Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Havana, COBC, in Spanish to Cuba, Jan. 9, 1959, 0240 GMT--E

(Castro speech, relayed from Camp Columbia)

(Summary)  Speaking here tonight I am presented with one of the most
difficult obligations in this long struggle which began on Nov. 30, 1956,
in Santiago.  The people are listening, the revolutionaries are listening,
and the soldiers whose destinies are in other hands are listening also.
this is a decisive moment in our history:  The tyranny has been overthrown,
but there is still much to be done.  Let us not fool ourselves into
believing that the future will be easy; perhaps everything will be more
difficult in the future.

To tell the truth is the first duty of all revolutionaries; to fool the
people always brings the worse consequences.  The rebel army won the war by
telling the truth.  The tyranny lost the war by fooling the soldiers.  When
we were defeated, we announced it over Radio Rebelde.  That was not the way
with the army units, many of which repeatedly committed errors because the
officers were never told the truth.  That is why I want to continue the
system of always telling the people the truth.

The new government has been formed and recognized by several countries in
the world.  It seems that peace has been won.  Nevertheless, we should not
be complacent.  The revolution is no longer led by a battling army.  The
worst enemies which the Cuban revolution can face are the revolutionaries
themselves.  When we no longer have the enemy before us, when the war is
over, we ourselves can be the only enemies of the revolution.  That is why
we said that we will be sterner with the rebel soldiers then with anyone
else, more demanding than with anyone else, because the triumph or failure
of the revolution will depend on them.

There are many kinds of revolutionaries.  Many revolutionaries I heard of
as a child wanted to live off what they had done in a revolution which
unfortunately never succeeded.  I think that the first revolution which had
a chance to succeed was ours, and we did not waste that chance.  The
revolutionary of my childhood walked with a .45-calibre pistol at his waist
and wanted to live on the respect it commanded.  He was to be
feared--capable of murdering anyone.  He would arrive at the office of high
officials with the air of a man that must be heard.  The first thing that
we musts ask ourselves is:  Why did we do it?  Did any of us have any
special ambition, any ignoble objective?

If I were asked what soldiers I would prefer to lead, I would say I prefer
to lead the people, because the people are invincible.  It was the people
who won this war, because we had no army, no warships, no tanks, no planes,
no guns, no professional soldiers, no military organization.  The people
won the war.  I am not interested in the revolution as such; what I am
interested in is the people.  The people, however, are interested in the
revolution, and they want to know if we are going to make this revolution
successful by facing the mistakes that previous revolutions had to face.
We are apt to suffer the consequences of our mistakes, because there is no
error without its consequence.

The nation was anxious for peace following the period of terror and
revolution.  The nation wanted peace and freedom, peace and justice, peace
and constitutional rights; it wanted no other kind of peace.  Batista, for
example, used to talk about peace, but no one wanted his peace, because he
did not give them what they wanted--a peace without dictatorship, without
crimes, without censorship, and without deceptions.  I say to you that
under the circumstances the greatest crime that could be committed against
Cuba would be a crime against peace.  No one in Cuba today would condone a
conspiracy against peace.  Any one who dares an attempt against the peace
of Cuba, anyone who dares to sadden the Cuban mothers again is a criminal
and a traitor.  Our movement will not place the least obstacle in the way
of the peace of Cuba.  As of this moment, the people can dispose of us all
if they wish.

Role of July 26 Movement Defined

It is necessary to say that perhaps one of the greatest evils of the
struggle against Machado was the conflict among the revolutionary
organization.  The result was that Batista took over and stayed in power
for 11 years.  But despite the sacrifices we had to make one idea sustained
us, and that was that we knew that the movement had the sympathy of the
great majority of the people.  It was clear that the July 26 Movement had
the almost unanimous support of the Cuban youth.,  This time the
consequences of having too many revolutionary organizations.  Ours was only
the first, but we came and proved that the battle needed new tactics.  We
formed the strategy that led the people of Cuba to the most extraordinary
triumph they ever had in their history.

Is it true or false that the July 26 Movement was the most popular
movement?  All of the important military forts and strategic locations were
taken over by the rebel army, and this was done solely through our own
efforts, our sacrifices, and our organization.  However, does this mean
that the others did not fight? No, because we all fought as the people have
fought.  There was no Sierra in Havana, but there were hundreds of
comrades who fell murdered for fulfilling their revolutionary duties.  The
general strike was a decisive factor that made the revolution complete.

When I say this, I only put things in their proper perspective and define
the role of the July 26 Movement in this struggle.  the strategy of this
revolution was provided by the July 26 Movement.  The determination
conclusively to defeat the forces of tyranny was molded by the rebel army.
Not only were the plans laid out by the July 26 Movement, but it also
showed how the enemy was to be treated.

This has been perhaps the first revolution in the history of the world in
which no prisoner was ever killed--there must be some of my former
prisoners right here--and in which the wounded were never abandoned or
tortured.  This is the first revolution in the world from which no general
has emerged.  The title given me by my comrades was that of major, and I
have not changed that title despite the fact that we have won many battles
and even a war.  I continue to be a major, and I do not want another rank.
But I believe that the people want me to speak in plain terms, because to
have fought as I have fought for the rights of each citizen gives me the
right to speak the truth in a loud voice.  And also because it is in the
interest of the fatherland.

The republic and the revolution have entered a new stage.  Would it be just
for ambition to endanger the destiny of the revolution?  The people are the
only ones who can speak.  The people are interested in the liberties, the
rights which have been taken from them, and peace.  I think that in
speaking to the people in this way the revolution can avoid the only
dangers which can threaten it.  I would prefer that not another drop of
Cuban blood be shed in consolidating the revolution.  My great
preoccupation is that abroad, where this revolution won the admiration of
the entire world, it shall not be said that we had to shed Cuban blood in
order to consolidate the revolution.

Warns of New Conspiracies

I would not have spoken this way when we were a group of 12 men, because
then all we had to do was to fight, fight, fight.  Now that we have all
this power, however, I am very interested in not fighting, because there is
a limit.  I would prefer to go to the Siera Maestra again with 12 men
rather than shoot at anyone again.  And who do I ask with all my heart to
help us?  The people.  I appeal to the public to disarm the ambitious.  Why
are clandestine arms being stored at this very minute?  Why are arms being
hidden at distinct points of the capital?  Why are arms being smuggled at
this moment?  I tell you that there are members of certain revolutionary
organizations who are smuggling and storing arms.  All the arms that were
found by the rebel army are stored and locked in barracks, where they

What are these arms for?  Against whom are they going to be used?  Against
the revolutionary government that has the support of all the people?  Do we
have a dictatorship here?  Are we going to take up arms against a free
government that respects the rights of the people?

We have a free country here.  We have no censorship, and the press is free.
The people can gather freely if they want to.  There is no tormenting of
political prisoners, no murders, no terror.  When all the rights of the
citizens have been restored--and an election for the purpose is going to be
held as soon as possible--why do we need arms?  Are we going to unseat the
President with the arms?  Are we going to set up revolutionary
organizations?  Are we going to have gangsters?  Are we going to practice
daily shooting on the streets of the capital?  Why do we need arms?  Yet I
tell you here and now that two days ago elements of certain organizations
broke into the San Antonio barracks, which are under the jurisdiction of
Commander Camilo Cienfuegos and also under my jurisdiction as commander in
chief of the armed forces, and carried away 500 small arms, (16?) machine
guns, and 80,000 cartridges.

I wanted to tell you about this and make use of the influence exerted by
public opinion so that those who are planning any criminal adventure will
not be able to recruit any troops to follow them.  The theft of the weapons
cannot be justified, because this is not a dictatorship.  We are never
going to use force, because we belong to the people.  Moreover, the day
that the people do not want us we shall leave.  As soon as possible I will
take the rifles off the streets.  There are no more enemies, there is no
longer anything to fight against, and if some day any foreigner or any
movement comes up against the revolution, all the people will fight.  The
weapons belong in the barracks.  No one has the right to have private
armies here.

I want to warn the people and tell the Cuban mothers that I will try to
solve every problem without shedding blood.  I want to tell the Cuban
mothers that no more shots will be fired.  And I want to ask the people to
help us solve this problem.  From now on the festivities are over.  It is
time now for us to go to work.  Tomorrow we will need many things, money to
pay for food, electricity, and other things. This is the same problem as
faced by the revolutionary government.  All of us have to work harder on
behalf of the nation.  Anyone who returns here after two years will not
recognize the republic.  I see an extraordinary spirit of cooperation
everywhere.  I see that the press and the reporters are all willing to
help.  All of Cuba has learned a lot during these eleven years.

Now we have a big job to do.  The problem of the armed forces is my future
activity.  I am not a professional soldier, and I will be in this post the
shortest time necessary.  When I finish here, I will move on to other
things.  the President of the Republic has appointed a majority of
ministers from the July 26 Movement.  Cabinet office is something new for
them, and they are entering these posts with good intentions.  Our men did
not know anything about using a rifle either.  Raul did not know anything
either--he was just told to take a position, but he would advance and would
take his objective.  The same thing is true about the ministers.  Within a
few months they will know their jobs, because they possess the most
important thing:  the desire to serve the people.  They may not be
geniuses, no one here is a genius, but you can be sure that there is
honesty here.  So let us give them our confidence.  Let us see, let us

Yes, the majority are from the July 26 Movement, but if they are no good,
then those of the 27th, and 28th, and so forth will come.  We know that
there are many capable persons, but they cannot all be ministers.

Appeal by Orlando

Havana, COBC, in Spanish to Cuba, Jan. 9, 1959, 0215 GMT--E

(Editorial Report)  Immediately preceeding the speech by Fidel Castro, the
station carried, also from Camp Columbia, a speech by the revolutionary
leader and Acting Defense Minister Luis Orlando Rodriguez, who implored the
people of Cuba to make the country what Marti wanted it to be, and said
that Cubans should not practice hate or seek revenge now that the
revolution is over.  A new stage in the life of the nation is now
beginning, and the time for reconstruction has now begun, "since we have no
more enemy soldiers to fight and what remains is only a few rats running in
the sewers."

Orlando added that there is no justification for maintaining a state of
alarm in the country and that he is of the opinion that no group which has
fought against the forces of tyranny will refuse to give its final
cooperation.  Rodriquez concluded that he was sure both the revolutionary
directorate and the second Escambray front will heed the appeal and join
the reconstruction group in order to rebuild the country.


Havana, COBC, in Spanish to Cuba, Jan. 8, 1959, 1220 GMT--E

(Summary)  Foreign Minister Agramonte has announced that his ministry has
begun a purge of the Cuban foreign service to adjust it to "the principles
and ideals which inspire the revolutionary government."

Agramonte stated that his ministry has submitted for the consideration of
President Urrutia a decree ordering the dismissal of Nicolas Arroyo del
Rio, "the tyranny's" ambassador in Washington, and Dr. Amilio Nunez
Portuondo, ambassador to the United Nations.

The decree also terminates the services of the following ambassadors:
Gonzalo Guell, Francisco de Miranda y Varona, Emilio Cancio Bello, Antonio
Iraizoz, Juan J. Remos, Oscar de la Torre, Alberto de la Campa, Jorge
Govantes Aguirre, Orlando Daumy Amat, Jose Caminero Ruiz, Jose Lopez Isa,
Carlo Garrillo Ganzalez, Santiago Verdeja y Sardina, Miguel Baguer y Marty,
Jose Garcia Montes, Rafael Montoro de la Torre, and Jose T. Baron Valdes,
abassador to OAS.

(Editor's Note--W:  Havana, Radio Progreso, at 0545 GMT on Jan. 8 listed in
addition Ambassadors Juan A. Reyes and Enrique (name indistinct) as
dismissed and added that the same recommendation was made for the following
ministers plenipotentiary:  Pedro Corpion Caula; Lucas Pedro Betancourt;
Osvaldo Valdes de la Paz; Rafael Orizondo; (name indistinct); and Mario
Nunez de Villavicencio.)

(The station also quoted the Foreign Minister as telling reporters that he
has recommended the dismissal of the Cuban consul general in New York,
Alfredo Valdes, and that he has also recommended that the President accept
the resignations of the following ambassadors:  Nestor Carbonello Rivero;
(two names indistinct); and Calixto Garcia Rayneri.  Dr. Agramonte said
that these measures constitute the first step in the reform of the Cuban
foreign service.)

Other Cabinet Decisions

Havana, COBC, in Spanish to Cuba, Jan. 8, 1959, 1220 GMT--E)

(Summary)  The cabinet, following a meeting which lasted until 4:00 a.m. on
Jan. 8, announced that it had approved measures temporarily suspending
current regulations concerning the tenure of legal officials and
regulations concerning insurance.  It also announced the appointment of Dr.
Juan G. Menocal y Barrera as director of the Monetary Stabilization Fund
and the dismissal of Dr. Jorge Barroso as president of the ISEA, the
institute for sugar stabilization, and the appointment of Alberto Fernandez
as delegate of the Miistry of Agriculture to the ISEA.

The cabinet further announced the cancellation of "subsidies, gratuities,
salaries, and special privileges contributed by the overthrown tyrannical
regime to various newspaper enterprises."



manila, AFP, Maritime Press Service in English Morse, Jan. 8, 1959, 1711

(Text)  Havana--Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro told AFP in
Matanzas Wednesday night that he is not a communist.  In an exclusive
interview, Castro reiterated his resolution to fight any kind of
dictatorship.  He also expressed his displeasure at the sale of arms by
Britain to former Cuban President Fulgendio Batista but added with a smile:
However, since we have captured these weapons without Batista having had
time to use them, I am less displeased that I was.


Urugyay has recognized the new Cuban government.  (Montevideo, Radio El
Espectador, Jan. 8, 1959, 2300 GMT--E)

The Greek Government has decided to recognize the new Cuban Government.
(Paris, AFP, Jan. 8, 1959, 2108 GMT--E)

The Japanese Government announced on Jan. 9 that it had recognized the new
Cuban Government.  (Paris, AFP, Jan. 9, 1959, 0916 GMT--E)