[Marxism] Fidel: Giving more and sharing it more equally

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 20 15:28:45 MST 2005

CubaNews has posted several articles from the Cuban media
about Fidel Castro's speech given Thursday night, and the
articles have evoked an unusual amount of interest, which
is very pleasing. Here is the most detailed comment we've
seen yet from the daily Cuban media. Readers of CubaNews
are invited to discuss the ideas described here. Those 
who aren't subscribed to CubaNews can write to us offlist
and we'll share the best comments with the list as a whole. 

Since the speech was given, it's become clearer that there
is also a great deal more in the speech than even was at
first apparent.  

A revolution isn't a frozen event, a thing which happens
at one point ("the insurrection") and is then completed. 

It's a process, which proceeds from stage to stage over
time. It has its ebbs and flows, but it's a process and,
in Cuba's case, one which has is now in its fifth decade.
Those who wish to understand Cuba's process, not to say
those who think that "a better world is possible" need 
to wake up and smell the coffee. Combined with Cuba's
strengthened ties with Venezuela and China, as well as
Cuba's decision to "de-dollarize" its economy, what we
are seeing is the opening of an entirely new stage in
Cuba's revolutionary process, nothing less.

Discussion by readers of the themes discussed in this talk
would be welcomed. Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution 
are always surprising people. They both think and they act 
outside of the box. Can we grasp the magnitude of it all?

Some initial notes on Fidel Castro's latest discussion:

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

Havana. March 18, 2005

What we’re doing is giving more to the people and sharing
more equally

• Fidel affirms during his special TV appearance yesterday
Announces more good news for everyone next week Purchasing
power of peso increases

Granma daily staff writer

FROM today, the purchasing power of the Cuban peso is to
increase by 7%, thanks to new exchange rates for purchase
and sales operations in the network of exchange outlets
(CADECAS), affirmed President Fidel Castro yesterday during
a special address at Havana’s International Conference

What we’re doing is giving more to the people and sharing
more equallyThe leader of the Revolution maintained that
this step in the area of finance is highly satisfying given
that it signifies the beginning of the long and upward path
of the peso. It is the first time in history that the
currency of a blockaded and Third World country has been
able to set out on the road of systematic revaluation that
will carry it forward in a consistent manner, as far as
necessary, he confirmed.


Clarifying doubts expressed by citizens over the last few
days, Fidel specified that there will be many changes
before the end of the year with respect to the availability
of electricity thanks to the incorporation of two
combined-cycle units in Varadero, whose capacity is
slightly higher than two plants like the Antonio Guiteras,
and with the advantage of possessing more modern, efficient
and economical technology.

He noted that the island also has generators with a total
capacity of 200,000 to 300,000 kilowatts in order to
guarantee the functioning of aqueducts, hospitals and other
important installations in the case of a power deficit in
the National Electricity System. He clarified that the
intention is not to put that equipment into use except in
the case of unforeseen breakdowns, when it could offer the
necessary security so as not to damage essential services
to the population.

In August, he confirmed, the Antillana de Acero will be
producing steel rods 24 hours a day, while the quarries
used for building materials will be working with greater
intensity in order to fulfill the new plans for the
construction and reparation of homes, likewise thanks to an
increase in energy recovery.

The president of the Council of State and Ministers
explained that many business, state and government teams
are currently occupied with the issue of reinstating
programs for the reparation and construction of homes as
soon as possible.

"I will be bold enough to say," he affirmed, "that from the
second semester of 2006 the generative capacity will be so
large that there will not be the slightest risk, if the
normal course of events is maintained, something that could
be disturbed in the case of war – an imperialist aggression
against Cuba – or if there was a US invasion of Venezuela,
or an assassination attempt on Hugo Chávez, which could
provoke very complicated situations; and nobody can
guarantee today that incidents of this kind will not occur.

"In the case of Cuba," he reiterated, "we are well-prepared
from a military point of view, and to be prepared in all
areas is our duty and the rightful thing for us to do," he

The president went on to say that there are no plans at
present to increase electricity prices, although the idea of
introducing modifications in the future for large scale
consumers, including citizens with workshops or other
private businesses in their homes, who consume much more
electricity in comparison with the average family, is being


The president of the Council of State and Ministers
explained that the country spends $1 billion per year on
the purchase of foodstuffs, and what is paid for those
products in the bodegas (neighborhood stores where people
buy rationed goods) is equal to less than one thirtieth of
what the state invests.

He also noted that the provinces affected by the intense
drought are still receiving tens of thousands of tons of
additional food with respect to the basic quota delivered
to the rest of the country. These regions, he explained,
will also be the first to have access to new supplies of
wheat and corn flour announced on March 8.

Likewise, top-speed efforts are underway to initiate
distributions of pure coffee (not blended with peas) and
chocolate with full powdered milk, which will be sold at
reasonable prices. Both the coffee and the chocolate, he
clarified, will arrive in sealed packages, and the sale of
these goods will also begin in the eastern provinces from

Opinions raised by the population during March 8-15 include
the need to prevent the theft and misdirection of the new
appliances, as well as the pure coffee, the chocolate with
full powdered milk and the other aforementioned foodstuffs,
which will be sold in the bodegas. With respect to that,
Fidel urged the mass organizations, UJC members, Armed
Forces combatants and the Ministry of the Interior... in
short, the revolutionaries of the barrios, to prevent
potential racketeering and theft.

As he put it, the principles that should prevail during the
process of distribution and sale should be imposed by the
people, with due exigency, and without entering into
complicity with individuals breaking the law.

All of the measures and results favor success; in
two-and-a-half months, the country will have the necessary
gaskets for the pressure cookers. The machines industry is
charged with supplying them – as well as the pressure
cookers, rice cookers and electric stoves – to the bodegas.

In Santa Clara, 70,050 rice cookers have been delivered, as
have 44,300 in Cienfuegos, and in neither of those regions
has electricity consumption gone up, which illustrates the
benefits that both families and the national economy will
obtain in that way, Fidel explained.

The president also remarked on the importance of improving
attention to low-income sectors of the population,
including retirees, persons who have worked their whole
lives – some of whom now receive less than 100 pesos
monthly – and he affirmed that the moment is not far off
when the country will be able to implement wage increases,
all of them subject to the people’s qualifications and
contributions, in line with socialist principles.

More is being given to the people and it is being
distributed better, Fidel summed up, announcing that he
would be back next week to report more news.

The meeting, described by the leader of the Revolution as
another working session apropos of these times, included
leaders of the Communist Party, the Young Communist League,
the state, government and cadres from the Federation of
Cuban Trade Unions, the Revolutionary Combatants’
Association, the José Martí Pioneers Organization,
University and Intermediate Student Federations, the
Federation of Cuban Women, the Committees for the Defense
of the Revolution, the National Association of Small
Farmers and combatants of the Armed Forces and the Ministry
of the Interior.

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