Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Comments at Reception

Santiago Chile PRENSA LATINA in Spanish to PRENSA LATINA Havana 1540 GMT 16 Nov

[Text] Iquique, Chile, 15 Nov--by PRENSA LATINA correspondent Jorge Timossi--The
Chilean Trade Union Confederation (CUTCH) and the Popular Unity's Provincial
Committee held a reception last night for Maj Fidel Castro and the high-level
delegation accompanying him.

At the reception the Cuban leader made a short improvised speech in answer to
the welcome from Mario Diaz, the leader of the workers of Tarapaca Province. On
welcoming Fidel Castro, Mario Diaz spoke of the changes in Latin America brought
about by the Cuban revolution and about the struggles of the Chilean people
begun by Luis Emilio Recabarren and the struggles going on at present in the
popular process.

In answering, Fidel Castro said that Mario Diaz' words summarized the struggles
of recent decades. He added that history has been written with sacrifice, with
blood, with effort, with work, with determination, with faith in the cause being

Maj Fidel Castro also said: "We feel profound satisfaction in seeking how much
Chile has worked and in hearing the struggles of our country spoken of here
tonight, for we too have worked (?hard)." "We say that our revolution is just
beginning, and we cannot yet feel satisfied," he added.

The Cuban leader then said that we have had years of apprenticeship, and that
there are phases in the history of the struggle in which rights must be defended
and others in which duties must be remembered.

Speaking of the Chilean revolution, he said that at present, production must be
increased. The opportunity for which others struggled exists today in Chile, he
said. He pointed out that at each one of the victories in the Cuban
revolutionary process, "We thought about those who fell in the fighting. It is
they who show us our duty."

Fidel Castro added that the task is difficult since it means increasing
production. He said: "Some persons do not want to do anything for this process
but one should not lose heart." He pointed out that revolution is the daughter
of the working class and that the working class must defend the revolutionary
and sacrifice itself for the revolution, because the process must be saved and
one should behave as the real fathers of the revolution.

He said that in Cuba great unity and understanding prevails. But we have
achieved this by working hard. He urged the Chileans not to lose heart and

"You have a magnificent people," emphasized Fidel Castro, "a magnificent
citizenry." "You have a great nation and you can write a great page of history.
I goes without saying," added the Cuban leader, "that the form and the methods
used in Chile differ from those of the Cuban revolution, but both peoples have
achieved their successes under their own conditions."

In another part of his speech, Fidel Castro praised the quality, the humaneness,
of the Chilean citizen. He recalled that Chile was one of the countries which
has strongly defended its independence. "Now Cuba is no longer alone," he added,
"and the Cuban people are brothers of the Chilean people."

Also, he said that these Latin American movements are beginning to be noticed in
other countries--and he specifically cited the case of the Panamanian people,
who are also raising the banner of the nationalization of the Panama Canal.

Castro said: The Cuban revolution should be seen as a turning point in history,
and all these movements are resulting from it.

Referring to his visit to Chile, he said that this meeting between Chile and
Cuba has proven that the truth always conquers despite mistaken ideas. He said:
Now that we have had this meeting we shall not let anyone divide our people.

"Why were we divided?" he asked. "What grievances were there between us? Whose
interests caused us to be divided? By whose will?" "Exchange is much more
beautiful," he added, "and we are developing it between our two peoples."

Continuing to speak of the relation between the Cuban situation and the Chilean
situation he said: "The situation in our country is solid, very solid, but in
your case there are still many difficulties."

He went on to say: "They produce the same results as the Cuban revolution to the
extent that the leaders are honest and do not use or support demagogy." He also
said that the masses will understand and support the present situation as they
get to know it.

Maj Fidel Castro then spoke about the cooperation between Chile and Cuba in the
fishing industry. He was interrupted by a Cuban sailor, Agustin Alba Izquierdo,
who gave Fidel data on the situation of the two Cuban ships, the Jagua and the
Rascacio, which are presently near the port of Iquique. The Cuban sailor began a
conversation, with Fidel asking many questions, many of them humorous, about
what the Cuban sailors had added to the fish catch in Chile.

According to the sailor the Cubans are planning on catching 2 million tons of
fish in 4 months and 150 tons of tuna in 3 months, starting in December. Fidel
also told the Cuban sailor not to let him down, and Agustin Alba Izquierdo
answered: "Our commitment, Major Castro, here, just as in Cuba, is to double our
efforts and reach our goals."

This led to a very lively exchange, to the pleasure of all those present,
between Fidel and Humberto Martones, the present minister of land and incoming
minister of maritime affairs, of whom Fidel asked many questions on the
different problems in the fishing industry.

The Cuban prime minister will speak today at noon at a popular rally in this
northern city, capital of Tarapaca Province.