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Havana Domestic Radio/Television Services in Spanish 2333 GMT 15 Jul 79 FL

[Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at ceremony marking the
International Year of the Child inauguration of Ernesto Guevara Central
Palace of Pioneers at Lenin Park, Havana--live]

[Text] Dear Comrades, Dear Pioneers: It is a great pleasure and honor to
celebrate this Day of the Child [third Sunday of July is Day of Child in
Cuba] with this large and select group of Pioneers.  We were moved by the
artistic show [Pioneers variety show that preceded Castro's speech] and we
feel very happy to be with you this afternoon.

Fortunately, we observe this date with the opportunity of inaugurating the
Central Palace of Pioneers.  Sometimes it has been a camp.  At other times,
it has been an international camp.  Sometimes it has been the Jose Marti
City and this time a central palace.  Regrettably, we cannot celebrate this
day every year with an installation of such Importance and magnitude as
this one.

The young comrade [reference to boy Pioneer who spoke earlier] recalled
that 5 years ago I talked of the need to build palaces of Pioneers and the
need to build the Havana City Palace.  I also recall that a big shower fell
that day.  In any case, this installation proves what can be done.

I should begin by saying that a palace of Pioneers--and perhaps our
population still do not know this--is not an amusement or recreational
center.  The vacation camps are recreational centers and, during the school
year, they serve as educational-recreational centers.  In other words, the
two functions are combined.

Since this type of installation is called a palace of Pioneers, it could
lead to a certain misunderstanding as to what a palace of Pioneers is.
Essentially, a palace of Pioneers is a training center and educational
center and, perhaps, the most important training center for technical,
cultural, patriotic and sports training.  It is essentially a training
center.  That is what a palace of Pioneers is.

A palace of Pioneers is even more important than Pioneer camps.  Palaces of
Pioneers are as important or more important than primary and secondary
schools.  And our educational system will not be complete until each city
and each municipality of the country has its palace of Pioneers. [applause]
Perhaps with the inauguration of this Central Palace, our citizens will
become aware of the content and functions of the palace of Pioneers.

Today we had the opportunity of visiting some of the halls, beginning with
the Combat Glory Hall and continuing through the various shops, including
the communications shop which is an excellent one.  We then visited the
industrial shops of the iron and steel industry and chemical industry and
the areas where the small sugar mill is located.  It is a small mill but it
is not a toy mill.  It is a sugar mill that can produce sugar and it will
produce sugar.  It has the capacity of producing one fourth of a ton daily.
In other words, 1 ton every 4 days.  Perhaps that is the amount of sugar
consumed at the Jose Marti Camp.

We have visited the farming areas, the public health areas, the
transportation areas and the military areas.  And, of course, the equipment
is excellent.

Actually, education could not be conceived without this scientific and
technical training.  And it is absolutely impossible to have such
installations at each primary school.  This can be done only at special
centers.  However, the palaces of Pioneers are not enough.  It is necessary
to give a special push to scientific-technical clubs at all our schools.
This is necessary at all our schools just as cultural clubs have been
promoted, and there are many thousands of these.  Scientific-technical
clubs must be promoted in our schools.  To this end, an effort will be
necessary from all the sectors involved--the youth [young communists],
Organization of Pioneers, Ministry of Education, central agencies of the
state and people's government organs.  Perhaps this will be one of the
first conclusions that should be reached from this palace and from the
experiences of this palace.

This palace has been built with the enthusiastic cooperation of all sectors
and of all government agencies.  Without such cooperation, it would have
been absolutely impossible to build these halls, obtain the equipment and
gather the technical personnel to teach in these halls.  This success has
been achieved thanks to the coordinated effort of everyone.

This same effort is needed to develop scientific technical clubs through
out the entire country, at all schools.  There is no need to wait for
palaces of Pioneers to do this.  Local installations and local resources
must be used; otherwise, we would not have a complete educational system.
We would not be preparing our children and youths for the world of the
future if they do not master science and technology.  Although we have
laboratories in our secondary, pre-university and technological schools in
our cities, education would not be complete [without such clubs].  The
movement of scientific-technical interest clubs that was started at the
beginning of the revolution and even inspired the creation of vocational
schools must be continued, promoted and taken to the maximum of its

This will not depend just on the number of palaces of Pioneers we may have
in this country because, as you can see, this Palace of Pioneers is a big
one and it can accommodate between 3,500 and 4,000 Pioneers simultaneously.
Using the palace to the maximum, we expect that more than 10,000 children
will come every day to this Palace of Pioneers.  If they come once a week
for 5 days, the total will be a minimum of 45,000 children systematically
using this Palace of Pioneers.  Still, that is not enough because we have
400,000 Pioneers in Havana City Province and only 45,000 Pioneers can use
this installation [in a week].

It is expected that more municipal palaces will be built in the future in
this city.  However, this palace itself and many of its installations could
never be used by all the children.  Therefore, the most outstanding groups
from scientific-technical interest clubs necessarily will be the ones to
come to this Palace of Pioneers.  It will be a massive activity because it
will involve a very high percentage of the children.  However, it would be
practically impossible to do it for 100 percent of the children.  Whatever
we cannot do in the palaces of Pioneers, it must be done at the schools
with the scientific-technical interest clubs.  What must be done with the
scientific-technical interest clubs in the schools must not wait for each
province and municipality of the country to have its palace of Pioneers
because, unfortunately, it is going to take us years, many years to have a
palace of Pioneers at each municipality.

It is very important that citizens know what a palace of Pioneers is, that
it is the ideal and perfect complement of our educational system.  That is
why the expenditures on palaces of Pioneers should be accounted for as
educational expenditures of the country.  By the same token, just as no one
in our country spares any resource, cooperation, effort and assistance to
build a school, no one should spare any resource, effort and cooperation to
build palaces of Pioneers.

Qualified technical personnel are required at each of these institutions to
teach, any type of teaching cultural, sports or technical.  That is why it
is so necessary that we have the cooperation of the state central
organizations and the country's organizations and enterprises.  We have to
find a way to defray these expenditures without having them fall on the
enterprises whether through the budgets of central organizations or
education.  In other words, we must find a formula which would satisfy the
need for such qualified personnel and the link between the palaces of
Pioneers and production organizations and, at the same time, a way to
defray the expenditures.  It is imperative that the link between production
and services organizations and the palaces of Pioneers not be lost for a
single moment.

Plans of various types are being drafted for [palaces of] 500, 1,500 and
2,000 Pioneers, depending on the size of the municipality or city.  There
has been much progress with these plans for the purpose of implementing a
construction program of palaces of Pioneers throughout the country.

There also is a plan to develop the Pioneer camps program.  However, we
attach more importance to the construction and development of the palace of
Pioneers program which is a more fundamental and priority need.

The country made a big effort to build schools in past years.  It must
continue this school construction effort and it must increase the effort to
build universities.  However, it will have to devote part of the resources
used for school construction to the construction of palaces of Pioneers.

This is the first one to be built as a complete institution.  Necessarily,
its concept will have to be improved.  This is the first one.  We now will
have to see how it functions and what proportions we will devote to each
activity.  At this Palace of Pioneers, productive activities and
fundamental services occupy 50 percent of its capacities.  We were
discussing with the comrade leaders of the Organization of Pioneers and
Young communists the already developing idea of raising this proportion so
that the halls and activities devoted to technical training for productive
activities and fundamental services are raised to no less than 65 percent.

Of course, we attach importance to sports and cultural activities, and the
palaces of Pioneers will have their share of these.  We must develop
cultural activities at all the schools but what is needed is the
instructor.  We must develop sports activities at all the schools but what
is needed are good instructors and, of course, awareness and concern for
sports activities from the school's staff.

Actually, it so happens now that having magnificent sports facilities at
all secondary schools in the countryside, they are not used enough.  We
have many resources to develop sports throughout the country.  On the other
hand, we do not have--to cite an example--many places in the country in
which to awaken and develop the vocation for the iron and steel industry.

We have seen the iron and steel industry shop where a group of children
from the city of Holguin were handling the lathes with great seriousness,
precision and excellence.  It seemed incredible seeing primary school
children handling those machines with discipline and seriousness.

We saw a group of young comrades working the communications and television
equipment, the entire [television] program.  We saw others in the chemical
industry room, and so forth.

What an enormous importance that our children can gain such knowledge and
gain mastery of this technical work at the primary school level.  And some
of these fields are fundamental for the future of our country.  Moreover,
the activities at palaces of Pioneers should not reflect what we are today
or what we have today, but what we will be or aspire to be in the future
and what we want to have in the future.

Naturally, this experience of palaces of Pioneers emerged in the world with
socialism.  Nothing of the sort was achieved in the capitalist society.
The capitalist society did not prepare man for life.  It did not educate
the children.  The few who could, went to school.  Factory workers were not
trained at institutes or polytechnical schools.  They did not learn the
work as children.  Many of them did not read or write.  They did not get
even a primary education.  And they learned later working with the lathes.
There were no schools for lathe operators.  There were no schools for sugar
industry workers.  There were no schools for railroad workers.  There were
no schools for drivers.  There were no schools for anything.  Man had to
learn on his own by working with the machines without any foundation.  And
you here at this palace have the opportunity of learning with the machines
and with an instructor starting at the primary school level.

I could add that palaces of Pioneers are centers for the development of
proletarians.  This is what the Young Pioneers in those rooms seemed to be,
young proletarians handling the machines and producing with the machines
with the seriousness, attention, concern, responsibility and discipline
required to handle a machine; the discipline required in production; the
ability required in production; and the knowledge and responsibility
required in production and services.

This is learned and we could say that it is the most important thing
learned at a palace of Pioneers.

What will you be in the future?  What will you learn to do in the future?
How will you be prepared for life?  What sort of citizens will you be in
the future?  That is and must be our fundamental concern--what sort of
citizens, what sort of patriots, what sort of workers and what sort of
revolutionaries you will be in the future. [applause]

Many of you already have considered what you are going to be.  I could ask,
for example, for a show of hands from those who are thinking of becoming
teachers or professors. [some youngsters raise their hands] You see, there
are many.  I could ask how many of you are thinking of becoming engineers.
[indistinct shouts, many hands raised] Magnificent, magnificent. [applause]
I could ask how many of you are thinking of studying medicine. [youngsters
raise their hands] There are many. [applause] Good.  You know and you are
aware that you will have to devote your lives to something.  I could ask
how many are thinking of becoming military technicians. [youngsters raised
their hands] There are quite a few.  However, all must learn to handle
arms, of course-- teachers, doctors, engineers, everyone.

We should like to know from those who raised their hands indicating that
they are thinking of becoming teachers and professors what sort of teachers
you are going to be.  What sort of doctors will you be?  What sort of
engineers, what sort of technicians, what sort of qualified workers, what
sort of citizens, what sort of patriots and what sort of revolutionaries
[all of you are going to be]. [applause] What sort of conscientious,
responsible and disciplined citizens are you going to be?  Are you going to
be the type who will arrive late for your classes? [children shout "no"]
Are you going to be the type who arrives late at the hospital? [children
shout "no"] Are you going to be indifferent to the problems of the sick?
[children shout "no"]

The point is: What you are going to be and how you are going to be.  Will
we have more delinquents in the future [children shout "no"] or less
delinquents [children shout "yes"], more thieves [children shout "no"] or
less thieves [children shout "yes"], more irresponsible [children shout
"no"] or less irresponsible. [children shout "yes"]

This is the fundamental task of the revolution. [applause] It is a
fundamental task of our party, [applause] young communists, Organization of
Pioneers, mass organizations, teachers, professors and our schools.

This is the revolution's reason for being.  This year we are commemorating
the International Year of the Child as is every country in the world.  But
for us and our socialist revolution every year is the year of the child.
[applause] Every month, every day, every hour and every minute is the
month, day, hour and minute of the child. [applause] What has the
revolution done over these 20 years if not this?

And we have had successes, great successes and advances, great advances.
[applause] But we are not nor can we ever be satisfied.  We want tomorrow
to be like what we see here--the interest, the nobility and the purity we
see here in you this afternoon.  And that when you become adult citizens
you become better than those of today if that is possible. [applause] So
that the motto of each Pioneer, the main motto that of forging oneself for
a fundamental purpose and with a personal watchword and goal--to every day
be better. [applause]

The task of revolutionary education begins at your age.  The task of
patriotic education, the task of forming one's character and the task of
forming one's awareness begins in the first grade, and even before the
first grade--it begins In the child care centers. [applause] And I can
repeat what I said a few days ago to teachers who had just graduated.  The
success of our revolution and the future of our revolution will depend on
the form in which we are able to form the new generations.

[applause] This is why we have our Pioneer organization, our youth, [young
communists] our party and our education institutions.

The Pioneer organization becomes strong through its experience, it gains
strength.  Now one can see the justness of the measures adopted through the
initiatives of the communist youth, that of raising the age of Pioneers and
to include in the Pioneer organization children in the seventh, eighth and
ninth grades. [applause] And next year the ninth [as heard] grade students
will be included.  And see how we have gained in quality.  Today one can
see this in the cultural groups, in the spectacle presented this afternoon.
Therefore we have a stronger organization, more solid and more efficient.
It seemed that all things dealing with Pioneers, it seemed to some that it
was a type of entertainment for children in the first, second and third
grades.  But the Pioneer organization has nothing to do with this.  It is
not to entertain the kids.  It has very important functions.  It has
fundamental functions in our society. [applause] They are very important,
but maybe it is more important when looking to the future than any other
mass organization. [applause]

I am not going to speak a lot about the beauty of these buildings.  They
are beautiful but they will be more beautiful.  We still lack green areas
in some places.  Therefore this [Pioneer] palace will be becoming more
beautiful.  One installation is still lacking, the theater.  But we have
the formal solemn and serious pledge of all those involved in construction
to build this theater and have it completed by next year.  This is the only
thing lacking, the theater. [applause]

Well, now on the question of maintenance.  The little Pioneer who spoke
here said that they were going to take great care, that they were going to
take meticulous care.  We hope it will be exactly this way, [applause] that
the most meticulous care is given to maintaining the buildings,
installations and equipment, and all installations.

We have seen the three swimming pools, magnificent swimming pools.  And if
there would be one to be used to learn how to swim and another for
competition.  What a great thing it would be if these swimming pools would
be used to teach everyone how to swim, for the Pioneers to learn how to
swim.  I know of course that these three pools are not enough for the over
400,000 Pioneers of Havana to learn how to swim.  The existing
installations have to be better used.  And we do not want it said after
wards that the swimming pools do not have water, and that they do not have
water because of a broken pump, and that it has been 25 days without water
because the pump has been broken for 25 days and no one has fixed it or
because there is no chlorine and chlorine has not been provided, as has
happened sometimes at other swimming pools.  This has even happened at some
sports training schools.  If I am not very mistaken [it happened at] the
"Martires de Barbados" School itself in Havana City [applause] Of course
there were construction problems.  I do not know what was stopped up.

Whoever builds a school should be aware of all completions at the school.
And if there are any problems at its inauguration, help the school begin
operation.  Whoever is the director of the school or who make up the
management team at the school should move heaven and earth when swimming
pools are stopped up, pumps are broken, there is a lack of chlorine or
whatever. [applause] But do not let months or even weeks go by.  And if it
is possible to resolve it in hours, resolve it in hours.  There is nothing
more painful than to see an installation which cannot be used. [applause]

One has to have exquisite maintenance of all these installations and
equipment.  And this is one of the habits which we want you to acquire.
Because you know that there are some in this country who do not have these
habits.  Do you know that?  Yes you know.  I do not say this of you.  What
we do not want is for you to sometimes, for some of you to be some of those
who have these bad habits. [applause] Many delegations will surely visit
this [Pioneer] palace.  Not because of this, but also because of this, this
palace should be a model in everything.  Its experiences should serve to
help us improve the rest of the palaces which we will build.  Its
experiences should serve to better organize the future palaces.  And I am
sure that there are few things which our country can show, and which the
Pioneer organization can show, which is as beautiful as this institution.
The Pioneers of Havana City, who will be the ones to make greatest use of
this palace, have the obligation through their participation and through
their work to contribute to making this institution a true model.

The Central Palace... [changes thoughts] which of course will be used by
the whole country in a certain way.  But it cannot be used by the rest of
the country every day.  But the best Pioneer centers of the country will
come every year to this Central Palace in the summertime when the school
term is over.  But because we are lucky to have very good school
installations near here, very close by we have the "Salvador Allende"
School and also very close by we have the Electronics Technical Institute,
we have the "Lenin" School, there is capacity for [housing] 10,000 students
around here.  Therefore it is possible to use some of these installations
in the summertime when they are not being used, which have capacity for
3,000 or 4,000 [students] to have the most outstanding [Pioneer] centers of
the whole country to meet here every year at this national center.

And it seems to me that by staying at the "Lenin" School for example
[applause] and carrying out activities at this beautiful center, one would
not have a bad summer, true? [children shout "yes"] What do you think?
[indistinct shouts] Would it be an encouragement, a prize for the most
outstanding [Pioneer] centers in the country?  But because of this I repeat
there is a need for everyone's cooperation and participation for giving
special encouragement to the Scientific and technical centers throughout
the nation.

If you want an idea of the effort needed to have institutions of this type,
suffice it to say that the total cost of this installation in buildings
will be ...[changes thought] when the theater is completed will be between
12 and 13 million pesos, and around 3 million [pesos] in equipment and
furniture.  No less than 15 million pesos in total.  This is the cost of
this installation.

There is a need to recognize and express thanks at this ceremony for the
magnificent and extraordinary cooperation provided by all organizations in
equipping and organizing this center.  There is a need to make special
mention of the construction workers of the number 16, 17 and 18 brigades,
and the youth detachment which worked at this project and also to express
thanks to some internationalist young people, such as those of the Georgi
Dimitrov Brigade--who also participated and contributed to the construction
of this center and to all construction enterprises which through their
maximum efforts were successful in having this project inaugurated today as
a present to the children of our country. [applause]

We have one more topic.  Something still missing. [laughter] What could it
be? [indistinct shouts] Oh, these Pioneers are lively. [laughter] The name
[of the palace].  You are the representatives of the...[shouts of "this
meeting" from the children] of the meeting, but you are the most
outstanding [Pioneer] leaders of the country, true? [shouts of "yes" from
cadre classes] Is that not true? [applause and shouts of "yes" from the
children] And in addition you are vanguards. [applause and shouts of "yes'
from the children] Then we belong to the same organization now, not only of
the Pioneer [organization] but also vanguards of the Pioneers. [shouts of
"yes" from the children] Correct.  I have to express my deepest and most
emotional thanks for this highest honor [Pioneer national vanguard
insignia] which you have presented to me. [applause] (Landi) [reference to
Pioneer boy who spoke earlier] said that this commits me to continue making
my modest efforts for the Pioneers, the Pioneer organization, the palace,

Well, and the name [of the palace]? [the names of Paquito Rosales, Che
Guevara and other indistinct names are shouted by the children] We are not
going to start a controversy here because we will split ourselves and that
is not good. [indistinct shouts from the children] There were other
proposals, this is the first time that I hear these.  There were also some
of the two which were told to me which were the most discussed or which
were proposed. [the names of Paquito Rosales and Che Guevara and other
indistinct names are shouted by the children] Well, what does your--what
does your--a question now, what does your watchword say? [indistinct shouts
from the children] What is your slogan? [shouts of "we will be like Che"
are heard from the children] What is your motto? [shouts of "we will be
like Che" are heard from the children] Pioneers for communism, we will be
like Che.  And do you not think that we should name this center Che?  Do
you agree with [word indistinct] [indistinct shouts and applause] Do we
agree? [prolonged applause] I think we should keep in mind the [other] name
you indicated [shouts of "yes" from the children] so that an upcoming
Pioneer palace [shouts of "yes" from the children] will be named after him
[presumably Paquito Rosales] [shouts of "yes" and applause] Therefore the
name will be the "Ernesto Guevara" Central Palace of Pioneers. [shouts and
applause] Do you agree?  Raise your hands. [children raise their hands]
Good. [applause] And think what a glorious and heroic combination of names
are joined here.  We have the Lenin Park and now the Ernesto Guevara
Pioneer Center.  You will not believe it but we thought a lot about where
we should build the Pioneer Palace.  Because the idea for the Lenin Park
arose in face of the fact that in an enormous city which has 2 million
inhabitants had for all practical purposes no green areas.  There were no
green areas.  And it was decided to devote an area to thin out the area of
Havana City with an area of about 400 hectares where we did not want much
building.  Just a minimum of construction, only indispensable
installations.  But that this should be a park which is truly beautiful
with green areas.  This is already a beautiful reality.  And when
discussions were held on where this palace could be erected, it is true
that we thought about this a lot.

For example I racked my brain.  There was the contradiction--this palace is
big and there are many buildings, would it not spoil the park?  But then
there were other arguments--what better place to locate the palace than in
the park, what more beautiful place, what place with greater attraction for
the Pioneers themselves who will visit it, the palace.  I repeat, of course
some of the installations will be visited by all Pioneers, some will be
visited by many Pioneers who are in various sports activities, many,
practically all Pioneers can visit the palace.  They can see some of the
halls.  This is to say that some of the installations will be used by a
number... [changes thought] by almost all of the Pioneers of Havana.  And
therefore it was an advantage for it to be here in this area.

It was assigned 30 hectares, 30 hectares.  You know what a hectare is,
true?  Ten thousand square meters.  Therefore there are 300,000 square
meters of land.  I warn you that these 300,000 meters are not taken into
consideration in the value...[changes thought] in the cost of the school
[as heard].  How much would it have cost, how could one have got 300,000
square meters in the past, how much would all of this have cost?  Therefore
you have been able to have at your disposal 30 hectares in Lenin Park.  We
believe that this is a magnificent combination--the Lenin Park and the
Palace of the Pioneers.  And both institutions--as well as the names Lenin
and Ernest Guevara make a magnificent combination which is honorable and
encourages all of us. [applause]

All we have to do now is to wish all the children of our country much
happiness.  We wish you good vacations, we say good and deserved vacations.
[indistinct shouts from the children] And we wish you a next school term
which is even more successful than this school term which has just ended.
And we hope that from very young you will know how to be studious,
disciplined, aware and revolutionary men and women.  This is what we hope
from our Pioneers. [applause]

Fatherland or death! We will win! [shouts of "venceremos" and applause]