[Marxism] Interview Cuban Ambassador to Ireland, Noel Carillo (An Poblacht)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 12 10:08:20 MST 2006

This is from An Poblacht/Republican News, the weekly newspaper of
Sinn Fein. The Cuban ambassador takes up the growing economic and
cultural relations between Cuba and Ireland, and discusses the Good
Friday Agreement, which Cuba fully endorses "as a big opportunity for
the resolution of the situation. Ireland as a whole may find a way to
solve the problem and to eliminate confrontation and the impact of
the conflict on the population in the North." The interview takes up
two successive issues of the newspaper. Thanks to Domnall for these
links. Here are excerpts about ALBA and Good Friday.

I've already expressed myself on this issue and don't intend now to 
re-debate it over again. I'm sharing this for the information of
Marxmail readers. I've sent the full commentaries to CubaNews and
other lists. This is obviously a discussion of the same kinds of
issues as is occurring in Nepal today, in South Africa when the
apartheid system fell, with the decision of ETA to announce their
ceasfire, and as are being discussed in Colombia today.

Diplomatic agreements are somewhat akin to union contracts that
basically reflect the relationship of forces at the time they're
signed. They can't solve problems, but only become the basis for
new struggle on a different political terrain. Obviously, social
justice doesn't exist in South Africa, but black majority rule is
a big step forward for that country, in my personal opinion.

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California

Cuban Ambassador to Ireland, Noel Carillo

ALBA was signed by Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba, but it is already
having effect in some other countries.

"We have hospitals in Bolivia near the border with Perú and Argentina
and patients from these two countries travel to Bolivia for
treatment. Before, we used to take these people to Cuba, but it was
very expensive. Now we want to be more economically efficient. I want
to insist - this is not trade co-operation, we are not exporting
doctors and we are not getting paid for training these doctors, who
as students get a very small allowance and live with Cuban families.

"From an economic point of view, ALBA will compensate the needs of
every country. For example, Bolivia was selling soya beans to a
neighbouring country but because this country signed a free trade
agreement with the US, they are not allowed to buy Bolivian soy
anymore. We need soy beans, so we are buying now from Bolivia, and we
are selling them things they do not have. Sometimes there is no money
involved in the transaction - we exchange one product for another.
This is the kind of integration we were dreaming of and we are
building today.

In 1981 Cuba's Fidel Castro praised the courage and self-sacrifice of
the Irish Hunger Strikers and there is a monument in Cuba to their
memory. Asked whether there is a wider awareness in Cuban society of
the Irish struggle for unity and independence and what Cubans know of
the Irish peace process, Carrillo responded:

Although Cuba is not a Catholic country, we have a Christian
background and this is why life is so important to Cubans. When the
Hunger Strikers gave their life for their cause it was a wake up call
for Cuban society. We got to know the problem in the North through
this Hunger Strike, it affected a whole generation of Cubans and, as
a result of Fidel Castro's comments, it touched the souls of so many

We have been paying attention to the conflict in the North and we see
the Good Friday Agreement as a big opportunity for the resolution of
the situation. Ireland as a whole may find a way to solve the problem
and to eliminate confrontation and the impact of the conflict on the
population in the North.

"We fully support the Agreement and we keep in our memory the
sacrifice made by the Hunger Strikers and we feel that what they did
opened the way to the agreement of today.

"This is an internal matter, of course, but we believe that the only
way to solve this situation is by taking into account the interests
and opinions of all sides. This is why we are very impressed by the
advances in St. Andrews and we hope this is the beginning of the end
of the impasse in the process."


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