Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 0453 GMT 20 May 1961--E

(Live speech by Fidel Castro in Havana at a ceremony honoring him for
receiving the Lenin prize)

(Summary) Friends from foreign countries, visitors' delegations, comrades
of the revolution: During the course of the history of humanity, the causes
of war have been exploitation and plunder. Ever since man has been aware of
historical evolution, all wars have been caused by these two reasons. In
order to understand who is guilty of war and who is fighting for peace, one
must understand that perfectly well. Those who support war, those guilty of
war have always been the exploiters, those who seek to seize the wealth and
the natural resources of other nations, of their own people. Thus
exploitation and plunder have cost people oceans of blood.

During our appearance in the United States in this name of Cuba, we said
that when the philosophy of exploitation and plunder ends, then the
philosophy of wars would end. This is something which humanity is going
through at this moment and we can prove it quite clearly. The danger of war
which threatens nations and humanity does not come from those who love
justice, or from those who love the progress of humanity, or from the men
who desire a better life for man, a better future for humanity. It does not
come from those who fight for freedom, sovereignty,and independence of
nations; for the fight of self-determination; for the right of nations to
enjoy their natural resources and their work.

The threats to peace and humanity come from those who defend colonialism;
who defend imperialism; who are against the right of the colonies to be
free, the right of men to develop their economy, the right of nations to
their sovereignty; who oppose the rights of men to be free and to enjoy a
better life. The threat of war, in the world today as always in the course
of history, comes from those who want to maintain the right of plunder and
exploitation over man. The world is now closer than ever to the
opportunity, or to the moment, when war could be eradicated forever. The
world is also closer than ever to the moment when exploitation and hunger
could be eradicated forever from humanity. The world is facing these two
prospects, and yet the world is being threatened by war.

Who is guilty of war; who is threatening war; who is dealing in war; who
threatens humanity with this curse? To reply to this, the reasoning power
of a five-year-old child is sufficient: It is the colonialists and
imperialists who are threatening the peace of the world, who threaten wars,
who constantly place humanity on the brink of war. Why must the
colonialists and imperialists threaten war and resort to war? They use the
danger and the threat of war for several reasons: first of all, because
they represent a world which is dying out, a world of decadence, a social
system which is outdated, modes of life doomed to disappear.

They are condemned by history. History, the natural history of men and
human society dooms them to disappear. And so they seek to halt the
inevitable course of history, to halt human society, and they also want to
prevent, by means of force, what they cannot hold up in any case, because
it is an invariable law of history. They are against this event which is
inevitable. Those who fight for history, who fight in accordance with the
laws of historical process, do not have to oppose history by force. These
people know that these laws of history cannot be held up by force, and that
these laws of history will be carried out. They do not despair, as the
child who grows does not despair.

There are those who seek to maintain the exploitation of nations by
oligarchies, the exploitation of man by man, and since only force can keep
man in exploitation, in submission, since only force can keep peoples in
colonialism, under the economic or political domination of other peoples;
the only ones that need armies, violence; and destructive weapons are those
who defend oppression, exploitation of man by man, colonialism, monopolies
and imperialism; for all these things are maintained in this century by
violence, force, and weapons. And when disarmament is proposed--total
disarmament of nations, the destruction of nuclear weapons, the
disappearance of armies and substitution of police forces, the
disappearance of naval and air squadrons--the only ones opposed to this
disarmament are those who cannot renounce the use of force, violence,
squadrons, planes, and nuclear arms; because if the imperialists and
colonialists were to disarm, then who could prevent the freedom on the
colonies, of the people?

How could Portugal maintain a colony in Angola without armies there? How
could colonialists maintain themselves in the Congo without colonial
armies? How would they maintain control of resources of other countries if
not with weapons, armies, and threats of war? How could they maintain
intervention in Laos if not with their arms, interventionist colonialist
armies, spy corps, and subversive means? How could they have intervened in
Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, and other sister American nations without
squadrons, marines, and powerful armies? How could they maintain control of
so many nations without military bases, armies, and squadrons? They cannot
renounce these things without renouncing imperialism, colonialism,
interventionism, the exploitation of many by man.

This truth, the truth that today the armies and nuclear weapons could be
discarded if it were not for the fact that the only opponents of the
disappearance of wars are those who oppose the consecration of the most
sacred rights of peoples and nations.

To struggle for the independence of peoples against colonialism is to
struggle for peace. To fight against imperialism is to fight for peace. To
fight for the liberation of man is to fight and work for peace. To oppose
colonialism, imperialism, and the exploitation of man by man is to defend
peace. To struggle against the warmongers is to defend peace. To denounce
and unmask the warmongers is to defend peace. And to defend independence
against colonialists is to defend peace and the right of self-determination
of peoples. To defend the sovereignty of the nation is to struggle for
peace. And Cuba has fought for peace by fighting the tyranny, combatting
exploitation of man by man, defending self-determination, defending its
sovereignty. And the men who died in Zapata peninsula defending Cuban
sovereignty fell while fighting for peace. (Applause)

And this recognition, this prize is deserved by those who have given their
lives to defend peace, which means sovereignty, independence, and justice.
Those who fought against imperialism and tyranny and have given their lives
for our land deserve this prize. They deserve this prize first. Then, the
people, who so tirelessly, firmly, and heroically have defended their
sovereignty, justice, and independence deserve it. The people have not been
intimidated by the warmongers, the infamous marines, the size of the bombs
from the planes, or the destructive power of modern arms. If the Cuban
people had cowered before the warmongers, and imperialists and had
surrendered before the aggressions, the Cuban people would not have
deserved this peace prize.

But the people have known how to prepare and organize. If our people had
not armed to the teeth, imperialism would not have hesitated to attack us,
to bathe our land in blood. And if the Cuban people had not prepared to
resist any form of aggression, we would still be fighting in the national
territory. The country would be involved in a long and terrible war.
Hundreds of thousands of lives would have been lost. But in not hesitating
to organize and reinforce their combat units, in not sparing valor and
heroism, it was possible to destroy the embryo invasion, and destroy the
beachhead, although at a high cost in lives. But the people did save
hundreds of thousands of lives by defeating the enemy. The people made
possible the destruction in a few hours of what would have become in short
time a tremendous source of conflict in the world, which would have led to
serious complication in the international field.

And our people, with this victory, offered a contribution to world peace
our people awoke the solidarity of all the peoples and governments that
defend peace, and with that universal act of solidarity they were able to
stop and prevent the advance of the dangers of new imperialist aggressions.
The men and women, the workers and the peasants, and the students, who for
long hours day and night organized themselves, armed themselves, prepared
themselves to defend the sovereignty of the country and its independence
have made an effective contribution to world peace.

When we began this speech we had only one thought: the ones to be
congratulated are the people, those who have fallen, because this honorable
prize is a prize for the revolution, a prize for our people; and as such we
have received it, feeling the same happiness you feel, thinking that it is
a victory of an entire, united, firm, and heroic people. (Applause)

The date brings us the recollection of that great Cuban independence
fighter, our immortal Jose Marti. (Applause) He, too, and all who
sacrificed themselves and fell as he did to defend sovereignty and
nationality, all Cubans who struggled for social justice against
imperialism and exploitation, all of them deserve this peace prize. The
present moment in history of our country is nothing but the climax of the
effort of our people for more than a century--more than a century of
struggle for complete independence, incessant battle, struggle, falls, and
incessant uprisings, reverses, and new efforts to achieve the goal; more
than a century of sacrifice, pain, and tears to achieve what we are today,
what we have today. We are only the last in the series that fought for

We are the fortunate generation who have been able to harvest the fruits of
that long effort and to sow the seeds from that harvest for future
generations. We are the generation that has the pride of exhibiting the
Lenin peace prize on our chest. And the Lenin prize symbolizes the efforts
of humanity to rise from slavery and exploitation. It symbolizes the
efforts of these peoples who have had to pay with their lives for their
live of progress and peace. It signifies the sacrifice of those who have
had to pay imperialism an enormous tribute to blood, tears, and mourning.
It signifies millions of Russians, Chinese, Czechs, Poles, Germans,
Rumanians, Bulgarians, Spaniards, Laotians, and Algerians in the struggle
against nazism, fascism, German imperialism, Japanese imperialism, Yankee
imperialism, French imperialism; against colonialism; against reaction and
the exploitation of man by man.

The Lenin prize reminds us that other peoples have had to pay a greater
tribute than we have been paying to imperialism in our effort to be free.
We are reminded of the leader of the Soviet proletariat, who fought so much
for peace: Lenin, whose slogan of "Bread, peace, and land" converted that
imperialist war into a socialist revolution.

Socialism meant peace, bread, and land against imperialism, and the
imperialist war, against the hunger of peasants who were sent to die in
trenches to defend the privilege of aristocratic classes that plundered the
nations and peoples.

Greater Understanding of Soviets

With the lessons taught us by imperialism, with their acts of terrorism and
espionage, we have learned what the Soviet people had to suffer from the
interference of imperialists in their internal affairs. We have learned of
the battles the Soviets had to fight. (Applause, chanting) Now we admire
more and we better understand the Soviet people. Now we better appreciate
their heroism, their efforts, their struggle. We understand the number of
mercenaries the imperialists organized in their territory, isolated from
the world by lies. The campaign used against the Soviet peoples by
landowners, clergy, colonialists, imperialists, and the yellow press of the
entire world was like the one used against use. The artists, the humble,
the exploited, defend us; while the powerful, the millionaires, the yellow
press, the clergy, the falangists of America, the Nazis of America, the
fascists of America, the reactionaries of America, the enslavers of
America, the torturers of America, the political parties of America, the
thieves of America, the murders of America, the hirelings of America attack
us. (Chanting)

The traitors, those sold to Yankee gold, those sold to the Yankee State
Department, the submissive, those who bow to the powerful North, the
corrupt spirits are the ones that attack the glorious and heroic revolution
of the small country of the American continent which has been the first to
break the chains that linked it to exploiting imperialism. (Chanting)

It is those who attack the workers and peasants of the small American
nation which have broken the chains. The obscurantists, those who keep
American in illiteracy, are the ones who attack the small country waging
the biggest struggle ever against ignorance and lack of culture. All that
is rotten in this continent attacks the revolution. The rotten fruits that
do not want to fall, shaken by the continental wind caused by the Cuban
revolution, and these rotten fruits try to defy the law of gravity of
history by virtue of which imperialism, colonialism, and slavery are
obliged to fall.

All that is rotten in America fights against what is best in America,
against the workers, progressive intellectuals, artists, students. The best
of America fights for Cuba. The best of America goes into the street
against Yankee imperialism. The best of America goes into the street to
repulse the Nixons, the Eisenhowers, the agents of imperialism.

The best of America goes into the street challenging the abusive police,
and leaves in the streets of the capitals of America a rosary of dead and
wounded. The best of America has even left dead on the streets of this
continent when our heroic soldiers were fighting in the battlefront. The
best of American bestirs itself and supports us even though we have no

For although imperialism wants to maintain its power through its millions,
the people do not support those who come with their miserable dollars that
they have taken from the sweat and work of Latin America, The peoples do
not sell themselves to imperialism. The peoples are with Cuba, which does
not have gold to offer, but which does have something much more powerful
than millions of dollars. When they awake in America and try to understand
why the peoples support Cuba, a poor country, the answer is this: Cuba
represents the desire of justice of America. Cuba represents (Chanting) the
pain of the oppressed of America. Cuba represents the hunger for justice,
bread, work, and land of the workers and peasants of America. And with
mountains of millions of dollars they will not be able to bury the justice
of the Cuban revolution.

Cuba Forced U.S. Aid

When our militiamen and soldiers were falling and dying in Zapata
peninsula, they were helping Latin America. The Yankee Congress did not
approve the credit of 500 million dollars until the defeat of the invasion.
They tried to save the 500 millions by the invasion. Without the victory of
the Cuban revolution in Playa Giron the 500 million law would still be
pigeonholed in the U.S. Congress. It was the victory of our people that
hurried the imperialists to approve that credit. When the Yankee dollars
arrive in the pockets of the Latin American oligarchies, the least they
will be able to say if they are a bit honest is: Thanks, Cuban revolution,
for you helped us get these millions. Thanks, Cuban revolution, for until
today the Yankee shark has not remembered the Latin American sardines.
Thanks, Cuban revolution, because until now the Yankee shark never had
taken it upon itself to help even the reactionary groups that have been
serving it.

Those millions will not reach the people. They will stay in hands of the
oligarchies. What would those millions have meant in the time of the regime
of exploitation? Batista misused millions miserably. What would 100
millions have meant? It would mean more luxury for the clubs, more
discrimination, more Cadillacs in the street, more trips to Paris, more
banknotes on numbers in the gambling casinos, more thefts, more millions
for the generals, more dirty deals and a greater gap between the
all-powerful and the poor.

How could there be improvement for the people without justice and social
improvement? To strengthen the monopolies means to widen the gap, to make
the rich more powerful and the humble more weak and poor. That is the only
possible significance of the millions with which the Yankees try to put out
the flame our revolution has started in the sister nations. Imperialism
respects only peoples that rebel, that rise up and fight. With all the
attacks on us, imperialism is telling America what a small nation is
capable of when it defends its rights. This small nation of six million has
aroused the entire continent. This small island has moved the entire
continent, as we had not done it when we were servilely accepting
exploitation. We moved the continent when we got rid of the yoke, when we
declared ourselves a completely free and sovereign nation; when we
nationalized the banks, the refineries and the monopolies. Imperialism has
taught the American peoples this lesson. It has shown the panic of
imperialism when a nation rises to regain its rights. This explains why no
matter how many millions imperialism spends, sympathy for the Cuban
revolution will continue. America will continue to awaken, and this is what
the Yankees fear. This is what they find hard to understand. They do not
realize that this is a historic thing that cannot be stopped by arms or
anything. History condemns imperialism to disappear. The imperialists
should study history if they want to learn what is happening to them.

U.S. Awakening

Today it was necessary to think about this in order to understand what
struggle for peace means. The peace movement is spreading through England,
because the English do not want their country to be a base and become a
atomic target. The Yankees do not even confer or consult with their allies
whose countries are covered with bases. That is giving rise to the growth
of the peace movement. This is happening even in the United States.
Intellectuals are rising up, thinking men are rising up, honest and just
men are speaking out to the government, condemning the intervention in Cuba
as an act that violates international law. It is heartening to see how the
Negroes are standing up valiantly.

Many professors, judges, and students from many parts of the United States
have condemned the attack on Cuba. This is a hopeful sign because it means
that the U.S. people are awakening. It means that one day the U.S. people
will also awake and will put an end to that band of insolent millionaires
and militarists. The U.S. people sooner or later will open their eyes to
this reality and will put an end to all the shame and hate signified by the
imperialist system. The peace movement is growing in the heart of the
United States.

That is what is needed: for peace lovers of the world to rise and demand
the right of humanity to live and to be free from the terrible threat of
war. What we all want is peace, for the good of all peoples, including the
U.S. people. We peace fighters distinguish between people and governments.
The warmongers are exposing the American people to destruction. The peace
fighters struggle for peace for all peoples and for their welfare and
happiness, including the U.S. people.

All peoples need peace. Only the arms makers and monopolies need war. The
peoples need peace to progress, to create, to advance. Our people need
peace. Our people want peace to carry out revolutionary work. We do not
need Yankee millions. What we need is peace. With or even without peace, we
will defeat illiteracy in less than a year. There is hardly a family
without a literate son. We need peace to advance, to find work for every
Cuban, to fight against illness and suffering, to continue the work of the
revolution. We sincerely want peace and we want them to leave us in peace.
We have said this a thousand times. But we have had to bear air attacks,
invasions, economic attacks, mercenary attacks. We have had to live with
guards posted. Why? That is the price of freedom, the price of sovereignty,
the price of peace. We want peace but while there is a threat we will
continue arming and preparing to defend our sovereignty. We will continue
acquiring more weapons and preparing without rest, no matter how many
weapons are necessary to defend our sovereignty.

We want peace, but we will not stop strengthening our defense. This is the
price of peace, so that imperialists will know that they cannot invade our
country with impunity, so they will know that we will defend to the end. We
will see what happens in Latin America, if imperialist attacks continue.

Prisoners for Bulldozer Tractors

"Now we will refer to a pending problem. It is related to our declaration
about the mercenary prisoners, and our decision to return them, in exchange
for an indemnification for the damages they have caused the country of 500
bulldozer tractors, can be considered a contribution to peace. Giving their
friends the opportunity of recovering the men they sent to the adventure of
the Zapata peninsula can be considered an act in favor of peace. The
imperialist government assumed responsibility for the invasion. The entire
world knows of the details, the orders, and the direct participation of the
high command of the U.S. army, of the Central Intelligence Agency, and of
the U.S. Executive. The President of the United States himself declared
publicly that he was responsible for that attack.

"If that is the case, let him also assume the responsibility of repairing
the damage. It is clear that we are not going to expect that gentleman to
worry about our people, but we do understand that he is obligated to care
about what is his, that he is obliged to care for the invaders he sent on
that adventure.

We here very seriously repeat that, inasmuch as that idea has been welcomed
by the people, understood and supported by the people, we are ready to send
them, excluding the criminals, to return to them their brigade if they are
ready to pay in compensation for the harm done to the country 500
bulldozers; not 500 small tractors, of course, but 500 heavy tractors with
which the country can repair the material damage, although the country can
never be compensated for the lives it lost."

At least, that way, instead of feeding them and wasting man hours taking
care of these men, the sacrifice will serve to develop our economy and our
agriculture. Of course, some may ask if they would not be used against us
again. But we are unworried about 1,000 mercenaries, or even 10,000
mercenaries. We have been waiting here for the Yankees' direct aggression.
One thousand mercenaries are so little. Also that proves the confidence of
the victory of the revolution. We know that if they send 20 expeditions
like this we can put them out of combat in less than 72 hours. If they send
only mercenaries it would be a short thing, but if the mercenaries come
with direct intervention, that will mean a battle, of course. But sooner or
later, we will defeat them.

The revolution does not waste any time in preparing. Every minute that
passes we are more prepared. We work faster than imperialism. For every one
they train we recruit and train 1,000. We will send the priests to Franco

"The brigade of mercenary prisoners will be sent if they (the United
States--Ed.) are agreed to compensate for the harm done with 500 tractors.
Are the people in agreement with that proposal? (The crowd roars its

"So, if the people are in agreement there is no need for more talk. They
are talking of going to the Red Cross. That is not necessary. The
transaction is simple. Straight away tomorrow we will send them a committee
of prisoners to arrange all the pertinent transactions; and the order will
be thus: for each part of the total indemnification that arrives we will
send part of the invaders; beginning with the least important to the more
important. That is to say, first, the least important and then the more
important, and the most important when the last shipment of agricultural
equipment has arrived. We are honest enough and have enough credit not to
need any kind of intermediary. Let the tractors come on the ferry and the
groups of invaders will go on the ferry.

"For that purpose we will send a committee of the prisoners--not important
ones--to transact the payment of the indemnification and the procedure
through which that indemnification will arrive.

If not, they (the prisoners--Ed.) are the one who will have to compensate
for the damages. They would have to do it by working as long as may be
necessary to compensate the country for the damage they have done. If the
imperialist bosses want to make this compensation, very well. The
revolution is ready to accept this form, which is, on the part of the
revolution, a generous gesture that also demonstrates the confidence the
revolution has in itself, the confidence of the people in themselves.

"Moreover, these gentlemen know well what they have seen here. They know
how the people are. They will know the way they were handled. They know
well what is here and perhaps they can serve those over there as good
advisers. But what is important is that the people be in accord, and on
that basis the sooner they bring the bulldozers and take them (the
mercenaries--Ed.) away the better. (Crowd shouts)

"We will not exchange them for weapons. We will not exchange them for
bullets. We will not exchange them for money. That proposal was made on the
second anniversary of the agrarian reform. We will exchange them for
agricultural equipment to give even greater impetus to the agrarian reform,
and let them not make impossible comparisons. These gentlemen who landed
here came with weapons in their hands, they attacked the national territory
by surprise, they were armed by a foreign government and in the service of
a foreign government. This crime is punished with capital punishment all
over the world.

"So the fact that the revolution is willing to accept compensation is only
because the revolution is practical, the revolution is generous. The
revolution gains by it and demonstrates its strength; not a feigned
strength but real strength. With this the revolution demonstrates the
little attention it gives the mercenaries that may want to come here, be
they 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000. (Applause)

Now, Mr. Kennedy has the floor, the State Department has the floor. They
have already confessed that they sent them. Let us see if they are going to
confess that they are going to leave them. It is up to them. We will limit
ourselves to waiting calmly.

"The rainy season is coming and the most important work of the tractors
will be done in the coming dry season. But in the meantime they can build
roads and many things." (Crowd shouts).

"The compensation must be made with all guarantees, and the equipment must
be in perfect condition. They must have, for example, replacement parts, of
course." (Crowd shouts) "Don't you worry because the compensation must be
complete and satisfactory for the damage they cause the country." (Crowd

We hope to clean this up and devote ourselves to work. Let the imperialists
know that next time it will cost more. (Crowd shouts) "That is the basis
point; on that basis we will discuss the other details. Understand? That is
why today is not the time to discuss, because in a discussion they should
now know what we are going to propose. First, find out if they are willing
to negotiate on that basis with, more or less, the general terms of the
negotiation. We will do all to make it an honorable and useful thing that
will completely compensate the revolution.

"We will first begin to negotiate, immediately, without intermediaries. Let
them send whomever they want to negotiate. We are going to send a group of
theirs there to negotiate their own indemnification--a small group, it does
not matter. One swallow does not make a summer. A handful is not the
brigade. It is being held there. It is complete. Never has an expeditionary
army been captured so completely as it was here. It was complete, except
for the dead and a few that might have escaped of the ones that did not die
in the swamps. They are all prisoners. There are 1,200 prisoners. (Crowd

"There is a member of the civil government here. That member of the civil
government will be exchanged for Molina, who is a prisoner there. Mr.
Artime is here. He was not a member of the brigade but a member of the
so-called junta they have in the United States. Mr. Artime is not member of
the brigade. He is a member of the junta, and he will remain. We are
willing to return him on condition that they return Molina."

So we can put an end to this inglorious chapter of the imperialist
aggression against our country. We have had to be careful not to cause
trouble. We have had to suffer many provocations.

CIA Submarine Attack

"Some extraordinarily strange events have taken place, such as the case of
one of our navy ships which carried the director of the national
development office, Capt. Gonsalves (Lina?); who was also the leader of the
squad; the head of a naval group. He was with several other militiamen,
several revolutionary comrades. Some 10 miles from our coasts they sent an
SOS saying: "They have sunk us; they have sunk us.'

"They repeated that phrase over and over. There was not time to ask for an
explanation. The launch, the R-43, was slowly sinking, taking water. It
appears, according to our deductions, although, naturally, it is very
difficult to present conclusive proof, but our conclusion is that this ship
was sunk by a torpedo penetrating it, fired, possibly, from a submarine.
They explained: 'They have sunk us; they have sunk us,' at the first call.
On the third call, they gave their position. They were asked to explain how
the attack took place, and they said that it was as if they hit something;
the effect of a penetrating torpedo.

"My impression is that the vessel was sunk by some submarine of the Central
Intelligence Agency. It is somewhat similar to the Pa Coubre explosion,
similar to the attack of our bases. There is never any security against
attacks by the freebooters and pirates of imperialism."

We have had to live under threat for long time. We have one consolation:
imperialism has failed in all attempts, from the press campaign to the
invasion. They have failed and they will continue to fail. We are sure we
will continue victoriously ahead. We have noted a rebirth of revolutionary
fervor, which was always great, but now it is greater.

The successes of the revolutionary measures have created confidence in the
revolution. We have many tasks ahead. We have to institutionalize the
revolution on the basis of democratic socialism, without the exploitation
of man by man. One can see what has been done in these two and a half
years. Our achievements give us an indication of what we can do in the
coming years. We are picking up speed. Things can be done faster now. A
feeling of responsibility has grown.

The people are developing politically. The understand political and
national problems. Revolutionary consciences are being developed.
Divisionism has been left behind. Every Cuban is proud of being part of the
movement that is lighting the way for Latin American peoples. That is what
we are today, a flame that indicates the road to the liberation of the
peoples, an inextinguishable flame. That is the fruit of two and a half
years. Glory to Marti; glory to Lenin; glory to peoples who fight against
exploitation! Long live peace! Fatherland or death; we shall conquer!

- O -

INDUSTRY POST--Juan M. Castineiras Garcia has been named undersecretary for
industries, filling the vacancy left the the transfer of Maj. Omar
Fernandez to the Transportation Ministry. Castineiras was chief of the
revolutionary navy. (Havana Radio Centro 2330 GMT 20 May 1961--E)


Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish to Latin America 1400 GMT 22 May 1961--E

(Statement by Premier Fidel Castro on exchange of prisoners)

(Text) Havana--In the name of the Cuban Revolutionary Government, Premier
Fidel Castro has issued an exclusive statement to PRENA LATINA, condemning
the "unworthy" attitude of the U.S. Government in attempting to detract
from the position of the Cuban Government with respect to indemnification
for damage caused to Cuba in the recent invasion of mercenaries.

In his statement, the Cuban Premier announced that his government would
cancel all negotiations if they (the United States--Ed.) insisted on
presenting them as an "exchange." Fidel Castro asserted: "If President
Kennedy wants to make an exchange of prisoners, the government is prepared
to exchange them for North American, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan, Nicaraguan,
and Spanish antifascist political prisoners, headed by Pedro Albizu Campos
and the Cuban Francisco Molina."

He also asserted that the Cuban Government would not engage in any
negotiations with the so-called government-in-exile of Miro Cardona, whom
he called a "simple tool of the Central Intelligence Agency."

He went on to say: "The Revolutionary Government will carry out
negotiations with the representatives of the executive branch of the United
States, with a commission of North American congressmen, or with a group of
personalities of that nation."

Text of Premier Fidel Castro's statement follows:

"The U.S. State Department has asserted through its news services that the
United States will give the greatest consideration to expediting the
appropriate license for the export of bulldozers to Cuba to rescue the
prisoners taken in the invasion which was defeated by our people.

"At the same time, the State Department affirms in its official statement
that 'the U.S. Government is fully aware of the cynicism of the trade
transaction which equates tractors with human lives.' According to the
statement, the U.S. Government is acting in this case 'from purely
humanitarian motives.'

"On making its generous offer to free the mercenary invaders without even
trying them if the United States paid for the material losses caused by the
invasion, the Cuban Government had the right to expect an altitude as
respectful and worthy as its own, and not an innopportune attack which
violates the most elementary norms of courtesy and tact required for the
treatment of this problem.

"The U.S. Government is lacking in ethics when it speaks of cynicism and
invokes 'humanitarian motives.' In U.S.-Cuban relations, the only cynicism
is that which has been repeatedly practiced by the imperialist government
of Washington. The acts of the U.S. Government, in which it violated all
the norms of law and international ethics by organizing, financing, arming,
and directing an expedition of mercenary invaders against the tiny and
peaceful country of Cuba, were cynical as well as criminal.

"The U.S. Government was cynical in giving the invasion order at the same
time that it was declaring to world public opinion that it had not the
slightest thing to do with this attack.

"The U.S. Government was cynical when it painted North American combat
planes with the insignia of the Cuban rebel air force and launched without
warning a brutal attack on our civilian and military airports, which caused
loss of life and injuries to our citizens.

"The U.S. Government was cynical when, with the full awareness that it had
deceived the world and the American people themselves it made its U.N.
representative, Adlai Stevenson, declare, that those planes were Cuban and
that this attack from foreign territory was a rebellion by aviators of our
own air force.

"The U.S. Government was cynical when, after all these reported denials and
statements, it assumed responsibility for the invasion and for the air
attack on Cuba, to the surprise of the world and of American public opinion
itself, which had been miserably deceived.

"U.S. spokesmen are cynical when they try to make impossible comparisons
between the defenseless Jews--innocents persecuted by the Nazis--and the
mercenary traitors and invaded Cuba in the service of a foreign power,
spilling the blood of our heroic people. As if they were trying to make the
world forget that Nazism, with all its horrors and dangers of war, has been
revived in Germany by the United States itself, and to forget the dishonor
that a Nazi officer is commander of North American soldiers in NATO.

"It is precisely toward Nazism that the imperialist government of the
United States is marching as a consequence of the inevitable degeneration
of monopolistic capitalism. To speak of humanitarian motives is sarcasm and
true cynism on its part.

"If the North American Government wished to act in a humanitarian way, it
would have left our tiny country in peace and would not try to frustrate at
all cost, by means of economic and military aggressions, the enormous
efforts being made by the Cuban people to overcome in a few months the
backward status imposed on them by 60 years of colonial domination.

"We cannot expect this humanitarian attitude from the imperialist leaders.
The U.S. Government supported the reactionary coup of Batista. The U.S.
Government, by its military, economic, and political protection of the
Batista tyranny, was an accomplice in the murder of 20,000 Cuban patriots.

"Those who now invoke 'humanitarian motives' have given shelter, aid, and
encouragement to the war criminals--murderers of Cuban youths--who fled to
the United States. They have maintained them, paid, them, prepared them,
and later sent them back--like the monstrous Calvino--to return to murder
more patriotic Cubans.

"The mercenary prisoners committed a crime of high treason when, in the
service of the policy of a foreign power, they bombed Cuban installations
from abroad without warning and invaded the country with weapons in hand,
claiming many lives, including those of women and children.

"President Kennedy's statement would be the best testimony in accusing the
invaders of high treason before any tribunal in the world--and the crime of
high treason is universally punished with the death penalty. By means of
the false accusation of high treason, the U.S. Government caused the
Rosenbergs to be sentenced and executed.

"Because it did not send the 1,200 mercenary traitors to the execution
wall, the Revolutionary Government had to exercise all its authority with
the Cuban people when it reached its decision, in public discussion with
mercenaries who themselves expected the most severe sentence for their
criminal conduct, to be generous to those who acted as servants of the
foreign aggressors.

"The Revolutionary Government views the negotiations, not as a prisoner
exchange, but as indemnification. This indemnification of 500 tractors
would compensate the Cuban nation for the material damages caused by the
invaders and the Yankee planes in their sneak attack, although not for the
lives of our fallen combatants or of the women and children murdered in the
bombings, which could not be paid for with all the gold in the U.S.
treasury. This will be imperialism's permanent debt to the Cuban people.

"If they persist in considering that the indemnification for material
damage caused to Cuba is a prisoner exchange, the Revolutionary Government
will proceed to cancel the negotiations.

"The prisoner delegates who are in the United States were informed with
full clarity that this was not an exchange of prisoners for tractors, but
indemnification by the aggressors, as a result of which the Cuban
Revolutionary Government could proceed to free them.

"The Revolutionary Government does not care whether the funds come from
public or private sources. What it does stipulate is that it will only
receive the agricultural equipment as an indemnification.

"The Revolutionary Government warns, in addition, that it will not
subscribe to any negotiations with the so-called Revolutionary Council
which is a simple instrument of the Central Intelligence Agency--as it
feels not the slightest respect for it, nor for those who fathered it.

"The Revolutionary Government will carry out its negotiations with the
representatives of the executive power of the United States or with a
committee of North American legislators or with a group of personalities of
that country.

"Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt has approached the government in regard to the
negotiations. We are disposed to talk with Mrs. Roosevelt and, if
necessary, will gladly receive here in our country for that purpose.

"If the Kennedy government wishes to effect a true prisoner exchange, we
are ready to effect it. The Revolutionary Government is disposed to
exchange the 1,200 imprisoned invaders for an equal number of Puerto Rican,
Nicaraguan, Guatemalan, North American, and Spanish anti-fascist political
prisoners condemned for political activities to more than five years in
prison, including the Cuban, Francisco Molina, and beginning with Pedro
Albizu Campos, who was sentenced to life imprisonment and has been in jail
for many years.

"It is well to remind Yankee imperialism that in its 'free world' there are
hundreds of thousands of political prisoners: true patriots, men and women
hurled into the dungeons for defending national independence, peace,
liberty, and democracy; North Americans imprisoned for their ideas of peace
and progress; Puerto Ricans who want the independence of a tiny country;
Guatemalans who struggle against the vulgar agents of the Central
Intelligence Agency whom the United States has imposed on them as leaders;
Nicaraguans and Spaniards who fight against Somoza and Franco and the
tyrannies which have oppressed their people for more than 20 years, while
the United States has not felt the slightest scruple or helped them.

"It should not be difficult for Mr. Kennedy to obtain from his allies and
servants in those countries the surrender of the number of political
prisoners, sentenced for deeds less serious in the punitive sense--not to
mention the moral aspect--than those committed by the invaders of Cuba.
That would be a true humanitarian gesture on the part of the U.S.

"In that case, Cuba would be disposed to renounce all material

"Mr. Kennedy now has the floor."