Socialism can’t resolve all ills: Fidel Castro
HAVANA FIDEL Castro says he now realises it was a mistake to think that socialism can resolve all economic problems.
Castro made the candid admission during the release of a two-volume memoir, official media said on Saturday.
The leader of the Cuban Revolution, 85, who left office in 2006 due to an illness, conversed for six hours with guests at Friday’s release of Guerrillero del Tiempo, written by journalist Katiuska Blanco.
The nearly 1,000-page memoir begins with the recollections of his childhood and ends in December 1958 on the eve of the guerrilla movement’s victory that brought down dictator Batista that turned Cuba into a communist country aligned with the Soviet Union.
Blanco is also the author of Todo el Tiempo de los Cedros (All the Days of the Cedars), an official history of the Castro family (2003). Castro spoke of the mistake of believing that socialism can solve all economic problems.
He also outlined his deepest opposition to students having to pay for their education, and about international affairs like the dispute over the Falkland Islands.
Fidel Castro did not rule out continuing to write. “I have to do it now because one’s memory wears out.” Regarding the politics of Latin America and the Middle East, Castro said, “There is no longer room only for national interests.
Instead, they should be framed under world interests.” “Our duty is to fight until the last minute for our country, for our planet and for humanity,” the 85-year-old leader said.
“I’m willing to do everything possible to convey what I remember well,” Castro was quoted as saying in the official newspapers Granma, Young Rebel and on the website Cubadebate.
“I have been expressing all the ideas I had and the feelings that I went through. I am aware of the importance of telling all this to pass it so that it can be useful.” He said he closely follows events in Venezuela under the government of his friend, Hugo Chavez. “No one did more for the people of Venezuela and the Bolivarian Movement,” he said.
He also referred to the Chilean student protests demanding free and quality education under the guidance of their leader Camila Vallejo.
“We should support the ideas of the young Chilean in the sense of fighting for education available equally to all,” Castro said. “It shouldn’t be just general education and free, but we should also worry about what is taught,” he added.
This was Castro’s first public appearance since April 2011 when he attended the closure of the 6th Communist Party Congress where his younger brother Raul Castro replaced him as head of the party.
Fidel Castro spoke on a variety of subjects on Friday.
The event was attended by Cuban intellectuals and Culture Minister Abel Prieto. In July 2010, Castro made a surprise return to public life after four years of convalescence from the serious illness that forced him to delegate the Cuban presidency to Raul in 2006.
Since then the Cuban leader has participated with irregular frequency in meetings, visits, ceremonies and press conferences with Cuban and foreign reporters.