Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Expresses `Deep Bitterness' Over War
Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000000941
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1701050791
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-012          Report Date:    17 Jan 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     2
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       3
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       17 Jan 91
Report Volume:       Thursday Vol VI No 012


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Expresses `Deep Bitterness' Over War

Subheadline:   Comments on Impact on Country

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro on hostilities beginning in the Persian
Gulf during a news conference on the Pan-American Games at
Havana's Habana Libre Hotel on 16 January--recorded]

Source Line:   FL1701050791 Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks in
Spanish 0423 GMT 17 Jan 91

Subslug:   [Remarks made by President Fidel Castro on hostilities beginning in
the Persian Gulf during a news conference on the Pan-American Games
at Havana's Habana Libre Hotel on 16 January--recorded]

1.  [Remarks made by President Fidel Castro on hostilities beginning in the
Persian Gulf during a news conference on the Pan-American Games at Havana's
Habana Libre Hotel on 16 January--recorded]

2.  [Text] It will have both a direct and an indirect effect.  Cuba will not
experience a direct impact because it does not have trade ties with Iraq. Cuba
does not obtain fuel shipments from Iraq. Cuban-Iraqi ties are limited to old
diplomatic ties, old friendship ties similar to the ones Cuba maintains with
many Middle East countries.

3.  In addition, there a several Cuban assistants, mainly nurses, working in
Iraq. There are about 200 Cuban health workers there, many of them are
specialized nurses. They work in different civilian hospitals. They did not
want to return to Cuba despite the threat of war because they thought it was
their duty to assist their patients. We agreed with them because doctors and
nurses are needed the most during times of war.

4.  There have even been some contacts with international humanitarian
organizations. They have expressed interest in the humanitarian aid that the
Cuban medical personnel may render during and after the war. This is the
essence of Cuban-Iraqi ties. We have no economic ties with Iraq.

5.  When oil prices rise from $14 to $30 and to over $30, however, it does
create problems to hundreds [as heard] of countries, to the great majority of
non-producing oil countries, to oil-importing countries.

6.  This also makes all sorts of goods more expensive. All oil byproducts will
be more expensive: high-intensity, low-intensity polyethylene, fertilizers.
Hundreds of thousands of oil byproducts will get more expensive. All countries
consume these products. Therefore, countries are left without money because oil
and fuel are top-priority products. This also has an affect on world trade, and
the trade of all kinds of food staples. There is also less demand for Third
World exports and prices drop. In view of this, exports decrease and so do the
exports of Third World countries; Cuban exports as well.

7.  If, however, at a given time, we are in the need for an additional amount
of fuel, and if we are forced to resort to the international market to purchase
it, we will find high prices. Consequently, we will be forced to buy fuel oils,
or some type of fuels--like diesel oil--to achieve a balance of supplies.

8.  In 1990, Cuba had 3 million tons less of fuel, that is, we had about 25
percent less fuel than the previous year. In view of this, we had to adopt
special measures to confront this situation.

9.  This was caused because of the difficulties the Soviet Union has
experienced in guaranteeing the historical oil supplies. This occurred in spite
of the Soviet Union's willingness and desire to resolve this problem. Cuba has
and continues to receive its main supplies from the Soviet Union. Therefore,
any deficit that may take place will force us to make even greater sacrifices
because we will have no other source of supplies.

10.  The first impact of this war will most likely be that tomorrow oil prices
will jump to $40, but depending on how this war develops, no one knows whether
this price may jump to $50, $60, or $70.

11.  All sorts of estimates have been made. Some state that oil prices will
reach $100. The only certain thing is that no one can or will know this. We can
be certain that there will indeed be a considerable hike in oil prices.

12.  Therefore, the impact I have already mentioned will be many-fold.
Moreover, if this war become a more complicated issue-- although, no one can
ascertain this to be a fact.... [changes thought] Each side has made its own
plans. It is obvious that the United States believes this will be a fast and
brief war, but the other side is planning a long and bitter resistance.
Nevertheless, at this time no one knows how events will develop, but there is a
possibility that this war will be complicated. Therefore, it will have an
impact not only on Third World countries but on the entire world economy which
when the Gulf crisis broke out was at the beginning of a recession.

13.  It is well-known that the U.S. economy is going head on into a recession.
This situation, which naturally affects all countries of the world to a greater
or lesser degree-- some more than others--will also affect us greatly. 
Anything that goes wrong in the world economy affects all countries except
those which may now have the privilege of receiving fabulous amounts of money
at the expense of the blood that is being shed in those far-away deserts.