Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Interviewed on Relations With Asturias
Havana Tele Rebelde Network
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1511225091
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-222          Report Date:    18 Nov 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     6
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       7
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       15 Nov 91
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 222


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Interviewed on Relations With Asturias

Author(s):   unidentified correspondents at a reception honoring the Asturian
delegation on 14 November; place not given-recorded]

Source Line:   FL1511225091 Havana Tele Rebelde Network in Spanish 1231 GMT 15
Nov 91

Subslug:   [Report on interview with Commander in Chief Fidel Castro by
unidentified correspondents at a reception honoring the Asturian
delegation on 14 November; place not given-recorded]

1.  [Report on interview with Commander in Chief Fidel Castro by unidentified
correspondents at a reception honoring the Asturian delegation on 14 November;
place not given-recorded]

2.  [Text] On the evening of 14 November, the Cuban Government held a reception
for the delegation which is visiting from the Asturian Principality. Commander
in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Council of State and Ministers of
Cuba, hosted the reception in honor of Asturian President Juan Luis Rodriguez
Vigil; Laura Gonzalez, president of the Asturian Principality General Council;
and other members of their delegation. The meeting promoted the exchange of
opinions on various international issues. At the end of the reception,
Commander in Chief Fidel Castro agreed to answer questions on various issues,
including his opinion of the delegation's visit to Cuba.

3.  [Begin Castro recording] I have had the opportunity of greeting tens,
hundreds of Asturians; Asturians from Asturias. I would ask them: You are from
Asturias and not from Madrid, right? I would ask a lot of tourists the same
thing. I have spoken to very intelligent, capable, and experienced businessmen
and government officials, and the truth is that one cannot have a better
impression than the one I get after each of these contacts. I say this honestly
and sincerely. I have felt and feel very good. We cannot yet discuss
agreements, but the businessmen have already [words indistinct] spoken of all
kinds of economic possibilities. I have spoken to some of them on forms of
cooperation and investment. We have even talked about some of their investments
here and some of our investments over there. We have some technologies.  I am
also studying the Asturian economic situation and its production. I believe
that the production of milk has increased in Asturias. Now there are new
situations derived from the entry into the common market.  Farmers are trying
to decide what to do with the milk, the alternatives available so that their
production will not suffer. I believe that in that field there are great
possibilities for cooperation. We have talked about all this, and to me it
seems easy to talk and negotiate with the Asturians. There are many fields in
which this cooperation is possible, especially in the exchange of experience,
above all, what we can learn from you.

4.  I have talked with some of the mayors about city projects. They have even
explained to me the garbage collection system they have and the use of organic
material as a source of energy, first of all to prevent contamination and,
secondly, as a source of energy. One mayor was telling me that they have a
plant that can produce 4,000 kilowatts per hour and it operates off organic
waste. I asked him if they use organic material in their agriculture and he
responded that they do not because it would cost too much to transport the
material to those sites and, besides, the Asturian lands are very rich in
organic material. As livestock farming is one of their main agricultural
sources, they have a large quantity of organic fertilizers; therefore, they do
not need more. But in our case, a practice and technology of this type would be
of help in lands that may need organic material.

5.  Who knows how many things we can learn. The efforts made by your people
throughout the years is noteworthy.  You have made progress; it is evident, it
can be seen.  That is why these contacts are useful. To us it is even more
useful because you have certain technological advances that we do not have. We
have some of our own technological developments in some fields that,
undoubtedly, could be useful to your principality and other Spanish

6.  We have made much progress in the field of biotechnology, in the
pharmaceutical industry, in the production of technologically advanced medical
equipment, and I believe that these are some fields in which we can make a
contribution. I believe the Asturians have shortages of health care personnel
in certain fields; they talked to me about this also. This shows the great
possibilities for exchange and cooperation between the two countries, which
means the same as developing relations with the rest of Spain. [end recording]

7.  In another segment of his exchange, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro
consented to answer some questions from the accredited press on the activities
of the Asturian delegation during its visit to Cuba. When describing the
current visit by Asturian President Rodriguez Vigil and the recent visit by
Galician President Fraga, Castro said:

8.  [Begin Castro recording] There is no doubt that this visit, as well as
Fraga's visit, can not be viewed differently.  Fraga came as a member of a
delegation from the autonomous region, as you would call it, of Galicia. He
came as president of the Galician Government. In each region titles are
different. In Barcelona they are called in one thing, in Galicia another, and
in Asturia yet another.  Fraga's visit, as head of a delegation, was not only
to reestablish contacts between a region of Spain and the large number of
Galician descendants who live here, but it also contributed to the development
of relations with the rest of Spain. We received him as a representative of
Galicia and as a representative of Spain. His visit was very useful and
positive. It was a pluralist visit. In one case it was a Spanish political
party. In this case, the president belongs to the ruling party.

9.  Our main interest was for each of the delegations to begin with the best
treatment we could give them. We cannot take sides, nor can we become involved
in the internal political affairs of Spain or its political parties.  This
truly teaches us how to talk, if we are going to speak of a world that is not
uni-polar, but a world of peace.

10.  Just last night I met with a group of Galician mayors.  The subject is
limitless because we have the estuaries, the artificial production of mussels,
of turbot, who knows what else. Fishery problems, ocean problems, industrial
problems, social problems.

11.  A group came, almost all of them were members of the other party [not
further identified]. Afterwards, I met with many mayors from the Spanish
Socialist Workers Party [PSOE]. I did not ask either. When I meet with
Galicians or Asturians I should not ask what party they belong to. I am very
happy that our relations are so friendly, very informal, independent of
ideology. The relations are also very respectful. These visits has been very
constructive. We did not discuss any political subjects pertinent to the

12.  The Spanish unity pleases me, even with their plurality, their
independence. You know that in today's world there are certain tendencies
toward disintegration in many parts of the world. I was not able to detect the
smallest sign of a dissident spirit in any of the delegations which have come,
independent of the party they may belong to. I observed a spirit of cooperation
among all the communities, of unity among the community.

13.  Let me tell you that a few days ago, as a result of the fair, I had the
privilege of meeting with a large group of Basque businessmen, officials, and
representatives. So, within a very short period of time, I have been able to
meet with representatives from three different Spanish regions, of all the
parties and all sectors, and I did not see any signs of dissension or conflict
of any kind. This really pleased me. This allows us to get to know Spain a
little better. It is the only way to learn that the Spanish people are alike,
yet different in their customs and other things.  That is very nice for a
country. This does not make a country, nation, or state poorer. Nowadays those
terms are difficult to use; whether you are talking about nationality, ethnic
background, or region. I have observed that they generally talk about the

14.  For me, this experience has been very interesting. We can say that all
these experiences have contributed to the development of resolutions. I could
say the same things about the Fraga delegation, the group of mayors who visited
us recently. I believe they came as tourists; I do not remember exactly why
they came.

15.  [Unidentified speaker] They came as tourists.

16.  [Castro] And the Basque group who attended the reception... [corrects
himself] the fair and the government representatives. Even a minister was among
them. In this case they were members of the ruling party. Rosa Diaz, minister
of trade and three other things. She came from the Basque region. In only a few
days I have had this privilege. I have learned so much about everything and all
that I have learned has been very interesting. I think that, above all, these
visits contribute to strengthening relations. I hope delegations from the
different Spanish regions will continue to come. Everyone will be welcomed with
the same warmth and the same hospitality. I personally will do everything I can
to meet with them, when time permits. It is gratifying and a pleasure. I
believe that these kinds of associations are of enormous value; they are not
merely formal associations. They become informal, like among family members.
And well, it is a gratifying way to commemorate the very famous fifth
centennial. [end recording]