Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19870319
-YEAR-
1987
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
INTERVIEW
-AUTHOR-
F. CASTRO
-HEADLINE-
NEWS CONFERENCE ON PRISONERS
-PLACE-
CUBA
-SOURCE-
HAVANA PRENSA LATINA
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS
-REPORT_DATE-
19870320
-TEXT-
CASTRO HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE ON PRISONERS

PA191512 Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish 1422 GMT 19 Mar 87 -- FOR OFFICIAL
USE ONLY

[Text] Havana, 19 Mar (PL) -- President Fidel Castro has said that Cuba has
no dissidents in prison. He explained that a few agents infiltrated by the
CIA to carry out sabotage actions and plans to kill revolutionary leaders
remain in jail.

At an impromptu news conference with Brazilian and Cuban reporters, Fidel
said that these men were punished. However, 90 percent of them are free
[words indistinct] and there are only a few of them -- "there could be
approximately 200" -- still in jail.

They are filled with hatred against the revolution and, logically, for the
United States they are heroes, he stressed. Castro sad that in the past, a
dirty war was waged against Cuba, just as one is being waged in Central
America now. He charged that Washington has many radio stations devoted to
promoting counterrevolutionary activities; therefore, Cuba will not lay
down its weapons or become softer to guarantee impunity for those who go
against the revolution. We cannot do that, for certain we will not do it,
and there can be no doubt about that, he emphasized.

He explained that those who demand those people's freedom are not
dissidents either. "Don't you ever believe that story," he said, adding
that they are men who acted against the revolution and that some of them
committed crimes in Batista times.

The Cuban leader warned that if the prisoners are released, they will go to
Miami to organize terrorist plans against Cuba; they will go to Nicaragua,
El Salvador, and other countries.

He recalled that an excellent proof of the revolution's generosity is that
the mercenaries who invaded Cuba in 1961 (Giron) did not even spend 2 years
in jail.

They were punished. We demanded an indemnification; the United States paid
and we released them. But we were the ones who searched for a generous
formula, Castro replied to reporters who accompanied Brazilian Foreign
Minister Roberto de Abreu Sodre in his visit.
-END-


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