Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

First Ibero-American Summit Concludes
Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA2107031491
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-140          Report Date:    22 Jul 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     7
Report Division:     INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS    End Page:       9
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       21 Jul 91
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 140


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

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   First Ibero-American Summit Concludes

Subheadline:   Castro Comments on Summit Outcome

Author(s):   unidentified reporters at the Camino Real Hotel in Guadalajara,
Mexico ``minutes before leaving Guadalajara''- recorded]

Source Line:   PA2107031491 Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks in
Spanish 0009 GMT 21 Jul 91

Subslug:   [Interview with Cuban President Fidel Castro by unidentified
reporters at the Camino Real Hotel in Guadalajara, Mexico ``minutes
before leaving Guadalajara''- recorded]

1.  [Interview with Cuban President Fidel Castro by unidentified reporters at
the Camino Real Hotel in Guadalajara, Mexico ``minutes before leaving
Guadalajara''- recorded]

2.  [Text] [Reporter] What did the summit mean to you and Cuba, Commander?

3.  [Castro] I believe the summit was excellent and well-organized. There were
talks, discussions, and dialogues.  Contacts were made and information was
exchanged. I think the summit produced everything that was expected of it and
perhaps more. It was a first step for Latin American integration. I am really
very pleased.

4.  [Reporter] The State Department said today that the summit highlighted
Cuba's isolation. What do you think about this? Or did it highlight that Cuba
is definitely a part of Latin America?

5.  [Castro] I really find that confusion surprising.

6.  [Reporter] How did you feel?

7.  [Castro] I felt very well. I felt like being in a family.

8.  [Reporter] How was Cuba treated?

9.  [Castro] Excellently by all the leaders as a general rule, we can say. It
was excellent, and people treated us fabulously. I will never forget the
hospitality and affection I received from the Guadalajara residents on the
streets and everywhere.

10.  [Reporter] Did you not feel any hostility or recieve cold looks from any
of the presidents?

11.  [Castro] In general, no. In general, the immense majority treated me
warmly. The rest gave me normal and respectful treatment.

12.  [Reporter] You said we have all learned.

13.  [Castro] I believe we have all learned because, well, I learned many
things. I learned about how the political leaders think. I learned of their
capabilities. I must say I was impressed with the fact that there were many
capable and intelligent people at the meeting. They expressed themselves very
well with knowledge and education. I saw many people who contributed to the
success of the meeting. Of course, there are two aspects as for the topics to
be discussed. If we review the situation of each of the countries, they all
have difficulties. Many of the leaders were courageous when making their
statements. We were able to become acquainted with new leaders who gave their
opinion on important matters.

14.  [Reporter] Commander, encouraged by the United States, many countries are
pressuring Cuba to change.  What is your opinion? Where is Cuba going?

15.  [Castro] There was talk of international problems. They were interested in
Cuba's situation, but they had great respect. There was great respect. The U.S.
pressure is great, but in this meeting, I really was treated warmly. It is
because we are a family. We are a family regardless of ideology. As President
Salinas de Gortari said, unity does not mean uniformity. There will not be and
cannot be uniformity. We cannot aspire for unity with uniformity.

16.  [Reporter] For Colombia it is important to restore consular relations with
Cuba. It is a first step, just as it is with Chile, to definitely have Cuba
return to the Latin American system.

17.  [Castro] I feel it is an important step. Various countries established and
others talked about resuming consular and diplomatic relations as a first step.
Logically, these things should not be rushed but moved along little by little.
We appreciate the will to develop trade; it is important, as you put it, for

18.  [Reporter] What is the future of Cuba in view of the pressures?

19.  [Castro] The future of Cuba is composure, tranquillity, courage, a
fighting spirit, and a spirit of hard work. That is our duty. Our future
depends on our own efforts.

20.  [Reporter] Do you believe a first step has been taken for the constitution
of a truly Latin American community and that we are on our way to solving the
major problems?

21.  [Castro] At least for the first time in history we have met by ourselves
without being convened by the United States. I believe this is a historic event
because it is a test of our conscience. Mexico has played a decisive role in

22.  [Reporter] You call us family. What kind of family are we now?

23.  [Castro] An Ibero-American family. This family may grow because some
people talked about the absence of countries such as Puerto Rico; they were
thinking about a free Puerto Rico, not Puerto Rico as a U.S. possession.  They
talked about Haiti and English-speaking Caribbean countries. Naturally, it
would have been harder to get 40 leaders to agree than to get the leaders of
the Latin American and Ibero-American countries to agree. They played their

24.  [Reporter] As for this new concept of democracy, what was Cuba's

25.  [Castro] We have contributed to democracy where it lacks the most: the
area of social justice, the spirit of true equality, fraternity, freedom. I say
freedom because I speak about the freedom of a beggar as opposed to a
millionaire. I do not see this as freedom. I ask myself what are a beggar's
opportunities? I also ask myself about his opportunities in terms of equality
and fraternity. It is said there are 270 million poor people in Latin America
and 84 million needy people. This is a sign that our democracy is very
incomplete. That is the field in which we have made the greatest contribution
in the sense that we have upheld the principles that are truly substantial in
man's participation in democracy. What is democracy without man, without man's
participation, without man's brotherhood, and without equality among men?

26.  [Reporter] What lies ahead for Cuba, the only bastion of socialism in the

27.  [Castro] A great honor. Well, I would not say it is the only one because
there are other socialist countries such as Vietnam and China, but we are the
only one surrounded by capitalists everywhere. In addition, we are the
neighbors of the United States. We have ahead a great historical honor that we
did not ask for nor seek out, but we will know how to fulfill it. We will
defend those ideas under such difficult conditions as we are are now doing.

28.  [Reporter] Commander: President Endara told Radio Netherlands that you
could be the Gorbachev of Latin America and that no one is asking you
necessarily to retire from the government, but that there are certain winds of
freedom in your country.

29.  [Castro] The Gorbachev of Latin America? At any rate, I could be
everything in the case of Cuba, but not of Latin America. Besides, I already
was that. No one has made more changes than we have. Our problem is that we
made the changes many years ago and have continued making these changes for 30
years. We are a country where there have been more changes in the 200 years of
independence [from Spain]. Therefore, when it comes to changes, no one has made
more changes than we have.  However, we are not going to make change- overs
[recambios]. It is not the same to make changes than to make change-overs.

30.  [Reporter] Commander, prior to the summit, some expected you to be placed
on the dock of the accused.

31.  [Castro] I was willing to sit down. It would not be the first time that I
sat on the dock of the accused. [Castro laughs] All revolutionaries have to sit
on the dock of the accused, and I was willing to sit down, in a very humble and
modest manner. However, I was determined to discuss things and answer the
judges. I was determined to wage my own defense. I already did this at one

32.  [Reporter] Were you judged?

33.  [Castro] Actually, I did not feel anyone was judging me at any time. If
anyone had plans to judge me, I did not get that feeling at all. Actually, what
I felt was an atmosphere of respect. We could say that respect prevailed as a
general rule at that summit.

34.  [Reporter] How about pluralism?

35.  [Castro] There was also pluralism. During the dialogue, I was free and I
respectfully voiced my points of view on all subjects. Perhaps at times, it
would have been best to keep quiet, but that would not have been honest. I did
say that I did not honor private property or private enterprise and that I did
not believe in the miracles of the market. I know of many crazy things and
disgraces that happen in the market. I felt I had to be honest, even though I
knew the others were in the majority and had different ideas. I felt it was a
basic duty of honesty to say that, but at any rate, we would make our Latin
American efforts and we would support their decisions.

36.  [Reporter] Following these dialogues, do you feel any of them could have
changed their impressions about you?

37.  [Castro] You are asking me a question that could lead me to become
immodest or vain. I am the way I am, I have always been that way, and that is
the way I came here. At least, if you act honestly, others will understand that
you are honest. If you act courageously, others will understand that you are
courageous. To that effect, I believe in the importance of human values. I
believe that when men have too many prejudices and are confronted with some
realities, they might change their prejudices.

38.  I did feel that there was an increase in the respect and friendship. That
is how I felt. That is the most I can tell without having to beg forgiveness
for having to say it.

39.  [Reporter] Will international law be strengthened after this meeting?

40.  [Castro] There is still much to be done, but I believe it will contribute
to enforcing and strengthening international law.  However, we are still small
and there is still a long battle ahead against great interests before we can
actually have a more democratic United Nations and before international law is
fully enforced. However, it was certainly a battle for international law.

41.  [Reporter] Do you think it helps when someone sets aside his prejudice
against Cuba?

42.  [Castro] Yes, that may have helped, and it also helped us reduce our
prejudices and improve the image we have of some people.

43.  [Reporter] Who did you reduce your prejudices against?

44.  [Castro] That is a difficult question. However, I can give you an example,
but this is not a matter of prejudice. I firmly supported Endara's statement. I
applauded him when he said that on 31 December the canal will be in Panamanian
hands, and that he will not renegotiate the canal treaties. I thought it was
honest to encourage and support that decision, and I did. Who would have
expected me to applaud any statement coming from the Panamanian representative?
However, that is an example of objectivity and honesty, and I applauded his

45.  [Reporter] Commander, there were two summits in the same week. A summit of
the superpowers of the north, and another summit of our countries of the

46.  [Castro, interrupting] Well, we are small in economic resources, but
morally we are very big. Theirs was a meeting of those who have great economic
and military power, but not as much moral strength.

47.  [Reporter] They met to reach agreements and we met to discuss...

48.  [Castro, interrupting] To govern the world. They met to govern the world,
and we met to struggle for justice in the world.

49.  [Reporter] What vision of the world does the last caudillo of modern times

50.  [Castro] Would I be that last caudillo? No, because we still have
Ballaguer, who is older than I, and has been engaged in political activities
longer than I. You understand?  Besides, I have never been seen as a caudillo,
which is fortunate, because being a caudillo must be a disgrace. I imagine that
the philosophy of a caudillo is that everything is finished when he is
finished. However, when you are a man of ideas and you convey ideas, you are
convinced that ideas will not perish when the one who portrays those ideas is
no longer there.

51.  [Reporter] What is your vision?

52.  [Castro] A better world. These are very difficult days, but it is said
that the darkest time comes before dawn.

53.  [Reporter] During this summit, Cuba was respected and given an opportunity
to reincorporate itself to Latin America. However, you did not...

54.  [Castro, interrupting] [Words indisticnt] new prospects in that sense.

55.  [Reporter] Do you feel isolated from Latin America in Havana?

56.  [Castro] No, on the contrary. Nature and God placed us in the Caribbean,
although unfortunately we have a neighbor like the United States. However, we
are privileged to be Latin Americans and part of this great Latin American
family for which I feel great affection and solidarity as well as admiration. I
am a great admirer of Latin America, its history, and people. In addition, we
speak the same language. Can you imagine how it would be if you spoke German
and I Finnish? Nevertheless, Europeans are united. So why not unite Latin
Americans, who speak this marvellous language, which was one of the things they
brought us from that continent so that we could understand each other better.
Now we will also have to study Portuguese.

57.  [Reporter] We also share the same dreams of Bolivar and Marti.

58.  [Castro] And many others like Sucre, San Martin. We can say that they all
shared the dream of a united Latin America. We should not forget Miranda
either. In my opinion, the greatest of all were Bolivar, first of all, then
Marti, who was a disciple and follower of Bolivar.

59.  [Reporter] Is that unity still an utopian idea?

60.  [Castro] Despite the Yankees, that unity is not an utopian idea.