Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

More on Barco-Castro Talks
FL1208124388 Havana Radio Progreso Network in Spanish 1100 GMT 12 Jul 88
[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro yesterday held meetings with
Presidents Julio Maria Sanguinetti of Uruguay, Virgilio Barco of Columbia,
and Raul Alfonsin of Argentina.

After his meeting with Sanguinetti, which was held behind closed doors,
Fidel said the dialogue was positive and fraternal.

For his part, the Uruguayan leader said the meeting was frank and open, and
problems concerning the continent were discussed.

The meeting between Fidel and the Columbian leader, Virgilio Barco, as held
in a magnificent atmosphere of cordiality.  Spokesmen of the Colombia
Government have said that the talks were motivated by the effort to find
greater continental cooperation and to strengthen Latin American

The Colombian and Cuban presidents spoke for 60 minutes in the presidential
suite of the Colon Hotel in Quito.

President Barco presented Fidel with books on Colombia, its government, and
the text of the constitutional reform draft that was presented to the
congress.  At the conclusion of the dialogue, Barco accompanied the Cuban
leader as far as the elevator amid a wave of journalists, cameramen, and

Fidel told the press that he could not discuss the renewal of relations
because the two countries have excellent relations of friendship and trade.
Fidel joked with journalists as he told him that his statements would be
brief because time is more scare than currency.

A Columbian journalist asked him what he thought of the latest success of
the rebels in that South American country and the Cuban chief of state
replied, quote, it is not up to me to philosophize on that, end quote.

Fidel added that during his talk with Barco they discussed topics that go
beyond the scope of the two countries.  We discussed the causes of certain
problems and not the effects of those problems, he said.  Fidel also
explained that he has no need to invite President Barco to visit Cuba
because to do this, he said, all he has to do is tell us.

The visit between Fidel and the Argentine leader, Raul Alfonsin, took place
on the first floor of the Colon Hotel and lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Fidel did not remark on this conversation because he left to participate in
a meeting held at the Ecuadoran Foreign Ministry.

The previous day, the chief of the Cuban revolution met with Costa Rican
President Oscar Arias for 1 and 1/2 hours.  Arias aid that they discussed
peace in Central America during their meeting.  The Costa Rican president
added:  I am particularly interested in continuing the talks.

Fidel later held talks and made political contacts with several Latin
American personalities until the early morning hours.  Among others, he
spoke with Hortensia Bussi, widow of the constitutional president of Chile,
and with Borja's new ministers.

Fidel also spoke with Danielle Mitterrand, wife of the French president,
and Carlos Andres Perez, Venezuelan politician.  He also spoke with Chilean
opposition representatives Anselmo Sule and Anibal Ponce, Dominican Jose
Pena Gomez, and Panamanian Foreign Minister Jorge Ritter.

In the context of this Latin American meeting in Quito, the presidents of
Nicaragua and Ecuador, Daniel Ortega and Rodrigo Borja, respectively,
signed the documents reestablishing diplomatic relations between the two

Later, in a news conference, his first after assuming the presidency, Borja
asked the United States to cooperate for peace in Nicaragua.  I am
convinced, he said, that the parties in conflict in Nicaragua long for
peace and only the cooperation of the United States is required to achieve