ALB: So after 60 hours with Castro, what do you make of this man?
OS: I'm totally awed by his ability to survive and maintain a strong moral presence ... and we ignore him now at our peril if we start another war with Cuba.
ALB: You say we ignore him at our peril. It seems to me that we're obsessed with him.
OS: No, I think the focus is wrong. Fidel is not the revolution, believe me. Fidel is popular, whatever his enemies say. It's "Zapata," remember that movie? He said, 'A strong people don't need a strong leader.'
ALB: So you think that if he went off the scene the revolution would continue?
OS: If Mr. Bush and his people have the illusion that they're going to walk into an Iraq-type situation, and people are going to throw up their arms and welcome us, [they are] dead wrong. These people are committed. Castro has become a spiritual leader. He will always be a Mao to those people.
ALB: In the first film, Comandante, he asked you, "Is it so bad to be a dictator?" Did you think you should have responded to that question?
OS: I don't think that was the place to do it. … You know, dictator or tyrant, those words are used very easily. In the Greek political system, democracy didn't work out that well. There were what they called benevolent dictators back in those days.
This interview left me speechless and sad. He just doesn't get it, does he?