Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speaks to Young Artists Group

Remarks on Human Rights

FL150252 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0100 GMT 13 Mar 88

[Excerpts] Our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, first secretary of the PCC
Central Committee and president of the Councils of State and Ministers,
continues presiding over the National Council of the Saiz Brothers
Association of Young Writers and Artists which began at the Palace of
Conventions in Havana.  [passage omitted]

A very fruitful dialogue took place between Fidel and the delegates when
the supreme leader of the revolution found out that the association
presently does not even have a headquarters or the necessary means to
develop its work.

[Begin recording] [Castro] I want to ask a question.  What does the UNEAC
[National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists] have that the association
does not have?  You don't want this to be a small UNEAC?

[First speaker] No, we don't.

[Castro] So what do you want?

[Second speaker] We want to support the work of young artists.

[Castro] But how?  What do you need to do that?

[Second speaker] Commander, that is a very tempting question, very
tempting.  I will speak for myself.  I will not speak for the rest because
they may think differently.  I believe that one of the main things would be
the ability to create art without experiencing problems, without being on
the verge of a heart attack.

[Third speaker] I think the cultural matters should be resolved here.  We
need to prepare a draft proposal and present it to the government and
party leadership.  It should include what we need in terms of equipment,
installations, projects, so that the association can have a body, life,
form, and everything else.  I must add that the equipment and the
institution do not provide for or take care of many things we need but are
not provided by the leaders of the association.  You know that we have
often experienced the situation of lack of capable leaders to direct the
association in some places.  Quite often it has also been the case that
relations between the UJC [Union of Young Communists] and the association
in the various areas have not been very effective.  [end recording]

During one of the recesses, our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro spoke with
delegates of the National Council of the Hermanos Saiz Bridgade regarding
several subjects.  Among them, they spoke about the significant Latin
American victory in Geneva.

[Begin Castro recording, in progress] ... what we need to do now is to
invite as many people as possible.  Those terrible lies about tortures,
missing persons, murders, secret executions, and all that have been unjust,
wicked, secret executions, and all that have been unjust, wicked, deceitful
fabrications.  If you compare the case of Cuba with all the revolutionary
processes in history, from the time of Adam and Eve [crowd laughs] to
today, there isn't a case that can be compared to the Cuban revolution.  It
has been very consistent in following a strict line of certain norms.  We
have been very strict in that regard here.  If the cases they are
denouncing were true, everyone here would know about them.  I say:  Ask the
people.  You are insulting the people.  The state has followed a very
strict policy regarding all this.  It is infamous.  The United States used
all its power as if we were its only enemy today.  [end recording]

Another aspect was the pressure used by the U.S. Government and its
delegation on several countries so they would support its ideas.

[Begin Castro recording] In a meeting such as that one even its allies were
humiliated by U.S. pressures.  No country likes to have anything imposed on
it.  Now, regarding the threats they made to Third World countries and
Latin Americans, they had them between a rock and a hard place.  Well, they
said:  Abstain, abstain.  They get this one to abstain and buy another one.
They bought people there.  They did everything there, everything.  They
neutralized them.  They said:  Abstain because if you vote against us,
you'll see.  You will see the results in the World Bank, the IMF, the food
programs.  They can, in practice, veto most of those things.  They put the
countries in a hell of a bind.

Now what we have to do is invite a few more people, the Red Cross, [words
indistinct].  We can show them no country has better jails than Cuba, or
provides more services.  [end recording]