Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Press Conference

F1121553 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0030 GMT 10 Jul 85

[Press conference by Cuban president Fidel Castro with journalists
attending the Fourth Congress of the Federation of Latin American
Journalists, FELAP, at Havana's palace of Conventions -- live]

[Excerpt] [Moderator] I would like to ask the colleagues to identify
themselves please.

[Lopez] I am Juan Manuel Lopez, from Mexico's EXCELSIOR.

[Castro] It is a good thing I have a friend there [words indistinct].

[Lopez] Commander, today, according to the news dispatches, Reagan attacked
Cuba, Nicaragua, Libya, and the DPRK at the American Bar Association,
accusing these countries of forming a confederation of international
terrorism.  Moreover, this afternoon you said that the diplomatic pouches
or equipment, I do not know which, of the women in the delegation going to
Nairobi were taken away from them in Miami.

[Castro] No, no, no, no, no, no.  One delegation went to Nairobi and the
other was going to the United Nations.

[Lopez] Could this be one of the jobs of this confederation?  Did they have
weapons in their suitcases, or some contraband?  How do you explain this?

[Castro] I will tell you the truth.  We are here among serious people.  I
think Reagan cannot be taken seriously.  This is my opinion.  He is one of
the most lying politicians that ever existed in the world.  In addition, he
is one of the most unscrupulous.  He is a big liar, the biggest liar that
has ever occupied the United States presidency. [applause]

[Lopez] [Words indistinct] a little dangerous.

[Castro] Right.  I remember the Grenada invasion.  Between him and his
closest advisers they told 19 lies.  I say that he does not even tell the
truth by chance.  Everything he says is a lie.  Some say he is an
ideologist. Perhaps he is an ideologist, but of lies.  It is right for him
to have an ideology, but he does not have to tell lies.  He can be a
rightist, a recalcitrant reactionary.  Reagan's method is that of Goebbels.
Yes, it is Hitler's method.  Reagan tells the most unbelievable lies.  He
spoke today.  We don't have to ask for the problem.  What we must ask is
not what Reagan said, but who wrote his latest speech.  It surely must have
been Buchanan of the Moon sect.  He is Reagan's adviser and the one who
wrote the speech.  This is absurd.  I told a member of the National
Assembly that we will have to include this new organization in the United
Nations.  An association of terrorist states.  He came up with this idea.
He awoke this morning, was handed the paper, and he read it.  This was
absurd.  One sometimes is under the impression that he is not even aware of
the lies he utters.  Well, this is the humorous part because there is also
a tragic and dramatic part.  Simply, Reagan is the biggest terrorist in
history.  Only a few days ago, he sent a message to Yamba to a meeting
organized by South Africa and the CIA.  In this meeting, the National Union
for the Total Independence of Angola [UNITA], the Nicaraguan Democratic
Force [FDN], the counterrevolutionary organization in Nicaragua was one of
the organizations, participated.  There was also another from Southeast
Asia; I think it was from Laos.  This was a full-fledged conference of
counterrevolutionary organizations in the territory of Angola.  He sent
them a message.

As we know, Reagan ordered the Nicaraguan ports mined.  He also ordered the
Nicaraguan ports attacked.  Reagan ordered terrorist actions against the
Nicaraguan people.  Reagan provides one of the most terrorist governments
in Central America with helicopters with tremendous firepower.  They have
C-47's equipped with sophisticated weapons that can fire thousands of
rounds per minute.  With this equipment, they bomb and strafe the peasant
population and kill hundreds of people.  Reagan supports the army that
murdered the Nicaraguan [as heard] archbishop.  Reagan supports the army
that raped the U.S. nuns in Nicaragua [as heard].  Reagan supports
paramilitary groups that murder U.S. citizens in that country.  Reagan
supports the Guatemalan regime, a U.S. freak that was born in 1954 and that
has cost 100,000 men, women, and children their lives.  This freak is also
responsible for tens of thousands of missing persons.  Reagan supported and
supports the pinochet government.  Reagan supported the military
dictatorship in Argentina which caused disappearances of no one knows how
many thousands of people.  Reagan also contracted Argentine intelligence
officers and sent them to Honduras.  He sent them to organize a
counterrevolution there.  We know the names of many of these people.
Argentine intelligence officers were the first FDN instructors.  Reagan
invaded Grenada, bombed hospitals, murdered mental patients, promotes an
arms race, rearmament, and a space war.

Finally, Reagan tries to impose terror in the world.  Mr Ronald Reagan is
history's biggest terrorist.  What can you expect from a cynic such as he?
I think that the best that can be said is that he is not even responsible
for what he says.  Often, he does not even know what he says.  This is the
answer that I can give you.  Now I can see it perfectly well.  He is
nervous, irritated, and quite angry.  I am of the opinion that this is a
dirty campaign because he conducts a dirty war counseled by his advisers.
We all know that Reagan boasts that he has never read a single book in his
life.  Maybe he read scripts when he was an actor, but not books.  It
cannot even be said he is responsible for what he says.  He has a nasty
group of advisers.

I think that he is angry, particularly at Cuba.  You will see that he puts
Cuba in the first position here.  He has suddenly gotten angry.  He had to
get angry, unquestionably at Cuba.  I think he is angry at what we have
been discussing here, regarding Cuba's stance and motives.  He is a little
desperate.  He has no way of countering this.  He threatens and assumes the
right to do whatever he wishes.  Consider how pedantic this individual is.
He did not directly include the Soviet Union, but he stressed Moscow's
broad relations with most of the five countries of this association.  He
said that there are implications because of these ties for relations
between the Kremlin and the United States and other democratic states.  In
other words, he not only describes several countries as terrorists, but
also threatens the Soviet Union because, he says, that the relations
between the Soviet Union and any of these countries, such as Cuba, are very
good and that they will affect the USSR-U.S. relations.

As I recently said to a group of newsmen during another press conference,
there are two types of communists: the good ones and the bad ones.
Apparently we are the worst type of communists, the lowest form of
communism.  Why?  Because they [not further identified] react violently to
this struggle, this campaign we are waging about the foreign debt, the new
international economic order.  It is surprising.  I seek an explanation,
but I do not think there is any other explanation.

I already told you that they stole the [diplomatic] pouch, in a most
outrageous manner, from a chartered plane that occasionally flies to that
North American country, taking Cuban officials.  The Cuban plane was
carrying the pouches.  These were not secret documents.  The pouches were
carrying many pamphlets, like the ones I gave you yesterday.  The pamphlets
of the Olympics were distributed this morning because the Latin American
Group [GRULA] was trying to issue a resolution supporting the International
Olympic Committee [IOC], which is a shameless, petty politicking group that
the United States is backing.

Then, the Spanish ambassador, since the IOC chairman is a Spaniard...

[Unidentified speaker, interrupting] A fascist Spaniard.

[Castro] How was that?

[Unidentified speaker] A fascist Spaniard.

[Castro] He is a fascist?  [passage indistinct]

[Unidentified speaker] He was president of the (?city council) under
Franco's dictatorship.

[Castro] I did not know that.  But they are running around, working hard,
going to the Berlin meeting, the Prague meeting, for the spartan games.
[IOC Chairman] Samaranch knows very well our stand concerning the Seoul
Olympics.  We have said that a solution must be found.  We do not agree
with Olympic games that actually divide the country, that deepen the wounds
in the country.  To hold the Olympics in Seoul is actually a petty
political maneuver of the imperialists.  It is endorsing that colony.  To
hold the Olympics in Seoul would be like holding the Olympics at Guantanamo
Naval Base, in the occupied territory of Cuba.  This is something
elementary in matters of principle, and we cannot accept that.  It is a
matter of principle.

Well, I would say then: Let them share the Olympics between both parts of
Korea.  That is, if they still want to hold Olympics, if they want to
continue with that movement.  I feel it would provoke a deep crisis.
Besides that resolution clashed with certain principles, which are upheld
by the Third World countries, and are against apartheid.  If that
resolution is approved, apartheid might be forgotten in sports, and this is
a struggle of the Third World countries, particularly of the African
countries.  They should have dropped the resolution because we have been
strongly opposed to it.  But they took the resolution to the GRULA;
everything was done secretly.  As you know, we are all involved in this
struggle concerning the debt, and we do not want to distract our energy
with something else.  But suddenly, they wanted to bring the issue before
GRULA.  Our delegates then went around, talking with many Latin American
representatives.  We are going to take those papers to Nairobi, to the OAU,
which is going to meet on the 15th.  We are going to bring up that problem.

Besides, the Olympics belong to the very rich, the counts, the marquises,
white people, and to the ones who direct the Olympic movement.  But there
is nothing democratic about it.  There is a Mafia directing the Olympic
movement, and how much longer are we going to tolerate this?  It is a shame
to see how the European capital cities fight each other, along with their
former colonies, over who will be hosting the Olympics.  The only Olympics
held in the Third World were the ones held in Mexico.  There has not been
another held in a Third World country in all the years since then.

In Los Angeles, they made a profit of $200 million.  They are
commercializing the sports movement.  They want to introduce
professionalism.  Where has that $200 million gone?  They said it would pay
for the transportation of the Third World participants.  But that was not
the case.  They agreed on not even paying for the transportation of the
Bolivians.  So the Olympics only serve for the former colonies to send one
representative just to show the grandeur and the racial superiority of the
former mother country. [sentence as heard] This is so, even though it is
U.S. blacks who win most of the medals for the racist regime of the United

Then, this serves to show the former colonies that the mother countries are
superior in everything.  Well, we won some medals, in baseball, in
something, we always end up with a few medals.

Now, in order to practice sports, one needs organization and experts.  We
have graduated 18,000 professors of physical education and sports.  We used
to practice sports with much effort.  However, in order to practice sports,
one needs to have certain facilities and installations, and first of all,
it needs well-fed youths.

In the case of Third World countries, let me give you an example.  The
Mexican public health minister recently stated that out of the 2 million
children that are born every year, 100,000 die before they reach 5 years
old, and 1 million develop physical and mental handicaps.  The Third World
countries do not have resources to spend on sports.  The Olympic movement
could at least use its resources to help the lesser developed countries.
Where have they invested the $200 million profit from the Los Angeles
games?  In California, the richest state of the richest country.  Not a
single cent of that money has been invested in Bolivia, Burkina Faso,
Africa or Latin American countries, which have no resources.  We are
against this.

We had to present that material, and we distributed it today at the United
Nations so that the Third World countries will learn of our stand, so that
the socialist countries will know of our stand, and so that the entire
world will know that our stand is based on solid principles.  We were not
impatient about distributing them.  I think that this has to be discussed,
but the United States already cheated on this and took this to the United
Nations, claiming it was Spain.  However, one of the texts had the word
harmony [armonia] written with an H, and harmony is spelled with an H only
in English.  The document was thus drafted by the United States. [laughter]

Naturally, they wanted us to focus some of our energy on this problem, in
order to distract us from our cause, which is a just cause.  I asked the
women who went to Nairobi to defend that cause.  Do not forget Korea, Korea
is a socialist country, it was the victim of aggression.  That country
suffered through a war -- a country where hundreds of thousands of persons
were killed.  During that war, hundreds of thousands of men from all parts
of the world died.  Even 100,000 Chinese volunteers died.

To hold the Olympics in Seoul is an outrageous maneuver.  Well, then, if we
want to share the Olympics, let us present a resolution.  We are not
calling for the suspension of the Olympics, but we want the events to be
shared equally.  For example, sharing the events between the northern and
southern area of Korea.  Korea, there is only one Korea, but the
imperialists keep it divided.  Seoul is a colony, one of the most horrible
regimes, similar to Pinochet's regime.  It is a base occupied by Yankee

And I say that if we did not go to Los Angeles -- and many socialist
countries did not go to Los Angeles for reasons of security -- I really
cannot understand how a socialist country which abstained from going to Los
Angeles could now go to Seoul.  I will never understand that.

We never notice those issues of solidarity [corrects himself] of security.
We have always gone [to the Olympics], but out of solidarity with the
socialist countries, we did not go to Los Angeles.  Reprisals were taken
against us, using our absence as an excuse to deprive us of hosting the
pan-American Games.  Cuba is a country that has done so much for sports; no
Latin American country has ever done as much for sports as we have.

And yet, Mr Vasquez Rana, who is the chairman of the Mexican Olympic
Committee owner [as heard] of the International Association of Olympic
Committees and a multimillionaire, then granted the site of the
Pan-American Games to Indianapolis, taking it away Cuba for $30 million.
And what does he do with this money?  Does he help sports with this?  No,
he uses it to travel around the world.

He has a plane that is worth approximately several million dollars.  He
calls for meetings of that association, he bribes people, he puts them up
at the best hotels with the best automobiles at their service, and he uses
all of this money for petty politicking and for managing this international
organization.  He travels throughout the world, distributing gifts to
Olympic leaders.

It is incredible corruption.  Due to the solidarity with the socialist
countries, we did not go to Los Angeles.  What are we going to do now?  Are
we going to forget that Korea exists?  Would this be moral?  Would this be
just?  As a revolutionary state, as a socialist country, in order to win a
few gold medals -- we win a few gold medals in any place, in Los Angeles,
in Seoul -- are we going to betray principles for a few gold medals?  No
way.  These were the reasons why this came up.

Nevertheless, the pouches were not carrying material on the Olympics.  It
was material that I had distributed on economic problems.  It included the
documents on the women's meeting and the speech to distribute at the United
Nations.  It also included the EL DIA interview.  And the CIA which does it
in an almost barefaced manner... [rephrases] The plane arrived, but when
the courier went to pick up the pouches, they had disappeared and could not
be found anywhere.  Who has them?  Maybe they are in Reagan's office.
Maybe they will say that they have discovered a terrible conspiracy of the
confederation of terrorist states.  The material has been published.  You
were the first to receive it with what you received yesterday.  This is
what I can tell you.  The women were going to Nairobi.  They had to make a
stopover in Cay Sal [an uninhabited islet of the Bahamas] and to continue
on to Nairobi for a UN meeting.

I explained earlier that obstacles have been mounted because the
imperialists are very concerned about that meeting.  They want to
depoliticize it.  They do not want talk about apartheid or anything there.
They do not want talk about any of the causes.  They do not want talk about
poverty and misery.  I do not know what they want a women's meeting to do.
They are intent on depoliticizing the meeting.  But they will not succeed.
They will not succeed in depoliticizing that meeting.  You saw yesterday
the determination with which those Latin American women were going to wage
their battle.  We provided the plane so the Latin American women could
attend.  The plane had to arrive in Cay Sal, cross Africa, fly over a
number of countries.  The trick that they set up was that verbally they
gave permission, then they delayed it for a long time, and then they said
that no one has signed a paper giving permission for the plane to fly.  As
a result, they had to travel to southern Africa, not South Africa, but
Angola and to cross friendly countries and it will have to fly
approximately 6 more hours and use more fuel.  This was the result of all
those tricks.  In the same place, some of the Latin American women had to
obtain visas through the British Embassy and I do not think Thatcher is
willing to cooperate so that the Latin Americans who maintain a correct
position will attend the Nairobi meeting.  As a result, many Latin American
women arrived there without visas.  This is how one has to struggle in this

You know that to this we must add the fact that the United States has a
rigid policy and has threatened all member countries of the United Nations.
Those who vote against U.S. interests have their credits and aid paralyzed.
They do not receive anything.  I have never seen such a shameless policy of
pressure on the rest of the countries as the one the United States is
currently implementing.  I am not exaggerating, companeros.  I am saying
things that I know.  I am not inventing anything.  Now that they have
stolen the pouches I am glad. perhaps the material will arrive on
Wednesday.  Another plane leaves tomorrow with more material or maybe I
will send it by telex. [laughter] All of it.  It will awaken interest in
the material; they are playing dirty.

This shows the fear and the dread they have regarding this problem.  They
dread ideas and with these threats we should be shaking over Mr Reagan's
threats?  Are you really afraid?  We are really terrified. [laughter,
applause] Reagan is achieving his purpose, he is diverting us from
identification... the main problem, which is the economic crisis and the
debt, and he is making all those idiotic remarks.  I am willing to answer
all your questions, but I must warn you that one of the things he wants is
to distract us from the main objective.

[Name indistinct] I want [words indistinct] that there is enormous
expectation among the delegations, discussing important topics especially
with regard to the debt which is something that concerns the entire world.
There are delegations here today who do not want to return to their
countries without answers, paths, solutions, and, of course, an exchange of
ideas with Comrade Fidel Castro.  We can leave with elements that can lead
to an exchange of ideas and clarifications.  If we suddenly include in this
interview correspondents, professionals of other media who have not been
with us all these days discussing with us these problems, we will feel
frustrated.  We want some order here so that each delegation can achieve
its expectations regarding important issues.

[Moderator] We are just beginning the press conference and you cannot
prejudge.  Let us see if (?they) can go to Tropicana tonight with us.
Please, the comrade from Chile, and later...

[Castro, interrupting] The journalists who did not attend the meeting are
asking questions?

[Moderator] No, because there are some journalists who are accredited to
our country who have been invited to the press conference.

[Castro] Correct, they create a serious dilemma.  However, my impression
was that this was to be a meeting with the journalists who came for the
[FELAP] conference.  I deeply appreciate all the others, and if possible I
would even stay with them later, when the others leave for Tropicana, to
talk with them.  I think, however, that it is reasonable to take into
consideration the ones who were at the conference.

[Moderator] That is what we will do.  In fact, there is Comrade (Richard),
a Chilean, he has come to the conference, and he has come...

[Castro, interrupting] Don't say anymore because they will execute him and
he will disappear.  He will be number 201.

[(Richard)] I would obtain asylum here then.

[Castro] What did you say?  [laughter]

[(Richard)] I would obtain asylum here.

[Castro] Right.  [laughter]

[(Richard)] I am Jorge Andres (Richard), of (APSI) magazine, PUNTO FINAL,
and the newspaper LA TERCERA DE LA HORA of Chile.  Your proposal for the
Third World to declare a moratorium or a halt to the payment of its foreign
debt will unfortunately cause a reply from the industrialized countries
that will lead to various kinds of pressure.  The countries that still
continue under dictatorships such as that of pinochet in Chile will hasten
to ask for and to fulfill instructions from the empire.  This will
strengthen their regimes.  Do you think this will lead to a weakening of
the democratic opposition forces?  What solution do you visualize for our
country, a negotiation with the dictatorship, a political solution in the
style of the neighboring southern cone countries or a popular military

[Castro] In the first part of your question, when you say it will
strengthen the regime, what could strengthen it?

[(Richard)] At least maintain it.

[Castro] What could?

[(Richard)] What?

[Castro] What can maintain it or help maintain it?

[(Richard)] The financial aid.

[Castro] The United States.

[(Richard)] Exactly.

[Castro] Well, Chile has one of the largest debts, but it is unquestionable
that the United States is helping it.  I read many reports every day and
very frequently I read about World Bank credits granted to Chile; credits
and more credits, negotiations.  In other words, while Reagan carries out
an embargo against Nicaragua he tries to send resources of every means to
pinochet to help support him, to help him survive.  I can assure you that
approximately 8 or 10 months ago, the Yankees were so frightened about the
Chilean situation that they were looking for a replacement for Pinochet
with the not totally groundless argument of preventing a Nicaragua in

In those days they were making plans to remove pinochet.  However, when the
people's resistance and the revolutionary movement grew they became
increasingly afraid and changed their policy.  They sent Motley and other
people, including the deputy defence minister there to prop up Pinochet's
position.  We must not forget Motley's incredible statement that the
Western world had to be thankful to pinochet because he had freed Chile
from a socialist regime -- a government that the people had chosen through
legal means and that was criminally overthrown by the military under the
pentagon's and the CIA's direction and guidance.  It is well known that the
pots-and-pans demonstrations and all the strikes were organized and
financed by the CIA.  The Pentagon and the CIA were involved in the plot
behind the military coup that brought to Chile the worst tyranny that
country has ever known.  It has been in power almost 12 years, claimed
untold lives, and brought much poverty.  That regime has destroyed the
Chilean economy, ruined its industry, and mortgaged the country.  However,
Reagan's representative said that the Western world had to be thankful for
pinochet.  They are now attempting to consolidate pinochet's power and keep
him in power until 1989.  They are trying to promote an agreement between
pinochet and the opposition.  Frankly, I believe this will be impossible.

As to your question, I do not believe pinochet's position can be bolstered.
The people repudiate and hate him more each day, and he is becoming
increasingly isolated.  It would be somewhat daring of me to propose ways
to overthrow or eliminate [liquidar] Pinochet.  However, I believe the
Chileans are intensifying their resistance and struggle against Pinochet;
the people's resistance is becoming increasingly stronger and invincible.
Even the armed people's resistance is growing.  It is up to the Chileans,
not to me, to choose an option.  All I can say is that there is a sine qua
non conviction that Pinochet's downfall must be hastened, and unity among
all of Chile's progressive, democratic, and revolutionary forces is vital.

You asked me how Pinochet's downfall can be hastened.  I must say that
unity is the vital factor.  The opposition must rally round the growing
movement toward unity and sit down to discuss this.  I am sure that if the
entire opposition, including the right, center, and left wings, the
revolutionaries, and the conservatives sit down, discuss the matter, and
unite, Pinochet's days will be numbered.  They already are.  However, the
regime's duration would be shortened.  It seems to me that the most
important thing at a meeting such as this, especially in view of your
question -- regardless of what I might think, believe or prefer -- is for
all of us to advocate the unity of all the opposition forces.  As I told
you earlier, I have discussed this problem with the Chilean
revolutionaries.  We maintain broad relations with many Chilean parties and
excellent relations with top Chilean revolutionary leaders, people who are
extremely capable, courageous, and organized.  I will not say who they are,
that is a secret.  I can say they are struggling more and more vigorously.
Imperialism is correct in concluding that prolonging the Pinochet regime
will end in a revolution as radical as Nicaragua's.  However, one cannot
bet on or wish for the Pinochet dictatorship to prolong its power so that
the result will be more radical.  I believe that revolutions come sooner or
later, fast or slow, in one way or another.  Nonetheless, it would not be
unjustified to desire a speedy change, because under our revolutionary
option we cannot want the prolongation of a regime that can cost even more
thousands of lives and much suffering.  This includes not only those who
Pinochet guns down or tortures, but those he starves, the children who die
each year of hunger.

For example, we estimate that the Cuban revolution has saved 300,000 lives
through its health and sanitation measures.  You saw the 15-percent rate.
How many would have died if it were Chile?  Or Bolivia, for that matter?
Compared to those indexes, it would add up to 800,000 or 1 million lives.
I have established the comparison based on pre-revolutionary indexes.  This
allows us to estimate how many children, newborns, under 5 years of age,
and teenagers the revolution has saved in 26 years.  But those killed by a
system must also be counted.  I have said this to human rights advocates
who speak of how many have been killed or are missing.  The system murders
more people than those.  In the name of the most basic and purest concept
of human rights, all those children and people who die of malnutrition and
the like must also be counted.  The Pinochet regime does not only torture:
it murders and kills people.  This happens in other countries as well,
unfortunately.  The system kills many, many people.

When the women met, some of them stated that more than 100 [of every 1,000]
children die during their first year of life in Bolivia, and it is
estimated that approximately 90 children die in Ecuador and Peru during
their first year of life.  The figure grows when one adds those who die
between the ages of 1 and 5. This is incredible.  But the fact is that they
are dying.  Some are shot, others are tortured to death, and others starve
because they get no food.  How high is the Chilean people's toll?

Frankly, I want the Pinochet regime to fall as soon as possible.  I hope
there is a democratic opening, even if it is not a revolution.  We would be
happy if there were a democratic opening soon, even if the revolution does
not come immediately.  Those of us who really believe in revolution know
that revolution comes sooner or later.  No one can contain it or the social
changes it brings.  I am so confident in the future of the Latin American
peoples and in the social changes that will come!  Naturally, if tomorrow I
hear there is a revolution, I will be even happier.  However, if I hear
there has been a democratic opening, I will be very happy, and I really
want that for the Chilean people.  I believe that a democratic opening will
not prevent the eventual arrival of social changes.

[Jose Carlos Montero, of Brazil] Commander, the Brazilians are following
with special interest the negotiations between Havana and Brasilia to renew
diplomatic relations.  When do you expect the Brazilian Government to make
its decision?  What advantages are there for Cuba to renew such relations?
Once relations have been reestablished, to what extent does Cuba expect to
rely on the cooperation of Brazil in relation to the foreign debt debate?
In your opinion, will the decision of Brazil on the foreign debt, one way
or another, seriously affect the other debtors?

[Castro] There are no actual negotiations at present to renew diplomatic
relations.  What happened is that government spokesmen in parliament have
voiced their support to renew relations, and the executive branch itself is
optimistic over the possibility of renewing relations between the two
countries.  Cuba presents no obstacles to that eventuality; it will all
depend on the discussion at this time to renew relations, and on the
decision to be adopted by the Brazilian Government.  We are aware that a
democratic opening has taken place in Brazil with a number of complex tasks
to be resolved immediately.  Besides, an unexpected situation arises when
the president-elect dies and is replaced by the vice president, who has to
assume the responsibility of the government under a most difficult economic
crisis.  I imagine there are a number of priorities that have occupied the
government's full attention in these first months.

Our attitude is to try not to pressure the point on renewing relations.  It
is not that we do not want relations.  We want relations, but we do not
want to add to Brazil's difficulties at this time.  We are not being
affected by the complex situation existing in Brazil.  It would not be fair
for us to press the issue and start asking our friends to help us in
reestablishing relations.  We feel it would not be a friendly attitude if
we should at this time press Brazil on renewing relations.  Despite our
previous comments, we leave it up to the Brazilian Government to decide on
the time it may deem opportune to reestablish relations with Cuba; we are
ready to proceed at any time.  We believe that this is the only position we
can take, since we approve of the democratic process and wish to cooperate
with the Brazilian people in the consolidation of that process.

Cuba and Brazil would stand to gain, of course.  Brazil is more developed
industrially than we are; particularly, in mechanical industry.  It
produces transport, construction, and industrial equipment.  It has
developed some technologies which we could acquire.  Recently, we told
reporters that we had obtained equipment to produce milk from soybean, and
which the Brazilians themselves have named the mechanical cow.  We obtained
three units of this equipment and installed them in our country.  We are
now testing the quality of the milk.  Of course, the demand is not much,
particularly, in a country accustomed to consuming cow's milk, even though
it costs much more than soy milk, and those who can afford cow's milk do
not buy soy milk.  However, those children allergic to cow's milk are
consuming soy milk, which is very healthy, and has practically the same
nutrition value as cow's milk.  In fact, it is basically as nutritious as
cow's milk, if you add a percentage of sugar to it.

There are some countries that have no cattle, many of them in the Third
World.  We acquired several of these machines and have donated them to
Third World nations so that they may benefit. In fact, we have ample
relations with Third World nations.  We have construction organizations,
doctors, and many collaborators.  Besides, we cooperate with donations to
many countries.  Therefore, since we support the cooperation among Third
World nations, we believe that our relations could help establish bilateral
cooperation with nations of Africa, Asia, and others, between Brazil and
Cuba.  We do not always donate our services, for instance, in the case of
countries with more resources.  For instance, we have doctors in over 25
countries, and only two or three pay for it; to the others, we donate this
service.  We have construction organizations working in different
countries.  We have collaborators in the fields of economic and social

There are other fields where there could be a shared cooperation between
Brazil and Cuba.  Thus, the perspectives for these relations are based not
only on bilateral commerce, but also on our mutual cooperation in the Third
World.  Brazil also produces a number of grains and foodstuffs which it
exports, and which we import.  Brazil is technically advanced in the
production of alcohol and sugar.  We also have technology.  There are
scientific areas where we have advanced considerably.

Of course, we have no doubt that cooperation between Brazil and Cuba is
important in the economic field.  However, we believe that the most
important cooperation between Brazil and Cuba is the common struggle for
the new international economic order, so vital to all our countries; the
common struggle against unfair exchange, protectionism, dumping
[preceding word in English] the common struggle for the solution of the
external debt which we recommended be canceled.  Although we called it
cancellation, some countries unfortunately interpret it as paying the debt.
We mean not to pay the debt, to cancel it, to erase it, and start with a
clean slate.

With the new international economic order, if they want to make loans to
us, we would be willing to pay them, but at reasonable interest rates, and
if they agree to pay us better for our products.  We expect the banks will
loan us funds for development, not to have them deviate from their
objective as it has been the case in the past.  All this happened because
the masses have no notion of these problems.  As some reporters said
yesterday, neither parliaments nor public opinion intervene; only a handful
of technocrats who meet in Washington or Paris, or who knows where, and
decide what to do among themselves.

The debt is renegotiated in the most undemocratic way in the world.  The
people do not intervene, the workers are not consulted.  The parliament,
which represents national sovereignty, is not asked for an opinion on the
renegotiation measures or the agreements adopted and their consequences on
the people.

Regarding the question on the importance of Brazil's decision concerning
the debt, we feel it would be decisive.  If tomorrow Brazil were to take a
step forward, no Latin American country would carry more weight than
Brazil.  I believe that in some way Brazil holds the key to finding a
solution for the problem.  There are other countries in addition to Brazil.
But very few countries also have the key to solving the problem.  However,
there is no doubt that the country that carries the most weight is Brazil.
I am not urging Brazil to take this step.  I do not want anyone to say that
I have urged any country to take a specific action.  I defend a thesis, I
divulge it, and I believe that each country should decide what to do.

However, someone said yesterday -- I believe it was the colleague over
there in the back who spoke yesterday -- that Brazil has 20 percent of the
debts of the Third World countries.  I disagree with that.  The debt of
Third World countries is more than $900 billion, and $104 billion is not 20
percent of that amount.  It is really a little less than one-ninth.  It
should be approximately 8, 12 and a fraction of a percent of the Third
World countries' debt.  However, Brazil owes 30 percent of Latin America's
foreign debt.  Brazil is not only one of the countries with the largest
debt, but also it is a self-sufficient country, in the good sense of the
word.  In other words, it is a country that produces its own food and has
developed its industries.  It is a country with a growing oil supply of its
own, a country that maintains close relations with the Third World.  It is
a large country.  Brazil is undoubtedly a force in reference to this
problem, to this struggle.  It is one of the strongest countries, which in
my opinion should play a fundamental role in solving this problem.
Therefore, as I said, Brazil's role is decisive.  I do not believe that
Brazil is the only country that could do this; there are other Latin
American countries capable of taking the lead or setting into motion the
mechanisms for solving this problem.

As I said yesterday, there are small countries, with small debts, whose
decisions do not have any significant repercussions.  There are already
countries that have not been paying their debts for some time.  An example
is Bolivia, which has declared itself unable to pay either the capital or
the interest.  Although it has repeatedly said so, there has been no
scandal about it.  I assume that it is because the creditors do not want to
make a big fuss about it in order to prevent the virus from... [sentence
incomplete] I understand that Peru has not been paying interest on its debt
for almost I year; it has only paid limited amounts.  However, again it is
something that has been done silently.

All these problems begin to have a special connotation when viewed under
certain principles.  A very small country, with a very small debt -- $1,
$1.5, or $3 billion -- does not have a decisive effect on this situation
for which a certain amount of influence is required.  Naturally, the
biggest debtors are the ones with more influence.  Therefore, the situation
of each country should be considered, that is, what are its markets, what
measures can be taken against that country.  I am absolutely convinced that
the creditors' reaction will be to sit down and talk, but this time
seriously.  Right now they do not want to talk, they are not interested in
holding talks, and have replied with total disdain to love letters.  No
attention was given to the Contadora Group's letter to the IMF in April,
last spring, or to the letter sent to the Bonn summit.  These letters
received no attention at all, and I could say a lot about this, because I
know the whole story.  The creditors have ignored these letters, and they
will pay no attention to the indebted countries unless these countries
assume a firm position.  This is my thesis.

This is why I have mentioned the example of a trade union that receives no
answer to its frequent requests and demands, and subsequently declares a
strike.  I am not calling for a strike tomorrow or the day after.  I have
used the word strike as a synonym, as a similar word for moratorium.  In
other words, unless the countries adopt a firm position, or unless a
powerful country or several countries adopt a firm position, they will have
to negotiate.  As I said yesterday, there will be no blockade.  This
subject is included in the material that I think has been distributed among
you.  I wonder if you have copies of the second part?  Have you received a
copy? [Someone replies that only the first one has been distributed.] There
is a second part that should be ready before I leave here tonight.  As I
was saying, no measures will be taken.  There will be no blockade, because
this would unleash the mechanism of the strongest solidarity ever to exist.
A blockade, economic measures...  A barbarian once said that even insulin
shipments needed by diabetic persons would be stopped because the vessels
and planes would be confiscated.  These are threats.  Of course, there are
no threats of invasion.  No one is as crazy as to say that he will send
torpedo boats like the ones sent to Juarez when he decided to cancel or
annul the debt.  It would be crazy to send torpedo boats.

For instance, let's recall the Malvinas conflict, which took place in a
very remote place.  Although Argentina was under a dreadful government, all
of Latin America and the Third World expressed their solidarity, and even
offered to send troops.  I would like you to tell me what the Third World
or Latin American peoples had to gain in the Malvinas.  They had nothing to
gain or lose; they only wanted to show their solidarity with the Argentine
people.  However, this is not a matter of simple solidarity, it is a vital
matter for all countries.  If any country is blocked for taking this kind
of action, it will be supported by all the Third World countries.  I am
sure that the socialist countries would support it, and I am sure that
numerous industrial countries would also give their support.  Only a few
imperialist countries would not: the same ones opposed to the Law of the
Sea, the same ones that refuse to sign the Sea Rights Convention, and a
small group of four or five that are opposed to the sanctions against South

However, they would be alone.  If those countries decided to implement
economic measures or to implement a blockade against one of these countries
because of its foreign debt, the blockaded country would not be alone.  On
the contrary, it is imperialism which would become isolated if such
measures are implemented, and I am sure it would be only a small group of
countries.  Those countries will not implement hasty measures either; they
will negotiate instead.

Now, the countries that take a step forward must maintain a firm position,
as they would have the solidarity of the rest of the world, with the very
few exceptions I mentioned before.  They would particularly have the
steadfast solidarity of the nonaligned countries, of all the Third World
countries.  Thus, that country would assume a very big responsibility.  It
is not a matter of raising a flag today and lowering it tomorrow, because
that would affect all the rest of the countries.  In other words, prior to
taking a step forward, the countries must have a clear understanding of
what they are doing.  They must show firm resolution in order to seek
strategic objectives for economies of the Third World countries, because
disloyalty, concessions, or settlements are not expected in exchange for
solidarity.  We must be fully aware that those countries which, because of
the weight they carry, are able to take the step, will receive overwhelming
support, but also assume great responsibility toward the Third World: to
see the struggle through; that is, to achieve the total repudiation of the
debt by all the Third World countries and the establishment of a new world
economic order.  This is an important idea.  I start with certain premises
in which I am totally confident.

[Gutierrez] Luis Carlos Maria Gutierrez, NUMERO magazine, of Venezuela.
Commander, in the process to reestablish relations...

[Moderator] Carlos, can't you stand up?

[Gutierrez] In the process of reestablishing relations between Cuba and
Venezuela, what outside factors do you believe are working to delay the

[Castro] Are you referring to the specific case of Venezuela?

[Gutierrez] I am referring to the reestablishment of relations between Cuba
and Venezuela.

[Castro] There are diplomatic relations between Cuba and Venezuela.
However, we do not have an ambassador there.  This began with an incident
that brings bitter memories to our country.  Everyone knows who carried out
the fact of sabotage against that aircraft, claiming more than 70 lives,
including our entire young fencing team.  All of its members were killed.
You must remember the radio transmission from the aircraft as the bomb
exploded and the plane was going down.  The pilot dramatically recounted
what was happening: the smoke, the fire aboard, and later we learned about
the guys who boarded the plane in Trinidad, placed the bomb in the
lavatory, got off the plane in Barbados, where the plane refueled, took
off, and when it had been in the air for a while, the bomb exploded.  Those
people were trained by the CIA.  They were criminals.  Although the crime
did not take place in Venezuela, but in Barbados, the crime was planned in
Venezuela, and the fact that there were two Venezuelans among the criminals
who destroyed the aircraft prompted Venezuela to claim jurisdiction over
the case.  The authors of the action were sent to Venezuela, and since
then, influence was used, all kinds of documents were stolen, and they
received broad collaboration, even from government officials.

I do not intend to accuse anyone.  Carlos Andres Perez made serious
attempts to have those responsible punished.  Everyone knows this, it is
written down.

There is a companera here who wrote a book about this.  All the details of
that action are well known.  However, at a given time certain influences
were used and evidence disappeared from the court files.  Our country was
truly infuriated by this problem because it was a very sensitive issue.

We recalled our ambassador from Venezuela when we learned the criminals had
been acquitted.  It was impossible to keep a Cuban mission there under
those circumstances.  That is how the problem started.  Later the case was
moved to the military courts and back to the civilian courts, but the
criminals were not punished.  Our people are very sensitive about this.  We
cannot believe that the crime went unpunished.  That is what prompted us to
withdraw our ambassador, thus delaying this matter.  We do not have a
hostile attitude toward Venezuela.  We are aware that we must work toward
unity and cooperation between our countries because we share many
interests.  However, this incident has unfortunately continued to weigh on
our relations.  We do not feel guilty or responsible about this.  The only
way to resume normal relations would be to put the painful memories of that
monstrous crime out of our hearts and begin to work from there.  We want to
work for relations, rapprochement, and unity between our countries, but
based on principles.  That is the only factor that has obstructed
Cuban-Venezuelan relations.

[Moderator] I now ask the Dominican delegation to choose a representative
and ask its question.

[Pena] Victor E. Pena of the Dominican Republic's LISTIN DIARIO.
Commander, it is possible that Jorge Blanco will remain in power in the
Dominican Republic for a long time to come.  Reports substantiate this idea
with the recent reorganization in the military commands, the exclusion of
Pena Gomez from the presidential race, the difficult struggle between Jorge
Blanco and the Dominican Congress, and above all, the fact that Jorge
Blanco already signed the agreements with the IMF and that he is the most
active supporter of that pro-IMF position.  Even Jacobo Majluta, the
possible presidential candidate of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, has
stated that the agreements with the IMF must be revised.  Don't you believe
that taking into account Bolivia's position, the announcement of the
Peruvian president-elect on the revision of the IMF agreements, and the
support that idea receives in Latin America, the United States is willing
to keep Jorge Blanco in power through a coup, the dismissal of Congress, or
through electoral fraud?  My question is not only about the situation in my
country, but about imperialism's policy toward the foreign debt.

[Castro] This implies a rupture of institutional order and the violation of
the Constitution, possibly a coup.

[Pena] Yes, sir.

[Castro] That is not so simple, because it would be very dangerous to
destroy the democratic institutions in the country.  Let us call the
framework democratic.  But we must realize that Dominicans are a combative
people, rebellious as well.  This has to be taken into consideration.  They
are a united people with a developed political awareness.  They
demonstrated their heroism in the wake of the 1965 Yankee intervention.
And I do not think it would be easy for anyone to instrument a coup d'etat,
not even the military.

One can appreciate the very difficult economic situation, and it seems to
me that a violation of the Constitution, the imposition of a government by
force through a coup d'etat, would bring the moment of revolution even
closer in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.

It seems to me that it would be a grave error, on the part of both
imperialism and the political group the current president, the Dominican
military, to carry out such a deed.  I know the situation is complicated,
and I know that the situation is tense.  And the application of the IMF
measures has not been easy, because I believe the Dominican Republic is a
classic example of what the application of these measures signifies and
where the application of these measures leads, because in the Dominican
Republic there was a virtual popular insurrection.  Since then the
situation has been very tense.  The crisis is worsening and becoming more
difficult, not only because of the debt, which is some $3 billion, but also
due to other factors: Because the price of sugar is less than 3 cents;
because the United States has reduced considerably the sugar quotas of
Santo Domingo, with the Dominican Republic subsidizing all of its own
sugar; because trade is unequal; because prices have deteriorated; because
of spiraling unemployment, some 30 percent of the work force is unemployed
which makes it one of the highest, even above that of Chile's because the
total unemployed and under employed is almost 50 percent.  The situation is
very difficult.

Really, from the viewpoint of the interests of the privileged sectors of
the country, to impose a de facto government, to impose a coup d'etat would
lead to the abyss of a revolution, to the doors of a revolution.

Of course, I do not think that Batista's military coup in Cuba was the
decisive factor of the revolution in Cuba.  Long before the coup d'etat we
had a plan of revolutionary struggle, and the coup d'etat forced us to
change that plan.  There is no doubt that the coup d'etat helped accelerate
the revolution; it united a lot of people.  I cannot say that it
accelerated the entire revolution, but it undoubtedly created ideal
conditions for the revolution.

A coup d'etat in the Dominican Republic would create the ideal conditions
for a revolution or a maneuver to the effect, and it does not seem
sensible.  Although, to paraphrase what Marti once said: Heaven has not
wanted the tyrants to be wise twice. [sentence as heard] Imperialism is
often not wise twice.  In fact, on many occasions it has demonstrated that
it can be stupid and insensitive two, three, five times over.  If analyzed
coldly and logically, I think they can gain more by halting and diminishing
the tensions and seeking some palliatives, than by resorting to violating
the Constitution or attempting a military coup to establishing a government
supported by the military in the Dominican Republic.  That is my analysis,
although I cannot bet on it 100 percent.  This appears to be the logic of
the circumstances, although I know the situation is complex.

Then what we have proposed is that either these problems, which have led
all of these countries to a crisis, are resolved, or we are on the
threshold of a revolution in many Latin American countries.  That is, in
essence, what we maintain.  As I explained yesterday, we prefer an
immediate rebellion of the Third World against the unjust established
economic order, a rebellion to resolve the problems of the economic crisis,
to resolve the problems of the debt, to resolve the problems of the unequal
trade, to achieve a new international economic order, to create conditions
for development.  I have thought a great deal, I have meditated a lot on
this, and I have reached that conclusion.  This does not imply in the least
that we are allergic to revolutions or that a revolution will sadden us.
Also, as I said, we know the experience of what is occurring and what is
happening.  You yourselves run the risk of aggressions, invasions,
interventions.  They did so in 1965, and that madman would not hesitate --
with a progressive government, I am not talking about a revolutionary
government -- to begin by imposing obstacles of all kinds, economic
blockades, blocking of credits, and use of arms.  I think that if we win
this battle against the debt and the new economic order, such a force and a
unity will be generated that our countries will obtain a much higher level
of guarantees against foreign intervention and interference.

I think that times are changing.  Look at the Malvinas, at the difference
between what happened in the Malvinas and what happened in Santo Domingo.

When the invasion of Santo Domingo occurred, many Latin American countries
sent police and troops there.  The OAS supported it.  But in the Malvinas
they were not able to.  The immense majority of the OAS opposed it.  The
United States was isolated.  I think we have to create conditions so that
the United States does not exercise the right to invade our countries --
conditions of unity and solidarity, which is what gives us strength.  That
is why I emphatically defend this idea, because I know it will give us all
great strength and create conditions not only for our development, but for
our independence.  It will create the strength that will permit us to
defend ourselves from imperialist interventions.

If the pygmies are divided, they snatch them one by one and try to
annihilate them.  They cannot always do so.  They have not annihilated
Nicaragua or eliminated Cuba, and they are not going to.  Reagan knows
this, I think, better than anyone.  They know that we have millions of men
who are organized; men and women organized, trained, and armed.  They know
that if they invade this country they will meet their Waterloo here.

We have turned out to be resistant and rebellious pygmies, with spears in
our hands, which we do not know how to use.  I do not think that we are any
better than the other Latin Americans, not at all.  Who can think
themselves better than the others?  The Salvadorans -- you saw them, you
saw the companerita who spoke yesterday -- are small but courageous.  They
are the most courageous pygmies I have known.  Nicaraguans are very
courageous pygmies.  Mexicans proved to be pygmies of tremendous courage
during their revolution.  Who can deny that?  Who can deny the courage of
Dominican pygmies during the intervention, the rebellion, and the time of
Camano and the heroic resistance, when Yankee troops came and invaded the
country's capital.  They showed tremendous courage and impressed the
Yankees.  Many leaders of that revolution survived.  Camano himself
survived because of the Dominican people's impressive courage.

Don't we know about the courage of Venezuelans, Colombians, Panamanians,
Ecuadoreans, Peruvians, Chileans, Argentines, Uruguayans, and Brazilians?
I have said this before.  I have said this during some interviews.  They
think that we are a mixture of haughty Spaniards, backward blacks, and
ignorant Indians; and we could add haughty Portuguese.  They think that we
are a mixture of that.  I have told some Yankees, listen, that mixture is
dangerous; do not underestimate it; do not underestimate it. [applause]

We are pleased to know that as far as we are concerned we have proven that
the mixture is dangerous.  However, we know we are not the only ones that
have proven that.  I wholeheartedly believe that the potential for struggle
and sacrifice of the Latin American governments is tremendous.  But that
applies to other peoples as well.  As I explained in that pamphlet, 40
years ago, the world map.... [rephrases] when I was a fifth and sixth grade
student, I used to see that the map was red all over.  Well, was it the
communist world?  No, it was the English empire.  There was another large
yellow area.  Was that the Chinese danger?  Was that a Chinese world?  No,
it was the French empire.  At the time, it covered Canada, almost all of
Caribbean islands, Jamaica, Australia, and India.  Even China was the color
of the empire of the rising sun.  What happened to all of that?  Who is
invading China?  By way of example, who is invading China?  Some deranged
person may say I am going to invade China, occupy it, and establish a
colony there.  Until recently, this kind of deranged person existed.
Perhaps not even a small country like the Sahara, which had several
thousand people.  Algeria; I knew Algeria existed, I used to see it as part
of the French map.  What did Algeria prove?

What about Vietnam?  Who knew Vietnam existed?

At least, I used to see it as a French colony.  What was that?  A French
property?  Listen, Vietnam was capable of defeating the world's most
powerful imperialist nation during a 30-year war.  Forty years ago nothing
of the sort had happened.  Who can afford to underestimate us, ignore us,
despise us.  We are trying to dissuade them from doing that.  We ourselves
do not want to be invaded.  We know what will happen if they invade us.  We
will defeat them.  They will have to leave.  We have already estimated that
they need millions of soldiers.

More Yankees are going to die here than during World War II.  We have
created all the conditions.  This pygmy has created 400 elephant traps;
400,000 elephant traps.  Everywhere he goes, there is a trap set for the
elephant.  In the military sense, the elephants will always be in that trap

We have used all the experiences from all the other countries.  We have
studied them carefully.  We have assimilated them.  That is the reason we
are strong.  They know that they cannot frighten us with any of that
nonsense, that garbage.  It has no impact at all.  Well then, what can they
throw at us?  Fifty atomic bombs?  No good.  They would poison themselves
if they throw an atomic bomb. [applause] My opinion is that one should not
underestimate or despise my people.  I am deeply convinced that we cannot
afford to underestimate and despise the Dominican people.  The Dominican
pygmies are strong and courageous.

[Moderator] Peruvian comrades have asked to speak.  We beg Solomon and
Efrain [not further identified] to decide.  Solomon, if you please.

[Solomon] Commander Fidel, I believe that in various documents and speeches
you have covered four basic aspects regarding payment of the foreign debt.
The first aspect concerns not paying the foreign debt because it cannot be
collected or paid.  I believe that all of us here, and all the governments
of Latin America are aware of this aspect.  The second major aspect
concerns the new international order.  I believe we are all aware of this.
I believe the Latin American governments, which throughout the period since
they achieved political independence, are aware that the international
order has never been favorable to Third World and underdeveloped countries.
For this reason we have been dancing to the same tune played with different
economic theories.

Therefore, I believe that all of us will agree to support the new
international order.  The third aspect concerns peace and defense.  We
believe that this is also fundamental and that all Third World countries
will support this fundamental problem of expenditures for defense and
peace.  The fourth problem truly concerns us, because it involves Latin
American political unity and economic integration.  We believe that in the
long term, the Latin American governments and people will arrive at key
agreements on economic integration.  I believe basic ideas have been
proposed, such as the need to nationalize our economies to learn to live
from what we produce, such as the planning of [words indistinct] in the
development of our countries, such as the formation of multinational
marketing businesses.

However, what concerns us the most is the short- and long-term [words
indistinct].  In view of the situation, and not wanting to be pessimistic
but realistic, Latin American countries have had some experience with
integration through the Andean Pact.  We have had some experience with the
Latin American governments' positions regarding the negotiation.  We have
had some experience in Latin American forums on protection of raw
materials.  We believe that short- and long-term are really needed.
Commander Fidel, it is very important to hear your views on what stance
Latin American countries should adopt in the short- and long-term.  Thank

[Castro] Latin American countries have not really had political
independence or economic independence.  This is all a fabrication.  As an
example, in our relations with the Nonaligned Movement, with Africa, we see
that in all the international forums Africans always express themselves
more freely than persons from other areas of the world.  We Latin Americans
had become used to bondage, that is, to repeat and accept everything the
United States said.  I think that we have begun a process of greater
political independence; undoubtedly, starting from the Cuban and the
Nicaraguan revolutions.  Look at the OAS -- that instrument of domination.
Virtually, it exists but it has been totally discredited.  All of the
imperialist's mechanisms for political domination like the OAS have been
disintegrating, losing prestige.  What they do have is total economic
domination.  In terms of priorities, the foreign debt struggle occupies
first place in Latin America.  All this is part of the struggle for peace.
First comes the foreign debt -- the new economic order problems -- and then
we propose economic integration.

I think that the most urgent thing to do is to face the economic crisis,
the debt, the battle.  I think this would generate a great force and would
generate great unity.  It would create the conditions for independence and,
therefore the necessary force for increasing the unity.  We cannot have
political unity, if we do not have political independence.  We cannot have
political independence if we do not have economic independence.  I would
say that we have to create the conditions, first for unity of action to
solve problems vital to attaining a force that makes us worthy of respect
from the empire, and likewise guarantees the conditions for our

I do not think it will be easy to advance quickly toward political unity; I
think this will be a lengthy process.  In addition, I think it will be easy
to attain levels of unity for this battle.  Of course, I am not only
thinking about the governments, I am thinking about the peoples.  That is
what we are doing to take this. [rephrases] I think that this idea first
must be discussed with the people.  In other words, there can be no
possibility of attaining independence.  There is no future, no possibility
for development.  There is nothing without these three things: liquidating
and rejecting the debt, adopting a new international economic order, and
adopting economic integration, at least in an initial phase, among the
Latin American countries.

We must discuss this with the masses.  If we discuss this with the masses,
the idea will gather enormous force.  It will no longer depend only on the
foreign ministries, clandestine political meetings, or political caudillos.
It will depend on the people, only on the people who can rightfully join
the struggle.

I think it is about time the people learn about this and join the struggle.
A lot is being said about unity, about Bolivar's legacy, but [laughs] the
necessary conditions have never been given to attain unity, or unity of

Consequently, basing ourselves on these two basic points, the debt and a
new economic order, we can generate a unity of action, a force, and create
the conditions for an independence, development.  I believe that if we
advance in these two aspects, we can take the next steps, particularly if
the masses support these ideas, toward a form of economic integration.  The
time is not near, but it can be accelerated if there are great changes and
revolutions.  The process can be accelerated toward the achievement of
political integration.  Europe, for example, has made a lot of progress in
economic integration; there is no doubt about that.  It is exerting itself
to attain political integration.  Of course, there are greater differences
among European countries than among us.  The difference between an Italian,
a Spaniard, a Frenchman, a German, a Dane, and a Dutchman are enormous.

None of them have what we have in common.  We have a common language,
because we even understand Portuguese.  We have similar cultures, social
conditions -- we even have the same religion, and that is very important
because there exists a theology about our liberation.  There is a strong
movement within the church in favor of social changes, social justice.  No
hemisphere has the elements of unity that our hemisphere has.  The Soviet
Union itself, which is a multinational republic, is comprised of quite
different countries and nations.

We seem to comprise a single nation.  I have problems finding the
differences between a Dominican, a Venezuelan, even a Columbian -- the
Mexicans are slightly different because they come from the high plateau and
have a unique culture.  We find that we have so many things in common and
no other hemisphere, anywhere in the world, has as many things in common as
we do.  We will have to unite some day.  However, in order to attain this,
we must forget about slogans and develop an awareness among the people.
That is absolutely necessary.  It seems to me that we must talk about
economic integration first because it would be just too much if we first
tried to forget about slogans and seek a political integration.  We must
first seek to attain economic integration.  The moment we attain this, we
must seek other goals, other ways of attaining political unity.

These processes have always taken a long time anywhere in the world, and
they have proved difficult.  However, the people are the only ones who can
carry out these processes.  The peoples can make this miracle possible,
even quicker than in Europe.  The Europeans, who fought among themselves
for many centuries, had to abandon this sport and now the Germans,
Belgians, French, and all the other countries that went to war quite
frequently trade with each other, have a common market, a European
Parliament, and are advancing toward a certain political unity.  I think
that if we achieve our initial goals and even achieve economic integration,
we will be able to advance more or less quickly toward political
integration.  I harbor many hopes about the struggle we must wage
immediately because it will unite us and will create the necessary
conditions for economic integration.

Of course, we must continue to struggle.  I could not really outline a
program for economic integration for you right now.  Once must meditate a
lot about this and the ways to attain this integration.  However, no
economic integration will advance among us if we continue to be Yankee
colonies.  How can you attain Latin American integration [laughs] if we
continue to be Yankee colonies?  If we do not shake off the colonial
domination?  If we do not create the conditions for this, we will never
attain economic or political integration.  They want us to be their
clients, produce to sell them products that they are interested in, and to
sell us all they want to.  What a sad history for this hemisphere, really.
That is the sad truth!  See how they have treated us and kept us divided.
It took us 150 years to discover that we are less independent than ever.
We are less independent than ever, but I also think that we are much closer
to freedom than ever.

[Moderator] Panama.  Either you, Norma, or Turner.  Jorge Turner or Norma.
One of you only.

[Norma] Commander, we would like to know.  A covert war has been carried
out against Contadora and there is increasing skepticism about the
possibility that the Contadora Group can really attain a negotiated
solution in Central America.  Do you believe that the Contadora Group is
still capable of attaining that goal and if the Central American isthmus,
and after that the continent, may use this as a vehicle to establish a new
international economic order?

[Castro] I believe that the Contadora Group should continue to struggle.

The Contadora Group has not been successful because the United States has
exerted itself to sabotage any possibility of attaining a peaceful
political agreement in Central America.  It is difficult for the Contadora
Group member countries to be successful as long as the United States
maintains its policy of sabotage.  The United States does not want a
solution because the United States wants to annihilate the Sandinist
revolution and wants to eliminate the last vestige of rebellion in El
Salvador.  The United States will not attain this goal, even if that man
[presumably Reagan] is crazy and becomes crazier than a goat.  He will
never attain this goal because he will never be able to annihilate the
Salvadoran revolution, that is inconceivable, and he will never annihilate
the Nicaraguan revolution, no matter what he does.

We must admit that the Nicaraguans are putting up heroic resistance despite
their difficult situation.  They are facing serious economic problems and
are being attacked on their two borders.  They are facing all sorts of
problems.  However, they maintain their system, continue their struggle,
increase their forces, acquire experience, and face the economic, military,
and political problems.  Of course, they are receiving international

The most infamous and demagogic thing I have seen recently is what they did
with Nicaragua.  The way they manipulated Daniel Ortega's trip to the USSR.
Daniel Ortega had to go to the USSR, it was a trip that had been scheduled
weeks in advance.  He went there to discuss a very important matter: oil.
In the past Mexico had been supplying half the oil Nicaragua needed.
Mexico gave Nicaragua easy credit and under very generous conditions.
Mexico gave Nicaragua half the oil it needed and since the triumph of the
Sandinist revolution, it gave Nicaragua credit for approximately $600
million.  This in no way is a criticism of Mexico.  We know Mexico is
facing economic problems and that it has had to decrease its oil
production.  The price of oil has decreased.  Mexico has an enormous debt
and found it impossible to continue supplying oil to Nicaragua under those
conditions.  Nicaragua was penniless and had already been guaranteed it
soil supply for May. The USSR was giving Nicaragua part of that oil, almost
half of the supply.  Nicaragua was going to be without the oil it needed
and without the money to buy it.

Debates were being held in the U.S.  Senate and House of Representatives.
However, no one knew when this would be.  An interview was requested.  A
matter such as this had to be handled by the president.  No one knew when
the voting was going to be held in Congress, the Senate.  He also had to
visit other countries.  In October, late that year, in November, at the
CEMA meeting we suggested that they needed help.  This help does not
guarantee that the country will not be invaded, but we fulfilled our moral
duty to help a country being attacked, suffering a dirty war.  Imperialism
wants to destroy the revolution from within.  This must be prevented.  We
must offer them a relatively large amount of aid.  However, because of the
dirty war, production was affected to an even greater degree.  The coffee,
sugar, basic grain, cotton, lumber, and fish production were affected, and
Nicaragua saw itself needing to request additional economic aid.  But above
all, they had to solve the problem of oil.

It just so happened that his trip and the vote in Congress coincided.  That
was when the House and the Senate opposed Reagan.  Daniel travels abroad to
negotiate economic aid and oil.  He does this as the most natural thing in
the world.  Since when has it been a crime, or a reason for war, for the
government of a country to travel abroad and visit another country to
request economic aid?  This is what the whole world does every day.

So Daniel went on his trip and met with Gorbachev.  They met and greeted
each other, and Reagan used this meeting.

He manipulated the meeting; launched a big campaign, made it an example,
and placed senators in an embarrassing situation -- especially those who
opposed him.  To give you an example of the Yankee system's weakness, and
the opposition's weakness, all this manipulation worked in such a way that
a few weeks later Reagan once again proposed aid to the counterrevolution
and those weak and cowardly politicians voted in favor of it.  There were
some who stood firm, and we must admit that many Democrats remained firm,
but there were enough who changed sides.  What was most unfair was the way
they manipulated the trip.  Such was the manipulation that even some Latin
American governments were fooled and said that Daniel should not have gone
to Moscow.  Where was he going to get the oil from?  How would Nicaragua's
economy, transportation, and industry operate if Daniel did not travel to
negotiate for this oil and for this economic aid in the USSR and other
socialist countries and capitalist countries?  This has been one of the
most outrageous examples of political manipulation we have seen.

I feel that the Nicaraguans were partly to blame for this.  They should
have clearly explained the situation to avoid any confusion.  They should
have explained how the trip was organized, where he was visiting, and why.
Apparently, out of consideration for Mexico, for fear of hurting Mexico,
they did not explain.  I feel that this can be explained like I have
explained it since I know all that happened.  This could have been done
without hurting Mexico; on the contrary, it could have been done
recognizing Mexico's generosity and all that Mexico did for Nicaragua in
the past 5 years.

We understand the difficulties Mexico is facing.  We also know that Mexico
has been the most solid supporter within the Contadora Group.  Then why has
there been no peace?  Why has the Contadora Group not been able to achieve
peace?  Because the United States has sabotaged peace.  It is a long story,
and I know that story very well.

When the Contadora Group drafted a document in which Nicaragua had to give
in to many things, Nicaragua gave in.  They did this to achieve peace, and
the Yankees did not accept this.  They thought the Nicaraguans would not
sign the document, and when they saw that the document had been signed,
they changed their minds and said no.  They said the document needed
changes.  What was there to change?

Well, the Yankees wanted military bases in Honduras.  They wanted to have a
right to hold military maneuvers in Honduras.  They wanted to have the
right to have advisers in El Salvador and Central America.  However,
Nicaragua was solemnly promising not to have foreign bases.  It gave up
holding maneuvers with foreign forces.  It gave up having advisers.  It was
willing to give up everything.  Nicaragua has made many concessions.
Nicaragua's elections were scheduled for 1985, and they moved them up
because they were asked to do this.  They held a direct vote election.
They [the Sandinists] won 70 percent of the votes.  I can assure you that
if the elections had been like the elections in the UK they would have won
with 100 percent of the Assembly seats.  When the elections are held by
district and you win a majority in all the districts then no other party
has a right to a seat.  That is if the elections were like those held in
the UK.  However, they had a direct vote election and a proportional vote.
If it would have been in the UK, the opposition would not have won a single
seat.  They won more than 50 percent throughout the country.

They decided to hold their elections, and the U.S. boycotted the elections.
They threw a bucket of cold water on Nicaragua.  Because of U.S. pressures
many did not attend Daniel's inauguration.  More people voted in the
Nicaraguan election than voted during a U.S. election.  He won more votes
than Reagan did.  The various leftist parties won 70 percent of the votes.
Yet Reagan said that these elections were not valid.

However, the elections in El Salvador were valid; Pinochet's elections are
valid; South Africa's elections are valid; all elections are valid.  This
is shameless and cynical.  In a cynical manner the United States -- in a
cynical manner the elephant -- has opposed peace in Central America.

What can a group of countries, filled with goodwill, do to resolve this?
Nicaragua had no other alternative but to entrench themselves.  The defense
of the homeland is a matter for the people of each country, and only the
people of each country can defend their homeland.  No one else will defend
it for them, and the homeland cannot be defended with diplomatic formulas.
The homeland is defended with patriotism, weapons, courage, and heroism.
This is where the Nicaraguans are.  It could be that the Yankees sabotaged
everything else, but the Sandinist revolution is still standing.  If they
launch an invasion against Nicaragua, they are going to find themselves in
a very serious bind.

We must persuade them not to commit this idiocy.  Because if they do commit
that idiocy, of course, they will fail.  However it will be paid for with
Nicaraguan blood, with rivers of Nicaraguan blood.  Then this is what I
tell them: You are going to play with fire beside a keg of gunpowder.  An
invasion of Nicaragua is planned, but we are not living in the year 1927 or
1965.  They are going to make this continent explode.  We have told them.
I think we have to say it and repeat it, so they will not commit the crime
of invading that country.  They will fail there, because Nicaragua has the
same concept of defense that we do, but we do not gain anything if they
suffer a defeat in a river of Nicaraguan blood.  That is why we must
multiply our solidarity with Nicaragua, denounce all of this, and try to
dissuade them from committing the crime of invading that country.  They use
threatening language and anyone who reads wire dispatches knows it.  It is
unheard-of and gross, thanks to this trigger-happy, half-crazed individual.
[presumably Reagan] But I repeat, regardless of whether he is as crazy as a
loon, they are not going to put an end to the Salvadoran or Nicaraguan
revolutions.  That is what I can tell you. [applause]

[Moderator] We have received several requests from Uruguayan delegates who
want to ask some questions.  Castillo, who is at the back, Bignole, another
companero.  Decide, who, Castillo?

[Castro] Ask me a difficult question.

[Moderator] Uruguay.

[Unidentified questioner] Commander.

[Castro] Where is Castillo?

[Castillo] Here I am.  Hello.  Commander, you know the incident of the
video that the Uruguayan women companeras took, those who attended the
meeting here.

[Castro] Didn't you mention this yesterday?

[Castillo] Yes, but...

[Castro, interrupting] Oh, you are explaining it to those who were not at
the meeting.

[Castillo] Yes, for those who went out for coffee.

[Castro] All right, excuse me.

[Castillo] Then, with the cooperation, surely with the complicity of Radio

[Castro, interrupting] Is it true that Coca Cola paid for the program?
Someone told me that, is that so?

[Castillo] No, that is not true.

[Castro] It is not true then...

[Castillo] No.  [laughs]

[Castro] Then they deceived me.

[Castillo] ...And with the Cuban television.  You said it was an
extraordinary success.  You spoke there about the foreign debt.  After 4
days of enrichening the congress and to enlighten us a little more on the
new international economic order, what is your view and your ideas about
implementing it today.  This question is more than anything for the sake of
the Uruguayan people, who will certainly see you and listen to you.  This
is Ruben Castillo on behalf of the Uruguayan delegation for several
newspapers and radio stations.

[Castro] The new order was approved at the United Nations.  It was the
result of an effort by the nonaligned countries, the Third World countries.
The new order was approved, as was the letter of the economic rights and
duties of the states.  It is an agreement of a very general nature which
analyzes all of these problems of the unequal trade, protectionism, dumping
[preceding word in English], a group of factors, which was supported again
by the great majority of the United Nations members.  A document of this
scope has to be somewhat general.

We much enrich this new order, give it content.  I have said in this
interview, for example, that solidarity must be one of the principles of
the new order, because there are still a lot of countries with such
difficult conditions and so few resources that they will need international
cooperation, even if this new order is established, protectionism ceases,
dumping [preceding word in English] ceases, they pay us what our
merchandise is worth, and there is really a world policy of development.
Otherwise, they cannot develop.  We could cite many countries in this
situation and countries that are in better situations.

For example, Mexico could invest $350 billion in 10 years with what it is
paying for the debt.  Because for each dollar in convertible currency, a
country can invest $2, $3, sometimes $4, but it has to employ that currency
in the imported components of a factory.  I am sure that Brazil can perhaps
invest $4 for each dollar, because most of the products are now produced in
the country.  The other structures, manpower, cement, and at the last
minute you probably have to buy abroad those materials or equipment of
certain technology which cannot be produced in the country since some
industries require more imports than others.  If you are going to build a
textile factory, you buy the machinery, but the construction of the factory
may cost more than the machinery of the textile industry.  A country such
as Mexico has $12 billion a year, that is $120 billion, and with $120
billion it can engage in a program of $350 billion investment in 10 years.

Of course, why do I say that a new order is necessary?  Because if a
country is paid less each time for what it produces and is charged more,
the situation becomes more difficult, even if the debt is not paid.  That
is, the conditions that led to development, sacking, and exploitation
persist. [sentence as heard]

Then both things have to be added, but then the country starts out.  Let us
imagine that there is a new order, and Mexico does not need to borrow a
single penny from anybody for development.  Brazil does not need to borrow
a single penny from anybody to develop.  Argentina does not need to borrow
a single penny.  Ecuador does not need to borrow a penny from anybody.
Colombia, possibly, does not need to borrow a penny from anybody.  There
are many countries.  There are others and there will be a few more which,
if their income increased, would reduce the number of countries that need
foreign credit for development.

However, there are others that even with a new order will undoubtedly need
investment, such as Bolivia, which is a country of resources, including gas
and other minerals.  Let us suppose that it got paid higher prices for its
tin and other exported products.  It would have more possibilities.
However, Bolivia most probably will continue to require a large amount of
foreign assistance.

There are countries, such as Santo Domingo [as heard], that perhaps need
aid.  There are countries, such as Jamaica, that continue to need foreign
assistance.  There are countries, such as Nicaragua, that will continue to
need foreign assistance even if there is a new economic order, even if they
cancel their debt.

There are many countries that need it.  Uruguay possibly needs it, too.
Although Uruguay is a country of resources, it may continue to need
aid.  That is why we maintain that international solidarity must work for a
new order and shape it, continue to work, complementing the principles of
the new order with concrete ideas.  But to achieve this new order,
political unity must first of all be achieved, and not just in theory.  To
achieve a new order requires a close unity of all the Latin American and
Third World countries, because unity is what renders the political strength
to discuss things in the United Nations, to discuss things everywhere.
Furthermore, this industrialized. world needs to be shaken.  Otherwise, it
does not discuss, it does not speak.  There is no new order.  Although this
was approved 10 years ago, they do not want to hear mention of it.  I see
clearly that the means to shake it up is the debt, but a big, big shake is
needed to establish this new order.  We must generate strength and unity of
action to demand that this industrialized world give us the new order.  If
we do not generate that new strength we cannot obtain it with speeches.
They will not pay attention to us, they will laugh at us.  Then, you will
say, there is no hope unless we achieve that unity, there is no hope unless
we do what we must to resolve our problems.  I say there is hope.

If the debt is not canceled and there is no new order, then there will be
revolutions.  Then the new order will come on the revolutionary path.
Right now. [applause] There are countries that have such resources and such
strength.  Venezuela, almost by itself, can finance itself by investing its
resources well.  Brazil is almost a world by itself.  Brazil has 135
million inhabitants and 8.5 or so million square kilometers of territory.
Brazil has resources.  Brazil is an integrated society, but even Brazil
needs Latin American integration and even Brazil, no matter how big, needs
the unity of the Third World countries.  I know how Africans and many
countries think.  I can assure you that in this battle we can have an
enormous number of allies.  I also propose that we need the alliance of the
workers, masses, and the public opinion of the industrialized capitalist
world.  Because, what is the industrialized capitalized world offering
public opinion?  Death, nuclear war.  In those countries that do not have
the miseries of our countries, the obsession is peace.  The obsession is

We are proposing formulas to conciliate our interests and the interests of
public opinion, the workers, the people of the United States, Britain,
Japan, and Europe.  I am talking of peoples.  What we do not conciliate is
the interests of our people with the system prevailing there.

It gives us more moral authority.  We are telling them: This is going to
happen.  We tell everyone, there is the path.  If you do not want traumatic
changes or violence, let us resolve it through this course.  But since the
crisis is very serious, even if there is no progress on this path, the
awareness needed to take the other path will be created.  There will be
solutions in any case.  We must not get discouraged.

Now that we are making this great peaceful effort, I will complement it
with a number of ideas.  For me the essential thing is that the debt can
give us the unity and the strength to discuss things with them on equal
terms.  If this does not occur, then we have no other recourse but to
revolutionize this world, which is what we are going to do.  We have
confidence in the peoples.  Ah, if you communicate this message to the
masses, what will happen?  It is in your hands, journalists.  You are
precisely the apostles for the solution of this problem.  I think that you
are the key to taking this message to the people.  The possibilities will
then increase.

The problem is not technical.  It is political.  It is not diplomatic.  It
is political.  It is a matter of strength.  If these demands are not
accepted, then there will have to be a confrontation between the Third
World and the industrialized capitalist world.  I am sure that in this
confrontation we will have the support of the socialist countries, but
there is something more.  What will Sweden do?  I am sure Sweden will
support us.  What will Greece do?  I am sure Greece will support us.  What
will Spain do?  I do not think it will join the Yankees against Latin
America and the Third World.  What will France do?  I am not sure France
will join the United States against Latin America and the Third World.  We
have many potential allies for one reason or another.  There are great
contradictions among the members of the industrialized, capitalist world.
Therefore the problem is not a technical one.  It is a question of force.
gain the need arises for us to meet, now that we are having difficulties.
We must work together.  That is why we keep telling the governments: We
must meet and work together.  Of course, the responsibility lies primarily
with the governments.  However, one thing is for sure: One way or another,
the people will impose this new order.  Naturally, that is my greatest

I have confidence in the masses, I have confidence in the peoples, I know
they are aware of these realities.  This is not a theory, this is not
Utopia. People are dying of poverty, of hunger.  We are not going to let
people starve to death.  Latin America has to be the leader of this
struggle, because it is stronger, it has more development, it has more
political weight, it even has more political awareness; it has more popular
sectors, workers, peasants, students, intellectuals, middle classes.

Everyone has to work on this, not just journalists.  Labor unions,
students, peasant organizations, political parties -- of the left, in the
first place; of the center, and even conservative sectors, if possible --
must all work, because we are all in the same boat, and the boat is
sinking.  If the boat sinks, it makes no difference if you are a Muslim,
Christian, Marxist, rich, or poor; the fact is that the boat is sinking.
We need sensible, calm people to understand that the boat must be saved, or
that we must save the people who are in the boat.  The actual crisis is
what is going to provide for this unity -- and the fact that the boat is

I have talked to all sorts of people.  I once received a Uruguayan
conservative.  He was a big, young, strong man, weighing about 240 lb.  He
came here; after the democratic opening, he quickly came over here.  He was
not even discreet about visiting here.  He publicly announced he was going
to Cuba.  I started talking to him and asked him what the problem was.

He told me: This is terrible, we owe $5 billion, we only export $1 billion
-- correction, they used to export, because they exported only $270 million
during the first 4 months.  They are now at the level of 800 [million
dollars].  Uruguayan exports have dropped considerably.  They barely reach
$800 million, and they owe $5 billion.  He then proceeded to tell me that
the textile market has been affected by the protectionist measures of the
United States, beef has been affected by the EEC's dumping [preceding word
in English], and then I asked the conservative -- well, he tells me he is a
conservative, but I do not believe that, because there are hardly any
conservatives left -- look, is there any remedy?  He answered me: If we
integrate ourselves, if we unite, all in general terms.

Then, I half-joked about it and talked half-seriously with him and told
him; I told comrade: The problem is so serious-that not even a revolution
can solve it.  Look, if you socialize everything tomorrow, if you
nationalize everything, you still cannot solve your problem.  I think
revolutions can always do something.  I had to emphasize this, to tell him
that I thought the objective conditions were so difficult that not even a
radical revolution could help him.  What can a small isolated country do, a
country that owes $5 billion [laughs] and whose markets -- textiles, wool,
beef, of all products -- have been taken away?  What can a country like
that do?  This is one of the things that have made me ponder, and that is
why I insist so much that conditions must be created in a country such as
this one so it can make social changes through a revolution.  If they stage
a revolution tomorrow, they will be able to distribute the cattle better.
You will be able to provide shoes for the children.  Many things can be
done, even in a poor country, with a revolution.  However, then where are
you going to export the beef?  They will have to eat it.  It is better to
eat it than to starve to death, of course.  Beef is exported as a luxury,
in order to take pleasure trips, to save money abroad, and all of those
things.  However, the situation is very difficult.  Now then, this
conservative -- who claims he is a conservative, of the Conservative Party,
and whom I feel is a great person -- when he told me all this, I asked him:
Listen, are you a conservative?  He says: Yes, I am a conservative.  Then I
told him: If you are a conservative, then I, too, am a conservative.

This is a matter of life and death for the various sectors.  Now, let me
tell you, there are many people in the church who are worried about this.
There are many institutions worried about this.  I know how the Christians
think.  I know how many Catholic groups feel about this.  I think the
churches are going to agree on this, and support this battle; I am
convinced of that.

Many groups everywhere are concerned about this, because this is a reality,
this is a part of a reality, this is not part of utopia.  It is the harsh,
visible, objective, tangible reality.

Then, we have the case of Uruguay.  I reached the same conclusion, much
faster than that of Brazil, in spite of the fact that Brazil is a large
country.  The small- or medium-size countries desperately need this
solution more than the others who have more resources.  Some can solve
things with both things, the debt and the new order.  Then, there are
others who can solve nothing, even with that.  However, it would increase
the number of countries who could finance themselves.

Now, the new order was conceived as a series of principles that must be put
into practice.  However, it is very important to us that 10 years ago the
United Nations should have discussed and approved these principles giving
them legal strength.  We must say, remember this, the new order, not a new
order, because the imperialists themselves say there is a new order, and
all the theoreticians and defenders of this new order have even discussed
this formula.  It is the new order, referring to the new order approved 10
years ago by the United Nations, and not this order imposed by the

Then we must work to collect that material including articles and perhaps
speeches.  We believe that among other things, we must gather all this
material so that those ideas may gain force, and specifically explain the
principles of this new international economic order.  We must get down to
work and develop ideas.  There is still much to do.  Perhaps our institute
of economy might collect all that material, the letter of rights and duties
of the nations, the documents on the new international economic order.
However, much more must be collected, ideas must be formulated and so
forth.  We must work hard to gather all that information. [applause]

[Moderator] Before we take the question of the next colleague, I have just
been informed that this press conference is being transmitted directly by
the National Radio Network of Panama to that nation. [applause]

[German Flores, in the name of the Colombian delegation] Commander, on
repeated references to the Contadora Group, to which Colombia belongs, you
euphemistically talked about love letters.  Do you think that the Latin
American countries will be able to attain similar achievements regarding
unity on nonpayment of the overwhelming foreign debt?  If you do not mind,
when was your last telephone conversation with Colombian president

[Castro] This is one way of putting things: I followed everyone's
statements very closely.  For example, when the democratic process was
taking place in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, I closely followed the
statements of the new leaders during their trips to Europe and the United
States.  All these leaders proposed three things, and without any
exception, all these leaders made these very broad statements: That they
are unwilling to pay the foreign debt at the expense of the people, of the
people's hunger; that they are unwilling to pay the foreign debt -- to
solve their problem -- at the expense of a recessive policy; and that they
were unwilling to pay the foreign debt at the sacrifice of development.
That is to say, that top political leaders have clearly spoken out on these
three premises.  However, there is still no way of achieving these goals,
without placing the burden of the foreign debt on the shoulders of the
people; without engaging in a recessive policy and without sacrificing
development.  For that reason all the political leaders have proposed these
basic premises.  I followed the formation of the Contadora Group.  I think
that if Contadora, rather, the Cartagena Consensus, I think that it was a
mistake to limit the Cartagena Consensus to only 11.  I have asked, why
only 11?  Why were the other countries excluded?  Why are some countries in
that group and others not?  The only reason given was that the largest
debtors were included, when the real reason was cowardliness, hesitation.
I talked with Iglesias, [Uruguayan foreign minister] who is former Economic
Commission for Latin America [ECLA] director and current Argentine foreign
minister [as heard].  He was in Cuba and he told me that the number had to
be kept to 11 because discussions are easier and more practical.  In
essence, because the imperialists, the creditors who form a closed club --
the Paris Club -- the IMF do not want debtor countries to form a group,
they put pressures on such groupings so that the debtor countries do not
form an association to represent their interests.  I feel that to limit the
Cartagena Consensus to 11 was to make an unnecessary concession.  It was
unnecessary because the group would be stronger if all the countries were
involved, and would say we do not represent 11 but rather 25 countries, big
and small.  Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and all other Central American
countries were excluded.  Cuba is not included, but we did not bring up the
issue because we did not want it to appear as if Cuba had a specific
interest.  We have been ostracized for a long time; and we have learned to
live with it; we have learned to work and strive in ostracism.  In sum, the
group was limited.  I have read all the letters, the ones sent to the IMF
during its spring [Unreadable text]eting.  I noted three things.  I believe
that in one of these letters, there were two key elements.  The signatories
asked for a fund to repay countries whenever the interest became too high.
The second thing they asked for was that the IMF's basic funds be expanded
by $15 billion so the IMF could have a little bit more money to lend.

There were other things, yet the key elements were: To insure against
interest rate hikes, and an expansion of the IMF's resources.  They settled
that in 15 minutes.  Yet nobody paid any attention to this.  There was a
great deal of expectation, hopes, and so forth about their meetings and
nobody paid any attention to them.  They were laughed at and told that
their plan was no good.  They did not pay the least attention to the
Cartagena Group.  Afterwards, there was a meeting in Bonn and the meeting
raised hopes.  The group wrote a letter in stronger terms than the one
[Julio Maria] Sanguinetti had written on behalf of the group.  The letter
was more serious and forceful.

I also know what happened in the FRG a few days earlier.  They met with the
Latin American ambassadors.  Truthfully, the FRG officials hinted that they
were very interested... [rephrases] Everybody is interested in Central
America.  You cannot imagine how many godfathers Latin America has.  The
West Germans were genuinely interested in Latin America and said that they
were prepared to send a message, in fact, putting the blame on Yankees.
They implied that they were to blame for all these problems and thus they
were willing to help.  Fine.  Then the meeting was held.  The letter was
there.  However, there was no immediate response.  The Germans met with the
Latin Americans again after the meeting.  By then the Uruguayan
representative, who was exasperated, asked when they would receive an
answer.  They replied that they could not answer until they talked with the
summit group and the entire EEC.  That took a long time and still they did
not answer.  The FRG replied on behalf of the group, and then Japan, the
United States, [as heard], everyone wrote, but nothing happened.  They paid
no attention.  They said that even the summit countries disagreed: Japan
and Europe, United States and Japan, United States and Europe.  They were
unable to resolve the differences.  The French, the United States wanted a
GATT meeting to discuss tariffs and trade.

While they were meeting in Bonn, a wave of protectionism was emerging from
the United States.  It came from within the Congress, spurred by the
advanced technical industries.  The electronics and chemical industries,
which have never asked for protection, are now supporting protectionism.
While Reagan in Bonn was fighting for a GATT meeting, in the United States,
right on his home turf, the protectionist wave was gaining ground in
Congress.  I cannot even remember now.  There are dozens of proposals in
the Congress to reduce the trade exchange.  There are many protectionist
measures promoted and defended by industrial leaders, senators,
representatives, and everyone.  They were not resolved because the French
opposed that meeting on trade and said that there had to be two
simultaneous meetings: a trade meeting and a meeting on monetary affairs.
The Yankees did not want that.  Then they got a letter from the Andean
pact, which received no reply.  I call these little love letters.  They
will not get any attention so long as they continue writing little love
letters.  A rejected boyfriend even gets more attention that the rich
industrialized nations gave to the Andean Pact's letters.  What will make
them pay more attention?  This struggle we are waging, these meetings.  If
they are scared enough they will pay attention.

I have here an article written by Kissinger and published in the LOS
ANGELES TIMES.  It says: A Marshall plan for Latin America; the request by
11 hemispheric countries at the Bonn meeting; these nations cannot be
ignored.  Now isn't that a coincidence.  It goes on to say: The problem of
the excessive debt in Latin America; the frustration and lack of hope can
well lead to populism that will reject the free enterprise system; Fidel
Castro's conduct: Are new relations necessary?  Here he talks about the new
order.  The creation of a development program for the Western Hemisphere: A
condescending paternalistic focus must be avoided.  The hope for the new
and often times fragile South American democracies, by Henry Kissinger.
This is one of their most brilliant and intelligent men.

Take note of this.  It says here: Quote, it is not by chance that Cuba's
Fidel Castro has presented the debt problem in a moderate way, to his
standards.  He sees in the debt problem an opportunity to become the
spokesman for widespread discontent.  Showing concern for this Latin
American cause allows Castro to obtain respect in Latin America and
continue being a revolutionary by undermining the relations of the United
States with its southern neighbors.  To ignore or detract importance from
the call by the 11 Latin American presidents is therefore, extremely
dangerous.  In Brazil and Argentina the payments on interest alone nearly
equal 45 percent of their export revenues.  For Mexico, the amount is a
little under 40 percent.  Therefore, the current focus has the paradoxical
effect of making developing nations in dire need of investment into capital
export countries.  I am not arguing the financial validity of this focus.
What I question is its political adequacy and viability.  Most of the Latin
American governments have reacted to the crisis with courage and
determination.  The drastic reform program recently announced by President
Raul Alfonsin of Argentina is a good example of this.  The banks and
international financial institutions that have conducted the debt
negotiations are not totally to blame.  They have reached the limit of what
profit-making organizations can sustain or what international organization
charters will allow.  Paul Volker, chief of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank,
heroically and practically on his own, has kept things under control in the
United States.  But these institutions cannot fill the vacuum created by
the lack of action by Western governments that keep themselves aloof from a
process that can crucially affect the political stability of the Western
hemisphere, unquote.

They have already begun to build their awareness.  During many months they
believed we were engaged in a public relations campaign, that we were
seeking to improve our diplomatic relations.  Actually, for the past 6 and
1/2 months we have been working uninterruptedly -- we devoted ourselves to
Cuban affairs during the last months of last year: the economy, its
efficiency, and all those things.  We are obtaining excellent results.  And
on defense.  However, the first 6 and 1/2 or 7 months of this year have
been totally devoted to this task.  We have been working quietly,
conducting many exchanges and making contacts.  And I have used all those
newspapers to inform you about only part of this struggle.  Now they are
getting worried.  That is why Shultz met with the Latin Americans on the
4th.  It was unusual.  He met with Latin American ambassadors, except the
Cuban, being careful not to invite that guy from the confederation of
terror.  They are terrified of something else [laughter], they are afraid
of this problem because they have seen that it greatly unites peoples and
harnesses much power.  Its potential power is enormous.

However, Volker's number two man, Martin, has made similar statements and
theses which can already be observed among the ranks of imperialism's
spokesmen: Those theses are coming closer to the thesis we have proposed.
They mention the World Bank's taking charge of those loans and bonds.  They
are looking for solutions.  Naturally, we must not be content with
theorists.  This does not mean I am radical.  I want to convince these
gentlemen of that.  Kissinger himself admits that when he says that my
terms are comparatively moderate.  I can be accused of being a moderate,
not a radical.  We are not proposing subversion but demands and rebellion
against this economic order.  It must be crushed.  We must unite our
forces.  This thesis has a very broad scope.  However, I repeat: Only when
they get scared do they begin to think and propose solutions.  If we show
them power, they will sit down to negotiate.  But when we sit down to
negotiate, the peoples will have to take part in the process.  This will
take some time, so that the whole affair is not resolved in petty
compromises.  This is important.

We must sit down to solve things, not to accept a pittance, a charity, a
small formula that tides us over for 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years.

The least we can do is demand a 10-year moratorium, including the interest,
because what they should have said is that the debt must be annulled,
repudiated.  We must first calculate things, take a calculator, a computer,
and all the calculations are turned upside down, everything becomes
confused and cannot be paid.  Well, I have given you some information,
although you had some data. [laughs] I had them lying around.  I will leave
them with you.

I tell you, the problem cannot be solved with love letters, sweet talk,
friendly language, or even strong language, if you do not sit down and
discuss things.  It is possible that the struggle we are proposing will
cause them to meditate and to sit down to discuss things.  However, we
should not be confident of this.  We need guarantees that the talks will be
useful and solve the problem and not accept palliatives or charity.  This
is what it's all about.  Now then, I said yesterday that [words indistinct]
in Latin America, to explain it the way I was saying, we need, at $1 a
second, 11,574 [unit not identified] to calculate the debt.

We must deal with two things: What we owe and what must be paid in interest
over 10 years.  I have calculated how long Latin America will need to pay
its interest; it will need 12,860 [words indistinct] and a little bit more,
perhaps 1 month and a few days.  If we say 100, as I said, then 128 and 1/2
years would be needed; approximately 128 years and 7 months.

Latin America has an area of 20,557 [corrects himself] 20,555 million
square km; Latin America is almost as large as the Soviet Union.  It is
enormous.  See how many square km this is.  If you want to count them 1 by
1, it would take you more than 6 count 20,555 million sq km;
not saying them like that, but counting them 1 per second.  Well, Latin
America has to pay $19,460 per square km in interest in 10 years.  Latin
America has to pay $194.60 per hectare, per hectare [repeats himself] over
10 years in interest.  We will see another case.  Everyone knows that
Recaro, of the Andarapa village, talked here about the protein and calories
they consume -- approximately 1,800 calories, I think.  Well, I calculated
that the amount we pay in interest could be used to give Latin America,
calculating that there are 400 million inhabitants, although there are
slightly less in Latin America and the Caribbean -- at the current price of
wheat and calculating the protein, calories, and vitamins that wheat
provides -- 3,500 calories per day, which are more than necessary [words
indistinct] 135 grams of protein per day, for 17 years, for 400 million
people.  That is what they are asking us to pay in interest!  I ask myself,
are they serious?  This cannot possibly be solved.  We must state this
clearly.  The more intelligent ones have already begun to understand it.
You are now aware of the rules of the game.

The Latin American countries' problem is to carry out the struggle properly
to underscore important objectives and not accept small concessions that do
not solve the problem; this is an important thing.  Now then...not
even...but...of course, even those who criticize us are now going around
stating their concern because Cuba... [rephrases] They say, well, let Cuba
help us, but not too much.  They are afraid to let Cuba help; but we really
help, we are altruistic.  The first thing that they did to us [laughs] was
to take away our sugar quota, and we are not even protesting about that.
Many people received things at the expense of the Cuban revolution.
Concern grew about Latin America's situation following the revolution.
Despite everything, the fear is so great it has led to worry.  There are a
few low-level movements, but I am not concerned.  The reply is there in
yesterday's material.  I saw it, I reviewed it, and I specified some ideas
so that you may take it with you.  I want you to take that material, those
two interventions.  You know that I did not invent those interventions.

A comrade asked me: What about that question, did you agree with it?  How
could I not agree with the question?  However, the second one is important
because it responds to a Yankee maneuver.

They are moving quickly.  Some agencies have actually approached leaders to
ask them questions.  Diaz Rangel reflected that clearly.  Hey, what is your
opinion about Castro's statements?  He is asking a government official who
cannot say he agrees with them because he is renegotiating his country's
debt and that would create a contradiction.  They are in no condition to
talk; the Yankees are moving, they are moving now.  They are doing
everything possible to sabotage the union meeting scheduled for the 15th.
I imagine that they will do everything possible to sabotage the meeting
scheduled for the 30th, but they will not succeed.  That is a fact.
However, they are going around digging up things, running in circles and
creating concern, saying that Castro this, and that Castro... [rephrases]
In the beginning it was a public relations campaign, a diplomatic campaign.
Others believe I am participating in a popularity contest; others believe I
am so foolish to be concerned about matters related to national or personal
prestige and am busy with all those silly things I did not think about even
when I was 15 years old.

However, we are firm about this struggle; firm and fully convinced.  I said
we were ready to hand over the banner.  We are ready.  If anyone wants the
banner we will hand it over with the greatest pleasure.  There is only one
condition: Do what must be done and do not betray the banner.  We are
involved in this battle, which we have been fighting for reasons of
principle.  As we have told you, this battle did not begin yesterday.  This
is not something we discovered.  Remember -- I do not know of the UN

[Unidentified speaker, interrupting] [Words indistinct]

[Castro] We have it?

[Unidentified speaker] Yes, we have it.

[Castro] When are you distributing it to them?

[Unidentified speaker] We must first give it to the invited delegates
because there are not that many.

[Castro] There are not that many, well, give them the UN one, so that they
can try to unravel the knot; that was back in 1969.  That speech had a
great impact in the United Nations.  I want you to know that the United
Nations was full.  I want you to know that they applauded 20-odd times,
that everyone agreed.  The Third World was unanimous on this, but the time
was not right because we were requesting $300 billion.  Even Cuba
offered... [rephrases] Cuba did not request anything for itself.  We said
we were ready to assist with an important amount, not in money but in
technical personnel, engineers, and doctors.  We said that even developing
countries of certain level... [rephrases] We said that at least $300
billion was needed, but we had already foreseen that.  We said that at the
United Nations, the Nonaligned Movement, in New Delhi.

This is nothing new.  Some think that this was invented by Cuba in 1985 --
when the diabolical imperialist invention has created a catastrophe and the
elephant fell into the hole.  That is the truth.  Well, I said: Given the
concern that prevails, I believe that this material must be divulged -- the
first one and the second one.  The first one, as Santana said, because some
people might be confused and do not know what to do.  However, the Chileans
are facing a much more difficult test, they have Pinochet there.  That
means a curfew, a state of siege, repression, and brutality for a long
time.  What would be the repercussions of a battle there?  We have said
that in this case, the opposition has to raise the banner.

The opposition has to create the conditions for change.  It should demand
those things from governments, even if the governments do not do them.

I do not want to talk about tactics anymore.  But what the opposition or
the left should do in countries like Guatemala, or El Salvador, or Chile,
where you cannot be the opposition, is to implement different tactics.
These should be different than those it can implement in countries where
there is an opening, such as Uruguay, Chile, Brazil.  The tactic cannot be
the same...  Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina is what I meant to say.  The
leftist forces' tactics in these countries cannot be the same as in Chile.
In some cases you have to try to persuade; in others you have to demand.
In some cases you have to try to complicate their lives, in others you have
to help solve the problems, to face the problems if they are disposed
toward solving the problems.  As a general rule, circumstances are
different from one country to another.  These are general norms.  In these
countries both the left and the democratic forces should pick up this
banner.  Let us take Chile for instance.  What would the Chileans do if
Pinochet drops dead tomorrow and the Army gets panicky and calls for a
democratic opening or an election?  What should the government do the next
day?  Assume the burden alone under a complete state of crisis?

We could talk a lot about these ideas.  We could spend all night talking
about this, but then you will miss going to the Tropicana.  Besides, I
should try and sleep a little, because I slept very little last night and I
have a meeting tomorrow.  I went to the Assembly this morning and I have to
go tomorrow also.  I will take a respite on Wednesday.

When was the last time I talked [words indistinct]?  I tell you the truth.
I do not think I am going to be indiscreet.  It was during Holy Week.  I
wanted to exchange views [with Colombian President Belisario Betancur] on
the problem of Central America, on Contadora.  The Yankees are monitoring
this telephone.  They monitor every telephone call.  They spend millions to
monitor everything.  I told him that by telephone we could not hold a
serious conversation because the Yankees would be monitoring everything
said.  I asked him to send a person he trusted.  He was already on his way
back.  He then sent Foreign Minister Ramirez Ocampo.  Daniel [Ortega] was
vacationing here with Ramirez Ocampo arrived, and they met here.  Everyone
knows it, I do not think I am being indiscreet.

We have had other contacts.  We have sent most of this material to most
governments.  The governments with which we have formal or informal
relations have all this material.  All the democratic governments of this
hemisphere have it.

[Francisco Guzman of El Salvador] I work for EL NUEVO DIARIO of Nicaragua.
Commander Fidel Castro, I want you to pretend for a moment that you are the
mastermind of imperialism [laughter] and that, in accordance with Castro's
views and Latin America's dramatic reality, the countries of the region
tell you that they have decided not to pay their debt and that they will
struggle united for a new international economic order and to build a unity
so as not to fall into your imperialistic claws again.  Convinced that you
will not recover your money, what would be the immediate and longterm
future of your imperialist system?  What would be the future of your
imperialist system?  What would be the future of the relations between the
empire of these nonpayers?  What would be the future of these less
dependent countries? [applause]

[Castro] Well, the first thing I would do is take an aspirin. [laughter,
applause] If I were an old fox and cunning like the imperialists, I would
seek new ways, unorthodox and untraditional.

It would not be the first time that imperialism would do it.  In the 1930's
the United States, imperialism, had a very serious crisis, coinciding with
a world crisis.  It was during the Roosevelt administration.  He applied
some theories, precisely those of British economist Keynes.  There were
many people going hungry and unemployed.  He implemented a policy by which
he increased public expenditures, public investments, and human resources.
He did this to get the U.S. economy out of the crisis.  He created the good
neighbor policy.  He took a number of actions which historically confirms
that Roosevelt had much to do with prolonging the life of capitalism.
Capitalism cannot be saved.  However, on that occasion it was saved.

Reagan is the antithesis of Roosevelt and Keynes.  He is opposed to the
policies they advocated.  He would like to restore the capitalism that
existed during the past century.  It is unlikely that a person with such
idea, with such a brutal, warmongering attitude, with fascist ideas about
international demonation to impose order... [rephrases] Of course, I do not
think that such an imperialist figure will find solutions.  He would rather
see us resigned to accepting the solutions imposed by him.

The man has another mentality, more cunning, more intelligent, more
realistic.  An imperialist leader would have to do everything necessary and
possible to prolong the life of imperialism at a moment when it is running
out of time and is being condemned by history.  A case of pneumonia is not
the same in a 25-year-old youth as it is in a man of 75, for whom a case of
pneumonia is very serious.  Imperialism is old and it is suffering from
pneumonia.  It must seek adequate and proper medicine.  I think that this
medicine still exists.  First, imperialism must give up the mania of being
the police force of the world.  It must give up the idea of the red threat,
of the communist threat, and the idea that the USSR wants to destroy it.
Those who know the socialist countries like we do; those who know the
USSR's intimate thoughts, know perfectly well that the USSR must arm itself
because it has been forced to engage in an arms race and in taking military
actions.  It was surrounded by bases full of bombers and nuclear weapons
and it had to make large weapons expenditures.

No socialist country needs to make any defense expenditure.  It is crazy.
We, who have to spend large sums on military expenditures, know all that we
could with that much money: How many houses, schools, recreation centers,
hotels, factories, and hospitals that could be built with the money that
would be spent in a war.  We know how much can be done with the 1 billion
[currency not specified] we spend.  We could build 100,000 houses with the
money we spend on defense a year.  What interest could a country have in
wasting money that way?  No socialist country, of course, needs to develop
an arms industry.  Its economy does not need military investment.  In
contrast, the capitalist and imperialist economy needs the war industry and
the military investments, and all that.  But, well, it is not an urgent
need.  What need does the United States have to spend 2 trillion, $2
trillion, on weapons?  I explained that in that pamphlet, those who read it
saw it, but those who did not have a chance to... [rephrases] I analyzed
that very well.  I said that with the much, one cannot produce a single
aspirin.  Do you know what it means to spend 2 trillion in 8 years, wasting

Meanwhile, the Japanese, who were banned -- they were lucky and someone
banned them from making weapons -- spent their money on technology.  They
built an industrial base that is more productive than that of the United
States.  Do you know what they are doing now?  They are buying up the world
because there is such a large deficit... [rephrases] and this information
is known because the finance minister [not further identified] published
it.  Japan has invested $90 billion in 3 years, but in 1984, it invested
$50 billion, and now by the end of 1985, Japan will become the largest
capitalist investor in the world.  It even purchased approximately $23
million in bonds from the United States.

It invested 1.8 in the United States, 1.9 in Latin America, 1.8 in Africa,
and a similar figure...about 2 there, and 3 in the United States. [sentence
as heard]

Japan is buying, among other things, the United States.  While Reagan is
spending money on weapons and is preparing the "star wars"
program, the Japanese already have 450 large enterprises in the United
States.  The Japanese are hard working, disciplined, industrious, and
austere individuals.  Japan is more austere, disciplined, industrious, and
hard working than the United States.  It invests...well, it no longer has
to invest in technology to compete with the United States.  It invested
much and now it is buying.  The Japanese are buying the world while Reagan
is organizing star wars.  Do you see?  He is crazy. [laughter] You see this
is crazy.  He will spend 2 trillion.  What need is there for it?  Roosevelt
wouldn't have done that.  He would have sought peace and sincere and honest
talks with the socialist sphere.  He would have saved millions.  He could
have saved half of what he [presumably Reagan] is spending per year and no
one would threaten the U.S. security ever.  He would have lived in peace
with the world.  He could have forgotten his mania of being policeman of
the world.  He would have saved 150 billion and faced all these problems we
are discussing.  All this can be done with a peace policy.  This is what I
would do if I were the mastermind of imperialism.  I would also try to
survive because I would feel a bit old to be involved in all these
adventures. [laughter and applause]

Then, I would support the new world economic order because it would give
jobs to Americans.  I would improve the purchasing capacity of the Third
World so that they can have 300 billion or 400 billion [currency not
specified] more.  I would give jobs to all Americans and would not increase
their taxes.  I would not continue to mortgage the country.  I would not
continue to spend 2 billion [currency not specified].  I would not
eliminate the budget that benefits the elderly, the children, or anyone
else.  I would not eliminate the health, education, and welfare budget.  I
wouldn't do that because Reagan is doing that to devote the funds to
weapons and this is useless.  In addition, even if he wants to control the
world, he won't be able to do it.  It is not possible for any country to
control the world today.  The world would be destroyed before it is
controlled by anyone.  We are living in the nuclear era.  All this is a
tremendous madness.  Truthfully speaking, Reagan's ideas are of the Buffalo
Bill era and not of the nuclear era, gentlemen. [laughter and applause]

The problem...[rephrases] Theoretically, there are solutions.  There are
still means. [Words indistinct] and not kill us and it would not prevent
changes in the world.  It would not prevent the end of imperialism.
Imperialism should die of natural causes.  Lest it commit suicide and we
all get killed.  We would all die in a nuclear war or bonfire.  Scientists
know what this means.  They have said it: It is the end of life.  I believe
that the roaches will be the only ones to survive a nuclear war because
they have more resistance to radiation.

Therefore, Salvadorans, the problem has a theoretical solution.  But would
not be very happy not to be in the shoes of the imperialists.  I feel
better here. [applause] This pamphlet has 26 pages.  The title is -- it
must have a title to differentiate it from others -- "This Debt Is Not Only
Unpayable But In Addition It Is Uncollectible."  This is the title for it.
We will distribute it later on.

[Moderator] Andres Solis of Bolivia.

[Castro] Solis, will it be a very difficult question?

[Solis] Well, it will be a bit different.  A few weeks ago, we commemorated
the 50th anniversary of the end of fascism in the world...

[Castro, interrupting] It wasn't 50, it was 40 years.

[Solis] ...40 years since the end of World War II.  In the years prior to
the second world war, there were several ideological trends, at least
three, in Latin America.  There was the German trend, a very small one
financed by the German Embassy which wanted Latin America to become its

[Castro, interrupting] So it would what?

[Solis] It wanted Latin America to become a German ally.  There was a
second trend, that of the allies, which sought, and this was achieved to a
great extent, for Latin America to become an ally of the United States, the
Soviet Union, and their allies.  There was a third trend, the neutrality
trend, which implied that in the conflict, Latin America should announce
its neutrality, as General person somehow did, and sell its raw materials
at high prices -- prices had gone up because of the war -- and obtain
profits to become industrialized.  In the light of your historical
experience, which of these two latter trends was right in this ideological
debate, the neutrality trend or the ally trend?

[Castro] [chuckles] In light of history and everything that has happened,
it was impossible for any country to remain neutral in that war which began
as an inter-imperialist war and wound up as a war against humankind and
socialism.  I truly believe... [rephrases] You are asking me a question on
a topic I have not meditated on much, but, a posteriori, since we know
everything that has happened, there is no doubt that in that struggle one
had to take sides against fascism.  It is a very complicated problem.  I
have meditated much. [sentence as heard] I think I have read all the books
on that war from both sides.  I have read all the books written by both
sides, all the battles, and everything that happened.  As a boy I liked
that topic very much.  I have an idea of how the world could have evolved
under certain circumstances, what was done right and what was done wrong.
But then you find out that 20 million Soviets died, many of them women and
children who were murdered.  Then you find out that of the 50 million
people killed, 40 percent were Soviets and after the Soviets were the
poles, who lost 6 million, and many Jews were exterminated mercilessly.
The communists were persecuted by Nazism throughout Europe.  They vent
their anger on them.  When one knows all this history, it is impossible to
think of another formula than fighting to extirpate fascism.  We did that.

Look at the dangers we have now.  We have a guy who thinks like Hitler.  It
wasn't in vain that he went to the Bitburg Cemetery to pay homage to the
West there.  It is incredible, after 40 years of history.  The FRG
pressured him to go there because they have vengeful ideas.  There is no
doubt that Reagan must think it was marvelous that 20 million Soviets were
murdered.  It is very logical considering his train of thought.  A
communist must be killed.  A child in a socialist country must be murdered.
A woman and an old man must he ... [rephrases] You must understand that the
assassination of 20 million Soviets is in complete agreement with Reagan's
thinking.  So it is not strange that he went there to pay homage to the SS.
It is terrible.  He visited a cemetery where there are 100,000 Soviets
buried and he did not mention the Soviet soldiers.  Incredible!  He had no
words of recognition for the country that gave up 20 million lives.

Then, look, we are revolutionary, progressive, and democratic and must be
in line with that idea.  We cannot have a commercial mind and focus on
whether we won more or less.  We would be digressing to previous eras.
However, that war was inter-imperialist, and in addition, fascism is an
offspring of capitalism and imperialism.  They begot it.  The West helped
Hitler.  It gave him credit and aid.  Hitler was the Pinochet of capitalism
in Europe against communism.  The communists had to be exterminated, but
Hitler exterminated communists, Jews, democrats, and tried to exterminate
the other capitalists, too.

Of course, there has been a tremendous change.  Technology has created new
conditions.  Nuclear weapons have created new conditions.  They have
established that was the last war, or at least, surely, the penultimate
because if there is a nuclear war, it will be the last one.  There is no
doubt.  It would be the last war, no doubt.  This danger exists, but I
don't see any escape for any democratic person who is aware of all these

Argentina was attacked quite a bit, but I don't think we must dwell any
further on these historical matters because it would divide, instead of
unite us.  We must work on what should unite us and then, later on, you and
I can philosophically discuss all these problems, not as a reporter but as
a friend. [applause]

[Moderator] The Ecuadoran delegation would like to ask one question.

[Castro] There is a problem here.  We have been here over 3 hours.  How
much longer will we be here?  You will get tired, I will get tired.  The
girls are waiting for you at the Tropicana [laughter] also the cooks and
everyone else are waiting for you.  There might be many questions.  This
was the last question.  It is impossible, [applause] I promise, [applause]
Do you have a list?  I prefer to look for future opportunities to answer
the questions of these companeros.  If there are 10 of them, I promise that
before the end of the year I will grant you 10 interviews, one to each one,
and in that way, we can talk and make up in another way... because this
will be tiresome.  You would be exhausted and I would be, too.  We have
discussed many things.  Many ideas have been brought up.  Would you agree?

[Reporter] Yes.

[Castro] Bring me the list of all those who didn't get to speak. [applause]