Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19920604
-YEAR-
1992
-DOCUMENT TYPE-
-AUTHOR-
-HEADLINE-
Part III of Interview With Fidel Castro
-PLACE-
CARIBBEAN / Cuba
-SOURCE-
Managua EL NUEVO DIARIO
-REPORT NO.-
FBIS-LAT-92-110
-REPORT DATE-
19920608
-HEADER-
=======================================================================
Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     PA0806020192
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-110          Report Date:    08 Jun 92
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     18
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       19
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       04 Jun 92
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 109

Dissemination:  

City/Source of Document:   Managua EL NUEVO DIARIO

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Part III of Interview With Fidel Castro

Author(s):   Tomas Borge in Havana; date not given-published also on 4 June by
Mexico City EXCELSIOR and Madrid El PAIS; Parts I and II published
in the 5 June 1992 Latin America DAILY REPORT pages 18-21]

Source Line:   PA0806020192 Managua EL NUEVO DIARIO in Spanish 4 Jun 92 p 4

Subslug:   [Part III of an interview with Cuban President Fidel Castro by Tomas
Borge in Havana; date not given-published also on 4 June by Mexico
City EXCELSIOR and Madrid El PAIS; Parts I and II published in the 5
June 1992 Latin America DAILY REPORT pages 18-21]

-TEXT-
FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE:
1.  [Part III of an interview with Cuban President Fidel Castro by Tomas Borge
in Havana; date not given-published also on 4 June by Mexico City EXCELSIOR and
Madrid El PAIS; Parts I and II published in the 5 June 1992 Latin America DAILY
REPORT pages 18-21]

2.  [Text] [Borge] Much has been said, even in leftist circles, about
democracy. I hear a lot of talk about that word in Latin America, including
Nicaragua. What does democracy mean to you?

3.  [Castro] Tomas, in a nutshell, democracy, as Lincoln defined it, is the
government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

4.  To me, democracy entails the defense of all the rights of citizens,
including the rights to independence, freedom, national dignity, and honor. To
me, democracy means the brotherhood of men.

5.  I say that capitalist bourgeois democracy does not contain any of these
elements, because I ask myself how can one talk of democracy in a country where
a minority has immense wealth and the rest have nothing. What equality and
brotherhood can exist between the beggar and the millionaire? I think our
system is more democratic than any other; it is without comparison much more
democratic than the system in the United States.

6.  [Borge] You are saying your system is more democratic than any other? Why?

7.  [Castro] I believe democracy can only exist in socialism.  I believe the
supreme form of democracy will be communism, but we have not reached that point
yet.

8.  We look at the situation in Latin America, where the more people talk about
democracy, the more there are shantytowns, dozens of millions of illiterate
people, millions of unemployed persons, and tens and tens of millions of people
who go without medical attention.  Owing to the measures of the IMF and similar
institutions, the situation has grown worse instead of better.  There are
countries in Latin America where 10 percent of the people earn more than 50
percent of the national income. How can one talk of democracy under those
conditions?

9.  We have found our form of democratic expression and believe it suits our
conditions ideally. Its efficacy has been proven for over 30 years because I
think no country could have resisted the embargo, threats, aggressions, and
tremendous blows entailed by the crumbling of the socialist camp and the
disappearance of the Soviet Union if the people were not united and aware of
our democracy.

10.  [Borge] Different news circles, even leaders of progressive parties, talk
of the need to broaden democracy in Cuba. I think they mean that groups that do
not share the views of the Cuban Government can organize and have their own
means of expression.

11.  [Castro] Many people are unaware of how democracy functions in our
country. I am not going to say that our democracy is perfect. We cannot afford
to commit errors of idealism within our current situation that entails more
risks than ever before. We are not going to play with the independence and
security of the country. We are not going to play with the revolution by
idealizing circumstances and ways of leadership and political organization that
are impossible under the circumstances we are experiencing. However, despite
all of that, we are making great efforts to improve our political system and
our democracy and we will take steps in that direction.

12.  We are not opposed to those who disagree with our opinions. In Cuba, we
are waging a great struggle between the nation-the people of Cuba-and
imperialism, and that is what prevails. There are no third stands here. Here
the people either support the revolution or are against it. There are no
in-between stands.

13.  That the economic blockade against our country should end; that the U.S.
threats against us should end; that the aggressions should end; that the
campaigns against Cuba should end; that the war against Cuba should end? 
[sentence as published] Under different conditions, we could bring up in
theory, and even in practice, another form of political leadership in our
country.

14.  [Borge] What efforts are being made to improve the political system in
Cuba?

15.  [Castro] We are improving the people's power. We have created the People's
Council at a level that is closer to the rank and file than the municipalities,
and these are made up of the delegates of the districts. These People's
Councils have tremendous power. They are made up of delegates that have been
nominated and elected directly by the people. The mass organizations and the
main centers of production and service participate in these councils.

16.  We believe that the most important step we are taking is that of directly
electing the deputies of the National Assembly, which is the main branch of the
state.

17.  [Borge] Can persons who are not members of the Communist Party of Cuba
[PCC] be candidates?

18.  [Castro] Yes, of course. There are many delegates who are not members of
the PCC. Many do not realize that in our case it is not the party that
nominates the candidate, but it is the people, the citizens, who nominate and
directly elect their candidates. What other country of the world has a more
democratic system than that?

19.  [Borge] Fidel, concerning the political development of Latin America, do
you feel it is making progress, it has been set back, or it is stagnant? How
would you describe the outlook for the leftists in our hemisphere?

20.  Latin America Goes Back

21.  [Castro] If the situation in Latin America at the time the Alliance for
Progress was created is compared with the current situation, it can be seen
that today's situation is much more serious. All economic and social parameters
are worse.

22.  First of all, the present population is more than twice as large as that
which existed when the Alliance for Progress was created. There is twice as
much poverty and twice as many bad neighborhoods. The sanitation situation is
worse. The population's income is lower. Unemployment is greater.  Instead of
the $20 billion that the Alliance for Progress spectacularly offered at that
time to help these reforms and alleviate Latin America's problems, we now owe
approximately $450 billion.

23.  I would also say that the lefists are experiencing their worst time in
Latin America. They are experiencing their moment of greatest confusion, which
can be explained by the tremendous confusion created in the world by the events
that originated and developed in the Soviet Union. This was a very strong blow
to the leftist progressive forces in the political, ideological, and moral
fields.  I think the leftists are beginning to recover from this trauma. Total
recovery is still a long way ahead, however.

24.  [Borge] You have referred to Latin American integration a number of times.
What do you think of the process and the so-called Bush Initiative?

25.  [Castro] Look, the Bush Initiative is not an attempt to integrate Latin
American or a Latin American integration factor. It is an attempt to
incorporate Latin America into the U.S. economy because, precisely as the
result of the struggle among the big economic powers now emerging, the United
States more than ever regards Latin America as an exclusive hunting ground, so
to speak, for its interests.

26.  The United States is not proposing a free trade agreement with all of
Latin America but with one country at a time so the Latin American governments
cannot unite with one another through negotiation. This has nothing to do with
the integrationist ideas of Bolivar, Marti, and all those who thought of Latin
America's integration, all those who at present think about this integration
honestly. The integration and union of Latin America can be conceived and
thought of only independently and within the framework of its own interests.
Latin America has no honorable and independent choice other than economic
integration. Otherwise, there will be absolutely no future for Latin America.

-END-


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