Wednesday, December 07, 2005

6th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF IDEAS =Havana. December 7, 2005

6th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF IDEAS =Havana. December 7, 2005

Fidel calls on the people to defeat crime and corruption

PRESIDENT Fidel Castro called on the Cuban people during a December 6 speech to participate consciously in the battle to do away with criminal behavior, corruption and indiscipline that are endangering the irreversibility of the Revolution.

“This battle will not be won not just with the authorities and the law, but with mass work, with political work, by inviting the entire people to fight, with their consciousness and combativeness, to eradicate what is burdening the country’s development,” he affirmed.

Fidel was speaking during the event marking the 6th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Ideas, which emerged from the mass demand for the return of the child Elián González, kidnapped by the Cuban-American mafia in Miami with the support of extreme right-wing forces in the United States. The 35th anniversary of the Federation of Students in Intermediate Education (FEEM) was also being celebrated.

The event took place at José Antonio Echeverría Park in the city of Cárdenas in Matanzas province, east of Havana, and participants included Elián and his father, Juan Miguel González.

Fidel said that crimes against the country’s economy will never be able to achieve what imperialism has failed to do for almost five decades, in face of the steely determination of our people.

“We have seen how heroic revolutions in great countries fell or collapsed precisely because of corruption, bureaucracy, lack of consciousness, bad methods of working with the masses and other failures,” he added.

He mentioned the misappropriation of fuel detected by more than 10,000 social workers at gas stations throughout the country.

The economic significance of this struggle against waste, theft and other negative tendencies will be substantial, he affirmed. The Cuban president explained that 10,444 social workers are now attached to the refineries and more than 2,000 gas stations, and to date the income has increased 2.15 times on average, thus demonstrating the misappropriation that was occurring previously.

The president reflected on the participation of these young people in this new task, an experience begun on October 10 in the capital and extended on December 5 to every province, in order to deal a death blow to corruption and illegality.

The temporary use of social workers for pumping gas fuel stops is an offensive against looting and disorder on the part of a small group that was enriching itself based on this squandering, he explained.

In analyzing each region, he showed the effectiveness of deploying thousands of these young people at most fuel points, given that the measure has made it possible to take in substantial amounts of hard currency in such sales.

To illustrate that point, he noted that the average daily increase in fuel sales was about 90,000 convertible pesos, clarifying that on Monday, that sum was 107,407, a total representing 2.39 times more than that being sold to private individuals before the social workers shouldered this responsibility.

However, he added, a series of measures is already being implemented to do away with misappropriation; the first is to reorganize the network of gas stations, reducing the number of gas stations that offer other services to 534 and fueling points to 138.

He also referred to a general study of tractors and trucks that has already yielded initial results. After the inspection of 11,000 tractors at 492 production units in Havana, deficiencies detected included the fact that 349 of them had disappeared without any of the enterprises reporting their theft or “loss,” and another 329 were operating without being registered, Fidel explained.

In the case of trucks, 44.3% of those inspected at certain agencies in the capital related to food distribution did not possess certificates confirming their technical conditions for operation; 55.8% of Zil 130 trucks had high fuel consumption; and 48% had no operating license.


He explained that Cuba is marching toward the elimination of the ration book in order to establish more just methods of distribution based on a truly socialist concept, where everyone gives according to their ability and receives remuneration according to their work.

“However, it will always be necessary to insist on the role of education and culture, because these create consciousness, in order for ideals and morality to prevail over instinct,” he affirmed.

Fidel reiterated that studies carried out in the country’s penitentiary system among inmates show that crime is inversely proportional to the education that these individuals possess, and that is why efforts are being made for nobody to be left without the option of attending university, having a job or having access to essential aid from the State.


The Cuban president cited information on Operation Miracle, under which operations are performed on patients with sight disorders from Venezuela, Bolivia, Panama, Uruguay, the Caribbean and other nations in the hemisphere.

By the time Hugo Chávez visited [Cuba] this past August, 50,000 operations had been done; now, three months and 10 days later, another 105,000 have been performed, Fidel announced.

“We are at a daily rate of 1,500 operations, using the most modern technology,” he noted, adding that “that is nothing compared to the perspectives that are opening up. We will be able to achieve up to half a million operations of this type per year, for the well-being of the Cuban people, and patients from this hemisphere and from other parts of the world,” he affirmed.

He qualified as impressive the pace at which many branches of medicine are advancing, and compared the more than 70,000 doctors that Cuba has today with the 3,000 that remained at the time of the triumph of the Revolution, given that the other 3,000 doctors that Cuba had then emigrated to the United States.

“No country in the world can do what Cuba is doing; among other things, forming a medical contingent to send to any corner of the world where it is needed, to provide care in disaster situations or other emergencies,” he emphasized.

He referred to the example of the extraordinary chapter on solidarity being written by Cuban doctors in the heart of poverty-stricken Guatemala and in the mountains of Pakistan, where neither cold, rain, nor distance have frightened them.

More than 70% of that extraordinary medical force is comprised of women, “who, in the name of their Revolution and their homeland, are willing to march to any corner of the world to carry out their beneficial work,” Fidel pointed out.

The president referred to a chain of hospitals par excellence that are being constructed to attend to hundreds of thousands of persons who travel to the island to receive paid medical attention in Cuba, to the steadily growing prestige of our Medicine and which, when they are fully up and running, will also be used for any one of the 11.2 million inhabitants of the country.

Other participants at the event included relatives of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, René González, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González, the five anti-terrorist Cubans unjustly incarcerated in U.S. prisons, as well as leaders of political, state, governmental and student organizations, students and other guests. •


• FIDEL affirmed that the Battle of Ideas that began six years ago is not over or even close to its end. The empire continues to dream of plans of transition and programs for Cuba. “The blockade, economic warfare, the Adjustment Act, radio-electronic warfare and terrorism against our people continue to be the policy and practice of the U.S. government, he noted.

Elián, now a junior high school student, turned 12 years old on December 6.

Fidel noted that over these six years, important transformations have taken place in elementary and secondary schools, principally in the reduction of class sizes and teacher/student ratios, facilitating more individual attention for students.

He also mentioned the changes and adjustments in computer science education in polytechnic schools, which now number more than 26, equipped with one computer for every seven students, while the aspiration is to reach one computer per student.

More than 50,000 young people studying to be programmers and analysts, including students at those schools and those enrolled in the University of Information Science, he announced.

The Cuban president noted that there are six times as many Youth Computer Clubs as there were in 2000, and thousands of people have been able to receive training there when the universities did not have enough computers, he noted.

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