Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL042315 Havana Domestic service in Spanish 2206 GMT 4 Apr 82

[Speech by Fidel Castro, President of the Councils of State and Ministers,
on the occasion of the closing ceremony of the Fourth Congress of the Union
of Young communists [UJC] in Havana's Carl Marx Theater -- live]

[Text] Distinguished visiting delegations, comrade delegates to the fourth
congress. comrade Cubans:

As we all know we are today commemorating the 20th anniversary of the UJC.
While I was drawing up some notes and going over some ideas for this
closing session, I thought of rereading what we said 20 years ago on 4
April. [lengthy applause]

I was truly unable to resist the temptation of recreating for you some of
those words and ideas, of recalling them here today, both because of the
difference between the circumstance prevailing then and the current ones
and because of the fact that many of those words and ideas are still fully

We asked then, 20 years ago: Why are we carrying out a revolution? Are we
carrying out a revolution for ourselves? No, we are carrying out a
revolution because of you. Can we carry out a revolution ourselves? No, we
can carry out a revolution with you.

Further on we said: We have had to go, perhaps, through the harshest times,
the most difficult times. We have had to live through the revolution, a
time when ideas must break their way through a maze of prejudice, customs,
habits and ideas of the old society.

We have had to struggle with the entire legacy of the past, however, we
must confess that we feel deeply moved and greatly satisfied when we began
seeing in you the fruits of the revolution which we are carrying out, when
we began seeing this multitude of youngsters as the people of tomorrow,
when we began seeing you as the image of the past, when we began to see in
you the justness of the revolution.

We believe in the young and believing in the young is an attitude,
believing in the young is a frame of mind.

All the bloodshed and all the sacrifices made are worthwhile because we can
say this: that our society will be a society free from exploiters and
exploited, without privileges or persons who are discriminated against.
Each and every citizen will learn to look upon his fellow man not as his
enemy, but as his brother. He will not see him as a wild animal from whom
he must defend himself, but as a thoroughly humane person in whom he has a
brother, in whom he has somebody who can help him. Man will not see his
fellow as his superior or his inferior, but as an equal. He will see no
privileges but accomplishments because accomplishment must be the only
rule, the only yardstick to differentiate one man from another, the only
rule by which a citizen can be assessed.

To belong to the organization of young communists one must supply concrete
and unquestionable evidence that the youth in question is truly exemplary,
a youth truly entitled to being called a young communist.

Being a young communist will not mean having privileges of any kind, quite
the opposite. Being a young communist will imply sacrifice, self-denial,
dedicaton. No one is compelled to belong to the UJC. It is a completely
free association of young revolutionaries, but belonging to it can under no
circumstance imply privilege, just sacrifice.

Fortitude is necessary to be a young communist, along with dedication and
calling. If one is a student, one must be a good student. If one is a
worker at a factory one must be a model worker at that factory. One must
set an example of good comradeship, one must set an example of sacrifice,
of willpower. Young communists must be the first in everything: work,
study, sports, relationships with the other comrades. A young communist
must be, above all else, a modest comrade because modesty is one of the
foremost virtues of a revolutionary.

A young communist must be prepared to give his life for the revolution and
the fatherland without hesitation. Thus, the nature and frame of mind of a
young communist require all these qualities, virtues and attributes, so
that being a young communist should become the highest and most coveted
reward for every youngster.

It is very important for our youth to bear in mind that their
accomplishment, their example, will be useful not only to the fatherland
but to all the peoples in Latin America. That is why your mission is so
important. You have the mission of being not only the standard bearers of
the future, of a more perfect society, of the communist society; you are
not only the standard bearers of the ideas of the future, but also the
example, the standard bearers of the ideals of all Latin American youths.
To this I could only add that you must be the example, the standard bearers
of the ideals of all the youth of the world.

Despite the fact that we were then at the beginning of 1962, we harbored no
fears in proposing for this organization the name of Union of Young
Communists. Even then we were not interested in subterfuges of whatever
kind because the role of this organization was to shape communists.

Twenty years have gone by. How different are current times. Today we have
an infinitely better political education and culture than we had then. Now
we can say that our revolutionary process, the task and mission of our
party, could hardly be even conceived without the UJC.

Despite the fact that, as has been stated in the report, no success and no
progress achieved entitles us to stop or to rest. It is undoubtedly fair to
acknowledge that this organization has played, is playing and will play an
extraordinary role.

We just witnessed the salute of the Pioneers. Taking care of the Pioneers'
Organization is one of the important, or even most important, tasks of the
UJC. The Pioneers' organization is the first stage, the first institution
which our children go through. We could say that from there on a communist
is being shaped.

What is the meaning of this for our society and our process? What is the
importance of the Pioneers? The degree of their importance is evidenced not
only by the fact that this organization now has 2 million children and
teenagers, but also by the fact that 4 million children and teenagers have
made their way through this organization.

Practically the entire youth of our country has been through this
organization, all those who are now between 7 and 30 years of age have gone
through this organization since it was created 21 years ago. I am sure that
most of you have gone through the Organization of Pioneers.

This means that we now have a generation which has been organized from the
pioneers' level up. See how important it is to take care of this
organization and anything that can be done for the Pioneers.

It may seem that we have done a great deal, I believe that we have done
something, that the revolution has done something for the Pioneers. In some
senses it has done a great deal.

We can take education, for example, school building, preparation of
programs and all the investments made in education to train this youth. A
few years ago we managed to enroll in schools almost all children of
primary school age. Considerable efforts have been made.

However, how many municipalities are there without a single modest
Pioneers' palace, and we do not mean a new building. Last year we were
speaking about the need to begin outfitting old buildings, while we build
Pioneers' palaces, because we want every provincial capital and every
municipality to have its palace. However, this will take some time because
we must spend our funds on other things which are very important, such as a
pediatric hospital or an intensive therapy ward for sick children which, as
we all understand, has priority, or many other activities.

However, the building and adaptation to establish a Pioneer palace in each
municipality can go forward. This is of great importance to the
organization of scientific and technical interest clubs. The experience of
recent times has demonstrated the potential of that brilliant initiative to
form, with limited resources, the Pioneer scouting centers. Some camps have
been established, some of which are truly very good. Along with them, a
capacity for the participation of about 600,000 children has been achieved;
between the camps, Pioneer palaces, and Pioneer scouting centers -- in
other words 600,000 children [participating] per year. This is something.

But we must be aware of the importance of this activity, in order for us to
do the most with what is available, to continue to create the basic
material and the conditions for the Pioneer Organization. The UJC has been
very interested and has accomplished much for the Pioneers. This job is
essential. This function of the UJC is irreplaceable.

Then we have the work being done by UJC with the students through the FEEM
[Federation of Intermediate Level Students] and FEU [Federation of
University Students] and also through the Pioneer Organization. The results
are clear. The results of the efforts of the organization in coordination
or cooperation with the rest of the mass organizations, such as the
Federation of Cuban Women [FMC], CDR [Committees for Defense of the
Revolution], trade unions, peasant organizations -- can be observed in the
fact that for example now education in the 6 to 16 year-old age group has
reached, as reflected in the report, 91.7 percent of the children and
adolescents. It is almost total in elementary education and somewhat less
in secondary education. But what country in this hemisphere, considering
those ages, has an educational record of 91.7 percent? The school retention
has been increasing, graduation has reached more than 90 percent in all
types of education, although we acknowledge continuing problems and certain
weaknesses which were examined and pointed out during the congress. At any
rate, graduation has been increasing. And as was emphasized here, it was
necessary to improve it not only in quantity but also in quality.

The participation of the students in productive tasks is almost complete.
All students in basic secondary farm schools and preuniversity students in
farm schools are entering or have joined productive activities. And 95
percent of the urban basic secondary school and urban preuniversity
students [have also joined]. The combination of study and work is already
evident among our students and young people. It can be observed in their
attitudes. And as a matter of fact today, several of our agricultural
products would not be possible without the work of the students. It would
be practically impossible to accomplish the citrus [production] plans --
the basic citrus plans -- and many of the plans for root crops, vegetables,
tobacco, etc, without the work of the students -- without the hundreds of
thousands of students mobilized at harvest time.

I believe that our country has reached a higher level in that field than
any other. And I sincerely believe that we have reason to feel proud of our
farm schools. And many of the visitors to our country have expressed their
admiration for this kind of education, in which today not only hundreds of
thousands of Cuban students, but also around 10,000 foreign students
located on the Isle of Youth, participate. The country made a great effort
in building those schools in response to that explosion of students
entering the intermediate level. But how were we to resolve the problem of
the teachers [needed] for those hundreds of thousands of students who at
the end of a 5-year period reached the figure of more than a million? How
were we going to resolve that problem when in those times there were a mere
200 or 300 students in the teachers' schools? How were we going to resolve
the problem when there was still a high percentage of elementary school
teachers without credentials? How were we going to resolve the problem
without the effort and contribution of the UJC? And it was in the second
congress itself when the idea of the Manuel Ascunce Domenech Teachers'
Detachment was proposed. And a problem which seemed unsolvable found
response in the attitude and willingness of our young people.

It found a response, in short, in the pedagogical detachment. Cuban youths,
students themselves in the first years of the revolution had accomplished
the great feat in the literacy campaign of eradicating a backwardness that
dated back several centuries. A duplication, at a higher level, of that
feat was the work of the pedagogical detachment. In these 10 years -- we
could say that the pedagogical detachment is 10 years old today [applause]
since it was at the second congress [applause] that the idea for the
detachment arose -- 51,000 students have joined the detachment. As the
report said, it also gave rise to a movement among the teachers. And then
tens of thousands of elementary school teachers also began their studies
toward a higher degree. At the same time, during that period, all
nondegreed teachers became a thing of the past. In addition, the bachelors
in elementary education was created. These are really extraordinary
advances and our society and party cannot but express recognition of the
care and effort that the UJC displayed in this task and of the response by
the young people.

But if the second congress was the father of the Manuel Ascunce Domenech
Detachment, it was also the grandfather of the Carlos J. Finlay Detachment.
[applause] Because from that idea of the pedagogical detachment, many other
ideas arose. Other detachments, other contingents arose. One of them was
very important provided we commit ourselves -- and we will -- to making our
country a medical power. The idea of the detachment led to the medical
sciences detachment. And I believe it has been a great step forward in that

Once again our young people and our students responded as expected. Some
14,200 preuniversity students applied. Of course, the availability of
14,200 students willing to study medicine was another of the fruits of the
enormous education revolution in which our youth took part. To be able to
speak of 14,200 applicants for medical studies! There were times when only
a few hundred college graduates would enroll in medical school. This time
14,200 applied. We were able to do an excellent selection on the basis of
the students' records. But the selection was not solely based on records
but, foremost, on the backing of their classrooms. This teaches all young
students that when they aspire to a career they are interested in, their
behavior, their attitude, their conduct should earn them the support of
their classrooms.

Then there was an analysis of the student's real calling and then an
analysis of the academic record, which was the rule followed for the
selection of the 3,807 students who joined the detachment. As you know some
workers will also join that detachment. That is another of the resources
for those who were unable to join on the basis of their records to become
middle-level health technicians, work 2 years and then, through an exam,
enroll. There will be a quota for those workers each year. Another large
quota will go to those who have completed their military service and who
had not attended college because they did not have the level required by
academic standards in effect at the time they finished their studies. Well,
since the armed forces constitute a really extraordinary educational
institution, it was felt that a certain and increasing number of places
should be reserved in the universities for those who had completed their
service. And now, more than 400 young people who have completed their
service, have enrolled in a rural preuniversity school. They are studying,
attending classes, and we are all impressed by their organization and
discipline. And we will be able to prove here that certain grades do not
mean that some young people are more intelligent than others. Certain
grades are the result of study habits, discipline, will, paying attention
in class, studying throughout the year. I have high hopes -- because of the
discipline and interest shown by those who have completed military service
-- that a large number of them will be able to join the medical sciences
detachment. And I feel they will make a valuable contribution.

This teaches us another lesson. It is possible that these ideas, because
ideas give rise to other ideas and every idea is the seed for new ideas,
that is the way in which this medical detachment has been put together,
could provide us with the ideal method for selecting university students
from among high school graduates.

Obviously only a small number of male students will be admitted to the
university on the strength of their record because we want preuniversity
students to make efforts, encouraged by the possibility of being admitted
to the university on the strength of their excellent grades alone.

The requirements of military service nowadays call for midlevel technicians
and high school graduates to serve in the armed forces. Times when those
who joined the armed forces had only first, second or third grade education
are long gone, and I cannot believe that modern technology can be
efficiently handled by youths with only first, second or third grade
education. However, I can believe that in addition to their courage, their
bravery and their training, their knowledge, their high level of education,
will become an added and most significant factor for the effective
utilization of weapons.

But, one must have special consideration toward the youths who have served
their 2, 2 and 1/2 or 3 years in the armed services and thus, I believe
that they should be given a large quota -- which must one day become the
largest -- of university vacancies. I am talking about males, I mean that
there should be a reduced quota for students with high grades and a large
quota for youths from the armed forces.

I believe that because of our experience with young graduates who want to
join the medical detachment, we should also bear in mind the possibility of
applying the same system to the other university-level careers. This means
organizing them, giving them a refresher course and giving them an
examination just as we are going to do with those who will join this
detachment. This is a must.

These young servicemen, these high school graduates and midlevel
technicians who have served in the armed forces, could become an
extraordinary source of human material for the universities but an
examination is necessary. Otherwise, having been away from systematic
studies and from classrooms for 2 or 3 years, we will have the problem that
they will not be sufficiently prepared. They will indeed have more interest
in and more willingness for studies but less background. The results of
this could be an increase of academic dropouts and this is why we are
greatly interested in this experiment with former servicemen. They will go
through a 4-month course and we hope that in the future the course will
last at least 6 months.

We are greatly interested in the academic performance of these youths
because of their interest, their will and their discipline. We want to see
how they behave throughout their studies and what the results will be of
the course which they are currently going through and all the courses that
they will have to go through afterwards.

We hope that the results will be good. I was saying that 6-month courses
would be better so that they could serve in the armed forces for, let us
say, 2 and 1/2 years and spend the last 6 months going through a refresher
course and getting ready for the university.

Therefore, these experiments should enable us to find out what the best
methods are for selecting the youths who will be admitted to the university
and for complying with the principle that university students must be
revolutionary, the most revolutionary of all, [applause] and that they must
fulfill the academic and moral requirements demanded from every university

Perhaps we should not leave this in the hands of the famous computer.
Perhaps the computer should be just an aid to be used to draw upon the
basis of records. If there are 100 vacancies and 200 candidates with the
same political and moral qualities, the computer should tell us who the 80
most suitable ones are. However, the evaluation should be made by the
students, by the youth.

The machine does not evaluate, the computer must decide among those already
evaluated. Even though currently there is evaluation we believe that the
experiment with the medical detachment is extraordinary because the first
evaluation was made by the class itself, their own comrades made the first
evaluation. Later came other analyses and other evaluations.

How could we have done this without the efforts of the FEEM and the UJC. I
recall with gratitude and appreciation the ease with which seemingly
difficult tasks are carried out when placed in the hands of the youth, the
FEEM [applause] and the FEU.

I recall with gratitude how the minute we talked to the UJC and the FEEM
they immediately undertook the task of creating the medical sciences
detachment. And they did a high quality job. Of course, with the
cooperation of everyone, with the educational and public health
organizations. But they did do a high quality job. I was also recalling
those hard times when it was necessary to create the pedagogical
detachment, the effort the UJC and the FEEM made, and how many of the
cadres of the FEEM and the UJC joined the pedagogical detachment to set the
example. There is no task or problem set before our UJC and our mass
student organizations that they fail to solve right away and well.

That is why we dare do difficult things. We dare set high goals. Once the
idea of the detachment was worked out, we asked ourselves: What do we do
with the current medical students? The current medical students are going
to be the future doctors in the next 6 years. The task was put to the UJC
and the FEU: What to do? And the Mario Munoz movement, the Mario Munoz
student advance group was created. This is another idea. I can't tell
anymore whether this is a granddaughter or great granddaughter [laughter]
of the second congress. Because this idea came after the other one. What to
do? They immediately set out to work, worked out the ideas, the
implementation, and practically 100 percent of the current medical students
pledged to aspire to become members of the Mario Munoz advance group. And
this has produced a spirit of emulation among the current students which is
very important. It has also helped us uncover some of the difficulties we
had, including some with the textbooks. All of this was part of the great
effort being made around this idea, a very serious effort. Concepts,
programs, etc., were reviewed. But the Mario Munoz advance group was born.

I feel that this teaches us how many more and better things we can still do
in many fields where we might think we have reason to feel very satisfied.
That is why I have gone into this at length in the hopes that the UJC will
continue to work and coming up with these ideas. I believe that if the
country has reaped great benefits from the pedagogical detachment, it will
reap extraordinary benefits from the medical sciences detachment. The
country can expect a great deal from this in the future, from the effort
and resources our country invests in our higher education centers. I am
certain that these ideas will be taken forward and applied to the degree
that young people adopt them.

And of course, we cannot underestimate the importance of the activity
displayed by the UJC among our students.

Another very important field that the UJC has worked on is the field of
culture. This is reflected in some figures analyzed at this congress and
included in the report. For example, there is the fact that more than half
of the students in elementary and intermediate schools take part in the
amateur groups. It is demonstrated by the fact that there are more than
100,000 amateur groups among elementary, intermediate and university
students, with more than I million participants. That really opens
extraordinary vistas and shows real promise in the field of culture. And I
ask myself: How many other countries have reached these levels? And how
much higher can we go? We know that there are weaknesses and deficiencies,
but it is an effort of considerable magnitude in behalf of the cultural
development of our people. The effort made in the field of culture is
notable among the young on the part of the Saiz brothers brigade, the Raul
Gomez Garcia brigade and the New Poetry movement. That is, thousands of
young writers, intellectuals are being pushed, paid attention to and
helped. They are being helped and encouraged and, in addition, helping
considerably in their education. And we believe all of this is of great
importance for the future of our country, the development of our intellect
and culture, the development of a solid revolutionary intellect. One that
is immune to the virus of diversionism, immune to the ideological trash of
capitalist society. [applause]

We aspire to have intellectual workers and when I say intellectual workers
I am not referring exclusively to writers, artists, painters. No, I am
referring to all intellectual workers. I am referring to the engineers,
doctors, architects, professors and teachers. We aspire to have a first
class intellectual revolutionary force. That is why I value the efforts
being made by the UJC with the students, the preuniversity students, and
with the intellectuals. I place special value on the contributions being
made [by the UJC] in the field of culture. And I believe that if we are to
become a medical power, we can also become a cultural power. [applause] And
in that manner, we may successively become a power in many other things. It
depends on the methods we apply and the concern we give. It also depends on
the application of the principle of worthiness which I mentioned 20 years
ago, so that in our country the worthiness of man, his humanity, intellect
and revolutionary conditions should prosper over all other things. As was
done for the detachment, for example, there was not one single violation of
the rule. In the principles for selection, there was not one single student
picked at random, because of family ties, or by kinship. Not one single
exception [was made]. And of course, there are dramatic cases: students
with great calling and long held desires. We know of cases where they
missed by fractions of points; especially in the cases of some female
students. But since they had higher grades than the males, some -- since if
we were to select strictly by record -- 67 percent were women and 33
percent were men.

And we were saying, following this path, apart from the obvious
difficulties, the result is going to be that the female medical students
are not even going to have boyfriends. [laughter] Some 33 versus 67
[percent]. And although I did not want to suggest it, I confess that I like
the idea of medical student couples. But not early, [laughter] no, when
they go out to complete their internationalist missions. [applause] That is
why it was necessary to establish a quota. At least a quota of 45 percent
men and 55 percent women. But in any of those traumatic cases, there is
always a recourse. A young woman for example, can become a midlevel medical
technician and after 2 years at the working level, gain entry. There is a
way. Just as for the men, there is a way through [military] service.
Because it may be that they are qualified for another career and they were
not selected for medicine. But if they want to study medicine, they go into
the service and later they have opportunities to study medicine. There are
ways for those traumatic cases but they are also based on worthiness, and
exclusively on the worthiness and willingness of the students.

I believe in the consequent application of these principles, which are
genuine Marxist-Leninist principles, because Marxism-Leninism must continue
to be developed in everyday living in the revolutionary sense. And we will
find out if there is a revolution which can take a step backward when the
principles of Marxism-Leninism are strictly applied. [applause] And if they
are applied creatively, and above all if the principles of applying the
principles is applied. [applause] Because problems come up later when the
principles are not correctly applied. Problems which are thoroughly
exploited by the enemies of socialism and are thoroughly exploited by the
capitalists in order to give oxygen to their decrepit, inhuman, and
prehistoric systems.

But that part belongs to us, the revolutionaries. Because it is easy to
make the mistake. And many times mistakes are made. And the error is due to
lack of serious, penetrating and collective analysis.

That is also one of the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism, the
implementation of truly democratic principles and the intransigent struggle
against any indication of privilege, corruption, etc, etc, etc. I think
this should be the number one task for us Cuban revolutionaries, very
especially the youth, in whom we, reasonably, have placed so many hopes.
These hopes are strengthened after one has the privilege of witnessing a
congress like this one. [applause]

There is much to meditate about all this. We here are in the very jaws of
imperialism, which keeps its mouth open all the time. It reminds one of the
mouth of a tiger, teeth and all, or the mouth of a shark. For a period now
of almost, or rather, for over, 23 years of revolution, [applause] we have
been in the mouth of the monster. And the monster tries and continues to
try to create us problems and difficulties, to take its blockade to
extremes, etc. For how long? Nobody knows. But we expect to resist the
monster in any of its variants. If it tries to devour us, we must try to
cause it the worst of indigestion; [applause] for instance, if the monster
manages to create for us more difficulties in the economic area, whatever
they are. Whatever they are, we are determined to continue confronting the
monster, to win any battle in any field and to overcome any difficulty,
regardless of how unimaginable. For instance, if they imposed on us a total
naval blockade, to cite an example, or if they imposed some other villainy
on us, we are sure that we will resist with you in the vanguard, with our
youth. [applause] [audience chants slogan]

The UJC also works and takes great pains over the area of recreation for
youths. We cannot say we have advanced much, but there already are 19
circles and 6,000 youth clubs. We think this is a very good initiative that
is worth developing and which deserves support: the initiative of popular
camping. We think this is something really revolutionary, due to the
country's natural resources. Are we perhaps going to wait until we have a
skyscraper beside every mountain before taking a vacation? When could the
youths spend their vacations, get in touch with nature, spend happy days?
Besides, it all depends on the concept. Come to think of it, the unhappiest
place in which to spend a vacation is a skyscraper. We have huge natural
resources and beauties. We don't have resources to begin building and
building when we still have a lot of problems, when we have not yet
resolved the desperate and anguishing housing problem of many families. It
is impossible to wait until we have a hotel in Varadero or in some other
beach, or beside some dam. Why, when with very modest resources suitable
conditions are created for rest, for vacation and for contact with nature.
This is how the popular camping plan came about. It began developing and I
think it would have developed more had it not been for the epidemic. If we
have reached only 60,000, those 60,000 were reached during weekends,
because the plan had to be suspended during the epidemic, precisely at the
best time, in July and August. Otherwise, the figure would have exceeded
100,000 or 120,000 at least.

This is another task that the UJC has approached with great seriousness. It
selected the places and mobilized cooperation and aid to provide suitable
conditions when many people were not even thinking about this, when it was
not known how youths would react. They began quietly, approaching some of
these clubs, and some students and committees. Now the situation is such
that the demand is higher than the offer. It began somewhat experimentally
to see what the results would be like and apparently they are very

We wanted to do this on the basis of cost. This was not a commercial
venture. We do not want a single cent of profit, only the costs. Fares and
other expenses were estimated in order to collect the money that would
cover the costs. The costs are not yet being covered. The truth must be
said. The specialists, particularly the companero heading this activity,
feel that it will still be some time before the costs are covered, due to
the nonutilization of all the resources. Thus we have, for instance, that
some 60,000 people did not visit these places in July and August. We must
try to develop these plans on the basis of covering the costs. Of course,
there were groups of people who liked camping and the like, but they did
not have a single tent. They did not have transportation. Resources have
been gradually provided to them, such as transportation, buses and other
vehicles. Tents also. They already have thousands of tents, hammocks, nylon
ropes, etc. etc. The idea is that food is taken from the home and some
things are sold there too. The plan is advancing and it is already
extending to other provinces.

Every province will have at least a base by next summer, a base for 600.
Then there will be capacity for some 20,000 people, capacity for 20,000
people at a given time.

Havana has few woods and not many mountains. In spite of this, Havana is
preparing four bases. Pinar del Rio, however, its natural surroundings,
have become the recreation center for the city of Havana due to its large
number of mountains, woods, dams, rivers and so forth. By this summer there
will already be capacity for 20,000 people at a given moment. Therefore, it
is probable that this summer some 10,000 people will pass through the
mountains, rivers and dams and will walk and get in touch with nature. Most
of them will be young, but nobody is excluded. The children, the
mothers-in-law, the grandmothers, everybody can go. I have been told of
cases in which the entire family has gone, including the grandmother and
the grandchildren. And they have had an excellent time. Very seriously,
this is why I predict the success of this plan. I predict it because it is
in the hands of our UJC. [applause]

What I would like to know is if some 100,000 persons pass through Varadero
a week. It would be good to have this information, and also how many pass
through Santa Monia del Mar. I am talking about those who stay for 1 week,
several days. We must analyze the costs to the country of one thing and the
other. Also, this activity serves to train us. All this is even part of our
adaptation to difficult conditions -- we could say, of our preparation for
any difficult circumstance.

We must continue developing activities of this kind. I have already
mentioned several fields in which the role of the UJC is insufficient. Let
us talk of other fields; defense. Even before the organization in Giron,
youth played an important role when they joined the militia, when they
became artillerymen, when they participated in operations against bandits
and others. Youth has already played an outstanding role.

It is youth which supplies our revolutionary armed forces and our Interior
Ministry with most of our members and combatants. These institutions for
national defense and for the defense of our revolution are made up of
youth. Our youth organizations have played an outstanding role in our armed
forces and our Interior Ministry.

These youth organizations play a basic, irreplaceable role. They play a
basic role in our institutions, in the political and ideological training
of the youth who join the armed forces. Here we have an activity vital to
the people and society, so they can understand the extraordinary
contribution of the communist youth. This can be seen here in this congress
because of the high number of fighters of the revolutionary armed forces
and the Interior Ministry who participated in it. Now, is the role of the
UJC limited to this? No. Far from it. We have something as vital and
fundamental as production and services. Today, according to the data, a
third of the working force in our country are youths. In this field youth
can offer its most universal contribution and has a permanent place. Not in
vain did Companero Veiga express with enthusiasm the meaning of the UJC in
the labor movement -- just as Companero Armando Acosto and Pepe Ramirez
said. I imagine that Companera Vilma [Espin] used similar terms when she
spoke today on the role of the UJC within her organization and in other
women's organizations.

Their great value is reflected in the labor sector, in the large number of
labor union members who are communist youths. It is in this area that the
task of the UJC can be and is visible to an extraordinary degree.

New initiatives have emerged in recent years. One example are the shock
works. They are relatively new. They have flourished and hold promise. This
was discussed in the congress. There are thousands of youths involved in
this movement of shock works. I understand that there are already 29 of
them, and they are the most important, the most fundamental and the most

I remember when we were building the Artemisa's cement factory and when the
Cienfuegos cement plant was built. The contribution of youth -- I spoke
with them more than once, they were brigades of youths who worked 14 and 15
hours a day. After completing the day's work they committed themselves to
do additional tasks. These were not simple or easy tasks; these were tasks
requiring great efforts during the day, night or early morning hours. I
remember their great contribution to the completion of these projects.

Naturally, the construction organizations want youth to declare their
projects as crash projects. We already know what this means.

The new initiative, called youth economic initiatives, emerged at this
congress. Its contribution to the economy has been estimated at 64 million
pesos. Congress considered the correct idea of continuing this movement.

Indeed, as you will recall, the people of Santiago pledged to contribute 30
million to mark the 30th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada barracks
-- 30 for 30 [words indistinct] [applause], apparently 1 million for each
year of the anniversary. They said this with great certainty. After seeing
that they did win a number of trophies [crowd shouts: All! Castro laughs],
we have no right to doubt that they will meet this goal. [applause]

There you have an important contribution to organization and production. To
this must be added another initiative that I consider to be of greatest
value, an initiative that has been underway for several years and that has
increasing prospects: the technical youth brigades.

We have visited their exhibits and we are familiar with the economic value
of their contributions, of the innovations that they have developed. We
know that the movement already has 178,000 members and we hope that it will
increase, because a limit of 30 [apparently years of age] had been set, but
then, when they were most expert -- as was the case with the Pioneers, who
as they became more adept in handling the instruments and were more in
control of their activities, were taken away and transferred to the FEEM
[Federation of Middle School Students]. In the past congress, it was
decided, quite rightly, to keep them up to the 9th grade.

The same thing was happening to the technical youth brigades. They got to
be 30 years old and had to leave. They were no longer members of the
brigade, precisely when they were in a position to make the greatest
contribution. Therefore, we negotiated with the Central Organization of
Cuban Trade Unions, CTC, and they were in agreement because there is no
conflict of any kind between the worker who is a member of the technical
brigade and the innovators, no conflict at all. However, to give this
movement a better opportunity to take better advantage of the just fruits
of the effort that it makes with these youths, it was decided to raise the
age limit to 35 years.

Since there are an increasing number of graduates from the technical
schools, this is logical. It suffices to recall, as was explained here,
that between the second and the fourth congresses, the number of technical
school students has increased sixfold and the number of university students
has increased 3.7 times. Of course, a greater number were trained to become
members of the technical brigades and it would not be surprising if in the
future this movement were to include some 300,000 youths. This is an
aspiration, not a goal. A goal would be an aspiration converted into an
objective. In this case, it is an aspiration that has not yet become a
goal. It was mentioned for 1985. It might be in 1987, but I believe that if
this movement is given attention and encouragement....We do not know the
extent of possibilities of this movement and how much it could help the
country in a difficult situation, let us say, in a situation of total
blockade. There would be all that intelligence innovating and seeking
solutions to problems.

This has already been demonstrated in other countries, for example when one
looks at what the Soviets did during the Second World War, at how they
managed to transfer entire factories in months, practically in weeks, far
into the rearguard and put them into production in the midst of war and
when one considers how they reconstructed the country and the time in which
they did so. When the imperialists thought that they would take 20 years to
reconstruct a factory from the conditions in which it had been left, they
did it in 1 year, 1 and 1/2 years, or 2 years. When one looks at these
achievements, one realizes that if the people are educated, qualified,
technically skilled, trained, when the decisive hours come, there is no
miracle that socialism cannot accomplish.

The transfer of the factories during the war has no precedent and the
effort with which the Soviets reconstructed the economy after the war is
unprecedented. They had men, socialist men, who were knowledgeable and who
were skilled technically.

I remember the early times of the revolution, the things that were done by
our technicians and by our workers when the blockade was imposed, when it
was not possible to obtain a single spare part for many machines. I
remember how our workers managed to keep the textile factories and
industries operating for years without receiving a single spare part. I can
imagine what it would be like now, with the level of technical ability of
our youth, with their level of education, with their technical brigades. I
can imagine what they could do in a difficult situation.

However, we must not think only of special circumstances, but of the great
extent that they could help the economy under normal circumstances. It is
necessary to recognize that the technical youth brigades are a genuine
creation of Cuba's UJC. [applause]

Communist youths are struggling to combat waste, squandering, inefficiency.
They are struggling to increase production and productivity. We are aware
of the important job that is being done by the youth machete wielders and
the youths of the youth labor army, the equipment operators and those who
operate the combines and we know from the companeros who have contact with
them how much of an effort they made last year, for example, in wiping out
rust when over 30,000 caballerias of cane were planted. We know of the
effort made by the youths in construction, of their contribution, of the
contribution of the communist youths to production and services, which is a
vital, basic task for the country.

Is there any task more important than this one? We could say that there is
one that is more important than all others and it is the activity of the
organization in the formation of a communist conscience in our youths.

This is vital, vital. It is indeed. No one can do more than the UJC in this
area. They receive the individuals practically from preschool age and take
care of them until they join the party. The party will receive, to a great
extent, that which the UJC has been able to accomplish. In the attitude of
the youth with regard to his studies, his duties, and all his obligations
-- whether in the school, in his military unit, in the factory, in a
service center, in a school as a teacher, or as a doctor, as a nurse, a
medical technician in a hospital -- in the attitude of the youth with
regard to his obligations, the organization plays a basic and decisive

A truly communist conscience is formed in that practice, in that daily

A change is noticeable. It is true that one can already speak of new
attitudes which are the fruit of the work during these years, of our
socialist institutions, of our schools of study and work, of the work of
the Pioneer Organizations, of our revolutionary teachers, of our
revolutionary schools, of our mass youth organizations and the UJC. This is
already perceived.

This work with the conscience of the youth is also seen now in the interest
with which the organization has kept the banners of volunteer work aloft.
That is essential. It is essential because the realities of the
construction of socialism forces us to use certain formulas and methods
which are not communist but socialist. You know well the differences
between socialism and communism. There are two formulas: to each according
to his capacity or to each according to his need; to each according to his
work or to each according to his need. In socialism, each one is supposed
to contribute according to his need and receives according to his work. In
communism, each one contributes according to his capacity and receives
according to his need.

We, in some idealistic moments, wanted to really skip stages but we had the
opportunity to see the consequences and we had the honesty of understanding
and rectifying this. It is clear. It is also clear that the communist
formula is superior. It is clear that Marx, Engels and Lenin dreamed of the
communist society. It is clear that socialism still fell in the framework
of the two narrow horizons of bourgeois law in the distribution. Of course,
if there are two stevedores in the dock and I am very strong and can carry
ten times more sacks than the other and let us suppose that the other can
carry half, then the poor man receives half of what I earned. However, it
is not his fault that he is not a man who can carry 200 sacks instead of
100 sacks. That distribution, the socialist distribution is not just or it
is not totally just. We aspire to communism.

Logical linking is a socialist formula. Those who are more capable and who
are stronger, and many times the one who has more resistance to pain, can
earn more. But there is always a component of inequality in men. Some have
more facility for one thing, more ability, more physical strength, more
resistance than others. We have to resort to material incentives. It is a
need that moving from capitalism to communism imposes on us -- that is,
that is imposed by the socialist stage.

I can never forget the great concern that Che had for all these things; his
great vocation and dedication for all this; how he was an example in
volunteer work. He would go to an industrial complex or to cut sugarcane or
to lay bricks or to push a wheelbarrow on the docks, because he preached
through example. He had great concern about all these things.

However, we have had to adopt specific measures, because need and reality
impose them on us. They help develop the economy, and the development of
the economy increases resources, increases the possibilities of development
of society and increases the wealth of the society. If there is no wealth,
there will be few things to distribute. This is a reality that the
revolution, in rectifying the errors of idealism, courageously tackled by
taking the pertinent measures. But they produce contradictions. We must
keep socialist formulas from compromising our ambitions, aspirations, our
communist dreams. We must prevent and avoid ideological neglect and keep
lack of understanding of these truths from jeopardizing the goal of
creating a communist man.

If man works more merely to earn more, this is a positive attitude in the
sense that it helps and produces more, but it is not a communist attitude.
If he does more because he is going to receive a material incentive, this
could be useful because it can increase the distribution, the wealth and
development but he is not forming a communist conscience.

Reality imposes on society its rules and formulas. However, the party and
the UJC must take the conscience to man. I state that being communist is
not going to depend only on unlimited wealth for distribution during great
surpluses. I do not know what surplus there will be in a world whose
population is multiplying like guinea pigs.

Communism cannot solely be based on the abundance of wealth. No one can
expect that. In my view, the development of communist society is something
in which the growth of the wealth and the material base must be paired with
consciousness, because it could occur that the wealth might grow but
without consciousness. This could occur.

It is important that the youth meditate about this. I am sure that they
have meditated and I am sure that they have asked themselves this, because
I myself have meditated on this and I have asked myself this many times. I
am convinced that it is not only wealth or the development of the material
base that will create consciousness, far from it.

There are countries with much more wealth than us. There are some. I do not
want to make any kind of comparison. It is not correct but there are
experiences of revolutionary countries where wealth advanced more than
consciousness. And afterwards there came problems of counterrevolution and
such things.

There can be much consciousness perhaps without much wealth. It is bad for
us to set ourselves as the example, to give our country as the example.

Nevertheless, I am convinced that, within the limitations of our natural
wealth and our relative material development, our country has developed
much consciousness, much consciousness. And an example of this
consciousness is the internationalist activities of our people.

It is important for us to understand all of these things. If we do not
understand them we will become weaker. And an internationalist
consciousness implies renouncing chauvinism and fighting national
selfishness, because national selfishness has nothing of Marxism, Leninism
or communism.

It is true that on some occasions we have had to build a road in another
country while needing a road here -- even an airport, while needing an
airport here. We have Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spiritus which do not have
airports, and we have helped to build airports in other countries. Yes, we
do make efforts to help other countries, and there might be some who are
saying: If we need things here, then why are we helping others? This is not
a demonstration of revolutionary feelings. This is a demonstration of
national selfishness.

In the first place, internationalism is also a condition of consciousness
that implies, yes, implies doing without certain things to help others who
need them much more; others who are much poorer. The poor persons who gives
some of what he has is worthy of praise. And although we are an
underdeveloped country, we are giving some of what we have.

Internationalism. If the world does not develop a spirit of international
collaboration the world's future will be a great disaster. We have talked
about this before, on another occasion, when we were talking about the
medical detachments and about the situation in Ethiopia, where there were
35 million inhabitants and 125 doctors. Ethiopia had less doctors, I
believe, than Isla de Pinos. I don't know exactly how many doctors Isla de
Pinos has, but I know that there are municipalities in Cuba that have 125
doctors. There were less doctors in Ethiopia, which has 35 million
inhabitants, than in some Cuban municipalities.

What if we were not capable of asking the doctors to make a little more
effort, to send 10 doctors to Ethiopia, or for such and such a province to
send 20, and another likewise and so on. Any one of our provinces has many
more doctors than Ethiopia; several times over the amount that Ethiopia

We are in a bad situation. That is why we are asking for an effort so that
we can fulfill these basic duties. And we do have needs. Sometimes we do
things that should be done here. But these are things that are no longer
essential to us. After a country has already built 20,000 km of roads and
highways it is not all that serious for it not to build 300 km of roads and
highways -- to instead build 200 or 300 km in a country that does not even
have 1 km, or very few kilometers, of roads.

All of this is relative. And there is some contribution of materials and
technicians. Not everything that our country does abroad is a contribution.
We contribute this aid to the poorer countries, but those countries that
have more economic resources than ours pay us for the productive services
we render. Work abroad is also one of the country's resources.

It is necessary to have this internationalist spirit. Sometimes, for
example, people say: A building has collapsed. For any of several reasons,
like the building close to the Capitolio that collapsed. A thorough
investigation of several factors was made: The age of the building;
clandestine, incorrect construction; too much weight, too much furniture on
the top floors; all of these caused the building to collapse. And some
people were asking why we are exporting cement when a building has
collapsed. This is a simplistic analysis. We have to be aware of all the

This shows that they do not understand that the country is exporting
because it unfortunately has no alternative but to export. If only we could
use all the cement we produce for construction here. But we have to export,
because the country also has to import many things. Everything. Beginning
with medicines. We have to import raw materials for the industries, for
raising fowl, hogs, for the dairy industry, for all of them.

We have to import many things and to import, one has to export. It would be
much better if we could use all our cement for construction purposes, but
the problem is that one needs more than just cement to build: One needs
steel, lumber, glass, tubes, cables, dozens of things, and they must be
purchased. What often limits the extent of our construction is not cement,
but the lack of lumber or some other building material. This is

This has two aspects, however. In this example we do not have a lack of
internationalist spirit, but a lack of knowledge, in other words,
ignorance. But on other occasions it is a lack of internationalist spirit.
And since we have to defend internationalist spirit as a principle, then I
feel that to be internationalist one has to give some of what one has. And
we have to be willing to give. Furthermore, we also have to be willing to
deprive ourselves of something to be able to do this.

Logically, we would prefer to have even more doctors working in the
hospitals. Some of our doctors are rendering internationalist services. But
we are not sitting with our arms crossed. At the same time we are forming
legions of new and good doctors. So I am right in saying that the
internationalist principle defends itself.

Now, let's take a look at the other side of the coin. What would have been
the fate of of our fatherland and our revolution without internationalism?
[applause] What have we done for others in comparison with what others have
done for us? That is the reason for our watchword of paying mankind our
debt, beginning with the arms we have used to defend ourselves. What is the
price of all that? There is also the economic cooperation we have received.
I don't like to use this argument too much, because this is not communist
reasoning. It may be a logical and dialectical argument, but it is not
communist. However, it helps to make noninternationalists understand the
situation better. This is not an argument for internationalists. The
internationalist way of thinking is: We have to help others even if no one
helps us. [applause] This is simply a moral, a revolutionary and an
ideological duty; a duty that results from principles, from awareness.

This means contributing to mankind even if mankind has not contributed to
us. This is internationalism. We must create this internationalistic
awareness. Much has been done in this regard in our country. I think that
there are many examples. I have said that it is not wealth that creates
awareness. Awareness must be developed by the party, by the UJC. It must be
developed by the revolution. I have said that our modest country has
developed sufficient internationalistic awareness.

We are still egocentric. We have not reached a perfect internationalist
awareness. There is, however, much more egoism in the world that there is
here. I think that we are increasingly developing an internationalist
awareness. There are examples of this. When we called for teachers for
Nicaragua, 29,500 teachers responded to the call. This was for a difficult
job -- to teach in the most adverse conditions.

Yesterday, the companera delegate brought us an album representing more
than twenty albums with the signatures of 92,000 teachers who were willing
to take the place of (Francisco de la Concepcion), Pedro Pablo Rivera,
Barbaro Rodriguez or Aguedo Morales who were murdered while fulfilling
their obligations as teachers in Nicaragua. [applause] Is this not
internationalist awareness? Can there be any doubt? I don't doubt that
these 92,000 teachers are prepared to fulfill their commitment. It is great
to be able to say that our revolution, after 20 some years, has 92,000
teachers prepared to to fulfill an internationalist mission. This is
extraordinary, [applause] admirable incredible. Why? Because, before the
revolution, what would have been the use of asking how many teachers were
prepared to teach in the conditions that are present in Nicaragua when we
did not have teachers to be sent to Guinea? We did not have teachers to be
sent to Baracoa, to Guantanamo. We did not have teachers for our rural
areas. We did not have teachers.

What Latin American country, with a larger population, has 92,000 teachers
prepared to do this? How did this come about? Was it by chance? No. It was
the revolution that created this awareness. It was the party. It was the
UJC. Examples created this awareness. This awareness was not created by
wealth, of course. It was created by political, ideological and
revolutionary work.

It is not necessary to be richer than the United States to have an
internationalist awareness. This means that awareness is something that
must be formed -- communist and internationalist awareness, which is, it
was said here by (Landi), I believe, quoting Che, the highest level of
communist awareness, I mean, the highest level of the human race -- (Landi)
said: The highest level of communist awareness, and this is true. He who is
internationalist is an irrevocable communist. A person can be
internationalist only if that person is communist. We could go as far as
saying that it not possible to be a communist without being
internationalist. This is the importance of the formation of awareness.
This is why voluntary work by the youth is important, the examples and the
conduct that Che left for us as an invaluable treasure. [applause]

This spirit has impregnated the voluntary work that you have done, and
above all, it has pervaded the economic initiatives of the youth. We ask
the youth to keep this up, as we also ask this of our workers. However,
above all, we ask this of our young workers.

The issue of the spirit of profit-seeking was discussed here. I think that
is very important. There was discussion of the profit-seeking spirit of
professionals. Some very eloquent examples were noted, as in the case of
that engineer, or architect or something who was educated by the
revolution, as we have seen in some advertisements in OPINA. [apparently a
Cuban publication] OPINA is a magnificent little book for noting many
distortions and many irregularities.

If you do not believe this, make a telephone call some day. One day, by
coincidence, I happened to be at hand in an office that received telephone
calls from people believing that a car was for sale. It was a used car, I
believe it was a 1958 Chevrolet. The newspaper had made a mistake and
printed that number and all kinds of people called there. All kinds of
lumpen, gentlemen. To tell the truth, even decent people called, but then
said no. One person would say: What? 10,000 pesos? No. I thought it was
worth 400. No, I cannot make it. You have 10,000 pesos? Yes. Where do you
work? It was very interesting. There was no way to find out where he got
the 10,000 pesos. It was a real mystery. Well, that was simply an anecdote.

Another will say: I make house plans. A citizen from the municipality will
go to request a plan. This urbanizer or drafter of plans charges 800 or 900
or 1,000 pesos to draft a plan. This was mentioned here with every
justification. This is robbery on the part of a technician trained by the
revolution, of a person who is working.

I think this is prostitution of the idea of free contracts. It is
prostitution of the freedom to contract. [applause]

There have been prostitutions of this kind with regard to several
revolutionary initiatives, regarding various things, various measures that
have been adopted to meet one need or another, or in an effort to improve
services or to free manpower. Immediately, petty and selfish spirits took
the opportunity to distort things, because a number of things have been
distorted here, with the cooperation of many people, because for these
things to take place, there has been irresponsibility on the part of
administrators who have violated the provisions regarding certain
contracts. There are groups of workers who earned thousands of pesos to do
in alleged extra, free time the work that they should have done during
working hours. Such cases are repugnant. And the administrator who earns
thousands of pesos in giving out any kind of contract in which a certain
group of technicians or skilled workers earns thousands of pesos is simply
a corruptive and corrupt person. [applause]

There have even been cases of communists who have been involved in those
problems. What are we coming to? On the one hand they are building
conscience and on the other destroying it.

Well, there are others who say that when I go to the market -- and the
matter of the market comes up, too -- they charge me 50 pesos for a plain
old sandal. [laughter] This is true. But these are chains of things that
take place, because if good ideas generate good ideas, bad things, on the
other hand, generate bad things. It is clear that the technician who works
for the state, that is, who has opportunities, should not have the right to
do such things. That is not the socialist way of resolving problems. The
socialist way would be to form cabinets or groups or architects for the
people's power. When the worker wants to fix his house and has to pay for
the materials and pay for everything else, and is required to present a
plan -- it is logical that he should be asked to present a plan, so that he
does not go about doing clandestine construction that later causes the
building to fall down -- there should be a socialist state service in which
the architect would earn the same thing as an architect who is in Moa, or
in Santiago, or who is building a school in the countryside, or who is on
an internationalist mission, not 10 times more than they do. [applause]

It is necessary to find socialist formulas for solving problems instead of
capitalist formulas. While we are unaware, they begin to corrupt and
contaminate us, as (Landi) said in yesterday's session. These are things
that contaminate us and that contaminate our consciences. Virtue has to be
cultivated; vice grows spontaneously like weeds. We must keep in mind that
we cannot on the one hand cultivate virtues and on the other create culture
mediums for vice.

For all these things, we must have socialist rather than capitalist
formulas. That is a fact. We cannot lose sight of this. I think that we are
not going to allow this. Let the person who graduates by way of the
revolution live in the manner in which he was taught. He has not contracted
any particular debt, but the rules for the graduates of the revolution have
to be different. Doctors gave up private consultations a very long time
ago. There are many eminent doctors here who could be earning 10,000 pesos
in a capitalist state and instead they earn a modest socialist salary here,
working for our people. Those are indeed examples. [applause]

I believe that Tony was referring in part to that in yesterday's speech
when he spoke about ideological problems, about the need for the strength
of our youth so that they will not allow themselves to be influenced by
bourgeois ideology. Of course, it is already known that in capitalist
countries, eminent persons earn huge sums. That is why revolutionary
conscience, communist conscience, internationalist conscience is required
to work for one's people at a much lower salary, in much more modest and
more harsh conditions. That is the kind of technician, of revolutionary, of
communist that we want to form. [applause]

We are not going to compete with Yankee imperialism on the basis of money;
with the capitalists, who have accumulated enormous wealth by exploiting
the people and exploiting the workers. They stole the best brains
everywhere to develop technology and to achieve technologies of which other
countries are deprived.

Yes, they have money. But we have something that is more powerful than
money and that is called consciousness. [applause] That is why the
communist is more powerful than the capitalist, because the communist does
not sell himself for any amount of money. The communist has consciousness.
The capitalist has money, but he has nothing else. There is no fatherland
for him. His fatherland is wherever he earns more. Capitalism, by nature,
is stateless. The capitalist goes wherever he earns more. The communist is
essentially internationalist, but he is also patriotic. He fulfills his
internationalist duty anywhere and he fulfills his communist duty to his
own people. That is the man that we have to shape. The young people have to
shape this man. They have the opportunity to create that man and that

That is why what was said about this, about profit, was quite correct. It
did not have to do with professionals exclusively, because another of the
initiatives around which speculative and profit activities were created
were the peasant markets. It is a capitalist formula, because that formula
is always capitalist. It takes into account the fact that there are many
individual agriculturalists, that there were some shady dealings seeking
the chance for some production on the side, which the state, the industrial
agricultural enterprises, cannot yet resolve; or the chance to take a
little more merchandise to the market, that which was later smuggled or
consumed, or to achieve a little more effort by those individual peasants.
That is why the peasant market was established. Well, a plague of middlemen
began to arise around this. It was a plague of middlemen who did not
produce anything. They purchased and hoarded. There was a man who had
50,000 plantains. There were 50,000 plantains in a militant's warehouse. It
is a curious thing, how they corrupt the militants; 50,000 plantains. How
much money did that man earn in a few days selling a plantain at 80 cents?
Those are the ones who later want to buy even the Karl Marx Theater.
[laughter] And if they can't buy the theater, then they try to buy the
theater's administrator. [laughter]

There is a free peasant market. It is a concession, due to specific needs.
We will have to resolve this. When we discuss this problem with the
peasants we will see what measure will be taken, because in 1 year they
earned 200 million pesos and paid 400 in taxes. I think that in that year,
at least 100 million should have been collected. Since they sell at a high
price and earn more than if they sold to the storage centers, sometimes
taking the products that are from the storage centers, it would be very
good if this money were used for hospitals, schools, to help the Pioneers,
for vacation plans, for all of that. [applause]

There are many beautiful things that can be done with that money; at least
half should be for the people, the same people who are paying them. Let it
serve the people with vacation plans, camping, a Pioneers' palace. Many
beautiful and good things can be done with that money. That is much better
than being bourgeois. That is much better than being wealthy. That is much
better than being corruptors.

We agree that a free market can continue, but serious taxes must be
collected, for it is curious how this individual also buys eggs at 6 or 7
cents; well actually, eggs are more expensive now, 9 or 10 cents. If there
were no state production of eggs, that individual... [Castro leaves
sentence unfinished] In its farms the state has to produce billions of
eggs, so that there will be enough. The state produces almost 100 percent
of the milk consumed by the children in this country, by the families, the
elderly and the sick. It produces almost 100 percent, or literally 100
percent, of the poultry meat that is distributed in hospitals and schools
and among the population in the restaurants. The state produces it. Of
course, we do not have resources. We could produce twice as much poultry
meat. That is easy. We know it by heart, but we also know how many millions
of dollars have to be spent in soybeans, corn and other products. And we do
not have them. It is very easy and we would produce it with high
efficiency. But of course, we do not have the raw materials. If we did, it
would be a matter of establishing farms. We know it by heart, and we are
one of the countries with the highest efficiency in producing poultry meat
and eggs. This has been an extraordinary result of the genetics that the
revolution has developed. We have achieved great efficiency in the
production of poultry meat and pork. We know this. The requirements, the
raw material, are what limit us. Despite this, what the state produces it
takes to the hospital, the school and the family home. It takes the milk,
the eggs and the meat.

Here, it is not like other places. The imperialists say: No, in such a
place the small farms produce so much of a percentage. Here, there is no
such percentage. Here 100 percent of the milk is produced by state
agriculture, that which is distributed to the people, not counting
self-consumption; the same with the eggs and the poultry meat, pork and
beef and all of that. This is produced with efficiency. We do not produce
more only because we do not have the resources.

Now then, it is impossible for us to produce enough turkey to distribute,
throughout the republic, a quota of one turkey a week; I don't know how
many would be needed. An individual produces a turkey -- I don't know what
they call it abroad -- and he sells it at 100 pesos. He has some things,
not because of the state's lack of efficiency in producing them but because
of the lack of state resources and the fact that the state sells at very
reasonable prices, subsidized many times over. That individual gets
medicine at a cheap price. He also buys milk at the current price of 25
pesos. He goes to a hospital and it doesn't cost him anything. He takes a
bus and it costs him 5 cents -- although with the money he has, he takes
taxis and has a car, or he bribes the men at the bus terminal and who knows
what, since with so much money -- you can just imagine. He obtains
everything at a reasonable and cheap price and then when he sells a chicken
to a worker he sells it at 15 pesos. He sells him a plantain at 80 cents,
because there were not any of that type or because a little storm came over
and the plantain had to come from Cienfuegos. He sells a clove of garlic
for a peso, because we do not have garlic. Those things. Of course, he is
not going to sell eggs at 20 cents or milk at 50 cents, because the state
is distributing those products without restriction. And who knows how long
we can say that we will have to maintain a rationed distribution of these
things? Or of some of them. We try to free them of restrictions. It is
better to free them than to have the nuisance of rationing. But we would be
in a fine mess if we distributed meat on the basis of price here, because
the new bourgeois would buy it all and the worker would not be able to buy
any. If meat is sold without restriction, as is done in Europe, you set the
price at 10 pesos a pound and the problem is over; there is a surplus of
meat, there is a surplus. But the problem is that we do not want to touch
those prices and yet we want to ensure just distribution. The capitalists
solve everything on the basis of prices. Socialism does not solve problems
like that. In those circumstances, there could be a shortage of some
product at those prices and speculation results.

Very well, correct. The peasant free market is something that is authorized
for specific reasons, seeking specific objectives. Now then, I cannot
imagine a true communist youth -- not a professional -- I cannot imagine a
young communist selling a chicken at 15 pesos in the free market, or a
clove of garlic at 1 peso or a plantain at 80 cents, or speculating and
bringing plantains -- and who knows how many people he bribed on the way,
in order to bring so many plantains -- and to be able to have a whole
warehouse full of plantains. Unquestionably, that is a capitalist formula
for resolving some needs. I hope that this will not last forever, I hope
that with the development of socialist agriculture, the cooperatives, and
when those speculative and unproductive small farms disappear, this
situation will no longer exist.

And if a free market exists, let it be regulated under such foundations and
conditions that the primary income is for the people, even if the peasants
can earn a little bit more there. I believe that the development of
cooperatives is quite necessary. It will help us to increase productivity.
And if there are complaints that no coriander could be found in the market,
a solution should be found for that coriander, and even for turkey.
However, this new market must be implemented on different bases. Right now
we have to bear with this.

I believe that taxes are levied to obtain revenues. Therefore, when they
are collected you can say: I am contributing to support a school and not to
give a lot of money to this rascal, whom I am making rich. However, if we
are going to speak clearly, then let's speak clearly, so that it is
understood that we know what is going on, that we are aware of all of this
and that we don't like it a bit. This is the reality. But well, we will
have to turn it into a center for profit. This is no way to create a
communist or a communist peasant. A plague of middlemen who earn thousands
of pesos in a single month, has appeared. This activity always emerges
around the little plaza and this plaza used to be a cultural activity.
Prior to this, they had begun to proliferate when we talked to the workers
and then everyone wanted to set up a stand at each corner. We said no. The
artisans must sell their individual production to the state. The state
takes care of marketing it. This is how we implemented this measure, and in
time. Otherwise, they would have filled the corners of Havana with stands.
People always need something to buy -- a toothpick, a safety pin or one of
those... what do they call those things for clothes? That thing to hang
sheets; well, unfortunately you always need something. Now, how should we
solve this -- through the capitalist way? I feel that the solution for this
lies in the local enterprises, under the socialist formula. These products
don't have to be planned; they needn't be a result of national planning.
The initiative must come from the local people's power. They must decide: I
am going to establish a company to make clothespins or hangers because
there aren't enough hangers. Instead of this, what is happening is that if
a guy discovers that there are no hangers, then he makes them and sells
them on street corners at 10 times the normal price of a hanger and he is
making 10 times more than a worker makes. He might even leave work to make
hangers. This is not good for anyone.

The socialist formula for solving these problems is local enterprises. We
do not need capitalist formulas. It was thought that that famous plaza was
only for the use of true artisans, for artists doing artistic work.
However, the bourgeois and the neobourgeois began to proliferate. They
began to buy here, steal over there, to buy leather here and then to make
shoes. The famous 50-pesos shoe began to develop; and around it,
neocapitalism began to develop, too. This is an example and an experience
that is very interesting.

No one has ever thought of opposing the existence of the most holy little
plaza, but those who sell there must truly be artists and artisans. If they
charge too much, the state would have no recourse but to establish a goods
tax and obtain revenues, because charging too much is unreasonable.

When you sell a chicken -- even if it cost you 15 pesos to produce it --
you are making, with a few chickens, more than a worker would in 1 year.
This is the truth and that is called stealing. If the chickens were sold to
another lumpen -- and this could happen: A lumpen class could be created
and lumpen with money would negotiate among themselves and sell to one
another at high prices. [Sentence as heard] [laughter] However, the problem
begins when they sell to workers, to a worker. Whatever he made at work he
wants to spend, because he wants to celebrate his daughter's birthday. On
that day, he buys a turkey at a very high price. But this worker is the one
who maintains transportation, who produces textiles, who builds houses,
schools and hospitals and who produces sugar cane, sugar, milk and eggs for
the people. But he has a modest salary and the other individual earns 10
times more, by doing less than the worker. This is inconsistent with the
concept that one might have of socialism and communism. This is the truth.

I am discussing these topics here because I feel that the best place and
climate for discussion of these matters is this congress and among the
youth. However, these things must cause us concern. [applause]

These are capitalist manifestations that are bourgeois, antisocialist,
anticommunist and anti-internationalist and they promote corruption.
However, corruption is not only around neocapitalist activities, but around
socialist activities as well. They are promoted around activities that are
clearly socialist, as a result of lack of control, weaknesses and the need
to demand more. This was discovered, for example after an operation that I
believe was called crocodile. This involved the problem with people who
have to stand in lines and the problem with administrators and employees
who used to allow themselves to be bribed; there used to be smart alecks in
the lines -- and the curious thing is that since we have made progress in
women's equality, there were smart-aleck males and smart-alack females,
[laughter] both kinds, in the lines. They would take all the front places
and distribute them among themselves. Thus, no working woman or housewife
who was not willing to fight for a place could buy a fan or things of that
sort. This is due to a lack of more demands and of control.

Well, they had taken control of the plaza. It is proven that all of the
lumpen didn't leave through Mariel, and we still have some. Of course, we
knew this. This is not new. There are still lumpen here. [applause] This
has been confirmed. [applause] These guys don't work, they form lines, they
stand there, really, they live to rob the people. They are thieves, no
doubt of it. There is no doubt that they are thieves. Well, that is pure
lumpen. We are not going to talk about communist young people here. And I
was not talking about communist young people when I referred to the selling
of chickens, which is also robbery; another kind of robbery, but robbery.

That kind of thing happens, and they corrupt, corrupt. These individuals
corrupt others with gifts, things and money. We must put a stop to that and
this is the reason for the activities of the Domestic Trade Ministry and
the national revolutionary police. They will not give a break to the
crooked middlemen who introduced themselves into the peasant's free market,
to those who stand in lines, to the corrupted officials and Administrators
or to businessmen of any kind. [applause, shouting of slogans]

I cannot conceive of a communist youth being involved in any of these
activities. A law can legalize robbery, can set the price of turkey at 50
pesos or 80 pesos, whatever, or the price of garlic at 1 peso, but no law
can dignify immoral conduct. It remains immoral, even if permitted under
the law. The communist, the communist youth, must deprive himself of things
that the law may permit, simply so that his conduct will be moral,
revolutionary and communist.

We do not yet live in a communist society and not all of our citizens
observe communist conduct. No, but the communist should have a communist
morality and his conduct should be communist. That is why we know that our
young people are going to fight against those vices. They will fight
against indiscipline, against irresponsibility, against all manifestations
of corruption, wherever they may be found. They will fight for quality in
production and services. They will fight against fraud, against
profit-seeking and even against bad manners, discourtesy, and rudeness,
wherever they are found, and they will take up the banner of formal
education for the youth and for all of the people.

The young people will fight for higher forms of agricultural production and
they will struggle for socialist formulas, for socialist solutions to
problems. The information that appears in the summary of the report is
encouraging. It says that while peasant young people represent only 10
percent of the peasantry, they represent 20 percent of cooperative members.

I believe that this battle will be won by our peasants' revolutionary
spirit. Our peasants must not be confused with those lumpen, those
intermediaries that crop up at times. The true peasant must not be confused
with the other elements.

We think that the cooperative moment will continue to advance with the aid
of the UJC, in support of the effort that is being made by the National
Association of Small Farmers, ANAP.

I have spoken of internationalism, of internationalist awareness, but I
think that one of the most moving moments of the congress was when the
topic of international defense was broached, with greater strength and
vigor. The work of our youth was seen here in the formation of this
awareness, which was expressed in the effort, for example, of the Ernesto
Che Guevara contingent [applause]; of youths who are giving classes in
Angola [applause]; who are members of the detachment, the contingent of
teachers who are also teaching there; and the Augusto Cesar Sandino
contingent [applause], comprising 2,000 teachers who are teaching in harsh,
difficult and at times risky conditions in the fraternal country of

How can we fail to keep these and other facts in mind when we talk of
internationalism, when almost 120,000 of our compatriots have carried out
internationalist missions within the revolutionary armed forces alone? How
can we fail to think of the fact that easily more than 150,000 of our
compatriots have carried out internationalist missions in the past few
years, not only as fighters, but as doctors, builders, teachers and
technicians? I do not have the exact figure here, but between 150,000 and
200,000 of our compatriots have carried out internationalist missions. We
feel that this figure is high and that our revolution and our fatherland
have a good record in the area of internationalism.

A good part of the UJC's work is reflected in this awareness and this
spirit, but the UJC is also the forger of party cadres and members. Another
basic, decisive mission of the UJC that has also showed progress in the
past few years is reflected in the fact that 92 percent of its members were
approved to become party members, and 83 percent of those approved actually
became members. I believe that those rates are really encouraging, just as
we can be encouraged by the increased UJC participation in the labor
sectors, among service workers.

Although it is logical that this cannot be measured as exactly as in the
party, because it is logical that the young people must also attend to
students, and this work is very important. [sentence as heard] The work
with the laborers is highly important, but the work with students cannot be
neglected in the slightest.

I am a little concerned about the time. I hope that I do not have much more
to go. [applause, shouting of slogans]

I believe that this congress has given us examples. There was something
that really led me to think and that I found moving. It was when the
delegate, Companero Rene -- I think his surname is Valdes, isn't it Valdes,
(Landy)? The companero who is working and training in Czechoslovakia? --
arrived and turned over the 1,000 pesos that he had earned by surpassing
his plans, 1,000 pesos that he earned with great effort. He came here and
donated them. These are 1,000 pesos. Perhaps with those 1,000 pesos he
could have gone to the movie 1,000 times. [applause] 1,000 times. If he did
not go to a free market or to the plaza, [laughter] who knows how many
things he could have obtained with his money?

However, he came and turned in it. That is the behavior of a communist.
[rhythmic applause, shouting of slogans] He would not have done anything
illegal. It was absolutely legal for him to use that money. He would not
have done anything immoral. It would have been absolutely honest for him to
have used that money on himself, because he won it through his work, by
surpassing the requirements. It would have been absolutely unobjectionable
considering the worthy, honest manner in which he acquired that money. He
did not obtain it as profit.

Thus, I compared the attitude of that youth, the attitude of the workers
who are making an effort, the two delegates here who have already cut
150,000 arrobas of cane in this harvest, the one who pledged to produce so
many thousand meters of cloth as a question of honor. [applause] Those are
communist attitudes. Those companeros reflect our young people, because I
can say with complete conviction that the companeros of the party and of
the party leadership who have participated in this congress feel satisfied
-- I could say more -- we feel happy with this congress, [applause] because
we have seen its quality, which reflects the essence of our young people.
Those who did not believe in our young people had the opportunity to see
them in the last battles, in the march of the fighting people and in their
mobilization in the face of the imperialist threat -- their strength, their
vigor and their fighting spirit.

I think that the congress has been a true reflection of what our young
people are like. It has undoubtedly been a magnificent congress, an
impressive one, because of the human quality that one felt here in this
congress, because of the communist and internationalist spirit that was
reflected and felt here in this congress, [applause] because of the
fellowship, the human warmth, the purity that was reflected here in this
congress, the sincerity, the honesty, the principles, the training of all
those who spoke here -- and if I recall correctly, there were more than 170
of them -- and because of the positions, the proper procedures, the
agreements, all of which revealed a unanimous spirit, a unanimous awareness
and a universal education.

The speeches by the delegates to the congress were brief, but fruitful and
useful. They were all interesting and many of them were moving. The
democratic spirit of this congress was noteworthy, as were the spontaneous
manner in which the delegates expressed themselves and their freedom to
express their viewpoints, which are a source of pride to us all, in view of
the many delegations of foreign youths who have come to our country.

I must not fail to mention, if only briefly, the fact that another of the
things that emerged from this congress was the initiative related to the
donation of organs. This is an important, serious and profound matter. That
is why the delegate who is a physician and is profoundly familiar with the
issue was the one who spoke of it. He explained the importance of the
willingness to donate organs. We are not talking of having a live person
donate an organ. No one is being asked to donate an arm, a finger or a
kidney. There have been cases among relatives who have given kidneys. We
are not talking about that. The doctor himself said that in some of those
cases among relatives, the problem has not been solved.

We are referring to something else, but it is something delicate because it
involves the sacrosanct thing that is called the human body, the cadaver,
along with a mystique and even superstition. It is a matter of donating
organs after one dies, when one has absolutely no use for them: a kidney,
or an eye, or a piece of bone, or any part of the body that is needed.
However, there is a problem in creating that kind of awareness in a culture
like this. I believe that we should have the right to decide what to do
with ourselves, isn't that right? Why should others manipulate us after we
are dead and do whatever they wish? We have the right to donate something
of ourselves. It is most legitimate.

We have to create a culture of this kind. Over and above the sorrow
involved in death, there is another problem. The people are not rational.
This may be quite understandable, very human, very instinctive, but the
communist has to fight things that are not rational. The physician delegate
said that 1,200 persons have kidney malfunctions yearly and half of them
could be saved. However, a kidney is needed. On the other hand, others die
in accidents or from other diseases. They have perfectly healthy kidneys
that could help other people to live. Moreover, in part, this would mean
that a small part of the donor would continue to live. He would continue to
live through his kidney, that is, in the other person, just as he who
donates an eye will continue to live through his eye in another person.
[shouting of slogans]

The doctor said that there are 3,000 sightless eyes awaiting donations,
3,000 sightless eyes awaiting donations, eyes that would be able to see by
means of a donation. They cannot see because an eye is not available. He
said that there are 3,000 invalids who need a bone or a piece of bone and
who do not have it. Well, then, when one looks at this problem, one should
not look at it only from the angle of the 1,200 persons who have kidney
problems yearly, or the 3,000 with sight problems, or the 3,000 invalids.
This cannot be measured quantitatively. The issue is the security that it
would give all of the people, the security that it would give the 10
million people in this country, who form a civilized society, to know that
if some day their father, brother, child or spouse have an eye problem, it
can be solved; there will be the possibility of solving it, whether the
problem involves a kidney, a bone or whatever; the security that it would
give this country's 10 million citizens to know that there is sufficient
awareness, education, culture and civilization to make people do something
that costs as little as to donate an eye upon their deaths. That is all.
Actually, the worms would eat them otherwise, because we have the custom of
burying the worms [as heard] whole.

I don't know how other countries have handled this, but I believe, though I
am not sure, that other countries have drafted laws on this issue. Once we
had a discussion on this and I said: No, this is a problem that cannot be
solved through laws. In our country it should not be solved through laws.
It should be solved through awareness; through awareness. Through the work
of young people, the mass organizations and others.

All of the delegates have made donations; they have all signed the book. I
wanted to sign the book but since I was not a delegate I did not sign it
[laughter], but I offer my donation with pleasure. I am not your age, but I
still feel healthy. I can donate a few things. [laughter and applause]

Someone, I think it was a specialist, said that 70-year-old people can
still donate their kidneys. Parents can do this for their children. No one
here is being forced to do anything. This must be a matter of awareness and
of the masses. This cannot be done by laws. It would not have any
educational sense, no revolutionary sense. It would not be an advance to
have such a law, which would be a disagreeable law, besides.

So we have to solve this by seeing if this country's millions of citizens
show their willingness to do this and to authorize it, thus depriving the
worms of a few organs that could be used by people.

And I say this again, this should not be measured with numbers; but think
about the security that this will give the 10 million people in the
country. This is the idea. No laws. This is a matter of awareness. Since we
are working to have a superior, a more just, a more civilized society, we
can also get rid of some prejudices and some unjustified sentimental
feelings and develop an awareness of a superior condition, the awareness of
an extraordinary benefit: that the moment a life is lost, we can give life
to another person; that at the moment somebody closes his eyes, we can give
light to another person. This is the idea.

I believe that this initiative, this struggle and this example you are
setting is of historic importance. We think it is a very dignified action
by this congress.

I do not want to speak much more. I had planned to speak a little about the
difficult and complicated situation in the world [applause], but I am going
to limit myself... [interrupted by applause and shouts of "people's power"]

Today, I particularly want to remind you that we live in a world in crisis,
one with great problems, with an arms race that is advancing unchecked as a
result of imperialist policies. I want to remind you that the production of
all kinds of weapons is increasing and multiplying -- nuclear weapons, all
kinds of carriers for these nuclear weapons, rockets, planes, sophisticated
weapons, neutron weapons, chemical warfare and biological weapons, which
are a threat to a world living through one of the most acute economic
crises in history. Solutions are not in sight. These are difficult times
and it is good that the young people know that we are living in difficult
times. The youth must know that they must prepare for this world. This is
what we are doing when we educate ourselves, when we develop an awareness,
a spirit, a policy of principles, firmness, international heroism and other
qualities. We are preparing for this difficult time, and we must be aware
of it.

This is to say that the world situation is complicated and threatens to
become more so. For example imperialist plans to install 672 middle-range
missiles in Europe are a great danger to the socialist community and the
Soviet Union, since intercontinental missiles would no longer be the only
threat; there would also be other missiles which could fall on the Soviet
capital and on other socialist capitals in a matter of a few minutes.

This is great madness, all the greater is one remembers that the
imperialists placed the world on the verge of war when 42 middle-range
missiles were installed in our country. Now, they want to install 672 more
sophisticated ones on the border of the Soviet Union. How could one not
expect that if this policy is implemented, very serious complications would
result, as well as great dangers for the world? For our country
particularly, beyond the world dangers and the generalized economic crisis,
we have our own private dangers of imperialist actions against us. You know
of them. They have compelled us to take measures. An intensification of
blockage activities against us is promoted by imperialism, which strives to
increase its economic embargo against us and to create more problems for
our country. They strongly pressure all of the Western countries to avoid
financial and trade relations with us. They have been seeking every
possible means of intensifying the blockade, in order to create problems
for us.

They also spoke of subversion. There was talk of some radio station, which
would even bear the name of Marti. Well, we are still waiting for that
station. They have left us eager, and a little disappointed, like a boxer
who arrives at the ring and finds that his opponent is not there.

I don't know if they intended to scare us with their station. The fact is
that it is still pending. We do not know if they are going to establish it
or not. It would be best if they did not. But we are boxers, let's not
forget that. In principle we want peace, but as a sport we prefer boxing.
If we were to have a dispute with them, they with their subversive station
and we with our replies -- well, logically it would be better if the match
does not take place. It would be more peaceful. However, we are preparing
outstanding replies to their subversive radio.

We hope that they do not install it because if they do, there would be more
friction, irritation and tension. In my opinion, it would be more sensible
if they did not.

In the face of these threats, we have adopted many measures and have
organized many plans. How to resist a total blockade of this country with
the greatest efficiency. All of you know something about this, something
about the measures, what measures to be taken against any military action,
against any surprise blow. We have worked hard and quietly for many weeks,
with a lot of effort and sacrifice, but we have not hesitated to do this.
We have fulfilled the duty of raising our defensive capability to the
maximum. We have been doing this since last year, when they threatened us.
The threats of blockade and military aggression were exactly what led to
the arrival of large amounts of weapons in our country. We did not do this
for sport, we did not do this out of pleasure, we did this because we saw
ourselves threatened. That is why we created the territorial troop militia,
that is why we have drafted plans against a blockade, that is why we have
drafted efficient plans against enemy military operation. That is the
reason. There is no need to seek any other explanation, because that is the
sole and exclusive reason. I repeat: We have worked hard and quietly to
confront all of these risks. We are calm, we are serene.

There is tension in the area. There is talk about the tensions in the area,
the dangers in the area. And these are real. The problems of Central
America and the Caribbean have become something of an international focal
point. You are quite familiar with current publications on the situation in
El Salvador and Nicaragua. You also know, through many personalities and
organizations, that world opinion favors a negotiated political solution in
El Salvador and negotiated political solutions in Central America and the
Caribbean. Many organizations -- like the Socialist International -- and
many countries -- like France and Mexico, international public opinion in
general, U.S. public opinion itself, the U.S. Congress itself -- have all
spoken in favor of a negotiated political solution in Central America. The
U.S. administration has systematically opposed this. They have chosen to
crush the revolutionaries militarily. They imposed these incredible
elections amid a civil war, amid genocide. Elections were held amid
genocide and terror. If someone did not vote, he even ran the risk of being
killed. This was because of the terror that prevailed in that country,
where the leftwing had been excluded. No one believed in those elections.
No one, except the U.S. Government saw a solution in those elections.

The elections, however, did not represent a solution. On the contrary, they
have moved increasingly away from offering a solution. There is even a
possibility that the government might be assumed by the extreme right or by
some alliance between the current junta's Christian Democracy and the
extreme right. It can be categorically asserted, however, that this does
not represent a solution and that neither the fascists nor the genocidal
elements will ever be able to crush the revolutionaries. [applause]

The idea of eliminating the revolutionaries by force will neither prosper
nor succeed. The international situation, the situation in Central America
and the situation in the area call for a negotiated political solution.
This proposal has been made by the governments of Mexico and France. As you
already know, Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo recently reiterated his
country's position and defended the idea of a negotiated political
solution. That Mexican position received the support of Cuba and Nicaragua
and of the Salvadoran revolutionaries themselves. It is widely supported.
Imperialism will have to choose an interventionist policy -- which would be
absurd under any circumstances, for nothing but failure would await it --
or it will have to accept a negotiated political solution in Central
America and El Salvador. We have publicly expressed our support for
Mexico's positions, our points of concurrence with the position held by the
Nicaraguans and the Salvadoran revolutionaries. The Mexicans have gone even
farther: They have proposed the need for discussions and bilateral contacts
between the United States and Nicaragua and between the United States and
Cuba. We have not rejected any of these proposals, the policy proposed in
Congress, the policy proposed... [Castro leaves sentence unfinished] We
have never rejected dialogue, discussion or negotiations. No one could say
for sure at this point, not in the slightest, what possibilities there are
that this path might be followed.

This will basically not depend on us, the Nicaraguans, the Salvadorans or
the revolutionaries, but on the United States. The United States will have
to choose one policy or the other: whether to accept realities or march on
and defy realities; whether to take an interventionist path in Central
America or a political path, a path of political dialogue.

I was thinking, yesterday, after hearing statements, witnessing the
fighting spirit of our youth and listening to the companera who spoke about
peace in a beautiful way, proposing that it be defended and that a
watchword for the struggle for peace be approved... [Castro leaves sentence
unfinished] I was also recalling Raul's [Castro] eloquent statements when
he was explaining all of the efforts that we are making and how our efforts
and our sacrifices for the country's defense tend specifically to increase
the possibilities of peace.

It is dangerous to be weak in the face of the enemy. It is dangerous to
fear the enemy. It would encourage aggression. However, if we are strong,
decisive, courageous and are willing to fight to the last drop of our
blood, as I have said 1,000 times, the enemy would think about it. He would
have to consider the price of aggression against our fatherland. When we
strengthen our defenses, we are expressing the decision to defend
ourselves, to fight very firmly and seriously. I am sure that imperialism
has no doubts about this decision. Imperialism harbors no doubts about

We are increasing the possibilities for peace because nothing is farther
from our wishes than a desire for war. No conscientious man in today's
world, aware of the situation and dangers, could believe in military
solutions to problems.

Today's world cannot have military solutions of any kind. However, the idea
that the problems in today's world can be solved with military solutions is
exactly what the imperialists believe. The imperialists believe that they
can play the role of policeman. They believe that they can go back in
history, impose their will, subject the people, freeze human society and
prevent changes. These are the imperialist ideas exactly. These could never
be communist ideas. These could never be the ideas of internationalists.

Our country's position, clear and guileless, was publicly stated. Our
country is willing to work in the search for a negotiated political
solution to the problems of El Salvador, Central America and the area. We
firmly and seriously support Lopez Portillo's position. The Mexicans have
even publicly suggested -- they suggested this to us and to the U.S.
Government -- moderation in language. They have suggested a certain verbal
de-escalation, a certain moderation in tone. But you were telling me: Hit
the Yankees hard. You were telling me: Fidel, pitch, because Reagan can't
hit. [laughter] So you were urging me not to use moderate language.
However, I must speak moderately and I have been doing so. I have said
things, the truth, frankly but with moderation. [laughter]

In sum, the essence of a policy does not lie in virulent adjectives but in
the firmness of principles. [applause] We have always followed this
essence. It is a policy of essence.

One should never think that our people, party and leadership are afraid. On
the contrary, this nation feels very calm, very confident in itself, very
convinced of its own strength, reason and interest. Our party and
revolution are very confident in their history, glory and victories. They
know that nothing can subject, overcome or dominate us. We could be
eradicated from the earth but we are aware that if one defends a just
cause, it is glorious to be heroically eradicated from the earth.

We are not negotiating principle if we have nothing to fear. We have duties
and responsibilities. We have them to the international revolutionary
movement, to world peace and to our people. We also hope that the people
can move forward, making progress and achieving new conquests. We dream of
the next congress and other congresses of the party and the UJC, when we
are 25 or 30. We were not referring only to ourselves as individuals,
because we all dream. Our people dream, the collective soul dreams and you
dream. The revolution offers hard work and sacrifices, but it also gives
satisfaction, joy and a sense of living a life that is worth living, a time
that is worth living. We feel great pride in our task and work, and this
shall be preserved. For it, we are willing to do anything. We are willing
to die, all of us, for our independence, our principles and our revolution.
We are also willing... [Castro changes thought] For this reason, we were
saying that peace will be preserved, among other things, if imperialism
knows that we are willing to die for it and fight for it until the last
breath. Many of us hope that peace can be preserved and if we can
contribute with a little grain of sand, we will do that seriously and
responsibly. This is the current situation. We are prepared for everything.
We are prepared to face the most violent aggression, just as we are
prepared to seek political and negotiated solutions to the problems. We are
willing to do anything necessary, suffer the necessary sacrifices and run
the necessary risks to preserve our country in the face of aggression, just
as we are willing to seriously work for peace for the world, Central
America, the Caribbean, our fatherland and our people.

We must be aware of all of this. This is what I can tell you about the
situation, once again telling you of our great confidence in the youth and
how glad we are about your work, which has been expressed through
outstanding activities.

There is no problem posed by youth that their organizations cannot resolve.
When we decided to increase the efficiency of the mills and to conduct
better sugarcane harvests, we realized that thousands of technicians were
needed and that there were provinces and many sugar mills that did not have
engineers or chemists. We approached the young people, we approached the
FEU [Federation of University Students] and we looked up the students in
their last year of medicine. I don't mean medicine, I mean in the
university's School of Engineering and other schools. We immediately
obtained all of the technicians we needed for all of the mills. And there
they are, working. That was the students' attitude.

Needs then emerged in connection with the armed forces. Due to the new
weapons we have of more complex design, we needed a large number of
engineers, especially for the antiaircraft defense weapons. There were 300
students in their last year of studies in the special fields required. We
needed about 100 of them at that point, very urgently. We approached the
young people and the FEU, and of the 300 students available in their last
year of studies, all 300 of them, 100 percent of them, agreed to join the
armed forces. [applause] In view of this, the number was even increased and
we said: Alright, 150, both men and women. Several of them have been around
here, as delegates to this congress, wearing their uniform and all. Their
response was highly impressive. One hundred percent. I think that these
figures speak of the quality of our youth.

Then there was the youth labor army in Ciego de Avila. Cutters were needed.
The UJC met with them and explained the problem, asked them to stay longer
at the harvest, because they were needed. They had already completed their
time of service, their term and yet 90 percent of those young people gave a
positive response, the young people in the military. [applause]

One last example: The Nicaraguans asked us for an additional 100 doctors.
We were waiting for the last-year students to graduate, but decided to
conduct a survey among the last-year medical students, the ones who were
about to graduate, who had had their medical practice and all. They were
asked which of them were willing to participate in this internationalist
mission in Nicaragua. Out of 1,000 students in the last year of medicine,
1,000 offered to go and carry out this internationalist mission. [applause]
We had to choose only 100. This does not represent 10 percent, 10 out of
100, 20 out of 100, or 55. In both cases -- to satisfy the armed forces'
needs, 100 percent; and in the case of the 100 doctors, 100 percent as
well. I think that we must be satisfied. This is the fruit of our years of
revolution. This is the fruit of the 20 years of the communist young
people's work that we commemorate today. This is the fruit of the creation
of awareness. [applause]

These things stimulate us and encourage us greatly. They are the
counterpart of those problems, of that lumpen that might show up here and
there. They are the counterpart. In a way, the negative shows more clearly
when placed next to the positive. That is our revolution and our youth.

This is why we have this optimism, because we don't speak with words. We
are talking with figures: 300 out of 300 -- 150 are there and several of
them must be around here listening. In medicine, 14,200 from which to
choose 3,807. [applause] And what can one say about something we have
already mentioned -- 92,000 teachers have already signed, stating their
willingness to go and teach in Nicaragua? What can one say about this?
[applause] I think that these are really outstanding examples. We have
every reason to feel happy. This is why we have this certainty. This is
what we wanted the most.

We are aware of the weaknesses of our generation, of our people, the ones I
was explaining, the ones I was talking about when I began this closing
speech, which I mentioned 20 years ago, of what had been in store for us.
Now, we said it was difficult in this political and ideological area. No
one can say for sure that the past was more difficult than the future,
which you may have to confront. I really meant it in the political sense.

It is different now. This is why these are not mere words. We believe in
this very, very important theory. Whether in peace or in conflict with our
neighbors in the north, they will be capitalists for a long time. It is not
foreseeable that the mercantilism there will give way to socialism over a
short period of time. This is not foreseeable. And we must be more
socialist and more communist every day, under any circumstances, whether in
a violent confrontation or in times of peace.

That is why we feel sure of what we are saying and of what we wanted: That
the new generation would be more united, more revolutionary, more
internationalist and more unwavering with regard our own revolution.

I said that we were willing to donate whatever was necessary. But we, the
members of this generation who were at Moncada, in the Granma and all of
that, want a donation when we die. We want a donation. The donation we want
is the certainty that we have a more revolutionary people, [applause] and
that when [applause] we no longer exist physically, we can still have the
certainty that everything is marching better, that everything is more
secure and that our revolution will be increasingly solid and more secure;
but not based on names, for our revolution is not based on names. It is
based on principles.

That is the donation, which we are not demanding from you, but which you,
with your conduct, your attitude and your spirit are offering us. The
physical body does not matter. Ideas, however, concern us greatly. The
future of the fatherland concerns us greatly. I am sure -- and it is a
cause of satisfaction for me to know this -- that when Marti fell in Dos
Rios, when Maceo fell in Punta Brava, when so many companeros died in the
struggle, they would have felt very happy to see young people like this and
a congress like this, to see how much our people and our youth have
advanced in revolutionary spirit, in the sense of justice and in the
highest and most humane values. I am sure of this. How sad when they say
death was in vain. We never believe this.

As a student I said many times that it was not in vain, but it had not yet
been proven that the fruits were beginning to appear. No one died in vain.
The revolution and you have seen to it that these lives were not lost in
vain. We have great confidence. We know that our young people will move
forward, that they will always be inspired by the ideas and example of
Marx, Engels, Lenin, Marti, Maceo, Mella, Abel Santamaria, Jose Antonio
Echavarria, Frank Pais, Camilo and Che. [applause]

They will be inspired by the ideas of that large and admirable legion of
pure and true revolutionaries and of so many marvelous men who have been
produced by the world and by our fatherland. [applause]

Our youth will be the builder of communism and the forger of a new world.

Fatherland or death! We will win! [crowd also replies: We will win!]