Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Fidel Castro Gives Speech at Spare Parts Forum
Havana Radio Rebelde Network

Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     FL1912023092
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-245          Report Date:    21 Dec 92
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     2
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       11

Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       17 Dec 92
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 245


City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio Rebelde Network 

Report Name:   Latin America 

Headline:   Fidel Castro Gives Speech at Spare Parts Forum 

Author(s):   Cuban President Fidel Castro at the closing session of the Seventh
National Spare Parts, Equipment, and Advanced Technologies Forum at the Havana
Convention Center on 16 December-recorded] 

Source Line:   FL1912023092 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 2230 GMT 17
Dec 92 

Subslug:   [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the closing session of
the Seventh National Spare Parts, Equipment, and Advanced Technologies Forum at
the Havana Convention Center on 16 December-recorded] 


1.  [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the closing session of the
Seventh National Spare Parts, Equipment, and Advanced Technologies Forum at the
Havana Convention Center on 16 December-recorded] 

2.  [Text] [Castro] Comrades, participants in the Seventh Forum: It has been
truly moving to be able to give, in this simple but moving ceremony, the
certificates and awards which approximately 30 comrades have received here on
behalf of groups or individuals. I know that there was a previous award
presentation, because I believe that there were 109 significant or outstanding
.... [pauses] One hundred and I do not how many. How many? One hundred and six
significant [entries]. What comes after that? he outstanding ones.
[unidentified speaker: ``One hundred and thirty-three outstanding ones.''] What
is the difference? You came up with this, right? There were, however, 99
special mentions and 245 mentions. What is the total? Do you know? One
certificate was missing. No, I mean of the ones we have just presented. Was it
30?  Thirty-four. 

3.  While these sessions were held .... [pauses] and they turned out to be
marathon sessions, because this is a new style. I would say that it is the
style of the contingents, since the sessions lasted 13 or 14 hours, in addition
to the 13 or 14 hours you pent in the meetings of the commissions the previous
day. I reflected on the meaning of this meeting, this forum. I believe that it
suggests many things. First of all, there is a climate of great seriousness and
enthusiasm, but an enthusiasm that arises from the conviction, the awareness,
of the vital and decisive importance of the work you are doing.  It is an
enthusiasm that arises from the satisfaction of fulfilling your duty. I noticed
this in everyone who walked by this podium, in the truly deep happiness, the
satisfaction of each and every individual who received an award. I believe that
they have good reason for this.  This collective recognition by the people and
the nation at this difficult time implies extraordinary merit. I believe that
each one of them, and each and every one of you, have experienced moments of
great emotion and satisfaction. 

4.  I believe that this event reflects a success, not a common success but a
huge success. I was trying to remember every one of the previous events since
the beginning of the forums. It began as the Spare Parts Forum. Later the
concept was expanded and enriched. I believe that the Revolutionary Armed
Forces [FAR] were not included at the beginning. They were included later. You
were in from the beginning, but not in such large numbers as today, right? That
is right. Mainly, the members of the National Association of Innovators and
Efficiency Experts [ANIR] were the first to participate in the forums. 

5.  When did the members of the Technical Youth Brigades [BTJ] first
participate? [unidentified speaker: ``In the Second Forum.''] In the Second
Forum. It has been growing. First, we had the ANIR members, then the members of
the BTJ began joining. In the end, we still had many sectors missing. A whole
sector was absent: the scientific sector, where we had tens of thousands of
highly trained workers. So during the Sixth Forum, the idea arose to start
including the workers of the science sector. Now we have ll of them. We have
all the civilian scientific and technical activities represented by the ANIR,
the BTJ, and the science sector, as well as the FAR and the Ministry of the

6.  This has enriched the forums extraordinarily. However, that has not been
all. In addition to the forums, we have the scientific forums .... [pauses] or
the scientific hubs, which is what we call them. We have the scientific hubs. 
They have been organized throughout this year since the Sixth Forum. However,
in addition to this, we have the [science workers] unions, which have also been
created throughout the year. Therefore, we now have the forums, hubs, and
unions. These are three highly integrating factors which are also all united. I
believe that this effort has been reflected in this event, in the quality of
this event, in the extremely high level of integration which has been observed
in this event, the solidarity and cooperation. This is now also being
reflected, and we are really just beginning. 

7.  This is first forum where we can reap the results of all these integrating
efforts. I noticed when many of you spoke about the plan for next year's forum.
I also believe that the idea of holding the forum every year was something that
is very good and ery well suited to the special period. 

8.  It is curious that you are already beginning to think about next year's
forum. I believe that any honest, objective individual who might have been able
to see how this event was conducted would be truly amazed by what we have seen

9.  I have tried to be present throughout the whole plenary meeting, but I can
only imagine what might have been discussed in the commissions. No one could
have attended 11 commissions, but I remember that when the union was organized
I participated in several commissions. At those commission meetings I saw
things of great interest which did not appear in the plenary meeting. During
the plenum, the discussion was more general. Therefore, I can only imagine the
enormous richness of content which existed in the commission meetings. I called
several comrades. I talked with them.  I asked for their opinions. They were
truly amazed by the results of the commission meetings. We can not deduce what
this process has been simply by participating in the plenary meetings. We have
to figure out how to convey what can and should be conveyed to all the
participants or the largest possible number of people regarding the content of
the commission meetings. I repeat: The things discussed here were really very
general, although extremely important. 

10.  There were a number of discussions on food program issues. What has been
discussed here in comparison to the vast number of projects and solutions which
have been submitted regarding the food program? We discussed biotechnology, the
pharmaceutical industry, and health. What , however, has been discussed here
compared to all the work conducted in this field, or in the energy, services,
or defense fields? 

11.  I am only trying to imagine how many things can be derived from the sole
fact that 34,000 proposals were presented in 1991, and on this occasion there
were approximately 65,000 proposals. Compared to the approximately 40,000
solutions of last year, this year 78,896 were submitted, if I remember
correctly. It is truly impressive. I would dare to say that a movement of this
character and nature has never been developed anywhere else. This represents
true potential for Cuba, for its present and its future. 

12.  If we analyze how we worked before, or how it is done in the capitalist
world, each institution has its own concerns. Every factory, every scientific
and technical center, every research center, every hospital works alone.  They
have absolutely nothing to do with one another.  Here we witness the spectacle
of tens of thousands, and not only tens of thousands, but hundreds of thousands
of science and technology workers, innovators, and efficiency experts
cooperating among themselves. You have no idea of the value of the cooperative,
sincere, selfless, and enthusiastic effort of hundreds of thousands of minds
and wills. This is what we have seen here. 

13.  There are 270,000 ANIR members alone. I asked and was told that there are
approximately 130,000 BTJ members. That makes 400,000. Add to this the tens of
thousands of science workers, the tens of thousands of hospital workers and
doctors who in one way or another cooperate in this type of activity. Add to
this the students, the university students, the secondary-school students, and
even the Pioneers who participate. This totals over 500,000 people
participating in this movement.  How much can 500,000 minds accomplish when
they work together? This is the great merit, the great feat of the forum. This
is not seen anywhere else. 

14.  This is why I believe that this movement has so much potential for Cuba. I
must also add that this is cause for pride for all of us, those who are younger
and those who are older, and those of us who have experienced all these years
of the revolution rom the days of the literacy campaign to the present. We see
here a solid, concrete achievement of more than 30 years of revolution. We are
far from saying that the available human and intellectual resources, the few we
had at the beginning, have been used in the most optimum manner. I believe,
however, that we are learning to take maximum advantage of all these resources,
now when we have the most resources in this field. 

15.  Who today can talk about or even remember illiteracy? It is true that
everything was done at its proper time. The great literacy campaign was one of
the great successes of this revolution, and this revolution was the first to be
able to conduct a massive campaign on that scale. Later, other countries tried
to copy it based on the experience of the Cuban revolution. I do not believe
that any other country has carried this to such a high degree as Cuba.  This
effort now, these hundreds of thousands of workers and technicians, innovators
and efficiency experts, the participants in this giant movement, are the result
of those campaigns that began with the literacy program. 

16.  This is reason to feel proud. I ask myself and I ask you if you can think
of any other country, any other place where a phenomenon such as this one has
taken place. I say this, knowing many of the people here as well as I do, and
knowing as well as I o, what they represent. When the country did not have
anything, it confronted difficult situations during the initial years, when all
the spare parts disappeared for the trucks, vehicles, and equipment we had
then, which were a lot fewer than now, and also for the factories we had. When
the brutal embargo began, and we did not have what we have today, the country
was able to keep that equipment going because we had the will. Back then we did
not even have lathes.  You can imagine how many parts were made by hand in
those early years of the revolution in order to keep the textile industry, a
truck, a tractor, a piece of industrial equipment, going. 

17.  Now, history has repeated itself but in a worse fashion.  Because then, at
least, when we had shortages of raw materials, parts, and equipment, other
opportunities arose, opportunities that do not exist today. Other opportunities
arose to obtain raw materials, food, parts, equipment, and other things. These
opportunities do not exist today at all. In the same way, when fuel became
scarce, other sources arose for obtaining fuel. Although the price of sugar was
not very high, the prices of other products were not so high either. As I have
said so many times-and I will have to repeat it many more times- with one ton
of sugar you could buy eight tons of oil, and today, because oil is sold at
monopoly prices, with one ton of sugar you can buy approximately 1.4 tons of
oil. It can go higher or lower. 

18.  These circumstances contribute to shaping the characteristics of the
special period. It is difficult and hard. We are aware of this. If it were not
difficult and hard, what we are doing would not earn any merit. During easy
times, anybody can do anything. During easy times, anyone could be a
revolutionary. Today, only those who are true people, true patriots, and true
revolutionaries behave as patriots and revolutionaries in truly difficult
times. For this reason, if we ask ourselves what we had then, we had the
embargo on the one hand but we had other things to confront the embargo with,
other opportunities, other alternatives. Today, we do not have those
alternatives to confront the embargo. This is why we speak of a double embargo,
because in reality, a double embargo has taken effect. 

19.  The price of one ton of sugar has dropped from about $800 to $200. We have
to seek new markets because the old markets have practically disappeared. What
we sell to those markets is very little and it takes a lot of work.  The prices
are very low, very marginal. It is natural for us to talk about a double
embargo. Today, it is difficult to buy spare parts because no one even sells
them. We also have to pay for them with the sugar or other products which we
need to buy fuel from different sources, or we pay with nickel, tobacco,
citrus, or other crops, other products, or tourism, or biotechnology products.
Nowadays, we are paying by means of a rigorous distribution of the funds we
have, cent by cent, in order of priority.  We are doing this in the midst of
the imperialist embargo, which has not yielded for a single second, but which
to the contrary has become more intense and brutal, harrassing all our economic
and trade operations one by one in an attempt to thwart our efforts one by one.
We truly ave to speak of a double embargo. 

20.  In other words, we do not have the things now that we had then. What do we
have now that we did not have then? We have you. [applause] We have never
before- nor has anyone else, anywhere-had what we have seen here. What we have
here is what we are counting on. The revolution is behind you, the people are
behind you. The heroism, the high awareness, the high revolutionary spirit of
our people are behind you. This is what it is all about. We have to get our own
resources. No one is going to give them o us for free. No one is going to
change the world overnight. We must find our own resources in a world which is
truly much more difficult. I would say that it is a more difficult world than

21.  We have only to analyze the international scene to see that it is a more
difficult world than ever, and that it is under a power that has never been so
strong. It is under the hegemony of a power that is stronger than ever, the
power of the empire. The influence of the empire has never been so powerful. 

22.  All you have to do is see what it does at the United Nations, what it has
turned the whole Security Council into, to justify and even support any
adventure in any part of the world under different pretexts, even the pretext
of famine. Imperialism is responsible for this famine. This famine is a
consequence of colonialism and neocolonialism. This famine has resulted from
the exploitation of the peoples. Now they want to solve the hunger problem with
guns. Today it is one country, but tomorrow it could e another and another.
Tomorrow it could be all of Africa. It is a fact that in Africa the droughts
are becoming more severe, the deserts are expanding, the population is
increasing, the diseases and poverty are multiplying. How can imperialism think
it can solve the problems of this era with guns? One day they would have to
invade the whole world to find solutions for these problems. 

23.  Never has the world experienced a period of this kind, this nature. The
peoples are reacting. They are reacting to the extent possible, and they will
react. They will react, because they cannot accept this. They cannot resign
themselves to this. There in the United Nations, of course, all of the 15
members of the Security Council, without exception, voted for this intervention
there because the criterion, the pretext was strong. There were the pictures of
the skeletal people and the people dying of hunger. The aircraft carriers,
armored units, helicopters, tanks, and everything have arrived there, along
with the boots, which were seen in some pictures, the boots on the backs of
some Somalis. So they went over there to deliver food by force of arms. They
went there with force of arms to deliver food. In another part of the world
they have imposed an embargo on a country like Cuba, in an attempt to make it
die of hunger and poverty. There you have the empire's logic and morality!
However, of the 5 countries that approved it-the United States and the other
14-at least 14 warned that it was an exceptional case. The only country that
did not say anything about this being exceptional, but rather, spoke of it as
something ordinary was the United States itself. 

24.  So a number of very serious problems have been accumulating in the world.
The statistics from everywhere point to situations that are truly catastrophic,
and not only in Africa, but also in Latin America and in a large part of the
countries of the Third World. There are voices that are being raised to protest
the fact that harvests are being destroyed while the world is going hungry,
while hundreds of millions of people, while more than 1 billion human beings
are going hungry. What we can ask ourselves is whether capitalism is able to
solve this problem, if the disease can become the medicine, if the same
bacteria that have caused all these catastrophes, all these unhealthy
situations in the world, are going to bring health to the world. 

25.  It was capitalism that led to colonialism, slavery, underdevelopment,
poverty, and hunger. It led to the lack of elemental resources for the
population. I mean economic resources, but natural resources too, because
capitalism is destroying the planet's natural resources. It is destroying them
with its consumer societies, with its incredible wastefulness. We wonder if it
is indeed capitalism that is going to come and solve these problems. 

26.  That is why I was saying that we are living in a truly difficult world. It
has been proven, however, that our people have the mettle to confront such a
truly difficult world. Our people have the necessary mettle. Who would have
thought that our people would one day defy the empire? Yet they did. Who would
have thought that the Revolution would be able to last for 30 years? Yet it
has.  Of course, circumstances helped a lot, when the socialist bloc appeared.
However, when Cuba defied the empire .... [pauses] The empire was defied when
we decided to make justice prevail in our country, when we decided to do away
with all those disgraceful ways of life, all the forms of discrimination,
abuse, injustice, and humiliation for our people, who could not even go to the
beaches. They did not have jobs, education, health care, consideration, or
anything. They suffered from racial and sexual discrimination. 

27.  To put an end to all that, we had to defy the empire. We really had to
expropriate the exploiters, which was what the revolution did, and give
everything to the people, from the land to the houses, schools, hospitals,
natural wealth, everything. We had to recover it to put it into the people's
hands. This was a great challenge to the empire.  The empire began to conspire
and try to destroy the revolution as soon as the agrarian reform was done. 

28.  This was just because of the agrarian reform, long before the
nationalizations. When the revolution defied the empire, it did so at its own
risk. No one was counting on the existence of the socialist bloc. The socialist
bloc was there, and it was lucky that it was there, but we followed the
traditions of our history, our nation. In 1868 as well, when the Cubans rose up
in arms, they did so at their own risk. When they again rose up in arms in
1895, they did so at their own risk. Of course, the empire was there, nascent,
and it took over Cuba. Then it left Cuba in liberty on paper, and we know what
that republic was.  Everyone knows. Revolutionaries know that there was
absolutely no independence and that we were the property of the imperialists.
hey let us play the national anthem from time to time and raise the flag, but
every so often there was an armed intervention here. When there were protest
movements, unrest, or uprisings, they immediately intervened. 

29.  However, when we, also in our time, creaed the revolution, the empire was
very powerful, almost omnipotent.  Nevertheless, our people did not hesitate to
defy the empire. Now, when the socialist bloc has collapsed, our people have
been capable of defying imperialism and the collapse, both things. Well, only a
nation that really has mettle, traditions of struggle, and very high awareness
and values is capable of doing this. This is another reason we should feel
proud. So this world with all its difficulties does not scare us. Nor do these
times with all their difficulties. We have already faced very great challenges
when we did not have anything, when we were not what we are today, when we did
not have the minds we have today, when we did not have the talents we have

30.  We have not only outstanding talents, not only very valuable talents, but
also aware, cooperating, patriotic, young revolutionaries. When I asked today
who would take PPG, I saw that very few raised their hands, in spite of the
fact that I recommended it as a preventive medicine. However, I look at you,
and see that we really have a mass of young technicians and scientists who have
practically their whole lives ahead of them. We have these wonderful resources
today to defy this difficult world, this uncertain world. When faced with
difficulties, one learns a lot. 

31.  Today we realize that when the resources were abundant, they still seemed
insufficient to us. There were years when in our discussions with the Soviets
we had to say: No, do not send us so many tractors. The list had already
reached 4,000 or 4,500, and I said: There are too many tractors here. It was a
shame that we could not exchange the tractors for other things. We sometimes
needed another type of equipment and we could not exchange the tractors for
another type of equipment or another type of product. We could not do that,
although there were times when we had too much equipment. 

32.  There were times when there was more than enough fuel.  We even had a fuel
surplus, when we had gotten reasonable, fair prices for our sugar. We had a
trade ratio of one to seven, approximately, tons of sugar for tons of oil. It
was not better than it had been in 1959. It was a little worse, but quite
similar. There were times when the country reexported fuel every year, for
hundreds of millions of dollars. This was in addition to a high level of
consumption because of so many tractors and trucks. 

33.  Who would have been able to achieve today's austerity or conservation with
that abundance of fuel and equipment? I remember this because I saw it many
times on the highway and I suffered for it, because the tractors were out on
Saturdays and Sundays, ulling wagons full of people to go to soccer games.
People took out a tractor for any little thing. The country had about 80,000
tractors, if I remember correctly. It cannot be much different from that
figure. In some cases we had wasteful trucks, because everyone knows that a
ZIL-130 needs its own refinery to follow along behind it, its own fuel tanker
to follow along behind it. However, the ZIL-130 trucks came and then the fuel
tankers came, and there were no other trucks, so we had to work with the
ZIL-130's. Then we had the ZIL-130's but not the fuel tankers. We had trucks of
all kinds, but we got spare parts as well. We got tens or hundreds of millions
of pesos' worth of spare parts. 

34.  How, if not in a special period, would we really learn to conserve and do
what we are doing? This does not mean that we are conserving 100 percent yet.
Every time I see some vehicle out, I wonder what it is doing. If I tour the
countryside and I see a tractor, I wonder what it is doing, or the vehicles
that pass on the streets. We must keep in mind-and it is painful and I was
recalling it here-how much money we must pay for what little fuel we have

35.  When we talked about possible exports of albumins for $3 million, I
thought that $3 million is almost what we must spend for fuel every day. This
example gives an idea of the size of the effort we must make. We would have to
have 300 times the exports to cover the cost of the fuel we need each year, in
spite of the enormous number of trucks out of service, buses out of service,
and all those things. This example, however, gives an idea of the effort, the
conservation, that is demanded. 

36.  Today we discussed here whether we have acted quickly enough concerning
energy conservation. It became obvious here today that (?except for) the
electricity plants that have their proper measuring equipment to verify the
consumption-there is some automated equipment, even though it sometimes lacks
components-we have more than 3,500 boilers-I think that was the total-more than
3,500 boilers that still do not have any of those monitoring mechanisms. The
sensors have been developed. The equipment has een developed to monitor those
boilers more efficiently, in the sugar mills and all those facilities that use

37.  So we are still wasting energy. There are still sugar refineries that
consume power from the national network. There are still turbogenerators that
arrived in other times and have not yet been assembled. There are enough
turbogenerators to bring the number up to 42.  They have been here for years.
Well, I think all those turbogenerators should already be assembled right now. 
When you know that the country is spending more than 40 percent of its export
earnings on fuel, and in addition has to import food, medicine, raw materials,
and an endless number of things, tires or raw materials for tires, batteries or
raw materials for batteries, how can we have 42 turbogenerators still not all

38.  How can we have boilers that still do not have the basic equipment to
monitor the boilers and conserve 3, 4, 5, or 10 percent of the fuel or bagasse?
It is because bagasse is oil. If we do not use bagasse well at the sugar
refineries, they must bring n electricity from the national network.  If we use
it well, we reduce the need for electricity at the sugar refinery or complex.
The refinery can even provide electricity to the national network. The example
of the comrade from the [name indistinct] Refinery, I think, is really
impressive. We gave that comrade a certificate. He repaired .... [pauses] In
the seventies there were some surplus turbogenerators. Probably two Soviet or
East German turbogenerators had arrived there, were assembled right away, and
the existing ones taken out. He repaired the latter and even though they are 70
years old, that refinery is self-sufficient in electricity and provides power
to the national electricity network. There is an example for you of what can be
done. There is an example for you of what needs to be done in the special

39.  It is, however, even worse to have 42 that have not yet been assembled. We
cannot have a program of so many in 1991, so many in 1992, so many in 1993, and
so many in 1994. If you have 42 turbogenerators, and 20 or whatever still need
to be assembled, ou have to assemble them all in 1993, before the next sugar
harvest.  There is nothing else to be done. There is no alternative, when we
are using almost $3 million worth of fuel per day, so that the hospitals,
schools, cities, research centers, and factories will not come to a halt; so
that there can be some electricity for the households. I think that one of the
conclusions of this forum is that as quickly as possible, we must acquire or
make all the instruments we need for those more than 3,500 boilers that are
operating in this country. As quickly as possible. [repeats] 

40.  I think that as quickly as possible, to the extent the availability of
steel or other necessary materials permit, we must do what the Construction
Ministry did, and next year not give any prize to those who are using
fuel/water emulsion because everyone will be using it. Of course, there is a
limiting factor, which was mentioned here, of the surfactants. However, you
also spoke about the possibility of producing them through biotechnology.  I
remember well that [words indistinct] made a visit to NIFAT [Institute for
Basic Research in Tropical Agriculture] and they talked to me about
azotobacter, which can be used on the rice crop. At that time they began to
produce azotobacter in one of the fermenters that was not being used, in Santa
Cruz del Norte. Not more than two weeks went by, or if I remember correctly not
even three weeks went by from the time we had the news and the INIFAT people
told us about azotobacter, that it could supply some of the nitrogen the rice
crop needs, and they were already producing it on a large scale. In 21 days!
That is the style we must apply. Azotobacter has been applied to almost the
entire rice crop. Of course, azotobacter does not supply all the nitrogen
needed by the rice, but it does supply a considerable part. 

41.  Azotobacter has been applied to thousands of caballerias. I remember
another example that was talked about for the first time. This is interferon.
The first time I heard about interferon was from an American doctor who visited
Cuba, and when he was asked about the most recent things, the most recent
hopes, he mentioned interferon as a possible medicine to cure cancer. He
invited two doctors to go there. We sent two, and there we found out who had
developed the technology in Finland. They told us to send two doctors and we
sent six. However, from the time when we heard about interferon to the time we
produced interferon, I do not think more than three months went by, or maybe
four months. Not even four months had gone by, and we were producing interferon
in Cuba. 

42.  I think this was in 1981. What year was it, [Manuel] Limonta? It was in
1980. [Limonta: ``It was in 1981.''] In a few weeks we did .... [pauses] First,
a building was adapted. Then the first center was built. That was the birth of
biotechnology in Cuba, we might say. With the strength it has today, it was
born in 1981, from just the information that a product called interferon
existed.  There was a lot of hope placed in it at that time. Since then,
interferon has been used for many things, and for 

some kinds of cancer, but it was not a universal remedy for cancer. 

43.  That is the style we have to work in. At that time we were not really in a
special period. We have spent all of 1992 studying (?asospirilum), because up
to now, we have not found a kind of azotobacter that can help in fertilizing
sugarcane. There have been some experiments with (?asospirilum), and it seems
to have potential. We are now studying all the possibilities for producing it
as quickly as possible. This has to do with what you call generalization. If
there is a result, it must be generalized, and we often even have to take
certain risks. We cannot spend 10 years testing. In a war, nobody spends 10
years testing in order to solve any problem. In a war, you spend 10 days

44.  During the war we also invented a few things, made certain innovations. We
invented a lot. It is a miracle that we did not blow ourselves up. We invented
some kind of guided missiles for rifles. We did this without using any
supplies. We could not afford to waste time.  We did not have normal conditions
to conduct such research. We made flechettes [espinas] and grenades which we
launched from rifles, shotguns, or from anything else. 

45.  In these times, any result have to be implemented immediately. We must
have an awareness of the times, the needs, and the circumstances. We have to
generalize.  This is what generalizing means. Of course, generalization is not
the responsibility of the commissions alone, nor of the inventors, efficiency
experts, or scientists.  Generalization is everyone's responsibility. It is the
responsibility of the mass organizations, the state leadership, the party
leadership. Everyone has to work on this thing called generalization, or what
we could call the rapid application of research results. This is the reason I
said that all these issues dealing with essential problems have to be speeded
up. They have to be speeded up. 

46.  The first question that we must ask is how and when to do this. We have
been talking here about the different kinds of energy. We are working on this.
However, we have one very valuable type available every year: bagasse. We must
establish an intensive program in the sugar industry for producing power from
bagasse. We must set a deadline for setting up all the turbogenerators and
maintain the others and repair them. If a generator is replaced in one place,
it should be taken to another place and installed. They must be repaired and

47.  Of course, we are working with fuel. Everything that has been discussed
here about the use of domestic oil is very important. Unfortunately, our oil is
heavy. There are problems with its extraction, transportation, and use.  You
have heard about all the calamities, how it has to be heated to be pumped, to
load it on ships, and to use it, but that is the oil we have. Oil production
has increased this year. We are developing plans to increase it even more. This
oil can be used by the electricity industry.  This oil can be used by the fuel
and cement industries, but we must use surfactants. We must pay maximum
attention to the problem of surfactants, of biological or natural origin, like
the pine resins, or import them if we cannot find a domestic 

ource. In any case, it represents enormous savings of money and resources, and
the availability of these products. 

48.  We are working to find oil, and we are conducting this partnership with
experienced companies. We have already obtained some results from these
partnerships.  We hope for much more. With modern technology, we now have to
explore down to the last square inch of our territory in the search for light
oil, gas, or heavy oil. It would be nice if we had 3 million tons of heavy oil.
We would comfortably be able to meet all our electricity needs. Of course, we
would have to find the surfactants. We would ave to analyze this very well and
take all the appropriate measures to keep our electricity industry from
deteriorating from having to use this high-sulfur oil. 

49.  We are making this effort, and we must continue studying those eight
points, which include biogas, wood, coal, wind, and solar energy, wherever
there are real possibilities, because we must do realistic things and not dream
about things for which the nvestments would be too big. We must study the
mini-hydroelectric plants and the small hydroelectric plants, all of them. We
are also studying some important rivers, and there are some fairly advanced
projects. It is possible that we will begin to build them soon, even though
this will take three or four years. We cannot wait until the hydroelectric
plants are finished. It may be three or four, or even five years. 

50.  However, all the possibilities for mini-hydroelectric plants and small
hydroelectric plants must be studied, all of them. We must calculate well. They
tell me that 30 are being built. Now we must study what it would take to build
60, 70, 80, or 100. If there are 500 places where we can build
mini-hydroelectric plants, then we must build them. They are certain. Even if
they only benefit part of the population, at least part of population will have
electricity and renewable energy for sure. The maximum mount of attention must
be given to this. 

51.  I should tell you that what was spoken of here concerning spare parts was
impressive. What is being done with the spare parts is really impressive, like
what some sugar refineries explained here, or what the comrades from Argelia
Libre Refinery in Las Tunas explained about how they recycle even the smallest
piece of metal. The fact is that today, equipment is functioning without spare
parts. The fact that there are several thousand sugarcane combines working in
this harvest, cutting sugarcane, is a eal feat. The fact that the tractors and
machinery are working, the fact that we are harvesting rice with rice combines,
is a real feat. I would say that what is being done is a miracle. 

52.  There is no doubt that in this area a colossal effort is being made. It is
one of the areas in which we have advanced the most. We have done this with the
cooperation of everyone. The comrades of the Ministry of the FAR, who have many
workshops, have elped agriculture with the production of spare parts for
combines and other equipment. All the country's resources must be used for the
tasks we have ahead of us, to solve the problems we have ahead of us. I would
venture to say that what the country is 

doing without spare parts is a true feat. Suffice it to say that the sugarcane
machinery has received 10 percent of what it has historically received, if it
has received that much. Resources for the sugarcane harvest are less than 30
percent of what they were historically. How can we explain that everything is
working, everything is operating, without the colossal effort the people are

53.  I said that we could do more. I said that we should do more, but this does
not deny the real effort we are making in any way. I do not think any other
country in the world could have resisted what we have resisted.  Everything
would have stopped. Everything would have become disorganized and become chaos.
How can we manage, with the problems we have with fuel and resources, to plant
sugarcane, tubers, and vegetables, to harvest and plant rice, to plant and
harvest tobacco?  Things are being done in an orderly fashion in the midst of
the problems we have, but we are not doing everything we can. 

54.  Sometimes we do not have fuel, and this shortage causes demoralization.
Immediately, unnecessary restricting changes are made to the plans. Under the
tobacco planting plan for Havana Province, 65 caballerias had to be planted
with tobacco that is covered. They had 33 caballerias planted by the end of
November or the beginning of December. In the first 10 days of December, they
did not plant a lot, and it is true they lacked fuel, but there was a lot of
land prepared. Those involved in the activity egan to think of reducing the
planting goal for covered tobacco by 15 caballerias. Comrade [Candido] Palmero
realized this and fought against it. I found out from him that they were
planning to reduce the plan by 15 caballerias, to plant 50 instead of 65
caballerias. We told them that there was no excuse for them not to plant those
15 caballerias. A little fuel had been found, and we must take advantage of it
and plant, because it is a question of having the will to plant. We cannot
become discouraged because of these difficulties. 

55.  We must plant in December. One excuse was that there were not enough
people, that they had to look for some posts from Pinar del Rio, that they had
to do a number of things, and they were not doing them. The immediate problem,
however, was their accommodation, their attempt to reduce the plan, but they
were told no. These leaves are needed, that tobacco is needed. The country
needs it for export. It must be done. They are involved in this struggle to
plant.  There were difficulties last year, and hey ended up planting 50
caballerias late in the season. 

56.  I can cite another example. Oxen have not been domesticated and used at
the rate which was originally planned because some excuse always comes up: rope
here, something else there, the oxen are still too young, etc. I think that we
should have had a much higher number of domesticated oxen by now. We should
already have 200,000 new domesticated oxen, and we do not have them yet. We
have reached two-thirds of this goal due to [words indistinct] problems but
sometimes there are subjective problems as well. Fuel is found, and so they get
behind in domesticating oxen. This requires a tenacious and constant effort.
There must be trainers. There must be many things. It is not easy, but I would
say these are not easy, but very difficult times. 

57.  There were other historical periods in which our people underwent greater
difficulties. They experienced difficult times during the 1868 and 1895 wars,
and they went through truly terrible times during the time of [Spanish General
Valeriano] Weyler's oncentration plan. This means that although we are doing
great things, there are still some things we can do better. I was talking about
the 15 caballerias of tobacco. The other day I read in the newspaper ....
[pauses] That night I was talking with Palmero and he told me the story that in
a meeting, those responsible for this activity had almost decided to reduce the
amount of covered tobacco to be planted by 15 caballerias. This area is
indispensable for the twisted tobacco, which is exported. 

58.  However, the next day I read in the newspaper that 15 caballerias still
needed to be planted, and I said to myself: Not only were they thinking about
reducing the plan by 15 caballerias, but they have already told the reporters.
The article should have said that 30 caballerias still needed to be planted. An
article appeared in the 14 December morning edition of TRABAJADORES saying that
everything was moving forward and that 15 caballerias still needed to be
planted. I am not blaming the paper or the reporters, but it is clear that they
had readjusted the plan by 15 caballerias. They are going to have to
``un-readjust'' it and plant those 15 caballerias, because in these times, we
cannot tolerate that.  [applause] 

59.  It is difficult to work with great problems because excuses and
justifications always come up. There is what we have gone through this month
with fuel, the problems that have come up with fuel, and the efforts we have
had to make, and the priorities we have had to establish. The sugarcane harvest
has begun, we are in the middle of the cold season tuber and vegetable
planting, and we are planting tobacco, harvesting rice, preparing land for
rice, there is an enormous amount of work and an enormous amount of diesel is
needed. Now, we cannot stop until the last ox we planned for is domesticated
and at work.  The thing is that an ox does the work of 15 men in the fields.
Think of the work force it saves. Sometimes there are so many crops that must
be planted and harvested that thousands of men would not be enough. If there is
a pair of oxen, sometimes one ox, sometimes just one ox with a small implement,
it can save 15 workers. 

60.  Of course, there are certain crops for which we need an indispensable
amount of fuel. For example, it would be impossible to cut all the sugarcane by
hand, because we would have to recruit the workers. That army of unemployed
that lined up to cut and oad sugarcane by hand at the cane plantations does not
exist today. It would be impossible to do the sugar harvest. Hundreds of
thousands of people would have to be mobilized. Think what it would cost for
transportation, camps, clothing, shoes, and food. It must be done with
machinery. It is essential that we allocate an amount of fuel to cut sugarcane.

61.  There are also times when a lot of land must be prepared in a short time
in order to plant potatoes, tomatoes, different kinds of vegetables and other
crops now. Thousands of caballerias must be prepared in a few weeks, and all
these caballerias must e prepared for tobacco, cold-season sugarcane, tubers,
vegetables, rice. It must be done in a few weeks with oxen. Therefore, the
number of oxen needed would be colossal. So we need a minimum amount of fuel
for these kinds of activities. This is 

unavoidable. There are, however, many kinds of work that must or can be done
with oxen, especially in cultivation, crop transportation in many of these
places, and collecting the harvests. 

62.  I also mentioned the tractors, and how the fields must be prepared in a
very short time. There is also the irrigation.  Potatoes cannot be planted
without irrigation. If a month goes by without rain, you will lose all the
seeds, fertilizer, and fuel that was invested to prepare the land, if it does
not rain. The irrigation systems need fuel. So we need an essential amount of
fuel, which is what we are doing.  However, since this fuel is expensive, we
must pay for it and use it in the most optimum way. That is why it is more of a
crime than ever to waste a single drop of fuel. 

63.  We have done many things. The multiple plow has helped so that fields do
not become weedy. It has helped save fuel. It is a phenomenal technology, in
which our Comrade (?Font) participated. It has caused a revolution in soil
preparation, with fuel conservation and improvements in the quality of soil
preparation. This is one way to conserve energy, because we have discussed here
ways to use energy or energy sources more efficiently. We must not just talk
about energy sources, but also about energy conservation. This multiple plow
conserves a lot of energy. Oxen conserve a lot of energy, and we must look for
new energy sources and use what we have in the most optimum way, invent things
that reduce the use of energy. 

64.  In short, I am referring to two different angles of the problem: the
things we are doing, the feats we are doing; and the things we still need to
do, the feats we still need to accomplish. I would say, after being able to
attend these forum meetings, hat there are reasons to feel optimistic and

65.  We have achieved a lot in one year in this field. Just a few months have
passed, and we have already obtained 68,000 solutions. We have joined together
all the efforts.  We have the scientific hubs and also the science unions.  All
these integrating elements are working together. Next year, we will finish
several top quality scientific centers.  Let me tell you that some visitors are
amazed. They do not and cannot believe what they see here, and they have not
seen anything yet. Excellent centers are being built and are almost finished.
Many of them will be finished in 1993. Many factories and other things are
being built. 

66.  Soon we will inaugurate the new facilities of the Cuban Institute for
Technical Research [ICIT]. Soon we will inaugurate the Finlay Institute's Plant
No. 3 for the meningitis vaccine. Plant No. 2 is almost finished. A magnificent
viral vaccine production center has been finished in a few months. Other
facilities are already being finished; the final touches are being made. There
is the Tropical Medicine Institute. There has been great progress with the
monoclonal antibodies center. The (?terminal forms center) is progressing. The
laboratories and other facilities of the new part of the School of Pharmacy are
progressing. Many investment projects in the pharmaceutical and biotechnical
industries are progressing. New things are being 

done. There has not been a lot of publicity, but these things are being done. 

67.  So in another year, we will have a lot more. In another year we could have
an even better forum than this one, if that is possible. I hope that we will
have even better news by the next forum, and reports will be given on what has
been done. The sugarcane industry, the metalworking industry, all those who
ought to, will make presentations to us about how they have applied all these

68.  I am sure that if this forum was good, next year's will be a lot better.
Perhaps we will have .... [pauses] Well, we cannot devote more hours to it,
because we would have to talk till dawn. We must see how to make the content of
the discussions more specific, not the things done individually, but the things
done by each center. The things you do can be discussed in the commission
meetings. Here, however, in the plenum, we should discuss programs, how
programs are being carried out, how the energy program is being carried out,
what has been done, what has been done with every kind of spare parts program,
how all these things we have to install in this period have been installed, how
the different programs are progressing. 

69.  Of course, it was natural to invest some of the time here thinking and
reflecting on the way in which the forum has influenced each of the centers.
However, next year, we have to talk about programs, how we have fulfilled the
different programs. So that in two days, even if we have to talk until
midnight-and if some of you get too tired, do not forget that PPG is for sale,
and they say that PPG is ergogenic.  What does that means, Carlos Gutierrez?
That it gives you energy, increases energy? It increases strength, right?-we
will debate until midnight, but we will analyze the main programs and how they
are going. 

70.  I think it could be more interesting. For example, how [word indistinct]
are being used for glaucoma. How the programs for producing advanced technology
equipment are going. (?This is) an advanced technologies forum and we have not
mentioned how the main programs are going. I have repeated .... [pauses] I have
already mentioned some of them. I do not want to repeat them. We could have
more content. This may be something that may require two days of commission
meetings, or two days of plenary sessions. I do not advise having three days of
plenary sessions because that could be too long.  I prefer two long days to
three short days, but the plenary session could review the fundamental things
that are being done. 

71.  In the commission meetings we will discuss them. This year 1,500 spoke.
Maybe next year 2,000 will be able to speak. Then we need to do what we can to
edit a report on the most important things that were discussed. I believe that
you would like that, ight? To have some kind of report; we would not have to
print a lot of copies.  [applause] 

72.  Actually, we are positioning ourselves in the vanguard in a number of
fields. This can be clearly seen. Cuba's prestige in the fields of
biotechnology, medicine, and other areas of the scientific arena is increasing
day by day. I insisted so much on the famous (?Osomed) because it is not
produced anywhere else. The (?Osomed) can solve a great deal of problems for
us. Actually, a lot of the equipment we are producing is not for export. If
export opportunities arise we will produce it for export- and we are doing that
in some cases-but the primary beneficiary of the programs we are developing is

73.  Of course, we try to develop products not only for our consumption but for
export also. The major plans for vaccine production are not only for our needs
but for export also. We could say that we are already the first country in the
world that has the greatest coverage in the world against meningitis because it
is our exclusive vaccine. Soon we will also be the first country in the world
in protection against hepatitis B. These vaccines are produced through genetic
engineering. Today, not only do we have vaccination programs but also export
programs for the hepatitis B vaccine, which is sold at a good price. 

74.  We are working on a vaccine against hepatitis C. We are working on a
vaccine against meningitis serotype C. There are countries that have different
types. This one is the most difficult. This same vaccine of ours could work
against all three kinds-A, , and C. We are working on a vaccine against
something called Haemophilus influenzae, as the scientists say. This is another
illness that is quite harmful.  There is no vaccine in the world against it. We
are working on a vaccine against cholera. We are looking for an effective
vaccine against cholera. We are working on triple vaccines, multiple vaccines,
vaccines against parasites. We are looking for the nerve growth factor. 

75.  Not to leave anything out, we are even working on vaccines against AIDS,
in spite of the fact that Cuba is the country that has had the most success in
the world in the fight against AIDS. It has been the only place where AIDS has
not spread and become a catastrophe. It is where those infected with AIDS have
the most security because of the preventive treatments that they have received.
Of course, all this is becoming known in the world. 

76.  I believe that the progress of our sciences in general, specifically our
medical sciences, is unstoppable. Cuba's increasing prestige in that field is
already unstoppable, in diagnosis as well as in the production of equipment for
diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as in the production of medicines.
We do not produce all medicines, but we are rapidly developing medicines and
reformulations. We cannot produce all of them or all the raw materials, but we
are working to produce the greatest number possible in our country, even if we
have to import raw materials, in order to reduce the costs. 

77.  We are also producing new medicines, and even though we are lacking a
number of medicines, no other country has a vaccination program like ours
against hepatitis.  This program is already being applied in Cuba. No other
country has a program like 

ours against meningitis. This one is also already being applied in Cuba. No
other country has a program like ours for the use of products like PPG. It has
already begun to be applied in Cuba, and its use is going to be spread during
January of next year. n other words, we already have a number of programs that
no other country has, even though, paradoxically, we lack certain medicines. In
that regard, we are working to reformulate and produce them in our country. Of
course, we are making sure that there is never a shortage of essential

78.  There is a lot of progress being made in that area. We are not working
only on food programs or tourist programs or other economic development
programs. We are also doing a lot of work in this field of the advanced
technology medical equipment industry, medicines, and biotechnology products.
We are making great progress. 

79.  All this effort comes together, in every way. The people who make spare
parts are making a colossal contribution to this effort, because they keep our
plants running. They keep our equipment running. It has been proven that
anything and everything can be repaired. It has been proven that we can reduce
parts imports to a minimum by making or recycling such parts ourselves, so as
to import only those that it is absolutely essential to import.  It will always
be much cheaper to import the metal, because the metal sometimes costs 20 or 15
percent of what the part itself costs, the part imported new. It costs even
less to recycle a part, less than it would cost to buy a new part. 

80.  The important thing is to know, as we do know, that despite these
difficulties, the country continues to move forward; that despite these huge
difficulties, we have still have enough spirit to confront them, as well as the
ability to find solutions. The important thing is to be aware that we can count
on a tremendously strong and intelligent science and technology work force, so
as to come out ahead. If any country has a right to come out ahead, it is us,
for all these reasons: because of this country's talent, tenacity, firmness,
revolutionary spirit, awareness, and heroism! [applause] That is why we are so
happy that here, along with technicians and scientists who work in the civilian
sphere .... [pauses] You work in the civilian sphere, because we are all
defenders using the arms of the Revolution. We are all militiamen. [applause] 

81.  However, it is encouraging to see how our comrades from the FAR who work
full time-although it is not full time, because they also work part of their
time in activities related to the economy-are marching shoulder to shoulder
with this entire movement of innovators and efficiency experts, with this whole
forum, a forum we could call scientific and technical. The forum still bears
the old, modified name of Spare Parts, Equipment, and Advanced Technologies
Forum. Let us think about renaming this orum [applause] as the Scientific and
Technical Forum, where everything is connected: BTJ, ANIR members, skilled
workers, housewives, farmers, technicians, and scientists. 

82.  Let us all be linked together in this great effort and this great example
of unity and cooperation. Let our brothers and comrades in the FAR be with us,
giving us the assurance that if the cane combines are running, the tanks will
run too, and run much better than the combines; [applause] that if the trucks
are working, the artillery will work too; [applause] that if the equipment used
in civilian life works, the equipment used in civilian life [as heard] will
work too. They too are coming up with important innovations, great improvements
in efficiency, making big savings. 

83.  They are also making new things, because I asked why one award I gave here
had been given and was told they had built an airplane. Of course, it is not a
combat plane.  Nevertheless, building a plane is no insignificant
accomplishment.  They built a plane that flies. What do you think of that?
[applause] This plane flies. For the first time in the history of Cuba, and in
the middle of a special period, we have built a plane. They put an engine here
and there, and tested it. I asked: But with parachutes? They said: Yes, we made
the first flights with parachutes, but we no longer use parachutes in the

84.  This was in the middle of a special period. Of course they cannot go
around putting the things they make on exhibit. They can exhibit some of them,
I imagine. I have not been able to go see the exhibit. Is the exhibit
permanent? Has it opened? So one an go there, to Expo Cuba, at any time to see
it. This is very important, because we cannot neglect a single (?front). We
cannot neglect the defense front. That is why we have been building civil
defense tunnels, investing resources in that. That is why we have invested
resources-albeit reduced, as is natural under the current circumstances- in
defense. However, the problem of .... [pauses] There too, quality is of the
essence: the quality of the ideas, training, safety equipment, and weapons
maintenance.  This gives everyone great reassurance. We need not fear our
military equipment is going to break down, or find itself without parts. 

85.  They are conserving everything to the maximum. They have invented
procedures for training themselves without using fuel. That is very important,
because one must not allow oneself to lose one's marksmanship. One must not
lose one's training. Our FAR have made extremely important changes,
restructurings, and reductions.  However, the Youth Labor Army [EJT] is
growing, and it is the most productive force in our agriculture, the best
organized, the most disciplined. Now, I don't mean to set the EJT against the
contingents. There are excellent contingents. However, as a rule, the EJT units
are excellent. 

86.  They have made as many reductions as possible, but at the same time, our
defense strength is increasing. It is increasing because the men and women of
our nation are becoming more aware. It is increasing because the
revolutionaries are more aware and ore determined to defend the Revolution. It
is increasing because it consists of the entire population. I am talking about
the entire revolutionary population; there will always be exceptions. It is
increasing because the different camps are becoming increasingly better
defined, ever more clearly delimited. 

87.  It is increasing because we are becoming more convinced everyday. We are
becoming more proud of our country and of the Revolution's accomplishments
everyday. We are becoming more and more determined to defend socialism, more
and more determined to defend our flag, more and more determined to defend our
integrity and independence. 

88.  It does not matter what ideas the imperialists might have, or what they
might believe. Believe me, they cannot even imagine what they are going to
encounter should they one day attempt to orchestrate an outing to Cuba. They
cannot even imagine what they are going to encounter! [applause] 

89.  As a result of this, the Revolution's defensive strength is increasing. To
conclude: If we were to try to define what this forum has been, I would say it
is an example, and a symbol, of our age. 

90.  Socialism or death, fatherland or death, we will win!  [applause]