Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Commander Assesses Tour

FL1005180089 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1250 GMT 10 May 89

[Remarks by President Fidel Castro to unidentified journalist at the
conclusion of his 9 May tour to Matanzas Province--recorded]

[Text] [Journalist]  We would like to know your general impressions about
your visit to Matanzas.

[Castro] I have very good impressions about my visit to Matanzas.  I have
been impressed everywhere I've been.  In Matanzas, I first visited the camp
for the contingent that is construction the causeway through Majaguillar.
The only mistake we made was in arriving at 2000.  We had forgotten that
the contingent work until 2100, 2200, or 2300.  They were working when we
arrived at dusk.

Today we saw the construction projects in Varadero and they have gained
great momentum.  Many workers there are building with true dedication.
There work is of good quality.  I have been impressed with the workers and
the construction leaders.  They are very united there.  We visited several
hotels under construction.  These are progressing well.  We later visited
the causeways for the oil wells.  These have also gained great momentum.
We saw the primary causeway in Marbella which is more than 2,000 meters lon

It appears that the oil workers have good possibilities there.  They are
working more carefully now.  They cannot make any errors so as not to
affect the well.  There is a lot of gas pressure.  A few signs of oil are
also visible but there is a lot of gas pressure.  I was informed that the
oil may be found at 2,700 meters.

We then visited the second causeway that is under construction.  It now has
an islet and the workers are approaching the area where they have to build
the second islet and before the end of the year they will have the 2,800 km
of causeway completed.  We will then have three islets.  From there we
could see a few kilometers where the platform will be built.  That platform
was going to be built where the first causeway is now.  We have progressed

[Journalist] We have also saved money.

[Castro] We have saved a lot, a little more than half a million pesos in

[Journalist, interrupting] It would have cost us 50 million pesos.

[Castro] We have saved on the platform.  It cost 2 million rubles.

[Journalist] It cost 2 million rubles.

[Castro] WE are building three more platforms on the second causeway which
is valued at about 50 million rubles.  The Majaguillar causeway will have
four platforms in the swamp, which cannot even be reached now.  There will
be four oil-drilling platforms after the causeways are built.  They will do
the work of four more drilling platforms.  The platforms alone in this
location would be of no use.  The only solution was the causeway because
the platform was built for the ocean.  There was no way it could be
installed in the swamp.  Thanks to the causeway, the bases are now being
built for four platforms.  It is being built by two brigades organized as
contingents with trucks.  The cost will not exceed 2.5 million [currency
not specified].  They are building the bases which would have cost 1
million rubles to build in the ocean. [sentence as heard]  The time in
which they have built the platforms is impressive.  This made a good
impression on me.

The impression that the Sixth Congress Contingent made is also very good.

[Journalist] The contingent at the airport?

[Castro] The construction contingent from Havana and the other ones there
also left me with a good impression.  The Villa Clara highway construction
workers were also impressive.  They are finishing the airport now.  The
runway... [rephrases] They have practically finished the runway at the
airport.  They will also construct a highway this same year, the highway
that connects with the airport.  The highway will then continue through

We will organize a work force to build the viaduct here in Matanzas so that
people won't have to cross the city to...

[Journalist, interrupting] That's good news for the people of Matanzas.

[Castro] Yes.  We want to see how we can preserve and improve the beaches.
How will we do all of this?  It's a shame that little beach cannot be used
because it is polluted.  It's the beach that is close to the mouth of the
river.  I was speaking with Luis Alvarez de la Nuez [first secretary of the
Communist Party of Cuba in Matanzas Province] on possible future solutions
to prevent this type of contamination.

As you can see, there are some great projects here.  One is finished at the
port and two others are being construction--the pipeline to the
thermoelectric plant and the pipeline to Cienfuegos.

I have spoken here with those responsible for the airport.  I have strongly
stressed that security measures be increased to prevent any kind of
accident that would lead to an oil spill in this area.  Now that we have
this super tanker base here, we have to increase security measures so that
no environmental accident occurs.  This is a vital matter and I have been
discussing this here.  What measures?  All measures should be doubled or
tripled.  We have to continue to think about this.  This is a very
important matter because we have to think about the future.

[Journalist] Then you are satisfied, Commander?

[Castro] No.  I'm not totally satisfied because everything entails risks
[chuckles] but I do admire everyone's work.  There are a number of
dedicated people, technicians, skilled people, intelligent people that our
country can count on.  I have been able to see this throughout my
island-wide tour which was brief but intense.  I went from Villa Clara to
Matanzas.  I passed through Ciego de Avila, through Cayo Coco.  I began in
Sancti Spiritus and went to Ciego de Avila.  I continued north to Villa
Clara and then on to Matanzas.  We are on our way back to the capital now
where there is always something to do.

[Journalist] Thank you very much, Commander.

[Castro] Everything I've told you here is applicable to all the provinces I
visited.  The journalists are reporting on this.  I think they will write
about this because I was in all those locations and I think they probably
got the same impressions.  You are from Matanzas, right?

[Journalist] I am the Matanzas Province correspondent for NTV [National
Television Newscast].

[Castro] Thank you very much for your cooperation.  I think this will be an
opportunity for the rest of the people to see what the workers are doing

[Journalist] OK, Commander.