Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL052O37 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1118 GMT 1 May 87

[News conference by President Fidel Castro with reporters and visitors
following the closing events of the Health for All Fair held at Havana's
Palace of Conventions on 30 April -- recorded]

[Text] [Lucia Gonzalez, identified by announcer] Commander, I would like to
hear your impressions of the Cuban pavilion.

[Castro] Well, you are touching on a very sensitive point; national
chauvinism, Cuban chauvinism, our national pride. We can only say that it
was very good. If I were saying this just out of chauvinism it would not be
too nice, but I am saying this because I truly believe that the Cuban
pavilion was very nice. I was very impressed. I realized that we have made
such progress. I knew of some of this progress; however, I had never seen
the items presented as a whole nor had I seen all the products we produce.
I was able to observe that much progress has been made.

[Reporter] Commander, what did you think of the artificial heart?

[Castro]. I had heard of the artificial heart. I received some information
on it some months ago when it was tested for the first time on a calf. A
pretty complicated operation. I imagine that this heart will be improved;
this is a first generation attempt. It is a noteworthy attempt on, the part
of the comrades. All this translates into scientific progress.

To finish what I started to say about the Cuban pavilion, I wish to add
that I think our scientists, researchers, and doctors have made notable
progress. Much of the equipment we see here is new. This is the first time
it has been presented to the public. We could say that this is their
[scientists, researchers, and doctors] contribution to world science.

They also have very good programs. I saw a machine used to diagnose heart
disease. It practically replaces the doctor. It is a very good piece of
equipment. I saw similar equipment for intensive care units. It gives you
step by step directions on what to do, depending on the information that is
fed into the machine. I am very pleased. The people I have talked to have
also voiced their admiration.

Many people have visited the fair, especially people who work in the health
field. We don't know how many thousands of doctors, nurses, technicians,
and students have visited the fair. I have heard that approximately 80,000
people have visited. I imagine that more than half of them work in the
health field.

[Reporter] Commander, are there specific plans for these innovations? Are
there any short-term plans to produce the equipment?

[Castro] Some of the equipment, like the analytic ultranamic [utrinamico]
system, will be produced shortly. The new immunoassay laboratory was
scheduled to be completed today, 30 April. They probably have already
completed it. It took 10 months to build this laboratory and it will be
given to the group that developed the (?zoom) [not further identified], so
that they can produce reagents and, above all, do research in the field of
reagents and continue their studies on equipment such as the (?zoom). This
they will do to produce similar types of equipment used in the field of
analysis. They have their shops where they can build between 40 and 50
(?zooms) a year. I think that the demand for this piece of equipment, if we
are going to supply the socialist area, is very strong.

This is a new electronics industry, Copestel [expansion unknown], located
near the Martinez Prieto center. We have a very big company there and we
will probably produce hundreds of those machines. Therefore, we are going
into this seriously.

We also have other products, like the (Medicip), which have already been
tested. We are producing these products, but not in large quantities. We
are producing enough for our research work. I think several of these will
have to be produced on a large-scale basis.

I mentioned to the Ministry of Public Health that I felt there is a need to
test much of this equipment, in view of the fact that we have much that is
new. We also need to test the use of the (?ovens) and other ways of doing
things, other ways of purifying water. We must strive for higher water
quality. For this reason I suggested testing each of these innovations and
new equipment.

We must also determine our needs to see how much more we need to do and
where to put it. Lastly, we must study the foreign market to learn whether
there is a market for this type of equipment and then begin large-scale
production. Some of the machines are prototypes. However, an important
field is opening up for us.

We also have our pharmacological products. We have all the products that we
have developed from interferon and melagenine [melagenina]. There are more
than half a dozen useful products among that group. I also visited the
stand [preceding word in English] where they are serving what they call
medicinal tea. I drank it as refreshment. It was really good.

[Reporter] Commander, how can Cuba help other Third World countries? Can
this new technology open new fields for Cuba?

[Castro] Well, we cooperate extensively with the Third World in the field
of medicine. We have doctors in almost 30 countries. We have more than
1,000 doctors and more than 2,000 health workers abroad. In many countries
this cooperation is really a donation. We feel that the concept of
cooperation must include medical help.

[Reporter] Will these new medical techniques be made available to Third
World countries?

[Castro] Yes, I think they will be. The plans to promote the production of
this equipment are very important. Let me add that a device such as the one
used in the field of cardiology, the (Cardiosic), is a very important piece
of equipment in the diagnosis of heart disease. I feel that a good plan for
the use of this machine can help the Third World in ways that we can't even
imagine. In a sense, this machine is replacing the specialist. In a sense.
This machine is a great specialist. Of course, you will always need the
doctor. We are not trying to take the doctor's work away.

[Reporter] Will the Third World be able to assimilate these new techniques?

[Castro] Yes, I think they can assimilate them. Producing the equipment may
be more complicated, but they could learn. A few years ago we could not
build such a machine. Today we are awed by the number of machines we have
built. We have trained men in cybernetics, electronic engineering,
programming, and so forth.

[Reporter] Can Cuba train others, if necessary?

[Castro] Yes, we can, and we would do it gladly.

[Reporter] Do you think the field of public health could be a means of
communication between Third World countries in terms of South-South

[Castro] I think it is one of the most important fields. It is one of the
areas where most help is needed. There is need for preventive medicine,
diagnosis, therapy. This is very important in countries where children are
dying of diseases that can be prevented.

[Reporter] How would this compensate for the economic problems experienced
by the Third World?

[Castro] Well, there are two types of medicine. A cheap type of medicine is
called preventive medicine and there is also a more sophisticated type of
medicine. We are now entering the field of sophisticated medicine and this
type of medicine is more expensive. This sophisticated type of medicine
calls for the use of lithotripsy, computerized tomography, linear
accelerators, which we are already purchasing, nuclear magnetic resonance,
and a great deal of laboratory equipment used in the diagnosis and
treatment of diseases. This is more expensive. There is a very broad field
in which, with relatively little expenditure, one can make broad strides.
This is the field of preventive medicine. Thousands of millions of lives
can be saved by simply implementing a vaccination plan and other similar
plans. Many children, mothers, and sick people can be saved. It doesn't
cost that much. However, the field of medicine that we have entered is
expensive. It requires more technology, trained personnel, and special
installations. This is the type of medicine we are using to reduce the
infant mortality rate from 20 percent to 10 percent. We are now at 13.6
percent. This calls for intense planning, hospital wards like the ones we
have built, children's cardiovascular surgery wards -- we have three of
these. This type of sophisticated medicine also calls for intensive care
units in all our pediatric and surgical hospitals, and for prenatal
intensive care units in all the maternal and children's hospitals. These
are all plans we are already putting into practice. We are also working in
prenatal genetics.

This is much more sophisticated; much more technology is involved.
Therefore, it is a much more expensive field. But I am saying all this
because, despite enormous economic problems, you do not need much money to
implement a good preventive medicine plan. Millions of Third World children
could be saved with such a plan; millions of lives can be saved.

[Reporter] However, the economic situation of many of those countries...

[Castro, interrupting] The government must be willing to do this. That is
the most important thing. The second thing that must be done is to
redistribute the available funds. The economic crisis does have its
effects; however, we must not be pessimistic and say that the situation is
impossible and do nothing. Something can always be done. Each of the Third
World countries can do something, can do much, in the field of medicine,
and at very little cost. They can do much to increase the life span of
their people to more than 70 or 80 years. I think in approximately 10 years
we will be able to increase the life expectancy of our people to more than
80 years.

[Reporter] Could we then say that what is needed is great political will?

[Castro] Much political will, and to achieve this level of sophisticated
medicine you also need some money, some economic development, especially
technical and scientific development. You need highly trained personnel. Do
you understand? But it is a field in which a lot of work can be done,
millions of people can be saved every year. Tell Hilda not to leave. Is she
over there? [someone answers: "yes"] Maybe she is running to see her
patient over there. She is the surgeon who performed the first

[Reporter, interrupting] Commander, what do you think of neurotransplants?

[Castro] Their work is very impressive. We have to thank the Mexicans, who
were pioneers in this, for the cooperation they gave us. The equipment is
also impressive. Comrade Molina is also an impressive person...

[Reporter, interrupting] She is the first woman...

[Castro continues] ...because of her technical level, her ability, her
dedication. She is at this time experiencing the great emotion of her work.
She was telling me that she does not leave the hospital for a moment. She
is very fond of the patients. She is a very valuable person. She is very
calm but now she is under the pressure of the post-surgery stage...

[Reporter, interrupting] Of the transplant.

[Castro] She is very optimistic. She was explaining to me its importance,
not only for this illness but for many other illnesses which are already
being treated or can be treated in the future this way. I was also hearing
about research projects involving severed medulas. There is a possibility
that the condition could be resolved with transplant techniques. Can you
imagine what that means, with the amount of people who are paralyzed as a
result of accidents? This opens a wide and promising field in medicine.
This is why the comrades from the Institute of Neurosurgery -- of
neurosurgery and neurology; it has two names. I had already seen the
reports you had published on this case. I know that many people were able
to watch the operation in a classroom on a video cassette. I believe there
were around 100 physicians, and even the patient's relatives watched it on
the video.

[Reporter] They explained it at the transplant symposium today.

[Castro] Very interesting, very interesting and promising. I am very glad
we are among the first countries that has...

[Reporter, interrupting] The fifth country, the fifth country.

[Castro] We performed ours a few days after the United States performed
theirs, despite the blockade and things. That was done through the
cooperation of two Third World countries.

[Reporter] We could have done it before but the room was being remodeled.

[Castro] The room was being remodeled.

[Reporter] How can we explain to the West, even to Western underdeveloped
countries, the Cuban miracle in medicine? Could you explain this in a few

[Castro] Well, it is not easy to explain and what one says could be
interpreted as politics. I believe it is due first to social change. That
is, the change the revolution brought about by establishing a government
that considers the people its first priority and that uses the necessary
resources for that, and has programs not for privileged minorities but for
all the people. That is a very important factor. I also believe that the
prevailing concept of the revolutionary government is that, from the social
and humane point of view, health services are among the most important
services. Third, the government has given special attention to this field,
as it has education and many other fields. Special attention has been paid.
So it is not only cause of the revolution. It is necessary for
revolutionary leaders to believe in the concept that it is one of the most
important areas for the people.

[Reporter] So it is not only to motivate the masses but to incorporate them
into that activity.

[Castro] Well, that is the mechanism, the process by which medicine is
practiced for the masses and by the masses. Our people's organization
influences this process in defense committees, labor unions, and peasants,
women, and students' associations. So when a program is going to be carried
out we have the support of hundreds of thousands of people. If we carry out
a vaccination program, it is easier because the people are organized. The
cooperation of the masses is very important as an instrument for a
revolutionary health policy and to carry out those programs. That is a
fundamental factor. There is another factor that contributed to the Cuban
miracle, the U.S. blockade. [laughter] That is funny, because they wanted
to leave us without doctors. That motivated a response from us -- well,
those who wanted to leave could leave -- to massively train doctors and
develop medical schools in all the provinces. There was a lot of
development in the training of doctors. We have very good grounds, because
of all the analysis we made of that situation, to believe that the dengue
epidemic was brought into the country. It claimed the lives of 100
children, 250 adults; hundreds of thousands got sick. From that time on,
the efforts we made, which were many, multiplied in that field of health as
a response. They also introduced animal diseases. They have already
acknowledged that. Someday they will also say they introduced the dengue
and how they introduced it, because those biological warfare laboratories
in the United States were conducting research on that virus and that
disease. At that time there was no epidemic anywhere in the world. There
was no explanation for it to suddenly break out here the way it did. Of
course, there was a relatively high level because we were not careful
enough in controlling the vector. There was, let's say, a lowering of the
epidemiological guard regarding the vector. Efforts multiplied. They
blocked medicine imports. They are so shameless that while they attempt to
accuse Cuba of human rights violations, they go to the extreme of banning
the sale of medication to save a life here. Very few policies in the world
have been as merciless as that one. So was the ban on equipment. So, public
health became a challenge, a battlefield between imperialism and us. That
made us double our efforts in this field, motivated our efforts, and became
the center of our efforts. So, that is why we have developed in such a way
that we have considered becoming a medical power. We want to have one of
the best standards and I believe we will, in fact, have the best standards,
the best in the world in the field of health. No one has some of the
programs we have, such as the family doctor program. In a few more years we
will have 20,000 doctors doing that type of work. There will be a total of
25,000 doctors in the community, schools, and factories. The doctor will be
anywhere where the citizen may be. In addition, they will not only be
doctors, they will be specialists in general comprehensive medicine. They
will have a program working there with the people. They have given the
population clinics. We will have a primary medical services system that no
other country will have. We have already started to have it. No other place
in the world has it and I believe it is going to be a model for many other
countries. We are graduating almost 3,000 doctors a year. Next year we will
graduate some 3,209. In 1988 we will graduate the first group of the
contingent. Special measures have been taken in selecting the students, in
the preparation of the medical programs, in everything; some 40 or 50
measures have been taken in the field of health in various programs. It is
very important. In some 8 or 9 years, 10 more years, tops, we will have
20,000 doctors. In 1992, Havana will be totally covered. We already have
whole areas covered by family doctors. The mountains have an infant
mortality rate of less than 10. I estimate that in 5 more years, 5 or 6
more years, we will drop below 10. In 10 more years we should increase life
expectancy to over 80. It stands at 74 now. We have confidence in these
programs and in these doctors we are training. So, we will undoubtedly be
among the first. We are building 600 family doctor house-offices in Havana
City. We are adding 500 house-offices a year. Also in Havana City, 50 day
care centers, 12 special schools, 12 polyclinics, and thousands of homes
are being built. Amid our economic difficulties we are seeing important
progress, and we are not sacrificing our development...

[Reporter, interrupting] Scientific development continues and so does

[Castro, interrupting] So you are a reporter. Are you stationed here

[Reporter] Yes, I am permanent.

[Castro] I have not even asked you what newspaper you represent. Well, that
is alright because I am really interested in your questions.

[Reporter] I am the INTERPRESS [Inter Press Service] director.

[Castro] Oh, INTERPRESS.

[Visitor] I have a question.

[Castro] Are you a reporter?

[Visitor] I have a question regarding the pavilion. I am the comrade who
designed the pavilion.

[Castro] Oh, really; well, congratulations.

[Visitor] I am the architect.

[Castro] I must congratulate you and the Canadians. I must congratulate the
two of you. I must congratulate you for designing it, the Canadians for
their help in putting it together, and the Cuban workers for building it in
record time.

[Visitor] We were a bit worried because we did not know whether the design
would suit our interests within the field of health development. I think we
have met our objectives...

[Castro, interrupting] What did you design? The Cuban health exhibit?

[Visitor] The pavilion.

[Castro] The Cuban pavilion?

[Visitor] The Cuban pavilion.

[Castro] Oh, I thought you had designed the building. I was surprised
because I had heard that the Canadians had done that.

[Visitor] We also did our share of the work.

[Castro] You designed the Cuban pavilion?

[Visitor] Yes, the pavilion.

[Castro] It was fine. It was fine. [Castro repeats himself]

[Visitor] Well, many things have been said...

[Castro, interrupting] The problem is that it is difficult for me to visit
all the pavilions because there is always a crowd here.

[Visitor] Yes.

[Castro] I should have visited all the pavilions, but it has been difficult
for me because of the many activities I have had to attend to. We had to go
to Comrade Blas Roca's funeral; therefore, I did not have the time to visit
the fair at night. It would have been the only time for me to see it, after
the people left. Crowds are always forming; I create disorder wherever I
go. [laughter] The mass of reporters kept making their way to where I was.
I want to see a stand but I can see nothing. This is why I had to come at
the last minute, and they are already getting ready to close. I got here
around 1730 and in 1 and 1/2 hours...[does not complete sentence] It was
like a quick house call. [people around him chuckle] Not like on other
occasions; it was a quick house call...

[Reporter, interrupting] Not a family visit?

[Castro] No, no; a quick house call. That is faster. [laughter]

There are more than 200 stands and I had to greet everyone who was there. I
could not stop to study the equipment. I saw a robot they had there, but
only had a couple of minutes for that. I like to look at new equipment, but
to do this properly you need 4 or 5 hours and some quiet. You can't be in a
crowd to do this. On this occasion I did not really have time to see much
of the equipment and I regret this. I do hope that our hospital and public
health personnel saw the equipment and are now studying it. I understand
that one invention received an award. I believe it was a piece of equipment
that is used on the arm and records the pulse and pressure in a matter of
seconds. I was not able to see this. This is the piece of equipment, isn't

[Visitor] Yes, it is mine.

[Castro] What is this? Is it recording the minimum pulse?

[Visitor] It records the maximum and the minimum.

[Castro] It's up to 137 over 101. Are you nervous?

[Visitor] No, I am calm.

[Castro] You have a pulse of 82. You must be an athlete. [laughter]

[Visitor] Commander, there is also an exhibit on the family doctor. We
handled this by area, by rural and urban areas. We demonstrated the
achievements made by the family doctor plan.

[Castro] I was not able to see many of the machines that were shown here or
some of the ones we bought. I did talk to the representatives of the firm
that sold us the nuclear magnetic resonance. One has already been installed
and another one is on the way. I also talked to the representatives of the
firms that sell us the linear accelerators. This is something new we are
introducing to give higher radiation doses to a tumor, to an internal
organ. Perhaps brain surgery will also be performed with this method
without making an incision. This can be done with rays beamed from opposite
directions and meeting at a certain point.

There are many interesting things to see here. We must continue to develop.
This is what I have described as sophisticated medicine; a more costly type
of medicine. Each piece of equipment can cost up to $2 million. The nuclear
magnetic resonance machine cost us $4 million. The devaluation of the
dollar had quite an effect on the purchase of this equipment. We have to
purchase this equipment abroad and their currency has increased in value. I
think that much of the equipment on exhibit will remain here in Cuba. I
understand that the Soviets have donated all the products they are
exhibiting to...

[Visitor, interrupting] To the Lenin Hospital.

[Castro] To the Lenin Hospital.

[Visitor] We are receiving everything.

[Castro] I gave a quick glance to the exhibit but was not able to see much.
But this fair keeps growing every year. I would have liked the fair to
remain open longer; however, many of the people had prior commitments. We
then decided that the Cuban million would remain open to the public for a
few more days. It is worthwhile to visit the fair just to see the Cuban

I don't know whether you have heard that we are thinking of setting up a
permanent Cuban exhibit. Has something been said about this?

[Visitor] No, nothing has been said.

[Castro] Well, there is still much to be done. At this moment we are
working on the idea of a permanent exhibit. I got this idea after visiting
the film exhibit. I saw so many interesting things there. Approximately
200,000 people visited the exhibit. I then got the idea of opening a
permanent center for exhibits. For example, this type of medical equipment
should be on permanent exhibit, as should the equipment used in the
mechanical, electronic, and light industries. We should confront the
producers with people's opinions. This should involve every field:
pharmaceutical, food, and other basic industries. We could have a layout to
show what a hydro-accumulator looks like, what an electronuclear plant
looks like, what a nuclear reactor looks like. A lay out of a big
industrial plant. I have realized that there is no better way to show the
people what is being done -- even if it is publicized on television, radio,
press, and magazines -- than to show it to them. It creates an impact. To
give an example: I know of many things that are being done in the field of
medicine, but I saw some new and recent things that I had no information
on. Seeing all these things at one time...[changes thought] It confronts
the producer with the constant comments of the people.

[Visitor] Quality.

[Castro] The producers will begin to take pride in the quality of their
work, in their designs. This permanent exhibit will be in Havana. We have
already chosen the site and we are studying how we will do it so that it
will not cost us too much.

[Visitor] Commander, where is this permanent exhibit going to be set up?
Are you going to tell us?

[Castro] I do not like to talk about ideas when we are in the planning

[Visitor] Where will it be located?

[Castro] Across from the Botanical Gardens.

[Visitor] How nice.

[Castro] Across from the Botanical Gardens, right across from the Botanical
Gardens where we are doing some very nice work. The new Botanical Gardens
will have more land. More than 20 hectares of land will be part of the
gardens: pavilions will be built -- these have already been designed.
Galvanized slabs will be used in the construction. The construction itself
will not be very costly. It will also have a cafeteria and things like
that. The idea we have is to have the gardens open in the afternoons and at
night. Not during the mornings. During the morning the children go to
school. Perhaps we can also change the schedules and have the gardens open
on Saturdays and Sundays.

[Reporter] Commander, will this be a permanent place of interest for the

[Castro] All the productive organizations will be represented. Books will
also be on exhibit. Our industrial and agricultural organizations will also
be represented here. I cannot guarantee that they will always have a melon
to show the people, but they will have animals, various kinds of birds,
goats, sheep, cows, and more will be part of the gardens. I think that this
will be a very interesting place and every foreign visitor will go see what
is being done. At the same exhibit we will have our medical equipment on
display -- the current and new equipment. Our pharmaceutical industry will
also be represented. It will be a source for new jobs. Approximately 100
people will be working there on a permanent basis. It will not be the same
as at the fair because the creator of the equipment was at the fair to
explain his product -- they have to go back and build new equipment. We are
going to have two big factories, and we are going to build medical
equipment at an electronic center. Copestel is also going to build medical
equipment. It will probably produce the (?zoom). The immunoassay laboratory
will produce between 40 and 100. These big factories will be able to
produce hundreds of pieces of equipment each year. One of these days we
will no longer export only sugar, nickel, and citrus products. We will
begin to export industrial and medical equipment. We have to find our own
little place in the world, and to do this we must use our heads. We must be
determined and have work discipline.

[Visitor] Commander, this is an important question. There are some
factories that have equipment and parts they hardly use. For example, the
electronics industry had a press that it rarely used; however, this same

[Castro, interrupting] Where was this press?

[Visitor] The electronics industry in Boyeros.

[Castro] Let me tell you the following about this industry. The Boyeros
electronics industry is now fully involved in the production of electronic
equipment. They are no danger only producing television sets. They will now
begin using the press they have there. This press is bigger than the one
needed to build a television set. We are already completing the work in
Boyeros. There is a brigade working there. It has already been cleaned up.

Last year during an assembly -- I think it was the industrial sector's
assembly -- this problem was brought up. Some people complained about the
length of time it was taking to build the place. The work forces were sent
in, it was cleaned up and fenced. It is now becoming a factory to produce
various products. The press that, as you said, is hardly being used, will
be put to good use.

[Visitor] I spoke to you before and mentioned that the press could be used
to make obstetrical forceps. They [not further identified] are interested
in making obstetrical forceps here.

[Castro] Yes. They are going to be building a great deal of electronic and
medical equipment. We are also planning better use of the galvanization

We think the electronics factory being in Habana del Este should have its
own galvanization plant so that we can avoid taking the equipment from one
place to another. However, we are going to give better use to the good
galvanization plant they have there.

[Visitor] I think that if the enterprises were less selfish....

[Castro, interrupting] If the enterprises were more efficient, if the
administrators are more efficient... [thought not completed] We are
struggling to force them to be more efficient. We are also struggling to
make the cadres more efficient. We are working hard.

[Visitor] I have equipment that I am not using.

[Castro] The moving of equipment depends on many things.

[Visitor] It could be used someplace else.

[Castro] Every single factory has a piece of equipment that is too big for
the amount being produced in the factory. The machine was probably bought
to produce 100,000 specific parts, but its production capacity is much
greater because the company that makes the machine intended it for the
production of 150,000 specific parts. You will find some that have a
production capacity of 100,000 but you will always find one with a greater
production capacity. This is something you can find everywhere. You can
find a lathe with a certain capacity and you can turn around and find
another one with a greater capacity. You will always find this but you
cannot just take the machine out and share it.

With good cooperation among the industries, then, if you find that a
certain factory has a lathe that can produce twice the amount needed, then
you can ask the factory to produce the number of parts that you need. That
is what we call cooperation among the industries. This is very necessary.

[Visitor] I have another interesting and important problem. It is a simple
problem but difficult to resolve, and my case is an example of this.

Furniture is made. It is not made properly. Then when paint is applied it
is not done properly. They bought an oven over there [not further
specified] but it is no longer working -- I do not know why -- so they just
paint the furniture. The final product is not good, it looks ugly.

[Castro] You have spent all that money and failed to give the piece of
furniture an adequate finish.

[Visitor] Commander, those cooperation mechanisms that you have spoken of
-- at times there are problems because of the middleman.

[Castro] That was brought up at a long meeting of the Central Group. It was
a 12-hour meeting. I was able to see that there is a greater level of
cooperation among the various organizations, among the various enterprises.
Nowadays, no one industry can build a single piece of equipment on its own.
To build a piece of equipment you need the cooperation of several
industries. You need to have something melted but you do not have a
foundry. There are many products that must be supplied by other people, and
there is a need for a good plan, organization, and coordination among the
various enterprises. However, we do have a lot of equipment on exhibit here
that was built with cooperation.

I have been mentioning the (?zoom>; this (?zoom) is made up of 240
different parts. Some of the parts are not built by them'. Some parts need
the help of the foundry and the work must be coordinated. We are developing
this coordination. We did not do it in the past because we did not have
industrial awareness. A sugarmill did not need cooperation to produce
sugar. But today we have a mechanical industry and we also have another
industry that calls for much cooperation -- the electronics industry. This
country did not have any idea of cooperation because it did not have an
industrial awareness. This was an agricultural country.

[Visitor] This is why I brought this up. There are some people who say
bureaucracy is the problem of coordination, but I say it is a problem
caused by the people. How would you describe it? A problem of coordination,
or a problem of people?

[Castro] Both may be the cause of the problem. Sometimes there are
coordination mechanisms that are really terrible. I have a great deal of
trust in the capacity and the training of the cadres who are directing the
work. I trust their sense of responsibility and their awareness of the
basic duties a great deal. I do not trust a man who thinks with a
capitalist mentality. I do not believe in the man who feels he should
produce something because it will bring in more or less money. This often
deforms the people. What we do need is a serious cadre in every center.

What makes a hospital run smoothly? A good directorate. And we have very
good hospitals. How does the Hermanos Ameijeiras Clinic Surgical Hospital
operate? Is it operating because of the money it has? It is operating
because it has a group of people who are committed to their work. I have
visited schools and other places and have noticed that efficiency depends
on the quality of people who work there. I think the quality, training, and
awareness of the cadres is essential in every production center. This is
important. You cannot have an irresponsible person working there. There is
nothing that will straighten an irresponsible person out. He may have to
produce 100 things, but 20 are no good or create problems; or he may use
his time to produce the more expensive item and forget the others because
they mean more work.

We may see construction companies that build expensive buildings and can
turn large areas of land because they have the heavy equipment for this; a
big bulldozer, a big crane, a very big mechanical shovel, and foundaries.
However, when the building is almost finished and you need the man to screw
on a light bulb, tighten a screw, and other little things, you will find
that productivity drops and that this person's values are not as high.
Unless you have a clear awareness that you must give your best from the
beginning to the end, we will find that there will be many projects built
but very few finished.