Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-94-118 Daily Report 17 Jun 1994 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Remarks on `Cowardly' U.S. Summit Arrangements

CM2006153994 Havana Radio Havana Cuba Network in Spanish 1253 GMT 17 Jun 94 CM2006153994 Havana Radio Havana Cuba Network Spanish BFN [Remarks by President Fidel Castro during news conference with domestic correspondents following the fourth Ibero-American summit in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on 16 June; from the "Doing Radio" program -- recorded]

[Text] I cannot say that there are paramount differences between summits. Progress was made at all of them, and altogether they represent something positive. The summits are being honed. We are never fully satisfied with everything discussed or said at the summits. Yet, the fact that the summits are taking place is an important step in Latin American history. As I told representatives of the solidarity groups today, it is the first time in history that we meet or hold meetings...[pauses] This is already the fourth.

The summits have gained strength. These Latin American summits have become institutionalized. Each one has made a contribution, fostered certain accords, and promoted specific results. The summits, in general, yield results. They have fostered greater awareness, understanding, and a spirit of cooperation among Latin American leaders. This is reflected in the diverse steps the Latin American peoples are taking toward integration. The summits' value does not lie in what is accomplished but in what is fostered. The summits have truly fostered much.

I liked this summit. Guadalajara was first; Rio was also good; some things came out of Spain. The Caribbean atmosphere, this city's spirit, the hospitality, the quality -- although also present in Rio and Guadalajara -- contributed to this summit. We felt closer to our climate and character.

You can see how important these summits are by the fact that they have prompted the Miami summit. Our northern neighbors are worried and envious of the fact that this movement continues to grow and advance and has attained specific results in establishing subregional integration mechanism. Therefore, they want to have their own. We do not know if they want to hold it annually. Of course, they began by excluding us, which is a clear act of cowardice. They fear debate and discussion. They fear the truth.

They know I would go to the summit even if it were held in the very city of Miami. The truth, however, is that they do not want to see me there. This exclusion is mediocre and cowardly and reflects political weakness. As I explained, however, I am not opposed to that summit. On the contrary, we must start discussing the issues that ought to be discussed at that summit because it is an opportunity. One cannot reject an opportunity to have the Latin American and Caribbean peoples go there and talk with the alleged masters of this hemisphere. I hope they have enough spirit and courage. There are always certain courageous men that will express certain truths at that summit and defend the many interests of Latin America and the Caribbean.