Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Further on International Fair

FL0811183988 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1344 GMT 8 Nov 88

[Text] Our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro made statements for Cuban
television news during a tour of the 6th Havana International Fair.  He
commented on the Cuban enterprises increase in foreign trade contracts by
six times this year and the significance that has for our country.

[Begin recording] [Castro] I think it promotes the effort that must be made
in exports.  I think it also shows the growing prestige of this fair.  But
above all, [word indistinct] I just saw the Cuban stands.  They have done
high quality work, and have shown things of value which have came about in
these [word indistinct].  This is very positive, I did not know about that.
I noticed that they won several awards.  Now that I have come here.  I can
see [interrupted by reporter]

[Reporter] Fourteen Cuban products won gold medals in the competition.
There were 45 competitors]

[Castro, turning to a woman reporter] What paper are you from?

[Reporter] I am from the television news.

[Castro] Ah, television news.  You know, I tried a frozen yogurt made by
equipment built by us.

[Reporter] Yes.

[Castro] Blas Roca [Contingent] has the first one, and they have given good
reports on it.  There have been 10 or 12 built, and for next year, they
plan to build 250 of them.  Do you know how expensive this equipment is?
Fifteen years ago they used to cost $2,000, today, they cost $12,000 or
$14,000.  Well, we've lost track of how much they cost.  There is a small,
you could say, improvised factory which is located in an old locale.  I
visited them there while they were trying to have a new facility built.
They still haven't built it?

[Reporter] They ran into some problems, Commander, I'm not sure what.

[Castro] Well, despite that, they have started production.  This is
excellent equipment [pointing at a yogurt machine] for our climate.  I can
imagine it in the cafeterias, workers restaurants, all those kinds of
places, and out in town.

[Reporter] Also, for the construction workers, Commander, out in the camps.

[Castro] Yes, for the construction workers.  But now we must give priority
to those who are working [words indistinct]

[Reporter, interrupting] What has impressed you the most about the Cuban

[Castro] It is very difficult to say.  But many things have impressed me,
especially the [word indistinct], and how the presentation has improved,
variety of products.  I saw something new that really interested me.  I saw
some items made out of palm and tree [word indistinct].  I also saw our
country's stones and asked if we had great quantities.  They said yes.

[Reporter] From La Palma?

[Castro] No, not so many from La Palma, but there were many other very
pretty stones.  Those are very beautiful and excellent stones.  There is a
tiny workshop with a few people, and I promised to support them so they can
increase their production.  I think that the tourists who come here and buy
foreign products could very well buy many of these local products.
Tourists prefer local products.  Of course, you cannot force them to buy.
We must have the things that they want to buy.  But I found it very
interesting, it's something new.  I also saw some furniture which I think
they sold a lot of.  The furniture is from a factory around here in Havana.
I saw some good quality refrigerators; I think it won an award.

[Reporter] Yes, it did.

[Castro] Finally, I am very pleased with the Cuban pavilion.  It is very
good.  This will show you the importance of Expo-Cuba, where everyone will
have to exhibit what they produce.  That is how we will find out about many
things that are produced, and we did not know about.  This will also
produce a [word indistinct] between the producer and the public.  I think
this will be a great incentive for quality (?because) people know that
their product is there permanently.  So when they [words indistinct] will
come up with second-generation equipment, and prettier.  Although, for
being the first one, this looks good [looking at yogurt machine] and above
all it's very functional.  It is a good quality product, I just tried it

Generally, the fair has been very good.  A fair like this is like a real
university.  In a few hours, you can learn so much about technology and its
possibilities.  You can learn a lot.  The foreign exhibitors have also been
very cooperative.

[Reporter, interrupting] Very enthusiastic.

[Castro] The exhibitors are very friendly.  They are very eager to produce
in cooperation with us.  I did not visit a single stand which did not want
to produce with us.  It is noteworthy.  They realize that not everything
can be imported, and that we cannot import everything.  [Word indistinct]
many things we can do jointly.  However, with what we spend for one
product, we can buy three.  With cooperation, we provide our labor, our
part, and who knows how much we could save.  I am very impressed with the
fair, especially with the importance and usefulness of these exhibits.

There will come a time when there will not be enough room for everyone.
Space was not rented because we didn't have enough space.  For next year,
space requests are already being made.  It's possible that in the future
Expo-Cuba will have to be used for two things.  It has two pavilions which
are not for permanent use.  But when [words indistinct], where we are going
to put them.  If this continues, even Expo-Cuba will have to be used for
exhibits.  Expo-Cuba has much more space.

[Reporter] Yes.

[Castro] But I think that center will be a success.  A success [word
indistinct] much sense.  When one visits, one can see the many thousands of
people who have come through here.

Have you noticed how the need to show the products here have forced our
enterprises and industries to improve quality, presentation, and design of
the products.?

[Reporter] Of course.

[Castro] This fair and these products are of great importance.  [ends