<Q: Fidel, for most Latin American revolutionary leaders, the current crisis of socialism has a mastermind: Josef Stalin.
A: I believe Stalin made big mistakes but also showed great wisdom.
In my opinion, blaming Stalin for everything that occurred in the Soviet Union would be historical simplism, because no man by himself could have created certain conditions. It would be the same as giving Stalin all the credit for what the USSR once was. That is impossible! I believe that the efforts of millions and millions of heroic people contributed to the USSR's development and to its relevant role in the world in favor of hundreds of millions of people.
I have criticized Stalin for a lot of things. First of all, I criticized his violation of the legal framework.
I believe Stalin committed an enormous abuse of power. That is another conviction I have always had.
I feel that Stalin's agricultural policy did not develop a progressive process to socialize land. In my opinion, the land socialization process should have begun earlier and should have been gradually implemented. Because of its violent implementation, it had a very high economic and human cost in a very brief period of history.
I also feel that Stalin's policy prior to the war was totally erroneous. No one can deny that western powers promoted Hitler until he became a monster, a real threat. The terrible weakness shown by western powers before Hitler cannot be denied. This at encouraged Hitler's expansionism and Stalin's fear, which led Stalin to do something I will criticize all my life, because I believe that it was a flagrant violation of principles: seek peace with Hitler at any cost, stalling for time.
During our revolutionary life, during the relatively long history of the Cuban Revolution, we have never negotiated a single principle to gain time, or to obtain any practical advantage. Stalin fell for the famous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact at a time when Germans were already demanding the delivery of the Danzig Corridor.
I feel that, far from gaining time, the nonaggression pact reduced time, because the war broke out anyway. Then, in my opinion, he made another big mistake, because when Poland was being attacked, he sent troops to occupy that territory, which was disputed because it had a Ukrainian or Russian population, I am not sure.
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