Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speech

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 2315 GMT 26 Jul 74

[Speech by Premier Fidel Castro at ceremonies in Matanzas marking 21st
anniversary of the attack on Moncada Barracks--live]

[Text] Comrades of the party leadership and the government, comrade guests,
comrades heroes and heroines of labor, comrade delegates to the local
governments of Matanzas, Cubans:

The enthusiasm and joy with which the people of Matanzas have received this
26 July is truly moving. [applause] Why was Matanzas chosen to commemorate
this 26 July? The province has worked well, and the other provinces have
worked splendidly during the course of the year--Las Villas province for
example [applause] which overfilled its sugar quota for the year by 110,000
tons of sugar, thus providing the national economy with a surplus of 40
million [currency not specified] in foreign currency at present prices.

This is not to underestimate, ignore, or forget the effort which our
compatriots in the other provinces have made. However, the Revolution owes
Matanzas an old debt. In 1970 it produced more than 1 million tons of sugar

And there is another very important reason: the emphasis which the
Revolution wishes to place on that most important revolutionary experiment
that is taking place in the Matanzas Province with the constitution of the
people's governments which you, the people of Matanzas [applause], have
chosen and have received with such great enthusiasm, and have supported so

We are all greatly honored by the presence at this ceremony of the
delegation of the sister nation of South Vietnam [applause], represented
here [applause] by comrade Nguyen Thi Dinh, vice commander of the Peoples
Liberation Armed Forces of South Vietnam, and consisting of a group of
Vietnamese heroines and patriots. Our people know how to admire heroism,
and they know how to appreciate the extraordinary struggle of the
Vietnamese people who are fighting against the common enemy: Yankee
imperialism. Just as it has attacked and besieged us during all these
years, so they, 10,000 kilometers away, were besieged and criminally
attacked by the same imperialism.

It is equally encouraging and pleasing that the heroes and heroines of
labor are attending this ceremony, they who with their sweat and effort
[applause] are making an especially outstanding contribution to the
development of our economy.

The presence of the magnificent 56th anniversary of the October Revolution
and Evelio Rodriguez Curbelo millionaire brigades [applause], who cut 10
million and 9 million arrobas respectively. A group of canecutters who,
although they did not even number 50 men, each cut as much sugarcane as 10
combines [applause].

The presence of the young students of the Karl Liebknecht Junior High
farming schools [applause] who this year, after working hard during the
past academic year without flagging and without becoming discouraged,
attained first place in the country during the emulation of these
work-study schools [applause].

And it is of special significance that all the delegates to the local
governments elected by the people in the Matanzas Province should be
present at this ceremony.[applause]

Our people commemorate this day with increasing fervor every year. On a day
like this we particularly remember the men who fell throughout this
struggle. Far from being forgotten as time passes, their names, their
exemplary lives, their unselfishness and heroism are recalled. They can be
seen being reborn and standing out in the firmament of the fatherland. They
are still living in the work of the Revolution, and, above all, in the
hearts and conscience of the Cubans. [applause]

But on a day like today it is not only the ones who perished 26 July who
are remembered. We remember all who have falled for the fatherland during
the course of our history. Every commemoration is like a very synthesis of
the glorious history of our people--a history that was not written without
many sacrifices, many valuable lives and a lot of blood.

Here in this very province we must recall that even before 1895, before
1868, some enslaved men rose in arms. They energetically rebelled against
their oppressors and masters. It was precisely in the Matanzas Province
where, in the middle of the last century, there were 100,000 [as heard]
slaves; and where in 1868, 46.8 percent of the people were slaves; in this
very province the most energetic and heroic slave revolts took place. In
places not far from here--in the Gardenas area--in March 1843 [applause]
the first slave revolt broke out, and this dragged with it the workers of
many sugar mills.

In November of that year the salves of the Triunvirato sugar mill, in this
Matanzas district [applause], at the very spot where a splendid village has
been built and where one of our most splendid primary schools in the
country is located, thousands of slaves rebelled for freedom and justice.

And hundreds of them perished. Many who did not die fighting died later,
hanged on the various scaffolds. What is even more impressive is the fact
that many committed suicide to keep from falling into the hands of their
executioners. That was a heroic, a splendid page in the history of our
country. For we cannot forget that virtually less than a century ago there
was still slavery in Cuba.

And we an say that those men were the forerunners of our social
revolutions. One day we must also erect a monument to the memory of those
slaves. [applause] In this province--not far from this spot--in early 1895,
the patriot Juan Gualberto Gomez rose up in arms, fulfilling the guidance
of Marti to launch the war of independence.

When the invasion campaign was started, the heroic battles of Coliseo and
Calinete took place in this province. And, during the phase of the false
republic, Antonio Guiteras, Aponte and other revolutionaries perished in
this province [applause], falling before the murderous hordes of the
tyranny. In the city of Matanzas during our war of liberation the heroic
assault on Goicuria Barracks took place. Many Matanzas revolutionaries
perished during those years of struggle. A contingent of young Matanzass
made u the force which assaulted Moncada in 1953, [applause] and other
young Matanzass took part in the Granma landing at the beginning of the
fighting in the Sierra Maestra. [applause]

And after the revolution's triumph, it was here, on this same spot where
you are now, that the students of the Matanzas Officers School [applause]
organized at dawn of 17 April [1961], in keeping with the orders of the
high command. They formed the first troops to launch the offensive against
the mercenaries who landed at Giron. [applause] And those forces engaged in
their first combat with the loss of many lives.

The fields of Matanzas witnessed in subsequent years the hard struggle
against the mercenary relays, organized by the Central Intelligence Agency
[CIA] who murdered peasants, teachers, workers and farm administrators and
who sabotaged communications and sugarcane plantations in this region.

During the course of its history this very province has been acquainted
with episodes of the struggle for justice and freedom, and against
exploitation. The road has not been short, and we have not arrived here
without great suffering, great effort and great sacrifices.

In order to commemorate this 21st anniversary of the assault on the Moncada
Barracks, our people had to wage a hard struggle against imperialist
aggression and blockades. In the early years our enemies thought that the
Revolution would not be able to commemorate many 26 July anniversaries.
Today there is no doubt. On this continent it is not the Cuban Revolution
but the Yankee empire which is collapsing [applause].

Today the international instrument for aggression against Cuba, the
Organization of American States, is a decaying corpse [applause]. The
promoter of the mercenary invasion of Giron against our homeland, the
incumbent President of the United States, is not even certain of being able
to complete his present term. Mercenaries trained by the CIA in espionage,
sabotage and subversion were employed later in order to spy on and steel
documents from the U.S. Democratic Party's headquarters.

The scandal which this action brought about, and the complications which it
created, prove that the CIA and its mercenaries were much more capable of
ruining the U.S. presidency than of defeating the Cuban Revolution.
[rythmic applause]

They created vultures and the vultures are devouring the entrails. On the
other hand, the people of Latin America are growing in contempt for the
empire. Example: Peru, Argentina and Panama. [applause]

During his recent tour of the continent the president of Mexico never
failed to condemn the criminal blockade of our country. [applause] The free
nations of the Caribbean are pursuing more fraternal relations with our
people. And one proof that times are changing is the fact that today in
Venezuela already there is open talk of nationalizing the petroleum. And
that sister nation which was the cradle of the Liberator Simon Bolivar
[applause] is following that dignified and just course today.

Some spokesmen of the Venezuelan Government have also spoken out publicly
in favor of normalizing relations with our country. [applause] For its
part, the Cuban Revolutionary Government is prepared to work toward that
end also and with sincere satisfaction that it is considering that
possibility. [applause]

It can be expected that in the months to come, several other Latin American
governments will reestablish diplomatic and economic relations with our
country on the basis of absolute reciprocal respect and fraternal
cooperation. [applause] Let us speak out frankly: The governments of this
hemisphere are currently divided into a minority of lackeys still
unconditionally [abiding by] the dictates of imperialism, and a majority of
governments which are unwilling to keep obeying those dictates. [applause]

Our country is willing to cooperate constructively with that majority of
governments that are capable of implementing an independent foreign policy
in everything that makes for economic integration and the defense of the
Latin American peoples--not forgetting, of course, Canada and the
English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. [applause]

The isolation of Cuba is crumbling. And the economic blockade against our
country itself cannot last very long. In the present conditions of criminal
detente [Castro corrects himself] international detente, that criminal
blockade appears evermore an unjust, ridiculous and untenable act in the
eyes of the world.

In any case, it is a certain fact that at present no one any longer doubts
the reality and irreversibility of the Cuban Revolution. The most that can
happen is the Cuban Revolution becoming stronger year by year, and it will.

With the bases of the revolution set in a tremendously united and firm
domestic policy; rooted in the deepest part of the hearts of our people;
sustained by scientific revolutionary principles; and, externally,
supported by the firm, indestructible friendship with the Soviet Union
[applause] and the other countries of the revolutionary camp, the Cuban
Revolution is simply invulnerable. [applause]

We commemorate this 21st anniversary s we are advancing in all fields; in
education, public health, construction, agriculture and industry.

In education, the passing of students upward has been increased
extraordinaryily, and this continues to rise. The quality of our education
is improving, and a large number of schools are being built yearly.

We an say with the utmost pleasure that the Revolution has educated tens of
thousands of Cubans for each man who perished at Moncada. The Cuba's
education process is advancing at such a pace that by 1980 we will have a
million students studying at the intermediate levels. At present there are
more than 300,000 and there were only 70,000 when the Revolution triumphed.

In public health, the infant mortality rate--now the lowest in the
continent--stands at 27.4 per 1,000 live births. In other countries, like
Brazil, also at present, 140 infants per 1,000 live births die. The average
age [of death] in Cuba has been raised from 54 years, what it was before
the triumph of the Revolution, to almost 70 years at present.

We can similarly say that for each man who fell at Moncada, the Revolution
has saved tens of thousands of Cuban lives. [applause] Some sicknesses have
been totally eradicated, while others are being eradicated.

Construction has increased extraordinarily in recent years. Our countryside
is being filled with roads, dams, schools, dairies, hospitals--all kinds of

Agriculture too is notably improving, can production is on the rise,
production of poultry, hogs, milk and rice is developing. And the gigantic
citrus plan is greatly advancing throughout the country. The [sugar]
harvests are increasingly effective. Productivity of the cane cutters
increases, and every year we employ fewer cutters, and every year the
percentage of mechanized cane-cutting rises.

And that is why we now have more manpower for other activities. Industry
has been developed at a rapid rate. Between 1970 and 1973 the overall
economy grew some 26 percent, and the satisfactory rate achieved will be
maintained in 1974 and 1975.

We are working on the draft of the 1976-1980 5-year plan with the
experience, the organization and the knowledge that our economy has
acquired during these years.

The growth rate of an average 6 percent for the next 10 years which we
discussed in 1973 will be possible without great difficulty. At present and
for the first time-- which in itself is something new--each work center's
plan for 1975 is being discussed at the production units with the workers.
The same thing will happen for the 1976- 1980 plan.

Our mass organizations have progressed extraordinarily since 1970. Today
our Party has very superior organization, experience and leadership
capability. Thousands of political and administrative cadres are attending
courses, and it can be affirmed that study has become a habit of the
leading cadres. In this country not only are the students of the Karl
Liebknecht School studying, [applause] but in this country it can be
claimed that everyone is studying.

On this 26 July we can already speak of the experience acquired for the
establishment of the people's governments in Matanzas Province. As you
know, it was decided to conduct this experiment here in Matanzas. An
experiment in a sense, but now with regard to the Party's decision and
confidence in carrying out these ideas throughout the country. The
experiment is actually to test the methods, the mechanisms, the regulations
and everything pertaining to the establishment of people's governments
before it is implemented on a nationwide basis. In other words, the
experiment will teach us how to perfect the idea. However, the idea is to
implement these principles nationwide.

Therefore the people of Matanzas have held their elections. How interesting
these first experiments have been. I shall give some figures: 71.1 percent
of the total number of voters participated in meetings to nominate
candidates for assembly chairmen. The assemblies to nominate candidates had
a participation of 72.1 percent.

A total of 4,712 candidates were nominated in the ordinary districts and
1,114 were elected. Of these 1,114, 46.1 percent and 13.1 percent are party
and UJC members, respectively. Some 51 percent are not party members. This
reflects the broad range of candidacies, selections and participation by
all the people.

Voters participation in the first round was 93.6 percent and 9.4 percent in
the runoff elections: more than 90 percent of the voters on both occasions.

Of the total number of persons elected, only 20 percent have less than a
sixth grade education. The remainder have an educational level beginning
with the sixth grade on up. Of the 1,114 candidates elected, 41 percent are
studying now, and 49 percent are not studying.

Participation of the masses in this electoral process was most noticeable:
the mass rallies to elect the presidents who directed the assemblies for
the nomination of candidates, then to nominate the candidate, later to
study the material; neighborhood meetings to read the biographic sketches
of the candidates, to see educational material on the people's governments,
to vote in the first round, to vote in the runoffs; the mass municipal
meetings in which the members of the Municipal Assembly of People's
Government were introduced; in the mass rallies of the regions where the
members of the respective regional assemblies were presented the work
contributed by the people throughout the process of requesting
identification cards for drawing up the voters rosters, for beautifying and
cleaning the blocks, centers and so forth; and today, at this assembly,
where the Executive Committee of the Matanzas Provincial People's
Government was introduced--of course to commemorate 26 July.

These figures were with reference to the election of the delegates by
jurisdictional areas. In the next elections, those to elect the members of
the regional assemblies of the people's government [Castro interrupts
himself] I had overlooked a point about the first election: only 3 percent
of the elected candidates were women. At the assemblies of the regional
people's government, 151 delegates were elected. At that level, the
percentage of women elected rose to 6.9 percent.

The schooling level was also higher. Only 7.4 percent had less than a
sixth-grade education. And the number of militants likewise increased--60.3
percent are militants of the party, and 14.4 percent are militants of the
youth [presumably the UJC]. Let it be clear that when we mention the figure
of militants we do not look down on the fact that at these people's
assemblies there is a high percentage of persons who are not party
militants--we should not forget that the party is a select body, a
vanguard, and the percentage of the people who take part in the elections
or who are elected without belonging to the party is not a bad percentage.
It is a good percentage and an index to the broadness of the democratic
spirit of the elections.

We cannot forget that many unselfish workers in the unions, peasants,
members of the FMC, the CDR, and other organizations do not belong to the
party but are splendid workers. And they have sufficient merits to deserve
the citizen's confidence. [applause]

We must keep in mind that the party is not a mass organization but a select
body. The people elect the candidates, and it is turned out that a
relatively high percentage of them logically have been militants of the
party, because the party is recruited and formed of the most conscientious,
more advanced workers. However, we feel sure that many workers who have the
virtues of being members of the party are not in it yet for various
reasons--because the party has not been expanded, or other reasons.

As for the provincial people's government assemblies, 68 delegates were
elected. The percentage of women again rose--this time, 16 percent were
elected. And that percentage is significant in another way again rose--this
time, 16 percent were elected. And that percentage who have less than a
6-grade schooling amount to only 7 percent. Party and youth militants
together constitute 75 percent of the delegates elected to the provincial

The matter of the number of women elected is very important, for there is
no doubt that the 3 percent of women elected in the various areas is
regrettably low; above all, if we consider that half of the population is
female, that women enthusiastically support the Revolution [applause] and
that to a very high degree women can possess the virtues deemed essential
for a revolutionary and a directive, administrative, and political cadre.

The fact is simply that in that regard the Revolution has not advanced
sufficiently, and that precisely demonstrates how women still suffer given
situations of discrimination and inequality. [applause] That shows how we
still have some cultural backwardness, how we still have, in the corners of
our conscience, old thinking habits that belong to the past.

That is a fact, and we should acknowledge it. Our party acknowledges it,and
the people also should so we all an decide to struggle against those
vestiges of inequality and injustice. [applause]

The congress of the FMC will be held this year. [applause] This existing
problem of inequality is one of the basic points of its agenda. Let us not
forget what Lenin said, that the proletariat will be unable to achieve its
final victory until it achieves the freedom of woman.

We have one example of the importance of women in the struggle for
liberation and of the qualities of women in Comrade Nguyen Thi Dinh, vice
commander of the Peoples Liberation Armed Forces in South Vietnam.
[applause] We have it in those heroines, the fighters of South Vietnam, on
whose chests hang the medals which they have won by their heroism in battle
and in the struggle for the liberation of their country. We have a wealth
of such examples in the history of our country and of our Revolution, in
the attack on Moncada Barracks, and in the war of the Sierra Maestra.

This calls for self-criticism. Of course, we shall not do this overnight.
However, we must be aware of the need to struggle against such vestiges of
the past in which the entire nation must participate, men and women
equally, and women primarily. [applause]

According to certain theories, women do not like to be directed by women.
We do not believe that, but if there were one iota of truth to it, it would
prove that a hard battle must be waged against the feminine mentality to
achieve the equality of women, apart from the battle that must be waged
against the men. [applause and laughter] Otherwise let them bring it up in
the discussions on the family code [applause and laughter] now being
analyzed by everyone. However, let us also discuss the things about which
we can be justly happy. the elections that have just been held in Matanzas
were the purest in our country's history. [applause] Theu were elections
without rigging, without fraud, without demagogy, without petty
politicking--no one had to have aspirations because collective aspirations
rather than personal aspirations determined the nomination of a candidate;
without election campaigns because here the life of a man nominated by the
people is his election campaign, his own biography, his conduct during his
lifetime, the page showing his service to the country is his election

Never have elections been held with so much enthusiasm. Never in Cuba, not
even in the period when even the dead voted in Cuba, did more than 90
percent of the population vote in elections. The extraordinary thing is
that this participation of more than 90 percent occurred not only during
the first round, but also during the runoff elections. For the first time
in Cuba elections have been held without bayonets and without rifles at the
doors of the polling places. This is logical, because these were not
elections for plunder or a battle to distribute booty, but the elections of
the revolutionary people. [applause] Even the children participated. They
helped organize these elections. The masses showed and enthusiasm
unprecedented in any other election in the history of our country.

These are real elections. These elections had a broad range. And why such a
broad range? Some might wonder whether during the era of the capitalists
and landowners and all of those exploiters we would hold elections with
everyone having the right to vote and be elected. No, we did not. We
conceived the Revolution as the government of revolutionaries, dictatorship
of the proletariat, [applause] which deprives the exploiters of this right.
However, there are no longer any landlords here. The exploiting capitalists
are not here any more. We have no big industrialists, big businessmen, big
bankers, big importers, big landowners of large sugar mills, because they
left. Today they do not have those things any more. They are not exploiting

There may be a few exceptions, but they are persons who have adapted to the
revolution, capable of understanding the Revolution, and on one has
deprived them of the vote.

The fact is that in themselves they are no longer a problem. That is why
the elections have been very open and without other limitations than those
historically established--[barring] those who are legally disenfranchised
for committing crimes or because they were candidates during the electoral
farce held in November 1958 before the triumph of the revolution.

In other words, restrictions were held to a minimum, which is why in this
process-which indicates the unity and social gains of the
revolution--virtually all of the people were able to participate, and also
why there was universal suffrage and it was exercised by the people.

We truly believe that this phase of the experiment has been an exceptional
success. And due to that we must indeed congratulate the party in Matanzas
Province, [applause] the mass organizations of the province, and the
comrades of the national committee who took part in organizing the process.

There are many questions, much interest and much admiration for these
elections abroad. For they believe that we were not going to hold
elections. But we indeed are going to hold elections--revolutionary
elections that are much better and much purer than all the bourgeois
elections. [applause] And of course, not because the
bourgeoisie--international bourgeois opinion--demands it of us.

Here we do nothing because of the demand of international reaction. Not for
expedience; no. We do things because they fit in with the principles of
revolutionary democracy and Marxism-Leninism. [applause] Well and good.
Many fellow citizens must be asking themselves what functions, what
activities the people's government in Matanzas are going to carry out. This
is why we want to say something about it, so the content of the activity of
the people's government being organized will be known.

They will take charge of the following activities:

Ministry of Education: All activities; educational centers and support
units the ministry directs and administers, with the exception of the
university; all personnel working in the various municipal, regional and
provincial branches. In other words, the administration of all the
educational centers are turned over the the people's governments.

National Culture Council: All activities, cultural centers and support
units the council directs and administers, as well as all personnel working
in the various directive branches--municipal, regional and provincial

Cuban Broadcasting Institute: The two radio stations currently operating in
the province, as well as all personnel working at the organization's

National Institute for Sports, Physical Education and Recreation: All
activities, sports installations, support units currently directed and
administered, as well as all the personnel at the various directive
branches of the institute-municipal.

National Book Institute: All book stores and their support units it
currently administers and directs, as well as all personnel--provincial

Cuban Institute of Motion Picture Arts and Industry [CAIC]: All movie
theaters, mobile movie units, stationary projectors and all support that
the institute currently directs and administers, as well as all personnel
that work at its center--provincial ICAIC delegations, exhibitors, and

National Institute of Tourist Industry [INIT]: All restaurant units, hotels
and support units the institute currently directs and administers--with the
exception of the tourist complexes of Veradero and Cienega de Zapata--as
well as all the personnel who work at the various centers of the
institute--municipal, regional and provincial delegations.

Ministry of Domestic Trade: All shops that repair electric home appliances,
small appliances, electric apparatus and so forth, the support units for
those activities; and, beginning 1 January 1975, the Consumer Registry
Office; the necessary personnel for directing and administering these
activities who work at the various centers of the ministry.

Ministry of the Food Industry: Three cracker factories, a bakery and their
support units currently directed and administered by the ministry--the
provincial delegation of the Flour Enterprise, as well as part of the
personnel who currently work at the delegation; four iceplants--currently
directed and administered by the provincial delegation of the Beverage and
Liquor Enterprise. Very few bakeries appear because they were already
managed by local administrations.

Ministry of Light Industry: A printing house of the Graphic Arts Enterprise
located in the Jaguey Grande municipality.

Ministry of Transportation: Service centers, gas stations and so forth,
engine and body repair shops, bus transportation base, electro-mechanical
shops, the line of bus terminals, ANCHAR [National Revolutionary Taxi
Drivers Association] bases and taxi stands, and the support units the
ministry currently directs and manages--excepting railroad transport and
highway, passenger and freight interprovincial transportation, and the
support units connected with those activities--as well as most of the
personnel who work at the ministry's directive branches.

Communications Ministry: All postal, telegraph and press offices, the
(?ECOQUIN), and the support units currently directed and administered by
the ministry--excepting the center for distributing correspondence--as well
as all the personnel working in the postal, telegraph, press office at the
various directive and administrative branches of the ministry. The
activities and units of the telephone and radio services will continue
under the direction and administration of the central organization.

The National Agriculture-Livestock Development: These activities and units
currently directed and administered by the provincial Department for
Acqueducts and Sewers of the Urban Hydrological Office, and all the
personnel working in that department at its various branches.

Farm and Social Building Development: The barns and accessory units built
at Camariocas.

Ministry of Public Health: All units and activities currently directed and
administered by the ministry, including the training of intermediate-level
technicians, as well as all the personnel working at the various directive
branches of the ministry. In other words, the administration of all the
hospitals in the province is turned over to the people's government.

Children's Institute: All child-care centers and support units currently
directed by the institute, as well as all the personnel working at its
directive branches.

National Agrarian Reform Institute: Department of Collecting of Tubers,
Fruits and Vegetables. All centers and subcenters for collection, and
support units currently directed and administered by the institute, as well
as all the personnel working in that activity at the various centers of the

Agricultural and Livestock Transportation: At present transportation and
support units are used to gather tubers, fruit and vegetables, as well as
the personnel required for the operation, direction and administration of
those who work in the various directive branches of the agency.

Agricultural and Livestock Groups: A fruit cannery, an acqueduct, it source
of supplies and six power stations in San Pedro de Mayabon; three grain
mills in Maximo Gomez, and an ice plant in Martin.

National Coordination of Local Administrations: All the units and
activities it now directs and manages, as well as all personnel working in
various directive branches of this agency.

Ministry of Justice; The urban reform offices and the activities they

All told, the national coordination of local administration is transferred
to the people's governments. In other words, the units which now fall under
the local administrations. There are 2,900 production and service units;
265 units in the Ministry of Public Health; 18 units in the Cuban Book
Institute; 84 units in the Ministry of Domestic Trade, because the
remaining shops were in the hands of the local administrations; 232 units
in the Ministry of Transportation; 117 in the Cuban Institute of Motion
Picture Arts and Industry; 145 units in the National Institute for Sports,
Physical Education, and Recreation; 1,115 in the Ministry of Education; 41
units in the Children's Institute; 43 units in the National
Agricultural-Livestock Development [DAP] urban hydrology; 470 units in the
National Institute of Tourism; 77 units in the Ministry of Communications;
34 units in the National Cultural Council; 13 units in Agricultural and
Livestock Transportation; 8 in the Ministry of the Food Industry; 1 unit in
the Ministry of Light Industry; 42 units in the National Institute for
Agrarian Reform; 2 units in the Cuban Broadcasting Institute; 10 units in
the Farm and Social Building Development [DESA]. For the entire province a
total of 5,597 production and service units are being transferred to the
people's governments. [applause]

The essential criterion is as follows: All the production and service units
which work for the community, that is, for the locality, must be
transferred to the locality. [applause] I repeat: All the production and
service units which work for the municipality will be transferred to the
municipality; those which work for the region will be transferred to the
region; those which work for the province will be transferred to the
province; and those which work for the nation will remain in the hands of
the nation, in other words, the central organizations.

This means that the schools, clinics, shops, stores, maintenance shops,
cinemas, and recreation centers, all these units will be taken over by the
administration of the people's governments of each locality. The cinemas
will no longer be centrally managed from Havana without anyone having
authority over a local cinema; no commerce, no school will be managed
centrally without anyone in the community being involved in the school.
Thus, this is the principle; it depends upon the services it provides: Does
it work for municipality, does it work for the region, does it work for the
province, does it work for the entire country. The sugar mills work for the
entire country; the mines, the large mines, work for the entire country;
the merchant fleet works for the entire country; the banks work for the
whole country; the fishing fleet works for the whole country, the railways
work for the entire country; the large interprovincial carriers work for
the entire country. But local transportation works for the locality; a taxi
stand in a small town, or in a city works for the people of that community.

And all of you understand perfectly the criterion that is involved: The
state is one, but the revolutionary state must manage everything because
the private owners are no longer there. The people are the owners and the
people's state must manage it all now. [applause]

We were saying that the state is one; However, the state organizes at the
various levels, and it provides administration at various levels. This, of
course, does not mean that in each locality or community will do what it
likes with the school, the hospital, the shops, that i can increase or
lower prices, increase or lower salaries, change the class schedules, or
set prices at random. No. We repeat that the state is one, and all these
activities must be standardized, and must be alike in all localities. They
will have to be alike throughout the country.

This does not mean that a hospital will do something in one locality that
is different from another, or a province will do something different from
another province. No. It will all be the same. They will carry out their
functions to provide health to the people according to certain definite
methods, according to absolutely standardized activities. The functions of
the central agencies with regard to the activities administered by the
people's government are being decided and established. No one is worried
that the hospitals will get worse, the hospital an be improved, because
sometimes there is a shortage of personnel.

There is no [word indistinct]. For example there may be some shortcomings.
Maintenance and other things are necessary, and now the locality cannot do
anything because it is not administered by the locality. Now the local
people's government will have charge of everything that happens at that
hospital--how it functions, if it has the necessary personnel, how services
are rendered, how it is maintained and operates, everything.

Now the community cannot be aloof to how the hospital functions. The
community is attended by the hospital, but it has nothing to do with how
the hospital functions--with the polyclinic, those who attend it, or if
anything is wrong or irregular. In other words, the people of the community
cannot support the functioning of that service installation.

Relations between the state's central organization and the people's
government, in essence, in synthesis, these powers are:

1. [only number given]--On standards procedures, and methodological
principles for standardizing the activities of the field, and determine
standards in cases that warrant it; establish, modify or channel (?the
means) for establishing or modifying prices and rates;

Establish the necessary methodological means for establishing standards for
the utilization of raw materials, materials and so forth--or in specific
cases, the direct establishment of standards in their field; establish the
necessary methodological means for establishing standards for the
utilization of fuels, electric power and so forth, in that field; establish
the necessary methodological means for establishing standards for the
utilization of equipment and installations--or in specific cases, directly
establishing the standards; establish the specific methodological means or
mechanisms for controlling inventories within their field; establish the
necessary methodological means for drafting the system of costs at the
units of their field, in keeping with the registry system that has been

Establish the methodology for keeping the registry accounts of the registry
system in the units of their field which, once approved, cannot be altered
without the organization's authorization; establish the necessary
methodology evaluating the personnel; establish the requirements for the
occupation of the various directive posts and specialized
functions--according to the posts in their field of activity; establish or
take part in the establishment of standards of work in their field; orient
the discussion of the wage policy in their field; supervise and inspect the
fulfillment of all regulations established within their powers and

Technical Advice:

Provide technical advice, at the initiative of the central organizations,
and at the request of the organs of the people's government, for projects
of new investments--once they are concluded, the state organizations will
evaluate them, insuring the integral technological development of their
field; provide technical advice in all matter for which the province lacks
sufficient elements.

Training of specialized cadres and placement of technical personnel:

Establish the policy for training cadres in their jurisdictional field;
and, at the national level incorporate into studies abroad the personnel
that the administrative sector proposes--in keeping with the existing
standards and methodology--or, the personnel selected by the central
organization in cases of qualified technical personnel under its

Exercise the methodological direction over courses for developing and
training personnel of the units of their field in the province and approve
plans. Central organizations that have available specialized technical
personnel that are still centrally distributed throughout the country, will
place them with the people's government, which will pertinently relocate
them. However, the central organization will maintain the decision to
rotate those personnel in accordance with national criteria.

Research and Experimentation:

Methodologically direct and regulate the research and experimentation
activity of their field, orienting the participation of the province in
matters that make it necessary for that activity to be carried out
centrally; and also providing advice and support wherever it is necessary
for research and experimentation to be conducted with the resources of the
province, as a result of its initiative, with the guidance from the central

Definitions and Statistics:

Establish the methodology for receiving of data through the statistical
information system;

Request the delivery of data necessary for drawing up national plans, and
to make national statistics uniform; draw up and outline, up to the
provincial level, the technical-economic plan for their field, and orient
the work of the administrative divisions of the people's government in this

In cases of deficits in allocations of the province's resources, the
central organizations will maintain the power to muster resources outside
the province whenever and so long as it becomes necessary for the
province's economy.

We have read you some of the general standards that will govern the
relations between the central organizations and the people's governments.
Do not be dismayed at the technical nature of those standards. It is no
easy thing to become accustomed to that. And some of us never become
accustomed. Nonetheless, in actual practice, in exercising the functions of
the people's governments, they will gradually grasp the full sense of these

This is why it is so important to study. This is why the schooling level is
so important. But of course no one, not even the one who has only a sixth
grade schooling, should be dismayed. From the outset his duty will be to
strive to study and improve himself if he is not among this or that percent
who are studying.

Nevertheless, we feel sure that in a practical way he will understand the
functioning of these guidelines. They mean that the central organizations
are not being completely cut off. The Ministry of Public Health is not
being entirely cut off from the functioning of the hospitals. These general
principles precisely regulate the functions the ministry will have with
respect to the hospitals; what the Education [Ministry] will have with
respect to the schools.

A higher phase is coming. Each central organization will conclude specific
agreements with the people's governments regarding the means by which their
relations will be governed. In other words, all relations between the
central organizations and the people's governments will be regulated by
detailed agreements that will be made. Such agreements are not being made
now with [Castro changes thought] They are not enacted into laws. For,
since the issue is to take advantage of the experience, we want to act on
the basis of agreements. This is so that when this experiment, this form,
this process, is applied to the entire country we can enact the pertinent
laws to regulate those relations.

This is highly important, because the organizations of the people's
government must now learn to administer the entire unit correctly, with
full administrative powers, plus simultaneously knowing how to comply with
all the standards governing the functioning of those centers [not further
described] and their activities.

You now have a very heavy responsibility. Your responsibility is two-fold:
to exercise these functions, and try to do so in the best way possible. For
it is from the results of the experience that we must draw the conclusions
as to how we should apply this to all the rest of the country.

This does not mean that some of these guidelines are unchangeable. In other
words, precisely in the light of this experience, changes can be made in
the future.

Now you are taking over the people's governments in the municipalities, in
the provinces a total of 5,597 production and service units. Those abroad
who are interested--and of course many persons in good faith are
interested--in these matters, will see the enormous and broad significance
of the organization of the people's governments in the Matanzas Province
and in the forms of state which we seek to organize.

What shall we do now? What are the responsibilities of everyone? They
assume responsibility for the administration of all the centers and units.
It is necessary to keep certain didactic principles in mind. First of all:
to fight for the maximum savings of natural and human resources; to account
strictly for everything, down to the last penny; to seek maximum economic
efficiency; to avoid bureaucracy. Let us keep the municipalities from being
filled with offices, let us avoid competition with the labor force. From
the beginning let us avoid any tendency toward localism or regionalism
[applause] at the municipal, regional or provincial level, because the
situation of all localities, of all towns, are not exactly the same. There
are rich municipalities and poor municipalities with regard to the
country's resources for equitable distribution, according to circumstances.

We must never forget that the republic is one and indivisible; that it is
organized and not anarchic, socialist and not capitalistic. [applause] We
have obligations to the community and to the entire nation to maintain
discipline and a spirit of obedience to the general rules governing every

Now objectively you will encounter many difficulties. Our requirements are
many and of all sorts: housing aqueducts, motion picture houses, schools,
child-care centers, everything. If you make any inventory you will see that
many things are needed everywhere.

We cannot start from the utopia, from the idealism that suddenly--because
of the fact that the people's governments have been established--these
problems can be resolved overnight. The country's resources are few.
Construction material is particularly scarce We are well aware of all that
you could to with the energy of the community if you had all these
resources available. At present the country is working in order to have
more cement, more goods, more construction material of all kinds, more
lumber. We are working on a project to convert bagasse into lumber by a
physiochemical process which yields boards suitable for furniture.

At present we are in the process of increasing all our material resources,
but for the moment we do not have them. The country's total cement
production--some 2 million tons-- is totally committed. The new increases
will appear in 1976, but still there will be a number of general demands
that will use up the 1976 increased cement production, and not until 1978
will the country have an abundant quantity of cement. After 1978 I believe
we shall have at least all the cement we need. We shall have construction
materials, but this will be gradual because the plants cannot be built in a
year. From the time the decisions are made, the plans are drawn up, the
contracts are arranged, and these plants are constructed a period of at
least 4 years is required.

At the same time I am not saying this to you alone, but to the people of
Matanzas, so that they will understand our situation, and not think that
the people's governments can suddenly perform miracles and can resolve all
these problems at a single blow.

There is another thing: You must work with the available resources assigned
to you. It is not a question of diverting all the resources just because
the experiment is being conducted here. That is not possible. We must meet
the general needs of the country in all the provinces and communities. We
cannot divert all the resources here. We know what can be done because we
are acquainted with the construction capability of the microbrigades, which
have practically come to a standstill because they cannot get all the
material they are able to utilize with their energy in construction.

At this time the country must meet the requirements for important economic
construction: new factories, warehouses, dairies, dams, highways,
irrigation systems, hospitals and secondary schools must be built. The
secondary schools are engaged in a far-reaching program. As you know, the
program is being carried out nationwide. However, it is not enough. Despite
the fact that 175 buildings to house 500 pupils are being constructed, it
is not enough. As I told you before, the projected increase in the student
body on the intermediate level is expected to reach one million students in

Almost 100,000 new students enter the intermediate level each year. They
are children of the workers, who graduate from the sixth grade and are
entering the secondary schools, the polytechnical schools, and the
preuniversity schools, the trade schools, and the military schools. They
are going to study, and the Revolution cannot stand by idly. It cannot send
these children home. The Revolution must educate the young people, and so
it must give priority to the construction of all these schools now.

As you know, these schools are work-oriented. All the schools under
construction are. They are practically work centers: the farm projects, the
industrial projects, everywhere, polytechnical schools are being
established at the sugar mills and in the factories. They are designed to
train all the personnel who will then operate the sugar mills with maximum

But now it is impossible to use the material we need for the intermediate
schools and to build the primary schools. I am certain that there are grade
schools that are old, that are just huts, and are in poor condition.

But at this time, and we say this frankly, educational funds cannot be used
to build primary schools. For, good or bad, they are functioning. However,
we must see to it that they have good teachers, textbooks and material. If
a school is rundown it must be painted. If it is toppling we must repair it
and prevent it from crumbling. And during these years we must do our best
with those schools. Otherwise we interrupt the flow of students entering
the intermediate level, and the country cannot afford that luxury.

We feel sure you understand that perfectly. [applause] The time, the hour,
will come for the primary schools--the time will come when we can build all
we feel like.

Understand that well. And it will be like now, when we are building more
intermediate- level schools than was ever dreamed of in Cuba.

It is a fact. Let me give you an example: Every year we are building four
items more intermediate-level classroom space than was built during the 55
years before the triumph of the Revolution. [applause] I repeat, four more
times per year than the entire space built before the Revolution. That is
an impressive thing, no less. But then the growth of our youth and student
mass is also impressive, and we must cope with that. That explains why we
must focus our attention on that and stay with our present [primary]
schools, because we lack the resources--above all, maintain and repair them
and maintain their sanitation conditions.

You also realize that at times the environment can be changed a little with
just a little, and gain time. I assure you that the day will come when we
can build all the primary schools we want, and as splendid as the one in

At present we build primary schools where new villages are built, in new
districts. Whenever children are going to live we build a new school. But
to meet the needs that have accumulated, we have not given that [school]
program any priority. Nor have we the resources to do so.

We also realize the big need for child-care centers--in all the provinces.
We still have limited resources for child-care centers, and yet our
economic development makes the centers exigent so mothers can work and the
centers can care for the children. Then too the centers could function when
the women go to circles and can carry out many activities which men now
deny them. [applause] We have not forgotten about the child-care centers.
At present there are only two brigades buildings centers in Havana, but
next year there will be four. Moreover, in 1976 we will have 24 brigades
building them. We cannot make everything we need, but we have a start.

So too we realize our need for schools for retarded and handicapped
children. We greatly regret that the country still lacks schools for
children that face various difficulties--special schools. In 1976, we will
form some brigades to build those schools. And we also realize the need for
homes for the aged. In 1976, we will have some brigade for building such

But I repeat, it will not be until 1978 when we will cope with those
needs--coupled with the need for housing--very energetically. We know our
present housing needs. And, though we are building some 25,000 units, that
is not enough. That is only one-third of what we need to start with.
Nonetheless, the government is taking steps to tackle the housing need with
all the necessary energy, in order to begin resolving the problems.

I explain these things because with your obligations and responsibilities
you will find the need to make decisions, and face requests. I do this so
the masses can realize those realities and so you too can realize them.
That is very important. But I must say that you cannot shirk answering a
citizen who wants or requests something. You must answer him honestly and
candidly; explain if action can or cannot be taken. No one must ever be

Then too at all production and service centers--above all services, because
you will have charge of many centers--you must develop habits of
attentatively and even splendidly treating the public. [applause] That is
fundamental. You will now be able to observe that every production and
service unit in the country does not belong to anyone in particular. They
belong to the people, to each and every one of you.

If those centers function well, you will benefit. And now, with you
directing things, you will have the chance to do a lot, to do much, to do
the utmost for them to function well. Naturally, the management of all
those centers must improve. Why? Because many persons would have to fall
down on the job for them to function badly.

At present if the Health Ministry fails, the Health Ministry official in
the province or other area has failed. But henceforth if a polyclinic is
doing badly, it will be because the municipality, the region, the province,
and even the Health Ministry failed-- because it too is dutybound to see to
it that those centers function well, though it does not administer
them--and, finally, because the party at the regional, provincial, and
national level failed. In other words, a number of persons must fail for a
polyclinic or a school to function badly.

All of your delegates will attend seminars where all this will be explained
to you carefully, much better than I am doing.

We re touching upon this topic because it is of interest to you, of
interest to all the people of Matanzas, and is of interest to the entire
country which is closely following the Matanzas process. You will receive a
detailed and thorough explanation of the whole thing, which will help you
to function perfectly in your posts. I insist on those general principles
which are important to keep in mind, for it is necessary to develop maximum
cooperation among all--between the municipality and the region, between the
region and the province, and between the province and the central

Socialism cannot be built without subjection to rules, or to methods, or
without coordination among all and at all times, or without the cooperation
of all. For instance, a good example of cooperation is the chairs on which
you are seated, because last night those chairs were at the Havana
carnival. Today they are here at the commemoration of the Matanzas event,
[applause] and tomorrow night they will again be in Havana. A chair could
not be exploited any more than that. [applause] If you take care of
them--and the residents of Havana take care of them, and those who
transport them and those who tie them up and those who store them and those
who accomplish the maintenance all take care of them--we will be able to
have chairs for a long time, using them in the best possible way. This is a
good example of cooperation between these two provinces. Unfortunately, our
country does not have enough chairs to have some at the carnival, in
Matanzas, here, there, and everywhere. And the chairs have to moved from
place to place. So there you have a good example of cooperation.

We repeat that you will have seminars soon about all this. Therefore, we
have no doubt that you will be capable of assuming the responsibilities
invested in you by the Revolution and the people.

Now then, this is not only a matter of the issue of centralization and
decentralization. It is not just a matter of having the municipal property
in the municipality and so on, up to the nation. This mandate involves a
revolutionary step in practice and theory that is very important. These are
the steps which must lead us to the definitive institutionalization of the
Cuban socialist state. The Revolutionary Government is a provisional
government. What does this mean? The revolutionary power had to be taken.
The Revolution had to be started. And since the only way this could be done
was by taking over the state and forming a Revolutionary Government, the
power of the state was taken over and the Revolutionary Government was
formed, and the Revolution was begun. But this provisional character has
already lasted 15 years. It is necessary to start thinking about the
definitive shape which the Cuban socialist state will have. And, of course,
this state must be formed upon strictly democratic, truly democratic
bases--because this criterion, applied to the municipality, to the region,
to the province, will later be extended to the entire country and will also
be applied on a national level. In the same way in which the regional,
municipal and provincial powers have been constituted, so will the central
powers of the country be formed. That is, the national government. in
exactly the same way: the delegates will be elected by the electoral
districts, and they will elect the regional delegates and these same
delegates will elect the provincial ones, and they will elect the delegates
to the national popular power. And in the same way the Executive Committee
is formed, in the future the National Executive Committee will be formed,
that is, the national government.

All this must really be well studied so that afterward our institutions
won't have to be modified, that instead we construct them solidly. And all
this goes hand in hand with the constitutional forms of the country, with
the definite constitution of the country.

You know that we are entering a period of intense legality. Revolution and
revolutionaries are thought of together because they destroy all laws--the
laws of the oppressors, of the exploiters, of those who have dominated. But
together with destroying the law, often there is a parallel development,
the inclination not to respect any law. And revolution means destroying the
old social order and all old laws that rule a society and substituting new
laws. This means that the destructive spirit of the old law must be
replaced with a spirit of discipline and obedience to the new law.

Enemies of the old laws and bulwarks of the new--this is what
revolutionaries must be.

Socialist legality is indispensable and the more we organize ourselves, the
more we develop the revolution, the more it will be necessary to create in
the minds of the people the habit...the knowledge of the law and the habit
of obedience and respect for the law. Therefore, this will allow us, even
in the revolutionary process, to achieve medium-range but very definite
goals. Even now, the Party congress for next year is being planned.
[applause] You know what the Party's role is in accordance with the
principles of Marxism-Leninism, which rule and direct society, and the
principles of the state. But the Party does not administer the state. The
state must be administered by the masses through their organizations of
popular power. The Party has other functions. As Marxists-Leninists we
believe in the principle of the Party's indispensability, of the Party's
highest quality and authority, and at the same time we believe in the need
of the state to carry the revolution forward as a tool of the
revolutionaries toward socialism and communism. Therefore, the Party and
the state cannot be overlooked or ignored. But the Party--as we have said
before--is a vanguard, a selection, and we hope that the most advanced, the
most revolutionary members of society will be part of it. It is a place of
work and of sacrifice.

During the latter half of next year we will hold the party congress. When
the party congress is held, we want--and we ask you--to be able to evaluate
the result of our experience and your work [applause] so that the party
congress an evaluate all this experience and be in a position to make a
decision applying this experience to some national process. Of course it is
a firm goal of the party to carry this process forward. But will it have
all the necessary elements needed to know how to do it? To know how this
principle must be applied throughout the rest of the country? If that is
the case we would make up our minds that by 1976 we will have established
this same process throughout the rest of the country--a process enriched by
experience--and, in accordance with these principles, create that year the
definite shape of the Cuban socialist state. [applause]

As for the Province of Matanzas--aside from this process, aside from this
experience--concerning its prospects we want to say that the most limiting
factor of Matanzas' future development is its human resources, the
availability of a work force. Magazines and newspapers recently have
published what the Revolution has done these last few years in Matanzas
Province and certainly there have been many things. However, in reality we
still feel it is too little. But what hinders greater development in
Matanzas? Its work force. Some of the work done in Matanzas has even
required the use of workers from other provinces: the southern freeway, the
Canasi dam, some basic secondary schools. That is why we liked so much a
slogan we read in the paper written by Comrade Rizo, which spoke of turning
the Matanceros into the most productive men and women in all of Cuba.

In truth, this is necessary. Regarding sugarcane, it is necessary to
mechanize the entire process soon. This will allow us to free human
resources for other activities. But, we need strength to build
factories--if we want to build new factories. And we need a work force to
make these factories run. That is why labor productivity is so necessary.
That is why we warned about bureaucratization; about not overextending
payrolls, about not overburdening payrolls, because any man who is
unnecessarily employed in a certain position is one less man who will serve
a useful need. That is why we must be very clear about not misusing human

We said that construction opportunities are limited by the availability of
materials, but someday we will have greater construction potentials. The
moment will come when we must seriously tackle many of the things that
hinder us today. We need the work force, and in order to have it we must
know how to save it. And some of the brigades that must be organized in the
province--at least one for 1976, for the beginning of 1976, end of 1975,
one for hospitals, according to the estimate of the number of hospitals
that must be built in Matanzas. At least 12 child day care centers must be
built, 4 hotels must be built. Is this because hotels have priority over
hospitals? No. The hospitals have priority over the hotels. But why four
hotels? Because you are the possessors of that extraordinary natural
resource of Cuba, Varadero Beach. [applause] And the province now has two
important agricultural plans, the critic plan of Giron and the genetic
grouping plan of Matanzas. And these are important plans which I really
believe are going to contribute to the economic development of this
province. The citric plan is probably the largest in the world. The natural
conditions of the place are being taken advantage of--the soil that was
underutilized, the underground water--to build the largest citric
plantation in the entire world. This plantation is the result of labor by
student workers, that is the rural schools, the universities in the field.
Thanks to this human resource we are able to develop this critic plan.

The genetic plan is being developed partly with the support of the regional
work force and partly with resources of the province. This proves that new
construction resources should be found. Aside from that, there are the rice
plans, the other cattle plans of the province, the poultry, pork and, of
course, the vegetable and sugarcane plans that cannot be forgotten for a
moment. But we must take into our Matancero hands--I call myself a
Matancero--[applause] we must take into our Matancero hands--with the aid
of the country, of course, the job of developing Varadero--for this is a
gold mine that the country has--for the enjoyment first of the Cubans; to
develop Varadero for the enjoyment of the Cuban people. And in the future
if circumstances require, and if the decision is made--since we Cubans do
not bathe in the sea during a certain part of the year--we could use it
also for tourists. This is a possibility, a resource that the country has.
But we believe that Varadero is its third important plan. And we must begin
to develop it because we have not had the work force (?especially since
1966). And we have to start thinking about where we will get the work force
to do all of this.

Of course, you have important construction programs. You are building high
schools, day care centers, polytechnical schools; you are building the
Matanzas school for primary teachers. A site has been selected and the
earth is being moved for the school of physical education. These will be
built there and will free a number of houses in Veradero. Plans also call
for building a school for physical education teachers. A magnificent
stadium is being constructed, for the size of your population--which is the
largest in Cuba with 60,000 inhabitants--and you will have 25,000 seats

Let us see if you will fill it up. We hope you will not disgrace the
sponsors of the stadium and that you will fill it up--when there is reason
to fill it up, of course. Yes, a magnificent stadium is being built. The
streets of Matanzas need to be repaired; another bridge must be built; and
a I am referring only to the city itself. In general, you have a program of
development that is constructive, interesting, broad, but in our judgment
of course this is not enough. We see that they are about to begin to build
the first 12-story building in Matanzas. It will mean Matanzas is going to
lose its village appearance, which it sometimes has, just like the city of
Santa Clara which has already begun to have tall buildings.

Land must be saved because we need it for growing food. We must grow upward
and construct tall buildings. We see that the microbrigades are advancing;
there is some industrial construction; however, there is not enough. It is
necessary for the population of Matanzas to prepare for an even more rapid
development. And the needed resources can only be obtained through a
rational use of labor, through the full use of human resources in a manner
that is rational and judicious in order to obtain maximum productivity.

But to this militant, enthusiastic, revolutionary province we say, as we
once told Oriente: Oriente will have everything it is capable of using. We
also tell Matanzas: Matanzas will have for its development plans all that
the province is capable of constructing and all that it has the capacity to
use. [applause]

Comrades, I have been a little lengthy and I would like to end. I can
assure you of one thing: that I cannot remember it having rained during
even one 26 July celebration. Nature has cooperated with us. Twenty-one
years have passed since the attack on Moncada Barracks on 26 July 1953.
Something has been achieved. We have taken an important step forward. We
have created the convictions we have today. We have created a tremendous
political firmness based on the efforts, sacrifices and sweat of our
people, and defended by members of our Revolutionary Armed Forces.
[applause] In brief, we have conquered the future. We have become the
masters of our future and we will have the future that we are able to
create ourselves. We see then, that in the first few years of the
Revolution the main task was to survive. But in the last few years the
Revolution has come to involve not only survival but advancements, to
build, to develop. That future is entirely in our hands.

Of course, the future is not easy for any country, not even with a
revolution. That is, the path will not be an easy one, because the path
will not be easy. There always will be great difficulties, but we have
already faced great difficulties, as in the case of the blockade and the
U.S. aggression. And these did not prevent the consolidation and progress
of the Revolution. There are subjective problems--our country is not rich;
our country has to earn its bread from agriculture, from sugarcane, which
involves hard work. Our country has had to start from a point of very great
poverty, of great ignorance, but it has a broad path ahead.

One of the main tasks is, and always will be, to prepare the new
generations--to give increasingly more attention to youth, to the pioneers;
to give them a pure and solid conscience, a deep awareness of their duty to
the fatherland and to humanity [applause] and a continuous and continuing
awareness of the sacrifices that were made to conquer the present.
[applause] We have to prepare these new generations for the world of the
future, which will not be an easy one, because the contradictions between
the developed capitalist countries and the developing countries are growing
more acute.

The crisis of the world's capitalist economies is growing more acute. We
have a great task ahead of us, one of integration with our Latin American
brothers--of union, because some day we will have to form part of a great
Latin American community, presupposing revolution, of course.

Our most important natural resource is our people and they must be prepared
for the future. And when we review the starting points of this generation
from 1953 to today, when we feel a certain satisfaction and some
encouragement from the road already traveled and the successes achieved,
this should serve above all as a stimulus for us to look forward to the
future and to work for the future of our people and for the future of
humanity. This is the most equitable conclusion we should come to after
reviewing all these years.

Never before we have had such complete confidence that our people will
march successfully, victoriously forward. There will be no obstacle, no
difficulty they cannot overcome. This is a magnificent people, and you
people of Matanzas in these months and days have demonstrated this by your
inexhaustible supply of enthusiasm, energy, cooperation and revolutionary
spirit. [applause] Your attitude strengthens our confidence of the
Revolution. For this reason, comrades of the Matanzas party, comrades of
the popular organizations, men and women comrades, men and women residents
of Matanzas, we congratulate you for the brilliant work you have done in
this revolutionary task of forming the popular power of Matanzas. And we
urge you to continue working and struggling with the same enthusiasm,
energy and tenacity and with the same faith in the future.

Eternal glory to the heroes who fell on 26 July and to all who gave their
lives to the fatherland both before and after the 26th!  Fatherland or
death!  We shall triumph!  [applause]