Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Talks to Mexican Press

FL0212024888 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0100 GMT 1 Dec 88

[Text] We report to you from Mexico City.  President Commander in Chief
Fidel Castro is in the Aztec capital to attend the inauguration ceremony of
President-elect Carlos Salinas de Gortari.  The chief of the Cuban
revolution arrived in the Mexican capital this afternoon.  A Cuban
television news services crew transmits for your from the Aztex capital.

[Begin recording] [Video shows Castro getting off plane and being greeted
by a group of people; Castro is then seen speaking to the press]

[First reporter] Mr President, how significant is your visit to Mexico
after 30 years?

[Castro] First, I would like to tell you that I had an excellent trip.  The
weather was very good.  I was surprised to see how much the city has grown
in 32 years.  I am really very pleased for setting foot on Mexican soil
once more, 32 years after I left.  It was more or less on 24, yes on 24
November 1956.  I am truly very pleased.

[First reporter] How do you see the (?level) of democracy in Mexico?

[Castro] This is a different kind of question which departs form the
greetings you asked me for.

[Second reporter] What do you think about Gorbachev's visit to Cuba?

[Castro] Well, we expect him within a few days.  We are very pleased.  I
believe it is going to be very useful for relations between Cuba and the
USSR.  They are very good, of course.  This visit will help to make them

[First reporter] Will you hold a bilateral meeting?

[Castro] Well, it depends.  The only thing I have is the official program.

[First reporter] When do you return?

[Castro] As soon as possible to avoid creating work for people here in
Mexico, especially for you reporters, so you can rest because I imagine you
have a lot of work these days.

[First reporter] Commander, since you have not been here for many years....

[Castro, interrupting] Are you the owner of the press or what?  What is

[First reporter] [laughter] What kind of greetings would you give the
Mexican people?

[Castro] An embrace to the Mexican people.  I would like to tell them that
I am deeply moved for being here in this city, in this country, again
because it is very loved and dear.  For us, it is like a second fatherland.
Thank you very much. [end recording]