Castro Assails Capitalism, Says Socialism Will Rise Again

Article excerpt

Cuban President Fidel Castro dashed any hope Wednesday for radical revision of Cuba's politics and economy, describing capitalism as a failed ideology that condemned the earth to poverty, pollution and misery.

Winding up a three-day private visit to this Caribbean port at the invitation of Colombian President Cesar Gaviria, Castro said he would never abandon his lifelong commitment to Cuba and communism.

"I want my bones to rest there, because as long as I can move I will never abandon my cause or my homeland," Castro said in a news conference.

Asked why he clung so stubbornly to ideas that most of the rest of the world has rejected, Castro was defiant.

"If stubborn means being ready to fight to the last drop of blood and the last breath to defend your ideas, to defend the homeland and the revolution . . . this is the only explanation I would have for why people receive me well," he said. "I will never resign, and if this means being stubborn, I will carry on being stubborn."

Socialism, he said, might be going through a difficult moment, but it will recover. "If something dies it can also revive," he said. "Lazarus died and Christ said `Rise up and walk.' Perhaps communism needs someone to say `Rise up and walk.' "

Castro was less forthcoming about why he had suddenly come to Colombia for an unannounced visit and about what he had discussed with Gaviria and Colombian Foreign Minister Noemi Sanin de Rubio.

"I know a lot of mystery and expectation has been aroused by these conversations," he said. "There is no mystery," he said. "We simply . . . had the desire to talk as we always had talked. …