Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speaks

FL312154 Havana Radio Reloj Network in Spanish 1902 GMT 30 Dec 85

[Text] In closing the ninth session of the National Assembly of the
People's Government [ANPP], Commander in Chief Fidel Castro said next year
will also be a year of great work, but we are sure that the coming year and
the coming 5-year period will also be successful. In his 2 and 1/2 hour
speech, Fidel expressed a series of reflections and impressions of the work
done in our country in 1985, and of other international matters he had
discussed at the plenary meeting of the party's Central Committee, in order
to share the optimism and satisfaction with which we are going to receive
the 27th anniversary of the triumph of the revolution.

Fidel said that this year there has been a leap in the quality of the work
of the party and state, the measure of which can be given by the increase
in efficiency.

Fidel referred to the proposals made more than I year ago at the energy
forum regarding the measures that should be taken to resolve the chronic
problems of the country's economy. He said the starting point was the
premise that we were able to confront the consequences of the economic
crisis and project development for the medium range.

Our commander in chief discussed the origins of our economic problems,
saying that the United States is subjecting Cuba to economic harassment. He
said the United States committed France, Italy, Japan, and the FRG to not
export to the United States a single piece of machinery or a single ton of
steel containing Cuban nickel.

The top leader of our revolution told the ANPP that what imperialism is
doing to Cuba to try to impede our economic progress is an obsessive mania.
After they have made so many attempts to destroy us, it turns out that
exactly the opposite of what they have imagined is happening, Fidel said.
He explained how they are attempting to frustrate our success in medicine,
saying they are mistaken if they believe our medical development is going
to depend on them.

Logically, he said, cooperation and the exchange of information is of
interest, but our medical development is not based on information we
received because there are already some fields in which we are competing
with them.

Fidel referred to the advantage Cuba has over the other Third World
countries with our economic relations with the nations of the socialist
camp, saying this advantage should be used for future benefit. Our top
leader explained that we are seeking more solid and secure development in
all fields, based on energy conservation and on the use of cheaper energy
such as nuclear energy.

Fidel also discussed convertible exchange and the emphasis placed on
increased production to replace imports from the capitalistic area and to
increase exports to that area, to acquire products or raw materials that
cannot be obtained from the socialist camp that are indispensable to us.

Our commander in chief also referred to the adoption of measures to perfect
the system for managing and planning the economy, with greater
participation by all sectors. For this reason, in the Central Committee we
said that 1985 was excellent from a subjective point of view, Fidel said.
He said that in certain data of the economic plan it is observed that the
economy has grown 4.8 percent while fuel consumption has been less than in
1984. He also said that a series of sectors grew and conserved raw
materials, and that the conservation and production goals drawn up in late
1984 were met.

Fidel said that this year we have had to confront objective problems that
were very unfavorable, including the drop in sugar prices to less than $.03
per pound. Regarding the drought, Fidel gave detailed information on
rainfall, saying that during the first semester it did not rain.

Our commander in chief also referred to the passage of hurricane Kate,
which passed over eight provinces when the sugarcane was recovering and the
harvest was about to begin. He said that because of all these elements he
had said that 1985 was an excellent year from the point of view of the
effort made by the entire people, by the entire country, the party, and the

Our commander in chief stressed the spontaneous offer of the USSR to help
us repair the damages caused by hurricane Kate, mentioning the delivery of
100 percent of everything requested. That was really very valuable aid,
Fidel stressed.

Passing to another subject, the discussed the drawing up of the 1986 plan,
in which all sectors participated, which provided for economic growth of
3.5 percent, which is more modest than in 1985. That is, despite the
drought, the hurricane, and all those problems, we propose to achieve an
economic growth rate of 3.5 percent, he said. Fidel said that the most
solid part of the basis for our development is our relations with the
socialist community and with the USSR.

Fidel spoke of the tremendous possibilities that are becoming evident in
the field of medicine, supporting this affirmation with the example of the
results obtained in the family doctor program. He said more than 400,000
persons are now being attended by these family doctors and the number will
grow to 1.5 million next year. Fidel asked the comrades of the party and
people's government to give special attention to the contingents of young
physicians who belong to that program. He explained that the party has been
working for months because in August there was a certain increase in the
people's complaints against hospital services. We propose to carry out a
crusade to raise the quality of medical services, and I am sure we are
going to achieve this, Fidel said.

Fidel referred to the improvement in educational services, citing the
example of the double session in the primary grades, the greater experience
of teachers and professors, the program to provide training on computers at
the secondary school level, and the vocational schools that have gradually
been converted into preuniversity schools for the exact sciences. He said
this is already bearing its first fruits because, in the recent mathematics
Olympics, Cuba won second place over all the countries of Latin America. He
also mentioned the results in sports and in training physical education
teachers, saying we will continue to be a power in sports and will continue
to develop sports.

Regarding the pressing housing problem, Fidel said there is hope for the
first time, based on the great construction materials factories that have
been built and on the joint efforts of the state and the people.  He also
referred to the advances to be made in research centers, citing as an
example the fact that when the genetic engineering and biotechnological
center is completed on 1 July 1986 we will be among the world's seven most
advanced countries in this field.  No matter where we look there are
excellent perspectives, Fidel said, citing the enormous defense effort.

Fidel referred to the multiplication of our defensive capacity in the last
5 years.  He said that if from the quantitative `point of view we have
tripled our capacity, from the qualitative point of view we have increased
it ten-fold, a hundred-fold.  I believe we have really created the
conditions to guarantee the defeat of any imperialist invasion of our
homeland -- if it were attempted -- with the new concepts, with the
people's war concept, with the preparation of the entire people for that
war, with the preparation of the state, the country, and of our entire
society.  Even the pioneers want to prepare themselves and participate, our
commander in chief added.

Fidel briefly reviewed the phases oar people have lived through: their
revolutionary spirit first and the political consciousness they acquired
later, and the early days of the revolution with illiteracy, 3,000
physicians, and few university professors.  He compared this with the
completely opposite situation that exists today, mentioning the provincial
reports on this subject to the ANPP reports in which everything the
provinces were lacking then was described clearly, in contrast to the great
deal they have now in educational facilities, public health, social
security, industrial projects, and development in general.

Fidel mentioned a few ideas that had been presented in the Central
Committee meeting on how we should perfect our work to build socialism.  He
began by saying that capitalism cannot do what we can do in education,
public health, and science.  The possibilities of socialism, he said, are
absolutely unlimited.  Capitalism cannot have these possibilities.
Socialism is a really human system in which the problem of one man is the
problem of the entire society, in which every person has the solid support
of everyone.  This cannot exist in a capitalist society.  Our system is
very superior; I see infinite possibilities in socialism, Fidel said.

Referring to the way to perfect our system by overcoming subversive
factors, Fidel mentioned the real tapping of human resources, reminding us
that in some places there is high productivity with few workers, and in
others there are inflated numbers of workers.  He spoke of the need to
lighten all those structures and reestablish multiple trade, in order to
conserve resources.  He gave the example of surplus teachers --whom the
Ministry of Education was able to retrain and whose level of competence it
was able to increase, saying that paying professionals to study for some
time will be applied also to physicians.

Fidel said it has proven that efficiency is determined by the training of
different level personnel, for which reason he ratified his stance on the
importance of training and retraining the nation's technical personnel.

I believe, he said, that development also demands the use of automation
techniques, and the solution to excess personnel is not to inflate
payrolls; the solution is retraining, raising their level of ability,
preparing them.  It does not mean, and I repeat, that we should take quick
action everywhere, creating problems.  No.  What I propose is that we
meditate, that we calmly and serenely study all these problems and seek the
solution that I am sure will give us total superiority over the capitalist

Fidel dedicated the last part of his address to the great battle Cuba has
been waging against the foreign debt of Latin America and the Third World
during the past year.  Fidel referred to the formulas the imperialists have
been inventing, such as the Baker Plan, to lend out a little money, while
the economic crisis gets worse every day.  Imperialism is sailing against
the wind in this hemisphere, he said; all the objective sectors are opposed
to imperialism, which is faced with unsolvable problems, our commander in
chief said.

To attack a country like Nicaragua, he said as an example, would really be
to create the conditions for a hemispheric explosion.  We do not want them
to make this error.  We hope they will not do it but we are not sure that
they will not do it, he said.

Fidel referred to our improving relations with Latin America, to the fact
that ties of unity are being developed between the Latin American peoples,
and that the crisis, which is in his opinion the greatest in the history of
the hemisphere, will make a considerable contribution to the rapprochement
and unity of the peoples of Latin America, and to political change.

Finally, he spoke of the preparations for the third party congress, for the
preparation of the materials and the draft program that will be presented
to a later meeting for approval.  Later our commander in chief said that
conditions are optimum for the congress.  It will be an opportune congress
at an opportune moment that has really promising perspectives, he said.