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Castro Responds

PA0908172088 Quito Voz de los Andes in Spanish 1517 GMT 9 Aug 88

[Statement by President Fidel Castro upon arrival in response to a
welcoming speech by President Leon Febres-Cordero; at an Ecuadoran Air
Force base near the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito--live]

[Text]  Most Distinguished President of Ecuador, (?representatives) of
Ecuador, soldiers and officers, [word indistinct] of ceremony, Ecuadoreans:
I must confess that I felt a profound emotion as I was approaching this
brother country and this [words indistinct] are unforgettable [words
indistinct] who have written brilliant pages in its history and reminded us
of our own history as a small country.  Ecuadoreans were forced to display
heroism to win freedom and independence.  It is also especially pleasing
for me to be able to reciprocate a visit to our country by President

He recalled the historical ties between our two peoples.  There are many
ties.  Ecuadoreans fought for our independence, and Cubans had the honor
and privilege of participating in the struggles of the Ecuadoran people.

The ties between our two peoples date back a long time.  We could say more
than 150 years.  The president mentioned our current relations.  I believe
that Ecuadoran-Cuban relations honor our two countries.  They represent an
example of the Latin American spirit of integration.  These relations are
evidence of independence for those who dislike seeing us so united.  We are
very honored to maintain the relations we have with Ecuador and our
friendship with the Ecuadoran people.  There is nothing that we would not
do in support of our solidarity and friendship.

The president kindly mentioned Cuba's assistance in regard to certain
problems in Ecuador, such as an epidemic in the tropical area.  We have
some experience in this regard because we also live in the tropics.  He has
said in the past:  We must live with the aedes egyptis, which is the famous
mosquito that transmits dengue and yellow fever.  In fact, Cuban Carlos
Finlay had the honor of being the discoverer of the transmitting agent of
this disease, an honor that others tried to deny him after he dedicated an
entire life to research and to this discovery, which has been so useful to

We have some experience in this area, but I do not think that we even
deserve a thank you because we really view this as a basic duty.  I wish we
could do a lot more, and I also hope that you will be able to do a lot more
for my country.

We have come here at this very important moment.  We could say, at a moment
when institutions are being established and the Constitution of Ecuador
[20-second interruption by announcer].

It would be difficult to describe a landscape more beautiful than this one.
It would be difficult to describe a bluer and more beautiful sky.  This is
the sky of independence of liberty.  It is the sky of the glory won by the
heroism of the Ecuadoreans.  Thank you very much.  [applause]