Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-94-237 Daily Report 8 Dec 1994 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Castro on Role of Culture at Awards Ceremony

FL0812164794 Havana Radio Progreso Network in Spanish 1200 GMT 8 Dec 94 FL0812164794 Havana Radio Progreso Network Spanish BFN [Interview with President Fidel Castro by reporter Gisela Aranda at an awards ceremony for Alfredo Guevarra in Havana City on 7 December; from the "First Thing" program -- recorded]

[FBIS Translated Text] [Aranda] How important do you think this ceremony is for Cuban culture and especially for Cuban cinema? We are so fortunate to have you here today.

[Castro] Today's event has been profoundly emotional. One of those occasions where -- notwithstanding our strong composure -- it almost made us spill some tears. Even if we did not cry, our eyes were watery. The ceremony in itself was very genuine and touching. [Havana historian Eusebio] Leal and Alfredo's words were true classics. No, they cannot be classics because words are words, but here sentiments were expressed in beautiful words. Perhaps, history can record words, but what is difficult to record are the feelings brought forth during this ceremony. I felt that, during a few moments, my heart skipped a beat [el corazon asi se me apreto]. However, I was not worried about a heart attack because I have already adapted my heart to... [word indistinct]. [women laugh]

[Aranda] What role should culture play in these difficult times?

[Castro] Well, you are asking difficult questions and I know... [women laugh] I think Leal and Alfredo said it: identity with the fatherland, with sovereignty, with independence, and with the Revolution -- save it, help to save it, among all of us. Many, many things can be done. I hope that you are convinced. [end recording]