Books of the Month

Castro: ‘Cancel Third World Debt!’

May 20, 2024

Fidel Castro’s 1985 campaign to unite underdeveloped countries to repudiate their unpayable foreign debts peaked with a Latin American “continental dialogue” in Havana July 30-Aug. 3. Over 1,000 delegates from 17 countries participated. The gathering had been preceded by conventions there of labor organizations, women’s groups and journalists. Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso’s president and revolutionary leader, took Castro’s campaign across Africa.

Castro’s closing speech presented the conference conclusions that “the watchword of debt cancellation was valid for all countries of the Third World.” The call for a new international economic order with fair prices, he said, was aimed at all the industrialized world, from Washington to “the socialist countries,” referring to the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China.