Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Addresses Debt, Vitiligo

PA210042 Havana International Service in Spanish 2300 GMT 19 Mar 87

[Text] Cuban President Fidel Castro termed his relations with the highest
Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, as excellent and fraternal. Castro noted
that the processes being carried out in Cuba and the USSR depend on the
conditions prevailing in each country.

In statements made in Havana to Brazilian reporters, Fidel Castro explained
that he has always maintained good relations with the Soviet leaders but
that he has had more contacts with Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Cuban president noted that the rectification of errors and negative
tendencies began in Cuba before the process to correct errors began in the
USSR. Castro added that it is necessary to take into account that the USSR
will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the revolution and that the
Soviets are trying to resolve their own difficulties according to their
process and particular characteristics. Castro noted that Cubans are trying
to adopt the solutions to their own conditions and problems which are
different from those of the USSR.

Yesterday Brazilian Foreign Minister Roberto de Abreu Sodre gave a
reception at the Havana Conventions Palace in honor of his Cuban
counterpart Isidoro Malmierca. The Cuban president attended the reception.
He took advantage of the opportunity to hold a lively conversation with
several Brazilian reporters who accompanied the foreign minister of Brazil.

President Fidel Castro discussed, among other subjects, the foreign debt.

[Begin Castro recording] I believe that the Third World as a whole, not
only Latin America, is in no condition to pay the debt. It cannot pay the
debt. [Words indistinct] should pay it. This is a theory. I justify this
position with numbers and data. It is mathematically impossible to pay the

I have said that we are not debtors, that we are creditors. Which are the
debtor countries now? The former colonies, the countries that were
exploited. I have said that the causes of the debt are underdevelopment,
unfair trade, dumping, and abusive measures.

For centuries they exploited us as slaves and Indians. They took out
billions [no currency specified] in gold. They accumulated wealth and left
us poor. I say that from a historic and moral viewpoint we are the
creditors and not the debtors. The debt is unpayable. If the debt were to
be erased right now, in 10 or 15 years -- if there is no change, if the new
international economic order approved by the United Nations is not
implemented, if the unfair trade situation does not end, if no end is put
to the dumping, to protectionism -- we would be in the same position. If
this is not corrected, we could be in a worse position. This is why we say
that in addition to erasing the debt, we have to struggle for a new
international economic order and for Latin American integration.

If the debt disappears and a new international economic order appears, we
still would not resolve our problems without integration. Europe is a good
example of this.

It lived for centuries with the European nations waging war on each other,
but nowadays one of these nations believes it could survive without the

How could a small country survive? I am not going to talk about Brazil,
which is a big country, practically a continent, although even Brazil needs
integration and would benefit from integration. There is much talk about
this nowadays, and the first steps in that direction are being made.
Evidence of this is the agreements reached by Brazil, Argentina, and
Uruguay. This is the right road. [Words indistinct]

There are big communities: the socialist community in Europe, the EEC,
Japan, the United States, China.... What is the outlook of our Balkanized
and isolated countries that have economies that do not complement each
other and that are not integrated? [Words indistinct] simple and clear.
What I am stating is just a position: Each country must do whatever it
finds suitable, [words indistinct]. The debt has become a cancer that keeps
growing. Now loans are being requested to pay for the interests and the
debt grows more.

This is, I believe an opportunity to unite. I believe we have to unite to
support Brazil and that the Nonaligned Movement, the Group of 77, the
socialist countries, and the United Nations must support Brazil as much as
possible because as I see it, Brazil is waging a struggle not only for its
own benefit but also for the benefit of the Third World countries. A
Brazilian defeat would be a terrible defeat for all of us, and a Brazilian
victory would be a great victory for all of us. I have spent 3 years
analyzing this problem and events are demonstrating the validity of what we
have stated.

What we have to do now is to unite around Brazil and to support Brazil.
Regarding this problem of the debt, I will say, with your permission, that
I think -- and I have said this often -- it is necessary to have internal
unity. This is a decisive factor in this type of problem. It is also
necessary to have the unity of all the Third World countries to support
Brazil, which is waging its own battle and our battle. This is what I
think. [end recording]

Yesterday Brazilian Foreign Minister Roberto de Abreu Sodre held a
reception in honor of Cuban Foreign Minister Isidor Malmierca. This
reception, which took place in one of the rooms of the Havana Conventions
Palace, was attended by Cuban President Fidel Castro who talked with
Brazilian reporters who accompanied De Abreu Sodre for his trip to Cuba.

We have just offered in this program an excerpt of the statements made by
the Cuban president. Here is another excerpt. In this portion, Cuban
President Fidel Castro speaks about the possibility of transferring Cuba's
experience on the cure of vitiligo -- a skin disease very common throughout
the world -- to Brazil. Let us listen:

[Begin Castro recording] This evening we discussed this with the foreign
minister, the ambassadors, with Roberto, and with the senator from the
state of Espiritu Santo -- here we have a province called Sancti Spiritus
and over there it is the other way around: Espiritu Santo. We discussed
this subject. He told me that you have a new hospital that will be
dedicated in 30 days and that he is interested in taking our product there
and in sending our personnel to give technical training on how the
treatment should be administered so that many people may be cared for.

I think this is an excellent idea. Dozens of Brazilians come every week to
Cuba. I understand there are some I million people who suffer from
vitiligo. This is a cruel disease that creates harsh conditions for the
morale of individuals who suffer from vitiligo. We know some companeros who
have suffered from vitiligo and who have been cured with this treatment.

However, many persons cannot come to Cuba because it is too costly. It is
better to transfer the technology and to explain how the treatment is
administered so that it can be administered in Brazil. This is more
economical and fair. Whatever progress we make in that direction is good. I
spoke with Comrade [name indistinct] this evening because he is the one who
takes care of the Brazilians who come to Cuba. I told him: Let's make an
effort to transfer our experience on the treatment aspect quickly, and let
us guarantee a supply of the medicine, which is not expensive. The medicine
is not expensive, what is expensive is a trip from Brazil to Cuba. So we
are going to cooperate with pleasure.

We are not interested in the problem from a commercial point of view. [end