[R-G] Cuba's Castro Says Venezuelan Chavez Speaks for Him
mstainsby at tao.ca
Mon Mar 18 02:47:44 MST 2002
Reuters. 17 March 2002. Cuba's Castro Says Venezuelan Chavez Speaks for
CARACAS -- Cuban president Fidel Castro said (on) Sunday his friend and
ally, president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, could speak for him and his
revolutionary ideas at a world development conference in Mexico this
"Even if I don't go, we, I, feel represented in your words," Castro told
Chavez in a telephone call during a marathon live broadcast of the
Venezuelan leader's weekly ''Hello President" television and radio
The 75-year-old Cuban leader, who swapped banter, baseball talk and
mutual praise with his younger counterpart during the on-air chat, said
he had not yet made up his mind whether to attend the March 18-22
International Conference on Financing for Development in the Mexican
city of Monterrey
Chavez, a 47-year-old former paratrooper who has strengthened oil-rich
Venezuela's ties with Communist Cuba, has often praised Castro's
socialist revolution and expressed similar anti-capitalist and
Hailing the Venezuelan leader's "spirit and enthusiasm," the veteran
Cuban president said Chavez would address the U.N. conference in Mexico
as president of the Group of 77, which represents more than 130
"No other voice could be better than yours to defend the interests of
the (Group of) 77. ... You will have the possibility of putting forward
the point of view of the progressive people of the world," Castro added.
The Cuban leader's public praise for Chavez was certain to infuriate
political opponents of the Venezuelan leader and his self-proclaimed
Castro and Chavez hailed their nations' strong political and economic
ties, which have been criticized by the United States. Washington is the
biggest single client for Venezuela's oil exports but keeps long-running
trade sanctions on Cuba.
"However much they attack us, we are creating a new model of
integration," the Venezuelan president said.
Castro, who described himself as "an expert in putting up with attacks,"
urged Chavez to stand firm against criticism from his political enemies.
"We've been under attack for 43 years and today the Revolution is
stronger than ever," Castro said, referring to U.S. hostility against
Havana since the 1959 Cuban Revolution.
The two leaders ended their on-air chat with the revolutionary slogan
"Always onwards until victory."
"They are all Enron, we are all Argentina"
In the contradiction lies the hope.
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