Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Issues Declaration, Sends Note on Mandela

FL1807135588 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1100 GMT 18 Jul 88

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, president of the Councils of State
and Ministers, has issued a declaration on the occasion of the 70th
birthday of the South African combatant, Nelson Mandela.  The declaration

For more than 26 years, the outstanding combatant and leader of the South
African people, Nelson Mandela, has endured, without yielding to the
tortures and mistreatment of the dungeons the racist regime of apartheid
reserves for its opponents.

His impressive bravery, firm principles, political stature, and infinite
dedication to the worthy cause of his people so that they can live and
develop in a society that this democratic, just, peaceful, and devoid of
racial divisions make him deserving of the most profound respect and
admiration of the people and Government of Cuba.

In view of this, we unite our names with all those who, on the 70th
anniversary of the birth of that unyielding man, and willing to give him
the tribute he has earned and to fight next to our South African brothers
with all the means within their reach for the sake of the triumph of the
principles that Mandela and the African National Congress have defended
with their sacrifice and blood.

We reaffirm our willingness to continue collaborating with the United
Nations and the international community for the unconditional release of
the outstanding leader and his other brother prisoners, as well as a South
Africa free of apartheid.

Signed:  Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Council of State and of the
Government of the Republic of Cuba

Our commander in chief also sent Nelson Mandela a letter that says:

On behalf of the Cuban people, I convey a fraternal and revolutionary
greeting on the occasion of your 70th anniversary.  The constant
demonstrations of solidarity that you receive for your unyielding decision
to struggle against the racist regime to achieve the just rights of your
people shows that the cause you represent has been converted into a purpose
for the peoples of the world to eliminate the apartheid regime and replace
it with a democratic, united, and non-racist South Africa.

With your unyielding attitude during more than a quarter century of unjust
imprisonment, you have imprisoned your own jailers in a cell without bars.

The universal importance of this act reminds the Cuban people of that
thought of our national hero, Jose Marti, that a just idea from the back of
a cave [words indistinct].

Dear Comrade [words indistinct]:  Your life has not been dedicated solely
to your people but to all the people of Africa and the world.  The Cuban
internationalists reiterate with great admiration their solidarity and
support for the patriots, workers, peasants, youths, and women of the
heroic South African people who day after day confront violent repression
and carry out acts of bravery and heroism.

To the world you are the living example of those people and their struggle
for liberty.  I hope that I will be able to embrace you at the moment of
your release.

Singed:  Fidel Castro Ruz