Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Take 6 of 11--Cuba:  Castro Speech at Child Care Center


[Text]  This is how we have been making efforts.  We already have a
small lamb farm.  It is still small, and it's not enough for so many
mini-brigade workers; 28 hectares is nothing.  However, we already have
another one that will have over 750 hectares.  It is rocky ground out we
are preparing it and putting in soil.  We hope to be able to produce 25,000
or 30,000 lambs, at least annually.  It will take some time, we are
improving the soil, we are doing all the work.  The mini-brigade workers
are everywhere.  They will help to create that farm, just as those same
mini-brigade workers help maintain the mini-brigade orchard.

In the meeting that I referred to earlier, we also asked about the
kitchen equipment, the cold storage equipment [equipos de frio].  We drew
up a program so that we can have the largest number possible of cafeterias
because we do not like the centralized ones.  We want the worker to be as
close as possible to the cafeteria.  We are going to have over 200
mini-brigade cafeterias, and they will all have cool rooms with air

We are also making an effort by writing pamphlets and training kitchen
personnel.  We can have good raw materials but, if we do not have good
preparation of the food, we will not have anything.  Finally, we are
working with the mini-brigade members so that they are as well cared for as
the children in the child care centers that you have built.  [Castro
chuckles]  The contingent members receive even greater attention.  We have
resources that are not enough for 30,000 or 40,000.  However, we do make it
available to a few hundred or thousand workers.  We always, of course, give
priority to social projects, the workers who are there 14 or 15 hours.

You also know that another new idea and, in my opinion, very useful,
was the medical checkups for all the mini-brigade workers.  With that we
will save dozens of lives, maybe even a few hundreds, because when we did
checkups on less than 200 men, we discovered that there were a few cases of
silent heart attacks, serious pulmonary problems, high blood pressure
problems.  If these people had not received the medical checkup and
attention, they could have died at work.  Therefore, we are going to follow
closely the state of health of all mini-brigade workers.

We are also going to do as we did in the Blas Roca contingent, and we
will follow closely the dental condition of all the mini-brigade workers.
With the cooperation of the dentists of our capital, during their spare
time, in the various municipalities, we can proceed to give enthusiastic
attention to this matter.

All these things related to the attention to man are key issues,
fundamental issues.  Man wants to receive the attention he deserves.  It is
not that he aspires to impossible things.  However, he does require the
maximum attention.  We had become used to paying and paying the
construction workers.  But their lodgings were pigpens.  The food was bad
and poorly served.  There wasn't any medical care or of any other kind.
What good does it do to pay these people all that money if their children
cannot go to a child care center, have a good school, or if their family
does not have the hope of obtaining a good apartment, or have the medical
institutions so that they can all receive the best care?  It is not only
with money that this is going to be resolved.  They thought that everything
was being solved for man.  He would be told:  I'll pay you more.  Some
would be paid more, and when they were paid too much money they would spend
3 days partying.  Then they would not come to work.

One should look at the productivity level of the Blas Roca contingent.
The workers are not hurried there.  They are prohibited from hurrying too
much.  Nevertheless, they have a very high productivity level because they
are disciplined, punctual.  If there isn't discipline and punctuality, it
isn't possible for each one of those men to reach his maximum productivity