Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana, Radio Centro, in Spanish to Cuba, Apr. 23, 1960, 0230 GMT--E

(Summary)  Question:  The capture of Castro Leon in Venezuela has been
reported.  The offer of Cuban assistance to Venezuela by President Dorticos
was, nevertheless, of great importance.  Could you please comment on this?

Answer:  There are many reasons why we should offer moral as well as
material support.  The offer is a duty of the Cuban people.  Even apart
from our solidarity with the Venezuelan people there are many reasons.  Our
best friends are there.  We know they would help to defend us.  We can
always count on the Venezuelan people.  I am sure the Cuban people feel the
same way about Venezuela as Venezuela feels about us.

When we heard that Venezuelan territory had been invaded by militarist,
reactionary elements allied to the same interests which are resisting the
Cuban revolution, and that this was a military invasion by several
hundred soldiers, we unhestitatingly offered our assistance to the people
and government of Venezuela.  We also informed the Venezuelan ambassador
that within 24 hours the first thousand soldiers of the Cuban rebel army,
fully equipped, would be in Venezuela.

There is nothing strange about this.  If all the people of America would
make the same decision the people of America would be better off.  When
there have been victims of aggression--as there were when Nicaragua, Haiti,
and Santo Domingo were victims of "an intervention"--all the people of
America should have reacted in support of these sister nations. The Latin
American nations would have been more respected.  We would have been able
to repel the military interventions of powerful nations.

We are truly in solidarity.  We want to offer our assistance in difficult
times.  In this case we have done nothing remarkable.  We have done nothing
more than demonstrate our convictions and act accordingly.

It is the people of Venezuela who decided the situation.  The workers, the
farmers, all the people, as well as political figures, made the difference.
They made clear their unanimous support of the constitutional government
and Venezuelan democracy against those reactionary and militarist
maneuvers.  It was a true demonstration of revolutionary conscience.

It was the people who marched against the rebel garrison and the people who
dominated the situation.  It was the peasants, with machetes in their
hands, who apprehended the leader of the coup.  They are a decisive factor
in Venezuelan life.  It affords us great satisfaction to know the
Venezuelan people are becoming more and more solidly and democratically
revolutionary with the passing of each day.

We must be thankful for those Venezuelan peasants who fought this
counterrevolutionary movement.  These peasants assisted us.  If we ever see
the Venezuelan people threatened with a return to the era of tyranny and
oppression, the Cubans will be ready to assist them with men and weapons.
This information was transmitted to the Venezuelan Government.  The
rebellion was promptly crushed and we did not have to do more.  We hope
that if we are threatened one day the people of Latin America will come to
our aid.  (Applause)

Question:  Major Castro, recently the President of the United States, in a
letter replying to Chilean students, declared that you had betrayed the
ideals of the Cuban revolution.  President Dorticos has repudiated this
letter.  What is your opinion?

Answer:  This is a little strange.  If, for example, the President of the
United States makes a statement of this kind concerning another government
of Latin America, it is strange, isn't it?  It is strange that he considers
traitors to the principles of the revolution those of us who have been
loyal to it.  If we had betrayed the revolution, the President of the
United States would not call us traitors.  He would call us loyal friends.

If we, instead of lowering the rates of the Cuban Electric Company, which
Cubans have nothing to do with except for being exploited by it if, instead
of lowering the rates we had increased electricity rates, and if instead
of putting an end to foreign absentee landownership here, we allowed them,
President Eisenhower would have been even more pleased.

(Editor's note:  Castro here lists specific actions taken by the government
and says that if the contrary had been taken, Eisenhower would have been

We have done just the contrary of betraying; we have been true.  Another
policy would have been a betrayal of the revolution.  If the nation
continued as before, wholly dependent on the U.S. economically Eisenhower
would not call us traitors, he would call us democrats, friends of the
United States, and he would perhaps even give us the same embrace he gave
Francisco Franco, the champion of democracy.  But things have not been that
way.  We have been loyal to the Cubans who gave their lives, and we will go
on being loyal to that sacrifice.

On the other hand, those millions of souls, including hundreds of thousands
of North Americans, who died battling fascism and everything it meant in
the way of economic exploitation and aggression and racial discrimination,
those millions who died fighting fascism in Spain, including many North
Americans, those millions who died on the battlefields of Asia, Europe,
Russia, North Africa, and so on, were not repaid by a loyal policy on the
part of the United States.

(Editor note--Here follows five or six minutes mostly unintelligible.)

The counterrevolution's illusions are due to statements that continually
come from U.S. Government figures.  There are Eisenhower's letter,
statements by Herter, and statements by Rubottom.  this constitutes a
well-conceived plan for stimulating a fifth column, the formation of a
fifth column, and promotion of the battle against the revolutionary
government it is as well as a calculated, premeditated attempt to form an
internal front inside Cuba.  These activities emboldened those elements
here that have no love of country or national feeling.  This thing dates
back to colonial times.  There was always a group that planned an
annexation with the United States every time there was move to free the
slaves.  There is an element that has always worried about what the United
States would think of Cuba's moves.  That is not an independent attitude.

These elements join with some others to form the counterrevolution.  These
people are encouraged by this kind of statement, which is made chiefly to
promote the internal front here.  These maneuvers are now aimed at starting
an anti-Trujillo move in the OAS.  They never cared about Trujillo during
the 30 years he has been oppressing the Dominicans, but now they are
worried about the Cuban revolution and they naturally feel that their moral
position is very weak because of U.S. policy toward tyrants all these
years.  In their eagerness to find some procedure for attacking our
country, and if possible bringing the governments of our sister nations
into the attack too, they are trying to see how the OAS may be used against
Trujillo.  This is a maneuver against us.  They calculate that by starting
something against Trujillo in the OAS, they can establish a procedure that
in time may be turned against the Cuban revolutionary government.

Everybody can see it.  In the stepped up campaign of news dispatches; in
the ever bigger and more brazen lies about our government; in the speeches
in the OAS, it is evident that the U.S. Government is promoting aggression
against our country and is trying to make use of the OAS to carry out this
maneuver of aggression against our nation.

During Holy Week there was a flare-up of rumors and organized
counterrevolutionary campaigns.  (Editor's Note--Much background material
on Beaton's killing of Cristino Naranjo and subsequent flight follows.)

In Santiago, some counterrevolutionary elements who are linked with the
Caimanera naval base--a man named (Nino Diaz?) is being used by authorities
of the naval base in an attempt to promote a counterrevolutionary focal
point in Orient, and we know about this trips to the United States--made a
pact with Beaton.  These moneyed groups of Santiago promised him support
and weapons.  About that time a number of U.S. planes began flying over the
area.  One day the peasants saw five U.S. planes over the zone.  Another
day it was four planes, another day three, and several days there were two
planes.  One of the planes even lost a gasoline tank.  Everybody has read
about a U.S. plane losing a gasoline tank that exploded in the Malverde
area in the southern Sierra Maestra.  So U.S. planes were flying over the
area where Beaton was.  This was part of a plan of encouragement.

(The base authorities?) said that a plane on submarine patrol had been
lost, and the planes were searching for it, after permission had been
requested from the authorities in Santiago.  Inquiry revealed that no such
permission had been asked; the official said the base authorities never do
ask permission.

Of course we knew of the plans being prepared by the authorities, that is
by elements connected with the naval base, but it was no problem for us,
because we know the Sierra better than any of them.  We have many
interests, in the Sierra.  We are interested in it from the military
viewpoint, because we do not know when we will have to fight in the
mountains again, to defend ourselves against a foreign invasion.  We are
interested in maneuvers, in guerrilla exercises against landing troops and
paratroops.  We are ready for a real war, not a war of lies.  We do not
want the enemies of the revolution to harbor illusions.  We know what we
must do.  We will have everything organized.  We are strengthening the
militia, the rebel army, everything.  Those who are starting all these
little conspiracies against us from abroad are fools.  They are deluding
themselves.  They do not realize the true situation in Cuba.

The counterrevolutionary elements are out of place here.  They do not
understand why we are fighting.  They do not understand that the whole
scene has changed.  But we do know what we are doing.  Before the
revolution our people were being oriented by movies, novels, and stories to
have a simple way of looking at things.  This same system has affected the
North American people, who are fine and hard-working but see many
historical facts distorted.  Our children were brought up to have false
values because of the imprint of the big firms on our society.  Today our
people are waking up to truth.

(Editor's Note--An unidentifiable person interrupts saying:  An AP
dispatch reports that the IAPA has recommended giving a medal to Pepin
Rivero, Jr. for heroism in the battle for freedom of the press.  Guillermo
Martinez Marquez, present at the meeting, backed the motion.  Fidel

These people who talk about democracy never get down to human truth, to
true democracy.  They called Greece a democracy, but the slaves and Helots
had no rights.  It was a democracy in the style of the big landowners and
businessmen.  That is the democracy they talk about.  The slaves and
Helots--that is to say the peasants, the Negroes, the illiterates--had no
share in running things.  The term is empty.  These gentlemen do not talk
about the sick without medical care, the hungry, the illiterate, the
landless peasant; they complain because a Zayas cannot speak out.

What the great interests care about is multiplying their capital.  They
invest it where wages are lowest.  That is the history of Latin America.
Capital goes there to exploit the Indian, the Negro, the backward peasant,
and take away the wealth.  That is the truth hidden behind the empty words.
We must learn to look behind the screen of terms that is thrown up.

We want to go on turning forts into schools, educating the people; we want
to see all our cooperatives producing, and the 1,000 towns we plan to
build, and all the plans for industrialization and developing our wealth.
We do not want any loans.  We are going to do the work ourselves.  Let them
leave us alone.  Nobody needs to come meddling here.  The Cubans govern
here, and the laws here are Cuban.  If the United States passes a law
affecting the thousands of Cuban citizens over there, we do not say
anything; the laws passed by the North Americans are not our business.  And
here the North Americans have no privileges.  The law here is applied
equally to Cubans and North Americans.

We are scoring successes, and the more successes we mark up, the more they
try to isolate us.  The campaign is a base one.  Of course we will defend
ourselves by adopting any necessary measures.  We are going to follow
Marti's advice:  Do at any given moment what that moment requires.  This is
not the first time the nation has been struggling, but now it is struggling
with better prospects than every before.  The admiration of the American
people is obvious.  Our success is their success.  Here there is a steady
increase in the number of people who are looking behind the screen.  Day by
day our revolution is stronger and better organized.  And we point out the
maneuvers against it and observe them.

Question--Please tell us something about tourist development plans, and
what is the situation of our national economy.

Castro--Cubans used to go to Paris, or Florida, and so on and spend huge
sums abroad.  The revolution is promoting a tourist trade here at home.  It
will be increased still further when measures are passed on vacations;
workers will not only get paid vacations, but will enjoy them somewhere in
Cuba.  The tourist trade will boom.  Today the people who never before were
able to travel are taking trips and seeing the marvels of our country.

(Editor's Note--Castro reads statistics showing great demand on hotel and
motel accommodations during Holy Week.)  Almost all the tourists go to see
the towns we are building, the new schools, and the cooperatives.  So there
will be more and more things to see in Cuba.  When July 26 comes we will
organize tours to the Sierra Maestra region.  Our climate and beaches are

I was unable to attend the opening of the COTAL conference because of too
much work, but I hope it will be given every consideration.  We want the
delegates to see the truth of Cuba, which speaks louder than any intrigue.
We are ready to cooperate with them in measures needed to facilitate
tourist travel, such as a Latin American tourist currency.  All of us want
to get to know the other American nations.

Question--We would like very much to know how the 1,000 new sugarcane
cooperatives are coming along, on the former administration estates.

Castro--During the past three weeks we have been converting all
administration canefields to sugarcane cooperatives.  Some 80,000
caballerias are available to the workers who were living on this land in
very poor conditions.  They are now the owners.  Quite a few thousand farm
workers own their land and the cane on it.  We will build towns for the
cooperative of all kinds.  The sugar situation is good; we may sell 6
million tons or more this year.  As for our monetary condition, on Apr. 16
we had 137.3 million dollars in the National Bank reserve.

Question--What does the government expect from the labor census?

Fidel--We have been absolutely without statistics.  This census will give
us the exact information about the labor force, business, and industry that
is indispensable to the government in providing employment opportunities
for all and in industrializing the nation.

(Editor's Note--In answer to a question, Fidel denounces accusations
against his government made by Varges Gomez, and implies that Vargas Gomez
is a good sample of the agents used by the United States in its campaign
against Cuba.)

They have dropped bombs on us, burned our cane; we have experienced
explosions here; we have sustained casualties; there have been constant
attacks on us, a slander campaign, espionage, promotion of fifth columns;
military maneuvers, combinations in the OAS.  And the blame for all of it
is laid on us.

Things happen that clearly reveal the bad faith, the unjustifiable policy
of abuse of our country.  There is one incident to which you have perhaps
not given enough thought, as a proof of the U.S.  Government's attitude
toward Cuba.  It is the case of the rebel soldiers, humble country boys.
They were surprised and disarmed by (a group of war criminals?).  The one
soldier was murdered, for no reason at all.  He was murdered just for the
sake of the criminal act.  He was murdered in front of his wife and
daughter.  They took the other rebel on a little boat.  They could have
done the same with the other instead of killing him.  But they killed him
in front of his wife and child.  They took the other soldier, the woman,
and the child on board and held (them?) 17 hours.  When they reached Miami,
and a newsman told of the murder and kidnaping, the authorities did not
even order temporary detention of the group.  They did not return them to
Cuba, although during the Batista administration they sent back from New
York a navy petty officer who had deserted.  Yet, confronted with a
disgusting, inhuman, inconceivably cruel act--a girl and her mother
kidnapped after the husband was shot, and both held as hostage 17 hours in
a boat--the U.S. authorities did not even order temporary detention of the
men to see whether there would be legal steps.

If the dead man had not been just a humble peasant--what is a peasant to
those gentlemen?--just a dog--if he had been the president of the United
Fruit Company, or any other of the big American trusts, that had been
murdered, and his wife and child put in a boat and brought over here, and
we gave the gang a big welcome and did not even put them under provisional
arrest, then all the papers would show great concern.  There you have the
facts.  Let them say this a humane attitude.  Let them tell us if this fits
in with all the empty words they use about human feelings.  This is the
reality.  It does not show humane feelings, or democracy, or any kind of
feeling.  This is hypocrisy.  It serves to show the people who our enemies
are and how they conduct themselves.  They call this a friendly act, and
they make themselves out as the victims, rather than us who have to stand
for all these things.

(Editor's note:  The interview ends with Castro answering very briefly a
question about May Day plans, saying it is a day for the workers to show
their active participation.)


Havana, Radio Mambi, in Spanish to Cuba, Apr. 22, 1960, 2330 GMT--E

(Summary) Today's editorial will be devoted to a reply to Mr. Bonsal's
speech which he made on Wednesday before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at a
dinner attended by 191 North Americans and Americanized Cubans.

The ambassador of imperialism recalled that last year on a similar occasion
he had said that mutual understanding and affection between the United
States and Cuba are necessary and he hoped that both nations would continue
to enjoy the benefits obtained through their geographic position,
historical ties, common ideals, and complementary economies.

Now, if Mr. Bonsal had said that to himself before a mirror in the bathroom
in his embassy we could not criticize it.  However, he said it a year ago
and is repeating it again before the whole world in a foolish attempt to
resuscitate outdated and ridiculous concepts.  In the first place we agree
that mutual understanding and affection are necessary to all nations, not
only to the United States and Cuba.  Unfortunately the history of relations
between the United States and Cuba shows that this understanding has never
existed and the United States is to blame.  The United States has always
treated Cuba like a colony, even worse, like an immense handy sugar factor,
so that the American housewives can always have sugar for their cakes and
apple pies.

What are the benefits obtained by Cuba during its relations with the United
States?  Where are the advantages to Cuba during her trade relations with
the United States?  For the past 62 years the United States has been
mistreating us.  Look at the unproductive, large latifundios; the hundreds
of sugar mills from which the American companies made their profits; the
large loans and loans at a high rate of interest which emptied our coffers;
the Ford empire; the millions of parasites hidden inside the children
sapping our human reserves; the illiteracy of 80 percent of our peasants;
the starvation wages; and our election system.  These things are there for
everyone to see.  How can Mr. Bonsal speak of benefits?  With all this
evidence how can he speak of the benefits Cuba has received in its
relations with the United States?  The United States is ultradeveloped
while Cuba is "under-under-underdeveloped" and so the Cubans have to buy
tomato juice made in the United States with Cuban tomatoes.

In his speech Mr. Bonsal ways that the government of the United States is
sorry that its most sincere efforts during the past year to establish a
basis for understanding and confidence have not been reciprocated by Cuba.