Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Castro Comments on Role of ANPP, Elections
Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks

Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     FL1202223893
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-93-030          Report Date:    17 Feb 93
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       3
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       12 Feb 93
Report Volume:       Wednesday Vol VI No 030


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

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Comments on Role of ANPP, Elections

Author(s):   unidentified reporters at the government building in Santiago de
Cuba on 11 February-recorded]

Source Line:   FL1202223893 Havana Tele Rebelde and Cuba Vision Networks in
Spanish 0100 GMT 12 Feb 93

Subslug:   [Interview with President Fidel Castro by unidentified reporters at
the government building in Santiago de Cuba on 11

1.  [Interview with President Fidel Castro by unidentified reporters at the
government building in Santiago de Cuba on 11 February-recorded]

2.  [Text] [Reporter] The people of Santiago de Cuba have been thinking about
the 40th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks. Perhaps I am
getting too far ahead, but I would like to know what you think about the work
that all Santiago de Cuba residents are doing, especially your opinion [words

3.  [Castro] [Words indistinct] and not about 26 July. We must focus on 24
February, but the 24 February victory will bring glory to 26 July.

4.  [Reporter] That is why I would like to take advantage of this subject, now
that you have brought it up. You talked about procedural issues. Now I would
like you to explain something about concepts. Do you think the improvement of
the electoral process necessarily means an improvement in our National
Assembly [ANPP] and our provincial assemblies?

5.  [Castro] Of course, without a doubt, because they will have much more
direct contact with the people and because they will have more authority.
Direct election of the deputies and delegates by the people will give them
more authority than indirect election by the municipal assembly delegates.

6.  They have lived through a unique experience, which commits them a lot
more. All their visits, contacts, and meetings make them better informed. Of
course, the delegates must be delegates in two senses of the word.  They must
represent those who voted for them, and they must represent the country,
because we are not a federation of municipal representatives. It is very
important to understand this double role of the delegates. But I think it will
make the people think more at length about the problems in different parts of
the country. They will understand the country's reality better, and they will
be invested with greater authority.

7.  I think the selection process will also result in high quality, quality
that must be higher every year, because every year our country has more
knowledge. There are more skilled, capable, brilliant people, and the ANPP
should become....[pauses] It is not just for brilliant people, because a
person who is outstanding at the base level, as a magnificent district
delegate or as the president of a people's council, is worthy of being in the
ANPP, and that helps a lot.

8.  The ANPP cannot be an assembly of intellectuals alone, or philosophers, or
lawyers who make laws. It must be representative of the country. But for each
of the areas it represents, it must represent the country's best. Of course,
it will always be difficult to say it represents the best, because there are a
lot of people who are the best.  When there are so many to choose from, it is
very difficult to use the word ``best.'' It is enough to say the effort has
been made to choose the most representative, the most skilled and capable; in
short, the effort has been made. This does not mean that if you are choosing
between 40,000 and 50,000, there are not thousands of people with the same
qualifications as the others, but who still have to improve, find themselves,
and develop a little more.

9.  We must also improve our selection methods. The methods of the candidacy
commissions must be improved, because this is the first time we have walked
along this road. We have accumulated some very valuable experience.

10.  [Reporter] You are thinking about future elections.

11.  [Castro] I am thinking about future elections, with even more

12.  [Reporter] Could (?our democracy) become even more democratic?

13.  [Castro] I think everything can always be improved, but we are getting as
close as possible. For now, I think we have what no one else has. I felt it
yesterday when I was speaking with the people, especially because of an idea
which many of them understood. Who has been nominated as deputy? Who can be a
deputy in this country?  They are not the millionaires [words indistinct] the
famous lawyer, the senior partner who defends the firm's interests.

14.  Just the idea that any man or woman [words indistinct] in this country,
if they meet the requirements, can be in the ANPP is something you will not
find anywhere else, or only as an exception. A brilliant person can make it as
an exception, and who knows how many concessions he had to make along the way
to get there. They are the exception, but here they are the rule. They make it
without anyone's patronage, influence, or money. When a country achieves this,
when the top state leadership organizations-and in this case the provincial
organizations as well- are made up of people of that quality and from those
origins, it is an accomplishment that other countries do not have.

15.  When you stop to think that almost half of our ANPP is base-level
delegates, this is something that no other country has. Because in what
country do the town counselors reach the legislature? Who knows better than a
town counselor about the problems that exist at his level? Where does the
mayor of a small village reach the legislature? Where does the president of a
people's council reach the legislature? These are local leaders, and local
leaders do not reach the legislature. To be in the legislature, everyone must
be national-level leader.  Besides being a national-level leader....[pauses]
To be a national-level leader one must be rich, belong to the ruling class,
the wealthy class, the influential class. One must have a machine and

16.  You can see that the leftist political parties are generally isolated,
alone, and without resources, without money for propaganda or anything. They
get one, two, or three deputies elected, but the others, who have the money
for propaganda and every possible resource....[pauses] It has become a science
of selling the candidate, the same as selling Coca-Cola and cigarettes. Not
having to suffer from any of these terrible vices already puts us above all
the other countries, as a democratic country.

17.  I would say that these people, the base-level people, that they can be
elected is one of the best things. You can see that the number of national
figures here is approximately 100, or 100 something. They are approximately 20
percent of the ANPP. Because we have here....[pauses] I think that [scientist
Carlos] Cabal was nominated as a national figure, right? As a deputy. That
means they come from three sectors: the base level, the provincial level, and
the national level. But there are many who have come from the national level
who are not national figures but national talents, which is not the same. Many
of these talented people are not well known.

18.  [Reporter] (?We have a deputy from the scientific hub.)

19.  [Castro] Yes, I think for Guama.

20.  [Reporter] Yes, for Guama.

21.  [Castro] I was told that this morning. Therefore, there are very few
national figures that are among the 589 deputies. There are 274 base-level
deputies, approximately 180 are provincial level, but many delegates from the
provinces are not well known. They are municipal officials of the Federation
[of Cuban Women] or the Union of Young Communists. Because the provinces
nominated their own people. It is natural that in this struggle for
integration, the different sectors will fight to nominate their people. The
provinces nominated their athletes, a good number of them. The number was
higher; the candidacy commission more or less adjusted all of that. But when
an athlete is nominated, there are some who say: They have nominated an
athlete. Will he be a good deputy?

22.  But I ask myself: Will someone who has renounced millions of dollars in
order to be loyal to the country be a good deputy? If all the deputies were
people in the world who had renounced millions of dollars because they are
loyal to a cause, the world would be full of wonderful deputies. Because they
have a sense of honor, dignity, and loyalty. How many offers have been made to
many of our athletes? In any other country with professionalism, nominating an
athlete would seem like a hobby. But here they were not elected. The people
realized this, and they were not elected. Sometimes, they nominated Clavelito
[not further identified] who used to say: Think of me and I will make that
thought work for you. He was nominated. What?

23.  [Reporter] Fortunately I did not live through that period.

24.  [Castro] Fortunately, I did so I am able to compare it.  [laughter] I
envy your not having experienced it, and I especially envy your youth, which
makes it impossible for you to have experienced it. But at the same time I am
happy I was able to compare and know about this.

25.  [Reporter] I envy your having participated in 26 July and in all the
lovely things you did before so that we could enjoy this very beautiful
Revolution. I greatly envy you all those things.

26.  [Castro] You are forgetting something. This Revolution would be nothing
without you, the people.

27.  [Reporter] Besides, we should give the scientists the results of the
electoral process so that you will [words indistinct].

28.  [Castro] [Words indistinct] I do not have the slightest doubt.  [Words
indistinct] abroad, because they had to go to assemblies to debate and
nominate. Because they direct everything from abroad. They release a whole
flood of propaganda that reaches the country every day. They must be more or
less amazed. [laughter] They must not be able to understand this. They must
not understand....

29.  [Reporter, interrupting] They must be amazed, amazed at us. Your words
that were broadcast on 7 February during the ceremony [words indistinct] were
very illuminating and vital to the people's awareness of how to act during
this election. At least I think so.

30.  [Castro] Otherwise, these small town base-level delegates would not be

31.  [Reporter] We would not be elected. [laughter]

32.  [Castro] Do you know what winning 25,000 votes would entail if everyone
starts selectively saying: This one is a neighbor, this one I have met once,
or I have never met this one. The method requires, first of all, high quality
in the selection, because high quality in the selection is what gives us the
moral authority to ask for support, to ask for a united vote. If the selection
is bad, if it is the opposite, we would not have the moral authority to ask
for a united vote.

33.  It is the quality of the selection and the mass process, right? Because
over 80 percent of the population belongs to the mass organizations, which did
the work. It has been an incredible effort in a very short period. I hope that
next time [words indistinct] even more consultations. The process should be
even better. But quality is what provides the moral basis for asking for a
united vote. One cannot assert that the selection is 100 percent correct. That
is really impossible. No one will ever be able to assert this. There have to
be some errors. There have to be some mistakes. There might be better
candidates who were not selected. But that the maximum effort has been
made-this can be asserted. We have witnessed this.

34.  Those of us who have seen the candidacy commissions at work know how they
worked and how they conducted the consultation process. Still, we could have
used more time for further consultations. The more we improve the mechanism,
the more assurance we will have that the people selected will be top quality.
There will be a greater base to choose from. Half will always have to come
from the base level, and those from the base level cannot be
people....[pauses] A hospital director cannot be a district delegate. He
cannot do both tasks. Therefore, in general, the district men will be people
from the base level there, of the people, of the base level, and not well
known.  Now, you cannot take any well-known person-a famous performer-and
nominate and elect them from among the district delegates, because they are
either on television or they are in the district.

35.  Now, another thing in our democracy that is growing is the hundreds and
thousands of delegates who are elected by direct vote. This is an immense pool
of cadres for future deputies. This is their first experience of elections to
provincial delegates. Do you know how many votes they have to get? A
provincial delegate has to obtain as many votes as a deputy. He has to obtain
half the votes plus one.

36.  [Reporter] Over 50 percent.

37.  [Castro] A candidate for deputy is better known than a candidate for
provincial delegate. Do you have any idea how much these people know about the
provinces? It is a much, much better method than any other method. It has all
the virtues of democracy without any of the vices and corruption of the
so-called historical democracies which we know of. You should have seen what
those elections were like. The walls were all painted, posters, propaganda,
political sergeants, a whole machinery, money. Rivers of money flowed, rivers
of money.

38.  [Reporter] I remember, of course. There was a polling station near my

39.  [Castro] You are going to find this whenever you travel to any
neighboring country. Well, let me see if I can go and talk a little with....

40.  [Reporter, interrupting] Thank you very much, Commander.

41.  [Castro] I will see you all soon. Hugs.

42.  [Reporter] Thank you, Commander.