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Castro on Pinochet Defeat, Divided Opposition

FL0710015888 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 2301 GMT 6 Oct 88

[Interview with President Fidel Castro by reporter Oscar Suarez at
Havana's William Soler Hospital on 6 October, for the "Exclusivo"

[Suarez] Some Cuban journalists feel, as you said yesterday in the ceremony
[expressing solidarity with Chile], that Pinochet has fallen into his own
trap but now is going to try to give the appearance of democracy for the
next elections, if they are held.  What do you think about this?

[Castro] Yesterday, I said that one of the things he may do is present
himself again as a candidate against a divided opposition.

The worst damage done to this process during the past 15 years has been the
division of the opposition forces.  That has been the worst thing and it
can continue to influence events.  Pinochet may even be counting on this

However, nothing can be said until we see the effects that defeat will
produce on the situation in the country.  (?Historically), a defeat for a
regime such as Pinochet's (?results) in repression and force. There could
be consequences in the short or long term. That is why it is to difficult
to predict now what will happen.

Events have to be observed.  One must see how much loyalty remains for
Pinochet.  He got about 40 percent of the votes.  We have to see how much
manipulation occurred, how much fraud took place.  It's very likely that
fraud did occur, technical fraud.  It's possible that many people voted
more than once in favor of Pinochet.

We still need some more news.  More information is needed.  Only in 72
hours or 1 week can we know more or less what direction the events will

[Suarez] But what is the true is that the unity of the Chilean people is
necessary.  That is what you suggested....

[Castro, interrupting] It was implicit in what I explained yesterday
because nothing legally prevents Pinochet, in accordance with the laws he
himself imposed, to declare himself a candidate.  He may think that he can
win a general election in view of a divided opposition.  We have to see if
that is what will happen, if they are that easy to manipulate, if he can
continue to dominate the situation or not.  We have to see if he can
maintain the cohesion of his own forces after such a defeat.  That's one of
the things we have to see.  We have to see what psychological effects the
defeat has had on the regime.  That won't be obvious. It can't be seen

[Suarez, interrupting] And the psychological effects....

[Castro, interrupting] It will take 72 hours or 1 week, maybe even 2
weeks, to see.

[Suarez,]  What do you think the psychological effects will be on the

[Castro] That's also difficult to say because they are divided.  They
should have had a greater influence, tendency toward unity.  They should
have the influence, I think that it is so clear, so clear [repeats himself]
that they have to unite.

They made a mistake by not uniting before the plebiscite and that is the
result of certain positions, such as trying to exclude the Communist Party,
which has struggled and has displayed many merits throughout this period of
time, throughout the history of Chile.  One cannot try to exclude important
forces.  It seems to us that all opposition forces have to unite.  That is
what we think, but the Chileans are the ones who have to decide this.  They
are the ones who have to decide this.

We'll have to see what the effects will be, but above all, what the
psychological effects will be on the system, on the regime.  We'll have to
wait and see.  It can affect a despotic regime, such as this.  A defeat can
make it very difficult to govern the country.  We have to wait and see what

Several factors will determine how the opposition acts, what direction they
will take.  If a certain type of dialogue is established between the Armed
Forces and the opposition, many things can happen.  It is difficult to