Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Fidel Castro Interviewed by Uruguayan Daily
Montevideo BRECHA

Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     PY0509023292
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-174          Report Date:    08 Sep 92
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:       28 Aug 92
Report Volume:       Tuesday Vol VI No 174


City/Source of Document:   Montevideo BRECHA 

Report Name:   Latin America 

Headline:   Fidel Castro Interviewed by Uruguayan Daily 

Author(s):   BRECHA correspondent Isabel Pisano in Galicia, Spain, on 27 July] 

Source Line:   PY0509023292 Montevideo BRECHA in Spanish 28 Aug 92 p 32 

Subslug:   [Interview with President Fidel Castro by BRECHA correspondent
Isabel Pisano in Galicia, Spain, on 27 July] 

FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE: 1.  [Interview with President Fidel Castro by BRECHA
correspondent Isabel Pisano in Galicia, Spain, on 27 July] 

2.  [Text] [Pisano] I have been waiting to interview you for 15 years. 

3.  [Castro] You are closer to it every minute that passes (he said laughing). 

4.  [Pisano] You are a symbol of our times. Do you do any soul searching? 

5.  [Castro] Every day and at any hour. Not when I go to sleep; otherwise I do
not sleep. 

6.  [Pisano] Can the U.S. elections bring some changes in Cuba? 

7.  [Castro] We will have to go to Greece to see a pythoness, to hear what she
has to say about it. The U.S. politicians are very much slaves of politics. It
looks as if Clinton has a very good program, with a vice presidential candidate
who is concerned about the environment. They will give a great battle. Although
I will not be voting for anyone, I sometimes ask myself if it is not better to
have someone who is already known to be bad than one good, but who is still to
be known. But to me, either one is he same. 

8.  [Pisano] Are there signs of economic recovery in Cuba? 

9.  [Castro] No, none, and the situation continues to be very worrisome. We
were able to produce more sugar, we have been able to resist in the three years
since the famous socialist world was dissolved. I believe we are quite an
example in the history of ourage and heroism.  I believe we are the most
independent country on earth.  Is there another more independent than us? The
difficulties are worse every day, but we will try to overcome them. 

10.  [Pisano] You opened the possibility of foreign investment in Cuba.  Are
you not afraid that the United States could invade Cuba economically, like the
Japanese did with the Americans? 

11.  [Castro] I hope so, but they do not want to. We have no capital, we have
no technology, we have no market. We had to make some concessions. 

12.  [Pisano] What was the result of the first investments in Cuba? 

13.  [Castro] Excellent. They recovered their capital in three years. It is
very good, specially in tourism. 

14.  [Pisano] Is it not strange that President Fraga [Manuel Fraga Iribarne,
leader of the Spanish Popular Party] and you are almost brothers? Is there no
longer any hate between the Left and the Right? 

15.  [Castro] My poor little heart, which has resisted the blows of these
years, knows that there are things that are on the Right and on the Left. But I
find nothing on the Right, I find everything on the Left. 

16.  [Pisano] What do you expect of the reforms you made recently? 

17.  [Castro] The improvement of our system. We try to solve our problems
without selling our soul. What is the purpose of selling the soul? Our system
is more democratic than any other, where political parties propose candidates
and the parties choose. In our country the people propose candidates and the
people choose. There are no presidential elections. I am not for that type of
elections. I believe that the National Assembly must elect the president. In
Italy, who elects the president?  There are countries where the position of
chief of state is inherited. No one questions the King of Spain, the Japanese
Emperor, or the Queen of England. They all believe it is all right. How many
people vote to elect the President of the United States? Twenty-five r 27
percent of the population. 

18.  [Pisano] What is left of the Che Guevara message about a new man for Latin

19.  [Castro] Everything. The example given by these men is not near, but it is
never too late when the cause is right. 

20.  [Pisano] Was it necessary to hold Noriega's trial? 

21.  [Castro] Noriega more than anyone else cooperated with the CIA in the
struggle against drug trafficking, but he annoyed them because he refused to
obey orders. They invaded the country, kidnapped him, and sentenced him. Drug
trafficking is a Latin American tragedy, because peasants cannot live from
selling corn and other crops. Jaime Paz said that the problem is not coca but
those who make coca into poison. 

22.  [Pisano] What do you think of the U.S. airplanes overflying Colombia
searching for drug trafficker Escobar? Is it not a territorial invasion? 

23.  [Castro] Look, that war will never be won without U.S.  help, and it is
absolutely necessary to put an end to that plague. 

24.  [Pisano] Does Cuba want to get close to Europe? 

25.  [Castro] It is good for us. Spain and Portugal can help us but they are
two different worlds. We are separated by geography and the current historical
circumstances. But is there anything left for us? 

26.  [Pisano] What were you expecting from the Madrid summit? Was there
something left pending? 

27.  [Castro] Everything. But I should say that I felt good.  Banquets,
everything so tasty. Now we have to struggle to make Simon Bolivar's dream for
Latin American unity a reality. No one can separate us from that. We are
involved in it, and I hope it can be done, I mean separate ourselves more from
the United States and get a bit closer to Brazil. We are as divided as during
the times of Columbus. We either move ahead or we will be nothing in the world
of the future. 

28.  [Pisano] How did you feel entering your father's house? 

29.  [Castro] Full of love.... The old man used to feel ``homesick,'' he used
to tell me things about when he was a soldier in Cuba during the opportunistic
U.S. war. But he wanted to return and he did. My father was very poor but a
hard worker. He had a group of peasants; there was one who cared for the cattle
and he suffered from sciatica. By then things had improved and this man became
a cook in the house. He had a bad temper. I always remember that he reprimanded
us. I also remember my father's sadness, but why am I talking about this...? 

30.  [Pisano] Why did Fidel Castro Diaz Ballart resign? 

31.  [Castro] He was fired for being inefficient. What kind of inefficiency?
You want too much.... There was no resignation; he was fired. No, I was not
annoyed because he was my son. There is no monarchy in Cuba. 

32.  [Pisano] You are often called a dictator in the foreign press.... 

33.  [Castro] What does dictator mean? In my country there is no unipersonal
government but a Council of State. I do not choose ministers, ambassadors, or
anything. I have authority, I give my opinion, but any Latin American president
has more power than I do. I am the one who has less chance to do what he wants
in my country, and I do not have those dictatorial powers invented by Roman
law. I only give an opinion, and this is what I am doing now. 

34.  [Pisano] Vargas Llosa said that the Cuban Revolution has affected
negatively the Latin American democratic process.... 

35.  [Castro] Who is Vargas Llosa? Who is he? From where?  From Peru? And what
has he written? 

36.  [Pisano] ``The Praise of the Stepmother'' [El Elogio de la Madrasta],
``The City and the Dogs'' [La Ciudad y los Perros].... 

37.  [Castro] Why does he not stay with his stepmother, his city, and his

38.  [Pisano] Do you only read Garcia Marquez...? 

39.  [Castro] It is the latest one I read, and the best. 

40.  [Pisano] What is the balance for Cuba from the declarations of the Madrid
summit and the Guadalajara summit? 

41.  [Castro] Guadalajara is Mexico. Guadalajara is Latin America. The Aztecs
fought hard in Guadalajara, with a heroism without precedent in history. Madrid
was not invaded by the Aztecs. There is some difference. But the Madrid meeting
was good. 

42.  [Pisano] Did anyone come up against the blockade? 

43.  [Castro] Not a word was said about the blockade. I talked about the
blockade but I did not want to create a division, although I could have. Not
everybody is courageous enough right now to tell the truth. 

44.  [Pisano] You said 30 years ago: ``History will redeem me.'' Would you say
the same thing today? 

45.  [Castro] I have to continue repeating it, and history has to continue to
redeem me. The enemies will write my history, but my conscience is at ease.
That was only a phrase before the judges who sentenced me. Now I see that I am
struggling against the ankees, against the imperialists, against domination and
arrogance. And I say that perhaps 1,000 years will pass, but history will
redeem me. 

46.  [Pisano] How will Cuba be after Castro? 

47.  [Castro] There have been hundreds of years of Cuba without Fidel, and
hundreds of years can pass in Cuba without Fidel. I will be a sigh in history.
I always remember what the Jesuits taught me: ``Ashes to ashes and dust to
dust.'' Very few people will remember me.  Who remembers the dust unless he is
a saint? Like the Apostle James, who receives visits from thousands of pilgrims
from all over. And this I do not need, because I have to rest. This is my