Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speech

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 1956 GMT 26 Jul 70

[Speech by Cuban Premier Fidel Castro at Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion,
marking the 17th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada barracks--live]

[Text] Comrade Todor Zhivkov, first secretary of the Bulgarian Communist
Party and Premier of the Bulgarian Peoples Republic [applause]; invited
delegations; comrade canecutters, heroes of labor who have cut 200,000
arrobas of cane [applause]; comrade canecutters who have to cut 100,000
arrobas; comrades of the brigades that have cut 1,000 arrobas [applause];
exemplary workers who were selected to participate in this ceremony
[applause]; workers, one and all:

In the first place, I would like to mention the high honor the presence of
the high-level Bulgarian delegation led by Comrade Zhivkov at this ceremony
signifies for us [applause]. I would also like to mention our great
satisfaction with the presence of the many high-level delegations who are
here from many friendly countries. [applause] I would like to make
particular mention of our satisfaction at the presence of the high-level
delegation of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [applause] led by
Comrade Katushev, secretary of the CPSU Central Committee; the delegation
of the GDR led by Comrade Werner Jarowinski candidate member of the
Political Bureau of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany; the delegation of
the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party led by Arpad Pullai, secretary of the
party [applause]; the delegation of the Lao Patriotic Front led by Phoumi
Vonvichitt; secretary general of the Central Committee of the Lao Patriotic
Front [applause]; the delegation of the Palestinian combatants [applause]
led by Abu (Iyad), member of the political bureau and of the high command
of the Al-Fattah Palestinian commandos [applause]; delegation of the
African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde led by Amilcar
Cabral [applause]; the delegation of the DPRK [applause]; the delegations
of the DRV and of the PRGSV [applause]; the delegation of the Democratic
and Peoples Republic of Algeria; of the United Arab Republic; of the Syrian
Republic; of the Republic of South Yemen; of the Republic of Sudan; of the
Republic of Guinea; of the Peoples Republic of the Congo Brazzaville
[applause]; the delegation of Brizilian combatants who represent the
revolutionary movement of their country [applause].

Also on the way here, although they were not able to be at this ceremony,
is a representation of the Tupamaro revolutionary movement of Uruguay

I would also like to mention the distinguished persons attending this
anniversary: Henry Winston, president of the U.S. Communist Party
[applause]; Rodney Arismendi, secretary of the Uruguayan Communist Party
[applause]; Architect Ernesto Guevara Lynch, father of Major Guevara
[applause]; Mrs. Selvira Leigue, mother of Inti and Coco Peredo and the
present chief of the National Liberation Army of Bolivia, Osvaldo Peredo;
Nadja and Erich Bunke, parents of Tamara Bunke--"Tania" [applause]; Isabel
Restrepo, mother of Camilo Torres Restrepo [applause]; Janine Debray and
Elizabeth Burgos, mother and wife, respectively, of Regis Debray
[applause]; the delegation of rectors and professors from the University of
Chile [applause]; the delegation of the National Committee of the
Venceremos Brigade [applause]; Dr Antonio Arguedas, former Bolivian
interior minister who provided us with Che's diary [applause].

We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the international
canecutting brigades which participated in the giant harvest with us
[applause]; the Nordic Brigade composed of young people from Sweden,
Finland, Denmark, and Norway; the "Victoria de Giron" Brigade representing
Latin American countries; the brigade of young workers and combatants of
the DRV and South Vietnam; the "Chollima Riders" Brigade from Korea; the
"Victory Forever" Brigade from Japan; the Georgi Dimitrov Brigade from
Bulgaria [applause]; the "Leninist Youth" Brigade from the USSR [applause];
the "23rd August" Brigade from Romania; the Ernest Thaelman Brigade from
the GDR [applause]; and the South Yemen Brigade [applause].

They [the U.S. Venceremos Brigade members] are not here with us--although
they participated with us in the task for many long weeks--but they sent us
a warm message from the United States which reads: "Fidel, we send
revolutionary greetings to our Cuban brothers and sisters from the bowels
of the well-known monster. In changing the upset into victory, Cuba has
once again demonstrated the strength of a humanity which is recovering from
the disease of oppression. We, who are still suffering from this disease
and have seen it spread from Harlem, August, Jackson, and Kent to the Bay
of Pigs, Indochina, and Puerto Rico, know that we have to combat this
disease together. We, who are children of the system that gives birth to
the murders of mankind, salute you, Cuba. We refer to ourselves in that way
because Cuba, Vietnam, and we will win. Signed, Venceremos Brigade."

Guests and comrade workers, today we are not going to make a speech wholly
commemorative. By this I mean that we are not going to recall the
revolution's victories and gains. Neither are we going to talk about a
heroic past because you do not pay homage to those that gave everything
they had with words, but with work and action. Neither are we going to talk
today about international matters, about which we could and would like to
talk. Today we are going to talk about our problems, [applause] and about
our difficulties, and not about our successes but our upsets. We want to
make an analysis, even though this crowded platform is not the proper place
for a cold analysis, nor for figures. I cannot attend these events with
many papers, but this time I had no other alternatives but to bring papers,
[applause] because I have many notes and figures. Let us, briefly if you
please, outline the essence or the essential part of our difficulties.

We wish to keep the masses informed, that the masses understand, and that
the masses prepare for the battle. [applause] Our problems will not be
soled by miracles performed by anyone, miracles performed by men or
individuals, not even by groups of individuals. Miracles can only be
performed by the people. As background, I would like to report some figures
such as the following. Just prior to the revolution's victory in 1958,
Cuba's population was 6,547,000. In 1970b it is estimated at approximately
8,256,000. We are a few more, and will know the exact figures after the
census that will be taken in a very few weeks. That way everybody will be
counted. We will also be able to deduct those who wish to take leave from
this society. [applause] For them, the dolce vita and the consumers'
society. We will be left with other more difficult but more honorable and
worthy things [applause], although in matters of morality, the true
difficulties of life belong to the cowards.

That is to say, our population has increased by 1,709,000 souls. Of the
1,709,000 additional inhabitants, 844,000 are children, or those who are
not of working age, while 188,000 are persons, men and women, who have
surpassed the working age.

In summary, of the 1,709,000, 1,032,000, or 60 percent, are persons who
have not reached 17 years of age or who have surpassed 55 years of age in
the case of women and 60 in the case of men and re beyond the working age.
That is, 60 percent of the increase do not participate in production. If we
deduct those who for reasons of attending school, or who are physically or
socially incapable, the net increase of the work force in these 12 years
amounts to 580,000 persons.

On the other hand, the economy's needs for the new economic and social
activities plus the replacements needed for persons that have attained
retirement age amounts to 1,200,000 persons.

By adding the new labor resources to the number of jobless existing prior
to the revolution, it has been possible to cover partially, but only
partially, this growing need for manpower. Of course, in the beginning, in
1958, we had 686,000 unemployed. A large portion of them are working today.
Others have also reached the age no longer suitable for work. There are
75,000 who cannot be listed as housewives, or as students, or as disabled
persons. They simply do not work. There are 75,000 of those.

Such are the figures indicating the growth and structure the population
during these years. According to the forecasts, what will the situation be
between 1970 and 1975? The situation will be even more difficult. It is
estimated that between 1970 and 1975 the population will increase by
670,000, of this 670,000, the increase of minors, of persons under, that
is, the increase in the number of persons under working age will amount to
280,000 more than at present. The increase in persons beyond working age
will be 108,000 more than at present. The increase in the population of
working age will be 275,000 more than at present, a figure which, allowing
for the disabled, for those who will have to study, and for other reasons,
will leave a net increase of 167,000 in the manpower resources during the
next 5 years.

Thus, our problem with regard to manpower and population will continue to
worsen during the next 5 years, and will only begin to improve by the end
of this decade-- around 1980. It is estimated that between 1975 and 1980
the population will increase by 828,000. The increase in persons under
working age will amount to 170,000 more than in 1975. The increase in the
number of persons of beyond working age will amount to 121,000 more than in
1975. The increase in the number of persons of working age will amount to
550,000. The net increase in manpower will amount to 535,000 between 1975
and 1980. Thus, the population structure--you understand that population
structure means the composition of the population by age--is what we have
indicated, and this will be the tendency during the next 5 years, and, I
repeat, it will begin to improve between 1975 and 1980.

This [detrimental] population structure, which is occurring not only in our
country, but in general in countries which have population explosions, that
is, in almost all the underdeveloped countries, means that of the total
population only 32 percent is occupied in economic activities, that is, in
providing goods and services. This is a little less than one-third of the
population. This 32 percent includes those persons who must provide
services such as investments for the future, if you will, such as health
and educational services; persons who must provide indispensable services
for the defense of the revolution and of the country. We must familiarize
ourselves with these figures in order to understand the situation and to
become aware of some of the difficulties that must be overcome.

I would like to point out the increase in some of the services resulting
from this population structure, and also from the elementary measures of
justice which the revolution had to take and which in our opinion were

First, social security: From the victory of the revolution to 1970, 379,842
persons were given pensions. Thus, during the revolutionary process, I
repeat that 370,842 persons have been extended the right to a pension. In
addition to this, the pensions have been increase by at least 70 pesos per
month for 198,260 retired persons. Many of them received less than 10 pesos
per month. The public expenditures for social security services increased
from 114.7 million in 1958 to 320 in 1970.

Public services: in 1965 8,209 persons were doing public health work. In
1969 the number of persons engaged in this field amounted to 87,646. Public
expenditures for public health, which in 1958 amounted to 22.7 million
pesos, amounted to 236.1 million pesos in 1969.

Educational expenditures, or in general educational services: In 1958 there
were 936,723 persons registered in all schools in the nation. During the
1969-1970 school term 2,289,464 were registered, and of these 1,560,193
were in elementary school. There were 23,648 workers in public education in
1958. The number of workers in public education increased to 127,526 in
1969. The number of scholarships in 1958 was 15,698, while today it is
277,505. The number of children in child care centers and semiboarding
schools are not included in this figure.

In 1958, public education expenditures amounted to 67 million pesos. In
1969 it increased to 290.6 million. Between social security recipients,
that is those receiving new retirement benefits, public health workers,
education workers, and student on scholarships, the figure in 1970 amounts
to no less than 900,000 persons. If we add to this figure the men involved
in the nation's defense, the figure will surpass 1.1 million persons. The
public expense for social security, public health, and education--three
sectors--which in 1958 was 213.8 million, amounts to no less than 850
million in 1970. If we add the nation's defense expenses to these three
sectors, the four will be close to 1.2 billion pesos every year. I wanted
to express the comparative figures in pesos. I wanted to express the
comparative figures in human beings.

The number of double rations that were distributed during the first
semester among industrial and service workers, persons on scholarships,
child care centers, semiboarding schools, those mobilized for agriculture
and the harvest, hospitalized persons, and Armed Forces and Interior
Ministry combatants amounted to approximately 2.25 million a day.

Moreover, it should be said that those services should not stop increasing.
It should be said that the number of working women increased from 194,000
in 1958 to approximately 600,000 in 1970, which, naturally, not only
generates the need for child care centers, but also for semiboarding
schools. At the same time, notwithstanding the number of education workers
pointed out here and expenses in education services, we must point out that
those services are still considered far from satisfactory in quantity and
in quality. There are many cases of students attending only one session due
to teacher and classroom shortages.

The number of elementary school teachers needed between 1970 and 1975 is
7,000 a year, 7,000 new teachers must graduate every year, part of them for
present needs, part to replace those who cannot continue teaching, and part
to take care of the increases and the demands for quantity and quality.
Thus, we need 35,000 new teachers in the next 5 years. We will need 4,000
new professors in high schools every year until 1975 for the same reasons.
We will need 1,800 new professors in higher secondary education every year.
In other words, we will need graduates, but this does not mean what we will
have graduates because unfortunately, we cannot do so yet. We need an
annual graduation figure of 12,800 primary school teachers, junior high
school and higher secondary school teachers, a total of 64,000 in 5 years.
I believe that anyone can understand what the success or failure to resole
this problem means to this country. I believe that anyone an understand
what a country can or cannot achieve if it resolves or fails to resolve the
educational problem, a problem which must be resolved under the conditions
which I stated to you earlier.

All this must be obtained from a population whose age structure is
worsening; from a population in which 32 percent--a percentage which will
not increase in the coming years--must meet these needs.

As a comparison, suffice it to say that the industrialized countries of
Europe, including the socialist countries, which have an incomparably
higher labor productivity and whose productive forces are more highly
developed, employ or employed in the decade between 1960 and 1970 an
approximate average of 45 percent of their total population. We employ and
will have to employ 32 percent of this population, not just for
development, not just for the needs that are not met, and not just for our
growing needs.

To the degree that we are able to employ more women, fresh needs will
emerge from schools, clubs, from semiboarding schools, and from all kinds
of sources.

As part of the urban reform law, 268,089 families have received titles to
and free use of houses and apartments. The value of this housing is
estimated at 3.5 billion pesos. Similarly, more than 100,000 peasant
families who paid rent prior to the revolution, received the free use of
the land on which they lived. The increase in the number of retirements,
educational services, doctors, and the indispensable services for the
defense of the country, together with the savings in the payment of rent
for housing and land, have raised the real value of the money and savings
accounts held by the population to approximately 3 billion pesos.

A price policy to compensate for this imbalance--and this will help us as
well as those abroad interested in such questions to understand the
problems of the ration book. A price policy to compensate for this
imbalance would have meant a cruel sacrifice for those with lower incomes.
Naturally, a price policy to balance the total quantity of goods and
services which the population does not receive free of cost, because what
is free of charge is not counted in this compensation, that is, a price
policy to compensate for the imbalances between goods and services and
money would have constituted a cruel sacrifice for those with lower

This policy could be used for luxury or nonessential products, but never
for articles of prime necessity. This is our opinion, and we hope it is
also the opinion of the people. [applause] A devaluation or change of
currency such as occurred during the early years is proper when applied to
the bourgeois, but it would be repulsive if applied to the savings of the
workers. [applause] This is our opinion and we hope that it is also the
people's opinion. [applause]

These are part of the complex problems facing our economy that must be
solved. Now, as these things are translated, such as population structure,
increase in essential and indispensable services, I do not want anyone to
doubt the necessity of giving old age pensions to the men and women who
have been exploited their entire lives. What sort of people would have
failed to correct such an injustice, what sort of people would have
remained callous toward the canecutter who had worked for 30 years and
received a pension of 7 pesos per month.

I do not believe there exists a single Cuban who has the slightest doubt
that the effort that has been made to insure the people's health-a tragedy
experienced by millions of persons in this country, families who saw
thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of their sons die
and who could be calculated mathematically, I do not believe there is
anyone, much less anyone who has had an opportunity to see the interior of
the country, who has the slightest doubt of the absolute necessity for the
medical services instituted by the revolution at the cost of any sacrifice,
and if there are some who think about risk and if there are some who speak
about this, it is precisely to ask for a polyclinic with so many beds, or
for a doctor in the factory or in the village, or for at least someone on
watch during the night. I must be said that there are still thousands of
our workers who work in the merchant marine and who cross the oceans of the
world, or the thousands upon thousands who fish in our fishing fleet, but
only in a very few of those ships have we been able to provide a doctor who
could save a life in case of an accident or urgent illness. If there is
something we an say, it is that there are not enough.

WE do not believe that there is a single Cuban who doubts the need to pull
this nation out of illiteracy and semi-illiteracy, because if 30 percent of
the population was illiterate, 95 percent was semi-illiterate. We are
paying for the illiteracy and semi-illiteracy and will continue to pay for
it for many years to come. We recognize it and continually have the
opportunity to observe it, such as in factory management positions and
among those heading many activities we find comrades who act in good faith
in many instances but whose scholastic level is not above the 6th grade.

There are citizens who talk to us about education--we have not yet met
anyone who would say that we should do less in education, give fewer
scholarships, create fewer teaching posts, build fewer schools--because we
find throughout the country thousands of people saying: "That school is
small. There is not enough room. A bigger one should be built. There is
need for double sessions.

A workers' cafeteria is needed." Thousands and thousands say that they need
more and better teachers, more books, more papers, and more school
material. There are towns which want high schools and preuniversity
schools, demands for thousands and thousands of scholarships because there
are 60,000 students graduating from the 6th grade every year. In the not
too distant future, if we win the education battle there will be no less
than 150,000 graduates.

I ask, is the future of this country's children to merely attain 6th grade
education? I ask, is the future of this nation--in the midst of a world
which revolutionizes technologically at an unbelievable rate--any sort of
future with an an average education of the 6th grade? Because today, just a
simple 6th grade education is practically equivalent to illiteracy.
Notwithstanding these expenses and these efforts, we find an enormous
demand today for more and more expenses and more effort. I do not believe
there is a single Cuban, a single revolutionary who believes that this
nation should have remained unarmed and done nothing in the face of the
powerful imperialistic enemy miles away from our shores, in the face of an
enemy who did not hesitate to use all kinds of means [applause], all its
weapons, to destroy the revolution. I do not believe there is a single
Cuban who doubted that in the face of that enemy's actions, in the face of
each threat, in the face of each danger, we, our people, should have
remained unarmed, defenseless.

On the contrary, the greatest majority of the people learned to use the
weapons knowing that the number of permanent cardres and men were
insufficient at the time the country had to be defended from that enemy.
And also in that indispensable task of the revolution it has been necessary
to use hundreds of thousands of men. It can be said hundreds, even if it
does not reach 300,000, let us say, dozens of thousands of cadres, who as
our students, participate in productive tasks in critical instances, that
is, in moments at the peak of work force needs in our fields such as in the
harvests. But it is also true that in the degree that our technological and
medium level students have spent months and months cutting cane, in that
same degree it will take us more and more years in acquiring the
technicians that we so urgently need. In the same degree that our
combatants have participated in the harvest for months and months, we have
had to sacrifice their combat readiness in case of war. Unfortunately, due
to the level of our productive forces and the level of our productivity, we
will have to continue doing it.

These are truths that were forced upon us by reason of the revolution. We
are not listing them as excuses, or as subterfuges, or as an explanation,
or as the only explanation of our problems. We simply offer them as a basis
for evaluating the entire situation. To all of this we have to add one
more--something which should not be treated lightly--our own inefficiency,
the inefficiency our inefficiency in the general work of the revolution.
How do we confront this difficulty within the needs for development if we
want to build a factory like the one in Cienfuegos, which is capable of
producing almost a half million tons of nitrogenous fertilizers per year,
fertilizers which we are importing because the one we produce here is only
mixed here. Mixers; we import the ingredients and mix them. We have to
invest more than 40 million dollars, and pay them.

The same thing happens with every one of the industries, every item of
equipment, every one of the machines imported by this country. The tension
stems from the development needs, along with the need to provide those
essential resources, with our population structure, along with our
unquestionable inefficiency.

We have just fought a heroic battle. It an be truly called a heroic battle.
The heroes are represented here. The people were the heroes of this
battle--the battle for the 10 million tons in the planting and the harvest.
[applause] We actually cut almost enough cane for 10 million tons of sugar,
and we could have produced 10 million tons of sugar with a competent
industry. The people were heroes not only because of this task, but they
were truly heroes when they decided to cut until the last cane stalk
knowing that we could not reach the 10 million tons. [applause] And the
people worked in this manner. Only a small amount of cane was left to be
cut in the Oriente Province and we decided that after 23 July it was not
necessary to continue the harvest.

Naturally, our sugar production increased considerably. It was more than 4
million tons over the last year's production, an increase which is a
formidable record to beat. That does not mean that some day we will not
beat this sugar record, particularly when we talk about population
structure and labor force needs, which not only have shown increases, but
also have improved in efficiency. In the past, hundreds of thousands of
Cubans in our fields had to work 16 to 17 hours daily cutting cane by hand,
lifting it by hand, carrying it in ox carts which they had to get ready
very early in the morning. Only by working 16 or 17 hours a day were they
able to do their work. Today, except when they have a goal to reach, there
are no Cubans in our fields. As is the case with these comrades, heroes of
labor, their word of honor is the reason a number of workers have made
extraordinary efforts, not past reasons such as hunger and death, but
honor. [applause] The unquestionable fact is that the revolution is not nor
can it be the arbitrary measurer of work. The revolution could not tell the
Cubans to continue working 16 or 17 hours a day while waiting for the
country to develop. From the political viewpoint, if that would have been
tried it would have been very convenient to send those who attempted to do
it that way to Mazorra. [insane asylum of pre- Castro days]

Let us not forget that in the beginning we were completely a rebel country,
emotionally revolutionary, but confused with political and social problems.
Every means of imperialist propaganda, newspapers, magazines, movies, and
books, indoctrinated us. Let us not forget that. Let us talk about it, not
because we are shamed, but because we are proud. As proof of what the
people can do and as proof of the possibilities of the revolution, we must
say that most of our people were not one bit anti-imperialist at the
beginning of 1959. There was no class conscience, class instinct--both are
not the same. We must recall that the first years were the years of great
political battles, of great ideological battles between the capitalist way
and the socialist way, between the bourgeoisie way and the proletariat way.
And the task of the revolutionary vanguard was to first conquer the
conscience of the masses. [applause]

No one spoke of production in those days. Only capitalists were concerned
with production. No one spoke about figures, statistics, infrastructures.
Those were needs arising from unemployment, buses, injustices of all kinds.
These needs were fought in the field of facts and in the field of ideology
against the enemies of the revolution.

So, not only a quantitative change has taken place on our needs, but also a
qualitative one. We must continue with our tasks. We must continue with
tasks such as the harvest. We still must do this manually. The oldtimers
who cut sugarcane by hand have been long retired. Many of the other Cubans
who had to work 15 or 16 hours changed jobs and no one was going to stop
them from doing it. No revolution can tell any man that he is condemned for
life to that kind of work without hope of learning to drive a machine,
without hope of working at another job.

These tasks today are not carried out by those who had to do them in the
past to keep from starving to death. Much of the tasks today are done by
industry workers, students, and soldiers. We used to say that under these
new conditions, tensions become evident. We fought this heroic battle under
these conditions, but we were not able to fight the other battle. When we
used to talk about the other battle, before the 10 million ton harvest, and
while the cane for the 10 million tons was being planted the words other
battle were repeated many times. It meant to make the essential effort
which, as we said on one occasion, was not for fun.

It was because of the urgent needs of our economy, for our development,
against our poverty, to defeat it, to overcome it. Let us not forget that
in spite of everything-- and during these years we have had huge imbalances
in our foreign trade, primarily with the Soviet Union--let us not forget
that we are forced to import almost 5 million, or a little better than 5
million tons of fuel, because it is a product that must be imported and
because the prospecting, discovery, and putting into production of oil
wells requires in-depth studies which are not carried out in a day. Let us
not forget that we are a country with no coal, with practically no
hydraulic energy. Our rivers are small, and owing to our climate and
situation, can be better used in irrigation. So we import all the materials
which give us the lights illuminating us, the energy of every axle which
moves, of every machine, motors of all kinds in all types of
activities--this energy which replaces manpower, which moves a distribution
center, or which moves a large number of machines, or which satisfies
essential needs. We still have not found a single citizen who has asked us,
why so much light? Why not less light? but rather citizens who say that
there is no electricity, that they want more electricity, that we need
electrical plants, we need this and we need that, we need machines, we need
transport, we do not have this or that, and we import a little more than 5
million tons per year [referring to fuel imports], and the wheat we consume
and the raw materials we use in several industries, and the machines we

We have been investing a little bit more than we produce. I say again that
we were unable to fight what we called the other battle. Sure enough, the
heroic effort to increase production, to increase our purchasing power,
gave rise to an unfavorable balance in the economy and in a reduction of
production in other areas--To sum it up, in an increase of our
difficulties. Of course, the enemy used the argument that the
10-million-ton-harvest would bring about some of these problems. Our duty
was to do our best to prevent them, and, frankly, we have not been able to.
Our enemies are saying that we have difficulties, and in this case they are
right. They say that we have problems and, frankly, our enemies are right.
They say that there is discontent and, frankly, our enemies are right. They
say that there exists dissent and, frankly, our enemies are right. As you
can see, we are not afraid to admit when our enemies our right.

But I am going to give you more figures. [applause] What I am making here
is not a speech. No sir, it is not a speech. This is a highly secret report
on the economy and what I am doing here is not making a speech but giving
secrets of the economy. [applause] There are things which are written and
said in secret so that the enemy cannot find them out. Here they are. We
are not making this information known for the enemy, no, we could care less
about the enemy. [applause] If some of the things we say are exploited by
the enemy and cause us to be ashamed, then, so be it. [applause] Let us not
pity ourselves if we can turn shame into strength, [applause] if we can
turn shame into a spirit of work, if we can turn shame into dignity, if we
can turn shame into courage. [Applause]

So here are the secrets for the people. If we analyze the problems by
sectors, in the agricultural and livestock sector, we explained sugarcane,
the sugar produced, and the records obtained. We explained the rice
plantings, that there has been increases in planting, production, but we
are far from being satisfied with the quantity as well as with the quality
in the development of the rice plans.

In pastures, up until 15 June, the planting of pastures had reached 2,753
caballerias, which is the same amount planted during the entire 1959 year.
The plowed areas have reached a total of 5,290 caballerias, allowing us to
say that plantings for the year will exceed 10,000 caballerias, exceeding
pasturage in past years.

Beef: Cattle deliveries to the meat company are similar to those in 1969.
The average weights have stayed low. Beef delivery: in 1968 thousands of
heads, 485,000 that is, in 1968 there were 485,000 heads; in 1969, 466,000;
in 1970, also 466,000 in thousands of tons; in 1968 154,000; in 1969,
143,000; and this year it is estimated to be 145,000.

Average weight in kilograms: in 1968, 317 kilograms for each steer; in
1969, 307 kilograms; in 1970, 310 kilograms. The lack of available white
cattle (ganados nevados) and problems in internal transportation have
caused distribution delays in the provinces of Oriente, Matanzas, and
Havana, and this is not all. The effort exerted in the planting of pasture
land, which it says here has been growing, is not sufficient. A tremendous
effort must be made in cattle gestation; a tremendous effort must be made
to construct feeding sheds. Without this effort, the result could be a
reduction in numbers. With a growing population, it is absolutely necessary
to insure that all cows, or at least the largest number of cows, ear
calves, that as many calves as possible reach maturity, and that each of
them reach the greatest weight in the shortest time; if this is not done,
the consequence could be that the number of cattle, which grew because the
females were not sacrificed, might have to be reduced simply not to reduce
the consumption [words indistinct]. This, of course, must be avoided at all
costs. Everything necessary must be done to avoid this.

Milk: The fresh milk supply from January to May was 71.3 million liters,
which is a decrease of 25 percent from the same period in 1969, which was
95.1 million liters. The drop in supply is just as much in the state area
as in the private sector, but in the latter it is relatively greater. This
loss in supply has its origin in construction limitations and the failure
to restore lost capabilities, that is, the old dairies of Guano. The
potential of milk is not being used to its fullest because of a lack of
installation capabilities.

Therefore, the milk problem is no longer a problem involving the number of
cows and heifers with milk production potential, but of the capabilities
necessary for their exploitation. This reduction in supply implies a
notable increase in the importation of powdered milk from the area of
easily convertible money to meet the demands of consumption within
established limitations. In 1970, these imports amount to 56,000 tons
valued at almost 12 million dollars. Similar imports are expected in 1971.
For the same reason, saltless butter is expected to be imported.

Fishing: Although only 78 percent of the fishing plan was attained during
the quarter, this means approximately 8,000 tons more than during the same
period in 1969.

Cement: The availability until June is slightly more than in 1969 and 23
percent less than in 1968 because of difficulties in the transportation of
sand and the extraction of the finished product. [as heard]

Steel ingots: Deliveries as of June have been 38 percent less than in 1969
as a result of transportation problems. On 30 June, 25,000 tons were still
in the Antillana yards. Almost 60 percent of the production of the first
quarter is still there, in the factory yard.

Fertilizer: We are speaking of the fertilizer that is prepared here. The
production plan shows a backlog up to June of 32 percent. In other words,
130,000 tons, caused mainly by the limitations in transporting the finished

Farm machinery: Only 8 percent of the national equipment had been delivered
to the production plan farms as of May has been accomplished by only 8

Nickel: The exportation of this product represents, according to the plan,
217.8 million pesos in 1970. As of June, the plants at Moja and Nicaro have
achieved their first quarter plan by 96 percent. In other words, in the
production of nickel, generally there have been no problems.

Fuel and lubricants: In the petroleum refining industry there have been no
drawbacks. This industry has been working according to plan.

Electrical energy: The generation of electricity as of May has increased by
more than 11 percent, approximately, compared to the previous year. At the
same time, there is a large increase in demand--approximately 17 percent.
In other words, electrical energy production has increased by 11 percent,
but the demand has grown by 17 percent. The existing deficit, which means
service interruptions, will tend to become worse because of the limitations
in the maintenance work force and the delays in the installation of new
generators. The lack of an adequate work force affects the construction of
lines and substations. The section up to Holguin of the 22nd kilowatt
Rente-Nuevitas line apparently will not be finished before the end of the
year, as was originally planned, that is, it is possible that it will take
several more months.

Rayon: Because of the critical situation faced with the work force, it has
been necessary to reduce the production plans, thereby basically affecting
the tire line. The rehabilitation of the factory will be undertaken soon,
with plans to finish the job this very year. This factor, so important for
the economy, basic to the production of tires, which are in turn important
for something as critical as transportation, presents a special type of
problem, which is the contamination of the atmosphere with
(sulfo-carbonismo), this contamination is derived from the chemical
substances used in the plant.

And what used to happen in the past? In the past it was three times more
than today. Nowadays we have been able to reduce this contamination (?to a
trickle). Nevertheless, the owners and the managers of the plant used to
keep secret the noxious consequences for the health from this contamination
with (sulfo-carbonismo). But there was demand for work, and that was
considered a good job, well paying. Today it is no longer a secret because
the revolutionary management cannot fool the workers. We worked at reducing
this; we reduced it by a third, but it is not easy to keep the work force
even under rational circumstances. There is a way: not staying at the
factory beyond a determined length of time; changing from shop to shop, and
other measures. This is the industry of the country where the best
nutritional resources are sent; the reason they have more food assigned
there is this. And the problem there has not been one of harvest, but
because of this specific problem. And we are making investments of more
than 1 million dollars in imports to completely annul this phenomenon of
contamination by (sulfo-carbonismo), but this fact has been putting a dent
in an important industry.

Paper and cardboard: Production has been affected by 5,900 tons in relation
to the plan because of limitations in supplying bagasse and in the tardy
imports of sulphate, (bialumina), and caustic sulpher. Whether or not this
year's plan is fulfilled depends on the transportation of 30,000 tons of
bagasse from Camaguey to the (Damuji) paper plant and on the arrival if
imported caustic sulphur. The difficulties in transporting the papermills'
products to the cardboard factories cause delays in the cardboard box plan,
which in turn affects the production of condensed milk, drinks, paints,
pharmaceutical products, and so forth.

Bottles: production has been affected by the work force problems and
difficulties in transporting raw material to the different units and taking
away the finish product. In order to cover the deficit in the delivery of
containers for medicines, 2 million dollars worth of foreign convertible
money has been invested. In 1971, a higher foreign investment is seen.

Tires and batteries: Tire production will not be fulfilled by 216 thousand
units, that is, 50 percent of the plan, of which 150,000 are passenger
tires. Also, deliveries to fleet operators will diminish for light
transportation. This stems from the short supply of rayon cord caused by
the problems in the rayon plants in Matanzas. Besides the foregoing, the
irregularities in the arrival of imported raw material causes changes in
the formula, thereby causing a decrease in the quality o the finished
product [words indistinct] All the tires used, or even less, used to be
made in the country; important importations of tires are made, but these
things affecting tire production are felt. The production of batteries has
also been affected with 33 percent of the accumulated plan unfulfilled, or
approximately 16,000 units, owing to delays in the arrival of lead oxide
and battery boxes. Another thing causing delays has been the high
percentage of boxes lost through excessive use and the bad state of the
equipment, which requires maintenance.

Leather footwear: This year's plan was adjusted from 15.6 to 13.9 million
pairs. As of May, approximately 1 million pairs have ceased being made
because of the delay in putting a unit in Manzanillo into operation,
absenteeism, and the mobilization for farming. This delay affects some
400,000 pair of footwear for work. There is also a deterioration in the
quality of footwear, basically in the realm of footwear for work, owing to
the alteration of the technological processes and the time required for the
curing of hides.

In addition to this, we could point out that the factory for plastic shoes
is almost at full capacity, and that it will be able to produce no less
than 10 million pairs during the next 12 months, which will considerably
help to satisfy the women's and children's shoe needs. Not the man's
working shoe, or the closed shoe, for this type of material is still
waterproof. [as heard] There is a material still being analyzed called
(poluretano) with which closed shoes can be made. This technology is being
studied. This machinery was purchased and installed very quickly. They are
operated by some 300 persons, mostly women, and these 300 workers will
produce some 12 million pairs a year. In Santiago, already 500 are being
produced in a similar factory. In other words, while 600 workers, mostly
women, with four shifts--for it must be said that this factory is already
by way of rehearsal and due to its high productivity with a system in which
the women who work during the early morning hours, work only 5 hours, 7 at
most, 5 at least, two shifts, 6 hours, that is to say, two shifts of 6
hours, one of 7 hours, and another of 5 hours, some 600 workers, almost all
of them women, with those machines and that chemical product will produce
24 million pairs a year.

Currently in footwear--both rubber and other types of shoes--19,000 workers
are producing some 16 million or 18 million pairs. Perhaps this is
indicative of the path, the only path, to the solution of the problems
which we had been facing formerly.

Textiles and clothing: There is a backlog of 16.3 million square meters in
the production of textiles as of June, due largely to the lack of a
workforce, which was made more acute by the agricultural mobilization. This
implies that clothing for personal and domestic use has been affected,
thereby causing a delay in the manufacture of textiles and a reduction in
the direct distribution to the people. The delay in clothing is mostly in
school uniforms, men's underwear, sheets, pillowcases, and dress clothes,
and so forth.

Toothpaste: Production underfulfilled by 11 percent basically due to the
lack of aluminum tubes because of the mobilization of workers for

Soap and detergents: The production plan reveals a backlog on the order of
32 percent as a result of the difficulties in the external transportation
of raw material such as (dovesil eenseno), and delays in delivering caustic
(?sulphur). Also in soap, the plan has gone unfulfilled as of June due to
delays in the shipping of raw materials and the lack of external
transportation for purchases made in the capitalist area.

Bread and crackers: Bread production in Havana shows a lack of fulfillment
during the first half year of 6 percent in relation to the plan, and 2
percent less than the same period in 1969, due to absenteeism, breakdowns
in the bakeries, and lack of electricity. Crackers for retail consumption
have been basically affected by the agriculture mobilization.

Consumption: There have been the following increases in distribution: Rice:
The quota for the population was increased to 6 pounds per person
nationally in April, and to organizations in January. Fresh fish: the quota
for the people was increased in April. Eggs: Increase in indirect
consumption. However, the restriction and decrease in consumption of other
goods is notable--tropical vegetables, other vegetables and fruits, both
fresh and preserved--due to a decrease in agricultural stock.

Beef and fowl: Certain priority activities restricted, plus certain delays
in the distribution to the people due to transportation. Fats and beans:
Delays in deliveries due to delays in imports, difficulties at ports, and
because of internal transportation. Refreshments: Decrease in choices due
to the lack of bottles. Beers and alcoholic beverages: Decrease in
consumption due to nonreturn of containers, due to limitations in the
consumptive network, and the accumulation of existing stock for the July
festivities. Tobacco and cigars: Increase in consumption and insufficiency
in agricultural availability forced rationing of this product. Furthermore,
there have been difficulties in the distribution of industrial items such
as detergents, toothpaste, textiles and clothing of all kinds--outer wear
and inner clothing.

Foreign trade: There have been nonfulfillments in the execution of imports
and exports caused by the following: Delays in contracting, difficulties in
the availability of ships for transporting our cargo both in importing and
exporting, loading and unloading difficulties, and a critical situation in
the ports. The foregoing has caused the following: Problems in transporting
equipment from Europe, delays in importing raw material and food, delays of
ships at ports. market difficulties have continued in the convertible area
concerning the acquisition of wood pulp, thereby affecting the production
of containers. In other words, difficulties, despite having money, in
trying to buy this wood pulp production. For 1971 and 1972 sales have been
authorized without having received the necessary offers.

Situation in the ports and internal transportation: The volume of dry cargo
moved at our ports during January-April was 20 percent greater than the
same period in 1969. Despite the foregoing, the number of ships in port is
increasing, something which will become more pronounced during the present
month of July, during which 450,000 tons of cargo are expected, a figure
much greater than the preceding months. Starting in March, the goods in
port increased from 100,000 to 140,000 tons on an average. In the solution
of the operational problems, the process of mechanization currently under
way should have a favorable effect. Special attention should be paid to the
rehabilitation, construction, and acquisition of derrick and tow barges in
order to secure the shipments which are being contemplated in plans for
exporting sugar and molasseses in 1971. To this must be added
rehabilitation, dredging, and construction of some very important port

Internal transportation: Difficulties have appeared both in rail and in
auto transportation caused in part by the preferential attention given to
the transportation of cane and its products, and to the lack of spare
parts, which reduced the availability of equipment. This reduced
availability has caused operational problems and strongly affected economic
activities in the country during the period concerned. The shipping of
cargo by public rail from January to April showed an increase of 26 percent
in relation to the same period the preceding year. During this period, 60
locomotives were used in cane transportation, that is, 27 percent of all
railroad facilities.

As for automotive transportation, the main problem stems from a lack of
spare parts and the high level of absenteeism, which is one of the highest
in the last few years.

The outstanding problems stemming from internal transportation were the
following: Delays in repairing trains carrying cattle from Camaguey and Las
villas, which caused the cattle to loose weight;

Nonfulfillment of the distribution of fat;

Nonfulfillment of the delivery of milk jars to the provinces--almost all
the beer, milk, and other jars not imported are produced here, and this
means that all of them must be transported to the east, in other words,
each bottle for beer filled in Oriente Province is made in the west, in

Accumulation of industrial products in the MINCIN [Ministry of Domestic
Trade] in Havana;

Nonfulfillment of the transportation of raw material for soap and
detergents, as well as the finished products;

Insufficient transportation of sand for the production of cement and

Deficits in the transportation of steel bars;

Insufficient transportation for manure, thereby affecting animal feeding in

Insufficient transportation of bagasse for paper mills in Las Villas;

Paralysis of the lace factory in Santiago due to a deficit in the
transportation of raw materials;

Nonfulfillment of the national production plan for fertilizers due to low
transportation of the finished product.

In the transportation of passengers, compared to 1969, there was a decrease
of 36 percent from January to April, caused by the diversion of locomotives
for the harvest and due to the removal of locomotor coaches for lack of
spare parts.

Here we have pointed out the basic difficulties in agricultural and
industrial production, and, of course, these are not all. Serious
difficulties have also been appearing and becoming worse for quite some
time in certain public services, such as laundries, drycleaning
establishments, and others. In other words, these form part, to a certain
degree, of these limitations and others not pointed out here in this
statistical enumeration.

We would say that only some of the causes appear. We must point out
inefficiency, that is, the subjective factor, as one of the causes which
have had a bearing on these problems. There are indeed objective
difficulties. Some have been pointed out; some--but we are not here to
point out the objective difficulties. Our task is to point out the problems
concretely, and the task is simply that man must supply what nature or the
realities of our sources and our means have not been able to supply. It is
man! Man is here playing a fundamental role, and it is basically this:
Man's job is to guide.

We will start by pointing out our responsibility first--and mine
especially--in all these problems. I do not pretend to indicate that I
think some responsibilities do not belong to me and the entire leadership
of the revolution. [applause] Regrettably, this self-criticism cannot be
easily accompanies by other solutions. It would be better to say to the
people: Look for another, look for others. [cheers] In truth, it would be
better for my part also, but it would be hypocritical.

I believe that we within this revolution have learned at too great an
expense, and unfortunately, our problems cannot be resolved by replacing
the revolution's leaders, which our people can do when they want to, at the
time they want to, and right now if they want to. [cheers and applause]

One of our most difficult problems is--and in this we are paying for an
inheritance, the inheritance of our own ignorance--when we talked about
illiterates, certainly we were not including ourselves among the
illiterates, not even among the semi-illiterates. To qualify us it would be
best to include us in the category of ignorants. That was almost without
exception, and the exception is not me of course, but all of us. The
problem is still worse, that is to say, there is
illiteracy--semi-illiteracy--in many men with responsibilities, and one of
the most serious problems is when one seeks the man.

A few days ago when we were gathered at the Cespedes park in Santiago de
Cuba after visiting various factories and talking to thousands of
Santiagueros, right there analyzing in detail each factor of the different
industries--such as the Titan factory, which stopped producing some 50,000
tons of cement and broke down often because the silos filled up, while in
the city of Santiago de Cuba, as in all other cities in the country, there
is a tremendous demand for cement to repair living quarters; the flour
factory, which had stopped producing 6,000 tons--a factory that had been
expanded--because flour produced was not being removed and the plant had to
be stopped. On the other hand, it could happen that people would wake up
without any bread for lack of flour. And the wheat was there to produce the
flour and the machinery and the workers were there to produce it.

So we can say that it was not the harvest, although the harvest was
influential in some problems--but not in all of them that I am citing to
you. Here we saw a great example of the best intentions in the world, an
excessive concentration of transportation [words indistinct] so that, from
an operational base, those plants had to depend on basics.

The cement plant also had problems without quarry equipment, and we spent
hours talking with equipment operators concerning a series of
specifications, experiences, and judgments to the effect that, with the
means that are entering the country this year and with existing ones on
their way to the Titan plant--all of the necessary equipment and more to
set the plant 100 percent right in order--there should be an excess in
quarry capacity, or else the savings available in the quarries and the
hundreds of millions of pesos invested in industry and labor of hundreds of
workers could be weakened.

We also saw the problems at the Atuey malt and beer factory. There
transportation was highly influential. Oriente produces malt and beer for
its consumption. The bottles, as we said, arrive from here. Delays in
transportation, delays also in returns, because when distribution was
carried out through stores and not in public centers a very slow return of
bottles occurred, and the problem worsened.

In Santiago de Cuba, about 5,000-6,000 boxes were produced monthly, instead
of some 300,000 boxes. Around 7 million bottles or half-sized bottles of
malt and beer could have been consumed by the people in these months.
Analyzing these problems, we saw also how to rapidly introduce a
technique--distribution by means of tanks. Such distribution has already
begun in some areas.

These cold tanks have coils connected to a half-horsepower compressor to
preserve the equivalent of 1,000 boxes of malt or beer. This can be
transported perfectly by a 6-ton truck in a 3,000-litter tank or maybe a
little larger. A ZIL-130 can transport the equivalent of 1,000 boxes at one
time, that is when it is not being moved in boxes. Today there are many
labor dining rooms, school centers, and also recreation centers to which
beer can be taken in refrigerated tank trucks, avoiding all bottles, all
kegs, all that stuff. Of course a certain amount must be bottled for home
consumption. The increase of production in that plant could be expanded.

I have asked comrade Risquet and the comrade minister of the food industry
to see what possibilities there are of expansion, because we have the raw
material; the barley, the yeast, even the rice--which is already used in 30
percent of the beer produced, and which produces magnificent quality in the
malt. Aside from barley, rice, and sugar, beer also needs hops. With a
relatively small investment, production of malt and beer an e increased by
50 percent in Santiago de Cuba. Production there is not being carried out
for profit. We are doing it for the people. Production is being carried out
to cover needs, so production can be increased so that more workers,
youths, students, and families can drink more malt and more beer. If we can
distribute it with a relatively small investment, why not do it?

We also invited several centers, the bus workshops in Santiago de Cuba, the
maintenance problems of sweeper trucks. There are 103 buses in Santiago,
but only 35 are being used--in a city of almost 100,000.

Several Leyland interstate buses will be put into service in Santiago de
Cuban approximately 15 August. Comrade Faure Chamon told me that after 5
August they would be there--in Santiago--and that we count on not just 40,
but 53 of those buses. This will help ease the problem, which above all
will be eased still more with better repair shops and quicker repairs to
give adequate maintenance to that transportation.

We saw certain things in many factories, such as the lack of lathes, the
lack of work tools, the lack of precision tools. It is curious, but what
our country needs most now are microinvestments--microinvestments in
lathes, for the maintenance of industrial workshops, for tools that are
needed in almost every single factory, in precision instruments.

So what did we find in the spirit of those workers of Santiago de Cuba,
knowing what we did of their numerous needs, in Oriente and in Santiago de
Cuba? A primary concern for production, above all, so that the first thing
those workers brought up at the quarries, at the maintenance shops, the
first thing they brought up were production problems. With such tremendous
enthusiasm and love for the factory and for production, only later were the
rest of the problems brought up. While we were discussing problems, seeing
the workers in tattered clothes and worn out shoes, we saw that, because of
those quality problems, because it was not so much the number of faulty
shoes but the problem of quality, of production, of new techniques that
have not been sufficiently mastered--such as those rubber shoe-soles that
break, the Oriente macheteros, as macheteros all over, expecting soles to
last for about 10 days of wear, and the soles would break and fall off
after 5 days.

When one accepts quality, obviously what is the use of making 30 million
million pairs-- one can make 30--if one does not decide that in shoes it is
quality that counts?

The worker with torn clothes, his shoes broken, asking for lathes,
machinery, tools, precision instruments, more worried about that than the
rest of his problems, including--in spite of how poor supplies
were--worried more about the factory and production than provisions. That
is really something very impressive, that truly is a lesson for us that
truly is the confirmation in life and in that reality that it is in the
proletariat--that it is in the industrial proletariat where the true
revolutionary class is, the most potentially revolutionary class.

What a practical lesson, what a practical lesson of Marxism-Leninism for us
who were initiated in the path of the revolution. Not in a factory--that we
certainly could have used--but those of us who were initiated on the path
of the revolution still, intellectually, through the study of the theory of
thought. And how good it would have been for all of us to have known much
better, of having risen from the factories. It is there where the genuine
revolutionary spirit really is that Marx and Lenin talked about. That is
the spirit of the greater majority, irregardless of the few lumpen elements
that may still exist among those who recently arrived at factories, because
these conditions are such that what is admirable is not what is lacking,
but that they still attend with the spirit and sense of duty that these
people devote to their work, and the disgust they feel for the lazy, for
the bum. Just go into a factory and ask what the workers think one should
do to bums, and they will tell you. And they may even ask to have him shot,
just shoot him and kill him. Of course, they will not ask for that although
they may feel like it, but what must be done is to load him with work.

And so thus we saw in these realities a good portion of the [word
indistinct] whom have a solution, a greater portion of which have a
solution, so that we must say that we ourselves are to blame for a greater
portion of that problem. So simply, for lack of ability we have come to
accept the idea, talking at the park with the Santiagueros after a 3-day
visit, we faced these problems and asked the masses: Do you know of anybody
efficient that we can give some of these tasks to? We asked the people,
because the tragedy, one of our country's tragedies, which should not be a
reason for acquiesence, are the cadres, the men capable of undertaking with
an adequate level of ability and intelligence the complex tasks of
production. Those tasks seem easy, but most of the time we commit the
mistake of underestimating the difficulties. Many times we commit the
mistake of underestimating the complexity of problems. We have seen that
many times able comrades, comrades whom we know well for their iron
willpower and their desire, because we have continued having these
experiences, and as we have seen, initiated what is practically an
apprenticeship that may last 1, 2, and sometimes even 3 years before
starting to be efficient.

If we could only solve the problem simply through the change of men. We
would have to replace extraordinary comrades who have worn themselves out,
have been shriveled up, as some say. There are some who have paid for
others, because problems have befallen some and it is has not been in their
hands to resolve the difficulties. We have found, for example, between the
tremendous pressure of the demands to live, or to repair living quarters in
all cities, but especially in Santiago de Cuba. Comrades are there in their
districts at the local administration or local party who do not have one
truck, one cement mixer to face those demands.

The cement plant stopped, and as the plant stopped next door in Santiago,
cement was in demand. A certain percentage of cement was set aside for use
in certain quantities, but the plant also delivered any amount of cement to
the people which other organizations could not get for various
transportation reasons, since they could easily carry it to Santiago with
the same trucks they had available to move material from the quarries.
There is a problem if cement is taken out of the silos and sacked--it
cannot be more than 3 months in sacks. Therefore, when the silos are full,
one cannot say: Let us pack the cement into cardboard sacks and keep it.
Everything pointed the same way. They depended on repairing the trucks and
they did not have any. And no man can be charged with responsibility if he
has neither vehicles nor decisions. Otherwise, we would appoint a party
man, we would give a comrade responsibility and convert his task into a
grinder of men, into a wavemaker, into a wrench, although he solves any

The house is ready to be handed over, but that is the problem, if there is
no house. And so there are a few, if a housing construction plan is not
concluded. There is the worker who rents the place or year and a half and
does not get a house, that one in front of him, but he at least has the
hope of getting it sometime.

We saw, talking to comrades at the beer and malt bottling plant in Santiago
de Cuba, that of every 10 women, nine raised the housing problem as one of
the most pressing matters. Nine more than the men. This was something like
what was happening between the choice of malt and beer between men. The
woman naturally said malt and the men naturally beer.

To sum up, in the recreation centers, such as in Santiago, due to the
harvest, the last bar was closed down and a sort of prohibition existed. As
a result of that situation, a sort of alcohol was produced, distilled
alcohol was produced, distilled alcohol mixed with other things, and they
really produced something. We truly do not believe that was necessary, and
it is a good lesson, because what was brought up here, it has already been
said, the revolutionary offensive did not accept--the problem of beer was
not considered a crime, nor the sale of any alcoholic beverage. What we
were after were those hovels with all that mystery, all dark, where people
went to drink anything. The revolution is not against that. We were
analyzing it, and we asked that comrade in charge of that area to study the
problem of recreation centers that must be opened, and when to open them.

And we also listened to the workers who were there, and we also heard all
of the opinions of whether 2 days, Saturday and Sunday, or 4 days. Some
wanted Friday and Thursday, because they said that some have days off on
Saturday and Sunday, they have it Thursday, Friday, and they have it some
other time. The women had one idea, the men had another. We once had a
survey made to this effect and we told them not to hurry, to investigate
carefully what they think and why. There I witnessed an argument, an
analysis between men and women.

One man whose opinion I asked stood up and said that in his opinion as a
worker, that although he finished his work at five in the morning, no
matter what he did sometimes he finished and had to return to work at 8
o'clock. One woman later said that if that was the way it was, all of the
men would not go to work. Another woman said it was not a work problem, but
that some of them were only going to leave half their salaries at home and
the other half would be used to drink. This problem has to be solved with
rational solutions, because the workers want it.

Especially that worker with a spirit of labor, workers who have been
capable of working to the last minute, as many have been while cutting
cane, as many of the workers have been from the capital of our country.

I want to tell you something. When the Havana macheteros were there in
Oriente, the first thing they discussed was the fact that they did not want
to leave until they finished with the cane. The second thing they brought
up had to do with the Peruvian earthquake, and they said they were willing
to go to Peru. That is the spirit, the responsibility of our workers, a
magnificent awareness. Many times men, without any degree of decision,
facing problems--some think that the problems are going to be solved with
miracles, and their own problems too.

I was saying that we have made some ministerial changes necessary and we
will have to make some more removals. However, sometimes I feel a little
sad and somewhat confused when among the masses themselves one can
have--the problem is so simple, such as the problem of removing men, from a
simple removal of men, that sometimes one talks about, that one is removed
and another replaced him. And there are any number of government organizers
and disorganizers.

One dares to forecast. Of course politics is not sport. Removals must be
made, because logically comrades are worn out and have lost their energy
and cannot cope with the load and it is necessary to carry our removals.
But what I want to say is that it would be fraud to try and install a
demagog. It would be an unforgivable fraud to the people if we tried to
make them believe that the problems here are problems of men--if we
attempted to hide their basis; if we did not come to analyze this problem
and say that this problem is not the problem of one man, or of groups of
men, or of any kind of man. We believe that this problem is the problem of
a whole country. And we sincerely believe these problems that we have today
will not be soled unless all of us, all of us, truly all of us, from the
highest level directing the country, the party, the state, to the men in
the most humble factories, every single man does his part, and not just
those that are the leaders here.

During this trip we undertook, we talked with the labor minister bout a
series of ideas, and we said that there was a certain underdevelopment
still in the direction of industries. We asked ourselves why an industry of
the people that belongs to the people, and all of the people, not just
simply workers that are working there--a worker and his group would be
nothing by owning a cement factory, absolutely nothing. We have never
shared that idea at all or anything like it. We have seen in the reality,
the love that workers feel for their factories. But that is something else.
The convenience of linking the workers' life to the factory, including
family problems, the vacations of the workers' families, the problems of
birthdays, thousands of things. That is the effective link that exists
between the worker and the factory, and is further expanded between the
whole families of the workers and the factory. Some are organizing a series
of vacations. Some distant factories have been assigned a number of buses
that are being manufactured here in a shop that has increased its
productivity enormously: The (Linea) plant, which is assembling nearly 4
buses a day, will have buses from there that will be used to carry the
workers at the night shift of a thermoelectric plant or refinery. Each
worker has a different route to return home and a different hour.
Logically, the bus runs diminish at certain hours, but what about vacation
time in summer to take the workers' families to beaches, to recreation

Housing problems: Distribution of homes through the factories. The workers
should decide. How they know which one of them needs a home more and he
should speak, to resolve through administrative channels who is to get the
house. By the same token we were telling the comrades of Santiago de
Cuba--those who have been allotted trucks, electric concrete mixers, and
cement--to resolve this problem we cannot solve by using labor forces that
we do not have. These pressing problems, such as housing, can only be
solved by the masses, because we have already explained the labor problems
we have.

The problems of investments in industry, in schools, hospitals, new
industries, are important. Among other things, we have to carry out
hundreds of investments for equipment in addition to what is already here.

We might add that it is necessary to develop the industries we have here
before setting up new industries. We have to get those we already have into
full production. Before new industries, we must buy lathes for the
maintenance workshops, tools, precision instruments, sometimes a motor.
This is microinvestment to set all industries into 100 percent operating
condition before anything else, and to 110 percent if possible while also
increasing the worker's productivity. Many machines have to be assembled,
and with all these tasks, suddenly a brigade cannot be organized to solve
repair problems.

What did they say in many towns? There is no barbershop in Camaguey, no
stores. If we give you the material, will you do it? We'll do it. The same
over there in Matanzas, in Las Villas, in Pinones, we have our neighbors,
even a polyclinic the neighbors are going to construct there. Immediately a
mason showed up, another and another, from everywhere, for a polyclinic of
30 beds. If they want a polyclinic, if they want bricks prefabricated,
equipment, they will assemble it because what is difficult is to get 10 or
20 men to build a house in a certain place. This problem, only with the
masses, repairs on one house, construction on another, and this can only be
decided by the people themselves, because they are the only ones that have
the right to decide fairly who needs it more than anyone else. Because when
the decision is made through administrative channels it will always be
subjected to a lot of contradictions, opinions, and even the risk and
danger of favoritism. Let us save our men, let us save our cadres from that
danger and let us let them decide. If the neighbors make a mistake, they
can make a mistake. It is difficult, but they are the ones.

If the worker is placed in the factory--to decide a problem of that
type--it is very difficult, but it is the goal, in the direction of the
factory. We were saying on a past occasion that the work of the party was
to revive the work of the organizations of the masses, giving them a
broader meaning; but this is not enough. There are new things. We must go
deeper. We do not believe that the leadership problem in factories should
be the problem of an administrator, and only of an administrator.

It would be well to give a series of opinions. There should be someone in
charge. Someone must always be responsible, one who can be called upon. But
in the leadership of the factories there should [also] be a collective
organization, presided over by one, but having the representation of
vanguard workers, the youths, the party, the women--when there are enough
on a job so that the women's front can be organized at the factory--with
the understanding that we cannot be secretary of the party and at the same
time administrator of the factory.

Some concepts have to be clarified. We cannot make an administrator of the
party secretary, because the work of production would absorb him
completely. Industry works with machines on matters, while the party works
with men and on men. The raw material used by the party is the worker. The
raw material of the administration is the literal raw material--iron or any
raw material which is appropriate. Each workshop must be looked after.
There must be someone devoted to thinking about that incessantly. Those
tasks must not be confounded.

The party cannot be directly responsible for factories, although it must be
indirectly. The party should point out immediately any deficiencies in
administration to the higher administrative organization, but should not
tell the administrator what to do. The functions of the arty and of the
administrator--that is, of the administration--should be clearly defined.
It is not necessary for an administrator to be the only one responsible for
the factory. Why do we not introduce the representation of the works in the
leadership of the factory? Why lack confidence? Why not believe in that
formidable proletarian spirit of men who barefooted and with ragged clothes
maintain production in the factory? [applause]

And it will be necessary to work diligently to solve the efficiency problem
in industry, based principally on the productivity of the workers. There
may be two industries and one seems to have greater productivity because
the men have a better technique, better training, whereas the other seems
to have lower per worker productivity even though the effort in the latter
is greater. Why do we talk of these problems to the workers? Because here
is something real, clear it is very clear: arithmetically the account does
not or cannot balance.

The account that we have been showing you on how our population grows, the
ge structure, are basic factors that cannot be ignored without paying
dearly in the future. Yet, these problems that we have been pointing out
have to be resolved. With all the deficiencies, we must win the battle. We
must win the battle against these difficulties.

We were saying that we must make a subjective effort, all the people. We
have seen the people enjoy themselves in recent days. They deserved it.
They still deserve it. We should not want this analysis to affect the rest
of any worker, no, but we know that there can be no rest, there an be no
rest for those of us who have greater responsibilities. Sincerely, our
desire has been that the 8th, 10th should arrive fast so as to resume
activities. Our deepest desire has been to resume that struggle in order to
confront those problems.

We have had to face other problems. We were given a symbolic certificate
here tonight for something that has no merit. We did cut the arrobas
mentioned, but some comrades made much greater sacrifices than we. Comrade
President also cut cane for many days, and sometimes [applause] overcoming
difficulties and health problems--not that his health is bad--we have seen
him with backache many times, with pain in the spinal column, cutting cane.
[applause] And I know many comrades who sometimes sick went to cut cane. My
canecutting has no merit. It has served as a distraction. Perhaps what is
difficult for us in canecutting is not to cut the cane but to do so while
thinking about problems. The hardest work for the first few days is to get
the problems out of our head, until we learn more or less to control
ourselves. We would have liked to have cut a little more cane.

We had the illusion, if we must use this term, that we would cut cane
throughout the harvest, for 4 hours daily, that we were going to be able to
live in the utopia of dividing our time between manual and intellectual
work, in such a healthful task. We were going at a good pace, but on 9
January we had to stop.

We were really not thinking of a certification. We were thinking of the
tens of thousands of workers doing this work, and we wanted to share their
effort somehow. That is why we had the desire, the illusion, to cut
throughout the harvest.

But then problems began to appear--yeld, transportation, industrial--a very
anguishing battle again, a daily problem in production, the harvest in the
face of a reality that became increasingly more obvious. We have some debts
outstanding with ironies, illusions that we ourselves have caused on some
occasions. We have some unpaid debts with needs, with poverty, with
underdevelopment, and with the suffering of the people--when we see a
mother with 12 children in one room, with some of them sick with asthma or
other ailments, when we see the people suffering, begging things that one
would like to provide as a magician would, when we face realities that show
us the need of 1 million more homes so that families may live decently--1
million. And what needs to be made to produce 1 million homes? Sand,
stones, cement. We had been making those investments, because we spoke of
the Ciguanea plant, the Nuevita plant. By all means we must complete these
plants and put them to producing cement as soon as possible, guaranteeing
them all necessary equipment and work force, so that although we do not
have the labor to build a house, if we have the materials, we can build
with the help of the people in many parts and with the prefabricated
brigades in other parts. The construction problem is to be solved with
brigades. We have been working for several months in the organization of
the construction sector, and we see all the problems in equipment and other
matters, the technology necessary, and the only way to really build
productively. We cannot resolve the problem by putting many minigroups to
lay bricks. The recipients of the houses themselves with technical
leadership can often resolve this housing problem.

But we were saying that we were deeply moved by the realities; a deep
concern of the need to resolve these problems, and we are indebted to these
realities. This is the reason for our lack of patience. We want to begin
our new task soon. A series of decisions will have to be made in our
party's leadership to resolve some structural problems, beginning from high
up. It is not possible to direct social production simply by a minister's
council. There are numerous organizations. And why? Because social
production depends on the society's administration of its resources,
industries, schools, and hospitals, which used to be administered by their
owners. Today, it is different. In the past the citizens expected the
government to build only a post office and a telegraph station. No one ever
thought of the state's providing housing and other commodities. Today, the
citizen believes that the state must provide all things, and he is right.
This is precisely the collectivist way of thinking. It is a socialist

Everything is expected to come from the administrative apparatus, above
all, the political apparatus that represents the (?administration). People
cannot depend on themselves today as in the past. The fact that people
expect to be provided with everything is in keeping with the socialist
mentality produced in the people by the revolution.

Any lack of efficiency in any service--not those problems that are beyond
the possibilities of man to resolve--can be resolved by man, but delay in
resolving them can effect thousands of persons. It is impossible today to
direct and coordinate all this apparatus. It is necessary to create a
political structure to coordinate the different sectors of social
production. An example of this is that some comrades are making an effort
to coordinate the activities of all those sectors that have to do with
consumption and population. Other comrades who are in the construction are
coordinating all those fronts. A group not larger than seven to nine
comrades, those necessary but not a larger number, [is needed] to
coordinate each sector.

In connection with the figures that we have presented it would be necessary
to coordinate the activities of the ministries of the Revolutionary Armed
Forces, light industries, labor, and education, because these sectors draw
on the same source of youths. It is necessary to carefully coordinate all
the country's interests through the activity of each ministry, in a
completely coordinate manner. We believe this to be a decisive and urgent
task in our country. The front will have to provide maximum support to each
and everyone of the activities, coordinating them.

We must also say that no one solves problems without everyone else's

Sectarianism is not admissible. It is a crime, it is a stupidity in a
society where production methods are collective. A lack of coordination is
a stupidity. There is a need to coordinate different branches and to
organize, at the highest levels, a coordination team including each sector.
In our opinion, our Central Committee should have not only a Political
Bureau; it should have a social production bureau, the party's political
instrument to coordinate the activities of each and everyone of the
administrative branches and achieve top efficiency in coordination and top
efficiency in planning.

How are we going to solve this contradiction between our urgent needs and
the facts we just read: the growth of the population, the growth of the
labor force, the demand for more manpower? How are we to manage from now
until 1975 and then from 1975 to 1980? We simply have no other choice but
to solve the problem. We must solve it, because we have no other choice. We
will solve it. Yes, I am absolutely convinced that when the people want to
solve a problem, they will solve it. I am absolutely convinced that this
will be the case. [applause]

It is not like saying let us come here tomorrow and solve this problem. It
is a matter of conscience for all the people and of conscience for all the
country's workers, of every man with any degree of responsibility, it is a
matter of universal and profound conscience to look for the rationalization
of our effort and the utilization of our efforts. We rack our brains on
each and every one of our problems and on our obvious difficulties. Let us
rack our brains to find out how we can get the maximum output from each
machine, from every little bit of raw material, from every minute of work
from a man.

We are not talking about extra hours and more extra hours in mechanical
matters. No, that has already been discussed. The advantage must be
obtained from the normal work load with the exception of certain urgent and
justifiable situations when an objective is to be reached, not to do 1 more
hour of labor but to reach a goal within the allotted time. Those automatic
things are not good. They are garbage.

We must learn once and for all that the automation does not lead to
anything. Many times we do foolish things. Our problem is a matter of
conscience among all the people, of how to use every machine, the last gram
of raw material, the last atom of energy in the correct manner. We must
tackle these problems.

Although one talks about the 10 million as a matter of manpower, I would
say right now that we have a brain problem, an intelligence problem, and
if--although the general level of man is not yet high enough and today's
country is not the same as it will be 20 or 30 years from now--today's
people must make the use of intelligence, concern, and a sense of
responsibility in vital matters, it is a question of employing to the
fullest the intelligence and sense of responsibility on the party of each
and every worker in this country.

The road is difficult, yet. It is more difficult than what we expected.
Yes, imperialists, it is hard to build socialism. Karl Marx thought of
socialism as a natural consequence of a technologically developed society.
However, in today's world, confronting imperialist industrialized powers,
countries like ours have no other alternative, no other road than socialism
by which to gain cultural and technical progress.

But what is socialism? It is the possibility to fully employ human and
natural resources for the benefit of the people.

What is socialism? It is the disappearance of the contradiction between the
development of productive forces and production.

Today, industry, raw materials, natural resources, factories, machines, all
kinds of equipment belong t the masses. They can and should be at the
service of the masses. If with these machines, equipment, and resources we
do not perform to maximum, it is not because capitalism is stopping us from
doing it; it is not because an imperialist prevents us from doing it; it is
not that we are prevented from doing so by a private owner who had a
factory to make money and he would produce milk or poison or marijuana--he
did not ask anyone what he should use it for. Here, each product and each
service is intended to satisfy man's needs, the people's needs. If we do
not reach the top it is not because anyone is stopping us from doing so; it
is because we do not know how, because we do not want to; it is because we
cannot, and that is why we must gain knowledge. We must know how to use it.
We must know how to get there simply by appealing to our reserves of
morals, intelligence, willpower, and decision among all the people who have
already shown what they can do.

If there is something that absolutely cannot be questioned, it is the
people's spirit, in the harvest, in its massive participation in the
harvest, its battle against the Yankees for the fishermen's liberation, its
courageous reaction when faced with failures, its willingness and
international spirit demonstrated with the 104,000 blood donations to
assist a brother country. [applause]

This is a country with a revolutionary and internationalist spirit. We do
not bring magic solutions here. We have already discussed the problems, and
we have said that only the people, only with the people, with the people's
conscience, with the people's information, the people's decision, and with
the people's will--only with these can those problems be overcome.

When we, 17 years ago, were trying to capture the Moncada Barracks, it was
not to win a war with 1,000 men but to start a war and fight with the
people and win with the people's support.

Years later when re returned with a group of expeditionaries, it was not to
win a war with a handful of men--we had not received from the people the
marvelous experiences and lessons which we have received in these years.
But we knew that the war could only be won with the people, and it was won
with the people. When this revolution, only 90 miles from a ferocious and
powerful empire, wanted to be free and sovereign, it challenged that empire
and prepared to face all the difficulties. It started laying a truly
revolutionary road--not over a capitalist and monopolist and imperialist
road, but rather a road of the people, the road of the workers, the road of
the peasants, the road of justice. Many thought that would be
impossible--politically, culturally, ideologically. We believed that this
battle would be won with the people, and it was fought with the people and
won with the people.

That is the way we have lived until today. But we must fight a harder
battle. It is perhaps a lot easier, 1,000 times easier, to liquidate playa
Giron mercenaries in a few hours than to solve well, really well, the
problem of some industry. It is a lot easier to win 20 wars than to win the
development battle. It was relatively easy, we did not know a thing about
war. In war, one learns quickly, and men to lead a company, a platoon come

It is not the first time that we say this. We said it when we came here on
6 or 7 January. We said that we had conscience, that the struggle was
important, and that we had to learn. We said with all sincerity, and still
say with all sincerity as revolutionaries, learning how to build an economy
is a lot harder than we expected. The problems are much more complex than
what we expected. Learning took a long time. It was harder and longer, and
this is the battle confronting us today. It is not the only one. We must
continue to take care of ourselves; we must continue preparing ourselves;
we must continue to see the dangers of our enemies which are threatening
and will constantly threaten us.

No, this is clear, we are not fighting an ideological war, as in our early
days. It is an economic battle that one must fight with the support of the
people, and only with the people can we win. We sincerely believe that this
is the challenge of the revolution, a challenge it has never faced
before--it is one of our hardest tasks. Thus our impatience. What an we all
give to this cause? Our energy. Seven years ago--17 years ago [corrects
himself]--or a little over 17 years ago--for it has been 17 years since
Moncada--then, it was necessary to work arduously at the task of preparing
and organizing. Eighteen years ago we began this struggle; 18 years of our
lives we invested; a part of our youth has been invested in this task. What
can we do today? What can we wish for today more than ever? All of our
energies must be dedicated to this task. We must settle our debts with so
many enemies, with the subjective and objective enemies, with the
imperialist enemies that want the revolution to fail, with massive poverty,
with general ignorance, and with our own ignorance. When confronting
defeats on 26 July, at that very minute we only though about starting all
over again, we only though about the hair-raising news of murders
committed, and thought that one of these days we had to settle that debt.

Today we do not struggle against men. If we fight against man it is against
ourselves. We fight against objective factors, we fight against the past,
we struggle against the presence of that past still in the present. We
struggle against all sorts of challenge that the revolution has had.

Our enemies rejoice, and they base their hopes on our problems. We were
saying that our enemies were right in this, in that, and in that other, in
all that they want; but in one thing only they were mistaken: to believe
that there is an alternative for revolution here, to believe that the
people when faced with the difficulties of the revolution, no matter what
these difficulties were, would choose the path of counterrevolution. In
this they have made a big mistake.

Imperialists, you have been mistaken in this: There is not an iota of truth
in this: This is where you are mistaken.

They cannot evaluate the people; they cannot measure the depth of its moral
integrity, the value of a people. Those who became afraid in the age of
difficulties would be cowards; Those who could not see, hear, speak the
truth would be cowards. A people who is afraid of telling the truth before
the world would be a cowardly people. We have not been afraid to speak the
truth as we have done today, to accept our own responsibility in public,
[applause] and to present the problems to the people with the confidence
that we have shown today. And this is why they make mistakes. And this is
why they make mistakes so many times, because they think that we are
morally equal with them, that we are even remotely like them. Lies will
never be told our people. Confidence in the people will never be lost.
Faith in the people [applause] will never fail. Here is precisely where
they are mistaken.

We do not seek glory. We do not seek honor. We serve a cause that is worth
more than all the glories of the world, glories which, as Marti would say,
are so insignificant that they would fit inside a grain of corn. We do not
seek honor. We do not seek power. What is power good for if we cannot win
the battle against poverty, illiteracy, and all those things? Power? What
is power? What is this or any other power? It is the will of the people
channeled in one direction, with one feeling marching along the same path.
It is so simple and so indestructible. This power of the people, this is
real power, and this is the power we are interested in. None of us, as an
individual is interested at all in the honor and glory of this power. We
are not interested. They mean nothing to us. If we are worth an atom of
something, it is when that atom is functioning as an idea, as a cause, when
it is joined to a people. We men are made of flesh and bone. We are
unbelievably fragile. We are nothing unless we can say we are something
functioning in this or that task, and always, always aware, more and more,
and intimately and deeply at the service of this cause.

Once more I must say, in the name of our party, our leadership, and in my
own name, that we are very grateful for the people's reaction, attitude,
and confidence.

Fatherland or death, we shall win!

[Following remarks came immediately after Castro concluded his formal

In presenting these ideas I forgot to mention something I wanted to tell
you today. I mentioned Dr Arguedas, who made it possible for Che's diary to
come to Cuba. [applause] There is something else--and I want the people to
hear this with a certain degree of sobriety.

Dr Arguedas, after sending us the diary, struggles and managed to get into
our country Che's death mask--a mask that was taken of him the day he was
assassinated. He also preserved Che's hands, and made it possible for our
country to receive them. [applause] Che's hands are preserved perfectly.
Cuban experts have made a special effort. The traditions of our country are
well know. We bury our dead. This is a traditional. Each country has its
own tradition--Maceo, Marti--it has always been so and always will be. And
we have been asking ourselves what to do with Che's hands [words

We do not know if one day we will discover his remains, but we have his
hands almost intact. We want to ask the people for their opinion. What
shall we do with Che's hands? Preserve them? [applause] Then what we want
you to think about is this: We have already made copies of the mask from
which we will be able to make many reproductions. We an preserve the
original mask, in a sober design that has been made within a frame from the
green sleeves of an olive-green uniform, with his star as a major, all this
within a glass case, which will be placed on Marti's statue in a room on
the anniversary of his death. [as heard] His mask and his hands, the hands
with which he carried his weapons of freedom, with which he wrote his
brilliant ideas, [applause] with which he worked in the canefield, ports
and on construction.

We will make something like a museum for Che, even if it is a temporary
museum. Che does not belong to Cuba but to America. One day these hands
will be where the people of America want them to be. Meanwhile, our people
will preserve them and our people will take are of them. One day everything
that we have will belong to all the people.

We do not want to construct a paradise on the edge of a volcano. We work
with zeal and with confidence in the future. We face up to difficult
battles, which we will win. But one day we will have to be a part of the
community of Latin American peoples, of the community of revolutionary
peoples of Latin America. Some day our fatherlands will cease to be
fragments of a continent that is subjugated by imperialism. We are the
pioneers of this revolutionary path, the first, but not the only ones. One
day, sooner or later, we will become the people of Latin America. One day
we will be part of hundreds of thousands; not to confront a powerful
imperialism, but to live in peace and unity with a great people who have
managed to shake themselves free from the imperialist yoke, who have been
able to bring about a revolution in their own country.

The people of the United States--we are not the enemies of those people,
but of their criminal rulers, their imperialistic rulers. We can say to the
U.S. people and to those youths who came here to cut cane and to help us,
who have sent us such a moving and expressive message, that together with
the people of Latin America, Indochina, the revolutionary countries,
together with the American people, we will win. We will win. [applause]

We will, therefore, on the next anniversary of Che's assassination, open a
room where his death mask and his hands will be placed; where the people
will be able to see them, although we confess that this will always be a
hard thing for anyone to do when the time comes. The very idea, I am sure,
has impressed some comrades. [words indistinct]

I talked with (?Che's wife) before the ceremony began. I told her my
intentions, so that she would not be taken by surprise. Tears came to her
eyes, but she said, Yes, it is all right. So, Che's companion knew, his
father knew, only a few of us knew about this. The children did not know.
At any rate, we will always be deeply grateful to Dr Arguendas for what he
has done.

The assassinated Che, but they could not prevent his diary from coming to
Cuba. They tried to make his body disappear, but they could not prevent his
hands from coming to Cuba. They made a mask of his face--nobody knows
why--but they could not prevent it from coming to the people of Cuba. It
was Che's just ideals, his cause, his dignity, and his greatness that made
possible what appeared to be impossible. A man who appeared to be a member
of a government that was against Che risked his life several times to save
the diary, the hands, and the mask, and managed to get them to Cuba! This
is what I had failed to tell you.