August 14, 2006 22:07
The ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro had high praise for Koreans in a meeting with staffers from Hyundai Heavy Industries, who are building packaged power stations in the Caribbean nation, the company said Monday.
Right before falling ill with intestinal bleeding, Castro and a group of aides made a surprise visit to the construction site on July 11. The elderly revolutionary was dressed in military uniform and limped a little, witnesses said. After looking around the site, he told Korean workers it was extraordinary that such a small number of workers can build a power station. A mere 11 Korean workers are involved in the construction. The Cuban leader was quoted as urging his people to learn from the diligence and aggressive working style of Koreans.
In May, Castro met with management of the Korean company to sign the contract for the station. At the time, he said Koreans were even more reliable than Japanese people since they work fast and push toward the goal. Hyundai Heavy Industries quoted Castro as saying South Koreans were also “better than North Koreans and Chinese.”
Hyundai Heavy Industries won the US$720 million contract to produce and install 544 packaged power facilities across the nation. Once completed by the end of next year, they will likely supply one-third of the total power generation in Cuba, the company said. Castro underwent surgery to halt internal bleeding after temporarily handing over power to his younger brother Raul late last month but is reportedly recovering.
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