Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Addresses FEU Congress Closing
Havana Cubavision Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000022528
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA2612024090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-250          Report Date:    28 Dec 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     3
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       18
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       22 Dec 90
Report Volume:       Friday Vol VI No 250


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cubavision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Addresses FEU Congress Closing

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro at the closing ceremony of the Fourth
Congress of the Federation of University Students

Affiliation(s):   FEU

Source Line:   PA2612024090 Havana Cubavision Network in Spanish 0200 GMT 22
Dec 90

Subslug:   [Speech given by President Fidel Castro at the closing ceremony of
the Fourth Congress of the Federation of University Students (FEU)
at the Havana Palace of Conventions on 20 December--recorded]

1.  [Speech given by President Fidel Castro at the closing ceremony of the
Fourth Congress of the Federation of University Students (FEU) at the Havana
Palace of Conventions on 20 December--recorded]

2.  [TexT] Comrades: I do not know if Felipe cried this evening because of all
the emotional moments he has lived through, but I do know that it was difficult
for me to hold back the tears in my eyes, especially when I heard the letter
from that young man as it was being read and when I received it from his

3.  There have been many emotional moments this evening.  We almost forgot
problems, and it is great that we are able to forget problems in the midst of a

4.  I know we have guests, that there are foreign journalists here. I do not
know if they will clearly understand what is happening. They may be thinking:
Well, this country is experiencing a special time.

5.  This country is the standard-bearer of socialism in the Western hemisphere.
It is also the sole standard-bearer of socialism in much of the world.
[applause] This country is the banner of socialism at a time when socialism has
crumbled in many countries. We could ask ourselves: What kind of socialism was
this that crumbled? Can true socialism crumble? Can a country that lived in
socialism return to capitalism?

6.  That eloquent letter was written in Prague by a young man who was not
heading for Paris or London or Rome.  He was leaving for Angola, where the
situation is difficult, to work and fulfill an internationalist mission. 
Prague is the capital of the country that, a few hours ago, with a sickening
opportunistic position, announced that it would no longer represent Cuba's
interests in the United States.

7.  We, as decent gentlemen, have let them take the step despite the fact that
for a long time we had been considering them unworthy of representing Cuba's
interests anywhere.  [applause]

8.  We did not take the step. We let them take it--they, who today are vulgar
agents of the empire. They have gone to such an extreme as to send troops to
participate in a war in the Gulf.

9.  We had better not talk about this anymore because if we were able to hold
back our tears earlier, we do not want to vomit now. [applause]

10.  This is a country where many expected that socialism would crumble.
Deadlines were set for the time when this would happen. We still face such
deadlines. Time goes by, however, and the bags that the worms [reference to
Cuban dissidents living abroad] had prepared are now filled with moths. It
would be a good idea for them to use some of those little white balls, whose
name I do not remember but used to see as a kid, that are put in closets to
prevent the cockroaches from eating the clothes.

11.  Companies were organized to determine how property should be returned to
the previous owners, the large land owners, the industrialists, the foreign
enterprises, and to the homeowners of homes for rent. I imagine this also
includes the owners of schools--the owners of everything, because here
everything had an owner.

12.  At least regarding the land, I do not know how they will manage because I,
who have been traversing our countryside for more than 30 years and
participating in the road and highway construction programs, can assure you
that I can get lost when I go through the province of Havana. It is hard for me
to recognize the roads, even the ones that I saw under construction and visited
when they were being built. They are thousands of kilometers long.  In our
countryside so many things have happened. Our countryside has been filled with
such things as secondary, preparatory, and technological schools; dams; canals;
storehouses; workshops; state-owned enterprises; and cooperatives. There were
peasants who paid rent or worked under a partnership arrangement. I do not
think that there is anyone alive who knows where his large landed estate was.
It is even possible that they will find the land under a dam, one of the
hundreds of small, medium-sized, or large dams built by the revolution.  After
calculating the number of hectares of water-covered land available for our
seafood cultivating projects, we found that 120,000 hectares of land were
involved. It is impossible for our homeland to turn back.

13.  When the Eastern European countries and socialism, or what they thought
was socialism, collapsed, all of the efforts, publicity, and campaigns turned
against Cuba.  Only Cuba was left. The Cuban revolution had to be liquidated.
If the reactionaries of the world and imperialists are not completely happy, it
is simply because socialism remains in Cuba. It is simply because a country
resisted. I am not speaking of an Eastern European country, or a gigantic
country that by itself constitutes a world, such as China, Korea, or Vietnam,
which are 20,000 km away from us, but a country which is here, deep in the
heart of the West and a few miles, if we think about Key West, or a few inches,
if we think about the Guantanamo Naval Station, away from the most powerful
empire that ever existed in the history of mankind, an empire that almost
unilaterally practices hegemony throughout the world.

14.  In view of this, we would do well to wonder why the Cuban revolution has
not crumbled, even though not just very important political events, but those
that have made a tremendous impact on our country's economy have taken place.
When the socialist countries and the political processes in the Eastern
European countries collapsed, our economy suffered a tremendous shock because,
as a result of the increased U.S. blockade, a sizeable portion of our trade, as
well as the finished products, raw materials, and equipment that we had been
receiving, disappeared.

15.  Not only that, but such events have taken place in the USSR, the country
with which we have had the largest percentage of trade, a country that has
supplied us with all our fuel and that has supplied us with a significant
amount of our food, raw materials, and equipment.  Those events, I repeat, also
had a great impact on our economy.

16.  The blockade has not been reduced one bit. Trade with all those Eastern
European countries has vanished.  Important events have taken place and a very
serious situation has been created in the USSR, so it is nothing less than a
historic feat--we could also say unprecedented--that our few people--few but
brave, few but intelligent, few but tenacious, and few but heroic--have been
able to keep the flag of socialism raised amid such incredible conditions.
[applause, indistinct slogans] Keeping the flag raised went against all
predictions, against all omens, against all calculations, and against all

17.  Comrades, we are no longer in the year 1959 or 1960, when the U.S.
blockade began. With rare exceptions, the U.S. supplied us with all our
industrial equipment, all our transport equipment, and all other working
equipment. The blockade forced us to manufacture spare parts and to invent and
improvise to keep the power plants, as well as the locomotives, the buses, the
few tractors that we had, the refineries, and the factories working. There was
great merit to this work. Back then, the USSR was at the peak of its
prosperity, and because the Yankee multinational corporations withheld fuel,
the USSR sent us fuel, as well as equipment, machines, raw materials, and
food--virtually everything we needed when we were a nation of only 6.5 million

18.  The support was particularly important during that difficult period. Of
course, now the circumstances are more difficult. This is no longer a country
of 6.5 million inhabitants; it now has 10.5 million. We no longer consume just
4 million tons of oil. We are no longer a country where barely 50 percent of
the households had electricity; now more than 90 percent of the population,
which has been nearly doubled, every day turns on light bulbs and household
appliances. The population now consumes more than twice as much wheat, cooking
oil, and many of the foods that we must inevitably import, and we go through
much more clothing, footwear, medicine, and food.

19.  The country has grown and has developed a public health system consisting
of hundreds of hospitals and clinics, the doors of which are open every day.
Three or four times more millions of people travel every day.  Millions!
Thousands upon thousands of schools have been opened. Universities have
multiplied. The number of students receiving higher education has increased
from 10,000 to hundreds of thousands [as heard], including regular students,
those taking supervised courses [cursos dirigidos], and so on. This is a
country where all the children go to school every morning with their uniforms,
shoes, and books; a country where the number of mid-level students is greater
than the number of primary-level students; a country that has more than 1,000
child care centers; a country that takes part in sports and has thousands of
sport facilities; a country that has hundreds, thousands of cultural
facilities; a country with hundreds of scientific institutions.

20.  This is a country that consumes 13 million of tons of fuel and that this
year has had available to it 3 million tons less--more than 25 percent, or a
quarter, less fuel. This is a country that, despite much prospecting and
drilling, barely produces 1 million tons of oil; a country without large rivers
suitable for generating hydraulic energy; a country without coal or other raw
materials that can be used as sources of energy. That is to say, the challenge
for the revolution under these circumstances, and with the problems that the
Soviet Union is encountering, is much greater. The challenge which resulted
from the imperialist blockade, which has been in effect for more than 30 years,
is now much greater and more difficult.

21.  In 1959, to be a revolutionary and trust the revolution held great merit.
In 1960 and 1961, mercenaries invaded us, bandits appeared, sabotage began, and
hundreds of gangs emerged. There was much confusion. For decades, during which
the people had been trained in the ideology of imperialism, capitalism, and
McCarthyism, when there was much confusion, there was great merit in being a

22.  Nevertheless, there were millions of revolutionaries.  Students, in
particular, were revolutionaries. Today, however, being a revolutionary implies
something much greater, a much higher awareness. To be a revolutionary at
present constitutes an act of trust, conviction, honor, courage, and heroism
much higher than ever required in the history of our revolution.

23.  I say in the history of our revolution because our people and homeland at
other times passed through very hard and heroic experiences in the struggle for
independence.  It was the people who fought hard between 1868 and 1878, 10
years in the brushlands. The colonialists, the Spanish Army, controlled all
large and small cities and towns and were continually supplied with arms,
medicines, food, and everything else that the people being suppressed never

24.  These people fought, even halfway across the island. In the first war,
they could not fight any farther than Villaclara. They could not reach
Matanzas, Havana, Pinar del Rio, the areas of the large plantations of
sugarcane and coffee, where the main storage centers of wealth were. They
fought for 10 years. The inheritance of heroism, tenacity, and the fighting
spirit have not been handed down to us by mere chance. It is not a coincidence
that we are remembering Baragua, what it became after 10 years. The fields were
ravaged. No herds were left in that huge territory, where there was no food or
anything else. Some of the fighters even thought it was impossible to go on

25.  Their spirit revealed itself, however, in a very special, insurmountable
manner in that beautiful segment of our history, the protest of Baragua. None
of those obstacles was sufficient enough to stop the impetus for independence
of the people who defended those ideas. They even struggled against a large
number of the people who were Spaniards or under Spanish influence. Not many
years had elapsed when this struggle was resumed, when this chain of heroism
repeated itself. The war lasted until the end of the century, but our homeland
did not succeed in reaching full independence.

26.  To say that to be a revolutionary now is extraordinarily meritorious, I
have the obligation of recalling that at other very difficult times our fellow
countrymen have been able to be revolutionary. It is highly meritorious to be a
revolutionary at this moment of our revolutionary history.

27.  Our demonstration of courage and heroism has been grandiose. We are now
facing more powerful forces. We are confronting an imperialist system at the
pinnacle of power. We are facing a social economic system-- capitalism--in the
pinnacle of power. We are confronting them at a moment when a significant
number of former allies have capitulated. They have capitulated.

28.  This is a moment when the forces, or a signficant part of the forces, from
which we sought support for our struggle, no longer exist. This is a moment
when our main ally is going through very difficult moments.

29.  If we analyze this struggle, this process, from the political,
ideological, and international points of view, especially if I take into
consideration the alert way in which we do it, we can conclude that this
challenge has no precedent in history.

30.  I say this not to discourage anyone and I would much less try to do so
with people that I know would never be discouraged. [applause]

31.  I say this after thinking about the merits--one of the merits--of this
generation, your merits, and our people's merits. I say it so that the
greatness of our achievement will not be forgotten. I say it because I know we
are going to persevere, I know we are going to survive, I know we are going to
win. [applause] I say it because it is important that we understand that a
challenge of this nature requires an extraordinary decision, great tenacity,
and solid awarness. All must realize the circumstance we are facing while
waging this struggle--circumstances that could stay as they are or worsen.
These circumstances could grow worse quickly, but these are factors that are
beyond our control and are uncertain. The situation, however, is not uncertain
only for us. A large part of the world is living with great uncertainty. There
are countries not far from Cuba, such as the Dominican Republic for example,
where electricity ran for only four hours a day, even before the Persian Gulf
crisis, when oil cost $14--now it is $30. If that untimely and catastrophic war
breaks out, then oil will cost $60, $70, $80 or more, and who knows for how
long. This means that all oil byproducts will cost more, everything will become
more expensive; exports from non-oil producing countries will drop, and oil
exporters will take the lion's share of the world's money. The situation for
over 100 countries would be so catastrophic that no one knows what would
happen. No one knows the degree of destabilization that would affect dozens of
countries in the world; no one knows. These countries, with their debts and
poverty, are facing the limits of what they can withstand. In these countries,
problems are not resolved in the way we try to resolve them here. In these
countries, the prices skyrocket. The poor sectors, which are the largest, have
no purchasing power at all, while a small number of rich people continue to
live in abundance and have plenty.  We see this situation as intolerable. These
countries are living in a terrible situation of uncertainty.

32.  We need to encourage Cuba's dignified efforts to try to prevent war. For
us this means that if fuel becomes short--if fuel reaches 9, 8, or 7 [not
further specified] we would have no alternative than to go and get 500,000 tons
or 1 million tons of oil. To get 1 million tons of fuel would require 3 million
tons of sugar.

33.  If we use all of the country's sugar to buy oil only, we would still
receive less oil than the 4 million tons the country consumed at the beginning
of the revolution.

34.  The crisis further complicates situations resulting from the reduced
amount of fuel we have been receiving from the USSR. As I said on 28 September,
the future is uncertain despite the Soviet Union's efforts, and I will repeat
that the Soviet Union, the leaders of the Soviet Union, those who are leading
the Soviet Union, are working so that their problems will have as little
negative effect on us as possible.

35.  We must be prepared, however, to face worse difficulties. We must be ready
to face any difficulty. We must be ready to face a no-fuel situation. This
would be an extreme situation and it would require the most heroism, the most
patriotism, and the most awareness.

36.  I am talking about situations that could happen, including war, and these
factors that have raised fuel prices to stratospheric levels.

37.  Of course we are working, struggling, and doing everything we can and must
do and we are doing it with dignity and intelligence in order to overcome
obstacles and bypass stumbling blocks. This does not mean that everything is
lost. No. It means that there is danger.  There is danger. [repeats] The
ability of the Soviet Union, with whom we maintain close relations of
cooperation and mutual respect, to impede a disastrous situation will be a
decisive factor. Many reports that we have received from the Soviets themselves
reveal that the situation is very difficult. We believe that the situation is
difficult, very difficult, but salvageable.

38.  There are forces that want the Soviet Union to disintegrate and disappear
from the face of earth. There are forces betting on disintegration and they
play with the idea of a dangerous civil war.

39.  There are forces that dream--and they have been encouraged by the West and
by imperialism--I repeat, there are forces that dream of sweeping the USSR's
socialism or anything that smells like Soviet power or anything that smells
like internationalism, such as relations with Cuba.

40.  They struggle for that goal. There are also forces in the USSR, however,
that struggle for socialism and for the country's integration. They struggle to
save the ideals of the October Revolution and those of Lenin.

41.  Thus, while some sweep statues, others carry Lenin's ideals deep in their
hearts. The revolution was not a coincidence in the USSR. The revolution was
not imported to the USSR, no matter how many mistakes have been made.

42.  Those deep and important changes were caused by a genuine and native
revolution. It was one of the biggest achievements in the history of mankind.
Without that revolution, the world might be fascist today. Without that
revolution there would have been no liberation of the colonies. Without that
revolution the world would be more divided today. We trust those historical
facts, we trust those attributes, and we trust those people. We must, however,
tell ourselves something and we must promise ourselves something: We said it a
year and a half ago in Camaguey; we said that if the USSR disappears, if they
have a civil war, we will continue to defend socialism.

43.  When I said that, we did not have any of today's problems, anyone could
have asked whether we were delirious. The Eastern European socialist countries
had not even collapsed yet.

44.  A few months after 26 July they collapsed, and then serious problems began
appearing in the USSR. We, however, saw the perils a long time in advance, and
we realized the need to get ready to defend socialism, even if the USSR did not
exist. I do not believe that there can be another point of view or position.

45.  That was Mambises' position during that war of 1878. It was also Maceo's
position at Baraguas, and has been Cuba's position in the past. It is our
position today and it will be our position in the future. [applause]

46.  The homeland truly demands a basic sense of man's dignity, a basic sense
of love for the country, and a basic sense of love for freedom. How many died
in that fighting? Many died. It was the only alternative possible for the mind
and heart of a revolutionary. It was the only alternative for a patriot at any

47.  There have been different kinds of revolutionaries with different
progressive forces at different times and during different stages in history.
All of them somehow loved their homeland and their people. The homeland, in the
modern sense of the word, did not exist in the beginning.  Tribes defended
their territories. This has been expressed with many phrases, such as ``Give me
liberty or give me death.'' This feeling is expressed in every national anthem
ever written by men who always preferred to die rather than suffer dishonor,
lose their homeland, or lose their dignity. It is reflected in our slogans,
when we say, ``Fatherland or death,'' or when we say, ``Socialism or death.''
This is so clear, we do not want to live in any other way. We do not want our
homeland to be like Miami or to be an extension of Florida. We cannot even
imagine that imperialists will one day again plant their filthy boots on our

48.  We cannot imagine how this beautiful country--with its rivers, land,
mines, and factories--can stop being ours to become capitalist; to become
monopolistic properties owned by individuals and private concerns. We cannot
imagine how our schools, technological institutes, scientific research centers,
and universities can stop being ours and be turned over to capitalists to be
owned by monopolies or private enterprises. We cannot imagine how we can stop
being what we are to become serfs, slaves, and property because men are
property of a capitalist society. Work is a property, and the workforce is a
property that is bought and sold and so is all that man is capable of producing
with his intellignece and sweat for a boss--and we have long since abandoned
the notion of a boss. We have deficiencies; we are constantly pointing them out
and even complain that our education is not perfect, that the children do not
learn as much as they should, that the classes are not as good as they should
be, and footwear is poorly designed.

49.  Sometimes school uniforms are discolored or there are not enough of them.
Every day, however, more than 1 million children attend these schools. They do
not attend school without shoes, naked, hungry, or without a notebook or
pencil. All of them have a teacher. In fact, as I was saying at this congress,
Cuba has the most teachers per capita in the world. The children all have
schools.  The schools may be old and may need to be painted, but they are
there. The struggle is to ensure that everyone has a school. Retarded children
go to a special school. If the child has a hearing problem or a sight
impairment, he goes to a school for the deaf or blind. There are schools for
those who are crippled, who have growth development problems, or who have any
sort of problem. I will go so far as to say that no country in the world has
such a high attendance rate for impaired children--nearly 100 percent. We may
have problems in the 164 high schools which our young comrades attend, but the
classes are good. We may complain that camps and schools in the countryside are
not as good as we would like them. I am sure they will be in the future. Girls
are not loitering in the streets, however, looking for Yankee marines or
tourists, and learning to be prostitutes.

50.  These girls without jobs and without education must go to school. It has
been impossible to make them study. We will not turn schools into prisons,
however. There is not a single adolescent girl or youth between 15 and 18 years
of age who has not completed preparatory or technological school or who is not
attending a sports academy, a school of art, or a school for another field of
study. I am not saying teachers' school because we no longer have that kind of
school. We now have universities for teachers.

51.  The revolution brought about all this pride, which is breathed through
every pore and reflected in the character of our fellow citizens. Our people
will never resign themselves to losing all this. Those who did not know of
these facilities fought and died for them. We have not mentioned Mella, Jose
Antonio, Fructuoso, Frank Pais, Abel Santamaria, or the thousands of young men
who died for these things. It is necessary to remember that these men did not
know this. When our people were willing to defend themselves with their blood
and die-- as happened in the Bay of Pigs--they did not have what they have
today. They only had hope. During the October crisis, when all of our people
were willing to die, they did not have what they now have. They only had hope.
When the people are willing to die for hope, they are 10 and 100 times more
willing to die defending those hopes that became reality. They will be willing
to die for what we know as the goals of the revolution. A few hours ago we
wondered: Who will bear this responsibility?

52.  That is how our country progresses. That is how equality and opportunities
for all emerged. They did not emerge for the rich, but for the people. They did
not emerge for the landlords, but for the children of the most humble peasants
and workers. They emerged for the children of the agricultural workers, the
children of the coal miners, the children of the peasants who lived in the
mountains, the children of the factories' and ports' workers, and for the
children of the grave-digger and the street sweeper.  They emerged for all

53.  Women no longer had to work in a bordello, which was perhaps the largest
source of employment for Cuban women. Nowadays, women make up the majority of
doctors in our hospitals. They also comprise the majority of technicians in our
scientific research centers. Almost 60 percent of the technical force is made
up of women.

54.  It was the children of the humble people who had this opportunity; they
are the revolution and the revolution's force. Maybe they do not understand.
Maybe it is hard for many people outside this country to understand. It may be
hard for visitors to understand, but that is not all.  If you stop and think of
the things that have happened in other countries, you will realize that they
have not happened here. Some say that things were collectivized by force here.
Nothing was collectivized by force here. In our fields, there are 70,000,
[corrects himself] between 60,000 and 70,000 organized independent farmers. 
Many farmers have their own small piece of land.

55.  There are 800,000 hectares on which the cooperatives in our country are
organized strictly and absolutely on voluntary bases; the facts prove it. The
state-owned enterprises drew basically from large estates and from landowners.
Those lands were not distributed, and it was very wise not to distribute them.

56.  Now we see it through our same efforts in the provinces, and thousands of
Havana inhabitants are witnesses of what is being done in those places. This
could not be done with small properties; there is no way, considering the
techniques that are being used and the expected results.

57.  The injustices and abuses of power were never seen here.  Corruption and
crimes were never seen here. Not only that, but this is the only country in the
world where no one has disappeared. This is the only country in the world in
which the spectacle of the horses charging on the masses has not been seen. We
see that spectacle in England and in democratic Europe every day and at all

58.  Those sanctuaries of human rights are the sanctuaries of horses; tear gas;
cosmonauts; and eager policemen with helmets, sticks, shotguns, and ammunition.
There are swords and firetrucks in an endless war between governments and the

59.  That is capitalism. How could capitalism otherwise defend itself? How does
it overcome the differences it has with the people? It defends itself with
force whenever the workers want a better distribution of benefits through a
better salary or whenever the students or the peasants claim certain rights.

60.  This country has no assassinations, missing people, or repression. In this
country, the people and the people's authority--the state--are closely
identified and solidly united. In this country, each citizen can say: I am the
state, like the famous king who said he was the state.  Workers, peasants, and
students may say: I am the state and will defend the state because the state
and the people are one, regardless of the state's defects. After all, state
officials are not imported; they are from here. Many were young at the start of
the revolution. Many who are not very old came, if not from the underground,
from the universities, the factories, or the country. Some are better than
others, but none are capitalists, large landowners, Yankees, or executives from
transnational and foreign enterprises. They are Cubans.

61.  There is now a sense of identity that never existed and can never exist in
a class society. There is an identification between the government [el poder]
and the citizens; between the state and citizens; between citizens and
property, which belongs to the people; between citizens and the factories,
which belong to the people; between citizens and the land, which belongs to the
people; between the citizens and tractors; between citizens and buses; and
between citizens and stores, which belong to the people. If we do not take care
of them, that is something else. It proves that we are bad owners. If we do not
get from them all we can, this proves that we are inefficient owners. We have
increasingly more engineers; more agronomists; and more professionals managing
farms, factories, and the workers. We hope we have the cadres that we did not
have before the victory of the revolution. We had men who had only completed
fifth or sixth grade and had managed sugar mills at the time.  Now we have
thousands of engineers in sugar mills alone. We have thousands of engineers in
the sugar industry. I see an increasing number directing operations there. I
suppose that as engineers gain experience and knowledge, they gain more

62.  Think about and meditate on that total human identity of citizens who have
everything because everything belongs to them. Not all citizens can be good
owners and use things correctly; not all citizens are patriotic and honest.
There are some patriots who are dishonest. I do not know how to explain this.
There are some who are willing to die in battle, but who steal money from the
funds they manage. We have even heard of those kinds of hypocrisies. We lack
culture; we lack many things. We need to know who the really good citizens and
good landowners are, but should this mean that socialism does everything wrong?

63.  What about our health services? Our infant mortality rate, which is under
11 percent, is among the best in the world. Life expectancy has improved. We
cure diseases that cannot be cured elsewhere. We have made huge advances, and
this has not taken place in private hospitals. The Frank Paiz, the Hermanos
Almejeira, the Juan Manuel Marquez, and the Centro Havana are not private
hospitals. The country's hospitals and health services are not private. Our
doctors are not foreign. Here we have struggled and worked, perfected things,
and made them efficient. We can say that the capitalists do not have a better
health system. Forget it. They envy our health system. Out of 6,000 doctors,
capitalists took 3,000 of them. Now we have nearly 40,000 doctors. By July
1991, we will have 43,000 doctors. Look what the revolution has achieved. None
of them are unemployed or driving taxis. Maybe a taxi driver earns more money
than many of our distinguished doctors or university professors. This is
because the taxi driver charges too much. I am not saying that all drivers do
so, [repeats] I do not say all do so, but a few do. I have seen these taxi
drivers work on farms. They have formed a movement.  I have seen them working
hard; some work 15 days as taxi drivers and 15 days as farmers. I often ask
myself: are they the reason for so many complaints? Taxi drivers refuse to stop
at corners. They also carry four passengers, keeping the fares paid by three of
them. I am talking about our defects, but our doctors will not drive taxis. I
can assure you that health services will keep improving.  Our universities have
improved. We cannot compare our universities with the capitalist universities.
There is simply no comparison with the end product, except for a few very minor
problems we still have--battles we have not yet won. There is still fraud in
our universities; the battle has not yet been won. What about in capitalist
universities? There has always been fraud, but those are universities for the
elite. Would anyone dare compare those universities to ours? The same holds
true for the number of universities, the equipment, the programs, and the

64.  There is a university in Moa. How could a young person from Moa attend the
university? Not even a geology career existed; I do not know if there was a
geologist during capitalist times here and [words indistinct].  [laughter]
There is a school of medicine in Tunas. How did this happen when many people
did not even know where Tunas was? This is the truth. A university in the Isle
of Youth? There was a huge prison on that isle before. There are thousands of
students at schools of medicine in each province. There are teaching institutes
in each province. There are pharmaceutical schools in several provinces. Ciego
has a technological institute, and let me tell you Ciego is a difficult place
to find from the highway.

65.  I hear that many things are being done in Holguin. I hear that they have
created certain designs and machines and that other things are being created
for the canals. On a given day, we will have a branch at the Zapata swamp. 

66.  Can we compare capitalist higher education to ours? Can we compare their
link between research and education to ours? Can we compare our equipment? Can
the link they have with all the country's productive activities and the
country's services be compared to ours? All our hospitals were turned into
teaching hospitals [hospitales docente].  Nearly all polyclinics were turned
into schools. The only teaching hospital was Calixto Garcia. The students had
the opportunity to work with the people who were sent there to die because
there was hardly any medicine there.  That is the truth.

67.  Teaching hospitals, polyclinics, and schools in the mountains represent
the country's state of health. We cannot compare higher education in capitalist
countries to ours.  Can we or can we not improve our overall education?  The
fundamental thing is that our education is geared to the masses. We have not
yet been able to attend to the needs of each one of our schools. Despite this,
we have many primary schools with a partial-boarding system; we already have
this with secondary schools. I can tell you something. Many of the special
schools have nothing to envy from any school in the world. Capitalist countries
do not have special schools. They do not have a large number of these schools.
They do not have as many people committed to these special schools. Rich
capitalists can send their children to these schools, and some rich people can
give their children the same tests we give the entire population here. Only the
rich people can give their children the same vaccines we have for the entire
population here.

68.  There was no choice because there was no scientific research. Scientific
research centers in this country are a hope for Cuba. They are a hope for our
country. We have excellent scientists who are very committed here. We have men
and women who could never be paid all the money in the world. They work in
these centers for modest salaries. Look for them in capitalist countries.  Look
for those who work like our scientists. We are already starting to see results.

69.  [Words indistinct] the imperialists are concerned. What are they doing? We
know what we are doing. We know of a few things, but we do not speak about them
because we have no interest in doing so. There are times when it is better for
them to believe worse things are going on so that they leave us alone.

70.  The revolution has many features with which capitalism cannot compete. The
revolution also has many features that must still be improved upon and with
which it cannot contend with capitalism. Some of them are important economic
issues. It is true, however, that we are learning how to match capitalism.

71.  We certainly must admit that the technological backwardness of the
socialist countries has hindered us. We have obtained backward technology in
certain fields because we did not have any other choice. We did not have any
other alternative. We did not have the resources to obtain any other type of
technology. We have advanced technology, however, in some fields. We are
working in some new fields with advanced technology. We are producing new
products in this country with advanced technology.

72.  We are entering a new phase, but we know what we have.  We know what we
have. [repeats] We also know what we do not want. We do not want another goal
for our people.  We must know how to defend the one we have, and we will know
how to defend it. I believe that even our powerful neighbors understand this.
The United States must tell itself: How difficult it is to dominate [echarse en
el bolsillo] this small country. They, who have dominated so many people and
countries of all sizes. How difficult it has been for them to try to dominate
this country, and they will never dominate it. [applause, chanting of slogans]

73.  You can see for yourselves, in your own lives and by your own personal
experience, how a revolutionary country confronts problems. No house has been
left without power despite the situation I have explained and despite the fact
that we have received three million tons of fuel less this year. All this
happened without prior notice. We have not, however, had one single blackout.
In theory, we should have many hours of blackout if we do not have enough fuel.
I am not sure whether this is so because each person is saving energy.

74.  It is true that all citizens are not the same. It is true that they do not
all have the same degree of awareness. We have asked the citizens to save 10
[not further identified]. We have asked the institutions to save another 10. 
We have reduced the use of electricity without leaving a single home without

75.  It is true that some citizens are using a bit more and that some people
are irresponsible. The problem has been studied, however, and there is a
strategy. If, at a given moment, some people do not comply, we will have no
choice but to leave them without power. The guilty people will not force the
innocent to pay for their deeds.  If there are some stubborn offenders, we will
have no choice but to cut off their electricity.

76.  It is hoped that we will never have to adopt more drastic measures. It is
hoped that we will be able to reduce 20 [not further identified] if we have to
reduce 20. We will always do all we can to conserve power so that the
population has some to use. We even prefer to reduce the amount of energy used
by factories, reduce our production, or stop it altogether, as we have already
closed a big nickel factory. We do not know, however, if we will be forced to
reduce 20 or 30 [not further identified] at some future time.

77.  It is hoped that we will do it in the least disturbing manner. If a person
knows that he does not have 150 kilowatts available and he has 100....[changes
thought] He can decide which light bulb to turn on or which bulb to turn off.
The famous power outages are a method used worldwide. They adversely affect
everyone but are an inevitable way to save energy. We want to do everything
possible to avoid this type of unavoidable energy-saving mechanism. To
accomplish this, we need the citizens to cooperate. We have been managing so

78.  Despite all these tremendous problems and these terrible blows to our
economy, almost no single price has gone up. Any other country would have
solved it immediately by doubling and trippling prices and that is it. We have
done just the opposite. Things that were once freely sold have now been sold
using the coupon book [libreta].  Many workers who were never able to obtain
cream cheese or fish and other things now say they are getting them. They are
able to buy them at the same prices. It does not mean that prices will remain
unchanged. There will be a few products that are sold freely. If we see that
alcohol consumption rises.... [changes thought] Actually it is not a matter of
earning a profit from alcohol. If hoarders start to work here and there, it is
possible that prices will have to go up. It is possible that there will be no
other solution except to raise prices. Milk, food, and yogurt prices, as well
as those goods available to the general population, has not been touched.

79.  Not a single citizen was left without a job. Not a single youth,
adolescent, or child has been left out of school.  Not a single school has been
closed. The first thing they do elsewhere is to look into the education budget
and close down 30 or 40 percent of the schools. Thousands of teachers are left
without jobs. They also close down 20 or 30 percent of hospitals and dismiss
doctors, nurses, and health workers. We have not dismissed one single employee.
We are going to open new polyclinics that are now under construction. We have
not initiated the construction of new polyclinics and hospitals, but we are
completing them. We are expanding our capabilities.

80.  Not a single factory has been closed because of a lack of fuel or raw
materials. Not a single worker has been left unemployed. I ask myself if this
happens elsewhere in the world. If the number of days has to be decreased, days
are given off. If Friday has to be given off, it is given off, but no worker is
dismissed. Not a single retired worker has been left without his pension.
Prices have not even increased for the things he needs to buy for his modest
retirement. Electricity and the food he buys have not increased in price. Not a
single citizen has been left without food.

81.  We have a scarcity of some medicines. We are aware of that and are making
an effort. It has happened because of a certain anxiety. Some people have begun
to buy more of some products, which are normally adequately available.

82.  We are going to look for ways to avoid excessive purchases and keep the
medicine available here. We are looking for the right mechanisms to do this so
that anyone who needs insulin can have it. Anyone who needs medicine for his
asthma should have it. They should not want to buy a year's supply. Medicine is
so cheap.  Medicine is sold at 20 percent of the price that is paid anywhere
else. Most medicine is given to hospitals and other institutions.

83.  We are going to do everything possible to prevent a lack of medicine and
food. That is our greatest task. The food program has been implemented at full
strength. It has first priority. We have not ceased the construction of a
single dam or canal for an irrigation system. On the contrary, construction has
been expanded over the past few months. The construction of dams, irrigation
canals, engineering systems in sugar mills, and engineering systems in rice
fields has increased. We hope to continue promoting this with three million
tons less [of fuel]. We believe it will be maintained. Priority programs are
those that are going to produce food for us, those that are going to produce
resources for imports, and those that are related to the biotechnology industry
and are going to solve problems for us. It can be turned into a source of great
revenue for the country. These programs have priority and will continue having

84.  We are now preparing plans for 1991 with these criteria.  The general rule
is to continue to build the houses already under construction. New houses will
not be built unless they are located in productive scientific development
centers that merit the construction of houses or in farming enterprises to
resolve supply problems. It is not that we do not have enough. We have a
tremendous ability to produce cement and other materials. The problem is the
fuel supply. We are going to maintain our productivity. We are going to take
care of our necessary resources, when we have them. We are going to complete
some projects.

85.  The installations for the Pan-American Games are being completed. The
investments that were to be made on the Pan-American Games have already been
made. All that remains is to complete them. We have to fight for the
Pan-American Games because it was a great battle waged by this country, which
has been discriminated against so often. It is a battle because it is the
country's commitment we must and will fulfill. The installations were built
with the people's support. There will be no further expenditures. The
expenditures were made when the installations of the Pan-American Games were
begun.  We did not have the problems we have today. Commitments were made and
will be honored. The country must be able to honor its commitments, and we can.
Latin American countries trust that we will be able to fulfill our commitments,
despite our difficulties. In the first months of 1991, the installations of the
Pan-American Games will be completed.

86.  We have strength that can be unleashed [fuerzas que se liberan]. We have
constructive strength and now have an extra measure of constructive strength.
All the hotels that are being built for tourism have their own labor force. If
the hotel plan is expanded, we will use part of that labor force--that is,
throughout 1991 we will be able to maximize our efforts even more. We will be
able to ration even more.

87.  We will have finished building the distribution markets.  In Havana
Province, we will have constructed 60 camps in the agriculture sector. Maybe
more will have to be built. Perhaps we will be able to do a few more things. 
The resources available in 1991 must be better optimized than in 1990, keeping
track of everything we build and plan to build. We must choose well everything
we do. Every effort made and every penny spent must be in the best place
possible. We are undergoing special conditions under a special period. We are
now working in these areas, however--I repeat, the food industry; the tourism
idustry, as a source of income; scientific institutions; biotechnical centers;
and pharmaceutical industries--more than ever. We are giving them more support
than ever before as we are conscious of our strategic importance.

88.  We will not build a textile factory now. We are forced to reduce the
production at textile factories due to the lack of raw materials and supplies.
Of course, everyone understands, however, that it is more important to give
priority to the food industry--that is, the production of food--than to the
textile industry.

89.  We even have to see how long we can go without new textiles if everyone
uses what they have in their closets.  We can do without some products, but we
will not do without milk. I prefer that we have less fabric. If we can give the
children uniforms, we will. If we cannot, with deep regret we will have to give
up the school uniforms until we can have them again. We will give up the
uniforms. It is better to be without uniforms than to be without shoes, milk,
food, medicines, books, notebooks, or pencils.

90.  Even during this terrible situation, no one in the nation is unemployed.
There are no homeless, no one goes hungry, no one goes without medical
attention, and no one misses the opportunity to go to school. Even during this
special period, we can maintain these things.

91.  In 1868 our Mambis did not have any of the foregoing; in 1895 our Mambis
did not have them either. Many nations, the majority, in special periods have
none of the foregoing. Skyrocketting prices, strikes everyday, hungry people,
undernourished people, infant mortality way up around 90 or 100. [as heard] In
any of those nations, they die, five, six, 10 times more than the rate in Cuba.
I believe that our health will improve. It will continue to improve even during
these special times. We are going to have more doctors. Our universities will
not be closed, and we will continue to register young men and women in all the
higher education centers.

92.  If we place any limit, it will be--as we have said here before--because of
the more stringent quality requirements of teacher training institutes. It will
be for that reason or because of the scholarship questions. We think it is not
right to grant scholarships that surpass our capabilities and create problems
such as those at 12th and Malecon and those at 3d and F. I believe...oh, okay
[aside to unknown person], at F and 3d, which have forced us to look for almost
200 apartments to ease overcrowding at some of those places, because 200
persons at F and Malecon are simply too many.

93.  A building might be 30 years old, with old elevators that need replacing
and with new ones on order. We want to reduce the number of scholarships to 400
or 500 and have better and more bearable living conditions in the buildings. A
reserve of about 70 apartments--practically the only apartments the central
government has available--will be turned over to youths and the FEU to alter
them and end up with about 400 apartments. With the departure of technicians,
about 100 apartments have became available in the Bahia neighborhood. There are
many things that can be done with these apartments as there is much need, but
as we said, there are not enough apartments. Let us make another effort to help
out with these scholarships. Some changes have been made, such as uniting
schools. We are going to have two pharmaceutical schools.  Some of the schools
at 12th and Malecon will now be near this scientific center, near the new
faculty, and this helps free some additional space over there. These are the
only limiting factors we expect to have.

94.  Medical school entries have been curtailed. This year we kept them at the
same level because there was some doubt on needs, such as the USSR
requirements. We have, however, slowly reduced the number of entries.  Many
students are now entering pharmaceutical schools instead of medical schools. We
expect to keep university entries at more or less the same entry level during
this special period. We do not expect to change the number of university
entries, except for the reasons I have already mentioned.

95.  We need to encourage self-sufficiency in food production, even if it is
only so that people take part. Surely, the mobilization and the measures we are
taking in Havana Province will increase food production. We cannot expect city
factories and schools to be self-sufficient, but we can try to find 40 or 50
hectares for the CUJAE [Jose Antonio Echeverria University City]. We might need
to remove more sugarcane from this province, even though already 500
caballerias of sugarcane have been removed to make room for roots and
vegetables. If we are forced to use four or five caballerias near the (Martinez
Prieto)--which lives on the sugarcane that comes from more distant
locations--then we will do so. I am sure that the sugar industry understands
this. Those who work in the sugar industry also understand this. We might use
some land near El Chico, which Machadito [not further identfied] mentioned to
me. We could find an area, perhaps near the Teaching Institute, near Lenin,
from which we can get some land.

96.  What I do see.... [changes thought]. I think that the most important thing
is the awareness of the need to make this effort, the awareness of the need to
produce food, and the awareness of the need to be self-sufficient. Havana
Province has--without counting the city that has several hundred
hectares--nearly 40,000 hectares for roots and vegetable production. Barring
cyclones and other natural disasters, optimum production is guaranteed. If
banana plantations are destroyed, we will replant them all in a matter of
months. We have contingency plans in Ciego de Avila and other provinces. We
might need to use some additional fuel, but we are trying to make Havana
Province and Havana City inhabitants self-sufficient.  There are 2.7 million
inhabitants, and we plan to fully supply them using the 22,000 hectares of land
belonging to state corporations and the approximately 17,000 hectares belonging
to cooperatives and individual farmers. We are working in the fields. I believe
that during this special period, more food will be produced in this province
and in our fields than what is produced during normal times.

97.  In truth, the response at the capital has been excellent.  Close to 31 or
perhaps 32 contingents are being organized and approximately 10,000 citizens
will be mobilized on a biweekly basis. The workers are doing extremely well and
morale is high; this is reflected by our capital's workers and citizens. I have
spoken with the directors, who I meet with regularly. The first thing I ask
them is how are the camps and the workers. They tell me stories about the
student brigades who went to the fields in July. If the brigades found no one
in July because everybody--mid-level students and workers alike--were on
vacation, this year you will find 20,000 workers, whose productivity is
approximately equivalent to that of 30,000 workers. This is what you will find
when the student brigades reach the fields. You will not see the grassland you
saw last year, I assure you. These efforts are under way now.

98.  We are trying to lower the population's sacrifice to a minimum. We will
continue this policy so that the people do not lack the essentials. If instead
of three, we have four, five, or six million [object not specified] less....
[changes thought] All of these things will receive priority treatment, I assure
you. We will seek a balance between the expenses incurred by the population and
the agriculture industry. Maybe the special period will not reach extremes, but
it is my duty to warn you of such a possibility. So we should be prepared for
such a situation. It is very important for us to have these ideas clear in our
minds at this congress. We must keep showing the world what we can do. We must
show the world who our youths, students, workers, and people are, and how it is
possible to grow up under difficult circumstances.

99.  Capitalism will not be able to proclaim a victory for a long time. It will
not be able to. Those who dreamed of Eastern Europe, who believed in the
mermaid's song of capitalism, and who thought they could have Paris, London,
and Rome overnight without working-- apparently this is what they were led to
believe--are now going to find out what capitalism really is. We would like to
know what these people will think in two, three, or four years. Europe is
scared now. After Western Europe tried to destabilize all the Eastern European
countries and applauded the crumbling of the walls, they became afraid of a
catastrophe. They are now afraid that millions will cross the borders to the
West to increase the numbers of unemployed. They are afraid. Now they would
like to build a great iron curtain. Now they would like to build a wall from
the Baltic to the Mediterranean Sea.  They are terrified by the Eastern
European countries' and the Soviet Union's terrible economic crises. They were
happy, but their happiness did not last long. Now they are beginning to lose.
The world has no reason, not even signs of a reason, to feel happy. The
economic catastrophe is aggravated by the debt, by the price of feul--which has
doubled--and by the evidently unavoidable risk of a catastrophic
war--catastrophic not only because of the human losses but because of the
riches it would destroy and the economic consequences it would have for the
world. This economic crisis could cause a wave of general destabilization and
social explosions. Where would they go? They would go anywhere.  They can no
longer call up the ghost of communism because it has apparently vanished. They
can no longer claim that when there is a social change, that it is the work of
Marxist subversives or Moscow. They can no longer use those other ghosts as an
argument. Now that the ghost of communism has dissapeared, I do not know what
pretexts they will use to promote anticommunism or to repress the people when
they want to make social changes.

100.  What will Haitians do in Haiti? No one knows, but the Yankees were right
there with a candidate. Imperialism had its candidate there. He got
approximately 13 or 14 percent of the votes, as far as I know. The priest,
however, came close to the people and spoke to them. He was united with the
people and got over 70 percent of the votes. There is an example for you. What
will happen now? What changes will they make? No one knows.  Those countries
are so poor and have very few resources.  Imagine Haiti with oil at $30 per
barrel. Will they be able to build dams and canals? Will they be able to
increase their agricultural production per hectare? Where are these countries
going? No one knows, but they do not have a better chance with capitalism.
Imperialism has nothing to offer the third world countries except more debt,
unemployment, hunger, infant mortality, and illiteracy. It has nothing to offer
them but disaster.

101.  What could capitalists offer us. Will they give us oil? Will they come to
give us billions? Imperialists do not give.  They do not give leftovers, not
even charity. Look at what they did in Nicaragua. They created a dirty war that
cost thousands and now the economic situation is catastrophic. They give
nothing. They invaded Panama and massacred it; they have given it nothing.
Imperialism never gives anything to any country. It brings war, sends arms, and
promotes dirty wars. What could imperialism and capitalism ever give the third
world. We see much of it every day. On the other hand, we do know what we can
give. We know what we have given ourselves, and we know what we can give
ourselves in the future. Our duty is to defend what we have created and keep
what we have: our social achievements, security, dignity, and independence. I
hope no one doubts that Cuba is the most independent country in the world
today. [applause] It is the most independent country in the world.

102.  This tremendous crisis and enormous danger looms above our views
regarding imperialism that have been demonstrated at the UN Security Council.
Without exception, we have condemned what must be condemned and fought what
must be fought. At times, we have been all alone. At other times, we have been
joined by certain nations. Cuba, however, has fought the battle for peace at
the United Nations. Cuba--and this is no exaggeration--has been the most
responsible country. It has waged the strongest battle for peace at the United
Nations. At times, the five permanent members have been on one side while only
we were on the other side.  You have no idea what this means for Cuba in terms
of prestige.

103.  Many representatives of other countries have approached our
representative to congratulate him and tell him: You people are doing what we
cannot do. You people are doing what must be done. Some of them have expressed
their regret for not being able to do what Cuba did. Our country is also
experiencing difficulties, is isolated, and is in a special period. We knew
well what a change of vote for this war announced in the most recent resolution
could entail. We knew it. Not a few representatives spoke to us about this
issue. This is, however, a country of principles. This country does not and
will never betray a single principle. At a time that some described as
exceptional, how much would some have given for having Cuba vote yes on this
resolution.  Without prejudice, we managed to weigh the consequences. We did it
based on principles, not on an anti-Yankee spirit. We condemned the invasion of
Kuwait. It is true that the Yankees condemned it also.  When a resolution on
annexation was introduced, we backed it. When a resolution on the hostages was
introduced, we supported it. When a resolution on a blockade including food and
medicines was introduced, we opposed it. When the unilateral U.S. naval
blockade was authorized--the blockade had already been imposed-- we voted
against it. When this shameful and embarrassing resolution was introduced, we
voted against it.  Another country joined us in the vote. I know of two
countries which abstained. This is very significant. The PRC abstained. I think
the other one either voted no or abstained. Mexico and Cuba voted against it.
Excuse me, I was recalling other resolutions that have been presented in the
past few weeks. These resolutions were supported by Colombia, Yemen, and
Malaysia. The United States wanted to delay a particular resolution and has
continued to delay it because it aims at protecting Palestinians and the
occupied territories. The Palestinians are being repressed and murdered. The
United States wanted to keep postponing this resolution.

104.  These four countries voted against this postponement and the use of
parliamentarian procedure as an instrument, but France and the PRC abstained.
In this case there were two countries that abstained from voting for this
resolution: France and the PRC. You cannot imagine how the world has admired
Cuba's stance--a responsible and principled stance, not an anti-Yankee one.
They say we voted against them because we voted against this resolution. We
voted against a resolution because it is wrong, mistaken, and will lead to war.
We can see how a country like Cuba, with such problems, can have such dignified
and correct policies. The world recognizes and respects this. I ask myself how
many countries in the world are able to do this today? What countries--which
are experiencing such adverse conditions or such an economic crisis or have as
much power as the imperialists--are able to follow a line of principles the way
Cuba has. These are some of the things we are unwilling to give up. We shall
never give them up.

105.  Comrades, I believe this congress has been exemplary. One of the things
that pleased me the most was the first day when you were discussing what you
were doing for the special period. I was able to see the level of awareness the
students had in connection with the special period by your outlines and
proposals and how seriously they were delivered. This was truly impressive. I
recall the previous congress. Times were different then, but future problems
could already be seen. There was confusion. Do not forget that there were
various schools of thought in Cuba. There was much confusion. Do not forget
there were people who wanted things from abroad and who began campaiging
against socialism and Marxism Leninism as an excuse to improve the system. 

106.  If you have a sick child, you do not begin by cutting his throat to save
his life, improve his condition, or cure him. Those people's intentions were
clear. You have no idea of how far the enemy went in those countries and in the
USSR. You have no idea of the extent of the CIA infiltration in the USSR. You
have no idea of how long they worked with certain groups. The situation was so
bad that the worst revolutionaries--the Giron worms and mercenaries: the most
recalcitrant enemies of Cuba who have committed all sorts of crimes against the
country--received publicity. They received full coverage. No one would have
believed such a thing. You have no idea of the extent of their infiltration to
the detriment of the Soviet people and the Soviet Communists. It was a
destructive campaign.

107.  Let us not forget that some of them were somewhat influential here. The
facts are the facts, however, and the catastrophic things that have happened
have opened many people's eyes. Many have observed the process that is under
way in our country and the efforts that we are making to perfect our socialism,
which has not made the very serious mistakes that have been made elsewhere.

108.  We had the honor of welcoming Comrade Gorbachev right at this assembly. I
explained and said very clearly that the phenomenon of Stalinism did not take
place here. I added: In case I am regarded as a sort of Stalin, my victims
enjoy excellent health. [applause] There are historic differences here. I said:
We must correct our mistakes, not the mistakes made by the Soviet Union. If you
have a corn, you do not go to the ophthalmologist to have your tooth pulled
out. We did not have to correct those mistakes here. That is, we must correct
our own errors. These we must correct. Mistakes have been made here. Imagine
what would happen if we were to apply here--to the letter--all of the formulas
used in the USSR.

109.  It was our fault, however; of course it was. For a period of time, we had
the negative attitude of glorifying everything that came from the USSR.
Anything that came from there was perfect; it was nothing but the best.  Look,
I am a great admirer of the revolutionary events that took place in that
country. I admire its people's historic feats and heroism. I have always felt
gratitude for the 20 million men and women who died during the revolutionary
process. I am also aware, however, of their political, historic, strategic, and
military errors. I do not have to stand in a corner talking about them. I have
discussed this with Soviet officials. I always support constructive criticism
of the Soviet Union.

110.  I have said: we now have the evil of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy
Spirit. We have studied something about the church. There is the mystery of the
Holy Trinity. I am not trying to offend the churches or the churchgoers, but I
was taught that the mystery of the Holy Trinity exists.  I was taught that
there is a Father, a Son, and a Holy Spirit. Furthermore, I was taught that the
Holy Spirit cannot make mistakes.

111.  We transformed everything about the USSR into a sort of Holy Spirit. So
when publications with a clear anticommunist and antisocialist leaning started
to arrive from the USSR and when horrible things were said about communism and
socialism, we accepted them as irrefutable truths.

112.  That is why I say it is our fault because the evil comes from the Holy
Spirit. Who would doubt the Holy Spirit if it began to talk and talk? This is
how the propaganda was passed to us, and it definitely confused some people. 
This must be said. The truth is the truth. I do not want to offend anybody. I
do not want to hurt anybody. I am glad many people have corrected their
attitude and that many have understood what really happened. It is a phenomenon
that did occur, however, and that made some people here believe that we had to
correct errors we had not made.

113.  This was the greatest paradox in the world. The Western world was
constantly saying that we were a Soviet satellite. They said this every day.
The Yankees even said that we had to break off from the USSR if we wanted the
blockade to end. They repeated this thousands of times.  They demanded that we
end our relations with the USSR. Their theme song was: You are satellites.  You
are common satellites; but we stayed on our path.  Whoever has read the letters
that Kruschev and I exchanged during the October crisis surely knows and
understands that this country was never a satellite.  Never. [applause] I know
of leading U.S. personalities who were actors in that crisis. These men today
say that they did not even imagine the existence of this correspondence and
that they had truly underestimated Cuba.  They say that today in amazement and
with admiration.  We did not publish this for its own sake. These things could
have remained unpublished for a long time. Memoirs and books began to appear,
however, saying that we had recommended a preemptive strike. They spread this
rumor throughout the world.

114.  We had no alternative but to publish the letters so that everyone would
know how it had been. Perhaps, however, the main point of the worldwide
aggressive imperialist campaign against Cuba is that it was a satellite.  That
was what they accused us of. Do you know what they are accusing us of now? It
is incredible: that we are not doing what they are doing over there.

115.  In the first place, in the first place [repeats], we do not have to
rectify here mistakes they made there. In the second place, the mistakes we
have made, including copying some of the things we copied....[changes thought]
That was one of the mistakes we had to rectify.  Yes, sir. Very good. We still
have many things to do.

116.  The problem now is not to theorize. The problem is to progress, resist,
survive, overcome. Then we will have (?things to achieve) and we will have
things to prioritize.  It is ridiculous today, really, to assume the poses of
doctrinaire thinkers, when there are many concrete things to do and it is a
question of the country's and the revolution's survival.

117.  We will, however, go looking for our formulas. We cannot fall again into
those circumstances, in those concepts and methods of managing the economy,
through which the factories were closed to our university students. Ah, people
say that there are 200 teaching factories. Why? Because there is no factory
where they say foolish things like that they will not take in students because
it does not do them any good because it harms their record and things.

118.  It is incredible that in a socialist country where the people are the
owners of the means of production, the university students could not go and
practice in a factory. They began to behave like vulgar and indecent
capitalists. They said: No, I do not want students here; students get in my
way. This is a bad arrangement. I ask myself if we can talk about socialism and
say that students get in the way at factories. We are falling into that shoddy

119.  What no one has stopped to ask yet, no one in this whole process of
restructuring and criticizing socialism, is how great an effect this had on the
problems the socialist countries got themselves into--those ideas, that playing
along with capitalism, that shoddy capitalism. We were left speechless when in
a meeting they said: No, we do not admit students. Could a system, a society
like that be good for anything? One that closes the doors to those who have to
take the place of that labor force? One that closes the doors to the
technological schools?

120.  Now I tell you, take the enterprises.... [changes thought] I was saying
today to the comrades here from the Havana ISCA [Higher Institute for
Agricultural-Livestock Sciences], [words indistinct] there and take this, we
will give you the eight enterprises. Go there and help. Tell me what they can
study so that the entire department goes there, bringing their judgement, their
technical contributions, observing.

121.  A society with that... [rephrases] that cannot do that is not socialist.
It is crazy, full of contradictions. Today we have even fallen into that.
[Words indistinct] has not yet been resolved, and great progress is being made
in practice, and we will have conclude in our management system. [Words
indistinct] the economy, and that not everything is bonuses and things, as was
thought here.  Because there are no hospitals that give bonuses, and I remember
that situation we had in 1985 and what resulted from the work in the hospitals,
work by the party, by the government. The number of complaints there were
because the problems began to affect service, and they began to affect health,
they began to affect many things.

122.  All that trash inherent in that system of management and planning has not
been changed through laws. I compared it to a horse covered with sores over
which you had to run your hand, but anyway, suddenly the horse could not go
where it wanted to. That horse had to go where it was led. There is work to do
on the practical level, on the theoretical level. We are very aware of that.

123.  This is not the time, because in a special period, what can we do? Are we
going to apply a criterion of profitability?  For example, a factory at which
we have to take away two of its working days per week, or a factory at which we
send the workers out on the street. What criterion can we apply? Will costs
rise? Yes. Will there be a lot of money [in circulation]? Yes. It is inevitable
in a special period. An abundance of money has its drawbacks, but we know this.

124.  Now, we are not going to apply the policy of the capitalist countries:
everyone out on the street, raise all the prices. That would simply be lunacy.
That is why I was telling you about the methods we use during a special period,
and we know about the drawbacks. Some day we will have products to answer to
that excess money the populace receives. At least if we ration the products and
guarantee to the populace the greatest amount of food and manufactured products
possible, we will not get those terrible inflation rates.

125.  What we will have is excess money in the hands of the populace, but we
have not by any means lost the hope that one day our country will find the
resources to answer to this. We know how much we have to spend in foreign
currency to obtain $10 or $20 or $30. We know the people's tastes, what they
buy, what they do with their money. We are not afraid. I advise you, save it. 
Save it. [repeats] The country has not lost the hope, not by any means--if some
of the things we are doing go the way we hope they will. I tell you this. Well,
there is an example.

126.  In this special period, we cannot sit and theorize. In this special
period we must follow a policy, certain principles, especially principle number
one. Principle number one of all principles is consideration for the people,
concern for the people, not sacrificing the people, preserving at any cost the
people's essential things. This is not something for theoreticians. This is not
something for technocrats. If we get 10 technocrats like that they will sink
the country in a special period and in a normal period. This is something for
politicians. This is something for revolutionary politicians. This is something
for revolutionaries. [applause]

127.  These are the principles that must govern here. I invite our professors
of Marxism-Leninism, economy, all of them, I invite them really with great
pleasure to think, to reflect, to help in working out ideas, so that we can
start from these realities and think, in order to then find our own theories,
our own methods. When the special period is overcome, when the country returns
to normal, the country will have resources and especially, especially,
[repeats] what we are fighting for. We will not stop fighting. The day will
come when the country will be economically independent, economically
independent.  [repeats] [applause]

128.  Let us work for this. Let us fight for this because we can fight for
this, and this is clearer than ever now. The need to do so is clearer than
ever, and the possibility of doing so is clearer than ever. We have
possibilities of achieving this not only because of the qualities of our
people, but because of the fruits of what we have done in these years, because
of what our universities have produced.

129.  I meet them places; I have a lot of contacts with scientists. I meet with
comrades who a short time ago were members of the Union of Young Communists,
many who were born with the revolution and after the revolution, or who were
children when the revolution triumphed. You cannot imagine how many values we
have created, the strength we have. As I explained a few days ago at the spare
parts forum.... [changes thought] A forum that was the result of the work of
tens of thousands of (?technicians, engineers,) skilled workers. They are doing
great things, they are working with great fervor.

130.  You cannot imagine what strength we have and how problems are being
solved. Some of them have found innovations or discoveries that will have
universal value.  Some of the innovations are going to revolutionize the ways
soil is prepared, the historical ways, the age-old ways. No one knows how much
it is worth to have the talent our country has accumulated today. No one knows
how much it is worth to have the tens of thousands of scientists, how hard they
are working, with so much dedication, with so much devotion, and what results
they are obtaining.

131.  Our country is becoming a scientific power in those fields we can master
and in those we can work--a scientific power, which will be devoted in the
special period to the problems of the special period. It will be devoted to
whatever will help the country pass through the special period, and whatever
will help the country to attain economic independence. I can tell you that
although the lack of oil in our soil is a great disadvantage--it is a tragedy
that we are lacking oil--I tell you that I would never exchange the great
amount of talent that has accumulated in our country for the enormous oil
surpluses some countries have. [applause] Yes.

132.  They are the results of our educational efforts, our universities. What a
spirit they are working with! Sometimes I have seen people so dedicated, as
they are dedicated. There is a growing scientific explosion. That is why we are
not yet even satisfied with how we are using the talents at our universities.
We are in contact with all the groups that have appeared in the departments of
chemistry or other places, that have been doing research. We have given them
every support immediately. We seek them out; we do not wait for them to seek us
out. We go around investigating them.

133.  We propose to use our scientific potential at the universities, the
University of Havana--well, we are using it; that is the one that has the most
research centers--the Central University of Villa Clara, in areas such as
chemistry, chemical synthesis, agriculture, in all those fields; Ciego de
Avila, also in other similar fields; Camaguey; Santiago de Cuba. We are willing
to give a great boost to all the universities. We are willing to give a great
boost to the scientific work of the universities.

134.  This is a top priority in the special period. Do not be surprised if a
factory appears at any university, a laboratory, or a research center.
Sometimes we are building the centers, but we have already created the group
that is already working and has a laboratory. Laboratories are going to go up
in many places before the research centers go up. Of course we are going to
empower all these scientific capabilities, the capabilities of our innovators,
rationalizers, inventers. It is a tremendous strength, but the universities
have to be in the vanguard.

135.  We can work and do research in all fields, not only in science but also
in literature or economy. We are trying to have contacts students of economy to
see what their role can be at this stage, at this time; that is, in what
direction they can carry out they research. This scientific explosion is
occurring, however. Many people in the world are beginning to recognize this.

136.  I want to tell you, comrades, not to waste one minute.  Sometimes not
even 24 hours go by from the time that in a laboratory someplace, at a
university or a research center, they have discovered something and the time in
which the decision is made to build a pilot plant. While the pilot plant is
being built as quickly as possible, factories are being designed.

137.  I can tell you that feverish activity is going on in this field, but we
do not want to give it a lot of publicity. It is better not....[changes
thought] Although I know there are things that would encourage people, it is
better for us to be encouraged based on other things and not to talk every day
about the things we are doing in order to raise the people's morale. We do not
need that. We must work seriously, responsibly, as we should at this time.

138.  We will not forget the universities in this entire effort.  We had been
doing some work. We had succeeded in getter the famous CUJAE [Jose Antonio
Echeverria University City] off the ground. Now it has a different name. It is
impossible to remeber so many letters.  ISPJAE [Jose Antonio Echeverria Higher
Polytechnical Institute] Well, I have become accustomed to it that way.  There
is the famous ISCA [Higher Institute for Agricultural-Livestock Sciences] where
we had organized two contingents. We heard about Bayamo, and we are organizing
a contingent there. Likewise, we worked on all the things that had been left
unfinished at the universities.

139.  In the meeting with the students, we proposed a program, but I warned
them. I told them, well--this was toward the middle of the year--the situation
is not yet very difficult, but we see symptoms that may complicate things. So I
must tell you in all honesty about the program we have done, and we did a good
job to complete all the construction works. In fact, later, [words indistinct]
had to limit that. From a program [words indistinct] but in we are not going to
forget the universities' needs the special period.

140.  We do not want to halt the ISPJAE. Maybe not at the same pace, maybe not
at the same volume, but continuing with a good construction force, finish the
project.  We do not forget the other one that is out there, the PPG, is that
not it? [laughter, applause] Oh, dear. What is it?  Does it end with a P?
[Audience answers: (?PTP)] I had a piece of paper here, now I no longer have
it. There is the contingent that, well, you are going to work. Very good, very
good. [applause]

141.  We will see what materials, we will see what materials, [repeats] what
resources we will find for you so that you can continue to work. Above all, we
will keep in mind the most critical areas, and we are not going to forget them. 
I assure you that we will not forget as long as we have something to give, in
all the most critical places. It could very well happen that laboratories will
start to go up over there. They are outside the reckoning because they belong
to the top priorities of the special period.

142.  We will soon begin to build a laboratory in the interior as quickly as
possible and other things. Soon in Ciego [de Avila], we will begin to build
some things that are not in these programs but that belong to the
scientific-technical program and the accelerated development to apply all these
things. I am not talking about those. Those are a priority day and night, at
any time. I am talking about all those projects that are a disgrace because of
how long they have been left undone, and we had managed to organize forces to
push them.

143.  We will keep in mind all those that are in critical situations, so that
the work we are doing in the different places will not come to a halt, although
it may be on a smaller scale. There are some that already have been started. If
there are some that are not reasonable to do then, we will not start them. All
those that are being done and are critical, we will continue to do them in
accordance with our capabilities but with a very rational criterion. We will go
on completing construction goals, using construction goals. If they are going
to finish their student dormitory or whatever thing they are going to use, a
workshop or whatever, we will finish it. We will not begin many new
construction goals, but go along beginning one and finishing it, beginning one
and finishing it, and finishing them quickly.

144.  We propose to follow this policy. Not even in a special period are we
going give up completing some of these critical things. In other [words
indistinct] a lot, especially the factories are all at the disposal of the
students. The state enterprises are all at the disposal of the students as
study facilities. So we have obtained a lot, and perhaps we will have more
things in the special period than we had before the special period.

145.  In the special period we can even rationalize many things, things that in
a normal period are difficult to rationalize, resources that are difficult to
optimize.  Because there are commitments, because there are circumstances like
these, resources can be optimized more and they can be rationalized.

146.  The students, what can I tell you? What can I say to our guests who have
seen students like you, who have listened to you discuss with the seriousness
with which you have discussed, with the freedom with which you have discussed.
There were tough moments, there was controversy, there was bitterness, but this
is not what we should stress. This is not what we should underscore because we
have much more important problems to discuss. We have much more important
problems to solve.

147.  Practically all decisions were made by consensus. At least according to
the views of the majority of the comrades attending the congress. You have been
self-critical. You have been very honest in the self-criticism regarding the
fraud matter. It is a complex phenomena.  We have to pay a lot of attention to
it. I really liked the spirit with which you discussed it and, above all,
principles that were defended and the fact that it was strongly stated that
this was a very important matter, that it was an ethical matter.

148.  This is evidence that many things are yet to be done and that we still
have battles to win. Our dreams, the dreams of our people, is to count with
more and more responsible students, more and more honest students. We still
have problems. The sense of property and respect for property is a weak point.
Many times we find those phenomena in secondary, pre-university, and
technological schools.  Unfortunately, there are families who still do not join
the revolution in the fight for honesty, for the respect of social property,
for the ethics each human being should have, for the self-respect each human
being should feel. We have those problems. We have problems with stealing. You
know this. It is a battle that has to be waged; a new type of culture needs to
be acquired.

149.  The importance of pedagogic centers, the work of teachers and professors
were stressed here. One of the basic tasks of our professors and teachers is to
shape those values, to teach those values. That needs to be part of culture,
part of education, an essential part of education. This is why someone said--I
do not know if it was Jose de la Luz y Caballero who said: Anyone can teach,
but only he who is a living gospel can educate. It is not only a matter of
teaching history, mathematics, physics, geography, but ethical feelings need to
be instilled in children and adolescents.

150.  The entire population needs to be taught. This is one of the battles of
human society and is one of the battles par excellence of socialism. We are not
talking about capitalism. When in hell is capitalism ever going to win the
battle against stealing? In socialism, where the goods that are produced are
for the people and everything is of the people, we have to learn not to steal
from each other.

151.  This is as if you stole in your own home. Sometimes there are some who
steal in their own house. There are people who steal from their brother
[chuckles], cousin, or any other. This is a matter of culture and one of the
historic tasks the revolution expects of our teaching centers, professors, and

152.  Fraud is like stealing. Who are we fooling? We begin by fooling ourselves
when we think we have a degree, and we know that we do not have it. We are
deceiving society.  Imagine a doctor who is committing fraud. He can prescribe
anything and kill a citizen. There was one who said a terrible thing about the
people from Cienfuegos. Those people have to work in important plants. Maybe
one of them has to work in a nuclear plant. Imagine someone who committed
fraud, fraudulent technicians or engineers who then go to work in one of those
big plants, at a chemical complex, or at a nuclear plant. Who is he going to
fool? What does he gain with that?

153.  It is also very sad for a young man who studied, applied himself, was
admitted to the university, and then does one of those foolish things.

154.  We have to meditate and think about this. Anything is better than that.
We have not overcome this. We have to be aware of our limitations. We have not
been able to overcome it. We have not been able to create a combative
consciousness. There is still pity, sympathy. A lot can be thought about that.
It is a subject that we need to continue analyzing with the FEU, with the FEU
leadership, with the university leadership, with the councils.  There are
problems. Yesterday we said we need to continue discussing the placement matter
and that we should meet in January to analyze the issues we did not have enough
time to analyze. We need to continue studying, analyzing, and looking into the
causes and problems of fraud. We need to do things that do not promote
dishonesty. If we have to review some rules, we will to prevent someone from
making up a lie because he perhaps went out one day and said he was doing
something else.

155.  We are going to study all those things. There is an advantage here
comrades, there is an advantage. [Words indistinct] government or yours. What
we have done and have always done--even more so lately--that as the weight of
the universities grows, we work together more.  What we do is work together. We
have said that power and people, the state and people are the same thing. We
have no interests that are different from yours, and you do not have any
interests that are different from ours.  We still have little things that we
still have to eliminate.  What is this that those from Palma vote for people
from Palma to place someone. I did not know that we had those ethnic problems
here. [chuckles] Now it turns out that the ethnic group from Palma has
interests that clash with the interests of the ethnic group from Mayarit, or
the ethnic group from Mayarit with the ones from Moa.  We should be ashamed
that we are solving the problems in this way and that we make the placements
according to this. An elementary sense of justice should make us act in a
different way. If the one with the merits is the one from the other town, even
if it is smaller and has less votes, that young man should have the right he
deserves because of his merits.

156.  What we do is to work together like we do with the workers, with the
scientists, and peasants. What we do is to work together. It is not a matter of
me meeting with you or other leaders meeting with you. It is a matter of
working together and finding the solution to the problems together.  We have to
tell our visitors that it is not a matter of having demagogues who come to tell
pleasant things to students or that come to trick students with stories. What
we do is to inform students, tell the truth to students, and work with
students. [We meet with] students, beginning with the Pioneers in primary
schools, the FEM [Federation of Secondary School Students] members, and the
technological school students--we also meet with technological school students,
and pre-university and university students. What we do is to work with
students. It is not that we meet, not that we mean to honor--as it happens
around there--students by greeting them, but we work with students. We look for
solutions together with students.

157.  This is why the state, the party, and the government work with the FEU,
with the leaders and the masses.  Sometimes one has to go to a university
school to look at problems, and there is the fraud problem. A few days ago I
visited.... [changes thought] I could not even go in.  Something happened. I
did not have a lot of time but I went to see the things related to these
scientific and development programs and the factory we are building and the
transfer of the Pharmacy Sciences School over there and everything else. I had
talked to the deans and wanted to converse with the students about what we were

158.  So whatever we do, good or bad, will be the result of our joint work. Our
successes or mistakes will be the result of joint work. It is on that basis and
those principles that our relations have always developed. This is why we have
students involved in everything. It is not a mystery.  This is our revolution,
our state, our government, our fatherland. This is why you defend it with
weapons on hand. This is why you are organized in battalions. This is why you

159.  We invite the democrats of the world, quote unquote-- those who believe
that democracy is something else, that it is to hit laborers with sticks
everyday and use horses and tear gas on them, those who think that democracy is
to repress students--to work with students. We invite them to arm students,
organize them in battalions, and train them. So that they are even more
democratic, they should organize laborers, train and arm them. They should turn
the defense of the country into a task for all the people. This is why there is
nothing strange. We are defending a common thing, common interests.

160.  This is why students are at the forefront in defense. This is why they
are at the forefront in the demonstrations in support of the revolution. This
is why there are in the forefront in the struggle, in the revolutionary
consciousness, in the ideological struggle. This is why students are mobilized
in the summer and go to the countryside to produce food. This is why we have
the best students in the world. This is why students stand next to the
laborers, workers in general, and the peasants as a solid and incorruptible
bastion of the revolution.

161.  This is why we have here the Mellas, the Jose Antonios, the Fructuosos,
the Frank Pais, who are not struggling now for a hope but struggling for a
reality and to make that reality better and more beautiful. We have the martyrs
of yesterday in men and women in the flesh defending their work, defending
their revolution. This is why it is not an image when one says: Here are the
Mellas, the Jose Antonios. [applause] Here are the Mambises of 1868 and 1895.
Here are the young people from the Moncada and the Granma, of Giron, and the
October crisis. Here we are the old and the new ones defending a common work, a
work that is worth defending, a work for which it is worth giving one's life.

162.  This is why, more proud than ever, we can repeat today: Socialism or
death! [crowd joins in, applauds] Fatherland or death, we will win! [prolonged