Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 1030 GMT 3 May 72 F

[Report on Prime Minister Fidel Castro's 2 May departure on an African and
European tour--recorded passages enclosed in quotation marks]

[Text] The delegation of the Communist Party [PCC] and Revolutionary
Government of Cuba led by the first secretary of the PCC Central Committee
and prime minister, Maj Fidel Castro Ruz, left by air last night for the
Democratic Republic of Guinea. Thus, Fidel and his entourage began this
friendly trip of nine nations in Africa and Europe.

The delegation was seen off at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport by
Maj Raul Castro Ruz, second secretary of the PCC Central Committee, who is
also deputy prime minister of the Revolutionary Government and
Revolutionary Armed Forces minister; Dr. Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado,
president of the republic; other comrades of the PCC Politburo and the
Central Committee, ministers, chiefs of states agencies, mass organizations
and diplomatic representatives of the nations to be visited.

Before boarding the plane, Maj Fidel Castro bade everyone present farewell
with affectionate remarks. During his stay at the airport's protocol room,
Fidel conversed briefly with representatives of the national press.

Later, Fidel went to the plane and before he boarded he bade farewell to
the president and the Revolutionary Armed Forces minister with a strong
embrace. From the door of the modern plane, Fidel then waved goodbye.

In his remarks to the newsmen, Maj Fidel Castro said that he felt perfectly
well for the trip. Asked about the length of the trip, Fidel answered: "I
myself hardly know but the tour seems long. Well, figuring it out it's like
this: I leave today and at the end of June I'll be visiting the USSR. Thus
you can figure on several weeks. I spoke about this trip 5 months and 22
days ago, about the commitments to visit Bulgaria Hungary and Algeria, and
we are on a trip again."

Answering a question about his stay in each country, our commander in chief
said: "It has been the subject of a long discussion as to the time
available. It will be an average of 5, 6, 7 days and sometimes 8 days. In
the USSR it will be 2 or 3 weeks, possibly some 3 weeks in the USSR.

Later on, Fidel referred to the importance of the trip. "It is a work duty
as all trips are. I think it is important in terms of all the nations that
are going to be visited and in terms of the importance to us of the ties we
have with the nations we are going to visit."

Elsewhere in his talk with newsmen, Fidel alluded to the places he would
visit: "The schedules are very long. It would be difficult to enumerate
them. There will always be room for some [additional] places. We will visit

"We will visit workplaces, historic places and agricultural centers. We
will converse with the leaders. In short, in general, at the places we
visit they always have a much fuller schedule than can really be fulfilled.
The discussion has been about the number of days. Each country wanted a
longer schedule. Actually it has been the subject of long discussion
because they all wanted more time. But it would have been impossible
because there are nine nations, unless I devoted myself to traveling for 6
months. And really, that would be not comprehensible. It's not that I'm
that indispensable but it might seem that I was shirking my obligations,
despite the fact that, without doubt, when one travels one works even
harder. As I recall the trip to Chile, there is not doubt that the work
hours were long. And, in general, I do not like to shirk my commitments.
When I know that there is some factory where they are awaiting my visit,
some locality where my visit has been announced, I always opt in favor of
making the effort and visiting these places, rather than shirk the
commitment. It is from the moral viewpoint, at least it would be out of
character for me to keep people waiting. Therefore, in general, I don't
argue about the schedules too much. They offer me one and I say the program
is acceptable.

Replying to a question as to whether he would be back in our country for 26
July, Fidel said: "I should be back for 26 July, but it is not sure. We
have to foresee staying some more days in any of the nations, any new
change, a new commitment, it may be that [Castro leaves thought unfinished]
but it will be around 26 July that we expect to be back."

Another question asked by the newsmen referred to the repercussions that he
thinks the recent death of Kwame Nkrumah, former president of Ghana, would
have on the African liberation movement. On this matter, Fidel said: "Well,
Nkrumah's death was a very significant event. And it has taken place just
at this time in Guinea. Nkrumah is a symbol.. He fought against imperialism
and neocolonialism. He was a victim of the conspiracies of imperialism. But
let's not forget the saying that 'one day after we're dead, we're useful.'
Mella said that we served as a banner. And the ones who will die in the
long run will not be the revolutionary leaders but imperialism, imperialism
and exploitation, and injustice in the world. Guinea is a buttress of the
revolution in Asia, and it has maintained itself as one. Despite the plots
and schemes of the powers, they have not been able to overthrow the Guinean

Later, Fidel stressed the solidity of the Cuban revolution. "I want to
reassert what I said yesterday. The revolution is going well, it is moving
forward, it is solid. This is why we can make this trip at this time
without any concern. It is proof of the solidity of the revolution. And
this [words indistinct]. It is proof of its endurance. Despite the fact
that there is not much work [as heard], there is always a risk. Even so, we
are quite unconcerned. [words indistinct] It is a solid thing. It is a rock
of granite that cannot be moved. It is in the people, in the leaders and in
all. My trip is part, let us say, of my work. It is an indispensable
contact, and advisable contact, a multicontact at this time, especially
with a view toward future perspectives in this decade, which is one of
progress consolidation and increasingly better perspectives for the
revolutionary movement and for our country and all the nations. At least I
have the conviction that the trip will be useful, very useful. I think,
too, that it is timely."

[F--Havana Domestic Service in Spanish at 0302 GMT on 3 May reports. "Our
commander in chief, who departed tonight, will visit parts of Guinea,
Algeria, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, the GDR, Czechoslovakia and
the USSR."]

Visit to Guinea

For the arrival of Prime Minister Fidel Castro Ruz in Conakry and further
material on his visit to Guinea see the West Africa section of the 3 May of
Middle East & Africa DAILY REPORT and subsequent issues.