Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19711113
-YEAR-
1971
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
MEETING
-AUTHOR-
F. CASTRO
-HEADLINE-
MEETS UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
-PLACE-
CHILE
-SOURCE-
HAVANA DOMESTIC SVC
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS
-REPORT_DATE-
19711117
-TEXT-
ADDITION TO ITEM ON CASTRO MEETING WITH STUDENTS

The following addition to the item entitled "Reportage of Castro's
Activities in Chile" and subtitled "Meets University Students," published
in the 15 November DAILY REPORT, VI. E 4, was taken from Havana Domestic
Service in Spanish at 0300 GMT on 13 November, thus providing fullest
version:

Page E 9, insert between second and third paragraphs:

The fighting actually ended in 68 hours [words indistinct] the planes and
no one was left on the land. That left them with a terrible situation of
anger, hatred. Then they began to [words indistinct] (?criticize) the
invasion.

This was really the origin of the October crisis problems and [accounts
for] the state of mind and the intentions they had after the October
crisis. [words indistinct] 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, a sort of evening up
begins to take place. [words indistinct] that is the situation today. Note
that the correlation of forces today favors the socialist camp (?more) than
the imperialist camp. This is (?from an) objective (?viewpoint). But it is
not a question of both factors being very powerful. It is not just a
question of weapons today. There is also the social problem and the
economic problem and the weakness inherent in the United States on being a
consumer society. it is a nation that used 1 billion tons of petroleum.
That is what I think they use, unless they use more than that. It is a
nation that not only has to lay waste to all its petroleum reserves in its
own land but has to plunder the rest of the world to boot. It is a nation
that has set up a gendarmerie apparatus throughout the world. Incredible
expenditures to any economy, and beyond all that, the most incredible
wastefulness, make it impossible for the United States to maintain, so to
speak, the correlation of forces under such circumstances.

For example, the USSR helped us when we only had, when the (?USSR) only
produced 100-odd million tons of oil. Now it should be about 700 [as
heard]. In 1975 it will produce 500 [as heard] million tons. And the
production of all these essential products will continue to grow. We must
take into account that imperialism has had to take drastic monetary steps
at the present time and that this has affected the interests of practically
the whole world in order to maintain what? An economy of wastefulness. From
an economic viewpoint (?it is already "buried") imperialism in effect is in
no condition now to continue its role of gendarme. It will try to keep on
doing so, but it does not really have the strength nor the potential it
used to have 20, 15, even 10 years ago, to play the part of gendarme.

And this is the situation and this is why the correlation of
forces--socialist camp versus imperialist camp--is favoring and
increasingly favors the socialist camp.

This is why our country was able to surmount those problems of economic and
technological blockade, and the military threat.

Of course, it managed to survive because once you learn to survive to have
learned something else. You have to learn something more difficult--to
live.

It is harder to live than to survive. When I say to live, i refer to the
concept of: What is the future of a nation like ours? What is the future of
our countries? With modern technology, with the great (?leak forward), with
all the prospects of the world tomorrow. We are almost too small, too weak,
to live in tomorrow's world.

Well, fine, we can live now, or we can survive, to put it better, and
perhaps someday we may be able to live. Meanwhile, the revolution must be
maintained. Those who think that we are going to obtain the marvels of the
modern world or, if you like the "marvels' in quotation marks, of the
consumer society out of thin air or from Aladdin's lamp or out of a hat by
sheer magic--let no one expect this. If it is proper in the development of
the revolution to have a country with half a million or a million cars and
if this were one of our real objectives--let no one expect it, [applause]
because that would be strictly an illusion.

Ah, but if we were only able to give a basic education to each child born
in our country, to let each child go to primary school, to lead them to the
middle level, to the higher educational levels. If we solve the problems of
health, if we resolve, let us say, the housing problems in our country; if
we, even, [Castro chuckles] [words indistinct] an automobile for each
workers, well then we are not [words indistinct].

Even the imperialists cannot maintain this any longer. You would have to be
crazy to propose such things as social objectives. If we can given each
work center a few buses, as we are doing today, so that they (?can have)
collective transportation during work hours, so that they can take there
families on vacation, or to take them to the beaches, and provide
transportation for the vacation plans and to the recreation centers, if we
were to achieve this, you can rest assured that we will be achieving
objectives that are highly appreciated by our people because we have
(?unleashed) our people from the consumer mania.

We think that this is an important problem that must be pondered. What kind
of an objective would it be for our revolution, for this small
underdeveloped nation, a poor nation faced with difficulties, for Cuban
society to have as its motivation a consumer mania?

We think that this is a very important problem. We know the objective we
are going to achieve. And I can assure you that ours is a country where the
revolution is very solid and that it has a very solid backing from the
people. It is a nation capable of mobilizing, able to fight, able to cope
with any problem. I am not saying that our revolution is a model. Let me be
clear about this. [Castro chuckles] I am not saying we have no defects. I
am certainly not saying that we have not failed to make mistakes. No! But
in the essential guidelines, in the strategy, in the basic condition of the
revolution, we have taken the right path. Of course, I am referring to our
circumstances.

How ridiculous would it be for us to tell you: "Do as we have done." Some
persons have been saying in some leaflets that I came here as a teacher. I
do not know if it occurred to someone to contract for my services for 2
weeks, or whatever. But so far I have not had any offers from any
university. [applause] What I can do is to exchange views, simply that,
within possible limits, with the university students. That's what I'm
doing.

I've overextended by remarks again. [laughter from audience]. [applause]

[Question--asked of Castro] We would like to know [crowd noises, applause,
interrupt questioners; Castro apparently is offered a soft drink]

[Castro] Thank you. I do not have any prejudice against Coca Cola. We also
have Coca Cola but it is not the American formula. [noise from audience]

It is a copy, but since they say that the secret is in the formula, we make
Coca Cola. [words indistinct in background conversation]. Here? Well, with
your permission. [noise from audience] Just a little to take away the taste
now. [more indistinct conversation in background]. I have a calculating
machine,a computer. You have a [words indistinct] organized. It is from
here, of course? [conversation indistinct].

[Question] A national educational congress was held in Cuba in April.
Problems of sexual education, problems of [words indistinct] and other
basic problems were studied. [words indistinct] this is the question. Would
Comrade Fidel [words indistinct]?

[Question by another person] [words indistinct]. The question has to do
with the problem we know as sectarianism that often occurs between comrades
of the leftwing parties. In this regard [applause] the question was
submitted in written form: [words indistinct] this is true in the Cuban
revolution itself, the case of No. 7 Humboldt Street, Escalante, and the
[words indistinct]. That's the question.

[Castro] Both questions are lengthy, right? But they are not too hard to
answer. I will reply to the question on the cultural congress first--the
one of education and culture. I do not know whether you have materials from
the congress, the studies from the congress. They have not arrived? You
should see that they reach you. In essence, it was an attempt to resolve
the superstructural problem. It is just that, without realizing it; we have
been falling prey to a process of cultural colonization.

Among the many arms, the many means, the many practices that colonialism
and imperialism have used in cultural colonialism. [words indistinct]
(?affecting) practically the cultural development of our countries. And we
have been the victim of this. Why? Because they are the producers of the
books, the literature, films, music--practically all.

Often in our countries, actually it happened in our country, that we fell
into a position of sheer intellectual and cultural subordination to the
"eminences" of Europe or the United States. i do not know to what extent
you may be affected by these evils, but we must take into account that the
softening up, the introduction of individualistic habits, is one of the
basic weapons used by imperialism against the peoples.

This is something against which socialism has to fight and wage a very hard
battle, a battle against reactionaries and imperialism.

Imperialism, capitalist society, implies the encouragement of all types of
egoism, individualism and vices. Man's negative aspects do not exactly have
to be encouraged. We all know man's origin. At least we expect that
everyone knows at this university, more or less, the origins of man. It is
not hard to awaken the appetite, the instinct, the egoism, of man. it is
not difficult. And we have had a chance to undergo this experience.

Man must be educated. We put it in these terms: "Vice is spontaneous.
Virtue must be cultivated." The competition between socialism and
capitalism is that socialism talks about sacrifice, about authority,
education, control, while imperialism is always talking about these things
too, offering man the most fabulous ambitions of a personal
nature--offering them every means. In other words, it is ceaselessly trying
to corrupt man.

You have seen it. You have seen it in our country. What does our country
offer youth? Work, study, sacrifice, efforts. They are being offered
higher-type objectives--social revolutionary objectives. What does
imperialism offer youth? Tens of thousands of letters arrives in Cuba from
the United States. They are from persons who chose to emigrate. It is not
known whether it is good or bad. [noise from audience]

I mean to say--for the ones who left. But they write letters and enclose
snapshots of their car, this thing or the other, the pleasures they enjoy,
the entertainments. They fill the heads of [words indistinct] what the
revolution offers them on one hand and what imperialism offers them on the
other.

The philosophy and the values of imperialism are the philosophy and the
values of corruption.

They are the philosophy of egoism and individualism. They are powerful arms
and it uses them in its struggle against the revolution: This is why our
country has had to go through this experience, why it has had to wage a
struggle in every field: It is most definitely an ideological struggle. It
is against what we have described as "cultural colonialism:" because by
means of contraband methods they introduce all the habits, all the
"blessings," and all the deformations of capitalist society.

This is why we had to get those teachers together. Those who had the most
serious attitude, the most combative attitude against all these problems,
especially the educators because they [Castro chuckles] were in school
educating the boys every day and they had to cope with all the influences
which they called the "environmental factors of education.

These factors came in through television, through films; sometimes they
came through the home. There were various kinds of problems, you see,
because the congress studied all these matters extensively.

For example there are parents who would come to the schools to have an
argument with the teacher because a note was not given to the boy, because
a point was taken away from him. [Castro chuckles] [noise from the
audience] They felt these problems, that there was a lack of [Castro leaves
thought unfinished] were affecting the work of the teachers. And, of
course, our education was influenced by all these external-type factors.

This was the reason why the education and culture congress was organized.
In our judgment the congress did a serious and in-depth piece of work. I
didn't know if youth in Chile is ready to understand these problems. But at
least we found it necessary to face up to these problems and we have
decided to carry out a policy in this regard.

Of course, we have though that among other things we should undertake a
broader dissemination of all the cultural and spiritual values of the
peoples who are sympathetic to us: [applause] Let me cite you an example:
Practically no one was familiar with Chilean music: No one! Ah, but they
were familiar with American music, English music, French music, Italian
music, but not Chilean, Peruvian, Ecuadorean--Latin American music; not at
all! Knowledge of the revolutionary literature of Latin America? None! And,
of course, there was a series of deviations mixed up with all that. It was
quite a little problem, but it was really there.

A book by a revolutionary? It was discarded: Such a book need not be read.
If a book made an exhortation to work, to combat, to struggle, it was
discarded. Such a book need not be read. And if the books were dedicated to
any unimportant topic, to any fantasy; what is more, if the book was a
counterrevolutionary one! "Ah'" they would say, "what a splendid book!"
"what a great thing!" [words indistinct] Critical review: and so forth, and
so forth. And if a book was against the counterrevolutionary "bandits"
then: "No, that was not a book! [words indistinct]

In short, what was understood in this? Was it perhaps the expression of a
revolutionary literature? Was it perhaps the ideological expression of a
people in a decisive struggle for their existence? Of a people in a
decisive struggle against a mighty enemy, as was the case in our country?
Could we really afford that luxury? An education that would soften up our
populace?

All the problems were involved. Unfortunately, no matter how lengthy
monologs turn out to be, all these topics would require further study, a
more extensive analysis, because I think that then you would tell me
[Castro chuckles] "No, not 2 hours of, of, [Castro seems to be searching
for the right word] of discussion here but rather a day or 2 or 3 days.

I am explaining in essence what the origins of this were. Now then we say:
well, why aren't there prizes for the revolutionary literature of Latin
America in addition to ordinary literature prizes? Why isn't revolutionary
literature awarded prizes? Why isn't it considered? Why isn't an effort
made regarding this type of problem? Why aren't there contests in
children's literature? Why is it when there are hundreds of thousands;
perhaps half a million teachers in Latin America, teachers and educators
are not considered intellectual workers? Why isn't literature taught with
textbooks? [as heard] Why isn't intellectual work done to educate? For
example, what is happening in the world with regard to films? How many
children's films exist in the world? Films for children? What determines
the production of films throughout the world? The coarsest mercantilism,
the business of ticket selling and the search for profits.

The problem was aired at the Havana congress of culture that it would be
good to have films for children available because the mind of a boy of 7,
8, 9, or 10 years differs from that of a person 30 or 40 years of age. The
problems of adults are different. The question was brought up as to why
more films for children were not shown on television. Why there weren't
more films for children in the movie houses? Why there was no children's
literature? It was seen very clearly that the world was not producing any
of these things. Neither children's literature, nor television programs for
children, nor films for children, except, of course, for the well-known
"literature" that we received from the North and which as you know was a
completely deforming thing.

Therefore it is this enormous field that our underdeveloped nations must
work! For man! And not to exploit man. To improve man and not to make man
vile! To let him climb the social and human ladder by the only way! Because
natural selection in the human species does not exist and cannot exist!
Because natural selection was, [Castro corrects himself] (?Falls outside of
its status as a biological law in the empire of the blind laws of nature!
And man has no way of improving himself other than by his own rationality,
than by his own culture.

Do not our peoples perhaps have these problems to face above any other? To
cope with and resolve these problems of a human type, except by a rational
way? Do they simply have to suffer all the anomalies, all the madness, all
the absurdities, and all the excrescenses of the capitalist society as they
manifest themselves in many of these intellectuals? This is the reality of
things!

These are the problems that we have tackled. And we think that you too will
have to cope with these problems some say. There are some other problems,
but please don't try to consider the Cuban resolution an enemy of love.
Please do not consider it an obscurantist revolution. It is nothing of the
kind! What we are trying to do is to make our own way in the field of
culture and we do not want the way outlined for us from Paris or from Rome.

of course, we have even been accused of "cultural xenophobia," but these
are the last recourses left for these persons who presume, from Paris or
from Rome or from Europe, to give an answer [Castro chuckles] to the
problems we face every day in our own country. I really doubt that
solutions to the problems of Antofagasta can be offered from Paris.
[applause]

The question of sectarianism has existed, [audience noise interrupts
Castro] I am going to talk to you about sectarianism now [audience
commotion]. It was a joke, it was joke, comrade, it was really a joke.
[Castro reference obscure]. It was going to say the following: the problem
of sectarianism has existed, exists, and will exist [Castro chuckle] in all
the revolutionary processes.
-END-


LANIC |