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Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0122 GMT 2 May 71

[Speech by Cuban Prime Minister Maj Fidel Castro Ruz at the main ceremonies
marking May day from the Havana CTC theater--live]

[Text] Comrades of the Central Committee, comrades of the trade union
leadership, comrade delegates of the union locals present here: You will
recall that last year because of the sugar harvest we had to suspend almost
all commemorations. We did not want to interrupt the effort which was being
made. This was because, as you know, these gatherings took time and energy.
This year we are again busy in arduous tasks, determined to increase
production, yet we did not want this May day to pass without an
official-type celebration. This year we did not want to hold a mass rally
because we still have many tasks to fulfill. This is why it was decided to
have a national representation of the principal work centers of the nation
and also of all those trade union locals which, because of their special
efforts in productive work should be invited to the event--taking into
account, naturally, the capacity of this theater.

Thus there are gathered here somewhat more than 3,500 representatives of
the trade union locals. We might say that our labor movement is perfectly
represented tonight.

Scarcely a year ago, it is still not a year, a proposal was made concerning
the revolution's need to promote the labor movement and give it the maximum
vigor by structuring it from the very rank and file base with maximum
energy and through a mass effort, in order to achieve the constitution and
the development of [leaves thought unfinished]--so that the revolution
would have an instrument equal to the tasks confronting it.

Since then elections have been held in all work places. According to the
data I have, 33,815 trade union locals were established. Thus we have a
rank and file base for the labor movement--the trade union locals.

Moreover, the idea of the way we should organize the labor movement was
developed during the year. Using this idea national trade unions are being
established through national plenary meetings. We have already established
the national basic industry trade union, ones in the mining industry, light
industry, the food industry, and yesterday, coinciding with the first
national congress on education and culture, the national educational,
cultural, and scientific workers union was established which includes a
considerable number of Cuban workers--some 175,000 of them--which also
perform an activity of enormous importance to our populace.

As you can see we have not proceeded hastily. We have moved gradually but
with sure steps from the trade union local to the national trade unions. We
should propose the continuation of the march forward and the establishment
of the rest of the national trade unions. So far, the rate of organization
of these traded unions has been marked by another activity of great
productive and economic importance--the national plenary sessions, which
also began at the rank and file base in which the workers and
administrative and political leaders have been discussing the problems
connected with production in each work center followed by these national
plenary meetings.

Each one of these plenary meeting in connection with production problems
are preceded by an enormous organizational, analytical, and discussion
effort. They are serious and intensive efforts.

The plenary meetings last 2 days and sometimes even 3 days, preceded by
countless meetings of the rank and file and in the provinces.

In this period of great activity and of the sugar harvest, the old rate of
organization has not been maintained. But the rate will be stepped up
again. We must again face the task and continue to hold the national
plenary meetings which have been programmed for the coming months.

Sometimes the organization of the national trade union cannot always
coincide with the plenary meeting and this is why it is possible that we
might have to step it up in some cases. At any rate, we propose to continue
to work in this direction during the last 6 months of this year and the
first 6 months of next year. We do not have to hurry; let us try to do the
job well and, I repeat, on solid ground.

But the possibility is in view that by next May day we will have organized
all the national trade unions and that during the last 6 months of next
year we will be able to celebrate the national workers congress on a firm
foundation. [applause]

It should be an event of great importance and it should provide a
necessary, important program for the tasks to be faced by our country in
the coming years. It is an event that will have to be well organized, very
well. We will have to work hard to do so. And in the end we should be able
to obtain the same results as we achieved in this last event on education
that has just concluded, and which was the result of a careful, precise,
and untiring effort on the part of the comrades in education--the teachers,
the professors, members of the union, and the Ministry of Education
workers--who gave it their greatest effort with the cooperation of mass
organizations and other institutions in order to attain an event of
historical significance.

In this same manner, we believe that when the time comes to hold the
workers' congress the problems will have to be analyzed in great
depth--problems of interest to our people and our workers. This does not
mean that we will have to wait for the congress to take place before we
tackle the practical tasks, the immediate tasks. This has been done for the
past few months and will have to be continued in the future to a much
greater degree.

Nevertheless, we can already observe the results of this consolidation of
the workers' movement. The results can be seen in production, in the
economy. We feel that this is not the proper moment to review what has been
accomplished. We should wait for 26 July when we will analyze the
advancements attained in the field of production, in the same manner that
late year we analyzed the difficulties encountered; and in this manner we
will be able to analyze the advancements and improvements that we have
attained in the fields of economy and production.

We must state that the steps taken in some fronts have paid off with great
improvements in production and productivity. We have worked towards that
end from many angles, such as organizational and technological efforts. The
productive rallies have had a lot to do with it, that is, production
rallies, and particularly the increasing strength of the workers' movement,
the workers' awareness, and the fact that they have assumed the
responsibility for these tasks.

Without asserting that the difficulties have been resolved, or something to
that effect, that everything has been done, that we can now look the other
way and let things go, that we can drop the guard, we can state that the
efforts exerted during the past few months are already showing concrete
results which seems to indicate wonderful prospects in future years. We
feel certain that we must continue to face up to the many remaining
difficulties in the same manner, but we must be certain that there will not
be any problems that cannot be surmounted.

Next year we will be able to leave the enclosed area which we have
continued to use this year due to work concerning the economy, and we will
be able to commemorate May day with a great parade. [applause]

This year some events were held to commemorate May day in almost every
province. According to what we have heard...[woman's voice interrupts from
the audience and Castro laughs] [applause] As you have seen, we did not
forget about the Isle of Pines. We mentioned all the provinces and also
Isle of Pines. The Isle of Pines has a status which is neither a province
nor just a region; it is something between a region and a province. We only
know that it is an island, and that it is advancing. We expect that someday
it will become a bulwark of the country's economy. They did not have cane.
[shriek from the audience] They have citrus fruits, but they only have one
third of what they should have. [more shrieks from the audience]

They should have at least 3,000 caballerias. [more shrieks from the
audience] You only have around 1,000. Well, it does not make any difference
if you advance firmly and well. The Isle of Pines is the Cuban region that
has the most dammed water. [female voice from the crowd: "We are building
many houses according to the self-help program; there are many tasks."]
[applause] Someday we will find a way to join the island with a road.

We do not have enough aircraft and vessels to keep pace with the increasing
and continuous advancements of the island. It will be much greater, the day
that they attain the 3,000 caballerias of citrus fruits in production and
other production. Logically, we will have to manage it with vessels for
some years to come. The time will come to build a road, but first, we will
have to accomplish many other tasks. Some day we will be able to join Isle
of Pines with the island of Cuba, as they call it. [more female voices from
the audience] This is due to the enthusiasm of the residents of the Isle of
Pines. Well, at any rate is shows that the little island is working.

Well, I was saying that on the basis of the reports arriving from all the
provinces, the May day events were very vigorous and enthusiastic
throughout the island. Next year, when all the trade union locals have been
established--no, I do not mean the locals, I mean when all the national
trade unions have been established and when the labor movement has maximum
vigor and organization we can hold a large parade, I repeat, on the
occasion of May day, and we shall move out of the indoor meetings. Of
course, indoor meetings are valuable in order to reason together and this
is what I want, to reason a little with the union leaders about various

In the first place I want to point out that I consider it to be a great
political battle and a great political victory to have had the antivagrancy
law discussed [applause] by more than 3 million persons in 115,000
meetings. More than any other argument, this speaks of the massive and
democratic nature of this initiative.

This says more than anything else of the massive and democratic nature of
the revolution. The classic, institutional, established procedures were not
followed by virtue of which the members of the government meet and pass a

The nature of this law, its character, and its importance would have
infinitely more force and strength if it had been implemented just as it
was, through the labor movement, through the mass organizations, and was
first discussed and approved by the people. [sentence as heard]

On other occasions I have said that in our judgment this is the most
revolutionary and democratic procedure to approve laws. This procedure has
been used in other initiatives and I think that it should be the procedure
that should be used progressively to approve the fundamental laws.
Naturally, there are countless regulations and measures that must be taken
and have to be approved in a rapid procedure; but if all these fundamental
questions are discussed with the masses we will achieve what has been
achieved with this law against vagrancy.

What gave the law its maximum force? In the first place, it was the fact
that all the populace acquired an awareness of the problem. The discussions
were extraordinarily educational and the masses demonstrated that they had
acquired an awareness and had taken a position with regard to the problem
of vagrancy. But the masses were not concerned with vagrancy historically.
In the class-divided, capitalist societies vagrancy is practically a way of
life in the first place because thousands, tens of thousands, and depending
on the size of the nation, hundreds of thousands and millions of persons do
not work and live off the work of others.

But there are also persons who do not even participate in the management
activities of industry and live off coupons, collecting interest from the
shares they own, without any connection with production, without any
connection with work. It is inconceivable for such societies to be
concerned with vagrancy.

Capitalist societies have also established a sort of compulsory idleness
which is not the same as vagrancy. It is compulsory unemployment. They
maintain a labor pool of jobless persons to permit industry to draw from it
whenever there is need for them. This is why you see in the statistics of
the capitalist societies and of the most developed capitalist societies
such as in the United States, that there are millions of unemployed
workers. Unemployment that is upwards of five, six, or seven percent of the
able-bodied working population, not counting housewives and other persons.
Only counted are those who are willing to work and cannot find any work.

And so each time the capitalists need manpower, they go to the labor market
and buy manpower. It is perfectly well known that in such a society, all
the worker has is manpower and he sell it on the market. The capitalist
societies maintain this perennial manpower pool with the army of

In the past, when the sugar harvest began, nobody had to make the effort
required at the present time. There was always a pool of half a million men
without jobs, half a million men who did not work for a good part of the
year. The sugar harvest was their chance to make a living. What kind of
work? Those who looked after the oxen had to get up at two in the morning,
yoke the teams, begin to haul the cane, and then go to bed at eight or nine
that night. The ones who cut the cane had to load it too. The nation's
economy was maintained on the efforts of a few hundred thousand men who at
times had to work 15, 16, and 17 hours a day.

They would show up alone in the canefields, traveling from one province to
another; there we no billets for them, no transportation services, no
messhalls, and so the capitalists organized their sugar harvests with
minimum effort.

You know how the sugar harvests today must be organized, all the factors
that must be assured in a sugar harvest.

Capitalism had instituted compulsory idleness among the workers. It would
have been inconceivable for a capitalist society to establish a law in
which the principle of common work is established as a basic duty. This law
is only proper to a socialist society because work is not for the profit of
capitalists. Work is for the purpose of producing the material goods and
services which all the populace needs.

Under socialism there are not nor can there be unemployed because wealth
comes from work and only from work. Work is required even to obtain goods
that are most accessible in nature. Work is the source of material goods
and services needed by the people. Under the socialist system work is not
performed for profit but for the need.

The needs are limitless. The logical and normal thing is to use all
resources on hand in order to attain the limitless needs, more so, when the
nature of work changes.

Under the capitalist system work is compulsory, but another type (?of
compulsion), not the type prescribed by the law. This law, which was
approved by more than 3 million persons and enthusiastically and
energetically approved by all workers, is not for the workers, but for the
non-workers. [applause] It is not a law to govern those carrying out their
duties, but for those who try to elude their duty. That is why it was so
enthusiastically approved. It is a law of the producers and against the
non-producers. It is a law of those who create wealth with sweat and effort
against those who wish to enjoy the wealth created with the sweat and
effort of the rest and without contributions. That is why we stated that it
was an illegal social practice, a new type of illegal social practice which
belongs to a different social structure, which belongs to a different
social system, and which does not establish nor should it establish leisure
as a system through which the owners enjoy wealth without working, nor does
it establish compulsory leisure through a system that maintains manpower in
any army of unemployed.

This is the law. The fact that our working masses have energetically
supported that law and the fact that they have held such radical positions
demonstrate an outstanding awareness. It is the awareness of a people who
know that any idle arm, that any inactive arm for reasons unrelated to
health and age, is an arm that has been taken from society. This is wealth
taken from society. They are also persons who will live from society's
work. We believe that the approval of that law reflected the high degree of
revolutionary and political awareness of our people, which is a leap
forward in quality of that type of awareness.

It is an important step forward although, logically, it is not the only
one. Even though logically we have many important steps forward to take, we
have to consider the approval of the law a great revolutionary victory of
our people. It was not only the approval through a new method, a method of
broad mass discussion, a method of consultation with the people, a method
more democratic than had ever been known before in history. You knew about
the bourgeois parliament which approved the laws of the capitalist
societies, what kind of parliament it was and the way the laws were

This is a law approved by all the people. This is a new and revolutionary
institution, but it also had several additional advantages--The people got
an education and the battle was won in the process of preparing the law.
The measure emerged with such moral force, with such authority, that prior
to its becoming effective on 1 April a total of 101,019 persons had
registered. [applause] Of course, we must not assume that the 101,000
persons can be considered lazy persons. Some of them were just about
entering the working age bracket, youths who had dropped from school, some
former convicts, youths fresh out of the military service.

But about one half of these registered were persons who had abstained from
productive tasks. We must state that the law had a moral effect, the effect
that Comrade Risquet mentioned in one of the first plenary sessions when he
so rightly said that the success of the law depended on the number of times
that it had to be used, and that the problem should be resolved in the
least processing of the law, and so on. Just a very few persons have
violated the law.

If a country advances in this manner, if a human community advances in this
manner, if such methods are adopted, truly mass methods, truly democratic,
there is no doubt that we can go very far. The society of classes, divided
into exploiters and the exploited with subdivisions of many different types
of exploiters and exploited, beginning with those who die of hunger to
those who enjoy the increased values which the capitalists take from the
workers, is divided many times.

It is impossible for those communities to advance. It is impossible for
them to face up the arduous and difficult problems that are encountered by
any people in today's world. The capitalists developed countries have
problems due to their many and unlimited contradictions in spite of their
economic development, and the underdeveloped countries have problems in
many instances due to their many contradictions, plus their ever-existing
poverty. All communities today have very grave problems, very difficult
problems. Humanity grows and is growing at a rate never before known. In
past centuries it grew much more slowly. Life expectancy was much lower.
The modern medicines that have controlled the great epidemics did not
exist. Thus the population grows and it is estimated that within 25 or 30
years, the world's population will reach some 6 billion persons. This
figure is practically triple that of the first half of the century.

It is not the same thing to talk about 2 billion as compared to 4 billion.
It is not the same thing to talk about 2 billion--which would be
approximately the population some 25 or 30 years ago--as 6 billion persons
within 40 years.

The material and social needs that this involves creates such awesome and
acute problems such as the housing problem all over the world, the problems
of sufficient water supply for the population, the educational services for
this population, and in short the material needs for clothing, shoes, and
food for this population.

In the case of our own country--how it has grown in the past 12 years!
Today there are something over 8.5 million persons. We have grown more than
2 million in population and this in spite of the exodus of the maggot heap.
We have grown by more than 2 million since the triumph of the revolution.
This implies medical services, schools, housing needs, clothing needs,
shoes, food, of all kinds for 2 million more persons.

And it is the underdeveloped nations that are in fact multiplying at the
greatest rate and it is these nations that have the greatest poverty, and
the largest young population. We have more than 3 million persons who are
16 or less years of age. Some 40 percent of the population are in this
bracket. To this number you must add the cases of overage persons and not
capable or working for whatever reason.

In our country, many persons who reached retirement age did not retire
because they had no pension rights or their pension was like the ones the
canecutters and farm workers used to have--six or seven pesos. This forced
the workers to keep working when they reached retirement age because they
and their family could not live with six or seven pesos. These
circumstances must be taken into account.

The capitalist society also exploited children and made them work 10 or 12
hours and this is not the combination of work and study for the education
of children. This is not the marvelous schools such as the secondary
schools that are being built at an every-increasing rate, where the pupils
put in 3 hours of productive labor and then get a complete
education--general education as well as sports, cultural activities,
laboratories, the best food that we can give them, clothing, shoes, the
best health conditions, the best living conditions. No, the capitalist
society historically exploited children and women. It did not care about
providing day care centers.

Remember that opprobious past--that situation the women of our country had
to endure? A woman had to get some relative to care for the children so
that she could go to work. Remember that horrible thing which fortunately
is becoming every-increasingly a thing of the past--the matter of

There were, according to statistics, more than 50,000 women directly
involved in prostitution. To this add the subtle forms of the phenomenon in
which businessmen paid women to work in bars, business establishments, in
stores, in all those activities in which they were interested in attracting
customers. They were selling sex. This was the most prevalent.

Also prevalent was that idiosyncrasy which in a certain sense tended to
prostitute every women born in Cuba. It was the preparation for matrimony,
not the preparation for life, not the preparation for production, but the
preparation to get the daugthers married well. The families in that society
were imbued with these thoughts. It was a society that forced families into
"good marriages" and a "good marriage" meant marrying a rich husband.

In other words, the capitalist society prostituted women without
distinction as to age. It exploited the old, it exploited children, and
prostituted the women. And this society with such terrible living
conditions did not admit any of this.

Today no man can be kept working 17 hours a day and no economic plan can be
made on such a basis.

We said that the law established certain measures. What was the law under
capitalism in order to force persons to work? Unemployment, the labor pool,
hunger, a gun pointed at every worker, at every peasant. The peasant who
did not work--he could not have a doctor, nor an education, nor medicines,
nor income. He could not pay the rent. This is why men waited eagerly for
the beginning of the sugar harvest even if they had to work for 15 hours,
because a pistol was pointed at them, at their women, at their children.

The pistol was not a steel weapon with flintlock and powder but it was just
as effective because the worker knew that if his child got sick, the child
would die if he did not have the medicine or the money to buy some. The
child died without getting sick because it did not have anything to eat,
anything to wear, no shoes, and so the worker, his wife, the children, his
sisters, the father, the mother, the whole family had a gun pointed at its

They were forced to work under the worst conditions. They always had a
competitor for the job too--the one who was ready to take the job that he
quit or did not want to do.

A drastic change has occurred in this society--the disappearance of private
property under these working conditions in a nation whose productive forces
were considerably backward created the main contradiction for us--unless we
made a revolution we could not move ahead. No underdeveloped nation can
become developed today without a revolution. When we made a revolution
other types of problems and contradictions are created. The [word
indistinct] conditions, in which work is performed and in which the
production of material goods and services is attained, disappears.

However, the backwardness of the productive forces persists, that is, the
backwardness in work productivity. Society changes and conditions change,
but the technological backwardness persists. In the past this was
substituted with the work of old people and children, with the exploitation
of the workers, with twice the number of working hours which a worker is
logically supposed to be able to endure--15, 16, 17. There is an additional
problem. There is an international workday schedule--8 hours of work. But
these are the same 8 hours in a developed country which has productive
forces unusually developed as the 8 hours in a country whose productive
forces have no development at all.

Thus, an international schedule exists which measures the working time--8
hours. The same 8 hours exist in the country with 5, 6, 7, or 10 times less
development of its productive force. In other words, the same amount of
time is worked in both countries. The underdeveloped country has to produce
its wealth in the same number of hours that the countries which have 5, 6,
or 10 times more development of the productive forces. These are the
conditions, the contradictions which have to be faced by a country in

That is why with us the problems concerning working duties are
unquestionable. The problems concerning the use of the workday are
unquestionable. The problems concerning the increasing of productivity are
unquestionable. I repeat that capitalism forced the worker to cut cane and
haul it with oxen-driven carts. Most of the cane used to be hauled with
oxen-driven carts in the past. The oxen used to move in terrain without
roads. There was no need for roads as there is now that we have tractors
and trucks.

Capitalism used to hold the worker to a strict 15 and 16 hour working
schedule, to a rapid working pace. Capitalism used to force old people to
work until the day they died, because retirement was practically
nonexistent, just a few in some sectors and very poor for the great
majority, and none in many cases. Old people were forced to work until they
died. It forced children to work any number of hours that were required.
Besides, it had no obligations as to educational services for all the
people. It was of no concern to them. If capitalism gave basic secondary
education to all youths, it would not have all that labor reserve that
could cut cane.

If capitalism exploited the old people, children, women, and forced the
workers--who were responsible for the country's economy and had the main
responsibility in the harvest--to work 15 or 16 hours, how can the
revolution which has to give education, basic training, educational
supplies, and furniture for all the children in the country, for all the
youths going into higher education, if the revolution has to give
retirement and there is retirement for all workers in the country, if the
revolution has to give medical attention for all the people in all parts of
the island, to all sick people including children and old people, if it has
to prevent epidemics, if the revolution has also the develop its productive
force, if the revolution has to develop its economy, if the revolution has
to solve backlogged problems such as sewerage, housing, besides the
accumulated problems in the economy, how can it be imagined that we can do
all that within an international work schedule of 8 hours, which is
logical, normal, and natural?

How can we afford the luxury of allowing persons to evade work?

How can we tolerate such luxury of not taking advantage of the work day?
How can we allow the luxury of not taking into account work productivity?
What would be the solutions for our problems? What kind of solutions? If
the revolution has to [word indistinct] in the future, if it has to teach
all children, if it has to give technical training to all youths, if it has
to develop itself in order to fulfill old needs and increasing needs of a
population which is growing, how can we overlook these factors?

That is why we said that the law as it was approved by all workers, has a
significant value not only for its immediate impact of having made possible
the recruitment of some 100,000 workers who have made it possible for many
work centers to round up their needed manpower--because even though they
had the raw material, they did not have the manpower--but also because it
allows for disciplinary action against those who irritate our workers: the
persistently absent worker, the worker absent without justification,
[applause] those persons who were absent from work when there were
difficult tasks. How many thousand of workers has this amounted to? On the
other hand, the work center was disorganized, tending to reduce production,
productivity, and the taking of full advantage of the work day.

How many tens of thousands of men is the total when compared to the goods
that are not produced? Thus, this creates [words indistinct] of discipline,
more justification for solving material problems in the right manner and in
difficult conditions. A society that does not exploit and cannot exploit
children, does not exploit and cannot exploit old people; a society that
does not force the worker with a gun against the chest to work 15 and 16
hours so that his wife and children do not perish, or perhaps himself; a
society that has to solve all the needs that the capitalists with their
thievery and withdrawal of resources did not meet, a society that has to
work for all, that has to take care of all children, all sick people, and
all old people. [Castro leaves though incomplete] That is why it has to
create humane working conditions, cafeterias at the factories--nonexistent
at any factory in the past.

So they did not have to have people working in the kitchens, they did not
have to have people to transport the workers--workers who had to be
transported from their lodgings to the canefields and the factories.

Thus, in a society that must humanize the working conditions in all fields
and which must resolve the problems in these new conditions, it is
logical--I repeat this again--that solving the problems related to the
incorporation of men into work, working so as to take advantage of the work
day, and the raising of productivity, is the only effective way.

Otherwise, there would be no way out. Could there be a way out? No, there
could not be a way out. There lies the enormous political, economic, and
historical importance of this law as a just, a logical, and correct measure
of our society.

But in addition, it is a new, revolutionary method of implementing the
measure by means of the masses. This is why we believe that the workers in
that sense took a historic step.

Conditions have been created for continued advancement. Now then, where
should we wage the battle? And it is the longest and most difficult battle.
However, it can only be waged and won with the workers, with the workers.

It is the battle of productivity, the battle of taking advantage of the
work day, the battle for the correct use of human resources.

It is not enough to put everyone to work. We would do nothing if we put
them to work and failed to take advantage of their energy. We would do
nothing if we did this and did not benefit from the work. And we would do
nothing if we did this and lowered productivity.

Moreover, we would do nothing even if we put them to work and remained at
the same individual level of productivity we had in the past. Because of
this, we undertook a step of the utmost importance, of utmost importance:
the problem of regulating the labor centers.

What is the result of the work of regulating? We talked of that on one
occasion already. We have regulated--to give exact figures--584 centers.
What has been the result, first, at the end of 1970, in this vicious circle
of nonproductivity which is a irrational use of human resources,
irresponsible habits, bad habits, irresponsibility and a lack of awareness?
In a word we can sum up this problem of nonproductivity with a lack of
awareness by the party, by the administrators, and by the workers, to the
problem of productivity.

We requested from the Labor Ministry some 300,000 workers, aside from the
fact that there were many centers without work, with an insufficient labor
force. We requested 300,000 workers for industries and services.

And what was demonstrated in these 584 centers? It was shown that the
actual need was approximately 16 percent of the demand. In other words,
where the demand was for 100, the actual need was 16.

In these 584 centers that were regulated it was shown that the actual need
was 16 percent of the number initially requested.

What a great discovery: an important, a decisive discovery.

A second thing: Many centers had a roster higher than they actually needed,
and some centers even have a physical labor-force surplus--a physical

Another thing: Regulation is translated into increases of up to 30, 70, and
even 100 percent of productivity. In other words, not only the excessive
requests are pointed up, not only is there a saving of what had been
requested, not only is there a saving of what centers had on had, but with
this regulating, which to my mind is not very demanding--which perhaps is a
conservation, careful regulating--we obtain increased productivity of 30,
70, and 100 and even 300 percent.

Thus the ones who remain after the regulating is effected will produce much
mire than was being produced. Can we afford that luxury? Can we be
neglectful in this regard?

The ministry proposes to continue its work and, by the end of this year to
reach the target of regulating 1,500 labor centers. [applause]

We must implement this plan and this policy in all the country's production
and service; this is essential. But in addition we must achieve an
awareness of this problem--the same awareness obtained regarding the
importance of establishing the social duty of labor.

We must emphasize the matter of productivity. From now on we must place the
matter of labor productivity first among the goals of the labor movement.
We must place this first among the goals of the workers' political and
economic education--first because of the problem of our workers' awareness,
for the plain and clear-cut reasons we were setting forth previously.

And if you wish, I will repeat them: our society cannot exploit the aged,
our society cannot exploit the children; our society cannot trust a
revolver at the chests of men, threatening them with death, hunger, or
illness to make them work 15 or 16 hours.

Our society must solve things with an average 8-hour workday, and we say
average because at some citrus fruit centers, where workers can work
longer, and like in construction, we have been pressing for two types of
shifts. One is 10-hour, during the dry months, and another is 8 hours, but
men get a full day's pay when work is interrupted by rain. Thus it would be
an average 8-hour day, though in certain types of activities there must be
longer hours, as it would be a crime to lose the dry days, for later the
spring comes and there is a lot of work to be done in all fields--though
some days no work can be done on the dams, roads, and projects.

However, we say an average 8-hour day. If the revolution must meet the
needs of all the children--educational, health, clothing, school,
teaching--and all the youths; if the society must meet the needs of all the
aged and all who are past the working age; if society must meet the
material, social, and economic needs of all the inhabitants--their food and
medical needs; how can we afford the luxury of having persons who do not
work, or take advantage of 60, 65, or 75 percent of the workday?

How can we afford the luxury of requesting 300,000 or request 100, when
only 16 are needed? How can we afford the luxury of men who are
unproductive? How could we emerge from underdevelopment?

How could we attain the human and social goals of the revolution? How could
our working people resolve their problems? And what would these become?
Shortages, and there are two shortages--the shortage in the capitalist
world, where we see a man starve to death, though storehouses are full of
foodstuffs, because he is unemployed, because he has no job, because he has
no access.

Our shortages are of a different order, for they respond to needs, they
respond to the reality that the needs of all must be satisfied. Sometimes
there will be a surplus. It is difficult for there to be a surplus. What is
surplus would have to be exported. And if what is surplus could not be
exported, we would have to cease producing it, for needs are unlimited,
needs mount without limit, and the exigencies of life always pose new

In our society, any, all these factors cause shortages of material--one
less tile for a roof, one less cubic meter of gravel that is produced in a
quarry, one less square meter of cloth produced in a factor, a liter less
produced in a dairy farm. All this becomes one less liter, one less square
meter, one cubic meter of gravel less for the people, for their needs.

That is clear, and we must understand it, and we must hammer away at it
until they become elemental, highly known things by the workers that are
working, the ones who shoulder the fundamental weight in this question of

Thus, this is the second all-important step taken this year--the question
of productivity, which should begin by the regulations. This is a task with
which the party, the mass organizations, and especially the labor movement
must concern itself.

Once we have regulated [the centers], we cannot stop there, we must always
continue struggling for productivity; and productivity will forever be tied
to the country's progress, for the number of working hands is limited, and
it must be limited due to the number of our inhabitants, and because we
have the aged who are retired, young people who are studying.

The fact is we must provide services that are not directly productive,
though essential, like health and education. The very fact is that we can
state that the education-culture-science union has 175,000 workers--a
respectable figure for the number of workers devoted to that sector of

So, productivity is the only path to wealth, and, after the centers are
regulated, the struggle for productivity by means of developing the
productive force and by means of developing machines and technology, is the
only path.

Observe whether or not there is a tremendous contradiction between the need
to resolve the country's basic foreign exchange source--sugar--and the low
productivity of cutting by hand.

The [cane] collection centers and technology offer great advantages. This
introduction of a revolutionary technique is what extraordinarily raised
productivity and what makes it possible to overcome a fundamental
fault--not to have to employ hundreds of thousands of men to seek the
essential foreign exchange for our country's economy, hundreds of thousands
of men to cut cane, along with the other needs.

For our country--never forget this--in contrast to other countries that
have other types of natural resources--there are countries all over the
world that have fabulous, fabulous petroleum reserves in their subsoil,
where 10,000, 20,000 25,000 men produce 1.5 billion dollars in one year,
working in relative comfort, and we, in order to seek 600, 700, 800 have
had to employ up to 350,000 macheteros.

This does not include the additional transportation, the insuring of
lodgings, buildings of lodgings, dining rooms, and safeguards. Remember,
our country must produce its basic resources by manual labor. This is an
additional problem which holds us back, an additional problem that should
cause us to ponder and think about these questions.

Clearly, then, the county should channel its effort to resolve the problem
of productivity precisely there. Unfortunately this has not been easy, it
has not been easy, for there were no machines.

Logically, in countries like ours that are the main producers of cane there
are sectors of workers who have always opposed the use of machines. It was
not like with rice and corn. It was a plant that could not be mechanized.
You have seen the results, and what is expected next year is the
introduction of a technique, a technological revolution in cane harvesting.

This is something we must always keep seeking--how to raise productivity,
and how to raise it in the basic fields of our economy.

Then there is the question of how to solve the work that poses the hardest
and most difficult conditions, and we also must invest in introducing more
human standards. But we repeat: Productivity, after the antivagrancy law,
after the law on disciplined work, the proper organization of work, from
now on will be our country's fundamental issue. Let us support the Labor
Ministry in this effort that is so useful, so highly advisable for the
savings it is obtaining by regulating [the centers].

There are other problems: Saving, saving. For we have discipline in
working, the bases for it have been set; the social duty of all to
participate; the regulating; the productivity of work; and saving. This
means economizing in everything. Naturally productivity first means the
saving of human resources and the saving of time. But the saving which we
are bringing up is the saving of goods, of raw material, the saving of
production resources.

For instance, on past occasions we have talked of the need to save water.
The big waste of water, tremendous waste of water that occurs, and for the
various reasons we have previously explained. And we simply believe this is
due to human factors.

The waste of electricity--further on I am going to touch on the point of
electricity, the big waste of electricity. But as regards raw material,
lumber, for example, we are involved in a maximum effort to save lumber, in
order to increase construction, to be able to allocate lumber for the
solution of the furniture problem. Here is a very important raw material
where we have to economize, and in general the economizing of raw materials
and productive resources, fuels, for example, is [word indistinct] of the
resources that we always have to know how to economize without ceasing,
because fuels are a vital resource of the modern society of a country in a
world of gold--one which cannot be dispensed with. Everything moves with
energy, everything. However, nature did not endow us with resources of
energy, not coal, nor large rivers for hydroelectric power. We are still
searching for oil; searching for it and beginning to develop it.

We have to bring fuel from more than 10,000 kilometers away. Therefore, we
have to economize energy, in the form of electricity, or in the form of
actual fuel, so that an attitude of economizing and the economizing itself
are changed into another essential element of our economy, of our
development, or our well being.

It is necessary for the movement of [words indistinct], take these ideas
and apply them more and more, and make a conscientious effort for them.

In recent months I have been working in the search for solutions of a very
important problem. This is the problem of housing. The workers know that we
have already had meetings and that some projects of this nature are already
developing. We believe that it is one of the most overpowering problems
that we have and it is time to attack it and resolve it.

We have explained how we are going to resolve it. We are going to solve it
via the CTC centers, via the workers movement, and we are going to resolve
it with more work. It is clear that there are CTC centers that have too
many personnel. It is easier to take men from them, a fact which we have
explained. However, wherever there remains a reserve it is always
considered a reserve of this industry, but this plan is already beginning
to accelerate and holds great promise in solving the housing problem.

We have to take this plan to the whole country. It is already being applied
in the city of Havana. It has also been begun in Santiago de Cuba, in the
zone of (Tampedri). There is already even an industry in Santiago to which
material and resources are being assigned. It is a building for
prefabrication so that they [word indistinct] the building, and other
industries are participating in the finishing and construction.

We want to incorporate the workers into the solution of the housing problem
because it is the only possible way to solve it. Because of the country's
need for a construction work force, in the industrial investments, in [word
indistinct], in the roads, in the highways, in the basic secondaries, in a
variety of social and economic works, in the dairies, in the warehouses, in
the ports, on the railroads and knowing, in addition, how the problem of
construction [words indistinct] the last letter where the people were there
briefly seeking work in industry, and the country needs construction for

We find ourselves in a dilemma caused by this phrase, which is no more than
repeating, that with all the accumulated need for housing that an
underdeveloped country has, if it devotes itself exclusively to the
construction of houses, it will not develop, and if it devotes itself
exclusively to development it cannot construct houses. This is dealing with
the problem in classical terms, in conventional terms. We have to find the
way to be able to devote ourselves to development and at the same time
solve the housing problem, a formula, a mobilization of the energy of the
workers themselves in an extra effort to solve the housing problem.

We can say that this has been received with great interest by all the CTC
centers and that at this moment there is a great deal of pressure to begin
doing it. Regarding this we want to say that we are making plans for the
whole island and that we are planning it for the cities, and in the country
there are areas of the country which everyone well knows, that if we do not
solve the problem of housing, we do not solve the problem of the work

We will have to test a region of the country, Camaguey for example. We
cannot be defending the [word indistinct] of the youth column
mobilizations, in spite of the fact that there movements have had a great
effect, a great advantage. It has been a battlefield for our youth, for our
youth organizations, in which thousands of youths are outstanding, from
which have come hundreds of comrades and thousands of potential comrades as
cadres, as a militant force of our youth organization there have been
positive results, but we have to resolve the problem of the Camaguey
permanent work force.

How to do it? Building houses in these immense uninhabited can areas, but
we also have to do it in some areas of Oriente Province and the Province of
Las Villas and in some areas of nearly the whole country.

We have in Oriente all this area of the (Urbano Noris) central, Crispina
Naranjo, Maceo, Loynaz Hechevarria, but in that area no one remained;
Mella, and in that zone no one was left. Almost all the youths joined the
rebel army. During the war, when the fighting broke out they logically
joined [words indistinct] where the (Guatemala), (Nicaragua), (Lopez Pena),
centrals--this is without counting the northern zone of (Argelia Libre), on
Guitera, of Jesus Mendez, enormous cane holdings where the oldest workers
live under very bad living conditions, where the old huts continue and
where we really have to carry out an urgent housing construction program,
which we are already struggling to organize.

We are already sending earthmoving equipment and after the youth columns of
Oriente have joined, construction forces will be organized in the zones
mentioned which will remain living there. The only thing is that they have
adequate living conditions, if not the problem cannot be resolved. We have
to do the same in Camaguey and in other locations.

So we have to carry out these plans. In the future we plan to incorporate
the sugar workers during the off season, in the dead time, in the time when
there is no harvest, to resolve the problems of housing in the industrial
area and in the cane areas. So we should mobilize some tens of thousands of
workers from the sugar centrals during the off season, gathering together
the materials earlier, to work in the construction of housing for the very
same cane industry workers and for agricultural cane workers. These plans
are also being developed to provide a solution to the rural housing

This program of constructing housing with the participation of the workers
is going to be carried to the whole country. It begins this year. Next year
we hope, after analyzing the means we have--of cement, of steel reinforcing
rods, of other materials, and still counting on some [word indistinct] that
we think can resolve it--we will be able to finish some 30,000 houses next
year, in 1972. We are beginning the program this year. These houses are not
counted with those next year. We should be able to start 10,000 more. So
that we will be working on some 40,000 houses in the second semester,
finishing some, and beginning others, for next year. In 1973 we plan to
work on 50,000 houses in 1974 some 75,000, trying by 1975 to arrive at the
goal of building 100,000 houses, to be able to build 100,000 annually by
this date.

You must understand that for this problem industry must be well
prepared--the production of stone, sand, cement, steel rods, and all the
elements that go into a house--elements which add up to approximately 250.
However, we have been discussing whether we can execute this program at
this rate of speed. Consequently, this year this program is limited. We can
be working on from 15,000 to 20,000 housing units. Next year we will be
working on approximately 40,000 housing units; in 1973, approximately
50,000; in 1974, 75,000; and in 1975 approximately 100,000. When we have
reached the 100,000 housing unit level, the goal should be flexible, and we
can produce a few more or a few less because execution of the program will
depend on other needs. It may be that when we have 90,000 housing units the
program might have to be interrupted to build more schools and more social
service projects.

Next year, along with the 30,000 housing unit program, we are planning the
construction of some 500 dairies--a very urgent economic need--and some 25
basic secondary schools of the type inaugurated recently. The figures are
an estimate and are within our capabilities. We have had to place strong
emphasis on the construction of dairies, because of the need for milk and
the saving of foreign currency which the country is still spending to
import milk.

This is an area whose current growth depends basically on the construction
of installations. All these programs will increase yearly, and they will
also involve the construction of schools, roads, dams, irrigation systems,
drainage ditches, highways and the entire industrial investments program.
We plan to install all the technical equipment which we have in the
country. This is in addition to the 300 cane collection centers being built
this year.

We believe that this matter of housing also represents another important
step that will be taken through the implementation of a new method, a
revolutionary method, by the workers movement. For this reason, we believe
that this is one of the important tasks which should be mentioned today: I
was saying that this housing program is coupled with a plan to develop the
construction industry. It also creates other problems which we have
outlined on other occasions--the water and electricity problems.

The water problem calls for two things--saving and the establishment of new
water distribution system and new water sources. Electricity involves two
problems: one dealing with new generating facilities and the other with the
saving of electricity. At this rate of social development, we require new
housing units and new workers' districts--with all services including
schools, child care centers, stores, policlinics, laundries--and increased
electrical consumption. For this reason, electricity must be saved.
Currently, electrical power supply is facing a critical problem. We have
two bottlenecks. We have a certain scarcity of oxygen, a problem deriving
from one of the installations, and insufficient production and containers.
These problems seriously affect the mechanical industry shops and the need
for oxygen. The chemical industry must give priority to work related to the
supply of oxygen to all centers which must have it.

As you know, the problem of electricity has been constantly stopping the
operation of work centers and factories and has been affecting production.
It has been hampering this effort to increase production, to increase work
attendance. Consequently, one thing creates problems for another--the
goals, the increase in production, work attendance, utilization of working
hours--especially when machinery stops operating suddenly for 2, 3, or 4
hours. The situation created by this problem conflicts with our policies.
Recently, a problem created by an accident, a problem related to one of the
substations--a somewhat complicated technical problem--affected one of the
important distribution stations. This caused a chain reaction and affected
even the generating plants. There are plants where an electricity shortage
has existed. The petroleum refinery cannot be stopped. Lack of electricity
creates a danger there. For this reason, it has direct connections with
generating plants.

However, when an incident of this type occurs and interrupts the entire
system, we confront the problem that we had a few days ago. You were aware
of the problem, since I was not in Havana. I was attending the Haguey
ceremony in Las Villas Province. However, the power outage affected that
area also. We were conversing with the Soviet delegation when the lights
went out. What we did no know at that time that the power outage affected
virtually the entire western area, and that there was no power in the
hospitals, cold storage plants--no power anywhere. Consequently, this has a
bearing on the problems of work attendance, child care centers, food, all
sorts of problems. This indicates the importance attached to electrical
power. It is a vital factor in the social, production, and all areas in
today's world. The consequences are observed when there is no electrical
power for several hours.

Under normal circumstances, power outages create all sorts of consequences
and inconvenience. Naturally, when there is a war or certain circumstances
arise, there are power outages, but preparations have been made to handle
them. However, these surprising and unexpected power outages create all
sorts of difficulties and problems. In the electrical industry we have the
problem of maintenance. The industry grew and grew but there was no
proportional increase in the number of maintenance personnel. There was no
increase in number, quality, or training. Since the basic industry meeting
and the first assemblies were held, the need to give priority to the
electrical industry and to provide it with resources and equipment has been
determined. The electrical industry has been provided with material
resources. This effort must continue, and we have to continue providing the
electrical industry with the necessary equipment and human resources and to
give this activity priority. Consequently, we have been able to catch up
with the maintenance tasks.

However, it is not just a problem of maintenance. We have had a problem of
capacities due to the growth in consumption and demand. We talked about the
problem on 28 September when we launched the directive to save power.

We want to explain to the workers about the status and prospects of the
electric power industry: in 1958 we had two systems--the western and the
eastern--there was no connection between them, and things worked that way,
and the eastern system was being extended to other provinces.

As for the western system, in 1958 it had an output of 355,000 kilowatts.
If you like we can use the new term, megawatts, which equal 1,000
kilowatts, [applause] if the comrades of the industry do not object [more
applause]. In the past all calculations were in kilowatts, due to
capacity's being lower. But then power started running into thousands, then
355,000 kilowatts, and the word megawatts came into use, became 355
megawatts. The total output in the country was 397 megawatts. Look at the
difference, almost everything was in the west. Logically then, after the
revolution work was performed in the west and also the east. The eastern
region will one day have the problem of excessive capacity, though at one
time it could not put out 50,000 kilowatts because it could not be

Much work was one in Oriente Province. The 220 [unit unstated] power line
has now been connected between Santiago and Holguin Provinces. Last year
Holguin had a high [word indistinct] of electricity. Now the eastern system
is connected up to Holguin and it is being extended or should extend up to
Nuevitas--the 220 line.

At the present time the western system has a 710 megawatt output--710 as
opposed to 355. This is about double, double the power output. In the
entire country, output amounts to 909 megawatts. Before it was 397, and now
it is 909. Thus, adding the western and the eastern system, we have 2.3
times as much as what we had before the revolution.

Things stand like this: In the west we have double, and summing up the
entire country we have 2.3 times more capacity for producing electric
power, then we had before the revolution. In 1958 there were 13,000
kilometers of powerlines. We now have 20,500 kilometers. This also explains
the increased maintenance work. In 1958 there were 295 power substations in
the country, of all types. No have 600, and all this must be maintained. In
the 10 years prior to 1959 the average annual amount of power lines strung
was 306 kilometers, and at this time 700 kilometers of lines are put up

In 1958 the Cuban electric power company supplied 732,000 consumers. The
present power enterprise supplies 1.1 million consumers, including the
southern area of the country which had never had electricity. The
revolution has either constructed or put in operation the following
power-output capacity: Mariel thermoelectric plant, 200 megawatts; Ogurque
thermoelectric plant, 30 megawatts; Nuevitas thermoelectric, 60 megawatts;
Rente thermolectric, 100 megawatts. In addition, some investments which had
been started under capitalism, like the thermoelectric plant Gran Pais of
35 megawatts were completed. There was also the (Ana Banilla) hydroelectric
plant with 45 megawatts--actually 30 megawatts at given hours. A dam and
breastworks of 40,000 cubic meters was needed for allowing it to produce
45,000 kilowatts [goes back to kilowatts].

This means that during the revolution production has been increased by 470
megawatts, though the output of some plants that were on the point of being
discarded was reduced. These had become entirely uneconomical. But all this
amounted to 2.3 times more. The entire sum invested by the revolution up to
this time for power development is 302 million pesos. Now then, this is an
average of about 35 million annually since the program started. To this we
can add the power putput capacities that will go into operation soon:
Carlos Manuel de Cespedees no 2 in (Joburgo); 30 megawatts; Diez de Octubre
no 2 in Nuevitas, 60 megawatts--giving us a total of 90 megawatts, and
these plants are linked up to the western system. Cienfuegos is connected
with the west. Nuevitas is connected with the 110-volt line. Thus we can
note some power transfer line. So, two units--one of 30,000 and one of
60,000 kilowatts; or one of 30 and one of 60 megawatts.

Besides these two plants now under construction, work has begun on Talla
Piedra no 7. It will have 60 megawatts. Toward the end of the year work
will begin on another regla unit--regla no 4, of 60 megawatts. The
equipment for the Hector Pabon plant in Pastorcito is already in Cuba. This
equipment has been carefully stored, and we hope to begin installing this
plant of 30 megawatts soon.

[Shout of "it is our duty, the revolution's" comes from the background, and
Castro continues:] He says it is his duty to the revolution. That is true,
but unfortunately, not everyone always performs their duty. We have seen
the comrades in that province work well. They took great interest in
storing the equipment so as to begin installing it.

In addition, we will rebuild the 30-megawatt plant in Matanzas. So, in
addition to the 90 that will be put into production this year, we will soon
begin work on 180 megawatts more, and in addition to this--as we explained
yesterday--between now and 1975 we will build three 100-megawatt plants.
These will be: two 100,000 [kilowatt] plants in Mariel and one 100,000
[kilowatt] plant in Nuevitas. This will be the first time our country has
installed 100-megawatt plants. The largest so far has been 50. Now, we are
mounting one of 60, and by 1975 we will mount three 100-megawatt plants.

It is true that the electric program--the installation of equipment--has
fallen behind, but we expect this to regain its pace, and we are sure that
it will be fulfilled to the letter.

As you can see in the west, there are: 60 and 60--120 plus--counting only
the area of Mariel here, Regla-Talla Piedras equals 120, plus 200-220, and
if we included Nuevitas Oburque, and Matanzas, we have 6.5 [figures as
heard] This again is equal to the number existing in the west prior to the

In other words, in 1975 after the end of this period we will have a total
capacity--allow me to sum it up correctly--of 1,388 megawatts in the
country. This is 3.7 times what we had in 1958--3.7 times--almost four
times, that is what we will have in 1975. We have 2.3 times now, and in
1975 we will have almost four times.

Now, what must be done? To insure maintenance--to insure maintenance before
anything else and raise the technical level of all the workers of the
electric power industry. This is necessary in order to use that capacity of
power output to the maximum--the maximum of its theoretical capacity. We
must keep maintenance up to date. That is a task which the revolution gives
the electric industry, the electrical workers. It is a fundamental issue
due to the importance that electric power has for the country, as you can

Therefore, we have the resources for considerable industrial growth. Let us
guarantee the technical level of the workers who will operate the
equipment. Let us guarantee the resources, the number of workers, and the
technical level of the workers who are to maintain the equipment so that
they can keep it up to date. All of this great development depends on this
basic industry.

The number of workers has not increased in proportion to capacity, because
there have been large savings, especially in office jobs. In 1958 the Cuban
Electric Company had 7,536 workers. At present, the electric company has
11,216 workers, including in these figures 1,400 worker-trainees, who are
receiving training in several fields of electrical work. That is to say,
there is 2.3 percent greater capacity with approximately 50 to 60 percent
more workers, including those who are studying.

There was an increase in productivity, not so much in numbers, but at the
company level, when we reduced the number of office personnel. The number
of workers will have to increase. Since 1966, the government has spent an
average of 35 million per year in investments and for the wages of 11,000
workers in the electrical industry. This expenditure will have to increase.

The consumption of fuel in 1970 was 1,182,000 tons and this year it will be
greater. Therefore, the greater part of fuel oil that is consumed in the
nation is absorbed by the electrical industry. In addition, the total fuel
used by the industry is somewhat more than 20 percent of the total fuel
consumed in the nation This fuel is consumed by the electrical industry.
You can, therefore, see how important the electrical industry is.

I recall that more than 10,000 workers have had 35 million pesos invested
yearly in their industry, not including their work equipment. The industry
consumes somewhat more than 20 percent of the total fuel consumed by the
nation This is what electricity costs us.

Logically we must be aware of this problem and what it involves so that we
can save the electricity that is produced by bringing in fuel more than
10,000 kilometers away.

The industry employs more than 10,000 workers, and costs more than 35
million pesos per year--an expenditure which will increase in the coming
years--and is more than 20 percent of the fuel consumed. This does not
include the industrial equipment installation brigades, those who are
building the new units and who are highly qualified and dedicated workers.
Electricity is a basic industry which is very expensive, and we must all be
well aware of this.

Electricity is not the air we breathe, or the daily sunlight that does not
suffer any blackouts--at least until now--except for occasional eclipses,
predicted as long ago as the time of Christopher Columbus. But the kind of
eclipses that we cannot foresee are the midnight power shortages such as
the one we had the other day. We can call them midnight eclipses. But
electric power is not the light of the sun, or the sun, or the air
surrounding us. When we consider the cost of power production we must
become aware that it is necessary to economize.

Here is another little detail: Industry and social services are consuming
two-thirds of our electric power, and the general consumer uses one-third.
This means that each day we must save on electric power. Important power
savings are being achieved in social services and in our various
industries. And, of course, all our comrades want to have electric meters.
Our industrial and production centers are very careful about the correct
use of electric power. The calculation of power costs is an important
element in the evaluation of industrial efficiency. This is one of the
sectors in which important power savings must be achieved. A savings in the
two senses of the word: monetary savings and electrical energy. All right,
then, the general consumer is using one-third of our electric power. This
is an essentially residential consumption sector. A very important total is
being used by the residential sector. And we must make it clear that the
savings to be achieved over a few hours can be important. We understand, of
course, that this refers to hours when all the electric lights and kitchen
stoves are being used at once. And one of the problems which perhaps I did
not explain is that 90,000 electric kitchen stoves have been brought to our
country over the last few years. They use two kilowatts each time they are
switched on. Just think: 90,000 kitchen stoves all being used at the same
time represent 180 megawatts. [words indistinct] when I spoke of kilowatts,
because it already represents two in less than 1,000; 180 megawatts! We
have already explained that not to bring in more electric stoves would be
madness. We explained it at that time. [words indistinct] Energy generates
heat, from heat to mechanical energy, from mechanical to electric, and with
all the waste involved in the process--all this involves waste. All this
power is being used to generate heat for the final purpose of putting a few
chickpeas to boil during what I though was 2.5 hours, but is for 3 or even
3.5 hours, as I have been told. Luckily the INPUD plant is already
producing refrigerators and stoves, and this year production has already
reached 300,000 pressure cookers.

To have fewer electric stoves we must increase the use of gas and kerosene
stoves. But we explained this already.

You see how easy it is to be careless and not to economize. We must be
watchful in our production. We cannot manufacture electric stoves because
it results in a ruinous waste of electric power. When we were analyzing
things at the end of the year, we realized there were 17,000 stoves in
store. Can you imagine how much more waste there would have been if these
17,000 stoves had been issued. But they are being kept for emergency use
when a serious problem may affect a gas plant. Pursuing the manufacture of
electric stoves would result in ruin.

We must develop the manufacture of gas and kerosene stoves. Let us use the
electric stoves we already have, but let us change them for gas or kerosene
stoves as soon as the opportunity arises. It is good business to change
electric cookers free. What matters is the electric industry. The electric
industry should not subsidize electric appliances such as air conditioners
and so on. The electric industry used to subsidize these appliances when it
wanted to promote greater power consumption. But what we must subsidize now
is conversation of electric power.

At the time of our revolutionary triumph we were confronted with great
demands, because we had been exploited and left practically barren of
resources. Furthermore, during the era of tyranny, industrial
enterprises--in connivance with the government--raised the price of
electric power and all products. And what did our revolution do? It brought
lower electric rates to consumers--rates based on the price charged to
industries. You can be sure that it will not be possible to lower power
rates now, and our people themselves would oppose such a revolution. And
why? Because now it is the people who have to invest, develop, and
contribute to increase the production of electricity.

However, at the time when our revolution took over there were no power
shortages and it was possible to lower the rates. It would have been better
of course to nationalize this industry from the very start. But it was not
possible at that time. In the meantime, came Giron we were disarmed because
we were in the midst of an agrarian reform. It would have served no purpose
to nationalize that industry when we were defenseless. But what was that
electric company's price policy? It was to lower rates. It was a policy
intended to stimulate power consumption. It was also intended that the poor
consumer to pay for the rich one, the first kilowatt being the most
expensive--10 centavos at that time. The rate was lower after the first
kilowatt. In this way, a worker--who normally makes a smaller use of
electric power--had to pay 10 centavos per kilowatt, while the rich
people--who had television sets, air conditioners, electric irons, electric
stoves, and the lights on all day--were being charged 3 centavos a
kilowatt. Those who had the greatest income paid 3 centavos and--it is the
truth--those who had the smallest income were paying up to 40 centavos,
meaning 10 centavos per kilowatt for the first 40 kilowatts [as heard]. In
order to stimulate the use of power, the electric company was subsidizing
electric appliances. When the company lowered power rates, it lowered the
rate on the 40 and later first 60 kilowatts, lowering the 10 centavos rate
to 6.5 centavos, the 7 centavos rate to 4.5 and so on.

The one that was at 5 cents was set at 3, I think--more or less--because
the average was one-third. And the one that was at 3 or 3.5--how much did
they charge for anything over 200? Approximately 3, and it was lowered to
2. We lowered a rate that was set with a view to stimulating consumption.
If we had thought things over better, we would have done the
reverse--charged progressively more for additional consumption, so as to
practically establish a tax on the squandering of electricity--a tax on the
wasting of electricity. [applause]

I think we should study this very well--should reverse things. All right
and what happens today? I had some data here somewhere. [pause] Eight
percent of the consumers today still--of the residential consumers--consume
27 percent, and 65 percent consume 34 percent of the electricity. We have
to study these rates and invert them--and put the cheapest rates on the
first kilowatts. Here we have to speak of kilowatts, because--60, 100
[pauses] raising the rates. So the tariff really turns into a saving.

This does not have economic import. This is another kind of problem. This
is not aimed at collective funds. Of course it will collect funds, but that
is not the objective. The objective is, rather, to save electricity, to
establish a rational concept, rational criteria, in the consumption of
electricity--especially taking not consideration the fact that at this time
of night all the light bulbs are lit. A campaign has been waged; the
campaign has helped--and it helped perceptibly--but campaigns are that way
at a given moment. They have a crest too: the crest of the campaign, the
crest of the campaign concerning the peak [reference to peak hours in
consumption to electricity]. But then, just like consumption of
electricity, it begins dropping. Everybody aware, participating--then, at a
given moment, great savings in electricity. But this then starts
diminishing, the crest starts to decline.

But as one crest recedes, the other one rises. And as the savings peak
drops, the crisis peak becomes serious, worsens. Although, notice well--it
is not the residential areas which consume the greatest percentage of all
the electricity. But they are the ones which consume the most at that time.

[An aside to someone] Castilleres, did you forget the data on the
percentages? [answer indistinct] No, at the moment of [interrupted by
someone saying: "of the cycle? 48"]

Forty-eight percent is residential, so that at that time there is an abrupt
increase in the demand--and this makes the situation more difficult. Now,
we are interested in the peak, but we are also interested in the total
amount used. From the point of view of the total amount used, the primary
effort must be made in the social services and in industry. So then, we
wanted to suggest to the workers--to you--that you consider supporting a
study being made aimed at establishing new criteria with regard to the
prices--keeping in mind this situation with respect to electricity--that
will consist of lowering the first kilowatts of electricity used and
raising the price of later kilowatts--on excessive consumption of

I want to tell you that this must be done carefully. Do you know why?
Because at first we could have--why did we not reduce the inverse? And have
this--the first 40 kilowatts set at 2 or 3 [cents]. But since there is a
large portion of the consumers--65 [percent] consumes 34 [percent]--it
might be that we, in trying to do this, instead of bringing about savings
[chuckle]--that an increase might occur. That is why the matter must be
studied with all the statistical data.

What can be saved out of the first [kilowatts]? At the beginning--we have
been analyzing so that those who used up to 150 kilowatts would benefit
from the savings; so that those who used more than 150 kilowatts would be
penalized by the tariff--so that the tariff would help the ones that used
from 150 kilowatts down, and would progressively increase the cost for use
from 150 kilowatts upwards. But we are asking the workers for a vote of
confidence to study this problem carefully, to study this problem
carefully. [applause]

Let it be well understood--in order to establish a tariff that will
stimulate savings, a price system that will stimulate savings and which
will establish obstacles to waste. Let it be will understood that this is
no aimed at gathering funds. What we are after essentially--keeping in mind
the big investments and the great amounts of electricity used and their
importance--is changing the criteria in not having to depend only on
campaigns, but rather than having a tariff to count on. We know very well
that, unfortunately, there is an excess of money. In fact, no one could
even predict the immediate practical results that this would have.

But let a study be made by the pertinent organizations, let them analyze
all these matters well. Let them take as long as necessary; and let a new
rate schedule be established, explaining why. Of course they must make a
careful study so as to not make a mistake--so that there would be no
increase. If a high percentage [of people] consume little, it should not
that in consuming less, or much less, [the price] should increase. But all
right, anyway, we must do it with a view to inverting this and having the
first kilowatts be the cheapest and the last the most expensive. Let them
study the matter and then pass the information to the CTC comrades; and let
them deliver their proposals and their arguments together with a
well-founded explanation to all the union sections.

So that we are not asking you for a vote of confidence to establish the new
tariff--but rather in order to begin to put this policy into practice--let
a study, with all the arguments, be made. This is not a problem like the
cigarette problem. This is not the cigarette problem. The cigarette thing
has other objectives, and there are few questions. If they have those
tariffs, let them explain the matter in a document--what the current ones
are, how much is being used--I have given them this data--and let them
discuss the matter in the work centers. The cigarette problem is more
difficult than the electricity problem.

Electricity is another kind of thing, a thing of a different nature. It is
not something that is harmful to health, even if it is an essential product
that we have to conserve for other reasons. And here we are going to talk
about cigarettes. I am only going to say the following about cigarettes:
Cigarettes are another kind of thing. They are aimed at seeking a balance
between the money in circulation and the goods and services available. This
is convenient for the economy.

And a policy is always followed to the effect that nonessential things--and
this was the policy that was followed with regard to, for example, the
restaurants--that when there was a compliant about prices in the
restaurants, when the prices in the restaurants tended to be somewhat like
those in the restaurants that were subsidized--the school, the school
lunchrooms--if there are 500,000 people eating in the lunchrooms, counting
boarders, semiboarders--500,000--nurseries and all that--well, they have to
be compensated in some way.

So the restaurant was excluded from being required to have a ration card.
So there were some articles that became expensive. Of course, there are the
drinks, the beer, certain things--(?especially) beer--the drinks were not
so high. The homemade (?liquor) that people were selling here and there was
much higher. [laughter from audience] There you are. At the minimum they
are going to have to be in line with the prices of drinks. But this is a
policy that I think can be understood quite well. It is a policy. In
general policy we have to draw a distinction between goods that are
essential and vital to the people and those that are not.

If we have a try to balance things, there is an easy way to try to balance
things. The capitalists do not have any problem doing it. If there is a
shortage of a certain product, the price goes up. You know that prices here
have been frozen for many years. They are frozen. More than 1 million
people are working--the services that have been established: medical
services, education, numerous services.

Now, the material basis of the black market--the black market which
promotes vice after vice, both the one who goes off to buy at exorbitant
prices in the rural areas, a peasant, and he who encourages theft in order
to later sell on the black market. And to encourage it (?is) [word
indistinct], because there were many individuals who in a certain
way--there were people who, setting up lines, resolved--one line, one turn,
10 pesos, and others who, if they steal something. [incomplete thought]

This is, the nature of money in our country is changing, and it will
progressively change more and more. In capitalism, in capitalist societies,
it is an instrument of exchange, an instrument for accumulation, a means
for accumulation and for enrichment. In our country money is becoming more
a means of distribution. The day will eventually come when distribution is
not made through ration books. Such a day will inevitably come, but not
now. The masses, with good reason, are opposed to this, because this can
occur when we come to have much [of] an abundance of those products that
are essential that there will be enough for everyone, even if distribution
is made by means other than a ration book.

We must make this very clear. Because, of course, capitalism does not have
ration books. It has money. But people often parade up and down in front of
well-stocked stores with their hands in their pockets. They do not have
anything to buy with, that is, they do not have a ration book. And the
capitalist ration book is that of the millionaire who has 20 million
dollars and the other guy who does not have a cent. And that is
capitalism's ration book. So the millionaire (?goes to his store) and buys
anything from a car or a building to a factory with his 20 million dollars.
His buying power is unlimited.

He buys men, he buys women, he buys everything. That is the law of
capitalism--buying of factories, houses, cars, all kinds of things. It is a
complete absence of limits in his consumption capacity. So the ration
book--the guy who does not have a cent buys nothing, nothing, nothing.
Here, whatever they are supposed to get, though the ration book, the law,
whatever it is--no one has even stopped buying because of lack of money in
real terms. Just in a few cases of dereliction, which the ministry solves
automatically, cases of extreme poverty--the ministry solves them.

There is no one here who can--what there is (?here) indeed are people who
buy things and then sell them. Of course, this is based on something--on
money. And this is a problem that obviously arises in a revolutionary
process. All countries have inflation problems. Do you know how they solve
them? By raising prices. The more money in circulation, the higher the
prices, and this is how they level things out. They maintain the level
where there is a ration book without a ration book, and where money,
besides being a means of exchange, an instrument of exchange, a manes of
accumulation and enrichment--in a way, a measure of value--is, in addition,
a ration book for distribution, a ration book that is infinitely elastic
for the rich and reduced to zero for the poorer people. That is the nature
of money in a capitalist system.

In socialism, too much money in circulation--everybody working--100,000
people have started working now, and all of them are beginning to get paid.
If some of them go to work at putting up an electric power line, if other
go to work at a dam, others go to work on a highway, they will be receiving
a salary for many years before anything comes out of it. Of course, if they
go to a textile factory, cloth starts coming out of it. Of course, and in
kind he returns his salary. He receives a certain amount of money and he
produces a larger amount. So--but there are 100,000 of them--how many
(?millions) more than the 100,000 are there?

I think that the new increases in people working this year involve
approximately 200 million more. And we really have--because many of the
[Unreadable text] that the country must make are in development--others are
educational, others are in services. Others are in retirement pensions,
others are--we have an imbalance between the money that enters circulation
every year and the money that is taken out. This creates the basis--even in
a case where we say, for instance: I am going to sell this milk for one
peso. I will make 20 [centavos] from it today. I won't offer it to anyone
at a cheaper price. [Castro pounds the podium] and he sells it!

This is an example of the black market, of all those things, of a way of
acquiring cheap money--of acquiring cheap money in order to later buy cheap
things, including those which could be in demand now. Of course, if he goes
to a restaurant, he will not buy them cheaply. However, if he acquires
cheap money--like a man who has four liters--if he decides to sell four
liters, and he decides to sell one liter for one peso, the next day he buys
another four liters, and he even has some profit left over.

Meanwhile, the man who sold a liter at a high price and bought another
liter with that he got for the first liter--three for free--did he buy
something for nothing? He paid one peso for a liter that cost him 20
[centavos]. And then--all these things are encouraged, of course, but this
situation of an excess of money in circulation. And in a situation where a
rational distribution is being made, that should be continued as long as we
have no other way of guaranteeing the same things for everybody and
distributing without [word indistinct].

In the future, in socialism--I imagine even in communism over the long
run--money will no longer have such importances; it will not be money as we
know it. It will still be called money, but it will be something else. It
will not be a means for accumulation, an instrument of exchange, nor a
measure of value. Because in socialism certain things are distributed under
cost and other things at 10 times their price. Medicine is given free. A
beer is much more expensive, a liter of rum is higher. Prices really don't
have anything to do with the value. Rather they are related to the useful
value of things. In the future, money will be stripped of its historical
characteristics and will be, basically, the means of distribution.

Indeed, money will no longer be the cruel ration book, but rather what the
citizens receive--each citizen, all the citizens--it will be an amount and
they will spend it on whatever they choose. Some will want more eggs.
Others will want more milk and fewer eggs. Others will want industrial
articles. And there will come a day--one day--when the production of basic,
essential articles is such that we have more than enough for all. Moreover,
there is a risk that those who have accumulated more money will leave the
others out in the cold, or that those who have a smaller income will suffer
the consequences of this; when this can be done on a rational and just
basis, then the time to do away with the rationbook will arrive. However,
that will never be administrative, no. When that moment comes, it will have
to be done by means of an important measure, one which has also been
discussed with the masses. No such measure will ever be taken here without
an analysis and without the most complete familiarity on the part of all
citizens with this measure--the reasons, the advantages, and disadvantages.

Already--already a certain policy of collection is being carried out in
order to eliminate the excess--of course, through an increase in
production, partially. Yes, if we increase the production of beer and
[words indistinct]. There are products which bring in a lot and others
which do not bring in anything, of course. And, for example, a start can be
made on measures aimed at reducing this imbalance. That is, to prevent it
from worsening. There are a few industries that produce plastic shoes.
Well, those industries bring in money. Of course, because the shoes which
are sold on the black market are sold at high prices. [words indistinct],
even of leather shoes. Those shoes are not very expensive, of course. They
solve an important problem. Between this plant and the Santiago plant, they
will bring in more than 100 million a year. If these industries
which--which make some of these articles--if we cold in the light industry
filed produce a series of staples, (?even) soaps and perfumes, no one knows
how much that might bring in. However, this is related to raw materials--we
must note that we--the scarcity of our monetary resources sometimes prevent
us from producing things with light industry that do not exist at present
and which wild bring in a lot of money.

The problem of cigarettes has two aspects. Or, if you like, three. First: A
problem of the costs of producing cigarettes. How many men there are
because [word indistinct]. Another: The health problems in connection with
cigarettes. And another: The problems of the incredible increases in
cigarette consumption. Cigarettes are one of the things that have shown the
degree to which a person can look ahead of fail to look ahead. In the
capitalist world it was very difficult--it took terrible struggles by the
governments, even by the capitalist governments--to get the little label
attached saying that cigarettes caused cancer. And the companies-- the
economic interests--fought this step vigorously. But even the capitalist
(?cliques saw) the need for taking such measures. Will people keep on
smoking? Who knows? The limiting factor usually lies in the ration
book--the amount of money available. Cigarettes are expensive in almost all
countries. It is a source of income for all governments everywhere, and the
prices are very high.

They are a source of income and the prices are very high. Of course, if the
prices were that of Cuban cigarettes, there would not be enough cigarettes
to go around in the world, not even to supply one area. They would run out
of cigarettes. In the United States, among other countries, cigarettes cost
between 70 and 80 cents, even a dollar.

We were saying that this proves how little or how much foresight man has.
[words indistinct] He keeps on smoking. But of course the real trauma comes
when he must face the disaster of illness. This is the person's terrible
moment. This however, shows a lack of foresight. Campaigns about the
hazardous effects of cigarettes have meager results. It has been
scientifically proven that cigarettes are hazardous to health. Thus, a
measure tending to lower cigarette consumption is not bad. It is not bad.

But then, we have the other economic aspect: the tens of thousands of men
that would be allocated for increasing tobacco consumption, for maintaining
and increasing the consumer levels of tobacco, cheap cigarettes. Also there
is another economic aspect export. In addition cigarettes are one of the
countries sources of foreign exchange. For this reason it is a nonessential
item. It was not an article which served economic and health ends.

However, cigarettes brought about a problem, the inequality of wages. It
showed that those who earned high wages could smoke more cigarettes. Those
who earn low wages encountered difficulties in having enough money for
smoking. It seems to us that the rationing of cigarettes was the worst
thing we could have done because rationing causes those who do not smoke to
adopt the vice. It also gives those who do not smoke a right to buy
cigarettes. Everyone is treated alike. An individual may buy cigarettes for
5 or 10 pesos and they will buy milk with the money made from selling

Cigarette rationing establishes an incredible micromarket. Milk cannot be
sold because it is needed for children: however, those who do not smoke can
exchange cigarettes for condensed milk, rice, and exploit the others' vice.
Consequently another method should have been used from the outset instead
of rationing.

When the discussion was being planned, the problem of the vagrancy law
arose. That problem should have been discussed previously as we know the
discussion would be difficult. At the same time, we felt that from all the
arguments a better settlement formula than the one we had would be found.
Then there was a question: If we took any measure, any measure, we would
have to insure sufficient stock on hand and even a reserve. Now, what
happened? To make things worse this year we had a terrible drought in the
western area--Pinar del Rio, and including the Escambray, the regions which
produce 90 percent or more of Cuba's tobacco. This year's drought in the
western area which you have seen was devastating--no one remembers anything
like it. It perhaps was connected with the great cold wave in Canada. It is
said that such a cold wave has not hit Canada in 100 years. But the fact
remains that we had a drought in the western area's fields. You are aware
of the conditions prevailing in the fields. To make things worse, this has
seriously affected this year's tobacco crop.

However, I have been told that someone who was attending the all star ball
game in Pinar del Rio has said that the crop was tremendous. This person
had been working in tobacco and had mentioned that the tobacco crop was
tremendous. I did not hear the statement but perhaps some people heard the
man at the ball game. However, I say that when a rumor is started on the
problems that are arising it should be taken as rumor and it should even be
considered that the rumor is not true.

The fact remains that the tobacco crop has been reduced by 40 percent this
year. Therefore, even tobacco distribution cannot be maintained and it will
have to be reduced, regrettably. Furthermore, a special effort is being
made to increase production. We have sent a very experienced comrade to
Pinar del Rio and we have told him that he will have all the needed
resources to increase tobacco production at any cost and regardless of any
contingence. We have organized microbrigades and all the needed resources
are being provided with the prime objective of increasing production by all
possible means in the Pinar del Rio, Escrambay and Sancti Spiritu zone--the
traditional tobacco--growing areas. For this we need the cooperation of the
workers, ANAP, and everyone's to push the planting of tobacco, above all in
mechanization and irrigation.

And, of course, during a dry year, no matter how much irrigation one cannot
be sure that 100 percent of the area will be covered. Thus, the first thing
to do is to increase production in order to meet two demands: consumption
and exports. Both demands must be met. If consumption increases--and this
does not mean it will keep going up without limit because this cannot be
done from the economic viewpoint--the final step would be to maintain an
increasing supply of cigarettes at the current price. If it should turn out
that the general prices measure is not the most suitable, and there is
concern about low income workers, some combined solution could be found by
establishing specific quantities at the levels set by the workers, but they
will have have to set these levels now in May, or else they will seriously
harm the availability of tobacco for exports.

A level should be set, then, using this level, when our crop increases next
year we can take two measures. I have pondered this problem: either we
choose the proposal for a price hike or ration specific quantities from
whatever is left in May, with everybody getting an equal amount at a
moderate price, making the distribution without the use of coupons, but at
prices much higher than the ones proposed. Thus we would have these two
alternatives: a general price hike or maintain whatever level is in effect
in May, thereby, guaranteeing this level by using ration coupons at a price
much higher than the one proposed for use without coupons. Whoever wants
can buy cigarettes, but he will have to pay a high price for them. In this
manner, we could reconcile the differences between the low income worker
and those workers dominated by the vice and who has surplus money which we
could collect. Is this clear? [applause] There are two alternatives then.

In any event, we want the workers to understand that in the country's
interests, in the interest of the people's health, in the interests of our
general development needs, we must do something about cigarettes and
tobacco. And not only by increasing production which we, of course, can do
and maintain. I am not even talking about increasing exports. In this
matter no one has taken it upon himself to establish a relationship between
domestic consumption and increased exports. No! There has been a great
increase in domestic consumption. We are trying to raise imports and
exports to traditional levels. These are minimum increases. This is not a
contradiction between foreign currency and consumption. No! We are not
trying to surpass traditional levels in general terms. We are not trying to
surpass them! If there are some increases, these are minimum.

It is not a matter of taking tobacco out of the domestic market. In fact
there was a decrease in the production of cigarettes in the tobacco areas.
Traditional production levels must be reached, must be surpassed. We must
struggle. But we can struggle within certain limits because tobacco is a
hand labor operation. It requires a great deal of labor. It is an expensive
item to produce. In other words, an effort must be made to surpass the
traditional production levels, to maintain these levels and maintain at
least the traditional export levels, to regulate consumption by using other
devices if the first solution is not fully satisfactory--for this solution
was approve, though it was not approved unanimously. It was not something
like the vagrancy law. There were different opinions, particularly among
those with lower incomes. For this reason, a device must be found whichever
course is chosen. If you want to consider your low income comrade, then
maintain specific levels by means of the ration coupons with all the
inconveniences and everything else this entails. But they must be
maintained, with quantities at higher prices than those proposed. Without
the coupons what was to be sold at 70, or 80, cents for everyone will have
to be bought dearly from those who sell these coupons, consequently, [words
indistinct] some measure; we must take some measure and it must be
understood that it is for the good of our economy on all levels, for the
people's health. Some of these measures must be taken.

I think our people will respond in accordance with each individual's level
of awareness ad political education, in accordance with how these problems
are grasped, in accordance with how we all get together and agree to take
the best measures. The country's economy belongs to no one today It is not
private, it is collective. It belongs to all the people. And just as any
family facing problems meets, or can meet, to discuss what its members are
going to dot with the budget and with their possessions, so too the big
family--the entire nation--must analyze and agree on what its members are
going to do with their possessions.

Unfortunately, the circumstances under which we have had to develop the
revolutionary process--blockades by the imperialists, who sabotaged all our
commercial activities--created all our problems. Generally speaking
economic information is not disseminated here. We hope the day will come
when other circumstances will allow us to handle all economic information
in such a way that the masses will have an up to date account of how much
we spend on such and such a product, on this other product, how much is
imported, how much is exported, how much we spend here, how much we spend
there. In other words, this information could be discussed widely, because
with the information in the hands of the masses, all the measures could be
taken. We would have worker congresses. We could analyze all these
problems--the problems of wages, costs, ration coupons, everything. At
times people have suggested that we pay very low wages. But really there is
one thing about this: we have stated that our policy is to raise the wages
of the groups, beginning with the retirees. We have discussed raising the
retirees income which is not enough for them to live. Later on--more than a
general wage increase--we are contemplating a raise for those with the
lowest wages. This will be a general policy.

But this cannot by any means imply that all wages will be the same.
Equality of opportunity and filling of needs are found in a highly
developed society with highly developed productive forces, specifically, in
communism. We are struggling for communism. But we cannot just ignore that
some jobs are harder than others. Some are harder than others. There are
jobs requiring much more qualification and responsibility than others.
There are, for instance, workers who are housed away from their home. They
do not go home. The worker who is housed somewhere other than home and does
not go home must be given some kind of compensation. What else can be done
but give him compensation? There are some workers whose work is very hard,
harder than than of others. Sometimes it is hard to get workers for a
specific job. Some compensation must be offered. There is no other device.
We must establish this. We must try to utilize everyone. It is true that
wages are not the basic factor, not the determining factor. But it does
have weight. Individual income through wages still has a historical
influence and it will continue having it for a period of time. If a worker
studies, takes training courses, betters himself, and is still treated
exactly like the one who does nothing, he will be discouraged. If he who
does nothing and sees that he is being treated just like the one making the
efforts he will not be inspired to make an effort to study. Above all,
speaking ideologically, wit a clear-cut, a very clear-cut revolution, with
an ideology that is the Marxist-Leninist ideology, with a policy to deepen
awareness [applause], and having one criteria--to develop awareness, the
moral factors, and the formation of a communist. [sentence as heard] These
are the goals, the means for this enormous effort done voluntarily.

We have reached very high levels, extremely high levels. In this movement
for building homes, you can see workers who already have homes working 10
and 12 hours [words indistinct]. And they are not going to live in this
house. They are displaying growing collective awareness. We must never do
anything to interfere with the growth of this collective and communist
awareness. On the contrary, we must continue developing it more and more
each day. We must insist on searching for an increasing awareness leading
to communism.

The road to communism, however, is not just a road of awareness. It is a
road for developing productive and material forces. As I have told you
before, this awareness must be our basic weapon for developing the
productive forces which we have defined in the phrase: let us create wealth
with awareness and not awareness with wealth. Well, this is clear. It has
been followed and it has been very correct for our revolution to follow
this line because it is what makes us strong.

Those who left the country, what were they after? They shirked their duty.
They left an underdeveloped country to live comfortably because the doors
were opened to them for political reasons--leaving us without technicians
and qualified workers--to campaign against the revolution. They opened the
doors to those who wish to leave, doors which no one could open wide for
them. We said: very well, those who want to leave may. We wanted them to
leave regardless of what it meant us economically because we preferred to
have only those who were willing to serve the fatherland, to work in the
country, to develop the country stay--to keep those who did not want to go
there as prostitutes, beggars, and counterrevolutionaries to enjoy the
wealth which was in great part the result of the exploitation of hundreds
of millions of men throughout dozens of years. No! [applause]

What inspired the consumer society? The possibility of creating the
material goods lacking here. In other words imperialism won these men over
by blackmailing them, warping their consciences, exalting material goods,
exalting consumption, above all. How could our country defend itself
against these weapons of an enemy who was so militarily powerful, having
great political influence in the world due to its military and economic
power? We had to deepen our awareness. And we are proud of this policy
because we have in fact been able, to an extraordinary extent, to deepen
the people's awareness. This does not mean that it is fully developed. This
does not mean that we understand everything. This must be developed must
more. Much more must be understood. Some of the problems of cigarettes, all
these things are factors which in the measure that we deal with them more
and more and choose the most intelligent and most correct solutions, we
will be displaying greater awareness.

Our awareness still has a long way to go along the road of development, but
is has developed enough to put up a fence, an insurmountable barrier, for
the imperialist enemy. The revolution has been and is strong among the
masses, particularly among the workers masses. The revolution and the
people are strong because of their awareness. The revolution is strong
internationally because of its awareness, its policy. In other words we
have chosen the correct road, the only road, which is described in the
phrase: strengthen awareness and strengthen awareness, and strengthen

Now, with this clearly in mind, and based on these considerations, we must
understand that we must still use specific devices. Wages cannot be exactly
the same during the transitional period. Some jobs are harder than others.
Some activities require more qualifications than others. During the
transitional period of going from socialism to communism we must keep in
mind these considerations. We cannot fall into idealism thinking because we
want communism, and because we are fighting for communism, and because
awareness is the basic factor, that already we have achieved total
awareness, that already we have a sound economy, that already we are living
in a communist society, that already all men are acting exactly alike
because of this awareness. The truth is that this is not the case. And this
is why it is a process, a process marching uphill.

We believe that when we hold the workers congress which we [Unreadable
text] today all these ideas and opinions will have to be organized so that
people can understand what is given free, what should be given free, and
why, what should not be given free and why, what should cost more and why,
why should this cost this much and why, why ration coupons, how long these
coupons will be used, when and under what conditions should there be no
coupons, that is, all these factors so the people will [Unreadable text]
informed, have a deep revolutionary awareness, and have plenty of political
information so that they can distinguish between subtleties and details,
avoid confusing one thing with another, prevent harm to ourselves, avoid
going from one extreme to another.

If in our search for communism we march idealistically beyond [Unreadable
text] realistically reach--and we must always try to march the [Unreadable
text]--however, if we march beyond our capability this eventually will
cause [Unreadable text] that ideology is not subjected to defeat, because
for ideology defeats mean setbacks on the road of revolutions. Let us march
as far as we can as rapidly as we can, but not beyond what we can in
keeping ideology from defeat.

As for facing the economic difficulties, already we have proposals of all
kinds. When on 26 July the problems were stated, the various proposals on
how to solve the problem started. Fortunately we have been clear headed. We
have kept calm. We have searched for the solutions, studied the problems,
searched for the way to begin solving problems, seen how problems are being
[Unreadable text], and what the results are. We began with the most
important thing: invigorate the mass movement. And discussed domestic
problems with the masses. This policy was followed and already the results
are beginning to be felt. Even the problem of vagrancy was studied. And you
know the results of that now. The establishment of discipline, and forms at
the work centers, awareness of production, introducing technology to
increase production as in the Australian system (?used in Corozo).

And what do all these measures mean? That industries are producing. Some
industries have increased their production extraordinarily. What were the
determining factors for this? The worker's response to the call of the
revolution--the formidable response of the masses, their becoming aware,
the coordinated efforts of management, workers, and the party at each work
center. Thus, you can see the influence of being aware. Production in some
of these centers has doubled. There are many activities in which production
has increased by more than 100 percent, and this does not include the
overall production norms.

What did the people respond to? Awareness. And what was awareness?
Knowledge, conviction about the problem, identifying it with the economy,
for it is in fact the economy. Identifying it, being sure, having the
conviction that he is the person who will lose or gain from this
production. The knowledge, the awareness of the worker that as he works in
this factory and others work in other factories they will all reap the

The workers' sense of patriotism and revolution has shown results, plenty
of results, thus giving the revolution an instrument, that is the
antivagrancy law, which covers 100,000 persons. It consolidates the
discipline in the workers' centers. The same is true of the regulating, the
productivity; thus, also with the introduction of new technology, we are
seeing surprising results.

There are many centers, many work forces which have reached their
production quota, and this movement is on the increase. But difficulties
could hold them back; shortage of electricity is holding us back. The raw
materials could also hold us back at some bad moment; so could the limits
of the production capabilities of the factories. That could be our problem
next year; after work this could be it, basically. Let us see if we can add
the 100,000 who joined, and the 200,000 canecutters whom we hope we will
not have to use in 1972 because of the 300 storage centers, and by making
the Austrialian cutting method general; and that makes 300,000. The human
resource we are saving in the revolutionary armed forces, in the Interior
Ministry, for more than a year now, the men of the revolutionary armed
forces have been making a great effort. It is a serious effort, to see how
they can reduce the permanent personnel, while keeping and increasing the
combative efficiency of our armed forces, and they are accomplishing it.

It is a fact that some 70,000 or 80,000 soldiers have taken part in the
harvest, especially in 1971, in all the harvest talks, and part of the
human resources saved will be those soldiers. However, the savings we make
in the armed forces and in the Interior Ministry will be turned into
permanent, year-round forces for industries, for agriculture, in the
various activities. And it will be done through this method, the
antivagrancy law. The savings among the canecutters; these two sources
alone will give us 200,000, 300,000 more men, plus the savings in the armed
forces and the Interior Ministry--which are 100,000--will make 400,000.

Now we must finish the plans for the rehabilitation of convicts, which we
are already doing in some construction projects, for example, dairies and
other items. The scores of thousands of men which these savings will mean
in the reduction of absenteeism, the scores of thousands of men saved
through regulation; the scores of thousands of men saved through the use of
the young men who neither study nor work. Those below 16 years of age in
the workshops and the schools; the scores of thousands of men saved could
mean solving the housing and social problems and an extra work force for
these activities.

And what does this all mean? What could it mean? Well, in the second half
of 1972 we might have 600,000 more men in non-sugarcane activities than we
had in 1970. Revolutionary and political measures; technological measures;
the introduction of technology; methods of organizing, and what will this
all mean for the economy. We are sure that our problems in 1972 will be
basically problems concerning raw materials and this shifting of the
masses; with this invigorating of the labor movement; with all of this,
with the increase in the production and productivity; with this
incorporation of work forces into the industries and the services. Our
problems in 1972 will be ones of the industrial capabilities and of raw
materials, essentially. This will be a great step forward, one accomplished
through political and organizational methods, by appealing to the
conscience; here are the products of the conscience. We must be clear.

Within these policies and these strategies, we must understand that we are
in a transitory stage, in the socialist stage, or the revolution, not in
the communist stage. The communist stage will be the result of what we do
now. We simply cannot act as if we were already in the communist stage, as
if we had already established the material base; as if we already had a
people completely qualified and completely cultured.

We speak of the universalization of education. We are completely
convinced--and we told the teachers so yesterday--that the day will come
when all our people will be cultured; a people completely trained; a people
who will be result of that.

They will begin to study from the primary grades, from the nurseries;
general instruction; cultural training; technical education; scientific
education. And all youths, as a result of the training in our educational
institutions, will be able to reach the point permitted by their
intelligence. When that point in history arrives, we shall have a
universally qualified people; we shall then have the methods and the
resources to incorporate all the people--men and women--into production.
Our levels of productivity will be incomparably superior to today's.

And then will come the hour of taking the final steps toward that which we
could consider an equal distribution, absolutely equal; that is, a
distribution, shall we say, of to each according to his needs. But we
cannot do this today; it would be an illusion. Today it would be unreal,
and it could lead us to the defeat of our ideology, which would mean a
retrogression on the road of this ideology.

What do we want to show the workers today? We want you to understand that
we want to be communist; we want to reach communism as soon as possible,
but we are in the socialist phase. On the road to constructing socialism
and communism, conscience is seen as a fundamental matter. Our people
cannot do anything else; our people currently are facing up to an historic
challenge from an economically more developed nation whose level of
consumption is the highest inn the world. The most elemental concept of
strategy and tactics tell us that we must strengthen our consciences, and
it is that very strengthening of the conscience which has strengthened and
made the revolution invincible; caused it to resist the imperialists
steadfastly. [applause]

It is this which has permitted the revolution to resist without one single
moment of wavering, without one concession, the offensive blockade in the
field of economics, and of politics, and in all fields of Yankee
imperialism. This we owe to the extraordinary strengthening of our
consciences--a path on which we must continue. However, at the same time,
these criteria, these ideas, must not obscure, must not deprive us of an
understanding of the measures we must take in each of the steps--I mean
cases--in order to solve our present problems in a realistic fashion. And
some of these--as we were saying--some concepts such as these, some jobs
are more difficult than others, some should be rewarded better than others.
Some qualifications are higher than others and so should be paid better. We
must avoid an excess of money for goods and services used, because this is
the source of vice, of corruption, of commercialism; inn short, the
retrogression of conscience. That is why, as we said, we planned to collect
surplus money.

There is no change in the revolution's policies let alone in its
fundamental positions. Instead, there is a securing of its positions.
Because, if we want to progress in morality and conscience, we must remove
those things which serve as grist for the mill directed against morality
and conscience and which also promote corruption. I believe that our
defense of revolutionary values and of the people's values should lead us
to adopt these very methods; but I warn you--and let it be well
understood--some have asked if there was any change in the revolution's
line or position. There is no such change, nor can there ever be. For the
day on which we abandon these flags, these standards, the revolution will
truly be lost; the revolution would lose its weapons.

And these standards will never be abandoned; these flags [applause] will be
flown higher and higher [applause]. These flags are definitely the ones
which have saved the revolution at critical times; they have mobilized the
people. For what flags if not (?these most noble) flags made them stand
firm at Giron; made them stand up with firmness, intrepidly, to the
challenge of the October crisis; what flags made them go forward proudly
during all these years of struggle and effort, always willing to face up to
anything, to pay the highest price for their revolution? It was precisely
these flags. That is why, when the workers congress meets, we will have to
have all these ideas, all these points all worked out, just like the
educational congress which was so clear in its ideology.

And we hold the impression of great progress which this congress left and
which is still fresh in our minds. And we hope that, when this other
congress is held, we shall be able to say that the ideology of our workers
is solid, monolithic, and that their thinking is clear. This will be
expressed by the workers at their congress after their ideas and their
propositions are drawn up, as well as their recommendations, especially
vis-a-vis each one of the questions of special interest to them.

Now to end, I want to remind you that we are still in harvest time, and
that there are delays in the harvest. We were under the impression that we
would reach the 5 million mark by the third. But we will not reach that
until at least the fourth. During the last few days, we have experienced a
certain decline, even before the rains began. And in May we face severe
rains. But despite all this, we must continue the harvest and cut until the
last cane is cut. That is the motto.

When we spoke at the beginning of the harvest, we said that it would reach
approximately 7 million, which is the approximate figure that the country
needs to fulfill all its commitments, plus the world quota which is 110,
plus some additional to the quota which has been assigned, and a small
reserve for any eventual addition. Therefore, the country needs 6,650,000
tons. I other words, anything less than 6,650,000 tons would seriously
affect the eventual net income in currency.

I give you the exact figure--for the sugarmill workers present here so that
you will understand this well. We have had problems with the harvest that
have had nothing to do with the work force basically. This harvest has been
carried out with 125,000 machete-bearers--less than last year, but with
approximately 25 percent more productivity than last year. Of course, this
has been determined mostly by the new methods. There still have been some
industrial problems, transportation problems, and problems of lifting and

So, as we understand it, the country will have to make a coordinated effort
with all the organizations that have something to do with the harvest,
among the many discussions this year. There is a possibility of creating a
functional harvest sector--not organic--for the coordination of all aspects
of the industry--which makes the replacement parts for each mill, the
transportation assured cart by cart and mill by mill, the industry, mill by
mill, and the work force too. This is all so that the sugar production and
the sugar mills can recover the efficiency they need and regain their
capabilities. This is a fundamental need, especially when we have solved
essentially the number one problem--which for all these years has been the
problem of the work force--by the use of new canecutting methods and
storage centers.

The problems remaining is that of transportation--all the tractors. We must
take into consideration that agriculture is mechanized, that the ox is no
longer used, that almost everything is carried in trucks, in the tractors,
and that the cane must go through a storage center, one which has
elevators, motors, and machines. Maintenance is required for all this;
attention must be paid to all this, and when it is interrupted it in turn
interrupts everything else.

It interrupts tractor operations and distribution centers; the distribution
center interrupts the train--interrupts the sugar mill; that is,
mechanization is the most important aspect. It will be necessary to
strengthen these areas. We have the perseverance; we have the tenacity to
continue with the harvest, and as long as we have a sugarcane stalk we will
more or less reach that harvest figure. Of course, a dry year can be good
or bad. It may be good for the harvest and bad for the sugarcane, because
drought is always likely in the country's western region. If it rains too
hard, it will be good for the sugarcane but bad for the harvest.

However, we must fulfill our policy, we must continue with the harvest, we
must cut every bit of sugarcane regardless of how much it rains; we have no
alternative, the harvest must go on. We must be considered with planting,
clearing, fertilizing more spring planting; we must accomplish a good July
planting plan. Indeed, the purpose of the sugarcane workers' plenary is to
plan for the sugarcane workers' participation during the slack season,
because this year we do not have the means, materials, or enough
organization to promote--through those workers--the construction plan,
which is a important contribution to the slack season plan this year. This
plan is needed to maintain our rate of production and increase sugarcane
production, so, we have these tasks waiting for us during the next few
months, and one of the most important is the policy of cutting the last
sugarcane regardless of how much it rains. [applause]

We want to urge the sugarcane workers, the cutters, to cut every bit of
sugarcane regardless of how much it rains [applause], because of its
importance for the economy and the importance of having the workers commit
themselves to cut every bit of cane. [applause] Frankly, we want to say
that this is of great importance to the economy. Work can be finished in
one province, but the harvest must continue in other provinces as it did
last year. This is the case in Oriente Province. Oriente Province has areas
with varying climates, especially in the northern area where a good harvest
yield can be attained during the months of June and July.

In any event, this is something we must do this year, because with the
improvement we are experiencing in all work centers, in all industries, we
should reach our goal necessary to produce the amount of sugar needed by
our economy. So next July we will have a situation vastly different from
what we had last year. We will have a much better situation, and we can
confront that year's tasks with more security, with much more optimism; in
addition, we can attain faster and more solid progress than we have
achieved so far, and we can continue this movement that promises so much
for our country.

So we are sure that the revolution is approaching a new and most important
and decisive phase. Of course, the revolution still faces some obstacles,
but it is advancing much better. However, we still have the harvest. It has
been accomplished without sacrificing everything; we have thus advanced
under difficult circumstances. If we had only had the 300 distribution
centers, generalized cutting, and more efficient labor centers. But we had
nothing like that this year when we started the harvest. We had hardly
finished the last one; we were involved in a great task to improve the
other branches of the economy and then we had to work on the harvest again
and we had to adopt measures from the very beginning.

We are conscious of how the workers have so greatly responded to each and
every one of our appeals. We can never forget the workers' answer when we
brought up the problem of the traditional holidays and its problems.

How did the workers react? What was their answer? It was precisely during
that historic 31st that the maximum efforts took place. It was thus
demonstrated like a revolution, a change of traditions, when tradition
confronted the worker's own interests. The workers' answer in production,
in the factories; the workers answer in the vagrancy law; the workers
answer to each and every one of the appeals. When a revolution can say that
it has the support and conscience of the people, people with a constant,
quick, and energetic answer, that revolution can be sure that it will go
forward invincibly.

We have had examples among our workers, who try harder every day with
sacrifices and struggle; it has been demonstrated during this harvest by
the millionaire brigades, it has been demonstrated by the national work
heroes. There is the example of the national labor hero who in 1 day cut
7,200 arrobas [applause]--7,200 arrobas. That proves two things: it proves
that he is a hero and it proves what technique can do, because undoubtedly,
with previous techniques previous heroes could cut 2,000 plus and now they
can cut even 7,000. One of the millionaire brigades, which came here and
honored us with the cup that they gave our party's Central Committee, had
an average of 2,200 arrobas per man daily. We said that 2,000 cutters like
them would finish the Havana harvest with 4 million arrobas daily--2,000.
It is expected that we can reduce--that we will reduce considerably the
increasing number of cutters with the 300 distribution centers being
operated and the generalization of the harvest. However, in such brigades,
2,000 cutters would cut 4 million, 2,000 men cutting; if they were 2,500,
let us say, they would finish the harvest in Havana Province, which in 1970
used more than 30,000--more than 30,000 in 1970. This year, it used between
15,000 to 17,000; next year, it will use 10,000. But if you compare, 2,000
men in the field would finish the province's harvest, which implies strict
labor and more productivity; it would be marvelous what we could achieve by
doing this.

However, this has been a fine example and a very encouraging example.
Comrade Ramos Latour saw something very important here and this was related
to the congress on education and culture and the need for the workers'
movement to adopt the declaration and the program of the first national
congress of education and culture as its own, because that is something
which interests all of us; it is something very important for our people,
the life of the country, and above all the life of the future. The future
life of our country depends essentially on the fulfillment of that
education program. The march toward communism essentially requires the
fulfillment of that policy and that education program. That is why we ask
our workers to adopt that program and that declaration as their own.

Long live the workers' movement [applause]; long live 1 May; [applause and
shouts of vivas]; long live proletarian internationalism [applause and
shouting]; long live communism. Fatherland or death. We shall win!