Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL180414 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0100 GMT 18 Mar 87

[Statements made by President Fidel Castro on 17 March at site of Brazilian
Embassy in Havana -- recorded]

[Text] [Announcer] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, president of the
Councils of State and Ministers, and Brazilian Foreign Minister Roberto
Costa de Abreu Sodre have laid the cornerstone for what will be the
Brazilian Embassy in Cuba. The diplomatic headequarters will be located on
7th and 24th Streets in Miramar.

[Castro] [Words indistinct] and this is now truly present because I imagine
it is a little more complicated.

[Unidentified Speaker] Yes, it is saved. We save it and then the
architect's draft is agreed upon.

[Castro] Now we have to wait for the draft. We cannot do anything. [laughs]

[Speaker] Yes, we are waiting for the draft.

[Castro] Then the school...

[Abreu Sodre, interrupting] We are going to (?speed up the process).

[Castro] We ourselves will promote a solution to the problem of the

[Speaker] Yes, yes, that is correct.

[Castro] And if a space is available for a single school that does not need
two or three installations... [does not finish sentence]

[Speaker] I spoke with (Glenda) in the municipality...

[Castro, interrupting] We should make it several stories high. It should be
several stories.

[Speaker, interrupting] And consolidate it into one building.

[Castro] And possibly use a space that is more or less similar to one of
those schools and we should do it all at once.

[Speaker] Yes, that is correct.

[Castro] The school will be in just one building and not three or four.

[Abreu Sodre] It can be done?

[Speaker] Yes, of course, [words indistinct]

[Castro] Because it happened suddenly. The sudden increase of students was
so large that we used some of the houses here that we were building. This
house [words indistinct] and what is that building?

[Speaker] That is an office.

[Castro] [Video shows Castro speaking to woman reporter holding a
microphone] It is very significant to establish relations, find a building,
rent a building, and establish an embassy, but we all seem to be interested
in establishing the Brazilian Embassy because of the importance Brazil
represents to our country, Latin America, and Third World countries. It is
important that the building be a dignified representation of Brazil.

It is very difficult to find a building under those conditions and there
were problems in constructing the building because we have many embassies.
Buildings are not specifically constructed for embassies but, instead,
existing buildings are used.

Because of these difficulties, I suggested constructing an embassy. I said
that we had the land, all the land necessary for this [the camera shows
Castro interrupting himself to pull the reporter's hair away from her face
as he says, "that hair is bothering you", and then he continues with his
sentence] to make a building that can appropriately accommodate the
Brazilian Embassy. I said this but it was more like a dream. I said, I hope
that [name indistinct] can draft a plan for the embassy but I said it more
as a wish, not with the assurance that it was possible. The ambassador
liked the idea very much and he soon began consultations. He surely
consulted with the foreign minister, with the president.

The news was received in a few days. We immediately began the task of
finding land. Land is not abundant here because Cuba is not Brazil, which
has millions of square meters of land. We are a small island and we need to
conserve land. Havana has to grow up because if we extend ourselves in
individual houses, we will end up at the southern coast. We would be
pouring cement over agricultural areas, which supply the population with
food. Because of that...[changes thought] Land is scarce in Havana but we
have decided to fulfill the promise of finding adequate land. Then the
comrades from (Cubal), which is an institution that provides services for
diplomats, drafted a plan for a large building. How many floors were

[Speaker] (?Five) floors

[Castro] This building had a proprietor. Once we saw that this location is
one of the best for this purpose, we have to negotiate with the interested
parties so that they would agree to this proposal.

[Speaker] Thank you.