Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-95-052 Daily Report 16 Mar 1995 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Castro Views Meeting With Danielle Mitterrand

FL1603173395 Havana Radio Progreso Network in Spanish 1236 GMT 16 Mar 95 FL1603173395 Havana Radio Progreso Network Spanish BFN [From the "First Thing" program]

[FBIS Translated Text] Today, Cuban President Fidel Castro visited the France-Libertes Center. The visit highlights the relations between Cuba and this organization. Danielle Mitterrand, director of the organization, and her husband French President Mitterrand have both reiterated their opposition to the U.S. blockade of Cuba because it is unfair and goes against the principles that should govern international relations in these very complex times faced by mankind.

[Begin recording] [Unidentified speaker] There are other people from the organization who are out in missions. We have a very difficult mission in Kurdistan, Iraq, and Syria. [end recording]

Following a conversation between Fidel Castro and Danielle Mitterrand, both held a press conference with the Cuban and French media that has been following and reporting on the visit.

[Begin recording] [Castro, with simultaneous translation into French] In Cuba there have never been cases of missing people, political crimes, and no one has ever been tortured. I think that Cuba has written one of the most beautiful pages regarding respect for mankind and human rights. Cuba has the most dignity among the community of states and it does not seek to control others countries, that is the truth about Cuba, and we are very proud of it, that is my answer. I have the honor of having known Danielle for a long time; informally, that's how I refer to her. I am convinced that she is the most noble and generous person, as well as the most sensitive to the human problems, that I know. She knows quite a lot about Cuba, not some caricature of Cuba, but the real Cuba. She knows all what Cuba does for its children, education, health, and its people amidst a ferocious blockade. She knows this, not some caricature of Cuba. She is aware of the things that are said about Cuba and she is aware [words indistinct] in those countries. I know her and I have felt great admiration for her exquisite sensibility in human affairs. We have always talked about this issues.

[Unidentified correspondent] French businessmen are willing to breach the blockade.

[Castro] French businessmen breached the blockade a long time ago. They have had business relations with Cuba for a long time. I have spoken about my visit to France as a consequence of the UNESCO invitation. This was made possible due to the courageous position of France, and especially the courageous position of President Mitterrand, who has not placed any obstacles or objections to our trip. On the contrary, he has welcomed us with the hospitality France is famous for, and in the normal fashion one might welcome a visiting friend. I would like to stress that I feel great admiration for President Mitterrand, for his courage, and the strength with which he has opposed the unfair and cruel blockade the United States has imposed on Cuba.

I do not visit just any place, rather I visit places where there are brave people that do not give in to pressure or fear the anger of the United States. That is why I have always respected President Mitterrand. I think that his prestige, and role in France's history continues to grow. Allow me to add one more thing: I am fully convinced that Mitterrand has written a brilliant page in the history of France, and he will be remembered as one of France's great leaders. [end recording]