Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19720706
-YEAR-
1972
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
ARTICLE
-AUTHOR-
F. CASTRO
-HEADLINE-
BEFORE DEPARTURE FROM MOSCOW
-PLACE-
MOSCOW
-SOURCE-
MOSCOW
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS
-REPORT_DATE-
19720711
-TEXT-
CASTRO INTERVIEWED ON VISIT TO USSR

Moscow in Spanish to Cuba 2330 GMT 6 Jul 72 L

[Interview with Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro recorded before his
departure from Moscow and shown over Soviet television on 6 July--recorded]

[Text] We are highly satisfied with our visit to the Soviet Union, with the
results of this visit, and the same can be said of the talks. The talks
have been wonderful. They were very friendly and fraternal. We feel that
our mutual knowledge and our mutual understanding have been increased to an
extraordinary extent. In addition we were able to confirm the identity of
points of view of the Soviet Union and Cuba on fundamental problems. I say
this in all frankness. We are extremely happy with the visit. One could
talk for a long time about the results of the visit, but I shall sum up our
impressions in a few words.

It can be said that our relations have reached the highest level ever. We
are certain that they will become even better in the future and that
cooperation between us will become increasingly close.

First of all, I would like to wish you a good television program. I think
every Soviet citizen watches television. Therefore to address Soviet
television viewers means to address all the Soviet people. First of all I
would like to express our grateful thanks for your kindness, your
friendship and your fraternal feelings toward the Cuban revolution. Second,
I would like to express our joy at seeing the great successes achieved by
the Soviet people. The changes since we were last in this country 8 years
ago are extraordinary in every sense. Moscow has changed. I would say that
the only parts I recognized are the airport and the Kremlin. Apart from
these, all of Moscow's avenues and streets have changed in 8 years. The
same has happened in other parts of the Soviet Union. I believe this
because in Voronezh we also saw great changes. We saw the way in which
Soviet science and technology has advanced. We could appreciate this in our
visit to Star City where the cosmonauts are trained. We could appreciate
this in Voronezh, in the electronics industry, in the aircraft industry, in
the atomic-nuclear power stations. We are truly amazed at the changes and
the speed with which these changes took place. The difference between the
first unit and the second and third units of the nuclear power station
represents a great advance. The TU-144 is an excellent aircraft. The
machinery where the parts are produced are automatic and have programmed
operation. And all these machines are made in the USSR. The electronics
industry is also very modern and its equipment is also made in the USSR.
Therefore we saw that the basis for the future is being developed rapidly.

The face of the country is being changed and we were impressed above all by
the people. There are things about the Soviet people that we Cubans find
very touching. First of all the Soviet people are a highly emotional
people, a very sensitive people. We could say that the Cubans and the
Latins have this characteristic in common with the Soviet people. The
Soviet people are such a noble, unselfish and expressive people.

On the other hand they are the most cultured people in the world. They have
both general culture and political culture, revolutionary strength, a
tremendous spiritual strength. Their working enthusiasm is admirable. We
saw this during our visit to the Ukhtomskiy combine harvester factory. Our
whole delegation was very impressed with the men and women they saw working
there, with their discipline and their working rhythm.

It is true that great things, great historical feats, great scientific,
technical and economic feats have been achieved in the Soviet Union.
However, the most extraordinary of all is the Soviet people, their
characteristics, their virtue, their unity, their confidence, their
adherence to the party. And their revolutionary temper--we feel that the
Soviet people have the same temper they had in 1917. It is the temper of
the people who fought against intervention, the temper of the people who
implemented the 5-year plans, the temper of the people of the Great
Patriotic War, the temper of people who reconstructed, people who created
and defend the socialist camp. We feel that if Lenin could see what the
Soviet people have done, their objective achievements, their cultural
achievements, their political achievements, their revolutionary
achievements, if he could see all this, we feel that he would be truly
proud.

I say this with all conviction, because we have a fair amount of
experience. We have even known capitalism as we once had a capitalist
society in our country. We know what happens in the United States. We know
what happens in the world as a whole. We know what happens in the Western
world. And I can tell you that what has been achieved in this country with
the socialist revolution, with workers' and peasants' power under the
leadership of the communist party, cannot be compared with anything. It is
possible that the Soviet people themselves are not fully aware of this.
These are my impressions and I share them with you with total frankness.

At the combine harvesters' factory we were impressed by the working spirit
and the working rhythm, with the devotion of the men and women workers
toward their work. We were impressed with the participation of women in
production. This is truly a worthy example. This is also true to the other
workers. This is a type of factory where human physical effort is greater
than in the aircraft and electronics factories, which are more automated.
The aircraft factory is equipped with programmed mills, operated by
qualified workers. At the electronics factory we were also impressed with
the dedication of the women workers. Their work also requires great
patience and has special characteristics because this is microelectronics.
They assemble integral circuits, using microscopes, doing microsoldering.
Everything is very small and it looks like very delicate work.

I was impressed with another characteristic of Soviet workers: Whatever
position they may have in industry they are well informed about all the
country's problems, political as well as economic. For example the Voronezh
workers are fully informed about the problems of agriculture, the problems
of drought. As you may recall, it rained when we went to Voronezh. It had
not rained for 2 months before that. Some women workers were talking of the
importance of that rain for agriculture and of the length of time for which
it had not rained. This shows their great culture and their identification
with all the country's problems. They are well informed about what goes on.

Well, I talked to you very briefly and I can sum everything up in two
sentences: Our relations are at a higher level than ever before and they
will continue to develop in the future.

They are very good at all levels. This is our opinion. The same can be said
of the field of technology, economy and politics. In addition we gained
much experience. Our country has also gained some experience. Organization,
planning, industrial production, economic work, agricultural work are all
improving. We analyze all this and have studied all our problems in depth,
and the prospects are good. The time will come soon when we can talk about
these matters objectively. Our political cooperation is very good. Besides
we want to continue and, if possible, increase the exchange of information
between the USSR and Cuba. This is of great interest to us. The distance
between us is getting shorter. Aircraft are flying faster and faster. The
TU-144 can reach Cuba in 5 1/2 hours. We feel it is very important to
increase exchanges, visits of delegations. We are thinking of building the
house of the cosmonauts in Cuba, to be used by the cosmonauts on holiday in
Cuba. We are also thinking of naming several schools to be opened in
September after cosmonauts who have died. As you know we have built a park
which is no doubt the best and most modern park of any Latin American
country. We built this park in memory of Lenin, and named it after him. We
now want to put up a statute of Lenin in this park and we shall need the
cooperation of soviet sculptors. I was talking yesterday with a Soviet
sculptor, (Shapir), at the embassy. It was he who sculpted Marti's bust and
we asked him to cooperate with us in the planning of Lenin's monument in
Cuba. We intend to put our best effort into this. Although the USSR and its
history are very well known in Cuba, and Soviet literature is widely read,
we propose to do even more in this respect. Links, contacts, exchanges of
information are very important. I can assure you that relations between
Cuba and the USSR are very good and will become even better. I can state
quite categorically that the Soviet Union will have a faithful, unchanging
loyal friend in Cuba. The Cuban people will always be an unfailing friend.

We feel that great successes have been achieved. The communique, to be
published soon, expresses Cuba's point of view, Cuba's opinion and Cuba's
support for Soviet foreign policy. We understand very well and support the
policy followed by the Soviet Union since the 24th congress. This has been
an unusual interview because I have been talking in Spanish and you [the
interviewer] in Russian. I hope that the viewers will at least have been
able to understand this. I can promise you one thing. When I return to the
USSR I shall pay a visit to the television studios. The comrades have
talked to me with great enthusiasm of the advances and the organization
they have achieved. We also want to say something else; our visit to the
USSR was brief; as it was part of a tour of nine other countries and we
have been traveling for over 2 months. In 1973 or 1974 I intend to return
to the USSR, not on an official visit but in order to visit some of the
towns we do now know, to visit the industries, because on this occasion we
found the visits to factories and the contacts we have had with the workers
to be very useful. I want to know other Soviet towns, other industries,
which are of great interest to us. I think that next year or maybe in 2
years time I shall pay a special visit to the USSR. We arrived in the USSR
this time after having spent much energy in other countries. This is not
that we are tired. In fact we felt so stimulated in the Soviet Union that
we did not feel tired. However, this is a very large country and one wants
to know it well, and its technology and science, one has to have a more
detailed contact; if one wants to know more, one needs more time. In any
case this visit was very instructive. Both the visit to other socialist
countries and the visit to the USSR were extremely useful and revealing.
Changes are taking place rapidly. So here are my two promises: To pay a
visit to the headquarters of the committee of Soviet workmen and to the
television. I shall not make many promises because I like to keep my
promises. I want to thank you very much for your attention and for the
interview.
-END-


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