Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Expresses Appreciation for CPUSTAL Medal

FL0305015988 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 2 May 88

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the PCC Central
Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers, has
received a gold medal conferred by the Permanent Congress for the Labor
Unity of Latin American and Caribbean Workers [CPUSTAL] for his
contributions over many years to the struggle against the Third World
countries' foreign debt and the establishment of a new international
economic order.  On behalf of the Latin American labor movement, CPUSTAL
General Secretary Roberto Prieto presented the medal, which was being
conferred for the first time, to Fidel.

The commander in chief expressed his appreciation, saying that it was a
great honor.  Later, he referred to the Third World's current problems
regarding the foreign debt and the struggle of all humankind for a peaceful

[Begin Castro recording] Today we see there is hope for peace in the steps
being taken, in the agreements that have been reached.  But today more than
ever we can say that there will not be peace without development.  We have
tried to express what happens in our--in Third World countries by comparing
it to the nuclear war.  The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagaskai
each killed approximately 120,000 citizens.  We are noting that as many
children--I am not talking about people but children--die every 3 days in
the Third World as the number who died in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki
blasts.  They could be saved with some medical services and some food.
Therefore, the reality is that a bomb, such as the ones of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, explodes every 3 days among Third World children die in the Third
World every 3 days as the number of those who die in a nuclear explosion?
This is why now that there is talk about peace, disarmament, and detente as
a condition for life for all human kind, we should call for using those
resources that would be saved to solve the foreign debt problem, the
problem of a new international economic order, the problem of development.
It would not be correct, it would not be appropriate to talk about world

I believe that at the same time we should welcome with hope these steps and
this progress--we workers should wave with more strength and firmness than
ever the banners that were waved in 1985.  They have to be waved even more
in this unfinished battle.  The main characters that will end this agony
are going to be the workers, so that we can really talk about the new
international economic order, of development, and peace.  It is within this
framework, with these objectives, that we receive this great honor.  It is
not something that we deserve but something we have to make ourselves
worthy of through the struggle.

Thank you very much.  [applause] [end recording]