FBIS-LAT-93-217 Daily Report 13 Nov 1993 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Castro Gives Speech at Havana Assessment Meeting FL1111003693 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 2200 GMT 8 Nov 93 FL1111003693 Havana Radio Rebelde Network Spanish BFN [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the closing of the Havana Communist Party of Cuba, PCC, Assessment Meeting at Havana Convention Center on 7 November -- recorded] [Text] Comrades, I will not raise my voice or pitch too long because I have not been very lucky with my throat. It is nothing serious, just a thwarted cold. We have finally held the provincial Communist Party of Cuba [PCC] meeting in Havana City Province. This is something we had all awaited with great interest because we know that Havana plays an extraordinary role in the life of the country, precisely because it is the most difficult, conflicting region for the tasks of the PCC, the government, and the Revolution. Despite all the things we spoke of, and some that are written here -- all quite true -- about the great, outstanding, and glorious history of Havana, Havana is also the most difficult place for the Revolution. We also mentioned this during the elections. Our assembly, in which I have had the privilege of participating without missing a single minute, began with Glenda's words, summarizing the work done during this period, the most difficult period. I must add that I was truly impressed by the number of things the PCC has accomplished under such difficult conditions. I am not going to repeat them. It is not necessary. However, there is one fact that is particularly noteworthy: the fact that despite our problems, despite the special period, infant mortality is at 8.9. Infant mortality in Washington [D.C] is about three times higher than that of the capital of the Socialist Republic of Cuba during its special period, blockaded, and even doubly blockaded following the demise of the socialist bloc. [applause] This is very significant. I must add that our assembly has had a quality level unequaled in any previous period of the Revolution. This means that the special period is turning us into better people, more thorough, more efficient. It is also making us more responsible and capable. It makes us seek the essence of things. We began discussing the subject of tourism, a very difficult, complex, important, decisive subject. The Revolution did not give tourism much thought for many years. Everything done in this field had been done to benefit the people, only and exclusively to benefit the people, since we opened all the private clubs and beaches and built facilities throughout Cuba for our people's enjoyment. We did not plan extensive development of international tourism. At a certain point we reached the conclusion that it was a resource that needed to be exploited. This happened before the collapse of the socialist bloc. Every country must live off its natural resources. Despite the significance to our economy of the socialist bloc's cooperation, our country, not having large energy resources, needed to take advantage of our other assets -- the sea, sun, pure air, and beauty of our land as a way of developing wealth and wellbeing for the country. However, tourism was not particularly developed. You know how many things we have developed all these years to improve the lives of our people, to build a fair society, and to forge an honorable future. Circumstances have made it necessary, however, to promote this new activity with great impetus. Perhaps we should have begun a little earlier. Perhaps it would have been better to have begun a littler earlier. Earlier, we had already built hotels for international tourism. Earlier still, say 10, 12, 14 years ago, we had overcome our prejudices against developing tourism as a significant economic resource. At times, enmeshed in the purity of our ideas, we feared that tourism would defile us. I do not think this was correct, but it was a product of the purity of our ideas and goals. It was only after the emergence of exceptional circumstances resulting from the collapse of the socialist bloc and the demise of the USSR, when we saw a dire picture looming with many consequences for Cuba, that international tourism was included in our priority plans as a means of withstanding the emerging situation and, above all, withstanding and overcoming the special period. This was not, nor is, the only plan, but it is undoubtedly becoming one of the plans that provides the most promise. We discussed this subject in depth. We discussed it very seriously and earnestly. We analyzed our deficiencies. We analyzed the many problems we must solve. We analyzed our great lack of knowledge. This was natural since we were isolated for so many years. Even the notion of how to manage a hotel, how to provide adequate services was lost in Cuba. On the other hand, Cuba had never had broad experience in this field. The tourism that had developed in Cuba was related to gambling, drugs, prostitution, and many other vices that contributed to developing a rejection of that activity. It was natural for us not to have much experience, while other countries acquired a great deal of experience. We discussed here the need to accept foreign cooperation in this field. We have not needed this in certain other fields because we had reached levels of health care that no other Third World country had, not even the socialist bloc. We achieved this through our own people, our own experiences. Our universities have trained our doctors. Our Revolution has generated the concepts that resulted in great successes in health. We did not need anyone to come and teach us about health because for more than 30 years, we have worked in this field. Despite this, we do not miss any opportunities to acquire knowledge abroad and collect information and take advantage of everything useful in the world. No matter how much we know, or believe we know about something, we always need to go out into the world to seek those things created by human intelligence that might be useful to us. In terms of harvests, sugar mills, sugarcane cutter brigades, organizing contingents, mobilizations, we did not need to seek much experience abroad because the Revolution had itself developed a wealth of ideas in those fields. In the field of war, yes, we have received knowledge and experience in terms of organization, logistics, rearguard, modern techniques. However, in terms of the basic ideas that Cuba follows today in defense, these are the ideas that began developing in 1868 at the beginning of our first war of independence, and are the ideas that today inspire the doctrine of the war of all the people, which is a truly Cuban idea. Despite this, we have not rejected any international experience, such as that of the Vietnamese or Western Saharan people, or that of any country in the world, which always has something to contribute and something to teach us. This is why, with much humility, we must always seek the experience of others in order to incorporate it into our own experience. This is the attitude we ought to have about everything. In terms of tourism, yesterday we stressed the importance of the knowledge and experience being provided by foreign specialists. This should not make us feel pained or humiliated, nor should this damage our national identity or patriotic spirit. On the contrary, we should be very grateful toward those providing such experience. Yesterday, it was demonstrated that our experience in this field is minimal. This is, however, a field in which we must learn as much as we can as fast as possible. It was demonstrated here that we have lost time in assimilating and taking advantage of those experiences. We have a vital need for this. I believe that the discussion of this subject in the assembly enriched our experience. The discussion ranged from the analysis of what is happening in the Este complex to the final briefing by Comrade Osmani. He said some interesting things, such as the possibility that someday we may need to welcome 10 million tourists. The income accrued from 10 million tourists might range between $10 and $15 billion. The dollar has become the measuring stick, since it is almost impossible to use other currencies for measuring because at times, the rate is thousands or hundreds to a dollar. Let us use the dollar figure. He said that this could be achieved in a relatively brief period of time. I also hold this conviction, but perhaps the importance of all this could be better understood if we bear in mind that we must rebuild the life of the country and above all, rebuild the economic bases of our country and our development. The loss of the socialist bloc and the USSR, the demise of the latter state, was a terrible, stunning blow, a blow that makes me wonder whether any other country or revolution could have withstood it as we are evidently doing, and if there are even solutions for such a great tragedy. In other words, we need to rebuild everything we lost in that global catastrophe. In other words, we need to rebuild what the socialist bloc and the USSR meant to us. I can tell that in this area alone, working the way we ought to work, we can rebuild what the socialist bloc and the USSR meant to us in economic terms. I believe we will be able to rebuild even more than what that meant. If this is so, it explains the importance, responsibility, and seriousness with which the subject was discussed in this assembly. If someday we rebuild all that, we will be better off than we were before all that was yet lost because it would not lie in the hands of others; it would lie in our hands. I am speaking of one single branch of the economy. The development of this branch is not going to corrupt us because there are countries that play host to up to 40 million tourists, have developed a strong economy, and have not lost their national identity. If we are someday able to welcome 10 million tourists, there is no reason to lose our national identity and culture. On the contrary, we would perhaps have an opportunity to strengthen our national identity and our cultural -- and why not say it -- our political influence as well. It is true what was said, that it is necessary that our visitors not meet or have contact with marginal elements as had happened on many occasions, but that they meet with the masses, the best of our country, in order for them to know what our country is and how our country is. More than worrying about foreign influences, some people abroad should worry about how much we can influence, and are in fact already exerting influence in the world. [applause] If the fatherland, the Revolution, and the accomplishment of socialism survive, our influence will be great. Hundreds of millions in the world are still beside themselves wondering how such a small country, blockaded, and adjacent to the strongest superpower in the world, has been able to resist and survive. This is why we say that in resistance lies the victory. Cuba, without losing its identity, without losing its principles, will have written an unprecedented feat in the history of the world. When we say that we are going to develop tourism, we are saying that we are going to sell air, sea, and beauty. We are going to market these natural resources, but not our principles, our ideas, and our honor. We are going to strengthen our principles, ideas, and honor when we are capable of overcoming the colossal struggle in which we are engaged, when we are capable of demonstrating that despite such difficult conditions, we are able to overcome and defeat them. Purity does not lie in a glass case. We must understand this. Cuba is not a woman locked in a convent, but a woman who travels the world and remains chaste. Let us travel the world and remain chaste. I repeat, purity in a glass case is worthless. [applause] Yesterday, impressive things were said here, such as when the director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research said that not one of his workers had defected from his workplace to seek another job. In other words, no one had stolen his cadres, technicians, or specialists to go to work in a hotel. I am not saying that going to go work in a hotel is undignified. On the contrary, we should honor hotel workers, who are providing an important service and contributing in a substantial manner to the Cuban economy. But he said that there have been over 2,000 trips, if I remember well, in several years and not one of the workers of that center and institute has defected. This is significant for a country as besieged, slandered, and blockaded as ours, a country withstanding so many sacrifices. Also amazing is what professor Sagarra [not further identified] so wisely said about his experience with athletes, about the value of education, the value of ideology, and the thousands of trips those athletes have made, and that there has been only one defection -- in 1991 -- and how he takes care of and treats the athletes, how he actually educates every athlete, how the medals increase every year. We earn more medals each time. Who can compare with Cuba in sports directed by him? The world, all the money in the world, and all the offers of the world have not been able to steal our athletes away from us. Therefore, the virtue lies in us, in our ideas, in our work, in our ideology. These are worthless if they are, in themselves, defenseless. There is no other country in the world against which so many hours of radio broadcast, so many hours of insidious and subversive propaganda have been aimed. In the midst of such difficult conditions they have not been able to destroy the Revolution because our strength lies in ourselves, in our people, in our ideas, and in our ideology. These are the weapons with which we can undertake this endeavor. Thus, with no fear whatsoever, let us meet the challenge of hosting 10 million tourists. Let us develop it as a key activity that will be instrumental in helping us overcome the special period, survive, achieve our development, and become stronger. This is a realistic, a very realistic approach in a world in which there is increasingly better communications. We are not living in the Middle Ages, nor are we living -- how could we -- as the Siboney and Taino Indians, who lived on our island 400 years ago. We are living in a world in which people can travel from one continent to another in a matter of hours. We are living in a world of communications, of radio, of television, of books, of long distance telephone connections, and there will be increasingly greater communications among all countries. We need to learn to live in this world. We need to become increasingly better adjusted to it and better prepared to live in it. I am expressing these ideas [words indistinct] all these matters related to tourism. At the rate of 10 cents each, these 10 million metric tons of sugar would bring us a gross income of $2 billion -- if there was a market for 20 million metric tons and if the price was 10 cents, not 2 or 3, because if there was a sugar surplus... [pauses] it would yield $4 billion. At these prices, 30 million metric tons of sugar would bring us a gross income of $6 billion. Just imagine what it would mean to have a gross income of $10 billion, $12 billion, or $15 billion. Although it is true that sugar generates a gross income with a lower cost per dollar, judging from what we have seen and discussed here, we can also increasingly decrease our cost per dollar in the area of tourism. We can do this almost to the point of moving very close to the sugar production cost of 10 cents per dollar. Can you imagine how many canecutters, how many combines, how much fuel, how much land, how much transportation service, how many docks, how many ships, and what a gigantic market would be necessary to produce and export 30 million metric tons of sugar? Today, of course, one metric ton of sugar is very important to us. Earlier, it was even more important because at one time, we received up to $800 per metric ton of sugar. That is, we were receiving four times the income we are receiving today from each metric ton of sugar. Besides, for the price of one metric ton of sugar, we were able to buy five times as much oil as we can buy today for the price of one metric ton. Oil supply is one of the most devastating, terrible Achilles' heels of our economy. It requires a minimum of 7 or 8 million of the nearly 13 million metric tons we were consuming before the advent of the special period. How much sugar must be produced and transported to purchase a modest metric ton of oil today! The special period is not taking place in the 60's, when we could buy eight metric tons of oil for each metric ton of sugar. It is taking place now, when we have been purchasing only 1.5 metric tons of oil for each metric ton of sugar. Producing 2 million metric tons of sugar less this year has dealt a terrible blow to our country; a blow that meant losing nearly $500 million as a result of a combination of factors that I will not repeat here. This is why this year has been so tough, so dificult, so terrible. We had persistent rains during the harvest. Later, during the spring months, we had an extended drought. All of this did not affect the 1993 harvest, but it has clearly affected the 1994 harvest. I believe that since statistics have been kept, the rainfall levels of June, July, and August have been the lowest. This has not only affected sugarcane crops, but also self-sufficiency and peasant crops. This year, we had the famous Storm of the Century. We also experienced extremely harmful weather conditions during the spring season, which have affected sugarcane crops. Besides, the shortage of fuel at a certain point also affected the sowing of cane. We had just a minimum supply of herbicides and a small amount of fuel. In light of the effort that is being made in the cane sector, a normal rainfall year would have at least meant a relatively major increase in our sugarcane production. Yet, today at this time and under these circumstances, we cannot fail to emphasize sugarcane crops next year and we will do so through the sowing, the weeding of canefields, through the recovery program, and through our search for fertilizers -- even in small amounts -- so that we can use them for our cane crops, because sugarcane crops become much more economical when the yield per caballeria is higher. We need a higher yield of sugarcane, higher sugar production, better performance by the combines. It is not the same thing when combines are cutting thin, weak canes as when those same combines, these same men, cut strong, robust canes. All these factors are influential and add up. Yet, I have mentioned them here now so that you may have a clear idea that there are other alternatives and note why we must work with so much dedication, seriousness, and efficiency in other respective areas. I believe this subject was properly clarified yesterday and that our problems were adequately specified. I believe it also became quite clear what we have to do. Comrade Hidalgo was today describing what they are doing with hydroponics, because $20 million has been invested in it. However, it has not produced anything because of a lack of fertilizers, lack of seeds, lack of textiles, lack of resources; that is, textiles with technical procedures for summer production. This work was allowing us to make considerable savings by foregoing import of lettuce, tomatoes, and so forth. You can imagine what it means to bring lettuce by plane, over thousands of km. A rational use of those investments, combined with tourism, made it possible for us to obtain significant profits and savings, to obtain resources, to supply food and resources to our people. I liked Hidalgo's briefing very much. It was delivered in a clear, precise, and eloquent way, and focused on what needs to and must be done. I believe these briefings and analytical reports are also a reflection of our current difficulties in the special period. We will see what kind of a people we are and what experiences we will have and what level of efficiency we will achieve after overcoming today's difficulties. As may be clearly understood, this is not an easy task. It is a task that will not take one or two years. It is a task that will take several years. Yet, this time will be shorter if we are efficient in every respect. As with what we discussed here about tourism, if we meet these requirements in every activity, then we will be able to progress in many areas, in many areas [repeats] and we will increase our current resourses because we are working on many things. Just as we are making demands in tourism, we must do the same with all other activities in the country, whether they require advisers or not. We need advisers in some areas, in which advisers are essential. In most of our activities, we do not need advisers. I was citing a few examples. In most activities, everything is up to each one of us. I liked very much the remark by Sagarra to the effect that authority is not inherited, that it must be earned in each job, in each workplace, because no one has given Sagarra the authority he has among boxers. He has earned this authority through his example, through his dedication, through his work, through his dignity, through his honor. This is why I was saying yesterday that this can not be imported. I believe this idea became quite clear at the assembly. Yesterday we discussed the sciences with the same depth and seriousness. We were able to clearly poinpoint our shortcomings and weak spots, as well as how we have developed a tremendous ability to research and create things, and to set up fabulous research centers that would have nothing to envy in any similar center in the world. We have excellent researchers who are in an extremely young average age bracket. These collectives are comprised of truly young researchers. We discussed ways to create -- through the sciences, scientific products, through pharmaceutical industries -- highly significant resources for the country, not only to meet our demands, not only to continue to guarantee health in our country, but also to meet international needs and to create large resources for our country. A comrade said yesterday that science may become the main source of income for our country. If this would be the case, tourism would have a tremendous rival in science, in biotechnology, and in the pharmaceutical industry. There are international companies whose sales volumes amount to thousands of millions, even tens of thousands of millions. Talent is required to develop this industry. It is not like the steel industry, which requires iron, large mines, large steel mills; or like the petrochemical industry -- which we still do not have -- which requires large deposits of oil and coal. We do not know and we are in no position to know when we will have them because they require investments of thousands and tens of thousands of millions of dollars. In contrast, science, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry require relatively modest amounts of money and investments. Investments are required here in human intelligence and we have made that investment. This is the fundamental aspect. We have already made that. We already have it. This is an activity that can support itself. If we act with the required intelligence we could make this activity into an extremely important economic branch. Perhaps in this way we may be able to rebuild what we lost when the socialist bloc disappeared and the USSR collapsed. We must also take into account the contribution sciences have already made to the health of our people and the contribution made in that extremely difficult battle against the neuritis epidemic, perhaps the greatest challenge we have ever faced. I am saying this because I have firsthand information about the effort made by these scientists, as I attended more than 100 hours of meetings I held with them, during the period of the epidemic. I met with the operational group, with our scientists, and with foreign scientists. I was also aware of the admiration, the amazement elicited from the foreign scientists by Cuban scientific achievements. We have an enormous field there, also, to achieve our development. We have discussed these topics and we have found that, for the most part, we do not need the Spaniards, who have become a sort of symbol of foreign advisors in light of the role they play in tourism. It has been demostrated that we need only ourselves, not the Spaniards. We need us, Cubans. This is the reason we cannot forgive ourselves for being absent in these and in many other activities in which we must be present with the required full responsibility, the utmost seriousness, and honor. Let us regret not the fact that others are helping us, but the fact that we are not sufficiently helping ourselves, that we are not sufficiently helping our country, that we are not sufficiently helping the fatherland and the Revolution. It is to no avail to be committed only to die and to sacrifice one's life for these ideas, for this objective; we must also devote our ideas, our interests, our dedication, our perseverance, and our intelligence to this endeavor. We must be committed to die for the fatherland, for the Revolution, for socialism and its achievements -- when I say achievements, I am always referring to those of socialism -- we must be committed to die, but above all we must be committed to win [applause]. Victory is and can only be within ourselves. Today we discussed the food program. Briefings were given about the effort made in our capital. It has been truly a praiseworthy effort. More than a million Havana residents have participated in agricultural camps in the past two and one-half years. I am referring to those producing food, tubers, and vegetables, not those mentioned by [Jorge] Lezcano [first secretary of the party in Havana Province] concerning the involvement of Havana residents in the sugar harvest. Contingents were mobilized. It should be noted that contingents were not created for agriculture. Contingents were created for the construction sector. Dozens of camps were built rapidly and dozens of contingents were organized, in addition to the 15-day mobilizations to farm mixed crops, especially plantain. The usual rigorous selection standards could not be applied in nominating the agriculture contingent members. Some brigades, some contingents were complete, such as the Russeau contingent, which worked in the Guine camp. I believe it was brigade No. 30. [words indistinct] it often became necessary to organize contingents with unemployed individuals. They did not have the same discipline or the same stability. Despite all this, the contingents have done a tremendous, tremendous job in agriculture. So did those mobilized for 15 days. There are, of course, activities that require broader experience. For instance, the microjet plantain crops require more specialized personnel than some other crops. It has been discussed here whether contingents have been successful in agriculture. A comrade discussed the concept of the state-owned enterprise, the large enterprise. There is no doubt that the large enterprise is the most efficient system of production worldwide, because it allows the use of large-scale techniques. Cane combines could be used only in fairly large sugarcane fields in which the machines do not have to turn every 20 or 30 meters. It would be impossible to use cane combines in a small plot. It would be impossible to use rice combines in a small rice plot. It would be impossible to use planes for sowing or fumigating small plots. I would say that state-owned farms have achieved in our country what could not have been achieved under any other system. Plantations of thousands of hectares like those in Jaguey, on the Isle of Youth, and others would have been impossible without the state-owned enterprises. It would have been impossible to develop livestock programs like the triangle and the rectangle and many others without the state-owned enterprises. It would have been impossible to produce rice with irrigation projects -- dams included -- without the state-owned enterprises. It would not have been possible to achieve this otherwise, not even through CPA's [Agricultural-Livestock Cooperatives]. It would have been impossible to plant 500 caballerias of plantain under microject in less than three years in Havana Province without the effort of the state-owned enterprises. This is unquestionable. Now the object is to exploit that land and those resources. The thing is that state-owned enterprises experienced a situation similar to that of the East Havana Tourist complex, which is a Panamerican tourist complex; to that of Havana Libre; to that of the Riviera; to many factories and industries; to schools; to ministries; to that experienced by everyone. They all experienced bloated personnel rosters, the tendency to have excessive personnel, paternalism, the lack of discipline, our super generous labor legislation, and all the evils created by the Revolution. Let us say this sincerely, not maliciously [chuckles], not out of love for the people or for the workers, but out of an excess of love. An attempt was made to deliver to the people and to the workers a paradise that had not yet been built. It was thought that the idea of paradise was attractive to the point that everyone would feel motivated to build it. Certainly, almost everyone was highly motivated to build the paradise and worked in building it. We had created in part a paradise, the most solid pillars of which were our economic relations with the socialist bloc and the USSR because this was the only thing we had. On the other side we have had the permanent hostility and threat of imperialism, which forced us to invest large resources to provide for our defense alone, and the imperialist blockade which, with its enormous influence in the world, has erected enormous hurdles to our development. We had in part created a paradise. No other country has achieved many of our accomplishments and gains. Yet, the idea was conceived that we were already in paradise and that with meditation alone one could get things done. The advocates of absenteeism have other justifications and explanations. They skipped work or worked only four or five hours daily, when they had to work at least eight hours. All that was tolerated. When every opportunity that could arise in the world was created for everyone to do or to take whatever he liked most, when opportunities were made available to all children and youths. Work became more humane. How many cane cutters were spared, thanks to the combines? Three hundred thousand cutters. How many stevedores who were shouldering 200 or 300 pounds were spared? Tens of thousands. How many builders? Hundreds of thousands. How many rice cutters, how many weed pickers were spared as a result of the use of chemical products, herbicides, and so forth? How many milking workers were replaced by electric milking machines? How much hard work has the Revolution eliminated? How much more humane did it made people's lives? Yet, parallel to this, the vices I mentioned: lax standards, the easy path, etc., etc. In other words, the agrarian enterprises suffered the same problems but in addition, the state enterprises supplied 80 percent of the sugarcane, almost 100 percent of the rice, almost 100 percent of the pork, practically 100 percent of the 2.5 billion eggs consumed annually, almost 100 percent of the beef. Some spoke of the farmers market as the great solution. However, the farmers market supplied a minimal percentage of the products consumed by the people. However, we have taken a step and we have not hesitated in taking it, a decisive and courageous measure because we saw that it was necessary and appropriate under the circumstances we are experiencing. The comrade who spoke here in representation of a municipality discussed this issue. The new form, the UBPC [Basic Cooperative Production Unit], which I have explained has a definite character, is relevant to this moment. This is a measure that had to be taken. We saw it as most adequate and appropriate under these conditions but it is not a reversible measure. It is not a measure that can be taken today and that we can say, tomorrow, will be replaced by another. What the UBPC's do tomorrow is their affair, in part, and in part that of the PCC and the nation. If they turn out to be too small, it might be better later to join them and make them larger, with 50 instead of 25 caballerias. This might also happen with the sugarcane UBPC's. Today, it is a matter of exploiting these resources. It is a definitive step in the hope that they work, that they turn out to be efficient. This is much more efficient than the creation of miniestates because nowadays a larger enterprise cannot be managed with the great shortage of gasoline, fuel, and transportation. We have to make them smaller, more manageable. In addition, we also have to conserve resources. Previously, a greater consumption of fuel was affordable. Of course, where there is not enough control and order, more fuel is wasted; where there is not enough control and order, more herbicide is wasted; where there is not enough control and order, fertilizers could be used less or more effectively; where there is not enough control and order, land can be readied better or worse. Today, we have to seek maximum [production] with minimum [consumption of] fuel, fertilizer, herbicides. We have noticed that the best CAI's [Agroindustrial Complex] had lower consumption of fuel, herbicides, and other products. This is what we need today in the entire agriculture. Of course, in the agricultural-livestock cooperative there was a more direct connection between the workers and the results of production. Production rates were demanding but, since managers were afraid of losing workers, they tolerated lower rates and then, in order to pay higher salaries, each manager became a Labor Ministry and almost set the salaries. They set lower production rates so that more could be completed in order for the worker to be paid more. This did not happen in the CPA's. Self-sufficiency was higher in the CPA's because it was established on the farms, in the dining halls, etc. The cooperatives had self-sufficiency not only for the worker but also for his family because they lived in the area. The worker felt closer to the result of production. There was competition between the small farmer and the state farm. The small farmer would take workers away from the state farm or offer higher salaries because the cost of products brought him greater profits. Whoever has one caballeria of potatoes or other crops, such as tomatoes, can get higher profits from higher prices and can offer higher salaries. He was able to offer things the state farm could not because the small farmer employed workers for 15, 20, 25 days, or a month, and the state farm had the worker on its roster all year long. The state farm was not about to leave the worker out on the streets. The work force shortage was dropping [as heard] because the development of the country, its educational institutions, took hundreds of thousands of youths and farmers' children and turned them into teachers, professors, doctors, engineers; gave them college degrees; made them Interior Ministry officers, Revolutionary Armed Forces officers. Nobody in the countryside wanted to stay there for the rest of his life. This was a real fact. There was not a single farmer who did not want his son to be a medic, doctor, engineer, etc. There was no revolutionary who did not want his son to be a doctor, professor, engineer, etc. These are realities and we are speaking here of reality. Every machine, every chemical product, all the herbicides, all the machines used in ports and constructions, etc., were not enough to compensate for the numbers of people moving into intellectual activities. It can be done -- I am not saying the contrary -- as long as you can maintain continuously growing work productivity, as long as you can guarantee development that allows for the use of all those resources, as long as there is enough awareness, as long as there are proper controls, as long as there is enough economic development so that material incentives become the essential spring motivating work -- as happens, for example, in capitalism -- as long as there is less paternalism, as long as there is more demanding labor legislation. In other words: Work productivity makes it possible, to a high degree, to maintain a certain balance between intellectual work and manual labor. A highly developed economy allows for the presence of sufficient products in the marketplace in order to strongly stimulate work once money has reached its full value. In the conditions under which the Cuban Revolution developed, we have had to maintain the system of rationing all these years because if we had [words indistinct] distribution on the basis of prices, the consequences would have been disastrous for all the workers and lower-income households. The idea of social justice is something we cannot relinquish. We must find a way to develop, while preserving social justice. I wish to remind you that even the most developed societies have terrible, unsolvable economic problems -- unemployment is rising like foam. It could be said that unemployment is the number one scourge of the developed capitalist world, which grew by exploiting the rest of the world. These countries are facing truly difficult times, which they have not been able to solve, nor is there a solution in sight. With this, I wish to say that the solution does not, nor can it, lie in capitalism; even less so in underdeveloped capitalism, when developed capitalism is experiencing a terrible tragedy which maddens and gnaws away at politicians. I wish to say that these problems can be solved only through socialism, but a socialism done correctly, a socialism done right, implemented correctly. [applause] These problems can only be solved with work, by working. What cannot be done in any society, be it capitalist or socialist, is to solve problems without work. These are realities we must acknowledge. We must be aware of them. We see the problems of the world and the problems of the underdeveloped world. If the tragedy is great in the developed countries, you can imagine what it is like in the rest of the world. The solution is clear. This is why we do not abandon, will never abandon our ideas, nor the principles of Marxism and Leninism, even less the principles of Marti. [applause] There are no other ideas that can replace these, nor another system that can replace this one. No other system has a future. Capitalism has no future. Capitalism is chaos. It is a struggle among the players. The struggle that Lenin spoke of will come next, the struggle among the great powers to divide and control the markets. This can result in war and who knows how many other problems in the world. There are many unresolved problems. Environmental problems remain unsolved and there is no hope for a solution. The mad race to destroy nature continues, the use of resources that results in climactic changes. We know this better than anyone else. We have seen the weather change. The atmosphere is being polluted with carbon dioxide. The ozone layer is being destroyed. The seas, rivers, and lakes are being poisoned. Mankind is far from solving these problems. The population continues to grow at an accelerated rate. Every second there are more and more people in the world; with each year that passes, there are 100 million more inhabitants in the world. Unfortunately, mankind is far from solving its dire problems. I cannot comprehend how mankind's problems can be solved by leaving development to chance, to the mad, savage confrontation between men and nations. This is why we must defend and preserve those values and ideas we have secured, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Even if it means that we need to mend things, readapt, create openings, seek new ways, new sectors; even if we need to introduce changes and reforms. This is imposed by reality, by the current situation in the world. This is demanded by our own experience. We need to do all this; we need to perfect things. I would say that this was a meeting of analysis and contemplation on how to improve things, how we ought to do things. This is an enormous field. This process must be directed by the party. Only the party can direct this process which cannot be left to chance; it must be directed. This is what our party is doing. It is encouraging to see how many possibilities exist. This is clear, but in order to do it, we need the Revolution, the fatherland, and socialism. [applause] Let no one in the world become confused and believe that we are abandoning socialism because we are creating joint enterprises, or that we are abandoning socialism because we allow foreign investments in those areas we need to, or that we are abandoning socialism because we make as many associations as possible. Let no one believe that we are abandoning socialism just because we authorize self-employment to our problem, an excess of human resources. Many problems can be resolved through this. Let no one believe that we are abandoning socialism because we are organizing UBPC's [coughs] because this is socialism. The state is giving the agriculture workers billions. [coughs] The value of our cattle, tractors, plows, equipment, plantations, we are giving to the farmers. We are handing out approximately 300,000 caballerias. We are making them available to the workers. We are not selling them to foreigners, nor are we mortgaging them. We are giving what we have built for over 30 years to the workers of the state agrarian enterprises. That is socialism. We are giving any piece of available land anywhere to someone who can plant and tend it so that it is not fallow. Anywhere there is an isolated plot, or a caballeria, or half a caballeria, or whatever, for tobacco or any type of crop, we give away to a farmer or a household willing to tend it. This does not mean we are abandoning socialism. This is helping socialism because if that caballeria is not planted, it does not help socialism. If that caballeria is planted and produces 200 of 300 quintals of tobacco, it is helping socialism, and everything we do helps socialism. [applause] However, we are willing to take whatever practical measures are necessary, to create whatever opening is required; yes, under the leadership of the party and under the leadership of the workers. Not under the leadership of hoarders, or the bourgeoisie, or capitalists, but under the leadership of the people, the workers, under the leadership of the proletariat. Yes, the proletariat, why not say it, since this is a proletariat Revolution. [long applause] We have had the courage to confront imperialism at a time when it has tightened its blockade, at a time when it is holding the greatest power in the world, at a time when it is exerting its greatest influence over the world, when the socialist bloc has already disappeared, when the USSR has already disintegrated, amid our special period, and when all those calamities have suddenly come upon us, overnight. We may thus take pride in our courage, in our firmness, in the strength of our people, in our ability to endure the test we are now undergoing, and in our ability to tackle problems and seek solutions. Thus, the final segment of discussions at the assembly has been of utmost significance. That part focused on ideological aspects. It focused on the struggle, on our fight. It focused on the role of our party at this time, under such difficult circumstances. The assembly of the party in the capital, this assembly of the communists of the capital merits ample praise because this has been an assembly of frontline combatants who are tackling the most difficult problems, and who are facing major obstacles. The task we are undertaking today is not easy for either the party or for the party militants. It is difficult. It is more difficult than ever before. The task lying ahead of our party cadres is not easy either. It is exhausting. We are daily encountering heaps of problems. We are discussing strategy here today, not daily problems. I know that many fellow countrymen of the capital would have liked us to discuss transportation and distribution services, blackouts, calamities, and the like; or that the fight against crime be discussed here. I understand this topic was widely discussed at the grassroots level, that the issue was discussed over and over again at the municipal level. We are working hard in this area. There was no time to discuss all of these topics here because we have been discussing ideas, strategies. If these strategies are successful, then many of these problems will be resolved. If these strategies are successful, we will have sufficient fuel someday. I have not yet discussed the fuel situation here. We have entered into risk contracts with many companies for research, prospecting and drilling of oil. We have associated ourselves with foreign companies in the area of prospecting and exploitation of oil. We will not stop until the remotest area of the country has been prospected for oil with the most advanced technology. [applause] We are undertaking this work with the capital supplied by these companies. If oil is found, we will pay them and give them a share of the profits obtained from that oil. There is no room for theory or doubt in this respect. Either we do this, or we will have to wait for the Greek calends to come before we can prospect for oil. This is a price we have to pay; it is a concession we have to make. Just to give an example, if one day we obtain 20 million [not further specified], even if we have to give away 5 million of it, there is no telling what we would be able to do with the remaining 15 million, taking into account how much we have learned about ways to save. This can be done without surrendering the country or the government to anyone. [applause] That is capital that has been invested in a country, but no capital can buy a country. No capital will govern our country because one of the things our foreign partners admire most is the honesty of our rulers. I am not going to deny -- and no one else is going to deny this either -- that one may see a bit of everything on every level, that many things are poorly done. Discussed here were the tricks used concerning those famous purchase cards, or in any store selling commodities or handling hard currency, etc. Wherever there are assets, there are always risks. And we have to implement control measures, technical measures, everything that could be instrumental in deterring that habit engendered by individual ambition, selfishness, and necessities. We are living amid great shortages, but I know that where more robberies occur is where there is more abundance. In general, where fewer robberies occur is where there is less abundance. There is widespread corruption among politicians worldwide. One needs only read the newspapers to see this. We may proudly state that that corruption does not exist among our politicians, and it does not exist among our rulers because no one has yet been able to invest a single cent here in bribing a minister, in paying off a minister, or anyone having similar responsibilities. This fact has created a tremendous impression on those coming here to discuss business and investments. They have so stated. Besides, they have commented on what happens elsewhere, which simply does not occur here. So, no one may come here with his money to pay off leaders of the party or to pay off state leaders. Let it be clearly understood that people here consider everyone a leader. In some places, it is enough to lead three people to be called a leader [laughter]. When I talk about leaders of the party and of the state, I am talking about those leaders who are in positions to make fundamental, strategic decisions. No one has been able to invest a single cent here in this respect. Nor do we have to issue warnings to anyone. True revolutionaries preclude this possibility from their mindframes. Anyone who unfortunately falls into that is aware that his action will not be tolerated. He knows that neither the people, the party, the government, nor anyone will tolerate that. We are trying to be increasingly rigorous in this respect, in checking the behavior of our cadres. We have never tired and will never tire of raising this issue, and all the more reason in these difficult times, all the more reason now when there is an opening because openings have brought different problems to various places, because money goes back and forth. In general, the capitalist world is shrewd, it knows how to impress people and it seeks to neutralize, influence, gain favor, bribe people at a certain level, someone who could favor a deal, a purchase. There are thousands of people who are participating in these activities. These types of measures entail these types of risks. As I was explaining here yesterday, tourism entails certain risks. And we must prepare to face them and fight them. A human being is a human being. Sagarra says that each individual is different from another, that each person has a world of his own. The good thing about humans is that, although they are natural beings having both material and spiritual needs, with problems and phychological complexities, human beings are the only ones capable of leading a civilized life, capable of uniting, closing ranks, fighting for great ideas. Human beings are capable of exhibiting both vice and virtue. They are capable of vices, of major vices, but they are also capable of great virtues, of great heroic actions. As the history of the Revolution has been written, how could it have been written without remembering those who fell, those who have given everything they had, from 1868 until today, during the time of our clandestine fight in the mountains, in our fight against bandits, in our fight against terrorist elements, in our fight to defend the country, in our fight in compliance with internationalist missions. We should not always focus on human flaws. We should keep them in mind and fight them. We must focus on highly stimulating things such as human virtue. We should never forget the virtues of our people. Our people one day sent dozens of thousands of teachers, and another day sent hundreds of thousands of internationalist combatants and workers. I believe that if someday, an olympiad is organized to determine which country has reached the highest level of internationalism, Cuba would win the gold medal by a wide margin. [applause] And why are our people resisting, and why are our people fighting in circumstrances such as these? They are doing it not only because they know there is no alternative but to resist -- because there is no other alternative than victory, because we do not want to become a colony, because we do not want to become another Miami -- they are not fighting only because of that, they are fighting primarily out of dignity, honor, patriotism, principles, and revolutionary spirit. [applause] We know that no one is going to give us a single drop of oil, that no one is going to provide our well-being, that no one will ever be able to give us what only through our effort, our work, our intelligence, our courage will we be able to achieve. [applause] Yet, if it were possible, or if utopia were offered to us in exchange for surrendering our honor, our dignity as men, and our freedom, we would never accept utopia at such price. [applause] Let us defend our Revolution, let us defend our fatherland as energetically as we can, as courageously as we can, and with all our spiritual strength. Let us fight without wavering. Let us fight relentlessly. The more difficult the circumstances, the higher our morale ought to be, [applause] the higher our spirit ought to be, the stronger our resolve ought to be. Today we might say that to be a member of the party cadres in the capital is a true honor, a true privilege. [applause] I wish to congratulate you, communists of the capital. Let us shout today more loudly and with greater conviction than ever: Socialism or death, fatherland or death, we will win. [Delegates repeat after Castro] [applause]