Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Addresses Legislative Session

FL030136 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1234 GMT 29 Sep 87

["Summary" of 28 September meeting of the National Assembly of the People's
Government first regular period of sessions at Havana's Palace of

[Text] The deferred meetings of the first regular period of sessions of the
third legislature of the National Assembly of the People's Government
[ANPP] are being held at the Palace of Conventions with our Commander in
Chief Fidel Castro, president of the Councils of State and Ministers, in
attendance.  This period of sessions is a continuation of the one held in
mid-July.  The ANPP approved the bill on the new highway and traffic code
designed to gather into one document all the regulations related to the
matter and incorporates matters that were not included in the previous law.

Commander in Chief Fidel Castro condemned those drivers who, risking their
own lives and that of others, drink alcoholic beverages or speed.

[Begin Castro recording] It is simply impossible to send to jail everyone
who incurs one of those violations.  We would have to ignore the reality of
its implications in today's world.  Potential danger cannot be punished.
Undoubtedly, many would say: This guy deserves to be killed.  Look what he
did.  He drank 3, 4, 5, or more drinks and drove away.  One thing is having
wishes, intentions, and wanting the ideal and the other is what is
feasible.  This is why I believe the comrades who have been looking into
how to handle this kind of problem make a distinction between the one who
has a very direct responsibility toward others because he drives 100, 60,
70 passengers or drives a huge vehicle that is as big as a war tank down
the streets, or a taxi driver in one of those small Ladas carrying four
people.  That person has a responsibility because that individual...
[rephrases] that is his profession, he is paid to transport people.  In the
other case the person does these things of his own free will.

Anyone would think that any responsible individual would not speed when he
is with his wife and children.  However, I see that happening every day.
They even speed carrying the wife and children on a motorcycle and in an
automobile.  And they speed, not only the ones that have the (?vergovina)
even if it cost them 800 or 850 pesos.  There are some guys who have bought
old cars for 15,000 and drive recklessly as if to kill themselves
regardless of what it costs them.  Those are things that actually take
place, there are irresponsible guys. [end recording]

The meeting approved the Supreme People's Tribunal report.  Valuable
remarks were made while the report was being discussed.

[Begin recording] [Flavio Bravo] There is still a tendency of seeing things
and not doing them.  As Comrade Fidel was telling us recently, we all have
to wake up and feel responsible for all the tasks of the revolution and not
be passive, just looking at things, and letting them go.  That has nothing
to do with the revolution.

[Castro] Nobody can make general resolutions in the country.  Nobody can do
it without persuading workers first.  Because we could turn into
technocrats who decide what is good and order it without talking to anyone,
without persuading a single worker.  That is not good.  We have to educate
our workers since we have educated them wrong by compromising for years, by
being paternalistic, and granting many concessions, by making things easier
to the extent that people do not have to work.

Idled workers, what else were idled workers if not a form of corruption, of
excessive bureaucracies, uncompliance with the work day, underutilization
of the work day, equipment, of everything?  These are examples in addition
to coffee breaks that started at a certain time but nobody knew when they
ended.  In sum, we created those things in one way or another.  We are
directly or indirectly responsible for all those things.  We also have to
look into those things.

Pure socialism is not born.  Socialism is born smeared with the world it
comes from.  I do not want to compare mothers with capitalism because they
are two very different things.  But socialism comes to the world being very
small, weak, ignorant, it doesn't even know how to crawl.  Now, when
socialism begins to crawl, to walk, it stands up, and walks, and begins to
talk and think.  This is when socialism begins to rectify many of the
things that happened.  We came from a capitalist society.  Many of those
things were dreams of workers within the exploitive society.  We didn't
realize that we were tying our own feet and hands, that we were blocking
the country's development and progress.  We came from a society of the
unemployed.  I also try to understand the factors that brought many of
these things.  We came from a society of unemployed.  There were terrible
social pressures to look for a job everywhere.  Thus, all these phenomena
have their historical reasons.  But now that we have become aware of them,
we know what is blocking development, and we want to do things--we are
doing many good things but, comrades, let me tell you that we are not doing
it through any resolution.  Nobody has gone to the Supreme Tribunal because
of the minibrigades.  I am not aware of any appeal.  Has there been one,
Amaro [Jose Raul Amaro, president of the Supreme People's Tribunal]?

There are 20,000 minibrigade members in the capital.  They say they used to
work 40 hours, [corrects himself] 44 hours a week.  They say they worked
those hours. [chuckles] They could have been 35, 38, 28, 25, nobody knows.
Now, they are working at least 60 hours.  They are earning the salary they
were earning at the factory for 25 hours of work and they are creating
marvels.  That was not the result of a resolution, that was a result of
political work conducted by the party, labor unions ...[changes thought] I
believe many things have to be done first through persuasion, using facts,
de facto, and ask for a resignation.

The other day I came across a [word indistinct] in which an individual had
been sanctioned.  They said he was good, that he was a good administrator,
but he had committed a terrible offense.  It was not a thing . . .
[rephrases] well, it was an irresponsible action, negligence, it was
actually a lack of sense.  We had to punish this lack of sense.  I said,
why doesn't he work in construction for 2 months?  I said to myself, maybe
we are violating the Constitution or the law.  I asked that he be told that
he had to go there as part of a moral punishment.  I said: Tell him to go
as a volunteer for 2 months; if not, he will not remain as an
administrator.  That's it.  I said: Let's respect the law but have the man
morally accept a sanction and if he is incapable of accepting a sanction
then I believe we are going to have to establish some of those kinds of
punishments.  Because we are not able to replace each one of them every
day.  I believe that if we try to reeducate criminals through the
tribunals, we also have to reeducate our cadres.

Pretty soon we are going to mark the 20th anniversary of Che's death.  I
remember that Che was the one who invented the (guanacabibe).  It was a
moral sanction.  It was not a penal sanction.  I do not think that
anyone... [rephrases] legally, we could not do that because they could go
to the Supreme Tribunal.  But morally, if you are a revolutionary, if you
are militant, and if you are an administrator, member of the party, a labor
union, everyone ... [changes thought] Let's give a moral sanction to this
man.  The sanction consists of going to do a job.  He can accept it if he
wants and he can refuse it if he wants.  Now, if he is a manager and does
not accept it, he has to be replaced.  He is then asked: What other kind of
job can you do, my child?  Start doing this other thing.  We are going to
have to find other kinds of sanctions that are moral, that are not related
to any penal punishment.  They cannot even be called administrative because
there would not be any administrative justification to do so.  But if I
analyze everything we are doing everywhere and consider the workers over
there who are building the Pinar del Rio Highway, or the ones who are there
in Vinales, there are many men working 12 and 14 hours.

But the most notable example of that massive movement is the minibrigade
movement because of what they do, what they collect, and all is a result
fundamentally of political work.  Not even a law has been needed.  A law
has not been needed to create minibrigades.  Minibrigades have the miracle
[rewords] have done the miracle of creating things with the same people who
used to do nothing or did little by increasing somewhat the use of the
labor day in factories or by organizing production better.

I am sure, I am completely convinced that 100,000 out of the 800,000
workers in the capital can be pulled out and nothing would happen.  The
700,000 others can take care of production as well or even better.  Of
course, we cannot pull out 100,000 workers--it is not that it is not
politically feasible.  It has been shown that there is willingness among
the masses.  There is always a complete, total, absolute response among the
masses.  The masses are anxious to be asked to do things.  It s not that
they go there against their will.  They are anxious to be asked to do
things. [end recording]