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Source:  Revolucion (Revolution), Havana, December 1960

Prime Minister Says:  "Conquest of Political Power Must Be Workers' Only
Objective."--"So Far He Has Only Fought for Higher Wages"

In addressing the workers, who had met last night at the CTC in
order to oust the leaders of the Executive Committee of the Electrical
Power Plant Workers Union in the province of Havana, Prime Minister, Dr
Fidel Castro, expressed his regret that a problem had come up in this
sector, a problem which would only make the monopolists who had been
stripped of their privileges happy; he pointed out that the principles of
the old labor leadership were not longer being implemented now; these
principles consisted in winning increases but the old labor union
leadership was not concerned at all with [illegible word in photostat] of
the workers and certainly not of the unemployed; the only objective for
which the working class in a modern government must fight is the conquest
of political power.

The meeting was attended by thousands of workers and was held in
the auditorium of the Palace of Workers.  The meeting had been called by
the Executive Committee of the CTC and began with a report from the
organizational secretary of the CTC, Jesus Soto, who explained the reasons
of the labor union headquarters in calling the meeting of last Friday as
well as the reasons for calling last night's meeting; the sole purpose was
to pass judgement on the leaders of the electrical power plant union,
especially its secretary-general, Amanury Fraginals; this meeting was held
at a moment when all of the workers, including the electrical workers,
condemned the events of the 30th, when 8 bombs were exploded.

Foto said that the CTC should have acted a long time ago on the
problem of the electric power plants, from the moment the first trouble
sprang up there -- troubles which [illegible word in photostat] opened the
eyes of the workers to what was going on.

The Leadership

Conditions prevailing among the mass of the electrical workers
actually promoted the development of these problems; the mass was ripe for
this and the leadership was bad; there are other labor sectors, such as the
banking sector, whom we might call a privileged sector of the working class
and things have undoubtedly gone well here because that sector had a
revolutionary leadership. And the bank workers rendered magnificent
services to the revolution. The workers cooperated extraordinarily well
because they had the stimulus of a correct orientation -- but if the
leadership had been bad, we could have had problems there, likewise. The
situation is the same as in any other sector where living conditions are
extraordinarily better than in the rest of the working calls, when there is
an ineffective leadership. Sometimes the leadership is poor but the masses
are very revolutionary. What can you say when a worker makes 2 or 3 pesos?
What can you say to a sugar worker in this case?

The Attitude of the Sugar Workers

Who does not remember the exemplary attitude of the sugar workers
when it was suggested to them, here, at the beginning of the revolution,
that they postpone all of their demands? Nobody could possible think that
we were defending the interests of the American companies which owned these
sugar plantations and refineries. However we knew just exactly where we
stood at that moment and we realized that the revolution was running the
risk of mortgaging itself for many years to come; it was running the risk
of seeing its advance slowed down because that was a working class which
had lived under oppression for 7 years, a working class which had not been
shown the correct way, a working class which had been the victim of
exploitation by these interests, which wanted power to remain forever in
the hands of the enemy of the working class, the military cliques, the big
industrial interests, the big landowners, the big businessmen, in other
words, they wanted political power indefinitely and "forever" to remain in
the hands of the enemies of the workers and they wanted to make sure that
the workers would perennially be involved in a struggle for just a few
pesos more, for one more little advantage here or there; this of course
became a very bad habit as time went on because the workers did not think
as a class; the workers thought in terms of sectors, unions, and the
battles toward which they were oriented were not battles for the class and
the people; they were simply fighting for another few pennies in their pay
envelopes. But each sector did not care about any of the other worker
sectors; the rest of the nation did not matter; the unemployed did not
matter; the future did not matter; and all of this they exchanged like the
character in the Bible who obtained a miserable plate of beans in exchange;
they exchanged the right of the working class to run the country for a
miserable plate of beans.

The future did not matter and we lived through this vicious circle
always bogged down in the miserable present and always oblivious of a
better future.

That was the mentality which the leaders, who had sold out, tried
to create in each worker sector; and it did not matter that a wage increase
or another little advantage in one sector -- which might be the electrical
sector today and perhaps the transportation sector tomorrow or the textile
worker sector the next day -- implied a burden on the rest of the country;
the workers were not taught to think of the rest of the members of their
class:  "let's do it to them today because tomorrow they are going to turn
right around and do it to us."  And so we lived through this vicious,
egotistical, and miserable circle.

We not only forgot the workers who were not members of our sector
but we also forgot that there were sectors living scattered throughout the
rural areas who were not able to fight any battles because they did not
live in the capital and this very considerable portion of the country was
thus relegated to a secondary position while the city kept growing at the
expense of the rural areas.

And, so, while we made the farmers and the people in the rural
areas pay for the products of the city at very high prices, we wanted to
pay a miserable price for the products of the rural areas.

The workers were not taught to think; the workers in the cities
were not taught to think of the agricultural workers; and the latter were
thus left to themselves; it was only after the triumph of the revolution
that the workers in the city began to develop a feeling of solidarity and
brotherhood with the workers in the rural areas.

Political Power

The first goal, the only goal for which the working class in a
modern government must fight, is the conquest of political power.

Because the working class is the absolute majority class, it is a
fertile and creative class; the working class is the class which produces
all of the material wealth that exists in a country; and so long as power
is not in its hands, so long as the working class allows power to remain in
the hands of the speculators who exploit it, in the hands of the big
landowners and the monopolies, as well as the international interests, so
long as the weapons are in the hands of the cliques and not in the hands of
the working class itself, so long will the working class to condemned,
anywhere in the world, to a miserable existence, regardless of how much it
should be a part of this big banquet.

The State and Its Powers

This state was presented to us yesterday as if it were a mirage,
this state, and all of its organs of power, from the military to the
judiciary, all of its corrupt legislative power, this state was in the
service of the exploiter bosses and the big interests; what has happened
very simply here is that the instrument which is called "the state" and all
of its organs of power is today a power in the service of the oppressed and
the exploited of the fatherland -- even though one or the other civil
servant or government official might still be in the service of these

In an effort to hide the fact that the Cuban bosses were really
run by the Yankee State Department and the Pentagon and that the workers
who were working for the monopolies were exploited by those interests, they
have not triggered this terror and fear.  These enterprises no longer
belong to any foreign exploiter, and foreign company; their only and
exclusive and definitive owner is the Cuban people; and the profits are not
going to go into anybody's pocket but to the treasury of the nation where
nobody will dare remove a single penny and where everybody will get what is
coming to him.

In their powerlessness, the enemies of the revolution are thus
trying to confuse the situation and they are trying to subvert many Cubans
because, in view of the incontestable truths of the revolution, in view of
the realities of the revolution, that is the only thing they can do.

The are still pursuing a policy of trying to divide the workers,
to confuse them and to break them up into a thousand small groups.

That was easy when the labor leaders were manipulated by the
Yankee monopolies, when the people paid for all of the wage increases; but
these leaders were the worst enemy of the people.  And it certainly was
difficult to be a leader in the United Fruit Company where starvation wages
were paid; that company had to compete on the world market in order to get
the right kind of price for its products -- a price which was fixed, upward
or downward.  This monopoly could bring about the downfall of governments
and the establishment of a bloody dictatorship which assassinated Antonio

Who paid for all this in Cuba, if not the people?  These monopoly
prices were higher than anywhere else in the Americas.  And the monopolies
invested millions of dollars in propaganda directed at the people, while
the people paid and paid.  And amid all of this they talked about the
benefits of imperialism and they concealed the miseries of the people.

Were the leaders by any chance trying to see to it that the
workers would obtain power, through the liberation of the workers, through
the recovery of the nation's wealth and through the steps for a better
future?  No, they only worked and fought for a few pennies here and there
and they worked to improve their political and labor union positions.

These leaders were unable to see beyond the ends of their nose and
during the first few days of the revolution, in the face of the threat of
nationalization, the strangled the enterprises and took away whatever they
wanted, but everybody continued living on their knees and from alms.

Perhaps they did not do this in bad faith, perhaps they did it
only out of habit, or perhaps they thought that they could achieve some
improvements, some of which undoubtedly were necessary and justified.  But
they were only interested in percentage figures and in elegant and magic
and easy to juggle statistics; but this sort of thing was not so easy to do
in the case of the United Fruit Company.  And this is how they perhaps
thought that they could pay as much as twice the daily rate of pay, knowing
full well that the company could not operate that way and that it would
thus have to be left in the hands of the revolutionary government.

We cut the rent down as much as 50% but this affected only a few
owners and, in order to raise the living standard of the people, we cut
prices on real estate plots, we reduced the electric power rates, the
telephone rates, and we raised the living standard; but we did not do this
through insolvency, but rather by cutting the family expenditures in a way
that would not affect the basic principle of solvency or balancing the
budget.  We prevented the cost of living from going up.  The alternative
was for us to scalp each other, to have wage hikes which would then result
in an increase in the consumption volume -- and this is actually what
happened rather unrestrainedly in many sectors.

In order to achieve improvements, we must proceed to the
"technification" of the system -- any other system is wrong.

Improve the Lot of Those Who Are Worst Off

The correct policy to pursue was to fight to improve, not the lot
of those who were better off, but to improve the lot of those who were
worst off; here, before the electrical workers, we want to proclaim in all
honesty that we must think of the agricultural workers of the United Fruit
Company before we can think of the electrical worker.

Now, toward what objective should the people orient themselves?
What should an honest leader in the electrical industry have done before
and after the triumph?  What should have been the revolutionary slogan --
even though it may not have won a single vote in the labor union elections?
The slogan should have been to fight for a cut in electric power rates.
This should have been the revolutionary slogan because we must not forget
that the money, with which we paid 8 or 10 workers, came from the
construction worker who was making 2.50 pesos or from the bottle washer,
the coffee worker, or the public employee who was making 75.00 pesos or
sometimes 60.00 pesos and many other workers whose average salary was no
more than 90 or 100 pesos but who had to pay for light at the same rates as
a millionaire or an electrical worker. You might tell me that we should
have raised the electrical power rates. Well, if this is fair, then I don't
know what fairness is.

The Dagger Thrust to the Heart of the Fatherland

But the men who took the easy way out in the past were not honest
men; those were the men who ran the operation at the cost of the people and
the people had to pay; and some of these regained their positions and they
thought that they could perpetrate infamous acts against the children of
the fatherland, counterrevolutionary acts against the working class, in
other words, they thought they could strike a dagger into the heart of the
fatherland, in the struggle against imperialism.

We are sure that these honest words, which we are saying here with
absolute frankness and in all honesty, in the midst of our electrical
workers, we are sure that these words which are certainly not words of
praise, we are sure that these words which are more in the nature of an
analysis, words which are spoken here without the slightest trace of
demagogy but rather at the risk that some of the people present here might
not understand -- we are sure that these words will never be praised by any
of the lie-spreading agencies of the imperialists, by any of the magazines
that are in the service of big interests; these words will never receive a
single syllable of praise from the criminals who once again want to soak
Cuban soil in blood.  This policy will not earn any praise; on the
contrary, the agencies and the periodicals which slander the fatherland and
the spokesmen of the spies will never praise what we have said here today.

Tell me who praises you and I will tell you who you are.  We do
not have to conduct any long investigation here.  All we had to do was read
the dispatched of the UPI and the AP, the stuff which the spokesmen of the
counterrevolution read, the praise dedicated nowadays to the mercenaries
and the spokesmen of the big interests; we were able to draw one definite
conclusion from this; anyone who is a traitor to the fatherland can be sure
of getting the utmost praise from the enemies of the fatherland, from all
those who have sold out for foreign gold, from all those who have sold out
to the aggressors of our fatherland, all those who have sold out to the
interests that want to destroy the revolution, even though this would be
achieved at the cost of wiping out the entire nation.

The traitors know that they can be assured of praise and pay.
This is why we say that there is no use mentioning names; their actions are
so repugnant that I would rather not give their names.  These men have been
so lowdown, so miserable; they have perpetrated every act of treason, they
try to exploit the atmosphere which they have created in this sector and,
through their counterrevolutionary and treasonable activities, they even
went so far as to place bombs in the very offices where they were working,
in an enterprise which belonged neither to the Pentagon, nor to the State
Department, but to the people, under the administration of the
revolutionary government.

Job and Wage Increases

With the help of the 15 million pesos, which the humble workers
paid in, without taking anything from the electrical workers, we were able
to increase wages in the electrical sector by 2,955,000 pesos and we were
able to increase the number of jobs by 1,000 during the first 2 years of
the revolutionary government, without sacrificing a single one of the
benefits which this sector has.

They tried to blow up some electric power plants without realizing
that they would cause a disaster for the Cuban workers, a disaster that
would exceed that of Le Coubre, which cost so many of the worker and rebel
soldiers lives.  They did not even try to hide their optimism with respect
to the hope of converting the electrical sector into a revolutionary
sector. And they did not even try to hide their boastfulness and they did
what they did without any rhyme or reason.

Now, there may have been some interests that were affected by this
but these certainly were not general interests.  For example, when
measures against infiltration were taken in the transportation field,
the interest of a worker who was not moral might be involved, in other
words, an immoral interest was affected by this.  This might for instance
affect the kind of extra or overtime work that was deliberately prolonged
in order to earn higher wages for the individual involved.  Here we have,
for instance, the case of one of these saboteurs, a certain William
Lascaille Naseer, who, the people, was making 370 pesos a month.  Well,
this fellow somehow managed to moonlight or to create additional work for
himself and this enabled him to make another 158 pesos every two weeks.  In
other words, during the first half of August 1960, he would get 185 pesos
in regular wages, plus the overtime which he put in, making a total of
425.27 pesos for the 2-week period, in other words, 100 pesos more than
the general managers of the Guiteras Electric Power Company earns.

When the industry was nationalized, some of the immoral practices,
such as this one, were done away with; in other words, unnecessary overtime
work was eliminated; then, there was no overtime work during the second
half of August and the first half of September.  In October he again made
125 pesos.  But during the following 2-week period he made 4 pesos in
overtime and during the month of November he had no overtime during one pay
period while in another one he had 41 pesos in overtime.  In other words,
we note here that, since the beginning of the year, under nationalization,
some overtime hours were put in, in other words, there were 3 pay periods
with overtime hours, one amounting to 4 pesos, and one 2-week pay period
without any and another one with 41 pesos in overtime.  Out of 7 pay
periods, 4 did not contain any overtime hours.  Now, what is the duty of
the manager?  Is he supposed to promote immoral practices?  No!  All of the
benefits must be properly implemented.

Now we are saving 1.5 million pesos every month for the
development of electric power.  And we can do this without sacrificing any
benefits, with the exception of some of these immoral practices, of course.
In addition, ever since the triumph of the revolution, we have been paying
4 million pesos more in standard or basic wages in this sector, in other
words, this is due to the adjustment we have made here and the new jobs we
have created.  Here is the result of the revolution:  15 million pesos less
in popular expenditures; 4 million more in terms of basic wages and 18
million for the investment program.

We are fighting to improve the conditions of those who are worst
off without sacrificing the benefits of those in the better-off sectors.

I would really hate to read from the G-2 report, as to how this
sabotage was developed (shouts from the audience, urging him to read from
the report).

The Prime Minister then read from the report which we publish at
the end.

High-Power Explosive

Shouts of "to the firing squad" were heard after the reading of
the report!  He said that this was the result of the efforts of the
intelligence service of the United States and of the Pentagon which has
given the counterrevolution a special, high-power explosive to use.
Everything comes from the outside:  explosives, resources, and promises for
more help; they already have 1 million pesos which they use in recruiting
tens of thousands of former members of the armed forces and in the interior
of the country they are promoting sabotage; here he mentioned the case of
the pilot Martinez Malo whom they tried to force to fly to Miami.

He then talked about those who never did anything against the
Batista tyranny but who now managed to do all of that against the

Those enemies will not find their task an easy one because they
must confront a determined nation which will resist and which will fight,
regardless of how many mercenaries and traitors may come.

They failed to figure on the fact that they would be facing the
people and the revolutionaries in this.

But we have not been losing any time; we have worked hard over the
past 2 years and we have done the very best we could because we know what
is coming; the traitors and mercenaries, stimulated by the number of those
who are abandoning their fatherland, they had better take a good look at
what they are going to run into; they will see that we have been on the job
all the time, creating youth brigades, worker militia forces, training the
rebel soldiers and recruiting volunteer teachers; they can see that tens of
thousands, hundreds of thousands of people are organizing and preparing to
fight them, whenever necessary and suitable.  He then talked about the case
of the uprising in Pinar del Rio and the rapid reaction from the militia
forces which spotted the disturbance and wiped the trouble makers out; this
should give us an idea of what we can expect from the people when the time
comes to go into action against these enemies.

He mentioned the small aircraft which have lately been violating
Cuban air space and which must be shot down, not just in order to prove
where they came from.

We must [Unreadable text] electrical industry; there are cases
where more than 12 members of a single family work for the electric power
company and they have been recommended by Mujal and by the criminals. It is
painful to do this but it is necessary and it would be useless to be
tolerant toward these counterrevolutionaries. (Shouts of "to the firing

He called those who perpetrated dynamite and sabotage attacks on
the electric power facilities, low-down individuals and traitors. The only
thing to do is to find them out and apprehend them.

In the name of the revolutionary government -- he said -- I
propose to the electrical workers assembly that we assume full
responsibility for beating the bushes for counterrevolutionary elements, so
that they will know that the very generous and magnanimous revolution can
also display a firm hand when circumstances so require.

We are going to beat the bushes and we are going to do a good job.
Let those who want to earn their living from the fatherland earn it
honestly, loyally, and patriotically.

Anyone who cannot offer security to the people and the fatherland
must not be stationed where he can do damage or place damaging bombs.

Let them work where they cannot do any damage to anybody and if
they do not want to work honestly and loyally, let them take the kind of
hand-outs with which the imperialists pay the traitors.

The revolution will go on and it will go forward with the good
workers and with the good Cubans; you know how to roll your sleeves up and
get down to work; we must have a legion of good electrical industry workers
who will accept the truth and act accordingly.

The revolution will keep wages at the level they are at now; it
will never go against this sort of thing; and this applies also to the
banking industry workers and the other sectors which are fighting against
the exploiters, the criminals, the politicians; the revolution has wrested
the weapons from the hands of the spies and has put them into the hands of
the people and it has also put the power into the hands of the people; this
power must definitely be held by the working class, by the class which
produces all of the benefits of the people; this is only to the benefit of
the people.

I am sure -- he said finally -- that the electrical sector will be
among the most revolutionary and that you will above all be workers and

The G-2 Report

A report made to the government by the intelligence service, G-2,
we are told that intelligence investigations of terrorist acts resulted in
the capture of some of the plotters, all of whom were employed by the
"Antonio Guiteras" Cuban Electric Power Company; they included some
workers who were members of the labor union at that enterprises.

The report added the following:

While investigations were conducted among enterprise personnel,
all inquires indicated that these terrorist acts had been planned and
perpetrated there very carefully; during these investigations, 4 persons
were arrested after having been rescued from the high seas; they had left
the country and they were heading for the Florida coast; they turned out to
be Julio Casielles Amigo, William Le Sante Nasser, Olirio Luis Mendez
Perez, and Armando Rodriquez Vizcaino, all of them employed by the "Antonia
Guiteras" Cuban Electric Power Company.

After some of the plotters had been arrested, Pedro Fraginals, one
of the participants in these terrorist acts, a man who was a member of the
Commission of Public Order in the electric power plant labor union, along
with those arrested -- had to find asylum in an embassy in the capital.

Leaders Identified

As a result of the investigations, it was possible to determine
the leader or leaders in these terrorist acts; they were the leader of the
electrical union workers, Juan Francisco Collado, Jesus Arnao Caballero,
Julio Casielles Amigo and Luis Mendez Perez, men who were tied in with the
counterrevolutionary traitor David Salvador; on the day of the attack, 29
November 1960, they met on the 8th floor of the building at the corner of
Galiano and Angeles, where they firmed up the last detail of the operation;
they also planned their departure from the country if they were discovered;
after their sabotage operation, they therefore met at the "Club
Cubanelesco," where they had a boat waiting for them.

But when the others failed to arrive, these men went out looking
for another boat which, they indicated, belonged to a fellow called "El
Gallego," [the Galician] likewise an employee of the Cuban Electric Power
Company; the boat capsized as the result of a big wave and the crew and
passengers were picked up by the captain of the dredge, "Manate," by the
name of Jose Hernandez Graniel.

Later on in the day it was possible to prove that the dynamite
attack had been carried out by these men as follows:

William Le Santo Nasser, who was in guard duty around noon on 29
November, was to hand over the keys to the electrical junction boxes and to
truck No 3-020, which was used by that company, to the company employee
Olirio Luis Mendez Perez, who was to take off a few moments afterward.

They Used a Truck

After this was done, Olirio Mendez Perez, acting as the driver,
took truck No. 3-020, belonging to the Cuban Electric Power Company, from
the motor pool of that company, at the intersection of Blanco and San
Lazaro, apparently benefitting from the carelessness of a militiaman by the
name of Jose A. Recio Lobato, who happened to be on guard at the gate to
these premises.

A few moments earlier, according to a statement by the militiaman,
the leader of the electrical workers, Juan Francisco Collado, arrived at
the building at the intersection of Blanco and San Lazaro; the leader of
the electrical workers got out of the truck before it left, accompanied by
a big, heavy-set fellow who worked in the cable section of the company;
then, the driver of Amaury Fraginals asked about an individual whom they
called "Billete" [ticket]; when he did not find him there, he left.

According to Alejandro J. Leon Hernandez, a regular guard of the
electric power company, who was at his post that afternoon, when the truck
was taken from the premises at Blanco and San Lazaro, Collado, the
electrical worker leader, arrived a few moments after the truck; he came in
a car accompanied by certain fellow by the name of Dominguez who at that
time was under investigation on charges of theft which had been placed by
the company against him.

Report on the Facts

The truck No 3-020, driven by Olirio Luis Mendez, then picked up
Jorge Ernesto Arnao Caraballo on the way; this man was known by the cover
name of "Viruta" [chip].  Elsewhere, he made contact with the car in which
the leader Collado was traveling, accompanied by Jesus Fernandez, and
another fellow known by the name of Dominguez or Domingo; the latter
switched from the car to the truck and the truck then went on to the place
where he brought the dynamite bombs that Collado was supposed to give him;
these were the bombs which were in Collado's car.  After the truck
continued on its way, it was supposed to pick up someone else on Alambique
Street, near Tallapiedra; this other person was likewise an employee of the
electric power company by the name of Julio Cesielles Amigo, who had been
earlier named in a suit by the company.

Truck No 3-020, driven by Olivio Luis Mendez, thus was already
carrying Jorge Ernesto Arnao, Casielles, and Dominguez or Domingo, a fellow
with a German-style haircut, blonde, with a big nose, about 25 years old,
as well as the explosive bombs.

This frequently-mentioned truck No 3-020 was followed by the
previously mentioned Juan Francisco Collado and Jesus Fernandez Hernandez,
who were traveling in a 1958 Chevrolet, license number 61-357, engine motor
number E-581-133666; this car was registered in the name of the Provincial
Electric Power Plant Labor Union and was used by union leader Collado in
connection with his union activities.

The Sabotage Operation

And this is how the first sabotage action was carried out in the
underground electric power junction box located under a manhole cover at
the intersection of Diaria and Aguila streets; to do this, Casielles Amigo
broke the seal on the manhole cover and raised it; then Arnao lowered
himself down into the manhole and placed a time bomb, following directions
given by Dominguez or Domingo.  While they were doing this, around 1400,
Collado and Fernandez, were sitting in the car, near the truck, and were
trying to make sure that the coast was clear; they also had an excuse
ready, in case somebody stopped them, and they would say this was all on
official business; at the same time they of course wanted to make sure that
the sabotage operation would come off properly.  They performed this same
operation in all of the other underground electrical junction boxes, under
the manhole covers, where they placed dynamite devices.

Early in the morning, at various intervals, explosions took place
in the following underground electric junction boxes:  at Zulueta and San
Jose, in the building of the Payret Theater; at San Jose and Consulado,
right next to Radio Cadena Havana; on Galiano, between Neptune and
Concordia, where the America Theater is located; at the intersection of
Enna and Justicia streets, in Luyano; under the Estrada Palma Theater; on
Anton, between Puerta Corrada and Diaria; on Alambique between Vives and
Esperanza; at Concordia No 53; Santa Emilia No 24, and Santos Suarez.