A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist.
To the graduates of Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic Sciences and Preclinical Studies
Allow me to recall that five decades ago, during a public event in the presence of the first students of this prestigious institution, some from other universities and students at nursing colleges, this educational institute was inaugurated in response to the criminal action on the part of the neighboring empire, to take away, as it did with promises of visas and employment, the majority of the country’s 6,000 doctors.
The Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic Sciences and Preclinical Studies marked the beginning of our massive training of doctors. The course had barely begun when the hazardous days of the October [Missile] Crisis arrived and, after a brief intensive training, the school was converted into a strong anti-aircraft unit.
That spirit gave birth to and developed the tradition of this medical institution which, after the most critical days had been overcome, was capable of forging tens of thousands of professionals and taking our country to the highest levels of preventive care and health.
Many of its graduates have undertaken honorable missions in remote parts of the work and in very difficult conditions.
In the majority of countries, Cuba provided these services at no cost whatsoever. Such conduct has given our homeland well-deserved prestige.
I congratulate everyone on this 50th anniversary and, in particular, the founding members of the Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic Sciences and Preclinical Studies, who merit special congratulations. They have honored those who, more than 50 years ago and at the cost of countless lives, demonstrated, to the powerful yanki empire, the response which anyone who might attempt to enslave our people would receive.
In less than 72 hours, they defeated the mercenary invasion, trained, equipped and escorted to our coast by its navy; just six or eight of the more than 1,000 men were able to escape.
I hope you will continue harvesting successes in the noble and humane task to which you have dedicated your lives.