Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Inaugurates Julio Trigo Hospital Ward

FL0206214389 Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 2217
GMT 29 May 89

[Speech by President Fidel Castro at the inauguration of the Julio Trigo
Gynecological-Obstetrical Ward in Arroyo Naranjo Municipality,
Havana--live; Havana Cubavision Television in Spanish at 2330 GMT on 20 May
broadcasts the same speech allowing for fills and clarifications.]

[Text] Distinguished guests, construction workers, hospital workers,
medical students, family doctors, Lenin School students, and workers who
cooperated on this project:  There isn't much to say about this project if
you keep in mind the many times we have referred to the hospital services
and development programs.  I don't like to repeat myself.  Besides, in
these next few days, we have to inaugurate three other important hospital
projects:  the triplification of the Albarran, we can't call it an
expansion but rather a triplification [chuckles]; the new pediatric
hospital in Marianao, which is already finished except for a few little
details; and the Salvador Allende Intermediate Intensive Therapy Center,
which has several operation rooms.  It is an important expansion which
gives those hospitals a great quality.  Those are the fundamental projects
we have.  We won't speak of clinics or polyclinics, because this year we
have to finish the 20 we proposed to fulfill the capital's polyclinic

So fine, in the next few days we will have to address these health matters.
What do we have here?  Well, I think we have a magnificent hospital
facility.  It was finished a few weeks ago and has already started to
render services, except the inauguration was delayed a little.  That's fine
though because we are still on time.  I was saying that it is a magnificent
hospital facility.  I asked the public health investor:  How does it
compare with other maternity hospitals?  He said to me:  Undoubtedly, this
is the best one in Cuba.  This is logical because I think that every new
thing we make should be better.  Then I asked him:  Will there be one
better than this hospital?  He said:  Yes, the two surgical clinics of East
and West Havana.  These are two institutions we have proposed to build, but
we have postponed building them because, with the great increase in beds
within the past 3 years, we can afford to wait 1 or even 2 years to begin
on those hospitals so that we may have a better distribution of those
institutions.  These hospitals will be the eastern pediatric hospital and
the southwestern or rather, southern pediatric hospital.

Well, with the advances we have achieved these past few years, we can take
our time in building these institutions.  When we do begin to build them,
they will be finished within 2 and 1/2 years, 3 years maximum, but it will
be around 2 and 1/2 years.  The projects for those hospitals are ready; we
already have the models.  Really, they are extraordinary institutions.  Of
course, when they are ready, they will be the best ones in the country
[chuckles].  As with every one of these hospitals, there will be something
that will be amended, there will be things that are perfected.  Even though
they are similar projects, there is no doubt that each one will be better
than the other.

Here, however, we have the best maternity-infant hospital in the country.
Of course, it doesn't appear as an independent institution.  This is in
keeping with a new concept we are trying to develop.  This concept is to
associate the maternity hospitals with the surgical clinics.  This will
give the maternity-infant hospitals an advantage because the surgical
clinics have very modern equipment and a good number of surgeons with
plenty of experience, as well as other services which help the maternity
hospitals but are usually not found in maternity hospitals.  However, the
connection between a maternity hospital and a surgical one creates the
opportunity for better care in the maternity hospital.  We are already
doing this and in Santiago de Cuba we are thinking of uniting two which are
very close.  The Salvador Allende hospital will also have maternity
services.  As we are able to do it, we will begin to establish maternity
services in the surgical clinics.  This is why they are not found as
independent hospitals.  This one is associated with the Julio Trigo
Hospital which we inaugurated 1 year and 18 months ago--5 September 1987.

We remember when, at that inauguration, this installation was yet to be
built.  We were also working on other projects for other ends, but we had
already decided to give this installation to a maternity-infant center, or
I don't know how the doctors prefer to call it, gynecological-obstetrical
or whatever.  That's more technical.

Do they call it maternity-infant?  [addresses unidentified person] The
children are on the other side, over there at the Abayi.  So, what do we
call it? [addresses unidentified person] [response indistinct] Maternity?
Ok, that is fine.

So, we made that decision.  It was built in practically 2 years.  What used
to be here in the past?  As someone had said, there used to be an
antituberculosis hospital here.  Supposedly, later it would become a
tuberculosis hospital.  Many years ago, when this hospital was built,
unfortunately, there was not a cure for tuberculosis.  He who would get
tuberculosis would irremissibly be condemned to death.  These institutions
would serve to prolong life as much as possible, and to alleviate the
patients' suffering.  With the triumph of the Revolution, the development
of the country's medical services greatly reduced tuberculosis in Cuba.
Consequently, our country's tuberculosis rates became very low, and we were
able to free these facilities.

These facilities became headquarters of several medical institutes.  They
were being repaired and adapted for that purpose, until we reached the
conclusion that these facilities were not being used to their fullest
potential.  We realized that other solutions could be found for the medical
institutes, and that we could even come up with a more adequate project for
those facilities.  We also had to keep in mind the large population we have
in this area.  The Arroyo Naranjo Municipality, which has almost 200,000
people, did not have a maternity hospital nor a clinical-surgical hospital.
That is why we decided to create a hospital here, a general hospital--that
is another name for it.

The ensemble is called the teaching general hospital, which is made up of
the clinical-surgical area and the maternity area.  As it was said, this
greatly improves health services for the Arroyo Naranjo Municipality which
is one of the most popular municipalities, most proletarian, of our
capital.  It used to have one pediatrics hospital, the Abayi Hospital,
which is located on the other side, in front of the Julio Trigo.  Along
with the idea of creating these facilities, we also added the idea of
creating a medical school near this hospital complex.  [applause] Before,
we only had the Abayi right here; but the Abayi we have today includes the
clinical-surgical, maternity, and the medical school areas.  These are four
very important areas here.  This has become a whole complex with the other
institutions that were mentioned here--psychiatric hospitals, several
polyclinics, a day hospital....[unidentified speaker makes indistinct
comment] Well, maternity homes, but the homes don't....[incomplete sentence
as heard] Fine, do you have them in hospital facilities?  Oh yes, that is
right--maternity homes.

You also have something that is very new which is the family doctor.  As
was said, there are already 145 house-clinics for family doctors in this
municipality.  I believe you said that in 1988, 58 percent of the
population was cared for by the family doctor [addressing unidentified
person].  There are 175 family doctors.  I imagine a lot of them are here.
All family doctors, raise your hands because we do not see you.  You are
very quiet there.  This number includes not only those who work in the
house-clinics but also those who are in reserve.  We always need a reserve
of doctors in case there is someone sick.  Someone could go on maternity
leave, since the majority of the family doctors are women, and they are in
their fertile age, like the specialists say.  [laughter] As a result of
that, there is always a number of family doctors who are working while
pregnant or on maternity leave.  That is why we came up with the idea of
having a medical reserve; there are approximately 30 of them here.
Therefore, they are responsible for guaranteeing service at all times.

It is considerable progress for 58 percent of the population to be cared
for by family doctors.  I am told that by 1991 the whole municipality will
be cared for by them.  When do you say you will cover the whole
municipality?  [addressing unidentified speaker, who answers:  By the end
of 1991.]  By the end of 1991 the whole municipality will be covered by the
family doctors--the 190,000 residents.  Has the number increased or
decreased?  [addressing unidentified person whose response is indistinct]
Yes, and in addition to that number, we have the 3,000 or 4,000 who are
born each year, as well as the people who move here.  At that rate, how
could the number not increase?

So, it is an extraordinary step for progress, especially if you think that
in 2 more years, the whole municipality will be covered by the family
doctor plan.  This will be a colossal step forward.  This will actually
happen in very few years.  This will translate into an improvement of the
municipality's health conditions.  As a matter of fact, I think that last
year's infant mortality rate was just a little over 10.  [unidentified
speaker says:  10.5, commander] The municipality's infant mortality rate
was 10.5.  All this effort and progress in the development of the medical
sector is already evident.  I repeat, this is in one of the poorest
municipalities of the capital.

Now, anyone would say that to remodel a hospital is easier than to build
one.  The opposite could be true.  To remodel a building is sometimes more
complicated and more difficult than to build a new building.  There used to
be large rooms in that building.  We could say it used to hold many beds,
but all the empty spaces had to be filled.  We had to make smaller rooms
out of the large room so that they would fit 2, 3, or 4 beds at the most.
Some were made into single-bed rooms for intensive care.  All the services
a hospital of this type needs had to be established.  We had to install all
the operating rooms, which are needed for a hospital of this type.  We had
to install air conditioning.  An enormous job had to be done to satisfy all
the requirements of a modern hospital.

I remember that I came by here several times while it was under
construction.  I spoke with the Sancti Spiritus contingent workers.  I saw
they were working 13, 14, and 15 hours a day.  At the end, the finishing
details are more complicated.  The placement of each tile, each marble
block on the walls of the hospital, must be done well.  The floors must be
put together.  I was looking at certain details on the floor.  Some floors
looked fine, others not so good.  I asked what had happened, because I knew
there used to be a granite floor.  They gradually improved the work, but
some small details remained like that.  I think the architecture is pretty.
The view from here, with the color of the hospital, is really a pleasant
and satisfactory view.

The hospital is big.  I do not know if there is another hospital in the
country with more beds than this one.  There is not another maternity
hospital with more beds than this one.  It has 359 beds, but they are 359
hospital beds.  This does not include intensive-therapy beds and the
neonatal [as heard] services beds, etc.  The total is over 400.  So, when
talking about the number of beds in the hospital, it would be a good idea
to add up to total and say that it has 405 or 410.  That number would
include all the beds, because all those beds are used.  They must be
counted as part of the total.  The hospital beds should not be the only
ones counted, because the others are also hospital beds, and high quality
beds.  That is how you can think about those services.  Therefore, the
hospital is 16,000 square meters and it has the largest number of beds in
the country.

It was a real feat for the construction workers to do all that.  First of
all, the Serafin Sanchez contingent from Sancti Spiritus worked on it.  As
you know, the capital has sometimes needed help.  This has been especially
true in the past, because there were not construction workers.  We began
the habit of importing people from the eastern provinces, Villa Clara,
Camaguey, and Pinar del Rio.  We were even running the risk of increasing
the number of immigrants to the capital.  [laughter] I have always talked
about that.  However, they have all promised to return to their provinces.
That was the first promise they made, but who knows to what extent they
will keep it.  They may get too excited being here in the capital, and they
want to stay.  That is why there are a few thousand construction workers
from other provinces here.  Since the construction projects are so large,
we have kept them.

Nevertheless, the number of construction workers has increased by several
thousands.  The minibrigades also have over 35,000 new workers in the
construction sector.  We all know the difficulties we have had with
materials.  On other occasions I have talked about the large program we are
promoting.  The comrade who is chief of the contingent explained to me
that, during the first few months, they lost some time because of the
shortage of materials, but later they got it all.  They have greatly helped
in the capital.

Today they continue helping.  As was said here, they are building a hotel
for international tourism.  The Sancti Spiritus comrades are going to make
a special contribution to the capital.  They have built a facility which
will spend money, and another one which will save.  We must build the two
types of facilities.  We will not only build hospitals.  We must build
factories, develop agriculture, industry, mining, and international
tourism.  Therefore, with what they are building now, we are going to save.
We said here that 7 million [currency not specified] were invested.  That
is right.

We must invest millions.  It was said here the medical equipment for the
hospital costs 1.5 million [currency not specified].  We must buy many
things.  Although a large part of the things that are in this hospital have
been created and produced in Cuba, there is always some equipment which
needs to be imported.  However, we also need the resources to import that
equipment.  We need to keep a good balance between what we build to serve
the population, which consequently requires spending, and what we build to
develop the economy to increase the resources of the country.  The Sancti
Spiritus contingent is working hard on the hotel right now.  I hope that
they will be able to finish it soon.

Our capital will always be truly grateful for the support and solidarity
given by the Sancti Spiritus workers.  They are doing a lot of things.
Recently, we had the opportunity to see them.  They are working very hard.
The chief of the contingent is no longer working in the hotel.  He has
moved to a factory for construction materials.  We saw him there not long
ago.  He was working hard, building large foundations on that day.  We were
really impressed with the effort that is being carried out there.

Other enterprises from the Ministry of Construction also contributed to
this project.  They contributed especially with some specialized work and
in other tasks.  The concrete enterprise helped, and I think everyone who
helped was mentioned here.  The workers of the Julio Trigo Hospital also
contributed to this project; they did volunteer work.  Several different
industries contributed to this project, as well as the residents of the
area, like it happens in our country on any other project.  Something like
that can only happen under a system where everything that is done is for
the service of the people--under a socialist system.  That is why it does
not seem strange or extraordinary to us that thousands of people cooperate
in that project.  I have seen pioneers.  One of the times I came here, I
saw the little pioneers from an elementary school who were also helping.
They were moving bricks, tiles, or they were cleaning.  They were doing
something.  I saw them working.  Naturally, the Lenin Vocational School did
an outstanding job with their support of this project.  One of the comrades
from that school, as you saw, received a certificate.  It is truly
beautiful that our youths, students, and adolescents join, that way, in the
social work, and in the struggle to solve problems for development, and in
the work of the Revolution.  It is a habit that has fortunately been formed
in our country at a higher level than in any other country of the world.
We can say that.  That happens with the polyclinics, child care centers,
and the house-clinics of the family doctors.

You can imagine what it means to build 400 or 450 house-clinics.  They
consist of the clinic, the doctor's home, as well as the house for the
nurse.  That is something that was recently added.  The house-clinics are
bigger today.  The apartments are larger.  As a matter of fact, here in
Arroyo Naranjo, and taking into consideration its great construction
spirit, we proposed to build the 12 prototypes that had received awards in
a competition.  Ah, you are here?  I think you only worked on the
prototypes, right? [addressing group in audience] So, the 12 prototypes
were built here.  When Comrade Gorbachev visited our country, we visited
one of those house-clinics and we quickly went by several other ones.  I
saw the model in this album.  The prototypes are really very pretty.  We
are going to use the prototypes to gradually adapt the construction of the
family-doctor houses to the architecture of the place were they are built.
When we began with the family doctor, the offices were located in garages,
rooms in a house, and then in small clinics.  The 3rd year, we used a
larger clinic.  The 4th year, we used a clinic which already had the office
for a doctor.  Finally, as of last year, we made the decision to build a
model for a larger apartment which included the house for the nurse.  We
have approximately two of those models we built in 1988.  Later, we made
these prototypes, and to see them in real life, they were built in two
places.  One was built here and the other in Santa Cruz Municipality,
Havana Province.  We made 12 prototypes so that we could choose among them.
Now, we will be able to determine how much it costs to build the
prototypes, what it will take to build them, how functional they will be,
what aesthetics they have, and all those factors.  All one has to do is to
go there, look at them, and choose them.  This does not mean that we will
build the 12 prototypes everywhere.  We will choose five or six of the most
convenient to carry out this plan.

There are some house-clinics that are built in housing buildings.  There
are others that, in order to make better use of the area, are built in five
or six floors which results in two or three more apartments.  In the areas
where there are too many multifamily buildings, we build the house-clinic
in that building.  These are the various ways in which we gradually solve
the problem of the family-doctor institution.  These are also the ways in
which we gradually expand it with better ideas, opinions, and in a more
perfect way.

This municipality also has a road construction brigade--the first brigade
that was formed.  I think they have built dozens of kilometers in 2 years.
How many kilometers?  [asking unidentified person whose answer is
indistinct] Twenty-seven kilometers of new road, and they will increase the
rate of work?  [indistinct answer] We have sent another brigade of that
kind to El Cotorro.  [someone in audience corrects him and says:  to San
Miguel del Padron] San Miguel del Padron.  We are aware that we owe a
brigade to Marianao; we had promised them one during an inauguration.  I
hope Marianao will have some of the necessary patience, until they
get...[changes thought] Yes, because they ask for many things.  They ask
for the asphalt sprayer and pavement mixers.  I don't know where the ones
that belong to Havana City are.  They used to have a lot of them.  I think
Chavez [Pedro M. Chavez Gonzalez] must know where the pavement mixers are.
Where is Chavez, is he around there?  Chavez must know where the pavement
mixers are.  [unidentified person answers:  They are being used in the
eastern and western part of the city.] Every time the municipalities ask
for a brigade....[incomplete sentence as heard] I think Guanabacoa also has
asked for one, and there are three or four that need this kind of a
brigade--La Lisa needs it.  They also asked for a pavement mixer and an
asphalt sprayer, and some of that equipment is not abundant.  Therefore, I
recommend--and if it would help the city--I would recommend some of the old
pavement mixers that may still be around be recovered.

From where we are here, you can see one of our largest examples of what the
social minibrigades can do.  From here, you can see the buildings under
construction in La Guinera.  [applause] The La Guinera neighborhood, as you
know, was very poor.  There is an unhealthy neighborhood there, and the
problem is being solved thanks to the social minibrigades.  One of the most
outstanding is the La Guinera.  There is another brigade said to be
outstanding in this municipality.  Which one is the other one?  [addressing
unidentified person] The Washington, yes, but there is another one.
[response indistinct] Tell me which one.  [unidentified person speaks into
microphone and says:  Las Guasimas, El Moro, and Puerto Carrero] The El
Moro and Puerto Carrero, are the other outstanding ones.  I know two of
them, but not the other two.  Someday I will stop by and pay them a visit.
[unidentified speaker says:  That's right.] They are El Moro and Puerto
Carrero.  We took Comrade Gorbachev on a quick visit there.

That social minibrigade has caught my attention.  It is a large brigade
with over 300 workers.  This example shows the construction potential we
have in our people.  Of course, men are not in charge there.  The women are
in charge, basically.  Out of six or seven chiefs, all are women.
[applause] They have that all very well organized and they have involved a
great number of housewives.  What is one of the characteristics of La
Guinera women?  [changes thought] As I was saying there was a neighborhood
we could call unhealthy.  There were many houses of that kind that could be
called unhealthy.  [changes back to previous thought] One of the
characteristics is that La Guinera has many housewives, and many women who
are heads of households--a very high number.  Many of them have children.
Yes, they have a household, but there is no man--they ended up with a
child.  They would live mostly from the food pension.

I remember a particular case because I have spoken with many of them.  I
asked one: How much money did you get with two children?  She answered: I
used to get 60 pesos, and I would live off of that.  I asked her: How much
do you get now?  She answered: Over 200 pesos.  She joined the social
minibrigade.  Generally speaking, the minibrigades are composed of workers
who come from their centers and factories.  However, the social
minibrigades also include housewives, youths, who may not be working or
studying and who want to join, may do so and get paid.  This lady had
improved her wages from 60 pesos to over 200.  Additionally, her job was
near her house.  She lived nearby.  At the same time she was building her
own home, where she will live in the future.  She increased her wages and
is very satisfied.  I asked her: How long do you think you will continue
working in construction?  She answered: My whole life.  I have spoken with
many of them who used to be housewives, and heads of households, who have
considerably improved their wages since the social minibrigade was formed.

The social minibrigade has planned to build over 1,000 housing units in
that...[incomplete sentence as heard] They are already working on 200 or so
of them.  They expect to complete 180 of them this year.  They will solve
the problem.  Note how many problems are solved simultaneously--the family
income, housing, and employment problems.  Today, if you have two or three
children it is not easy to go to Old Havana, Marianao, or elsewhere for a
job.  The minibrigades have provided the opportunity for people to find
jobs right there, without having to take the omnibus.  The children are
cared for, they can be enrolled in elementary school, or child care
centers.  Child care centers have also been built there.

The social areas are now going to be developed.  So, I asked:  What is the
potential number of women we could recruit here, who are in similar
situations?  I think there are approximately 200.  I was told by the female
chief of that minibrigade:  Here, we could recruit 1,000 women.  Note what
potential the country now has with the regular minibrigades, as well as
with the social minibrigades.  Lacking manpower, we have to call on the
Sancti Spiritus people to help us out here so that we can build a few
hospitals and other things.  This is an embarrassment for the capital of
the Republic.  Notice the human potential we have.  Of course, I have not
verified this information.  The number seemed to me to be very high.
However, the lady who manages that minibrigade is a very well educated
lady, a very serious lady, who does not say superficialities of any kind.
I think it has been calculated that in that zone the total potential number
that could be recruited is 1,000.  If we have the materials, we know how
much could be built in that zone with that potential.  There must be other
areas in Havana where similar things can be done.

However, the minibrigade does not only build housing units there.  The
workers do organizational and educational work.  They have their cafeteria.
As a matter of fact, they eat very well.  I have never heard a complaint
when I have visited.  They have a table to teach the residents how to eat.
It is difficult to learn much about urbanization, formal education, in an
unhealthy home.  There, they also do the job of educating the residents.
They have a separate small table where, every day, a number of residents
gather and they are taught table manners.  So, the Guinera residents could
even go to Paris to visit.  No one would tell them that they do not even
know how to pick up a fork, knife, or spoon.  They even get formal
schooling there.  The experience we have seen there is truly marvelous.

I am very happy to know...[incomplete sentence as heard] Well, I already
knew the Guasimas; it had been inaugurated some time ago.  However, I still
need to get to know the other two.  [At this point Castro begins an
extensive dialogue with the audience whose responses and statements are
unmonitorable.] What is the total number of social minibrigades you have?
You have 51 social minibrigades?  [indistinct answer] You have 1,700?  But
no, you do not have such a large number.  I imagine the other ones are
smaller, right?  [indistinct answer] The others are small.  [sentence
indistinct] You have four major large ones.  How many does Las Guasimas
have?  [indistinct answer] Residents, or workers?  It has 400 workers!
Where have you gotten all these people?  [indistinct answer] Everyone has
joined.  Many housewives have joined, right?  [indistinct answer] What was
that?  Where are the seven unhealthy neighborhoods?  Ah, they are in Las
Guinera.  [someone from audience corrects him and says:  in Las Guasimas]
Ah, they are in Las Guasimas.  However, they have 400!  What you have there
is a macrobrigade.  [laughter] You have almost 500.

How many houses are being built now?  [indistinct answer] You are also
aspiring to become a contingent?  [indistinct answer] [applause] Very well,
I congratulate you.  You have also helped to build the materials' industry
complex.  It is already producing materials.  What was it that you built
there?  [indistinct answer] Did you produce cement blocks, tiles, or, was
it mosaic tiles?  What else?  [someone answers:  cement-like paint] You
produced cement-like paint.  You have three industrial centers there.  Are
they already finished?  [indistinct answer] They are already producing.
What are you saying?  [indistinct answer] You did it by yourselves?
[indistinct answer] Well, listen, this Las Guasimas macrobrigade is now
entitled to 22 medical clinics.  [indistinct comment] You also finished a
child care center last year.  You are really the champions.  You should get
a collective certificate when you complete all these projects.  [applause]
Is that good?  [applause]

So what is the matter here?  Why hasn't the comrade who directs the La
Guinera minibrigade said anything?  [indistinct answer] What?  She is
vacationing in the Soviet Union?  Well, I am certain she will be sorry when
she returns that she was not here [passage indistinct from someone in
audience] Ah, they are helping over there.  Did anyone from El Moro come?
[indistinct answer] Where are the people from El Moro?  There are only two
or three people?  [indistinct answer] Are they from Puerto Carrero?  Who
are they?  [indistinct answer] How many workers do you have?  [indistinct
answer] So they are smaller than the others?  When did they begin?
[indistinct answer] There are many of them?  What percentage are
housewives?  [indistinct answer] Most of them, right?  Fifty-five or 60
percent of them.  So, they have learned to construction work.  Are you the
chief of those housewives?  How did you end up getting chosen to be their
chief when there are so many women?  [laughter] Once in a while there is a
man there, right?  [indistinct answer] Fine, very well.  Did you know that
in a few years men will have to organize a federation to begin fighting for
their rights?  [laughter] There is a clinic that is being built strictly by
women.  Is it that troop, the one that is over there?  [indistinct answer]
That troop can build a clinic in 2 months, or 3 months if they slow down a
bit.  I can see they are strong, young, and enthusiastic.  I am happy to
see this kind of spirit in the municipality.  I think future generations
will not recognize Arroyo Naranjo.  They will continue.... [rephrases] When
some of those people who left come back to Arroyo Naranjo, they will
probably continue on the highway, pass it, and maybe even get all the way
to Habana del Este, because they will not recognize it.  It is not just the
roads that are being built.  Work is also being done on the coast-to-coast
highway, which will permit you to quickly get to the beach or to any of
those places.  The same will hold true if you go toward the east.  You will
be able to take the East-West highway, or the loop.  You already have the
EXPOCUBA loop.  EXPOCUBA is in you territory, right?  [indistinct answer]
It is within your limits, right?  [indistinct answer] What about the
Botanical Garden?  [indistinct answer] What happened?  What did you do when
the land was divided here?  [laughter] What?  [indistinct answer] Where are
the people from Boyeros?  I don't want them to think that I am trying to
take away their jurisdiction.  They may be very proud of their EXPOCUBA and
Botanical Garden.  What about the Lenin Park?  To whom does that belong?
[indistinct answer] Ah, it is yours, right?  What about the new zoo, to
whom does it belong?  [someone answers:  Boyeros] What about the Davies
School?  [indistinct answer] Good, you have many things here?  What about
this, the hospital complex, whose is it?  [indistinct answer] Good, that's
it.  So, you are making progress, right?  You will have new industries,
communications, and services.  You will be one of the first...[rephrases]
Well, there are already some municipalities in Havana that are totally
cared for by the by family doctor.  [indistinct passage] Which ones?
[indistinct answer] Guanabacoa, Regla, and El Cotorro are the ones.  Well,
2 years is nothing.  However, you are also one of the three largest
municipalities.  You are among the three largest in the capital.  Who has
more?  [indistinct answer] The 10 October Municipality?  Playa has more
than you?  [indistinct answer] It has more inhabitants?  [unidentified
person says:  Playa has more.] So Playa has more.  [end of dialogue with
audience] This is the third largest municipality in the capital.  However,
I know this is a municipality that is working hard, pushing ahead; I am
convinced that it will be transformed, especially as we get more materials,
and we will get them.

You have proven that with the new factories.  If I ask you about the white
cement factory, you will probably tell me that right now you are lacking
raw material.  However, when the workers are told that in July the Cuban
White Cement Factory in Siguaney will begin producing, I am sure they will
take it as very good news.  It will produce over the historical consumption
rate of 25,000 tons.  The factory will have the capacity for 100,000 tons.
Even if we duplicated the consumption rate, we would still have enough to
export.  However, we will not be producing cement for export.  We will
export it only when we have extra.  However, if we need the 100,000 tons,
we will consume the 100,000 tons.  As a matter of fact, this is one of the
ways to solve the very serious problem of paint shortage.

Vinyl paint is too expensive.  It does not last very long, especially in
our climate, and in places like El Malecon and other areas.  If we decided
to paint all those streets with vinyl paint, we would not be able to do
anything else.  We would not be able acquire medical equipment, or
industries, because the expense would be tens of thousands of dollars per
year.  We have also seen the durability and beauty of cement-like paint
[pintura cementosa], to which other colors can be added.  For now, however,
if the factory begins operating this year, it will produce 25,000 tons.
So, in 1/2 year, we will have more white cement than the total we have
normally consumed in a year.  It will be very high quality cement, 92
percent pure.  It will be much more pure than the kind we have had to
import, even though we have imported the best kind from the world market.
It is very pure, and in a few days vacuum testing will begin.  Talking
about cement, the Karl Marx factory in Cienfuegos has pledged to produce
100,000 more tons this year.  The Artemisa factory has pledged 20,000 tons
more.  The Mariel factory, despite its problems, plans to make up its
shortage of 30,000 tons, and will try to produce 45,000 tons more.
Naturally, these industries had to get some resources to improve the
quality of the raw material.  The Mariel factory will be remodeled so that
it will be able to produce approximately 1.4 million tons.  That is why I
recently said that among the production increases of the
factories....[rephrases] We are also investing in the Karl Marx factory so
that it will produce to its full or near its potential.  During the second
half of next year, the Karl Marx and the Mariel factories will together
have a total production of 800,000 tons of cement [corrects himself]
700,000 tons of cement more.  To that figure, we must also add the increase
in production of Artemisa, Nuevitas, and Siguaney--because with the white
cement factory now there, the gray cement production of the grinding mill
was reduced.  We are building a new plant which will be able to produce
600,000 tons.  We are also trying to acquire three new production lines of
300,000 tons each.  In the coming years, the new installations will be able
to produce 1.5 million more tons.

However, what is important now, while those factories and acquired
factories are built, is the production our present factories are capable
of.  We believe they will be able to produce approximately 800,000 tons
more with the investments we are making.  They will be able to produce them
soon.  We will also be able to save some cement, which means we may have
approximately over a million tons available to us.  I am talking about
cement, since it is one of the materials whose shortage has been affecting
us.  We are greatly increasing the production of rock and sand.  The
mill....[rephrases] A contingent, in almost 17 months, built the El Purio
grinding mill which has a capacity of 1.2 tons.  We are working here in La
Molina, and in other places in the country.  There are several production
lines for tiles, mosaic tiles, cement blocks, and bricks.  A brick factory
which is nearby will be completed in September.  It is a Managua [as
heard].  [Castro again begins an extensive dialogue with audience at this
point.] That is far from your jurisdiction, right?  Ah it is yours?
[answer indistinct] Well, you got lucky.  It will have a production
capacity of 30 million bricks per year.  It is a very modern factory.

What we need here are the materials.  We need them here, just like we do in
other areas of the city, country.  We will have the materials.  We do have
the work force.  You, who say you are such good construction workers, can
you answer a question for me?  That gentleman who got up over there said he
was...[interrupted by audience speaking] from Puerto Carrero.

I will ask you too, but I'll ask this other person first.  How many
kilograms of cement do you use per cubic meter of concrete?  Let's see.
Yes.  [indistinct answer] Yes.  Very well.  How about per cubic meter, how
much do you use?  [laughter] Let's see.  [indistinct answer] Is there a
technician near by?  [indistinct answer] Where is he?  Isn't there one
here?  [indistinct answer] Don't you also have to be a technician?  You
must know, just like I have to know.  That's the way it has to be.
Otherwise, when we make our estimates, we will not have enough.  How much
do you use?  [indistinct answer] Yes, but how about per cubic meter?
[indistinct answer] What kind of a concrete mixer do you have?  [indistinct
answer, laughter] Is it a 330-, 400-, or a 500-liter one?  [indistinct
comments from audience] Yes.  Well, it is a 100-liter mixer.  What about
the one from Las Guasimas?  What about the people from Las Guasimas, are
they here?  Let's ask the Las Guasimas people.  Did you already try to
figure it out, and you also do not know?  That guy who always stands up did
not stand up this time.  [laughter] What happened?  [indistinct comments
from audience] You do not know.  Let's see, do you have an idea?
[indistinct answer] What about the average, what is it?  [Castro chuckles]

Now, listen.  I am telling you this is very important.  It is very
important to meet the technical standards.  There are many comrades who
think that the foundation becomes harder as you add more cement.  Let me
give you some figures at the national level.  Not long ago, I asked that
question to the Ministry of Construction.  I was told that in 1986, 520
kilograms per cubic meter of cement had been spent.  That was in 1986.  In
1987, it had already been reduced to 510, but it was still over 500.  In
1988, 490 had been used.  This means that there is still a lot of room for
savings in cement consumption.  Of course, it is not the same thing to use
a concrete mixer that releases measured quantities and works with large
quantities, than to use a pick and shovel, or a small concrete mixer.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency to pour more cement than is necessary.
What?  [indistinct answer] What is it that we are not keeping in mind,
pouring more cement?  [indistinct answer] What are the technical standards
you have?  [indistinct answer] You say there is a technical department that
is in charge of that.  If we knew the cubic meters....[rephrases] We do not
know them.  I think that if we saved enough cement, we would have the
equivalent of a new cement line.  Today, that is very important.  Lately,
you have not had a cement shortage, right?  [indistinct answer] Don't say:
Well, well.  You do have cement these days.  [laughter] I know it very
well.  You are getting 400 tons daily.  You still need more?  [indistinct
answer] How many tons do you get daily?  [indistinct answer] You get 12
tons, and how many do think you need?  [indistinct answer, laughter] You
really think they need 30 tons, or are they exaggerating a bit?  Do they
want to be all covered up in cement?  [laughter] What do they want, take a
bath in cement, sleep on cement?  [indistinct comment from audience] How
much? [indistinct answer] So, they are behind schedule in the supply of
cement?  [indistinct answer] What are they promising you?  [indistinct
answer] Yes.  [End of extensive dialogue with audience.] So, we were
talking about saving cement.  I think that what we have discussed here
proves what I was saying:  We do not know very well how much cement we are
using.  I am convinced that, out of all the kinds of constructions that are
being carried out and for which the country is consuming approximately 3.8
million, we could save 200,000 to 300,000 tons of cement.  That would be
the equivalent of a complete cement line.  We are talking about those
problems.  We see what we are able to do.  The comrades themselves say they
would have more.  They, of course, are exaggerating.  I am also sure they
could have more if they had more materials.

There is something else we are having problems with:  wood.  We must start
substituting wood with steel molds.  We must do it gradually because steel
is also expensive.  We must start using the techniques we learned at the
last international fair.  We must learn about the usage of good quality
sheet steel so that wood will last us 25 or 30 times longer.  This will
mean that in construction, we will be able to turn 10,000 cubic meters into
50,000 cubic meters.  I have been talking about this with Comrade Chavez
and Comrade Omero [not further identified].  They said they have a workshop
in Ciego de Avila in which they have already started using, or are about to
start using, the techniques.

I told Chavez not to wait for you, or for Ciego de Avila, and to build a
workshop here.  This is because I was told that the capital needs 70,000
cubic meters of wood.  I am not talking about the needs of the Ministry of
Construction, or other construction workers.  This is a matter that only
concerns the People's Assembly of Havana City.  Logically, we do not have a
place to get the wood from, although we are about to begin exploiting the
first trees we planted.  That will provide a few tens of thousands of cubic
meters, but it is not enough.  We must start looking for wood substitutes.
We must also see how we can get five or six more times use out of wood.
That is already being worked on.  Omero, I would really like for that plan
to be accelerated.  [addressing Omero who is not further identified] I
already asked Chavez not to wait for you, and to try to organize workshop
here in the capital.  Enough of the daily complaints that we are short on
wood!  We must dedicate ourselves to doing these things that could help
save wood.  I am sure that if we had the materials...[rephrases] I am sure
we will have them, and much more than what we have now.  There is a
fabulous potential for the transformation of the capital.

We must reach the goal of building 20,000 housing units per year.  We were
hoping to reach that goal by 1990, but we will not be able to do it that
year.  We will reach the goal in 1991.  We fell a little behind schedule,
but considering that 4,000 used to be built, there is a considerable
increase to 20,000.  It is almost a 500 percent increase, without counting
social constructions.  We have made a lot or progress in the construction
of child care centers.  How many are we building this year?  Six?
[addressing audience, response indistinct] We are building eight child care
centers.  That is right.  We are no longer talking about building 56 of
them, we do not need that many.  We must finish the special schools,
polyclinics.  We have projects that are well underway.  We are now working
on five more bus terminals, in addition to the three that were being built.
There is one terminal near here.  There are two in the area of Calvario
which are yours.  We are working on the four special markets [mercados
concentradores], and we hope to have all that finished by the first half of
next year.  They are new projects.  We also want to build 156 little
plazas.  There are several projects planned.

It is a good thing we have the Blas Roca contingent there.  Every time we
need to do ground breaking for any construction, we ask them to do it
without changing their plans.  In the last 14 months, we have assigned them
14 ground breakings, which is above their plan.  They have been large
ground breakers.  The projects are four special markets, five additional
bus terminals, the Almendares railroad station, and the El Cano rock cargo
center.  How many have I mentioned so far?  I have mentioned 11 of
them--the Alpizar refrigeration center, 12, 13 [corrects himself]
refrigeration centers in Guines--and the one that was needed--the Nico
Lopez [word indistinct] lake.  We have assigned 14 projects to the Blas
Roca contingent.  Those projects are in addition to their quotas, which
they are meeting at a very good rate.  Some of the people from the Blas
Roca who are here, although they have already showered and are eating, they
will continue working until 2200 or 2300.  It is not a criticism of others,
but rather a praise for the Blas Roca comrades.  [applause]

There are several projects underway.  Construction work has gained
momentum.  I think that in the next few years, I will not say multiply,
but, the work will considerably increase.  I am very happy to see that
there are such varied sectors present at this meeting.  I am happy to know
that all of you who are here helped in this project which we are now
inaugurating--the students, workers.  I think it must be great satisfaction
for everyone to see every step forward we take, every project that is
inaugurated, every achievement we make.

If we look at this situation and compare it to that of other Third World
and Latin American countries, we will see why we have reason to feel
motivated.  We know the crisis that all those countries are going through.
All we hear is:  Such a hospital is no longer under construction.  Such a
program has been stopped.  Such a hospital is half-built.  Such hospital
has been closed.  Every day we read in the cables about the medicine
situation.  The hospitals where the people are cared for...[rephrases]
because the rich people do not have those problems.  The rich people have
the hospitals, services, doctors, and medicine.  However, what we hear
about is hospitals without medicine, sheets, materials, food.  That is all
we hear about.  In the meantime, the IMF and the World Bank demand that the
countries reduce and reduce their budgets and services to the people.
Those are the solutions they propose.  That is the kind of news we see
every day on those cables.

Meanwhile, just take a look of what has been accomplished here, and
continues to be accomplished, just in a few years.  In the rest of the
Latin American countries they are closing hospitals, but we are building,
expanding them.  We are increasing the number of beds, doctors.  Some of
our visitors say:  How do you do it?  We answer:  We do not have a World
Bank, or IMF, but we do it with the sweat of our own brow.  That is our
nation.  [applause] We do not have that much money, although we always need
some money, especially for some things that need to be imported.  What we
need are materials, and the work force.  We do have the work force.  It was
proven here with the examples that were given.  We are gradually acquiring
our materials.  However, we do not need a World Bank, or IMF, to continue
developing our country.  It is logical for many visitors to be surprised,
because this cannot be done under capitalism.  This can only be done under
socialism, where man is the brother of man.  [applause] We are all one
working in the development of the country.  After all, we can even have the
housewife join, but she is dressed and has shoes on.  She eats, uses
electricity, water, transportation.  Our secret is that we even have the
housewife working.  It is true that we do not have that many material
resources, but we do not have inflation.  We do not have inflation because
we have the savings book [libreta].  Our great resource has been the great
bank that our country is.  In those countries, as soon as they pay a little
higher wages, the prices go up.  We have formed the habit of saving.  Our
people save, they trust, and know that their money will not be lost, or
devaluated.  In all these Latin American countries, there is a real
tragedy.  As soon as a little inflation starts up--and no country is free
of inflation--they begin changing the money for dollars, and the resources
of those countries are gone.  Not a single penny is gone from here.  We
invest it in what is needed, and when there is a little extra money, people
save it.  They save it for the time when they may need to buy a color
television, a motorcycle, or even a car.  Several thousands are distributed
per factory and work center in the country.  Someone cannot come here with
a lot of money and say:  I will buy a Lada.  It is based on merit that
motorcycles and other things are distributed.  This is not easy to
understand for those who live in a capitalist society.  We handle it, and
have handled it, today more than ever.  We handled it precisely at a time
when we stopped that little game of capitalism in which many enterprises
were getting involved.  Shoddy capitalism is what we called it.  We began
to overcome that with the process of rectification.  Take a look now at
what we are doing with less resources than ever.  I repeat, with less
resources than ever, the country is doing more than ever.

I spoke about this 2 or 3 days ago at a ceremony.  I think it was on 26
May.  During the 25th anniversary ceremony of the Los Naranjos plan, I
explained everything that we are doing in agriculture.  We could also talk
about everything that is being done in construction, industry, mining, and
everywhere else, now, at a time when we have less resources.  If we use the
advantages of socialism, everything is possible.  You can see yourselves
here.  You are all mixed--construction workers, doctors, students.  We have
mixed health, construction, and politics.  Fatherland or death, we shall
win!  [applause]