Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Fidel Speech Text

Havana Domestic Radio-Television Services in Spanish 2122 GMT 12 Jul 75 FL

[Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at Cuban-Jamaican friendship rally
in honor of visiting Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, at El Alamar
Housing Project, Havana--live]

[Text] Dear Comrade Michael Manley, dear Comrades of the Jamaican
delegation, dear Comrades of the party and the government, workers and
residents of Alamar: As you can see during this ceremony we have a small
additional task to perform and it is the need to translate, not because of
the delegation, which has its own translators, but because several hundred
Jamaicans are attending this rally [applause]. Therefore, we must speak in
both languages.

In the first place, we wish to apologize to you for having arrived a little
late at this rally. Comrade Manley is in no way responsible for this. The
responsibility is mine alone because I wanted him to see a basic secondary
school in the countryside, although this is vacation time.

I had told him a great deal about this experience, and I insisted on
visiting the school. Moreover, we also wanted to visit the Tarara Pioneer
Camp. [applause] That is why we arrived somewhat late.

When we were considering the site to be chosen for this Jamaican-Cuban
friendship rally, we though that Alamar would be a good place for it
[applause]. Although comrade Michael Manley and the Jamaican delegation
were welcomed with extraordinary hospitality and love throughout the
country and in all the cities which they visited, we thought that the
revolutionary experience of Alamar would be an appropriate framework for
the rally.

I had the privilege of becoming acquainted with Michael Manley at the
Algiers Nonalined Conference. We traveled on the same aircraft on that
occasion. As we were crossing the Atlantic, we had the opportunity of
developing our friendship and discussing at great length matters of common
interest to our respective countries, to our people, and to our nations.

On that occasion I had the opportunity of become acquainted with the
extraordinary human and political qualities of the Jamaican Prime Minister,
his profound [word indistinct], his great concern for the welfare and
happiness of his people, his (?clear) vision on international problems, and
was particularly impressed by his human qualities, his simplicity, and his

In Algiers the Jamaican delegation led by Manley played a prominent role,
and had a correct position on all basic issues.

Men are known by their actions and by their attitudes in revolutionary
life. What was the attitude of the Jamaican prime minister under many
different circumstances? In the first place, he assumed office with the
overwhelming support of his people. From the very beginning he expressed
his determination to fight for diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba.

Together with other Caribbean countries they took further steps. As you
know, they are small countries with weak economies, but they are not very
accustomed to obeying the orders of Yankee imperialism. [applause] Without
concern for the diplomatic, economic and political pressures, they
established relations, because it was a matter of justice and honor for
their countries. [applause].

When we invited him to travel to Algeria in the same plane with us, Manley
did not hesitate at all. [applause] He did not begin to think and ponder
whether the North Americans were going to be displeased for his traveling
in the same plane with us. [applause] I will always remember that trip with
pleasure, because it was an opportunity to initiate a friendship which we
are certain will be long and everlasting, [applause] firm and sincere.

When we invited him to visit our country, he did not hesitate either in
visiting Cuba and here he is among us. [applause] When the representatives
of the British Commonwealth met recently in Jamaica, Comrade Manley
introduced a proposal of condemnation of the economic blockade against
Cuba. [applause] These facts show a courageous position, a just position
and a courageous policy. [applause]

But the Jamaican prime minister did not limit himself to working on these
aspects. He has also pushed for expansion of relations between our two
countries. Many delegations from the Jamaican Government and party have
visited our country. Many Cuban delegations have visited Jamaica and they
have always been extraordinarily received by the Jamaican Government, by
leaders of the Jamaican ruling party, and especially by Comrade Manley.

Thus the links between our two peoples have been intensified and become
closer. These are two peoples having very common roots, two peoples who
have many common things in their history, two peoples who have many common
interests and common tasks; two neighboring peoples--the Jamaicans are our
closest neighbors to the south, and as you know we have neighbors to the
north. [laughter] But it is very nice to have neighbors to the south also,
[applause] especially friendly neighbors.

Our appreciation for Comrade Manley stems not only from his so friendly
attitude toward our country, but also from the extraordinary effort he is
making on behalf of his people to consolidate the independence of his
country, to control Jamaica's economic development, to control his
country's natural resources, the structural changes, and the revolution in

We sympathize with the Jamaican Government simply because we consider it to
be a profoundly progressive government. [applause]

To cite other examples, we have here a brigade of 33 Jamaican young men
[applause] who came to cooperate with our friends and, at the same time, to
learn the construction techniques and methods we have applied here in
Alamar. This is a beautiful example of the possible cooperation between our
two peoples. Another brigade of 141 Jamaican youths went also to Camaguey
to remain there a year [applause] and cooperate with the development plans
in that province and learn the construction techniques of the Giron system.
Those youths are here among us this afternoon. [applause]

It is very correct and just that we make these types of exchanges to show
each other our experiences and to give each other all the necessary
support. That is why our party and our government, certain that we are
interpreting the feelings and cooperation between Jamaica and Cuba,
[applause] of cooperation in the economic field and in the field of
international policy.

Among those present at this rally there is a large group of Jamaican
tourists [applause]. This is one of the many proofs of friendships which
Jamaican Government has given us. As you also know throughout the history
of our struggles for independence, there was always a bond between our
patriotic people and the people of Jamaica. Many of our most distinguished
patriots found asylum in Jamaica. They worked for the Independence of our
country from that nation.

We are united by many things. Who but the imperialists would have any
interest in dividing us? What force could divide two nations so united by
geography and by history? [applause] This is tangible proof that the
criminal policy of blockade and isolation against Cuba enforced by
imperialism is being defeated, that the Cuban people are less and less
isolated, less alone in the context of this continent. [applause]

This means that the policy of national independence and progressive policy
is gaining strength in Latin America and in the Caribbean. [applause] This
proves that no reactionary force will be able to halt the course of
history, that no reactionary force will be able to prevent the victory of
the just cause of peoples. [applause] This is what the development of this
friendship between Jamaica and Cuba means to us, and what the visit of this
delegation led by our Michael Manley means to us. This visit also
represents another step in the strengthening of this friendship and of this
relations. It was with pleasure that I learned from friend Manley that
Spanish is being studied in Jamaica. [applause] This prepares the people of
the Caribbean to establish relations with the rest of Latin America.
However, for our part, we must take up the study of the English language.
[applause] For, not only do we have neighbors to the north but we also have
magnificent neighbors to the south. [applause]

This community where we live, comrades from Jamaica, represents one of the
revolution's most outstanding efforts in recent years. Four years ago there
was almost nothing in this region; we did not even have a labor force for
housing construction. An appeal was made to the workers to deal with the
situation. What we call construction microbrigades were created. Now there
are more than 1,100 construction microbrigades in the country with
approximately 30,000 workers. These microbrigades are distributed
throughout the country. Naturally, as Havana is the city with the largest
population it has a large number of brigades. In Havana this work method is
being used at 26 sites, but this one where we are today is the main
construction region. A total of 100 microbrigades are working at this site.
They have built 167 buildings, with a total of 4,600 apartments. More than
100 new buildings are under construction. They have built 6 boarding
schools for grade school children, 6 nurseries besides those that are under
construction, 3 commercial areas, 1 furniture factory, a clothing
manufacturing plant, a furniture store, movie theater and an amphitheater.
The polyclinic can serve 30,000 persons. More than 20,000 people are
already living in this region, and many of them are present at this rally.

As you can see, the concept of this urbanization implies the solution of
all social problems of the community--the schools, in the first place, the
child card centers which make it easy for mothers to work, the medical
services, commercial services, recreational services. Although it is a
residential section, the small industries under construction have the
objective of facilitating incorporation of the women in this community to
work. The residents have schools nearby, nurseries, polyclinics, commercial
services, and recreational centers nearby.

This is the concept under which the community is being developed. None of
the families living here in reality is or can be bourgeois. [applause] They
are all families of the workers in our industries, or workers in the
different services. It is a community 100 percent proletarian. [applause]
Such is the community which welcomes and greets you today on behalf of our
people. [applause]

But I want to add that the workers in these microbrigades not only have
worked here; they have cooperated in other industrial installations away
from here. They have helped in the construction of thermoelectric
industries, construction industries, foodstuffs industries, and others.
They build the water treatment plant which supplies this area of the city
and participated in the construction of the aqueduct. They have helped in
the construction of rural basis secondary schools. In the past week, they
have set a brilliant example of solidarity and work spirit by completing in
100 days a great task, the Tarara Pioneers Camp. [applause]

A contingent of about 800 microbrigade members from Alamar worked on that
project, and in only 100 days they built the kitchen with a capacity for
12,250 children. [applause] They repaired and conditioned 150 housing units
for the camp. They built parks, sports installations and many basketball
and volleyball courts. They built swimming pools, repaired streets, and
carried out whatever tasks were necessary so that the camp could be put
into operation as soon as the school year ended.

That is why today we had the pleasure to learn that 4,400 children are
enjoying this vacation camp. [applause] This summer, about 30,000 children
will have gone to this camp. This camp will operate during the school year
also with certain schools spending 15 days in it, while classes will be
maintained in additional to recreational activities.

It is our purpose to continue developing this camp until reaching a
capacity for 20,000 children. With such a capacity, more than 250,000
students from the primary schools will have the opportunity of spending a
week in the summer or 15 days during the school year. Hundreds of women
residents of this Alamar residential area are already working in the camp,
[applause] and many others will join them in the future.

We expect, of course, that the microbrigade members and residents of Alamar
will continue cooperating for the development of the camp. [applause] Are
we in agreement? [shouts of 'yes']

I believe this constitutes an example of the new spirit of our fatherland,
of the new attitude of our people. This was not so in the past. This is
something new, and this emerged with the revolution. [applause] With this
spirit our people have faced the difficulties.

First it was the imperialist aggressions and threats and later the economic
and social development of our country. Of course, we are faced with many
difficulties. We have many problems in the matter of housing. Although we
see hundreds of buildings and thousands of apartments, we are still very
far from attaining the pace required by our needs. We would have to build
three times more than we are building in order to resolve the housing

However, we are developing the construction material industry to increase
the housing construction plan year by year. We are dealing better with the
problem of school construction, agricultural construction and general
economic construction, which have priority within the framework of our poor
resources. However, we are working for the future with confidence, with
optimism and with assuredness. During the course of the past years we have
learned that no problem is without solution and no obstacle is
insurmountable. [applause]

That is why you may have observed during your contact with out people that
today the Cuban people are distinguished by their close and monolithic
unity, [applause] a high political consciousness, a solid organization
through their mass organizations under the leadership of our Party
[applause] and great discipline. Our people are also distinguished by their
youth. You will have an opportunity to observe the prevalence of Cuban
young people and children. You will have had an opportunity to observe
their joy, their health, and their level of education.

Our people are characterized by their firmness, their confidence in the
future and their joy. [applause] And I place the emphasis on joy, because a
member of the Jamaican delegation told us that one of the propaganda
articles put out by the imperialists is to say that the people in Cuba are
sad, discouraged, and things of that nature, [applause] and she was struck
by the fact that the Cubans are really so different from the way the
imperialist propaganda has depicted them. There is and can never by any joy
in the imperialist society [shouts and applause] where there exists the
most brutal exploitation of man by man, the most pitiless racial
discrimination; where the most ruthless oppression of national minorities
exists; and where crime, corruption, unemployment and vice are growing year
by year.

By nature society is unfortunate in imperialist society; by nature society
is sad in the imperialist society; and society is happy par excellence in a
socialist society [applause, cheers] where for the first time men and women
are truly free, equal and brothers. [applause] However, it makes no
difference how many walls of lies and of slanders the imperialists have
managed to erect around Cuba and the Cuban revolution to separate and
divide our people. These walls will collapse like a house of cards in the
long run. [applause] Truth will prevail. Our people of Latin America and of
the Caribbean will become ever closer. [applause] Division is the recourse
of the imperialists to keep us subjugated and exploited. The unity of our
people is their invincible force to attain and consolidate our definitive
independence. The future belongs entirely to the revolution. [applause]

The future belongs entirely to our peoples, [applause] subjugated for
centuries by colonialism and later neocolonized by imperialism. But at last
our peoples are already marching on the path to true freedom. [applause] No
one will have the right to consider our peoples inferior, instruments of
exploitation, because through our efforts, work, improvement, struggles,
culture and awareness, we will show there are no peoples superior to

In any case there are ideas superior to others and social systems superior
to others. [applause] And that is why we struggle and will continue
struggling for the society which embodies the true spirit of equality,
justice and brotherhood among men. [applause]

And these are the feelings which inspire our friendship and solidarity with
the Jamaican peoples. And if I were to express in a few words what our
people feel, think, believe and want to say to you, it would be: Brother
Michael Manley, brothers of the Jamaican delegation, Jamaican brothers: You
can rely on Cuban solidarity. [applause] [Prolonged chanting 'Cuba,
Jamaica, united will win'] Under any circumstances you can rely on the firm
and decided support of our people. You under any circumstances can rely on
your sister Cuba. [applause]

Long live the friendship between Jamaica and Cuba! [shouts of 'Viva'] Long
live the magnificent Jamaican leader and prime minister, Comrade Michael
Manley! Fatherland or Death! We will win! [shouts of 'Venceremos,'