INTRODUCTION: The Vice-President of the Cuban Council of Ministers, Dr. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, says Cuba?
SV Reporter seated with Cuban Council of Ministers' Vice-President Carlos Rafael Rodriguez in Havana, Cuba (MUTE)
SV & CU Reporter interviewing Rafael (in English)
Dr. Rafael was asked about Cuban troops in Angola.
REPORTER: "How costly has the Angolan War ben for Cuba in terms of casualties?"
RAFAEL: "Well, I could say that really, casualties have been minimal."
REPORTER: "There are no figures?"
RAFAEL: "We have no figures, we have not given figures, but I may assure you it was less than the cost of the Bay of Pigs invasion to Cuba. Much less."
REPORTER: "Less than the cost of the Bay of Pigs?"
RAFAEL: "Yes. Less than the cost of the Bay of Pigs"
REPORTER: "How would you react to a request for help from nationalist forces in Rhodesia?"
RAFAEL: "We were not in Angola at the request of the nationalist movement. We are not acting on behalf of rebels and united movements. We are giving support to the revolutionary movements in the fight in other ways. But we were in Angola at the request of the government, the official government of Angola, participating as allies of one state. It would be entirely different the......participation in Rhodesia, and we are not, we have never participated in that way."
REPORTER: "Would you consider it though, because it's impossible to envisage a comparable situation where a nationalist government could ask you, because it's a war between black and white. And if indeed the nationalist forces were to seek and ask for aid, what would be your reaction?"
RAFAEL: "It is our belief that the revolutionary forces of each country are the ones that have to decide the question of the national liberation of this country. We are not engaged in revolutionary wars, because we are not a revolutionary army apt to participate in crusades. So it depends on each people to liberate themselves, and we are going to give to the black peoples of Africa all the support that we gave to Guinea, as we gave to Mozambique, as we gave to other countries in the fight against colonialism. But the support is not, by support with the means, the direct participation of our army. That is very clear for us. They are not asking, they will not ask, because the people's liberation is a people's affair, it is not other people's army affair. Let's get it grey clear about that."
REPORTER: "Are you in any way giving assistance to the nationalist movements inside Rhodesia or in Mozambique in relation to that?"
RAFAEL: "We are giving them the moral support they need, the political support they need, the political support they need, and they have not asked for us until now, for any other kind of support. I mean, if they are getting support from the front-line governments of Africa in terms of arms, and in terms of military bases which they have."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The Vice-President of the Cuban Council of Ministers, Dr. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, says Cuba will not send troops into Rhodesia merely at the request of the nationalist forces fighting the government. Dr. Rafael, who is also the Government's Executive Committee member in charge of foreign affairs, said in an interview in Havana that Cuba would only send troops at the request of another state, and people's liberation wars were the affair of the people themselves.