says ex-Spanish prime minister Aznar urged
bombing of Serbian media
By The Associated Press, Sep 30.
HAVANA - Fidel Castro on Sunday accused
former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria
Aznar of urging Washington to bomb Serbian
radio and television stations during NATO's
participation in the war in Kosovo.
In a column published by official newspapers,
Castro quoted extensive excerpts from what
he implied was a transcript of a 1999 conversation
between Aznar and U.S. president Bill Clinton.
Aznar was quoted as telling Clinton, "If
we're at war, let's make it an all-out war
... I don't understand why we have not yet
bombed Serbian radio and television."
Castro did not say how he obtained the
transcript. The version he published contained
only Aznar's comments, none by the person
he was speaking to. But he said he had "other
materials, both public and confidential,"
which he would use in future essays.
Castro said he first made the accusation
- with far less detail - in a Cuban television
appearance four years ago. At the time,
Cuba was angered by Spanish criticism of
its human rights record.
Sunday's essay, titled "Aznar's Silence"
said that U.S. and Spanish authorities have
refused to comment on the accusation and
he challenged Aznar once again to confirm
In the transcript, Aznar was quoted as
mulling a ground war if NATO bombing campaigns
didn't succeed, and saying, "All of
Serbia's lines of communication, its radio,
television and phones, must be put out."
"I ask Mr. Aznar to say if it's true
or not that he advised president Clinton
on April 13, 1999 to bomb Serbian radio
and television," Castro wrote Sunday.
It was the second time in the month that
an alleged version of Aznar's conversations
with U.S. leaders was published. The Spanish
newspaper El Pais carried a transcript in
which U.S. President George W. Bush was
quoted as telling Aznar he planned to invade
Iraq with or without UN approval. Castro
quoted lengthy portions of that story in
an essay published here Friday.
Under the conservative Aznar, Spain helped
prompt a decision by the European Union
to impose sanctions on Cuba in 2003, after
island authorities detained 75 dissidents
accused of working with the United States
to undermine Castro's government.