Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Castro Speech

FL250330 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 0206 GMT 25 Oct 81

[Speech by Fidel Castro at closing ceremony of the second congress of the
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution at Havana's Karl Marx

[Text] A brief incidental matter: Do not be concerned if you see me walking
with some difficulty.  Though I think I was walking straight this time.  In
trying to follow instructions to fight sedentariness and obesity by
engaging in sports, I suffered a small fracture of one of the toes of my
right foot.  That is why I could not attend the opening of the congress or
be on hand to receive the bodies of the internationalist martyrs.  The
doctors are to blame because they told me I had to rest.  But I have to be
at the closing ceremony of the CDR congress, no matter what.  They told me
I had to rest. [applause] At least I am wearing shoes' I did not want to
come here wearing slippers.  My absence does not mean that my affection,
gratitude and admiration for the CDR are any less. [applause]

Distinguished guests, dear party and government comrades, comrade delegates
to the second CDR congress: Although I could not be present on the first
day, I read a summary very carefully of the report presented by Comrade
Armando Acosta.  I feel the summary faithfully reflects the enormous amount
of work done by the CDR in the past 4 years.  This is nothing more than the
continuation of the work of the CDR in the 21 years since they were
founded.  It also reflects the quality of the work.  I believe it is only
fair to recognize this in all its aspects.

I was able to see how the committees have continued to give top priority to
the very important matter of revolutionary vigilance, that was, is and must
be the foremost task of the CDR [applause] not only as concerns the
struggle against the counterrevolution, which grows weaker and paler each
day, although it still exists, but also in the struggle against the lumpen,
the struggle against the antisocials.  I feel that the figures on how
robbery has declined as compared, for instance, with 1977 tell a good deal.
The figures I read in the summary were 24 percent in 1980 and 40 percent in
the first 7 months of 1981.  This of course gives us an idea of the CDR
work in doubling their revolutionary vigilance, and it also shows that the
Interior Ministry is working better. [applause] And these figures also
reflect that the Mariel housecleaning produced optimal results. [applause]

The importance of the political-ideological work of the committees is also
extraordinary.  They are great schools educating our masses.
Patriotic-military work: An extraordinary effort in bringing the people
closer to the armed forces and the Interior Ministry, in strengthening
defense, in the vigilance of the coastline and in the organization of the
territorial troops militias.  The CDR have given considerable support to
education, culture and sports, have contributed to economic and social
development with their participation in thousands of projects, their
support for the people's government, public health activities, population
and housing census and so forth.  The CDR's work in the fight against
dengue, for instance, was outstanding.  Their participation in sanitation
activities made it possible for us to be so successful in the fight against
that criminal disease undoubtedly introduced into our country by

We are in a position to say today that there has been not one single proven
case of dengue in our hospitals for the past 10 days.  We are winning the
battle and we will go on until we win it completely, and when we reach the
point where we can officially declare the epidemic eradicated, we will then
continue our fight against the vector, which can transmit not only this
disease but also others.

The participation of the CDR in public health to prevent diseases, the
polio campaigns and the blood drives, is invaluable.  The overall
contribution of this organization to the revolutionary process and the
building of socialism in our country cannot be described in a few words.

Our organization now has almost 5.5 million members.  This is 80 percent of
our country's population.  The existence of this organization, forged in
the heat of the revolution and the struggle against internal and external
enemies, has been an inspiration to other peoples who have gained their
liberation in order to develop means of defense which are as necessary as
the armed forces themselves.  We can see how the organization has grown in
quality with the acquisition of young members and how its ranks have grown
by 400,000 new members in 4 years.  I believe that the report, or rather
the summary of that report, sums up everything and fully conveys the
achievements of the organization in these past few years.  We must say that
our party, our revolution, our people are proud, confident and optimistic
as regards their CDR. [applause]

I believe the imperialists will have to learn a lot about what a social
force of this kind means.  Lenin said that a revolution was worthwhile when
it could defend itself.  The truth is that our organization has
demonstrated that it is capable of defending itself. [applause] And it is
defending itself with powerful tools.  Whatever our enemies say, no matter
how much they hate and despise the Cuban example, I feel that our country,
a few miles from the United States, has written, from a political point of
view, one of the most brilliant pages of this century. [applause] Ninety
miles from the United States, after almost 23 years of revolution, of 23
years of imperialist harassment, of more than 10 years of a ferocious
economic blockade, our country has defended itself by observing Leninist
principles.  First, with its vanguard party [applause], its mass
organizations [applause], that is, its trade unions, the CDR, the
Federation of Cuban Women [applause], peasants, students, pioneers, its
glorious Revolutionary Armed Forces [applause], its Interior Ministry
[applause] and the closer ties between the party and the masses. [applause]

We believe that we have set a revolutionary example, a useful example for
the international revolutionary movement because our country, I repeat, has
carried out its revolution and has been able to defend it in difficult
conditions 90 miles from the United States. [applause] And this in a
country where imperialism used to dominate everything economically,
politically, culturally and ideologically.  They spent almost 60 years
trying to break down the spirit of our nationhood and came to exert
considerable influence in our country.  The revolution brought down that
influence and created a new consciousness, a truly new consciousness.  Not
only did it deepen and intensify the patriotic and nationalistic feelings
of the people but also their revolutionary spirit, their socialist,
solidarity, communist and internationalist consciousness. [applause] That
is the great monument that the Cuban revolution has erected to the
liberation, the struggle for liberation of the peoples.  And we must keep
this in mind now and in the future, in these and future years, which will
undoubtedly be very difficult.

Before I go on with this topic, I want first to mention a recent event
known by everyone that reflects how revolutionary ideas have taken hold
among the people.  I refer to the elections for the people's government
organs.  It is remarkable that after 5 years of experience, more than 97
percent of the voters took part in these second general elections to renew
and constitute the organs of the people's government [applause] without any
legal obligation to vote and without the revolution adopting the slightest
measure against any citizen who did not vote.  They participated in the
election for delegates of electoral districts, who in turn elect
practically all other organs' members, including the National Assembly,
where more than half are precisely rank and file delegates, according to
the regulations established by the revolution, delegates who are absolutely
freely elected by the population, as you know, without the slightest
interference from the party and without any recommendations from the party.
It does not employ its tremendous strength in favor of any candidate;
delegates who are nominated as candidates by the people and elected by the

I feel that the elections constitute a popular, democratic form on which
the power of our state is based.  There is no doubt that our citizens in
each district pick their candidates from among those citizens whom they
feel have the best qualifications.  Thus when a district has six or five or
four candidates--as in my district--and one reads the biographies, it is
not easy to select whom to vote for.  All of this without any display of
ambition or politicking of any kind, which is what is traditional in the
so-called bourgeois representative democracy.  What happens in those
so-called elections in some of the countries of this hemisphere?  In many
cases less than 30 percent of the population participates in the election.
And they call that democracy.

Recently, the gentleman that [Nicaraguan Interior Minister] Tomas [Borge]
was talking about, George Booch, or Boch, or Buche [laughter]--I really do
not know how to say it-- saw his Latin American tour as a triumphant tour.
He went around saying that there had never been any elections in Cuba.
This man knows nothing of the process by which our country's constitution
was forged and established.  He knows nothing of the people's government
established by this democratic method more than 5 years ago.  He knows
nothing of the elections that have just been held.  To him this is not an
election.  No way.  He knows nothing about it because they are so ignorant
that they know nothing, or almost nothing. [applause] We are amazed at the
ease with which they utter a lie--or stupidity at best--of this kind.  It
turns out that in the United States, where the presidential election took
place in recent months, only 52 percent of the U.S. voters went to the
polls.  Fifty-two percent.  Not 60, 70, 80, 90, 95 or 97 percent.

As to this 97 percent in our case: In my district, for example, four people
did not vote, but two of them were doing their military service and they
voted in their own military district.  One was abroad and another was
someone whose name was on the list by mistake.  He voted somewhere else.
To all effects, 100 percent of those who were able to vote did.  Even
patients in hospitals voted. [applause]

Mr. Reagan was elected by 16 percent of the U.S. voters.  That is, 26 perce
voters decided that this fascist group would govern the United States.  And
they can create the situation that they are creating in the world.  That's
lead the world into a nuclear catastrophe.  And they call that democracy.
absolute, sovereign and infinite contempt for the democratic, popular forms
people have chosen in exercise of their right to so choose.  Who says we ha
the bourgeois, imperialist, inefficient, hypocritical prescription?

Our people's political level, civic awareness, understanding and
cooperation demonstrated in this election are worthy of praise and a source
of satisfaction.  We are not going to copy others, although it is always
good to take into account the positive experiences of all revolutionary
countries, nor is it our intention that our prescription, formula or system
be applied in other countries.  I do not know how the Nicaraguans will deal
with that.  It is their business, and they are sufficiently intelligent,
imaginative and original to apply an adequate formula and the one which
best suits their country.  In reality this CDR congress is taking place at
a time and phase of the revolution which is very special.  It could be said
that the world is living in one of its most difficult eras.  I do not know
if I should say of the most recent past or if I should say of all times.
The present cannot be compared to any other time of mankind, beginning with
the crucial and fundamental problem of peace.  Peace today means something
it did not mean at any other time in history.  It is not the peace of the
primitive communities when one clan fought against another, or a tribe
against another, or as in the beginning of history when city-states fought
against each other, or some peoples against others at a very local level.
Peace now cannot have the same meaning it had in the Medieval age with
respect to the struggles between feudal states, or the struggle between
emerging states.  The meaning it had in past centuries [is not the same as
it has today], such as the wars between empires and kings of those ages.
They would last 5, 10 and even 30 years.  The history we studied spoke of
the Hundred Years War.  The meaning peace had at the beginning of this
century, the meaning it had in 1939--when the results of wars began to be
increasingly more catastrophic-[is not the same it has today].  The wars
were beginning to be world wars, such as the one in 1914 and the second
world war in 1939, which involved a large part of mankind.

Those were terrible wars, truly cruel, which resulted in tens of millions
of persons killed.  Peace today has another very different meaning because
of the technological development of military means.  It could be said that
a war simply could lead not only to the deaths of thousands, or hundreds of
thousands, or millions, or tens of millions, or hundreds of millions, but
simply that a war could lead to the end of mankind.

There is talk about peace when the word war could mean the end, when the
word war could mean the last war--but not the last war because men might
have learned how to live in peace, but simply because men might have ceased
to exist.  That is the truly dramatic sense that the danger of war has
today, and the vital sense of the word peace.

It is closely associated to the idea of humanity's survival.  However, the
dangers of war continue to increase.  The nuclear arms already produced,
those existing in the world and ready to be used, are more than sufficient
to destroy mankind, not once but 10 times.  This is what gave a special
importance to the effort to control nuclear arms, to control the production
of nuclear arms, to put a limit to the production of arms in the hope that
at a given time an effort would be made to undertake the path of reducing
existing arms and achieve at the end a disarmament policy.

In recent times the climate of peaceful coexistence, which was proposed by
Lenin at the beginning of the October revolution, that climate has been
gradually disappearing from the international sphere.  By unilateral
decision of the United States, the SALT II treaty was stopped in its
tracks.  In recent years imperialism has undertaken a policy of rearmament.
They began by urging their NATO allies to increase their military budgets.
They continued by proposing to deploy intermediate-range missiles in
Europe, some 572 intermediate-range missiles.  And they have now unleashed
an unbelievable arms race, together with a bellicose and aggressive policy.
All this has been done under the pretext of defense and security vis-a-vis
an alleged Soviet expansionism.  All this has been done under the pretext
of reaching a balance of their forces with those of the Soviet Union, they

Since the Soviet Union emerged in the world, history notes and demonstrates
how that country was attacked, first immediately after the October
revolution with an invasion of its territory which lasted years in support
of the counterrevolution and isolation.  Later, the country was attacked by
the fascist hordes in a war that resulted in 20 million killed and the
destruction of a large part of the country.  After the war, in which the
Soviet Union participated as an ally of the rest of the countries in the
fight against fascism, it found itself surrounded by strategic military
bases and nuclear arms all over.  The historic truth, the historic reality,
demonstrates that the Soviet Union has always found itself in a position of
inferiority vis-a-vis its enemies and that the country's policy had to be
aimed, with all legitimacy and rights, at arming itself in order to defend
its territory.

Who knows that better than our own people and our own revolution?  We have
been forced to devote great numbers of human resources and materials to the
defense of the country.  In reality, it can be said with great precision
that a nuclear balance has been achieved in the world, a strategic balance.
All other things are lies, fairy tales, stories.  At times, when I chat
with visitors who have said that the Soviets want to take over the world, I
say to them: Look here, the world is a mountain of problems, and one has to
be really insane to want it. [applause]

The imperialist superpowers are the ones that have wanted to take over and
continue to persist on controlling the world in order to seize the raw
materials and natural resources and then exploit its population.  It is
inconceivable that a socialist state, a socialist system, would attempt to
seize the natural resources of other countries and exploit other peoples'
work forces.  That is absurd.  It is totally contrary to the concept, the
ideas of socialism.  It is equally absurd to imagine socialist countries
being guided by the same designs of capitalist countries.  The socialist
countries do not have transnational enterprises.  They do not have
investments in other countries.

All that belongs to capitalism and belongs to imperialism.  If anyone would
want to take over the world with designs of economic exploitation, it could
only be imperialist countries.  As we have said in other opportunities, if
the socialist camp did not exist today, imperialism would have taken over
the world again.  It would have seized the oil wells, the iron mines, the
energy resources.  It would have seized everything.  Doubtlessly it can be
said that OPEC would not exist.  Independent oil-producing countries would
not exist.  They would have done the same thing they did in past centuries.

Under the pretext of an alleged Soviet threat and expansionism, they have
undertaken the most unbridled arms race known in history.  Yankee
imperialism, involved in a number of contradictions and problems, is
drifting toward an increasingly more aggressive policy, a policy of
threats, a policy of force.  And more than ever before, it has proclaimed
itself world gendarme.

If other imperialist governments were trying to maintain a facade, this
government has unmasked itself and declared itself world gendarme.  In
recent days it shamelessly declared Saudi Arabia a Yankee protectorate.  On
the occasion of some debates in Congress dealing with the sale of spy
planes to Saudi Arabia, the U.S.  Government openly declared that what
happened in Iran could not occur in Saudi Arabia, that the United States
would not sit idly by in face of an internal change in Saudi Arabia.  It
simply declared it a protectorate.

The United States considers that any type of social revolutionary change in
any country in the world is Soviet expansionism, and declares it would not
allow it.  Never has imperialism proclaimed itself world gendarme in such
cynical and shameless terms, willing to prohibit and impede, and even
intervene in any country in the world where a revolution takes place.  All
this is taking place together with its policy of rapprochement to the most
repressive governments in Latin America and the most reactionary and
repressive governments in the world.  It declares it will not allow any
type of social change, any revolutionary change in Central America, or in
the Caribbean, or in Latin America, or in Africa, or in Asia or any place.

Recently, they have freed themselves of all restrictions with respect to
military aid to Chile, and will renew their military aid to Chile and to
all repressive governments of this hemisphere.  They have strengthened
their relations with South Africa, and it is a fact that they are
maintaining close relations with South Africa.  They have made public their
strategic agreement with Israel.  They have improvised colossal military
maneuvers in the Near East after As-Sadat's death.  They have undertaken an
insane race, installing military bases in diverse areas of the world.

That is the essence of the policy of this new administration, which is
different from previous ones for its manner of acting, for its
aggressiveness, for its arrogance and for its warmongering spirit.  From
our viewpoint, imperialism knows there is a serious crisis situation in the
world and is trying to prepare itself simply to solve the world's problems
through force and as a gendarme state.  As a result of this, it has
undertaken the arms race.

This arms policy is being carried out in the United States on the backs of
the people, but mainly on the backs of the poorest sectors of the U.S.
people.  Thus, according to reports in the U.S. press, more than 400,000
families with children and with low incomes will find that their government
subsidies will be totally eliminated and another 250,000 families will be
affected by reductions in such subsidies.

Some 875,000 families will not get the coupons they were getting from the
government to buy food.  Some 1.4 million families will see their coupon
quotas for food seriously reduced.  Some 22.5 million poor persons will be
affected one way or another in the very few and costly medical services
they were receiving through federal programs.  Some 1 million unemployed
workers will not receive unemployment compensation.  Some 17.7 million
school-age children will not have the possibility of receiving free lunches
at schools, where some 270,000 public servants have lost their jobs because
of the cessation of the school lunch program.

On another subject, the program of military outlays prepared by the present
administration amounts to 225.7 billion dollars for 1982.  This means that
29 percent of the total federal budget will be devoted to military
spending.  The program of new arms alone will amount to tens of billions of
dollars.  To give you an exact idea of this, it must be noted that the cost
of one MX missile is approximately 25 million dollars.  According to known
figures, the cost of the system amounts to 34 billion.  That of a B-1
bomber is 200 million and that of each Trident submarine is 1.5 billion.
Currently they are spending 1 billion dollars experimenting in the
technology of the antiradar bomber, the stealth aircraft.  The cost of the
lesser sophisticated weaponry, such as the XM tank, amounts to 1 million
dollars each, and an F-15 aircraft costs 18 million dollars.  In 1986 the
military budget will reach 372.7 billion, and in that year it will
constitute 35.2 percent of the total U.S. budget.  Never before in history
has there been such an arms race.  If this militarist policy is not
fascist, what is a fascist policy?  These facts have to be of great concern
to all mankind, because they reflect that imperialism has undertaken a path
of force, of violence, of threat and of aggression, not only against the
socialist community but against all peoples in the Third World.

Not even in the days of Hitler's Germany, I repeat, not even in the days of
Hitler's Germany, was such an arms program undertaken.  And what do they
want those arms for?  Not only of the nuclear type but also of the
conventional type?  Because the enormous cost of this arms race is not only
determined by the strategic nuclear arms, but by a considerable increase of
conventional weaponry, such as reactivating battleships, building more
aircraft carriers and producing more landing equipment.  In a word, the
United States is preparing for an interventionist policy in the world.

It is trying to drag its allies into this policy, and they are resisting
more and more, which is demonstrated above all in the European nations,
where the movement favoring disarmament and peace is growing and staging
demonstrations increasingly bigger and increasingly more energetic.  This
is related not only to the arms race but also to the project of deploying
572 nuclear missiles in Europe.  This is very serious because with this
they are trying to eliminate the strategic balance.

We cannot forget that the presence of 42 intermediate-range nuclear
missiles in Cuba in 1962 almost provoked a nuclear war.  This arms race
forces the socialist countries to redouble their efforts in favor of
coexistence and peace, but at the same time forces them to invest large
quantities of resources to counter these imperialist attempts to establish
their military superiority.  These are the inevitable consequences of such
policy.  Thus we must be aware that the dangers to peace in the world and
the dangers of war are increasing considerably, not only the dangers of
local Yankee interventions but, in reality the dangers of a nuclear war.
We must not forget this reality.

But next to this, the world finds itself in the midst of the greatest
economic crisis of its entire history, because in the economy the same
thing happens that happens in peace.

Today the world economy has a different connotation than it had in earlier
centuries, in earlier eras or during the first half of this century.  The
problems faced by the world economy are absolutely new and very grave.  In
the first place there is an economic crisis in the Western capitalist world
that has been worsening every year.  And all of us-- including the CDR,
each citizen of this country, each worker, each peasant, each student, each
housewife--will have no choice but to expand our knowledge about these
aspects of the world's economy.

I decided not to bring many figures here, even though I was tempted to do
so.  I said, well, the CDR congress is not the congress of the Third World
economists or the Interparliamentary meeting or the world congress of
workers.  Even though this is a topic of current interest and great
consequence, I decided not to bring large amounts of data to illustrate the
point.  I talked about this subject extensively at the Interparliamentary
conference and the material was published in the newspapers.  I understand
that party circles are studying it and, in my opinion, it should be studied
extensively by all our people. [applause]

The capitalist economy has its laws.  These were studies in depth by Marx,
Engels and Lenin.  Lenin studied and knew capitalism in its imperialist
phase.  Capitalism's cynical crises are known.  Capitalism has faced
problems of inflation in some periods and problems of recession in others.
All of you have probably heard about the Great Depression that began in the
United States in 1929 and lasted approximately 10 years.  This was a
worldwide crisis, during which many bankers, owners of enterprises,
stockholders, speculators and others even went so far as to commit suicide.
There was a wave of suicides because many of them were suddenly penniless.
This Great Depression resulted in a large increase in unemployment in the
United States, reaching 12 million at one point.  This economic crisis of
the 1930's affected everyone.

Frightened by these crises, which could lead to the end of the system at a
given moment, the capitalists managed to devise various mechanisms to
confront the crises, with an eye to the system's durability.  However, they
also stepped up colonial exploitation.  They stepped up their exploitation
of the Third World countries.  Thus, after World War II the capitalist
economy experienced a long period of increased production.  However, this
growth in production was fundamentally achieved on the basis of cheap
energy; that is to say, oil costing $14 and $15 a ton.

Many European countries even abandoned coal mines and began buying this
noble and cheap product called oil.  I say "called" because it can hardly
be found anywhere anymore and is becoming increasingly hard to get.  The
transnational companies owned virtually all the world's oilfields and
imposed their conditions and their extraordinary earnings.  They imposed
oil prices to benefit an accelerated development of the Western capitalist
countries' economies.  Thus oil consumption doubled, tripled, quadrupled
and quintupled after World War II.

Another factor in the increase in the Western capitalist countries'
wealth--independent of the fact that they had large amounts of accumulated
capital, that they had amassed all of the world's gold and that they had
large financial resources and technological resources--another pillar of
their economic development was unequal trade.  In other words, they imposed
their trade conditions on the Third World countries, the producers of raw
materials.  By virtue, of these conditions, if, for example, X tons of
coffee, cocoa, iron, hemp, cashew nuts, cottonseed or whatever other
products of the Third World countries were previously required to buy a
truck; if a given amount was required 30 years ago, now three times that
amount is required to buy that same truck.  In other words, the Third World
must deliver three times more products to pay for the equipment and
machinery they import, for the semifinished products they import--three
times more than they had to pay 30 years ago to buy the same product.  This
is what is termed the deterioration of trade relations and unequal trade.
In a nutshell, the industrialized capitalist countries sell their products
at increasingly higher prices and buy products from the Third World at
increasingly cheaper prices.

The developed capitalist countries virtually monopolized all world finance.
They controlled the international credit organizations and imposed their
conditions on financing policies for the Third World.  They became
increasingly bigger creditors for the Third World, and the Third World had
no choice but to become an increasingly bigger debtor.  The world
capitalist economy grew for several decades on the basis of this until the
last few years, when, for the first time in the history of capitalism, a
previously unknown kind of crisis emerged.  This is inflation combined with
economic recession; an uncontrollable increase in prices combined with a
drop in growth rates, or even a drop in production.  The capitalist world
has now faced this problem for the first time

No capitalist theoretician knows how they are going to get out of this
situation.  Several experiments have been tried.  An example is the
Pinochet experiment in Chile.  He began to apply certain economic theories
of a so-called Chicago school.  This theory consisted of leaving thousands
of Chileans jobless, increasing prices to very high levels, in order to
fight inflation, and opening the country to the transnationals.  Pinochet
also applied restrictive measures--measures that can only be implemented
under a fascist system--to such an extent that Chile, which was importing
approximately 100 million [currency not specified] worth of meat from
Argentina, began to export meat after 6 or 7 months, using the very simple
fascist method of keeping the Chilean people from eating beef.  Chile's
public debt has increased to $15 billion, unemployment is rampant and the
country has solved none of its problems but those of the rich and
privileged sectors.

Another country that tried to seek a formula for solving these problems was
the United Kingdom.  It sought a formula by which to fight inflation and
recession, and the only result is that inflation continues.  In only 3
years of government by the distinguished Mrs Thatcher, unemployment has
risen from 1.3 million to 3 million.  This situation also affects the rest
of the capitalist world, some parts more than others.  However, in the NATO
countries alone the unemployment figure amounts to 20 million.

Then Mr. Reagan comes to the presidency and finds an annual inflation rate
of approximately 11 percent and an economy in recession, which will not
grow.  And, becoming the true sorcerer's apprentice, he tries to figure out
how he will manage to fight these two phenomena: inflation on one hand and
recession on the other.  In 1932 Roosevelt faced an economy in full
recession, but there was no inflation then.  He adopted measures drafted by
some capitalist theoreticians for overcoming recession, and after about
years the Americans were indeed able to overcome it.  But circumstances
were different back then.  The availability of oil and raw materials was
unlimited.  Therefore, they managed to get out of that situation.

Other countries--the other Western countries--have applied similar
theories.  These are the so-called Keynesian ideas, but since I am not a
professor of economics and this is not a class on economics, but an attempt
to explain some existing problems, I want to eliminate theoretical or
technical terms.  This administration has now abandoned all of these
Roosevelt-era theories.  Now they say that they are old and passe.  They
claim that all of this is a mistake and thus have decided to follow two
schools of thought: one specializes in the struggle against inflation and
is based on a review of the budget, social expenditures and a reduction of
the money in circulation, while the other specializes in the struggle
against recession and is based on a tax reduction, incentives for
investments, etc.  Mr. Reagan has combined these two theories or these two
capitalist economic schools under the illusion, I think, that the
sorcerer's apprentice can overcome inflation and at the same time promote
U.S. economic growth.  To this he has added gigantic arms expenditures,
when everyone knows that arms expenditures are inflationary; bombs can
neither be eaten nor worn--you cannot eat or wear aircraft carriers, tanks
and cannons.  And all of those millions of men who are devoted to the armed
services are not producing, but only consuming goods.  According to economy
experts, the arms race is inflationary.

Mr Reagan is trying to fight inflation, promote U.S. economic growth--which
is intended to fight recession--and at the same time he is unleashing a
gigantic arms buildup.  Data that have been analyzed by certain scientific
organizations reveal that for every $1 billion invested in military
materiel, approximately 100,000 workers are not employed.  In other words,
this arms buildup policy inevitably increases inflation and unemployment.
The United States already has approximately 8 million workers without jobs.
To implement this policy, it has cruelly undertaken cuts in the budget, in
public services and in social security, whose consequences I mentioned
before; and all of this is added to a situation of world crisis and the
debt of underdeveloped countries, which already amounts to $500 billion.
This U.S. policy of monetary restrictions has brought, as a result, an
extraordinary increase in interest rates for financial credits, reaching
such an extreme that interest rates have risen to as much as 20 percent per

What does this mean for the Third World countries?  It means that any
credit they obtain in the financing or refinancing of their foreign debt
will have to be paid at much higher interest rates.  In other words, this
imperialist policy has seriously worsened the Third World countries'
economic crisis.  All of these situations are being discussed at
international forums: the Nonaligned Movement, the United Nations and in
various conferences.

You know of the efforts and suggestions that Cuba has made at international
meetings in regard to these problems--mainly in the United Nations and
again here at the Interparliamentary conference.  The world is facing a
very serious economic situation--both the developed capitalist world and
the Third World--from which only a few countries can escape, because of the
privilege they enjoy of selling their exported oil at a price that is 15
times what it was 10 years ago.  This crisis also affects the socialist
countries in an indirect way.  In other words, this capitalist crisis,
which acts on the economies of most of the Third World, also acts
indirectly upon the socialist countries, which therefore face difficulties.

To this we must also add the regrettable situation in Poland, which has
forced some socialist countries, particularly the USSR, to undertake great
efforts to help that country.  And we must add a year of apparently
unfavorable weather for the USSR as well.  But basically the crisis affects
the developed capitalist countries in a very serious way, while affecting
the Third World--that is, the underdeveloped countries--even more gravely
and the socialist countries' economy indirectly.

These and other problems are being analyzed.  The statistical and
mathematical analysis of the world's natural resources, when compared to
the growing population and to the problems of underdevelopment affecting
most of mankind, forecasts a very difficult situation for the next 2
decades, for which no solution is in sight.  There are other problems as
well, associated with the entire policy of the developed capitalist
countries, with dynamic industrial development, the only purpose of which
is profit, guided by a capitalist philosophy.  This creates very serious

For example, there is the environmental issue: the phenomenon of increasing
pollution of water and air, the problem of deforestation, the expansion of
deserts, the contamination of potable water, uncontrolled population
growth.  All are creating a situation for mankind that is worrisome,
difficult, and for which there is still no solution.

It has been suggested--in fact, we have suggested--that the solutions to
these problems is only possible through major international cooperation.
Neither the socialist nor capitalist countries by themselves can find a
solution to these problems.  That is why we have said at the United Nations
that only a miracle or an effort at international cooperation, with the
participation of all countries and peoples, can offer a reasonable and
practical solution to the excruciating problems that mankind has ahead.
But, again, how can we talk about international cooperation or hope to
solve these problems when we have the cold war, the arms race and the
tremendous increase in military spending, which is already higher than $500
billion a year?

There is no denying the fact that large portions of the resources assigned
to arms should be used to solve the development problems of large sectors
of the world.  If these problems are not solved, the industrial capitalist
countries will not be able to solve their own.  It is necessary to have a
climate of coexistence and peace.  It is necessary to make an enormous
effort at cooperation, if the world really wants to face and solve these
problems.  But nowhere do we see this spirit of cooperation.  On the
contrary, each day there are more signs of violence, cold war, the arms
race and similar things on the horizon.

The Cancun meeting, where these problems were to be discussed and at which
the Mexican Government and President Lopez Portillo made a great and noble
effort [applause] to gather representatives of industrial, oil-producing
and underdeveloped countries, just ended.  As you know, Cuba relieved the
Mexican Government of any possible compromise in regard to our
participation in the conference, though we were supposed to participate, in
accordance with the wish and intentions of the Mexican Government.  Can you
guess the reasons?  There could be so many--self-sufficiency, arrogance,
fury, anger or even fear.  No, the indispensable and almighty lord, Mr
Reagan, said that if Cuba were present he would not go.  Everyone else
could go.  He said the USSR could be invited.  There was no objection to
having China attend.  But for some strange reason, the only one that could
not attend was Cuba, which has maintained a policy of willingness to
discuss these problems, constantly defending the interests of the
underdeveloped countries as a group at every international conference.

The imperialist gentleman said no Cuba; if Cuba participated, he would not
attend.  If the imperialist gentlemen did not attend, then the richest
country in the world, the country with the largest number of transnational
companies and the greatest amount of financial and technological resources,
would not be represented and the party would be ruined.  He threatened to
ruin the party.

As dictated by logic, we did what we had to do.  We told the Mexican
president that we relieved his country of any commitment; that Cuba's
presence should not serve as a pretext for the United States to use in
shirking its commitments and that we declined to participate.  In other
words, we freed the Mexican Government from any commitment, because the
alternative was either to hold the meeting without the United States or not
to hold it at all, and what we were most interested in was that the
conference be held; we wanted the problems to be discussed.  It was not
important for Cuba to participate, but for the problems to be discussed and

We adopted a similar attitude in regard to the upcoming UNCTAD conference,
which was scheduled to be held in Havana in 1983, based on the wishes and
support of most underdeveloped countries.  The almighty and indispensable
Mr Reagan once again said that the Yankee delegation would not come if it
were held in Cuba.  The haggling could have lasted a long time.  We had
reached certain agreements with the countries interested in UNCTAD,
especially with the underdeveloped countries.  The United States possible
to see another Latin American country emerge as a candidate, but none did.
Their position was similar to the one they adopted at the time of the
Security Council election.

They were bent on preventing the UNCTAD conference from being held in Cuba.
Our position was similar to our position on Cancun.  We did not want to
appear to the peoples as an obstacle to the convocation of the UNCTAD
conference or to see the UNCTAD conference held without the presence of the
United States.  Nor did we want its convocation in Cuba to serve as a
pretext for the United States to refuse to participate.  We also agreed to
the postponement of the other UNCTAD conference, to be held in 1886 [as
heard] in Latin America.  Cuba hoped that it would be held in on that date.
That is to say, out of respect and consideration for the countries that are
interested in these conferences, in these talks, we declined to be seen as
an obstacle to their convocation.  Our purpose was not to place national
interests or prestige above everything else but to make it possible for
both conferences to be held.

However, several weeks earlier, Mr Reagan had already sounded the death
knell for the Cancun conference, in his speeches at the IMF and the World
Bank and in a recent speech in Philadelphia on 15 October--7 days before
the conference.  His proposals were the exact opposite of the Third World
countries' demands.  Even several developed capitalist countries, such as
France, Japan and others, realize that a solution to these crises and these
problems must be found and are showing a more cooperative attitude.  They
are more prepared to talk and to find solutions, but they run up against
the intransigence of Mr Reagan, who has said that the best contribution he
can make to the Third World is U.S. prosperity--which is based on unequal
trade, on the exploitation of the Third World's natural resources, on
exported inflation, on high interest rates and so forth- and that the
development problems must be solved by private enterprise and the
transnational companies, when private enterprise, capitalism, colonialism,
neocolonialism and imperialism are the historical causes of the tragedy
faced by the underdeveloped countries.  In these two speeches and in
statements by other Yankee spokesmen, the Reagan administration has spoken
the final word.

For this reason, and although the results of the Cancun conference, which
has just been held, cannot yet be evaluated, and as Tomas [Borge] has
subtly reminded us, Mr Reagan gave himself the pleasure of arriving 13
minutes after everyone else was there--the almighty and indispensable
gentlemen entered the room, making everybody else wait. [sentence as heard]

(?I say) it cannot yet be evaluated.  The Mexicans have made a great
effort.  The least they expected was that awareness of the problems the
world is facing would be developed.  But as for any specific results from
Cancun, we have read some reports that reflect a good deal of skepticism
about them.  Apparently the results have been limited thus far to vague
promises by the United States as to a future willingness to hold
international negotiations on these problems.

One would have to be really very optimistic to pin any hopes on those vague
U.S. promises.  The fact is that, at a time when it seems to be too late to
look for urgent solutions, responses are being delayed once and for all and
the world is inexorably advancing toward extremely difficult and dangerous

Naturally, it would be very difficult for the U.S.  Government to make any
contribution to an international conference of this type, when it is
primarily responsible for the huge arms race that is being unleashed in the
world.  For this reason, I repeat, the Yankees, the Yankee imperialists,
are apparently conscious of these problems and the only formula they can
come up with is to solve them through force, investments and atomic bombs.

Current issues always tend to grow worse and the existing ones are already
dreadful.  For example, we stressed at the IPU conference that the number
of undernourished people in the world, with calories and protein below the
required levels, is 570 million, there are 800 million illiterate adults;
1.5 billion people have no access to any medical care; 1.3 billion people
have a yearly income below $90; 1.7 billion have a life expectancy below 60
years; 1.03 billion live in inadequate housing; 250 million children are
not in school, and there are similar problems.  The statistics on
unemployment affect even the developed capitalist countries, but there are
over 1 billion unemployed in the underdeveloped countries alone.

This is a truly critical situation, about which we should be informed and
to which attention must be paid.

As regards our own case, I can say that we have problems too, since we are
not living on some other planet.  Not only do we live on this planet, but
we are neighbors of the worst of this planet--Yankee imperialism.
[applause] We are in danger and we are exposed to attacks.  Therefore, as
regards peace matters, we are not only exposed to the dangers that affect
world peace but also to the dangers derived from Yankee imperialism's
aggressive and threatening attitude against us.  They hate us in such a way
that I don't even know how to describe it.  It could be called a donkey's
[as heard] hatred. [laughter] I would call it a donkey's hatred, to make an
association [applause] with the symbol that represents the party of the
gentlemen who currently rule in the United States.  They feel a murderous
hatred against Cuba and we are proud of that hatred.

This gentleman, whom Tomas [Borge] mentioned earlier, this Mr "Buche"
[reference to U.S.  Vice President George Bush; in Cuba the word means
rascal], a gentleman who has just made his appearance on the public scene
but evidently thinks he is a great figure--there is no doubt about
this--said in Santo Domingo or some other place that he had heard that I
was very worried and very upset over his attacks against me. [applause] If
he wants to reach the conclusion that he is important because he attacks
me, well, that is his problem.  Perhaps he feels he is very important
because he attacks me.  I have never thought of myself as being so
important as to believe that those who attack me are important.  However,
this gentleman apparently believes it. [laughter] I know he was very mad.

This gentleman made an inglorious tour through Latin America, where
everyone immediately protested the tariffs that the United States has just
imposed on sugar.  This happened in Brazil, in Colombia, in Santo Domingo,
everywhere.  The only thing I know about this gentleman, however, is that
he is a former CIA chief.  And since you can imagine the lack of scruples,
morality and shame that characterizes that institution, you can also
imagine who Mr Buche is. [applause] But I certainly could not care less.  I
have no idea who has put into his head the idea that I apparently can't
sleep, eat or anything because he has made three or four hysterical
statements against Cuba and against me.  Really, I have had more important
enemies than he, [laughter] enemies more deserving of being taken into
consideration.  He believes it, however, for someone has put this into his
head.  It is not fear on my part, but cretinism on his, [laughter]
cretinism and hysterics.  He is hysterical.  He himself has brought this
up, otherwise it would not be worth dedicating even the least time to this
gentleman.  As his only recommendation, suffice it to say that he is a
former director of the CIA, the institution that carries out
assassinations, sabotage, subversion, destabilizations and all that.
Suffice it to say that about Mr Buche. [laughter]

We were referring, however, to the imperialists' hatred of us.  We know
very well why they hate us.  We know it very well: They hate us due to
Cuba's firm position, to our revolution's position of principles, to our
people's firmness, to our people's courage, to the fact that they know that
we do not fear them, [applause] to the fact that they know that we are not
afraid of them. [applause] As one commonly says, they have simply lost
their cool [han perdido la tabla].  They are very upset because they know
we do not fear them.  They can threaten all they want, they can do as their
please.  However, above all, we and the entire world know that we do not
feel the slightest respect for them. [applause] They and the entire world
know that this is serious.  They are used to intimidating and to
threatening.  There are few in the world who dare tell imperialism all that
it deserves because it [as heard] is such a powerful country, because it
has many resources, it controls the IMF and the World Bank, and it
constitutes a market for a good many countries--some trade with it, some
are expecting credit from the World Bank, others are waiting a loan from
the IMF, and so forth, some want to trade and fear that this trade might be
taken away.  However, since we are not in any World Bank or in any IMF,
since we are a country blocked by Yankee imperialism, which does not trade
with them, well, you might as well know, messrs imperialists, that we are
the first country, the one with the most freedom in the entire world, to
tell imperialism all that it deserves. [applause] There is no country in
the world with greater freedom to tell imperialism the truth.  This pains

It pains it greatly.  It pains them to see the firmness of the revolution,
for they know that we are an unyielding and unwavering people. [applause]
They have intensified their economic measures against us.  They have
intensified their blockade in order, at any cost, to hinder Cuba's
activities and trade with other countries, as well as Cuba's obtaining of
credits.  They have, in short, intensified their blockade.  They have
adopted more stringent economic measures.  Now, as I was saying earlier, we
have our problems too.  An important part of our trade, most of it, takes
place with the socialist countries.  The conditions of exchange are

It can be said that throughout the years of the revolution we have achieved
a satisfactory trade relationship with the USSR and with the socialist
countries. [applause] This is precisely what we are demanding as a solution
for the underdeveloped countries in general.  Our sugar prices in trade
with the USSR and the socialist countries do not depend on the vagaries of
the international market; they are stable prices, established for 5-year
periods.  If the prices of the socialist countries' products increase or if
the USSR's prices go up, the prices of our sugar, nickel and other products
also go up.

Conditions are not exactly the same with all the socialist countries; they
are much better with the USSR, but they are good with the other socialist
countries as well.  Our prices are frozen--our sugar has one price and
their products have another.  Therefore, we maintain good trade relations
and if imports increase in price, the price of our products increases as
well.  We have achieved good trade relations, which are helping us a great
deal, particularly as we receive raw materials, machinery, equipment,
essential products and basic foods from these countries.

Now then, an important part of our economy is still dependent on trade with
the capitalist Western world; in other words, on trade with the rest of the
nonsocialist area, which is guided by the principles of the so-called world
market.  Although the part of our trade that is with the Western world is
minor it is important, because it sometimes involves complements we need to
be able to use the raw material we receive from the socialist countries.
If we receive 80 percent of our raw materials from the socialist countries
and need to get 20 percent from the Western world, because the socialist
countries do not have it, then we have to buy that much.

There are specific quantities of grain that we acquire from Western
countries, because we sometimes have to purchase grains, raw materials,
equipment, medicines, etc. from capitalist countries that are not
developed.  And in this Western area, our ability to buy depends upon the
price of our products.  Therefore, we need a specific amount of foreign
exchange and that is basically dependent on our sugar exports.  We also
have tobacco, lobster, shrimp and the like, and we are trying to increase
our exports.  But this isn't easy, because when you begin to try to export
manufactured products, you face competition, prices, credits and so forth
from the highly industrialized countries.  In other words, the
diversification of exports is difficult, because if we decide to export
refrigerators, radios, television sets and the like, we face strong
competition from countries that have higher industrial development and all
of the facilities for marketing--they control the markets and so forth.
Therefore, the effort to diversify exports is not easy.  And in addition,
this effort must face the capitalist developed countries' protectionist
measures and competition from the Third World.

For every penny's decrease in the price of sugar, the country's economy
stops receiving $70 million in foreign exchange.  At the end of last year,
prices were above 30 cents [unit not specified] and we made a great effort
in the sugar harvest, to take advantage of these high prices.  But despite
everyone's predictions, estimates and analyses, sugar has suffered a brutal
drop--its price was 11.29 cents yesterday, almost a third of its price last
year.  To this we must add the constant increase in the prices of imported
products, to which we were referring.  I want to point out that during the
past 22 years our country, just like other developing countries, had to
take on debt to obtain convertible foreign exchange necessary to
compensate, many times, for these brutal drops in the price of sugar.  Now
these credits and debts have to be paid and as interest rates have also
increased brutally--they have practically doubled--the interest rates for
our foreign debt are much higher.

Now then, we have had a norm in our policy ever since the success of the
revolution--and what I am explaining to you is very important, because the
Yankees know about this.  The Yankees know why the sugar prices dropped
despite all estimates.  One of the reasons was the policy of the EEC, which
has benefitted from the agreement.  In recent years, the sugar producers
entered into an agreement to protect prices.  They agreed on sugar export
quotas.  The prices even improved.  However, the EEC didn't want to enter
into this agreement.  The EEC countries produce sugar that is subsidized by
the state--I say this so that you can see what selfish and irresponsible
policies are like--and increased their exports from 1 million to 4 million

In other words, they refused to be part of the agreement, but they received
the benefits without taking any of the responsibilities.  They increased
their sugar exports from 1 million to 4 million tons, drastically lowering
prices and depriving underdeveloped sugar producing countries of thousands
of millions.  This measure not only has affected us, it has affected many
sugar exporting countries.  In the meantime, the United States established
an import duty of more than 2 cents on imported sugar, which affected many
sugar producing countries that export to the United States.  This was one
of the big complaints submitted to this gentleman on his tour of Latin
America.  With its selfish policy, the United States has also deprived
underdeveloped countries that export sugar to the United States of
thousands of millions of pesos, with its selfish policy.

Another factor has been the world's economic crisis.  Many peoples and
countries need sugar, but they simply do not have the money to buy it.  The
economic crisis is also affecting markets and prices in this respect.

The Yankees know these facts and difficulties.  They even swell with
illusions and hopes over the difficulties we are having and are going to
have.  Naturally, this forces us to make sacrifices and restrictions.  If
they asked us how much longer the Third World and developing countries,
including the socialist countries like Cuba, were going to have
difficulties, I wouldn't dare give a responsible answer.  Problems are
objective, no one can know when and how the world is going to overcome the
crisis.  No one.  As I said before, no one has the answers to world
problems for the next 10 or 20 years.  We are going to continue struggling,
working and developing.  No one can responsibly predict that the road ahead
is going to be easy.

You know that I have always told the truth to you, to the CDRs and to the
people. [applause] Now, in our policy we have an obligation I want the
people to share with us.  Our priority obligation is that whatever the
price of sugar, first of all, we must meet our international obligations,
[applause] our financial commitments, because the country's credit is worth
more than anything else. [applause]

We have two problems--the always latent and growing threats, and the
threats affecting peace and the economy.  They affect peace in two ways:
the danger of a world war, and the threats of conventional aggression
against us by the United States.  There are people asking what is going to
happen in the world.  I ask myself the same question: What is going to
happen in the world, if they decide to carry out an open aggression against

Well, in first place, and what we should learn and have as a philosophy, is
not to expect anyone to defend us, but first of all, to defend ourselves.
[applause] What sort of revolutionaries would we be, we who stand by our
principles, if we waited for others to defend us?  We defend our principles
above our own coat of arms [escudo].  We defend our principles above all
with our own skin. [applause]

The imperialists are asking what is going to happen.  I know what is going
to happen.  Hundreds of thousands of imperialists are going to die in this
country.  That I can assure you. [applause] If we cannot defend ourselves,
we cannot expect to have anyone's solidarity.  If we are able to defend
ourselves, then, let us see what is going to happen.  What is going to
happen?  History, and how each of us complies with his duties and
responsibility to the Cuban revolution, will tell. [applause] The
imperialists are talking about a complete blockade, among the arsenal of
measures they are talking about.

Its all right, we will learn from a new experience and they will learn,
too, [applause] because one thing we are sure of is that this country can
resist a total blockade for as long as is necessary. [applause] There are
plans about what we should do in the event of a total blockade.  There are
also plans about what we should do in case of a direct aggression.  But
most important, our first banner and our first slogan, arrogant imperialist
gentlemen, is to say: We aren't the least bit afraid of you! [applause,
followed by the audience's slogan: Fidel, deal a harsh blow to the Yankees]
As you all know, after that fascist U.S. administration took office, we
weren't the first to use strong words.  We were cautious, we were moderate,
as described by certain dispatches.  On 17 and 19 April, we said that we
left it up to them as to what tone they wished to use in dealing with us,
whether they wanted to hold a dialogue and talk with us or whether they
wanted to threaten us.  It now seems that they chose to go the wrong way,
so the only thing left for us to do was to tell them what they deserved.
They have been making all of these threats.  They are also threatening to
intervene in Nicaragua, El Salvador and in Central America.

This fascist group is characterized by fascist methods, of course: first of
all the lies; they use Goebbels lies; they use methods that must have been
taken from a book; I think they copied their methods and theories from MEIN
KAMPF.  They use domination, arrogance, threats and lies.  In terms of the
Salvadoran incidents, we have seen many lies.  Each time they said
something, we never answered; we kept quiet, due to our contempt and
because we don't have to account to them for anything.  At a certain time,
though, we felt that it was appropriate to give them a good and timely
denial, because they were issuing a pack of lies.  They would tell a lie
today, another tomorrow and another one the day after, until we had to cut
the spokesmen of imperialism short.  They were saying that the weapons that
Cuba was receiving for its defense were being redistributed in Central
America.  We didn't say anything, because it is not an issue of their
redistribution.  It all depended upon whether we wanted to redistribute
them or not.  We don't have to account for this to Yankee imperialism.
[applause, laughter] We didn't want them to interpret our denial as moral
acquiescence or to think that we thought it immoral.  Of course, the
weapons that we receive from the USSR cannot be redistributed by agreement,
and we honor our agreement.

But they launched... since they know that a few ships arrive with weapons
for the territorial militia troops [applause]--they are fully
equipped--then they came up with the theory that we were receiving many
tons of weapons and so forth.  We are not going to tell them how many
weapons we received, but we can tell them that there were indeed many.

They then came up with the theory that we were redistributing them in
Central America.  This is a lie, a complete lie, because we were receiving
the weapons in our country, for our own defense.  However, they were saying
this to justify the shipment of advisers and weapons to El Salvador, their
intervention in Central America, and the like, in order to have a
justification for congress.  They knew this was a lie.  A few days later,
they again spoke hastily and said that we had military advisers in El
Salvador.  This is another great lie, but they went ahead and said it.  Of
course, they spoke this lie after the French-Mexican declaration, in order
to complicate matters and to try to embarrass Mexico, France and other
countries.  So they said that we were sending weapons and military advisers
to Central America.

Then they started to say that we were supplying weapons to the Salvadoran
guerrillas.  We replied to all of this at the IPU meeting, when we said
that the Salvadoran patriots had been fighting for many months with their
own weapons, with the weapons and bullets that they were taking from the
enemy.  We said that it was a moral thing, that it was just and proper to
send them weapons and that if we did not do so, it was simply because there
were no ways of doing it.  This means we feel that it is morally just to
send weapons, but we told the truth--we said that it was not true that we
were supplying the Salvadoran patriots with weapons and ammunition.  When
the IPU meeting was held, we gathered the three denials: We are not
redistributing the weapons we receive from the USSR in Central America; we
are not sending advisers and we are not supplying any weapons.

They are complete liars; and when we said so to the imperialist spokesmen,
they had no choice but to remain silent.  They shut their mouths for a
little while.

But then the secretary of state and an adviser to the almighty gentleman
started talking, making all kinds of statements.  It is typical of them to
make many statements and to tell many lies; they are characterized by one
of two things: They are either conscious liars or ignorant people and, in
either case of course, they are cynical. [laughter, applause] Now they have
changed their tactics.  The spokesmen no longer speak; instead, they
manipulate the news that they publish in the press.

Here is another big lie: [laughter] This is from the 19th, 3 or 4 days ago.
According to this dispatch, two U.S. columnists reported today that Cuba
has allegedly sent to Nicaragua between 500 and 600 elite soldiers for the
purpose of dealing a blow at El Salvador's jugular vein and creating a
revolutionary Marxist government in the eastern part of that country.
Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, whose articles are published daily in
hundreds of newspapers--you can see how these gentlemen's lies are spread
throughout the world, while the denials are not, for this is how they
operate, in a Goebbelian style, in a Hitlerian style, in a fascist style;
this is how they make up their lies and make the U.S. people believe them.
These men publish their articles in hundreds of papers and millions of
people read their news; what they do not read are the denials.  The denials
are read only by a few governments, a few leading sectors.  It is important
to deny, but manufacturing the lie is what they care about [Castro returns
to reading the dispatch] whose articles are published daily in hundreds of
newspapers, provided all kinds of details on an alleged open invasion of El
Salvador by Cuban troops.  In doing this, they quoted impeccable Latin
American sources--according to them, the sources were impeccable.
According to the two newsmen, Fidel Castro has introduced a shock force in
Nicaragua, in order to attack President Jose Napoleon Duarte's Salvadoran
Government through the back door--as if he were the real Napoleon or
something and one had to attack him through the back door and stuff like
that; [laughter] as if this were some kind of Waterloo. [laughter]

According to the two newsmen's data and interpretation, the plan may be
classically simple.  It would seek to divide El Salvador in half at the
Lempa River, in order to organize a provisional revolutionary government in
the eastern part of the country, which would gradually obtain international
support for the Revolutionary Democratic Front.  This scheme, which may
have already been put into practice with the destruction of the Oro Bridge
last week, would be equivalent to yet another Cuban intervention abroad.
According to Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, the United States should adopt
other essential measures to prevent this.  This is an exhortation to adopt
measures against us, to attack us, to blockade us.  The article implicitly
suggests that the military aid given to the Salvadoran Government junta,
including the dispatch of men, should be increased.  The U.S.
countermeasures should go much farther than the mere dispatch of 50
advisers, they allege.  The article, which is long, adds some more data.

It says here: The soldiers, members of the special rapid intervention
forces--they have even created a rapid intervention force for us-[laughter]
which would be linked to the Cuban Interior Ministry, were dressed in
civilian clothes, as if they were tourists, the columnists added.  Their
weapons, worked on by specialists, were concealed in what seemed to be
tourist trunks and other normal luggage.  The flights were made on 16, 17,
18 and 19 September.  According to Evans and Novak, the Cuban ambassador in
Nicaragua, Julian Lopez, also traveled on the last flight.  The column adds
that upon arriving on Nicaraguan soil, the troops boarded several
helicopters that had been waiting for them and they disappeared into the
jungle. [laughter] Exactly 26 days later, in the early morning hours of 15
October, the most important bridge over the Lempa River, which divides El
Salvador in half, was blown up. [laughter]

Troops carrying weapons in their luggage were transferred, they boarded
helicopters, they disappeared into the jungle and exactly 26 days later the
bridge is blown up.  It was no coincidence that on the very same day,
another paper, the WALL STREET JOURNAL, said in an editorial that thanks to
an alarmingly effective leftist propaganda campaign, President Reagan's
administration has been largely frustrated in its efforts to obtain public
support for launching a U.S. counterattack against the Soviet-Cuban
conquest of Central America.  In its editorial comment, the financial paper
adds: Nevertheless, it is still too early to abandon the struggle.  Further
on, it says that if successful, the great prize of this allegedly
Soviet-Cuban campaign will be the Panama Canal.

So this is their style.  They make up lies, publish them in thousands of
newspapers and disseminate them through international dispatches.  This was
explained here during the meeting of intellectuals and artists.  The Yankee
information monopolies control 70 percent of the world's information.
Spreading all of this has an obvious purpose.  The spokesmen no longer
speak; instead, they manipulate some newsmen, to make them write these
articles for an obvious purpose; to justify their intervention in El
Salvador, to justify their threats and aggressive measures against Cuba.
However, once again we have the pleasure of telling them: Mssrs
imperialists, you are liars.  You are liars. [applause]

We have no alternative but to deny this, because Cuba has not sent a single
special forces soldier, or any other soldier, to Nicaragua.  Cuba has never
sent any troops to Nicaragua.  That is a huge lie.  We are not only
entitled, but obliged to deny it.  That is a complete lie, [laughter] from
beginning to end.  But what is the purpose of these lies?

During his tour through Latin America, the famous Mr Buche [George Bush]
[laughter] also said something that Tomas [Borge] recalled earlier.  Buche
was giving advice concerning 5,000 advisers--for they speak of 5,000
advisers, and that is another lie.  I wish we had not 5,000 advisers, but
5,000 doctors and teachers in Nicaragua.  Yet they do not total even 3,000.
About 2,100 of them are teachers and professors.  Over 200 are doctors,
construction workers and agricultural technicians, who make up the great
majority of the Cuban personnel rendering internationalist services in

This gentleman calls them 5,000 advisers. [applause] This gentleman
impassively talks of 5,000 advisers in Nicaragua.  In the same way, take a
lady named Jeanne Kirkpatrick, or something like that.  I believe she is
the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who is noted for making
hysterical statements.  Of course, hysteria is always present in these
fascist characters.  She said that we had I don't know how many soldiers in
Afghanistan.  Just imagine that, they have even placed our soldiers in
Afghanistan!  They calmly say these things.  I sometimes wonder if they are
ignorant, foolish, stupid, cynical or what.  Or are they all of those
things?  They lie so calmly.  This lady puts our troops in Afghanistan.
This gentleman talks of 5,000 advisers in Nicaragua, and so forth.  Of
course, these things have their purpose.  It is to promote and encourage
the counterrevolution in Nicaragua, aside from the CIA's objectives and its
actions against the internationalist Cuban workers.  This policy has the
purpose of encouraging vile and cowardly murder, such as that committed
against the two Cuban teachers in Nicaragua a few days ago.  I sincerely
believe that one of the most beautiful pages of international solidarity is
being written by our teachers and doctors in Nicaragua. [applause]

We are proud to have men and women capable of doing this.  I personally bid
farewell to many of the companero teachers who go to Nicaragua and 1 know
the job they are doing and under what conditions they are working, as
Companero Tomas Borge has already spoken so eloquently about; how they live
in the most remote places, under the most difficult conditions; where you
sometimes have to walk 3 days or ride a mule for 2 days to get where you
are going.  You cannot imagine the worth of these companeros, these
teachers in the most remote corners of Nicaragua.  What is extraordinary
about this is that the majority, or about half of them, are women teaching
in that country. [applause] Many are housewives, who agreed to be separated
from their children, husbands and families for a long time to go and serve
there.  I think they have extraordinary merit. [applause]

The imperialists will not say anything about these murders.  They will not
condemn them.  When our country is serving as an example of what should be
the duty of all of the world's countries, which is to cooperate with one
another, to fight diseases and illiteracy; when, on behalf of mankind, we
offer absolutely selfless cooperation, then we are, these men and women,
subjected to imperialist slander.  Those teachers are not there to teach
Marxism-Leninism, and the Nicaraguan families know this very well.  They
are there only to teach the school programs and subjects assigned them by
the education minister of Nicaragua.  This is their task.  On few occasions
has a more beautiful page has been written.  The imperialists will not
write editorials, or make propaganda, condemning this shameful crime.

What are the imperialists protesting?  Ah, they protest against the
Sandinists' arrest of a few bourgeois for violating the laws of Nicaragua.
About this, yes, protests are pouring in, and you can see reports and
criticism.  When it has to do with an imperialist pharisee, with a traitor
to the causes of the revolution, then you have universal imperialist
protests.  But when two humble teachers, who are carrying out the
extraordinary and beautiful task of teaching Nicaraguan children, are
murdered, there is not one word of disapproval or protest.  This is the
attitude of the imperialists.  We can say here that by the hands of Cuban
teachers and thanks to them, 100,000 Nicaraguan children are receiving an
education. [applause] The Cuban teachers are teaching 100,000 children.

To kill teachers is one of the most heinous and repugnant crimes that can
be committed in today's world.  But this is not new for us.  We remember
Conrado Benitez and (Delfin Sen).  We remember the literacy campaign, when
they hung peasants and literacy teachers.  By our own experience, we know
the extent of imperialist hatred, the CIA's lack of scruples, the vileness
of the counterrevolution and reactionaries.  That is why we are prepared to
assimilate these bitter experiences.

We trust in the Sandinist revolution and its ability.  We know that those
crimes will be punished, as they were in our country.  We also know that
they are taking all necessary measures to protect our teachers. [applause]

They can intimidate neither the Nicaraguan people nor the Cuban people with
their actions. [applause] The same day that the murder of these teachers
became known, the number of students who enrolled in the teachers
detachment tripled. [applause] Thousands of teachers have volunteered to
fill the position of the two teachers who fell, [applause] who enhanced the
ranks of our fatherland's martyrs, because they were like soldiers, dying
in combat, dying in the fight against illiteracy and ignorance.  They wage
this struggle with pencils, notebooks and books, not with arms.  One has to
be extremely cowardly and vile to kill men in these circumstances.

That is what these campaigns are good for.  The only thing lacking is a
report by the Yankee newspapers that they were two soldiers; that they were
not teachers, but two of the special soldiers who recently landed.  I think
that these facts demonstrate the lack of scruples of the enemy we are
facing.  They enlighten us as to the struggle that must be waged by our
people, the Cuban people, the Nicaraguan people, all of the peoples as they
liberate themselves.  This is how the Angolan people must act now, after so
many years of struggle for their independence, fighting against the South
African racists, victims of the aggression they carry out, in connivance
with Yankee imperialism.  This is the path toward freedom.  It is a long
path, the path of dignity, justice and revolution.

Now then, in facing these military-type risks, in facing this threat, we
are prepared.  A tremendous effort has been made in organizing the militias
of territorial troops, in strengthening our revolutionary armed forces.  We
have not stopped working, preparing and improving our defenses for a single
minute.  The effort and the costs are high, but I am sure that the country
would never forgive itself for neglecting its defense in case of an
imperialist attack.  Therefore, attention to the country's defense takes
priority under any circumstances.

However, we must also be prepared to face economic woes.  In the first
place, we must apply the reforms to retail prices.  This step is
independent of the overall economic situation about which I spoke
previously, but it is linked to the salary reform.

By virtue of the salary reform. 2.4 million workers have received salary
increases.  The total amount this year will be 440 million pesos.  It will
reach 540 million in 1982 and will total 2.7 billion during the 5-year
period.  This includes income resulting from the salary reform and
bonuses--I understand this includes bonuses to the workers.

When the salary reform was proposed, it was explained that a price reform
would have to be carried out.  Why?  Because money in circulation is being
increased by 2.7 billion pesos during the 5-year period.  The reform of
retail prices was necessary for two reasons: First, to partially offset the
effects of the salary reform and, second, to make our prices more rational.

As will be recalled, when the salary reform was announced it was explained
that some retail prices would be revised.  In GRANMA's issue of 25 March
1980, it was said in this respect: As is known, despite the inflationary
process that has taken place throughout the world in the last few years,
which produces a particularly negative impact on an open economy such as
Cuba's, retail prices of staples have been kept frozen at the level of the
early years of the revolution, to keep family finances from being burdened;
this requires heavy state subsidies, which work against the necessary
equilibrium of internal financial forces.

The salary reform will make it possible, concurrently with its
implementation, to study this situation, in order to put certain price
increases into effect on the retail market.  However, the amount will be
lower than the increase in salaries.

We also discussed this matter in the report to our party's second congress.
On that occasion we said: Although the price reform will entail an overall
increase in the population's expenses, it will be substantially lower than
the increase in income resulting from the salary reform and the payment of
bonuses to workers, which are already in the process of implementation.
The problem is that we have delayed for some time in implementing this
reform.  The salary reform was implemented prior to the changes that had to
be made in prices.  We have delayed for several months and this situation
cannot be prolonged.  Otherwise we would run the risk of wallowing in
money, with very negative consequences on labor discipline and on the
economy.  We have to try to maintain what is called financial equilibrium.
If we neglect this, the consequences will be negative.  In view of this
economic situation, we must not postpone this step any longer.  We must
make the changes in retail prices before the year's end.  As is explained
here, they will cover an amount that is substantially lower than the income
being received because of the salary reform.

Naturally, the cases of pensioners, retirees and social security
beneficiaries who are not benefiting from the salary reform will be taken
into account to keep them from being affected.  The amounts are not
substantial but we must do this.  This is implicit in the implementation of
the salary reform.  Therefore, some prices are going to be changed but we
expect them to remain within our reach. [applause] A portion of the 2.7
billion to be received as salaries will be compensated by the price reform,
another portion by savings, we hope.  As I also told you, this will be
combined with measures of a restrictive nature we must adopt.  Some
programs, plans and investments will have to be sacrificed in some way.
However, we must confront this situation in every way.  I explained it
broadly before.  It stems from the factors that have been pointed out and
is fundamentally related to the drop in sugar prices.  We must be prepared
for this.  We must be prepared to make sacrifices and we must abide by our
inviolable and sacred principle of meeting our international commitments
first of all. [applause]

Now then, this demands a special effort from us.  As we said last year, we
made a great effort at harvesting time.  Even if last year we did not carry
out the most efficient harvest in the history of our country, we did not
fail to make an effort.  These difficulties are arising precisely at a time
when our country is doing the best work in the entire history of the
revolution, when our workers are working with utmost efficiency, enthusiasm
and discipline, when the enterprises, the economic sectors engaged in
agriculture, harvesting and construction are working more efficiently than
ever.  These difficulties of an external nature are appearing at a time
when we have made considerable progress in establishing the economic
management and planning system, when we are beginning to reap the initial
benefits of the changes we have made, when our people are really working
better and more efficiently.

We have had to tell the planning offices that, according to estimates, the
available resources amount to so much and estimates must be very
conservative because, in addition, sugar is now quoted at 11.39 [currency
not specified] but nobody can assert that its price will be 8 cents within
3 months.  It may even drop.  The situation may be even more difficult
still.  We have had to recommend to the planning, to the economic offices,
to adjust their plans and activities to this situation.  We will lack some
raw materials.  We will lack some resources.  In other words, we must not
be surprised.  This will affect several types of production.  However, we
must confront this situation.

This also forces us to continue making efforts to improve efficiency, to
continue applying the economic management and planning system regardless of
how difficult conditions may be.  This forces us to be more efficient and
thrifty than ever.  Every drop of oil or gram of fertilizer, steel, fabric
of all raw materials must be used more efficiently.  We have to try to be
most efficient or to make agriculture most efficient.  We must go on
scoring the successes and achievements we are obtaining in sugarcane
cultivation, live stock farming and agriculture in general.  In a nutshell,
faced with circumstances of this nature, we must make a maximum effort in
regard to services, education, medical care and all activities to show how
our people can tackle any situation regardless of how difficult it is.

As I told you, the imperialists know we are going to face these
difficulties and they harbor hopes and illusions.  They think that the
embargo of 22 years is going to yield some results at last.  No.  The
embargo of 22 years has been harming us for 22 years.  However, it has not
kept us from doing what we have done, or prevented achievements which are
unprecedented feats.

The feat of granting jobs to virtually our entire population, of putting an
end to loitering [tiempo muerto], vices, gambling, drug addiction,
prostitution, illiteracy;, of reaching the sixth grade level as a minimum,
of struggling for ninth grade, of having virtually the best level of public
health among all of the world's underdeveloped countries... all the
achievements we have scored and will continue to score and promote have not
been and will not be prevented by the embargo.  The difficulties will not
keep us from continuing to advance.  However, what is important and
necessary is to count on the understanding and full support of the people.

That is the most important thing.  The imperialists have false hopes.  The
imperialists are intensifying their economic blockade against Cuba,
blocking our economic efforts and our credits.  The imperialists are
increasing their espionage activities inside and outside our country and
increasing their efforts to establish contacts and to obtain defections
among diplomatic personnel, among technicians, in everything.  They are
increasing their activity.  They are increasing their subversive activity.

The imperialists will undoubtedly return to their conspiratorial methods,
to their assassination plans, to the sabotage of the economy and to the
assassination of leaders of the revolution.  Several times we have asked
the all-powerful indispensable gentleman to say if the CIA is going to once
again be authorized to plot assassinations of leaders of the revolution.
Silence is their answer.  They have not said a single word.  Perhaps they
even think that we are afraid and that we are going through life shaking,
thinking that they want to kill us, the leaders.  Perhaps that is what they
think.  However, we have learned to defend ourselves.  Our security
organizations have learned to work well, very well. [applause] It won't be
so easy nor do they make us tremble.

When we ask them to say whether they are once again going to use these
methods, it is to confront them with their moral responsibility, it is so
they will speak, so that they won't remain silent because the entire world
knows about their misdeeds and their past and we demand that they speak and
we demand that they give an explanation.  However, we are not afraid even
if they organize 100,000 plans.  We definitely know how to defend ourselves
and we don't have any worries in this regard.

It is very probable that the imperialists will resort to the dirtiest
methods of sabotage as they did in the past and are doing in the present.
We have to continue protecting ourselves and taking special measures
against bacteriological warfare.  We have to be ready and take all
necessary precautions and follow all instructions to the letter.  In short,
we have to be prepared even for atomic war.  What can we do?  Well, to die
honorably is a good way to behave and act. [applause] Imperialist
gentlemen, we don't have atomic weapons but we aren't afraid of atomic
weapons.  The imperialists are going to increase their subversive
activities.  Recently, in the most barefaced manner possible and with the
greatest cynicism they announced the future establishment of an official
U.S.  Government radio station aimed against the Cuban revolution.  One has
to be cynical, immoral, and shameless to propose the idea of establishing a
station in U.S. territory to carry out a campaign against the revolution,
to try to subvert and destabilize the revolution.

One has to be cynical.  One can't think of a more vulgar and brutal way of
intervention in the domestic affairs of another country.  They say that it
is so our people will be informed.  Our country is now struggling for the
ninth grade; it is capable of reading, writing and thinking.  Compare the
information that our country had when it was controlled by the Yankee
imperialists with the information and the conscience that our country has
today.  Of course, this measure will not remain unanswered. [applause] To
carry their cynicism to even greater heights they have baptized the
supposed radio station as Radio Jose Marti [murmur from the crowd] as an
offense, an insult against our people.  Apparently they do not know--and if
the poor little things do not know, how can we censure them for it--how can
we ask them to have read Marti, when these gentlemen have not even read
their country's constitution, nor Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, or
anyone.  How can we ask Reagan, Bush, Haig if they have read Marti?  Or all
of Reagan's advisers?  How could they know that Marti said that he knew the
monster because he had lived in its entrails? [applause] How should they
know that Marti some days before his death said that all he had done, all
his life and all he would do would be to prevent the extension of U.S.
domination over our peoples of America?  How can these shameless persons
use the name of Marti so cynically and barefacedly.  That is up to them.
That is their business.  We will vindicate the names of the real U.S.
patriots because Marti does not only belong to us.  Marti is ours.  Marti
is of the revolutionaries.  But also Washington, Abraham Lincoln and all
the U.S. revolutionaries belong to us. [applause] We do have the right to
speak not only of Marti but also of Lincoln and Washington.  They had great
morals because they were liberators of peoples but these are oppressors of
peoples; they are warmongers, reactionaries.  Marti's name will not be
stained.  It is so great that it won't be stained by even the mouths of the
Yankee fascists. [applause]

We shall continue to honor Marti precisely by being worthy followers of
Marti; worthy children of Marti [applause] by being revolutionaries like
him and, like him, willing to die for the fatherland. [applause]

This is another Yankee mistake, and they certainly will have enough time to
realize it.  Besides, it is not wise for people who live in glass houses to
throw stones, since it is very fragile glass, at that.  We have had, still
have and will have difficulties, but the U.S. people are having growing
difficulties and they are going to suffer great economic and social
difficulties.  Unemployment is mainly affecting the black population of the
United States where a very high percentage of its youth are jobless.  That
imperialist country cannot solve these social problems because 9 months
after the Reagan administration assumed power and when that country
expected a miraculous economic boom, it is, instead, facing a recession and
a drop in its production.  The administration, in fact, had to admit its
failure to cope with inflation while unemployment has increased and now it
faces a recession.

They have tried to launch this type of aggression against us.  Let them not
forget that we are not in Europe or Asia, that we are here, very near the
U.S. coasts and our radio waves can also reach them, there. [applause] We
shall see who can resist the most; we shall see who, we or they, are the
strongest morally and politically. [applause]

Let the imperialists not mistake our people for that scum we gladly allowed
to leave the country.  Here we not only have a tough-fighting adult
population but we have a new generation, whose revolutionary spirit and
intransigence were evidenced in the victorious marches of the people.  Here
we have a new generation of Cubans, of whom the two murdered teachers are a
worthy example, as well as the more than 2,000 teachers and over 200 medics
now in Nicaragua, and the tens of thousands of internationalist workers
serving in over 30 countries, and the more than 100,000 fighters who have
served in international missions.  They are all worthy examples of our
people. [applause]

Once again the imperialists are mistaken about our people.  We shall not
stop fulfilling our international commitments.  Our internationalists will
not stop fulfilling their duties. [applause] We shall not fail in our
duties toward the socialist community, the underdeveloped nations and the
Third World.  We shall not stop struggling, reporting the truth, reporting
the hardships of our peoples, reporting the dangers that threaten world
peace because of the arms race, poverty and underdevelopment.

We shall not renounce our ideas of international cooperation; we shall not
give up our position that all nations, independent of their social regime,
must work together if we truly want to preserve peace and mankind.  Our
duties as a civilized people shall be fulfilled.  We are determined to do
so.  We do not want a conflict merely for the sake of a conflict; we do not
want a confrontation merely for the sake of a confrontation.

In contrast, there is the other conduct, the revolutionary conduct, the
Marxist-Leninist conduct, the determination of the revolution to defend our
ideas, our socialist system and our right to defend our principles at any
cost and under any circumstances.  The imperialists are mistaken if they
think our people will lose heart. [applause] If it is necessary to make the
same sacrifices of the early years of the revolution, we shall make them
again, and even greater ones. [applause] If it is necessary to make the
sacrifices of our liberation war, we shall make them again, and even
greater ones. [applause] If it is necessary to make the sacrifices our
Mambises [name that Spanish colonialists gave to Cuban rebels] made, we
shall make them again, and even greater ones. [applause] Our history, our
independence, our revolution, our socialism and our progress were written
with heroism and struggle.  We are determined to write it as often as
necessary, even though it may need the effort not only of one generation,
but of two, three or four generations of Cubans. [applause] Let the
imperialists know that the Cuban people shall live with their revolution or
die to the last man and woman alongside of it.  Fatherland or death, we
will win! [applause]


The following correction to the item entitled "Castro Speech" published in
the 27 October Latin American DAILY REPORT on page Q 1 is supplied by
monitor recheck of recording of Castro speech: On page Q 7, at the end of
the first sentence in the fourth paragraph insert the following dropped
material: But the capitalist economy which had been boosting its
development at the expense of the Third World's natural resources -- not
only at the expense of its own natural resources but also at those of the
Third World -- started to find limitations, also for the first time, in
those natural resources and raw materials.  For the first time, it ceased
to find cheap energy like oil.  Since petroleum is such an important raw
material, oil-producing countries united and had sufficient power to face
the capitalist developed countries and to impose their price conditions.
Thus the price of petroleum increased by approximately 15 times.  A ton of
oil costs today 15 times more than in 1970 and thus there is no more cheap
energy for the capitalist developed countries.  Unfortunately -- an this is
the reverse side of the coin -- there is nor more cheap energy for
underdeveloped countries either, which also have to pay 15 times more for
petroleum.  Thus nonoil-producing underdeveloped countries not only have to
pay 3 times more in coffee or cocoa for a truck but they also have to pay
10 or 12 more times in coffee or cocoa for the oil they need to meet their
development needs.  These are two entirely new situations. no capitalist
theoretician, I repeat, knows how they are going to get out of this
situation.  Several experiments have been tried.