Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-94-191 Daily Report 1 Oct 1994 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Castro on UN General Assembly Blockade Opposition

FL0110145494 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 1154 GMT 1 Oct 94 FL0110145494 Havana Radio Rebelde Network Spanish BFN [Report by Ilia Sardina; passages within quotation marks recorded; from the "Doing Radio" program]

[FBIS Translated Text] [Sardina] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro spoke with Cuban reporters during the observance of the 45th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. He spoke, among other issues, about the ongoing 49th session of the UN General Assembly.

[Castro] "They will discuss regional crises such as Haiti. There is talk of restructuring, of democratizing the United Nations. This is a very important point. There are several issues on the table. The four or five more important issues will be debated."

[Sardina] Fidel pointed out that opposition to the blockade grows by the day.

[Castro] "Within the United States, this is so today more than ever. Before, nobody dared to oppose it; today, the most influential media outlets do so. Hundreds of editorials against the blockade have been written. There are a number of important personalities, institutions, religious figures, legislators [against the blockade]. The number of people from every sector is growing rapidly. The need to end the blockade has been strongly stated.

"Nobody knows when the delivery will take place. Nobody knows if the baby is three weeks, or two months along."

[Unidentified speaker] "That day is bound to come, hopefully soon."

[Castro] "It has to happen."

[Unidentified speaker] "Do you believe we are on a definite path toward this?"

[Castro] "I believe it is not an easy task. It is difficult and complex, but we all have to work, and work with intelligence, toward that end. However, I believe we are unavoidably headed toward that day. This is my opinion. We cannot be so pessimistic as to believe we have to wait for a change of administration. There are many sectors opposing the blockade. There might even be a new administration in office, and this trend remains irreversible. However, we do not think this is something to be left to the Greek calends. We believe the times are changing, and opinions are developing. Everyone believes this matter of the economic blockade is absurd and crazy since the Cold War has ended. The Revolution has shown a great wealth of patience. We have been patient for over 35 years. And now patience is more important than ever.

"Cuba has demonstrated great seriousness in the talks. Before this one, there was the problem of Namibia, the struggle in Angola between Cubans, Angolans, and South Africans. These were difficult and complex problems. We had 50,000 soldiers there and those talks and negotiations were long before Resolution four -- What is it? I don't even remember -- [repeats] Resolution 435 on the independence of Namibia. This provided positive results. Namibia achieved independence. This speeded up the process of the collapse of apartheid. All these were the results. Cuba negotiated all that. Cuba played a role, demonstrated great seriousness during the negotiations. Unfortunately, peace in Angola was not achieved. That was not our fault, but the result of aid that the United States and South Africa -- large caches of weapons and resources -- gave to Zabimbi. The entire world knows this. The war in Angola has been artificially sustained. Cuba participated in the negotiations and demonstrated a seriousness never shown by anyone. We are proud to be a serious country. We speak with honor and honorably fulfill our commitments. This is priceless. Those countries that do not respect themselves are in turn not respected by anyone else. Nobody is serious with countries that do not take themselves seriously. The style and history of the Revolution gives it tremendous authority to negotiate."

[Sardina] Regarding the complex immigration problem, Fidel pointed out that Cuba has strictly fulfilled its part.

[Castro] "The solution to this problem is hard, complex. We still have to see how it is to be fulfilled. The number of visas granted by the Americans to date have been very few. They have stated that they are training the personnel, that they will soon send the necessary personnel, that they need more room. We will see. Perhaps by October there will be an increase in the number of visas. So far, it has been more or less as usual. We have strictly fulfilled our responsibilities in a satisfactory manner. There has been no violence, use of force -- not a single blow, nothing. This shows the moral authority of the Revolution, its influence, its capacity to confront problems that appear very difficult. The U.S. Government thought it was very difficult to stop the exodus. Of course, the fact that an accord was reached and a minimum of 20,000 visas were accorded, that alone made many people rethink emigration plans. Now, they have requested the paperwork and can join the lists to leave. A number of factors contributed to this, but this has also demonstrated the authority and respect the Revolution receives. Even adversaries agree."