Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Makes Closing Remarks at FEU Meeting
Havana Tele Rebelde Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000004240
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL0603210090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-045          Report Date:    07 Mar 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     3
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       9
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       06 Mar 90
Report Volume:       Wednesday Vol VI No 045


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Makes Closing Remarks at FEU Meeting

Source Line:   FL0603210090 Havana Tele Rebelde Network in Spanish 0159 GMT 6
Mar 90

Subslug:   [``Excerpts'' of President Fidel Castro's closing remarks at the
11th expanded National Council of the Federation of University
Students, FEU, on 4 March at the Council of State headquarters in
Havana--recorded; broadcast in progress]

1.  [``Excerpts'' of President Fidel Castro's closing remarks at the 11th
expanded National Council of the Federation of University Students, FEU, on 4
March at the Council of State headquarters in Havana--recorded; broadcast in

2.  [Text] [Castro] ...listening to the ideas, suggestions, and solutions you
have presented and the maturity and revolutionary spirit with which you have
analyzed the problems. I also believe that many problems have been studied in
depth. Like Felipe [not further identified] said, not all the problems have
been studied. However, this must not become an issue to be concerned about
because I believe that we must maintain this contact.  Lately, we have kept in
contact with the various activities of the youths and the FEU [Federation of
University Students] and we must maintain systematic contact.

3.  The problems we have not resolved here or the concerns that may remain
pending for a school like the School of Biology or the School of
Microbiology....[changes thought] I do not think the School of Biology will
have too many problems because we have already begun building the new School of
Biology. The building that currently houses the School of Biology will be
turned into an excellent addition for the Calixto Garcia School of Medicine. In
other words, we could say we do not know whether we are building a new School
of Biology or a medical science institute. The building is now being converted
into a medical science institute next to the hospital and the new building will
be the School of Biology, which will be alongside the vanguard centers that the
country has in that area where the chemical synthesis center will also be
located. The name we have given it is the Pharmaceutical Industry Research
Institute. Is that right Rosa Elena [Rosa Elena Simeon, president of the Cuban
Academy of Sciences]?

4.  [Simeon] It is the pharmacy center.

5.  [Castro] It is the Research Institute....

6.  [Simeon, interrupting] It is called the research center.

7.  [Castro] The Research Center for....

8.  [Simeon, interrupting] It is called the Research Center for the Synthesis
of the Pharmaceutical Industry.

9.  [Castro] It is called the synthesis of the industry?

10.  [Simeon] It is called the synthesis of the pharmaceutical industry.

11.  [Castro] How long ago did you decide to give it that name?

12.  [Simeon] Three years ago.

13.  [Castro] It is called the synthesis of the pharmaceutical industry.

14.  [Unidentified speaker] It is a center of chemical pharmacy.

15.  [Simeon] It is a chemical pharmacology center.

16.  [Castro] It is a chemical pharmacology center. This building will also be
close by and it will be a combination of things. It also needs a biologist. The
building will have chemists and biologists because it is a combination of
biology and chemical synthesis for many of those medications. They also have

17.  Unfortunately, not everyone was able to speak. However, we promise you
that any problem discussed here that remains pending will be analyzed. Any
remaining concern that you know of or any new concern that may emerge should be
conveyed to the FEU, and we will analyze it.

18.  Fortunately, we have established some criteria, some ideas, although not
everything is complete. Now we have to think about everything we have
discussed. There are more complex problems that need to be defined, those
things that are related to the development of thought, the development of our
country's revolutionary ideas, the economy. I think we are aware that there are
still many things we must think about, reflect upon, and work on, but we have
also encountered many solutions here.  Many things have been clarified. These
things have been discussed in detail, one by one, even the German language, and
we discovered that yes, we are right, based on the plans we have developed. Now
we understand and clearly see those plans, what their purpose is. We have also
seen other necessities. It is possible that other schools may emerge.

19.  We have clearly seen the matter of location where we have had concerns and
doubts. We have discovered new things, such as the magnitude of the plans of
the INDER [National Institute for Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation].
I do not mean to imply that the INDER's plans cannot be fulfilled. I think that
they are feasible based on the things that we discussed here. We also became
aware of certain proportions. We have no fears.  No one will be left out.

20.  One of the concerns with which many of us came here was that we will have
to maintain certain limits. We will have to create new careers, expand
enrollments in certain areas without bloating these areas. We will train the
comrade as completely as possible and life will teach him more. What are the
possibilities? This type of concern has been addressed; it has been dissipated
at meetings.  We see long-term results in practically all careers in 10 years.
We will continue to think about all this so that we will not have to make
restrictions, so that we can continue to train people but each time we will
further associate university training with the country's development plans, the
country's economic and social development plans.

21.  What is education? It is social development, of course.  We have dedicated
almost 300,000 professionals from several levels to social development. I say
it is almost 300,000, but it could be 280,000 or 285,000. This is a truly
impressive statistic.

22.  We practically have one professor or one teacher for every 40 inhabitants
at each level in this country. I would dare to ask if any other country,
regardless of its level of development, has this same ratio. [taps table three
times] We do not see it as inadequate use of our work force. A large number of
these professionals are women. It is a very rational, beneficial use of our
human resources which promises us what we can already see, what we can see in
you. You would not have been possible without this; without the development of
education. Thanks to this, we also have a productive force. We can train all
our technicians. This system also produces the well-being of the society, not
just by manufacturing shirts or producing food. The well-being of society is
produced by education. The society's standard of living is raised by education.

23.  These people are the producers of an extraordinarily valuable service. You
cannot underestimate the value of a teacher's assistant, a trainer, a day-care
center educator. How can you do this to her? How can we underestimate the work
of someone who teaches children?  [Words indistinct] We do not underestimate
her work.  On the contrary, we value that work. We want to introduce that work
at the university level. How can one underestimate the work done in our
secondary schools, in our preuniversity schools, in our technical vocational
schools for the training of skilled workers for production, or in other
schools, like the special schools, trade schools.  How can one underestimate
the work done by the centers of higher education?

24.  Yesterday, as I was trying to convey this idea to you, I said that all
this is possible if we increase productivity, and if we free human resources to
develop the well-being of the people, not through material production but
through services that a society can offer its citizens. This is invaluable. Not
all well-being comes from doctors' services.

25.  I sometimes say that we have some dreadful methods for measuring social
production, the gross social product [producto social global]. Production, the
work of our almost 300 [words indistinct] gross social product. What kind of
method is this for measuring the people's work?  What kind of a method is this
for measuring society's production? I have protested this many times. I cannot
believe that the work of more than half-a-million people is worthless. I cannot
believe that the statistics representing the gross social product are
meaningless. Only the statistics for the production of underwear, undershirts,
and shoes have meaning.

26.  The work of our almost 40,000 doctors is another matter. Almost 40,000
doctors contribute nothing to our gross social product. The same applies to
tens of thousands of nurses and mid-level technicians. When others compare the
gross social product of other countries to Cuba's, all this is worth nothing.
The capitalists do the counting and then add it all up. On more than one
occasion, I have said that they should add the two things together. The
development of the country is not just based on manufacturing underwear. [slaps
table once]

27.  I asked myself, what is a pair of underwear worth?  According to this
method of computation, a pair of underwear is worth more than a heart
transplant. A heart transplant involves dozens of doctors, nurses, workers, a
lot of people [slaps table once] and it does not contribute anything to the
gross social product. It does not count while a pair of underwear is at lease
worth one peso to the gross social product. This is a reality. Now that we are
discussing these problems, I ask once again what kind of response we can give
to this in a rational manner based on our concept of the economy.

28.  All these services are a very valuable product. What our artists produce
on television or radio does not add anything to the gross social product. As a
rule, all these services, such as sports, add nothing. None of our services add
anything. Almost a million people work in the service fields and their work
contributes nothing but the people appreciate their services. This is not only
said when someone has a sick child [words indistinct]. They can have peace of
mind knowing that their child will receive the maximum amount of attention.
That is why it is very valuable.

29.  We can continue to increase services [words indistinct].  I gave you an
example of this in the sugarcane industry and the use of sugarcane combines,
which freed hundreds of thousands of people to work in other tasks of the
economy. We could not think about having 30,000 professors and teachers because
there would not be anyone left to cut cane, and (?I'm talking about) physical
education. This is impossible if a nation is underdeveloped. In a capitalist
society, it is impossible, and if the society is capitalist and underdeveloped,
it is even more impossible. [slaps table once]

30.  This phenomena has also been discussed in our meetings. We have problems
and concerns which we do not hide. On the contrary, we are constantly
discussing them.  We discuss what we could obtain. A country that does what we
are doing in education, health, sports, every field, cannot be called a country
with big problems. What we fear is that more serious circumstances could arise. 
With minimal resources, we have attained more things than ever. The problem is
that this minimum could get lower.

31.  What other country is working on the same programs we are working
on--construction and development of universities, combined with the programs we
have on trade schools, special schools, polyclinics? No capitalist or socialist
country is doing this. It is true. The capitalists do not want to, and are not
interested in doing so. They invest their money in other things, in who knows
how many mansions, small palaces, luxuries, etc. The others do not do this
because they neither want to, nor can they.  In some countries, like Brazil,
there are millions of abandoned children. They have a great number of beggars,
people without shoes, ill people, an infant mortality that would horrify
anyone. That is the general situation in Latin America. That is our situation.
We ourselves have discussed our problems but they remain relative as long as we
continue to do what we can. [pounds table four times]

32.  The problems that concern us are not the ones that we have, but the ones
that we could have from situations, from great difficulties that can arise from
the matters that have been analyzed here.

33.  In reality, we are doing all these things already, and we can do a lot
more. I am convinced that we can do more in the area of construction, like the
construction of apartments, and other things, based on the (?progress) we have
made in the construction materials industry. We can work normally. We can do
whatever we want to do, literally. We have the work force. We have 37,000
mini-brigade members. That is one of things that began the war here just in
Havana. The theoreticians declared war on this. They declared war against it.
They presented it as incompatible with the system of economic administration
and planning and, thus, the masses could do nothing. The same thing happened
with volunteer work.  They said volunteer work was incompatible because it was
not really a revolutionary idea.

34.  Havana could mobilize 100,000 workers of the 800,000 workers it has and no
one would notice. We could do this by being a little rational. How many do we
have now?  We have 37,000 minibrigade members. We could have as much as 40,000
or 45,000. How many of you are there? If you help them in one way or another,
on a weekend, or even just two or three hours a week, if everyone did this,
what would the masses not be capable of doing? [pounds table once] We have much
more human potential than material resources to [words indistinct]. Our limit
is in the area of materials. We could build another city like this. Those
37,000 workers are always waiting for material. Has the bulldozer arrived? 
Have the concrete blocks arrived? Have the other things arrived? They wait for
those products that we are increasing each day. To renounce this would be to
renounce development. [pounds table once] The construction of apartments was
linked to the disappearance of the minibrigade movement. Construction was
reduced to 4,000 apartments.

35.  This year we plan to build 15,000 apartments and we want to be certain of
this. We want the party, the people's government, the chiefs of the
mini-brigades to tell us in plenty of time what they need. We want all the
little details because sometimes they are small finishing details, something
that is missing, which stops construction.

36.  In regard to cement paint, I have a factory that can produce up to 100,000
[unit of measure not given]. We cannot....[changes thought] We have asked that
some white cement be exported because it is impossible to use it all right
away. I have a new factory there near Siguaney which could provide paint for
hundreds of thousands of houses in a year, if you used cement paint. These are
new resources that have been created.

37.  As I was saying, we want to build 15,000 apartments. We also want to
repair 10,000 apartments. The problem is the concept, not just of constructing,
but of reconstructing and repairing the existing homes here in the capital
alone. If everything progresses normally, next year, in 1991, we will build
20,000 apartments and we will repair 10,000 or 15,000.

38.  These are programs that no one else in the world is applying. Pass through
Latin America and you will find construction at a standstill everywhere. Here
on each corner there is construction of a doctor's office or a building. The
mini-brigades are working on more than 2,000 buildings. This includes the
Pan-American Game buildings. If everything progresses normally, they should be
finished this year.

39.  Possibilities of this type have been created. The possibilities in this
regard are very good but we have to get used to thinking about always working
with two variables--this variable and the other one. We cannot allow ourselves
to continue with our social development. [sentence as heard] That is what we
wish. We want to continue with our economic and social development. It will be
hard [words indistinct] because of reasons we are familiar with, but we will
maintain the economic aspect of it, whether we want to build 15,000 or 20,000
apartments. If we suddenly have to stop building for one, two, three, or four
years, that is the price we will have to pay in order for the revolution to
survive. This is the price we will have to pay to save the revolution.

40.  We might have to reduce some production, but not of food. We will try not
to touch the production of food or medicine, but if we had to say that we are
going to live with the same clothes for one, two, three, or four years, and we
will make essential items only for newborns and for those who are growing, then
that is the price we will have to pay to save the country's revolution. We are
prepared if in fact this is the price that must be paid.

41.  Then we might not need 4,000 tons of cement. With 1.28 million or 1.30
million tons, we would be able to continue our development plans. The things
that use the most cement are the social projects. The dams, canals, causeways,
bridges, the industries we construct do not consume the most cement, neither do
the hotels that we are constructing. For this we have to invest in a lot of
other things.

42.  Everyone knows that if we unfortunately had to temporarily stop the social
development projects we are working on, to conserve what we have, it would be
enough because we have much more than others do. Of course, we do not want this
to happen. It would hurt us a lot. We have invested more than $100 million
during the past two and a half years in the construction materials industry. It
would be a sad thing not to be able to use it. Now that we have increased our
capacity to manufacture bricks, cement blocks, tile, all these things, steel
reinforcement rods, rocks, sand, to reduce this by half or three-fourths of our
production, it would be a sad thing, right? However, if this is the price of
saving the revolution, then we have to be mentally prepared to do so.

43.  Will there be beggars? No, there will be no beggars because absolutely no
one will be forgotten. We will distribute what we have among everyone, [taps
table twice] what we have.

44.  If we need raw material or the factory must stop, then we will stop the
factory. If we cannot transport the workers to another location, then we will
tell them to work for two or three days then go home, study, read, relax, relax
[repeats himself]. Don't worry. We will convert a misfortune that makes us shut
down a factory into rest, study, and lessons. If it happens that we only work
three days a week, if a special period occurs during peacetime, it is possible
that we may have to close three-fourths of the cement factories, the one that
uses the damp process, which uses more fuel. Then we may have to close the
factory that uses the dry process in Mariel or the Karl Marx factory, which
also uses the dry process. We might have to close the factories that use the
dry process to produce cement with half the amount of fuel. We might have to
close a factory in the eastern part of the country.

45.  I want to say that if a special period does arise where a complete factory
closes down, what will we do with the workers? We will give them other
activities. They may work in agriculture or they may dig trenches, because all
these special periods are always accompanied by certain dangers. The workers
may be resting [words indistinct] or they may work half of the time.

46.  I am telling you about these ideas because we are thinking a lot about all
these types of circumstances.  [Words indistinct] end of any problem. If our
fuel availability is cut in half, our strategy is essentially to know what we
do with those six million [unit of measure not specified] instead of two
million. This would affect transportation [words indistinct]. We have to have
an idea of how to distribute our electricity. We do not care when the light
gets turned off; we need to know how long that light is on and what our quota
of electricity is.

47.  In the most efficient plants, we would save electricity, especially, if we
shut down part of the cement factory. A sugar center would not be shut down.
Agriculture also would not be detained, neither would the industries that
produce external resources for the country. We would also not shut down new
industries that are being constructed for this purpose. Tourism plans would
also not be stopped.

48.  One of the things we would have to examine is the role of the university.
How will we maintain the universities during such a special period? That is one
of the very interesting tasks for which we have to have a response because we
will have to keep training people as much as possible. I think that during a
special period, we might even train an excess number of personnel. The best
solution then might be to work half the week in many things, not everything,
but in many sectors. We would share everything we have. It will not be a
situation where some people have things and others do not. We would continue to
share everything.

49.  I am trying to convey to you the ideas we are constantly thinking about.
We are working on what the country would have to do. The most serious problem
we could face is in energy. Our levels of energy depends on 12,000 tons of oil.
If this level suddenly drops from 12,000 to 10,000, then we will have to work
with 10,000. If we suddenly only have 8,000 tons, then we will have to work
with 8,000 tons. If the amount drops to 6,000, then we have to work with 6,000.
If we only have 5,000 tons, then we have to work with 5,000 tons and if there
are only 4,000 tons of oil, then we will have to work with 4,000.  Our
strategy, however, would always be the same in this regard. This is what could
happen during a special period.

50.  If a special period does not occur and we can work normally, then we can
continue. Our prospects would really not be bad from an economic point of view,
from a development point of view. There are other dangers which I have not
mentioned here but for which we have been preparing for many years, in case a
misunderstanding is created with the imperialists and they say: This is it. It
is time to eliminate these damned Cubans.  [pounds table once]

51.  Well, we will see. [pounds table once] This is also an unsolvable
situation. In the end, the imperialists would have to recognize their mistake.
Nevertheless, we don't want them to make a mistake because we do not have to be
the reeducators of the governments of [words indistinct]. That is very costly.
It would cost our country a lot but it would also cost them dearly in the
measure that we are strong, that our people are all united, all the people are
[words indistinct].

52.  That is why whoever today makes a fifth column is a dangerous enemy of the
Cuban nation and socialism.  The end of socialism, the end of the revolution,
would be the end of the Cuban nation. Do not forget it. What happened in Panama
would be an act of stupidity. What happened in Puerto Rico would also be
another act of stupidity. The historic struggle of more than 100 years would be
lost, since the Cubans began fighting against annexationist thought [words
indistinct] and they were finally able to prevent the empire from taking power,
which someone described as something that would fall like ripe fruit. This
century-and-a-half struggle would be lost.

53.  They might try but they will not be able to trample it because they
cannot. [pounds table once] It has taken them weeks to take a city, where there
was no revolution, where there was no Panama City, where there was no
revolutionary awareness, where there were few men who were poorly managed.
[Words indistinct] gave the Yankees an idea of what they will find here. We are
aware of this danger but they do not frighten us. They do not frighten us
[repeats himself]. Among other things, I previously said that we are not just
defending Cuba. We are defending many other things besides Cuba. In Cuba, we
would be defending this country's history, from the history of Hatuey the
indian--I'm going back further-- until the present. As Felipe said, it is a
great honor and a privilege for this generation, you, and us to defend all of
this. We are sure that we will successfully defend it, although we prefer peace
first and we prefer to continue to work in peace. I would say that as of today,
as of now, right now, this country is preparing itself. That is why I say that
the soldiers who were on internationalist missions in Angola have to complete
them in Cuba.

54.  For those of us who have been here on this side of the room, we have also
had the privilege of listening to you and hearing your expressions, your ideas.
You must feel strengthened in your convictions and in your ideas.

55.  The revolution is something that must be defended even though you may be
in the minority. When we began the revolution, we were an insignificant
minority but the ideas progressed and became the revolutionary ideas of an
entire people, your parents, and you, even those of you who had not yet been
born. No one gave us this revolution. No one imposed this revolution upon us.
No one defended it for us. We made it ourselves. We defended it ourselves and
today we defend it ourselves, exclusively. Of course, we have international
solidarity but the weapons, cannons, tanks, mines, and all kinds of weapons
that defend our revolution are ours. On top of that, the people that defend the
revolution are ours.

56.  I was saying that those of us who have this conviction feel strengthened
and we are not the minority. We are far from being the minority. We are the
immense majority and we must consolidate that majority, defend it, intensify
it. The peoples grow during difficult times, even some that just speak garbage.
They try to criticize our problems. We have always had the habit of talking, of
criticizing. This is the way we talk. As the comrade said, we must debate, have
arguments, reasons, and if we are mistaken, we know how to say we are mistaken.
We know how to say this happened, that happened, or whatever. We have
absolutely nothing to hide.

57.  If there is something that can be rectified, then it should be rectified.
Do not think that we are perfect. We are very far from being perfect and we
should know all our defects, all our weak points to fill those gaps, to
strengthen ourselves in every sense. Whoever says that errors exit is right. We
will not deny it. Tell us what they are and we will be the first to admit them.
We will discuss the problems, the errors, whatever, and attempt to resolve
them. Who can fight against that type of morale? We have the highest morale to
discuss with whoever wants to say that we are isolated. They say we are
isolated. We are less isolated than ever. We are with the people. They say we
are alone. We can be alone. I do not know what kind of solitude they are
talking about because at the beginning of the revolution we were much more
alone. We had no relations with any Latin American government.  We had nothing.
We can say, yes we are alone, but we are invincible. [pounds table once] We can
tell this to those people who have these concerns. We will defend ourselves
with the majority. We do not need to defend ourselves with the minority. We
will defend ourselves with the majority. That is why it is so important to have
that morale, that capacity to debate whatever topic you want to debate, any

58.  I know that we went through the October crisis, Giron, [words indistinct]
reacts. We should know how to distinguish between those who are
counterrevolutionaries and those who are not, but we should not give the enemy
tools to use against us today. Do not echo their slander.  Do not repeat the
garbage, which is what the enemy wants to convey, because they want to weaken
the morale of the revolution. They want to weaken the revolution. That is why
it is so important today, why it is such an exceptional period. We are not in a
special period, but we are in an exceptional period that requires us to keep
our guard very high, to discuss, and everything.

59.  These are our convictions and we can say that these convictions have been
strengthened by our meeting with you. If we leave with 20 or 30 percent more
enthusiasm, more energy, more willingness, more decision to struggle, then that
is what we have received from this meeting with you. We have learned many
things from this meeting. You yourselves have seen, in the process of dialogue
and analysis, how solutions, solutions, solutions [repeats himself] to many
problems have been reached.  Now we have a program. The next one is almost
complete from the previous meeting. Now we have to finish this one by the time
the congress is held.

60.  If the congress is in December, I do not know if we will have to meet
beforehand. If the congress is in December, we still have 10 months and I do
not think it would be a good idea to go 10 full months without having to make
any kind of analysis of our work, this situation, this very important front. We
have 300,000 students. We are not just talking about regular students, who
number more than 100,000. We are talking about the other students, the workers
who study. Everyone has influence. You have to extend yourselves because you
are an important force, a fundamental force, a pillar of the revolution and we
have to observe how our work progresses in this area.  It is possible that we
may be able to meet in the middle of year and during the congress. We cannot
let 10 months pass--it is the final period of your mandate-- without closely
following all this, how our programs are progressing, whether new things need
to be reported to FEU leaders, what kinds of problems are occurring.  Once
again, we will be able to check everything that we are discussing and some
things that we did not have a chance to discuss.

61.  It also proves that this method of analysis, as in many other things, is
an efficient method, an efficient method [repeats himself].

62.  If we were to compare the last meeting to this one, we would find that
there is a great difference. If we compare the number of problems that existed
back then and the ones we have today we will find that many problems have been
solved. When we go back and study the little plan you must draft according to
what we have discussed here, we will see how much more there is to be done. All
this forces us to work; it makes sure that we do not forget the problems. At
that time we will again analyze the situation and I am sure we will say that
progress has been made. I am sure many of you will want to talk about the
things you are doing and how your ideas and plans are progressing; how progress
has been made to ensure the fulfillment of each and every issue we have
discussed here. This forces us to make sure the plan is fulfilled. We have done
this on other fronts; we did it with all the hospitals in the capital city and
with other things. Good results have been achieved. I am also [words
indistinct] valuable experience, and we could add that it has been a fruitful

63.  I am not going to talk more about international matters.  I have already
spoken to you about all those problems.  You must closely follow the
development of the current situation. The development of all that is happening
will give you the clear picture. This does not mean that we feel we have lost.
We are now confronting a triumphalist capitalism, a triumphalist imperialism.
However, we know how to see beyond that. We will wait and see whether that
world will have a long life, whether it is the empire that Hitler attempted to
build to last 1,000 years.  Let us see how many years this will last. Euphoria
does not last that long these days. We still do not know how much they will
reap from the problems of socialism; we still do not know when the
contradictions, all sorts of contradictions, will begin to emerge.
Interimperialist, intercapitalist contradictions will begin to emerge because
all the big economic powers will begin to demand their new share of the world.
This was something Lenin talked about frequently. Economic powers have
developed in Asia and Europe. Now contradictions among these powers will begin
to emerge and we must observe the phenomena.

64.  That is it for the most important aspects. I believe that I have nothing
more to say except to remind you of what Felipe [not further identified] said
about tomorrow. It is not midnight yet, we are five minutes away from midnight,
and today we recall the La Cubre explosion. That was such a brutal incident
that it will be impossible for us to forget it. When the first explosion was
heard we were in the building that today houses the Minfar [Ministry of the
Revolutionary Armed Forces]. The explosion shook the whole city. We saw the
smoke and immediately knew that the ship carrying the weapons we had bought in
Belgium....[changes thought] Back then we did not want to buy weapons from the
socialist countries because we did not want to feed Yankee excuses. What was
worse was that the ship was sabotaged. We wondered whether a box had fallen,
whether something had happened.  Later, I personally loaded several boxes of
different types of grenades and ammunition--boxes that had been on the
ship--into a plane and dropped them from 1,000 meters; the grenades and
ammunition did not explode.  The theory of an explosion caused by a box that
had fallen was invalidated. There was no doubt that a bomb had been planted.
What else could the CIA have done?  Let us receive the weapons? They planted a
bomb. They must have bribed someone when the ship was being loaded at a port in
Belgium and the bomb exploded while the ship was being unloaded. But that was
not all. Two bombs had been planted and when hundreds of persons were on the
dock helping the injured, the second bomb exploded. More than 100 persons were
killed; the bomb killed workers, soldiers, and residents of the area.

65.  This occurred during the early days of the revolution. A tremendous
ideological debate was still going on in the country. We saw the aggression
clearly and we knew they had done it. It was a difficult moment; many things
were yet to happen: the mercenary invasion, the October crisis, and what not,
and it was at that time that we said the word. All I am going to add will be:
Socialism or death! [Crowd shouts: ``Or death!''] Fatherland or death, we will
win! [Crowd shouts: ``We will win!]