Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

More on Castro's Remarks

FL171633 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1147 GMT 17 Jul 87

[By Ana Maura Carbo]

[Excerpts] During the second working session of the third legislature of
the ANP, our commander in chief discussed extensively everything the
revolution has done in educating our youth and the importance of developing
a wide profile among professionals to achieve better job placements. Our
commander in chief referred to the ways to solve some labor force

[Begin Castro recording] I believe we have to change some ideas we have on
all this because there is work and there are needs in many places but the
people have not been educated, have not been trained, do not have this idea
that [word indistinct]. On the other hand, I believe we are to blame
because the socialist state exists to solve problems, distribute, organize,
encourage, solve people's problems, and find jobs. I am not going to give
examples. I could give many examples of instances of jobs that could be
created with the same resources or with a little more. We are proving this
in Havana.

Nobody knows the number of people we are going to put to work in
construction. Of course, since we did not have enough people we are getting
the ones that are left over in factories. We are saving a bit there. But
despite that, we welcome housing construction enterprises to the People's
Government. The more we have the better because we still do not know how
many we will be able to get. If we guarantee material we could get 50,000
or 60,000; even workers when they finish up in the afternoon, many of them,
because many problems have accumulated -- I talked about that at the
Communist Party, of Cuba [PCC] Central Committee meeting, that if we get
material we could have a large crusade. We need to make a big effort here.
But we need to use a little imagination because what we had here was not a
surplus of labor but a lack of labor. In addition, the people did not want
to work in construction, they do not like that kind of work. If a man can
have a guaranteed job there, he stays there close to his home, as long as
possible. That is why the Micons [Ministry of Construction] enterprises do
not pay him seniority. If he can work for a lower salary in an enterprise
of the People's Government in his municipality, he stays there. But imagine
how much work we are generating and how many values we are creating here
practically with the same resources we had.

I believe that at a certain time an indolent, we could even say an
indifferent attitude was created on the unemployment problem. This could
probably be related to the neoliberal or neocapitalist idea that, in
addition to all those mechanisms, it says it is better if there are more
people than needed, therefore there is a greater labor force, etc. This is
done by ignoring a surplus in the labor supply, not losing sleep over it,
and not using our heads to find a solution, forgetting that the task of
socialism is to find solution to those problems, that it is our
responsibility. If we do not do so we are not interpreting socialism, do
not know what we are doing, and are not capable of fulfilling the duties,
the goals, and objectives we have set forth. [end recording]

In the afternoon session it was shown how the family doctor, with the
control he has over his district, can incorporate in society the young
people who are neither working nor studying.

[Begin recording] [Unidentified deputy] We wanted to talk about the work of
youth in the family doctor program with young people who are neither
working nor studying. But well...

[Castro, interrupting] How many do you have there?

[Deputy] At this time we have 272 drop-outs.

[Castro] Two hundred and seventy two, but I imagine that is at the
polyclinic not in the ...

[Deputy, interrupting] Yes, at the polyclinic. No, in our area we only have
seven who neither work nor study.

[Castro] How many?

[Deputy] Seven.

[Castro] In your area.

[Deputy] Yes, seven in my area.

[Castro] How many were there before?

[Deputy] When I began working there were 16.

[Castro] What did you do with those kids?

[Deputy] All young family doctors, because of the contact we have with the
entire population, we tracked down these youths who neither work nor study.
We have contacted them not only with the intention of having them join a
labor center or a school but also attempting to change in them all kinds of
habits and behaviors they had adopted because of their social situation. We
have conducted research in the entire area -- all doctors who work there --
and found that this group of youths have forgotten the training they had
obtained throughout their student years. Many of them are mid-level
technicians, comrades who have completed the 12th, and 9th grades and
currently are at the margin of the entire situation.

[Castro] What did those nine do? Did you place them, are they studying, are
they working?

[Deputy] Yes, Commander, they began working. But I wanted to give you some
important information. We were able to incorporate more youths but with the
process or the program implemented in education last year, this figure
increased considerably. I also wanted to point out that we found in our
research many youths often have things in common with two very well defined

They belong to those families that have many social problems. Therefore,
not only must the young person treated with the job issue but a more
in-depth work has to be done with the entire family because poor social
conditions and low cultural level are closely related with those youths who
carry out negative activities in society.

We also have other comrades or other youths who despite having some kind of
training, have families who give them everything, provide everything. They
have an easy life and are not interested in working because their mother,
father, or other relative in one way or another gives them everything they
want. Those are the two groups we found more difficult to work with, for us
to work with, rather. [passage omitted]

When we ask for more efficiency we do not ask for the sake of asking. When
we say we are not going to do things with 1,500 that we can do with 500, it
is because we are looking for efficiency, efficiency so we can use more
resources. The staff have to find resources to get sources of employment
for the rest. Those are the remarks I wanted to make. [applause] [end