Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Text of Castro's Speech

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0213 GMT 29 Sep 70

[Text] Comrades of the Venceremos Brigade of American youths present here
tonight, comrades of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution:
First of all, our congratulations on the 10th anniversary. [applause] It
would have been hard to believe on that afternoon when the idea for the CDR
came to mind that after 10 years the organization would be as strong as it
is, have the power that it has, and have the record of services rendered to
the revolution that it has today. The 10th anniversary is commemorated with
the greatest rally ever held in this date, 28 September, and it is also
commemorated with the highest combative spirit of any previous
commemoration. [applause]

Comrade Marturelos has explained several activities accomplished by the CDR
during the past few years, particularly during the past year. The CDR
emerged as a mass organization to confront the counterrevolution, but
during these past years the CDR has performed new activities in many
fields. In can be said that with each passing year the CDR performs more
activities in many fields. It began by participation in the struggle,
against illiteracy, the struggle against epidemics, tasks in cooperation
with the Ministry of Public Health, and many other new activities besides
the activities of struggle against the enemy. Later, other activities were
undertaken, such as recovering raw materials, activities involving not only
vaccination but also problems related to preventive medicine such as
cytological tests, drives to advise people on health matters, participation
in productive activities, in all kinds of mobilizations. And I believe that
a very important activity was overlooked in the list of CDR activities,
that is the population and housing census just taken in the country.

Besides, it is mass organization that has retained all its strength, that
has increased strength during the past years, and that has played a
decisive role in the mass struggles in which the revolution has been
engaged; some of them have been pointed out today. It is an organization
that is always on the alert, always in combat readiness. It can be
mobilized in a matter of hours, and it always gives it discipline,
enthusiasm, and strength in very instance.

The strength of this mass organization is measured by the fact that the CDR
has 3,222,147 members today. [applause] And if my memory does not fail me,
it has 67,457 rank-and-file organizations and more than 600,000 activists.
[applause] It is interesting to note that approximately 250,000 "exemplary
parents" in education have been selected by the CDR. [applause] So wherever
this organization shows its strength and drive, it is strongly felt. It can
be said that this organization operates throughout the country. It is
everywhere and thus function could not be performed by any other
organization. That is why we first called it a complement of the political
organization, of the workers' organizations, of the students'
organizations. So the CDR consists of revolutionaries from all classes of
people, be it young or old, be it men or women. With them the foundation of
our mass organization is on firm ground and perfectly united in a final

Now, when the revolution is entering a new phase, a more mature new phase
in which a serious struggle will occur against the remaining vices, the old
ones and new ones, the remaining weaknesses, and the remaining
deficiencies, the mass organizations will also enter a new phase.
[applause] Among other things they will enter the most important and
decisive phase of democratization of the revolutionary process. [applause]
Each revolutionary process has had its own particular ways of organizing.
They have had their concrete forms of expression, and in this manner,
through the life and experience of our own process, the forms of expression
of our revolution are beginning to develop.

Therefore, the conditions exist. The groundwork for this process exists
precisely in the mass organization. The revolutionary process itself has
been showing us the inadvisability of bureaucratic methods as well
"administrative" methods. The revolutionary process itself [at this point
Castro apparently gets an electric shock from the microphone he is
touching]; there certainly is no power outage in this microphone. The
current goes through nicely. Anyway, every time we have made an error
[Castro aside to someone as the microphone problem crops up again:] And how
does that fix it? You are an electrician? [crowd laughter]

I was saying that every time we have made errors in method, every time we
have committed errors in concepts, negative results have been the immediate
outcome. Every time we have divorced ourselves in practice from such basic
concepts and policies, which have often been outlined regarding the role of
the party and the mass organizations, we have immediately seen the results.

Thus, when the party and the administration have begun to identify in some
sector or in some concrete point, the negative results are immediately
seen. When as mass organization begins to weaken, negative results are seen
immediately. At this moment we are embarked on a great effort to develop
our labor organizations to the utmost. [applause] Why? Because
unfortunately in the past 2 years labor organizations have been left
behind, and it was not the fault of the labor organizations nor of the
workers. It was our fault, it was the party's fault, and the fault of the
political leadership of the nation. Was this done consciously? No, it was
not done consciously. It was somewhat spontaneous, as the result of a
certain idealism. This also brought about the creation of an organization
which we do not doubt is important--the organization of the frontline
workers. But in general we disregarded the labor movement.

In addition to all this, certain things happened. A certain identification
of party, of administration, took place. This compounded the situation.
However, since the revitalization of the labor movement was brought up in
the last few months--June, July, August, and September--a number of highly
important steps have been taken and we do not doubt that our labor movement
will come out stronger than ever from this juncture and these difficulties,
[applause] stronger and more democratic than ever. In other words, it will
be very strong because it will be very democratic. Countless revolutionary
assets will come from the working masses. In other words, countless cadres
will come from the labor movement.

The revolution has in the labor movement itself that sector of the working
population which can play a decisive role in the productive processes and
the creation of the thousands of services that the nation needs. If mass
organizations such as the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution are
located in city blocks, if they are territorially everywhere, then the
labor organizations are in each one of the vital points of the productive
processes. In other words, they are in the factories and in all the centers
where the services of the nation are provided. It is a basic organization
in terms of production of the goods and services that the nation needs. The
organization is also, for example, in the women's sector. They are not
organized according to productive activities, but labor organizations are
organized along productive activities.

Therefore, a weakening in the labor movement deprives the revolution of its
most powerful tool in the productive process, its more powerful arm, its
most powerful base in the productive process. This is why we are taking
stock of the tasks required for the strengthening of the labor movement.
This effort is being graced by the growing enthusiasm for this effort among
the working masses.

But it is not just a question of becoming reinvigorated with a spirit of
strength. It is also a question of finding a deep content to this
reinvigoration of the mass organizations. And we must lean on these mass
organizations--the labor movement, the Committees for the Defense of the
Revolution, women's organizations, youth organizations, and student
organizations. We have the basis in these organizations for the subsequent
steps we must take. These steps consist of a much more direct participation
of the masses in the decisions and solutions of the problems. [applause]
And this participation must be many-sided, everywhere in territorial terms,
in the problems that have to do directly with them.

Anything that happens anywhere, on any city block, in any service center,
in any distribution center, school, or bakery. Any kind of service, if it
does not operate properly, will directly affect the mass that lives there
and that uses its services. If any industry does not operate properly, it
will affect the economy of all workers. In any industry the organization
that can play the basic role is the workers' organization. It is obvious
that there will be young people there, women, and many CDR members, and if
they participate in the block as part of those rendering services, then
they also participate directly at the factory in their obligations and in
the struggle to solve the problems that are of interest to them as members
of the working class or as part of the people. [applause] Without doubt it
is impossible to solve problems through administrative methods, and much
less so in a collective society. What good would a struggle to eliminate
the classes do? The elimination of the exploitation of man by man? The
disappearance of those contradictions which constitute the agony of class
societies, the divisions of class societies? What good would it do to unite
all the people, to have suppressed that exploitation of man by man, to have
deprived the exploiters of their tools of exploitation, this great force,
these great resources and great possibilities which represent a united
people if we do not take advantage of it to confront these tasks themselves
which belong to all the people and are for all the people. Who can
substitute the efficiency, the effectiveness, the infallibility of controls
by the masses?

Our revolution began at a time when our country's economy was clearly
underdeveloped, a handicraft economy in many ways. A revolution that is
well developed [words indistinct] and found great production centers, great
in every aspect. In a well developed economy a large number of small
businesses and grocery stores would have disappeared. All those small
bakeries would have disappeared, all the tiny drycleaning shops.
Nevertheless, that was the degree of development of our productive forces.
It consisted of small factories, miniature stores. All services were
rendered in small places, handicraft-type work. Can you imagine a bakery
serving one block, serving bread to all the neighborhood, and a bureaucracy
supervising from above? How can it be done? How can the people help not
being concerned over the operation of that bakery? How can they help not
being concerned about whether an administrator is doing it right or wrong?
How can they help not being concerned over whether someone has special
privileges or not? Negligence or not? Insensibility or not? How can they
help not being concerned over the manner in which the service is rendered?
How can they help not being concerned in the cleanliness of the place? How
can they help not being concerned about production problems? Absenteeism?
The quality and quantity of the product? It is impossible.

Can there be a more effective way to controlling that activity than the
masses themselves? Can there be a way of inspecting? It is not possible
that the man in charge of that productive micro-unit or the man in charge
of another service center can turn sour? The man who makes inspections can
turn sour; anyone can turn sour. The only ones who will not turn sour are
those affected by it. Then, the development of our productive force makes
it necessary for a great quantity of services in our country to be rendered
right there on the block. Nobody can say that they do not know how a
hackstand is operated It must be looked after. Everything must be of
interest. We must work together starting from our mass organizations, and
we will develop those organizations in which the workers are represented as
workers, the CDR, the women, the youths, all the people, so that they might
exercise a strong control over those activities right there on the local
level. Besides, the controls and participation that they exercise in the
productive centers with some development, that have a large group of
workers, are such that nothing will escape the controls of the masses.

The role of our party cannot be nor will it ever be the substitution of the
administration of mass organizations; the party's role is to guide that
process, to guide that wonderful revolution of the masses. The
organizations will have to be looked after, the party will have to be
looked after. Sometimes the party weakens due to the cadres' disregard.
Sometimes the problem of why the party must be protected is brought up. Do
not try to pick men selected from the masses, comrades of outstanding
qualifications, for administrative work. Do not weaken the party. Do not
turn these men toward administration work as they will begin to be
identified with the administration.

We have said that the party works with the masses in certain things.
[applause] The productive processes are affected through the masses, while
the administration works with the machines. They take care of other aspects
of production, the raw material, the equipment. This does not mean that all
the masses should be disregarded, because the worker is basic in
production. We center the work on the worker, and it is centered through
the party activist, the frontline movement, and the union. The party must
provide the most assistance to the mass organizations because the party
cannot substitute for the masses. If the party becomes mass, then it ceases
to be vanguard, it ceases to be party, it ceases to be selective.

We would be utopians if we believed that everybody has all the
qualifications. Not yet. The day will come when the party members are a
larger percentage of the masses. But the party must make a selection, it
cannot substitute for the masses, it cannot substitute for the
administration. The administration cannot absorb and annex the party. We
believe that the union and the vanguard movement are sources of militant
revolutionaries. The mass organizations are sources of militant
revolutionaries. Besides, the cadres of mass organizations can be excellent
sources of cadres for our party. [applause]

(?They can gradually send) their best cadres to the party and only in this
way can we achieve a real vanguard, assuming a vanguard and leadership
role. This is important, this is decisive. Whoever thinks that by taking a
cadre from their, from a trade union, to put him in administrative work is
going to help production, may be affecting [Castro leaves though
incomplete] that by taking a member from the party and putting him in the
administration and removing him systematically without any consideration
for the party cell [Castro leaves though incomplete].

In other words, the time comes when the party cell and the administration
are the same thing. Whoever is unconcerned about preventing such harm to
the party will be seriously harming the administration.

The tasks are different and we must repeat it, and it is necessary to
understand it. The people themselves must understand these views and also
take part in (?their) control.

It must be said that besides our party being an elite and vanguard
organization, who can control our party better than the masses themselves?
[applause] We cannot--we have to say the same thing--we cannot control the
party by simple methods, by inspectors or the like. Aside from active work,
aside from the fact that the members themselves carry out an incessant
inspection and control function over the party, the mass organizations must
help the party in this task against any deviation, against any sign of
corruption, against any sign of privilege. In other words the masses must
watch over the party and see to it that the party is an exemplary
organization in every respect. They must see to it that the party is able
to perform its vanguard role.

These ideas are basic. At the present time a great number of meetings are
taking place in workplaces. Plenums are being held. We do not doubt that
the problems about which we spoke on 26 July will be surmounted. And to a
certain extent we are beginning to cope with these problems. The enemies of
the revolution, those who enjoyed the fact that the revolution analyzed its
weak points, that it openly and boldly analyzed its problems, almost
believed that this was the swansong of the revolution. It is possible that
they did not imagine that the revolution, despite objective and subjective
difficulties, despite the efforts we must make, was going to enter upon one
of its most glorious phases--one of deepening political consciousness and
strengthening. In other words, the difficulties will never be greater than
the people's will, than the people's morale, than the people's strength.

And we do not entertain the slightest doubt that we are overcoming some of
the problems we listed on 26 July. And we do not have the slightest doubt
that the results will be seen, and that they will be seen with figures. Of
that we have not the slightest doubt, independently of the objective and
subjective difficulties we may have--difficulties which we at no time want
to minimize, for we would be committing a great error.

The country has resources. It has acquired a number of resources. But the
country must know how to use these resources in the optimum way, and in an
effective way. And the country must fight tirelessly with everything that
one way of another goes against the ineffective use of these resources.
Now, for instance, within the labor movement, the struggle against
vagrancy, against parasitism, and against absenteeism is gaining tremendous
impetus. [applause, rhythmic clapping, chanting] The workers are holding
meetings concerning these problems. The workers have strongly, firmly, and
categorically expressed their determination to adopt measures that will
really wipe out all these laggardly manifestations that conspire against
the people's interest. And he bill has not even been discussed yet at our
workers' assemblies--a bill that will precisely interpret the feelings at
the work centers. Already it can be said that to a certain degree vagrancy
and absenteeism are beating a retreat--a retreat. The problem lies in
cutting off even the retreat--to act as the guerrillas who surround the
retreating enemy and wipe it out. Withdrawal must be prevented. These
manifestations must be wiped out. They must be eliminated.

However, certain deficiencies--certain deficiencies are already being
noted. This battle is simply beginning, and this battle is going to be won
basically by discussion--in the very discussion of the law, that is,
coercion will be at a minimum. But in any case, there will be a society, a
collectivist system, wherein the means of production are owned by all the
people and perform the people's productive tasks. This must be contrary to
what occurred in capitalist societies, where the biggest vagrants were the
owners of the industries and the production centers, in addition to the
capitalist society's need to have an army of unemployed as a reserve labor

In a collectivist society, where man works for society, laziness must
become a crime--a crime similar to stealing. Indeed, why is the thief
punished? Why? Because he steals something from the people. If he enters a
distribution center and walks away with a bag full of things, he is robbing
the people--the productive, working people. In the same manner, the vagrant
steals from the people in an even worse way. He is worse than the thief who
at night breaks the windows of, let us say, a people's distribution center.
From the water he drinks to the water he uses to bathe, all of this is the
result of work, from the light he uses to see--if he has a light bulb--the
clothes he wears, the trousers, the food. The lazy person robs the people
daily. This is the truth, and therefore a new kind of society of production
must understand this. Our masses must realize this, and they realize it
fully. This is one of the many problems affecting production. It
disorganizes it--the lazy person, the absentee--he disorganizes it,
complicates it, leaves the hardest part of the work for the others to do.
This affects the production cycle, affects the process; it disorganizes,
demoralizes, and irritates--irritates. So we must take measures so that
these elements may have no place in our society, so that this kind of
robbery will never go unpunished. [applause]

In this manner [Castro interrupts himself and seems to address someone in
the audience] send it through the mail. [shouting] We have spent 24 hours
during the past 2 days attending assemblies. Now we are at another kind of
assembly. [More noise from the crows; Castro laughs] All right, I saw him,
I saw him. Now will you take him down, because if not, the ones behind him
will protest saying they they cannot see. They are from the Venceremos
Brigade. [applause]

We were saying that this struggle, which began after the 26 July
statements, is being pressed forward on all levels. We know that it is not
a struggle of 1 day, 1 week or 1 month--it is a no quarter given, tireless,
and long struggle. But the results in all aspects will be seen. They will!

And already, by means of the workers assemblies, an infinite number of
faults, acts of negligence, laziness, neglect, and other factors are
beginning to come to light which have been affecting production. And all
these factors will be dealt with right down the line. We must, therefore,
express our optimism regarding the results that the revolution in this new
phase, regarding the struggle that the revolution is conducting in this new

We are certain that just as the revolution has won many battles and has
been able to resist the powerful forces--all the pressures and all the
instincts of imperialism--these battles that must be fought among the
people and that must be fought against our own weaknesses and deficiencies,
these battles will be also won. We fully realize that a radical process
such as the Cuban revolutionary process--a full process in which everything
changes, as we have explained at the Women's Federation ceremony--must also
involve all these experiences.

However, these years have not been in vain. The revolution has become
strong among the people. The organizations of the masses have become
strong--very strong. Those who are not strong now will most certainly be
strong very soon, and we will be in a position to fight these battles along
with the people everywhere and at all levels. [applause] Therefore, in the
future, the activity of this mass committee--the defense committees--will
be transformed to the extent that its role will not be only to watch, to
participate in campaigns of this type or that type, to provide raw
material, and to participate in a mass campaign; it will also involve a
transformation in all aspects of the production of basic goods for the
people. Therefore...[shouts are heard from audience. Castro says: "You have
a strong voice. You have no need for a microphone. But of course this is
because everybody else is silent. But now you must shut up because you must
respect the rights of hundreds of thousands of people present. I do not
know who he is, but he is somewhere between the Venceremos Brigade and the
crowd. All right. If you will be quiet, we will continue. Otherwise, I will
not speak now or later. Enough." More shouts are heard from crowd. Someone
is heard in background asking for a few words from or about fighters.
Castro answers: "Let us not talk so much about fighters. It is not
necessary to proclaim such merits. It is not good to be proclaiming past
merits when there is so much merit to be achieved in the future of our
fatherland." Applause]

Tonight we want to give special recognition to the third group of U.S.
youths who have come to our country to work. [applause] Present at this
ceremony is a contingent of more than 400 youths from 25 states of the
United States and Puerto Rico. [applause] They are the third brigade of
U.S. youths to visit us this year. Two former brigades participated in cane
cutting. (?These brigades were millionaire brigades. The comrades who
worked with these brigades were greatly impressed with their work attitude,
their self-discipline, and with the deep interest shown in their
contribution of good will and energy toward our country's development.

This brigade also is a millionaire brigade. You ask how, since the harvest
is over? Do you ask how there can be a millionaire brigade on the Isle of
Pines, where there is no sugarcane? Well, they fertilized 1,095,187 citrus
plants in an area of 570 caballerias. [applause]

They also fertilized 450 kilometers of windbreaks in 28,799 work hours.
[applause] They harvested 5,389 quintals of lemons in 18,518 work hours.
[applause] They planted 21,681 grapefruit plants 3,903 (?orange) plants,
and transplanted 6,803 orange trees in 10,627 work hours. This is a total
of 13 caballerias freshly planted. [applause] And six caballerias
replanted. They worked 3,938 hours inspecting their plants. They irrigated
32,903 plants, unloaded 7,599 plants, filled 8,208 holes for planting, in
addition to working 512 hours on construction projects at Loma de Sierra de
Caballo, on the Isle of Pines television antenna, and 960 hours building a
kindergarten in Gerona. [applause] They lost 3,821 hours because of rain,
which is an insignificant figure.

And here you see concretely the effort put forth by these youths in a
splendid movement of great revolutionary and internationalist content
[applause], and an expression of the sentiments and the moral reserves of
the best people of the United States. [applause] This is how the third
brigade, with over 1,500 young people, if I remember--no, 2,000--has been
defeating the blockade and all kinds of obstacles, all kinds of risks. For
it must be said that the imperialists are in no way pleased and that they
become hysterical when they know about the presence of these North American
youths in our country. [applause, rhythmic clapping]

These are the youths who risk the ire of the imperialists and the
consequences of this revolutionary gesture toward our people. And, of
course, this could entail innumerable inconveniences that the imperialists
try, or concoct to try, to discourage the progressive and revolutionary
movement in the United States. And this is why we express, with special
emotion, our recognition and appreciation to these North American youths on
this 10th anniversary of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution.

They have come to work, and they have genuinely worked. And we see before
us the results: another moral lesson for the vagrants. [applause, chanting
of "Venceremos"]

There is a practical question which we want to bring up on the occasion of
this ceremony. It is a problem in which the defense committees can play an
important role. It is the electricity problem, the frequency of power
failures, the inconveniences they cause, and the fact that they have been
causing difficulty for production--factories stop working, machines stop
working. They create problems in refrigeration plants. They are caused by
the great consumption of electricity during peak hours. The problem worsens
when there is a lack of plant maintenance. This maintenance has lagged
somewhat. The problem also increases with longer nights now that classes
have begun.

And maintenance deficiencies have accumulated --deficiencies which multiply
in the final part of the year because the sugar centrals are at a
standstill. During the harvest season there are standard amounts of power
capacity in the centrals, inasmuch as they operate with the steam produced
by the bagasse.

By the same token this is a time when classes have begun and the nights are
longer, which complicates the problem. Moreover, it is not precisely a
question of our country's being short of electricity. The installed
electric power output capacity which our country had in 1958, prior to the
revolution, was 397,000 kilowatt-hours daily. At the present time, this
capacity is 909,000. This means it has grown, increased by approximately
130 percent--more than double, a good deal more than double that which
existed before the revolution. So, too, the production of electrical energy
in 1958 was 1,473,000,000 kilowatt-hours.

In 1970 this will be approximately 3,787,000,000, that is, 2.0 [as heard]
that of 1958, also, more than twice the amount of the energy generated

And how has the consumption of energy increased? In 1969--I shall speak of
1969 because there are still 3 months to go in 1970--the industrial
consumption, which has been 331 million kilowatt-hours--in 1969 it was 750
million kilowatt-hours. The residential consumption, which was 506 million
in 1958, was 921 million in 1969. The total of others--that is hospitals,
schools, and other consumers--which was 636 million in 1958, was
1,062,000,000 in 1969. So, between 1958 and 1969 consumption increased from
1,473,000,000 to 2,933,000,000, and this year the increase is even greater.
In other words, our country has more than doubled its electrical capacity.
We are producing more than twice what we produced before the revolution,
and we have the problem of power failures during the peak hours of
electrical use.

And how is current being used? Twenty-seven percent goes for industry--this
is yearly use, not just for daytime hours, mind you, but the total used
during the year. This was 72 percent last year for industry. Thirty-four
percent was for residential use, and 39 percent was for other use. However,
what happens at the peak hours? Well, 20 percent is going for industry, 48
percent is going for homes, 4 percent is going for public lighting, and 28
percent is going for other uses. Therefore, almost 50 percent of the
electrical energy is consumed during the so-called peak electrical hours.

The O'Bourke thermoelectrical plant in Cienfuegos is now almost complete.
The Nuevitas plant is also almost complete. The electrical system between
Nuevitas and Oriente is now being connected. It is now in the
Santiago-Holguin phase, and the work is going ahead rapidly. Our industrial
capacity will increase in Mariel, and also in Cienfuegos to some extent.
But with the present level of consumption we will continue to have
problems. New units will begin to be installed early next year--in
Tallapiedras, a 60,000-kilowatt unit; in Regla, another 60,000 unit.
Industrial brigades will work speedily on new installations to satisfy the
needs in the western area, where the situation is more serious at the
present time.

There is a whole program of investments in thermoelectricity. But
gentlemen, we cannot go on constructing one electrical plant after another
unless we became aware of the need to save electricity. Unfortunately, many
people think of electricity and the rays of the sun as one and the same
thing. Electricity and a lighted bulb, I mean, the electricity of a lighted
bulb and the light of the moon are more or less the same things. However,
the country's greatest users of fuel are the electrical plants, which
consume a great quantity of fuel which in turn must be transported over
great distances. The efforts of many men are used to construct those
plants. Vast resources must be invested in these plants, while at the same
time a great number of workers are used in the operation and maintenance of
these plants and of the whole of the electrical service. It is not fair,
any way you look at it, that this investment should be wasted, allowed to
become dilapidated, squandered--this is the word I was searching
for--without batting an eyelash, as if it were sunlight or wind or the
waters of the oceans.

We must think of this, and that is why we must develop an awareness of
this, not in terms of saving fuel, but in terms of saving the electricity
itself. There are instances during certain programs when the electrical
peak rises and makes everyone run around, during certain television
programs, that is.

There is no doubt that we squander this most valued resource without
batting an eye. And this should not be, cannot be. A country which
squanders cannot go forward. A country which does not save cannot go
forward. And one of the things which we must create during this battle with
problems is the awareness of economy in all things, in raw materials, in
everything, but especially with regard to electricity.

Of course, the comrades of the electrical enterprises are preparing a study
and a program providing the fullest information on all the issues for the
people. And they are organizing the drive to save electric power so as to
alleviate this situation. They may even adopt a system of advising in
advance where blackouts are to occur so as not to catch everybody by
surprise--so that everyone will know when, at what time, the outage will
occur. All the committees will have to work a little better since there
could be some ill-intentioned person who knows when the lights are going to
go out, or he may even plot something. But the main think is for it to be
known where the outage will occur so that the pertinent measures can be

Above all, however, the most important thing is for us to acquire an
awareness of the need to save power. One of the most expensive but still
the cheapest things in the country is electricity. Let us save it; Let us
save it. And let us turn off any light bulb that does not need to be on.
This is the question. To consume what we need, not waste what we do not

And we also see the television set on, with a bulb burning elsewhere. We
must turn it off. In all public buildings, in the schools, in all offices,
electricity must be saved, but above all, electricity must be saved in
industry. For example, in light industry. Of almost 400 assemblies held in
400 different work centers and which sent representatives to the plenary
just held Saturday and Sunday in the area of the Havana Province, I asked
whether at any of those assemblies in any center problems which could
affect production had been discussed, and whether anyone had brought up the
problem of saving electricity. And believe me, there was not one case among
400 centers where this problem was brought out.

Electricity and solar energy, exactly the same thing. No one spoke of the
sun at these meetings. No one spoke of electricity at the assemblies. There
you have, if you will, proof which gives some idea of the dimensions and
the number of problems and deficiencies which we are not aware of and
against which we must struggle. Simply put, no one was worrying about these
things. Mind you, we believe that industry is expending more electricity
that it should. It is logical, then, that this squandering has the same
origin as the problem of those who do not even bother to ask how much they
spend of this most important element of production.

We therefore want to advantage of this huge ceremony to present this
watchword, to ask the people, to ask the workers, to ask the CDR's, to ask
the housewives, to ask the students, to ask the children, to ask everyone
to become a defender of electric power, savers of electricity, because the
lack of electricity closes our factories and creates many problems for us,
and this electricity has caused must effort and is costly to produce.

Before we can have a machine in a cloth factory we must have power. Before
installing mechanical milking equipment we must have electricity.

Before we can operate a lathe or any of the thousands and thousands of
machines involved in production, we must have electricity. We must expend
human energy and financial energy and large quantities of fuel before we
can produce one item. These are the problems of development, which must
begin by producing sources of energy in order to operate a factory to
produce goods. Before setting up a milking plant or a cloth factory, it is
necessary to build large thermoelectric plants, beginning years in advance,
placing the wires, preparing the work force so as to make use of the
energy. It is therefore a crime to waste this energy recklessly. If we do
not instill the habit of saving in the people, an awareness of the value of
things, we will be conspiring against our own welfare and future. This is
the reality.

It would be excellent if this anniversary could mark the beginning of an
awareness of this problem, that we could begin to be aware of the value of
electricity. And we hope that this new task, this highly important
productive task, will be taken with the enthusiasm that is characteristic
of the CDR's. [applause]

We are not going to make this ceremony length. We do not want absentees in
work centers tomorrow. We have had many ceremonies and meetings. We have a
great deal of work to do. I shall therefore make my speech relatively

I must add that today we received the sad news of Egyptian President Abn
an-Nasir's death, which occurs at a time of great crisis in the Middle
East. Abn an-Nasir was one of the most distinguished leaders and one of the
most authoritative figures in the Arab world. This is undoubtedly a hard
blow for the revolutionary movements in the Arab countries at a time when
the imperialists are using the violence of war, at a time when Nixon is
aggressively going to Europe, plans to go on an aircraft carrier, making
ready for action and carrying out warlike maneuvers and pirouettes. This is
why we want to express our deep sorrow publicly to the people of the United
Arab Republic and to the Arab peoples for this sad event. We express our
condolences and our solidarity. Fatherland or death, we shall win.