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Castro Speech Database

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This database contains English translations of thousands of speeches, interviews, and press conferences given by Fidel Castro between 1959 and 1996.

Excerpts from Debate Between Lech Walesa and Alfred Miodowicz, 30 November 1988

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In the fall of 1988, Alfred Miodowicz, the head of the official union OPZZ (All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions), challenged Lech Wałesa, the leader of the outlawed Solidarity trade union, to a televised debate. The offer signaled the growing willingness of many party leaders to compromise with opposition groups, but it was also a sign of the party’s continued self-confidence. Miodowicz, a... Read More »

Guenter Schabowski's Press Conference in the GDR International Press Center

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Günther Schabowski, the spokesman for the East German Communist Party Politburo, played a vital role in the toppling of the East German Communist government in the fall of 1989. During a press conference on November 9, 1989, a reporter asked him about new travel regulations issued by the government that seemed to indicate the possibility of easier travel into West Berlin through the Berlin... Read More »

Gunter Schabowski Press Conference

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Schabowski, the spokesman for the East German Communist Party Politburo, played a vital role in the toppling of the East German Communist government in the fall of 1989. During a press conference on November 9, 1989, a reporter asked him about new travel regulations issued by the government that seemed to indicate the possibility of easier travel into West Berlin through the Berlin Wall.... Read More »

Hungary's Prime Minister discusses the Future

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As part of a public demonstration of support for the newly-elected governments in Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, traveled throughout the region in September 1990. Not only did this provide her an opportunity to discuss important matters for Britain's foreign policy but also she could use the attention she brought with Western journalists to allow the... Read More »

Joint Press Conference of President Bush and Chairman Gorbachev at the Malta Summit

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US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev held their first summit early in December 1989 onboard a Soviet cruise ship docked off the coast of Malta. Prior to arriving, Gorbachev wondered if he would be able to establish a relationship of trust with Bush as he had achieved with other Western leaders, since information coming into the Kremlin indicated that Bush’s... Read More »

President Reagan Answers Questions about the Iceland Summit

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Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated the October 1986 weekend summit at Reykjavik, Iceland with President Ronald Reagan after progress in arms negotiations had slowed following their first meeting in Geneva the previous November. At the conclusion of two days of intense bargaining in what they had described only as an “interim summit” prior to a more substantial proposed meeting in... Read More »

Press Release Regarding the Berlin Wall Memorial at the Baker Institute (Rice University)

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In 2000, 11 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rice University installed a section of the former wall as a permanent part of the Baker Institute. Speaking at the opening ceremony for this monument, Rice University President Malcolm Gillis noted that the remnants of the Berlin Wall serve to remind us that no structure is capable of confining "the human mind and the human spirit in its... Read More »

Prime Minister Thatcher's Press Conference in Moscow

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In the spring and summer of 1989, Chinese protestors occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing in order to achieve some political concessions from the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, the Soviet Union under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev continued to follow along their path of political reforms with glasnost' (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). In September 1989, Prime... Read More »