Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Comments on Central America

PA0502050389 Caracas Venezolana de Television Canal 8 in Spanish 0323 GMT 5
Feb 89

[Text] During a news conference held today, Cuban leader Fidel Castro said
that it is possible to arrange talks to find a solution to Central American
problems.  He was replying to a question by our colleague Alexis Rosas.

[Begin Castro recording] I think the United States, as much as Latin
America, needs that dialogue.  The United States, as much as Latin America,
needs to cooperate to find a solution to this crisis.  I think everybody
needs it, because if developments continue as they are, there is no telling
where they will lead.  It may be... [changes thought]  I said this is a
subversive or destabilizing factor.  I think if they--the United States and
Latin America--behave logically, they must initiate that dialogue.  In
addition, there have been reports, rumors, and talk about that.

I have the impression--which is not the same as just being optimistic, as I
am neither optimistic nor pessimistic on this matter--I have the impression
[repeats himself] the U.S. Government, with its current administration, is
much more aware of the seriousness of the problem.  Therefore, this
increases the possibility of talks.  There are reports to that effect from
different sources.  That was your second question.  What was the third?

[Rosas] The question was about...

[Castro, interrupting] I cannot read my own writing here.

[Rosas] It was about expectations for the San Salvador meeting on 13 and 14
February regarding the Central American problem.

[Castro] I can honestly tell you that in this respect I am relatively
optimistic.  [laughter]  I say that because of the impressions I got from
the meetings [not further specified].  In fact, I participated in some of
them.  Carlos Andres Perez held a meeting with the Central American
leaders.  Alan Garcia was there, and I was invited to participate.  I
talked to Daniel Ortega.  The next day there was another meeting, but I was
unable to attend because I had commitments with many people here.  I asked
Comrade Carlos Rafael Rodriguez to attend the meeting on behalf of our
delegation.  He got a good impression too.  I know the Sandinists are
really willing to find solutions--solutions that are not easy.  However, I
know they are determined to work toward that goal.  At one stage, it was
not known if there was going to be a summit or not.  Carlos Andres Perez
and Oscar Arias--practically all the presidents--were concerned the meeting
would not yield results.  They wanted to ensure results.  I know they have
made progress.  If the meeting is held--there are still a few days left to
go--it would be a good sign, because the presidents were acting on the
premise it should not be held unless there were going to be results.  These
elements of good judgment and, especially, the willingness, flexibility,
and commitment of the Sandinists make me relatively optimistic about the
possibilities of success.  [end recording]