Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Talks With Delegates to Women's Meeting

FL0710202988 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1700 GMT 7 Oct 88

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, president of the Councils of State
and Ministers, last night visited a block of the FMC [Federation of Cuban
Women] in Plaza de la Revolucion municipality.  Delegates from the third
continental meeting of women, which ends today, were present.  The meeting
was attended by representatives from 28 Latin American and Caribbean

Present at the emotional meeting of Fidel with the delegates was Vilma
Espin, president of the FMC.  She was accompanied by (Frieda Braun),
president of the Women's International Democratic Federation [FDIM].  At
the same time, there were similar activities in various municipalities
throughout the capital.

[Begin recording] [First unidentified speaker] What do you like most?

[Castro] I like it all.  I like it all. [repeats himself] Let me see
here--grapefruit, pastries.  Those are Chinese.  I know them.  If they're
light-colored like that, they're Chinese.  [laughs] There's spaghetti here,
and rice over there.  What's this?

[First speaker] Salad.

[Castro] It's fantastic!  What's it made of, macaroni?

[First speaker] A little of everything.

[Castro, speaking to Vilma Espin] Did the whole convention come here?  You
people are something else.  When someone's expecting you, you don't come.
[indistinct talk in background] When did you get here?

[Espin] We just arrived.

[Castro] How many places in Havana have you been to?

[Espin] Oh, I've been to....

[Castro, interrupting] It's a pity there's no lottery so I could buy a
ticket.  [laughter from crowd] What a coincidence, what luck!

[Espin] Hey, Fidel, there are 50 blocks at this moment with the same

[Castro] Fifty blocks?  And we end up in the same place?  Who came here
with you?

[Espin] There are 30 women from Latin America and the Caribbean and the
comrades from the FDIM, from the FDIM directorate, and Risquet, who's here
with us too.

[Castro] Without having been invited by anyone!  [laughter] Just like us!

[Espin] We were all in a meeting over there and we all came here, with

[Castro] How are things going?

[Espin] Pretty well.

[Castro] Is Frieda) around?

[Espin] She's around here somewhere.  You can't see her, but she's back
there.  Let's go and sit down over there; they're already getting ready

[Castro, interrupting] Sit down?  What's going on over there? [people

[Second unidentified speaker] A political ceremony.

[Castro] A political ceremony! [indistinct talk in background]

[Third unidentified speaker] You should understand the emotion we are
feeling right now, in the presence of so many people who are loved and
admired by us Cubans and the entire world:  progressives and
revolutionaries.  To the women of the world who are visiting us, we would
like to give you a message, a small message, from the women who live in
this neighborhood, the women who live in two blocks--block 23 and block 25.
What are blocks 23 and 25?  For us this is very familial, very natural.  We
know it perfectly well, but perhaps the women from other parts of the world
don't know that it is an organization under the FMC.  This community-based
organization is an organization to which some 800 women on each block
belong.  In the block there are some 800 organized women.  We are the ones
who live in these houses here.  They are 2 blocks [words indistinct] 1,000
women or 1,500 women.

[Castro] How many senior citizens do you have here who exercise?

[Fourth unidentified speaker] Four thousand.

[Castro] How many family doctors?

[Fourth speaker][Words indistinct]

[Castro] There are many.  The reason is.... [pauses to speak to someone
next to him] No, that's not the reason--she says because there are many
hospital institutions.  It is because we started in the more peripheral
neighborhoods, the neighborhoods that were traditionally the poorest, the
ones that had the worst living conditions.  We've started there.  All of
Guanabocoa is saturated, El Cotorro is saturated, Diez de Octubre is
saturated.  We have approximately 2,000 family doctors in Havana at this
moment, including the ones that were incorporated.  We need 3,500.  More
than 50 percent of the city already has family doctors, and that's the
reason why.  First, those zones where attended to, the ones with
traditionally lower standards of living.  [end recording]