Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Domestic Service Version

Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 1646 GMT 29 Jun 71 F

[Text] Maj Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the central committee of
the party and prime minister of the revolutionary government, [in the
evening of 28 June] closed the first national transportation plenum and the
meeting for the establishment of the transportation workers union. Present
with Fidel Castro were Party Central Committee Second Secretary and
Revolutionary Armed Forces Minister Maj Raul Castro Ruz, President Osvaldo
Dorticos Torrado, and Majors Guillermo Garcia Fria and Ramiro Valdes
Menendez, all politburo members, as well as Transportation Minister Maj
Antonio Enrique Lusson Batlle.

"I am pleased and optimistic about the work done by the ministry in the
past few months and the effort you have all made," Fidel Castro said. He
went on to say he had received a very good impression from the meeting and
he hoped the enthusiasm shown would not be diminished.

Maj Fidel Castro said the meeting had aired all transportation problems
with a great deal of sincerity. He said the work done over the past 25
hours since Friday night to the conclusion of the sessions on Sunday was of
high quality.

The first topic Fidel Castro dealt with in his speech was the railroads.
"In the next few years we are going to work intensively on the railroads,
and this will require a lot of resources," he said. Maintenance of
equipment is a fundamental task, he stressed. "We must develop a railroad
mentality because it is an indispensable means of transportation, now and
always," the prime minister said.

He referred to immediate and prospective reconstruction plans for the main
line, noting that the first phase will cost approximately 300 million

In the course of his remarks Fidel Castro hailed those workers who have
placed locomotives that had been idle for long periods back into service.
He also said many locomotives had been acquired in the past few years.

Castro also discussed the organization of maintenance and repair brigades
for the railroads, as well as semimechanized construction brigades, and the
organization of support and bridge construction brigades.

Fidel Castro recalled that during the meeting emphasis was given to our
needs for machine tools for shops. He said we will have to spend money for
them since it is not easy to acquire such machine tools. He also praised
the work of shop workers in Luyano, Havana; in Guantanamo, Oriente
Province; and in Camaguey.

Castro mentioned interprovincial transportation, explaining that we are
going to have a new fleet for this service that is unequalled in Cuba. He
recalled that the meeting had stressed that the key point in this service
would be the maintenance shop. He also urged further development of the
training plans announced at the meeting.

The prime minister said we must work for reliability and punctuality in
public services and in the organizational capacity of the community. He
said solutions to transportation problems would be studied in cities such
as Santa Clara, Pinar del Rio and elsewhere.

Castro went on to say that work would be done to resolve pavement
difficulties by seeking the help of those workers of the units involved.

Speaking in regard to the fishermen, whose imprisonment had been repudiated
several times in speeches during the plenum, Fidel Castro said imperialist
aggression had helped to bring out an extraordinary mettle in Cuban
fishermen. "Our desire is for our fishermen to be respected," he said. He
added: "What greatly irritated our people was the jail sentence, but even
more than that, the chains they were shackled with."

The chief of the revolution went on to outline those steps that are being
taken to check the spread of the African swine fever. He also referred to
traffic accidents, describing them as the "worst plague we have ever

Concluding, Castro spoke about the social responsibility of the community.
He said "when all administrators carry out their duties with more devotion
than the capitalists and when each worker takes care of the means made
available to him by the state, we will have acquired a true communist
culture." [Havana Domestic Television Service in Spanish at 1700 GMT on 29
June in a report on Castro's speech and his comments on the imprisoned
Cuban fishermen added: "Cuba shall not retreat in the struggle to get our
fishermen released."]