Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Address by Fidel Castro

FL052323Y Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 2025 GMT 5 Dec 78 FL

[Speech of President Fidel Castro at main commemoration of builders' day
held at the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes thermoelectric plant in

[Text] Dear Comrade builders.  We are meeting at this simple but important
event to commemorate builders' day and we do it alongside an important
project which symbolizes others in various locations in the country which
have been completed this year.  We do it in a province and in a city which,
along with this one, inaugurates several projects.

Why has Cienfuegos chosen to commemorate builders' day in this province?
Of course, Cienfuegos does not get all the credit because there are
builders here from several central provinces of the country.  And there are
builders here even from the eastern provinces.  Just recently a good number
of reinforcements arrived from the eastern provinces.  But without question
the spirit of the people of Cienfuegos has contributed a lot to this honor
of being the site of the commemoration.  I have brought along some figures,
forgive me if I bore you a little with these figures.  In any case I am
only going to refer to some of the figures I have here, but they are
construction figures of interest to you and of interest to the whole

Within the country's construction plan Cienfuegos has a broad investment
plan, which makes it one of provinces with the greatest development
intensity and continuity.  In 1978 projects of major importance have been
completed for the national economy, such as unit number three of the Carlos
Manuel de Cespedes thermoelectric plant, which has brought 169 mw to the
energy plan, the wheat mill with a capacity of 600 tons per day, an IMS
[housing components enterprise prefab construction system] housing unit
plant with a capacity for 1,500 housing units per year.  In all, up to
today this province has completed 38 projects and 9 more will be completed
by the end of the year, making a total of 47 projects completed this year.

These projects are:  One Camilo Cienfuegos military-vocational school, one
IMS housing plant, one ice plant, two sand washers [lavadora de arena], two
urban secondary basic schools, two rural secondary basic schools in coffee
zones, one dormitory at the "Cinco de Septiembre" technological school, one
semi-boarding school--La Sierrita--five child care centers, two
polyclinics, five sports gymnasiums, four commercial centers, one general
cargo wharf, three regular dairy farms, one 820-line telephone center, unit
number three of the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes thermoelectric plant, the
wheat mill, the Sugar Ministry--MINAZ--combined shop of diesel locomotive
engines, two sugarcane collection and processing stations, and one
fertilizer warehouse.

Projects to be completed by the end of the year:  One 630-bed
clinical-surgical hospital, one combined sprinkler irrigation plant with a
capacity of 9,000 km of tubing, one 180-child capacity child care center,
two regular dairy farms, one breeding center, one supermarket in the area
of O'Bourke, one number three wharf for citrus, and one CADM [expansion
unknown] warehouse.

From 1970 to today, Cienfuegos has shown a progressive growth year by year
in the construction center.  From almost 7 million produced in 1970, 1978
ends with more than 110 million pesos produced.  That is, construction in
this province has grown some 15 times over the last 8 years.  During this
same period the sector's work force has grown 4.5 times.  In 1970 there
were 3,572 builders.  Today, 14,614 workers have been incorporated, without
counting new workers, among them the 1,000 from the eastern provinces.
productivity of 1,786 pesos per worker in 1970 is already more than 7,561
pesos.  That is the value of construction has grown by around 15 times and
the number of workers has grown 4.5 times.  I am not going to read... I am
only going to say that from 1970 to 1978 221 projects have been completed
in the province.  They are:  61 industrial projects, 49 school projects, 40
social projects and 7 hydraulic projects.  [figures as heard]  This, in
general, is what we have built, but we are also building in Cienfuegos.  We
are building the largest cement plant in the country.  Next year the first
line will already be ready--how about that--next year.  [applause]  [He
turns to someone on the podium who says something to him]  There are two
lines, one in May and another in October, and the last one in March 1978
[he corrects himself] in 1980, March 1980.  They have pledged this and we
are sure that they will fulfill this in the same way as was done by the
builders of this unit.  [applause]  To complete this unit on that date
despite the fact that this pledge was made in April, at the beginning of
April, at which time there was a 3-month delay.  And despite the
difficulties, which we had in soldering, the question of argon,
nevertheless they finished ahead of the pledge by several days.

Despite delays and difficulties with foreign supplies, the workers of the
irrigation industry are fulfilling their obligations.  The workers of the
wheat mill have also fulfilled their pledge.  [applause]  All those pledges
were made in April.  We cannot forget such an important factory as the one
for prefabricated dwellings of the IMS system whose workers have also
fulfilled their pledge.  [applause]  At the same time some 400 dwellings
have been built.  They are not many; we need many more.  The 600-bed
hospital is almost completed; it will be finished by December.  [applause]
It will be the first to be completed of the first 10 we started.  It will
improve extraordinarily the hospital situation in Cienfuegos Province.  It
now has one 280-bed hospital.  That hospital will later become a maternity
hospital and this one will be a general hospital.  It is something very
good for Cienfuegos Province to have that hospital completed, which we have
been told is a magnificent project.

Well, we could say that all this is nothing.  In addition to the cement
plant, which is a tremendous project, we have to--before I go into this
topic--finish this unit, the second unity of 169 mw which the workers are
planning to complete by 20 July.  Is that clear?  [applause]  I said that
this is nothing [Castro chuckles], we still have a few large projects to
start here, among them or in the first place, the nuclear power plant,
which will have production capacity of nearly 100 mw and which will be the
first industry of this type to be built in the country.

I have been told it is a difficult and hard construction project.  In
reality, I ask myself if there is anything serious--well, everything is
serious for you--but I ask myself if there is anything hard, difficult or
impossible for the Cienfuegos construction workers.  [crowd yells "no" and

In the future an oil refinery will have to be built, possibly other
chemical industries such as fertilizer, which will be very important
industries for the economy.  I must mention that the province's sugar mill
is under construction.  So there are many projects to be built.  I imagine
that someday in the future the first unit of the nuclear power plant will
be inaugurated with the same enthusiasm as today.

Among the initial figures of the draft project for the period 1981-1985,
Cienfuegos Province will assimilate 15 percent of the total program of
industrial construction projects.  It will only be surpassed by Holduin,
which will have 36 percent of the plan.  This is due to the fact that the
bulk of the nickel plants and iron and steel industry will be located
there.  This growth, this development of Cienfuegos, will generate the
construction of many dwellings and other urban projects.  Cienfuegos is
rather small.  The city is rather small.  It now has a population of nearly
100,000 inhabitants.  A number of industries have been assigned to it.

It is not a matter of the central government having granted special
privileges to Cienfuegos, even though Cienfuegos deserves all
considerations.  [applause]  It is a matter--for example--that the raw
materials for the cement plant were here or very near Cienfuegos.
Cienfuegos also has a great port, which is very important, essential when
building a factory such as the fertilizer plant, or when building an oil
refinery.  Cienfuegos is located in the center of the country.  That is
what determined the location of the first nuclear power plant.

The need for having the wheat mill here is precisely because of the port.
That is why many of the industries had to be built here.  They are quite
numerous.  They are many.  We have tried, in making decisions on the
location of industries, not to add any more industries to Cienfuegos.  We
have a program of distribution of industries throughout the country and in
all provinces, preferably in those provinces which have a work-force
surplus, those which have more human resources.  Sometimes the location of
an industry is determined because of a port or raw materials.  At other
times this is not the fundamental factor because the raw material is
imported and an effort is made to make an equitable distribution of all
investments throughout the country.  But these circumstances were the
factor that determined a high, large volume for Cienfuegos.

That is why it became necessary to bring reinforcements, especially from
the eastern provinces.  I have been told that the eastern province workers
are known for their seriousness, discipline, good work and, possibly, they
like Cienfuegos.

This will also require the city's social development, a strong drive for
the construction of dwellings.  That is why it is advantageous to have at
our disposal that IMS system prefabricated factory with a production
potential of 1,500 dwellings.  Thus, year after year the volume of house
construction will increase in Cienfuegos.  More good news which I can give
you today is that the fertilizer plant, which created so many problems due
to reasons beyond our control, is now producing ammonium nitrate and is
maintaining a good production pace.  [applause]

In this industry we are also making investments aimed at solving problems
once and for all and achieving the production that such an important
factory should reach.  I believe that the inauguration of this
thermoelectric unit is important for the entire country.  It is a very
modern unit and economical to operate, which--I repeat--produces 169 mw or
169,000 kw.  You take your pick.

Suffice it to say that just the output of that unit equals half of what
Cuba had prior to the triumph of the revolution.  [applause]  That is to
give you an idea of how the generation of electricity increases and how
much electricity we consume.

Without this basic industry nothing moves.  That includes the cement plant,
the wheat mill, the irrigation equipment factory, the hospital, the
schools, the dairy farms--nothing moves without electricity.  The
technology of this plant is Japanese.  That is why some tens of Japanese
technicians have worked with our workers, giving us advice on the assembly
of the plant.  In tribute to them we must say that they have worked hard
and very efficiently.  [applause]  That is why on this day we express to
them our recognition for the effort made and the enthusiasm with which they
did it, together with our workers, to complete the assembly of this plant.

To give you an idea, let me say this.  These large unites are much more
economical [to operate].  For example, the two units that were here prior
to the revolution--did we talk about that?--I believe there were two small
power plants of 5,000 kw each.  They are still there.  We cannot stop
operating anything.  They burn 400 grams of fuel for every kw-hour, that is
420.  They are American, from the decade of the 40s.  That was all
Cienfuegos had.  The revolution built the first 30,000-kw units of
Czechoslovak technology.  Those plants, which are rather small, burn 294
grams of fuel per kw.  The Czech plant we built in Nuevitas burns 236
grams, that is, the greater the technical efficiency, progress in
technology and higher production rate, the greater the savings in fuel.
That is why the Czechoslovak units of 125,000 kw only burn 236 grams.
These units of 160,000 kw burn 217.5 grams of fuel per kw-hour.  The two
old plants, those of 5,000 kw, burn twice the amount of fuel needed by the
plant we are inaugurating today.  Next to it is a similar one, the other
unit you will start operating next year.  The brigade chief told me that
you will commemorate the 26 July anniversary by inaugurating the second
unit.  [applause]  After observing the progress made in the project,
knowing the determination, quality and honor of the workers of this
brigade, we do not doubt that it will be completed by that date.

Thus, the Cienfuegos thermoelectric power plant will attain a production
potential of 402,000 kw, 402 mw that is, this power plant will have a
production potential greater than all that existed in the country prior to
the revolution.  That is an interesting piece of information.  It is
evident that there and in Mariel great efforts are being made building
additional units.  The same is being done in Nuevitas and in Santiago de
Cuba, building new units.  Thus, it can be said that in the years 1977,
1978, 1979 and 1980 we will complete the construction of units capable of
producing 1,102 mw.  This means that in just 4 years the country will have
double its electricity-producing potential.  But because we use so much the
needs grow.  Since the revolution's triumph needs have grown at a pace of
approximately 10 percent per year and we still have blackouts.  That is why
the efforts in building thermoelectric power plants is so important, so
that we are able to rid ourselves of blackouts as soon as possible, those
blackouts that cause so much trouble to the population.

Since today is builders' day we must talk not only about those who are
directly involved in construction but those who produce the materials.  The
materials industry has made an enormous effort.  During this 5-year period
an investment of nearly 500 million pesos is being made in the construction
materials industry.  The 1978 production plan will be fulfilled by between
97 and 98 percent in the materials industry, with 10-percent growth over
1977.  This branch currently provides employment to 42,300 workers.

That is, the building materials industry has grown at a high rate,
three-and-a-half times between 1970 and 1978.  And productivity has
doubled.  The cement plan for this year will have a completion rate of
between 97 and 98 percent, or, some 30,000 tons more than last year.

But already in 1979 we will have the first line of the Mariel plant in
production, and the second line will also start up.  And the first lines of
the plant in Cienfuegos will start up.  Therefore, our production capacity
of cement will grow considerably.  It will practically double with these
two large plants.

We can now make some comparisons between 1970 and 1978.  Cement:  In 1970
there were 742,000 tons, in 1978 there will be 2,680,000 tons--see how we
have grown in cement [production].  Gravel:  in 1970, 2,913,000 cubic
meters; in 1978, 9,550,000.  Total sand:  in 1970, 1,210,000 cubic meters;
in 1978, 4.6 million.  Concrete:  in 1970, 12,874,000 [presumably cubic
meters]; in 1978, 43 million.  Bricks:  in 1970, 31,289,000 [presumably sq
meters]; in 1978, 80 million.  Floor tile:  134,000 sq meters [in 1970];
[Castro pauses] in 1978, 2,250,000.  Sometimes it is hard to read these
little numbers because every mathematician writes them their own way and
then we have to decipher them.  For all practical purposes there was an
significant production of floor tile in 1970.  This production has grown
between 15 and 20 times.  Mosaics:  in 1970 there was 518,000 sq meters.
In 1978, 2.2 million.  Wood carpentry:  in 1970, 412,000 sq meters; in
1978, 1.7 million.  Bathroom fixtures:  in 1970, 55,000 [measure not
given]; in 1978, 249,000.  Bathroom tile:  in 1970, 17,559,000 [presumably
sq meters].  You all be careful.  One of these times I am going to make a
mistake and will cite a figure...35 .3 33...oh yes, come here Lopito, see
if you can help me because these figures... [Castro then confers with
Lopito and answers him] Yes, this gives me many millions, but ...[Lopito
then says something that is not picked up by the microphones] [laughter
from the crowds]  Well, all right...17,559,000; in 1978, 47 million.
Cement pipes for waterworks; in 1970, 43 km; in 1978, 150.  Cement pipes
for sewer systems:  in 1970, 164; in 1978, 332 km.  This gives one an idea
of how building material production has progressed in 8 years, and of the
enormous effort made in this field.

We can now say something about the builders, how the builders are doing.
There are also a lot of figures, but I repeat that I do not want to wear
you out with too many numbers.  The Construction Ministry has 132
construction enterprises set up, in the specialties of engineering,
architecture, mixed industrial, landscape, projects, prefabs, supply and
transportation, workshops, etc.  These enterprises have 270,000 workers in
construction.  You know that there are other ministries which have
builders. But most of them are in the Construction Ministry, which includes
270,000 workers.  The production plan for the present year will be 92
percent completed, showing a 2-percent growth over last year.  Construction
has also grown enormously since 1970.  For example, in 1971 production was
at 339 million, in 1978 it will be 1,121,000,000 pesos.

Among the construction we have a very important field, that of industrial
construction and assembly.  In 1971 this activity had 12,000 workers in 16
construction and assembly brigades, with an average production rate of
3,000 pesos per worker per year.  At present this is organized into 2
enterprises and 5 establishments embracing 14 earth-moving brigades, 53
construction and assembly brigades for a total of 54,000 workers--of them
8,500 are assemblers.  Average productivity is [words indistinct]  Between
1976 and 1978 there have been 617 million spent, of which 89 million were
in assembly.  This activity has also grown considerably.  Value of
production in 1976 was 141 million, in 1978 it will be 253 million, and
next year it should reach the figure of 287 million.  Performance in 1978
and 1979 is characterized by the chief effort in completing projects and in
creating new capacities.  Construction is presently underway to build more
than 200 projects, complete more than 200 projects of this type between
1979 and 1980.  It is very important to understand the development of
industrial construction and assembly activities, because in the past our
country did not have forces able to build projects of this type.

Every time we had to build a factory here a foreign enterprise had to be
brought in for the projects.  A few industries were built, but for
industries involving difficulties, such as the one in Nicaro or the sugar
mills, foreign enterprises had to be brought in.

We can say that at the time of the revolution's triumph there were no
ongoing industrial construction projects.  Now we have 54,000 workers
involved in this type of activity and all industries now being built are
being done by our country's construction brigades.  All industries are
being built by Cuban workers.  Our workers are building four sugar mills,
to cite an example.  Our workers are expanding Antillana de Acero.  Our
workers are building thermoelectric units such as this one in various parts
of the country.  Our workers are building a plant in MOA with a production
potential of 30,000 tons of nickel.  That is a very complex industry.  Our
workers are building textile mills.  Our workers are building all types of
industries, industries which are increasingly more complex.

We are now preparing--I should mention the gigantic cement plants.  Our
workers assembled that fertilizer chemical plant here in Cienfuegos.  Our
workers are preparing to build the nuclear power plant which, as I said, is
complex, and our workers are getting ready to build the iron-steel factory
in Oriente.  Our workers are preparing to build the oil refinery in
Cienfuegos.  So there is not a single type of industry, no matter how big
or complex, that we cannot build.  I believe this should provide great
satisfaction to all of our people and, especially, for our construction
workers.  [applause]

Not only that, we are sure that if any country wants our services for the
construction and assembly of any type of factory, we have the spirit, the
will and the skill to do such a thing in any part of the world.  [applause]
In the past we imported construction labor.  Now, not only are we capable
of building our projects but we can export construction labor.  We are
creating for our fatherland one more resource, one more source of income in
foreign currency so dearly required in the development of our economy.

Unfortunately, that modern and sophisticated equipment we have installed
here is not produced in our country.  It has to be purchased and paid for
cent by cent.  Our construction workers not only build industrial projects.
A small portion of them are devoted to industrial construction and
assembly.  A large number of workers are assigned on all fronts of
construction work.  Those are the ones building the central railway system,
the main national highway, thousands of roads and highways, dams,
irrigation systems, ports, dairy farms, poultry and hog farms.  They are
the ones who respond to our social needs.  They are the ones who build
hospitals which give so much peace of mind, encourage and satisfy the needs
of the population.  Those are the ones who build the vocational schools,
the secondary basic schools in the countryside or cities, the
preuniversities, the military vocational schools, the sports schools, the
physical education teacher-training schools, the health technology schools,
the child care centers, the Pioneer camps, the universities, among them,
the one in Cienfuegos, where ground has already been broken to build next
to the magnificent hospital a school of medicine and other university
schools.  [applause]

Construction workers are the ones who develop the housing programs, the
ones who build housing for the families, the ones who build the stores, the
ones who build libraries, the ones who build other services such as
waterworks, sewer systems.  Summing up, construction workers are the ones
who have transformed the country's looks.  [applause]  The enormous
transformation which we can observe here in Cienfuegos, for example, such
as the primary school teach school, which I have not mentioned, is done by
them.  The stadium, which I have not mentioned, is among the many things
you build for the satisfaction and well-being of the people.  [applause]
This has produced a miraculous transformation in Cienfuegos.  It looks that
way.  It is miraculous in the sense that work makes miracles.  Those are
the ones who have transformed the cities of Santa Clara, Camaguey, Holguin,
Tunas, Manzanillo, Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo, Guantanamo, Sancti Spiritus,
Matanzas, Pinar del Rio.  I have not mentioned Havana because it was quite
developed when the revolution triumphed and there the miracle is not as
obvious, due to its size.

If you build a hospital in Havana, you can barely see it.  You build a
factory and you can barely see it.  There are marvelous projects in Havana,
such as the Alamar housing project, to cite an example among many.  These
are changes that have taken place even in Havana.

It is in the cities in the interior where for the most part you see the
change.  In any of these cities--as we have said, many of the looked like
towns, such as Pinar del Rio--extraordinary transformation took place when
primary teachers schools were built, when the vocational school was built,
when the technological schools were built, when the hospitals were built,
as well as the new plants.

And this is what took place in all of the capitals of our provinces over
the last few years, as the fruit of the unselfish and brave efforts of the
workers in construction.  Your work is closely linked to the well-being,
joy, progress and happiness of our people.  Therefore, so much has
dignified the workers in construction.  [applause]  For this reason our
society so highly values the effort made by you.

Before the revolution, in speaking about construction, in speaking about
work in construction, was to speak about the fifth wheel of the car, which
works, and for some months the builders work killing dead time.  It was
unstable work, unsure work, and even a few men could not work in
construction.  The governments in power would carry out some small projects
during the dead time.  The workers had to go looking for work, go begging
to the politicians and their political deputies to give the men some chance
of earning their bread for some months during the year.  That society
looked almost with contempt on the construction workers.  Since the
revolution triumphed, when the need for development emerged in all areas,
and above all in these years when our country could with more tranquillity
and peace devote itself to development.  The social prestige of the
workers in construction has been rising.  Their awareness, pride of being
vanguard workers in our country has been rising, because the most basic of
all fields is construction.  It is said that the electrical industry is
basic.  It is true.  The raw material industries, it is true.  But without
construction there is no electricity industry, there is no mechanical
industry, there is no iron and steel industry, there is no fuel industry,
there is nothing.  [applause]

Therefore, it is our judgment that this is the most basic field in our
economy, but at the same time it is a beautiful and creative task, because
change is in great part your work.  I repeat, construction resolves so many
problems, and is becoming an important source of revenue.  Therefore, it is
necessary to point out the fact with satisfaction that close to 4,500
workers in construction are abroad [applause], providing their services
[applause] of international cooperation.  As you know, in the cases of
countries with a situation of much poverty we have donated and are donating
technical assistance.  Countries with resources pay us for the work we do.
And the demand continually grows in some countries to contract construction
projects with us.  Well, [applause] I believe this should be a source of
satisfaction, of pride [applause] for our builders [applause].  And our
builders have the reputation that when they are abroad they even work
better than they do here.  Of course, they go with their spirit; their
revolutionary spirit which is strengthened.  Their revolutionary awareness
is heightened and in this way, when you think today about the most
outstanding construction workers or cadres, you think about those builders
who went to Guinea to build airports and roads, or went to Vietnam to build
hospitals, hotels, dairies, or they went to Angola to build bridges, to
build housing units.  [applause]  They strengthen our revolutionary
awareness, they strengthen our people's spirit.  This is one measure of how
far we have advanced, of what the revolution is, of what socialism is and
what the Cuba of today is.

We are not a rich country which can have the luxury of throwing away money.
We cannot be international tourists, but rather take short trips and in the
socialist countries.  But we can increasingly practice international
collaboration in mass numbers.  [applause]  We are not tourists.  We cannot
be tourists.  But we can tour the world as workers, as builders, as
creators.  [applause]  And you can appreciate the example of the hundreds
of youth who are members of the Che Guevara detachment, and who work as
teachers in the Angolan secondary basic schools.  [applause]  And in this
way thousands and thousands of men, tens of thousands, in one field or
another, as combatants, or as workers, tens of thousands of men are
enriching their experiences.  They are enriching their knowledge.  They are
enriching their spirit.  They are enriching their prestige.  They are
enriching their history and they are enriching their revolutionary record.

I am sure that if I asked here who had carried out international missions
of one type or another, many dozens would raise their hands.  [applause]
But I will not ask who has done this, but who is willing to carry them out?
[cheering and applause from the audience]  I knew that all of you, men and
women, would raise your hands.  [prolonged applause]

New generations of builders are made in this spirit, and in this way in the
construction schools we have at present capacity for 25,000 youth.  And in
1979 we hope to fill all of these places.  We are recruiting, especially
among the youth getting out of the service, in all of the provinces for
construction and for the iron and steel industry.  And when we lack some
youth in one place and we have extra in another, we will transfer them to
other schools and train them.  We will be training 25,000.  And these
youths who have come out of the service will even receive a certain income
when they enter school to train themselves in all qualifications.  And we
have to work this way to resolve the problem, by filling all the schools
and creating legions of youth already trained, going through discipline,
full of energy, enthusiasm and life to fill the ranks of the glorious army
of builders.  [applause]

Today we have had the satisfaction of handing out diplomas to two
graduating youths and to laborer Valentin, who received his diploma for 25
years of worthy service.  He came here to receive his diploma and I thought
that Valentin would be old, but it turns out that Valentin is not old at
all.  He is practically a young man, and he has been in construction for 27
years.  He began when he was 16 years old.  And I believe he will remain to
receive another diploma.  [applause]  Already in the [Construction]
Ministry there are 270,000.  If we count the other organizations, for
example the MINAZ and the electrical industry also have builders, we should
have around 350,000.  But we have to prepare ourselves to face the housing
construction program for example, and we need between 60,000 and 70,000
more workers.  It would not be strange for the ministry in 1985 to have in
it some 350,000 or 360,000 workers alone.  The construction field is
becoming the most numerous sector in the country.  Before, most were in the
sugarcane harvest, but luckily we only need some 330,000 canecutters and
each time we need less.  From 1970 to now, with the collecting and
sugarcane processing stations, the cane hoisters and the machinery, we have
saved around 220,000 canecutters, around 220,000 canecutters.  [applause]

We have mechanized the harvest.  We have reduced the number of workers in
the field.  We have raised their productivity.  We have increased the
construction forces.  We have to respond to all the industrial development
programs, to the social development plans, and above all in the future to
the imperative, indispensable and vital need to reach nothing less than
100,000 housing units per year.  And we have to reach this.  It is
imperative that we reach this.  Then we will see, yes we will see,
transformation or transformations in our country.  It is a difficult
problem.  It takes time, but only a revolution can undertake this task.  No
capitalist country has resolved this, only the socialist countries have
resolved the construction problems, or they are resolving them in an
efficient manner.  It is not a 5- or 10-year task.

But you can see, I have read you figures of what we have produced in
gravel, sand, cement, how all of our needs are being answered.  It was
logical to set the schools, hospitals, plants, dairies, economic
installations as priorities.  But we are now entering into a situation in
which we have resources to draw up an economic plan, and housing
construction plan, which is at the level of our needs.

Therefore, the number of builders has to grow.  From this well of youth we
must train and qualify and provide the highest levels of study to raise
productivity.  We have seen what the workers in construction are able to
do.  We know we do not ignore the problems which paralyze us many times.
It can be a piece of equipment, it can be some raw material that is
exorbitant, it can be gas which is not available in time.  And we know that
we are working with difficulties, but we believe in determining that in the
future we do not lack oxygen, argon, or containers, and less that we lack
sand, that we do not lack steel rods, that we do not lack gravel, nor that
we lack cement, by consolidating and developing the material base of
construction.  And in the meantime it is necessary that we overcome
deficiencies of the subjective type as well as our organizational
deficiencies.  It is necessary that each year we become more efficient,
that we can continue raising productivity in everything, in all
construction, in industry, social and economic fields.

[We have to continue to raise the level of productivity], especially in
construction work.  We have to continue to develop the system of
prefabricated [components] with plants which will raise the productivity
levels as much as possible.  This is necessary because if we do not there
will not be enough of us.  On the contrary, we will not have enough hands.
That is why it is encouraging to note that in recent years the level of
productivity has been raised considerably in the construction sector with
technology, equipment, prefabricated systems, better organization, better
spirit.  That is very important.

I do not want to prolong this event.  You have been out in the sun quite a
long time.  The sun has been shining in your faces.  Those who built the
stands forgot that the west was to that side [laughter] and that about this
time of day is when the sun is really hot.  They probably wanted to help
us; the sun is on our backs.  It is not bad to have the sun on your back.
It has been said that armies have won battles with the sun on their backs
because the adversary forces could not see very well.  [laughter]  But here
I do not have to win any battle.  I would have been very happy if I had the
sun in my face or on my side.  Well, let us not blame anyone.  Perhaps
there was no other better place than this near the power plant.  Perhaps it
would have been better to wait for the sun to set.  [applause]

I would like to reiterate the enormous appreciation of our party,
government and people for your efforts, to congratulate you for the work
accomplished in this past year, to express our great affection for, our
highest regard for and our confidence in the construction workers.
[applause]  Who have so deservingly earned that title of worthy men of the
white helmets.  [applause]  Of the men forming this combative army which
will doubtlessly be at the vanguard of our country's economic and social
development and which will know how to march victoriously and sweepingly
toward the future.

Fatherland or death, we shall win!