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Saturday, October 31, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Virtual forum recalls 60th anniversary of Fidel's visit to New York



New York, Sep 19.- Solidarity groups with Cuba in the United States will celebrate today a virtual forum for the 60th anniversary of Fidel Castro's visit to New York and his first speech at the UN General Assembly.

The virtual appointment will be moderated by the American journalist Rosemari Mealy, author of the book Fidel and Malcolm X: memories of a meeting, according to the organizers of the online seminar.

Among the expected participants are the alternate permanent representative of Cuba to the United Nations, Ana Silvia Rodríguez, and the diplomat Raúl Roa Kourí, who spent 14 years in that legation and in 1960 played a key role in negotiating the stay of the delegation of the island in Harlem.

Sixty years ago, on September 26, 1960, the then Cuban prime minister spoke for the first time before the General Assembly and his speech, lasting almost five hours, appears among the longest delivered at the UN, and also one of the most critical, and tough against the philosophy of war.

The denunciation of numerous actions by the United States Government against the Cuban Revolution and the use of force through the growing arms race were the central arguments of this speech, which provoked repeated ovations and applause.

Shortly after the triumph of the Revolution on the Caribbean island in January 1959, Fidel Castro (1926-2016) arrived in New York on the occasion of the UN General Assembly, while the progressive changes that he promoted raised animosity in the spheres of American power.

The then Cuban Prime Minister denounced an abusive treatment at the Shelburne Hotel and decided to stay with his delegation at the Theresa Hotel, located in Harlem, one of the poor neighborhoods of New York.

The North American authorities excluded him from official meetings and encounters, but in the inhabitants of Harlem - mostly African Americans - Fidel Castro found support, admiration and a warm welcome.

At the Theresa Hotel, which closed in 1967 and now houses offices, he received civil rights defender Malcolm X; met for the first time with the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev; and he met with the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and with the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. (Text and photo: PL)