Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Lauds Moa Workers

FL232037 Television Service in Spanish 1800 GMT 23 Feb 84

[Excerpts] Today's session of the 15th Congress of the Central Organization
of Cuban Trade Unions [CTC] concluded a few minutes ago. In this session,
Derbis Fernandez Perez of Holguin's Pedro Soto Alba Nickel Enterprise read
the pledges of Moa workers:

[Begin recording] [Roberto Veiga] We yield the floor to Derbis Fernandez
Perez from Moa, Holguin Province.

[Fernandez Perez] Comrades presiding over this meeting, comrade delegates,
and guests: Taking into consideration the efforts that the revolution is
making in the mining and metallurgic development area in Moa because of its
great potential for economic development and in view of our promise to
Commander Fidel to build Moa, the workers, aware of their role as forgers
of the future and owners of their wealth, have agreed in general assemblies
to state, at this most important event of the Cuban working class, that the
more than 25,000 workers who are in Moa representing all provinces in the
country will conduct a drive, with decisive efforts, from March to October,
This drive will complete and boost the main projects that are being built
there, which include the completion of the nickel plant in Punta Gorda, the
nickel mechanical plant [combinado mecanico de niquel], and 500 houses. The
drive will also include laying the foundations for the CEMA 1 Nickel Plant,
the new plant; giving new life to Moa; and completing social projects
planned for this year.

This hard effort will mean working day and night without rest, A
willingness to do this was expressed in 278 meetings with 100 percent
attendance. At these assemblies, the workers promised to meet this
necessary goal as a greeting to the 36th CEMA Session to be held in our

[Veiga] We yield the floor to Comrade Fidel.

[Castro] I wanted to expand a little on the statement made by the
representative of Moa workers because the goal they have set out to reach
is so great that it seems exaggerated. [applause]

It is not that they were asked to do this. What they have agreed to do
calls for a very big effort. We really don't need such a big effort for any
project anywhere. The problem is that we have been building the nickel
factory for several years. It is a very large project. We have been
building it with Soviet cooperation.

At the same time, a high-level CEMA meeting will be held in Havana. We are
thinking that as part of the program, we could probably inaugurate the
first production line of the Punta Gorda Nickel Plant on that occasion. At
the same time, we could lay the foundations for the CEMA 1 plant which, as
its name indicates, is a new nickel plant that will be built with the
cooperation of all the CEMA countries.

Therefore, on the occasion of this important event to be held here, we
asked the comrades to study what we had to do to see if we could have that
first production line in October, approximately, and see if we could --
because the bulldozing of the area is already under way -- lay the
foundations for the CEMA 1 Plant.

It seems that the comrades began to get busy. It seems that the task is
difficult. I myself didn't imagine the great effort involved. A large
number of additional workers is needed. They don't have them. Then, this is
when the Moa workers' initiative began to appear. I think this is an
impressive example of their spirit because if they had consulted me I would
have said: Let's think about something else. If I had known, I wouldn't
dared have ask them to make such a big effort, honestly. [applause] I
simply suggested the possibility of inviting the CEMA chiefs of government
who will meet in October here to inaugurate that plant and lay the
foundations for the other one. It was an idea and they will make this idea
a reality through this effort -- explained by the comrade here -- which is
truly an extraordinary effort.

Special attention has been given to Mao workers. We have done everything
possible to improve their clothing. They wear special work clothes and
shoes. We have improved their food and their transportation considerably.

I was saying: Let's give our best attention to workers and we will see how
they are capable of any heroic deed and what has been explained here is an
example. They have even agreed to reduce their resting period to 3 days
every 25 days. This applies to workers from the province. Those who are
from other provinces will get 6 days every 40... many days did you

[Fernandez Perez] Forty.

[Castro] I can assure you that this is a very serious effort and as much as
we give to these workers and regardless of the attention we pay to them,
they are undoubtedly giving us an admirable response. But this doesn't mean
that we will continually ask this type of effort from our workers, I am
explaining this particularly for the benefit of the foreign delegations
which are present at this congress. We do not believe in asking for
exceptional efforts unless it is truly necessary, such as when the blockade
or the sugar harvest forces us to make an exceptional effort. We know how
much our people can give under special circumstances. [applause]

For this reason, all of us have unlimited confidence in our people because
we know what they are capable of and what they would be capable of in the
event of a complete blockade or an attack on our country. [applause, crowd
shouts slogans]

What I wanted to say is that we, because of principles, are not in the
habit of asking our workers to make superhuman efforts. We do try to create
an awareness that as an underdeveloped and Third World nation, we must make
great efforts to advance, but we are not in the habit of asking for
superhuman efforts if there is no need for them. I would say that in this
case there is no need for this effort. What we wanted to do is to be able
to hold the CEMA meeting with a great symbol: by inaugurating that gigantic
nickel plant which will have a production capacity of 30,000 tons and
laying the foundations for a second plant. However, the workers, on their
own, not pushed by us because, as I said, I truly wouldn't have dared talk
about the idea if they had told me about the type of effort involved. But
they converted that idea into a purpose, a goal, and a reality, as was said

I am completely convinced that they are going to meet that goal. We must
not discourage them. If they already held 270 [as heard] meetings and
agreed to reach that goal, we must not discourage them. We must encourage
and congratulate them. We must express to them our confidence and our
everlasting admiration for their attitude. [applause]