Carta de Cuba, la escritura de la libertad




ICCAS Staff Report


Nota del editor de Internet: Para la información de nuestros lectores, reproducimos este informe preparado por el Centro de Estudios Cubanos y Cubano-Americanos (ICCAS) de la Universidad de Miami, en su versión original en inglés.



With the end of the Cold War and the reorganization of the radical left in Latin America under Fidel Castro's leadership, Cuba has gone about the task of rebuilding its ties, adapting its tactics, and redefining its objectives in the Middle East. Themes have been reworked to exploit contemporary issues of concern to both Latin America and the Middle East, such as opposition to free trade and U.S. policies since September 11, 2001. Moreover, with the rise of leftist administrations in Latin America since the late 1990s, Havana's historic policies and goals in the Middle East have gained new momentum thanks to their adoption by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva of Brazil. An analysis of Cuba's bilateral relations with key Middle Eastern states reveals that, while economic ties have become increasingly important for a regime that is cash-strapped and dependent on imported oil, the dominant theme of Castro's foreign policy is, as it has been historically, the formation of an anti-American alliance spanning the globe in order to undermine Washington's policies and objectives around the world.


Cuba's interest and involvement in the Middle East dates from the first years of the Cuban revolution as Fidel Castro extended moral and material backing to fellow "anti-imperialist" movements throughout the Third World. In 1961 Havana became directly involved in the region for the first time with a shipment of weapons to the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) in support of armed struggle to end French colonial rule in North Africa.(1) By the end of October 1963, some 686 Cuban combatants, equipped with Soviet tanks and artillery, had arrived in Oran to secure the newly established leftist regime of President Ahmed Ben Bella.(2) With Ben Bella's approval, in 1964 Castro entrusted Ernesto "Che" Guevara and some 250 Cuban military advisers to set up a logistics base outside Algiers for the coordination of Latin American revolutionary movements and from where Havana clandestinely shipped Soviet armaments (in violation of Moscow's stipulation that Soviet weapons in Cuba could not be re-exported) and supplies to guerrilla forces in South America. As Ben Bella recalls in his memoir, "Since Cuba was under close surveillance [by the U.S.], there was no real chance of organizing the supply of arms and military cadres trained in Cuba to other Latin American countries...Distance was no great handicap. On the contrary, it could work in favor of the secrecy vital for the success of such a large-scale operation."(3)

Fidel Castro's relationship with Algeria's leadership also serves as a case-in-point of a salient characteristic of Cuban foreign policy: expediency. In June 1965, President Ben Bella was removed from office in coup d'etat headed by Col. Houari Boumedienne, Ben Bella's defense minister. Despite the apparently close personal ties between Castro and Ben Bella, Havana never protested the imprisonment of one of its first and truest allies in the Middle East during the nearly 15 years (1965-1979) that Ben Bella lived under house arrest. On the contrary, Cuban-Algerian relations flourished under Boumedienne whom Castro has eulogized as an "unforgettable friend."(4) Tellingly, during Castro's first official visit to Algeria in 1972, Ben Bella found himself imprisoned in a secluded house within a few hundred yards' distance from a "model farm" that was being showcased by the Boumedienne regime to its Cuban guest.(5) In recognition of his contribution over the years to the cause of Algerian independence and to the consolidation of the National Liberation Front's (FLN) authoritarian rule, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika inducted Castro in May 2001 as an honorary member of Algeria's National Liberation Army (ALN) and of the FLN during the Cuban leader's latest visit to Algiers.(6)

The Cuban government's "internationalist" doctrine in foreign policy is driven by Fidel Castro's ideological quest to "make a world safe for the [Cuban] revolution"(7) While Havana's specific objectives and tactics have changed over the years, its quest to form alliances with radical states that share Fidel Castro's animosity toward the United States in particular and toward liberal democracy in general has constantly defined Cuban foreign policy in the Middle East from the early 1960s to the present. In the end Algeria proved to be the first of many arenas for the implementation of what would become, and remains, Havana's signature foreign policy (as codified by the Cuban Communist Party in 1975): "The subordination...of Cuba's interests to the general interests of the struggle for socialism and communism, national liberation, the defeat of [U.S.] imperialism, and the elimination of colonialism [and] neo-colonialism."(8) During the Cold War this policy also served the Soviet Union's interests in the Third World where Soviet and Cuban objectives coincided and reinforced one another.


In January 1966 Fidel Castro hosted an international solidarity gathering in Havana with more than 500 representatives of leftist political parties and organizations from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The purpose of the Tricontinenal Conference, as the event came to be known, was to establish a common front against U.S. "imperialism" by coordinating the efforts of established orthodox communist regimes with those of terrorist groups in the Third World and radical social movements within Western Europe and the United States itself. The conference allowed Castro to become personally acquainted with, among other groups, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and to offer Cuba as a safe haven and training ground. True to his word, by the end of 1966 Castro had established guerrilla warfare camps in the island for the PLO.(9)

Cuban foreign policy toward Israel became increasingly hostile as Havana aligned itself with radical elements in the Arab world after the 1966 conference. During the 1967 Six-Day War, Cuba's then ambassador to the United Nations, Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, attacked Israel's preemptive strikes against invading Arab forces as "a most treacherous ...surprise attack in the Nazi manner."(10) However, given the fact that the Castro regime continued to benefit from "good commercial links" with Israel well into the 1960s, Havana stalled as long as possible in completely severing diplomatic and economic relations with the Israelis.(11) Castro bought time with his Arab allies by instigating and redirecting their ire toward Washington. In 1967, with mounting demands for Cuba to break altogether with Israel, Castro asked rhetorically, "What is Israel?" For Cuba, "an instrument of Yankee imperialism."(12) Beyond a mere rhetorical ploy, the duplicity of Cuban policy toward Israel in the 1960s evinced the pragmatism that has characterized the island's foreign affairs under Castro. Furthermore, Castro was among the first to exploit and propagandize the perception of the United States as the sponsor and apologist of a "Zionist" state to the detriment of Israel's Muslim neighbors.


On September 10, 1973, Fidel Castro decided to withdraw Cuba's diplomatic recognition of Israel. Then, during the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, Castro deployed a Cuban tank brigade against Israeli forces in rearguard combat in the Golan Heights. According to Moshe Dayan, Israel's defense minister at the time, some 3,000 Cuban soldiers were defending Syria in 1974. The Cuban military's participation in open hostilities with an ally of the U.S., even in the context of ultimate defeat for Syria and the loss of some 180 Cuban lives, was hailed by Havana as a proud achievement of Cuban foreign policy in the region. In a speech on December 22, 1975, Castro bragged that it was " secret to anyone that at any given moment of danger and threat to the Republic of Syria, our men were in Syria."(13)

Cuba's current relationship with Syria is described by Havana as "historic and positive," with Syria's voting record in the United Nations "coinciding with Cuba's 86.6 percent of the time."(14) Following the death of his long-standing ally and counterpart Hafez al-Assad, Fidel Castro visited Damascus in May 2001 to establish a personal rapport with the Syrian dictator's son and successor, Bashar al-Assad.(15) In June 2002 Al-Assad reciprocated by sending Syrian Vice President Mohamed Zouheir Macharka to Cuba. During their week-long stay in the island the Syrian delegation headed by Macharka toured, among other "places of interest," Havana's Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering. According to Macharka, the "principal objectives" of his presence in Cuba were to "consolidate the friendship and cooperation between Cuba and Syria."(16)


Fidel Castro established a Cuban embassy in Tehran in 1975 and maintained normal diplomatic relations with the Shah's government. Beneath the surface, however, the Cuban regime intervened in Iranian affairs and cultivated close ties with the Iranian People's Party (IPP). The IPP advocated the violent overthrow of the Shah and represented pro-Soviet communist interests in Iran. After Castro and the First Secretary of the IPP met in 1976, the Shah terminated all Iranian relations with Cuba.(17)

With the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Castro abandoned his support for the IPP and courted Ayatollah Khomeini's anti-American, but also anti-communist, regime. Again, as with Ben Bella in Algeria, Castro sacrificed strict ideological considerations and personal loyalties for the sake of undermining U.S. interests and strengthening Cuba's position and influence in the Third World. Asked in 1980 if the Ayatollah's anti-communist rhetoric worried him, Castro replied, "I am not disturbed. If the revolution can improve the future of the people, it does not matter whether it is based on a Marxist philosophy or a religious philosophy. I know that the Marxists in Iran are supporting Khomeini."(18)

Today Iran is "a friend, a brother, and an ally" to Cuba.(19) Since the mid-1990s Havana and Tehran have made scientific cooperation, particularly in the field of biotechnology, the cornerstone of their increasingly close bilateral relationship. During his first official visit to Iran in May 2001, Fidel Castro accused the West of "wanting to enslave other peoples thanks to its technological progress."(20) Castro decried that "the West owes its scientific and technological development to men of science from abroad" and called on Iran and Cuba to "exchange scientific experience to the economic advantage of both countries."(21) To that end Havana has opened the doors of its prized biomedical research institutions to Iranian scientists and transferred Cuban biotechnology know-how to Iran.(22)


In Libya's Col. Muammar Gaddhafi, Fidel Castro found an alter ego. Ever since Castro and Gaddhafi embraced in 1973 at the Fourth Conference of Non-Aligned Nations in Algiers, putting aside petty megalomaniacal jealousies that had soured their relationship, Cuba's ambitions as a powerbroker in the Middle East found a complement in Libya's desire to exert its influence in Latin America. While Cuba provided military advisers and weapons, Gaddhafi used his country's oil wealth to finance Castro's protege Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and, via Cuba and Ortega's regime, the FMLN Marxist guerrillas in El Salvador. From the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, Libya provided at least US$200 in armaments to Central American leftist guerrillas and granted a US$100 million loan to Ortega's regime in Managua.(23) In a 1976 statement Tripoli defined why a Middle Eastern nation would care to sponsor revolutionary movements in the Western Hemisphere: "The Libyan Arab Republic has begun to attach great importance to the Latin American countries in view of the fact that they can play an important role in combating imperialism and Zionism...[The Libyan Foreign Ministry has launched] initiatives in creating strong links of cooperation and solidarity with the peoples of Latin America."(24)

In return for Gaddhafi's willingness to put his petro-dollars behind his radical rhetoric, Castro has stood behind Tripoli in its confrontations with Washington, going so far as to defend Libya's right to develop and produce weapons of mass destruction. "Even if Libya were in fact manufacturing chemical weapons," declared Castro in 1989, "what right does the United States have to bomb that country?"(25)


Since taking office in 1999 Hugo Chavez has gone out of his way to align Venezuela with Cuba in Latin America and with Cuba's allies in the Middle East. In August 2000 Chavez toured OPEC capitals to win adherents to his policy of curtailing the cartel's production in order to drive oil prices upward. During his journey, which included meetings with Khatami in Tehran and Gaddhafi in Tripoli, Chavez paid an official visit to Saddam Hussein, becoming the first foreign head of state to do so since the end of the Gulf War in 1991. From Baghdad Chavez denounced "any kind of boycott or sanctions that are applied against Iraq or any other country in the world" while conferring with Hussein on measures to counteract Saudi Arabia's more liberal position, and perceived responsiveness to pressure from Washington, on OPEC export quotas.(26) Following the launch of his campaign for higher crude oil prices for OPEC clients, in October 2000 Chavez signed a bilateral cooperation accord with Castro's regime. The accord has subsequently guaranteed oil-dependent Cuba a supply of at least 53,000 barrels per day of Venezuelan petroleum and derivatives on lenient financing terms that amount to a substantial price subsidy.(27)

Paralleling Havana's relationship with Tehran, Chavez has likewise consolidated strategic bonds with the Islamic revolutionary establishment in Iran. In February 2004 Chavez hosted heads of state from member nations of the Group of 15 (G-15). As in the case of Castro's own protagonism within the Non-Aligned Movement, of which the G-15 is an offshoot, Chavez has sought out and given support to like-minded regimes across the globe.(28) During his stay in Caracas for the G-15 conference, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami approved a large-scale Iranian investment, valued at upwards of US$700 million, in Venezuela's state-owned aluminum industry (which includes the transfer of Venezuelan aluminum-processing technology to Iran's state sector) as well as plans for a cement plant of undisclosed value and a US$15 million venture to assemble agricultural machinery in the South American country.(29) The joint ventures, which are all between Iranian and Venezuelan state-owned and operated enterprises, exemplify the two governments' policies of strengthening coordination and integration among the statist economies of the developing world's anti-American regimes.

With respect to oil, Chavez and Khatami have spearheaded the current policy within OPEC to maintain crude oil prices at extraordinary highs. According to the Islamic Republic's Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Venezuela is "in agreement with Iran."(30) In a joint statement issued from Tehran on 8 February 2004, Zanganeh and Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's Energy Minister, declared that "current [oil] prices are at an acceptable level, and we are worried about overproduction."(31)

In attendance at the G-15 gathering in Caracas was Brazil's leftist president, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, who called for "expansion of economic relations with Iran." Lest his interest in relations with Tehran be taken as merely concerning business opportunities for Latin America's largest economy, Lula added that "such cooperation would lead to consolidation of broad ties between the two countries." During their meeting at the Caracas summit Khatami recognized Lula's "independent stances on international issues" and assured his Brazilian counterpart that "Iran is desirous of expanding trade exchange [with Brazil] and meeting [their] countries' needs based on respect and mutual interest." Given the opposition of both Iran and Brazil to current U.S. foreign policies, Khatami also "urged extensive cooperation between the two sides" and announced before departing from Caracas that the "Brazilian foreign minister [Celso Amorim] is expected to visit Iran" in the near future.(32)

Lula's keen interest in bridging the geopolitical distance between Brasilia and Tehran is but one element in his grand strategy for a Latin America-Middle East alliance as a counterweight to American political and economic pre-eminence in both regions. Following a trail first blazed by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, Lula toured the Middle East in December 2003, paying official visits to Syria and Libya as well as to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Lebanon. Accompanied by more than 100 Brazilian executives and entrepreneurs representing the South American giant's leading firms, Lula marketed Brazil as a haven for "a good portion of the $500 billion that Arab countries have not invested in the United States in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks." In addition to negotiating trade accords and seeking business deals, Lula stressed that he was on a mission to promote Arab-Brazilian unity. Specifically, Lula solicited the endorsement of Arab governments for a landmark Arab-Latin American summit to be hosted by Brazil in 2004. From an economic perspective, the conference would serve as a forum to discuss the integration of Arab markets with the MERCOSUR [comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay] trading bloc. However, the Brazilian president made it clear that he "will not swap [his] principles for products." For Lula, the overarching political goal of the summit should be "to create a new world in which the Third World countries have a new role."(33)

Lula's objectives in the Middle East transcend economics. Lula's foreign policy, like Castro's, subordinates narrowly Brazilian interests to the larger cause of building an international coalition against perceived U.S. hegemony. As in the case of Chavez's use of oil as a foreign policy tool, Lula has deftly placed Brazil's economic strength at the service of his political vision while appeasing Brazil's business community. Indicative of Lula's pragmatic approach are new Libyan investments in Brazil on the heels of the Brazilian leader's meeting with Muammar Gaddhafi in December. Tripoli's state-owned Libyan Foreign Investments Company (LAFICO) announced in February that it will commit US$450 million to finance irrigation works in agricultural areas of Bahia state through the Lula administration's Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) initiative for federal spending on infrastructure. Though the PPP scheme has not yet been approved by Brazil's senate, Lula has gone ahead with plans for implementing proposals such as Libya's. Small growers and landless farmers -- a core constituency of the president's Workers' Party (PT) in the 2002 election -- would be among those to immediately benefit from Lula's largesse with public funds. In the process two Brazilian companies whose executives accompanied Lula during his stay in Libya, Andrade Gutierrez S.A. and Odebrecht S.A., have been selected by LAFICO as its contractors. The Libyan government is also entertaining a bid from Odebrecht for the construction of a beltway outside Tripoli, a project valued at some US$300 million.(34)

As illustrated by his remarks to Muammar Gaddhafi in Tripoli, Lula remains true to his ideological roots. Gaddhafi received Lula as "a dear friend" who "used to visit us [as a member of] the International Mathaba [a.k.a. World Mathaba, a Libyan operation which funded Marxist guerrillas, terrorist organizations, and other radical anti-American movements in Central America, the Mideast, and Africa since the late 1970s] while you were fighting within the ranks of freedom fighters." For his part, Lula assured his host, "Today I am president of Brazil, but I will never forget those who were my friends during the difficult times." Gaddhafi went on to decorate Lula with the Libyan Revolution's Great Al-Fateh Medal, "in appreciation of [Lula's] efforts as an active member in the International Mathaba and in further consolidation of the historic relations of struggle established between you and the Great Al-Fateh Revolution." In the presence of Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Eduardo Duhalde [Argentina's interim president in 2002-2003 and now chairman of the MERCOSUR commission], President Lula reminisced how he first visited Libya in 1982, one of the "great moments" in his life when he befriended Ortega, the PLO's Yasser Arafat, and Gaddhafi himself. Lula also used the occasion to affirm his revolutionary credo: "I want to confirm that during this political process [the Brazilian presidential election in 2002] we made several pledges to the people...I am aware of my obligations to the Brazilian people but at the same time I am aware of my obligations towards the whole world. We cannot help the others [foreign allies] if we do not establish a strong [domestic] base. We have to gain credibility in order to assist other nations."(35)


The Cuban revolution's longstanding Mideast foreign policy has been greatly bolstered by the support of policymakers in Caracas and Brasilia. Chavez in Venezuela and Lula in Brazil have given new impetus to Castro's historic ambition of forging alliances with anti-American regimes in the Middle East. Moreover, Venezuela's membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Brazil's might as the world's 11th largest economy are now being exploited by Chavez and Lula, respectively, in a concerted attempt to countervail U.S. influence in both Latin America and the Middle East.

The convergence of Venezuelan and Brazilian diplomacy with long-established Cuban foreign policy in the Middle East is no coincidence. On the contrary, it is the manifestation of a multilateral effort to ensure the mutual survival of anti-American states and administrations -- hence the increasing government-to-government investments and other forms of bilateral cooperation -- while building a transregional bloc capable of obstructing and defeating U.S. objectives in both Latin America and the Middle East. The nexus that runs through Havana, Caracas, and Brasilia extends to Damascus, Tehran, and Tripoli, weaving together a tangled web of ever more explicit ties. Fidel Castro's statement upon arriving in Iran in May 2001, "I am not here for business. This is a political visit,"(36) is all the more credible when echoed by Chavez and Lula as they put their nations' vastly superior economic resources at the disposal of a common cause.

Even more revealing of the conscious alignment between radical regimes in Latin America and like-minded counterparts in the Middle East are Gaddhafi's words of wisdom to President Lula da Silva during their discussions on a new world order in December 2003: "Be cautious towards the imperialists and the reactionaries who are still lurking and conspiring against they are now conspire against President Chavez [in Venezuela] and as they have conspired against the Sandinistas and Ortega in Nicaragua." Gaddhafi reminded Lula of his duty as a revolutionary to "strengthen our international front," in accordance with a vision of "the world restructured as major spaces." In the Libyan dictator's (and Lula's) worldview, "the national state will disappear as it is incapable of countering the challenges of globalization." Ultimately, added Gaddhafi, "We are looking forward to the establishment of...the [Latin] American space and we rely on your [Lula's] role in this respect...You have to shoulder the responsibility with the same courage you have shown during the past era of stuggle and we will support you as we did in the past." In order to solidify this new "international front," Gaddhafi called on Fidel Castro's Sao Paulo Forum -- the coalition established by Castro and Lula in 1990 to unite and coordinate the efforts of the radical left in the Western Hemisphere -- to "extend [its network] from South America to [the Middle East]" in order to defend the "revolutionary system in Venezuela...and the revolutionary system in Brazil."(37)



1. Cf. Piero Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976 (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2002).

2. Cf. Ahmed Ben Bella, "Che Guevara, Cuba, and the Algerian Revolution," The Militant, Volume 2, No. 4, 2 February 1998. [].

3. Cf. Damian J. Fernandez, Cuba's Foreign Policy in the Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1988), p. 80., and A. Ben Bella, Note 2 above.

4. Fidel Castro, speech in Algiers on the occasion of awarding the Jose Marti Order to President Bouteflika, 6 May 2001. [].

5. Cf. Ben Bella, Note 2 above.

6. Cf. "Visita del Presidente cubano Fidel Castro a Argelia," Radio Reloj, Havana, Cuba. [].

7. Cf. Jorge I. Dominguez, To Make a World Safe for Revolution: Cuba's Foreign Policy (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1989).

8. Quoted in Fernandez, p. 19, Note 3 above.

9. Cf. David J. Kopilow, Castro, Israel, and the PLO (Washington, DC: CANF, 1984) and Domingo Amuchastegui, Cuba in the Middle East (Coral Gables, FL: Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, 1999) [].

10. Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, statement at a special session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, June 23, 1967. See Granma, June 24, 1967.

11. According to Havana's minister to Israel at the time, Ricardo Subirana y Lobo, "commercial links were good" between the two states. Israelis had also shared their agricultural expertise with Cuban. See David J. Kopilow, Castro, Israel, and the PLO, pp.15, 20, Note 9 above. On Israel's goodwill policy toward the Cuban revolution prior to Castro's decision to break diplomatic ties, see Maurice Halperin, The Taming of Fidel Castro (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), Chapter 29, especially pp. 242-244.

12. Quoted in Fernandez, p. 39, Note 3 above.

13. In a March 31, 1974 interview on U.S. television, then Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan stated that as many as 3,000 Cuban soldiers were present in Syria. See Kopilow, Castro, Israel, and the PLO, p. 9., Note 9 above. For his part, Castro boasted on December 22, 1975, " is no secret to anyone that at any given moment of danger and threat to the Republic of Syria, our men were in Syria." See Granma Weekly Review, January 11, 1976, p. 5. "Zionist Barbarism in Syria" was the October 28, 1973 Granma Weekly Review headline (p. 8) on the Yom Kippur War. Also see Fernandez, Note 3 above, pp. 76-77.

14. Cf. "Una historia y un presente de lucha," Granma, 16 May 2001.

15. Cf. "Visita a Siria del Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro," AIN (Cuba), 16 May 2001, [].

16. Cf. Miguel Angel Untoria Pedroso, "Las relaciones son solidas y estan consolidadas," Granma, 22 June 2002; "Con importantes encuentros prosigue visita vicepresidente sirio," Bohemia (Cuba), June 2002; Feliberto Carrie, "El vicepresidente sirio inicia hoy una visita oficial de ocho dias a Cuba," Havana, Europa Press, 17 June 2002; Cuba Transition Project, "Syrian Vice-President in Cuba," Cuba Focus, June 17, 2002.

17. Fernandez, Note 3 above, pp. 85-86.

18. Fernandez, op. cit., p. 86.

19. Fidel Castro, quoted in "Califica Fidel a Iran de pais amigo, hermano y aliado," Tehran, AIN (Cuba), 8 May 2001.

20. Fidel Castro, as quoted in Agence France-Presse, "Castro acusa a Occidente de querer someter a los otros pueblos," Tehran, 9 May 2001.

21. Fidel Castro, as cited by Igor Shashkov, "Castro favours broader scientific cooperation with Iran," Tehran, ITAR-TASS News Agency, 10 May 2001.

22. Cf. Nacy San Martin, "Cuba Forced to Sell Technology," The Miami Herald, October 10, 2001; Iran Report, "Iran Biotechnology Gets Foreign Assistance," 6 August 2001.

23. Fernandez, op. cit., p. 90.

24. Quoted in Fernandez, op. cit., p. 105.

25. Fidel Castro, speech delivered at ExpoCuba, Havana, January 4, 1989, in Fidel Castro, Loyalty to Principles (Havana: Editora Politica, 1989), p. 63.

26. Hugo Chavez as quoted by The Associated Press, "Chavez Goes His Own Way - To Iraq," Baghdad, 10 August 2000.

27. Cf. Alexei Barrionuevo and Jose de Cordoba, "For Aging Castro, Chavez Emerges as a Vital Crutch," The Wall Sreet Journal, February 2, 2004. While the cooperation accord between Caracas and Havana stipulates a maximum allotment of 53,000 bpd of Venezuelan crude to the island at preferential rates, Chavez has actually shipped as much as 82,000 bpd to Cuba, in violation of his own agreement with Castro. Cf. "Aumentan envios de crudo a Cuba," El Universal (Caracas), 23 November 2003.

28. Cf. "Speech by President Hugo Chavez at the opening of the XII G-15 Summit," February 27, 2004 [ ].

29. Cf. IRNA, "G-15 nations echo grievances of developing nations," Tehran, February 29, 2004; Reuters, "Venezuela and Iran discuss aluminum and cement deals," 27 January 2004' Iran Ministry of Industries and Mines, "Iran, Venezuela's CVG in alumina plant talks," Tehran, May 23, 2003.

30. Iranian Oil Minister Zanganeh as quoted in Agence France-Presse, "Iran believes world supply exceeds demand," 13 April 2002.

31. Cf. Simon Romero, "OPEC urges discipline on quotas," The New York Times, February 10, 2004.

32. Cf. IRNA, "Khatami, World Leaders Discuss Mutual Ties, Regional Issues," Caracas, 28 February 2004.

33. Cf. Felix Capote, "Lula Visits Five Arab Nations: Arab-Latin American Summit in Brazil, 2004," Havana, Granma Internacional, December 18, 2003; Santiago Millan, "Lula y el petroelo arabe," America Economica Internacional, 5 December 2003.

34. Cf. Giuliana Napolitano, "Libyan state-owned company negotiates joint venture with Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez," and "Brazilian construction companies have their eye on the Arab market," ANBA Brazil-Arab News Agency, Sao Paulo, March 2004.

35. Cf. Jamahiriya News Agency (JANA), "Leader hosts a dinner banquet in honour of the Brazilian President," Tripoli, 10 December 2003; JANA, "The Leader of the Revolution: Speech," Tripoli, 10 December 2003; JANA, "The Leader awards President Da Silva the Great Al Fateh medal," Tripoli, 10 December 2003; and JANA, "President Da Silva speech," Tripoli, 10 December 2003. Also see Denise Chrispim Marin, "Kadafi nao aprova plan de integracao de Lula," O Estado de S. Paulo, 11 December 2003.

36. Fidel Castro as quoted in Deusche Presse-Agentur, "Khatami welcomes Castro, a visit Iran has 'waited 20 years for,' " Tehran, 8 May 2001.

37. Muammar Gaddhafi as quoted in JANA, "The Leader of the Revolution: Speech," Tripoli, 10 December 2003.


*First in a two-part series.


Arriba (up)
Por el 47 aniversario
Las fuerzas armadas en la encrucijada
Ejercito y Transición
Brigada 2506
Deuda Exterior de Cuba
Entrevista a Machover
Objetividad vs. Terrorismo
"Jubilación" en Cuba
Ejercito y transicion
Castro and the Middle East
Estrategia bipolar
La decadencia de Fidel Castro
Castro el infiel
Crónica de una manifestación anunciada
Rol del Poder Judicial
Carta a "Jazz Times" de Paquito D'Rivera
La Poesía- arma peligrosa
Carlos Franqui visita a Praga
Carta de derechos
Espectro de la democracia
Las Reservas del Comandante
Suecos defienden a disidentes
Fusilados al amanecer
Lecciones de Irak
Greenpeace en Cuba
Libre Empresa
Dos escritos de Luis González
El Poder de Convocatoria de Martí