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Castro Inaugurates Industrial Military Plant

Need for Weaponry Cite
PA2811142988 Havana Cubavision Television in Spanish 0150 GMT 28 Nov 88

[Reports by unidentified reporter on "excerpts" of speech by President
Fidel Castro at the inauguration of the Ignacio Agramonte Industrial
Military Plant in Camaguey Province on 27 November--passages within
quotations marks recorded]

[Text] [Castro] "Eight years ago, what we see here now--these marvelous
installations, this group of working youths--was only a dream, an idea.
Exactly 8 years ago, we experienced a time of threats against our homeland
and our revolution because of the warmongering and aggressive policy of a
U.S. Administration that claimed our revolution has to be swept from the
face of the earth.

"Although for many years we had been making great efforts to organize and
develop the country's defense, and for many years we received many weapons
from the Soviet Union and other socialist countries--but basically from the
Soviet Union--those weapons were not enough for the plan we needed to
defend the country with the participation of all the Cuban people.  That
plan is known as the war of the entire people.

"Those needs, risks, threats, and the basic response to those needs and
threats, required millions of weapons, millions of weapons [Castro repeats
himself]. If other words, we practically needed one weapon for each Cuban
man and woman who was able to fight.

"It is true that thanks to foreign cooperation and the 300 shipments of
light weapons that we received from the Soviet Union during that
period--especially during the first few years of that period when the
Soviet Union sent us hundreds of thousands of light weapons--and thanks to
other weapon shipments, the few purchases we made, and the local
fabrication of mines, grenades, etc, we succeeded in obtaining enough
weapons for millions of people.

"We had all kinds of weapons.  We had weapons that were used at the
beginning of the war in the Soviet Union during the fascist aggression. We
received bolt-action rifles, the famous PPSh [Soviet-made submachineguns],
which we know so well and which were immortalized during the Soviet Union's
war of the fatherland. Other kinds of rifles arrived in Cuba, including
all types and makes of Soviet rifles that were made during at least the
last 50 years.  I am not sure if we even have come rifles from the time of
the October Revolution.  We received all kinds of weapons. For us all
weapons are useful, including sports weapons. The famous [words indistinct]
rifles.  We began with those weapons.  Most of the weapons we had on 26
July 1953 were [words indistinct] rifles like those that are being used at
firing ranges to train our citizens.  We even count those rifles in case of
war.  We count rifles, shotguns and even knives and machetes. We could
anything that can be useful for the country's defense."

"However, the idea of manufacturing light weapons for our defense--as I was
saying--was only a dream.  Of course, such as idea would not have been
possible without the USSR's generous cooperation. The USSR has much more
experience than we do; much more experience in everything having to do with
mechanical industry and weapons' production. We used USSR cooperation to
build this factory. We began building it in 1981.  Today, we are here--not
to begin production, because this factory has already been working and
producing--to officially inaugurate the plant that has been completed and
which has a large number of workers.  The plant is producing, and the proof
of this is this rifle that has been completely manufactured in this

"The first rifles that were manufactured in this plant were not totally
manufactured here.  At first, we started by assembling components that
same from the USSR. However, this rifle that we have here today is a rifle
that has been completely manufactured here--all of its 200 parts or
components. I do not know if the number of components is a military secret.
[laughter] Sometimes, we have military secrets that everyone knows.
[applause] Oh well, secrets must be guarded in one's heart.  That is where
the enemy cannot see or even estimate with all of his satellite and
espionage.  He cannot see what one carriers in one's heart, in the minds of
each revolutionary, of each patriot; that is the essence of our strength.

[Reporter] Later, commenting on the importance of this very modern plant,
our commander in chief said:

[Castro] "I would say this plant can be called a jewel of the mechanical
industry. [applause] In fact, looking at it from another angle, the
mechanical industry has the most highly qualified personnel all over the
country. [applause] I would say this could be deduced by the single fact
given by the director, who said the plant has 451 high-level graduates,
hundreds and hundreds--760--of midlevel technicians, and thousands of
skilled workers.  No mechanical plant in the country has that [type of]
labor force. If we add [applause] if we add [Castro repeats himself] that
the [workers'] average age is 24, everyone would understand that no other
mechanical plant in the country, possibly no other industry... [Castro
changes thought] I am sure there is no other mechanical plant that has such
a young labor force, [indistinct slogan, crowd responds: 'Viva!"]. What we
have here is a true promise.  Having already seen what this plant
produces--with organization and quality--what will this plant no produce?
What will not emerge from this plant in the years to come as you acquire
more and more experience?

"We could analyze this industry from another viewpoint. It is the national
viewpoint. This industry cannot just be analyzed from a military stance.
Instead, it can be analyzed from the viewpoint of what the march toward the
country's industrialized means.  There was no mechanical industry in Cuba
before the revolution.  The revolution practically created the mechanical
industry.  Without the mechanical industry, there can be no development."

[Reporter] Fidel also spoke to the Camaguey residents following a detailed
analysis of their development.

[Castro] "About 19 of 20 months ago--19 months ago--we visited this
province for several days. We toured many areas and met with party members
and party officials.  We devised a prospective work plan for the province
in many areas, especially in the area of food production.

"On that occasion we developed a detail milk development plant for the
province.  The plan entailed the construction of 300 dairy farms in the
Camaguey triangle [triangulo de Camaguey].  These farms would allow us to
produce 1 million liters of milk a day--at least during springtime.

"We also developed a plan that included all the roads, reservoirs, and
installations needed, not only in the dairy farms, but also in breeding
farms, in communities, and in villages. WE not only planned houses for the
community, we also planned the other installations that a community needs.

"We created development programs for shrimp breeding, for unproductive
land, for producing serpentine, and beef production.  Most of all, we
planned programs for soil recovery. Three are two brigades working on soil
recovery--one that already existed and one that was created later.  We
thought of creating a third brigade. However, this has not been necessary,
because the two brigades are going the work of three.

"The large-scale plan to build dairy farms began this year.  At the end of
last year, we organized and began the program. In addition, we have
developed fisheries--fish production--and properly used sugarcane by
products. Have I already mentioned the shrimp industry? Shrimp breeding is
being developed in southern Camaguey. We have said that with this
widespread and ambitious food production plan.  Camaguey could become a
food production model for the Third World."

[Reporter] At the end of the ceremony, Castro said:

[Castro] "We must praise the collective's youth and enthusiasm; must also
praise the great amount of women in the collective. For this reason, we
leave with very good impressions of this industrial plant, its workers, and
its directors--the comrade in charge of this plant. I was very happy to see
the caring, the trust, and the warmth which you received him when he came
to speak at this podium. Because today is Sunday--and it is time to rest--I
bid you farewell. "Fatherland or death." [Crowd shouts "We will win"]

[Reporter] Shortly before the opening ceremony of the Ignacio Agramonte
Plant in Camaguey, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro toured the center's
various installations.  During the tour, Castro received a detailed
explanation of how to operate the different pieced of high-quality
precision equipment. Colonel Luis Perez, director of the plant, was
responsible for providing the president of Cuba's Council of State and the
Council of Ministers with this information.  Castro later described the
plant as a jewel of Cuba's mechanical industry and a source of pride for
the people of Camaguey.