Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL050050 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0100 GMT 2 Dec 86

[Remarks by Cuban President Fidel Castro at 1 December segment of the
deferred session of the Third Communist Party of Cuba Congress in Havana's
Palace of Conventions -- recorded]

[Text] I will take the opportunity presented by the comrade's speech to
explain my opinion of what happens in the capital of the republic.

The party has authority in the provinces. It has complete authority to
discuss any problems related to health, education, production, agriculture,
industry, everything. When I was in Sancti Spiritus around the 26th
(presumably the 26th of July when the ceremony marking the assault on the
Moncada barracks was held in Sancti Spiritus], I visited several locations.

The hospital there is excellently constructed and functioning well. Many
construction projects were completed such as the aqueduct and the sewer
system. The medical sciences faculty building was completed. It lacked a
swimming pool which was planned at one time. We are going to make an effort
to finish the pool so that the project can be completed. All the students
were there. [sentence as heard]

There is a sports school that is almost complete. However, a report was
received later on that school indicating that a violation occurred during
the construction of the pool. It seems that someone did something he was
not supposed to do at a spring water fountain and there were problems with
the pool. This was one flagrant violation out of the many committed in
construction projects.

Generally, in the provinces, one can see the party is the leader and is
informed of all problems. It is possible that the party did not dedicate
itself very much to these problems. Over a long period of time, the party
dedicated much time to itself, its domestic life, and other problems and it
did not dedicate as much time as it could have to the problems we have
mentioned. However, the party does have authority. This can be seen in any

It cannot be seen in the capital of the republic because there are many
chiefs in Havana City. There are many chiefs. In the capital of the
republic, the ministers want to direct provincial enterprises and
factories. In the capital, the party does not have the characteristics, the
possibilities that it has in the provinces because of all these problems.

I became aware that it is essential the party have great authority, not
only at the provincial level but also at the municipal level to confront
the difficulties encountered in this battle. This is the only way of
correcting the situation.

The process used to construct more than 500 [family doctor] homes/offices
was very interesting. That task was organized by the party.

They organized the masses, the people who had to work on that task and they
completed it. There were some problems during the first year. In some
places [supplies] were exhausted but each factory was more or less
commended with a task. When the problems appeared, they were linked to the
factories. The same factories that constructed the homes/offices are
resolving the problems. Even the doctor was linked to the work center
responsible for that task and the same center is resolving the problems.

Now the Havana City party must be familiar with the problems at a municipal
hospital. It cannot be unaware of problems. The party cannot be unaware of
the problems in municipal schools. It cannot be unaware of problems in any
municipal factory, in any municipal construction project.

I think one must elevate municipalities like Guanabacoa, Los Tres de
Marianao, or 10 October. Those municipalities all have 150,000, 200,000
[residents] practically the size of a small province.

I believe the authority of the party in the municipality, in Havana
Municipality, should be elevated to the practical authority the party has
in a province or we will not resolve the problems in the capital and I want
you to know that in the capital, we have more problems than in any other
city. [applause]

This is happening now. Previously, the party would see that a project was
under construction for 5 years. What did the militants think of this, of
the revolution, the socialist state, the party, or a project that took 5
years to construct. What could the party do with a home for the aged? There
were many problems. They were to construct homes and nothing was

I think the example given by the comrade illustrates that when the party
begins to act and acts with authority [does not finish sentence]. I have
told the party comrades that if the party secretary has to speak with an
enterprise union, then he should speak with that union. If he has to speak
with a vice minister, then he should speak with the vice minister. If he
has to speak with a minister, then the party secretary should ask the
minister for a meeting, an appointment. He should not call the minister at
the party committee but he should see the minister and discuss any factory
problems that exist. [applause]

Then you will see the amount of problems resolved there. Now they have to
see how they function in every economic or social activity.

If they have 29, 30, of 35 factories, the party needs to know what is going
on in each factory. They need to know what problems they have, if they are
paying excessive salaries, not completing technical norms or committing
violations of any kind.

How can that party control be carried out in a city like Havana with a
population of more than 2 million residents and hundreds and hundreds
[repeats himself] of factories as well as in the province? It is
impossible. It is impossible to elevate the characteristics and authority
of the party in the municipality.

I am convinced...[does not finish sentence]. I do not have the privilege of
living in a small town in the interior. We are here in the capital.

I know there are many different problems in the capital and the problems
are much more difficult and complex and I am convinced the party will
spectacularly support the capital of the republic in solving its problems.

In Havana City, the problem of homes has become much larger because, sirs,
we are constructing 4,000-5,000 homes a year. We are constructing much less
than [the number of homes that] deteriorate in a year. We are carrying out
a rectification program and not just a program solving problems. A grand
battle is being carried out in which the weight, the strategic and many
times tactical direction is being carried out by the party. I have no doubt
[does not finish sentence]. We have already seen results. We have seen some
efforts carried out. Other things can be done. The party is working here
with hospitals because the number of complaints received in August solely
against hospitals was very high.

All this decadence, all these vices and negative tendencies are being
reflected in the hospitals despite the efforts made throughout the country
to elevate the technical level and the health area. These subjective
problems were spoiling the efforts made by the revolution in the health
area. A large number of complaints were created.

We met with all the hospitals, more than 50 hospitals of different
specialties. We met with them for 2 days and began a test. The party meets
[does not finish sentence]. Comrade Lezcano [presumably Jorge Lezcano,
first secretary of the Havana City party] meets every month with the party
committee secretaries and with party militants from the hospital. He meets
with them every month and the results can be seen. A program was developed.
Where did the strength for the program come from? Strength was sought to
confront those problems, that situation, and that type of work is giving

We saw hospitals there like the old one which have been under construction
for 5 years and not one rock was laid, nothing was done, or they invested
20,000 pesos and did not complete it. The wheeler-dealers (merolicos) had
material. The rich ones had cement, rock, and sand that was freely sold [se
vendia por la libre] to repair a hospital and, nevertheless, the hospitals
in the capital did not have the material to make repairs.

We decided to dedicate the necessary supplies to Havana City hospitals. We
are going to dedicate 2, 3, or, if necessary, 5 percent of the supplies
sold to the population so the hospitals do not lack the material needed for
their repair and maintenance.

We discovered some things there. There were enterprises that sold asbestos
cement, construction enterprises -- including those belonging to the
peoples' government who sold asbestos cement tiles (teja de asbestos
cemento) to hospitals and they charged for the tiles as if they had
installed them. The tiles could be valued at 10,000 pesos. Installing them
could cost another 40,000 pesos. They charged the hospitals 50,000 pesos
for the tiles. The hospital that did not have these tiles had to purchase
them for this enterprise. Can that enterprise be called a socialist
enterprise? Can that racket (estafa) be called a method of constructing

The same was happening with paint. If paint was available for a pavilion
and they sold the paint to the hospital, they charged for the paint as if
they had done the task. I said, there has to be poor planning if the
hospitals that need paint have to purchase it from an enterprise [that

We visited a hospital one day in, I think it was 10 October Municipality,
and the workers were doing repair work. They had the material. They had
just begun working with the material. The workers began tasks they had been
waiting for a Micons [Ministry of Construction] enterprise to complete. I
saw four columns standing at that hospital and I asked: What is that? That
is a sterilization room, I was told. This happened in December, on 31
December [presumably 1985]. I asked: You cannot complete the room? No, they
said. Some maintenance workers were there. A large man, who was the chief,
shook his head like this because another man had said: Yes, it can be done.
I asked: Why do you shake your head? He said: No, we do the maintenance. If
we organize microbrigades to construct homes for the workers, I asked,
could you finish it or not? The matter was left in doubt. I left and
Lezcano spoke with them again. They decided to build the sterilization

A few weeks ago I passed by there. The sterilization room has been
completed. It is built well. It is an excellent room. It is so good that
the sector has been thinking about using it in five or six other hospitals.
They are going to invent something new there. I think each hospital should
have its own sterilization room. They built the room. They had been waiting
for an enterprise from the peoples' government or from the Micons to build
the room but the maintenance workers built it themselves. They did not have
the material and their work is excellent.

They needed a new dry cleaner, kitchen, and dining room and they were
waiting for a brigade from the Micons or the peoples' government. The party
mobilized forces in that municipality and now, with these forces directed
by the peoples' government -- the party mobilized the forces and the
peoples' government is constructing the project -- they have almost
completed [changes thought] they have the new kitchen, dining room, and dry
cleaner. Their advancements are incredible. The party mobilized the forces.
Previously, one had to wait a long time for these things.

Generally, these things are not done in Havana. Homes are not built. Many
of these constructions are not done because there is no work force.
Nevertheless, a rational utilization of the work force in the capital would
be sufficient to construct everything we wanted to build. We could build
all the homes we wanted, all the installations. There is even a plan for a
day care center to be built with the same merchandise that is currently
used for day care centers. The decision was made for economic reasons and,
above all, to increase the number of day care centers available. They
should prepare an afternoon snack instead of an evening meal. This way,
without increased consumption, we could practically duplicate the number of
children in day care centers. There are 100,000 children. We could expand
this to 200,000.

This year Havana has a program...[does not finish sentence]. We have begun
in Havana and have seen the numerous problems in the capital of the

Our idea is to expand this experience to the rest of the country. We have
begun in Havana. The Havana City people's government will construct 50 day
care centers in one year. In two years, they will duplicate the number of
day care centers. So you see, amid great difficulties, problems can be
solved and advancements can be made. They will practically
duplicate...[does not finish sentence]. They will create a capacity for
20,000 [children]. Currently, there are a little more than that. There are
between 30,000 and 35,000. They will create capacities for 20,000 day care
centers... [corrects himself] students. This measure will elevate
employment for several thousand workers. They will resolve problems for
20,000 mothers with adequate day care centers.

The quarry workers have committed themselves to producing more rock and
more sand. The Antillan de Acero workers have committed themselves to
producing more nails (cabillas). All sectors are cooperating in this plan.
The iron factory will produce iron for the entire country for construction
of homes. With the same work force and the same resources, this is the kind
of thing being done here.

There is a program related to hospitals that was left behind in Havana. We
discovered this. We discovered other things. [words indistinct].

A Micons enterprise, or one from another group, repaired elevators. Another
enterprise received them. This affected the Camilo Cienfuegos Hospital. At
that meeting, we discovered it had been approximately 100 days since the
enterprise doing the repair work -- and this was discovered after a certain
length of time -- had finished the work. The enterprise that had to receive
the elevator during those 100 days did not receive it. As a result of not
having the elevator, 100 beds in that hospital were not used. After it left
the enterprise, the elevator became operational in less than 24 hours. We
had 100 more beds in a hospital.

In the Frank Pais Hospital, which took 10 years to construct, a water
massage room (sala de hidromasage) was under construction for 7 years. I
estimated that it would take 20 years to complete the water massage room,
which is smaller than half this area here. It was just a water massage room
in a hospital, nothing else. There were 100 beds less because the roof on
the last [as heard] floor leaked. The simple repair of the roof on the last
floor has made available 100 beds in the Frank Pais Hospital.

The party was involved in this. The party tried to rationalize and dedicate
a work force to that project so they could work permanently and finish
quickly. One cannot take 10 or 20 years to construct a hospital because of
the dust, noise, or disorganization involved in constructing a hospital.
All these things were happening. Now the party is there supervising their

There is a bus factory which needed raw materials. The work has to be
interrupted [as heard] or 150 laborers will not work but still remain on
the payroll.

The party has now mobilized a large portion of those workers along with the
Frank Pais Brigade and they are completing construction projects there.

I say that only by using Havana's laborers who are not working and still
remain on the payroll can any great plans be made, only with these
laborers, only with the surplus of workers, and only with the
under-utilized portion of the work day can a large construction plan be
completed. If we act rationally [words indistinct] as we said yesterday, of
the millions of surplus workers at the hospital. The workers will be taken
there to work on the hospital extension. This involves progressive

This is a difficult situation and the role the party can play can be seen
here in the capital. They are feverishly committed to solving the problem
in Havana City's 15 municipalities, but we have to resolve the question of
giving the party authority in the province. We have to resolve the question
of giving authority to the [party] in Havana City's municipalities at a
level similar to that of the province.

Sancti Spiritus functions and the role of the party can be appreciated. I
believe the role of the party will now be elevated even more, without
exception, in all the provinces.

[Words indistinct] but in the capital of the republic we have more
complications and complexities and more than 2 million residents. How can
we make it function? How do we resolve the problems of the capital? The
capital is also a school. We do not have the school of the province or the
municipality, as was excellently reflected here by many comrades yesterday.
But we do have a school of very complex problems here in the capital of the

I believe this clearly calls for selection of cadre. I have told the
comrades in the provinces that a cadre from a Havana municipality has to
have the level of preparation and the capabilities of a provincial party
secretary and I do not doubt that the fruit that work will be seen here in
the capital, the most complicated place.