Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Notes Importance of Weapons Factory

PA0212174788 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 0200 GMT 1 Dec 88

[Speech by President Fidel Castro at the inauguration of the Ignacio
Agramonte weapons factory in Camaguey Province on 27 November--recorded]

[Text] Comrades of the Soviet delegation, guests, workers, and leaders of
the Ignacio Agramonte Weapons Factory in Camaguey, people of Camaguey:

Eight years ago, what we see here now--these marvelous installations, this
group of young workers--was only a dream, an idea.  Exactly 8 years ago, we
experienced threats against our homeland and our revolution because of the
warmongering and aggressive policy of a U.S. Administration that claimed
our revolution had 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 although 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, and threats, as well as the basic response to those
needs and threats, required millions of weapons, millions of weapons
[Castro repeats himself].  In 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 increasing 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, and so on, 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 and 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, but we may even have some
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.  In case
of war, we would use even those rifles, as well as shotguns and even knives
and machetes.  We would use anything that can be used for the country's

However, the idea of manufacturing light weapons for our defense--as I was
saying--was only a dream.  Of course, such an 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
the mechanical industry and the production of weapons.  We used Soviet
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 a plant that has been
completed and that has a large number of workers.  The plant is producing,
and the proof of this is this rifle, which has been completely manufactured
in this plant.

The first rifles that were manufactured in this plant were not totally
manufactured here.  At first, we started by putting together components
that came 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 guess with all of his satellites and
espionage.  He cannot see what one carries in one's heart, in the minds of
each revolutionary, of each patriot; that is the essence of our strength.

Each one of the small parts in this rifle has been manufactured in this
factory, and each of us must feel very satisfied about this.  What is our
production capacity?  There is no secrecy involved.  Each shift is capable
of manufacturing 100,000 rifles.  [as heard]  All this in a single shift.

I thought:  We are currently commemorating a number of anniversaries.  We
are commemorating the 30th anniversary of several armed actions carried out
during the final phase of our struggle against the tyranny.  I saw this
rifle and remembered our impatience, better still, our eagerness to get
weapons.  We had no way of getting weapons, except by taking them away from
the enemy--taking their weapons and ammunition during combat.

This is how we waged our war; 90 percent of the weapons we had in the end
had been taken away from Batista's Army, 90 percent of the weapons.  That
was our story.  I thought for a moment about our rifles--only a few
automatic rifles, because most were bolt-action rifles, plus the rifles we
took from the enemy--and how sometimes we had to repair them.

I remember some of our guerrilla forces' rifles; some were automatic rifles
which had no firing pin because it had been lost, and the rifle did not
work.  We did not have a single piece of metal to manufacture that firing
pin.  In some cases we used hard wood to manufacture the rifles' firing
pins, and it worked.  I thought:  Had we had the rifles you manufacture in
1 day, we would have won the war against Batista in no time at all.

In 1 day [Castro chuckles] you manufacture 300-350 automatic rifles.
Imagine, 350 rifles!  You have no idea what this means.  I will not claim
that 300 men... [changes thought]  Those 300 rifles would have quickly
multiplied; 10, 20, 30 times as much--I do not know how many times.  Our
few bolt-action rifles would have increased in number; at least 30 times as
much.  Imagine what would have happened if we had used this type of weapon
in that kind of war!  I asked Comrade Luis [not further identified] what
would have happened if we had used this type of weapon in that kind of war.
I asked Comrade Luis what was the [name indistinct] rifle's firing speed.
I later told him that we had carried out several firing drills in which a
40-round ammunition clip was fired approximately 3 seconds.  We conducted
some tests to find out what three soldiers could do by firing long bursts
with 40--round ammunition clips or by firing single shots.  A truckful of
soldiers could be annihilated in a matter of seconds using three of these

The rifles have a tremendously high firing speed and a high rate of
accuracy.  As I said:  If in those days we had what this factory produces
in 1 day, [Castro chuckles] we would had solved our problems during the

I mention this because it gives an idea of how much ground we have covered,
it shows how much we have progressed from the days when our guerrilla Army
had only a few automatic weapons, when it had no way to repair its rifles,
when it had to make its own rudimentary grenades, mines, and so forth.
Today, we have a factory for this.  This means we have come a long way.
Well, that is what we can say about weapons, about what this industry means
for our defense, what it means for our country to have a factory of this
size and quality.

However, we must not only look at it from that angle.  We must look at the
importance of this factory from another angle.  I recall that when we were
trying to decide where this plant would be located, we initially chose
Camaguey.  In our desire to establish industries in the interior of the
country, we have always, for many years, basically stressed that new
industries should be established in the country's interior.  We decided to
limit new industry in the capital to what is necessary for the people, such
as a dairy factory, or expanding a plant or an industry where there are raw
materials available, or to produce construction material; that type of
industry.  The idea, however, has been to build as many industries as
possible in the country's interior.

We saw then that Camaguey had become the third largest city in the country,
that it had approximately 200,000 inhabitants at that time.  How many
people?  [words indistinct] back in those days it had more than 200,00
inhabitants.  We knew this would be a large industry, so we thought it
would be a good idea to establish it in Camaguey, and from the beginning we
decided it would be built in Camaguey.  We had confidence in the people of
Camaguey, in its workers and youth.  We knew this city could provide very
well the necessary personnel for an industry that would require thousands o

Looking at it from that angle, this industry is a good thing for the
province; and it provides excellent, rewarding, and highly technical jobs
for thousands of young men in Camaguey.  It is also a matter of pride for
the people of Camaguey, as undoubtedly this is the country's most modern
mechanical plant.  [applause] This is best-equipped mechanical plant in the

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 [words indistinct] 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 not 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 industrialization 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

Before the revolution, there were a few workshops.  Not too long ago we
inaugurated a medical supplies factory.  That factory was built in an area
where horseshoes used to be made.

The revolution has built new mechanical plants.  There is one in Santa
Clara and another in Antillana de Acero.  Plants producing steel for
construction have also been built.  We are also developing the automobile
industry.  We produce quite a few buses in Guanajai; not all that we need,
but production is gradually increasing.  Of course, we had to import spare
parts at the beginning, but now we have designed our own engine; we will
soon finish a plant that will produce engine blocks, a most important spare
part.  This plant will be capable of producing from 10,000 to 12,000 engine
blocks a year.  The country already has an engine plant; it is still not
100-percent made here, like your rifles are.  This is not easy, as engines
require many different parts, and in some cases it may be more efficient to
import these parts.  However, we already produce the main spare parts for
buses and trucks.

We built a combine factories in [words indistinct] in Holguin, which
produces 600 combines annually.  This mechanical plant produces combines
and sugarcane harvesters.  This plant is of great importance, of truly
strategic importance for Cuba, because during the first years of the
revolution we used to hire 350,000 cane cutters to harvest sugarcane.  We
had to move several thousands of cane cutters to Camaguey alone.  Nowadays,
Camaguey does not need cane cutters from other provinces to harvest its

During the capitalist era, cane cutters used to come from other provinces
to harvest sugarcane.  Today, the number of cane cutters has been reduced
to approximately 70,000; we have reduced the total number of cane cutters
by approximately 300,000.  This is of course thanks to a series of...
[changes thought].  This has been possible thanks to a mechanization
process, to the storage centers, and to the mechanical elevators, but
primarily thanks to the Holguin sugarcane combine, which has been meeting
its goals for years.  It began with the ktp-1 and it is already producing
the ktp-2, which is a better machine.  They are now working on the plans
for the ktp-3, which has a greater production capacity.  This example alone
gives you an idea of the importance of the mechanical industry.  In front
of the ktp-1 factory is the factory producing agricultural tools, which is
another big, modern factory.

The mechanical industry is not devoted to a single field.  In Moa, for
example, along with the Che Guevara plant, a great mechanical factory has
been constructed to produce the spare parts and components necessary for
the nickel industry.

I spoke to you about Santa Clara earlier.  I failed to mention that modern
parts for sugar mills are being built in Santa Clara.  When we build a
sugar mill, not less than 60 percent of the parts are manufactured in the
country, and the Santa Clara mechanical plant is where most of these sugar
mill factory parts are built.  This plant not only produces parts for the
sugar industry; the 200-t rolling mill, which will be inaugurated tomorrow
in Las Tunas, was produced by the Santa Clara mechanical plant. [applause]

If we had to purchase the equipment for this rolling mill, it would have
cost us at least $20 million.  Instead, we only needed to spend about $1.7
million--buying electrical parts, some motors, and certain components.  The
rest was made in the country--designed by Cuban engineers, built by Cuban
technicians and workers--and it is a great plant.  The first rolling mill
may produce 90,000 to 100,000 steel rods each year, and already work has
been started on the second rolling mill.  The main parts did not come from
abroad but were made in the country.  We could mention other mechanical
plants, such as those that produce irrigation suction pumps.  In Granma,
trucks are repaired and rebuilt.  There are dozens of mechanical industries
in our country, but not all of them are new.  Basically, there are the new
ones.  The mechanical industries in the capital were developed in old
repair shops.

I recently met with workers from 55 Havana City mechanical plants to
discuss their various problems.  Workers from four mechanical plants in
Havana Province also participated.  We saw that all those plants are in old
buildings.  Some, in fact, are very old buildings.  Some of those buildings
have roofs made of zinc and cement.  Workers operate in very difficult
physical conditions.  Machines are piled up in corners because those
buildings have no storage space.  Workers work in difficult conditions.

We, of course, cannot do without those industries.  They provide many
things.  Some make trucks or dumpsters, which are used for dump trucks.
Some make forklifts and carts.  Others build various types of construction
equipment, boilers, and parts for machines and construction equipment.

It would be a real dream if we could say all those plants, which developed
in old buildings throughout the revolution, which we must repair, improve,
reorganize; and where we must install automatic lathes, air conditioning;
and where we must build a place for the lathes and set the right
temperature so the lathes can operate ... [changes thought]  It is very
hard to work under those conditions.

Those plants are not like new enterprises, like the medical equipment plant
we recently inaugurated in Havana, or like the medical equipment plant we
inaugurated in Santiago de Cuba this year.  These new ones are plants that
we planned and designed and into which we incorporated all the necessary
conditions a mechanical plant should have.

I know the situation at the Havana City enterprises.  The working
conditions are very difficult, because of the factors I just mentioned,
because those industries are located in old buildings, and have old
workshops that have slowly become [words indistinct].

From that viewpoint, there is no doubt the working conditions of this plant
we are inaugurating today are truly marvelous, truly marvelous [repeats
himself].  In other words, everything this plant has, which was designed
and built in an overall manner... [changes thought].  This plant has
everything it needs.

It has an adequate roof.  I was told this roof does not leak.  This
illustrates that this roof must have been built well and on a certain
incline.  I do not trust flat roofs.  Our country does not have the weather
for flat roofs.  We must have enough incline so water can run off the
roofs.  We have had some bad experiences with flat roofs.  Such as the one
in the textile plant in Santiago de Cuba.  That plant had problems, because
it was designed with a flat roof.  I am aware other textile plants have
similar problems with the rain leaking.  Here we have created ideal working
and industrial conditions.

Before coming here, we visited the polyclinic [words indistinct].  That
polyclinic is a small jewel within a larger jewel.  This plant is offering
very good care to its workers with this polyclinic. [applause] It is an
important part of the plant's capacity, both of the capacities of the
[3-second reception break] 186 young students.  In other words, this plant
became a mechanical industry school.  It became a university school.  It
has all the necessary conditions, including cafeterias and kitchens to cook
meals.  Students also have the advantage of having the fields nearby.  They
have no less than 80 hectares to produce food for the plant's workers.
They might not have everything, but at least they have enough to produce
food for the plant's workers.  If you are good farmers, one cannot tell
what you could get from 80 hectares.  Perhaps you would even have a surplus
and will be able to supply some small markets or something.  The truth is
80 hectares is a lot of land to plant orchards and produce food.

But, above all, there is the human aspects of this industry.  There are the
supplies, work, and housing commissions of the workers that--working
together with the factory--have built a town.  This is no ghost town, as
were some that had no roads or schools and that lacked everything.  On
another occasion, I had the opportunity to visit the mini-district.
Actually, it is not so mini, as the housing will be very good, with all the
necessary recreational facilities.  Today I saw the model of the
mini-district's sports facilities, the basketball courts, other sports
fields, swimming pools--I believe there will be an Olympic-size pool--and
others.  It is very nice to think that the workers can have adequate
housing.  Some will live far away, some in the city, but in general, these
workers will not have any housing problems.  They will be able to live in
this district as a family.  They will have everything a district needs for
satisfying the people's needs, not only the workers' needs, but also their

Some think there will be too many housing units.  Not really--I believe 180
units are being built this year.  Next year, another 250 will be built.  We
will have to increase speed so we can build the 3,000 housing units we want
for this mini-district.  This is why I was saying that, from this
viewpoint, everything that has to do with taking care of mankind is basic.
This factory has been planned, built, and developed in an ideal manner.  I
do not believe there is any other factory in the country that was developed
like this factory.  I think we can honestly say this is a model for
everything.  You were saying you wanted to be a model socialist factory.  I
believe the way we have to work in socialism is the way in which the
general plans and programs of this factory have been carried out.

Socialism is not capitalism.  People are starving to death in capitalism.
There might be some more developed forms of capitalism, but these are
developed forms of capitalism that are looting the rest of the world.  For
centuries, the Third World countries worked as colonies for that form of
capitalism.  Capitalism is still looting the Third World.  Then there is
the capitalism of the exploited countries of the Third World. Cuba was not
an industrialized country.  Cuba was a Yankee neocolony, that is the truth.
Conditions in our country were very difficult.  Whenever a factory such as
(Icaro) was built, the Yankees built 80 or 100 housing units for the
managers, the top engineers, and no more.  Thousands of workers went there
looking for a job.  There was no housing for them.  The workers built
shacks.  They lived in huts, in very poor shelters.

Before the revolution, you did not have to call anyone to come work in a
factory.  People showed up by themselves looking for a job because there
were over 500,000 unemployed in a country of 6.5 million people.  That was
the situation at the time of the revolution.  That is why no one imported a
piece of machinery prior to the revolution.  Anyone who tried to import
machinery was killed.  The people, the sugar workers would have protested
because the machinery would have replaced them.  Unemployment was a true
scourge.  At that time, the capitalists built factors but not housing
units.  Today, we have to recruit workers early, train them, and prepare
them in schools and at the industrial plant itself, as was done here.
Here, we must solve social problems.  It would be insane to build a plant
like this one, even if it were close to the city, without first solving the
social problem, the housing problem of the workers.  Those are the
investments the revolution must make in any large industry.  We could not
even conceive of the nickel plants in Moa without building thousands of
housing units. In Moa, we have been building around 1,000 housing units per
year.  One year, over 1,000 units were built.  I cannot remember if the
program called for 800 or 900 housing units for the workers of the old and
new factories.

We could not conceive of the development of Moa without this.  Without
this, we could no conceive the development of the power plant in
Cienfuegos.  There is an entire community there for the workers.  We could
not conceive the industrial development at Cienfuegos, or the power plant,
or the petroleum refinery at Cienfuegos without building hundreds of
housing units for all of these factories.  That is why I say the way in
which this factory has been planned and developed is a model for the
development of socialist industry.  This is good news.  It is important
news for the entire country to know of the production capacity of this
defense factory.  But this is not all.  This factory does not have
production capacity only for the benefit of defense, but also for the
benefit of the national economy.

I really should say something, which I put on record in the little diary
given to visitors.  I do not like to write too much.  Sometimes I just sign
off, but on this occasion I said to myself:  This afternoon I have learned
a lot about what a mechanical industry is. [applause]

It is possible that a large number of people do now know what a mechanical
industry is all about.  To have clear knowledge of what a mechanical
industry is, one must visit this factory.  It has been a learning
experience for us.  We have visited many industries.  We have held
discussions and meetings.  I already spoke to you about the meeting held
with the administrators, the labor unions, and the youth and party leaders
from each one of the 59 industries that participated in that meeting.

Here, however, we are able to acquire a better and clearer knowledge of
what an industry is.  Of course, not all industries are the same, but this
one is quite typical.  One of the things that catches the people's
attention is that if steel of a certain quality and quantity is needed, one
needs even more steel for the tools that are used in the production.  This
is amazing and I believe it is the same everywhere.  However, the steel
needed for the machines and tools is more expensive than the steel needed
as raw material to produce rifles.  Larger quantities of steel--but not
only larger quantities of steel because the difference is not that
much--but a much more expensive steel, because of its special
characteristics, is used.  In the mechanical industry, one can learn about
the production of certain items.  In this case, the production of light
weapons, rifles.  The industry also has to produce the tools because
without tools, there is no mechanical industry or production.

However, this is not all:  A mechanical industry such as this one produces
its own spare parts.  This follows our country's traditions because the
sugar mills --they also manufacture mechanical parts in their shops--also
produce many of their own spare parts.  Therefore, a mechanical industry
produces three things; the products for which the industry was
established; the tools; and the spare parts used by the machines in the
industry itself.  Perhaps one of the most serious problems faced by our
mechanical industry today is the production of tools.  It is one of the
things that we are trying to develop in our entire mechanical industry.  We
are trying to develop the industry's capacity to produce its own tools.

I believe this factory is an example.  When we tour the factory we can
learn about the things produced for specific purposes.  We learn about the
things it produces in order to work with steel and to provide maintenance
for the factory.  This industry is not only useful for defense purposes, as
I said.  It can aid other industries as well.  For example, the tools
produced by this factory can be used by other mechanical industries in the
country.  This factory can give support to other mechanical industries in
the country because of its capacity to produce tools.  We should use this
factory's tool production capabilities to the maximum.  This is one way in
which this factory can help out.  This factory can also produce spare parts
for equipment used by other factories in the country.  The mechanical
industry must be developed based on cooperation.  Cooperation is especially
important in the mechanical industry.

There is something else.  This factory can produce articles for civilians.
It can produce tools; it can produce spare parts for other industries; and
it can produce things for the people.  This factory is something more than
anything I have mentioned.  This factory can become a research center for
the mechanical industry.  I know you have a group of enthusiastic,
intelligent, and well-prepared comrades, who are working in the field of
robots and automation.

Not so long ago, I met with a group of comrades--some young engineers--who
are working on robots.  Well, these comrades are the heirs of those
blacksmiths who once manufactured horseshoes.  Later on, those shops became
factories that produced medical equipment.  That old installation was
remodeled, and shortly it will be turned over to the group of comrades who
once worked in a small shop.  They will now have good facilities for their
work.  They will work on robots, they will conduct robotics research, and
will build robot prototypes.  I think they might even produce some robots.
It would not be surprising if they do because they are producing equipment
in a small shop with five machines.  Actually, it has two milling machines,
two programmed lathes, and one new lathe.  They have five machines, but
they might get a sixth machine.

They produce a lot of parts in that shop, except for some that they cannot
produce and are produced here.  You are producing more parts than they are,
but they now have more equipment and can relieve you.  That is true.  You
will then have to produce only those parts they cannot produce.  There are
other shops that cooperate with them.  There is a small shop already
cooperating with them.  I remember they made the first Suma
[ultramicroanalysis system] machine by conventional methods.  They did not
have an automatic lathe.  It can be said they manufactured it by hand, part
by part.  And this is how they manufactured the first of these complex,
electromechanical machines, which use reagents.  The machine can
simultaneously analyze 90 blood samples with only 5 percent of the reagents
used by other machines that are currently used for this purpose.  The first
of these machines with these special features was manufactured in Cuba.
Those in charge of manufacturing robots will have their small shop also.
They have to develop the robot's brain.  The robot must be able to see and
even think as much as possible.  In a word, it has to be an intelligent
robot, that does not make mistakes, and that can help man.  I do not see a
bright future for this robot development center. [sentence as heard]

Upon arriving here, I was very pleased to learn that a group in this plant
is in touch with another group that works on automation.  I have already
been shown the first little painted robot that you made.  As I have already
said, this machine can do the work of 36 men in a plant like this.  But
that does not mean you are going to be laid off.  Robots need to be
manufactured, maintained, cared for, handled, and directed because somebody
has to tell them what to do.  Somebody has to program them.  This, however,
gives you an idea of the production potential with this kind of equipment.

I have been thinking, however.  This plant can even manufacture robots.  I
have visited this plant more than once, but I had not seen the machines
that this plant acquired recently.  There are nearly 50 special,
programmable machines.  Production is high.  These machines can do
anything.  It was explained to me that the thing here [words indistinct].
While I looked on, Comrade Luis explained that a particular part of this
Suma machine used for immunoassay can only be manufactured with a
programmed machine.  The part required holes of a specific diameter drilled
at precise distances from each other.  It is practically impossible to make
this part by hand.  Workers could make perhaps one, two, or three.  The
truth is, even the most skilled lathe operator cannot manufacture two parts
exactly alike.  There is always a slight difference.  Let us consider the
plant that manufactures carbine parts.  I saw a machine there that produces
in 2 or 3 hours a part that takes a lathe operator 50 hours to manufacture.
Even so, it is very likely that the part will not come out right at the
end.  A programmed lathe, however, can make parts exactly alike in 2 or 3

Automation is important because it helps man. Our men and women have
nothing to fear from robots or automation.  They know things here are
different from capitalist countries, where workers are laid off and poverty
and joblessness are introduced.  We know well that a sugar combine is a
marvel and that everybody benefits from it.  We know that a crane, a bulk
sugar storehouse, a rice combine, or a plane fumigating or spraying
fertilizer all are marvels for us and that everybody benefits from them.
This is why, in our economic and social system, the application of science
and technology does not ever have to clash with the interests o the people
and workers.  We should always regard these machines and this scientific
and technical progress as a blessing.

I have been thinking about this plant's future; thinking about what it
already produces; thinking about the help it can give to other industries;
and thinking about what it can produce in the future.  It did not seem to
me too outlandish to think that one day this plant would include robots in
its production.  Robots are also mechanical equipment that have a
programmed electronic brain.

Looking at all the special machines there, I realized that there is no
other shop in this country that is capable of making robots like this one
can.  So I was very glad to hear that you have a [robotics] group and that
you are already in contact with the other group.  This means that
practically anything can be produced at this factory, whatever you want to

There is some nonmilitary production being done here.  I believe there is
some information here about the nonmilitary items you are producing.  Some
items related to tourism are being made here.  Is this not strange?  A
weapons factory making things for tourists.  I have already seen here some
18th century rifles.  They are called flintlock rifles and flintlock
pistols.  These are products that can produce foreign exchange.  It seems
that they do not require much steel or a high-quality steel like that used
in making the AK rifle.  Those were rifles used in the era of Napoleon
Bonaparte or even before then.  Historical sables are also made.  Rifles,
sables, and pistols are being made.  Survival knives, which are
sophisticated knives, are also made here.  These knives are made to help a
person survive in the field, alone, without any help.

As I mentioned before, parts for the Suma are also made here.  These parts
are the industry's very useful contribution to the health field.  Other
items are nonstandard equipment for the electronuclear plant, gauges for
the Taino motor factory, parts for the Espirol earthenware machines used in
construction, connections for gas stoves that cost about $2 and that we
have had to import in large numbers each year, and protective masks
[caretas para polvos finos].  In 1989, they are scheduled to produce
external clamps [fijadores externos] of the (Ralca) type.  This is another
contribution to the medical field--or rather a boost to exports as there is
a high demand for these external clamps that were developed in Cuba.  Safes
for different needs [words indistinct] to the Ministry of Domestic Trade to
see if they protect money a little better to ensure that it is not easily
stolen.  These safes will make life harder for the bums and criminals.
[applause]  The factory will also make tips and spikes [casquillos y
cambreras] for shoes, electrical outlets--this is a very important item as
each time we build a house we have to buy outlets, and we have to import
them--many times from a hard currency area [area convertible].

Here is a product that I do not know for what it is used.  It says here:
(piroladores).  What does that mean?

[Unidentified person gives indistinct explanation]

[Castro] Is is for construction or industrial purposes?

[Answer indistinct]

[Castro]  The factory can also make forged parts, parts made by melting and
casting, gauges, drill bits, nonstandard equipment, and this is just the
beginning.  This is just to have an idea of what this industry can do.
Perhaps one day they will end up making robots and even exporting them.  I
believe that the information I have given you will help you--the people of
Camaguey and all Cubans--understand the industry's characteristics and

Not so long ago, I visited Camaguey to inaugurate another big and important
food plant:  the beer factory.  They have just started to construct a
powdered milk factory and some equipment has already arrived.  A special
cheese factory is also being built there.  The brigade that constructed
this plant is working on these projects.  They are working in the
(Neuvitas) ammoniac tanks, and I believe they are also helping out in Moa
and in Cienfuegos.

This province...[changes thought] I do not want to go on too long since you
have been sufficiently inconvenienced when brought here, [applause] but I
do have some more things to say about the work in this province.  About 19
or 20 months ago--19 months ago--we visited this province for several days.
We toured many areas and met with party members and 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 detailed milk
development plan 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.  There 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 doing 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, Camabuey could become a
food production model for the Third World.

It is impossible for me to mention all that has been done here in the
province.  [Words indistinct] a hectare to turn dung into protein to be
used as feed or to breed worms.  The idea was to look in every direction
and find what this province could provide in the areas of food production,
industrial development, and social development.  The results have served as
guidelines for the party and the province.

The province authorities submitted a report of all the works completed, or
to be completed by 31 December.  It is a long list but I will read it as
fast as I can.  It should only take be 6 or 7 minutes.  I do not want to
miss this opportunity to speak of what the people of Camaguey are doing.  I
want to speak of it not only to the residents of Camaguey Province but to
the whole country.  The rest of the country should know what you are doing.

For example:  18 million pesos were invested this year in the sugar
industry.  Those 18 million pesos were invested in 6 boilers, 6 burbo
generators, 3 whistles [cachos], 10 evaporators, 4 collection and
preprocessing centers.  They were also used to lay 115 km of railroad
tracks, to build 210 km of the road to (El Escanero), to build 5 cow sheds,
2 rabbit farms, an agro-chemical center where ammoniac base is produced, a
saccharine plant, and used for the conversion of raw sugar to bulk sugar.

Agricultural works:  83 agricultural works have been completed, or are in
the process of being completed by the MICONS [Ministry of Construction],
and more than 500 small agricultural works have been completed by the
Ministry of Agriculture.  The Ministry of Agriculture has built:  81 small
collection centers; 318 windmills; erected 7,637 km of fencing--some of
these are electric fences that save on raw materials like wire; another
pre-cooked rice plant; a plant hygiene laboratory; a hydrophone; 2 [words
indistinct]; rustic cow sheds; a plant for the production of antitick
solution; [words indistinct]; workshops; warehouses for fertilizers;
irrigation and conduction systems; areas for the breeding of sheep, pigs,
and poultry.  This province is responsible for many agricultural works.

Many waterworks have also been completed in Camaguey Province.  For
example:  watersheds, the Caonao water pipeline [conductora], Caonao-
Pontezuelo water pipeline that supplies water to the City of Camaguey--this
is very important for all of you especially during years of drought.  You
can still remember 1987 when water had to be brought into the area in

Other waterworks completed have been the Sola-(Basica) access channel; the
Cuban-Bulgarian Friendship water pipeline--29 km of 1,000 mm pipeline; 26
hydrometric networks for the Ministry of Agriculture and the MINAZ
[Ministry of Sugar Industry]; many caballeria pastures with irrigation
systems; irrigation systems for the production of tubers; 25 km of water
channels were repaired in Camalote; irrigation systems in 102 caballerias
in Camalote; irrigation systems on 504 hectares of rice; 135 small dams
and levees; and 3 pumping stations.

Construction Material Industry:  a chute for the crusher at the Vietnam
Heroico plant, a kiln, four mosaic factories in Nuevitas and Camaguey, the
Palo Seco stone mill, the pipe and earthenware factory, and an iron

Basic Industry:  the Camaguey Province laid 479.8 km of power lines; it
built the sixth unit of the 10 October Thermoelectric Plant--the only unit
that was missing; a tank to store ammonia base--this is the first 10,000
ton tank to be built--and completion of the installations at the plant; 2
fuel tanks in Pastelillos; a 110 kw substation in Camaguey; a geology
laboratory, a center for the production valves for industrial gas
cylinders--they can produce up to 50,000 valves each year; and the
expansion of the CIME [Metallurgical Research Center] production to include
barbed wire.

Transportation and Communication:  three telegraph and post offices; a bus
station in Camague; 35 km of asphalt road on the Albaisa - (?Alexis) -
Northern Circuit; completion of the Northern Circuit - Esmeralda- Entronque
road in Santa Lucia.  After Las Tunas residents complete the part of the
road they are building between Manati and Santa Lucia you will almost be
able to drive around the whole island passing through Baracoa through the
Northern Circuit.  You will be able to drive from Santiago de Cuba to Pilon
and Manzanillo.  We have to complete that stretch.  Much of the merchandise
has to be sent by the long route because that stretch has not been
completed.  The contingent building the Coba Rubia road will also build the
missing stretch.  Dredging work at the Nuevitas Port was also done this
year; more than a million cubic meters of swamp was cleared.  A coaxial
cable station has been partially completed.  Similarly, the (Avellanega)
telephone center was built, 18 km of telephone lines were laid, 7 bridges
were built, 443 km of roads were completed, the foundation for the Centro
Oeste railroad was laid, the railroad coach factory was modernized, and the
Camaguey Airport control tower was built.

Food Industry:  the Florida cookie factory and two ice factories.

Fishing Industry:  a shrimp spawning center; a prawn spawning center in
Esmeralda; a shrimp research center; a (?hotel) for the shrimp technicians;
411 hectares of ponds for breeding of shrimp; a water support base; and a
center for intensive fish breeding.

Public Health:  a sterile room at the Oncology Hospital was built; the
outpatient clinic at the Provincial Hospital was expanded; a Stomatology
Center was built in Jimaguayu; the number of doctors on call at the
Pediatric Hospital was increased; 79 family doctor homes were built in 1987
and a further 137 will be built by the end of this year; a microbiology
laboratory in Santa Cruz del Sur and Vertientes; a 150-bed expansion of the
Military Hospital and more doctors on call; a 160-bed expansion of the
Maternity Hospital; a 20-bed expansion of the Camalote Hospital; and the
Santa Cruz del Sur Polyclinic was also built.

Education:  19 solar heaters were given to day-care centers; a primary
school was built; [words indistinct] pre-university centers in the rural
areas; expansion of secondary schools for 600 students; dining rooms,
kitchens, day boarding schools, and two special schools were built; 95
percent of the students can attend the double-session school system;
construction of an iron and cement school in Lesca; 4 day-care centers; and
a workshop for the (Cruce de la Trocha) polytechnical institute.

Sports and Culture: a recreation center in Cespedes; 23 video halls;
Camaguey's second tavern; Antonio Maceo recreation Center in Florida; 3
rodeo stadiums; the El Ovejito Restaurant; 5 children's parks; a wrestling
gym in Florida; Las Brisas Restaurant in Minas; Las Terrazas nightclub in
Minas; Bajo Las Estrellas nightclub in Minas; Villa Coral Santa Lucia,
Cubanacan Corporation--164 rooms available for international tourists.

Other Industrial Works:  Camaguey Water Purification Plant; completion of a
rice-drying room and expansion of another drying room; Gran Panel 6 Plant;
bulk production of vegetable flour; and the Esmeralda tailor shop.

Other Social works:  4,000 homes--workers expected to complete them by late
December, however, it will be in early January when these homes are
completed since they had problems getting some materials; 3 communities for
the Youth Labor Army in La Sacra, (Jaimi), and Lugareno; computer club; 4
malls; a glass and mirror production ship; a laundromat; the Santa Cruz del
Sur and Minas Revolution Square; 16 rural stores for household and
industrial products.

This gives you an idea of the efforts being made by the province in the
fields of agricultural, industrial, economic, and social development.  The
province has also undertaken other efforts, especially during the 1987
sugarcane harvest.  [Words indistinct] the Camaguey Province hopes to cut a
million tons of sugar, a million tons of sugar [repeats himself].

I did not mention the sugar industry when I was talking about the food
program, nor did I mention rice and the plans to increase rice and sugar
production.  I already mentioned that the province is working hard to
recover land.  It is carrying out research and testing different irrigation
and drainage systems, and the province is achieving truly promising goals.

Comrade Lazaro [Lazaro Vasquez, first secretary of the Camaguey Province
Executive Bureau] was telling me that with the plot drainage system and the
new irrigation system--using the siphon system--the Brazil Sugar Mill could
produce twice the amount of sugarcane it is currently producing.  He was
telling me that the technicians, the engineers, are truly on top of the
job; they are discovering the possibilities, and are working much more

I have been told that in some of the land in which this irrigation system
was used, over 200,000 arrobas.  Over 200,000.  You [not further
identified] told me 250,000 and I do not ant people to think I am
exaggerating.  However, Lazaro told me 250,000 arrobas are going to be
produced with this new irrigation system.  Sure, it is difficult.  It is
not easy to apply it.  It requires adjustments.  It requires a great deal
of work but it is a real promise.

I am sparing you the reading of their plans for the coming year.  However,
based on what they have done this year [applause], based on what they have
done this year...[applause] [changes thought] Lazaro, you see Lazaro?
Lazaro, they are not applauding because of what they are going to do next
year, but because they have been spared the reading.  That is what they are
applauding for. [laughter] However, they are also applauding because of
what they are going to do next year. [Words indistinct] [applause]

These are [words indistinct] in full splendor.  The possibilities are right
there, visible.  A great deal of experience has been accumulated.  It is
not like in the early years of the revolution, when a man with a 6th-grade
education managed a farm of 1,000 acres or managed a sugar mill with a
6th-year education.  Look at the difference with today's situation, with
the one we have seen here today.  There over 400 top-level technicians in a
single factory.  Today in any industrial complex there are dozens of
engineers, technicians, and economists everywhere.  This is the fruit of
the efforts of all these years.  We have better ideas, more experience,
better concepts, more development.

These are the outlooks tat have been created through all these years by the
revolution, which will soon mark its 30th anniversary. [applause]  I feel
that through the effort of Camaguey Province, you are rendering a worthy
and just homage to the 30th anniversary of the revolution.  [applause]  We
face many difficulties.  I will not list here the number of difficulties we
logically have, like many other countries.  The important thing is to know
what we are doing, how we are going to tackle those difficulties, and how
we are going to produce more food.

We have set an example with the ambitious milk program that is being
carried out in Camaguey Province.  This program is working with the
precision of a watch.  One million liters is 1 million liters.  It will
produce enough to supply milk to the powdered milk factory, the cheese
factory, the ones that existed before, and to the people of Camaguey.
Because their lands are mountainous and relatively dry, we have no other
choice but to send milk to them and tell them to produce coffee, lumber
[words indistinct]. [applause]  I am certain, I am determined to march
along this path.

Camaguey Province will go far and attain the ambitious goals it has set for
itself.  All one has to do is to take a tour of the city.  I do not
recommend it to you because you are, on average, 24 years old.  (?I do not
know) if you have an idea of what Camaguey was like.  However, those who
are a few years older just have to take a tour through here and see so many
new works, ranging from the vocational school to the universities, the
factories--these factories--to get an idea of the development that has been
achieved in this province.  However, I think it will move forward at an
even faster pace in the future and that it will grow more efficient every

Now, I think something is missing.  There is something missing here.
[applause, shouts] Well, what is it?  Tell me.  [shouts] Well, tell me what
it is.  I see [crowd applauding are shouting repeatedly:  The 26th in
Camaguey!]  I can see that you have guessed it.  I think that based on the
efforts made these years--in 1987 and 1988--and based on the achievements
of the province, you want the next 26th [of July] celebrations to be held
in Camaguey [applause].

This will be the 30th anniversary of the 26 July celebration.  Do you know
what that means?  Well, it means many things, I know.  When a province is
nominated to host the 26th, it means hat the province begins asking all the
other provinces for things to...[changes thought].  The province begins
asking for everything:  materials, people, resources, help, support.  That
is the first thing that happens when there is a 26 July celebration.

The second thing that happens is that it asks the government, the Planning
Commission, and everyone to send them cement, [words indistinct], wood,
etc., because they have such and such plans.  That always happens around
the 26th.  It is also true, however, that around the time of the 26 July
celebration, a great enthusiasm and working spirit emerges.  Many goals are
set and undoubtedly progress is made.  Also around the 26th, contact is
made with the project of a province.  During the last one in Santiago de
Cuba, for example, we all came into contact with the efforts carried out by
Santiago de Cuba.  It was also obvious that they worked very hard.  It is
true that they asked everyone for help.  However, the work that they did
for the 26 July celebration was very impressive.

And now you have just requested to be a candidate for hosting the 26 July
celebration.  What can I do?  I cannot decide that here.  We must decide it
with the party's leadership.  The most I can do is promise to help you,
support you so that you can host the 26th. [applause]  The decision will be
based on the unquestionable effort that the province is making, and on what
it has already accomplished and proposes to be accomplished.  I am almost
certain that you will reach that goal.  What I can do is make this proposal
as soon as possible so that you will know several months beforehand whether
or not you will be the host.  Better yet, whether you will be the host--let
us do away with the word not.  I know that all this will help you with the
plans..[interrupted by indistinct shouts from crowd] Of course, of course,
I know that it will help you with the ambitious plans you have.  It will
generate a lot of strength.  I hope by December we will have resolved this
matter so that, with that goal and banner in mind, the infinite strength of
the enthusiastic, trained, and young people of Camaguey can be exhibited.

I must end now, but I want to give special recognition and my deepest
gratitude to our Soviet brothers [applause] for their help in this work, in
this exemplary industry that makes this province and country feel so proud;
for this and many other things that you have done for us in the past 30

A while ago I mentioned many new industries and spoke of the Santa Clara
mechanical plants.  I spoke of the plants in Moa, I spoke of the Holguin
sugarcane combine, I spoke of these mechanical plants, and we could go on
and on naming numerous industries in these branches in which they have
assisted us--in this branch and many others.  Almost the entire electricity
industry has been built using Soviet and Czechoslovak equipment--both
socialist countries.  I also mentioned the electro-nuclear power station.

All these important, decisive, and strategic goals are being achieved with
Soviet assistance, without which it would have been impossible to carry out
these plans.

The young people here, workers at this factory, can understand the
importance of the electro-nuclear station, which will have an
electricity-generating capacity of 2 million kw when all four reactors are
on line.

At certain times of the day, the hydroelectric plant will be able to
generate 2 million kw.  This is five times the country's installed capacity
before the triumph of the revolution.  You who work in an industry like
this one understand the importance of electricity.  You know that none of
these lathes--the hundreds of machines you have here--can work without
electricity.  Without electricity nothing would work--the lathes, the
computers, the loudspeakers, the lights--we would be like the ancient
Greeks, yelling at the top of our voice [desganitandonos].  Is that how you
say it? --so 100 or 200 people could hear us.  That is what history says;
the Greeks met in public parks but they had no loudspeakers.  If they did
not even have a microphone how were they expected to meet in the public
park?  Just a handful of people would meet--not even 100--that was Greek

But you understand its importance to development.  You understand what
development is.  You understand that development requires work and effort,
a great deal of effort.  We must not think about consumer goods, we must
think about development because it is development that makes consumer items
available later, in a solid, guaranteed manner, on the basis of one's own

This is an example of development, because to handle machines like this, to
manage a factory like this requires a great level of organization.
Hundreds of highly skilled technicians are required, and an industrial
culture is needed.  As I was walking through the factory I saw a number of
tools and equipment on a table and I asked:  Is this a tool display?  I was
told:  No, it is not.  This is the table at which each machine, each piece
of equipment, each tool is kept, each one numbered so as not to waste
time--even a minute--when the machines have to be prepared for production.
To manage an industry of this kind requires practice.  An industrial
culture is needed.

You also know that an industrial culture is not attained in 3 days or 3
years.  An industrial culture, like the one that we are acquiring in many
areas ...[changes thought].  I believe that we are making great progress in
acquiring the disciplines of an industrial culture.  That is what we are
acquiring now.  That is what you are doing here.

You can appreciate how much Soviet aid and cooperation have contributed to
this.  The Soviets have given us the benefit of their experience.  Now it
is up to us to build on that experience and make our own contribution to
that industrial culture, that organization, that efficiency.

A young collective like yours can achieve whatever it attempts in an
industry like this. [applause]  I wonder if there is another industry like
this anywhere else in the hemisphere.  The average level of education is
the 11th grade.  If you go to any factory in Latin America, you can be sure
that a relatively high percentage of the workers will be illiterate, even
if they know how to handle a steel rod, or a lathe or some other tool. That
is definitely the situation in the Third World.

However, there are even developed capitalist countries that have
illiterates in their factories.  Very few countries can say that in a new
industry like this one, the average schooling of their personnel is to the
11th grade.  It is also very unlikely that the workforce would average 24
years of age.

We must be aware of this.  I can see you are proud of this plant, that it
has become dear to you.  This is what counts.  this is man's strongest
force and social duty.  Nothing else can move me so much.  In the past few
months, we have seen several workers' collectives doing truly extraordinary
things that could not be bought with any money.  There was a time here when
people thought every problem could be solved with money.  Shelters were
useless at the time.  Workers had to sleep on the ground.  A construction
worker told me that labor cannot be bought in a socialist country.  Men
were told:  Sleep on the ground.  I will pay you a peso.  And what does the
society profit from paying a man a peso for sleeping on the ground?  What
will this man produce the next day?  With what attitude will this man work?
And what if the dining room is like a pig sty and he does not get any

e have seen contingents of men.  There are now 15,000 men in contingents
such as the Blas Roca, that was formed late last year.  And there are
numerous brigades organized into contingents.  One of them arrived in
Majaguillar, where an oil-prospecting operation had to be carried out, 35
days in advance.  Oil prospecting is very important for development of the
area to the north of Matanzas, which is why the contingent was sent there.
Another contingent has nearly arrived in Covarrubia.  There are already
several contingents.  Lazaro, I do not know what you people have in
Camaguey.  Three contingents will be formed.  They are men who work without
any schedule.  This requires great discipline and results in great
productivity without absenteeism.

We are seeing what happens when the people's patriotism is harnessed and
they are treated properly.  When we care for men, we can demand anything
from them and get what no money can buy.  Life has taught us this.  One
small thing remains to be pointed out.  There is a large number of working
women. [applause]  In fact, 30 percent of the workers are women.  You can
see how wealthy the people are.  In the old macho society, women were only
considered fit to cook at home.  They were regarded as housewives.  What
strength, what potential!  They have a powerful mechanical industry and are
used to working with iron.  They do work with iron, yes, but with machines
that make working with iron easier.  They use intelligence and skill,
rather than force.  [In the background, women are heard chorusing:  The
force of all women at the service of the revolution] [applause]

About 19 months ago we visited this province for several days.  We toured
many areas and met with party members and officials.  We devices a work
plan for the province in many areas, especially in food production.

On that occasion we developed a detailed milk development plan for the
province.  The plan entailed the construction of 300 dairy farms in the
Camaguey triangle [triangulo de Camaguey].  These farms would produce 1
million liters of milk a day--at least in the spring.

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.  There 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 doing 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
byproducts.  Have I already mentioned the shrimp industry?  Shrimp breeding
is being developed in southern Camaguey.  We have said that with this broad
and ambitious food production plan, Camaguey could become a food
production model for the Third World.

We must praise the collective's youth and enthusiasm; we must also praise
the large number of women in the collective.  For these reasons, 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 care, the trust, and the warmth with 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"] [applause].