Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Was Fidel Paying Attention?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Was Fidel Paying Attention?

Article excerpt

THOSE hoping for something startling from Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to Cuba were disappointed. On the surface, it was an opportunity for old comrades to affirm their solidarity.

But tensions were just below the surface, and they sometimes poked through the obligatory rhetoric.

The Soviet leader's rejection of "doctrines which justify the export of revolution" jars with Fidel Castro's fervent support for Marxist revolutionaries abroad. The Soviet statement was welcome in Washington, though it was twinned with a condemnation of the export of "counterrevolution," code for United States support for the Nicaraguan contras. The implication being, perhaps, that one kind of export will stop when the other does.

That complicates things, but it may present an opening for negotiation. While Mr. Castro criticized the recent political compromise in Washington that allowed continued humanitarian aid for the contras, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has praised the arrangement and has called on Cuba and the Soviet Union to stop arming Central America's revolutionaries. …

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