Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Castro Remarks on Isle of Youth

FLO21801 Havana Television Service in Spanish 1145 GMT 1 Oct 85

[Remarks by President Fidel Castro on Isle of Youth during Tanzanian
President Julius Nyerere's visit on 1 October -- recorded]

[Text] [Castro] Dear comrades, I believe all of you speak Spanish, do you

[Crowd] Yes.

[Castro] You understand [Spanish]. Of course, Comrade Nyerere spoke in
English but there are many here who also speak English and there was a
translator for those who do not. As you know, I have visited this school
many times, usually, when foreign visitors come. We have schools for many
countries. We have a school for Angolans Angola is an independent country
-- for Mozambicans -- Mozambique is an independent country -- also for the
Congo, Ethiopia -- for independent countries. There are others which are
not for independent countries -- well, we have two. Basically, they are for
Namibia and Western Sahara. They are struggling for their independence. We
will have to visit Western Sahara's [School] some time. But the tradition
began with this school for Namibians which has been a priority when
visitors come to the island, for two reasons. First, because of the first
students who came and founded this school, the students who survived --
children, youth, adolescents -- the (Kasinta) Massacre, which you also
staged so well here. For this reason, it is already a tradition to visit
this school. I made many speeches [here]. Today, I do not want to speak too
long. I should imitate our brother Nyerere who was brief, although I cannot
imitate his eloquence because he said very warm and affectionate things
here this afternoon.

For us -- for the Isle of Youth, for our country -- it is a great honor to
have Comrade Julius Nyerere in Cuba, in the island, and in this school.
Today we have done some thing special. On other occasions when visitors
come, cultural groups have always been Present. But this time, 100 students
of each nationality were invited. So, all nationalities on this island --
including Nicaraguans, Saharans, all of them -- are represented in this
event, with over 2,500 students. This has been done for the first time to
honor our dear brother Julius Nyerere.

You know him very well. He has been struggling for many years. First, he
fought for the independence of his own country, and ever since, he has been
the most loyal, steady, and tenacious defender of the struggle movement for
the liberation of Africa. He had been struggling for over 25 years when he
began struggling for his own country. But later Tanzania was a foundation
and a firm support of great importance for the struggle of former
Portuguese colonies -- countries which were ruled by Portugal. He was a
firm supporter of the struggle of the people of Zimbabwe against racism and
fascism in that country.

He is an ardent and firm supporter of Namibia's independence and, at the
same time, an [Unreadable text]tiring fighter against apartheid and the
liberation of South Africa's masses who are oppressed and exploited.

He has helped all African revolutionary and progressive causes and for over
25 years has earned a solid reputation, not only in Africa, but in all
Third World Countries. And I can say something else, that Nyerere is known
and respected in all socialist and progressive countries. But also in
industrialized countries, former colonial powers, Comrade Nyerere's name is
greatly respected for his tenacity and his loyalty to the principle of the
liberation of the people from the standpoint of men's freedom. He is a man
of great solidarity and, at the same time, a very humble man, very modest.
It was not easy to have Comrade Nyerere speak to you. We have to ask him,
cost beg him and show him how to get here [to the podium] because he is a
very modest man, despite his great merits, his prestige, he is
characterized by his modesty. This is why it has been so pleasant to have
him during these days.

Yesterday, he was explaining that he is in the process of handing the power
to a new president in Tanzania. All of us have been against him leaving
active leadership in his country but he will continue to head his party for
a while. That is good news. But he will always continue leading his country
because he is the master, as he is called in his country, because he was a
teacher and he also was the master for patriots and revolutionaries and
master for those who struggled for freedom. His thoughts and his principles
will continue to rule his country's policies and will continue to inspire
those who struggle in Africa and the entire world as an example of a
dedicated, devoted, loyal, tenacious man. One cannot say Comrade Nyerere's
efforts, tenacity, failed in his support to the liberation movement.

This is why we have such a deep appreciation, admiration, respect, and
affection for him. He is visiting Cuba at a time progressive forces are
making progress, and the evolutionary forces are advancing. I already
explained in May that South Africa is going through one of the most
difficult times in its history. And since then you have seen the great
crisis the racist and fascist South African regime is going through. Not
because of the people's struggle, which is increasing, not only for the
struggle of the Namibian people for their independence, not only for the
struggle of the Angolan people against South African aggressions, but for
the active, growing, unsurmountable participation of the South African
people. [applause]

Today we can say that the countries are on the offensive; the Angolan
people, the Namibian people, the Mozambican people, and more importantly,
very important, the South African people themselves, which have given an
extraordinary example of courage and heroism. They have defied repressive
forces and tens and hundreds have died but they have moved the world's
public opinion and have moved the foundations of racism and fascism and
each time [words indistinct] will not last for long.

Comrade Nyerere has said very kind and friendly words to our country. He
thanked us but, in reality, we are the ones who have to thank him for all
he did for his country, for Africa, for the Third World. Because the
liberation of the African countries con tributes to the liberation of Latin
American countries. It contributes to the liberation of Third World
countries, contributes to the liberation of all opressed countries.

We fulfill a basic duty, we do it with great pleasure. We have said before
that to be internationalist is to pay our own debt we have with humankind.

You are part of humankind and to fulfill our internationalist duty with you
is to pay the debt we have with you. Thank you very much. [applause]