Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Further on Castro Remarks at Bus Factory

FL0410195088 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1241 GMT 4 Oct 88

[Speech by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, first secretary of the PCC
Central Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers, at
the Evelio Prieto bus factory in Guanajay on 3 October--recorded]

[Text] In these years we have worked on the design of the engine and we
have managed to design an engine of good quality--the Taino engine.  I had
the satisfaction recently, during my visit to the railroad car factory in
Cardenas, of hearing from one of the principal technicians in the factory.
When I asked him about the quality of the Taino engine, he told me the
Taino engine had turned out better than all the other engines of capitalist
design that we had been using in the country.

I don't want to spread any propaganda in favor of or against one engine or
another, but I do know that the Taino engine was tested, for hours on end,
against some of the best engines in the world.  The Taino engine turned out
to be as good as, or better than, those engines it was compared with.  So
now the country has one.  Of course, it was not only because of the
endeavor of our technicians, but also because of the endeavors of foreign
aides who worked in our country, that we were able to design a good engine.
We are already producing dozens of those engines, and next year we will be
able to produce more than 500.

I believe the difficulties that we've had with transportation should
encourage a national effort to advance the development of this automotive
industry.  It is very sad and very painful to have to depend on others to
solve such important problems as transportation!  It is impossible to count
on convertible currency to do what used to be done in other times when
there was abundant credit for the countries of the Third World, when it was
easy to get borrowed money to buy (Ino) buses, (Berlieri) buses--buses from
any capitalist country, buses that used to cost a lot less and now cost a
mountain of dollars!  Just like a bulldozer--15 years ago one cost
$25,000, today, it costs $100,000, $110,000, $120,000.

All of these realities push us, force us, or counsel us to push this
automotive industry to the maximum.  You buy one of those interprovincial
buses for tourism or for passenger transportation, like the ones you have
built here.  They cost from $120,000 to $130,000 or $140,000, who knows how
much!  However, by buying the components, that bus can cost, in convertible
foreign exchange, about $50,000.  It costs a lot less than half, possibly
less than 40 percent, if we get the components and build the buses here.
When we make the gearshift box, and as we make more components here, the
day may come when expenditures on materials will reach $20,000, or $25,000
maximum; we may be able to buy one of those buses that are valued at
$130,000 [sentence as heard].

It is very important to note that your efforts should continue.  They will
continue this year, next year, and who knows how many more years.  The plan
for next year, the plan, or the aspiration, at least, or the need--well,
no, not the need because the need will always be more--the aspiration for
next year is for this plant to produce about 900 buses.  There will be 450
rigid-chassis buses with Hungarian chassis and engines, plus 300 (Laskas),
some of the components for which we already have here and receive....
[corrects himself] We hope to receive enough from the USSR to produce 300
more (Laskas).  That means there are 750 now.

The factory says that if it can count on the components it could make 100
interprovincial buses [chucles] and we have good need of those 100
interprovincial buses, comrades--good need. The ones we have are of
capitalist origin.  Almost all of them have very serious mechanical
problems and it's difficult to find spare parts for them.

Let's see if we can make those 100 with Taino engines, that is to say, with
Cuban engines--all 100.  That would now give me a figure of 850. [addresses
person next to him] Are you sure there are 450 rigid-chassis buses?
[indistinct answer, laughter from workers] Okay.  And how many of the
integrated ones would we need [corrects himself] I mean, the articulated
ones?  And with 80 articulated ones, I get--and you young comrades with a
good level of schooling do, too--930 buses for next year.

They want to build 37 for use in tourism.  That we'll see.  We'll discuss
the plans for what should be done here next year [addresses person next to
him] Do we have the (Lask) trucks to do that?  Yes?  We have them.  Well,
this gives us a good figure: almost 1,000 buses. [addresses person next to
him] What's the greatest number of buses we've made here? [person answers
"911 in 1985"] In the year 1985 that's what they made. [addresses same
person] What type?  Rigid-chassis ones.  That is to say that the amount is
much more.... [changes thought] How many interprovincial buses?
Sixty-five.  The amount isn't much greater but the design is very

Besides, nobody has said that this is our final goal.  Nobody knows what
can happen along the way, and we ask you for more.  However, it is a big
and demanding plan.  Before arriving here I toured the main workshop.
There I talked with some of the directors of the industry--you were already
congregated here for the speech.  Later, I saw the prototypes for the
buses, and to see the presentation and quality of the buses is reason for
satisfaction.  We can say that we have there a real factory with an
excellent collective of workers.

I don't know what the prospective plans are for this plant's future.  Maybe
we'll have to make it bigger.  If it's necessary to make it bigger, be
assured that the factory will receive all the necessary support to enlarge
it.  And it will have to be enlarged!  Because, as we produce more buses,
have more engines, have more resources, we will possibly need more
capacity.  I believe that this factory has been called upon to play a
decisive role in solving the problems of transportation between now and the
year 2000.

Another means of public transport which should be built up is the
railroad--and there are plans, there are projects.  The people in the
Cardenas plant were telling me that they could produce, if they had the
materials, up to 50 passenger cars next year.  We're going to try to get
them the materials.  The solution to the passenger transport problem will
have to come from the railroad and the buses!  Of course, the railroad has
access to fewer places; the buses go everywhere.  Give the products of this
factory a great importance.  I know that you have worked hard very
hard--10, 12, 14 hours.  This is something that reminded us of the Blas
Roca contingent.  I don't know what organizational measures have been
established in this factory, whether the multi-assignment principles and
various experiences that have been introduced in other factories, with
great success, have been introduced here.  I don't want to talk about that
now, but I think that you should envision and entertain the idea of
becoming a model industry in every sense, a model industry in organization,
not only in work spirit but also in organization, efficiency, in modern
techniques of organizing and managing production.  I believe that, aside
from the quality of this collective, we should propose making this industry
a model industry because, in a certain way, I have seen you working with
the Blas Roca contingent work spirit.  We are going to carefully continue
developing this factory and its work.  We are also going to analyze the
question of attention to man, to what is needed to increase attention to
the men of this factory's collective.  I don't want to talk too much; we
all have things to do, you and we.  There are many articulated buses left
to build and we must work with much care.  That is why, comrades, I express
to you our deepest recognition, our thanks, and our congratulations for the
results which you have obtained.  We trust that this factory will continue
to shine and that it will shine even more among the best factories in the
country.  Fatherland or death, we will win!