Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Opens Ninth International Fair
Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA0511153391
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-215          Report Date:    06 Nov 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     8
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       11
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       04 Nov 91
Report Volume:       Wednesday Vol VI No 215


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Opens Ninth International Fair

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro to inaugurate the Ninth International Fair
in Havana on 3 November- recorded]

Source Line:   PA0511153391 Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks in
Spanish 0119 GMT 4 Nov 91

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro to inaugurate the Ninth
International Fair in Havana on 3 November- recorded]

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro to inaugurate the Ninth International
Fair in Havana on 3 November- recorded]

2.  [Text] You will find a few new things here, including, of course, this
pavilion...this permanent exhibition center that we have built. The fairs used
to be held over in...  [pauses] it was also a new building. They were first
held at the convention palace, then in [name indistinct], and now here in
ExpoCuba. We have achieved progress. We still have land on which to grow, so we
have achieved progress concerning the selection of the installations. We have
more space. You may have seen that Cuba's participation has increased. This is
proof of the efforts exerted by our country for its development, and it grows
precisely at the most difficult moments.

3.  I will not exaggerate the words spoken by Comrade [Ricardo] Cabrisas about
our problems because they could not be greater, but our optimism could not be
greater, and our certainty that we will overcome our problems could not be
greater, either. We believe that we have a very clear idea about how to do it.
I said that this is reflected in our exhibitions, because hundreds of thousands
of persons are working on them-tens of thousands of scientists, as well as tens
of thousands of professors, engineers, and professionals from assorted
disciplines. Also tens of thousands of midlevel technicians and qualified
workers are participating in a great movement for efficiency, innovation, and

4.  This results in the fact that, soon-in an event that previously took place
every two or three years and now takes place every year-approximately 30,000
reports will be presented by our inventors, technicians, and efficiency
experts. This gives you an idea of the human mental effort being exerted by our
people to find a variety of solutions-ranging from a screw for a Soviet tractor
to a small electronic part for a Soviet elevator.  Unfortunately, sometimes the
elevator never goes beyond the third floor-if it ever works-because we have
made mistakes. [laughs] No, do not think that I am criticizing our friends. I
do not criticize our friends and I wish to state that the Soviets were our
friends and are our friends-although others do not want to be [our friends]-and
we will always feel grateful for what they did for us.

5.  Almost everything we have-locomotives, tractors, trucks, etc., etc.,
etc.-came from socialist countries, from East Europe and beyond, or from the
USSR. Then came the downfall (desmerengamiento). [laughs] We are not going to
call it a blockade, because the intention was not to block Cuba. To the
contrary, they want to send us the spare parts, but they never arrive, they
disappear and cannot be found. There is lack of organization and orde.

6.  This situation has forced us to do what we had to do during the first years
of the revolution-invent. We opened factories and started the engines. We are
now making a similar effort, greater I would say, except that today we have
what we did not have then-much more experience, and above all, much more
knowledge [words indistinct].

7.  Cabrisas may have said many things, but he did not say that today our
country has a treasure of knowledge, which is its most important resource. With
that knowledge we are facing and will continue to face our problems, and not
just to build spare parts or machines. We will maintain the principle that
whatever we build must be worthwhile and useful.

8.  In many areas I can assure you without chauvinism that we are creating
excellent products. We have medical equipment developed from advanced
technology. We may not have ultramodern magnetic nuclear resonance imaging, but
we are working on magnetic nuclear resonance imaging that soon will be
comparable to the best, to cite one example.

9.  We have medical teams that can make an antibiogram [antibiograma] in four
hours, faster than any other team internationally. In the past it was necessary
to wait 48 or 72 hours to know what antibiotic to give to a patient, and
generally the patient died.

10.  We have medical teams conducting studies of the brain.  We have teams to
conducting analysis using radioactive material, who could discover millions of
parts of any product, which we are modernizing year after year.  Those are the
teams of the ultramicroanalytical [ultramicroanalitico] system, to mention some
examples. We produce radioactive material. We could use that type of equipment
in 200 or 300 different ways in human and animal medicine and industrial

11.  We are currently engaged in building a very large monoclonal antibody
production center that will produce hundreds and hundreds of monoclonal
antibodies, or perhaps even more. In microbiology, we are working to produce
vaccines for viruses, bacteria, and parasites. We are using new technology to
identify diseases that often cannot be diagnosed using traditional methods. We
have emphasized everything that is related to the heart, the circulation, and
cancer. We even feel that we are sufficiently qualified to work on programs to
combat diseases as terrible and puzzling as cancer. We have advanced
considerably in this field and that is why Cabrisas said that we were going to
be health exporters. I can add that we are going to export years of life, many
years of life, many years of healthy life.

12.  In addition to our great effort to further our food program-which is our
first priority-we are using tissue cultures in an increasing number of forms to
find new varieties [of produce] that are resistant to plagues and to changing
climates and that are stronger and more productive. Thus, there is hardly any
field of science that we are not exhaustively applying to resolve our current
food problems.

13.  As you know, we are also developing tourism. Our first steps in this field
have been successful. We are building thousands of housing units, mostly on our
own and with our own resources. Our resources include marble, granite, cement,
stone, sand, manpower, project designers, and hotel builders. We also have
thoughts and ideas on the kind of hotels we must build. Should the hotels be
skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and other buildings, which are
currently being bought by the Japanese in New York, or should it be a decent
and livable hotel? Today, people do not want to stay in cages, like in one of
those skyscrapers. Also, the cost of a room in a 25-story building is much more
than one in a two- story or three-story building. It would cost a third less in
convertible foreign exchange, which is currently one of the weaknesses in our

14.  We are promoting tourism. We are striving to attain tourism expertise. We
are studying ways to attend to tourists. The first mixed firms have been
extraordinarily successful. Of course, we are pleased by this and proudly
mention it at fairs such as this. Our associations have increased. They are
alliances of many different types and involve foreign interests and capital. We
have said that, undoubtedly, development requires capital, technology, and
markets. In none of the books by Marx, Engels, or Lenin does it say that we can
attain the development our countries without capital, technology, or markets.
These are objective, historic realities that prevail in a pluralist world with
different social systems. Of course, each country is free to govern itself and
to establish the social system it considers most convenient and the
distribution system it considers most just. However, economic cooperation
between a socialist and a capitalist system and between socialist and
capitalist firms, are perfectly feasible and our experiences are evidence of

15.  We are determined not to allow any of our factories to halt production due
to a lack of raw material or resources. There are many ways to be associated
with foreign firms if we have the machines and the men. I must say that offers,
ideas, and proposals of all types are pouring in because people in foreign
countries believe in our country's responsibility. We have adopted adequate
labor laws for this kind of association. No country can advance with
paternalist laws and without discipline at work. Our people understand this
because they have an average of almost 12 years of schooling. In the Third
World you will not find a working youth that has a minimum of 10, 11, or 12
years of schooling. Unfortunately, you will still find a great deal of
illiteracy [in the Third World].

16.  We have a labor force that is capable of creating and doing excellent
things. All it needs is good management, guidance, and a challenge. Our youth
like challenges.  What we require is the ability to organize. The response is
really extraordinary when we have this. That is why I said that the first mixed
firms are showing excellent results. They have recouped their capital in three
to three-and-a-half years or four years at most. They will triple their capital
over a 10-year period. I do not believe any country in world today offers the
tax facilities offered here. This is precisely because we do not operate based
on taxes. You earn so much and I will charge you so much in taxes. You cannot
bribe your way around here. It is very difficult to bribe here, gentlemen. It
is very difficult to find a minister, a deputy minister, or a responsible
leader who will take bribes or get into shady or dirty business. I do not mean
that there are no exceptions, but these exceptions cannot be found at levels of
greater responsibility. You will find honest workers and officials. They may
not have much experience, but I can assure you that they have a great deal of
honesty. They are a hospitable and cooperative people.

17.  It is gratifying to see how well organizations are working, including the
party, the Communist Youth, the union, and the administration of mixed
enterprises that we have placed in the hands of our foreign partners many
times.  We have told them: You have more experience than we do to organize the
center efficiently. We will gradually acquire experience.

18.  There is discipline, cooperation, unity, and harmony, and you know that
those characteristics are not easily found in many places around the world. We
are offering a broad opening, as broad as possible. We are analyzing the
various proposals that we are receiving in one way or the other, always taking
into account the advantages.

19.  In addition, as I said before, we defend our independence, because that is
what a country must preserve to have the distribution system or social model
that it deems best.

20.  Our partners will genuinely be our partners. They will be our comrades.
They will share our profit. They will repatriate their capital more easily than
in any other part of the world, because the repatriation of capital is
automatic; that has been practically established. We offer more facilities than
any other part of the world.  They will not own our country, as happens
sometimes when foreign investors arrive and commit capital to another country.
We Cubans will be the owners of our country, but we will be the best partners,
the best allies sharing a common interest with all those who may want to work
with us, and who have confidence in us.

21.  That is how we see things, despite the difficulties. We will seek
solutions for our problems, even for the most difficult ones, such as the
energy problem. We have never saved as much energy as we are saving now. We are
also seeking new formulas, and conducting oil exploration not only in firm
territory, but also in maritime areas. There is the possibility of finding oil.
Sooner or later, our problems will be solved.

22.  As I was saying, we are saving a great deal, we are working with great
austerity. I believe that it would be difficult to find another country working
with the same austerity that we are operating under. However, we have not
sacrificed social programs, we have not fired anyone or made anyone go hungry.
If there is not enough raw material, we send him home with a significant part
of his salary, but we do not leave him without an income.

23.  We have adopted human guidelines. We do not apply the so-called shock
policies (politica de choque), which have caused so many problems in other
countries, and which have weakened so many governments. There are many ways of
doing things from a human concept, with a human perspective, and that is how we
do things.

24.  Those are the new things you will notice in our country.  You will see
that there is great enthusiasm. I do not know if there is another country where
fairs are so popular as in our country. There is not enough time to see
everything. I always find myself bewildered when I visit an exhibition center
like this one, where more than 100 firms are participating with so many stands.
Visiting only the Cuban section is a big undertaking.

25.  As I said, you will see that there is great interest. You will establish
contacts with many people. Undoubtedly, many ideas will emerge. We are willing
to hear them all, and to work with seriousness and honesty in all those that
are feasible, possible, and mutually convenient.

26.  That is what I wanted to say to inaugurate this ninth fair.  I wish you
all success and good luck. Thank you.  [applause]