Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Buenos Aires LATIN in Spanish 2330 GMT 11 Nov 71 C-FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

[Special for Mexico City EXCELSIOR, by special EXCELSIOR correspondent
Alejandro Inigo]

[Excerpts] Santiago, Chile, 11 Nov--"Cuba would not return to the OAS even
if they asked us on their knees," Fidel Castro asserted today in an
interview he granted the EXCELSIOR correspondent following a reception for
the diplomatic corps at the residence of the Cuban Ambassador to Chile in
Vitacura. "I am really impressed by the reception the Chilean people have
given the Cuban delegation," Fidel Castro later commented.

[Question] Other impressions?

[Answer] I have just arrived in the country. I do not believe it is fair to
speak before visiting other cities. Perhaps on my return to Santiago I may
be able to comment in general terms.

[Question] How about Cuba's return to the OAS?

[Answer] We have already said it. We have no intention of returning to the
OAS. Not even if they asked us on their knees.

[Question] What do you think about the future of Latin America?

[Answer] I have always been optimistic. Our peoples, in the long run, will
attain their full rights to live in the world.

[Question] Will China's entry into the UN mean anything for the Latin
American peoples?

[Answer] Not something, a lot. Diplomatic relations with that country will
increase and trade will logically grow as well. It is of vital importance
for us to trade with all the world.

[Question] In what way do you think the United States is losing ground in
Latin America?

[Answer] The contradictions between a rich country and a lot of poor ones
are insoluble. A moment had to come--and it is coming--in which these
contradictions would reach a critical stage. It is an irreversible
historical process.

[Question] Do you still favor armed revolution as the only way to reach

[Answer] That has never been my position. We do not exclude the electoral
course. We clearly say so in the Havana Declaration. It would be a good
thing for you to read it. Enough of interviews, I have to get ready to go
on with the official program. Remember, I did not break protocol. You
newsmen did.

Fidel Castro addressed the whole group when speaking. There were not more
than 30 ambassadors, including the Chinese. He spoke at length on the
problems of sugarcane in Cuba and went into technical detail.

Our problem is education. We are carrying out a program to increase the
number of classrooms in the country. We combine work with study.

Concerning the problem of alcoholism in Cuba, Castro told a diplomat that
it was a bad thing in a country which does not produce wine. The
educational campaigns and restrictions, he said, have contributed toward
solving this problem.

Fidel remarked that one of Cuba's most serious problems is the large amount
of labor needed in canecutting. We have been reducing this amount
gradually, but we still have a long way to go. Here, for example, the
problem of foreign exchange is resolved with the work of 30,000 people,
over there we need 300,000 or maybe half a million.

The only question that a local reporter asked him concerned the urban
guerrillas. I cannot speak about that here, he said. Understand, I am a
guest. I will talk to you about that in Havana. Not here.

He said goodbye to us, not without first warning us: Please do not write