Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19770506
-YEAR-
1977
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
INTERVIEW
-AUTHOR-
F.CASTRO
-HEADLINE-
INTERVIEW TO FRENCH WEEKLY AFRIQUE-ASIE
-PLACE-
HAVANA
-SOURCE-
BUENOS AIRES IPS
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS
-REPORT_DATE-
19770509
-TEXT-
CASTRO GRANTS INTERVIEW TO FRENCH WEEKLY AFRIQUE-ASIE

PA070140Y Buenos Aires IPS in Spanish 2040 GMT 6 May 77 PA

[Text] Paris, 6 May--In a 20-hour interview granted by Fidel Castro in
Havana to Simon Malley, director of the weekly AFFRIQUE-ASIE, the Cuban
leader said that "if there had been Cuban or Angolan fighters in Zaire's
Shaba Province, there would not be a single one of Mobutu's or of King
Hassan's soldiers left."

The complete interview will be published on the 13th of this month.  This
is the first interview granted by the president of the Cuban Council of
State and the communist party secretary since his 40-day tour through
several African countries.  The following summary was released by
AFRIQUE-ASIE to INTERPRESS SERVICE (IPS):

Angola

"Any attack against Angola will elicit a strong response.  We will regard
any attack against Angola as an attack against Cuba.  Let this be clear:
Along with the Angolan people, we will defend Angola with all the means
available."

"We will remain in Angola as long as necessary, in accordance with the
sovereign government of that sister nation.  We will contribute to the
defense of that country and will help consolidate its independence against
all threats of aggression, from wherever they may come."

"Americans, as well as Giscard d'Estaing.  Mobutu and King Hassan, know
perfectly well that Cuba is not in any way involved in the events in Zaire.
There is not a single Cuban instructor in Zaire.  There is not a single
Cuban soldier in Zaire.  There is no Cuban presence in Zaire."

Zaire

"We understand perfectly well that Mobutu has been repeating in all tones
of voice that Cubans are involved in these events because he is confronting
a desperate political, economic and social situation and must justify his
request for imperialist aid."  "That explains the Zairian Government's
shameful decision to request foreign military intervention in order to
repress a domestic uprising.  Capitalist imperialism intervened in order to
save Mobutu."

"When he intervened in Angola, Mobutu became familiar with the
combativeness of both Angolans and Cubans.  If, as he so dishonestly
maintains, there were Angolan and Cuban fighters in Shamba, not a single
one of Mobutu's or King Hassan's soldiers would be left in that province by
now."

Asked if the imperialist powers along with the Zairians and the foreign
forces intervening in Zaire have any plans to use a so-called "right of
pursuit" which would justify an attack against Angola, Castro answered:
"We know those plans exist.  But I would like to state very firmly that if
those forces of aggression dare attack Angola under any pretext, they will
never forget the lesson they will receive."

"The incidents in Zaire constitute a purely domestic problem.  When we say
we are not involved there, it is not a pretext to conceal any revolutionary
action.  We do not practice a policy of lies, duplicity or deceit."

"It is very important for the countries of black Africa to avoid conflicts
that might divert the struggle from the main front--that of colonialism,
neocolonialism, fascism and reaction in southern Africa."

"That is the most important and pressing problem.  That is the challenge
that Africa confronts today.  Only imperialism and neocolonialism can
benefit from a conflict among African countries."

Asked about the slander campaign which says that Cuban soldiers in Angola
played a role in training and equipping the revolutionary forces fighting
in Shamba (formerly Katanga) against Mobutu's regime, Castro answered:
"Once Angola's war of liberation ended, we took special care not to
encourage any domestic movement against the Zairian Government.  Besides,
Angola is not Cuban territory."

"Our presence in Angola responds to a fundamental and strictly
internationalist principle.  The Luanda government fully agrees to our
presence there and we sincerely respect Angolan sovereignty."  "As a result
of this, we have no right to use Angolan territory to prepare any action
against another black African government, regardless of how reactionary it
may be."

"The absolute truth is that we did not participate in either the training,
equipping or formation of the revolutionary forces that began the struggle
in Shaba."

Africa

"Africa is imperialism's weakest link today.  It is there that the biggest
crimes against humanity have been committed recently.  Perfect
opportunities exist there for the transformation from quasitribalism to
socialism, without having to go through the various stages that were
necessary in other parts of the world."

"If we are militant revolutionaries, we must support the anti-imperialist,
antiracist and anticolonialist struggle.  Today, Africa has attained great
importance.  Imperialist domination is not as strong here as it is in Latin
America.  Therefore, real possibilities exist for a fundamental evolution
of the African continent."

Ethiopia

"A profound revolution is taking place in Ethiopia.  It is a powerful mass
movement and a profound agrarian reformation in a feudal country where the
peasants were practically slaves.  Urban reforms have been implemented and
the major industries in the country have been nationalized."

"I believe that the Ethiopian revolution simultaneously embodies aspects of
both the French and Bolshevik revolutions."  "It reminds me of the French
and Bolshevik revolutions because of the intense class struggle which has
been unleashed between the workers and the peasants, on the one hand, and
the proprietors and bourgeoisie on the other, and because the country is
being criminally attacked from abroad by Arab reactionaries and
imperialism."

"The events of 3 February were decisive.  It was at this time that the
leftists and the true revolutionary leaders took over the reins of power
and the process assumed a truly revolutionary course."

"I can say that I know Mengistu well.  He is calm, intelligent, bold and
brave, and I believe that he has exceptional qualities as a revolutionary
leader."

"If it is true that the Ethiopian revolution must confront powerful
enemies, it is also true that the Ethiopian people are determined to fight.
Under these conditions, a revolution cannot be easily defeated."

"We believe that the success and consolidation of the Ethiopian revolution
is extremely important for Africa.  I believe that Mengistu is a true
revolutionary and that the revolution now being carried out in that country
is a true revolution."

Anti-Imperialist Front

Regarding the appeal by some African revolutionary leaders such as Ahmad
Sekou Toure, Houari Boumediene, Agostinho Neto and Samora Machel for the
creation of an anti-imperialist front in Africa to foil imperialist
maneuvers and develop concrete solidarity, Castro said:  "I believe that
the African revolutionary comrades are absolutely right.  The creation of
this front is essential."

"Regarding South Africa, I do not believe that pacifist or diplomatic
solutions will induce the racists and their allies to end their rule."

"Revolutionary unity is an essential condition for victory and will serve
to prevent a neocolonialist solution in that country."

Palestine

"I believe that the Palestinians are one of the most heroic peoples of
modern times.  Arafat told me of the latest events in Lebanon and the
struggle waged by the Palestinians to defend the revolution and insure
their survival."  "He told me that thousands of fighters had been killed.
This is very sad and painful.  Nevertheless, the Palestinian movements have
shown their ability to resist imperialist maneuvers and aggression."

"In spite of the great difficulties they have had to overcome in the past
and must overcome in the future, I am sure that their cause will triumph.
It will prevail sooner or later in spite of the betrayal by Arab
reactionaries, imperialist maneuvers and Israeli aggression."

"We shall maintain our solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian
people more firmly than ever."

Sahara

"All the people want independence.  The Moroccan Government asked us to
support their claims.  Naturally we were dutybound to refuse because of our
respects for justice and the fundamental rights of peoples."

"According to the proof and evidence received by the Cuban delegates at the
UN commission, my opinion is that all the Saharan people want their
independence.  They are very patriotic people and heroic fighters who
sooner or later will attain their objectives."

"I believe that Morocco committed a great crime in the Spanish Sahara--a
true policy of expansionism and genocide against the Saharan people."

"At present, the Moroccan Government has become the true gendarme of
imperialism, especially European imperialism."  "While Arab territories
remain occupied in the Middle East, Rabat, not satisfied with its crimes
against the Saharan people, sends it troops to fight in black Africa at the
service of imperialism, reaction and neocolonialism."

China

"For a long time I thought that the Chinese political leaders were making
serious mistakes....I did not believe that they were consciously and
deliberately betraying the cause of internationalism and Marxism-Leninism,
simply because this seemed incredible to me.  I could not understand how a
country which has carried out a socialist revolution led by workers and
peasants could adopt an international policy that is so absurd and so
similar to that of capitalism and imperialism."

"Today, I am completely sure that it is not a matter of mistakes, but a
deliberate policy of betrayal of internationalism and of alliance with
imperialism.  There is not a single international issue in which the
Chinese leaders' policies do not coincide with those of imperialism.  There
are numerous examples:  In Chile, where they have associated with Pinochet
and fascism; in Latin America, where they have allied with the most
reactionary and antinational elements; in Africa, particularly Angola,
where they have supported and antinational elements; in Africa,
particularly Angola, where they have supported the groups connected with
the CIA and neocolonialism, with the racists, and most of all with the
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola and the National Front
for the Liberation of Angola.

"At present, they are deeply committed to the Zairian Government, which is
one of the most reactionary, neocolonialist and repressive regimes in
Africa.  The Chinese leaders fully approve of the intervention of Morocco
and French and Yankee imperialism in the domestic affairs of Zaire, to
which they are sending large amounts of light and heavy weapons.

"As a rule, China's foreign policy has chosen to march side by side with
African neocolonialism and Arab reaction in the Middle East.  In Europe,
they have associated themselves with the policies of NATO and Yankee
imperialism and with Europe's most reactionary parties....In Europe,
fascist and extremist groups infiltrated by the CIA receive Chines
support....

"In an adventuresome and forceful manner, the Chinese leadership is
encouraging war between the USSR and the United States, trying to intensify
the arms race and opposing any peace policy....By its treasonous acts, the
Chinese Government has created a profound schism among the world's
revolutionary forces at a time when these forces were about to achieve
decisive and forceful relations on behalf of the victory of socialism in
the world....

"China's policy toward Cuba is truly infamous.  It uses repulsive and
slanderous lies to fight our party's solidarity with the liberation
movements.  This agrees perfectly with U.S. imperialist policies against
our country.  Furthermore, China opposes the lifting of the economic
blockade against Cuba and the return of the U.S.-occupied territories in
Guantanamo.  We have received reports from well-informed sources according
to which the Chinese secret services are closely cooperating with the
French, U.S. and German secret services and with NATO....Either Mao was
absolutely senile in the final stages of his life, or he was not the
genius, the god of revolution that they have been trying to make him.

"I sincerely believe that that is the end result of the cult of personality
and the deification of leaders, a practice which totally repels a true
communist.  I believe that China's current policy is one of alliance with
imperialism and world reaction.  We believe in the Chinese people; we know
that they are an extraordinarily dedicated, heroic and revolutionary
people.  A people can be deceived for some time, but not all the time."

The United States

"Let things be clear and open.  Let them know that we will never negotiate
with the United States over our solidarity with Angola.  That is a
non-negotiable issue.  For instance, it would be absurd for us to discuss
the withdrawal of U.S. troops form Europe, Iran, South Korea, the
Philippines, Japan or Saudi Arabia.  No.  It is really absurd for the
United States to set conditions of that kind.  Our positions are clear and
unequivocal.

"President Carter is the first president in over 16 years who has not
engaged in a policy of hostility toward Cuba.  It could be said that he has
taken certain steps--he has made certain public statements in favor of
holding talks with Cuba.  Cyrus Vance has made statements according to
which the United Sates would be willing to hold talks with Cuba without
preconditions.  Americans have also received authorization to visit Cuba.
There are two more things I can say:  We have verified that since the
inauguration.  [At this point Buenos Aires IPS ends its transmission for
Friday, 6 May, without completing the foregoing sentence.  Remainder of
interview summary was not monitored.]
-END-


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