The Miami Herald
September 12, 1998

             Castro speaks out during wide-ranging TV interview

             By TERRY JACKSON Herald Television Critic

             In a CNN special airing Sunday night, Cuban President Fidel Castro expounds on
             the 1962 missile crisis, contending that he never asked for a Soviet nuclear force in
             his country.

             Denying remarks attributed to him by a former Soviet ambassador, Castro also
             says he never urged Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to launch a pre-emptive
             strike at the United States.

             And he calls the Soviet-U.S. agreement that ended the crisis ``disgraceful''
             because it didn't contain guarantees for Cuba's future.

             Castro made his comments during a nearly six-hour interview taped in June in
             Havana with Pat Mitchell, CNN production president.

             The special, Castro in His Own Words, airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on the cable

             In excerpts of the special translated from Spanish and provided by CNN, Castro
             admits that the United States won the Cold War, but says ``it had very good
             collaborators in the Soviet Union itself.''

             He says that ``there is no other power that can compete with the United States,''
             but says such dominance is an intermediate step toward a ``multipolar world'' with
             many competing economic blocs.

             When asked if he's pessimistic about his future, Castro responds, ``A pessimist
             cannot be revolutionary because the difficulties that loomed ahead of us were so
             very, very, very big that, if we had not been the world's greatest optimists, we
             wouldn't have gone on.

             ``But we're also realists. If you're not a realist you may lose the battle, you need to
             be aware of the problems. In other words, you have to be optimistic but, at the
             same time, realistic and you must believe in human beings, despite the fact that the
             human being hasn't yet been given much proof of being sufficiently wise.''