Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Text of Conversation

PA230154 Havana International Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 23 Jan 87

[Telephone conversation between Cuban President Fidel Castro and Brazilian
President Jose Sarney during the inauguration of a direct satellite
communications system -- recorded]

[Text] [Sarney] Hello?

[Castro] Yes?

[Sarney] Hello?  Am I speaking with the president?

[Castro] Yes, yes.  I can hear you clearly.  How are you?

[Sarney] Is this President Fidel Castro?

[Castro] Yes, I am speaking to you from Havana.

[Sarney] Good morning, Mr. President.  How are you?

[Castro] Good morning.

[Sarney] I am pleased to greet you.

[Castro] Thank you, thank you, thank you very much. It is also my great
pleasure to greet you.

[Sarney] Thank you. Mr. President, this connection is a symbolic one and a
great joint task. Our relations were reestablished based on the common
belief in the dialogue and the sincere exchange of ideas and views. It is
of great significance that one of the first bilateral tasks was done
precisely in this field of communications, making our dialogue and contacts
between our countries much easier. I must also add that the initiatives for
the exchange of goods and services is very good because it gives our
relationship substance. Can you hear me?

[Castro] Perfectly, perfectly, Mr. President, and I am also watching you on
television. As a matter of fact you look very well, very well.

[Sarney] Thank you, thank you, Mr. President. I wish to thank you for your
personal help in the definite installation of the Brazilian Embassy in
Havana. It was all done very well.

[Castro] Yes. Mr. President, can I say something or do you have something
more to say?

[Sarney] Yes. I will only say that it is a pleasure, Mr. President.

[Castro] You have really said a lot of things in only a few words. I have
to think bit. You have said very nice and encouraging things. I fully agree
with you that this communication is a doubly historic fact. From the
political viewpoint it is of great significance for our peoples and for me,
personally. From the technical viewpoint I also think that it is a historic
event. I must confess that for the first time I can see the person I am
talking to over the telephone. I will always remember that the first person
I saw while speaking on the telephone was you, the president of Brazil.

[Sarney] Thank you very much for your words, Mr. President. It has been a
pleasure greeting you and participating in this inauguration. I hope that
in the future we will continue to share initiatives such as this one.
Please give my personal greetings and the greetings of the Brazilian people
to the Cuban people. Thank you.

[Castro] Thank you. However I wish to add something to your words. I wish
to reiterate my feelings that the relations are advancing perfectly based
on sincerity, trust, and mutual respect as agreed upon.

[Sarney] Yes, yes. Our relations in this field are very good because they
further strengthen the friendship among our peoples.

[Castro] That is true. I recently had the opportunity to greet several
artists, intellectuals, among them our dear friend Jorge Amado. I also
talked with many businessmen who have visited us. I can assure you that the
relations are advancing very well and there are excellent possibilities for
development and increasing cultural, scientific, and economic exchange. As
far as I can see the outlook is perfect. I was also happy to hear you say
you are pleased with the idea that the Brazilian Embassy in our country be
located in one of the most beautiful buildings in our capital city.
However, this does not mean that it will be very expensive. I suggested to
your ambassador, Italo Zappa, that he choose the necessary land and choose
from among the best architects -- we suggested Niemeyer, who is a well
known architect -- to draft the plans for the embassy.

[Sarney] Yes, he spoke to me of this. I appreciate this. He spoke to me of
his visit to Cuba. He said he liked Cuba very much.

[Castro] I am glad, I am glad. Regarding the land, we will donate it and we
will help build the embassy so that it will be cheaper to build. In these
times of economic difficulties you cannot be spending too much. I
understand this. You cannot be spending too much on buildings abroad.
However, we will do our best so the cost will be very small. What we want
is that the building and the Brazilian Embassy in Cuba to be commensurate
with Brazil's prestige, Brazil's greatness, and with the level of the
relations that we aspire to achieve. At your embassy in Havana we want you
to have an extension of Brasilia. Symbolically, it would be very good if
Niemeyer were to undertake this project. I am very happy to hear that you
are pleased with the idea.

[Sarney] Thank you, Mr. President. It's a pleasure to have talked to you.

[Castro] Thank you. Greetings to you and the people of Brazil from the
people of Cuba and from me, a friendly greeting.

[Sarney] Thank you. I appreciate this.

[Castro] Thank you.