Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Cuba's Castro Conducts Interview on National TV
Rio de Janeiro Rede Globo Television
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000004874
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PY1603032090
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-052          Report Date:    16 Mar 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     66
Report Division:     SOUTH AMERICA            End Page:       68
Report Subdivision:  Brazil                   AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Portuguese
Document Date:       15 Mar 90
Report Volume:       Friday Vol VI No 052


City/Source of Document:   Rio de Janeiro Rede Globo Television

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Cuba's Castro Conducts Interview on National TV

Author(s):   Enrique Amorim and Luis Garcia on 14 March; place unknown;
questions in Portuguese with Castro answering in Spanish with
superimposed Portuguese translation --recorded]

Source Line:   PY1603032090 Rio de Janeiro Rede Globo Television in Portuguese
0323 GMT 15 Mar 90

Subslug:   [``Exclusive'' interview with Cuban President Fidel Castro by
Enrique Amorim and Luis Garcia on 14 March; place unknown; questions
in Portuguese with Castro answering in Spanish with superimposed
Portuguese translation --recorded]

1.  [``Exclusive'' interview with Cuban President Fidel Castro by Enrique
Amorim and Luis Garcia on 14 March; place unknown; questions in Portuguese with
Castro answering in Spanish with superimposed Portuguese translation

2.  [Text] [Amorim] After all that is happening in the East European countries
and the Soviet Union, and recently in Lithuania, do you think that communism
still has a future?

3.  [Castro] It would not be quite correct to speak of communism as such
because we have always considered communism to be an earlier stage [as heard].
It would be more correct to speak of socialism. I am deeply convinced--I have
this certainty based on 30 years of working in our country--that there is no
better solution, or a better path for Cuba than the one on which we now are:
the path of socialism. Whether socialism will be the system of the future is
something that will be decided by each person as departed from their own

4.  [Amorim] You have said that Cuba is not the Soviet Union and that Cuba does
not need a perestroyka. But do you not think that the economic problems that
moved the Soviet Union to launch a perestroyka might force Cuba to launch its
own perestroyka?

5.  [Castro] Cuba is not the Soviet Union. Ours are two very different
countries, with different origins and idiosyncrasies. We have made mistakes
during our process of establishing socialism in Cuba, but we have also
accomplished a great many things. These mistakes were caused partly by our
desire to copy some things from other socialist countries.

6.  Perestroyka might be the answer to Soviet problems and the conclusion they
might arrive at in their own particular situation.

7.  Our rectification program stems from our convictions and our own analysis.
You mentioned possible problems in the future. We will not solve any problems
by applying other countries' prescriptions in Cuba. We have considered all the
possible problems that might arise as a consequence of changes in East Europe
and the Soviet Union. Our economic relations with the Soviet Union are quite
good. We do not have any problems there. The Soviets, despite their own
difficulties, are making every effort to fulfill their commitments to our

8.  We have already planned what we will do in our country, with the economy,
if the Soviets face real difficulties.  Our planning is based essentially on
the concept of resisting and overcoming any difficulty that might arise.

9.  [Garcia] Independent of whether or not the Soviet Union is fulfilling its
commitments to Cuba, it is certainly evident that there is some element of
tension in your relations with the Soviet Union. Articles have appeared in the
Soviet press attacking and criticizing Cuba, and this is something not seen
before. Are you concerned about this? Do you feel that because of the
ideological differences now apparent, you might face a cooling of relations, or
something worse?

10.  [Castro] I would not say there are any ideological differences since we
share the same objectives. I would say we follow different paths and different
procedures in response to different problems and different sitautions.

11.  If a Soviet publication criticizes Cuba--something we did not have before
--this criticism must be analyzed within the context of what is happening in
the Soviet Union today. There are a great number of opinions. I would say there
is much more criticism of the Soviet Union than of Cuba.

12.  It is not strange if someone wants to change the history of his own
country. They can also have a particular opinion of Cuba, but the relations
between our two countries do not have to change.

13.  We were criticized everyday in the past because they said we imitated the
Soviet Union. They also said we were a satellite. Today we are criticized
because we do not do things as the Soviets do. And I ask: When will we have the
right to do things exactly as we believe they should be done?

14.  [Amorim] How do you evaluate Secretary Gorbachev's role in the recent
political crisis that provoked the collapse of communist regimes in East
Europe? What about the Soviet pressure on Nicaragua to hold elections?

15.  [Castro] What happened in the Soviet Union has obviously influenced events
in East Europe. I believe they knew exactly what was going to happen in East
Europe when they worked out the programs of change in the Soviet Union. There
was an influence, but each country followed its own path, according to its own
process, its force, its relations with the people. They were also other factors
showing they made great mistakes in these countries.

16.  Regarding Nicaragua I can testify--because I maintain very good relations
with Nicaraguans, and always had very good contacts and exchange with the
Soviets--that the Soviets played absolutely no role in the Nicaraguan
elections. They never exerted any pressure whatsoever.  You can ask [Venezuelan
President] Carlos Andres Perez or other Latin American leaders, with whom I
spoke in Ecuador, Mexico and Caracas. The Sandinists discussed this issues in a
meeting with various Central American leaders including Carlos Andres and
others. Daniel Ortega was there, of course, but the Sandinists already had an
election in 1983 or 1984. They were planning future elections and exchanging
opinions with other Latin American leaders. When Carlos Andres took over in
Venezuela, Daniel was discussing the holding of municipal and other elections
at the end of the year. He decided to hold a single election because of the
expense.  I witnessed all this. The Soviets did not influence the process at

17.  [Garcia] Talking about the future, what chances do you see for
rapprochement between Havana and the United States, and the OAS member
countries? What do you think about an integration proposal, something similar
to the Alliance for Progress, that may include Cuba or a new type of
rapprochement at a hemispheric level?

18.  [Castro] People talk about Cuba's isolation. We were much more isolated in
1965. Nowadays we have strong relations with the Third World, with Africa and
Asia, which we did not have 20 years ago. I do not see why we should talk about
isolation due to problems affecting East European countries, and the Soviet
Union. As for a new Alliance for Progress, if the United States were bright
enough, they would have thought about it. The Alliance for Progress was created
after the Cuban Revolution. They created a policy for Latin America. Right now
their mind is focused on Europe and they have forgotten about Latin America.
The chances of a new Alliance for Progress are very slim and even slimmer that
they may include Cuba at a time when, they believe, Cuba will not be able to
handle the difficulties that may surface in this time of excitement and
prepotency when they talk about settling accounts with Cuba. Should such an
initiative arise, we are willing to continue working, as we have done so far,
and to strengthen our ties with Latin America.

19.  [Amorim] Brazil and Cuba have been victims of the manipulation of the
international sugar market by rich industrialized countries. Many times these
rich industrialized countries have pitted Brazil and Cuba against each other.
Why do Brazil and Cuba not establish a sugar alliance?

20.  [Castro] We are willing, and would do so with pleasure.  Our countries
need not compete in this field because there is a large enough sugar market in
the world, and not only in the socialist world which will continue to consume
sugar.  The PRC is a huge market; its population grows at a rate of 100 million
per year. We would be pleased to cooperate with Brazil in that field.

21.  [Amorim] Is there any chance of another political party governing Cuba? Is
there any chance of elections, such as those in Nicaragua, in Cuba?

22.  [Castro] I am going to answer the entire question. In the first place, we
would have to assess Latin America's situation as a whole. We have to face the
truth. Latin America's economic and social situation is terrible, and nobody
can say how bad it will get if our countries' problems or not solved soon.
Therefore, we cannot talk about theories because no theory is certain.
Pinochet, himself, held every, or almost every, power in Chile.  There is no
need for any type of elections in Cuba because we have our own sort of
elections. Our elections are not similar to those in East Europe or the Soviet
Union. They are quite different because they were designed by us. I think it
would take too long to explain our process but I think we could hold a debate
to see whether our system, or any other, is more democratic.

23.  [Amorim] Mr. President, we have to end our interview but I would like to
ask you a last question. Why can we not buy Cuban cigars in Brazil. Is your
bureaucracy or our bureaucracy to blame for this?

24.  [Castro] No, no. Both may be blamed for it.