The following is excerpted from an interview conducted by Dan Rather of CBS News with Rep. Andrew Young, newly named Ambassador to the United Nations, who departs today on a tour of Africa :
Q. You support blacks throughout southern Africa. All right, isn't it a mistake to state it that flatly, that publicly, out front and isn't it going to lead inevitably to a bloodbath if we take that position?
A. No, it's not. It's going to lead to a blood bath if we don't take that position.
Q. But isn't an armed protracted guerrilla warfare already assured - with the presence of the Cubans and the Soviet Union's influence in that part of the world?
A. No, it's not assured. in fact, there's a sense in which the Cubans bring a certain stability and order - to Angola, for instance, and that the enemy - all over the world, I think, is chaos. When there's a nation with a military unit that's disciplined, it can be ordered in, it can be orderd out. I have no question in my mind but that we could negotiate very successfully withdrawal of Cuban troops from southern Africa.
Q. If it was wrong for the United States to be in Vietnam, why isn't it wrong for the Cubans to be in Angola?
A. The Cubans were in Angola at the invitation of - the MPLA and -
Q. We were in Vietnam at the invitation of a series of governments - South Vietnam.
A. You got me there.And at the time I thought it was wrong for the Cubans to be there - and I've let you make me defend the Cubans, in the sense of an argument. The Cubans went to Angola because we were not there with a rational movements first.
Q. But they went in with an iron fist.
A. No - only because it was a vacuum. Now, I guess the only justification that I could make personally for the Cubans presence was the South African presence. And I must say that I share the kind of total abhorrence to racism which I think is characteristic of two thirds of the world. Most colored peoples of the world are not afraid of communism. Maybe that's wrong but communism has never been a threat to me. I have no love for communism. I could never be a communist. I could never support that system of government. But - it's never been a threat. Racism has always been a threat - and that has been the enemy of all of may life and - and everything I know about life . . .
Q. Friends of yours would say, "Why would Andy Young, who was the most powerful black person in this country, as long as he stayed outside the Carter administration, given his relationship with the President, now come inside and is just another face sitting around the Cabinet meetings?
A. Well, another face sitting around the Cabinet meetings is not - is another person with a particular background from the civil rights movement, from the peace movement, sitting in on the decision making. Now that's a considerable amount of power, whetheer I ever get credit for it or not. I have a sense of - a Biblical view of the world - and in a sense it was really a religious decision on my part and most of the decisions about my personal life are intensely religious decisions.I don't want to blame God for anything that happens from now on. I may mess it up from here on, but I really felt that this was something that was right for me to do.