Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL262304 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 2214 GMT 26 Jul 85

[Speech by President Fidel Castro in Guantanamo City at the main
commemoration of the 32d anniversary of the assault on the Moncada Barracks
-- live]

[Text] Distinguished guests, people of Guantanamo, countrymen: For many
reasons, this 26 July has a special meaning.  Among other reasons, it has a
special significance on account of our undesirable neighbors near this
city. [applause, slogans] But it is of even greater significance on account
of the extraordinary fact that we are being accompanied here by over 200
delegates from the trade union conference held in Havana a few days ago.
[applause, slogans] It also is significant due to the presence of over 50
Latin American women who participated combatively in the Nairobi
conference. [applause, slogans] The presence of these delegates at this
time, on this date, give special symbolism to this event.  We must speak
for you, them, and for all guests.

I suppose you have been repeatedly told that we are in distant Guantanamo
Province.  We say distant because it is located in Cuba's easternmost side.
This province emerged as a result of the country's new
political-administrative division, by virtue of which the former Oriente
Province was divided into five provinces.  The former Oriente Province was
full of history, so that when it was divided into five provinces each one
was left with abundant history.  Our people began fighting in this region,
first of all, against the conquistadors.  As I said at the recent trade
union conference, the most peaceful people in the world lived on this
island.  When the conquistadors arrived, even though the people here were
completely unarmed and peaceful, they still resisted.  A name has gone down
in our country's history as the first fighter for our country: the Indian
Hatuey.  According to history, he came from Santo Domingo -- I think it was
called Santo Domingo Island at the time -- where the conquistadors had
first settled.  He was the first fighter, the first chief, and our
country's first martyr.

Throughout history, and during centuries of slavery, countless men, slaves
who abandoned the plantations, lived in this region and also resisted the
oppressors in the so-called palisades, places in the jungles and mountains
where they sought refuge.  Further on, when what we might call the Cuban
nationality emerged, the people of this region participated actively in the
first war of independence, and in 1971 [as heard] the Cuban forces led by
Maceo, Maximo Gomez, and Moncada entered this territory, which was full of
slaves and coffee plantations, and waged fierce and victorious battles
against the Spanish forces.

Later, when the war, which had lasted 10 years, was resumed in 1895, Jose
Marti, hero of our independence, traveled through this territory.  He came
with Maximo Gomez, one of the most prestigious internationalist figures in
history.  In our view, the Indian Hatuey was also an internationalist, as
he came from Santo Domingo to fight in our land.  They planted the seeds of
internationalism.  At the beginning of that war, Antonio Maceo, Jose Maceo,
and Flor Crombet also traveled through this territory.

It can be said that the people from Guantanamo Province were among the
first who began the struggle with the most prestigious revolutionary
leaders.  Their lives were in danger.  Imperialists imposed a treaty after
having intervened in our country.  Toward the end of our independence war,
when the Spanish troops were already exhausted and defeated, the
imperialists sent their expeditionary forces, occupied our country for
several years, imposed a Constitution with an,amendment that gave them the
right to intervene in Cuba.

During those sad years, they also imposed another agreement in which they
occupied a piece of our land, under a contract for an indefinite period of
time, which did not even have a date.  That contract was accepted under
pressure by those irresponsible leaders.  This is why it occupies a
portion. of our national territory in this province, where Cuba has one of
its best bays.  They are hindering there the region's progress and
hindering the development of our country's ports and threatening our

Through the years of that former republic, the Guantanamo people struggled,
and Guantanamo peasants struggled.  The Realengo 18 [apportionment of
land], became popular.  Realengo was something that originated from the way
the Spaniards distributed land.  They made circles of I do not know how
many meters or kilometers, and the portions remaining between the circles
were called realengos.  It was said that they did not have owners until a
bidder came up.

The peasants of the Realengo 18 wrote glorious pages of history, of
defiance against oppression and against big landholders.  They inspired the
beautiful history pages written by [pauses], you help me, Pablo de la
Torriente, Pablo de la Torriente Brau, who wrote about the Realengo 18
[applause] he wrote about the prison he was in on the Isle of Youth, and by
the way, I learned quite a bit from Pablo de la Torriente's writings
because I remember when he described the land, he said it was a land
suitable for battle, that a single man with a rifle was capable of stopping
an army.  How much he helped me when we faced the task of resisting,
fighting, and defeating an army, when I remembered that phrase written by
Pablo de la Torriente Brau that one man with a rifle could stop an army in
those mountains.  His words were prophetic. [applause]

During the last war, or the last struggle for liberation, which was the
last and conclusive struggle to achieve our true independence, Guantanamo
also had a very outstanding role, because it was here, when we landed in
Granma Province, a few days before 2 December, we landed on 2 December, but
they had estimated we would arrive on 30 November, and on 30 November the
comrades of the 26 July movement attacked and took over the garrison in
Ermita, I remember that some of the combatants who were involved in that
battle participated later in the Sierra Maestra battle.  Comrade Camacho
Aguilera, party first secretary in Santiago de Cuba is among us [applause],
railroad worker who headed that battle.  Later in this Guantanamo
Province's mountainous region the Frank Pais second eastern front was
launched by the forces Comrade Raul Castro commanded from the Sierra
Maestra.  They fought and launched a front which was a model because of its
organization and efficiency and played an extraordinarily important
strategic role in our war.  That front was launched through a fast advance
over the plains by using vehicles at times, it was the first time our
forces in the plains used vehicles.  They arrived in this region, and from
that moment on, we could actually say that the rebel forces were already
considered unbeatable.  During those days the third front was launched
under the command of Comrade Juan Almeida. [applause]

So there has been a historic consistency in the struggle spirit and
patriotism of the Guantanamo people. [applause] Now then, how was
Guantanamo Province upon the triumph of the revolution?  Simply a Third
World place, we could call it a Third World province, when other regions of
the country had greater development.  I do not believe that the revolution
has performed its greatest work.  I sincerely believe we should have done
more for Guantanamo. [applause] I believe we should have done more for
Guantanamo. [applause] For one or another reason, among them the
obstruction [U.S. naval base], this province's port is occupied by the
Yankees.  There are other provinces in the country where a port, such is
the case of Cienfuegos, was the determining factor for the development of
important projects and important investments.  This has occurred in
Matanzas, in the northern portion of the eastern end of the island, and in
other places.

Nevertheless, despite the difficulties, despite the fact that subjectively,
in my judgment, there was not sufficient awareness of the need to develop
this region in a special way....  The region is also a part of the former
Oriente Province and Oriente Province was the country's largest.  Oriente
Province was a part of the Third World and, even though the revolution has
made great efforts in this territory in which today five provinces are
located, I believe that we could have and should have done more.

The truth of the matter is that over a period of time after the
revolution's triumph it was difficult to avoid the phenomenon of
concentrating everything in the Republic's capital, which had the most
development, the site of the central government.  There was always a
tendency to install new factories in the capital, to such an extent that
the capital was already lacking sufficient quantities of water, manpower.

I can remember that it was necessary to struggle very hard against that
centralistic spirit, a bit capitalistic.  However, the truth of the matter
was that the capital, the money, was being invested in the Republic's
capital city.  It became necessary to struggle until achieving the
distribution of many of the industries scheduled to be built in the Havana
City Province and transfer them to the interior of the country, I am saying
this because it is necessary to be aware of the fact that in conducting a
program and development policy that is just, equalitarian, and well
distributed thoughout the country, it is required to have a high level of
awareness and to be aware of such an effort.  In reality that is what the
revolution has done.

In the beginning we could not build many industries because of the blockade
threats and difficulties, but fortunately when the construction of the more
important industries began -- and there are some industries that should be
built near a port, or near the raw materials, but many can be located
anywhere -- it was possible to develop the interior of the country, because
we became aware of that problem at a very early stage.

Some provinces were helped by natural factors, such as ports, or raw
materials, and achieved a great development.  In examining the revolution's
work in this province, one has to accept that in reality the greatest
effort had been made.  In making this statement here on this 26 July
anniversary, it implies the commitment that in coming years we will make
more than what we have done for Guantanamo in past years. [applause]
Nevertheless, a little has been done, and when I look at these buildings,
this modern hospital, this high-rise, this hotel, those installations, this
square, and realize that doubtlessly, nothing similar existed here before,
this province has special characteristics.  Only 25 percent of its soil can
be cultivated.  The size of quality lands is very small, including the type
"one" soil.  There is no good land here.  The province's agricultural land
is not very extensive.  About 63 percent of the territory is mountainous,
and 1.4 percent approximately is occupied by industries, installations,
roads.  It has the most diverse climate in the entire country.  It is very
humid to the north where the mountains are.  Some professors have explained
to me that the dry nature of the southern part is due to the Trade Winds
colliding with the mountains and causing heavy rains in the northern part
and very little in the south.  This same phenomenon occurs in the Andes, in
South America, and many other places.  On a smaller scale that phenomenon
occurs here.

However, when we examine Guantanamo Province's production and compare it
with the production prior to the revolution, the production has increased
fivefold.  It has increased fivefold since the triumph of the revolution.
Furthermore, since the province was created in 1976, its production has
doubled.  In the last 4 years, work productivity has increased at a rate of
approximately 9.9 percent per year.

Production in some areas, like salt, has increased from 30,000 tons in 1959
to 234,000 tons at present.  This province is the major producer of cacao
and coconut and an important producer of coffee.  Above all, as 75 percent
of its territory is mountainous, it is among the provinces with the biggest
forestry potential in our country.  This does not mean that there were any
forests left, as capitalism had practically destroyed all the forests and
all the exploitable lumber in this province.  For more than 25 years now we
have been planting in those areas and replenishing those forests.  At first
we had no experience.  Many times we did not know which was the most
suitable plant variety or planting technique; we practically had no
forestry engineers, but today we have a large contingent of forestry
experts.  Our planting in this region has not only increased, but quality
has also been improved.

For instance, in recent years, from 1980-1984, the cacao production
increased at a 7 percent rate per year, and we expect it to continue
increasing because this country likes chocolate, and excellent cacao is
produced in those mountains, especially in the area of Baracoa.  Coconut
production is also considerably increasing.  In the last 12 years,
important citrus plantations have also been developed in this province.
For instance, the citrus production between 1980-1984 has grown sixfold.
The production of cacao butter has grown 2.3 times.

In 1984 alone, 20 million trees were planted and in 1985 the goal is 21
million trees.  In the dry southern zone more than 1 million trees have
been planted.  Here man really faces a challenge from nature, fighting the
mountains and introducing technology and better varieties of coffee, cacao,

During these years of revolution, 27 new industries have been created in
Guantanamo Province as well as 75 new agricultural and livestock
facilities.  This province did not have a single industry.  It really lived
off the famous naval base, where there were several thousand workers, most
of whom were dismissed by the arrogant imperialists after the triumph of
the revolution.  The base was the only source of employment.  There was
also Yankee tourism, the tourism that derived from the Marines' presence,
and you know the sequel of social and moral problems they created when they
came to spend their dollars in the bars and brothels around here.  However,
there was no industrial production.  In fact, the production increase has
resulted from the new industries created here during the revolutionary

Many other types of facilities were also built -- hospitals, rural ones at
first then hospitals of other types and clinics; schools, children's
centers, secondary and preuniversity schools, and even university
installations; and housing.  Big efforts were also made to build roads.
Approximately 1,400 km of roads have been built during these years, as this
province lacked communications.  We now have eight times as in any roads as
had been the total for the entire country, [corrects himself] for the
entire province, not the country.  We now have 3.6 times as many asphalt
roads as we had in the past.  The revolution constructed the road between
Guantanamo and Baracoa.  Many roads have also been constructed to the
interior of the province, to various towns, We recently finished
construction of the road between Guantanamo and Sagua.  We are currently
building the highway between Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo and also Las
Farolas Road, [corrects himself] I mean Las Ultatas Road, which crosses the
mountains toward Baracoa.  We are also constructing the road between Moa
and Baracoa and from Baracoa to Maisi, More roads will still have to be

In this dry province there was not a single dam, but they have been
constructed with a capacity of 300 million cubic meters and more will be
constructed in the future.  What would the situation of this province be,
with its droughts, if no dams had been constructed?  In spite of this, the
province is currently experiencing a drought that is causing a considerable
water deficit.  An effort has been made, but I still regard it as

However, the results are notable.  For example, in this province, there
were 30,000 permanent jobs at the triumph of the revolution.  Today, there
are 104,000, not including the peasant population, the Army, or any other
state organization.  If we included all the workers in the economy and
services, we have approximately 150,000 working people in this province.  A
figure that has a certain meaning if it is taken into account that the
population for more than 60 years has not been numerous.  Now it is growing
at a rapid rate exceeding the past 60 years because of better living
conditions and health.  The population of the province is fundamentally
composed of young people.  There are also approximately 6,000 Guantanamo
citizens working outside of the province.

Of the civil work force, 37 percent is composed of women.  Of the technical
force, those workers with technical qualification, the women compose 54
percent.  I believe that is encouraging for the women [applause] who are
preoccupied with these issues, the Latin American comrades.

The level of education, I will not talk about prior to the revolution, the
level of education of our working masses in 1971 reflected, after 12 years
of revolution, that 18 percent had more than a sixth grade education.  Now,
in the year 1984, 80 percent of the working masses had more than a sixth
grade education. [applause]

Here today, the banner was awarded to the trade union leader in
recognition, among other things, of the struggle for the ninth grade from
which, during the last few years more than 25,000 workers have graduated.
This is notable [applause] in a province that had the highest index, one of
the highest indexes, of illiteracy in the country.  Another interesting
piece of information reflecting the advance of the revolution is that in
1971 only 0.4 percent of the working force had a university education.
Today, 7.2 percent of the work force has a university education. [applause]

In the social area, Guantanamo Province was not left behind, because they
did have the revolution.  They divided the resources.  Let us say that the
provinces with more resources accumulated the means, or made the means
possible, for the development of the poorer provinces with fewer resources.
Because of that, independent of the economic development of any province,
not one of them lacked the medical assistance plan that the other had.  Not
one of them lacked educational, cultural, recreational, or sports plans
similar to the others. [applause]

In the medical sector, before the triumph of the revolution, in this
province or in the territory of this province, there were 91 doctors and
the vast majority working in private practice.  They were not doctors for
the general working and peasant population, which composed the immense
majority.  Today, this province has 574 doctors [applause] working for all
the people, free of charge for the entire population, [applause] Before the
revolution, there were 30 dentists.  Today there are 175 dentists working
for all the population with free dental service.  In this province,
something incredible, there were 24 nurses and nurses aides.  Today there
are 1,528 nurses and nurses aides.

Before the revolution, there were four hospitals.  Today there are 17, of
which the one we can see here [applause] is an example, a model hospital.
In the Guantanamo general hospital, at the triumph of the revolution, the
hospital providing services to the people had 6 doctors 5 nurses 3
laboratory technicians, and 22 general service employees.  The income of
that general hospital was 17,000 pesos.  Today, that hospital that you see
there has 211 doctors.  I do not have the details of the number of nurses
and laboratory technicians but I know that they have more than 200 beds,
and that approximately 1,900 people work in that hospital [applause]
including doctors, nurses, nurses aides, and laboratory technicians.

Medical services are provided in 25 specialties and the budget for that
hospital alone totals 8 million pesos. [applause] There are rural
hospitals, rural medical posts, and the province's entire territory,
including its mountains, is covered.  There are tens of medical facilities,
including rural, pediatric, and psychiatric hospitals, clinics and
orthopedic, prosthetic, and optical centers.  Naturally, the results are
appreciable.  The province's infant mortality rate -- and this is why I say
this was a Third World province -- used to total more than 100 for every
1,000 children born alive.  These are conservative estimates.  These are
conservative estimates because no one really knows how many people died
from epidemics, the lack of opportunity to give birth in the hospitals, and
all those things.  The estimate is over 100 deaths per 1,000 children born
alive.  Last year, they totaled 18.6 for each 1,000 born alive during the
first year.  This is still above the national average, which was 15.
Certain provinces averaged 13.  This province averaged 18.6, which is above
the national average.  In spite of this, the infant mortality rate in this
former Third World province is currently lower than that of any Third World
country, and its average is better than that of several industrialized
countries. [applause]

The struggle against infant mortality is more difficult here because there
are mountains and a relatively large number of people lives in these
mountains as well as in the lowlands.  We also have here the phenomenon of
early marriages and pregnancies.  The struggle to gradually reduce infant
mortality here calls for a special effort, but we will make this effort,
and we will obtain results, especially as we gradually extend the family
doctor institution, throughout the province.  We already have several such

In the area of education, the changes introduced are also fabulous.  Prior
to the victory of the revolution, 50 percent of the children had no schools
or teachers.  Of those enrolled in school, 20 percent left for economic and
social reasons.  Only 60 percent of them actually attended school.  At
present, all children have both schools and teachers for primary and
mid-level education and they also have the chance to conduct
university-level studies.  At the time of the triumph of the revolution
there were 257 schools.  Today there are 909.  There used to be more, but
since the birth rate has been decreasing, we now have fewer schools.  At
one point we had approximately 1,040 schools in this province.  Anyway, we
originally bad 257 schools, and now we have 909.  This is a large number of
schools because 60 percent of those schools are up in the mountains.
People in the mountains live isolated and big schools cannot be

In the past there were six mid-level schools in this province, with 1,300
students.  Today we have 61 mid-level education schools with 48,000
students.  To this we would have to add students in Guantanamo who have
received scholarships in other provinces. [applause] Of the 48,000 students
in this province, 55 percent have received scholarships.  Many come from
the mountains and in order to go to a basic secondary school, a
pre-university center, a technological school, a teachers or nursing
school, they must come to Guantanamo or the adjacent areas.

There already is a medical school.  Each of the country's 14 provinces has
at least 1 medical school.  There is also the Higher Pedagogical School,
and there are branches of schools of economy, law, and agronomy.  This
means that Guantanamo's doctors are already being trained in Guantanamo,
and Guantanamo's specialists are already being trained in Guantanamo.
Teachers and professors are being trained in Guantanamo.  This points to an
unquestionable social development.  I will not discuss other problems, like
prostitution, which fortunately disappeared from our country and from this
province many years ago.  I will not talk about beggars or barefoot or
abandoned children.  That category of people is unknown in our country and
in this province.  Children begging, or going barefoot, or who do not
attend school, that category of people is not known in our society or in
this province. [applause]

[Unreadable text] for cultural development, suffice it to say that there
are 2,500 groups of amateur artists.  Concerning the development of sports,
I will give another figure: 329 sports facilities.  There are 17.2 times as
many sports facilities as there were prior to the victory of the
revolution. [applause] They have a stadium with night lights, and they are
still building sports facilities.  The results, with the people of
Guantanamo involved in sports activities, are notable.  They have very good
boxers.  Naturally, this is advisable, with such an aggressive neighbor
nearby. [applause]

Today there are 72 small and large aqueducts in this province and there are
three times more families with running water than the ones who had it
before the revolution.

Something else, before the revolution there were 15,000 houses with
electricity.  Today, there are 68,000 houses with electricity. [applause]
Recently a project was established to provide electricity during certain
hours at night to the isolated peasant communities where electricity is not
available, small communities of 20-30 families, and in the last year in the
former Oriente Province's mountains, about 500 small electric plants were
installed.  Guantanamo Province got 86.  There is electricity in 86 remote
communities during several hours of the evening.  I imagine they are
watching this ceremony now in color television because they have their
electric plant, social center, color television, refrigeration, not
electric refrigeration but gas refrigeration.

Those are some of the advances achieved in the last years.  It is very
difficult to take a 110 AC line of 33,000 kw to the mountains.  We have
been searching for solutions, and if they do not have electricity 24 hours
a day at least they have 3 or 4 hours of electricity during the early

The peasant movement is progressing.  There are 156 livestock-agricultural
production cooperatives in this province.  More than 50 percent of the
peasants are already organized in agricultural production cooperatives.
This has been an important progress.

This province is also outstanding in defense.  We need to point out that 50
percent of the Territorial Troops Militia is composed of women soldiers.
[applause] Maybe the enemy does not even imagine how women soldiers are.
We were able to witness it in our last liberation war with a combat unit
called by the glorious name of Mariana Grajales. [applause] This province's
defense force, this province, which is one of the smallest ones of the
country with only 6,174 square km and 473,000 residents.

The organized and armed defense forces, are constituted by 110,000 men and
women [applause].  The imperialists' threats forces us to organize a
one-way defense front, and we have it here; in this province alone the
imperialist enemy would have to face an entire town that is armed and
organized.  The entire town would participate in the battle in one way or
another.  They are prepared: 110,000 combatants.  I believe that this fact
I tell you is not a secret: there are no more because there are no more
weapons.  You heard what the children said a few minutes ago [applause].
But we will get more weapons and will continue giving them to the people,
organizing them and preparing them.  Everything is organized and everyone
is prepared to defend their fatherland.

These are not the times of Hatuey the Indian, and these are not the times
when toward the end of our independence war opportunists came to vacation.
The people are aware, organized, patriotic, combatant.  They are not afraid
of anything or anyone.

I imagine they are also watching this event.  Once in a while their
television is viewable here; I imagine that ours also is viewable there
sometimes.  I imagine they are seeing Guantanamo, so different from the one
they knew, and this crowd.  I asked: How many people are here?  Where did
all these people come from? [applause] They can barely fit in this square,
where not a single man or woman is up for sale or hire.  What a lesson for
the empire! [applause) [slogans]

I have given some historical data on Guantanamo Province and its efforts
during 1984.  Half of 1985 has gone by and the Guantanameros' efforts this
year are marching along just fine.  For example, they have surpassed the
economic plans by 7 percent during this first semester; they have increased
production by 13 percent; they have increased work productivity by 9.8
percent during these first 6 months.  These are notable figures, despite
the extremely unfavorable weather conditions.  All the country has had
unfavorable weather, and if all the country has had weather and drought
problems, it has been worse in Guantanamo Province -- particularly in the
agricultural areas, where the main crops are found.

Due to the 26 July event, which they deserve for their efforts, their
enthusiasm [applause] they have built -- with the aid of all the provinces,
because it is a tradition that the other provinces help the province where
the anniversary will be celebrated -- 190 works for an approximate value of
30 million pesos.  Some buildings have just been completed, such as the
brand-new building, we have in front of us, which has 100-odd housing
units.  I think they have even built a restaurant on top.  All this has
been possible with the participation of the masses.  Innumerable works have
been built around this date, 26 July.  Now then, these efforts must
continue.  We intend to make investments during the next 5 years for 30 new
industrial objectives, that will create jobs for approximately 6,000
persons.  That is what we have.  However, all of us are thinking about what
else can be done for this province, how to expand investment plans for this
province. [applause]

Despite the area being 73 to 75 percent mountainous and certain other
adverse factors I have already mentioned, such as the bases and other
natural factors, there are still some resources.  Explorations are under
way for minerals throughout this region and forestry work is being
intensified in this province.  It has an important river, the Toa, which is
one of our mightiest [rivers] but, unfortunately, there are no plains in
that area, which would allow its water to be used for irrigation.  However,
it can be used to generate energy, and one of our future projects involves
developing the Toa's full energy-generation potential.  A new highway, from
Guantanamo to Baracoa, is being built in order to, among other things,
develop this region. [applause]

Now then, I have talked about investments.  In this province, over 1
billion pesos have been invested in 10 years of revolution and 336 million
pesos in the last 4 years alone.  However, not far from here, in the Moa
area, our country is making one of its largest investments ever in the
mining-metallurgy field.  There is a plant there that produces nickel
through a chemical process.  A new plant with an additional, capacity of
30,000 tons of nickel and cobalt oxide is being completed.  Construction of
a second plant with an additional capacity of 30,000 tons has begun and is
advancing.  There is a large mechanical plant and other installations.
This is a new region with new development, and it is close by. [applause]

If that region belonged to Guantanamo Province the economic indicators
would be considerably different.  There are over 10,000 construction
workers there.  How many do we have there exactly?  Some 15,000 persons are
working there.  This is indeed a colossal investment, and it is located in
the geographical territory of Guantanamo. [applause]

[Unreadable text], why doesn't it belong to Guantanamo Province?  The
reason is very simple.  When the new political-administrative division was
carried out in (?1976), there were no communication facilities, there was
no highway between Guantanamo and Moa. This territory had to be assigned to
Holguin Province, which did have communication facilities, which did have
highways, which was more developed, and which could take charge of this
work.  Well, Moa lies in this direction -- I am guiding myself by the
mountains as there is no sunshine or moonlight at this moment; the day is
cloudy, and I have no compass.  However, I have the mountain in front of
me, and I know where the mountains are.  I know the course of the highway
quite well.  There is a new highway linking Guantanamo, Sagua, and Moa.
[applause] Moa is 40 km from Guantanamo, in that direction, on the other
side of the mountain range, which is quite wide, and 160 km from Holguin.
So, factors of this type led to the assignment of this territory.

Obviously, the people of Holguin have done an extraordinary job to develop
Moa, with cooperation from the rest of the country, because there are
workers there from all eastern provinces.  It is advancing rapidly, I have
paid special attention to this, with cooperation from the people of
Guantanamo, among others, because there are many people from Guantanamo
working there.

We think that in the future, not yet but in the future, as this province
develops and as Holguin Province develops... [thought incomplete] and
Holguin Province will have the second electronuclear plant in the country.
It will have iron and steel industries and important industrial development

Naturally, the people of Holguin say: The day this is transferred our
indicators will drop, but not the current standard of living.  The standard
of living of the people of Holguin will not be affected at all the day the
Moa area is transferred to Guantanamo. [applause] The people of Guantanamo
will improve their indexes.  Their standard of living will continue to
improve, like that of the rest of the country.

However, this is more logical because of the proximity of that area and
because communications facilities exist there now and new ones are going to
be built.  Baracoa, which is on the other side of the mountain and can be
reached by a modern highway, is even farther away than Moa. Maisi is even
farther away from Moa, double the distance from Moa, and belongs to
Guantanamo.  Moa will have to belong to Guantanamo Province some day.  The
distribution of those resources will be more balanced. [applause] This is
not a selfish redistribution of territory, like the ones the imperialists
used to carry out, through war, but peaceful.  We think that the people of
Holguin and Cuantanamo, and the companeros of all other provinces, can
ponder this when the time comes.  Now then, we do not have to make a
decision to pass this region to Guantanamo Province.  I think the people of
Guantanamo have to earn this right. [applause] They have to earn it.
[applause] How?  By contributing the maximum to the development of Moa.
There are many people of Guantanamo there.  We have to continue to prepare
cadres, technicians, and labor force.  It is very near by that road.  It is
much closer than Holguin.  Holguin is several times farther away from Moa
than the city of Guantanamo.

Therefore, one of the goals for the future of greater development is to
remove Guantanamo from the Third World.  Even though we are all in the
Third World, this is the Third World of the Third World. [laughter,
applause] We must struggle, be determined, and work, among other things, to
carry out diplomatic activities among the people of Holguin so that they
will not take their foot off the accelerator or become discouraged because
they will have other things just as important as Moa and we will all help
them so they will have those other things. [applause]

There is another important thing that our entire country should bear in
mind and that is that this is the first trench against imperialism.  Many
people talk of the Cuban revolution being 90 miles from the United States.
They ask with admiration how the socialist revolution, the first revolution
in the Western hemisphere, was possible only 90 miles from the United
States.  However, we are a few millimeters, the width of a fence away from
imperialism here in Guantanamo Province.

It is not true that we are 90 miles away.  We are a few millimeters away
from the illegally occupied territory of the Yankee base of Guantanamo.

Therefore, if we are a few millimeters from the imperialist forces, this
province is the first trench of the country.  They would not have to wake a
naval or air landing.  They are installed there.  This province is the
first trench.

In this province there are two small towns that are hero towns.  They are
the towns of Caimanera and Boqueron. [applause] They are a few millimeters
from the Yankee troops.  Caimanera has a population of 5,000 and Boqueron
has a population of 1,500.  Not long ago Companero Raul and a group of
companeros of the Central Committee were in Caimanera.  I think they have
also been in Boqueron on other occasions.  They were telling me about the
patriotic spirit of the people of Caimanera.  The patriotism, the morale,
the revolutionary awareness of the people of Caimanera and Boqueron is
incredible. [applause]

The people of Caimanera are responsible for the extraordinary increase in
the production of salt right under the enemies' eyes.  To the extent that
they are very close-by, their spirit has risen.  Therefore, our party
thinks that the people of Caimanera and Boqueron must be given special
attention. [applause]

If Guantanamo Province must be given special attention, then within
Guantanamo Province, special attention must be given to these two towns
that have such a high patriotic spirit and morale.  They are two small
communities.  If we study this we will see that the country has resources
to treat them better, to give them more resources than any other
communities in the country.

The companeros were telling me, for example, what was done at the Salvador
sugar mill where the forces of the Second Front fought during the war.  The
enemy had taken shelter in a movie theater, and it was burned down during
the battles.  They were without a movie theater for many years until Raul
made a visit, and they reminded him that there was no movie theater.  When
they were asked about the movie theater, they said it had been burned down
during the war.  They made a little program for the Salvador sugar mill and
they built them a movie theater.  Today, they have one of the best movie
theaters.  They made a number of improvements and other things.

I think that with the same idea the same thing can be done with a number of
sugar mills.  A number of projects can be carried out in these small towns.
Approximately 800,000 pesos were invested there, and many things were
resolved through direct investment.  I think the same thing must be done in
all the rest.  We must apply that experience in all the other similar towns
in this province.  If the capital of the Republic must not forget the
province, then it must also not forget the municipalities in the province.
I know that it does not forget them but we are asking for greater effort
with the aid of the nation.  If we can do these things in a sugarmill, then
we can and should do more in those heroic communities of Caimarena and
Boqueron. [applause] I think we will all agree that this is necessary and
just.  In order not to extend myself too much, I think what I have said
gives you an idea of the economic development and above all of the social
development of this province.

[Unreadable text] I have said, we are not totally satisfied.  I think this
message should be well interpreted by the whole country, which should
understand that we must take this road.  Let us not forget Guantanamo after
it gained glory for deserving to host the commemoration of the 32d
anniversary.  We are not going to forget.  No one has forgotten any part of
the country.  I am not simply asking that we not forget.  I am asking that
we must always think in a special way about Guantanamo Province.

The rest of the country is doing well, it is going well.  There are other
provinces that are working very hard so that they can host the 33d
anniversary.  There is a province that hosts the commemoration every 5
years because it has earned that right: Santiago de Cuba, cradle of the
revolution. [applause]

Since Santiago and Guantanamo are twin cities, I hope that the Guantanamo
people acknowledge the great historic and revolutionary merits of Santiago
de Cuba, which is our former capital, not our former metropolis.  We know
that Santiago de Cuba makes efforts and cooperates with its sister
Guantanamo Province. [applause]

The year 1984 -- I speak of 1984 because we are in the middle of 1985 --
was good, from an economic point of view.  Last year we spoke in the city
of Cienfuegos about the state of the economy.  In 1984, our country's
economy grew by 7.4 percent.  Work productivity grew by 6.2 percent.

I am not going to talk much about the national topic but for the sake of
giving you an idea I will say that the economy of the Latin American
countries, as a whole, grew just a little in 1984.  From 1980 to 1984, in
those years of deep economic crisis, the economy of the Latin American
countries, as a whole, had zero growth.  It did not grow in those 4 years.
In some years the economy decreased.  However, the economy of this
[Unreadable text] that endures so much slander, that provokes so much
hatred in the exploiters and the imperialists, grew by 35.6 percent during
the period in which the Latin American countries did not grow.

If we analyze per capita the gross national product, which in our country
we call the general social product, we will see that this product grew by
32 percent.  I am talking about the per capita Gross National Product.  The
per capita Gross National Product of the Latin American countries, as a
whole, since in some countries it was higher than in others, decreased by
8.9 percent.  Cuba's grew by 32 percent and the product of Latin America as
a whole decreased by 8.9 percent.  The Latin American population grew by
almost 10 percent and the per capita level decreased to the level of 1977.
I am not going to talk about income, which has decreased more than the
gross national product.

In 1984, our country created 112,000 new jobs.  The income of the
population grew by 771 million pesos, partly because of the new jobs and
partly because of salary increases.  Last year the country invested 4
billion pesos.  This resulted in an increase in jobs in both productive and
social activities.  Each new hospital, each new school, and each new social
installation produces jobs.  Last year, in 1984, we had one doctor for each
486 citizens.  This year, counting the medical students who are graduating
this year -- more than 2,500 doctors, including 100 foreigners who will
return to their countries, leaving us with 2,400, will receive their
diplomas -- we will have one doctor for every 445 people.

There are more than 20,000 students in the school of medicine.  This year
approximately 5,700 new students will register in the schools of medicine
and stomatology.  So the situation is improving, considering the figures on
social and educational development.  Recently we graduated the first 2,700
students with a bachelors degree in primary school education.  The day is
not too far off when we will have primary school professors with a
bachelor's degree working in all the provinces of the country. [applause]

The educational level continues to improve throughout the country,
including Guantanamo School stability and the quality of education continue
to improve.  This can no longer be measured on the basis of quantitative
advances but on the basis of qualitative advances.  This year the economic
effort is going well.  During the first semester, the economy grew by 4.8
percent.  However, the most important aspect is that this growth has been
achieved while spending 10 percent less fuel.  The spending rate has been
reduced.  Last year we had already saved fuel, but this year we spent 10
percent less fuel and the economic growth was almost 5 percent.  We had
lower electricity, gasoline, and other fuel expenditures.  The only thing
that increased was residential expenditures.  These expenditures grew by
5.6 percent during the first semester.  An approximate growth of 4 percent
had been planned.  The efficiency of the economy has improved.

This is most important: the meetings, and the policy presented by the party
at the end of 1984 to work with a long-term approach on structural
problems, giving priority attention to every effort, to investments, making
big savings efforts.  We are seeing the fruits this year in spite of the
fact that this year we have had to face adverse weather conditions.
Despite the weather factors, sugar production was fulfilled 100 percent.
The sugar production goal had been 8 million tons.  However, a very strong
drought is affecting the country.  It seems that this drought is not only
affecting our country but is also affecting the Dominican Republic, other
Latin American countries, and European countries.  It is a very, very
strong drought.  In the past years we had much rain during the sugarcane
cutting season.  However, this year we had no rain.  This contributed to a
good sugarcane cutting season, but it did decrease the amount of sugarcane.
It made the cutting season easier and the sugarcane had a greater yield.
However, this drought has affected the production of fruit, vegetables,
tubers, and rice.  We were hit by a pretty strong drought this year.

This calls for additional struggle and effort.  How can we reduce, to a
minimum the effects of this drought?  How can we improve our efforts and
struggle to prevent lower rice, produce, and sugarcane production?  For
many years now we have been developing important plans for water resources.
These plans have been developing on a continuous basis, especially during
the dry season.  It is during the dry season that one becomes more aware of
the importance of these activities.  This has not been a disastrous drought
like the one in Africa, but it is a strong drought.

However, we are sure that we can face this difficulty and decrease to a
minimum its side effects.  Despite this, the economic index and the
efficiency of the economy have improved this year.

The situation in our country is good from the moral viewpoint, and it is
excellent from the political viewpoint.  The efforts we have exerted during
the last years and the special effort we have exerted to fulfill the
guidelines established last year have given us a great economic strength,
stability, and security, and have also given us great strength in the
defense sector.  We have been working on our defense since these
imperialists stubbornly tried to frighten us and since they threatened us.
All they have achieved is to multiply our force and our revolutionary
spirit; they have lashed out against our sting. [applause] Thanks to this,
our country is in a condition to struggle united with the Latin American
countries in this battle being waged against the tragedy being withstood by
our peoples.  The Third World, [corrects himself] the whole world,
particularly the Third World, is struggling against a deep economic crisis.
Latin Americans are facing one of the hardest phases in their history.
This economic crisis is worse than that of the thirties, much worse because
the population is three times larger and social problems have accumulated.
We have heard about the tradegy and almost felt it as our own when
listening to the women, labor leaders, and journalists, and when receiving
all kinds of information concerning these countries economic and social

Previously, I said that the gross domestic product per capita had plunged
to the 1975 levels.  However, that is not the problem.  The level of life
has decreased even more because this includes a debt of $360 billion.  If
you add the payment of interests for that debt, it would total $400 billion
in 10 years.  That is twenty times more than during the days of the much
publicized alliance for progress which was considered necessary for the
development of Latin American nations.  Sixty billion pesos were stolen
from Latin America in interests, capital drain, unequal exchange, and
overvaluation of the dollar.

This continent is facing a terrible crisis; $60 billion was squeezed from
its sweat and blood to give to the rich capitalist countries for their own
development and enjoyment.  This is something that cannot possibly be
conceived.  This added to protectionist policies and dumping which multiply
the looting of our natural resources and make our economic and social
development difficult, has provoked this struggle, battle, and movement
against Latin America's foreign debt.  This was discussed during the Latin
American workers meeting; it was also part of the women's and journalists
discussions.  This is uniting and awakening the Latin American, Caribbean,
and Third World countries consciousness.

Some envious, superficial people in the world, particularly the
imperialists and their satellites in Latin America, believe that we have
raised this banner to gain prestige.  Recently, we said that you cannot
feed even a [word indistinct] with prestige.  This would be equivalent to
saying that despite all of the problems and adverse factors, the
revolution, the struggle for the Moncada Barracks, and the struggle
throughout these 26 years have been waged to gain prestige.  Only
politickers think about prestige; only the ambitious think about prestige;
only the imperialists think about prestige because their prestige helps
them to fool and exploit the people.

[Unreadable text] struggle is consistent with out revolution's struggle.
It is consistent with the topics we have been discussing for many years
because there are some people who are so ignorant that they still do not
know that a sixth summit was held here in 1979; they are so ignorant that
they do not know how many years Cuba has been discussing this problem.
They ignored our statements at the United Nations in 1979, in New Delhi,
and at other events we mentioned to the labor leaders on the 18th.  We
could not care less about that.

This battle is becoming increasingly stronger and this is not only a battle
for the ...[changes thought] to erase the debt from our minds, to annul the
debt, or to abolish the debt just like that, categorically, clearly, and
specifically. [applause; chanting of slogans] This is a battle for the new
international economic order; this is a battle for Latin America's economic
integration; and this battle is out of my hands.  These banners are not
carried by a particular person; they are in the hands of the workers,
peasants, women, students, intellectuals, professionals, and the masses.
[applause] These are really strong hands because this is a life or death
struggle for our peoples; this is a decisive struggle for the peoples and
the peoples will never betray themselves.

As you know, on 30 July we will begin a big international meeting at which
practically all the social sectors and the main political forces of Latin
America and the Caribbean will be represented.  Of course, the imperialists
have lost sleep.  They cannot sleep just thinking about this rolling
snowball, the erupting volcano, which this struggle is becoming.  They are
trying to sabotage the meeting.  They tried to sabotage the laborer's
meeting but failed.  They are trying to pressure the timid, but with all
these imperialist activities -- at times these activities are so dirty that
even the airlines cooperate and try to sabotage tickets, delay delivery of
a ticket, and create [Unreadable text] sorts of difficulties -- they will
not be able to prevent the meeting.  However, the meeting is just a few
days away; the biggest meeting of this kind to be held in our hemisphere.
The biggest [applause] the most pluralistic, and the most democratic

Imperialism was saying that this would be a summit meeting.  No it will be
no such thing.  However, the quality of the meeting will make it a summit
meeting.  It will be a summit meeting because of the people who will attend
it but not because of a political hierarchy, We recently told Latin
American labor union representatives: We are not members of the OAS,
therefore, how can we even suggest a summit meeting?  We had a large summit
meeting here.  It was a large summit meeting attended by more than 60 heads
of state and government.  This meeting was held in 1979.  In my judgment,
an administrative hierarchy summit does not compare to a meeting such as
the one we will hold.  The workers, women, students, peasants,
professionals, church, [applause] and all the leftist parties of Latin
America will attend this meeting.  Centrist and even conservative parties
will be represented.  If anyone was excluded from this meeting it was
because he wanted to be excluded and not because we excluded him.
[applause] We will also have representatives from the different Evangelist
and Catholic Churches; we have not only invited the Latin American
religious groups, but we have also invited some clergymen from the churches
here in Cuba.  We have not only preached the broadness of this meeting
abroad, but we have also extended invitations to prominent personalities in
our country because this hour is an hour of unity. [applause]

At this meeting we will hear the opinions of the most brilliant and
patriotic men of Latin America.  Scientists, academicians, economists,
intellectuals, and former militarymen, who have a patriotic awareness in
Latin America.  It will be a very broad meeting, and I repeat, the most
broad, pluralistic, and democratic meeting at which everyone will be
absolutely free to express his views.  A meeting at which all topics may be
brought up, as was done at the women's meeting and at the meetings of the
union representatives and journalists.  I am speaking of democracy, and we
will see democracy in action, Latin American democracy in action,
pluralistic in action, broadness in action, and democracy in action.
[applause] This is the kind of meeting we will have.  We are not frightened
by the truth.  Only the reactionaries, imperialism and its allies can be
frightened by the truth.

This continental dialogue will have the most ample coverage and I hope that
our people will follow it as closely as it followed the recent
international meetings.  Many of the union delegates who are present here
today will be present at the meeting. [applause] Tens of women who, on
behalf of Latin America, portrayed a brilliant role in Nairobi will also be
present at the meeting. [applause]

Nothing and no one will be able to stop this struggle based on principles,
on the need of survival of our peoples, without a shadow of vanity or of
the ridiculous search for prestige or relations.  Who ever said that we had
an obsession for relations?  How many years we spent here alone, isolated,
after the imperialism imposed a break in relations.  The sole exception was
Mexico.  However, we always had relations with the peoples, workers,
students, and women of Latin America.  We have always had relations with
the Latin American peoples and today, those relations are better than ever.

We do not reject relations with governments.  On the contrary, we accept
these relations if they do not dishonor us.  There are some relations that
bring dishonor and this type of relations we do not want.  We are not
against normal relations with normal countries with normal governments.  On
the contrary, we appreciate those relations and develop them as much as
possible without allowing these to obsess us.  Imperialism lives with this
obsession.  Imperialism has this madness, mania, strange thing, in its head
that whenever a country wishes to establish relations with us they begin to
tremble.  It would seem that the world is coming to an end just because a
small country wishes to have relations with us. [applause] These obsessions
are of madmen and imperialism, which have every reason for being crazy.
This is part of the system's old age; this is part of the system's
structural and nervous attrition.  This is why they lose sleep.

We have never lost sleep.  We have seen 26 years of revolutionary struggle,
and I modestly feel that there is merit in this.  We have resisted the
empire's threats, pressures, political power, and economic blockade for the
past 26 years and we have advanced victoriously.  This credit is not due
exclusively to our people.  We owe very much to international solidarity
and cooperation, but we have not disappointed this cooperation or
solidarity. [applause] We have turned it into creative works, advances,
progress of our homeland and people, and we have firmly resisted, always
willing to pay the necessary price.  This historic merit was not the
objective of our struggle.  No one fought for glory and honors.  We fought
for c cause, for principles, for feelings of solidarity with our people and
all the peoples of the world. [applause]

The days of the personages who struggled for glory and vanity are long
gone.  We struggle for profound revolutionary ideals that are beyond the
notions of prestige and glory.  We have never forgotten what Marti once
said.  It was one of the first things I read from Marti.  It was also one
of the things that I have most retained.  He said that all the world's
glory can fit in one grain of corn.

However, the glory, the honor, the merit that our people have earned in the
world cannot be taken away by anyone or anything.

This is my answer to those who are being silly, to those who say that this
is not a suitable place for discussing this issue.  What would be a more
suitable place I ask, since there is this objection.  I say that all the
places are good and that the problem can be discussed anywhere in Latin
America, but what I cannot stand is someone who is foolish and arrogant
enough to pretend that our people do not have the right to host a
discussion on this idea. [lengthy applause]

We are discussing this not because we are looking for awards, prestige, or
relations.  We would have gladly supported with enthusiasm any country
promoting this, but no one did.  No one spoke about this.  We have been
speaking about this problem for some time already.

Of course this position has more weight now because the crisis is at its
peak.  The situation is dramatic and terrible.  This is what produces fear
in the midst of imperialism.  It produces jealousy, envy, and concern among
mediocre people.  The moment they firmly defend these ideas, you can be
sure I will be the first one to support and applaud them.  However, in the
meantime I laugh at ridiculous jealousy and vanity.  I also feel pity for
these who, faced with critical situations such as this one, act cowardly.

I believe that I have spoken an adequate length of time.  I wonder if there
is something I have forgotten to say.  Perhaps there are three details that
I did not mention when I spoke about Guantanamo.  We have here three big
adversaries, three big enemies, excluding the neighbors.  There is the
social problem and the problem of nature.  In the social aspect, there is
the problem of a tendency to leave the mountains en masse because of the
opportunities in the city.  Here and in other eastern provinces there is a
tendency to emigrate from the mountains where we have important jungles,
forestry, and coffee and cacao production.  We have made great efforts to
create the right conditions, communications, and better life conditions to
keep the people in the mountains.

In the past, the people sought refuge in the mountains where they could
have a plot of land.  With the revolution, there is a tendency to leave the
mountains.  This means that we have to multiply our efforts to pay
attention to and improve life in the mountains.

This is very important because the country depends on the mountains for
products that are fundamental for. our country.  The second element is
nature.  I have mentioned the drought.  This is one of the dryest regions
of the country.  Science has a challenge here.  What to do to use the water
resources, especially the rivers from the mountains?  How can we best use
those rivers?  What irrigation methods will permit a better utilization of
the water?  We cannot have the same mentality here that would be suitable
in the Cauca valley or in Havana Province.  Here we need special techniques
for utilizing and saving water, for planting trees.  We have to look for
all the technical ways of fighting this growing drought problem.  We have
to be able to use every drop of water, we have to dam it.

Wherever we cannot use the water for irrigation, we could use it for
electricity, as is done with the Toa River.  If possible, in limited areas,
the water could also be used for breeding fish.  In other areas it could be
used for agriculture, even if only to a limited extent.  A scientific
effort is required.

We have a third problem: There is a growing presence of salt in the soil of
the Guantanamo region because of the nature of this soil, because of the
minerals in some water resources, and because of the growing presence of
salt in the region's earth surface.  The fact is, areas are being lost to
the growing salt problem.  This is another scientific challenge.  Efforts
are being made.  There are research and experiments going on, but we have
to speed up this process.  So, in addition to imperialism and the
neighbors, we have here three challenges: One is social, the exodus from
the mountains; and there are the drought and the growing salt presence.

I would have left unsatisfied had I forgotten to mention this and to appeal
not only to the people of Guantanamo but to all technicians in the country
to think about this problem and cooperate in the struggle, because the
problem is here in Guantanamo Province.  This reveals once again that life
has given this province conditions that have forced these people to be
always an aware, combative, and stuggling people.

Nature influences the people.  This challenge imposed on us by nature will
surely make us stronger.  We will continue struggling against social
factors that represent obstacles to our development.  In commemorating this
32d anniversary in this province, our visitors, our guests, can see, I
believe, a model of what we think should be done for the Third World.

Bayamo is evidence that the struggle against the problems of poverty and
underdevelopment can succeed.  The extraordinary economic and social
achievement that we have in this province, which was, I repeat, a Third
World within a Third World country, reveals that mankind can face all
calamities that it is enduring.  It can face the hundreds of millions of
hungry people, of illiterates, the growing number of people without jobs,
without medical assistance.  It has been pointed out that there are more
than 100 million people who are either unemployed or underemployed in Latin
America alone.  This region proves that there are solutions, if crazy
things such as the arms race, war, the war of the galaxies, and things like
that are set aside.  Today $1 trillion is invested yearly in military
expenditures, while hundreds of millions of people go hungry and are
ignorant.  Often, billions of people lack the most basic means of life.

If these resources were invested for peace and development then the Third
World would someday show, and witness, the achievements we have witnessed
here today in this Guantanamo Province. [applause] What we want for the
Third World is what our homeland has done for this province and other
provinces in this country.  Fatherland or death, we will win! [applause]