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Take 1 of 11--Cuba:  Castro Speech at Child Care Center


Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 0118 GMT 31 Dec 87

[Speech by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the PCC
Politburo and president of the Councils of State and Ministers, at the
inauguration of "Amiguitos de Celia" child care center in Playa
Municipality, Havana City Province--live]

[Text]  To avoid any conflict, I think that you can start putting down
some the placards, so there will be no protests in the back.  We have seen
them; very good.  [Castro chuckles]  Let's put the placards down now.
[applause, shouts]

Comrades, mini-brigade workers, workers from the child care center we
are inaugurating today, residents of Playa.  Well, I did not know that the
PCC in the capital and the People's Government had in mind.  I only knew
that we were going to inaugurate child care center number 50 yesterday and
number 54 today.  I did not know which of these inaugurations was more
important, whether it would be number 50 or number 54.  I thought it would
be number 50 as with it we reached the great goal; it was very symbolic.
But toady is the overfulfillment of that goal.  I can see that the party
has given great importance to this event.  I can sense it because I have
met with the very pleasant surprise that all the mini-brigade workers from
the capital are here.  That had not even crossed my mind.  [applause]  I
think that this has been a great idea.

However, yesterday I said many things and I do not want to repeat
myself today.  Chavez [Pedro Chavez, president of the Havana City Province
People's Government--FBIS] already talked about this center.  I do not have
much else to add.  It was built in 85 days.  It is great, we have been
taught a lesson on how long a center can be built.  That is what we have
been taught.  It was a very interesting question that we needed answered.
Chavez explained that we had a group of construction professionals here,
working with the spirit of the mini-brigade workers, the Cubalse
construction workers, with the support of the people.  By themselves, they
would not have been able to build this center in 40 days.  But 80, 100,
150, and even 200 people came here.  Everyone wanted to help in this
center.  That is how they have broken a record.  Actually, no one knew how
long it would take working very, very hard.

Chavez said that the work was very well organized, supplies were
constant, and despite the problem with having to change places, they
recovered and worked, and reached their goal of finishing this center
before 31 December.  Furthermore, they have done excellent quality work.

It seems that this center had international sponsorship.  It had
friends in a country that sent toys for the center.  Enterprises with which
we do trade donated latex paint for the center.  We had been painting the
others with pretty white, cement-like (cementoso] paint.

Every time we have foreign exchange, we must see how we invest it,
maybe in a motor for a cement mixer or a winch.  We must be economical and
look for quality.  We must save.  But with this center we had the luck to
be given 120 gallons of latex paint.  I asked how long it lasts.  I was
told a minimum of 3 or 4 years, up to 7.  Well, we will see, when we have
the raw materials, if we can make it here.  We will also introduce our
latex paint.  The rest of the centers did not lose quality, they are
actually very pretty.  But this one is especially pretty.  It had the
resources that other centers did not have.

I think that we have been taught a very specific lesson.  That lesson
is what the productivity level can be, in these conditions, when the
workers already have the skill, the experience.  I had already been told
about these workers in other centers.  Once they went somewhere to help put
up the tiles in a Plaza child care center.  So, those people came here.  A
relatively young man told me:  Look, I have to put my knees on the floor in
order to put up the tiles on the ceiling.  And they would be all bent up
putting them up.  In a few hours they put I don't know how many tiles.
They are good workers and they are very experienced.