Fidel says Cuban Revolution will continue

Jay Moore research at
Fri Jun 23 08:25:17 MDT 2000

In an interview, Castro says he is confident of Cuba's future
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, 6/23/2000

HAVANA - President Fidel Castro said in an interview published yesterday
that he is not worried about Cuba's transition after he dies, because the
socialist revolution will continue without him since he is just a common

''In Cuba, there is no personality cult,'' Castro said in an interview with
Spain's Federico Mayor, the former director general of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

The interview was published in its entirety in the official daily Granma.

''When a true revolution has been consolidated, and the spread of its ideas
and consciousness has begun to bear fruit, no one - no matter how important
his personal contribution - is indispensable,'' Castro said.

The 73-year-old Cuban leader has in the past endorsed his brother, Raul
Castro, as his successor. Raul Castro, 69, is the number two man in Cuba's
Communist Party and the government's ruling Council of State, as well as
head of the armed forces.

Castro did not mention his brother in the interview, but he said the
question of succession - a topic of endless speculation in Cuba and abroad -
was not really an issue.

''I wasn't a head of state as much as a very common man,'' Castro said. ''I
didn't inherit any title, nor am I king.''

The socialist transition has been going on for more than 40 years and will
continue because there is a party ''with much moral prestige and
authority,'' Castro said. ''What should I be worried about?''

Castro touched on a host of issues, including the Elian Gonzalez case, the
US election campaign, the problems confronting poor countries, and the US
trade embargo against the Caribbean island.

Mayor interviewed Castro in January in Havana for a book he is writing.
Granma published what it said was the transcription of the interview

Mayor asked whether the United States was trying to influence Cuban politics
through the trade embargo.

Castro responded: ''They didn't try to influence the revolution, but rather
destroy it.''

On Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate campaign in New York, Castro said her
aides sometimes give her bad advice. He said she had said she hoped Elian's
father could be persuaded to stay in the United States with his 6-year-old
son. Castro termed the suggestion ''a grave and gratuitous offense'' to

Castro cited US laws that allow Cubans to receive residency if they reach
American soil as the reason that so many Cubans have left the island.

''If Mexico and the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean had received
such privileges over the past 35 years, more than half of the population of
the United States would be Latin American and Caribbean,'' Castro said.

At the end of the interview, Mayor asked Castro whether he would remain a
myth in death as he has been in life.

''That's not me,'' Castro said. ''It's the governments of the United States
that has converted me into what you call a myth, and if I have been one in
life it's also thanks to their failures to deprive me of it.''

This story ran on page A23 of the Boston Globe on 6/23/2000.
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.

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