Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0133 GMT Is Aug 71

[Speech by Cuban Premier Maj Fidel Castro at the welcoming ceremony held at
Ciudad Deportiva [sports palace] for the Cuban delegation to the 6th
Pan-American Games in Cali, Colombia--live]

[Text] Comrade athletes, comrade workers: we wish to express here the
happiness and the pride of our People in the efforts made and the successes
attained by our athletic delegation in these Pan-American competitions. It
is unnecessary to mention that our country followed the competitions day by
day, minute by minute. The communications services operated very well.
There was a looseleaf distributed describing the operation, how many
comrades worked in it, and what was attained at this time. All contests
were described practically without interruption. Occasionally it could be
said that it was insanity because it lasted all day long. I do not know how
they were able to carry out their duties. I do not know what kind of report
has been made on production but, [Fidel chuckles] the truth of the matter
is that the devotion to duty... [sentence not completed] I can honestly say
that there is a lot of work now. During the 26 of July festivities many
delegations visited our country, and there were of course many meetings
with these delegations. Put, I am going to tell the truth, every time that
something happened [Fidel refers to radio reports], the meetings were
interrupted. The radio was turned on and the members of the delegations and
ourselves listened to the contest, whatever it was, basketball, boxing; at
any time of day or night.

Of course, in that Ape of work it is easier to beg the indulgence of the
listeners and take a break. I can tell you one thing, even the visiting
delegations that came to Cuba for the 26 July festivities became involved
themselves with similar enthusiasm and interest Par the athletic
competitions. I can also tell you something else which is very significant.

One day we were meeting with a delegation of American youths who
represented the Venceremos Brigade, which has sent youths to Cuba to work
in our harvest. I can tell you--I do not recall what game was taking place
on that day--that they also expressed their joy for the victories that our
athletes were obtaining. That is, a true expression' of solidarity with the
Latin American countries. This is odd, do you not agree? It is odd, but it
also demonstrates that among the American people there are feelings opposed
to that superiority obsession, to that complex that imperialism has tried
to force upon our Latin American Peoples.

So far they have used sports as a tool. We are going to talk about this
later on. They have made certain allegations, that we use sports as a
political weapon when in reality it is the opposite. Imperialism is the one
that has tried to humiliate, has tried to create an inferiority complex in
the Latin American peoples when opposed by them, It can be said that that
is part of the imperialist ideology--to try to show themselves to be
superior beings and create an inferiority complex and inability in the
minds of the peoples they oppose. That is the manner in which they have
used sports. Of course, the athletes themselves are unaware of this policy.

We believe that this is cart of an ideology in the system as a whole, which
sometimes prevails upon the athletes, but as a rule the athletes are not
the ones who have conceived that system, or are responsible for it. It
simply means that they are used as a tool. There are many citizens in the
United States who wholeheartedly oppose that ideological policy of
imperialism. He can point out, as an interesting fact, that even Americans
who were visiting our country expressed joy for the victories of our
delegation with a deep sense of internationalism, precisely when the Cuban
delegation was participating in the games. From a moral point of view and
from a humane point of view, and, we should add, from a point of view of
the feelings of our Latin American peoples who are justly on the defensive
in the face of attempts to lower us, humiliate us, and to create an
inferiority... [sentence not completed].

Everybody in our country followed with great interest the development of
the games. We can say that they participated in them. They suffered the
defeats, enjoyed the victories, and shared the thrills of our delegation in
Colombia. The victories really did not surprise us. These developments,
these advances, and these victories attained by Cuba in sports seem to be
natural and logical, and naturally they can be explained.

Some have tried to show that Cuba uses sports as a political tool, whereas
exactly the opposite is true. The very opposite. Politics is a tool of
sports. In other words, sports is not a means but an objective, because it
is a human activity. It is similar to any other activity that has to do
with man and his well-being. The same thing happens with education,
culture, health, material, living conditions, human dignity--the feelings
and spiritual values of man are precisely the objectives of politics. In
other words, a mistake is made in referring to this. The imperialists and
their theoreticians are mistaken when they believe that sports is a tool of
politics. They cannot understand that politics, that is the revolution, is
a tool of education, culture, sports, human values, spiritual values. It is
the tool of man.

The imperialists are mistaken when they take one thing for another, one
thing precisely For its opposite. The revolution is precisely made for that
purpose, simply for man, for the good of man. That is its objective.
Everything that contributes one way or another to the well-being and
happiness of man in a spiritual manner, in a moral manner, in a material
manner, and in a social manner; that is, in every way.

Thus, we can say that the results are simply demonstrated. That is the
whole thing, Who brought this subject up? No, it was not us. He have a wire
here with a statement by the president of the UPS, olympic committee. The
wire says: "Cali, 12 August, AP. Cuba, with iron curtain coaches and with
politically minded purposes, now represents a new end strong threat in
international sports." They are scared. This is what the president of the
U.S. olympic committee stated. The rest of the wire is more or less the
same thing. He adds: "We are well aware that they have learned a lot from
the experiences and ability of the Soviet Union coaches and other Communist
countries. We cannot identify these coaches by name and number but it is a
known fact that they are there." I do not know why they dwell so much on
this matter. Nobody has denied this. Our country has announced this and
admits it, and appreciates it. What this cooperation has meant, in sports,
we constantly mention, as well as in many other things, the cooperation of
many fraternal countries. [applause]

We are very happy about this, He greatly appreciate it. But, we are doubly
happy to note that the efforts they have made with their technical
cooperation in sports has had results that can only be attained in a
revolutionary process. The wire states that this has been done for
political purposes, because it adds: "The Soviet Union and other socialist
countries believe that superiority in sports reflects the power of the
system; thus sports has become a political weapon, and is also used for
propaganda purposes by them." Are they not impudent? [laughter in the

They are the ones who invented this, because in imperialism and capitalism
man is a tool. That is the substance and dialectic between one case and the
other. In capitalism man is a tool for the enrichment of the exploiters. In
socialism man is the objective of the system.

Simply put, this is what makes the matter so substantially different. They
have used all spiritual values as a tool, be cause they are not concerned
with those values. They are not concerned with man. Man is simply a tool
for wealth and exploitation. [Fidel pounds on table].

The wire now adds: "With us it is different." [Fidel interrupts the
reading] "With us" he refers to imperialism. "He do not believe that sports
should be used in waging cold wars. He believe that politics should be
separated from sports, and we deplore these efforts to use these friendly
games in praising political ideologies." That is all. What points can be
given to this gentleman? He has to be disqualified. Practically, we have to
get rid of him.

That is the way the imperialists,.. [sentence incomplete] Why all this
noise? Cuba has not developed in sports only. Education has been developed
as it had never been developed before. He are not competing in education
internationally. He carried out the literacy drive, but we did not compete
against anybody.

We have only made efforts to have a school for every student, a teacher for
every school. The country has made great investments, great efforts have
been made in education in order to eradicate illiteracy and raise the
levels of general education. This will have its results in the future. He
cannot see it now, but someday we will. We have not competed against anyone
in this.

He have made great efforts in the health programs for the sake of healthy
human beings. We have eliminated many epidemics. How many epidemics have we
eliminated? They were killing thousands of children and persons every year.
They were eliminated. There was no need for competing internationally in
order to achieve this.

Cultural activities have been developed. Everything that had to be
developed for the benefit of man, the human being, has been developed and,
among them, sports was one. Why? We repeat, why? We have eliminated
illiteracy. Why is it that there is not a single worker in our country who
does not have medical attention? There is no region, no matter how remotely
located, that does not have a school. Why is it that there are no beggars
in our streets? Why is it that there is not a single worker who is not
entitled to retirement benefits? Why? Well, simply because man is the
objective of all our social efforts.

Man is not the tool, and these activities cannot be the tool of politics,
but this we repeat, the complete opposite. All these activities are the
objective of politics, the objective of the revolution. Then, it should be
stated here that sports have been developed as an objective of our social
efforts. These social efforts have cost great pains, lots of sweat, and
much blood because this was not without cost. It was not without cost that
we were able to expel the Yankee monopolies from here. It was not without
cost, not without sweat and blood, that our country was able to become the
owner of its own destiny to the extent that it has become a true competitor
on any type of ground with the United States. [applause]

Among other things, in order to compete, we had to get rid of them
politically, economically, and in every other manner. We had to get rid of
the monopolies. We had to get rid of imperialism, of course. This gentleman
does not mention a single word concerning how our country has had to
struggle during the past years in order to attain those human objectives.
He have had to struggle against sabotage, economic blockades, aggression,
infiltration, subversive attempts, attacks, all kinds of wrongdoings,
because our country... [sentence not completed] These are the conditions.
What really hurts them is the way in which we attain these human objectives
of the revolution despite all their efforts to obstruct them, to interfere
with them, to frustrate our efforts. This impudent gentleman does not say
one word about all these problems. No, he comes out with these statements
about us using sports as a tool. What should be really said is that in
spite of all of imperialism's efforts and crimes--crimes against our
country to frustrate its efforts on behalf of man--our country is
prosperous and advances and attains victories such as these.

We can say that this is defamatory, cynical, and baseless. This simply can
be explained as they do use sports as a tool, because men is a tool for
them in everything, not an objective. They suffer because the monopoly has
been destroyed, the imperialist monopoly in sports. One of their weapons
has been nullified. That inferiority complex that they tried to create in
our Latin American countries is being destroyed by being subdued. Someday
it will be totally annihilated through our country's efforts, and the
efforts of the rest of the Latin American countries. [applause]

In the old days when the medals that the United States had won were added
up, they amounted to a number greater than all of the medals won by all the
Latin American countries put together. Now, however, after the boom in
Cuban sports, the truth is that if we add up the number of medals won by
all Latin American countries, we have more medals than the United States.
We have to look at it from all angles. We have to take into consideration
two things. Cuba not only defeats the United States in sports, but Latin
America also defeats the United States Cuba has also made it possible for
all the Latin American countries to have more medals than the United
States. [applause] We have attained a victory for our country and a victory
for Latin America.

Naturally, we do not have 200 million inhabitants, but when we add our
medals to those of the Latin American countries, even though in those
countries they do not have the same conditions that we in Cuba have for
practicing sports, things are different. We have no doubt that the Latin
American countries in time will enjoy the same conditions for practicing
sports. This is inescapable. When that time comes, then we will see how we
come out in medals when all Latin American countries can practice sports.
We will see how we will come out Cuba has demonstrated it.

A country with 10 million inhabitants, in the midst of a blockade and
threats, and all such actions, has demonstrated how it can attain
unbelievable successes. All wire services have expressed surprise, a
surprise that has been demonstrated some truths, and which has been
destroying some lies. What is the reason for this? There are several

The efforts of 12 years begin to have results. There have been 12 years of
work in this field. We must take into consideration that we have over 2,000
physical education teachers who have graduated from the Manuel Fajardo
institute, more than 2,000 graduates. That school continues to train
teachers. We have to take into consideration that we have acquired
experience. But the results are beginning to be demonstrated, such as
general education, general culture. We can also see the results of sports
in the schools. We are also beginning to see the results of our youth being
raised under different conditions. There are almost half a million youths
in primary and secondary schools who have full scholarships or semiboarding
scholarships. We have to take into consideration the efforts of the country
on behalf of children, for their nourishment. The efforts made in improving
the sanitary conditions of the people by eliminating epidemics, improving
the nourishment of our youths and students. They are not being raised...
[sentence not completed] We are getting results and these results will
become more evident as time goes by.

The results of social efforts are becoming evident through a better
physical structure, a better educational structure, and a better cultural
structure for sports. Everything increases through experience. He are
demonstrating a good technology, better than anything previously known to
us, which we have received through the cooperation of the socialist
countries. The conduct of our athletes reflects the spirit of our people.
Our athletes reflect the spirit of our people. That spirit is now reflected
in other activities. It is reflected in the youth who are members of the
Centennial Youth Column and in productive work. [applause]

It is the spirit that is reflected in the national labor heroes, in the
millionaire canecutters, in the twice millionaire canecutters, in the
thrice millionaire canecutters, of whom there are hundreds. That is the
same spirit that is reflected in the fishermen, in the dignity that they
maintain when they are arrested, [applause] and when they are chained. They
maintain a firm attitude, proud, unyielding; it is the spirit of our
vanguard youths in their studies.

It is simply the result of the new spirit of our people, of our new
generations. It is that profound revolutionary spirit which knows how to
carry very high the dignity of man, the moral values, the spiritual values
of man. That is what explains this attitude, this fight, this struggle.
They reflect not only that spirit of this generation which is bearing the
fruit of seeds planted by other generations, but the spirit of those who
fought and died heroically during the mercenary invasion at Giron, the
spirit of our people during the October crisis, the spirit of our people in
the battles against bandits at the Escambary mountains, the spirit of our
youth and our people during our long history from 1868 to today in heroic
struggles for the independence and the dignity of man. It reflects the
spirit of the Moncada barracks, of the Granma, of 1868, of 1895, of all
eras, but is beginning to be not a minority effort but the spirit of all
the people.

We could state that it is just beginning. There is a long way ahead of us.
There is something that was not mentioned here, and that is what these
international contests mean to us. It is well known that we have had to
travel to several countries. It is also well known that in some countries
where we have been the imperialist control is great. It is also well known
that our delegation is surrounded by all sorts of threats, provocations,
pressures, attempts to bribe, corrupt, and cause desertion. The history of
this battle, of this sports effort, has been waged in the midst of a war
against us. We must state that the athletes from the United States and
other countries are not subjected to the pressures, obstacles, and
provocations to which the imperialists and their agents subject our
delegations. Who has forgotten the conditions under which we competed in
Buerto Rico? We had to anchor our ship right there in front of the coast,
because they practically did not allow us to use the port. We went there
and they had to open the doors.

Our delegation almost had to swim ashore. We have not won any championships
in swimming as yet, but we can swim ashore in any of those places. This has
always been the way. It has been a psychological campaign, full of
intrigues, a publicity campaign full of lies, something outrageous. Our
athletes have had to compete under such circumstances. The value of our
success has been that in spite of those conditions we continue to improve,
and their efforts are shattered against the firmness and integrity of our
athletes, the spirit that those athletes are representing. The very few
exceptions do not amount to anything. They do not even dishonor cur
delegation. Those infamies will be taken care of by history. Those rare
exceptions will be taken care of by history.

What is important is the spirit with which our athletes compete and
struggle at all levels. They always go forward, ready to face up to all
eventualities. They have been ready when they have been insulted, when they
have tried to intimidate them, when they have tried to attack them, when
they have tried to, well, to insult our delegation,

For these are our given number of medals concerning which we have proven
invincible every time we have been attacked and insulted. [applause]

These medals must be counted by twos. It is a great contradiction for them
to start by saying there is a complete corps of police who will watch the

That is the story of Giron repeated at the games To the American it was
"No, no, no. All that has to be done is to arrive there, and when the
landing cones, everyone will turn his rifle away, and it is all over."

And when they landed, it was a deluge--the deluge of shellfire, of bullets,
and everything. The same happened to the delegation. [presumably the US
delegation], They made up a story. But when they turned on us, when they
provoked, us when they attacked us, they likewise got the Prepared
deluge--the deluge of a fatherland or death delegation of sons who fight it
out under any circumstance, who are willing to (?go all out) and give their
life and everything. [prolonged applause]

It must not be forgotten that the youth who represented Cuba at this
contest are the spiritual heirs of our mambises, those of Moncada, of
Granma, the Sierra, the Escambry, Giron, and all of our peoples struggles.
They are the spiritual heirs and they conduct themselves accordingly.

Moreover, it is not just over the success at sports, but for the patriotic,
valiant, and steadfast conduct maintained by our sports delegation that cur
people are proud.

And that, that atmosphere of hostility, just magnifies and heightens the
merits of our people's victories. The truth is that it Is now impossible
not to recognize these facts abroad. They must now be scattering intrigues
upon just such events as these.

Well and good, we were saying that we were just starting in sports. Now
some international games will be held here. We must point out one thing; we
mentioned the hostility of the imperialists and their agents, and it is
only fair for us to mention--for to us it is very encouraging--the attitude
of the people of the countries which our delegations have visited.

You must remember the warmth with which our sportsmen were received even in
countries that have been under imperialist domination for a long time,
including Puerto Rico.

And of course, there is no need to talk of the tremendous enthusiasm with
which they were received in Santo Domingo. We cannot forget the baseball

This happened everywhere. Furthermore, this is a growing phenomenon,
despite the publicity campaigns, lies, and intrigues.

Speaking of intrigues, let us, for instance, look at the case of the
comrade masseur, who died either accidentally or committed suicide--we do
not precisely know the causes. However, think of how an attempt was made to
create a sordid atmosphere about this incident--imputing nothing less than
a murder to our delegation.

He must not overlook this. For an official of the Colombian
Government--none other than the director of the secret police--was cynical
enough, had the cynicism to say that the masseur had been murdered.

And of course this murder was imputed to the Cuban delegation. Now that man
has issued a statement that he made the original declaration in a personal
vein. But when an Individual makes such cynical and slanderous assertions,
he is indeed proving, he is proving that he is an agent of the
imperialists, an agent of the CIA.

We call the government's attention, without any hope that it will be
responsive in the slightest--for we know that one day the people will
settle accounts with that type of official, that type of bandit; one day
the people of Colombia will settle accounts with that bandit--that to make
such an outlandish assertion, the least that individual could be doing is
collecting a good-sized sum from the U.S. Embassy. There is nothing strange
about this, for it is precisely the United States, at its bases, at the
CIA's bases, where such police officers and agents are trained.

Thus the only thing that man gains by making such an imputation, is that he
dispels all doubt that he is nothing less than, a brazen agent of the CIA.
For how could an assistant director of secret police make such an
affirmation. That is all political, everything is part of the same
intrigue, the same campaign of lies.

But despite this, despite all this atmosphere with which they tried to
surround our delegation, they have been unable and they will not be able to
prevent our delegation from winning ever-increasing support from the
brother people of Latin America.

For the people indeed have understood; the people have understood.
[applause] Moreover, the people are increasingly less deceived and
increasingly understand that the struggles of our countries are common
struggles, not just for Cuba but for our brother countries.

Thus, in this case we know that our athletes return highly pleased and
highly appreciative of the support which, notwithstanding all the
aforementioned factors, the Colombian people gave them. We too should
express from here our thanks to the Colombians, to the people of Colombia.

There is another matter which we began to talk of. We must be ethical about
it as a country that will be the site of a contest. There also is something
over which our people must show their appreciation of man's moral and
spiritual value. We believe that one of the most splendid virtues of a
people is their hospitality. One of the most splendid virture of any people
is their respect. Furthermore, we believe that the higher degree of our
people's awareness will be reflected in the way we assuredly will behave
toward those invited to this country.

It is needless to say this. But this is only a part--and let this be well
understood, especially abroad--of the revolution's thinking in these
matters. Of course, elemental reasons of friendship and fraternity make us
dutybound to respect the Latin American countries. We must recognize what
they have done for us.

We can imagine what will happen when our team is playing baseball with the
Dominican team. It would be impossible to forget the support and sympathy
offered us by the Dominicans, though logically, we will be pulling for
support, and encourage our team. However, we undoubtably will be subject to
this paradox, this dichotomy. We will duly express our affection for the
brother countries which come here to compete against us. We expect to win
gold medals for this--gold medals for hospitality and courtesy.

For a very simple reason, we must give the same treatment to the U.S.
sports representatives who come here--there is a well-known axiom:
"Courtesy does not diminish valor." [applause]

However, we repeatedly have declared that our feelings are against the
imperialist system, the imperialist aggressors, against the criminal
imperialists who invaded Santo Domingo, who-are waging war in Vietnam, and
against the outrages they commit not only against us but everywhere in the

We have said that our feelings are not and never will be against the U.S.
people; that we know that the U.S. people are awakening, are become aware.
And if the imperialists have seen in our athletes an instrument of
politics, we, on the other hand, should not see a representative of
imperialism in their athletes, but a representative of the U.S. people.

It is not our business whether or not they are to a large or lesser degree
aware of their role. That is not our problem. The imperialists can take us
for something--instruments of politics. That is their policy. We should see
them as representatives of the U.S. people; and we must treat them as such,
with due respect and consideration. Let them see that we are sportsmen not
only in fencing, boxing, wrestling, volley ball, and so forth, but also in
moral Principles, ethical Principles, human values. And in these fields
also we aspire to be first, because this too is an object of the
revolution. In this way our people will show their revolutionary culture,
their international culture, and we who have a great confidence in our
people know that this will be so, and that due respect and recognition will
be shown.

This public will not be demanding that an umpire cheat, because we do not
want victory based on cheating; we do not want anyone to give us any medal.
We prefer a thousand times to win a medal with cheating against us than by
us. We do not want medals from referees who have sold their decisions in
any field. And we believe that our sports announcers should teach our
people this objectivity. Let no one ever aspire to receiving an unearned
medal, a place. This would be against our concepts, against the spirit of
our athletes. We want objectivity of analysis, with facts--so, our public
will not be demanding that the referees favor Cuban teams. Objectivity and
Impartiality. And if we should run Into one of these referees, we should
smile. They will not be able to defeat us in the long run with such tricks.

He have had such experiences. Our teams have been cheated In some places,
while in other places they have been victorious under different
circumstances. These principles, therefore, will be applied here with all
teams, with the U.S. teams. And this will have nothing to do with our
unyielding and intransigent position before Yankee imperialism on the
political grounds. So, let there be no confusion. Let it be clear that our
gentlemanly, correct, and respectful treatment regarding the U.S. athletes
does not change cur unalterable, intransigent, and unyielding position in
the least way before the Yankee imperialism. [applause]

I make this clear so that Yankee press agencies will not be spreading
gossip, talk, and intrigue.

I was saying that sports has just begun in Cuba. He are satisfied with our
achievements. He have seen the result of our efforts. Three in one, or one
in three; that is, as many as the three previous times. In fact, for the
lack of two medals we did not get as many as the five previous times. No
one expects such an average--three in one or one in three--for future
games. These multiplications become impossible at a given point.

We will continue to advance, to struggle, to fulfill our goal of defeating
the principal rival in sports. We must continue to improve. There are some
people here who show that we can do still more. We have 206 male athletes
and only 55 women. This is 79 percent versus 21 percent. We must increase
women's participation in sports events. The average age of 23 years is very
good. The schooling average is the ninth grade. Of 261 athletes, 126 are
students, 117 are workers, and there are 18 militarymen. But these are not
what they speak of, rather military athletes. There were 108 players from
school teams. This is interesting.

By province we have six from Pinar del Rio, 122 from Havana, 14 from
Matanzas, 29 from La Villas, 32 from Camaguey, and 58 from Oriente. That is
for Pinar del Rio, 2 percent; Havana, 47 percent; Matanzas, 6 percent; Las
Villas, 11 percent; Camaguey, 12 percent; and Oriente, 22 percent, See how
Havana with almost 25 percent of the population provides 47 percent of the
players. This means that sports is not Proportionately developed in the
interior. The fact that Oriente has provided 57 athletes to Havana is 122
proves that there are still large human resources and possibilities for
development in sports.

We must, therefore, continue our struggle to provide athletic facilities
and to develop techniques in the interior. He must send more physical
education professors, and so forth. He have a wide field in which to
continue developing sports. Simultaneously with these games, school games
were being played in Cuba. These school games must continue and must
increase, we must continue to develop them. We must keep in mind that
sports begin when quite young.

In its care for the people our revolution has increased more and more. We
have even created an institute for infants; which has to do with the human
being even before his birth. As you know, the Public health department also
has its program for prenatal care. You also are aware of the fact that
childbirth in Cuba is almost 100 percent institutional--hospitals in the
mountains and the countryside. Hospital service has been extended more and
more so as to care for, first of all, the mothers. In caring for these
mothers, the unborn are also cared for.

Then, this--care for the mother, her nourishment--all these factors
influence the unborn child. Then, the children are given attention
throughout their lives. As society's care for human beings advances and
improves, we will achieve better conditions for the future of the country
in all phases, among them, sports. All our perspectives, therefore, are for
an unlimited growth in Quality and Possibilities for our country's sports.
This Is why we say that we are only beginning; we are only beginning,

As we develop socially we will have more and more resources, more and more
possibilities, a much broader human basis, a much broader physical basis, a
greater experience, to continue developing sports in our country. Our
desire is not to prevail over the others. Our victories are means of
measuring our efforts. This is why they bring us satisfaction--because they
serve to measure the result of our efforts. We do not want to prevail over
the others. Do not even imagine that we want to create an inferiority
complex in others, to replace the imperialists in this. Do not even imagine
this because it is unthinkable. Our desire is that other brother countries
also develop. We wish them to develop in the same conditions as we have.
Our advantage has been precisely the conditions which we have listed here.
That is our advantage. But we realize that when other Latin American
countries have equal conditions, they will achieve the same success as

At any rate, we were the first to begin. To begin first gives one an
advantage, more experience. We do not believe that any country will be able
in 5 or 10 years to do what we are now achieving. But we have had more
years than that in our revolution. We have had a long head start on the
others, and we will continue to harvest our fruits.

But because Cuba has been surrounded with such an atmosphere--imperialism's
campaign--its sports success has awakened other Latin American countries to
the extent that they want to follow Cuba's example. Sports Quality as
reflected in this area also has caused governments to be more concerned. Of
course, it is relatively little that an oligarchic, bourgeois,
pro-imperialist government can do for sports; but at least they can pay for
travel to the games, at least they can invest some funds to construct
installations, material facilities, for the instruction of the sportsmen.
They can do some things.

Cuba's advance in sports has aroused concern in the United States, a
greater concern for training their athletes. Who would have expected this
to happen? They use to defeat everyone else with ease; they always won
easily. But now they have to show concern. They are now in a serious
struggle. We must be aware of the fact that we are only beginning in
sports, and that we must continue to work hard.

We have to begin training tomorrow for the forthcoming games. Tomorrow.
This will not prevent the fulfillment of other tasks as students, as
workers; but I want to say that training must begin immediately for the
next games. Tomorrow, or Monday as you wish. You have a day to rest. Even
in your homes you must begin training mentally.

We must also improve our technique and our extension of sports Into all
fields--above all among students, among primary and secondary school
students, for we must keep in mind that one day all our youth will be
secondary and Preuniversity students. Also, if possible among those of the
child care centers--even Margarita's [Margarita Rodriguez who won a medal
in fencing at Cali] child. [laughter] It could be the symbol. The mother, a
winner of bold medals, and the infant in training, This means feeding it,
caring for it, educating it, and all these things. Sports must begin in the
child care centers. Sports must begin, like all other things involving man,
before the child Is born. Is this clear?

We must continue to prepare Instructors and professors. We must continue to
take advantage of our students and instill in them the technique of
socialist countries. One day we will have to play a similar role. One day
we will have to cooperate with other countries In the development of
sports. He need therefore to be constant, tough, strong--not to go to sleep
on our laurels. We cannot go to sleep on our laurels. We have obtained
victory in some sports, but do not believe that future struggles will not
be tough. Our battle will become harder and harder. Our advances will cost
much more effort in the future, because in the past we have started from
zero, but today we boast a high level. Everybody uses us as a basis for
training now. The fight will therefore be much harder in the future. The
goal of winning in new fields of sport will be achieved only with more
effort, more study, more technique, more push, more constancy, more
analysis, more Preparedness, more involvement in sports. We need to be
Quite aware of this, and not to go to sleep on our laurels. We repeat: We
must train, study, discover cur weak points, our strong points, what must
be done to improve those weak points, to become stronger and to continue

Our comrade here explained how he won the world championship, what new
holds he used. I do not know whether he did not want to tell the secret of
his technique here in public. [the comrade mentioned spoke before Castro
and refused to demonstrate the hold with which he won a wrestling match]
But next time he will need to have more new holds. Our boxers, rowers, and
all teams will have to know new techniques.

It is really encouraging to see the number of medals, the number of games
in which we were victorious. In Cuba we have not been working in only one
field of sports, but in all. We must continue to work In all. We were the
only country to win medals in every field of sports. This has been a great
achievement. The price in effort has been very high. But the price will be
still higher to maintain this pace, and still higher yet to increase it.
But we expect you and the new sports groups to put forth this effort.

Many congratulations. Fatherland or death, we shall win.