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Fidel Castro, Espin Speak

FL031526 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 3 Apr 87

[Video Report from Havana's Palace of Conventions]

[Excerpts] [Reporter] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro presided over the
second day of sessions of the Fifth Congress of the Union of Young
Communists [UJC] during which the role of the family doctor was discussed
at length. Other important public health subjects have also been discussed
during this youth congress. Among them were sex education, teenage
pregnancies, and doctors training. The young people gave wide support to
the views of the revolution's leader regarding the work of the family
doctor and his relationship with the community. The first secretary of the
Communist Party of Cuba [PCC] Central Committee made reference to these
matters in his extensive remarks.

[Castro] I believe we should devise simple, nonbureaucratic mechanisms to
assess how each family doctor is working. Ask what the neighbors think for
instance, without bureaucratic complications. Let's not start creating
model unit drives, or model consultation office drives. At least we should
not.. [rephrases] that has to be done with hospitals, but the doctor has to
be evaluated. The day will come when we can say, if 20 fail, if 100 out of
each 1,000 fail, there you have 100 to fill that position there. The day
will come. The day has not come yet. Also, we should not abandon political
work. Men are not educated without effort, men do not become [words
indistinct] do not become soldiers without effort. That is not accomplished
without political work. The incorrigible has to be told he is incorrigible,
he has to be told: You cannot be a doctor because you are not honest,
because you do not meet the minimum essential requirements. We have been
creating the detachment, we have been struggling to make a better selection
every year so the young fellow will be better trained despite the fact that
over 6 years they may have been conspiring against his vocation as family
doctor. [passage omitted]

[Reporter] Teenage pregnancies could not be excluded among the matters
discussed today. The role of sex education was widely debated.

[Isle of Youth delegate Dr Alba Abela, identified by caption] We have 422
pregnant women less than 19 years old. We have 4 percent girls in the
municipality who are 12 years; 5 who are 13; 13 who are 14; 39 who are 15;
45 who are 16 years old, and so forth making up the 241 [as heard]
pregnancies. I ask myself, we know how much dropping out of school costs
us. Of course, all of these comrades are dropouts. They neither work not go
to school. This shows bad work on the part of the schools, teachers, and
community-based organizations in schools. They have not been able to
prevent these students from dropping out. We believe out youth needs sex
education. Not only young people because I believe here nobody knows a
thing about sex education. The mass media... [rephrases] we know very
little because when I went to medical school I did not receive any sex

The little I know and teach the new generation I have gotten it through
intuition, general information and education but not precisely sex
education. So I believe everyone should be trained for this task; teachers,
psychologists, educators, sociologists, leaders, and everyone who in one
way or another is involved with educating the new generation. We are not
against sexuality of course, but we want it to be an orderly sexuality,
with control, because sexuality without human values, comrades, simply does
not take us anywhere.

[PCC Politburo member Vilma Espin] We cannot think that we have reached
these indexes because definitely in a family and even the school, when a
girl or a boy asks a teacher for guidance and the teacher is not ready to
give an answer because he or she does not know it, what happens is that the
child feels lost because he or she does not dare ask his or her parents. So
definitely, we believe we all have the duty to study more, to read more
about all these matters, and promote these discussions in a very natural
way from a very early age. We must stress that each activity in life has
its right age because there are some who are in a hurry and we have to help
them to assume a responsible attitude. We also have to provide them
information so they realize how irresponsible this attitude is. They should
not think they have to become sexually active just because of curiosity but
should be guided by loftier feelings.

[Reporter] We want to show you one of the most exciting moments today
during this second day of the Fifth UJC Congress.

[Unidentified delegate] Commander, we have been flatly told at the school
-- which brought all the problems at the beginning -- that the transition
plan could not be changed simply because you said so. That is what we were
told. We were told the transition plant cannot be changed because the
commander in chief said so.

[Castro] Why are they blaming me? I have had absolutely nothing to do with
the transition plan, nothing. [laughter]

[Delegate] I believe we are going to fulfill this task. But we can fulfill
the task when we are told things clearly, in advance, when for example your
name is not invoked when it it not true, and when we are not told, as we
have been told many times, that we have to do something because Fidel says
so, because this...

[Castro, interrupting] When have I said something has to be done because I
say so? All my life I have tried to justify, substantiate, show, and
persuade people to do things. [crowd gives standing ovation and chants:
"Fidel! Fidel"]