Mexican interviews Fidel Castro
Guillermo Vela: Commander Raul Castro, the people of Mexico would like to have your opinion about the recently published reports about the trials in Cuba. Do you believe that these reports are justified?
Should there be more compassion toward those arrested?
Raul Castro: I will answer by making some questions. Why do these reports decry the justice being applied here? Where did they get the facts that horrors are being committed against the Cuban people? Why were they quit
when our people were being murdered, and now they protest when the people are applying justice? Why are they trying to spread doubt about the prestige of this revolution which was able to gain world opinion by its conduct in every respect, especially the public opinion of Latin America? What are they trying to gain by spreading this doubt and making our prestige diminish in world opinion? Today, naturally, this is a thing that preoccupies us. We do not attack anyone, we only defend ourselves and we will continue defending ourselves. Up to now we have carried out quite a hard task, a difficult task, and impossible task (according to some?). We know that we have a hard task ahead of us, because this new generation, which has been forging the destiny of their nation, has not considered the victory as an assault, or looting, nor with the feeling that the fight has ended. They are aware that now is when the fight begins, now is when the revolution will be made, now is when we have to be more firm, with the same spirit of sacrifice with which we lived in the mountains, and with that same spirit of sacrifice we have come down to the plains. We have come down not to enjoy our victory but to continue fighting to make total this victory for the benefit of the entire Cuban people, and not for the benefit of one special group."
Guillermo Vela: "In other words, Commander Raul Castro, the trials that you have carried out have been justified and the executions have been fully justified. Is that so?
Raul Castro: "It is not that we say so, we have invited everyone to come to witness what is being done here so that they may report to their own
nations impartially that what is happening here is a clear thing. That is what we want. We want the truth to be known. For this reason we have opened the doors of Cuba for anyone who wants to come and see for himself."
Guillermo Vela: And this is very true. Complete calm prevails in Havana. Here in Havana the children are playing in the parks, everything is calm, the traffic is normal, the stores are open, and the schools are open. The Mexican newsmen and the newsmen of all the world nations who are here have been excellently treated, with the traditional Cuban hospitality. And now the hero of the Cuban revolution. Commander Fidel Castro, we have spoken so much about the revolution with so many persons that we will take this opportunity to hold a more human interview, and ask you about the days when you were in Mexico. Dr. Fidel Castro, tell us about the months that you
spend in Mexico.
Fidel Castro: In the first place I wish to say that it will be hard to forget Mexico because it is so closely united with preparation for our small Odyssey, and of course we who have survived of that small group love Mexico dearly, and always remember Mexico. We will always remember the Mexican landmarks, its nature, its culture, and its traditions. The Cuban revolution lies in Mexico. And we have learned a lot from the Mexican revolution, and we consider the Mexican revolution the precursor of the Cuban revolution. Mexico has had a real revolution, just as now Cuba has had a real revolution.
I imagine that the Mexican people have experienced some of the things that we are experiencing now. I imagine the obstacles that they have found in their way, the same islanders of which the Cuban revolution is the victim,
and their efforts against the counterrevolution, that is why I hope that Mexico will support us and that its press does not echo the slanderous and ill-intentioned campaign of vested interests who have been deeply wounding our people during the recent days.
If we were unconditional servants of their interests, if we did not have here a revolution but a common revolt, and the leaders would be willing to receive orders from those who have been ruling our country, you may be sure that we would not have been attacked with this virulence with which we have been attacked. That is why, invoking the traditional friendship of Mexico, we ask for the solidarity of the Mexican people.
Guillermo Vela: Many thanks, Dr. Castro. One more question, Dr. Fidel Castro. About the slanders about which you
have spoken and which were published in the press of all nations, unfortunately also in the Mexican press, we can tell the Mexican people that we are convinced that they are not true. But we would like you to give us a description of the trials, how were they held, and who were the persons executed.
Fidel Castro: I would like to talk about it at great length, to explain the things the way they are. Unfortunately some of the most virulent attacks that we have received originated in some newspapers of Mexico. They have printed cartoons in which Cuba appears to be taking a blood bath. We are not the authors of this bath. Cartoons which have never been drawn against Trujillo or Batista are being printed today against us. We have a history in this war of having inculcated a sense of honor and humanity in our soldiers, as was never done in any army of the world. I can assure you that in the two and one half years of the war we made thousands of prisoners, and not one man has been beaten or tortured or (humiliated?). We released them unless they wanted to join us.
After our victory not one man was dragged through the streets, a unique case in the history of the world, because all the henchmen, who are today under guard, generally after a revolution are dragged by the people during the first days after the victory. We have asked the people not to drag these henchmen so that we may hold public trials according to law. This is what has been done, and still there were people who spread lies that we were carrying out vengeance against Batista followers.
We are holding trials and executing criminals who had executed 20, 30, and even 100 Cubans. Twenty thousand Cubans have been tortured and murdered during the Batista regime. We do not have anything to hide. We have
absolute freedom of the press and we invite all the newsmen of the world to come and see the truth. We have nothing to hide. When there is no crime, freedom of the press need not to be curtailed. We are not afraid of the
Guillermo Vela: Many thanks, Dr. Fidel Castro.