Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


LD061824 Madrid Domestic Service in Spanish 2300 GMT 5 Jan 84

[Text] Tonight Television Espanola [TVE] broadcast an interview with Cuban
leader Fidel Castro from which we now invite you to listen to some
extracts. In the interview Fidel Castro spoke about the influence that the
U.S. Government had on the Cuban revolutionary process.

[Begin Castro recording] The struggle was unleashed above all against the
United States. The first companies we expropriated were those that were
sabotaging the economy because they were creating serious conflicts, and we
did so by means of a nationalization law. What you could say is that the
hostility of the United States accelerated the process, and even drove the
process on, but it did not determine the direction of our revolution, since
our revolution would have inexorably moved toward socialism. Inexorably we
considered ourselves to be Marxist-Leninists. We based our ideology on
Marxist-Leninist principles and intended to carry out a socialist
revolution. [end recording]

Fidel Castro also spoke about the idea linked to the Cuban revolution
concerning the creation of a new type of man, a different type of man.

[Begin Castro recording] One we, the Cubans, have more young people and
more people willing to continue and carry out a mission, however difficult
or dangerous in any part of the world, more people than they have in the
Peace Corps and the missionaries of all the religious orders put together
-- we alone have more people. Thus, if we need 50,000 people, we have them.
If we need 300,000 young people willing to carry out a mission of any kind,
we have them. I ask you, could the U.S. Peace Corps, the Catholic Church --
which I respect -- and the Protestant churches -- which I also respect --
together mobilize 300,000 missionaries?

At present in the public health field, we hold first place among all the
countries of the Third World and are above some developed countries. In 15
or 16 years' time, we shall hold first place in the world above the United
States, Britain, Sweden, et cetera. [end recording]

In his statements to TVE, Fidel Castro rejected the so-called personality cult.

[Begin Castro recording] What would the country be like without Fidel
Castro? Well, I and all my comrades in the party leadership would be really
very ashamed if we now thought of any of us as indispensable. There was a
time when we were indispensible, (?when we were living in a period when our
ideas were taking root), when we were a group in the Sierra Maestra during
the first years of the revolution, but it is not a question of leader
worship or a personality cult. In this country you will not see portraits
of Fidel Castro in the streets, or streets named after Fidel Castro, or any
statue -- nothing of this sort, because one of the first laws passed by the
revolution was to prohibit this. You will not see any manifestation of a
personality cult in this country. We have created institutions of
collective leadership that really do function. [end recording]

Fidel Castro also spoke about Spain's membership in NATO.

[Begin Castro recording] The more Spain commits itself to Europe and the
more it feels European the more we are affected. A majority of Spaniards
want to join the EEC. We cannot oppose or criticize the fact that Spain,
for economic reasons, wants to share the benefits of the EEC, but that
could, in some respects, be harmful to us. We shall have to see what the
rules governing trade relations between Spain and Cuba, and Spain and Latin
America are after Spain joins the EEC, because we can opt out as well,
though we are not interested in doing so.

The more Spain stays away from military blocs -- and I say this with the
utmost clarity -- the better relations would be between Spain and Latin
America and the Third World. I say this without wanting to interfere. I am
simply defending my views, and I was once greatly criticized for this --
even the Spanish communists criticized me. [end recording]

We shall now hear Fidel Castro talking about relations between Cuba and Spain.

[Begin Castro recording] The revolution began. A struggle began against
neo-colonialism. Franco ruled in Spain, and we were really very critical of
Franco. However, in spite of our criticism and our ideological differences
with the regime, the Spanish Government stood firm and maintained its
economic and diplomatic relations with Cuba -- this must be recognized.
When the transition took place in Spain, relations improved, and they were
no longer merely formal diplomatic and economic relations. Increased
contacts of a political nature took place, more direct contacts with the
government, contacts which had not previously existed, and for the first
time, we saw the visit by a head of state, or rather of government, because
the head of state is the king. We have invited the king, and I do want to
emphasize that we would like him to visit us. We knew Felipe [Gonzalez
Marquez] as the leader of the Socialist Party and the opposition. He
visited Cuba with Socialist delegations. He has come more than once to our
country, either for a visit or in transit to Panama, and I have met him at
the airport and other places, in Nicaragua for instance. We have had many
contacts, good personal relations, and there is, of course, a closer
political affinity now with the new Spanish Government. With the PSOE
[Spanish Socialist Workers' Party], we do not have identical points of
view, identical concepts, but as a party of the left, we have good
relations, close relations. [end recording]