Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speaks at 36th Moncada Anniversary

PA2707024589 Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 2214
GMT 26 Jul 89

[Speech by Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Councils of State and
Ministers, on the 36th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks at
the Major General Ignacio Agramonte Square in Camaguey, Cuba--live]

[Text] Distinguished guests, residents of Camaguey, compatriots from all
over the country:

I thought that it might rain during the ceremony.  I thought this when I
heard that a cold front was moving from east to west.  However, after so
many months of drought, even if it rains on a day like today, the rain
would be welcome. [applause]

We do not know if this drizzle will continue all afternoon.  We do not know
if it will rain harder or if it will stop, but it is up to you to decide
if I should hurry [crowd shouts:  "No"], whether I should speak fast [crowd
shouts:  "No"], or speak at my usual measured pace [applause; crowd shots:
"Measured pace"].  I know that no amount of water can douse our enthusiasm
or dilute our will.

Now, what stands out about this 26 July?  I personally, and many visitors
to Camaguey, are impressed by the level of enthusiasm and fighting spirit
found here in this city and this province.  Why, after so many years of
revolution--quite a few have passed--is enthusiasm growing instead of
declining?  The fighting spirit is growing.  How can we explain that?  I do
not think there is a mystery in this.  It is what the Revolution has done
for the people.  It is what the Revolution has done for mankind throughout
the country and in this province.  It is what it has meant to our nation
and our compatriots to have the opportunity to build their own path and
write their own history.

If we ask ourselves--and if the honorable visitors in foreign delegations
ask--what the Revolution has done for mankind, we could say--without going
into too much detail--that if we look at the area of education, which our
compatriots, from Jose de la Luz y Caballero to Jose Marti, have described
as an inevitable element of a people's progress, and of a people's
independence and dignity, we could point to some things achieved by the
Revolution in that area here in this province.

First, there was the establishment of a university with 9 schools and 25
courses of study; a Higher Institute of Medical Sciences that was recently
completed [applause] with a possible enrollment of almost 3,000 students
and 3 schools; and a Higher Pedagogical Institute with 7 schools.

There is one university preparatory institute of exact sciences for 2,500
students [applause], a military vocational school, an arts vocational
school, and teachers schools for over 2,000 students.  There is a school
for training child care center teachers with an enrollment of 500, a school
for physical education and sports teachers with over 500 students, and a
school for sports training for over 1,000 students.  There are 21
university preparatory schools in the rural areas, 43 new basic secondary
schools for nearly 41,000 students, 319 primary schools, 63 part-time
boarding schools where approximately 36,000 students are enrolled.  There
are 12 polytechnical schools with over 15,000 students, 41 special schools,
62 child care centers, 8 youth centers for pioneers, not to mention all the
other projects.

Did all of these institutions exist before the Revolution?  Has more been
done for the education of the people anywhere else?  I am referring only to
this province, to Camaguey.  In the field of health, there has been
construction work, remodeling, and the modernization of 24 hospitals with
nearly 5,000 beds [applause], 25 polyclinics, 15 dental clinics, and 18
prosthetic workshops, all at the service of the people, free of charge.
There are dozens of other institutions that range from nursing homes for
the elderly and for the handicapped to maternity homes, and so on, and so
on.  What about the results in a province that had a high rate of
illiteracy and a large number of citizens who could barely read or write?
Yet today, the people have completed a mid-level education, up to the 7th

Thirty-five out of every 100 adult citizens go to school.  [Among children]
there is almost 100-percent school enrollment, and approximately 97 percent
stay in school.  In the University of Camaguey, enrollment today is nearly
double that of the total number of students throughout the entire country
at the time of the triumph of the Revolution. [applause]  More higher-level
students are graduating every year than the total number of university
graduates throughout the entire country at the time of the triumph of the

The infant mortality rate, which was greater than 60 for every 1,000 live
births during the 1st year, and which reached 26 for every 1,000 live
births 10 or 11 years ago, has dropped to 11 for every 1,000 live births.
[applause]  The life expectancy rate has risen to nearly 75 years of age.
The number of physicians has multiplied several times over.  We even have
the family doctor program, with currently over 350 doctors.  In this
province alone, we have more family doctors than all the family doctors
available in the country at the time the Revolution triumphed. [applause]

As for the economy, this province relied solely on sugar plantations and
related industries; some of these were small.  They were more like small
shops than industries.  The energy industry was born with the Revolution.
The province's generating capability increased more than 20 times over.
Nearly 5,000 km of electric cables were strung.  Today it would be
impossible to think of these lights, the stadium, or this event without
this development in the energy sector.

With the Revolution, the chemical industry was born.  The province is now
able to produce hundreds of thousands of tons of ammonia, urea, and mixed
fertilizers every year.  With the Revolution, the mechanical industry was
born in Camaguey, which today can proudly show a modern plant where
thousands of Camageuyans work [applause], manufacturing civilian and
military products.  There are plants that produce barbed wire, wire-drawing
machines, and machine tools.  There are about 200 machine shops in the
agricultural sector alone.

With the Revolution, the construction materials industry was born.  It
started with a modest cement manufacturing plant capable of producing
600,000 tons a year and was run like a clock.  This industry now has modern
plants, which manufacture light earthenware products.  There are also eight
stone mills, one of which can produce more than a million cubic meters.
There are dozens of other plants that make these projects possible that you
have before your eyes right now. [applause]

Out of the Revolution, the prefabricated and mechanized construction
industry emerged with numerous plants of every kind, such as the Sandino,
Gran Panel, and the INS [not further identified] plants, all lodged in the
magnificent 26-story building, built virtually in a year and which we now
can see. [applause]

Construction was mechanized.  The food industry was truly born with the
Revolution.  The best example of this industry is the modern beer factory
that produces 25,000 cases per day [applause] and is known as one of the
country's best because of its high-quality production.  We also have a
modern beef plant that can process up to 1,000 heads of cattle per day.
There is also a pork plant that can process 500 units per day.  We have the
pasteurizing plants, the new cheese factories, and dozens of food

The Revolution promoted the development of the sugar industry.  New
standardized sugar mills have been built in this province.  All the old
sugar mills have been rebuilt or remodeled.  The sugarcane by-products
industry was born and is still being developed.  Our agriculture became
more technical.  It was modernized and mechanized.

When the Revolution triumphed, all the rice produced in Cuba was harvested
by hand.  All the sugarcane was harvested and carried by hand.  Most
agricultural and transportation work was done by animals.  How could we
have ever conceived of this modern Camaguey if we still had to harvest rice
by hand and cut and carry sugarcane by hand?  How could we carry out the
sugar harvest without the 115 collection and processing centers this
province has?

All of this resulted in great advances.  Farm production increases in many
areas.  Industrial production and construction also increased.  Thousands
of economic and social projects were built in these years of revolution.
Thousands of kilometers of highways, railroad lines, and roads were built
during these years.  I am talking exclusively about Camaguey Province.
[applause]  All kinds of facilities were built in port areas.  We built
centers to store sugar in bulk.  We mechanized port cargo.  We built new
ports and new facilities to store fuel and urea.  Some of these facilities
were very expensive.

In a province which I believe had only one small dam, 44 large dams and 179
medium-sized and minidams have been built in recent years. [applause]
Thanks to the development that has taken place since the triumph of the
Revolution, 105,000 new housing units have been built in Camaguey Province.
[applause]  In other words--I have not done an exact count, but I
imagine--of the over 700,000 inhabitants of the province, over 50 percent
of Camaguey's families are living today in houses built since the triumph
of the Revolution. [applause]

I have not mentioned three important areas:  scientific activities, which
were born with the Revolution in this province.  Today the province has
dozens of laboratories, and a very modern genetic engineering and
biotechnology research center has just been inaugurated.  It is the second
center of its kind in the country.  Perhaps it is not correct to say that
it was inaugurated, because several weeks of work remain to be done.  It
was decided not to hasten completion to meet today's date in order to
guarantee the quality of the work. [applause]

Today we do things like those that we can see at the Shrimp Cultivation
Center, such as the biological processes that are under way there:
artificial insemination of shrimp, and all those scientific and technical
processes that provide the basis for significant development in that area
of production.  Our hospitals have achieved a high level of scientific

I have not mentioned the area of culture, which has developed so much in
these years of revolution.  Symbols of this are the Camaguey Ballet
[applause], the symphony orchestra, the Ignacio Agramonte Museum, the
reconstruction of theaters, the development and conservation of the
historical sector of the city, the cultural offices in all the province's
municipalities, and an activity that has allowed the city of Camaguey to
stage a show like the one staged yesterday, a show of extraordinary quality
[applause], solely with artists from Camaguey.

I have not mentioned the area of sports, which was born with the
Revolution.  Examples of this are the stadiums like the Candido Gonzalez
Stadium, the multisports arena completed recently [applause] that is
undoubtedly the largest and one of the most beautiful of its kind in the
country.  A visitor to the area around this square who sees that
multisports arena would not know if he were in Camaguey or in ancient
Greece during the time of its greatest architectural splendor. [applause]

This development in sports is manifested not just in the school for
teachers I spoke of earlier, or in the sports schools for beginners, or in
the athletic training schools, which I believe I failed to mention.  It is
manifested in the almost 800 sports facilities that have been built by the
Revolution here in Camaguey Province.

Furthermore, if the people of Camaguey feel satisfied with what they have
created in the past through their work and their revolutionary spirit, I
think they must feel much more satisfied with what they are creating now
for the future.  A little over 2 years ago, we visited this province for
several days.  We toured many places together with Comrade Lazaro [Vazquez,
first secretary of the Communist Part of Cuba in Camaguey].

I recall that, in those days, there was a process of rectification of the
errors and negative trends in many fields that were holding us back.  We
were motivated by the enthusiasm of this province, by the cultural and
technical expertise it was acquiring, by the prestige and authority of our
party.  I told the people of Camaguey about the important plans.  We also
spoke of the great natural resources of this province, which is the least
populated, that is, the one with fewer people per square kilometer than any
other area in the country.  We were working on several projects.  We
suggested to the party leadership the possibility of turning Camaguey
Province into a model of development for the Third World, but, first of
all, into a model of development for food production as well as social

Some of these agricultural plans were halted in the last few years.  I am
not going to explain now the factors that led to that situation, since I
have already done so in the past.  We proposed at the time to develop in
Camaguey the largest dairy production plan in the world [applause], to
develop fully the 14,000 caballerias available for agriculture around the
city, toward the west, toward the southwest, the south, the southeast, the
east, and the northeast of the city.  We prepared a plan to build 300 new
large dairy farms over a period of time not to exceed 6 years.

The first teams were appointed and the work began.  We proposed to the
people of the province the idea of doubling rice production, of promoting
sugarcane production in order to guarantee sugar production of no less than
a million tons per year, and, in addition, sufficient raw materials for
other uses of sugarcane, particularly for feeding cattle.  We proposed the
idea of not wasting even one leaf of the sugarcane, not even the dry

We proposed the idea of considerably promoting the production of food and
vegetables to fully satisfy the province's needs.  We proposed the idea of
promoting the plan for citrus fruits until we reached up to 1,000
caballerias, which was initially proposed.  We talked about the need to
work hard on the citrus fruit plantation's irrigation systems.  The
plantations did not even amount to 100 caballerias at that time.  We
proposed the idea of taking full advantage of all the water that runs
through our rivers and streams.  We talked about the need to recover our
hydraulic potential.  We proposed the idea of turning those sterile plains
into highly productive land.  We proposed the idea of promoting the
production of fish in all dams and reservoirs, in all medium- and
small-sized dams.  We even proposed the idea of taking advantage of the
manure from the many head of cattle around the city and to turn the manure
into humus through worm-breeding [lombricultura] to produce thousands of
tons of animal protein for the preparation of fodder.

We proposed maximizing our use of technical and scientific breakthroughs in
our soil technology to ensure that we cultivated the appropriate amount of
sugarcane on each plot of land, to ensure that we cultivated an appropriate
variety of pastureland for each hectare.

We were planning great programs in agriculture and other fields.  We
carefully studied how we could implement those programs.  We discussed how
to develop agriculture as part of an integral plan.  We had begun to do
just that in the 1st few years of the Revolution, but then neglected to do
that, because theorists peddled the crazy idea of playing around with
capitalist mechanisms here.  As a result of this, even ghost towns
appeared.  These ghost towns had buildings under construction but no
streets; where there were streets, there was no sewage system; where there
was a sewage system, there was no running water; there were no stores,
day-care centers, schools, or any kind of public services.

We emphasized the idea of integral plans in keeping with a genuinely lofty
and revolutionary concept of socialism whereby development would be planned
and the solution to problems would not be left to chance.  We recall that,
at that time, we urged this province to fight for the right to host this 36
July celebration. [applause]  Moreover, we urged the province to fight for
the right to host the fifth congress of our party. [applause]  Of course,
this province will have to compete with all the other provinces in the
country for that right.  However, I am sure that, although this will be
difficult, Camaguey Province will definitely not be among the least favored
ones. [applause]

To celebrate this 26 July, this province completed more than 1,000
projects, ranging from a small center for transplanting embryos--the
building of which encompasses an area of approximately 800 square
meters--to a building like this one, with more than 100 apartments and 26
floors.  This building is not regarded as over 100 individual projects, but
as one project, just as the multipurpose stadium is regarded as one
project. [applause]

More than 1,000 projects have been completed since the province set out to
win the right to host the 26 July celebration.  This has taken place over
the past 18 months.  The accomplishments of this province impress all
visitors.  We made a tour yesterday with a large group of reporters, who
were more than impressed, more than impressed [repeats himself]; they were
amazed at what they saw.

We toured the milk valley; we saw what was accomplished in certain areas.
We visited communities established for cattlemen in no more than a year.
They are communities made up of 300 homes, as planned when we drafted the
plan for the valley.

However, this was not a ghost town.  This community had its buildings,
streets, potable water and sewage systems, day-care centers, day schools,
food and agricultural produce stores, and facilities for the various
services needed by the community.  There was a family doctor's office based
in the doctor's home.  The site where the community social area will be
built had also been set aside. [applause]

This was an integrated community, and this was not the only one under
construction.  They also set out to build and complete necessary facilities
in the communities, such as day-care centers, schools, and homes.  This was
the true socialist concept at work, the true concept and full application
of socialist development.  Hundreds of kilometers of roads and highways,
both radial and circular--in which the first, second, third, fourth, fifth,
and sixth rings begin near Vertientes--have been built.  Some of these
highways begin at the southwest and end at the northern end.

Camagueyans, I can assure you that there, in the outskirts of this city, we
are implementing the world's largest milk program and an integrated
community [applause], and that 14,000 caballerias have been organized into
a large production unit.  There is nothing similar anywhere else.

It will have almost 550 cattle farms--approximately 540--and hundreds of
other facilities:  calf breeding areas, centers for the heifers that will
replace producing cows, centers for the breeding of young bulls, in short,
all the facilities that make up a cattle farming group.

On this project, we have the cooperation of the FAO [Food and Agriculture
Organization], a UN institution, and I know that it is highly pleased with
this program, with the objective of this program, which FAO representatives
visit every month and which the FAO presents as an example of cattle
development in a Third World country.  I would add that it is also an
example of cattle development in any First World country.  I would like to
know if there is any unit similar to this in the United States, for
example.  I would like to know if in Europe, France, or the Netherlands,
there is any kind of integrated production on a scale similar to this
project, which will also have all the necessary laboratories, all the
necessary workshops, all the electrical wiring, and all the irrigation
systems that can be built in line with the hydraulic potential.

That is why we can say with satisfaction that we will have here, around
this city, a cattle program that is unique in the world. [applause]

The province has worked intensively for this 26 July in the construction of
dams and minidams.  Already this year, rice production will increase by
300,000 quintals, and there are plans to reach 3 million quintals in the
not-too-distant future.

The citrus production plan is advancing.  It now involves almost 700
caballerias, and of these, more than 300 have irrigation systems.
Production of tubers and vegetables is advancing.  In the past few years,
it has multiplied 2.6 times, and that is still not enough.  Construction of
pig centers, which I had not mentioned previously, is advancing, and, in
the past few years, pork production has increased by 60 percent.  The
production of eggs has increased by 40 percent, and poultry production by
60 percent.

This year, despite the drought, milk production is being increased by 11
million liters.  We are certain that, given the present effort, the plan to
increase the province's milk production to 300 million liters will be
achieved in the not-too-distant future.

A powdered milk factor is already under construction.  A new cheese factory
with a capacity of over 30,000 liters a day is almost completed, and new
investments will be made in this area.

In the past few years, the number of sheep and goats in the province has
increased 5 times, and on the plains, which were sterile in the past and
are now being developed rapidly, there are already 40,000 of those animals,
and we will not stop until there are 300,000.

This news must be a source of pride for Camaguey residents and a source of
enthusiasm for the province and the country.  Some of the experiences
gained during this work are being transferred to other provinces.  We area
already implementing an ambitious plan to build livestock
facilities--which, although not as big as this one, are as good in terms of
quality--in neighboring Las Tunas Province.  We are now developing a plan
just like the one in Las Tunas in neighboring Ciego de Avila Province.  We
are already developing a plan similar to the ones in these two provinces in
Granma Province.  This year we are planning to begin the Sancti Spiritus
Province plan, and, if possible, another major project in Pinar del Rio
Province also.

All of the country's provinces are looking for areas in which to implement
their cattle-breeding programs.  We are transferring the ideas we developed
in Camaguey to all of the country's provinces.  As we told Comrade Lazaro,
we accomplish nothing by just developing this plan in Camaguey Province.
We must develop it--and we are developing it--based on the natural
resources of all of the country's provinces.  That is why I want to stress
that work is not being carried out in Camaguey alone [applause], but we are
working with the same spirit all over the country. [applause]

These plans require effort, coordination, supplies of heifers.  We are
going to build over 200 large- and small-scale cattle-breeding farms every
year. I want you to know, Camaguey residents, that when the process of
rectification began, seven cattle-breeding farms were being built every
year.  This is what flirting with capitalist mechanisms led us to.  We are
doing the same with schools, children's centers, hospitals, and medical
clinics.  We are doing the same with all of the country's economic and
social plans.  We are doing the same with the construction of roads and
highways.  We are doing the same with our hydraulic capacity.

How has this province achieved this success?  Not by luck.  From the early
years of the Revolution.  Camaguey has been known for its tremendous
enthusiasm, but that alone was not enough.  I think the secret to the
success of Camaguey Province's programs is closely related to the party's
work and its style of work in this province.  [applause]  It is related to
the effort of 37,000 party militants, 35,000 militant youths, and the
massive support of the Camaguey people. [applause]

Volunteer work in Camaguey, as in the rest of the country, had almost
disappeared.  The circumstances I mentioned earlier caused those problems.
Technocrats did not even want to hear about productive work.  I ask:
Without the support of the masses and without volunteer work, would it have
been possible to build the more than 1,000 projects that have been
inaugurated recently? [applause]

The entire people participated in the construction of communities, in the
construction of the (Siolifa) factory, in the construction of schools,
day-care centers, and housing, and in the construction of the biotechnology
building.  The people participated when there was work to be done.

Socialism is the science of leading the people toward the country's
development.  It is the science of leading the masses to their direct
participation in the country's development.  It is the science of getting
the support of the masses for this great cause.

Socialism is the science of creating, establishing, preserving, and
developing the largest and deepest link between the party and the masses.
Socialism is the science of managing.  Socialism is the science of setting
the example.

We have seen very important things these days related to this.  Yesterday
when we visited the cheese factory under construction--which will be ready
soon--we saw that people had been doing volunteer work since early in the
morning.  All the secretaries of the party in the Sibanicu Municipality
[applause], all members of the people's power, and all the cadres of the
mass organizations did volunteer work.  The entire people of Camaguey
divided volunteer work among the total number of residents, including those
who were born in this 1st 6-month period.  They each did 25 hours of
volunteer work.  It turns out to be a total of 15 million hours of
volunteer work. [applause]

That is nearly 2 million 8-hour days.  Lazaro was telling me something,
explaining it in the best way possible and which provides the clue to it
all.  He told me that all party cadres of the people's power, of the local
and central administration, and of the mass organizations did a minimum of
208 hours of volunteer work in the last 18 months. [applause]  It was real
and effective work.  They cleaned sugarcane fields, they harvested
sugarcane, they worked in construction, and they worked with their hands.
That was a total of 208 hours of well-organized and well-invested work.  It
is equivalent to 20 days of over 10 hours each, or more than 25 8-hour days
amid the work and obligations any cadre of the party or of the
administration may have.

This is what I call exemplary. [applause]  This is truly the revolutionary
road, and that is the truly socialist road capable of leading a people to
attaining any goal; that road is capable of leading a people to the ends of
the earth.  I was meditating on how Che [Guevara] might have felt, because
he gave so much importance to volunteer work, and he gave so many examples
of personal dedication to volunteer work.

How would he feel if he could hear this?  [prolonged applause] He left us
his example.  Volunteer work was at its worst.  The rectification process
has raised it to levels never reached before in the history of the
Revolution.  For this reason, despite the untimely rains--they came in the
last 2 months of the harvest instead of coming after the harvest as they
should have--Camaguey was able to produce a million tons of sugar this year
[applause].  That is why, by 26 July, Camaguey had already peeled 95
percent of its cane, a figure never reached before.  That is why, despite
the drought--and it did truly incalculable damage--we hope to maintain a
respectable level of sugar production in Camaguey Province, because
whatever was humanly possible in the area of planting, cultivation, and
peeling has been done.  Of course, a great deal will depend on how much it
rains in the latter part of this month, and particularly in August and

This is a rough outline of the efforts of Camaguey's residents.  No one
knows how far we can go by working in this way.  However, under what
international conditions are our current efforts occurring?  I have to talk
a little about this.  It is very important.  We need to know where we stand
in the world in which we live and what problems threaten the creative
effort of our people.

We live in a time of great economic problems throughout the world--above
all in the Third World--a time of great economic crises for that world.  We
are living through a special moment within the world revolutionary
movement.  We will not sugarcoat the truth.  We have to call things the way
we see them.

There are difficulties in the world revolutionary movement.  There are
difficulties in the socialist movements.  We cannot even say with
confidence that the supplies that have arrived from the socialist camp with
clock-like punctuality for the past 30 years will continue to arrive with
the same dependability and clock-like punctuality.

The country has been doing more with less than ever and these projects
demonstrate this.  These projects were built with less income tan ever
before.  It is possible that in the future we will have to continue to work
and make an effort and create miracles with the problems we have in
receiving supplies from the socialist area.

Perhaps the greatest problem is the euphoria of imperialism, the empire's
cockiness [triunfalista] and that of the empire's administration.

Never has any administration--not even Reagan's--maintained such cockiness.
No other administration has ever sounded so cocky.

Because of the difficulties that are occurring in the socialist camp,
especially in certain socialist countries, the Bush administration has
given speeches during the past few months which are based on the premise
that the socialist community is nearing its end, that socialism is nearing
its end, that socialism will end up in the garbage can of history, which is
the place that the brilliant and genius strategists and creators of the
socialist movement reserved precisely for capitalism.

Because of the difficulties that are evident and that everyone is aware of,
which have existed and still exist in Poland, because of the difficulties
of socialism which have existed and still exist in Hungary, Bush organized
a triumphant tour, a triumphant trip to these two countries in recent
weeks.  It is true that there are difficulties there.  He did not go in
vain to those countries.  He went to encourage capitalist trends that have
developed there and to encourage the political problems that have arisen
there.  Some day it will be the job of historians and scholars to delve
deeply into the causes of those problems.  I have my ideas about this;
however, this is not the time to talk about them.

The fact of the matter is that they have difficulties.  In recent
elections, the liberal opposition, the pro-capitalist opposition, or, at
least, the antisocialist opposition--which has not yet defined very well,
very well [repeats himself] what its intentions are--won in the elections
for senators almost 100 percent of the posts.  Today, in Poland, even the
leader of that opposition, Mr. Walesa--according to the press in our
country--has said to the government of President Jaruzelski, who won the
Presidency by one more vote that the minimum required, that the best thing
to do would be to have the government turned over to the opposition.  In
recent days, he has even said that he does not oppose some members of the
opposition being in the government, however, that they could not count on
the support of the opposition.  He said that the only thing the opposition
would accept would be to turn over the government.

The same thing is occurring in Hungary.  One day ago, four delegate posts
were up for elections, and three of them were overwhelmingly won by the

What phenomena are we facing?  Is this a peaceful transition from socialism
to capitalism?  It is possible.  However, not even us, we do not question
it.  We defend the sacred right to the independence of each country and
each party.  This is what we ask for the people of the world.  That is what
we ask for all the people of Latin America and of the Third World.  We ask
for the right of each country to build, if it so desires, socialism, which
the United States tries, by force of arms, so much to prevent.  The right
of our people to build socialism, of course no one gave us that right, we
earned it, we conquered it, and we defend it...[incomplete sentence as
heard] [applause]

I think many errors have been made which have led to these problems.  At
times, I even wonder if it would not be better for those new generations
that were born under socialism in Poland and in Hungary to take a little
trip to capitalism so that they can find out how egoistic, brutal, and
dehumanizing a capitalist society is [pounds on podium three times].
[applause]  This is a delicate matter, but these are our most sincere
thoughts about these problems.

During his [Bush's] triumphant trip to Gdansk--a city in Poland, where it
is said that a large crowd received Mr. Bush--according to cables of the
most renowned U.S. press agencies, he was received with many banners.  I
cannot confirm if there were many or a few, because I was not there, nor
did I see it on television.  I read it on the cables.  It was reported that
many banners read:  The Best Communist is a Dead Communist.  Notice, those
are the feelings of a fascist!  The banners which welcomed Bush in that
Polish city were completely fascist.  Naturally, there are two kinds of
communists:  those who let themselves get killed easily, and communists who
do not let ourselves get killed easily! [applause]

It was with joy that cables of the imperialist agencies narrated that other
banners read:  Lenin, Jaruzelski--Assassins.  I will not defend Jaruzelski.
I think he can defend himself.  However, what does this mean, in a city of
a country whose freedom cost the lives of one-half million Soviet soldiers?
I am even setting aside the errors in international policy that, at other
times, the Soviet Union could have made regarding Poland.  I simply
reiterate the real fact that one-half million Soviets died fighting next to
the Polish people for the freedom of Poland--and now Lenin is called an
assassin, the founder of the first socialist state.  He made the first
great opening for the people of the world.  He was the founder of the first
socialist state, whose revolution made possible the disappearance of
colonialism.  Over 100 states have attained independence, over 100 former
colonies attained independence.  How repugnant it is to call Lenin an
assassin--whose people achieved victory against fascism with the sacrifice
of 22 million deaths among its best children.  This is truly bitter.

However, this increases Mr. Bush's euphoria.  It increases his false pride.
It increases the imperialist hostility against Cuba a lot.  If Mr. Bush
bases himself on the premise that socialism is on its decline, that the
socialist community is going to disintegrate, what does he think regarding
Cuba, this firm, courageous, heroic Cuba?  This is a Cuba that does not
surrender or sell itself.  If one bases policy on that premise, why change
the policy toward Cuba?  He is carrying out a peace policy with the great
powers and is waging war against the progressive peoples.  He is carrying
out the policy based on the premise that, if socialism ever disintegrates,
Cuba would not be able to resist, the Cuban Revolution would disappear.
That reasoning increases the aggressive spirit and the hostility of Yankee
imperialism against our people, revolution, fatherland.  These are truths.
That is why, today, the empire appears more insolent, wicked, and
threatening than ever before.

Just imagine, what would happen in the world if the socialist community
disappeared?  According to that hypothesis, if that was possible, which I
do not think it is, the imperialist powers would throw themselves like
beasts over the Third World.  They would once again distribute the world
among themselves, as in the worst of times, before the first proletariat
revolution.  They would distribute among themselves the oil, natural
resources, and the human resources of billions of people in the world.
They would once again turn three-quarters of humanity into colonies.
However, not even under those circumstances would the struggle cease
[pounds three times on podium].  The peoples would never accept it.  The
peoples would continue fighting, perhaps now more than ever, and our
people, our fatherland, our revolution would be in the first row of that
fight. [applause] [Crowd chants and claps.]

Naturally, imperialism has deluded itself, and Bush has deluded himself
because of the difficulties that are experienced by the Soviet Union, the
fundamental bulwark of the socialist community.  It is true that the USSR
is facing difficulties.  It is not a secret to anyone, and the dream of the
imperialists is that the USSR will disintegrate.  There are difficulties,
and they are growing.  There are tensions among the nationalities within
the USSR.

There are tensions and conflicts.  The internal tensions are evident within
the USSR, and we have witnessed the strike of hundreds of millions,
hundreds of thousands, hundreds of thousands [repeats himself] of miners,
of strikers in Siberia, Don [as heard], and other places.  That kind of
news fills world reactionaries with joy.  That kind of news fills the
empire with joy.

We recently received a very warm, very fraternal message from the USSR in
the name of the Soviet party, the government, and the state.  Our feelings
of friendship with the Soviet people and our recognition of the role of
that great country are enormous.  You know that.  Our appreciation of that
country, of that country [repeats himself] is also enormous.  Our most
fervent desire is that the Soviets will overcome their difficulties,
reconstruct their unity, and maintain and elevate the great role that that
country has played in the world.

The problems in the USSR greatly concern all Third World countries, the old
colonies, those peoples who do not want to be colonized again because the
USSR was their fundamental and most firm ally.  Upon seeing these problems,
the imperialist circles dream of an empire lasting 1,000 years, as Adolf
Hitler dreamed that his Third Reich would last 1,000 years, and it lasted a
very short time.

It is possible that the most reactionary imperialist circles are having
these dreams again.  I am sure that these dreams will not last very long.
This is not a matter of nuclear arms or missiles on one side or the other,
or a matter of nuclear disarmament accords--which make us very happy.
However, the independence of our people depends on us.  It is not dependent
upon nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union or from anyone else.

I remember the October crisis, and a saying that appeared then:  We do not
have strategic weapons, but we have moral weapons.  Those are the arms with
which the peoples defend themselves.  I believe in the people.  I believe
in the people more than ever, as I believe in my people. [applause]

I know their capabilities.  I know our people's capabilities.  And here,
reasoning things out very dispassionately, as one has to reason with the
people...[changes thought] On a day like today, at a historic moment like
the one that the world is experiencing today, we have to think; we have to

Are we by any chance going to put a halt to our progress?  Are we going to
halt this colossal effort?  No, never.  Are we going to close our eyes to
reality?  Are we going to bury our heads in the sand like ostriches in the
face of reality?  No never.  We need to be more realistic than ever, but we
have to speak out.  We have to warn the imperialists that they not create
so many illusions in reference to our revolution and in reference to the
idea that our revolution will not be able to resist a debate within the
socialist community.  If we were to wake up tomorrow or any other day to
the news that there had been a large-scale civil war in the USSR, and even
if we were to wake up and learn that the USSR has disintegrated--something
that we hope never happens--even under those circumstances, Cuba and the
Cuban Revolution would continue struggling and resisting. [rhythmic
clapping] Cuba and the Cuban Revolution would resist.  I say this
knowingly.  I say this calmly and serenely, and with all the control in the
world.  It is time to speak clearly to the imperialists and to the entire

We are no joking.  What can frighten us if 27, or 28 years ago, we
experienced the October crisis?  Historians are compiling papers and giving
their versions.  We have not yet provided our version.  We did go to a
meeting over in Moscow where there were American personages of the time,
some Soviets, and some Cubans.  We have not yet provided our version, no
have we taken out our little papers--and we do have some.

One thing is obvious.  We lived through those times, and I do not remember
seeing a single Cuban hesitate.  The Cubans refused to make any concessions
to imperialism, and the Cubans of that generation--a large number of whom
are still living and who have been joined by new generations that are well
trained and that have great political awareness--were prepared to die
without hesitation--to die rather than retreat [applause], to die rather
than yield. [prolonged applause]

What can frighten our revolutionary people?  Nothing in the world can
frighten our revolutionary people or cause them to hesitate.  A long time
ago--a little more than 8 years ago--Mr. Reagan spouted great threats
against Cuba.  We have put aside all the little academic books on war.  We
do lean on all positive experiences, all the experiences in conventional
war, and we have adopted the doctrine of the defense of the country, and
the concept of a war involving all the people.  Everyone knows what that
concept is and everyone shares that concept.

It is the philosophy of what our country will do under any circumstances,
of what it will do in the event of a total blockade, when not even a liter
of fuel or a morsel of food can enter the country.  What would we do then?
We know very well what we would do, and we know we could resist.  In the
event of war or of being worn out, we know what we would do, and we know
how we would resist.  In the event of invasion or occupation of the country
by Yankee troops, we know how we could resist, how we could fight, and what
we would do.  We know that sooner or later, the price would be so high for
the aggressors that they would have to leave our country, sooner or later.

As for our defense, we learned a long time ago how to count only on our own
strength.  We know that in the event of a total blockade--when not even a
liter of fuel or a morsel of food or even one bullet could enter the
country--the USSR would not have the conventional forces to break that
blockade thousands of miles from its borders.  No country can trust its
defense to another country.  A country can only trust its defense to

Therefore, our minds, our ideas, our concepts are prepared and developed.
Do you think we are losing sleep?  Do you think we are filled with
uncertainty over all these scenarios, these hypothetical situations?  Let
them [the imperialists] clear the cobwebs from their minds.  We know who we
are, what we have, what we can do; we know what we can count on.

Therefore, we are at ease.  Not even the worst scenario, the worst
hypothesis scares us.  Since we live in this world and on this planet, we
must be aware of the realities, and we must think over the realities.
There will be threats in the future as a result of this imperialist policy,
these beliefs, this idea that socialism is declining, and that the time is
right to exact from Cuba the price of more than 30 years of revolution.  No
price will be exacted here.

This is nothing new.  This has been going on for a long time. [19th century
revolutionary hero Antonio] Maceo once said that this would happen to
anyone who tried to take over Cuba.  This is the people, this is the
country, and this is the people of [19th century independence hero Carlos
Manuel de] Cespedes and of [independence hero Jose] Marti. [applause] This
is the country, the same country, the same people of [19th century patriot
from Camaguey Ignacio] Agramonte [applause] and [19th century independence
hero] Maximo Gomez. [applause]

This is the same country and the same people of the bronze titan.  Antonio
Maceo [applause].  This is the same country and the same people of Yara
[name given to the first declaration of independence] and of Bayamo, of the
protest from Baragua [applause].  This is the same country and the same
people.  From the Moncada Barracks [applause] to internationalism
[applause], we all now have a greater revolutionary awareness than ever
before in our history.  This people and this country will know how to be
consistent with their glorious history!  Fatherland or death, we shall win!
[applause and cheers]