Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Castro Speaks to Havana Students on Elections
Havana Tele Rebelde Network

Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     FL2302162093
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-93-035          Report Date:    24 Feb 93
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     12
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       13
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       19 Feb 93
Report Volume:       Wednesday Vol VI No 035


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Speaks to Havana Students on Elections

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro to students in Havana on 18

Source Line:   FL2302162093 Havana Tele Rebelde Network in Spanish 0200 GMT 19
Feb 93

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro to students in Havana on 18

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro to students in Havana on 18

2.  [Excerpt] [passage omitted] It was amazing to me to see the revolutionary
spirit of that eastern region, those citizens. It made me think a lot. I have
tried to reflect this in part in my working meeting with the people in
Santiago, because based on the experience of the working meeting on 6 February
here at the Cuban Workers Federation headquarters, we decided to hold a
working meeting there also. You can see, however, what our working meetings
are like and how little fear we have of showing them publicly. Immediately
after the meeting was over, many comrades told us it would be a good thing to
make public what we discussed there in the working meeting. We made the
decision that it should be made public in its entirety, as we also have made
public the working meeting in Santiago de Cuba, and this one also.

3.  Because, I mean, we are doing this so openly that foreign journalists even
tried to butt in here in this meeting [laughter] and not with the best
intentions of clarifying and helping. We also know how much the mass media are
scheming and have schemed. They are in the hands of the imperialist
monopolies. We have always known that perfectly well, and we are not afraid of
anything. We have never been afraid.

4.  We are waging our battle. What we are following is our tactics, not the
enemy's tactics. We speak when we have to speak. We simply explain when we
have to explain, because we also have no reason to provide information to the
CIA that they do not have and that may be of great interest in conducting
their work. On occasions they may even try to draw a political map of the
Republic of Cuba to see where to focus their efforts most, in this place or
that. They know we have more difficulties in the capital.  They know that.
They do not even go to the provinces.

5.  Now we are accepting the journalists who want to come and see and
participate. They even participate in the vote counts and see things there.
They are primarily interested in seeing the null ballots or the blank ballots. 
They do not think about the fact that 80, 85, or 90 percent voted correctly.
They do not think about the fact that this is the country with the highest
percentage of true electoral participation, even though voting is not
mandatory. But we have extensively publicized these working meetings. We are
going to continue this way. We are working this way. I do not like having
microphones around. I do not like having cameras around. Those who know me
best know that I am allergic to all that, but it is imposed on me. That light
has driven me crazy more than once. [laughter] They have put it in front of me
and I cannot see anything. It is a hell, a kind of torture chamber where one
cannot see anything. So I say: See if you can move that light. When they move
it, they point it toward the audience and then the audience cannot see
anything, and the hell is for the audience. There are all those problems. But
they want to record these meetings, precisely to be able to publicize them. It
is not a matter of speaking with 100, 200, 300, or 500 people. There must also
be information about what is said for hundreds of thousands of people or
millions of people. That is how this electoral battle, this campaign, is being
conducted.  [passage omitted]