Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speaks at Partnership Hotel Inauguration
Havana Cuba Vision Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000008328
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1605113090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-096          Report Date:    17 May 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       6
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       12 May 90
Report Volume:       Thursday Vol VI No 96


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cuba Vision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Speaks at Partnership Hotel Inauguration

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Communist Party of
Cuba Central Committee and president of the Councils of State and
Ministers , in Varadero, Havana Province, on 10 May-- recorded]

Source Line:   FL1605113090 Havana Cuba Vision Network in Spanish 0100 GMT 12
May 90

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Communist
Party of Cuba Central Committee and president of the Councils of
State and Ministers, in Varadero, Havana Province, on 10 May--

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Communist Party
of Cuba Central Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers,
in Varadero, Havana Province, on 10 May-- recorded]

2.  [Text] Distinguished guests, comrades, construction workers: Well, this is
what we could describe as an historic moment, because we are inaugurating the
first hotel built here in Varadero in partnership with a Spanish enterprise.
This is the first one. And the truth is that it was built very quickly. We
could say that it was built in record time for us. You know that sometimes
hotels take a long time to be completed here. And I do not mean to say that
this is so because of the workers.  Not at all. Sometimes projects are delayed;
there is a lack of materials, etc. In addition, certain vices enter the
construction field sometimes. All this, however, has experienced a radical
change in the last few years. I remember the beginning of this construction. I
remember when we started removing the land and we had to work here in this
rock, in this virgin to be able to build this hotel. I visited this place two
or three times after that. In fact, I came here recently with a visiting
delegation and we saw the hotel nearing completion. It was not operating yet.
Thus, we are witnesses of the radical change which took place here and of the
construction deed you performed here in less than two years. The truth is that
this hotel was built in almost 18 months.  And this is the first hotel. We had
to wait for plans. And sometimes we had to wait for materials. Sometimes the
materials were at a certain port waiting for a ship to bring them to Cuba.

3.  I believe the experience we have gained in the construction of this hotel
can serve us to build similar ones. We could probably build them in less time.
We now know how hotels are built when plans are ready and when the materials
are at hand. In this case, there is obviously a basic factor that explains this
success. I am referring to the spirit with which our construction workers began
building and built this hotel.

4.  Our workers organized themselves in contingents or precontingents, because
we did not really have a contingent when this new form of construction work, in
which over 35,000 workers are participating, first appeared.  The Heroes of
Playa Giron Contigent is now the largest of our contingents, because it now has
approximately 6,000 workers.

5.  The construction of this hotel was certainly a very important test for us.
There are many things involved in this work. As I told you before, this is the
first hotel we built in partnership with a foreign enterprise. It was,
therefore, very important for us to work seriously on this project. It was,
therefore, very important to work fast here. The quality of the work was also
very important, because future perspectives for touristic development in our
country depend on these factors. Above all, we had to prove that we are a
serious and responsible country.

6.  In order to understand this new project better--as we are not used to this
type of thing.... [changes thought] We have inaugurated thousands of
construction works including hospitals, clinics, schools, day care centers,
dams, roads, and factories, but this is the first time since the triumph of the
revolution that we inaugurate a construction work built in partnership with a
foreign enterprise, or more clearly if you like, with foreign capitalists. This
is a truly new experience. In order to fully understand this, we must bear in
mind that our country, which has to earn its living through very hard work in
the agricultural and industrial fields and its sugarcane industry for example,
at this very moment has thousands of workers cutting sugarcane under the May
heat. Thousands of machines, trucks, tractors, and their operators are working
to complete the sugarcane harvest this month. They are taking advantage of this
breath of wind we are getting in the middle of this unpredictable weather. It
rains when it is not supposed to rain and then there is no rain at the time of
the year when we are supposed to get a lot of rain. What I am getting at is
that this country has to work very hard to earn its living.  Obviously, the
revolution has humanized the work to an extraordinary extent. We used to have
350,000 sugarcane cutters. At present, we have some 60,000 cutters.  They are
the most efficient ones. We have freed 300,000 compatriots from that extremely
hard work.

7.  In the past, our workers used to carry sacks of sugar on their shoulders to
load and unload sugar at our ports. At present we use forklifts and our ports
work basically through the bulk sugar warehouses. In the past, almost all our
soil was prepared by animals and men had to make almost as much effort as oxen.
Today, all that work is done by our machines. Rice was harvested by hand
before. Today, machines prepare our soil; machines fertilize our land; and we
even use planes to plant seeds, to fertilize, and spray our fields.

8.  Construction workers had to do most of their work by hand. Today,
practically all construction work is mechanized. Almost everything. And we have
to further mechanize this sector. To increase productivity, not only do we have
to bring big machinery, but also small machinery into the construction field.
We have humanized work here, but resources are certainly not raining upon us.
We have to produce our resources with our own efforts.

9.  Other countries have many resources. Some have large diamond and gold
mines. Some have large oil reserves.  In those countries, the work of a few
thousand men helps them export thousands of millions of dollars in products
each year. Nature has not been generous with us as far as those resources are
concerned. You know that we have been drilling for oil everywhere for a long
time. When I was traveling along the northern coast of the Province of Havana
to come here today I told one of our comrades: Anyone who goes along this coast
may think we live in a sort of Kuwait. As you know, Kuwait is a small country
that produces a lot of oil. We have been drilling and finding small, small
pockets of oil here and there.

10.  And by the way, now that I am speaking about oil here in Varadero, you
have no idea of the battle we had to wage with the oil companies. They wanted
to drill in the peninsula itself. When they said they wanted to do that, we did
not yet have the important touristism plans we have now. Many thought that
tourism was not nearly as important as the oil industry. Yes, we do need oil.
Of course we do, but when we completed all the studies and came up with the
necessary estimations, we realized that the value of the oil that we could find
under this province, I mean, peninsula, was nothing compared to what this
peninsula could produce through the tourism industry. I myself had to come up
with figures and I showed those figures to them. I myself had to tell them how
much the 100,000 tons of oil they expected to get from here represented--we
must also bear in mind that oil is a resource that will become
exhausted--compared to the inexhaustible resource represented by the sun,
ocean, and air of this peninsula.

11.  In the end,--and by the way let me add that the oil we have under this
peninsula is too heavy, because it has too much sulphur and therefore is not
very valuable in the market, although it is useful; we cannot disparage it--the
value of the tourism industry here was 150 or 200 times larger than that of the
oil under the peninsula. We had to give them all kinds of arguments to convince
the oil companies that it was not a whim of ours not to let them drill in the
peninsula. We suggested that they could drill in other places and that they
could build causeways in other places. And they know that they do not have much
time left to continue drilling in that area near the airport.  They only have
very little time left to drill and then remove all their machinery from the
area, because they cannot leave one single tower around here. Tourism does not
mix very well with those oil towers. We will then have to plant a lot of trees
to conceal the last little valves there.

12.  As I was coming here, I was looking at all those things.  Our country has
enormous tourism potential. There is not only Varadero. And one day Varadero
could produce $500 million. And I speak in terms of dollars, because it is the
best known foreign exchange. We could very well speak in terms of pesetas, but
we would have to multiply by 100 or 110. I could also speak in terms of Italian
lire, but we would have to multiply by 1,000 and I would start using figures
here that would be meaningless to you. In any case, some day Varadero could
very well produce $800 or $900 million for the country.

13.  Of course, one always has to subtract certain expenses as it is done in
sugarcane production, but this example is so you can have an idea. The country
has many Varaderos.  It has numerous beaches similar to this one; completely
virgin places. Between Santa Lucia and along [words indistinct] to the north,
Sabinal, Romano, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo, Cayo Santa Maria, there are over
100 km of beaches. Some of them are as good, and in my opinion, some are even
better than Varadero. There are not many, but three of them--I know them, I
have explored them therefore, I am not speaking based on references--three of
them are similar to Varadero and others have different advantages. They are
absolutely virgin places. Nothing has been built there so everything can be
programmed, everything can be planned. The main plans can be carried out in
accordance with the most advanced techniques in this field. Not in the way it
used to be done before, when each one grabbed a piece of beach and started to
build, even right next to the shore line. You know how that destroys natural

14.  I have been told of many places in the world where people started to build
haphazardly and this affected the natural conditions of those beaches. We have
the privilege of being able to program in an as perfect as possible manner the
development of such areas. The number of beach strips and what to do is very
important, it is very important [repeats]. There are hundreds of kilometers of
virgin beach. We are linking them to the national territory where possible.
There are places in which the ocean and the mountain are combined as in the
southern coast of the former Oriente Province. We have built a road of over 200
km, or some 200 km, which is about to be completed. There are all kinds of
panoramic views.

15.  I have made a conservative estimate that we could invest up to $20 billion
in our territory. I use the dollar again.  We could say pesos but the foreign
guests understand better if I refer to the currency they are used to using. If
we translate it to dollars--although I have said before that no one knows what
a dollar is because you can use a dollar to ride a bus in New York once but you
can ride it in Havana 10 times. The value of a peso in Cuba is incomparably
greater than a dollar. That currency has the privilege of being an
international currency. This costs Third World countries a lot.

16.  If we were to develop those beaches with our resources alone it could take
us 30, 35, 40, or 45 years. We do not have, and will not have in the near
future, the capabilities of developing those programs with our resources alone.
We can carry out part of the program. I am not saying we cannot do it. This
year, we have already built 40 percent of the 5,000 rooms scheduled to be
built. We have built some 4,000 and 1,000 have been built in partnership with
foreign enterprises. We have many other possibilities and needs.

17.  Therefore, we would not have enough time to develop the tourism industry
by ourselves. We would not have enough time to develop all these tourist areas
with our resources alone. For that reason and although this is not the only
existing field--and if we analyze the situation with practical, realistic, and
reasonable criteria--that is why we have started to develop this type of joint

18.  If one day, 20 billion [currency not specified] were invested in the
tourist industry here, with how much would we contribute to that investment? We
would contribute approximately half that amount. Ten billion!  You would say.
And where are we going to get that money from, you would ask? And I answer you:
Our millions are us. Our millions are you. Our millions are the tons of cement
and white cement we produce. We already have a modern white cement factory. Our
sand and rocks, our construction steel, and other material are our millions.
And we will produce increasingly more materials. Our sweat, work force, and
most of our construction machines, which we either build here or import from
the Soviet Union, are our resources and our contribution.

19.  When we toured the hotel, we looked at every piece of furniture. We asked
where they were built. And I was told: This one was made in Havana with Spanish
material; this other one was made in Guantanamo with precious Cuban wood. And
we saw all that was there.  Our contribution can be increasingly significant.
Our contribution can be increasingly large insofar as we have more materials
and insofar as we start producing more construction material and more of the
equipment used to set up these hotels.

20.  Obviously, there are things that we will have to import like this type of
glass, which is a special kind of glass that is expensive and that we do not
produce. We also need material that is very resistant to sea erosion. We need
material made of copper or other metals. And those metals are expensive and we
do not produce them. We have to import many things to build this type of hotel.

21.  We have to put elevators in these hotels. We already have an elevator
factory, but we do not dare install our elevators in a four or five-star hotel,
because it would not be a very good propaganda for us if they get stuck on the
second, third, or fourth floor. We have not completely mastered the technique
regarding elevators, but we will.  Tourists demand elevators of this or that
making. They want the best quality elevators. There is still a lot of metal
work we have not fully mastered. This work and the special materials are the
contribution of our foreign partners. We either reach an agreement with our
partners or else there is neither a hotel, sources of employment, nor further
industrial development. That is very clear to us.

22.  Now, our foreign partners do not bring capital alone.  They bring other
things which are as important as capital. They bring something that is called
experience, experience [repeats] in organizing and exploiting tourist
installations. Their experience is at the highest level in the world. We are
far from having that experience no matter how intelligent we sometimes say we
are. We actually are intelligent but intelligence does not equal to experience.
I have seen many intelligent people make big blunders simply because
intelligence does not equal knowledge. Experience ...[corrects himself]
intelligence without experience and without knowledge could lead to all kinds
of mistakes. It is not for nothing that someone said once: The road to hell is
paved with good intentions.

23.  I have seen good intentions during these 30 years of revolution. I have
seen many extremely intelligent comrades.  Sometimes, the more intelligent they
are, the greater the mistakes they make because self-sufficiency is sometimes
accompanied by the awareness of the mental capability. You cannot imagine how
far we are from having that experience. Experience does not come from the sky,
it is not studied in universities. A good cultural base and a good education
helps to understand and grasp experience. I should honestly say that we know
nothing about hotel administration. Not even the most efficient of our
administrators who might be around here knows a thing. If not, I am going to
have him compete with one of the Spaniards. [laughter] I will have him compete. 
[Castro chuckles] We have some who are successful considering our situation.

24.  I am speaking in terms of.... [rephrases] Sometimes one has to take things
to the point of the absurd so that they are understood better. Of course, these
workers learned here. How did they learn to manage the hotel? By mistreating
tourists. They wanted to serve them but did not know how. Someone said
once--and I thought it was very funny because I believe it tells the truth--a
Cuban is the most hospitable man or person in the world, the most pleasant and
thoughtful, but once he puts on a waiter's uniform he is terrible. [laughter]

25.  I believe [chuckles] this anecdote gives us an idea that we do not know
how to manage a hotel, how to manage tourism, and gentlemen--I do not know if I
should use the phrase or not--how to get more money from tourists, how to
better exploit tourism. When I visited one of the bungalows I asked how many
could stay there. I was told two. I asked: What about if a couple with a child
comes?  I was told: We put a small bed. I believe [name indistinct] was close
by. He has learned something about this business. I do not know that in order
not to blame a Spaniard, he kept saying: They are charged for this and for
that. [laughter] We do not know anything about that.  Gentlemen, the truth is
that we do not even know how to charge.

26.  This is what experience brings and I am not exaggerating. I believe we
will learn it. I say that we are good in medicine, in dentistry. We are good in
many things. We are even good soldiers. A young man who was a defender in Cuito
Cuanavale spoke here. We have learned about many things but we still have a
world to learn about tourism. This is why I was saying that our foreign
associates bring experience, and experience of the highest level in the world.

27.  Our foreign partners also bring new markets. They have very good
connections in the large universe of the tourism enterprise, which we do not
have. And it is said--I have both heard and read about this recently-- that
tourism will become the number one industry in the world within the next 10
years. It will be even more successful than the oil industry, which as you know
produces billions and billions [currency not specified], because of the
privileged prices--let us put it that way--at which oil has been sold. Tourism
will be the number one industry in the world. And since we have not found those
large oil fields here, it is wonderful to have these extraordinary fields of
natural resources for the tourist industry. Is this clear? I am explaining this
in depth, because I want our compatriots to know all the reasons and arguments
why we are promoting these touristic programs.

28.  This hotel is our first experience. All tourists who come to this hotel
will talk with the manager and with our foreign partners and will ask about the
way the hotel is run. They will ask about the work our compatriots are
conducting in this hotel. Tourists will ask about the hotel's results. They
will ask what is that strange thing called joint enterprise. They will ask how
our foreign partners could associate with an enterprise of a communist country. 
And notice that I am not using the word socialist, because the word socialist
frightens people less.  The word communist scares people more. There are many
people who call themselves socialists and are happily walking through the world
without really being socialists. They think that just because they say they are
socialist, they are truly socialist. And the word is less scary. The other one
is much more scary. Tourists will come here and ask our partners: But what kind
of business have you set up with those communists? What kind of a partnership
is this? How does it work?

29.  I was eager to see the completion of this hotel and to follow its
development closely, because this hotel is--let us say--the guinea pig of great
development programs, which will represent profits for our partners but also
large profits for us. Do not even think that foreign investors do not make
estimations and calculations about what they will invest and what they will
recover.  According to this project's estimations, it is said that the
investment could be recovered in three and a half, or four years. Yes,
facilities [facilidades] have been given, of course. And if that were not the
case, we could not have this kind of investment. If they recover their capital
in four years, we, too, recover ours in four years.

30.  If they multiply one dollar, we multiply each drop of sweat you have shed
here. Thus, you are investors, too, because you have made efforts here for your
country.  [applause] You have made efforts for your country. You have invested
each of the days you have worked here.  Each day is worth an investment. Each
day counts when we examine the facilities here. Your efforts multiply at the
same pace that our partners' profits multiply. If they recover their investment
in four years, we also recover our investment in four years. If they recover
their investment in five or three and a half years, we also recover our
investment within the same period of time.  That is why we want this hotel to
function at its best.  That is why the work that our compatriots are going to
conduct here is so important. To this we should add that most of the hotel
employees are Cuban.

31.  I should also say with satisfaction that they represent a very high level
of education, as is shown in our population. As a rule, the employees have
completed at least 12th grade and a large number of them have university-level
education. This cannot be found in the Caribbean.  It is possible that a labor
force with this education level cannot be found anywhere else. I do not doubt
that with the experience, with the level of education of the employees of this
hotel and the rest of the hotels we build, the staff selected is almost all
new. It is better because new people do not bring old habits. New people do not
bring poor habits. Many times poor habits develop and are even carried from one
generation to the other.

32.  We are going to have a terrific experience now. We are going to acquire an
enormous amount of experience on how to manage a hotel. This is not an
ideological matter, it is a technical matter, it is a scientific matter.
Tourists pay, and pay a high price. However, they need the best of attention.
One has to know how to provide that attention. One has to see what kind of
discipline is required in the work at an installation of this kind. Of course,
there will be no paternalism here unless Spanish administrators turn
paternalistic like ours. No. We have told them to manage the hotel for many
years until we have cadres who can do the job the way they do, with the
experience they have.

33.  Discipline is strict here. Because success is needed, we have implemented,
in hotels for international tourists, the same discipline we have in hospitals,
a similar discipline, a strict discipline. Human health is important but the
country's economy is also very important. We cannot take on this task if we do
not guarantee strict requirements, if we do not guarantee discipline. You know
that this is the way it should be because we still have quite a few poor
discipline habits. No matter how much we have improved and that we improve
every year. No matter how pleasant we are, and how hospitable we are--which we
are. Today's world demands knowledge, today's world demands strictness, today's
world demands discipline or else we cannot compete. Today's world demands
efficiency or else we cannot compete.

34.  Our country will have to compete with many tourist countries in the world.
It will be the first industry but those who benefit the most will be those who
can reach greater efficiency, greater efficiency [repeats]. If not, tourists go
elsewhere. One of the important indexes with which efficiency is measured is
the number of tourists who want to return. They will want to return to the
extent they are treated in an excellent way. This shows the importance of the
work of comrades who begin working here today. This hotel is inaugurated with
tourists. It is inaugurated with tourists. A number of tourists are already
staying in the hotel.

35.  What does this mean? A great responsibility for all workers. Some comrades
spoke here before I came to this podium. A very outstanding young man spoke.
Certificates were given to outstanding workers. We have not changed anything.
On the contrary, we have improved.  We must continue being outstanding. We must
continue doing voluntary work. Yes. You construction workers need to do this.
Why? Because that work is a contribution you make to the country, the time you
gain, the progress, the value you contribute with that voluntary work is value
that is credited to the country's economy as part of our contribution to these

36.  Some may wonder if there will be a party cell. Yes, there will be a party
cell. And will there be a cell secretary?  Yes, there will be a cell secretary,
naturally. The party must continue to operate. The party has to continue to be
the watchman of efficiency and discipline and fight so the work will be the
best possible. [passage indistinct].  And the union will be present, too, in
the same effort, along with the party. And youth will be present in the same

37.  I say this because I can imagine the surprise of some tourist or some
businessman among those who visit us, saying: What is this about the party in
the hotel? Are they going to want to tell the manager what to do? No! They will
have to support the efforts of the management, whether the manager is Cuban or
Spanish. Because we have our hotels, and we have to manage them ourselves.  And
in the struggle, because we have to struggle for efficiency. I hope we do not
become so tired of our bad managers that one day we say to the Spanish chain:
Listen, do you want to manage our hotels also? I hope we do not reach that
point. We are not going to, but it could be a possibility if we do not learn to
manage them with the necessary efficiency.

38.  And there will be competition here; yes, there will. Those at Caguamas
will want to compete with the ones here, and these will want to compete with
the ones at Caguamas, and at the Internacional. There will be a struggle by
each of these centers to be the best, to provide the best service, to gain the
most prestige. And there will be not just one hotel here; there will be several
institutions which will form a complex of hotels, cabins, commercial
establishments, as a common resource for the foreign and Cuban businessmen.

39.  We are going to call them businessmen because I want you to know
something. This has its legal forms of organization, and the partnerships will
be formed between foreign and Cuban enterprises. Now the competition will
really get tough because we have to compete with people who have more
experience, with the people who have the most experience in the world. So we
will have to pull up our socks and we will have to work hard.

40.  I can give an example. Today we are inaugurating two hotels--two. One is
100-percent Cuban and the other is 50-percent Cuban and 50-percent Spanish.
Well, our hotel was not planned in a very intelligent way, we could say. One
can see the lack of experience there. The design was not an outstanding design.
The construction materials do not seem to me to be the most ideal ones in spite
of the very good work that was done there. They will have to invent alot. There
are alot of steel structures; they will have to fill that place up with green
spaces everywhere to create the climate, the atmosphere, that one can see at
this hotel, or that one can see in any of these cabins. Yes.

41.  But when I reviewed the staff, I can say that our hotel, with amost half
as many rooms--and one assumes that a great effort at rationalization was
made--has more workers than this hotel. And our comrades surely think they have
really worked on it. They have made an extraordinary effort. And how happy I
was to be able to show with numbers and facts that we really have a lot to
learn to become truly efficient. Efficiency is the best service with the fewest

42.  Here there are 275 workers on the staff. I do not know if they will be
able to keep up the best service with 275.  Perhaps they will have to hire a
few more. Time will tell.  Perhaps they will be enormously successful, even
with fewer. I also hope that that number [of workers at the Cuban hotel] will
be reduced in the future. Let us see now how we can begin to gain an advantage.
Because the issue of the number of workers, the number of workers compared with
the number of rooms, is a very important indicator.

43.  Of course, one cannot view these indicators in a rigid way. There are
hotels that have fewer workers and receive some services from other
institutions. This can occur with maintenance; they may have a certain number
of people for maintenance, or another enterprise may come and do the
maintenance. Of course, the comrades have told me that there in that hotel
there are some people who are going to provide services in areas common to the
two hotels, because these hotels are twins. I am going to keep track of this
very closely so that when the second hotel is opened I will ask how many
workers it has and how that compares with this hotel.

44.  Imagine, where are the people going to come from? We will have to build
tens or hundreds of thousands of rooms, maybe, and also take care of them. Only
from our imagination, our efforts, our dedication to work, can we get the human
resources needed for this development.  This is why it is so important, and we
always demand, that the contingents increase their productivity per man, per
year. We will have to demand from tourism workers productivity in respect to
the number of rooms and income.

45.  We have to produce good facilities, the best possible.  That is the
opinion of our foreign partners, and the criteria for our own facilities. It
has been shown that things can be done with high quality. To tell the truth,
the quality with which this facility has been built is very high, very high. We
have checked everywhere--each part, each tile, each piece of granite, what we
did ourselves, what they brought, whether there are stains or not. I know they
still have to brush up a bit. They have not had time to get the gray ceramic
roof tiles totally white yet. I have been checking detail by detail, and really
I have not yet found even one little detail of something that is shoddy
workmanship, something that detracts from the quality. [applause]

46.  We have seen the cabins, the designs of the cabins, the furniture, the
painting, the colors, and magnificent work has been done here. I want to tell
the comrade construction workers that I feel really proud to know and verify
that you have been able to build facilities of such high quality. [applause]
This high quality can be compared with the best of any of the best in the
world. And it shows that when we want to, we can.

47.  I think that likewise the comrades who are beginning their work in this
hotel can also show that when we want to, we can. And what we would most like
is to be able to say the same about the hotel workers as can be said about the
construction workers: that they are excellent, the best. This group of workers
is full of knowledge. This group of workers is full of youth. I hope some day
we will hear from the tourists that in this hotel, in this showcase, in this
guinea pig that is the first hotel--although it will soon be accompanied by a
few more, and I imagine that they will have to emulate and compete with each
other-- it can also be said of our workers that they have given service (?like
the best) that could be found any place in the world.

48.  I think, comrades, that these words--and I have run on a bit--will serve
to give you, all the guests and workers that are present here, the tourism
workers and construction workers, a better understanding of the great economic
importance to our country of this work, and the reason for this work, the
reason for these programs, their possibilities and capabilities.

49.  It is right for us to recognize here the courage of our Spanish partners.
How many people must have asked them if they were crazy, how many people must
have asked if they were going to invest in Cuba! But the Spanish have a
reputation for being courageous. [Words indistinct] are courageous. But they
have shown it not without reason, because we also know how to be courageous.

50.  And we have courageously defended our country. We are courageously
developing it. We will continue to preserve it courageously. And I believe that
our opponents respect us, because they have no choice but to respect us. 
[applause] Because they know that we are a united people, a strong people.
These Spaniards will never regret it; these Spaniards who have crossed the
seas, not like Columbus in slow caravels, but in modern airplanes.  They have
crossed the seas, arrived in Cuba, talked with us, and done business with us.
They were the first, so they have a place of honor in the history of these
programs. Soon they will have an entire complex which will be a cause for
wonder by the thousands and thousands of tourists, the tens of thousands or
hundreds of thousands in the future, who visit Varadero.

51.  In the world of today there is a lot of talk about peace, but this is an
example of peace and trust. They have trusted in us, and we have trusted in
them. They did not pay attention to the predictions of those who were scared,
and I am sure that many more will come after them. [Words indistinct] a few are
already living. And our tourism programs will develop, as all the revolution's
programs are developing.

52.  I have nothing more to add. I think that this is sufficient to understand
the significance of this inauguration and this ceremony. To conclude--how can I
conclude? When I heard the little comrade say: Fatherland or death, we will
win, socialism or death! What will the tourists think?  [laughter] I will say
to the tourists [laughs] I will say that these are our slogans, and thanks to
this spirit we have reached this point. So, with all respect, I will also say:
Socialism or death, fatherland or death, we will win!  [applause]