we believed that in the end we could be in a position to
ascertain whether everything depended on the yields, the cane that was
left, the late rains, or sustained or reduced yields, in the canes we had
to grind in June--these would be the canes we were leaving in the higher
places where the historic curve was the best.

In other words, we struggled to grind early all the cane of the low places,
grind early all the cane which posed problems, considering the historic
curve, and to maintain until the end the hope for the 10 million.

We were gravely concerned about being able to determine mathematically if
the 10 million could not be attained, as a result of this problem of the
yields at the midway point of the harvest.

This was because we would still have ahead the rest of the task--the most
difficult part--without the hope of the 10 million. Of course, we
considered from the outset, from the first moment, that the day
calculations showed that the 10 million would not be achieved, we would
tell the people. We would inform the people, for if we failed to do this,
if we maintained the illusion of the 10 million--so the people would work
toward the 10 million--it would not be moral, it would not be honest, and
would be at variance with the revolutionary principles that must be
preserved and also at variance with the method that should be followed with
the people.

This is the posture we adopted from the outset, though of course we did not
believe that the hope for the 10 million would be cast aside very abruptly,
long before, and not midway through the harvest.

Moreover, if all the measures that were adopted in February had not been
taken, it would have been in March, that is mid-March, that we would have
given up the hope for the 10 million.

Actually, however, those measures allowed us to preserve the hope until the
beginning of May that the 10 millions were possible to attain. This was
because the calculations made in April, in light of the fact that we were
suddenly falling below the estimates, plus the accumulated consequences of
the low sugar yields, would have dispelled the hope for the 10 million.

Now, observe that in February I told you that we were exceeding the
capitalists' record by 1 million. Let us see what happened in the record
harvest made by the capitalists. What grinding capacity did they have? It
was in February, March, and April that it became clear that our grinding
capacity in 1970 was less than the capitalists' capacity, because of all
the reasons we had indicated, reasons which fundamentally derived from the

Thus we see that in 1952, in March, the capitalists ground 1,259,000,000
arrobas, an average of 40.75, I mean 40.15 million arrobas daily. We,
through the extended harvest, were ahead of them by 1.86 million and we had
ground 1.82, pardon, 1.82 billion arrobas, an average of 34.9 million
arrobas daily. This was a difference of 5.75 million arrobas, in comparison
to the capitalists' daily grinding capacity, in the month of March 1952.
[figures as heard]

We were waging the battle for the 10 million, with a capacity of 5 million
less than the capacity the capitalists had in 1952.

That was the actual situation. Thus in February, March and April, we were
grinding and harvesting with a capacity more than 5 million less than what
the capitalists had, for in a province like Oriente, which had between 13
and 14 million, we were grinding from 9 to 10 million.

The same went for Camaguey Province, which had 1 million less. In point of
fact an investment program had been carried out so as to build up a
capacity of at least 42 million arrobas daily. Yet we actually had a
grinding capacity of 7 million less.

I said "actually" because sometimes the problem was not always the stopping
of grinding. What was happening in Oriente Province, for example, was this:
Eight big centrals had their labor forces there--all the trucks, lifters,
daily waiting for the industrial capacity to be reached. The result:
Something broke down, and one central stopped. Then, to keep from
accumulating cane on the ground, everything had to be halted--the idling of
40,000 or 50,000 workers--peasants brought down from the mountains of
Baracoa, of Sierra Maestra, and everywhere, to work, and the enthusiasm was

Thus, the peasant mass had to be idled, the workers also had to be idled.
This is a tremendously demoralizing situation. And,since they could not
hold onto the cut cane, one day a central would grind 800,000, but another
day it would not have enough.

But in addition, since the critical problem was in all these mills, and
they did not have many resources--sometimes a mill grinding at a good rate
lacked the resources--did not have the industrial problems which some other
mills have. And to the extent that in the month of March we suggested to
the province to reduce the parameters because theoretically, 1
million--well, set the parameter for 750,000 and assign forces for 750,000
and not for 1 million. Do not assign the Algeria Librea a force for
900,000, but for 600,000, and in the same manner in all these mills with
problems, and use all these resources in other mills which are grinding
without difficulty, because this had a very demoralizing effect on the
workers who were mobilized and had a high degree of enthusiasm. Sometimes
when we were supposed to grind we did not have any cane because they
continue to cut at a certain rate; accumulation took place and had an
adverse effect on the sugar yields.

In reality, we have been working on the 10-million-tons with 5 million plus
less than the daily grind which the capitalists had when they reached their
giant harvest of 7,298,000 million tons of sugar. This is the truth. Now
what happened? How much cane did they need to reach the 7.2 million tons?
We were grinding less; every arroba that we did not grind was an arroba
that we had to grind later. Quite a bit of the cane being ground in those
mills was yielding less sugar than it should have produced, even though
that is not the only problem, because the yield problem affected mills
which had no investments. Other problems contributed to the low yield. But
the mills continued with the grind and the yield.

That was not the only problem affecting the yields. We made investments in
20 mills, and 20 mills caused us headaches. The remaining mills where
investments were not made did not get all the attention and adequate
repairs. That took place in Oriente Province, it happened in other
provinces,and it happened in Las Villas Province. So I am going to explain
how, for example, the capitalists reached the 7.2 million tons with an
average yield of 12.25, an average gross yield of 12.25. In 1952, 90
percent of the cane was 2878, and today the 2878 is but a small amount of
the sugarcane varieties. We have better varieties today. I am going to use
a mill as an example. On 28 February--well you can pick any one,
alright-Mexico mill of Colon had cane variety 4362 and a yield of 13.58 on
28 February. On 27 February it had a yield of 13.53, on 26 February it had
13.50, on 25 February it had 13.48. That is a well managed, well repaired
mill doing a good grinding job. As early as 19 February it had a yield of
13.49. Let us look for another date even earlier: On 13 February it had
12.97 and on the 14th it had 13.02, well above its historic curve and
grinding cane variety cane 4362, 13.09 and so forth. During that period it
averaged 13.50 gross yield.

Let us take a look at Caracas in the month of March. Caracas, 8 March,
13.80; 10 March, 13.63; 13 March, 14.27; 16 March, 1445 gross yield; 19
March 14.47; 22 March 14.44; 31 March, 14.24. The mill stayed at 14 and
still is at 14. So it is grinding new varieties. It is a good mill. If we
analyze a number of mills that function well, they are well maintained and
well managed.

These are three factors in the yield percentage. First, the investments,
second, the maintenance in many other mills, and third, and we must
emphasize this as the main factor, the problem of management of the mills.

Of course our mills are now 18 years older than in 1952, but we understand
that age is not a fundamental factor because all those like the Caracas
have the same age and have a better yield percentage than when under
capitalism. Plenty more in fact. That is, an old, well maintained and well
managed mill with a god cane variety can reach any yield. Of many mills
grinding the same cane variety, one had 14, the other 12, the other 11. We
published all the yields in the newspapers; we published them by provinces,
planned yields. I asked GRANMA to publish yields mill by mill. We have had
no publicity problems. Everyone could follow the difficulties we were
having with the grind. We were never able to grind 40,000 arrobas, never.
There are a number of mills which have shown us that with good maintenance
and good management new varieties can get yields of 13.50 and 14. If all
the mills had operated that way I am sure that we would have had enough
cane for the 10 million tons. We would have had enough and more for the 10
million tons, no question there. That means that there has not been
anything which has deteriorated more than the mills; the management,
operation, leadership in the mills. Many of the workers have retired, many
of them waited until 1970 with 50-plus years. We have not made personnel
replacements, personnel training, we have that responsibility. Now, one of
the problems is the lack of cane, but the most serious problem is not the
cane but the industry. So we neglected the industry. There were too many
problems in industry in 1970. One of the major problems is that of
investments, but also the matter of mill management is a decisive one, too.

It is not as easy to run a mill as it is to run a cable car or a bicycle.
It is a complex process; it has chemical processes. One of the problems we
must emphasize is that of industry--in maintenance as well as training
personnel to operate the mills. Then, we said that when the capitalists
reached their record harvest they had ground 5,177,000,000 arrobas. They
produced 7,298,000 tons with an average yield of 12.25 percent and used 80
percent of the cane. When we reached 7,305,000 tons, which I believe was on
15 May, we had ground 5,904,000,000 arrobas with an average yield of 10.85
percent. We had to grind a little over 7 billion arrobas to reach the same
number of tons produced by the capitalists.

To achieve a yield like the capitalists we should have produced
8,314,000,000 tons--some 950,000 tons more. For the yield which we talked
about in Santa Clara, which was not a moderate yield if we take into
consideration new varieties, with a 12.30 yield--6,012,000,000 arrobas, we
would have 8,499,724 tons, and we now have 7,456,000 plus 50,000 in
process. We have at this time some 8,525,000. We would have 990,000 tons
less that we would have if we had reached the yield set for Santa Clara. An
arroba needs a yield of 11 for a ton and at 12 percent gross yield of 11
for a ton and at 13 percent gross yield it needs 7,230,000,000 arrobas, and
at 13 percent gross yield it needs 3 billion arrobas. At this time the
accumulative yield is approximately 10.85. If we need 8 billion tons for a
13 yield, we must say that even if we have 8 Billion tons for a 13 yield,
we must say that even if we have 8 billion we could not reach the 10
million because we would have to grind it in July, August, September with 5
percent, 6 percent. We could not possibly do it because we do not have 8

Of course, many mills do not have problems of the wrong cane cut or cane
cut too late. But what I really think was bothering us is the fact that the
same cane, cut by the same people, with the same degree of freshness
produced 6.5 more arrobas than in the other sector. Two different mills
grinding the same variety of cane have a marked difference in yield. Now
then, how is the agricultural program doing? As I was telling you in
accordance with the Santa Clara plan, we had 7,081,000,000. After we made
the last analysis in the March meeting, during which time we realized how
much cane was left and the deficits in the initial estimates of the
harvest. We realized that the situation was as follows: On 7 May in the
Oriente plan, of 2,190,000,000 arrobas as per the Santa Clara meeting
2,011,000,000. therefore, a deficit of 179 million arrobas. Camaguey, from
1,999,500,000 had 1,868,000,000, a deficit of 131.5. Las Villas, from a
plan which should have had 1,544,000,000 arrobas, had 1,717,000,000, Las
Villas had 173 million arrobas more. Matanzas, which should have had 722
million, had 820 million arrobas, 98,000,000 arrobas more. Havana,
including Pinar del Rio, which should have had 505 million, had 639 million
arrobas, 134 millions more. And Pinar Del Rio, which should have had 120
million, had 118 million, that is, 2 million less. Naturally we had been
calculating and had been trying hard to produce beyond the goal in
Matanzas, Havana, and in Las Villas. At a given moment, Las Villas was
estimated at 1.8 billion. Then suddenly, in Cienfuegos, where most of the
cane was located, under production began to take place as result of scorch.

I must mention also that a way in which some of the mills were affected was
that they sacrificed sugar from the cane they ground. Mills in Oriente,
such as the Peru mill, are located in areas where the irrigation system is
not complete. Much of the cane that should have been cut in February,
March, and April has not yet been cut. The yield of these mills, the yield
of the Peru mill is 9 plus, 10 plus, Why? Because tons of millions of
arrobas that should have been cut in February, march, and April were still
not cut in May. As a result, due to the long drought this cane has become
scorched. this is a third cause for decreased yield.

So the total cane, according to the analysis made on 7 May that was
programmed for Santa Clara was 7.81 billion arrobas. Available cane was
7,173,000,000 arrobas. Santa Clara, therefore, produced 92 million arrobas
more than estimated. Its yield has been more or less equal to that of the
capitalists in 1952 when the new varieties were unknown. Until yesterday,
6,012,000,000 arrobas of cane had been ground. According to the 7 May
analysis, there are approximately 1,161,000,000 arrobas to be ground. About
20,000 caballerias must still be cut and ground.

We have produced 7.5. Fortunately, much of this cane is in the
highlands--at the America and Nicaragua mills. The Nicaragua mill will
yield as high as 13 in June. this cane, then, is situated in areas where we
can expect better yields. If we do not produce the 1,161,000,000 million
arrobas, we will produce a little more or a little less.

How much cane must still be ground in Oriente? As of yesterday, at 1900
yesterday, 470 million. In Camaguey, 387 million; Las Villas, 246 million;
Matanzas, 50 million; Havana, 1 million; and Pinar del Rio, 7 million for
an approximate total of 1,616,000,000 arrobas.

This includes winter cane planted in June and July, which may be cut if
necessary. It is evident that there should have been more than
7,173,000,000 arrobas. We expected more, approximately 7.6 billion arrobas.
We struggled to have a surplus of cane. There has been 90 to 100 million
more arrobas than we had had before. In 18 months we produced what we did
not produce in 1967. In 18 months we increased the country's cane
production from 4 billion plus to 7 billion plus arrobas. We cannot be
satisfied with this because we really did believe that we could produce
more, about 7.7 to 7.8 billion arrobas.

Great efforts were made, all resources were put into it, programs, all
equipment, all possible means. Of course have gone modestly beyond our
plans in cane production. We should have been able to produce 600 or 700
million arrobas more. But we have also said that even if we had had 8
billion arrobas and if we had started the harvest on 28 October and ended
it in August we would not have produced 10 million tons of sugar because
there was the problem of how to grind all the cane,besides the tremendous
problems--management and maintenance--of this harvest which affected yield.
Without proper yield, regardless of how much cane there might be, it is not
possible to reach to the 10-million mark. If we ground the 7,173,000,000
arrobas that we now have we would still be short at least 1 million tons of

We are barely reaching 9 million tons. Whether or not we reach it will
depend on how we work. That is the situation at this moment. We must admit
that it will be close if we reach it. We must struggle for it, struggle
with all our strength. Considering the cane we still have, we will reach
it, theoretically. Let us see if this is actually possible. The slightest
difference in our estimate will affect it. We are going to struggle for it.
This is the cane we have, with a little reserve. But we must keep in mind
the possibility that the drought may be prolonged, that the yield may drop.
Measures are being taken to reach the mark.

So, we have lost the battle of the 10 million to the sugar yield. We must
say that if it had been possible to obtain a little more sugar--in Havana
Province alone if we had been able to start the harvest a little later we
would have produced 50,000, 60,000, or 100,000 tons more. Why? Because our
estimate was surpassed here where the harvest began on 28 October. If had
started 15 or 20 days later the harvest would have ended the end of May or
early in June, we would have had more cane and a better yield. We began the
Havana harvest a little too early.

Another factor, hard to determine, that may have contributed in this is the
February winds, which blew at almost 100 kilometers an hour and lasted for
24 hours. Some canefields were not prepared and the cane suffered much. I
believe the damage cause by these winds has been underestimated. I believe
the 55-day drought in November and December haw been underestimated, as has
been underestimated the result of cutting the cane in October when it is
still growing. We could have produced 100,000 tons more here. Instead of
639 million arrobas, we could have produced 660 or 670 million, even with
the winds, 80,000 or 100,000 tons of sugar more. But it is a difficult

The drop in Oriente, therefore, is not the result of a drop in sugarcane
but in its yield. that is the primary cause for a shortage of from 600,000
and 700,000 tons. But this problem can be largely blamed on the poor yield
of the cane. Yield has had much, much, much to do with the industrial
problem in the province. This problem also has its effect on the cadres,
the workers, the shops. Logically, we must solve it.

In this matter of the 10 million tons, a basic fact is that the people have
not lost the battle. We can say with absolute certainty that the people
have won this battle, the people have not lost this battle. It cannot be
said that nothing has been gained because the battle of the 10 million tons
has not been won. This battle was not lost by the people. We lost this
battle. We, the administrative apparatus, of the revolution, we the leaders
of the revolution have lost this battle.

The people have responded more than adequately to achieve the 10 million
tons. [Unreadable text] we did not respond adequately. I believe that it is
only fair to clarify this because it is the plain truth. The battle of the
10 million was not lost over the past 2 years or this year. We have lost it
for the past 4 years. And we lost it in an unexpected way, because this had
never been the principal problem. That is we, our ignorance regarding
industrial problems contributed to our not being able to foresee the
several problems, subjective type problems, unqualified personnel, and all
those things. Even if we had 8 billion [arrobas] we would not have won the
battle, because we have the grinding problem.

I say also that certain factors over which we have no control affected
industrial production; but no one but ourselves has lost the battle. The
people were always willing to do whatever was necessary, with enthusiasm
and with that something. This is unquestionable. And the people have not
lost the battle.

Now, yesterday we analyzed the factors of two types. How big is the
people's effort? How big is the country's effort? What achievement has been
made? To explain this with data--the size of this effort--why we said that
it was a record that can hardly be equalled, that we ourselves would never
be able to equal it. Starting from the fact that we have made a large
increase over an average 5-million ton production, that we are by far the
world's largest sugar producer, with sugar mills that are 18 years
old--much older than at the time of the capitalists, with over 5 million
tons less capacity than then, with full adjustments; all this shows the
great effort of the people to achieve this.

This does not mean that we will ever reach this amount again. No. Next year
we should produce approximately the same amount. But if we have less cane?
In some provinces we will have more because we will be planting more.
Oriente should have more. Havana should have more. Matanzas will produce
approximately the same amount. Las Villas and Camaguey less because the
planting program has lagged in those two provinces. But by managing the
harvest well, we will be able to produce the same amount of sugar with 600
million less arrobas of cane. With 600 or 700 million we can produce as
much sugar as this year's harvest.

We cannot talk of an increase for 1971 because things are quire complex in
this problem of formation and the subjective problems in the sugar
industry. So we must have a little patience to wait until later and try
another increase. I believe we should not announce the goal next time, but
go ahead and produce. Of course the 10-million mark will be surpassed in
the future, but we will do so progressively.

The possibility of planting 130,000 caballerias of sugarcane, level land
that can be worked mechanically, used exclusively for cane, will yield more
than 10 million tons of sugar, especially with today's agricultural
techniques. That will be a progressive problem for the 1970-80 decade. But
I want to give an idea: If we produce 8 million tons how does this compare
with previous harvests, with the last 10 capitalists years? With the past
10 socialist years? We had two that surpassed 6 million tons, almost 7
million in 1961. The average capitalists harvest of 10 years producing 8
million tons and comparing this with the largest capitalistic harvest,
despite the disadvantages that we have already pointed out, we would have
702,000 tons more than the largest capitalists harvest, which has 7,298,000
tons. That is, 10 percent larger than the largest capitalistic harvest.

In order to explain this, I will use two figures: Eight and nine that is,
what eight means and what nine means. Now then, compared with the average
for the last 10 capitalist years, which was, as I said before, 5,521,000
and we make 8, then it will be 2,439,000 tons of sugar above the average
for the last 10 capitalist years. That is to say, 44.9 percent more than
the average annual sugar production of the capitalist during the last 10
years. Now then, comparing this to the socialist production for the last 10
years: 2,739,000 tons more than the average for the 10 years of the last 10
harvests of the revolution. This is equal to 52 percent more. [figures as

Now then, above last year's, that is, comparing it to last year's:
3,541,000 tons more than last year's which was 4,459,000; that is 79
percent more, comparing it to last year's 52 above the average and 79 [more
than] last year. Now then, comparing it to the smallest of the revolution,
41,118,000 tons more the smallest we have had, which was
3,282,000--3,828,000--tons; that is: 106 percent greater than the smallest.
That is with 8.

Now I will point out the data using 9, if we make 9 million, comparing it
to the largest harvest of the capitalists, and with 5 million, and some,
less capacity than they; and with all the problems [words indistinct];
1,702,000 tons more than the largest capitalist harvest at any time. That
is, 23.32 percent more; 3,439,000 tons more than the average for the last
10 years, which was 5 million--as we were saying--400--5,521,000. that is,
63 percent higher than the average for the last 10 capitalist years. If we
make 9, 23.32 greater than the largest, and 63.01 more than the average for
the 10 years. Now then, comparing with our socialist harvest: 3,739,00 tons
more than the average for the last 10 years, which was 5,261,000. That is
to say: 61.07 percent greater and 4,541,000 tons more than last year's,
which was 4,459,000. In other words, 101.83 percent greater. Now if we make
9, and we compare it with the smallest, it would be 5,118,000 tons more
than the 1963 harvest. This would be equal to 131.83 percent more than the
smallest made by the revolution.

That is why we were saying that strictly percentage-wise, and you check
FAO, and you check all the statistics in the world--all of them--never,
never will you find a comparable increase in production, sugar production.
that is, we can rest easy that this record is truly Olympic; the record,
that is, not the harvest, because we were saying that we did not want a
silver medal. But in so far as production increase is concerned, it is of
such magnitude that starting with the figure from which we started and wit
the industry we had, 18 years plus days, with the new investments, and
then, with an actual capacity below, 5 million. In these conditions--better
still, in other conditions, in the best conditions--the figures surely will
not be found, nor will they ever be found in any manual or in any document
of statistics or in any archive. this is the way it is, in this very
way,and that is why we were saying that unprecedented records have been

The production will grow annually but never will it grow in this magnitude.
And to try to do in 18 months what had not been done in 5 or 6 years, was
not done in 18 months. And that is why we have this result. The effort was
emphasized, the harvest was emphasized, and the symbol was emphasized in
such a way that it became an international thing. These are the figures if
we make 8 and if we make 9. Now then, what we should try to do is put these
records not only in the moral aspect; the economic aspect is indispensable,
absolutely indispensable. Grind until the last sugarcane stalk, and get the
maximum sugar from that cane. But we mention these figures not for
ourselves. We are not going to console ourselves with that. We mention them
for the benefit of the people, so that they may thus measure the results of
their work, of their effort, and so that they will know that they have made
a record of agricultural production which exceeds all production in
general, a record which will not be surpassed by anyone; it would be very
difficult. That is our conclusion. Would that someone could surpass it,
particularly some underdeveloped country where there are so many needs, and
may they someday accomplish this.

So this is the data and these are the figures with 8 and with 9. If the
results is 8, fine; if 9 fine, this a little less, but still. Of course,
there are, at this very moment, with the cane, with the sugar in process,
there are a little more than 7.5--yesterday there was--right now there
should be 7 [presumably point] 53, 7 [presumably point] 54, including the
sugar in process. And before 10 June, more and less, approximately, we
should arrive at 8 despite the inconvenience hereabouts--some hurricane
very close to us with winds of up to 100 miles threatening from Pinar del
Rio to Las Villas. this is not very convenient, but, oh well, it is one of,
one of those things.

And then just notice the results of the investments. In Camaguey, 55
million was invested, 32.5 of the national investment. In Oriente, 68
million, investments in industry, 40.2 of the national investment. The sum
of these two provinces is 123 million, 72.7 percent of the national
investment. These are the best provinces. Nevertheless, in the provinces
where the investments were made we have a deficit of a little more than a
million. That is to say that fundamentally in these provinces, where we
made the investments, 72.7 percent. Logically, the investments are there,
right? They have taken their stride in 1970, but they constitute an
investment which should begin to yield fruit from now on. Because,
logically, as long as these investments are working, it will be the same as
what happened with the Panama Central, which last year caused unbelievable
headaches and this year functioned well. The trouble is that that will be
in 1971, and we tried to reach the 10 million in 1970.

What measures have we taken? We have been trying to lend support to Oriente
to the maximum. Eighteen thousand workers from Havana, since the Havana
harvest finished early are moving toward Oriente Province, toward the zone
of the Nicaragua, Fernando de Dios, Lopez Pena, Guatemala. These places
still have a very high yield curve in June. this concludes the 14 wayside
brigades [brigades de camino] from the Province of Havana working there.
Some 10,000 or 11,000 millionaires or almost millionaire, lifter operators,
truck drives, shelter constructors, are going. In other words, they are
making support efforts like vanguard people, like combative people like
working people. and we think it is a magnificent opportunity for expanding
the party to include these workers who are going to take part, to lend
their support to Oriente Province at that point, so that Oriente can
concentrate its strength principally in the Maciso Del (Guivera) while
Havana Province will lend strong support in the banes Maciso zone, because
the 470 million arrobas still left must be extracted from them. They are

With the cane from Oriente alone, with what is left in Oriente, the 8
million can be cleared by a wide margin. And then Camaguey, Las Villas, and
Matanzas will bring us above the 8. In other words, with Oriente alone, the
8 million can be cleared by a good margin, but it is necessary to cut it
and get the maximum sugar from it. I also forgot to point out that many
industrial workers from Havana Province are also going to reinforce the
industry in Oriente Province. In other words, this is one of the measures.
Camaguey Province is making, as we said last night, a notable effort at
this moment, and is carrying the greatest load of the harvest.

Comrade Almeida is there, Comrade Acevedo, the MINFAR comrades are there,
are lending decisive aid. This is a good example of organized and
disciplined aid. They are grinding almost 8 million arrobas, 9 million
daily. They are doing it--how shall we say?--steadily. In other words, we
have great confidence that the Camaguey force will wage its battle until
the end. We have the aforementioned numbers left in Matanzas and in Las

Now comes a period a little bit more difficult. Having taken measures since
December--road--we have been constructing some 80 kilometers or roads a
day. This means that from 4,000 to 5,00 kilometers of road have been
constructed in some 90 days, in 90 days. I imagine that in a country as big
as Brazil, some 70 or 80 times larger than Cuba, or 70 times larger than
Cuba, they probably construct some 5,000 kilometers of road in 3 years. and
her4e we have constructed some 4,000 or 5,000 in 3 months. the idea of the
strength of the resources which the country has now, and the spirit with
which they work the harvest, these road builders, because they have been
doing double or triple what is normally done. This is a tremendous effort
for the battle of the 10 million, what these comrade road builders have
been doing.

But these figures of earth moving and kilometers in the last few days are

So, we have reasonable hope for maintaining a good yield from the cane that
remains to be ground for this harvest.

How should this harvest continue to be called, that of the 9,8, or 10? We
will continue to call it the 10 million harvest. Let the 10 million stand,
the date, and the entire program, completely. it is the expression that
shows what we have accomplished and what we have not accomplished.

It is clear, then, and it should continue to be called, because it must be
christened, christenings and namings frequently are important. In any event
it must be called the 10 million. I should also take advantage of the
opportunity, because one time, expressing an idea and talking of the
triumph of the rebellion, the triumph of the revolution, we set forth a
concept that was true, but it is somewhat confusing, confounding, it
creates snarls.

Thus, letting it stand as a concept, and if some persons want to include,
says a manuelito, a thing of revolutionary training and, as a concept. It
would be better to let it stand, for the revolution does not triumph in one
day, it is the rebellion's triumph, it implies how the revolutionary ideas
advance until they attain their triumph. Now, now we see the triumph of the
revolution in the attitude of the people--in the harvest, opposite the
embassy, and in their reaction at this time.

But for us, I take advantage of the occasion to clarify something. It would
be better if we continue pressing forward the triumph of the revolution, 1
January. Now you are more familiar with that. [prolonged applause]

Everytime I read the phrase, I had a guilty conscience. For on occasion of
presenting a clarification of a concept in a ceremony in Caguas, I believe
when we dedicated a hospital, and that grammatical, that conceptual toungue
twister was created.

I believe we should let it stand, as occurs with all revolutions, which
have their dates--like the October revolution and all the others. We are
going to take advantage of the occasion.

We were saying what wee wanted for Oriente Province. The fact is we must
adopt a number of measures over the forthcoming months. And we were
thinking during recent months of a number of actions to bolster, better,
and perfect all the state's directive mechanism.

This is because it has grown, it has become much more complex, and we have
been thinking of a number of ideas as soon as the harvest ends. I already
have thought of ways to give it more coherence, more cooperation between
all activities, all the state's general activities.

But we must also take into consideration that we have been leaving some
regions of the country underdeveloped. Oriente Province has been being left
underdeveloped to a great extent. We sent one of our most highly qualified
comrades, one of those who has proven to possess the most merit in the
revolution, Comrade Guillermo Garcia, to Oriente in order to strengthen the
province, but it is impossible in the length of time that the comrade has
been working--it was relatively recently, when all this program was working
there--for him to be able to solve all those problems. And indeed, a single
comrade, regardless of how capable he is, cannot confront that task.

That is why we have already been trying an entire series of aspects in, for
example, in the (?DAP), a reinforcement of cadres and agricultural
machinery, in, we have to strengthen it in some constructions, we have to
strengthen the province on an entire series of fronts: in the sugar
industry, on the construction front. At the beginning of the revolution
they had wondered if it were better for the capital to be in some other
place. Santiago was the capital for a while. When that was said, it also
was a bit somewhat symbolic.

If you want to call it, well, as you wish, you can choose from a certain
gratitude of the province, sense of justice. If you like you can call it
regionalism or, if you like, provincial chauvinism.

It's all the same. But, further on, how many times have we seen (?in) the
interior of the country the great inconveniences of the great
centralization of, let us say, resources in general--the development that
the western area had and the development that the capital had. The island
is long and the government was at one end.

We have said many times that the place would have been in, let's says
(Guayo) or someplace like that. (?This) does not mean that anyone is
thinking about changing the capital. The country is now becoming smaller
with the new means of communications, highways. The day the railroad is
ready, all this will become a matter of hours. Oriente today may be many
hours away. When the electrical railroad is ready, then it will be 6 or 7
hours away. And by plane, railroad, or other ways now we have a little
central highway that has, that is almost as old as the sugar mills, made
for the time when a truck carried 3 tons. Thousands of people have been
killed there.

But we have to pay attention to development. And many times, for
example--and this is a principle we uphold--if a research center is
developed in the western area it should be developed in Las Villas, in
Camaguey. Why? Because if there is no technological and scientific
development the regions always remain underdeveloped because they have to
depend on a [distant] centre. So, in Oriente Province we have great
resources. It is the sugarcane province, producing high yields because of
its climate, having clearest sky, the most sunshine a year, droughts in
harvest periods--so that if you have irrigation and overcome that, the
yields are higher the greater the drought during the harvest period, within
a reasonable limit.

Enormous mineral resources, the greatest nickel reserves in the world, are
in Oriente Province. Oriente Province has approximately 33.8 percent of the
country's people, that is, 2,847,000. Oriente Province has 2 million,
almost 3 million inhabitants; 36,602 square kilometers, thus 33 percent of
the land; Oriente has the most children in the country. It is the most
prolific province, especially the mountains and all that. More children
than anywhere else, enormous future resources in that province. And yet the
material bases for education, the teachers, the funds, the needs are
enormous, and we have there, the number of children there is enormous. What
can be done in that country, and what is the revolution's duty to do for
the human resources, and the natural resources?

Without talking about provincial justice any longer, but rather of national
interest, and, since the nation is connected with the world, international
interest then that province must be developed. Its mineral resources, its
agricultural resources, its water resources must be developed, in short,
all its resources. Almost all the current coffee production is done in the
mountains. It has a large population and a young one.

Therefore, we feel that is is precisely there that we have had the greatest
difficulties in this harvest. Which is one more argument, one more proof,
that if we leave some regions underdeveloped, this undoubtedly does us
great harm.

In Camaguey we pooled our resources, our efforts, and gave it our utmost
attention and help. But the state has to work, to improve the
administrative system; and the party has to give the province a maximum of
support in the interest of the entire nation. [Maj Guillermo Carcin Frias,
politburo delegate in Oriente Province] must be reinforced in every way so
that he can fulfill a task of that great territory of Oriente Province with
all its resources.

We were talking about hurricane Alma threatening. Here is weather report
that says "tropical depression in the Caribbean. The tropical depression in
the Caribbean has rapidly gained in intensity since this morning and has
almost reached hurricane force with 110 kilometer-per-hour winds in the
areas near the center and minimum pressure of 993 milibars. Now we have a
hurricane on top of everything else. I meant to say 745 millibars. At 1600
today, the center of the storm was at 17.9 degrees latitude north, 81.5
degrees longitude west. That is, almost 200 kilometer south of Grand Cayman
Island and some 450 kilometers south of the cost of the Zapata peninsula
[in Cuba].

This small hurricane has been moving north at almost 18 kilometers an hour
and it is believed that it will continue in that direction with a slight
turn to the north northwest in the next 6 to 12 hours with slight changes
in speed, direction, and intensity. Attention should be paid to the storm's
future course from Pinar Del Rio to Las Villas, especially the Isle of
Pines. The rains will increase from Matanzas to Camaguey and will begin
over Havana and Pinar Del Rio during the pre-dawn hours. Navigation will be
dangerous starting tomorrow, and so forth. Next bulletin at midnight. This
morning, the first bulletin, the second, [as heard] and here come the
atmospheric disturbances. One of our first battles will be with this little
hurricane. We will now be able to begin to test this battle which we must
wage with more honor than the former one, with more honor, but not only in
cane, in everything. In the planting, the cleaning.

And herbicides--we are fortunate to have herbicides to fight the weeds
which previously took so many tens of thousands of men, and still the
problem was not solved even half way--and all the task which must be faced
during three months in the fields. The first thing is the hurricane. It
will require--because many places have the ground prepared but cannot plant
for lack of water, and now, all of a sudden, as it sometimes happens in the
tropics if you do not have irrigable land, you can do the thing a little at
a time. Three months go by without rain, and then it rains suddenly
throughout the country, in enormous quantities. Right now, a little water
is wanted in Oriente, in some areas; a little water is needed. A little
water does not matter; too much water does matter, no water at all makes a
difference. It looks as if a big downpour is coming with this hurricane.
Therefore, we must face the first battle.

I have not wanted to use the maps. It would have been too long-winded to
try to point out each and every one of the points where we have had
problems. And I already told you that we would have needed hundreds of
arrows to mark our each one of the problems. We did, however, want to point
out the following:

On 7 May, in the last check, it was shown that the possibility of achieving
the harvest, reaching the 10 million tons, was nonexistent due to the
drastic reduction in some estimates and the situation was growing. There
was no longer any way of reaching that, and not only that, but the
difference was not going to be 1 of 2 or 3,000; the difference was closer
to a million tons of sugar. Once this situation was obvious, our intention,
as I explained to the comrades on 15 or 16 May, more or less, was to tell
the people of the situation between the 15th and the 20th, in conformity
with a previous decision that once we knew that we could not reach the 10
million tons, we had to make it public, divulge it. It was a question of
basic respect for feelings, elementary loyalty to an effort, and confidence
in the people based on the fact that this would not demoralize them, the
workers. Because no one through, I never really thought that on such an
early date, early May, the hope would be dashed. It is now clear that this
would have happened in early April it the measures taken had not been
taken. Of course, certain estimates and other things which could not be
determined then were necessary.

But in the beginning of May, all this became evident. It was then that we
thought that, either in a communique in the press explaining it all, or on
television, we would explain all this between the 15th and the 20th. That
is how things stood when the incident of the fishermen occurred, that is,
on the 12th or the 13th.

Nothing was further from our minds than that something like this was going
to happen. The Baracoa situation had been cleared up. Furthermore, the
fishermen--we learned of the fishermen on Friday, on the 11th we learned
they had been kidnapped. We knew it when they did not return, because they
were due on the 10th. A delay of 2 days for a boat begins to cause concern,
but it could happen. So, on the night of the 11th or the 12th, the news was
known, but the fisherman had been kidnapped about a week before.

They were in the propaganda stage; (Guayo) and the others were being taken
there, and that sort of propaganda thing. But they had been kidnapped since
the 4th, or the 3rd. We learned of it on the 12th because those open boats
generally have no radio telephone. And that is why it was known later on.
First they did not return on the scheduled date, then a 24-hour delay--the
concern in that fishing unit--and then the announcement that the boat had
been kidnaped. It was in the papers. It was then that the problem became
very delicate. And yesterday we explained this problem, we spoke of this
problem. We did not have the intention of speaking of this problem, that
is, on the 10-million-ton problem, because it requires, by its very nature,
hundreds of pieces of data, percentages, all those things, which had to be
gathered. It was a truly involved task.

Actually, we have had, we had no time with all these problems, and we had
to work pretty quickly in order to organize all this material. If this was
not terribly well organized, I ask you to forgive me. We had to work so
quickly. And naturally, we wanted to explain this problem like this,with
all the details, all the things affecting it, and present our evaluation.
Everything is not there. There are many aspects; I have tried to show the
fundamental aspects, and above all the final blow that the yield problem
implied in the 10-million goal. That is how we had planned our exposition.

Yesterday's problem was another type of problem, with other
characteristics, but we must say that since the 7th what all the comrades
of the province, a group of our comrades knew of this problem since the
last meeting. This problem was being fought amidst this situation, and all
of us had to suffer quite a bit when at the ceremony of the, of the--in a
demonstration, as the people call it, we were given the slogans "Cuba,
Laos, Vietnam, the 10 million were coming along," or "Cuba, Cambodia,
Vietnam, the 10 million are coming along." And we knew that Cambodia is
coming along, that they will be victorious, and in Vietnam, but that we
would not reach the 10 million mark.

And during the whole ceremony of support, of solidarity, all the people who
spoke from all sectors--and it was really bitter to listen to the people
confirm all this--then many of the slogans, all was about the problems of
the fishermen, international solidarity, and the 10 million. The fervor
with which the people (?announced)--although the people made calculations
and they must have seen that because they have information available, they
have had complete information, at least the publications, to calculate and
everything. Since there was nothing official yet--really, there could only
be something official at the moment when certainty is arrived at, which was
at the meeting that we had on 7 May.

What does all this come from? Well, we were saying that it was unpleasant,
but that was not sufficient justification to bring up the problem
yesterday. That was not a good enough reason. Other reasons began to appear
which were much more justified, much more powerful, to clarify the problem
yesterday. The kind of perfidious thing, of bad faith, that is
characteristic of the imperialists because imperialists do not only kill
there, here, everywhere, steal, plunder, lie, they are a personification of
all that is immoral and bad in the world. They have their dirty methods of
intrigue and things of that sort. What did they begin to do? They began to
connect the activities of the people and the revolution concerning the
fishermen with the people of the harvest, and really, there is little that
can be more hurtful and more offensive, besides being more stupid.

Why? That is to imply, to attribute to the revolution cowardice, a lack of
honesty, criminality. Any revolutionary leader who invents the slightest
thing to get anyone's attention or invents an accident is a criminal of the
worst sort. The fascists, the bourgeois, the polticers can do that, but the
revolutionary who does it is (?definitely) the worst of criminals. But
furthermore, from offenses, to offenses, they must be borne. They occur
every day. The offenses that cannot hurt us--forget it! But this also is an
offense against one of the country's principles and rights. We were
pointing out how there have already been three battles over fishermen, the
first of which was with the two boats that (?were) in Miami, which lasted
several days. Our country is very sensitive to attacks on fishermen and

How our country is creating its maritime tradition, how we now have
15,000-ton boats which supply the world, great trawlwers. The importance of
the trawlers can be measured by the fact that a man can catch enough fish
in a year to supply 2,000 persons with 100 pounds each. See the incredible
productivity how it has developed, how production has been multiplied
eightfold. It has grown, like rice production, for example. We had not
emphasized the fact earlier that rice production has grown several times
and that the rice program has used more machinery, more bulldozers, than
all this cane program from which these figures were derived. The rice
program has taken more machinery and more effort, but it has been carried
out evenly; the policy of working evenly was maintained.

If we already had to face the bitter reality of not reaching a goal, it
would not have been honest to concentrate everything on that in order to
save personal prestige or things like that. Was the policy of concentrating
all means always maintained? No, there were means available in the
agricultural sector to reach the 10 million and to continue other programs.
Of course, the other programs such as the progress in rice production, have
been very notable.

But rice and fishing--rice in 2 years, fishing in 10 years--fishing has
grown eight times over. The amount of the fish we consume, and even export
has increased notably. Fish-mainly lobster, shrimp, other kinds of fish--we
have here another one that is expensive. We export it. Fishing has already
become a sector which gives the country 20 million in income already.
Twenty million! Fishing fleets are fishing in seas where fishing was never
done before. It is becoming one of the main sectors of the country and is
continuing to grow. And it can give the people, year by year, more food and
also a large portion of fish, plus income for the country. A country which
had no maritime tradition has managed to develop a merchant marine which
has multiplied several times over, a formidable fishing fleet. The spirit
of the seaworkers is being changed, all that. Now, independent of our
elementary duty to defend a fisherman, the most humble fisherman--and there
is nothing more humble or less humble here, because we must all be equal in

But as we were saying apart from our duty, if the blood of all must be shed
for one, it must be shed as a matter of human and communist solidarity.
There, furthermore...that is the first thing. But there was a second point,
which is not of slight importance. What were they trying to do? How could
the revolution have stood by with its arms folded when they land a band of
criminals and mercenaries who cost us the lives of five fighters, peasants
from the mountains, generous, hardworking, self-sacrificing people, the
kind that go off to cut cane, to harvest coffee, and who are this country's
backbone. And there, to have to see our comrades, since logically, in every
battle comrades, very good comrades, fall. Comrade [pause] among others,
comrade--a formidable comrade he was --the political commissioner, the
political instructor, or political man, as they call him, of the
territorial division--and there leave them--mother, children, brothers,
everyone, sunk in tremendous sorrow.

Why, and who are they? What do they represent? What are those gangs seeking
here? I was talking with one of these mercenaries. And believe me it
produces repugnance--repugnance! Totally void of ideology! The individual I
talked to is incredible. When I began asking him out of curiosity, because
one feels a sort of curiosity, what was the political philosophy of this
mercenary, what he thinks and [word indistinct], the things he said really
caused amazement. Nonsense, terrible ignorance--and all these people that
come to build a country from a--that is sweating, working--to have the
right to come to--with an American weapon, an automatic one--to come here
to attack the country, to lead to the death of extremely valuable comrades,
anyone of which is incomparable, is worth infinitely more than all of them
put together.

So then, what do they expect? The revolution not even to defend itself? And
that mercenaries invade us and we won't even be able to go out and chase
them, because if we chase them and smash them then they grab defenseless
fishermen and sailors with the right to kidnap anywhere on an island that
has 3,000 kilometers of coastline where men work? That would be folding our
arms. Only a country that had no...that was willing to give up its most
basic rights to defend itself could fold its arms. That is why the problem
of the fishermen brought up a question on which we had to go as far as was
necessary because the alternative was to accept the [idea] that our country
did not have a right to defend itself.

That is inadmissible. Anyone can understand this. Anyone understands this.
Even a bourgeois diplomat should be able to understand it. Any idiot can
understand it. What did they expect? A right to reprisal over the fisherman
(?thing) through the action of the revolutionary state on the mercenaries
that arrive here armed? After that, disarm yourself. Hell! That is why the
thing was serious. We were ready to go as far as necessary regarding the
matter, for the alternative was something inacceptable. Nobody can accept
it, and less than anyone, this country cannot accept it. If this country,
before such a powerful enemy--the one it has 90 miles away--had not
maintained a very determined and very firm attitude without any kind of
hesitation, imperialism would have taken over this country.

Among other things, this country is saved by its firmness, its courage, its
lack of fear. If we were to hesitate, if we were to retreat with that
imperialism, that imperialism is like the voracious fish in the sea. The
interior minister was talking with some comrades and they told him that
whoever has fished on the bottom of the sea at some time sees how the, the
barracuda, for example, act. They show up way over there. If you flee from
them--I told him of an experience that happened to me one of the first
times that we were fishing.

I got into the sea and a barracuda is going around and around and showing
its teeth. Then I start retreating toward the boat. A very prudent measure.
But the barracuda was becoming more aggressive. Then I feel shame at being
in that position, of retreating before the barracuda. I turn to the
barracuda and I go above the barracuda. Then it fled. It fled immediately.
Since then, ha! of course, we, vis-a-vis imperialism, have known the lesson
since [words indistinct]. Many years after the triumph of the revolution, a
fisherman showed me the bottom of the sea, and since many (?revolutionary)
comrades had never done any underwater fishing--I am not propagandizing for
the sport, nor much less for myself, of course--I am recounting an
experience, and I was saying, it is an instinct that many animals have that
when they see that, when the prey flees is when they become courageous and
chase it. If this country, vis-a-vis imperialism--which is a wild beast, a
barracuda, a shark vulture with all its deft tricks, if this small country
had ever shown fear and hesitation before the imperialists they would have
devoured us.

And that is why the only thing it never found in this country, either
hesitation, or fear, or [words indistinct]. Those who want to devour us
will have to swallow us whole from El Yungqu de Baracoa, Punta Maisi, to
Guanacabibes. [applause]

And if this small country so close to the imperialists were to hesitate at
any time--if a country in our position--that is why we can never make a
concession. Because they would be filled with encouragement, they would
become as wild animals and vultures against us. And we know this. This is
why we always go forward. And the instinct of the people always clearly
shows that this is the only position for a country that in this era carries
out a revolution against an enemy as powerful as imperialism. We do not
underestimate it. But we do not fear it.

So then, what is the situation regarding this deed the kidnaping of the
fishermen, and what theory have they invented? This came from the United
States, from Washington, of course. Good proof is--in a REUTERS cable of 16
May, which says Washington, REUTERS. So the relation between Washington and
Havana is this and it includes: "The sudden increase in the military
activity of the exiles may have been planned to coincide with the tottering
campaign launched by Dr Castro to achieve a sugar harvest of 10 million
tons this year, said experts on Cuba in this capital today." The experts
are the CIA and company, right? Of course. Or the State Department, the
Yankees. They make all these misdeeds. They put them into effect.

Under their very noses these people kidnap, under their nose their pirate
ships kidnap, and now besides all this, because they see that things are
becoming serious, they launch the thesis that all this activity was to
distract attention from the harvest. The exiles may however have played
Castro's game by diverting, this REUTERS fellow said, by diverting public
opinion from the harvest to the alleged U.S. aggression, points out the

That was REUTERS Washington. Now, there is a REUTERS Havana. And the former
does not have to pretend to be or stop pretending to be a spy--there,
(?reporting) the opinion of the experts, we have REUTERS. Of course these
REUTERS correspondents here, we have already had little problems with one
or another of them, because they were, usually, CIA agents. Because REUTERS
is British, like the Bahamas, too, are British. In the exact same way. And
in the same way that the CIA uses the Bahamas, it also uses these REUTERS
correspondents, and since they do not have UPI and AP here, well, they have
REUTERS here--a key, an islet

Therefore, on 17 May, this 17 May, the wave arrives from Washington. On 16
May. Then on 17 May he issues the other wave. The former U.S. Embassy in
Havana today looked like a fortress under siege, surrounded by a veritable
army of 20,000 Cubans who are trying to break the resistance of its
defenders. The wall of Jerusalem or of Jericho? All we needed were the
trumpets, for if there is one thing which will fall with trumpets it is the
resistance which might be offered there. Since the siege began Friday, the
crowd increased from a few hundred to thousands of demonstrators,
housewives, crowded in a dense mass of people under a forest of picket
signs and flags. The Cuban radio today said the demonstrators add up to
50,000. This figure seems a bit exaggerated for the movement--well, as
least he said "for the time being"--but more people are constantly
arriving. He then speaks of the wretched and poor from the interior,
etcetera, etcetera. But, anyway, these could be just bits of
nonsense--large signs can be seen on the houses, etcetera. But then: the
place is also a traditional meeting spot for those who glory in their
anti-imperialist fervor, and anti-imperialist is in quotation marks. After
hard and depressing months in the canefields, which seems to have caused
the Cuban spirits to fall--apparently, the indignation and all the protests
of the people there are for the months they spent on the harvest, and they
are not tired--it says; Faced with the possibility, more evident each day,
that the record production foreseen will not be reached, Fidel Castro has
thrown his people into the streets for the first time in several years, and
has mobilized them against the imperialist aggressors, and this is in
quotes, and so on.

But, but to see this written in Cuba and such an analysis made of the
people's attitude; to expect that this country, will permit that its action
in the face of invasions will accept the right of kidnaping the fishermen.
To shirk the most fundamental duty, such a supposition is intriguing--that
is all there is to it, painful as it is, and for us it was not too
difficult to approach this whole problem yesterday without presetting the
matter of this schemer and such, and how they had been trying to relate the
harvest with the matter of the 10 million harvest [as heard] and so it was
most necessary to touch on this problem.

And since we could not speak of difficulties without giving the impression
that, or at least the concern that we were trying to hide something. That
is why we, yesterday--although it was not the object, it was not the place
where we were planning to discuss this problem--but this could not be
allowed to go by without an answer. That is why today, the day on which we
come to speak abut the harvest, we have to include a little bit on this
scoundrel who is here. I say scoundrel, but he is certainly free somewhere.
He is probably not the only one. But he cannot be called anything else. We
hope that he won't wait until he is thrown out of here. No, let him leave.
[laughter, applause] At the end, this slob says: "All the demonstration is
much more than just a protest about the capture of the fishermen. It is the
culmination of an anti-U.S. campaign, carefully set up by Prime Minister
Fidel Castro last month." He says we set up the campaign, invented the
invasion by the mercenaries. Only we invented all the planes which Nixon is
organizing, with all the worms or [words indistinct] shamefacedly, we which
invented it. In other words, we have invented a whole campaign in the face
of all that.

A great Havana festival. May he not encounter these [words indistinct]. The
truth is they could deal him a couple of blows on the head. [laughter]. And
I am not instigating.

We do not behave that way. What this character needs is about 50 blows on
the head. The fact, is, though, that we don't use those methods. The just
might go around acting like victims of some sort, just like victims. What
must be done is to rip the masks off them.

Yes, a great feast for the citizens of Havana who have not had a festival
for the last 6 months, since Fidel Castro began his campaign to reach a
10-million ton sugar production. This is faked; this is a trick; this was
invented to dissipate the tension over the harvest; to protest against
nonexistent imperialist aggressions, and so on. The truth is that we should
be on the alert against these scoundrels, and every time they walk abut the
best thing [for him] to do is to grab a plane forthwith.

He had better leave before we formally throw him out of this country. Let
him take his plane without anyone recognizing him. It is better not to even
mention his name, so that someone will not let loose with a blow and then
he will say I had planned it. [laughter]

So the whole thing is clear. The dispatch from Washington of 16 May sets in
motion the directive. On 17 May, this bum (Tipejo) picks it up. And they
begin to associate the people's protest with the harvest. That was the
reason that yesterday, a day of joy for the people, a day of victory, it
was bitter to have to mention this problem, so much more bitter to have to
mention it yesterday. But the result of these two points is that it was
absolutely necessary to say check this problem, this insult, this infamy.

Today there is a cable dispatch which confirms this even more--the thesis.
The Swiss Government-an AP dispatch--that other CIA over there--the Swiss
Government has formally protected to the Cuban Government over the
demonstration against the U.S. Embassy in Havana. And the Foreign Minister
Pierre Graber sarcastically suggested that Fidel Castro was trying to draw
attention away from the insufficient harvest.

Another one! That is the limit! Some frivolous bourgeois in Switzerland
adheres to the thesis formulated by Washington experts, retransmitted by
CIA agents! and citing sarcastically--the thesis that [words indistinct].

This individual, this bourgeois diplomat, has not even learned about the
fishermen [words indistinct]. Of course, the Swiss take charge of the
united States' interests in Cuba, and the Swiss officials were the victims
when the demonstrators surrounded that embassy.

In the diplomatic note it is stated that the demonstrations were a clearcut
violation of international law--again the theory of international law. It
would be worthwhile if this individual--to learn about juridical
revolutionary questions--would read some of the arguments set forth
yesterday and what we understand as international law, and who ware the
ones who violate international law here.

It would be worthwhile for this individual to read up on that. He also
complains that the ambassador, and his personnel all had left Paris. He
naturally explained, that he understood the problems of going to Paris--it
would be impossible to return because of a strike.

(?There is none), we have no report about a strike in France. He is in
Paris because we told our ambassador to get out of Switzerland.
Furthermore, we told him to come to Cuba.

It is not so, this is very clear, and so Mr (Luisini) should know this,
because we think we have a certain right, because we are facing a problem,
and I said we were ready to go to the last ditch.

And when one is determined to go to the last ditch he must take the
pertinent measures. We do not look down on relations with Switzerland, but
they do not frighten us either--any action they might want to take in
respect to us--no one is going to frighten us or anything like that. And I
believe that with those declarations, the Mr Foreign Minister of
Switzerland is leaving so-called Swiss neutrality in a bad state, the
so-called Swiss neutrality because this means siding with the bandits, with

He began parroting the CIA gossip. And we have very little respect for a
foreign minister who simply makes himself an absurd echo of the arguments
of the State Department and the CIA. For today, you, too, see through him,
that individual, you see that this is a fabrication. And of course a
sovereign state should not protest. The revolution should not fight to
rescue the lives of 11 sons, workers of our country. It should not fight to
establish the precedent that here this country does not renounce taking all
the measures that may be necessary against the criminals who attack us.

That is what I said [words indistinct] yesterday and what is at the bottom
of it. This individual is ridiculous, he is like a protagonist of a skit
like the one this afternoon. In one of our idle moments we saw him,
surrounded by a lot of figures and papers. We had a chance to see behind
the front, behind the front. And indeed, he turns out (?to be) quite
innocent looking. But of course, there it could be seen that any similarity
is pure fiction, no? How do they say that, "pure coincidence."

I'm sure that our (?television) comrades do not want to hurt or wound the
diplomatic representative, or whatever you want to call him. [words
indistinct] in Cuba or of Switzerland. Actually, we hope that he takes this
with good humor. And if there is no Swiss good humor, then at least with
Cuban good humor. There is no shortage of that here. Wee have 10 million
tons of good humor to offer [laughter] so that he may take things calmly
[Castro laughs slightly] [applause] but I want to reiterate that we did
not, that at no time did we have the slightest intention of attacking or
affecting the integrity of the persons of the Swiss officials. What I said
yesterday conform. I think that this Mr Minister can learn about the
problem, how the problem arose, the terms under which it arose.

As for us, we have always, and we will always grant immunity to all
diplomatic representatives even though there are no agreements on
diplomatic immunity. But, of course, the problem was there, the people were
there at the protest at the building which legally is ours and which, as we
said yesterday, the officials refused to turn over. We have tolerated that.
The situation remains as it was yesterday, in the same status quo.

But in any event, we instructed him to come to Cuba, the Cuban diplomatic
representative in Switzerland. It was not a problem with Switzerland. There
is nothing against Switzerland, and we repeat this, nor against the Swiss
Government. But unfortunately, it is representing the role here, and we do
not know how they are going to act. And when one sees a minister of the
Swiss Government make such declarations and fall into this shady intrigue,
then there are more than enough reasons for our distrust to increase in
respect to the degree of collusion which such officials may have with
imperialism. The facts have proved this.

And we, when we consider it opportune, we will tell him to return. We do
not pretend to deny that he was there as a hostage or not. Any Cuban can go
anywhere. He has no fear or anything with or without immunity. But it was
simply necessary to progressively take the pertinent measures to bring the
problem to its final consequences if need be.

And no one could have rejoiced more than our people and all of us when we
saw that he was surrendering. In addition, we knew that it would last a few
hours, that they could not resist the force of the masses and that the
imperialists themselves would realize how far they had put their foot into
it, that they would realize how far they had put their foot into it and
were going to give instructions to the mercenaries to release the
fishermen. But as this is a presumption, and as in this problem the lives
of 11 men were at stake, we could not count on presumptions. It was the
action of the people which could lead to this. Naturally, the action of the
people would of supported and backed by all means by the revolution, by the
party, and by the revolutionary state, which is the same thing, only that
the revolution takes the [Unreadable text] of the people.

And on a battleship it takes the form of a sailor, and on a plane the form
of a pilot, and elsewhere in the form of a battalion of the territorial
division, as in Baracoa, and elsewhere as armored tank units,and in other
places as canecutters. The revolution in all its multiple manifestations,
in its multiple manifestations, is only one thing. So that it was our
country, the people, and the revolution, a unanimous feeling about
everything, as if here it would be possible to fool around with the people,
pulling their leg, playing tricks on them. This was why, yesterday, at a
simple glance, who was to know that this great phenomenon was going to
occur, that we would be coping with a problem of this kind in our world.

At the moment we have reached the conclusion, but in the Baracoa case the
situation was different. When the Baracoa (?incident) occurred we were
still struggling for the 10 million. We were still struggling for the 10
million because there was still a certain amount of planted cane which was
still growing. All of the cane planted in June, July, or August in Oriente
was doubtlessly affected by the drought. There was still a series of
factors. There had to be an almost cane-by-cane count to see what the
situation was. This brought with it the necessity of bringing up this same
problem yesterday. But this would not have been so complete without this
explanation in which I have tried to bring together all of the elements of
judgment available plus those which you already were aware of through our
radio and our newspapers.

As we said, we are going to keep publishing all the data day by day. We are
going to wage the battle with the spirit which [words indistinct] it will
be all the more praiseworthy. It is not the same thing when one, as we said
yesterday, has the goal, knowing already the situation. That then is the
people we want, not the people deceived like a little child; the people who
are told to lie, the people immorally deceived; one would have to have a
very low concept of the people to treat them like that. This is not the
people we want. We want an aware people, a people who react as the people
reacted yesterday, as they reacted to the problems of self-discipline, with
a fighting spirit. Did the people want to seize the building? No, what they
wanted was to go fight, and I heard many interviews made with them. The
people talked with the utmost frankness, about what they felt and senses.

And some wanted to toss a bomb there, in Florida, and such. Everyone spoke,
and it was seen that they were experiencing a very great emotional moment.
And the people did not lose the battle, and yet they are on the front line
up to the last moment.

And there remains for me to reiterate with the greatest sincerity that the
people have fought a great battle, that the people have mad a formidable
effort, that the result of this effort will be like a historic event, that
the people, even after we complete the harvest--there is no reason to
(?give up) that tremendous working spirit which we must preserve now and
later--when the last cane is cut, we must take into account the men who
have made a tremendous effort, separated from their families for many
months. They must be given a deserved rest.

The spirit with which we must face the setback and fight against it must
not conflict with the gaiety, the rejoicing with which we complete this
effort. We must do the same as if there had been the 10 million, we must
organize the festival in all of the country. [Words indistinct] is awaiting
these days, rest for these magnificent workers who deserve it. Keep this in
mind. It will not conflict with the intention of waging the battle with the
greatest urgency and of returning with even greater impetus when the rest
period is also over. There will be much work ahead. We must feel a greater
sense of responsibility. We must feel more committed.

More obligated, much more obligate, each action of the people must increase
in us a sense of duty and obligation, and confidence in the people, so the
plans for after the harvest must not be interrupted. The people have won a
victory. The people have not lost this battle. Objectively, although it is
our duty to point out the adversities and not the successes, definitely
[words indistinct] and I repeat that it is we who lost this battle.
Therefore, what we must do now, our basic, our primary task, is first to
take all measures and cut to the last cane, arrive at the last cane, to 9,
and if not, 8, or 9, as far as the cane goes. Try to reach to the end, to
set the highest record, and if we can raise a hundredth of a ton more, a
millionth of a percent, to get that too, because we will achieve an extra
ton as long as there is cane. We shall not have to reserve cane from the
harvest. We shall reserve the cane of the next year's harvest. This is the
foremost and basic order, the basic order.

I might say also to prepare us to strengthen the revolution in all areas,
to strengthen the party, the mass organizations, which are very important,
because in this extraordinary effort of raising percentages, which (?I
noted today) in 18 months, was at the price of launching the whole party
into the task of planting 40,000 caballeria of cane, which means that we
now have some 40,000 more caballerias of cane than we had 2 years ago and
that there are new varieties there, better varieties. Besides this, we had
to launch the party into this task, concentrating on this, so the political
tasks were neglected to a certain extent. Work with the masses was
neglected. A task of this nature introduces elements of administration
rather than leadership, and then an emergency situation leads always to the
habit of rather doing things administratively because we put the whole
party into administrative work, administrative in agriculture,
administrative in industry. We wanted to strengthen the administrative
machinery in agriculture and we have some 200 university-level technicians.

They have been working for years-economists, engineers, comrades--to
strengthen the administrative machinery on the national level and in the
provinces. The administrative machinery has to be strengthened because the
party is supported in its leadership function by the administrative
machinery insofar as administration is concerned.

In these years, in order not to waste a day, in all of these months, the
ceremonies--the celebration for 26 July, 1 January, all of these events--at
which the people gather, and express themselves, and [words indistinct]
were suspended for the sake of production, for the sake of the 10 million
ton battle.

At the same time the work of mass organization was being neglected; it was
being neglected. We must return to all of those questions raised with the
criticism of sectarianism--how the party must work, what the mass
organizations are, what importance they have--because the party is not a
mass organization, the party is a selection. The party is the vanguard, so
that if we transform it into the mass it may one day become in the
communist society, [word indistinct] party, mass, state, and other things,
but in this phase it is still a selection [words indistinct]. It must
continue to be supported by the best values of our workers, and the party
must (?serve) and develop the mass organizations as it was proposed. It
should not be a mass organization, mass organizations are needed and they
are basic, but when the party is turned into a mass organization, it is
harmed, invalidated, liquidated in quality and form. Now the party is the
advance guard.

There is also the advanced movement. It is magnificent; it is something
new, good, another formidable movement. But basically, there remain those
who are not of the party, nor of the advanced. We must work on this. There
remain the organizations which must include all the workers. At a certain
moment, if a role has been interpreted badly, reminiscent of the past, if
errors have been committed,if something has been badly interpreted, all of
this means that errors must be corrected. Guidance must be given,
definitions must be made, and the role which belongs to the worker
organizations, which include all of the masses, must be established. This
role must be strengthened in--the factory, the party, the vanguard
(?institutions), the union. If anyone thinks he does not like the word, we
have no reason for changing it. We do not change the word "army." We do not
change the word "plane" when it passes from reactionary enemy hands to
revolutionary hands. Sometimes it might be good to change the word. We do
not change the word "government." We do not change this. And in 1800 we
found the word disagreeable. So, the unions must be strengthened.

The mass organizations--The Women's Federation, the Committees for the
Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the peasant organizations, in other words,
the strength they have is demonstrated there--[words indistinct]
established, helped, strengthened the spirit of [words indistinct] and
directed the people with the mass organizations. The strengthening of the
mass organizations is one of the political tasks we must fulfill because
first of all, in almost 24 months, between 18 of planting and 6 of the
sugar harvest, or 8 of the harvest making 26 months in all, political work
has been neglected. And this is the only role of the party. The political
machinery must be strengthened.

The party does not administer, it guides, it directs, it inspires, it
supports, it guarantees the fulfillment of the plans of the leadership of
the revolution everywhere. To strengthen the administrative machinery, to
strengthen the mass organizations, and above all, to strengthen the
party--these are problems which I think it is necessary and proper to point
out on this occasion. Often in the task of administration there have not
been cadres, but here there is such a cadre of youth, yet on the other
hand, we need cadres. We need the mass organizations to be stimulated. They
are an instrument of the revolution and they are the support of the party
and the bulwark of the party and of the revolution and we must develop them
down to the Pioneers, because the Pioneers also took part in this battle,
[applause] impressed everyone by their action.

It shows, this same battle waged by the people teaches us the need to give
attention to all those factors. Moreover, if the degree of closeness
everyone has was actually seen--the various sectors of endeavor,
scientists, actors, canecutters, and all the people represented--if the
degree of closeness, such as of consciences was seen, the chasm between the
revolution and counterrevolution widens even more. The delineations are
increasingly clearer and more precise.

And the third directive is 'convert the setback into victory,' [applause]
to 'convert the setback into victory'. [applause]

That is the energetic, worthy directive of our people--to genuinely convert
the setback into victory! To make the setback give us more than what
victory would have given us-in respect to preoccupation, improvement of our
work, a sense of responsibility, duty, dedication, and more wholehearted
and more absolute dedication to the task of the revolution. And also to
perform and strive for now, over the next few months, the forthcoming year,
and henceforth, to draw much more from the setback than what we would have
drawn from the victory.

This then is what we understand by converting the setback into victory. I
am certain that we will be able to convert the setback into victory. And I
am doubly sure that we will convert the setback into victory.

Fatherland or death, we shall win.

[Among the party leaders identifiable on the television screen are
President Osvaldo Dorticos, Blas Roca, Maj Raul Castro, and Carlos Rafael