HAVANA, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Boxing hero Muhammad Ali, in Cuba on a
humanitarian mission, wants to meet another 20th Century legend -- Fidel
The three-times former heavyweight champion said Wednesday he would
like to see Castro, a heavyweight of world communism, during his three-day
trip to the Caribbean island.
"Yes, sure, if he's in the country," Ali, 56, told reporters when asked
was seeking a meeting with Castro, who normally invites well-known visitors
for a tete-a-tete in his Revolution Palace.
Ali has already fulfilled one wish, of meeting up again with his friend
Cuban boxing hero Teofilo Stevenson, who greeted him at Havana's
international airport late Tuesday.
"I am very happy to see him again," Ali said in comments barely audible
because of the effects of his Parkinson's Disease. Stevenson said he too was
delighted to see his "brother" again.
Ali was on his second visit in two years to Cuba, where he will deliver
Friday to a Havana hospital a donation of more than $1.2 million of medical
aid from a U.S. humanitarian organisation, the Disarm Education Fund.
He was also scheduled to visit various other medical facilities in Havana,
hold a series of meetings with Cuba's cultural, political and sports leaders.
The U.S. boxing hero, who began his career as Cassius Clay but later
changed his name, also visited Cuba in 1996 to hand over another donation
of medical aid worth $500,000.
The education fund's executive director, Bob Schwartz, said the medical
was a way of opposing the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba and easing its
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.