Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Lauds Iraqi Resistance During Gulf War
Havana Tele Rebelde Network
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000002642
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1502191191
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-033          Report Date:    19 Feb 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     4
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       6
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       15 Feb 91
Report Volume:       Tuesday Vol VI No 033


City/Source of Document:   Havana Tele Rebelde Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Lauds Iraqi Resistance During Gulf War

Source Line:   FL1502191191 Havana Tele Rebelde Network in Spanish 1129 GMT 15
Feb 91

Subslug:   [Interview with President Fidel Castro during tour of new El
Castillito recreation center in Havana on 14 February--recorded]

1.  [Interview with President Fidel Castro during tour of new El Castillito
recreation center in Havana on 14 February--recorded]

2.  [Text] [Castro] El Castillito had first been thought of as a tourist
investment, like many others we are making throughout the country. At the time
we were analyzing a program for young people. We discussed a program of
activities with Robertico [Robaina, first secretary of the Union of Young
Communists] and with the young comrades. So we debated this a lot. Then we
considered the place, the location. We took into account that they were
building a tourist hotel here beside the Riviera. We took into account the
student activities in this area. We considered a program the young people were
carrying out with a number of ideas about using the seawall area.

3.  Se we came to the conclusion that the best use for El Castillito was not
for tourism, but for these activities we have dedicated it to: recreation for
young people, young people in general, students, workers. So this was how we
did it, weighing things a lot in the balance, and in the context of our
problems, of what we should do and how we should do it, the balance tilted
towards dedicating this to these activities.

4.  The idea [words indistinct] things that have been created by youths to be
maintained, with the same quality. It is not very costly. I mean [passage
indistinct] relatively small, minimal. Today even small things become great
undertakings in light of the situation we are experiencing. I am convinced
these are very good and novel ideas. I believe they are very important for our
youth.  Therefore, the government, the party, and the state, will grant them
their complete support.

5.  Well, youths are not exclusively devoted to this activity.  They are not
solely involved in recreational activities.  They are also making important
things in the labor sector. As an example we have the Young People's [Computer]
Clubs. I believe this to be one of the most brilliant ideas ever. This idea is
the result of a youth initiative that came up during an Expocuba exhibit.

6.  I thought this such a good and brilliant idea that I became interested in
it. I talked to youths, I asked them what was needed to continue expanding the
clubs. I believe this is one of the most brilliant things.

7.  We must also take into account the excellent work the young people are
carrying out in many sectors in which they are playing a preponderant role and
in those areas where the party wants to grant them a special role; for example,
in the education sector.

8.  All this began during a youth meeting of the 160 or so high schools where
we were receiving news of problems, and many concerns. Well, we asked the young
people: Help the revolution study all these issues and resolve these problems
with the means and resources available.

9.  The young people have adopted their own style. They visited all the
provincial bureaus and committees. It is within this framework that I have just
visited all the camps in Pinar del Rio. The kids doing vacation work in the
fields are over there and have had a brilliant year.  Undoubtedly, the
recognition of society, and of the young people have played a very important
role in this as well as the visits and the meetings with them. All this is very

10.  It is within this framework that the young people recently toured all the
Blas Roca Contingent camps.  They had excellent meetings with the workers,
meetings of mutual support and understanding and education.

11.  They toured the preuniversity schools a few days ago, the more than 50
preuniversity schools, to address all the problems. This does not mean we will
be able to resolve immediately all the problems. Through the press, I have
always closely followed all their tours, the proposals that were made. During
this tour through the preuniversity schools in Havana Province we were able to
witness that there are many institutions facing many problems, such as the
Romania School, and others where the issue of maintenance had come up. Right
now this is an important problem in light of our current situation, and of the
very limited resources we have available, which may become even more limited in
the near future.

12.  We must study what to do. When one makes visits and tours, one finds
problems of this nature. We become aware of them, at least we ask what we can
do. Although we cannot solve all problems, we can at least tackle the most
serious, critical problems.

13.  Therefore, we believe that it can be done. This is how we are [words
indistinct] needs we have everywhere. We have had them since a long time ago.
They did not come during the special period. The difference is that now we have
fewer resources available, and we must be much wiser to better manage these

14.  [Unidentified reporter] Today, 14 February, is Valentine's Day, and in
Cuba we talk about love and we are all very optimistic. In other parts of the
world, however, thousands of people are being killed, Commander.

15.  [Castro] Just yesterday we heard the news, as you have seen, about Iraq,
about those sophisticated bombs that have killed more than 500 people in a bomb
shelter for women and children. It is one of the most painful and traumatic
things we have seen in recent times, and one of the things that reflects to
what lengths the imperialist's insensitivity and lack of principles can reach.
Those imperialists feel so powerful today; they feels the are the only power in
the world today, and they feel they are able to dictate laws to the world, laws
for those who are willing to accept them, but we are among those who will never
accept those laws.

16.  You all know our position on the Gulf problem, on each of the incidents,
what things we have condemned about the Iraqi actions and what things we have
categorically opposed at the United Nations--the meddling, the bossing around,
you could call it, the mainipulation of the United States, by the United
States, using all its power over that body, the Security Council.

17.  I think that the United Nations has made one of the biggest and most
repugnant mistakes in its history in authorizing this war. We said that it was
war on a deadline, that it cut off any chance for peace. We think that the
problems could have been solved without war.  Now you can see how the United
States and NATO are launching their might against a Third World country.

18.  Whatever mistakes that country may have made, the fact is that this is
genocide, this is a plan to take over the oil resources of the Middle East,
this is a plan to establish their hegemony in that region. We can never agree
to this, just as we cannot agree with the United Nations having agreed...
[rephrases] having given its blessing to this repugnant crime and this

19.  I wonder if the United Nations would have done the same if a nuclear power
was involved; for example, France, the United Kingdom, the USSR, the PRC, or
any other. I wonder if the United Nations would have declared war and in so
doing, the end of the world. Then we have a United Nations, and a UN Security
Council, that was unable to condemn the United States for the Grenada invasion,
that was unable to condemn the United States for the Panama invasion. They are
still there, invading Panama. All the UN resolutions they have applied against
Iraq could have also be applied against the United States regarding their
invasion of Panama.

20.  We also have the occupation of the Arab territories by a U.S. ally; that
is, Israel. This means there is no equity.  There is no parity. There is a
double standard, two different yardsticks for measuring the conduct of nations.
The fact is that, using Iraq's mistakes as a basis, the United States is
carrying out one of the greatest genocides. It is completely destroying the
country with impunity. It has turned it into a firing range for its
sophisticated weapons.

21.  No one yet knows how this will end. The bombings start when it is 1200,
1300 hours here [as heard]. They start, and all this is truly sad evidence of
what is taking place in that part of the world.

22.  I do not know if Valentine's Day is commemorated worldwide, if every
country, each hemisphere, commemorates this day on different dates. You
probably know this better than I because journalists are constantly asking
questions. [laughter] So, I do not know if Valentine's Day is a worldwide

23.  [Several unidentified speakers, interrupting] It is commemorated in many
parts of the world. It is commemorated on this date throughout Latin

24.  [Castro, interrupting] In Latin America. I do not know if in Latin

25.  [Unidentified speaker, interrupting] In Europe, too.

26.  [Second unidentified reporter] What do you believe will be the impact on
Third World countries of an eventual Iraqi defeat?

27.  [Castro] Look, the Iraqi thing will be the same as always.  What may
happen is that there will not be an Iraqi defeat but a Pyrrhic victory for the
imperialists, because the resistance that Iraq has shown against the might of
the United States already constitutes a great moral victory.  There is
absolutely no doubt about this. It is shameful that now, one month after the
start of the war, the United States has not dared to send a single soldier
[into combat]. It only wants to wage a technical war, with sophisticated
weapons and without casualties.

28.  Never in the history of the world has such a powerful nation been so
fearful of sending soldiers into combat.  They cannot say anything to us,
because we had to wage a war against South Africa, 10,000 km away, and with
what means, what resources, and what was the correlation of forces?  We faced
the problems when they came up, but the United States, this superpower with
500,000 soldiers, thousands of tanks, thousands of planes, does not dare wage a
ground war. It is incredible that the United States is showing such fear, such
excessive prudence. It only wants to drop bombs, bombs, smart bombs and guided
bombs, and use equipment.

29.  What is taking place there is one of the crudest crimes in history. This
is a fact. This is why I say: This is a great misfortune for the world. The
Third World has already suffered the consequences of this war. It is already
suffering the consequences. It is already suffering the consequences with the
oil prices. It has already suffered the consequences through the economic
crisis this war has brought on. Countries that depend on tourism have already
experienced the consequences through the slowdown of travel worldwide. In
addition, we still do not know the extent of the consequences of this war. So,
the Third World is already paying the price for this war.

30.  In addition, we must also look at what a world dominated by the United
States would mean. We must be willing to fight against this, to fight till the
bitter end. We Cubans, who have already learned many lessons from this, should
learn new lessons from this, on how to confront this empire, because the dream
of dominating the world is an impossible dream if the world is willing to
fight, and sooner or later the world will be willing to fight. Cubans will be
among the first who are willing to fight, or rather, we have been among them
for a long time.

31.  So, those are the consequences, but the lessons are also very useful for
all the countries of the world, particularly those of the Third World.