The New York Times
August 25, 1998

          Castro Says Revolution Will Outlast Him


               SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Dismissing plots and
               threats against his life, Fidel Castro bade farewell to the Dominican
          Republic on Monday, insisting that his communist revolution will endure
          long after he is gone.

          "Men die. Peoples are immortal," the 72-year-old Cuban leader told a
          gathering of university students and leftist activists in a speech that lasted
          more than five hours. "History marches on."

          To push his point, Castro referred to the extraordinarily heavy security
          surrounding his five-day visit to the Dominican Republic -- motivated by
          alleged threats in recent weeks by Cuban exiles to assassinate him here.

          "Nervous? Maybe yes," he said of official concerns about the threats. But
          he said he is not worried about the future.

          "I'm not very worried about what will happen in Cuba," Castro told his
          doe-eyed audience. "The real question is 'What will happen in the world?"

          It was a swan song of sorts for Castro, who was wrapping up his
          first-ever visit to the neighboring Dominican Republic in his 39 years as
          Cuba's leader.

          For decades, Castro was persona non grata here. Fearing another Cuba
          in the Caribbean, the United States supported conservative, anti-Castro
          governments in the Dominican Republic, and in 1965 President Lyndon
          B. Johnson sent 20,000 U.S. Marines to quash a leftist rebellion.

          In the 1980s, however, Dominican President Joaquin Balaguer opened
          trade ties to Cuba. In 1996 his successor, Leonel Fernandez, restored
          diplomatic relations. A crowning moment in Castro's visit was a cordial
          meeting Sunday with the 91-year-old Balaguer, his old ideological

          Dominicans, who despite Balaguer's 24-year rule have a strong tradition
          of leftist political activism, embraced Castro.

          Castro also won a broader welcome here by being admitted as an
          observer to a two-day summit of 16 Caribbean nations. Caribbean
          leaders no longer view him as a threat and are seeking his help in
          negotiating better aid and benefits from trade partners such as the
          European Union.

          Despite the reported threats, there were few local protests of Castro's
          visit. Cuban exile organizations published advertisements in Dominican
          newspapers condemning Castro's human rights record and his system as

          On Monday, Castro recounted failed U.S. efforts against him, ranging
          from the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1962 to the Helms-Burton Law designed
          to scare away foreign investment in Cuba.

          He even found some humor in Helms-Burton, quipping, "Who are the
          biggest defenders of communism in Cuba? The United States," for
          discouraging capitalist investment.

          Of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Castro said: "The (exile) government
          continued waiting in Miami. They're still waiting."