Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-94-232 Daily Report 2 Dec 1994 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Fidel Castro Discusses Rights, Chilean Ties

FL0212034594 FL0212034594 BFN

[FBIS Editorial Report] The following roundup includes the translated texts of Cuban domestic media reports on the activities and remarks of President Fidel Castro during his visit to Mexico City on 1 December to attend newly elected Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo's inauguration.

Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish at 0000 GMT on 2 December reports during its regularly scheduled "Exclusive" program:

"Commander in Chief Fidel Castro highlighted in Mexico today the attention and respect paid to human rights in Cuba, contrary to accusations of violations of these principles in Cuba. During a brief declaration to the press in Mexico City, where he attended President Zedillo's inauguration, Fidel affirmed that Cuba has done more for human rights than any other country in the entire hemisphere and in the entire world. Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez held a 35-minute meeting with Fidel. After the meeting, Gonzalez declared that he has noticed an improvement in reform processes aimed at economic liberalization in Cuba. Gonzalez told reporters that their meeting was cordial and that they had reviewed the general situation and the internal processes of economic reforms in Cuba and in Spain."

Radio Rebelde adds during the same newscast: "Commander in Chief Fidel Castro met Cesar Gaviria, OAS secretary general and former Colombian president, on bilateral issues today. Fidel, who attended Mexican President Zedillo's inauguration, also met Chilean President Eduardo Frei and Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, as well as Felipe Gonzalez, after the conclusion of the official inauguration ceremony. Over the course of the day in Mexico City, meetings with several personalities attending the inauguration were on Fidel's agenda."

Havana Cuba Vision Network in Spanish at 0100 GMT on 2 December carries during its regularly scheduled "NTV" newscast the following video recorded exchange between Castro and a group of unidentified correspondents.

Footage shows medium shots of Castro standing in a hallway in his uniform with a number of hand-held microphones in his face, speaking at his usual pace and waving his arms occassionally:

The correspondent asks: "What did you and Chilean President Eduardo Frei discuss?

Castro says: "I must be discreet at this point: We had a friendly conversation. This is the second time I have had the pleasure of meeting President Frei. I have always been very satisfied with our meetings. I have always listened to every aspect of his addresses, which have been serious addresses. He made a very good impression on me. We spoke a little about Cuba, a little about Chile, and international issues.

The correspondent asks: "The possibility of renewing diplomatic relations?

Castro replies: "Well, listen, it would not have been polite for me to start pressuring President Frei during our meeting. This must come in its own time.

The correspondent says: "But your opinions, Commander.

Castro replies: "I believe that things between Chile and Cuba will improve in time. I am not pessimistic. Relations will be formalized some day. We have consuls, we trade, we have many friends in Chile. Relations will come. Goodwill is what is important, and there clearly is goodwill."