Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Comments on Domestic, Foreign Affairs
Havana Tele Rebelde Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000019650
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1311173590
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-220          Report Date:    14 Nov 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       3
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       13 Nov 90
Report Volume:       Wednesday Vol VI No 220


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Comments on Domestic, Foreign Affairs

Author(s):   an unidentified reporter at a reception held at the Japanese
Embassy in Havana on 12 November--recorded]

Source Line:   FL1311173590 Havana Tele Rebelde Network in Spanish 1411 GMT 13
Nov 90

Subslug:   [Interview with President Fidel Castro by an unidentified reporter
at a reception held at the Japanese Embassy in Havana on 12

1.  [Interview with President Fidel Castro by an unidentified reporter at a
reception held at the Japanese Embassy in Havana on 12 November--recorded]

2.  [Text] [Reporter] Commander, we would like to know what is the outlook of
trade development between Japan and Cuba?

3.  [Castro] Well, we have an ambassador who works very hard for the
development of those relations and we cooperate with him. I think there are
objective possibilities. Now we have to see what is the objective will of each
of the parties. We are willing and we also know that many Japanese businessmen
and friends want the development of those relations. They can become very

4.  [Reporter] Commander, given the development level we are reaching in
technology, medicine, and biomedicine, do you think we could also export our
goods to Japan?

5.  [Castro] I am certain that we have goods that would be very useful in
Japan. Yes, some of these goods could have a demand in Japan. The needs exist.
Some of these goods are new and unique. Therefore, they could become part of
our exports to Japan or any other country in the world.

6.  We even have things that are needed in the United States. In the United
States there are people and children who die of meningococcal meningitis. We
have the vaccine, but because of their arrogance and hatred they [the United
States officials] rather not save the lives of those children before they buy
the vaccine from us.

7.  [Reporter] Speaking of that, you are aware that the Bush Administration has
a new bill pending. This new law would restrict the U.S. international
companies that have subsidiaries in other countries from trading with Cuba. How
could this affect us?

8.  [Castro] That could affect us but it could also create many problems for
the U.S. Government. No country likes decisions imposed from abroad or trade
policies imposed from abroad on enterprises based in their territory. This used
to exist. I remember that when Peron came to power in Argentina, a subsidiary
of Ford...  [corrects himself] that is, many of the automobile factories of the
Argentine automobile industry were subsidiaries of international companies and
they wanted to sell to us. Argentina wanted to sell to us. Peron wanted to sell
us the equipment and even gave us credit. That created very serious
difficulties for the U.S. Government to the extent that it had no other choice
but to allow Argentine automobile enterprises to sell us equipment, autos,
trucks, and other things.

9.  Each government has its commercial policy, each government has its economic
policy, each government wants to have the right to direct the economic policy,
to determine where it exports manufactured goods. Those goods are not
manufactured in the United States. Those goods are manufactured in those
countries. To attempt to impose on those international enterprises certain
rules is a true abuse of international power because they are being imposed on
enterprises that are located in certain countries. It is logical that the
countries react to that. For example, the Canadians reacted with anger. Any
government that respects itself, will absolutely reject that type of ancient
practice, practices that intervene with the economic policy of states.

10.  So, I do not see that this has a good future. In addition, we have gotten
used to all those forms and formulas of blockade. Ultimately, here were are
even after so many actions, hostilities, and so much economic blockade on the
part of the United States. We do no lose sleep over any of this.

11.  [Reporter] And we have made great achievements. I wanted to talk a bit
with you about one of our ....

12.  [Castro, interrupting] I think you want to talk about many things. To talk
a little about what?

13.  [Reporter] Talk a little about something that has turned out to be very
interesting in the scientific world, the discovery or the creation in Cuba of
that new sugarcane variety that promises to truly revolutionize the sugarcane
industry because of its yield.

14.  [Castro] Well, well, well, I am going to lower those expectations
somewhat. I think it is a success. It is the first time a new variety is
developed in a laboratory. This is according to what the comrades of the CENIC
[National Center for Scientific Research]--where they developed that
variety--explained. They achieved it through mutations. Science has been
working for a long time to get new varieties through mutations. Sometimes they
use radiation. In this case, they did not use radiation, they used other
techniques. They achieved a mutation and, with it, they achieved a better
variety than the one we had. It yields 20 or 22 percent more sugar.

15.  This is only one variety. The first thing I told them was that I thought
one was too little. They told me that they were working on 30. Even if they
were working on 30 through the same procedure, I said it was essential to
multiply that since through the other procedure of crossbreeding varieties
thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands are achieved.  You can
select a few, the ones that have the traits you want from those. You can select
the ones that give good sugarcane yields, good sugar yields, that resist
droughts, resist diseases. Those are the qualities that the geneticists look
for in this formula. So, they achieved the new variety through mutation and
harvesting of tissues. Harvesting of tissues is very important. They are also
doing this with bananas and other goods. It is important because you achieve a
new variety and you can reproduce large amounts quickly through the harvesting
of tissues.

16.  Two techniques are combined here, the technique of achieving the genetic
mutation and the technique of multiplying it. It is important. The
multiplication technique is being applied in many harvests, in pineapple, for
example. If you are going to use the offspring the natural pineapple
produces.... [changes thought] A regular pineapple plant yields one or two
pineapples. You cannot plant it if if you want to plant 20 caballerias and you
only have a caballeria of that variety. But if you apply this biotechnology
technique, with a caballeria of pineapple you can produce through tissue
harvesting methods or without the tissue harvesting method--by applying other
less complex techniques, but reproducing many of the parts of the pineapple
that can be reproduced--you can produce one of those plants in a laboratory. If
you find a very good plant that you want to reproduce, that you want to select,
you can quickly reproduce thousands of plants such as that one through through
those techniques.

17.  What we are doing.... [changes thought] We are doing this with bananas.
There are banana sapling plants. We are doing this .... [changes thought] We
are doing this with potatoes. We spend almost $10 million in potato seeds every

18.  Those seeds have certain traits. If you reproduce them here, they will
have to be produced from previous generations. That is, you cannot simply get
seeds from previous potato harvests. You plant them and they no longer produce
the same thing. They degenerate. This is what forces you to replenish seeds of
certain varieties and to import a certain amount every year. We will be able to
save those $10 million when we produce seeds in the laboratory. We spend almost
$10 million. This is what it means. This is a good thing. It is a technique,
one of the many things scientists are doing but they still have to work much
more. Agriculture has to continue ....  [corrects himself] Research centers
have to continue using the two systems, the crossbreeding system and this
system of mutation and tissue harvesting. All problems are not solved yet but,
undoubtedly, it is good news.  What we cannot imagine is that everything is
solved in the area of sugarcane varieties.

19.  [Reporter] Speaking of agriculture, Commander, the people has given a very
good support and response to the food program. There is a large mobilization
toward agricultural activities with the new camps that are being created. How
do you think that is developing?

20.  [Castro] The mobilization is not very large yet. There is an enthusiastic
mobilization. I have visited many camps and have found that people are really
enthused with what they are doing, they have taken all that very seriously. 
They fulfill and exceed goals. Even the 15-day mobilizations are fulfilling and
exceeding the agriculture goals.  Some such as the Union of Young Communists
[UJC] camp in Guines, the UJC camp is fulfilling 150, 160 percent of the
program. I met with some Havana Province youths, members of the Havana Province
UJC, and they were fulfilling 140 and 150 percent of the goals.  They were
working extra hours. They were making a serious effort. They were working
eight, 11, and 12 hours and were exceeding the goals.

21.  I believe that all contingents are going to exceed the goals. I believe
that, to a lesser degree, the forces that are mobilized every 15 days are going
to fulfill and exceed the goals. They are going to make a large contribution to
agricultural activities. The greatest effort at this time has been made mainly
to build the camps. In January, we will have the 60 camps, plus one that will
be remodeled will be 61, plus six in the citrus harvesting, will be 67. 
Efforts are concentrated on that now. The first contingents are already being
mobilized. The mobilizations are being increased. But I believe that they will
reach their peak in March and April. This is when we will need that force to
support the regular laborers, to support the students who go to the schools in
the countryside and those who go to rural schools.

22.  So, in March and April, when it is time for harvesting and also for more
planting - because spring planting is done simultaneously--we will need the
maximum number of forces there. Later, in May, June, and July, when the
students are taking their exams or are on vacation, we will greatly need this
mobilization from Havana. All of them will not be mobilized year round.  We
will not have the maximum number of mobilized people throughout the year. I
believe we will be five or six months the entire year. [sentence as heard]
Later, we will more or less have two- thirds of the people or half of them.
This would require much more time to explain and I do not want to take
advantage here of the hospitality of the ambassador and of the Japanese