Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Santiago Chile PRENSA LATINA in Spanish to PRENSA LATINA Havana 2355 GMT 6

[Text] Santiago, Chile, 6 Aug--To the extent that the masses achieve an
awareness of the inevitable difficulties that are the price of liberation,
independence, of the country they will be better able to understand, make
greater efforts, make sacrifices, and work.

This was Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro's answer to a question by three
CLARIN correspondents to Havana. Castro was asked what would be the most
serious economic problems to be faced by the Chilean revolution.

CLARIN, which is the most widely read tabloid in Chile, today carries a
front page announcement of an exclusive interview with the Cuban leader
under the title "Fidel with CLARIN," and publishes a picture of Fidel with
CLARIN's Sunday Supplement Director Roman Alegria. Under the title "Fidel,
Face to Face with CLARIN," the leftist paper publishes a whole page on
Castro's statements in answer to questions prepared by CLARIN reporters
Ibar Aybar and Enrique Gutierrez.

Revolutions are plagued with dangers apart from ideological risks. Which,
in your opinion, are the most serious dangers, especially in the economic
sphere? I ask this question becasse I believe that the Chilean revolution
will be successful to the extent that it does not fail economically, and
your experience in this can be very useful.

Fidel Castro said that the people's needs accumulate and that a
revolutionary process awakens the desires repressed by an unjust system. It
is not possible for a popular and revolutionary government to leave these
social problems unattended. You have for this limited and scarce funds.
Right now I think you are going to have to face all the problems: The price
freeze, and the increases in jobs and wages inevitably lead to a depletion
of reserve, of warehouses, and of merchandise stocks.

He pointed out that the main problem is how a revolution by the masses, and
which solves the masses most pressing needs, can resolve this contradiction
between available funds and achieved economic growth. He said that the
problem is very complicated and that because of all these reasons it is
almost inevitable for a radical change, for a revolutionary process, to be
faced with very difficult situations during the first stage.

The prime minister asserted that although economic success is a determining
factor an even more decisive factor for the revolutionary process is the
masses' awareness of the price that must be paid for liberation and that
they fully understand the problems being faced.

He recalled that a revolution can better distribute resources but cannot
increase production as fast as possible, and the material and social needs
are filled only with an increase in goods, products, and services. Fidel
then stated that the Chileans had an advantage over Cuba because Cuba had
to overcome these difficulties. He pointed out the per man copper
production (22,000 copper workers produce what 500,000 Cubans do in sugar),
and said that Chile will not be subjected to the merciless blockade which
the United States imposed on Cuba.

Castro added that neither will the Chileans be forced to use so many of
their resources as Cuba in defending itself from U.S. aggression, which
will permit the Chileans to use their energy for economic development and
the solving of their material problems. Other advantages mentioned by
Castro were the smaller number of technicians which the United States will
be able to lure away in comparison with the professional collapse to which
Cuba was subjected. He said: I do not think that they are in any position
to do the same with Chile, but that does not mean that there will not be

He also recalled that Chile has a greater industrial development compared
to Cuba,has petroleum, waterfalls for electricity, a diversified
agriculture, produces iron and coal, has a considerable light industry, and
its foreign trade does not depend on any one country, such as was the case
with Cuba at the beginning of the revolution.

He concluded pointing out that for all these reasons and because of the
strengthening of the socialist camp, the Chileans "we are sure will
inevitably [words indistinct] undeniably have many more advantages than we
in facing these difficulties. Comparatively, it is reassuring to know that
you will enjoy a much better situation than we did."

The newspaper CLARIN announces that tomorrow it will print Fidel Castro's
answer to the second question asked by the paper's team of journalists, who
visited Cuba together with eight other Chilean journalists, and who talked
with him on three occasions during recent days for a total of 8 hours and
45 minutes.