Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Press Conference

Paris AFP in Spanish 0428 GMT 5 Dec 71 C-FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

[Text] Guayaquil, Ecuador, 4 Dec--"In Cuba we should have had a few hundred
executed by the firing squad, but not even one thousand were executed
because we were generous,: said Fidel Castro here today in a long press

The Cuban prime minister added that "throughout history, pirates have been
executed by a firing squad, and this is what we would have done with the
1,300 who invaded Cuba, trained in Costa Rica by imperialism. We sent them
back. Everybody knows this."

Visibly agitated about the Organization of American States [OAS], he said
that the OAS is something less than a shoe without a heel. "I do not know
where they have heard that a sovereign country wants to join this sewer,
the OAS. The OAS is garbage and I shall never join it."

When a government official gave him a newspaper, Fidel said: "You have
enough paper, you use enough paper for newspapers. There is much propaganda
and no freedom of the press. We do not have freedom of the press [sentence
as received]. We speak different languages. Freedom of the press exists in
the revolution. Cubans write what they want in a newspaper. They are free
to write what they want, and they also make mistakes. We are always
contradicting ourselves. Here, it is the owners of the newspapers, not the
news reporters, but other persons. In Cuba, the people decide."

Further on, he replied to a question: "We do not practice representative
democracy and this is why there are no elections. Our democracy is more
direct. The Cuban people determine it. We discuss the laws with the people.
It was the people who brought us to power. And it is the people who are
ruling. In Cuba after the triumph of the revolution we should have sent to
the firing squad for execution some hundreds of counterrevolutionary
enemies. But not even one thousand were executed. In this we were

Later, the Cuban leader courageously gave his opinions on China and Russia.
He said: "We Latin Americans must first work for the Latin Americans, for
the matters that have priority for our peoples. Then, we may analyze what
is happening in other continents."

Referring to the Tupamaros, he declared: "I admire them and I support them,
although this is not our business."

Concerning the South American policy of the 200 miles [sea limit] he said
that Cuba supports the countries advocating this policy, "Even though Cuba
is less than 200 miles from the North Americans."

As far as joining the OAS, he said: "We are in no hurry." The position of
Ecuador, Chile, and Peru was a determining factor in China's membership in
the UN. "This is why I admire these countries. This is why my tour, which
began in Chile, was successful. I have seen in these countries
demonstrations supporting a progressing Cuban revolution."