Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 1130 GMT 27 Feb 73 F

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro participated in the program carried
last night by radio and television stations on the occasion of the 15th
anniversary of the founding of the guerrilla station Radio Rebelde. In his
speech, Maj Fidel Castro referred to the interest shown by Maj Che Guevara
and his efforts in creating the rebel station at a time when they [the
rebels] held a rather unsecured territory.

Fidel told how after hard work he was able to tune in the station at a
distance of about 200 meters and how (?anxious) he was to find out if Radio
Rebelde was heard beyond the distance. Fidel referred to his first
participation in Radio Rebelde which took place after the April strike. On
this subject, Fidel pointed out: "You all know that the strike was a
setback for the revolution and at the time the enemy was becoming bolder
and the population's spirits were low."

Fidel explained that he had anticipated that by this time Radio Rebelde
would have an audience and that his objective was to raise the spirits of
the people; he explained that even though they had suffered a defeat in the
strike and in the many military operations that had taken place in the
Sierra Maestra at different fronts the enemy had also suffered several

Elsewhere in his speech, Fidel pointed out that during the offensive the
radio station was moved to La Plata region where it was near the general
headquarters of the rebel army, thus making it possible for Radio Rebelde
to remain on the air throughout the offensive. Fidel affirmed: "It can be
said that Radio Rebelde gradually became such an important element that it
had to be considered a strategic objective by the enemy and, at the same
time, one of the locations that we had to defined with greater energy."

After referring to the importance given to the hospital that was already
operating in the Sierra Maestra, the mine and grenade factory and Radio
Rebelde, Fidel explained how Radio Rebelde remained as the focal point of
all the battles. In his speech, Fidel pointed out how all military
communiques reporting the situation and the battles and skirmishes that
were taking place on all fronts were transmitted by the station, and
because of that the revolution has been able to record in its archives a
large number of documents that reflect the happenings in detail.

Fidel said: "Radio Rebelde truly became our means of mass communication for
reaching the people, and it later became a radio station with a very high
rating." Subsequently, Fidel pointed out that the basic principle of the
station was that it never lied, it never exaggerated and that the results
of every military action were reported with absolute veracity. Fidel
referred to the fact that Radio Rebelde not only was a means of reporting
the news but also was the best means of communicating with the rebel

Fidel underscored that Radio Rebelde was a very important center for
military communications in addition to being the means of mass
communication which played an outstanding political role throughout the
war. He said Radio Rebelde reported to the people on circumstances during
decisive, very important times.

In closing, Commander Chief Fidel Castro stated: "We consider it very
fitting to always remember the role played by Radio Rebelde and the role
played by the comrades who worked in this station from the beginning and
who remained with it during the difficult days of the war. It is also
fitting that we pay tribute to Che's insight when, during difficult times,
at a time when we barely had an established territory, he began to work for
the founding of this station."

During last night's program, several founding members of the station
discussed all the events leading to its emergence and its activities during
the war.