Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speaks at Julio Diaz Hospital
FL101920 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish
1418 GMT 5 Dec 87

[Speech by President Fidel Castro at inauguration of Julio Diaz Hospital in
Boyeros, Havana City Province, on 4 December---recorded]

[Text] You have organized a contingent of workers, young people, members of
the PCC and the Union of Young Communists [UJC], and outstanding workers.
A very serious, very hardworking contingent was formed--[sound of airplane
flying overhead] let's give him a chance to go by [laughter] so he won't be
a nuisance [Castro chuckles]---very hardworking, which became a model for
construction workers.

They came here, they began to work, they saw the hospital.  They were soon
impressed with the idea of the importance of the hospital and with the
humanitarian nature of the services rendered here.  They went to the
hospital, saw what kind of service the hospital provided.  They were also
impressed with the human sensibility, the work spirit of the hospital's
collective.  All that helped, encouraged them.  Before we realized it, this
contingent, in a practically spontaneous manner, was working 14 hours a
day.  They were also working Saturdays and Sundays.

Almost none of them were construction workers.  They had to learn on the
spot.  Thirty-seven women were trained as tile layers.  That group of women
took part in the construction at the same pace and with the same intensity.
They even trained some members of other minibrigades that came here to help
and then returned.  According to what (Fillo) said, the roster had 27
women; but more were trained among the group of volunteers.  This
contingent became a model of the new work spirit. [applause]

They tell me I have been here 15 times.  Yes, this one makes 15. It might
seem too much.  But I wanted to follow the contingent's work closely.
Besides, since this is on the road to the airport, I tended to stop by on
my way back.  If I had a visitor--such as Daniel Ortega in August--I told
him: I'm going to show you how the people are working there when we go by.
Other times, I came expressly to see what was happening here and how the
project was progressing. [applause]

Of course, we haven't finished here.  No one has mentioned something very,
very important is now beginning: the rehabilitation center.  We have
rehabilitation wards here and there now.  But now we are going to start
building a center.  If I was not misinformed, it is going to be 17,000
square meters.  A tremendous project.  (Fillo), how many square meters is
the one we just completed?  Four thousand?  Well, what's coming is more
than four times that size.  Are you sure it's 17,000?

I imagine the hospital doctors, planners, everybody got together.  Who
knows if there will be more or fewer meters?  Generally speaking, when the
time comes to build--I know what they'll do!  When they see they have a
good construction force, and since they want to build something
excellent---with which we agree---they will have 17,000 square meters with
a roof over them.  Isn't that so, Martinez?  You should know why.  You must
know much better than I because I haven't had time to check up on each
square meter you have proposed.  We trust you!  We trust the planners.

There's another reason, which I'll mention later.

Of course, the fact I am saying I will mention it later doesn't mean I am
going to talk a long time.  Just a few things I want to bring up one by

We are going to have an extraordinary rehabilitation center.  We are doing
this with the cooperation of the Yugoslavs, who have a lot of experience in
this.  We will have some Yugoslav equipment.  I believe they helped us in
the planning as well. [indistinct remark in background] Oh!  The
technology, yes, but the civil construction project is ours. [Castro
chuckles] A lot of people must have cooperated to build this great project.

Of course, it is understandable this center is not yet complete and will
only be completed when it has this rehabilitation area, one of the most
modern in the world.  I would say that on this basis...[interrupted by
applause] this hospital will become one of the best in Cuba and perhaps
Latin America.  This modest, small, forgotten, and isolated hospital, which
had only 174 beds, now has 410 or 416. [someone says: 410] It now has 410
beds.  This does not include a hospitalization area turned into a
rehabilitation center.  When the center is completed that area will again
be in use.

Will this one also be freed [for use], the one built (?by Ordaz)? [Someone
says: No, this one will be devoted to recreation] Oh, I see, recreation.
It's needed.  Are you going to build a movie house or what? [laughter] Ah,
a social center.  That's good.

I was forgetting something.  I don't know if they arranged it with the
psychiatry hospital.  We needed a small lot next door. [laughter] And I
know that (Ordaz) doesn't like to give up any land because it seems he has
to...[interrupted by indistinct remarks in background] Already.  He says
it's been arranged.

Another hospital is going up next door.  It's a hospital for the
Salvadorans: it's a hospital for the Salvadorans. [applause] We call it the
Salvadoran hospital because there's a large number of Salvadorans receiving
rehabilitation here---young people, revolutionaries, patriots, who, as a
consequence of the genocidal war taking place over there, have suffered
wounds and injuries requiring rehabilitation.  Right now they are spread
over several hospitals.  We decided to establish a rehabilitation center
here for the Salvadorans.  Of course, it will be for the Salvadorans only
for a time.  Once the country is liberated, the people are liberated, and
they can build hospitals there, they will not need this one.  But now, who
can help the Salvadorans?  Other countries tender assistance but Cuba is
the one providing massive rehabilitation.  That is why we decided to build
a hospital next to this one to form part of this center.

Many foreigners come to our hospitals.  In the end this hospital will have
620 beds and a large rehabilitation center.  The hospital for the
Salvadorans will be similar to this one.  It will be two stories high.  It
will have elevators and ramps also.

Thus, this is the genesis for this institution.  We go into the
construction phase.  We are optimistic.  We have already presented the
banner.  The Julio Diaz contingent--Diaz, a martyr, a comrade of the
revolution who participated in the Moncada attack, came over in the
"Granma" and died in the Sierra Maestra gives his name to this hospital.
The contingent is going to bear that glorious name.  It will have 250
members.  Imagine 250 members of the party and the UJC, vanguard workers
building that center after the experience already acquired building this
one.  Will they build it fast or not? [Crowd answers: Yes] Will they be
afraid of the task?  After all, this is the second project.  The third will
be the hospital for the Salvadorans. [applause]

It has been proved that if we work well, with discipline, if we devote
ourselves wholeheartedly, we can get everything we want.  The only thing I
have left to say is it is a great honor and satisfaction to have shared
with you this joyful moment.  We have doubled the number of beds it had in
late 1985.  Two great examples of dedication have come together here.  The
collective of this hospital, involved in human health, and the collective
of the contingent, involved just as extemporarily in construction projects.
Rarely have these two things come together.  But I hope in the future the
rule will be precisely that: Whenever two collectives get together we will
be able to say they are collectives devoted to their work, they are
exemplary collectives.  "Fatherland or death, we shall win." [applause]