Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19850417
-YEAR-
1985
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
INTERVIEW
-AUTHOR-
F. CASTRO
-HEADLINE-
CASTRO INTERVIEW WITH ECUADORAN JOURNALISTS
-PLACE-
HAVANA
-SOURCE-
HAVANA TELEVISION SVC
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS
-REPORT_DATE-
19850418
-TEXT-
CASTRO INTERVIEW WITH ECUADORN JOURNALISTS

FL171700 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0358 GMT 17 Apr 85

[Interview with President Fidel Castro by unidentified Ecuadoran
journalists; date and place not given -- recorded]

[Text] [Question] We would like to know the topics of your talks with
President Febres Cordero; how you have reconciled your two ideologies and
differences in thinking in regard to various issues, especially issues
involving Cuba and Ecuador.

[Castro] I want to begin by saying that I am very happy about the visit.
Not only am I happy, but so is everyone who has dealt with the Ecuadoran
delegation.  Before the visit, I did not know President Febres Cordero
personally but some comrades had spoken with him.  Our education minister
and vice president of the executive committee [Jose Ramon Fernandez] had
attended his inauguration.  He had the privilege of talking with him at
length and he came away with a very good impression.  He liked the
seriousness and frankness with which they discussed various issues.  I had
hoped that the president would be a person with whom I could converse and
engage in dialogue and conversation, and that hope was fully gratified.
From the moment we began to talk, it was with familiarity, and trust and
with no malice.  I had no prejudice and neither did he, which is
interesting.  I saw him as representing a sovereign country, which has
glorious traditions and national honor.  This was the impression that was
conveyed by the Ecuadoran representative.  This was evident as soon as he
began to speak.

It is not difficult for me to communicate with him.  He spoke for a
position of honor and respect.  I am pleased because he is very cultivated
in his treatment of others.  I observed the slightest details, and he even
said thank you to a comrade who opened the door for him.  That is a very
cultivated and considerate way of treating people.

I noticed how he is concerned with detail.  There is no issue that does not
interest him in any area that is under discussion.  He is a respectful,
frank person.  As you have seen, he is not the type with whom you must use
diplomatic language.  We are dealing with an open person who does not hide
things.  And I immediately understand this type of person.  He knows how I
think.  I know how he thinks.

It has occurred to me during this meeting that there are so many common
interests among Latin American countries and Third World countries.  We
must bear in mind that this has at least one advantage.  I deal with many
people in the world.  Sometimes they speak one language, sometimes another.
You do not know how wonderful it is to be able to talk to someone in one's
own language.

I want to add that the president and the Ecuadoran delegation and you
journalists reflect a certain character.  I detect in the Ecuadorean -- and
every nationality has its characteristics -- a great sense of honor, love
of country, and pride in country, along with a great capacity for treating
people in a cultured way.  Finally, I really have a good impression from
all of the meetings.

You have asked a question about the topics of the talks and I will give you
an answer. we discussed many issues.

[Question] Commander, would you confirm that the personal attitudes of
heads of state can lead to communications among countries?  Do these
attitudes transcend influential ideologies to their effect on the behavior
of leaders, especially with regard solving the current problems in Latin
America?

[Castro] No one knows the importance of personal contact.  All men are not
equal.  It is also true that not everyone who takes on political power is
the most capable person.  I talk with many leaders.  Generally, they are
magnificent people.  But individual characteristics are very important,
especially if the person is honest, whatever his political convictions.  It
is important that he be able to discuss and exchange opinions on any issue.
I have dealt with many distinguished individuals who are intelligent and
capable and I have enough experience to evaluate people and I can say that
the president of Ecuador is a person with whom personal contact is
valuable.  And I can talk with him.  In general, whether the results are
good or bad, contact is very important, that is, personal contact.

Ideology is a subject we hardly discussed, because he has great respect for
what we have done and I have great respect for your country and your
system.  Ideology is not an issue.  It cannot be an issue of discussion.
Whatever separates us, whether it is the socialist or capitalist concept,
cannot be an issue for discussion because he is not going to try to
persuade me that we should do things one way or another.  Nor would I try
in the least to influence or persuade him to change from his way of
thinking to another.

There are so many issues of common interest that we could be here 10 days
and not even talk about ideology.  Perhaps, it would serve our interest to
ask how things are done, why they are done, and how they should be done so
we could have a better idea of how problems are viewed by a Latin American
leader.  And he too could have a better idea of how we approach issues and
how we do things because we have had contact with the people everywhere in
the country and he could appreciate what we do and the nature of our work.

But I wanted to say something about this.  Latin American countries are
countries of the Third World, countries that struggle for development,
countries that struggle to advance.  All new problems of international
economic order are very important to our two countries.  If the price of
sugar drops because of dumping or because it being subsidized, it affects
you Ecuadoreans and it affects us.  It affects all social sectors.  It
affects the canecutter, the sugar technician, the refinery owner -- it
affects everyone and it affects us.  There are opportunities to study these
problems and determine their causes.  Now then, protectionism affects you
and it affects us.  Unbalanced trade, in which our products become cheaper
and what we import becomes more expensive affects us.  High interest rates
affect us, So there is an infinite number of things which are common and of
interest to all countries, independent of their social system or their
ideology.  What do we expect?  That we are all going to become capitalists
or that we are all going to become socialists to struggle against various
situations and economic relations that keep our countries poor and our
economies underdeveloped?

Colonialism is one of the primary causes of underdevelopment.  We know that
almost all the resources were removed from Latin America and used to
industrialize Europe -- gold and silver.  And we were left poor because all
that wealth was produced with what?  With the labor of the natives.  In
Cuba the natives disappeared.  There were 200,000 of them and only a few
remained looking for gold in the mines.  Slaves came from Africa to Cuba
and other places and worked a long time.  For centuries, our people
produced wealth and with that wealth the industrial development of Europe
was financed.  The financial contributions that we made for centuries had
much to do with the industrialization of Europe and even the United States.

These things are common among many nations and we cannot wait until there
is socialism in all our countries or until we return to capitalism to sit
down and discuss those things for which we should struggle because our
peoples, hundreds of millions of people, are the ones who suffer when the
price of sugar is depressed or the price of meat, copper, or any mineral,
or coffee, cacao goes down.  Everyone suffers, no matter what type of
social regime he lives under.  If a bulldozer costs four, five, or seven
times more, we suffer.  We suffer from the underdevelopment, which in many
cases, is common to our peoples.  And in other matters, there are other
common experiences.  You have experiences in some areas and we have them in
others.  Exchanges of opinion are very important.

Well, the first exchange we had was on farming.  We are both farmers.  The
president [Leon Febres Cordero] and I are farmers.  We are both interested
in cattle farming. [Castro says to unidentified person:] You will get your
chance. [laughter] We are both interested in cattle-ranching.  Both of us.
Very much.  Breeding, milk production, met production.  I have been working
on this for more than 20 years.  Now I am back where I started in the
crossing of Holstein and Zebu to seek a solution to the problem of milk and
meat production.  We are very interested in this.  Some cattle ranchers buy
animals here because we have accumulated great breeding potential in a few
years, and some ranchers buy a few animals for reproduction.  So we talked
a great deal about agriculture, technical matters, in which our experiences
could be useful.

We talked a lot about health problems.  We explained all our experiences.
The president if very interested in a program of medical aid to children,
especially poor children.  He is firm in his resolve to carry out his
program to make medical care available to all children up to age 12, to
provide them with hospital care when they need it.  On this matter, we also
have long experience, which is useful.

We also have experience in education matters, with which to solve problems.
In the sugar industry we have experience.  Sugar matters are also important
to Ecuador.  Ecuador has interesting experience in the sugar industry and
in other fields.  There are many possibilities for development in the field
of exchanging knowledge.  We have over 100 scientific institutions.  We are
introducing new products in the fight against tropical diseases.  This
experience can be useful in cooperation in the field of medical matters.

We discussed at great length the development of trade, beginning with
President Febres Cordero's very popular intention of developing exchanges
among the Latin American countries and among the countries of the Third
World, and seeking new markets and a solution to the desperate situation in
many countries.  We discussed the development of exchanges and what we
could do to bring it about.  We talked about what we could buy and sell.
What do they produce?  It is very important to know everything about what
each country markets.  Well, we would like to give preference to Latin
American countries in our trade.  If we buy fish meal, it is better to buy
it directly from a Latin American country than to buy it from Europe.  It
is better to do that with any other agricultural product, or industrial
product.  We are willing to develop this economic relationship.  We
discussed this a great deal, especially these possibilities and ways and
mechanism to carry it out.  The volume of trade is not as important as the
principle, which we talked about a great deal.  Trade and cooperation among
Third World and Latin American countries are issues that we discussed a
great deal.

We discussed history and geography of our countries.  We also talked a lot
about the historical links between Eloy Alfaro [president of Ecador in
1890's] Marti, Maceo.  Because there is a consensus that Ecuador had the
most brilliant attitude and Eloy Alfaro was the Latin American who showed
us the most solidarity, who was almost unique in this because he was so
outstanding and went so far as to donate his salary as president to help
the cause of our independence at the end of the last century.

Alfaro is admired and beloved in our country. it was very beautiful to see
our two flags together at the ceremony.  They were also together during our
struggle for independence.  To view the two flags and to hear the two
national anthems as Marti did and to pay homage to Eloy Alfaro.  That is
really a beautiful historical event.

We have very much in common.  We Cubans are very similar to Ecuadoreans,
especially those of the tropical area of Guayaquil.  There is a great deal
of similarity in the architecture, the nature and open character of the
people and their expressiveness.  We talked about all this.  Of course we
talked about international politics.  Who could imagine that we would spend
so much time together -- how long were we together?  I did not keep track
but it must be more than 25 or 30 hours.  We spoke about Central America.

[Question] Our president was interested in Central America and he said you
were interested in Reagan's proposal for a solution [passage indistinct].

[Castro] Yes.  We talked and exchanged opinions and I gave him all the
information I have.  We talked with mutual trust.  We agreed on our full
support for the Contadora measures.  We agreed on the need to make an
effort to find a political solution to the situation in Central America, to
the different problems there.  We were very much in agreement on that.  I
believe I should not be expressing my opinion on Reagan's proposal because
it seems to me that the interested country is Nicaragua.  We should not be
expressing opinions, it seems to me, not publicly and not even privately.
It is the Nicaraguans who must give their opinion.  What if we give one
opinion and they give another?  We would be hindering a solution.  The
policy we have followed with the Nicaraguan revolution, a policy of
support, of solidarity, of respect -- when they take a specific measure, we
support them; if they sign the Contadora peace document we will support
them -- we pledge that where we are concerned, that we will carry out
everything they decide.  We will never make a unilateral decision because
that would not be loyal.  We have doctors, technicians, there are even
military advisers.  We cannot take the unilateral decision to tell them:
Look, this seems like a good idea to us, we are going to withdraw our
cooperation.  Now then, if they decide that to reach an agreement our
cooperation should be withdrawn, they know they have our support.  And when
they hear things, they are the ones that should speak out freely.  Even if
there were something that we thought was not perfect, we follow the
principle of supporting them.  Our friendship and trust are based on this,
on absolute respect.

For this reason, I do not want to express an opinion on the Nicaragua
situation, and the ones who must speak out publicly and express their
opinions should be Nicaraguans and not us.  I hope you understand our
position.

[Question] Commander, the positions of the Cuban and Uruguayan presidents
on the foreign debt of the Latin American and underdeveloped countries are
totally different.  I wanted to ask why Cuba renegotiated (?and under) what
conditions, and why this position of requesting a moratorium for the
remainder of the Latin American debt is being taken?  What would be the
results of achieving a moratorium?

[Castro] In the first place I am going to say that it is not correct to say
that there are totally different opinions.  Because what he has said, I
have said, and many Latin American leaders, and they are saying it more and
more -- I read the news dispatches every day -- and they are going to say
it at the meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, and I read that news with
great interest, which is that a solution to the problem must be found.
Everyone agrees on this.

Everyone agrees the debt is an unbearable burden that is going to make our
countries more backward and promote underdevelopment.  Some think one
formula should be adopted and some favor another.  But all, all without
exception, not only in Latin America also in Africa and Asia, agree that a
solution to this a problem must be found.

I have focused on the problem.  I have made arithmetical, mathematical
calculations, and my opinion, which you all know and which is unvarying, is
that is is unpayable is to be handled is something else.  I think a lot of
formulas and ideas will have to be studied.  I say that, in accordance with
my calculations and analyses, it cannot be paid and should be canceled.
All the principal Latin American leaders say they are not willing to
sacrifice development and their peoples by adopting regressing measures to
pay off the debt.

There are a lot of people who are thinking and working out their ideas, and
not only in the Third World.  The German finance minister has said this is
very serious, that in 1985 the entire Third World debt is $970 billion, and
there is no solution.  He has said almost what I have said: There is no
solution.  I said there are going to be social explosions.  The man said it
in another way: There are going to be revolutions, [word indistinct].  He
has said almost the same thing.

The ideas I have are usually transmitted to all leaders of all nations, in
Asia, Africa, Latin America, and industrialized countries.  I have
transmitted in writing to all of them all my points of view, the same
materials, and there are more materials because I continue working on the
subject.  I have my own ideas and they are consistent with my calculations.
I cannot say: Gentlemen, according to mathematics, it cannot be paid.  And
then say: Gentlemen, a moratorium must be declared and payments begin
after 10 years.  I would not be consistent.  I suppose the heads of state
as they become more unified, and they are becoming more unified all the
time... [rephrases] First, the Cartagena Consensus President Febres Cordero
favored a meeting of all the heads of state to draw up a policy; President
Alfonsin did the same thing in Mexico.  That is, new initiatives are
presented.

In Washington, representatives of the Cartagena Consensus met to draw up a
document for the meeting of the IMF and World Bank on the 17th and 18th.
There are new initiatives all the time and I am sure more will be examined
in an attempt to arrive at common criteria.  In time, I suppose the leaders
will decide on a moratorium.  It has been a venerable institution since the
time of Roman Law.  It is as old as the law itself and is very respected.
They will draw up their formulas.  I simply reasoned and reached some
conclusions.  But if there is a moratorium, this will be wonderful.  Then
there can be another, and another.  In this way the same objectives can be
reached by different paths.

If a 10-year moratorium is declared, what we owe in 10 years will be --
instead of $360 billion -- what I have calculated will, with present
interest rates, be more than $1.4 trillion.  With every day and year that
passes, mathematics insists stubbornly, obsessively, in proving that it is
unpayable.  I am not going to contradict mathematics.  This is not
ideological but scientific, if you will, because it is mathematical.

[Question] Would Cuba be willing to lead this group?

[Castro] Lead?  What for?  What do we have to lead?  Nothing at all.  We
expound ideas.  We have been doing it for years.  Before the 1979
catastrophe happened... [rephrases] If you look up my speech at the United
Nations following the sixth summit meeting of the nonaligned countries,
when I attended the United Nations as president of the Nonaligned Movement
and gave a speech, which would be worthwhile to get from the archives.  I
set out the problem that is happening now: the need to cancel the debt of
the countries in greatest difficulty and grant better repayment conditions
to the others.  I laid out the problem again in 1983 in New Delhi.  There
is even a small book that contains the report I presented at the United
Nations.  I have been working for years.

The problem will only get worse and it is no longer possible to suggest
what we recommended in 1979 because the problem is so grave now that, if in
1979 mathematics proved that it was necessary to cancel the debt of the
poorest countries because they would never be able to pay, and give better
repayment terms to the countries that had greater resources, today the
disease is so grave that it is now a surgical problem.  As soon as the
problem becomes surgical, different recommendations must be made.  I see
clearly, because mathematics tell me that there is no alternative to
canceling the debt, and that the debt is unpayable.  Furthermore, I have
set out the consequences of what is going to happen, with total clarity and
total conviction.  One does not live for many years observing events as we
have without learning.  In other interviews I laid out what is going to
happen in the United States, like that colossal expenditure it is making.

We have no interest in leading anything.  We have been (?defending
ourselves) for many years out of principle, conviction, a sense of justice.
We don't want to be exploited.

You have asked about Cuba's renegotiating its debt.  The Cuban debt is very
small.  It barely affects us.  It totals about $3 billion, and 85 percent
of our trade is with the socialist countries, where we sell our products at
high prices.  Furthermore, we have no financial problems with them.  Our
debt has been renegotiated for 10, 15, 20 years without interest.  This is
marvelous.  It is what I say the industrialized world should do with the
nations of Latin America, Asia, and Africa.  We have none of their
problems.

The only thing these bankers did to us was blockade us.  We have argued
with them and honored our obligations.  The debt hardly affects us.  If it
is 15 percent, it hurts, but it is only 15 percent.  The injury is slight
compared with the gigantic injury.  Our development is guaranteed up to the
year 2000: Our plans, how much we are going to increase production, how
many dwellings, social development, and development will continue at a high
rate in the priority areas of public health, education, sports, culture.
In health, education, and sports we lead all Third World countries, over
100 countries.  And we are ahead of some of the industrialized countries.
We are very near the United States in health standards.  They have an
average of 12 deaths for every 1,000 live births Of course, fewer whites
die, more Chicanos, and more U.S. blacks.  And we have 15 [as heard] we are
catching up to them.  We have caught up to them and. are going to pass
them.  Our future, as I said, is guaranteed, assured.  We are struggling
almost altruistically here, increasing awareness in Third World countries
and also in the industrialized countries.  I send the same message to all,
without exception.  We are also in better shape to do this.

If a country has to negotiate with the IMF every day, it cannot do any
other planning because the IMF squeezes it.

I know how a lot of people think but they are not free to express
themselves.  They have no negotiate every day.  If they were to speak out
this way, they would get squeezed.  No one can squeeze us because we in no
way dependent on the IMF; we are free to speak and we do speak.  I have
spoken a lot.  I began 6 years ago and am going to continue to speak out
because my arguments are irrefutable.  I have been able to prove with
precise data that they are stealing from us when they pay us less and less
for our products, when they charge us higher interest rates, when they
overvalue the dollar, when the money flees our countries as a consequent of
U.S. monetary policy.  They are taking $45 billion unjustly, part in money
and part because they do not pay us what they should for our products.
Furthermore, of the $70 billion that (?is leaving) Latin America, about $20
billion could be considered legitimate or normal interest.  I should not
say "legitimate" because a Muslim considers interest to be theft.  But
within the Western concept, we say all right, normal interest up to $70
billion.  But I believe we are in such a situation, that they have
plundered us so much that not even this interest is normal.  It can be
paid.  They owe us much more than Third World countries owe them.

[Question] What is the greatest achievement of the Cuban revolution to
date?

[Castro] In the first place, a united people, very united, with deep
political culture.  If you go to the United States and ask an average
American where Ecuador is I assure you that 80 or 85 percent will answer
that it is in Central America, or that they don't know, or will as: What
country is that?  I never heard of it.  Wit propaganda and publicity, and
so much fantasy, and gangster and race car movies, the average citizen has
no opportunity to learn where Ecuador is located or if such a country.  The
same things happens with Third World countries.  Where is it located?  They
would just as well answer in Central America as in Africa.  Perhaps 15
percent knows where it is.  Ask any Cuban where Ecuador is located, where
Ethiopia is located, where the Sahara is, or the Middle East, where South
Yemen is located, where Cambodia is located, where Laos is, where Easter
Island is, tiny, lost in the Pacific.  A Cuban knows all this and he knows
what happened there, and he knows world history, he has a high level of
political awareness.

The average educational level of our workers is now the ninth grade and is
still going up.  One hundred percent of our children attend school unless
they cannot physically move from their homes.  We even have schools for
children with problems, for thousands of students with hearing or sight
problems or any other problem we have schools to teach them, to prepare
them for life.  More than 90 percent of all children between the ages of 6
and 16 are in school.  More than 200,000 students attend the universities.
We have 20,500 physicians, up from the 3,000 who left us, because there
were 6,000 and the United States took 3,000.  In addition to all this,
5,000 enter medical school each year.  We will graduate 2,436 this year and
starting in 1988 we. will graduate 3,500.  From 1991 to the year 2000 we
will graduate 50,000 physicians to have the best medical system of any
country in the world.  We will even be able to cooperate with other
countries.  This is our program for evolution.

I have a united people, politically aware, patriotic, capable of defending
itself.  The greatest glory is having resisted the colossus of the North
for 26 years, without ever having trembled.  We are ready to exact a high
price to defend the revolution, we are ready to such an extreme -- as they
well know -- that a military adventure here would be a disaster.  These are
spiritual, moral achievements.  One does not see beggars, barefoot
children, abandoned children.  We do not have prostitution, gambling,
unemployment.  It is a very large collection of things.  But the greatest
merit is, I believe, to have resisted the colossus for years without
trembling, and to have gone ahead in the middle of the blockade and have
these people that you have all seen in all their force, their unity, their
culture, their enormous effort.

Yesterday we saw impressive young people.  They were doing construction
work valued at $2 billion.  Since we have no great rivers, dams, nuclear
power plants, a refinery costing (?$100) million, and a lot of other works,
sustained development. [as heard].  Twenty-five years ago we could not even
dream of building a small factory, we had to call in U.S. firms to build
it.  Now we build colossal works with Cuban brigades, Cuban technicians,
Cuban engineers, and even many with Cuban plans.  Our sugar mills are now
built with Cuban plans and more than 60 percent of the equipment is built
in Cuba.  And under what conditions?  Under a complete blockade.  We have
advanced relatively more than any other Third World country in these 25
years, and there are the data, the facts.  We have a very united people,
very patriotic, and very revolutionary.

[Question] Commander, how do you view the future in Latin America?

[Castro] Because I am an optimist and not a pessimist, I see a good future
for Latin America.  If I were a pessimist, I would say hell awaits us.  But
a people does not make its decisions until the moments of crisis.

Normally, important decisions are not made for philosophical reasons.  For
how many centuries was Latin America a Spanish colony?  We were less
fortunate than you on that score.  We were a colony for a century longer.
But you were a tranquil part of the vice royalties.  Things remained calm
until a crisis occurred, the crisis in Europe.  The invasion of Spain by
Napoleon.  But the historical conditions were right at that time for
nations to come into being with their own personalities, their own
intellectuals, their own leaders, and suddenly they became independent,
when no one was expecting it.

It began almost as an act of loyalty to Spain because no one was going to
swear loyalty to the brother of Napoleon because if Napoleon was an
adventurer, his brother was an idiot.  When France tried to impose an idiot
on Spain, the Spanish themselves said: We must set up a junta; and the
juntas in Latin America ended up being independent nations.

Bolivar intended to unite the nations and was unable to do so.  We know
that the great powers, the United States, England did all they could to
keep the area fragmented.  Well, now there is a serious crisis.  I believe
that this debt is worse than the brother of Napoleon on the throne of
Spain.  [laughter] And I will tell you something else.  The economic crisis
is worse than all that because the Latin American thinks.  We have millions
of thinking people.  Everywhere you find writers, filmmakers,
highly-trained people, doctors, engineers, economists, in spite of all
those who left.  Everywhere it is evident that people are aware -- the
masses, the workers, the peasants, the middle classes and the
professionals.

The economic crisis affects all of us.  If we were all in a boat together,
it would not matter if you were a Muslim, Christian, Protestant, Calvinist,
Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, utopian Communist, social democrat, or
extremist.  If we are all in the boat and the boat begins to sink, it is
certain we would all do everything possible to save the boat.  If it sinks,
we would do everything possible to reach shore -- the life rafts, boats,
everything -- and if we reach shore, how would we sustain ourselves until
we are rescued?

That is where we are now.  That is what I am saying.  More important than
ideology is the boat that is sinking, water is entering from all sides.
This promotes unity of action.  The history of Europe has more wars than
that of any other continent.  They spent about 5 centuries making war on
one another.  Now they have a European Economic Community.  None of the
countries could conceive of trying to live without the Community with one
of them selling wine, another wheat, another meat, another olive oil,
another automobiles, and other things.

They are satisfied.  If you asked them if they could live as they did in
the last century, they would say no.  Would any of you be able to leave the
community?  No.  On the contrary, the countries that are not members are
trying to enter.  Portugal and Spain have made great efforts and now they
cannot exist -- they who love us Latins so much -- without joining the
community.  And they are going to follow the community's policies.

Well then, the wars in Europe have ended.  There is a European Parliament
in the European Economic Community.  And we, the countries of the Third
World, small in many cases, lacking development, blocked from
international markets by dumping, blocked by protectionism, must unite as
the Europeans did.  I believe we will develop forms of economic integration
and little by little we will develop political integration.  There is much
time ahead -- at best within a century.  But for now, unity and action will
come about.

That is the way of history.  It is common.  Who was going to tell those
crazy Europeans, who were always making war... [rephrases] You have heard
of the Thirty Year War and the Hundred Years War.  They tried to divide up
little islands of the world, saying Jamaica is mine, this is yours.  They
all tried to claim this or that island in the Caribbean or the Pacific.
They claimed everything.

I remember when I was in the fifth grade, I saw a political map and it was
nearly all red.  I did not even know of the existence of communism.  If
someone saw such a map today, he would say it was a communist plan because
almost all the map was red -- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India.  But
it had nothing to do with communism.  It was the British Empire, which was
colored red on the map.  The Portuguese Empire was also huge including
Angola and Mozambique.  Portugal would fit many times in the area of the
colonies it held a short time ago.  Of course, a country -- many of whose
inhabitants could neither read nor write -- was master of enormous parts of
the globe.  Decolonization occurred and the colonies are now independent.
There is change.  No one can oppose change.  It comes one way or another.
Great changes.  My opinion is optimistic about the future.

[Reporters] Thank you.

[Castro] Well, I have not been able to answer everyone, but I have done all
I could.  I have tried to speak very quickly.
-END-


LANIC |