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Castro Inaugurated Havana City Province School

FL1710131488 Havana Television Cubana Network 0112 GMT 8 Oct 88

[Speech by President Fidel Castro inaugurating the Victoria de Cuito
Cuanavale school by Boyeros municipality.  Havana City Province, on 6

[Text] Comrades of Boyeros municipality, guests of Havana Province:  I can
see that nothing [words indistinct] ask you to forgive us for being late.
We visited three projects.  We thought that 1/2 hour at each one would be
enough.  We thought we would arrive here around [turns to Jorge Lezcano,
first secretary of Havana City Province] At what time were we going to
arrive, Lezcano? [Lezcano's response indistinct] At around 6:15 or 6:30
[a.m. or p.m. not specified].  Well, that's not so.  We did arrive earlier
at the school.  However, we arrived late for the ceremony.  Maybe you have
been waiting a long time.  This will serve as a lesson.  It is necessary
that we stop at each one of these projects, look at the details, talk
with the workers and construction workers, and ask many questions.  So, 1/2
hour is not enough.  There are also journalists, and we must talk with them
for a few minutes.  They are anxious to get reactions and reports on what
is being done.  That is what they relay to the rest of the population; they
relay what is being done.  Therefore, the time is not sufficient.  So, next
time we inaugurate projects we will allocate greater time for it--maybe 45
minutes.  Inaugurating child care centers, which are more or less the same
and small, is not the same as inaugurating three totally different projects
such as these.

They were three truly symbolic projects of great value and importance.  The
comrade president of the people's government [Israel Tomas Sequera,
president of the people's government of Boyeros municipality] spoke about
some of the things that made them important.  I could add that (?in)
evaluating these projects, the rehabilitation center or the rehabilitation
building--I don't know which it was being called [unidentified speak says:
rehabilitation center]--the rehabilitation center, the children's
cardiovascular surgery center, is very important.

Just 2 years ago, we inaugurated the children's cardiovascular surgery
center next to the William Soler children's hospital, located in this
municipality.  The creation of that institution is of great importance.
The workers spent years building it.  The building cost several million
[currency not specified], and the equipment cost several million more in
convertible currency.

Building the hospital satisfied a great need.  Who knows how many children
died in these 30 years because a congenital malformation was not diagnosed
in time, or because we didn't even have the knowledge to determine what
caused a particular illness.  However, even when we had a diagnosis, the
situation was very difficult.  We did not have an institution in which to
perform surgeries as complex as those.  It's true that the Cardiovascular
Surgery Institute had made some progress; they had been able to [words
indistinct] some surgeries.  We had also been able to send children abroad
for surgery when they were diagnosed early enough.  The socialist state
never skimped on the necessary efforts to save a life, regardless how
distant the country the patient needed to be sent to, or how expensive the

We didn't have anyone to diagnose the cases (?we) discovered.  We are not
talking about an institution for surgery but about the creation of a group
of institutions.  Two other centers were also created in the country.  Of
course, the other two centers, located in Villa Clara and Santiago de Cuba,
do not perform surgeries on children under 5 years of age.  This is the
only one in the country that will perform surgeries on children under 5,
even on newborns.  This is the only one in the country.

As I was saying, we are not only talking about performing surgeries but
about establishing a system throughout the country where we have the
conditions and the appropriate personnel to diagnose illnesses early on.
The diagnostic system established for the whole country is as important as
the center itself, so that anywhere in Cuba--in Pinar del Rio, Guantanamo,
Las Tunas, Granma, the mountains--any child with certain symptoms [passage
indistinct] national.  The doctors would know where that child with the
symptoms must be taken to obtain a good diagnosis.  They would know to
what center they need to be referred, and in certain cases, even to the
capital to solve the problem.  Without that diagnosis service throughout
the country, the center would be useless.  The center would have very
little activity if they were to diagnose by chance.  There are certain
statistics on congenital defects which show that out of every 1,000
newborns, between 8 and 9 can be born with those defects, which can vary in
seriousness.  Some are so serious that they become life threatening.
Nothing can be done in those cases.   However, it can be prevented because
this same system includes a method of early diagnosis.  It would enable us
to discover, during the first few months of gestation, any life-threatening
congenital illness.  When such illnesses are detected, the correct thing to
do would be to interrupt the pregnancy if the mother desires it.  In this
matter, of course, the family has the last word, especially the mother.
However, we are able now to diagnose it in early stages of gestation to
prevent labor which later ends with the death of the child.

However, a large percentage born with life-threatening congenital defects
can be saved if they are diagnosed and treated quickly.  Approximately half
of those who are born with potentially fatal defects would be saved or
would die within the first year of life, all depending on whether or not
they are treated.  Others can result in death after the first year of life.
The have more time, depending on whether or not they are treated.  Now,
calculate:  Where there are about 100,000 births, there can be
approximately 700 or 800 cases.  Where there are 180,000 births there can
be more than 1,000 cases!  If we can stop pregnancy in the cases that are
life threatening, the number can be reduced.  I'm talking about
international statistics:  we still don't have [words indistinct] how many
there are.

What's the percentage of births in our country involving a congenital
cardiac illness?  We will know. With this service we will come to know, in
a short time, what the actual percentage is--if it's seven or eight
percent.  Anyway, there's an estimate that 1,000 operations per year are
needed--1,000, perhaps more.  Not all are of the same complexity.  Some
operations involve open-heart surgery.  That is to say, the actual function
of the heart is interrupted during the operation, and the person or child
is kept alive artificially by a process that I think is called
extracorporal--extracorporal circulation, it's called--while the operation
is being done. Later, the heart just starts working again.  These
operations are more complex.  Others are not so complex; they are simpler.
So then, a great many lives can be saved with that type of attention.  A
considerable amount of suffering can be avoided with this institute,
because the children that have these illnesses suffer.  Sometime they
suffer for many years.  Not all of them need operations.

Not all of them are diagnosed from the beginning.  That's why they are
treating children of all ages there.  That institute is good [words
indistinct]. It needs to be said that not only [words indistinct] the
country's stable economic and social development, as well as the
improvement of medical systems.  Sometimes, diseases called
common--associated with certain germs in the throat, for example--require
adequate treatment so that they do not lead to heart problem that would
later require a valve to be replaced or several complex operations. That
is, this center not only treats hereditary problems but those acquired as
well.  As for those that are hereditary, we hope that the ones that are
life threatening--the ones that have no solution--can be avoided before
having to interrupt the pregnancy.  About the acquired ones, the
percentage of those who acquire the diseases can be reduced as medical
services and living conditions are improved--the population's social and
material conditions, their standard of living.

We should say that this center has had an extraordinary success.  The way
that center's collective--doctors and workers, doctor, technicians, and
workers--has handled itself has been excellent.  They have achieved a very
high survival rate in operations. It's possible that no other service
anywhere--any service of this type--started with such a high survival rate.
In 2 years, or just a little under 2 years, they have performed, if I
recall properly, about 800 operations.  The work of that center is
advancing in an excellent manner--I know because I've visited it many
times!  Sometimes I have visited it on my own, and other times I've taken
some foreign visitor. The comrades there are keeping count of how many
times I've been there for one reason or another.  I think that with today's
visit I've been there 33 times.  I wish all visits were like todays' to
inaugurate a new project in that center.  Many eminent doctors have been
trained in that specialty, and young surgeons are being trained in it.

So then, that institute has been very successful.  Now, how many beds did
it have?  It had 52 beds.  Fifty-two beds were hardly enough for 1,000
operations.  It was a complicated situation.  Besides, it was no longer a
matter of satisfying our own needs. Requests for medical services from
abroad arose:  for children from Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Dominican
Republic--all from foreign countries.  Some cases were dramatic and sought
our country's cooperation. So then, the need for beds was greater.  It was
then that a very economical solution was decided only.  Two decisions were
made.  First, it was decided to build a motel-hospital--it's that
rehabilitation center--for children who have to stay there more than 5 or 6
days.  If they're from Baracoa, Guantanamo, from the interior part of the
country--they're not from the city and can't go home--then, they have to be
there.  It's not benefit for the child's own health to stay in the
hospital.  The mothers stay with them; sleeping in a chair because a bed
can't be put there in the room for the accompanying mother. They have to
sleep there in a chair--if for 10 days then for 10 days, if for 15 then for

It was decided to build a little motel to send the children after
surgery--after 5 or 6 days.  A little motel next to the hospital, staffed
by the hospital, supplied by the hospital, a few short meters from there.
That is the rehabilitation center for the post-operative period.  Doctors
see them there every day.  What does all of this mean?

It means that with a relatively small investment, a 3-story building with
30 rooms, built economically, increases the number of beds in the center by
30.  Therefore, the center can handle more than 150 percent its original
capacity.  That was the first measure, or the first decision.

The second decision was to build the William Soler Hospital's intensive
therapy ward in another area.  When the cardiocenter was built, the people
at the hospital took advantage of the occasion, proposing and defending the
move to put the intensive therapy ward there.  It has about 20 beds.  So,
it was simple to build in another area.  The same brigade that built this
center, this motel, is going to build the intensive therapy ward in
another area.  Twenty additional beds will be gained with that.  With a
certain internal reorganization in the center, our institution will have
112 beds.  Today it has 92 beds.

This was done in a truly economical manner.  The original number of beds
will more than double.  When it was inaugurated almost 2 years ago, it was
then the biggest heart surgery center in the world.  Why? Because in other
countries, rather than a center specialized in heart surgery, they set up
services in certain hospitals.  They create a 6-bed, 8-bed, 10-bed service
in clinical-surgical hospitals for pediatric heart surgery.  However, this
idea was new:  Instead of setting up a service at the Calixto Garcia
Hospital and another at the Salvador Allende or other hospital, or at a
children's hospital like the William Soler or others, the idea was to
create an institution solely for this purpose.

That is why our institution, with 52 beds, was already the largest center
in the world when it was inaugurated.  I remember I remarked that we should
strive to make our center not only the biggest in the world but also the
best in the world.  That phrase was used there as a slogan; it was put up
at the hospital.  The truth is that they have worked so well I am beginning
to think this slogan will become a reality and our center will become not
only the biggest in the world but the best in the world.   There are
certain circumstances that favor this situation.  It's not a matter of our
being more intelligent than anyone else.  It's not the we are Olympic
champions in the field of children's heart surgery.  No, no, it's not
that.  It's logic.  The experience gained in a hospital that performs 50
operations a year, or 100 at the most, is not the same as that gained in a
hospital that performs 500 or 1,000 or 1,200 a year.

In my conversations with doctors in the center I have realized what
experience is worth.  Sometimes they encounter new, unexpected cases, and
they discover the way to hand these cases.  They find the right medication
for the post-operative period.  You can see the value of the experience
gained, because as soon as a similar case arises, it is no longer new.
Those diseases can be very complex and sometimes very complicated.  The
second case is not longer new. Before they know it, they have 50 cases just
like it and they can handle them.  They gain experience--the experience
gained in 1,000 operations a year.  Anyone can understand that this
experience is very superior to the experience gained in 50 or 100
operations a year.

[Words indistinct] cases a year.  That is why I am confident that our
specialized personnel and workers at the center will gain unique experience
in this area.  It is only logical.

Now, I also believe that a great deal is going to depend not only on
quantities, the number of cases, but also on the spirit of the people at
the center.  That is a key consideration.  The two things come together
here:  the spirit of the workers at the center and the extent or quantity
of the experience they are acquiring.  They are learning new techniques,
including some that make operations unnecessary.  There were times when you
had to operate to widen an artery.  There are now learning the technique of
introducing a catheter and widening the artery.  Of course, it's performed
on the operating table; they are techniques that can make operations
unnecessary, but if there is an accident, the surgeon and everything else
has to be there ready to step in.  Nevertheless, the number of operations
can be reduced by applying new techniques to solve big problems.

Sometimes the catheter goes into an artery in the lung through very
sophisticated techniques and widens the artery without the need to cut into
the patient.  In this aspect, our center is in contact with [words
indistinct] in the world, in contact with the most developed techniques.
Numerous new personnel [words indistinct] training.  This is the basis for
our opinion that the cardiocenter, located precisely here in this
municipality, is going to be not only the biggest but the best
institution of its kind in the world.

We have inaugurated this 30-bed building today--this rehabilitation center
built with great quality and beauty as well.  We can say that one of the
prominent features of this building is its quality.  There were 11 children
there already today.  These are not inaugurations of projects that might
take 7 months or a year to start operating.  In general, the projects that
we are inaugurating in this development program for our capital are
projects in operation.

From there, we moved on to another project that is a complete symbol.  It
is a a symbol of the capital's medical services.  It is the polyclinic
[policlino].... [changes thought] The experts say it should be called a
"policlinica."  However, we are used to calling them "policlinico," and we
shall continue to do so.  We are going to take this grammatical or literary
license, whatever it's called.  It is the Calabazar polyclinic.  It was
really satisfying to inaugurate this institution, because it is another
pillar on which our public health is founded.  The polyclinics--the 70-odd
polyclinics in our capital.  However, there were 20 that did not possess
the right conditions.  When we began this plan, not very long ago--less
than 2 years ago--we included a program to build 20 polyclinics.  Three
have been inaugurated.  Several more will be inaugurated in the next few
months.  All 20 will be finished in relatively short time.  This will
basically depend on the availability of the materials.  We are not going to
sacrifice quality for speed.  However, we propose to inaugurate five to
seven new polyclinics by the end of the year.  We will have to come up with
an exact date next year for the rest, but it won't take long before they
are inaugurated--the 20 polyclinics.

This one took 14 months.  I prefer that it takes 14 months and that it be
built with the quality it was built with.  It's worth it to delay a project
2 months or 3 months and to build it with quality.  The construction of
this polyclinic we inaugurated in Calabazar is of extraordinary quality.
We should say, first of all, that the credit for this construction belongs
of course to the workers who took part in it--workers from the psychiatric
hospital and patients from the psychiatric hospital who worked on the
project as part of their treatment and rehabilitation.  They were a basic

Nevertheless, a very importance factor was the traditional devotion of
Comrade Ordaz [Eduardo Bernabe Ordaz, director of the National Psychiatric
Hospital] to any task [interrupted by applause] to any task he is assigned.
They had built a child care center last year.  In the polyclinic itself
hangs a a painting showing a polyclinic.... [corrects himself] not a
polyclinic but a hospital built more than 30 years ago at the La Plata
camp.  It was built of wood and palm fronds.  Complex operations were
performed there and saved lives.  I recall that it was Ordaz who built that
field hospital.  [applause] I can still see it.  It was summer of 1958.  He
worked like a slave, because we not only planned the hospital but also
worked as a laborer, for hours on end, to build the hospital.  He has
rebuilt it two more times, because time passed and the forest, humidity....
[changes thought] I asked him how many times he has rebuilt it.  I
believe he has done it twice.  A painting of this field hospital hangs
in the polyclinic.

It was interesting, and in a certain way exciting, to see the painting
because it reminded us of those days when we had to build a hospital out
of palm fronds and wood and perform operations there.  We had to open
chests when there were serious wounds. Sometimes we did not even have
electricity.  We had to operate by the light of a candle or an oil lamp.  I
realized how much progress we had made when we inaugurated projects such as
the cardiocenter or that modern, elegant, beautiful, lasting polyclinic.
We will have to ensure the upkeep.  I feel that it can last 50 years or who
knows how many.

It's a good building, not only in construction but also in conception.  All
these 20 new polyclinics have been planned much better.  As the comrade
president of the people's government explained to me just a while ago,
these new polyclinics have a dentistry section with 10 chairs.  Of these
10, 3 are for children.  The prosthesis workshop is right there, next to
the chairs, so problems can be solved immediately, so that the dentist's
needs may be resolved.  It's very good, excellent dentistry service.

However, it not only has dentistry services, but also a service that is
going to operate under different concepts.  This we learned when we
inaugurated the first one. That is why it's good to ask questions; to ask
and ask again, even if your are late for the ceremony.

I already explained how we could reconcile these two things.  I asked:
What time do you provided or offer the services?  Well, the services are
open in the morning and in the afternoon.  I said:  We dream up things
that lead to absenteeism in the factories, the schools, because those
services are available only in the morning and in the afternoon during
class and working hours.  Why aren't service hours extended?  That's where
the idea cam from--a very useful idea, in my view. We saw its application.
We have services in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night until 2300,
by means of some reshuffling of the personnel there.  That way, children
can go there after school and the workers can go there after work.  Retired
people can go during the daytime or in the afternoon.  Housewives can go
during the daytime.  In other words, it is a more rational use of the
services.  Moreover, these centers not only have an excellent dentistry
service, but also an excellent schedule.  See how many things can be done
to make what we have better.

This center also has an excellent physiotherapy service and an important
one at that.  You can't imagine how important.  Where were the
physiotherapy services before?  They were in the Julio Diaz Hospital in
this very municipality. [Castro chuckles] This municipality has ended up
with some tremendous, excellent institutions!

However, the Julio Diaz Hospital for many years had just over 100 beds; the
number did not reach even 200.  A quasi-national physiotherapy service.  We
have learned a great deal from the work we started to do at the Julio Diaz.
One day after a meeting we had with all the hospital directors in the
capital, I was asked to visit the hospital.  To me it was a revelation to
see what caring service the hospital provided.  One of the most humane,
because it tries to solve very serious, very dramatic, very traumatic
problems:  crippling diseases, loss of mobility through accidents or
disease, loss of organs; some of them congenital.  We have both acquired
and congenital.  I told myself:  What caring service.  Is this the only
service we have in the capital?  Yes, it was practically the only one.  And
anyone can have a problem with his wrist, arm, muscle, bone--anyone.  Of
course, there is the Frank Pais Hospital, another great institution which
will soon be completely inaugurated, completely and fully operating. It
will be completed shortly, in a few days.  Another great institution that
handles hundreds of broken bones.

So, what does a resident of Guanabacoa do?  Well, you had to bring him in
an ambulance, in a car, or if the thing was not too serious, in a bus.
Imagine: from Guanabacoa to the Julio Diaz here on Rancho Boyeros Avenue.
I said: We have  to see how we can make these services more accessible to
the population.  That is how the idea came up and was developed.  That is
how the idea of rendering physiotherapeutic services in all the Havana
polyclinics came about.  That way no one in Guanabacoa had to travel a long
way to benefit from these services.  We began the experiment in (Lauto).
What we discovered in (Lauto) was tremendous.  We found how high a
percentage of people required those service.  In a few months, they had
treated thousands of people.  The bases were different of course. They
ranged from those where a diagnosis had to be made, where the patients had
to be taught certain exercises to do at home, to those cases in which the
patient had to go to the hospital every day or several times a week for
rehabilitation exercises with the aid of medical specialists and trained
personnel, since it's a combination of specialized doctors and personnel
graduated from the Higher Institute of Physical Education and Sports.  The
personnel are very qualified.

The personnel is very high. [corrects himself]  the percentage is very
high.  It could be that in Calabazar alone, where this center was
inaugurated, a third of the 22,000 residents might at one time or another
require physiotherapeutic services.  You can see what a big gap there was
when on the Julio Diaz handled these cases.

But that is not the only thing.  We came up with another idea.  There
should be rehabilitation centers in all the clinical-surgical hospitals.
There should be rehabilitation services in all of them.  The equipment is
being acquired so that all the clinical-surgical centers in Havana and
later all over the country--many have these services in other parts of the
country already--may have physiotherapeutic services.  Each one will handle
a category.  However, they might have traffic accident victims coming to
any of these hospital.  For instance, the Hermanos Amerijeiras already has
them.  That way, the patient who first saw him can continue treatment
during the physiotherapy services--the rehabilitation services in the same

We have proposed that all these hospitals have rehabilitation services.  We
are going from a situation in which only one specialized hospital had these
services in our capital to a situation in which the services will be
available in all the clinical-surgical hospitals and also in all the
polyclinics of the capital.  This is considerable progress in a relatively
short time.  Personnel has to be trained.  Preliminary work needs to be
done to be able to extend these services.

Who will then go to the Julio Diaz?  Those cases in the capital or nearby
provinces that require very complex treatment; the most complex and those
that take the most time.  So, some things will be taken care of at the
polyclinics.  They'll tell the patient:  Do this at home.  Some other will
be told:  Come here with such and such a frequency to do this or that
exercise.  The polyclinics will attend to the patients they get.  The Julio
Diaz will take care of the more complex and time-consuming cases, because a
marvelous rehabilitation ward is under construction at the Julio Diaz.  It
is truly wonderful.  We hope to have a rehabilitation ward similar to the
one under construction at the Julio Diaz in the eastern provinces and in
the center of the country.  What the Julio Diaz will have is a
rehabilitation supercenter, which we are building in cooperation with the
Yugoslavs, who have a lot of experience.  We have worked on the projects
with them, and they are going to supply part--we are going to acquire a
large part of equipment from them.

That is why this physiotherapy service of the polyclinics is very
important.  What has been accomplished at this Calabazar polyclinic is
truly a marvel--the service, the equipment, the trained personnel, the
track [pista].  It's really a great thing. It is very satisfying to see an
institution with such a service.  Not only that, Calabazar is going to have
the services.... [changes thought] Ah, another thing!  The
rehabilitation services are going to be available in the morning, afternoon
and evening until 2300.  It's the same concept.  Any they are going to have
X-ray services around the clock.  A Calabazar resident will be able to get
X-rays at any time of the day.  There will be three shifts.  I believe that
this a really advanced idea, a more efficient idea.

Another thing.  Another thing. [repeats himself] The personnel rosters have
been examined and reduced to the strictly necessary staffing.  In addition,
the whole area is covered by the family doctor. The whole area.  You can
see the progress.  When I finished my tour there, I chatted with some
reporters.  One of them was from Calabazar, born and bred.

He began talking about Calabazar, the hospital, and other things.  Then,
he tells me:  Prior to the triumph of the revolution, there was only one
doctor here, in Calabazar.  So I asked how many doctors there were now,
including both family and polyclinic doctors.  There are 50 doctors in
Cabalazar gentlemen.  Who could have known this would happen?  Who could
have told the comrades of the region and village, who participated in the
Moncada Barracks assault [applause], that this would happen?  Look at what
a difference there is now.  There used to be only one doctor--I don't even
know if he was a private doctor; I didn't get a chance to ask the Calabazar
journalist about that.  There was one doctor and today there are 50. Well,
its complete [words indistinct] polyclinic in total?  Our figures show that
for every 200 Calabazar residents, there is 1 health worker.  In the
community [passage indistinct] pediatrics, obstetrics, hospitals, etc.  The
Calabazar residents go when they need to go.  I am not even talking about
heart surgery or all the other hospital.  No, I'm no including that.  Just
look at the health service and its development in Calabazar.  It's

The comrade journalist from Calabazar made sure he didn't miss this chance
to tell me that they have had a stadium for a long time which has not been
used, etc.  He also said:  Listen, did you also know we have a movie
theater that we have not been able to use in a long time?  He said we
wanted Ordaz to help them out.  He's not dumb.  [laughter] Well, this
proves the theory of the insatiability of [words indistinct] are endless.
You see one polyclinic, then you see another one appear, then a stadium,
[passage indistinct] what other things they have there.

The people have done the work.  Calabazar does not have representation.
There is no ANPP [National Assembly of the People's Government] seat in
Calabazar.  These are [words indistinct] that are being built for those
22,000 inhabitants without representation.  It would have been good to have
a council there so that the journalist did not have to act as negotiator
for the town.  I tried to talk Ordaz into helping out with [words
indistinct] work force and experience in getting things done.  [applause]
If you need support, I told (?them), we will give you some additional
resources for that.  After all, we are both going to help them out.

There must always be some kind of reserve for situations like these.  This
was not part of the 5-year or yearly plan.  However, we have discovered
that Calabazar had been left without an ANPP seat.  it's true that there
are plenty of empty seats in the movie theaters because many people are
watching television instead.  However, if one day a Calabazar resident
wants to see a movie on a large screen, with large letters [laughter], he
should be able to do it without having to take a bus and end up in La
Rampa.  Why not give the Calabazar resident the opportunity to go to a
movie theater?  It could be a movie house and a theater for more cultural

It should be a cultural center available to workers, residents, students,
young people.

[Text] Twenty-two thousand people live there.  Many of them are retired.
If is said there are more than 2,000 residents over 65 years of age.
Imagine how much free time those people have to chat, play dominoes, go to
the theater and the movie house, watch television.  And they are not short
of money, you know.  So, it was only justified that there be a demand in
the Calabazar community, which was relayed by the reporter.  I can imagine
the baseball field, well tended; the stadium, the occasional game.  I
asked, how many feet?  He tells me over 400 but I don't know the exact
size.  I tell him:  Well, it's bigger than those in Italy [laughter] where
this last championship was held--the World Cup, whatever it's called.

I imagine the theater functioning, with its amateur theater group.  I can
see Ordaz! [laughter] I can just see him working there.  We talked to him
earlier about another project:  a cafeteria in a factory. I asked him:
Ordaz, would you help me; it's a cafeteria in a big factory.  He's going to
check tomorrow.  So, the more Ordaz does, the more he is asked to do.

The workers and patients built that hospital themselves.  They expanded it.
And, allow me to say this, which is a source of pride for this
municipality--there is no institution in the world as successful in the
field of psychiatry at this center.  It used to be a hellhole, a hellhole.
[repeats himself; applause] I see the center's workers are here.  Patients
were sent there to die.  I heard said before and after the revolution that
the directors of this hospital had a deal with the funeral homes.  They got
a commission for the number of coffins they bought at the funeral homes.
They had a good deal.  They made deals with the dead.  The more patients
died, the better the deal for them.  That's what this institution was
like.  I have heard many foreign visitors now express great admiration for
the institution.

Isn't it a coincidence:  We have been talking about great institutions and
they are all here in this municipality!  We have talked about the William
Soler.  The biggest children's cardiovascular surgery center is located
here.  We have talked of the Julio Diaz, of the great rehabilitation center
it's going to become.  We now talk of the pediatrics hospital, which is
located here.  These are things that truly reflect the development of this
Havana municipality.

last, we came here to this institution, before which we are now standing
Well, we toured it.  I stood in front to look at it.  I wanted to see if
from a distance, to examine the architectural style, the colors, the
beauty of the institution.  Afterward, I met with the leaders--the
director and other comrades in charge of the school.  We visited groups of
students engaged in exercises, in gymnastics, and students who were
working.  We visited the kitchen.  We almost ate there; the problem was
that the food was not ready yet.  But we did taste the Spam [preceding word
in English] that they are going to eat tonight.  They must have a
tremendous appetite now.  They must be wishing that this ceremony were
over with because they have a dinner of Spam in a sauce, and rice and beans
mixed together waiting for them.  A tremendous menu [words indistinct] in
the school.

We (?talked about) the courses.  That's why we were late.  We discussed the
concepts, organization, personnel, technical level of the personnel. I can
tell you, comrades, that this is not just any school.  It's a special
school.  What a school!  The concept behind the school can still be
improved upon.  That is what we were discussing with the leaders and
directors of the municipality, the province, the ministry. We talked about
its organization and its conception.  (?We can't say) that the school is
experimental.  Other schools have existed.  They have functioned in
makeshift facilities without all the required conditions. But a school like
this is the first [words indistinct] for these ends, with all the necessary
space.  We had many schools in places we adapted for these purposes but
not a brand new [words indistinct] in a certain sense experimental.  We
need 5 more like this one in the plan for the 24.  The 24-school plan was
drafted along with the one for the 20 polyclinics.  We hoped to finish them
all this second year. It won't be so.  However, it won't take too long to
finish the 24 schools.

[Text] The truth is that these schools were bigger than anyone had
imagined.  When the 24 schools were discussed, the plans had not yet been
drafted.  Everybody started making requests--the investors, the people who
are in charge of the investments.  They wanted the most perfect school
possible and it ended up being a lot of square meters.  However, we must
not regret it because we have created an excellent prototype.  Despite the
fact that it began to function only recently, I could observe all the
student collectives and they caused a very good impression on all of us
because of their behavior, their discipline, their interest in what they
were doing.

It was interesting also to learn that they are going to raise rabbits.  I
asked them how many.  They said they were going to have 100 rabbits.  I
imagine that it will be 100  female rabbits, because if they are male, 100
will not be enough with the appetite these kids have, with all the exercise
they do. It won't be enough to feed the school.  [Castro chuckles]
However, it is a start.  We were talking about possible formulas to feed
these rabbits.  They are also going to have sheep.  They are going to start
with 25.  I imagine they are ewes.  In other words, they are going to have
their own protein production.  They won't have to depend only on canned
meat or other things that are sent them.  Or Spam, no matter how good it
tastes.  They are going to have fresh meat in the school.  It's a good
thing for teenagers to learn how to produce.

They are going to have [figure indistinct] square meters.  That is almost
half a caballeria.  [Words indistinct] 60,000 square meters [passage
indistinct] 6 or 5 hectares are enough to grow some tubers [words
indistinct] question of education.  We have to produce not only what people
like; we have to accustom people to consuming some things, to acquiring new
habits.  We have to teach them to acquire new habits of consumption.  I
myself have seen it.  I saw it in a workers collective.  In the past they
didn't eat vegetables; now, they can't live without them.  The
minibrigades' vegetable gardens have made it possible for thousands and
thousands to learn how to eat vegetables, which are so healthy.

[Passage indistinct] beneficial for human health. Many did not even have
the [words indistinct].  We have to teach these habits to all these
children.  We have to teach them to produce.  It's something very
beautiful.  If they can be good farmers, the school can enhance their diets
considerably, not only on the basis of rabbit and lamb, but also fresh
vegetables. Let's see if they come up with a model garden, with a wise,
intelligent, rational design.

Of course, they will have to devote some land to pasture and perhaps some
fodder for the rabbits.  However, they will still have at lest 3 hectares.
Three hectares can produce a lot if good techniques are applied.  The
school has workshops.  The school has good dormitories.  Good classrooms.
The school has good sports fields.  It is an excellent home for these
adolescents.  It is an expensive school because special education is
expensive.  A teacher for every 16 students.  Sixteen small groups.  I
think there are 16 groups.  Fifteen students for each teacher.  I ask
myself if sophisticated schools such as this one exist anywhere else in the
world, schools that provide such special attention, with this number of
students.  There might be but I don't think they are many.

All the special schools that we are building are like this one.  It's a big
plan.  There are 24 schools.  They will not all have the same purpose.
There will be six of this type.

There are other for the physically handicapped and still others for
different types of problems.  In short, special schools.  Plans are to have
100 all over the country.  How many in all, Fernandez [Education Minister
Jose Ramon Fernandez]?  There are 204 throughout the country in our program
which began in the capital and will now extend to the rest of the island.
Imagine:  204 schools of this kind!  It's an ambitious program.  So, the
80,000 students who need special education will get it.  A little over half
of them get it today.  Imagine how much this is going to help the schools,
how much this is going to help our country's education.

There's something very interesting.  I asked the director how many people
were on his staff.  That's a question that's always on my mind.  If I go to
a polyclinic, a child care center, a school, a factory, I have one question
in mind.  That question, is:  How many people on your staff?  He tells me
61.  Sixty-one.  I couldn't see if it was more or less than that.  It could
be either, given the school's characteristics.  I asked him:  How many did
you plan for initially?  He gave me a very interesting answer.  He told me:
I had initially planned for 110 staffers.  Imagine, there are not enough
sheep or rabbits or vegetables [Castro chuckles] in the garden to feed
them.  It's a multitude! One-hundred and ten is a multitude.  It's not the
same thing [words indistinct] provide for 61 as for 110. They say that they
are studying how that works.

Of course, a good staff requires devotion to work.  It also requires
forgetting a bit about watching the clock.  I want to make this clear.
Forgetting about watching the clock is very healthy.  Psychologically, you
feel better when you forget about the clock.  Of course, not when someone
is waiting for you.  I must not forget the clock when someone is waiting
for me, although I try to use all the time that I need to ask questions,
look around, think.  But, we do have to forget about the clock a bit. A
number of people in this country [words indistinct] workers who forget the

In order to move forward, to make progress, to develop--perhaps some
day.... [changes thought] We have the first shop to build a robot
prototype:  the first workshop and a center for robotics research with a
group of very talented and enthusiastic comrades.   Perhaps some day with
the help of the robots and other things we might be able to reduce working
hours to who knows how much.  But, there is a contradiction between the
idea of vigorous developmental and thinking too much about short workdays.
It depends on the type of work.  In some sectors [words indistinct].  As
you know, we are introducing 6-hour workdays in some textile centers.
These are more intensive workdays for a better utilization of the time.  It
makes it easier for women who work in this industry; specifically, for
those who are engaged in production.  So, in some cases we ourselves
recommend this.  In other cases we have to forget the clock.  Our drivers
almost forgot.  I am sure that Ordaz/ people forgot to watch the clock when
working; otherwise, we would not have such a beautifully and perfectly
built polyclinic there, nor would the people and the whole world have the
satisfaction of seeing the project completed.  Perhaps the 61 staffers will
have to work a little more, but educators should be devoted to their work
and those who work with educators and in educational centers should be
devoted to work, just like fathers and mothers are at home. Mothers don't
watch the clock when taking care of their children after they get home from

That's how workers in an institution such as this should be.  Of course,
self-sufficiency should also be promoted.  Self-sufficiency should be
heavily practices.  I feel that work and study should go together, not only
in the school's workshops but also in the gardens and other activities.

We must see how this school develops.  it can be a model for other
institutions. It can earn the prestige already possessed by the school in
El Cotorro, La Macarena.  We will observe who this institution develops.
Everything that is being undertaken here is somewhat experimental.  We
will see how the first months go, the first years goes.  Each one of the
lessons learned should be immediately applied in the new school.  However,
in our opinion, study and work should be one of the basic tenets of this
institution.  It should be one more cause for satisfaction for the
residents of Boyeros municipality.  It should be another cause for
commitment, responsibility.  They should ensure that this school works and
that it works in the best possible way. [applause]

I was trying to tell you that this is why I said at the beginning that
these three projects inaugurated in this municipality possess great
symbolism, require great responsibility--all three of them.  They are very
different projects, but they exemplify the social progress, the development
of our capital and of this municipality.

We hope that several more schools such as this one will be inaugurated in
the next few months, a few more polyclinic [27-second break in
transmission] hundreds of family doctor house-offices.  Scores of bakeries
will also be inaugurated.  There are many [words indistinct] perhaps not so
many as we were hoping, but they are many, including houses and apartment
buildings.  This is infinitely more than was being built in recent years,
showing, in the midst of the difficulties we are experiencing, as are all
Third World countries--perhaps not as much--that there are prospects for
vigorous progress in the country's social and economic development.

We thank all the workers who participated in these projects, and we
congratulate them.  We congratulate all the residents of Boyeros.
[applause] Fatherland or death, we shall win! [crows responds:  "We shall