Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Radio Coverage

Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 1800 GMT 10 Nov 71 F

[Excerpts] Prior to boarding the aircraft, Fidel talked to Cuban
journalists for over 30 minutes. Fidel stated: [Premier Castro's recorded
voice sounds as if he has nasal congestion] "I feel very well. I feel
great. You know that it is healthful to get up early in the morning. I feel
as if I had gotten up real early to cut cane. This is from the mental and
physical point of view. I had a slight cold, but... [leaves thought
unfinished). You know we have had a lot of rain during the past few days. I
had a slight cold but it is almost gone, and I feel in good shape for the

"Spiritually, I also feel great. The truth is that it is impossible to make
a trip such as this, to a country such as Chile, where we have so many
friends and where such an important process it taking place, without
feeling very enthusiastic."

In referring to international media reports in connection with the historic
significance of the trip, Fidel pointed out: "I think that all these
speculations, or the so-called sensationalism of the trip, are tied to the
great campaign being carried out to isolate Cuba. Cuba has not created the
sensationalism. It is imperialism which tried to create around Cuba a
special environment, something different.

"You must realize that all of that... [leaves thought unfinished) in
reality all of it is normal, just a mere visit to Chile by Cuba, two
countries with historic ties, with diplomatic relations. It cannot be
called something spectacular. Visits take place constantly. "

Later on, when referring to the visit, he stressed: "This is a symbolic
visit. The Cuban revolution is historic, there is no doubt about it. The
Chilean revolution is historic; that is why a meeting such as this can be
called a symbolic meeting between two historic processes."

In another part of his talk with the journalists, Fidel stressed: "I can
say that we are linked to the Chilean leaders by affectionate bonds,
particularly to Allende. As you know, we have personal relations and our
people are also close to him. He visited our country many times. Besides,
we have met many Chilean leaders, political leaders, youth leaders, labor
leaders. We have many friends. Naturally, it will be a pleasure to shake
hands with them. We also would like to convey to the Chilean people our
solidarity, our sympathy. We must not forget that we were isolated for many
years. Everybody tried to isolate us, to blockade us, and the Chilean
people, who struggled, criticized, and energetically were opposed to the
policy of blockade against Cuba...the Chilean people maintained great
solidarity with the Cuban revolution. We have always remembered this. We
keep this fresh in our mind.

"This is also the opportunity to express our sympathy towards them our
solidarity." When asked if he would meet with the mine workers and the
students, the commander in chief said: "The program has scheduled visits to
mines, factories and universities.

Well, it will not require great effort to visit work centers because I like
to have contact with workers, with the people. Besides, you learn a lot. It
is not the same thing to look at these things through books, when one has
the opportunity of direct contact with the masses, and of course, there are
a great number of invitations. There are many work centers. I will try to
cover as many as possible. I believe it is going to be a very tiring
trip..." Reporter cuts in and adds: "You will have to work hard." Fidel
continues: "If you want to call it work, because it will not be work for
me. It is a trip that will require a certain number of hours to fulfill the
invitations made by work centers and student centers, as well as hold talks
with leaders and friends, and besides, to see many things of interest in
that country. This is a very interesting country, its geography, its way of
life, its history, well, [words indistinct]. It is not possible to stretch
the days. [chuckles]

Fidel mentioned other invitations, he said: "I know of some other
invitations, for example, I have been invited by Algeria. The Algerian
foreign minister conveyed the invitation. I have another invitation from
Hungary. There is also [words indistinct]. There is also an invitation from
Bulgaria and, of course, the one from the Soviet Union. [someone coughs]
Kosygin conveyed an invitation and there were invitations from the
Politburo, from the CPSU, and as you know, then came the visit by Kosygin.
It has been a long time since I visited the Soviet Union and I must
reciprocate the visit, and fulfill the previous requests. It has been a
long time since I visited the Soviet Union and there have been great
changes in the Soviet Union."

In referring to schedule for his visits, our commander in chief pointed
out: "The program is lengthy. We have visits scheduled to many areas. The
main industrial centers are scattered all over the country, just as the
great mines. They have potassium nitrate in the northern part of the
country and coal in the south. The oil is still further south. The mines
are located in different parts of the north and in the center. The main
industries are located in Santiago and Concepcion. The universities are all
over the country. The country is very long. It is about 4,200 kilometers
long without including the Antarctic territory, which is 750,000 square
kilometers. There are great contrasts there, such as dry and humid areas.
The forests are a little to the south where it rains quite frequently."

In closing Fidel said: "I want to take the opportunity to greet the people
and say goodbye for a few days. There are going to be some sensational
sport events, as you well know, we are going to hold an international
gymnastic event which will begin tomorrow. I am sorry I will not be able to
attend this event, but, yesterday I made a brief stop to talk to the
members of the Cuban team and I explained it to them. I told them that the
event was going to be very successful. I also talked to the baseball
players, some 100...I am sorry for the athletes and the tournaments but,
mainly, I am glad to make the trip. [Fidel mumbles something inaudible]
Well, we will see you on the way back." A reporter asked: "When? " But then
another voice said: "Have a good trip and thank you very much."