Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Further Impromptu Talks

Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish 1649 GMT 31 Jul 71 C--FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

[Text] Havana, 31 Jul--by Pedro J. Machado--In a conversation which he said
would last some 15 minutes, but which was prolonged for more than an hour,
Maj Fidel Castro, prime minister of the Cuban Revolutionary Government,
spoke animatedly about many topics with peasants, workers, students,
journalists, and representatives of Chilean organizations, who are visiting
Cuba for the 18th anniversary of 26 July.

The meeting took place in one of Havana university's classrooms, shortly
after Chilean Foreign Minister Clodomiro Almeyda received the honorary
doctorate from the rector of Havana university, Jose Millar.

Fidel Castro attended the awarding of the degree by Havana university.
Without leaving the university, he held the night's first meeting with a
group of Chilean radio, television and press journalists. He talked with
them while standing in one of the university meeting rooms, while many
people surrounded the journalists and the Cuban prime minister. When this
first informal meeting ended--it lasted half an hour--the Cuban leader went
to a university classroom where members of the official Chilean delegation
were waiting, but this group did not include all of the Chileans who had
come to Cuba for the Moncada anniversary celebration.

When this meeting with the official Chilean delegation ended, the prime
minister went to another classroom where he said he could stay only 15
minutes, since he had to go to the protocol office to talk to Chilean
Foreign Minister Clodomiro Almeyda.

It was after midnight when Fidel Castro began to speak to union
representatives of Chilean copper workers. They greeted the prime minister
and the Cuban people in the name of the workers of this organization.

The Chilean miners and Fidel Castro then became involved in a dialog of
questions and answers regarding the Chilean miners' situation, working
conditions development of the mines, and production data. This was followed
by another lengthy conversation with representatives of the Mapuche peasant
settlements, who delivered a message of greeting in the name of all the
Mapuches and spoke some words in their language to Maj Fidel Castro. In
addition, they discussed with him the living conditions of the people in
these settlements, the agricultural work they were doing, and production.
They also discussed the changes which have occurred since the Popular Unity
victory led by Salvador Allende.

The Chilean peasants explained to the Cuban prime minister some of the
peculiarities of Chilean agriculture regarding the production of wheat and
other products. They all arrived at the conclusion that the only solution
for the problems confronting the rural areas is mechanization of
agriculture and increased production levels.

Fidel Castro also spoke with representatives of various organizations,
among them a Radical Party deputy. Finally, he spoke to students from
Chilean universities, who in response to questions from Fidel Castro
indicated that they had already made initial efforts for university
students--in accordance with the careers for which they are preparing--to
participate in production with the workers in order to train truly
revolutionary technicians who could rapidly fill in any gaps in the ranks.

Before withdrawing to attend a scheduled meeting with Chilean Foreign
Minister Clodomiro Almeyda, Maj Fidel Castro accepted the request of the
various Chileans who wanted to be photographed with him on this memorable
occasion. He accepted and indicated that the various groups should be
represented in the photos as a demonstration of the unity of all Chileans.
He urged them to maintain the unity above all inn the present situation and
said that he would appear symbolically in the photos as a witness of the
unity of all Chilean sectors.

In the very early morning, after brief words of thanks for the great
satisfaction and happiness he felt during the meeting in which serious
matters had been discussed and in which there had been laughter, the Cuban
prime minister left the university to meet with Chilean Foreign Minister
Clodomiro Almeyda.