Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

More on Castro Visit, Meetings in Venezuela

Arrival Comments Reported

FL0202191689 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1800 GMT 2 Feb 89

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro arrived in Venezuela this morning.
Our special correspondent gives us this report:

[Begin recording] [Unidentified reporter] Greetings, esteemed viewers.
Early this morning Commander in Chief Fidel Castro arrived at the Simon
Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia, which is only a few kilometers
from Caracas.  [video shows Castro walking on the runway surrounded by a
group of men]

[Castro] Well, we haven't agreed on an exact time to hold meetings with
everyone that has requested a meeting.  This is something we have to
arrange.  I believe that we'll be staying in the seam place as all the
other guests.  I already have an idea of when I'm going to meet with a few
of them, but not all of them.  Now I have to coordinate the meetings.

[Reporter] Will you have a meeting with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega?

[Castro] I assume he'll be around and it's very probable that we'll meet.
Of course, the main thing on the agenda is to attend the inauguration.

[Reporter] Will you be meeting with Vice President Dan Quayle, who is also
here for the inauguration?

[Castro] I don't know.  There is nothing on the agenda with Vice President
Quayle.  I think he's been going around saying he has no plans to meet with
Daniel Ortega or Fidel Castro.  I didn't assume we would but, you know, I
don't have any objection to meeting with him.

[reporter] So, you would be willing to sit down and talk with Vice
President Quayle?

[Castro] Well, I don't have any prejudices against doing so.

[Reporter] About the foreign debt, Mr President, this is a problem that is
smothering all of Latin America.  What would be the importance of this
ceremony--the inauguration of Carlos Andres Perez--toward helping to solve
this problem?

[Castro] I think that Perez's ceremony has to do with many problems.  It
has to do with the problems and development of the Third World, the new
international economic order, the foreign debt, and a great number of
things that interest all of us in the Third World.  As you can see, not
only are there representatives from Latin America present, but from the
entire Third World.  This meeting also has to do with the idea of Latin
American integration.  This is the importance that we see and it's the
symbolism we see in conjunction with Perez's inauguration, to which not
only Latin American leaders have been invited, but leaders from the whole
world.  Of course, even though this has to do with the Third World, I think
that it also has a special relevance to Latin America, which is our own

[Reporter] A specific formula to deal with...

[Castro, interrupting] We all have to find the formula, because everyone
has their own ideas.  However, the best one is the one that will come from
the discussions.  I don't think that on this occasion we'll be able to
discuss these formulas at length.  I think that this is an sign of
willingness and the spirit to work in a set direction.  However, we can't
expect any spectacular solutions here; this has a great symbolism.  Above
all, it shows the willingness of the Third World countries and the Latin
American countries to work together.  This is the value I see in this
circumstantial, summit meeting.

[Reporter] Could there possibly be a meeting with the Group of Eight?

[Castro, laughing] We don't belong to the Group of Eight.  However, if they
invite us to a meeting, we would be more than happy to attend.

[Reporter] Thank you very much.

[Castro] Delighted.  [end recording]