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It was their obligation to think that they were preparing a
plot against the fatherland. One must be Cuban first of all,
and one must defend the fatherland above all. Better our
fatherland than the fatherland destroyed. (Fidel Castro Ruz)

With evil intent,the story that former Major Hubert Matos is not a
traitor and that the trial before a revolutionary military court
is not consistent with the classic practice of the law has been
spread among certain sectors of the Cuban population, especially
those to which the clean spirit of the revolution which end in the
triumph on 1 January 1959 has not penetrated.

Since Comrade Fidel Castro Ruz set forth his reasoning with all
possible clarity at the trial of the defendant, which was carried
out without hindrance we will not attempt to go beyond the main
basis, the positive and real accusation made against him: treason.
What do the authors of these stories mean by treason, or is it
possible to stimulate treason and remain as calm as one who
transgresses and insists repeatedly that he was not the guilty
party? Are those who take the lives of their fellow men in
cowardly fashion the only traitors? Is a man who has taken an
oath, swearing on his honor and his integrity, and who goes back
upon that oath and dares to throw away what he previously swore to
defend a traitor or is he not?

One betrays the fatherland by killing or destroying its spiritual
or symbolic assets, by conspiring deliberately against it out of
personal ambition, or by surrendering to the enemy. There are
many and varied ways of committing treason, but whichever of the
1,000 forms of treason is involved, it is weak, it is
contemptible, and it has always been punishable when it results
from motives which are a strain on the honor of the man and which
in the end will destroy the principles of patriotic dignity or the
doctrine for which he has sworn to fight or die.

Treason has never been tolerated in the ranks of the military or
among civilians either. The traitor is a moral assassin who
continues to live, because the merited punishment has not been
meted out. Those who state that Hubert Matos is not a traitor, or
at least only a traitor in his own way, should study the pages of
history to become convinced that the sentence of the
revolutionary court was not inspired by hatred, but by a clear
and frank sense of justice and the principles which have governed
this revolution, generous in the extreme, noble in its auctions,
but firm and vigorous with regard to its watchword of citizens'
probity, because only thus is a nation saved.

Pursuing our very firm revolutionary guidelines, the Propaganda
Secretary of the Central Organization of Workers wishes to make
available to all the workers, peasants, students, rebel soldiers,
and men and women born in this marvelous land, the details of the
trial in which, along with a group of his general staff officers,
former Major Hubert Matos was convicted. It is our great hope that
each Cuban whom this document reaches will read it calmly, study
it and come to the full conviction that the truth was found in the
democratic development of the trial and even that this court, made
up of young officers, was rather merciful in not imposing the
requested death penalty for betraying the revolution which gave
him fame and honor, and to which he was disloyal in a criminal act
which history, too, will condemn.

The reader will find the rest in the pages which follows this
introduction and in which we contribute, very modestly indeed, to
giving truth its primacy, because ruth is the light of reason.

Jose Ma. de la Aguilera,
Propaganda Secretary,
Revolutionary Cuban
Workers' Organization

David Salvador Manso,
Secretary General,
Revolutionary Cuban
Workers' Organization


Presiding Judge: Do you swear to tell the truth?

Major Fidel Castro: I swear.

Judge: Then you may proceed.

Prosecutor: Major Fidel Castro: As you are the highest leader of
the revolution, and as no one knows better than you the men who fought
under your command in the Sierra Maestra, since currently we are examining
what happened in the City of Camaguey on 20 and 21 October, and as at this
moment it is a question of clarifying the position of the revolution, I ask
you, as a special witness in this case, but not as a representative of this
body, to inform the court of all you know which might help to clarify the
situation outlined.

Major Castro: Your Honor: You will understand, as I do, the
importance of this trial, because it even involves the question of the
integrity of our revolution.  Therefore, my interest in attending today is
simply to clarify and to contribute to a knowledge of the truth.

I could have no reason for desiring that absolutely anything
unjust be done here.  I have come precisely to contribute through my
personal efforts to the knowledge of the truth by the court, the audience,
the defendants themselves and the people of Cuba, and the entire world if
necessary -- since the press has been summoned here and has been asked to
attend, and both domestic and foreign correspondents attend our trials --
because our fatherland has been slandered outside of Cuba and our
revolution has been slandered within the country enough for us to fear no

This is why I have come, to answer the necessary questions and to
explain what is necessary and to discuss what is necessary, with the truth
in hand, as I have done all my life, and accepting absolute responsibility
for what I say here and the results of this trial.

Prosecutor: Doctor Castro, as there are matters in this trial
which arise from and go back to the war campaign waged in the Sierra
Maestra, just as there are matters which go back to 1 January and 21
October, I would prefer it if you would recount the history of the campaign
in the Sierra Maestra, and if you would explain to the court if this
revolution had its origin in a program, a schedule, with a defined plan,
and if you at any time prior to the disembarkation from the Granma what
would happen at the time of the triumph of the revolution.  At the same
time, I would like you to explain to the court how the work of the
revolution came about, how the revolution was attacked in the
insurrectional territory, that is to say, in the insurrectional stage, with
what weapons it was attacked and on what occasions, with what weapons the
revolution was attacked in this particular case, who attacked the
revolution then, who is attacking the revolution now, and finally, all in
all, because what we need to clarify is the development of the revolution,
whether the revolution has or has not completed its final purposes, whether
the revolution has a goal, or if the revolution is, in a word, a dynamic
thing, which no one can hold back.  Explain this to the court.

Major Castro: Mr. Prosecutor, even when a question of justice is
being discussed here, an effort has been made -- with very evil intent,
certainty -- to convert this into a political trial.  In other words, we
have come to this trial to discuss matters of justice, but the enemies of
the revolution have come to discuss political matters.

Since this is the case, I believe that I must discuss the
revolution politically here.  We will discuss our ideas, and we will see if
those who impugn the ideas of our revolution have ideas or nothing but

I believe, then, that the political aspect is very important, and,
therefore, I would like to discuss the events first, in order later to
proceed to an analysis of the political program of the revolution, that is,
the ideological aspect of the revolution.

Therefore, I would prefer to refer first of all, and to clarify,
all the questions which have to do with the events which gave rise to this

Prosecutor: Well, Major Castro, it has been said in this trail
that on 20 October the resignation of Major Hubert Matos became known
through rumor in Camaguey.  It has been stated that you had news of this
resignation through a private letter,which was presented at the time of the
indictment, that later Captain Jorge Enrique Mendoza called you by
telephone and explained the gravity of the problem,and that you gave him
some instructions.  At the same time, two things which you should clarify
have been said by the defendants and some witnesses.  First, it has been
stated by the defendants that the resignations on 21 October were carried
out because of charges made by Captain Jorge Enrique Mendoza.  It has been
said that the resignations on 20 October were designed to prevent the
resignations of Major Hubert Matos.  Some witnesses have denied that there
was no participation by students and workers.  At the same time, some
defense witnesses have said that there were -- and the word used was
"cheers" -- on the part of the citizens, and a considerable stir, when
Captain Jorge Enrique Mendoza spoke.  On the other hand, there has been an
effort to convince the court that the events in Camaguey occurred because
Captain Mendoza spoke over the loudspeakers.  Again, Major Hubert Matos has
tried to justify what happened in Camaguey by the fact that he had asked to
be released from the rebel army because he wanted or needed to go and
render professorial services in the city of Manzanillo.  Also, it has been
stated by other witnesses, including an officer, that what happened in
Camaguey was really the result of ideological differences.

Major Castro: I believe so, I believe that it was a matter of
ideological differences.

Prosecutor: Could you, in view of the fact that you were in the
city of Camaguey, tell the court all that happened that day, and what
knowledge you have of the 20th, as well as when and where you were and what
action was taken when you received the letter of resignation from Major
Hubert Matos?  Furthermore, what was your first interpretation of that fact
and what were your later interpretations and actions after having acquired
further information.  Further, if you have any prior information, because
it has been said here by Captain Mendoza that you had told him to watch
Major Hubert Matos.  Another thing, did Commander Hubert Matos on any
occasion make known to you his concern about the matter of the definition
of the revolution, and finally, could you tell us about the 19th, 20th and
21st with regard to the events which occurred in Camaguey and about the
activities of Major Cienfuegos on that occasion, his attitude, and whether
at any time he told you that Major Hubert Matos had told him of his concern
about communist infiltration in the rebel army, because Major Camilo
Cienfuegos was at that time head of the general staff of the rebel army
and, precisely because he was the immediate superior of Major Hubert Matos,
should have been the first to learn of this attitude on the part of Major
Hubert Matos.

Major Castro: I said that in my view there were ideological
differences, by which I mean that Comrade Hubert Matos and we do not see
eye to eye about what a revolution is.  We do not have the same concepts
about revolution, and I am not even completely sure that Major Hubert Matos
had any concept at all of what a real revolution is.

You asked me about the resignations, and if I knew the reason for
the resignations on the 21st.  I want to make it clear that I received no
notice of any resignations on the 21st, and that in the file of
resignations delivered to me by major Camilo Cienfuegos there were none
bearing that date.  The resignations I have are those dated the 20th, that
is to say, the date preceding our visit to Camaguey.

As to the reasons for the resignations, that a simple statement
will not suffice.  It will be necessary for us to go back a little farther
to get to the heart of this problem.  What should be put on record is that
the resignations -- and here they are -- are all dated the 20th.

I received a communique on the 19th of the month sent to me by Mr.
Hubert Matos through a rebel army officer.  I received this letter, if I
remember correctly, on the afternoon of the 19th.  It seems to me that this
same day I had come here to Ciudad Libertd for the investiture of Major
Raul Castro as Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.  It is possible
that there are here present some journalists who were at that inauguration,
and they can tell you whether I spoke or not, and in what rather visible
state of mind I was.  I did not speak, and some even noted by preoccupation
that afternoon, because I had in my pocket the letter from Mr. Hubert

I planned to answer the letter on the 20th, and in fact, although
I had only a few minutes during the day,in the midst of my innumerable and
constant and intensive obligations, I wanted to write to Hubert Matos.  I
called major Camilo Cienfuegos that afternoon to ask him to take my answer
to Major Hubert Matos to Camaguey the following day.

It has been questioned here why i could not have asked him to
postpone his resignation for a week, but it is necessary to remember first
of all that his resignation was in categorical terms, because in his final
paragraph he said his decision was irrevocable.  But this is not the main
thing: the reason for which I could find no other solution in the case of
Hubert Matos was because Camaguey already knew of his resignation.

If, as Mr. Hubert Matos said, he sent me a private, a most private
letter, brought by hand, and I was not supposed to inform anyone of this
letter, nor inform anyone of my answer except Major Camilo Cienfuegos, how
is it that the officers in Camaguey already knew that Hubert Matos had
resignation?  How did it happen that the people of Camaguey were all
talking about his resignation?  If the people of Camaguey were aware of it,
it was not through me, and if they did not know it from the person who
received the letter, they must have learned it solely and exclusively from
the writer.

And the fact that the officials in Camaguey knew of this letter,
the fact that rumors were circulating in Camaguey, and furthermore, the
fact that the editors of a newspaper whose publisher was in on the secret
drafted a note the following day, the fact that a group of student leaders
issued a statement the following day calling for a gathering on the night
of the 21st made any other solution in the Hubert Matos case totally

It would have been possible to find another solution if there had
been in iota of good faith, if this had not been a carefully worked out
plan, but when I felt the need to answer his letter on the afternoon of the
20th, I was not by any means aware of the things which were happening
already in Camaguey.  The people of Camaguey already knew of Hubert Matos'
resignation.  That is, preparations were being made for the 21st, a whole
plan to create crisis in the revolutionary government,and we had already
had two crises: that involving the traitor Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz, in which
we took the initiative, that is to say, we replaced him, and another,the
crisis in the executive branch, with Mr. Urrutia, in which again, faced
with this maneuver, we took the initiative.  However, this was not true of
the case of Mr. Hubert Matos.  We did not replace him.  It was he who
presented his resignation, and he did so under conditions which left no
possible alternative, because there was none.

The court and the people will understand that for the
revolutionary government and for the revolution and for all of the men
responsible for the revolution, it would have been much more useful and
much more desirable if Mr. Hubert Matos had left room for another solution,
but the plot was already established.  The type was set for the morning
newspaper report.  The meeting had been called for the next day and the
resignations had been signed on the 20th, before they were made officially
known.  Thus, on the following day, 14 officers would have already
resigned.  Yes, it was the 20th, when it was assumed that the resignation
was a secret, but they had already resigned, and it is necessary to read
these resignations, and we will read them later, because we must get to the
bottom of the matter.  We must examine the content of the resignations to
see if the false accusation is being made here that I am to blame for this
problem, that I am the culprit, because I received a resignation in strict
secrecy and made it known.  I did not make it known.  The next day I went,
as was my duty, to mobilize the people, because there remained no other way
to destroy a plot which Mr. Hubert Matos had very carefully planned.

I believe that these resignations signed on the 20th constitute
irrefutable proof that the revolutionary government, faced with a crisis of
this nature which had been created could not have taken any other steps
than that it did, because it would have even been preferable to be
tolerant, anything would have been preferable to this scandal which was the
delight of the reactionaries, and which was the fruit of the plot against
our fatherland and against our revolution.  If we had been able to find any
other way, if there had existed another measure and if anyone had shown me
that another measure was possible given this state of crisis, given the
collective resignations of the army officers, which was but the preclude to
what was to happen the next day, I would then cheerfully accept
responsibility for this incident.

Prosecutor: Commander Castro, apart from the 19 October letter,
and prior to the 21st, did you have knowledge through any person or officer
of the rebel army of what was going to happen in Camaguey?

Major Castro: I could not have had news of precisely what was
going to happen.  I did indeed hear rumors, and they even spread beyond
Cuba, to the effect that a mass resignation was being planned that there
would be a mass resignation in the province of Camaguey.

Prosecutor: How would you describe the resignation of the officers
on 20 October?

Major Castro: As a counterrevolutionary plot, Comrade Prosecutor.

Prosecutor: Could you give us an analysis of the letter from Major
Hubert Matos, because in this trial there are two sides.  That is to say,
one is attempting to show that his request for release was for the purpose
of avoiding public disorder, and that the private letter was sent expressly
to justify his action to you.  Could you make an analysis of that letter
and also your answer?

Major Castro: I would like to know if Major Duque is present.

Prosecutor: Your Honor, I ask that Major Duque be called.

Major Castro: No, I simply want to know if he is here.  I believe,
Your Honor, that if it were possible, Major Duque should make a statement
here.  But if you believe it preferable that he not be present during this
part of the testimony, he need not be.

I would like Major Duque to be called upon in due time to make a
statement, because I believe that none of them would dare to deny the moral
and revolutionary integrity of Major Duque.  None of them would dare to
deny his valor and courage, and therefore, I think it is important, since I
believe that some of these comrades have been led unaware into the
situation in which they find themselves.  Therefore, if there is need for
honest testimony, if we must call upon a comrade with prestige and
integrity, I do not believe that any of them would dare to challenge him,
because they must know him sufficiently well.  Let him be called upon to
make a statement and be asked for testimony some of the particulars I
regard as interesting in this trial.

Judge: Then we will ask Major Duque to leave the courtroom, and he
will be recalled later by this court.

Prosecutor: Doctor Castro, could you make a judgement of the
letter from Mr. Hubert Matos dated 19 October, and at the same time explain
to the court why he said that he did not want to become a hindrance to the
revolution, why he told you that all he wanted to say to you frankly about
the communist problem should be discussed before his retirement, why he
asked you to keep silent about him, and, in a word, a whole series of
things which it would be well to have definitely clarified?

Major Castro: Comrades, it is obvious that the defendant, Hubert
Matos, has tried to represent himself here as a victim of the revolutionary
government, of me, of all the loyal commanders in the rebel army, and it
would be well to clarify all of these things, all of the background of this
problem, so that we will not be dealing with sentimentality here and his
alleged position as a victim.  There has even been talk here since the
Costa Rica expedition, there has been talk here since the occasion on which
a group of fighters sent by Frank Pais from Santiago de Cuba went up into
the mountains.  There has been talk here even since 10 March when,
according to the testimony of the defendant, Hubert Matos, he left his
classroom to visit all his students and explain the meaning of 10 March to
them.  There has even been an effort to present us as unjust, as denying
the merit Mr. Hubert Matos may have shown in the insurrectional
struggle,and as it seems to me that his intention is to make it appear that
I am to blame for his discredit, since one day I spoke of other with
greater merit than he, it would be proper in the practice of the law to
clarify these questions which have been discussed before the court and have
been made public.  There has naturally been no lack of applause, which
should also be analyzed here, because there were among the reactionaries
those who wanted to create a great issue, thinking that the entire army of
the republic was treasonable, because a group of tame Camaguey soldiers,
quartered here through our generosity, were summoned and gathered of Hubert
Matos.  I believe that these things should not be allowed to be left in
doubt.  I believe that these things should be clarified, because we are not
playing games here.  These are very series things,and what the
reactionaries want is to destroy us, what the counterrevolutionaries want
is to discredit us, what the enemies of our fatherland and our people want
is to demoralize us, and if possible to make it seem that all the rebels
are traitors, while representing all the officers as victimizing the
innocent Hubert Matos.  And for this reason I believe it would serve the
revolution and the clarification of the facts if we go back a little
further, so that things can be placed in context.  I am not going to deny
Mr. Hubert Matos' the virtues he has, nor will I fail to make the
accusations I must make against him, just as I have never denied the merits
of anyone, just as I can place virtues where they belong, because what I
said one day publicly I can say again here.  There are many comrades of
much greater merit than he.  Thus, no one should try to represent as yet
another act of injustice the discrediting of deeds which Mr. Hubert Matos
may have committed.

A group of the defendants are here, possibly the least important.
I recall Captain Alamo, Captain Cabrera, and Captain Quiroga.  It is
possible that there were some others who arrived in the Sierra Maestra in
the summer months of 1957.  They arrived there with Captain Ramon Paz,
among others, who died during the last offensive in the Sierra Maestra.
This was a group of comrades which the movement sent to the Sierra Maestra,
and I remember that one of them specifically, Captain Cabrera, had the
greatest difficulty in mountain climbing when he reached the Sierra Maestra
where we were, and believing that he could not survive the night, and out
of pride and honor, he talked of suicide.  I remember that group well, as
all those who were in the Palma Mocha Heights with us will.  As soon as I
learned of this incident, I approached Comrade Paco Cabrera, asked him
where his rifle was and handed it to him.  I told him: take it, because I
know that you will manage and I can trust you with your weapon.  I was not
mistaken, and Comrade Paco Cabreara was always a magnificent comrade during
the revolution, and a good officer.  I really do not have to note that here
and express the opinion I have of him, as I will have to express the poor
opinion I have of others.

Thus they came out.  They are witnesses to what the struggle in
the Sierra Maestra was.  They participated, along with Major Paz and Major
Duque, who in those days were not majors but merely lieutenants, but they
won their promotions, on an equitable basis, without favoritism of any kind
-- a principle which always prevailed in the Sierra Maestra.  They will
also remember the occasion when, without orders, a troop leader where they
were led an attack on the Veguitas military post.  They will remember the
severe measures I was forced to take to punish this action without orders,
first of all, as well as the carelessness which in the carrying out of that
operation could almost have caused the destruction of the entire platoon.
It was ambushed while returning to the mountains, in the early hours of the
morning in the truck in which they were traveling.  They were surprised by
soldiers of the tyranny, and because the latter were so inexperienced, all
of the comrades in the platoon were able to escape unharmed, except for
minor wounds.  These comrades were there in the days which if not the
hardest were hard enough,and they know the story of the Sierra Maestra,
from the months when they arrived until the month when they left with
Column 9, and thus they are familiar with all the details.  They will be
the best witnesses of what I say here.

I did not know Mr. Hubert Matos in that era.  I had certainly
never even hard of him, perhaps by change.  Many people did something
notable, but this did not mean that everyone knew them.  However, it is
certain that I had not heard the name of Hubert Matos.  And so the entire
year of 1957 and the first part of 1958 passed, then, in those days as
April approached, when all of Cuba was under the illusion that the war was
about to end, we made a survey.  We asked the citizens -- who in general,
like all people, are inclined to believe what they want to believe -- if
they believed that the dictatorship would fall on 9 April, or during the
month, particularly since a general revolutionary strike had overthrown the
regime of Perez Jimenez in Venezuela.  The vast majority answered that they
did indeed believe that the strike would put an end to the dictatorship.
And the majority of the leaders of the 26 July Movement believed this,
which also explains the tremendous disappointment which occurred in the
following days.  When that date approached, and when censorship had even
been reestablished and the constitutional guarantees and the manifesto
alerting the people about the approaching campaign of struggle had been
issued, I received a communication from Mancanillo one afternoon containing
the report from Mr. Hubert Matos in which although I still had not had an
opportunity to meet him, I remember that he mentioned the possibility of
sending some weapons, and he asked me, through the messenger, to write a
letter to President Figureres, who I believe was still President of Costa
Rica, and he also asked that we send 10,000 pesos to cover the cost,
because they already had some weapons.  I immediately wrote the letter to
Jose Figueres in Costa Rica, and we also made the arrangements to obtain
the 10,000 pesos which were needed.  Then, a few days later, I received the
news that the plane would arrive in the afternoon, according to the
instructions we had given, at the place we had indicated.

I understand that this letter was read here, or was submitted with
the indictment, and if it was not read I remember that I read it, and
indeed I have here a clipping from a section of the newspaper Avance
(Advance), the section of this newspaper which has most systematically been
waging counterrevolutionary campaigns, and from which I have brought
several clippings in case it is desirable to show them.

My attention was called to the letter in this section of this
newspaper because I have a copy of it and I suppose that the other is in
the files of Mr. Hubert Matos, which does not explain how it came into the
hands of a counterrevolutionary.  This was my answer.

And on the afternoon of 30 March we were already proceeding toward
Cienaguilla, where the plane was expected, having sent some patrols ahead,
while the bulk of our troops were being concentrated at another point in
order to safeguard the arrival of the plane.  And at dusk, the plane
arrived in Cienaguilla, piloted by Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz.

Who will deny that this was a source of great joy to us?  And
indeed, to guarantee the safe arrival of the plane orders had been given to
the forces to attack any troops which moved, which would not have been
difficult, because there is a flat plain from Campechuela to this point,
which might have provided a rapid transport route for enemy forces.
Moreover, we had given instructions that the plane must not fall into enemy
hands under any circumstances.

Who will deny that we welcomed that plane with joy?  When did we
not receive weapons for the Sierra Maestra joyfully?  When did we not
receive bullets for the Sierra Maestra joyfully?  Whenever a rifle or even
a bullet was captured, it was a source of joy for our forces.  Thus we
welcomed that plane, piloted by a man whose later history I did not
recount, a pilot who often brought us this happiness, the happiness of
receiving weapons for the Sierra Maestra.  And who will deny it and why
should anyone?  What does the conduct of men at a given moment have to do
with their later deeds?  And thus, on that occasion, we received our
reinforcements of weapons and ammunition.

I understand it has been said here that we might have lost the war
if we had not received those weapons and that ammunition.  There were not
many weapons, and they were not even the best, because for most of them --
38 Mausers - there were only 5,000 bullets, and for many months we had to
suffer from the agony of having guns without ammunition for them.  There
were 10 Rainser hand machine guns, and certainly the defendants themselves
can testify that they were the worst kind of weapons.  There were 10
Veretta machine guns which were in fact good weapons.  There were several
M-3 machine guns, 2 50-caliber airplane machine guns without tripods, and
above all, there was ammunition.  The ammunition was indeed abundant, at
least for the number of guns we had then.  Thus, we received than
reinforcement in the final days of March, just prior to the general strike

It was on that occasion that we met Mr. Hubert Matos personally
for the first time.  We immediately undertook to distribute the weapons to
the various patrols, to transfer the load to a safe place, and on that 30
March Mr. Hubert Matos began the war struggle in the Sierra Maestra.

I will not go over that era detail by detail.  He participated in
the first battle of San Ramon, and in a second battle near Manzanillo,
where the patrol which had arrived in the plain was sent to harass some
enemy transport.  Later -- the days of the campaign were approaching -- I
said that I had somewhat lost the thread of that thought stated here that
it was possible, that is likely that we would have lost the war without
that reinforcement, and I say that it was a valuable contribution, but in
honor of the historic truth I must say that we would not have lost the war
because even with much less ammunition, fewer weapons, many fewer men and
much less experience than we had at that time, and with much more adamant
enemies, with greater confidence in themselves, they could not have
succeeded in defeating us, and therefore, I should say, in respect for the
historic truth, that we could never have lost the war, with or without
bullets.  This was a valuable contribution, but each thing must be put in
its proper place.  And it can serve no interest of mine to minimize the
merit or the value of any historic fact, because we must love, above
everything else, the truth, just as we cannot permit those who want to
misrepresent things and present them as they would like to confuse issues
or alter them.

When the strike failed, that summer campaign was approaching.
Everyone remembers what a great disappointment the people felt.  Everyone
remembers that the dictatorship decided to deal a decisive blow,
concentrating its best and strongest military forces in the Sierra Maestra.
We had at that time some 120 men in Column 1. There were 50, or perhaps a
few more, armed comrades near Santiago de Cuba.  There was a troop in the
plain under the command of Major Camilo Cienfuegos, who had gone down with
a small patrol of 8 or 10 men to the plains,and there, fighting almost
daily battles, he had succeeded in enlisting a troop of about 40 armed men.
We also had the troops in Column 4, which were under the command of Major
Ernesto Guevara, in the eastern zone of Turquino.

While the dictatorship prepared for the advance on Sierra Maestra,
we devoted ourselves to laying our plans for th defensive.  During that
period I entrusted the implementation of certain defense construction
projects to Mr. Hubert Matos.  And he did that work well.  Precisely
because he had done good work, we used it during that stage in the
construction of various trenches in the La Plata and San Lorenzo zones.
That work which I entrusted to him he did well.

And so the weeks between his arrival in the mountains and
beginning of the offensive passed.  He was assigned again to the command of
Captain Paco Cabrera, another Captain Paco Cabreara, who died in an
unfortunate accident in Venezuela during our trip to that country.  Enemy
troops advancing from the Bueycito mines zone toward the Santo Domingo zone
were intercepted.  They were blown up by a mine by a limited number of men.
An ambush was laid for the enemy force and the men thee withdrew to
previously agreed positions.

It was in those days that our rebel army had to deal with one of
its most difficult stages.  Against that nucleus of ours the bulk of the
enemy forces had been concentrated.  The Sierra Maestra mountains were
bombed daily.  They encircled us to cut off supplies for many months, and
there were hard days when we had to calculate our ammunition and our
rations carefully.  I well remember that when the enemy offensive began, we
had only 5,000 bullets in reserve, and we had ahead of us a battle which
would be waged for a total of 71 days.

It is well to recall those times because they teach us something,
since somehow our army resisted and our army triumphed.  And this is a wise
lesson, because one does not do what one must, one fails, but when one does
what one must, one triumphs.

It is bitter that comrades of those days, although few of them are
present, have had to be tried at this time.

Thus we must reflect further and make matters still clearer,
because the truth cannot be challenged. and it is good to recall the role
that each played in those days, the provisions which were issued, the
mobilizations we undertook with a handful of men, with little ammunition
and little food, in order to resist the tremendous forces launched against
us by the dictatorship.  We waged that battle which was decisive for the
triumph of the revolution, or at least for the triumph of the revolution
only six months later.  And who would have though, in that month of June,
when the enemy columns and battalions were advancing on the Sierra Maestra,
when the people had lost faith, that we were only six months away from
victory over the hated forces of the oppressors of our people?  And why was
the triumph won?  What was the motivation of our soldiers?  What was the
basic prerequisite?  Confidence in the command, confidence in the
leadership, because when Captain Paz was ordered to take a position,
Captain Paz went to take it and he took the position.  When Captain Sugnol
was ordered to seize control of a road, Captain Sugnol set off without any
hesitation to take that road.  When Major Ernesto Guevara was ordered to
take a certain position and defend a given sector, he did not ask questions
but went to defend that position.  When Major Camil Cienfuegos was ordered
to come from the plains of the Cauto River to the Sierra Maestra, to be
there at the time when the great battle began, Comrade Camilo Cienfuegos,
without hesitation a second, proceeded to the Sierra Maestra to carry out
his duty.  And when Major Juan Almedia was ordered to mobilize 50 armed men
in the Santiago de Cuba sector, and to proceed gradually toward the Sierra
Maestra, toward the Torquino zone, where the general command headquarters
was, major Juan Almedia, without hesitation a second, set forth for that
zone.  When Major Guillermo Garcia was ordered to resist the troops of
Sanchez Mosquera with blood and fire in the Bueycito mines zone, so that
they could not take the Maestra in the period they had planned, Major
Guillermo Garcia carried out his instructions without deviation and
resisted and made the enemy forces pay dear for each meter of terrain,
without vacillation of any kind, because when any one of those 300 men with
their Garand or their Verotta or Mauser weapons, or a 7 mm rifle of any
kind, good or bad, with the ammunition they had, was ordered to take a
given position, those comrades carried out their orders without hesitation.
Why?  Because they had confidence in the command, because they had
confidence in the men who were leading them, because they had confidence in
the commander-in-chief of the rebel army, because they knew that the
provisions and the orders which were being issued were those which would
lead us to victory, despite the overwhelming majority of the enemy forces,
and no one argued.

This was total confidence.  There were not political problems in
the Sierra Maestra.  When the enemy columns and battalions advanced to
exterminate us, and with us the hope of the revolution, there were no
political problems.  Our officers did not discuss political problems.  The
political leadership of the war was ours, and our comrades, were not
concerned.  They had confidence.  The military leadership of the revolution
was ours, and that of the war was ours, and our comrades wee not concerned.
They had faith, faith in the rightness of our principles, in the
correctness of our conduct.  When did any of these comrades, these who may
be among the accused, ever see me order some one shot?  When did they ever
once see me tolerate the slightest abuse of the peasants in the Sierra
Maestra?  When did they ever see me maltreat a prisoner?  When did they
ever see me preach a policy of hatred against the enemy, despite the fact
that this was an enemy which was murdering our comrades, an enemy which was
perpetrating horrible slaughters against our peasants which touched the
hearts of all of us, because we had, impotent, to tolerate all of these
barbarous acts.

When has anyone ever seen me assassinate anyone, making it seem
later that he had committed suicide -- not even the worst of the hired
ruffians, the worst spies, although someone who wrote an article one day in
all of the newspapers of the republic through something quite different.
With a venom and an insolence which he never turned against the thieving
government leaders, the bloodthirsty ones, he wrote that I was capable of
murdering Mr. Hubert Matos and saying that he had committed suicide.

Let history speak for me and let the defendants themselves speak
for me, because it would be impossible for me to come here to slander
anyone, it would be impossible for me to come here to lie deliberately.  I
do not believe myself to be omniscient, but I do indeed say with absolute
and drastic frankness what I believe, with an absolute and radical morality
what I think and what I believe, and for this reason, I can come here to
this trial, which I doubt has been attended by any man who is not fully and
absolutely moral, to do what must be done.  And why am I doing this?
Simply because I have the moral authority to speak, because men, when they
have this authority, can stand in front of anyone at all, wherever it may
be, as an accuser just as I stood as the accused only a few years ago, for
an honorable reason, honorable not because that was what they tried to make
it seem and suggested, but because it was, because of the facts, because of
the reasons, and because of the consequences, and with the same moral
authority I stood before the courts of the tyranny in the past, with the
same moral authority with which I have always acted and to which the
defendants are witnesses -- with that same morality, I come here to speak
and to say what I think, before men who were my comrades in the Sierra
Maestra, and who are today accused in this trial.

It would be well for them in particular to analyze why the rebel
army won its victory, why our soldiers have that confidence in their
leaders, and why those leaders had that confidence in the soldiers.  It is
well for us to recall those days, much purer and more encouraging in the
moral aspect, because this was the era of the direct struggle, not that of
the struggle against the insidious poison and venom they distill to use as
weapons in eras such as this.  It is well to recall some facts which
perhaps the people are unaware of, because the people do not know many
things and after all, nothing was done so that the people should know.
What was done was because it was what was necessary on each occasion.  It
is well that the people should know, for example, that when we were
surrounded by enemy troops, the commander-in-chief of the dictatorship who
was in charge of those troops opposing us sent to us, through the wife of a
prisoner, a message stating his conviction that we would be destroyed,
since as a professional military man he did not believe it was possible to
resist against the resources they had.  It would be painful to destroy us,
he said, and he even urged us to meet and talk with him, noting that as
dead men we would have accomplished nothing,and that faced with this
imminent destruction, any solution was preferable.  I recall that he even
suggested that we reflect about the case of Eduardo Chibas, who once he was
gone could not continue his work.  And I have here the draft of our answer
to that commander, about whom we had our doubts, although we believed it
possible and thought that he might be speaking frankly:

"Distinguished compatriot: I have high regard for you, which is
not diminished by the fact that it is my honor to recognize you as an
enemy.  I thank you for your noble feelings with regard to us, your
compatriots, not your enemies, because were are not at war against the
armed forces, but against the dictatorship.  I note that you are the
official with the greatest prestige and highest rank today within the army,
the fate of which you can influence decisively for the good of the
fatherland, to which alone soldiers owe loyalty.  Perhaps when the campaign
is over, but not before, if we are still able we will write you to explain
our thinking,and I believe that you and the army and we will be able to do
good for Cuba, to which all eyes in America are turned today.  Moreover, if
the men who have armed themselves against the just idea we represent are
fervent enough in the infamous cause they are defending to overcome the
tenacious resistance they will encounter and can exterminate us to the last
rebel, do not mourn over our fate, because we will leave the fatherland an
example beside which the most heroic stages of history will pale, and one
day even the sons off the very soldiers who are fighting us today will
regard the small Sierra Maestra band with veneration."

Why could I write this letter?  Why could I say that we would die
there to the last rebel?  Why did our forces emerge victorious?  It is well
to analyze this.  I beg the court to allow me to explain these things,
because the interests of the fatherland and the revolution require it,
because to analyze this problem in depth is a problem which cannot be dealt
with superficially.

Here is the explanation of that battle in the Sierra Maestra,
which I am going to read, and which is contained in this manifesto we
issued after the campaign:

"Exactly four months ago I spoke over our rebel radio station to
speak to the people at a difficult moment.  This was after the 9 April
strike.  In the citizens, hearts were discouraged.  For many the days of
the revolutionary forces appeared to be numbered and the country, they
assumed, would be plunged for many years into a hopeless night.  Along with
the failure of the strike, the general staff of the tyranny issued a series
of lying reports announcing that also the rebel forces in the military camp
had been defeated.  Once the strike had been crushed, the tyranny regarded
the time as opportune to launch all its military forces in order to destroy
the rebel centors which had held high the banners of rebellion for more
than a year.

"The people of Cuba know that the struggle is being waged
triumphantly.  The people of Cuba know that over a period of 17 months,
since we landed with a handful of men who were able to face defeat without
flinching in their patriotic dedication, the revolution has been growing
steadily.  They know that what was a spark only a year ago is today a blaze
which cannot be extinguished.  They know that the struggle is no longer
only in the Sierra Maestra, from Cabo Cruz to Santiago de Cuba, but also in
Cristal Mountains, from Mayari to Baracoa, on the Cauto plain from Bayamo
to Victoria de las Tunas, and in other Cuban provinces.  Although not all
of the people know that the will and the determination with which we began
this struggle has remained adamant, they know that we are an army which
developed from nothing, that adversity does not discourage us, that after
each reverse the revolution has emerged with greater strength.  They know
that the destruction of the Granma expeditionary force was not the end of
the struggle but the beginning.  They know that the spontaneous strike
which followed the murder of our comrade Frank Pais did not destroy the
tyranny but it established the pattern of the organized strike.  They know
that no government can remain in power after the mountain of corpses
drenched in blood with which the dictatorship crushed the recent strike,
because the hundreds of young people and workers murdered and the
unprecedented repression undertaken against the people does not weaken the
revolution but makes it stronger, more necessary, more invincible.  So that
the blood shed makes the bravery and the indignation felt the greater, that
each comrade who has fallen in the streets of the cities and on the
battlefields awakens in those who share his ideal an irresistible desire to
give their lives, too, awakens in the indifferent desire to fight, awakens
in the timid a feeling for the fatherland which is shedding its blood for
its dignity, awakens in all of the peoples of America sympathy and support.
I will end this address with the following words: "The people of Cuba can
be sure that this fortress will never fall, and we swear that the
fatherland will be free or we will die to the last combatant."

"Today I am speaking again to the people from this radio station
which never ceased to broadcast even during the days when the mortars and
the bombs were bursting around us, not with a promise which we will carry
out, but following a stage of that promise which has been kept.

"The army, after 76 days of constant fighting on Front No. 1 in
the Sierra Maestra, completely repelled and virtually destroyed the finest
flower of the forces of the tyranny, imposing upon it one of the greatest
disasters which a modern army, trained and equipped with all war material,
could have suffered.  This was done by untrained military forces limited to
a territory surrounded by enemy troops, without planes, without artillery
and without regular lines of supply for weapons, ammunition and foodstuffs.

"More than 30 battles and 6 major combat engagements took place.
The enemy offensive began on 24 May. Since Holy Week, the tyranny had been
concentrating troops all along the Sierra Maestra, and they had been
gradually approaching the spurs of the mountain range.  The enemy command
headquarters had succeeded in rallying for this offensive 14 infantry
battalions and 7 independent companies, including the following units: the
10th Battalion, Major Nelson Carrasco Artiles, etc., etc.

"The general staff included Major General Bulogio Cantillo Porras,
Brigadier General Alberto del Rio Chaviano, etc., etc.

"The strategy of the dictatorship was to concentrate the bulk of
the troops against the first front in the Sierra Maestra, where the general
command headquarters and the rebel radio station were located.  After the
enemy had disposed his forces and supposed he had divided ours, the rebel
command secretly moved all the columns in the south and the center of the
province toward the first front.  Column No. 3, under the command of Major
Juan Almeida, which was operating in the Cobre zone, Column 2 under the
command of Major Camilo Ciennfuegos, operating in the center of the
province, Column No. 4 under the command of Major Ramiro Valdes, located in
the eastern part of Turquino, Column No. 7 under the command of Major
Crescencio Perez, located in the extreme west of the Sierra Maestra -- all
of these were mobilized toward the area immediately to the west of turquino
Peak.  These columns, and Columns No. 8 and 1, under the orders of the
general command headquarters, formed a compact defensive front along some
30 kilometers, the main axis of which was the heights of the Sierra Range.

"The rebel strategy was summarized in the following words of the
instructions issued by the commander-in-chief to the column commanders in
the early days of the month of July.  These instructions read, textually,
in part: 'We must be aware of the minimum time we must resist in organized
fashion and of each of the successive stages which will develop.  More than
of the present, we are thinking of the coming weeks and months.  This
campaign will be the longest of all.'

"After this catastrophe, Batista will be hopelessly lost, and he
knows it and therefore he will make the maximum effort.  This is a decisive
battle which is being waged precisely in the territory we know best.

"We are devoting all our efforts to turning this offensive into a
catastrophe for the dictatorship.  We are taking a series of steps designed
to guarantee:

"First, organized resistance.

"Second, exhausting and eliminating the enemy army.

"Third, gathering together sufficient weapons and equipment to
take the offensive, once they begin to weaken.

"These measures have been prepared for each of the successive
stages in the defense.  We are certain that we will make the enemy pay a
very high price.  At this time it is very clear that their plans are
developing badly, and although we pressure that there will be a long
struggle, in view of the effort they will have to make to gain around, we
do not know how long their enthusiasm will last.  The problem is to
strengthen the resistance increasingly and this will develop as their lines
have to be extended and as we withdraw toward the most strategic sites.

As we believe that it is possible that they will succeed in
penetrating the mountains at some points, precise instructions for each
contingency are included in attached documents.

The basic goals of these plans are:

First, to hold the basic territory in which the organization,
hospital, workshops, etc., will function.

Second, to keep the rebel radio station, which has become an
important factor, on the air.

Third, to offer ever greater resistance to the enemy.'

"The plan contained in these instructions was strictly carried
out.  The guerrilla war had ceased to exist, having become a war of
positions and movements.  Our platoons were stationed at all of the natural
points of access to the mountains, in the north and in the south.
[Beginning of sentence missing] as we concentrated our forces and occupied
the most strategic points in order to launch the counterattack.

"Between the troops attacking from both directions, there was only
a distance of 7 kilometers as the crow flies, but the morale of our troops
was bearing up and we were able to conserve almost all of our reserves of
equipment and high destructive power mines.  The enemy had to try to gain
ground within the mountains.

"On 29 June, the tyrant's forces under the command of Lt.  Colonel
Sanchez Mosquera, were dealt the first crushing blow, and this was one of
the most aggressive troops they had.  With the weapons and equipment seized
in this engagement, which lasted three days, we began the blasting
counterattack which in 35 days drove all of the enemy forces out of the
Sierra Maestra, after costing them almost a thousand casualties, including
more than 443 prisoners.

"The battles of Santo Domingo, Merino, El Jigue, the second battle
of Santo Domingo, Las Villas de Gibacoa and Las Mercedes followed one after
the other.  The final stage of the struggle became a desperate effort by
the tyranny to withdraw from the Sierra Maestra what remained of the forces
it had used in the offensive in order to avoid the encirclement and
annihilation by our army of absolutely all of them.  They evacuated the
Pino del Agua Camp without waiting for us to attack it.  This was a
shameful flight from the battlefront which anywhere in the world would have
been sufficient reason for an army concerned with its honor and its
prestige to have demanded the blanket resignation of the entire general
staff, because of the number of lives sacrifices and the war material
stupidly and criminally lost, because the soldiers who were the victims of
the errors of the military commanders are to to blame for the disaster.

"It can be said that panic spread in the command headquarters
before it did in the troops, and thus the retreat became precipitant

"The 11th Battalion was decimated.  The 19th Battalion lost all
its transport, with the soldiers' equipment, foodstuffs and ammunition at
Merino.  The 18th Battalion was forced by hunger and thirst to surrender.
The G-4 Company was destroyed at Purialon.  L Company of the Infantry
Division was annihilated near the mouth of the La Plata River.  The 92nd
Company was surrounded and surrendered at Las Vegas, along with the CT Tank
Company.  Company P was destroyed at El Salto.  The 23rd Battalion was
decimated at Arroyones.  The 17th and 3rd Battalions, plus some infantry
forces with armored equipment which came to their rescue, took a severe
beating and abandoned the battlefield after 7 days of struggle, virtually

"The rebel forces seized a total of 507 pieces of equipment,
including two 14-ton tanks and their guns, two 81-mm mortars, two 3-inch
bazookas, 12 machine guns with tripods, 142 Gurand rifles, about 200 San
Cristobal machine guns, and all the rest -- M1 and Springfield rifles, more
than 100,000 bullets,and hundreds of shells for mortars and bazookas, six
Minipaks and 14 PRC-10 microwave radios."

It is worth noting,at this remove in time, those events of which
the defendants -- some of them -- were the best of witnesses, because they
waged that struggle with us, they traveled with us, in the hours of the
night and the early morning, over long paths through the mountains and it
is they who have the best reason to ask themselves why -- what political
problem did we have with our troops?  What made victory possible, if not
confidence?  None of our commanders, none of our offices, none of our
soldiers raised any political problems and for this reason victory was

But the war had not ended.  It still remained to overthrow the
tyranny.  We had completed that struggle with some 500 additional weapons.
In other words, we had 800 armed men, and with 800 men -- I believe
sincerely that this is a unique case in the history of warfare, at least in
the history of modern wars -- with 806 men, 807 armed men [sic] we invaded
the rest of the island.  And not only did we invade it, but i that same
manifesto, as eloquent proof of the confidence we had in our men, we
announced that the rebel army would take the offensive.  Although no one
knew how many of us would attack, no one knew how many men there were in
these platoons and columns of which we spoke, although no one knew how many
of there were to invade the island, we announced that we would do so.

In that same manifesto,which is not complete because I have
brought here only the first part, since it was a statement which was issued
in two successive days, we announced that we would take the offensive.  How
could we undertake an offensive with 807 men only, and how, moreover, could
we be sure of winning?  The second part of the manifeso was called "Our
Offensive," and here, too, is a document which explains our campaign.

"Dear Major Almeida, Sierra Maestra, 8 October 1958, 8 A.M. --
Dear Almeida:

"I have worked to advance the preparations for Operation Santiago
as rapidly as possible, in order to ensure that it will coincide with the
electoral farce with the purpose of forcing the enemy forces into a broad
battle at this time, which along with other measures we will take will make
impossible the holding of the election.  I also thought of going there with
the largest possible support forces that same month, but in careful
analysis I realized that this was impossible for various reasons: a. the
supply of weapons and ammunition has not yet reached its peak; b. the
innumerable matters and tasks of all kinds that have to be dealt with this
month would remain unresolved or half settled if I left here and undertook
this long trip.  Determined as you know I am in my intentions, it was very
hard for me to abandon the idea of going.  At the same time, in order
rapidly to assign tasks to all the forces with the elections in mind, I
have begun a series of movements toward various territories in the
province, but I have tried to ensure that these movements, while achieving
specific goals in connection with 3 November, will also serve as a basis
for the strategy to be developed in the weeks following that date, that is
to day, the troops which now control the territories of Victoria de las
Tunas, Puerto Padre, Holguin and Jibara will be called upon to carry out
important tasks in the final months of the year.

"I am not substituting a plan for taking the province for that of
taking Santiago de Cuba first.  Taking Santiago and the other cities would
be much easier thus, and above all, they could be supported.  First we will
occupy the countryside.  Within 12 days, approximately, all of the
municipalities will be invaded.  Then we will take over and if possible
destroy all the land, road and railroad communications routes.  If parallel
operations are carried out in Las Villas and Camaguey, the tyranny may
suffer a complete disaster in the province as it did in the Sierra Maestra.

"This strategy seems much safer to us than any other and,
therefore, far from concentrating the bulk of our forces in any one
direction, which takes time, requires a great accumulation of logistical
supplies and involves risks which must be considered, we will distribute
them such that we can keep the enemy under constant harassment everywhere.
on your front, the Santiago de Cuba front, Columns 3, 9 and 10 have now
been assigned.  You must make of these troops a powerful and disciplined
force which will gradually dominate the zone, and above all, you must study
it carefully before the time arrives.  There are many weapons we have
recently received without notice.  The prolonged stay of Pedro Luis has
delayed supplies and this problem of ammunition must be resolved.

"You must organize people who will try to buy bullets from the
soldiers.  If necessary, you can pay up to a peso for each 50.06 or M1
bullet.  This is a tempting price and we may have more than enough money.
We should be able to spend half a million pesos on half a million bullets.
What we must not do is be left without bullets of any kind.  I have urged
their shipment from abroad, but each time it is more guns and we must seek
other solutions to the problem.  If I receive some ammunition this week, I
will send it to you without fail.  Now, I am sending you the two 50
calibers with all the bullets there are, about 800, two anti-tank guns with
5 magazines and 120 bullets for each one, and two rifles which, because
they have the same bore as the anti-tank guns, can also be used with this

"Fidel Vargas is bringing all this and your promotion to
lieutenant colonel.  I am also sending you four mines now, if Crepso has
them ready for me.  I hope that these weapons will cheer the boys up.  Here
I am left with 60 Springfields and 30 M1's without a single bullet, but I
would rather send you these 2,000, becaue if I receive some in the next few
days these will already be reaching you sooner.

"After 3 November, all of your thoughts should be directed toward
preparations for the moment when we decide to surround all the cities
simultaneously.  Your forces will have the task of surrounding the cities
of Palma Soriano and Santiago de Cuba.  You must be thinking about the
destruction of the highway, which means blowing the bridges, digging
anti-tank trenches, a study of the heights and surrounding strategic
points.  You must get together as many as possible picks and shovels, as
well as cables and batteries for making detonators.  Planting mines on the
asphalt highways is a technical problem to be resolved.  We must see that
the roads have as many potholes and the like as possible, such that any one
could contain a mine.  If the highway is in good condition we can surprise
the enemy the first time with a mine planted in the asphalt, but after that
they will suspect each pothole.  As control of the highways is gained,
holes must be dug with picks.  However, these cannot be used to make the
anti-tank trenches.

"I want to tell you that if after one or two mines explode on the
highway, and a patrol digs holes in the asphalt in various places during
the night, the tanks will have to stop to check them one by one.  Also, we
can place mines in the earth embankments on either side of the road,
opposite each other, to explode simultaneously.  The explosions will come
at the tanks from the embankments on both sides and, between the two
explosions, I think this will finish them, because of the question of
distance and other considerations.  The important thing is that we must
resolve the problem of the use of the mines on the asphalt highways,
because this is our most powerful weapon against the armored vehicles.  I
leave this to the imagination and the intelligence of the rebels -- always

"Meanwhile, we must maintain all of the time both before and after
the third, a systematic war on transport, as you have been doing to date.
We must wreck the transport companies if they do not suspend service along
the highways and railroads.  I am sure that they will not be able to stand
the losses and will have to suspend operations, thus creating a very series
problem for the dictatorship.  Communications must be improved daily,
establishing the largest possible number of service points.  I talked to
Jose Antonio about this when he came here.

"Another thing.  The people must try by every possible means not
only to cause casualties, but to seize enemy weapons.  I have thought that
the three columns, by this date, would have been able to seize more
weapons.  It seems to me that they have developed quite a fear with regard
to the microwave radios and it is going to be difficult to find them after
the demonstrations of force there have been.  They will go back to their
barracks shortly, and we will have had a period to search the highways
before this happens.  Now, then, when they return their camps and send out
ever fewer expeditions, we must again begin the systematic destruction of
the roads and highways.  Then we will establish a Magninot Line from
village to village.  Then we can prevent them from obtaining either water
or food, and you will see how docile we will make them all.  But it is of
the greatest importance that these plans be kept absolutely secret and
therefore, I urge this upon you instantly.  Experience has taught me that
even commanders are sometimes indiscreet.  I am not referring to you,
because I know that you are an old fox in these matters, but I remind you
of it in connection with your command.  Above all, it is necessary to keep
the secret of the strategy planned for after 3 November, so that the enemy
will never suspect it, so as not to be able to prepare to counteract it.  I
will be on the move myself and locating forces and at the proper time I
will give he order.  I think the whole thing will be a matter of months.  I
will reveal my plans to very few, and each will receive his instructions

"Send me the greatest volume of information on your communications
and the terrain in your zone you can.  You must choose a skilled person to
take charge of this task.  Obtain maps and draft whatever outlines you
regard as necessary for a proper report, and send me copies.

"For the moment I have no other important matters to mention to
you.  I am impatiently awaiting news of Cho and Camilo.  I have the
impression that it has been hard for them to get ahead, but that they have
come out all right.  I congratulate you on your merited promotion to
lieutenant colonel.  I have received the stars and certificate.  When all
is well, I will send them to you.  Write then, giving news of all these
aspects: economic, military, public order, etc.  With warmest regards..."

This letter contained the plans for the offensive which is less
than three months was to bring ruin to the dictatorship.  What had occurred
meanwhile?  I wanted to give the court, and the public, and to remind some
of the defendants of these facts which are important in that they reveal a
state of mind which made possible victory, a state of confidence which made
the triumph possible.  Perhaps some of the defendants do not and never did
have any idea of this, but some of them do.  What was the role of Major
Hubert Matos at that time?  He was assigned to the Santo Domingo zone.
There they resisted.  Vanious of the officers who have been charged were
assigned to that zone, and I remember that one of the difficult days was on
that occasion when while we were encircling troops in the Merino zone, the
enemy tried to take the Maestra heights.  In one of these positions was the
then Lt.  Alamo, who resisted valiantly, and I remember that in the zones
where we all were, we followed the details of that day of battle.  And they
remember them, because they know that in everything I have said, in
everything I have written, I have not lied in the slightest detail, because
not even in wartime, when many believe it is necessary to lie in order to
demoralize the enemy, even in wartime when it was a question of life or
death, did I lie about even a single bullet.  And when that enemy campaign
ended and rebel army seized 507 weapons, the columns which invaded the rest
of the national territory were organized.

Column 2 was under the command of Major Camilo Cienfuegos, Column
8 under Major Guevara, Column 3 under Major Almeida, Column 10 under Major
Rene de los Santos, Column 9 under the then Major Hubert Matos, Column 12
under Major Eduardo Sardinas, and this accounted for all of the forces we
had in the Sierra Maestra, all, because we were left there with 24 men, all
veterans of the offensive plus the recruits we had armed with the weapons
seized by our forces.  The columns were organized and one of these was the
Column 9. Major Guevara's column had been formed, as had that of Major
Camilo Cienfuegos, and Major Almeida's column which was the first to set
off in order to try to intercept the troops located in Pino del Agua in the
heights of the Maestra, after the campaign, but they could not be
intercepted because of their hasty retreat.

Column 9 was organized and we gave it the best weapons.  This was
the best armed column and the one in which we placed many of our veteran
comrades, particularly the group of comrades of Major Paz, formidable
soldier that he always was, loyal comrade that he always was.  It contained
the comrades of Paz, those of Paco Cabreera, and those in that group which
arrived in the mountains one day in the summer months of 1957, and which
included such men as Duque.  They were very worthy men and had experienced
long months of struggle.  But, however, we did not assign comrade Duque to
that company, because he seemed to us too impetuous, to such an extreme
that one day at the end of the campaign, having gone to intercept enemy
troops which were retreating at dusk, he proceeded at such a speed and so
far ahead of his troops that he fell into the hands of the enemy and lost
contact with the other comrades.  They assumed he was dead until the
following day, when he appeared all beaten and bruised, after having waged
a battle with the guard at the enemy encampment, who had thought he was a
common soldier -- a singular battle from which he only escaped with his
life by a miracle.  And precisely because of these impetuous deeds on his
part, which on other occasions had served to enable him to win great
triumphs, we did not assign command of the troops to him, but to Hubert
Matos, who had arrived almost a year later.  Does this mean a denial of his
merits, of what he did during those months?  No, I do not deny them, I am
simply saying that he arrived a year after some of the officers who were
under his command.  It was at the time when that column which contained so
many individuals who had spent much time in the mountains was being
organized, that column which was the best armed and as I will show -- it
was then that the first episode involving Mr. Hubert Matos developed.

I never had any difficulty with any officers in the Sierra
Maestra.  I never had any problem of insubordination or impertinence, nor
of lack of respect -- and there were many commanders, of whom some are
present here.  I never had the slightest complaint about any of the, those
who were me at the Moncada Barracks and those who arrived on the Granma and
those who were with me in the Sierra Maestra for 25 months.  However, in
those days in the month of September, if I remember rightly, only 5 months
after he arrived in the mountains, where I treated him with full
consideration, which no one can deny, with all deference, he achieved the
rank of major, because I took into consideration first the arrival of the
expedition, second, the heard work he had done in the trenches, and third,
his participation in the engagements.  He was not among those who had
fought the most battles, although he had fought many.  All will recall that
the troops which fought the most in that campaign were those under Comrade
Lalo Sardinas, because they took part in every single battle.  Indeed, this
was the group which was in Santo Domingo and which fought so well, behaved
so courageously and carried out its objectives.

In only five months, he won the highest rank in the rebel army,
was promoted over officers who had been there a year longer than he, and
was given the best weapons.  However, it was because he was of a character
different from all the others. in other words, all the others were the
older veterans -- those from the Granma, from the Moncada Barracks, with 25
months experience beginning with Comrade Guillermo Garcia, who was the
first peasant to join the expeditionary force, but I did not believe they
would have the honor, the disposition or the extraordinary character he
did.  And they understood me, and I understood them, because I never had
problems with any one of them, and yet, this first problem developed with
Mr. Hubert Matos, and I must...

Mr. Hubert Matos: May I ask a question with the permission of the
Court?  In order to answer the testimony of the prosecutor.  I was not
present, but I understand that there was earlier a problem with the man who
is today Major William Galvez.  Is this true or not?

Doctor Castro: There was a problem, not with Major William Galvez,
not with Captain William Galvez, but with a soldier named William Galvez
who had come to the Sierra Maestra and who was punished for violations of
discipline. he was not an officer of the rebel army.  (Applause)

And it was necessary to explain this precisely because I spoke
publicly of this incident and here are the papers.  Moreover, in the same
article which presumed me capable of murdering Mr. Hubert Matos and then
saying that he had committed suicide, there was a public denial of the
veracity of the papers I read and which I had brought here again, because I
could never be capable of bringing here a false paper.  I will never be
capable of inventing such a lie, because on that day I would feel lacking
moral authority to speak to anyone.  On that day I would feel that I had
lost the honorable right to be a leader in my fatherland.  I would feel
myself unworthy as a man and as a leader of the revolution (applause) and

On 27 August 1958, that is to say, the incident was not after 5
months but 4, I received a paper sent to me by Comrade Crespon from the
Armory.  I was signed by Hubert Matos and said: "Comrade Crespo, I would
like you to get me some extra bullets for launching Garand grenades.  Also,
I would very much appreciate it if you could provide one of the weapons you
have here to Omar, since our Browne machine gun is in the workshop and thus
we are lacking a weapon.  Yours ever, your friend and comrade, Hubert

Hubert Matos was doing something improper in writing to the
Armory.  At that time, we had to keep a check on all weapons, on their
issue, since in those days precisely we were organizing the columns, and
those here know what work we had in organizing all the columns, because as
everyone wanted the best weapons, if possible, they had to be distributed
with the greatest of equity.  I had to take the note, and I wrote later on
27 August 1958:

"Hubert, I cannot understand how you can be lacking a weapon, when
the boy who was here from the Armory had a Cristobal.  I do not like the
things behind my back, because they confuse and disorganize everything.  No
one can take what weapons he likes from the Armory.  We need to create
order, not disorder.  When will we be able to count on the cooperation of
the commanding comrades?"

This note was written on 27 August 1958.  I do not know whether or
not it reached Hubert Matos.  Possibly it was returned to me.  Because the
following day...  But do you admit that you wrote this note, Mr. Matos?

Matos: Your note did not arrive.

Dr.  Castro: But you admit that you wrote the other, that it was
yours, and not written by Crespo?

Matos: I request the floor as I would like to explain...

Dr.  Castro: You admit that you wrote it, and the other did not

Matos: But I would like to make this clear.  Not only did it not
reach me, but just a few days before, one of our Browne machine guns we had
given to Crespo, to the workshop.

Dr.  Castro: It is explained here, it tells here about the Browne
machine gun.  I have read about the Browne machine gun.  But apart from

Matos: They were to repair it for us.  As later they informed us
that it was not ready and we had one of our oldest men there, Omar, without
a weapon, which was still in the workshop where he had sent it, I made this
request of Crespo, whom I had directly entrusted with the machine gun for
repair, and I do not believe that it is a dishonest thing ...

Dr.  Castro: I am not saying it is dishonest.  I said that it
violated a principle of organization, because if everyone took weapons when
they believed it necessary and exchanged them when they thought it
desirable, you know that we could not have maintained the slightest hope of
order under such conditions in the mountains.  I do not say it is
dishonest, I am simply presenting papers, notes, and answering questions.
I am not drawing conclusions, because this precedes the other note.

Matos: But one cannot be criticized, I believe.

Dr.  Castro: Fine, you will have an opportunity to explain this.
I believe that you will have to answer for many other things. if you want
to speak on each matter as it comes up, I believe we will never finish.  I
have heard your comment, and I hope that you will answer all the arguments,
and all the papers I am presenting here.

Matos: I hope that you know in advance that I am very aware of all
the acts I have committed in my life, and that it is clear to you ...

Dr.  Castro: Fine, but are you going to defend yourself now or
when the time comes?  You will have your turn to answer, no one will
prevent you from speaking here, no one here will send the journalists away,
as was expected.  We will not prevent the journalists from describing the
"marvel of the century" (applause).  Here the journalists are present, they
are witnessing everything, as are the people, and the court will judge,
because if the people judged, as you already know,..  I say the "rabble,"
Niss (in answer to a question from the audience) because this is the term,
those who are opposed to the revolution are the "rabble," because the term
"high life," obviously, is counterrevolutionary (applause).

On 29 August, on 27 August, moreover, I received a communication
in response to one of mine, I repeat it was on the 17th.  This was a note
which provoked the first incident.  In connection with a Verotta machine
gun, I wrote a note.  I do not have it here, unfortunately, because I sent
it with my answer to Hubert, with Captain Paco Cabrera, to show to Comrade
Duque, in order to inform him of what had happened in the event that Hubert
Matos did not correct the matter.  I received this note:

"Sunday, 27 August 1958.  Major: My desire to have more weapons
for the column has a limitation imposed by my own dignity as a many, which
is no less than yours.  I am unaware of why Duque might have been
interested in having four [grooving tools] instead of two, and you know me
well enough to have supposed this.  Your Veretta was given to Cesar Suarez
with 200 bullets to be taken to the command post.  Believe me, I now regret
having come here to the mountains.  I take your insult as one more
sacrifice at this time when what is important is the fate of Cuba.  I am
returning your note and urge you to change your way of dealing with certain
of your colleagues, particularly all of those who believe that they have
shown that they are here defending ideals and principles."

Matos: It is too bad that you have not read the note he sent me.

Dr.  Castro: Your Honor, please tell me if I must argue constantly
with this gentleman, because either we must talk here and discuss
everything that comes up, or instead I will speak first in peace and
develop my testimony, and then he can give evidence, Your Honor.

Judge: He will be given his turn.

Prosecutor: Your Honor, I believe the witness for the prosecution
should be allowed to speak freely, and in his turn, the other will have ...

Dr.  Castro: Let him answer, because we will not forbid it.  At
least, they have not prevented me from speaking.

Judge: Continue.

Dr.  Castro: It seems to me that this impatience has a cause, but
it is lack of conviction.

Matos: This is a captious representation of the case.

Dr.  Castro: But if it is, you will have your chance to answer.
You have said a number of captious things here, from the very first day you
have been saying such things.  From the very first day you have been
playing the great game of the counterrevolution, accusing the revolutionary
government of being communist (applause).

I believe that if all have spoken, it is proper that we should be
permitted to speak and in tranquility.

This is the answer to my letter.  Perhaps Comrade Duque recalls
it.  Paco did not return it.  I believe that the letter ...  Well, it is
not worth it.  I would rather speak on the basis of documents, papers,
irrefutable evidence rather than "he told me," "they told him," "I said,"
"you told me," -- no, none of this.  I speak on the basis of fact and with
the documents here.  You will not deny that this was my answer.  Did you
here it?

Matos: Yes, I heard it, but not what you said.

Dr.  Castro: Well, my answer was this:

"Sierra Maestra, 30 August 1958.  Hubert: More than an act of
indiscipline and rudeness, unworthy of the spirit of comradeship with which
we have always dealt with each other, I grieve at the obvious ingratitude
with which you have ignored the repeated proofs of personal regard I have
shown you.

"I am a man little given to theatrical gestures, but I have always
dealt here with those whom I hold in highest esteem with the confidence and
familiarity with which one treats them when they re not guilty of
ridiculous conventionalism or hypocrisy of any kind.  I am frank and
natural in all my expressions and this compensates for my lack of courteous
formality in my relations with the comrades whom i have always regarded as
equals, because I am not an aristocrat in even the smallest corner of my

"I have been waging this revolution with men of humble origin, and
here they are with a greater instinct for the true basis of my democratic
and human feelings than the somewhatmore privileged men who have had the
opportunity of gaining a little more education, and with it, more
prejudices, too.  I have never regretted, despite the fact that I have
suffered much greater bitterness, more insults and greater sacrifice than
you, having fought for this cause for seven years, overcoming many other
obstacles of the kind encountered by the men whom in some way I have helped
to satisfy their desire to flight and their eagerness to realize an ideal.
For this reason, I have been patient and tolerant, which should be taken
into account by those who, like you, so readily regret having come to a
place of sacrifice, where the only regards to be expected are hurtful
things, such as the contents of your untimely and inconsiderate message.

"You are not a colleague of mine, but of the revolution.  Here I
am not a master nor an arbitrary commander, but a slave of what I believe
to be my duty.  If I am some times expressive in the emphasis I place on
insignificant details, such as the allocation of a weapon to other units
may seem to be, with the goal and interest in which I dealt with the one
you demanded, and this has happened with other comrades, it is due to the
struggle which I have to wage in an atmosphere in which everyone wants the
best for his troops, and it is easy to forget that victory can only be a
product of efficiency and effort on the part of all.  And this struggle
against individualism and personal tendencies should be of greatest concern
to those who are victims of it, who tend to stress non-existent
irritations, as if pride were more important than anything else.

"I categorically reject the term 'insult' which you use abut the
words contained in my note, which I will keep as a record of this incident.
I invest my energies and my time in more important matters.  Your action is
the more serious because of the fact that it occurred at a time when to
demand an accounting of your conduct would do irreparable damage to all the
plans, or at least one of the most important ones, we have made with regard
to the enemy forces, whose destruction interests me much more than
repairing personal relations. personal matters are not important to me, and
when personally I am a hindrance to this cause, and those who today take my
orders believe this, I will resign without hesitation, because in this I
see much greater honesty and honor than to continue to give orders to
others and to occupy posts of leadership which are for me no pleasure, but
a bitter duty.  And I would have preferred that someone more capable and
better than I, and I say this with all sincerity, were leading this
struggle, because with the modest philosophy which has come to dominate my
most intimate convictions, I feel profound contempt for all human vanity
and ambition.  All of the pride in the world is worth less than an iota of
humility, of understanding that we as men are a mere nothing.

"Please do not trouble yourself with the thought that I am
concerned in the least abut the attitude anyone has toward me personally.
I am only concerned with the way in which each individual carries out his
duty, and this duty, you must understand clearly, I never view as something
which has anything to do with my name or my pride or my personal interests,
which fortunately do not exist at all.  And when others regard their duty
in a way different from what my conscience tells me mine is, and when I am
certain that my acts are free of any ignoble purpose, I do not concern
myself further, because after all, this is my calling and my destiny: to
fight as I am doing now.

"It is hard to have to invest the energies of a man to carry this
message which should have been unnecessary to you, but you re not a rank
and file soldier, but a column commander, and it is of interest to me to
clarify these concepts.  I do not exhort you to do anything.  I must give
you orders, and not exhortations.  I would thank you, in exchange, for all
that you are doing, whenever it is authorized and I categorically demand
that you correct the mistaken concept in your message.  If your honor, your
pride, as you see it, prevents you from correcting the insult of having
returned my note, turn over your command to Captain Felix Duque, whom I
will inform of this incident, in which case he will have to apply to
Almeida's command headquarters for instructions and you will present
yourself at the general command headquarters."

The weapons each column had were as follows:

"Column 3: 25 Garands, 19 Crisobals, 12 M1's, 4 Brownings, 1
Johnson and a tripod, that is to say, 72 automatic weapons; column No. 10,
headed by Noncada Comrade Major Almeida: 1 tripod, 6 M1 rifles, 22
Cristobals, 14 Springfields, 1 Me, 1 Johnson, 1 Veretta, 4 Streings, 11
Italian rifles, 2 Thompsons, 2 Brownings, 9 Garands, in other words, some
50+ weapons.  Guevara's column had 25 Garands, 2 Brownings -- I am speaking
of the automatic weapons which were the greatest value to the rebel
soldiers -- 2 tripods, 15 Cristobals, 11 M1's, that is, some 70 weapons, if
we count up, or rather 55.  Camilo's column, the Invasion Column, had 42
Garands and 11 San Cristobals -- 66 automatic weapons, of which 6 were left
in the plane, and they got out with 70 automatic weapons.  Column 9 had 22
Garands, 21 Cristobals, 6 Verettas, 5 M1's, 1 M2, 2 Brownings, 4 M3's, a
Thompson, a Reming automatic rifle, and a 30 caliber -- 64 automatic

I am speaking of the automatic weapons, which were those most
valued by the rebel soldiers.

In other words, two-thirds of the weapons our columns had were
automatic.  I asked Hubert Hatos for a correction, and he sent it.  Do I
retain any rancor against him because of this incident, have I the
slightest shadow of resentment becaue of that action, which was the only
one in the harsh experience of the war?  What was our later behaviour?

First, it would be well to see how different, for example, was the
case with Camilo, when I sent a similar note complaining abut certain
papers which had to be filed at a given point, when I learned that he had
left without depositing them.  This was a note similar to that which I had
to send to Hubert, and we all of us here know each other well, know the
style of each of us and how we all write.  Camilo answered:

"Major Fidel: The Williams papers are with Franki.  I left them
with him because I regarded him as the most responsible of the boys who
remained at the little shop.  I have made the selection of men and weapons.
Tomorrow everything will be completed and I will be able to send you the
list of men and all the weapons.  This is going a little slowly, but you
know how these things are and the delay, even against our will, happens.
Doctor Del Valle has already arrived.  I could not bring Guevara's light
machine gun, because Ramiro, following your orders not to surrender it
without papers, would not give it to me.  I have only now to get some
Garands grenades.  We only have 12 and I need some more in order not to
have "sputniks."  Of the 500 bullets I asked for on your orders, the S.V.
gave me 300, the rest having been delivered to Guillermo.  I talked with
Crespo about the M2, and he told me that if you had no orders, he was
willing to change it.  The column was made up of 75 or 80 men.  Tomorrow I
want to visit it, since tomorrow we cannot depart and thus we will be able
to exchange impressions.  When he reaches La Plata, he will note that one
bottle is missing from those there were, but I took the liberty of taking
it, planning to replace it with two that were to come from Camaguey.  I
have 24 men hidden in Cuatro Caminos, reinforcing the 12 others, since
various reports have come that the army will be coming along, and there are
a number in Estrada Palma."

This was the answer from Camilo, from whom I have dozens and [word
or words missing from the text] the same humility.

What were, what was my attitude with regard to that officer who
had committed an act of real insubordination, an action intolerable in any
army, because political problems had never arisen, political problems.
What was our attitude?  Here, for example, I have a document issuing orders
to Major Rene de los Santos to put more troops at the disposal of Hubert

"I have received the report informing me of the difficulty with
Jose Antonio.  A few minutes earlier, Raul Castro had happened to inform me
from the Second Front that there was a lack of coordination between the
forces operating on that side of the Bay, nearer Siboney.  Have Humbeto
return to your command post, along with any other patrols you have moved to
the other side of the Bay.  Jose Antonio, with the company which was in
Raul's Column 10, and which then was transferred to your column, will be
placed in Column 9 under Hubert's command.  Thus Hubert, who is much closer
to Siboney, will be responsible for dealing with that territory."

And another:

"Sierra Maestra, 9 November 1958.  Dear Almeida: I am sending you
10,000 bullets.  There are 5,000 30.06's and 5,000 M1's.  Of these 10,000,
send 4 to Hubert, 2,000 of each kind.  Distribute the other 6,000 between
Columns 3 and 10.  I urge you to save these 6,000 bullets for the moment
they are most needed.  If you give them out they will be fifed.  This is an
old experience."

In other words, my attitude with regard to that case was one
completely free of resentment, completely free of irritation.  Whenever it
was a question of distribution, I saw that he was sent his portion, which
was even the larger one.  I might have wanted to be sure that it would
never seem that there was any resentment on my part, that is, to be able to
justify myself, to clear myself, if necessary.

Later on, forces were jointed near Santiago de Cuba, when Column 1
was moved toward Santiago and the towns of Guisa, Baire, Jiguani,
Contramaestre, Maffo and Palma Soriano were being taken.  We were again
converging all of the columns, except those forces which were in the zones
of Holguin, Victoria de las Tunas and Manzanillo, which naturally, like
those in Las Villas and Camaguey, had to continue to carry out their tasks.
Until that time I had not seen Hubert Matos again, although we had some
communications, and here I have one, for example, which says:

"Today I am returning, ready to carry out my part, as you ordered.
I am concerned about the attitude of Jose Antonio, who did not come to the
meeting as he should have, because Rene and I let him know that he should
be there to receive instructions from Almeida.  I find in Jose Antonio, to
judge from reports, the kind of revolutionary who likes to be in a safe
place, to enjoy conveniences and to satisfy his vanity."

And when Camilo was already advancing on Las Villas, I received
this note, which also concerns one of the defendants here, and it says
here, because Comrade Camilo was a very specific comrade and very graphic
in his expressions, he said to me on 1 September 1958:

"1 September 1958.  Fidel, the case of Comrade Benigno Gonzalez is
simply revolting.  They are accusing this man of being crazy with the sole
purpose of getting him out of the way so that the accuser will remain
commander of the zone.  The accuser is Roberto Cruz -- one of the
defendants here -- and there is nothing here but a desire for power.  This
letter signed by the colonel is the man who has helped not only us, but all
of the elements crossing or in the zone as well, the most.  Doctor del
Valle has made an examination, and here is the certificate.  This Roberto
Cruz is one of the Lara men.  The so-called mad man has been living in the
home of Colonel Arcado Pelaez for more than a month."

And I have here the letter, which he wrote long before, of course,
any of us could imagine that one day Roberto Cruz would appear accused of
counterrevolutionary activities, when this veteran of many years could not
possibly imagine that one day this letter would come to light again:

"Oriente Plains, I September 1958.  Mr. Fidel Castro,
Commander-in-Chief of the 26 July Movement, Sierra Maestra.  Most esteemed
commander:  Although I do not have the honor of knowing you personally,
though we have mutual acquaintances, I beg your pardon for taking your
precious time from your many concerns to make a report in all humanity on
Comrade Benigno Gonzalez Batista, who was recently engaged in the southern
zone of Camaguey, and who was brought to me here with the recommendation
that I take great care with him, since he was stark raving mad.  Mr.
Gonzalez Batista has been in this house, if I remember correctly, 40 days
now.  During this time I have had an opportunity to talk with him a great
deal, to study him in order to determine from what kind of madness he might
suffer, and indeed it is possible to get to know him.  I have come to the
conclusion that he is saner than I am, and it is a pleasure to talk with
him, hearing his very sensible ideas, and I can even tell you frankly that
I have learned a great deal about the military discipline of the 26 July
Movement from him.  The doctor has examined him and will submit his report,
but my simple opinion is that he has not been nor is he insane, and you
personally should be able to evaluate what is involved.  You already know
me by reputation.  I am simply an individual who wants to help these brave
men who are fighting for the freedom of Cuba, newly oppressed, and to
attempt to save from error those who out of lack of knowledge and perhaps
ignorance are mistaken in their evaluations and are endangering one of
their comrades.  With warmest greetings, the colonel."

"Medical Certificate, Revolutionary Army, 26 July, Antonio Maceo
Invasion Column No. 2, Doctor Sergio del Valle Mimenez, Doctor in the 26
July Revolutionary Army.  I certify that having examined by the methods
available to us Mr. Benigno Gonzalez Batista, I find neither symptoms nor
indication of mental abberation or personality distortions, at the time of
the examination, which would incapacitate him for carrying out any task or
duties.  Doctor Sergio del Valle."

And above this, Comrade Camilo Cienfuegos said to me:  "The case
concerning Comrade Benigno Gonzalez is simply revolting."

Judge:  This court believes a recess of ten or 15 minutes

(The court recessed and later reconvened.)

Judge:  Court is in session.  We would ask the representatives of
the defense, as well as the other members of the court, to take their
places.  You may continue, Major Fidel Castro.

Dr. Castro:  Gentlemen of the court:  I have completed my
explanation of the Sierra Maestra background.  I would like to stress two
things in conclusion.  One is that the rebel army never had any political
problems, that there was absolute confidence in the political and military
leadership of the revolution.  As a revolution, it had a political leader,
a military commander, in which the soldiers and the officers had
confidence, and that revolutionary movement, despite the extraordinary
obstacles which confronted it, managed to triumph, when very few believed
this was possible.  That army even accomplished such deeds as the invasion
by two columns, one of 80 men and the other of 110, which, overcoming all
of the natural difficulties of being an army without planes, without
armored equipment and without artillery, swept across the island, opposed
by an army which on the other hand enjoyed all these advantages.  And it is
my satisfaction to be able to say without fear of error that one day
history will record the accomplishments of the rebel army as one of the
greatest deeds any arm has ever been able to carry out, because with 807
men we undertook the invasion of the enemy territory.  And this was
possible because of the spirit of the rebel soldiers.  Demoralized soldiers
could not have achieved this goal.  Corrupted soldiers could not have
achieved this goal, and all of the officers of the revolutionary columns
came down from the Sierra Maestra, came from Column No. 1 in the Sierra
Maestra, which was the school of the rebel army, the school of the rebel
officers, and they were educated by deeds, educated by example, educated by
conduct, and this was the army which came down from the Sierra Maestra,
without political problems.  And here are the commanders of this army, here
are those men, the few who remain of those who undertook that struggle, the
few who remain from the Granma, the few who remain from the first who
joined the rebel army.  Here they are,never having had political problems,
because they always had confidence in the comrade who had led his rebel
army to triumph.  They had confidence in its military leadership and in its
political leadership.  They had confidence and the people had confidence.
But there was one, who did not, who did not believe and who inculcated that
lack of confidence in a group of officers, among whom there were both bad
men and good men who had had no political problems in their minds, because
they believed in the political and revolutionary leadership of the comrade
who had assumed this responsibility, and who had not done so by accident,
who had not seized it from anyone.  It was simply the result of a long
process of struggle.  And we have the great satisfaction that the destiny
of our country was changed, the great satisfaction that thousands and
thousands of young people who had in many cases had no opportunity to go to
a school are the men who made the fate of the fatherland change, because
although there is a great effort here to make it seem that the revolution
was the work of all the classes, there is a truth which should be stressed.
The various classes may have contributed more or less, but the revolution
was the work mainly of the dispossessed peasants of Cuba (applause).  The
revolution was the work of the most humble people in the country, and all
of the commanders of our army -- who were they but humble men, workers or

There has been an attempt to show here, because it is here we must
discuss the ideological essence of the revolution, that it was the work of
all the social sectors of the country.  And I say here and I have a right
to say it because I know, that the revolution was basically the work of
the humble sectors of the country.  And when we disembarked from the
Granma, the first person we met was a charcoal peddler, the first person
who gave us something to eat was a charcoal peddler.  As we advanced those
we met along the way were humble people.  The first to join us were
peasants, the first to give us bread after many days of hunger were the
peasants of that zone.  The first to join us to swell our ranks were
peasants.  Our guides were peasants, the first to be murdered were
peasants, the huts and the houses which were burned were the huts of our
peasants.  The slaughters committed were against the peasants and we were
there and the defendants who were there know that where we went was to the
homes of the peasants, and that the food we received was food from peasant

The revolution was undertaken by the humble sectors of the
country.  But if the humble sectors of the country had not undertaken the
revolution, it is being waged for the humble sectors of the country, or it
is not a revolution (applause).

I do not know why the defendant Hubert Matos says here that he was
less radical than Raul, because he believed that all of the sectors were
responsible for the revolution and that therefore, Raul's attitude was
wrong, because Raul was more radical then he and I believe that we should
discus this ideological question here.  That we should seize this business
of communism by the horns here, this thing which has been invented, the
spectre to which they have had recourse, particularly in this trial, in
order to play the game of the enemies of the Cuban revolution.  In other
words, to accuse the Cuban revolution of being communist.  We will refute
this argument here, because we have had enough.  This is a very convenient
attitude -- to come here to accuse the revolution of being communist so
that tomorrow all of the cable reports of the UPI, the AP, the journals
Avance (Advance) and Diario de la Marina (Coastal Daily) and all of the
counterrevolutionary press will hasten to spread through Cuba and
throughout the world the story, seeking help abroad, as reactionaries all
over the world so, in order to keep the privileges which they know they are
not strong enough to retain in our fatherland.

Hubert Matos did not invent the invention that the revolution is
communist.  Let us not be accused of the slander of saying that he invented
the communist accusation against the revolution.  This was invented by
Batista, by Masferrer, by the spokesmen of the dictatorship.  When we were
in Mexico at first, we were not accused of being communist, or rather very
rarely.  We were not accused of being communist in that era, but you will
remember that we were accused of supporting Trujillo and it even seems
strange and amazing that when we were in Mexico we were accused of
Trujillism because in that time there was a group of pseudo-revolutionaries
associated with Trujillo seeking weapons, and so the dictatorship found it
most convenient to accuse us of being Trujillo supporters.

When we landed, when months after Batista and Trujillo had settled
their pending debts and it as no longer suitable to accuse us of supporting
the latter, and as also the falsity of all of this had already been
demonstrated, it occurred to them to accuse us of being communist, and
there was not a single newspaper under the dictatorship, not a single
spokesman of the dictatorship which did not accuse us of communism.  All of
you recall the Otto Meruelo hour, the Diaz Balart radio program.  You all
recall the periodicals Ataja (Interception), Tiempo (The Times), Pueblo
(The People).  Not a single day went by but that the revolutionary movement
was accused of being communist.  When we received arms from abroad, when we
asked for aid in foreign weapons, then we were all communists, and then
Hubert was a communist, because Masferrer and Ernesto de la Fe and Salas
Amaro and Diaz Belart and Tabernilla, Ugando Carrillo and Chaviano and all
the spokesmen and all the leaders accused us of being communists, because
this was the pretext on which they tried to create confusion, the pretext
for the US to send weapons and bombs.  But then it was a lie, because
Hubert Matos was accused of being a communist and it was a lie, it was not
true, it was nothing but a pretext.  And when the revolution triumphed,
when the first day of January came, everyone supported the revolution,
everyone.  You will all remember it.  There was no one who did not say:
"Thank you, Fidel!"  And I smiled, but without cynicism, I smiled because I
was aware of the phenomenon which was going to happen later.  Because I had
not forgotten, I had said some years before, that a revolution cannot
please everyone, and I knew well that some of those "thanks" were those of
individuals who hoped that the revolution was not really a revolution, that
it was only a change of command, that it would only remove some to replace
them with others.  And what happened when we began to promulgate
revolutionary laws?  What happened when the revolutionary laws were

When we issued the first revolutionary law lowering rents -- that
was when many left us and the little placards saying "thank you, Fidel"
disappeared, because they were the cards displayed on the cars of the
owners of the apartment buildings.  The tenants there became more grateful,
and their confidence in the revolution increased, but the owners of those
buildings began to a great extent to become enemies of the revolution
again.  As soon as we began to implement revolutionary laws they began to
accuse us of being communists, and who was the first to make this
accusation?  Well, it was that captain in the rebel army who was arrested
for abuse and intoxication and whom we knew as the Mexican.  In the days
following 1 January, in the tremendous convulsion of the triumph, he left
prison, came to Havana, went to a barracks and once more donned the uniform
of a captain, and as soon as he saw that his situation was untenable he
went to the United States and made the first statement denouncing the army,
because this was a communist revolution.  Then there was another case, that
of Captain Humberto Rodriguez, whom all of the defendants know.

One night, while were paying a visit to an embassy in our capital,
we were called to the telephone by a lady who informed us that her husband
had been murdered in a police station.  Immediately all of the memories of
the barbarous acts which had been committed came to mind, and as our army
never tolerated crime, as in the war no one was ever murdered, the murderer
would be someone who would have to pay the penalty.  The order we gave
immediately, although this was a question of a captain who had fought, who
had shown merit, with the exception perhaps that he was a bit fanatic, but
who had both good and bad qualities -- the order we gave was the he be
arrested and brought before a revolutionary court.

With the lack of vigilance in those days, and perhaps because of
the carelessness of his own comrades, he was able to escape to the United
States.  He immediately made some public statements and said that he had
been punished because he had killed the brother of a communist.  Here was a
man who had committed a crime and was faced with exemplary punishment, and
again we were accused of being communists.

Then came the case of Diaz Lanz.  Exactly the same, he was removed
from his post for nepotism, a post which he had won by merit, a post he had
been given in recognition of the many trips with weapons he had made to the
Sierra Maestra.  But when that evil, that nepotism, that immorality which
existed in the air force was halted, and he was replaced, he reached an
agreement with enemy agents, and the foreign cable services there came out
one day with an anti-communist statement.  He left the country immediately,
went into exile, and went to the Senate of the United States, the Senate of
a foreign country, to accuse the revolution of being communist.

And it was then, when we had to sound the alarm, when we refused
to tolerate people or did not let them do as they liked, when it became
impossible to commit an immoral act or a violation of discipline, when no
one was allowed to carry forward his own plans -- then they began to
blackmail the revolution with the accusation that it was communist.

Then came the case of the man who had been appointed, thanks to
the generosity of the revolution, President of the Republic, and we were on
the point of having one of the worst crises, because this involved nothing
less than the maximum legal authority of the republic, and again the
pretext was communism.

And as the revolution proceeded with revolutionary laws, as there
were more revolutionaries and more laws, there were more accusations of
communism, in which communism became the tool for attacking a government
which would not be accused of thievery, which could not be accused of
criminal acts, which could not be charged with failing to carry out a
single one of its promises, so it was accused of being communist.

And what does this accusation mean?  It means just what the
reactionaries have done everywhere in the world.  Everywhere in the world,
when they find themselves impotent within the country to defend their
privileges, they appeal for foreign help.  The reactionaries always do this
everywhere in the world, when they find themselves incapable of defending
their privileges.  They have always called for foreign help.  What the
French nobility did, what the counts and the marquises and the dukes of
France, the nobility of France did in 1790 and in the years following the
revolution, when the people revolted and put an end to those privileges,
was to call upon the English, the Germans, the Austrians, the Spaniards and
all foreigners to come and reestablish their privileges.  And this is the
serious error, the most serious error the reactionaries have committed,
because we will see here if there is any reason to accuse the revolution of
being communist, and indeed, accusing the revolution of being communist, as
they are doing as a basis for this trial, to discredit the revolution, to
divide it, to confuse it and to threaten and endanger it ever further is
the worst thing these comrades who have abandoned the line of duty could do
to their fatherland (ovation).

One has only to read the Diario de la Marina.  I ask those present
if they believe that this is a revolutionary journal.  I ask if they are
unaware that beginning with Narciso Lopez, this periodical has been waging
campaigns against the national interests.  I ask if they do not know that
they applauded the shooting of Narciso Lopez, they called our rebels
bandits, they applauded the death of Maceo, the death of Cespedes, the
death of Marti, and they have always fought the best and most just ideas of
the fatherland.  I ask those present if they believe that the Diario de la
Marina is or is not a reactionary periodical, and whether they have read
its headlines stating:  "Hubert stated he opposed red infiltration,"
"Hubert stated he opposed communism," "Hubert stated there was communist
infiltration."  In other words, Hubert said everything which suited the
enemies of the revolution, everything which served as a pretext of the
reactionaries, everything which was the argument of Batista of the past,
the argument of the deserters, of the war criminals, of the Trujillo
supporters, of all of the enemies of the revolution, because there is
nothing else they can invent and so they have invented the accusation that
we are communists.  There is nothing else they can say, and they have
thought up this vague thing, they have come to stir up this vague fear of
the threat of communism, the confusion of communism, accusing a revolution
which they have no right to accuse of being communist, for two reasons.
First, because it is not a communist revolution.  In Russia, there may have
been a communist revolution, but we are waging our own revolution and it is
a profound one and a radical one, but one which has its own
characteristics, one which in its essence, in its methods, in its style and
in its peculiarities is a revolution different from any of the others which
have occurred in the world.

They have no right to accuse the revolution of being communist,
first because the term communist revolution is not applicable to it
scientifically or theoretically.  Secondly, because this is an action
against the interests of the fatherland, an appeal to foreigners against
the fatherland to call our revolution communist, because thereby they are
seeking first to divide and second to attack us.  And I say here with full
responsibility, as I have always spoken, and I have here documents which
prove that in moments such as this, the things I have said have happened, I
say that today the reactionaries are deliberately and consciously devoting
their planning to attacking the fatherland through foreign interests.  Some
in Santo Domingo, other in Miami, others who have the ear of the Senators
in Washington, they are all urging foreign intervention in the country.
Anything is preferable, and even one who is mistaken, even one who truly
believes that this is not the kind of revolution in which he believes
should, if this mistaken individual is a Cuban, if he is an honest man, if
he does not want to see rivers of blood, if he does not want to see foreign
boots trample the fatherland, if he does not want to see the rebel soldiers
and the rebel people of Cuba die in the trenches (ovation) should rather
adopt the attitude of accepting anything, anything that is ours, in
preference to foreign invasion, the sacrifice of the privileges of
sovereignty, the sacrifice of national independence, the sacrifice of a
people.  Because there is something here which I believe no one doubts:
although there is something here which I believe no one doubts:  although
there may be a Hubert Matos, or even 20 such, nothing and no one will be
able to prevent the people of Cuba from defending themselves to the last
drop of blood in case of invasion (ovation)!

And though there be a Hubert Matos or a hundred such individuals
attempting to divide the rebel army, trying to divide and weaken the
people, nothing and no one will prevent Cubans from defending our flag
should a foreign band, supported by mercenary forces, attempt to establish
itself in our fatherland (ovation)!

And I know that even now if this should happen, there will be
mistaken comrades, confused comrades, who wherever they may be will regret
their error, will be ashamed of their error, because I believe that it will
be hard for these comrades to watch the struggle when they no longer have
any doubt, when they have faith because no one has killed them, when they
have confidence because no one has destroyed them.  Full of courage, full
of idealism and full of pride, they battle the enemy soldiers, and I know
that for them, for some of them, there can be no greater punishment as a
consequence of their error, of the mistake they have made, than for the
fatherland to deny them the right to fight for it, because the least that
those who urge aggression against the fatherland merit is that it deny
their right to fight for it (ovation)!

And while we are making these things clear, we should read an AP
cable dispatch, which will cause you to laugh, but it shows how the
counterrevolutionaries and those who consciously or unconsciously are
playing their game are advancing in their plans for aggression, how they
are advancing, how it even seems that this trial has helped them, because
it suffices to read the counterrevolutionary periodicals, those who have
been given the "brief stories" and "notes" and "extracts" from the
archives, conscientiously, so that space can be used, to the detriment of
the revolution and the fatherland, although this is vile and infamous
space, to accuse the revolution.  In order to see how they are advancing in
their campaign, this report, which I did not invent, as I have not invented
any of the papers here, as I have never invented even the slightest trifle
in the history of the revolution, suffices.  It says:

"Miami, Florida, 14, AP.  Reverend Eduardo Aguirre, a Cuban
priest, who has come to seek asylum, says that Fidel Castro is seeking to
isolate the Vatican from the Cuban church.  He says that Castro has
discussed the idea informally with members of the clergy during an
interview arranged by Thomas Milan, a reporter for a Fort Lauderdale radio
station.  Rev. Aguirre said:  'Castro suggested that a national church
independent of Rome be established.  This is what they are doing in
communist countries, to divide and weaken the church.'  Rev. Aguirre said
that he and another priest, Juan R. O'Farril, came to seek political
asylum, and that they are the first Cuban priests to do so.  It is claimed
that their intention is to denounce the government of Castro as a communist
dictatorship.  The Reverend refused to name any of the clergymen with whom
Castro had spoken, saying that no true priest could do such a thing.
Castro could fund his own church, but the people would know that it was not
a church, nor its servants priests.  Cuba has some 8 million inhabitants
and perhaps 90% are Catholic.  The interview was also attended by Pedro
Diaz, who was commander of the Cuban Air Force, and who fled to the United
States and denounced the revolutionary government, saying that it was
infected by communism.  He and his comrade, said Rev. Aguirre, also fought
with Castro.  Cardinal Cushing of Boston was right when he spoke a short
time ago of 'the silent church in Cuba,' because the priests can no longer
speak freely there..."

Here on the first pages of La Marina and Avance, they have
insulted us as they never insulted any thieving government, any bloody
government, and I ask the people of Cuba, who know this, who have read
these journals in the past and know that this is the strict truth, to bear
witness.  No one can make this denial, not even the defendants here, nor
those whose thinking is on the lowest level of tolerance, not even those
are most mistaken can make this denial and state:  "The priests cannot
speak freely in Cuba, and for this reason we fled."

And they made this statement after a Catholic congress which was
carried out with all of the facilities we could provide, just as we are
ready to do for any congress of evangelists or representatives of another
religion, because religion is not in conflict with the principles of our

"Father O'Farril and I both worked as revolutionaries to overthrow
the dictator Fulgencio Batista, but the communists have transformed the
revolution for their own purposes.  Now it is dangerous for men with our
ideals to remain in Cuba."

This Father O'Farril, at the time of the Trujillo conspiracy, met
with Father Velasco, and I was informed of this by various comrades who
were here at the time of that conspiracy and I said:  "Leave him out of it
in order to avoid friction with the church.  Leave him out of it, so that
it will not seem that we are provoking anyone, or they will use it as a
pretext to attack us."  And this Father O'Farril, who had been exiled once
because he was beaten and tortured, has now, although no one has interfered
with him, no one has harassed him, no one has annoyed him in the slightest
way, goes abroad to say that "now it is dangerous for men of our ideals to
remain in Cuba."

And thee has been talk hero of communist infiltration.  They have
dragged in here the case of the communists who may have joined the rebel
army in order to promote the slogan that the fatherland is in danger
because it has been infiltrated or occupied, or because there are some
communists in the rebel army.  And the truth, the truth that all rebels
know, the truth that all the peoples know, is that since 1 January, many
have come here who did not fight.  You know that there were many who raided
the barracks, because the soldiers surrendered.  They flooded into the army
posts and seized the uniforms and the weapons, and suddenly the army had
more than 30,000 or 40,000, perhaps 50 or 60 times as many men as we had at
the time of that battle of which I spoke before.  And the rebels
multiplied, that is to say, those who were not rebels and men of all groups
joined, and many who belonged to no group.  Even the scoundrels joined,
because there were here a thousand despicable deserters who went into a
barracks, took a uniform on the sly, put it on and seized a rifle.  And the
truth, the great truth, is that the fewest of those who joined the army
were the communists!  Here every organization has hundreds of officers in
the army, and here the smallest group to join the army was the communists

Indeed, there were communists in the army.  It has been said here
that there were communists in the army, and indeed there were, but they
were fewer than the number representing any other party, and they were in
the army for the simple reason that they were fighting.  Those who were in
the army, those I know, and I know really very few, were in the army
because they wanted to fight, because here were the guidelines of the
revolution, the instructions of the revolution, and it was never said that
anyone was forbidden to fight.  It was always our code when an individual
came to the mountains to join our ranks to ask if he was a good man, a
brave man, a moral man, if he would make sacrifices and observe discipline,
but who asked Guillermo Garcia, who asked Escalona, who asked Puerto, who
asked any one what he thought?  Because what concerned us was those who
would make good use of a rifle and all the rest.  Those who abandoned their
comrades or deserted -- they were not important to us, and it never
occurred to anyone to say "who are you?" as a requirement for joining the
rebel army.  And they know that this is true, they know that no one would
ever ask, and therefore, there may have been communists in the proportion
of members of the Communist Party in the country, a really small
proportion.  But there were communists in the proportion of members of the
Communist Party in the country, a really small proportion.  But there were
communists, and when they were accepted without questioning and given
rifles and fought, I wonder if it would be moral to say to Felix Torres,
who was mentioned here, now: "Leave the army, because you are a communist,
and we are glad that you fought and risked your life and if you had died,
well -- but you did not and you are alive, and you are a communist, and if
there is a communist among here they are going to accuse us of communism,
and the Americans are going to regard us askance, so you must leave here.
In other words, we were opportunists, we accepted you without asking any
questions, but now we are throwing you out, so that Hubert Matos or some
one like him or Father O'Farril can go around saying that this is a
communist government" (ovation).

What if Felix Torres is a communist.  Who denies it?  I understand
that he does not, and while he is a soldier who carries out his duties,
while he serves the revolution, while he carries out orders like a good
soldier, so long as he does not go there to defend estate owners against
the peasants, as long as he remains uncorrupted, as long as he commits no
act against the revolution or the laws of the republic, it is just and
moral that he remain (applause).

I have mentioned Felix Torres, and I happen to have papers here
which are nothing less than a report of Major Camilo Cienfuegos, of which I
have the original, which he sent reporting this deed of extraordinary
prowess which to the eternal glory of Comrade Cienfuegos will go down in
history among the greatest war feats.  Here I have what is actually the
original copy of his report of the invasion, the first pages of which read:

"Yesterday we reached this rebel encampment..."

In other words, when he reached Las Villas, and I do not know if
there are any present here from his invasion column, Your Honor, when he
reached Las Villas, after crossing a whole province and experiencing some
very difficult times, because they traveled through swampy and deserted
zones, the movement did not have proper organization, although the blame
does not lie by any means with the province, but with the movement, which
was poorly organized, and that was natural, because these commanders of the
26 July Movement who come here today to speak in favor of Hubert Matos were
not in Camaguey, no, they were in an embassy of abroad, but now, indeed,
now that Camilo is gone and the revolution has triumphed, now, indeed, they
are commanders of the 26 July Movement in Camaguey (applause).  But when
Camilo was there, they were not, and as they were not, Camilo had, I think
11 meals in 30-some days, and as he says, they stopped only 11 times in 31
days in the march to the province of Camaguey, the leading livestock zone.

"After 4 days without finding any food, we had to eat one of our
mares, the best of our now meager supply of horses.  Almost all of the
animals had been left in the swamps and quicksand along the southern coast.
Yesterday we reached this rebel encampment, where we were welcomed
enthusiastically.  Its commander, Felix Torres, gave us every
consideration.  This group is made up of members of the Popular Socialist
Party, and while waiting for us, had sent out guides to the boundaries of
the province.  In this zone, too, a 26 July group is operating, and I have
already made contact with it."

Is it immoral to say this, is it incorrect to do so?  Should I be
a selfish servant of deceit or should I respect the historical truth,
particularly when it is bolstered by the signature of one of our most
beloved and glorious commanders (applause)?

I would not say this of a man who was not honest, now that the
reaction is waging its campaign against us, but if a man is honest I must
tell the truth.  And this is not the only reference Camilo makes.  Here in
another of his reports dated 19 November 1958, Camilo tells us, in his
unmistakeable style:

"The people of the Maximo Gomez unit -- that which rebelled, which
was in revolt, which promoted the uprising in the zone through which Camilo
traveled to Yaguajay -- the people of the Maximo Gomez unit have shown true
revolutionary conduct, free of any regionalism and contributing to real
unity, following our orders at all times.  However, other elements, which
should have had the same attitude or a better one, although I have had no
problems with them, have at times indicated that our presence in this zone,
where they have never done anything but eat, does not please them.  The
civilian population is 'wild.'  They welcomed us with passion the likes of
which I never saw before.  We were fortunate in scaring off the soldiers,
although there is a threat of an offensive.  But the people call this a
'free zone,' although I have not yet declared it to be one.  When dynamite
is obtained, then perhaps, but this is difficult.  We have rigged up a line
with chlorate and will explode it soon.  All of the lines are down, the
railroads are not running, practically, and the roads are deserted and
without traffic.  As of the next strike we make which will be soon, I am
going to put pressure and work personally on the highway, to see if we can
prevent the soldiers from reaching the free territory of Cuba:  Oriente.
Here the men now complain that they are not there when they hear the news.
In our modest way, we have made a great impression on all of this zone.
The people see the invaders as legendary figures.  Today when I was talking
with a sugar workers I was moved as much as I have been during those two
years of struggle.  These men lived for hours truly free, setting forth
their ideas, speaking sincerely as men who had never lived through
difficult situations or battles would never have dared to do.  These men
see in the revolution salvation, the brilliant future of Cuba.  These
ragged men, after marching many kilometers at the risk of their lives, have
reached the encampment in large groups, despite my instructions to come
only in small groups.  A column of 108 men arrived early, whooping with joy
and happiness, cheering the revolution.  This was a moment of true
satisfaction for us, and one of deep reflection and profound thought.  The
path ahead is long and rugged but we will reach the end of it.  The day
must come when these men will have, along with the freedom of the
fatherland, all they merit.  We promised them this and in order to ensure
it we will redouble our efforts.  These men who today take their stand on a
stone as if it were a rostrum, and who use the open forest as if it were a
trade union meeting room are talking as they have not done in many years.
These men with the weariness of the years reflected in their faces are
shouting their sufferings and their needs at the top of their lungs.  In
order to meet them we, too, will make our best effort, today and in the
future.  When the peasant with his machete in his belt and the rebel with
his gun over his shoulder have joined hands, this trampled land, this land
soaked in blood, must know that this blood shed is no in vain."  (Ovation)

This was Camilo writing, and here are these documents, which can
be added to the evidence in the case as well.  I would only ask that they
be returned at the proper time.

And here are our words to Camilo, because he went to a zone where
there were various sectors in revolt.  And what should he have done?  Shoot
them, turn them in, persecute them, abandon them?  This was our answer:

"It is a crime against the revolution to promote quarrels and
division, which have not, to date, developed on the battlefields, and which
have done so much harm in the past liberation wars.  Let those who show
merit, ability and patriotism find more than enough opportunity in the
revolution to achieve the greatest glory and the highest honors.  We are
faced with the enemy, and here is a field in which alone all ambitions, all
eagerness and all dreams of grandour are legitimate.  The positions and
honors which our commanders have won are not the product of favoritism or
privilege, but of merit, courage, sacrifice.  Faced with the enemy our men
will continue to seek advancement, grandeur and moral glory, without
claiming them or ambition for them, because the humble men who are today
the standardbearers and leaders of the revolution did not think of this
when they enlisted in our persecuted, hungry, harassed and feeble troops,
nor did those who have fallen in this long campaign think of these things,
those who have sealed with their blood and their lives each of the
victories of our army, which has been built and organized on the basis of
merit, sacrifice, and the purest altruism.  we began this war when nobody
believed it was possible to combat a modern and powerful army.  We waged
this war when there were only 12 of us, and no one gave us the slightest
support.  We did not begin it out of a spirit of rivalry, or of jealousy of
anyone.  Not a single action of ours has been inspired by envy.  The
triumph of others has not pained us.  Among us the firmest unity and
brotherhood has always prevailed.  We have never in two years of struggle
heard from the lips of a rebel the mention of any petty accusation or
ambition.  This is the spirit we must continue to inculcate in our
revolutionary army, because it is the only one which can offer the
fatherland a promising future and we must maintain this purity of ideals
and this morality in our soldiers, whatever it may cost, even if we have to
go on alone, rather than allowing ourselves to become infected by lack of
discipline, friction and personal rivalry."

These were our instructions to the rebel commander in the zone in
which there were various sectors fighting against the dictatorship, and
Major del Valle, the medicad officer of the division column himself, is a
witness to the fact that we wrote this document.

Thus it was Camilo who promoted Felix Torres to the rank of major,
and I asked the defendants if they accuse Camilo Cienfuegos of the
communist infiltration they say there is in the rebel army!  Camilo
Cienfuegos was a comrade who because of his extraordinary qualities was an
invincible fighter.  I have dozens of war dispatches from him, in which he
speaks only of rifles seized, battles won, and indeed it would be
profoundly impressive to read one of his dispatches, particularly one
concerning that occasion in which, with his troops mobilizing in the
plains, long before the rebel forces became masters of the territory in
Oriente, Camilo was encircled by troops of substantially greater strength.
Not only did he resist for seven hours, encircled, but he furthermore
forced the enemy to withdraw, and because of his extraordinary qualities,
it would be worth the trouble to read just one of the parts of this

"Oriente Plains, 5 May, Major Fidel:  -- 5 May, long before the
offensive, long before the offensive which provided us with so many
weapons:  "Oriente Plains, 5 May 1958.  Major Fidel:  To all of you in this
now free zone of Cuba, the affectionate greetings of all those of us who
are waiting on these plains, and we are certain of winning victory here
similar to those you won in those mountains.  After some days of fatigue, I
am rested enough to sit down and pull my thoughts together in order to
write you.  I received your letter, the 500 bullets and the 500 pesos.  I
shall pay close attention to your instructions and will carry them out to
the letter, despite the disadvantage of the terrain and the lack of
mountains.  On the other hand, it does not rain and there is not even any
grass.  Despite all of this I have dealt some blows and it has not gone
badly.  I am studying the terrain in order to attack the enemy by night.  I
have a plan in hand of substantial scope.  I have ordered that photographs
be taken and the terrain studied in order not to fail.  The number of
guards varies between 30 and 60.  On 1 May -- Fidel, you may believe this
or not -- we ambushed a gas car at the railroad station on route between
Bayamo and the Cauto River.  We removed a rail and left it with a wire
attached to it.  When the car arrived we fired on it, and it could neither
retreat nor continue.  Five guards got out, and after a half an hour of
fighting the gas car was taken.  Five guards were seriously wounded.  Four
died and the other is injured.  The driver, Andres L. Moreno and the
conductor were killed, as well as two other civilians.  Also, there were
three wounded, including a teacher.  Only on girl escaped uninjured.  For
our part, although reinforcements have arrived, there is no other news.
The soldiers who cam were Eugenio Quinones, Damas Vargas, Pedro Amaya,
Laja, R. Cabanas.  We seized five rifles, four Springfields and one Garand.
The worst thing happened day before yesterday, on the 4th, at 11:30 A.M.
We were camped in a grove of trees when two planes began to fly over.  We
fired on them from the embankment, because the embankment behind us was
lined with guards.  We could not get out or even hoped to.  The pasture we
would have had to cross to reach a hill -- open, without cover -- was 500
meters wide, and we would have had to cross the embankment where the guards
and the tanks were.  We took our positions and prepared to fight to the
last bullet.  I have never before seen men fight with greater valor.  Six
times they tried to reach us, and failed repeatedly.  They retreated and
fired mortars at us.  Because the area was so small -- less than 1
caballeria -- the mortars were badly aimed.  Three of our men were wounded,
but no seriously.  Our mortars -- what he called mortars were the home-made
grenades fired from rifles -- were incredibly effective, and drove them
back more than once.  They sent 18 trucks of guards against us.  There were
groups of these revolting creatures in every direction.  We had to fight as
we never had before for seven and a half hours, waiting for night to fall.
Finally, it did, and when I figured it was dark enough to leave, we had
problems.  We crossed the embankment and the pasture, and the troops had
withdrawn.  I think that the plains have rarely witnessed such battles,
even in the wars of 1868 and 1895.  What is certain is that never was an
army more cowardly, withdrawing the troops when they knew we were there and
that we would break out of the circle.  They knew well that our Garand
rifles would never give them an opening and "this crop wasn't such an easy
one to pick."  I am proud of our people in general:  the local residents,
who know the terrain, who saw the tanks and guns coming and who saw the
firing and the planes, welcomed us that night like superheroes, when they
saw us.  One man is missing, Pachicho, who was lost because he was too
eager:  I assigned him to a position but he left it.  It seems he tried to
get out alone by daylight, and if he did, he must be dead.  I am told that
the army suffered numerous casualties.  They took them to a house and told
the people that they had been wounded themselves.  A helicopter, which
landed three times, came to take them away.  They tell me they brought six
or eight trucks.  And although I do not believe what I do not see, I would
make an exception in this case.  Several times we saw them advance and our
fire was so heavy that they really were confused, and they shouted at us:
"Don't fire, we are army troops!"  A short time before the guards arrived,
we caught one of these mountain fellows:  he was very nervous and eager to
get away, and I ordered him to stand guard.  After a short while he tried
to escape and they fired on him, and we do not know what happened to him.

"Fidel, I am not very fond of begging, but on this occasion, I
have no other choice.  If it is possible, send me bullets.  If a similar
situation comes about again, the only thing which can protect us is to
fight and fire until night falls.  Now, I have a normal supply of bullets.
Lara provided me with 500.  I have 128 for the Garands and 60 for the
Springfields, 200 for the Browning, 250 for my machine gun.  I have 300
remaining, as I got 200 in Bayamo.

"Just now, Lara has arrived.  The army was close by ..., etc.,

Only a situation like this,in such a situation, only a leader like
Camilo could have saved the unit.  For this reason he was appointed one of
the invasion leaders and he carried out his duty.  For this reason, we
appointed Camilo head of the army, and for this reason I asked, because he
is absent, he cannot defend himself, but I asked him to speak here, I asked
his speeches to be heard here, too, because he has a right to speak here as
well (ovation)!  Because his was the responsibility for the command of the
army and if there was conscious infiltration in the army, as they say, they
are accusing Camilo, they are making him responsible, because he was the
head of the army, a post which he held because of his merits, and this is
an accusation against Camilo, and so either they are guilty of slander, of
treason, of playing the game of the counterrevolutionaries by dragging into
the case the few communists there may be in the ranks of the army, in order
to make this accusation against the revolution which has no other purpose
than to bring about foreign intervention in the fatherland, and they are
all guilty, or Camilo is.  Let Camilo speak!  Let Camilo tell his truth,
too (ovation)!

And this is simply despicable.  Our army had no political
problems, our comrades had confidence in us.  We had led the rebel army and
the revolution to victory, we had carried forward the revolution in these
eleven months, and it is very sad that a rebel officer should have
undertaken the task of implanting doubt in these comrades who had
confidence enough, of speaking one by one to these officers to inculcate
doubt in them, as was done in Camaguey, digging around and stirring things
up.  When it was a question of Felix Torres, or if this one or that one,
one individual or two, appeared one day in the Culture Section, whether
Pineiro or William or some other was involved, the real truth is that
whenever they started campaigns against some comrade, as they did against
Pineiro, what I did, despite knowing he is a good comrade, despite the fact
that he was one of the first to be with us, despite the fact that he was a
member of the 26 July Movement, and only that, despite the fact that he got
us a truck load of weapons he seized during the attack on the Palace --
what I did was to replace him and to appoint Comrade Calixto Garcia.  And
when they waged the same campaign against William Galvez?  William Galvez,
Commander of the Invasion Column, the commander in Matanzas, began to be
the victim of the same campaign despite his merits as a young and well
intentioned man.  I replaced him with another comrade.  And whom did I
choose?  Did I go in search of a Soviet officer to put him in charge?  No,
because there were foreign officers here, and what we did was to tell them
that we did not need foreign officers, because obviously they would accuse
us of being communist!  Because we do not want military missions here from
any foreign country (ovation)!  And we are one of the few peoples of Latin
America who can say that we have an army which we command ourselves, and
which foreign officers do not command.

Whom did we appoint in Oriente?  Calixto Garcia.  Whom did we put
in Matanzas?  Sergio del Valle.  To whom did we give responsibility for the
revolutionary armed forces?  Juan Almeida.  Whom did we appoint in Pinar
del Rio?  Comrade Escalona.  Whom did we appoint for Las Villas?  Comrade
Puerta.  Who was in Camaguey?  Mr. Hubert Matos.

In other words, I made the changes myself on my own
responsibility, as Prime Minister of the government and in charge of the
revolution.  These changes are my entire responsibility, and I made them
must as I made those in the Sierra Maestra, without ever any question of
privilege and seeking old comrades.  With Major Camilo Cienfuegos gone, we
appointed Almeida army commander, and we appointed del Valle commander of
the revolutionary armed forces -- and in each of the police headquarters in
the various provinces -- where are the Soviet officers?  I made my
appointments because I was acting in accordance with what I saw as my duty,
the same in peace as in war.  I acted in accordance with what I believed
was best for the republic, but I do indeed reject this imposition the cable
reports of the UP and the AP and the International Press are trying to make
upon me, undertaking to accuse certain comrades as communists and placing
the communist label on Guevara and Raul Castro.  Why?  So that we will hide
them away?  So that later they can ask us to produce them, or otherwise
they will invade us, and if we put Hubert Matos in a post of this kind
there will be no problems (applause).

This would mean abandoning the comrades of the difficult times,
sacrificing a comrade like Che Guevara whom everyone knows.  If he is alive
here it is because we have not let them kill him, because he was one of
these comrades who had to be in the midst of the anguish, because he would
have died in the struggle and I must say that more than once I prohibited
his participation.  No one can deny this.  I do not believe that any one
would deny it because no one here has denied any one his due, just as one
cannot deny that Che Guevara was one of the most stoic, courageous and
aggressive comrades the revolution had (applause).  And everyone was proud
and calmed to know that he was in this or that position or heading a given
column, and the only thing that concerned us was that he would be killed,
because particularly in war the pitcher which goes to the well too often is

And those comrades like Guevara, who climbed those hills carrying
medicines, carrying more than the others, suffocating from asthma,
challenging death constantly, a comrade from the Granma, a comrade from the
Belice swamps, a comrade of the uncertain days, of 25 months of campaigning
-- we are not going to exclude him from the revolution to please the UP or
the AP or the magazines or the enemies of the revolution, because this
comrade of the best hours (applause) is one of those we need if the time
comes when we must fight again, one of the comrades we know will not betray
us nor surrender, whom we know are not revolutionaries for a day, but until

Let them tell me what is his failing.  Has he stolen, is he
immoral, has he failed to serve Cuba?  Let them tell me if he has not done
good for the fatherland, if he did not fight.  But if he was moral and
honorable and fought and served the fatherland, how can they come to me
with gossip, with plots, to exert pressure with slander, in a revolution in
which the entire state is infected, not with communists, but with
counterrevolutionaries (applause).  Many state bodies are infected and I
would like to be sure of a comrade such as Che Guevara in charge of each of
the departments.  For this reason, when the time comes to appoint Che
Guevara president of the National Bank, we will do so, although they will
tear their hair and shout to the heavens (applause).

And these are the real facts.  They begin by talking of communist
infiltration.  Then they begin to accuse everyone of being a communist, at
their whim.  Now they are beginning to urge that "these communists be
dismissed, these are known communists."  Next they will say "get rid of
Guevara, get rid of Raul, and all the others," so that the state will fall
into the hands of the counterrevolutionaries.  Because they have already
been accusing Pernas, and I read a statement in which they said that there
was no doubt.  The defendant, Hubert Matos, has said that there is no doubt
that Pernas was a communist, and I cannot but be surprised, because he was
a comrade in our clandestine activity when I was in the Sierra.  He went to
Camaguey, and he was a modest employee of the Rancho Chico Restaurant, and
the only thing he did was to work for the revolution, while in that
Agramonte military post a shameful page of history was being written by the
army operating there, not like a rebel army, but like an army of trained
brutes (applause).  They wrote a shameful page in history, the 900 men who
were quartered there where today 5,000 children are studying.  This indeed
is a thing Marti would approve, not the hypocrisy of talking of little
schools, little schools, no, but vast ones, such as that in the premises
which were occupied by a regiment of brutes (applause).  This indeed is
revolutionary, and they never came to me to propose this, this thing which
we have happily done in this fortress, because we already know what the
reactionaries want.  They want us not to arm the peasants, not to train the
people.  They want us to have an army which they can corrupt, little by
little, so that there will be a professional army, and when the time comes
they can confuse an officer or some officers and have the republic as
before, at the mercy of a group of armed men against an unarmed people.
And as I have the right to speak for the rebel army, because we founded the
rebel army and because we have always wanted a true army in the service of
the people and with the people -- the true rebels who want to be with the
people and to defend them, when the hour comes to fight, they are in
agreement that the people be armed (applause), because these are not
brutes, these are not mercenaries who want to go out with their guns and be
masters, but revolutionaries who were of the people, who came from among
the people, and it is our duty to see that they remain identified with the
people.  Because they are not thee to defend the estate owners, the loan
sharks, the established interests, but to defend the people as the program
of the revolution has outlines, because here we will speak of the
revolutionary measures and we will see whether or not it is true that the
revolution is doing what it promised and that the revolution has deceived
no one and if it is to defend these rights of the people that we want the
people to stand with the army.  The reactionaries do not want this,
obviously they think we are already growing up too much, but we must
continue learning.  What the reactionaries want are hesitant officers who
at a given moment will assume the sad counterrevolutionary role, who will
consciously or unconsciously become victims perhaps of their very
counterrevolutionary propaganda, because if you read some of their
expressions, they are the same as those in Diario de la Marina and Avance,
because they cannot free themselves from the influence of this literature.
And it is a fact that when Comrade Camilo Cienfuegos arrested these
comrades, what they shouted was "Down with the communists!  Down with the
communists!"  This is the heroic cry of these extraordinary

In other words, they did not proclaim a truth, a doctrine, a
thought, but their lying, insinuating, slandering shout there was:  "Down
with the communists!"  In other words, "Camilo is a communist, all of you
are communists, all the rest are communists.  The only patriots here are we
ourselves, the only pure and true revolutionaries in this province."  This
was the only one which provided this spectacle, despite the fact that they
were already extending their tentacles.  Proof?  Let Major Duque be called,
because Mr. Huber Matos ... (Major Felix Duque was called to the stand)

Major Duque:  In all honesty and integrity, tell this court, on
your honor as a revolutionary and on behalf of the comrades who died, Major
Duque, I ask you to tell all of the truth here, and I hope that those who
know you, those who are aware of your courage and your virtues will not
think that you have come here to tell a lie, Major Duque, you who had the
civic conscience to tell me that Hubert Matos had persuaded you to sign
some statement setting forth certain political ideas, you who had the civic
courage to tell me, after approaching me in the presidential palace and
recounting some incidents -- I ask you only to tell the truth, comrade, and
I would like you to state first here whether or not Comrade Hubert Matos
spoke with you.

Major Duque:  Yes, sir, on various occasions.

Doctor Castro:  What did he discuss?

Duque:  Always the communist problem, the infiltration of the
communists in the army and the government.

Doctor Castro:  Did he believe he had your support in these
matters?  Do you believe that he counted on you -- is that your view,
Comrade Duque?

Duque:  Well, I explained to you that Hubert Matos had convinced
me and this was the case I supposed he counted on my support, I am almost
sure he did, because on various occasions he indicated this to me.

Dr. Castro:  Major, what did you say to him on the 20th when you
were there.

Duque:  I tried to persuade him.

Dr. Castro:  Of what?

Duque:  Not to submit the resignation at the time.

Dr. Castro:  What resignation?

Duque:  That he had sent you, since he had shown me the letter...

Dr. Castro:  The collective resignation?  Which you said would
become effective the next day, Major?

Duque:  I told him that I was leaving there, because everyone
would be arrested.

Dr. Castro:  Any why arrested, Major?

Hubert Matos: Gentlemen of the court: I would like this term
"collective resignation" Major Felix Duque has used to be clarified.  I
said here before, and I do not deny it, I confirmed it and I confirm it
now, that on various occasions, and it is here in my testimony, I talked
with officers, those who shared these concerns, which were common concerns.
On other occasions the initiative was mine, because I was alerted with
regard to the communist problem in the mountains, and with some to whom
reference has already been made here, I talked.  One of them was Comrade
Felix Duque, a comrade I had known since the days of the Sierra Maestra,
but with this talk here of a collective resignation there is an implication
that these comrades were pledged to some plan.  There is a great
discrepancy here, because this claim to a collective resignation -- and I
say this to Comrade Felix Duque face to face -- is a lie, and I say this
with full responsibility.  These comrades of mine -- some of them, you
know, may have had my own attitude, or it may be that I had inculcated it
in some of them in th is constant discussion of concern about the success
of the revolution, in our way of thinking.

Now I am saying here solemnly, do you understand, swearing by my
children, my parents -- who are old and who are present here, and by all of
the 20,000 who died in the revolution, I never put pressure on any comrade
-- and they are here -- I never forced any comrade to resign.

Duque:  Well, when I speak of mass resignation I can honestly do
so, and I swear on my honor that I will surrender this uniform if any of
these comrades who have heard me speak here are bold enough to contradict
me.  The situation there was the following:  the resignation of Hubert
Matos was known because of the letter he wrote and which he gave to various
officers to read and sent to the Prime Minister.  As I told Prime Minister
Fidel Castro, there were officers who expressed their disapproval of this
resignation, such as Mr. Alamo, but there were officers who said that he
had submitted the resignation and that it was not possible to turn back,
for example, Jose Antonio and those who were with him.  At no time, at no
time die Captain Alamo say that he was going to resign, and he was there
talking and telling them not to do it, but many did present their
resignations, irrevocably, many indeed, before the letter was made public.

Let them say whether or not this is the truth.  Junco was "let go"
there, and he told Hubert Matos' two pilots about this and why he was
leaving, and they told him that if Hubert submitted the resignation ...
Junco, who is not present here, and who is not appearing even as a witness,
was told this.

Major Castro:  (answering question from someone in the audience)
Here in the encampment?  Comrades, I do not doubt what is being said, but I
cannot confirm it, because I simply do not remember.  But I talked with
many comrades that day.  I honestly cannot certify to it, comrades, because
I would be lacking in honesty if I said I remembered, for I do not.

Judge:  Continue, Major Duque.

Duque:  This was the situation:  the majority wanted to resign,
although Hubert said, there in my presence, to some of them, that they
should wait for the answer or the attitude Doctor Fidel Castro would adopt,
and that they should not resign without first hearing his response, and
this is the truth.  A group of them said that with or without his answer --
and the resignations, I could read them there, they explain
everything--that whether or not the Prime Minister accepted the
resignation of Major Hubert Matos, they were leaving, they were in fact

Major Castro:  Comrade Duque:  You told me that in your view
Hubert Matos expected that I, in view of the AFTA situation, would not
accept the resignation or would not act, or would delay in doing so in
order to avoid scandal.  That is exactly what you said to me.

Major Duque:  Well, the conclusions I drew were these.  Do you
know why?  Well, very simply, because the attitude of Mr. Hubert Matos was
no other and sought no other purpose than a change, that the government
"define the path," change the policy, that the government decide
immediately on the policy to be pursued.  This, in addition to the fact
that Hubert Matos knew in all his conversations with me that I am not a
communist, he knows it very well, had often given me to understand that the
government should "define the policy to be pursued."

Matos:  First, I want to clarify one matter.  I believe that it is
obvious here, not only in connection with my responsibility, but also that
of the responsibility of these comrades, that there was not, you know, that
there was not there any question of collective resignation, nor was there
any plan for everyone to resign together.  This is on my word of honor, I
say it in full responsibility, do you understand?  Because it is indeed a
conclusive fact that I had sent this letter to Doctor Fidel Castro quite
determined to return to private life, and I am going to this extreme now
because later some conclusions will be derived from this.

I had presented my documents to the Ministry of Education on 9
October.  Through a witness who testified here yesterday, Doctor Martinez
Izquierdo, I had already obtained the lectures and program needed.  My
oldest son who is present and who can be called as a witness, instead of
going to present himself at the School of Commerce in Camaguey, went to
Manzanillo on the 11th, and presented himself at the School of Commerce in
Manzanillo on the 15th of October and was accepted there.  On the day of
these events I was there.  My wife had gone to Manzanillo to look for a
house, and then instead of renting one, my parents agreed -- my father,
70-some years old is here, and if I refer to this testimony it is because I
am speaking the absolute truth here -- my father, who is here, had said
that while looking for a house, we could live with them, at 63 Jose Miguel
Gomez Street.  I state this responsibility, and I resigned among other
reasons because I already believed that within the years there was a tooth
which no longer meshed, because my beliefs, you see, did not fit properly.
Because I thought that either I was a rightist or that the others were more
extremist.  And then, in resigning, in a desire to explain my disagreement
clearly, and believing that this was a question of honesty, you see, of
stating the truth, the absolute truth, I mentioned two or three points to
Dr.  Fidel Castro, including others, the fact that I believed that he
should change the orientation.

I want to explain here what this meant:  on various occasions,
those of us who were comrades in the rebel army, comrades in the 26 July
Movement, I myself included -- and I think if someone had suggested it, I
would have discussed this matter personally with Dr. Castro -- believed
that it was best that first of all a national leadership of the 26 July
Movement be established to include four or eight or seven or eleven,
however many there were, members, and that that leadership should define,
among other things, whether the 26 July Movement was lacking something or
whether it was not, because we found that there were provinces in which
there was full interest in the activities, in the work of the movement,
while in others the movement was not functioning properly or did not have
the enthusiasm of the rebel army.

I knew, moreover, that in the province of Las Villas, from reports
among others from Joaquin Agramonte and Captain Suarez Cayol, this was
developing at a certain rate and they spoke to me about the problems they
had there, as I have already said here, of the problems there and how
things were going.  They talked not only with me, but with other comrades,
with the Toledo family, about how communism was developing in Las Villas.
In one of these reports, it said that in Camaguey there were I do not know
how many captains.  With this information on the problem in Las Villas,
which was causing the rebel army, the INRA [Institute Nacional de la
Reforma Agraria -- National Institute for Agraian Reform] and the 26 July
Movement -- this was the information we had there -- naturally I believed
that the thing was becoming serious and that it was necessary to have a
definition on these points, and I had already reached this conclusion.

I had come from the mountains, from the Sierra, the first time I
saw some communist elements there, and on one occasion Major Fidel Castro
referred to this matter and I agreed with him later ...

Major Castro:  Comrade, you are here as a defendant and not a
notary public.  You cannot insist that all things said here are true,
comrade -- provide proof.  I do not recall that you spoke to me about this,
as I do not remember that the other comrade discussed this problem with me,
and I am honest enough to say so, for if I remembered, comrade, I would say
so here.

Matos:  I can refresh your memory ...

Major Castro:  You are not a notary public, comrade.  Bring
documents here, as I have, rather than "you told me and I told you" and "he
told me one day," or "the other day I as told."

Matos:  If Major Fidel Castro is not a notary either, but he comes
here to make statements ...

Major Castro:  I make statements backed by documents, comrades,
and witnesses, and not simply the testimony of the defendant, comrade.

Matos:  I was going to say ...

Major Castro:  Moreover, comrade, I say to you that you were going
to defend yourself and I have no objection to this.  It was said, but I do
not believe it is thus, that each witness would have his turn.  But in any
case, I do not oppose this, so that no one will believe that there is an
effort here to coerce you, because here they have tried to paint you as a
marvel, the latest wonder of the world, who knows everything, comrade,
while they want to accuse us of holding a secret trial.  A scandal to
discredit the revolution suits you, but in the final analysis it does not
matter to us because we have the truth on our side, comrade.

Prosecutor:  I would like to clarify the fact that it was denied,
when it cam up, when I asked if on any occasion these officers had been
asked about their concern about infiltration by the communists in the 26
July Movement and in the rebel army or if it had been investigated.  On
this occasion, it has just been admitted that this was the case, but the
serious thing is not that this was done but that it was done by officers of
the rebel army who should not concern themselves with these political
problems, which should be left to Commander Fidel Castro.  If he was misled
but was able to win the war thanks to his great leadership and is currently
putting into effect the revolutionary laws under his leadership, there was
no reason for Major Hubert Matos to concern himself (applause).

Matos:  Your Honor, I am not at all impressed by the vehemence of
the prosecutor, for whom personally I have the greatest respect, as I do
for the Prime Minister, because of his leadership.  I want to note here
that in my statement -- it should be here and if it is not it should be
found, because I remember what I said -- that as far as the political
question was concerned, yes, at 26 July House, we had indeed discussed this
and these meetings were attended by Comrade Lugo, Captain Cabrera and other
officials at various times.  It was there that Captain Pernas, although no
one had asked him, stated in a meeting at which we were discussing these
matters there that he was a Cuban communist.  Yet, no one had asked him, do
you see?  Thus I believe that there is no contradiction in what I have
said here.  It was ideological, political matters which we discussed.
Moreover, with the comrade from the Department of Culture, because he was
in charge of the entire Cultural Section on the problem of indoctrination,
I spoke of these concerns on more than one occasion.  Thus, I am confirming
what I said and I do not believe, I see no contradiction here.  I stressed
then that this decision of mine to resign was categorically not a boast nor
a threat.  Moreover, the letter states so in very clear form, reflecting a
completely irreversible attitude, because of being well though out and
reflecting, of course, these two reasons:  first, I regarded myself as an
unharmonious factor, an element of hindrance within the ranks of the
revolution, and I thought I should resign.  Secondly, I said that in view
of the fact that the ideological problem had not been definitively
resolved, for example, with regard to the relations of the 26 July Movement
and the rebel army, which were in conflict in some provinces, that I would
resign completely willingly, perhaps more willingly than was realized, and
it may be that we were in error in connection with the problem as to the
kind of relations there should be between the Socialist Party and our own
revolution, because I have confirmed this, I have talked with various
comrades, today, tomorrow and always.  I believe in the respect the right
of the communists to think as communists and to organize as a political
party, and I want to make it clear, stressing my earlier statements so that
we will not have any mistake, because according to what Fidel Castro says,
it seems as if I had claimed that the Cuban government is communist, I
think.  I believe that the Cuban government is not communist, and I am in
agreement with all of the laws of the revolution.  If I had, as has been
said here, at any point shown opposition to the agrarian reform law, none
of these comrades would have come here on this occasion to testify on my
behalf, because they could not but have found me out and they would have
turned their backs on me or they themselves would have taken action against
me.  Thus, the case is this, categorically:  I have defended all of the
laws of the revolution as my own cause, and more than any other, the
agrarian reform law.  The other was a matter of my belief that the movement
or that Doctor Castro -- or the discussion of this with commanders and
other leading figures, and on one occasion I told Doctor Castro something
about this, or rather I informed him -- since we did not agree, for no
particular reason, I felt it desirable for us to clarify a series of
points.  Again, and this is the third time I have said so here:  I
discussed this with the general staff - the desirability of discussing
political philosophy, because this is a clear, defined, obvious attitude,
the line I have pursued throughout my life, but it is not a an attitude,
you must understand, of opposition to the government, of rebellion against
the revolution, because rather than that, far preferable to that, I would
prefer to do what I had to do -- to retire to private life, setting forth,
naturally, my reasons for disagreement, as I have said here.

Doctor Castro:  Your Honor, I have another meeting to attend
today.  I am prepared to testify.  I am making an effort, although possibly
I cannot help.  Please do not deny me the opportunity to speak, I beg of
you sincerely, since the defendant will have an opportunity later to
explain all these things in full.  May I be allowed to finish.

Matos:  I want to say one more thing, to complete the
clarification of this point here.  Why do some comrades ... Why is it that
I do not have all the reservations still which I might have with regard to
the letter?  I say here, I have knowledge that in the INRA, Captain Jorge
Enrique Mendoza, because through him I suspected, that is, he was guilty of
some indiscretions and he even had Valera there, who went there as an
agitator.  He was preparing this manifestation of treason and since I
already know of this, and Doctor Joaquin Agramonte had told me of the
serious things said in a conversation with Dr. Fidel Castro at which I was
not present, but he told me that Fidel said that there in the province
serious things were happening, I explained in the letter ...

Dr. Castro:  Comrade, if you want, because I am perfectly willing,
if you want to believe it and if this gentleman has an iota of honesty --
and I would like to confirm the conversation which you refer to, and which
may show that you decided to act too hastily -- what was said was simply
this:  I was complaining of the lack of coordination in some cases, where
they were working toward this coordination, and then he said to me:  "And
in Camaguey, how do you think this marvel in Camaguey is developing?"  And
as with regard to Camaguey I had serious reasons for concern, which I will
state here, I said:  "The problems in Camaguey are different."  Then he
widened his eyes and laughed and pulled at his moustache.  I remember this.
And nothing more.  This was what I said, and if he has a civic conscience
here, let him say ...

Matos:  Well, I tell you ...

Dr. Castro:  This was all that I said in Camaguey and the fact is
that I was making no allusion to Hubert Matos, but to the meeting in the
province of Las Villas of other leaders of the movement to make a public
outline for the government.  Comrades, this was the plot which was afoot.
The reference was not made to Hubert Matos.  He is applying it to himself.

Matos:  Well, Dr. Castro, but remember ...

Dr. Castro:  And it surprises me that Hubert Matos says that he
was worried because Mendoza was planning treason, when he knows perfectly
well that he was in charge, that I kept him in the post because I have
always tried to help men and not to ruin them, and I do not know will I
ever allow the ruin of anyone.

Matos:  I had already had problems with Mendoza, and I explained
an incident here, do you recall?  Moreover, about this conversation with
Agramonte I can say responsibly, Dr. Castro, before the letter was
returned ...

Captain Mendoza:  The fact was you telephoned me and asked me to
go see Hubert and ask him why he had not reported to you.

Matos:  Dr. Castro, before writing the letter I attended a
meeting ...

(There was a brief commotion.)

Matos:  I believe that there is no reason for confusion here,
because it seems to me that we should not fear the complete clarification
of the matter.  I received the report from the coordinator before writing
the letter, naturally, at a 26 July Movement meeting.  It said  "Fidel did
not want to discuss the Camaguey affair and he stressed that Camaguey would
not be discussed there, that it was better not to talk of it, because there
were very serious matters..."

Dr. Castro:  I do not use the word "serious."  I said the
problems in Camaguey "were others."

Matos:  Well, Doctor, I will conclude, you see.  Then I said to
him:  "If Doctor Castro says that there are serious matters and if to date
I have been in his confidence, without a doubt I have now lost the
confidence of Dr. Fidel Castro."

Dr. Castro:  What did Mr. Agramonte say to this?

Matos:  In October, I believe it would be about November...

Dr. Castro:  In October, but if it had been two or three days
earlier even, a week before that, when had you decided to go to the school?
When did you ask for permission?

Matos:  On the 9th, I presented the documentation.

Dr. Castro:  The 9th of what month?

Matos:  October.

Dr. Castro:  October ... Well, it was much later that I talked
with Mr. Agramonte.  I cannot explain this account which has been set
forth here.  If the reason you wanted to resign was to go to the school,
this was not even mentioned in the letter.  The letter made no mention to
me of the school, gentlemen of the court.

Matos:  Examine the last paragraph, which speaks of retirement to
private life.  You know without a doubt what my profession is -- I am a
teacher.  I declare that before writing the letter I asked Dr. Joaquin
Agramonte to come to my house to be sure, and he told me:  "I confirm it,
what he said there in the meeting.  Fidel said that there were serious
things happening here."  And if these are the serious matters, what more
can I expect here?

Dr. Castro:  One question.  Do you believe that if I am the leader
of the movement, what I discuss with Mr. Agramonte should be communicated
to you, creating a problem of state?  Duty simply demands silence, and if
he spoke to you, why did he do so?  Was he your accomplice or an
unconditional supporter, comrade (applause)?

Matos:  I do not regard Dr. Agramonte either as an accomplice or a
supporter.  It is simply that he is the head of the movement in the
province and I was the military commander.

Dr. Castro:  And I am the national head of the movement

Matos:  Fine, certainly, but it is a very logical and clear
relation ...

Dr. Castro:  Do you believe that you should have gone to the head
of the movement to discuss military problems?

Matos:  But the fact is that at that time I was not dealing with
military problems.

Dr. Castro:  Well, if they were political problems, you were a
military commander and the head of the movement does not have to give an
accounting to you of these words, which have even been misquoted.

Matos:  Well, in this case, you see, I interpreted this, he
explained it to me, he confirmed it.

Dr. Castro  Comrade, if you will allow me I will speak later about
the earlier talks, your earlier letter, my conduct with regard to you, the
words we exchanged with regard to Diaz Lanz, and in connection with

Matos:  In order to ...

Dr. Castro:  I will give you the opportunity to speak as often as
you want.  I only want to set forth my facts here, because all I will do is
to set forth these things here with complete honesty.

Matos:  Very good, because I can discuss this as long as is
necessary, because these are questions, you see, about which I am
completely convinced.

Judge:  Major Hubert Matos, please retire now and leave the
microphone to the witness, Dr. Castro, so that he can continue.

Dr. Castro:  It is not important, don't worry ...

Captain Suarez Gayol:  Comrade Fidel Castro, I want to have it
clarified ...

Judge:  Please sit down, Captain Suarez Gayol.

Dr. Castro:  Look, comrade, I do not believe that those here or
anyone believes that I need the support of comrades, however valuable they
may be.  I believe I have sufficient reasons to substantiate what I have to
explain here, comrade.

Judge:  Comrades Gayol and Mendoza, will you please take your

Duque:  I would like to clarify the problem of the resignation.
Now of the defendants here, the majority resigned and the majority [sic]
did not ...

Dr. Castro:  Did the majority resign or not?

Duque:  No, the majority did and the minority did not.

Dr. Castro:  The majority resigned.

Duque:  The majority resigned.  Now these resignations, by the
majority, were dated the 19th.

Dr. Castro:  The 19th or the 20th?

Duque:  The 19th, when they were already aware of Hubert's letter
to you.  The resignations were submitted on the 20th in the morning while I
was there.

Dr. Castro:  May I suggest one thing.  If each of them speaks now
-- then you are going to speak -- this trial will never end.  I have read
many of the things written in the newspapers and I have been patient in the
hope that my turn to speak here would come.  But you see, it is unimportant
that you say it was the 19th, because here I have the resignation dated the
20th, which was the day prior to the problem, 24 hours more or less, it
doesn't matter.  They were dated prior to the 21st, comrade.

Duque:  Well, but ... I arrived there at 8 in the morning.

Dr. Castro:  This is of no interest to us, but since they want to
challenge testimony, let them do so.  What they cannot challenge is the
document, this is what they cannot challenge.  They cannot challenge their
signatures (applause).

Judge:  Dr. Fidel Castro may continue.  Major Duque, please
withdraw until you are called again.

Duque:  Thank you, Commander.

Dr. Castro:  Comrades:  there is one thing here which it would be
well to stress.  You all know Duque well.  You know him well and you know
what kind of a comrade he is.  Do you know his merits, his character.
Because I admire Major Duque, who had the civic courage to come and tell me
of what Hubert had persuaded him.  Thus, this is admirable because he had
this civic conscience and I know that there are few men who do and for this
reason I have called him here (applause).  However (a voice called out:
"There was no reason why I could not have resigned, too").

Judge:  Major Hubert Matos, let him finish here.  You will have
your turn.

Dr. Castro:  Comrades, they did not have to ask to resign, this is
a specific request.  Look, comrades.  Comrade Duque reacted and said:
"Tomorrow you will be in prison."  For some reason he said you will be in
prison tomorrow, Fidel will be here in the morning.  Duque told them this,
because he explained this to me.

Why?  Because Comrade Duque was aware that they were going to
commit a criminal action prohibited to military men.  Now I want an
important detail to be borne in mind here.  I had replaced Duque.  Was I
right or not?  After he had told me that he had been persuaded, did I act
wisely or unwisely?  Duque was the commander of the tactical forces, 3,000
men, an officer enjoying prestige.  And various other officers, infected by
the contagion, could have said, at any given moment: we agree with you.
Duque had 3,000 men.  And what happened?  Is it clear what part Agramonte
played in all this?  I cannot believe what is claimed, what is being sought
is to find a logic in events which have no other explanation than an
absolutely premeditated affair, comrades.  Because the reason I acted was a
meeting called within the ranks of the movement, the main promoter of which
was Mr. Agramonte, or he was one of the main ones.

Mr. Agramonte had been assigned, although the majority did not
agree, to Camaguey, to draft a public outline.  In other words, the
revolutionary government was going to have to exist there on the basis of
public suggestions.  When I realized this, I began to take countermeasures,
because I can assure you of one thing, that I am a man who has always
believed in the masses of the people and in men in general.  They have a
relative function and I believe in the people, because I believe I have
kept my word to the people, and I have a great confidence in the masses.  I
am not given to concern about what the people do.  I have the greatest
confidence.  I have in my mind the same faith I had at the beginning, and
if one day I believe I am right and I stand alone, I alone will not
hesitate to begin a struggle against as I did before.  Problems of
regiments in revolt cannot frighten me, except for the benefit the
counterrevolution derives from it and because of the blood shed.  But from
the point of view of authority, believe me, I would have someone else in
the government in a year.  Because in the world ambition ceases when it
comes to carrying out duty and working.

This is a job too hard for anyone to do it for the pleasure of it,
and I do it only out of duty.

It does not concern me if a regiment revolts, because when we
began here all of the regiments were in revolt, but the regiments of the
dictatorship.  Also, there is a rebel army.  A report can be confused.  Why
can they do this?  Because they have the support of all of this
revolutionary press.  In the Batista era, there were no problems.  This
counterrevolutionary press received money in large quantities.  Is this
true or is it a lie?  Come, journalists, is it true or false (applause)?  I
congratulate you for your civic duty.  Thus, it is a question of a press
receiving vast volumes and everything was done for the dictatorship, but we
had a tremendous problem.  No one gave us money.  Then they were waging a
constant campaign, circulating and confusing reports.  This is a fact.  And
so naturally, they used this approach, because they could confuse a part of
the people.  And they have there a regiment or a part of a regiment, troops
which had reenlisted, and which were under their direct influence.  All
officers have influence over a part of the troops.  They knew this and
reading the reactionary press there, they created fear daily, they created
worry.  Let us assume that these were sincere worries.  Let us assume that
there was no desire for power.  We are not going to undertake a discussion
of personal problems, we are going to discuss the facts.  We are going to
discuss events.  Such concern is easy in an atmosphere such as that of
Cuba, with a substantial part of the press constantly pounding away.  One
must read the reports -- here they said that they applauded.  What they did
not say was that it was the soldiers themselves who applauded -- those who
were in Camaguey, whom we sent there, whom we treated well, whom we even
gave weapons -- and who helped them organize the "show," gentlemen.  You
decide if I brought the troops of Column 1, and all of Camilo's troops and
everyone here to put on a show, gentlemen.  And then they made use of them
here, because this was an ignoble act.  Because the troops which were
provided with weapons, it is known that these troops there were dominated,
dominated every day by this fear of those who had made them believe we had
committed the greatest injustice in the world.  They they mobilized them
here.  And in front of the journalists and everybody they applauded.  The
world is amazed because the army supports Hubert.  What a strange thing
this is!  And then, we are committing an injustice with Hubert, it must be
a terrible army, this one, an army which applauds Hubert and it seems that
we are committing an injustice.  And these were the people of Camaguey,
many of whom were being paid 30 pesos, some have told me 25.  But this is
less, we will suppose, than what they were paying all the others.  The
Camaguey troops brought here, the bold officials, because we were very
noble, to speak the truth, very noble.  The prosecutor was very noble,
because he provisionally released almost all of these officers and they
were in direct contact with these soldiers.  And it is sad about those who
were deceived because possibly they did not even know what they were
doing.  They were brought here and the counterrevolutionary press made a
great fuss, and the great "Rosa Blanca" (White Rose) issue was raised that
day, because they said that the Cuban revolution no longer had the support
even of the army, because even the army was against the revolution now.

And this is the explanation, the explanation to the question.

A voice:  Not the army.

Dr. Fidel Castro:  And this is how these little deals go.  And
thus history is written, from spectacle to spectacle.  Obviously, what
shows the revolution in a good light is not published by the UP, or the AP,
or Life, or Time, or Marina, or Avance, or any other counterrevolutionary
press.  Ah, but what does damage, they give it big headlines and they know
this.  Hubert will not deny that he knows this.  And it is too bad that he
has not read the Diario de la Marina recently, because if he had a sincere
intention -- because he acted in a way which did the damage to the
revolution which it did.  Because he knows about this journal.  Is the
Diario de la Marina a counterrevolutionary or is it not?  Tell us, in your
opinion, Hubert Matos -- but comrades, you will understand that the
revolution does not need to commit injustices, you are mistaken.  This is
not what the revolution wants.  The revolution wants justice.  If you are
innocent, you are innocent, and if you are guilty, you are guilty.  But
what the revolution needs ...

Matos:  The problem is that confusion has been created by what
Duque has just explained, and what has just been said.  Look, Comrade Lago,
Cabrera, they know the reason in detail.  Other comrades ...

Fidel Castro:  You need not imagine such things, Comrade.  Did you
believe that your resignation in this way would not produce this effect?
Tell me that you are certain it did not produce that effect.  Tell me
honestly, with the honesty with which you say you speak, Comrade.

Matos:  If they wanted to resign, as I told Captain Cruz, I gave
them no such instructions.

Fidel Castro:  Then you knew that there were 10 who wanted to

Matos:  Earlier than that.  Major Maceira had told me ...

Fidel Castro:  For how long a time had they wanted to resign?

Matos:  Since July.

Fidel Castro:  What date?  Four months then, before your
resignation, they wanted to resign?  But why?  Because of what problem?
But it is coincidental that they did not resign before yet they did on the
20th.  Precisely this.  You know, you did not resign, you were more alert
than the others.  The others who were under you command resigned.

Matos:  For myself, at least, in my case, the concern I expressed
yesterday, if you recall the last paragraph of the letter, in which I told
you that I did not want to retire to private life [sic], giving you the
reasons, giving sincerely my viewpoints as I expressed them to you and they
are known.

Thus I am saying that I do not want to be labeled a traitor and
this is the reason I am telling the court that I did not give orders for
the resignations, because if you do not accuse me publicly, if you do not
destroy me, there is no reason why ...

Dr. Fidel Castro:  If I accuse you, then what?  Then these troops
did resign in support of you.  These troops did not support the revolution.

Prosecutor:  This has been proven, Your Honor.  It has been proven
that there was a great plot, even an international one ...

Dr. Fidel Castro:  The revolutionary government has no voice or
vote here then.  When it comes to Diaz Lanz, yes, or some else, yes, but
when it comes to Hubert, no.

Matos:  Commander, I have explained this clearly.  You know what
happened.  You accused us over the radio of opposing the agrarian reform.

Dr. Fidel Castro:  When?  On what day?

Matos:  The 21st.

Fidel Castro:  The resignations are dated the 20th, Comrade.  And
Mendoza made his changes on the 21st.  We could not be soothsayers and know
that he would do this the next day.

Matos:  It was said that we were opposing agrarian reform, that we
had sold out, this whole series of things which is what someone believes
... The attitude of the troops -- because if there are none --

Dr. Castro:  But the troops followed their officers and the
officers had resigned on the 20th.

Matos:  No, sir, as I have told you.

Dr. Castro:  Well, but the fact is that the papers are here,
gentlemen.  Here they are:  "Camaguey, 20 October 1959, Agramonte;
Camaguey, 20 October 1959, Constantino Romanini..."

Matos:  It was not thus ...

Dr. Castro:  Well, I do not know why ... "Jose Perez Alamo,
Elividio Rivera Limonta, 20 October 1959, Jose Agustin Torres and Column;
20 October 1959, Manuel Nieto Nieto; 20 October 1959, Rodosvaldo Labrador
Rams; 20 October 1959, Manuel Esquivel Ramos; 20 October 1959, Miguel Angel
Ruiz Maseira; 20 October 1959, Roberto Cobas Alvarez; 20 October 1959,
Vicente Rodriguez Camejo; 20 October 1959, William Robaina; 20 October
1959, Regino Castillo Castro; 20 October 1959, Lt. Miguel A. Crespo

Matos:  Will you permit me, Commander?  In fact ...

Dr. Castro:  Comrade, this paper Major Camilo Cienfuegos delivered
to me -- what is it, what was its purpose?  "Republic of Cuba.  This
certificate is issued on behalf of the fatherland, as evidence of gratitude
for your most meritorious labor on behalf of Cuba and the rebel army."
What is this, Comrade?  What was it?  I have explained here ... What was
its purpose, can you tell me?

Matos:  We will explain it.  In Camaguey I found that there were
some 3,000 and some soldiers.  Then, with the adjustment of the table of
organization, a reduction was necessary, and a thousand and some soldiers
were out in the street.  Among these were something like 300 who had been
with us and who came from the mountains and for these soldiers, for their
merit or their steadfastness, for those who had participated in the
rebellion, and who had to be let go, because it was necessary to carry out
the orders, and in order not to treat everyone the same, those who had
joined after 1 January and those who had come with us from the mountains,
to our knowledge, we issued these certificates with the best intentions ...

Dr. Castro:  I accept this explanation, but really its wording is
unique:  Republic of Cuba.  ... is presented with this Certificate of Honor
on behalf of the fatherland, as proof of gratitude for his most meritorious
service for the good of Cuba and the rebel army.  The grateful fatherland
has in you its firmest bulwark as a reserve activist for the difficult
moments caused by hidden enemies."  And why not open enemies?  Why should
you mention only the hidden ones?  Because it was called to my attention
that a republic which had eliminated all decorations, including this kind
having to do with awards for extraordinary valor, that a revolutionary
government which had thrown out all of this kind of honors had awarded
such certificates.  Now, with this reservation, I accept it.  So, comrade,
I have nothing to say in this connection.

Matos:  But there had been many cunning opportunists here ...

Dr. Castro:  I have nothing to say.  I accept this explanation,
with the reservation of the court, but we have here the problem of the
resignations, all of the resignations dated the 20th.

Dr.  Armando Hart: But a reference has been made, if the Prime
Minister will permit me.  As reference has been made to me personally in
regard to the problem of Comrade Lugo, I would like to say that in fact we
took steps to bring Comrade Lugo to work in a post in the Ministry of
Education, a task which was more important than all of the work he might
have been doing in Camaguey.  Nonetheless, Comrade Lugo said that he could
not come, and Major Hubert Matos said that he would not come because he had
more important work to do there in the province of Camaguey.  Obviously, he
(shouts) ...  Obviously, this astonished me, because the responsibility of
the functions Mr. Lugo would have had here would have been much more
important, much more essential, naturally, to the revolution, than any
other responsibility.  And now that this comrade has brought up this
problem, I would like to clarify two or three little points, to clarify the
details of two or three of the

things which have been said here.  Didn't Mr. Hubert Matos realize that
with his attitude he was definitely conspiring or encouraging conspiracy,
did he not realize the effect this would have within the rebel army, the
revolutionary division?  All of these political concerns, all of these
political plans Mr. Hubert Matos might or might not have made, but it was
not the rebel army and through the commanders of the rebel army that he
could take up these matters.  This was precisely the last kind of thing he
could have brought up, because it is the very fact that he discussed them
with these officers which originated, which gave rise to and from which has
come this entire series of problems and all of this business of absurd
accusations that the revolutionary government is communist.  Is it
conceivable that a military commander should concern himself with the
political leadership of the government?  Any court of law can establish
this (applause).

Dr.  Castro: Well, Comrades.  To continue to clarify matters.
What I am stating is the following, that all of these resignations,
assuming that none have been destroyed, all of these resignations delivered
to me by Major Camilo Cienfuegos are dated the 20th.  There are 14
resignations dated the 20th.  Mendoza spoke on the 21st, and there were
already 14 resignations before there was any official knowledge of it.
Fine.  Here we have these resignations.  I believe that you have copies,
but in case not, I will give you these here, too.

Prosecutor: Commander, these here are the originals they signed.

Dr.  Castro: Well, perhaps I will turn them over because this is a
key problem.  The resignations are dated the 20th, not the 21st.  Then here
is the letter from Hubert,that which they said I did not read.  I read it
in Camaguey.  Then it was said here that there was no explanation as to why
I had not read the other, that is to say, the one he sent on the 27th.
Indeed, this does our case no harm, for on the contrary, this letter
supports the viewpoint we maintained.  It favors our case, and I do not
have to conceal absolutely any document here.  Unfortunately, I referred
here to a note which has been lost.  Well, what am I going to do?  I am not
going to invent it, because this could be done, as it was my letter.  But
obviously, as it has been lost, I am naturally not going to invent,
anything.  Here is the letter from Yara, no, it is the earlier one, that he
delivered on 27 July.  See the difference between this letter and the
other, how different it is.  Here he speaks of wanting to go back to his
school as of January, but in his resignation he did not mention this.  The
final paragraph, of course, says that he was retiring to private life.  But
no mention of the school.  Here we are all discussing this calmly, in an
effort to find the truth, and it seems to me that these facts do not have
an easy explanation, and perhaps will be very difficult to justify.

If Hubert Matos regards himself as a gentlemen ...  But witnesses
have come here and said that he is an intelligent man and a good speaker
and I don't know what all else.  Well, then, this works against him,
because it is inexplicable that he would not know what he was doing.  Would
that it were thus, I would prefer that this were the case.  The damage done
would have been the same, but the importance to us perhaps would not.  What
is painful is to think that this damage was done deliberately.  This is
what it is sad to think.  I have here the letter.  We will speak of the
problem of the definition which he mentioned, this very interesting point,
so that it will be clear.  Because this is his trial, the delight of the
reactionaries, and the accusations of communism and "let the revolution
define itself" are what the Diario de la Marina are saying over and over.
And let us examine the problem of the definition.  I remember that Maceo
said once that the revolution would continue as long as there was an
injustice to be corrected.  And what is this business of hindering the
revolution?  This is a clearly defined revolution, and I am going to show
it.  I will show it in an unmistakable manner.

I am not talking to the court alone here, I am talking to the
defendants themselves.  I believe that we can talk face to face, as we are
doing.  I hope that those here who have done evil will admit it, just as
those who believe they have not should not, that each will defend his point
of view.  This is the least which should be done, but I am going to

In the earlier sessions I explained the problem in the mountains,
and then that in the plains.  As to the first epoch, Hubert cannot say, he
cannot claim that he heard the slightest complaint from the Prime Minister.
He cannot say that I ever treated him unfairly.  At a given moment, the
Prime Minister ceased to have confidence in Hubert, in view, in his
opinion, of Hubert's attitude, but Hubert always had every consideration
there.  When I visited the regiment, he welcomed me there.  In speaking
with him, I never denied his achievements, I never denied any of his
merits.  Under no circumstance -- is there anyone to whom I have denied
recognition of merit?  In one of these letters, which definitely refers to
the fact that I was capable of killing him, in which it says that the
documents were false, it even speaks of "jealousy," which was supposedly
eating me up.  But sincerely, who was there here among our subordinates who
was the commander who enjoyed the greatest prestige with the people?  Well,
without any doubt, it was the comrade who was beside me on the rostrum in
Ciudad Libertad on the day we reached Havana -- Comrade Camilo Cienfuegos.
He was the commander who enjoyed the greatest sympathy, and without
question he was like a brother to me.  And now you see his letter, and we
cannot but admire his deeds, his conduct, his honest handling of his
affairs.  It was precisely he who was the most popular, the man for whim I
had the greatest sympathy, the greatest enthusiasm.  I do not mean to say
that it was a question of fondness, because I have affection for all the
comrades, but I felt a great affinity for Camilo.  He was always involved
in all of my affairs, and we were almost always together.  We even played
pelota together.

Thus these assumptions of jealousy of any kind have no place here.
This is an absurd thing and it is not proper to think thus.  In other
words, he could not have had the slightest complaint.  And what about
confidence?  He had millions of pesos there which I made available to him
to ...

Thus, he can have no kind of complaint about my conduct, and I
acted in accordance with my judgement, my instincts, my evaluations.  I
have to think with my head, and I have to think, moreover, of using my best
judgement, what I have observed, and all the comrades know that during the
war this proper criterion for evaluation resolved many problems.  And
certainly this was not going to change when some things began to happen,
when changes occurred within the movement, because I foresaw a betrayal
within the movement.

Changes began to occur within the army, because I saw, and Hubert
admits that he talked of his concerns with officers, he talked so
extensively that he convinced Duque, he talked with many others, he talked
with them all.  He talked, and he was discussing political problems with
officers.  What does this mean, in real terms?  What does it mean to
discuss political problems with officers?  It means that the military are
trying to establish the standards for the revolutionary government, because
they are outlining -- this is what is called "military mutiny," this is
what is called military plotting.  Every little while the army gets
together in Argentina and creates a problem for the President.  In other
countries the army gets together and what happens?  Here the army is united
with the people, but it receives orders and instructions, and nothing else.
The revolutionary government is responsible for the political leadership,
and on the day when the revolutionary government, particularly the
revolution ...

(In answer to a question from Matos).  No, Comrade, I do not know
when or where you set forth the problem to me.  But on the other hand, I do
indeed remember that on my return from the United States I expressed by
displeasure to Raul because he had been talking with other officers.  You
say that you discussed these things among the commanders.  You wanted to
turn the army and the general staff into a district committee!  General
staffs do not discuss political problems.  These are discussed by the heads
of the government, in the Council of Ministers or the leadership of the
revolutionary movement (applause)!  We would be in a fine situation if we
were to turn the general staff of the army into a political committee!
(Hubert Matos said something from his seat, but was not heard.)

Well, we will suppose that you did this with the best intentions
in the world.  We will suppose this.  Let us say that you did it in the
best good faith, but you were risking ...  Did you not know what you were
risking, sir?  Well, since the consequences were what they were, whether
you desired it or not, we must continue to clarify this further today.

There was a tactical forces commander heading 3,000 men who had
certain convictions.  Then I began to take precautionary steps which I
believed my duty to take.  I replaced him.  When the head of the INRA
[Instituto Nacional de la Reforma Agraria -- National Institute for
Agrarian Reform] fell ill, I appointed another in his place.  I began to
appoint leaders chosen by me, because I believed that I should not take any
risks.  Because there is an old tactic here: certain people become
entrenched in their positions, and they have their friends.  And whenever
the chief is going to resign,they all do.  This is a tactic here which
should be blamed on the leader, not on the revolution, and I have noted
this phenomenon.  The first time it happened was at the Havana Aqueduct.  A
commander resigned there, and everyone else did.  What happened when
another commander resigned elsewhere?  All the others did.  When this
happens in municipal governments, fine, but when it happens in the ranks of
the rebel army, among the men who bear arms, and when I knew this was
happening, I began to take steps.  What I would have preferred was a
reconsideration by Hubert Matos, because any measure which tends to resolve
a problem of this nature quietly is worthwhile.  I would have preferred
this,and there were two occasions on which I could then have acted.  The
first was in the case of Pedro Luis.  I cannot say that Hubert was an
accomplice of Pedro Luis, but I can indeed say that he visited his house.

Matos: In all truthfulness, I believe that you, who know me, will
agree that I could not possibly have reached agreement with Diaz Lanz or
anyone with regard to dropping bombs here...

Major Castro: Well, I tell you honestly, Hubert Matos, I cannot
agree with you about this.  I feel that I cannot agree, Comrade.  If I
could, I would gladly say so.

What is certain is that he was there, and he was talking with all
the officers, and why should we imagine that Diaz Lanz was excluded from
the conversations.  Why should we think that in going there to see him he
did not talk to him, if he had talked even with those who were not sick,
with those who were not so friendly with him?  But Diaz Lanz, who had
traveled with him in the plane, who had come with him, why not suppose he
talked with him?  I imagine he talked with him of these problems.  But
nonetheless, let us pass over this, because I believe that the problem of
Diaz Lanz may lead Hubert to reconsider, if perhaps he has made a mistake.

Then the problem came up again, when I went to Camaguey.  He
stated it, he spoke, he said that it existed, and he even said this: "If
you believe that this might do harm, if you believe that my resignation
..."  He asked, and I answered him: "No, son, go on with your work.  Work
here and forget this.  Don't concern yourself."

The problem came up again with Urrutia.  I do not know if it was
because there was discussion, because I did not read that little paper in
public.  However, I did read it to a group of persons, they may have been
ministers, and not to harm him, but because I had received information
about all of these conversations Urrutia was having.  And when I read it
then on television, I left out everything pertaining rumor had spread.
Then he sent me this letter:

"A week ago, on one of your trips here, after the Diaz Lanz case,
and taking into account friendship I have with this comrade and because of
his betrayal, I must inform you that at any time if you believe that my
presence in the armed forces is undesirable, feel free to terminate my
services with the ranks of the rebel army.  Perhaps it seems to you that
this attitude of mine is motivated by a guilt complex, but in fact, the
truth is the opposite, and I have been unfortunate in being singled out as
an egotistical individual seeking popularity for his own profit, one of the
ambitious kind of whom one can expect anything.  And now, people who claim
to be well informed are spreading the news here that I am in disgrace, and
so I believe it proper to confirm my absolute determination to resign from
the struggle, in the hope of being useful to my country and to society.  I
am also persuaded that neither honor nor official posts nor any material
goods make man happy, and although I want to continue to render my modest
services to Cuba, as I will do as long as I have an opportunity to do so, I
will be happy on the day I can prove my lack of personal interest, and in
returning to my school and my home, to continue leading the simple life I
led before, I will provide indisputable proof of this lack of personal
interest.  Naturally, I will never refuse to serve my country as a soldier
whenever this may be necessary, to defend it from enemies within and
without.  I am not unaware that the situation in the country is becoming
more difficult every day, forcing the men responsible for the revolutionary
effort to work ever harder.  Because I see it thus, I have been working
constantly as hard as I could, but I believe that since cases of treason
are beginning to appear, and you fear -- he understands and says "you fear"
that there will be others, I believe that there should be freedom to share
the responsibilities, and not only with those comrades who have been able
now to prove in unchallengeable fashion their loyalty to the revolution.  I
believe that you regard me as loyal, but to judge from other comrades, I do
not have a basis for saying this.  On the other hand, when a nation is
advancing firmly along the path of progress, after overcoming so many
shortcomings, and when it has blind faith in its historic destiny, thanks
to the concurrence of two factors -- the presence of a true leader and the
virtues of a true people, the fate of an individual is hardly important,
much less if he sees in the triumph of his people the realization of his
lifetime dream.  Meanwhile, you can be sure that you can count on me to
serve Cuba wherever I may be."

This is the letter he sent me following that from Urrutia, and
which I answered -- as he has said: "Do not worry, this is unimportant," or
something like that, if the version which appeared in the newspapers is
correct, "this is unimportant, go on working."  Despite all these things, I
said again on the 27th: "Go on working."

And I ask you if this is not an attitude on our part -- I will not
call it generous, because I do not intend to describe myself as a generous
person by any means -- I ask you if it is an attitude of confidence, if you
wish, a considerate one, if you like, when I said: "Don't worry, go on

In other words, I had gone as far as my duties allowed me.
Perhaps if I had accepted the resignation at that time, nothing would have
happened.  Perhaps, just as I can suggest this possibility, I must admit
the opposite: perhaps he knew what my answer would be, because he knew what
my conduct had been and that I was a person lacking in resentment,
uninclined to suspicion, and so active in this way.  When I believe that it
is my duty to take steps, because I see things clearly, because somehow I
have been entrusted with the responsibility I have, when I believed it was
my duty to take certain precautionary steps, I began to take them, and I
ask you if it is or is not true that the commander of the tactical forces,
as has been explained here, had been persuaded, headed 3,000 men, and was a
commander enjoying the prestige of the troops.

Thus, I carried out my duty, and I began to make changes within
the movement.  It seemed to me, very simply, that one could not feel very
certain of the leadership of the government when men were ceasing to
respond to the revolution and to the government because they were
supporting individuals.  This was my assessment.

(A captain asked a question from his seat, which was not heard.)

Captain, you cannot ask me to be a soothsayer.  You cannot hold me
responsible for the results of this surprising letter dated 19 October
1959.  I am to blame, if you wish, but only to blame for having done what I
thought was my duty.  It is my fault -- you can go further and tell me that
because I allowed this violation of internal discipline, I can perfectly
well be entirely mistaken.

Thus, if you believe that I am guilty, well, that is what you
think, but do you believe that they were wrong?  Do you believe that, too?
Were they wrong?  If you believe that they were wrong, I, too, admit the
part of the responsibility which falls to me as a government leader

There may well be a comrade who did not resign but who nonetheless
is guilty.  There may be such a person.

(Hubert Matos asked a question.)

Major Castro: What was my reaction?  What did I answer?  On the
contrary, I gave you the opportunity to continue working with the regiment,
and while you wrote me a letter like this, I found it possible to provide
you with an opportunity.  This was something quite different from your
letter, Mr. Matos.  Let us analyze the letter, because you will understand
that between the first letter and this one, there is a difference.  In this
letter you say:

"First: 'I do not want to become a hindrance to the revolution,
and I believe that if I have to choose between adapting myself or
withdrawing into a corner in order to avoid doing damage, the honorable and
revolutionary thing is to resign.' Fine, no objection.  Second: "Our of
basic modesty ..."  I do not object to the content, but I could object to
your resignation, because it could create this problem, and if you were
going to resign and did not wish to do damage, you should have been the
first to see this, if you are a man who fulfills his duty.  Second: "Our of
basic modesty, I must resign from all responsibilities within the ranks of
the revolution, after learning of some of your comments in the conversation
you had with Comrade Agramonte and Fernandez Vila."

And here we have this business of petty things, "he told me, I
told you, he told you again, he repeated to me."

"If indeed, my name was not mentioned in this conversation, please
inform me of the fact."

But here is the serious paragraph, the accusation: "I also believe
that after the replacement of Duque and other changes, all those who have
had the frankness to talk with you about the communist problem should
resign before they are dismissed."

This is the unacceptable statement, because it accuses me of
serving a given political party.  This is an accusation that I, even if not
communist, replaced those who talked to me of communism, and it was this
which I could not tolerate by any means, it was this which as head of the
revolutionary government I could not accept from any one at all!  And this
is an accusation which was made, and I can find no explanation why Hubert
Matos did it, because he says this was a private letter.  And what
explanation was I go give to the people then?  When has anyone known me to
lie to the people?  Or do you think a provincial commander can resign, on
such a basis as this, and then I could announce it to the people in terms
of a lie?  How could it be believed that this could happen in secret.  Is
it possible to be so naive as to think such a thing?  Who has ever known
our government to act in such a way as to keep secrets from the people?

And this is entirely apart from the situation which was to develop
in Camaguey.  This is the accusation I cannot accept, because it is a
serious one, and I categorically refuse to accept it, as I said in my
answering letter.

"Third: I can only conceive of triumph of a revolution with the
support of a united people, ready to make the greatest sacrifices, because
there will be a thousand and one economic and political difficulties, and
that united and combative people will not succeed nor retain its strength
if it is not on the basis of a program which satisfies both their interests
and their feelings.  One must make an effort to approach the complexity of
Cuban problems in their just dimensions, and not as a matter of beliefs or
group struggles.

In other words, "a program which satisfies both."  The revolution
had its program long before the first shot was ever fired.  "Both
interests."  I do not understand or see how one can reconcile the interests
of an estate owner with 1,000 caballerias and a peasant who lives in a
compound.  I do not see how one can reconcile the interests of a landlord
who collects three times what a family can afford to pay and those of his
tenants.  How can one reconcile the interests of these moneylenders who
practice extortion upon the peasants and those peasants.  There are
interests in society which are irreconcilable.

Then I do not understand this.  He says: "If it is desired that
the revolution triumph, let it be said where we are going and how we are
going."  I will indeed say, although I do not have to because this was said
long before, and I am going to provide this.

I am not going to go into the other matters now, because they have
to do with his qualifies and what he did, and the battles he fought.  But I
will indeed mention the following: it happened that the day the paper
arrived from Diaz Lanz, the invasion of Havana occurred, costing 40-some
victims.  I find the following.  It says here:

"If it is desired that the revolution triumph, let it be said
where we are going and how we are going.  Let there be less concern with
gossip and intrigue, and let those who discuss these things on an honest
basis not be labeled reactionaries or conspirators."

This is Hubert's letter.  And now the letter from Diaz Lanz says:

"People of Cuba, humble Cuban, you who have never done anything
but defend yourself, but fight tirelessly, zealously seeking your freedom,
I only want to communicate to you some truths which can be placed on the
balance of your own judgement, against the lives and slanders of those of
whom you and I have expected so much.  I must make it clear first that I
have never attacked anyone in particular, but that I have noted and
denounced the infiltration and presence of communists in the government.
For this alone, I have been called a traitor, a deserter, a coward, a
beneficiary of nepotism, etc., etc."

And now Hubert's letter:

"I did not organize the Cienaguilla expedition which was so useful
in the resistance during the spring campaign so that you would thank me,
but to defend the rights of the Cuban people, etc."

Diaz Lanz:

"I must make it clear to you, people of Cuba, that the weapons I
have taken to the Frank Pais Second Front and to the Sierra Maestra were
not for Raul nor for Fidel.  Definitely not.  I did this for Cuba."

In other words, there is a coincidence in the manner of
expression, in the manner of thinking, a coincidence in the accusation and
in the times they were made.  I am not going to say by any means, it would
not occur to me to say, there there was a link with Hubert's letter, that
is to say, complicity, and I stated this on television when I was asked
about the matter.  But I do indeed say that there is a similarity in the
way of thinking and expression, and moreover, this is rather rare.  I do
not know if these lines could have been written in the morning, but I do
believe that advantage was taken of the incident in Camaguey to make the
incursion into Havana.

There is a similarity in the subject matter discussed.  Before
continuing I would like to say one thing: here the problem of the presence
of the members of the family of the principal defendant has been mentioned,
and I must say that it naturally poses a delicate question for me, too.  It
is not that I will fail to carry out my duty in saying the things I think
must be said here, but I do indeed want to make it clear that I regret
having to do so under these circumstances.

There is a point in the letter, two points: the ideological
definition of the revolution, the implication that the Prime Minister is
acting in the service of a given party, and a given ideology, because I
believe that this accusation can be set aside, since it is baseless, and I
believe that in putting things in this way he had only one purpose: to put
the revolutionary government in the most embarrassing situation, just as I
believe that the attitude toward this trial is a matter of communism or
non-communism is also designed to place the government in an embarrassing
situation, not to mention placing the court in an embarrassing situation,
and presenting the defendant in a favorable light for all of the
reactionary and counterrevolutionary press, and all reactionary people, all
counterrevolutionary people, and the AP, the UP, Time, Life, and those
periodicals which are opposed to the Cuban revolution, because this is
precisely the refrain and the slogan used in accusing us, so that later it
can be said: "They condemned Hubert Matos because he was anti-communist,"
"the communist government condemned Hubert Matos for anti-communism."  And
it was Hubert Matos to whom I even said on 27 July that the matter was
simply unimportant, and I did not take a single step until I realized that
I would be failing in my duty if I did not take some precautionary

In other words, what is the easiest stand to take in this trial?
That stressed by the counterrevolutionary press, the accusation of
communism, and then God help us.  God be with us then, because they have
even brought an evangelist here, two priests, some Masons, everyone to
testify here.  And so the church -- because this is the little thing the
estate owners want to play with the Catholic Congress, taking advantage of
the religious feelings of the people to set them in opposition to the
revolution -- now they come and state the church stands with the defendant,
and it is innocent, as are the Masons, and the Protestants, and everybody
except the peasants.

Thus, the question is, we must view all the writings of Leyva, the
little letters which appear here, all of the writings, as has been
stressed, as a way of doing the greatest damage to the revolution and we
know these things, I believe that even the children here know, the
journalists know, and the journalists clearly understand these things,
isn't this true?  I believe that the newspapermen see clearly and
understand this whole little game.  Look how the headlines are worded and
look how they try to represent things and to confuse people.  This is
known, and among other things we cannot permit this, because we did not
permit the defendant here to sow general confusion.  What has been done is
simply to adopt the easiest attitude.

I think that this attitude they have had in the trial, the
attitude in itself, has already done so much damage, possibly more damage,
than the attitude that existed there in Camaguey.  I believe that this
attitude has not been honest.  I truly believe this, because I believe as I
have said here that even when they thought thus, it was their duty to
realize that this was plotting an intrigue against the fatherland, and that
one must be a Cuban first of all, one must defend the fatherland above
everything.  And it was their duty to bear these things in mind, because
better our fatherland than a fatherland destroyed.

You, Hubert, said about your children (Hubert Matos interrupted
Dr.  Castro violently).  Hubert, you were speaking calmly.  Why have you
changed?  You were talking calmly, and I have answered calmly.  Do no tell
me now that I am trying to distort your thinking, that I have said even
that you might have believed this, but you could have been destroying your
fatherland by believing this, and you have your opinion and I have mine but
the people are important in themselves, and the life of the people is
important to the people (ovation).

Hubert Matos: But are you trying to convince me ...

Dr.  Castro: I am not trying to convince you, I am trying to
convince the court and the people.

Matos: But you are speaking to me ...

Dr.  Castro: You also spoke to me.  You spoke to me and I spoke to
you.  I have listened whenever you have spoken and I believe that I have
listened here with equanimity and full respect.

Matos: In a speech ...

Dr.  Castro: Fine, but the fact is that Batista ...  I will not
make comparisons with Batista.  There were many soldiers, who perhaps were
shot, who believed they were serving Cuba by murdering peasants (applause).
When those who were shot were judged here they were not judged for what
they believed they were doing.  No one asked them "did you do good or
evil?"  They asked them "did you or did you not kill?"

There can be no question that you knew about what you have
described here and the use which the counterrevolutionary press has made of
it cannot be challenged.  Just as you knew that you resignation might
produce the situation it created there in Camaguey.  Just like what they
are doing here, the campaign the counterrevolutionary press is waging and
the claims that "we want to create a church here" -- a most ridiculous and
absurd thing which I think in the final analysis will be self-defeating,
because no one here will believe in the seriousness of these gentlemen who
have said that we want to create a church, that is, that we want to fight
with God and with the church.  In other words, we want to fight with
everyone here, and they are doing this to see if afterward they can
annihilate us, but we will see if they can do this (applause).

I am not trying to change your mind, although in fact I have
listened to this statement by one who did change the thinking of a whole
series of comrades who were valiant comrades.  He will tell me that it was
in good faith, that he believed he was doing his duty, but he did change
their thinking, because there are comrades here who would not have been
here, for example, who would certainly not have fallen into the error in
which they did, otherwise.

I have some papers here.  I do not know of what value they may be
or if they are needed.  These are some papers I have only read once.  Even
if they are not needed in the opinion of a gentlemen who has been indicted,
they have relative importance, if only documentary.  What was the answer?
Was there a problem in Camaguey?  Why did we take this step?  I received
the letter on the 19th, I answered on the 20th, and I called Camilo.  There
would have been a solution, if the troops there had not been informed, if
that problem had not been created, but it was already known in the streets,
a confused version was circulating and the following day the controlled
press organs were to create a serious problem, because it was already set
in type and everything in the newspapers.  Mr. Faustino Miro Martinez had
already arranged for its printing on the 21st.  The article read:

"The announcement of the resignation of Major Hubert Matos Benetiz
from the post he holds in this province has disturbed the citizenry.
Although the resignation has not been confirmed, one sees sad faces and
hears statements of support of the great leader of the Antonio Guiteras
Ninth Column.  This is the least possible homage which could be rendered to
Major Hubert Matos Benetiz, who has been able to win the affection of all
of the people, because he is a man who although he was not born in this
part of the Agramonte territory, has such support that it can be called
sincere affection.  His joys and sorrows emotionally affect the people who
admire him and who regard him as one of their own."

Already 14 resignations had been submitted before this eulogy and
these sad faces and this disturbance among the citizenry of Camaguey had
appeared.  The resignation had not yet been made public but the students
had called a meeting.  Obviously, this tends to show ...  Tell me, what
were we supposed to do, confronted with a de facto situation created among
the people, with a series of officers resigning, the provincial federation,
and a letter accusing me of replacing officials for reasons of communism
-- and a letter which I could not keep secret, a letter accusing me of
replacing people because of communist problems.  Because the curious thing
is the protest against replacement of Duque.  He had nothing to do with
Camaguey.  When I replaced Pineiro, Hubert said nothing.  When I replaced
Ramiro, Hubert said nothing.  When I replaced William, Hubert said nothing.
But when I replaced Duque in Oriente, Hubert spoke out.  And then it says:
"The Provincial Students Federation ...

For the press?  Wouldn't this be for the press, do you imagine?
They thought that the press would come out the next day, publishing a very
private letter of mine, naturally, in which I bear all the blame for having
made it public, and this was already written, and the assembly and
everything.  "The Provincial Federation ...

Duque: This letter was not private, because Hubert Matos told me
here, he told me that when he gave me a photostatic copy which my father
has in Sancti Spiritus, in front of some officers.  He told me what I
should do and what should be done with this letter, if you did not make it

Dr.  Castro: Well ...

Duque: Ask Hubert Matos.

Dr.  Castro: There is hardly anything I can say (applause)

Duque: Let him tell me that although he did not have the highest
opinion of Miguel Angel Quevedo, he knew that he was going to publish it.
I challenge him to say that this is not true.

Matos: I stated here: this is not true.  And I say this, I say it
to Major Felix Duque, that he is lying.

Duque: Why did you give me the photostatic copy my father has?

Hubert Matos: That is not true.  I showed Major Felix Duque a copy
of the letter.  I gave it to Comrade Cabrera, but this business of his
coming and my telling him what had to be done, and about the periodical
Bohemia, I have said a thousand and one times, Comrade Duque, that this is
false.  Tell me if I told you this letter was to be published.

Dr.  Castro: Comrades, what is your opinion of Duque?  Do you
believe that he is a scoundrel?  (Applause).  Do you believe that he is a
slanderor?  Comrades, will those of the defendants who believe that Duque
is an honorable man please rise ...

(All of the defendants rose and applauded.)

Matos: This is a lie, this is a lie.

Dr.  Castro: I believe there is nothing more to say, Comrades.
With your permission, Your Honor, I will wait until Mr. Matos takes his
seat.  We will continue to explain.

This has occurred here in an entirely spontaneous manner.  I
believe that it is good, because some things are coming clear.  It should
be said here that the fatherland ranks above any individual.  I have come
here in my capacity as Prime Minister.  If I had not been sure I was right
I would have been running the risk of discredit to the detriment of the
revolution and the fatherland.  What is important here is to clarify
matters.  Quite certainly, the revolution could suffer greatly from the
statements I have to make now, and I have weighed all of this in the
reasoning which brought me here, and this should be taken into account.

We do not want to make unfair use of any circumstance in any way.
I have not called separate witnesses, and I have not even opposed witnesses
who differ from what I have said here, and this has been the case with
Duque, on whom I called.  Why did I appeal to him and why do I allocate
importance to him?  Because the defendants know him, because they know
Duque well.  And it is possible to confuse the people here, and it is
possible to lead them to believe that everyone here is communist, and a
thousand and one other things, but it is very difficult to make these
fellows believe that Duque is a shameless scoundrel, do you see?  This is
why it is important and for this reason I assign importance to Duque's

What is my purpose in explaining this?  In a private letter, the
students said:

"The Provincial Federation of Secondary Students of Camaguey,
having learned from the newspapers of the resignation of Dr.  Hubert Matos
Benetiz, commander of the Agramonte Military District, concerned about the
triumph and the total success of the revolution, fully aware of its
humanist and nationalist meaning, and of how many lives it has cost the
fatherland, and knowing of the great work done by Dr. Hubert Matos, want
to make known to the public in general and to all the students in the
province that we are presently awaiting official news from the
revolutionary government."

In other words, this meant that I had either to appear and tell a
lie or make public the letter, because the students were already "awaiting
official news" and I would have had to become a liar, to prostitute myself
on that day and become a liar, or else make public the letter.  And thus
the letter was not private, because the letter which he wrote made it
inevitable that everyone would know of it, even the students, who then
stated that they had read the news in the paper.  They had not read it in
any newspaper.  This statement in itself is revealing, because they though
it would appear in the newspaper the next day.  But the fact is it simply
had not appeared in any paper.  Then it says "Because truth and only truth
shine forth."  It is shining forth here, or at least we hope it is, and we
want it to.  "The only path to the true triumph of this revolutionary
process."  Indeed it is the true path of the revolutionary process and
therefore no one should have expected me to tell a lie.  This letter could
not have been secret nor could any one have expected it to be and it
accused me of removing and replacing people because of communist problems.
Then it says:

"This radio and newspaper appeal will serve to urge all of the
students of the Institute, the Normal School, Business School, Kindergarten
Teachers School, Home Economics, Crafts and Trade School, and in general,
all of the student body of Camaguey to attend the general meeting of the
emergency nature which will be held at the business school at 8 P. M.

"Attend the general meeting of an urgent nature at 8 P.M.  In view
of the importance of this urgent meeting, we beg each and every student in
Camaguey to be present.  Juan Gregorich, Sofia Gonzalez, Dagoberto
Gonzalez, Mercedes Alvarez Puga, Norma Vega, Victor N. Rodriguez, and
Leandro Morejon Estevez."

What did they want the Prime Minister of the Revolutionary
Government to do?  Wait until this entire maneuver had been carried out and
for the resignation the next day of the law enforcement officers, the
prosecutors, everyone in the province?  Even the rest of the officers would
have resigned.  What is the problem when there is an intrigue?  Because
they intend to produce blood shed, because naturally no one here will
yield, no one here will believe that when a problem of this sort develops,
we are going to yield, although it may take ten men for us to deal with the
situation and whatever may happen.  This is an obvious thing, I only want
to bring to the attention of the court, of those who are listening, the
question as to whether under such circumstances the Prime Minister could
simply stand by idle.

I called for Major Camilo Cienfuegos and I told him of this
situation, because I had been informed of it from Camaguey, I was informed
at the Hilton, and so it was I who gave the order to Mendoza to call the
tactical forces there, to go to the police, to take over, because this had
to be done.  This was the plan.  The radio station, the telephone station,
the police station were to be taken over, and I told him: "Yes, establish
yourself, and resist, resist (applause)."

Naturally, there was no guarantee that there would not be blood
shed, and in fact, there was danger of a river of blood.  Should I have
accepted the accusation, should I have crossed my arms and sat back?  Was
this an unimportant problem?  Am I the guilty one, the scoundrel, the
creator of the problem, the one who ruined the AFTA business?  Am I to
blame for all this?  Let us be reasonable.  I have heard the reasons of the
defendant.  I have heard the impressive statements, when he said for
example that he told his children one must defend the fatherland from
foreign aggression, and I tell you that it is better that his sons should
not have to defend the fatherland, that they should not have to fight and
die.  The best thing would be not to open the doors to the foreign enemy
with this attitude (applause).

These are the facts which I wish to set forth.  He will come and
set forth his facts, too, but I want this question engraved on the minds of
the court and this audience: what could the revolutionary government do in
this situation?  What else could it do but what it did, but try to halt the
blow being dealt the people -- not the rebellion.  This is the thing which
in my view was very carefully studied.  No one has denied this attitude.
For months he had sought this.  Or he had brought it about, as they say, by
means of talks, but he said, in the exchange in which I asked him when it
was: "The beginning of October," and so I saw the letter on 19 October
1959.  We may have spoken toward the middle of the month, between the 10th
and the 15th -- all the rest --

Matos: Earlier, Commander.

Castro: When did you ...?

Matos: The 9th.

Fidel Castro: You asked for a meeting on the 9th of October.

Matos: I believe this was a few days before ...

Dr.  Castro: Fine, but very few, because it seems that the man was
there and then that was the first time he spoke to you.  If he had done so
such a long time before, why did you wait for the AFTA meeting?  If you
learned about it then it was not that day, that it was the 26th, but it
happens that the AFTA meeting was in the middle of the month, and this put
us in a difficult situation.

Matos: 26 October was the date fixed for the education section to
send its technicians, so that they were already there when the studies were

Dr.  Castro: This proves nothing definite.

Matos: I have documents here which they signed.

Dr.  Castro: Yes, they were obtained from the Ministry of
Education, but this is not definite proof, giving you the documents.

Prosecutor: Your Honor, one of the defendants wants the flood.

Defendant: I resigned because of the work done by and the faith I
had in the defendant.

Dr.  Castro: Fine, and if this is the case, what more do the
people need to know?  Because to accept this ill-intended accusation was
impossible.  No one could expect me to tolerate this accusation.  Second,
there were the consequences of this revelation.  And here is where the
fault lies, because he could very well have asked -- it seems he wanted to
create a crisis, and I believe that this was one of those -- these plans.
I am convinced of this.  I would like to believe the contrary, I swear on
my honor that I would prefer to believe the opposite.  However, what my
reason tells me is that this was a planned thing, and this is a conclusion
derived from the facts.  I cannot betray my reasoning here.  This is what I
believe.  What happened was simply a planned affair, and in observing,
seeing what happened, the complete stripping away of the prestige of the
revolutionary government, the authority of the Prime Minister, we will see
what would happen here on the day when the principle of respect is
destroyed, we will see what would happen in this country.  Very simply,
this is what I believe.  I have simply related facts, and the court will
decide this matter.  The court must decide it freely.  The audience here is
listening, because the public is interested, quite simply, and if we were
not right, we were not right.

Now, to the problem of where we are getting.  I believe we have
been at it for some time really, perhaps because of the very nature of this
problem, this is very wearying for the mind.  I feel a little tired, but it
will be better to finish up briefly.

No one should be concerned, perhaps none of this will be
necessary.  But here we have a problem, too, the following: no one here has
given instructions for the mistreatment of anyone.  No one can say that he
has been mistreated.  Indeed, many have been freed and rejoined the
soldiers, many of the officers, and some of those who signed the
resignation are not present here.  However, he pursued the path of
presenting the government as victimizing -- I will not speak of the letter
here, I have already referred to it, previously, and as this is a matter
which is of a family nature, I will not discuss the letter.  But I would
simply like to state here that no one has ever known me to order the
assassination of anyone, to say someone should be shot.  No one has known
me to lie, nor am I a man who envies anyone.  Since publicly I have not
discussed a certain allusion because a lady is involved, allow me at least,
without mentioning any names, to refer to it out of a moral duty to explain
this.  I will not insist on this subject.  The fewer the disagreeable
subjects we must deal with here the better.

We will deal with another, however, which is essential: it says
here: Hubert Matos explains his case.

"I am writing from the uncomfortable and miserable cell in which
the humanist regime of Fidel Castro has imprisoned me.  I am in the Cubana
Fortress is the worst situation in which a war criminal could be placed.
Fidel is already trying me, inflaming the people with lies and infamy.
Three times he has spoken to the people of my treason, accusing me of
complicity with those responsible for the machine gunning of the people of
Havana.  I have not been allowed to say anything, nor to talk with
journalists or lawyers..."

How we would have liked, when we were in prison, to have had the
opportunity to have all these newspapers publish all of this!  How amazing,
when 70 of our comrades were tortured here and their eyes gouged out!  No
one ever said a word.  You should see the headlines in this newspapers,
noble and good and clear, concerning the words she wrote.  You should see
them.  "But in Cuba they want to send the people who can defend themselves
fearlessly to the firing squad..."

"...  All of this is simply a crime which they want to complete
now physically, since this has already been done morally.  There was no
treason nor any plot.  I demand my release and I will calmly await the
arrival of the order.  My only crime was to send a private letter to Fidel
explaining the reasons for my request, but he believed himself to be a god.
He could not allow anyone to leave his side with his prestige intact, much
less dare to disagree with him.  Perhaps he can win back the support of the
intellectuals of Latin America.  For the rest, there is no reason for
concern, whether I am successful or not, because I can only conceive of
life with honor and if it is my lot to lose it because I will not submit, I
will do so with true satisfaction."

Who was this reporter?  It says here ...  Leon Bena, or something
like that.  Well, the question is that it ways here: "Havana, 28 October
1959.  Comrade J (his letter here, do you see it?  This is Hubert's
letter).  It says:

"I am writing you from a miserable cell in which I can hardly more
in the Morro Castle to inform you of what the humanism of Fidel Castro is
capable of doing with those who take liberty of disagreeing privately with
him.  There was no plot, no betrayal, no sedition or anything, nothing, but
a private letter giving certain reasons and the rest, the whole world
already knows.  Fidel says it and this is enough.  I have not been allowed
to say anything, neither to talk with lawyers nor journalists.  In order to
write I had to conceal what I was doing from the guard who never lets me
out of his sight.  Is it for this we fought in Cuba?  Is it betrayal of the
fatherland to think and speak without hypocrisy, as Marti would have done?
I have spent my time reading the book Entre la Libertad y el Miedo (Between
Freedom and Fear) by G. Arciniega, and I see Fidel on the path toward
tyranny, if it has not already been achieved, with the added danger that he
is a master at inflaming the masses.  How mistaken those of us were who
believed him to be a great disciple of Marti."

I must be the strangest tyrant the world has ever seen, since I
come to testify at a trial here with documents and with the truth, to
discuss on the basis of reason.

(Matos interrupted to say something.)

Well, fine, but let me finish:

"Now the multitude has raised its voice to ask that I be sent to
the wall.  If the court confirms this verdict, I will go calmly.  As one
who was ready to give his life for freedom earlier, why would I not do so
now willingly?  Even from the cemetery I will continue to be useful to Cuba
and to our suffering America."  America is suffering because of all the
extortionist interests, the foreign monopolies and all their capital --
this is the suffering America we are redeeming, but then -- "from the
cemetery I will continue to be useful to our suffering America.  I do not
care if they defend me, if they defend the principles for which all of the
worthy men in the world have been fighting.  I want it known that the only
one who made the letter public was Fidel, in his desire to represent me as
a traitor.  Later my wife published what she could.  There is much fear in
Cuba.  Even the liberal newspapers are afraid to publish anything about my

"I want you to know, I repeat, and Fidel is well aware, that I had
nothing to do with the actions of Diaz Lanz."

I have not accused him of this.

"I am a Cuban, and I never could agree with anyone who was selling
out to another nation, much less could I lend my support to the gunning
down of civilians.

"I knew how to fight face to face, but I am incapable of ordering
machine gunning or approving of the machine gunning of my people or any
people in the world.  As I know that you, too, are a soldier of freedom and
a standardbearer of all noble causes, I write to ask you to do what you
can.  I am sending you the record which was made when Fidel came with the
crowd, apparently with the intention of lynching me.  I am very calm -- I
do not want to discuss the problem or the attitude of these men or the
consequences, I simply want to discuss facts here -- I am very calm,
waiting to be allowed to speak, but I am afraid that the trail will be held
only to keep up appearances."

I believe that the world has never seen a more public trial than
this one.

"So between the abject and the cowards in Cuba, no one dares say
no when Fidel says yes.  I embrace you, and hope that you, Santo Domingo,
will soon be free."

I doubt that this Mr. Santo Domingo will ever be free again.  In
thus writing his great letter, Hubert Matos Benetiz became his worst enemy.

This letter is dated 28 October 1959.  Well, then, I only want you
to give me a minute (speaking to Matos, who interrupted him), just a
moment.  This is the periodical Elite.

This letter of his, in his own hand, is dated 28 October 1959.
Now then, you see this letter (holding up a document) also in his hand:

"Havana, 22 November 1959.  Editor of the newspaper Revolucion
(Revolution), Havana.  Dear Sir: In the periodical Informacion (News) dated
21 November there is an article on page 8 entitled "Letter from Hubert
Matos" which says that a correspondent named Leon Ben of the NA [Noticias
Aliadas -- Allied News] service received a letter from me.  As I have not
written to this correspondent nor to any other foreign or Cuban journalist,
I would request that you publish this statement, to which I add that I am
calmly waiting the trial in order to be able to defend myself against the
charge made against me.  With thanks in advance for the help you can render
me through the pages of Revolucion, I am, yours respectfully."

And this is dated 22 November.  Here is an earlier letter, dated
October 28, to a gentlemen in Venezuela, a foreign periodical, and yet he
says calmly some days alter than "as I have not written to this journalist
or any other foreign or Cuban newspapermen, I beg you to publish this
statement" in a letter to the periodical Revolucion about his letter.  And
here we have categorical proof of how this gentlemen operates.  On the one
hand he writes, then the letter is published, and a few days later he
writes that he never wrote to any foreign correspondent or to anyone.

It is obvious that this gentleman, because of whom Santo Domingo
will never go free, you can be certain, made extracts and published all
this, and it was the UPI which published it, because the UPI does this sort
of thing.  When the Women's Congress issued a statement, when a group of
women who had met there asked that the wife of Hubert Matos be allowed to
visit him, it turned out to be a lie, an invention of the UPI.  The
fatherland has no UPI, nor any Associated Press, to defend it, but Hubert
Matos has many agencies like the UPI and AP to defend him (applause).

(Hubert Matos interrupted Major Castro.)  No, you can explain
later.  I am going to finish.  I will only yield the floor to you when I
have finished.  Please allow me to provide whether you can be believed or
not, because I have also been told of the letter dated the 26th.  Well,
this is a letter -- let the court enter all this in evidence, because I
believe it is proof which cannot be ignored.

And finally, we will conclude on this problem of the ideological
matter.  I believe simply that we here in the revolutionary government have
done nothing but to carry out the promises we made to the people.

"Let us be told where we are going."  The revolution said where it
was going, long before we reached Belice Beach.  I believe I need no more
than 15 minutes, 20 at the most, to finish.  Our conduct, our attitude, our
plans, the way in which we conducted ourselves -- were we lying deceivers
of the people, or have we been men who have always stated the truth?  In
this connection, I want only to explain in this trial the political aspect
of our revolution, and our lives.

And here is the first thing I wrote after 10 March.  We began by
stating our thinking three days after 10 March:

"Revolution, no: A coup.  Patriots, no -- freedom killers,
usurpers, reactionaries, adventurers thirty for hate and power.  This was
not a revolt against President Prior, but an uprising against the people.
There was no order, but it was the people who should have decided in
civilized fashion, chosen their government leaders, of their own free will
and not by force.  Money flowed for the candidate imposed, no one denies
it, but this did not alter the results, any more than the bleeding of the
public treasury for the candidate imposed by Batista in 1944 did.  It was
completely false, absurd, ridiculous and childish for Prior to attempt a
coup d'etat.  We suffered from misgovernment, but this has been the case
for years, while we awaited the constitutional opportunity to correct the
evil.  And you, Batista, who fled in cowardly fashion for four years and
spent another three as a useless petty politician, now you appear with your
overdue, disturbing and poisonous remedy, making shreds of the constitution
when only two months more were needed to achieve the goal by the proper
means.  All you have claimed is a lie, cynical justification, a cover for
what is vanity rather than patriotic integrity, ambition and not ideals,
appetite and not civic grandeur.

Again the boots, again Columbia issuing laws, again the tanks
rumbling threateningly through our streets, again brute force prevailing
over human reason.  We were accustomed to living under the constitution.
We had had 12 years without serious difficulties, despite the usual errors.
The higher stages of civic life are not achieved except through long
effort.  You, Batista, have just in a few hours destroyed this noble
ambition of the people of Cuba.  All of the evil Prio did in three years
you had been doing before.  The coup is thus unjustifiable.  It is based on
no real moral right nor social or political doctrine of any kind.  Its only
reason for existence lies in force and its only justification in lies.
Your majority support is in the army, never the people.  Your votes are
guns, never ballots.  Thus, you can win a fortress, but never free
elections.  Your attack on the regime lacks the principles which could
justify it.  Laugh if you like, but principles are in the long run more
powerful than guns, principles train and nourish the people.  Principles
give strength for the task, for principles, one can die.

Do not call this outrage, this disturbing and untimely coup, this
stab in the back of the republic a revolution!  Trujillo was the first to
recognize your government.  He knows who his friends in the gang of tyrants
which are the scourge of America are.  This speaks more clearly than
anything else of the reactionary, militaristic and criminal nature of your
deed.  No one believes in the least in the governmental success of your old
and putrid clique.  The thirst for power is too great, and the hindrances
are too few when there is no longer any constitution or any law except the
will of the tyrant and his henchmen.  I know in advance that your guarantee
of life will be torture and brutality!  Your men will kill, whether you
want it or not, and you will go along with it calmly because you owe
everything to them!  Despots are the masters of the peoples they oppress
and the slaves of those who support their oppression!  Now there will be a
rain of lying and demagogic propaganda in your favor, inevitably, and vile
slander will be heaped upon those who oppose you.  This is what others have
done and it did not serve to convince the people.  But the truth which
lights the destiny of Cuba and guides the steps of our people in these
difficult times, this truth which you will not permit to be uttered, all
the world knows.  It will spread by word of mouth to each man and woman,
although no one states it in public nor will it be written in the
newspapers, all will believe it and the seed of heroic rebellion will
continue to be sown in all hearts.  This is the compass which guides each
of our minds!

"I do not know what insane pleasure oppressors take in the crimes
which like Cain they commit against their brothers.  Cubans, we have a
tyranny again, but there will be others like Mellas, Trejos and Guiteras!
There is oppression in the fatherland, but freedom will come again one day!
I urge Cubans to be of courage: this is the time for sacrifice and
struggle.  If one loses his life, nothing is lost!  To live in chains is to
live in shame and subjection.  To die for the fatherland is to live!"

(Prolonged ovation.)

Thus we began our struggle, three days after 10 March 1952, with
an appeal to the public.  It was a long struggle.  I have many documents
here, but since we are speaking of defining where and how we are going, and
this was defined long ago, I must state certain things: "Manifest No. 1 of
the 26 July Movement to the people of Cuba" -- just a few paragraphs on the
economic and social problems:

"To those who accuse the revolution of disturbing the economy of
the country, we answer: for the peasants who have no land, there is no
economy.  For the million Cubans who have no work, there is no economy.
For the railroad, port, sugar, hemp, textile and bus workers and those in
so many other sectors whose salaries Batista crudely reduced, there is no
economy.  An economy will only exist for them through a just revolution
which will redistribute land, mobilize the vast wealth of the country and
provide free social conditions, putting an end to privilege and

"Perhaps we should wait for the miracle of these candidates for
representatives in the announced partial elections?  Or is it perhaps a
question of the economy of the Senators who earn 5,000 pesos a month, of
the millionaire generals, of the foreign trusts exploiting the public
services, of the great estate owners, of the tribe of parasites who profit
and enrich themselves at the expense of the state and the people?  In such
a case, welcome to the revolution which upsets the economy of the few who
enjoy it so royally!  When all is said and done, man does not live by bread

"And here is another question for those who talk of the economy:
has Batista not been pledging the country's credit for 30 years?  Does the
public debt not exceed 800 million pesos?  Is there not a deficit of more
than 100 million?  Are the monetary reserves of the nation not being
mortgaged to foreign banks in a desperate search for funds?  Weren't 350
million of the last loan wasted on the purchase of jet planes and things of
this nature, without plan or program, without any reason but personal whim?
Can one play with the fate of a nation thus, did anyone authorize the
undertaking of these insane credit ventures, were the people consulted in
any way?  And finally, how many millions have the people close to Batista
periodically transferred to US banks?  It is for us, more than anyone, to
be concerned, because we and the coming generations will have to pay the
terrible price for this corrupt and unchecked corruption."

We are still paying.  The persecution of our country is growing
daily.  The campaigns, even to deprive us of tourist income, are being
waged daily.  Here, for example: "Canadian Pacific Will Join Tourist
Boycott of Cuba":

"New York, 17.  The Canadian Pacific Steamship Lines announced
that it is contemplating the suspension of its stops in Havana during the
winter tourist cruises, in view of the unfavorable reaction of the
passengers to the political events in that republic.  L. S. Thompson,
manager of the passenger department, stated that the company has previously
planned to send its 25,000 ton vessels "Express of the Plane," and "Express
of Kingland" to Havana during the tourist season.  Eight steamship lines,
the Home Line, North German, Lloyd, Holland American, Hamburg American,
Clipper Line, Cunard Tourist American and Grace Line, have removed Havana
from their itineraries."

They removed Havana from their itineraries, when Havana is the
calmest city, when there are no longer bodies of murdered young people in
the streets, when there is no crime, no torture, when a people are living
for the first time within the framework of real peace, respect and hope.
Now there is a tourist boycott of Cuba, while there was not during the
bloody tyranny, because the bloody tyranny defended these great interests.

And thus in the magazine Bohemia, in an article entitled "To the
People," because here no alternative remained but to speak to the people in
order to carry the revolution forward, I said:

"Without a cent I left Cuba, determined to do what others had not
achieved with millions of pesos.  I visited people, I talked with the
emigres, I issued a statement to the country begging aid and I set out to
beg for the fatherland, to gather cent by cent what was needed to win its

And this has not been written now, but was written in exile.  I
said publicly at the Park Garden in New York:

"The Cuban people want something more than a simple change of
government.  Cuba is eager for a drastic change in all aspects of public
and social life, in all the sectors of public and social life.  We must
give the people something more than freedom and democracy in abstract
terms.  Each Cuban must be given a decent existence.  The state cannot
ignore the fate of any one of the citizens who were born and grew up in the
country.  There is no greater tragedy than that of the man capable of
working and wanting to do so who is hungry, and whose family is hungry, for
lack of jobs.  The state has an obligation which it cannot avoid to provide
work, or to maintain the citizens while there is no work.  None of the
bureaucratic plans which are being discussed today will resolve this
situation, because the serious problem of Cuba is not how to satisfy the
ambitious of a few politicians ousted from power or desirous of achieving

I said publicly:

"We will rally our compatriots around the concept of full dignity
for the people of Cuba and justice for the hungry and the forgotten and
punishment for those who bear the main guilt."

And I ended this statement as follows:

"In Cuba there has never been justice.  The unhappy fellow who
stole a chicken was sent to prison, while the great misappropriators of
funds enjoyed impunity.  This is, simply, an unspeakable crime.  When has a
court judge ever sentenced a powerful man?  When has a sugar mill owner
ever been seized by the police?  When has a rural guard ever been arrested?
Can it be that they were blameless, that they were saints, or could it be
that in our social order justice is a great lie applied to the extent and
as the established interests desire?  The fear of justice is what has
brought those who misappropriated funds and the tyranny together.  The
misappropriationers are stunned by the revolutionary shouts which are
growing ever louder, like the campaigns appearing for the final judgement
of the evildoers.  In all of the mass gatherings the wise words written by
Ichaso in his "Cabalgata Politica" (Political Cavalcade), published in
Bohemia on 4 December 1955, have been heard: "Fidel Castro is too dangerous
a competitor for certain opposition leaders who for these three and a half
years have not managed to find the right approach to the Cuban situation.
These leaders know this very well, and they already feel themselves pushed
aside by the scope which the 26 July Revolutionary Movement has achieved in
the battle against the events of March.  The logical reaction of the
politicians to this obvious fact should be to take determined political
action against the Castroist revolutionary activities.  Those who
misappropriated funds heard the cordial appeal made by Batista adviser
Pedro Aloma Keesel in a government meeting in Havana on 14 December: 'We
politicians, without exception, are very much interested in halting the
insurrectional plans of Fidel Castro.  If we pay no attention and continue
stubbornly to block political paths, we will be opening the path of
revolution to Fidel Castro.  We would like to know who in the opposition or
the government would save us if Castroism were to triumph in Cuba'.

"They know that I left Cuba without a centavo, and yet they fear
that we will undertake revolution.  Thus, they recognize that we have the
support of the people.  The nation is about to witness a great betrayal of
the politicians.  We know that for those of us who maintain a worthy
attitude of struggle it will be difficult, but we will not be frightened by
the number of enemies facing us, we will defend our ideals against all.
Those who feel within themselves the strength of their own destiny, those
who know how to think it out against the resistance of others, those who
can maintain it against the established interests remain young.  The
political opposition is fully decadent and discredited.  First, they asked
for a neutral government and immediate general elections.  Then they agreed
to ask only for general elections in 1956.  Now they are not even speaking
of this year.  They have finally given up all pretense and have accepted
whatever the dictatorship wants.  There has been no discussion of a matter
of principles, but merely of the details of when they can begin to plunder
the budget of the so-called public.  And here we come back to the economic
and social problems, but the peasants are tired of speeches and promises of
agrarian reform and redistribution of the land.  They know that they can
expect nothing of the politicians.  A million and a half Cubans who are
jobless because of the incompetence, lack of foresight and greed of evil
governments know that they can expect nothing of the politicians.
Thousands of sick people for whom there are no beds or medicines know that
these politicians seek their votes in exchange for a favor, and that their
business exists because there are always many in profound need whose
consciences can be purchased at a low price.  They can expect nothing of
them.  The hundreds of thousands of families who live in huts, cabins,
sheds or single rooms and pay exorbitant rates, the workers who earn
starvation wages, whose children have neither clothes nor shoes so that
they can go to school, the citizens who pay more for electricity than it
costs anywhere else in the world, or who applied for a telephone ten years
ago and still have not got it -- in a word, all of those who have always
had to suffer the horrors of this miserable existence know that they can
expect nothing of the politicians.

"The people know that with the hundreds of millions taken out by
the foreign trusts, plus the hundreds of millions the misappropriators of
public funds have stolen, plus the sinecures which thousands of parasites
have enjoyed without rendering any service or producing anything for
society, plus the money which has leaked out in so many ways including
gambling, organized vice, black marketing, etc., Cuba could be one of the
most prosperous and richest countries in America, without emigres or
unemployment, without hungry people or sick people lacking beds, without
illiterates or beggars.  Of the political parties, the organizations of
procurors of procuroresses which produce the representatives, senators and
mayors, the people expect nothing.  Of the revolution, an organization of
combatants who are brothers in a great patriotic ideal, they expect
everything and they will have it. 25 December 1955."

And here, among the points we set forth in this manifesto:

"First: prohibition of estate owning, distribution of land among
the peasant families, the untransferrable and unalterable granting of
ownership to all the present small tenant farmers, sharecroppers,
agricultural laborers and squatters, state economic and technical aid,
reduction of taxes.  Two: reestablishment of all the workers' gains with
which the dictatorship did away.  Three: immediate industrialization of the
country, through a vast plan established and promoted by the state, which
will resolutely mobilize all of the human and economic resources of the
nation in a supreme effort to liberate the country from its present moral
and material prostration.  It is inconceivable that hunger should exist in
a country so well endowed by nature, in which all pantries should be
stocked with products, and all hands engaged in labor.  Four: a drastic
reduction in all rents, effectively benefiting the two million two hundred
thousands persons who are paying a third of their income on this expense;
construction by the state of suitable housing to provide homes for the
400,000 families crowded into filthy single rooms, shacks, huts and sheds;
extension of electrical facilities to the 2,800,000 persons in our rural
and suburban sectors now lacking this service; initiation of a policy
designed to make each tenant into the owner of the apartment or house in
which he lives, on the basis of long-term amortization; nationalization of
the public services; construction of ten children's cities to fully shelter
and educate 200,000 children of workers and peasants who cannot at present
feed and clothe them -- and the rebel army is already building this first
city; extension of culture, following reform of all educational methods, to
the farthest corner of the country, such that every Cuban will be enabled
to develop his mental and physical aptitudes in the course of a decent
life; general reform of the tax system; organization of the public
administration; establishment of proper measures in education and
legislation to put an end to the last vestige of discrimination for reasons
of race or sex, which unfortunately still exist in the realm of social and
economic life; social and state security against unemployment;
reorganization of the judicial branch and abolition of the summary courts;
confiscation of all of the assets of the misappropriated funds, so that the
republic can recover the hundreds of millions which have been taken from it
with impunity and they can be invested in the implementation of some of the
undertakings set forth above."

In other words, this revolution is doing nothing but carrying out
the program it promised when many, perhaps almost all, believed that we
were nothing but dreamers.

"Against the Ten March Events, the 26 July Movement."  And this
article ends with the following words:

"For the masses of Chibas' followers, the 26 July Movement is not
unorthodox.  It is orthodoxy without the orders of estate owners, without
stock market speculators, without industrial and business magnates, without
the lawyers representing established interests, without provincial
political bosses, without petty politicians of any kind.  The best of the
orthodox elements are waging this beautiful struggle with us and we are
offering Eduardo Chibas the only homage worthy of his life and his
sacrifice: the liberation of his people, which those who have done nothing
but shed crocodile tears at his tomb can never offer him.  The 26 July
Movement is the revolutionary organization of the humble, for the humble
and by the humble."


"The 26 July Movement is the hope of redemption for the Cuban
workers' class, to which the political cliques have nothing to offer; it is
the hope of land for the peasants who live like pariahs in the fatherland
their grandparents liberated; it is the hope of return for the emigres who
had to leave their land because they could neither work nor live here; it
is the hope of bread for the hungry and of justice for the forgotten.  The
26 July Movement makes the cause of all of those who have fallen in this
hard struggle since 10 March 1952 its own, and it proclaims with confidence
to the nation, to its husbands and wives, its children, its parents and its
brothers and sisters that the revolution will never compromise with their
murderers.  The 26 July Movement issues a warm invitation, extended with
open arms, to all the revolutionaries of Cuba to close ranks, abandoning
petty partisan differences and whatever earlier quarrels there may have
been (applause).  The 26 July Movement is the healthy and just future of
the fatherland, an honorable pledge to the people, a promise which will be
fulfilled. 19 March 1956."


Who ever spoke more clearly to the people?  We said we would come
in 1956, and not only that, but we even stated the date on which we would
come, at a time when everyone expected that we would be discredited.

"If within ..." -- this was on 19 November 1956, a little more
than a month before we fulfilled our promise, they were persecuting us, and
I have brought this here simply as a proof of how we have always acted,
worthily, not only in connection with the promise of 1956, because we said

"If within a period of two weeks following publication of this
interview, no national solution has been found, the 26 July Movement will
feel free to initiate the revolutionary struggle at any time, as the only
means of salvation.  We fully confirm our 1956 promise, but further, under
these circumstances, we state that if in the midst of the struggle forces
under Trunillo's orders invade Cuba, we are prepared to suspend our efforts
and turn our weapons against the enemies of the fatherland."

In other words, "if within two weeks of the date of the
publication of this interview, no national solution is found, the 26 July
Movement will feel free to initiate the revolutionary struggle at any time,
as the only means of salvation."

This was on 19 November, and on 2 December, that is to say, 13
days later, 2 days before the two weeks were up, we arrived in Cuba.  I
believe that we are men who made ourselves clear, and perhaps, if there are
any doubts, if any doubts remain, here is La Historia me Absolvera (History
Will Absolve Me) (applause).  I will read only this economic-social
portion, which shows that the promise was kept, that our revolution said
long ago, very long ago, what its goals were and how it would accomplish

"I said that the second group of reasons on which our potential
for success was based was of a social nature, because we are certain of the
support of the people.  When we speak of the people we do not mean the
comfortable and conservative sectors of the nation, those who are well
served by any regime of oppression, any dictatorship, any despotism,
prostrating themselves before the current master to the point of scraping
their foreheads on the ground.  When we speak of struggle, we mean by the
people the great unredeemed masses, to whom they all offer so much but whom
they all deceive and betray.  We mean the people who yearn for a better and
ore worthy and more just fatherland, those who are motivated by an age-old
yearning for justice because they have suffered from injustice and
deception generation after generation, those who desire great and wise
changes in all sectors and are ready to give even their last drop of blood
to achieve them, when they believe in something or someone, above all, when
they believe sufficiently in themselves.  The first prerequisite of
sincerity and good faith in setting forth a goal is to do precisely what no
one does, that is to say, to speak with full clarity and without fear.  The
demagogues and the professional politicians who work the miracle of doing
good in every way and for all necessarily deceive everyone in everything.
The revolutionaries must proclaim their ideas boldly, define their
principles and set forth their intention so that no one will be deceived,
neither enemies nor friends.

"When it comes to struggle, we mean by the people the 600,000
Cubans who are jobless, desiring to earn a livelihood honestly without
having to leave their fatherland in search of a living, the 500,000 rural
workers who live in miserable huts, who work four months of the year and
spend the rest with their children in hunger and misery, who have not an
inch of land to plant and whose existence should move even those with
hearts of stone to compassion, the 400,000 Cuban industrial workers and day
laborers whose pensions were cancelled, whose gains were stolen from them,
whose homes are hellish single rooms, whose wages go from the hands of the
boss to those of the loan shark, whose future is still lower income and
dismissal, whose lives are perennial labor and whose rest is the tomb, the
100,000 small farmers, who live and die working land which is not theirs,
thinking always of the promised land, sadly, like Moses, to die without
ever having it, paying for their plots of land like feudal serfs with a
part of what they produce, unable to love, or improve, or beautify the
earth they work, to plant even a cedar or an orange tree, because they know
that any day a policeman may come with a rural guard to tell them that they
must leave, the 30,000 teachers and professors, so unselfish, making such
sacrifices and so necessary to the better future for the coming generations
and so ill treated and ill paid, the 20,000 small business men crushed with
debt, ruined by the crisis and finished off by a plague of free booting and
mercenary government officials, the 10,000 young professional workers --
doctors, engineers, lawyers, veterinarians, teachers, dentists,
pharmacists, journalists, painters, sculptors, etc. -- who complete their
degrees ready for struggle and full of hope only to find themselves in a
dead end street, with all doors closed, all ears deaf to their clamor and
suffocations.  This is the people -- those who suffer all these misfortunes
and who are therefore capable of fighting with all courage!  To these
people, whose paths are paved with deceptions and false promises, we have
not said 'we will give you something,' but 'here it is, fight now with all
your strength so that freedom and happiness can be yours!'"

We did not say (applause), we never said that the loan sharks, the
estate owners, the middle men, the landlords, nor the plagues of parasites
who kept Cubans in the state of ruin and hunger were the people.  We stated
what we meant by the people, and if they did not understand this, if there
were those who did not comprehend or who did not want to hear, the blame is
not mine.

"All of those requirements and others would be carried out on the
basis of the strict implementation of two essential articles in our
constitution: one prohibiting large estate owning and, with a view to
eliminating it, a law prescribing the maximum land area each person or body
could own for each type of agricultural undertaking, along with measures
designed to return the land to Cuban citizens; and another categorically
requiring the state to employ every means within its reach to provide
employment to all who are without jobs and to guarantee each manual and
intellectual worker a decent livelihood.  Neither of these provisions could
be called unconstitutional.

"The land problem, the industrialization problem, the housing
problem, the unemployment problem, the education problem, and the public
health problem -- here I have specified the 6 points toward the solution of
which all of our efforts would resolutely be directed, along with the
achievement of public freedoms and political democracy.

"Perhaps this explanation would seem cold and theoretical if the
frightening tragedy which exists in the country in these six categories, to
which the most humiliating political oppression must be added, were not

Eighty-five percent of the small Cuban farmers are paying rent and
living under the perennial threat of being forced off their plots of land.
More than half of the best land under productive cultivation is in foreign
hands.  In Oriente, the widest of our provinces, the United Fruit Company
and West Indian Property stretches from the north to the south coast.
There are 200,000 peasant families who do not have an inch of land on which
to plant something for their hungry children, while on the other hand,
about 300,000 caballerias of productive land held by powerful interests go
uncultivated.  If Cuba is a basically agricultural country, if its
population is mainly peasants, if the cities depend on the rural sector, if
the rural sector won our independence, if the grandeur and prosperity of
our nation depend on a healthy and vigorous peasant population which loves
and knows how to cultivate the land, on a state which protects it and
guides it, how is it possible for this state of affairs to continue?

"Except for some food, wood and textile plants, Cuba continues to
be a factory which produces raw materials.  Every one agrees that the need
to industrialize the country is urgent, that metallurgical, paper, chemical
industries are needed, that we must improve the herds, the crops, the
technology and the processing of our food industries in order to be able to
meet the ruinous competition of the European cheese, condensed milk, liquor
and oil industries and the US canning industry.  Every one agrees that we
need a merchant fleet, that tourism could be an enormous source of wealth,
but those who have the capital demand the impossible of the workers, the
state sits back and does nothing and industrialization will never come

"The housing tragedy is equally serious or worse.  In Cuba there
are 200,000 huts and hovels.  Four hundred thousand families in the rural
sector and in the cities live crowded into sheds, shacks and single rooms
without the most elementary health and hygiene facilities.  Two million two
hundred thousand persons in our towns and cities pay rents which account
for between a fifth and a third of their income, and two million eight
hundred thousand of our rural and suburban residents lack electricity.
Here the same thing happens: if the state proposes to lower rents, the
owners threaten to stop building.  If the state takes no action, they build
as long as they can collect high rents.  Otherwise, they would not put
another brick in place even if the balance of the population had to go
without a roof.  The same thing is done by the electrical monopoly: it
extends lines to the point at which it can obtain satisfactory profits, and
beyond that it doe snot care if the people have to live in darkness for the
rest of their days.  The state does nothing and the people remain homeless
and in darkness.

"Our system of education is entirely consistent with all of the
above.  In a country in which the peasant does not own the land, what need
is there for agricultural schools?  In a city with no industries, why
should there be technical or industrial schools?  All of this comes under
the same absurd logic: neither the one nor the other exists.  In any little
European country there are tow hundred or more technical and industrial
arts schools.  In Cuba there are only six and those who graduate cannot
find jobs.  The little public schools in the rural sector are attended by
less than half of the children of school age -- barefoot, half naked and
undernourished, and often it is the teacher himself who has to buy the
needed school supplies with his own wages.  Is this the way to create a
great fatherland?

"Ninety percent of the children in the rural sector are being
devoured by parasites which enter their bodies from the ground through the
toenails of their bare feet.  Society is stirred by the news of the
kidnapping or the murder of a single baby, but it is criminally indifferent
to the mass murder of these many thousands of children dying every year for
lack of care.  And when the father of a family works only four months a
year, how is he supposed to buy clothes and medicines for his children?
They will grow up rachitic, at the age of 30 they will not have a single
tooth left in their mouths, they will hear 10,000 speeches, but they will
die in misery and deception in the end.  To get into one of the state
hospitals, which are always crowded, one must have the recommendation of a
political boss who will demand in exchange for this favor the votes of the
poor unfortunate applicant and all of his family so that Cuba will always
be the same, or worse.

"When you judge someone charged with robbery, gentlemen of the
court, you do not ask him how long he has been without a job, how many
children he has, how many days this week he had a meal and how many he did
not.  You do not concern yourselves at all with the social conditions in
the environment in which he lives.  You send him to prison without further
thought.  But the rich people who burn down warehouses and stores in order
to collect on their insurance policies are not sent to prison, even though
a few human beings may have been burned to death, too, because they have
more than enough money to pay for lawyers and to bribe magistrates.  You
send to prison the unhappy fellow who steals because he is hungry, but none
of the hundreds of thieves who have robbed the state have ever spent a
night behind bars.  You dine out with them at some aristocratic spot on New
Year's Eve and they have your consideration.  When a public official in
Cuba becomes a millionaire overnight and joins the brotherhood of the rich
he can be well welcomed in the words of that corpulent Balsac character,
Taillefer, who said in toasting the young man who had just inherited a vast
fortune: 'Gentlemen, let us drink to the power of gold.' Mr. Valentine, a
millionaire six times over, has just ascended to the throne.  He is king,
he can do anything,he is above all, as is true with all the rich.  In the
future, equality before the law, the leading phrase in our constitution,
will for him be but a myth.  He is not subject to the laws, rather they
will be subject to him.  For millionaires, there are no courts nor

"The future of the nation and the solution of its problems cannot
continue to depend on the egotistical interests of a dozen financiers, on
the cold calculations of profits made by 10 or 12 magnates in their
airconditioned offices.  The country cannot continue on its knees, begging
for miracles, from a few golden calves who, like what in the Old Testament
which aroused the ire of the prophet, will not work miracles of any kind.
The problems of the republic can only be resolved if we devote ourselves to
struggle to achieve this with as much energy, honesty and patriotism as our
liberators invested in creating the republic.  And it is not through such
statesmen as Carlos Saladrigas, whose statesmanship involves leaving
everything precisely as it was and spending his life mouthing stupidities
about 'complete free enterprise,' 'investment capital guarantees' and 'the
law of supply and demand' that these problems will be resolved.  These
cabinet ministers can chat happily in a Fifth Avenue mansion until the
bones of those who are demanding urgent action today turn to dust.  But in
the real world no social problem is ever resolved by spontaneous

"A revolutionary government with the support of the people and the
respect of the nation, after reforming the bodies of mercenary and corrupt
government officials, would proceed immediately to industrialize the
country, mobilizing all the inactive assets, which currently exceed
1,500,000,000, through the National Bank and the Agricultural and
Industrial Development Bank and entrusting this vast task of study,
management, planning and implementation to fully competent technicians and
men having nothing to do with political affairs.

"A revolutionary government, after making the 100,000 small
farmers who are today paying rents owners of their own plots, would proceed
to settle the land problem definitively by first establishing, as a
constitutional provision, a maximum area for each type of agricultural
undertaking and acquiring the surplus by means of expropriation, reclaiming
usurped land for the state, draining marshes and swampy areas, planting
vast nurseries and setting aside areas for reforestation, and second,
redistributing the rest of the land available among peasant families,
giving priority to the largest, promoting farmers' cooperatives for the
joint use of expensive equipment and cold storage plants and joint
professional technological instruction in crop and livestock breeding, and
finally, providing resources, equipment, safeguards and useful knowledge to
the peasantry.

"A revolutionary government would resolve the housing problem by
firmly reducing rents by half, exempting all homes inhabited by their
owners from all taxes, tripling the taxes on rented houses, doing away with
the hellish tenements, replacing them with high rise modern buildings and
financing the construction of housing all over the island on an
unprecedented scale, on the basis of the belief that if the ideal in the
rural sector is for each family to have its own plot of land, the ideal in
the city is for each family to live in its own house or apartment.  There
is stone enough and manpower enough to create a decent home for each Cuban
family.  But if we continue to wait for the miracles of the golden calf, a
thousand years will pass and the problem will be the same.

"With these three undertakings and reforms the problem of
unemployment will automatically disappear and the prevention and the cure
of these illnesses will be a much easier task.

"Finally, a revolutionary government would undertake the full
reform of our educational system, making it consistent with the
undertakings described above, in order properly to train the generations
whose lot it will be to live in a happier fatherland.  Let us not forget
the words of the Apostle: 'A very serious error is being committed in Latin
America.  Among peoples who live almost exclusively off the products of the
rural sector, education is exclusively for urban life and there is no
training for peasant life.' 'The happiest people is that which has best
educated its children, training their minds and guiding their feelings.'
'An educated people will always be strong and free.'

"Cuba would splendidly support three times the population.  Thus
there is no reason for the misery which exists among its present
inhabitants.  The stores should be packed with goods.  Pantry shelves in
homes should be full.  The hands of all should be producing industriously.
No, this is not inconceivable.  What is inconceivable is that there are men
who are weak with hunger while there remains an inch of unplanted earth.
What is inconceivable is that 30% of our peasants do not know how to sign
their names, and 99% know nothing of the history of Cuba.  What is
inconceivable is that the majority of the families in our rural sector are
living under worse conditions than the Indians Columbus found here when he
discovered the most beautiful land human eyes had ever seen.  To those who
call me a dreamer because of this, I would say as Marti did: 'The true man
does not look to see where he will be better off, but where his duty lies,
and he is the only man in fact whose dream of today will be the law of
tomorrow, because he who has turned his eyes toward the heart of mankind
and has seen the peoples surging, covered with blood and calling out
through the centuries, knows that the future, without the slightest
question depends on that duty.'"

And it is not the dreamer of yesterday who is speaking, but the
Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government, which has fulfilled all its
promises, and when has a revolution ever been clearer than this one?  What
revolution in the world has ever kept its word more fully than this one?
This is my answer, gentlemen of the court, for you to judge.

As to my feelings with regard to those who have followed this
erroneous path, I can say that I am personally free of any hatred or
resentment.  I am not concerned with what the court will decide.  It may
condemn them or it may acquit them.  If it acquits them, I am not
concerned.  History will condemn them!

(Stenographers: Orlando Tamargo Mesa, Isidro Pineda Mendez,
Filiberto Lopez Vega, Osvaldo Rocho Rodriquez.)