Skip to comments.Castro speech canceled in Argentina
Posted on 05/26/2003 8:43:19 PM PDT by HAL9000
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Thousands of Argentine supporters of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro broke through security Monday night, creating pandemonium and forcing authorities to cancel Castro's first speech in Argentina.
The University of Buenos Aires Law School was slated to host Castro's speech in the homeland of fellow revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevarra. Authorities late Monday were trying to arrange for Castro to address the country via a televised broadcast.
Supporters of Castro overran security to overflow an auditorium beyond double its 3,200-seat capacity. People fainted and were trampled in the chaotic confusion. There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries, but authorities decided to evacuate the hall and cancel the speech for security reasons.
Castro is in Argentina to participate the inauguration of President Nester Kirchner, the country's sixth president in 18 months, who was sworn in on Sunday. Kirchner, a center-left politician, has called for greater ties among nations in Latin America, and he has vowed to defend jobs and industry in Argentina, which has suffered through five years of recession. Half of Argentina's 36.2 million population is at or below the poverty line.
Castro twice has visited Argentina since seizing power in Cuba in 1959, but this was to be his first address to the nation and a rare one for the Cuban leader.
Castor has been cheered throughout his visit, including during a meeting Monday with the new president at the Casa Rosada (Pink House), the executive office of the Argentine president. As he left the meeting, he was greeted with shouts of "Viva Fidel!" and "We're with Cuba!"
Castro was a frequent critic of U.S.-backed free market policies that were heartily adopted by Argentina in the 1990s. But with election of a center-left Argentine president emphasizing social justice, Castro felt the time was right to address Argentina.
Average Argentines greeted Castro like a rock star. "Utopia never dies, " said Nora Alvarez, a photographer who arrived to the Plaza de Mayo without her camera to see Castro.
Although the United States has tried to isolate Cuba in Latin America, elections of left-leaning presidents in Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Argentina have won Castro political support he has not enjoyed for a decade.
Che, estúpida -- by definition, Utopia never existed.
I guess they think the U.S. is blocking Castro happiness from their lives.