Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speaks at Cuidad Libertad 8 Jan

PA0901201989 Havana Cubavision Television in Spanish 0230 GMT 9 Jan 89

[Speech by President Fidel Castro to mark the 30th anniversary of his first
speech after the revolution's victory; in Cuidad Libertad,
Havana--recorded.  An identical recorded version of this speech was carried
on Havana Television Cubana Network in Spanish at 0130 GMT on 11 January,
providing fills]

[Text] Distinguished guests, Pioneers, students, young workers,

I do now know what anniversary, what date, or what period has been the
hardest one--whether it was 30 years ago, when the revolution triumphed, or
now that we are marking its 30th anniversary.

These have been days of great activity, and one night I learned that
you--the Pioneers--had organized a caravan of history.  I was then invited
to the event--ah, see that it could fly [Castro refers to a dove given to
him by a Pioneer girl.  The dove had been standing on Castro's shoulder for
some time and he had questioned whether the dove could fly.] [applause] I
said I had many activities but that I could in no way refuse to meet with
you.  I asked you to call a rally of Pioneers, students, and young workers
and to invite the delegation of the students of brotherly countries on the
Isle of Youth [applause, shouts], as well as the people.

I have really unforgettable memories of the day when we arrived in the
capital.  We had crossed the island from almost one extreme to the other.
A sea of people had greeted our caravan everywhere.  Since then 30 years
have gone by.

Like today, a throng gathered here.  It was perhaps larger.  This was a
larger military camp at the time.  Decisions on the country's destiny were
adopted here.  It filled with people that day.  It was not a school, like
today.  The fact that the people gathered here at this military camp was
highly symbolic.  It meant the history of military coups, the history of
military dictatorships, had ended forever in our homeland [applause]; that
repression and crime had disappeared forever from our country.  The defense
of the people and the country was not going to be simply the duty of the
armed institutions anymore, but of the whole people.

I cannot forget the crown that gathered here more or less at this time.  I
do not even remember the full details well, but I do know that the event
ended late, very late.  I think it was after midnight.  Those who were 20
and over are now 50 or over, those who were 30 and over are now 60 and
over and those who were 40 and over are not over 70 or 80.  Inevitably, a
number of those people are not longer among us.  However, most probably
many have a keen memory of that day.  Today it may be that an overwhelming
majority of those gathered here--not to say almost of all of them, bearing
in mind the high number of young people who are present here--had probably
not been born on that 1 January.  I do not know if it will be easy for your
to feel the emotions that those compatriots felt, because you did not
experience the times of horror humiliation, and suffering they
experienced.  There were many things to do in our homeland.

The problems we had then are not today's problems.  A whole world had to be
changed.  There was a revolution to be carried out.  I remember our main
concern that night was the matter of unity of the revolutionary forces--to
keep divisions or confrontations from arising among those who had struggled
against the tyranny and to avoid conflicts and divisions among our people.
According to Marti's thinking, conflicts and the divisions had made victory
impossible during the 10-year war, and divisions throughout our history had
prevented full victory in the struggle for our country's independence.
That was one of the most important problems or issues at that moment.  I
remember that a stirring appeal for unity among all revolutionary fighters
was made and that the appeal yielded results.  It was successful.  It bore

I remember one thing we said on that night of January 8:  It was that we,
the revolutionary leaders, would always have the necessary patience--and if
one day we ran out of patience we would always search for more patience--
all the patience necessary to assume the responsibilities and the enormous
power that a victorious revolution gives its leaders.

I believe we have been faithful to these two ideas.  We have been tireless
fighters for the unity of our people during all these 30 years.  We have
been tireless defenders of the principle of the patient and generous
exercise of power that the revolution may have given to few men in our
revolution, and later, to the party and to the state.  Those two principles
proclaimed that night have remained unchanged.

We also said that so far, no matter how difficult the path may have seemed,
we were sure that it was much easier that the path we had ahead.  We were
always aware of that reality and idea.  We created no illusions for
ourselves.  We had been saying all along that the time for revolution and
independence had arrived, that the revolution would take place.

I believe the changes that have taken place in our fatherland have been
extraordinary.  The tasks then were not the same as the tasks today.  At
that time, we had a victorious revolution inside a capitalist country,
inside an imperialist neo-colony.  The entire social system was about to be
changed.  Ownership of our industries, out public services, land, mineral
resources, banks, and trade--practically everything--was in the private
hands of a minority of exploiters.

An important part of these resources and industries were in the hands of
foreign enterprises.  Our people worked for those capitalists, to further
enrich that class, to further enrich those foreign enterprises.   We could
not imagine a life without that system.

Today it may seem very natural to you to find that wherever you go,
everything belongs to all the people:  a movie house, a store, an industry;
an important factory, large or small; public services--bus service,
railroads, sea transportation, schools, hospitals, centers for
investigation; mass communications--media, television, radio, newspapers,
and printing shops.

All these services belong to the people.  The mines, railroad trains,
sugarcane and rice plantations, and the large citrus, food, dairy, and meat
production centers you see belong to all the people.

We still have small properties that belongs to farmers who used to pay rent
for the land.  They used to pay the large estate owners a big chunk of what
they produced as rent.  All those farmers--small farmers--were exempted
from paying any type of rent.  They became proprietors of their lands.
Basically, these are the only kind of properties that currently exist.

Housing did not belong to the people.  The majority of dwellings used to
belong to persons called tenement owners.  They were some people who owned
50, 100, or 500 apartments, and some even had thousands of apartments.
People had to pay 20, 25 or 30 percent of their family's income for
housing.  Today every family knows the house it inhabits belongs to them;
that is is their property.  No one will evict them.  The only cases of
persons who do not own their houses are when housing has been assigned to a
factory and the houses are basic facilities of industries, but this is a
rare occurrence.  In that time [before the revolution] people did not even
dream of something like this.  A family would never own the house it
inhabited even if they had paid 20, 25, 30 percent of the family's income
in rent for 30, 40, 50 years.

At that time there was a common problem:  unemployment and underemployment.
I recall that on the night of 8 January, some people cried out that it was
necessary to create jobs.  The job problem was... [corrects himself]
unemployment was one of the most serious problems.  It was society's
permanent problem.  I could have told them:  We also need to build
hospitals, polyclinics, and schools.  We need to give all the country's
children the opportunity to study and attend grade school, high school, and
senior high school [pre-universitaria].  Only an insignificant number of
children and youths could attend school.  The number of children that
attended grade school was larger, but it was still less than 50 percent.
The high school and senior high school attendance rate was considerably
lower--less than 10 percent.

Not only could [people] claim we needed factories, construction, and
agricultural development, but also hospitals, universities, research
centers; all of those were urgently needed by our people.  Actually, our
people did not have a lot of political sophistication, and we must say so:
Our people did not at that time have the political sophistication they
attained later.  Our people were full of fighting spirit, enthusiastic,
warm, and rebellious, and hated crime, unjustice, outrages, corruption,
maltreatment, and all the vices that were characteristics of capitalism.

Here was a people who hated oppression above everything else.  This is why
they were overjoyed when the revolution triumphed.  It could not yet be
said, however, that this was a Socialist or Marxist-Leninist people.  A
large number of the people were still confused during those times.  They
had heard antisocialist and anticommunist propaganda--from the capitalist
West, mainly the United States--for decades.  Anticommunism and
antisocialism, the main banners of this propaganda, were used as
instruments to try to keep the capitalist regime intact and the people

It is necessary to wage a great battle against those ideas and this lack of
sophistication.  The people wanted changed but did not have a clear idea
of which changes were necessary.  They opposed injustice, hunger, and
unemployment.  But they could not yet understand that the great majority of
those problems were created by the capitalist system, in which tools of
production were privately owned.  By its very nature, this system exploits
the people, detaches itself from the people's problems, and only cares
about profits.  When the people were asked if they wanted agrarian reform,
they said yes.  They also agreed on the need to lower rents and carry out
urban reform.  Similarly, the people agreed on the need to establish
agrarian reform, to release peasants from the payment of rent, and to rid
them of exploiting intermediaries.  When asked if public services, such as
telephone, energy, and transportation, should be owned by the people, they
agreed.  But when some citizens were asked if they would accept socialism,
they said no, because they did not know the nature of either communism of

Our people's minds were saturated with this propaganda.  A large number of
the people rejected socialism and communism without even knowing what they
were.  For this reason it was necessary to execute the Moncada program in
the initial stage of the revolution.  We can say this program was the
introduction to socialism, but it was not yet socialism.  The establishment
of this system was not yet discussed in our country.  How did our people
become socialist?  More than through indoctrination and reasoning, our
people became socialists through the revolutionary laws implemented.  When
rent was lowered, deeply cutting into the interests and landowners, all the
people backed this measure.

When agrarian reform started, all the people supported it.  For the first
time in our country's history, the state and government ceased to support
the wealthy and stood beside the poor.  When the vast majority of our
people saw that the government had decidedly affected the interests of the
wealthy and the bourgeoisie to support the people, all the lies and
antisocialist and anticommunist campaigns crumbled like a house of cards.
Thus emerged a new trend of political thought, a true political
sophistication among our people.  Never before had such a radical change
taken place in our country.  Never had there been such a radical change in
the country's means of production.  Never before had there been such an
in-depth change in awareness.

Even when slavery was abolished last century, the result of the Manibises'
heroic struggle during the 1868 war, the slaves were free in theory but in
practice they continued working for the landowners and capitalists in
exchange for a meager salary.  Property was not turned over to the slaves
of the people.

Even at the beginning of the century, when Cuba's independence was formally
proclaimed and there was an alleged Cuban Government, with a constitution
that contained an amendment called the Platt Amendment that gave the United
States the right to intervene in our country, there were no changes.
Ownership of land and industry continued in the hands of those who already
had them, the landowners and capitalists.  Absolutely nothing changed.

For the first time in our country's history, property has been taken form
the exploiters and turned over to the people.  It is the first time a true
social revolution has taken place.  It is the first time our people's
political philosophy and awareness have undergone an in-depth change.
This, of course, unleashed the Yankee imperialists' hatred and antagonism.
They could not conceive of such a thing.  They could not conceive of a
socialist revolution in our country.  They considered our country their
property and our people their meek flock.  With the in-depth changes in our
country's social situation, property ownership, and awareness began the
ferocious imperialist blockade against out country, which has lasted as
long as the revolution has lasted.

There are many tasks that the present generation will not have to confront.
This generation's ideological battle will be of a different nature, it will
not have to create socialist awareness but to defend it.

The present generation does not have to wage a battle to change the
property system; instead, it must defend the system of socialist property,
develop and perfect that system, develop and perfect that awareness.

The present generation does not have to wage a battle against illiteracy,
because, for a long time, since 1961, illiteracy has been virtually
eradicated.  This does not mean illiteracy was eradicated in a single day,
but it began to be tackled at its roots.  The new generation does not have
to build schools in the mountains, the fields, and in the cities of our
country.  The new generation does not have to face the problem of finding
teachers for the schools.  The new generation does not have to face these
tasks, because these tasks were accomplished by the revolution a long time
ago.  The new generation, or the present generation, doe snot have to face
the task of taking health services to all the people, of building hospitals
in rural areas.  The new generation does not have to face an undetermined
number of diseases that are no longer with us today.

The new generation does not have to face a high mortality rate, does not
have to face the task of building a hospital network throughout the
country.  In education, the new generation does not have to build thousands
of schools.  The new generation does not have to face the desperate need to
train tens of thousands of teachers or doctors because our country has made
great progress in those areas, because our country today has thousands and
thousands of reserve teachers.  Now, more doctors are graduated in our
country, every year than all the doctors that remained here after the
revolution's victory.

The new generation does not have to face the phenomenon of unemployment; it
does not have to face the profound changes we have to make in rural areas
in order to produce a radical transformation; it does not have to create
new agrarian laws or farms, organize cooperatives, exempt peasants from
paying rent, the new generation does not have to carry out urban reform, it
does not have to nationalize mines, as they are all nationalized, there is
no need to organize public services or transportation as that, too, has
already been done.  There is no need to nationalize factories, education,
or health services, as all of that has been accomplished.

We could even say that the new generation does not have to face the task of
building tens of thousands of kilometers of roads and highways, a large
number of the dams that already exist, and irrigation and canal systems.
The new generation will not have to tackle th task of developing the
infrastructure for ports, railroads, and other facilities to meet the
country's needs.  Many of the things accomplished during these 30 years
make the task of this generation very different, but no less important, at
the beginning of the revolution's fourth decade.

The construction of socialism in our country has made great progress.  The
new generation will not have to create, organize, and develop a party,
youth organizations, or powerful organizations of the masses within the
revolution.  These institutions already exist.  The current generation does
not have to organize a powerful army and the defense mechanisms with the
participation of all the people to defend the country.  These have already
been created.  The new generation does not have to organize the Interior
Ministry and the instruments to struggle against the enemy's activities and
keep order in the homeland.  These institutions have already been created.
Many things have been created.

I repeat, however, that the current generation's responsibilities and tasks
are very important.  In the first place, this generation must move the
revolution forward.  This is not a task of 1 day or 1 year, or of 10 to 30
years.  The revolutions a task that exists for an indefinite time.  The
revolution has brought new ideas, a new ideology.  The task of the new
generation is to develop this idea and ideology and resolutely defend them.

The current generation is tasked with consolidating perfecting, and
defending the revolution, strengthing the mechanisms to defend the homeland
and the country's integrity and independence.  The new generation has to
develop, defend, and perfect socialism.

The new generation must defend socialism.  Some people may have thought the
stage of the defense of socialism was over.  Our criteria and deepest
convictions, however, tell us that that phase is necessary now more than

During the last 30 years, the revolution defended itself from the
imperialist threat the imperialist aggression, the imperialist plans
against Cuba, and from imperialist subversion and crime.  The revolution
defended itself from counterrevolutionary groups, mercenary invasions,
plans, economic sabotage, murders of revolutionary cadres, reiterated
threats of direct aggression, and from a 30-year economic blockade,
imperialism, however, has not disappeared.  Imperialism is there.  Neither
the capitalist ideology not capitalism have disappeared.  Capitalism and
its ideology are still there.  The imperialist threats have not
disappeared; they are there.  To think that all of that difficult period
for the revolution and the homeland is over would be an illusion, an
illusion that the current generation cannot fall for.  New generations must
not fall for that illusion.

Imperialism has not given up the idea of eradicating socialism in Cuba.
The imperialists have not given up their plans to eliminate revolutionary
ideology in Cuba.  Imperialists have not given up the idea of destroying
our revolution.  Imperialists have perhaps changed their tactics and
weapons, but the Yankee imperialists are too arrogant, prepotent, and
haughty to give up the idea of defeating the Cuban Revolution and the idea
of wiping out socialism in Cuba.  We can even say something else:  World
imperialism and capitalism are too arrogant, prepotent, and haughty to give
up the idea of eliminating socialism in the world.

Imperialism has never renounced the idea of annihilating socialism or of
annihilating the socialist process from the face of the earth.  It has
tried it more than once through the use of force, as it did during the
first years of the Soviet revolution when it tried to meddle in the USSR;
during the fascist aggression against the Soviet Union during World Ward
II; during many years of encirclement of the USSR and the socialist camps
by military bases with atomic weapons; and through its threats to
annihilate socialism in a war.  Since historical circumstances have
prevented the imperialists from annihilating socialism by means of war,
imperialism has not renounced the idea of annihilating socialism through
subversion, attrition, and, if possible, the internal destruction of the
socialism system.  As the danger of a world war may be fading, the efforts
by capitalism and imperialism to defeat socialism on the ideological front
will increase.  Although the current generation does not have to plant the
seeds of the ideological front--that is, the seeds of socialism and
Marxism-Leninism in our people's political and revolutionary thinking--I
think the current generation is facing the imperative task of waging a hard
struggle, a subtle struggle, and a complex struggle to defend socialist
ideologies on the ideological front.

Imperialists do not deny saying that when this revolutionary
generation--the generation of those who waged the war and implemented the
revolution throughout these 30 years--has passed from the scene, their task
will be much easier.  Imperialists do not hide their hope that it will be m
such easier to deal with the new generation.  Imperialists say, think, and
estimate that since the new generation has not lived in a capitalist
system, and did not suffer from or know about the past's bitter
experiences, the new generation will have fewer points of reference between
the past and present.  They think the new generation will not be as
committed to the revolution, and will be easier to mislead and confuse.
They think waging the ideological war will be easier with the new
generation.  They think defeating the revolution will be much easier with
the new generation.

The capitalist and imperialist theoreticians cannot deny this.  The
imperialist political investigation centers cannot deny this; in fact, they
assert it.  Those are their hopes. Moreover, the campaign against out
country has increased lately.  It seems the capitalists and imperialists
sometimes lose sleep over the Cuban Revolution's firmness, the Cuban
Revolution's uncompromising, courageous, and resolute attitude.  Thus, a
sizeable part of their news media and propaganda tries to attack and
discredit the Cuban Revolution and confuse our people.

As we said recently, in the world at present there is a sort of imperialist
euphoria, a sort of capitalist euphoria, stemming from the reforms and
self-criticisms that are taking place in various socialist countries.  This
is not secret to us, because we know it well.  That euphoria tries to
present capitalist mechanisms as the only mechanisms to resolve problems,
to achieve productivity, to develop.

We are currently observing that situation, that thought, those illusions,
those ideas of the imperialists.  They are annoyed about Cuba's firm
attitude; about the full confidence that our country, our party, and our
revolution have in socialism, about our deep Marxist-Leninist convictions;
about our revolutionary intransigence--and that intransigence is nothing
new.  That intransigence is as old as our country's history, it is so
old... [changes thought] in 1978, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of
the heroic protect of Baragua, yet the intransidence and firmness of our
people's revolutionary beliefs is much older.  Therefore, the imperialists
should not be surprised about our party's and our people's attitude.

It this is so, the present generation will being the huge task entrusted to
them, which is in a sense a task even greater than the task we had, because
at the time of the revolution, socialism was progressing successfully,
united, with no difficulties, and with increasing prestige.  What does the
present generation or this generation have to continue the revolution's
work.  What do they nowaday's that we did not have?

During the first years we did not even have teachers.  Today there are over
270,000 professors and teachers.  During the first years, the people's
education was at the second-grade level.  Today our people's education is
at the high-school level.  During the first years, there were practically
no planners, specialized engineers, or economists.  Today we have hundreds
of thousands of university graduates.  During the first years, there were
3,000 doctors; today we have over 30,000.  During the first years of the
revolution, we never had the human resources this generation has.  This
generation has thousands and thousands of scientific cadres.  Our country
has outstanding positions in many aspects that determine the future.

In advanced technology, which will determine Cuba's future development, we
have institutions such as the genetic engineering and biotechnology center
and the National Center for Scientific Research.  A robotics center and a
center for transplant and nerve regeneration were recently created.  In the
past few years, thousands and thousands of scientific and technical cadres
have been working at the computer research center in the electronics
industry as well as in the computer industry and in the nuclear
industry--exclusively for peaceful purposes, of course.

We could say that our country has been creating the conditions for proper
scientific and technical development in all areas.  I am not speaking here
of medicine.  I believe that in these past years, our country has
established the proper conditions to become a true medical power.

In the area of education, the conditions have been established for our
country to become a true power.  The latest achievements in this area are
the pre-university natural science schools, where tens of thousands of
youths [applause] are educated under extraordinarily favorable conditions.

Computer science studies have been incorporated, not only in the area of
higher education, but also in these [pre-university] schools, in teacher
training schools. And in a very short time they will be incorporated into
all middle-level schools in the country. [applause]

The Communist Youth proposed the idea of the youth clubs [jovenclub] to
teach computer science to youths who, in their university or high school
classes, did not receive training in this area.

In the area of science, we have over 100 institutions.  In other areas,
such as the area of innovation, or streamlining [racionalizaciones], and
the youth technical brigades, we have advanced considerably.  All of these
creates the conditions to allow the present generally to consolidate,
improve, and develop socialism. [applause]

We are facing a great historic challenge.  Who will win?  Who will prevail?
The selfish, chaotic, inhumane capitalist regime, or will rational
socialism [prolonged, rhythmic applause] prevail as the most rational,
compassionate [solidario], and humane system?

Not only are the Cuban youths and the Cuban people faces with this
challenge today, but so are the youths and peoples of socialist countries.
Of course, this requires a special effort from us, particularly from the
new generation.  We must clearly see what is ahead for us.

The battle in which we are now engaged is perfecting socialism in our
country.  This battle is perhaps our greatest challenge: perfecting
socialism without resorting to the mechanisms and style of capitalism,
[applause] without being capitalistic.  Toward that end, we are not in a
process of rectification.

A few days ago, I said some results of that process are already evident.
We have seen some results.  For example, to mention one of them, we have
the contingents.  There are groups of youths who work in contingents in the
capital city. [applause] We have witnessed great prowess these days.  We
have seen that the Blas Roca Contingent did; we have seen what the 6th
Congress Contingent did; we have seen what the contingents that worked at
EXPOCUBA did; we have seen what the minibrigades have done; we have seen
the work carried out by the contingents in the various provinces.  We have
seen their work, and the principles that are being followed by those labor
forces have nothing to do with capitalist methods or with capitalist
organizational methods. [applause]

I am sure there are no contingents like these anywhere.  These contingents
proved what man can do and what man is able to do when there is faith and
trust in men and when we do not see men as animals [applause], as animals
[repeat himself] that do things only if you place a carrot in front of him.

Minibrigades, contingents, and thousands of mass work groups in our country
are currently making great efforts.  We can say that our thousands of mass
work groups are not working and doing what they are going because we are
placing a carrot in front of them. [applause]

What carrot did we place in front of the members of the PCC 6th Congress
Contingent, who in only 1 year completed the construction of a great
hospital in our capital?  We must add that it is of excellent quality

What carrot made the members of the minibrigades and contingents complete
in only 1 year--the main part of the work was completed in 1 year--that
wonderful work called EXPOCUBA? [applause]

What carrot was given to the Cuban citizens who contributed 400,000 hours
of volunteer work to construct the Miguel Henriquez Hospital? [applause]

What carrot was given to the thousands of college students and students of
the technological institute who [sustained applause] put in millions, who
put in millions [repeats himself] of hours of volunteer work for the
country's various social projects?

What carrot did we give to the mid-level students who participated in the
harvest of citrus fruit in Jaguey?  [applause]  They harvested over 400,000
tons of citrus fruit. [applause]

What carrot did we give to the Isle of Youth students who harvested
approximately 200,000 tons or citrus fruits? [applause] [crowd shouts
indistinct slogans]

What carrot made the hundreds of thousands of Cuban university students,
who are currently participating [applause]--there are many university
students here.  I see, there are a lot of university students here.  How
many are here? [crowds shouts indistinctly]

There are many university students here [prolonged, rhythmic applause] who
do any task that is asked of them.  What carrot could motivate the hundreds
of thousands of students who are participating now in the agricultural
schools?  [applause, crowd chants "Fidel" repeatedly, followed by
indistinct slogans]

What carrot motivates the hundreds of thousands of students who are working
3 hours a day in the rural schools? [applause, crowd chants indistinct

In other areas we could ask.  What carrot motivated the fighters of the
rebel army who, for 2 years, faced up to and defected the tyrant's Army?
[sustained applause]

What carrot, what carrot [repeats himself] motivated the thousands upon
thousands, tens of thousands, of teachers, doctors, and workers who have
performed internationalist service? [applause]

What carrot motivated the 50,000 Cuban fighters in Angola, who made victory
possible? [applause, crowd chants indistinct slogans]

I will ask one last question, as the list would be endless.  What... [crowd
chants indistinct slogans [I was trying to ask my last question--as the
list could go on forever--is what carrot motivated the 300,000 compatriots
who carried out their honorable internationalist mission in Angolas for 13
years? [applause, slogans]

Therefore, therefore do we have, do we have, do we have [repeats himself]
or do we not have reasons to believe in men, in their consciences, and in
their spirit of solidarity?  Do we or do we not have reasons to believes
main is capable of doing whatever he commits himself to?  Do we or do we
not have reason to believe men would rather live in a more humane, more
generous, more solidaristic, and fairer society than in the society of the
capitalist world, where the law of the jungle prevails?

Tell me if a society that grew up among the selfish ideas of socialism...
[corrects himself] capitalism could carry out any one of the projects we
have mentioned here.

That is why our faith in the future of the revolution is so firm.  That is
why I told you--based on certain experiences and factors--that your task
if to improve and develop the revolution and its system.

I read many capitalist press agency reports and commentaries that portray
us as dreamers and idealists.  I do not deny that we were idealists at one
time. All men have been idealists.

I would say we have been idealists in the better sense of the word.  At one
point, we admitted committing ideological mistakes.  Later, we made
profiteering [mercanchiflismo] mistakes.  That is what we did while we were
correcting something.  They [not further identified] seek to sow confusion,
saying we wandered away from the socialist formula.  I am categorically
stating here that we do not want to wander away from the socialist formula,
which was defined a long time ago.  Each person is to contribute according
to his means and to receive according to his work.  That means of
redistribution of goods is to be carried out based on the quantity and
quality of work a citizen contributes to society.  In this phase of the
revolution, we cannot wander from this formula.

The problem is how to interpret that formula.  We cannot always apply the
principle of giving to each according to his means and the amount of work
he does.  When we are going to send a worker's son to a school, we do not
look at how much his father works and contributes, because we want to give
children the best education.  If a child gets sick, we do not ask about
his father or mother's quality and quantity of work.  We simply see a child
that society and socialism has the sacred duty to cure, no matter what the
cost.  If pediatric heart surgery must be done--an it may cost thousands
and thousands of pesos--no one hesitates to do it.  If a kidney transplant
must be done, no one hesitates to do it.  If a heart transplant has to be
done, no one hesitates to do it.

No one asks that citizen.  How much do you work?  How much do you
contribute or fail to contribute?  A heart transplant may cost 100,000
[currency not specified].  A heart transplant costs in the United States.
[sentence as heard] Dozens of heart transplants have been done here I would
like to ask if it cost any citizen a single centavo, or if any citizen was
asked how much he contributes to society.  Work rewards must logically be
based on quality and quantity.  This is a logical socialist formula.
However, there are many things in society--many services, tasks, and
satisfaction--that are not part of that formula.  In building socialism,
and without wandering from the formula whereby each receives according to
his means and work, there are many socialist formulas and principles that
are applied with different criteria.  We cannot stop applying them with
different criteria.

There are many formulas in socialism.  They can resemble the formulas of
communism.  How much does one charge a child who is in a school on a
scholarship, or in the university, or the technical school, or in a natural
sciences school?  How much is he charged, and who is asked [for payment]?
Who is asked? After all, this child's contribution is made by his
parents.  Does one analyze the talent or merit of the child, the youth, or
the adolescent?  Does one analyze his grades, his records, his test scores?
He is given an opportunity.  He cannot always be measured by the simplistic
formula that everyone should receive according to one's quantity of work.

But we will not depart from the socialist formula if we understand the
importance of the socialist formula of reward; if we understand that it is
one of the principals from which we cannot wander.  We understand the
importance of reward, even of material incentives.  We understand it, but
this in no way means we will worship that material incentive, or even that
we believe it is the fundamental factor.  If we begin to believe it is the
fundamental factor, this could have negative consequences.  The socialist
formula of reward is part of the historic process of our revolution, but I
believe there are factors--I have said this, and I repeat it, and I will
not tire of repeating it--that are more important than material incentives.

The entire capitalist society revolves around material incentives and it
pays not the slightest attention to moral factors.  The construction of
socialism cannot follow the capitalist formula of giving the most weight to
material incentives.  I have a great number of examples here of feats that
have nothing to do with material incentives.  It is not possible to speak
of the construction of socialism without giving the most attention to the
moral factor.

ON 4 January, I was amazed when we gave out diplomas to the EXPOCUBA
workers who had done extraordinary things.  I remember one worker who
worked and worked and was always there, day and night.  That comrade put in
3,500 hours of volunteer work.

I later calculated this and it is the equivalent, it is the equivalent
[repeats himself] of approximately 2 years of volunteer work--after working
8 hours a day! [applause] What moves that man to do this?  Not money,
because there is not money to pay for this.  I see what the men who
comprise the Blas Roca Contingent and the other contingents are doing, and
I assure you no one else would do the same thing for money.

These people could earn their living by working half as much, yet we must
struggle with them--not to make them work but to stop them from working too
much, because the strength of honor is incalculable and infinite.  If they
make a commitment and it rains, thus preventing them from making any
progress, then they want to stay up until 0200 to 0300.  We said:  No, do
not work beyond 2200.  We must constantly restrain them.  Thus, I know
those men will not do it for money.  They are paid by using the socialist
formula.  They are even forbidden from doing volunteer work on weekdays so
they do not come up with the idea of working more hours.  We have told
them:  There will be no volunteer work except on Sundays.  We authorize
volunteer work only on Sundays.

We see their reaction.  They respond to other things, to other attitudes.
The way you care for people is very important.  Men are capable of doing
anything for a friendly gesture, yet they would not do the same things for
money.  Men are capable of giving their lives for a friendly gesture,
because men die in combat for a friendly gesture from their fatherland!
Men die in combat defending their fatherland and ideas! [applause]

Men have taken all kinds of risks.  Hundreds of thousands of fellow
citizens have risked their lives carrying out internationlist missions.
How much money would have paid for this?  No one would offer his life for
money because, among other things, money is worthless, when you are dead.
No one would offer his life for 1 million pesos or 10 million pesos, yet
men are capable of dying en masse for the sake of their ideas.

When we mobilized millions of people in this country, we prepared and armed
them; and we know millions are prepared to die in case of an invasion.
How could be pay them for this?  How could we pay each of the men and
women in our Armed Forces.  Territorial Militia troops, production
brigades, and defense brigades for defending their homeland?  They are
defending an idea, they are defending the fatherland! [applause]

How could we pay the fighters who go out on internationalist missions, the
hundreds of thousands who carried out internationlist missions and risked
their lives for an idea, a principle, for the sake of solidarity,
internationalism and honor?  Men--when I say men I mean men and women, but
I do not want to repeat myself.  Human beings do for the sake of their
morals and honor what they would not do for all the money in the world!

I think it would be an insult to the people's revolutionary ideals and
ideas to believe that men will only be moved by material things.  I want
this clearly understood so not one misinterprets this idea.  We stand firm,
quite firm that is why we see all those exmples.  I was merely mentioning a
few which are unique given the people's attitude and are the result of our
education.  There can be no socialism, and a communist society cannot be
developed, if there is no education and if certain ideas do not become
ethical principles for every citizen and every human being.

Therefore, the new generation must work hard, build things, and perfect the
system.  We have attained considerable progress but (?much more progress
must be achieved).  Perhaps this generation will not be able to build
communism in our country or live in a communist society, but it will
certainly attain considerable progress.  Other generations will do their
part, because the march cannot be stopped and one generation will follow
another like a caravan to victory.

I said earlier that we have attained considerable progress in certain
things, so the country does not have to make those things a priority.  I
said that... [changes thought] Referring to health, it will not longer have
to be priority--even though we must continue to perfect what we are
going--because we have more than 25,000 medical students.  The doctors that
we will need in 1995 are already in medical college, and others are already
in premedical college.  Those programs must continue, no doubt about it,
and we will have between 65,000 and 70,000 doctors by the year 2000.  We
all know what they will do.

We must continue with the family doctor programs, and we must build
hospitals in certain places.  We must build clinics, health institutions,
and some hospitals, but that will not be a priority matter in future years.
We will not have to emphasize the need for investments in the education
sector, but we must continue to perfect our education programs and system,
making them richer and more scientific.  Everything we do with the Exact
Sciences School, the computers, and college and university education
represents as improvement in quality.

We will have to continue to build schools, not because there are no
schools, but to build newer and better schools--schools with all the
material conditions so there are not too many students in a classroom, and
so the classroom has proper ventilation and enough light.  We will continue
to build more schools, but this is a task in which we have achieved
considerable progress.

We will continue to builds more dams, but we have already built a sizeable
part of the largest one.  It is simply a matter of working according to
plan until the last dam and the last canal is completed in the country.  It
is simply a matter of working according to plan and of not letting things
slow down, failing to meet a deadline, or forgetting things.  We certainly
have achieved considerable progress.

We must continue to build roads and highways even though most of them have
been built.  We must continue to build the national highway to Santiago de
Cuba, finish the highway to Pinar del Rio, and build a two-lane highway to
that area, but those are development tasks that must be carried out after
we build a second set of tracks for our main railroad.  I believe it was a
mistake not to build a second set of tracks when the railroad was rebuilt.

We have achieved considerable progress in many of these things, but we must
achieve progress in the scientific research centers--in an increasingly
selective way.  We must clearly ascertain the usefulness of each center,
including all the new scientific research centers under construction.
Also, the principle of dedication, the principle of dedication [repeats
himself] must be encouraged among the scientists who working those new
center, because they seem to have forgotten about this.

We must continue to industrialize the country.  Yes, that is a basic task
for the next 30 years and the next 60 years.  We must make investments
that yield the best products and results, solve more problems, and meet
our priority needs.  The current generation must continue to work
intensively and search for the best, investing the necessary resources for
the country's industrialization.

We will have to continue developing all kinds of services.  The
revolution must work on and perfect this sector.  I am not talking about
health or education services; I am talking about other kinds of services in
which we must attain solutions.  The construction of houses is a very
important task.  We will have to emphasize the importance of this for our
social development in the near future.  In other words, there are many
tasks to fulfill, complement, and develop.

We will also have new tasks.  I said... [changes thought] We will have to
develop the steelworks and mechanical industry.  We have to master
automation and attain progress with robots, the programmed operations, and
the automatic lathes.  This not only increases productivity but also
improves the quality of our products.  Future generations must develop this
sector to the maximum and they have the potential to do this.

They also have to develop genetic engineering and biotechnology, and they
have the adequate conditions for this.  It is also necessary to give a
tremendous impulse in the years to come to electronic and computer
sciences.  If is also necessary to give a great impulse to biological
sciences.  It is also necessary to continue implementing daily scientific
knowledge and techniques in the agricultural field; it is necessary to give
an impulse to this sector.  It is necessary to develop plans that will
guarantee a steady food supply, taking into account our climate and our
natural resources.  Significant progress has been attained recently in the
use of sugarcane for animal food.  A specific hectare planted with
sugarcane could yield an additional 50 percent with irrigation, division
of land, and drainage of plots (drenajes parcelarios); it could yield twice
the usual amount, and a good part of this yield could be used to produce
meat and milk, proteins that have a nutritional value.  It is necessary to
continue with the rice plans to increase production of tubers, vegetables,
citrus products, and fruits to feed the people.  It is a huge task;
however, there are thousands and thousands of technicians and university
graduates already in the fields.

For the current generation, much work lies ahead in the social and economic
fields.  More than anything else, the current generation has to perfect
socialism, develop and take it as far ahead as possible using methods fit
for the masses, using socialist and revolutionary methods.  We must not
allow ourselves to be deceived by the illusion that by using capitalist
methods--which completely depart from the methods we were explaining here,
vulgar capitalist methods--or by glorifying the boosting of wages to try
and comply with socialism, because we will then fail.  This is nothing new;
I am not just saying this now.  Che said this years ago, and he was a
clear-minded, brilliant, and intelligent revolutionary. [applause]

Many of the Che's warning about this were seen later.  Perfecting socialism
is a strategic task of the current revolution... [correctes himself]
generation.  Defending socialism become an ideological offensive, not ony
with enthusiasm, conviction, and morale, but also with the mind, studies,
and in-depth analysis of the problems.  We must use the mind.  Both things
are needed.  Having the conviction is essential, feeling is essential,
enthusiasm is essential, but we must go into it in-depth, we must study it.
(?I believe in the role) of teaching revolutionary doctrine,
Marxism-Leninism.  Political teaching should be less dogmatic and more
dialectical.  This does not mean a more liberal, more opportunist, or more
dialetic interpretation of ideas.  It means not interpreting ideas
liberally or opportunistically.

I believe we need to study more of our country's history.  If we have great
unsurpassable historical roots, we must then learn more of Cuba's
history--not only in school, but through publications.  We sometimes go
crazy publishing any old book, and we do not publish a good book on Cuban
history.  Some of these history books have already been written;
biographies of historical personalities or history of centuries
past--especially history on past society--on the time when our nationally
emerged, on the struggle for our independence.

We have to public more books and better publicized them.  Those books take
us to our cultural and historical roots.  Those books are very rich.  I
claim there cannot be a good political education without a good knowledge
of history.  There cannot be a good revolutionary formation without a good
knowledge of history.

The present generation must resist the imperialist attacks, but it must be
prepared to do so on any ground.  Regarding the country's defense, I want
to repeat here what I said on 5 December; what out philosophy should be;
what our concept of defense should be.  Some people believe, or think, or
have said, that the heroic stage is over.  We cannot let ourselves be
misled by these strange ideas.  This is a mistaken opinion.  The idea is
false.  The heroic stage is not over and we do not know when the heroic
stage will end.  There are those here saying that the heroic stage has
ended, but tens of thousands of men advanced to the south of Angola,
converted into a powerful fist prepared to vanquish the apartheid army
unless it withdrew. [applause]

While some here were talking about the end of the heroic stage, never were
so many men writing such glorious pages in our country's history.  That is
the reality.  Those things happened in 1988.  On one hand, many of our men
were writing the most beautiful pages in our country's history; on the
other, some people were spreading strange and mistaken ideas would the end
of the heroic stage of our struggle.

We cannot lower our guard.  We must be ready to fight, because the heroic
stage could last dozens of years.  I would say that stage could last for as
long as imperialism and the aggressive, warmongering, and threatening
philosophy exist.   We see that everyday.  The imperialists are presently
marching.  Right no.  Yankee squadrons are going to the Mediterranean Sea.

We cannot make the mistake of neglecting our defense, and we hope the new
generation will never make that decisive and vital mistake.  When I talk
about heroism.  I am not only talking about the kind of heroism men
demonstrate in combat.  Heroism is needed in many other fields.  We need
heroism to work; we need a lot of heroism to work.  When we spoke about
those youths, we were talking about labor heroes.  We need many of those
heroes.  We need not only heroes who shed their blood.  Heroes are not made
only on the battlefield.

I claim that Cuba is a country filled with men and women of heroic
capacities.  We can be heroes in construction work, in a factory, in a
scientific research center.  We can be heroes while fulfilling an
internationalist, civil mission as teachers or doctors.  The high number of
Cuban doctors working in internationalist missions shown the type of
heroes our country has.  They are doctors and professional of various other

Hopefully, in the future we will not have to fight and peace will prevail.
Hopefully, in the future we will send not soldiers or combatants, but
doctors, teachers, scientists, and professionals abroad.  According to our
estimates, around the year 2000 Cuba should have 10,000 doctors available
to offer in international cooperation.  Hopefully, by the year 2000 we will
be conducting only missions of cooperation.

When I speak of heroism, I not only speak of heroism on the battlefield or
in the military sense.  I am speaking about civil heroism, around which we
could write as extraordinary pages of history as on the battlefield.  That
is a very important issue.  In my opinion, it is a key idea for the
current generation.

We must develop new forms and conceptions of work.  We must develop the
spirit we found in the builders' contingents.  We must develop that spirit
in all areas, not only in the construction sector.  I know of scientific
research centers that share that spirit.  In fact, that spirit of
dedication was born in a scientific center.  We must extend that spirit of
dedication to all sectors.  We must not work for the sake of working, of
course, but we must not stop working because we lack equipment, hand labor,
or time.  We must seek a more conscientious discipline of work and study.

We must leave paternalist tendencies behind, which is why I so like the
system of discipline and organization of the contingents.  The group
determined the disciplinary system.  Many laws, a great number of laws,
have been made in the capitalist system, where the worker is exploited by
the capitalists.  In socialism, there have often been obstacles.  There
have been comments about laziness.  There has been too much protection,
which has been contrary to the people's interests.  I believe there can be
no socialist or communist conscience until work ceases to be ruled by
legislative precepts or by some imposition, some form of coercion, imposed
by society, and becomes something that is truly done on the basis
of conscience.

Therefore, we have to analyze our own labor legislation, which has served
to protect not the good worker but the lazy, the undisciplined.  We have to
seek 20 lawyers and new forms of discipline on the job, forms that are more

The contingents have practically no incentives; there are practically no
incentives.  We never have to ask.  When one of those men has to miss work,
we know he was really sick and that he truly could not come.

We have to eliminate our extremely specialized [perfiles estrechos] jobs.
We have to look at jobs from a broader perspective.  We do not know how
many specialized jobs were invented here just so the workers would not have
to do their 8 hours of work.  With such specialized jobs, it was not
possible to find enough work for 8 hours and so they worked 5, 6, 7, or 4
hours.  We must use the multitask concept.  It is foolish for one person to
do just this, or that, or the other.  This way they gain experience.

We must not hurl ourselves hastily into any of these things, but we must
work in a sustained manner in implementing these ideas.  In my opinion,
they are key concepts toward achieving discipline and efficiency in

There are many work centers, and many of them are beginning to be
exemplary.  On the other hand, we have to learn technology.  We must master
technology and apply it, because productivity on the job lies in this.  You
can motivate a man materially so he cuts more can.  I use cutting cane,
because it is a good example of the type of job in which one cannot stop
applying the socialist formula.  However, no matter how many incentives you
give a man, he can only cut 30 to 50 percent more; but a machine, a
KTP-1 combine, can cut enough for 40 men.  The KTP-2 can cut for as many as
60 to 70 men.  There may be machines that will allow 1 man to replace 120
men.  That is a very clear example of how productivity depends basically on

Material incentives can increase production up to a point, and they should
be used, particularly depending on the type of work involved.  With an
automatic programmed lathe, one can do in 2 hours, with much better quality
what the best lathe operator needs 50 hours to do.  With computers, one can
do the calculations for a small engineering project in 1 to 1/2 hours,
while 40 or 60 hours would be needed otherwise.  The secret of productivity
on the job is in technology and discipline.  The productivity of the Blas
Roca Contingent and of the other contingents do not depend on the speed
with which the mane operates, but on the constancy.   He is forbidden to go
faster than a certain number of kilometers, because the equipment is
conserved better and his life and the lives of other are protected.  The
productivity of the Blas Roca Contingent depends on the rhythm, back and
forth, in a sustained manner.  The loader is always there.  The bulldozer
is always there.  Each one is always in his place.  No time is wasted.
That is the secret of productivity, not the rushing back and forth of
trucks at any speed.  They are forbidden to go faster then a certain speed.

The secret of productivity is in discipline, technology, rational and
efficient organization, and rational and efficient use of machinery and
human resources.

Therefore, we must have discipline; we must develop scientific methods of
organizations and direction.  We must gain control of technology.  We can
advance more than the capitalists on that path when we perfect our methods
of organization and when we are capable of directing men.  That is where
the secret lies, to have revolutionary methods.  I think these are tasks of
the current generations, and they are serious tasks.  It is a historic
task.  You will finish in 30 years.  If we are to measure each 30 years,
rendering accounts of what is done in the next 30 years... [changes
thought] You had not even been born then.  You will have to meet in the
future with new generations who have not yet been born.  Those who were
born on 1 January--I believe there are at least dozens of comrades here who
were born on 1 January 1959--they are now 30 years old. [applause]  Many of
your in 30 years, even the little pioneers, will be 40, 41, 42 years old;
and the youths will be 40 and some 50; and there will be new generations,
such as you, to whom you must render accounts of what you do.  We hope you
will bequeth them a strong revolution, victorious, stronger and more
victorious than our revolution is today. [applause] I certainly believe you
have a great responsibility, not only in this country.  The task of this
generation will not be limited solely to the internal affairs of Cuba.

We live in a hemisphere and continent of enormous importance.  We are part
of the Latin American and Caribbean countries. Those countries combined
have a population of more than 400 million inhabitants, which is almost
twice the U.S. population.  The task of the current Cuban and Latin
American generation is immense, gigantic.  I see it everywhere, I see young
people, brilliant people, who hail from all these countries.  During these
days, we have seen hundreds of them.  One has see with how much respect and
warmth they have expressed themselves in support of Cuba, making statements
of all sorts supporting the revolution, explaining how much they trust,
what hopes they have in the revolution.  This is a decisive moment in the
history of Latin America and the Caribbean.  We perceive a great
ebullience, a great rebellion in those countries against imperialist
domination, never before witnessed.  These are truly new times.

They cannot stand anymore, they can no longer stand the consequences of the
debts, unequal trade, protectionism, systematic plundering, and systematic
looting through these procedures.  They can not longer stand the flight of
capital, the brain drain.   They can no longer stand the conditions to
which they are subjected.  There is ebullience in this hemisphere.

Our peoples have a historic task of great importance: to struggle together
with the Latin American countries.  They have the duty of setting an
example, of expressing solidarity, of advancing the revolution, of raising
and enhancing the idea of socialism, the prestiage of socialism.  They have
the duty of cooperating, of assisting with a broad-minded spirit.  I would
not dare say that socialism is the immediate order of the day of Latin
America.  I would dare say that the independence of Latin American
peoples is the order of the day.  The Latin American peoples lost their
independence, left Spanish colonialism, and have fallen into a worse kind
of domination, which is neocolonial domination, imperialist domination.
That is a historic reality.

The United States started with a handful of English colonies on the eastern
coast of the United States.  If gradually extended through the central part
of the country, exterminating indigenous populations.  It reached the
Pacific Coast through brutal means, through means of extermination.

Then the United States seized more than half of Mexico.  More than half of
Mexico's territory was seized in an expansionist war by the United States.
It intervened in Central America through difference means.  It also tried
to take over Cuba.  I explained what the narcisco Lopez expedition had
been, the expeditions of the pirates in Central America.  It seized control
of the isthmus of Canada... [corrects himself] of Panama, to establish its
canal there.  It has established terrible forms of domination in all of
Latin America.  Most of the coups staged during this century in Latin
America were promoted by the United States.  The most renowned was the coup
d'etat against Allende which brought about the dictatorship of Pinochet,
which has lasted more than 15 years.  In Central America it promoted coups
d'etat.  In South America it promoted all sorts of coups d'etat.  In Santo
Domingo, it intervened when a revolution broke out there.  It sent its
troops to Grenada, taking advantage there of the errors and taking
advantage of the suicidal acts of that revolutionary process.  It has kept
Cuba under permanent threat.  In El Salvador it has waged a genocidal war.
In Nicaragua it carries out a dirty war.

No youngster can forget this reality of our hemisphere of our great
fatherland.  Our great fatherland is Latin America and the Caribbean.
[applause]  Only in that great fatherland, only in great fatherland--the
Latin American and Caribbean countries--can Bolivarian ideas survive.
Marti's ideas gain more strength than ever.  It is a political necessity,
an economic necessity.  Great economic communities are being formed in the
world.  The United States and Canada constitute a great economic community.
Europe is a great economic community.  The socialist countries of Europe is
a great economic community.  Japan is a great economic community.  China is
a great economic community, and it will be so in an ever-increasing manner.
Our countries have not future without integration, without unity.  This
idea gains more strength than ever.  This idea, these bonds of union, of
solidarity, must be developed more than ever among the current generations.
The Latin American peoples have here a great task, an enormous task. Bonds
must be strengthened on all paths.  Our struggle today is all-encompassing,
because we are called upon to unite to resolve vital problems, to guarantee
the independence of our countries.  We no longer care about the social
system each of those countries has, but we are concerned about all those
things that unite us.  We are united not only be all those interests we
have mentioned.  It is not only in the interests of peace, of respect of
our peoples, but in the interests of deciding what kind of world we are
going to live in, what kind of peace we will have in the future.
Therefore, more than our generation, which was isolated, very isolated, by
imperialism, which obliged governments to break ties with Cuba... [changes
thought]  That period is a thing of the past.

The ties with the other Latin American peoples, however, were never broken.
Today we are developing ample ties with the governments, with many--with
the peoples also, of course--with many Latin American governments.

We are entering a stage in which Latin America must join forces to survive,
attain its independence, develop and have a place in the future world.
Those are very important tasks.  Therefore, I believe the current
generation must not only study Cuban history, but also Latin American
history, geography, and economics.  The new generation must study the Latin
American social and economic phenomena.  Fortunately, Latin Americans speak
the same language and we have many common cultural roots.  Even those who
speak Portuguese understand us very well.  We understand them very well
and they understand us very well.  Angola is the best example of that.
Angolans speak Portuguese.  Cubans did not have to learn to speak
Portuguese to carry out their internationlist missions.  Even those who
went to work as teachers did not have to learn Portuguese.

A common language and culture is an enormous advantage.  If we unite our
people's culture with the culture of the other Latin American peoples, we
would create an enormous, gigantic cultural force.  I would dare say that
force would be larger than any cultural force in any other region of the
world.  That is, in fact, seen at various cultural meetings; at meetings in
the House of the Americas; at film, ballet, and theater festivals, and at
any artistic-cultural activity.  At all those meetings and occasions we can
see the enormous cultural potential we have.  We must make a common wealth
of that cultural potential.

That is why I say we public all kinds of books except for books on Latin
American history. What do not know about Latin American and Caribbean
history?  What do we know about Latin American geography, economics, and
natural resources?

Today we talked about political education.  We cannot have politically
educated people if those people lack ample information about our huge
homeland, our common homeland, and our future destiny, which is Latin
America and the Caribbean.

Some Cubans speak English.  English is perhaps not so difficult to learn,
maybe one day we still study it with more pleasure than with which we have
studied it while being attacked by the Yankee imperialists.  It is not so
hard to learn English to be cable to communicate with the English-speaking
Caribbean countries.

I believe we have basic tasks.  We cannot waste time I am not talking about
school teaching.  WE must have a minimum of school education.  I am talking
about teaching the entire population.  The Cuban people know how to read.
They like books.  We must encourage our youths.  We all enjoy reading a
science book or a novel, and I tell your that there is nor more interesting
novel or story than our own history.  There is no more interesting history
than the Latin American peoples' history.

I believe that should be one of the tasks of the current generation.  We
are not worthy of envy for having lived certain periods of history--and we
have in fact lived very important times.  You are worth envying because of
the tasks and history that stand ahead of you and because of the starting
point you have today to develop the revolution and carry out the great
tasks of our hemisphere and our great tasks in the world.  That does not
mean our internationalist ties with the other countries will be weakened.
We must continue developing our internationalist ties with our African
brothers.  It is a great pleasure and a great privilege for us to have
here today youths representing 18 African countries and countries from
other continents. [applause]

Who would have dreamed 30 years ago that we would have over 18,000 foreign
students on the Isle of Youth today?  We are proud of and satisfied with
that. Recently I sand that I have lived very unique experiences, and I
would say the Cuban experience in the world, a result of the Cuban people's
internationalist spirit.  You can see what the Isle of Youth means.

See what a great symbol that is.  The Cuban youths and the Pioneers are
gathered here, and among them there are 1,000 students from other
countries, as representatives of over 18,000 students who are on the Isle
of Youth and as representatives of over 24,000 students who are currently
in our country.  See what relations, what links, what ties!  What a
beautiful example of what today's interrelated world consists of.  What a
beautiful example of what the Third World is.  What a beautiful example of
the tasks that remain ahead of us.  This generation must continue to
develop that sentiment, that spirit.  Much remains for the Third World to
do.  Much remains for the Third World to do in unison.

We must continue to develop our relations with the socialist countries,
independent of the style or model for the construction of socialism that
they pursue.  We have our ideas, but we begin by proclaiming our most
absolute respect for each socialist countries' right to try to build
socialism by the paths and methods if finds most appropriate.  What they do
is not our concern.  We respect what others do, just as we demand the most
absolute respect for what we do.  [applause]

It is strategically important for the present generation to continue
developing those ties with the socialist countries, and for them to
continue developing ties with the revolutionary, progressive forces; the
working class; the progressive and honest intellectuals; the democrats in
the capitalist countries; and indeed--if there is a climate of peace and
coexistence--they should develop scientific, technical, and economic ties
with other states, even if they are not socialist.  I believe our
revolution has acquired enough maturity and experience in these 30 years to
allow the new generation to follow a wise, intelligent, and fertile policy
of this kind.

If we asked--as the little comrade asked us--what we wanted to say, I think
about how long it would take to speak to you about so many topics.  I
believe you are aware that the future will not fall like manna from the
skies.  The goods that are needed to raise our people's standard of living
must be created and developed.  They must be produced in increasing
quantities, and this can only be the fruit of our labor and our

Instead of asking, we must develop a mentality of giving and contributing.
Do not trust people who are always asking and demand too much.  Do not
trust them, because fruit will not come from people making unrealistic
demands.  Fruit must come from people who give, contribute, create, and
work.  We can only fully meter our needs and all our aspirations through
our people's work and intelligence.  I deem it just and legitimate to
strive to meet our needs and reach all our aspirations.  I am certain we
can achieve it, I am certain we will achieve it.  I am sure of something I
have said before.  Henceforth, we can produce in 1 year the equivalent of 2
or 3 years.  I am convinced that the coming years must be more fruitful
than ever.

Just as I talk of discipline as an indispensible condition, I think the
idea of making demands--strict demands--based on the concept of to each
according to the way he fulfills his social needs must be another of the
fundamental principles of the new generations.  I said that we could talk
a lot.  However, I think I have said enough.  Perhaps I have failed to tell
your that our generation, the generation called the fifties generation,
which began its struggle during the 100th anniversary of Jose Marti's
birth, the generation of the revolution, the generation of 1 January 1959,
believes in you.  It is sure of you.  I know you are the worthy sons of the
generation that resumed the revolution to achieve our fatherland's full
independence.  I tell you, on behalf of our party, all the revolutionary
fighters of that generation--whether they are older or younger--of our
absolute faith in all of your.  I tell you of our total certainty you will
be able to face the major challenged of the future. [sustained applause]
that you will be able to fight and overcome the ideological war, and that
you will be able to fight and overcome the consolidate the revolution
better and develop socialism.

Allow me to tell you of my most absolute certainty that no other generation
in the history of our country has ever had the privilege of seeing a youth
like you following in its footsteps.  Free fatherland or death!  We will
win!  [Crowd shouts, "We will win!"] [sustained applause]