FBIS-LAT-93-224 Daily Report 23 Nov 1993 Cuba

Castro on Links Between Cultural Activity, Economy FL2211164893 Havana Radio Progreso Network in Spanish 1200 GMT 22 Nov 93 FL2211164893 Havana Radio Progreso Network Spanish BFN ["Excerpts" of comments by President Fidel Castro during the Fifth Congress of the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists, in Havana on 20 November -- recorded] [Text] [Castro] What I could suggest is that we be capable of maintaining our affinity and love for all these values during such difficult times, when we are threatened by so many different things and so many risks. Culture is the first thing we need defend. [applause] We were willing to give everything for the restoration of La Habana Vieja and to be able to save it. I was grieved when I heard about the National Symphonic Orchestra's situation and the other problems we are encountering in some fields and areas in which we have lost strength and where we have seen problems emerge. Once again, I felt the blow of the [words indistinct] burned Amadeo Roldan theater, which was deliberately burned [quemado por gusto]. We all liked that argument very much about the recordings producing more than a five-star hotel, or five times as much as a five-star hotel. That is a argument to consider. Those are figures to consider. We also need to present culture with realism, and as a basic duty, and in the front line. We need to show how culture can help the country overcome the special period, how culture can influence the economy and the country's resources. We have an imperious need of those resources. It has to hurt, and it does hurt when those resources are lacking. I do not know whether we have too many artists abroad, but we need to find a good balance and a fair equilibrium. As many of you know, we have been taking a series of measures over the past few days. Those measures were not taken because of the congress or so that you would reelect Abel [Prieto]. The other day Abel and I had a small argument at the PCC Assembly [crowd laughs] because of something I said. Some people said that he and I had agreed [chuckles] so that Abel would look good talking about those things [crowd laughs]. It all seemed like an electoral campaign in the United States. [laughter] [Prieto] [word indistinct] knows that was not the case. [crowd laughs] [Castro] We are talking about this because all these things have economic connotations. They do not have a solution unless we give them that economic connotation. No one has mentioned the figures that were given to me. They are statistical figures of what music could represent, which is barely considered today. Therefore, among the measures that we need to apply there are some that could have an influence among artists and intellectuals in an economic sense.