Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Castro Speaks

FL152029 Havana Television Service in Spanish 1232 GMT 15 Oct 85

[Remarks by Cuban President Fidel Castro at Henry Whitboy school on the
Isle of Youth, date unknown on the occasion of Zambian President Kenneth
Kuanda's visit -- recorded]

[Text] Dear Comrade Kaunda, Dear Comrade of the Zambian delegation, dear
African students -- that includes Angolans, Mozambicans, Namibians,
Congolese, Western Saharans who are also Africans, and dear Nicaraguan
comrades whom I have not mentioned: Now we do have a record.  In less than
2 weeks, in 13 days, we have had the privilege of visiting this location,
first, with comrade Nyerere.  Do you remember him? [Crowd answers: "yes."]
Later we visited with Comrade Mugabe.  Do you remember him? [Crowd answers:
"yes."] Now we are visiting with Comrade Kaunda.

I knew this and I was tempted to tell him this the other day but I said
nothing.  I told him that we would soon visit here because we wanted to
surprise you.  Now who has come here?  They are undoubtedly the most
prestigious and with the most authority.  There are others.  There is
Camrade (Maijito), Comrade Dos Santos, Comrade Samora Machel, Comrade
(Engeso) [no further identification provided].  There are many more but
there is no doubt that among the first leaders in many years are Nyerere,
Kaunda, and then Mugabe.

Nyerere was president of the OAU and president for many years of the
Frontline countries.  You know who the Frontline countries are, right?
They are the closest to South Africa.  Mugabe will be president of the
Nonaligned Movement countries and Comrade Kaunda is the one who has had the
most titles.  He was president of the OAU, president of the Nonaligned
Movement, and is currently president of the Frontline countries.

See what important personalities and what great friends have visited you
these days?  That demonstrates that they do not forget even for one minute
the liberation movement and the struggle of the African people to
consolidate their independence, their social progress, and above all
Namibia's struggle for independence, and the struggle of the African people
against apartheid.  Do not forget that for even a moment.

I think that everything serves as a stimulus for all of us.  There is much
to show in our country.  If we go to the eastern province there are
historical locations.  There are great works being developed, large, new
industries in minerals and textiles.  If we go to Cienfuegos, we can show
the new electronuclear plant under construction, the new oil refinery,
large industries like the cement and fertilizer factories constructed by
the revolution.  One of the locations we like to visit and where we like to
take foreign leaders is the Isle of Youth, which has so many interesting
things and has progressed so much in these years of the revolution but,
above all, that has experiences such as this.

There are really few things more interesting and more human that could be
demonstrated by our revolution than these modern schools with a new
educational conception, where among thousands of Cuban students millions of
students from Africa and other continents study.  This is an experience
that is a few years old now.

This very school was founded almost 7 years ago and the foreign schools on
the Isle of Youth are more than 7 years old.  It is now consolidated by
practice and has produced extraordinary results.  There is no other
location in the world where this kind of experience exists.  Here you have
what signifies the future of your peoples, the opportunity to relate with
students of other African countries, and not just from Africa, but also
from Asia, like the comrades from Yemen, or the Nicaraguans that also study
on this island.

You learn one language here.  I do not know if you speak it well.  I do not
know if after 10 years you will remember how to speak Spanish well, but
what is learned well is not forgotten.  It is a language that will serve
you in communicating among yourselves and with the Latin American people
who speak Spanish or Portuguese, as in Brazil, which is a language very
similar to Spanish, and among yourselves you can understand each other

But they do not merely learn a language.  They do not merely establish
contacts and relations with thousands of students from other countries.
They also acquire technical knowledge, scientific knowledge, and
preparation at different levels for life itself.

As you will remember, the first students from Namibia were in the lower
grades, and there are now Namibian students studying at the university.
That's right.  There are some, a group, I do not know how many, but there
is a group of these first students studying at the university.  A large
number of university scholarships have been granted for students from.
Namibia, taking into account that Namibia is not yet independent.

You will leave this school prepared for life, prepared for a useful job in
your own countries.  In addition, you are developing your love for your
countries.  You are developing your customs, your traditions, your culture
and above all you are developing a great revolutionary conscience.  The
visitors are impressed by this, even visitors who are not Africans --
visitors from the United States, legislators, representatives, journalists
-- are impressed by these schools because these schools are teaching them
an important lesson.  They cannot forget that a relatively short time ago
they took men and women from Africa to make them into slaves.  During
almost 4 centuries they kept tens of millions of African men and women
enslaved.  That era is becoming very distant.  The era of slavery and
colonialism is becoming very distant.  Today, the great majority of African
peoples are independent.  Only a few have not achieved independence,
including Western Sahara, Namibia, and the people of South Africa, who live
under brutal oppression.

The fact that the era of slavery and colonialism is being left behind does
not mean that justice has triumphed in this world although independence has
triumphed.  You know that the developed capitalistic countries continue to
exploit us; they continue to pay very low prices for your products, they
continue to sell us what they produce at very high prices.  What is more,
it was our countries that financed the development of the industrialized
capitalist world, with the sweat and blood of tens of millions of men who
worked as slaves.  The development of Europe and the United States was
financed with the sweat and blood of tens of millions of men from Latin
America and the Third World.  Historically, those who enslaved us, those
who colonized us are responsible for our underdevelopment and backwardness
and poverty. [applause]

For this reason we demand that the economic crisis be resolved, that the
foreign debt of Third World countries be cancelled, and that the new
international economic order be established because our peoples have a
right to live and because it is only fair that tens of millions of human
beings cease one day to die of hunger every year in the Third World.  We
aspire to a world in which there will not be hundreds of millions of
illiterate men and women.  We hope that one day there will not be billions
of persons without medical care.

We hope that one day there will not be hundreds of millions of unemployed
men and women.  For this reason, we must continue to fight very hard for a
world that is different from today's, for a more just world, for a world in
which all men and women have a right to work, to eat, to well-being, and to
justice. [applause]

We have achieved independence but many forms of exploitation still exist.
And some peoples such as those of Namibia and Western Sahara are still not
independent.  And the people of South Africa have not achieved independence
or the most elementary human rights either.  But, as I told you a few days
ago, apartheid is in crisis.  Sebastian [not further identified] said that
I once said there will be no peace in southern Africa until UN Resolution
No 435 is applied and Namibia becomes independent.  To this must be added
the fact that there will be no peace in southern Africa while racism,
fascism, and apartheid exist in South Africa. [applause] Therefore, to the
need for Namibian independence, to the need for Saharan independence so
there will be peace in Africa, and especially to the need for apartheid to
disappear so there will be peace in southern Africa and Africa [changes
thought] and therefore our struggle must be directed toward those goals so
that, after peace and independence are achieved, we can dedicate ourselves
to creative work and development.

Comrade Kaunda thanked us for our hospitality when really we should thank
Comrade Kaunda and his delegation for their visit, which is the culmination
of a historic period for this island, this island on which one breathes a
revolutionary spirit, which is why I said our visitors are impressed.  Our
friends are pleased.  Visitors from rich developed countries are surprised;
they especially appreciate the fact that these peoples, who in the past
were enslaved and colonized, now have a solid revolutionary conscience, a
deep patriotic and internationalist conscience.  Those ideas that you
express will take us to victory.  And these visits we have received in the
last few weeks provide great encouragement for all of you to study harder,
to advance even faster.  And they constitute encouragement for the hundreds
of Cuban teachers who have been working with you for many years.

Today it is good to remember teachers of different subjects who with so
much affection, enthusiasm, and dedication have committed themselves to the
education of these thousands of students from other countries.  We also
have to acknowledge the Cuban workers of these centers who work in the
kitchen, dormitories, the ones providing medical care and all the services
these schools require.  We also acknowledge tens of teachers from other
countries -- thus, from the countries you come from -- who teach languages,
history, or politics.  Because as we have told all our visitors, political
training and orientation is the responsibility of each of your countries'

Today we can rejoice because of the great progress and great success these
schools have shown.  Presently, there are 37 schools in the island --almost
half, not half yet -- that are used by students from other brother

I imagine that if things continue as they do, because for one reason or
another more schools keep opening, undoubtedly the time will come when
there will be more schools with students of brother countries than the
number of schools with Cuban students.  The time will come when the Isle of
Youth will mainly be the African Isle of Youth. [applause]

I was joking with Comrade Kaunda and was telling him that surely one day
the special municipality of Isle of Youth will request its membership in
the OAU. [applause] But although we are not officially in the OAU there is
an organization presided over by Comrade Kaunda of which we are a part.

Which organization?

[inaudible response]

[Castro] Which?

[inaudible response]

[Castro] No, another one.

[inaudible response]

[Castro] No, another one.

[inaudible response]

[Castro] We claim the right and honor to be part of the Frontline
countries.  Fatherland or death, we shall overcome!  [applause, crowd