Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Moscow IZVESTIYA in Russian 9 Feb 74 Morning Edition p 3 L

[TASS report: "A Conversation With Comrade Fidel Castro"--an earlier TASS
report on Castro's interview is published in the 11 February Soviet Union

[Text] February 8--Comrade Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Cuban
Communist Party [PCC] and prime minister of the Cuban Revolutionary
Government, received A. Lukovets, deputy chief editor of PRAVDA, N. Chigir,
TASS political commentator, and V. Vernikov, IZVESTIYA correspondent.

Comrade Fidel Castro shared his impressions of his recent meetings on Cuban
soil with Comrade L.I. Brezhnev, general secretary of the CPSU Central
Committee, and described how the results of the L.I. Brezhnev's historic
visit to Cuba are evaluated by the PCC and government leadership and by all
the fraternal Cuban people.

Comrade Brezhnev's visit to Cuba and the results of our talks are of
tremendous importance from many viewpoints, Fidel Castro stressed. I would
say first and foremost that the visit itself was the culmination, as it
were, of the period of almost 15 years of relations between our two

L.I. Brezhnev's visit was a truly historic event for our people. Never
before have we been host to a visitor of such high standing in the arena of
world politics as Comrade Brezhnev. What is more, this was the first visit
by a CPSU Central Committee general secretary to Cuba or, indeed, to Latin
America as a whole.

It must be remembered that we attach paramount importance to the history of
the Soviet Union itself and to the role played by the CPSU. I refer to both
the USSR's role in the development of the history of all mankind and to the
role which the USSR and the CPSU have played in the cause of solidarity
with Cuba. This solidarity has been of decisive importance to the Cuban
revolution's successful development. And this becomes even more obvious if
we recall the tremendous difficulties which our revolution has had to
overcome. The Soviet Union's solidarity is without any doubt one of the
major factors determining the Cuban revolution's successes today.

For us, Fidel Castro continued, Comrade Brezhnev--the most eminent Soviet
leader-- personifies, as it were, the entire policy of the USSR and the
CPSU. And it was for this reason that our people looked forward to his
arrival and were eager to express their feelings of friendship, profound
respect, and gratitude with respect to the Soviet Union.

The importance of L.I. Brezhnev's visit is great in relation to the further
development of Soviet-Cuban relations. The results of the visit constitute
a very great contribution to the consolidation of the bonds of friendship
and fraternity linking the USSR and Cuba. We had splendid relations even
before the visit. Now we have become even more strongly convinced that our
fraternal Soviet-Cuban ties and relations of friendship and cooperation
have an even better future. Exchanges of visits and direct contacts between
the leaders of our parties and countries provide us with opportunities for
drawing even closer together, enriching each other, and coming to know even
better the actual situations in our countries while at the same time
creating a firm and unshakable foundation for the further development of
Soviet-Cuban relations.


MPR DELEGATION IN BURYAT ASSR--A red challenge banner of the Buryat obkom,
council of ministers, oblast trade union council, and Buryat oblast
komsomol committee was awarded yesterday to Zakamenskiy aymag for the best
results in the procurement of all types of fodder and improvement of their
quality in the Buryat ASSR. The award presentation, held at a rally of
outstanding agricultural workers in Zakamenk, was attended by a delegation
of Bulagan aymag in the Mongolian People's Republic, led by Sodnomjamts,
first secretary of the Bulagan Ayman MPRP Committee. [Ulan-Ude Domestic
Service in Russian 1100 GMT 17 Jan 74 B]

From any viewpoint, Comrade Fidel Castro went on to observe, L.I.
Brezhnev's visit to Cuba has been crowned with complete success. I am
thinking both of our relations and of the international significance of the
visit. For the relations of genuine friendship and solidarity between the
land of the first socialist revolution and the country which was first in
Latin America to embark on the path of socialist revolution are truly
exemplary. They are, what is more, a shining example of genuinely
revolutionary relations between a mighty industrial power such as the
Soviet Union and a small country like Cuba.

L.I. Brezhnev's visit and its results, Fidel Castro stated, also mark a
complete victory over the reactionaries and those who slander socialism and
the Soviet Union since it has once again demonstrated most convincingly
that the highest form of relations between countries are those based on the
principles of Marxism-Leninism and on the principles of proletarian
solidarity and socialist internationalism. No ideas but those of communism
are capable of winning the support of the popular masses. In Cuba
Marxism-Leninism has inflicted a crushing defeat on the falsehood and
slander spread by imperialism and reaction. This was convincingly
demonstrated once again by the Soviet-Cuban friendship meeting in Havana's
Revolution Square, at which more than a million Cubans warmly welcomed
Comrade L.I. Brezhnev.

The entire world, Fidel Castro went on to say, followed Comrade L.I.
Brezhnev's visit to Cuba with tremendous interest and attention. And this
was perfectly natural. While on Cuban soil the CPSU Central Committee
general secretary delivered major political statements of tremendous
importance. They relate to the efforts being undertaken on the way to
lasting peace, to the improvement of the entire complex of international
relations, and to the elimination of the threat of war. Comrade L.I.
Brezhnev's speeches in Cuba also assume paramount importance because they
define clearly the new type of interstate relations.

L.I. Brezhnev's visit is of particular importance to Latin America. We must
not forget the efforts which imperialism has made to isolate Cuba from the
other countries of Latin America. But now the real situation is such that
attention toward and interest in Cuba are growing literally daily among the
Latin American states. There is no doubt that their peoples have been able
to see for themselves the tremendous moral support for revolutionary Cuba
shown by Comrade L.I. Brezhnev's visit to our country. And this, it seems
to me, will contribute to the Latin American countries' struggle to achieve
national liberation and strengthen their independence. It strengthens the
revolutionary forces and the forces which oppose imperialism's interference
in and domination of Latin America.

L.I. Brezhnev's visit to Cuba assumes great importance for all the "Third
World" countries since these countries have an interest in developing
relations with the socialist states and the relations between the USSR and
Cuba provide an example of such relations.

We believe, Fidel Castro went on to point out, that the fruitful results of
L.I. Brezhnev's visit to Cuba will provide the peoples with fresh impetus
in their struggle to implement revolutionary ideas and to promote the cause
of socialism. In their eyes Cuba is a convincing illustration of what a
country can achieve when it become a full member of the socialist community
and enjoys tat community's powerful support.

L.I. Brezhnev's visit was, in short, a splendid reaffirmation of the bonds
of friendship and solidarity between our countries. The visit is a victory
for the principles and ideas of socialism.

Comrade Fidel Castro went o to stress the tremendous importance of the
Soviet-Cuban summit talks for the further consolidation of the unity and
cohesion of all the socialist community countries.

L.I. Brezhnev's visit to Cuba and its results, he said, are of tremendous
interest not only to the Soviet Union and Cuba but also to all the other
countries of the socialist community. There is no doubt that the
consolidation of fraternal Soviet-Cuban relations and Cuban successes in
socialist building constitute a victory for the entire socialist community.
For the Cuban revolution was only made possible by the tremendous changes
occurring in the correlation of forces in the world arena. The nature and
essential character of these changes are attested to by the history and
consolidation of the Cuban revolution. Since Cuba is a member of the
socialist community the consolidation of the Cuban revolution and the
growth of Cuba's international prestige also strengthen the entire
socialist community. The consolidation and expansion of Cuba's relations
with the Soviet Union also mean the consolidation of Cuba's relations with
the entire socialist community.

The CPSU Central Committee general secretary visit to Cuba, Fidel Castro
continued, also constitutes a tremendous contribution to the cause of the
struggle for world peace. The socialist community's main efforts are
currently directed precisely at strengthening and broadening the successes
achieved in recent years in the struggle for peace on earth and at making
these successes irreversible. In this sense also Comrade L.I. Brezhnev's
visit to Cuba made a tremendous contribution to the achievement of even
greater cohesion of efforts in the struggle for peace and international

The PCC will continue, Comrade Fidel Castro stressed, to march forward
shoulder to shoulder with the CPSU, doing everything possible to support
the peace policy which was clearly formulated in the peace program approved
by the 24th CPSU Congress and also Comrade L.I. Brezhnev's personal efforts
to promote peace and the relaxation of international tension.

Both the Soviet Union and Cuba, the PCC Central Committee first secretary
went on to say, pursue policies based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism
and proletarian internationalism. Our correct application of these
principles is the reason for our complete unity in terms of the criteria by
which we judge all questions concerning both bilateral relations and
international problems. We Cubans, moreover, take account in approaching
and resolving international problems of the Soviet Union's vast historical
experience in building socialism. We believe completely and infinitely in
the correctness of the policy line mapped out by the CPSU and in the CPSU'
principled policy. This faith is mutual. The CPSU has the same faith in our
party. And this contributes tremendously to our complete unity of views
with respect to the contemporary world situation and the tasks of the
socialist states' foreign policy--the policy of defending states' and
peoples' freedom, independence, and sovereign rights and of strengthening
peace and international cooperation. Both our countries proceed from the
same principles and are struggling for common aims. All these are factors
which determine the unity of views between the CPSU and the PCC.

During the conversation Comrade Fidel Castro spoke with deep satisfaction
of the cordial and fraternal welcome accorded Leonid Ilich Brezhnev by all
the Cuban people.

We are all still living, he stressed, under the impression of our meetings
with Comrade Brezhnev. No other foreign visitor to Cuba has ever been
welcomed by our people so gladly or with such rapturous enthusiasm as was
Comrade Brezhnev. I want to note above all that Leonid Ilich Brezhnev is
the most eminent leader of the revolutionary movement ever to visit our
country. But that is not the main point. The foundation for the
wholehearted welcome accorded L.I. Brezhnev by the Cuban people lies in
their sentiments of deep respect and love for friendship and gratitude with
respect to the Soviet Union and its Communist Party and to the leaders of
the USSR and the CPSU. I want to stress too the unanimous gratitude felt by
all our people to Leonid Ilich Brezhnev personally for his efforts aimed at
strengthening and developing friendship between the USSR and Cuba. Nor can
I fail to mention our people's internationalist awareness and their
profound understanding of the great role played by the CPSU and of the
problems concerning all mankind in the struggle for peace and international

I must also mention Comrade L.I. Brezhnev's personal qualities, Fidel
Castro continued. As soon as he stepped onto Cuban soil, he immediately won
the personal sympathies of all Cubans without exception by the manner in
which he conducted himself, by his sincerity and unpretentiousness, by his
modesty and affability, and by his respect for and comradely attitude
toward people. He possesses these qualities both as a man and as a leader.

"You can ask any Cuban," Fidel Castro said, "what is his opinion of Comrade
Brezhnev. And you will find them all unanimous without exception. Our
people are highly cultured in political matters and are capable of gaining
a rapid knowledge and impression of people. The Cubans realized immediately
what personal qualities L.I. Brezhnev possesses. And our feelings of deep
personal sympathy toward L.I. Brezhnev and the other Soviet comrades
accompanying him in Cuba went with them everywhere they went in our

In his conversation with the Soviet journalists Comrade Fidel Castro
described with great warmth his visit with L.I. Brezhnev to Santiago de

"For the Cuban revolution," he observed, "Santiago de Cuba has the same
significance as Leningrad has for the Great October Socialist Revolution.
We were glad that Comrade L.I. Brezhnev was able to visit the Moncada
barracks, which have now been turned into a school colony, and the Siboney
farm which our group of fighters who stormed Moncada used as their base. At
Siboney, beside the well were we hid our weapons prior to the storming of
Moncada, I recalled the events of our revolutionary history. Comrade L. I.
Brezhnev shared with me his memories of the heroic days of the struggle
against the fascist aggressors in the Novorossiysk region and described the
Soviet soldiers' courage and heroism. His story made a lasting impression
on me.

"The inhabitants of Santiago de Cuba," Fidel Castro emphasized, "organized
a quite extraordinary welcome for Leonid Ilich Brezhnev and the Soviet
comrade accompanying him-a welcome filled with human warmth, vitality,
gaiety, happiness, music, and Cuban local color. It was a really people's

I will take the opportunity, Fidel Castro said, of expressing my thanks to
PRAVDA, TASS, IZVESTIYA, Moscow television and radio, NOVOSTI, and the
entire Soviet press for their wonderful work in covering L.I. Brezhnev's
visit to Cuba, which enabled the Soviet people to know in detail the way
the visit was progressing.

In answering to the correspondents' question regarding the fundamental
tasks currently confronting Cuba's communists, Comrade Fidel Castro said:
the preparation and holding of the PCC Congress in 1975 and the elaboration
of the 5-year plan for the country's development in the 1976-1980 period.
These are our two most important tasks for the immediate future.

Comrade Fidel Castro concluded the conversation by saying that he had been
tremendously interested to read the CPSU Central Committee Politburo, USSR
Supreme Soviet Presidium, and USSR Council of Ministers document fully
approving Comrade L.I. Brezhnev's activity during his visit to Cuba.

We are tremendously pleased, Fidel Castro stressed, that Comrade L.I.
Brezhnev's activity has been so highly appraised and the results of his
visit to Cuba so approved. We wholly and completely concur with that
appraisal. It is absolutely right. We are entirely in agreement with the
profound analysis made by the CPSU Central Committee Politburo, the USSR
Supreme Soviet Presidium, and the USSR Council of Ministers of the results
of the visit to Cuba by L.I. Brezhnev, general secretary of the CPSU
Central Committee.