Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Interviewed

FL 152052 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 1800 GMT 12 Feb 88

[Interview with Commander in Chief Fidel Castro by reporter Jose Arteaga at
the inauguration of the Andres Ortiz Polyclinic in Guanabacoa Municipality
on 11 February--recorded]

[Text] [Arteaga] Commander, this is a very important day for Cuban health.
We would like your opinion about this construction movement underway this
year in the capital.

[Castro] I already mentioned this at the inauguration ceremony. I presume
you recorded what I said and remember some of my words. We were hoping
this movement would continue with the same force; that it would be a
gradually expanding process. It appears that it is more than a gradually
expanding process; that's a good sign. The worst month of the year is
always January. It's as if everybody went on vacation after completing a
plan or some other project. The watchword this year was to begin working
from the first day of January...

[Arteaga, interrupting] Working with all engines going, as you said (?last
year). [laughter]

[Castro} Well, you can't say with all engines going, because the type of
work done in the first part of the year is somewhat different from that
carried out in the second half. The foundations have been laid for many
buildings right now. They will be fully into the completion phase during
the second half of the year. There will be more work available. I
understand more people want to get involved than there are positions
available. That is, voluntary work cannot really be in full swing right
now. It's better not to exert pressure in this area. According to the
party's program in the city involving the three bonuses, no one should lose
hope if he can't win the bonus early in the year; he can build up hours and
win the bonus later on. In fact, no one should despair if he can't win any
bonus at all. If someone worked 40 hours and did his best, this should
still be recognized.

This movement began in the last quarter of last year.  There is more time
this year.  The idea was launched.  Yet we should not turn this into
pressure under any circumstance because I know that at this time there
is...[shifts thought] People are having a harder time finding a place in
social projects.  The situation in the second half of the year will be
different.  There will be 56 child care centers under construction.  There
is work now but it's on doctor's offices and homes.  I believe there are
565 under construction at this time.  There will be more work available in
the projects the second half of the year.  Of course, there is also housing
which is very important.  However, in general people are more inclined to
work in social projects they can see.  They are more motivated to work.
People working in the factories, the area residents, are more motivated.
People are strongly motivated to work in these social projects; child care
centers, schools polyclinics.  I don't think there are enough workplaces
for everybody who wants to get involved.  I have heard talk about this,
because they tell me it is hard to find a place.

[Arteaga] Lastly, Commander, I would like you to greet Radio Rebelde on its
30th anniversary.

[Castro] Congratulations. How could I forget Radio Rebelde, which I
encountered in the Sierra and which helped us so much. It became a decisive
instrument of our struggle. I always keep it in mind and I am happy to hear
that it is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Hey, we're getting old, aren't
we? [laughter]

[Arteaga] We are going to celebrate it in the same place, in La Plata.

[Castro] In La Plata? Good, I'm glad.