As Cuban leader Fidel Castro moved about the power centers of New York on Monday, he played down his treatment as a pariah and noted that his country could learn a few things about business from the United States.
Smiling broadly within his phalanx of U.S. Secret Service and Cuban security agents, Castro gave an interview to CBS anchorman Dan Rather and met with members of the U.S. business community at the Council on Foreign Relations, a private think tank.
A handful of irate Cuban-Americans protested outside each building Castro visited, shouting “Murderer, murderer,” and “No Castro, no problem.”
Comparing the Cuban economy to a huge U.S. corporation, he said “The only difference is that you know how to manage it well and we don’t.”
Asked if he believed communism had failed, Castro replied, “I can tell you quite the opposite. … Capitalist governments have been a failure.” He cited poverty and illiteracy as examples.