Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-94-118 Daily Report 17 Jun 1994 CARIBBEAN Cuba

`Loathsome' U.S. Summit Exclusions Cited

FL1706145094 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 1155 GMT 17 Jun 94 FL1706145094 Havana Radio Rebelde Network Spanish BFN [Remarks by President Fidel Castro during news conference with domestic correspondents following the fourth Ibero-American summit in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on 16 June; from the "Doing Radio" program -- recorded]

[Text] The issues that ought to be discussed at the Miami summit include: the defense of sovereignty; the principle of nonintervention in Latin American affairs; and the abandonment of pretexts used to meddle more and more in domestic affairs, such as the drug trafficking problem. The United States should not use this as an excuse to try to limit the sovereignty of Latin American countries and turn their armies into police forces. There are many political and economic issues.

I was thinking that if it is true that they -- as they say -- want to establish a more mature relationship and withdraw their bases from Latin America, they must not forget to close the Guantanamo base. They must fulfill their agreements and withdraw forces from Panama and any other country. Security, political, and economic problems ought to be discussed at that summit. There are many things.

If they want the views of the nongovernmental organizations, they ought to ask everyone's opinion -- indigenous people, women, unions, civilian organizations, etc. -- without exclusions. There is a gamut of things to discuss with the United States. I advocate the Latin American peoples' discussion of those issues at that notorious Miami summit. It will be a summit of Latin American and Caribbean countries. I know courageous politicians. I have met them at these summits. I have met them in the Caribbean, worthy and capable people.

We hope these issues will be brought up to challenge the slogans. As I said, we have lived from decade to decade, from slogan to slogan, from century to century, lie after lie. Every new administration comes up with something new...[pauses] the Alliance for Progress, the Initiative for the Americas. Every president invents a new catch phrase for the day. They should not allow this to become another catch phrase for the day. I am glad that the summits we have held, free from the intervention of third parties and without having to get anyone's permission, have forced them to convene the Miami summit.

Of course, they could have selected a different city. Miami has already been chosen. They did not bother to hide the fact that this is a political ploy, a U.S. domestic policy ploy. They have returned to their loathsome exclusions, which reflect deep down -- I say it again -- political cowardice, lack of courage to face the debate, and lack of courage to discuss the truth. They do not want to catch sight of anything, like my uniform or guayabera. [laughter]