Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speech at Havana City CTC 23 Dec
Havana Radio Rebelde Network
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL3112144091
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-001          Report Date:    02 Jan 92
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       7
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       24 Dec 91
Report Volume:       Thursday Vol VI No 001


City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Speech at Havana City CTC 23 Dec

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro at the plenary session of the Havana City
Province Cuban Workers Federation, CTC, at the Havana Palace of
Conventions on 23 December-recorded]

Source Line:   FL3112144091 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 1900 GMT 24
Dec 91

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro at the plenary session of the
Havana City Province Cuban Workers Federation, CTC, at the Havana
Palace of Conventions on 23 December-recorded]

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro at the plenary session of the Havana City
Province Cuban Workers Federation, CTC, at the Havana Palace of Conventions on
23 December-recorded]

2.  [Text] Dear Comrades:

3.  During the Congress of the Union of Education, Science, and Sports Workers,
Comrade Alfredo [Morales] told me that they had a meeting with the labor union
cadres of the capital and he invited me to participate with you for a few
minutes. I said: Alfredo, we truly have a great deal of work to do, but if all
the labor union cadres of the capital are going to meet, I will do all I can to

4.  I have listened to the words spoken by Alfredo, the report on the work that
the labor unions have done in the capital in 1991. It is impressive that with
35 percent of the needed resources, they have completed 85 percent of the plan.
This is truly incredible. He spoke of all the heroic deeds done by the workers
of the capital throughout 1991, in many activities and many fields. He
mentioned, among other things, their efforts in food production. I believe that
our capital has truly set a great example during this year with the the
two-week mobilizations and the creation of contingents. To tell the truth, on
this date last year, the camps had not yet been completed. Everything was still
being organized.

5.  He mentioned, or [Pedro] Ross mentioned, the movement that was begun last
year, after July, after the assembly in which the union leadership discussed
the party congress document, and we were made aware that there was a critical
situation in the fields of Havana Province. They did not have enough people and
they were losing crops. A call was made to mobilize and save whatever could be
saved. The weeds were enormous; in many cases the weeds were higher than the
plantain plants. People had to cut high weeds to pick boniato, cucumbers, or

6.  It was a truly disastrous situation because Havana Province had no work
force for the vegetable crops. There were not enough students, and the work was
not well organized. There were many defects in organization and leadership, and
they had grown accustomed to the idea that production was a task for the
cooperatives and individual farmers, since the state enterprises were
considered practically powerless to grow the crops that could have been grown
on those lands. After the first mobilizations, the camps were created.

7.  At the beginning there were no camps. High quality camps were built, and
all the principles of attention to the workers' needs, optimum attention to the
workers' needs, were established. If they did not have air conditioners, like
the camps for the construction worker contingents, it was because the economic
situation at the time would no longer permit it. It was not because we did not
have the air conditioners, but because of the cost of fuel. We considered
stopping distribution of the ceiling fans we had in order to use them at the

8.  This is how these mobilizations began. This is how the call was made to the
workers of the capital. I have had lots of contact with those workers. I do not
go around publishing it in the newspapers when I go to the rural areas in
Havana Province, but every time I have the opportunity I visit a camp of
mobilized workers, or I visit a contingent, or several contingents, or several
camps. I visit the agricultural zones, and I have been able to observe the
process throughout this year.

9.  These have been years of experience and apprenticeship in all senses.
Agriculture was really very badly organized in the province. There was a lot of
bureaucracy and many offices. The workers would work here one day and tomorrow
somewhere else. No one had any idea of what would result from their work every
day. The presence of the leaders, the presence of union cadres, party cadres,
people's government cadres, and the presence of the top party and
administration officials allowed us to find out all the problems and
difficulties of agriculture in the province and take all kinds of measures.

10.  We not only discovered the problems of the vegetable enterprises, which
were greater than they seemed, but we also discovered the problems of the state
collection agency, or the organization of the state collection agency, which
had already been the reason we had decided to build the agricultural
distribution markets around the capital. The state collection agency did not
even have markets in the capital. It would often distribute products to stores
in completely inappropriate places. It did not even have scales for the trucks.
This was an area which had deteriorated quite a bit, because when they did not
have the necessary work force, and they fell into certain incorrect
bureaucratic practices, the result was demoralization.

11.  Therefore, this year has been a year of enormous effort in all these
spheres. The agriculture officials were not able to transmit their own
experiences about the characteristics of each of the crops, the best seasons,
to be able to develop as rational a program as possible to produce food for the
capital. It was necessary to plant a crop of tomatoes in Pinar del Rio because
there was insufficient space here. The decision has been made for this year to
transfer 300 caballerias of sugarcane to the vegetable crops enterprises,
because we had to prioritize food for the capital, in the first place.

12.  Despite all this, since the use of oxen requires areas to produce food and
pasture for animals, and part of that area had to be used for food for the
oxen, the tomatoes crops were kept in Pinar del Rio, for this year. The state
currently has 22,000 hectares of land, the cooperatives have 10,000, and the
individual farmers have 10,000, in Havana Province and in the vegetable crops
areas, not including all the small farmers. There are many small farmers who
have one hectare of land. There are independent farmers who sold or rented
their lands to the state and were left with one hectare of land in sugarcane
areas, in livestock raising areas, in different places. There is a relatively
high number of them, but they do not constitute the fundamental source for food
production for the capital. This source is, and I repeat, the state's lands,
the lands of the agricultural cooperatives, and the lands of the independent
small farmers.

13.  Besides all this there is sugarcane. Do not confuse sugarcane with this.
It has its resources, machinery, cooperatives, state enterprise, and also
independent small farmers. Sugar plantations also have their production for
self-sufficiency. We are not including livestock raising areas, which have more
than 10,000 caballerias.  They too have production for self-sufficiency. There,
they did not have the problem of a lack of work force. To the contrary; they
had a surplus of work force. We are also not including some crops such as
tobacco. They are independent, although they are rotated with other crops to
produce food for the people. There are also areas for cress, which is produced
in part by independent small farmers in Batabano and by cooperatives, although
we are going to develop other areas for cress.

14.  We have basically been talking about those crops to which we have directed
the new mobilizations. Traditionally, a certain number of people were mobilized
to work in the cane fields and to work in tobacco, but the great mobilization
was directly for food production, especially on state-owned lands and to help
some cooperatives. We had the schools in rural areas, but they were not being
used efficiently. There were also problems and shortages in all these areas,
both because of the schools and because of the Agriculture Ministry. We had the
schools in rural areas as a work force, but this work force was not sufficient
to produce all the food needed for 2 million people. We needed a solid, new
work force in those areas.

15.  Alfredo mentioned the increases this year in comparison to last year; 1.5
million does not seem like much, but it is something if you take all these
factors into consideration: that the whole organization process took place
throughout this year, the camps were completed, the contingents were organized,
etc. It is a lot if we consider that all the state enterprises have increased
their production by at least 50 percent. Some of them have increased their
production by more than 50 percent. The important increases in production have
occurred, and have to occur, on state-owned lands. That is where the majority
of the forces have been mobilized.

16.  The peasants have limited potential. They can produce more or less what
they traditionally produced. We have asked them for even greater efforts, and
we have continued applying what we consider intelligent policies. We need this
or that. What crops do you prefer? What do you like? Garlic? Oh, yes, I like
garlic. How much garlic do you want to plant if the program is for 150
caballerias?  Do you want to plant garlic alone? Yes. Do you want to plant 30
or 130 caballerias? They said, 130. They like garlic. [chuckles] It is a crop
that yields a lot. It yields a lot of money, not garlic. [laughter]

17.  Potatoes: The program requires this much. How much do you want to plant?
You tell me. Onions: The program requires this much. How much do you want to
plant?  Peppers: The program requires this much. Carrots: The program requires
this much. And so on for all the crops.  Do not worry. What you do not want to
plant will be planted by the state, because it now has a solid work force. What
it has is an army-we must really call it that-in the fields of the province
which is capable of doing anything, capable of any effort. It is an army that
becomes more seasoned every day. It has been said that some 253,000 people have
participated, but some have participated more than once; some have participated
two or three times.

18.  The contingents have obtained a great deal of experience in the past two
years. The contingents for two-week mobilizations are well-organized. Some of
them have participated, as I said, two or three times. Some stay more than two
weeks; they stay for a month or 45 days.  They have learned; they knew nothing
at all. I would say that our working class, the workers of our capital, have
acquired an education in agriculture in addition to their industrial or
services education. They already know these things. (?So) they know how to pick
a boniato in the rainy season and how to pick it when you cannot use any
equipment to get it, or how to pick yucca, or how to pick many of these crops,
not in the dry season, when it is relatively easy, but in the rainy season.

19.  They have learned a great deal, and they are a tremendous work force. 
This is why we have been able to ask the peasants: What do you want to plant?
Plant it. The state will take care of the rest. With the cooperatives, it is
coordinated very well because they have the land all together and it is just as
easy to work with them as with a state enterprise. But we also ask them: What
do you want to plant? Do you want bananas with microjet irrigation? How many
caballerias do you want? We give them the resources, the funds, the materials.
We give them all they need. Do you want to plant plantains with microjet
irrigation? How many caballerias do you want to plant? And we coordinate with
them also. The rest of the big investments are made by the state.

20.  The efforts can already be seen. You can go through the whole province of
Havana, as Ross said, and you will not find one weed at the crops. In the last
visits I have made, I have seen either everything planted or everything being
prepared for planting, and the best possible soil preparation despite this
year's late rainfall, all through November, which delayed us in preparing the
soil. This is why some crops had to wait 15 days, two weeks, or three weeks. We
have had to make an effort in which the workers there, the mechanized workers,
had to work 20, 30, and even 36 hours nonstop. They had to take advantage of
the break to do what they could not do in September, October, and part of
November, to be able to plant the crops in the right season, which is very
important. It is important to plant garlic when it has to be planted and potato
when it has to be planted, because their season is very short. There is a
limited timeframe in which the fields must be prepared and the planting done.

21.  All the experience from last year allowed us to draw up much better plans
than those of last year. In addition, there are more than 300 caballerias of
plantains with microjet irrigation, of which only part is in production.  In
other words, a great part of the work done by the workers of the capital cannot
yet be seen. We will be able to see it in 1992. We have already made
calculations. In 1992, the vegetable crops enterprises in the province will
double what they produced in 1990. In 1993, they should produce three times
that amount, more or less; three times that amount. [repeats] I calculate that
their production in 1994, when all the banana plantations are in operation and
there will be about 650 caballerias with microjet irrigation, will be four
times what the state enterprises produced in 1990.

22.  This is the pace it is moving at, and it can be seen. There have been some
tremendous changes in organization by farms, making each work group responsible
for a given area, in addition to the new wage system. But that is not the
principle factor at the moment. There are many things that money cannot solve.
The most important thing is the organization and the awareness of the people,
the motivation they have to do what they are doing. That is why the results
cannot be measured in numbers just yet. [chuckles] We will be able to measure
them in numbers in 1992, better than in 1991.

23.  All the conditions have been created, including citrus; there are about 70
new camps. There are some that must still be completed. I think there are 72
new camps. There is a total of 90 camps in those areas for mobilized workers.
There is one more very good thing: The people of Pinar del Rio have committed
themselves to doing the work themselves and freeing up the work force that the
capital was sending there. Starting in January, they will take care of
everything. People must truly mobilize from far away. The conditions of those
camps are not the same as these because they are camps for three months or
three-and-a-half months. Those camps are in rice production areas.  We have not
been able to create by any means the conditions that have been created in the
camps that operate for an entire year.

24.  Beginning in January, mobilized workers from the capital will not have to
go to Pinar del Rio. This means that we can use these camps to the maximum,
during essential times, the times of highest demand. We can offer very good
conditions for attending to the workers' needs.  This is another factor that
helps but, of course, we must plant a lot. Right now, we ask every day how much
has been planted of each product. How much in potatoes?  We have to make up for
the delay in the preparation of the fields due to the rain. Fortunately, the
weather in the last few weeks has helped us. Possibly by 31 December, almost
all the crops that we had to plant this season may be finished; then we have
January and February. Later on we have the harvest seasons. Later we have March
and April when there are both harvests and planting, and we need the greatest
number of workers.

25.  The results from the application of technology, such as plantains with
microjet irrigation, are extraordinary.  Some caballerias of plantains with
land microjet irrigation, from which we expected 20,000 tons of plantains, have
produced 25,000 tons.... [corrects himself] Excuse me, I meant quintals not
tons; 25,000 quintals of plantains. The production has surprised the workers
and has caused them to be enthusiastic.

26.  It would be too much to mention all the efforts that are being made in the
scientific field to make up for the lack of fertilizers, pesticides, and
herbicides, and all the things that have been done. Aside from the fact that
these activities had been given priority, sugarcane received very little
fertilizer, because the production of food was prioritized. Potatoes,
plantains, and all those crops have not lacked fertilizer. Malanga planting is
increasing. The production of seeds is being developed in order to produce
yams. If we cannot have yams during the whole year, we could at least have some
part of the year, and that way the people from the eastern region can satisfy
their desire to eat yams every once in a while.  [laughter]

27.  We are working on many different things. Citrus production is increasing.
We are working rapidly on the rational grazing system in all of agriculture. I
have emphasized the efforts by the Havana workers because I believe it has been
an admirable effort. One of the questions that one used to ask is: How are the
people going to be in a year from now? Will they be tired of the mobilizations?
Will the people's work spirit decrease? How will the contingents be doing?

28.  I can assure you that the seriousness and the behavior of these two-week
mobilizations is really impressive. Even more impressive are the results of the
contingents. The contingents have associated themselves with the schools in
rural areas and have produced a revolution in the spirit of the students. That
is where you see the influence of the working class on the students and on the
education of those students. There are magnificent students. They have
increased their productivity, discipline, and interest. Those who were called
guides have disappeared.  They no longer need guides.

29.  We made the mistake of turning agricultural workers into guides for
students, and they did not know anything and all they did was loaf around.
Please forgive me, any honorable guides that may have existed, any honorable
and efficient guides. But the concept of guides was another stupidity. It was
something we needed to overcome. They do not need guides now. They are mixed in
with the workers and the students are assigned their tasks, and they are
carrying out their responsibilities.

30.  In other words, those thousands and thousands of students have doubled or
tripled their productivity. This is not being told to you by someone who has
been told. It is being told to you by someone who has often toured these places
and talked to the students and walked through the banana plantations and the
fields to see what they are doing, and if they know what they are doing and why
they are doing it. This is someone who has talked with the mobilized workers
and with the mobilized contingents. I am an eyewitness of what their conduct
has been, and what has occurred in one year. After one year, their morale is
very high. That morale is reflected in the agricultural workers who used to
work only four or five hours, and then they would go home or they would go work
for an independent farmer who would pay them a higher wage. An independent
farmer can do what the state cannot. Someone who plants one caballeria of
potatoes earns a certain amount of money. During the harvest, if he needs to
hire someone for a couple of days, he can hire anyone at any wage, because he
does not have the obligation to support that employee all year round when he is
not working all year round.

31.  This has increased the morale of these workers. The number of agricultural
workers has increased this year.  General job descriptions have been
implemented. Technicians and engineers are on the farms; scientists are at
enterprises and farms, and are touring the fields.

32.  There is a complete change, a true revolution in all of this. This is
where we have been able to directly see the spirit of the Havana workers. We
could say that with them, we can accomplish whatever we want. They have
demonstrated it in the minibrigades. They have demonstrated it during the
Pan-American Games. They have demonstrated it in every task. This is true of
the working class of Havana, the workers in general, because office workers
also participate in these mobilizations, and many other workers who are
employed not in a factory but in service centers, hospitals, offices, in
easier, more comfortable work centers.

33.  I know of many people who get upset if they do not participate. I know of
the struggle of many people, when their work is needed and they cannot
participate. They get truly upset if they do not get a chance to participate
for at least a week or two every year. They make immense efforts and sacrifices
because they have been participating for years. Some of them are older people. 
Some come out of the office to grab a hoe and begin to plant or harvest yams,
or pull up weeds. This is truly meritorious.

34.  One of the best contingents is the one from Habana Vieja in Las Marias
Camp. It is called Martires de la Cubre. I am familiar with them because I have
visited them at least 10 times. [applause] It is incredible that such
outstanding workers have come from Habana Vieja, the core of our capital
itself, to work in the furrows. It is not easy to understand the merit of these
people and how proud the workers of Havana and our revolution must feel for
having workers such as these, [applause] the love they feel for what they are
doing, and their work, and the fruits of their work. They have come to see as
their children the results of their efforts and sweat. And how they defend

35.  They do not want to hear of a thief. If you let them, they would finish
off all the thieves. They have implemented order and discipline because they
now have rifles, even dogs and horses. The binge is over; the disorganization
is over; the thieving is over in those plots. [applause] The proletariat force
is guarding those fields. The proletariat hand, strength, and spirit are there.
The proletariat spirit does not believe in being soft or in any Cabiri
mysteries.  That is the truth. It is the only thing that can establish order
where so many types of vices have taken root. Only the working class, only the
workers in general, are capable of implementing the policy, discipline, and
order which these circumstances demand. I believe that this says a lot about
our people and workers in general because the ones carrying it out are workers.

36.  Of course, the illegal vendors do not participate. Unfortunately, we have
to produce yams for the illegal vendors, potatoes for the illegal vendors and
scoundrels, food for the counterrevolutionaries. They should at least keep this
in mind and watch themselves. [laughter] The workers are the ones
participating, sweating, and laboring under the intense heat and humidity of
the summer months. That is hard work. The Europeans who thought themselves such
good workers did not dare to do it. They got the Indians and almost annihilated
them through the work in the fields. Then they hunted Africans to turn them
into slaves, and used them in the cane fields to do the work that Cubans do
now, that the Havana workers do now.

37.  Hunger does not force them to participate, as in capitalist times, when
vast unemployment forced people to stand in lines to get work in the cane
fields. Conscientious men and women are the ones who go to participate in this
hard work and endure not only heat and humidity, but also mosquitoes and flies,
gnats and deerflies, and every other insect pest around. We have seen how our
people are capable of challenging all these nuisances. I believe that this
requires as much courage as to grab a rifle and jump into a trench. To grab a
rifle and hit the trenches is for many Cubans almost a party because of the
courage and special character of our people. Sometimes, to spend August with a
hoe in your hands requires more courage than the courage needed to combat the
Yankee infantry or whatever.

38.  I know our people because I have seen them under many different
circumstances. More than 300,000 volunteered for the first internationalist
mission in Angola. Every time there was a new mission we conducted an inquiry
and hundreds of thousands volunteered to fulfill our internationalist duties.

39.  Cubans are often quicker to volunteer for Ethiopia than for Baracoa.
Baracoa seems too near and not worth the effort they are willing to make, the
heroism they are willing to show. We have examples of which I am a witness,
apart from the many things accomplished by the workers of Havana. Here in
Havana is where the struggle is the hardest in every sense, and the special
period is especially difficult because there are 2.1 million inhabitants. 
There are many problems from the past, which during the rectification process
we had planned to face and solve as fast as possible, where we have the most
problems, as in housing and all types of problems.

40.  The energy crisis now makes it more difficult. Havana is where we have the
most transportation problems because it is such a large city. There are
provincial capitals where you can walk to work, where you do not even need a
bicycle. There are many provincial capitals where most workers can walk to
work, but in Havana you cannot even go on a bicycle. Those buses consume a lot
of fuel, besides there are not spare parts for them. We have not received any
parts for them. This is serious. The capital is always more cosmopolitan; there
are always more influences exerted on the capital. That is where the enemy
tries to exert more influence, where the proletarian spirit is stronger, but
also where the petit bourgeoisie spirit is stronger. That is a historical
characteristic of Havana. In the same place where there is a great proletarian
spirit and influence, the old influences of capitalism and capitalist ideology
linger. This is where the most foreigners with political agendas travel and
move around. This is where the revolution has the greatest economic burden due
to the enormous concentration of the population.

41.  Therefore, in the capital we have problems that do not occur in Las Tunas,
or Holguin, or in any other province with much smaller cities where it is
easier to solve any problem. That is why you have such a hard, difficult task
here. You have to understand this and be aware of it.  That is why the biggest
effort is expected from you, more than in any other part of the Republic. The
greatest spirit, the greatest combativeness is expected of you, because this is
where, as Ross explained, the enemy tries to strike, divide, confuse, kill all
hope, ideologically weaken the masses, morally weaken the people, and it
focuses its attacks on this.

42.  You have to realize that at present imperialism has only one enemy to
attack. That enemy is called Cuba. All the resources that were focused against
the USSR and the socialist bloc before are today focused against us. They have
more or less normal relations, diplomatic and economic ties, with a certain
consideration and respect, with other socialist countries. But there is one
country that sticks in their throat, a country called Cuba. We stick in their
craw. [laughter] They cannot come to terms with us, they cannot understand us,
they cannot even conceive nor imagine how Cuba can resist. They base their
conclusions on objective facts, such as the disappearance of the socialist

43.  Do you realize that we have become the bastion of socialism in the heart
of the West? What a task! What a historic deed for a country that wants to
defend its independence, that wants to defend its values, that wants to defend
its revolution, that wants to defend socialism!  This is a country that is
convinced, persuaded in its heart, that this is the noblest cause, the most
altruistic cause, the most just cause, because this is the only thing
compatible with human dignity. We know what happens in the rest of the world,
and not only in developed capitalist countries where people die of hunger and
cold in the streets, where they die at the same time as there are great
personal fortunes that sometimes amount to billions of dollars.

44.  Take a look at what happens in the Third World, in the undeveloped
capitalism of the Third World. We do not need to have lived through capitalism
to understand what it means to have women who have to sell themselves to
survive, those hundreds of thousands of women. What work would capitalism have
offered the more than 1 million women who work in our country?  All our female
doctors, teachers, nurses, professors, or those who work in the factories, or
in services-what jobs would they have had in capitalism? What respect for human
dignity was there in that society? What equality?  What respect was there for
people of any color but white, such as the Europeans or the Yankees? What of
the racial discrimination, the precarious life of the people, the vices, the
abuses, the injustices implicit in that system, and in which mankind cannot be
forced to live?

45.  Those who have known freedom do not give it up. They prefer to give up
their lives rather than give up their freedom. They prefer to give up their
lives rather than give up their dignity. Because what is life worth without
freedom and dignity? [applause] What is life worth if a person is treated like
an animal, a dog, or worse than a dog? The rich bourgeoisie take a hundred
times better care of cats and dogs than they do people, and they are moerned
about cats and dogs than about people.  [applause]

46.  There is no one who can force us to go back to that past, no matter who
may fall, no matter who may collapse, and no matter who may fall apart
[desmerengar]!  [applause] They will not be able to criticize this nation's
courage, dignity, honor, firmness, or rebel spirit. They want us to surrender,
to fall apart. [laughter] We could not even if we wanted to, because steel does
not crumble.  [applause] That is why they want to isolate us and make the
embargo harsher. That is why they get irritated, because we are willing to
fight, to resist, no matter what the mediocre people may think. I am not
referring to the weaklings we may have within our society, the unworthy
children of this nation. I am referring to the world, to those who so easily
become intimidated and tremble. We do not become intimidated, and we do not
tremble.  [applause]

47.  To those who doubt and hesitate: We do not doubt or hesitate. [applause]
To those who advise us to make concessions: We will never make any concessions
to the imperialist enemy, and we will not make more than the changes we
consider good and appropriate to perfect our revolution and our socialism.
[applause] To those who pity us, we say: Do not pity us. One feels admiration
and not pity for heroes and courageous people. [applause]

48.  These are the concepts and ideas that should be deeply rooted in our
hearts, because they are the ones that correspond to the people to which
history has assigned the responsibility it has assigned to us. They are the
ones that correspond to the people who have to accept the challenge we have to
accept. We have spent more than 30 years confronting the Yankee colossus,
fighting without yielding, fighting without a rest, confronting its
aggressions, threats, and embargoes. How many things have they done against
Cuba in these 30 years! They are mistaken when they harbor illusions about the

49.  As we said yesterday, we will see which sugar mills they are going to
divide up. We will see if they get even one screw from one of our sugar mills.
[laughter] What land are they going to seize? Because we are irrigating it with
our sweat. What houses, what buildings, what schools?  Are they going to turn
the child care centers into brothels or stores? To turn the schools into what?
To turn everything the revolution has done into what? What are they going to do
with the houses the revolution has given the people? They are not going to get
even one brick from those houses they want to take away from the people.  They
will have to conquer them inch by inch. [applause]

50.  They will not face only the courage of our people; they will also face the
talent and intelligence of our people.  We will know what to do in every case
and how to do it, what to do and how to do it. [repeats] Of course, we are not
idiots like the many there have been in some places.  We must be firm and
solid. We must not allow the counterrevolution to lift its head anywhere.
[applause] We must not let the counterrevolution organize anywhere. The issue
of the little groups is nothing new for us. At the beginning of the revolution,
in very difficult times, at the time of the Bay of Pigs, there were more than
300 counterrevolutionary organizations in this country. So our people have had
a lot of experience.  These people who are playing this role at this time in
world history are the people who have experience, people who are organized,
united, and tested.

51.  This can be seen every day when we meet with Pioneers, students, people at
the spare parts forum, the teachers union. We see this everywhere. These are
not just any people. These are seasoned people, veteran people.  [applause]
These people are marking today the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ignacio
Agramonte, who knew how to answer [applause] who knew how to answer when they
asked him what weapons he was going to win that war with. He told them: With
the Cubans' pride.  [applause] Yes, with our pride, our dignity, our honor, our
patriotism, our revolutionary conscience, our spirit, we will know how, we will
be able to overcome whatever obstacles that may arise.

52.  But in fact our people, and we can say this with pride, is already writing
an unprecedented page of history. Who would have thought that the USSR, the
country that resisted Nazism, that resisted the interventions by many Western
powers at the time of the revolution, that confronted the millions of men and
tens of thousands of tanks and planes Hitler attacked them with, that fought in
Leningrad for 900 days of siege, that fought in Moscow and Volgograd, and
fought everywhere, was going to fall apart in that way?

53.  Who could have imagined that our noble people, our heroic people, our
people who have always followed a policy of principle throughout their history,
and refused to be swallowed by the colossus of the North, that today, when all
this is happening, they continue to be firm.  They are worthy of the admiration
of the world. They are worthy of the admiration of the world. [repeats]
[applause]. That is why I said we are writing an unprecedented page in history.
But, are we capable or not of writing this page? I ask you, the representatives
of the working class, the representatives for the workers of our capital: If we
had been there in 1868 and had heard the ringing of the Demajagua bell, calling
to battle, would you have gone to battle or not? [prolonged applause]

54.  I ask you: If we had lived in 1895, that 24 February when Marti, in the
name of the revolutionary party which united all Cubans and all patriots,
called for the second war of independence, would you have said no or yes? 
[audience answers: ``Yes''] And if you were back again in those days of March,
1952, and if the fatherland had fallen under the degradation which that
imposition, that tyranny meant, and if you were called to fight, to enlist in
the ranks for the attack on the Moncada barracks, or to come over in the
Granma; Would you have said yes or no? [audience answers: ``Yes'']

55.  This is why now, when we are living in a much more exceptional time, a
time in which we are defending all the values which they defended in 1868,
1895, and in 1952, now we are defending everything. Now, when our people are
known throughout the world, and they are not known for being cowards, but for
being courageous.  They are not known for vacillation, but for resolution. 
They are not known for being uneducated, but as a highly educated people,
prepared, instructed. They are not known for being ignorant, but for being
politically astute people. Now, when we are known throughout the world, the
world knows what Cuba is.

56.  And when thousands of millions have their hope set, yes the billions of
hungry people in the Third World, the poor of the Third World, and the
exploited, including from many capitalist countries, many capitalist countries,
[repeats] there are many people who support, who feel admiration for Cuba. Now
when we have taken socialism as our banner, when we have taken the most noble,
just ideas which the whole history of mankind has known; now when we are
defending the ideas of Marti, of Cespedes, of Agramonte, of Maximo Gomez, and
of Antonio Maceo, of Mella, and Guiteras, of all those who have fallen in this
heroic revolutionary struggle in the past 30 years; of those who died in other
lands, who gave their blood for the liberty of the peoples; now that we
represent all this, we invite you and we call you to the battle: What are you
going to say? Yes or No? [audience answers, ``Yes''] [prolonged applause].

57.  We know that our people, especially our workers, and we know that our
people in the capital, especially our workers, our laborers in general, will
know how to be at the peak of dignity and heroism, which this hour demands.

58.  That is why I say: Socialism or death, Fatherland or death, We will win.
[prolonged applause]