Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Castro Welcomes Indian Donation
Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks

Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     FL2912150092
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-250          Report Date:    29 Dec 92
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     8
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       10
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       29 Dec 92
Report Volume:       Tuesday Vol VI No 250


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks 

Report Name:   Latin America 

Headline:   Castro Welcomes Indian Donation 

Author(s):   Cuban President Fidel Castro at the ceremony to welcome a ship
with donations from India, at Havana Port on 29 December-recorded] 

Source Line:   FL2912150092 Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks in
Spanish 0300 GMT 29 Dec 92 

Subslug:   [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the ceremony to welcome a
ship with donations from India, at Havana Port on 29 December-recorded] 

FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE: 1.  [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the
ceremony to welcome a ship with donations from India, at Havana Port on 29

2.  [Text] [Castro] Dear friends (Songit), (Baavi), Singh, members of the
delegation from India; Distinguished representatives of the Indian Government;

3.  In the last few weeks, apart from the list [Sergio] Corrieri mentioned, or
as part of the list he mentioned, I have come to these docks three times.
First, on the occasion of the arrival of the ship Pinar del Rio. Second, two
days ago, the ship Bahia de Cardenas arrived. The first one brought the Pastors
for Peace donation from the United States. The second brought a donation from
Spain. Today the arrival of this ship had been announced. Its name is in
English, but I think it means Caribbean Princess [Princesa del Caribe] in
Spanish. I spoke with the captain, because we had leased this ship, we managed
it, and we could change its name from Caribbean Princess to Princesa del
Caribe, which it has earned once more by bringing this cargo. 

4.  These are truly important events. Each of these ships expresses feelings of
sympathy and solidarity for the Cuban Revolution and our people. On 26
December, I said that the arrival of those buses and other goods was something
more than symbolic. With much greater reason we should say that this ship,
which is bringing 10,105 tons of wheat, is much more than symbolic. So that you
may have an idea why, I think that to buy those 10,000 tons of wheat, we would
have to harvest and refine sugarcane from more 

han 100 caballerias. I imagine that to produce this wheat in India they had to
plant and harvest around 250 caballerias of wheat. We Cubans know perfectly
well what it takes to plant, cultivate, and harvest one caballeria of anything,
whether cane, rice, or wheat. We do not produce wheat, but we know the farming
effort that has to be made.  So you can imagine the number of people who
participated in producing these 10,105 tons of wheat. 

5.  These 10,105 tons of wheat traveled by train, according to what the
delegation explained to me, from Punjab State to (Jai) Port. It was transported
by rail along a route 1,700 km long. That is, almost twice the distance from
here to Santiago de Cuba, by train. Then it had to be loaded onto the ship. For
two weeks, hundreds and hundreds of workers had to participate in loading this
ship. Then the ship had to travel for 33 days.... [pauses] 37 days, travel on
the Indian Ocean, around the southern tip of frica, and the Atlantic, almost
20,000 km. They have measured it in miles, and it was about 12,000, did he say?
It was 12,300 [words indistinct]? That is, around 20,000 km to reach here. 

6.  This wheat comes in sacks. Now we have to unload it and take it to the
wheat mills. Now, from 10,105 tons of wheat, one can produce not less than
7,000 tons of wheat flour, plus the bran which is sometimes mixed with the
wheat to produce whole wheat bread. With that flour, with that weight of flour,
with a certain percentage of bran, one can make about 8,000.... [pauses] One
can make about 8 million kg of flour, whole wheat flour. With this flour, one
can make 80 million loaves of bread, 80 million 100-gram loaves of bread. So
every citizen of this country will get about seven loaves of whole wheat bread
from this shipment.  [applause] 

7.  So it will be enough for the entire country, and these figures, these
numbers, show-much more clearly than talking about 10,000 tons of wheat-what
this donation, this aid to our country, means at this time. Now, we also have
to think about where this wheat has come from. It does not come from a
grain-exporting country. They produce grain for their own consumption, as a
rule, but they are not a major grain exporter. It comes from a Third World
country. It comes from a country that, although it is working and making
efforts to develop, is a poor country.  It is no dishonor to call a Third World
country poor, because that is precisely what marks the Third World

8.  It comes from a country that has problems, that has needs, as do all Third
World countries, as do all countries struggling to develop, as do all countries
that were formerly colonies and are today struggling to maintain their
independence. So it has very great merit that this wheat has come precisely
from India. India is a nation of approximately 7 million square km, between 6
and 7 million square km. Is that right? They measure it in miles. How many
miles? In square km? He says 8.25 million square km. However, it has a
population of 816 million. So it has more than 100 inhabitants per square km,
but it has large mountainous areas. One would now have to calculate how much
arable land India has. 

9.  We are not very far short of 100 km.... [pauses] of 100 inhabitants per
square km, but we have to use a large part of our land, our best land, to
produce sugar for export.  Then we also have a small amount of land per capita
for producing other kinds 

of food. So the fact that the Indian people have sent us this donation of wheat
has very great merit for us. India is a country with an age-old culture.  When
in Europe they were still walking around in loincloths, and no one knew how to
read or write, India already had highly developed writing and culture. It is
one of the countries with the most ancient and richest traditions. It is a
country with a history full of wisdom. 

10.  It is a country which has suffered, like a large part of the world, from
the scourge of colonialism, since those Europeans arrived when they had
developed superior technology-not superior intelligence -when they had
developed armies that had more modern weapons, and they conquered that gigantic
country. They conquered all of it.  They colonized it during a lengthy period
of time until, in relatively recent times, it was finally able to obtain its

11.  How much has that nation had to suffer as a result of colonialism? As much
as other great nations, like China, had to suffer, as entire continents like
Asia and Africa, entire continents like a large part of Asia and all of Africa,
and like a large part, if not all, of the so-called Western Hemisphere had to
suffer. They know very well what colonialism is. They know very well what
underdevelopment is. They know very well what poverty is. They know very well
what the value of independence is. 

12.  Now, so that you can see what an unequal world we live in, that country
with 816 million inhabitants is not a permanent member of the Security Council.
It receives the same treatment in the United Nations as any country with
100,000 or 200,000 or 1 million inhabitants. The population of India is
approximately 80 times larger than Cuba's.  It has almost 80 times Cuba's
surface area. In spite of this, India's rights in the United Nations are
exactly the same as Cuba's. 

13.  It is not that we advocate unequal rights in international organizations.
We advocate equal rights in international organizations. This is reasonable; it
cannot be otherwise.  However, some countries have reserved for themselves the
privilege of being permanent members of the Security Council, and most of them
have much fewer inhabitants than India. This is why we have brought up the need
to democratize the United Nations. We have brought up the need to change the
structure of the United Nations, hich currently through the Security Council,
is controlled by a very small handful of countries that have control over that
Security Council and have control over UN decisions through their veto right. 

14.  India is a prominent and outstanding member of the Nonaligned Movement. It
was a founder of that movement and has great international prestige. That is
why, for us, this attitude on the part of the Indian nation, a nation of 816
million inhabitants-I epeat-has such great moral value and importance. Of
course, our own nation must make the primary effort in all spheres. Our own
nation must make the primary effort in food production and solving our
problems. Our own nation must make the primary effort in defending our ideas
and independence. If we are attacked, it must be our own nation that defends
from these heroic trenches our Revolution and independence down to our last
breath. [applause] 

15.  It is true that our difficulties are very great, because the disappearance
of the socialist bloc and the Soviet Union took place very abruptly. Rather
than in a matter of years, we could say it took place in a matter of months.
These were countries with which we had 85 percent of our trade,
countries-especially the USSR-from which we had an assured supply of the fuel,
food, and essential raw materials we needed, and fair prices for our exports.
Their ships helped to transport our country's export goods and a large part of
our country's imports. Today we have to do this on our own ships, our own
fleet, and on a certain number of ships which with great difficulty we are able
to hire and lease. 

16.  To this is added the fact that imperialism is trying to take advantage of
this situation in the most crudely opportunistic way to make our people
surrender from hunger and disease, by intensifying the criminal economic
embargo, by making it as tight as possible to hinder everything, to hinder our
purchasing food, raw materials, medicine, and fuel, to hinder the
transportation of all these products to our country, and to hinder our
obtaining hard currency with which to pay for these goods. The prices of these
goods are rising, and we must pay for them with income from exports whose
prices have dropped. 

17.  These are the hard trials history and life have imposed on our country.
This is why the effort, struggle, and sacrifices depend primarily, as I said,
on us. However, this does not keep us from being infinitely grateful for
solidarity, because solidarity gives encouragement. It is an incentive to
struggle. It is a tremendous moral force. It constantly reminds us that our
nation is not alone in this struggle; that our nation is upholding a just,
dignified, and heroic flag; that our nation is defending values that are of
interest to the other nations of the world. 

18.  The terrible campaigns imperialism carries out against our country are
aimed precisely at weakening this solidarity.  They are aimed at preventing
ships from coming to our country with aid. They are aimed at preventing the
condemnation of the embargo rom spreading. They are aimed at preventing a vote
in the United Nations against the embargo. They are aimed at presenting a
distorted, a grossly distorted, image of our country, the most just country in
the world, the most humane revolutionary process in human history. [applause] 

19.  Words do not speak for us; rather, actions do. In spite of the gigantic
wave of propaganda, you can see how the nations are reacting. You can see how
more than 1 million Indians participated in and contributed to this campaign. 
You can see how hundreds or thousands of workers participated in shipping and
loading this donation. You can see how the feelings of solidarity towards Cuba
are developing throughout the world, as if the nations had an instinct for
knowing the truth. 

20.  The nations know too well the injustice, oppression, and calamities
colonialism, neocolonialism, and imperialism led them into. It is as if they
had antennas for communicating with us. It is as if they had antennas for
finding out what is really 

happening in our country and what these more than 30 years of heroic struggle
against the most powerful empire that has ever existed in human history have
meant. [applause] 

21.  The nations of the world know how to value and admire this. This obligates
us to feel the deepest gratitude. This obligates us to feel eternal gratitude
towards all those who support us at this difficult time. Just as we knew how to
support others, and we still support them at this difficult time. [applause] As
we have said on other occasions, no foreign scholarship student here has lost
his scholarship.  No Cuban doctor who is providing free internationalist
services in other countries of the world as stopped providing those services.
It is just that today we are aware that the most important and significant
international mission is to defend our banners, defend our Revolution, defend
socialism, defend the nation's independence. [applause] 

22.  These 10,105 tons of wheat, plus the medicine that is on the way, besides
what they mean as much more than symbolic benefits, express other extraordinary
benefits.  For us they are 10,105 tons of solidarity, 10,105 tons of
encouragement, 10,105 tons of moral incentive. [applause] They make us not only
more internationalist but also more patriotic, more revolutionary, and more
determined to defend our glorious cause. [applause] Thank you, dear brothers
from India. Thank you, dear comrades of the delegation. Thank you,
representatives of the Indian Government.  Thank you in the name of our people.
Thank you in the name of our revolution and nation. Socialism or death,
fatherland or death, we will win! [applause]