Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Delivered on the 17th anniversary of the Moncada assault. Abriged from
Granma, July 27, 1970.

Today I am not going to make a commemorative speech proper. In other
words, I am not going to list the gains and achievements of the Revolution.
Today I will speak of our problems and difficulties and reverses rather
than our successes. I am going to present--in a nutshell if you will--the
substance of our difficulties.

What we want above all is to inform the masses, so that they will
understand and prepare for struggle. For our problems cannot be
miraculously solved by anybody--whether individuals or teams. It is only
the people who can work wonders in any field.

I will give you a few data by way of antecedents.

In 1958, eve of the triumph of the Revolution, Cuba had 6,547,000
inhabitants. This year the population is expected to come close to
8,256,000. In other words, our population is expected to come close to this
extra number of inhabitants, 844,000 are children or teenagers still below
working age while 188,000 are, on the contrary, men and women past working
age. As many as 1,032,000 people, or 60 per cent of the increase, have no
share in production.

Discounting those who must be discounted because they study or are
incapacitated physically or socially, the net increase in labor power in
these twelve years has been 580,000 people. On the other hand, the labor
requirements of the economy arising from new economic and social activities
plus the replacement of people who have reached retirement age total
1,200,000 people.

By adding new labour power to the unemployed there were before the
Revolution, we managed to meet in part--but only in part--this mounting
demand for labour. Early in 1958 we had 686,000 unemployed. Many of them
have jobs now while others are in advanced age and can no longer work.

This situation will not begin improving until the need of this decade,
somewhere about 1980. It is estimated that between 1975 and 1980 the
population will grow by 828,000 resulting in a net manpower increase of
535,000 people.

Let us see how some of the services have been growing due to this
make-up of the population and to the elementary measures of justice that
the Revolution had to take and that we thought indispensable.

There is, first of all, social security. A total of 379,842 people have
been pensioned since the victory of the Revolution. In other words, their
right to a pension was recognized and put into effect as the revolutionary
process went on. Furthermore, pensions were raised to a monthly minimum of
60 pesos in the case of 198,260 people, many of whom had been getting less
than 10 pesos per month. Public spending on social security had gone up
from 114.7m. in 1958 to 320m. this year.

The health service in 1958 employed 8,209 people. In 1969 their number
rose to 87,646. Public spending on health increased from 22.7m. pesos in
1958 to 236.1m. pesos in 1969.

In 1958 the nations schools had 936,723 students. In 1969/70, they
admitted 2,298,464 people, 1,560,193 of whom entered primary school. The
number of scholarships has increased from 15,698 in 1958 to 277,505 now.
Public spending on education was 77m. pesos in 1958 and 290.6m. pesos in

Public expenditures on social security, health and education have risen
from 213.8m. pesos in 1958 to at least 850m. pesos this year If we add
defense expenditures to these, the total will approximate to 1,200m. pesos

Under the Urban Reform Law, 268,089 families were granted free use of
houses and rooms totalling 3,500m. pesos in worth. In the same way, 100,000
peasants families which before the Revolution paid rent were granted a
gratuitous title to the use of the lands held by them.

The increase in the number of pensions and the expansion of educational
facilities, medical service and the services indispensable to the country's
defense plus the saving on house and land rent raised to roughly 3,000m.
pesos the cash and the sums in savings-banks held by the population.

A price policy designed to make up for this imbalance--and this will
help us, as well as those abroad who are interested in these matters,
understand the problems of rationing--would mean exacting enormous
sacrifice from the lower income groups of the population. This would be in
effect of a price policy designed to balance the total quantity of benefits
and services not provided to the people gratuitously. Such a policy could
be applied to luxury articles but never to the necessities. This is our
opinion and I hope the people's as well.

Devaluation or a change of currency--a device used in the early
years--is correct if applied to the bourgeoisie, but it would be
impermissible if it were to affect the working people's savings. This is
our opinion and we hope the people's as well. It is one of the complicated
problems our economy has to solve.

Thus, for all these expenditures and efforts, there is still and
immense need for more expenditures and efforts.

I don't think there is a single Cuban, single revolutionary, who thinks
this country should have faced, unarmed and inactive, the enormously
powerful imperialist enemy we have 90 miles from our coast, an enemy who
has not hesitated to use every means, all its arms, to destroy the
Revolution. The vast majority of the people have learnt to use arms because
they realize that the standing force of men and officers would not be
enough if it came to defending the country against that enemy. This
unavoidable task of the Revolution, too, necessitated the use of hundreds
of thousands of men when the demand for manpower was at its highest on our
fields, as at cane-cutting time. It is certain, however, that because our
students in technological and secondary schools had to spend months cutting
cane we will be so many months late in training the technologists we need
so urgently. And because our servicemen had to lend a hand in cane-cutting
for months on end we had to sacrifice their combat training against the
emergency of war. Regrettably, we will have to do that again because of the
level of our productive forces and our labour productivity.

These are realities imposed on us by the Revolution itself. However, I
do not list them as an excuse or a pretext, or as the only cause of our
problems. I simply present them as factors to be considered in evaluating
the overall situation.

We have just fought a heroic battle. It may really be called a heroic
battle land its heroes are present here. The hero was the people, who
fought for 10 million tons by planting and harvesting. Practically 10
million tons of cane was cut, and it could have become a real 10 million
tons given an adequate industry.

It was not only by fulfilling this task that the people showed heroism.
They showed still greater heroism by committing themselves to cut all the
cane to the last stem, even though they knew they could not reach the 10
million target.

Our sugar production increased notably. We produced over four million
tons more than last year. This increase is a real record hard to beat as an
increase--and this is not to say these quantities of sugar cannot be topped
some day but that it's difficult to take leaps as big as that in sugar
production. this is all the more so if account is taken, in speaking of
population structure and labour requirements, of the fact that needs have
grown both quantitatively and qualitatively. In fact, time was when
hundreds of thousands of Cubans in our countryside had to work 15, 16 or 17
hours cutting and lifting cane by hand. They carted it away with oxen that
had to be put in harness at daybreak. Only by working 15 or 16 hours a day
could they cope with assignments.

We must not forget that at first we were merely a people in revolt. We
were ardently revolutionary but as regards political and social problems we
were really misled and indoctrinated by the imperialists' press and films
and books and other information media.

We must not forget that and must say it, not in shame but in pride. For
it shows what a people can do and reveals the potentialities of
revolutions. We must say that early in 1959 the majority of our people were
not even anti-imperialist and had no class consciousness. What they did
have was a class instinct, which isn't the same.

It must be remembered that the early years were years of big political
and ideological battles between the capitalist and the socialist roads,
between the bourgeois and the proletarian roads. And the very first task of
the small revolutionary vanguard was to win over the masses.

There was no talk at the time about production--that was the
capitalists' concern--or about figures or statistics of structures. We were
thinking of the needs created by unemployment, exploitation and every
manner of abuse and injustice.

We fought against the enemies of the Revolution in the field of facts
and in the ideological field.

As I have said, both quantitative and qualitative changes have occurred
in requirements. We must go on carrying our various tasks, such as cutting
cane, doing it, moreover, by hand. For some time now, many of the old
people who cut cane in past years have been pension, and many other Cubans
who had to work 15 or 16 hours have turned to other opportunities and
switched to other activities. Nor could anybody have stopped them. No
revolution could tell a man he was condemned to do this work all his life,
without hope of ever learning to operate a machine, of taking some other

Today these tasks are not carried out by those who in the past had to
carry them out so as not to starve. In the immense majority of cases, they
are carried out by people engaged in industry and other fields, by students
and servicemen.

In these new conditions tensions are building up, as we have said and
we are waging a heroic battle. But we proved unable to wage a parallel
battle. This phrase, "parallel battle", was used very often before while we
planted cane to harvest 10 million tons. It meant this necessary effort,
not by way of a sport as we explained it at one time, but because it was an
imperative economic need, because we required it for out development,a s a
means of defeating our poverty and doing away with it.

We must not forget that in spite everything we have during these years
had great imbalances in our foreign trade, mainly with the Soviet Union. We
have to import almost or a little over five million tons of fuel because we
need and because drilling for oil, discovering it and starting to work oil
wells require serious and deep-going research that cannot be done
overnight. Our country has no coal and hardly any hydraulic energy. Our
rivers are small and the best use they can be put to in our climate and our
conditions is irrigation.

Thus we import all the power we need.

We have yet to meet a citizen who would ask us: "What do we need so
much light for? Why not use a little less light?" What citizens tell us is:
"There's no electricity, we want more electricity. We need power stations,
this, that and the other. We need machinery and transport. We haven't got
this, we haven't got that."

Of course, the enemy made ample use of the augment that the effort to
grow 10 million tons of cane would entail some of these problems. It was
our duty to do all in our power to prevent that but we couldn't do it.

Our enemies say we are having difficulties and they are right in this
respect. They say we have problems and indeed we do. They say there is
discontent and they are right. They say there is resentment and they are
right. As you see, we aren't afraid to admit it when our enemies are right.

Let us look into the problems by sectors.

As regards farming, I have spoken about cane, sugar output, and the
records set.

The rice area was considerably expanded and we increased output. but we
are still very far from feeling satisfied,a s regards both quantity and
quality, with the fulfillment of rice production plans.

Beef. Deliveries of cattle in live weight were like last year's.
Average weight is still low.

Meat deliveries were 485,000 head in 1968 and 466,000 in 1969. This
year's outlook is for 466,000 head again.

Deliveries of fresh milk between January and May made up 71.3 million
litres, that is, fell 25 per cent short of deliveries in the same period of
1969, when 95.1 million litres was supplied.

Deliveries have decreased in the state and private sector alike. But
the drop is relatively greater in the private sector. This decline is due
to the limited scale of building and the fact that lost capacities were not

The milk-producing potential is not fully used for lack of installed

This year's imports add up t 56,000 tons land their total worth is
$12m. We plan to import a similar quantity in 1971. For the same reason, we
have to import fresh butter.

Although the half-year's fishing plan was fulfilled 78 per cent, this
is only about 8,000 tons more than in the same period of 1969.

In output of the fertilizer we mix in our country, we were some 32 per
cent, or 130,000 tons, short of the target in June. This was mainly due to
our limited capacity for transporting the finished product.

The plan for supplying agriculture with domestic equipment was
fulfilled by a mere eight per cent as of May.

This year's plan provides for nickel exports worth 217.9m. pesos. As of
June the Moa and Nicaro plants had fulfilled their six months' plan by 96
per cent. We may say, therefore, that in nickel production we have had no
problems, speaking generally.

Nor have we had any difficulties with fuels land lubricants, that is,
in oil refining. This industry has been fulfilling its plan.

Power generation as of May was roughly 11 per cent higher than in the
corresponding period of 1969. At the same time there was a big increase in
demand, which reached a maximum of 17 per cent.

The critical situation in regard to labour power compelled us to reduce
rayon production targets, which had a telling effect on tyre output. We
will soon start rehabilitating the plant so as to complete the job before
the year is out. This plant, which is vastly important to the economy
because it makes tyres which, in turn, are important to so crucial field as
transport, is faced with a special problem--hydrogen sulphide contamination
of the environment due to the chemicals used by the plant. Once the degree
of contamination was greater than now but we have succeeded in reducing it
by one-third.

The annual plan for leather footwear was adjusted from 15.6 to 13.9
million pairs. As of May, output fell short by roughly one million pairs
due to the delay in starting production at the new Manzanillo factory, to
absenteeism and mobilisations for agriculture. About 400,000 pairs of the
million that was not manufactured were to have been work shoes. Besides,
there is a decline in the quality of footwear mainly in that of work shoes,
due to changes in technology and in the time required for tanning.

The plastic shoe factory is already operating at almost full capacity.
It will make at least 10 million pairs of shoes in the next twelve months,
which will meet the demand for women's and children's footwear to a
considerable extent.

Distribution increased as follows: the rice ration rose to six pounds
per head of population as of April and for organizations as of January the
population has been getting more fresh fish since April and there were
indirect increases in egg consumption.

However, there were noticeable cuts in the consumption of other
items--vegetables and fruit, both fresh and canned--due to drops in supply.
The supply of beef and poultry to some professions and trades enjoying
priority was restricted, and besides there were delays in supplying the
population due to transport problems.

In foreign trade we failed to fulfill certain import and export quotas
due to delays in signing contracts, difficulties in securing ships for our
imports and exports, and a critical situation in loading and unloading in

As a result, we had problems with transporting plant shipped from
Europe, delays in importing raw materials land food-stuffs, delays of ship
in harbours. Difficulties over convertible currency persist, affecting
purchases of wood pulp and the manufacture of containers.

We will have to pay special attention to the rebuilding, construction
and acquisition of barges and tugs if we want to handle the shipments
envisaged by the sugar and molasses export plan for 1971. To this we must
add the rebuilding, dredging and construction of highly important harbour

In land transport, we had difficulties over both railways and road
haulage partly because we gave priority to the transport of cane and
by-products but due also to the shortage of spare part, which reduced the
use of equipment and hence created operation problems and strongly affected
economic activities of the period.

From January to April the railways carried 26 per cent more goods than
in the corresponding period of last year. Sixty locomotives, or 27 per cent
of the fleet, were used for carrying cane. Road haulage was affected above
all by a shortage of spares and the high degree of absenteeism, the worst
in recent years.

I have listed the main difficulties in agricultural and industrial
production. But of course the list isn't complete.

I would say that this statistical enumeration reveals only some of the
causes. In addition to these causes of problems, we must also mention
inefficiency, or the subjective factor.

To begin with, I wish to point in connection with all these problems to
the responsibility of all of us, and mine in particular. I am far from
denying that there are things for which I and the entire revolutionary
leadership are to blame too.

I believe we leaders of the Revolution have exacted too high a price
ion doing our apprenticeship. Unfortunately, our problem--not when it is a
question of replacing the leaders of the Revolution, whom the people
Revolution are free to replace when they wish, and right now if they wish
[shouts of "No!" and screaming "Fidel"]--one of our most difficult problems
is a heritage we are paying for now, meaning first of all the heritage of
our ignorance.

When speaking of illiterates we certainly did not class ourselves among
them nor among semi-literates. We could rate ourselves best by putting
ourselves in the category of the ignorant. This we were all, almost without
exception, nor was I the exception, needless to say. The problem is even
worse than that. What I mean is that there are may illiterates and
semi-literates even among people in responsible positions. And one of the
biggest problems is precisely to find the right man for a job.

Some time ago, at a meeting in the Cespedes part of Santiago de Cuba,
we began after visiting numerous factories one by one, and after talking
with thousands of inhabitants, to analyse all the various aspects of the
diverse industries in specific terms.

In many industries we established such facts as a shortage of lathes,
tools and measuring instruments.

Curiously enough, what our country needs badly at the moment is
microinvestments. Investments in lathes to maintain factory shops, in tools
that are in short supply in almost every industry, and in measuring

Now what did we discover as far as the mood of the workers of Santiago
de Cuba is concerned, knowing their various needs as we did and realizing
that the transport problem had effected distribution worst of all in
Oriente Province, and more particularly in Santiago? The workers were
concerned abut production before everything else. In the quarries and
factories alike, the very first question those workers raised was about
production. And they showed tremendous enthusiasm for their enterprise and
its output. They didn't speak about other problems until after that.
Indeed, it was in some cases we who spoke about their problems. It is a
living, a real confirmation of the fact that the industrial proletariat is
the genuinely revolutionary class, potentially the most revolutionary

What an object lesson in Marxism-Leninism! We did not set out on the
road of revolution from a factory, which we all needed badly, but began
with the intellectual sphere, by studying theory and ideas. How greatly we
all would have benefited if we had known the factories much better and had
come from there, for it is there that you find the genuinely revolutionary
spirit Marx and Lenin spoke about. That spirit is that of the immense

We saw many of those problems quite a few of which could have been
settled. And this means that we alone are to blame for quite a few of those
problems, which we didn't settle for the simple reason of lacking ability.

These tasks seem easy. More often than not we made the mistake of
minimizing difficulties, and complexity of problems. This was often the
case with experienced comrades, whose aspirations and iron will we know
well. We say them on this or that front as they entered of what was in
effect an apprenticeship, and it was one, two and occasionally even three
years before they began to show efficiency.

If only we could solve problems by merely replacing people! We must
make changes. Some people had to pay for others because they seemed to have
failed to resolve difficulties which they had in fact nothing to do with.

There is, for example, a tremendous shortage of housing in every town,
but above all in Santiago de Cuba. This problem is often handled by people
who cannot make decisions. On the other hand, some believe they can solve
problems by miracle because it's only a question of finding the right

We have replaced some ministers--we had to--and will have to replace
some more. However, I sometimes tell myself a little sadly that there must
be some confusion because the masses believe the problem is simply one of
replacing people. And occasionally somebody says: "If only they fired the
man and put another in his place!" There is an enormous number of people
who organize and disorganize government by making forecasts.

But surely politics is not a sport.

It is necessary to replace people because, after all, there are
comrades who are exhausted, who have no energy left and can no longer carry
the burden they have shouldered. Yes, changes are necessary. What I wish to
say, however, is that it would be misleading and demagogical, and would
mean deceiving the people unforgivably, if we made believe that the problem
in the case is one of people, if we tried to conceal the root of the matter
rather than analysing the problem and saying that it isn't problem of
either one man or a group or team. We think it is a problem of the whole
people. It's our sincere belief that the problems we now have we can only
solve together--all of us together!--from those on the highest rungs of the
leadership of country, Party and state to those in the most modest
industry, and that the leaders alone cannot solve them.

In discussing Party work, we said we must revive work in the mass
organizations and extend its content to the utmost. But that isn't all.
There are new tasks and we must carry our effort deeper. We do not think
the problem of managing a factory should be limited to the problem of a
manager. It would really be worth while to introduce certain criteria.
There should be one person in charge, of course, because there must always
be one person who will take charge of things and answer for them. But we
also need a collective body in factory managements. Let one person preside
over it but let it be representative of the foremost workers, Communist
Youth, the Party, and women in the case of a factory where a women's front
can be set up. The principle should be that in a factory we cannot make the
Party secretary manager--this is one of the ideas we must be very clear
about--any more than we can have the manager do the Party secretary's work
for him. Dealing with production problems is a full-time job. And just as
industry works on materials with machines, so the Party works on people
with the aid of people. The Party's raw material is the working man and the
manager's, real raw materials like iron. Every factory has its own laws and
we must have somebody who will always concern himself with that. These
tasks must not be mixed up, nor can the Party assume direct responsibility
for the management of a factory. Its responsibility must be indirect. The
Party must promptly inform the higher managerial body of every shortcoming,
every drawback in management, but it cannot tell the manager what he has to
do. We must clearly specify the functions of the secretary of the Party
branch and the functions of the manager, or the management to be exact.

Now why should a manager bear absolute responsibility for everything?
Why not bring workers' representatives into the factory management? Why not
trust them? why not put faith in the powerful proletarian spirit of people
who, working sometimes barefoot in torn clothes, keep production going?

We will have to work hard if we want to solve the problem of efficiency
in industry, which depends chiefly on labour productivity.

There are two types of industry: one in which it may seem that labour
productivity is higher because technologies are better and more effective
use is made of labour, and another one showing seemingly lower productivity
per worker although the effort made is greater.

Why am I speaking of these problems to working people? Because there is
a real thing which clearly doesn't come off. We must win the battle against
inefficiency! We must win the battle against difficulties. The need is, as
I have said, for a subjective effort by the whole people.

We have been happy these days to see people amuse themselves. They
deserve it. We wouldn't like even the analysis I am now making here to stop
any working man or woman from enjoying his rest--not at all. We know,
however, that there can be no rest. Those of us who have major
responsibilities cannot afford a rest.

We are deeply aware of our problems, of the need to solve them, and we
know we are to blame for them. This is why we are really eager to make a
fresh start.

We will have to take a number of decisions in the Party leadership so
as to solve some structural problems beginning from above.

Social production can no longer be directed by only the Council of
Ministers. There are numerous agencies. Why? Because social production
today depends on how society manages its resources.

Formerly many industries, schools and even hospitals were managed by
private owners. But times have changed. Once the most a citizen could
expect was that the state would set up a post or telegraph office. It never
occurred to him that the state must take care of housing or other things.
Today the citizen does expect the state to do that. And he is right. This
is precisely a collectivist, a socialist mentality. Today the
administrative apparatus, and above all the political apparatus
representing it, is expected to take care of everything. People no longer
rely on only their own strength land devices as in the past.

The fact that the people today expect everything from the state is very
much in keeping with the socialist consciousness inculcated in them by the
Revolution. Any instance of inefficiency in any sphere can affect thousands
of people. And I don't mean problems that one person cannot solve but
problems which he can solve and which drag instead of being solved.

It is impossible to direct and coordinate all this machinery today in
the old way. We must set up a political structure that will coordinate the
diverse spheres of social production. Here is an example: some comrades are
already working on measures to coordinate the activity of the Ministry of
Home Trade, National Travel Institute, the light and food industry,
branches that have a great bearing on consumption and the population. Other
comrades, in the building industry, coordinate all its branches. A group of
no more than seven to nine comrades, and not a larger, is needed to
coordinate each. The data and figures I have cited reveal the importance of
coordinating the activities of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed
Forces and those of the Interior, Labour and Education because these fields
draw on the same source, young people. It is necessary carefully to
harmonize the interests of the country through the activity of each of
these agencies. We regard this as decisive and fundamental immediate task
facing our country.

It must also be said that nobody can solve a problem if he doesn't seek
the cooperation of others. Parochialism is impermissible and absurd, it is
a crime. In a society in which the means of production are owned
collectively lack of coordination is a stupidity. Hence the need to
coordinate various branches and set up coordination teams at the highest
level for each sector.

We believe our Central Committee should have not only a Political
Bureau but a Social Production Bureau, a political instrument of the Party
for coordinating the activities of every branch of management, for
attaining the greatest efficiency in coordination and planning.

How are we to resolve this contradiction between our pressing needs in
view of what we hear about how the population and labour power are growing
and what the demand for labour is like? How are we to deal with it between
now land 1975 and then between 1975 and 1980? We have no choice but to
solve the problem, and we must solve it. Will we solve it? Yes. It am
absolutely convinced that when a people wants t solve a problem it solves

I am not suggesting that we will solve it overnight. The point is that
every working man or women in this country, anyone with any sense of
responsibility, must become keenly aware of the situation. This is
necessary if we are to rationalize our effort and use it most effectively.
We must rack our brains over each general difficulty or problem as well as
over each specific difficulty. We must rack our brains over how to use
every machine, every bit of raw material, every minute of everyone's work
to the best and greatest advantage.

There is no question of overtime and more overtime applied
mechanically. The task is, as I have already said, to make optimal to the
use of the working day, allowing an exception only when imperative
circumstances justify and call for it, and when it is clear that a target
can only be reached through extra work. A mechanical approach to this
matter is no good. We should learn once and for all that the mechanical
method will get us nowhere.

The task is for the whole people to realize the situation, to see how
we can make the best use of every single machine, every bit of raw material
and every ounce of energy. Let us put our heads together to solve our
problems. I would say that in speaking of 10 million tons we meant a task
requiring hands but this time we have a problem requiring brains and

The general level of people is not high as yet and the people of today
don't know as much as will be known 20 to 30 years from now. Nevertheless,
the people of today must use their wits, must concern themselves with
problems and realize their responsibility,. This is a matter of vital
importance. It is a question of making the fullest use of the intelligence
and sense of responsibility of every single working man or woman in this

The going will be hard--harder than it seemed at first. Yes,
imperialist gentlemen, building socialism is difficult. But Karl Marx
himself visualized socialism as a natural product of a society highly
developed technologically. In the world of today countries like ours, being
faced with industrialized imperialist powers, have no alternative to
socialism if they are to bridge their cultural and technological gap. And
what is socialism? It is the possibility of making the best use of manpower
and natural resources for the good of the people. It is the disappearance
of the contradiction between the growth of the productive forces and the
relations of production.

Industry, raw materials, natural resources, factories, machinery and
plant of every type all being to society today. They can and must be at
these service of society. If we do not make the best use of this machinery
and plant, of all these resources, it is not because we are held back by a
capitalist, a proprietor who in the past had a factory and made money by
putting out dairy products or poison, cheese or marihuana--anything. He
didn't worry about anything, about how his output would be used. In our
society, every product and every service is intended to meet man's needs,
the needs of the people.

If we are not using things to the best advantage it is not because
somebody will not let us but because we don't know how or don't want to or
cannot. This is why we must learn to use everything, all our resources, as
well as possible by drawing on the reserves of the will power, morality,
intelligence and resolve of the people, who have shown that they possess

If there is anything absolutely beyond question it is the spirit of the
people. It is seen in their massive participation in cane cutting, in the
liberation of fishermen, in their entire courageous reaction to reverses,
in the internationalist sentiment and spirit they showed by offering
104,000 blood donations in a mere ten days to help a brother people.

It is a people with revolutionary spirit, an internationally minded

I bring no magic solutions here, I have listed problems, saying that
they can only be solved by and with the people, provided the people realize
them, provided they are informed and show determination and will power.

When, 17 years ago, we set out to take the stronghold of Moncada, we
were not trying to win a war with a thousand men but to start a war and
wage it with the people and win it with the people's support. When, a few
years later, we returned with an expeditionary force we did not expect to
win a war with a handful of men. We did not have the wonderful experience
and knowledge the people have given us during the past years but we knew
that we could only win that war with the people. We waged and won it with
the people.

When the Revolution set out, 90 miles from a ferocious and powerful
empire, to make this country free and sovereign it challenged that empire
and prepared to weather all difficulties. It started on a truly
revolutionary road--not a road of capitalists and imperialist monopolies
but a people's road, a road of workers land peasants, a road of justice.
Many said it was a perfectly hopeless attempt in view of cultural,
political and ideological influence and all that. We, however, were certain
the battle could be won with the people. We fought and won it with the

And we lived to see this day. But now we must fight a more difficult
battle. It was easier, a thousand times easier, to destroy the mercenaries
at Playa Giron in a matter of hours than it is to really solve the problem
of industry. It is easier to win twenty wars than to win the battle for

It was relatively easy. We didn't know much about war. It didn't take
us long to learn and there came forward men who could lead a company or

This is not the first time I've said this. We knew, as I have said
before, that the task was a hard one and that we would have to learn. I
said so in all sincerity--I say that learning to build the economy is much
more difficult for revolutionaries than we imagined, and that the problems
are much more complex and the learning much longer and more arduous than we
thought it would be.

This is the battle we must now fight. It is not the only one. We will
have to stay watchful, and prepared, mindful of the threat the enemy
presents and will always present to us. This is clear. We are not carrying
on an ideological battle as we did in the early days. The battle we must
fight together with the people is in the economic field, and only with the
people can we win it.

We really thing the Revolution is confronted by an unprecedented
challenge, by one of the most difficult tasks. Hence our impatience.

What can we all give to this cause? Our energy.

Seventeen years or slightly more have passed since Moncada. Once the
need was for arduous organizing and preparatory work. We began this
struggle 18 years ago, some of us put in it 18 years of our lives, a part
of our youth. What can we do today? What do we require today? The energy we
still have in us--we must put in in this task, to the last ounce. We must
pay a debt we owe to so may enemies--both objective and subjective ones--to
the imperialist enemies, who want the Revolution to fail, to poverty, to
general ignorance, to our ignorance.

What we are fighting against today is not people, unless it is
ourselves. We are fighting against objective factors, against the past and
its effects today, against limitations of every kind. It really is the
greatest challenge we have ever been faced with in our lives, the greatest
challenge the Revolution has ever been faced with.

The enemies are rejoicing, pinning hopes on our difficulties. I have
said that they are right in this, that and the other. There is only one
thing they are wrong about--they think the people have an alternative to
the Revolution and the difficulties experienced by the Revolution may make
them choose the road of counterrevolution. You are rely wrong about that,
imperialist gentlemen! Nobody will say there is a whit of truth in that.

That cannot appraise the people, cannot gauge the depth of the people's
moral integrity and courage. Only a cowardly people would be frightened by
difficulties. Only a cowardly people would be unable to see, hear land
listen, and speak the truth outright. Only a cowardly people would shrink
from speaking the truth before the world. We have no fear of doing it as we
have done today, saying that it is our fault first and foremost as we have
done today, and confidently setting the problems before the people as we
have done today.

They are mistaken so often because they believe we have the same
morality as they and are like them, at least remotely.

No lies shall ever be told to the people. Confidence in the people
shall never be lost. Faith in the people shall never fail. This is
precisely what our enemies overlook.

We seek no glory or distinction. We serve a cause worth all the glory
on earth, which Marti said could be put in a grain of maize.

We will always serve this cause--ever more consciously, with even
greater dedication.

All I have to say now is to give many thanks to our people on behalf of
our Party and our leadership, meaning also my gratitude for the people's
reaction, attitude and trust.

Patria o muerte!