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Further Castro Remarks at Cooperatives Meeting

FL2305192288 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 22 May 88

[All speakers other than Fidel Castro identified by caption]

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the PCC Central
Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers, has taken
part in the working sessions of the third national meeting of cooperatives
underway at the Palace of Conventions.  Our reporters have more:

[Reporter Menardo Perez] In our opinion, the first day of the third
national meeting of agricultural-livestock cooperatives, held at the Palace
of Conventions under the chairmanship of our commander in chief, can be
described as satisfactory.  Important topics in connection with the
increased production of tubers and vegetables, as well as the utilization
of water, were discussed today.  Our commander said, with regard to the
latter, that we are the worst wasters of water.  He stressed:

[Begin recording] [Castro] In countries with little water, in countries of
the Middle East, people have a highly developed technology for the best use
of water.  Cuba is a place where it rains a lot; water is plentiful.  That
is why we waste so much water.  When I saw the (Sasa) dam, with a billion
cubic meters; when I saw that so much rice was cultivated there with
underground water... [changes thought] Since this dam was built in this
rice area all that we have done is waste water.  I don't think anyone has
any idea of how much water we waste.  Now, with the acute drought, Pinar
del Rio has begun to apply the method of water recycling.  Instead of
letting it flow to the sea, they pump it again and recycle it for use in
the rice fields.  Otherwise, we could build 10 dams like the one for the
(Sasa) and it would still not be enough for the rice.  We in this country
are the worst wasters of water.  Why?  Because nature gave us a lot of
water.  Compare Cuba, where 1,200, 1,300, and up to 1,400 [unit not
specified] fall--even though it can be less than 1,000 in some provinces
some years--with those countries that get 300 and just a bit more than
that.  These countries grow citrus, vegetables, etc, with that amount of

So a water conservation philosophy should be one of our objectives as
farmers.  We are talking here as farmers.  This is more than a meeting of
cooperatives.  [end recording]

[Perez] Later, the conferees discussed the use of residual water.  Pinar
del Rio Province served as the example.

[Begin recording] [Pablo Hernandez, of the agricultural irrigation
directorate] Speaking of rice, we have determined that up to 30 or 40
percent of the standard can be reused.  It could be something like 3,000
cubic meters per hectare.

[Castro] What is the standard?

[Hernandez] Depending on the season, etc, the standard for rice is between
10,000 or 12,000 cubic meters per hectare.

[Castro] It used to be 16,000 a short time back.

[Hernandez] Well, that's the gross figure.  It includes the losses.  I
wanted to explain something to you about this, Commander...

[Castro, interrupting] Don't you think we waste a lot of water on the rice?

[Hernandez] It can be better used by improving the quality of the systems.
We feel that this is the third line of work in this business of hydraulics.

[Castro] Yes.

[Hernandez] [Words indistinct] the machinery and plant the rice using more
modern methods; level the area, make the canals...

[Castro, interrupting] Flat terraces?

[Hernandez] Leveling, flat terraces...

[Castro, interrupting] Or semi-flat?

[Hernandez] Or (?conventional) terraces.  And build tertiary canals, which
don't exist in the rice fields.

[Castro] What kind of canals?

[Hernandez] Tertiary.  The last, permanent lines of canals.  At present
they are temporary.  They're very roughly-made, and this implies a very big
amount of water to fill the terraces, etc.  In other words, the third...

[Castro] Well, we have to find out the causes, wherever they may be.

[Hernandez] The third line in saving water is that; the modernization of
the rice fields.

[Agriculture Minister Adolfo Diaz] Commander, we were not using the
residual water.  One of the concerns of the rice growers was that by
irrigating the fields with water that had already been used, some
combinations of elements might be introduced.  As you said, this had to be
done last year in Pinar del Rio.  But it was also done in Granma and in the
rest of the rice fields.  What we have accomplished is the reduction of
water consumption in terms of gross and actual standards.  We have been
able to cut down on these figures.  This is a result of what the comrade
has already explained to you, which is basic:  the completion of all the
tertiary systems in the rice fields.  A program exists for that.  As you
pointed out, some means are still needed to complete the rice fields.
There can be substantial savings; there is no doubt about that.  [end

[Perez] An exchange took place between Fidel and Miguel Jimenez, president
of Matanzas' 26 de Julio CPA [Agricultural-Livestock Cooperative], at
another point in the discussions.

[Begin recording] [Castro] How many people do you have in your office?

[Jimenez] I have three comrades in my office.

[Castro] Three.  If you were a state enterprise, how many would you have?

[Jimenez] How's that?

[Castro] If you were a state enterprise, how many would you have?

[Jimenez] The ministers are looking at me.  I don't know how many.
[laughter] Adolfo and [Sugar Industry Minister] Herrera are looking at me.
At this time, we are under the obligation because of the paperwork--no one
has brought up the paperwork, and you...

[Castro, interrupting] You have three employees in the office, isn't that
right?  And you keep an account of all the costs.

[Jimenez] All the costs.

[Castro] And all the controls.

[Jimenez] All the controls.

[Castro] So, what do you think?  Why don't you help us to philosophize a
bit?  You may not know a lot about agronomic engineering, though you
probably do in practice.  But you must know a bit about the philosophy of

[Jimenez] Go ahead.

[Castro] Why do you think the state enterprises have so much bureaucracy?

[Jimenez] My opinion is my very personal view.  It's a problem of heredity.

[Castro] What kind of problem?

[Jimenez] Heredity.  It was inherited from capitalism.

[Castro] No, sir.  [laughter] That's not true.

[Jimenez] Well, I...

[Castro, interrupting] The capitalists did not have 200 workers...

[Jimenez, interrupting] No, no.  I'm going to explain.  I'm going to
explain why.

[Castro] No, no.  I wish we had inherited from capitalism the scant
bureaucracy they had in the offices.  Were that so!

[Jimenez] I say inherited because I also worked in the sugar mills.  That's
where you saw the most bureaucracy, the large number of comrades who worked
in the offices.

[Castro] Of course, the sugar mills.  That's true.

[Jimenez] Ah, you see.  That's why I wanted to explain.

[Castro] But I would like to compare it with what we have.

[Jimenez] No, no.  But what is the problem?  I sometimes am frightened
when, for instance, I see the amount of people in a brigade.  There are
enough people in it to put on a show.  Then I go to my office, and
sometimes... [changes thought] Luisito [not further identified] came over
the other day and criticized me because my office looked like that of a big
enterprise.  The fact is that I have only three comrades, but I am creating
the conditions because I don't know how long they are going to keep asking
me for paperwork.  You once told us that we had to cut down on paperwork
and meetings by 50 percent.

[Castro] Paperwork?

[Castro] Yes, yes.

[Castro] You should cut it down by 80 percent at least!

[Jimenez] Oh, well.  We keep...

[Castro, interrupting] Eighty at least.  I want to insist on this.  Of
course, you know that we are working on the problems of the state,
industrial, and agricultural enterprises, and that we are trying to
automate everything.  We are trying to introduce computers, savings, etc.
But it would be very beneficial for the revolution, as big a benefit as
what we are talking about; yields, water, [word indistinct] machines.
(?mini-sprays), the 100,000 arrobas per caballeria.  This is not something
urgent.  No, it's not very urgent.  If we apply rational principles in all
those enterprises, there would be enough people left without a job that it
would become a political problem.

So, I'm not talking about something immediate.  But we do want, in defense
of our socialism, in defense of our beautiful cause and our ideals, to
think about eradicating that cancer of bureaucratism, that cancer of
indirect workers [trabajadores indirectos] in production.  How do we clean
that up?  I know we can clean it up.  Sooner or later, we are going to
clean it up.  [end recording]

[Perez] The third national meeting will continue its sessions tomorrow,