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Castro Addresses 12th Regular ANPP Session
Havana Television and Radio Networks

Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     FL0211015092
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-212          Report Date:    02 Nov 92
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     6
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       14
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   

Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       31 Oct 92
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 212


City/Source of Document:   Havana Television and Radio Networks 

Report Name:   Latin America 

Headline:   Castro Addresses 12th Regular ANPP Session 

Subheadline:   On Electoral Law, Missle Crisis 

Author(s):   Cuban President Fidel Castro at the closing of the 12th regular
session of the National Assembly of the People's Government, ANPP, at the
Havana Convention Center on 29 October-recorded] 

Source Line:   FL0211015092 Havana Television and Radio Networks in Spanish
0306 GMT 31 Oct 92 

Subslug:   [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the closing of the 12th
regular session of the National Assembly of the People's Government, ANPP, at
the Havana Convention Center on 29 October-recorded] 

FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE: 1.  [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the
closing of the 12th regular session of the National Assembly of the People's
Government, ANPP, at the Havana Convention Center on 29 October-recorded] 

2.  [Text] [Castro] Comrades: Comrade Juanito [Escalona] asked me during the
break if I would speak a few words.  I do not intend to speak for a long time.
He told me that this was the final session of this legislature. I almost became
sad thinking that we had to give a kind of farewell; but that is not the case,
right, Juanito? That is not the case. This assembly does not have to do
anything more until the new assembly is formed. 

3.  [Escalona] Commander, the standing committees have to work. The study of
the organic law for the people's government must continue, but the assembly as
such would not meet again, unless there is a special session. 

4.  [Castro] Except that there is still the possibility, with whatever
circumstance may justify it, that a special meeting would be held. However, we
can assume that this will be the last regular session. This is the third
legislature. I think it was to end, when? In December 1991. It has been
extended a year and four months, right? Until the next assembly is formed. 

5.  Well, what can we say? This was a truly difficult time.  When this assembly
first met, no one was even talking about perestroyka yet, almost. Wasn't it in
1986? What month? [answer indistinct] Yes, we had that immense honor! I almost
forgot. It was in 989, but when was the assembly formed? December 1986.
Perestroyka was already being talked about. However, we did not even dream of
all the events that would happen later, the incredible phenomenon of the
disappearance of the socialist bloc, then the Soviet Union, and this whole
enormous crisis that has arisen in the world and left us practically alone on
the front line of battle. 

6.  I think that this legislature has had the historic, truly historic, honor-I
wish it had not received this honor!- but it had the historic honor of
undertaking the tasks that resulted from these events that were so serious, so
dramatic, and so damaging o our revolutionary process and our country. I think
it has fulfilled this task honorably and fittingly. During this legislature, it
fell to us to modify the Constitution of the Republic. I think those were
extremely interesting and useful debates. They were difficult, of course, but
in the end they resulted in modifications to our Constitution that we can be
satisfied with. 

7.  Now it has fallen to us to discuss and approve the electoral law. This has
happened on one day, but really it involved material that had been worked on
and discussed quite thoroughly. The principles of this electoral law that we
have approved had 

already been set forth when the Politburo met to analyze the drafts or draft of
modifications to the Constitution. The two things were closely related. Since
then, we have discussed those basic ideas related to the modifications to the

8.  Prior to that, in the preparatory commission for the congress and at the
congress, these ideas had been discussed. So it was even before that that we
began to work out ideas and views concerning the electoral law.  Then we had
the Central Committee meeting that approved the modifications to the....
[pauses] that analyzed the modificiations to the Constitution, and that Central
Committee meeting also worked out and explained and expressed some factors
concerning the electoral law. Then there was extensive work on the draft law
based on the principles that had been agreed upon, and as I said before, it was
discussed again by the Politburo. It was discussed again by the Central
Committee. It was improved at each of the meetings and sessions. The whole
wording of this law was improved gradually until it was possible for the ANPP
to approve it in a one-day session. However, it is not the result of one day of
work by the ANPP. It is the result almost of years of work. 

9.  It was also discussed with the provinces, the provincial deputies. Their
views were more or less made known about all those points that were most
debated or that could give rise to the most questions. Their views were
gathered and analyzed; as a result of this, I am convinced that we have
approved a good electoral law. I am convinced that we have improved our
electoral system without straying from a single one of our essential
principles. Now, of course, the work will be harder, more difficult. I hink
that all of us will find ourselves involved in a great task in the next six
months, because we have the problems of the special period, and all the tasks
of the special period, in addition to the enormous challenge of the elections. 

10.  I think that only a firm, solid, and courageous revolutionary process is
capable of undertaking these kinds of tasks. Well, what have we not been
capable of doing?  What have we not been capable of doing in these last few
years? When the crisis arose n the socialist bloc, when the socialist countries
began to disappear, when all that finally ended in the incredible idea of the
disappearance of the Soviet Union, I think the Cuban decision to continue
moving forward with socialism and the Revolution was one of the most courageous
actions that has even been taken in the history of political processes. 

11.  The fact is that this began to happen almost three years ago. The process
of disintegration began in 1989 and continued in 1990 and 1991. The processes
of disintegration are still continuing, and Cuba is still here. The Cuban
Revolution is still here, steadfast and present, in a world in which dramatic
changes have taken place. The Revolution is confronting with unequaled courage
and heroism, the mightiest imperialist power in history, at a time of its
greatest power and hegemony. 

12.  A few days ago we had an opportunity to recall the events that occurred 30
years ago: the October missile crisis.  Today is 28 October, right? [audience
answers: 29 October.] Today is 29 October. Well, it is almost the same thing.
On a 28 October like yesterday, we heard by radio and press that an agreement
had been reached between the Soviet Union and the United States about the
withdrawal of the strategic missiles [from Cuba]. It was also 30 years ago that
we received a terrible blow, and I 

think we also underwent a terrible test, and we passed it with honors, with
high honors. Those of us who experienced those days at first hand-and some of
you did-can remember how difficult that test was, and how courageously our
people faced it; I do not remember seeing anyone who was afraid. 

13.  That is truly incredible, not to have seen a single citizen who was
afraid, not to have heard a single citizen express fear. The people were
united, and hundreds of thousands of people were mobilized. However, we also
witnessed the enormous bitterness that was felt when that solution was reached,
in which practically unconditional concessions were made to withdraw the
strategic missiles from Cuba. We who were in the greatest danger, who were on
the front line of battle, would never have proposed such formulas, those
strange, rash formulas, that linkage of the strategic missiles [in Cuba] with
those in Turkey.  What did the missiles in Cuba and the targets of the missiles
in Cuba have to do with the missiles in Turkey?  That strange thing bout
withdrawing the missiles in exchange for a promise not to invade Cuba, and in
addition to that, with UN inspections! 

14.  One can see what an attitude of dignity, honor, and courage our people
assumed at that time when we launched the slogan about the five points, and
when we said clearly and categorically that no one would carry out inspections
in this country. We were apable of enduring that situation, that drama, that
blow. In recent days a U.S. television network asked us for an interview about
those events of the October missile crisis. They basically wanted that
interview for the Kennedy Library. They asked us for opinions. These opinions
had been enriched by the research that has been done in recent years about all
those events. 

15.  For almost three hours, I answered all the questions they asked me about
those events. I think it will be shown on television on 2 November, for three
days, I think: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I do not know whether they will
also show all of it on Sunday afternoon, because, as you know, there are power
outages. There are people who cannot watch programs on Mondays. Others cannot
watch them on Wednesdays. Other cannot watch them on Fridays. So in order to
provide study material and disseminate it, it is necessary to take all these
factors into account. 

16.  However, I did a very clear and specific analysis of the ideas we had then
and the ideas we have now about the unfolding of that crisis. I think it was
really a truly historic moment in which our country faced dangers, faced
enormous threats, and was ble to be steadfast and courageous. Our country was
able to act as it should. It was able to act in an honorable, dignified, and
heroic way. 

17.  Precisely 30 years later, the Guantanamo Navy Base is still there. This
was one of the points we demanded. The economic embargo is still there. This
was one of the points that we demanded should cease. The embargo is not only
still there, but it has 

been intensified and has also become more implacable with the new steps and new
legislative measures taken by the U.S. Congress. 

18.  I remember that the major points were those, and also that the pirate
attacks stop. Pirate attacks are still being organized from the U.S. coast
against our country.  Almost the only thing that ceased were those flights,
first by the U- 2 and then by he RS-73, but of course they do not need them at
all; with modern means, with the satellites, their capabilities are much
greater than with those means. 

19.  It is also necessary to remember that we did not agree with the low-level
overflights by those planes, and on the morning of 27 October, our antiaircraft
batteries opened fire throughout Cuba. So for us the war began then. The
artillery units were given instructions to fire against the low-level flights,
which had become an everyday thing.  They were tolerated by the Soviets. No one
has explained how anyone could tolerate those flights. If the surface-to-air
missiles had really been installed, there was no reason to allow those
reconnaissance flights. That was one of a number of mistakes and contradictions
made in those days. 

20.  We really saw everything very clearly. We saw it with such clarity that we
warned the Soviet leadership about the mistakes they were making, including in
the political sphere, when the great international scandal began and we
explained to them that an unfavorable climate was being created and that we
were hiding a legal, moral, and absolutely just thing. We said that we
advocated publishing the military agreement between the Soviets and ourselves.
However, we foresaw-in spite of the fact that the Cuban Revolution was only
three years old, and the Bolshevik Revolution was more than 40 years old-we saw
in those days that they were making very serious mistakes. I made some of this
analysis in my television appearance. 

21.  Our attention, however, is drawn by the way that dramatic time coincides
with these moments today, 30 years later. We can only say that, well, we need
more good qualities to confront today's problems than the good qualities we
needed to confront the problems of that time. They are different situations.
There was a very great, real danger of war. I think that the mistakes made by
our allies really increased that danger. Things were not done as they should
have been done. We could not even imagine at that time that 30 years later we
would be without the USSR, that USSR that supplied us with oil after the
Yankees left us without oil, and when we used only 4 million tons,
approximately 4 million, when the population was much smaller, when half of the
country still did not have electricity. Today almost 100 percent of the country
has electricity, almost 100 percent, more than 90 percent of the population. 

22.  In 1959 we could buy, with one ton of oil on the international
market....[pauses] I mean, with one ton of sugar on the international market we
could buy eight tons of oil. Then with the agreements which were drawn up and
signed with the Soviet Union during all these years, with one ton of sugar-in
spite of the explosion of oil prices-we continued to obtain from seven to eight
tons of oil for one ton of sugar. Do you know how much oil you can buy right
now with one ton of sugar? You can get 1.4 tons 

of oil for one ton of sugar, 1.4! Look at the difference between 1.4 and eight,
and what it costs to produce one ton of sugar to buy that 1.4 tons of oil. I
think that will give you an idea of the terrible blow all of this has been to
the country's economy, precisely when the energy problem....[pauses] when fuel
is our main problem. 

23.  This is why no one would have said that these events would happen, that
the USSR would cease to exist, and we would find ourselves in a position
requiring more courage. The October missile crisis was either going to be
resolved or not going to be resolved, and it was going to be resolved or not in
a matter of days or weeks. These problems we are facing now cannot be solved in
a matter of days or weeks or months. They can be solved in a matter of years,
and several years at that. You can imagine why, because the enemy is active,
the enemy is operating, the enemy is trying to make our work more and more

24.  I explained these problems on 5 September as clearly as possible at the
ceremony in Cienfuegos. However, it is necessary that we be aware, very aware,
not only ourselves but the entire people, of the magnitude of these problems. I
have already explained how imports have dropped since 1989. In three years, in
only three years, they have dropped from more than $8 billion to a little more
than $2 million. The country has been deprived of practically 75 percent of its

25.  What country other than Cuba would have been able to endure such a blow?
What political and revolutionary process other than the Cuban Revolution would
have been able to endure such a blow? What system would have been able to
endure such a blow? Nevertheless, we are enduring it, while elsewhere one sees
only tragedies which seem never ending. Today, one country disintegrates;
tomorrow, another disintegrates. One day, a little war starts in one place;
another day, a little war starts in another place. Or there are social
catastrophes or situations of which one cannot see an end, because the news
that reaches us always gets worse and worse. 

26.  Each of these things affects us, because if Soviet oil production
drops.... [pauses] It is not that we have a lot of trade, it is not a question
of our depending on them for our supplies, it is no longer a question of that
at all. We have had to depend primarily on other oil supplies; but if oil
production continues to drop there, we run the risk that oil prices will
continue to rise. The drop in the production of milk, grain, and everything in
the Soviet Union has raised the prices of a lot of products on the
international market. Every bad thing that happens there still harms us. That
is why we want and need stability in those countries. We want them to become
stabilized, to recover in one way or another, and not continue to do us harm
indirectly because of the problems taking place there. 

27.  So we have seen our imports drop sharply. The price correlation between
oil and sugar has changed radically.  What would the price correlation between
oil and sugar that existed in 1959 and 1960 mean for the country right now? It
would mean that with 

ne million tons of sugar, and what we have learned to conserve, we would have
solved our entire fuel problem right now. That is one of the weakest, most
difficult points we have. 

28.  These blows we have received 30 years later have created a situation for
which I would say we need more courage, more steadfastness, and more
revolutionary conviction than we needed during the October missile crisis.
However, our country is giving proof that it has these qualities. I was saying
that while the chaos continues-an enormous number of things have happened,
horrible things, horrible news reaches us every day-in spite of those problems,
not a single school has been closed in our country. Not a single hospital has
been closed in our country. Not a single recreational or sports center has been
closed in our country. Right now, the national baseball series has just
started. I really am sorry that it competes with the ``Just Today'' [Hoy Mismo]
program, which seems to me, personally, to be an excellent program. It has
improved a lot and is gaining more and more authority every day. 

29.  However, even that, even the national baseball series [is continuing]. Not
a single citizen has been left homeless.  Not a single student at the technical
level-not just primary school students but also secondary school, technical
school, and university students.... [pauses] It is surprising that we can even
see the children wearing uniforms in the street, the schools, and the parks.
What other country in the world would have been able to do this? What other
nation would have been able to resist in the circumstances in which our people
are enduring and resisting? 

30.  Because of sacred values, supreme values, since we are defending not just
socialism or the Revolution. Without socialism or the Revolution, what meaning
would our lives have? What future would our nation have? We are defending the
Cuban nation. We are defending national independence. 

31.  In the Central Committee meeting, I explained that our work was even more
difficult than any of the work of the generations preceding us. No
revolutionary generation in the history of Cuba had to undertake the tasks like
the ones we have had to undertake, of the magnitude, or better yet, the
importance our generation has had to undertake. In 1868 there was not even a
nation. The nation was beginning. The nation was born practically with the Ten
Years' War. There was not yet a nation to defend. There was no independence to
achieve. In the initial months, even, the initial moments, in our first war for
independence, independentist feelings were mixed with annexationist feelings
among some of the patriots. 

32.  In 1895 there was a nation, but independence had yet to be achieved. We
all know the reasons that independence was not achieved then. It became real
and definitive on 1 January 1959. 

33.  Those generations had to undertake harder tasks. That is, they had to
undergo harsher suffering. They did not have greater responsibilities. Today
the Cuban Revolution is a fortified trench; although at that time Cubans were
extremely concerned, and Marti was especially concerned, about the role Cuban
independence would play in the future of Latin America, today Cuba's
independence concerns not only the future of Latin America but of the entire
world. Today Cuba's struggle for survival, to continue its Revolution, has to
do with the sovereignty of all the nations of the world. It has to do with the
future of the world. 

34.  Although our Mambis' sufferings were greater, the values for which we are
fighting, the responsibilities we have now, are greater than theirs. It is
necessary for us to be aware of this, because of the special time the world is
experiencing. So our survival is of extraordinary importance for the future of
the world-not only for the future of our country-and for the future of
democratic, progressive, revolutionary ideas. 

35.  I really have to witness with admiration, and we all have to witness with
great admiration, the attitude and behavior of our people; the extent of their
heroism, courage, and determination; the spirit in which they are facing these
problems. I say that this is more difficult than the October missile crisis,
because when there is a danger of war, everyone is alert. However, this kind of
war we are enduring in the ideological, economic, and psychological spheres is
a more difficult kind of war than real war. It is a more difficult task than
any of those we have had to undertake previously. It is necessary and
inevitable that we feel admiration for our people for their attitude, behavior,
and the effort they are making everywhere. 

36.  I said that I did not want to speak long, so I am not going to speak a lot
about a number of considerations I presented there at the Central Committee
meeting, speaking to fewer people, in a narrower context. We simply cannot give
universal publicity o many of the things we have to analyze at our meetings.
That would be presenting our problems, revealing our tactics, letting our
thoughts about many things be known. I do not want to do that in these
circumstances when we have to act with great intelligence and caution. We must
be very discreet, because if we say what we are doing and how we are doing it,
all that really at this time is always risky, given the level of attention and
rigorousness with which the enemy is hounding us right now. 

37.  One of the ideas I expressed at the Central Committee meeting-I can say it
here also-is that although what is being done and how we are resisting is
admirable, we cannot be completely or fully satisfied. Without question, we can
do more. Without question, we can do better. Without question, we have fallen
behind with some plans. Without question, subjective factors are still having
an influence. I gave an example. In this period, we had to domesticate about
200,000 oxen. We have domesticated over 00,000, but we have not reached the
goal of at least 200,000 that we had to domesticate to ensure things in
agriculture. Not all the programs are being carried out as efficiently as they
should be. So we can do more. 

38.  A few days ago as I was touring Havana Province, I was told something with
great frankness, which caught my attention. It so happens that for one reason
or another, and in the midst of the dry season for agriculture in Havana
Province and also in 

other provinces, the machines have been halted for lack of fuel. They had to
stop breaking ground and plowing at a critical time. They went about five days
without fuel. A comrade of ours, who has a lot of experience and works in
agriculture in Havana Province, and other comrades there, told me: We are going
to tell you something. It was a good thing that we were left without fuel for
five days, because those five days showed us that we really could go without

39.  Better than words, recommendations, and warnings, when these things
happen, that is when everyone really gets moving and does everything that needs
to be done.  That was the first time it had happened to them. They got an ox,
an ox-driver showed up, all kinds of things came up. They did not halt the
harvest. They continued cultivating and harvesting. They even tried to plow
some fields, and they plowed some fields with the oxen. 

40.  Of course, it would be impossible to use oxen to solve some agricultural
problems. It is very difficult to do the sugar harvest tasks without cane
combines, because we would have to mobilize 300,000 manual cane cutters.  One
would have to analyze how uch 300,000 manual cane cutters cost in food,
housing, transportation, clothes, shoes, and wages. 

41.  Likewise, there are times when, because of our climate, in certain very
short periods of time we must plow thousands and thousands of caballerias,
especially in the fall when the rain stops and our so-called winter starts.  We
must plant an enormous number of caballerias of land in a matter of weeks. We
would need hundreds of thousands of ox-teams to prepare all that land with
oxen.  In that situation it is necessary, it is essential, to have fuel. There
are some activities that require a minimum amount of fuel. 

42.  They told me: Yes, it was a good thing. 

43.  That is what the human mind is like. It is often incapable of reacting to
all the theories, warnings, and indications.  People react, they work, they
make an effort, but they do not make their greatest effort. When the terrible
time comes when they are left without fuel, they increase the efforts they were

44.  Today the things we are doing, for example, preparing the fields, which
needed five or six runs with a tractor....  [pauses] Now they harvest boniato,
for example....  [pauses] Before, it often became full of weeds in spring. 
They had to break the ground and prepare it, and it was serious preparation.
Now when they harvest boniato, they have a tool to dig up the boniato. They
have another tool to get it out. With the same tools they were using to get the
boniato out, then a plow and a harrow. 

Sometimes operations that had to be repeated seven or eight times, not only six
or seven, are now done only three times. 

45.  There are farms in Havana Province that have two tractors left out of 14.
All the other activities are being done with oxen. For example, at a banana
plantation that must be cultivated, weeded, and harvested, they do not break
the ground. If you have o break a lot of ground, the machines have to come
through shortly after. Imagine, a farm like that has been able to go from 14
tractors to two, from a total of 18 machines to four.  They had some kind of
crane to move the irrigation equipment. 

46.  It is unquestioned that there are a few farms doing things the way all of
agriculture should be doing them, with respect to conserving fuel, conserving
tractors. You have no idea what it means to go from 14 to two tractors, the
amount of tires, batteries, parts, and fuel that you save.  It is not all the
same, of course. 

47.  There are always agricultural activities that require more effort; but
what is being done at some of the farms, and they are working perfectly, is
what really corresponds to the special period. We have not managed to do this
everywhere. We have not done this everywhere yet. I say this to give some
examples. Nevertheless, we are working with a lot fewer resources. We completed
the sugar harvest that has just finished with one-third fewer resources that we
used to have for the harvest. 

48.  Now we are somewhat behind in planting sugarcane for various reasons. The
lack of fuel has had an influence, excessive rain in some places has had an
influence, or the lack of rain in other areas, such as in Holguin Province and
northern Las Tunas Province, where fortunately in the past few days there have
been some good rainstorms.  In Santiago de Cuba, there has been a water supply
crisis, in the middle of springtime. In contrast, I remember how many times the
harvest was interrupted last year because of excessive rain in Santiago de

49.  Now the Charco Mono and Gilbert Reservoirs are dry.  So they have to pump
water from the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Reservoir, which was expanded, but the
pumps had not been used for more than a year. They are looking for emergency
solutions as fast as possible, procedures, some money which was to be used for
buying irrigation equipment in the Juragua region. Their water had to be shared
with the Juragua Nuclear Power Plant. When work on the power plant was stopped,
that water could be used in the agricultural plan, and the funds allocated to
the Juragua agricultural plan were sent very quickly to Santiago de Cuba for
investing in equipment and pumps so that, in the middle of springtime, the city
of Santiago de Cuba would not be left without water. 

50.  This is the kind of thing that must be done every day here to find
solutions for the problems. However, as I was telling you, there have been
delays in the [word indistinct] program, some delays in the fodder planting
program. There has been progress 

n the plans for preparing fields and plots for tobacco, because we have a
number of programs. The use of electrified fences in the Voisin rational
grazing system is really progressing. I told the comrades on the Central
Committee that some results are already being observed: For example-unless
there is a hurricane in November, and sometimes there is; let us hope there
will not be one this year-Havana Province should produce 11 million quintals of
tubers and vegetables. This is a historic record. 

51.  There are some enterprises that have produced more than 1 million
quintals. Some have produced or are close to producing 1 million quintals of
tubers and vegetables.  This is in spite of the fact that many banana
plantations with microjet irrigation systems have not yet begun to produce. The
most interesting thing is that most of these increases have occurred at the
state enterprises. The mobilizations the residents of Havana Province have made
to help state enterprises and some cooperatives have brought results. They have
set a historic record in producing tubers and vegetables in the midst of the
special period and with a lot fewer resources. 

52.  [Orlando] Lugo [Fonte] spoke to me about promoting a movement among the
farmers to obtain 6 million quintals of tubers and vegetables next year from
the small farming sector. If this is achieved, we will be close to a total of
14 or 15 million tons. In two years, the state enterprises have....[comment
from audience indistinct] the state enterprises [repeats] [comment from
audience indistinct] I said tons and that was very bad, Enrique [not further
identified]. Thank you very much. I meant to say quintals. I wish they were
tons! They are quintals.  However, I think you understood me, right? 

53.  It would be close to 14 or 15 million quintals if the small farmers
achieved this increase. Agricultural production by the small farmers has
increased, as has that of the cooperatives and independent farmers; but the
major share of the increase has been at the state enterprises. So their
products are assured and are reaching the markets.  The cold-storage units were
finished quickly. The Blas Roca Contingent helped on the last one or two. You
built the two cold-storage units in record time. You have o idea how useful
those units were for storing tubers. So even in the midst of special period
conditions, some of these accomplishments can be noted. 

54.  However, sugarcane has also had to suffer the consequences of the lack of
materials. For example, sugarcane uses 800,000 tons of fertilizers, 800,000
tons [repeats].  This year, approximately 100,000 tons of fertilizers have been
used. This is eight times less. Even though we are using biological
fertilizers, we still have not found a type of bacteria or a method for the
cane that will allow us to replace fertilizers massively. We are doing studies
and more studies on the plants we have. It is not economical to produce ammonia
here from naphtha. We would spend more money than it would cost to import urea.

55.  We are expanding the bases to spread ammonia.  Ammonia is a lot cheaper.
One ton of ammonia can fertilize one caballeria of sugarcane. The winter cane
is not being fertilized. The new cane is not being fertilized.  We have tried
to fertilize the cane 

hoots, but we have not been able to fertilize all the shoots this year. Well,
about 18,000 caballerias have been fertilized with ammonia. Next year we hope
to fertilize 30,000 caballerias of cane shoots with this procedure, with the
investments we are making, because it is the cheapest way. 

56.  We are trying to import ammonia to produce ammonium nitrate at our plants,
and at least to apply nitrogen to almost 100,000 caballerias of cane shoots.
However, this shows how important it is to plant well, replant, weed the cane,
have a good harvest, have better sugar yields at the sugar mills, and all those
activities in which the work can be improved; and we must improve. 

57.  Now, what the people are doing, the inventions, the contributions of our
people's intelligence, are really incredible, and the number of solutions they
are searching for. I often ask them this question: Why did we not do this
before? For example, the ane feeding rollers at the sugar mills are a very
important piece of equipment, large and heavy. Previously, the rollers were
replaced with new ones which we manufactured. [sentence as heard] They came
from the Soviet Union. One of these rollers costs $10,000. Now the rollers at
the sugar mills are not replaced. But, using electrodes, the existing rollers
are repaired and are made like new to carry out the task they must do. At what
cost? At the cost of $100. It used to cost $10,000. This is simply by virtue of
the innovations, rationalizations, and inventions the people come up with. 

58.  So our people, hundreds of thousands of people, technicians, engineers,
and researchers, are involved in the search for solutions. I do not think a
similar phenomenon has ever been seen. It is estimated that 60,000 papers will
be submitted to the spare parts forum, more than 60,000 papers. I am wrong,
60,000 solutions. There are fewer papers. One paper often contains several
solutions. The effort the people are making on the base level is incredible. It
is a truly admirable thing. They are seeking olutions for the footwear problem.
There are the workshops that factories are installing, that agricultural
complexes are installing. There is the search for solutions on the base level. 

59.  I always ask: Why was this not done before? The answer is always the same:
Well, there was not a lot of experience, the technologies were not very
developed, but in fact, it was because the resources existed to obtain these
things. This is the frank answer the Executive Committee of the Council of
Ministers gave me several times when I asked this question: Why were these very
spectacular, exceptional things not done before? 

60.  If you could see what is being done with the electrified fences in a small
workshop in Boyeros Municipality, where they have built thousands of electric
circuits, even inventing battery types as contributions. They can maintain the
electricity for six hours in case there are power outages. This is not just a
matter of the electrified fences, but of already having taken measures so that
if the electricity is cut, all the cows do not bunch together and create a
terrible chaos. They have even invented 

ome small motors that are operated manually in case the power outages are
longer than six hours. 

61.  The number of things that have been used in their products is incredible:
things that had been thrown away, sometimes from televisions not being used,
relays, some of those kinds of things, which they have used to solve their
problems. Really, in a visit that I made to this small workshop.... [pauses]
Several dozen men and women are doing truly incredible things there. The
people's resources and reserves are infinite, as they are demonstrating. 

62.  This must remind us of the years of the war for independence when, in the
middle of the jungle and the war, they produced shoes, saddles, bridles, and
machetes. They produced a lot of things in the middle of the jungle and the
war. We are not in the middle of a jungle. We are not in the middle of a war.
We have hundreds of thousands of technicians and engineers and researchers. In
short, we have hundreds of thousands of people, including efficiency experts,
inventors, Technical Youth Brigades, skilled personnel with university degrees,
secondary school graduates. 

63.  They are working and searching for solutions everywhere. It is like a
hotbed, a beehive, inventing things.  This is really the only explanation of
why the sugar mills and factories have been able to continue operating in the
midst of such a brutal reduction in imported resources.  Look what is being
done with the bicycles. How can this be quantified? 

64.  How can the importance of the slightly more than 1 million bicycles that
have been distributed be quantified? Or what the people do by bicycle? I think
that just yesterday there were people who traveled 40 km by bicycle just to
bring flowers to the Havana Malecon.  From their houses to the meeting place,
and from the meeting place on the Malecon to their houses, they went 40 km for
one patriotic ceremony, to take flowers for Camilo [Cienfuegos]. People of all
ages can be seen doing things by bicycle, when in a city like this, the number
of trips [not further identified] has been reduced from 30,000 to 10,000. 

65.  I ask myself again: Could any other country have been able to resist this
kind of blow? Could any other country have made this effort? Could any other
revolution or system have done this? Countries that have all kinds of money,
that receive enormous amounts of hard currency, are going through very serious
problems of political and social instability. This situation can be compared
with what is happening in Cuba. However, I told the Central Committee that we
could not feel satisfied, because some things show all the things that can be

66.  Even the farms are all making an effort similar to that of the farm that
reduced the number of tractors from 14 to two. They are making similar efforts.
It does not have to be an exact, equal number. Not all activities are the same.
This means that we cannot be satisfied when we know that we can do still more.
We are aware of what is being done, what has been done, the extraordinary way
in which the people are confronting these situations. 

67.  I told the members of the Central Committee that sometimes I compared the
Torricelli Amendment to the Platt Amendment. However, more than the Platt
Amendment, it reminds me of the concentration plan of [Spanish General
Valeriano] Weyler. When he was desperate because of the Cubans' resistance, he
invented a diabolic way of conquering the people through hunger.  He invented
the concentration plan to leave the Mambi forces without supplies and to
conquer our people through hunger. What is closer to this policy than the
Torricelli Law, which has fittingly encountered so much rejection and
condemnation throughout the world? 

68.  We begin to see every part of the world threatened with having similar
measures enforced against them some day, or indignant about having the laws
approved by the U.S. Congress also enforced in their respective countries.  Our
press has begun to reflect this reality, because it reminds me of that. Those
of us who have read history books, many books on the history of our country,
have to remember the moment when, in desperation, the Spanish colonialists
began the concentration plan. The desperation of the Yankee imperialists in the
face of Cuban resistance, and their growing hate, has led them to this new form
of embargo to try to keep us from obtaining ships to transport our products, to
keep us from obtaining food and fuel supplies, since we need the few we have;
to keep us from having money to buy the things we need to buy in the midst of
these tremendous resource limitations. This recalls Weyler's concentration
camps. At the same time, it shows the imperialists' desperation, the
imperialists' powerlessness. 

69.  Now they are involved in their election campaign. It is a kind of
competition to see who can be the most hardline on Cuba to obtain the votes of
the counterrevolutionary exiles [gusanera]. If an example of antidemocracy,
scandal, and squandering of money is wanted, we have only to observe this
electoral process we are witnessing. The famous elections will be held on 3
November, and no one knows what will happen then. It is a situation in which
one of the candidates has spent $60 million from his own ocket.  Imagine that!
What an excellent democracy! 

70.  How many could afford to spend $60 million from their own pocket in an
election campaign? It is said that each of the other candidates is also
spending $60 million, but a large part of that money is being provided by the
state.  They have some laws where the taxpayers pay the election expenses for
travel and all the television ads.  You have no idea how much a half an hour on
television costs at an important time on one of those so-called prime time
programs, and what a tremendous merry-go-round of accusations,
counteraccusations, and everything there is. It is a total carnival. 

71.  This is taking place there right now, where they claim to be a model of
democracy. They claim to be a model of democracy for the world. However, the
world is undergoing an economic recession, and the United States is undergoing
a economic recession. It is no longer 1989, or 1990, or 1991. Today, the cries
can be heard everywhere as a consequence of the recession. They do not know how
to get out of it. It is very serious. They say that in some places of the
United States the recession is now worse than during the thirties. They discuss
it in the televised debates. 

72.  The most debated topic is that they must end the budget deficit. This
year, the deficit is more than $350 billion.  Some of the candidates say they
will resolve this deficit without raising taxes. Others say they will raise the
taxes of the very rich, those with the highest incomes, and will not raise the
taxes of the others. However, the terrible economic crisis that that country is
suffering is decisively influencing the U.S. electoral process. It is
significantly influencing international politics. They are not meeting with
victory everywhere, any more. 

73.  It is very noticeable that, for example, in Angola, the People's Movement
for the Liberation of Angola won the vast majority of the votes, with 54 or 55
percent in the legislative process. (?Dos Santos) has won the parliamentary
election; that is irreversible. In the other election, there must be a second
round. No one knows, in the current conditions, (?when the second round will
be), but it was not a victory for reactionary ideas. It was not a victory for
the pro-imperialist factions. 

74.  Elections were recently held in Guyana. Cheddi Jagan, who is well known in
our country, won the elections. We have very good relations with Guyana. We
have had relations with the different Guyanese Governments, but the people from
the Left won the elections. Right now, over in Lithuania, I think, they
say-Lithuania, right?- the people from the Left won the parliamentary
elections. Changes are occurring. What effect will this economic crisis have on
the world?  It remains to be seen.  What effect will the United States have? It
remains to be seen. How will this election campaign in the United States end?
It remains to be seen. Of course, we cannot come out in favor of any candidate,
because we do not want to hurt anyone. [laughter] We do not want to get
involved. We do not want to make predictions or show preferences. 

75.  However, I am sure that at this time, Bush may have some doubts about
keeping his promise to be the first president to visit a free and independent
Cuba. All the trash they think up for this country, all the repugnant filth
they think up for this country, the surrender using the methods of Valeriano
Weyler that they have thought up for this country! That is what they call an
independent and democratic Cuba. The phase of triumphalism and easy victories
is passing. This is why it is so important to resist, because resistance will
bring victory.  [applause] 

76.  Working hard, working efficiently, devoting ourselves 100 percent to what
we should do will bring victory.  What they are doing at the farms and many
work centers, many factories in our country, will bring victory. We cannot
expect victory to be around the corner. We must prepare ourselves with great
realism for a lengthy period.  Think about it-for a lengthy period, in the
midst of such adverse conditions. 

77.  Look at how Cuba is still here, and how the Revolution is still here, when
it has been a while since the devastating wave of socialism passed and swept
everything before it. Look at what a difference there is. We have never become
desperate. We are doing things calmly, without hurrying, without hasty
improvisation, without becoming desperate. This is very important. We must
think very hard about every step, everything, the positive and negative things,
each of the things we can do, without going crazy, with respect to the measures
that must be taken or the steps that must be taken, and knowing that some
weapons are double-edged. Naturally, we have had to open doors. We have all
ready discussed all of this here in the ANPP, and we spoke for a long ime about
this when we talked about joint capital partnerships, when we talked about
foreign investment, when our Constitution was adapted to the kind of economic
opening we are making. 

78.  We know the consequences very well. We are not giving up hope. We are
working, looking, anticipating; but things are progressing. They are not
progressing as fast as we might want and need, because the enemy's resistance
is very great. The obstacles are very great. The pressure of the U.S. embargo
against all the people, institutions, and companies that have relations with us
is very harsh.  However, things are progressing, and things are showing
potential. Everything is up to us and our ability to struggle, resist, and do
things better. The victory is up to us. Time is on our side, because the
adversary is breaking down. The adversary is weakening. The adversary, or the
adversaries, are coming into all kinds of conflict with each other. If we are
capable of moving forward firmly and united, the Revolution cannot be crushed. 

79.  I am telling you this at a time when new tasks have fallen on our
shoulders, and when we are also going to hold elections. We know that at
critical and difficult times, there are people who weaken. We cannot forget
that.  There are people who hesitate, and people who doubt.  The number of acts
of treason increases, the number of desertions increases in difficult times.
Even in normal times, they occur. So situations like this one are for
steadfast, convinced people, people capable of rising to ur circumstances. I am
convinced that the vast majority of our people is capable of rising to these

80.  Now we have accepted the challenge of elections. We must get to work on it
immediately, starting tomorrow.  We must start to work on it now, all
revolutionaries, all patriots. We must work on the electoral process with the
principles and standards we ave approved, but it is necessary for every
revolutionary to be steadfast. It is necessary for every revolutionary to know
how to overcome any discouragement, any doubt, any hesitation.  That is what I
told the comrades on the Central Committee, and I am 

saying this to the comrades of this assembly. 

81.  I think that together we have lived through historic times of great
significance. Future generations will have to remember what you are doing now
and what you are doing today. Now you should return to your places of origin,
your provinces, towns, municipalities, everywhere, to begin to wage this great
battle, this great battle that is being waged in the ideological, moral, and
material spheres, in the sphere of the economy, production, and politics. 

82.  Each one of you needs to be a bulwark, with the experience you have
obtained in these years and with the influence you have at the base level. You
must be the standard bearers. You must be the vanguard. The ANPP must be the
standard bearer and the vanguard in the great challenge of these elections. 

83.  We have taken the fundamental steps and we have done it on schedule: the
Communist Party of Cuba Congress, when the Soviet Union had not yet
disappeared; the hard special period following the disappearance of the Soviet
Union; the reforms to Cuba's Constitution; the electoral law; the first year of
the critical special period. All this we have lived together. Just as the
October missile crisis, which occurred 30 years ago, is remembered today-the
mobilized troops, the militiamen on battle alert, and he men willing to fight
and die without any hesitation-just as we remember this today, in another 30
years they will have to remember what we are doing today, what you are doing
today, what this assembly did today and has done throughout these years. They
will have to remember this with respect and admiration, and they will remember,
because we will also pass these hard tests and we will win. [applause] 

84.  They will remember us. They will remember us because we will be able to
pass these tests, and we will be able to come out victorious. If this really is
the last session of the third legislature, all that remains for me to tell you
is that we feel very satisfied, we are proud to have fought and worked together
with you through these years. [applause] Socialism or death, fatherland or
death, we will win!  [applause]