Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Addresses CUJAE Students
Havana Cubavision Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000000276
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL0301190090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-003          Report Date:    04 Jan 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     9
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       16
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       30 Dec 89
Report Volume:       Thursday Vol VI No 004


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cubavision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Addresses CUJAE Students

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro given at the ceremony marking the 25th
anniversary of the Jose Antonio Echeverria University City, CUJAE,
on 28 December-- recorded]

Source Line:   FL0301190090 Havana Cubavision Network in Spanish 0130 GMT 30
Dec 89

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro given at the ceremony marking the
25th anniversary of the Jose Antonio Echeverria University City,
CUJAE, on 28 December-- recorded]

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro given at the ceremony marking the 25th
anniversary of the Jose Antonio Echeverria University City, CUJAE, on 28
December-- recorded]

2.  [Text] [Students chant: Viva Fidel, socialism or death, we will win!] You
are the ones who are going to hit the Yankees hard if one day they dare to
disembark here [laughter], if one day they make some paratroopers jump here
with their little bulletproof vests.

3.  Comrades, professors, (?workers), students: [passage indistinct] It was so
close that it was heading toward the capital and it was expected that it could
pass through the province at any time. We were able to dedicate the pediatrics
hospital because the ceremony was held inside and because it was linked to an
international event attended by hundreds of foreigners who could not afford a
postponement of the dedication ceremony of the hospital. The ceremony was held
in a small building, the people had to stand and were a little uncomfortable,
but it was held. Then, the next day I was told that we had to dedicate this
project and a project over at Antillana de Acero, where I had to present
banners to a contingent. I was told that it was quite muddy over there.

4.  About this one, we did not know if [words indistinct] and were also
expecting a cyclone. The next day was, however, sunny, but who could have
guessed that. After all [words indistinct]. Then, we scheduled it for the 22d,
when we had another cyclone--this one of a different nature--the Yankee
invasion of Panama. At that time, we had no alternative but to cancel this
ceremony again, as well as that at Antillana de Acero.

5.  I was asking the workers when we could set another tentative dedication
date and just 48 hours ago we said, well, the 28th. But for this occasion we
already had another dedication ceremony, that is, in addition to the two
pending ceremonies we have to add the bus terminal, which is quite close by and
which we will dedicate today. This is not all, because scheduled for today also
is a great rally organized by the youth, which will be both a notable event and
a grand celebration. For all this, we had only 24 hours. Therefore, we decided
to move up the schedules by 30 minutes to see if we could manage to do all
this. [passage indistinct].

6.  In reality, we have not even had time to familiarize ourselves with the
information concerning the rich history of this institution. I learned about
some facts from the rector's speech and others from the head of the contingent.
Thus, I just came to chat with you and I believe there will be time [words
indistinct] to present the banner, to dedicate this modest little project,
which is what we are really dedicating here. I do not know if we are
celebrating an anniversary, because at the pace we were going I believe this
was going to be the 26th instead of the 25th anniversary.

7.  Yet, well, we could remember something perhaps [word indistinct]. At this
time, we should feel shame because this institution, what do they call it
today, this city, should have been finished long ago. [Words indistinct] I was
told that you like [word indistinct], I do, too, because I learned that name,
but I had to work hard on it. Then, they changed that name for another more
difficult one: CUJAE.

8.  Well, there was no way to change it again, so I went along with CUJAE. Now,
I know they had a brilliant idea: CUJAE is the University City and ISPJAE is
the Jose Antonio Echeverria Higher Polytechnical Institute. Well, I believe we
could use either name to refer to you, all right? At least let me continue to
call this place CUJAE, which was the name that we dedicated it with and by
which it became known. This does not mean that we are going to eliminate the
ISPJAE or its rector.

9.  Well, this project should have indeed been finished years ago. More than
once I tried--about 12 or 14 years ago--to have this project expedited, but
this project was smeared with bad luck, as the saying goes. There was no way to
[words indistinct] some very large projects, the Moa nickel plant, large
mechanical workshops, large facilities in that area, thousands of houses. We
started projects such as the nuclear power plant; large projects requiring
thousands and thousands of men. We started the thermoelectric power plant, east
of Havana, which is also another large project that will produce no less than 1
million kilowatts. Thus, we have undertaken several large projects of various
types throughout the country.

10.  I am referring to the period from 1970 to 1974, 1975, when we gave a great
boost to construction, the mini-brigades were operating, we were building
thousands of houses. Then, we had a period during which construction
unfortunately declined in an extraordinary way, when many thought that we were
using the best methods, the best systems to fulfill socialism which we
(?copied)--we really must say this--from other countries. We really began to
discover [words indistinct] of all that we were doing. There is no time to go
into that, but I want to say that construction, which had had a great boom,
[words indistinct] to which I referred earlier, we built hundreds of schools
[words indistinct] secondary and preuniversity schools in rural areas. We built
hundreds of these schools in difficult places, in the Isle of Youth, where it
was very difficult to build because we had to take everything over there. We
built all those schools.

11.  Dozens of schools were built in Havana Province and in other provinces.
More than 50 were built in (?Camaguey), in [word indistinct], in Cienfuegos, in
Sancti Spiritus, in several western regions, in Pinar del Rio. [Words
indistinct] in 6 months, some were built in 5 months. The work force used to be
organized in brigades. One of the [word indistinct] things we did was to
abandon the principle of organizing brigades. [Words indistinct] equipment were
being taken from one place to another. No one ever knew where a bulldozer, a
truck, or a loader was. That and other things were disorganized.  Construction
work became completely disorganized and thus projects started to take forever.
We must add to this planning (?problems). [passage indistinct]

12.  One day I figured out the cost of the Santo Domingo-Corralillo Road,
[words indistinct] I figured that if the cost of the road was [words
indistinct] and at the rate of 100,000 per year, it would take 65 years to
complete the road. In other times, we would have built a road like that in 2 or
2 and  years, 3 years at the most.

13.  Great progress was being made on the national highway project. It went
almost as far as Sancti Spiritus and there it stopped. Water management
projects, which had also made great progress, started to slow down during that
period. They complied with [words indistinct], but no project was completed.
Thus, dam projects, road projects, and projects in general began to take
forever.  We stopped building schools; we stopped building livestock farms,
canals, and irrigation systems. The railway project also began to take forever.
Practically every construction project was taking a long time to build. It is
incredible how such a decisive activity, like construction, was falling behind,
but it was not the only activity falling behind. This happened because we
abandoned the principle of minibrigades because those theoreticians said that
mini-brigades were not in keeping with the system of planning and managing of
the economy. Thus, the forces capable of building houses--nearly 4,000 houses
were already being built in the provinces; 4,000 houses per year in the
cities--began to disappear. We had a higher number of houses that needed
repair. Each year we had an increasing number [passage indistinct].

14.  All this really forced us to create a new revolution in the construction
area. We had already done it once [words indistinct]. It was of course at that
time that I also wanted to boost this project, but to no avail. Many other
projects were boosted, but not this one. When we entered the construction
decline period, the construction and completion of this University City was
further delayed.  For nearly 2 years we were trying to straighten out all this;
in the first place by reorganizing, by re-creating the mini-brigades to attend
to such urgent needs as providing houses in the capital; doing the repair work
needed for a number of construction material industries, such as cement; and
the creation of a number of new construction material factories.

15.  We were devoting our time to all this; to rebuild our water management
resources. Not long ago, the contingents appeared.  How old are the
contingents? I know this one is the Blas Roca. [indistinct words by
unidentified speaker] Yes, we recently celebrated its 2d anniversary-- 2 years.
This was a test to see how we could really boost construction. We reorganized
construction brigades again and we have undertaken a task that has been
instrumental in implementing a strong process of dynamizing construction
activity, which is fundamental, because without construction there can be no
industrial development, there can be no social development. We cannot build
factories, hospitals, schools, houses, dams, roads, or railway projects.
Without construction, we practically cannot do anything. This is why I think
that construction is the most vital among economic activities.  It is the most
basic activity of all. Much progress has been made, but there are still things

16.  There are still places where construction workers are just goofing around.
[Words indistinct] with them, I stop whenever I can and ask them if they are on
strike or on vacation. One of the things I do when I want to find out how a
project is going is to stop at a work site without making any noise, and I hear
first bang, bang, bang, and then silence. A while later, I hear bang, bang,
someone was hammering at something, but then silence again.  One could not even
hear the noise of a wheelbarrow, or of a concrete mixer, or of a hammer. They
were always at either lunch or they were having a snack break.

17.  [Words indistinct] talking with you here. Not long ago I was describing my
misfortunes, that is, after touring who knows how many places in the country in
an effort to give an impulse to construction work, suggesting the creation of
contingents, I found that a few meters away from my office were some guys
working on a little project. I believe it was to set up a power plant. Well, I
will tell you this right away. Not long ago at a meeting of the Central
Committee, all the party secretaries....  [changes thought] Look, how destiny
works, because we already have 35,000 workers organized in contingents; 38,000
mini-brigade members [words indistinct] in the capital of the Republic, and
there, 30 meters away from my office, there were some guys working at a pace
with which they could never finish the project and [words indistinct] here I
have to organize something, even a mini-contingent of 12 or 14 members and tell
them: Gentlemen, get to work. It was not necessary because they were informed
of what I said. [laughter] They expedited their work. [applause]

18.  Every time I pass by that project I am astonished at the speed at which
they are now working. Well, this was a humorous episode on this matter. There
are more than 60 contingents, 35,000 men. It is a movement that is being
gradually built. There are many candidates seeking to become contingents, but
we do not recognize contingents until they meet all the requirements.

19.  Contingents are today the front-runners. They are much better than what we
had before. I am convinced that when we are able to organize 100,000 in
contingents, these will do the work that was formerly done by 400,000 workers,
with the difference that the contingents finish their projects and give them a
quality touch. In the past, projects were left unfinished and quality was
something totally overlooked by the construction workers.

20.  Even volunteer work became difficult. Those interested in volunteer work
could not participate because everything was based on contracts. You are in
charge of building this section of the wall; he has the other section.  A
volunteer worker could not start laying bricks because he would be working for
a contractor. Then, what could a volunteer worker do? Ah, carry bricks from a
pile to a wheelbarrow; from there to.... What do you call that, a winch? That
is, hoisting up bricks to the man who was laying bricks. If he could, or if he
wanted [words indistinct] the quality of the bricks, too. They were of an
extremely poor quality.

21.  If you visited a building, you would see the floor tiles [words
indistinct] that some had a faded color, because floor tiles, bathroom tiles,
must be laid in order, after carefully selecting them. In sum, quality work is
ultimately a work of art. [Words indistinct] more than a science in
construction work. We cannot overlook quality in our construction work.
Contingents work hard, but they emphasize quality in the first place. 
Furthermore, they have a great productivity. I am not going to explain what
contingents are. I said earlier that we do not have much time.

22.  [Words indistinct] to promote a number of projects, many fundamental
projects, we began to think what else was still pending. Then, we said we still
have the CUJAE project pending. We still have the ISCAH project. I do not know
if its name was also changed. What was the name? [Unidentified speaker: Higher
Institute of Agricultural Sciences] Ah, yes, Higher Institute of Agricultural

23.  [Words indistinct] I talked to Carlos Lage [Central Committee member]
about the Blas Roca contingent, that the only way to solve our problems was by
organizing contingents and by making work start there with the contingent
spirit. We made that decision [passage indistinct] and thus about 7 months ago
we organized these two contingents. Initially, we do not want many. It is
enough to have 150 or 200. Later, we should increase to 250, 300, or to 400.

24.  [Words indistinct] the organization, the discipline observed within the
contingent is that which results in productivity; or the equipment that is made
available to the contingent, [words indistinct] we started this year.  The
steps were taken promptly and we obtained immediate results.  Productivy was
quadrupled per project. We were never to fulfill a plan here. This year I
believe it was 1.9 million [not further explained]. How much will you get done
by the 31st? [Words indistinct] we have lost so much time. We are now already
beyond our production plan but we still have not met our goals. We have a plan
of a little over 4 million for 1990; 4 million in 1991; over 3 million for
1992, but we already envisage the conclusion of this project during this

25.  We have to give them some support. They have requested some equipment
because they say they have to work in various places. In reality, much of the
earth movement work was carried out by the Blas Roca contingent; that is, earth
movement work for the construction of eight new bus terminals we decided to
urgently build. We asked the Blas Roca contingent to do the earth movement
work. In fact, there was one that was already underway. The Blas Roca
contingent did the earth movement work for seven bus terminals in a few weeks.
The Blas Roca did this work without disrupting its other plans. It has a great
mechanized force, many trucks and bulldozers. It is even working with loaders--
most of which were manufactured here in Cuba. This equipment still has some
problems, but the contingent members have been able to use them effectively and
productively. In general, the construction of the four central markets is being
carried out by the Blas Roca contingent, which has carried out other projects
we decided to build urgently to improve distribution.

26.  Thus, we assigned a number of tasks to the Blas Roca.  Regarding
facilities for the Pan American games, we told the Blas Roca: Take care of the
earth movement work.  We cannot do that in a project like this because it does
not involve earth movement in just one area. As the head of the contingent was
telling me, there are dozens of areas here. In this case, we cannot deny the
usefulness of having some trucks, some bulldozers, some loaders.  There is a
list somewhere. [Words indistinct] reasonably will be given to them. They still
need 700,000 cubic meters of earth. It is important because they have to build
the sports fields that are still needed. I am very happy about the fact that
they can build the sports fields now. I believe we can start making headway in
those projects. In January, we are going to assign a number of equipment to
this brigade so that it can have this equipment. Then, we are going to decide
where this brigade is going to go from here with all its equipment, because
this equipment does not belong to the enterprise. It belongs to the brigade, of
course. [applause].

27.  When a contingent has many brigades, they can support one another. For
instance, the Blas Roca contingent has a brigade with 21 tractor scrapers
[passage indistinct].  Therefore, when a contingent is already organized as
some sort of special enterprise, then (?brigades) can support one another.
[Passage indistinct] then, one can never locate anything. Then, things get
lost. How can one reinforce it? It would be best if the contingent were
organized as a special enterprise with a number of brigades.

28.  The Blas Roca contingent already has, [rephrases] I believe it already has
25 brigades, with some new projects that were assigned to it.

29.  We recently found another project that was behind schedule and assigned it
to the Blas Roca. This is a very important project, the factory of biological
products in that place, Bejucal. The Construction Ministry, which has improved
many of its [word indistinct], was unfortunately still unable to improve that
project. We had already assigned some of our best [words indistinct] that were
needed to promote that project, which is of strategic importance. Today, Cuba
is the only producer in the world of the Type B anti-meningococcical vaccine. 
We have already received orders from many countries, but that project is behind
schedule, as everyone knows.  We toured the area and we made a decision. We
found that that project was behind schedule, that it was behind schedule
[passage indistinct].

30.  Projects undertaken on the biological front are very important. This
project unfortunately fell behind schedule. We assigned it to the Blas Roca
contingent. It has not been 12 hours since we talked to them, when we discussed
the cyclone, when a work force was already there in the morning. There is such
disorder at that construction site. There are mountains of sand here [word
indistinct], the streets were still not made. That was one place where one
could stop and listen to see if the workers were making any noise. I talked to
the workers, I tried to appeal to one thing every man has, that is, his feeling
of shame. They were seeking [changes thought] they wanted to be candidates for
contingent.  Can you believe that with the spirit of laziness prevailing there
they could become contingents? That was just an idea they had. They had very
poor management, a very poor organization. It was the responsibility of the
enterprise and several people were responsible for this.

31.  That project has already received a great boost. We told them: Fix [words
indistinct]. They are also working there because the Construction Ministry has
many capable people, many capable cadres. Many of the contingents originated at
the Construction Ministry. Yet, it has not been able to be organized and
efficient everywhere. It is making gradual process, but that project could not
wait any longer. [words indistinct]

32.  At this time, I believe we have to build 94 railroad stations between
Havana and Artemisa for the two-way railway system. There, they have truly made
a great effort.

33.  This brigade is still not part of an enterprise with several contingents.
It is an isolated brigade. We had to hastily form it to finish the projects. We
talked about the results here. Four months ago, I mentioned the workers'
productivity, the considerable cost reduction per weight of production. The
reduction occurred despite the fact that a special rate has been used for the
contingents. Thus, these rates have a tendency to raise salaries a bit. We
believe it is fair, and the contingents [words indistinct], that workers as
dedicated as they are have a special rate.  [Passage indistinct]

34.  However, they have reduced production costs a lot. They are making
progress in this project, and I think their progress will be much more evident
next year. They will have their (?equipment). I would even recommend, even if
the price increases, that some kind of priority...[rephrases] not priority,
impetus be given to athletic fields.  I think since there is such a large
number of youths here, it is important that athletic fields are not the last
thing that are built. [applause] We have talked about a budget of approximately
4 million, but if it needs to be increased, we will do it. Now, we all have the
certainty that this project will be completed. Therefore, this shame will be
over. We hope it will not happen again. Naturally, it is not the same thing to
finish a project and several years later to expand it because new needs have
arisen.  There are projects such as nuclear power plants where two reactors are
installed first, then another two. [passage indistinct]

35.  All the contingents have moved forward all the projects.  All of the
approximately 60 contingents have considerably reduced production costs. They
are finishing the projects and they are doing it with good quality. It is a
great movement and that is why I want them to go [words indistinct]. There are
many good ideas which in the process of their application are discredited. We
do not want this idea to be discredited. [passage omitted] You have no idea how
much working like a contingent helps the country, how much it reduces the
costs. Naturally, it is easier to feed well 100,000 workers than it is to feed
400,000; or to house 100,000 workers instead of 400,000; or to transport 100,00
instead of 400,000.  (?But) this is what the country needs. It does not mean
that we are always going to have to work like this, no.  However, lost time has
to be recovered. For several years, we all will have to work like this. Well,
not all of us. Not all of us can do it. It is not so easy to apply the
contingent method. However, there are factories, like the ones we heard about
at the National Assembly. The Artemisa cement factory applied some of the
contingent's ideas.  However, not all factories can apply those ideas, it was
only applied in factories and by those who were working on certain set tasks.
They were working 10 to 12 hours. The others were working 8-hour rotating
shifts. But when they applied some of the ideas of contingents, they reduced
the personnel roster by more than 150 people and they increased productivity
per man by 33 percent. They even fulfilled their production plan which they
were not going to meet. They even produced 20,000 tons of cement above the
original plan.

36.  We are going to apply those principles. But the contingent's methods are
not applicable to all activities. Hopefully the students can work like
contingents, that would be a [word indistinct] phenomenon. It would not take
long to occupy the place you were talking about. [passage indistinct] We
already have the completion date for this project. Whatever part of it can be
done quicker we will do it.

37.  The university director spoke here about the work carried out by this
institution which does not accept [passage]. He said that approximately 27,000
graduated.  [passage indistinct] It means a lot for our country to have tens of
thousands of engineers and university graduates in all sectors and fields.

38.  For example, in the field of technology and biotechnology we are already
seeing spectacular results which promise a lot for the country. In the field of
medicine, the advances we are making are known. There used to be only 3,000
doctors, we now have almost 40,000. Already by next year, we will have over
40,000. Today, our medical services can be considered among the best in the
world; they have prospects which do not exist anywhere else in the socialist or
capitalist world. This keeps improving because of the talent that has been
created. In agriculture also...[rephrases] Today in any agricultural enterprise
there are tens of university graduates. [words indistinct] It can be seen in
our industries and construction where there are tens of thousands of graduates
from this institution. However, many of them had to become teachers. Not all of
them went directly [words indistinct].

39.  At this difficult time, [rephrases] difficult times may lie ahead of us, I
do not have to tell you today that we may be heading toward difficult times,
difficult times for the security of our country because we are facing an empire
that thinks that it owns the world, that it can commit all types of crimes and
go unpunished, a triumphalist empire, an empire with a triumphalist spirit,
which has just done what it has done in Panama, showing no respect for or
consideration of the Latin American peoples, murdering thousands of Latin
Americans, men and women like us, who speak our own language and who share our
same customs, and we can go as far as saying that they share our same nature.
It murdered thousands in the most [words indistinct] showing absolute
disrespect for world opinion, for international laws, for the United Nations.
So, we are facing some emboldened individuals.

40.  We know what is going to happen to the imperialists if they enter Cuba.
The Panamanians themselves had the chance of bogging them down. With a better
concept, with a better use of their natural and military resources, they would
have bogged imperialism down there in their small country. Yet, they are bogged
down in other places, in El Salvador [corrects himself] San Salvador itself. 
They have failed in their counterrevolutionary war in Nicaragua, that small
Central American country. We know, (?as I stated) recently, the firepower, the
experience, the combative morale, the unity of our people [words indistinct]
millions of soldiers will ultimately have to leave with their tails between
their legs. But the risks for them to make a mistake are growing. Thus, there
are growing threats to the security of our country.  There are also major
economic risks stemming from, as I said on previous occasions, what is
happening over there in socialist countries. And there may be difficult,
troubled times ahead of us in the economic area that would force us to use all
our resourcefulness and efforts.

41.  We know what happened once when the Yankee blockade started and when we
could not receive even a small part from the United States, how our workers
managed to keep our factories operating, our textile industries, all our
industries. What a feat! At that time we did not even have an engineer, often
there was not even a mid-level technician at the factory. There was just a man
with a certain degree of natural talent working with an old little lathe.
Today, we have thousands of lathes, dozens of thousands of lathes; dozens of
thousands of engineers; dozens and dozens of thousands of midlevel technicians.
Not even in our dreams could we have then what we have today.

42.  Well, we have prepared for everything. Looking at the Panamanian
experience, I believe that millions of Cubans should reflect on the great
significance of having prepared for any aggression, the great significance of a
war waged by all the people. A handful of men has prevented that extremely
powerful Yankee army from taking (?the capital) in a few days and they did not
know what to do with their little bulletproof vests, tucked inside their
armored vehicles because they did not feel sufficiently safe with their vests
and they preferred the bullets to go through their armored vehicles first
before reaching them, because their vests did not reach as far as the navel.
[laughter]. As I told the athletes recently [chuckles], even if they carry more
arms than the knights of the Middle Ages, these will give them no protection at

43.  We have seen through this same experience how important is to be well
prepared, how important it has been for millions of citizens to have devoted so
many hours, so many days, so many weeks to preparedness, to the need of
continuing our preparations. We are strong in this area. We must also be
prepared mentally and psychologically to face other types of difficulties. We
said we are prepared for a direct aggression [rephrases] from a total blockade
of our country to direct aggression. Nothing could be worse than this in the
economic area. Thus, we are prepared and we have plans in the event of a total
blockade of our country. We are not afraid of economic difficulties, which in
no way could be so serious. This is why we are saying that come what may we
will manage, we will defend ourselves and we will seek solutions to our

44.  Right now we have difficulties, which date back in time, we have problems
with convertible currencies. Yet, our country continues to work and to make
progress. Like we said at the National Assembly, what is important is not how
much we grow, but the areas in which we grow. The important thing is to grow in
strategic areas for the growth of the country. As I said yesterday, if we have
a shortage of underpants fine, we'll feel bad about it. That is all right. They
are important, but they are not strategic.  [laughter] Construction and cement
production are important. The production of iron rods, bulldozers, [word
indistinct], trucks is important. The development of the auto industry will
produce [word indistinct] and strategic vehicles. The railroads are strategic.
The development of construction projects is strategic. This year, construction
projects grew more than 200 million pesos and next year they will grow by more
than 250 million pesos. We had been working on those things that were strategic
for the economy, despite all the difficulties.  [words indistinct]

45.  So, in the midst of great difficulties, we have been able to say that we
were the only country in this hemisphere that had not closed a school,
hospital, polyclinic, or factory.  We were the only country that has not thrown
thousands of people to the streets, unemployed. This is the country where there
is the most employment per year. This is the country where the most schools,
special schools, polyclinics, and hospitals are built. [words indistinct] That
is a privilege at this moment. We continue doing this under difficult
circumstances. We have done whatever is possible so that the people are not
lacking the essentials, even if there are less products than in the (?parallel)
market. We are also carrying out a very ambitious food program; we are working
with great impetus in this program. It is in these areas where investments are
growing--in the canals and irrigation plans. [words indistinct] We are working
on strategic areas, and that is the important thing. But if political
catastrophies hit the socialist field, it will be a very special situation. We
could (?call) it a special period in peace time, because of the serious
economic consequences that [words indistinct].  But it would not be as serious
as a situation, special period, caused by a military blockade of the country.

46.  Yesterday we were talking about these things at the National Assembly.
[passage indistinct] However, today it is much more feasible to do with the
number of professionals that have graduated from our universities who we did
not have when the revolution triumphed. We are perfecting the plans. We also
talked about searching for a broader profile. Never doubt the convenience of a
broader profile for the country. Just notice in the field of medicine. All
doctors get a basic 6-year training, then they get specialized training. There
are brother socialist countries [passage indistinct]. One specialized in
gastric problems; it would take 25 doctors to see one patient. We want one
doctor to see 25 patients. [words indistinct] However, we do not ignore
specializations in medicine.  We have over (?20) specializations. We have also
tried to hold back because overspecialization also has other problems. (?That)
is how they end up with (?20) specializations; they divided the human body in
almost 10,000 parts and that is also a negative consequence. [passage

47.  We are going to gain a lot with this. In agriculture we were almost doing
the same thing. For each farm we were starting to need five or six different
engineers. One knew about water, the other about soil, the other about
machinery, and so on. We have reduced the specialization. It was discussed
during a meeting with the [word indistinct]. We have worked calmly but with
wisdom.  [words indistinct].

48.  Like the rector of the university said, it is true that our education is
superior to the one that we had [words indistinct]. I do not know students from
other countries who study more than our students. [words indistinct] We must
create the conditions for our students. This field you study is very important.
What will be the limit of the engineers we have? That is relative. At one
point, it was also said that we had extra doctors, approximately 25,000 of
them. But we said, there are no extra doctors.  Wherever man is, there must be
a doctor--in the neighborhoods, factories, [words indistinct]. The worst thing
that could happen is to have men doing nothing, or killing time in a bloated
personnel roster. That is bad.  But a man who renders services is invaluable.
Sometimes we have an excess of people. The rector was saying this.  He said
that now there are approximately 200 less.  [Castro asks someone in crowd] How
many? [reply indistinct] Two hundred and two less, and there is more activity
than when the personnel roster was bloated.  [passage indistinct] The rector
also said he had reduced the deans by half here. There were so many deans. 
[Castro addresses rector] Now it works, right?

49.  [Rector replies: It works better]

50.  It works better, he says. We must save men; the most valuable resource is
men, the human being. But do not save him just to send him home, but to do
useful things.

51.  In the same way, some day we will be able to say that we have engineers on
reserve so that the other engineers can go on sabbatical. [passage indistinct]
We (?don't) want an engineer who will be stuck in an office with air
conditioning or a fan, according to the case. We do not want him just sitting
up there not knowing what a project, machine, or factory is. We would have
extra engineers. But we are taking the engineers where the worker, the machines
are. If everyone was an engineer who worked with a machine that would be
better.  Naturally, we cannot expect to reach that. However, sometimes, I see a
machine that is worth 300,000 or 400,000 dollars. We would like to have three
engineers on top of the machines. The amount of money invested in the machine,
requires it. If there was an engineer for that machine, it would be more
productive, it would last longer, and more things could be done with them.

52.  So, the country does not need to worry. [words indistinct] We do not have
to worry if enrollment increases.  [passage indistinct] He says the enrollment
capacity will be for 5,000 students. I hope those students have much better
facilities. I hope they have the cafeteria and all the athletic facilities in
this university city. [applause] Like Nicolas Guillen would say, I hope this
university will have what it needs to have. [passage indistinct]

53.  (?With) the improvement of food in the country we will also improve the
food for the students. We are now giving priority to the workers who are
working 12 and 14 hours a day, anyone can understand that. There are tens of
thousands of workers who are receiving a special quota. One would like to also
give the quota to others.  There are still those who do very hard work and who
do not have the special quota. We hope to some day provide the students with
better food.

54.  Right now, we must make progress in what we can.  Therefore, I am certain
that--unless there is [words indistinct] or special circumstances--our
timetable will be fulfilled, and overfulfilled. We will all feel satisfied with
this. We will all feel proud. Even those who have already graduated will be
glad to see this, maybe even with a bit of envy because they studied in this
unfinished university. I saw some of the medical schools. I visited them when
they were under construction. [words indistinct] There were times when there
was neither dust nor noise at the sites, because nothing was being done. They
were not being finished. We had to stir it up to accelerate the medical
schools' constructions. We have now seen them finished, in Pinar del Rio, for
example as well as in Sancti Spiritus, or in Camaguey. They are fantastic
installations. But it is sad that now that they are finished, we are beginning
to reduce enrollment in medical schools.

55.  Despite the fact that the possibility of employing doctors is extensive,
we have had to begin to reduce the enrollment number.  The number of doctors we
have planned for includes those who will serve abroad in the next 10 years. In
other words, they will not be underused. We have also raised the level of the
career of a nurse to the university level. I can tell you that in a recent
inauguration, it was pleasant to see medical and nursing students together.
They will be kept busy in the field of nursing.  There will be enough room for
them. There will be more nursing students than medical students. Furthermore,
the tens of thousands of nurses will be able to pursue higher level courses,
just like the elementary school teachers are doing. We will have enough
positions for all the nurses. If one day we need to limit the enrollment in
this career also, [words indistinct], we will have the improvement courses. We
would also have room for those who can study after working 7 or 8 consecutive

56.  It is very important to retrain our professionals. It is important. It is
decisive. One cannot aspire to occupy a worthy place in today's world without
constantly retraining professionals. Retraining takes place every 5 or 6 years
in the most developed countries. Professionals acquire new knowledge.

57.  As you know computer studies have been introduced at the university level.
They have been introduced in midlevel education. They have been introduced in a
broad sector of our educational system. We will even have them at the basic
secondary school level soon. This is very important.

58.  During meetings of project enterprises, I have seen the efforts being made
now to learn about computers. Those who graduated when computer training was
not yet available at universities are making an effort. Computers are very
useful. They reduce working time. Calculations that took 60 hours now can be
done in 2 hours or less with computers. We have to be up to date in all of
this.  We should be continuously retraining our professionals.  Seats will
never be empty in this education center. We should not worry about building

59.  I am trying to keep my word about not delivering a speech here [chuckles].
I have not delivered one. This is not a speech. We could say this is a
scattered analysis of various problems. I would only have to congratulate you
for the achievements you are obtaining at the research centers, for the
contributions you are making to the national economy in many fields. I hope you
have what is needed to boost this task.

60.  I was also happy to hear that you have 18 million [currency not specified]
in equipment. We will do everything possible to make sure that you do not lack
equipment so that those 100 laboratories can operate, so that you occupy a
prominent place among the technological educational centers of the world. I
wish you all, workers, students, and professors, many successes. The revolution
has placed an unlimited confidence on you as students, as revolutionaries, and
as patriots.

61.  You were saying: Hit the Yankees hard! We need to prepare to hit them
hard, very hard to see if, once and for all, in the event they attack us one
day; they lose that arrogance, they lose that spirit of abuse, that supposed
impunity which they now believe they have. This close unity of all our people,
workers, peasants, women, students, and even our pioneers.... [changes thought]
Because I know that even the pioneers, [corrects himself] or many pioneers, the
ones who are 12 or 13 years old, are also capable of defending the fatherland.
I am not exaggerating! I say it because I have heard many of them speak during
these difficult times, during these days of the attack on Panama. They
expressed themselves in such a way, with such clarity and with such feelings
that I felt they were defending the fatherland from this age.

62.  Do not forget this! Ideas and ideology are the first trench in the defense
of the fatherland. We will be waging the battle, the first battle in the
defense of the fatherland by defending firmly and strongly our revolutionary
ideology; by fighting against skeptical people and by making them keep their
mouths shut; by fighting against divisionists, because the one thing we must
defend as a sacred object is the unity of the fatherland. [applause].

63.  By fighting against those who may seek to weaken our unity or to confuse
our people, we will be waging the first battle. I saw those pioneers and the
extraordinarily eloquent way in which they expressed themselves, the
convictions they conveyed. We were looking at soldiers on the front lines.
Marti said that trenches of ideas are more valuable than trenches of stones.
Let us defend revolutionary ideas; let us defend those ideas because behind
them are also trenches of stones. Let us make our ideological trenches and our
military trenches to defend our fatherland in trenches as high as the Sierra
Maestra, as the Turquino mountain. Socialism or death, fatherland or death, we
will win! [applause]