Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL272317 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 2011 GMT 27 Dec 86

[Speech by President Fidel Castro at closing session of National Assembly
of the People's Government, ANPP, in Havana's Palace of Conventions on 27
December -- live]

[Text] Comrades: On an occasion such as this I would give a solemn and
prolonged speech. However, yesterday afternoon I spoke extensively on the
fundamental questions that we have ahead of us and the tasks that we should
complete in 1986 and in the coming years.

Because of this, I do not think it is advisable to divide our attentions
between the statements made yesterday and the statements made today and I
truly do not believe that we should abuse your attention and patience. In
view of this, I will make my speech truly brief.

I think the most important thing is to express, on behalf of all the
comrades of the Council of State and myself, the immense honor, the great
incentive resulting from the permanent confidence bestowed on you [corrects
himself] you bestowed on us. [applause]

I thank you most profoundly on behalf of all the comrades who have been
reelected and on behalf of all the comrades who have been elected for the
first time. I also think it is necessary to justifiably recognize and
convey special congratulations to the numerous comrades who accompanied us
for 10 years as members of this National Assembly or accompanied us during
the last 5 years.

I can barely distinguish between the new and the previous assembly because
yesterday we were all here and everyone in one way or another participated
in this final session of the second legislature, which is what I believe
the comrade calls it. That was the second and this is the third. We
participated in the final session of the second legislature.

Yesterday, many were seated above and today they are seated here. An equal
number of those seated here this afternoon are seated above. They completed
their tasks and now they will continue meeting their obligations in tasks
they have begun as well as tasks which will not be directly linked to the
National Assembly but they will always take with them the immense honor of
having been members of this truly democratic and revolutionary assembly.

I say democratic and revolutionary with much emphasis because it is right
to say this. The bourgeoisie, with all their divisions, hypocrisy, and with
all the politicking that characterizes their system consider themselves to
be exclusively democratic, those assemblies or parliaments who emerge from
the so-called bourgeois democracy.

As Flavio [Bravo, ANPP president] said or recalled yesterday, many times
not even 50 percent of the voters participate in those elections and, on
some occasions, not even 40 percent of the voters participate, and
sometimes just barely 35 percent of the voters participate in elections. I
do not think their method of classes or exploitation of man by man is
something that can ever be characterized as democratic.

Who is generally elected in that system? Many times the most demagogic are
elected. Many times the most corrupt are elected, those who have more
money, more access to mass media to disclose information on themselves and
to promote themselves. There the distinct bourgeois sectors dispute among
themselves and, occasionally, the pseudorepresentatives of the most humble
sectors [hold disputes], because the true representatives of the workers
and the poorer sections of the population rarely have an opportunity to
participate in those parliaments.

Our system has a truly efficient method of choosing the men and women who
represent the people based on the virtue of privilege, social hierarchies,
or other factors that have absolutely nothing to do with justice, equality,
and democracy.

None of you paid a single cent to become members of our National Assembly.
None of you ever aspired to become members or spoke in behalf of being
named or elected member of the National Assembly. That is because none of
you are seeking glory and you do not come here as demagogues or to politic
or defend spurious interests.

It is difficult to create a parliament where the best of our people is
represented with such dignity or the best of a people is represented with
the dignity our people are received here. [applause]

It is significant and relevant the way in which our people nominate and
choose the candidates that will be members or representatives of their
districts in the people's government organs, the way in which the basic
delegates are elected. The members of the other people's government organs
are all elected directly and above all they elect the members of the
National Assembly. Something else that should also be taken into account is
that 54.7 [percent] of the members of the National Assembly -- the majority
-- are delegates chosen and elected directly by the people.

I also want to speak highly of our National Assembly, it is a fact that the
ethnic composition of our population is legally and properly represented in
our assembly. There is a growing number of youth, a growing number of
women, who at this assembly total 34.9 percent. The number of workers
directly linked to production and services compose at this assembly 41.6
percent of the members and even more notable is the fact that 56.1 percent
of the members are universally graduates. This is very significant because
not one intended to make or create a National Assembly composed of
university graduates. It was a natural and spontaneous event in electing
members to the National Assembly. A large number of them have university
degrees and many of them have middle-level education degrees. They have
completed 12th or 9th grade. This reflects the capability, level of
education, and culture reached by our people and is expressed in the
directorate organs. It is because of this that we should also express our
great satisfaction with all achievements made and with the integration of
this new assembly.

Now at the conclusion of our work and as the 28th anniversary of triumph of
the revolution approaches, I believe that we all advance towards our work
posts intimately convinced of what we should do and how we should do it in
the coming years.

From our discussions during the previous days and the conclusions that were
reached yesterday, it is obvious that we have years of difficult work ahead
of us. The work will be difficult, complex, but we march on the secure
road, the correct road. I should not speak at length on this topic but I
have the intimate conviction that this is true and I am sure that you also
share the intimate conviction that this is true. [applause]

I have great confidence and assurance and I am sure you also have the same
confidence and assurance. I am greatly optimistic and am sure that you
share the same optimism. I have great confidence in ourselves and I am sure
that you share the same confidence. [applause]

It is no wonder. Our people have accumulated a great collective experience.
Our cadres have accumulated great individual experience. It is no wonder.
Twenty-eight years of the revolution have passed. A large majority of us
have lived through this. An important part of us has developed and grown
including that growing group of those born after the triumph of the
revolution. It was a very emotional moment this morning to see next to
Comrade Severo Aguirre the two youth members of the presidency of the new
National Assembly. Above all, it is especially stimulating to see the
enormous experience, the enormous maturity, the tireless revolutionary
enthusiasm of our people.

I recently had the occassion to see this very clearly when during our tour
through Granma Province, it seemed to us at certain times that it was, 1
January of 1959. [applause]

I have heard skeptics say that enthusiats are passengers and I have heard
many state theories that it is not the same after the first years of the
revolution when the revolution is 10 years old, 20 years old, or 30 years
old. Spirits fall. The happiness, enthusiasm, optimism, and expectations
are not the same.

After 28 years of revolutionary experience, we can say with absolute
certainty, if enthusiasm disappears, it is because something is wrong.
[applause] If enthusiasm disappears, it is because at a certain point the
process has stopped being revolutionary. And we can say that when there is
loyalty to principles, when there is dedication to the people, when the
people feel part of the process and assume all the responsibilities
inherent in their participation, if the process never deviates from its
principles, enthusiasm will never disappear in a revolutionary process.

I think an enthusiasm more emotional than that experienced on 1 January
1959 is the mature, firm, profound, and conscious enthusiasm of an entire
people that has truly lived a historical, revolutionary era. [applause] It
is the enthusiasm of the educated people, a cultured people, and a people
with a great political culture, profound patriotism, and with an equally
profound internationalist spirit with a sense of discipline and
organization. And the proof now of our people's maturity, experience, and
culture can be seen by the way in which they reacted to the serene,
objective, honest, and frank analysis of problems, difficulties,
limitations, and tasks.

It can be seen in their profound comprehension. Their cooperation and
support are expressed by the immense majority of the population, by more
than 90 percent of the population. According to today's events, they have
made serious, firm, decisive commitment to work and cooperate very
conscientiously with the enormous efforts made by the party and the
revolution to resolve problems, advance and develop the country, reach new
and more elevated goals and be very aware of the perennial and tireless
concern of the party and the revolution over the sacred interests of the
population. Above all, they are very aware of the total dedication of the
party to the people and that obligates us. It obligates us very much. We
should think of this every day, at all hours. If we are doing what we
should be doing, and above all, if we are doing, the utmost of what we
should be doing, if we are doing things in the most efficient manner, which
we are required to do in everything [does not finish sentence].

As I said yesterday, we have the enormous force of the union. We can strike
with a single fist. We can march with a single army. It is an immense
force, gigantic. It makes all these obstacles seem small. Because of this,
today, I once again reiterate my most profound conviction that there is
nothing superior to the revolutionary man. [applause] There is nothing
superior to Marxist-Leninist principles. There is nothing superior to the
socialist system which is constructed in accordance with these principles.
There is no honor, there is no glory superior to being a child of a
revolutionary people and to being a protagonist in the construction of a
society as noble as could be conceived by man.

Fatherland or death, we will win!