Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Speech at Santa Cruz Rally

Santiago Chile PRESNA LATINA in Spanish to PRESNA LATINA Havana 2300 GMT 25

[Text] Santa Cruz, Chile, 25 Nov--by Pedro Lobaina--"Unity is the tactic
and strategy of victory," Maj Fidel Castro said today speaking to thousands
of peasants massed in this hamlet of Colchagua Province more than 280 kms
south of Santiago.

The Cuban prime minister spend the night in Coya, Ranacagua Province, after
visiting the installations and galleries of the E. Teniente mine, the
second most important copper mine in the country.

Along the several kilometer-long highway leading here, thousands of
peasants stood in small groups--on the highway and opposite their
homes--and entire classes of students led by their teachers had waited
since early morning for the Cuban leader to pass by. In several places
children tossed roses as Maj Fidel Castro drove by.

The welcome turned into a veritable plot, with the prime minister's
motorcade being delayed as it passed San Fernando, a few kilometers from
Santa Cruz. The tremendous throng--mostly students--turned out in masses
and held up the visitor's car opposite the state technical university.

Over loudspeakers previously set up by the students, Fidel Castro delivered
a brief speech of appreciation for the spontaneous welcome and greeting the
mob of students.

Previously he had stopped at an agrarian reform dairy where many peasants
in typical garb presented him leather reins. Invited to see the dairy, the
prime minister accepted, saying he was highly interested in the cattle

After observing the milking barn, the bulls, and chatting with peasants who
have benefited from the agrarian form, the visitor climbed on top an
automobile and praised the diary workers for the way their organization had
raised production. The dairy has (?355) cows which produce 15 liters of
milk daily. It also has a small artificial insemination section, wheat
fields, and grape vineyards, all managed by the peasants themselves.

After these stops on the way to Santa Cruz, the rally scheduled for noon
began--as soon as the prime minister arrived, Fidel noted the differences
between farming in Cuba and in Chile, saying they were not alike in any
way. He added that rural problems are very complex and that he hoped the
experience he has gained would be useful. Fidel said the complexity of
rural problems as well as the fact he didn't know about the region's
problems in detail, made it difficult to speak about them. Furthermore, he
added the remedies for the problems in Cuba and the remedies for the
problems here could never be the same.

"And," he continued, "Cuba's agrarian reform was different, because to Cuba
cane is its copper." With reference to the Cuban experience, the prime
minister said it was necessary to maintain the machines and installations
in the centers established by the agrarian reform and to guard against

AT first the revolution and the revolutionary government had to devote a
large amount of resources and much attention to the country's defense and
to survive the imperialists' blockade and attacks, Fidel Castro said.

This, he explained, kept farming from being developed peacefully, and it
was amidst what he called a veritable civil war stirred up from abroad that
so many errors were committed. We have a lot of experience in errors, and
that is something we could pass on, though it is said that no one learns
with another's head, Fidel stated, and he added: We are not afraid to say
these things, whatever the reactionaries say.

Hammering away at the subject of errors, and bad habits derived from
underdevelopment, Fidel stated that despite the subversion stirred up by
the United Stats, the country advanced and achieved great successes in many
fields: the agrarian reform, literacy, a vast public health plan, and the
construction of hospitals, dams, dairies, housing, and roads.

At one point he praised the dairy he had visited--where production and
discipline committees had been elected, and where the work-plan had been
approved. He related that the toughest many had been picked to head the
discipline committee, and warned that the worst enemy of the working and
peasant class was the meek person--a person placed in charge who never
argued, who was a weak-sister, who never wanted to get into trouble, and
who said yes to everyone.

Wearing a peasant's poncho and straw hat, given him before the rally, Fidel
Castro stated that the reactionaries were capable of doing anything to the
revolution. He recalled the assault on Chilean Army Chief General
Schnieder, and the way students, workers, and peasants had been slain in

Concluding, the leader of the Cuban revolution laid stress on the need for
unity among the peasants in resolving their farming problems, and he
touched on the peasants congress to be held in Cuba next month. He ended by
inviting a Chilean peasants delegation to the congress, saying: There you
will be able to see the gains we have made, although the peasants also will
examine their errors forthrightly, for that is the only way to correct