Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


(Editor's note--E)  The Cuban FIEL radio network on July 9 at 0200 GMT
began an interview with Prime Minister Fidel Castro by reporters Mario
Cuchilan and Luis Baez.  Replying to the first question of Mario Cuchilan
on what measures are to be adopted by the revolutionary government in the
present economic situation Castro said in brief:  The first measure is not
to lose patience.  I think we must not lose our patience, calm, or good
humor.  We must take this struggle to victory, forcing our reason to
prevail and knowing how to do this.

We are acting with reason and right on our side. They are acting against
reason, right, and history.  We are certain we will emerge victorious in
this struggle. We are absolutely certain we will win the economic battle.
We should act in a manner that would be of no benefit to them. They always
expect certain reactions from the revolutionary government. They are always
mistaken.  These mistakes are characteristic of U.S. foreign policy.

They have done all they can to remove the revolutionary government.  From
the first there have been campaigns, aggressions, lies, aerial incursions.
Note how they have used all these weapons at different times. Before the
harvests they permitted the planes to fly over.  Now that the harvest is
done the planes have stopped--as if by order.  Now they have reached the
stage of direct economic aggression.  They have been using the policy of
provocation, defamation, and aggression but they will not budget Cuba from
its path.

They tell the tourists to stay away yet we, on the other hand, treat the
tourists well.  We always try to act in the correct manner, with sincerity
and clarity.  We have never lied.  All we have done is defend ourselves
from aggression.  Until they began their campaign of aggressions what did
we do?  We did not eject the UNITED PRESS or ASSOCIATED PRESS.  They are
still here.  We brought newsmen from all over to see the truth about Cuba.
When they began the air attacks we mobilized the people. We expressed the
people's protest.  It was proved that the planes were coming from Florida
even after the U.S. Government declared they did not come from U.S.

We have never been guilty of any act of aggression.  We have only been
doing the revolutionary thing in defending ourselves. The result was that
President Dorticos was received everywhere with sympathy and Latin American
solidarity was seen all over.  Eisenhower went to Latin America first and
his tour took place amid turmoil and tear gas.  Our President went and the
result was a triumphant tour. We have been winning all the battles.  We won
the battle against slander.  We also now have plenty of arms; just how much
I would not like to reveal here.

I would like to tell the militiamen not to be discouraged about weapons.
Every militiamen will have an automatic weapon.  That much I can say.  (The
audience chants enthusiastically.)  We have taken the necessary measures.
Each militiaman will have a weapon and the country can count on the
security it offers.

The maneuver in Latin America is another tactic against us.  The result of
this was that we won again and the Cuban President won the Latin American
people over.

Then came the oil battle.  They conceived the plot of leaving us without
fuel. They had great hopes in this maneuver.  They were convinced that the
oil matter would defeat the revolution.  The result of this is that we have
taken over the refineries and we have not been left without oil. There are
19 Soviet ships on the way to Cuba with oil.

By the middle of the month the supply will be completely normal.  This does
not include the effort the government will make to obtain Venezuelan oil.
We will ask them to sell us oil which will strengthen our security in fuel

The Soviet ships to arrive are:  On July 7, a ship with 70,000 barrels;
July 12, another ship with (79,300?) barrels; July 12, another with 76,500
barrels; July 14, another, the Peking, with 170,000 barrels; July 15, a
ship with 78,000 barrels; July 16, one with 79,700 barrels; July 19,
another ship with 78,000 barrels; July 20, another ship with 78,000
barrels; July 21, another with 78,000; July 22, another ship with 130,000
barrels; July 25, another with 78,000; July 28, another ship with 140,000
barrels; July 31, another ship with 42,000 barrels and 40,000 barrels of
another type of fuel; and July 31, another ship with 70,000 barrels; plus
three ships, another three ships loaded with fuel, which are on the way.

They thought to reduce the nation seriously.  They must, by now, have lost
this hope. They calculated incorrectly once again.  The result is that we
have kept our promise to the people that gasoline would not be lacking.

We have been facing all these aggressions, adopting always the correct
policy needed to win battles now and in the future. We have taken measures
to grant the power to nationalize U.S. firms when the interests of the
country demanded it.  In reply to aggression we have adopted a law that
will protect the interests of the nation.

All U.S. firms have been here without suffering infringement.  The laws we
have passed have been aimed at those interests that exploited our country.
The fact that American interests still are here proves that the aggression
is not on our part.  We have been the object of subversive plots and
aggressions.  These aggressions have been the policy of the U.S.
Government.  I want to clear this up for they still say they are acting
against the government and not the people.

No people is cruel.  Those who are cruel are the oligarchs who support
powerful interests.  Using military interests and political strength, they
rule the peoples.  The Japanese people could not be held responsible for
the oligarchial attack on Pearl Harbor.  The people can understand that the
people are not responsible for actions of oligarchies during various
periods of history.  We cannot accuse Romans of the barbarities of Roman
senators. The plebians were below the patricians. Below the plebians were
the slaves who worked for patricians. One cannot accuse the North American
worker, among whom there are intelligent, generous persons, of the deeds
committed by his nation.  One cannot accuse the southern Negroes, for they
are victims of injustice.  We want our people to understand these matters
of history.  We are not going to contribute to errors.

We have been the victims of a series of attacks. A Cuban plane is being
held.  The Cuban Sugar kings (baseball team) have lost their (franchise?).
Our relations with the United States have previously been excellent in
matters of support.  Today, this spirit has been violated.

We have continued to be victims of a series of aggressions.  We shall
continue to be victims of this series of aggressions but our weapon is
reason.  We shall show the world that this unjustified attack is being
carried out against a small country by a powerful country.  The Latin
American nations will see that the U.S. Government does not want people to
develop.  It does not want hunger to end; does not want the peasants to
have land; does not want illiterates to have schools; does not want nations
to have culture or high living standards; does not want them to enjoy their
work and their land.

The U.S. policy toward Trujillo is to make him a soldier at their orders.
They helped him for 30 years as they helped Somoza, Perez, and Batista, and
for 30 years they were indifferent to the poverty-stricken state of the
Dominicans, indifferent to the assassinations at night and during the day,
and to the sufferings of the students.  The Latin Americans can compare
their attitude toward the Dominican Republic and toward a nation in which
the people want to improve themselves.

The attitude of the government and the people of Mexico (audience applauds
and there are shouts of "viva Mexico") can be seen.  They have written a
heroic page.  The people had to suffer from attacks, the reduction of
territory, the loss of their best sons.  Courageously the people of Mexico,
through their congress and the bicameral commission, and Lazaro Cardenas,
have expressed their solidarity with the Cuban people in the face of
aggression.  This is the reason for our eternal gratitude to the people and
government of Mexico.  (Applause)

The President of Uruguay and labor unions of Argentina, Chile, Venezuela,
and Brazil have expressed their solidarity with Cuba.

Marti said that one must do whatever must be done at all times.  We must
mobilize the entire nation so the world may see how Cuba mobilizes against
aggression and protests aggression.  This is to be an appeal to the public
opinion of the world.  The world is to see how this aggression will fail in
the face of the worthiness of our people.  This is a chance for all Cubans
to act at an important time in the struggle of nations to be free and to

We must remember that we are a small nation, that we are right, that we
have many virtues, that we have a long tradition and that we are
intelligent.  We shall be victorious in our struggle.  We are certain we
shall face all difficulties and the people too shall face them.  We will
not withdraw a single step.  We shall not be conquered should they commit
the ultimate mistake of attacking us.

(A second question is posed asking Castro to explain the basis for the new

Castro:  The budget is the result of great efforts by the government in the
realm of economy.  Technicians and accountants are working out the final
details.  Previously there had been a complete lack of control.  There was
theft and there were improper investments.  We shall see the ideal of
complete compatibility of state expenditures.  All unnecessary expenditures
will be cut.  It took time to solve these problems. With the aid of the
people we were able to eliminate the negative forces.

Cutting down expenses goes hand in hand with another thing--overstaffing.
There were a great number of persons in excess.  Offices had been invented
to place relatives.  Nepotism caused expenditures to skyrocket.  We tried
not to put anyone out into the street.  That could not be our solution.
Our plan is to continue paying the personnel and to train them to aid the
country where their services will be most useful.

Interviewer:  A cable from London has said China would buy a considerable
quantity of our sugar.  Would you comment on this.

Castro:  I heard this report also.  Cepero Bonilla knows more than I do
about this matter.  I can say that with regard to the general sugar
situation we should understand better the lack of good faith with which our
enemies have acted toward Cuba.

You will recall that when we spoke of agricultural reform the first thing
said was that production would diminish.  The truth of the matter is that
just the opposite has happened.  This agrarian reform in our country was
organized.  All was done as planned and in an orderly manner.  In Cuba we
have been able to peform the miracle of increasing production from the
outset.  Events proved that all dire predictions were uncalled for.

We have also been finding markets for our production.  This year we are on
the road to setting a record for sales.  Our reserves have reached 205
million dollars.  Not only have we reduced imports, produced more and
increased employment but this increase is being absorbed by our new plans.
We are planning to produce sheep which will sell cheaper than beef.  In the
winter months we have excellent areas for raising beans.  As for sugar, we
are on the way to selling six and one-half million tons.

The revolution showed it could march ahead and has taken a correct line.
They took some of our sugar quota.  That was done so the savings of the
people would be lost and all the people's sacrifices wiped out.  But the
production of sugar did not diminish.  Cubans are producing more than ever.
We are selling more sugar than ever before in history.  Our country was
losing its market year by year and the production of sugar was falling.
Cuba has attained the dream of the people, that is to sell its sugar.

Why is all this being done against us?  Because the revolution has won.
Because the revolution has been pointing out the truth.  Had the reform
failed and if we had failed to sell our sugar this would not have happened.
Had the revolution failed these attacks would not have been necessary.
Our successes have been their disappointment.

The Cuban revolution has shown that it can go ahead; that an economy can be
developed despite the fact that not a cent comes from abroad.  We are
destroying the lie upon which the policy of oligarchy in Latin America was
based.  It is necessary to improve industry, education, living standards.
Everything must be done to produce more.  Everything must be done to
improve consumption without investments from the United States.

Everyone can contribute and produce.  How much can be saved is difficult to
estimate.  It is expected that a billion dollars can be saved for the

The production of fats is a problem.  Therefore we should not use such
fats.  The problem of producing fats to avoid imports must be solved.  We
shall produce vegetable fats.  We will product meats and the people can
help in the battle against economic blockade.  We must all make sacrifices,
down to the last citizen.  We must make every effort to carry this out.
All agricultural cooperatives may be asked to sow grain for a common fund.
(Applause) Actually this is not necessary yet but it may become necessary.
This is an example of the ability of a nation to resist.  In the event of
an emergency the food fund could be used to resist aggression.

One thousand teachers in the Sierra Maestra have gone as volunteers.  Many
were there enduring the rains of last month.  They have gone where there
never were schools before.  Now they are there teaching.

The people try harder when the path becomes more difficult.  The more
obstacles in their way, the more sacrifices they make. They have great
reserves of creative ability.  One should see what the militiamen have
done.  They are being trained.  They will be the pride of the nation.  They
have exhibited considerable discipline.  Their uniforms will be a matter of
pride to the wearer.

The recent economic victories, the victory in education, the labor victory
despite attacks by powerful interests show what reserves are in the people
of Cuba.  We have be satisfied with what we have done.  We live in a period
of moral and patriotic satisfaction.  We are developing our creative and
positive faculties.  (Applause)

Now the people have another chance to fight for the revolution.  We are in
the second stage of the revolution.  Those who regretted not helping us in
the first stage will have an opportunity to participate in the second
stage.  Those who fought in the first stage will now be joined by the
others and together they will win the second stage.

(A question is asked, apparently about the recent ammunition dump

Castro:  Up to this moment we have found no evidence that the explosion was
sabotage.  You know we always tell what we find out.  Of course, the
circumstances were different than in the case of the Le Coubre but nothing
has been found.  All the old ammunition, grenades, and old weapons were
being collected to be destroyed.  It was not impossible that one of the
many types of arms in there exploded.  The army was very careful and the
place was well guarded.  We can inform the people, however, that it was
probably an accidental explosion.

(Another unintelligible question is asked.)

Castro:  The basis should always be equal treatment, respect for our
sovereignty.  That is where they must begin.  They must respect our
economic interests, our sovereignty.  They must prove that they respect our
sacred rights.  They have increased the Dominican quota but Trujillo is the
owner there.  While they are working against Cuba they are giving Trujillo
10,000 tons of sugar.

Now the United States does not know where it will buy sugar.  We shall
continue to sell sugar.  We shall pursue a wise policy.  We will supply
groups other than the usual ones.

Question:  Would you like to tell us about July 26 preparations?

Castro:  The young congress is most active.  The success of the congress is
assured.  Transportation is to be provided.  It will depend largely upon
the spontaneous effort of the people.  There is no need for concern about
gasoline.  (Applause)  A promise has been made to visit the farmers this
year.  It is a human and good decision.

Fidel is not with us because his illness demands that he rest.  Now let us
all shout:  "Cuba yes, Yankees no."  (Crowd shouts as instructed.)

Dorticos' Speech

(Editor's Note--E)  The following is a summary of a speech made by Cuban
President Osvaldo Dorticos at the rally before the presidential palace in
Havana and broadcast over the FIEL radio network on July 10 at 2339 GMT:

Cuban comrades:  To speak at this ceremony and to have the responsibility
of summarizing it is really a difficult task.  This is so because the task
is to harmonize the emotion of the people gathered together before this
revolutionary platform and to use this emotion serenely for the good of the
people and the government.  These are dramatic times for our country.  The
task is made even more difficult because it really was to have been
performed by our supreme guide, Comrade Fidel Castro.

We must confess that, at first, we were a bit concerned about informing the
people of Fidel's absence but we are certain now that the maturity of the
people and its faith in the revolutionary government is such that