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Sports, Agriculture Discussed

FL071830 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1247 GMT 6 Apr 87

[Video report by Maritza Navarro from Havana's Palace of Conventions on the
last session of the Fifth UJC Congress on 5 April]

[Excerpts] [Cuban track star Alberto Juantorena] I tell you with all
sincerity, commander, I wish sports would always be discussed in the
commununity-based committees, the Jose Marti Pioneers Organization, the
FEEM [Federation of Mid-Level School Students], and the FEU [Federation of
University Students] with the same passion the teaching-educational problem
is discussed because sports are an integral part of this process. It is
part of the teaching-educational process. It is part of the student's
well-being, his physical health, and the country's defense. A lot has been
said here about the family physician, but who better than the family doctor
can go to someone's house and tell him: No, no, your problem will not be
solved with medicine; your problem is not taking medicine for, let's say,
depression. Your problem is to exercise, move, get going. People say they
have no time. Look, commander, all you need to exercise is to stand up,
like this. Do four knee-bends and watch what it does to your heart. It goes
crazy. [crowd laughs] I have no time, they say. One day I was at the

[Cuban President Fidel Castro, interrupting] You don't mean me, do you?
You're [Unreadable text]ling...

[Juantorena, interrupting] No, no way. You set a good example. No way.

[Castro] I see.

[Juantorena] You set a good example. Besides, you know more about sports
than I do. When I was an Olympic champion, you once told me about an
800-meter record that not even I knew about. In addition, you once told me
you had run 800 meters, and I wondered, is that true? And then I had the
marvelous opportunity to read in a magazine that you had won an 800-meter
race in 1946. [applausel [passage omitted]

[Navarro] There were also interesting discussions on recreation, the use of
free time, and the need for the systematic practice of sports. A young
worker from an agricultural collection center in Havana used simple words
to speak about a problem that affects us all.

[Delegate Luis J. Munoz] At this stage in the country's development, our
people deserve better quality products. We can see work is wasted. The work
day is not fully utilized. There are quality inspectors in the countryside
qualified to check produce coming into towns. Our fellow delegates here in
Havana know that when you take a crate of tomatoes, the box is full of
water. It is dripping water. The citizenry can see that. We see that you
stress vegetables. Our people are not educated to make better use of
vegetables because they do not consume them. [passage omitted] Can we
afford this luxury, of wasting produce?

[Castro] You are right, completely right, when you say that the produce
arrives in poor condition. We have been requiring Havana Province farmers
-- the entire country, of course -- we have told Havana Province they must
supply the country's capital with tubers and vegetables. Just as we say
there must be a vegetable garden in the exact sciences school or in the
Bayamo school and elsewhere -- we are encouraging this practice -- there
should be a vegetable garden in the capital of the Republic so it can have
vegetables year round. I believe one of agriculture's shortcomings is its
failure to supply tubers and vegetables year round. Admittedly, there are
hurricanes and they take all the plantains. They create problems which lead
to a higher demand for rice on the parallel market, and so on. However,
agriculture has often opted to take the line of least resistance. It is
difficult to plant vegetables in the summer because you have to contend
with weeds, heat, and other difficulties. Alright, let's sell them at
higher prices in the summer but let's produce vegetables in the summer.

We have demanded that the Academy of Sciences and the (?Metrology)
Institute develop varieties adaptable to our climate in the summer. We have
asked the agriculture sector to propose formulas. Perhaps some branch
office working on vegetables can supply the country with vegetables even
though they may have higher prices or are not as abundant as in season. I
have seen, and I confirmed this in my tour of Camaguey, in the Camalote
plan -- there's an industry there -- they are planting for the industry.

When the agriculture sector starts planting vegetables it is not thinking
about the population. It is thinking of the industry. Yes, it is all very
well to have canned tomatoes in September but it would be better if there
were fresh tomatoes in January, February, March, April, May, etc. What's
left over can be canned. Of course, quality is lost and it merely serves as
a condiment. The concept is wrong, the approach is mistaken in all that we
are trying to rectify.

[Munoz] Commander, the collection centers demand work and sacrifices from
the worker, but we still have not found out where the leader is coming
from. I say this becaause we have leaders coming all the time who are not
really leaders, who come only to introduce innovations, and they cause
problems. I say this because that is where you can see how they hamstring
young people. We don't have this situation right now because we have a
manager who's been on the job only 5 months and yet has solved problems
that have existed for 30 years. [passage omitted] The situation is that
they come to the unit and say, Fidel says we have to rationalize. [passage

[Castro] No one here has said we have to rationalize.

[Munoz] I want you to understand, commander. I know you have not said it.

[Castro] What we have said is that the correct thing should be done in the
new factory. I have said this 20 times, that if we start rationalizing we
put hundreds of thousands of people out on the street. So we will have to
issue a commandment as in the law of God. The catechism said, do not take
His holy name in vain. [crowd laughs] We are going to have to issue a
commandment. [applausel

[Navarro] During the first recess of this session, Fidel signed a huge
cartoon drawn on a wall of one of the Palace of Conventions' halls. Fidel
spoke with the young people surrounding him for a few minutes. The mural is
dedicated to the most popular delegate, Balmaceda, young director of a
cattle enterprise in Sancti spiritus. [passage omitted]