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PA030242 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 0131 GMT 3 Dec 86 PA030242
Havana Do

[Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the closing session of the Third
Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Congress at the Karl Marx Theater in Havana
-- live]

[Text] Let no one think that what I have here is a lengthy speech; it is
the party's program.

Companeros: The [PCC] Congress has approved the PCC program, our first
program. It also decided that the program should be proclaimed today, to
coincide with the 30th anniversary of the landing of Granma. Therefore I
declare the PCC program approved. [applause]

The very unorthodox idea of having an adjourned session of the Third PCC
Congress has proven to be very practical and wise. [sentence as heard] The
adjournment permitted all our militants and people to analyze and discuss
the draft program and improve it. Because of the Third Congress sessions
the draft program was not, [changes thought] did not [changes
thought]...permitted the discussion of the program with enough time before
the celebration of the congress.

Our militants and people analyzed the program and proposed many
modifications. They presented many ideas, and these ideas were carefully
analyzed by a commission and finally by PCC Congress commissions.

Thousands of ideas and suggestions were presented, and many of them were
approved. I would not say there were thousands of ideas but rather
hundreds. In spite of this we don't think that our program is perfect. As
far as editing, some concepts could be clearer. However, we are sure that
the essential ideas appear in this program and that it is a good program.

The approval of our first program is, of course, a historic event. This is
also a solemn event of great importance in the life of our revolution and
party. It is an expression of our aspirations, looking toward the future.
However, we could draft the best program in the world, a beautiful program,
but we may not be able to carry it out. I am thoroughly convinced that if
we do not rectify errors and negative tendencies, we will not be able to
carry out this program or any other thing deserving the title of program.

We have carried out some programs since our revolutionary ideas emerged,
since we initiated the struggle against tyranny. The Moncada program was
accomplished in a relatively short time, at the beginning of the
revolution. It was not only accomplished, but exceeded its goals. What the
revolution has done in the past 25 years is much more than what we could
have dreamed in those days. So approving and carrying out a program will be
nothing new, but we must know what requirements must be met to carry out a

This is why we dedicated almost all of our session to the process of
rectification of errors and to the struggle against negative tendencies. c
It is good that we are approving this program now and not during the first
sessions. The fact that the program includes many ideas related to this
process of rectification and struggle that we are carrying out makes it

Therefore, our program was updated and well updated in that sense. Even
when at the congress and in the central report the essence of a series of
problems was already stated, they were still not as broadly expressed as
they were in the months following the congress. Upon investigating all
those matters we discovered many things, many elements, many factors that
still were not completely clear at the first congressional sessions.

Throughout the months between the earliest and final sessions of the
congress, there has been an increased awareness of these problems, and a
great deal has been clarified. It was clearly seen that this logically had
to be the content of the final sessions and that our work could not be
better invested in anything else. The final sessions of the congress
contained, just as the previous sessions, the result of months of work. For
months the third congress, or at least an important part of the third
congress, underwent a preparations process. For months the party prepared
the contents of these final congress sessions. There has been a discussion
process within the party and the country. This has been a year of many
meetings to discuss many issues. Several plenums have been dedicated to
this effort. There have been party meetings with rank-and-file members in
the provinces, meetings with all the companies in the country, meetings
with all the farming cooperatives in the country, an endless number of
working meetings directly with the rank and file, and in the past few weeks
there were plenums in all the municipalities to discuss these issues. There
were plenums in all the provinces to discuss these issues. The analyses
were serious, well throughout, and profound.

All of this prepared for these final sessions, and all the participants
unanimously agree that this final part of the congress was not good, but
excellent. It was not only good -- some of you were scared when I said that
-- it was not only good but magnificent, and possibly one of the best
political meetings I have participated in during the entire history of the
revolution. [applause]

We have had a good meeting, and we have had good Central Committee plenums.
I believe we have never enjoyed a greater democratic spirit, greater
freedom of expression, greater sincerity, greater freedom, clarity, and
especially depth of analysis. Dozens of companeros participated and surely
hundreds, perhaps, [as heard] were left still wanting to say something.
However, I believe we achieved the basic essentials. For some time we had
been holding discussions, ever since the [word indistinct], matters
regarding the system, the application of the economic direction and
planning system, matters regarding the organization of work and salaries,
the problems regarding worker discipline, the use of resources, work style,
the demands and control within the party, the [word indistinct], the mass
organizations, and the administration.

The problems related to cadre policies, ideological problems, social
problems, youth problems, the peasant problems, in short all of the topics
included in this policy of correction and struggle against negative
tendencies were discussed. These discussions had a broad content because
they included topics like the misuse of resources.

This irritates the people; it corrupts, disorganizes, and demoralizes the
people so much. This can do the revolutionary process such great damage,
State matters were also discussed, created by the [word indistinct], and
matters pertaining to relations, rules, fulfillment and (?overfulfillment)
of plans. The manner in which money is used was discussed, which is the
cure for all political problems, for the corruption that could harm the
people. We cannot use money irresponsibly; that is not in keeping with real
production, with the creation of the [word indistinct], materials, and
services. That would simply be deceit. That is why the congress was so
broad, because it included every aspect of revolutionary activity and the
need to make corrections wherever we have made errors or wherever errors or
negative tendencies within our revolutionary process have developed.

Our final sessions dedicated a large amount of time to the problem of
organization, labor and salaries, worker discipline, the use of work
periods, the (?interrupts), all of those things, which are so important for
our country and for our revolutionary process.

A substantial amount of time was also devoted at the session to fundamental
and decisive problems of the future, for example, the problems of
education. The discussion of the method and work style of the party also
took up quite a bit of time. Of course, I would not say that all problems
were broached. I would say that the essential problems were broached but
that not each one of the many problems was broached.

That is why we must all include as part of our work during these months,
and as a part of our policy, the conclusions drawn and analyses made
throughout the country, in all of the municipalities and in all the
provinces. That is why we must not only have a party program. We must not
only take this into account. We must also take into account the summary you
received of the discussions in the municipalities and the provinces. I
think those are very valuable documents.

All problems appear there in detail: the problems of sharecropping in the
countryside, in each municipality (?small things, in sum) that came up
regarding sharecropping. There were cases of land being illegally occupied,
there were so many problems in the peasant sector! There were problems with
youth; the problems of those not included in studies or work, but who were
offered opportunities to work. We need to work in activities connected with
agriculture, construction, reforestation, and other activities. There is
the data on those who accepted and those who did not accept. Every problem
came up in those discussions. They were systematically discussed throughout
the country and I think it is worthwhile to go over those documents once in
a while, particularly to analyze what is being done and how.

The program is something else. The program must not be a text for
consultation. Actually, the program must be a textbook. I am not going to
talk now about study groups. We are already fairly old from the
revolutionary standpoint and we must not learn everything in a study group.
What we want students to do, to take textbooks into account and go over
them and study them, is also what we must do ourselves, study individually.
We do not need to organize millions of groups to study the program, but
rather, to study individually, read it, read it again, go over it, look for
some chapter, look for some point on any subject of interest to us, and be
truly acquainted with the contents of the program because the program is
what will guide our work during the next 15-20 years.

I think this is a great task and a great goal and we must be guided by that
program -- this one. And even if we cannot say this is an optimal program,
I believe that anything can be done better and can be perfected. It may be
so. However, this is unquestionably a [word indistinct] program. I wish we
could do with this program what we did with the Moncada program -- to
fulfill it, and not only to fulfill it, but overfulfill it.

This would indeed be a worthy goal, a great overfulfillment, not of an easy
standard as has happened here and there, but of a strong and difficult
program -- to fulfill it and overfulfill it. We would perhaps not
overfulfill it as to contents -- although it is possible we can overfulfill
it as to contents -- but we can overfulfill it as to time.

Nobody can say how long the program will take. Ah! If we work well we can
fulfill it and overfulfill it as to time. In addition, I am sure that it is
unstoppable. Some things in the program will not be very difficult. Some
are already being done. There was a time when we were discussing the time
we would take to establish the vocational schools in applied sciences, and
those schools have already begun operations. The vocational schools in
applied sciences have already been created. [Words indistinct] to begin,
but we could not say that in a perfect way; they also have their problems,
just as education has them in general in regard to the burden, to the
contents, to this kind of difficulty, with the cuts [cortes], because
requirements in these schools are very heavy.

The idea of introducing computers or computer education in all high level
centers -- high schools, universities, technological schools, and other
high-level education enters -- has been launched and is a reality. This has
become an important part of the education sector; we might add that we
already have two-thirds of the necessary means to complete the program.
This program will be put into effect throughout our education sector by
1989 or 1990. This program even mentions the family doctor, who is already
becoming a reality. There are approximately 800 doctors in Havana alone, in
Havana alone [repeat himself] and they are working in zones that we might
describe as having less things because they do not have the best material
living conditions, the best housing conditions. They are working in old
areas [corrects himself] in workers' areas. These are not poor areas, we do
not have poor areas here; these are not shanty towns, we do not have shanty
towns. The doctors are working in zones where the population needs them the
most, and they are achieving excellent results.

More than 1,500 doctors have joined the program this year; not only do they
have a clinic, they also have a house. There are mountain areas, for
example Granma Province, where noticeable results have been achieved. The
family doctor is even found in the mountain areas. The infant mortality
rate is under 10 per every 1,000 babies born, even in the mountain areas.
Proper education has made this reduction possible in less than 2 years --
avoiding risky pregnancies, avoiding house accidents, recommending health
measures -- simply by using these measures, not to mention others the
revolution is currently implementing. This includes the recently
inaugurated cardiology center that will save the lives of many small
children and other programs that will be implemented by increasing our work
and its quality in maternity and children's hospitals. This is particularly
important during the first week of a baby's life, since we currently have a
high infant mortality rate even though the country's overall figures rate
us among developed countries [sentence as heard].

However, we know we must improve our work and health services, increase the
personnel's technical levels, and modernize the equipment in this sector.

All this has been achieved in the mountain areas, even without prenatal
services. These services are spreading throughout the country and I think
the outlook in this sector is very good. I believe that this is an area
where we can surpass our goals. Yes, yes, not only attain our goals, but
also surpass them. If we exert ourselves in the education sector and do
things the correct way, if we use all the human and material resources that
we have, and if we overcome our problems, we will undoubtedly attain our
surpass our goals in the education sector, too. I am talking about things
currently being done, the programs being implemented. We can continue to
develop the cooperatives in rural areas, our agricultural production, the
use of new techniques, the use of scientific investigation in our centers
-- all the fabulous things that can be done -- if we set our minds to it.

We can do many things in the production sector and services in general if
we overcome all the problems previously discussed. The delegates who are
here and our people in general know about this. I will not repeat or list
all the things that were discussed, all the conclusions that we reached,
but our people have fully participated in the debates of this congress
session. I do not know what was reported by the television or radio. I
watched the television a while ago, during the 2000 newscast, and I saw
some of what was reported. I do not know how much was reported by the
television; I have not had time to learn what was reported, but judging
from what I have heard I know that it was given ample coverage. Just a few
things might not have been covered in the television and radio. There are
always some things that are discussed more privately, like in a family, and
it is not convenient to fully disclose them. We must not give information
to the enemy. We have, however, given the maximum amount of information

But there is something else, something very significant: There were
approximately 200 Cuban journalists who participated in all the debates,
and almost 2,000 delegates, which included the party's fundamental cadres
and those of the JC [Cuban Youth], mass organizations, our Revolutionary
Armed Forces, the Interior Ministry -- the socialist state.

They were elected to the third congress. I believe that very few of them
retired or were retired in the period between the first and the last
sessions. Issues were discussed clearly and with much honesty. This is why
it is not necessary to repeat this again. I believe we can move on to
fundamental matters.

There are two, three, four, or five fundamental impressions one has of this
congress, and more so during the first sessions. One fundamental matter is
that we have a party. It is clear we have a party. How meaningful it is to
have a party!

Today we are commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Granma. When we
initiated the armed revolutionary struggle a few years earlier we did not
have a party. We were a small contingent. We were an organization, a
political organization. We had clear ideas. We initiated the struggle as a
party embryo. At the time of the Granma landing there was a movement, and
we became a large movement, with many people, but not what we could call a
party, in the full sense of the word.

In the beginning of the revolution we had the rebel army, as Raul was
recalling today and as I said once, which was a factor that united all the
people. Now there is a party, this new party, the new Communist Party of
Cuba. We call the first one the old party. We call this party the Communist
Party. Everybody knows how it was forged, how it was created. It rose from
the union of the various revolutionary forces, and it developed by
overcoming difficult obstacles, including initial errors, errors that were
duly analyzed, discussed, and overcome.

The party was created slowly, but secured good quality. It did so by
selecting the country's best workers and fighters. We did it slowly. We
were only a handful at the beginning of the revolution. The party really
dedicated much time to its own development, growth, internal life, and to
ideological formation. And a good party was forged. The party has acquired
experience by actively participating in the revolutionary, unselfish, and
heroic struggle for approximately 28 years.

Of course the party was involved in everything since its very creation, but
its cultural backbone was modest. It has great patriotic education, not
much political culture. We don't speak of awareness because our militants,
from the very moment they started on the road to socialism, had what we can
call revolutionary awareness. They knew what they wanted, but they had yet
to acquire many ideas, much knowledge. This represented an ideological
formation task, a task for revolutionary schools, our media, and our mass
media, which simultaneously educated the party and the people.

That is why it is encouraging to now have a large, militant experienced
party that has a high cultural level, much political education, political
culture, and much revolutionary awareness.

It is a party that knows what it wants, a party that is truly learning the
way to achieve what it wants. This is something that is clearly seen, is
clearly reflected by what we have seen here. It is a party with more than
500,000 militants and future militants; 500,000 what is that? How can we
compare those numbers to the number of militants we had during the Moncada
days? We were only a few hundred and we really thought that we could carry
out a program, make a revolution, (?lead) the revolutionary process,
overthrow the tyranny, [word indistinct], and carry out a revolutionary
program. We were only a few hundred men. For every one militant we had
during the Moncada days, today we have approximately 3,500 Communist
militants in our party, and 3,500 Communist youths. We also have millions
of workers, [word indistinct], women, peasants, students, a colossal force.

Back then we did not even have a small radio station to broadcast our
ideas. If we were ever to have one, we believed it would probably be after
we occupied the headquarters. We were sure we could occupy the
headquarters, and we did. That was something we had foreseen. We did not
even have a newspaper, yet today we have the most modern communications
equipment, equipment for mass communication. We have dozens of
publications, several important national newspapers, provincial newspapers,
all kinds of magazines, powerful television stations, radio, a complete
education system, many ways to disseminate ideas. It is very important to
disseminate ideas. We could see very clearly that if we could not
disseminate the ideas and if the masses did not hear those ideas the
revolution and the struggle would be impossible; the triumph would have
been impossible. We always knew that the masses were an important factor in
the revolutionary struggle. They are the great force that makes history. If
those ideas reached the masses, nothing could stop the triumph.

What a huge, extraordinary difference between our first program and today's
program Today we have 500,000 Communists. Back then we probably had 1
Communist for every 50,000 citizens. Today we have 1 Communist for every 20
citizens and in this figure I am including the newborn. Today we have 1
Communist youth for every 6, 7, or 10 youths, depending on the age we use
as a reference. Today we have 1 Communist and 1 Communist youth for every
20 citizens.

Our masses are active within the unions, the CDR [Committees for the
Defense of the Revolution], and all our mass organizations. They do this
under the leadership of the party, under the leadership of the party and
not of the state. They are not under the leadership of the state but under
the leadership of the party. [Castro repeats himself] As each day goes by,
we get a much clearer view of the party's role in the revolutionary
process. This is what a party with 500,000 militants means.

As we said earlier, this is a healthy party, a truly healthy party despite
mistakes made by some militants. The fact that some of our militants make
mistakes does not change the fact that we have a party with very high
morale, a clean and honest party, a healthy party. This despite the fact
that we may have dishonest militants who will continue to be militants so
long as they are not discovered. Someone may be a dishonest militant and
unworthy of being a party member, but only so long as we are not aware of
this. We know that a party with masses and cadres is a healthy party. Some
were trying to spoil this for us, but we caught on in time and we have
reacted to prevent them from corrupting our militants, corrupting our
party, corrupting our people, [applause] corrupting our youths, and above
all, to keep them from corrupting our working class.

I am not just talking for the sake of talking. I am explaining what we are
doing during this correction process. Our peasants were beginning to show
signs of corruption. We no longer knew whether a cooperative was an
agricultural production cooperative, a crafts cooperative, an industrial
cooperative, a commercial cooperative, or a cooperative of mediators. We
had lost the sense of order with all the swapping that went on between the
cooperatives and the state enterprise and the swapping among the state
enterprises. They were swapping materials, products, and food.

Yesterday Raul mentioned the case of a factory that was swapping its
products with a farm. The factory would send cement to the farm and in
return the farm would send salted beef and other products to the cement
factory. What would have happened if everyone continued to do this? If such
a system were allowed to develop we would have nothing left. We would not
even have enough beef to cover the needs of a school, a hospital; we would
not have enough beef to distribute among the people who need beef every
day, every week, every month if a universal barter system were established
among the state enterprises or between the cooperatives and the state
enterprises. We know that this is a path that would only lead to chaos, to
anarchy. The phenomena which we have noted here are evidently negative

We also heard of a case in which the enterprise was selling its material
and reporting it as delivered. They would report that they had delivered
their paint, lumber, tiles, just to mention a few products because there
are many more. It seems some enterprises wanted to make a profit by
stealing and embezzling from one another. What kind of socialism were we
building along those lines? This is a very important ideological matter.
What kind of ideology was that? I want to know. I want to know whether
those methods were not leading to a system worse than capitalism, when we
wanted methods that would lead to socialism and communism. What kind of
game was that where anyone could grab anything he wanted. They would take a
crane as easily as they would take a truck. This swapping of materials was
becoming an everyday thing. [Words indistinct] fighting against this with
all our strength, otherwise it is conducive to the skepticism,
discouragement, and demoralizing of the masses, and discredits the ideas
and objectives of our revolutionary process.

This is serious, very serious. We discussed this matter and it really is a
matter that can be discussed in great detail. We also discussed some
essential concepts regarding what socialism is and how it is built.

In another meeting with newsmen, in the last Union of Cuban Journalists
[UPEC] congress, I broached some of these problems, which are very
important not only for our country but for all international revolutionary
thinking. I explained frankly, we have explained with great frankness, our
party has explained with great frankness and great courage the horrors that
have been committed and how they have been committed. It explained how we
committed at a given moment certain errors, perhaps owing to extremism or
even let us call it idealism. Then later we committed even worse errors,
really worse, having more serious consequences. This is because the others
could have been reversible errors. But the errors I have mentioned were
irreversible at a given moment. They had to be rectified in time, not only
for the sake of our process, but for the sake of the revolutionary process
in general. This is because the building of a new society, the direction of
socialism, the path of communism is entirely new for man. It is a new
experience, a very recent experience that must be constantly enriched both
in theory and in practice.

Nobody can imagine that everything was said in the last century, 150, 160
years ago or more [as heard], when the Communist Manifesto, the (?Volta)
program, and the books of Marx and Engels, and later those of Lenin
appeared, and that the problems have all been resolved. It would be
antidialectic to believe that, it would be anti-Marxist to think that.
Humanity has its course, human society has its course. New worlds have new
problems. There are problems of this era that did not exist in that era. In
that era it seemed as if the natural resources were unlimited, infinite,
and that only the social regime imposed a barrier to the unlimited
development of productive forces and social wealth, especially material

There is a basis of truth in the enormous faith that the founders of
scientific socialism had in the possibilities of science and in the
possibilities of developing the productive forces through the application
of science. They envisaged this more than 150 years ago, while today in the
self-same socialist countries they are beginning to see the realization of
this with enormous clarity. It is obvious that in the socialist countries
the issue related to scientific technical development is being redirected.
Scientific technical development is a sine qua non condition for the
development of the productive forces.

However, new problems, for example pollution, do exist. There have been
problems of incredible depletion of nonrenewable natural resources. Fuel is
an example of this. It is possible that man, in a brief period of 150
years, can deplete all the hydrocarbons that had accumulated over hundreds
of millions of years. If there is one proven fact it is that throughout
history man has committed all kinds of madnesses, abuses, injustices,
cruelties, and waged wars; particularly man educated within the selfish
class society. This has been sufficiently proven. World wars have cost
dozens of millions of lives, while right now they [not further identified]
are the threshold of a war that could cause the extinction of all living
beings. Man has committed all kinds of brutalities.

New and very serious problems have emerged. Resources have been depleted.
Resources are not evenly distributed. Nature gave some countries abundant
resources in land, hydrocarbons, and minerals, while others got nothing in
this historical and natural distribution of the planet.

There are tremendous situations. We know about them through our links with
the Third World, through what we think and ponder about, and through what
we see in many countries, inhabited by billions of people. There are new
and tremendous problems to solve in this era. It is up to the revolutionary
parties, Marxist-Leninists to resolve the problems of this era.

There are ideas that need to be enriched, interpreting Marxist-Leninist
correctly. This is all closely related to the building of socialism. Let us
say that Lenin already made an enormous contribution when he conceived the
idea of building socialism in an economically backward country, in a
country that was not an industrial power -- although it did possess a
certain level of industrial development in the old empire of the czars.
Moreover, at one point revolutionary thought believed that revolution was
only possible if it took place simultaneously [changes thought] if it first
took place in the more industrialized countries, and then in various
industrialized countries simultaneously. Lenin has enormous historical
merit in having concluded that it was possible to build socialism in an
industrially backward country.

Naturally, building the first socialist state amid those conditions
required a price, an enormous, terrible cost in sacrifice: isolation;
blockades; the need to develop and reinvent science, techniques,
technology; and to develop on the basis of its resources alone, the
resources of an industrially backward, destroyed country.

That is one of man's greatest historical feats. To a certain extent, the
consequences of [building socialism] are still being felt because there are
causes for these problems.

Socialism continued to develop and triumphant socialist revolutions emerged
in industrially backward countries, in industrially backward European
countries, and late in Third World countries. Naturally, a high caliber
Marxist-Leninist concept followed, that of internationalism. Currently,
internationalism is possible. Moreover, we had the phenomenon of a
socialist revolution 90 miles from the most industrialized and powerful
nation in the world.

Imperialism did not exist in Marx's time. Imperialism is a new phenomenon
that Lenin investigated and examined. [He studied] how to set the course of
revolutionary struggle amid those new conditions.

This is what it is all about. We have many new problems to resolve, many
obstacles to overcome because, I repeat, this experience is very new.

To a certain extent, socialism is built by trial and error. However, some
conceptual matters are very important. I believe that one of the worse
things that happened to us -- and I have said this before and might say it
again -- is that [words indistinct] incurred in a deviation. Perhaps others
have been incurred in those deviations, but [words indistinct] I have seen
examples of what was happening to us.

The blind belief -- a belief that was beginning to be blind -- was that the
building of socialism is essentially a problem of mechanisms. What I said
at the meeting with the members of the press was that the building of
socialism and communism is essentially a political, revolutionary task.
[applause] It is fundamentally a development of man's conscience and
education for socialism and communism.

This does not negate the use and value that determined mechanisms may have,
even economic mechanisms. Yes, economic mechanisms are instruments of
political and revolutionary work. They are a means, an auxiliary
instrument, I dare say, to political and revolutionary work. However, they
are not the fundamental means to the construction of socialism and
communism. The fundamental means is political and revolutionary work. I
have not the slightest doubt about this.

We have lived through the experiences [not further identified] -- oh,
haven't we. The past one and this one, the two of them. We have seen the
negative consequences of the two, but there could be some positive things
that could come from the two.

Here we have fallen into two delusions of that kind. When the Constitution
was drafted, the political-administrative division undertaken, and the
popular powers developed -- which were without doubt great steps -- the
naive belief emerged that based on those innovations and accomplishments
the state would work perfectly, practically automatically, thanks to the
process of direct election of municipal delegates, their work, and the work
of the popular powers.

Well, later it became evident that this required very important political
work, very important work by the party. However, in the sphere of material
production and services -- particularly in the sphere of material
production - the belief emerged that everything would work perfectly under
the system of direction and planning of the economy, with the relationship
between salaries and labor. That is, that was the panacea that resolved
everything and all but built socialism on its own. That also partially
explains the disorientation of the party.

That quite blind belief in mechanisms alone, that lack of clarity on the
idea that the construction of socialism and communism is fundamentally a
political and revolutionary task, explains, to a certain extent - does not
explain completely, but to a certain extent -- why as a rule these
phenomena pass unnoticed by many party activists and cadres, although I am
certain that many activists, because of their confidence and their sense of
discipline, because these decisions were made at a congress, and because
these decisions came from the leadership of the party and thus necessarily
had to be correct, believed that they were correct and were part of that
system of leadership.

However, there was no one in this country, no cadre or leader, who had ever
lived through any of these experiences. The understanding that some of them
had acquired was in the best of cases simply theoretical. We can even say
they were excessively theoretical. No one had practical experience, or real
experience in the situation of a country like ours, of economic development
and problems like ours.

No one knew or was in the position to know how these mechanisms would work.
That is how we have finally learned a lesson from that.

Well, things used to happen. How were we to resolve the problems of
material production, the country's development?

Apparently we thought that by disguising a person as a capitalist we were
going to attain efficient factory production. We started playing at
capitalism in certain ways. Of course, there are many companeros who
disguised -- [changes thought] because one can only be disguised as a
capitalist if one is a socialist administrator. If you do not want to be a
capitalist, then you would have to be the owner of the factory, and return
to the capitalist system -- find a super-efficient seller of quack remedies
[merolocio] and make him the owner. [sentence as heard] However, under
socialist conditions one can only disguise him, and then demand that he be
efficient. Guys disguised as capitalists, our companeros disguised as
capitalists, started acting like capitalists but without capitalist
efficiency. Capitalists take much better care of their factories and much
better care of their money and compete against other capitalists. If they
produce trash, they won't find any buyers. If they lose money they go
bankrupt. The bank forecloses on their loans and confiscates their
property. The capitalist then loses his position as administrator and
owner. Do you believe that by disguising a person as a capitalist you will
attain efficiency in a factory?

In many cases what was accomplished with these absurd beliefs was that
these companeros started acting like capitalists but not by reducing
production costs as capitalists do, not by improving the quality of
products as capitalists do. Otherwise the capitalist goes bankrupt due to
the competition. He cannot sell, he cannot move his merchandise. These
capitalist imitators did not improve work organization or use the work
shift to the fullest extent by implementing discipline and demands.
Capitalists who survive competition make lots of demands, or they do not
survive. Our man disguised as a capitalist produced just anything. He
forgot about quality. If he had to produce 1,000, he made 1,000. He did not
resolve the quality versus quantity contradiction. There was no quality
control, and he could not have cared less. He just wanted to fill the
quota. He started selling at a higher cost; he started stealing to make
money. Who can say if deep down he even cared if the business made money or
not because the state would take care of all the deficits at the end of the
year. What problems could our man disguised as a capitalist have? He could
spend his entire life playing the capitalist role without looking for
efficiency. He could barter and trade or be paternalistic, resolving
problems here and there. I am not going to say it actually happened this
way, as it would be unjust to say that. I am pointing out the problem that
was becoming generalized and would have worsened as we became used to being
faced with these problems and not really seeing them.

The problem of lack of profitability became quite generalized. Wholesale
prices of many products rose, but many businesses did not become profitable
despite wholesale prices being raised. In reality they became less and less
profitable. They were less profitable because the more wages they paid,
with the chaos of more and more rules [normas y mas normas], they even made
the workers compete with each other. These administrators were disguised as
capitalists. They began paying higher wages, demanding less, playing the
populist and paternalist role, not demanding anything in exchange, with all
the consequences that it brought about and would have continued to bring

The man disguised as a capitalist could not resolve this. Capitalism or its
methods cannot achieve efficiency within socialist conditions in a
business. We are not renouncing this classification. We should not break
this link in the field of material production, as it is impossible in the
other field I spoke to you about. It would be absurd to break this link,
the rules, or the socialist pay methods, according to quantity and quality
of work. Quantity and quality. [applause] We should not give up on the idea
of business profitability, nor the idea on economic estimates. I am not
against any of those mechanisms or classifications as long as we understand
that the political and revolutionary work and the sense of cadre
responsibility can make efficiency possible. We see the capitalist disguise
being worn by our administrative cadres of the material field. [applause]

We must seek profitability, but we must seek it seriously and thoroughly.
We must exhaustively discuss why there is no profitability. We must seek it
but not by having one enterprise swindle or steal from another. As we said,
profitability must be sought by truly reducing production costs, increasing
productivity, making the most of the working day. We must use technology,
adequately organize the work, and reduce the payrolls, something that
obviously cannot be accomplished in a day. As we were saying here, the cure
cannot in any case or in any circumstance be worse than the disease, in
either material production or education, because we are determined to
resolve the problem. We were also running the risk of cures worse than the
diseases. We have to find adequate remedies to the problem of inflated

That is one of the negative tendencies from the past. It is not new, but it
is possible that the payrolls have become more inflated with all these
confusions and errors in concepts. We have to reduce the costs; we have to
seek quality.

I cannot really have a socialist enterprise competing with another because
this has nothing to do with the idea and the concept of socialism. It has
nothing to do with Marxism-Leninism. There is emulation, but it is not the
competition that the capitalists have among themselves. That has dramatic
consequences when it is not kept in mind. There is no competition here. The
motivation the owner has in the capitalist society is impossible here. What
can replace that? Only the sense of cadre responsibility, responsibility to
our fellow man, and not only to the collective cause because of the role
that the cadres play. That man there [not further identified] must be a
communist. Gentlemen, it is inescapable that a man, whether or not a party
member, must be responsible. He must really be a communistic and a
revolutionary and not a communist playing at capitalism, or a communist
disguised as a capitalist and acting like a capitalist or a capitalist
disguised as a communist. [applause]

In other activities we have achieved this because there are things that we
have done very well. I first ask myself the following: What economic
mechanisms or what economic estimates are we going to use in such an
important and decisive service as the health services, public health
services? What economic estimates, motivations, and categories led us to
the development of a hospital such as the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital?
What economic estimates were used there? What economic estimates led us to
apply science and technology there? What economic estimates led us to carry
out heart surgery, heart transplants in that hospital and to all the
high-level scientific achievements? Where is the profitability of the
hospital? Where is the profitability mechanism, and where is the linkage of
the hospital? [as heard]

As we were saying in the congress -- I do not know if that was on
television or not; this time I do not know what the people know about what
we discussed and about, all the arguments that were used -- if we were to
pay here by linking the surgeons with the operations, and if we followed
the path we were taking in the material field, we would be creating
conditions for a surgeon to perform 20 operations in a single day, any type
of operations. That is, unless we established a bonus for saving the
patient, [laughter] a bonus if the patient did not die. [laughter] A
surgeon would perform 20 operations, many operations. Maybe a surgeon can
perform only one or two surgeries a day, but he tries to do them well
rather than trying to do in 1 hour what he must do in 3 hours because he
might cut the veins, the nerves, and kill the patient. What linkage could
we establish there?

What linkage can we establish regarding the family doctor? The family
doctor has to see patients in the morning. He has to visit them in the
afternoon. He has to sit down and make a chart, analyze, and think about a
case. It is impossible to reconcile [conciliar] the quality if we establish
linkage with the doctor. Then what is the profitability of the polyclinic?
There are very important fields of the social life and the revolutionary
tasks in which we cannot apply any of these mechanisms. Then how do we
resolve such basic services as public health, the health services which
have given excellent results such as the reduction of the infant mortality?
It is possible that this year that rate will go down from 14 [babies per
thousand]. It is possible. They have gone down. I already explained what
was happening in the Montana municipality which had a family doctor. Well,
in my view that family doctor is the example of the communist man. Those
people in the mountains work hard.

They are young people trained by the revolution. They do not have vices nor
are they subject to a system of corruption and vice. They are quite
motivated by their neighbors, by the population, by the attention accorded
them by the people. They are influenced by and educated in communist work
formulas. We have to work with these medics, and that is what we are doing.
This begins with the selection of the detachment members, who graduate and
are interviewed by a commission to determine whether they have a vocation.
Demands are made on them without exceptions being accepted. They must be
trained from the very start, as a preuniversity student, as a university
student, working and training communist medics, as simple as that.

I ask myself, is there another path? Is there another path than to train
medics who are communist-minded [words indistinct] heart surgeons, to cite
an example, and other complicated and difficult operations? They want the
salary of a specialist. That is why it was hard to see the people selling
garlic there at any price with 1 hectare of land and working a few hours a
year and getting a profit in the peasant free market of 50,000 to 60,000
pesos a year, which is what one of these highly qualified specialists in
surgery earns in 12 years. They need 12 years for that. There were incomes
here -- I figured it out - obtained which would have taken a surgery
specialist of the best we have in the country 60 years to earn. I know a
lot of good surgeons, a lot of good doctors in this country whom I have not
seen involved in this problem. They are dedicated to their work, devoted to
their work. They are veritable communists. [applause]

The health field leaves us no other alternative than to train communists
from now on, because there is no other path. Is there any other path? Is
there any other?

In the field of education we encounter the same problem. What connection
can we draw with the teachers? Their pay is a list of students who pass.
The students get 115 points in the end in all their subjects. Is there any
way to link this to profit? What is the profitable aspect of the school and
all that category which I admit is necessary in the sphere of material
production? We have 600,000 workers, 650,000 workers [numbers as heard] in
the field of education and public health. How we are struggling in the
field of health! It is the party that is waging the battle. Of course the
ministry is working with correct criteria, but the party and Communists in
the hospitals are struggling to the utmost with all the deficiencies, lack
of attention, and all of that that was cause of complaints among the
people. We can see the advancement. In 1 year we have seen the progress
achieved by political work here in the capital of the republic. It involved
political work and a little bit of common sense. Beds were lost in the
hospitals, as were rooms, because maintenance material was not available.
This was a problem of correct planning, of erroneous concepts in the
distribution of resources. We asked the People's Assembly of Havana, how
are we going to run the hospitals without material? Why not allocate 2
percent, 3 percent, 4 percent, even 5 percent if necessary of the material
destined for the people, if it is precisely to serve the people? Of course
allocations must be made to hospitals, independently of those to the
people. Then the hospital maintenance personnel began to recover beds and
do a lot of things.

If the party is engaging in systematic work and if the first party
secretary of the city of Havana meets with the party committee secretaries
in all the hospitals -- virtually 60 in the capital -- if the party makes
that effort every month -- and it will have to do so for 5 or even 10 years
- to the extent that we progress and create a veritable work tradition and
a communist awareness in these workers, a social retribution will be
obtained to a similar extent.

There are some mechanisms, it is not an egalitarian salary. [sentence as
heard] There has been consideration. The nurses wages have been improved.
Consideration has been given to abnormal working conditions. Consideration
has been given to the situation of the health workers who are not medics,
or nurses, or technicians, who have to deal with patients who have certain
difficult illnesses, which make work very difficult, because not all these
people have the same working conditions. These are elements that have to be
given much consideration. We must strive to get good pay for the doctor, so
that he can lead a decorous life. But are we really going to have good
doctors paying them 2,000 pesos a month on the basis of money? I want
somebody to answer honestly whether that is possible. Where would that path
lead us? Do we have any other alternative than revolutionary political
work, that comes from childhood since they are pioneers, training the
Communists since their pioneer days, since they are in the children's
circle, two words. [as heard] The socialist state has everything:
educacircle [educacirculo], education, all education levels, university
education; it has everything. It either can or cannot do it. In practical
experience it can be seen, and I have seen many cases of the results of
correct political work.

Our political work does not consist of reciting Marx' or Lenin's doctrines
to the people every day, but to be able to awaken their human and moral
motivations. [applause] An illustrative way of saying this, companeros, is
that we must find the hidden seed in each man I am referring to and
adopting the concept in the documentary [not further identified] about the
hidden seed -- because there is a seed in each man.

A man can carry a bad seed, too. If we cultivate bad seeds, we can create
monsters. I believe that no one was born a revolutionary. It depends on how
his qualities, his positive aspects -- which every man has -- are
cultivated. For example, I have seen criminals who are ashamed to be known
as such. They feel shame. Shame is one of the hidden seeds in human beings,
almost without exception. We must cultivate man's sense of shame. We must
cultivate man's honor, dignity, and his best qualities. This is clear to
me. We can also mention other activities.

What about defense activities, companeras and companeros? What economic
mechanisms do we use in defense activities? What profitability is there in
any division, army, battalion, company, detachment, or squad? They are made
up of young men in military service, who voluntarily offer to participate
in internationalist missions. How can we pay them? How much money should we
give them as incentive? There are officers in our Armed Forces who have
participated in three, four, and even five internationalist missions. How
much should we pay them? What material incentives can we give them? How
much should we pay those men who are willing to risk their lives and those
who occasionally face situations in which in fact they must risk their
lives and die? How much should we pay them? What premium are we going to
pay them? [applause]

What premium do we pay those who work endless hours to guarantee the
country's defense? What premium do we pay those who live away from their
families for years? What material incentives can we give them? Many
military companeros have won many medals. What do we have now? Communists.
What did the revolution and the building of socialism 90 miles away from
the United States force us to create within our Armed Forces? We had to
create Communists [applause] We have created Communists.

Is there any way of solving this problem? Is their any other mechanisms?
Endless hours of work were necessary to prepare the parade we saw this
morning. This was done with discipline and organization. We have organized
the people; millions of men an women who dedicate one Sunday each month --
one Sunday, which is their day off, every month -- to defense activities.
What method have we used; how have we achieved this? Simply by developing a
communist conscience. Can you imagine what would have happened had we used
other mechanisms for defense or domestic order? We would have unleashed
estrangement and corruption. We would have made the people think of money.

Truly, the fighters and officers in the MINFAR [Ministry of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces] and in the Interior Ministry should receive
adequate compensation for their work to be able to live a decent life. It
is true that there is no equal salary. There is a certain method, a
communist or socialist method of remunerating each one according to his
capabilities, experience, and work. However, has this been a determining
factor in their conduct? We have here a companero who I saw a while ago,
Companero Leopoldo Sintra, who was in Angola twice and who bad also been in
Ethiopia. He was there for many years, heading the Cuban military mission.
I wonder what premium we have given him, and what mechanism we have used
with him and with dozens of thousands of men who like him have fulfilled
their mission there. [applause]

Hence, it is not illusory when I say that the best things we have achieved
have been made possible by developing shame and honor in our men, by
developing our men's conscience, by sowing ideas. This is how we have made
our greatest achievements, I have mentioned some fields where these
concepts do not apply.

However, I believe that they are necessary for material production, and in
research centers like the ones we already have, where people work up to 14
or 15 hours daily on a regular basis. I am not saying that people should
work 14 or 15 hours, but I want to stress that there is much that can be
done when men have a sense of shame and honor. This has no relation with
[changes thought]

Well, we must work conscientiously and the remaining mechanisms, the
economic factors are the means and instruments used in the political
revolutionary work, which are required by a true revolution and
particularly for the construction of socialism and the paths of communism.

I can say the same about the militants, the party, and the cadres in our
mass organizations.

Honestly, the best things we possess have been accomplished with political
and revolutionary work through the development of the men's conscience.
These are not illusions. They can be seen by all. I say this with realism
because we must be realistic. We must use this mechanism in the material
production field but in a way [changes thought] with this conception, as
auxiliary means and instruments of the political and revolutionary work.

People believe that because these are mechanisms they will achieve the
miracle of efficiency, of social and economic development and the
construction of socialism. This is one of the most ridiculous illusions
ever. [applause]

This is the work done by the party, this is what we have analyzed. Of
course, this is what is reflected in the synthesis of all the municipal and
provincial plenums that have been held and in the analysis by the
companeros. We have a strong party. Furthermore, this party has been
devoted to the country's problems to a greater degree than ever, and today
it takes care of many problems it has neglected for years. The party is in
the center and at the vanguard of this battle to correct errors and in this
struggle against negative tendencies. This was clearly seen in this
congress session.

However, in this congress session, it was also clear that the party knows
what it wants. It is learning how to accomplish it, and it is also using a
new work style. We cannot expect this rectification from our administrative
cadres disguised as capitalists. First, we need to take away that habit,
and then we need to select and educate the cadres. I do not mean to say
that we need to change all the administrative cadres, much less the good
ones. Many of them are not guilty of developing the habit that has been
forced on them and of the fact that they have been put to work and act as
vulgar capitalists. Some of them have been deformed.

In this process, it is necessary for all those who can to rectify their
actions and to adopt truly communist behavior. We admit that we need to
have an administrative cadre and that they will use some mechanisms. Of
course, those mechanisms must be analyzed and studied thoroughly. More than
rejection, we have seen repudiation among workers themselves once they have
become aware of some bonuses that they were receiving. They have felt
repugnance, many of them have revoked this kind of bonus, when those
bonuses had no justification. The bonuses were crazy, unintelligible,
incomprehensible, an invention to bribe people, to pretend that they were
good. The capitalists do not do this, they do not pay a bonus unless the
result can be measured, is accurate and precise and provides a benefit.

However, our cadres disguised as capitalists were paying bonuses
everywhere, and fact they were not giving away their bonuses [laughs] they
were giving away the bonuses of the socialist state. They were freely
giving away the people's money, thus creating chaos in salaries. [10-second
break in reception]

It can be clearly seen and it was clearly seen in this congress that the
solution to the efficiency problem to the problems of development and
socialist construction is a matter pertaining to the party. This is clear.
As I was saying, by not administrating, by not attempting to administrate
merely by providing formation, orientation, direction to the people, by
facing all the negative tendencies of any kind, and the errors, and by
setting the example. [sentence as heard] This is a problem which we
discussed extensively, that the Communist militant should set a good
example; yes, indeed, there is no other way, or else you cannot have the
very honorable title of communist militant [applause]

You are well aware that communism implies sacrifices. You know it better
than anyone else. There are always more demands, efforts, and sacrifices.
This is logical in all circumstances. It must be this way. It cannot be any
other way.

There are citizens and workers with many good attributes who have been
honest enough to say: No, I do not want to join the party. They do not want
to take on the commitments a party militant has. This is one of the main
points we need to stress in the education of the Communist militant, that
he should be willing to do anything and that he must strive and make
sacrifices and take on more duties and responsibilities than the rest of
the citizens. This is why we ask them to set a good example.

Well, if it is said the communist workers must be independent workers . . .
[changes thought] those that are justified and carry out a useful role;
those not promoting theft, looting, and embezzlement; those that really
solve problems.

In fact, the Central Committee plenum discussed this issue. I saw how
certain provinces and municipalities reached decisions about this. They
even made some exceptions; militants resigned. There was a case in which
they said no, because it involved a retired person who earned a very low
income and was facing a special situation. The party took that into
consideration. It made an exception, because this involved need.

However, in principle, a militant could become a peddler, a militant cannot
get involved in swindling and private trade. A militant cannot assume such
selfish positions. That is really what we are criticizing: the people who
held that famous patent. It is like having carte blanche. Well, they do not
go to work; they would break something or seek some way to be declared
laid-off [interrupto] to earn other income on top of what the state pays
them. They would abandon an important project to earn more money in
another. They could stop working in a hospital being urgently built to earn
more money working on their own. These are examples.

In this famous case of patents, we will see who will keep patents; those
who are really offering a useful social mission. We must accept this. It is
a necessity given our circumstances and conditions. However, this must be
done in a orderly fashion. This also involved disorganization; there has
been nothing that was spared from the problem of disorganization.

Every measure led to a negative tendency. This happened with the idle
workers. They are the focus of congressional discussions. The party is
already tackling the problem. It clearly established principles. The
congress issued criteria firmly rejecting the issue of the idle workers.

This does not imploy that a merciless solution will be adopted; a solution
not contemplating fairness at all. They will take into consideration the
limits and conditions in a country that faces work needs at many levels.
However, we must solve this situation that leads to vice, generalized vice.
There is an incredible number of examples showing the degree of
degeneration caused by this problem.

The party's work in this regard is already apparent. We said that problems
are solved when the party intervenes; I mean, subjective problems are
solved; organizational problems are solved. We are now involved in this
rectification process. We are fighting against negative tendencies.

As I said, we are facing a peculiar economic situation. I say this is a
difficult situation, but when I say that I could give the impression that
it is difficult in all aspects of the economy that involve complex and
difficult situations; not all of them.

The country will not lack the needed fuel. That is guaranteed. It will not
lack many things guaranteed by our economic relationship with socialist
countries. However, we will lack things that we must import from the area
of convertible foreign currency. We will in fact lack them. We indeed face
a complex situation in this case. We could face problems with the arrival
of raw material and spare parts. We could lack these things. Other parts
could arrive late because of our limitations with convertible foreign
currency. We are facing the most serious problem ever in this area.

I tried to explain this to the companeros, the Congress [15-second break in
reception] half what we traditionally have. Imports that in the past
amounted to at least $1.2 billion will be cut down to $600 million. We must
make do with those amounts. We must make do with those amounts. [Castro
repeats himself] We must be ready to face the difficulties that will
unfortunately come, because sometimes one cannot buy something until one
has the money in hand. One cannot spend until revenues come in, because
this involves the foreign debt problem and similar problems that I have
dealt with at length. All countries are facing this problem.

As I have explained before, this situation has worsened this year due to a
series of objective factors, such as last year's drought and hurricane.
However, the efforts made last year managed to reduce the hurricane damage
to the sugar harvest to much less than the damage caused by the drought.

The reexportation of fuel we saved, and which reached approximately 3
million [unit not specified] slashed prices to less than half what they had
been. Other financial problems, resulting from the blockade, along with the
devaluation of the dollar and all the other currencies in our import
markets increased. Those three factors reduced our income by more than 40
percent, estimated in foreign exchange, from one year to the next. This
created and accumulated difficulties.

We had never experienced as we do today such a small supply of convertible
currency with such a reduced importation of merchandise in the area of
convertible currency. What we are in fact doing is striving to optimize
those areas and to reduce the inevitable adverse effects; to halt these
adverse effects. How do we have this situation without sacrificing
development? By intensely maintaining our construction program, for
instance, of the electronuclear plant, which will someday signify $500
million in yearly fuel savings. That [construction] cannot be stopped] It
will signify electricity for the future. Hopefully in the future we will be
able to make use of electricity produced this way in our kitchens. Today we
have to use so many different types of fuel, and sometimes with difficulty.
Nuclear development must continue. The oil refinery also has to continue.
The nickel development has to continue; whatever industry is important for
development has to continue in these circumstances. There are two
priorities. There are investments, as I explained to the delegates, and the
reduction of imports or generation of export articles. Neither one can be

How do we manage? By supporting ourselves on the raw material we received
from the socialist bloc and with the indispensable minimum raw material we
are obliged to buy in the capitalist market. This is a ration plan that
does not sacrifice development. How do we satisfy fundamental needs for
health education, and nutrition? How? There will necessarily be adverse
effects. They are inevitable, determined by the situation of foreign
financing and as a result of the search for foreign exchange, seeking to
balance the international finances. We discussed this and other measures at
the congress. This topic should be discussed at the next National Assembly
meeting when the annual program is established, and each of the measures
that will be necessary to adopt will be explained.

In addition to the factors that affected us a great deal this year, there
are other factors that threaten us. They are also present this year. The
drought this year was worse than last year's. I asked the Academy of
Science to do me the favor of providing information on rain patterns
between 1981 and 1986. It seems we are undoubtedly in a period of drought,
because between 1981 and 1986 rains have been below the (?historical)
average. Throughout the past 6 years, between 1981 and 1986, including 1981
and (?1982), rainfall has been below the usual average. Throughout these
years we have had moderate droughts, generally speaking, although the
situation is usually worse in some places and better in others. We have
also had intense droughts. Very well, the drought in 1985 was classified as
moderate to intense. In Havana Province, for example, where the water for
agriculture and the capital city is accumulated, rainfall was far below the
usual average.

This year rainfall until the end of October -- we all know that it did not
rain in November -- was slight throughout the country, despite the rains
that fell occasionally in Santiago, which served to fill some reservoirs.
The national average of rainfall this year was 68 percent of the usual
average: 68 percent. In Havana Province it was 66 percent of the usual
average. In some provinces, like Holguin, it was only 52 percent of the
average. Therefore, the 1986 drought is what meteorologists refer to as a
very intense drought. That is the term for the kind of drought we
experienced this year. This hurts agricultural production in the province.
Fields had to be reduced due to lack of irrigation water even though we
completed building a channel connecting the (Mascotenco) dam with Guira.
That was finally completed. However, it does not compensate for 70 percent
[of the normal rainfall) last year and 76 percent this year. The rainfall
was approximately 70 percent below normal because last year was very dry
too. Although I do not have the specific figure, the [average] is related
only to the rainy season, that is, it does not cover the entire year.
However, this year was 66 percent since October in Havana Province. This
affects more than the capital's water supply. This year the situation is

We decided to intensify to the maximum the project for a new basin that
will be concluded at the end of next year. However, channels, basins,
[Castro laughs], dams are of no use if it does not rain. I think that the
people must be informed concerning these factors. We do not doubt that
[word indistinct] ignore that these are the facts. This will no doubt
affect us. It has already affected our sugar production by over 1 million
tons. Since we are committed to fulfill our obligations with the socialist
nations we cannot do what we used to do in the past. We simply used to
lower our deliveries and ship them to capitalist markets. Because of the
drought, there will be very little sugar available for the capitalist
market in 1987. These are [changes thought] these are some of the factors
which, as I have explained, have made this a hard year in terms of our
resources of convertible foreign exchange. Moreover, there is the doubly
aggravating circumstance that [this situation] also hurts agricultural,
milk, food, and vegetable production.

This is why the battle has never been as important as it is now because we
are facing such specific difficulties. It constitutes another reason to
maximize our work in all respects, in all respects [Castro repeats
himself]. Let us wage a more forceful war against any sort of waste of
resources, including, fuel, electricity, water, whatever. Most of all, we
must be aware of the problems and be prepared to face them without
sacrificing our future. We must solve them and the [Castro changes thought]
and be prepared to face the restrictions we may have to face. [applause]

As I have explained to you, a number of measures are under study and will
be agreed on. Matters concerning the plan [not further specified] are on
their final phase. The fundamental goal is to make do with the minimum
amount of convertible foreign exchange. We must maximize all the resources
and help ourselves with the resources from the socialist camp. We must face
the difficulties and develop. Development is fundamental. We are building
very important projects. I confess that after witnessing, together with the
comrades of the party directorate and you, the development of these
sessions, we have good reason to feel encouraged and to feel rather
optimistic. But let us not have the illusion that (?everything will be
done) and that therefore, the path is easy. The path entails difficulties.
We must face them with great political fortitude and great political and
revolutionary awareness. The party will have to play a key role.

We want the Party to continue along the path it has set out on and to be at
the center of the battle. We want it to continue enriching its experiences.
We learn something every day. As was explained here, despite everything, we
must seek more stones, sand, reinforcing rods and more concrete. Our
housing project will be bigger in 1987 than in 1986. We are going to
rectify views and errors in investment policies. We are going to supervise
each one of the priority projects because in the past years we have been
unable to get the priority investments, those truly priority projects --
which are those related to the weakest point, or the Achilles Heels of
convertible foreign exchange -- built first. We must pay utmost attention
to this.

We are going to continue doing things. We are going to continue building
clinics for family doctors -- another 1,500. Next year, we will fill all
the mountains of Santaigo de Cuba with family doctors. We are going to
continue with our program of social hospitals, that is, those that are more
important or urgent. We are not going to sacrifice the future, that is, the
economic or social future. However, the fundamental emphasis will be on
economic investments. It cannot be otherwise.

The party must advance with great care. It should place itself at the heart
of all [Unreadable text]s. We must enrich our experiences and contribute
from the ones that each person lives as one tackles problems and
difficulties. Everyday and anywhere we can learn something new.

We have already seen how many problems have been solved. The enemy, as on
that occasion when they made criticisms in the congress, is attentive to
what we say. If I say that work is more efficient, if I mention problems,
they publish that. Their aim is to discredit socialism; our aim is to make
it prestigious. They aim to throw trash at it; we want to rid it of any
trash. [applause]

We have to rid it of all kinds of trash, and thus we are not even lightly
afraid to point them out. It is good to air our dirty laundry openly. I
have the increasing support of our revolutionary press. With great
responsibility, consciousness, and awareness of their role and mission they
contribute greatly to this struggle. Trash is being removed everyday.

They are deceiving themselves; they think that we are not doing well
because socialism is stalemated. They can nurse illusions, but if they do
they do not use logic. What is excellent about this struggle is that it
removes the trash. It is creating the conditions for a more accelerated
development of our revolutionary process. They do not realize that we are
securing our future and victory through traveling the correct path.

They can go to sleep thinking that way. In fact, they can be asleep for a
long time. They should take a long nap, because they will see the
revolution and the party resurge mpressively from amid the trash's dust.
When [words indistinct] a revolution and party on the go and will realize
that we will have created conditions to defeat objective and subjective
obstacles despite the difficult conditions that we must face to implement
socialism near the gates of imperialism.

We must face such infamous economic relations as those applied by developed
capitalist countries toward underdeveloped countries -- that is, Third
World countries. Despite the terrible prices they pay for our raw materials
and products they in turn charge two, three, and four times more for any
[words indistinct] that was priced at approximately 2,000 pesos 12 to 14
years ago. [Words indistinct] ended in factories of the popular power.
There were some reserves left there.

I wonder what the price of the [word indistinct] equipment, those that cost
$2,000 now cost $8,000. Meanwhile, they are paying for sugar [Castro
chuckles] at the international markets at 5 or 6 cents. That applies to any
raw material or resource.

[Words indistinct] a crane that cost 25,000 pesos 14-15 years ago now costs
130,000-140,000 pesos. Those are the prevailing conditions in the Third
World, but thanks to our conditions as a socialist country and our
relations with the socialist bloc countries [words indistinct]. You can now
gauge what kind of misery and poverty are being withstood by other
countries that do not have the privileges we enjoy. Someday the enemy will
understand all this and realize what we are doing in this historical
moment, in the year 1987. Someday the enemy will realize this.

Our problems are new, they are not the problems we had in 1959. Our problem
in the education sector is different; it is not illiteracy, but lack of
teachers. No, we have problems in the education sector because we have
built thousands of schools, and we want those schools to work the best
possible way. We have problems because we now have more than 260,000
professors and teachers, and we want to see those teachers improve

We have problems because we have built many hospitals and enlarged many
hospitals, and because we have 23,600 no, some 25,000 doctors, some
25,000-odd doctors -- not the 3,000 that the imperialists left us. We have
some 25,000 doctors and all have been formed by the revolution. We also
have tens of thousands of nurses, health technicians, and health workers.
We want them to work in an optimal way.

We have problems because we have built thousands of industrial and
agricultural installations, because we have dozens upon dozens of tractors
and construction machines, because we are building grandiose projects, and
we want all that to advance at an adequate pace, with adequate quality, and
adequate efficiency.

We have problems because we have enormous resources, compared to what we
had in the past, and we are waging a battle so that they will be used
correctly. If we have a factory that can produce 70 million square meters
of fabric, that factory should work at top efficiency. And not with the
idea of wearing the clothing, [as heard] but of exporting it to resolve
this problem, because we must first guarantee medicines and food. And if we
have any other large factory in any field -- there are many metal-working
industries that did not exist before, and many industries that manufacture
construction materials that did not exist before -- we want them to work
efficiently and in the best possible way. That is why we want to get rid of
the trash and the dust.

In the beginning, when revolution appeared in the old empire of the czars,
they [not further identified] had to undertake the construction of
socialism without anyone's help, giving up their clothing, shoes, and food
to be able to build a country which fascist aggressors then destroyed for
the second time.

Instead of that, we have had the privilege, as I explained, of having
excellent relations, extraordinary foreign cooperation, and satisfactory
trade exchanges. Many resources have been available to us. And we shoulder
the responsibility of not having known how to use them efficiently, with
all the necessary efficiency.

There is no question that socialism cannot be constructed if there are
problems with the fulfillment of work hours in the fields, if the so-called
one-shift work day is used, and if people work between 4 and 5 hours in the
fields. Socialism cannot be constructed if only -- and this is the case
everywhere -- 80 percent, 75 percent, or 70 percent of work hours are
fulfilled. This is a country that still depends to a large extent on
agriculture. In order to free itself from that dependence on agriculture it
must develop industrially. In order to develop industrially it is necessary
to work very responsibly and efficiently. Quality products must be
produced. Socialism cannot be constructed if we misuse work hours in
sugarcane agriculture and general agriculture, in construction, in
factories, in dozens of places. We must be aware of this. It is the first
thing we must be aware of. And that is what we are learning very clearly,
because we never thought about this kind of problem in the way we are
thinking about it now. We never internalized -- as it is said now -- this
problem. And the party is very aware of this and is turning its attention
to this.

Those negative trends must be eradicated. We must make sure that work is
done. It is not stated in any problem, or anywhere, and no one has ever
said it or seen it ever, anywhere, that a country can develop, advance, and
be enriched without labor.

We must learn how to create an honorable concept of labor. All our honor,
all our [words indistinct] must be gathered together to increase the value
of labor, the importance of labor, to build awareness about this, on [words
indistinct] labor. Work. That is established by law. It is established that
work days must be used wisely and all that nonsense must be eradicated
everywhere because it has led to this lack of discipline. All that nonsense
and foolishness that we have been examining and criticizing sharply must be

There is only one way to do that: through revolutionary political work
directed by the party. As you have said at all the meetings you have
attended, workers have responded in an excellent manner and have shown
understanding and support, with very few exceptions.

Some people do not understand. They evidently do not read newspapers, and
if they do read them they do not understand them; or they do not listen to
the radio. Or else the problems have not been explained to them, because
the key is in explaining problems and situations. If the sun is there
[words indistinct] that the sun does not exist. We must do that job of
informing and educating workers and our people. I am fully convinced that
we will achieve it. After this session, this meeting, I am even more
convinced. [applause] More than ever before. And we will fulfill this
program, this program of the Communists and of our people. [applause]

[I am not only convinced] that we will fulfill it, but that we will exceed
its goals, [applause] as we fulfilled and exceeded the promises we made at
Moncada; as we fulfilled and exceeded the promises we made on the Granma
[applause]; as we fulfilled and exceeded the promises we made in the Sierra
Maestra [applause]

Today, it is not a matter of dealing with the problems of illiteracy, lack
of schools, or the problems of mendicancy and hunger. It is not a matter of
dealing with the problems of those men and women who died in hospitals
without doctors or assistance of any kind. It is not a matter of dealing
with the problems of a fierce tyranny which oppressed us, bound us hand and
foot, and deprived us of our freedom and bread; it is not a matter of
dealing with a tyranny which sold us out. It is not a matter of struggling
almost without weapons, with nothing. We have an immense task ahead of us.
We now have to solve the new problems resulting from our advances and
development, and from the great historical challenge involved in our
commitment to develop our country, to build socialism, and to advance on
the paths of communism.

Our problem now is to develop the revolution in theory and practice. We
have to prove that socialism is not only absolutely inferior [as heard] to
capitalism, and we have to prove this not only in the fields of education,
health, sports, and all those things that they accept and do not [words
indistinct]. We have to show capitalists that out of shame and honor, and
through the principles of conscience, socialists and Communists are not
only 1, but 10 times more capable of solving the problems resulting from a
country's development. We have to show them that we can be more efficient
than they can. [applause] We can be more efficient in the area of material
production. Our conscience, a communist spirit, and a revolutionary
vocation and will, were, are and will continue to be a 10,000 times more
powerful than money. [applause]

Free fatherland or death, we will win. [applause]