Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Castro Discusses Issues

PY200253 Brasilia EBN in Portuguese 2026 GMT 19 Mar 87 -- FOR OFFICIAL USE

[By special correspondent Luiz Recena]

[Text] Havana, 19 Mar (EBN) -- "I am a politician. My visit to Brazil would
not be that of a tourist. So, I should not even suggest an image; it would
not be correct. Brazilians are the ones who should evaluate the situation
and decide the best time for that." Good-humored and talkative, Cuban
President Fidel Castro chatted with Brazilian journalists again Wednesday
night, after the dinner hosted by Brazilian Ambassador Italo Zappa for
Minister Abreu Sodre and his retinue.

The Cuban president again discussed the economic possibilities existing
between Brazil and Cuba, and elaborated in detail on the Cuban law which
permits associations of capital between Cuban state enterprises and foreign
private enterprises. He stressed that "Cuba is open to negotiation with all
nations in the world, but naturally it prefers to seek associations with
enterprises from Latin American countries." In this area, Brazil, because
of the experience it has in the organization of production and
international marketing, is a preferred partner for the Cubans, in the
opinion of Fidel Castro.

On this topic, the Marxist Fidel Castro talked about the concept of
profitability, which is for him a general principle that has been
recognized by his government for many years. "I believe in this principle;
it stimulates efficiency. In the socialist system, profitability must be
equivalent to efficiency, great efficiency," said the Cuban president, who
dismissed the application of the concept of profitability in any other way
under a socialist regime. "Here, we cannot have contradictions between the
interests of an enterprise and the interests of the state. So, I will not
allow profitability to go above the socialist interests; it cannot counter
the greater objectives of socialism," he said. According to Fidel Castro,
socialism should be the triumph of rationality, the triumph of man.
Therefore, the modernization of economic relationships of his country falls
perfectly within the theory that inspires the Cuban system of government.

Regarding the process of liberalization in the Soviet Union, he again said
that "we started before, but the case is very different. Their revolution
is 70 years old, and they are trying to resolve their internal problems."
He denied that his relation with the Soviet leaders has changed. "On the
contrary, we continue to be good friends, very close friends," he claimed.
Then Fidel Castro recounted that during the CPSU congress last year, Prime
Minister Mikhail Gorbachev invited Castro to meet with him on a Sunday,
anniversary day of the Soviet authorities.

Castro praised Brazil and its arms industry, but discarded the possibility
that in the immediate future he might acquire Brazilian-made weapons: "The
weapons we use are different." He very much liked the Brazilian aircraft
which brought the foreign minister and his entourage to Cuba. He said: "It
is the type of plane that could solve our internal transportation needs; in
addition, it has the great advantage of being manufactured in Brazil, thus
we do not have to turn to other markets that are further away, and pose
more supply problems."

He noted that Cuba is willing to sell tobacco wrapper leaves for the
Brazilian cigar industry which now has problems with the poor-quality

He said that there are other areas for cooperation, and mentioned the
suggestion by Senator Gerson Camata (PMDB [Brazilian Democratic Movement
Party] from Espirito Santo) to install a unit for the treatment of vitiligo
at a hospital to be inaugurated in his state. Cuba will study the Brazilian
program against that disease, because many Brazilians are now traveling to
Cuba to seek treatment for that skin problem.

The political position defended by the Cuban leader must not cause
contradictions between dogmatic and pragmatic positions: "We have always
been pragmatic; dogmatism did not determine our positions in the past, and
there should be no contradiction between pragmatism and dogmatism now,"
Fidel Castro said. Then he bid farewell to each Brazilian journalist
personally. Earlier, Castro gave them a recipe of lobster with lemon and
tomato sauce that can be cooked in less than 12 minutes, "in boiling
water," he recommended. But he gave the journalist this advice: "Lobsters
should not be consumed by poor countries; they should be sold to the rich
countries to make the money we need to buy food for our people."