Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Holds Dialogue With Students

PA242025 Havana Television Cubana Network in Spanish 0158 GMT 24 Nov 87

[Dialogue with President Fidel Castro and students attending the
international student conference in Havana, held on 23 November--recorded]

[Text] [Saavedra] My name is Alfredo Saavedra and I am representing the
National Union of Colombian Students, UNEC.  Commander, it is an honor to
be here with you in this hall.  I am very happy to be in Cuba.  I have two
questions.  First, I understand that the rectification process seeks to
correct a number of Cuba's mistakes and policies.  What role will Cuban
education play in this process?  That is the first question.  The second
question is: What are Cuba's science and technology policies based on its
shortage of materials or natural resources?

[Castro] Can you repeat the second question?

[Saavedra] The second question is: What are Cuba's science and technology
policies based on its shortage of natural resources?

[Castro] Well, let me tell you that the rectification process is not just
the correction of a number of mistakes in the running of the country.  It
is a more complex matter that has deeper meaning.  We have decided to call
it a rectification policy or the rectification of mistakes and negative
trends.  However, this has much broader implications.  We have undertaken a
struggle against recent and past mistakes, mistakes made in recent years,
in the early years of the revolution, or before the revolution.  In fact,
we could even talk about the rectification of certain economic concepts
that have prevailed in some schools, in some economic technocratic circles,

It has also been defined as the search for new solutions to old problems.
Those old problems may be as old as capitalism or discrimination against
women, for example.  Not long ago, on 26 July, we said that the revolution
itself was the first major step of rectification in our history.  For that
reason, I am saying that rectification has very broad implications and

You asked, what is the role of education in this process?  I do not know
what education you are referring to; whether you are referring to our
national education system, the education of man in the revolution, the
creation of a revolutionary awareness, or to communist education.  I think
these types of education play a very important role--not in the
rectification process, but in building socialism and achieving the
unrenounceable goal of a society that is even more just and superior than
socialism; that is, a communist society.  I think two aspects of man's
education--the education that is instilled from the day-care center to the
university plays a very important role. [sentence as heard] However, the
education of the people through their mass organizations... [changes
thought] We have many extensive mass organizations, from the Pioneers for
first grade children to [organizations for] intermediate level students.  I
think that intermediate level students asked the Congress [15th Congress of
the International Union of Students, held in Havana from 16 to 20 November]
to consider the role of these organizations in the lives of the people.  We
have organizations, not just of Pioneers and students--intermediate level
students are in FEEM [Federation of Intermediate Level Students],
university students are in FEU [Federation of University Students].  Our
youths are organized.  That is, our revolutionary youths are organized in
the Union of Young Communists.  Our workers are organized in unions.  Cuban
women are organized in their federation.  Neighbors are organized in the
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution; that is to say, in their
blocks.  Peasants are organized.  In sum, we can say that all our people
are organized.  These organizations participate in the revolutionary
process and in the education of the people and the revolutionaries.

And there is our party, which must play the fundamental role in instilling
a communist conscience.  Without instilling a revolutionary and true
communist conscience, socialism and communism will not be possible.  To
rectify means to strive to renew those concepts from which we began to be
alienated as a result of exposure to other ideas and some other economic

Che said that to build socialism is not simply to produce goods; it is to
distribute the goods produced.  He stressed the importance of instilling a
socialist and communist conscience.  Rectification is one of the negative
trends we were falling into. [sentence as heard]

From a stage where we hardly paid attention to material incentives, where
we tried to skip steps, where we forgot the need to apply a socialist
distribution formula, we were falling into a more dangerous stage of even
worse consequences.  We were drifting toward searching for solutions by
putting too much faith in economic mechanisms.  We tried to solve
everything with money.  We forgot about the spirit of solidarity that has
always inspired our people.  It was always an extraordinary spirit of
solidarity.  We forgot about volunteering--we considered it useless
entertainment--and we were more concerned about paying overtime because we
wanted to solve everything with money.

That tendency, which I do not think has developed only in our country--I
warn you--has been a negative one that we are currently fighting in this
rectification process.  Therefore, education in all senses, particularly
political training, the creation of an awareness, and working with people,
play an important role.

The question regarding the role of politics in view of the country's scarce
resources is a good one.  I do not know everything, but I think it is a
good and interesting question.  It is a question each country, especially
Third World countries, should ask itself.  What role are we going to play
in this world?  How are we going to develop ourselves?  How will we come
out ahead?  What is our destiny?  In what areas are we going to develop?
What steps are we going to take to progress, especially under these
terrible conditions?  There are adverse conditions in Third World countries
that turn development into an almost impossible task.  It is so impossible
that I laugh when I hear the term developing countries.  The real term
should be underdeveloped countries.  The gap between the rich,
overdeveloped countries and the so-called developing countries has
increasingly widened.  Twenty years ago the difference between gross per
capita incomes in developed and Third World countries was 20:1.  It is now
40 or 45:1, so we are not getting any closer to the developed countries the
gap is widening.  This creates big problems.  The list of countries seeking
better conditions for development--now called a new international economic
order--is long.  Besides seeking better conditions for development, each
country must face its own domestic problems.  This is a problem of great
importance for the youth and for everyone.  Students from Third World
countries and from capitalist and socialist developed countries must have a
clear picture of the world in which they will live.  We must say that the
world in which we have had to live has been a difficult one, but you have a
far more difficult world ahead of you.  I am talking about all the problems
of the future, especially those related to underdevelopment and poverty.
We can talk about problems of ecology, about land turning into desert,
about millions of hectares of agricultural land turning into desert, about
the erosion of 15 to 20 million hectares of land each year, about the 850
million illiterate people, and about the 111 million children born in the
Third World out of the 129 million born in the entire world.

We can talk about water and air pollution, the hole in the ozone layer, the
amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, population growth, the billions
who have to be fed, and the increasing number of countries that are not
self-sufficient.  There were about 40 such countries some years ago, and
now there are 100.

We can talk about the reduction in the number of hectares [per capita for
food production] in the Third World countries.  From 1/2 hectare in the
developed countries... [changes thought] you know, in the developed
countries there is much birth control, and sometimes they even have to
offer incentives so women will bear children, because they run the risk of
reducing their populations... [The figure is] .30 or so--.36, if I remember
correctly--hectares per capita for food production.  We may talk about the
current figure and the one in the year 2000.  While the more developed
countries with more technology and more productivity per man and per
hectare will need more than .30 hectares--more than 1/3 hectares-[per
capita for food production], the Third World countries, with less
technology and less productivity per man and per hectare, will have reduced
this figure to .19.

We may talk about energy, housing, and health problems.  In a few years,
the world will have to face them.  It is already facing them, but in a few
years they will be even more grave and acute.  They are problems that
should have begun to be resolved 40 years ago, and the process of solving
them still has not begun.  I think this is a very important problem that
involves all of us.

Meanwhile, each of us struggles in our countries to find solutions.  You
asked me about the characteristics of a country with few resources.  It is
true we do not have those huge reserves of petroleum in the subsoil, that
possibility of producing billions and billions of dollars with a minimum
of effort.  We have to live off and had to start from our sugarcane
agriculture.  The cane had to be cut by hand.  We had to cut and carry by
hand 50 or 60 million tons of cane each year.  We invested the effort of
350,000 cane cutters in this.  This forced us to undertake tremendous
efforts to mechanize this work and to search for a combine that could cut
and gather the cane.  This forced us to make investments to produce these
machines, which reduced the number of cane cutters from 350,000 to 70,000.
We have reduced the number by almost 300,000.  We had to start with an
agriculture that was not mechanized.  A great part of the work was done
with oxen.  The planting and harvest of rice was done manually.
Construction was manually done.  Loading in the ports was also manual.  We
have had to make efforts to mechanize the work, to first increase
productivity and then to develop a number of essential policies to satisfy
our material needs.

We obviously also have had to make an effort in science.  We created dozens
of research centers.  In other words, we have not only made efforts to
develop, for example, agriculture, the construction material industry, and
the machinery industry, which emerged with the revolution and is essential.
We are developing the electronics industry so we can find our place in the
electronics and computer field.  We have an increasing number of very
competent comrades in that field.  We are advancing in medical research.
We are advancing in the development of medical equipment.  We are advancing
in biotechnology and genetic engineering.  There was a discussion here of
genetic engineering in another sense.  We are working seriously and making
a great effort.  Some of you visited that center where there are very young
scientists who have achieved very important successes and are advancing
toward the development of biotechnology.

We are working in the field of computer programs, of software.  Recently I
met with a group of very brilliant comrades in this field.  They are
drafting development plans in this field, which includes robotics.  I told
you that we discussed the leading technology.  We could talk of genetic
engineering, computers, electronics, and robotics.  I said we will not
ignore these areas, and we will try to find--through a tenacious effort in
many fields, but also in science--a place in the world for our country.

Twenty or twenty-five years ago it would have been crazy to talk about some
of the things I have been mentioning, but nowadays it is no longer nonsense
to talk about this.  This is a real possibility now.  We think that despite
all difficulties, and obviously based on our excellent economic relations
with the socialist countries--we cannot forget that we have a close
relationship with the socialist countries--we are fortunate, because amid
this international crisis and catastrophes we will find a place in the
world.  We will find a way for our people, and we will find a place for our

However, it hurts us that we do not see clearly yet--not clearly at all--we
do not know what place and space the immense majority of the so-called
developing--or, as I prefer to call them, underdeveloped countries--occupy.

[Student] I am from the Malawi students association.  In my country it
would be a crime to read a revolutionary publication, particularly
Commander Castro's works.  Therefore, I must take advantage of this
opportunity to ask a question.  My question is: Commander Che Guevara,
with his intense political activities, was loved by you, by the Cubans, and
all oppressed people in the world.  In this regard I would like to ask:
From the legacy of this revolutionary, what has the most significance for
the youths and students right now?

[Castro] Well, I think there are several important things.  Thus far Che
has given us an impressive example of revolutionary and internationalist
spirit and conduct.  It will be difficult to find--there are many examples,
and there are many values in the world--but it will be difficult to find a
symbol in which the main characteristics of the revolutionary and
internationalist spirit of our times has been concentrated in such a firm
and sound manner.

First of all, since the time he joined us--a small group of Cubans trying
to carry out the struggle against the Batista dictatorship--he always
showed altruism, throughout the years of the struggle.  He did not come
here precisely as a soldier; he came here basically as a doctor.  However,
he was a doctor who became a soldier, and he also continued [his work] as a

He quickly stood out for his great courage, unselfishness, altruism, and
willingness to die at any time and to offer himself as the first volunteer
for any mission.  He was also a doctor, because on certain occasions he
assisted the wounded; it was a struggle that demanded mobility,; staying in
one place was impossible.  He not only fulfilled duties as a soldier, but
also as a doctor.  However, he stood out so much in the organization
because of his initiative, and it was in the military that he excelled the
most in this war of liberation.

He maintained this attitude during the early years of the revolution, when
he lived among us, assuming all responsibilities, including the most
complex and difficult ones, assigned to him.  I commented on his example of
integrity, altruism, solidarity, internationalist spirit, and total
commitment.  I also discussed his political and economic thinking.

Many people know Che and view him as an internationalist figure, a
combatant, and a romantic figure, but they fail to pay close attention to
his political thinking and especially to his economic thinking.  Among the
tasks assigned to him during the early years of the revolution was the
administration of the first industries handed over to the people's control.
First a Department of Industries, and later a Ministry of Industries.  With
his perseverance and theoretical ability to reach the core of problems,
very important aspects pertaining to the construction of socialism were
brought up: the methods to construct socialism, and the principles that
would frame the administration of industries under socialism.

These are very novel thoughts; it would take too long to explain these
aspects now.  There is some material around; perhaps some translated into
English, but I am not sure; perhaps that is the case with words I said
regarding this specific topic on 8 October, when we marked the 20th
anniversary of his death. [sentence as heard]

Within the rectification process, we proposed that our students make a
deeper study of the political and especially the economic ideas of Che.
Perhaps we can also print in English a book based on a very methodical
study of his ideas about a great variety of documents.  He did not have the
opportunity to write a book condensing those ideas.  However, the great
coherence and depth of his thinking, which was put together by a young
Cuban economist, draws our attention.  We shall print many copies of this
book in Spanish and will translate it into other languages and make it
available in other countries, and perhaps translate it into English, which
has become the official language.  The colonialists left one good thing: a
language helping us disseminate information. [applause]

I speak English very poorly--with difficulty.  I studied it in secondary
school and a little at the university.  However, at Red Square during the
70th anniversary, I realized that it allowed me to communicate perfectly
with Kosygin; not with an Englishman, because an Englishman would speak
fast and complicate matters.  However, it is different when conversation
involves another non-English speaker who shares your problems when speaking
in English and speaks slowly. [crowd laughs and applauds] I spoke English
slowly with Gromyko.  Did I say Kosygin?  I meant Gromyko, It was Gromyko.
I spoke with him.  I myself marveled at the interesting topics we

Therefore, we will translate this book into English; at least into English.
If we can, we will also translate it into French, Portuguese, Arabic, and
the official languages of the Nonaligned and Third World countries.  I use
the case of that country located in the heart of Africa, which is facing a
complex situation as an added encouragement to discuss this very important
law in our country and to show that there is more than one theory and
concept on methods of building socialism. [sentence as heard]

In that speech, I said that not only in Cuba but also in socialist
countries youths should study Che's economic theory.  Otherwise, we run the
risk of falling into the dogma in which there is one method or system to
build socialism.  That is why I say Che not only left symbols and an
extraordinary image, but also left us a profound political and
revolutionary thought process.  I believe that any democratic and
progressive man in the world must know about this. [applause]

[Moderator] We will allow our friends over there to ask questions.  That
other one; yes, you.

[Speaker, in English] Comrade Castro, we represent the Organization of
Democratic Youths and Students of Iran.  We are all students; we are all
studying to build a better future for ourselves and all human beings.
However, we are experiencing a very dangerous situation; we live in a world
filled with regional wars, under the threat of a nuclear catastrophe.  In
your opinion, what can youths and students do to help achieve peace and to
help those who are struggling for greater understanding and detente?  Thank

[Castro] I remember when the Brazilian comrade requested the floor.  He
said we had to fight with the people's powerful strength.  I think this is
an excellent idea.  I agree with your concern about the current world
situation and the need for the youth and the students to face, fight, and
overcome these problems.

I think we must fight in many fields.  I think we must fight through all
the youth organizations; students should fight through all the student
organizations, just as citizens should fight through political and mass
organizations, and workers should fight through the unions in each country,
regardless of the specific circumstances involved.

I think world opinion has been increasingly strengthened.  It is a strength
that plays an increasingly important role.  I think this congress and
conference is proof of the creation of an awareness, because as the UIS
[International Union of Students] president said, notwithstanding religious
beliefs and political affiliation, there is a great unity and, I would say,
a great consensus regarding several basic problems of our era.

I believe this meeting, your presence here, is an expression of what youths
should do, because we must think of the power of ideas, which puts the
people's will into action.

Regarding the general question about what you should do, it occurs to me
that you should take action, fight, not let pessimism carry you away,
create an awareness and increase that awareness, seek unity and
international solidarity as a general formula to face these general

I think that to be aware is very important.  It is very important to be
aware of the problems and their grave nature.  However, it is also very
important to be confident there are solutions to these problems.

We also lived through this experience within our country's small
parameters, because as young men, as students, we faced a very difficult
task--many thought it was an impossible task.  However, we did not give up.
One should never give up.  One should never quit in the face of obstacles,
difficulties, and setbacks.

We experienced serious setbacks and what occurred to many occurred to us:
It seemed a crazy idea to try to build socialism 90 miles away from the
United States.

In the end, history will show that we were right, because we have been
building socialism for nearly 30 years at the doorstep of the United
States.  We trust we are on the right path; we trust we are doing well.  We
have an infinite confidence in the achievements and successes we will have
in this rectification process.  We trust the results of our struggle.  We
share in our struggle.  Our people's internationalist spirit is, precisely,
proof that we believe not only in our own cause but in the causes of
others, too.

We are therefore optimistic not only about our own people and country, but
also optimistic and confident in the just causes of this world.  This is
how I respond to any youth who asks me: What should I do to solve these
huge problems? [applause]

[Moderator] Well, I think no one would mind if we give the floor to one of
the young women, who have not had an opportunity to talk.  Let us give the
floor to the comrade who is in the committee, [name indistinct] from the
United States.

[U.S. student, in English, fading into Spanish translation] Thank you.
Comrade Fidel, I am from the Institute for Security and Cooperation in
Outer Space, in Washington, D.C.  We are working on preventing the
expansion of the arms buildup in outer space.  Part of our strategy is to
investigate what kind of international security system could replace the
arms buildup and the current instability, based upon an expanded definition
of security, which involves economic and environmental issues.  We envision
a grouping of representatives from all liberation movements in the world,
to monitor activities on earth and in outer space.  We have a new sense of
political organization and order to face the world challenges.  What are
your views on how the nations and peoples can cooperate in a system for
joint security that will be trusted by all peoples?

[Castro] Well, you have an institute to analyze and find a solution to all
those problems, and you are asking me [applause] [Castro laughs] to give
you an answer in 2 minutes.  Of course, I believe the subject you mentioned
has tremendous significance.  I believe it is the root of the current
problem.  How can the world move away from such a crazy thing as the arms
race and possession of nuclear weapons and start doing something even half
rational and sensible?  The path that has been followed since the first
atomic bomb exploded is well known.  There are many books on the subject.
It is also known that the United States had the bomb.  They held an Allied
summit in Potsdam, and Truman did not tell Stalin they had the bomb.  They
kept their mouth shut and said nothing to their allies or to the ally that
had sacrificed 20 million lives in the fight against fascism.  They kept
the secret--the monopoly--and dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Historically it is known as nothing but genocide.  That bomb did not have
to be dropped on a city.  It could have been dropped on a military or naval
installation, thereby wiping it off the map.  They wanted to test the bomb
with (?people) and to terrorize them in the most brutal way.  That is

I think if the Japanese leaders had had a bit of wisdom--to say nothing of
the bad cause those leaders were defending--the same objectives could have
been achieved without dropping that bomb on a city.  After that, we all
know the story: Then came the effort to have a monopoly on a decisive
weapon, perhaps with the idea the Soviets would take 30 years to build such
a weapon.  The Soviets took only 3 years before carrying out their first
nuclear tests--they found it necessary to enter that race.  I say that
historically the responsibility for the nuclear arms race lies with the
West--the United States.  If they sat down calmly and with dignity and
thought things out, they would have to admit this.

After that came the myth of the Soviet threat, which was actually the
Soviet Union producing nuclear weapons only until a balance was reached.
This was really a Soviet technological and economic feat, realized despite
the fact they were totally destroyed by the war, for in the case of the
United States, not a single factory was damaged.  A great part of the
Soviet Union was destroyed, and despite all this, it really is admirable
how they were able to equip themselves with strategic nuclear weapons.

Tens of thousands of nuclear weapons have been stored in this arms race.
It is really crazy.  Experts say the destructive power of existing nuclear
weapons equals 16 billion tons of explosives.  It is possible we do not
have the money to pay for the quantity of TNT each of us would need to
match the destructive power of such a nuclear arsenal--each one of us.
They say it is enough to destroy us, I believe, 13 times over--that must be
an arbitrary figure.  They will not have to kill everyone.  The remaining
radiation, the ecological problems, will not allow even cockroaches to
survive.  They say these little creatures are the best suited by nature to
survive radiation.

We are faced with this situation.  How do we get out of it?  More nuclear
weapons are being built.  I believe in this case we have to recognize the
USSR's efforts.

I would not like you to pretend I am a Soviet attorney or an attorney at
the service of the Soviets, receiving a salary to do the job.  I say this
because I am distrustful.  However, thinking calmly and speaking
objectively, I must give the current Soviet leadership great
credit--particularly Comrade Gorbachev for his really admirable, tenacious
effort to end the arms race and forge a path toward nuclear disarmament for
the first time.

In the near future an agreement will be signed that will be the first in
history to destroy nuclear weapons.  This is a small part of what needs to
be done; the experts say it is equivalent to 5 percent of the existing
weapons.  Approximately 2,000 warheads will be eliminated between the two
sides.  I believe Europe, which has become an incredible trouble spot
where it is impossible to know how many weapons are pointing in one
direction or another, can begin to breathe.  It will breathe in a
philosophical sense, because enough warheads will remain to prevent them
from breathing physically if a war begins.  At least we will be able to
sleep a little better, knowing there are fewer warheads aimed at one

This agreement will eliminate medium- and short-range missiles up to 500
km.  I believe the importance of this agreement lies in the fact it is the
first time a step has been taken in the opposite direction.  This is only
the first step, it is nothing more than an initial step.

I know the Soviets are making efforts to have this first step followed by a
second step: the destruction of 50 percent of all strategic missiles.  This
would be a very important step forward, and I know there is optimism and
hope in achieving this second step.  Of course, this will depend on the
final decision to be adopted by the United States regarding that nation's
famous Star Wars plan.  Their institute says the plan involves outer space,
right?  If this is so, I believe that institute in Washington is from
another world. [laughter] I assume, however, you propose to prevent outer
space from becoming a nuclear weapons base, and to diminish and avoid
dangers on earth.  The Star Wars plan seems to be closely linked to
possible future progress on the path toward eliminating nuclear weapons.
It seems that in response to a defense system's attempt to repulse a
nuclear attack, the force and numbers of nuclear weapons play an essential
role, as experts begin calculating how many weapons can be intercepted, how
many must reach their destination, and how many must be fired to make them
do so.

I hope that in a new climate and a new situation, the obstacles that would
hinder this second step related to strategic weapons can be eliminated.
Now, apart from all the measures and battles the Soviets are waging--in
case I did not understand you, your question was not only about strictly
military problems but also about economic problems and how all of this
relates to the entire economic situation--is this possible?

Recently, during my official visit to the USSR--I arrived in the USSR on
the 4th [November]--I could not be present at the solemn session but I
received a copy of Gorbachev's speech and I read it very carefully.  I
found interesting comments regarding these problems, and even regarding
theoretical analyses of these possibilities.  Gorbachev said that with the
new international situation, it would be possible for external factors to
determine the most serious characteristics of imperialism's militaristic
policies.  In other words, they could limit the dangers of imperialism.

Gorbachev posed a second question as to whether capitalism would be able to
give up militarism, if it would be able to do without militarism.  He then
posed a third question as to whether capitalism would be able to do without
neocolonialism and the unfavorable trade balance.  These were his three
questions, and they are closely linked to what you are saying.  Gorbachev
analyzed these questions regarding a certain optimism toward these
problems.  He also said that an awareness of the catastrophe threatening
us could be translated into practical actions by the leaders of those
countries.  If they could only understand that even if only because of the
preservation instinct, if only because of a class' interest in surviving,
these countries would be capable of taking practical steps in this
direction.  He then reasoned that in response to the dangers of fascism,
states of different social systems had united.  The Western countries, the
United States, Great Britain, and others, had joined the USSR to face the
threat of fascism.  Now, they join in response to such a terrible threat as
the disappearance of the world, they are not capable of working together to
face this threat.  This was immediately followed by several considerations.

Gorbachev said, for example, that there had been important modifications in
the differences that existed prior to World War II, which led to wars
between the imperialists, to wars among the capitalist countries.  He said
he felt the existence of the socialist camp, and the meaning these wars
would have in the modern era had led the capitalist countries to handle
their differences without taking them to the extremes of war, and that
there had been a new alignment of the world as a function of these
countries' economic power.  Anyone can understand that there truly has been
a new, peaceful alignment of the world.

The possibility these modifications could help find solutions was analyzed.
Discussing the military-industrial complex, Gorbachev said that after the
war, the FRG, Japan, and Italy experienced miracles; they were countries
whose military budgets were reduced and were still able to develop their
economies.  He concluded his analysis saying that on the other hand there
was the explosive situation in the Third World, and capitalist leaders had
to understand this was intolerable and had to be changed.

The most important thing for us, which greatly encourages those of us who
have been struggling with the economic crisis, the debt, and the need for
funds for Third World development, is that funds earmarked for weapons can
be used for development.  We have seen these ideas and causes greatly
strengthened by the connection the USSR established between disarmament and

In sum, now the USSR has taken up these causes I have been supporting at
the Nonaligned Movement and at all forums where we discuss development and
the search for development funds--something very important to us.  He
[Gorbachev] summarizes it with this phrase: Disarmament for Development.
This concept is closely linked with Third World interests to strive for
disarmament and to earmark for development some of those resources that
will be saved.  He, Gorbachev, is seeking an answer to your question.  He
is seeking it and trying to find it.  In practice, he is doing so.  There
is no doubt that this [missile limitation] agreement is a reality and that
the possibility exists to reduce and destroy 50 percent of nuclear weapons.
This would be a tremendously important event.  We cannot downplay the
importance of these events and the hopes they carry.

Later, the rest [of nuclear weapons] would be [destroyed] because with
those remaining, there is more than enough to kill us many times over.
[sentence as heard] I already think this can become a snowball that grows.
That snowball will help your noble efforts in Washington to solve these
extraterritorial, rather, extraterrestrial problems.  I mean
extraterrestrial but also extraterritorial because these seem to be things
out of this world.  These problems are so complex and crazy that they seem
to be a fantasy.

I see that you are trying to find a solution to them.  I recommend
[chuckles] that you read Gorbachev's report.  I hope you have no political
prejudices to read Gorbachev's report. [loud applause]

[Question] Dear Comrade Commander Fidel Castro, I am a member of the
delegation of the Committee of Korean Students.  We all know the Cuban
people have always supported our peoples' cause and the Korean youth in the
construction of socialism and the reunification of the fatherland.

You supported the initiative for North and South Korea to jointly host the
1988 Olympic Games.  Our youth will never forget this great solidarity that
you have maintained as a constant internationalist.

As you know, the 13th World Youth and Student Festival will be held in
Pyongyang during the summer of 1989.  This festival will be held in Asia
for the first time.

As the host organization, we want to invite the young students of the most
diverse political, philosophical, and religious learnings in the world.  In
addition, we also want to invite the South Korean students and youths.

In this way we want to show the broad, representative, and democratic
nature that this festival will have.

My question is, how do you assess the importance of the upcoming Pyongyang
festival within the development of the movements for these festivals?

[Castro] Well, we first have to see how we view the olympiads.  I am
reminding you that we are fighting for the Olympics to be hosted jointly.
I think this is the most just matter.  We have defended that issue and will
continue to defend it to the end.  That is clear.

We hope the Olympics can be held in a just manner--jointly hosted.  You
know the South Korean Government is making efforts to make sure this does
not happen.  An electoral process, however, is now under way as a result of
the great struggle of the people living in Korea's southern sector.  This
struggle has forced the government to make an opening.  It seems there will
be a democratic opening.  The aspect that worries me the most about that
situation, however, is the division between the two largest opposition
forces.  I am worried this division between the two opposition forces can
lead to the victory of a minority that would maintain the current political

I believe if there was truly a democratic opening in South Korea, the
obstacles could be considerably diminished and we could be successful in
our efforts so the Olympics could be jointly hosted with the participation
of youths and athletes from all countries.

I think this is a very good area for which to request support.  It is also
a just cause.  We have never hesitated in offering this support, even at
the risk of not participating in the Olympics.

This is one of many just causes we can defend, and I urge all student
representatives to support the DPRK's right to cohost the Olympics.

Regarding the festival, I have no doubt that it will be a big success.  It
seems to me that it is very just that this decision will enrich the role
and prestige of the festivals.

I think it is difficult to find a people in the world who are better
organized and prepared to be the host of this youth event.

Not too long ago I had the great honor of visiting the DPRK, and I am still
impressed with the level of organization I was able to see there.  I am
impressed with the capacity the Korean people have; I am impressed with
their enthusiasm, the colors, and the beauty, as well as the things the
people are able to do there.

I am convinced that all the youths who visit that country and participate
in that festival will gather unforgettable memories and will return to
their countries feeling a great admiration for the DPRK people.

The truth is that the incredible effort made by the Korean people after the
liberation--after the war imposed by imperialism and the country's total
destruction--is not very well known.  It seems hard to imagine what they
have done with that country.  Therefore, I have no doubts as to the success
of this festival.  I do not think any Western or imperialist campaign can
tarnish this festival, although they have many publicity resources and
practically control and monopolize the news that is disseminated throughout
the world.

I think the festival will be an important meeting at a moment which is even
more important, in this new phase.  It will be a total success.  This is my
impression. [applause]

[Moderator] Back there comrades are [words indistinct].

[Translator] Thank you very much [words indistinct].

[Knight, in English with passage by passage translation into Spanish] I am
Edwin Knight of the Dominica Labor Youth Organization.  Dominica, our
country, is where Eugenia Charles, the person who facilitated Reagan's
invasion of Grenada, lives.  We know that in Grenada, at the time of the
invasion, many patriotic Grenadians and heroic Cuban workers died in the
struggle to defend Grenada.  I think we must acknowledge their

For us it is a shame because today their blood stains Eugenia Charles'
hands.  It was also revealed recently that she was paid $100,000 for her
involvement in the Grenadian situation, according to what the imperialists
themselves said in Bob Woodward's and CIA chief William Casey's
investigations.  Casey has died, already.  Anyway, history will show that
we, the people, are in the process of dealing with her.

My question is as follows.  It concerns finances and international
financial institutions like the World Bank, the IMF, the Paris Club, etc.
We know they are the pillars of imperialism.  They are used as means, as a
gigantic octopus, which grabs a hold of the developing and underdeveloped
countries' economies.

We also know that we will struggle... [changes thought] They will resist
all forms of change, change of structures, etc.  We know they will do
anything to prevent the dismantling of those structures.  I would like you
to tell us, youths and students, the tactics and measures that can be used
to establish a new international economic order.  Thank you.

[Castro] Those institutions indeed act like a gigantic octopus.  They are
an instrument of imperialist domination over our countries.  I truly
believe the current situation of those countries that became independent in
Africa and many other parts of the world and of those countries that were
supposedly already independent is now worse than ever.  In the past
colonialists generally took care of certain things, things like making sure
colonies had railroads or finding out if they needed new roads, education
or health systems, etc.  At least they spent some money in their colonies.
They exploited the colonies, but they did invest some money in them.  Today
the neocolonial exploitation system is truly worse than the colonial
exploitation one.  Third World countries are worse off today; they are more
exploited.  Imperialism has replaced direct possession of those countries
or colonies for more refined and worse methods of exploitation.  That
system is the one used primarily by the IMF and the World Bank.  They use
it not only as an economic instrument, but as a political one.

At the United Nations the United States exerts very strong pressure on all
the Third World countries every time it votes.  The United States keeps a
tally of all the times they vote against a U.S. proposal.  Those who vote
against a U.S. proposal find themselves with many headaches afterward
because they are denied IMF or World Bank easy payment terms or loans.
They are even denied the possibility of receiving food from the food
assistance programs for the Third World.  Therefore, those methods are
openly used as political instruments and not only as an economic mechanism.

That is precisely the struggle our peoples must fight to change that
situation.  That situation will not change with speeches, proclamations, or
simple arguments.  I believe the disarmament agreements are important
because they are an objective opportunity that has been opened.  One of the
first things we must ask ourselves is what the source of funds for
development should be.  I believe we all agree those funds can only come
from the military sphere.

All of this is linked to the economic crisis and the foreign debt.  What
did we think?  We thought that because of the disaster the foreign debt
crisis signified the Latin American countries, first of all, and all the
Third World countries should unite.  A true historic opportunity emerged
because for the first time all the Third World countries were facing a
problem that was directly strangling them.  When that debt grew to the
huge figure of $1 trillion it became an unpayable debt.  There should be no
doubt about that.  I know there were discussions here about what term to
use, about whether to use the term unpayable, and about whether the debt is
unpayable under specific conditions.  It is unpayable under any conditions.
No one should have the least doubt about that.  It is not an amoral problem
because morality is on our side and not on the creditors' side.  The
creditors carried out their development at the expense of the blood and
sweat of our peoples, who were exploited for centuries.  One has to see the
origin of the resources for the development of these powers: the gold and
the silver they extracted from Latin America and other continents, the
exploitation of slave labor, and the extermination of entire populations to
accumulate money and to become developed countries.

Therefore, from any standpoint the debt problem is analyzed morality is on
our side.  From the historic, ethical, or legal standpoint morality is on
our side.  The United States used high taxes as the reason for starting
their war of independence.  They used to say: no taxation without
representation.  This is how they began their war of independence.  We ask
ourselves: What representation did the people have when tyrannical and
repressive governments mortgaged their countries for tens of billions of
dollars to buy weapons, to wage war, to squander, to waste them, etc.?

There were also private companies that contracted debts of tens of billions
of dollars; they are now asking the people to pay them.  Our position
concerning the foreign debt problem is well-known.  We say it is unpayable
and uncollectable, and this can be mathematically proved, based on every
possible theory.  It is clear that precisely because of the imperialist
pressures and because of our habit of behaving well so the Yankees will not
get angry, we use sweet and gentle words to talk about these topics.

Therefore, in the international meetings one says: do not put that in [for
discussion], put this other thing.  I know because we have been struggling
in the United Nations and the Nonaligned Movement each time a document is
drafted.  You had to make a concerted effort to draft your document.  The
topics have to be interpreted.  When the meetings are so big it is not easy
to draft documents.  That is why when the meetings are very big we say that
a final document and declaration should not be issued. We exchange ideas
and discuss views, and we are left with the results from all these
meetings.  The Soviets have now done the same.  No document was issued.
There was a big meeting in Moscow.  It was very broad, almost as broad as
this international congress and conference.  When a document has to be
issued many people have to reach agreement.  Some people want to issue a
strong document while others do not want as strong a document.  The fact
is, we support your document because it states something.  We are not going
to adopt the position of not signing the document.  However, there is that
phrase, in the current circumstances, but no one knows what the hell the
current circumstances means and what circumstances are necessary for the
debt to be paid.  Of course, the solution is that it is unpayable in

Now then, I know a circumstance in which the debt could be paid: if the
Yankee dollar becomes so devalued that it is worth less than the German
mark was worth after World War I, when I million marks, a cartload, was
needed to buy a pair of shoes.  Another circumstance would be if the dollar
is devalued as much as the Mexico peso--I think it is at a rate of 2,500 to
the dollar--or if it is devalued as much as the Peruvian sol or the
Bolivian sucre--which has been at rates of millions to the dollar.  Such a
circumstance would occur if one day the dollar is worth so little.  With
all the crazy things they have done this might occur someday, even though
it might not seem likely.  If the dollar becomes worth so little that one
needs a cartload of dollars to buy a pack of cigarettes then I think we
could pay the foreign debt.  We could pay the foreign debt. [applause] This
could be done by those who have the privilege of having their debt in
dollars.  When the unfortunate country--I say this because this is our
misfortune--has its debt in German marks, Spanish pesetas, Italian lire,
British pounds, or Japanese yen, then that unfortunate country is in a hell
of a fix, as the popular saying goes.

Because, what happens?  What happens is that we are paid in dollars for our
nickel.  We are paid in dollars for sugar, and our export products...
[changes thought] If we are not paid in dollars the payment is calculated
in dollars, and then, well, if you do not get the raw end of the deal one
way, you get it another.  If sugar continues to cost 6 cents and the dollar
is devalued by half, then each ton of sugar exported is worth only half as
much.  When you have to go to Japan to buy goods you find that the yen has
gone way up, and one does not know how many tons of sugar are necessary to
buy a bulldozer, for example.  Or, if you have to buy something in Spain or
in the GDR, or scientific equipment such as that mentioned by the
Colombian comrade, it costs a fortune.  Medical equipment that cost $1
million in 1985 now cost $2 million.  If you sell your products to a given
country, when you buy from them it is too bad for you, because when the
dollar falls the yen and the mark go up.  All because of this new, peaceful
international alignment Gorbachev was talking about.  So, the problem is
really serious.  One has to sell increasingly more sugar to obtain fewer
yen, fewer pounds, and fewer marks to pay debts in those currencies.

Anyone can understand that.  Under these conditions those whose debts are
in dollars pay those debts in dollars.  Those of us who are under a
blockade and cannot have debts in dollars have to pay in other currencies.

The problem is really unsolvable.  The debt is unpayable and uncollectable.
One must say so out loud; one must be aware of it.  I think even the
creditors know this; even the U.S. banks know.  This is probably why the
debt has been devalued so much.  There are countries whose debts have been
devalued by 50, 60, and 70 percent.  There may be countries that will buy
back their debt for a couple of dollars in the end.  For a couple of
dollars, they may buy their debt, [laughs] because the debt is so unpayable
that, in the end, perhaps they will even buy it back.  And of course that
is what the creditors want: to convert that debt into investments.  They
want to buy the countries and once again take over their riches, take over
their industries, take over their services, and take over everything
because of an unpayable debt.

So, now we all agree the debt is unpayable and uncollectable.  Interest
payments come up for discussion.  But it so happens these are also
unpayable and uncollectable.  All governments might commit suicide,
political suicide, if they continue on this path, because the situation is
becoming very explosive in Third World and Latin American countries.  The
situation is becoming explosive and unstable.

When in 1985 we brought up the problem of the foreign debt at international
meetings we proposed the Latin American countries meet and support the
first country that would step forward.  We proposed supporting the first
important country, a country with a large debt, because a country that owes
only $1 billion carries far less weight than one that owes $100 billion;
the one that owes $1 billion is not paid attention to, while the one that
owes $100 billion is listened to.  The financial system trembles when
payments are suspended.  We have said this cause should unite us.  We have
proposed it many times, and we have addressed ourselves to many governments
on this issue.  We have to unite around the debt issue.  It is the great
common cause that must unite us, not only to write off our debts but to
create a new international economic order.

What was imperialism's strategy?  It was the opposite: Dividing all our
countries; negotiating today with one, tomorrow with another, the day after
with another--negotiating with them one by one.  They would meet at the
Paris Club to negotiate with one.  All against one.  All the creditors
would meet today to talk with Mexico, tomorrow with Argentina, the day
after tomorrow with Brazil, and the next day with Venezuela.  And they
followed the strategy of division.  Latin American political leaders were
incapable of uniting against this problem.

We urged three essential subjects: Uniting around the debt.  The entire
Third World cannot be blockaded, unlike Nicaragua or Cuba.  The Third World
cannot be totally blockaded because those imposing the blockade would be
blockading themselves.  We insisted on this, on the struggle for a new
economic order, and on integration.  Those were the three necessary steps
if the Latin American and Caribbean countries really wanted to develop and
if they were really seeking a possibility of development, because the
political leaders were incapable of resolving this problem.

In those days we were calling for unity within the countries and among the
countries.  We had a message for all society.  When we spoke with peasants,
with workers, with journalists, or with students, we always used the slogan
of Unity Within the Country to wage this battle.

We said: We must wage the battle for survival, we must unite all internal
forces in the country, and we must unite the various countries.  Therefore,
we believed and still feel this strategy was correct.  Actually, however,
the Latin American governments were incapable of accomplishing this
unification to create a force capable not only of rejecting the debt but
also of demanding a new international economic order.

What is the new international economic order?  There are a number of
elements; there are a number of articles; there is a document on the new
international economic order that was approved by the majority at the
United Nations.  That document implies the cessation of unequal
international trade.  What is unequal international trade?  Unequal
international trade means that if 25 or 30 years ago perhaps 2 tons of
coffee or 1 ton of coffee was needed to buy an 8-ton truck, today it is
necessary to have 6, 7, or 8 tons to buy the same truck.  Instead of the
coffee it could be sugar or any other of the basic products from Third
World countries; it could even be copper.  Today, one must give two or
three times more goods to obtain the same product that was needed 20 or 30
years ago.  This is the fateful law of unequal trade, which is also the
fundamental element of neocolonialism, which has put us into a worse
situation.  It has forced us to trade more products each day to receive
less goods from the industrialized countries.  Unequal trade is a terrible
state; it is a tendency which must be reversed.

This is one of the issues included in the UN agreement on the new
international economic order; it means an end to protectionism, dumping,
and financial manipulations regarding currency, as they have done by
raising the interest rates whenever it pleased the industrialized
countries.  Reagan raised interest rates through the U.S. mechanisms and
the power of the U.S. economy to get money from all over the world to
finance the U.S. arms race.  Thus, a country contracted a debt at a
5-percent interest rate, and the interest rates went up to 12, 14, or 15
percent.  This is one of the factors that affected the debt growth.  The
new international economic order means that when a new, synthetic good was
produced to substitute for a natural product the interests of the countries
that depend on that product would be taken into account so as to not ruin
the country and so that some method is implemented to compensate the
countries for the damage that could be caused by any technological
innovation of this kind.

The concept of the new international economic order should be expanded and
improved.  However, these are the main elements.  Therefore, we proposed to
annul the debt and to demand--because we must demand--the new international
economic order.  Actually, there could have been a tremendous battle
regarding the debt, to impose a new international economic order, but it
would have been necessary to unite the forces.  However, the forces were
not united; they were dispersed.  We have said the democratic opening in
Latin America does not have any future unless this problem is resolved.  If
they [Latin American countries] insist on paying the debt, and if this
problem is not resolved, generalized social explosions will occur in this
hemisphere.  We have said it; we hope that changes can take place
gradually, without resorting to violence.  However, the appropriate
conditions for the social explosions are being created.  I have said that
today no one can deny that explosives are accumulating in Latin American
societies, which will lead to social explosions.  I believe that this is
one of the elements cited in the Gorbachev report I recently mentioned, in
which he speaks precisely about this explosiveness.  There is a truly
explosive situation in the Third World countries; it exists in Latin
America, which makes the situation intolerable.  Therefore, if there is not
a resolution of the debt problem, if there is not a new international
economic order, we will have very serious problems.  This is one of the
things about which we also warned political leaders from these countries.

Who would know better about this than Cuba?  The revolution occurred in
1959, and at that time Latin American countries did not owe I cent.  As a
consequence of the Cuban revolution, the U.S. adventures against
Cuba--particularly the Playa Giron invasion--and the fear of revolutions in
Latin America, the United States drafted a theory and a policy for social
reforms.  Imagine, the United States began to talk about agrarian reform.
This is a country that had invaded Guatemala in 1953 because it had
implemented agrarian reform, a country that blockaded Cuba and organized
the dirty war against Cuba and the mercenary expedition just because Cuba
had implemented an agrarian reform long before Cuba declared the socialist
nature of its process.  Simply because Cuba had implemented a radical
agrarian reform, the United States decided to eliminate the revolution.
However, since the United States saw that the revolution had solidified
after the Giron defeat it started to talk about agrarian and fiscal reform,
education and housing programs, and about economic aid.  They even talked
about $20 billion in economic aid.

This was in 1960 and 1961: $20 billion in 10 years.  At that time, Latin
America did not owe a single cent.  Its population was one-half what it is
today, less than one-half.  Today, the population is more than twice what
it was.  It owes $400 billion.  It is obliged to disburse tens of billions
of net capital.  Indeed, between 1982 and 1986, tens of billions of dollars
in net losses, net disbursements of capital, went from Latin America to the
industrialized countries by way of interest payments on the foreign debt.
As for dividends paid by the companies, the profit on investments drained
$132 billion in net capital from Latin America.  Can this continent develop
in these circumstances, when all it receives must be turned over to the
industrialized countries?

This situation has had tremendous social consequences, and the students
know this.  Today, the problems have doubled.  The foreign debt now amounts
to $400,000 [as heard]; that is, 20 times the figure that Kennedy mentioned
for the Alliance for Progress.  If more than $20 billion is taken from
Latin America each year, how can the situation fail to be explosive?  What
debt can it pay?  What development can there be?  This is why per capita
production in these countries has decreased in the past few years.  This is
why the real income of these countries has decreased considerably.  In some
countries, like Bolivia, the gross domestic product has decreased by 27
percent.  Let's not consider Bolivia, which is a country of relatively
little industrialized development.  Venezuela, an oil country, has had a 22
percent drop in income in this period; Argentina has had a 16-percent drop;
Uruguay, 15 percent.  The same is true of Mexico, Peru, and other
countries.  It is a terrible situation.

If the Yankees invented the Alliance for Progress 26 years ago, when the
situation did not even approach the one that exists today, then one
wonders: Are they blind to the problems building up in this hemisphere, to
the explosive situation that is being created?  It is an objective reality,
and I believe it is a problem that this generation of youths will have to
face with realities.  No solution is in sight.

I think that a great historic opportunity to unite forces for this battle
has been lost.  What will be the solution?  No one knows.  It is possible
the social explosions-...[changes thought], in the final analysis the
solutions the leaders have failed to find will be found by the people one
way or another, in their desperation.  We are not preaching violence.  On
the contrary, on many occasions we have urged them--the industrialized
countries and the whole world--to think about this carefully.  That is why
I say it gives us great pleasure to see that the Soviet leadership, for the
first time--and I say truly for the first time--has taken up this banner,
this problem of the foreign debt, the economic crisis, and development, and
linked it to the matters of peace and disarmament at a time when very
important steps will be taken in this vein.  I would say we should support
the policy of peace, detente and disarmament with all our strength.  We
asked: Where will the money to erase the debt come from?  We said: We do
not want the poor little bankers to go bankrupt.  We pity them.  It would
break our hearts for the bankers to go bankrupt.  What we propose is that
the governments shoulder the debt owed to their banks, that the governments
of creditor countries keep the banks from failing by paying the debt, using
a portion of the resources expended for weapons.

We also said: We do not want the taxpayers to pay more taxes.  It is not
necessary, since a portion of the resources squandered on weapons could
resolve the foreign debt problem without ruining the banks.  We said more:
We said tens of millions of workers in the industrialized world are idle
because a large percentage of industries in the industrialized world is
idle; at the same time there is a need, a great demand in the world for
those industrial products for development purposes.

But there is no money.  We reasoned if the debt were wiped out, if this
money paid in interest were invested in development, there would be a new
international economic order.  In this new international economic order, if
the resources used to pay interest were invested in development, in time
the idle industries in the developed capitalist world could begin
producing, and millions, tens of millions of workers in those countries
could be given jobs.  After all, it is absurd that, while in one country
the workers and productive industrial capacity are partially idle, in
another world, billions with great need are unable to purchase any of these
[industrial] articles.

We specifically brought that up, saying if we canceled the debt and
established a new international economic order, Third World countries would
then have a purchasing power of some $250-$300 billion per year.  I am
talking about the value of the 1985 not the 1987 dollar.  The 1987 dollar
is worth about half of what it was worth in 1985.  Now we would have to
talk about more dollars.  That was rational; that was logical.

We did not want to scare anyone; we did not want the bourgeoisie of the
other countries to think we were promoting subversion; nor did we want the
developed capitalist countries to think we were proposing the ruin of their
banks or their economies.  That was the path to be followed.  Thus, we
welcome the support we now receive from the USSR.  We welcome their
theories at a time when we are taking such important steps.  They
strengthen our demand.

In a nutshell, this is the strategy we had planned for confronting this
problem.  We were making efforts to find a solution to social problems and
the debt issue and to achieve disarmament, peace, and a new international
economic order.  I do not know what will happen in the long run with
institutions such as the International Monetary Fund.  It is part of an
era.  These organizations will have to be reorganized or changed if we
truly hope to find peace, detente, and to initiate joint efforts for
development.  However, these are the great questions remaining to be
solved, to be cleared up.  I believe this is similar to what was raised by
the U.S. space institute, [Institute for Security and Cooperation in Outer
Space] comrade.  What's the correct name?  The inner space [other world] or
outer space...?  Inner space means that it comes from beyond, from beyond
the grave.  Does it not?  And outer space means that it comes from beyond
this planet. [applause]

[Santiago] My name is Franklin Santiago, and I am a member of the Chilean
delegation attending this very important event.  First, in the name of the
delegation and with a great deal of pride, I would like to applaud the
presence and the words of Comrade Fidel Castro.  We also welcome the
presence--if my photographic memory does not betray me--of that great Latin
American writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. [applause] I wanted to ask two
questions, perhaps not as complete as some of the questions that have been
asked here.

As Chileans who have left our country just a few days ago--some of the few
Chileans who have been able to leave Chile and come to Cuba--we are worried
about the situation in our country.  We are worried that after 14 years
there are prisoners and missing persons.  We are worried because we know
there are plans to turn the entire higher education system over to private
hands, to destroy the universities.  We are worried about the implications
of the foreign debt--the infamous foreign debt--for our future, for our
personal lives, for our country's future.

Since we are worried about all of this, I would also like to ask a question
regarding this situation.  In 1987, Chilean students, university students,
university professors, have developed a movement unprecedented in Chilean
history.  There has been a standstill for over 3 months; they have
challenged all the rules imposed by the dictatorship.  They have
incorporated into the movement all social issues.  They have turned that
struggle for econornic rights into a political struggle for the achievement
of democracy and for the end of the dictatorship in Chile.  They have even
been able to solve in practice a problem to which the commander referred
some moments ago.  That is the problem of unity; in this case, the division
in the opposition, which exists in Korea, and which on occasion also occurs
in Chile.  We have been able to work together for a common cause.

We have achieved one of the highest and most significant triumphs in
history--or at least in the last 14 years: We have been able to bend
Pinochet to our will, and to remove from office a man whom the dictator had
appointed rector of the most important university in Chile just a few days
earlier.  We also were able to promote a national strike on 7 October and a
demonstration a few days ago--on the 19th--attended by over 250,000
persons, we have been told.  What I am leading to is: What is the role that
the Chilean students should play, on the one hand, and the Latin American
peoples and the peoples of the world, on the other hand, in promoting these
achievements by our peoples in such a manner that we will be able to turn
these achievements into the final defeat of the dictatorship and to topple
all institutional systems?  What is the actual value that Commander Fidel
Castro places on this process that is happening in Chile?

One last question--and this one is somewhat related to the presence here of
Gabriel Garcia Marquez--and that is: What is the role that Latin America
should play--and perhaps has this role not been a bit neglected by all of
us--in the liberation of the cultural movements in Latin America and the
world?  Those are my questions, and thank you.

[Castro] I think indeed you have reminded us that Chilean students have
waged a heroic struggle.  They have achieved one of the most remarkable
victories of the past 14 years because they were able to organize a
movement, remain firm and force the regime to dismiss and remove the
university president.  All the world feels your struggle is most
noteworthy, very successful, and very important at this time.  I think it
also...[changes thought] everything you mentioned can become a symbol of
what the Chilean people can do.

You asked: What can the world do?  In fact, it would be fair to say one of
the current causes that has enjoyed the most solidarity is the Chilean
cause.  It is supported by all countries--countries from all continents,
and by socialist, capitalist, and Third World countries.  I see few
struggles are so highly regarded and receive so much support.  This is
because of the trauma caused by Allende's ouster and murder.  It is debated
if he killed himself or if he was killed.  That is of no importance.  The
treacherous coup led him to his death.  If he killed himself before being
taken prisoner he deserves twice the credit, even if it is suicide.  He
killed himself because he did not want to be taken prisoner or to fall into
the hands of his enemies.  However, that shook the entire world and sparked
a solidarity that continue after 14 years.  I would even say it has grown.
The Latin American peoples have also expressed their solidarity to the
extent possible.

I think this solidarity is an incentive, a force, and a support expressed
in many different ways.  Of course, the solution to Chile's problem is in
the hands of Chileans and cannot be in the hands of anyone but Chileans.  I
am absolutely convinced Pinochet is there because the Chileans did not

All Chileans are not to blame for this lack of unity, of course.  The most
progressive, patriotic, and revolutionary forces have always endorsed
unity.  I am absolutely convinced that if the Christian Democratic Party
[PDC], the centrist parties, of which the PDC is the chief representative,
had united with the left--and they had to do so to save the country from
that sinister tyranny oppressing it--if they had united, Pinochet would not
be there.  Pinochet is there precisely due to the lack of unity in Chile's
opposition forces.  I think history will deal harshly with those to blame
for the lack of unity.

If those forces were to unite, Pinochet would be unable to resist.
Although they are divided [chuckles], the Chilean people have waged
impressive battles.  I have seen some documentaries on what the people do.
I have seen women fighting in the streets, standing up to water cannons and
tear gas, and engaging in pitched battles against the oppressive force.
Students recently waged a major struggle.  The resident... [changes
thought] in sum, there have been impressive mass movements despite the
division.  I think this division is really one of the factors that has
allowed Pinochet to stay in power for so many years.

I think that despite the division, the people can oust Pinochet just as you
were able to remove that university president.  One way or another the
people will impose unity, and one way or another they will sweep Pinochet
away.  No one can predict how.  Many forms of struggle and expressions of
struggle are seen through armed struggle, rebellion, resistance, mass
movements, and all other means, even through legal political means as is
the case with this matter of the plebiscite.  I think all weapons are
legitimate and all methods are correct to hound and isolate the tyranny
until it is toppled.  This means even political struggle or even the
electoral struggle are legitimate.

If Pinochet is still there and wants to be reelected, I feel all means are
correct and can have the same goal.  I am convinced they will oust
Pinochet.  The Chilean people will take it upon themselves to oust
Pinochet, one way or another.  I am convinced of that.  My conviction grows
stronger the longer he wants to insist on staying in power or the longer he
is bent on staying in power.

I think Pinochet's days are numbered.  This problem could have been
resolved a long time ago if they [the Chileans] had united.  Unfortunately,
some of the forces made it impossible to achieve this unity.  I think, one
way or another, the people are going to impose this unity.  I think
Pinochet, with his excessive ambition and stubbornness, will inadvertently
help bring about this necessary unity of the people.  Perhaps by the next
UIS [International Union of Students] congress you will already be free of
the Pinochet nightmare and will be able to bring a message of liberation to
the students.  You can count on our solidarity. [applause]

[(Rona)] Comrade Fidel, I am (Lars Rona), a Swedish economist.  I work here
in your country.  As an economics professor, I envy you greatly.  You
explain economic problems so simply.  One spends hours in seminars and
conferences, while you, in two words, explain the terms deficit and unequal
trade.  I never understood those terms quite in that way.  You also explain
the interrelationship between factors that lead to underdevelopment--the
process of permanent underdevelopment, which you explained so well--and
external factors, such as dependence, the foreign debt, etc., much better
than many books and treatises by experts.  Therefore, in this regard, I
take my hat off to you, Comrade Fidel Castro, and also extend a tribute on
behalf of all the comrade students here.

One question.  No, two questions, or rather, three questions.  In your
speech [words indistinct] almost more violent than the later one in Moscow
on the 4th of this month, you repeated the question asked by Comrade
Mikhail Gorbachev: Can the capitalist system go beyond neocolonialism?  I
have wondered, upon hearing you on various occasions: Why is the term
neocolonialism used instead of the term imperialism in the speeches I read
as an economics student?  Do you use it to make a distinction, or is it
simply a synonym?  That is one question.

On unequal trade: In the many things I have read by the French economists
Emmanuel and (Christian Palois) on unequal trade, an important distinction
is made: An unequal exchange of hours and efforts is structurally different
from using labor in different countries because of the different
productivity rates and prices not in line with the value of the product.
You apparently define unequal trade in terms of trade growth [termino de
crecencia de intercambio].  We will not go into this matter at length.  In
other words, you see the dynamic aspect, while the French see trade from a
static viewpoint.  According to them, unequal trade is something that is
just there; you say: No, the problem is that it is decreasing.  Do you see
a contradiction in that?

Third question: external and internal factors, and the dependency debate.
I was also in Chile at the time--in the 1970's, the Allende times.  There
was a great debate about whether the dependency theoreticians were right or
whether the theories of others--well, among others, I remember (Marta
Hamlecker), an excellent Chilean journalist. [sentence as heard] If I am
not mistaken, here in your countries [as heard] many years ago, they said:
Don't forget the internal factors.  Well, I don't know, Comrade Fidel--the
teacher, the professor has told us the principal factor that accounts for
the nearly 20-percent decrease in per capita income in Bolivia, Venezuela,
Argentina, and other countries--more so in some cases--is the interest
payments on the foreign debt, which are earnings that have been taken out
of the country.  I do not have the figures memorized; I do not know how you
remember these figures.

I would also like to ask you to explain something about the role of the
internal economic policies of the governments of Bolivia, Peru, and
Chile--which I do not need to describe--and several others, in which the
economic policies of the domestic leadership--in collusion with foreign
interests, by the way--determine the negative effect of technological,
economic, and, as you just said, financial dependence on the foreign debt.
Well, those were the three questions.  I had others, but I am not going to
talk any longer.

[Castro] Is there another question?  Do you want to add something?  I think
the questions you have asked are interesting.  You can ask a fourth

[(Lars Rona)] Thank you, Comrade.  No, let someone else take the floor.

[Castro] What did he say?

[Unidentified speaker] He said to let another comrade ask the fourth

[Castro] Another one?  Don't give others the floor, because night is
coming.  Well, this issue of whether capitalism can exist without
neocolonialism is one of the issues that was broached tonight.  To a
certain extent it was brought up by a comrade, and I referred to some
extent to what Gorbachev said when he asked those questions in his report.
That report shows some optimism, and there is no other choice but to be
optimistic.  If we are not optimistic, however, and if we do not preserve
peace, then we will have a disaster.

It is really a shame that international student congresses and nonaligned
meetings and conferences cannot find solutions to the many problems we
face.  Well, the congresses and conferences are useful as well as
entertaining.  Solutions must be found.  I think Gorbachev was trying to
give a theoretical formulation; he was trying to formulate some theoretical
reasonings on which to base his policy and hopes.  There is logic in trying
to influence all events, objective reality, and objective laws.  Of course,
there is also logic in mobilizing the people.  It is not enough that an
idea be correct.  One has to struggle so the idea can become reality.

Therefore, if we want to live without neocolonialism, we have to prevent
it; we must liberate ourselves from neocolonialism, one way or another.  Of
course, it cannot be by using nuclear weapons, because if we do, then
neocolonialism and all of us will disappear.  It is a matter of really
understanding the need to find a solution to these problems.

Of course, it is very significant for us when a super power--one that
possesses a large part of those nuclear weapons--talks about reducing those
weapons and about linking disarmament with development.  It is very
significant that it proposes these things.  This is the first time we see a
superpower talk so clearly about this link between peace and development,
between disarmament and development, between peace and the disappearance of
neocolonialism, and between peace and a new international economic order.
The United States does not want to hear about this.  The developed
capitalist countries do not want to hear about this.

Now then, we do not use the term neocolonialism to avoid the term
imperialism.  Neocolonialism and imperialism are closely linked.  When I
use the term neocolonialism, it is to express a form of exploitation that
is different from that of direct occupation and exploitation of countries.
It is the more economic and even more effective and destructive way in
which we are presently exploited.  I cannot say which is worse.  I cannot
say whether colonialism or neocolonialism is worse.

People are starving to death today.  They are dying from hunger.  They are
dying from diseases.  This is a tragedy.  Each year, 14.  I million
children under the age of 5 die in the world.  While we say one word, three
or four have died.  What do they die from?  From curable diseases, such as
diarrhea.  Children do not die from diarrhea in a developed country, in a
country with minimum health levels.  Children die from malaria, from
respiratory problems, from measles, and from other infections.  However, 90
percent of those children could be saved.  Perhaps even more could be more
saved.  With a health system such as the one our country has, 95 percent of
those children could be saved.  They could be saved with an adequate food
system and a minimum of hygiene.

Three million people die of malaria each year.  The money needed to
implement a program to struggle against and control malaria equals the
amount of money spent on the military in 12 hours, 12 hours [repeats

I think I read in some newspaper that $2.52 billion, $2.52 billion [repeats
himself] is spent every 24 hours.  Half of that amount would be enough for
the program against malaria.  As a result, every 3 days, 120,000 Third
World children die of curable diseases.  In other words, every 3 days, the
Hiroshima bomb goes off in this seemingly quiet and peaceful world in which
we live.  Every 3 days so many children, who could have been saved,
die--equal to the number of children killed in Hiroshima by the nuclear
bomb, and practically no one is aware of that.  That is neocolonialism;
that is the current imperialist policy.  Of course, imperialists do not
reveal those figures in the mass media.  Imperialists are the owners; they
have a monopoly on international news.  Four or five agencies virtually
control all international news.  They publish millions of words daily, but
they do not publish the truth; they only talk about the wonders, the
humanitarian spirit, and the generosity of capitalism and the consumer
society, and everything else.

However, I ask you to analyze the fact that every 3 days, 120,000 children,
who could have been saved, die.  We are not talking about 120, 1,200, or
12,000 children.  We are talking about 120,000 children.  That is a
reality.  That is neocolonialism, which is the current expression of
imperialism.  I am really not too shy to use the word imperialism.  I use
it...[changes thought] You flattered me by saying that I explain things to
you in a simple manner.  That is what I try to do.  When I use the word
neocolonialism, I am referring to the situation in the Third World and the
current system of exploitation, both of which are part of imperialism.

Unequal trade.  You said you envy me, because I can explain things clearly.
I would say that I envy you for the number of authors you were able to
mention and the time you have to study each one of them.  I understood you
perfectly well.  I think there is not really a theory that clearly and
scientifically explains the phenomenon of unequal trade.  I have asked the
comrades of the International Institute of Economics to make detailed
studies on this problem to try to explain this phenomenon that we know
through experience.  What I was explaining before is real.

They [not further identified] buy our products at an increasingly cheaper
price and sell us theirs at an increasingly higher price.  Perhaps in those
books you have-...[changes thought] I will use this opportunity to ask you
the favor of writing down the names of the authors for me if their works
are translated into Spanish, because I will make an effort to read them.  I
am very interested in knowing the various ways in which they explain that
phenomenon.  I have tried to explain that phenomenon in a perhaps
unscientific but in a simple, logical manner.

In conversations and interviews, I have tried to explain some of the
factors related to the foreign debt problem.  I said: Well, a Colombian or
Brazilian worker and his family grow, harvest, and clean coffee beans for
hours every day without having electricity, potable water in the house,
without having a decent home, healthy food, a good education, or
recreation, and yet he produces the coffee that is drunk in New York,
California, England, France, and all those countries--or perhaps he
produces cacao--and they drink his coffee after lunch, after all their
meals, at any time of the day; they eat their cakes, drink their tea, and
all those things.  I am not only speaking about the bourgeoisie; I am even
talking about the workers of these countries.  One reads how much they
earn.  The person who produces coffee gets 10 percent or at the most 20
percent of the price when it is sold to consumers in these countries.
However, the consumer can buy all those things because he has a $30 or $40
or $50 salary per day.  While the consumer of our products earns $1,500 per
month, our coffee producer make $1 per day.  He earns $30 or $40 per month.
This means that... [changes thought] This is why I would like to look into
some of the theories you mentioned here; I would like to know about other
viewpoints.  However, actions speak louder than words.  One would have to
explain why this Latin American is trading 40 hours of his work for 1 hour
of work performed by an Englishman.

This is reality.  It would be necessary to analyze all the factors leading
to this situation, because this involves an efficiency problem.  However, I
believe this is not just an efficiency problem.  There is a problem
involving an unequal exchange of human efforts, because there is no
coffee-harvesting machine in the mountains; there is no machine to do this
kind of work.  It is possible the Englishman may have an automatic lathe
efficiently making precise parts.  However, the Englishman's efficiency
does not help us at all, because it does not lower the cost of the
equipment he produces.  Whether it be X-ray equipment, other medical
equipment, or a lathe to be used here, they will sell it to us at higher
prices regardless of how efficiently it was produced.  We could add to this
the fact that our barefoot men--there in Colombia or in Brazil, where they
and their families are starving--are even paying for the arms race and are
paying taxes the UK Government will receive and spend on weapons, schools,
and all that.  This has not yet been explained accurately and
scientifically.  I believe further analysis is required on this issue, and
I invite you to do it.  I invite economists to make an in-depth analysis of
this problem.  We are limiting ourselves to merely mentioning that this
phenomenon exists.  We would like to find scientific and theoretical
explanations for this phenomenon.

You just said my explanation was clear-cut and more to the point.  You said
it reflected the phenomenon with dynamic clarity; it showed the phenomenon
of an increasing deterioration.  I am going to add something else: Not long
ago, I read some reports that make one think and that at the very least
reflect the level of the current crisis as regards our countries and their
basic products.

If we leave out oil, the purchasing power of our basic products is the
lowest in the past century.  An international organization has made a study
covering the period between 1887 and 1987 and determined the purchasing
power of our basic export products is now the lowest it has been in a
century.  I can mention sugar as an example.  The current purchasing power
of sugar is half of what it was during the 1930's crisis, the severest
economic crisis experienced during this century.  We refer to the
purchasing power of our sugar, the one we export to that garbage dump
called the world market.  Dumping is practiced.  Europe, which used to
import sugar, now exports 100 million tons of subsidized sugar.  The United
States, which until recently imported 5 million tons of sugar, now imports
barely 1 million.  Cuba alone exported more than 3 million tons of sugar to
the United States.  When the blockade against Cuba was decreed, our quota
was distributed among other Latin American countries to ensure the support
of their governments.  This helped buy the support of Latin American
governments for the U.S. aggressive policy toward Cuba.  But this share of
the Cuban quota has now been taken from these countries, and not because
they proclaimed a socialist revolution or advocated Marxism-Leninism.  The
United States deprived these countries of their quota out of sheer
selfishness.  Sugar has now been subsidized.  All this has created dark
conditions.  I refer to sugar, but the same type of problem affects other
basic products, in one way or another.

It is incredible, but the products of many Third World countries have a
purchasing power much lower than they had prior to the great 1930's crisis.
This purchasing power is said to be the lowest in the past 100 years, but
this is because records for earlier years do not exist.  Imagine if they
had gone as far back as 1837.  I met with a railroaders' congress
yesterday.  We discussed the development of the Cuban railroads, which
started in 1837.  Our railroad was one of the first in Latin America.  One
of the reasons for this development was the good sugar price at the time.
In other words, if we were to go back and look at the situation 150 years
ago, we would discover the purchasing power of the Third World's basic
products is lower than it was 150 years ago.  It is the lowest in the past
150 years.  This phenomenon requires an explanation.  We cannot fold our
arms and resign ourselves to it, because this concerns the problem we
mentioned earlier.  The problem is, how are dozens and dozens of countries
going to survive?  On what are more than 100 countries going to live?

Therefore, these problems call for theoretical and scientific explanations.
I think it should be a task for economics or a team of economists,
political scientists, theoreticians, historians, and others to resolve
these real problems we are experiencing.

The issue of the internal and external factors was rightly mentioned.
There was only talk of the external [factor].  Throughout this fight
against the foreign debt the only thing we discussed was the foreign debt
itself.  We said if the policies needed to pay that debt continue there
will be widespread explosions.

I said the military does not want to run the government in many places
because those countries have become unmanageable.  The military in Uruguay,
Argentina, and Brazil turned the government over to civilians, and not just
because of the people's struggle.  That is, of course, a fundamental
factor.  The fact that the countries had become unmanageable and were
ruined had a big influence.  The military in some countries may be invited
to run the government, but it does not want to because society has become

There was a time when Latin America received hundreds of millions of
dollars in loans, had huge revenues, and there was no foreign debt.
Business was good then.  Those were the fat years, we could say.  When the
hard times came, however, the military was enthusiastic about returning the
government [to civilians].  The military kept for itself some powers we are
familiar with.

The true fact is that we wondered: Now, [chuckles] who will want to run the
government?  New military coups are less likely, I said, although you
should not rule out social explosions as a result of this tragedy and this
crisis.  That is what we said about the internal situation.  However, you
are very right to suggest that all these problems from abroad are greatly
aggravated by domestic policies.

Too little is available.  The overall economies of all those countries are
being deprived of everything possible.  We have already discussed the money
being spent to pay interest.  I have spoken about flight of capital, which
is to be added to the $132 billion lost between 1982 and 1986.  All those
who hold pesos in Mexico, soles in Peru, australs in Argentina, or bolivars
in Venezuela are afraid of inflation; they fear half the value of those
currencies can be lost overnight.  Those who hold those currencies try to
exchange them for dollars.  If they change their money into dollars now
they would be making a mistake.  So they try to change their money into
British pounds, German marks, Japanese yen, and Spanish pesetas to protect
their money.  The amount of money involved in flight of capital is

I his is to be added to the losses experienced as the result of dumping and
the losses experienced because of unequal trade, which I did not include
when I mentioned the $132 billion lost.  I have not mentioned the effects
of dumping.  In other words, to the economic harm caused by extracting $132
billion from the hemisphere we must add the calamities caused by all this,
such as capital flight, unequal trade, etc.

Of course, all of these internal factors are to be added to the external
factors.  The primary duty of these countries' leaders is to work and unite
to fight these external factors.  We are not advocating an internal
revolution but rather unity to wage this outside battle as a requirement
for survival, for development, and even for socialism.  But if we want to
construct socialism and you have nothing, you don't have a foot to stand
on, you have to start out from total ruin, total poverty, and total
plunder; not even socialism can be established.  Undoubtedly, domestic
policies play an important role in the calamities peoples suffer.

Cuba suffers this type of problem to an extent.  We have said it is not so
serious because we depend on our economic relations with socialist
countries.  This year was one of the more complex for the revolution.  We
had to cut imports from the convertible currency area by half.

I would like to assess what our people have been doing and the revolution's
success.  The revolution had not been developed.  The revolution implements
very important social programs with the help of the masses.

Perhaps you have had the opportunity to hear about some of the things being
done here.  For example, there are the minibrigades that are based on the
support of the masses, on the efforts by the masses to resolve social
problems, housing problems.  It is impressive.  The city of Havana has
nearly 30,000 minibrigade workers.  They have deployed such a massive
social force that we said they could build not only a new Havana, but a new
Paris.  We can mobilize 100,000 people, but we do not have enough materials
or programs to carry out.  We could do so much construction.

When are we doing all this?  We are doing all of this precisely during a
year in which our imports in convertible currency have been reduced to half
of the minimum we thought was necessary for the economy to operate.
Although it is true that we have a lot of raw materials coming from the
socialist area, we need some raw materials and products that we cannot
purchase there and that are indispensable for our production.

It is amazing how this country has managed when suddenly, from one year to
the next, its imports were reduced by half.  It seemed impossible to
resolve this difficult situation.  The efforts our people make in
substituting for imports, in resolving problems, are amazing.  Our people
work under great tension.  We are going through one of the most difficult
years.  We have been tremendously affected because our imports have been
reduced due to all of those factors we have mentioned.  Among those factors
is the fact that the currencies with which we have to pay have become much
more expensive.  The currencies we are talking about are the currencies of
the countries with which we trade.  We do not trade with the United States;
we are prohibited from trading with the United States.  Therefore, if the
dollar drops we cannot take advantage of that and purchase with a dollar
that is worth less.  We must purchase with currencies that are more
expensive.  The price of sugar, natural disasters such as drought and
hurricanes, and export prices that were severely affected have all forced
us to make a tremendous effort.

However, you observe that we have not decreased the education budget in our
country; rather, it has increased.  You do not find a single unemployed
graduate among the thousands who graduate every year from our
teachers' schools.  We have a reserve of 18,000 grammar school teachers who
are employed in training professors and teachers.  We send thousands to
study and pay them their salaries, and we employ the teachers fresh out of
school to teach.

You don't find a nurse here who is unemployed.  You don't find a doctor
unemployed here.  Our health programs have not been decreased, either.  We
are graduating more than 3,000 doctors.  You have not been able to see the
family doctor system yet.

We have a really novel primary health assistance system.  It is new; such a
system does not exist in any other country.  It is developing
extraordinarily rapidly in our country.  Our average life expectancy has
increased; the mortality rate during the first year of life keeps
decreasing.  Our health programs continue to improve; our culture, our
sports, and our economy continue developing despite problems because we use
our resources rationally, and we do not have flights of dollars here.  The
only way a dollar can leave is by swimming, by making use of the gulf
stream, crossing the gulf, and landing in the United States. [applause]

Domestic policy is very important, but at the Nonaligned Movement, the
Group of 77, SELA, etc, the only practical way of really uniting the people
is to invite them to struggle for matters that are of common interest.  We
cannot go around telling governments: Hey, stop passing reactionary laws,
distribute what you have in a better way, put an end to privileges, impede
corruption and theft.  We cannot appoint ourselves guides for those
countries, and we cannot go around telling them what to do domestically.

This is why in those battles we are united with those governments, as
united as all of us are here at this conference, despite religious,
political, and other differences.

That is how we also try to get these countries to join together toward a
common goal.  But we cannot meddle in their domestic affairs.  I completely
agree, I perfectly understand, and I think you are absolutely right when
you say that domestic policies play an important role.  I would say they
not only play an important role, they play a decisive role, but this is a
matter that each nation must resolve.  We want to be united.  A priority
right now is this struggle for a new economic order to liquidate the debt,
to have a possibility of survival, and right now this is more important
than social changes because we can do nothing in terms of social changes if
we have nothing or very little to share.

One good example of just how important domestic policy is is what is
happening in Cuba in the face of a very difficult situation.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of any other Latin American country.
Their education budgets have been diminishing every year, the budget per
student has been going down every year.  This is where economic problems
first have an impact.  The countries with an underdeveloped capitalist
system have always a more or less grave situation, regardless of the
resources the country may have, and it is always the working people who
suffer there.  Education, health, food, and the standard of living--all the
programs suffer and deteriorate in those countries.

What do they spend on education?  It is said that the U.S.  Air Force
spends more money each year than is spent on the education of 1.2 billion
children from the Third World.

At a moment of crisis such as this it is the workers, the students, the
people who suffer the most because of unjust distribution policies, because
of the exploitation that exists in those countries.

So, I totally agree with your observation.  I urge you and those like you
to do research.  I will take advantage of your question to urge you to find
and publish a scientific and theoretical explanation of this problem.

[Speaker] I believe I am interpreting the feelings of all the delegates now
when I express to our commander in chief our appreciation for his presence
at this student conference.  We also want thank the delegates who have been
with us all along for this congress, at this conference.  There are more
than 524 delegates, from 216 organizations and 127 countries, who have been
with us during these work sessions.  We want to thank them for their
presence and to tell them that we and especially our organizations will
rise to the challenge of sustaining the same level of energy generated by
the 15th Union of International Students Congress and this student
conference until they are held again.  Thank you very much. [applause]

[Castro] I want to apologize because you have questions, interesting
questions to ask, but we are running the risk of wearing ourselves out, you
and me, the risk of losing interest in this dialogue.  And for this reason
I find it suitable to put an end to this exchange of ideas.  I also want to
say that I am very satisfied with the essence of the subjects that have
been discussed and with the importance of the questions that have been
asked.  We could have run the risk of spending time on less important
issues.  We have been allowed to elaborate on and to talk about issues that
are central, essential, in today's world.

I am satisfied because it has been well worth the mental effort necessary
to accomplish this kind of task and because I believe that of all the
debates, of all the dialogues, we have had, this is one of the best in
which I have participated.

Thank you very much, comrades. [applause]