AMY GOODMAN: What is the surgery he underwent, and what is wrong with Fidel Castro?
RICARDO ALARCON: Well, what is wrong with Fidel Castro is that he really works a lot. He has been working his entire life. He's not a head of state that is available only for a few photo opportunities and some ceremonies, and so he really takes his responsibilities and his duties as a mission. That's why he, apart from being substituted provisionally according to the constitution as the head of state, as the head of the power and so on, he also had to designate certain comrades for specific programs, on healthcare area, on education, on energy and so on, programs that he was conducting personally. He is a very rare head of state. He's a head of state that works and works very, very much.
- Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban National Assembly, interviewed this morning on Democracy Now!, echoing what I wrote yesterday
Alarcon also addresses the question of George Bush as a terrorist, and the subject of the Cuban Five
, the five Cuban men who are approaching the end of their eighth year in U.S. prisons for the outrageous act of attempting to prevent acts of terrorism being committed against Cuba by CIA-supported, Miami-based groups:
RICARDO ALARCON: President Bush is a terrorist. His policy is terrorism. He was meeting last Monday in Miami with some very well known terrorists, this Monday, 48 hours ago. He keeps five young Cubans in detention, incarcerated. Next week, on August the 9th, will be one year after the Court of Appeals revoked the convictions of those people, but they remain in prison. And at the same time, you can watch on Miami TV or read in the Miami press how terrorist activities continue to be prepared, announced openly, very openly.Update:
AMY GOODMAN: Who did President Bush meet with in Miami?
RICARDO ALARCON: Who is by -- sorry?
AMY GOODMAN: You said that President Bush met with terrorists in Miami when he was just there this week.
RICARDO ALARCON: Ninoska Perez Castellon, Armando Perez Roura. They had breakfast on Monday, and he was on the air interviewing some of the most radical pro-terrorist programs in Miami.
AMY GOODMAN: And why do you call them terrorists?
RICARDO ALARCON: Because they are terrorists. Because these people belong to groups that openly, openly proclaim, proclaim that they have -- have you heard about Mr. Llama? He was on Miami TV claiming that he had spent $1.4 million to buy weapons, including small light planes that can be tele-directed for terrorist purposes. He said that in Miami the same day that in Miami half a dozen Black people were arrested on the accusation that they were going to blow up the Sears Tower. This very same day a guy, of course, white, a white billionaire, appeared on TV saying that, and then you have your president going down there to have a meeting. It was a funding operation that he had, a fundraising operation on Sunday and Monday, and I know, because that was published, that he had breakfast with some of them. Ninoska Perez Castellon, the former leader of the Cuban American National Foundation, leader now of the so-called Cuban Liberty Council that advocates openly military actions against Cuba. Armando Perez Roura --
Now the media are all abuzz about the fact that Raul Castro hasn't made any public speeches. I love Alarcon's response
in an NPR interview:
When asked where Raul Castro was and when he would appear in public, Alarcon said: "He's in Havana. Where is Mr. Cheney now?"