Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19900210
-YEAR-
1990
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
-AUTHOR-
-HEADLINE-
Castro Gives Speech at `Pedagogy 90' Congress
-PLACE-
CARIBBEAN / Cuba
-SOURCE-
Havana International Service
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS-LAT-90-033
-REPORT_DATE-
19900216
-HEADER-
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000003161
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1402113090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-033          Report Date:    16 Feb 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     14
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       26
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       10 Feb 90
Report Volume:       Friday Vol VI No 033

Dissemination:  

City/Source of Document:   Havana International Service

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Gives Speech at `Pedagogy 90' Congress

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro during the closing session of ``Pedagogy
90'' Congress from the Karl Marx Theater in Havana--recorded]

Source Line:   FL1402113090 Havana International Service in Spanish 0308 GMT 10
Feb 90

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro during the closing session of
``Pedagogy 90'' Congress from the Karl Marx Theater in
Havana--recorded]

-TEXT-
FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE:
1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro during the closing session of ``Pedagogy
90'' Congress from the Karl Marx Theater in Havana--recorded]

2.  [Text] Esteemed delegates and guests, comrades: In light of my commitment
and responsibility to close this event, which was given to me in one way or
another, I was asking myself what was I going to tell the delegates. I did not
have the privilege of participating in discussions and commissions. I have not
directly heard about the great variety of subjects that have been discussed in
this meeting. I have only received some news while carrying out my daily work.

3.  What am I going to tell you that you have not already discussed? What am I
going to explain to you that you have not already heard? What am I going to
tell you about that you have not already been told? I was also asking myself
what had I said during Pedagogy 86 four years ago. I have not even had the time
to review the material. I have not had the time to ask for the speech to see
what I said. I did have time to look at some of the event's material; I
especially had the privilege of reading the magnificent speech delivered by
Comrade Education Minister Jose Ramon Fernandez. [applause]

4.  These are the problems I had with such a task. I did not want to repeat
things that had already been said or that I myself had said previously. There
are so many figures that you can fill a phone book with them, especially when
one speaks of the history of the development of education after the triumph of
the revolution. Is there any delegate here that knows about it? For example,
how many teachers did we have? I am not referring to the Cubans, but to some of
the guests. Do you know? At least there is one who knows. [laughter] I am
trying to find out what you do not know. [laughter]

5.  According to reports, I believe there were some 22,000 teachers; the number
did not reach 23,000. We do not know how many we have now, either. The data
contained in the documents indicates we have some 293,000. However, the data
needs to be updated and will have to be updated constantly, because it is
changing all the time. Cadres are being taken away especially from the
education sector. This has happened since the beginning of the revolution.
Since there was such a low academic level, everyone asked for education cadres. 
The state and party is full of people from the education sector. Of course,
they asked for them and did not send them back later. They had no intention of
sending them back, either. So, each year, a large number of teachers went from
the education sector to other areas.

6.  In spite of all of this, the number of teachers and professors grew each
year. They number close to 300,000; that is, we now have almost 24 times the
number of professors and teachers we had when the revolution triumphed. This
figure gives you an idea of the effort made in training education personnel. It
is because of the efforts made during these 30 years that we now have a large
number of professors and teachers of all types. There are even physical
education and sports teachers. There are a lot of them.

7.  I always heard before the revolution--and it was always demanded--that
there was a greater need for teachers than for soldiers. How many times did we
hear this? I believe that even your final document says this. It reflects the
idea that less should be spent on weapons and that those resources should be
devoted to development.  Education would be one of the best sectors on which to
spend them.

8.  I was thinking, what is our proportion of teachers to soldiers? You are not
going to believe me, but I do not know exactly how many soldiers we have.
[indistinct crowd noise] Of course, of course but that.... [Castro interrupted
by prolonged applause] Wait a minute. If we are talking about soldiers to
defend the country, all the people are soldiers. I cannot make such a
comparison. If we are talking about teachers that preach the most noble
revolutionary ideas, I can also say that all our people are teachers.
[applause]

9.  Now, returning to the other comparison about the permanently armed
soldiers. We have a great need for them, because it is not our fault that we
have such a neighbor that threatens us. [applause] We see ourselves being
forced to be on guard day and night, constantly, which forces us to have a lot
of expenses and make sacrifices.  We would have to update and see what the
exact number of permanently armed soldiers is. However, I am certain that I
would not be wrong if I said that we have more than two teachers and professors
for each soldier. This is the old dream we talked about so much, ever since the
time of independence. This is the dream that has been fulfilled.

10.  However, we must also analyze how much has been spent on different things.
Our working people, and all our people in general, spend millions and millions
of hours preparing themselves so they can be ready to defend the country from
an attack. Our budget shows the expense for education is double the expense of
the Revolutionary Armed Forces [FAR]. [applause] In other words, this is an old
aspiration. We can even say that in public health, we spend half of what we
spend on education. The expense for public health is approximately similar to
that of the FAR. If we analyze the figures this way, we can draw some
encouraging conclusions. Have we stopped the training of teaching personnel?
No, we have not stopped it. Have we closed schools for training teachers? No,
we have not closed them. On the contrary, just 48 hours ago, at the Executive
Committee of the Council of Ministers, and during a meeting that was held a few
months ago with university students, we discussed a serious problem: We need to
build five higher-level teaching institutes.

11.  Some of you may be asking: Have these people gone crazy? They have
approximately 300,000 teachers and professors and they still want to build five
higher-level institutes! We also asked ourselves the same question.  Were we
crazy? However, we had no other solution but to build those five institutes to
complete the system for training teachers. We have the elementary teachers'
schools--they change the name, I do not know what they are called now--in all
the provinces. I remember we built them. We built installations for mid-level
teachers. We did this at a time when the explosion of mid-level schools was
huge and we did not have enough teachers. So, we had to recruit students and
establish a program for teaching and studying at the same time. Certain
installations were built at that time .

12.  But later came another idea, the higher institutes for teachers. We need a
total of 16, approximately. I think it is exactly 16 throughout the country,
right Fernandez?  [response not heard] However, we do have one for each
province. If we do not build the ones we need, the province will end up without
a higher-level institute. We want each province to have its higher-level
institute for the training of these teachers, for mid-level as well as for
higher-level teachers. That is why we have to build those five installations,
in addition to other ones we are completing. Even though we do have those
schools, they are in installations which are not adequate--this is a sacrifice
for its students. We have decided to build the five higher-level schools that
we lack. We plan to begin some of them this year, others in 1991, and have the
whole system of facilities completed. I can tell you it is one of the most
ambitious plans that could have been devised.

13.  We now have the schools for teachers operating. These schools will also be
turned into higher-level institutes. In the training of the elementary school
teacher, we are going from the current level to the higher level. We have not
been able to do it from one year to the next. We have done it a little bit at
time. We are still enrolling students from the ninth grade in the schools for
elementary teachers. However, in the pedagogical institutes, we are already
beginning to enroll students who have graduated from the 12th grade who will
study in the universities so that they can become elementary school teachers.
In other words, within two or three years, 100 percent of those who enroll to
study to become elementary school teachers will have to do it as high school
graduates.  Then, they will have to study five years at the university or at
the higher-level institutes to be able to graduate with a bachelor's degree in
elementary education.

14.  Therefore, we will not have a surplus of schools. We are not so crazy. We
will have to continue training elementary school teachers, but at a much higher
level. This is the path we are going to take. We are going to need the
installations in all the provinces so that none is left without its own
institution. This is very important. This has helped us a lot not only in the
area of teaching--in training teachers--but also in the training of university
staff in general.

15.  In the early years, we had to enroll students who were going to become
elementary school teachers with only a sixth grade education. We gradually
increased the education level required for enrollment until we made it a
secondary school level. Imagine, they started out with a sixth grade education.
Then, they had to study for five years; they had to study a total of 11 years.
At that time, and for a long time, we did not even train those teachers trained
to teach classes. There was a time when 70 percent of elementary school
teachers did not have a diploma. They were students. They were people with a
certain level of education to whom some training was given so that...[changes
thought] The explosion was such that education extended to all corners of the
country. We saw this from early on; however, there was also a demographic
explosion in the early years, which at one point was about 1 million and
something. It must have been over 1 million, right? [response indistinct]
Figure out for yourselves the need we had for teachers.

16.  Today that figure for elementary school students is approximately 800,000
or 850,000. But at that time, we needed...[changes thought] Many of those
teachers later also trained to teach mid-level schools. Figure out the
explosion that I was talking about. When all these children reached the sixth
grade, from where were we going to get all the teachers? We had to create new
formulas to face that situation, which naturally is not he same situation we
have today. It is interesting, and also logical, that the number of elementary
school teachers is lower than the number of teachers for mid-level schools. 
The number of elementary school children is approximately 800,000, the number
of mid-level students is over 1 million, or 1.8 million. I think that about
48.1 of every 100 students today is at that point. The number of students who
are at the elementary level is not even 40 percent. What is that called? The
inverted pyramid? It looks like they put the base on top and the tip at the
bottom. The childcare centers and the preschools must be at the tip. The
higher-level institutes have approximately 12.5 of every 100 students.

17.  There has been a great and noticeable change from the situation we once
had with the teaching personnel to today's situation. We even have the luxury
of having teachers and professors in reserve, not so much professors as we have
teachers. We have approximately 18,000 in reserve. Fernandez must know this
well. He does not always like to give precise figures, or to reveal all the
secrets of the resources he has. [crowd laughs] Sometimes you have to guess, or
get it out of him. However, this is the policy we have followed. We have not
closed schools. No. We have not stopped investing resources in those schools.
In any other country, they would have closed schools and limited the resources.
What have we done with this reserve of 18,000 teachers? We put them to work and
study. Therefore, we have almost 20,000 [figure as heard] of them studying in
one way or another and receiving their salaries. It is more than a sabbatical
year; it is a year in which to really improve oneself and attain higher levels.

18.  According to the data, how many of them are enrolled in schools? I have
already told you: I did not want to bring an encyclopedia of data here;
however, I think that in talking about some of these things, I have no other
choice but to mention some data. There are 42,000 elementary school teachers
enrolled in the universities who are studying for their bachelor's degree. Many
of them work as teachers and study. They either take night courses or seminars.
Forty-two thousand are getting their bachelor's; 13,000 have already graduated.
I am talking about a bachelor's degree in elementary education. And 13,000
[figure as heard] are full-time students in their fourth and fifth year. They
receive...[changes thought] They go through the first four years combining work
and study; and during the last two years they are full-time students.  There
are 13,000 of these students. I think this is a reasonable way of utilizing
human resources.

19.  What good are unemployed people? What good are people filling up offices?
What good are people filling up personnel rosters? Is it not better that they
be teachers, professors, doctors, and nurses so they can provide new services
to the people, such as the family doctor? Or, is it not better to increase the
quality of our teachers? Is there not a difference between a teacher who has
studied 11 years to one who has studied 17 years, in addition to their long
career as teachers? Therefore, that is why today we are sending to higher-level
institutions those teachers who started studying education after completing the
sixth grade; or the teachers who completed the ninth grade and then studied
four more years to become teachers; or those who became teachers while students
and did not have a title, receiving it later, and now studying at the
university. In a few more years, all our elementary school teachers will be
university graduates. Our installations...[rephrases] Our pedagogical
institutes will be higher-level institutes, because students will enroll to
study either for their bachelor's in elementary education or for their
bachelor's in education. I was telling Fernandez: At some point, we are going
to have to find a more appropriate name for those professionals who are called
graduates in education. They are the ones who are going to teach at the mid- or
higher-level institutions. All teachers will have practically the same levels
of education, and they will teach first and second grades. This will result in
great quality of education which is what we have to strive for constantly. This
is how we have created these programs. This is how these programs have evolved.

20.  Do not think that everything in education was set on the first day. When
we started, at the beginning or before the revolution, we had many ideas and
dreams regarding education. Those were the ideas which, at the time, were
proclaimed as the necessary ideas, the revolutionary ideas. We needed
classrooms and teachers for all the children. We needed to end illiteracy.
There were several ideas, very good ideas, I will not deny it. However, those
ideas corresponded to those times. If we compare the ideas we had prior to the
triumph of the revolution with the ones we have today, there is an abysm,
because we have developed more and more new ideas in this field.  This field is
what today constitutes the sum of all our institutes and educational programs.
Back then, we would have never even thought about the pre-university institutes
for the sciences, nor about the vocational schools we later developed, nor
about the problem of special education and special schools.

21.  Yes, we had thought about the idea of work-study. It was a very important
idea, because it was an idea of Marx and Marti which had not been implemented
in a universal manner in any other country. For us, the importance of this idea
of combining study and work was always very clear. Each student was supposed to
be an intellectual and also be able to work with his hands, because we could
not create a society of intellectuals.  This communist idea is one of the most
important ones ever created

22.  However, all these ideas and plans...[changes thought] Back then, we would
have never thought about having a teacher be a university graduate. Back then,
we would have never thought about all these institutions and this entire
system. At that time, we had not even thought about the type of special schools
that we have today. In actuality, these ideas were not devised on the first
day.  We had some basic ideas that were gradually developed throughout these
years to attain what we have today, which has to constantly be submitted to
analysis and criticism. Each one of these institutions has to be analyzed and
criticized in the attempt to do things better. If we are doing certain things
right, we want to try to make them better. If we think they are not good
enough, we want to try to improve them. This is our great battle in this
sector. We have a lot of advanced ideas, as you have seen during the visit. We
want you to also analyze and criticize those ideas, because it is to our
advantage. We need each one of the things that we are doing to be analyzed from
different points of view. We need to know what can be done to improve anything,
including the content or method of education.

23.  We have done several new things since Pedagogy 86. In these past four
years, several new things have been done.  What? Let me think. For example, we
established the exact sciences vocational schools system. In the past, we only
had vocational schools, but we decided to call them exact sciences vocational
schools. This decision was made after a study carried out at a pre-university
school.  The study plan at these schools is more intense. These schools are not
for seventh, eighth, and ninth graders; they are for 10th, 11th, and 12th
graders. These schools are for pre-university students. The students at these
schools do not have to do that much work--that is manual labor. However, we do
not want these students to stop manual labor all together; we want to maintain
the principle of manual labor even at these schools. At least once a week, they
engage in some type of productive activity. We run the risk that the students
at these schools will become too intellectual, and I must admit that this
worries us. However, the students at the exact sciences vocational schools are
not the only ones who will have the opportunity to go on to the university
level.  An examination and experience will determine whether a student can go
on to the university level. This was not the system used in the past. In the
past, we would go out looking for all the students who graduated from high
school and beg them to attend college. A few years ago, we did not have enough
students graduating from high school; very few graduated. Many chose to go into
other fields of work. As the years went by, the number of students graduating
from high school grew, and we had no other alternative but to establish a
university entrance system based on the merits of the student.

24.  University entrance is not only based on an examination. The grade the
student gets on the entrance examination only represents 50 percent of the
total number of points needed to gain university entrance. However, the exact
sciences vocational schools are very demanding, very demanding [repeats
himself], and a student graduating from these schools will have a certain
advantage over other students. However, this does not necessarily mean that
their overall grade will be higher.

25.  We have other kinds of schools, and we try to make them as good as
possible. Students graduating from these schools may also go on to college.
These students may not know as much as a vocational school student, but, in
some areas, may be better qualified to enter college.  However, much more is
demanded of a student who attends a vocational school; these students have more
time to study. We have expanded our vocational school system and now have space
available for 40,000 students. These schools are very well equipped; however,
only the future will tell if the system really works. Our goal is to give all
outstanding students the opportunity to receive the best possible education.
However, as I have already said, only the future will tell us if the system
really works. We also want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to go
to college. We are trying to get all the pre-universities to send
their...[changes thought] We have pre-university students in the rural areas.
In these areas, we apply the work-study principle. The youth who attends three
hours of classes five days a week must make a big effort. He has to do much
studying. He has to cover the whole study plan, and the study plans are the
same at all schools. The study plans at the exact sciences vocational schools
and at the other schools pre-university schools are identical. The only
difference is that the exact sciences schools have an additional
subject--chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, or electronics--and they are
given extra hours of classes on that additional subject. However, the study
plan does not change. The exact sciences student also receives extra hours of
training on computer use. The other students have the same pre-university study
plan, but they do not have that extra subject. Computer training is also given
at the other schools; however, they do not spend as much time on this subject
as the exact sciences student does. We try to give all students the same
opportunity to continue superior education; we try to give the students in the
rural areas the same opportunity to continue superior education. We also have a
number of pre-university schools in the urban area, in the city. It is only an
idea, it sounds attractive and interesting, but the future has the last word.
Only the future will tell if the plan is good.

26.  Naturally, there is something we are going to try to do.  These science
schools have teachers who are better trained; there is no doubt about it,
because they are closer to the cities. With some exceptions, they are closer to
the cities, and university professors can often be used for some of these
subjects. In the future, I think we must gradually improve the quality of the
teachers, equipment, and classes in those other pre-university centers.

27.  However, the universities and pre-university centers are not filled just
with science students. There are many youths who have served in the Armed
Forces with weak records who are given a new opportunity to study. Those who
want to do it are enrolled in the pre-university, and their service time is
reduced. They are given the opportunity to study for one year and do an
extensive review; afterward, they can enroll in the university. Workers also
have the opportunity to enroll in the university; there is a quota for each of
them. This is a system that was not in effect when we held the Pedagogy 86
meeting.

28.  What other new thing do we have? We have introduced computerization in all
higher-level and mid-level centers. By the next school year, we expect all
centers to be computerized. We have made the investments to bring
computerization to the entire mid-level educational sector--to approximately 1
million students, in addition to the higher-level students. We are also
experimenting in 150 elementary schools. We have doubts about this. We do not
know if computerization should be implented at the elementary school level.
Maybe you can tell us about the experiences you have had in your countries. We
are studying the experiences other countries have had with this. Which ones
have done it? What have been the results? Is it convenient or not? However,
there is something we have done in our country. We have created computer clubs
for youths. In them, we combine computer programming with some entertainment.
We have 39 of those clubs. In the next few months, we will have 100 of them.
They are located throughout the country.  The elementary school kids love to go
to these. They spend Sundays there, they are entertained, and they also are
interested in the programs. It is not like having a simple calculator, because
anyone knows that three times three is nine, and two times two is four. In my
time, there was none of that. That is the truth. I learned to do quick
calculations, especially because there was a teacher who would punish me.
[laughter] He would give me 100 division problems. He would give me the kind
that had nine figures on one side and six on the other.  There was no shortcut
for that. [laughter] I spent so many recesses figuring out calculations, not a
single day of rest. [laughter, applause] I see that a lot of people have their
calculators. They use it constantly for everything. I am not saying that they
are not useful. I have used them myself sometimes to figure out more complex
calculations. However, generally speaking, I do them in my head. It is better
to have microcomputers in the head. It is necessary that we all have them, or
else everyone will have to have one of those calculators in their pockets. It
would be...[changes thought] We have our doubts, but we are studying what is
happening in these clubs with the youths. What are they doing? Because it is
one thing to learn to program and another to solve problems with computers. One
does not count or calculate if one has a computer. However, at this time, we
are still not sure whether or not it is convenient to bring computerization to
the elementary school level. This is one of the new things we did not have
during Pedagogy 86.

29.  When Pedagogy 86 was held, we did not have the special schools program we
have today. This is a very important subject. We already had special schools.
There were approximately 40,000 children and adolescents in special schools. 
However, later we discovered that the need for special schools was greater. The
first consideration was in the idea itself of a special school. Should the
special school exist or not? There can be many opinions on this. Should that
child be in the other school? Naturally, there are many students in the other
schools, even in the child care centers, who may have a speech impediment. But
that can be quickly solved with a special teacher. There is no need for them to
go to a special school for that.

30.  There are many cases that involve specific problems for which we feel we
cannot do without the special schools.  There are different types of problems.
Some of these problems are serious. There are mental development disorders for
which there are solutions. However, when a child is sent to the same school as
the other children, he falls behind, he could be rejected, and he could end up
leaving school. I am referring to the mental development disorders. There is a
large number of these cases. Even we did not realize the number was so high.
There are also the cases of mental retardation. Unfortunately, there is no
solution to the organic or functional problem. However, the child or adolescent
can be educated.

31.  What happens in a normal school with these students?  What problems are
created? We can have a classroom, and we have done that. However, we think the
conditions which will give that child or adolescent full attention are not met
under those circumstances. The largest number of schools we need are for the
children with mental development disorders and with mental retardation.

32.  There are also several thousand cases of behavioral disorder at various
levels. These problems exist even at the elementary school level, not just at
the mid-level. I have seen some of those kids. We have inaugurated a few such
schools. Recently, we inaugurated the last school that was part of a program of
20 schools in the capital.  With this, we have already satisfied all the needs
in the capital. We needed 20 schools. No, we needed 24 schools. Each one had a
capacity for 200 students.  Therefore, we needed room for approximately 5,000
students. These are truly excellent schools. Their facilities and equipment are
excellent. It is my opinion that their dedicated personnel is also excellent.
We are carrying out the program in the entire country. We calculated the number
of schools we needed to carry out the program and came up with a figure of 204.
We had other schools like these. Havana had many of them; now it has over 24
schools. However, some of them were in very poor facilities. Others were in
good facilities. At the beginning, we did not have the schools in new
buildings.  We had to establish many of them in existing facilities that were
adapted. Now we have new facilities designed for that use. In the capital, we
have been able to build all the special schools it needs. However, in the rest
of the country, we still have not been able to do that. We still have to build
many of these schools.

33.  I will tell you something else--and we have asked that this be studied. We
found regions or provinces with a larger percentage of mental retardation. Some
of those percentages were even twice as high as in other provinces, or in the
capital. I realized it when I was looking at the enrollment rate for the
capital. I asked: Why are there so many schools? I did the calculations based
on the same proportions for any area in the country with problems of this type.
You see, we have to investigate this. We must look at the factors involved in
this-- public health, education? What towns could have had historic factors
involved? Or, were there marriages among relatives? These are simply ideas of
what could have happened. But we must know the determining factors behind a
mental retardation rate that is twice as high in a particular province. None of
this can be discovered if we do not study the problem. Otherwise, the problem
of the special school will not be solved. As I was saying, I really doubt that
the mentally retarded students can have better care in regular schools than
they do in special schools.

34.  The situation with behavioral disorder students is another matter. I was
also talking about them. I said that after mental retardation and mental
development disorders, we also have behavioral disorder cases. They are really
marvelous kids. I said that recently we inaugurated some schools. One of them
was for behavioral disorder students. That school was for elementary level
children.  I looked at those kids. They were so pleasant, and they were
participating in all kinds of activities--cultural and sports activities. I was
wondering, what do these kids do?  What do these little devils do that cause
them to have to be in these schools? With me, they did not...[rephrases] The
kids were wonderful with me. They are hyperactive kids. They do not sit still.
They must spend their 14 hours doing something. Many of them have a high
intelligence quotient; they are very intelligent. But they need specialists,
very well-trained people to treat these kids.

35.  These are the kind of kids who leave school. They are the kind who do not
respect anyone, either at home or anywhere else. They roam the streets. I also
want you to know that--and this is an opinion we really believe in--all these
kids who leave school are later the victims of delinquency. If they leave
school because they feel bad because of a problem stemming from mental
retardation, or due to a behavioral problem, later they become the victim of
delinquency in the streets. We uphold the theory that the fight against crime
must begin in school, and that the ideal of a society should be to have few
prisons and many schools. [applause] Schools are the only thing that can later
compete with prisons. That is why we should study the history of each one of
the cases of those youths who early on become involved in delinquent
activities, and we will find that there are other problems involved. Naturally,
often there are hyperactive kids whose parents are teachers and for whom school
is the house. [laughs] Not all of them will have to go. However, when you mix
that kind of personality with a family setting where there is a problem, the
kids do not receive the full attention they need. Therefore, the kids develop
these kinds of tendencies. This type of kid needs a school.

36.  Every time I have the opportunity, I speak with the personnel involved in
this, and I ask them many things about these kinds of institutions. I can see
that the personnel that works in this field must be very specialized. The
personnel must be specially prepared to educate these kids. Some of these kids
can do many excellent things. One day I asked them what they wanted to be,
because they are so active they want to do it all. Some want to be athletes,
others want to be...[changes thought] I think they all want to be boxers
because they are also somewhat aggressive. [laughter] Well, they wanted to play
all the sports, but they also like the arts, work, science, everything. Great
things can come out of these kids if they have the right institutions. I really
doubt that the normal school can solve such problems.

37.  I am talking about these cases. I am not talking about the kids who have,
for example, hearing problems in varying degrees; or about kids with visual
limitations. I am not talking about blindness, but instead about serious
limitations, such as kids who are cross-eyed or who have amblyopia. That is a
little word that even I just had a hard time saying. [laughter] These are kids
who have specific visual defects which could lead to blindness.  And recently,
we inaugurated two schools for these types of problems, in addition to the one
we already had. The one we already had was for 100 plus students. These new
ones have a capacity for approximately 200 students. In our capital, with 2
million residents, we have a need for at least 500 students with these types of
problems which can be solved. Some of you may have visited these schools. They
are more than just schools, they are school-hospitals. There are doctors and
specialists. They work with equipment to try to correct visual defects.  They
have a laboratory. All the sports activities in which the students participate
are related to the problem they have and are geared to correcting the problem
they have.  It is a true marvel. I am really astonished when I go to one of
these schools. I marvel at their personnel, and the specialization and
abilities of the teachers. I watch the children progress at an incredible rate.
Is it possible to have all these resources in a regular school? Is it possible
to have all the needed laboratories, specialists, and sports fields? In
actuality, it is absolutely impossible.  There are also the more serious visual
problems. There are children who need very special nutritional programs.  There
are those who are blind. They need special care; that is obvious.

38.  Recently, we inaugurated a special school for the physically handicapped.
What did we used to do with the physically handicapped children? The teacher
would send them home. But try to imagine a child isolated his entire life in
his home. Even if he is taught to read and write, he does not have friends. He
practically has no social life. Now that we have the first school of this type,
we have to build one in the eastern provinces and one in the central part of
the country. We need approximately three of them; that is not a very high
number. We must also look at the schools and the facilities they have, the
sports facilities the children have. They have the opportunity to travel in
special vehicles. These schools are boarding schools. The children are taken
home on the weekends. They go on field trips. I think a whole world of
experiences opens up with these schools. The school was inaugurated and
designed for such cases. The school was very expensive to build. The hallways,
rooms, and bathrooms had to be a certain width.

39.  There are some children who may be missing an arm.  They may be missing
both arms or even legs. I think that the attention and education given to such
children is a science. Even maintaining their health is a science.  Maintaining
the health of the handicapped is difficult.  They are taught how to take care
of themselves, to get out of bed, to go to bed by themselves. They are taught
everything, because they are overprotected at home.

40.  That is why I think this is a topic that can be discussed.  We will gladly
share all the expertise we have accumulated in this area with you, just like we
would like you to share with us all the experience you have gained in your
countries. There is always some kind of school. If there is no system for all
the children who need it, there is at least one school that has what they need.
There are certain schools for certain children. Each time we have to resolve a
problem, we have to resolve it for everyone.

41.  I think that you developed a motto, an idea here: Everyone can learn from
everyone else. Everything we do has to be done for everyone. The same has to be
done for everyone. [applause]

42.  I have extended my talk on the topic of special schools because it seems
to me that it will be the subject of future analysis and discussion. As I told
you, during Pedagogy 86, we had about 40,000 children enrolled in school. We
then discovered that there were more than 80,000 children that needed special
schools. Out of a population of 10.5 million, there were about 85,000 children
that had the characteristics I described to you. They came from areas that had
certain problems; some were greater than others. We are developing that
program. We are creating facilities for the 85,000 children and adolescents in
several types of schools that were especially designed for this purpose.

43.  Life will have the last word. We can learn many things along the way,
reflecting on all of this. We have chosen the road of special schools from
experience. It is possible that I have not mentioned everything about this
program. We have new things in Pedagogy 90 that we did not have in Pedagogy 86.

44.  I understand that this is a congress that.... [changes thought] Fernandez?
[laughter] What was Pedagogy 86?  It was a congress, right? Many presentations
have been made at this congress. I heard that high-quality presentations were
made by Cuban personnel, as well as by visiting personnel. I will not call you
foreigners after...  [interrupted by applause] I cannot call you foreigners
after you approved a declaration citing the necessity for unity and
integration. This is why we have to call ourselves by a different name, perhaps
Latin Americans or something else. We will give this responsibility to the
philologists, right? What are the specialists in this area called? [laughter]
They will have to decide what to call us. The Spanish call us pan-Americans.
Others call us Latin Americans, while others say that this is not correct, but
we could call ourselves brothers. Do you not think so? [applause] Thank you.

45.  Thus, I can say that our visiting brothers made very good presentations. I
have also been told that highly qualified, very highly qualified, personnel
have also participated.

46.  If we combine everyone's experience, everyone's intelligence, the best
intelligence, I think that we can accomplish a lot. There is no doubt. If we
get results in this area [claps twice], we will also get results in other
areas. We will achieve this in other areas. [applause]

47.  We can almost say that there is no integration without education. Our
ignorance is what is exploited. [claps hands once] That is what our oppressors
and exploiters take advantage of. They exploit our lack of knowledge, not just
basic knowledge, but the lack of knowledge in technology and science.
Industrialized countries rob us with technical-scientific development. This is
a tool used for robbery, although it is not the only one.

48.  How many minds have they stolen from our people, from our hemisphere? They
have stolen tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands from us. I do not think
that there can be a worse crime than stealing the minds, the brains of the
people. Many of the minds that were stolen were often the most brilliant.
Fortunately, not all the brilliant people were stolen. They not only steal raw
materials, money, currency; they steal intelligence and they pay absolutely
nothing for it even though the country may have invested in them. That is why
this matter of uniting, joining our forces, to mutually support, help, and
teach ourselves, so that we can all learn from one another, is something that
is vital for the future of our peoples.

49.  The declaration that we heard here is a real jewel. The statement is very
well written. You cannot expect anything less from teachers. [laughter] The
declaration is excellently written. [applause] It is expressive and forceful. I
am not talking about the part that gives recognition to our country. I am not
thinking about that.  I am thinking about the tacit ideas that were expressed
in the declaration, the vigor with which those ideas were expressed. There was
no extremism or exaggeration.  Ideas and questions were expressed with feeling,
eloquence. There is no book that can convey with a few paragraphs or questions
the essence of what we have to do if we want to be... [changes thought] if we
want to survive the future, if we want to be part of this world with full
rights and with complete independence, liberty.  Ignorance leads us toward
slavery and it will enslave us more each time. Without education, we cannot
even begin. We must start with education.

50.  Today we have almost 40,000 doctors, compared with the 3,000 doctors that
were here at the start of the revolution. Now we graduate about 4,000 doctors a
year because we gave a lot of attention to their education from the start. If
today we have hundreds of thousands of university professionals, it is because
we began by fighting illiteracy and because we took schools and teachers to the
farthest corners of the country. [applause]

51.  We have thousands of scientists now. A kind of scientific explosion is
occurring in our country. A few days ago, we met in another hall in the Palace
of Conventions with representatives from scientific institutions. A kind of
explosion is occurring because we began by fighting illiteracy.

52.  If today we have almost 300,000 professors and teachers from all levels,
it is because we began by fighting illiteracy. [claps hands once] When the
revolution triumphed, 50 percent of the children had no education.  What a
struggle that was. Children would drop out of school or would be behind in
their education. What a struggle those problems were. The victories make one
forget these memories. It was a long road to attain what we have and the hopes
we have today. It is a privilege that we can see everywhere. There are dozens
and dozens of university technicians in any agricultural enterprise.  At first,
a man with a sixth grade education replaced the capitalist worker there.

53.  You can see engineers on the job at construction sites everywhere and you
can see them leading construction brigades. This is possible because we
began... [changes thought] Above all, I confess that in the fields of medicine
and science, we are making considerable progress.  Progress is so considerable
that I feel that in the area of medicine, not much time will pass [claps hands
once] before we are among the gold medalists, gold medalists [repeats
himself].... [interrupted by applause] Vast possibilities exist for our country
in the field of science.

54.  Ha! What a great thing it is to have things that some of the largest
multinational firms of the United States do not have. [applause] What a great
thing it is for us to have equipment that they do not have, to be ahead of them
in several kinds of equipment, to have medications that they have, but of
better quality. [applause] I do not know what kind of product they can
manufacture that we cannot make ourselves in the area of medicine. I also ask
myself if they can compete with us in the production, quantities, and qualities
of those products. Many of these things are made from the raw material that we
have here and in unlimited quantities. [claps hands once] It is not just one or
two products. We manufacture many products, and new things are emerging every
day. For instance, we are now testing our vaccine against hepatitis. We compare
this vaccine against the only other one that is made by a multinational firm.
Our vaccine, modesty aside--we gain nothing by being immodest [as heard]--is
much better. [applause]

55.  A multinational firm has the epidermic growth factor.  We also have it.
There are laboratories abroad that have compared the two, and our epidermic
growth factor is much more, several times more effective than the multinational
firm' s epidermic growth factor. That is very good, very good [repeats
himself]. We have the anti-meningococcus vaccine, which no multinational firm
has. We have already resolved this, and we are working in many fields and on
many things. I am not going to divert from the topic of education to discuss
medicine but I want to cite it as an example of the only way we can make
ourselves independent.

56.  They have interferon. We also have very high-quality interferon. [claps
hands once]

57.  They are nervous. They recently lowered the price of albumin. They sold it
for $80, while we sold it at a more reasonable price that was less than half of
the price for which they sold it. The multinational firm quickly had to drop
the price of albumin. [applause]

58.  Unfortunately, epidemics that we have experience in, such as hemorrhagic
dengue, have broken out in some countries, such as Ecuador. Ecuador contacted
Cuba and we shared all the information and experience that we accumulated from
the tremendous epidemic we had. We still have great doubts about the source of
that epidemic.  Dengue epidemics have also broken out in Venezuela and
Colombia. It is a threat to several countries in our America. The doctors
quickly had to organize all the information we accumulated on the disease and
on what we did the epidemic, how we treated it. No one was able to give us that
kind of experience. No one could tell us how to treat it, what medications to
use, what risks were involved, what should not be done, how to fight the
mosquitos. That mosquito is a hunter. It is not easy to combat. The mosquitos
almost have to be hunted down one by one. [laughter] We created an organization
to keep the number of those mosquitos down to zero, or at almost zero. They not
only transmit hemorrhagic dengue and other types of dengue; they also transmit
yellow fever and other disease.

59.  Our accumulated experience is at the disposal of our Latin American
brothers. We know how to combat the disease. We know what medications to use,
the effect of interferon.

60.  We had a camp during the dengue outbreak in the city.  The logical steps
were taken. We did not want to cancel vacation plans or other things. I asked:
Where will the children be more secure? Will they be safer on the coast where
we can house about 20,000, or in their homes? I said: There is no doubt they
will be safer there. Vacations were not suspended for the tens of thousands
that were attending camp in the capital. It is easier to control a small area
that has no mosquitos.

61.  The campers came from several parts of the city. We had to know what to do
if they brought the virus with them.  We had to guarantee an immediate
diagnosis, and we had to immediately apply the best techniques. We used
interferon, which we had just begun manufacturing. It is effective against
viruses. Not one of the children that got sick--they did not get sick there;
they carried the virus-- became seriously ill. The efficiency of certain
medications was demonstrated.

62.  We Latin Americans can now help each other in similar situations. There
are many areas in which we can help each other. We are becoming less dependent
on the empire which wants to have a monopoly on everything, especially on
technology and knowledge. Independence is not a flag or an anthem or a shield.
Independence is not a matter of symbolism. Independence is a matter of
development. Independence is reliant upon technology and science in today's
world. How can we attain this without education? How can we compete without
education? How can we operate modern equipment without education? Everything
today is done by computer. How can we remain free in the computer era by
remaining illiterate?

63.  We must begin with education. I say this because I am aware of the role
that you play and must play in society and in this hemisphere. That is why you
also said this. I looked closely at the short paragraph in the declaration
which says that we spend a lot of money on weapons and we cannot defend
ourselves from those that are tearing us apart. [claps hands once]

64.  It is very clear where we have to make our investments: in education. I
would say we have to invest in education, health, and many other things, but I
would begin with education. [claps hands once] If we want development, if we
want another kind of life, if we want to occupy a place in the world, we have
to work on this field, and we have to make everyone aware of this.

65.  What policy do our looters and their institutions follow?  The first thing
they eliminate is education when they impose, through the IMF, restrictive
policies. The first thing they close are schools. The first budgets that are
affected are those of education, followed by health and social security. I say
that the educators are and must be vanguards of the liberation of our people,
in the real sense of the word, to attain independence. They must be vanguards
of the integration of our people. They must be more vanguard than soldiers.
This fight could be much more difficult. It is much more complex, much longer. 
Awareness must be raised from the start. I will not go into ideological matters
here now. There are some things that we all see clearly whether we are Catholic
or Protestant, Moslem, Hindu, animist, Christian, Marxist, socialist, or
nonsocialist. We are nothing. That is to say, we are being looted. A terrible
future awaits us, a future of slavery, dependency, repression, and looting.

66.  You said it in the document; that is why it seemed so good to me. You said
that if Europe unites, why should we not? That is what the declaration says.
That is an essential truth. The American Constitution, the Bill of Rights,
became famous because it had a number of self-evident truths, as they call it.
They are only evident to them, not to anyone else. After they stated the
self-evident truth that each man is born with equal rights, etc., etc., etc.
[repeats himself], they had slavery for many years. They had tens of thousands
of slaves.  None of those rights were evident to slaves or to women. 
[applause] They were not evident to children. They were not evident to
children. [repeats himself]

67.  You said that in your declaration. If the Europeans unite, why... [changes
thought] It is so simple. That is what the masses want, something very clear,
very simple.

68.  After a century of war, I want you to tell me if in Europe you can have a
congress such as this. Bah! If a German stands up to speak, no one can
understand him.  [laughter, applause] If a Swede stands up to speak, no one
will understand him because he does not speak English. Not everyone speaks
English, although we have had no alternative but to teach English, and even we
teach a lot of English. Since the colonialists imposed that language upon us,
we should get something out of it even if it is only a means of communications
for technical books, which are all in English. No one is concerned about
translating these books into Spanish. They think: Why would we give them a
technical book? No one translates these books into Portuguese.

69.  A Frenchman may get up to speak. Not everyone speaks French, Italian,
Spanish, or Dutch. I have no idea what the Dutch language is like, if it is
similar to German or not.

70.  They cannot have a meeting like this without having about 700 translators.
[laughter] Everyone has that little apparatus on their ear with the cord that
they twist and play with, which is what many of us do. [applause] You cannot
catch the nuances. You cannot even understand them, and they are holding a
meeting!

71.  They forbid us to even meet. I do not want to get into an argument with
anyone because it would be discourteous on my part to criticize anyone here in
this brother hemisphere. But, damn it, we do not meet only when Washington
calls us. As I have said before, if Washington points its finger like this,
everyone jumps. If Washington says no, nothing happens. [claps hands once]

72.  The Europeans, the political leaders of Europe, meet almost every month.
In Africa, they meet at least twice a year. We do not even meet twice. We have
not even met once in a century, to tell you the truth, on our own account. It
is true. We have not met even once on our own account. The last time we met was
when the Torrijos-Carter treaty was signed. They called us and everyone went,
even Augusto Pinochet. They say he got all dressed up. [laughter] He wore a
civilian suit. That is what informed sources say.

73.  It is a parody in Central America. However, I said I did not want to speak
ill of anyone, except our neighbors.  [laughter] Naturally, they are excluded
from all benevolence, decency, and consideration. Well, I am basing this on
what you said in the declaration. [laughter] It is very clear that we must
fight to unite (what?)... I think that these activities help, and others even
more. That is why the idea of founding a Latin American Teachers Association
made me very happy. It seems like a very good idea to me. This was a very
important decision. I think you discussed it a lot. Maybe you will even
continue discussing the idea for a higher-level Latin American institute for
teachers.

74.  You talked about something similar to the film school, which is important.
The film school is also a means of liberation, because the United States
crushes us. Latin American films are not shown on their international networks.
Instead, they send us all their prepackaged trash and we are forced to watch
it. In Latin America there are some large television networks. All you see are
commercials and the prepackaged trash. Some things are also good; I will not
say they are not. However, there is a large number of firms doing this--I do
not know the statistics. The firms get annoyed with one another, because what
is shown in the morning is destroyed by noon, afternoon, or at night with all
their violent materials, pornography, and all that. The teacher must feel that
more than anyone else. Figure out whether or not this makes us mad. We do not
have a television network here, but they want to beam that trash over here, by
force. What kind of respect is that for the rights of other countries, people,
and their cultures? That is what they want to do. They want to send their
poison, all that toxin. It was very sad for me to read one day in a book that
polls showed how many people knew that little mouse, Michael. Mickey Mouse? I
do not know his name, and they knew the other one, too. What is his name?
[Someone from audience answers: ``Donald Duck.''] No, it is no longer Donald
Duck, it is that ghost.  [Someone from audience says: ``Superman.''] That is
right, Superman. The polls showed that 20 percent of the youths knew the
liberators of our country, but that 90 percent of them knew who Superman and
all those characters were. What a way to indoctrinate, poison, and to alienate
people and destroy their honor, pride, and history. That is we reality we are
seeing. We are seeing this constantly.

75.  The idea of founding a teachers association seems to me even a more
important idea than the film association, because it deals with a more
sensitive sector. [applause] You will decide this, or in the future it can be
decided by the association when you are already organized and founded. The only
thing we can do is to offer our cooperation, with pleasure, to any institution
of that type. I imagine the institution would have to be an even larger one
than the film school. I know what the film school is, as well as its expansion
plans. It was a school that was adapted and is now an institution. Maybe among
the 16 higher-level institutes that Fernandez has, or will have, he one day
discovers he has an extra one.  [laughter] We could even use that one. We would
do it with pleasure.

76.  Therefore, this is what I can tell you about this subject. I know it was
one of the subjects that was discussed, and I think it is a good idea. It is
also an integrationist idea.  The organization could also become a research
center with the contribution of the best talents of Latin America in this
field. We can cooperate; other governments can cooperate. I am certain that
there would be more than one leader who would want to cooperate with some
institution of that nature to develop our pedagogy. It would become more like a
postgraduate center. I think that is what you have been considering. It can
turn into a complete research center for pedagogy. This would be of great use
for everyone. Naturally, we must try to obtain the cooperation of governments,
but we must not wait for their cooperation to work on the idea. We cannot sit
back until all the governments become aware that we must do all these things.
We can work on the idea of creating the association. However, I am certain
that...[changes thought] When an idea is already under way, it is easier to
find support for it. An institution of that nature can be quickly founded. It
would be a legitimate child of this meeting, congress. I liked the idea, and
everyone can count on our country's cooperation if you decide to carry it out.
[applause]

77.  I realize that times are difficult. They are difficult for everyone, even
for us. We still do not know what consequences certain processes that are
taking place in the world will have on our country. However, we do know that
imperialist arrogance, self-sufficiency, and prepotency has grown. What they
have done in Panama has shown this in an unequivocal manner. They did not
vacillate at all, and they killed thousands of Latin Americans, our brothers.
No no has the right to...[rephrases] Just imagine, if any nation were to
exercise the right to take care of another nation, we would have exercised the
right to fix the United States a long time ago. [applause] The United States
wants to fix everyone else, but does not want anyone to fix it. This has been
the case since the time of Simon Bolivar, and I mention once again the phrase
used in your declaration. I think Fernandez also used it. Basically, this is
the idea: The United States seems to be destined by providence to...[addresses
audience] Is that right? [laughter] Look for it, Fernandez. [Castro continues
with the phrase] To plague the hemisphere with misery in the name of freedom.
Fernandez, repeat it so we can get the phrase right. [Fernandez goes to
microphone and reads: ``And the United States seems to be destined by
providence to plague America with misery in the name of freedom.''] [Fernandez
leaves, applause] This has been the case ever since the time of Bolivar, which
was almost 200 years ago. He said this in 1820, more or less. Well, we are not
going to look for the exact date now. [laughter] It must have been around that
period. [Fernandez says: ``In 1829.''] So, that means it was 160 years ago when
he said that. However, a few decades later, on the eve of his death, Jose Marti
said the same thing. He said that everything he had done, and would do, would
be to prevent the United States from extending to the Antilles and from falling
like another force on the peoples of America, after Cuba's independence.
[applause] It is not a quote, but that is the idea. Cuba must become
independent before they take it over and try to use it to take over the rest of
America.

78.  It was not Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, or Lenin who said this. It was
Bolivar who said it. Are they capable of accusing him of being a communist?
[applause] It was Marti; he practically wrote it with his blood; he said it the
day before he died. I think Fernandez also mentioned that in his speech. Are
they going to accuse Marti of being a communist, a Marxist-Leninist, a
subversive, and a terrorist? [laughter] Just imagine, he must be a terrorist
because he started the second war of independence. It was the eminent people
and Juarez who talked about the right to peace. [applause] Which of the great
people in our history has not defended the ideas of the unification of our
countries? Which one of them did not foresee well in advance the problems we
have today?  How many times did Marti talk about that? He knew the monster very
well; that is what he decently called it.  [laughter] He lived among them. What
a vision those men had! They proposed the need for unity. They foresaw
everything that is happening to us today. Yes, they predicted it. We are to
blame for a good part of it, if you do not realize this, and if we do not fight
to overcome this. They talked about everything we are going through. We also
mentioned Sandino here, and Vigot [Venezuelan delegate to meeting] also said
something. I think [word indistinct] was not there. It was a great phrase. They
talked about fighting in Nicaragua against the Yankee invaders. Most of
Mexico's territory has been snatched away by the Yankee invaders. They took it
all. And now, if you let them, they will take the rest. I hope they will not be
allowed to do it. The Mexicans won't allow it. [applause] You know that I
really like and have great admiration for the Mexicans and their history. But
you know, they have that neighbor right there. We are brothers in many ways,
but in one way because we have the same neighbor--pirates, filibusters,
conquerors. It is a country that should have been fixed.

79.  You have talked about what we are going through. I will not repeat
everything that has been said about the foreign debt. We spent the entire year
of 1985 holding meetings, fighting the great battle, and explaining what was
going to happen with the foreign debt. The foreign debt was plundering, as well
as unequal trade. Every time things are sold to us at higher prices and they
pay less for our products. They plunder us in all possible ways. They dump
products and apply tariffs. They do everything. I will not talk about that. I
think you talked about it a lot, and you expressed yourselves unanimously on
the consequences that plundering and the debt have on your field.

80.  But we were talking about Marti, and I wonder how many dreams he had about
the future, how many things he may have said about the future, how much hope he
must have put into that future. Not only Marti, but Bolivar and Juarez as well.
What best represents the incredible situation we are experiencing? Yesterday I
found the answer in the words of a poet, an illustrious Latin American poet.

81.  The poet was visiting the capital city of an important country--a city, a
large city of an important Latin American country. I do not know what it was he
was doing; perhaps he was sitting down enjoying a refreshment in an open area.
He said he and a friend sat there for two hours. He said that he was approached
by beggars 150 times; in an hour and a half, he was approached 150 times by 150
beggars and asked for money. That says it all. And we know this is the truth.
No doubt the poet must have a noble and generous-looking face. [laughter] His
noble and generous-looking face must have encouraged all the beggars who came
his way. [laughter] We know there is a lot of poverty out there, so we are
really far from achieving the dreams of those who forged the independence of
our peoples.

82.  Of course, that neighbor that plunders our wealth, that same neighbor that
is the main supporter of the world plundering system, also has its beggars. I
am sure that if our poet were to visit certain areas of New York, at least 80
beggars would ask him for money. Despite all their wealth, you will find
hundreds of thousands of men and women sleeping in the street and using
newspapers for blankets. I have heard that--this will give you an example of
the kind of society they have, the dirt they have [laughter, applause]--many of
the old people who slept on the street died during the recent cold wave. It has
also been said that when those cold waves are announced, many of those people
who have no place to go will do anything to get themselves thrown in jail so
that they can protect themselves from the cold and have something hot to eat.
That is the truth. But of course, we have more beggars than they do. They have
a lot of money; for centuries they plundered this wealth from the Third World
countries. That is their money-making society, their society of consumers, the
society they want to impose on us.

83.  In many of our Latin American countries, you will find children wearing no
shoes, begging, swallowing fire, and cleaning windshields to make some money.
At the child's side, you may find a magazine. The best paper is used to print
this magazine that shows a shiny and luxurious car on the cover. A
sophisticated blonde woman, painted from head to toe, is standing by the
car--they always use blondes for things like this [laughter]--and she is
telling the reader: Buy an Oldsmobile, or something like that. I am not
interested in giving them free propaganda; all the propaganda in the world will
not get their product sold, because their cars are becoming more and more
inefficient and expensive. That is why many people prefer to buy Japanese cars.
I am not afraid to mention brands.

84.  I was exploited once. [laughter] There were some Oldsmobiles among the
cars abandoned after the triumph of the revolution. I recall that in the early
days of the revolution, I drove an Oldsmobile. One day I saw a General Motors
advertisement that read: Castro drives an Oldsmobile. I never got a single
penny for that.  [laughter, applause] However, our beggars see those
advertisements and I wonder what goes through their heads when they do. Do they
feel that the only way they can get women and have romance is if they buy
Oldsmobiles? They associate sex with the dreams of the people. What can the
beggar do? What can the tens, hundreds of million people who will never be able
to own such a car do? Fortunately, they do not need the car to get what comes
with it, be it a blonde or dark-haired woman. [laughter] We have lots of them
in our hemisphere, many more and of better quality. [laughter, applause] But
that is the sad truth.

85.  Men who do not have shoes to wear, food to eat, or money to pay the
doctor; men who do not have homes or who have to live in unhealthy
neighborhoods--many times they are a majority in many cities--are being led on
by this kind of propaganda. Fortunately, all of them do not own cars. We are
finishing off the world's oil supply and we are contaminating our air; all the
abuses committed with fuel are having an effect on the atmosphere. What kind of
a world would we have if every Latin American had a car, if everyone in China
had a car, [laughter] if everyone in India had a car? But that is the kind of
society they promote. That kind of society is not good, and our countries
cannot use it as an example for our societies. It is madness imposed with force
and arrogance, through technological, scientific, and financial domination;
madness imposed on the countries they plundered to get the money they needed to
develop.  When they developed, we did not have the empires we have today,
empires that have a monopoly on everything, empires that control everything.

86.  That is a difficult road for any small peoples of the Third World. What
can it manufacture--television sets? Who will it compete with--the Japanese?
Will they have billions [unit not specified] to sell the product on credit? 
What will they manufacture--refrigerators, automobiles, and airplanes? What is
the destiny of the Balkanized [balcanizados] countries of our America? What
place will they hold in the 21st century? What place will be left for them?
What will their role be if they do not unite, if they do not integrate in a
world where Europe is united, integrated? Japan is a great power. The United
States is a great industrial power. We ask: What place will be left for us?

87.  Our liberators--Sucre, Bolivar, O'Higgins, San Martin, all those people
you mentioned, Juarez, Morelos, Hidalgo--had a gigantic task. I say that we
have a much more difficult task now. One almost envies the obstacles our
forefathers faced to fight for the destiny of our peoples. The task is more
difficult and complex. We must know that. We must be aware of that. It is not
my intent to bring up a political topic. There is a policy that is the science
of true policymaking. It is not politicking.

88.  I was very impressed to see you write that declaration with such clarity
and bravery. I think it will have repercussions. We should circulate it as much
as possible, even if it is done by machine. We should circulate it. The
declaration even mentions the monopolies, which oppose our progress. The
declaration even mentions the monopolies on the media, those people, or those
who think like them and act on behalf of the empire's interests. It is very
important that the professors and teachers think like this, with clarity.

89.  We were talking among ourselves about the importance of the teaching
sector, which generally has its roots in the humble sector of the population
who, with sacrifice, have been able to study, to become teachers, and
professors. This sector, however, does not exclude a lot of people who had more
opportunities to study, who had more resources, but were able to acquire this
awareness.  This noble work teaches a lot. It educates a lot. People suffer in
this work, just like doctors suffer. However, the doctor is more susceptible to
the influence of these societies, the money, the desire to become rich. There
are many, thousands, dozens of thousands of brilliant professors and teachers
who work for a modest income. The medical sector is a little more vulnerable to
all the temptations of wealth. It is very important that the teachers have this
clarity of vision in Latin America.

90.  Someone mentioned the next pedagogy conference. We must set a date for it.
I remember the first one. The idea of repeating the meeting is the result of
the excellent meeting we had in 1986. It was so good, so useful for everyone
that we suggested it be repeated. It was scheduled for 1989. I do not know why
it was delayed a year.  We feel that this congress should meet every three
years.  We can meet every three years. [applause] I suggest that we do not wait
four years for the next pedagogy congress.  Many things happen in four years.
The next meeting should be in 1993. It will be called Pedagogy 93, Pedagogy 93
[repeats himself]. [applause]

91.  What is it called? What was the phrase you attached to it? [Crowd answers:
``Educators Congress for a Better World.''] Educators Congress for a Better
World, right?  [applause] If this world ever needed these congresses, if the
world ever needed them, it is now more than ever, now more than ever [repeats
himself]. [applause] The world that others are now organizing has nothing
better to offer those of us from Third World countries. The world that others
are organizing for us, that is being offered to the peoples of the Third World,
is the worst possible one.

92.  We have mentioned all sorts of statistics here. [claps hands once] We have
spoken of health problems, the problems of children who die every year in this
hemisphere, for example. We have discussed what UNICEF says about it. They have
told us publicly that 800,000 children, who could be saved, die every
year--800,000 children. Thousands of children do not make it to the classrooms
where you teach. In 10 years of teaching in Latin America, almost 10,000
children that could make it to the classroom do not get there. It is not
because they have no school; it is because they died. The statistics are
impressive. We have been told this with statistics and they have told us more.
I am going to tell you what they said. If other countries had the infant
mortality rates that Cuba now has, 800,000 children would be saved each year.
That is the number of children that would be saved, but what about those who do
not die? How do they get food? What kind of mental development do they have
when it has been scientifically demonstrated that without adequate food,
intelligence, intellectual abilities, are underdeveloped? Of those who die and
who do not die, [claps hands once] what kind of life awaits them?  How many
reach the age of five? What is their life expectancy? How do they live, and
above all, how will they live in the future?

93.  Meanwhile, 14 million die throughout the rest of the Third World. That
statistic is well known. It has been cited extensively. About 40,000 people die
a day, 40,000 people a day. That is 260,000 [as heard] a week. That is a
reality. The imperialists do not discuss this terrible reality when they
discuss human rights. Every year, the imperialists try to make us take the
defendant's seat.  Why? It is simply because of the revolution, because they
will not accept the revolution. They will not accept that justice. They will
not accept that rebellion. They will not resign themselves to Cuba's example.
We can cite simple statistics to show that with only health programs, the
revolution has saved the lives of 300,000 children, 300,000 children.
[applause] They would have died without the revolution. They not only lived;
they received schooling, education, food, opportunities of all kinds. We not
only helped our country with our health care program. There are more than 1,000
Cuban doctors working in dozens of countries throughout the world, and we are
training new doctors to cooperate with Third World countries. The imperialists
do not talk about this, and 14,000 children die. It is a disgrace. It is
greatly repugnant that in this world, on the verge of the 21st century, 14,000
children die every year that could be saved. Children from Europe, the United
States, England, France, and Japan do not die. The children die in Latin
America, Asia, and in Africa--14,000 of them.  This is the equivalent of the
number of deaths that would result from 120 bombs like the ones that were
dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fourteen thousand children die during the
first year of life--I think that this statistic applies to the ages of one to
five.

94.  These are the realities that have been imposed upon us.  That is why I say
that our task is difficult. Our task is complex, but I think, just as I am sure
you feel, that we can and should fulfill it. This event, this effort that you
have made, this declaration is an important part of the battle.

95.  I do not want to talk about more political problems today. I do not want
to further abuse your patience. We thank you for honoring us with your
participation in this event in our country, and we thank you for the words you
have spoken, for the generous words that have been said, that were said today
for our workers, our people, and we await you again, despite the difficulties.
We are optimistic. We not only should be optimistic, we should teach our
peoples to be optimistic no matter how great the difficulties. We will meet
again in 1993. [applause]

96.  There is a saying that we use here at the end of a speech, at the
farewell, which today reflects our confidence in the revolution and our
confidence in the future, especially our decision to defend what we have done
over these past few years, our decision to defend the victories we have
attained. That phrase was already boldly stated by Fernandez when he
inaugurated this meeting, which is large and comprised of people from different
ideologies, but we have the responsibility of reiterating this phrase as a
symbol of our spirit, our willingness to fight, and to assure you that you can
continue to count on our country. You can continue to count on us and we will
not cheat you. Socialism or death! Fatherland or death, we will win! [applause]
-END-


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