Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL121437 Havana Domestic Television Service in Spanish 0036 GMT 12 Aug 83

[Press conference granted by Cuban President Fidel Castro to a group of
French journalists during a luncheon hosted on 6 August at the Palace of
the Revolution in honor of visiting French External Relations Minister
Claude Cheysson -- recorded]

[Text] [Unidentified journalist] [Words indistinct] since you said the
other day that U.S. journalists are good, we would like to begin by asking
you whether you have anything to say to the French people.

[Castro] You know that our country is composed of Europeans and Africans, a
mixture, and a little Indian blood, because in the initial years the
Spanish made the Indians work very hard and many of them died. Therefore,
we have been greatly influenced by European culture, not the Saxon culture,
but the Latin culture [words indistinct]. I would say that the country that
had the greatest cultural influence on Cuba, after Spain, was France. That
is, just as we feel bonds of affection with the Spanish people, we also
feel them with France. Those periods of war in which blood was shed on both
sides -- Spanish blood, Cuban blood -- have been left far behind, and we
have very affectionate bonds with Spain. We also have very affectionate
bonds with France. We feel affection for France, we feel affection for the
French people, and we also feel affection for their history. Their history
influenced us, to tell the truth.

Before I read my first works on Marxism, I had read the history of the
French Revolution, which was discussed when I was in the early grades. I
did not know very well what it was, what had happened, what the French
Revolution was. Later I read and studied it and became very interested in
it, and I believe that the history of the 1789 Revolution had a great
influence on me. I read many different authors. Sometimes I read these
books until dawn when I was a student on vacation and had no homework to
do. I also talked about this to Cheysson because later this was the
influence, let us say, of the first modern revolution, the French
Revolution; that is, revolutionaries against feudalism and despotism.
Later, we were also influenced toward socialism as well because Marx
himself was greatly influenced and transmitted...retransmitted it to us in
two works that are classics for us: "The History of the Civil Struggle in
France" and "The Eighteenth Brumaire."

Later, the Paris Commune greatly influenced Cuban revolutionaries; not only
us, but the Cuban revolutions in the wars of independence of 1868 and 1895.
The war of '68 was characterized by a romantic spirit that was
influenced...I would say it was influenced by the Jacobins; but it was also
influenced by De Lamartine because I see the history of the Girondins
reflected in the literary production and speeches of the first fighters for

The influence of French revolutionary ideas was reflected in the Cuban
independence wars, in our independence fighters. In our own struggle for
liberation there were three French influences: The French Revolution, the
civil struggles in France and the Paris Commune, and lastly the French
resistance against the Nazis. The whole history of the Resistance -- the
French clandestine movement -- influenced us as a method of struggle due to
the patriotism, the heroism demonstrated by the French. That influenced us
in our last liberation struggle.

That is, we had three French influences: The Liberal bourgeois revolution,
as we call it; the struggles of the socialist revolution in France; and the
struggle of the French Resistance [words indistinct]. Therefore, after
Spain, France is the European country that has most influenced Cuba. In the
field of medicine, we have always looked to France. In literature and the
arts, we have always looked to France.

It has been said that our food is Spanish and French. Even at the beginning
of the last century, many French families arrived from Haiti. They settled
in Oriente; some even settled in Pinar del Rio, in Soroa, and in that area.
Hundreds of French families cultivated cacao and coffee. They also
introduced French agricultural techniques; therefore, after Spain, the
country with which we have greatest historical roots is really France. That
is why we feel sympathy and affection for the French, not only cultural
bonds, but also affection.

[Unidentified journalist] Commander, it seems that in this framework the
specific relations between the two countries and peoples are headed [words

[Castro] I believe so, yes. There were difficulties in French-Cuban
relations during the initial years of the revolution due to the
independence struggle of the Algerian people. We were very interested in
relations with France; they have always interested us, both political and
economic relations. At that time a situation existed that, out of
principle, out of solidarity, led us to take a firm position, a position of
opposition to the official French position and of support for the Algerian
fighters. After the Algerian problem had been solved, political relations
with France were initiated; they improved. Economic relations as well.
These have improved progressively since then. Naturally, the victory of the
left in France raised many hopes in our country. Our relations with the
left were very close -- our relations with Mitterrand and our relations
with the French communists. I would say that relations began to improve
with this government many years before the victory of the left. When we
received a French delegation presided over by Mitterrand in our country, we
considered it a duty and our right to express our affection for the left.
Although the victory of the left seemed very remote in 1974, we received
the delegation of the Socialist Party with open arms. Mitterrand received
much sympathy in our country. It was as if we had guessed that some day the
left would achieve power in France. That is, they had begun to develop
previously and, I would say, like all of our relations, unselfishly. Our
relations with revolutionary movements are unselfish and we welcomed the
victory of the left with great joy. We are leftists and I believe that this
can be understood perfectly.

I believe that this will lead to even better relations with Frande; that is
not to say that our relations were bad. Let us say that, even during De
Gaulle's administration, these developed (?in good faith). We always
sympathized with De Gaulle's spirit of independence. Therefore, [words
indistinct) the relations were good. Naturally, there is much more
communication and affinity with the leftist government. Consequently, the
relations should be better, and they are improving.

[Unidentified journalist] (?What relationship) is there in the relations?
Are these principally bilateral, or do they permit dealing with a whole
series of problems that do not involve just Cuba and France?

[Castro] You are right. I believe that relations that are restricted to
bilateral matters would not be sufficiently broad. France has
responsibilities in the world. I would say that France is not a powerful
country, but that it is a great power that has technological development,
scientific development, economic development, and international prestige.
In my judgment, France can and does play a very important international

I am very interested in France's concern for Third World problems. In all
recent international conferences of the so-called Western developed
countries, France is the country that has shown the greatest interest in
the problems of the Third World. This is a point where French Government
policy and our concern as a Third World country coincide, because we are
socialists but we also belong to the Third World. In our international
statements, we have always considered the interests of Third World
countries because they reflect the historical reality of underdevelopment
and because we have a common interest with them and defend them at
international conferences.

Our condition as a socialist country and our condition as a Third World
country are not a contradiction. As I said in New Delhi, over and above
political, religious, and ideological differences, we have many things in
common with Third World countries that we are keeping in mind and defend.
Moreover, we do not defend national interests. We are not very
nationalistic -- we are patriots -- but we are not very nationalistic, and
we are strongly faithful to our principles. We have often sacrificed our
national interests for the sake of the principles of our revolution and our
internationalist principles.

The North Americans do not understand that, it is very difficult for them.
They are a bit accustomed to thinking that national interests should come
before any other interest. However, we have said that our homeland is not
just Cuba; our homeland is humanity. We are learning to think in terms of
humanity. Man first thought in terms of a clan, then of a tribe, then of a
feudal group, then he thought in terms of a nation.

I believe there is a fine borderline. We are Marxists or believe that we
are, and Marxism includes patriotic and national sentiments -- the national
sentiment was a great advance. I believe that national sentiment continues
to play a large role and should play a large role because, in the struggle
against colonialism and neocolonialism, this national sentiment plays an
important role. I say that it is still a very progressive idea. A country
defends its national interests against foreign oppression. However, I would
say that this is the hour of transition; and for us transition -- this
change -- means to think not only in national terms but in international
terms, in worldwide terms, one could say. Today, nationalism does good in
some cases and sometimes it is damaging. It disturbs me when I see
politicians entrench themselves behind the banner of national interests. We
must reconcile the two interests, the national and the international.

[Unidentified journalist] I believe that you discussed the problem of
sugar, which is one of the things dealing with [words indistinct] humanity.

[Castro] [Words indistinct] with the French?

[Unidentified journalist] with the French.

[Castro] Well, I do not know whether some of my collaborators or comrades
have discussed this. I did not, I did not want to...

[Rafael Rodriguez interrupts] Yes, the problem of sugar was mentioned in
the talks between France [words indistinct] and now we have again taken up
the subject of the participation of both countries as a community and as
members of the International Sugar Organization, the negotiations for a new
sugar agreement.

[Castro] But I, personally, did not bring up this subject. I have been very
careful to see that in this delegation's visit, in this meeting, we would
above all discuss general problems. I did not want to lay emphasis on our
interests. We are interested in sugar, especially if we could reach
agreement on the interests of Third World sugar producers with the EEC.
This would be very important. I did not want to emphasize economic matters
of interest to us while discussing bilateral relations. I would like to see
the visit end as something good, not that our hospitality be seen as
something material. Mr Cheysson has conducted himself very nicely. He
himself brought this up. Perhaps among the rest of the members of the
delegation this has been discussed, but it has not been the main topic of
our conversations.

I would say we have examined international matters, above all those issues
of the international situation on which we agree. I would cite as an
example France's interest, the European Community's interest in general, in
seeking a negotiated political solution to the Central America problem and
keeping the problem from worsening, from becoming more serious. U.S.
intervention in Central America must be avoided. We are struggling for that
for the sake of all the Latin American peoples as well as for the U.S.
people. We agree on that.

In addition, we discussed the problem of Namibia, the problem of southern
Africa [words indistinct]. We agree in our positions. France and Cuba have
discussed international economic problems, the international economic
crisis, problems derived from it, the interests common to the developed
world or, as it is called, the developing world, and the interests of
industrialized countries. Third World countries are seriously affected by
the crisis, much more so than the industrialized countries; but the crisis
also affects the industrialized countries. A solution to these economic
problems would help the underdeveloped world and the industrialized world.

This creates instability in the Third World; it creates instability in the
developed countries. This problem of inflation, above all of unemployment,
creates economic stagnation. We are concerned with the high interest rates
that have to be paid for credit. We are concerned with the foreign debt of
the Third World. We would like to find a solution to these problems and
determine what interests are common to Third World countries and
industrialized countries, and to Third World countries and European
industrialized countries.

It must be kept in mind that, when French people travel around the world,
in the first place they represent France, but they also represent to a
large degree the interests of industrialized Europe as they make contacts.
I believe the French delegation has done this in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia,
and Cuba, Latin America; the French delegation has tried to find points of
agreement in economic interests between the Third World and industrialized
Europe. I believe that there is a point of agreement for all industrialized
and underdeveloped countries. A solution must be found to this crisis. I
base my statement on the hypothesis that, if there is no solution to Third
World's economic problems, there will not be a solution to the
industrialized world's economic problems because there will be no markets.
There will not be an efficient struggle against unemployment. There will be
an underutilization of the industrial capacity of developed countries. They
will work at only 60 or 70 percent of capacity. Skilled labor, industry and
the enormous market of the industrialized world depend on the developing
world because they need the technology and investments. The developing
world is an essential market for the developed world.

At present, trade among the industrialized countries alone does not solve
the economic problem, much less at a time of contraction. There are talks
now about a certain degree of improvement in the U.S. economy, also in the
FRG economy. But the truth of the matter is that they have started at the
very bottom, the cellar.

If you are in the cellar and make some strides, you reach the first floor
but will still be far away from the 10th floor. In the United States,
industrial production went down. In Europe, it came to a standstill, and in
some countries there were reductions in industrial production. Beginning at
that point, any increases are reflected in statistics. Perhaps there has
been a growth rate of 3 or 4 points; not compared to the highest point of
production, but compared to this drop. I believe that this [U.S.] economic
improvement will be short in duration, very brief. There are no foundations
for a lasting economic recovery. What has characterized international
economic evolution in recent years has been an increasingly more frequent
cycle of drops in production. In the midst of this crisis there can be a
small improvement in the United States, perhaps in the FRG and a few other
countries, but it does not have a solid foundation. The world economy is
like as a drifting ship; it does not have a rudder except the U.S. rudder,
which is trying to protect its own interests.

We could say that the United States, with its economic and financial
policy, its policy of high interests rates, is forcing the rest of the
world -- not only the underdeveloped world but also the developed world --
to finance its arms race, to finance its budget deficit. The United States
is forcing a second recipe upon us. The first one was during the Vietnam
War, when it spent hundreds of billions of dollars without taxes. Who paid
for that? The world paid. They printed bills, resulting in inflation. In
fact, the world involuntarily financed the Vietnam war. I believe that
policy is the fundamental factor of the current crisis. It has various
other factors, but that is a very important factor. Now the United States,
with its policy of high interest rates and theft of capital, is forcing us
to pay for the arms race and the great U.S. budget deficit. That is the
advantage of having a powerful economy. The advantage that the dollar is a
world currency has imposed on us for the second time the enormous burden of
what I would call defending bad causes.

I believe that the French can perceive this because the high interest rates
are affecting France's investments. U.S. policy affects the value of the
French currency. All that translates into trade deficits; it translates
into budgetary deficits; it translates into inflation. Despite the fact
that France has a developed and powerful economy, it has to endure the
attacks of this U.S. policy. This manifests itself in economic
difficulties, unemployment. That is a reality. This also applies to Spain,
Italy, the FRG, Japan, to the entire industrialized world. These are
realities which are a result of U.S. policy. What is happening is that the
North Americans are so powerful that governments are forced to handle
things with great care, I mean their relations. I know that deep down, in
all the industrialized countries, there is a serious complaint regarding
this economic policy. Those problems affect the underdeveloped countries
much more. They have a huge debt, nearing $700 billion, and that debt is
continuing to grow, Many economists have no answer for how that debt is
going to be paid. We also have a debt. We will pay it because it is not too
big. Eighty percent of our economy is based on trade with socialist
countries, where we have good, satisfactory trade relations, both in
relation to the prices of our products as well as in relations to imports.
If the prices of the products we import increase, the prices of the
products we export also increase. I believe this has been a great gain for
our revolution. We depend 20 percent on the international economy. The
international economic crisis affects us to that degree. We have a debt. We
believe we can pay it. We will pay it. For us, this is a matter of honor,
of elementary consideration for the banks and financial institutions which
trusted us in the midst of a blockade. That is why we are making the
interest payments as soon as they come due.

But I sincerely believe t hat the great majority of the underdeveloped
countries cannot pay their debts; mathematically, it cannot be done. Their
economies are stalemated. Their basic products have depressed prices. Trade
relations are increasingly more unfavorable. The debts are enormous and
their exports barely pay the interest. It is a very serious problem that
constitutes a responsibility for the entire world, the developed capitalist
countries, the developed socialist countries in the Third World; that is,
to find a solution to this problem. It is a tragic problem which could
bring about the intensification of the crisis and a great destabilization
inside both developing countries and developed countries.

It is a tragic problem. Here we have a common position between France and
Cuba. I say that, among Western developed countries, the one that shows the
most concern for these problems is France. I can see that we have many
things in common, many points. I would not say there is 100-percent
agreement in international policy but we have not been dotting the "i's" on
those things on which we agree in policy but only on those things that are
and can be useful in our policy and which could be useful in developing
relations with France.

I am not speaking only of bilateral relations but also of general
relations. It is our common concern, without comparing Cuba to France.
France is a power and we are a small country, and if they want to give us a
name, we are a small power.

[Journalist] Commander, you recently insisted on the need to include El
Salvador in the negotiations process. Do you want to do that now or could
that be a part of the Contadora process?

[Castro] I believe that a negotiated political solution for Central America
cannot be considered if a negotiated political solution is not found for El
Salvador, because a solution that excludes El Salvador would be a betrayal
of the Salvadoran people. In addition, the focus of attention so far has
been El Salvador. What is happening is that, as a result of U.S. policy,
there has been a change of the focus of attention from El Salvador to
Nicaragua, which is a U.S. interest. But the situations of Nicaragua and El
Salvador are not comparable, they cannot be compared. There is internal
strife in El Salvador, a civil strife not of persons who are crossing the
border but of persons who are inside the country. The struggle is 3 years
old; it is a strong struggle. There is no internal struggle in Nicaragua;
there is no civil war there. What is going on in Nicaragua is border
conflicts organized and encouraged by the United States, the so-called
secret war of the CIA. These are attacks from the northern border and, to a
lesser degree, from the southern border.

[Journalist] Have there been invasions?

[Castro] Yes, invasions. It is something similar to what took place in Cuba
at Giron. At Giron, there was an internal conflict in Cuba as a result of
an invasion. That is what is going on in Nicaragua. But that is no excuse
to compare the situations in El Salvador and Nicaragua. The solution to the
problem in El Salvador is a sine qua non requisite for the solution of the
problems in Central America. I believe that the problems in El Salvador can
be solved. The revolutionaries have seriously and consistently said so.
They are willing to find a negotiated political solution because they are
trying to avoid an intensification of the conflict, a foreign intervention.
They are aware of the danger of foreign intervention. The Salvadoran
revolutionaries are aware of that but are not afraid. They are not afraid.
Of course, they would try to avoid it. Even though they are now stronger
than ever before, their sense of responsibility for their country, Central
America, and Latin America forces them to be willing to find formulas of
negotiated political solutions to their country's problem. That is a point
that must be respected.

[Journalist] Commander, do you feel that, since the Contadora Group's
efforts began, since the meetings held by Stone and the Sandinists, since
your speech on 26 July, there has been a change in the Central American
policy of the U.S. Government?

[Castro] There has been something. There has been a certain change in the
tone, in the tone of the rhetoric. In action, the policy is being
maintained in full. The maneuvers are continuing at a very fast pace,
without previous announcement, on Central American territory in Honduras.
The deployment of troops to Honduras has occurred. Two aircraft carriers
and 19 warships have been deployed off the Nicaraguan coastline. It has
been announced that the maneuvers will continue until February, no one
knows, indefinitely. No one has ever seen that type of maneuvers anywhere.
Maneuvers last 2, 3 weeks, 1 month. Who has ever seen maneuvers that last 6
months? It is an astute, futile move to cover up what constitutes a show of
U.S. forces and troops in Central America. Now they say the maneuvers will
last 6 months later on they will say 6 years. It is a show of troops and
naval forces in Central America. In action, there has been no change on the
part of the United States. There has been a slight change in rhetoric. It
is a situation of force, of pressure, of psychological war. Unfortunately,
the U.S. leaders believe that the statements made by Nicaragua and Cuba are
the result of that policy of force. I believe that is a mistake. I am
absolutely convinced that Nicaragua will never give in to a policy of
force. I can speak for Cuba, and Cuba will never give in to a policy of

I can also say that seeking a solution can never imply unilateral
concessions on the part of the revolutionaries, on the part of Nicaragua,
on the part of Cuba. We talk about an honorable, moral solution, based on
mutual commitments. That is the only solution that can be achieved.
Solutions based on capitulations will never occur. Solutions based on
unilateral concessions will never occur. We cannot negotiate the withdrawal
of our men because it would be an act of disloyalty to Nicaragua. Nicaragua
can negotiate that withdrawal. Nicaragua is receiving our cooperation and,
in fact, we support its policy. If it wants to negotiate on any of these
points, we will support whatever negotiations Nicaragua conducts. It it
wants to negotiate on this basis, we will support it.

As a principle, cooperation cannot be negotiated. We cannot negotiate the
Salvadoran cause or the Nicaraguan cause. We cannot negotiate the Central
American cause. We respect those countries scrupulously; we respect their
decisions. We understand if they have to negotiate any other point, and we
support them. These points proposed by Nicaragua and Cuba are the key
points that have to be discussed. We stand ready to support any
negotiations. We are not the ones to decide what to do, or the ones who
will negotiate. All these problems can be negotiated by the Salvadoran
revolutionaries and the Nicaraguans. We do not negotiate. The only thing we
can do is support them in the negotiations. We support them in the search
for a peaceful solution and we support their policy. That is different from
negotiating their interests or their cause. We can negotiate Cuba's
affairs. We cannot negotiate the affairs of El Salvador or Nicaragua. But
we have voiced our decision to support their efforts for a peaceful
solution and to support the negotiations they develop.

In reality, the Central American problem cannot be solved by negotiations
between Cuba and the United States, but by negotiations between the
Salvadoran revolutionaries and the United States. Their conflict is with
the United States. The negotiations between Nicaragua and the United States
are proper. They are the ones that have to discuss the problem. It is not
important that we cannot discuss for them. We can discuss Cuba's affairs,
but the problems of Central America, Nicaragua, and El Salvador must be
discussed by the Nicaraguans and the Salvadorans.

And it seems to me that things would advance a great deal if those
discussions were established. Therefore, we have noted with satisfaction
the contacts between Stone and the Salvadoran revolutionary movement, and
the contacts between Stone and the movement...[Castro changes thought] and
Nicaragua. And if there is contact between this commission headed by
Kissinger and the Nicaraguans -- very good -- and if there is contact
between Kissinger and the Salvadorans -- better yet. They are involved in
their problem, and their fundamental problem is the United States.
Nicaragua's problem is the United States. The problem of the Salvadoran
revolutionary movement is the United States because, without the support,
the logistics, and the advance of the United States, that government would
not exist.

Both the Salvadorans and the Nicaraguans should talk with the United
States. We support that discussion and believe is the key to the problem.
No one can talk for them. Is that clear?

[Journalist] Commander, can the Contadora Group help in the negotiated
solution in El Salvador?

[Castro] It can help a lot and it is making an extraordinarily positive
contribution, but I am concerned that the Contadora Group has not spoken
out about the Salvadoran problem. It has not spoken.

[Journalist] [Passage indistinct]

[Castro] It is believed that the U.S. move of transferring the focus of
attention to Nicaragua was directed at eliminating the Salvadoran problem.
I am concerned that the Contadora Group has not clearly defined the need
for a solution to the Salvadoran problem, even though it is true that
President Belisario Betancur sponsored the meeting between the Salvadoran
revolutionary movement and Stone. I believe that was very good. But,
officially, the Contadora Group has not made any proposals to solve the
Salvadoran problem, which is a key point in finding a solution in Central

[Journalist] Have you talked about that with the French foreign minister?
What is his position?

[Castro] Well, I can speak for ourselves. We have explained our position
regarding Central America. We are pleased with what the French foreign
minister said, but I can only speak for Cuba; I cannot speak for the French

[Journalist] If you will allow me to change the topic...

[Castro] Well, I will not hold you to any... I believe the reality is what
counts. I will answer briefly.

[Journalist] In France, there have been many dirty campaigns on human
rights. Today, there was an article in a magazine by a man named
Valladares. Can you say something to the French people on human rights?

[Castro] I would like to know who paid for that campaign. Somebody must
have paid for it. We do not pay a single cent for propaganda. In France, we
have friends, but the right has some influence on the French press, which
is very unfortunate.

The U.S. mass information media have a great influence in France. UNESCO
referred to that problem when it discussed the information media monopoly.
We are vaccinated against that; we are used to that. It is a disease, but
we are immune to that disease. It does not make us nervous; it does not
make us lose any sleep. We have been able to resist it because we have a
vaccination against it. We are looking for a good vaccination against that
system of publicity aimed at blemishing a country's image.

We have to say two things about Valladares. He was a member of the Batista
police force. We have the documents to prove it. Valladares was sentenced
for acts of counter-revolutionary terrorism. He was not handicapped. He
faked it. The whole international campaign was based on the fact that he
was handicapped, but he was not. He was called a poet, and he was not a
poet. Many of his verses were written abroad. If he is a poet, we are happy
for it and wish him well. It has been said that all of us are part poet and
madman; that is the truth. Perhaps the French people would understand
better if I remind them that they are holding Klaus Barbie. What is his
name? Klaus Barbie. What the French people want is that justice be done,
that he be condemned. Of course, I am not comparing Valladares to Barbie,
because Valladares was not a member of the German Gestapo, and I have no
proof that be perpetrated any crimes against the revolutionaries. He was
simply a member of the Batista gestapo, which perpetrated many crimes. He
was a youth who today is a great intellectual, a poet. He was a Batista
policemen who became a policeman at the time of the greatest repression
against the people. Later on, he plotted against the revolution and
consistently participated in terrorist activities. Well, I believe the
French have a bitter memory of the Nazi occupation, the repression, and the
Gestapo and the crimes they perpetrated. They tried and sentenced everybody
they were able to put on trial. Even now, after nearly 40 years, they still
continue to look for Nazi henchmen to put them on trial. What would you say
if a major international campaign were conducted to seek Barbie's freedom,
a major worldwide campaign saying that Barbie is an intellectual, a poet, a
writer, a victim of great injustice, and that his human rights are being
violated if he is condemned there? What would the French people say if we
asked for his freedom? This is just an example. We are not going to ask for
the freedom of the most insignificant member of the Gestapo. We are not
going to ask for anything for the most insignificant collaborator because
we feel a collaborator is a traitor who caused the death and blood of many.

If you ponder a little about your own experiences, you will realize that we
are also touchy regarding the people who collaborated with Batista and
perpetrated crimes. In addition, it was demonstrated that there was no such
handicap. It was all a lie. It was a major propaganda ploy. Somebody paid
for that propaganda. However, we... [leaves thought unfinished] It was the
CIA and the U.S. imperialism. Surely it is them. There can be some people
of good faith who at a certain moment might believe, and there are many
people who are misled. But that is the truth. We have known that for a very
long time. How much money does the CIA spend? It must be tens of billions
of dollars. What do they use it for? For wire tapping equipment? That is
not expensive. The cost of electronic equipment has gone down recently as a
result of technology, microelectronics, and progress made with mass
production. The CIA spends much money on publicity, very much. We know that
better than the French. But that also has an impact in France. It does make
a difference in France and in many other places.

What are the problems of human rights? None, he was sentenced on the
evidence. We were generous because he deserved a more severe sentence. Now,
France has solved his problem. Because of our consideration toward and
friendship with France, because of the problem created, we decided that the
world would not come to an end if we set this liberator, this poet free. We
solved the problem. They [CIA and U.S. imperialism] conducted a major
campaign and will always conduct campaigns. So long as they conduct major
campaigns in defense of people who are counterrevolutionaries, people who
have broken our laws, we will maintain a firm position. We are not
frightened by such campaigns.

We have no human rights problems. They have disappeared here. No one is
tortured here. No one is murdered here. In 25 years of revolution, despite
the difficulties and dangers we have confronted, there has never been
anyone tortured or murdered in our country. The enemy might say
differently, but it is not true, and that is the truth. Some day when
honest historians analyze these 25 years of revolution, it will be
demonstrated that perhaps this is the only revolution which never broke the

We have laws that punish because we have to defend ourselves. But it will
be demonstrated that we were not repressive, that we were not criminals,
that we were not torturers, and that not a single person has disappeared in
our country, not a single one. There is not a single case of torture in our
country. The day when honest historians review and investigate all this,
the truth of all this will be demonstrated. One should ask: How many
revolutions have had the cool head and moderation that our revolution has
shown, despite being under threat of death by imperialism for over 25

Our moral values are very strong. We have the masses to defend us and
support us, masses which struggle against espionage, against sabotage.
Whenever someone is arrested, we know more than they do. We probably know
that they met on 3 January at a house whose address they do not even know,
not even the time or with whom they met. But we do know because among those
meeting there we have someone who defends the revolution. We know the time
and place better than be because he cannot remember. We always have that
evidence. They have no moral values. Let us not say that the Cuban
counterrevolutionaries are fanatics because, in reality, they are

The CIA does not conduct any task based on recruiting sympathizers. We know
that the CIA does everything based on cash. We have great experience in
that. They pay salaries, some $5,000, $10,000, $50,000. After all, they
make it appear that any felony, any lie, any dirty business was perpetrated
by someone else. Everything the CIA does is based on cash.

We can say we have never paid a penny to anyone. The people's cooperation
is spontaneous. Throughout the world, those who cooperate with us do it
based on ideals, principles. We have never spent a penny on that, which is
the great difference. That is why we have been able to resist despite all
the science and technology that the CIA, the Pentagon, and the United
States have. The fact that we are 90 miles away from their coastline and
they have not been able to crush us and will not be able to crush us
demonstrates that difference.

We are sure that a nation determined to defend itself cannot be crushed,
just as the Spanish and French were not. I ask you: What would have
happened in France? Or what happened in France after the occupation, after
the betrayal, after the surrender of the country? The people were unarmed,
but the following day the struggle began, resistance grew. There is no
other way. Now I ask you a question: If there had been no Normandy
invasion, would you have continued under Nazi domination without
struggling? If there had been no war -- a decisive factor in the defeat of
Nazism -- the invasion of the USSR by Hitler, would Europe have accepted
Nazi domination for centuries? How long would the Nazi domination, the Nazi
slavery in Europe, the Nazi racism, the extermination of human beings
because of racial and political reasons have lasted? Would Europe have
resisted that?

Let us suppose that no army would have participated in the war -- would the
Nazi domination have survived? You know that the answer is no. We also know
that U.S. domination by any means would not survive, not even if it invaded
and occupied our country. We are sure of that. What has defended us? No
army has defended us. We have defended ourselves, and we will defend

Nevertheless, we are conscious of our strength. There are technical means
to neutralize this or that weapon but there are no technical means to
neutralize a fighting nation. There is Vietnam, to cite an example. There
are millions of us ready to defend the country and the revolution. Why?
Because there is moral strength that can only be defended with moral
strength, with political strength, with ideology, with profound conviction.

I am not trying to convert others to our convictions. We believe in our
convictions and defend them with all our strength. I believe we are
invulnerable. We do not frighten. Of course, it is lamentable that the U.S.
Government feels that our statements are a result of its policy of force.
On that path they will reach a point when they will see they are absolutely
wrong. Revolutionaries do not give up or surrender when faced with a policy
of force.

I have to go to bid farewell to my son if you do not want to harm my
relations as a father. [Castro gets up and begins walking away] That
problem has not been taken up yet. It is not imminent.

[Journalist] Could I ask you a question? It is an important question.

[Castro] All chiefs of state are the same. We never say one is more
important than another. What do you work for daily? [Castro does not stop
for the question]