Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Source:  Obra Revolucionaria, No. 7, 11 June 1960, pp 1-31
Journalist:  We believe it necessary to begin this evening's questions
with the payments convention with Czechoslovakia, signed during the evening
for the sum of 20 million.  It would be interesting to be acquainted with
all the details.

Dr. Castro: You spoke of this today here, in the periodical... and
Mario spoke of it as well in Prensa Libre (The Free Press)... Various
agreements were signed along with a general Commercial Treaty which
includes the most favored nation clause. This is an advantage included in
commercial agreements in order to promote commercial exchanges among the
various countries. We have also signed a Payments Convention which
stipulates the manner in which payments will be made; we have also signed a
Credit Convention by virtue of which the Republic of Czechoslovakia will
grant Cuba a credit of 20 million pesos repayable in 10 years, at 2.5%, to
be invested in factories. This means that, in addition to the commercial
convention which calls for an exchange of commodities--a commercial
exchange between Czechoslovakia and Cuba -- were able to reach a Credit
Agreement by virtue of which we are being given a credit of 20 million
pesos, at 2.5%, which the Revolutionary Government will invest in the
building of factories. Therefore, we can rely on 20 million pesos more for

In addition to being one more step in the policy of open markets and
free trade with all the countries in the world, this also means that we
will have at our disposal more credit, more technicians and, in this case,
let us also bear in mind that Czechoslovakia is one of the most technically
advanced countries.  It has a large industry and Czechoslovak equipment is
first quality equipment.  Currently we are using a number of Czechoslovak
trucks which we purchased with the sale of the tobacco from the
Stabilization Fund.

You know that every year a certain amount of tobacco was burned, that a
policy of restrictions was pursued, that no tobacco markets were sought and
that every year the nation lost a large amount of money by burning the
tobacco.  This also has been eliminated from our practices.

We looked for a tobacco market and we succeeded through a kind of
barter.  We sold five million pesos worth of tobacco.  This was done
through companies operating in Germany.  The tobacco was shipped to them
and they obtained in exchange products from various countries, including
machinery and then, apparently, the tobacco was sold to Czechoslovakia.  We
have also heard that it has been sold to another country as well.  The fact
was that we were paid in European, mainly Czechoslovak, equipment, and in
trucks which are absolutely first class.  This type of Czechoslovak trucks
are operating in numerous INRA (Instituto Nacional de la Reforma Agraria,
National Institute for Agrarian Reform) projects and all the information
received on this truck has been very favorable.

Thus, you see, for example, how a tobacco which was previously burned
has been converted into a means of transportation and work.  Two hundred
trucks means, assuming that they work on a one-shift basis only, employment
for 400 people drivers and their assistants.  This comes from a commodity
which was burned; it also means employment for the people working with the
trucks and at projects using the trucks; as I told you, reports on this
Czechoslovak equipment have been magnificent.  We have great faith in
Czechoslovak equipment.  The example I gave you of the tobacco shows what a
correct policy means compared with an absurd policy.  At other times
tobacco had always burned having what was known as "customary markets."
However, outside of such customary markets the commodities produced by the
country were not sold but rather burned.  They were burned having been
acquired from their growers and, having remained unsold, the products were
burned and then taxes had to be levied to pay for the tobacco.

At present, already last year, not a single pound of tobacco was left;
this year the harvest was better yet there will be no tobacco left.  That
is why I am telling you that this is the correct policy as compared with an
absurd policy:  the policy of burning merchandise instead of trading it.

This is such a logical, such an elementary fact:  for example, if we
have the possibility to produce some commodities such as tobacco, as is the
case, sugar, fruit or minerals; if our country has the natural conditions
to produce tobacco and the Germans, the Czechs or any other country having
achieved a high technical development enabling them to engage in the
large-scale production of machinery, it would be proper to look for trading
this merchandise for merchandise produced by other countries.  We have the
facilities to produce tobacco.  Other countries have the facility to
produce machinery.  In the past the policy was to limit exports and burn
commodities instead of trade them.  Thus, we can say that we have earned
five more million pesos in foreign currency by converting this tobacco in
machinery which we would have had to pay in foreign currency.  This way we
are paying it in tobacco.  This means that instead of selling the tobacco
on the one hand and purchasing machinery with cash, we traded, almost
directly, through a German intermediary.

This is the correct policy, the policy which the country must pursue,
the policy which it has the right to pursue since the opposite course would
lead to an absurd and totally stupid policy.  I mentioned this case having
had the opportunity to see the Czechoslovak products, along with the
equipment which was obtained with the sale of the tobacco.  Czechoslovak is
very advanced industrially.  It has a large number of factories which we
could purchase; how?  With the credit granted and by trading.

Now, we must order the factories.  We are currently in the process of
negotiating the purchase and installation of 70 factories.  Another time I
shall discuss the development of the industrialization plans.  I can say in
advance now that it is a question of 70 factories.

Naturally, the planning and installation of the factories takes
somewhat more time.  In farming, for example, some types of agricultural
machines could be put to immediate use on the land.  A factory, however,
calls for personnel, plans, orders, specifications for all the parts,
transportation, installation and commissioning.  The work is being done,
however, but that is why we see far more in the field of agriculture today
than in industry.  This will become visible soon, thanks to the work being
done in the field of industry.

This is the type of agreement which was signed today with the
Czechoslovak delegation, an agreement advantageous to our country and
advantageous to them as well since it is the desire of the peoples to trade
the commodities, articles, merchandise for which they have the necessary
production facilities or advanced technology.

Furthermore, we must undertake, and they can help us, in the building
of machine making factories; the first problem in industry is that of
equipment such as tractors and trucks which are purchased for production
purposes.  However, the ideal situation for a country is not to go on
purchasing these goods forever but to set up the plans to produce them.  We
must set up here plans for the manufacturing of tractors and trucks and we
will possibly acquire from the Czechoslovaks some machine making factories.
This will be followed by the final stage which consists of factories which
make factories.  Once we have built factories for the making of other
factories we will have completed the aspiration of the country.  Today we
must import the machines produced by the factories; we will try to import
the factories which make machinery and then we will try to build here
factories which make other factories.  With all the raw materials we have
at our disposal since, fortunately, the island is rich in mineral
resources, we will follow the process leading to the manufacturing of
steel, set up metallurgical plants and planes for the processing of our
minerals.  This, however, is a slower process.

For example, there are different types of iron ore and different
quantities of any given type of iron whose extraction process is known the
world over.  Sometimes iron comes combined with other minerals which call
for a separation process; in both cases, this process must be studied.  We
now know and we are studying the available quantities of this iron using
the most abundant in Cuba -- combined with other minerals which must be
processed as well.  We are making an effort in this direction.  However,
the installation of such plans calls for more time, it calls for far more
time than the time required, for example, for putting up a steel, butter or
spinning factory.  This may take two, three or even four years.  We must be
patient when we are dealing with such more complex industrial products
calling for more studies.  We must tell the country that we are doing a
great deal in this field as well.  Furthermore, we are working discreetly,
we are working modestly for this effort may not be so obvious but is
involves dozens of people, hundreds of people working incessantly and
tirelessly to further it.  In this we are optimistic as in everything else.

That is what I may tell you on the agreement.  We have reached on more
agreement and we intend to pursue this policy for we intend to find markets
for our products and earn with our products the machinery we need for our
production, for the agrarian reform and for industrialization since no one
is going to give us this machinery free.

The country must produce its commodities to sell them and purchase the
things it does not produce.  This is the only correct policy which the
Revolutionary Government undertook to follow and is following.

Shall I tell you something else?... Ah, wait!  Speaking of tobacco, I
was about to make a criticism.

One must always wait for the opportune time to clarify certain things.
If an idea has not been correctly interpreted in a news item, for example
you would have to wait for a chance to clarify it.  Let me clarify, in
connection with the tobacco, that that day, when the document was issued in
Pinar del Rio the headlines quoted me as saying that the price of the
tobacco had been doubled.  There was a small error, resulting from a
subtlety such as the difference between price and value.  When I read it, I
said:  "The farmers in Las Villas and Pinar del Rio will think that I am a
demagogue after reading in the press my statement to the effect that the
price of the tobacco had doubled since last year."  This is absurd, it
would have been absurd of me to say it.  The publication might have erred
in interpreting my statement but that is not what I said.  I said that the
value of the harvest had doubled.  This means that there was more tobacco
and since there was more tobacco at better prices -- since we did
everything possible, everything which was possible in the conditions
prevailing in this branch of the economy -- the price had risen by some
25%.  However, it is this 25% combined with a better harvest that made the
amount of money which the province was to earn from tobacco this year
double that of the previous year.  Why?  Because there was more tobacco and
a higher price.  I then said that the value of the harvest, i.e., the
overall amount of tobacco harvested, was double that of the previous year.
However, there is a difference between price and value, I mentioned the
value of the harvest but apparently one version came out as the price.
This is due to association of ideas: price instead of value.  Reading it, I
said:  the farmers will think that we are telling a lie and even though I
explain all this there I know that the newspaper has a small circulation
and I had to clear this up.

Journalist:  Speaking of machinery, how is Nunez Jimenez doing in the
Soviet Union?

Dr. Castro:  All right, from what I read in the papers.  I have heard
that he is doing well and, furthermore, we believe that his efforts must go
well for several reasons:  the spirit of friendship with which he was
welcomed, the consideration that was given to him and the good relations
which exist.  In addition to being a very capable comrade, a magnificent
worker and extremely good diplomat Comrade Nunez Jimenez has always been
very successful in all his efforts.  His book on geography has been
published in the Soviet Union.  He is known there in intellectual and
university circles.  I read that he had been given an honorary doctorate by
Moscow University and was lecturing at various universities.  As professor
of geography, as captain of the revolutionary forces and as an executive of
the Agrarian Reform, for all these reasons he has interesting things to
say.  I also have the feeling that these are things that all the peoples
would like to know.  I am sure that any one of his lectures there is of
interest to the students and tot he public.  This is as happened in our
case, for example, with the Peking Opera.  That was an impressive
production, a different type of art yet, nevertheless, an art which pleased
us.  I would imagine that Mario must feel quite proud... (laughter).

I would imagine that they would see original things.

Nevertheless, he was welcomed graciously because he was gracious. This
is the type of things which the people in the East like since it coincides
with all this perfection, performance and delicate feeling with which they
worked their mimicry which so impressed all of us. It seems to me that this
was shared by the entire people, judging by the applause; I have also seen
in the press photographs from the Sports Palace. It looks as though it was
full; we have heard a great deal of praise and this has been a tangible
proof of the way feelings develop with culture and with an art which we
were totally ignorant of. In fact, we did not have the vaguest idea about

We had raised the frontier, an absurd barrier for no reason. We may
even say that it was a barbaric obstacle as is anything which interferes in
relations among the peoples, in the cultural interchange among the peoples,
in gaining knowledge of the things of this world.  The world, think of it,
is nothing more than a very small planet in the midst of an infinitely
bigger universe whose dimensions are difficult to imaging. We are part of
this universe, an atom in this universe and yet, there is an infinity of
barriers which divide humanity within this atom which is earth. To us,
really, the impression created by this opera was a though we were seeing
something coming from another world.  Why were we ignorant of it? For those
same absurd prejudices which lead to the raising of barbaric barriers.
Barbaric is that which opposes culture, civilization and knowledge. We had
erected a series of really barbarons barriers.

This is an example to illustrate the fact.  The people was greatly
impressed.  We were given the opportunity to see new things, things which
were absolutely original to us, things of true artistic value.  I am saying
this commenting on culture in general...  You asked me about Nunez Jimenez.
You may tell me that this has no great connection with the Peking Opera.
However, I cited this example thinking of the interest with which they may
be listening to a Cuban, to a Cuban revolutionary in Moscow University,
since they will be learning things about other very distant countries,
almost on the opposite side of the planet.  In general, the news we have
received is that great progress is being made in the discussions on trade,
in connection with the commercial treaty signed with the Soviet Union.  All
this is going very well.  Such is the information I have.

Anything else you would like to know?

Journalist:  Well, Major, speaking of Nunez Jimenez, he recently
extended an invitation to Prime Minister Krushchev to visit Cuba.  Could

Dr. Castro:  Well, when the Soviet delegation headed by Mikoyan came
here, he brought an invitation extended to the Prime Minister of the Cuban
government to visit the Soviet Union, as was then published.  In effect, we
accepted the invitation with a reservation of deciding on the opportune
moment for this visit since, in fact, I had a great deal of work, work
which kept increasing with every passing day.  On some occasions,
naturally, such trips call for a certain amount of time.  Sometimes the
work piles up.  Right now, for example, the Executive Director of INRA and
the President of the Republic who is in charge of many functions are both
absent.  Yet, since we maintain a good "teamwork" we greatly help one
another in everything.  The Commander of the Armed Forces is also abroad.
Imagine, the functions of the President, of the Commander of the Armed
Forces and of the Executive Director; the Minister of Agriculture is also
abroad yet, these days, the work done by these comrades is arduous and
important.  Add this work to our other functions and see how greatly the
work load increases.

They brought us an invitation.  In turn, we sent our delegation to the
Soviet Union, same as the delegation which they sent us.  Our delegation
also extended, on behalf of the Cuban government, an invitation to the
Prime Minister of the Soviet Union.  They brought us an invitation to visit
the Soviet Union and our delegation, on the occasion of its trip to the
Soviet Union, carried an invitation to the Prime Minister of the Soviet
Union, an invitation which was in fact accepted.  Therefore, we do not know
as yet, it is a question of discussing the opportunity for the visit.  No
date has been set.  Absolutely nothing has been decided on the subject of
my trip as well as that of the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union.
However, we read in the press that he has accepted the invitation.  In
Paris he had stated that he would visit Latin America if invited an
apparently the first country which he will honor with his visit is Cuba.
Therefore, this will take place at a date to be discussed.

Has anyone gone wild because Krushchev thinks of visiting Cuba...

I am certain that someone over there may be.  Now, I am certain that he
will be well received, as was the Deputy Minister.  In fact, all these
things are exaggerated.

The participation of our country in world affairs, our relations, as
they broaden, increase the universal value of our revolution and the role
played by us in the world.  What were we in the world?  In fact, someone
could say: what were we in the world?  We were nothing.  Our country
counted for nothing.  Our conditions were not good!  Internationally, we
meant absolutely nothing.  Cuba, well, Cuba did not count.  The Cuban vote
was known to be th Cuban vote when the delegate of the Americans raised his
hand and it was known that the hand of the Cuban delegate Nunez Portuondo
would follow him, raising his.

Cuba voting? Cuba never voted. Cuba never mattered in the international
order of things, it was never able to express its judgment freely; whenever
other fraternal countries in Latin America were the victims of aggression,
Cuba could not help. Cuba never, absolutely never participated; Cuba never
had an international policy; Cuba never mattered, it was never able to act
as a sovereign country. Today, however, our country is something else. With
no vanity whatsoever we must recognize that our people, our nation means
something today in the world. It means something to the peoples of Latin
America, it represents a hope and an example for all the underdeveloped
countries. Bear in mind that three-quarters...I will not cite a specific
figure but far more than half of the earth consists of countries engaged in
a tremendous economic struggle. Our country is admired by the entire world
and fought by the reaction. Reactionaries are allergic to revolutions; the
reaction does not wish to hear of the revolution.  The conservatives, the
people glued to traditions, not to the good traditions but the bad ones, to
the traditional, the people sticking to privileges, are allergic to
revolutions. Those are our enemies. Who are those who are fighting in Cuba?
The reactionary sectors everywhere or the misinformed, misinformed by the
news agencies. Which ones? We could ask this question in the classroom.
Everyone should know it:  the UPI, the AP, those agencies... They work here
and they still say that there is no freedom when they speak of all of us.
Curiously, they operate from here yet they have written horrors about our
country and no one has mistreated them. Well, generally speaking all the
peoples, throughout the world news from Cuba is read. The revolutionary
process is carefully watched and Cuba is admired. Our nation, our island,
our republic, our people today represent something in the world. Why?
Because they decided to be free and they have used this freedom and this
sovereignty which is a right which cannot be renounced by the peoples.
Properly using this sovereignty our people is holding its place in the
world despite those who would like our people never to be anything, who
would like our people to be a flock of servants.  People who raise their
hand when the "neighbor" raises his.  Today, we are no longer this people.
We are a people who raises its hand freely and we freely pose our
questions. We do not ask accounts of anyone. For example, we have not asked
the United States to account for its vote in the United Nations or the OAS;
nor have we the right to ask it or any other people.  However, nor do we
grant anyone the right to account for our decisions.  In fact, we are proud
of the fact that our country has been able to attain the position of
prestige and importance which it enjoys today in the world.  This was done
simply, very easily, and easy easy to understand but not easy to do since
in fact, we had to do a great deal of work, but very simply; operating as a
free country, as a free and sovereign country, as have placed our
fatherland in the position which it holds today in the world.

Mr. Luis Baez:  Major: this afternoon a cable arrived here from
Washington stating that the US government has energetically protested, for
the second time in less than one week, to the Revolutionary Government,
accusing it is leveling groundless and offensive charges against the
Government of the United States.  What could you tell us in this respect?

Dr. Castro:  Almost every day the press reports a protect of the US
government, two energetic protests in less than one week.  Well, what do
you want me to tell you?  (Laughter).  Here everyone is quite calm.  If you
wish, however, these energetic protests we will quality them as two more
aggressions committed by the Government of the United States against our
country.  The previous note to which you refer is one of the most violent,
most virulent notes ever addressed to us.  As though it was really to be
hoped that the Government of the United States would give guarantees to the
Cuban people properly concerned with a series of actions and matters which
reveal an aggressive spirit against our country.

When following the publication of the unfortunate Embassy Note...
that note which denounced...that notice of the Embassy which was something
really unfortunate because of the certain fact of an error of this type of
a notice of such a kind which is more than sufficient to hurt the national
dignity, to agitate the people, as indeed the people was outraged.  In
addition to the warnings we have given concerning our absolutely logical
concern with the series of actions on the part of the United States
government in connection with its aggressive spirit against Cuba, whereas
we should have hoped for a guarantee on the part of the US government, a
declaration, a promise to world public opinion to the effect that it
harbored no aggressive intentions against our country, instead of making
such a statement and offering guarantees, what it does is to make the most
aggressive declarations against our country.  Thus they do not disclaim,
they do not clearly and conclusively state that they harbor no plans of
aggression; and they do not wish to pledge to world public opinion, faced
with obvious deeds and a series of circumstances, they do not wish to
promise to world public opinion but adopt the diametrically opposed
attitude.  They make declarations which seem to be aimed at justifying
aggressions; instead of offering guarantees, they are promoting the grounds
for aggression.  Naturally, these notes are not addressed to the Cubans.
These notes are for foreign consumption.  They know that here no one takes
notice of their threats.  They can make no one share their point of view.
These are a series of claims for foreign consumption, a series of claims
addressed to Latin America and the world at large when they should be
talking to the world so that the world would be absolutely convinced that
their attitude toward Cuba is not aggressive, that they have no aggressive
plans, they do precisely the opposite.  They issue declarations for foreign
consumption in order to prepare abroad a justification for their actions
whereas we here must keep clarifying these things.  For example, on May Day
we clarified our attitude which is that of being on the alert against any
aggression, anything set up to justify the adoption of measures against our
country; I explained our concern to make the war criminals think, those
elements, those myrmidons who went ot the Caimanera base to hatch an
aggression.  This is a mysterious matter, such as we have seen elsewhere in
the world, seeking for pretexts.  We made it very clear that we will not
attack this base; we gave guarantees, we explained to the people, we are
explaining to the world among others, not to give a chance to the enemies
of our country, to those who would like to commit aggression against us, to
fabricate a pretext.  We have given guarantees, we have promised to our own
public opinion and to the public opinion of the world.  We have declared
our attitude.  We will never give a pretext.  We further cautioned against
the possibility of hatching aggression.  They do not adopt this attitude.
They give no promises.  No.  On the contrary, they issue statements to
justify then proceed to act as through they had such intentions.  For
example the note, the first note...  The second note deals with the matter
of the steamer "La Coubre."  They have turned around the problem of "La
Coubre" many times.  Everyone perfectly remembers what I said.  I said that
we had the right to think that those guilty of that sabotage had to be
among those who did not wish us to receive the weapons.  I said that the
Government of the United States was among those who did not wish us to
receive those weapons since it had applied pressure to the Belgian
government not to deliver us those arms, that was a proven fact.  We
considered that the United States government had no right whatsoever to
apply this pressure.  We considered that we wanted these weapons for our
defense and that we had the sovereign right to buy them; that the people
agreed with us since it was not for nothing that the people had contributed
millions of pesos from their salaries to purchase arms.

What right did the Government of the United States have to go there, to
that country, to tell it not to sell us arms?

Why?  We do not go anywhere asking that no raw materials be sold to the
United States to manufacture airplanes, bombs or rockets.  We do not go
anywhere to apply pressure to obstruct their purchases or dealings.  What
right did the Government of the United States have to intervene in an
operation to which Cuba had full and absolute rights?  What right, who has
given them these privileges, this right to call the country Mare Nostrum,
as the Romans called the Mediterranean, and apply pressure to prevent
others from selling us arms?  They were interested in preventing us from
getting these weapons.  We had the absolute right to say, as we said, that
it was our right to think that those guilty of the criminal sabotage were
among those who did not wish us to receive these weapons.  This is so
logical as to be indisputable.  We declared it with full justification and
with our full right to say it.  They should not have gone and applied
pressure to prevent us from getting the weapons; they should not have
interfered or tried to interfere in the operation as they did it with the
British.  They interfered when we wanted to buy airplanes from the British;
they have interfered whenever we have tried to purchase materials for our
defense.  They go wherever we go trying to buy something, telling them not
to sell it to us, pressuring them not to sell. They are interested in
keeping us disarmed.  One may ask, why this interest?  Why was not this
interest shown when the people was fighting against tyranny?  Why was this
interest not manifested when the youth and the citizens were drying here,
fighting tyranny?  Why was it that then, on the contrary, they sent tanks
and airplanes?

Had they adopted this attitude toward Batista, they would have not sent
him a military mission, Sherman tanks, B-26, jet aircraft, mortars,
bazookas artillery.  They not only supplied him with weapons but helped
him use them.  Had they remained neutral when our country was subjected to
that fierce tyranny, when the young people here were being murdered, when
the people were being beaten and tortured, when those things were taking
place in our country, had they but only adopted a neutral attitude, Batista
could not have remained in power.  Batista remained in power to a large
extent due to that myth which existed in our country, the myth that no one
supported by the Americans could be overthrown.

Batista showed to those thousands of men in the armed forces that he
had the support of the American government.  This helped maintain
cohesiveness within the armed forces since the armed forces had been
trained to believe that myth in the same manner that today some, far less
though, still that the revolution will fail because the American government
wants it to fail.  They live with the myth.  This is the myth which helped
so greatly maintain Batista in power, maintain in power Masferrer, Ventura,
Chaviano, the two Tabernilla and all those thieves.

If only the United States government had told them that it believed
them to be criminals, torturers, violators of the rights of our people,
that they had interrupted, with no justification whatsoever, the normal
development of the country; had only the United States government thought
that they were thieves, that they were gluttons, smugglers, gambling
profiteers, merely for their self-respect, it would have been the
equivalent of adopting a neutral attitude.

They did not adopt a neutral attitude.  On the contrary, they sent a
military mission, airplanes, bombs, weapons and instructors.  Ah!  That was
when we had a government of thieves, of criminals, plunderers, or the
corrupt, the lack eyes and despicable people, for those are their allies.
They always seeked their allies among the worse, the fascists, the
falangists, among the most reactionary, the greatest thieves, the worst
criminals, the greatest enemies of the workers, the worse enemies of the
farmers, the most conservative, that is where they look for their friends.
When they recruit an agent, a spy or a member of the FBI, they ask
themselves who is the most reactionary, who is the most regressive, who is
the worse enemy of the workers, who has sold out the most here, who is the
least patriotic here, and it is he whom they seek as friend and ally.

This occurred in Cuba.  Who was the greatest criminal?  Who were the
greatest murderers, thieves, vice-ridden, gluttons, cynics, hypocrites,
mercenaries and sold-outs here?  Who were they?  (Applause).

It is to those people that they gave their cooperation, sent diplomatic
representatives who always supported them, sent weapons, aircraft,
bazookas, 500 and 1,000 pound bombs and rockets...  In the midst of war,
you will remember quite well that in the midst of the war they gave him
from the Caimanera Naval Base, I believe, 300 rockets.  When the fact was
denounced in the United States, they said that no, they had not delivered
300 rockets.  They did what they always do, they looked for an explanation.
They said that it was not that they had sold 300 rockets to Batista but
that Batista had 300 rockets of a smaller calibre, useless to him, and that
they had not sold the rockets to him but only exchanged them...
(Laughter)...  This was in full war, they said they exchanged them.  That
was their explanation, they had exchanged the rockets which he could not
use for other rockets which he could use and which he used against us,
against families of the peasants, using almost all of them.  They used
them.  This was in full war, when they had imposed the embargo, since they
talk of having imposed an embargo.  They imposed the embargo long after the
war had begun and when they had already sent many weapons here.
Furthermore, after the embargo, they sent him the 300 rockets.

It is good to refresh one's memory on such matters to see, to compare
attitudes.  We are the exact opposite of those gentlemen who were there.
We do not steal one cent, we do not murder anyone.  This is a government in
which the police is hailed in the street; on occasion, when the chief of
police is present at workers ceremonies, he is applauded with enthusiasm,
with great sympathy by all the workers.  Why?  Because the people have
faith in this government agent.  Such agents work for really sacrificial
wages.  They have not even asked for a cigarette, they have not robbed
anyone.  Their conduct is exemplary.  Not one piece of fabric is smuggled
into the country.  An end was put to all theft, to all misappropriations
and anyone who would dare to steal is immediately detained and taken to

We have a moral policy, a clean policy, a policy of serving the
country; one will not find here enemies of the workers, the farmers or the
students, enemies of anyone.  Here we are the enemies of evil, we are the
enemies of treason and the enemies of those who are willing to sell out for
foreign gold; we are the enemies of the worst.  Well then, what is their
attitude toward this government?  It is the exact opposite.  We go to buy
weapons and they run there to prevent us from buying them; we want to buy
airplanes from Britain, same thing.  In the midst of war Batista purchased
from them tanks and, from the British, aircraft.  When we, in peacetime, to
protect us from the aircraft coming from the United States, went to
purchase airplanes from the British, the Americans immediately went to tell
them not to sell us a single airplane.  They wished to keep us here
unarmed.  Wherever we try to make a deal, they hurried to prevent us.  Who
is interfering?  Who is it that has adopted a hostile attitude?  When they
sent weapons to Batista and acted with those people so differently than
they do today, what is their justification in adopting this attitude toward
us?  They should have been neutral in the past as they should be neutral
today instead of adopting a belligerent attitude.  What did they do from
the very first moment?  They offered refuge to Masferrer, to the Laurent,
to the entire Camarilla of those criminals; immediately they should refuge
in the United States, by plane, boat, however they could.  What did the
United States do?  It accepted them.  One may ask:  how is it possible that
a country which should watch out for its reputation should accept such
gentlemen?  No one could understand this.  It is now that we are beginning
to understand it.  Why did they accept them?  For the same reason that I
already mentioned, for the reason that they know that their allies are
among the myrmidons, the bill goats, the criminals.  This is their reserve
on which they rely, should they intervene or commit aggression against our
country, should they invade our country, since they have in them the
personnel for their repressive forces.  They have the myrmidons who know
how to torture and murder; they have the war criminals for that is why they
have given them asylum, offered them hospitality and given them courage
since, naturally, they say, what are the tactics followed by any occupation
army?  What were the tactics of the Yankee army of occupation in Nicaragua?
Immediately to set up a national guard, i.e., organize the natives against
the country.  Whom did they seek in Nicaragua?  Not the patriots, not the
honest people, not the idealists.  They sought the myrmidons, the flunkies
and the mercenaries, and set up a national guard.  Why?  To persecute
Sandino.  The tactics followed in Nicaragua was to seek out the native
immediately to make him fight the patriots defending his land.  They
constitute the reserve forces, relying on those evil characters who follow
them in the boats...since I doubt that they preceded them... (Laughter)...
All they know is to use constant violence... (Applause).   They come
behind them in the boats to render their services as confidants, myrmidons
and shock troops.

It is now that we well understand these things; we are beginning to
find the explanation for a policy. Here it was a question of preventing the
revolution from seizing power. They fought, when the revolution was still
in its initial stage, when we consisted of more or less small groups, they
thought that the situation here would develop as in other countries: that
at a given point feeling its power threatened, the army would change
governments, make a coup d'Etat, make a few gestures, soothe somewhat the
indignation of the people, as in the past. Quite recently, a Turkish Army
took the situation in hand; in Columbia, the armed forces took the
guerrilla situation in hand. The armed forces always intervened: no grounds
for concern. Always, whenever a situation can no longer continue, the army
makes the change.  However, the Revolutionary Army developed far more
rapidly than had been imagined. A defeated offensive was followed by a fast
counteroffensive and, before they realized it, the forces were attacking
the provincial capitals.  At that time, they tried to maneuver, to find the
colonel or the general to head the coup in the hope that everyone will go
on the street happy and celebrating, "here comes General So-and-So," even
though, to the very last moment, that general was supporting the regime.
They miscalculated, there was an error in their calculations...(Laughter).

This is the explanation provided by the Revolution to the traditional
methods of suppressing the rebellion, the method of giving an aspirant to
the people.  The people sometimes become indignant but do not profoundly
analyze the social roots of a regime.  They do not make a deep analysis of
the social roots of their problems, of hunger and misery:  they cannot do
so unless it has been explained to them, unless their minds have been
opened to reality.  All these, camerillas and all those castes who oppress
the peoples, those powerful economic, reactionary, national and foreign
interests become aware of whom they are supporting turn around confusing
the people as to the real reasons for their ills then feel happy having
removed and hidden the hangman, putting him on a bench or in the "bullpen"
for a while until they can reuse him (laughter).  This was the case with
Batista.  The World War was drawing to its end and the dream of freedom had
awakened in all the peoples, a dream that those who had betrayed that
struggled who had made an alliance with fascism, undertook to destroy, to
destroy these hopes of mankind.  The Spanish Republicans dreamed that with
the end of World War they who had been the first to fight fascism would
enjoy the solidarity of the winners, will be supported by the peoples of
the world and that the regime which had been the first regime to be
supported by Hitler's guns and tanks and by Mussolini's Black Shirt
Divisions, would disappear; that such a regime could not survive;
nevertheless, immediately the regime found allies mainly in the US
government.  It found allies in the reactionary governments, some on a
smaller scale.  What did some petty dictators such as Batista do?  They
fell back or were helped to fell back.  Batista fell back in 1944.  He did
not bully the voters because the war was coming to an end, the war
defending the right of the peoples and the dignity of man.

They fall back and, when the winds of reaction begin to blow over the
world, when the tyrannies become stronger and gain the support of the big
US interests, when the mood and atmosphere of the world becomes dirty, they
strike, assume power and begin to receive aid in guns, tanks, airplanes,
everything; what is done with those people is that they are asked to pull
back and then sent to the forefront when deemed necessary.

That is what happened here with Batista.  On many occasions, whenever
this hateful individual was pulled back, brief happiness took over.  This
occurred several times; this frustrates the revolutionary movements.  This
had been done very ingeniously in Cuba, in 1933.  This was exactly what
they were planning.  When that movement developed in Columbia they
immediately established a provisional government with a magistrate whom no
one remembers, I swear that I cannot remember his name... (Laughter), they
made him president...Piedra...they tried to put a "stone" on our
way...(Laughter) (Applause).

Could anyone believe that US diplomacy had nothing to do with this
maneuver?  Does anyone believe this?  All this was planned, there is no
doubt.  However, they encountered an avalanche of people; they tried to
take back their "pebble," but the people rolled like an avalanche, there
was a general strike, the troops advanced, after their route, their problem
was what they sought a remedy too late.  Throughout the revolutionary
process we warned against this danger and kept saying that we will never
accept a military coup.  No military coup!  The people developed a certain
awareness and when the people became aware of it, and that is why it is so
important to promote awareness, when they went to the people with this
trick, all the people knew that it was a dirty trick played on them.
Everyone stopped working, dug in and said:  No, no more such government, no
more all sorts of maneuverings, the power has to be given to the
revolutionary army and the revolutionary movement.  That is what led to the
complete triumph of the revolution and, naturally, to success.  The people
is in power.  What a headache, when a people seizes power...(Laughter).
Since then, that has been the problem, the reason for all the tactics for
far used, all the defamatory campaigns, the welcoming of war criminals to
set up a reserve army, molestations, economic threats, campaigns to split
the people, declarations aimed at producing certain political effects to
alienate the people, on the one hand, frighten the people while, on the
other, encourage the war criminals and the counter-revolutionaries.

In other words, they have used all possible tactics to prevent us from
obtaining arms, from arming ourselves. If we say that we would like to have
a conference of underdeveloped peoples, they will immediately exert
pressure to have the conference fail. Any action on the part of the Cuban
government is immediately followed by a maneuver, by pressure applied to
Latin American governments, by action aimed at having such Latin American
governments break relations with us.  This means that we, the Cuban people,
seizing power, gave international reaction and the big interests a real
headache.  They have feverishly sought the solution of a very difficult
problem for a people in power is a very serious matter and the people of
Cuba is showing what it means when a people is ruling.  How are they to
remedy this?  They turn to the war criminals, the traitors, the people with
no principles, the people who convinced themselves that they are patriots
since we have infringed upon their interests.  When have they been

They have supported all these people and what has this yielded?  It
only made the people react more strongly.  They are affecting the attitude
of politicians, they are conspiring right and left claiming innocence,
claiming that they were against Batista, against the revolution...  All
this is a tall tale since they are all supported by the same international
power, they are all in the same corner, the corner of those who were hurt
by the revolution, the corner of the resentful, the corner of those full
of hatred because justice was done to the benefit of the humble people,
because we worked for the farmers, the workers, the students, the people,
the needy whom we helped.  Naturally, that is not where they seek help.
Where do they seek help?  Who among them can put a good word for the
workers?  Who among them could hope for support among the workers?  Who
among those politicians who have sold out to United States interests, who
among those traitors, who among those who are being used as the shameful
tools of the enemies of our land could hope that anyone honest or clean or
decent would listen to them?  Some of our compatriots may have erred, some
people may have been confused.  However, everyone will be given the
necessary time to see reality, to understand reality, to understand the
things we are explaining here, things which are nothing but the result of
observations and of the analysis of truths known and understood by one and
all.  What do they rely on?  They rely on the worst, they all seek the same
support and adopt the same attitude against the ruling people.  Who
inspires them, who gives them a chance, who pushes them, who comforts them
with a declaration:  two energetic declarations in a single week, to
"cranks" to get the counter-revolutionaries and the war criminals
started... (Applause).

However, unable to get the engine started, they keep cranking but there
is no one to get this engine started.  Therefore, they try to determine
whether those small groups of resentful people who have some weapons since
you will recall the number of weapons available in the country and the
number of weapons which may have remained in the possession of elements
linked with those opportunists and with tyranny, to see if one of these
small groups could be encouraged by a declaration and carry out an attempt
to murder some of the leaders of the revolution, throw bombs or raise a
little group.  This is an indication that they are desperate, that they are
doing everything possible to have such elements do something, commit murder
and, some day, kill some valorous revolutionary comrade; why?  Because
they are encouraged and have been given the impulse.  Such is their policy.
This offers an explanation for all the things which include so many
contradictions, which makes the policy of the United States more and more

We referred here to a case.  You recall what happened with the
revolutionary who was murdered.  You recall the wife whose husband was
murdered, who was a revolutionary soldier, whose wife and daughter were
taken to the United States, a case worse than seizure.  Now we have the
Chessman case.  I will not discuss here the philosophical implications of
one or another sentence.  However, let us look into some aspects of the

For 12 years, Chessman's execution had been continuously postponed
until his execution became imminent.  However, this was in the middle of a
trip taken by Eisenhower to Latin America.  Some currents of sympathy had
developed for that man who had so intrapidly been fighting for his life.
This involved a principle, a theory:  to what extent is a delinquent a
culprit, to what extent is he the product of his environment.  If you raise
a generation with the ambition to acquire gold, the ambition to make money
with no other ideal but the ideal of money and material welfare, the ideal
of becoming rich at all costs and with the least possible effort,
logically there will be many delinquents since there is no easier way to
become rich than to resort to robbery and to satisfying the various
appetites, since there is no restraint.

However, without delving into penal philosophy, it is a fact that they
were to promote the trip fast.  Knowing, however, that public opinion in
those countries opposed the execution, they said:  no, wait with the
execution, let us first have the trip and then the execution.  And the
same day that they murdered Chessman--and that is the worst part of the
story, the same day that they murdered Chessman--for when that happens with
a human being, when this method is followed, what principle, what type of
justice are being defended, when human values become subordinated to a
political action.  The same day that Chessman was assassinated, when they
said that he was taken to the gas chamber in the name of society, to
protect society from crime, the day they murdered him-- we will call this
murder, since they kept him for 12 years in this situation--the same day
that they murdered him in the name of those social principles and in order
to protect society from crime, they brought to the Senate of the United
States some gentlemen who had committed 1,000 times more crimes than
Chessman... (Applause).  Gentlemen who carried on their consciences
thousands of tortures, deaths, rapes, thefts, all the abuses of power;
Chessman defied the law...I have no comment on the merits of the case, I
did not participate in the trial nor do I believe the news on the trial,
i.e., this is to say we get our news from those agencies which choose the
news arbitrarily.  I am not making an analysis of the core of the question
but of the facts, as they occurred.  The other defiance of the law is based
on their proven crimes; these people come here with all the resources, with
all the protection of authority and did all this, killing thousands of
people.  What about those families who lost their sons, mothers whose sons
attending a university or institute were assassinated, mothers who had a
son in the revolution and who lost him, assassinated, all those peasants
who were murdered by the dozens, thirty, forty of them?  Here was Laurent
and all those people.  Who can forget what they did with the first peasants
whom they took in the middle of the sea, five kilometers offshore and were
thrown in the water tied to a stone?  One farmer survived because he swam
for five kilometers.  That is what they did to living people, they tied
them to a stone and cast them in the water.  Those gentlemen are now there.

Were the victims of Ugalde Carrillo, Tabernilla and all those people
not human beings?  Did they not belong to mankind?  Did our society not
experience all those horrors?  Are we not a human society and are our
feelings totally worthless?  Why is it that the same day they assassinate
Chessman they invite those gentlemen in what is presumed to be the seat of
the highest political power of a nation, the Congress, entrusted with
making the laws of the republic?  They were welcomed there with full honors
and were even paid...I don't know...$35.00 (Laughter).  This indicates
complete indifference, i.e., disregard for the opinion of the world since,
"Is there a current of feeling in favor of the condemned man?  We will kill
him whether or not the entire world, or part of the world, condemns this
action."  Then, with equal disregard for us and for our feelings they
receive those gentlemen in the Senate of the United States...

Is this a sincere policy or is it, on the contrary, a policy full of
contradictions, a pharisaic policy, a false policy, a policy which cannot
be considered Machiavellian, for to be a Machiavellian a policy must be
intelligent whereas this one is awkward, fraudulent and deceitful, i.e.,

Such are the facts.  How will they make it seem that it is us, the
Cubans, who are to be blamed for such problems?  He is, in full view, the
historical course taken by our country and the attitude adopted toward us.
They have tried to isolate us, to blemish our reputation, to deprive us
from the concern and attachment of other peoples by all possible means; we
have been threatened with economic aggression, airplanes have thrown bombs
at us, they had done everything here.  Nevertheless, we come across
statements such as, anything Dorticos says is considered there to be a
lie... (Laughter), that the United States have a long history of
"cooperation with countries which try to follow a healthy policy of
agrarian reform..." (Laughter).  Now, who would believe this?  They support
an agrarian reform, but a "sane" agrarian reform; now, what is a "sane"
agrarian reform?"  This "sane" and "efficient" reform...the reform made by
the United Fruit Company and the Department of State in Guatemala, the
reform they made there after Castillo Armas invaded the country with the
help of the United Fruit and by the United States is a "sane policy of
agrarian reform."  How can they say that they have supported a sane policy
of agrarian reform?

Now, about the question of intervention in our domestic problems:
"Payments pending to United States exporters for merchandise shipped to
Cuba last year amounts to over 100 million, in addition to the fact that
during that period of time the Cuban government has placed orders worth
dozens of millions of dollars and has increased its dollar reserves."
Therefore, they not only commit the error of taking to their country those
war criminals in an act of disregard of our people and of the feelings of
other nations.  Furthermore, they believe what they are being told there
since they now proclaim that we have spent dozens of millions of dollars in
arms.  One of those criminals must have said something about it there
recently and they believed him.  Do they know it?  Why do they know it?
What does it matter to them whether we invest and in what?

I have already explained this question once.  Naturally, this is the
type of subject not given to public explanations.  However, I explained
that we had spent very little foreign currency, including money which was
outside the country, sent to purchase weapons against the revolution.
These were the initial funds we used.  They were insignificant.

This is to say that there has not been any trading of foreign currency.
The best proof we can offer is that we have 200 million in foreign currency
(applause); exactly one week ago the National Bank had a reserve of 196
million dollars. Had we spent this money in weapons, we would not have had
196 million dollars. What about the tractors we had bought, the machinery,
the fuel, the food, the medical equipment and the raw materials for the
factories? You can see that all the textiles factories, an entire series of
factories are working at maximum production capacity; despite the purchase
of all this amount of raw materials, we have that much money in foreign
currency.  Therefore, it would be absurd to think that we have spent it in

Then, they speak of what is owed them, of pending merchandise. Look at
the fallacy of this argument. They can see that, in effect, we are raising
the necessary foreign currency without imposing great sacrifices on the
people. Here, I can see that when one wants to go to the beach on goes to
the beach. In general, the lack of certain things has been due in part to
the fact that we have been unable as yet to keep our shortcomings under
control in our ever greater efforts to adapt our trade policy to our needs.
This has been simply an aspect of the stage through which we are going.
With every passing day, however, we will improve our estimates of the
stocks we need.

They can see that we have achieved success.  Initially, by the end of
last year, do you know what they hoped for?  That we would ruin ourselves,
that our foreign exchange will be drained.

Why? Because they knew that our reserves had dropped to 70 million,
that they were dropping, that the situation was critical. All these things
harassed, pressured and threatened us, even forcing us to spend money on
weapons for, had they not given aid to the war criminals or threatened our
country would we have needed here a single weapon? Could we say that the
people who had made a revolution could fact those criminals without weapons
when they were getting aid? In the first place, if we are buying arms they
are to be blamed since they have supported and encouraged those criminals
and have forced us to buy weapons; secondly, do they believe that our
situation will ruin us? Last year had been a year in which the price of
sugar had dropped. Production of sugar from sugar beets had risen.  They
knew that we had a big program for public works and agricultural
development which meant that money was put in circulation, that there had
been a great increase in family income, that there had been an
extraordinarily high increase in family income, that there had been an
extraordinarily high increase in consumption and that we had to face this
increased consumption with little foreign currency.  They though: "They
will be ruined." This, by the end of last year they were leaving us alone
hoping that we will be ruined.

Then came the fact that we were coming closer to 200 million dollars
without major sacrifices, that we were pursuing a policy of broadening our
markets, that our plans for projects were developing, for our plans have
not gone to waste, that work was being done throughout the republic and
cooperatives and crops were developing, that we were developing the type of
projects which benefit all such as beach recreation zones.  We have not
deprived the people of any project which may not be vital but which helped
the people feel better, which help the people improve their health, their
spirit and their soul, without sacrifices.  They saw that we are reaching
to the 200 million dollar level and then charged us of wasting our dollars
for weapons instead of paying them.

What is this about not paying?  Let us see, let us explain it... They
say that we have not paid for their goods...

Here is what is happening:  why was the merchandise acquired?  Because
the country had suffered from a series of aggressions... When commodities
are purchased abroad payment is not immediate.  How is merchandise bought
abroad?  It must be paid in dollars but how?  The importer, any import
company, draws a letter of credit from the bank.  The letter of credit is
the document which the exporter receives for the goods he has shipped.
His money is thus guaranteed.  Why is his money guaranteed?  Because the
letter of credit is the equivalent for the goods in dollars deposited in a
foreign bank.  If we wish to purchase several thousand bags of rice, we go
to a Cuban bank, to a national bank, we buy with pesos a letter of credit.
This bank has a credit in a foreign bank, of one million, two million,
three million...and it says:  "Here is a letter of credit for 100,000
pesos."  This letter of credit has its equivalent in dollars which the
foreign bank has credited to the Cuban bank.  This means that the Farmers
Bank, the Nunez Bank, any bank--the Continental Bank has a credit in the
United States Bank.  Any importer who wants to purchase 100,000 bags of
rice will deposit on millions pesos in one of these banks.  The dollars do
not come out immediately.  The bank will issue a letter of credit for the
exporter; then, the exporter will ship the rice, receive his letter of
credit and go to the US bank and exchange his letter of credit for dollars;
however, these dollars are not paid out immediately since this is a 90-day,
120-day, or 180-day credit...  This means that the dollars are not paid out
immediately afterwards since they are with the foreign bank which has
issued credit to a local bank.  The local bank must pay in dollars.  It has
120 days or 180 days to convert those pesos into dollars and pay abroad in
dollars.  The dollars do not leave

the country immediately but 100, 120 or 180 days later. That is how
operations have always been. What did they do? They applied pressure to all
US banks to stop giving credit to the Cuban banks. Therefore, now we must
pay cash in dollars. This means that there is no waiting. If we buy today
the dollars leave the National Bank today. When we say that we have so
much, we do not have the advantage... Had this system been kept, we would
have been able to estimate the actual amount of dollars. Why? Because they
did not have to leave the country before five months, six months or three
months. What did they do? They saw that we were struggling to increase our
foreign currency and then pressured all the US banks to interrupt their
line of credit to the Cuban banks. We have here, for example, the Trust
Company of Cuba with a credit line of 14,600,000 dollars in the United
States: from the First National Bank of Chicago, the Bank of America
National Trust,the Morgan Trust Company, well, I am not going to read it,
my English becoming every day more and more... (Laughter). The following
credit has been granted by US banks to the Trust Company of Cuba: the
first, 2 million; then, on million... All in all, 14,600,000 dollars. The
Banco Nunez had credit with seven US banks totaling 2.5 million dollars.
The Agricola Industrial had credit totaling 2,450,000 dollars; the National
Bank of Cuba had a credit line of 33 million dollars. This credit was
stopped.  It had a line of credit of some 52 million dollars which it did
not have to pay immediately but within 120 to 180 days. Unexpectedly, the
credit is cut off. What happens then? Depriving us of credit, we must play
their game, we must start paying for the goods received. Why? Because when
the foreign exchange control was established, many people had ordered
various commodities from exporters. When the goods were on the pier, they
had no credit since previously they went to the bank, and bought a letter
of credit. They sent the letter of credit to the exporter. The exporter
exchanged his letter of credit in the banks there and shipped the
merchandise. When this line of credit was cut off and foreign exchange
control established those needing an import license had to go to the bank
first... Many of the importers had ordered goods from the suppliers and had
requested a letter of credit from the bank once the merchandise was in the
port. The bank was asked with producing a certain number of million dollars
to pay for merchandise which had been imported. The bank had to study the
requests and, furthermore, set up a system of import licenses. The
importers must buy their letter of credit from the National Bank. The
National Bank must take out the dollars from...No. The importers purchase a
letter of credit from a Cuban bank paying in pesos for the purchase of a
certain amount of raw materials or whatever. Then, the National Bank must
study the request, deposit the dollars, deliver the dollars necessary for
the operation. This takes times, particularly when we are converting from a
system of free purchases to a control system in which advance requests must
be submitted. We have currently 27,660,000 pesos in the prices of
conversion into dollars, corresponding to the requests in the import
licenses. Now, as to operations in 1958 and in previous years. Ten million.
What does this mean? It means that central banks in the United States had
given credit to their branches here totaling 10 million, 12 million, 8
million dollars, whatever. What did they do with the triumph of the

They asked for immediate payments.  Everything is being paid cash.
However, why did you have in the past a line of credit for merchandise you
shipped here and not now?  To get millions of dollars out of us!  No, we
are paying, we are maintaining the line of credit.  After having a line of
credit and having shipped the merchandise, why do they ask now to be paid
for something which is within the line of credit?  Everything being
imported is being paid as before, accurately.  We have here some 37 or 38
billion over and above the agreed-upon amount of petroleum which is being
imported.  Now, we have to go on reimbursing, i.e., depositing the amount
of dollars equivalent to the imports.

Now, to show you what ill faith means.  On 17 May the National Bank
wrote to those companies explaining the way it intended to catch up with
its arrears in the payment for fuel, for the petroleum which had been
imported.  It outlined to them its plan for making payments, for paying for
everything imported on a current basis, since everything is reduced to this
question of credit; the elimination of credit created this problem of
delays in the payment for a certain amount of imported goods.  It told the
companies that all current imports will be paid in 90 days...pending
payments in arrears will be made in dollars, at certain times.  This was
sent to the companies in writing.  They were to receive 20 million dollars
immediately.  The letter sent to the three petroleum companies read as
follows:  "In regard to the current 1960, on the basis of foreign currency
estimates, the Fund will authorize reimbursements for payments of petroleum
imported in 1959--in arrears--totaling 20 million dollars, with the
understanding that at the beginning of next year we will examine the
possibility of paying the balance.  The monthly payments for the balance of
this year will be prorated among the petroleum importing companies on the
basis of the amounts pending, duly proved."  This letter was sent by the
National Bank to liquidate arrears, in terms of millions of dollars.  All
the companies answered.  This is another "interesting" question which I
will discuss later.  Esso, Shell and Texaco stated the following in a
letter to the President of the National Bank:  "We accept the settlement in
foreign currency for the partial repayment of pending debts on petroleum
imports in 1959, as well as the foreign currency measures adopted to cover
petroleum imports for 1960, payable within 90 days from the date of arrival
of shipments to a national port, in accordance with said letter dated May

This is to say that the companies expressed their acceptance,
agreement, satisfaction and even their thanks.  The letter was signed by J.
Brewer, Esso Standard Oil; Bell Smith of Shell and Drake of Texaco answered
that they accepted the formula suggested by the National Bank and all three
thanked the bank.  This had another aspect.  They thanked the bank when?
This letter--containing other matters as well--was dated 6 June, answering
the letter written on 17 May by the National Bank.  That was after having
made a quick trip to the United States and having spoken with the
Department of State.  This is to say that they were not objecting to the
solution.  They were pleased with the solution of the foreign currency
problem.  Nevertheless, what is the date on the note?  Four June 1960.

Those are different days, some 20 days after the communication of the
National Bank to the effect that the problem was to be settled and an
agreement made with the petroleum companies.

Then they, 20 days after this communication which they had welcomed
with thanks, raised the problem stating, or perhaps to counteract the
effect of the campaign in favor of the foreign exchange which they have
managed to save, stating that the foreign currency is being invested in
weapons.  They did this 20 days following a letter in which they expressed
their gratitude for the reimbursement of the foreign currency.  This is to
show you how they operate, i.e,. how they raise a problem which has been
solved, 20 days after solving it.

Now another point.  Point four:  on 11 April 1960 the United States
government asked the Government of Cuba if the opinions expressed by Dr.
Ernesto Guevara, President of the National Bank of Cuba, on 2 March 1960,
concerning economic relations between the United States and Cuba
represented the official position of this government.  Among others, Dr.
Guevara had claimed, etc., etc...."  It stated further:  "So far no answer
whatsoever has been received from the Cuban government."  This is to say
that they believe they have the right to summon us, ask for explanations,
asking for the Cuban government making a speech or facing a case of
aggression run there to explain and submit apologies.  The moment a
revolutionary comrade makes a statement, they immediately summon the
government to state if this is its official position.  We do not have to
give them any explanation on the subject of such statements... (Applause).

Point No. 5 deals with statements made by us on the subject of
technical aid, this "petty aid" of which they had deprived us and which I
had explained in the past. In another point they emphatically "reject" the
thesis of the Cuban government to the effect that the closed economic
relations between our two countries have been prejudicial to the economy of
the Cuban people.

Seventh: concerning unauthorized flights over Cuban territory, there is
roof to the effect that some Cuban officials are no longer cooperating with
the United States thus hindering the observance of the laws and regulations
of the United States aimed at protecting Cuba from such incursions. This is
the ultimate: they are blaming us for the flights of the war criminals over
US territory. Therefore, no one is to blame. This is the type of notes it
is. Eight: the government of the United States asked the Cuban government
on 7 March to clarify immediately the unfounded and irresponsible words of
the Prime Minister which inferred the responsibility of the United States
in the unfortunate explosion of the steamer "La Coubre." I have explained
here what I said and why I said it. I clearly explained my words and what
they had done concerning the weapons. I am not going to repeat now the
statement I made a few minutes ago.

On 14 May:  ..."After the boast of the Cuban Prime Minister to the
effect that a Cuban patrol boat had fired at a United States submarine and
had chased it for 30 miles."  You will recall:  they said:  "after
boasting."  What I had done was read to the people a report sent by the
navy explaining the circumstances under which a submarine had strayed, near
the Cuban shores.  I said then:  "The United States has asked the Cuban
government for an explanation of this attack provoked by a United States
vessel on the high seas, at the same time that the false claim on the part
of the Prime Minister of Cuba to the effect that the submarine had been in
Cuban territorial waters had been emphatically rejected."  The Cuban
government provided no answer to the protest "nor will we give any answer"

To top it all, the submarine came in the night, close to our shores.
We have good reasons to check on what this submarine is doing on our
shores.  The Prime Minister read to the people and reported to the people
textually a communication sent by the naval district office.  The Prime
Minister passed on to the people the news he received:  the presence of a
submarine along the Cuban coast and the fact that it had not identified
itself despite the request of the Cuban Navy.  The Cuban Navy followed it
and gave a few warning shots in the air as the communication stated, but,
plainly, the submarine refused to identify itself; then, when the Prime
Minister reads the communication, they say: "After the Prime Minister's
boast;" if reading to the people a communication from the district chief,
if informing the people of such problems is considered boasting the people
in the United States must be, therefore, surely ignorant of barbaric
actions such as sending an airplane over Soviet territory for hundreds of
miles.  We are in the atomic era.  In the atomic era an airplane flying
over foreign territory is a very serious action.  On the eve of the Summit
Conference it was revealed that not even the President of the United
States--as was stated--was aware of such a rashness pursued as a practical
policy; naturally, we report to the people a communication submitted to us
by the Chief of Naval District.  That is considered a boast of having
pursued the submarine.  What interest could we have in picking a quarrel
with any vessel in that area?  Now, as to the question of a Cuban vessel in
the Keys of the Northern Coast, it is a question of determining what are
Cuban Territorial Waters.  You know what the Northern Coast of Cuba is.  It
is an archipelago of hundreds of keys some here some there.  How can one
know what they consider territorial waters there, full of Cuban keys where
weapons could be smuggled?

A submarine may reach a Cuban key, deliver weapons at Cayo Confides and
then the counterrevolutionaries may go looking for those weapons.  Should
the Cuban Navy not watch out the keys around Cuba?  Should it not have the
right to be concerned when it sees a submarine around those keys?  All that
it was asked was to identify itself.  What is a Yankee submarine doing in
this Cuban key?  What is it doing?  What is it watching for?  In our
understanding this is a provocatory act since this submarine..what danger
was there?  Was it looking for the missile bases in Camagiiey? (Applause).

Now, it comes out that we are the boasters, the pursuers. Answering the
provocation of a submarine sailing among the keys of the Cuban coast, we
must provide explanations, we must ask it to forgive us. Such is the
mentality. This is one of the points of the note: they said that they were
in territorial waters. They were simply in Cuban key waters and there would
have been no problem whatsoever had the submarine not stayed in this area.
Who provoked, who was the provocateur? Who is looking for provocations?
This is not all: not only are there submarines, there are airplanes as
well. I have here another report from the G-2 of the Armed Forces, stating:
"This is in reference to a conversation with the captain of the Soviet
vessel "Deliwski," reporting that on the seventh of this month--last
month--at 9 A.M. said boat, having sailed from Neuvitas Port, was ten miles
off the shore of Matanzas, latitude 23 degrees 21 minutes and longitude 80
degrees 50 minutes, when it was a two-engine US aircraft No.  LF128390,
which circled several times 300 feet over it, taking still and motion
pictures of the boat." Here is the photograph of the aircraft with its
identification and everything, flying over the Soviet boat (Applause), some
ten miles off the Matanzas Coast. You are aware that this is an area of
key. Therefore, this is an act of espionage involving a boat which came to
purchase goods. It lasted 15 minutes enabling the crew to go out in a
lifeboat and photograph the aircraft flying over the boat (Applause).

"...Two photographs confirm what I said before, i.e., they were snapped
by a lifeboat from the Russian boat the moment the pirate plane was
noticed, catching it flying over the boat, which was successfully proven."
This is to say that on the open seas of the world, ten miles off the Cuban
shore a US vessel and aircraft go on spying, flying, surveying, ten miles
off the Cuban shores.  This is tangible proof of an act of espionage and
provocation.  We are the ones with the right to protest such activities
considering them pure espionage.  Why should it matter to them in the least
that this Soviet boat has docket in our ports?  Why should it matter to
them?  If those seas are open, what is an aircraft doing... Look at the
altitude at which it is flying, almost ramming against the boat.  The least
bit inattention and it could have crashed against the boat.

(Shows the photograph).

Such as these nine famous poems of the so-called Declaration, found in
other strong declarations whose sole purpose is to lay the grounds for
international opinion, i.e., they are for foreign consumption.  These are
aggressive declarations.  Instead, they should give the country guarantees
to the effect that they are not planning any aggression against the
country.  That is what they should state emphatically and energetically;
they should state that this maneuver, all these things against Cuba should
be put an end to and that they do not intend to commit aggression against
our country.  This is the least they should do.

In addition to those measures which they should have adopted against
the war criminals who are openly conspiring there and in addition to their
maneuvers, what is all this question of breaking relations with Guatemala
and breaking relations and the withdrawal of the Nicaraguan ambassador?  Do
you want me to give you another proof of the type of policy pursued by the
United States?  Do you want me to give you an incontroversial proof?  I
will give you another small example.  Guatamala broke relations with us..
claiming intervention and that we were preparing an expedition; the
Nicaraguan ambassador was withdrawn.  The pretext was that Cuba was
readying an invasion of Nicaragua whereas it was they, in Guatemala and in
Nicaragua, that are preparing expeditions against us.  Such are the
maneuvers of the various governments against our country, i.e., an entire
conspiracy is being set up involving the peoples of Latin America.
Naturally, the Cuban government is defending itself, the peoples are
supporting it and the trip made by the President of our country was a
success; the peoples are advised and these maneuvers are being fought.
Five hundred delegates came from all Latin American countries on May Day;
they returned to their respective countries and described the truth and go
on struggling in such a way that we are greatly supported by the peoples
and that our President was received by the governments and very warmly by
the peoples.

Right now, he is in Mexico; the authorities of that country have
displayed special regards toward our President; the position of the Mexican
government is solid, it is a position of friendship with our country; it is
a firm position; it is really an attitude consistent with the history of a
people such as that of Mexico (applause), the history of a people who had
to withstand, during its own revolution, the same type attacks, the same
type aggressions which our people is now experiencing; it is consistent
with the history of a people who lost a considerable part of its territory,
a people who has such a great veneration for its Heroic Children, those
youngsters who, rather than surrender to the invading US forces, when they
had resisted to the end, jumped from the walls of Chapultepac Castle,
preferring to die rather than surrender to the invaders (Applause).

Those youngsters also had as their slogan "Fatherland or Death"

Both the people and the Government of Mexico have adopted a stand,
acknowledged and appreciated by the government and the people of Cuba: in
their reception, the efforts they made, the interest they displayed, the
statements made in the newspapers calling upon the people to attend the
welcoming ceremony and, furthermore, the warmth displayed by the people of
Mexico as by all the other peoples of Latin America.  However, we would
like to emphasize the generous attitude adopted by the Mexican government
toward the Cuban President.

We will continue with our efforts to win over the peoples, we will keep
on trying to maintain good relations with the governments so that they will
not get involved in the efforts to isolate us since the maneuver of the
State Department is simple: they have chosen Trujillo as a pretext, they
have latched onto Trujillo as a scapegoat.  Trujillo has been there for 30
years, the result of a US intervention in Santo Domingo; Trujillo, who was
a US agent, a mercenary in the service of the Army of Occupation, of the
army which they set up wince this is what they always do, they take the
worse elements to set up an army; Trujillo is a man they made, from an army
they organized; he seized power 30 years ago.

They were never worried by Trujillo.  Yet, a revolution takes place
here, the people seize power and then they become concerned with a ruling
people.  Then, they say: "This is the time; now, we will sacrifice our tool
here, to set up a precedent through a campaign of isolation.  Then, we will
use the same method against Cuba."  That is what they have invented.  They
have invented many things to solve a very serious problem, i.e., that of
depriving a people from its power.

Everyone can see this maneuver. This is paralleled by a campaign
stating that we were in agreement with Trujillo. News of pacts with
Trujillo was published. They know that the positions of these governments
are irreconcilable since we...(Applause). They try to bring together in
this same campaign irreconcilable governments, one of them being the
product of Yankee invasion, a mercenary army set up by the Yankees some 30
years ago and the other being a government of a people who seized power.
Then, even though they were never bothered with the situation there, they
undertook to sacrifice a puppet. This is something similar with the case of
Singhman Rhee... The people rebelled, this man had to be fired, with all
the millions which he had already stolen. This is a problem similar to that
existing today in Japan. It is a very serious problem since it is most
difficult to resolve. Here, however, they invented the "Trujillo Plan," as
they like to call it, a plan calling for a procedure to be used later
against us.

Vexed by this situation, the Cuban people is defending itself and
clarifies its position; to avoid isolation, its President visits all the
countries, to promote sympathy and broaden the knowledge of our revolution,
to counteract the hostile campaigns and promote the warmth existing among
our peoples, to defeat this attempt to isolate us.

Yet, how odd!  The Guatemalan government broke relations; the
Nicaraguan government broke relations.  What did the Nicaraguan government
say?  It said that we are preparing an invasion against its territory.
Look at the pretext: we are making preparations to invade Nicaraguan
territory.  Now, we are about to see a few surprising things.  It is we who
are preparing to launch an expeditions against Nicaragua and this is a
pretext for breaking relations with us and engaging in various maneuvers
against us.  We have here, and we about to see, a few strange things since
there is nothing which cannot be proven.  The result is the following, I
asked G-2 for information:

"For several months the G-2 Corps has been aware of preparations for an
armed expedition to fight in Nicaragua.  The chief of the expedition
appears to be Mr. Evelio Cepero Perez, former member of the rebel armed
forces, along with some other civilian and military personnel.  The
investigations proved that the movement was headed by an organization known
as the "Nicaraguan Revolutionary Movement," originating in New York, headed
by Mr. Chester Lacayo; for this reason G-2 has tried, from the inception of
the movement, to follow its developments and its leaders, sending to New
York one of our agents who stayed for nine days in Chester Lacayo's house,
offering irrefutable proof of..." certain things which I will not state
here... "Once the plans of the expedition discovered, some of the plotters
cooperated with this corps in completing its investigations.  They kept
their relations, through letters and telephone calls, between Chester
Lacayo and his military commander, Mr. Evelio Cempero Perez who informed
the former of the preparations for the expedition involving the recruitment
of personnel, weapons, equipment, airplanes and other necessary items.
Despite his faith in Evelio Cepero, Mr. Chester Lacayo sent to Cuba a US
citizen, Leslie Bradley, to check the state of the expedition.  Bradley
reached Cuba by sea, bringing a radio receiver and transmitter, an electric
generator, a telephone switchboard, various types of receivers and other
equipment, all belonging to the US Navy, as well as a large number of US
Navy maps.  All this equipment, which he claimed belonged to Chester
Lacayo, was seized when he was arrested.  He was to confirm the existence
of the weapons, the aircraft and of some of the alleged leaders of the

"On the subject of Leslie Bradley, we were able to prove that he been
in Cuba on various occasions, starting with 1 January 1959; pilot by
profession, he had belonged to the revolutionary armed forces holding the
title of honorary captain pilot, when the traitor Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz, a
close friend of his, we chief of this corps.  According to Bradley who told
our agent who took part in the meeting, he had been the person who helped
Diaz Lanz escape.  As of 1 January 1959 Mr. Chester Lacayo has played in
Cuba the role of a provocateur, abusing the hospitality enjoyed by all the
exiles in the country.  His detention took place as follows: having
confirmed that everything was ready for the expedition, he issued through a
messenger instructions to his friend Cepero, suspecting that it was a
question of Chester himself, to take all necessary measures, sending with
the detained two agents who went to the appointment.  Indeed, the alleged
messenger was Chester himself.  He was detained and brought to this center
where he was extensively interrogated.  He denied all charges including his
link with the State Department, swearing his loyalty to the Cuban
revolution.  However, the documents which were found on him as well as his
link with the agents prove his tie with the Department of State of the
United States."

This means that we are being charged with preparing an expedition
against Nicaragua. The chief of the United States Air Force for the
Caribbean goes to Nicaragua. Subsequent to this trip and talking to the
ambassadors of the government of that country we were told that they were
to break relations with us, accusing us of preparing an expedition. Indeed,
an expedition is being prepared by a gentleman who should have been long
detained by us for preparing such expeditions here. Simultaneously with the
trip of this American general to Nicaragua this gentleman, Chester Lacayo,
shows up to carry out his expedition. Naturally, all these plans and
activities had been watched by the G-2 for months. Before coming, he sent
over a gentleman from the United States with equipment belonging to the US
Navy; it was one of his agents organizing the expedition here. His
instructions called for filing the cards of the individuals they had
recruited. Here they are. We have the letter instructing his agent to send
him the cards; these are signed cards and here are all the documents. Name:
Alfredo Rodriguez Arias; Place of Birth: Mariel, Pinar del Rio; the street,
the address and the signature of the individual are here. Here, for
example, is a revolutionary; one of those innocents, those unwary people
who want this type adventure and are led to believe that this is a noble
cause, people who fail to understand how they could serve as a tool in the
hands of those conspiring against their own country and who are using this
generous and sacrificial spirit of the Cuban, the spirit of Cuban
solidarity for such causes. Here is another rebel: Tomas Marquez
Marquex...Movement of Nicaraguan Liberation...Tomas Marquez Marquez; Place
of Birth: San Cristobal; City or Province or State: Pinar del Rio; Country:
Cuba; Civil Status: Single; Telephone Address: Calle 34-B, between 11 and
13, Santa Fe. No. of Children:... Age: 27; Political Affiliations: 26 July;
Military Service so far: December 1957 until the present; Immediate
Superior: Major William Galvez; No. of Combat Actions: 3, Yagaujay, Fomento
and Caibarien; currently employed by the INRA as member of the rebel army."

All those who were recruited had a card with all information and their
signature.  The card was to be sent there.  Thus, it is an expedition with
files, portraits, uncontroversial proof... This is a member of the rebel
army taking part in an expedition against Nicaragua and it is requested,
from the United States, that his file be sent.

The following documents were seized: a photograph of Chester Lacayo
leaving the US State Department... (laughter); a photograph of Chester
Lacayo inside the US Department of State... (laughter); more photographs
involving the Department of State and a photograph of Chester Lacayo
sharing a table with Rubottom; a cable sent to Chester Laycayo which
states: "Cable: Allen Steward informs Chester Lacayo that Mr. Herter will
see him on Thursday at 3 P.M.;" here is a letter showing what a deceiver he

"Dear Captain Cepero..."  This is the agent recruiting the people...
"An American newspaper has published the photograph in which all of us are
in the First Battalion... In Washington I was received by the State
Department, first by Allen Steward and then by Undersecretary Rubottom and,
finally, by Herter.  I am sending you copies of the letters sent by the
State Department.  On 18 December I was received by the Peace Commission o
the Organization of American States... I am leaving Washington and I will
give you all the instructions which I had left in New York... Please send
by return mail the complete list with the full name, place and date of
birth, civil status, name of spouse, name and age of children, family

This means, "Send by return mail to the United States the full list of
names, place and date of birth, civil status, name of spouse, names and
ages of children, family address, political party with which affiliated,
military record, participation in the rebel army, name of immediate
superior, places and campaigns of his record, last rank, license..."
Everyone, without exception, must accept you as their immediate superior
since, the moment we step on Nicaraguan soil, you will be given the rank of
major, which you have well deserved...(laughter)."  Communiques are being
printed, to be signed by the headquarters of the Nicaraguan Revolutionary
Movement.  Include in the list which you will send me the ranks you
consider appropriate.  I received today 100 rank insignia from Commander to
Second Lieutenant.  The ranks are the following:  two stars: colonel; one
silver plated star; lieutenant colonel; three plated bars: captain; two
bars: first lieutenant; one bar: lieutenant; one gold-plated bar: second
lieutenant; three "V"-shaped stripes with three stripes above it: sergeant
major; three "V"-shaped stripes and two stripes above it: master sergeant;
three "V"-shaped stripes with one stripe above it: sergeant; three
"V"-shaped stripes...: corporal... Let emotion or gratitude not guide you
in assigning ranks.  Use your head and be reasonable.  Aware the lowest
possible ranks, so that you may raise them after the landing..."
(Laughter).  "The only expensive item was the blue-enameled triangles with
a white letter in the middle, for the cap.  I have very good wool stocking;
we have a young man here with all the communications equipment," coming
with all the communications equipment of the US Navy... (Laughter).  "The
free Dominicans celebrated Sunday the 14th...over 1,000 Dominicans,
Nicaraguan, Cubans and Haitians and one Spaniard attended.  I spoke and
mine was the best speech.  I war warmly applauded.  The entire ceremony was
televised by the CBS, Channel 2.  The television people asked me to remain
after the ceremony to make a complete "close-up" picture.  I had to repeat
the entire speech, to enable them to re-make their films, with their
lights, distances, etc.  I was invited to go Wednesday to repeat the speech
in English.  I am waiting on the list in order to send you identification
tags and military dispatches.  Send the individual photographs with
the list."

So, he is asking for files which are absurd, with all details of the
people, documents of proof against Cuba.  He met with the US Department of
State, and "regardless of his faith in Mr. Cepero, he sent to Cuba a US
citizen, Leslie Bradley, to check on the forces of the expedition."  This
is a gentleman detained six times, affiliated with the Department of State
sending an American who asks for the files, and it is we who are organizing
the expeditions!  We are being accused yet a US general goes to Nicaragua
and, at the same time, they are preparing an expedition under Chester

This is unique, is it not?  He is such an important personage that he
was received by the Secretary of State, by the Deputy Undersecretary, and
lunches with him!  This is the gentleman (shows photograph), the chief of
this expedition against Nicaragua.  Here he is, coming out of the US
Department of State!  This is the one organizing the expedition.  Look at
him, lunching with Rubottom!  (Shows another photograph).  This is the
organizer of the expeditions against Nicaragua, what do you think?
(Laughter).  The complete list he is requesting, the equipment of the US
Navy, photostatic copies of maps used by the US Navy.  This is the
expedition prepared against Nicaragua!  You can see for yourselves where
those individuals go and where they come from and who those who are
organizing this expedition against Nicaragua.  I believe that we have ample
proof, it is not so?

Do you believe that anyone writing this thing could do something
serious?  We have made a revolution, we know what it is, the way one talks
and that...telegram and everything, an important personage,
audiences, granted...this is the type of expeditions that are being

Newspapermen:  Mr. Prime Minister:  it is my turn.  Having heard such a
broad dissertation on the proof of the expeditions we are preparing from
here, allow me to boast before asking you about the fuel which must be
mentioned it seems to me to be a major factor in the operation of the
machinery, the factories, for the factories for machinery and the factories
for factories, allow me to express, on behalf of millions of people, the
well-deserved praise (laughter) of the Peking Opera, which is a method of
exchange quite different from other methods which, instead of involving
cultural functions such as the Peking Opera, involve airplanes, notes and
news items such as the one I am about to read.  A cable has just reached us
from Norfolk, Virginia, stating the following: "The Central Intelligence
Agency of the United States is very seriously considering the problem of
supplying secret aid to individuals and groups within Cuba to defeat
Castro," said today the Norfolk Daily Dispatch.  The newspaper added that
the Agency, headed by Allen Dullex, brother of former Secretary of State
John Foster Dulles, "will thus try to counteract to the base for Russian
submarines which Castro is building on the southern shore of Cuba..."

Dr. Castro:  I have already said that I did not wish to talk on this
subject...on this submarine base.  If you want to be scared by this, be

Newspapermen:  This same periodical said that we were preparing an
aggression against the Guantanamo Naval Base.

Dr. Castro:  Still today, in the middle of the 20th Century, mankind
must suffer from such idiocies!  (Laughter and applause).

That is how the people are indoctrinated, the old story of films and
novels. Now hear me out: the other day I went to the movies... (Laughter),
to see one of those is incredible the extent to which they have
become dehumanized! The plot, the scenes, the action... For a lifetime we
have been looking at this type films. They have tried to influence us with
this, with those motion pictures, novels, cinemas, cartoons and "supermen"
and all those things used to indoctrinate the people. Sometimes, when they
come to visit us, we are saddened to realize what the young people here,
how good people, people who would like to think honestly and correctly yet
who go through an entire series of...a stock of lies and absurdities which
have been implanted in them through all possible media, including novels
such as...

I am telling you the problem of the movies is a very serious problem:
all the young people, the young children see with those cartoons fantastic
and unrealistic things, lies, fiction improperly used, which totally
confuses them.  All these is one of the problems facing
us...this is a people aware of this influence which is absolutely negative;
at least today, our people is aware of this, something which it was not two
years ago for which reason our entire culture was becoming distorted on the
basis of such absurd things.

Journalist:  Well, now let us speak of the fuel for those factories for
factories and those machines for factories and those factories for
machinery; we will receive from Czechoslovakia all this equipment but what
about fuel?  How shall we procure the necessary fuel for those factories?

Dr. Castro:  Fuel!  Well, what would you like to know?

Journalist:  I believe that we will have great need for fuel...

Dr. Castro:  Let us now take up the problem of the fuel.  This is a
very important, a vital problem for our country.  It is precisely one of
the problems which I intended to discuss today.  This is the first major
trick used, that of the sugar quota, of the law calling for a quota.  All
this conflicts there with many interests.

With the fuel problem, we are facing the first major trick played
against us. The first major trick of the trusts and the monopolies directly
guided by the US Department of State. We are faced with the first specific
act of aggression and with a plan to leave the country without fuel. Well,
we will resolve the problem. We will be facing problems one after another
and we will keep resolving them, no one should doubt this, the way we will
resolve this one. Furthermore, this is an unusually provocatory act. To
make this clear, let us explain a few things. First of all, the fuel market
was one of the most fabulous in Cuba. Cuba was an expanding fuel consumer,
a consumer of petroleum and its derivants. Some companies were prospecting
for petroleum here but did absolutely nothing to drill. They wanted to know
if there was petroleum and where. They spent money on prospecting but not
on drilling. Why? Because the companies engaged in prospecting were the
same which owned petroleum deposits in other countries and what interest,
for example would have such companies had to drill petroleum here when they
had petroleum wells in another country, such as the companies drilling
petroleum in Venezuela. Why invest in petroleum drills if the same company
was earning fabulous profits from petroleum already drilled? Since they
were supplying us with petroleum they owned, digging wells here could be of
no interest to them since I meant depriving of a market the wells which
they owned. Whatever petroleum they would have drilled here would have
lowered their petroleum sales from Venezuelan wells. Therefore, they had no
interest whatsoever in drilling wells since it would have meant depriving
themselves of sales which were very profitable. For this reason, in fact,
no effort was ever made; all they did was prospect in order to discover
whether or not there was oil.

When the revolutionary government seized power, in its efforts to meet
one more aspiration of the people which was having its own fuel, it paid
attention to the petroleum problems above all.  In this we were helped by
the Mexicans, by Engineer Alfonso Gutierrez, someone we trust implicitly,
for it was in his house that we had stayed and he had greatly helped us
during the revolution.  When we were in Mexico we were already discussing
with him the petroleum problems.  He put us in touch with various engineers
who explained to us the policy of the petroleum interests in Cuba; they
told us that they believed there was petroleum in Cuba.

When the revolution triumphed, after great effort we were able to bring
Engineer Gutierrez, a Mexican married to a Cuban, to Cuba to work with us
on petroleum problems. He promoted the participation in the project of
various Mexican engineers familiar with petroleum problems, people who had
acquired experience in the course of the entire petroleum history of the
Mexican revolution. Then, the first thing that the revolution did was to
set up the Petroleum Institute as an authority in charge of the machinery,
knowledge, information and required technical personnel to promote a
program of drilling, continue with the prospecting and follow the policy of
the revolution in the line of fuel. At the same time, a law was passed by
virtue of which the government claimed and took over all the data obtained
by all the companies which carried out their prospecting without accounting
to anyone.

On the basis of this law the revolutionary government claimed and took
all the information which had been acquired in the course of the past few
years as a result of the prospecting done by the companies, allowing the
petroleum institutes to use all the data which had been acquired.  Shortly
after the Petroleum Institute began operations it became one of the most
effective governmental authorities.  It made very great progress and
achieved great successes.  It is one of the most promising among the
revolutionary institutions.  This is another thing which is not known.

And to explain the problem of fuel, I want to explain the purpose of
this organ. First of all, I should say this: here the fuel business was a
fabulous one. Why? I want the people to understand perfectly. Why was it a
fabulous business? Because the companies which extracted oil elsewhere, and
with owners of the oil wells, were also, through the subsidiary companies,
the owners of the refineries in Cuba. If the monopolistic companies and
their subsidiaries were the owners of the wells from which the oil was
obtained and the owners of the refineries in Cuba, this means that they
extracted the oil, refined it in Cuba, and sold it, but as these were
separate companies although they belonged to the same enterprises, that is,
subsidiary companies belonging to the same monopoly, what were they doing?
They were taking oil, for example, from Venezuela. After they obtained it,
they sold it to the subsidiary company which they had here, or the
subsidiary company which drilled the oil sold it to the mother company. And
Esso obtained oil in Venezuela and sold it to itself here, but this sale of
oil was between one company and another within the monopoly, and in the 80
million dollars we spent on fuel, in this sale within a given monopoly,
from the company which drilled it to the subsidiary company which refined
it, they took 20 million dollars from us. This means that in a single step,
they obtained the oil and sold it to themselves within the monopoly,
establishing the price, because the mother company sold it its subsidiary
at an agreed price, there was no discussion about the price. The mother
company established the price, and it was we who paid. The republic paid
for it in foreign exchange. And just by passing from the hands of the
mother company to the subsidiary, 20 million dollars was obtained. Then,
the subsidiary refined it and in refining it earned 20 million more
dollars. Do you understand? It was the same company, but it sold to itself,
just as if a department in a shop sold to another department in it. And
already in this first sale they set the price, and obviously this price had
to be paid by the company because they said so. The mother company sold to
the subsidiary at a price of $2.80. And they were making almost a peso in
profit per barrel, a dollar per barrel. Obviously this was a fabulous
business, apart from the fact that the oil trust, the oil monopolies, are
perhaps the most powerful interest in the United States, more powerful than
the agricultural sector. This meant a fabulous business, and we were
amortizing these refineries in two or three years, with the fabulous
profits the monopoly obtained by drilling oil, selling it to the
subsidiary, which refined it and sold it here.

What was the first logical step the revolution government, which had to
save its resources, its foreign exchange, and prevent the plundering of its
foreign exchange, took?  The first step was to put an end to this
speculation, to this arbitrary price fixing, and to say fine, we're going
to buy oil for what it is worth and give it to the refineries, and they
will refine it, but it is not fair to establish an arbitrary price for the
country, and to take 20 million dollars from it between the subsidiary
company and the mother company.  We are going to pay for oil what it is
worth.  The refinery will refine it and will obtain a reasonable sum for
the industrial processing, but we are going to buy oil at what it is worth.
This was one of the goals of the institute.  We are resolving the most
serious problems, the problem of fuel, and how?  By means of research, by
means of drilling, and also by means of industrialization.  Thus, the
increase in oil production was to be refined by the institute industrial
plants, but also there was the trade problem of purchasing the oil from the
sources of supply at a realistic price.  These were the goals of the
institute.  This goal is set forth concretely here in an exposition with
which the institute itself has provided us.

Goal:  to establish once and for all whether Cuba is an oil producing
country, in commercial quantities.

Two:  given the import of oil and petroleum byproducts costing 80
million dollars a year, 80 million dollars which are increasing, to study
measures which will avoid the outflow of foreign exchange in this
connection, until Cuban oil is discovered.

Three:  working in the various branches of the oil industry, to
establish true costs and to serve as a price regulating organ.

Four:  the institute will be a source of stable employment for a large
number of Cuban workers employed within this industry.

Five:  through the Cuban Oil Institute, the state can completely
control storage of fuels derived from petroleum, from the strategic
military viewpoint.

Six:  it will be the organ through which the revolutionary government
can implement the policy for fuels derived from petroleum in accordance
with the plans established for the mechanization of agriculture,
transportation and industrialization.

Technical aspects:  the information obtained from the copies of the
technical records of the companies which were engaged in exploration and
drilling in Cuba is being evaluated.  The sites for the 1960 program and
for the test wells to be drilled with seven rigs owned by the Cuban oil
institute, which will be in operation throughout the year, have already
been chosen.  In other words, exploration and drilling are already underway
in a systematic fashion, because we have to exploit every possibility of
finding oil.

The Cabaiguan Refining Plant, which has a capacity of 2,000 barrels a
day, is being expanded to 6,000 barrels a day, and also the storage and
distribution capacity of the adjacent terminal will be expanded.  A gas
plant is being built at Puentes Grandes.  In Marinao itself, as in many
towns, bottled gas is used, but it is very expensive and this raises the
cost of living for families.  The institute is building a gas plant in
Puentes Grandes which will be one of the largest currently being built by
the government.  Also, as of June, the installation of the pipe
distribution network in the marinae zone will be begun.  This will be the
area served by this plant.  A Cuban Oil Institute Distribution Network with
a terminal and storage and distribution facilities is being established in
Havana.  Terminals are currently operating in Casilda, Cabaiguan and
Santiago.  By the end of the month of June, all of these plants will be
operating, and the Cuban Oil Institute distribution network will be

Commercial aspect:  the Institute has been selling gasoline and gas oil
since 16 May of this year, and within a few days, we will have kerosene and
lubricating oil on the market.  Of these refined products, some are
refined, some are processed at the Cabaiguan Refinery of the Cuban Oil
Institute and others are reimported.  The price of kerosene has now been
standardized all over the republic, since it is a product which is used for
the most part by the peasant and the workers' classes.  The institute
technicians are studying the future standardization of the prices of
gasoline and gas oil for the entire republic.  Also, the distributors and
garage men who were affiliated with the various oil importing and refining
companies throughout the country and who were obliged to purchase the
products of these companies have been freed of this obligation, and their
debts to those companies liquidated.  It has been established that everyone
is free to purchase wherever he sees fit, and also to sell as many brands
as he likes, because there were a series of obligations which bound garage
operators to certain brands of products.  The institute gasoline is of the
same quality as the special, although it is sold at the price of the
regular.  According to the plans for the future, the institute will be a
self-supporting organ from the economic point of view, which in time will
provide the state with profit through the sale of its products on the
domestic market, while at the same time developing the contingent aspects
of our oil industry, that is, the search for and exploration of deposits.

The labor centers which the Cuban Oil Institute has at present are the
following: general offices on the second floor of the National Institute
for Agrarian Reform Building; the Havana Terminal, at the corner of Via
Blanca and the Guanabacoa Highway; workshops, warehouses and offices of the
Operation Department in Guanabacoa; a gas plant in Puentes Grandes;
institute workshops and transportation terminal on Via Blanca; a refinery
in Cabaguan; a storage and distribution terminal in Casilda; a crude oil
treatment plant in Jatibonico; and a storage terminal in Santiago de Cuba.
The work currently being done by the Cuban Oil Institute will take about
four months, and at present there are some 700 employees working directly
with the institute, plus all the distribution and sales workers of the
private companies, of which there are a large number, in connection with
the problem created by the refining companies in Cuba.

Well, then, these are the goals and the accomplishments of the Cuban
Oil Institute, because it was always the same questions here, with the
import of oil.  What about the oil?  What research is being done?  They say
that they have found oil here -- let them drill it.  What do you know about
the oil situation?  It was necessary to establish an organ in which to
concentrate all the specialists, all the resources, all the equipment, to
centralize the research plan and to carry forward a fuel plan.  This organ
was established and immediately began to work.  Now you see what it has
achieved.  But, of course, as the saying goes, happiness does not last long
in a poor home.  They believed it would not last long, but it will last
quite a while!  That is, the government has adopted a very proper attitude
toward the resolution of a vital problem, because what is a country without
fuel?  A country at the mercy of the monopolies.  Imaging if they left us
without fuel.  This would paralyze everything, our electricity, our
factories, our agricultural equipment, our ships -- everything, total
paralysis.  That is, if they could in a very simple fashion achieve what
they cannot achieve in any way.  Almost total paralyzation of the country,
by simply depriving us of oil, because what is oil?  It is the great
business of two or three international trusts which control it all over the
world.  That is to say, in the zone where they are the owners of the oil.
The markets on which we have been buying oil, and the present initiation of
an independent oil policy have challenged the monopolies, these great
interests which control US policy.  And this was not the problem of sugar,
but the problem of oil.

And what has the attitude of the revolutionary government been toward
oil?  The revolutionary government did not seize the refineries, did not
nationalize or confiscate them.  Quite the contrary.  Everyone knows that
there was a refinery which the people did not want to buy.  They did not
want to buy it because of the policy of aid to and complicity with the
tyranny, and we consider the situation of the workers employed here.  They
were not to blame, and we even resolved their problem and they ended up
better off.  Obviously, we did this to aid the workers, but it also
resolved the great problem of the Shell.  They continued to produce,
increasing their production, even when a step was taken, increasing the
income of garage men, and we did not know of it, because before the
institute existed we had no way of knowing anything about costs.  We asked
for a half a centavo from the consumer and half a centavo from the
refineries and took half a centavo from the refineries and half a centavo
from the consumer, and quietly used the additional centavo to increase the
wage of garage employees who earned 40 and 50 pesos.

The Institute acted discreetly, not undercutting the market but
absorbing the increase in consumption, because it is proper, if fuel
consumption is inevitable and this consumption is increasing, that the
institute should absorb this increase in consumption and invest in
research, because if we have to spend money on research and drilling, we
should take this money from oil, should we not?  We have a right to take
from oil what we are using and spending, the money we need for research and
drilling.  Research and drilling are expensive, because we need equipment
which is costly, we need competent engineers, and technical work.  Drilling
rigs must be imported and they cost foreign exchange and it is logical that
we should accumulate this foreign exchange from fuel.  It is logical that
what we are going to invest in research and drilling should be obtained
from oil, from the increase in oil, and we are obtaining it or accumulating
it from oil.  This is what we are doing in the institute.

And what is happening?  The first thing the institute is doing, since
it has a refinery in Camaiguan producing 2,000 barrels a day, is to work to
expand this to 6,000 barrels, in order to continue to absorb the consumer
increase.  Thus it needs crude oil for refinery.  What is it doing?  It
will buy it on the market.  Thus, in Venezuela, there is control by these
great companies, but there are some independent American companies.  Apart
from these great monopolies there are some companies which are struggling,
which are not a part of the monopolies, which are struggling on their own
with the resources they have.  Thus, the first thing the oil institute is
doing, in accordance with its correct policy, is to make this analysis: the
refineries here are Texaco, Shell and Esso.  These refineries purchase from
their mother companies, and they establish a price of 2.80 dollars per
barrel for oil which comes to Cuba.

What is the institute doing?  Through another American company, the
Pomeroy Investment Company, it is purchasing from an independent American
company, the Superior Oil Company.  It is purchasing the oil it needs for
its refinery, purchasing 250 barrels of oil.  And at what price?  Here you
will see how the mother companies in Venezuela $2.80 a barrel for oil.  The
Cuban Oil Institute has bought oil from this independent company, which is
not a part of the monopoly, at $2.10 a barrel.  This means almost a dollar
per barrel, and millions and millions of barrels are being purchased.  How
many?  Twenty-some million.  Four million tons.  Thus, we can calculate the
saving in foreign exchange resulting from the purchase of 20-some million
barrels at $2.10 instead of $2.80.  But what happened?  As these monopolies
have great political strength, great economic influence, and also they
control all the transport equipment, they control the ships.  The
investment company, the company which sold us the oil at $2.10 cannot
deliver for lack of ships, although it has oil in Venezuela, because it has
its wells there.  It cannot ship them for lack of transport vessels and
because of pressure from the large companies.  Thus, the first things the
institute did was to go and buy oil at $2.10 instead of 2.80 on the world
market from an independent county, and when this purchase was made for the
refinery, it was impossible to transport the oil because of the power of
the enormous companies which control the refineries here, the
transportation and the majority of the oil in Venezuela.  This is the first
trap they laid for us.  And what did the institute do then?  It said well,
we were unable to purchase oil in Venezuela, this will not work, so we will
purchase it from an oil enterprise in Soviet Union.  We will purchase the
oil we could not obtain from the superior oil company in Venezuela.  The
oil which was useless because it could not be delivered, and thus could not
be sold on the market.  The market is controlled by the great monopolies
and they purchase 300,000.  We will purchase not 300,000, but 250 tons from
the Soviet Union.  What price did the institute obtain?  A price still
cheaper than that offered by superior oil of Venezuela, which sold at 2.10.
The institute bought oil of higher grade, that is to say, 33 oil, because
which there are various grades of gasoline.  There is a heavier grade which
contains less gasoline, and a lighter one, which contains more.  Our
purchase was 33 oil at the same price.  In other words, how much would the
33 oil purchased at $2.14 cost?  Well, this same oil purchase by the
refining company from the mother company would cost $3.02, that is to say,
there was a saving of 88 cents on the dollar per barrel on the oil
purchased from the Soviet Union.  In other words, when we could not buy the
oil for the refinery from this company, because the monopolies prevented
it, we purchased a quantity of oil from the Soviet Union.

Well, Cuba has a right to purchase oil at lower cost, because there is
a company which is engaging in a trade operation in which it is increasing
the price of oil by almost a dollar.  And what happened?  Here came the
letters, the same letters in which the oil companies confirmed the matter
of the foreign exchange, because what did the Cuban government propose to
do?  To purchase a part o the oil on another market, which the refineries
would process, obtaining their profit from the refining of the oil.  Well,
the companies did not agree to this because they make a great profit on
this price exchange between the mother company and the subsidiary, but
despite everything, they could see that they could do nothing else.  What
did they do?  They received this letter from the National Bank on the
payment question on 17 May.  Also, they were informed that of the 4
million, a part of the oil would be purchased on another market, for our
refinery and for them to refine a part of it.  They would refine part of
what the revolutionary government would buy at lower cost.

And something unusual happened.  These companies went to the United
States, the leaders of these companies, and at the same time as this
energetic and aggressive note, they sent these three communications, all at
the same time, like three well disciplined little soldiers, they sent three
letters expressing their agreement, naturally, with the form of payment of
the foreign exchange and the back sums due, but stating categorically that
they would not refine the oil coming from the Soviet Union, that they were
not prepared to refine it.  In other words, three companies here, with the
habit they have of deciding domestic problems, took upon themselves a
decision which is absolutely the sovereign concern of the nation.  It is as
if the textile plants said well, if you want us to weave cloth, you must
bring the fiber from the Belgian Congo, because if you bring it from Egypt
we will not weave it, or if you bring it fro Paris, we will not weave it,
if you bring it from Canada we will not weave it, you have to bring it from
this place.

Thus, the companies set forth their refusal to refine the oil which
Cuba bought at 88 cents less than they were paying for it, and also, they
were paying in sugar.  First it was a question of buying it from an
independent American company, but this company could not deliver it,
because the great monopolies would not allow it.  Thus, the government,
which failed in its attempts to purchase from this independent company,
decided to buy Soviet oil.

The same thing was done, for example, by the organ which controls
Argentina. It purchased oil on another market, it even purchased Soviet
oil, and the companies refined it. Thus, what the Cuban Oil Institute was
going to do was the same as had been done in Argentina and in other places:
purchasing a part of the oil for the companies to refine. But the
presidents of these three companies went to the United States and talked
with the State Department, and the three came here and simultaneously, as a
group, sent three letters stating that they refused to refine the oil,
while at the same time they were laying off officials and engineers. Shell
withdrew the funds provided for the purchase of the crude oil needed for
refining, and there can be no doubt that it acted in absolute violation of
the laws of the republic, of our national sovereignty, because the nation
is sovereign and has a right to purchase raw materials where it pleases. If
it is possible to buy raw materials at 88 cents cheaper, then it is absurd
for foreign company established here to undertake to declare a boycott, and
in fact, to refuse to process them.

It is obvious that this was a provocation, because the attitude of the
revolutionary government toward this company has not been aggressive nor
hostile. It was allowed to continue operating, refining oil, the oil to be
delivered to the institute. But the institute had to purchase the oil,
because why should the country be the victim of this fraud by means of
which more than 20 million dollars was taken from it in the sale from the
mother company to a subsidiary? It is logical for the institute to
purchase, and purchase at a lower cost, in order to save that 20 million in
foreign exchange, to invest it in research and prospecting. But the
companies said no.

In saying that they knew they were issuing a challenge to the
revolutionary government.  Obviously, they have presented us with a
provocation, and they are waiting for us to react.  The revolutionary
government is conducting itself discreetly because it understands this
maneuver and knows what lies behind it:  a plot to leave our country
without fuel.

Thus they knew that the oil would begin to come in the month of July.
Now they have created this crisis, accompanied by the note from the State
Department.  The purpose, when we act, because they are the mother
companies, the controllers of oil throughout the world, the controllers of
shipping, is to leave the country without fuel.  They have issued a
challenge: if the government acts, they will leave the country without
fuel.  And in fact, they have already been withdrawing, for some time now,
they have been preparing recently to leave the country without fuel.

Imaging what a tremendous trap they have laid:  the nation paralyzed
for lack of fuel, the victim of the world control of three powerful oil
companies: Shell, Esso and Texaco, with which all the companies are
affiliated!  What are they thinking of?  What a way to crush a revolution!
What an invention to crush a people, to leave a people without fuel!  And,
as I have said, this is the first great plot they have contrived against
the revolution.  As of this moment, Shell has already withdrawn the funds
for the purchase of crude oil, and has stated that it will not refine oil,
and these gentlemen are trying to put the country in a situation in which
it will be without fuel.

I believe that this maneuver is absolutely clear.  They believed that
the day followed receipt of the letter we would take action.  We did not.
What did they do?  Further steps:  they withdrew the technical personnel,
and they are trying to take away even the Cuban engineers by offering them
better salaries, villas and castles, so that they will go and leave us even
without Cuban technical personnel.  However, fortunately, there are some
engineers who are determined to aid the revolutionary government
(applause).  Certainly they did not pay them what the US officials, the US
technicians earned.  They paid Cubans differently, and now they want to
leave the country without technicians.

In other words, they have taken another step, since the government has
not acted except cautiously, because it understands the plot to provoke.
They have stated that they will not refine, hoping for a government
reaction and then they would cut off oil supplies absolutely, because the
oil for which we contracted is not enough, because we were counting on what
they would provide, that is, a fourth of this oil still is not coming. Then
we understood the maneuver, we related the communiques from these companies
with the State Department note, and we saw that they were promoting a great
provocation, so that when the government, issued a challenge like this,
acted, they could absolutely cut off supplies and leave our country without
fuel. This is the game being played by these three companies, including
Shell -- Shell, whose problems the revolutionary government resolved, in
order to help the workers, without settling accounts with it for its
support of Batista, without settling accounts with it despite the Sierra
Maestra Law, because there was a Sierra Maestra law which said that the
properties of English speaking people would be confiscated if they sold
weapons to the tyrant, if they opposed the battle of the people of Cuba for
their freedom, and we could have applied that law, laughing as we did so,
because that is how we would have done it.

We did not apply that law, because we did not want to take a drastic
action.  We are generous and we even repealed that law.  We resolved a
problem, and our answer to the cautious, careful, discreet attitude of the
revolutionary government is that these gentlemen now state that it is they
who command in this republic, and it does not suit them to refine the oil
the revolutionary government purchases.  They have done this to provoke us.
And I say that there is great provocation here on the part of these
companies.  And there is another thing: this company could have discussed
this matter, and was even prepared to do so, because this is what was done
in Argentina and other places, the same exactly as they have done in other
places.  But they went to Washington, and they came in a bloc with a
determined attitude, saying they would not refine the oil.  At the same
time, they began to take away all the technicians and the personnel, and to
engage in a whole series of maneuvers here to leave us without fuel.

This is one of the boldest provocations undertaken against the
revolution, and the first great plots they have tried to implement, along
this path of inventions they are pursuing to see if they can take power
away from the people.  Thus, we are faced with this situation, an we are
faced with the need to deal with this problem.  The companies have issued
their provocative challenge, and we are remaining calm, very calm, because
we cannot allow them to provoke us.  But the people should know two things.
First, this boycott exists, this plot has been planned to leave the country
without fuel.  Second, the revolutionary government proposes to give battle
to these monopolistic companies (applause).

In other words, we are making these facts known to the people, and we
are also informing the people that we are going to take the steps necessary
so that the country will not be left without fuel.  In this struggle we can
count not only on technicians who are ready to aid us but also on this firm
and unconditional attitude and absolute support of the workers in these
refineries, as was to be expected.  The workers in the three refineries
have taken the proper stand of full and absolute support and endorsement of
the measures the revolutionary government takes (applause)!