Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Discusses Distribution Issue

FL2305230488 Havana Television Service in Spanish 1700 GMT 22 May 88

[Excepts] The third meeting of livestock-agricultural production
cooperatives continues at our capital's Palace of Conventions.  The meeting
is being presided over by our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro.  The
delegates have made important remarks.

[Begin recording] [Passage omitted] [Unidentified delegate] Women are given
a quarter for tennis shoes.  When working women go to buy tennis shoes they
are gone.  I mentioned it the other day at the People's Assembly meeting,
that there are no women's tennis shoes.  There are those women call
piculinos.  The card says piculinos.  Good-quality tennis shoes are sold in
the free market to town homemakers and those women resell them because they
are attractive tennis shoes you can wear to go out.  So, peasant women end
up with the piculinos.  Those are the ones they get with the card.  These
are some of the concerns we peasants have.

Another problem we have is that I was given a bicycle when I first had a
cooperative.  When vehicles arrive at warehouses with a load of bicycles
you can see people in line who take bicycles so they can sell them to
peasants.  A peasant who works cannot stand in line for 2 days.  I believe
that bicycles should be for workers, for those who need them.  You can see
those kids who do not work around there in town standing in line to get a
bicycle and sell it to someone who wants it.

[Castro] The matter of the boots, how rubber boots are distributed, if they
arrive or not, if bicycles arrive or not, maybe those things do happen.  I
believe the Ministry of Domestic Trade should, it should [repeats] think
about this.  I remember the example... [changes thought] Yesterday we were
talking about motorcycles.  One of the first crazy things that occurred to
... [corrects himself] Not one of the first, not at all, it cannot be the
first one, there are many.  It occurred to the CTC [Central Organization of
Trade Unions] and the Ministry of Domestic Trade.

When socialist countries offered a number of motorcycles for sale per
year-- 7,000, 8,000, 10,000--I began to worry.  I thought this was going to
cause accidents, etc.  I said:  Let's not sell them in the city, let's
mainly sell them in the interior of the country.  One cannot reject motor
vehicles but I said:  Let's distribute them mainly in the countryside.  It
occurred to them to sell them with I don't know what kind of bonus; on a
first come, first serve basis.  That was a crazy thing to do.  Peddlers
began to show up everywhere.  They stood in line at the store to buy the
motorcycles.  I found out about this during a trip I made to Holguin.  It
did not last long because at the first executive committee meeting I
immediately said those motorcycles could not be sold in the free market.  I
said:  We are going to provide wheels to the lumpen in this country.  So,
we decided to establish the--how is it called?--controlled sale of
motorcycles.  We distribute them by work center.  This is how all
motorcycles are sold in this country.  It is even forbidden to resell
them, and if they are going to be resold, the state has to do it.  If not,
imagine:  Every peddler around there--there are fewer and fewer, but there
are still some--or every rich person around there--like the one the comrade
mentioned who got 200,000 [not further specified] or I don't know how many,
or every thief around there--there are some thieves--would buy a motorcycle
and hence be able to make business.  So we established the regulated
distribution.  [end recording]

The work sessions of this third meeting are scheduled to continue this
afternoon.  More than 1,500 delegates from the entire country are