Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Reception, Speech by Fidel

Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 1603 GMT 21 Apr 73 F

[Text] At the time of accepting a bust of Tupac Amaru and other examples of
Peruvian arts and crafts, our Prime Minister Fidel Castro made a speech to
thank the delegation led by Gen Leonidas Rodriguez Figueroa. Fidel pointed
out in his speech at the Palace of the Revolution that the objects given to
him bring back memories of the history of Peru, its traditions and its
culture, which now have a very significant value due to the revolution
taking place in that fraternal country.

After stating that there are many things in common between Cubans and
Peruvians, the commander in chief referred to the unlimited faith that Cuba
has in the Peruvian revolutionary process. He said: "We have unlimited
faith in President Velasco Alvarado and the team of men accompanying him in
this extraordinary period of the Peruvian history."

Fidel stated that "we realized how much was new in the process that began
in 1968 from its very beginning." He explained that "we were accustomed to
following what was happening on this continent and, having learned to
differentiate between the lie and the truth, between false and real things,
we realized that something of an outstanding nature was occurring in Peru."
He added: "Just with the initial statements, just with the initial measures
adopted, we were able to realize how much it had of a serious nature and
different from other prior events."

"We were able to see that the Peruvian military--recalling the glorious
times when our peoples fought for our initial independence--had assumed a
decisive role in Peruvian history, that is, a revolutionary role," stated
Fidel. Fidel said that throughout the past 4 years we have been able to
ascertain that we were correct in our judgment, that we were not wrong,
that what was anticipated from the very beginning has really taken place in

The chief of the Cuban revolution praised the absolute lack of demagogy
observed in all actions of the Peruvian Revolutionary Government, its
well-studied actions and the firmness in all steps taken. Fidel told the
Peruvian delegation that there might still be a lot of disagreement on the
part of those who do not believe or cannot conceive that the military are
able to lead a revolutionary process. Then he added: "Of course, those who
are in doubt about this ignore history."

He then said that just as it happened at the beginning of our first
independence the military can also play a leading role in Peru and other
countries of Latin America. Fidel explained that in a conversation held
with Gen Leonidas Rodriguez the general explained what used to go wrong
with the traditional Peruvian governments which, after 4 or 5 years in
power, would totally lose their prestige and no one would trust them. "This
is the logical consequence of all false policies, of all demagogic
policies," stated our prime minister and added, "however, this has not
occurred in the case of the Revolutionary Government of the Peruvian Armed
Forces, because we can see that the opposite is occurring, that every
minute, every day that goes by the trust that the people has placed on the
armed forces government continues to grow. This was eloquently demonstrated
during the huge solidarity event held by the peoples to show their great
love and admiration for the leader of the Peruvian revolution while he was
recovering from his serious illness."

Elsewhere in his speech Fidel pointed out that the personality of President
Velasco Alvarado is increasingly becoming evident to all of us. Our
commander in chief assured all that as time goes by the love, sympathy and
admiration of the Cubans for Velasco continues to increase. He added:
"During the past few weeks, when we were profoundly concerned for his
health and well-being, we became more aware of what he represents for the
Peruvian revolutionary process."

Fidel pointed out how Velasco Alvarado was firmer, more courageous, more
heroic during the many operations performed on him in circumstances that
were physically painful and that ended in the amputation of one of his
legs, and now he was able to place the interests of the revolution above
his own health.

In referring to the Latin American nations, Fidel stressed that in the past
we have been the victim of many injustices, many abuses, many aggressions
due to the existing disunity. "There is no doubt that in the future, a
Leonidas stated recently in a mass rally of the Committees for the Defense
of the Revolution, if there are new aggressions, if there are other Girons
in our continent, they will not have to fight against only one nation, they
will have to fight against all of us united. That is why our strength
increases through solidarity, through fraternity and through friendship,"
stated Fidel.

Fidel told the members of the Peruvian delegation that there is security,
trust and the conviction that no one and nothing will be able to stop the
Peruvian people in the revolutionary path that they undertook a few years
ago. He stressed that no one and nothing will be able to interfere with the
great destiny awaiting the Peruvian people and fatherland in future years
and with the role that they will have to play in the future of this

"I wish to express my endless gratitude once more for the gifts that you
have given me and essentially for the feelings accompanying your gesture,"
stated the commander in chief to the delegation led by Gen Leonidas
Rodriguez. Fidel assured the delegation that those gifts will be cherished
with great love and will always be close to his heart. He indicated that
the gifts will be a momento of this climatic meeting of fraternity
friendship between the Peruvian and Cuban nations and of this visit of the
delegation which we have received in our fatherland with great joy.

[Havana in Spanish to the Americas at 1600 GMT on 21 April, also reporting
on activities of the Peruvian delegation, adds: "Yesterday the delegation
headed by Gen Leonidas Rodriguez visited, in the provinces of Havana and
Matanzas, the Eastern Genetic Center, where Holstein cattle are being bred,
and the 'Camilo Cienfuegos' military academy. The Peruvian delegation was
accompanied by Maj Fidel Castro and Raul Castro, prime minister and vice
prime minister, respectively."]