Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Fidel Castro Dedication Address

Havana Domestic Radio/Television Services in Spanish 0030 GMT 5 Ma6 73 F

[Speech by Maj Fidel Castro, prime minister of the Cuban Revolutionary
Government, at the dedication ceremony of the Cuban-Sweden Friendship rural
secondary school probably held on 3 May 1973 at the Melena del Sur farming
project in Havana Province--videotaped]

[Text] Dear friend Sven Moberg, minister of sciences and advanced education
of Sweden, members of the Swedish delegation, builders, relatives of the
students, professors, students: Today we have the pleasure of dedicating
this new rural secondary school, No. 53.  However, this pleasure is
markedly greater because of the presence of a delegation from a friendly
country led by the minister of sciences and advanced education of that
country, whose most interesting and illuminating speech we had the
opportunity to hear.  He spoke about his country's basic policy in foreign
relations and especially in relations with struggling developing countries.

At the same time he explained to us the great progress his country has made
in the field of education.  There is a reason for the presence of this
delegation at this event, that is the name that school will
have--Cuban-Sweden Friendship. [applause] In corroboration of the
minister's statements on his country's policy, we wish to point out the
level and scale of the economic cooperation that we receive from Sweden.
This cooperation began some years ago and at the present time, with Swedish
cooperation, we are building the Refrigeration and Production Engineering
Institute in the city of Santa Clara.  Sweden has contributed $1,907,000
for equipping this institute.  As is the case with the institute we just
mentioned, the Industrial Electronics Institute to which Sweden contributed
$2,278,000 is under construction and will probably be completed this year.

The Institute for the Development of the Meat Industry will be constructed
with a contribution of $1,501,000.  There is an integrated program under
way on technical assistance for promotion exports with a contribution in
the amount of $206,000.  There is a maternity-children program with a
contribution of $100,000.  The Ministry of Public Health is receiving a
contribution of $9 million to be used for modernizing and new equipment for
our hospitals.  And, tomorrow, Friday, an agreement will be signed by means
of which Sweden will provide Cuba with approximately $15 million for fiscal
years 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976 as a contribution for the education
project. [applause]

The Swedish Government has likewise expressed willingness to continue
supporting this education program beyond 1976.[applause] This program that
will be finalized tomorrow comprises contributions for rural secondary
schools, and specifically, for primary education, for teacher training
institutes, for a textbook publishing house, for the production and
maintenance of teaching equipment, for educational television, for special
education and also for experts and their training facilities.

These contributions to the public health of our people and to our education
amount to approximately $30 million.

We receive this aid from Sweden totally gratis. [applause] This has a
profound significance for us.  This aid is devoted to strengthening
revolutionary work along those two fronts that can be best appreciated by
our population.  In the first place, we have public health, those $9
million dollars earmarked for the most modern equipment for improving the
quality of services in our hospitals will be important in safeguarding the
health of our people, for improving the prevention and diagnosis of
diseases and for attending to the sick.  This auxiliary equipment plays a
decisive role in modern medicine.  It will mean health for our people.
And, thanks to this cooperation, it will mean many lives saved.

In the second place, that cooperation has still greater scope in the field
of education; thanks to that cooperation we will be able to have some
technological institutes equipped with the best, with the most modern
educational facilities.  As you all know, these schools are expensive.  In
each of these secondary schools, as in the one we can see here, there is a
need for laboratories, shops and educational facilities.  Many items used
in these schools have to be imported.  In the first place, all of the
laboratory equipment has to be imported.  But even in the recreation hall,
if we have cinematographic equipment, it has to be imported, as to many of
the educational facilities that are needed here.

Our program of construction of basic secondary schools is sizable.  The
Swedish contribution will make it possible for us to equip the schools that
we will build in upcoming years.  Additionally, another great need of
education lies in books.

It is possible that many citizens have no idea of the numbers of books that
are needed and will be increasingly needed for education, not only school
age education but also adult education.  This program that will be
finalized tomorrow will include a publishing house for the publication of
millions of books annually.  As I said before, this program also covers
other matters very important to education, such as educational television,
the supply of means for the production of educational and pedagogical
facilities.  Also part of the program takes into consideration the needs
for primary schools.

Logically, we are deeply grateful and we profoundly appreciate this
attitude and policy of the government of Sweden; the same policy is being
followed in many other countries that are currently struggling for
development.  At the same time, our people have known in the past years
about the firm and courageous position that the Swedish Government has
maintained in connection with the criminal Vietnam War, [applause] which
has aroused the sympathy of our people towards the people and government of

We also are thankful for the statements made by the minister of sciences
and advanced education of Sweden praising our country's efforts in the
field of education.  The fact that Sweden has been developing a program of
cooperation with our country--besides the material sacrifices that it
implies--means an acknowledgement of the efforts of our country in its
moral development.

There is no doubt that such a policy contributes to bringing the nations
together, to the development of friendly relations, to the positive
evolution of international relations, to the solutions of the enormous
problems confronting the modern world--a rapidly growing humanity that
currently numbers 300 million [as heard] inhabitants, with overwhelming
problems to solve.

We can ask ourselves: How many thousands of millions, tens of thousands,
hundreds of thousands of millions of dollars does imperialism devote to
aggression and wars?  How much has it forced the rest of the nations to
spend?  Just to cite an example, in Vietnam, more than 135 billions have
been spent in buying destruction and death.  This occurs in a world that
has thousands of millions of persons who are illiterate, barefoot, without
housing, hospitals, roads or schools, in a world where whole continents
live in the midst of poverty.  There are continents living in such poverty
in a large measure as a result of the cruel colonial and imperialist
exploitation that they have been suffered over periods of centuries.

How many benefits, how much good, how many solutions could be contributed
to humanity with those exorbitant amounts of money that imperialism spends
and forces others to spend in arms!  And it is within this framework that
we want to point up the gesture and policy of Sweden.  The example of that
country has moral value for us.  It unquestionally directs attention
towards a path of cooperation between nations and solution of the problems
of the underdeveloped world.

This school has also the merit of having been constructed by workers of the
Havana microbrigades, [applause] workers who with "plus-work" [volunteer
work in other than their regular work] efforts have been constructing
housing, schools, social installations for their factory comrades, and who
have contributed their effort to education in order to build also rural
secondary schools. [applause] This also has a profound moral significance,
because here we are not constructing just one school.  Four schools have
already been completed and four more are under construction, which are
similar to this one.

That is why when we approached this location all of us had the satisfaction
of seeing not just one school but a group of schools emerging in this
region.  They now can be seen in all directions, in this region that has
been assigned the production of food for the city of Havana, and which is
one of the most important vegetable-producing zones in this province.

Just a few months ago not a single school could be seen here, and now, as a
result of the efforts of our workers, the scenery has virtually changed.
They have given joy to it.  They have given life to it.  They have given
progress to it.

It is very satisfactory to know that in the full breadth and width of our
country, in all places, schools similar to this one, polytechnical schools
and technological institutes are being constructed.  It is also very
encouraging to know the results of these efforts, the educational results
above all, aside from the economic results.  The promotion rate was 94
percent during the second period and, according to the indicators, during
the third period of the year all schools of this type will achieve a 95
promotion rate.

In other words, from an educational viewpoint, it is a complete success and
we are encouraged to continue making this type of effort in upcoming years.
For the upcoming school term there will be a much greater number of schools
of this type in operation.  During the year 1973, some 90 basic secondary
schools will be constructed; this does not include polytechnical schools,
technological institutes, teacher-training schools or other educational
institutions.  Thus our country is being sowed with schools everywhere.

But the results are also good in the productive order.  They are good in
the cultural order and in the realm of sports.  I do not want to think
about future tournaments when all these schools begin [Fidel chuckles] to
produce the fruit of their efforts.  Even when our country did not have
this material base and so many sports fields as the ones being constructed
with the schools, our athletes were giving great headaches to U.S.
athletes. [applause]

In the social and political order this revolutionary institution will
contribute to the complete formation of our youth.  Several days ago we had
the satisfaction of watching schools which finished in first place in their
respective provinces and the rural secondary schools of Havana Province
parade with our workers on May Day.  They paraded with their bands and new
uniforms.  In that parade it was easy to note the results of efforts made
during the past few years, because the students who paraded there were
really and truly a huge throng.

We are very certain that our people were very happy, thoroughly satisfied,
very optimistic and greatly assured in watching our young students parading
on May Day.  Indeed, this school, the last one to be dedicated in the
province, is the only one in the province that has not received new
uniforms.  The problem is that textile workers made a great effort in
outfitting those who paraded on May Day with their new uniforms.  And even
students of the 20th Anniversary School, which was dedicated just a few
weeks ago, paraded with uniforms and band.  But this school is very new.
It has just been completed and is being dedicated today.  We can assure you
that for the month of September--please do not lose your patience--all
schools, all the rural secondary schools, all the polytechnical schools and
educational detachment will have their uniforms.  Do not complain, the
comrades of the educational detachment were not able to parade in uniform
on May Day.  We are also making an effort to see if it is possible
[applause] to have uniforms for the teachers.  Every one will be in
uniform, [applause] Educational detachment; students and teachers.

This will contribute to better discipline in school and also will
contribute to a better aspect of organization.  I do not know if you have a
band.  I suspect that you do not. [student shout "no"] I think you will be
able to have a band before September. [applause] There is no doubt that the
uniforms are beautiful.  Besides, they are of the best quality.  Even
though those who have uniforms have not received jackets.  But, since we
are in the summer season, these are not needed.  But you will need them in
the upcoming winter season.  This place here is rather cool.  It is not as
cold as Sweden, of course.  The relatively cold and humid Cuban weather in
the months of December, January and February will require jackets to
complete the uniforms, make them more beautiful.  But you are very
concerned about all this--the uniform, the jacket; the band.

But the fact is that we are concerned with other things also: studies,
promotion, work, sports and cultural activities.  We believe that you have
committed yourselves to a very important obligation and to a great
responsibility with those activities.  Because this school bears the name
Cuba-Sweden Friendship [applause], we are very concerned that the news
received by the students, people and government of Sweden about this school
be good news.  And since the number of schools is great and all the schools
are making great efforts in order to attain a good promotion rate and a
good promotion rate and a good standing--a serious effort will have to be
made. [by you

You are students from the city of Havana.  I understand that you come from
metropolitan Havana.  We anticipate that you will not make a bad showing
for metropolitan Havana.  Is that so. [students shout "no"] Sincerely, it
is necessary for this school to make a great effort.  It is necessary that
this school have a good promotion rate.  I am not going to say at the top
of the list, like some of you said.

Some of you said that you were going to finish at the top of the list.  I
would advise you to struggle to attain first place and we expect this
school to rank among the top ones. [applause] [students shout inaudibly]
Your friends in Sweden expect this.  The workers who constructed this
school expect this. [applause]

Your relatives expect this.  The revolution expects this. [applause]
Relatives of course are part of this school.  The victories and setbacks
will also be in part their responsibility; [applause] they must make every
effort in seeing that you work hard and maintain discipline; and, above
all, when you are granted days off, they will have to see to it that there
are no weaknesses at home; [applause] and to see to it that you return back
to school on time, they will have to see to it that you do not suffer from
the Monday blues.

You will not be here by yourselves.  In this zone close to you, there will
be give more schools.  Thus, there will be a way of gaging your efforts and
we suppose that the students in the rest of the schools will also make
their best efforts.  We sincerely wish the teacher and students great
successes, and we wish that we will always be able to send our Swedish
friends the best news about you. [applause]

Likewise, dear minister, we wish to convey in the name of our people and
our students fraternal greetings to your people and your students
[applause] to your prime minister, Olof Palme. [applause] With our most
fraternal greetings go our acknowledgement and our most profound gratitude
for your generous and unselfish assistance. [applause]

Long live the Cuba-Sweden Friendship School.  Long live the friendship
between Cuba and Sweden.  Fatherland or death.  We shall win. [applause]
[students chant slogans]