Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Discusses Agrarian Reform, Elections
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000007241
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PY2804002490
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-083          Report Date:    30 Apr 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     3
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       3
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       27 Apr 90
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 083


City/Source of Document:   Asuncion LA OPINION

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Discusses Agrarian Reform, Elections

Subheadline:   Comments on Human Rights

Author(s):   Augusto Barreto in Havana; date not given--first paragraph is

Source Line:   PY2804002490 Asuncion LA OPINION in Spanish 27 Apr 90 p 11

Subslug:   [``Exclusive'' interview with President Fidel Castro by Augusto
Barreto in Havana; date not given--first paragraph is introduction]

1.  [``Exclusive'' interview with President Fidel Castro by Augusto Barreto in
Havana; date not given--first paragraph is introduction]

2.  [Text] Asked about reports on alleged violation of human rights by the
Cuban Government, Fidel Castro said that such accusations were part of a U.S.
campaign against the revolution. Castro said that a phenomenon such as
Stalinism in the Soviet Union ``has never occurred in Cuba. We never had
purges. Whenever possible, we were generous with people who committed very
serious crimes.''

3.  [Barreto] What about the talk of tortured and missing people?

4.  [Castro] We never had a single case of tortured, murdered, or missing
people. Our people were educated to repudiate all kinds of torture, even in the
case of the worst criminals. This attitude is the consequence of our own
struggle against torture and crime. I can assure you, from what I know of past
and present history, that no other people have respected human dignity as our
revolution has.

5.  [Barreto] What about the case of Armando Valladares?

6.  [Castro] I can talk about that and many other cases. It does not matter
what the imperialist media shamelessly say. All counterrevolutionary elements
in Cuban jails left the country in very good health. Counterrevolutionaries
leaving Cuban jails were the healthiest prisoners in the world. I could give
you precise examples because we have nothing to hide in this respect.

7.  [Barreto] What examples, Commander?

8.  [Castro] We had 100 people killed and another 100 people injured when the
mercenaries that came from the United States invaded our country at Giron
Beach. Our forces liquidated the invasion and took 1,200 prisoners.  In wars,
soldiers sometimes fire against the enemy that surrender. But not a single one
of the 1,200 prisoners in our hands was even hit by a rifle butt. This is an
example of the education and principles that guide our revolution. No one can
say: ``I was hit with a rifle butt.'' They were mercenaries, but no one stayed
in jail for even two years.

9.  [Barreto] Under what conditions were they released?

10.  [Castro] We sought a solution ourselves. We told the Yankees: ``Pay us
compensation, and we will ship them back to you.'' And that is what we did. The
United States paid compensation in food for children and in medicine, and we
sent them their 1,200 ``heroes.'' We ourselves called them ``heroes.'' Since
then, they have become chiefs, generals, marshals, and I do not know what else. 
This act alone is enough to counter all campaigns against us. The
counterrevolution wanted impunity. But I ask you: What would have happened if
the situation were the other way around? If a group of invaders from Cuba
attempted to occupy the state of Florida? What would have happened to them? How
would they have been treated? How many years would they have stayed in jail? 
How many of them would have been executed?

11.  [Barreto] What can you tell us about the execution of Ochoa and other drug
traffickers? U.S. reports say that the Cuban Government was itself involved in
drug trafficking...

12.  [Castro] I can understand any charges against the revolution, but the
thought that the country would solve its economic problems with the misery of
others is an offense to common sense and to the intelligence of our leaders, of
our country, and our revolution. Besides, the trial against Ochoa and the other
people involved was public. It was broadcast live by radio and television. The
entire country has witnessed that the process was open.  Besides, $2 million is
too little for a country that exports thousands of millions of dollars a year
in sugar, nickel, agricultural products, and industrial products. Despite the
United States' opinion of the revolution, it is not possible to believe that
the country would sell its honor for four [as published] miserable dollars.

13.  [Barreto] Could their lives have been spared? Was the death penalty too

14.  [Castro] I reiterate that in some cases the revolution could be generous
without hurting itself. There are many examples of this. In this case the
revolution could not be generous without deeply hurting itself. But our
revolutionary generosity will never discriminate against the children of the
guilty ones, those innocent people for whom we also suffered and for some of
whom we have also cried. I can assure you that history has never seen a cleaner
trial. I agree it is hard to accept that someone can die as a consequence of a
mistaken attitude or as a result of another's decision. But I also think of all
those people who died to build a decent and honest country, a country without
impunity. Let us just recall those who died in their attempt to build a
dignified and respectable country. We were forced to be severe out of respect
for their ideals and the fatherland they dreamed of.