NEW YORK -- Cuban President Fidel Castro says the U.S. 'holy war' in Central American precludes any improvement in relations between Washington and Havana.
Castro spoke with Newsweek magazine in a rare interview before Sunday's 25th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. The interview was published in the magazine's Jan. 2 issue.
Castro said 'there is no hope for a dialogue' between his country and the United States as long as President Reagan continues to believe Cuba and the Soviet Union are behind the unrest in Central America.
'(Reagan) fails to realize that these social upheavals have been present in Central America for 50 years -- at a time when the Soviet revolution was fighting to survive and the Cuban revolution did not even exist,' Castro said.
The Cuban president accused Reagan of being moved by 'a visceral anticommunism to wage a holy war' in Central America.
Castro charged that the Reagan administration is not interested in a political solution in Central America but is instead bent on pursuing a 'policy of intervention and force.'
Castro said Reagan is manipulating the argument that Cuba is seeking to export its revolution throughout the hemisphere to justify a return to the 'big stick' policies of an earlier era.
'We can neither export revolution nor can the United States prevent it,' Castro told Newsweek.
On the U.S. invasion of Grenada, Castro said Grenada's new leaders had given guarantees 72 hours before the invasion that Americans living there were in no danger. He said Reagan chose to use their safety as a pretext.
'It is a total lie from head to toe,' Castro said. 'It was a cheap political, opportunistic operation to take advantage of the tragedy withinl the country.
'The U.S. military action 'only helped to heighten the fighting spirit of Nicaragua, Cuba and the revolutionaries in El Salvador,' Castro said.