Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FROM:    Amembassy HABANA



SUBJECT  Summary of Speeches Made at October 26, 1959 Mass Demenstration

On October 26, 1959 Fidel Castro staged a gigantic demonstration before
the Presidential Palace to protest the incursion of foreign-based aircraft
against Cuba.  Although Castro called for a million demonstrators, best
estimates appear to be that he succeeded in getting a crowd of from two to
four thousand people.  Regardless of the number, it was a huge, emotional,
potentially explosive mob which responded much the way Castro wanted it to
and in turn incited him to greater extremism.  Fortunately, after the
demonstration the mob scattered without incident.

During the course of the demonstration the Embassy sent resumes of the
speeches as they were delivered to the Department over the direct teletype
facilities which the Embassy has with the Department.  The purpose of this
dispatch is to summarize the high points of those speeches.  Enclosed are
the full texts as reproduced in [Unreadable text] and Revolution for
October 27, 1959.

CTC Secretary General David SALVADOR

He said the labor movement repudiated the criminal bombardment of
Havana and the sugar centrals investigated by a long list of elements
opposed to the Cuban revolution, including "the reactionary Government of
Washington".  He pledged labor's full support against the "foreign
intervention", indicating that the workers would be willing to take up arms
and fight to the last drop of blood in defense of the fatherland.  He
announced that the workers would contribute one day's pay toward raising a
fund to purchase aircraft and anti-aircraft guns with which to protect the
country.  He did not mention Hubert MATOS by name or allude directly to

President Osvaldo DORTICOS

He praised the Revolution and asserted that nothing would turn it from
its purpose:  to bring definitive social, economic and political liberation
to the Cuban people.  He condemned the air attacks, but said they had no
effect upon the unflinching determination of the people to defend their
revolution.  He commented, what better testimony is there that the people
are fully behind their revolutionary leaders than this massive
demonstration.  The closest he came to accusing the United States of
implication in the bombing was the statement that the Cuban people stand
united against "all counter-revolutionary aggressions from wherever they
might come, those sponsored by national interests or those [Unreadable
text] by foreign interests".  In contrast with the other speeches,
President Dorticos' remarks are noteworthy for their marked absence of
anti-American content.  He did not mention Hubert Matos by name or allude
directly to him.

FEU President Rolardo Secades

He said the people had met, and would do so as many times as necessary,
to pledge their support to the Revolutionary Government.  He indicated that
the Federation of University Students (FEU), [Unreadable text] of
its historical duty, responded to this call to give its medium support to
the Government and to [Unreadable text] energetically against the
[Unreadable text] aggression against our defenseless people.  He said the
University students would be organized into student brigades and would
receive military instruction which will serve "as the message of war, the
message of combat against the traitors to the Revolution".  While more
belligerent in [Unreadable text], here again there was a marked absence of
anti-American [Unreadable text].  He did not mention Hubert Matos by name
or allude directly to him.

Army Chief of Staff Camilo [Unreadable text]

He said that the support of the Cuban people for the Revolution was as
high and as firm as [Unreadable text] of the Sierra Maestra (the highest
point in Cuba).  The demonstration showed that artful and cowardly
[Unreadable text] makers no differences; that the mercenary phase piloted
by war criminals "protected by powerful interests of the North American
Government" made no difference.  He shouted that the people say:  "Forward,
Fidel, Cuba is with you", and "Forward, Fidel, the Rebel Army is with you".
He concluded by stating that to detain the Revolution [Unreadable text]
people must die, and quoted from a poem of Cuban poet [Unreadable text] to
the effect that if some day the Cuban flag is torn to pieces, the Cuban
dead, raising their arms, will know how to defend it still.  He did not
mention the name of Hubert Matos and alluded to him only insofar as
[Unreadable text] chooses to include him in the general strategy of
"traitor".  There was no direct allusion.

(K.B. In the light of the disappearance of [Unreadable text] political
observers attach a great deal of significance to the fact that he was
[Unreadable text] in him remarks, that he refrained from attacking
[Unreadable text], that he focused on how the people and the Rebel Army
were behind Fidel Castro, and that he ended up by quoting from a poem to
the Cuban flag.)

Air Force Chief Juan [Unreadable text]

He spoke very briefly.  He referred to those assembled as patriots
"because we are not served by planes which cane from the outside".  The
remainder of his remarks were taken up with [Unreadable text] of traitors,
sold to foreign interests who thought they could trick and defraud the
Revolution.  The allusion to the alleged treason of Hubert Matos is more
direct, but he did not mention him by name.

Major Ernesto "Che" CUEVARA

He said that the people had gathered to respond to the great
[Unreadable text] will be made before foreign pressures?  Will we halt?
Will we allow the revolutionary arms slowly to wilt?  Or will we stand man
to man to oppose the aggression?  As the crowd chanted the desired "no" or
"yes", Cuevara went on to state that the Cubans know how to choose the
right path a step ahead, a step ahead of all the countries of America in
the struggle to free ourselves from the chains of colonialism.  He went on
to say that the demonstration was not only a defense of the Cuban Cause,
but the cause of all of the Americas, showing to the peoples of the
Continent what can be done if there is popular unity.

He referred to the alleged bombing of Habana as "the most extraordinary
crime which America can remember against a peaceful people, from the
greatest power of the continent, with the interested consent of one of the
largest and strongest states of America, from where came assassin planes to
violate the Cuban skies and sea victims in the capital of our Republic".
He continued that afterwards they will come with hypocritical complaints
and the press will say nothing of the terror spread by DIAZ LANZ, of
treason, or of machine-gunning, but only of the danger of Communism which
is here.  Twisting the sequence of events to suit his purposes, Guevara
went on to say how curious it was that on the same day of the "aggression
against Cuba from foreign bases" a major of our army also took the road of
treason (Hubert Matos submitted his resignation two days before) disguising
himself, as do all hypocrites and traitors, in the garb of anti-Communism
as does Jules DUBOIS, Time the foreign monopolies, Avance and Diario de la

He protested how generous and tolerant the Revolution has been in not
killing is war prisoners, in taking no measures against insolent
periodicals, in permitting outrageous and [Unreadable text] insults, in
allowing its enemies within and without to engage in their campaigns.  He
said that Hubert Matos had sought refuge in the freedom which exists to
publish his letter of resignation and his wife to make public her letter in
which she poses the doubt as to whether her husband might not be
assassinated in his cell.

He concluded by saying that what the enemies of the Cuban Revolution do
not realize is that if they attack Cuba, they will not be committing an act
of aggression against Cuba alone, but against all the continent south of
the Rio Grande with its 160 million inhabitants and beyond that the
"uncontainable forces of the Revolutionary Movement which has also shaken
the colonial pillars in Asia and Africa where there are 1,600,000,000
people who support us with all their strength".  He said they also do not
realize that history does not repeat itself, that Cuba is not Guatemala.
Cuba, he asserted, is in the vanguard of a movement capable of taking Latin
America down the road of liberation.

Chief of the Armed Forces Raul CASTRO Ruz

He opened his speech by recalling that it was three months to the day
(the anniversary celebration on July 26) that the "people" had turned out
in the public square to support the Revolution.  On that occasion the
"people" has defended the Revolution and denounced a traitor"  President
URRUTIA.  On this occasion, he said, we defend the Revolution and denounce
another traitor:  Major Hubert Matos.  He pointed to the fact that on July
26 a warning was made to others who would plot against the Revolution.

He said that looking upon the counter-revolutionary effort one could
see "the picture, the carbon copy of what went on in the sacrificed
Guatemala.  There they used planes to scare the people; here they use
planes trying to scare the people...  Together with the bombardment in
Guatemala they used treason in the Army; here there is no professional
Army, but only an army of the peasants, of the people... Here they cannot
count on an army..."

He then launched upon a long diatribe against the leading traitors whom
he labelled "The Three Musqueteors".  First was Rafael del PINO.  Then came
Pedro Luis DIAZ LANZ who "got calluses on his tongue from gossiping into
the ears of North American Senators".  He also accused Diaz Lanz of bombing
Habana with "planes which are the property of the Cuban State which were
not bought to Cuba in time and being in his name, he kept them."  He next
made a hurried reference to President Urgutia and passed on to denouce
Hubert Matos.  At the conclusion of the attack on Matos, he made, like
"Che" Cuevara had done previously, protestations over the generosity and
tolerance of the Revolution, finishing up with this extraordinary

"...because now there is respect, because now people are not
killed, because now people are not tortured, because now
persons detained are not insulted; we do not kill, we do not
torture, we do not offend, but we execute by firing squads"
(And the crowd applauded.)

The turn of the press came next, particularly Diario de la Marina.  He
said this paper which claimed a history of 128 years and talked so much
about democracy, liberty, and Christianity practiced none of these and in
effect was "the only bad thing which has lasted more than 100 years in our
country".  Then came his coercive attacks.  He wondered how a paper such as
Marina had the nerve to ask for police protection when it has consistently
"increased its aggressive provocation".  He said let them hire their own
guards because the duty of the police is to protect the "people".  He
added, the newspaper should not fear violence from the "people" because
they have more restraint than the paper and they know "how to repudiate it
to make it die of anemia".

Raul Castro concluded his speech by proclaiming that in the face of all
provocation and aggression the Revolution will move a step ahead.  To do
this the people would be armed.  Only a super-democratic state such as the
Cuban is cable of arming its people.  He shouted, let all the
pseudo-democrats from other places come if they want to.  As a taunt to the
United States he said, "To the same United States, 'super-democracy', I say
give arms to your people so that they can defend you from Communism, give
arms to your steel workers, for instance."  With firm revolutionary spirit,
he said, and with "massive discipline" the people will follow Fidel Castro,
the pilot of the Revolution, to defeat the enemies and carry the Revolution
forward.  In introducing Fidel Castro, he pointed to a sign in the throng
which read "Fidel, gacude la mata", meaning "Fidel, stir up the ants nest",
and urged his brother to do just that.

Prime Minister Fidel CASTRO Ruz

Castro spoke for over three hours.  When he made his appearance on the
speakers platform, he received an eight minute ovation.  As is no
frequently the case, the speech was rambling, disjointed, and repetitive,
with Castro getting quite frantic and incoherent towards the end.

He started off calmly enough, saying that he wanted to "reason with the
people" and "converse with the people" for "we have much to talk about, you
and I".  He continued with the routine of identifying the people with their
leaders and their armed forces as one and the same thing.  Having done
this, he quickly shifted to the distribe.  The first target was the United
States and its responsibility for the October 21 alleged "bombing and

He began this attack by reading a wire service dispatch quoting a U.S.
Customs official as saying that the Miami Customs Office was investigating
reports of six or seven small planes heading for Habana to drop leaflets
over the demonstration.  He then related recent incursion of aircraft
against sugar centrals.  With this in the background he started to ridicule
the United States with a series of sarcastic remarks.  He said that now
that the Miami customs officials had reported the departure of the planes
he "requested them, if they were so kind, to inform us of the courageous
air parties against the people of Cuba".  He said how was it possible for a
country so powerful and technically advanced as the United States not to be
able to stop such flights.  He continued asking what would the reaction of
the American authorities be if Russian immigrants in Alaska took off to
bomb cities and towns of Russia.  He said he could only conclude that the
flights were permitted because Cuba was a small country incapable of
defending itself.  He next asked why it is that they attack us, why that
tolerance on the part of American authorities, why do planes leave Florida
for Cuba and not Nicaragua or the Dominican Republic, why after supplying
arms, bombs, rockets and napalm to Batista with which thousands of Cubans
were killed do they continue to allow this, why do they permit it having a
naval base on Cuban soil for the purpose of protecting the American people?
He concluded that either United States authorities were accomplices or
tolerated these doings or they are fooling the American people, or else the
American people are defenseless because their officials cannot even stop a
few little planes from leaving to attack Cuba.  Another conclusion, he
said, is that the purpose of such flights is to cow the Cuban people.  He
said, "The Cuban people are being threatened on the one hand by economic
strangulation, taking away its sugar quota, and on the other are subjected
to terrorism to frighten it...into renouncing its magnificent revolutionary
process, renounce its aspirations to implant justice on our soil".  He said
they may accuse us of being Communists, but that is because they do not
have the courage to come out into the open and say that it is due to the
revolutionary laws which benefit the people, but prejudice the great

At this point he launched into a long enumeration of the
accomplishments of the Revolutionary Government both in terminating the
numerous abuses of the previous regime and introducing new social and
economic programs for the common people.  During the course of this he
attacked the foreign monopolies, mentioning by name the Cuban Telephone
Company, Cuban Electric Company, United Fruit Company and Atlantic Gulf
Sugar Company.

He next turned to the domestic scene.  He lashed at the forces of
reaction the traitors, the vested interests, the international monopolies
with holdings in Cuba, the counter-revolutionary forces of Trujillo and the
"White Rose", and the press which serves as their spokesman.  He said that
what these forces would like is a professional army which they could
corrupt and use to defeat the revolution.  They thought they had found an
opening wedge in Hubert Matos and the group of officers around him.  They
were mistaken because the Army today is the people:  the workers, the
peasants, the students.  There will not be defrauded, corrupted or
subverted.  The people will not turn against their own interests.  Another
tactic the reactionary forces use is to confuse the people, to divide them,
and hence to weaken the Revolution.  The reactionary press Diario de la
Marina, and the new sheet which says it is the specimen for the [Unreadable
text] Party (Opinion [Unreadable text] which he did not refer to by name)
[Unreadable text] the principles in carrying on this campaign.  He said the
traitors are not only those who plot and drop bombs, but also those who
encourage them, defend them and make joint cause with them.  At this point
he made a diversion into the Hubert Matos incident to desigrate him further
with the same arguments previously advanced.

Like the two speakers before him, he made a lengthy protestation over
the tolerance and generosity of the Revolution with those who oppose it.
This was a prelude to the assertion that the counter-revolutionary forces
were becoming increasingly bold and that the Revolution must move to defend
itself.  At this point he asked the "people" if they wanted the restoration
of the military triburals and received the expected tumultous "Yes".  He
said the Cabinet would meet the next day to consider the necessary action.
He continued to incite the bloodthirsty instinct of the mob by asking if
they agreed that invaders, terrorists, pilots who fly over and bomb Cuba,
and "traitors like Hubert Matos" should not be executed before firing

In conclusion he asserted that Cuba is th focus of attention and
admiration of the world.  He said that Cuba will not abandon or betray "the
glory and prestige which it has gained by defending its legitimate rights".
He said Cuba has been able to accomplish this because the people were
solidly behind the Revolutionary Government.  The whole country, he
continued, is alert against those who would confuse and divide.  He said
let the [Unreadable text], the vacillators, the fainthearted, the cowards,
renouce and get out, that nothing is going to stop the irrestible advance
of the Revolution backed by a people who are prepared to sacrifice all for
it.  He said let everyone know that we will fight to the last man, "that we
will defend ourselves fighting in all the fields that might be necessary,
and if England will not sell us aircraft, we will buy them where we can".
He said Agrarian Reform, the Petroleum Law, the Minerals Law, the Reform of
Education and of the University, and the Revolutionary Tribunals--all these
will be carried out.  His concluding statement was:  "And we take the
pledge of the people, of you and us, that Cuba triumphs or we all die."

For the Ambassador:

Daniel M. Braddock


Texts of Speeches from El Mundo
and Revolucion, Oct. 27, 1959.