Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Cadena Oriental in Spanish 1730 GMT 7 June 1961--F

(Text) In reply to a message from the North American committee which has
been dealing with the affair of the mercenaries, Premier Fidel Castro has
sent to the members of the aforesaid committee the following message:

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, Mr. Walter Reuther, Mr.
Joseph M. Dodge:

With all respect, I should like to express the following:

1--Your committee has not taken really practical steps to lead the
negotiations to immediate and positive results.

2--The delay in the negotiations is only useful to those who need that time
in order to carry our against Cuba and its government a campaign which is
as hypocritical and repulsive as the procedures which preceded the criminal
aggression against our fatherland by forces organized, equipped, and
directed by the Government of the United States.

3--The Revolutionary Government has expressed with all clarity its opinions
in this question, while those who ought to be most interested in repairing
the serious violations of international morality and law as well as their
own serious political and practical blunders which have led the United
States to one of the most shameful episodes of its history, are seen only
feigning, simulating and engaging in ambiguities.

4--The responsibility of the Government of the United States in the
invasion of Cuba and in the casualties and destruction which it has caused
in our country is perfectly known to world opinion and admitted by the very
same persons who are responsible for the aggression.

5--The only way in which this embarrassing situation could have been
avoided would have been through the respect for the sovereignty and
integrity of our country, in conformity with the laws of the large and
small nations and with international morality.

6--Not Cuba, but solely and exclusively the Government of the United States
is responsible for the embarrassing situation and for the loss of prestige
which it has incurred as a result of its policy of aggression against Cuba
and the responsibility which it has for the future of the mercenaries whom
it has launched on the risky, illegal, and immoral invasion against Cuba.

7--Cuba has the right to impose exemplary punishment on those who have
committed against their own country a crime of high treason while they were
acting under the orders of a foreign government, as the President of the
United States himself has admitted.

8--It would be a serious mistake to interpret the gesture of Cuba declaring
its willingness to free those prisoners, except those responsible for
previous crimes, with the only condition that the material damages be
reimbursed, as weakness, inhumanity, or a business deal.

9--The Government of Cuba has declared its willingness to forego any
material indemnity, if the Government of the United States sets free and
negotiates with its allies Francisco Franco of Spain, Luis Somoza of
Nicaragua, Miguel Ydigoras of Guatemala, and Munoz Marin of Puerto
Rico--the last three being accomplices of the aggression against Cuba--to
set free an equal number of North American, Spanish, Nicaraguan,
Guatemalan, and Puerto Rican patriots who are imprisoned for fighting
against fascism, racism, colonialism, dictatorship, and imperialism.

10--Neither the Government of the United States nor the committee have said
one single word about the possibility of this true exchange-- freedom for
freedom--in consideration of which Cuba is ready to abandon its claim of
any material indemnity on the condition that the United States and its
associates renounce their desire to keep in prison Pedro Albizu Campos,
Henry Winston, and other true patriots equivalent in number to the invaders
who, in the inglorious and treacherous role of soldiers of the exploiting
monopolies, attacked their country with an escort of ships and planes of
the powerful United States.

11--The committee knows exactly that kind and the amount of the material
indemnity claimed by Cuba in view of the fact that this information has
been relayed to it with great precision by the delegation of prisoners. The
Government of Cuba will abide strictly by its claim, without engaging in
any bargaining.

12--It has been learned that the Central Intelligence Agency invested in
the aggression against Cuba the sum of 45 million dollars, without the
treasury of the United States haggling with it over one single cent for a
plan which has led to the death of Cuban men, women, and children and to
great material damage for our country. These facts justify labeling as
ridiculous and shameless the attitude of those who are opposed to the
indemnification of the material damage that has been inflicted.

13--This problem cannot be debated merely through cable messages. It would
be more suitable to send to Cuba a delegation in which a principal member
of the committee would be represented, preferably the widow of former
President Roosevelt or Mr. Milton Eisenhower, whose names--for being more
widely known in political circles--would contribute to getting the
negotiations under way.

14--If your committee is honestly interested in mediating this problem
without vacillation or timidity, it ought to send the delegation which it
had mentioned in prior communications in order to discuss with the Cuban
Government the payment of the indemnity or, in its place, negotiate the
release of an equivalent number of North American, Spanish, Nicaraguan,
Guatemalan, and Puerto Rican prisoners. Is the committee possibly afraid to
discuss the freedom of other men jailed for political reasons in the United
States, Spain, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico? Does the committee
not consider this type of case twice as humane?

15--The Cuban Government declares solemnly that it does not pursue any aims
of a selfish nature by making these statements and that it will not desist
from its generous attitude.

Please express to the members of your committee our appreciation for your
repeated statements that you are acting for humanitarian reasons and in
order to demonstrate your friendship for the Cuban people.

Sincerely, Fidel Castro, Premier of the Cuban Revolutionary Government.