Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Proceedings of Fourth PCC Congress Reported
Havana Radio and Television Networks
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1110163391
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-199-S        Report Date:    15 Oct 91
Report Series:       Latin America            Start Page:     3
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       26
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       11 Oct 91

City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio and Television Networks

Report Name:   SUPPLEMENT

Headline:   Proceedings of Fourth PCC Congress Reported

Subheadline:   Castro Speaks at Opening

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro at opening session of the Fourth Congress
of the Communist Party of Cuba held at the Heredia Theater in
Santiago de Cuba on 10 October-recorded]

Source Line:   FL1110163391 Havana Radio and Television Networks in Spanish
0032 GMT 11 Oct 91

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro at opening session of the Fourth
Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba held at the Heredia Theater
in Santiago de Cuba on 10 October-recorded]

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro at opening session of the Fourth Congress
of the Communist Party of Cuba held at the Heredia Theater in Santiago de Cuba
on 10 October-recorded]

2.  [Text] Dear comrades: I hope that after such a long trip you will have
rested well so that you can begin to work at this congress. In my case, I will
remove myself a bit from what is conventional and I am not going to present a
written report. Instead of asking you to read a report, I will take the floor
to inaugurate the congress. I chose to come here with up to date ideas and the
latest information available. I chose to come here with fresh ideas removing
myself from the traditional thus creating the best conditions for study and
discussion. Usually when a report is presented we draft guidelines and policies
but what we are going to do is study and discuss issues in an attempt to draft
guidelines and policies. We are interested in hearing the delegates express
themselves freely on the issues and resolutions that are going to be presented. 
Everyone's views on the matters broached will be heard. This is why I believe
that perhaps the closing session will be more important than the opening

3.  We want to encourage the broadest discussion. For these discussions we will
use the resolutions as guidelines. We will follow the order in which these were
discussed during the provincial assemblies. We will follow the order we have
been following. Like Comrade Machadito [Jose Ramon Machado Ventura] said: We
should not follow another order. We believe that the discussions must follow a
certain order of importance. First we should discuss the statutes-as was
scheduled, the plan, the People's Government, and lastly, the economic and
social matters.

4.  I do not want to express opinions or ideas on these matters. What we seek
is for everyone to speak freely. I believe that our congress is very democratic
and that it has been organized as democratically as any congress can be
organized. We began by summoning everyone to assemblies. Millions of fellow
countrymen participated in these assemblies. After the documents were drafted
they were discussed by the organizing committee. I must add that we have not
had much time to prepare for the congress. I must remind you that the summons
was done during the first six months of 1990, however, the date had not been

5.  During the first six months of 1990, the situation was still pretty normal,
even though we could already predict difficulties and problems. The projects
for the congress were under construction. A year earlier it had been decided
that the congress would be held in Santiago de Cuba. It would take some time to
complete the projects.  So we shuffled several dates around. We thought about
holding the congress more or less during the days that we commemorate the
Baragua Protest, the anniversary of the Baragua Protest. We then realized that
the schedule would be tight during those days, so we thought about 26 July as
the opening day of the congress. But that also presented a problem. It
coincided with the Pan-American Games. The projects needed for the congress
were being built at the same time that the ones needed for the Pan-American
Games were being completed. We realized that it was impossible to begin the
congress on 26 July and the Pan-American Games in early August. It was
impossible. So we reached the conclusion that the congress had to be held after
the Pan-American Games.  However, I must add that back then we could be sure of
nothing. We did not know what our situation would be like. We did not even know
if the Pan-American Games were going to be held in August. We did not know what
kind of a congress we would have. We have lived through many days of

6.  Unfortunately, the next few years will also be uncertain ones. We continued
to work according to our plans and there were times when we had doubts
[three-second break in reception] congress to be held during a critical special
period. We are experiencing a special period, however, we have not yet entered
what could be described as the most critical phase of a special period. We have
fought and hoped that the critical phase will not come. We have done all we
could, however, avoiding it is not in our hands. We had planned a congress and
knew that it had to be held.  However, we could not help but ask ourselves: How
will we do it? If the situation in the USSR did not change, then: What would
our transportation situation be like? What would our fuel situation be like?
What would our power situation be like? We reached a conclusion which I believe
was the most appropriate one. The congress had to be held despite the problems
and under whatever circumstances, even if these were [three-second break in
reception] special period. The congress was going to be held even if we had to
reduce the number of delegates. We said that if the congress could be held
under more or less normal circumstances-if you can call the current
circumstances normal-then the congress would be held as scheduled in Santiago
de Cuba at the installations built for the congress.

7.  Even if this had not been possible, the congress would have been held. Had
it not been held in Santiago de Cuba, it would have been held somewhere else.
Had it not been held is such a magnificent building like this one, it would
have been held under a circus tent had it been necessary. We would have gone by
foot, by horseback, in a two-wheel carriage, or by bicycle. But the congress
would be held. Holding the congress under any circumstances had become an issue
of principle.

8.  We have been studying the evolution of the situation in the USSR. We were
doing this since before it started. No one could be sure of anything. Things
continued to develop. They got worse and worse. However, it never reached the
super critical level which would have kept us from holding the congress under
the scheduled conditions, in Santiago de Cuba, and under the maximum possible
austerity, with the least expenses in fuel, material, and so forth. On this
occasion no one was provided with clothes to attend the congress. I have been
told that for the first, second, and third congresses one or two suits, and
some other things were issued. Not this time.  Everyone came with what he or
she had. From what I can tell, everyone did just fine. [laughter, applause] We
can see a greater array of colors. Everyone is wearing his and her own blouse,
shirt, coat, or guayabera, or whatever.  That is much better than Machadito
having six or seven suits designed for the congress. This is if we had the
material. Then we would all look like, well, a uniformed corps. [laughter]

9.  We saw that we had a chance of holding the congress if we mobilized the
people on the train and using buses for those who lived closer by. The
delegates are being housed in the same installations used by the athletes
during the Pan-American Games. So we decided to go ahead with it, and that is
the way it was done. We did not even have much time to prepare the material to
be used. By the time the date was set and the summons made, we only had a few
weeks left. The date for the congress was set in June. Fortunately, our
country's history is full of dates. I believe we chose an excellent date.

10.  Comrades, we had very little time to prepare the material, especially if
we stop to think that all the cadres had much work to do everywhere and at all
levels. We told ourselves: the party is involved in much work. The congress is
going to take up lots of time, many, many hours. How are we going to carry out
all the urgent, immediate tasks we have ahead and at the same time do all the
work, studies, and discussions necessary prior to the congress? This was
something that worried us. But we reached the conclusion that we had to
confront both tasks. However, not everyone could give himself fully to the
preparation of the documents. Specific groups worked in the drafting of the
documents. They were supervised by certain comrades. Consultations were held
and draft resolutions were sent to the organizing committee. The organizing
committee took days to study these draft resolutions, however, a detailed study
of every paragraph, line, word, or comma was not possible.  We knew that those
documents had been drafted with speed and editing such a document is not an
easy task especially when dozens upon dozens of ideas are being expressed.
Someone wants to add a paragraph. You must find where the paragraph goes;
someone wants to add an idea, a concept, or a word.

11.  The organizing committee worked long hours. A small group was created by
the committee to review the work before it was presented to the organizing
committee.  This small group analyzed and reviewed the documents and added
certain things. That material was printed with much speed and presented at the
assemblies. Therefore, we are quite aware that the wording is far from being
perfect. The documents are not perfect. But these draft resolutions were
presented at all the assemblies. This does not mean that these will be the only
draft resolutions to be presented. Other draft resolutions could and will be
presented during the congress. These draft resolutions were analyzed in every
province by all the delegates.

12.  After this was done, they were returned to the organizing committee. You
can just imagine what it was like to receive dozens of proposals and to have
them analyzed and incorporated-those that could be incorporated.  Gathering all
the ideas and topics discussed. However, the committee gathered as much as it
could, all it could, and quickly drafted, at full speed, and printed the
booklets containing the resolutions. That is the material that was brought to
this congress. The discussion of these ideas and issues began more than a year
ago. The committee worked hard on this in this short period of time so that
this armed congress could be held. I call it armed congress. Like I said: Even
if it has to be an armed congress. Even though we are in this magnificent
theater, the circumstances surrounding us are those of an armed congress.
Fortunately we have been able to get our hands on some pieces of material; some
bristol boards, some graphs. Had this not been possible we would have had to
use mimeographed sheets and we would have done it.  The congress had to be held
and we are holding it. I believe that this is proof of the will and
determination of the party to overcome obstacles and fulfill its purpose and

13.  These are the conditions under which all this has been prepared and I
believe it is my duty to explain this to you. You have surely been able to
observe some of the things that are lacking in our document.

14.  It is necessary for us to express our appreciation to the people of
Santiago de Cuba and to the Santiago de Cuba workers for all that they have
done. They have been able to do their work under very difficult conditions. I
believe that this is a beautiful theater. All you have to do is look around. It
was beautiful in the mind of the head architect and those architects that
worked with him. The country can feel very proud of the design and the end
result. This, undoubtedly, is the best theater the country has at this moment.
This will not be a theater to be used for the congress alone; it will be an
extraordinary bulwark of culture for Santiago de Cuba. Well deserved.

15.  This theater will also help complement the tourist plan.  This theater
will not only provide welfare of a spiritual nature for Santiago de Cuba and
the eastern provinces, but will also help gather funds for the country. It will
be used for international events and many other things.  This theater will pay
for itself.

16.  We also have the sports facilities that were built in record time. No one
thought that the work would be completed before the Pan-American Games. The
Urgelles Multipurpose Hall-I have never seen anything built that fast. I had
seen things done before, but never as fast as this was built. They were behind,
but they completed it and did it with quality. The monument is something
impressive because of what it represents and how it was built, the square, the
more than 1,000-bed hospital that must also bring in some foreign exchange.  We
must use 30 percent of that hospital for visiting foreigners, who are
increasing. These are people who come to Cuba for medical treatment. We are not
closing hospitals. We are keeping our hospitals open. We must be prepared to
use these hospitals to get money for the country.

17.  The hotel-I do not know if you have already seen it, perhaps some of you
have not been able to see it yet-is one of the most marvelous works built in
this country. It is the first five-star hotel in the country. It is a Cuban
project in its design and concept. It has Cuban furniture and one can truly
feel proud. I visited the hotel when it was being built. Yesterday I had a few
minutes to visit.  We went up to the top floor. The hotel has a beautiful
lookout point on the roof. From there you can see Santiago, the new Santiago.
You can see the Talima area where 80,000 people live. When the revolution
triumphed there were approximately 80,000 people living in Santiago de Cuba.
That hotel makes us proud and it must become an important source of income for
the country. We are making contacts with some international enterprises to put
the hotel to good use.

18.  The facilities that were built at the university are just excellent. These
will be used by the university students, to house university students in the
future. Therefore, we should feel very pleased with the people of Santiago and
the workers, particularly the Santiago de Cuba construction workers, even
though not only construction workers were involved in this task. Furniture
manufacturers and many others cooperated to complete a project of this nature.
This is why on one occasion I said that in my opinion, the Santiago de Cuba
contingents had become the most productive and efficient. This is noteworthy

19.  In the past, projects were never completed and the Santiago construction
workers were not outstanding workers.  However, as a result of the patriotic
wave that came over them, they have multiplied, tripled, quadrupled. They built
projects for the congress and for the Pan-American Games. They built for
tourism. They are building many hotels. They have built a Tropicana [Cabaret]
that they claim will be better than the one in Havana. They have built many
dams, pig farms, poultry farms, etc. They have done a great job. The province
that is hosting this congress has done a great job. It has contributed to
giving this great event quality and enthusiasm.

20.  Comrades, I believe that our most important duty at this congress, our
first duty, is to analyze, with great realism, our country's current situation.
We must clearly understand that we are living in exceptional times. Some people
are already calling this congress a historic one.  They are right in calling it
that. It is a historic congress and it must be a historic congress because of
the exceptional times in which it is being held.

21.  I am recalling other times in Cuban history. I have just recalled that
this 10 October marks another anniversary of the day our struggle for
independence began. That 10 October 1868-when we were a colony and most of our
people were slaves, when most of our fellow countrymen had no political
rights-marked a special moment in our history. It was a day like today. At this
very moment the bells would be ringing and the bugles blown; the forces would
be organizing and the first actions would be carried out. That was 123 years
ago. That day was a great moment in the history of our country. Ten years after
a heroic and incomparable struggle, unprecedented in our history, we
experienced the Baragua Protest. Sixty-eight years later, 42 plus 53, 95 years
after that 10 October, and 82 years after the Baragua Protest, we saw a 26

22.  This is something constant in our history; the efforts of our people since
they became a nation. Who would have thought back then that on a day like
today, on this 10 October 1991, we would be gathered at this congress and in
this same city of Santiago de Cuba-as Lazo said-the land of Baragua, the land
of the struggles for our independence, the land where Marti's remains lie, the
land where the Maceos were born, the home of so many heroes and and martyrs,
the home of Moncada.

23.  Yesterday afternoon while I was talking to Lazo and other comrades, I
asked them: What would Marti do if he were present at this congress? What would
the Maceos do if they were present at this moment? What would the Baragua
combatants do at this moment? What would our heroes and martyrs of this century
do here at this congress? What would Mella do? What would Frank Pais do? What
would our internationalist heroes do if they were here at this moment?

24.  I truly believe that we have many Maceos, many Martis, and many heroes and
internationalists. I truly believe we have many combatants who today are called
socialists, who today are called communists. [applause]

25.  I look at you and say: These men and women cannot be much different from
those men and women. I look at you and in your strength I see the strength of
those men and women. So much strength? Yes, as much strength as those men and
women had. So much spirit and so much courage? Yes, as much spirit and courage
as those men and women had. I felt they had a difficult task to fulfill, but
no, you have a much more difficult task ahead. [applause] Do you have a
historic responsibility such as the one they had?  No, you have a greater
historic responsibility to fulfill. I do not mean to say that they would not
have been capable of confronting these tasks. I am sure they would have done it
just as well, or even better than we have. However, history assigned each of us
a task; each generation was assigned its task. We were assigned a more
difficult task, one of greater responsibilities.

26.  In the past, the struggles were for the future of our peoples, even though
partly it was also a struggle for the future of America-especially when Marti
wrote in his last letter that all that he had done and was doing was to
prevent, through Cuba's independence, the United States from expanding as
another force over the Latin American peoples. Marti's ideas and views had a
strong universal and internationalist content. At that time, the independence
of Cuba and Puerto Rico were being proclaimed. Today, Puerto Rico remains in
the hands of the Yankees. Puerto Rico does not even have the right to invite
guests to its country. Back then Marti was concerned over all America. Marti
was continuing Simon Bolivar's dream. He was already thinking about Latin
American unity and Latin America's independence from the colossus of the north.
He lived in the entrails of this monster.

27.  Today the universal responsibility falls on us. We are the only socialist
country in the Western world, in the whole Western world and part of the East.
We are the only socialist country. Some really hate us. They hate us because
our people's capability of accepting the challenge and maintaining their ideals
and their willingness to defend those ideals. As we have said before, they are
the most just and humane ideals that have existed in the history of man. We are
not only fighting for ourselves, we are not only fighting for our ideals. We
are also fighting for the ideals of all the exploited, looted, and subjugated
peoples, for the hungry people of this world. Our responsibility is much

28.  If we think about this we understand that we have plenty of reasons to
characterize our congress as historic. It is precisely a matter of
understanding, analyzing, and deciding how to defend these ideals and how far
we are willing to go to defend them. They are not mere ideas, they are our
destiny, our independence, our revolution, our social justice, which do not
exist in any other country of the world. We are forced to defend them under
exceptionally difficult conditions, alone, alone, [repeats] here, in this ocean
of capitalism that surrounds us.

29.  As long as there was a socialist camp and the problems in the USSR had not
occurred, we had solid bulwarks in which to find support and on which we have
been able hold on to in the last 30 years. Nowadays, these solid bulwarks are
nonexistent. The bulwarks are us and all those in the world who sympathize with
our cause, admire our cause, and admire the heroism and determination of our
people. That is why I think it is important that we understand these things not
only in abstract but also in a concrete manner. Which are the problems of the
special period? What should be done to overcome them?  There are many who
(?understand that we are in a special period) but there are some who say we are
better off during the special period. Many products that were distributed
through the parallel market are now distributed through ration cards. Some
goods that previously were hard to come by, are now reaching many homes.  These
goods used to be obtained only by the people paid to be in lines. Many people
still do not understand what the special period is and its problems. There are
many who still dream with things we were engaged in, things we were solving,
and that suddenly we were forced to halt.

30.  We were carrying out a tremendous program in a number of fields within the
framework of the rectification process.  We were intensifying the construction
of homes tremendously. We had, for example, reorganized the minibrigade
movement. We were promoting very strongly the production of construction
materials. We had made considerable and speedy investments to increase the
capacity of cement production, in increasing the level of production of gravel,
in the production of blocks, brick, cement, sand, tiles. There were numerous
factories that had been in-waiting for 10 years and in a matter of months we
built them. There was a stone grinding mill in Villa Clara which took I do not
know how long before it was assembled and in record time a Villa Clara
contingent built the famous Purio mill. There was cement for all the social
facilities, for housing, for all economic facilities, for hotels, for

31.  In other words, a great number of problems were tackled during the
rectification process to solve many problems we had with materials. The
construction of waterworks projects was revived and reached levels that had
never before been seen. Many of the construction workers were organized into
contingents. Agricultural production plans were drafted. Sugar production
assets were shifted to the produce sector. Programs were designed. During those
years, teams were assembled to built, to organize more than 200 plot irrigation
and drainage brigades, dozens and dozens of brigades for the construction of
reservoirs, channels, irrigation systems, cattle farms, porcine centers,
poultry facilities, and rice production engineering systems. There was no delay

32.  We were building child care centers, special education schools,
polyclinics, and finishing hospitals. In Havana City alone, 110 child care
centers were built in two years.  The usual pace was five every five years.
Thousands and thousands of women were waiting for these centers in order to
join the labor force.

33.  This took place in an already difficult period when there were no loans
from capitalist countries. For many years we were able to get them easily from
many countries.  These programs were boosted under very difficult
circumstances. This was before the disaster took place in the socialist camp. I
do not believe it is yet time to do what Karl Marx would call a conscientious
study. You know that this was the term used by Marx. A conscientious study
takes a long time to be completed. The study of ``Das Kapital'' took Marx his
entire life. Some of the materials took him a long time because he wanted to do
things the right way. The time has not arrived yet to do a conscientious and
thorough study of all facts that led to that disaster. This is aside, of
course, from the subjective factors, from the external factors, from the
ideological struggle lost in the midst of those societies who were under the
overwhelming influence of Western consumerism propaganda.

34.  Consumer societies which escaped World War II unscathed and which hoarded
the world's supply of gold, engaged in an economic, political, and ideological
competition with the emerging socialist camp. More time is needed to conduct a
profound study of all theses factors aside from the mistakes made and the
responsibility of the men and leaders. We are aware of many things that they
did and What we have not done. Maybe we, who face an enemy 90 miles away and
only inches away at the Guantanamo base without the protection of any nuclear
umbrella, have developed our ideas, thoughts, and spirit to face this serious
situation right at the heart of the Western world and on the doorsteps of the
world's most powerful empire. This has had to help us. The time has not arrived
yet to do that study.

35.  Now, we have now to face the facts. Simply put, the socialist field has
collapsed, entire states were swallowed by other states, the working class lost
the power, and the road back to capitalism was paved. The fact of the matter is
that a virtual disaster has taken place in the USSR.  The real fact is that in
the USSR no one is talking about socialism, they talk about market economy. In
two words, the prevailing voices are the ones of those who favor capitalism,
the most classic type of capitalism. The real and extremely sad fact is that
nowadays the Communist Party does not exist in the USSR. The Communist Party
has become illegal. It was dissolved by decree.  The fact is that the USSR has
become extraordinarily weak and is in great danger of disintegrating. These are
the real facts.

36.  Can we pretend that these real facts do not affect our country? Or is it
that we live on another planet? Or is it that we live on the moon? Don't we
live on this earth? Is it maybe that the revolution has grown inside a glass
case, away from the rest of the world and its problems? It is possible that we
can forget this? This is why it is so important that we be aware of how these
events have materially and directly affected us. This events have not only
affected us in a unilateral manner, but in a direct and material manner. These
events have had an ideological influence.  Many people became confused at the
beginning of this process. It was logical, because the first news was
interesting, pretty, pleasant. It was a process of perfecting socialism. And
who does not wish this? Who does not want it? Who does not want socialism to
advance? No matter how big the accomplishments of a society might be, how
widespread the justice it has brought might be, who does not desire to see the
perfecting of socialism? In this manner, similar ideas gained the sympathy of
many people. This had an ideological influence. Not only the good intentions or
the beautiful initial words had an influence but also disasters had an
ideological influence. The incredible development of the events, affected the
trust, motivation, and conscience of many people.

37.  These events have affected us most adversely in a material way inasmuch as
from the beginning of the revolution, we received our first aid, the first acts
of solidarity from the USSR and the socialist camp. We have expressed our deep
appreciation for it and will forever continue to express our appreciation to
the peoples, the historic events, the expressions of solidarity.  They can
never be forgotten.

38.  When the United States, the owners of this hemisphere, imposed its strong
blockade on us because they wanted to know nothing about anything that looked
like revolution, much less a socialist revolution, and when it cut our oil
supplies, the USSR guaranteed us that our country would receive the oil that it
needed and that the sugar needed to purchase that oil would have a market in
the USSR. We were offered solidarity in every field, from the field of defense
to the field of economic development. When the blockade and isolation forced us
to work in one direction, we had only one path to choose from, the path of
friendship and cooperation with the socialist countries, especially the USSR.
On this basis we drafted the plans of the revolution for 30 years. On this
basis we resisted the blockade, the threats, the aggressions, and on this basis
we have defended ourselves. Despite the ups and downs, the October crisis,
etc., our solitary people surrounded by years of blockade, traced their goals
and path supported on the solid pillars which were the socialist field and the

39.  Today those pillars have collapsed while the blockade continues.
Therefore, today we have to work over the remains and ruins of those pillars.
The economic ties between the USSR and Cuba have not been destroyed.  At this
moment no one can tell if the USSR continues to exist as a great multinational
state or whether it has disintegrated. Many Soviet states have declared their
independence. There is talk about various forms of unity, of a new unity, of a
common economic space; however, that great and powerful state, the
multinational state we knew, no longer exists. Many adjustments have to be
made, many agreements must be reworded. In the past, agreements were made with
a government that represented that huge country. Today, we must develop
relations with republics and enterprises, with tens, hundreds, thousands of
enterprises as well as with the various republics.

40.  We need to know this. As is commonly said, we must all internalize this.
Every citizen must internalize this. How difficult it is to understand that
famous word, to internalize problems. The cadres should not be the only ones to
internalize it. We, the cadres have to internalize it. All citizens, or as many
citizens as possible, need to internalize it.  We know that, unfortunately,
there are people who do not watch television, listen to the news, read the
newspapers, or know what is going on. There are people like that around; you
have met them, I have met them.

41.  If we do not use this as a starting point we would not be focusing
properly on our problems nor would we be drafting our strategy properly. We
would not be viewing the situation properly in order to confront it, to
overcome it. It is not easy to talk about these matters. It is much nicer to
paint everything pretty, to dream, make things sweeter for everyone by
providing super optimistic and nice news. Our first duty as revolutionaries and
Communists at this congress is to analyze these truths.

42.  Many times, for diplomatic reasons, for political reasons, or because they
are issues that are being discussed, we do not publicly provide detailed
information on the problems or difficulties encountered.

43.  However, I believe that during this congress we must talk about our
problems. We must talk about our situation and what our economic relations are
with the USSR and the socialist countries in Europe at this moment. We must
talk about what we receive and what we do not receive. We must talk about how
trade between our two countries has developed; how those economic relations
have developed, even though it is not a pleasant issue to bring up. I want to
do that today as an initial contribution to these debates and to the congress.
This is why I brought some material with me. Do not be frightened; all this
will not be that lengthy. Here it is.

44.  I told you that there was no time to draft a lengthy and traditional
report, that there was no time to draft a report like the one each of the mass
organizations throughout the country has done. That is no problem.  The problem
is what we must do, what we must do [repeats] to save the nation, the
revolution, and socialism under these exceptional circumstances.

45.  In reviewing all this material which I will not read to you-I will only
select a few paragraphs, a few figures, and make some observations that I have
written in small print. I have been taking notes to summarize and especially to
try to make it comprehensible. Sometimes this material is difficult to
understand. It is complex, and I said to myself: How will I explain this to the
congress so that everyone will understand?

46.  Up to 1989, things were going more or less normally in our economic
relations with the USSR and the socialist countries, until the disaster began
in 1989 with the Eastern European countries. But the USSR was still quite
stable. That is why in the first part I am going to refer basically to economic
relations with the USSR.

47.  I have to give a few figures, if you will forgive me.  Sometimes I speak
about pesos or rubles. A ruble is more or less equivalent to a peso. Other
times I have to talk about dollars, because starting in 1991 our trade is
measured in dollars, not rubles. Calculations must be made in dollars by
decision of the Soviet side. Put them more or less in rubles in international
exchange so you can have a measure.

48.  Most of our trade is with the USSR; 85 percent of our trade is with the
socialist countries. Most of this is with the USSR. We had preferential prices
with the USSR for sugar. What does this mean? That the Soviet Union did not pay
the price based on the world dumping ground for sugar. The international price
is set by the dumping ground of sugar. The sugar that is left over anywhere is
sold on a dumping ground that is called the international market. All the
countries that buy sugar buy it at other prices. Historically, the United
States bought sugar from us at an agreed-on price. The United States was a
major sugar importer.

49.  Today, they import 20 percent of what they imported before the Cuban
Revolution. First they divided our quota up around the world, and they then
reduced it and developed their production of sugarcane, sugar beets,
high-fructose corn syrup which is used to sweeten drinks.  So out of the 5
million tons they imported, they currently import about 1 million tons. They
took the market away from us and divided it out among many people in order to
win over their support against Cuba, and then they took back that market and
are practically self-sufficient in sugar.

50.  We received a preferential price from the USSR. This was not just by
chance. It was a result of historical experience. We had five-year agreements
with the Soviet Union. We calculated five years in advance the merchandise we
were to receive from the USSR each year during the five-year period. Then we
discussed year by year how much sugar Cuba would send, how much nickel and
citrus. We observed that as the years went by, the prices of the Soviet goods
increased and the price of sugar remained the same. That was when we thought of
and proposed the formula of sliding prices. In the initial years the USSR
bought our sugar at the world market price. But because of this phenomenon
called unequal terms of trade, those industrial products produced by the
developed countries have become more and more expensive, while the products of
the developing countries, the Third World countries, have remained the same or
tended to fall.

51.  Sugar rose and fell. There was a time when it had a high price. The
Soviets gave us a price for sugar that varied several times in the initial
years of the revolution, until we arrived at the concept of sliding prices.
When the prices of the products they exported to us rose, the price of the
products we exported to them rose proportionately. That is why sugar had a high
price at one time, 600, 700, 800, up to 900. In the eighties these prices
dropped at times, but these were not major drops. The Soviets would say to us:
We are reducing the price of sugar and compensating for any trade imbalance
with loans. That is why our sugar had a price of 800 rubles or more than 800

52.  But oil was also a very cheap product at the time of the triumph of the
revolution. It was $2 a barrel, or $14 to $15 a ton. The boom in oil prices
because of the war in the Middle East had not occurred. The war gave rise to a
trade embargo. When they came to an agreement, the OPEC saw all the advantages
of that situation and cut oil production and raised the prices considerably.
Starting with that little war and the actions that took place afterwards, the
real fact is that the price of oil rose in an extraordinary way, and very much
above its production cost. At one time it reached $200 a ton, or $28, $29, $30
a barrel. So in 1975, for the price of one ton of oil, which is seven barrels
of oil, in 1959 you could buy two tons, which is about seven plus barrels.
[figures as heard] You can see what an enormous rise there was in the price of

53.  Because oil was the main product the USSR exported to Cuba, because of the
sliding prices agreement, the price of our sugar also rose. Then the prices of
nickel and other products rose, and we sought compensation. These are the
famous subsidies the West talked about so much, when it was no more than a fair
agreement. It has been the aspiration of all Third World countries that the
looting should stop, that the unequal terms of trade should stop, that
reasonable prices should be paid for the goods Third World countries export.
This is the origin of the high prices for Cuban sugar in the USSR.

54.  I want you to know that when we delivered sugar to the USSR at 800 rubles,
it cost 1,000 rubles or more to produce a ton of sugar in the USSR. They were
paying us a high price, but it was a price below what it cost the USSR to
produce a ton of sugar from beets. Is that clear?  If that was not enough, we
had the credits, trade credits, to balance out imports and exports. In
addition, there were economic cooperation credits to build electricity plants,
factories, metalworking industries, various projects we have built with the
USSR. Right here in Santiago de Cuba, electricity generators, mechanical
plants, from the Soviet Union have been installed. We have seen that in
Santiago de Cuba the oil refinery has been modernized and expanded with Soviet
equipment.  The railroad development program was carried out with economic
cooperation from the Soviet Union. I am explaining this to you people so that
you understand the figures a little better.

55.  I said that in 1989 the situation was more or less normal.  Problems began
in 1990, but we still had a good agreement with the USSR. We agreed on Soviet
exports amounting to 5.131 billion rubles, 5.131 billion [repeats]. Of these,
3.828 billion rubles were delivered as of 31 December 1990, or 75 percent of
what had been agreed on. The volume of products still to be shipped totalled
1.3 billion rubles. [numbers as heard] That is, of the 5.131 agreed on, about
1.3 were not shipped. That was in 1990. Some comrades know some of these
figures, from meetings with the party and mass organizations.  These things,
some of them, were explained.

56.  At meetings that took place in June, we reported on the situation up to
May 1991, but now I am talking about 1990. Now, of these 1.3 billion that were
pending, about 300 million rubles had been shipped by May 1991 and charged to
the deliveries pending from 1990. I repeat, of the 1.3 billion that were not
delivered in 1990, 300 million arrived in the first part of 1991. By that date,
about 1 billion rubles had still not been shipped, of which about 559 million
corresponded to the 3.3 million tons of fuel that we had not received. In the
second half of 1990 there was a deficit in the deliveries of fuel, a reduction
during the year of 3.3 million out of the fuel we were supposed to receive, and
this forced us to drastically reduce our fuel consumption at the end of 1990.

57.  This was the first time this had happened in the history of our economic
relations with the USSR. Fuel fell short for the first time. It was one of the
things they had always fulfilled most religiously and most rigorously. We had 3
million less, 3.3 million less. So it was necessary to make serious adjustments
to the economy at the end of 1990.  But 1991 was still pending. What was going
to happen in 1991?

58.  Traditionally from the previous year, we had always discussed five-year
plans. In 1990 we were to discuss what our economic relations and agreements
would be from 1991 to 1995, because they were agreements we made for five
years. But the year went by and we did not discuss the problem. This naturally
gave rise to many messages and exchanges, letters from me to the head of state,
letters from me to Comrade Gorbachev, the president of the USSR, an exchange of
messages, all kinds of negotiations, because the situation in 1991 was
uncertain, about what agreements we were going to have, what goods we were
going to receive.

59.  As a result of all these exchanges and talks, we reached an agreement for
1991, not for five years but for one year.  That is, everything had changed:
the method, date of agreements, etc. A number of changes have been introduced
into these agreements. We had explained very clearly and sincerely, with
frankness, the consequences both the nonfulfillment of agreements in 1990 and
the 1991 agreements would have on our economy. At the end of 1990 we really
reached an agreement we could call a reasonable agreement for 1991. It was not
like the previous agreements. They were not like the agreements reached in
1990. The price for sugar was reduced considerably. It began to be measured in
dollars rather than in rubles. From more than $800 for sugar, it was reduced to
$500, a little more than $500. The price of sugar was reduced by more than
$300. But a trade agreement was reached.

60.  It was a reasonable agreement given the conditions that existed in the
Soviet Union. It was the best that could be achieved. For the reasons I have
explained, this agreement meant a loss of more than $1 billion in Cuba's
purchasing power because of the reduction in the prices for our products, as I
have explained. Because nickel and other products were included along with
sugar, we lost more than $1 billion. If in 1990 we had agreed on exports to
Cuba for 5.131 billion rubles, in this case, for 1991 we agreed on exports for
3.940 billion. So it is more than 1 billion less. Of the 13 million [tons] of
oil we had traditionally received, we agreed on 10 million as the maximum the
USSR could deliver to Cuba.

61.  Under these conditions, what decision did our country make? Well, with a
considerable reduction in prices and exports, the reasonable thing is to devote
this to essential things. What are the essential things? Fuel, food, essential
raw materials, and spare parts. Luxury goods were no longer purchased. Since
the end of 1990 we have had to limit the sale of televisions, radios, and
refrigerators, because if we had to ration electricity, it made no sense to
continue to distribute household electrical appliances.  What we had we kept
for the camps for people mobilized for things that were very significant for
production. No fans, radios, televisions, nor cars. Every year we sold about
8,000 or 10,000 cars. They were used for tourism, services ...[corrects
himself] not for tourism but for taxis, sometimes tourism, different kinds of

62.  A large number of them were distributed to factories and they were sold at
low prices. People were given loans.  You could not put cars out on the streets
in unrestricted sales to collect money or the illegal sellers would buy them,
because they would give 20,000, 25,000, or 30,000 pesos for any of those cars.
They were sold almost at cost, and at low interest for the deferred part of the
payments.  A worker at a factory could take up to seven years to pay for a car.
Naturally, with this situation with fuel and the available resources, imports
of cars were reduced to zero.  Imports of many items for household use were
reduced to zero. Purchases of many products that were not essential were
reduced to zero. Our purchases were limited to essential things. Do you
understand? I know you understand.

63.  Agricultural equipment was reduced to almost zero- some hundreds of pieces
of equipment. We used to buy thousands of tractors. This was reduced to a few
hundred for some equipment that must be built in this country- excavators for
drainage, the irrigation systems-a minimum number of tractors. Transportation
equipment was reduced to a minimum, the absolute minimum number of trucks,
because if we were not going to have enough gasoline, why buy tractors and
transportation equipment? If we were going to have to begin to train oxen
because of the lack of fuel, why invest in a lot of that equipment? So
equipment for agriculture, transportation, construction was reduced to the
minimum essential for some brigades working on irrigation and drainage, the
engineering system for rice, building dams, for the food plans. So the first
thing that was done was to drastically reduce all imports under the 1991 trade

64.  Now, what was the behavior of Soviet imports corresponding to the 1991
agreement, as of 31 May 1991? I have to divide this into two parts: when we did
the first study, an analysis that was explained to a number of comrades; and
the second time, 30 September, a few days before the congress. What was the
behavior of Soviet deliveries? For fuel, which was what worked the best, for
1991 we agreed on 10 million tons of oil and petroleum derivatives. The oil
alone was part oil, part diesel, part gas oil, part fuel oil, since our
refineries do not produce each of these derivatives, which are necessary. This
happens in all countries. Sometimes they exchange one product for another. Of
these, proportionately 4.16 billion tons ...[corrects himself] no, 4.16 million
tons of fuel should have been shipped by 31 May.  This was almost 100 percent
fulfilled by 31 May.

65.  Of the rest of the essential products, nothing or insignificant amounts
were shipped. So we had oil, the lights went on, transportation was running,
and everything seemed very normal.

66.  In contrast, what was the behavior of deliveries agreed on for some of the
most important products besides oil?  I am going to cite some that are

67.  Grain for human and animal consumption: We import grain for human
consumption and another amount for producing animal feed for eggs, poultry,
etc. Wheat flour is imported exclusively for human consumption since our mills
do not produce 100 percent of the wheat we consume. For 1991, the agreement was
for 1.5 million tons of grain, and 170,000 tons of wheat flour. Do you
understand? Do the comrades understand the explanation I am giving you?
[audience answers: ``Yes.'']

68.  Only at the end of May 1991 did the first shipments of wheat that had been
agreed on begin to arrive. Only in May, the end of May, the end of the fifth
month of the year. Rice and peas are two products that are very familiar to our
people, to the point that some children who become used to peas in the
secondary and pre-university schools will not eat anything but peas because
they have become used to peas. If they are served lentils they do not want
anything to do with them, even though it is said that lentils are such a good
food that in the Bible, according to the Bible, someone sold their rights for a
plate of lentils. They are said to be very rich in protein. Are you not going
to discuss the topic of religion? [chuckles] Well, I am getting a little ahead
of myself.

69.  For 1991 it was agreed that 90,000 tons of rice would be delivered. That
is what we traditionally received from the USSR. We received rice. Most was
domestically produced, some came from the USSR, and some from China. We agreed
on 90,000 tons of rice and 60,000 tons of peas. As of 31 May we had not
received any of this.  We reached the middle of the year with nothing.

70.  Edible oils: For 1991 we agreed on 70,000 tons of unrefined vegetable oil
and 49,000 tons of lard. These were traditional figures. As I already
explained, we did not reduce at all the amounts of food we were going to buy.
But by that date, we had not received any shipments. We are talking about as of
31 May 1991. As of 31 May, we had not received a single ton of other foods such
as condensed milk, butter, canned meat, and powdered milk, some of which
traditionally came from the USSR.  These amounts were not very large, but they
were important. For more than 20 years we had received about 16,000 tons of
butter which was partly used to reconstitute powdered milk, which comes without
butterfat. It is sold on the international market, and you have to add the
butterfat. Some of it was distributed to the people and to industry. By that
date, none of these food products had been received.

71.  Regarding fertilizers, which are so important for agriculture and the food
program, we had agreed on 1.1 million tons, of which only 41,000 tons had been
shipped by that date, less than 5 percent. That is a time when we have to
fertilize sugarcane fields and many things. We received 5 percent of the
fertilizer. Zero fertilizer.

72.  Sulfur: sulfur is very important in various industries but especially in
the nickel industry. In the first half of the year we received 25,000 tons
pending from 1990. Of the 170,000 agreed on for 1991, we had not received a
single ton by 31 May.

73.  Cut lumber: We traditionally received 500,000 to 550,000 cubic meters of
lumber from the USSR. We agreed on 400,000 cubic meters for 1991. By 31 May we
had received 15,000 cubic meters of the 400,000 that had been agreed on.

74.  Caustic soda: This is a raw material that is very important. This product
is essential for the production of predigested sugarcane pulp for livestock
feed, and for cleaning in many industries, including the sugar industry. They
use caustic soda for cleaning. It is used to produce paper, cardboard,
soap-which has been so scarce-detergents, etc. Last year it did not come. Of
the 35,000 tons agreed on, only 6,000 tons were received in 1990. It was one of
those products that I mentioned earlier and which was not fulfilled. In 1991-a
year in which, I repeat, we chose only the essential things-we agreed on 35,000
tons. By 31 May we had not received a single ton.

75.  Sodium carbonate: This is another important raw product that is essential
for glass production, sheet glass, and especially glass containers for food and
medicine.  Although glass containers are not consumed, they are necessary to
store food and medicine. A total of 17,000 tons was included in the agreement
for 1990. However, only 3,000 tons were supplied. The agreement for 1991 was
also for 17,000 tons. However, by 31 December we still had not received a
single ton. December! [delegates laugh] Are we wishing it were 31 December
already? By 31 May, not a single ton had been received.

76.  Pulpwood for paper and cardboard: We mix pulpwood with the pulp of
bagasse. We must do a little mixing, right? We agreed on 15,000 tons, and by
that date-31 May-not a single ton had been received.

77.  Paper and cardboard: These are very important for many things, such as
books, the press, and boxes for national products and exports. A total of
110,000 tons were agreed upon. However, only 400 out of 110,000 tons of
newsprint had been shipped as of 31 May. That is why GRANMA, JUVENTUD REBELDE,
TRABAJADORES, and the national press have had to reduce their circulation to a
minimum. We are glad that schools are still functioning. Text books were also

78.  Rolled steel: It is used to build combines, plows, and much equipment. We
agreed on 550,000 tons, of which we had not received a single ton by 31 May.

79.  Tin: It is important for tomato sauce as well as for condensed or
evaporated milk. Some of these figures had already been reduced. We agreed upon
40,000 tons, of which we had not received a single shipment by 31 May.

80.  Tallow, detergents, and soaps: We traditionally received raw materials and
a certain amount of manufactured products as we expanded our capabilities and
invested in Soviet equipment. We agreed upon 28,000 tons of tallow, primarily
for the production of soap; 6,000 tons of manufactured soap; and 12,000 tons of
detergent. We had received only 1,400 tons of tallow by 31 May.

81.  Tires, rubber, and lampblack [negro de humo]: We had agreed on 270,000
tires for 1991, part of which we would import and part of which we would
produce in Cuba. We were involved in the process of enlarging our tire factory. 
Some of the tires were to come from socialist countries and the USSR. Rubber
and lampblack are for use in domestic production. We had still not received a
single tire, a single ton of synthetic rubber, or a single ton of lampblack as
of 31 May.

82.  Cotton and other textile products: The delivery of 30,000 tons of cotton
was agreed upon for 1991. By 31 May not a single ton had been received. No
agreements were made for this year on the supply of traditional exports from
the USSR, such as jute sacks and (kena) fibers. Ammonia, which is used in the
nickel industry and in the production of fertilizers... [pauses] ammonia, as
well as sugar and hard coal, is mainly used in the nickel industry, and
therefore, the supply of nickel to the USSR depends on it. Of the 100,000 tons
agreed upon, the first shipment was not received until May.

83.  Nonferrous metals and sheet metal: The supply of 28,630 tons of bars and
sheets of copper, aluminum, lead, and zinc were agreed upon for 1991. This, as
you know, is very important for doors, construction materials, packaging
equipment, household articles, and all types of maintenance and plumbing jobs.
As of 31 May absolutely nothing had been received.

84.  Equipment and replacement parts: Although the amount of equipment was
reduced to a minimum, as I mentioned, nothing had been shipped by that date. Of
the total amount of replacement parts, only $3.3 million of an agreed upon
$101.7 million had been shipped.

85.  Replacement parts for consumer goods: As part of the 1991 package, we
agreed upon shipments worth $17.4 million in parts for television sets,
refrigerators, watches, sewing machines, fans, washing machines, bicycles, and
other goods. Not a single part had been received as of the end of May. Similar
situations occurred with the replacement parts for the nickel and other
industries and Soviet equipment.

86.  This is how the plan was followed as of 31 May. With due respect, I think
this information should be reported to the entire population, do you not think
so? You can imagine our headaches, troubles, search for formulas, miracle-like
actions, and rush to get some sodium carbonate somewhere, with the little
foreign exchange available in the country, so that we could manufacture at
least a certain number of bottles for babies' milk.

87.  You can imagine the problems in manufacturing bottles for beer, rum, and a
number of other products.

88.  Let us now discuss the month of September. As has been said already,
Soviet exports totalling $3.940 billion were agreed on for 1991. This figure
was readjusted in midyear through an agreement that was made because of debts
that could not be renegotiated and also because of adjustments in the price of
fuel. The adjustment amounted to $3.363 billion in products that Cuba was to

89.  Explaining these figures can often get complicated. We signed an agreement
at the beginning of the year that totalled $3.940 billion but we closed up the
year as of 31 May with another figure. Then there were the changes during the
course of the year. So you can understand, when I talk of debts I mean that-as
part of our policy to strictly keep our commitment with the USSR-we had bought
sugar in recent years when our sugar was not sufficient to keep our commitment
with the USSR. This policy was drawn some years ago as a matter of principle
and honor.

90.  Whenever our production was not enough-even with sugar harvests totalling
8 million [no measurement specified]- because we had to deliver 4 million or a
little over that to the USSR, in addition to our other commitments, we would
purchase sugar. We would purchase it to keep our commitment. That situation
created debts for sugar that had to be paid. Owing to our debts for sugar-which
the Soviets had guaranteed, since we could not renegotiate the debts to delay
payments-we had to deliver certain amounts of sugar to pay those debts. So our
purchasing strength dropped again.

91.  Then we had oil readjustments, because of the nature of oil on the
international market; there were some readjustments and reductions. That did
not mean more oil but a value that was smaller than the value of the 10 million
tons to be exported. That is why the figures that at the start of the year
totalled $3.940 billion were reduced by midyear for the two reasons mentioned
earlier. These are balances of previous debts that could not be renegotiated.
Therefore, we had less sugar to deliver to pay that debt. There was also a drop
in the price of fuel. That is why from the $3.940 billion in exports that we
were to receive, the figure dropped to $3.363 billion. These phenomena are not
always clearly understood in the papers, unless they are explained as I have
tried to explain them to you.

92.  By 31 May, we received products worth $710 million. By the end of
September, four months later, this figure reached $1.305 billion. This is equal
to 38 percent of the value of the products that we are supposed to receive
during the year. In other words, after three quarters of the year have elapsed,
we have received 38 percent of the products.

93.  Of the $1.305 billion, in the first place... [pauses] as of May, of the
$710 million received, $650 million was fuel and only $60 million was
everything else. By 30 September, of the $1.305 billion received, $985 million
was fuel, or 76 percent of the total value of the goods that we received. The
percentage of all other essential goods that we have spoken here is minimal.

94.  I am going to briefly refer to each of them one by one.  Having passed 75
percent of the year by 30 September, in fuel, we complied with 95 percent of
what had been agreed upon. In other words, by 30 September, we failed to meet
five percent of our fuel consumption requirements, which amounts to hundreds of
tons of fuel.

95.  By the end of September, there was a deficit of 400,000 tons of fuel.
Well, I forgot to mention another report. An estimated 95 percent of fuel
consumption requirements and 71 percent of the year's total has been fulfilled. 
There was a difference of 400,000 tons. This will have an impact on us starting
in October, particularly if we take into consideration that consumption has
already been reduced this year by 3 million tons. So, the 3 million tons of
fuel must be added to the reductions made in September...  [pauses] October,
November, and December. This total remains to be known. However, the plan
[words indistinct] has become very difficult. This deficit makes the situation
with fuel more difficult.

96.  Regarding animal and human consumption of grains and wheat flour, we have
received 45 percent of what we had estimated for the current year. That is,
after 75 percent of the year has passed, we have received 45 percent of the
estimates according to the agreements that were signed. This is a little

97.  By 30 September, we received zero percent of expected rice deliveries and
50 percent of expected pea deliveries.  Regarding raw vegetable oil, by
September, we received 16 percent of expected deliveries, while we received
seven percent of expected deliveries of cooking lard.

98.  As for condensed milk, we have received 11 percent; butter, 47 percent;
canned meat, 18 percent; powdered milk, 22 percent; fresh and canned fish, 6
percent; fertilizers, 16 percent; sulfite, 0 percent. As for cut lumber-after
adjusting the figure from 400,000 cubic meters to 200,000-we have received 47
percent. I told you before that in the past we received over 500,000 [cubic
meters]. In this adjustment, I must explain...  [pause] I already said that the
adjustment had been made due to sugar debts, fuel prices, and previously agreed
upon amounts that we reduced. With lumber there was also a deficit, so we
decided to cut the amount by half and the difference would be used to pay off
debts that we were unable to renegotiate. This is why we reduced the amount of
lumber from 400,000 [cubic meters] to 200,000; of the 200,000 we have received
47 percent. As for caustic soda, we have received nothing.

99.  We have received 0 percent of our sodium carbonate purchase order, 0
percent of our order for pulpwood for paper, and 2 percent of our order for
paper and cardboard. We have received only 1.9 percent of our purchase order
for rolled steel; this percentage applies to a revised order, which represents
a reduction from the original order, from 550,000 tons to 350,000 tons. We have
received 15 percent of our request for tin-plate, 13.5 percent of tallow, 0
percent of detergents, and 5 percent of soap. Only 1.6 percent of our order for
tires has been shipped. This means we will receive less than two tires for each
100 tires we ordered. We have received 11 percent of our synthetic rubber
order; 0 percent of our order for lampblack; 0 percent of our order for cotton
and other textiles. We have been working with some cotton reserves.

100.  We have received 54 percent of our revised ammonia order, which is for
75,000 tons. The original order was for 100,000 tons. We have received 26
percent of our order for nonferrous metals and laminates; 10 percent of glazed
bricks-I had not mentioned this before. These bricks are used in iron and steel
mills and in cement factories, as well as for many other purposes.

101.  Regarding our purchase order for agricultural, construction, and
transportation equipment, which was considerably reduced from the original
amount, 38 percent of the requested supplies have been shipped; only 10 percent
of the parts for that equipment has been shipped.  The same situation exists
regarding parts for trains, industrial machinery, and other production
equipment.  We have received 1.1 percent for our orders for spare parts for
consumer goods-television sets, refrigerators, and so forth. For every $100
worth of materials, we have received $1.10 worth.

102.  I do not want to extend myself so I will not refer to the negative effect
this situation has had on our economic cooperation and the projects that were
being built: a total of 84. We are working on 84 projects, some of which are
significant for the nation's development, such as a nickel factory in
Camarioca, thermoelectric plants, machine shop industry plants, electro-nuclear
plants, oil refinery, etc. Some of these are quite large, others medium-sized,
and others still smaller. There are 84 altogether. This current situation has
affected the supply for the economic cooperation projects.

103.  I am not telling you all of this, comrades, as a reproach or a criticism.
I only do this to explain to the delegates the true situation honestly and
clearly. I can vouch for the Soviets' efforts to fulfill these commitments and
for the efforts of the Soviet administration and government.  Nevertheless, in
the wake of the chaos and the disorganization in that country, the task is very
difficult. It grieves me to have to explain all of this, but we cannot pretend
that the people are ignoring this.

104.  I am going to leave all of this out. [sound of papers being shuffled] Let
me refer to other details. In addition to all the above, one must add numerous
negative effects experienced simultaneously with the collapse of socialism in
Eastern Europe, with which trade has practically disappeared. These nations
used to give us preferential sugar prices while they supplied us with important
products for the nation's economy and for local consumption. I will mention
only some of these negative effects. We have here 22,000 tons of powdered milk
from the GDR with which 220 million liters of milk were produced, equal to
almost five months of direct consumption by the population in liquid milk form.
That is, the milk that is sold in liquid form, not as condensed or evaporated
milk, or as cheese or yogurt. That powdered milk, in light of agreements and
investments which we made in the GDR, was exchanged for torula yeast that we
produced in our country. The Germans in general and those of the GDR eat a
great deal of butter; that is why they have high cholesterol levels and suffer
from heart disease. But, traditionally it is not milk as much as butter. To be
able to produce butter they were left with an oversupply of milk. They did not
know what to do with it and used it for animal feed. We proposed to transform
their oversupply into powdered milk and to exchange the milk for torula that we
produced from molasses. As animal feed, torula is better: it has more vitamins
and minerals. We produced torula at a very low cost. We used several tons of
syrup in our 11 factories.  We made investments in convertible currency in the
GDR to install those factories and we signed a trade agreement for 10 years;
one ton of torula for one ton of powdered milk.

105.  When the collapse occurred and the two Germanies were united-rather, the
FRG absorbed the GDR-all of these arrangements were left unfulfilled.
Consequently, we failed to receive the 22,000 tons of powdered milk, although
this was one of the most reasonable and beneficial operations for our economy.
We received 14,700 tons of frozen chicken, 60,000 of wheat, and 2,500 of
Bulgarian cheese. Much of the cheese used in pizzas came from Bulgaria. We also
received 17,000 tons of lard from the GDR and Bulgaria, the equivalent of more
than three months in terms of food rations. I am speaking of rations, not
industrial or social uses. We received 51,400 tons of malt from the GDR and
Czechoslovakia for our beer plants. However, we have managed to scrounge some
malt here and there. Our problem, however, is not malt, but bottles, for which
we require potassium carbonate, I mean, sodium carbonate. We have received
medical equipment, X-ray film and medicine, all worth 35.3 million pesos, from
the GDR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, and Poland. For 30 years,
our commerce, supplies, and everything related were gradually adapted to our
commercial agreements with these countries. The GDR, Poland, and Romania
supplied agricultural equipment worth 19.9 million pesos. The GDR,
Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Romania supplied equipment and spare parts for the
sugar and cement industries. Hungary supplied 285 passenger buses. In 1989, 570
buses were supplied. We also received from these countries, in addition to the
Soviet Union, spare parts for transportation, construction, agriculture, and
the generation of electricity for 85.9 million pesos.

106.  When the FRG became one with the old GDR territory...  [pauses]. Oh,
well, to what I have said should be added important raw material for industry
and fertilizer, which we received from one country or another. We received much
of the potassium we used for agriculture from the GDR. We received fertilizers
from Bulgaria and other countries. When the FRG and the GDR united, the German
Government unilaterally decided to cancel all the intergovernmental agreements
in effect between Cuba and the GDR, a decision that harmed our economy. Some of
those agreement involved, for example:

107.  The integral development of the sugar industry. We had an agreement on
this. Each party supplied equipment to the other.

108.  A multilateral agreement for the construction of a nickel plant. The GDR
was an important factor of the nickel plant under construction in Camarioca.

109.  The industrial development of agricultural production, the industrial
processing of citrus fruits, and the production of plantain pulp.

110.  The reconstruction of Cuba's alcohol production plant.

111.  The supply of Class A alcohol by the GDR.

112.  The integral development of geological works in Camaguey, Ciego de
Avilas, and Las Tunas.

113.  The accelerated development of science and technology.

114.  Intergovernment credits for industrial projects.

115.  Bilateral agreements on science and technology between analogous

116.  Since the Yankee blockade remains as strong as ever, we are in this
special period at a time of peace.

117.  As you know, the country had been getting ready for a special period in
time of war, having as a premise that a naval blockade would be established,
with nothing getting in. We have analyzed what to do, how to resist, how to
defend ourselves, and how to handle that kind of situation. No one could have
imagined that some day we would be facing a special period in time of peace,
which is what this is all about.

118.  One of our most vulnerable points is fuel. As I have said, fuel prices
have increased extraordinarily. There has been talk of preferential prices for
sugar, but no product in the world has prices as preferential as those of fuel. 
Fuel prices have nothing to do with fuel production costs. These are monopoly

119.  At a given moment fuel prices jumped from $14 or $15 the ton, to more
than $200. Right now these prices are a bit lower, but still very high.

120.  When the revolution came to power, our country was consuming 4 million
tons of oil. At that time 1 ton of oil could be purchased with 15 percent of
the value of a ton of sugar. This means that with 1 ton of sugar, Cuba could
buy 7 tons of oil: Seven tons!

121.  Now, with sugar at dump prices, the world market price, one ton of sugar
will buy 1.4 tons of oil. When the revolution came to power a ton of sugar
could buy almost 7 tons of oil.

122.  In the agreements with the Soviets I referred to, after taking current
oil prices into consideration, we have requested five tons of oil per ton of
sugar; five or six tons of oil. This is not as much as we requested from the
so-called international markets at the beginning of the revolution, but it is a
reasonable amount of oil per ton of sugar.

123.  Due to prices and the monopoly on oil, which is the most expensive
product in the world, we required 4 million tons of oil at the beginning of the
revolution. Our population was much smaller then. Fifty percent of all
households did not have electricity, and the 50 percent that did consumed half
of what they consume today.

124.  At the beginning of our economic relationship with the socialist bloc,
which was based on five-year agreements and plans for 20 years of coordinated
development, we gradually prepared our economic and social development plans.
The plans helped us withstand the imperialist blockade.

125.  Thus our population grew from 6.5 to 11 million. The number of households
equipped with electricity increased to over 90 percent, and power consumption
per household doubled. All of our economic and social development plans rested
on pillars of excellent economic relations with socialist countries. Oil
consumption rose to 13 million tons, but it was necessary to make a drastic
reduction to 10 million tons. Yet the lights have not gone out.

126.  The reductions continue. No one knows how much fuel will be available
next year, what the price of sugar will be, or if the USSR will even be in a
position to export oil.  We know that the USSR needs our sugar, but will it be
able to export oil? Who will export it? The USSR? The republics?

127.  What price will they pay for sugar? They will want to pay low, low
prices. With whom will it be necessary to negotiate? All of these things
represent difficult problems. This is why I say our weakest point is fuel. Not
a single day has passed that we have not prospected for oil in our country.
Thousands and thousands of wells have been drilled. Not in the sea, because we
lacked the technology, equipment, and money. The Soviets did not possess them
either. We have worked intensely where the ground's seismic characteristics
were favorable. We have met with some success but are far from meeting the
country's needs. We do not have large hydraulic or coal resources, so energy is
our most complex problem. In view of all these problems, we started two years
ago to plan and work intensely in anticipation of these problems. I said on 26
July that we would continue to defend socialism even if it disappeared in the
Soviet Union. We would continue to defend it even if civil war erupted or the
Soviet Union broke apart, something we did not expect or desire.

128.  Two years and three months have passed since then.  Maybe some have
wondered: How can we speak of the disintegration of the sun? To speak of the
Soviet Union's collapse is to speak of the possibility of the sun not rising. 
A country so stable, powerful, and mighty that has survived trials so harsh?
Some might have thought we were hallucinating, living in a fantasy. Yet we are
living in a time when all this has happened. We are experiencing these
exceptional circumstances. Where did I get the idea that something like this
might happen? From the events we observed and the Soviet Union's tendency to
break apart. As a matter of principle and respect, no one interferes in the
domestic affairs of another country.  This is why we have applied a strict
policy of respect for other people's affairs, just as we demand respect for our
affairs. We have not meddled in the Soviet Union's domestic affairs. Although
we have our own opinion about them, we have been extremely respectful.

129.  In addition, the first proposal to perfect socialism was unobjectionable.
Who can oppose the idea of perfecting socialism?

130.  We struggle in that direction every day. We face that challenge every
day. Long before people began speaking of perestroyka, we were speaking of
rectification. We spoke of it at the Third Congress and, more specifically, 3
months later. The famous perestroyka had not been mentioned yet. We already
were aware of the fact that errors had been committed and had to be rectified,
that we had to find solutions to those problems, and that we had to rectify
negative tendencies and find solutions to old and new problems. We realized
some of our problems resulted from copying the experiences of socialist
countries, something we did because they were the first socialist countries and
had secured much prestige.

131.  Not everything was bad. It would be unfair to say that.  Many experiences
were useful and could be used in many fields. Unfortunately, our country began
copying those countries mechanically. Whatever came from there was seen as
sacred and unquestionable. Whatever we found in a book was immediately viewed
as indisputable. That tendency, to the dissatisfaction of some of us, developed
with notable force. I say this sincerely. But that is how tendencies function.
There was this friendly country, a country of solidarity, a country that did so
much for us, a country to which we were grateful, a country of so many merits
in the face of an enemy that harasses us and that has a blockade against us; a
country that faced the imperialist ideology, its dirty propaganda, its
sickening social and ideological system. So our country developed a tendency
that went to the opposite extreme: we idolized whatever came from the socialist
countries. We rectified some errors but copied the experiences of socialist
countries. It took some time but we became aware that many things had to be
rectified to improve socialism without disavowing it. Improving socialism can
by no means be done by negating the many things that socialism has contributed
to our country, other countries, and the world.

132.  We are the ones who first became aware of the need for rectification. At
that time there was talk of improving socialism and implementing new scientific
and technological findings in an accelerated fashion. The need for doing this
is unquestionable. It is essential, especially when confronting imperialism and
its economic resources and technology. Following World War II, imperialism
stockpiled all the gold of the world; its industry had remained intact, while
that of the Soviet Union had been completely destroyed. Socialism was
implemented in the most backward countries of Europe, in agricultural
countries, not in more industrialized countries. There was talk in that country
of fighting the acquisition of wealth that does not result from work.  That was
fine. We also had to fight speculation, stealing, illegal enrichment. That was
fine. We viewed their struggle against alcoholism as something wonderful,
especially in a country where people used to drink three times the normal
amount, where the weather is cold, and where sometimes the people were drunk on
the streets.  We saw what they were doing as a great moral effort. We have
learned from some of the ideas that were the forces of that first phase. They
are excellent.

133.  When the 70th anniversary [of the October Revolution] was commemorated,
the CEMA held a meeting. There was a roundtable. It was a very frank meeting.
We discussed various CEMA issues. We even discussed the Olympic Games. I
brought up that we could not abandon the DPRK and that if we had not gone to
the games in Los Angeles, much less could we go to South Korea, a Yankee base
and a country where there was daily brutal repression. It had been alleged for
security reasons that [the socialist countries] should not go to Los Angeles. I
was not asking for a suspension of the Olympic Games or for nonparticipation in
the Olympic Games, but for an honorable way for the DPRK to participate in the
games.  This is when I presented the formula of the two countries sharing the
Olympic Games. This was received with interest and attention.

134.  I also had the opportunity to speak about our rectification process and
the bitter experience we had in implementing the system in the direction and
planning of our economy, which was copied to a great extent from socialist
countries. There was a word of caution against those trends. We spoke of
experiences we had; I do not want to mention them because it would take too
much time. I was frank about this. I said: Try to avoid that road and avoid
aggravating the people and harvesting negative fruits. They listened to me with
much interest.  Later many of them said to me: The same thing has happened to
us. I told them that works were not being finished and that emphasis was placed
on the amount of items being produced, not on the diversity of items; that if a
mechanical plant had to manufacture 50 parts, it would manufacture the 50 that
best suited the plant and not the others that were needed. When I told them
this and other similar things, several of them told me: That is just what has
happened to us. I fulfilled my historic duty to caution them. At least they did
not decide to copy from capitalism. They listened very well to what I said. 
The documents on this, the various reports on this- these are more than
reports, they are stenographic reproductions of what was said-are available.
There are authorized recordings available. The documents had to be
reconstructed because of translations and language barriers. Later I was able
to see the documents on the issues discussed during the 1987 CEMA meeting. No
one spoke of capitalism. No one mentioned the idea of rebuilding capitalism,
returning to capitalism, or destroying socialism. Not a word was said about
that. It was unthinkable. However, now we must face the events that have taken

135.  I tell you that two years and three months ago this is what I said, even
at the risk of not being understood, even at the risk of being misinterpreted
in those countries or in the USSR. Anyone could say: What kind of madness is
this, to say that there might be civilian unrest here or that the USSR might
someday disintegrate?

136.  However, when I saw the trends that were developing, when I saw that the
authority of the party was being demolished, when I saw that the authority of
the state was being demolished, when I saw that the history of the USSR was
being pulverized.... [pause] And it had nothing to do with the historical
criticism of any period of time-such criticism is necessary and man will always
have to give it-on the mistakes that had been made, whether they were
inevitable or not, and that undoubtedly took place.

137.  However, criticizing history is one thing and destroying the history of a
country is another. A country cannot exist without a history. It is as if we
destroyed the history of this country from the time we rebelled against the
Spaniards. The rebellion against the Czar and feudalism was the equivalent in
our history to the rebellion against slavery and Spanish colonial power.

138.  When I saw the strength of those trends-the destruction of the authority
of the party and of the state and the demolition of the country's history-I
immediately understood that this would have fatal consequences in that great
country for which we all have felt and now feel deep admiration and gratitude.

139.  Ever since I became politically aware, I saw on several occasions that
there were errors in the Soviet Union's policy. However, I believe that no
state has ever done more in less time and no state has ever done so much for
mankind for which it has to be so thankful as the Soviet Union. It was the
first socialist state formed at a time when it seemed impossible, in theory,
for a socialist state to be formed. This should have resulted in a simultaneous
revolution in the other developed states of Europe.  Such a revolution did not
take place until after World War II. The reactionaries were skillfull,
intelligent, and strong and the imperialist countries supported them. 
Therefore, the USSR saw the need to build the first socialist state as an
isolated nation, which became the target of a blockade.

140.  The achievements of the people of the USSR are unparalleled in history:
Their struggle to give power to the workers and peasants and their struggle
against intervention-that huge country was reduced to practically nothing;
their capacity to generate force, to fight and defeat intervention; their
determination to build socialism in a single country under conditions of total
isolation and blockade and in the midst of hunger; their industrialization of
that country-one of the greatest feats of history; and their resistance to a
fascist invasion.  It was the only state that truly resisted. The others
collapsed like a house of cards in just a matter of weeks.  That country
resisted and resisted, even though it was absurdly caught by surprise.

141.  One had to be daydreaming to fall for dogmatic criteria, rigid and
inflexible schemes, and absurd logic and think that the Nazis were not going to
attack the Soviet Union.  The Soviets could have launched their own surprise
attack but the troops were resting, they were on leave, and all the planes were
lined up on the ground. It was one of the greatest mistakes ever made to allow
themselves to be caught by surprise by the Nazi attack and not be on maximum
alert with units concentrated at their designated places of deployment. No, no,

142.  The Germans would not have gotten to Moscow, not even to Smolensk, if
this had happened. The war would have ended much sooner, and who knows in what

143.  I say this because I know big mistakes were made. They made military,
political, and social mistakes. They forced collectivization when it was
obvious that small-scale agriculture was not the solution; they took hasty,
traumatic steps; they exercised repression and abused power. These things
happened and they can be criticized.  But these people also showed heroism;
rendered services to the world; struggled against intervention; developed the
country's industry; struggled against fascism; rebuilt the country; and, amid
all this struggle, transferred their industry to the rear guard in a matter of

144.  In just a few months lathes were taken to deserted, barren plains and
installed in the snow. Soon after factories that did not even have roofs
started to produce.  All their efforts produced more aircraft, tanks, and
cannons than their enemies were manufacturing. I believe that this has never
been seen in history and and it was spearheaded by the Communist Party. This
accomplishment was inspired by Lenin's ideas and showed what a social
revolution could achieve. It was spearheaded by a party that does not exist
today, that does not exist today. [repeats himself] It has already been
dissolved. Despite the errors, the accomplishments of the Soviet Union are
among the most extraordinary in history and the sacrifices made by the Soviet
Union are among the most extraordinary in history. Its accomplishments were
really impressive. The Soviet Union was destroyed twice in less than 20 years
and was rebuilt in a very short time.

145.  Between 1965 and 1985 the USSR became the largest oil-producing country
in the world by generating more than 630 million tons from barren plains. It
became the largest producer of cement, steel, and fertilizers in the world-or
one of the largest. It became the largest gas-producing country in the world by
generating 700 billion cubic meters. The USSR produced large amounts of wood,
coal, and all kinds of... [changes thought] It is a country with immense

146.  During the 20-year period, between 1965, immediately following the
post-war, the USSR rebuilt its economy and in the following years reached the
levels reached until 1985. [sentence as heard] It used to build more oil and
gas pipelines than any country in the world. The USSR raised its output to more
than 200 million tons of grain and cereals, although it did not fully implement
scientific techniques and had organizational problems storing and using most
seeds, as well as using pesticides and fertilizers.

147.  We cannot underestimate the great accomplishments of the Soviet people.
It is true that there were some delays and carelessness in applying the results
of scientific and technological research. The state and party have contributed
to several research projects, the results of which cannot be immediately
ascertained. This is what they are doing with science and technology. They
neglected...  [pauses] and then they produced an engine, which could be
efficient but was constructed of three times more steel than a well-designed,
more advanced engine should have. Their engines used two or three times as much
fuel as a [words indistinct] engine should consume. We know this because the
(Sil-130) trucks run 7 to 8 km [per unspecified unit of measurement]. Their
engines were made to consume the available fuel.

148.  The decision to convert from an extensive economy to an intensive economy
was an excellent one. This way the USSR economy would not grow by padding the
labor force because it was already based on opening new factories and expanding
the work force. The goal was to increase labor productivity with much more
efficient machines and industrial procedures. All of these points conform to
socialism, and they were perfectly attainable and applicable. It would be
impossible to implement them if the authority of a state's party and the
history of a country is destroyed. It is the surest way to bring
disorganization and chaos to any country.

149.  Many of the aforementioned ideas were irrefutable.  Unfortunately, we
have seen events that have resulted in great euphoria among imperialists and
capitalists. At this moment, they practically believe that they own the world.

150.  As I was saying. We began to work early, as soon as we saw the tendency,
to accelerate our plans. We restructured priority plans and the rectification
process using our ideas and with our concepts this time. That is how, based
principally on the development of food production, we drafted plans for
scientific research and development and the application of scientific research
findings; for the development of biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical and
medical equipment industries; and for the development of tourism, an industry
in which we have worked with all our might, as with all these programs. Of
course, we did not calculate, or even imagine, how quickly the situation in the
socialist countries and the USSR was deteriorating.

151.  All of this is what obliges us to fulfill the duty I mentioned this
morning-facing the colossal challenge that these circumstances entail. More
than just a few things have been done in such a short period of time. 
Hydraulic power sources have been recovered and are being intensely worked on.
The application of new techniques is expanding quickly. During this brief
period, 201 land drainage and irrigation brigades have been formed capable of
preparing 100,000 acres per year, just to mention a few examples. The
minibrigades resurfaced, along with contingents capable of achieving feats in
the shortest possible time. A complete accelerated food production program was
assembled; land was transferred; irrigated areas expanded; the materials
industry was extraordinarily renewed and boosted, because it is one of the
basic industries of any development; programs were initiated and a great number
of hotels were built; scientific research was boosted and research centers and
production plants were quickly built for use in biotechnology, the medical
industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical equipment industry.

152.  All these programs-which were given an impressive boost and still receive
that impressive boost- unfortunately are not well understood, despite being
explained on radio and television. Many people do not even understand the
concept of a nutrition plan. I can tell you about the efforts in the capital to
establish a self-supply program for the city, so that the provinces will not
have to supply Havana. Gentlemen, yucca was brought to Havana from Banes. That
is the name of that region near Guardia: Banes, in Holguin Province.

153.  Yucca was obtained in this area. Can you imagine, they got the yucca from
the dry land of Banes and took it all the way to Havana in trucks, and yucca
cannot be left out in the open for more than 24 to 48 hours. They had forgotten
how to plant yucca and sweet potatoes.

154.  The use of the microjet irrigation system with plantain crops has had
impressive results. Already we have caballerias planted by the contingents that
are expected to produce more than 30,000 quintals each. In Havana Province, 750
caballerias of sugarcane was converted to the production of roots and
vegetables so that other provinces would not have to send these products. Can
you imagine? Plantains were sent from Holguin to Havana. We could justify
taking plantains and other foods to Havana from anywhere in the country if a
hurricane razed Havana, but not on a regular basis. So, 500 caballerias of
plantains are growing using the mircrojet system in Havana. Only bananas were
previously planted in this area. In addition, there is land for square-shaped
plantains, vianda plantains, and all the rest. These crops have a truly
excellent future, but it takes a year for the plantain plant to yield its
fruit, although we now have some plants that start to produce after 10 months.

155.  We did not have enough yucca seeds. In the spring, we had to bring seeds
to the Havana yucca fields from the provinces. Now we have yucca to plant 350
caballerias between September and February. We did not have sweet potato seeds.
We really did not have anything.  Many things had to be corrected during this
rectification process. It takes time. Things like this are not done in a day.

156.  Now, almost all enterprises in the Havana Province...  [pauses]
Approximately 60 camps have been built in a matter of weeks in Havana Province.
The construction of the camps was still incomplete at the beginning of this
year, but we now have more than 60 camps built. More than 200,000 Havana
residents have passed through these camps to work the land. These were Havana
City residents and are not part of the contingents. There are 30 contingents
working and working strenuously. We have not stopped working for a minute in
any province.  I believe the Santiago residents are testament to the effort, as
they themselves have testified. Lazo's interview in GRANMA two days ago tells
about all that they have done. How much did they produce in roots? Six hundred
thousand [unit not specified]. How much will they produce this year? Almost a
million [unit not specified].  How much do they plan to produce in the future?
Four million [unit not specified]. How many caballerias will be used for this?
One thousand irrigated caballerias.  They have found land for plantains in
Laguna Blanca, San Luis, and other places. There are almost 100 caballerias
that have already been planted using the microjet system. They have obtained
200 caballerias in Ciego de Avila to plant potatoes and sweet potatoes. They
are sending people there because Oriente Province is very mountainous and it
does not have enough... [corrects himself] Not Oriente, I mean Santiago.
Santiago intends to accomplish the feat of self-sufficiency in roots and
vegetables. It is advancing in this objective. It is really advancing. The work
they have done in only two years is truly noteworthy-the use of hydroponics,
the good results of hydroponics, the new techniques in hydroponics. We are
implementing and doing what we have to do-implementing the most advanced
techniques to solve these problems.

157.  Now then, what kind of miracle is asked of us? What miracle is demanded
of us, from the party, from communists, from the state, from the people, from
the peasants, from cooperative workers, from agricultural workers? A true
miracle, and we have no choice but to do it.

158.  We are asked to produce more milk and more beef without having any fodder
or fertilizers, but we must do it. We simply must do it. We are asked to
produce more rice, more sugarcane, more tubers, and more vegetables, without
fertilizers and many times without herbicides.  And we have to figure out how.

159.  That is why, above all, we are resorting to science. We are resorting to
rational grazing method, for example.  We had already established this in our
country with wire fences. Now, we are developing this with electric fences to
implement the Voisain method of rational grazing that was perfected by a
Brazilian scientist who studied it for many years. It is a system that
practically duplicates the pasture. The cattle become the fertilizers of the
soil, with manure and urine; but most of all, it increases the production of

160.  We are carrying out a program of converting over 4,000 pastures to ration
grazing, not only at dairy farms but also for breeding calves, heifers, and so
forth. It is serious work. We had to find $10 million for all the necessary
equipment: wire for the electric fence, for galvanizing the electric fence, for
the mills that must turn the sugarcane into fodder by using sacharina [a high
protein sugarcane by-product used as livestock feed], which is the result of
the efforts of one of our scientific research centers.

161.  Sugarcane can be turned into fodder in a short period of time by a simple
process of fermentation by adding some mineral salts and some urea. In 24
hours, one can prepare fodder for livestock with 13 percent, 14 percent, and 15
percent protein. Therefore, sugarcane can be turned into fodder similar to
corn, wheat, and sorghum.  Unfortunately, chickens cannot be fed sacharina.
They can eat only a small amount of it, because the chickens do not have a
digestive system similar to that of cattle.

162.  We also needed the equipment to make the electric fences, the equipment
that has to be added to the electric fences; the components required for
producing electricity by air or by hand for the electric fence if we are
without electricity; banks of protein from the legumes (glicinia) or
(leucaena); and to buy seeds, multiplying them as fast as possible so that our
dairy farms can have banks of protein that can replace the protein missing from
the fodder we receive and that we have no way of purchasing. In the first
place, we must assign what little feed we have available for egg production.
Production has increased this year. In the second place, we must assign it to
poultry production. Molasses, sugarcane and its by-products, must be used to
feed the hogs. Then, there is protein honey made in the country's 11 plants
that produce liquid yeast.

163.  There are means to solve these problems. Naturally, this cannot be done
overnight. It takes time, even of we are working at top speed, and we are
working desperately.

164.  Approximately 100,000 oxen have been domesticated, with 100,000 left to
be domesticated. We cannot eat them, because they have been turned into our
fuel, tractors, and working instruments. They have been used, not only to
cultivate new ground where a tractor-whose use would result in fuel
costs-cannot go, but also to produce and conduct duties that tractors cannot
perform during the rainy season.

165.  The use of oxen for farming activities is more than a substitute for
fuel. It is a multiplier of labor productivity permitting one man to do the
work of eight or ten by cultivating between furrows, where tractors cannot

166.  We have to anticipate the lack of fuel and what to do under such
circumstances. We have to anticipate ways to use the little fuel that we may
have. It is necessary that the harvesting of sugarcane remain mechanized,
because it would require 350,000 men as in the seventies. The sugarcane harvest
today employs 50,000 workers. The cost of housing, clothing, shoes, machetes,
and food supplies for 300,000 workers would be an impressive figure. We would
have to try to combine the little amount of fuel from labor to operate harvest

167.  The supply centers are designed to operate with some degree of
mechanization, which we cannot do without.  We no longer have the crane of the
oxen cart, which carried the sugarcane. Today, we have the supply centers and
the distances between them are longer.

168.  Subsequently, we are basically trying to use science and technology to
keep our food program moving. It is true that, given the enormous lack of
fertilizers, we have been unable to fertilize all sugarcane fields. There are
hundreds of thousands of caballerias of sugarcane which have not been
fertilized. We had to use the fertilizers that we had for rice, tubers and
vegetables. We had to use fertilizers to resolve the problems with the rational
grazing and the electric fence.

169.  The objective to get the food program moving, even without or with very
little fodder and fertilizers, continues to be a tremendous challenge. This is
where our imagination and intelligence, as well as our capacity to implement
the advancements of science and technology, has been implemented. Thanks to
scientific research, sugarcane is being used as a raw material for making
fodder, which can provide nearly all the food for cattle, and some of the
fodder for pigs and poultry. I do not want to be lengthy, and that is why I try
not to go into any details on each of the measures that we are adopting.

170.  We even manufacture twice the needed amount of hoses in case a hurricane
ravages the fields. This will enable us to renew production because plantations
have a duration of 10, 15, or 20 years. A hurricane can destroy hoses and
topple plants, but it cannot destroy the plantation or the underground ducts.
We are also using the localized irrigation system with our citrus trees to
increase [word indistinct].

171.  We are applying technical or scientific advancements wherever we can. It
is the only road we can take under the current circumstances and during this
special period in which we do not know how much oil we will have next year. For
the reasons I have previously explained, we do not know if we will have nine,
eight, seven, six, five, or four [not further identified]. The sugar problem is
not only a problem of markets that we expounded earlier. It is also a problem
of prices. What prices will we get for our sugar? It is a problem of how many
tons of petroleum can be bought today with a ton of sugar. We would have to
invest all the sugar of the country to buy 10 million tons of oil at world
prices. Furthermore, we need other things besides oil. We also have to buy food
that cannot be produced in the country, medicine, and raw materials with our
sugar, nickel, citrus, and export products. We used to have a guaranteed supply
of these items in virtue of our 30-year relation with the socialist area.
Except for us, this socialist area has crumbled shamefully, crumbled to the
delight, happiness, and joy of the imperialists.

172.  We have made extraordinary advances in the scientific and
biotechnological fields and in the pharmaceutical industry. We do not talk a
great deal about this topic because we do not want to show all our cards. As an
example, I can tell you that as soon as it was known that we had the
antimeningococcus type B vaccine, the Yankees started an all out war against
it. They exerted tremendous pressures and made many promises so that we would
not be able to sell our antimeningococcus vaccine. Here, before the members of
the congress and the commission, we have Comrade Conchita Concepcion Campa, who
was the one that headed the team that developed this vaccine, which is the only
one in the world. It is a vaccine for a sickness that affects many countries in
the world and is an important source of resource for the country. The team has
had to struggle very tenaciously at world markets, at international meetings,
at the WHO, and at congresses. It has fought hard and won many battles. Campa
and the other comrades of the Finlay Center, which is what the center for the
investigation and production of the antimeningococcus and other vaccines is
called today, have already obtained many resources for the country and new ways
to obtain resources. We have developed products such as the streptokinase,
which interrupts a heart attack within the first six hours. It does not only
interrupt a heart attack, it prevents further damage to the heart muscle, and
renews blood circulation in the heart area.

173.  We are already producing it for our population. The first batch is ready.
We are producing for the thousands who need it in our country. Unfortunately,
it cannot solve all heart attacks, if, for instance if the person dies
instantaneously.  We are studying to see if it is effective eight to 10 hours,
and up to 24 hours, later. What is medically tested and proven are its effect
within the first six hours.  You can see a video cassette showing how the white
part affected by the heart attack begins to function and you begin to see the
arteries and the circulation in the arteries.

174.  That product... [pauses] We are the only country in the world to produce
that product today, using recombinant genetic engineering [ingenieria genetica
recombinante], while the other products are natural and do not have the same
efficiency. Other similar products cost five times more that what this one

175.  Then there is the vaccination against hepatitis-B, and we are one of the
few countries in the world to have it. We are now at the stage where we are
ready to begin production. We control the technology of the epidermic growth
factor-used for burns, skin graphs, and many other applications and is also a
highly expensive product-and it came from our research centers. We are not the
only ones, however, there is another company in the world producing it.

176.  We are completing all the medical procedures, protocols, and so on, for
one of the most recent and outstanding products that we have developed. This
product is about to be distributed this month among the population and to all
the hospitals. Distribution has already begun in the capital and it is being
sold at hotels and tourist centers.  It is really a very promising product. It
is a product whose consumption is required by hundreds of thousands of people,
according to our calculations, and we are the only country to have it. It has
to do with cholesterol, blood pressure, and everything related to the
circulation, such as varicosis and all other circulatory problems in general. I
do not really want to give it too much publicity, but as we have had to mention
a few strong things, I would like to say that, not only have we developed the
product, but we have created the production capability to satisfy any demand.

177.  The medical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnical industries have over 20
objectives. We are modernizing the whole industry, which has been a colossal
and impressive project in the field of biotechnical, pharmaceutical, and
medical equipment industries. All these products are in use-the growth factor
is being used on burns. I remember when we had very little, we sent it to those
children in the USSR suffering from burns from a train accident.

178.  We produce interferon. We are exporting several million dollars of
interferon. A wide field is opening which requires minimum time and maximum
effort. This we are now doing in a very quiet way, because we do not wish to
warn the enemy beforehand, thus making his blockade and obstruction plans
against all of our commercial activity in this field useless. I can assure you
that in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical equipment industries we have
high expectations. One day it may come to produce more than sugar.

179.  This says it all. We are developing projects at the aforementioned rate,
and we are building thousands of hotel rooms every year for international
tourism. It would be enough to say that this year approximately $400 million
will be received from tourism-between direct income received from tourism
institutions and indirect revenues from other institutions. We hope that in
1992, we will receive approximately $600 million.

180.  The growth of tourism-related revenues is noteworthy. It is important to
understand that the country needs to promote tourism, although it may entail
some sacrifices.  We would like to enjoy all the hotels, but this is a matter
of saving the fatherland, the revolution, and socialism.  We need these
resources during the situation that I have been explaining to you.

181.  We will continue to promote tourism, however, this is not the only area
in which we are working. We are working on many areas to increase exports and
generate the revenues that the country needs.

182.  Not only are the scientists working, but also the engineers, thousands of
engineers, midlevel technicians [words indistinct]. By the end of the year, we
will have the annual national forum and more than 30,000 reports will be
presented. We are amazed to see the intelligence of people working to find
solutions. This is one of our resources.

183.  The country has things that it did not have before. We are no longer the
uneducated people of 1959, but a people with hundreds of thousands of college
graduates and midlevel technicians, with a high level of education.  You should
see the kind of people who work at our hotels. No country in the Third World
has the personnel-with their level of education and training-that we have
working at the hotels. I have seen this. Yesterday, I visited this hotel [no
name given] and you should see the level of education of its 300 workers.

184.  To accomplish all that, a great deal of understanding is needed. As I was
saying in the case of tourism, for instance [words indistinct] hotels intended
for foreign tourism, there are people who think that something has been taken
from them. Nothing has been taken from them, but we are collecting something to
resolve their problems. Whenever possible, we try... [pauses] we have two kinds
of hotels, those which we own 100 percent and those which are co-owned with
foreign enterprises.  Regarding our hotels, we can be more flexible on the use
of their facilities by Cuban nationals during certain months. Regarding mixed
enterprises, the situation is more complex, because we would be forced to pay
in foreign currency some of the expenses incurred by Cuban citizens in those

185.  We are formulating new ideas, like leaving 20 or 30 rooms vacant for some
kind of directed tourism.

186.  For example, if we have some hotels and there is no international
tourism, there is a surplus. We cannot say: This hotel is open for any peddler,
for any thief, for speculators and those who have thousands of pesos. As much
as possible, we must control the available capacity at the hotels.

187.  That is how we have (Las Yagrumas) in Havana and the Biocaribe. The
Biocaribe is a hotel that used to be the Center of Genetic Engineering. It was
believed that it would be used as quarters for foreign experts. The Cubans have
basically solved the problems of that center and its (?achievements). We said:
We will turn this building into a hotel for tourists in order to collect
foreign currency. Some changes were made, and the hotel is going to collect $1
million. That is enough to maintain the Center of Genetic Engineering. Not only
foreign tourists stay there, but also many persons who attend medical and
technical congresses. There are also people from the Scientific and Workers
Complex who stay there, they are directed there. They spend a weekend, or a
week at (Las Yagrumas).

188.  We are preparing ideas so the development of tourism will benefit other
people, however, we need the understanding of the people. They must understand
that this is not a matter of liking something or of pleasure; that it is not a
lack of consideration toward our fellow countrymen.

189.  If we only had the petroleum of Venezuela or Kuwait, we would not have to
worry about international tourism and we would be able to build 1,000 hotels
and perhaps ...[pauses] Naturally, perhaps there are other things that must be
built before hotels are built, and we must solve housing and maintenance
problems and many others before that. I want to say that what the revolution is
doing concerning tourism is simply to solve essential problems of the people
and to seek needed resources.

190.  We have to figure out things by ourselves, so that the people will also
receive something. We would like it very much if 15 or 20 rooms of Hotel
Santiago, that marvelous hotel, could be used by the people of Santiago,
naturally by the people of Santiago who are good workers, vanguard people, who
are contributing to the country. We do not have enough for all, but I believe
Lazo has plans to open it with at least 150 outstanding families, who are
outstanding workers. [applause]

191.  These issues related to tourism and society lead me to explain that we
are working on practical things, working on as many things as necessary to
comply with that principle. Thus, we are forming associations with foreign
enterprises and capital. Where would we get the capital?  Who would lend it to
us? OIEC [Organization for International Economic Cooperation]? The socialist
field? Who are we resorting to? Foreign capital.

192.  If we decided to build these hotels by ourselves, it would take 50 years.
But we cannot do this. If we had 10 million [currency not specified], we could
build a good hotel. I am referring to foreign currency. I am not referring to
cement, steel bars, gravel, sand, labor force. No, no. I am referring to
convertible currency; elevators, and the various equipment, materials. It could
be a hotel with 300 or 250 beds.

193.  We have to purchase the materials needed for rational grazing with
electric fences, including the machinery for grinding sugarcane and the
equipment for producing electricity, if needed. Therefore, we must invest the
money in that. If you have 20 million [currency not specified] and can invest
it in one of these hotels, then you can invest in any of these products of
biotechnology so we can produce medications and obtain a superior profit. In
what would you invest? In the hotel or in biotechnology?

194.  We must know how to invest the little money we can get from here and
there. Hotels produce good profits, but these profits can be received in
different ways. Our 50 percent partners recover their capital in three years. 
When they recover their capital in three years, we recover our capital too but
in the money we spend on gravel, sand, cement, and construction material.

195.  If they increase their capital three times in 10 years, we do the same.
If they invest the capital to build the hotel and we invest the construction
workers; if they bring experience-in other words technology, because we do not
know how to manage hotels; we never knew in the past, and 30 years later we
know even less-and if they bring the market, it is absolutely correct to
establish that partnership. We will both win. Either that, or we leave the
beaches as they are, without hotels.

196.  This is not contrary to any Marxist-Leninist, socialist, or revolutionary
principle. It could be against sentimentalism. We would like the hotel to be
all ours, and receive the whole profit. That belongs to a world of dreams, not

197.  Whenever we can, we build the hotel, if we have the money or if someone
gives us credit to build the hotel. It is not always a mixed enterprise. If we
can get the credit, we build the hotel, and pay back the credit.

198.  We are reviewing all the forms of cooperation with foreign capital, in
many fields. A principle must prevail.  If we have factories, manpower, and no
raw material, we must make that factory produce. It is unsatisfactory to have a
factory that will not produce.

199.  If a partner says: Listen, I will invest the raw materials and we will
market the product together; I will charge for the raw materials and earn a
profit. We will immediately state our willingness to reach the necessary

200.  If the partner says: You need such and such insecticides, pesticides,
chemical products, this and that, the containers, and whatever else to market
an export crop abroad-and we are prepared to invest what is needed.  You will
receive this much and we will be partners when we market the product. They know
how to market the product more than we do; and they have market networks that
we do not have, so we will certainly reach an agreement. We will then begin to
work in an export partnership.

201.  If the tourism situation becomes complicated due to the lack of fuel, we
will simply say: Fuel for tourism is a different issue. Used automobiles are
sometimes used for tourism. The automobile may cost a given amount of dollars,
but it will be cheaper if purchased used. The automobile can yield $100 a day.
An automobile that can be paid off in three, four, or five months is a good
deal.  We can propose: You can have lubricants, fuel- whatever else is needed
for tourism activities-on consignment here.  We can participate in that kind of
trade operation.

202.  Those who deal with raw materials can say: Listen, I am willing to
establish a factory to process the raw material right there. Those companies
would like more than a 50 percent share of the investment-including
transnationals which do not participate in this type of operation.  They must
purchase raw materials that we produce. Let them install their factory. We will
build it. We have the work force and we have a market guaranteed for the raw
materials we produce. This could be citrus-in case they want to make juices or
something like that. There are all kinds of variations. I have simply mentioned
a few examples.

203.  I can mention other examples: There is no way we can drill for oil in the
ocean. We can do it on land, but things are very limited even on land because
all the pipes, equipment, motors, and bits... [pauses] what do you call that
part? [unidentified speaker says: drill bits] We no longer get the drill bits
that came from the USSR yet there are areas where oil might be found, meaning
maritime areas. The Soviets did not know-and neither did we- how to drill for
oil. An enterprise could very well say: I will take the risk. I will drill for
oil. I will get paid with what we find. We will be partners.

204.  Consequently, we have to choose between two things- either the oil stays
there forever or we establish an association with foreign capital to drill for
oil. This would be done at their own risk-without compromising a single cent.
They would be paid with whatever is found and we would be owners of at least
half of the oil production. Is this correct, or is it not? Is it logical, or is
it not? Is it necessary, or is it not?

205.  I have talked about some variants. Keep in mind that we would contribute
the work force in the tourism hotel enterprise, and that work force earns a
salary-the country receives their salary in dollars. Keep in mind that we
supply a lot of products and a lot of services for which facilities would have
to be supplied. They will not pay income tax for 10 years, but we are partners
in the profits. Like I said, we both recover our investment in three years.
More than 100 operations of this kind are currently being negotiated-either for
hotels or other operations.

206.  They have said: We are willing to invest so that you may render such and
such a service. I said: Invest and we will render that service. For example, a
pier may be built to handle containers-to give you an example-and the pier will
be built to handle containers.

207.  We know very well what we should keep for ourselves. It is not a matter
of planting rice-we know how to do it well by using flat ground for a maximum
yield. We know about sugarcane; we know how to build sugar mills; how to
exploit sugar. Someone may come and say we want to build a sugar refinery worth
100 million [currency not specified]. We say fine, go ahead and build the
refinery.  That person already has guaranteed the market, the construction
work, the labor force, and the land. There can be many operations and each is
studied individually considering the best interests of the country. This is
especially true for exports-not for domestic consumption, but for exports.
There could be certain industries for domestic consumption. Let us imagine for
example a pesticide that is too difficult to manufacture. Someone may reason
that it is cheaper for the factory to manufacture it locally, rather than to
import it from Europe.  Pesticides are something we cannot produce, something
we do not have the capital or the knowledge to produce, so we start a business.
There are operations that involve a 50 percent foreign investment, other
operations that have a 40 percent foreign investment, and there are even some
operations that may surpass 50 percent in foreign investment. Each one is
specifically studied individually.

208.  We are willing to go even further with Latin America, in view of our
ideas on Latin American integration. We want to give certain preferential
treatment to Latin American capital, in accordance with what was said during
the Guadalajara Summit on the need for Latin America integration. We have
always said that Latin America has to be the natural venue for our economic
integration, even though OIEC existed. We have said that OIEC was provisional
and had its time and place.  We encourage integration with Latin America and
that is why we are even prepared to make preferential agreements for Latin
American investments. We are fully open to foreign investment. This is not in
the slightest at odds with socialism, Marxist-Leninism, or the revolution-much
less so under the exceptional conditions we are living. Even Lenin, during the
Bolshevik Revolution, did not intend to build socialism immediately in the
USSR-it was a backward and feudal country and the great majority of its people
were peasants. I believe the USSR had three million workers when socialism
began.  Lenin even worked on the theory of capitalist building and development
under proletariat leadership. This is something Lenin never really was able to
do, due to the problems that ensued, such as intervention and war, which made
some of those ideas obsolete.

209.  The revolutionary Marxist-Leninist beliefs even included the possibility
of building capitalism under proletariat leadership. Our situation is
completely different. Our idea calls for executing certain developments with
foreign capital participation under the administration of the revolution, under
the people's administration, [applause] under proletarian administration, and
under party leadership. [applause] These are not desperate and improvised
measures. We have a complete team to study each and every proposal. Allow me to
say that proposals pour in, despite the campaigns against Cuba, the imperialist
threats, the imperialist predictions-offers pour in. I give you this
information because I feel you need to have an idea how we are working and in
what direction we are heading.

210.  When I spoke about science, I did not mention that we are using science
to resolve problems that cannot even be imagined. For example, biofertilizers.
We are developing specific bacteria, which when applied to certain plants,
capture nitrogen from the air and transfers it to the plant. This happens with
(sotobagfre), not so in the case of (risobium). (Risobium) is a bacteria linked
to legumes and is produced naturally. Sometimes (risobium) is produced in
laboratories to accelerate the process and produce even more bacteria. We are
working on this. We are working on bacteria that can fertilize sugarcane,
vegetables, grass, and even rice. These bacteria are produced by
fermentation-they are good bacteria, such as the ones in yogurt, which help
mankind. This bacteria is often produced in many plants, such as in torula.
This bacteria is produced in fermentation vats. We are even encouraging the
production of fermentation vats. These are biofertilizers. We have
biopesticides-products that use bacteria to control plagues, fungus, and
insects.  Many of these plagues can be destroyed and we are working on this
too. Our goal is to attain industrial level production of these biopesticide
products. These are much healthier than the others. Of course, we cannot fully
replace the others just yet. The others are toxic and can poison people. Who
knows how much poison man ingests, no matter how much he washes the fruit.

211.  We are also trying to apply these formulas in the food program: the use
of zeolite, the use of organic material, and the use of tissue culture [cultivo
de tejido] to grow plants and new varieties of seeds. Almost all our plantain
is being produced in biofactories. We would not have the production we have
today if we used the regular system.  Today we use biofactories which only
require a very small amount [not further identified] to grow a plant that is
without disease and is of excellent quality. We have also developed tissue
culture with which we are trying to find new varieties [not further identified]
and trying to reproduce the seeds in a much more economic and efficient manner.

212.  Our country has tremendous intellectual potential. Our intellect is one
of our greatest resources. We must unite, manage, and direct all our minds in
order to accomplish our objectives. Life has given us Cuban revolutionaries a
difficult task and we must face our challenge. We have possibilities. That is
what is important. There are possibilities.  However, possibilities are for the
people who struggle, who are firm, who are tenacious, and who fight. 
Possibilities exist for people like us. [applause]

213.  I have mentioned only some ideas. We must have a clear answer for those
who say our struggle has no chance under the present circumstances or in the
face of our crisis. The only thing that would make us lose our chances would be
if we were to lose our fatherland, the revolution, and socialism. [applause]

214.  It is as if we had told ourselves that we had no future after the assault
on Moncada Barracks. We only had some small shotguns that would have served for
the assault on the Moncada Barracks but not for open combat against soldiers
armed with Springfield rifles and automatic weapons. Our M-21 rifles and our
shotguns would be useful, but firing at a distance of 100 or 200 meters...
[pauses] It is as if someone told us we had no future when we were being tried
here in Santiago de Cuba or at the Hospital Hall [as heard]. It is as if
someone had told us we had no chance when we landed in those swamps with the
Granma. How often were we told that? We were going to fight an army of 80,000,
and we were told we were crazy. It is as if we were told we had no future after
the rejoicing at Pio, and there were only a few men left. Just six or seven of
us regrouped a few weeks later. We were asked: You are six or seven and all you
have are six or seven rifles. What are your chances?

215.  Eutimio Guerra once asked me: What is your future? For those of you who
do not remember, he was the biggest traitor in the Sierra Maestra. He nearly
wiped us out.  One morning he asked me that; he told me he wanted to see me
alone in a coffee field. We did not know what he wanted. He had orders to kill
me. He had those orders but could not carry them out. He preferred that the
guards did the job. He was leading the guards to our exact spot. There he asked
me that question, at a time when we were a small group. There must have been a
moment of doubt in his mind. He went down to the plains and saw armored
vehicles, trucks, complete battalions, food, clothing, knapsacks, and bullets.
Then he saw us with our little cloth knapsacks; we were just a handful. He
asked me: What are your chances of surviving? I said: Our chances? We have
every chance! He not only asked me about our chances, but also about what I
hoped to achieve. I realized his personal interests were intermingled with his
expectations and I had to be cunning. I answered: I have every chance. He
believed me. I added: And for you, whatever you wish. [crowd laughs] He did not
believe it. [crowd laughs]

216.  In each one of the difficult moments that the Yankees broke with us,
imposed the blockade, and organized their mercenary operations, they asked what
our chances were. When the socialist nature of the revolution was declared,
they asked what our chances were. They may be those who are asking now what
their chances are.

217.  We are now a stronger and better trained group: millions of
revolutionaries, hundreds of thousands of party militants, hundreds of
thousands of youth militants. Many people are organized in the mass
organizations, in the CTC [Central Organization of Cuban Trade Unions, in the
CDR [Committees for the Defense of the Revolution], in the Women' s Federation.
Peasants, students, and even Pioneers are organized. There is a political
awareness and a sense that our duty and honor have been fulfilled from
defending the revolution under difficult circumstances for such a long time. We
always had this independence, which is greater than ever today.

218.  I do not know if anyone [pauses]...Our dear friend Leal was kidding with
someone and said: We are more independent than ever because today we are
independent of the United States and the USSR. Leal was joking because we were
always independent of both countries.  Historic documents and the October
crisis attest to that.  To make his joke even better Leal said: What we do not
know is until when. Undoubtedly, Leal was mistaken there. Leal was joking,
because he knew that it is forever.  [applause] There is something that is very
real to which I have given a lot of thought. I want you to think about it also.
The revolution has no alternative. There is no alternative to the revolution.
To whomever thinks that the sacrifices we made were made to save the
revolution, that there would be no problems, and that there would be no
sacrifices unless we needed to save the revolution, we must remove such
thoughts from any madman who has it deep-rooted, even if it is in his hair and
not in his brain. The problems of our country, as happened throughout its
history, can only be resolved by our country.

219.  Only the revolution can solve the problems of our country, no matter how
difficult they may be. Nobody should think someone is going to give us the 13
million tons of oil we need to return to normal conditions. We used to get
those 13 million tons of oil from the USSR for a fair price with our sugar. Our
sugar allowed us to purchase those 13 million tons as well as considerable
amounts of other products, independent of the commercial credits and credits
for development. Nobody will give us that. We must look for that. We must see
how we will obtain and purchase products.

220.  Who gives things away? Who is going to give away what we obtained through
our struggles, our principles, our policies, and our fight so we could have a
just relationship with the new world that had been created? Who is going to
give us anything? Those who have all kinds of illusions forget that we must
never expect anything from that brutal, troublemaking northern neighbor. That
is an empire that invades countries like Panama, yet it does not give that
country anything. It wages a dirty war on Nicaragua and complicates the
Nicaraguans' lives. It has led them to a terrible point where they do not know
today what will be the fate of the contras, recontras, compas [comrades],
recompas [former Sandinist servicemen who have grouped together to face the
recontras], and so on that we read about in the newspapers.  The empire does
not give them anything. It invaded Grenada; the the only thing Grenada has now
is the airport built by Cuba. Did it provide any protection for the country,
anything? No, the only thing the Yankees did was dedicate the airport. They
left nothing for no one. It is a country that does not export petroleum; it
imports millions of tons of petroleum and gas. It does not even import sugar.
In the beginning of the revolution, it used to import 5 million tons. Now, it
imports approximately 1 million to 1.5 million tons of sugar.  That is nothing,
that is not even a market for our sugar production.

221.  Only the revolution can definitely solve this country's problems in the
medium or long term; there is no alternative. We are the only ones, and there
is no alternative. We are the ones with our work, our struggle, our efforts,
and our [word indistinct]. We must fight against everything that needs to be
fought. We know there are many things to be fought. These are included in the
draft resolutions to be discussed. That is why I do not have [words indistinct]
to the social discipline, complying with one' s duty, to crime, to that kind of
thing.  We are the only ones who can find solutions to our problems, 123 years
after 10 October, when we began our struggle for independence. Only we can-and
we must be capable of doing so-solve our problems and maintain our unity,
order, and fighting spirit.

222.  I have mentioned economic matters, but I must add that we are here
because of our courage, our determination to fight till death, and our
determination to make any aggressor pay a very dear price. Imperialism will try
to divide us in an attempt to find any pretext to justify its interventionist
actions in our country. Our tight and solid unity will not let them have that
pretext. Nevertheless, in any event, we will always be ready for war, which
will be waged by all the people, and we will defend...  [applause] we will
defend up to the last corner of our country, as long as there is one
revolutionary and one weapon to defend it. As I once told students, each man,
each revolutionary must say: I am the army, I am the fatherland, I am the
revolution. I wonder if people with that spirit could ever be subjugated or
enslaved again.

223.  When we talk of 10 October, we must take into consideration that if at
that time we lived under slavery and colonialism, the achievements of our
revolution were more than independence and more than the goals established by
our first patriots, who could not aspire for more: total independence, man's
total dignity, human beings who are brothers to their fellow men, human beings
who are considered human beings. Back in those days, society did not see man
that way. What was a slave? What was a Creole compared to a Spanish soldier, a
merchant, a citizen, an official, or a property owner?  What was he? At that
time there were property rights over things and over men. Property over men
formally disappeared later. However, I must say that when I was a teenager, I
saw what capitalist exploitation was. I saw that a slave owner took better care
of his slaves than capitalist enterprises-national or foreign-took care of
their workers. Businessmen and Yankee landowners, for example, did not care if
a worker died, or if he did not have a job, food, or medicine. A slave owner
gave him food and medicine, because he did not want his property-the slave-to
die. The capitalist system exploits man and does not care if man dies or if he
does not have food or medicine. It is another form of slavery, as humiliating
and brutal as the other kind, aside from all the moral humiliation that man
must suffer in that society.

224.  The revolution, born 126 years ago, achieved socialism more than 30 years
ago. What a historical advancement!  What an advancement ahead of the rest of
Latin American countries!  What an advancement ahead of the other Third World
countries! That is what we are defending. If imperialism could put Cuba on its
knees and if imperialism could again install capitalism in our country, what
would be left of all we have done in 123 years? [applause]

225.  To turn us into a Puerto Rico? [Crowd shouts: No!] It still has not even
been able to hoist its flag, so similar to ours, which (?Marti) had wished
would accompany us in our heroic struggle for liberty. To turn us into a Miami? 
[Crowd shouts: No!] With all the repugnant rottenness of that society? What
would be left of all that has been accomplished by our people during these 123
years?  What would be left of the housing that the revolution turned over to
the people? What would remain of the buildings and everything, if its owners
were to come back to demand them? What would happen to the lands that we gave
to the peasants, the cooperatives, or the farm workers, the lands on which they
acquired their manly status as human beings, where all their rights were
protected, and where all opportunities were made available to them, and above
all, to their children. What would be left of our schools in the
countryside-colleges, secondary schools, technological schools, sports schools,
vocational schools, arts schools, agricultural and industrial technological
schools. What would be left of all that?  What would be left of all our 300,000
professors and teachers? Our country has the highest world percentage of
professors and teachers per capita. What would be left of our family doctors in
the mountains, the countryside, the communities, the factories, and the
schools? What would be left of our child day care centers? What would be left
of our universities created by the revolution?  What would be left of the
hundreds of scientists, many vanguard scientists, who have placed us today in a
privileged position in the world. To what company's hands would they pass? For
who would they work, all of those who today work with their sweat and talent to
help their people? What would happen to social security, to the help for all
the unsheltered people in this country, to the limited vices, to our special
schools where there are almost 60,000 students in schools for deaf, mute, and
blind persons? What would happen to all this? What would happen to the dignity
and decorum of each person in this country?

226.  I always remember that the first thing that Marti talked about was man's
decorum. He even said that for all those men without decorum there were men
with enough decorum for everybody. [applause] Today we are not only a group,
but a group with decorum. We are an immense majority of people with decorum.

227.  Today we are an independent, sovereign, and free nation, which will
reject until the end the obsolete theories that independence must be limited.
Astonishingly, in a recent meeting, the Soviet and German delegations
proclaimed that the right of inspection should be established, even without the
authorization of the countries. Alas the things I shall see that will make
stones speak. We will agree to forceful inspections when there is not a single
Cuban willing to defend the independence of this country. [applause] [crowd
shouts: With the support of the people and your leadership of the party, we
shall overcome!]

228.  What would be left of the peoples' sovereignty? What would be in store
for the people as part of that new and much talked about world order, if the
idea of independence and sovereignty of the people is destroyed?

229.  I remember how much the West spoke about the so-called limited
sovereignty theory endorsed by (?Brezhnev). Nowadays, the concept of limited
sovereignty is in vogue among the large superpowers at the United Nations and
everywhere else. One would have to see what people it would apply to. What
people would resign themselves to live in a (?civilized) world? Otherwise, they
must give up their sovereignty and allow us to inspect the United States. They
must give up their nuclear weapons and all their sophisticated weapons.

230.  Well, if they want to establish a world government, that is fine with us.
But it would have to be a government of the world, for the world and by the
world, and not a government of the world for Yankee imperialism. Never!  This
is what they want and are trying to impose on us, but they will fail. This
world is so full of misery, poverty, and suffering by millions of people that
no one can govern it. We would be the first ungovernable people.  [applause]

231.  What would be left of our beautiful history? What would be left of the
memory of our martyrs? What would be left of the names that many of our schools
and factories have? What would be left of our literature? What would be left of
all that we have built with our sweat and blood?  What would be left of our
flag? What would be left of our dignity? That is why we and only we can and
must solve our problems. We must face this challenge.

232.  Certainly, if imperialism could put our fatherland on its knees, and
install capitalism here again, not even the dust would be left from the bones
of our heroes, martyrs, internationalist combatants, all those who preceded us
in this struggle, and those before whom we bow respectfully to pay homage each
day of our lives. That is the meaning of our struggle; that is what saving the
fatherland, revolution, and socialism means! [applause]

233.  As Maceo said in Baragua, or rather after Baragua, although circumstances
were different: Whoever shall try to take control of Cuba will pick up the dust
of its soil covered with blood, if he does not die in the quest!  [applause]

234.  Socialism or death! Fatherland or Death! We will win!