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From: "Pedro Martori"
Subject: Castro denies sabotaging antiterror effort
Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 13:33:42 -0400
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 13 Oct 2002 13:33:05 EDT
Organization: Bell Sympatico
Asunto: On TV, Castro denies sabotaging antiterror effort
Fecha: Sunday, October 13, 2002 12:57 PM
On TV, Castro denies sabotaging antiterror effort
BY NANCY SAN MARTIN
The United States is lying when it charges Cuba is deliberately
sabotage antiterrorist efforts and is involved in the production
bioweapons, President Fidel Castro tells ABC's Barbara Walters in
interview to be broadcast tonight.
Castro also says the Cuban Missile Crisis was the result of
Nikita Khrushchev's lies -- not Castro's willingness to
And he says organizers of an unprecedented petition drive for
reforms on the island will receive a response from the Cuban
Those are among the highlights of the Walters interview with
will air at 10 p.m. today on ABC's 20/20.
The taped interview is the first lengthy televised exchange with
since Walters last spoke with him in 1977.
It is being aired as Cuba marks the 40th anniversary of the Cuban
Crisis with a conference in Havana that includes key members of
President John F. Kennedy's administration.
''The whole hour is dedicated to Castro and Cuba,'' said Alyssa
Apple, an ABC spokeswoman.
Walters peppers Castro with a variety of questions that begin
alleged involvement with terrorism and ends with a synopsis of
Gonz√°lez saga and its effect on U.S.-Cuba relations.
Castro responds in a friendly, though sometimes terse tone, using
first name for effect.
On the U.S. allegations that Cuba has tried to sabotage
efforts by providing false leads and that scientists are
the production of biological weapons, Castro said, ``all those
are absolute lies.''
Castro tells Walters that Cuba has never taken aggressive action
United States and that ``not one drop of American blood has been
The 1996 case in which Brothers to the Rescue pilots were shot
down by a
Cuban MiG is not discussed. Three of those civilian airmen were
citizens, the other a U.S. resident.
Walters also asks Castro what important new information has been
the release of classified information on the Cuban Missile
erupted in mid-October 1962 when Kennedy learned that there were
nuclear warheads in Cuba.
''We would not have accepted the missiles if they had said it was
the balance of power,'' Castro said, adding that Khrushchev
Kennedy'' and also ``lied to Cuba.''
In the interview, Castro also briefly discusses the Varela
initiative that calls for a referendum on sweeping democratic
Castro acknowledged that the Cuban Constitution guarantees
citizens a right
to gather signatures but he stopped short of legitimizing the
''Yes, they have the right to present a petition but not to
constitution,'' Castro said. ``Anyone has the right to present a
. . yes, and they will receive the response from the National
will have their response in due course.''
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