Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Castro-Student Talks

Santiago Chile Domestic Service in Spanish 1530 29 Nov 71 P

[Conversation between Maj Fidel Castro and students of the State Technical

[Summary] Castro: "Authorities of the State Technical University, students
of the universities of Chile. Let us make a little effort so that contact
can be easier. I am going to ask all of you, if you can, and I think it is
possible, to get closer together. You are doing so, thank you. This is to
help matters a little. It seems to me this is a very well attended event. I
think this a truly well attended event. I hope the sun does not tire you,
and I hope I do not bore you. [shouts of "no"]

"Before beginning this discussion I want to give you an impression, an
impression we are given by this crowd, this youth, and this event. Flowery
words are inappropriate, but in some way it must be said that this is a
beautiful event. It has life, value, human warmth, enthusiasm,
determination, patriotism, and revolutionary spirit. This is good because
revolutionary spirit should never be missing. Revolutionary spirit should
make a name for itself. Spirits must be armed. When the spirit is armed,
the people are strong. When fascism rears its head [words indistinct] of
the revolutionary [words indistinct]. When fascism mobilizes, it is created
with all the characteristics of fascism--and this without [word indistinct]
seeing it with utmost clarity--then this spirit which we see in the youth
is the spirit which in our opinion can fight back, that spirit of the
masses is what can contain the fascist offensive which shows its head.

"I say this not as a visitor, but--if I am permitted--I say it as a victim,
[applause] because I have seen them in action, with all the attributes of
fascism, awakening ruinous feelings, agitating class hatred, aggravating
selfishness, demagogery, intrigue, lies, insolence, [words indistinct]. I
know that I can expect this and much more from them. I say it, or what I
said, I said as a victim because in a way I have been a victim of the bad
manners and cowardice and lies of the fascists.

"In some places we arrived after hours and hours of interminable walking,
struggling, even working. When we arrived at a peasant settlement they
offered us a glass of wine, they would tell us: You have to drink it all.
If in another place they gave us a pastry--all present very democratically
and happily--pictures were taken of me as I drank the wine or ate the
pastry in order to connect this very simple deed to economic problems, to
the problems of supply, in order to crudely take advantage of all this as a
poisonous and base tactic. [applause]

"This is one of the less destructive and bad mannered things they have said
and done. There is their liberty, their famous liberty. Can they use those
weapons and those procedures without anybody having a right to ask the
directors, the owners and the inspirers of such libel what they did the
night before at home? [applause] [passage indistinct]

"for this reason, making use of the modest right to reply, and settling 0.1
percent of our accounts, allow me to express this opinion of the
pharaisaical, money-minded hypocritics who act with that hatred which Marti
called the hatred that does not [words indistinct] the insides of man.

"Now we are at the disposal of the university students for a free exchange
of topics they wish to discuss, to answer what I can, what I know or what
circumstances permit." [cheers and applause]

I hope it is an exchange so I will not be forced to embark upon lengthy
educational subjects. I will answer as fast and concisely as I can. It is
up to you.

Question: Comrade Major Castro, the organization of the Christian Left,
which I represent at this time, met 3 months ago to unite and organize all
Christians who definitely want to commit themselves to the construction of
socialism. At the invitation of the Popular Unity, which is directing the
process at this time, we have decided to join the political leadership
organizations. (?In taking this) last step the Christian Left has brought
up the need to correct some important failings. "These are: [words
indistinct] sectarian practices which undermine popular backing from the
process; [words indistinct] of posts which makes it possible for the wrong
people to hold responsible positions which are important to the progress of
socialism; [applause] [words indistinct] creation of a superior [words
indistinct] of political to avoid the [words indistinct] of posts and to
[words indistinct] the internal differences which may be produced. We would
like to know, Comrade Fidel, if you had differences in the Cuban revolution
such as those which exist today in the Chilean process, and if you think
what we, the Christian Leftists; are doing before the people to overcome
these failings conforms with the revolution. Thank you, Comrade Fidel,"

Answer: "Well, the circumstances in Cuba on 1 January were different
because of our route. Each route has its Laws. Ours had ours, and yours
will have yours. [applause] Your reasoning cannot be faulted. There are
some concepts which I sometimes cannot understand. If I speak of
sectarianism, each person has his own connotation, and I ask each person
what he understands by this--that is to say, there is as yet no agreement
as to the content of this concept. There is no doubt, however, that
sectarianism should be fought [words indistinct]. [applause]

"Secondly, there is no question that the [words indistinct] problem--I do
not know if you are asking me a question that refers to some current
problem--but in the [words indistinct] field, should be sought in a
position of struggle by the people [words indistinct] the maximum principle
of the demand with a revolutionary spirit. There is no doubt that the word
you call [words indistinct] in the sense that I understand it, to overcome
that type of problem that responds simply to old norms [words indistinct].
If I were asked I would say it should be overcome. [words indistinct]

"Then [word indistinct] for what it means for the revolution so that the
Christians may become aware of the revolution. Aside from class problems,
one can suppose that an ultrareactionary holding on to the wealth of this
land, and quite contrary to his own precepts--supposedly conscientious
precepts--will defend everything that is obsolete. In fact, we know several
of this type of Christian who thought the kingdom was in this world,
Christians who will not enter the kingdom of heaven, for in their own
doctrine they wrote or told their emperor that it would be easier for a
camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the
kingdom of heaven. We still have been unable to explain to ourselves how a
camel can pass through the eye of a needle! [applause]

"There are many Christians [words indistinct] peasants, humble workers,
students, men and women of the masses, small producers; there are many whom
they try to deceive; to imbue in them a mentality of [words indistinct]
using, if necessary, their own religious sentiments. Do not trust them or
their practices!

"Here is where we see the role of the revolutionary Christians; of the
Christian left-wing; to bring those large masses of workers, students,
peasants and humble men and women into the cause of their nation's
interest. [word indistinct] to the cause of the interests of the humble and
dispossessed. [words indistinct] the revolutionary movement will thus
render an extraordinary service in any country where it is carried out.
[words indistinct] that is why such forces must be united, because
imperialism is not weak. Imperialism is powerful, so we must (?use our)
forces to defeat the imperialists and their allies." [applause]

Question: Dear Fidel: I greet you in the name of the communist youths and
we ask you to carry our sentiments of friendship and solidarity to the
youth and people of Cuba. What is your opinion of the outstanding facets of
the Chilean revolutionary process and what historical significance do you
see in it?

Answer: The outstanding facts are to have available Chile's specific
conditions and the concrete possibilities within the legal [words
indistinct], even within the bourgeois capitalist lines [words indistinct]
joined forces and produced on opening by peaceful means. We must not forget
that throughout the history of the world, it was not the revolutionary
forces that used violence, but the counterrevolutionaries. [applause]
[words indistinct] but if we look back into history, we cannot be sure that
the reactionaries, the fascists, will not report to violence. [applause] So
this is the first historic fact of great importance. We believe you must
fight to keep open that door you have opened; and defend it through legal
means, through the means of the masses, through whatever means are
necessary. [applause]

"History and life will teach you. Let us remember the history of France,
let us remember fascism in Italy, Spain, Germany, and the social struggle
on which it was based. [words indistinct] the most violent regimes history
has ever known; slaughtering, bloody regimes. History teaches us that we
must be on guard.

"The Chilean experience is unique and historic. The eyes of the other
nations have turned to Chile to see what the reactionaries do and what the
people do. These are, in our opinion, the outstanding characteristics of
this experience and of this moment." [applause]

Question: Major Fidel: In Concepcion you told the students that the
political situation in the country is a revolutionary process, but that the
revolutionary process does not always lead to revolution. Would you tell us
what the differences are between a revolutionary process and a revolution?

Answer: A process is a dialectical concept; a concept is a means; a
revolutionary process is a gap that is opened in the domination by the
oligarchic and exploiting classes through their monopolies. A revolution is
a situation in which the process has advanced, after it has been
consolidated and when changes are irreversible. [applause]

"Today, we could say that the revolution is already consolidated in our
fatherland, and that the changes are irreversible. We may be physically
liquidated. If it is their wish, the imperialists might attempt it, and it
would not be very easy--they might invade our country, kill the last man.
That is possible in theory, but difficult in practice. Neither in theory
nor in practice will it be possible to turn back the wheels of history.
Neither in theory nor in practice will it be possible for our country to
turn back. Now, we can talk about a consolidated process. For me, the
revolution is much more. Let us go into its fullest concept [word
indistinct] because every day we discover new formulas, new possibilities
of advancement. That is why we think that there are still infinite
possibilities, and that the new society opens possibilities for an
uninterrupted change, an uninterrupted advancement in the new society.

"Many revolutions have had (?similar) processes. The Paris Commune, to cite
one example. In many cases, revolutions are crushed. Many times what
happens is that the reactionaries collect a very high price in blood when
they crush a revolution. We have said that a revolutionary process has
begun here. One must work, one must struggle, one must make it advance, one
must consolidate it, one must defend it, one must put forth every effort to
make it what we call a revolution. This is when the process has
consolidated. [applause] (?It is a matter) of concept. You are students, we
know that you must know much about this issue, more than enough. Here, I am
but a student, of whom certain questions are asked, and I have a duty to
answer them." [applause]

Question: Comrade Fidel, in the first place, we wish to greet you very
cordially on behalf of the students. Through you, we also wish to greet the
glorious Cuban people. We would like to ask you about something which is of
great importance to the Chilean youth and the Chilean revolutionary
process: voluntary labor. We have found it to be a great mobilizing force,
and a source of experience and knowledge which permits us to determine the
people's interests. We would like to ask you what factors in Cuba fostered
the development of voluntary labor, what are its characteristics, and how
did it influence the conscience of the students? Comrade Fidel, we would
also like to know what effects the students' voluntary labor has had on the
process of transformation in Cuban universities.

Answer: "We view voluntary labor as part of the process. It is the duty of
the revolutionaries to fight by every means, on all fronts and to
consolidate their positions. There is the need to counter the reactions'
attempts to sabotage the economy. There is the need to consolidate the
economy in a socialized manner. This is what we call the economic basis,
including its political basis. [as heard] We view voluntary labor as a
formative instrument, an educational instrument, to prevent students from
becoming mere intellectual workers, so that the students [words indistinct]
so that the students will be trained as revolutionaries. We do it for
political reasons, for economic reasons, but more and more we are doing it
for educational reasons. Let us say that if the country, (?to mention our
country), is going to profit from the participation of the people in this
work, then our youth will profit from the educational point of view.
Voluntary labor has developed greatly in Cuba.

"Who initiated this program of voluntary labor? The students, the people in
general. In our country there is a shortage of labor. We have many problems
to solve. For example, in housing construction we have established extra
work, work by the workers-- their own contribution to solving many of their
needs. We think that your situation is very different. Here there is a
surplus of (?workers) and this is no obstacle, it cannot be an obstacle,
truly, for the students to participate, for the students to be trained, so
that the students will form a conscience.

"Do not forget the saying that work shapes a man, work also shapes a
revolutionary. The proletariat is the revolutionary class, it is the
revolutionary voice, because [words indistinct] accustomed to produce its
things, [words indistinct] to fight, to endure the discipline and the
rigors of work. We understand that work strengthens youth, we understand
that the technician is strengthened politically, he is strengthened
morally, it places him in contact with life. In addition you have
tremendous resources, in this battle with the reaction, in this process.
Naturally, the resources are students with their technical knowledge, their
professors, and their universities. All can contribute greatly.

"In our country they are contributing. Naturally, one must place himself in
the Cuban situation. It is easier to understand if it is conceived of under
Cuban conditions. Under your present circumstances I imagine that students
hear about these things as something very remote, a bit distant, (?because
of your situation). At the beginning, our students heard of it in a similar
manner. Now, all this has been systematized in the manner in which our
process has advanced. You here truly have a great strength, great technical
resources, which we did not have, as well as a large number of university
students. What is more, 90,000 students are waiting to enter the

"While your problem is to determine how to enter the universities, our
worry is how many enter--first, because the huge tide that the revolution
created, starting from primary education, has not yet reached the
university. Also, because our process has used many youths, many ranks, in
several tasks--mainly the defense of the country. In our country, at a
certain time, we had to have 300,000 men under arms. We have had to
maintain a state of alert, an antiaircraft defense system, as well as
complicated land and sea combat systems, closely watching for the (?enemy).
They all require training.

"From the time they were very young, the youth have had to join in these
tasks. Half of the children did not have schools, secondary school levels
were very low. We have had to put forth great effort to train teachers and
professors, even improvising teachers. Naturally, this still reflects on
the quality of our teaching. We still have many defects in our teaching,
resulting from this decisive factor of the lack of sufficient teachers and
professors. All this is reflects in the [word indistinct] of the students.
These factors have limited the enrollment into our universities until now.
What a fabulous resource, what a privilege, let us say, it is that in your
country you have this enormous mass of youths who are anxious to enter the

"At the same time this undoubtedly reflects a lack of other opportunities
for the youth. It reflects a social situation, because without such a
situation there would not be such a large number of students wishing to
attend the universities. The fact that more than 80,000 have graduated
reflects undoubtedly, an educational advance. You have achieved a certain
advancement that we are now carrying out. We have started at a point below
yours. That is that enormous mass. Do not forget that in that field your
enemies are going to fight you. In that field they are going to try the
most outrageous efforts to penetrate, because they know what this enormous
mass of youth means to the process. It is a mass of future technicians and
they are going to try to fight you in that field.

"We need for you to join forces in that struggle. It is logical that there
will be differences of opinion. It is logical that (?they will use the
differences), but permit me to tell you something. Here, as long as you can
put up the fight, as long as the fascists and the reactionaries can [word
indistinct] you, regardless of your discrepancies, should not be divided
before your enemies. At least, these discrepancies [interrupted by
applause] at least, these discrepancies should not turn into antagonistic
attitudes, should not turn into hostile attitudes. [passage indistinct]

"That is why I say that we must defend our points of view, our criteria, we
must defend them, defend them with conviction, with passion. The principle
is [words indistinct]. It is all to the left, regardless of shades, and
[words indistinct] an enemy. The enemy advances, the enemy is not weak, and
therefore, sincerely, we must [words indistinct] say that everything that
is cherished must be fought for. Opinions must be expressed, but never
permit them to develop into hostilities, because that would weaken them.
[passage indistinct]

"I was invited here not to utter empty phrases, not simply to answer formal
questions, but to give impressions, to express thoughts. We agreed to this
because we are thinking about something else, we are thinking that in this
field of the student body the reaction and fascism are going to give you a
struggle because they know the importance it has for [words indistinct]
they know the importance that this strength has. [applause]

"(?We are strong). [interruption] One moment. We know what this strength
means for the process, and we tell you in all sincerity, preserve this
strength, increase it [words indistinct], advance it. [applause]

Question: Mr Castro, as we all know, your country is under the regime of a
dictatorship. You, with full patriotic feeling, great natural talents as a
leader, and high intellectual ability worked for the Cuban revolution,
promising the people their precious freedom and free periodic elections.
[booing] Having all this experience, I ask you to tell me very sincerely
whether the revolution can be realized in Chile under the law respecting
constitutional guarantees, and whether the branches of government should be
kept separate. [booing]

Answer: "Gentlemen, permit me to arbitrate this debate. [applause] I really
like that kind of (?jibe) much better. [words indistinct] irreconcilable.
[applause] Now then, courtesy does not detract from courage. A
revolutionary can [words indistinct] fascist speak [words indistinct] with
a revolutionary they could not hold a discussion, there are no arguments.
Therefore, hate and despair lead the reactionaries to commit homicide
against the revolutionary. Here is is the reverse. If someone with opposing
social thoughts comes to speak we must react differently, [words
indistinct] we respect him as a person and as a man. [applause]

"We will debate anything you want in the ideological field. (?In the name
of our people) I thank you. [applause] not for that alone. Afterward they
will accuse us of extremism. [applause] [words indistinct]. Thank you for
that reference gifted leader, thank you for that reference to intellectual
[words indistinct] backed by the oligarchs, backed by the Yankee
monopolies, backed by the fascists, backed by the criminals [words
indistinct] free and periodic elections and at the University of Concepcion
we explained what our program and at the time, the level of political
culture of our people because at that instant and under those special
circumstances periodically [word indistinct] that right and idyllic world
for the freest freedoms and the most periodic elections, and the most
superfree elections were then held as the reactionaires understood them, in
the bourgeoise with state, bourgeois organizations, bourgeois resources,
bourgeois culture, bourgeois ideology. Let us describe that as bourgeois,
let us call it conventional. Let us define the concjept more clearly so
that it will be understood. In ideology, in culture, in the state, in the
reactionary manner, our program was not yet a social program. If we analyze
the measures expressed at the trial of (?El Moncada)--expressed not in the
hour of victory but precisely at the hour of defeat--and if that program is
analyzed you will see how we limited ourselves in the first phase of the
revolution to the construction of that program.

"The most honest, the most self-critical thing that we can point out in our
opinion is that we were still sufficiently naive at the time of the victory
of the revolution not to have realized the extraordinary change that the
war itself created in 25 months in the conscience of (?man). We had not
realized how much the masses had progressed in that struggle, how powerful
the movement was that had been created, to what extent the people had
identified themselves with this process, to what extent the class struggle
had progressed [words indistinct].

That they were incapable in that country of [words indistinct] with the
capitalistic conscience, with the capitalistic institutions, with
elections. Those elections could not be won. It would have been a really
unbelievable beating. Gentlemen, it was not a matter of conquering power or
of submitting it to a referendum, or submitting it for public
consideration. [applause]

"The backing of the masses was so overwhelming, so [word indistinct] that
no one was disputing it. That was when the masses [words indistinct]
clearly saw that it was time to advance, to abandon all that capitalistic
and bourgeoise superstructure, [applause] to end all those lies and all
that intrigue, to end all those [word indistinct] gentlemen. Let us speak
in a revolutionary language. This is the story about Red Ridding Hood for
kindergarten children. [applause]

"we would have to begin by determining what freedom is. What is freedom?
What is democracy? What are human rights? I want you to tell me what
equality is, what fraternity is, what freedom is, because the philosophy on
which the whole bourgeois liberal process has been based in the last
century--when the bourgeoisie obtained power as a developing strength--even
gained strength to rule society. The bourgeoisie at one time played the
role that the proletariat is playing today and did so as a revolutionary
class, in the face of feudalism. Have we forgotten the French revolution,
inspired by the ideas of the [word indistinct] and the philosophers of
liberalism, [words indistinct], and so forth and the other things that
[words indistinct] the history of social doctrine of their professors.

"The first revolution was made [words indistinct] equality, fraternity, and
freedom. None of those three things have really existed. That was the
ideological expression of a class that replaced another and established its
system of [word indistinct]. Let us not forget that revolution, the [word
indistinct] blood, the convention, [names indistinct] Robespierre, those
(?threads) that rose and passed on, and they passed rapidly, because the
liberals, the revolutionaries of liberalism, resorted to expeditious
methods, and more expeditious than the socialistic methods. Many of those
people, each one of these (?leaders), went to the guillotine. Do not think
that the Marxists invented this. It was the bourgeoisie, it was the
revolutionaries of the bourgeoisie in their time and virtually all the
prominent men were put under the blade to launch a new [words indistinct].
A new era was begun. A new social system with a philosophy which responded
to a philosophy of class, of a dominating class."

The bourgeois society began to develop, giving all it was capable of,
breaking the bonds of feudalism. This permitted the opening of unlimited
possibilities for development of the production forces. A new class
emerged. In the era of Robespierre and others the proletariat did not
exist, there were no big industries, the techniques of development of today
did not exist, and a new class emerged--the proletariat.

"The new class, the new philosophy had its concepts about man, about
liberty, about equality, true equality. In the long run the proletarian
revolutions will give humanity what the bourgeois revolutions gave [words
indistinct] equality, gentlemen. What equality can there be between a
beggar and a millionaire? What equality of opportunity, what equality of
possibility, what human equality, what cultural equality, what equality of
life could there be between a beggar and a millionaire, between the
exploiter and the exploited, between the landholder [words indistinct]?
While the pariah remained barefoot, hungry and without work, the children
of the other one spoke French, they obtained doctoral degrees.

The children of the pariah who worked the land of the landholder died of
hunger, died of malnutrition, the epidemics did away with them--pneumonia,
poliomyelytis, parasites, gastroenteritis--without medicine, clothes, food.
This was the equality given to humanity by the bourgeoisie, the exploiters.

"Who said nothing is eternal? The only eternal thing is man, his desire for
progress. The only eternal thing is the path of humanity toward higher
phases of coexistence."

The slaveowners of Greece and Rome sacrificed their slaves and plebeians,
believing they were being just. The slaves were thrown into the arenas for
their masters' amusement. "Later the feudal states emerged with vassals and
serfs, hungry and abandoned. Feudal privileges emerged, including the right
for the feudal lords to satisfy their lust with the serfs' women and
daughters, to cite a case, to give you a humiliating example of the many
humiliations experienced by those human beings. They also thought that this
system would remain unchanged eternally."

The bourgeois revolution followed in the framework of domination of one
class by another, and the bourgeoisie established their institutions and
mechanisms of domination of classes. The bloodshed of the slaves and
Christians was followed by the bloodshed of the serfs, and later it was the
bloodshed of the workers. The bourgeoise state unmercifully spilled the
blood of peasants and workers throughout the time of its oppression and

"Study the history of colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism--the highest
phase of this capitalist society. What they did in Asia, what they did in
Africa, what they did in Latin America, how much sacrifice, how much sweat,
how much exploitation, how much humiliation, how much bloodshed. They would
position their warships off any country imposing their [word indistinct]
and they would savagely seize the natural resources and establish their
banana republics, or mining, or hotels, with their bourgeois institutions,
and with all the resources to maintain their control. If they could
maintain control legally, fine. When they could not maintain it legally,
they maintained it by force, by violence. The self-same bourgeoise have
changed governments more than 500 times as much as the proletarians have.
The bourgeoise have suppressed more constitutions and more laws than the
proletarians." [applause]

"They are instruments taken and brought to maintain the domination of
classes, creating in the peoples the worst vices, the greatest antagonism,
and divisions. What equality, tell me did the humble worker have? Did he
have an opportunity to govern the country? Tell me the humble peasant, did
he have an opportunity to make laws and govern the country in that
cherished and idolized state? Of course not. Those who governed, those who
legislated could do as they pleased [word indistinct] the economic
resources of class. The landholder or the ignorant and barefoot peasant;
the millionaire or the little worker who had to work for his sustenance;
the powerful and wealth or the humble; the cultured or the illiterate.

"Historically, we know all of this process too well for them to try to
scare anyone with their big stories. The point is that the pariahs the
plebeians, the exploited, the workers, peasants, the humble people know
these realities. [applause]

"With the new social revolutions, with the new social revolutions, with the
new ideology, goodby to the forms of bourgeois domination, goodby to its
institutions, goodby to its false and demagogic mechanisms, goodby to its
exploitation. The people do not bid this goodby until they can, and when
our people were able to bid this goodby and when the masses saw this, and
they saw it before we did, they gave the final farewell to these forms. Our
revolution means for the first time in history the disappearance of this
form of division of society--between exploiters and exploited."

The proletariat emerged with a desire to become, not the dominating class
or the slavedrivers of yesteryear, the feudalists of the Middle Ages, or
the bourgeoisie of the 18th century. They emerged with the aspiration of
creating a humane community, without exploiters or exploited.

"The revolution with its philosophy aspires to something else, because it
seeks to create true equality among men. We have seen that in our country
there are no longer millionaires, but neither are there beggars. In our
country there are no longer exploiters or exploited. In our country there
are no longer oligarchs or landholders who travel through Europe while
their poor peasants and workers die of hunger. In our country there is not
one single human being who is abandoned to his fate. What we have, the
little that we have, we distribute. We are a poor country, we are not a
wealthy country, but no one goes to bed without eating. No one is barefoot,
no one dies for lack of a doctor or medicine, no one remains illiterate.
All the children have schools, all youths have education centers, and they
have an opportunity to higher education and universities.

"Our revolution is not perfect, no. We still have not reached higher forms,
we still have not reached forms of expression of what we might call
democracy, the new proletarian democracy. We can say, however, that in our
country the people feel a part of the revolution, they feel a part of the
state. In our country there is a solid union. In our country we say we are
all students, we are all workers, we are all soldiers--man acquires a new
dignity, a new dimension. Who can a person feel himself a man when he sees
over his head the exploiters who spit on him, who humiliate him, who
despise him, who starve him to death. What kind of equality is that? What
kind of equality is it which permits the daughters of the powerful and
wealthy to travel through Europe and even look for titles of nobility or
marriages with millionaires, while many of the daughters of peasants and
workers had no other path left but to become prostitutes?"

Why is there no mention of this. Why don't the reactionaries talk about
this. As Christian as they pretend to be, as human as they pretend to be,
they calmly view these horrors of our human society. [applause]

"What human rights are those where a man has to beg for a handout, where a
child has to go around barefoot, begging, where a woman has to sell herself
as merchandise in a public plaza? What human rights are those of a state
and a society which does not work for man and his needs, but for the
profits of private interests?"

What human rights, what liberty is there when the wealthy and powerful
hoard all the natural resources, not for a social end but for their selfish
interests? What kind of society is it which creates fictitious needs? What
kind of society is it where there hundreds of thousands of illiterates and
many thousands of children starving from hunger or malnutrition, while
there is importing of luxuries for the upper classes? What state of affairs
was that in our country where we had 300,000 automobiles yet 60 percent of
the children had no schools and there was not one single hospital in the
countryside? What state of liberty was that there men were outraged, men
were forced to prostitute themselves, men were poisoned? What state of
liberty was it which used ill its mass communication media to sell
merchandise, to trade with everything, with the most treasured values of
man, with the dignity of man, with sex, with everything? What state of
affairs was it in which our nation devoted itself entirely to the mass
communication media, to defend the interests of a philosophy of profit, and
mercantile propaganda?

"Mass communication media were in the hands of the self-same oligarchs, of
the self-same bourgeoisie. What liberties are there while they have
culture, means, money, everything, media of expression and the peasants do
not have culture or media of expression? What liberties are these? The
liberty of being the owner of the press communication media, of mass
communication media, and the liberty of using it for the benefit of their
class interests. Today in our country all mass communication media belong
to the people and are at the service of the people." [applause]

In our country we strive toward education, there are health programs and
struggles against the many problems of human society, which are many and
infinite. We create an awareness within another awareness, solidary and
internationalist. When the Peruvian earthquake occurred there was a lack of
blood plasma. We sent our reserves and exhorted the people to make
donations for Peru, a country with which we did not even have relations. In
10 days 10,000 persons donated their blood. In our country there is no
trafficking in blood.

"In our country blood is given away. The people give their blood to their
brother, a Cuban gives blood to a Cuban who needs it. A Cuban gives you
what you need and if he has to give his life for a Cuban who needs it he
does. When it no longer involves only solidarity within borders, when there
is lack of blood, blood to donate to other peoples, it is immediately
available because means have been dedicated to create awareness, to make
man more noble, to raise the moral values and human values. If instead of
100,000 they had needed 500,000 we would have had 500,000 donations. Our
country can be asked for anything, anything.

"Now in our country the fundamental decisions are not discussed in a
parliament, no. They are discussed in work centers, in the mass
organizations. [applause] In our country the revolutionary government
started governing by decree. Now in our country any important law which has
to do with the fundamental interests of the people is discussed by
millions, through our labor centers, our mass organizations, our military
units, all, because we are all brothers, we are all interested in these

The people are the ones who analyze and discuss the laws. Tell me now that
the bourgeois parliamentiarism is more democratic than this. Tell me.
[applause and cheers] "Tell me that to elect representatives to elect
representatives for a given number of years, representatives who then are
controlled by no one, is more democratic than the circumstance in which all
the people legislate. There we all belong to the parliament, we are all
congressmen, we are all legislators, and we perform this task constantly.

"There is no direct representation, no. The people do not need anyone to
represent them because the people represent themselves. [applause] The
people do not need anyone to make decisions for them. The people make their
own decisions. We revolutionaries, we revolutionaries lead our country
along this path. This is our mission, and I think this is the only thing
which gives us the right to call ourselves revolutionaries."

As we have said on other occasions, we do not seek glory or honors, we do
not consider ourselves better than others, no. There are men with good and
bad tendencies, with selfish and generous feelings, with evil and ignoble
tendencies. Societies develop one or another. "The capitalist society,
unfortunately, uses every means too to develop selfish tendencies, ignoble
tendencies, low passions. It uses all means to achieve a commercial
objective. We strive to develop noble passions, but we, the
revolutionaries, express ourselves with the noblest feelings of the people.
We are only the bearers of their nobility, or their kindness. We have
nothing of ourselves, because we have the revolutionary feeling of the
people, which we take to the people, and it is the people who have made us
better, it is the people who have made us more noble, it is the people who
have made us more revolutionary." [applause]

Our forms can be more perfect still, and they are still more imperfect than
perfect. Nothing prevents us from working, struggling--a people totally
identified and united, seeking the best with all its vigor and force, this
is our country. This demonstrates one thing, that being a country of 8
million inhabitants--aided, yes, by international solidarity, aided broadly
and generously--but that in this country with a broad trench, it has been
the vigor of the people, the new sense of patriotism, the new sense of
dignity, the new sense of morals, which have made us defend this land,
defend these ideas, defend this flag.

That flag is the same one our liberators, had, before which men have always
bowed to pay homage. "We understood the ideas that the flag symbolizes, a
flag that no longer represents exploitation, submission, injustice, but one
that today represents everything that is the fatherland, the struggle of
the people, their great conquests, their great processes [words indistinct]
to raise it to its highest point. We are going to take that same flat and
place it together, like sisters, with similar flags from Latin America,
such as this one, the Chilean flag. [applause]

"Those same flags, as the nations advance and as the flags symbolize
justice, liberation, solidarity and unity, will join together like sisters
with all the other flags from the Latin American countries, which some day
will also wave together higher than ever, higher than they have ever waved.
That is the objective of our struggle as patriotic revolutionaries and as
revolutionaries who have (?chosen) the ideology of the proletariat, the
sentiments of the proletariat, the Latin American solidarity, and the world
solidarity. That is what our ideas are today, our situation today, our
institutions today, our concept today. We have realized the principles of
equality, fraternity, and freedom, which no other revolutionary process
could accomplish. As for the format, what should the Chileans do? Whether
they will do it with this state of that state, with that parliament or
without that parliament, I tell you: You will know how to reply correctly
[words indistinct]." [applause and shouting]

Question: Major Castro, the socialist students would like to know the
following: The working class is the leading class of the revolutionary
process, but in the Cuban revolution there were students in the mountains,
in the urban struggle, and in the attack on the Moncada barracks. How do
the students become allies of the working class in the struggle for power?

Answer: "I am going to say it very clearly: Because of their class origin
(?they come mostly) from the middle class, sometimes even from the higher
classes, and very rarely, even from the humble classes. There are, however,
what we call subjective factors. One of them is called conscience.
Precisely those subjective factors developed in the struggle with our
students, despite their class origin, which was nothing bad. The immense
majority of the university students acquired conscience with that youthful
spirit, with the enthusiasm, with the [word indistinct] of the young and
embraced the cause of the revolution. It was simply a subjective problem a
problem of conscience." [applause and shouting]

Question: Commander Castro, the Christian Democratic Youth from the
Technical State University would like to have your opinion on this: To
resolve the labor-capital, exploiter-exploited dilemma, as you said,
Yugoslavia has instituted a system of labor self-management where labor and
capital are in the same hands, those of the workers. We would like to know
whether you share the Chinese opinion that labor self-management is a form
of capitalism.

Answer: "I do not know what the Chinese way is, but I can tell you about
the Cuban way. (?Have you heard about it?) [shouts and applause] We have a
very clear idea about this. I have spoken extensively, I know of no Chinese
factory where the factory is owned by its Chinese workers. I know of none.
There are the property of all the workers [words indistinct] [shouting]
this youth has been speaking about a socialized system, a system of
ownership. We do not want to cause selfishness among the people. We do not
want to create privileges among the people. We do not want to corrupt the
working class. [applause] We have never applied that principle and I do not
know whether someone else has. I know what we are doing and why. Everyone
knows that all the factories do not have the same technological level, that
they do not have a very advanced technology and do not have a very high
productivity. All of you know that not everyone works in the factories.
Teachers work in schools, instructors work in high schools, professors work
in universities, as do students and the employees of the universities,
which do not produce material goods, which produce spiritual goods.

"As we explained, in Cuba 300,000 persons work only in education. Many
thousands of Cubans have to be ready with their weapons to defend the
fatherland. They do not produce material goods but they do spend money,
they have to prepare themselves for combat, they have to prepare themselves
to defend the country. They are not producing material goods. In our
country we have children who need attention and recreation centers. The
country needs to develop, it needs resources, it needs investments. Then
there are the workers of the country. In our underdeveloped countries only
a small portion of the population works in the production of material

"Replying to that question I say that it is Machiavellian, it is
(?pitiless), it is criminal demagogy in any society to try to introduce
among the workers [words indistinct]. [applause] It is demagogic and
criminal to speak of giving the factories to the workers, it is to make
poor people of those who are giving very useful service to the fatherland
even if they are not working on material goods. The sick and the hospitals
and the children and the schools and the retired and the old and those who
defend the fatherland and all those who render a service that does not
produce material goods, (?what are they going to do) in factories? Are we
going to change one bourgeois scheme for another that is just as bourgeois
as the first? Are we going to work under fiscal proceedings, taxes and
(?struggle) [applause] replace the historical classes with artificial
classes and have fat workers and poor workers, workers who have nothing
because they do not work with machines? Or the youth [words indistinct] in
the universities? Do not speak of (?imposed) regimes, basically it is all a
lie. Since you asked this question about this subject [words indistinct]
Machiavellian, diabolical, it is irresponsible, it is criminal [words
indistinct] Cuba as an example. [applause]