Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Comments on Embassy Security, Soviet Aid
Madrid EFE
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000012217
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA1507161490
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-136          Report Date:    16 Jul 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     6
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       7
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       15 Jul 90
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 136


City/Source of Document:   Madrid EFE

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Comments on Embassy Security, Soviet Aid

Subheadline:   Further on Castro Comments

Source Line:   PA1507161490 Madrid EFE in Spanish 0705 GMT 15 Jul 90

1.  [Text] Havana, 15 Jul (EFE)-- During a conversation last night with foreign
correspondents at the French Embassy in Havana on the occasion of 14 July, the
French national holiday, President Fidel Castro guaranteed the security of the
embassies in this country.

2.  Asked about a situation that has been developing since 9 July at the
Czechoslovak Embassy, where there are 12 refugees; the Czechoslovak charge
d'affaires' residence, where there are five refugees; and the Spanish Embassy,
where there are three refugees; Castro said that forceful entry into embassies
should not be permitted.

3.  Regarding these refugees--who have sought asylum in some cases, refuge in
others, and to leave the country in most cases,--Castro added that no one is
persecuting them. He said that they are criminals with no patriotic motivation.

4.  He also recalled that Cuba has not given exit permits to anyone who has
sought asylum at embassies over the past 10 years. He was apparently referring
to the Mariel incident when, after approximately 10,800 Cubans entered the
Peruvian Embassy, the Cuban regime allowed everyone who wanted to leave to do
so; 125,000 left for the United States before the decision was revoked.

5.  Regarding Europe, President Castro smiled and said that if the Europeans
want the lumpen, Cuba would give them to them.

6.  Concerning the difficulties of those wanting to leave the island, he
stressed that the United States is not complying with the 1985 and 1987
immigration agreements on the annual entry permit for 20,000 Cubans.

7.  The U.S. policy on visas is very restrictive, however, when some leave by
boat (referring to the so-called boat people, Cubans who flee the island using
rudimentary rafts), they receive much publicity.

8.  Regarding the refugees at the Spanish and Czechoslovak Embassies, Castro
noted that Cuba has agreements on the right to asylum with Latin America, but
not with Europe. Consequently, European embassies should not grant such asylum.

9.  Concerning the incident at the Spanish Embassy on the afternoon of 13 July,
when five policemen dragged a young Cuban who had jumped over the fence of an
embassy courtyard, President Castro said that he did not know about the case
and did not have information about it.

10.  According to Spanish eyewitnesses, four uniformed Cuban policemen jumped
over the fence in pursuit of the youth who was supposedly seeking refuge. After
a struggle, they handcuffed him and carried him over the fence while a fifth
policeman held a gun on him.

11.  The policeman fired about five shots, apparently into the air because
there were no bullet holes or metal caps inside the embassy. The alleged
refugee--whom eyewitnesses said was not wounded--was taken away in a Lada
vehicle bearing the insignia G-2 (State Security Police).

12.  According to diplomatic sources, the Spanish Embassy has lodged a
complaint at the Cuban Foreign Ministry and reported the incident to its own
Foreign Ministry.

13.  President Castro said that Cuba needs the help of the embassies because,
without it, it is difficult to give total protection.

14.  During the reception at the French Embassy, Castro talked with Spanish
diplomats and, jokingly, asked them to convince the three refugees who remain
at the embassy to leave the premises.

15.  The Spanish Foreign Ministry has not yet announced its decision on the
fate of these three people, but it has reported that it will not turn them over
to the Cuban authorities.