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
the 1962 missile crisis, contending that he never asked for a Soviet nuclear force in
Denying remarks attributed to him by a former Soviet ambassador, Castro
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
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,
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
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.''