Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-95-200 Daily Report 16 Oct 1995 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Reportage on Ibero-American Summit in Bariloche

Cuba's Castro Addresses Opening

PA1610204295 Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish, 1859 GMT 16 Oct 95 PA1610204295 Havana PRENSA LATINA Spanish BFN

[FBIS Translated Text] Bariloche, Argentina, 16 Oct (PL) -- Cuban President Fidel Castro today stated to the Fifth Ibero-American Summit: "before thinking about our ideological differences, I prefer to believe we will unite to save our America from hunger, poverty, ignorance, and diseases."

The following is the text of the speech he delivered to the plenary session of the Fifth Ibero-American Summit:

Mr. President of the Argentine Republic



Some of us have traveled a lot. Time is short, but nothing pleases us more than seeing us gathered once again. We observe absences, they grieve us. We see new faces, they gladden us. Sitting here at a table, we Ibero-Americans feel something that cannot be ignored or disregarded. We do not all think alike nor do we all struggle in equal conditions, but we all feel equal respect for the others.

Times change. Sometimes some of us have more problems and others have less. But no one can be happy when those who hold different opinions face difficulties. We all want to be right, but true reason lies in what identifies and unites us.

I am not going to cite figures, figures sometimes bore us. Regarding education, I will only mention that in Cuba the number of professors and teachers is the highest per capita among all the countries of the world. What we must ask ourselves is whether each of us is doing everything he can for his people. History will be a better judge than we will be. Today we all know that nothing is useful if it does not bring utmost well-being to each of our compatriots. Today each of us is more aware of social problems. Even the IMF and the World Bank speak of those problems and the need to resolve them. Is it perhaps the spirit of socialism?

We do not want anyone to lose sleep. Before thinking about our ideological differences, I prefer to believe that we will unite to save our America from hunger, poverty, ignorance, and disease. We must all understand that there must be an end to the horrible situation in which some do not know what to throw away in garbage dumps and others do not know what to pick up to survive.

The difficulties are enormous, but here in Bariloche I am deeply impressed by the memory of San Martin at the summit of the Andes.

Let us follow the example of our predecessors. Let us do what Bolivar, San Martin, Artigas, O'Higgins, Sucre, Juarez, Morazan and Marti would have done in similar circumstances, so that our America will hold a dignified place in a world in which we all have a right to live.