Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Peron, Castro Exchange Messages

Buenos Aires TELAM in Spanish 2356 GMT 3 Mar 74 C

[Text] Buenos Aires, 3 Mar--"It is undeniable that the need for a Latin
American unity will be the only chance of true freedom for our continent.
We must all contribute to that goal immediately," states a paragraph of a
personal message sent by President Peron to Cuban Prime Minister Fidel
Castro. The text of the message was released tonight by the Press and
Dissemination Secretariat, which also released the reply from Fidel Castro
to the Argentine chief of state, which states: "I am pleased to give you
our full agreement on your opinion about the need for a true Latin American
unity as the only possible road for the complete liberation of our peoples
and for Latin America to play its proper role in the world."

Treasury and Finance Minister Jose Gelbard was the bearer of the Argentine
president's message on the occasion of his recent visit to Havana at the
head of a delegation of 120 businessmen who negotiated the signing of
future agreements in Cuba.

The following is the text of Argentine President Peron's message:

Dear friend:

Today is the 28th anniversary of the inauguration of my first term in the
Presidency of the country, taking a step in the evolution of a
revolutionary movement based on social justice. It is a movement which
exists in time and space because once again, despite my years, we are
firmly resolving the future of our fatherland, trying to save it from the
disaster in which 18 years of poor government immersed it.

To head this mission of friendship I am sending my friend, our treasury and
finance minister, Mr. Gelbard, who has been asked to give you a hearty
embrace on my behalf as well as my greetings and to express to you our deep
pleasure over the opening between our peoples.

In all human relations true fraternity is demonstrated not with words but
with deeds. We, the Justicialists, have a saying which goes: It is better
to act than to talk and better to do than to promise. Cuba and Argentina
are demonstrating this in practice. Revolutions cannot be identical in
every country because all countries are not alike and all peoples do not
have the same characteristics. It is important that each one act within its
sovereignty and with its own methods.

However, it is undeniable that the need for a Latin American unity will be
the only chance for true freedom for our continent. We must all contribute
to that goal immediately in order to raise our voice with assurance and
support within the Third World which will guarantee our future development
and our economic, political and social freedom.

You, my friend Fidel, as well as myself, have spent many years in permanent
revolutionary struggle. This gives us invaluable experience which must be
transmitted to the youth to prevent them from having those delays which are
always needlessly paid with pain and blood. In order to render true fruits
to the fatherland, the dynamism of youth should be accompanied by the
knowledge gained from experience.

The responsibility weighing on our shoulders is no longer that of making
revolution which we conceive as the best for our people, but to teach our
descendents to consolidate it. To do that we have two roads: time or blood.

Time is abundant. History shows how excesses eventually return to their
traditional channels.

Blood is in short supply. Because we are a continent without capital which
must be made to progress through fraternal unity-a continent where
individual interests-- when they do not affect the Latin American
community--are respected. And for development, we will need to increase to
the maximum the number of the inhabitants of the continent.

All this means that the task does not end with us. However, it is well
worth living and dying for an ideal that transcends the people.

Mr. Gelbard will tell you how we are progressing and I hope that everything
is going well. Receive a cordial greeting and my sincere affection. A
hearty embrace.

[Signed] Juan Peron.

Fidel Castro's answer stresses the significance of the day that the
delegation headed by Gelbard arrived in Cuba: 24 February, the anniversary
of the last battle for Cuban independence, which was fought 79 years ago.

"I wish to state," Castro adds, "How much we appreciate the friendly
missing now among us, and the fact that Minister Gelbard heads it, because
of his important role in developing our relations according to the
principles which you yourself set forth."

Fidel Castro then recalls the position assumed by Argentina at the foreign
ministers meeting in Mexico asking an end to the blockade against Cuba,
although the point was not included in the debates. Castro reaffirms his
concurrence with Peron about the need for a true Latin American unity.
Castro says that Cuba will struggle to achieve that unity, which we as well
s yourself conceive as a base on which, through different paths, different
countries with different ideas, each acting under its own sovereignty and
principles, will carry out the revolution. Every true revolution,
regardless of the methods and the starting positions used, is aimed at the
liberation of mankind from any form of exploitation.

Castro, discussing Argentina's gesture of renewing trade and diplomatic
relations with Cuba, says that it is the best proof of independence and
political sovereignty and is entirely just.

Castro says that the credits for the acquisition of Argentine industrial
equipment is an economically wise and politically brave action in the face
of imperialism, which is brutally but fruitlessly engaged in strangling
Cuba's development. "We well know," Castro says, "That you and the
Argentine people have always been against this crime."

Castro continues: "The broad trade agreed upon will be mutually favorable
to our two countries. Argentine industries and workers will now have a new
and strong market for their fine products. Over a period of 15 years we
have been obtaining these goods in capitalist countries with which we have
no special economic ties or common interests. We have bought hundreds of
millions of dollars of merchandise that we could have obtained from
Argentina. We would have preferred this because Latin American economic
integration is indispensable for the future political integration for which
we must struggle."

Fidel Castro concludes that the Argentine trade mission will be successful,
in assuring that those who blockade us and attack us will always meet with
the firm hostility and resistance of our people. On the other had, we will
always answer noble gestures with sincere friendship.