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PA200323 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 2312 GMT 18 Jul 82

[Speech by Fidel Castro president of the Cuban Councils of State and
Ministers, at the main celebration to commemorate children's day, held the
Loma del Taburete pioneer camp in the municipality of Candelaria Pinar del
Rio Province -- live]

[Text] Dear Pioneers, relatives of Pioneers, guests, companeras and

We wanted to celebrate this day at a camping base at the same time that a
Pioneer scouts center was being inaugurated near this place. Last year we
celebrated it in Granma Province precisely at a Pioneer scout center. We
thought it was worthwhile to stress the importance of this activity for the
Pioneers, the youth and all the people.

This year we can confirm with satisfaction great progress in all these
institutions that have to do with the Pioneers and youth. I recall that
last year we asked the companeros of the party, the youth and people's
government for an effort to develop these institutions, which have great
importance and which require very few resources.

Of course, when we can we build a Pioneer palace like the national palace
or other types of construction. But we do not have sufficient resources to
make all the institutions of that type. However, they could not wait 10, 15
or 20 years. Specific buildings can be adapted to build a Pioneers' palace.
Camps can be built. They do not all have to be like (Luis Mailiyo) or
Ciudad Jose Marti. We do not have resources to build that type of camp now,
but there are ways to solve the problem.

These camping centers or the Pioneer scout centers can really be built with
very few resources. In fact, the idea was well received by all the
provinces. It has received support from everyone. This type of idea has the
luck of being well received and finding easy support. This has occurred
with the workers' centers, the Pioneer palaces and the camping bases.

I have brought some data which, if I will not bore you too much, I want to
give you regarding what has been done, above all since 18 July 1981,
regarding what has been promoted in this activity.

We currently have 20 learning-recreational and recreational camps which in
the learning- recreational period have a capacity of 15,444 Pioneers and
adults and in the recreational period have a capacity of 23,541 Pioneers.
As you know, these installations are used all year long, in the vacation
period and in the teaching period.

On the occasion of children's day, two camps will be inaugurated, in
Holguin and Camaguey, with a capacity of 300. In the learning-recreational
period this will permit 3,747 pioneers and adults to enjoy them, and in the
recreational period 2,073. By December a camp will be reopened in
Guantanamo after its expansion. Its capacity has been increased by 100
Pioneers and adults, permitting 1,500 Pioneers and adults to pass through
it during the learning- recreational period and 700 during the recreational
period. I think this was backward. During the learning-recreational period
there should be less. It is 700 then and 1,500 in the recreational period,
since they always have a bigger capacity in the recreational period.

To summarize, by December of this year we will have a total of 22 camps,
including the city of the pioneers. They will have a capacity of 15,847
Pioneers and adults in the learning- recreational period and of 23,941 in
the recreational period. This will allow us to count on a material base, as
far as camps are concerned, with a capacity to accommodate in a year, with
97-percent exploitation, a total of 430,885 Pioneers and adults. [applause]
We are getting closer to the possibility of half a million children passing
through the Pioneer camps each year.

With this established capacity, the organization can enable 153,174
Pioneers and adults to enjoy the camps in July and August.

We have 19 scout centers. The little Pioneer already spoke of a larger
number because each day there are inaugurations of new scout centers. They
have a capacity of 5,130 Pioneers, which permits us to put through them in
a year a total of 205,074 Pioneers and adults in accordance with the
rotations established for this purpose.

According to the plan established, 29 more centers will be inaugurated on
children's day, that is, today. This makes a total of 48 centers with a
capacity of 5,830, which will allow us to have an annual capacity of
230,147 pioneers and adults in these new centers. We will inaugurate 12
more centers of scout Pioneers, which will include a capacity of 2,290 and
an annual capacity of 89,229 Pioneers and adults.

In sum, by December 1982, the Pioneer organization will have 60 centers
with a capacity of 13,270, which means that according to the rotation
established a total of 524,450 Pioneers and adults will stay at these
centers. These installations will progressively constitute the optimum base
for the activity of 212,005 Pioneers who make up the scout movement.

In reality, when one sees the things that the children learn at these
scouting centers, the useful things in life and the interesting knowledge
acquired there, one thinks that the day must come when all Pioneers can
also be scouts.

As we already mentioned, the movement already has more than 200,000
Pioneers. We have 35 Pioneer palaces with a capacity of 9,458 with an
enrollment of 93,601 [figure as heard] per week.

A total of 24 more palaces will be inaugurated on children's day, today.
These palaces will have a capacity of 3,773 and an annual enrollment of
37,730 Pioneers. We will inaugurate two more palaces in December which will
have a capacity of 240. This will allow for an enrollment of 2,400
Pioneers. In sum, we will have a total of 61 Pioneer palaces which will
have a capacity of 13,471. They will be able to accept an enrollment of
133,731 Pioneers. With this growth rate we will be able to have
installations of this kind in 61 municipalities. One can see that a giant
step has been taken in the past year.

There is a new institution here. Ismael didn't tell us about it, although
it is a cooperative-type of institution. As you know, Ismael -- you met him
here today, he is already famous -- is the son of a cooperative peasant. A
new initiative came up here called Pioneer country corners. They are small
installations created in the cooperatives for agricultural production, with
their own resources and possibilities. They are aimed at offering a wide
range of activities that will contribute to forming the Pioneers who are
the sons of cooperative members. The main activities that will be carried
out in these corners are of a vocational nature, through scientific and
technical circles of interest and basic units of the pioneer movement;
technicians of tomorrow. The activities will be cultural, recreational,
patriotic, athletic and productive through the gardens grown there. We
already have three Pioneer country corners with an enrollment of 138
Pioneers. Two more corners, with an enrollment of 75 Pioneers, will be
inaugurated today. We will inaugurate 5 more in December with an enrollment
of 184 Pioneers. In sum, we will have 10 Pioneer country corners in the
country which will have an enrollment of 397 Pioneers of peasant areas,
basically from agricultural cooperatives. With these 4 branches of the
network of Pioneer installations we will have 153. They will incorporate,
permanently or for established periods of 1 year, a total of 1,089,463
Pioneers, guides and instructors. This capacity has been achieved with a
minimum of resources, thus showing that a good idea and good will can
perform miracles. The number of installations implies that 52.95 percent of
the Pioneers can be incorporated in them per year. In any event, there
could be Pioneers who can participate on more than one occasion in more
thin one type of installation. With these capacities, some 245,153
Pioneers, guides and instructors could use the installations in July and
August, without counting the palaces and country corners, which also offer
a plan of activities for the vacation period.

It is our intention to promote the creation of more Pioneer palaces until
we have one in each municipality and to promote country corners until we
have one in each cooperative.

It seems that we have a future little Pioneer who talks a lot. No? He is
right around there. [Castro laughs, presumably referring to a child in the

Now we will talk about the basis of camping. But first we must note that
this base in Pinar del Rio Province was chosen to celebrate this event
taking into account the excellent work that the province has made in this
field. This province is inaugurating today seven scout centers, three
palaces, one camp and also seven new youth centers for recreation -- this
is another institution. There are so many that one loses count -- Pioneer
palaces, scout centers, Pioneer camps, bases for popular camping [words
indistinct] and youth centers for recreation, this last one is another
institution that is much in demand. Today LA JUVENTUD newspaper opened a
discussion on recreation. I was reading the letters that appeared there
which began the discussion. The young people are saying that they come home
from the classes and there are not places for recreation, especially in
very small towns. They write to us. They write from Moa, Los Arabos and
other places. It is good, I feel. I think that with the same criteria used
to solve these problems and few resources these youth recreation centers
can also be created. We cannot forget that most of our people are young
and, in addition, the rest of the people believe that they are young.

I have been able to use here material that contains general information on
people's camping, on this institution, on where it is. It is of great
importance for all the people. This one is not only for Pioneers. The
camping base is for children, adults, the young and not so young, for
everyone. It is not only for students. It is also for families. Our
aspiration is that the camping bases will become recreation centers for

I think this idea to gather here on children's day 200 outstanding Pioneers
from the city of Havana and from Pinar del Rio with their families has been
excellent proof of the possibilities that this institution has for the
family, because everyone came. One of the first people I found when I
arrived was precisely (Marzeti). He was invited by his daughter, who was
rewarded for being an outstanding Pioneer student. In this way we have also
had the satisfaction of seeing many relatives invited by their children or
their nephews or grandchildren. We have seen how the families have enjoyed
this base, including the river. Ideas emerge. Marvelous things can be done
in a clear and transparent river. It was not like in my time, when there
were no ideas. I had to go to a very small river. The Manacas stream was
the stream in which I first jumped into the water. It was very small. That
puddle must have been 3 and 1/2 or 4 meters, but it appeared very big to me
then. I learned to swim like a little dog because everyone learns to swim
like a little dog. They begin with the two hands instead of the feet, not
free style or Olympic style. That is how one begins, because to learn to
swim the first thing that must be learned is to float, and then comes the
dynamics of movement. In this sense, man is more backward than the animals.
If you throw a cat into the water he will not drown. The cat swims. If you
throw in a dog he will swim. There is no animal that you throw in the water
that will not swim. The only animal that can drown when thrown into the
water is Homo sapiens. He drowns, and I am not surprised. In a country
everyone, but everyone, should know how to swim. I think all these camping
bases are going to help in this.

I was telling you that I saw those pools in those small rivers. How were
they made? Very simply. A constructed pool is expensive. A hole has to be
dug, investments made. However, in these rivers, with a little wall, a
small concrete dam, a little wall, the water level goes up and two natural
pools are built with an insignificant investment in some marvelous waters.

The truth is that we were envious of that crowd of young people and
relatives who were there when we arrived in this camp because it was very
hot. The tour of the scout center and the activity was what apparently made
us feel very hot. That pool looked like paradise. The water is clean and
clear; the two little walls give a good depth that is safe for children and
adults. One can swim there. Well, I think this is better than in the sports
palace; better, and the waters are cleaner because they flow.

You say the water was cold? [laughter] In the middle of summer you are
telling me that the water was cold. I bet you anything that if I had placed
a thermometer there the water would have been at least 26 degrees. You
don't know what cold water is. You don't know what cold water is. [repeats
himself] Ask a European what cold water is. When they come here and swim at
our beaches they think they are like a sauna, like a steam bath. To give
you an example, in the GDR, in the middle of summer, the water reaches 18,
20 degrees. In Europe the people bathe in 14-degree water. In Moscow there
are sportsmen who dig a hole in the snow and swim. And you tell me here
that 26-degree water is cold. That is why I say that the Cuban Homo sapiens
is more scared of the water than a cat. [laughter applause]

Well, there you have a great idea. The curious thing is that (Nunez) and I
were talking of this idea, and when we were explaining it to (Jaime) he
said this is what they are doing in all the camping bases. This is a simple
way to make pools in the rivers.

(What is the matter, little friend? [addressing a child in audience] You
want to go to the river, right? Are you taking him away or leaving him
here? We can sit him farther up so that the crying and everything will
appear on television. [laughter] Is there someone else who wants to go to
the river? [laughter]

I was saying that with a few resources, these institutions are creating
these camping bases. It is a very recent idea. It really begun last year.
The idea of people's camping is only 1 year and a few months old.

The idea of people's camping was initiated very quietly, as we didn't want
to talk about something that had yet to be tested. It was the idea of using
the country's natural resources, with or without investment. This idea
originated in the fact that there wasn't enough room in Santa Maria del
Mar, Varadero and the few other beaches for the people to relax. We wanted
the people to have at least 1 week off per year.

A problem we face is that, since the school year ends at the end of June or
the beginning of July, the beaches are generally empty the rest of the
time, for the people only want to use them in these two months. At that
time, however, the demand is 50 to 100 times greater than the
opportunities. We had to break away from the old idea that one could only
have vacations in Varadero and Santa Maria del Mar.

As I once said, when the country must build dozens, hundreds and thousands
of houses as a very pressing need, we can't use our resources to improve
the beaches. Besides, there aren't that many beaches and, as (Nunez) said,
though the population increases the number of beaches doesn't.

Still, we are determined to demonstrate the opposite, for we are trying to
make beaches in Alamar, in a part of (Diente de Perro). We are testing the
sand and taking a good look it the place. We can't just initiate a process
of creating beaches in such places. But we are making some tests and
perhaps we can prove that the number of beaches can be increased. However,
the old concept is that of a bourgeois country, in which a very small
portion of the population could take vacations.

Nowadays, each worker in the country has a guaranteed 1-month vacation
period; the problem is where these vacations should be spent. How can this
be solved modestly, with the country's current resources? It was in
considering this that the idea of the people's camp came up. Then the youth
comrades began to work on it, very quietly.

The preliminary resources were obtained, the first phases were created and
we began to see what would happen. It was presumed that the families would
take their own food. Of course there could be some things there but the
essential food could be brought from home. There was no need for food
quotas. The transportation problems had to be solved. The first steps were
taken, the first camping enthusiasts appeared and the movement got
underway. We were already making a plan for the summer. We estimated that
approximately 50,000 citizens would use these centers in July and August,
particularly from Havana. We have the largest concentration of people
there. Also, the Havana people are the most anxious to see some countryside
and to enter into contact with nature.

We have the example of Lenin park, which was built with these objectives in
mind. More than 100,000 Havana residents visit this part every week. Those
who live with the tension of a city have a greater need for the peace of
nature and for contact with it. For this reason, we began the plan with
Havana. However, since the Province of Havana has been left with few
natural places as a result of agricultural and industrial development,
while the province of Pinar del Rio is famous for its bountiful natural
places, which are truly beautiful and pleasant, we felt that only in Pinar
del Rio could we find the right spots for the people's camping. Thus, we
asked the province for cooperation and the plan was begun here. Nothing
about this had been published.

I talked about this topic for the first time, when we had a little
confidence in the idea, in Santo Domingo, on children's day. Then, when we
had everything ready for July and August, we were hit by the dengue
epidemic, so we had to suspend the plan and wait another year. We didn't do
it this way at this Pioneer camp, the Jose Marti camp. We decided to face
the circumstances and not to sacrifice the vacations of thousands of
children, who took special hygienic measures. The children really had a
very safe time. The safest institution for any child under those
circumstances was the Jose Marti Pioneer camp. There wasn't a single case
of a seriously ill child. Naturally, the necessary conditions were present
there, to the extent that the polyclinic there has become a hospital. It
had been demonstrated that the installation was excellently suited for it.
There is a small hospital there, which is very well directed.

We suspended the plan in July and August. After the epidemic was
eliminated, we began to implement it during the weekends, for the idea is
to use these installations completely in July and August and on weekends
for the rest of the year. Of course, anyone can use them during the week
year-round, but since it does not coincide with the vacation period, the
people prefer to use them on weekends.

The plan began in Pinar del Rio on 16 May 1981 with six permanent bases.
Now, the plan has already demonstrated its success and has caused interest
in other provinces, naturally, as a result of this camping phase. It is
very curious that people in little towns, in the middle of the countryside,
surrounded by trees and vegetation, also like to go to the camping sites.
This demonstrates the interest that camping is arousing. The provinces also
asked to build their bases. It was planned and great interest is being
shown, to the extent that each province has at least one base.

Some 86,313 people have now visited this Pinar del Rio camp, including
children, youths, adults older than 35 years old, workers and students. The
record is that 949 visited for a week, 360 for 5 days, 4,270 for 3 days and
80,734 for a weekend. They have already been here, within this plan. The
number of families that are participating is increasing. Through polls
conducted with the first week's groups of visitors, it was learned that
more than 70 percent of those questioned said that they were fully
satisfied with the permanent camping base, while others said that they
enjoyed it but had certain objections. Some said that there were no
cigarettes or drinks for sale, that there were bad access roads, mosquitos,
long trips, etc.

A very small group said that camping wasn't what they wanted. Of course,
this idea is very firm. The idea that...[Castro does not complete sentence]
we don't forbid people to bring their own cigarettes. We don't prohibit
smoking, but we don't sell cigarettes at the camping base.

It is not forbidden for people to bring their beer or their rum --
Matusalem, Bacardi or any of them, Havana Club -- this is not forbidden,
but it is not sold. This is a principle that must remain unchanged. It is a
different kind of recreation. It is a different idea. Drinks are not sold.
And you could see that there was a dance floor there and that the young
people were having fun. It has been proven that rum is not necessary to
have a party.

There was a companero from a province that told us that a little fruit wine
would be good. We started with the fruit wine and ended up with pure
liquor. That product is not sold here and what we think of the idea is

The mosquitos, well, there are mosquitos everywhere, especially in a
tropical country.

The trips, some are longer, others are shorter, according to where the
camping bases are. We have a camping base over there in Guanacabibe. The
trip is longer. There is a great beach there and they say that they have
mosquitos there also. They are struggling against the mosquito; they
fumigate and all that, but it is a jungle, most of the beach is surrounded
by jungle. Imagine if in Varadero they have mosquitos when they neglect to
fumigate; over there they attack you. Unfortunately, there are mosquitos
all over the place.

When the first steps were being taken to begin this plan, back in April and
early May last year, many youths interested in camping were asked their
opinions. They said that they did not go camping more frequently because
they did not have all the necessary resources and the necessary support for
this type of activity. Already in Cuba there were groups of campers who did
not have the resources. What they were mainly referring to was the lack of
transportation, tents and places with a minimum of the necessary
conditions. They said that sometimes they would go camping to places where
they were not even allowed to camp. Others said that they did not have
enough money to go to the camping centers that were operating -- some
camping sites were located on the beaches.

The Union of Young Communists (UJC) with the support of the party,
government and the people's organizations, took over the task of organizing
the plan so it would answer the wishes of the people, solve the national
problems, and would not be an economic burden to the state -- in other
words, cost-effective. From the beginning this has been a profit- making
activity. We just want to cover expenses so it will not be a subsidized
activity. It is not a profitmaking activity. The expenses are calculated --
transportation, amortization, personnel that has to work, the cost of these
investments -- and the funds are used in such a way that the plan is
costfree, without any profit. We are not interested in profits. Profit is
not the objective. Remember that if you have a transportation fleet, during
part of the year, it is used mainly on weekends, but the drivers have to be
responsible and capable drivers. The driver cannot be just anyone with a
heavy foot on the gas pedal; he is driving a bus that is carrying families.
We have to have these men on a permanent basis even if they are only used
on certain days of the week. The rest of the time they are used in other
activities, something is always found for them to do, but this increases
the cost of transportation. It is not like in the months of July and August
when they work on a daily basis. This is for a longer period of time.

Our idea with this vacation plan was to have 30 permanent bases able to
accommodate 20,000 campers with an average of 680 per unit. As I already
told you, all the provinces have bases. Pinar del Rio has three but this
includes Pinar del Rio and Havana -- the city of Havana. Havana Province
has four bases, Santiago de Cuba has two bases. These installations have
permitted us to accommodate more than 100,000 people for periods of 1 week
or more during the months of July and August. We can already accommodate
100,000 people during the months of July and August. Of course, these
installations are used on weekends during the whole week. Fifty percent of
these accommodations, distributed throughout the country, are for the
people of the City of Havana. More than 75 percent of the accommodations
offered in the provinces of Pinar del Rio, Havana and Matanzas, are for the
use of the City of Havana.

At this time more than 42 000 people have registered for these 2 months. By
the end of August we expect to reach 100,000 -- because we already have
reservations, just like in a hotel. This is for these 2 months.

How much has been invested in these 30 bases? 7.7 million. [currency
unspecified] This includes construction, transportation equipment and other
costs. Calculate on your how many hundreds of millions would have to be
spent on hotels to accommodate 100,000 in July and August. Hundreds of
millions to accommodate 100,000. To accommodate 100,000 people for a week
we would have needed no less than 15 hotels with a physical capacity for
1,000 people. That at least is 15 hotels like Havana Libre to offer a weeks
accommodations in July and August for 100,000 people.

We have invested 7.7 million in this. Aside from 30 installations built and
equipped with tents, mats or camp beds, dishes, canteens, flashlights,
lanterns, television sets, tape recorders, audio equipment, electrical
plants, bicycles, and so forth, we have also put to use in this plan 142
small (Giron 2) buses, 42 trucks, 15 (Pip) cars, 6 ambulances, 30 (Niva)
jeeps -- this is a new Soviet 4-wheel drive jeep that also serves as an
ambulance -- 10 GAZ jeeps, 10 Lada cars and 6 motorcycles, a total of 260
vehicles. In the future we plan to have, for the use of the infirmary, a
car for quick transfer of any person who gets sick, but I think that in the
future we will also have a doctor in every camping base.

On the other hand, this plan includes a reasonable number of employees -- a
total of 882 employees. A source for jobs has been created, a reasonable
source with a very high production rate. In this figure of 882 we have
included the transportation employees. The required force for 100,000
people to enjoy a week's vacation in July and August, is of 882 employees.
This also includes the facilities offered during the weekends the rest of
the year. How many employees would we have needed for something like this
in Varadero, in Santa Maria? Not less than 15,000 employees. Fifteen hotels
able to accommodate 1,000, and 1 calculate not less than 15,000 employees,
maybe more, and this does not include transportation. Here, with
transportation included, we have 882 employees of which 199 are cadres and
technicians and 683 are employees.

An effort has also been made so that camping enthusiasts can acquire food
at the camping bases. Approximately 4,000 tons of food are available for
this plan. There is more than enough. Several ideas were put into practice.
There were certain products that were not being made because of limitations
in raw materials such as corn flakes, oatmeal and corn curls. Well, the
agricultural sector was asked to allocate some resources; The food industry
to develop some products, even coconut candy. Some coconuts were rotting
because of transportation problems in Baracoa. We got some trucks and asked
the industry to produce certain quantities of this candy. Perhaps this
candy is still not ready because the plans are underway.

I already told you that we originally thought of bringing the food. We
thought of certain food products that could be produced in the food,
fishing and other industries. We also asked the foreign trade ministry to
obtain, through certain socialist countries with which we have good trade
relations, some canned products for this type of activity. New products
were made at certain national industries and in this way we have several
dozen products. We also discussed with the light industries and the local
governments the production of camping goods because an industry can be born
from this. It can result in the production of canned products for camping
without taking anything away from the people. Without taking anything which
the people are getting right now. They are surplus articles, products or
imports so that nothing will be taken away from anybody. We have been
obtaining a large quantity of them. These products have the prices of the
parallel market. Whatever products are sold on the parallel market are sold
here too. They have to be sold, right? They are not readily available
products. They are limited and not rationed. They have the price of the
parallel market.

It couldn't be done any other way. Of course if potatoes to be boiled are
obtained, the potatoes will have whatever price is quoted. Eggs and other
products are obtained at the normal price, but all these canned goods are
the types sold on the parallel market. It is precisely with these products
that we are going to finance this plan. The prices of these products are
not intended to make profits but to finance this plan. It is a plan that is
not too bureaucratic as you can see. This is plan without bureaucracy. It
isn't a plan to be paying employees but to foot the bill for it through the
income received from the sale of these products at the stores which sell
them. This is the only goal.

Let it be understood that if these cans are priced as one the parallel
market, they are expensive. They aren't low prices. Butter is sold at the
normal price but the other things at the parallel market price. The goal is
to finance the plan. The idea is to help finance the plan with these
products and at the same time help, although the plan was conceived based
on the fact that the families were to bring their own food and prepare them
here. There are, however, some products which are not on the market which
have been made for this; envelopes with orange juice and lemon juice. This
lemon juice is not available yet but it is very good. I am telling you this
because I have been personally checking each product made by the food
industry with the comrades of the youth group. I tasted the lemon juice and
it is truly good. I'll bet that if you add a little bit of Havana Club it
tastes better. [crowds laughs] However, [Castro laughs] it is out of the
list of products sold here.

We already have some 4,000 tons of food for sale. What do we do with these
products as there is enough for more than 100,000 people? All these
products have been made for more than 100,000. Whatever is left over from
these products which were made for the plan, will be sent to the parallel
market. The idea is to maintain the production because this plan will
increase each year. In making these products, we looked ahead 2 years and
for this reason, we have products whose quantity would be enough for
300,000. I figure that at least 60 or 70 percent of the products acquired
so far and which we are planning to produce and acquire every year, are
enough for 300,000 campers. Therefore, anything is excess of what was
needed for the camping program will be sent to the parallel market.

The reason for this plan, as I already mentioned, is not to make a single
penny in profits. On the contrary, the idea is to make the products at the
lowest cost possible so that they will have the lowest prices for the

For next year, we had planned to build 46 camping bases to accommodate
34,000 campers throughout the country. This would mean that this activity
could be carried out for periods of 1 week or more for more than 200,000
people during the 1983 July and August vacation period. We have thought on
being able to accommodate 200,000 people at these camps for July and August

Certain provinces have expressed an interest in increasing the number of
bases and their capacity. We think it is possible and advisable because of
the acceptance this plan has had. For these reason we had planned a total
of 46 bases for the various provinces, but the provinces are proposing 70.
So you can see the extent of the interest that this plan his arisen in the
comrades of the party, the youth and the local governments everywhere. I
was suggesting 46 and they are suggesting 70. One must take into account
that these bases have been basically built with local resources. Of course,
there are the tents which the country received at a fixed quantity per year
that have been placed at the plan's disposal, but all these installations
were built with local resources and with great participation by the local
governments. The comrades of Camaguey have a beautiful place. The pools of
Rio Maximo are famous. They appear in any geography book. They are several
kilometers of a beautiful natural pool. The Camaguey comrades think that
they can build a base there which can handle 3,000 or 3,500 people. It is
in area of 3 kilometers, a beautiful place. They are interested in speeding
up the plans.

The buses that we use are produced in the country. This [production] his to
draw as transportation plans grow. It is more reasonable to expand a base
thin to build a new one.

If the proposed plan for the provinces and by the provinces is approved, we
could offer to handle more than 300,000 campers in 1983. I already told you
that we even have the food for this number of people this year. We could
promote... [change thought] We will do everything possible to solve the
bottlenecks of this plan.

What can we do? We have thought that an adequate plan for the development
of camping through 1985 could be one of building 100 camping bases with an
average physical capacity for 850 campers per base which would allow us to
accommodate 500,000 people for 1 week or more during that year's vacation
period. But don't forget that when we speak of 500,000 it is during those 2
months. From what I am told, during those 2 months we would need 75 Havana
Libre hotels and, therefore, 75,000 employees to attend to the 500,000
people during those 2 months. I believe that at this rate we could have
some 3,000 or 4,000 people working with these programs. But don't forget
there are still 10 months, more than 40 weeks, to use the facilities on
weekends or for a longer period of time should a citizen request it. We are
aspiring to reach 500,000 by 1985. This is for 2 months. This is a plan;
the final touches have to be made. Today the youth are administrating the
project, and the youth will continue to do so. It is going to be sort of an
enterprise, nonprofit enterprise. Profitmaking is not the purpose of this
program. The purpose is to satisfy the needs or the people.

On the subject of resources, Pinar del Rio's experience with the building
of cabins is interesting. You can see them at the Taburete base, this base.
Those cabins that are around there. Up to now we have only had tents. Then
the Pinar del Rio comrades came up with the happy idea of trying out some
of these little cabins. We are seeing them for the first time today -- the
different models. They have not been very expensive -- some 290 pesos --
the most expensive one cost 390. They are built with royal palm roofs or a
mixture of asbestos and asphalt, asbestos cement, and even tile roofs. All
these products are locally made as well as the palms. Now we have to study
these systems properly.

I am told that the campers prefer the cabins. That is what I am told, I
don't know if you think the same way. They say that the tents are a bit too
hot, when it rains -- although they are suppose to be waterproof --
something can always happen. In short, they are thinking about the possible
construction of these cabins. It is an idea that is being studied, because
ideas such as this always come up, but there will always be tents because
there will always be a camper that will want to camp away from the base
taking the tent with him. Maybe they would like to camp up on Loma del
Taburete. Anyone could get the bright idea of pitching a tent real far up
and away. It could be possible that a man with his family or a loner -- you
know that there are loners -- wish to be alone. Since we don't have
monasteries here [laughs] for hermits, it could be that they could solve
their problem with a tent on top of Taburete or in Turquino. In short, the
idea the companeros have is always to combine the two. Of course, tents are
much easier. They can be pitched much faster, the cabin takes more time. It
takes time but I believe the idea of the cabins is an important
contributive to the program. Undoubtedly the cabins last much longer. One
of these cabins could be good for 10 years. The problem with the tents is
that they deteriorate too fast in our climate. It is appropriate to offer
these two options -- the rustic cabins and the tents. What we don't want is
to turn the camping base into a hotel. If we begin to urbanize, it would no
longer be a camping base and would end up being a tourist center and it
would have to be handed over to the National Tourist Institute. INTUR, or
one of those institutes. This is for the people and it is not a
profitmaking business.

What did you say? [speaking to someone in the audience] They always want to
do a little bit because if we also print, some painting. It is true. The
tents are brought from the socialist area, but if we could bring the lumber
and build the cabins it would be better.

What we will have to do is fight against the temptation of converting these
bases into classic tourist centers. Although seeing this today I can see
that it has reached an almost international level; this camping base with
those natural pools. You come here in contact with nature, to walk,to solve
the problems in a simple manner, the complete opposite of free Havana. This
is not free Havana and should not become free Havana. All around the
country, with the help of the proper organizations, sites, with favorable
conditions for the development of these activities have been selected. In
each of these sites permanent bases have been established to promote
camping, hiking and communing with nature. It is important to point out the
idea of a permanent base compared to that of the traditional camping site.
In the traditional camping site, the area is limited to the housing area or
tents are pitched in a set location. The area of activity is outlined
within determined limits and usually it functions on schedules and
programs. In a permanent base the area for use is not limited although
areas of interest could be made off limits. The tents can be pitched
wherever the camper prefers within the areas authorized for camping. The
areas of activities depend on the efforts the camper is willing to make and
the time he has. There is no schedule or program of activities and you are
not obliged to participate in the organized activities.

The areas have been selected taking into account their natural beauty, the
proximity to rivers, valleys, elevations, forests, and so forth, as well as
the availability of drinking water, access to transportation and camping

As part of the improvements made in each permanent base, some facilities
have been built to protect the environment and offer help to the camper.
These are housing for security personnel, stores, infirmaries and latrines.
Areas have been set aside for cooking, burning and disposing of garbage and
washing cooking utensils.

We have struggled with much success to make the buildings and the material
used blend in with the environment. Some things have been introduced to
develop activities such as bike riding, swimming, bonfires, dancers,
listening to music and watching television. This is complemented with other
offers that the campers can acquire by renting or purchasing such as some
products that are indispensable during their stay at the base. Apart from
transportation, they can rent the tents, the inflatable rafts, hammocks,
(nylon), lanterns or flashinglights, canteens and dishes. The camper can
also purchase food although the cooking will have to be solved mainly by
the camper. I don't know if (Marqueto) knows how to cook. Probably there is
someone in the family that is a good cook. He is the cook? [talking to
someone in the audience]

There is something very important about the price policy for this plan.
I've already explained it. We've followed the concept that the campers
should be free to participate in the activities during their stay at the
permanent base. Various activities are offered there. But it is very
important for the campers to promote and organize the activities they like,
taking into account the characteristics and limitations of the natural area
in which the base is located.

Activities should be organized to take care of the flora, the fauna and
nature in general. The forest rangers at these bases organize, promote
options and give support to the development of activities in which the
campers are interested. These personnel will gradually increase their role
in promoting various camping-related activities as new options to be
offered. This is particularly important during the vacation period, when
the campers' stay may be as much as a week.

In addition, the forest rangers will be charged with administering the
resources, giving the campers the essential things they need, guaranteeing
compliance with the rulers of collective coexistence and promoting the care
of nature, of the people's property and respect for our peasants'
belongings and customs.

We can say that this kind of activity is well-liked and meets one of the
needs of our people. The experimental plan, under the current
implementation stage, has demonstrated that it is possible to carry out a
massive and organized mobilization of the youth and of the people for
recreation in a natural environment, while at the same time preserving

It is true that we have great difficulties to overcome, beyond the problem
of obtaining the necessary funds for this stage. We must carry out an
educational campaign. We must explain the ideals, so that our determination
can definitely succeed in all of its aspects.

It isn't easy, for example, to break the habits or those who reduce camping
to staying at a known tourist installation or at the beach, or to change
the opinion of those who lose their patience with the mosquitos, those who
get upset with the plan because it rained and the swollen river does not
look suitable for swimming or those who demand city comforts that have
nothing at all to do with camping. Undoubtedly, we must explain all of this
very clearly to those who ask to participate in this plan, in order to
prevent disappointments.

Camping, in addition to being an attractive recreational option and a
healthy way to spend free time, is of great value to those who do it.
Through camping our mental and physical health improves and we fight
against a sedentary existence, obesity and stress, which are city ailments.
Through it, we are able to truly see our country and its natural beauties,
which stimulate our patriotism, and we thereby prepare ourselves to defend
our territory.

Camping has its advantages over other forms of recreation. To a certain
extent, it incorporates all of them. This activity can be enjoyed by people
of all ages. People can go camping individually, as couples or groups, or
as a family. We can go camping in both summer and winter. We can go camping
for short periods, weekends and long periods, a week or more.

At the permanent bases, you can get involved in all kinds of recreational
activities, with freedom to choose what you want to do and the time when
you want to do it. We will find the necessary minimal conditions there at
truly economic prices. We must note the increasing trend observed in the
participation of families in camping.

Some people questioned that which has been called the social impact on
nature. These questions have been answered through this experience. Some
expressed their logical concern about the problems that could derive from a
massive mobilization of people in camping, people who know nothing about
nature, who are not accustomed to it and who haven't had the minimal
training required to live with nature and to appreciate it without
destroying its beauty. They also offered advice as to what should be done.

We must note that from the very beginning of this plan we have depended
upon the valuable cooperation of Comrade Antonio Nunez Jimenez. [applause]
He helped us to take measures to give basic training to campers, in order
to protect the flora, the fauna and nature in general.

We can say that, except for a few isolated cases of negative action, the
general results are satisfactory. We know of places of exceptional beauty
and importance from the touristic, scientific and historic point of view
that have received greater protection and are through the presence of
camping bases there. In addition, they have increased in social importance.
But this aspect must not be neglected. We must create a culture of nature
among our people by taking people to it, teaching them to take care of it
and to enjoy it and by converting the campers movement into a powerful army
of protectors of the flora, the fauna and nature in general. In this
experimental phase of the camping plan, we must recognize the great work
carried out by the Pinar del Rio particularly the local government and the
union of communist youth under the party's guidance. They initiated this
plan. Without any experience and in record time, they selected the places
and proceeded to build the first camping bases. Thanks to their efforts,
the bases continue to operate, and they serve not only the Pinar del Rio
population but the people of Havana as well.

I believe that this activity shows that large resources are not always
needed to solve important problems. Perhaps the most impressive aspects of
this program are the limited resources that were demanded for it, the
spirit of cooperation, the enthusiasm, the party's participation at the
local level and the participation of the local governments. I believe that
any person who likes nature must be impressed when he comes to a place like
this and sees the things here. However, what has it cost? It has been
possible to build this with a minimal amount of resources. This
demonstrates what good ideas and the will of men can do.

Now all of the people in the provinces are looking for beautiful places
that are suitable for this. They are discovering the country. They are
discovering it. They had marvelous natural treasures that weren't being
used for anything. People hardly knew that they existed. For example, how
many citizens in this country knew that a place like this existed, with
these mountains, with this river, with this nature.

I have been told that there are other bases that have even more beautiful
things. In addition, these are diverse opportunities. The camper can come
here one day and to Soroa another day. I believe that in the future he can
even go to other provinces and that the people of other provinces can come
to this area.

It is an opportunity for the people to get to know their country and to get
to know nature. Nearly from the moment of birth we are told about the
Vinales Valley, the Yumuri Valley, the bridge at Cangilones del Rio Maximo,
the natural bridge of (Vipitiri), the Sierra Maestra and Baracoa. But how
many Cubans have actually been to these places?

The country's beautiful spots are being discovered through this program.
The people are getting to know them. We've had to face difficulties and the
inclemency of the weather. We just recently had two cyclones. With the same
spirit with which we worked on the beaches in east Havana, in this
province, in the province of Havana and in the city of Havana, with this
same spirit we worked on the camping bases. There was a camping base that
was underwater after the rains. It was a place that had never flooded
before. I think it's the one called Picadura, Pica Pica -- well, more or
less. They sound alike. Pica Pica. That is located in Minas de Matahambre,
but you should see it, for it has already been rebuilt. It is already
rebuilt despite the two cyclones. It worked.

Last year, it was the dengue; this time, it has been the hurricanes, but
despite all of this, we have been able to maintain and implement the plans,
thanks to the hard work of the companeros and youth of the provinces.

We can do things like this and we can advance, despite difficulties that
may arise, despite economic difficulties. This is what the revolution and
socialism are all about; the ability to face and solve problems, regardless
of how much time it takes; the ability to find revolutionary solutions.

What I like about these Pioneer camps, the scouts' centers and this camping
base, particularly, is that they represent truly revolutionary solutions to

A super-rich and superdeveloped country might be crazy enough to build all
of the hotels that would be needed -- it might be -- but I don't think it
could create a more healthy source of recreation that this. I don't think
that they could carry out a more healthy activity than this. I am
absolutely sure that nothing can bring more joy to a child than these
activities by the scout-Pioneers. These activities are a greater source of
joy than the camps. The camps are recreational and, during the school
period, there is both study and recreational time. But the activities at
the scout centers are of an important educational nature. They build
character in our children. And these centers are also a tremendous sources
of recreation.

We have seen the things that the children learn in these scout centers;
they learn how to cook in a thousand different ways. I had never seen a
mud-covered egg boiled in water, but yes sir, they cover eggs with mud and
then put them on the fire. Perhaps they taste better that way. The things
they do here! The knots they tie! The things they know about the forest,
the fauna! How they can distinguish among all of the trees, the animals!
How they can solve any kind of problem! They can put up a tent in 28
seconds. You have to be an expert to do that in 28 seconds. I bet that at
home they can make their beds in 12 seconds.

They can get up and get dressed with their eyes closed. And they can pick
up everything -- their knapsacks, even their rifles -- in the same way.
Indeed, even the cartridges for their rifles. Incredible: the things they
learn -- and this is incredibly useful. This disciplining imported in the
scout centers will certainly have a great impact on the characters of these
children. This contact with nature will certainly have a great influence on
their lives and characters.

The movement now has 212,000 members. We would like to see all of the
country's children belong to this movement, and we would like to continue
building scout centers, since they are easy to build. We like to continue
building camping bases, camps and youth scout centers. We like to continue
with the...what's the name of those fields?...the [word indistinct] fields.

Along with developing the cooperatives. I believe that this movement could
later be extended to agricultural enterprises. The fields could be extended
to agricultural enterprises, considering the results and our experiences
with the cooperatives. I think that they could be extended. I believe that
ill of these initiatives are good.

Just as last year we urged provincial party people, the people's
governments, the youth and mass organizations to support this activity in
order to achieve these excellent results, today the cannot fail to express
our recognition, gratitude and satisfaction, because we are seeing the
great achievements that have been made in only a year. I think that all of
the municipalities, including the very smallest, will continue to work
toward the goal of having a pioneers' palace in every municipality. I had
not mentioned this.

Let the provinces continue to develop scout centers, camping bases and
recreation centers. Let's see what use we can make of the debate that
JUVENTUD REBELDE has initiated. Even with scarce and modest resources,
doing voluntary work -- which is often done -- and with the cooperation of
the people -- and fortunately, activities that involve children and the
young and that bring direct benefits to the people always enjoy popular
sympathy -- we could go on with these plans, which are so important not
only because they make life more pleasant and healthy but because they
provide a better preparation, build men capable of living in any kind of
situation, with very little, and mold our children. These scouts look like
soldiers. They look like an army of pioneers, with the zeal and spirit of
soldiers. They give clear, quick, concise and intelligent answers.

Imagine what the country will be like if we are able to develop these
institutions, if all of the children are permitted this experience. We
should have no doubt about the validity of the statement by the small
companera pioneer when she said that they are getting ready to become the
relief of the vanguard and the communists of the future.

I have no doubts about children who receive the kind of upbringing that the
Cuban youth are receiving. We are speaking of education. because we are in
the vacation period. However, we can complement the vacation by making
further improvements, by increasing efficiency each year.

I have no doubt that children with this kind of education, with the education
being given to these scout-Pioneers, will be the vanguard of the future, the
communists of the future. Indeed, we can expect more, that they will be the
vanguard of the vanguard, communists among communists. Free Fatherland or Death!
We will win!