May Day: Fidel's speech in full
Campaign News | Saturday, 13 May 2006
Nothing can stop us, says Cuban President
Address by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Republic of Cuba, for the International Workers' Day ceremony held in Revolution Square May Day, 2006, “Year of the Energy Revolution in Cuba”.
Dear fellow Cubans,
I will begin exactly where I left my latest address but a few hours ago, on April 29, at 10:35 in the evening, on the question of Bush and terrorism.
The United States has, for the first time, admitted that Posada Carriles entered Miami illegally on board the Santrina.
This past April 22, after 13 months of silence in response to our insistent questions, Miami's El Nuevo Herald revealed FBI documents submitted by the District Attorney's Office to the Federal Court trying terrorists Santiago Álvarez and Osvaldo Mitat in which US authorities recognize, for the first time, that murderer Luis Posada Carriles entered the United States illegally at the end of March of 2005, on board the Santrina vessel owned by Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriñá.
We had denounced this many times and urged the president of the United States to come forth with what he knew.
It happened exactly as it had been reported by Quintana Roo's Por Esto! newspaper and by Cuba in March and April of 2005.
Although Posada's entry in the United States had stirred up controversy and become almost public knowledge, the Department of Homeland Security, responsible for protecting the United States from terrorism, did not arrest Posada until May 17 of last year, after the terrorist offered a press conference to a number of US media. All the while, Washington denied knowledge of his whereabouts.
Gilberto Abascal, the prosecution's key witness in the case of Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriñá and Osvaldo Mitat, informed authorities of his participation in an illegal operation to bring Posada clandestinely from Isla Mujeres, Mexico, to Miami, aboard the Santrina shrimp boat.
A document signed by US District Attorney Alexander Acosta and Assistant Attorney Randy Hummel reveals that Abascal, an FBI informant, reported the fact. The disclosure about Posada appears in a letter dated February 27, 2006, sent out by the District Attorney's Office in response to a petition by lawyer Arturo Hernández, who represents Fernández Magriñá.
"He -Abascal- “also traveled with Santiago Álvarez Fernández-Magriñá in his boat"-[Santrina-" to Mexico during the successful adventure in human trafficking that resulted in Luis Posada’s illegal entry in the United States", the text of the letter reads.
El Nuevo Herald admitted that "it is the first time a government document has corroborated that an FBI informant was in contact with Posada during his transfer to U.S. territory". The Cuban government has alleged this version of the account since April, supported by a report in the Mexican periodical Por Esto! -which was subsequently confirmed, with absolute precision, by Cuban authorities- something Posada consistently denied, claiming that he reached the US by crossing the Texan border in a car and later taking a bus to Miami, and something the US government knew, from day one, through agents who traveled in the same boat.
Abascal, Álvarez and Mitat were the crew of the Santrina, as were skipper José Pujol and Rubén López Castro. The vessel sailed to Isla Mujeres and ran aground in a reef area on March 14, 2005, and, following authorization from Mexican authorities, it set sail for Miami, where it arrived four days later.
In his comments for the CUBADEBATE web-site, renowned lawyer José Pertierra, the Venezuelan government’s legal representative in the extradition case of the Cuban-born terrorist who is a naturalized citizen of Venezuela, evaluated the FBI documents in this way:
"By affirming that Posada Carriles entered the United States on the Santrina with Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriñá, the prosecution itself is questioning the credibility of Posada, Álvarez, his accomplices and even the White House.
Upon entering the United States illegally, Posada and his accomplices lied to protect the Santrina crew. "To help a terrorist enter the United States illegally is a very serious felony that is punishable by several years in prison. To lie to cover up a felony is also a federal crime", added the legal expert.
"'Now we learn that one of the people who helped Posada to enter the country illegally worked for the FBI. It is evident that the White House has always known how Posada entered the country, with whom he entered, and where he was living’, assured Pertierra, who added: 'This besmirches them all’.
"’If the FBI knew -argues Pertierra-, the Security Department knew. Why didn’t they arrest him in March? Why didn’t they press charges against Álvarez and Mitat for having helped a terrorist to illegally enter the country?'
"A month before these statements appeared in the Herald, on March 22, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement wrote Posada Carriles a letter to explain the reasons why he, tried as a mere ‘illegal immigrant’, continued in prison. In the letter, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement tells Posada that he: ‘...will not be released from the custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at this time, because, as described below, you continue to present a danger to the community and a flight risk’.
Further on, the letter states that Posada has a ‘history of engaging in criminal activity, associating with individuals involved in criminal activity and participating in violent acts that indicate a disregard for the safety of the general public and a propensity for engaging in activities proscribed within the provisions of INA ? 212(a) that pose a risk to the national security of the United States’.
"Further, you have shown a cavalier attitude towards the impact your actions have had on the safety and well-being of persons and property. Open source information and your own statements link you to the planning and coordination of a series of hotel and restaurant bombings that occurred in Cuba over a several month period in 1997. Moreover, on April 20, 2004, you were convicted in Panama for Crimes Against National Security and Counterfeiting Public Records, for which you were sentenced to 7 years and 1 year imprisonment respectively. Although you were later pardoned for these crimes by the President of Panama, a foreign pardon, in itself, does not have any effect in relation to US immigration laws. Additionally, a review of your arrest and criminal history shows that following a trial and acquittal on criminal charges in Venezuela, your acquittal was overturned on appeal, and, while pending a retrial on the charges, you made several escape attempts and eventually succeeded in escaping from prison. Due to your long history of criminal activity and violence in which innocent civilians were killed, your release from detention would pose a danger to both the community and the national security of the United States".
At the end of the letter, the ICE reminds the terrorist that his "expertise in assuming false identities, your disregard of the immigration laws of the United States, your history of escape and the presence of your pending international extradition request demonstrate that you pose a significant risk of fleeing, if released from custody".
In spite of the facts mentioned by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in its letter, Posada Carriles continues to enjoy many privileges and is not in the least bit treated as a criminal. While thousands of illegal immigrants are persecuted, imprisoned and sent back to their countries, in the midst of the largest political mobilization by Latinos seen in decades, terrorist Luis Posada Carriles has the privilege of a nearly 6-hour-long hearing to review his request for US citizenship.
An article published last Wednesday in the Mexican periodical Por Esto! the same newspaper which reported the Santrina’s accident in Isla Mujeres, unflinchingly accuses Mexican authorities of knowing about and supporting the operation to take Posada Carriles from Mexico to the United States.
In an article titled "Cover-up for terrorist”, journalist Renán Castro affirmed: “What Por Esto! had denounced on March 2005 through a journalistic indictment is now being recognized by US authorities in court, the indictment that has undermined the credibility of the White House" -if it had any left, I say.
“After going through Honduras, Guatemala and Belize", the article continues, “Posada Carriles entered Mexico, arriving at Cancun and Isla Mujeres via Quintana Roo, with aid from the Mexican Federal Government.
“Federal government officials offered members of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) protection to guarantee the safety of the international terrorist during the week when he remained in hiding in Isla Mujeres, awaiting the arrival of the vessel that took him to Miami, Florida.
"Starting March 14, 2005, the periodical Por Esto! warned of the maneuvers that CANF members had executed when the Cuba-American vessel, the Santrina, ran aground at a coral reef area known as El Farito, reporting it had arrived at Quintana Roo's littoral with its owner, Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriñá, at the helm.
“The crew of the Santrina, registered to a non-existent Ecological Marine Protection Foundation named Caribe Viva and Research Inc., headed by terrorist Ernesto Abreu, who was a key actor in the operation to protect and transport Posada Carriles from Honduras to Miami, Florida, through Mexican territory, attempted to conceal the covert action to facilitate the entry of the international criminal into Miami.
"At the time, the Por Esto! periodical published photographs and eyewitness accounts to denounce the presence, in Mexico, of terrorists José Pujol, Ernesto Abreu and Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriñá, who were rescued by Mexican naval authorities and taken to Isla Mujeres for a routine inspection of their vessel.
“’Three arrived and four set sail’ were the titles of these articles published in April 2005, when the Cuban government issued an international alert reporting the presence of Posada Carriles in Mexican territory and Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz demanded an explanation from the federal government about the covert operation that had been executed there to help the international terrorist escape and subsequently enter the United States.
“Then, an investigative report had revealed that, upon its departure, Mexican federal authorities had protected the vessel that took Posada Carriles to Miami, Florida. Posada had boarded the ship at the Integral Port Administration (API) dock on March 15, 2005, with the three Cuban-Americans who had departed from that US port, sailing from Miami to Bahamas and from there to Isla Mujeres.
"None of this would have been known", the Mexican newspaper goes on to assert, “had 'the Santrina' not ran aground in the early morning of March 14, at the coral reef area of “El Farito”, as the protection of Mexican federal authorities, tasked with guaranteeing a clean operation, was guaranteed and in line with the commitments assumed by the current Mexican president, Vicente Fox Quesada, who became a close friend of several distinguished members of the Cuban American National Foundation when involved in the electoral campaigns that placed him in power in July 2000". This is how the article ends.
Por Esto! played an exceptional role in denouncing how the monstrous terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, the Bush family's friend and protégé, entered the United States, whose Department of State hypocritically and shamelessly accuses President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez of supporting terrorism and calls Cuba a terrorist country.
But, would this be the end of the US President's endless chain of brazen lies about terrorism? Impossible!
On April 19, when we celebrated the 45th anniversary of our victory at the Bay of Pigs, we received the news that, in Los Ángeles, California, a man named Robert Ferro, whose home was found to contain the scandalous sum of 1,571 firearms and a number of hand grenades, all hidden in secret compartments and rooms, had been detained.
No sooner had he been detained than Ferro declared himself a member of the anti-Cuban terrorist organization Alpha ‘66 and stated that the latter had 100 members in California and Miami who were ready and trained to carry out actions against the Cuban government.
On April 28 -that is to say, 72 hours ago- the Los Ángeles Times, one of the most important newspapers in the United States, published a long article which, among other things, reports:
“The Upland man accused of selling guns illegally from his home said in a jailhouse interview Thursday that some of the weapons were covertly supplied to him by the U.S. government, intended for an attempt to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
”Police say felon Robert Ferro had 1,571 firearms and some hand grenades stashed inside secret compartments and hidden rooms he built inside the sprawling foothill estate. He was arrested last week after a search of his home in connection with another case uncovered the weapons.
"But in an interview Thursday” -it's Monday today, no? Okay, in the article published, as I said, 72 hours ago-, "Ferro, 61, contended that some of the high-powered weapons", pay attention to this “- including assault rifles, silencer-equipped handguns and Uzis - were supplied to him by the U.S. government. He said the weapons were supposed to be used in an attempt to oust Castro that would have coincided with U.S. Navy operations being conducted in the Caribbean Sea.
"‘Obviously, now it will not take place’, Ferro said. ‘Those guns I had were very sophisticated weapons. It was for a fight. I was just trying to mimic what President Bush has done in Iraq, bring freedom to the country.’
" ‘I was born [in Cuba]. I want to free them. I love freedom. I love [the U.S.], and I want the same thing for my country.’
"U.S. military officials acknowledged that 6,500 sailors on several ships and the Virginia-based carrier George Washington are participating in an exercise with at least eight other navies in international waters in the Caribbean. Although the exercise will come as close as 12 miles to Cuba's territorial waters, military officials said it would primarily be hundreds of miles away from the island nation.” That excuse of a military exercise they're doing over there, hoping to intimidate Cuba, Venezuela and the rest of Latin America; yes, those innocent ships that are sailing through the Caribbean, one of the most modern aircraft carriers with hundreds of sophisticated planes, war ships of every kind; a nuclear submarine that can launch God knows how many missiles, equipped with technology to intercept radio messages, etc, etc.
They hadn’t tried this type of nonsense for some time.
The US newspaper goes on to report:
”Ferro was arrested last week by officers with L.A. IMPACT, a Southern California multi-agency task force, as they investigated his connection to Frank Beltran, 36, a fugitive arrested in late March while living in a Rancho Cucamonga rental home owned by Ferro". They didn’t know where they had hidden, nor had they had the time to discover that Ferro had 1, 571 weapons of war.
”Beltran was wanted on suspicion of shooting a Glendora police officer in the hand after the officer responded to a domestic dispute between Beltran and his wife. A few weeks later, Beltran shot his wife eight times at a San Dimas intersection after pursuing her in his vehicle, a Los Ángeles County sheriff's official said. The woman remains hospitalized-as you would expect-, and the gun has not been found, authorities said.” They were after the weapon and they found the arsenal, they get lucky sometimes. Hugo Chávez would say it was the hand of God who guided them (Laughter).
”Ferro, who says he's a member of a Miami-based group, Alpha ‘66, that advocates the overthrow of Castro's regime" -they have insisted on this nonsense for ages, ignoring the people, ignoring the masses, ignoring the laws of society and history, the laws of a revolution-, "said Thursday that about 50 other U.S. citizens were scheduled to accompany him to Cuba, with further assistance coming from people inside Cuba.
"FBI spokeswoman Laura Einmiller said her office was investigating the possibility that other anti-Castro sympathizers connected to Ferro had stashed weapons in their homes.
" ‘Mr. Ferro's motives, and all aspects of what Mr. Ferro's statements have been - whether or not he was planning violent acts - are under investigation,’ she said. ‘No one else has been arrested in this matter.’ "
“In the 1990’s, Ferro was sentenced to two years in prison for possessing 5 pounds of the putty-like explosive (C-4).”
"Prosecutors in the 1990s case said Ferro was an Alpha ‘66 member training Mexicans at a Pomona chicken ranch he owned for a Castro overthrow attempt.
"Ferro (?) entered the military and ultimately joined the Army's Special Forces, performing covert operations that included a search for missing servicemen in Vietnam, he said.
"‘I'm advocating the same thing President Bush is doing in Iraq for my country, that's all. I don't know why I'm in trouble for that.’ "
These were quotations from the article published by the Los Ángeles Times.
Though military spokespeople have tried to keep Ferro's plan and the military exercise in the Caribbean separate matters, the US government has maintained absolute silence -once again, for the umpteenth time- with respect to whether it supplied weapons to this terrorist, who, in 1992, was sentenced to two years imprisonment for illegal possession of explosives, after being accused of heading an Alpha ‘66 paramilitary camp in Pomona ranch, where Mexicans were being trained to carry out anti-Cuba operations. On that occasion, 5 pounds of C-4 explosives were confiscated from him.
In the course of his life as an anti-Cuban terrorist, Robert Ferro has worked for the CIA -just look, he had as many infantry weapons as those brought by the fifteen hundred something mercenaries who landed at the Bay of Pigs, under the protection of a US squadron, which also included an aircraft carrier and a good number of maries, who contemplated the last battles that took place there, three miles off the coast of the Bay of Pigs. There they were, back then the limit was set at three miles, it was later extended to 12-, has been an official of the US Special Forces and a member of Alpha ‘66.
Though Alpha's main leader has denied any ties between his terrorist organization and Ferro, judge Oswald Parada, in charge of the case, turned down his petition for bail, considering he has "access to more weapons and explosives through Alpha ‘66". Defense attorney Wayne M. Rozenberg stated he was not surprised by the organization's denials, as it is a paramilitary group which operates clandestinely.
Alpha ‘66 has a long history of paramilitary actions and of planning terrorist actions against Cuba. Created in 1961-45 years ago-, Alpha ’66 participated in a number of the so-called "autonomous operations"?That is what the CIA called them; this is why it created Orlando Bosch’s group, which was trained by Posada Carriles. They were autonomous, and the war communiqués were published in Miami. They perpetrated some of their most horrible crimes during this period. They organized Operation Condor; they sent the second CIA director to Santo Domingo, when Bush Sr. was the head of this agency. One of the most horrible crimes they committed was the mid-air bombing of a Cubana airliner in Barbados. The second CIA director went Santo Domingo, where he met with a group of criminals from Cuba, the United States and other countries, to begin that odious criminal crusade which came to be known as Operation Condor, denounced here not long ago, precisely after Posada Carriles' entry into the country and the US government's attempts to protect him. These heinous deeds were described by Estella Calloni, an Argentinean journalist, honoring all of us with her presence here today, at this square where truth, revolutionary spirit and honor prevail. (Applause.)
The list of crimes perpetrated is long: foreign ministers, like Letelier, assassinated in Washington; honorable military men, such as Pratts, who opposed the Chilean coup, were killed; generals like Juan José Torres, who dignified the Bolivian military; personalities like the leader of the Christian Democratic party, Bernardo Leighton, whom they tried to assassinate in Italy in an action organized by Operation Condor operatives; there were no seas or borders that placed a limit on their criminal activities, actions that people are beginning to become aware of and remember more clearly, because these actions had not been fully described or denounced.
What’s important, what links the Bush family directly to Orlando Bosch, Posada Carriles and the bombing of the plane which claimed 73 lives, is that this act of sabotage was planned there in Santo Domingo and Posada Carriles was there. Because Orlando Bosch, that other monstrous criminal who Bush Sr. released and today freely walks the streets of Miami, was, at the time, in Chile, plotting crimes with Pinochet's DINA. One cannot easily forget the denunciations that eminent Latin Americans made at Cuba's International Convention Center during the International Conference titled "Against terrorism, for truth and justice".
Just see how many things this perverse empire has done in nearly half a century.
I was saying that Alpha ‘66 participated in several of the so-called "autonomous operations" directed by the CIA from its JM/WAVE Miami station. The criminal actions this group has perpetrated include pirate attacks and the hijacking of fishing vessels; armed infiltrations into our country; death threats aimed at people with links to Cuba living in Mexico, the United States, Ecuador, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico, and numerous attempts to assassinate me. Miami police intelligence documents reported, some years ago, that the group is one of the most dangerous and most active of organizations in terrorist Miami.
Don’t forget that this gentleman I mentioned, Santiago Álvarez Fernández Magriña, that guy -you've seen him on TV-who gave orders over the phone to a man who had infiltrated Cuba, who he had sent with explosives and firearms. The infiltrator was captured and Fernández Magriña, who was later arrested for who knows how many crimes in the United States -yes, Mr. Magriña, buddy of the Bushes- was the head of that group gave it orders over the phone.
You recall that phrase, the last instructions he gave. When he asked whether the infiltrator had seen the plan through or not, and the latter responded that things were getting complicated, he asked about the mission he had been tasked with, a monstrous act of terrorism on the Tropicana cabaret, he said: “Throw the two tins inside, through a window of the cabaret, and nothing will remain standing”. He admitted that he had said this and he was there in Miami, he did what he pleased, protected by the US government. Apparently, there was a conflict of interests at one point or other and the government had no other choice but to arrest him and accuse him of some of the hundreds of crimes he committed.
Posada Carriles was there, all of these things were taking place in Miami and this super-organization, designed to protect the United States from terrorism --headed by Negroponte who is implicated in the dirty war in Nicaragua-- which controls over 30 intelligence organizations, didn't know anything. The State Department declared on numerous occasions that it didn't know Posada Carriles' whereabouts. The White House said it didn't know, and everyone else was saying the same thing, that they didn't know anything.
Just look at how morally, how ethically impoverished they are, how low they have stooped in such basically ethical questions. They arrest him, protect him and don't send him to Venezuela, which rightfully demands his extradition, because Cuba had renounced this request, so as not to give the US government the pretext for a maneuver. There is no death penalty in Venezuela, not even the people who organized the heinous coup of April 11, 2002 are in prison, nor have they spent time in prison, and they didn't extradite him to Venezuela by virtue of the International Convention against Torture. Just look at the pretexts they come up with to protect the terrorist.
They took him out of Panama, because the US government knew of and was responsible for the assassination plans that were to be executed at that meeting of heads of Government and State who participated in the Ibero-American Summit, myself among them, who had planned to meet with students, and that’s where they were planning to set off 40 kilograms of TNT. The US government and Bush still know nothing of these things, nor of the plans to blow up Tropicana, where, back then, there were doubtless many US citizens, because, then, they allowed some Cuban-born people who were naturalized citizens of the United States and even US citizens, people who had been born in and were citizens of the United States, to come to Cuba. No, they know nothing of these things!
I spoke of Mr. Díaz Rodríguez, head of Alpha ‘66, who was trained in Santo Domingo.
On May 20, 2003, US President George W. Bush invited eleven representatives of the South Florida Cuban American extreme right to the White House.
Among them was Ernesto Díaz Rodríguez -the one who succeeded Sargent as head of Alpha ‘66, the organization which, undoubtedly, owns or controls those fifteen hundred and some weapons, was at the White House, invited by the US president- and his partner Eusebio de Jesús Peñalver Mazorra, arrested in California on December 12, 1995, in possession of an arsenal of weapons, when he participated in the preparations for a terrorist action against Cuba, and another notorious terrorist, Ángel Francisco D'fana Serrano. Never have US governments been unaware of these entire terrorist and assassination plans.
I mentioned two exceptions in this long period: President Ford who, following the investigation on plans to assassinate me conducted by the (US Senate) Church Commission, apparently embarrassed by these, had issued a resolution prohibiting these types of actions. Another president who was unquestionably incapable of ordering these kinds of assassinations was Carter, whom we know well -he visited us and participated in that important baseball game between a team from Baltimore and Cuba, he visited the University of Havana and spoke there, engaging in discussions-, he doesn't share our ideas, his ideology is not even remotely related to ours, but we can say that he is an honest American.
Then, the same people who had organized Operation Condor, the bombing of the Cuban airliner in Barbados and myriad international crimes returned to office. They were the same and are the same people who are today in power in the United States. Some are even worse, because a number of them were old hawks and these are the apprentices of hawks that want to outdo their masters.
It remains to be seen whether they can do this or not, whether the American people will allow it, if they are willing to put up with more crimes like the genocide and the countless acts of torture they are committing around the world today, in any country in the world, encroaching upon the sovereignty and borders of nations and ordering killings. Not long ago, at a joint session of the US Congress, Bush said that many enemies of the United States would no longer bother it because they were either in prison or dead. He said it with haughtiness, with arrogance, and what he said meant: I have ordered the killing of everyone I have felt like killing.
This is what he has done. Bush was quick to rescind Ford's decree and, with the support of the President of the US National Rifle Association who was at the House, he repealed the prohibition to commit those crimes and misdeeds. Not even Rome’s worst emperors dared to claim such rights, of killing, of assassinating -through any means possible, resorting to the most sophisticated means- any patriot, any revolutionary, any political leader who opposes the empire’s vulgar efforts of domination.
No one has the right to issue such an order, even when dealing with terrorists. Where is the Law, where are the laws, where are the courts? Even though some of the empire's judges are also repulsive, like the one who sentenced our Five Heroes, a ruling that a court acting with a minimum of freedom and honor later had to overturn, the notorious Court of Atlanta, which overturned that trial’s ruling. Then, instead of releasing them, something unprecedented took place, they appealed the court’s ruling, turning -even from the point of view of US law- the Five into hostages, two of whom have addressed you today. And they remain in prison, while Posada Carriles is granted a hearing to discuss his right to US citizenship, perhaps because of the crimes he’s committed, perhaps because of his moral fiber, similar to that of the illustrious character that holds executive power in that country.
On June 2, 2005, the US president expressed his gratitude for Alpha ‘66’s "support" in a letter in which he stated that he "appreciated knowing" the ideas of the paramilitary group.
Alpha ‘66's activities in California are well known. In January 1982, the cable agency UPI reported that a group of Cubans and Nicaraguans were receiving military training in a remote and derelict camp site in the south of Florida operated by Alpha ‘66, but the FBI and the authorities of the Californian city of San Bernardino did not consider these actions illegal for, according to them they were not in violation of any local or state law.
In 1995, an Alpha ‘66 ringleader privately stated that the organization's California wing had stepped up support for violent actions and had recruited ex Cuban-born members of the US National Guard who had access to heavy artillery such as machine guns and bazookas, registered in California.
In November 1999, news arrived from California that René Cruz and Eusebio Peñalver (both closely linked to Posada Carriles) and terrorists Roberto Martín Pérez, Ángel D'Fana and Ernesto Díaz, Alpha ‘66's current leader, were involved in a plan to assassinate President Hugo Chávez, receiving aid from a group of wealthy Venezuelan individuals. This was denounced by Cuba in a timely fashion.
The plan was to be executed in the month of December by a commando made up of Cubans and Venezuelans, who were to arrive in Venezuela from a third country.
SELECTED ECONOMIC INFORMATION
In the first quarter of 2006, Cuba's economy grew by 11.8 % more what it did in 2005; its current growth rate -hear this- is of more than 12.5 % (Applause). I know %ages can get annoying and that they are both used and abused. Some people say: "There's such and such %age of growth, but where do we see it?" If you're building the premises to produce eggs and poultry meat and breeding the chicks you need, you're growing but you're not distributing eggs -though eggs are already being distributed- do you understand? If you construct high-tech storage silos to conserve the grains, you're making an investment; if you buy hundreds of locomotives and repair thousands of wagons, or purchase trucks and motors by the tens of thousands, and you reconstruct everything, or if you work in an enormous plan to construct houses after a hurricane razed more than 50,000 to the ground -and it did more than raze houses to the ground, you also have to count the houses that were damaged, those that required new roofs and many other things- yo