Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


PM041555 Moscow PRAVDA in Russian 4 Aug 83 First Edition p 4

[TASS report under the general heading: "For a Peaceful Settlement": "Fidel
Castro's Interview"]

[Text] Havana, 3 Aug -- Cuban television has transmitted an interview which
Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Communist Party has Cuba Central Committee
and president of the republic's Councils of State and Ministers, granted to a
group of American journalists covering the celebrations of the 30th anniversary
of the storming of the Moncada Barracks. In it F. Castro dwelt on problems of
Cuban-American relations and a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Central

We, the Cuban leader said, differentiate between our attitude toward the
American people and our attitude toward U.S. administrations. I sincerely hope
that contacts with the U.S. people will widen sometime. We are neighbors and
must be friends, despite the difference in our social systems. At the same time,
he pointed out that for 25 years a political solution, and the Nicaraguan
Government and the Salvadoran revolutionaries have displayed earnest, sincere
readiness to do so. A negotiated political settlement is impossible, F. Castro
emphasized, without resolving the Salvadoran problem, which is the key problem.

Voicing firm support for the stand of the leaders of the "Contadora Group"
countries, he pointed out that the chief thing is observance of the principles
of self-determination and noninterference. It is a question not of concessions
but of a search for an agreement providing for compromise on all sides. In this
respect, F. Castro declared, Cuba is prepared to assume such obligations, for
the exacerbation of conflicts and U.S. intervention could be the alternative to
this solution -- which does not accord with the interests of the peoples of
Central America, Cuba, or the United States. The United States has so far
opposed the search for and adoption of a formula for a political solution.

F. Castro went on to point out that Cube, unlike the United States, is not a
direct participant in the conflict and therefore cannot play any role in
possible direct contacts between the United States and Nicaragua on the question
of resolving Central American problems. A serious threat hands over peace on the
planet, F. Castro emphasized. Washington's decision to deploy 572 American
missiles in West Europe is a greater threat to peace than the Central American
conflict. However, the latter helps to exacerbate the crisis in the region and
to aggravate the situation on a global scale. An attempt to crush the Nicaraguan
revolution and the revolutionary movement in El Salvador by force would cause
the conflict to spread throughout Central America, the Cuban leader warned.