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Cuba Today: An Interview with Ricardo Alarcon

The president of Cuba's National Assembly outlines the country's policies and goals in the face of Bush administration hostility
James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Cuba, May/June 2007

(continued from page 3)

CA: But people make much more out of it than simply style.

Alarcon: That is it. Style.

CA: Raúl is not a young man. Neither is his brother. What about the new generation coming up in the political system? Are you excited about that?

Alarcon: I think that in a way my generation can say that that reality is the confirmation of our victory. I see people taking responsibilities and doing things as part of the new wave of individuals that believe in our society. It's not just the top echelon of the government but it is the society in general. They are our children, or even grandchildren. It is a completely different feeling than anybody thought we would have. And for us it is a great source of joy.

CA: Do you think with this new generation we will see a new attitude, or even relationship, with the United States?

Alarcon: Raúl himself has said more than once that the best thing for the U.S. would be to solve this confrontation with Cuba when Fidel Castro and his generation are in charge. Raúl has said this many times. He said that it would be much more difficult after than it would be to do it now.

CA: But there has not been much contact with the American government in recent years.

Alarcon: Nothing. It has been like that since [George W.] Bush became president.

CA: Do you think that might change with the forthcoming presidential election?

Alarcon: Nobody can say at this moment who can win. But whoever wins, changes would have to come from the U.S. The administration is even recognizing that themselves now. Why is it that Mr. Bush is making this trip to Latin America? When was the last time the president of the U.S. visited Latin America?

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