Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Fidel's Speech at Airport

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 1500 GMT 25 Jul 70

[Statement by Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro at Havana's Jose Marti
Airport welcoming Tudor Zhivkov--live]

[Text] Comrade Todor Zhivkov, first secretary of the Bulgarian Communist
Party and Premier of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, comrades of the
delegation, comrades of the diplomatic corps, comrades of the Central
Committee, Bulgarian and Cuban comrades:

Our country receives the visit of this high-level delegation led by the
first secretary of the Bulgarian Party and premier of that fraternal nation
on the occasion of this 26 of July anniversary with extraordinary joy and
considers it a special honor. Apparently favorable winds aided the flight
of the Bulgarian delegation so that it arrived a little more than an hour
early, while this created a few protocolary difficulties, we were very
pleased to learn that they were arriving and were going to sojourn an extra
hour in our country.

That is why, while the others scheduled to receive the delegation were on
their way, we changed the rules a little ourselves and went aboard the
aircraft, and then together with Comrade Dorticos and other Cuban comrades,
had an opportunity to give Comrade Zhivkov and the other Bulgarian comrades
a first embrace and converse fraternally with them for almost
three-quarters of an hour. Moreover, we also had the privilege of arriving
here with them for this ceremony, as we also alighted from the plane, but
we should like to note that we did not travel from Rabat.

Sincerely, since the victory of our revolution, relations with the
Bulgarian people have been developing constantly. Our country, which is
carrying out its revolutionary movement in the face of a powerful enemy
very close to our shores, has had the solidarity of the socialist camp from
the very beginning. Among the countries of the socialist camp, together
with the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of Bulgaria was among the
first to encourage us and to give us its fraternal cooperation.

Thousands of Bulgarian technicians have worked in our country in all
spheres of activity. Prominent physicians have been professors in our
hospitals. They have written books that have served as texts for our
students, and have contributed to the preservation of many lives. They have
worked in the hydraulic projects, in the construction of reservoirs and
irrigation dams in our country. Hundreds of them have worked and are
working in the construction of highways and in almost every branch of the
industries of education, [as heard] and eminent and well qualified
Bulgarian technicians are present in practically every sphere of endeavor.

This cooperation is tightening the bonds of friendship, and actually the
relations between Bulgarians and Cubans have always been very fraternal.
There is an affinity between our characters. Comrade Zhivkov has already
pointed this out.

There is a great similarity, not only in our natures but in our
disposition, ideology, and history, because for centuries the Bulgarian
people fought for their independence and always fought courageously. Our
people also fought for a long time for their independence. Moreover, we
know and admire the Bulgarian people because of their heroic struggle and
participation in the liquidation of fascism. It is a country which was
obliged to endure the fascist hordes and which fought courageously. It is a
country which resorted to guerrilla warfare. Comrade Zhivkov was a
prominent leader of the guerrilla movement in Bulgaria.

They fought courageously for independence and for the socialist revolution.
The Bulgarian communists and the Bulgarian people, educated in the glorious
internationalist tradition and inspired by the example of Georgi Dimitrov,
who is know to and admired by all of us, have always pursued this policy of
solidarity with the people fighting for their liberation and fighting for
the cause of socialism.

Thus, there is in our hearts a profound feeling of admiration, of
friendship for and gratitude toward the Bulgarian people. We also admire
the people. That is why it is with all their hearts that our people give
them a fraternal embrace, offer them their warm hospitality, and cherish
the high honor of being able to celebrate this 17th anniversary in their
company. Welcome, Bulgrian brothers. [applause]