Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Youth Labor Army Anniversary Celebrated

Havana GRANMA in Spanish 12 Aug 74 p 1

[Text] "We are able to announce here today that the decisive factor
promoting the accomplishment of our production pledge was the revolutionary
awareness of the enlisted men, NCO's, and officers of the Youth Labor
Army," said Brigade Commander Oscar Fernandez Mell.

The vice-minister and commander in chief of the Youth Labor Army and Party
Central Committee member made this statement in delivering the closing
address at the national ceremony commemorating the first anniversary of the
establishment of the EJT [Youth Labor Army] held Saturday night in the
"Lazaro Pena" Theater auditorium of the CTC [Central Organization of Cuban
Workers], thus marking the high point of the activities honoring the
members of that institution.

During the ceremony, which was broadcast and telecast throughout the
country, a congratulatory message sent to the EJT by Commander-in-Chief
Fidel Castro was read along with another one from Lima, capital of Peru, by
Division Commander Raul Castro, minister of the FAR [Revolutionary Armed

In addition to expressing their satisfaction with achievements during these
first 12 months of existence of the EJT, Fidel and Raul exhorted the
members of the army to continue on their successful way.

"We want to tell you," said Fidel, "about the pride of our Revolution in
having, in the EJT, a seasoned vanguard, the solid cement for socialist
construction, and a powerful shield always ready to defend the fatherland."

The EJT was created on 3 August of last year in the province of Camaguey
through the merger of the Centennial Youth Column and the Permanent
Infantry Divisions (DIP) of the FAR (FAR Labor Units).

The commemorative event was presided over by Jorge Risquet Valdes, member
of the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee, and it was also
addressed by Luis Orlando Dominguez, first secretary of the UJC [Union of
Young Communists].

The head table also included brigade commanders Oscar Fernandez Mell,
Fernando Vecino Alegret, and Abelardo Colome, as well as Corvette Commander
Aldo Santamaria, all of them vice-ministers of the FAR; other commanders
and officers; Jose R. Machado Ventura, first secretary of the party in
Havana and other members of the Party Central Committee; ministers and
government officials, representatives of mass organizations and other
invited guests.

The evening began with the national anthem and then Luis Orlando Dominguez,
first secretary of the UJC, delivered the opening address.

After that the trophies were awarded to the country's most outstanding EJT
units. The honor pennant was received for Oriente by Major Enrique Espinosa
Licea; for Camaguey by Pablo Guerrero; for Las Villas by Pedro Depreste
Alonso; for Matanzas by Sergeant Rafael Veliz; for Havana by Major Alcides
Garcia Anaya; and for Pinar del Rio by Captain Ernestino Sotero Garcia.

A highly moving moment came with the award of a diploma to the young,
20-year old fighting man Ramon Lores Rodriguez, three times a National Hero
of Labor who received it from the hands of Jorge Risquet in the name of the
first 550 young Vanguardsmen of the EJT.

Lores Rodriguez, from Los Indios de Cabana, in Sagua de Tanamo, Oriente,
received the award likewise as representative of the 24 national labor
heroes and the 112 harvest heroes which this young paramilitary institution
has; the institution is under the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed
Forces and is subordinated to the minister of the FAR.

The closing address was delivered by Brigade Commander Oscar Fernandez
Mell, vice-minister and commander in chief of the EJT and Party Central
Committee member.

The commemoration of the first anniversary of the EJT, which was attended
by military attaches and other members of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as
representatives of the various armies of Cuba, culminated with a
warmly-applauded artistic-cultural performance presented by young fighting
men of the amateur movement of the institution in collaboration with the CN
[National Council of Culture] and technicians from the CTC Theater.