Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Marks Blas Roca Contingent Anniversary
Havana Cuba Vision Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000017189
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL0310170090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-193          Report Date:    04 Oct 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:       03 Oct 90
Report Volume:       Thursday Vol VI No 193


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cuba Vision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Marks Blas Roca Contingent Anniversary

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro marking the third anniversary of the Blas
Roca Contingent in Candelaria, Pinar del Rio Province on 1

Source Line:   FL0310170090 Havana Cuba Vision Network in Spanish 0145 GMT 3
Oct 90

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro marking the third anniversary of
the Blas Roca Contingent in Candelaria, Pinar del Rio Province on 1

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro marking the third anniversary of the Blas
Roca Contingent in Candelaria, Pinar del Rio Province on 1 October--recorded]

2.  [Text] [Applause] [Castro clears his throat] Thank you.  Comrades of the
Blas Roca Contingent--I forgot-- comrade guests invited from Havana and Pinar
del Rio:

3.  You didn't bring anyone in from Matanzas, did you?  [Unidentified speaker:
``No.''] [laughter] Good, they are from those provinces.

4.  This is an important day and it demonstrates how time passes. It also shows
how much can be done if time is well used. It seems to me that the time has
passed quickly from that 1 October 1987 when the contingent was created with
one brigade. It was a test, a test in which we had confidence from the start
but everything remained to be seen--how we would progress, how a force of
construction workers could be developed under those principles.

5.  We had many problems in construction, much disorganization, much
unproductiveness, many delays. An effort was made to rectify all of that. One
of those efforts was the idea of creating a contingent to truly see how much
could be produced in a certain amount of time, with what kind of productivity,
what kind of costs, and what kind of quality. So the first brigade was
organized with 164 men.

6.  From the start, we could see the results attained when people worked
seriously, with discipline. The first brigade earned respect in a short time.
It gave us the incentive to continue multiplying those forces and, thus, the
second, third, fourth brigades, etc., were created until 30 brigades were
created. More than 4,000 workers comprise the forces of the Blas Roca

7.  Every time we had to build a new brigade, a task, [corrects himself] an
urgent task, an important project, we organized a new Blas Roca brigade. It is
now a vigorous force with great prestige, not just in the capital, not just in
Havana and Pinar del Rio, but throughout the entire country. We could say that
the Blas Roca is a force that now even has international prestige.

8.  A large number of delegations and visitors have visited the Blas Roca
brigade. In addition to the enormous amount of work Palmero [Candido Palmero,
head of the Blas Roca Contingent] and other cadres have done, I think we should
add that the contingent has received dozens and dozens, and perhaps hundreds of
delegations, different kinds of delegations, even Cuban ones, but primarily
foreign delegations, and the visitors' admiration has been truly great.
Sometimes people who manufactured equipment or some who had supplied us with
equipment, such as bulldozers, came to visit us and when someone praised the
bulldozer or someone praised the brand of bulldozer, they would say: Well, the
bulldozers are of good quality but your operators are much better. That is when
they confessed to us that they had a firm abroad, in another country, and each
Blas Roca bulldozer operator did the work of two of their bulldozer operators.
That was truly great praise because they were talking about a multinational
firm, a very well-ordered firm, which recognized the fact that our workers were
more productive.

9.  Another time, other representatives came from a factory that makes the
trucks we have here, and they asked how many hours of working life the trucks
had, and they admitted that our trucks had an effective working life more than
twice as same trucks in their country. So what you have been able to do has
been recognized internationally, and is admired internationally.

10.  The contingent demonstrated a lot of things, a lot of things. First of
all, it demonstrated how one could produce way below the value of the peso,
that is to say, how one could construct way below the price of those projects,
or below the value assigned to those projects.  They began to produce below 90,
under 80, under 70, even under 60 [unit of measure not specified].

11.  Look at the statistics Palmero gave today: In three years, the cost per
peso of production was 73 centavos. The Blas Roca Contingent demonstrated that
the cost of the projects could be reduced considerably and that the projects
could be profitable, if we wanted them to be, or they could be costly. The
economic cost of the work was very important.

12.  The Blas Roca Contingent demonstrated how the equipment could be taken
care of and how after two or three years, after the equipment had been operated
many more hours than it was supposed to be, it was practically new.  The Blas
Roca showed us how we could save spare parts, how fuel could be conserved. The
Blas Roca demonstrated how we could conserve all sorts of construction
material. The Blas Roca demonstrated how we could multiply the productivity of
construction workers, how we could double it or triple it. The Blas Roca
demonstrated the importance of discipline and how discipline based on dignity,
morality, and on mens' pride, the collective spirit of men, and the discipline
established by the collective could be established. It completely distanced
itself from the paternalistic, wordy, and, we could even say, over-regulated
norms of labor discipline in our country. It was the collective of workers that
interpreted and applied discipline with a morality, an authority, that even
made the ones being disciplined admit to the fairness of their decisions,
regardless of what the decision was.  This greatly helped to improve the
situation of the men. It helped the youths a lot, too.

13.  That collective became a school. If a youth goes to a collective and all
he sees are bad examples, the most likely thing that will happen is that he
will get a distorted view, but when a youth joins the collective of workers and
he sees the kinds of examples that the first brigade and the other Blas Roca
brigades gave, then that man becomes educated in a truly revolutionary way, in
a truly proletariat way.

14.  The Blas Roca contingent demonstrated the importance of attention to man.
From the moment that this became one of the fundamental principles and pillars
of the contingent, it demonstrated how important attention to man is, the
importance of attention to the conditions of the workers' material life, their
comfort, rest, food. It has become a standard, a principle to give the worker
whatever we can give him under any circumstance, to make him feel like he is
being taken care of, to make him feel like his health is being cared for, that
his health is guaranteed, to make him feel that his health is improving even
though he works a lot. I think that the Blas Roca has demonstrated, among other
things, that work does not affect health.

15.  Every once in a while.... [changes thought] I want to tell you right away
that there are a few people around who have gained some weight. [laughter] I
don't want to look around too much. I know that the cadres' work is tense and
sometimes one forgets about his diet and perhaps eats more calories than
necessary. That is one of the problems, but I think that the contingent doctors
will fight to maintain the waistlines of the workers and I think that if one
does not eat an excessive amount of fat, we could improve everyone's health
right away.  [applause]

16.  The contingent demonstrated the importance of moral incentives. In an
entire system for the recognition of the merits of each worker before the
group, before his neighbors, and before his family, the contingent was able to
create a family feeling throughout the workers collective.

17.  In that contingent, it has also been demonstrated that we were right in
the position that we adopted when some workers were saying: We do not want
extra hours. We do not want this; we do not want that. I said: Why? After all,
you are not going to have extra hours, because neither the ninth, nor the
tenth, nor the 11th or 12th hour are going to be extra hours, if you already
have them in the working schedule. Nor will the 13th, or 14th, or 15th hour. I
said that as long as we could, if there was no need, we should not sacrifice
the workers, and that the norm in the contingent was to work with a communist
spirit and receive a socialist remuneration.

18.  Even when the contingent began to work on other projects, it never made
any demands or requests. In fact, on certain projects that we are building, a
wage coefficient for the contingent based on the project that it was involved
in, was established. It seemed, and continues to seem to us to be a fair
formula, and one that we should apply until human society attains a higher
phase--which would be communism.

19.  An effort has also been made to achieve a social, national recognition of
the contingent's work. Our press highlights the efforts of the contingent. Its
works are known throughout the country, and they have great prestige
nationwide. In fact, when one wants to describe a way of working seriously and
intensely, one says: To work with a contingent spirit. Sometimes one says to
work with a Blas Roca spirit.

20.  The fact is that we no longer have just one contingent.  The country now
has over 60 contingents. Some of them have a single brigade, or two or three,
just as you did when you started. Now, over 35,000 men are working as members
of contingents throughout the country. It is a considerable force, and perhaps
one of the greatest satisfactions that we can have on a day like today is to
know that the example of the Blas Roca Contingent has been multiplied by 10 and
by 20 and by 100, and that for each man who was a member of that first brigade,
today there are 300 working [applause], or at least almost 300, at least 250
working in contingents. That has to be a motive of satisfaction for all of you,
especially for those who were the pioneers.

21.  Of course, we intended to continue along that course, but we have been
obliged to adopt new measures. We have been forced to face a new situation. We
have been obliged to take into account circumstances that are leading us--and
have partially already placed us--in a special period. With regard to the
contingent, and with regard to all the country's construction sectors, we have
had to establish a number priorities that reflect the special period, that
correspond to the program that we explained on 28 September at the ceremony to
mark the 30th anniversary of the CDR [Committees for the Defense of the

22.  That is why we are here today. It was believed that these forces would be
building the dual track railroad to Pinar del Rio, and of course, that railroad
was necessary in normal times, as the economy expanded, and new needs emerged
for the population and the economy, from the viewpoint that it would be
necessary to transfer tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of cubic
meters of stone from the Pinar del Rio quarry to the capital to keep up with
the growth of transportation. In the the new situation, we saw clearly that for
the time being, it was advisable to stop construction at Artemisa, to use the
stretch of fairly good railway that exists between Artemisa and San Cristobal,
and rebuild [corrects himself], or rather, to build a stretch of track between
San Cristobal and Pinar del Rio, a task that has been assigned to the Pinares
Contingent, because one track is more than enough. The existing one is in poor
condition. It is not to our advantage in a special period, so we are going to
[15-second break in reception] track, but not two tracks. In these
circumstances, it is no longer necessary.  In these circumstances, we are
transferring the Blas Roca forces to all the priority tasks of the special

23.  Because the water management program is among the priority tasks, although
it already had a large number of workers, since we are now intensifying the
effort, we decided to transfer some of the brigades from the railroad to this
sector. The brigade that is on the Mariel project remains, because the Mariel
project is advantageous under any circumstances, and we will now build two dams
here in Pinar del Rio, a center with 20 tanks for hatching alevins, and a
canal. I understand that five brigades have been transferred to this activity.

24.  As I said, this includes two dams: This one, which we are going to build
here where we are today--I believe we are more or less at the axis of the
retaining wall--which will hold 30 million cubic meters, and the Combate de Rio
Hondo Dam, a name which calls to mind the heroic struggles of Maceo, which will
hold 20 million. Therefore, at Rio Hondo--the site of the feat mentioned by
comrade Fidel Ramos [party first secretary in Pinar del Rio Province], of the
(Fisono) fighters that attacked without weapons--the river will be even deeper
when we have a dam there that holds 20 million cubic meters of water. Those 50
million cubic meters of water will be used for irrigating the sugarcane of two
important sugar mills, the two largest ones in the province: The Jose Marti,
and the 30 de Noviembre. That water will allow us to produce some 30 or 40
million more tons of sugar.  That water will be used to produce tubers and
vegetables, and will also be used for rice, because in this area, rice and
sugarcane compete with each other for water.

25.  We might have to build a dam toward the east. Studies are being made of
the San Juan River. Therefore, these are very important projects of the food
program that the Blas Roca Contingent is beginning to carry out here.

26.  In Havana, we are also transferring the Blas Roca Contingent to some
priority projects. Alevin centers will also be built there. In addition, a
hotel is being built as a priority task, as well as a biological products
center, a priority project in the special period. Some schools that were under
construction will be completed. Of course, the construction of cold storage
plants will be continued.  They are projects of great importance in all
circumstances. And of course, some road projects that were underway will be
completed. In this way, we will devote this formidable, highly organized, and
highly productive force to the tasks that are of greatest interest to us at
this time.

27.  We are doing something similar with the contingents in the other parts of
our country. It is of great advantage to have projects being carried out by
organized forces, because we can operate truly like an armored division, which
is what the Blas Roca Contingent is today, when one considers that it has 1,400
machines. It is like an army that is on the move: One battalion here, another
one there, one tank platoon over here, or the entire division advancing in one
direction. It is appropriate to say that the Blas Roca Contingent is like an
armored division on the offensive, and it has to act with the discipline of an
army, and the efficiency of a good army.  That is how we see it today.

28.  Four weeks ago, no one imagined that we would be here, on the banks of the
Bayates River, building a dam. But it is a good example of how everything
changes, and how one can go from one circumstance to another.

29.  There is a new element of momentous importance here today. In this case,
the idea came from comrade Palmero himself, from within the contingent. They
heard of the plans for the construction of housing accommodations, of the
agricultural plans in Havana Province. The contingent itself was involved in
the earth-moving activities at several of the 50, or we could say 60 camps that
we propose to build in Havana Province. They suggested that we allow them to
organize a brigade from the contingent to work in agriculture.

30.  I thought it was an excellent idea. I immediately began to think of where
we could put them to work, where the discipline and organization of the
contingent would be most effective. I said: In the plantain fields that have
microjet irrigation, and, moreover, in fields that have aerial microjets which
are the most productive and which require the most discipline and accuracy. We
immediately asked the agricultural sector to find them an entire lot. There was
a farm with a lot, but not a complete lot. I wanted the lot to be worked. We
said: Look for 50 caballerias to be built and planted with plantains with the
aerial microjet irrigation system.

31.  Within 24 hours, the agricultural sector had already found an area--in
less than 24 hours--in the Guines area. [applause] However, at the site there
were already 15 caballerias with another microjet system, and a very good one.
I said: Well, we will add them on. We did not subtract them; we added them, the
15 to the 50. We will have both systems there.

32.  The first steps were taken immediately. The camp area was chosen. I
believe that construction of the camp has already begun. This is added to a
program for the province, to the construction of other camps, as I already
mentioned, where we are trying to create the best conditions for the workers.

33.  Palmero visited Ciego de Avila Province, where there are seven caballerias
with the aerial microjet system. He was surprised, as was Russo [not further
identified] and other comrades, by what they saw there. He said: That is a
plantain factory. He brought a documentary on how it functions. The microjet
plan is a veritable river of plantains, a plantain waterfall.

34.  Of course, in our country, there could be hurricanes. We have been
carefully studying what happens if a hurricane comes, or what comes if a
hurricane happens. [laughter] And what should we do? What will the hurricane
destroy, and how long will it take us to rebuild a caballeria? Well,
unfortunately, a hurricane destroys everything, because it splits the yucca; it
bends down the sugarcane; it does all kinds of damage; it leaves dairies
without roofs; it squashes agricultural storage areas. In sum, unfortunately,
we know quite well what a hurricane entails. But we cannot begin by thinking of
hurricanes when we are going to do something.

35.  However, the hurricane will not be able to destroy the fields. It downs
the trees, but the roots are there and so are the shoots that make it possible
for new plants to be born immediately. We will see how much concrete it can
destroy. It will undoubtedly wipe out the hoses and the microjets, but we must
know our capacity for making hoses and microjet rapidly, and know how long it
would take us to replace them. We have even thought of our tactics in the event
of a hurricane.

36.  Of course, if it passes through Havana, other provinces will have to send
money for some months. That is why we want to distribute this highly productive
system all over the island. We want to distribute it throughout Havana itself,
beginning the various plantain fields close to Artemisa and ending them close
to Matanzas.

37.  Now, the idea of a contingent for plantains has already multiplied,
because immediately the contingents of the MICONS [Ministry of Construction]
asked to be allowed to organize another brigade. The youths have spoken of
organizing another brigade. The CTC [Cuban Workers Federation] has spoken of
organizing another plantain brigade. Very good. We are happy, because such
permanent forces are better. Well, we are already thinking that the 500
caballerias of plantain that have microjet systems in Havana Province should be
handled by brigades organized as contingents. Now we will see communist
discipline and the communist working spirit applied to plantains. We will see
it, as we have seen it in construction.

38.  We have to say that the Blas Roca Contingent had an extraordinary
influence, by its example, on the improvement of construction work in the
country. Its influence has been felt by all forces, by many which aspire to be
contingents, and by all others. After a man sees another doing something, he
will not accept that he is incapable of doing the same. Therefore, the moral
example of the contingent has been multiplied, and it has done the country a
great service.

39.  That is why we are very happy to see the organization of the first
agricultural contingent. I am sure that it will be very successful. Now we will
know what a man can produce in a plantain field with aerial or surface
microjets. I believe that this complements the idea of revolutionizing
agriculture. You can see how much work we are doing in agriculture. There are
other products that are more difficult to mechanize, and that are not
mechanized. Well, the shipment of the plantains is also by a kind of air
shuttle [ferrocarril aereo], a little horse [un caballito] that carries 20 or
25 bunches. A tractor cannot go into a caballeria that has the aerial microjet

40.  The system is very productive, and it also greatly increases man's
productivity, because a hectare that produces 20 tons is not the same as a
hectare that produces 100 tons. Thus, costs are reduced and productivity is
increased. Productivity per hectare increases greatly also. Productivity per
cubic meter of water used increases. Productivity per amount of fuel used
increases. Everything increases when a new and revolutionary technique is
applied. Productivity per man and per hectare increase above all.

41.  I have no doubt that the area of plantains with microjets worked by the
Blas Roca will become a kind of country fair that many people will visit. Of
course, we will not be able to ask them to give us a hand with the plantains,
because that will be so organized that there will never be a single weed,
[applause] because after the plantains grow, after the plant is covered with
leaves...[changes thought] We are also thinking of what we can do with the
trunk, with the shoots, whether they can be used to feed cattle and pigs. We
are considering all those things.

42.  Now you can see that for every seven and one-half caballerias, a
processing shed is needed. Therefore, in the aerial microjet area, you will
have about seven, plus the other two, something like nine--between eight and
10-- processing centers, unless somebody comes up with some other, more
efficient idea.

43.  And it is perfectly possible for women to work in the processing centers.
It will not be necessary to carry the somewhat heavy bunches. They weigh a
minimum of 70 pounds, and can go to as much as 80 or 90. One does not have to
walk too far, but some walking is always necessary. The work in the processing
centers is accessible to women, so the plantain brigade will include both men
and women. Of course, not everywhere will we be able to have a complete,
compact plantation of 50 caballerias.  Some will have 30; others 20. We are
considering how to organize this. There will have to be at least 15 brigades. 
I imagine it will require at least some 15 lots. We will have to see if we make
a matching camp. If one of these brigades--in the event that there is a
camp--does not get a large lot, we can include other areas, so that, in
addition to plantains, they can have other areas planted with tubers and
vegetables. The idea was to create them for plantains, but if we make a camp,
we are not going to build camps that are adjusted for the size of each plantain
lot. There may be some lots that are 15 or 20 caballerias less than the 50
caballerias, but we can plant other crops on them.

44.  Thus, one day, the number of brigades may reach 14 or 15, consisting of
some 4,000 men, formed into contingents. This will greatly help agriculture in
Havana and reduce the number of shuttled workers. One must see that one
permanent worker is equivalent to some eight or 10 men who are shuttled twice a
year for 15, 20, or 21 days. This will contribute greatly to agriculture in
Havana, and I believe that on giving banners today to the first agricultural
brigade of the Blas Roca Contingent, we are doing something that is truly
historic. We will see.

45.  Next year, we will have to talk about this, and the head of the contingent
[corrects himself] of the brigade will have to stand here and tell us its
story: How many caballerias it has planted, how everything is going, and how
much it is going to produce, because those 65 caballerias alone will produce
more plantains than are currently produced in all Havana Province. Fourteen
brigades have been established, seven of them from Pinar del Rio. We have given
banners to brigades for sugarcane plot draining, brigades for the rice
engineering system--we have three of them here in Pinar del Rio--a brigade to
build tourist projects, and a brigade to build causeways for tourism. These are
all priority projects in the special period.

46.  I believe that this ceremony has been a source of satisfaction for us all,
as well as a source of optimism and enthusiasm. I have been very pleased to see
all these heads of brigade come to receive their banners. Even nature has been
generous, with a breeze like the air conditioning that you have in the camps.
And well, I remember the times in the past three years when I have visited the
contingent, or rather, I visited... [changes thought] It is no longer possible
to visit the contingent.

47.  It is difficult to visit a contingent that is in 30 different places. We
have visited the contingent's brigades. [Palmero: ``More than 170 times.''] I
think that Palmero has the figures. He says that it has been more than 170
times, that's counting the visit I am making here today.  [laughter] He's also
counting today's visit. [Castro chuckles] [applause] He tells me that I've made
more than 170 visits. I have followed this experience closely. I have followed
this work closely, and I think it is one of the best things that has been done
in this country during the rectification process. We are showing what socialism
can do. We are showing what communism can really do.  And everyone will see in
those 605 caballerias that this can only be done with socialist agriculture.

48.  All these plans for dams and large canals, plot drainage for sugarcane,
the engineering system for rice, large areas of plantain with microjet
[irrigation]--this can only be done with socialist agriculture. If you divided
that into 700 little farms of one hectare of plantains, you can imagine what it
would be like to bring water to 700 different places.

49.  You can imagine the processing of those plantains, because they would have
to be loaded onto a truck to be taken to a processing center. Here, they are
not loaded onto anything. Here the branches are cut and hung in the air, on the
aerial belt. The plantains do not lie on anything. They do not have to be
transported on carts or trucks with the aerial belt. With the surface belt they
have to be carried for a short ways in a cart that takes them through some
streets. The plantains are not damaged at all; they are not spoiled in the
least. When they arrive at the processing plant, the bunches are cut off and
put in water. Then they box them and the fruit is not damaged at all.

50.  This kind of productivity and work that is so productive is only possible
with socialist agriculture. And the same can be said about sugarcane, rice, and
the vast majority of crops. Only socialist agriculture makes it possible to
build a system of dams and canals and irrigation as the country is doing.

51.  Of course, we still have independent farmers and we respect them and help
them and we bring them water whenever we can. When we can apply technology, we
do so, but this technology can only be applied in large areas.  It can only be
applied in state enterprises and cooperatives. It is impossible to install it
in small plantations or on small parcels.

52.  You can see for yourselves how much socialist agriculture can accomplish
when the appropriate concepts are applied, when organizational tasks are done
well, when the work is done well, when there is discipline, when attention is
paid to man, when the man is given incentives. I think, Palmero that the wages
earned by the plantain brigade that uses the microjet system will be higher
even than the income earned by those who work on the construction of hotels for
tourism; they are the ones that have the highest income. That is a colossal
productive feat and it allows the worker to be paid more.

53.  I think that you will all be happy that this idea was also extended to
agriculture. I have not mentioned that this idea has been extended to industry
and that there is a construction materials factory in the capital that is
enormously productive. One shift does the work of two.  It is the most
productive factory in the country. If this idea could be applied in certain
industries, it could have enormous possibilities and it shows us all the
revolutionary substance of the idea of the contingents.

54.  We have listened to Comrade Palmero here who has given us very interesting
statistics, spoken to us in very simple, clear terms on what the contingent has
worked on during these past few years and I hope that our press can report all
those statistics. We have also listened to the words of Comrade Fidel Ramos,
words of recognition for the contingent, which express the satisfaction of the
people of Pinar del Rio who are happy to have them here. I also know that the
comrades of Havana Province are very satisfied that the contingent is working
there, too. This contingent began in the capital and it is now working in three
provinces. We are pleased with all of Fidel Ramos' remarks, ideas, and concepts
on how the province is working and continues to be willing to work and we are
very happy that the production of tubers and vegetables continues to grow and
grow because we must give Fidel's contingent tubers and vegetables, fresh
vegetables when we have them, tubers, everything.  [applause]

55.  They receive a certain amount of supplies but it would please them very
much to receive tubers and vegetables here, anything additional [interrupted by
laughter] that the province would like to give them. I think there is a cattle
processing center around here. Milk and things like that are always an
incentive to them.

56.  We'll have to talk about how many caballerias of plantains you'll work on.
You told me it would be 50 caballerias. I don't know how many are available
because I am a fan of the strategic distribution of these plantations. As you
have heard, and I recently spoke about this, more than 300 caballerias of
tomatoes are planted in this province to send to the capital. There is also
some industry in the province, but that is aside from what they do. The western
part also supplies pastas and tomatoes to send to other provinces throughout
the country. They are also building a number of camps to rotate with the rice
crop. They will plant 370 caballerias of tomatoes. If we win the battle of the
white fly with the biological measures we are applying with some very
sophisticated products, there will be no reason we can't harvest at least 5,000
quintals of tomatoes per caballeria in that plantation.

57.  I heard you speak of production in 1988, 1989, and 1990, but I haven't
heard you speak of production for 1991. I imagine that in 1991, with this
superficial increase of.... [unidentified speaker, interrupting: ``Production
will be 4.2 million quintals.''] How much?  [Speaker: ``Production will be 4.2
million quintals.''] Production will be 4.2 million quintals. What is the
population of the province? [Speaker: ``It is 690,000.''] It is almost 700,000.
That makes six quintals per capita. Of course, you won't eat it all here.
[Castro chuckles] It will help your neighbors in Havana, as long as the
neighbors work. [laughter] The neighbors will work, the Havana Province farmers
will work. [applause] Very good.

58.  We have to analyze this so that we can increase the number of caballerias
for plantains here because of these reasons. I imagine you have the potential
to increase it and it is also a crop in which men are very productive.  There
are no more than five men per caballeria, which I think allows you more. It is
a province that is growing. It has a lot of people even though some went to
Havana, although more people have gone to Havana from the eastern part of the
country. [laughter]

59.  Now that there is a magnificent highway.... [changes thought] They were
going to have a dual-lane highway, and they will have it in the future. It will
go to Artemisa.  Alongside it, we will build another highway later. We hope
that we are so close to Havana that we can consider the city of Pinar del Rio
as a kind of suburb of the capital. It takes just over an hour to get there. It
is no more than two hours away. It used to take more than three hours to get to
the capital driving on that curvy and bumpy road and now you can get there in
less than two hours, in an hour and 20, 25, 30, or 35 minutes. You can get
there very quickly now on the train, too. With the social programs that are
underway in the province, we hope that the people of Pinar del Rio, who now,
instead of being the princess [corrects himself], instead of being Cinderella,
will be the princess and will forget about going to the capital.

60.  There are a lot of headaches in the capital. Ramos, you can explain it to
the people of Pinar del Rio here.  [laughter, applause] There is enough water
here to drown yourselves 20 times a day. Sometimes the people of Havana have to
wait to get water from the pipes and things like that. I forgot when they said
that they wanted to go to Cuyaguateje. There is a large river in Cuyaguateje.
There is a large river there, a lot of water, and we can build a dam of 280
million cubic meters. I wish the Cuyaguateje was here because we need the water
more here than we do over there because the large rice fields are south of the
mountain range here. However, there are important citrus, tobacco, and fruit,
plantations that have water. One of the advantages of that dam is that with a
small amount of land, we can accumulate 280 million cubic meters of water. I
think that we need about 1.8 million [unit of measure not specified] here That
is what we need here in the Bayates II area, 1.8 million. For 30 million cubic
meters of water with 1.8 million there, we were able to attain almost 300
million cubic meters.  [sentence as heard].

61.  That dam is very attractive. We have made projections for it. We have to
study well the use of water, everything we would do, the economic analysis, the
farming of fish.  The people want you to build it. There are other brigades
building dams and they have worked well. They have to build small dams like
this one. Perhaps we will become enthusiastic and when we finish here we will
go to Cuyaguateje. [applause] We'll see. It is a good thing. We propose to
finish it during this dry season. We want to raise the curtain as much as
possible to hold water. I hope that by this time next year we will be
containing water and farming fish here. We will bring in alevins from the tanks
that you are building in San Cristobal so that we can breed them here to. We
will use all these dams to produce food. All this can happen next year. I'm
sure that this dam will have water. I'm not sure we'll have the Cuyaguateje dam
but it is not impossible.

62.  For the people of Pinar del Rio this has also been a big holiday and a day
full of great hopes. It has been a very satisfying day for us to recall the
innumerable times that I have been with the contingent's workers and I have
seen them there disciplined, efficient, productive, and working with quality
like soldiers at the foot of the canon. I join everyone's joy, friends, and I
join the recognition everyone has given the contingent. I join in everyone's
admiration and add my congratulations to the ones you have justly received

63.  Socialism or death! Fatherland or death, we will win!