Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Speech to Tome Workers

Santiago Chile in Spanish to Havana 1845 GMT 18 Nov 71 C--FOR OFFICIAL USE

[Speech by Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro to textile workers in
Tome--live, transmitted on special communications channel]

[Text] Workers and people of Tome: Today time has been scarce. We must meet
with the president in a few hours and we must be on time for departure. The
organizers were trying to see what they could do, and I heard somebody say
it would be necessary to suspend the ceremony in Tome. Naturally, I said
no, that we had to make an effort. [Castro clears his throat] We had to
come here, because we could not leave you waiting. [applause].

They were trying to help me because of my voice and the time, and so on.
Naturally, we preferred to ignore these and come here and greet you. You
have overwhelmed us with your attention and your gifts. We have been given
so many gifts that [words indistinct] all the gifts that you have so
graciously brought us.

The minister of health gave a speech and explained with fine words the work
and the agencies of this locality. Also, as I have said, [words indistinct]
which have passed to the social scene, the enthusiasm of the workers of
this locality, and we have been able to appreciate it here. We see a spirit
of unity; we see enthusiasm and a desire for progress to struggle to defeat
obstacles. When a person sees this he feels optimistic and is certain--this
certainty which comes from our meetings with the workers of Huachipato,
with the workers of Lota and Coronel, with the students of the University
of Concepcion, and with the workers of Tome, in the town of Concepcion, a
person gets the impression that the Chilean people will be successful no
matter what difficulties they must face.

We are certain that the Chilean workers and the Chilean people will march
forward. And there is nothing that we would like more than to have you
march forward and be successful. Our country is grateful for Chile's
solidarity. Our country is very happy to have Chile as a brother country,
as a friendly country with which it maintains close, fraternal, and
indestructible relations. Our people would like nothing more than for the
Chilean people to be successful in their struggles to [word indistinct] the
country to recover their resources, to develop their economy, and to
establish socialism in Chile. [applause]

It is clear that the circumstances are (?different), the roads are
different, but the aspirations are the same, the goal is the same--to fight
for the country's independence, to unite it, to fight for the economy of
the country, for justice, the people's welfare, and to fight to prevent
Chile from being exploited by foreign monopolies, and to end social
privilege and injustice. [applause] To fight for the future of the country,
for the children, for the women, for the old; to fight for the schools, for
education to fight for public health--in other words, to fight for the
people. The purpose of our struggles is man, it is the people. The purpose
of our struggles is not foreign, personal, or minority interests. The
purpose of our struggles is the people, and one cannot fight for a more
just or more noble cause. For this cause, we should all be ready to give
our strength, our time, our sweat, and if it is necessary to give also our
lives. [applause]

When we arrived in Concepcion, we also found a Cuban ship here bringing
sugar to Chile. I am certain that it will take back products Chile sells to
Cuba, such as lumber, rice, wine, or any of the things of which you have a
surplus, although in a revolution, of course, almost nothing is surplus.
Because when the people begin to consume, when the people have work, when
they buy clothing, shoes, and food, then almost nothing is surplus. You
cannot consume all the lumber Chile produces nor can you consume all the
nitrate, petroleum, or wine, although I am not very sure about that.

We are delighted to see that you have this magnificent textile industry
which now belongs to the people, which is producing magnificent products
for the Chilean people; that you have a lumber industry, and various types
of other industry and that here in this city there is an important center
of social production; that there is a big workers nucleus which is a
bulwark of the Chilean people's movement and of the Chilean working class.

Now you are many, working. For whom? For what are you working? You are
working for Chile, for the people, as we said; for ourselves, as you say.
Today you are not working in these industries for anyone's profit. Today,
you, like the workers of Lota and Coronel, like the workers of Huachipato,
are working for Chile, you are working for the people; you are working for

This is the essence and moral meaning of socialism: To work for the people,
to work for the fatherland, to work for man, [Castro coughs] and, above
all, to work for tomorrow. Therefore, this meeting with you, your
enthusiasm, your (?industry) and your spirit, please us and fill us with
optimism and enthusiasm, and confidence in the future of Chile. [Castro
coughs] Therefore, we believe in the future of Chile. We believe in the
victory of the Chilean people and we believe that our friendship, the
friendship between Chile and Cuba, will continue to (?grow) and we shall
continue to march forward showing the peoples of America the path to
liberation, complete independence, dignity, and to the future of the sister
nations of Latin America. Many thanks, [applause] [Castro coughs] you, I
have been told, must hear the ceremony we shall have. We must go quickly.
Until soon, as we way. [applause]