Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish to Latin America 1718 GMT 9 August 1962--E

(Text) Havana--Prime Minister Fidel Castro advocated the maintenance of a
spirit of sportsmanship during the Central American and Caribbean games as
he bade farewell to the 270 Cuban athletes who will compete in this event
and whom he visited hours before they departed from Kingston, Jamaica. He
said that "we would like, and someday we will, have track meets where the
peoples will participate--all the peoples-- with the same spirit of
sportsmanship and a great competitive spirit, as it should be. And a day
will come when the people may compete and there will be no interests
contrary to the people. "Then," he added, "nobody will attend with
political and antisports motives."

Referring to the attendance by Cuba in this event being held in Kingston,
he pointed out "we are going to compete. We are going because we consider
sports an important activity for the people, because we consider that sport
is not a luxury or a privilege for minorities but the right and opportunity
of all citizens." After saying "it would be ideal if all were going to
compete with a truly sportsmanlike spirit, as we are," he emphasized: "the
enemies of our country and our revolution are not going there with that
spirit. "They go with a political spirit," he declared, "with a political
spirit, to those Olympic games." The revolutionary leader indicated that
"they (the North American imperialists--PRENSA LATINA) are afraid of our
victories and intend to convert a sports event into a battlefield against
our revolution. They will try to create for it and our athletes the
greatest difficulties."

Further on Castro recalled that the Cuban teams will be harassed because
"the imperialists will try to create problems for the Cubans." He pointed
out the interest shown by the United States in the Puerto Rican athletes.
Fidel expressed the opinion that the Cuban athletes will encounter
difficulties and problems, "because the imperialists are interested in
demonstrating that national independence is bad, that the redeeming and
just revolution is bad, that the government of the humble is bad, that the
government of the monopolies on the other hand is good, that exploitation
is good, that colonialism is good, that privileges are good, and that
discrimination is good."

He then said that, to try to demonstrate these things, "they will train
their weapons on us, their influence, their press, their groups of
saboteurs, and their groups of counterrevolutionaries, to create
difficulties for us and to attempt to blind us. They will do more. They
will try to bribe athletes, they will try to seduce them, they will try to
inject treason into the fatherland and promote desertion."

He recommended that the delegation compete in Jamaica "not only like good
athletes, but like vigorous youths, impetuous and brave, exponents of a
people who are afraid of nothing. A people who have not fallen to their
knees before any powerful adversary, a people who have carried out their
revolution and are carrying it forward against the will of the great
monopolies and in the midst of sabotage and aggressions of all types. "The
people who are being represented there by you," he declared, "are the
people of Maceo, Marti, Calixto Garcia, and Maximo Gomez. With them, they
began their struggle which has been carried on indefatigably to the present
time when new generations have crowned their sacrifices with victory."

In another part of his speech, the prime minister and secretary general of
ORI explained: "You may be able to combat the people who go there, but you
cannot underestimate them. "They may make the Cubans victims of
hostilities," he emphasized, "but they will not be able to sneer at them.
Wherever they see a Cuban and wherever they see the Cuban flag they may
look upon them with hate if they wish--with the hate of the interests of
the privileged--but they will have to look upon them with respect as well."

Then he said: "The revolution can feel satisfied with what it has done in
sports. It has raised prestige of sports to an extraordinary degree. It has
encouraged sports and has converted sports into an activity of the masses
and continues to develop sports to the maximum. Our revolution has removed
from sports the commercial character and that makes us very proud," Major
Castro emphasized.

Castro recommended to the 270 Cuban athletes that they "fraternize" with
other athletes competing in the Ninth Central American and Caribbean Games
"and make them objects of the affection and warmth of our people." Castro
added: "You will be the pioneers of sane sports in our country and you will
set the marks and the successes which will be the goals that coming
generations will have to exceed."

Castro then recalled that in Cuba "ballplayers are no longer bought and
sold; there are no longer any enterprises which monopolize athletes and
which can buy and sell an athlete as if he were a race horse. An athlete is
no longer bet on as if he were a pedigreed rooster, a horse, or a dog."
Finally, the prime minister exhorted the Cuban athletes to give an
energetic answer to the provocations and vexations which the
counterrevolutionaries and agents of Latin American reaction may organize
against them.