Comrades all:

We have been meeting for several days now discussing extremely important matters
for the future of the nation. This time, in addition to our customary work in
commissions, the deputies have met in plenary with the purpose of analyzing the
details of the current economic situation, as well as the budgetary proposals
and the economic plan for the year 2011.

The deputies have also devoted long hours to the thorough evaluation and
clarification of some doubts and concerns about the Draft Guidelines for the
Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution.

Our media has given a broad coverage to these discussions in order to make it
easier for the general public to receive this information.

In spite of the impacts of the world crisis on the national economy, the
irregular rainfall patter during the last 19 months -from November 2008 until
June this year-, and without excluding our own errors, I can affirm that the
performance of the 2010 economic plan could be deemed as acceptable considering
the times we are living. We will attain the goal of 2.1 per cent growth in the
Gross Domestic Product, better known by its acronym (GDP); exports of goods and
services have increased. The annual forecast figure of foreign visitors has
already been reached when the current year is not yet at a close. Although once
again we will not be able to meet the planned revenues goals, we have
strengthened the domestic financial balance and, for the first time in several
years, we are beginning to see a favorable dynamic, still somewhat limited, in
work productivity as compared to average salary.

Withholdings of foreign transfers or, what amounts to the same thing, the
restrictions we were forced to impose at the end of 2008 on payments from Cuban
banks to foreign suppliers -which shall be totally suppressed next year- have
continued to decrease. At the same time, significant progress has been achieved
in the rescheduling of our debt with our principal creditors.

Once again I would like to thank our commercial and financial partners for their
confidence and understanding; I confirm to them our most steadfast intentions of
punctually honoring our commitments. The Government has given precise
instructions to not take on new debts without guaranteeing their payment within
the terms agreed upon.

As was explained by the Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economy
and Planning, Marino Murillo Jorge, next year�s plan foresees a 3.1 per cent GDP
growth, which should be reached in the midst of a scenario that is not any less
complicated or tense.

The year 2011 is the first of five included in the midterm projection of our
economy. During this period we shall be gradually and progressively introducing
some new structures and concepts in the Cuban economic model.

During the coming year, we shall decisively move on to reduce superfluous
expenses, thus promoting the saving of all types of resources which, as we have
said on several occasions, is the quickest and safest source of income at our

Likewise, we shall not overlook in the least the social programs in the areas of
health, education, culture and sports; we would rather raise their quality,
since we have identified enormous reserves of efficiency through a more rational
use of the existing infrastructure. We shall also be increasing exports of
goods and services, while continuing to concentrate investments in those areas
showing the quickest return on those.

Regarding the economic plan and the budget, we have insisted that the old story
of non-compliances and overdrafts must come to an end. The plan and the budget
are sacred. And I repeat, from now on, the plan and the budget will be sacred;
they were drafted to be complied with, not to make us feel content with
justifications of any sort or even with imprecisions and lies, whether
deliberate or not, when the goals previously set are not met.

At times some comrades, although without a fraudulent purpose, contribute
inaccurate information received from their subordinates without previously
checking them and so they fall into unconscious lying. But these false data
could lead us to make wrong decisions with major or minor repercussions on the
nation. Whosoever acts in that manner is also lying, and whoever these persons
may be they must be definitively and not temporarily removed from the position
they hold and, after the analysis of the corresponding bodies, they must also be
removed from the ranks of the Party, should they be a member of it.

Lies and their harmful effects have accompanied mankind since we learned the art
of speech in ancient times, motivating society�s condemnation. We recall that
the eighth of the Ten Commandments of the Bible reads: �Thou shalt not bear
false witness or lie�. Likewise, the three basic moral ethical principles of
the Inca civilization stated as follows: do not lie, or steal, or be lazy.

We must struggle to eradicate, once and for all, lies and deceit from the
cadres� behavior at all levels. No wonder Comrade Fidel in his brilliant
definition of the concept of Revolution, pointed out, among other things: �…to
never say a lie or violate ethical principles�.

After the publication of the Draft Guidelines for the Economic and Social Policy
on November 9th last, the train of the Sixth Party Congress has taken on steam,
since now the true congress will be the open and honest discussions of said
guidelines by Party members and the entire people. This genuine democratic
exercise will allow us to further enrich that document and, without excluding
divergent opinions, achieve national consensus about the need and urgency of
introducing strategic changes in the way the economy functions, with the purpose
of making Socialism in Cuba sustainable and irreversible.

We should not be afraid of discrepancies of criteria and this instruction, which
is not new, should not be interpreted as being limited only to the discussions
of the Guidelines; the differences of opinion, preferably expressed in the right
place, time and form, at the right moment and in the correct form, shall always
be more desirable than the false unanimity based on pretense and opportunism.
Moreover it is a right nobody should be deprived of.

The more ideas we are capable of inspiring in the analysis of a problem, the
closer we shall come to its correct solution.

The Economic Policy Commission of the Party and the 11 groups which make it up,
have worked long months to draw up the abovementioned guidelines which, as we
have explained, shall constitute the leitmotif of the Congress, based on the
conviction that the economic situation is the most important task of the Party
and the Government and the basic subject of cadres at all levels.

During the last few years we have been insisting that we could not let ourselves
be carried away by improvising and hurrying in this area, bearing in mind the
magnitude, complexity and the inter-relations of the decisions to be adopted.
For that reason I think that we did the right thing when we decided to defer the
Party Congress even though we had to patiently resist the honest and also the
ill-intended protests both inside Cuba and abroad urging us to rush into the
adoption of a score of measures. Our adversaries abroad, as we might expect,
have challenged our every step, first by calling the measures cosmetic and
insufficient and now trying to confuse public opinion by prophesizing a sure
failure and concentrating their campaigns on the extolling of an alleged
disappointment and skepticism with which they say our people have welcomed this

Sometimes it seems that their most heartfelt wishes prevent them from seeing the
reality. By making their true desires evident, they blatantly demand that we
dismantle the economic and social system that we created, just as if this
Revolution was willing to submit to the most humiliating surrender or, what
tantamount to the same thing, rule its own destiny by submitting to denigrating

Throughout 500 years, from Hatuey to Fidel, our people have shed too much blood
to accept the dismantling of what we have built with so much sacrifice.

To those who may entertain those unfounded illusions, we must remind once and
again what I said before this Parliament on August 1, 2009, and I quote: �I was
not elected President to restore capitalism in Cuba nor to surrender the
Revolution. I was elected to defend, maintain and continue improving socialism,
not to destroy it�, end of quote.

Today, I add that the measures we are implementing and all the modifications
that need to be introduced to the updating of the economic model are aimed at
the preservation of socialism by strengthening it and making it truly
irrevocable, as was stated in the Constitution of the Republic at the behest of
the vast majority of our population in the year 2002.

We have to put on the table all the information and arguments behind every
decision and also suppress the excessive secrecy to which we became used to
during these 50 years that we have lived under the enemy siege. Any State must
reasonably keep some matters secret; that is something nobody can deny. But
matters defining the political and economical course of the nation shall be no
secret. It is vital to explain, provide arguments and convince the people of
the fairness, need and urgency of any measure, no matter how tough it appears to

The Party and the Communist Youth, as well as Cuba�s Workers� Central and its
unions, along with the rest of the mass and social organizations have the
capacity to mobilize the support and the confidence of the people through
debate, free from unviable dogmas and schemes that would put up a colossal
psychological barrier that we need to dismantle little by little, and we shall
do it together.

That is exactly the fundamental agenda that we have reserved for the National
Conference of the Party to be held in 2011, after the Congress, at a date we
shall set later. On that occasion we shall analyze, among other matters, the
modifications of the working methods and styles of the Party since, as a result
of the deficiencies found in the performance of the Government administrative
bodies, the Party has engaged in the exercise of functions outside its duties,
thus restricting and compromising its role as the organized avant-garde of the
Cuban nation and the top leading force of society and the State, as established
by Article Five of the Constitution of the Republic.

The Party should lead and supervise and not interfere with the activities of the
Government at no level: it is the Government that governs. Each body has its
own norms and procedures, depending on their missions in society.

It is necessary to change the mentality of the cadres and of all other
compatriots in facing up the new scenario which is beginning to be sketched out.
It is just about transforming the erroneous and unsustainable concepts about
socialism, that have been deeply rooted in broad sectors of the population over
the years, as a result of the excessively paternalistic, idealistic and
egalitarian approach instituted by the Revolution in the interest of social

Many of us Cubans confuse socialism with freebies and subsidies and equality
with egalitarianism. Quite a few of us consider the ration card to be a social
achievement that should never be gotten rid of.

In this regard, I am convinced that several of the problems we are facing today
have their origin in this distribution mechanism. While it is true that its
implementation was inspired by the wholesome idea of ensuring people a stable
supply of foodstuffs and other goods to counter the unscrupulous hoarding by
some for profit, it is an evident expression of egalitarianism that equally
benefits those who work and those who do not, or those who do not need it, thus
generating bartering and resale in a submerged black market, etc, etc.

The solution to this complex and sensitive matter is not that simple since it is
closely related to the strengthening of the role of salaries in society. That
will only be possible if, at the same time, freebies and subsidies are reduced
and the productivity of work and the supply of products to the population are

In this matter, as well as in the reduction of overstaffing, the Socialist State
shall not leave any citizen unprotected and via the social welfare system it
shall ensure that people who are unable to work will receive the minimum
required protection. In the future there will be subsidies, but not to
products, but to Cuban men and women who for one reason or another really need

As is known, as from September the cigarette rations were eliminated. This
product was received only by part of the population. Obviously, due to its
harmful effects to human health, it can not be considered a basic commodity.

Next year we can not afford to spend around 50 million dollars to import coffee,
which has so far been distributed in rations to all consumers, including newborn
children. Since this is an unavoidable necessity, we intend to mix it with
peas, as we used to do until 2005, since they are much cheaper than coffee,
whose price is almost three thousand dollars per ton, while the cost of peas is
390 dollars.

If we want to keep on drinking pure, un-rationed coffee the only solution is to
produce it in Cuba where it has been proven that all the required conditions for
its cultivation exist, and where we can produce enough quantities to satisfy the
demand and even to export it with the highest quality.

These decisions, and others that we shall have to apply, even though we know
they are not popular ones, are a must in order to be able to maintain and even
improve the free public health, education and social security services for all
of our citizens.

The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Comrade Fidel himself, in his historical
speech on November 17, 2005, stated, I quote: �Here is a conclusion I�ve come to
after many years: among all the errors we may have committed, the greatest of
them all was that we believed that someone really knew something about
socialism, or that someone actually knew how to build socialism�, end of quote.
Hardly one month ago, exactly five years later, in his message on the occasion
of the International Students Day, Fidel confirmed these concepts which are
still fully valid.

I for one remember the idea of a Soviet award-winning scientist who about half a
century ago was thinking that even though the possibility of a manned flight
into space had been theoretically documented, it was still a journey into the

While we have counted on the theoretical Marxist-Leninist legacy, according to
which there is scientific evidence of the feasibility of socialism and the
practical experience of the attempts to build it in other countries, the
construction of a new society from an economic point of view is, in my modest
opinion, also a journey into the unknown. Therefore each step must be
profoundly meditated upon and planned before the next step is taken; mistakes
are to be timely and quickly amended so that the solution is not left up to
time, which will make them grow and will and finally send us an even more costly

We are fully aware of the mistakes we have committed and the Guidelines
precisely mark the beginning of the road to rectification and the necessary
updating of our socialist economic model.

Nobody should claim he or she has been deceived: the Guidelines signal the road
towards a socialist future, adapted to Cuba�s conditions and not to the
capitalist and neo-colonial past which was defeated by the Revolution. Planning
and not free market shall be the distinctive feature of the economy. As was
outlined in the third general guideline, the concentration of ownership shall
not be allowed. This is as clear as glass, but there is no one as blind as the
one who doesn�t want to see.

The building of socialism should be according to the special features of every
country. It is a history lesson that we have learned very well. We do not
intend to copy from anyone; that brought about enough problems to us because, in
addition to that, we also copied badly; but we shall not ignore the experiences
of others and we shall learn from them, even from the positive experience of

Speaking about the necessary change of mind, I shall mention one example: we
have arrived at the conclusion that large numbers of self-employed persons are
one more employment opportunity for working-age citizens with the aim of
increasing the supply of goods and services to the population which could rid
the State of those so that it could focus on what is truly decisive, what the
Party and the Government should do is facilitate their work rather than
generating stigmas and prejudices against them. Therefore it is fundamental
that we modify the existing negative approach that quite a few of us have
towards this form of private employment. When defining the features that ought
to characterize the building of a new society, the classics of Marxist-Leninism
stated, among other things, that the State, on behalf of all the people, should
keep the ownership over all the basic production means.

We turned this precept into an absolute principle and almost all the country�s
economic activity started to be run by the State. The steps we have been taking
and shall take in broadening and relaxing self-employment are the result of
profound meditations and analysis and we can assure you this time there will be
no going back.

Cuba�s Workers� Central and its respective national unions are currently
studying forms and methods to organize the provision of assistance to this labor
force, promote full compliance with the Law and the payment of taxes and
encourage these workers to eschew illegalities. We should defend their
interests just as we do with any other citizen, as long as they observe the
approved juridical norms.

The introduction of the basic concepts of the taxation system at different
levels of education becomes very important, since younger generations will
become permanently and concretely acquainted with the application of taxes as
the most universal form of redistribution of the national income, in the
interest of covering social costs.

>From the point of view of the society as a whole, we have to encourage among all
taxpayers the civic values of respect of and compliance with tax payments; we
should educate people in that discipline and culture, reward those who comply
and sanction tax evaders.

Another area where there is still much to do, in spite of the advances made, is
the attention to the different production modalities in agriculture to remove
the existing obstacles to the promotion of productive forces in our rural areas
so that, depending on the savings from saving on the import of foodstuffs,
farmers can receive just and reasonable revenues for their hard work. However
this does not justify the fixing of extremely high prices to the commodities
consumed by the population.

After two years since we started to distribute idle lands in usufruct, I think
we are in conditions to evaluate the allocation of additional areas, above the
limits regulated by Decree-Law 259 of July 2008, to those agricultural workers
who have achieved outstanding results in the intensive use of the lands they are
responsible for.

I think it timely to clarify that the ownership of the lands distributed in
usufruct belong to all the people. Thus, if these are required for uses
different from these in the future, the State would compensate beneficial owners
for their investments and would pay to them the value of the benefits created.

In due time, once we conclude the studies based on the experience we have been
accumulating, we shall submit to the Council of State the corresponding
proposals to modify the abovementioned Decree-Law.

One of the most difficult barriers to overcome in the effort to create a
different view -and we should publicly recognize that-, is the lack of knowledge
about the economy among the people, including quite a few cadres who, giving
clear proof of a supine ignorance on the subject, adopt or propose decisions
while facing customary problems without stopping for a minute to evaluate their
effects and costs, or without knowing whether there is a budget or resources
assigned to that end according to a plan.

I have not made any discovery when I state that improvisation in general,
particularly when it comes to the economy, leads to a sure failure regardless of
the lofty ends one intends to attain.

On December 2 last, on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the landing of
the Granma, the official newspaper of our Party published an excerpt of the
speech delivered by Fidel in 1976 on that same date when we were celebrating the
twentieth anniversary of that event. Given its validity and relevance I find it
appropriate to quote it: �The strength of a people and a revolution lies
precisely in its capacity to understand and cope with difficulties. Despite
everything, we will move forward on numerous fronts and we will struggle bravely
to increase the economy�s efficiency, save resources, reduce non-essential
costs, increase exports and create economic awareness in every citizen. I said
earlier that we are all politicians; now I add that we should all be economists,
that the mindset of saving and efficiency is different from a consumer mindset�,
end of quote.

Ten years later, on December 1 of 1986, during the postponed session of the
Third Party Congress, Fidel stated, and I quote: �Many do not understand that
the Socialist State, just as any other State or system, can not deliver what it
does not have. Much less is it going to have that which it does not produce if
it gives away money without having a productive backing. I am sure that
overstaffing, excess money paid out to people, idle stocks, and wasting of
resources are all linked to the great number of unprofitable companies that we
have in our country…� end of the quote.

After 34 and 24 years respectively, from these instructions given by the Leader
of the Revolution, these and many other problems are still with us.

With his genius, Fidel was breaking through, showing the way, and the rest of us
didn�t know how to ensure and consolidate the march forward to pursue those

We were lacking cohesion, organization and coordination between the Party and
the Government. In the midst of the threats and the daily emergencies we
neglected mid and long-term planning; we did not act strong enough against the
economic violations and the errors committed by some leaders and we also stalled
in correcting decisions that didn�t have the effect we expected.

On more than one occasion I have referred to the fact that in this Revolution
almost everything has been said and that we should check which of the
instructions given by the Leader of the Revolution have been fulfilled and which
have not, ever since he made his vibrant statement �History Will Absolve Me�
until the present. We will retake Fidel�s ideas, which continue to be valid,
and will not allow the same to happen to us again.

Errors, if they are just analyzed with honesty, can become experiences and
lessons that could teach us how to eradicate them and avoid its replication.
That is precisely the great usefulness of a thorough analysis of errors. That
should become a permanent rule of conduct for all leaders.

The reality of figures prevails over all our hopes and dreams. Since our early
years in first grade, when we studied elementary arithmetic, we learn that two
plus two makes four, not five or six. You don�t have to be an economist to
understand that. Therefore, if at any given time we have to do something in the
economic and social field whose cost can not be covered by the resources
available, we should do that bearing in mind the consequences and knowing, ahead
of time, that, ultimately, bare facts shall irremissibly prevail.

Cuba has tens and tens of thousands of professionals graduated by the Revolution
in the specialties of economy, accounting and finances, just to mention some,
which we haven�t known how to make a proper use of their knowledge in the
interest of the nation�s orderly development.

We have something that is very precious, which is human capital. We must
further unite it, with the help of the National Association of Economists and
Accountants (ANEC) to take up the task of constantly and systematically
instructing our educated public and their leaders at all levels in this subject.
A large number from the ANEC National Board took part in the first seminars that
we organized to analyze these guidelines and many of their members are immersed
in the process of discussions under way.

In this regard, we should emphasize the decisive contribution made by thousands
and thousands of accountants to recover the place they deserve in economic
management which, as we well know, is an indispensable condition to ensure
success and order in everything that we intend to accomplish.

In these circumstances, nobody should lose sight of the relevance of keeping a
differentiated approach to the youth. I should emphasize the decision to exempt
new graduates fulfilling their Social Service from any overstaffing reduction

Now then, we are not trying to assign them to jobs that have nothing to do with
their professional profiles, as it has occurred in the past, when they were even
employed as doormen at some work places, because that period is precisely
designed to train them in production and the provision of services, so that they
could complement the theory they learned in school with practice and cultivate
in them the love for work.

No less important is the work to be carried out by cadres and specialists
involved in the drafting and review of legal documents, along with the
modifications that are being implemented. For example, the issuance of almost
30 provisions -including decree-laws, Government agreements and resolutions from
various ministries and national institutes- have been required to create the
legal framework for two guidelines (158 and 159), referring to self-employment,
its taxation regime and the reduction of overstaffing.

Just a few days ago, a resolution issued by the Ministry of Finances that
modified the prices set by redistribution centers for a series of agricultural
products had to terminate another 36 resolutions of that same body, issued on
different dates in previous years, but all valid.

These facts give you some idea of the work facing us in the area of juridical
organization for the purpose of reinforcing the institutionality of the country
and eliminating so many irrational prohibitions that have been on the books for
years, without bearing in mind existing circumstances, creating a true breeding
ground for multiple barely legal actions that frequently give rise to corruption
in different degrees. One can arrive at a life-tested conclusion: irrational
prohibitions lead to violations and that in turn leads to corruption and
impunity; that is why I believe that the population is right in its concern over
the mind-boggling procedures associated with housing and automobile sales
between individuals, just to mention two examples that are currently under study
for an orderly solution.

At the right time, we must simplify and group together legislation in effect
which is generally rather spread out. The guiding documents are drawn up to be
mastered by those responsible for their fulfillment, not just to be filed away.
As a result, we have to educate all cadres and demand that they work with legal
provisions that govern their functions and monitor that this complies as a
requisite for suitability in occupying a determinate position.

It is worthwhile remembering, once again, that ignorance of the law is no excuse
for not following it and that, according to the Constitution, every citizen has
equal rights and responsibilities, therefore whoever commits a crime in Cuba,
regardless of the position he or she holds, whoever they may be, shall have to
face up to the consequences of their mistakes and to the weight of justice.

Moving on to another matter, also part of the Guidelines, in next year�s plan,
we have excluded 68 important investments for the country because they have not
followed the established requirements, among them funding definition, technical
and project preparation, the definition of building forces capable of
undertaking them in the set terms and evaluation of feasibility studies. We
shall not allow the wastage of resources destined for investments resulting from
spontaneity, improvisation and superficiality which, in more cases than not, has
characterized the investment process.

In dealing with these subjects I must refer to the decisive role corresponding
of Party cadres, the Government, mass and youth organizations in the coordinated
and harmonious management of the process of updating the Cuban economic model.

In the course of the gradual decentralization that we are putting forth, we have
adopted different measures in favor of increasing the authority of
administrative and business executives on whom we shall continue to delegate
powers. Simultaneously we are improving control procedures and raising to
higher levels the demands to confront manifestations of negligence, apathy and
other behaviors incompatible with public positions.

Likewise, we are fully aware of the harm caused by the �upside-down pyramid� to
the cadres policy during the years; I mean, when salaries are not paid in
relation to the importance and hierarchy of leadership positions, nor is there
adequate differentiation between some and others, all of which works against
motivation for promoting the most capable workers towards senior level
responsibilities in the companies and in the ministries themselves. This is a
basic matter that must be resolved according to what is indicated in guidelines
number 156 and 161, referring to salary policy.

The sixth Party Congress should be, as a fact of life, the last to be attended
by most of us who belong to the Revolution�s historical generation. The time we
have left is short, and without an ounce of immodesty or conceit, I think we
have the obligation of taking advantage of the power of the moral authority we
enjoy among the people to trace out the route to be followed.

We don�t think we are more intelligent or able than anyone else or any of the
like, but we strongly believe that we have the elemental duty to correct the
mistakes that we have made all along these five decades during which we have
building socialism in Cuba. To this Endeavour we will devote all the energy we
have left, which fortunately is not just a little.

We will increase our perseverance and our intransigence against wrong. The
ministers and other administrative and political leaders know they will count on
our full support when, while performing their duties, they educate and the same
time are demanding with their subordinates and are not afraid of running into

Running into trouble for confronting the wrong is right now one of our main

Likewise it is very clear to all of us that we are no longer living through the
early years after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, when some of those who
were appointed to government posts resigned to demonstrate their opposition to
the first radical measures adopted by the Revolution. That behavior was then
branded as counterrevolutionary. Today, the true revolutionary and honest
behavior is for any cadre to resign with dignity and without any fear whenever
they feel tired or incapable of fully performing their duties. This will always
be preferable to a demotion.

In this regard, I should refer to three comrades who occupied important
positions in the leadership of the Party and the Government. As a result of
their mistakes, the Political Bureau asked them to resign to their condition as
members of that leading body, the Central Committee and as deputies to the
National People�s Power Assembly. I am referring to Jorge Luis Sierra Cruz,
Yadira Garc�a Vera and Pedro S�ez Montejo. The first two were also released
from their positions as minister of Transportation and of the Basic Industry
respectively. Sierra took upon himself attributions he was not entitled to,
which led him to make serious mistakes in management. Yadira Garc�a�s
performance as minister was dreadful, which became particularly evident in the
poor control of the resources allocated to investments, which led to a waste of
those resources, as it became obvious during the expansion of the nickel factory
Pedro Soto Alba of Moa, in the province of Holgu�n. Both comrades
were severely criticized at the joint meetings of the Political Bureau and the
Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.

On his part, Pedro S�ez Montejo, evidencing superficiality incompatible with his
position as First Secretary of the Communist Party in the City of Havana,
infringed upon the party work standards, something that was discussed with him
by a Political Bureau commission which was presided over by myself and made up
by comrades Machado Ventura and Esteban Lazo.

It is fair to say though that these three comrades the mistakes which of them
had made and adopted a correct attitude. That is the reason why the Political
Bureau Commission decided to respect their condition as members of the Communist
Party. Likewise, we deemed it convenient to assign them to tasks related to
their respective specialties.

Personally, the three of them will continue to be my friends but my only single
commitment is with the people, particularly with those who have lost their lives
in these 58 years of continued struggle since the coup d�etat in 1952. This has
been the procedure followed with three high level leaders, so let it be known
that this would be the same procedure to be followed by the Party and the
Government with every cadre. We will demand more from them, but at the same
time we will war them and adopt any relevant disciplinary measure if any of the
established rules are infringed upon.

As was established by the Law to Modify the Country�s Political and
Administrative Division, on January next year the new provinces of Artemisa and
Mayabeque will be created. Their respective governments will start to world
according to the new organizational and structures conceptions, which are far
more rational than the ones that exist in the present Havana province.

All functions, structures and payrolls have been already defined. We are still
working of the definitions of their attributions as well as their relations with
the Central State Administrative Apparatus, national companies and political and
mass organizations. We will follow very closely this experience so that it
could be gradually implemented on all other local government bodies throughout
the country in the course of the next five years. We very much favor the
usefulness of continuing to gradually increase the authority of provincial and
municipal governments by entrusting them with greater faculties for the
execution of local budgets, which will absorb much of the taxes generated by the
economic activity aiming at contributing to its further development.

The relations with the peoples and governments of almost every nation move on
amidst the convulsive international situation.

The world has known in amazement the scandalous revelations of hundreds of
thousands of classified documents of the US government. Some of the most recent
are about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; others deal with the most varied
topics about the US relations with tens of States.

Although everybody is wondering what is really going on and how could this be
linked to the twists and turns of the US politics, what has been revealed so far
show that that country, although pretending to practice a kind rhetoric,
essentially, it continues to implement the usual politics and acts as a global

There isn�t the slightest willingness on the part of the United States to change
its policy against Cuba, not even to eliminate its most irrational aspects. It
is evident that a powerful and reactionary minority that props up the anti Cuban
mafia continues to have a major influence on these issues.

The United States not only turns a blind eye to the overwhelming call issued by
187 countries asking for an end to the economic, commercial and financial
blockade against our country. In the year 2010, it reinforced its
implementation and once again included Cuba in its spurious lists, whereby they
take upon themselves the right to qualify and denigrate other sovereign States
to justify punitive actions or even acts of aggression.

The US policy against Cuba does not have an ounce of credibility. The US has no
other choice but to resort to lies to reiterate certain allegations. Some of
them stand out for being scandalously false, as the one asserting that Cuba is a
country that sponsors international terrorism, tolerates domestic traffic in
children and women for sexual exploitation, violates flagrantly human rights and
is responsible for significantly restricting religious freedom.

The US government tries to hide its own sins and attempts to evade its
responsibilities when it allows that notorious international terrorists who have
been wanted by the legal systems of several countries continue to live with
impunity in that country while maintaining our Five brothers unjustly imprisoned
for fighting against terrorism.

In its slanderous campaigns about the human rights situation in Cuba, the United
States has found the connivance of European countries known because of their
complicity with the CIA secret renditions, the creation of torture and detention
centers, for placing the burden of the economic crisis on the lowest income
workers, violently repressing demonstrators and implementing discriminatory
policies against migrants and minorities.

We will continue to struggle, together with all Latin American nations, for an
emancipating integration. In the context of the Bolivarian Alliance for the
Peoples of Our America, we will continue to work to consolidate the solidarity
and unity that will make us ever stronger.

Therefore, we will continue to support he sister nation of Haiti where our
health staff together with Latin American and Haitian doctors who graduated in
Cuba, in a selfless and humanitarian way, are coping with the cholera epidemic,
the destruction caused by the earthquake and the sequels of hundreds of years of
exploitation and plundering of that noble people that needs the international
community to grant resources for reconstruction and especially for a sustainable

This is also the right occasion to convey, from this parliamentary meeting and
on behalf of all Cubans, a message of support and solidarity to the brother
people of Venezuela, who are suffering from the ravages of torrential rains
which have great human and material losses. At a very early stage, the tens of
thousands of Cuban cooperation workers who are offering their services in that
country were instructed to place themselves at the disposal of the Venezuelans
and of President Hugo Chavez for whatever might be necessary.

April next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the
Socialist character of our Revolution. In the sands of Playa Gir�n our forced
fought for the first time to defend socialism and within hardly 72 hours and led
by Commander in Chief in person, they managed to defeat the mercenary invasion
sponsored by the US government.

On the occasion of such a relevant commemoration, there will be a military
parade on April 16 with the participation of troops and combat equipment, to be
attended by the delegates to the 6th Congress of the Communist Party who will
gather on that very afternoon to begin their works, which we hope will conclude
on April 19, the day when we celebrate the Victory of Playa Giron. The parade
will be closed by tens of thousands of youths representing the new generations,
which are the guarantee of the continuity of the Revolution.

This celebration will be dedicated to our youth, which has never failed to be
faithful to the Revolution. Youth were those who died during the attack on the
Moncada and Bayamo garrisons; youth were those who rose up in Santiago de Cuba
led by Frank Pais; youth were the Granma expeditionaries who after the fiasco at
Alegr�a de P�o, founded the Rebel Army, and were joined by waves of other youths
from the countryside and the city, particularly by the reinforcement that came
from Santiago that was personally organized and sent by Frank himself; youth
were those who were members of the powerful clandestine movement; youth were
those who courageously attacked the Presidential Palace and the Radio Reloj
radio station on March 13, 1957, headed by Jose Antonio Echeverr�a; youth were
those who fought heroically in Gir�n; youth and teenagers were those who joined
the literacy campaign also 50 years ago; youth were most of those who fought
against the mercenary bands organized by the C
IA; youth were those who wrote beautiful pages of courage and stoicism in the
internationalist missions in several countries, particularly those in support of
the liberation movements in Africa; youth are our Five Heroes who risked their
lives I the struggle against terrorism and have suffered more than 12 years of
cruel imprisonment; youth are many of the thousands and thousands of cooperation
workers who defend the human life by curing diseases that have already been
eradicated in Cuba, supporting the literacy programs and disseminating culture
and the practice of sports throughout the world.

This Revolution has been the results of the sacrifices made by the Cuban youth:
the workers, farmers, students, intellectuals, military, all the youths from all
the times when they have lived and struggled.

This Revolution will be carried forward by the youth, full of optimism and with
an unshakable faith in victory.

Equally big have been both the challenges and dangers since the triumph of the
Revolution, especially after Gir�n. But no difficulty has ever bent our spirit.
We are and will be here due to the dignity, the integrity, the courage, the
ideological strength the revolutionary spirit and the sacrifice of the Cuban
people which since long ago embraced the concept that socialism is the only
guarantee to continue to be free and independent.

Thank you, very much.