Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speech at Pioneer Congress Reported
Havana Radio and Television Networks
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL0511202191
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-215          Report Date:    06 Nov 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       8
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       02 Nov 91
Report Volume:       Wednesday Vol VI No 215


City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio and Television Networks

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Speech at Pioneer Congress Reported

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro at the First Pioneers Congress at the
Havana Convention Center on 1 November-recorded]

Source Line:   FL0511202191 Havana Radio and Television Networks in Spanish
0144 GMT 2 Nov 91

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro at the First Pioneers Congress at
the Havana Convention Center on 1 November-recorded]

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro at the First Pioneers Congress at the
Havana Convention Center on 1 November-recorded]

2.  [Text] Dear Pioneers and fortunate guests:

3.  The closing ceremony will not be until tomorrow. After all the emotional
experiences that we have gone through, I do not want to bore you by talking too
much during this ceremony. [audience shouts: ``No!'']

4.  I was remembering that afternoon of the Pioneer assembly, when the idea
came up to organize for the next occasion a Pioneers congress. I believe that
was around 1986, or so I was told. It was five years ago when we first talked
about organizing a congress for the Pioneers, which was the only organization
that had not had a congress. We asked ourselves: Why not? Today we congratulate
ourselves for that idea and for having the opportunity and privilege of seeing
this Pioneers congress taking place. It began some months ago with the election
of the first delegates. Comrade Leidis [Gonzalez Salazar, chief delegate to
congress] was telling me, when I asked her about it, that this was the first
congress in the world; this is the first Pioneers congress in the world. I
believe that this demonstrates the confidence the revolution has in the masses
and the people, and the unlimited confidence the revolution has in young
people, adolescents, and children.

5.  It is difficult to call you children. You have shown here that you surpass
the concept of children. Its true that perhaps no Pioneer from the first grade
spoke, but I am sure one could have done so. I know that this is, of course, a
selection of the most outstanding students from the three levels you have here.
There are three, right? I am sure that it is not easy to organize a congress of
three levels. Nevertheless, it was done. Truly, you have represented here the
children and adolescents, and we could probably include the youth, of our
country. You must not think of yourselves as inferior to any other
organization, because other organizations have higher levels of education. I
believe that this level is possibly one of the most important of all. Here at
this level, with the youngest people, very serious and profound things have
been said.

6.  Neither I nor anyone else participated in each of the work commissions. The
congress would not have been possible without these work commissions. We know
that many things were done in the work commissions, many issues and ideas were
discussed, and conclusions arrived at. We have just had the party congress, and
this took place over more than a year, from the moment the basic document was
issued the assemblies began discussing the problems in the work place or party
cells, then in the provincial assemblies, the meetings of provincial delegates,
and the meetings of the organizing committee. In each of these meetings there
was more and more progress until finally a set of issues had been worked out in
the most democratic way possible; that is, by discussing them at length and
with all the necessary freedom and breadth.

7.  The same has happened here at the Pioneers congress.  We do not have the
opportunity to see much television because of our work schedules and programs
that we have. But there was a Pioneer I saw by chance on a television
program-which I think the Pioneers themselves had organized-who said that the
Pioneers congress was going to be as good as or better than the party congress.
That is what she said. [applause] I would say that it is not possible to make a
comparison because they are two very different events.

8.  There is no doubt that the party congress was a great congress. I am
convinced that it was the best we have ever had. Not because of the three or
four days of discussions, but because of the whole lengthy period during which
the problems were discussed and analyzed; because of the conclusions that were
drawn; because of the way the discussions were held; because of the seriousness
and the substance. But we can say that the Pioneers congress-even though it is
the first and even if we had had other congresses before-has been the best
Pioneers congress that we could have ever had.  [applause]

9.  You should take into account, above all, that it is the first one. I am
sure that the visitors and all those who have had the privilege of
participating in this congress with you today have been impressed. Someone said
something that is very true, that only under socialism could there have been a
Pioneers congress. Only under socialism do children and adolescents have the
opportunities our children and adolescents have. This cannot even be dreamed
about in any other country, where there are so many different kinds of schools,
from schools for millionaires to schools for beggars. Of course, most beggars
have no schools, and most of the children of the poorest workers and peasants
have no schools. Fifty percent do not reach sixth grade.

10.  We may not have schools for millionaires, but we have many schools that
the children of millionaires would like to have in their countries. [applause]
They would like to have our special schools, even though the program has
unfortunately not yet been finished because of the economic difficulties we
have had in recent years. They would like to have our vocational schools, those
for the exact sciences, technical schools for diverse specialties, sports
schools, cultural schools, secondary schools for urban students in rural areas,
preuniversity schools in rural areas and in the cities, dozens of university
departments, and our young people's computer clubs, which now exist in almost
all the municipalities in the country.  This is where elementary school
students and university graduates who were not able to learn this when they
were at the university learn to use computers. Our work-study schools are
unique in the world. No other country has them. If anyone wonders or is amazed
that our young people and students are unique in the world, part of the reason
is that we have institutions that are unique in the world, like some of those I
have mentioned. The revolution has combined work and study since its beginning. 
We do not realize how grateful we need to be for this.

11.  I am sure that many of the speeches given here, by you the youngest
people, who represent that mass of almost a million-or at least much more than
half a million- secondary-school students ...[changes thought] Perhaps the
minister of education knows how many there are at the secondary-school level.
They are represented here, and they are already familiar with working in
agriculture as part of school, or many other activities. The representatives of
our children would not have been able to say too much if the concept of work
had not been taught at the elementary-school level wherever it has been
possible. This is why no one gets scared when assigned any task, any job,
including cleaning the schools as Scouts on defense days. You complained about
this today, about having cleaning the schools associated with the defense days.
It definitely does not have much to do with decency ...[corrects himself] It
does not have much to do with defense, but it has a lot to do with decency. A
clean school is a decent school.

12.  I think that our young people, our adolescents, and our Pioneers express
the accomplishments of the revolution; in the first place, the social miracle
that all children have a school, all children are enrolled. It always appears
in the statistics as 99.9 or 99.8 percent. This is why we have such a high
promotion rate, and especially why we have such a high rate of retention in our
schools, why such a large number of students graduate every year at the
different levels, even during these difficult times, even in such difficult
times, when so many schools in the world have been closed.

13.  In our country, not a single school has been closed.  [applause] In our
country, not a single teacher or professor has been left without a job. On the
contrary; every year in our country there are more teachers and more
professors. Every year there are more schools. Every year there are more
educational institutions of one kind or another, because I consider the young
people's computer clubs, for example, excellent educational institutions. I
will not even mention sports activities, which are increasing year by year, or
recreational activities.

14.  I must also mention the interest the representatives of the art schools,
the representatives of the culture sector, have shown and the way you have
expressed yourselves.  Some demand sports, that they be given more sports. 
Others demand cultural activities, more cultural activities. These
representatives say there are not enough arts teachers. The Pioneers reflect
all of the revolution's accomplishments, but this is also reflected in your
feelings, your patriotic and revolutionary spirit. [applause]

15.  Where in the world and among what children and adolescents in the world
could one have heard what one has heard here today? It is good to ask this,
seriously, and not only after some of those so-called socialist countries
disappeared. Because in those so-called socialist countries, there were no
young people like Cuban young people. [applause] There was no spirit like this
spirit of our Pioneers. [applause] We saw Pioneers, many Pioneers, wonderful
children, and healthy children in many places in socialist countries. We saw
noble and good children, as there are everywhere, even in capitalist societies,
apart from that sometimes very high percentage who have to earn their living
cleaning windshields in the streets, or working very hard as street performers,
or begging for money, or searching for food in trash dumps.

16.  That is, there is always an innate nobility in young people, adolescents,
and children. This is found everywhere. We also find this in the former
socialist countries.  But I can assure you that what you carry inside is the
most important thing. It is much more important than the clothes you wear. It
is much more important than the colors and beauty of what you wear. It is much
more important. [applause] You are certainly wearing colors and beauty on the
outside here. [applause] But the colors and beauty you carry inside, [applause]
the ideas you carry inside, the feelings you carry inside are much more
important. [applause] This is what you have expressed today through the words
of dozens and dozens of delegates, who are one-tenth of those who wanted to
speak today. How many wonders have we missed! How many beautiful things! How
many interesting ideas! If only each of the hundreds of you who wanted to speak
had been able to speak!

17.  But there is something that we have probably not even thought about: the
fact of speaking. This is extraordinary. In the world, children do not speak,
nor do they have anywhere to speak, except at home, or in a park.  [applause]
They do not speak at an assembly. Where is there an assembly of children and
adolescents? They do not speak at a congress. Where is there a congress of
Pioneers? At our congress, they speak, and they not only speak with all the
freedom that could be imagined...  [changes thought] I would like to see what
those who talk about democracy-in enormous quotation marks-say about this.
[applause] Here they not only speak with all the freedom that could be
imagined, I repeat, but everyone speaks. [applause]

18.  Those of us who believe in human beings and human society and their
ability to improve themselves, those of us who believe in the virtue and
kindness of human beings, those of us who do not let our souls be poisoned by
exceptions or bad examples or petty things, those of us who do not confuse gold
with mud must really feel encouraged by so much gold. We are using the words of
[name indistinct], who spoke about gold a few minutes ago when he said we had
young people of gold, [applause] and Pioneers of gold. [applause] We feel
encouraged because this is the revolution's accomplishment.  [applause] We feel
encouraged because we see the feelings of a revolutionary people. We feel
encouraged because we see a people capable of rising to the extraordinary
historical time we are living in. [applause]

19.  We have seen this not only in our congress. We have seen this through you,
and this gives us strength, this encourages us, this gives us confidence, and
this gives us assurance in the future. I discussed with my colleague during our
schooldays what historical time he would have preferred to live in. He had no
doubts, as I have no doubts, that this time is the most glorious time in the
entire history of our nation, this time. [applause] It has fallen to you to
live at this time, this difficult time, with the current difficulties,
difficulties that will surely become greater. They will inevitably become
greater before we begin to move upwards again on the difficult course of our
current and future problems. [applause]

20.  Everything has been talked about here. It hurt, it also hurt us a lot,
when the little comrade was explaining about her discussion with her
grandmother, and her argument with her because something was lacking, something
had not been delivered. Imagine a little girl, in seventh or eighth grade,
discussing the problems in the line, almost as if the revolution was to blame
for the shortage of chicken. [applause] Almost as if the revolution was to
blame because it had the chicken stored away in a freezer and did not want to
distribute it. Almost as if the most powerful empire on earth was not harassing
us and putting a stronger and stronger embargo on us.  Almost as if the
socialist world, on which the pillars of our social and economic development
were based, had not collapsed in a matter of months. Almost as if we were a
very highly developed country. Almost as if we had oceans of oil. Almost as if
our underdevelopment did not exist. Almost as if the exploitation of the world
did not exist. Almost as if today we did not have practically unipolar
domination by the most powerful, selfish, and exploiting power of history.
Almost as if the world was not being plundered every day. Almost as if history
did not exist.

21.  So the little girl had to argue with the woman who did not understand. I
am not criticizing the woman. I am simply saying that the woman does not
understand and cannot understand, however many times it is explained and
repeated again and again. We would say, finally, that it is almost as if the
revolution had not done everything that could humanly be done, and even more
than could humanly be done, so that no one would lack for anything. [applause]
If, unfortunately, we lack things-and we lack many things-it is because the
revolution has done everything it is humanly possible to imagine doing so that
everyone would have something, [applause] at any hour of the day, every day,
every week, every month, and not only the chicken that was delayed, but the
medicine that saves a life or alleviates pain, or the book that educates, or
the job that prevents someone from becoming a beggar, or an old person from
being abandoned, or a young person forced to become a prostitute to live.

22.  All the justice the revolution has brought, everything the revolution has
done for the country, explains why in difficult times, those who finally became
accustomed, as long as it was possible, to having a maximum of things cannot
understand when we begin to have shortages. But what the little girl said is
very important. She talked about politics. She talked about the ideological
battle. A few of you spoke about the ideological struggle, and the ideological
struggle is this. When someone does not have the necessary figures or
information ...[changes thought] We have tried to give the people the most
information possible, and a great amount of information was given at the
congress that had never been given in any country about the difficulties we
have had to go through and are going through and will have to go through,
because of the collapse of socialism. The amount of information that has been
given to the people could not possibly be greater, in exact numbers with
decimal points and all.

23.  We must discuss, and discuss with arguments, with reasons, but when there
are no arguments because one does not know ...[rephrases] when there is no
information because it is not known, one must argue by saying: You may believe
that, but I believe in the revolution.  [applause] You may lack confidence, but
I have confidence in the revolution. [applause] You may lack faith, but I have
faith. You may lack courage, but I have courage. [applause] You may think our
people are not worth anything, but I think our people are today one of the best
peoples in the world. [applause, chanting] You may think the revolution will
not be able to solve our problems, but the revolution has not only solved an
infinite number of problems, but the Cuban revolution is now writing one of the
most glorious pages in the history of the world. [applause]

24.  Because when so many have yielded, when so many have surrendered, when so
many have sold out, when so many have been intimidated, we are not yielding,
nor surrendering, nor selling out, nor being intimidated. [applause] Because
there is no coward's blood in our veins. Because there is no traitor's blood in
our veins. Because there is no weakling's blood in our veins. [applause]
Because in our veins there is no blood of those who sell out their country,
[applause] nor of those who sell out ideas.  [applause] Because in our veins
there is no blood of men and women who desert their cause, and certainly not
when their cause is the most just and beautiful that has ever existed.
[applause, chanting]

25.  Marti said that men who did not have faith in their nation were like
premature babies. But the revolution is a great midwife. The revolution is
great medicine in the moral sphere, in the spiritual sphere. We could say that
the number of premature babies has decreased significantly in this country with
the revolution. [applause, chanting] Because of what you say: Cuba is and will
be an eternal Baragua. Because running through our veins is the blood of
Cespedes, the blood of Agramonte, Maximo Gomez, Maceo, Marti, [applause] and
that of hundreds of thousands who, like them, gave their lives for their
country. [applause]

26.  Because not only that pure, heroic blood runs through our veins; the
blood, the generous blood, the immensely pure blood of the working class, of
the international revolutionary movement, also runs through our veins.  Because
our patriotic genes have been mixed with internationalist genes. Because the
ideas of Marti and his group of companions in the struggle have been mixed with
the ideas of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. [applause] Because all our thirst for
justice and freedom has been added to our patriotic blood. [applause] Because
our socialist and communist blood has been added to our patriotic blood.

27.  No one has ever had stronger arguments or more powerful moral and ethical
ideas, a more just cause to defend, greater honor and dignity to uphold, more
independent and glorious banners to defend. [applause] We are working for
something and for something: [as heard] to save the nation, to save the
revolution, and to save socialism. [applause, chanting] We are working for this
with the same spirit as the men and women of 1868 and 1895, with the same
spirit as the men and women of Moncada and all the glorious deeds in the
history of our people in this century.

28.  We are working with the spirit of 1868, and that says it all, because in
1868 there was no oil, electricity, trains, or buses. In 1868 there was no
frozen chicken. In 1868 there often were not even any shoes, clothes, or
weapons.  They fought with the weapons they took from the enemy, or with
machetes. That is how our history was written.  There were no doctors or
medicine. There was nothing.  Our people fought for 10 years in 1868. When some
got tired and said it was not possible, Maceo said: Yes, yes it is possible to
continue to fight, and we are willing to continue to fight. [applause]

29.  When some said the necessary war would never be started again, Marti said:
Yes, the necessary war will return. [applause] When the Yankees intervened in
this country and imposed the Platt Amendment and a neocolony, our country said:
We will not always be a neocolony. We will not always be dominated. And the day
came on 1 January 1959. [applause, chanting] As we said the day the party
congress ended, Marti's ideas did not die, nor were they defeated, when Marti
fell in Dos Rios that 19 May 1895. Neither did Maceo's ideas die or be defeated
when he fell in Punta Brava on 7 December.  Ideas do not die, nor are they
defeated, not even when those who defend those ideas die, if those ideas are
just, as our ideas are.

30.  Our ideas did not die on 26 July 1953, when dozens of comrades fell in
battle or were killed after the battles.  Those who ended the lives of many
comrades after brutally torturing them surely thought they had smashed the
revolution's ideas. They did not know that that day, the revolution's ideas
were multiplying more than ever and growing stronger than ever. [applause] It
is good to remember this in times like the ones we are experiencing.  It is
good to remember our history and the history of our people, what our people
were yesterday and what our people are today. When the fight for independence
began in 1868, we did not even have a nation. We began to have a nation. We did
not even have unity. We began to have unity. Half of the republic... [corrects
himself] of the country could not participate in that first war, from Villa
Clara to here, where there 300,000 slaves, producing sugar and coffee, doing
the hardest work.

31.  No, our people have lived through very difficult times, very difficult
times, [repeats] but we have learned how to overcome them all. Our people never
had what we have today, the strength we have today, the unity we have today,
the experience we have today, the ideas we have today. We can say even more:
the courage we have today, the conviction we have today, the heroism we have
today. [applause] This is why we also stated at the congress that to those who
want to become discouraged, to those who want to become demoralized because of
their wants, we must answer: We are not frightened by the problems. We are not
frightened by the wants of today or even much greater ones. Do not tell us our
struggle has no future because we are confronting the colossus of the north. We
have spent more than 30 years confronting that colossus, and it knows us well. 
[applause, chanting] A gluttonous colossus, but one that has not been able to
swallow us, because we are like an immense ball of thorns, unpalatable,
[applause] indigestible.

32.  If someone was able to write that bit about the shark swallowing the
sardine, and a book with that title even appeared in the initial years of the
revolution by an author who at that time had certain decorously progressive
ideas, today you cannot talk about the shark and the sardine. Today you can
talk about the shark and the fireball, and ask if the shark could swallow the
fireball.  [applause] Today you can talk about the shark and steel, and ask if
the shark could swallow that gigantic ball of steel which is the Cuban
revolution today. [applause, chanting]

33.  This is why we must say to those who want to sow skepticism: You do not
yet know us well. You dare to measure people by the amount of ore they have, or
the amount of oil, or because of what they carry inside here or here. You must
measure us by what we carry in our hearts and in our heads. [applause]

34.  To those who try to sow skepticism, we must say: Be careful. The solutions
will come from our hearts and heads, and victory will come, however hard it may
be.  [applause] One who loses his mother cannot be consoled by anything. One
whose mother is in danger cannot be advised to let her die because his mother
cannot be saved. I do not think anyone would advise someone to do that. I think
there is always an answer to that. It is as if you said to someone: Your mother
feels ill but do not take her to the doctor. Do not have her cured. Do not have
her treated. Because that is the only way to be left without your mother.

35.  When someone has lost his mother, he has lost all hope of having a mother
again, or having brothers and sisters again, or having children again. That is
why, to those who try to exaggerate the problems-which are big but do not
frighten us because we feel bigger than the problems, [applause] because we
multiply in the face of problems, because we grow in the face of problems,
because we become better in the face of problems [applause]-to those who like
to exaggerate the problems and say that in the face of so many adversaries, the
gluttonous colossus and the meringue of sparrow's egg whites, to be very
refined ...[rephrases] Because the meringue melted, and because the colossus is
stronger, are we going to melt? [audience answers: ``No!''] Are we going to
stop fighting? [audience answers: ``No!''] That is why we say that the only
time there will never be a future-think this over well-the only time there will
never be a future for our people, our fatherland, and our nation is if the
fatherland is lost, the revolution is lost, and socialism is lost. [applause]

36.  This is what the empire has always wanted: to swallow Cuba. For more than
150 years it has wanted to swallow Cuba. Now that the meringue has fallen
apart, [laughter] they think the time may have come to swallow Cuba.  [audience
shouts: ``No!''] In the first place, we must say that the reasons the meringue
fell apart are circumstantial, because hunger has not disappeared in the world. 
The exploitation and plundering of the world have not disappeared. The billions
of poor people in the world have not disappeared. On the contrary; they grow
like foam. They grow like meringue when it is beaten.  [applause]

37.  There are more poor people in the world all the time.  There are more
plundered people, more exploited people, more ill people, more illiterates,
more desperate people all the time, everywhere. Because capitalism has spent
centuries exploiting people, and has not solved a single problem. Rather, it
creates more and more problems all the time, everywhere. The world is not going
to surrender. The world may become confused at a given time. There may be
discouragement in the world. The revolutionary and progressive movement may
become confused, intimidated, at times, but all this is temporary.  Those who
believe that they are going to build a 1,000-year empire on this world full of
poverty are deceiving themselves. They will impose more and more poverty on
that world.

38.  People will react. See how they are reacting already in East Europe. There
have just been some elections with about 70 parties. Think of that. Not even 50
percent of the people voted. See how interested they are in that enormous
democracy... [corrects himself] that democracy, in enormous quotation marks.
They do not even go to vote. You will see things, as time goes by, as they
become familiar with that sweet poison with which capitalism kills and
annihilates, with which capitalism degrades and prostitutes peoples, with which
capitalism poisons nations and turns human beings into beasts.  [applause]

39.  You will discover things, and different times will come.  Our part is to
struggle, to resist, to give hearts and minds time, to implement-as we are
implementing- everything necessary to win the battle. This does not mean that
the worst times have passed. We would be irresponsible if we told the people:
It is alright. Do not worry. The problems will not exceed these limits. On the
contrary; we must say that they may become much greater. They will surely
become much greater. We must have our minds prepared for the worst, not for the
easiest. Those who think that combat is easy do not win battles. Those who know
that combat is difficult win battles.

40.  It would be irresponsible, and show a lack of revolutionary honesty, since
we do not know now how much oil we are going to have in January, February, and
March.  We know that many people do not yet even understand the problems of the
special period. Even a change in movies, or one movie less on Saturdays, [on
television] caused many people-and I do not say they did this in bad faith, but
with the best wishes in the world-asked that this be rectified. Well, there was
a correct and intelligent rectification: A movie was taken from Mondays and
moved to Saturdays.

41.  What if one day we cannot turn on our television sets every day? What if
at some time we do not have enough fuel? What are we going to do? Are we going
to sit down and cry? [audience answers: ``No!''] Become demoralized? [audience
answers: ``No!''] That is why I said to you that in 1868 there was no
electricity. Because, well, as I explained at the [party] congress, at the time
of the triumph of the revolution we used 4 million tons of oil.  We could buy
seven tons of oil, seven, with one ton of sugar. This means that at 1959 and
1960 prices, we could buy 13 or 14 tons of fuel with 2 million tons of sugar.
The thing is that now, with the monopoly price of oil, with the depressed
prices of sugar in what we call the dumping ground of the international market,
to buy one ton of oil today you almost need one ton of sugar. We could buy 1.3
or 1.4 tons of oil for one ton of sugar. All the country's sugar would not be
enough to buy the oil alone.

42.  It is possible that the woman who complained about the frozen chicken does
not have the least idea of some of these problems, and what the country has to
do under these conditions, how the country has had to get by with three tons of
fuel less, and how the country has to get by with less fuel every day. Look how
many efforts have been made to avoid power blackouts. But who is guaranteeing
us that however great our efforts may be and however great the people's
cooperation may be-because it has been great, in reducing consumption, and
there have been even greater efforts by the state to reduce consumption, and
there are a few tens of thousands who do not even remember this, nor has it
crossed their minds, and they use even more than before-but who can guarantee
us that within a certain period of time we will be able to maintain the
electricity system in operation 24 hours a day?

43.  What about when we have to choose between one thing and another, between
irrigating crops that will produce food, or one hour more of television? I am
giving an example, using television. Or many other things. What about when we
have to choose between more essential things and other, less essential things?
What will we do then? Think about transportation, for example. A few years ago
the number of trips was 28,000 and 29,000, in Havana, and that was not enough.
Now we are at the level of 18,000. The number of trips has been cut by one
third, and we can see it. It is sad, painful. Not everyone can ride a bicycle.
We do not even have enough bicycles for everyone yet, but we are going to have
them, at the rate we are going.

44.  And if we have to choose at some time between fuel for a certain number of
buses and fuel for preparing the soil?  Or the fuel for certain things or fuel
for irrigating bananas, potatoes, and other foods? Or fuel for cutting
sugarcane with combines or mobilizing 300,000 people to cut cane, with the
number of camps, clothes, shoes, machetes, and food we would have to mobilize
to mobilize 300,000 people, without counting the technological changes at the
collection centers, which today are served mechanically, not with those old
ox-carts like before the revolution which carried the cane there close by? And
when we have to choose between a few more hours more of light, electricity, or
fewer hours in order to solve some of these important, decisive problems?

45.  We need a lot of understanding, and above all it is necessary to
understand that the country cannot work miracles in a few days. It needs a
certain time to do so.  Because the country is practically working miracles. We
could run into the woman who has been mentioned and without interfering at all
in her religious feelings, ask her: Are you a believer? And tell her: Look, we
are working miracles. Because with everything that has happened in the world,
and the fierce hate and the increased embargo by the empire, what the country
is doing is miraculous, I say. We must continue to work miracles. [applause]

46.  Now we have to calculate for every ton of sugar that is produced, where it
is going to be sold, how much oil costs, how much oil we are going to buy, and
where every liter of oil is going to go. Now we have to make greater efforts
than ever to optimize each thing under current conditions, while what we are
doing matures. We often are doing a lot more than we talk about, because we
have no reason to be telling the enemy every day what we are doing, and what
our hopes are based on, what we are doing and what our hopes are based on.
[repeats] But the country that consumed 4 million tons of oil, when half the
houses did not have electricity and when the population was almost half as
large, and when those who used electricity used half of what they use today,
this country reached consumption of 13 million tons of oil, 13 million.
[repeats] The country had to cut consumption almost all of a sudden. In the
second half of the year, the country had to cut consumption by 3 million tons.

47.  In the second half of this year, the country has had to reduce consumption
by hundreds of thousands of tons, hundreds of thousands of tons, [repeats] in
addition to the cuts that had been made last year. Now the country has to
calculate everything it has, everything it is worth, where things can be sold,
what should be bought with each cent, so that our strategic plans can continue
to move forward. It is very painful to halt the plans we have halted. How it
hurts us! That whole plan for special schools! We still had to build more than
150 schools. We wanted special schools for 80,000. We have them for about
55,000 or 60,000. We even wanted to rebuild those that are in the worst

48.  Our housing plans: We were developing the materials industry to supply up
to 100,000 houses per year. We had reconstituted the minibrigades, and we were
carrying out a number of very interesting experiments; for example, the case of
the industrial contingent in San Jose... [corrects himself] San Miguel del
Padron, Milian, which raised the workers production from 4,000 pesos to 22,000.
They were organized like a contingent. There were more than 200 brigades for
irrigation and drainage for sugarcane, and dozens and dozens of brigades for
building dams and canals. This was an enormous, extraordinary effort by the
country, and the country is continuing it, or trying to, at all costs. They are
building causeways and hotels, and boosting the food program with the greatest
effort. There are all the scientific programs, the medical programs: the
pharmaceutics industry, biotechnology, biomedicine, medical equipment. All
those programs are being maintained and promoted under such difficult

49.  We must always preserve our hope. We must always preserve the solutions,
however difficult the conditions are. This must be our philosophy. This must be
our strategy. This must be the philosophy and strategy of our 1868 and 1895,
this era, this great challenge in which the country must resist, while our
enemies think the country is collapsing, is also falling apart. They confuse
egg whites with special steels. [applause] They hope the revolution will not be
able to maintain the people's unity, cohesion, and combativeness. We know this. 
There are some who individually fall apart, or melt. We know of some cases,
even some former revolutionaries; or rather, some old revolutionaries. A former
revolutionary is not the same as an old revolutionary. There are some of those,
but they are very few. They can be counted on the fingers of one hand, in some

50.  In contrast, there is a great amount of heroism and work spirit, a great
amount of the spirit of struggle everywhere.  It is incredible how...
[rephrases] I have said how we have seen it at other times. We can see it at
this time, which is the most difficult of all, this spirit, which we admire so
much in our people. I have gone on at length about this to stress the
importance of ideology and the ideological struggle, especially in the face of
those who try to weaken confidence, hope, and faith in the revolution;
confidence, hope, and faith in victory. [applause]

51.  If Cuban revolutionaries at other times in history had become discouraged
because of their problems, there would be no independent country called Cuba. 
[applause] There would be a small state of the colossus of the north, full of
bordellos, gambling dens, drugs, and all the vices there have ever been or ever
will be. But we would not have this beautiful nation, we would not have this
beautiful country, we would not have this marvelous people, if at one time the
Cuban revolutionaries had become discouraged along the way, if Cespedes had
become discouraged after the first setbacks, or Gomez, or Agramonte, if Marti
had become discouraged at the time of the Fernandina, or when they landed, if
the patriots had become discouraged at the deaths of those illustrious leaders.
Then we would never have had the nation we have today, the history we have
today, the glory we have today. [applause]

52.  I am talking to the Pioneers. I am not talking to the delegates to the
congress, or the workers congress, or the congress of the FEEM [Federation of
Secondary School Students] but to the Pioneers, our youngest generation of
revolutionaries, because they have to participate in this ideological battle
everywhere, on the corner, in lines, at home. You must often argue at home-that
is true- even with the persons closest to you: your aunt, or cousin, or
grandmother, or someone, or your father-in-law, or whomever. Although Pioneers
have few fathers-in-law, [laughter] and few mothers-in-law. But you may have to
argue with your brother's mother-in-law, or your neighbor's.

53.  The ideological battle is very important and that is why I talked, at
length, on this matter.

54.  You have brought up many very interesting topics. I will not review all of
them. The Pioneers organization and the youth will now be responsible for
analyzing each of the agreements reached and analyses made by all the
commissions and reach decisions on what must be done regarding all matters

55.  Some of you suggested ways of replacing imported toys.  What an experience
you received in Las Tunas. A great experience. It was great to hear the
children and adolescents talk about this. Others spoke of the emblem. I believe
this matter was discussed at length. You will have to make a final decision on
this matter based on the results of and ideas expressed during the congress. 
Others broached the topic of the slogan. No one even thought of suggesting the
idea of changing the slogan of: We will be like Che. Beautiful things were
said. You asked to hear about Che's childhood, of the kind of boy he was, what
he did, what mischief he got into. In other words, you wanted to hear that he
was like you. Che was surely like any other child. I remember when we suggested
the slogan for the Pioneers organization. I recall that we asked ourselves: Who
do we want our children to be like? Our answer was: We want them to be like
Che.  That was during the huge mass rally held when Che died.

56.  Che must be seen in a dialectical manner. He must be seen as a child, and
also as a man; he must be seen as a primary school student, a fighter on the
Sierra Maestra, a commander, a minister of industry, a worker. When we talk of
Che we talk of an example of man, not a God or saint. No. Che is not a mystical
idea. Che is in our minds.  He is an example of man, example of a
revolutionary.  We must think of Che as the heroic man, the man of great
values, the generous man, the excellent comrade, someone capable of giving his
life not only for his homeland but for another country, not only for his people
but for other peoples; a man who would go without something to give to others;
a man who was a doctor and who would, under very difficult conditions, remain
with the wounded men and forget that he was a soldier to become a doctor. Che
was a doctor and a soldier. Che taught with his example; he was the complete
man, the honest man, the self-sacrificing man, the socialist man, the man who
believed in communism and the possibilities of communism, the promoter of
voluntary work in our country, the broadminded, clean, brave, rebel man. In
other words, Che is an example. [applause] He was the man of our times, the
socialist, the communist, the internationalist. He was the brother who came
from a foreign land to fight at our side; the comrade who, on many occasions,
endangered his life for Cuba, not his country of birth.

57.  Had it been 1979, perhaps the slogan would recall another man because our
country's history is full of names and men. We said that our children should be
like Cespedes, Agramonte, Maximo Gomez, Marti [applause], Mella. Our times and
our struggle were the determining factor for the slogan selected not only for
our pioneers but for our youths, and not only for our youths but for our
workers, and not only for our workers but for the party militants, not only for
the party militants but for our country's cadres. Che represents the best of
everything, that infinite pleiad of values that our country has been fortunate
to have. [applause] That is why we must gather information, gather all that can
be found.

58.  Someone said, and quite accurately, that everyone can be like Che. If you
are experiencing an asthma attack but you have the spirit and courage to endure
pain and suffering, then you are like Che. If you are studious, then you are
like Che. It was said quite clearly here that if you read a poem, then you are
like Che. If you work hard at whatever you are doing, then you are like Che. If
you practice what you preach, then you are like Che. That is why I agree with
that young comrade who, with very simple words said that it is not difficult or
impossible to be like Che. This does not mean that we want all first, second,
or third graders to be like Che, to be Che's. We seek to teach them to be like
Che. [applause] That is the idea behind this slogan.

59.  You talked about something that is very interesting.  About the explorers
movement. You talked about defense and defense days. Perhaps the matter of
defense is among the most beautiful things you talked about today. We will have
to ask all those who are interested, or involved in this matter, to study each
and every idea expressed by you and to study ways to improve education. We want
no one, no child, adolescent, youth, to be under the impression that they are
useless or incapable of defending themselves if it should become necessary for
us to defend ourselves. We want everyone to know what must be done and how it
must be done. We want everyone to feel competent. I ask myself once again: Is
there any country in the world where the Pioneers can broach such a topic the
way you did? [audience shouts: ``No!''] Is there any country in the world where
the pioneers can express feelings the way you expressed your feelings?
[audience shouts: ``No!''] [applause] Would you disagree with me if I were to
say that to be like this, to speak like this, and to think like this, is to be
like Che?  [audience shouts ``No!''] Therefore, it is not just a slogan.

60.  If I were to say that excellent comrades attended this congress, then I
would also have to say that for every comrade who attended this congress there
are tens and hundreds of good and excellent comrades around the country who did
not come to this congress but who are being represented by you. [applause]
[audience shouts ``Fidel!''] Therefore, it is appropriate to say Pioneers for
communism, we will be like Che. Today, more than ever, today in this special
period, we must say that we must be like Che. [applause] Today, more than ever,
we are confronted with difficulties and adversities. A people who fight will
never be defeated, especially when the people know how to combine courage with
intelligence.  That is our primary duty; that is the primary duty of the party,
the country's directorate. We must know to combine courage with intelligence.
We once said that courage will never lack intelligence, and that intelligence
will never lack courage. [applause] With intelligence and courage we shall go
forward; with intelligence and courage we are simply invincible. Someday, our
enemies and those who believe that our revolution will crumble will have to get
off their cloud. Nothing built on steel pillars can ever crumble. [applause]
All those who live in a cloud will fall.

61.  When we see young people like all of you... [changes thought] As I said
earlier, it is difficult to call you children and I have not addressed you as
children. You may be young in age but you are more than children in
intelligence, [applause] in feelings. [applause] [audience shouts ``Fidel!'']
You are more than children in awareness. You are children because of your
youth, happiness, enthusiasm, inexhaustible energy, and love, but not in
intelligence. I have not addressed you today as children.  I have not even
addressed you as adolescents. What is an adolescent? It is not clear. I have
addressed you as young men and women, as revolutionary militants. [applause]
[audience shouts: ``Fidel! We are happy here!''] I have addressed you as
frontline soldiers and that is what every Pioneer must be during the special
period. Every Pioneer must be a frontline soldier and I assure you that a
brilliant future is ahead for our country. We saw this at the congress.

62.  Everyone is impressed by a building like this one, or a hotel like the
ones being built near the beaches or in Varadero. Everyone is impressed by the
capital, a large factory. But nothing can impress you more than what is built
in the hearts of men and women, in the intelligence of men and women.

63.  During the party congress we heard our scientists speak quite discreetly
and with unbelievable modesty. We have much hope put into our scientists.
[applause] Our scientists are going to play a decisive role in this phase of
the history of our country. A few years ago, those scientists were like you are
today, they were Pioneers like you are Pioneers. We have tens of thousands of
scientists and there is a graduate at each scientists side. We are not going to
wait for the factories and new centers to be built to recruit personnel. We are
looking for the graduates and putting them at the side of every scientist.
There is an incredible spirit, impressive spirit. We have many things, but we
would rather be discreet. We have many hopes but for the time being, a key idea
will do. We must save the fatherland, the revolution, and socialism. 
[applause] To resist is to overcome. Socialism or death!  [audience shouts:
``Or death!''] Fatherland or death, we will win! [audience shouts: ``We will