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A Conversation With Fidel

Marvin R. Shanken travels to Havana for an extensive interview with Fidel Castro.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Fidel Castro, Summer 94

(continued from page 2)

Now in the United States there is not a revolution but an evolution. But there are still many injustices to be changed. There are many people who are struggling in the United States for equality and social justice. One of the countries in the world where there are more social differences is the United States. The difference between the average salary of the workers and the executive. The executive makes 90 times' more than the average worker. There are many injustices in the United States, but that is your task to change and not mine. I would not set up preconditions for relations based on these injustices. On a realistic basis, we should respect each other, and, in the world, peace should prevail. There was a great Mexican leader who said that respect for other peoples' rights is peace. So peace should be based on mutual respect.

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Comments   8 comment(s)

Christopher Skinner July 22, 2014 1:16am ET

Great article and interview! Thanks for reposting 20 years later.

Nathan Johnson — Inver Grove Heights, MN,  —  August 7, 2014 10:07pm ET

This is such a cool article! Although I don't agree with Fidel's politics it would have been amazing to sit down with him and talk cigars - what an amazing experience. I found the part about Trinidads particularity interesting the rumor says that this was Fidel's brand but he him self says no.

Terry Penn — Maitland, FL 32751, usa,  —  December 22, 2014 3:22pm ET

It is so disappointing that he has spent such long periods of time not smoking cigars because the do gooders said it was bad and he didn't want to offend them, MY GOD HE IS A DICTATOR FOR CHRISTSAKES!

Ricardo A. Bello T. — Miami, Florida 33172-3652, USA,  —  December 22, 2014 6:30pm ET

I wish he would never had stop smoking at all. On the contrary, it would have been better to see him smoke two or three dozens cigars a day, maybe then he would have the decency to die. So much suffering for the ego of one truly evil man, amazing. That man hated all the good things that Cuban stands for, and he hated La Habana specially.

Angel Garcia — Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,  —  December 23, 2014 8:16am ET

I am fortunate that being a Canadian I am able to travel to Cuba. I have visited Cubans in their houses and they are very content with their lives. I have even been given cigars as presents and which I was told that I could never be able to buy outside of Cuba and they were fantastic. Your interview with Fidel was very enlightening and now that the US has started the ball rolling on the road to Economic cooperation with Cuba I believe both economies will thrive like they used to. I do not believe that Fidel will get to see this happen, which is really sad..

Dr. Gregory Burks — Hattiesburg, MS, USA,  —  December 24, 2014 4:39pm ET

I've smoked cigars for 30 years & know what a labor of love cigars are, for us for such a small price. I've smoked a few Cubans & was disappointed. In light of what we've seen since the embargo, I wonder if El Presidente really knows that Cuban citizens would give him & the Revolution up overnite to live in a modern world. Dr. Greg Burks

Preston Weiters Jr. — Millville, NJ, US,  —  December 30, 2014 8:43pm ET

12/30/14, Cohiba has branched out to DR since the 'revolucion;'I wouldn't rush out just yet to look for them as they're likely to be so expensive you wouldn't want them on a regular basis. I've got a relative in Canada who tells me all tobacco products are very high there, especially Cuban products. How much of the prices of Cuban products are sucked out by either the Cuban &/or Canadian gov'ts in taxes is anybody's guess.

Lorenzo Contreras — San Antonio, Texas, USA,  —  January 21, 2015 2:55pm ET

A Great Re-Post!!Thank you.
From a political point of view and after re-reading this article, it still strikes me funny that things haven't changed much between the U.S. and Cuba in 20 years... how sad.
And remembering that Cohiba is only 43 years young today is great. There are so many cigar smokers that think Cohiba is one of the oldest cigar brands in Cuba is also funny. I'm glad the Fidel Castro, himself, clears things up for us!

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