Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-95-050 Daily Report 14 Mar 1995 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Castro Meets French Employers, Comments on U.S. Embargo

LD1403171095 Paris LCI Television in French 1600 GMT 14 Mar 95 LD1403171095 Paris LCI Television French BFN

[FBIS Translated Excerpt] Fidel Castro is setting out to conquer Paris. After a first day devoted to official meetings, the Cuban leader visited the tourist sights this morning. [passage omitted]

This afternoon, the Cuban leader was received by a delegation of French employers at the National Council of French Employers [CNPF]. His aim was to persuade them to invest in his country, and it was outside the CNPF headquarters that our correspondents, Gregoire Deniaud and Manuel Saint-Paul, recorded this exclusive interview which you are going to hear:

[Begin recording] [Correspondent] So, you are coming to see the capitalists?

[Castro] Mmmm.

[Correspondent] Why? Is the revolution over in Cuba?

[Castro] No, no.

[Correspondent] So, why are you coming to see the capitalists in France?

[Castro] Because we need a lot of partners.

[Correspondent] Are you trying to persuade France to help you put an end to the U.S. embargo?

[Castro] No, not especially. We have been fighting the U.S. embargo for a very long time.

[Correspondent] And what is happening with the political prisoners in Cuba?

[Castro] You know, there are political prisoners all over the world, like the activists of the Red Brigades in Europe. In my opinion this whole question of political prisoners is greatly exaggerated.

[Correspondent] Are you going to announce the release of political prisoners on the occasion of this visit?

[Castro] That is not the aim of my visit. I have not discussed it with the French leaders.

[Correspondent] Not even with Madame Mitterrand?

[Castro] Danielle is a great humanist. I work hand-in-hand with her. She takes an interest in all the noble causes of this world. [end recording]

[Studio announcer] Edouard Balladur commented on this visit by Fidel Castro, saying in an interview with the REUTER agency that he is not, I quote, convinced that in the current circumstances it is appropriate to lend a spectacular character to relations between France and Cuba. The prime minister specified that Fidel Castro had not asked to be received at the prime minister's office.