Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Inaugurates Matanzas Projects

FL2406200488 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 2216 GMT 22 Jun 88

[Speech by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro at a mass rally at Giron Victory
Square in Matanzas--live]

[Text] Comrades of Matanzas:  A few weeks ago, we met in Pinar del Rio
Province with a large number of its residents.  That was on 20 April on the
occasion of 1 May, but we were also keeping in mind the great number of
projects that Pinar del Rio residents had completed.  Upon my arrival here,
I said to Comrade Luis Alvarez de la Nuez:  Luis, either the platform in
Pinar del Rio was higher or it was on a hill, because the public could be
seen better.  At this height here, it's not easy to see everyone.  The
platform should have been a bit higher.  I can also see over there that
many children have been brought.  This makes me wonder whether or not the
same thing that happened in Pinar del Rio, which impressed us very much,
will happen here.  That was the attention that the public paid, the
silence, at that event.  Well, I said this must be the most behaved and
disciplined public I have ever seen.  I do not think that you are any less
disciplined than Pinar del Rio, but if you brought more children today, I
don't think they'll win the emulation.

Anyway, every event of this type is a time of reflection.  And we have come
especially to speak, meditate, and think with you.  After the event in
Pinar del Rio, when the comrades from Matanzas Province told me that they
had a large number of projects to inaugurate, among them the gigantic
thermoelectric plant, I told them that it would also be a good time for us
to meet with Matanzas residents.  This event was going to take place
earlier but the gigantic [thermoelectric plant] was not yet ready.  So much
the better, because with that rain in May and the rain during these days in
June, no one was ever sure whether or not we would hold this event during a
storm.  But nature, always do generous and lavish with our country, has
given us an excellent, sunny day, a cool day in the midst of summer.

What is the reason for this event?  Comrade Nato was explaining it here,
speaking on behalf of the construction workers.  Today we are inauguarating
25 projects.  Although they may be of major or minor importance, there are
25 projects nevertheless.  Some are very important.  In this province,
over 150 projects have been inaugurated within the first half of this year,
and these are not just any kind of project.  Among them, we are
inaugurating today the largest thermoelectric unit in the country,
[applause] because the one in Mariel has a greater capacity with several
units, as does the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes in Cienfuegos, the Nuevitas
one, and the one in Santiago.  But there is no other thermoelectric unit of
330,000 kw such as the one we are inaugurating today.  It is the most
modern, with the most advanced technology, and which uses less petroleum
per kilowatt.  It is an enormous investment of approximately 200 million
pesos, over half of it in foreign currency.

Over $100 million was spent just on imported equipment and parts.  To get
an idea of the size of the unit, it is enough to say that its capacity is
equal to that of all the thermoelectric units installed since 1958.  After
this unit, the largest ones are from Cienfuegos, which have approximately
160,000 kw, or some 16,000 megawatts.  You can measure it in kilowatts or
megawatts.  I think that we all already know that I megawatt equals 1,000

This plant is being put into operation.  There are always some problems
when something is about to be put into operation, because it is a very
complex industry.  The boiler, turbines, generators, and a series of
(?combined) equipment must be working.  This is not something that can be
put into operation within 24 hours.  The actual technicians, engineers,
construction workers, and representatives of the French company have been
there (?managing) the unit.  They have been working very seriously along
with our own people's efforts to put the thermoelectric plant into
operation.  As the problems have arisen, so have the solutions.  The
collective of that unit is truly optimistic about the prospects of the

Some initial problems caused by the rain were also the reason for
postponing this inauguration by a few days.  Now, how much gas per kilowatt
will this thermoelectric plant use?  In 1958, we used 396 grams of fuel per
each kilowatt of electricity that was produced--in other words, almost half
a liter of fuel per each one of those kilowatts that you are using.  When
you watch television, or turn on an iron, blender, or whatever household
appliance, radio, television, refrigerator, or air conditioning,
electricity is being used.  In 1958, the country used almost half a liter
of fuel per each kilowatt of electricity.  In 1987, as a result of the
investments made in the electric power industry, the numerous Soviet and
Czechoslovak units that have been set up in the country, and even some
Japanese units, and now this French unit, the country used 272 grams per
kilowatt. Fuel consumption has declined.  It dropped from 396 to 272
[grams].  You must not forget that the price of fuel has increased by 14 to
15 times.  What 1 gram of fuel cost in 1958 is 12 to 14 times less than
what it cost after than.  This is why the reduction to almost half of what
a kilowatt of electricity costs is so important and fundamental.  Almost
half in fuel--although fuel costs a great deal more than it did in 1958.
The oil shortage had not yet come about.  The so-called oil crisis
increased the price of fuel dramatically.

This very modern unit with very advanced technology can use 216 grams of
petroleum per kilowatt of fuel.  In other words, this plant helps to reduce
the cost of fuel per kilowatt in our country by almost 10 grams.

Well, how much does a family unit use?  Some consume more than others.
However, at present, the consumption of our family unit is 125 kw per
month.  This means that there is a savings of almost one-quarter of a liter
per family unit, per kilowatt.  This equals a savings of approximately 30
liters per family unit.  This is the importance of a plant with very
advanced technology that saves fuel.

Of course, the next units that we will inaugurate, larger than these, will
be for nuclear power.  These are under construction in Cienfuegos.  But
this construction will take a long time.  They are very complex.  If
everything goes well, however, it probably will be another 4 or 5 years
before we inaugurate the first installations.  Since the famous accident of
Chernobyl--although that was another type of reactor, this is a much safer
type of reactor--the nuclear power industry has taken many more measures
for control of automation and safety of operations in those installations.
The inauguration of the next nuclear power plants will be delayed by at
least 2 years as a result of these measures.  Already, they have a greater
capacity than this.  This one has a 330,000-kw capacity and each of the
nuclear reactors will have a 417,000-kw capacity.

Aside from the four reactors under construction in Cienfuegos, a pump
storage station [hydroacumuladora] will be built.  As I have tried to
explain on other occasions, a pump storage station is a reservoir.  During
the morning, water is pumped up from below.  At peak hours, water is pumped
downward, in the opposite direction, to produce electricity.  A
thermoelectric plant is shut down, whereas the nuclear power plant is only
shut down when the fuel is being changed.  This is why in a nuclear power
plant there are times of surplus electricity, be it in the morning or
during the day.  During these hours of surplus electricity, water is pumped
up.  When there is a demand for electricity, the water is used to produce
electricity.  So, if the total capacity of the four reactors of Cienfuegos
will be almost six or five and one-half times more than what this unit has,
it, along with the nuclear power plant, will produce, during peak hours,
the equivalent of an additional reactor.  In other words, it will be the
equivalent of 2,000 megawatts or 2 million kilowatts, as you may wish to
measure it.

At the moment, this is not the only thermoelectric plant in construction.

A thermoelectric plant is being built to the east of Havana.  It will have
a capacity of 1.1 million kw.  We began building it with Soviet units of
100,000 and we will continue to build it with units for 200,000.  But we
will have a huge central thermoelectric plant, although with smaller units
than this one.  I think the last unit in Nuevitas is being completed and
the first units of Felton are under construction.  The ones that I
mentioned to the east of Havana and the one in Felton are very important
because they are the only new electricity-generating units that the country
will have before the reactors of Cienfuegos are put into operation.  I
think that this explanation will help the Matanzas residents understand the
importance of this thermoelectric plant.

Now, there are other aspects of this new thermoelectric plant that are very
important.  I am talking about the work organization and efficiency
measures being taken.  I will give you an example.  The payroll set up for
one of these thermoelectric plants used to have almost 200 positions.  In
other words, it had a narrow profile.  This kind of narrow profile causes a
worker to be concerned only with one thing and not with other things around
him.  It causes the payroll to be inflated.  And there is nothing worse for
a country than inflated payrolls because twice as many workers are
employed.  It also causes costs to rise.  There need to be larger
cafeterias, more transportation, and more housing for the workers.  With
inflated payrolls, everything becomes much more expensive and much more

Now, why did we have so many inflated payrolls in our country?  This is
simply because the profiles were too narrow.  They were so narrow that it
was difficult at times to find enough work for someone for 8 hours.  If the
payrolls for this new thermoelectric plant had been organized along
traditional lines, we would have needed 531 workers.  This figure has
changed; sometimes it was said that 600 were necessary.  Actually, with
accuracy, the figure for this thermoelectric plant would have been 531
workers.  However, this plant will operate with 249 workers.  [applause] If
we were a province with a surplus work force, we would be sad.  We would
say:  What a pity.  Just imagine if this were a capitalist enterprise.
When there was so much unemployment in Cuba, the news that a [word
indistinct] or an electric power monopoly such as the ones we had in our
country would reduce the payroll of 531 workers to 249, this news would not
have been applauded by anyone.  After all, those were foreign monopoly
interests, and now they are national monopoly interests.  We will call it
monopoly because it includes all the electric power industries of the

These are the interests of the national industry which do not belong to any
foreign enterprise.  Instead, these interests belong to whole nation and
the benefits are for the whole nation.  That is precisely the difference
between capitalism and socialism.  That is one of the many differences.
The nation understands how beneficial it is for the country to employ 249
workers there instead of 531.  They understand the savings, what it means
in productivity, efficiency, and reduction of costs.

This is a true revolution because the problems that our country has had in
many areas have not necessarily been a result of a surplus in the work
force but rather a shortage.  If you go to Cienfuegos, you will find that
there are people there working in construction from all the provinces.
This is because the population of Cienfuegos is not large enough to supply
the appropriate work force for the industrial and social development of
Cienfuegos.  Because Cienfugos is a port, the refinery had to be located
there, in a port.  The new refinery was situated there, in a central
location.  The cement factory had to be put there, where there was raw
material for the cement.  The fertilizer industry had to be put there also
because of the port facilities.  Cienfuegos had to create more industries
and build more than what the area itself was able to take care of.
However, Matanzas is also a province with a work force shortage.  [Crowd
begins mumbling] Well, if it wants to rain, let it rain.  [Crowd applauds]
In that album that we were give there was a phrase uttered in 1974:
Matanzas will have as many resources for investment as it is capable of
building or operating.

We have always had a manpower deficit--for instance, in construction.
There has been a big manpower deficit in construction in Matanzas.  For
example, we had to build a certain number of sheds for pigs or poultry and
we came up against a shortage of labor for these buildings.  A lot of
projects had to be built in the province and we faced a labor shortage.
That is why this province, more than any other, is among those most
requiring rationalization of its personnel rosters, to make the best use of
the labor force.

This province has achieved a certain level of development and is highly
productive.  It is one of the most productive provinces in the country.
For example, you produce...[interrupted by applause] For example, you
produce around a million tons of sugar and yet the Matanzas population is
not even 600,000.  In other words, you produce almost 2 tons, or at least
1.7, 1.8 tons, of sugar per inhabitant.  In this area alone, you are
producing more than 1.5 tons per inhabitant.  You have many--tens of
thousands--of workers employed in the sugar industry and sugar production.

This province has natural resources and has potential.  It would be sad if
for lack of manpower the province were not able to develop more.  And it
can develop so much!  And it would be so useful to the rest of the country
if the province developed to its full potential.  One has to think not only
of the people of Matanzas, but also of all Cubans.  It is a province with
great agricultural resources, excellent lands of great quality.  It is a
province with a very abundant water table.  Of course, this water table
goes down a lot in dry years.  Or if you use irrigation techniques that
waste water, then it goes down.  However, it is a province with water
tables that can be augmented with hydraulic works.  It is a province with
few rivers but one that has an amount of surface water that is still

So, where can the province's weak spot be?  In the lack of manpower.  Thus,
it highly significant that this plant is the first in the country to be
inaugurated with these criteria and concepts.  Notice that it will employ
less than half the number of workers that would have been required under
the old ideas that predated his process that is underway.  Imagine if we
could accomplish the same thing in all the industries, using the broad
profile concept.  In fact, these workers with broad profiles, who are going
to save us wages, can be paid more than the ones working under the other
system.  We have proposed that a part of the amount saved in wages be used
to raise the income of those workers with a broad profile.  Instead of 161
different occupations, there will be 100 occupations.  Activities that look
three people to do before will be done by one.  And that's one person
without killing himself.  This is being done through the simple expediency
of distributing jobs in a rational manner and giving the worker the right

You should not lose sight of the importance of labor organization for this
new Matanzas industry, not only as a producer of electricity but also as a
model to be imitated.  It will be one more reason for you to feel proud of
this enterprise.  All this also helps the whole country.  I hope the
people of Matanzas don't use up all the electricity generated by the plant!
There will be electricity for the east and for the west.

How much more electricity does Matanzas have now than before the
revolution?  It must be 10 or 12 times more.  How much more electricity or
capacity to generate electricity does the country have now than it had in
1958?  It has a capacity 6.9 times greater.  In other words, it has the
capacity to generate almost 7 times more electricity than what it had
before the time of the revolution.  Before the revolution, the electrical
system of the national.  It was not linked or connected along the length
and breath of the country.  If that particular plant goes out, you still
get electricity from east Havana, or electricity from Cienfuegos, even from
Nuevitas.  The same thing happens if there is a problem in Cienfuegos or in
Nuevitas or if repair or maintenance are done, the unit must be turned
off.  Then the electricity comes from other areas.  In the past, there was
not an electrical system in Cuba.  A foreign monopoly managed the bulk of
it.  But the country's electrical services were provided by 60 different
system, 60 different owners.

Today the system is interlinked along the length and breadth of the
country.  There is a single system supported by its own industries but it
can also receive electricity from other industries.  For example, the sugar
plants during the harvest periods also provide their surplus of electricity
for consumption.  We try to equip the modern and older sugar plants with
more efficient boilers.  Before, the boilers would serve as trash cans for
the waste pulp.  Today, the waste pulp is used in the production of paper,
wood, purple dye (purpural), energy, and many things.  Today its a good
idea to save waste pulp.  Every 5 tons of waste pulp equals 1 ton of
petroleum.  The 20 million tons of waste pulp that we use is equivalent to
4 million tons of petroleum.

This growth in the country's electrical industry has allowed nearly the
entire population of Cuba to have electricity.  For example, in 1958 only
56 percent of the population had electricity.  Many family units only got
electricity for a few hours.  By 1987, 86 percent of the Cuban population
already had electricity.  And development continues on ambitious plans to
take electricity wherever possible, especially as the cooperative movement
develops or communities are created, because electricity cannot be taken to
each isolated hut in the country.  However, this year more than 60,000
family units will receive electricity in the eastern province, in addition
to those who are in other areas of the country.  In 1990, 90 percent of the
population will have electricity, and in almost all cases, they will have
electricity 24 hours a day.  Very few areas will remain isolated.  That is
tangible proof of the development and progress of the country during these
years.  There are actually very few Third World countries that can say 90
percent of their population has electricity.

That is why we had to build tens of thousands of power lines.  The lines
used to be 33,000 kilovolt [kv] lines, then 110,000 kv lines, then 200,000
kv lines, and now we are already thinking of 500,000 kv power lines.  The
higher the tension, the greater the energy savings in transmission of
electricity.  From the initial 13,000 km of power lines in the country
there are now 56,000 km.  There are 3.3 times more family units with
electricity than there were in 1958.  And what was the consumption of a
family unit in 1958?  It was 69 kw per month.  Today, it is 125 kw per
month.  If you are going along the road, you can see the little television
antennas everywhere.  And inside the houses, you will find everything it
has been possible to buy.  However, our family units today use almost twice
as much electricity as they did in 1958.  That is also a concrete and
obvious (?example) of the social progress and improvement in the standard
of living in our country during these years.

Of course, this doesn't mean that we should waste electricity.  We have to
find equipment to help us save energy.  There are some kinds of televisions
which use four times more electricity than others.  Even when it comes to
household electrical appliances, we must try to save energy by using more
economical ones.  We must also look for more economical systems in the
transmission of electricity to save the energy that is lost in the process.
We must also develop the concept of conservation.  In the mountains, we are
taking advantage of all the small rivers to produce hydroelectric energy.
A small hydroelectric plant produces enough energy for 100, 120, 130
households.  It is renewable energy that never runs out and that does not
cost a gram of petroleum.  The child care centers that we are building
already have solar heaters.  We must develop the system of solar heaters in
schools, child care centers, and even in the houses.  This way, we can have
hot water without using energy.  We must keep up to date on the latest
developments in solar energy use and energy from the wind.

We propose to make investments in this area to try it out, since we have
plenty of sun and wind.  Perhaps a solar energy plant can take care of the
needs of a whole community.  Or maybe, energy produced by wind.  We have to
look at all these options.

For the time being, we have no alternative other than electronuclear
energy.  Since all the country's energy comes from oil, we are thinking of
building a nuclear power plant in the east and another in the west.  For
the time being, we have no other alternative.  It is very difficult to
power a textile plant, for instance, with a windmill.  A textile plant
consumes thousands [unit not specified].  So does a hospital.
Nevertheless, we should not be pessimistic.  We should explore all the
options being developed around the world to use the sun, an inexhaustible
source of energy.  Wind is also an inexhaustible energy source.  Oil is
expensive and it will get more expensive as time goes on.  Someday the
human race will be sorry that it consumed so much oil.  The world's oil
reserves, accumulated over hundreds of millions of years, and being
depleted in a few years.

The human race has been burning oil, which has so many other uses, in these
past few decades because other options were not developed to solve energy
problems.  And without electricity there is no development.  Without
electricity, we cannot move forward.  Without electricity there is no
progress.  Electricity is needed in schools, child care centers, hospitals,
factories, cold storage units, everywhere.  The country has made great
efforts in these past few years to build the strong energy base it now has.

Well, I have spoken a lot about electricity but we haven't only inaugurated
a power plant.  It's not the only thing we are doing in Matanzas.  We made
a tour lasting several hours and we saw a lot of things underway in
Matanzas.  For instance, we have seen the highway that now connects
Cardenas with Varadero.  We have seen the highway that is going to connect
Matanzas with Varadero.  A 4-lane highway.  We have seen the road that goes
from the highway under construction to the new airport; the road will be
widened from two to four lanes.

We have seen the airport under construction.  International airlines will
be able to land here this year.  So, we have an enormously important
international airport under construction in Matanzas.  This will make it
possible... [applause] This will make it possible for international
airlines to have direct flights.  In a few minutes, you can be in Matanzas,
or Varadero.  It means an excellent alternate airport.  If you can't land
in Boyeros, you can land here in Matanzas.  If you can't land in Camaguey,
you can land in Matanzas.  You know how the weather gets sometimes.
Cloudy.  The airports close down.  Of course, you can always land in
Miami.  [laughter] You have to land in Boyeros, Camaguey [Castro
chuckles], or Santiago de Cuba.  so this airport is not only helping the
development of tourism and the province.  It helps to make national flights
safer.  It's a tremendous airport and it is being built in a relatively
short time.

We went by the pedraplen under construction in Cardenas Bay.  What's
pedraplen, you may ask.  It's simply a type of road built on rocks that
extends out into the water.  I am now going to talk about two topics of
importance for the country, and they are very important for this province
because these resources are here.

First of all, I am going to talk about oil.  Matanzas Province has the
biggest oil deposits in the country right now.  All of this developed
following the revolution.  [applause] We can say about our oil what Marti
said about our wine.  Marti is quoted as saying that our wine is bitter but
it is our wine.  In the same way, we can say that our oil is heavy but is
is our oil!  [applause] Several cement plants are using this heavy oil
directly, and functioning.  One of the principal industries in Cardenas is
operating with gas from the Varadero deposit.  A sugar mill is working
with gas and saves on bagasse, which can be used for paper and other
things.  And these are not only the deposits that are already being

In this case, oil and beaches have been close, so that we are edgy when we
see the towers everywhere and we see that we are making big investments in
tourism and oil.  Yet this helps us develop an awareness for disciplined
work, environmental protection.  In general, the tourist doesn't like it
too much when he sees the oil towers.  We hope that in a relatively short
time all the necessary wells will be drilled in Varadero.  The small ones
will not be so easily seen; we can disguise them.  This way we won't have a
clash between two big resources:  oil and tourism.

Very well, the oil structures extend to the east through the whole Bay of
Cardenas, and even further than the Bay of Cardenas.  Today, studies are
being carried out and explorations will be done.  There are oil structures
larger than the one in Varadero.  However, we were faced with an obstacle:
the ocean, the swamps.

There was no way of reaching the swamps.  We had forgotten that in the
first years of the revolution, in 1959, we began building the highway to
Playa Larga and Playa Giron.  As a matter of fact, the mercenaries tried to
take advantage of that but it cost them dearly.  Nevertheless, they wanted
to take advantage of the road that the revolution had built.  [applause]
To cross the swamps you need causeways.  This means you need to throw
and more stones into the water until you find the firmest bottom and build
a road on the stones.  This is not the first causeway.  Over a year ago, in
another part of the country, over there near Ciego de Avila, we began to
build a causeway.  This was like an experiment.  It was an expeerimental
causeway to connect solid ground or territory with a key.  We have not
talked much about that one because we said, let's not talk a lot about that
which is simply in an experimental phase.  It has progressed a lot.  We
decided to apply the experience we gained from the causeway in Ciego de
Aviala to the exploration and development of oil.

There we were, in the Bay of Cardenas, with a depth of up to 3, 4, 4 1/2
meters. we also had a large amount of mud in the bottom.  We had to throw
in 5 to 6 meters of stone.  We did the calculations.  A Soviet platform was
supposed to be where that causeway is now.  The Soviet steel platform,
weighing more than 1,000 tons, costs approximately 12 million rubles.
Furthermore, there are additional costs for preparation, setting up, and
transportation.  We had to to drill 1,600 meters from the coast.  That is
where we applied the idea of a causeway.  At the end, we will know exactly
how much the causeway costs.  The costs will probably be a litte higher
because we have to build an islet with a sort of pool in the middle.  In
other words, it won't have stones in the middle of it but will have
improvement [as heard] where columns will be installed so that drilling
machines can be placed on those columns.  That is how we plan to use the
causeway.  We do not expect the causeway to cost more than half a million
pesos.  Compare that to the 12 million, plus installation costs and other
things.  Compare that to the 16 millions the platform costs.  We are still
getting the platform.  But we are taking it to a deeper place where it is
logical to have it even if it costs a lot more.  However, there are a lot
of swamps around the eastern part of Cardenas which we are going to explore
and exploit using the causeways.  We are going to reach all those keys to
the northern part of the province.  We are also going to extend for more
than 20 km the possibilities of ocean exploration, drilling, and oil

We are already building a second causeway from Marti to some keys to the
north.  In the first half of next year, we also expect to be drilling
there. We are going to drill in places we didn't even know we would get to.
Therefore, we are determined to give great impetus to oil exploration,
drilling, and extraction in the province.  Much more attention to man is
required in this sphere.  I was studying measures for that.  Very dedicated
people are required, because each drilling machine must drill the maximum
meters per year.  We cannot take 2 years to drill something that takes 12
months.  We cannot take 12 months for exploration that should take 5 to 6
months.  It is a very important, urgent resource of the country.  We must
look for oil, because it will be difficult to obtain greater quantities
than we get now.  We must look for our oil for our development.  That is
why we are determined to push ahead with oil exploration, drilling, and
production activities.

Within that plan, the province of Matanazas occupies an important role.
It already has experienced important development; there is oil production
in the area of Varadero.  There are already three collection centers which
send, through pipes, the fuel to the main center.  Today, we have also
completed an oil pipeline from that main center all the way to the points
of oil (?loading) in Cardenas.  It is a very important project.  If you
look at a diagram of oil exploration and development, you will see a job
well done, a job that could not have been imagined 10 years ago.  Today we
have much more technology, people with much more experience and training.
These people are capable of developing, with discipline, the scientific
methods for exploration of one of those oil fields.  Therefore, the
province of Matanzas is in a position to play an important role in the
field of oil production.  We do not know what we are going to find over
there.  However, we will drill whenever we find something, and we are going
to push production forward.  There you have, Matanazas residents, another
important task.  We need the work force to handle that machinery, to build
installations, and to develop an important source of investments for the
country.  All that in the sphere of the oil industry.

You have a great resource in this province, and that is the Varadero
Peninsula.  That peninsula has great unexploited possibilities.  Today, we
have some 2,000 rooms for international tourists.

There will be 5,000 new rooms in the next 4 [corrects himself] 3 years.
But there can be 30 times as many on the peninsula.  In conservative
figures, 30,000 rooms can be built on the peninsula.  With the few we have
today, Varadero takes $37 million.  It is growing each year.  Foreign
exchange income has doubled in the past 2 years in Varadero.

And you know how much we need foreign exchange.  We are left without a
spare part for this machine, the raw material for the industry, etc.  The
industry can be soap, perfume, toothpaste.  No foreign exchange means that
we are short of the aluminum for construction materials.  We are short the
copper for the power lines, the telephone lines.  We are short the spare
parts for the machinery.  We are short this and that raw material.  Or it
means that we only have the last shipload.  Foreign exchange income is very

Suffice to say that a big, important hospital requires up to $3 million
in convertible each year.  Anyone can go to the hospital, but the hospital
requires expensive equipment, surgical material, parts for the equipment,
medicine.  We can't produce everything here.  This means that what Varadero
takes in is spent by 12 big hospitals in convertible currency.  And when
you talk about building a hospital, the expense in convertible currency
could be $7, $8, or $10 million.  Unfortunately, we can't get everything we
need in the USSR.  We can't get everything in the socialist bloc.  There
are many things we have to get in the capitalist bloc and they have to be
paid with sugar bought at low prices or other exports.

Thus we have a tremendous resource there provided by nature.  If we earn
$37 million with less than 3,000 rooms, imagine if Varadero one day had
30,000 rooms.  We could earn 10 times more.  We could earn $400, $500,
$600, or $700 million Varadero.  The better the service and the more
quality hotels, the more we will earn.  Generally, tourists come here in
winter, when no one here wants to swim in the sea.  They prefer a hot
shower.  It's a tradition.  But not swimming in the sea.  Tourists come in
smaller numbers in the summer.  Of course, we hope that they will come then
too, so that we can use some of the facilities in the summer.  Maybe one of
these hotels can operate this way.

Some hotels will be totally controlled for the country's use.  Most of
them... [changes thought] Some hotels, not many, will be jointly owned with
firms with a lot of experience in tourism, which is what we need:
experience in tourism.  How to run a hotel, how to treat a tourist.  If
there ever was anything like that here, there is none of it today.  The
tourism here was one of prostitution.  That's over now.  A tourism of
gambling.  A tourism of drugs.  There's nothing of that here, nor will
there ever be.  There's nothing of that here, nor will there ever be.
[repeats himself][applause]

Under capitalism it was an easy thing to set up a whorehouse.  Many people
had not other alternative.  To create honest jobs is something else.  To
develop the capability to exploit this natural resource and to treat a
tourist the way he should be treated are not easy tasks.  Our country was
isolated for many years.  If it ever had a few habits, it lost them.  Now
it is engaged in recovering them, in learning how to treat a tourist
something that seem to be so easy.  A tourist must be treated with the
utmost courtesy, hospitality, politeness.  You have to train for this.  I
feel that tourism is going to be one of the good-paying jobs in our
country.  Of course, we have to select our personnel and we have to be
demanding with them.  Discipline must be rigourous.  Without discipline,
there's no chance to develop those natural resources.  Dealing with
foreigners requires good qualifications and training.

Of course, our people have levels of culture not found in any Third World
country, levels of education not found in any Third World country.  You go
to a lot of those places that today exploit tourism and find that many of
the people are illiterate.  Our young people today have a 9th grade
education.  Most of our young people have a high school education.  We have
a fantastic educational foundation to enable us to train true international
tourism workers who will be suitably paid.

I was saying that this was not going to be just for foreigners.  Except for
those jointly-owned hotels, where sending a Cuban would mean spending
foreign exchange, most of the hotels will be under national control.  The
ones that are not used in the summer months can be used by our people who
tend to go only 2 months a year.  Of course, it's impossible for this
country or anywhere else in the world to have enough rooms for all people
during a period of only 2 months out of the year.  That's why we have been
developing camping and other possibilities.

First we have to solve all the housing problems before investing huge
resources to solve the problem of the many rooms that are needed in July
and August.  Imagine, we would need a city the size of New York in the
vicinity of the beaches.  That's what would be needed.  We have to think
about it.

Those resources are going to be for our people, but indirectly they are
also going to benefit extraordinarily.  Imagine if one day Matanzas can
say, we are earning $500 million or $600 million in present-day dollars.  I
am not talking about future dollars because no one knows how much a dollar
will be worth.  The dollar is always going down, down, down.  It's not the
same to speak of $100 million today and $100 million 30 years ago.

Anyway, we want to be able to say someday that Varadero is earning $500 or
$600 million for the country.  What an extraordinary help to the economy!
We believe it can be done if we develop all its potential.  We are building
highways and airports.  Right now we are building some 10 hotels and also
"apartment-hotels"--a new name.  It's a facility for tourists.  It is not
precisely a hotel.  They are like apartments but they have restaurants
nearby where people can eat, a store where they can shop.

So, an intensive effort is underway but a greater one will have to be made
so that in the shortest time possible we'll be fully exploiting that
extraordinary natural resource.  What would an industrialized European
country do if it had beaches such as this one?  Not a single square inch
would go unused.  What would an industrialized country do if it had the 115
km of beaches we have in the keys off the north coast?  Using the same
roads as for oil exploration, we will reach all the beaches in the keys off
the country's north coast.  That's 115 km of beaches.  It can be said that
Cuba has more expanses of beach than all the rest of the Caribbean
countries put together.  Tourism is one of the sources of income in many of
these countries.

These are remote areas in Las Villas, Sancti Spriitus, Ciego de Avila, and
Camaguey Provinces.  We have to plan on exploiting these resources and we
are building the first causeways, which are going to be used for both oil
and tourism.  This one is 1.6 km long.  The other one where we started
testing is going to be 24 km long.  It's going to be finished this year.  A
few men have worked well and fast there.  A handful of men, working night
and day.  Double shifts.  They have made incredible progress.  They were
thinking of connecting the key to the island by 26 July but the rains were
too heavy.  They wanted to be ahead of schedule.  But I say, it will be
connected this year--an important key with the mainland.

There are seismologists, the exploration brigades are already there,
looking for the right geological conditions to start drilling and exploring
for oil.  I tell you that these men are working with impressive
productivity and at an infinitesimal cost.

What would France do if it had those 115 km of tropical beaches, with that
sun, with those clear and quite clean waters.  The Mediterranean beaches
are increasingly polluted.  How about those countries where it is
tremendously cold, even in the summer?  They fill up any little bit of
beach with facilities.  It is a natural resource for our country and we
must think of ways to exploit it in an intelligent and revolutionary way.
We will have tourism that is not based on those three things I mentioned:
prostitution, drugs, and gambling.

Can there be a more drug-free country in the world than ours?  Is there?
[Crowd answers:  "No!"] Is there a healthier country than ours?  Is there a
healthier one than ours in the entire Third World?  [Crowd answers:  "No!"]
No, there isn't.

AIDS is terrorizing the world today.  There are millions of carriers and we
have AIDS under control.  We discovered it in time, in time [repeats
himself].  [applause]

We rapidly applied all measures.  We have reduced it and it is not growing.
This is the only country where AIDS is not increasing because of the wide,
intelligent measures that have been adopted, taking into account the
circumstances of those that have had the misfortune of being contaminated
with the virus.  We are going to have a very health country.  It will be a
tranquil country with order, with complete peace in the area of internal
order.  These are conditions that cannot be offered by any other nation.
We have very well-instructed, well-trained people.

You, the people of Matanzas, have another very important task here here you
can give special services to the country.  I think that Matanzas is the
Athens of Cuba.  Some comrades have told me how impressed they are with the
cultural and educational level of this province.  It is something historic.
It is traditional.  Is there any other population that is better prepared
to deal with tourists than the province of Matanzas?

Matanzas Province not only builds industries.  It is not only industrial.
The province not only drills for oil or develops tourism.  I already
mentioned that it is one of the largest producers of sugar in the country.
It also is the largest citrus producer in the country.  [applause]

Several years ago, several years ago [repeats himself], Matanzas produced
just a few tons of citrus.  There were just a few stray plants out there in
the Jaguey region, in that rocky territory where a plough cannot enter,
where no traditional agriculture can be carried out.  Now, there are more
than 45,000 hectares of citrus plants and 65 schools in the area.

The more than 45,000 hectares had to be planted after dynamite was used to
break the rocky ground.  We took advantage of the microclimate, water
table, and the excellent natural conditions to produce citrus there.  It's
a hell of a piece of territory which had to be dominated by using
technology.  Very heavy bulldozers were used to go over the rocks.  I
repeat, dynamite was used to make holes.

During the past few years, the largest citrus plantation has developed.  It
is the largest citrus plantation in the world.  Nowhere else in the world
is there a plantation that exceeds 45,000 hectares like this one, which
continues to grow until it reaches 50,000 hectares and maybe even 60,000.
I think [changes thought]... We can say with pride for the country, as well
as the people of Matanzas, that there is no plantation similar to this one
anywhere else.

The plantation is basically maintained by students based on the work-study
principle which also is not practiced in other areas of the world and which
is one of the [applause] glories and honors of our revolution to practice
the principles of Marti and Marx, to combine study with work.  We are
virtually the only country in the world that has consequently applied this

Is it strange, then, that no one is frightened when called upon to do
volunteer work?  Out of all of you, all the youth we see here, and all
those around the ages of 39 or 40 who were about 15 or 16 at the time the
revolution triumphed, who did not participate in the rural school?  Who did
not work many weeks every year in the country with their hands?  Who did
not attend a country school?  Those who were not in one thing were doing
another.  They might have started early in primary school with a school

It is said today that if they call minibrigades, people turn out in swarms.
If the people are called upon to prepare themselves, to build
fortifications, ditches, and other things, everyone shows up.  If a child
care center, school, or hospital needs to be built, all the neighbors show

The revolution did not form a society of intellectuals to universalize
studies.  A society of intelectuals was not created because along with
studies, the habit of working with one's hands was universalized.

Which of you is frightened, trembles with fear, you youths that I see here
in the front row and elsewhere?  Do you tremble with fear?  [crowd answers:
"No!"] When you have to something with your hands, do you tremble?  No.
No.  [repeats himself] [crowd answers:  "No!] Because you were educated in
this manner.  See what these principles are worth.  See what the
revolutionary principles are worth.

I ask myself if there is any other place in the world where these values
are so universal.  I ask myself if there is any other place in the world
where volunteer work has the support it has in Cuba, has the massive
participation it has in Cuba.  What's so strange about the men of the Blas
Roca contingent?  Or the men in the contingent organized here for the
construction of the supertanker port?  Or the contingent that is building
facilities in Varadero in just a few months?  The revolution's work has not
been for nothing.  The kind of education given to our young and to our
people has not been for nothing.

What will we not be capable of?  We have been capable of defending the
country.  Who defends our country?  We do:  our people do.  Can anyone but
the people themselves defend the country?  [crowd shouts:  "No."] Lenin
said that a revolution not capable of defending itself was not worthy of
calling itself a revolution.  I feel that when he said it, he was thinking
of the immense Soviet Union, the old empire of the tsars, where he made the
revolution, where he launched the revolution.  Perhaps he was not thinking
of a tiny country such as ours which at the triumph of the revolution had
only 6.5 million people.  Can anyone deny that our people were able to
defend themselves?  Can anyone deny that our people who today number over
10 million, are capable of defending themselves?

Can imperialism disregard our capacity to defend ourselves?  [crowd
replies:  "No."] It cannot.  This readiness and organization of our people
for defense has reduced the dangers hovering over our fatherland.
Imperialism knows that any aggression against our country will irremediably
besmirch it.  Who would meddle with such a swarm of people?  Such a
beehive?  It would have no other alternative but defeat.  Our small
country...[interrupted by applause] Our small country has been capable of
defending itself.  The principles that the socialist revolution brought to
our people have prepared us for many things.  They have prepared us for
defense, for work, for development. For our generation and the new
generations, these years are essentially years of work.  We have to make
up for centuries lost.  We have to develop the country.  We have to catch
up with the most advanced countries.  We are catching up with them in some
areas.  We are catching up with them in the medical field.  And not just
that.  I believe that we are going to leave many industrialized countries

These possibilities stem from the principles instilled by the revolution in
the hearts of our people.  No wonder that one of the reasons we are meeting
here, one of the motivations, is to inaugurate this group of projects which
mark a new stage.  Projects are now finished.  Projects now have to be
completed.  No project can last forever, because to do that is to bury
cement, bury fuel, bury machinery, bury resources, bury cement, bury fuel,
bury machinery, bury resources, bury the sweat and efforts of the people.
Projects now have to be completed.  [applause] Now we talk with
satisfaction of all the many completed projects here.  We can do it because
of the qualities of our people.  We know our limitations.  We also know our
defects.  But we cannot ignore the principles and quantities that have been
developed among our people and which make all these prospects possible.

I was mentioning just a while ago the example of the contingents.  Right
there, at the supertanker port, a contingent of 400 workers has been
organized to work on the ground installations since a lot of progress has
already been made in the ocean installations.  In a relatively short time,
150,000-ton supertankers will be able to anchor there.  This saves a lot of
transportation costs.  Supplying the country using 30,000-ton ships and
utilizing 150,000-ton ships are not the same.  This also means another
important service rendered by the people of Matanzas to the rest of the
country.  Port services.  Gas pipeline services.  It is from this
supertanker port that the oil will be piped to the new refinery in
Cienfuegos.  Oil will be piped to the new refinery in Cienfuegos.  Oil will
get there in a matter of minutes, without train or tanker truck caravans,
which use up almost as much gasoline as the amount of oil they are
transporting.  It will be a tremendous service to be able to supply the
thermoelectric plant in eastern Havana from this point, to be able to
supply the oil Cienfuegos needs.

It will be a tremendous service to supply fuel to Camaguey.  You are seeing
another important field in full development, another reason for the nation
to express recognition and gratitude to the people of Matanzas.  [applause]

These pipelines are under construction.  The western refineries will be
able to send gasoline and diesel from Havana to Camaguey.  You can see what
an important development, what savings.  Just as one day the electric power
systems were linked, so will our pipelines or multi-use pipelines
[poliductos], as they are called now because they not only carry oil but
also oil by-products.  Today all of this has to be transported in trucks
over roads or in trains.  In the future, this will be carried by oil or gas
pipelines or multi-use pipelines.  Multi-use pipelines carry a variety of
things.  I don't know how engineers have come up with these systems which
make it possible to send a variety or different kinds of fuel through the
same pipelines.

We talk about this, about gigantic programs, such as the citrus one I
talked about.  Big port facilities, such as the ones for the supertankers.
Big power installations.  Big pipelines.  Big tourist centers that might
bring in hundreds of millions.  Big national oil production.  Then we add
to this the sugar industry; the industries being developed in Matanzas; the
field of construction, which has to be intensified; agriculture in
Matanzas; which has to produce increasing amounts of milk, poultry, pork,
vegetables, and tubers and has done so successfully this year with almost
10 percent growth so far, Matanzas has also had excellent results in the
sugar harvest despite the fact that it suffered a terrible drought.  It met
and in fact exceeded the sugar plan by around 42,000 tons.  [applause]

Those sugar mills, those sugar mills [repeats] have tens of thousands of
workers.  Those agroindustrial complexes--there's a new one.  It has given
evidence of the experience regarding sugar of the people of Matanzas
because it is the first one in the country that, in its first year,
fulfilled an overfulfilled the plans.  [applause]

Citrus production will continue to grow, and is increasing by hectares.  It
was about 11 percent in 1987.  The increase in 1988 is about 14 percent.
This is an increase in citrus production from one year to the next in
comparison to the same period in 1987.  This year we are producing 38
percent more citrus.  This is a considerable rate of growth.

Who has harvested the citrus?  The students have.  They have done 80
percent of the harvest.  This is very impressive, very impressive [repeats
himself].  [applause]

The largest plantation in the world is fundamentally being taken care of by
students.  See what kind of youths we have.  See what kind of youths we are
training.  [applause] Tell me if there is any other place like this, any
other precedent, or similar event.

The party sent us the reports on what was harvested last year, in 1987.  I
still remember when we celebrated the first million.  Now we are harvesting
many millions a year and the time will come when we will have filled sack
No 10 million.  It is growing.  The plantations are getting older.  The
number of hectares in production increases.  The yield per hectare
increases because of the application of science and technology.  Each time
we will get more from that same hectare by using a more modern irrigation
system, which saves more water to make this resource available for other

All this is sustained on the principles of Marx and Marti, combining study
and work.  Of course there are activities that have to be done by workers
but I ask myself, where would Matanzas have found the work force to carry
out that gigantic task in distant areas that have a smaller population?
Would the workers of the town of Jaguey, the workers of Jaguey
municipality, have been able to care for 45,000 hectares of citrus?  Look
at the importance of these principles and see how these students have made
this plan possible at the same time that they are being trained and

With all these plans, with all these plans [repeats himself] will there be
too many workers in Matanzas?  We have to conserve every worker in Matanzas
so that each one can have the opportunity for maximum productivity.  I ask
myself, would we be able to speak of all these things, the projects that
have been inaugurated, and the 25 projects that we are inaugurating today,
like the beer factory, the remodeling of the pediatric center, a series of
projects, train terminals, economic or social installations, 25 projects; I
won't mention them all.  There's a list here somewhere I have spoken of the
principle areas.

Could we speak of all this if we hadn't mechanized the sugar harvest?
Would the people of Matanzas be speaking of these plans if they had to cut
all the cane by hand and carry it by hand as was done during the times of
capitalism?  If they had to plow the land with oxen as they did during the
times of capitalism, would they be talking about these plans?  If they had
to carry sugar in sacks, harvest rice with a scythe, or build everything by
hand, would they be talking about all this?  In addition to producing 1
million tons of sugar, how can we do all these other things?  We can do
everything else because 80 percent of the harvest is mechanized in this
province. [applause] Machines [applause] have made this miracle possible.
One hundred percent of the harvest is done by machine.

It would be a dream to talk about other things without having mechanized
our agriculture.  This is the importance of technology in the development
of a country.  To cut and carry the more than 700 million arrobas that this
province harvested this year, the men would have had to work hard for
several months if they had to do it by hand.

Even now, with everything mechanized in agriculture and construction, the
things we propose to do seem like a dream.  This indicates that we have to
continue to elevate production.  We need to continue applying the
principles with which we have inaugurated this thermoelectric center.  I
think the people of Matanzas understand this.  I think the people of
Matanzas know this.

We have great plans.  We have to build many child care centers, schools,
family doctor-nurse house-offices, and dams.  Out of a plan for 500 million
[cubic meters of surface water] or more, we have only built dams for 100
million, approximately.  We have to develop water conservation in this
province.  We'll do everything possible to set up a minidam brigade to work
in the cooperatives, and a dams brigade to work in bigger reservoirs.  They
will be set up this very year as an expression of our will to conserve
water resources.  We are going to keep drilling holes, immersion wells so
that the water will not overflow and will not run to the sea; so that the
water will go to the water table, that huge reservoir that nature gave us.
If we can get 500 million cubic meters of surface water, the water table
can provide us with around 1.5 billion cubic meters.

So, if we build all the dams that can be built in the province, there will
be 3 cubic meters in the water table for each cubic meter on the surface.
That's an advantage, to be able to open a well and start irrigating.
Besides, if we apply the spray and drop-by-drop systems, we can get double
or triple production with the same amount of water.  This is enormously
important.  The country today can discuss these options.

And I ask you:  Almost 30 years ago, when the revolution triumphed, could
we have talked about such as these?  Could the things done today have been
done then?  [crowd replies:  "No."] Plans, projects.  Could we have scores
of university graduates working in agro-industrial complexes? [crowd
replies:  "No."] Or engineers in those power plants?  The number of young
talent that have been trained by the revolution is incredible.  Experience
is being gained in oil exploration, drilling, exploitation.  This does not
mean that we know everything or anything like that.  We know there's a lot
to be learned, but we already have a promising foundation for our people's
economic and social development.

I was telling you, or I started to tell you a while back, that there was
something else that motivated the people of Matanzas.  That was the fact
that it was the 60th anniversary of the birth of Che.  [prolonged applause]
What better way to pay tribute to Che than by inaugurating scores of
projects, organizing contingents, rationalizing payrolls, operating a power
plant with less than half of the workers it would take?  What better
tribute to Che than the creation or the rebirth of the minibrigades, of the
70 minibrigades the province has today to meet the needs for housing and so
many other social needs we still have?  What better tribute than to move
forward in the defense of the country?  To train to continue to be strong,
invincible, and indestructible?  What better tribute than to foster
volunteer work, which Che pioneered?

What better tribute than to be able to proclaim that our students in our
study and work schools are doing 80 percent of the work in the biggest
plantation of citrus fruit in the world?  What better tribute than those
who are building a causeway in a few months by working night and day?  What
better tribute than those men who are building a big facility of more than
100 rooms in a few months?  What better tribute than the spirit of those
contingents, who following the example of the Blas Roca contingent,
continue to multiply in our country?

Che could not...[corrects himself] was able to see the schools where
students spent their free time working in agriculture, but he could not see
those new forms combining study and work:  the rural schools.  I am sure
that he would be happy and proud of our people of whose freedom he fought
and for whose freedom he was ready to sacrifice everything at all times.

That is why the people of Matanzas today pay heartfelt tribute to Che.  We
also honor another illustrious revolutionary fighter who died here in El
Morillo on e 8 May:  Antonio Buiteras.  [applause] Long before 1959 he did
not hesitate to intervene in the American power company.  That rebellious
and dignified stance was what later led him to give up his life.  He was
vilely murdered in this province by the Batista henchmen.  In honor of his
exemplary conduct, this country, where we don't forget the sacrifice of
men, the qualities of men, and these grateful people, in his honor, has
decided to name the biggest power plant in the country after him.

People of Matanzas, I have tried to outline the efforts you have made.  I
have tried to describe the merits of the men and women of this province.  I
have tried to outline the large task we have ahead of us.  I have tried to
note the large services the country expects from the people of Matanzas.

I ask you:  Are you at the height of those responsibilities.  [Crowd
responds:  "Yes!"].  Are you able to carry out those tasks?  [Crowd
responds:  "Yes!"] Are you able to fulfill this?  [Crowd responds:  "Yes!"]

I will express my own conviction that you are able to carry out this large
program, that you will be able to carry out these tasks.  [applause] You
will be able to fulfill these goals with Matanzas, the fatherland, and with
the revolution.  [applause]

Allow me... [applause] to express our infinite confidence in you on behalf
of our party, our glorious party--organizer of our people, guide of our
people, leader of our people--without which these results would not be
possible.  This revolutionary awareness would be impossible without the
party.  These successes would not have been possible without the party.
This is why I want to stress at the conclusion of this ceremony the role of
our party.  The people of Matanzas know this.  [applause] The people of
Matanzas know this [repeats himself].  Our party, party members, and all
our people always will be in the first trenches defending the fatherland,
at work, or will be giving attention to the people, no matter how
difficult. [crowd applauds and chants "Fidel! Fidel! Fidel"]

This will once again expression of that truth that all those who are in our
party are communists.  Our people, members of youth organizations or the
party, are a communist people.  [applause] This is why, compatriots of
Matanzas, communist people that you are, I invite you to proclaim with more
conviction and strength than ever, our glorious slogan:  Fatherland or
death, we will win?