Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Havana, Radio Progreso, in Spanish to Cuba, Oct. 21, 1959, 1810 GMT--E

(Fidel Castro speech at Camaguey)

(Summary--Relay begun while speech was in progress)  We know what a loyal
and revolutionary nation is.  Then there is another idea which saddens us
because there is no reason for its existence.  It is the idea of disloyal
men, of ambitious men, and of ungrateful traitors who are not capable of
loyalty to their own country.  More than traitors, they are ingrates.
They are ingrates because they carried out a counterrevolutionary maneuver
in the most revolutionary province of Cuba.  They are ingrates because they
mistook the sympathies of the people for unconditional support.  They
constantly promoted propaganda in their own favor.

They misunderstood sympathy for a cause and the people's gratitude not to
those who are alive, but chiefly to those who fell in battle.  The people
must give their gratitude, applause, loyalty, and unconditional support to
those who fell because it is they who made possible the nation's victory,
because it is they who made it possible for there to be commanders who have
the people's support.  How ungrateful, foolish and conceited are those who
think this gratitude and applause are for them because men can be traitors,
but not nations.  These men were ungrateful not only to the people but also
to their comrades of the revolution who gave them friendship and did not
haggle for honors, posts, and recognition.  They were ungrateful to the
country which today more than ever needs loyal men.

In Camaguey there was a rebel commander who had crossed the frontier of
Oriente Province and who held out for several months during the war.  When
the war was over he should have been appointed chief of the province.
Victory Mora had been fighting longer than Huber Matos.  He had fought in
many more battles.  However, he was not fortunate enough to have gone to
school.  He was an illiterate and uncultured peasant who won his stripes by
service and courage, and although the command should have been his we did
not give it to him.

We called upon the cultured and intelligent man.  We called upon the more
fortunate man, upon the one who liked to make speeches and who called in
reporters so that they could praise him in their editorials.  It was in his
hands that we placed the province of Camaguey, which gave us out greatest
support.  The ingrate wanted to repay all these honors with betrayal.  He
did not care about the results of his action because from the very
beginning he tried to control the unconditional support of the press and
radio.  He was carefully preparing the way for Huber Matos and not for the
country.  The reactionaries knew that Huber Matos' weakness was publicity
and ambition.  While campaigns were being waged against Camilo Cienfuegos,
Che Guevara, and Raul, and attempts were being made to discredit the most
solid bulwarks of the revolution, they tried to defy the vain and the
ambitious one in order to introduce the Trojan horse inside the revolution.

But Huber Matos and the reactionaries did not take the people into
consideration.  They thought they were going to deceive the people.  They
had been preparing their conspiracy for days.  What was their pretext?  It
was the same as that of Urrutia and Diaz Ianz.  When he was in control of a
group of insignificant student leaders--and I am going to give their names
so that the students will know who they are--when he saw that a true
revolutionary, a comrade from the Sierra Maestra, a rebel who was not
intimidated by the estate owners had been appointed as head of the agrarian
reform, he tried to give the impression that he supported the reform.

The first cooperative, La Rosera, the first agrarian reform, cooperative
began here.  In order to put the agrarian reform really into effect I
called upon comrade Mendoza who was in Oriente Province and I put him in
charge of advancing the agrarian reform.  Hubert Matos did not want a true
agrarian reform.  While the workers were giving part of their salaries for
the industrialization of the country, while the teaches were giving classes
to new teachers at half their salary, Huber Matos was plotting.  When he
felt strong enough, supported by reactionary propaganda, and by the
flattery of the reactionaries, he accused us of being communists just like
Diaz Ianz and Urrutia.  He accused us of being communists so that he could
get the support of the reactionaries.

We never asked to what party the fighting men belonged because part
affiliations were of no importance.  The revolution can win only is the
people are united and prepared to make the greatest sacrifices.  Hubert
Matos is trying to divide the nations.  Thousands of persons are in
economic straits and he is making them worse.  There are political
difficulties and he is making them worse.  The people cannot be won over
without a program satisfying their interests and feelings.  Is the
revolution not fulfilling its program?  (Applause)  If the revolution is to
triumph we must be told where and how we are going.  This is exactly what
you can read in the editorials of the DIARIO DE LA MARINA.  In his letter
of resignation Hubert Matos tried to give the impression that he is not
involved in anything.  He said that he has done everything he could for
Cuba and that he is satisfied that he has accomplished his mission in
organizing a province.  He concluded his letter by asking to be allowed to
return home as soon as possible.

I answered as follows:  Maj. H. Matos:  I have received your letter asking
(to be relieved?) and setting forth your motives.  You say among other
things:  "After the replacement of Urrutia and others, I believe everybody
who has been frank enough to talk to you about the communist problem should
get out before being put out."  I consider that such an insinuation would
fit well into the mouth of the announcer on Trujillo's network, into
Masferrer's statements, or in the columns of the reactionary press.  I
reject it as untrue.  It is the way Pedro Luis and Urrutia tried to justify
their treacherous conduct.  At bottom it was a matter of immorality and
ambition.  The changes you mention were made under authority that does not
include the requirement to render accounts to you.  You have no right to
judge or prejudge them, as the leader of a faction would do.  From this
paragraph and other things you write I have sufficient motive to feel I
have been more than generous with you.  You act as if you think in the
process we are going through in Cuba it is possible to advance other than
by merit and sacrifice.

I said further in my answer:  Far from being unjust with you I have passed
over the talks you had with many rebel officers to form a political nucleus
while I was in the United States, your fine relations with Pedro Luis Diaz
Lina; your relations with Urrutia, which served as an encouragement to him;
and a whole series of unfavorable details in your conduct.

In all these cases I had good grounds for withdrawing my confidence from
you.  I believe if someone has been untrue, it is you.  I said in my reply:
Since your decision to resign is final, Major Cienfuegos will receive the
command.  You have had things too easy and this has been bad for you.

For many days he had in mind this plan to resign and have a group of
officers resign along with him, creating confusion.  He planned to take
advantage of the popular good will, because of the belief in Camaguey that
he was a revolutionary, to make it appear he was that a victim.  Yesterday
his henchmen began spreading the report that Huber Matos had resigned, to
create an atmosphere of unrest.  Think how happily that would be received
by the war criminals' newspapers, the Trujillo radio stations, and the
spokesmen of reaction.  He did not care.

He was not resigning just to get out.  He had a bunch of friends whom he
had made officers who were to resign too.  Let them resign, so much the
better.  There will be more money for teachers, roads, and other
constructive items.  He was already planning the maneuver when he sent the
letter.  He had the support of some petty student leaders.  The day after
the resignation he intended to begin exploiting public sentiment.  I do not
know how they expected to have public support.  They hoped that the
resignations would spread throughout the province and create chaos,
destroying the authority of the revolution.  He forgot the people.

Faustino Miro, a petty politician, had an item prepared for the paper
saying that the news of the resignation of Huber Matos had caused
consternation, that expressions of support were being voiced for him, that
he enjoyed the affection of the people.  So everything was ready for
getting agitation under way.  Miro's item went on with an effort to incite
the people.

The Camaguey Province secondary students federation, whose leaders should
be ousted by the students themselves, issued a statement of support for
Matos.  It was signed by Jose A. Garcia Aleman and Dagoberto Gonzalez
Bonet.  Another note urged students of all schools to attend an emergency
meeting.  (Names of signers are read--Ed.)  These impudent
counterrevolutionaries must be ousted.

The setup is clear:  The resignation; then a mass resignation; the little
student leaders and newsmen like this Miro; agitation was being prepared.
And if a state of rebellion had been created, if these plans had prospered,
what would the consequences have been?  They should have thought about the
consequences of placing a province in a state of rebellion.  What would it
have cost?  Blood, shed for the profit of whom?  It would have been for the
enemies of Cuba and the revolution.  And yet they cared absolutely nothing
about the consequences of their acts.  Of course, they were mistaken.

They fooled themselves because they misjudged the situation.  They did not
know what the people are.  But it is clear that they were preparing a plan,
with mass resignation of all the officers to create chaos in the province,
agitation among the students, statements to the press and radio.

And what time did they choose for this? They did it just as Cuba was
obtaining one of the greatest economic triumphs, while more than 2,000
delegates of tourist agencies from all countries were here, when a new era
of tourist trade is about to begin that may mean hundreds of millions of
dollars in foreign currency every year, after thousands of men have worked
ceaselessly--the hotel men, restaurateurs, and the like--after the nation
has spent almost a million pesos, when a tremendous success is being scored
and a marvelous prospect is opening up for our tourist trade--that very
week this gentleman, instead of waiting another week as he could have,
created a serious disturbance with the results you know of: Uncertainty,
rumors. Those enemies we have are spreading alarmist rumors all around,
bout fighting taking place, and none of the ASTA delegates went to the
meetings today. And so this scandal was provoked just as Cuba was having a
triumph. It was not right for the work done by thousands to be destroyed by
an ambitious, mistaken, disloyal ingrate.

If anything compensates for this damage it is the attitude of the people.
I showed how much confidence I have in the people by coming to Camaguey.  I
came to my headquarters, which is the public square.  I knew the people of
Camaguey as a revolutionary people and I had no doubts.  There can be no
counterrevolution here.  This is a great lesson.  The three musketeers have
all fallen now.  They fell one by one without glory, because they failed to
take the people into account.

Maybe the aristocrats, the big landholders, do not like us, but that does
not matter.  we are transforming the land.  The revolution is only 10
months old, but it has already produced great works throughout the island.
The revolution has created 10,000 schools that will be operating in (two?)
months.  We have ended gambling, corruption, abuses in general.  The
revolution is doing a work of justice and reparation.  We believe in the
people and the people have always justified our faith.  And the people are
behind us simply because we do our duty.

The people of Camaguey won a victory today.  They solved a problem without
shedding a drop of blood.  what do we care about these gentlemen?  They are
failures, frustrated men.  This gentleman, like Diaz Lanz, is frustrated.
we can afford to be generous with them.  we are going to take into account
the times they did something useful for Cuba.  Being strong, a people can
be generous, and therefore, now that the problem has been solved without
bloodshed, let them go home if they want to as Urrutia did.  See if the
people will believe in men given over to ambition.  When a people is strong
it can be generous.  They cannot forge any more little plots; they cannot
do any harm.  Any time they try the people will take care of the matter.

Every bit of treason urges the people on to greater heights.  Today's
lesson is without parallel elsewhere in the world.  With people like the
Cubans our country can never again be enslaved.  With people like these the
revolution will attain all its goals.  Camaguey will go forward, for now
there will be no more hindrances to delay the revolution.  The agrarian
reform in Camaguey will go ahead.  The big landholders will have lost their
last hope.

To show you how the activity of the plotters here coincided with the
campaign of Trujillo and the war criminals, it is noteworthy that (almost?)
the same day that a plane, coming from the United States beyond a doubt,
was dropping bombs, these gentlemen were planning a mass resignation.  They
were endangering the lives of Cubans here while the country was under
attack from foreign bases.  It is the limit that now the tyranny has been
defeated they should still want to drop bombs and still have in that
neighboring country all necessary facilities for making bombing raids.  But
if sticks of bombs are dropped here every day the agrarian reform will go
through.  Let the traitors and big landholders lose hope.  If we were ever
attacked we would have all the people with us ready to fight.

Cuba is a nation that must be respected because of the fine qualities of
the people.  See how quickly the country people gathered here today.  They
know we keep our word.  Nobody can fool the people; they have faith is us,
because we have faith in them.  This unity between the revolutionary
government and the people cannot be broken.  Because we are taking culture
and bread to town and countryside, because we are building a nation of
which the Cubans can be proud, we can always count on the people.  And when
difficulties arise we will go to the people.  We have absolute faith in our

We will make this military city into a school.  Our barracks are the people
themselves.  Our revolution is defended by the people.  If an enemy ever
attacks, all the people will take part in the defense.  If some day we have
to fight an enemy from outside, then we will come with our arms loaded down
with rifles to give to the people.

People of Camaguey, on behalf of the revolutionary government, on behalf of
Cuba, accept our gratitude for the fine patriotism you have shown today.