Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Santiago Paper Carries Interview With Castro

PY2302182889 Santiago COSAS in Spanish
16 Feb 89 pp 76, 77

[Interview with President Fidel Castro by COSAS journalist Andre Jouffe on
4 February at the Caracas Hilton in Caracas, Venezuela]

[Text] [Jouffe] Well, Commander, they say that you collect women...

[Castro] How can I collect women?  It would be impossible, because women
would have to be shared by many collectors.  It has been said that I have a
number of girlfriends...beginning with Gina Lollobrigida.

[Jouffe] But you cannot deny that you collect watches, beginning with the
one that Gina Lollobrigida gave you...

[Castro] You invent so many things.  You are specialists in the creation of

[Jouffe] You have said that Christian principles are observed in Cuba.

[Castro] Look, a lot has already been said about my education under the
Jesuits, and I gave my viewpoints in the book written by Friar Beto.  I
reiterate, however, that I feel great respect for religion.  There may have
been conflicts with the church, but weren't there conflicts during the
French Revolution, the Spanish civil war, and the in the life of Simon
Bolivar?  I can assure you that no priest, no matter how intimately
connected with the oligarchy, was executed in Cuba.  In Cuba we teach not
to kill, not to steal, not to desire the women of one's fellow men... Those
are Christian principles.

[Jouffe] You skipped the verb to fornicate.

[Castro] Well, that depends on the partner... (Castro smiles) It is not
forbidden in Cuba.  Look, do you know who were the communists in ancient
Rome?  They were the Christians who were brought to the circus, where they
were killed.  One of the most fascinating revolutionary events is the
history of Christianity.  I wish we could, like Christ, multiply fish,
bread, and wine for everyone in Cuba.

[Jouffe] Can people freely go to Church?

[Castro] Yes.

[Jouffe] Any possibility of the pope visiting Cuba?

[Castro] I wish he would visit us.  It would be a distinguished honor to
talk with him.  For some time now I have contacted the pope.  He is a major
figure who plays a role that is highly respected by Catholics.  I sent him
reports that deal particularly with the foreign debt so that he may become
aware of our views.

[Jouffe] You are a close friend of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Do you feel you
are in "The Autumn of the Patriarch"?

[Castro] On the contrary.  I feel I am in the spring of the patriarch.

[Jouffe] What do you do to stay in the spring?

[Castro] I stopped smoking, which was very painful...

[Jouffe] So you did not stop smoking because you had cancer...

[Castro] That is what some people would have liked...I take physical
exercises, I swim underwater and I keep my mind in constant exercise
because a lot is always requested of in this interview.

I attach much importance to physical exercise because it allows the blood
to bathe all brain cells.  Since you mentioned "The Autumn of the
Patriarch," Gabo (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) has said that Simon Bolivar had
many love affairs, some of which might be myths.  He always hands me the
originals of his novels for me to read before publication.

[Jouffe] Is lovemaking one of the exercises that keeps you young?

[Castro] One should not do without lovemaking.

[Jouffe] It is said that you sleep very little.  It has even been said that
early in the morning you knocked at the doors of the presidents who were
attending the inauguration of Carlos Andres Perez...

[Castro] I do sleep, of course I sleep.  I even take advantage of my
traveling by car to recover some sleep.  I choose the early hours of the
day for interviews because neither I nor my colleagues have anything to do
at those hours.  Back to the "Patriarch" though:  I do not deny that I can
no longer climb mountains as I did in the past.  However, I remain the

[Jouffe] Is Cuba the same?  Haven't there been mistakes?  Hasn't Fidel
Castro changed a bit?

[Castro] I remain the same.  Mistakes?  Of course there were mistakes.  At
that time the United States was like the master of Latin America, and we
saw all the governments of the continent as allies of the CIA.  Times have
changed.  We are now different, just like Latin America is now different,
almost independent from U.S. influence.  We believe in the new democracies
and we do not believe that revolution is the only way to solve the problems
of the people.

I admit that we made many mistakes out of our lack of maturity and out of
inexperience.  Of course we made mistakes.  We sided with the most radical
sector, and instead of being black and white we became red and black... If
we had been more mature, we would have avoided isolation and boycott.  You
should recall though, that we lived in the middle of imperialism, of
blockades, of the Playa Giron and Bay of Pigs invasions...

[Jouffe] Frankly speaking, on one occasion you referred to the "new Soviet
situation" with some irony.  Is it true that you do not get along very will
with Gorbachev?

[Castro] Communication with Gorbachev has always been excellent.  The
paternalist type imposed by his predecessors was lost with Gorbachev.  He
is seeking "his" formulas for the development of the Soviet people.  But we
are the Caribbean and perhaps perestroyka would not have the same effects
here.  For example, I believe that participation does not benefit anyone...
Gorbachev treats me on an equal basis, with consideration and frankness.  I
wish him stability and development for his country.  He needs perestroyka
to find solutions to Soviet economic problems.

[Jouffe] Which Soviet leader was the most difficult to communicate with?

[Castro] Really not with anyone but... with Brezhev in the last stage...

[Jouffe] Where you not afraid to come to Venezuela?

[Castro] I was not afraid, but some people who like me were afraid.  They
were afraid of dynamite...a bomb in the airplane...recalling Bosh (the
attack on the Cubana de Aviacion DC-8).  They were saying farewell as If I
was going to a funeral, my own funeral...but I could not disappoint the
people who invited me.  How could I disappoint Carlos Andres and the
intellectuals who invited me?

[Jouffe] Commander, when is Cuba going to open up like the other countries?

[Castro] Look, every country lies its own situation, it has its own
peculiarities.  We did not have Stalin, the Russian-style agrarian reform,
etc.  We are from the Caribbean.  Some people talk about a plebiscite.  For
what?  What is better than the democracy we are practicing?  We practice
democracy in a different style.

[Jouffe] Against a wall?

[Castro] People talk about the victims of the executions and not about the
people to whom we are giving housing, health, and education.  Is that not
saving lives?  People also forget that we were going through the times of
McCarthyism...of blockades and attempts to get power away from us.  This
was an environment different from the one now prevailing.  I would like to
reiterate that we made mistakes by acting in an infantile manner.  We
wanted to copy traditional policies of socialist countries that did not go
along with our own peculiarities.

[Jouffe] But there was an attempt to export the revolution.

[Castro] We were looking at Latin America as a Yankee colony.  That is the
truth.  Therefore, we joined the most radical parties, the most committed
revolutions.  Furthermore, as divisions occurred in the left, we supported
the ultra leftists...because we felt them to be closer to us.  This did not
mean that we did not support democracy, and this is why we are here.  This
means that Cuba is open to receive other Latin American countries and vice
versa.  This is no the way it was in the past.  I was never even invited to
presidential inaugurations because of pressure by presidents who threatened
not to attend.

[Jouffe] It is said that the laws in your country are very harsh.

[Castro] It is inconceivable for a minister to steal in our country.  Latin
America has inherited from past governments a reputation of
maladministration of public funds.  It is not only the act of stealing but
the improper use of funds for parties, meetings, news conferences... We
fight against that in Cuba.  The laws there are indeed harsh.  If a worker
steals an ounce of rice under a capitalist system where everyone manages
his own business he can get back what he lost; but under socialism, where
the assets of the people are managed through many people, corruption must
be stopped.

[Jouffe] It is said that if Reagan was able to reach an agreement with the
Soviet Union, Bush will have a place in history if he is also able to reach
an agreement with Fidel Castro.

[Castro] When the Americans realize that Latin America is independent and
not a possession, then Bush would have a place in history.

[Jouffe] Are you willing to help?

[Castro] Of course.  The United States has learned to coexist with
socialism based on two historic events:  its relations with China and with
the Soviet Union.

[Jouffe] What is the worst thing that could be happening to you?

[Castro] Being enclosed in this room of the Hilton.  I look like a
prisoner.  I have seen nothing of this city after so many years.

Comparison of Castro Meeting With Intellectuals

Havana Television Cubana Network in Spanish at 0200 GMT on 9 February
carries recorded coverage of President Fidel Castro's meeting with
intellectuals in Caracas, Venezuela on 4 February.  The Havana Television
Cubana Network version has been compared to the Caracas Venezolana de
Television Canal 8 Spanish version broadcast at 2018 Feb on 4 February and
published in the 7 February Latin America DAILY REPORT, page 39, revealing
the following variations:

Part 39, column two, antepenultimate paragraph, begin item as follows:
[Text] [Moderator] I have been given the unexpected honor of presenting, of
hosting this ceremony, in which the intellectuals and artists of Venezuela
will have the marvelous opportunity of exchanging opinions with the
commander, President Fidel Castro Ruz.  Naturally, when I was told of the
presentation, I thought about the traditional saying, which at this time is
more justified than ever:  This person needs no introduction. [laughter] In
any case, I need to introduce him, which I will do in the course of..
[interrupted by laughter, applause].  I will do this as events unfold.

I know that a moment such as this, an occasion such as this, does not
frequently occur, when we have the opportunity to have direct contact, a
conversation, with one of the personalities of the century.  I think that
the best thing is to proceed and begin this contact, this conversation.

The gentleman on my right wants to speak.  [laughter] (providing additional

Same column, paragraph two, last sentence, make read: into now.

Basically, I wish... (picking up at page 40, column one, paragraph five,
first sentence, deleting material)

Page 40, column two, paragraph one, sentence three, make read:  ...I was
not worried about security problems because I think that running risks is
our fate:  it is our duty.  (picking up at column two, paragraph two,
sentence two, deleting material)

Column two, paragraph two, sentence five, make read:  ...traumatic for our
people.  More than 1 million... (picking up at column two, paragraph four,
first sentence, deleting material)

Page 41, column two, paragraph three, sentence eight, make read:  ...and
took off.  So then I was coming with one... (providing indistinct words,

Page 42, column one, paragraph one, last sentence, make read:  ...the boss?

[Moderator] We will now proceed to present... (deleting sentence)

Same column, paragraph four, last sentence, make read:  ...are perfectly
aware--because Cuba is an active member of the SELA--of the functions,
objectives, and goals of this Latin American organization.  I am not
mentioning the SELA, or the Latin American Economic System, to use it as a
mere reference:  but to say this here and, especially, to ask you opinion.

If this Latin American organization was created successfully and is very
well connected in its spirit, content, and scope to the task of Latin
American integration, why have initiatives not been taken so far for the
creation of a Latin American Information System, SELA?  It would be an
instrument for the creation, or it may be used to create, a
regionalization, a common market of knowledge, a common market of thought,
a common market of ideas that are characteristic of and particular to our
region.  It could be used to look for the valid alternatives for the
liberation of our Latin American peoples by implementing or using the
disciplines of cultural and industrial sciences for the region's
integration plan so that the passive role, the expectative role of Latin
America, could be changed into an active and leading role in the
international scientific system.  These are the basic elements of my
question.  Commander.  Excuse me.

[Castro] Yes, stay, stay.  I believe you are mainly referring to the matter
of information.  That is the question, isn't it?  What you say is very
interesting.  Some organizations have been created, such as SELA, which you
mentioned.  The SELA was created over 10 years ago.  I don't know exactly
when it was created.

[Malave] In 1975

[Castro] Well, the SELA was created 14 years ago.  I believe that the
creation of a Latin American and Caribbean organization was an important
step.  It was truly a step forward, but it is far from being enough, very
far.  In my view, more possibilities are opening up for it at this time.

You are presenting a new idea, it is a truly new idea--at least I had not
heard about it--an idea of creating a Latin American information system.
Are you referring to general information, of all types?

[Malave] Not news as such, but scientific, cultural, and economic

[Castro] Of course, scientific.  That kind of system could also have some
sort of information on political matters.  It would be very useful even if
what you are suggesting alone was done.  If it could also help us have
better political information, it would be an even more comprehensive idea.
Its importance is very obvious, inasmuch as we get our information on many
of these subjects through international companies controlled by developed
capitalist countries and the United States.

We have to see the way in which we are being indoctrinated in all fields,
even culturally.  Perhaps one of the most terrible things in our countries
is the amount of canned propaganda we get from all kinds of programs, which
leads to a terrible deformation, disinformation, and deformation [repeats

So, you have presented an idea in a few words.  I believe this idea should
be developed, should be developed [repeats himself] and promoted.  One
would have to also think and reflect on the way it can be put into
practice.  It is very important.  Institutions need to be created.  They
cannot remain as ideas.  We cannot wait forever to obtain some results.

I believe it is not only the will of men that determines the creation of
institutions and the success of institutions, but also the objective
factors.  I believe the SELA is going to become more important in light of
the current crisis our peoples are suffering.  I believe all these
institutions come up out of necessity, and not as a good or pleasant idea.
They come up because of life's needs and what the current processes impose
on us.

The need for vital integration could have been seen as a dream--difficult
under those conditions in those societies with virtually no communications
in such large territories--in the traits inherited from colonial times.
What Bolivar said so long ago, what Bolivar said over 150 years ago and
seemed to be the work, the idea, of a visionary man, today it is a matter
of life or death.  Today it is a matter essential to the survival of our
people in every sense.

I believe more in integration today, not because it is a beautiful idea but
because it is vital, it is a matter of life or death for our people in
every field.  If we do not carry out those ideas and those goals, we would
be committing suicide.  They are not easy.  I repeat, they do not depend
solely on the will of men or the will of governments; they also depend on
situations that do not give room for other alternatives.

This is why there is more of an awareness of unity and integration.  It can
be seen, it can be felt, in the atmosphere and in many things.

I could cite an example.  Cuba is a good gauge because it has lived a
special experience for 30 years.  We were left alone, completely alone,
until the time that new situations were created.  Let's talk about the
battle waged regarding the U.S. plans to put Cuba in the defendant's chair
in Geneva.  It was a terrible campaign.  Enormous pressures were brought to
bear.  Numerous stories were told about the Cuban Revolution based on lies,
on vulgar and filthy lies to put us there in the defendant's chair.  The
United States had made several efforts before and exerted much pressure.
An incredible situation of Latin American unity was created there at the
Human Rights Commission.  Argentina, Peru, Columbia--a country with which
we don't even have diplomatic relations--and Venezuela created a common
front and defeated that plan.

Then, it resumed the campaign even stronger [words indistinct] as it had
never done before.  We we decided to take an initiative:  for us to invite
the commission to visit.  The campaign was defeated again through this
mechanism.  We were already concerned over the pressures that were being
exerted.  These are new situations.  Compare them with the first years of
the revolution.  The United States gave orders.

There is a new feeling which also responds to objective conditions.  I
believe there had never been such an awareness of the way we have been
looted and exploited.  The foreign debt issue has been a tremendous
awareness factor for public opinion and governments.  I mention public
opinion because it has been very important.

I remember that in 1985, when we were waging the foreign debt battle, most
public opinion believed that the debt should be paid.  They looked at it
almost through the experience of a family unit that needs credit to buy
something at the grocery store.  This happened to me.  How many times when
I was a student and even shortly after I graduated did I need credit from
the grocery store.  They almost looked at the debt as something similar to
the commitments they had with the grocer.  They didn't think of who assumed
it.  The debts were assumed without the people's consent.  They were
tyrannical and repressive governments that didn't have congresses or
anything.  They mortgaged the countries.  They lost the money, or embezzled
it, or fled with it: however, the masses still could no see that.  I
remember this was the case in 1985 when we were waging the battle.  Some
polls were conducted in some countries and up to 70 percent of the people
said the foreign debt had to be paid because it was a commitment.  I doubt
there is 10 percent saying that the debt has to be paid.  It must have gone
from 20 percent of those who believed the debt should not be paid to 80 or
90 percent.  Nobody knows where it can go.

The problem itself created an awareness.  The protectionist measures, the
abuses committed, and the growing unequal trade have created an awareness
in the masses, in the people, in governments.  So, it is not the will of
men but the facts that little by little turn into an awareness of the
problems and the search for solutions.  I believe that in this situation,
the idea you present should be developed, it should be given substance.  I
believe it is very important because it could be a very important
instrument.  This may be the right time.  We could think about which
government could take the initiative, who is in the best position to make
it possible.  I don't know how you conceive of it--I believe official
cooperation is needed for an agency of that type.  This is going to be more
difficult than the signatures you gathered. [laughter]

I even thought:  Where have they gotten the money to make those statements
public?  I was told that collections were made.  This makes it even more
admirable.  We need official cooperation.  I don't know if you have thought
along those lines when you talk of that agency, SILA.  You have already
named it?

[Malave] Yes.  The Latin American Information System.

[Castro] The Latin American Information System as a complement of the other
institutions.  Have you thought about who could materialize that idea?
Perhaps an institution?  Have you thought that perhaps the SELA itself
could do it?

[Malave] Through the initiative of many Latin American countries which
would be interested in the project.

[Castro] Of course, you could count on us for this.  I say that it is
worthwhile to continue developing the idea.  It is important.  I believe it
is a logical thing.  Is this not true?  All right, thank you very much.

[Malave] Thank you, Commander. [applause]

[Moderator] Dr. Ricardo Molina Marti, Chairman of the Venezuelan Council
for Peace and Human Rights.  Please.

[Molina] Very briefly. [laughter] President Fidel Castro.  First of all, I
want to express our happiness at your presence in Venezuela after a 30-year
absence.  During that time you were present in Venezuela with your work and

You made reference to the campaign of attacks and slanders before you came
to Venezuela.  Indeed it was a matter of concern.  We thought that that
campaign of attacks and slanders was not only aimed at you and Cuba but
also at the government that was inviting you in a respectful way.  We can
say today that the Venezuelan people, all the Venezuelan people, have never
shared that disastrous policy of slanders and aggressions.

EL NACIONAL newspaper published today an interview with the Brazilian
anthropologist Dersi Ribeiro.  He says, among other things, that the world
expects that the future civilization will emerge from Latin America.
Perhaps this is somewhat utopian thinking, but it can become a reality.
Playing the role of a journalist--I am a physician.  I ask the journalists
to excuse me--I would ask you:  What points of agreement do you think
should exist in Latin America to begin to prepare in a forceful way to
make the statement made by Ribeiro a reality?

[Castro] Well, first of all, it is a nice thesis.  I believe it is
credible.  I believe we have the potential for it.  I also believe that the
role of our America--as Marti called it-- is potentially very big, very big
[repeats himself].  If new things can be expected in the future of a region
of the world, it would be of this one.  It is no longer from Europe.  It is
no longer from the United States.  It is no longer from Asia.  We have
received new news from all those hemispheres, important events have taken
place at various historic times.

The Europe of today is a different thing--the same Europe that waged so
many wars for centuries.  Those who studied history--when we were high
school students we were told about the 30-Years War, well, the 7-Year War,
the 10-Year War, and even the 100-Year War--they spent a century fighting
among each other.  In the end, today Europe is industrialized.  It has a
common market.  It will wipe out its customs barriers by 1992.  It has a
supranational parliament.  It is even taking steps toward forming not only
economic but also political integration.  But what can the world expect
from Europe?  It was a metropolis, it colonized, it looted us, it developed
with our resources.  We financed it.  We, who today do not have anyone who
can finance us.  We financed it with the blood of millions and perhaps
hundreds of millions of lives of Indians, slaves, and blacks.  This is
Europe.  What can we expect from it?  Much more than its protectionist
measures, its selfish economic positions.

Great things were expected from China.  Well, Japan emerged as a great
industrial power.  The Chinese revolution took place.  It was a very
important event in modern times.  What can we expect of the United States
What can the world expect?  however, I believe the world can expect a lot
from Latin America.  Especially the so-called Third World, the developing
world, or, better said, the underdeveloped world.  It is not a developing
world but an underdeveloped world.  The gap grows between those
industrialized countries and us.  I would say that we are truly the region
of the future.  It is a region from which the world can expect more
changes, new things.

When we were waging the battle against the debt in 1985, we sponsored in
Havana meetings of workers, peasants, students, journalists, women,
political figures, and labor unions.  We said Latin America was the region
that was in the best shape to wage this battle.  It was not Africa, and I
explained why:  because of the situation, the poverty of Africans, the
specific problems of Africa.  I didn't see it in Asia, I didn't see it in
Africa, I saw in Latin America the [words indistinct] the region of the
world that was in the best shape to wage and lead the Third World battle
because of many factors which would be too long to list.  We were the best
prepared to carry out that task.

Our potential is huge:  first of all, because of our human potential.
[Words indistinct] nothing to envy of other regions of the world from the
point of view of human potential.  The cultural potential:  I think of what
it would be like to unite the cultures o all of our peoples.  We would have
nothing to envy of other regions of the world in our creative capabilities.
I think of our economic potential.  We would not have to envy any region of
the world regarding our natural and economic resources.

I think of the spirit of our peoples stimulated by the challenges we have
before us.  I can truly share that thesis.  Of course, it is about to be
implemented, is about to be carried out.  It is truly difficult task, but
sooner or later it will be fulfilled because we have no alternative.  If
that doesn't happen, what is in store for us?  I believe in the instinct of
our people, the ability of our peoples to wage the battles they have to
wage so that we can reach those goals.

We gave special importance to some economic factors because they were the
most pressing ones, the ones that could unite us.  I believe we have to
wage a battle on behalf of the Third World and together with the Third
World.  We are in better condition than any other region of the world to
wage it.  We are in the best condition to make greater contributions.  I
had not mentioned, for example, the socialist community in Europe.  It made
great contributions.  But I believe we are the ones, the present and future
generations, who have to play the role that was mentioned.

This is in general how I see the problem.  I am also very confident of our
people, without underestimating, without dreaming, without ignoring the
huge difficulties we have to overcome.  I believe in objective conditions
more than in leaders.  Objective conditions shape the figures, shape the
leaders, the great leaders of independence: Bolivar, Sucre, or the Mexican
patriots, or Marti, who is our most exceptional figure.  They were not a
product of the 15th, 16th, or 17th centuries.  They were a product of the
18th century.  They were a product of the circumstances of the world at the
time and the luminaries, the wise men, the figures that emerged from that.
The process itself, the objective needs of the process, will create the
figures, leaders, and cadres.  This is what this kind of task entails.

If one begins to think of what is happening today in each of the countries,
one would see that there are many problems.  Although we have made progress
in the matter of union, integration, actually of unity, there is an immense
road before us.  Circumstances determine the fact that we are here together
after 30 years, after 30 years [repeats himself].  This is significant.
The fact that we visited Mexico after 30 years, the fact that we visited
Quito after 30 years, means we are in a new stage.  We have been invited to
participate.  We are considered a part of them.  I believe the objective
conditions have opened the doors to these new possibilities.

I have seen changes in these 30 years.  One of the things which has
impressed me most is that I have seen a new Venezuelan generation.  It is
impressive.  I myself have to start thinking to see if I can explain some
of the phenomena I have seen here.  This is one of the unique phenomena.  I
am trying to find an answer to see how this can be explained.

Propaganda and all that was talked about.  It was not a month-long
propaganda.  There have been 30 years of propaganda against Cuba.  30 years
[repeats himself]. I believe that a country could have been developed with
the billions that imperialism has spent on propaganda against Cuba.  What
happened in the last few weeks since there was talk about the possibility
this visit was an expression of all that, it was a culmination of all that.
They must have thought that they had crushed all anti-imperialist ideas,
all feelings of rebellion and insurgency against the powers of the empire.
Perhaps they thought that Caracas was the safest place to halt that
unitarian sentiment, this new practice of inviting Cuba to international
events, and that this would be a sort of Waterloo for that policy, or that
this was going to be a disaster.  I would say that this would have been the
most difficult place because of the work of 30 years here and everywhere.

Of course, we have already had experience in other places, such as the
Nonaligned Movement, in which Cuba was even given the honor of being the
host country and chairing that movement.  While the United States isolated
us from Latin America, our relations developed tremendously with the rest
of the Third World.  Cuba acquired prestige, authority, respect.  We have
had evidence that simple propaganda does not destroy ideas, no matter have
massive it is. [applause]

People have an instinct that illuminates them, that makes them see.  I have
personally experienced this in many places of the world.  I have seen that
ultimately propaganda had an inverted effect.  It almost helped to increase
Cuba's prestige in many places, although it has helped to create
considerable confusion about the reality and the truth of the Cuban
Revolution.  They have painted our good and bad things with such somber
colors that when people come to Cuba they expect to find Dante's "Inferno."
What they see are some things that don't belong to the inferno.

Many times, all this even increases admiration for us.  This is why I say
that one has to trust people.  I believe this struggle is of historic
significance--this struggle against lies, slanders, biased propaganda used
to confuse and deceive people.  This has to be very stimulating for all of
us in the sense of the possibilities that these conditions you are talking
about are created.

A Marti thought comes to my mind:  Men do not shape the people:  people are
the ones who shape and create men.  This is true here and anywhere.  Lenin
did not exist in the 16th century.  He would have been three times as wise.
Marx did not exist in the 17th century.  He would have been ten times as
wise... [changes thought] Marx emerges with the Industrial Revolution, at
the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the working class developed and
all those problems and situations were created.

So, let us not be discouraged even if we think that there are no
outstanding men.  The peoples are going to create these men.  Men is merely
a term.  These terms are not going to play the role they played in other
times.  The role of individuals becomes less and less important.
Intelligence is more and more of a collective nature.  Creations are more
and more a result of groups and not of men.  All those groups, all those
cadres, are the ones that are going to create the people.  Therefore, no
matter how difficult these dreams may seem to be, without being an
extremely optimistic man--he who is not optimistic should refrain from
engaging in a project beforehand--I believe in this idea, in this
principle.  I believe that our hemisphere, our Latin America-- as Marti
called it to distinguish it from to other one--has an enormous potential,
and I believe it will have an enormous influence in the world. [applause]

[Moderator] Dr. Luis Navarrete Dorta, professor of the Humanities School of
the Central University of Venezuela.  [applause]

[(Navarrete)] Good evening Commander.  These are three works.  One is a
collective work of a group of people who want to [words indistinct] the
possibility of building a new world.  This magazine [words indistinct]
dialogue.  We are a group [someone in the crowd says:  "I can't hear"] that
are hopeful for the future of Latin America.  This is another work of a
group of Venezuelan intellectuals who have material of the new
revolutionary mentality of the world.  This is a personal work.  I wanted
to simply read the statement as a salute to you.  I am going to read.

Commander Fidel, the Venezuelan intellectuals and our people are full of
joy because of your visit.  Marti and your people have traveled with you.
Welcome. [applause]  I have two questions, or rather two topics.  (picking
up with page 42, column one, paragraph five, first sentence, providing
material from 20-minute station break)

Same paragraph, sentence five, make read:  ...early 1970's, some left-wing
Latin American ideologists... (supplying world "left-wing")

Page 43, column one, paragraph one, sentence one, make read:  ...popular
and progressive governments in that, despite the fact... (supplying
indistinct word)

Page 44, column two, paragraph two, sentence three, made read:
...socialism, we would first have to... [Castro... (clearing queried word)