Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


LD212143 Moscow TASS in English 1038 GMT 21 Apr 27

[Text] Havana April 21 TASS -- "The now existing unfair international
economic order is the main obstacle to the development of 'Third-World'
countries", stated Fidel Castro, first secretary of the Central Committee
of the Communist Party of Cuba, president of the Council of State and of
the Council of Ministers of the republic.

Speaking at the sixth ministerial meeting of the Group of 77 here on
Monday, he emphasized that the mounting external debt of the 'Third World'
became an increasingly serious problem.

"The more we pay to the developed capitalist countries, the more we remain
in debt to them. International banks either deny credits for us or grant
them on terms which remind one of the epoch of colonialism."

Fidel Castro pointed out that the sharp decline in the prices of staple
export commodities of the developing countries was having a disastrous
effect upon their economies.

"Today's level of these prices", he said, "is the lowest as compared with
those on the days of the crisis in the thirties. Protectionism continues to
mount at the same time."

"U.N. data have it that about 50 percent of Latin American exports are
infringed in this or that form in the United States, Japan, and in the
countries of the European Economic Community."

"In, 1985", Fidel Castro went on to say, "the developing countries' people
accounted for more than 75 percent of the world's entire population. By the
year 2025 the population of the 'Third World' will account for 83 percent
of the world's one."

"This means that in the coming 40 years our countries will encounter
serious problems in the fields of health care, education, and the provision
with food."

He recalled that in the 'Third World' there are now 500 million unemployed,
857 million illiterates while child mortality rate is eight times as high
as that in the developed countries.

"All these data indicate that the world economic crisis signifies a still
greater hunger, illiteracy, poverty, and diseases to our countries."

"Virtually", the Cuban leader went on to say, "the developing countries
lenders, not debtors, for it is precisely by the sweat and blood of their
people that the wealth, which ensures the present level of development of
the leading capitalist countries, has been amassed".

"To engage in international cooperation in combatting backwardness is not
only the duty of the former metropolitan countries, but is also the ethical
and solidarity duty of all developed countries, both capitalist and
socialist one", Fidel Castro said.

"This is also the duty of more developed countries of the 'Third World'
with regard to economically backward countries."

Fidel Castro pointed out in this connection that more than three thousand
Cuban physicians and thousands of other specialists worked in various
developing countries, and that more than 22,000 youths and girls from those
countries studied in Cuba.

He spoke of military expenditures as an important source of funds for
combating economic backwardness of the 'Third World'.

"Peace and development are indivisible", Fidel Castro emphasized.

Having recalled that a real opportunity has appeared of late to eliminate
medium-range missiles in Europe, he described that as an important step in
the struggle for an end to the arms race and for full elimination of
nuclear weapons.

"A considerable part of resources thus saved should be used for the
development of the 'Third World'", the Cuban leader stated.

"If military powers are able to get rid of the nightmare of a world
thermonuclear war, it would be natural for the peoples of the 'Third World'
to entertain hopes for getting rid of the nightmare of constant threat of
dying of hunger and diseases".

Fidel Castro called for resolute joint actions by the developing countries
with a view to ensuring their right to a future and to a worthy place in
the world and in history.