Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL250840 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 0030 GMT 25 Jun 87

[Address to the nation by President Fidel Castro from the Council of State
in Havana on 24 June live]

[Text] Comrades, these have been days of intense work and tomorrow the
enterprises, the Communist Party of Cuba [PCC], unions, and youth cadres
begin holding their meetings in the provinces of Havana. I wanted to
clarify certain things before the meetings were held. This is why I wanted
to make these remarks. I invited a group of comrades who represent youths,
students, mass organization, and the PCC in Havana, as well as a group of
members of the press. I am going to refer to two current topics, as it was
announced by the press.

The first of them, the most current one, refers to causes or factors that
brought about the dismissal and subsequent arrest of Luis Orlando
Dominguez. I understand many people want to know the reasons for this
decision. I will begin by explaining that Luis Orlando is fairly well known
in our country. He was a leader of the Union of Young Communists [UJC] for
many years and president of the UJC after the world youth festival was
held. He worked [rewords] in general he did a good job and after he ended
his work with the UJC, he was invited -- I asked him and other young people
-- to work with us for some time since I believe certain broad and concrete
activities related to many problems the country has to deal with can be a
teaching experience for young cadres. At that time I asked the PCC
organization secretary to have Landi [short for Orlando] join our
Coordination and Support Staff, which as you well know visits many work
centers, hospitals, and in general, keeps me informed of the situation in
those places. We call it coordination and support because this really is
not a group of inspectors. They go to see what kind of problems exist, to
help, to provide as much advice as possible, and to coordinate activities
that may facilitate the solution of a certain problem. This is how Luis
Orlando started to work with us in the month of July of 19... I am going to
tell you exactly [shuffles papers] of 1982, when he had finished his work
with the youth organization.

I remember well -- other youths also joined the staff during that period of
time -- some youths did not like Luis Orlando. I asked them why and some
told me: sometimes he is shallow. I had not heard that kind of criticism
before. Others said: sometimes he is conceited or arrogant. Some pointed
out that sometimes he was somewhat of an introvert, that he isolated
himself from the rest of the comrades. That is the kind of things I was
told when I tried to find out why some of the members of the group did not
have a special liking for him or special regard, but nothing else was ever
said. This was in 1982. He was assigned a number of tasks within the staff.
Comrade Boffil [Angel Rosendo Moreno] who is an engineer -- some projects
under construction that I visited where we had a plan to guarantee the
living conditions of workers, improve transportation, in sum, a number of
things. Those centers were mainly the nuclear power plant, the Cienfuegos
oil refinery, and Moa. They are big projects. When I visited those places I
found some problems in their living conditions. Workers were being
transported to the interior of the country in trucks or carts. We saw the
problems they had with dining rooms and the cold weather. We implemented a
number of measures to provide service to workers, and not only services for
workers but support to those projects through other efforts because many
times those kinds of projects need the support and cooperation of many
organizations. We had these two comrades who systematically visited those
work centers. They visited them practically every 2 weeks.

They assessed all problems, talked to the management, PCC representatives,
workers and saw what kinds of problems could delay the project. All the
factions involved used to meet every so often.

I said it was not necessary to gather all factors involved to give an
account of the calamities The thing is to be up to date. I asked those
centers to report any problems to the office every day. We have to be up to
date on any problem. We entrusted that task to Luis Orlando and to Boffil.
To tell the truth, they were strict in their compliance. Boffil is still
involved in this task. They worked well in this.

He was also entrusted with another important task: to speed up the
reforestation plans. That was the year we began to plant some 140 or 150
million trees. It was a great leap in reforestation. It required various
kinds of resources, including raw materials to produce the sacking for the
forest greenhouses. Some transportation, some vehicles. This could also
include the study, analysis, solution of the problems of the personnel
working in the forestry enterprise. The material living conditions, whether
they had electricity, etc. Both matters relating to men and production. The
greenhouses had to be organized. Of course, that had to be carried out by
the Agriculture Ministry, but we assigned Luis Orlando to coordinate that
work. And I can say he did it well, really. He moved in an organized way,

We also gave him another important task: The Staff took care of camping.
Camping had begun to take shape in 1981, when he was still a member of the
communist youth. I began to push that program with the help of the youth.
We built the first camp bases, we studied the initial problems, we gave the
first resources for that task. From the first, it began to move the
following year, 1982, 1983, 1984. That was taken care of and administered
by the young communists. Of course, it was a program that required
resources, funds, and materials. Tents, transportation, a whole series of
material supplies.

We made him responsible for the management and supply of all this equipment
and resources. In addition, we had the program to build the camp bases. I
must also say he worked well in that front. There is no doubt about it.
During the time he spent administering it in close coordination with the
youth, around 100 camp bases were built. A strong program to build camp
bases had begun in 1983 on the northern coast of Havana; today they are in
great demand. The program was drafted. We had to coordinate with the
provincial people's government, the Construction Ministry, various organs
that participated in the execution of the program. We had to come up with
plans, look for architects. At one point we decided to change the tents
because they deteriorated too soon. Metal screens to ward off mosquitoes.
We built some swimming pools. We needed pumps to supply water to the
swimming pools. Special pumps, which, by the way, we did not have at first.
In sum, some adaptations were made though they are not ideal. Although not
a lot, this plan was large and required not only money but also foreign
currency. Some amounts to buy all those materials. And, I repeat, he did a
good job. I had a good opinion of his work.

We put him in charge of the botanical gardens, an old project that has been
underway for a long time. I have fought hard for this project, for almost
18 years, against the lack of understanding for the importance of a
botanical garden or a zoo. We assigned him to supervise and speed up the
work, to pressure the MICONS [Ministry of Construction] to fulfill its
plans because every year it assigned the project small amounts and it was
never finished. Fortunately the botanical gardens made much progress over
the years. Many trees were planted and it is a reality today. We gave him
that task, in addition to the others.

We did the same thing with the new zoo, another old project. There were
difficulties that we were working on. There had to be a lot of analysis,
coordination. It was given resources. Generally, when donations arrived --
there were some people who donated $10,000; others $50,000; there are some
who donated $100,000. Usually when I get these donations I try to invest in
something and let the person who made the donation know how it was
invested. I remember when construction of the capital's Pioneer palace was
underway. We had Moreno and the scientists administrating the zoo. There
were donations of as much as $100,000, because that was not in any budget.
That was left out of the budget every year. People did not understand too
well. But donations were used to purchase animals; a giraffe for instance.
Giraffes are expensive. Moreno traded animals but once in a while he needed
some dollars. They were sent to Moreno.

We put Luis Orlando in charge of the zoo. Efforts were made to open it. The
zoo and botanical gardens were given equipment, they were painted. All this
was done so that although the zoo was not finished, the public could come.
We are still working on those projects. There are comrades in charge who
are part of the Staff.

We even gave him a few tasks in the aquarium. The projects, the expansion
of the aquarium, are very popular with children and the general public.
It's another project we want to push little by little. To tell the truth
all the tasks that were assigned to him, he did well. He was efficient,

I had a good opinion of his work. There was some criticism; there was
criticism from Staff members who always meet and sometimes issue strong
criticism. There is a memo in which he talks about this criticism against
him. This criticism was justified and it was strong; he was criticized more
than once. He said he had never been reprimanded, etc. However, due to
factors that are not directly linked to his work -- his behavior, whether
he participated in voluntary work or not, whether he met with his comrades,
etc. -- he was also criticized for some things that occasionally showed a
certain lack of sensitivity. Aside from this there were no other problems.

Problems arose, certain problems did arise but not like the problems that
came up late, and he was really criticized for this. I do not want to delve
deeply into these details because they are not necessary. Anyway, this
continued until June 1985; from 1982 to 1985. In 1985 he...[changes
thought] When the Civil Aviation [as heard] Institute was created, he was
appointed director, and I am fully convinced he had all the attributes to
be director of that institute, provided that he applied the methods he had
applied in other tasks.

We did observe he had become estranged from the Staff, but many other
comrades have left the Staff and gone to work elsewhere, to carry out other
tasks. However, the latter often come to consult and to discuss their
problems. I asked: Does Luis Orlando come around? I was told: He does not.
We have not seen him. I was surprised about this; it was strange he had not
returned to visit anyone. It was really strange. Other things were noticed
later on.

We were even surprised because he did not even participate in the congress
of the UJC. Not a single day. Perhaps he resented the criticism against
him, or perhaps it was his pride. Anyway, it was really strange.

His behavior is much clearer now, given the problems that cropped up later
on. Now I will tell you the story of the events that determined the
decision of which I spoke earlier to replace and then arrest him. I will
tell you the exact way we experienced events. If you are surprised, so were
we. If you see incredible things, so did we. I will tell you how we
discovered everything, and the events that led to this discovery.

Everything began late in 1985. A report was presented denouncing Luis
Orlando. It was signed l2 November 1985. The document was addressed to the
secretary general of the PCC municipal committee in Habana del Este. It
essentially said -- I will be brief; I will not read all the details, only
what is absolutely necessary. The report said: Comrade, I feel it is my
duty to report details of the following. Two brigades of workers have been
working in earnest for approximately 4 months -- one in the morning and the
other one in the afternoon -- in what was formerly a private residence
located at No. 52 Santa Angelica Street, at the corner of San Gil, Reparto
Celimar, and everyone thought this was a new state plan.

This is what we learned and everything seemed normal, even though it looked
more like a luxury residence. Member Ramon Pereda Carpio came to meet with
our PCC group... [changes thought] Sorry, but I will have to mention some
names of relatives. It is necessary or else we could not explain
everything. We will avoid mentioning the names of relatives whenever
possible, and I will limit myself to what is strictly necessary. The note
adds: When member Ramon Pereda Carpio, identity card number such and such,
came to our PCC group after being transferred from Artemisa, he said this
was his new house. He added that his son-in-law Luis Orlando Dominguez had
helped him. In the eyes of the population and my own, this indicates a
privilege, the improper use of resources, and ostentation, benefiting those
who should and must set an example -- not to mention the possible
calculated assistance of the leader to his relatives -- I believe this
merits a thorough investigation to ascertain who is responsible.

This document was sent to the committee and was signed by a comrade who was
a "Granma" expeditionary and lives in that area. He is Roberto Roque Nunez,
founder of the PCC, identity card number such and such. He explains
everything. The report was sent to the municipal officials, and, since it
involves charges against a leader, it was sent to the provincial officials.
The issue was analyzed and then it was sent to our office; Comrade Pepin
[Jose Alberto Naranjo] received the report late last year -- it was sent on
12 November. Consequently, the report was received in November or December.

We asked the construction directorate of the People's Government to report
what kind of work had been carried out there. The explanation says this is
a private contract dated 11 June 1985, with Mrs Berta Pereda Rodriguez -- I
have to mention the name -- and that Luis Orlando Dominguez participated in
the transaction. The report says the construction contract was signed with
a private citizen.

Luis Orlando Dominguez is called and informed of the complaint. He is
called to the office, Comrade Pepin calls him and informs him of the
complaint. He explains everything was a mix-up, almost slander, he had
nothing to do with it, that house had been obtained by his in-laws in
compliance with all legal requirements.

He said they had a house in Artemisa and exchanged it for that house and
all he did was take care of the paperwork submitted by the family to
contract with an enterprise of the People's Government to repair the house.
He basically explained he did not have plans to move there. He said: I am
sleeping at the office. He was working at the Civil Aeronautics Institute;
he no longer worked with the Staff when this complaint was made but he was
called and asked about it anyway.

So these are the elements contained in a document he sends, the gist of the
arguments he uses when he arrives to clarify this situation. It is a long
story. It says: The complaint regarding the repair of the house acquired
legally by private citizens in the area of Bacuranao, in my judgment needs
to be explained. First, this house was not given by the state. It was
acquired in an absolutely legal way in accordance with our laws. The family
involved sold its private house in Artemisa, bought another one, and
finally exchanged it. The enterprise will be paid for the repairs with this
family's savings and a bank loan when the total cost is figured out. The
contract was signed in June of this year -- he is referring to 1985. In the
two cases, my participation was to help speed up the paperwork, Regarding
the characteristics of the house I can say the following: first, this house
has one-and-a-half bedrooms, one of regular size and a small one. It has
other regular rooms such as a porch, living room, kitchen, dining room,
terrace in the back and bathrooms. The only thing of considerable
dimensions is the backyard in a very isolated area far away from the city.

The information given by the construction enterprise indicates that a room
was being built in the garage, gives certain details that in a way match
what he is saying. It says: regarding repairs [rephrases] no, it says, the
only thing of considerable size is the backyard located in a very isolated
place far away from the city. Regarding the repairs it says, first, it was
a normal repair consisting of scraping, painting, electric inspection,
carpentry work, and turning the garage into a room with a bathroom and two
bath-houses. The house did not need to have leak repairs, or the window
frames replaced, or have its beams or floors replaced. The most significant
aspect was the fence because of the large size of the lot. Because of that
house's isolated area and the darkness at night, because the electric
wiring reaches only one side, the fence was essential to make the house

Regarding the complaint, it says, first, there is no information regarding
this house and its repairs. The direct contact of the family, who had begun
to live in the house, with various comrades of the area confirms it.
Second, the complaint was filed by Roque, a Granma expeditionary, a person
who is frustrated and resents the revolution, who said bad things about
Celia, Ortico, Aldo Santamaria, and does the same about anyone, especially
anyone who he thinks is a leader. He even responds attempting to undermine
the authority of the comrade who made the complaint. He says: I learned of
this complaint at the PCC municipality through a person who heard Roque
himself making the comment. I want to talk to him. I explained to him the
entire procedure followed to acquire the house and repair it. He did not
argue in front of me. He apparently understood the explanations and
regretted we had not been able to talk before he reported this matter to
the municipality. He clarified that he had not filed a complaint but just
sent a report. I went to Habana del Este Municipality, which according to
Roque had had this information for 3 months. The municipality did not call
me and I went to that organ as soon as I heard about the matter. I talked
to the first secretary and clarified everything with official documents.
Later I found out through the municipality itself that the matter had been
taken to the province since it involved a complaint against a leader. I
went to the provincial office and explained it to them personally I was
told everything was clear but that the matter would be examined and I would
be called later. The following day, I was told that since the province was
aware of the information given by me, no further investigation was needed.
In sum -- it says -- the acquisition of this house is not morally or
legally objectionable

The process in which it was obtained is the one in effect for any citizen
of this country. The repairs were paid for by its owners. The house is not
mine and it is not a result of official activities. The problem is created
when it is linked to me and it is perceived it is granted by the state and
the repairs are paid by the state. Second, the one filing the complaint is
a frustrated and resentful man, has acted wrongly and has lied.

I met with the necessary officials and explained the problem; I did this
voluntarily, no one had to call me. ÝMy explanation was apparently
understood by everyone. I acknowledge the fact I helped in the purchase and
repairs of a house, above all because I should not have become involved in
all this. I should not have let my public image become linked to the
purchase of this house. I understand this is essentially a political
problem and one of social prestige. I also understand that when we have the
elements to counter a defamatory comment the usual norm is to present the

This was the explanation given by Luis Orlando everywhere. He showed some
documents and seemed very offended; you might even say that he was
indignant about the accusations. We trusted him and everything seemed a
misinterpretation, a confusion, a comment stemming from a lack of
information concerning the purchase and repairs to the house -- although he
admitted his participation in the matter. Thus ended that part of the
process which began with the complaint. Then, after a long time, Comrade
Pepin gave me the general details of what documents had been received, what
had been done, who said what, what explanations were given -- and the
matter was not brought up again. At least I did not hear about the matter
for quite some time.

I don't know if we had also received a report criticizing the translucent
tiles installed in his former residence -- his family still lived there --
which is located at 3d and 34th. Nothing else until more recent information
draws our attention to this residence. It happened this way. I will explain
how we began to receive reports; I even have the exact day of the week and
month [laughs]. This took place on 25 May; it was a Monday. Comrade Susana
Reina [coughs], who has worked with us many years, came to talk with Neria
[coughs] the comrade in charge of the office. Reina said she does not bring
gossip [coughs]. She just wanted to present an official report. She had
visited that area the previous Sunday and had heard some comments about
Luis Orlando's residence there; and she was concerned about the comments
she heard and the things she saw. Susana said this was not mere gossip; she
wanted to make an official report.

On Wednesday [coughs], 26 May [as heard], Pepin told me what Susana had
said. He had not talked with her yet [coughs] but he mentioned the report.
Around 3 June, a Wednesday, Pepin talked with Susana Reina at length and
heard more details. She said some colored lights and fountains had been
installed, even a high fence and many other things. It was even rumored
there was an electricity bill for 512 pesos. This is what Susana reported.
She also reported there was a rift with the director of the electric
company because [coughs] Landi had mentioned a job that had to be done. He
implied it was an official job, an institutional job for the Council of
State, when he presented the request for the power installations.

This happened on the 3d and Pepin reported this to me. [coughs] On Friday,
5 June, I talked with Susana since the matter had been brought up again.
She explained everything. This happened on 5 June, a Friday. [coughs] She
also mentioned the director of the electric company and I asked who he was,
if anyone knew him. Pepin explained that he knew the man. He's Comrade
Sergio [coughs] and has worked with him. He is a party member and can be
trusted. We wanted to begin some discreet inquiries. I asked if the comrade
could be trusted for this kind of question, and he said yes. I asked him to
talk with Comrade Dimas to find out as much as possible about the electric
bill, the colossal bill that was talked about.

If there was any arrangement about the bill, if it would be paid in
installments or what. I even wanted to know if this was an accumulated debt
or if it was a month's billing. It seemed impossible. I also asked for a
report on how the request was presented to the people's government
enterprise. That is what I asked for on the afternoon of 5 June.

I talked with Comrade Pascualito [Division General Pascual Martinez] who is
first vice minister of the MININT [Ministry of Interior] that same evening.
[Division General Jose] Abrahantes was not there. Comrade Abrahantes was
participating in the maneuvers of 5 July. I did not want to wait, so I
called Comrade Pascualito. I explained everything seemed very strange. I
wanted to go over there -- I like to go whenever I can -- but it would be
too obvious. Sometimes I discover things. I said: I would like to go over
there or at least see what that residence looks like. I asked him to take
some pictures of the house -- very discreetly, of course -- to see how it
looked. This was on Friday.

On Monday the comrades of the MININT... [corrects himself] Pascualito came
to see me and brought the pictures and a video of everything. That was an
important element. It was possible that everything was different when the
work began but, since 1 and 1/2 years had passed, everything looked
thriving and different. The pictures, but most of all the video cassette...
[changes thought] I have the cassette somewhere and I even considered
showing it to you so you could be as impressed as I was. When I saw the
pictures -- particularly the video -- I could see an entire block had been
fenced in. This was not simply the repairs made to a house, meaning that it
has to be checked to see if you have to build something, repair something,
or add something.

Everyone knows the construction companies charge extremely high fees. There
are some eminent scientists, doctors, and personalities in this country who
were given a residence in Alta Habana. Some doctors moved there and cannot
pay the repairs because the companies are organized in such a way you
cannot pay what they charge -- just like the foreign debt. I have mentioned
this many times! [laughs] We mentioned this during the October meetings. We
said their main income was the sale of materials, and the material costs as
much as what was already installed.

We are therefore analyzing the real basis of this maintenance, because some
of those prominent personalities -- who are highly honorable people and are
a glory to our country in the scientific sector -- cannot afford to pay
10,000 or 15,000 or 20,000 pesos in repairs. So, the state has paid for the
repairs. Yes, we have repaired for these people's houses because they lack
the means. This is fair and we have done it in many cases because the
country is very grateful to them. Furthermore, their salary as specialists
-- 400 or 450 pesos -- is not enough.

However, we're talking about repairs in a house -- meaning it was repaired,
painted, and then the bill was paid -- but no, no, what we saw was a Garden
of Eden. This house was not simply repaired; it had a tremendous garden. We
could see the pictures, which showed a rocky terrain -- and everyone knows
how much the landscaping companies charge for any small job. I have seen
their work in the family doctor's houses. I also saw the new model house we
are preparing for next year. I saw the garden and could only think about
the thousands that the landscaping company charges for a single yard. When
I saw the pictures I thought: Landscaping in this rocky terrain must cost a
fortune! It had nothing to do with security. I saw that they had installed
a Peerless Fence -- approximately 200-300 meters of Peerless fence -- and
row after row of flower beds behind the fence. A wall of flowers made it
impossible to see inside. The front part was almost 100 meters, plus a wall
with metal -- a low wall, the columns, and the fence. This was not part of
the repairs to a residence.

We could not conceive such a lack of common sense and sensitivity! That is
what we saw on the 8th. I then asked the Comrades in the MININT to
investigate very discreetly how a house in Artemisa had become a residence
with a Garden of Eden. How was this done? Who did this and who paid for it?
I told them to be very discreet because it would not be convenient for
anyone to find out we were investigating anything since it involved a man
in charge of an airline which included large and small airplanes. We would
discreetly investigate as a precautionary measure.

Well, we did not think anything further but we wanted to know how the
contacts were made and all that. We discussed it the same day. Reports
began to come in the next day. Pepin talked with the man at the electric
company. The man in the electric company sent a report on the house at
Celimar dated 9 June 1987. He said: Referring to the matter I can tell you
the following. Late in 1985 Comrade Luis Orlando Dominguez called me to the
State Council offices. The purchase of the house coincided with the date he
was transferred there. He began his contacts while still working at the
State Council office, not at the electric company. The report adds: He
wanted to explain what kind of job had to be done.

I went to his office with a fellow project member who is absolutely
trustworthy, a member of the party. Landi told me they were preparing a
house in the Celimar section. He did not say it was he; they were
relatives. The man thinks that he has been called to the office on an
institutional matter of the state, that he is going to repair a house
there. And they needed electricity.

We accompanied him to the place and we installed two transformers in the
house. Landi also asked us to install sodium gas lights on his block. I
recommended mercury lights, which are better. They were better and gave
more light. We installed the lights in the entire neighborhood so the house
would not stand out so much.

The other fellow and I thought the house belonged to the Council of State.
Later, 2 or 3 months later, Landi called me to ask for an inspector because
he had been billed 525 pesos. We sent a trusted comrade to investigate the
information and the investigation yielded the following: I) The house or
electric bill was in Comrade Berta's name. His wife. 2) The 525 pesos had
accumulated because the meter reader was unable to do his job because he
did not have access to the meter as the house was closed. Therefore, when
he finally read the meter, consumption showed that amount. That is what he
explains. I must point out he paid the bill.

Following is an account of the months from January to May. It shows how
much was consumed: 153, 86, 109, 111, 126. It was not that huge amount [as
heard]. However, it seems there were three bills together. The bill of the
other residence showed: January, 121; February, 148; March, 169; April,
183; May, 268. It was getting to be too many things, too many expenses. We
had to find out about all those materials, where that fence came from, all
that. It was beginning to be evident this was not in accord with the income
he might have had.

Can it be surmised the bill was left at the local grocery store? Could he
ascertain that? No, I could not, he said. Was the bill left at the local
grocery store? My understanding was that it was, according to the
conversation that time with the comrades from the (Guanapolis) office. That
is what he explains.

It can be clearly seen here that from his office he has in a certain way
deceived the man from the electric company, he doesn't tell him what it's
for. He makes him believe it is an institutional activity, it is a guest
house, or whatever. They then began to worry.

What about that empty house there? What if a delegation comes here? and
they even install more lights in the neighborhood.

New leaks of the documents detailing the way in which he arranged the
construction with the enterprise. A report appeared from the construction
enterprise. It says: In compliance with your request, we have detailed
everything concerning the work carried out in Celimar for Comrade Luis
Orlando Dominguez. It gives the address and states: At the beginning of
this year... [changes thought] this report was available since late 1985;
this must be a mistake, because it seems this was around the middle of the
year. I was summoned to the Council of State, to the offices of the above
mentioned comrade. At this time, he himself talked to us about the need for
remodeling a house as a guest house. We were given an appointment to come
back later for the address, San Gil street in the same neighborhood. Some
specialists would be there representing him and the enterprise.

At this meeting, some technical definitions were reached concerning the
house for whose execution some small projects were necessary, and a new
date was fixed to review progress in the definition of the project. So
there were discussions as to the kind of project. It was only at the end
[words indistinct] that he says he doesn't want to involve the Council of
State; that it's for a family.

These are the details that I possessed at the beginning of the week of 8
June. Taking into account all the criticism against him -- not just for
this -- the fact is he deceived the enterprises by pretending it was an
official activity since he was still there in that office. Imagine the
cost. Imagine the discredit for the revolution. Those fences and all the
other things. The lack of elemental political sense and sensitivity. This
was enough to dismiss him from his post.

I reached that conclusion. I even talked to some comrades in the
government, in the Politburo. I explained these things to them. I told them
we have to find a replacement because that company is very important. The
company has a 200-million pesos budget. That company has $45 million in
income. The company has enormous importance. Because of its services,
because of everything. And we have been making a big effort to make the
company efficient. I said we have to look for someone. We were hoping to
select a comrade quickly. I proposed this in midweek: to select a comrade
and send him there. I think we took our time, that investigations were
conducted with all discretion possible. I waited for the report on the
transactions involving Artemisa and Celimar. How that became this.

That week the comrades of the ministry gathered information from various
places and handed the report to Comrade Pepin around Friday and I saw it on
Saturday night. I am telling you about it in the order I received the
information. What does it say? What does the ministry report indicate? The
report was made without much asking around so the fact we were conducting
an investigation would not be discovered. It says: The house is located at
No 52 Santa Angela Street corner San Gil, Celimar neighborhood, where it
takes practically a whole block. In order for Luis Orlando to acquire that
house he did the following things. He bought a house on No 50 Santa Angela,
between Velasquez and Del Mar Avenue for 25,000 pesos from Dr Jose Federico
tamayo Veranda. He exchanged this house for another one located at No 653,
between San Gil and Villa Blanca, property of the Playa del Este enterprise
tourism plan. He also exchanged this one for the one he occupies today
which used to be the rightful property of citizen Ramon Diaz Hernandez.

A piece of information is seen here already. He buys a first house for
25,000 pesos. It was already noted here the other one had been sold for
18,000. The difference of money plus all the other expenses make this
matter somewhat strange.

It says: All this was done in May and the beginning of June, 1985. It goes
on saying: After this house's file was reviewed we noticed interesting
details. Of course, the file included the documents for the purchase,
exchange, and the other exchange which takes place in a short period of
time. It is clearly seen that the influence factor plays a role in solving
the problem. The comrade says: The purchase of the mentioned house is under
the name of Orlando's current wife, Berta Juana Pereda Rodriguez. Luis
Orlando's name does not appear in any of the transactions and does not
appear among the official inhabitants of the house. It states: An important
fact stands out, that the purchase was legalized despite a resolution of
the Physical Planning Institute and a commander in chief guideline freezing
the sale of houses to private citizens in tourist areas. I had been in
1986... [leaves sentence unfinished]

This is an old policy like the one in Tarara, Old Tarara, that center, that
magnificent center for children, that so many children have enjoyed. We
started to get them little by little from the houses of those who left. It
was a school. But there are many people living there. Houses were bought
there for many years. There are some private citizens living there, I do
not know if there are five or six. So everyone who wanted to buy, we did
not allow them to sell them. We bought them. I suggested it because I saw a
mistake being made in Guanabo. People from Santa Maria were placed in
Guanabo because they wanted to use Santa Maria for tourism. I said that was
impossible. They wanted to use this area for tourists only and I said that
was impossible. The people spontaneously go to those beaches. They may have
to be used for tourism, we need them in certain months but it is impossible
to do that in the summer. An army would have to be placed there and then
the army is the one to enjoy the beach. [laughter] I told the people
carrying out the plan: Around Guanabo -- I say -- you are eliminating small
hotels to house people who live there. I told them: Don't do that; you are
depopulating these areas. Let's preserve and develop both: one aimed more
at international tourism and the other at domestic tourism. Let's improve
Guanabo because it is a good place, let's preserve the [word indistinct] I
remember we got soft ice cream machines and a number of other things to
improve that. I said, let's make a town for these workers, do not turn
these places which the population needs into residences for others. The
city has 2 million people. There is no room here. We have followed a policy
such as the one followed in Varadero where, as a rule, no construction is
being done and no sales made. To tell the truth Celimar and the place known
as Bacuranao is not a great beach but anyway is one of those areas and we
have to be careful what is done there. It is more or less a tourist area.

So: It was legalized despite a resolution of the Physical Planning
Institute and a guideline set by the commander in chief that freezes the
sale of houses to private citizens in tourist areas. It says: the house was
expanded and remodeled after it was exchanged. The source estimates its
current value reaches the amount of 80,000 pesos. There was a story that
the money for the purchase of the house was provided by Ramon Pereda Carpo,
Luis Orlando's father-in-law, as a result of the sale of a farm he had in
Artemisa, but it was impossible to confirm this. The sources interviewed
said Ramon sold a house he owned to a small farmer for 18,000 pesos which,
added to an amount of money his daughter allegedly had, made possible the
purchase of the Celimar house. One has to take into account how much does
the comrade who sold the house make, how much does the comrade that appears
as proprietor make, all these details. Later it was shown it was not 18,000
but 17,000. But we saw here there were 7,000 pesos involved in the purchase
in addition to the moving expenses and not counting the regular expenses,
without going any further, only looking at what was clear. It appeared to
he more money than usual in addition to electrical bills here and there.

Then, summarizing, this contract of sale and purchase in Artemisa is not
registered at the housing department at Artemisa. Summarizing, in this
case, leaving out other evaluations, the illegalities we note below are
evident: Luis Orlando purchased a home in an area where this kind of
private transaction is prohibited.

In an apparent direct relation with that purchase, Luis Orlando's in-laws
sold a house to private individuals in Artemisa, which is not legal at the
housing department. We attached photocopies of all the documents in the
file at the housing department in Havana del Este municipality -- which is
said to exist at the housing department in Havana de Este municipality [as
heard] -- on the house in Celimar. Is this clear up to here? It is
understood, isn't it? I was looking at them on Saturday evening at the
office and I was chatting with Comrade Pepin, who handed this to me. Then
it says -- there is something here: Another report was attached to this
report. It was prepared by a MININT official, and called attention to a
number of irregularities regarding the former house of Luis Orlando
Dominguez on 3d and 34th in Miramar. This report included information --
which arrived with this one, so the ministry tried to investigate a little
-- that says: This report included information on successive expansions and
remodelings, handling of important amounts in national currency and
dollars, and abundant import products, The accusations could have already
had more serious implications

This is what we saw on Saturday evening. Let me see, what Saturday was
that? The exact day. Is it the 12th? Does anyone have a calendar? The 12th?
It was Saturday the 12th. The 13th, 14th, he was dismissed on... On what
day was he dismissed? On Sunday? No. I believe that... [voice of
unidentified speaker says: "On Monday."] On Monday the what? [Same speaker
says: "Monday the 15th. That was on Saturday"] Then it was on the evening
of Saturday the 13th. Saturday the 13th. It was close to midnight when we
started all this. When I saw all of this, I saw it had a certain scope. If
there was a risk it would leak out, there was a risk, and by then I was
really suspicious, There was no proof, but I was really suspicious by then
that when we rummaged into this we would find more things.

I told Comrade Pepin we had to speed up -- we could not wait for the
selection of a replacement -- the replacement That was the immediate step.
We said, we estimated that well, whoever has to go there will go there now,
even if on a provisional basis, to resolve... [changes thought] I even told
Pepin: If you have to go there, you will go there with any other comrade to
deal with that problem, This cannot wait. I was worried about waiting even
24 hours. I was already suspicious Then we found that Comrade Lezcano had
left Havana. Authorization to leave Havana had not been requested in many
months. I had not seen him leave, not even a single day, and then he left
that Sunday. Then I said: We have to wait for Lezcano to return so that
Lezcano will go and tell him that he has instructions from me to inform him
that he has been dismissed.

In addition to this, the directorate council had to assemble to explain to
its members -- because that enterprise cannot be stopped just like that, be
left without a head -- and review the cadres who were there, as well as the
number two at the enterprise, and assemble the directorate committee to
explain to them the dismissal and the reasons for the dismissal, and also
to explain this to the members of the party nucleus.

Naturally, after his dismissal, he was no longer there. He had no
functions. It was easier that if there were serious things, this individual
could desert. Just like that: Simply desert. By intuition I said: Give him
his clearance papers, especially after I saw the other reports, which are
not proven. These are reports, stories. Then I decided that Lezcano be
told, that Lezcano not talk to him about any other problem, that he
exclusively refer to the house, to that which was proven up to then. We had
proof that he used his position at the office; that he deceived those
people; that he made an ostentatious and luxurious remodeling, investing
all kinds of resources, doing illegal things, and really, abusing his
position; all these things that were coming out, and explain them to him,
but do not mention any other problem.

It is not a good idea. He was dismissed; he no longer had functions there
at the enterprise, but until then we had no other evidence. Moreover,
during the week, when I chatted with the comrades about the need to dismiss
him, I said we must only dismiss him, we must have the house returned at
once, find an apartment, see what he gave, so they will not be on the
street, find an apartment where the family can go; and find out if he
already already paid something on the house, 17,000 or 18,000, and simply
return the house to the state, so the state will occupy that house, and
send Landi to work in a factory.

I told the comrades: This is what we have been thinking about this week.
That is the idea. On Sunday, when we sent our people we said: Well, we have
to close this case quickly. Then, after he is dismissed, we will conduct
the investigations more openly on this and other problems, the problems
that were cited in the other report.

This was the situation when Monday came and he was informed about his
dismissal and the reasons for it. That was proven. We had proof of what he
had done. A 17,000-peso house had become an 80,000-peso house. It was a
true miracle. It was done carefully and cautiously. As I said, this was on
Monday, the 15th. Lezcano met with him and explained everything to him.
They went to the Directorate's Council [Consejo de Direccion] to do the
paperwork. The comrade who was second in command there and who has to
assume full responsibility for a while was told to keep in contact with the
office, and if he needs any help or has to solve any problems, to consult
first. he is told not to allow the enterprise to stop operating [word
indistinct] a single minute.

On that day, Landi wrote a letter addressed to Pepin. I must read you this
letter so you can see how he reacted in the face of his dismissal. Nothing
had been published yet. The publication was made on Tuesday and what was
said in the newspaper is strictly the truth. It was strictly the truth,
what we proved about what he did. We did not touch on the other problem so
he would not have any idea...but there was a clue about other matters.

Evidently, he believed that constituted all the charges and he sent a
letter. Here it is: I listened to Lezcano with caution and surprise. I
remind you that one day, more than 1 and 1/2 years ago, I went to you with
regard to a charge by citizen Roque, a member of the Granma expedition and
a person frustrated with the revolution. Back then I made a general
explanation to you about the way in which that house was obtained,
exchanged, and repaired. I remember that I showed you all the documents and
you barely looked at them because of the trust that existed. In fact, we
even agreed that you were going to send them to Fidel. Several days later,
you told me you had already done so.

Later, an investigation was conducted -- that was evident -- about actions
that had occurred more than 2 years earlier. It must be clarified that this
exchange took place on 11 June 1985. The exchange, which was finalized on
11 June 1985, occurred long before Fidel's tour of Playa del Este where he
ordered a freeze of the area [as heard].

It is not true there was a fraudulent dealing in the plan to obtain a house
by means of swapping and cronyism. Because of his needs, the individual
proposed a swap, as is his right, and offered a smaller house: three
bedrooms, one story, and a small backyard. He offered it in exchange for
that which was originally acquired by his family: two stories, four
bedrooms, a big backyard, and a porch.

By looking at the many inaccurate facts contained in the conclusions of the
investigation, which I learned about from Lezcano only in part, I think
that what was involved was an analysis lacking key factors. And, as far as
I am concerned, I have not had many opportunities to explain facts and

I think the linking of this matter to a situation that is grave and
difficult for the revolution can explain decisions that are so drastic and

After much meditation, I have no other choice but to speculate, because I
do not have all the facts to understand the reason for this situation. I
decided to wait with patience and, especially, with trust.

Today, I reiterate what I explained to you more than 1 and 1/2 years ago.
My responsibility in this matter is threefold: First, I helped speed up the
bothersome and lengthy paperwork, but in so doing, strictly abided by the
law. Second, I negotiated the repair of the house with an enterprise of the
People's Government, but under a private contract. Third, I permitted the
house to be associated with me. That was my biggest mistake.

As if he was saying that he lived there. [Fidel explains and then continues
to read the letter]

Of course, these are now new facts. They are known facts and I explained
them at the time when I had to explain them. I still remember that you
asked me: If that house is established as being yours, would that solve
your problem in that regard? Unconvinced, I said yes because I did not want
my personal affairs to continue to be spread around. I should have said no.
It was most probable I would not live there but (?somewhere else).

He said [in the letter]: I think I was clear every time I referred to this
matter. Pepin, there are moments in the lives of men that call for the
deepest and truest reflections.

As Fidel said on one occasion: If I had the chance to live my life again, I
would do many things differently but in no way I would change my passion
for the revolution.

He said [Fidel repeats]: As Fidel said on one occasion: If I had the chance
to live my life again, I would do many things differently, but in no way
would I change my passion for the revolution, my devotion to duty, and my
loyalty to Fidel.

I now recall when I began to fight, at l3, within the Association of Rebel

And almost 30 years later, exactly today, 15 June 1987, a cycle is ending
that has imposed the most difficult test on my personal and political life
in the eyes of society, my daughters, my close relatives, and my comrades.

There will not be a place in Cuba, as remote as it may be, where I can hide
my face. However, escape and evasion are not choices. All that is left for
me is to face reality and to fight.

Regarding Fidel's decision, if, regardless of his personal justness, this
decision is useful and necessary to the country at this complex and
difficult moment -- a moment that is also full of hopes -- then I accept

Viewed within the context of its political and social meaning and because
of the campaigns we must face, I think this decision is necessary and
inevitable. Only looking at it that way, I interpret it and accept it. I
also understand that trust in me has been lost and I will fight to regain
this trust.

As far as my address is concerned, I cannot give you an exact one at this
time because I am immediately breaking my ties with the house that has
created conflict, and which does not belong to me and is not the fruit of
my abuse of power and much less of an illegal dealings.

I do not think it is necessary for me to explain any more facts and

I am at your service, regards.

He then said: I am attaching several notes that I wrote several years ago
when Roque's denunciation was made. Lezcano read it [as heard] in the
meeting when he notified me of my replacement.

He then wrote in his own writing at the end: When a lie starts to spread,
it becomes gigantic like a snowball, for example, with groundless comments
that will soon even indicate that an airport brigade worked there with
sophisticated equipment. Not to say the truth weakens the revolution just
as it is weakened by the sanctification of a lie.

That is what was written that day. [It was like] poet Placido [Pseudonym of
the 19th Century Cuban poet Gabriel de la Concepcion Valdes] on the eve of
his execution. Slander, the infamous veil of slander, has to be torn away.
[sentence as heard] But that is normal, legal, and just. It was an
injustice. Well, it was like a sacrifice for the revolution. He assumed and
accepted it. The revolution needed to teach a lesson. The revolution needed
a victim. that is the content of that letter.

When I saw this letter, I said well... [changes thought] he then wrote one
to me. It was more of less the same but less pathetic. It was in another
tone from the one that arrived first. I said this comrade is totally
irresponsible, He is beyond good and bad. Either he is incapable of
distinguishing between good and bad, or he is cynical. I reached that
conclusion. The investigations continued more openly but not in a totally
open manner. They continued more openly because to make more
investigations, arrests had to be made and a few people had to be
questioned. What we wanted was to act with certainty and to gather more
information before going further into full investigations.;

The note came out on Tuesday. I think it was on the 16th, Monday was the
15th. There were not as yet many reports. At the end of Tuesday, there were
reports that he had been inquiring in the Banco Financiero about the funds
in the accounts there and trying to transfer some accounts he managed to
other accounts of Cubana. That is what seems a little strange. Then they
send a paper for a transfer and date it with an earlier date. They draw it
up on the 16th and they put a date, they send someone to deliver it, and an
order is given as if were before the replacement. That is very strange.
That movement was immediately reported. Nothing more happened on Tuesday.
Something did happen but I learned about it on Wednesday. On Tuesday, as
soon as the report was published in the newspaper, the father-in-law or
someone sent by the father-in-law appears to return a car that had been
bought there at CUBALCE [state enterprise in charge of supplying diplomatic
stores] with foreign currency. A review had been carried out previously in
CUBALCE of the various orders there because the institution has to
authorize purchases because there are regulations. I think it is advisable
that this be explained so it will be understood.

Cubalce is an institution that takes care of the diplomats and foreign
technicians in different establishments. The regulations establish who is
authorized to buy there. Some nationals are authorized to buy there. I will
explain this. According to the measures of the directional system and
economic planning, some funds had been assigned to duly authorized state
institutions back in 1981. This is not totally incorrect. know that an
institution needs a minimum amount of funds for things that come up. For
example, in Villa Clara I found a $100,000 automatic lathe out of operation
because it lacked a small electric part. A total and absolute
centralization of foreign trade is not good because these are big
enterprises that have tens of thousands of things and the annual plans
should include some resources in the hands of the enterprises because if
they need to buy a part and have it sent; they can even send it by plane.
It is too bothersome to carry this out through a total centralization. That
is why the principle is not correct. [Words indistinct] some funds were
allocated, small amounts for these things.

In fact, because of current shortage problems, we have suspended that [not
further identified], as was the case in 1981, or 1984 or 1985; the main
group suspended that.

However, in the same system we offered certain incentives to organizations
for exporting or saving raw materials that generate foreign currency. A
portion of those savings was given to those organizations that made special
efforts to decrease the consumption of petroleum, which could then be
exported. That was an incentive given to organizations. They could in turn
invest in a computer, materials, equipment, or transportation The
organization could invest. That practice was also suspended for the reasons
already explained.

There were certain premiums for the usage of the organization, not for
individuals in the organization. There were certain state organizations
that were appropriately authorized to buy in CUBALCE: religious
organizations with approval from the Office of Religious Affairs of the CPC
Central Committee; leaders, officials, and other employees of Cuban
missions; and representatives of companies and organizations and other
state entities authorized to work abroad continuously for l2 months or
more, including those authorized to work in foreign companies with Cuban
interests. If they brought money saved there, did not spend it, did not buy
things, they brought it back and authorized to buy. This was done years

Also authorized to buy are officials and workers authorized to collaborate
on an ongoing basis with international organizations, associations, banks,
and other similar entities abroad; international volunteers and workers who
have been working continuously for l2 months or more under the compensation
program and are being paid -- that is, when donations are not involved
because of the area that those builders or physicians pay -- and crewmen of
merchant fishing vessels and aircraft receiving revenues in freely
convertible currencies. They are not paid [as heard]; they receive a rather
small sum, which has remained the same although the value of the dollar has
decreased. Actually, many of them refrain from spending that money; to the
extent possible, they save it. In the past, they brought things, but a few
years ago they were authorized to buy.

Also authorized to buy are personnel working in embassies in Cuba as well
as in other foreign organizations operating in our country, with the
exception of those in foreign companies with Cuban interests. Those
companies are authorized to pay the salaries of Cubans in freely
convertible currency. There are Cuban personnel paid at embassies in
convertible currency. In fact, sometimes ambassadors wish to reward
workers; they buy workers things for having served them many years.
Sometimes ambassadors even buy automobiles for embassy employees.

Also authorized to buy are beneficiaries of inheritances handled via the
National Bank of Cuba or CUBALCE's international office, as well as other
legitimate funds coming from abroad. Inheritances can be left abroad, but
people are authorized to bring them here. Others authorized to buy are:
foreign nationals permanently residing in Cuba who receive currency that is
freely convertible into foreign currency, foreign nationals residing
temporarily in Cuba who receive currency that is freely convertible into
foreign currency, and foreign nationals temporarily residing in Cuba under
a scholarship. Some who come here, such as physicians who are studying a
particular field and some students under scholarships receive money in
foreign currency.

This was analyzed at length. We agreed on a number of issues. This document
reads: The sale of goods and services to state organizations mainly aims to
prevent the purchase abroad of items carried by CUBALCE in its chain of
stores at lower prices. In addition, travel, lodging, and food expenses of
officials involved are saved.

If you wish, I could cite an example. Journalists [Castro chuckles] there
are many journalists here -- needed recorders, typewriters, and a number of
other things. These were only a few things, but they had not been included
in any budget.

We had to find the funds for that. We asked CUBALCE: Can you supply all
these things we need for journalists; it amounts to several tens of
thousands of pesos? CUBALCE, which represents some [word indistinct]
companies, quickly supplied everything.

Right now, we have to find funds for writers, because they need typewriters
and I forget how many other things. This would require sending who knows
who and from what organizations to Japan and here and there to purchase at
low prices.

Now, the sale to Cuban officials working in our missions abroad and crewmen
of merchant and fishing vessels, aircraft, and others previously mentioned
are aimed at preventing them from purchasing goods and services abroad; we
want them to spend foreign currency in our country.

That is the policy created by the followed. And I can tell you more:
CUBALCE was revolution at a time when it was nonexistent. It has turned out
to be an important source of foreign currency revenues for the country.
Those funds are targeted for a number of important programs, especially for
the development of public health programs. I want to you to know this: Our
programs are backed by funds collected by CUBALCE, which are increasing
year after year.

Those are the people authorized to buy. The organization must be aware of
its responsibility, because anyone [Castro chuckles] can show up there and
claim to be a pilot, sailor, or whatever. On Tuesday, someone came to
return a car, and on Wednesday afternoon, we met with the Politburo to
analyze the work of the [words indistinct] of the economy and were handed a
very important report. I am forced to mention names here. The names of
three relatives who sent a letter to the CUBALCE director that reads: By
this means, I ask you to authorize operational control for comrade Olga
Solis Caro -- and here they point out that she is [Castro chuckles] a
(?great) worker in that place, as if she were among the ranks of those who
are authorized to buy -- to purchase a car with foreign currency. I regret
this -- and I reiterate that I wish to mention as few names as possible --
but in this case, he handed over the money. No... [Castro changes thought]
foreign currency was obtained; a fraudulent document was issued allowing a
relative to acquire a new car with foreign currency. That letter is dated
22 March 1987.

On 29 March, there was another letter that reads: By this means, I ask you
to authorize operational control for Comrade Ramon Pereda Carpio to
purchase a new car with foreign currency. There was yet another letter on 4
April -- three cars in 2 weeks. It reads: By this means I ask that you
authorize operational control for comrade name, who is the oldest daughter
of his new wife, to acquire a car paid with foreign currency.

Naturally, other cars arrived. These were, of course, for the drivers, for
the secretary, also paid for with foreign exchange. But there was a
difference between one and the other. He may have misused resources,
employed cronyism, favoritism. He gave a car to someone who works there.
This was not the case with the other incidents. In the other cases...
[change thoughts]. The proof. The proof of the use of resources, of the use
of the resources utilization of resources, of the appropriation of
resources and the use of those resources to give vehicles to persons who
had nothing to do with the institution and were his relatives.

This was the evidence. Here lies the real proof of the misappropriation.
From this moment on, I say: Where did the dollars [not further identified]
come from? Where could they come from? Will the final explanation be that
Santa Claus came down from heaven and delivered convertible foreign
exchange? I am already seeing all this. I have the certainty, because there
is also fraud, and I ask: did the institution buy it and pay in foreign
exchange? Look at this subtle difference! Or did he deliver the money? No,
no. They arrived with money in hand to purchase the cars.

I said: Here is complete proof. This was on Wednesday afternoon. Then I met
with the comrades of the ministry, who were already exercising their
elementary control, and they were instructed to arrest him. He was arrested
after we had the evidence, because we had basic, necessary evidence.

Instructions were issued to summon and to interrogate a number of persons
who worked with him because there were already clues that they were
involved in certain activities. Check into the degree of responsibility of
each one, or of this type of complicity, because there were also reports of
purchases in the diplomart [diplomercado] and of some IOU's. I then said to
arrest him and simultaneously to summon a list of persons to give
explanations so we could gather the information immediately. However, we
already had the evidence. Therefore, when the decision about the arrest was
adopted, we already had evidence.

Of course, in these matters everything progressed gradually and he admitted
things as facts were revealed; in light of all this... [changes thought]
Well, I'll speak later about that, about the letter, about Monday. So, the
office manager, the assistant, other people who had business with him, the
driver, and a number of people from whom we obtained information.

Concerning the car sales, he admitted, he testified that he initially
thought of selling... [changes thought] he talked with (Mancique) to sell
them to some comrades of Cubana de Aviacion for the country to retrieve the
foreign exchange. However, he admitted to fraudulently authorizing the sale
of several cars to his relatives, their wives and friends, to (Manuel
Dalmau Alarcon), and to his father-in-law, to whom he not only gave the
authorization, but also the dollars to make the purchase. Santa Claus did
not show up. One could determine the origin of the dollars.

This was, furthermore... [changes thought] I am recounting it the way we
received all of this. He testified that the foreign exchange --
approximately $2,000 or $3,000 -- had resulted from his trips abroad, and
this was from what he had stashed away. He explained that with this money
he had sometimes purchased quite a bit, I would say childishly... [Castro
leaves thought unfinished]. He helped the family to buy the car
registration [diploma de carro]. He made some remarks here of a family
nature, which I do not want to read. I want to implicate as few other
people or relatives as possible because this is a delicate and painful

However, he mentioned a few dollars. He said he had $200 or $300 left,
which he moved to his office. That is when we detained him, questioned the
others, and proceeded to search both his houses -- the old house, where his
family lives, and the new one. Surprises appeared. During our searches so
far, we have confiscated the following: The house located on 3d and 34d
street; inside the safe we opened, two handbags with $122,580 and 144,000
pesos in local currency.

In his initial statements he claims not to have known what he had there
that he had spent most of it and only 200 or 300 [currency not specified]
remained. There was also one savings account book for 40,000 pesos in the
name of his former wife. On the day he was arrested, on Thursday afternoon
we also received news of the following at the house at Celimar: $3,375 and
55,000 in local currency, which were found inside the safe and in a
briefcase inside the car. During the search at 3d and 34th it was reported
that there were three bedrooms used as storerooms that contained great
amounts of clothing, electronic equipment, and other things. At the Celimar
house there were great amounts of packages containing clothes. Because of
the amount, we do not have the full inventory yet.

In his statements, Dalmau Alarcon said he had traveled four times to
Panama, as ordered by Luis Orlando, taking with him $40,000, $30,000,
$10,000, and $20,000 respectively, to purchase goods, in which he mentions
mosaic tiles, curtains, carpets, plastic swimming pools, furniture, ceiling
fans, yacht engines, exercise bicycles, and so on.

Nahelquel Diaz said he took from the Customs House to both houses, every
month, various equipment; he did not know if the equipment was confiscated
items or items bought in shops. It seems the bottom of the barrel had been
reached, but even then still more things kept appearing, although the
essential things are here.

This was on the Thursday, the day he was arrested. Things kept appearing,
such as tips, unequivocal evidence. It would be a long list to read each
one. A notebook was confiscated marked: withdrawal operation, Some childish
things, incredible things. When he was arrested, he did not mention the
money. Did he think we would not dig deep into the investigation?

On Monday -- It seems on Monday he had already been fired -- he wrote this
Placido letter, this pathetic letter, he was also writing: operation
withdrawal. He jotted down: Clear up the matter of the money I received
from Aereo Caribbean; repay the money -- this means he is thinking of how
much money the account he is handling has. Seek justification for the
purchases made with this money; letters to Osmani [Osmani Cienfuegos] on
use of the money; letter to Pepin regarding the purchase of vehicles;
balance the account; close the special account transferring the remaining
funds to private account; seek justification for expenditures; decide what
must be done with the vehicles and funds; find a place to hide things;
cover up the house in Coli -- he seems to have forgotten there was a small
store in Coli that belonged to the camping association. Look for documents
and make the house a government house; decide what important and special
mail I must take with me -- we later found out that when he mailed these
letters he issued instructions to keep these letters out of the file and
that all letters be given to him; however, he left papers and documents
behind along the way, as cool as anything. Check the various details; order
the purchase of vehicles with foreign exchange; decide which paintings I
will take with me -- he is thinking of the paintings he wants to take with
him. Clean out the office; and so forth. He then jotted down the word money
and lists more things to be done and (?other thoughts): Former wife, 40,000
pesos in the bank; another 120,000-pesos account in the names of his former
wife and the woman who raised him; cash reserves, 160,000 pesos; the
account used there, 144,000 pesos; total money in the accounts: 320,000
pesos [all numbers as heard]. This was written in his own handwriting, and
it is part of the clean-up operation.

Amounts in the accounts of his new family: wife, 38,000 pesos in the bank;
wife's youngest daughter, 2,000 pesos in the bank; wife's oldest daughter,
10,000 pesos in the bank; father-in-law, 20,000 pesos in the bank.

This gives us a total of 60,000 pesos plus 55,000 pesos [all numbers as
heard]. The other account had 144,000, and this one has 55,000 pesos. In
addition to all these bank accounts, we see he bought a car, using foreign
exchange, for all of the above mentioned -- except for the youngest child.

This was some sort of obsession, madness. He even gave a car to the husband
of his wife's oldest daughter. He was a Santa Claus. That is what he was.
Believe it or not, I am telling you all we have learned. He bought houses
in Coli and other places; he bought imported goods. He used the needs of
the institution he worked for to get the money to buy what he wanted. He
practically became a kleptomaniac, a kleptomaniac [Castro repeats himself].
He took all he could; he stole in a most absurd manner. Absurd.

We have proof of all this. We would add that much of the proof was gathered
with his help; yes, we could say that. We have proof in the letters he

On Saturday, 20 June, he sent me a letter. When he wants to, he can write.
In this letter, he gave us interesting information. In the letter, he talks
about his bitter memories, his serious mistakes, his reason for living, his
trust in me and the party, his struggle to confront the future with
courage, strength, and so forth. He continued: If during an emotional
outburst, I embrace the idea -- I think he is talking about taking his own
life -- the important moments of my life, correctly or wrongly given to the
cause since I was l3 years of age, will serve as an antidote in this

There are some unreal things here; there is an important paragraph in which
he states: I admit the situation that was uncovered, which is extremely
shameful for me, has served to stop me from falling to aberrant levels. The
most aberrant level is treason, things that traitors do. An aberrant level
is defection. Defection is a one-way street.

Then we see some real things in the letter when he states: I am aware that
the Central Committee and my party nucleus will have to voice their
opinion, and my only hope and encouragement is the possibility to fight in
an area that demands the greatest sacrifice. Now he says it. As if this
were possible -- the possibility to fight in an area that demands the
greatest sacrifice. He continues to state: At this moment, I am worried
about the revolution; I am worried my image of a revolutionary will be
lost; I am worried I will not be given the opportunity to correct my own
mistakes; I am worried about my daughters; I am worried about the memories
I will leave -- those memories that live after one is dead; I wonder if I
will have the time, health, and life to overcome the disgrace to which I
have fallen and this will not follow me around always. All these
unbelievable things were written on Saturday. There are some crazy aspects
in this letter.

Then we have Monday's letter. This letter was received after we had learned
certain things that were enough to adopt certain measures. Analyze this
letter in the light of the fact later discovered and proven. Then comes
that sentence: as to Fidel's decision, whether fair in itself or not, if it
is useful and necessary to the country at this moment that is so complex
and difficult and (?full of expectation) for the revolution, then I accept
it. He talks as if we were being unjust, as if we were taking a comrade and
using him as a scapegoat because the revolution needed a scapegoat. The
revolution has never used anyone as a scapegoat, not even an enemy. We must
also be careful with rumors. Not telling the truth weakens the revolution
and making a lie holy also weakens the revolution. No matter how hard it
may be to tell the truth, we are telling the truth and we are not telling
holy lies.

I continue searching for the mechanisms he used, how he could have done
this sort of thing, where did the funds come from, when did he start acting
this way? When did he start acting this way? [Castro repeats himself]
Apparently, it began when, it started to become clear, during the time he
was responsible for the camping program. You must search well; it cannot be
just when he was at the institute, because if he paid...[changes thought]
if the house was sold for 17,000. This is a fact, because he himself said
it -- for 25,000. He gave the money -- he admitted this; there were no such
family savings, He provided the money, At this time, he was not yet at the
institute. He must have obtained these funds somewhere else,

Undoubtedly, he handled funds in camping. When camping began, it was
decided to finance it with the funds of the festival, the 6th [Castro
corrects himself] the 11th festival. The festival's income covered expenses
and there was approximately 50 million [currency not specified] left over
that was turned over to the state. I ordered these funds deposited in the
National Bank, and that the financial organizations handle those funds. I
proposed they be used for social development programs. After covering
camping activities, the funds were also used to finance the youth technical
brigades, stimulating those peoples, for the promoters; the funds were used
for those purposes. These were state funds, funds that the youth had placed
in the hands of the state, The youths had collected these funds from the

Then we proposed that the camping programs be financed with the funds from
the festival. There was approximately 50 million [currency not specified].
More funds were allotted then. The campaign began in 1981, but there were
not very many expenses. On 26 May 1982, a letter was sent to Comrade
Osvaldo Reyes, director of the National Bank, which reads: Dear Comrade: It
has been authorized to transfer funds in the amount of 6 million pesos from
the balance left in the account of the 11th Youth and Students Festival to
the account of the UJC. These financial resources will be used to cover the
expenses of camping activities.

That took place in 1982. In 1983, another allocation was made as follows:
It has been authorized to transfer funds in the amount of 10 million pesos
from the balance left in the account of the 11th Youth and Students
Festival to the following accounts: 9 million pesos to account No, 90611968
of the Special Camping Unit [Unidad Especial de Campismo]. In other words,
there was a special unit; it was not an enterprise, it was a plan. Then, I
million pesos to account No 266132 of the National Committee of the UJC to
increase its salaries fund, and allot them exclusively for the purpose of
paying the salaries of the staff working in camping activities. Those
salaries must be paid in cash. There was one account for expenses and for
purchase orders, and another one for cash operations, Apparently, he
studied that mechanism.

Then, he adds: I am hereby notifying you of the transfer of funds. These
were notes sent by the director of the budget to the National Bank. Then in
the fall of 1984, another 6 million was allotted: This is to authorize the
direct transfer to account [number indistinct] of the National Camping Team
[Equipo Nacional de Campismo] the 6 million authorized by the State Finance
Committee to transfer to the UJC, from the account of the 11th Youth and
Students Festival. This is for your information and in order for you to
take action.

In other words, every year he systematically transferred funds in the
amount that was needed for camping activities. Now then, in the end he had
two accounts in the National Bank, one in dollars and another on in pesos.
How did he start the account in dollars? We already explained that camping
activities required a certain amount in dollars for necessary expenses, a
minimum of expenses, but they had to be made. They even had to purchase a
submarine camera, diving equipment, fins, oxygen tanks, motors of various
types, and, above all, materials. There is an inevitable amount of material
that had to be purchased.

Resources were assigned, resources were assigned to camping activities. He
was the person responsible for those resources. For example, on 7 February
1984, the camping program was assigned $375,000. The bank deposited that
amount in account No RE295 at the disposal of Luis Orlando Dominguez, the
man who was in charge of signing checks on that account. In that way he had
an account in dollars. That is the origin. There was not even the slightest
suspicion. Nobody could imagine that. It is difficult to imagine that. We
comrades have been living for such a long time, for so many years, trusting
people. And trusting people, many things have been carried out through the
years. You think: We do not belong to a gang. This is a party, a movement,
a revolution.

This is so to the extent that I will tell you an anecdote. On that Saturday
to which I have referred -- we agreed that it was Saturday the 13th -- I
was analyzing all of this, and there came a moment when Pepin said to me,
told me: It really hurts a lot to have to say this, it hurts a lot, but I
have come to believe that this comrade has stolen. He said this on
Saturday. It was hard for him to conceive this, but it went through his
mind. It went through my mind as well. However, I was waiting. I sensed all
of this about the extra money they had paid, the difference between the
house they sold and the one they bought and all of that. However, the
comrades believed that it was practically an offense to suspect a theft.

That was the origin of the endorsement account. However, at the National B
everything that was taken out and entered was seen -- so much to buy such a
thing, so much for this, so much for that. The account was in the bank. H
account in pesos went up on 8 May -- the account in pesos from which he got
later -- 8 May 1985. He transferred funds from the State Committee for Fin
for the 11th festival, to camping. And then, how did he distribute those f
We call attention to the notification matter, the order of transferral from
of the 11th festival of 500,000 pesos to account No 9061 of 9-68 of the
Special Unit.

I would say that account was to pay or make purchases or service orders. O
withdraw to pay other things, salaries -- cash must be used. And it
established an endorsement, an account of 500,000 pesos was created;
500,000 pesos; account No 258138300 was created at the disposal of Luis
Orlando Dominguez Nunez and Jose Antonio Mai quez Diaz. They put two
signatures. And they were putting... [changes thought] There was a
trustworthy man, which they had. On 8 May, 8 May 1985, the spree of
purchasing homes here and there through arrangements was about to begin,
was being unleashed because he had an account there. He was sheltering
himself in the routine that that kind of transferral to accounts at his
disposal was done. He now had two accounts. This was the origin. Then what
did he do?

When he was appointed to the institute, he transferred the account in
dollars at the National Bank to the International Financial Bank. This is
one of the organizations that has funds, For financial reasons they have
funds. He took into account the interest that the money deposited there
produces. That is nothing extraordinary. However, what really happened is
that when he was appointed over there at the institute, he went to the
youth and made up the story that because camping was no longer a planned
enterprise, the budget allotment stopped, and he closed the account. That
is what he reported. However, he did not really close any account. He
transferred 30-odd-thousand dollars -- I believe there was $32,000 left in
there -- to another similar account at the Financial Bank.

He was transferred to another job. He left the account in pesos in the
National Bank, with the two signatures, The one he discussed with the
camping. He did not close anything. He was already leaning in that
direction. Then, when he arrived over there, one of the first things he did
was to transfer $200,000 from Cubana [de Aviacion], as president of Cubana,
to that account, as well as various revenues of Aerocaribe, which works,
operates, and carries out its operations in dollars -- who knows if the
state itself, because it is not Cubana de Aviacion -- and to bring cattle
or some things, one has to pay for fuel and things; it is established that
its services are paid for in dollars at Aerocaribe. It is an institution
that receives income in dollars, And he transferred Cubana de Aviacion
funds to that account he had opened, and he transferred Aerocaribe funds,
That is the origin of his amassment of large amounts of dollars and pesos,
operating as if normal.

Naturally, I have to talk to you about topics, also. I want to offer as
many elements of judgment as possible. Many of you might ask: And what did
he say? He recounted ideas, improper prerogatives, and ran up against other
elements denoting privilege; a degree of prerogative and corruption is
there. Allegedly. He made plans that a camping house would be made for the
Cubana de Aviacion people, and other things. He used the thing about
repairing the airport, all those things to camouflage what he was doing.

So he said, according to what his comrades reported, or what he explained:
Upon reflecting how much, why, and how his process of corruption began,
Luis Orlando said that since childhood he felt a terrible inferiority
complex and an obsession to excel and be somebody due to a torrent of
feelings, frustration, and traumas that years later took shape in an
internal satisfaction, intense satisfaction -- it says internal here --
personal satisfaction in excelling and making his presence felt. With this
characteristic, he said he waited for his election as a member of the
Central Committee as a natural development, and his subsequent appointment
to the State Council reinforced the belief that he was a great man. He came
to sickly believe that he deserved everything, mixed with elements of
vanity and arrogance.

These ideas, and to the extent that he accumulated certain power, prompted
the mistakes in this process of decomposition in his last years with the

The report notes that after that he was unduly using assigned resources to
repair his house; he was using the protocol house; and he was using cars
and drivers. The report states that to the extent that his power increased,
he continued with these intentions. This situation climaxed after he began
working the IACC [Cuban Civil Aeronautics Institute] which allowed him to
repair the Celimar house and to begin making purchases at the diplo-store,
all of this with state funds.

The investigation is already very complete, and it has been placed at the
disposal of the courts. Of course, the government has proceeded to seize
everything he had. We will confiscate everything he has that is ill-gotten.
With due consideration and respect for the people... [changes thought] I
already said it hurts me because in part, well, I have to even blame the
girl for whom he opened an account, or the oldest girl... [changes thought]
I say that this was corruption. It was not only a case of embezzlement, but
of corruption.

Well, I imagine that the family is involved in all this drama, at this
moment. However, it was a true process of bad education. It involved bad
habits and expenses. It was a negative influence on the relatives. Although
there was a certain childish behavior in things he did and a certain
absurdity because he thought he could hide all this, there was also a truly
cynical attitude in this matter. But, we will not be the judges.

With all the facts and evidence, it will be up to the judges to decide and
try this case.

There are losses that must be paid with punishment. Whatever was not
recovered will have to be paid this way. Between one thing and the other,
accounts can be recovered, many dollars were recovered, materials, cars,
and all the other things he distributed incorrectly will be recovered.

I think the courts will demand all the items that were not recovered.
Counting pesos and dollars, all of this adds up to approximately half a
million [currency not specified]. All of this occurred in a very brief
period of time. It was something that got completely out of hand.

We have been reading opinion polls about this, what the people have to say.
There have been all kinds of comments. Some of them are accurate and
correct; others are out of focus and confusing.

This is very important, and I wanted to invite the comrades of the party
and the UJC, not only to give them this unpleasant explanation but also so
we can analyze all this very calmly and see how we can approach this

We are doing this to strengthen the revolution and not to give weapons to
the counterrevolution, the enemies of the revolution. We are doing this so
we will know how to guide the UJC and party members. We must do this. This
setback must be turned into a victory.

There were many different opinions. Some said Dominguez and others were
prompted, especially in the aviation field. Various workers of the
organization where Landi worked were promoted. Some of them became IACC
cadres -- promoted over qualified and very experienced workers -- whom he
favored with trips abroad and the distribution and sale of state-owned

One of those rather frequent instances of vice show up here, when he names
someone and transfers him [not further identified] from one place to
another. He said: I agreed to appoint General Gomez of DAAFAR [Antiaircraft
Defense and Revolutionary Air Force], who has no commitment with anyone,
that is my opinion.

He [not further identified] said that he did not like an expression that
Luis Orlando used in a meeting with workers.

Luis Orlando said: Using my powers, I approved this personnel list. We will
see what happens later on.

Luis Orlando was a person who attracted people. It is a shame what
happened. It is strange how a cadre such as Luis Orlando can ruin himself.
It is true that power corrupts. Luis Orlando, when he was not a UJC leader,
was known for his humbleness.

It makes one ponder when one sees a new cadre such as Luis Orlando, who
supposedly represents the promise of the future, turning corrupt. Luis
Orlando shows the serious need for the rectification drive. perhaps his
problem has to do with the Del Pino case. They probably came to an
agreement to begin investigating those who may have had access to planes
and other things.

Seldom have things been said as clearly as in the case of Luis Orlando. I
believe they are now being clearly and totally said. It is seen that the
cut of the blade has been set very low, because Luis Orlando was left in
very good standing. [crowd laughs] The events concerning Luis Orlando have
given me the chills. Do we not realize that we are being given an
opportunity to rectify and set examples? Many believe that everything will
continue to be the same. He said he imagined it, that he could sense deep
inside there was something wrong. He commented he had already been given an
opportunity. It is the first time the destitution of a leader for such
reasons has been made public. This is a beginning. Now it remains to be
seen if it will be done as in the USSR, where people are dismissed,
punished, and their property confiscated. Look how they broke this guy's
legs. Now we will see where they place him, lest he step up. Our
revolution, in its process to rectify errors, continues to take pertinent
steps. It is an achievement that the press, in clear and concise ways, will
begin to explain why top-level leaders are replaced. This will inform
people about how measures are taken regarding errors at any level. It is
necessary that this style continue. Despite being removed from office, Luis
Orlando must be put on trial, because if he had been a simple worker, he
would have been put on trial. Does not a leader who carries out these
actions have more responsibility than a simple worker? If we are really
rectifying, the rectification must be at all levels, because the people are
asking that it be that way. They are tired of nothing happening at these

Feelings surged in me when I learned the news. He is a comrade with a
revolutionary history and tremendous ability. In addition to this, he
represented our Central Committee. He surely had been failing for a long
time, but what happened is that he surrounded himself with adulators who
did not help him. It is incredible to see how power ruins many people. This
shows the process of rectification must begin at the top, because many
leaders took care of themselves. They said they would not swim against the
tide, and now they are greater rectifiers then anybody else. Now they even
try to crush those who criticize the solutions they want to apply to
problems in the name of rectification.

He surrounded himself with all the cadres he brought from the youth, and
placed them in key positions, sometimes in violation of the cadres policy.
He also did not even master the activity. This shows that now we are really
rectifying toughly and without gloves.

Rectification has really arrived now. It is a shame: a comrade with such a
high revolutionary history in the UJC, and now in these conditions.

Now everything will remain the same. They will send him as ambassador
somewhere else. One of the workers who rode on the bus was saying: Now we
must know where Luis Orlando will be put to work so he will pay for all the
bad things he did. This case should be published in the internal opinion of
the Communist Party of Cuba [PCC] which will surely analyze the violations
to the cadres policy that he promoted.

The president was committing grave mistakes in saying there was a surplus
of comrades in the aeronautics field. They already had experience in
aviation work. However, he brought in a large amount of comrades from
popular camping and the youth to work here, and made them aviation leaders
without their knowing us. Luis Orlando accommodated the friends that he
brought from camping to work in aviation and gave them all cars, even if
they were simple drivers. He made them leaders without their knowing
anything about aviation. This situation was to be expected because the
comrade president was carrying out a method of administrative repression,
by which he conducted controls through videos, which most of the workers

A last one here says: The camera that followed workers inside and outside
of the enterprise did not film the bad things he did, nor the cars he
assigned, even to comrades who already had cars. Information has been
collected of various kinds; some of it repetitious. It is not necessary to
see where they were placed, or whether he will go as ambassador. The others
are to teach a lesson. They have been taken for this. Some are misguided. I
see this is very important; circumstances in which we will know how to
guide the people, the activists, the workers; not give even the smallest
opening to the counterrevolution.

We must not give the enemies of the revolution the slightest chance to try
and mislead the people. The revolution is not capable of using anyone to
give others a lesson. This is not the way the revolution does things. This
is something that cannot be tolerated. The revolution does not commit
injustices; however, incidents of this nature cannot be tolerated by the

You saw how all this was handled, how carefully each detail was handled.
This is not an issue of demagoguery; this is not making a cultural
revolution or trying to harass the people. The problem is confusing some
people with others. The enemy can try and sow unrest among th cadres -- the
party's cadres, the party's leadership, the country's leadership. The enemy
can try to present this as a rule, and this is why it becomes important for
us to face the problem and issue directions. Of course, this also proves
there is a need to increase surveillance and control measures.

However, I do have an opinion regarding this. I feel the key to the proper
use of the resources is honesty among the cadres. This is something that is
irreplaceable. There are many cadres who are handling money, many cadres at
various levels. Measures, mechanisms, anything you may want can be taken.
However, if there is no honesty among the cadres chosen to fulfill specific
duties, then we cannot be sure of anything. We have to trust in man. What
would become of us if we had no trust. This incident will not kill the
trust that we have in man, nor will it kill our trust in our comrades and

For this reason, we wanted here the youth, the students, the
representatives of the workers, the peasants. This will not diminish our
trust in the least. This is what the enemy would like to occur regarding
these types of problems. We particularly trust youth fully and completely.
I know they have been grieved because of this, that they feel they have
been hurt and dishonored, like a family member being disgraced.

But I want to take advantage of those who, when all is said and done, are
exemplary. I do not in the least regret what I did -- that is to say, to
look for young comrades, as I do every year, in the ranks of the youth. I
feel deep respect for them. To work with them is not only profitable, but a
pleasure. I will not get confused because such an individual left the
country, broke down, and became soft, demoralized, and corrupt. I always
keep in mind the quality of our youth and our congress. I trust them very
much and have great hopes for them.

We shake ourselves free from our problems and press forward. We draw our
lessons. I tell this very same thing to all the party militants, all the
workers. We are aware of the harm done by this, yet it is relative. It is
logical. Everybody is being asked for more sacrifices and effort. Everybody
is being asked to be more austere, even dealing with single cents. We have
been checking all those swollen salaries. There are entire manufacturing
plants -- I could mention some of them by name -- where revenues have been
affected as the result of all this lack of control, obsolete standards, and
weaknesses. We could mention an example, perhaps our shipyards, where
salaries have been reduced from 248 pesos to 197 pesos. The workers have
given a fair, revolutionary response. There are other manufacturing plants
where the salaries were even higher. The workers response was excellent

Every demonstration of privilege and improper use of our resources must of
necessity irritate and anger us tremendously. We must keep struggling until
we eradicate the last vestiges of such practices and customs. We will do it
calmly and fairly, with well-trained people. Many measures are being taken.
I recall one of the latest. When I spoke to INTUR, I told them to suspend
-- this happened many months ago -- all kinds of receptions, buffets,
lunches, cocktails, and all that. There was a mechanism that stimulated
enterprises to sell a lot. This is absurd in a socialist regime, that we
should measure the efficiency of the enterprises according to their volume
of sales. They would earn much and many awards by saturating the market
with raw materials. The efficiency of any other enterprise would be
measured like this. It should be measured according to the way in which
they distribute merchandise and the way in which such enterprises avoid
having unproductive inventories. Measuring efficiency as if we had a
consumer society: This is one of the points we discussed at the Politburo,
measuring the efficiency of the enterprises by their volume of sales,
rather than by the quality of their service and other things.

We wage this struggle for workers who gave an excellent response. I have
said if we are to progress, it is necessary to wipe away all those bad
habits. We cannot progress until we eradicate those habits, particularly
those of the lifestyle. I told the INTUR people about this lifestyle. There
have been too many receptions. I have to give receptions, a number of them
every year. I do not usually taste anything at the receptions. In fact, I
do not even have time for it. In addition, we have to have some receptions.
But this does not carry any special merit. Yet we have to offer some
receptions; we cannot avoid it. Nevertheless, we had been giving receptions
every day, in style and without any definite purpose. [Applause]

That practice should be discontinued. There were receptions for every
meeting, and the state covered the expenses. Union, associations, even
journalists gave receptions. I once read a protest in a newspaper, asking
why this and that, and noting how much had been charged. I said it was
wrong having such expenses. Frankly, I said so, and all such expenses were
suspended. I mentioned it to our comrade in INTUR. Where are these
receptions held now? The State Assistance Committee [Comite Estatal de
Colaboracion] has a restaurant located in La Lisa, where mandatory
receptions are held.

There are some organizations and delegations that must be given a
reception. There are also a few in Cubanacan. This has created a lifestyle
of spending. We have been struggling against that. It has been discussed
within the party, in the defense committees, and everywhere. It brings
expenses [word indistinct] especially superfluous expenses. We must fight
against that lifestyle. We can see this in many places. However, in a
socialist revolution, in a revolution based on principles, on moral values,
on equal opportunities for all -- I am not talking about equalitarianism;
we are not talking about that -- any indication of privileges is twice,
three more irritating, and harms the revolution. We must first realize that
it hurts the revolution. No one has a right to act against the revolution's
authority and prestige. To think about someone doing things to the
revolution makes one indignant. Style is important; people observe.

We have a comrade [words indistinct]. I will tell you who it is: Our
comrade in IMTUR, a member of our youth, where there are problems and bad
habits. We told him how he should conduct himself, how he should act. His
comrades live modestly; people are observing him. They will know if he
moves to a new address, if he receives a package. His greatest merit -- and
I know that our comrade is a great person -- is that he is still there and
has continued living as he did when he arrived here in the capital. I know
that he sits down at the same table with the workers. I have heard
commentaries, good and bad, and 1 have been told that he does not pretend;
in other words, he actually eats what he is served and does not pretend
that he eats and then goes upstairs with a bagful of goods. I believe that
is a style that people appreciate and respect. There is a lot to do. Styles
and attitudes are established, particularly these days when money has
become almost everything and people start becoming alienated.

I must say that we have been rectifying many things, silently. Some things
are not correct -- not individually, but within entire groups -- it is not
right to have this or that. I have stressed these things, and we have made
progress. When we began the process of rectification, we said: We are not
going to begin a cultural revolution here. It would be easy to use
demagoguery, taking advantage of feelings and situations affecting the
masses, as happens in other places. That is not the revolution's style.
Ours is a different style: There is more consciousness, serenity,
confidence, firmness, steadiness; there is no lurch or extremism, yet his
is far-reaching. We have far-reaching objectives. As I spoke at the meeting
of the party's provincial committee, I was thinking about these things.

I have spent some time on them, but there is still a pending subject -- not
agreeable at all, but one that we all have on our minds -- and it has to do
with treason. The most notorious treason has been that of this man to whom
we had granted so many honors and for whom we had shown so much
consideration for years, and who has gone to the enemy's ranks. We are
referring to the case of Rafael Del Pino. I also want to analyze this
matter. Although I will not analyze it extensively, there are some
essential points that I should mention. I know that people are asking
themselves how this could happen; others wonder if this man had the right
to travel by plane with his family. How could this happen? Of course, no
one here has a right to go on a plane ride with his family. Neither he nor
any other ranking officer nor any soldier has the right to ride in a plane
with their families. Other violations made it possible for him to use the
plane, practically to steal the plane.

Regarding this incident, MINFAR [Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed
Forces] created a commission, which was composed of the main directors, the
most qualified and competent comrades, to conduct a thorough investigation
on this case, and analyze it to determine all the factors, that in one way
or another, contributed to this situation. I believe that these two topics
-- the previous one, and this one -- are interrelated. They both follow the
same pattern, the same path: A corrupt individual and a traitor are
composed of the same raw material.

I am going to use some paragraphs from that report. Otherwise, I would be
wasting resources because I would not be using what they are bringing me
here. [Castro sips from a cup] My voice is fine, I believe: It failed the
other day at the committee meeting, at the end of it.

How did the man get the airplane?

On 13 May 1987, he stated that because he could not fly and had been
retired, he wanted to be trained in civil aviation -- that is, low velocity
flights. Many pilots, when they can no longer fly combat planes work in
transport services in the civil aviation sector. This was his position.

On that day, he talked with Ricardo Varona, the instructor pilot of Aero
Caribbean, and asked him for help in learning to fly low velocity planes
because he could not continue flying combat planes.

The traitor worked hard to learn to fly. He practiced radio conversation
and piloting in low-velocity airplanes. He was concerned with security
measures that could block his attempt to secure a plane to achieve his
purposes. He did not know these planes very well.

On 15 May 1987, the traitor established contact with Omelio A. Perez Diaz,
president of Aero Caribbean, to discuss his training plans. Perez Diaz
authorized him to receive the training and told him to find an experienced
pilot to receive on-ground training. The traitor insisted that he be
trained in actual flight as well. This was accepted.

On the 16th, at 1030, the Cessna 402 Cu-118 was taken to the Yuriy Gagarin
Military Industrial Plant in Ciudad Libertad, for painting, as requested
by-Aero Caribbean. The traitor later went to the plant with Ricardo Varona
to speak with the pilot who would be helping him. When he saw this plane,
he told the flight technician that he was impressed with its equipment. He
asked the technician to allow him to go inside the plane because he had
permission from the president of Aero Caribbean.

He also showed interest in the Cessna manual and scanned it.

From 18 May on, the traitor went daily to see the Cessna and showed
interest in the paint job. He had flown there from Boyeros. He went every
day. He was very interested in learning how to pilot it. On the 19th, he
was trained on how to land and how to take-off in an Aero Caribbean
(Piper-Navajo) airplane and flew to Varadero. That day he arrived at
Boyeros' ramp No. 2 and told the Navajo flight technician that he wanted
all the padlocks that were being used on the plane's doors. He said that he
wanted to fix the original locks and would do this through a person he
knew. The answer was that the reason for this was that the locks are very
fragile. [sentence as heard] Because of this the traitor insisted no more.

He is looking for a plane. He is learning to pilot it. He even said that
the plane's padlocks were old, that they should be changed.

On the 25th, he took the Cessna manual and photocopied it. That same day he
talked at the Aeroclub of SEPMI [Society for Patriotic-Military Education]
in San Nicolas de Bari with Lt Col (Horacio Levi Carrasquedo), chief of the
Border Guard's flights section, about the capabilities and size of that
unit's planes.

On 26 May, 2 days before [as heard], between 0900 and 1000, the traitor
went up to the control tower of Ciudad Libertad and asked which
communication systems were functioning and about the communication system
of the central command. He was given complete up-to-date information.

He also told the control tower operator to authorize the crew of the Cessna
CU-118 for test-taxiing. At 0700... [corrects himself] at 1730 he entered
the area where the Cessna was parked with his wife, youngest daughter, and
his sons Ramses and Papito. He was seen near the plane, and Ramses taking
pictures of it.

It is possible that they had plans to leave that day, making it appear that
their presence there was natural. There was a violation in this, we
discussed this later. On the 27th, at 0900, he did on-ground training in
the CU-118. Later, he gave to the flight technician, Roberto Prieto, a
small padlock so that the plane's paint could not be damaged. He was
meticulous with details. He kept a spare key.

On 28 May -- I have some things here on what he did that day -- he picked
up his wife Laura Diego Suarez, his little daughter, and his son Rafael del
Pino Lopez at his residence near Col: near the DAAFAR. This happened
sometime between 1225 and 1255. They returned to the FAR staff area and
went to the runway.

A few minutes later, the CU-118 established contact with the tower. After
the tower identified itself, the plane's pilot identified himself as
Brigadier General del Pino. This information was verified by the operator
through ZK, the TZK [not further identified].

The traitor started the plane's motor. When the plane was taxiing to the
runway, the control tower operator asked the traitor what he was planning
to do. He responded that after taxiing he was going to head for Boyeros. At
1310, the control tower operator told the pilot at the air terminal that
the CU-118 did not have authorization from the National Flights Control
Center to take off yet.

The pilot told the control tower operator to let him know the moment the
CU-118 could take off. The traitor took off at 1316 without any
authorization from the control tower. The control tower operator spoke to
the pilot and explained that he had taken off without authorization.

Between 0325 and 0330 hours, the Cessna CUT [as heard] 118 contacted the
tower and reported that it was 2,000 feet north of the airport. The tower
operator [Torrero] the tower operator acknowledged receipt of the message.
The CUT 118 apparently did not hear. The tower operator then tried to use a
Jack 40 [as heard], which was approaching the airport, to bridge the
communications gap with the plane in which the traitor was traveling,
whereupon the traitor reported his alleged position. The last contact with
the Cessna was established at 0332 through this link. At 0341, the tower
operator reported that the National Flight Control Center had lost all
communication with the plane. Up to that time, no one suspected anything.
They had all been tricked.

According to the control command post recordings analyzed at the flight
control center, at 1403 the center reported to the DAAFAR [Antiaircraft
Defense and Revolutionary Air Force] central command post on the status of
the Cessna CUT 118, explaining that it was having communications problems,
so that it would not be mistaken for an unidentified object. After
receiving the information from the National Flight Control Center, the
DAAFAR central command post reported the situation to DAAFAR Chief of Staff
Colonel (Gil Edil Hernandez Capote) at 1410. The central command post
reported that it was searching for the plane with DAAFAR radio devices and
visual observation points. Border guard troops were alerted and the
possibility of a landing at other airports was checked. Then the rescue and
salvage brigade in San Antonio de los Banos was condemned [corrects
himself]...was ordered into action. They believed that the plane was in
trouble and were searching for it, to help it. The search was intensified
later on through other devices until 1710, when the National Flight Control
Center received a message from the Miami Flight Control Center notifying it
that the Cessna CUT 118 had landed at the air-naval base at Boca Chica with
four live people on board.

Well, these are the facts. Let's look now at the causes and conditions that
favored the betrayal according to the exhaustive, critical analysis
prepared by the MINFAR [Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces]
commission. "Among the main causes and conditions that favored the
betrayal, some are related to the traitor himself and his behavior, and
others are a result of violations of procedures in the units involved.
There was an inadequate response by the deputy chief of the political
organization and the party base organization in which the traitor was a
military member. Del Pino has sometimes displayed an indifferent, if not
openly arrogant, attitude regarding his party duties, and his role as chief
in his everyday political, military, and family activities. Concerning
political and leadership factors, the prevailing attitude was an
appreciation of Del Pino's revolutionary background, and the resulting
certainty of his loyalty to the revolution. The control organizations were
not unaware of this. Therefore, the traitor used his hierarchy, position,
and everyday actions to prepare and assure the best conditions to carry out
his action and secure sufficient time after taking off.

We must add to this the cleverness with which he studied and carried out
the actions and the relaxing of discipline and the failure to enforce
orders, among them No 51 of 21 July 1986 issued by the acting minister,
chief of the DAAFAR troops [title as heard] on organizing the use of
Libertad Airport, and Order No 8 of 26 February 1985 issued by the director
of the Yuri Gagarin Military Industrial Enterprise -- a base for repairing
airplanes -- which established operational regulations and procedures and
the special security regime. Del Pino's rank and prestige caused confusion,
and permitted a series of violations. The director of the EMI [Industrial
Installations Enterprise] Military Unit 94632 did not feel that the Cessna
CUT 400 [corrects himself] Cessna 402 2 CUT 118 [as heard] would have to
adhere to physical safety regulations and the special security regime
because it belonged to the Aero Caribia Enterprise. Therefore, he is
primarily responsible for the violations that occurred in this unit.
Moreover, he did not indicate the limitations on the quantity of fuel that
the plane was entitled to receive, according to the provisions of the
technical charts, which favored the intentions of the traitor Del Pino Diaz
to obtain the quantity of fuel that he actually obtained.

The chief of the EMI flight test station violated Article 40 of Law 8
because he did not place the batteries under lock and key, after the Cessna
crew had left.

Likewise, he allowed this crew access to this station without having
received the list of those authorized to enter. The Air Traffic Control
chief of military unit 1091 learned via the control tower of military unit
9732 that traitor Del Pino Diaz had issued orders forbidding the take-off
of the CU-118 until he gave the order, otherwise the plane would have left.
[sentence as heard] He ordered the plane to stay -- he gave the order. He
barred it from leaving until he ordered so -- authority taken by the
traitor that was initially accepted by this official, subordinating himself
to Del Pino's decision, despite the flight's authorization by the National
Flight Control Center. This brought about the mistaken suspension [of the
flight], resulting in the annoyance of the civilian crew which then left
the base, indirectly helping Del Pino, who later was able to carry out his

The air traffic controller, a junior officer, obeyed the order of traitor
Del Pino Diaz -- referring to the non-authorization of the Cessna CU-118 to
Boyeros -- without reporting to the National Flight Control Center and the
flight control chief, who are the ones who are authorized to give or relay
this order to their relief.

The junior air traffic controller, when taking over, accepted this order
without question. When the traitor left in the Cessna plane, he allowed the
traitor to start the engine, load the baggage and his relatives, start
moving to the beginning of the runway, and later to take off without filing
a flight plan or reporting to the CNT [National Flight Control Center] and
the traffic controller what was happening.

The entry and movement of persons accompanying a high-ranking officer,
without passes, or submitting to other movement restrictions inside the
DAAFAR General Staff and the Yuri Gagarin Military Industrial Enterprise,
the presence of baggage on a runway that is mainly used to test repaired
planes, does not seem out of the ordinary to security and control personnel
due to previous violations.

Of course, a whole series of events that he has studied, analyzed; they are
confusing; they fool and surprise people. But all these things are in rules
and studied in depth, like everything in the Armed Forces.

Oh, the other point is the report which comprehensively reviews the causes
of the treason.

It states: Rafael del Pino Diaz comes from a small bourgeois family from
Pinar del Rio. The theater was inherited from his grandfather Mario del
Pino Sandril, who used to be a Cuban consul in Italy and the United States.

The analysis of his career reveals that he was incapable, from the
ideological point of view, of overcoming the limitations stemming from his
social origin. You can see that this is not unfounded.

His scarce ideological development is seen throughout his military and
political career. Since the first years of the revolution, he showed his
indifference for the state of his political relations. He finally
established them [the relations] with three elements that are active
enemies of the revolution. This conduct was systematically repeated when,
as member of the personnel admissions commission of pilots, he regularly
did not take into account the political circumstances of applicants. He
basically took into consideration their physical capacities.

Well, I will stop now. There are some serious, serious aspects that have
been revealed through all the investigations regarding his moral conduct
and emotional instability disclosed in the report, which I prefer not to
mention. I say there are serious aspects regarding his moral conduct and
emotional instability, which I prefer not to mention because it is not in
good taste to talk about those things and because they involve other

His participation in political and party duties was limited because he
considered them to be of a secondary nature after his technical,
professional activities. He repeated this kind of conduct because his
attendance at party meetings and political study circles was poor. He
showed lack of political responsibility in several tasks that were assigned
to him. He disregarded all the obligations that did not satisfy his
interests as a pilot, which led him to obtain few results as a leader.

He was very efficient and good as a pilot, but very inefficient as a cadre
and leader, despite his ambitions.

It was later known that he showed a lack of trust in socialism,
internationalism, and the people's revolutionary struggle when he said that
for countries like Angola, Nicaragua, and Vietnam, facing underdevelopment
and enemy aggression, peace is a step backwards because imperialism, with
its economic resources and consumer goods, corrupts them until the
revolutionary process disintegrates. He also said internationalism
generates internal economic problems.

After his marriage in 1984 to Laura Diego Suarez, his third wife, his
emotional dependency, reflected in consecutive divorces and marriages,
increased because of the 24-year difference between them and because of the
unlimited material ambitions of this woman, who had few ideological
convictions. This factor seemed to have been very influential. The
pressures she exerted on him led him to sell personal belongings to satisfy
her desires and to purchase a more comfortable home according to the social
status he believed he had.

It was already his third marriage. Prior to this, he had already had two
homes. We could say they were two good homes. It was his third marriage,
and a one-room apartment was assigned to him. Later his daughter was born.
In spite of everything, you can see he was well-treated. He told the
ministry he did not have enough, because he now had a daughter. The
ministry decided to give him a better two-room apartment. He was well
treated. He had problems; he could not take on that responsibility. He had
to face flight restrictions. He received treatment. On the same day he
left, he visited the ministry in the morning and was told then, in the
minister's office, that a decision had been made to improve his apartment
on that same day. Well, that was one of the problems. He needed money
because he had many expenses. His new wife, according to sources, openly
said that whoever had a young wife must please her in everything. We found
out about this from trustworthy sources. So that was the mentality.

The traitor's behavior towards his wife Laura Diego did not change much
even though in 1985 she was dismissed from the UJC because of attitude
problems in the Aero Caribbean company's rank and file organization, where
she worked. On 5 May 1986 -- I think there is more information about this
here... [shuffles papers] On 5 May 1986, he was replaced as substitute for
the chief of DAAFAR's aeronautical safety department and then appointed
joint chief of DAAFAR's aviation advisory department.

This appointment gave him no real authority over aviation. Also, since
February 1986, he began to face flight restrictions and other limitations
because of health problems. These health problems worsened when an eye
infection appeared. Because of these problems, DAAFAR decided to take him
off fighter planes in 1987. Ten doctors participated in this. These are
very meticulous tests. The traitor rejected this decision and said that in
a medical checkup in the Soviet Union in 1986, it was proven he could
participate in this type of flying. He personally disliked the appointment
of the new DAAFAR chief, Brigadier General Ruben Martinez Puente. His
relationship with Martinez Puente was not good, and he did not think
Martinez Puente had earned or was competent for the job. That was his
attitude toward a man with all the proper prerequisites to carry out that
duty. His ambition was to get ahead.

The DAAFAR special military council on flight security met in February
1986. On this occasion Rafael Del Pino, in his role as acting DAAFAR chief
for flight security, gave a report on causes and conditions of accidents
that had occurred. The analysis pointed to the poor quality of the accident
prevention work developed for aviation, and he took a defensive position
during his questioning.

In the context of the loss of his high-ranking positions in the Air Force,
one particularly important item is his behavior noted in the March 1986
party records, in which it is noted he had spoken in derogatory terms about
pilots and their flying ability. Because of its coarse and vulgar nature,
his invective was indignantly and energetically rejected by the party
members in attendance. His remarks were strongly opposed, and Colonel Henry
Perez said the speech was that of a person unqualified to make such
statements because he was out of touch with the units' problems. It may
also be recalled in this regard that during that same year he distanced
himself from the duties of an FAR officer, and he attended neither military
nor political activities incumbent upon his rank.

Thus the traitor consolidated a situation where he lost real authority; he
got into a conflict with a mass of chiefs and rising officers who
questioned his opinions. This, due to the personal characteristics already
analyzed, was unacceptable to him; together with this there was the
frustration of his sick obsession to fly. All these things add up to
wanting to fly and not being able to because of his physical condition.
This is reflected in a sense of anguish in his notes of 17 April where he
feels he has been turned into a museum piece. There are more details that
he wrote, a sort of book, where he wrote what he thought, a certain vanity.
I think someone here around has some papers of mine, in case I needed...
[does not finish sentence] Someone told me they would have some additional
papers here that I had in reserve in case it comes to my mind. I will look
for them if they are around here... [pause] They show this domineering
individual. [pause] The papers do not want to appear here. [pause] they
must have been left behind; I have had to use so many papers today. Well,
they are not essential; they are merely illustrations, but not essential.

During this period a change took place in the treatment from which the
traitor had historically been granted. This change did not go so far as
ill-treatment, but it did represent a more open recognition of his
limitations and errors. It was sought to find him a position more in
keeping with his limited capabilities and which would at the same time
recognize his historical merits; more was demanded of him.

He was not mistreated -- I am citing the example -- but it was being
established, and thins were being demanded of him. An attempt was being
made to place him where he ought to be placed. This whole process cannot be
assimilated by someone with the traitor's mentality.

An item that reveals the accelerated process of decomposition taking place
inside him in 1986 is the indemnity claim he made for the nationalization
by the revolution in 1964 of the Milanese Theater, at one time owned by his
family. This was not known by anyone, [laughs] but here are the documents
gathered. This claim was filed at the Civil and Administrative Section of
the Provincial Court of Popular Power in Havana by virture of the power of
attorney bestowed on his lawyer, a lady lawyer, and signed...given to his
lawyer on 26 February 1987. The claim is filed against the socialist state
for reimbursement for that property, which had been nationalized in '64. He
claimed, I believe, 22,000 pesos, because I believe his share was
nine-sixteenths of a total of 40,000 pesos. The interesting thing is that appears, you know how these legal documents are and all that...
[reads] The principal is lawfully authorized to institute the present
administrative suit, etc, etc, etc. Point One by resolution dated 9 June
1964, decreed by the vice-president of the Cuban Institute of
Cinematographic Art and Industry that the Milanese Theater, located on such
and such street, etc... second, third, fourth: Interesting that we have
here the presence of workers who are fully identified with the revolution.
In the case of my client, he is a hero of Playa Giron and a high-ranking
military officer of our glorious Revolutionary Armed Forces. Therefore, the
situation is inconceivable: Throughout all these years the revolution has
been so generous and has compensated even its class enemies. How then,
within the framework of socialist law, can we conceive of a situation in
which the State Committee of Finance fails to pay the legitimate heirs of
Mario Del Pino Sandrino, owner of one-half of the Milanese Theater in Pinar
el Rio?

And the title of Hero of Giron was used. Of course, he had his day in
court, following normal procedures. This was around the end of February,
March, somewhere around there. He was looking for money, at this point,
almost at any price.

This is an element that reveals, as I already said, a lot about people.
This is an incongruous position coming from him because he had already
taken another position in view of attempts made before by other members of
his family in the same regard. It is logical and true that the
Revolution... [changes thought] The Revolution helped to compensate many
people and is still helping. As a rule it has done so, the relatives...
[changes thought] But none of us can imagine a military officer, a
combatant, a revolutionary, at this stage of the game demanding
reimbursement for the theater that belonged to his father. It is
ridiculous. But there was a reason. Politically and ideologically spheres,
he felt a separation from and mistrust toward the revolution and its
ability to resolve the problems brought about by its development.

These elements, analyzed, are mentioned in other documents that I did not
bring with me, because I did not want to take up too much time. They are
vain elements; in fact, this man used the materials of a comrade pilot, who
completed a special mission in Angola; he virtually seized someone else's
accounts and wrote a book. He actually published two books. Those books did
not contradict the revolution; those books only praised everything in it.
He is contradicting his own books now.

Questioning of Orestes Perez Gil indicated that on 12 or 13 May, Rames, the
homosexual son of the traitor, of whom Orestes Prez Gil was a close friend,
shared his treason plans with Perez. It is known, it is estimated that 1
month before that, that he was already developing the plot and that his
father was disappointed with the country's situation and could not bear the
situation any longer; that his father was uncontrollably inventing plans to
become a personality in the United States thanks to his background and the
information he knows.

The traitor would take with him the documents attesting to the ownership of
the property confiscated from his family to demand on these grounds an
indemnization to be represented by the Cessna aircraft, registration number
402BQ118. His father told him that they would say, upon their landing in
the United States, that their escape had been due to an aborted attempt on
the life of the commander in chief, and invention devised by the traitor to
improve his image in the eyes of the Yankees and in which he was not
supported by the son. This was the son who left, speaking to his friend.

The traitor's moral collapse to the point of conceiving, planning, and
executing took place in a coherent manner as a result of a moment of crisis
which he could not overcome because of his selfishness and political
inconsistency. We have no doubt that the influence of Laura Diego Suarez
played a significant role in this decision-making process. According to
remarks by her relatives, this woman was willing to live at a lower level
than the one reached after she joined the traitor. She told him that if she
left Del Pino and could not find a man of equal or higher rank, she would
leave the country.

Although a study of his personality and background helps us establish his
ideological inconsistency and the traits of personality and character that
in the circumstances led him to treason, it is necessary to point out that
his moral collapse, which occurred in a relatively short span of time, did
not apparently crystallize into antagonistic ideological convictions that
would have supported his action. Even in his moral deterioration, an
ideology like that of an enemy had not yet formed in his mind.
Consequently, the act of treason came up as an adventure inspired by the
basest motives of his behavior and his boundless personal ambition, which
he had less and less chance to satisfy. All this conflicted with military
circles, which had begun to question him more than they acknowledged his
past merits.

We will now consider the implications for the defense of the country and
the leaders' safety. The characteristics so far assessed relate to the rank
of the traitor, his family and social relations, and the various activities
in which he was engaged prior to being named to the post he held lately
enabled him to gain access to secret information related to the country's
defense, much as data regarding leaders of the state and party and the
safety of the leaders. All of this makes the leaders feel highly
vulnerable. He knew everything about the Air Force.

He had plenty of information about the antiaircraft defense system.
Generally speaking, he knows little of the Revolutionary Armed Forces. Some
of his actions prior to his treason might have been for the purpose of
gathering data to this end, including his frequent violations of the
special security system. In March 1962, he took home secret documents
pertaining to the (?prum) fighter squadron. He succeeded in this by his not
using documents controlled by the secrecy office. In March 1971, when the
traitor was Air Force chief, he committed a series of violations in the
form of negligence and apathy toward his command, which seriously affected
the activities of the Air Force. These violations consisted of breaching
the protection of confidential material.

The request presented to the FAR secrecy office about the TG [expansion
unknown] documents of the FAR Central Command Post some days prior to his
leaving the country was denied. He carried out studies and constantly
sought data about various topics. In 1985, he executed several flights and
photographed our landing fields to determine the places where the enemy
could act to prevent our planes from taking off. Also, under the pretext of
writing a book, he visited our files and gathered data everywhere. As the
result of research carried out by the traitor, some on his own initiative,
he learned the route used by the commander in chief. He proposed an
alternate course which was dismissed because it was dangerous. In addition,
because of his position and corrections, he also had information about
routes, means [of transport], and security measures in the transport of
leaders in their visit to the Special Air Regiment. Some of the data we
have mentioned was found in his notebooks, photocopies, and pictures, both
in his office and his home, not including what he might have taken with him
during his flight, such as videos, pictures, and photocopies. The
commission also mentions issues that should not be discussed publicly.

In conclusion, Rafael Del Pino Diaz' treachery is the result of a process
of moral and political attrition closely linked to the professional and
personal frustrations he experienced because of his inability to reconcile
his boundless personal ambition with our society's interests and realities.
This traitor's knowledge of sensitive information regarding DAAFAR and FAR
secrets as well as top leaders' plans and security measures, is potentially
dangerous for our directorates, and forces us to impose measures to
neutralize the significance this information could have for the enemy.

The commission has pointed out a series of critical issues and it is
studying the self-critical statements made by several comrades responsible
for violations in this case. It is also making a series of recommendations
to neutralize the effects of this act of treason. As is well known, our
Armed Forces are characterized by the seriousness and rigor of their work,
and they have my full and absolute trust.

I would like to reflect a little on... [does not finish sentence]. It is
clear that the elements of position, notoriety, and downfall not to say a
[does not finish thought] -- influenced us, somehow dimming and concealing
a chain of details and events, some of which I said I did not see for
certain reasons, because of their sensitivity. These details should have
been taken more into account and more. seriously. I have insisted on an
adequate job, the best job.

All these elements would have become evident. There was potential for this
individual to become a traitor. Because some of the information was not
known; some of it has just become available now. We did not know about this
claim; this and other details. However, other things were known about these
characteristics. We tolerated one thing, then something else, until we
obtained evidence on many symptoms, which the comrades have been able to
analyze. That is why there has been a review commission; serious
self-criticism, which is what we have here.

I want to tell you, this has been a great experience. Certain personal
events and characteristics -- can lead one to moral deterioration,
revolutionary deterioration... [changes thought] deterioration of a
revolutionary man. He received publicity and came into the limelight, but
he is far from the only distinguished pilot, the only hero, as he was once
considered for his action at Giron. There are dozens of excellent pilots in
our Air Force who have extraordinary records, working silently without

Air Force pilots, helicopter pilots that are unknown, but who have
extraordinary merits, excellent skills. We have to meditate on this. We are
part of a revolution. We have to meditate on this and the previous case.

We are in a struggle to rectify during not the best or ideal conditions. We
are trying to rectify under difficult conditions, like economic
difficulties, as I have explained other times. Not like when we imported
$1.5 billion -- convertible currency which would be equivalent to $2
billion, but between $600 million and $700 million, which in 1984 was the
equivalent of $400 million, to resolve old problems due to mistaken
concepts [sentence as heard]. We are not only rectifying old problems, or
rectifying mistaken concepts, we are looking for new solutions to old
problems. This is the line we are following. The city is a witness of the
efforts we are making and the results being obtained, also the work style
being used. Tomorrow and the day after we shall see them there, the
representative of the workers, of management to take stock -- because we
have to take stock -- [words indistinct] with their experience. The meeting
is not only to set out concepts but also to find new solutions to old
problems. This requires discipline and exigency.

The enemy is emboldened by, becomes encouraged by our difficulties. They
underestimate the tremendous moral potential of a revolution and a people.
They always underestimate the people as in the case of Giron they have
strange theories that the people would join the invading mercenaries.
However, they become encouraged: The weak are weak. There could be some
magnificent, some that are excellent under ideal conditions -- the easy
way. Revolutionaries are tested under the most difficult conditions. But
these are difficult, we cannot even say very tough. Tough is a total
blockade. Tough is a special situation. Tough is the war of all the people,
and no one here doubts that we are willing to wage one. No one here has the
slightest doubt. Everyone knows. Our people have written their page in
history. That page is already written. Our people are capable of curbing
imperialist aggression; capable of developing such strength that the
imperialist had to stop and think, think real hard.

In a recent news conference, I said that they had overlooked the cost Cuba
would have to pay [Castro corrects himself] the cost the United States
would have to pay for an aggression against Cuba. I made this statement
when commenting on the aid to Nicaragua. I said that the aid was being
given so that Nicaragua would not have to endure what we endured here. 1
said it: Our people have just written a glorious page in our history. We
did not write that page in blood, we wrote it with much sacrifice, effort,
and discipline. We probably avoided bloodshed, but this does not mean that
the problem had ended. We have acquired a certain level of security because
we developed out strength. However, we must continue to develop it. The
Cuban people have nothing to envy of other people. The Cuban people
performed a great feat in the past few years.

The Cuban people's determination to defend the revolution prevented more
problems. The times have not been too difficult; we have prevented and
continue to prevent this. However, there are some who become soft in times
that are not so difficult. They cannot take the discipline and demands.
There are some who are corrupt, who are corrupted, who alienate themselves,
who begin to think of money. They know that they have what we can call a
free imperialist market. They know that they can go to that market and
sell. They have a price in that market. The imperialists pay any traitor,
they do not like traitors, but they are willing to pay them. We saw many
traitors and defectors during the early years of the revolution. There were
many such men. This happened in our times. We will continue to see traitors
and defectors. Nothing can stop this weak man, a man with a weak spirit.
These men have the blood of traitors. To sell oneself, to cross over to the
enemy, you must have the blood of traitors. There is no excuse for such

There will never be an excuse for a revolutionary to cross over to the side
of the enemy. We can accept many other things, but not this one. We can
even accept the fact that a man may decide to take his own life, but we
cannot accept defection. That is sickening.

On several occasions we have said that if the day comes when we feel, when
a revolutionary feels, that his dreams are utopian and cannot be fulfilled,
that the socialist ideals cannot be fulfilled - everyone knows that our
revolutionary ideals and the socialist ideals are the same -- then even
this will be no excuse for defection. Not even under those circumstances
will he be justified for crossing over to the side of the enemy. Ours are
the purest ideals, valuable ideals. Therefore, we must be willing to die
for them. It is better to die for a dream than to cross over to the ranks
of the enemy. However, this has happened and it will continue to happen.
But do not feel discouraged. Instead of being discouraged we must
strengthen our firmness and ideals.

Speaking of this, we should add that we always think about our pilots and
our Air Force. They are very hurt and offended by him. Many young men,
after hearing what we have just explained, reacted with an attitude of
rejection, of unanimous condemnation. This was a spontaneous rejection. The
leaders and the party met in each community, in each place to analyze the
meaning of the treason. They had been comrades until yesterday, and now he
has sold to the enemy plans, budgets, characteristics, everything that
would make it easier for the enemy to kill them, to destroy them. The
reaction to something like this has to be not only one of spontaneous
anger, it must also be one of carefully thinking, of thinking about how
repugnant treason is, what it means. We are seeing it.

Only yesterday he was on our side to face the enemy.

I have to say that we have had very difficult moments. I can remember the
big traitors of our revolution. There have been big and small traitors.
There were some people we knew since we were kids and when the coup d'etat
came, and we demonstrated, they squealed on us. Those were micro-traitors,
mini-traitors. If we happened to be printing a pamphlet or leaflets, they
would deliver the mimeograph.

When we were trying to set up a clandestine radio station -- that was the
first instance that helped. Treason made us adopt measures, very strict
measures and there was compartmentalization, and we were forced not to
believe in anyone just because of friendship, or because we had known
someone from childhood days, but to believe in someone because of the
motives that a man may have. This helped us very much to organize the
Moncada [attack]. Everything appeared to be completely normal, and legal,
and we recruited 1,200 men and we trained and mobilized them and we
produced a total surprise. We had learned from acts of treason. We learned.

In the previous phase we had acts of treason. We had big traitors. I am
going to mention the big traitors we have had. I remember three big
traitors. The first act of treason took place in Mexico, with Rafael Del
Pino. See how capricious history can be: How symbolic: What a resemblance:
Two of the big traitors had exactly the same name: Rafael del Pino. Rafael
del Pino was such an ideological fellow: He resembled this one a bit. There
was a lot of camaraderie. He liked actions, war. He was not as concerned
with ideological factors. However, he was considered very loyal, incapable
of treachery by the many people who knew him. That, never: Something that
[words indistinct] and he was in Mexico. He worked with us. He worked with
me. He was somewhat of an escort. He knew many things because I knew many
things, but I did not know it all. But he did know many things. We could
not imagine [treason].

We were already in a training camp when he went to visit us.

There was Faustino with a group of approximately 20 comrades. There were
snakes in that place. One day, Faustino awoke and had a rattlesnake coiled
next to him, warming itself. It was extremely cold at night. Those were
hard times. I told him that he had to stay behind to train and that
everybody needs physical training. I [words indistinct] in the activities.
But he wanted to go on. It was hard for him to accept it. I told him: You
have to stay; I order you to stay. You stay. You can't get out of training.
And then the guy left. The news came a short while later. Faustino, who was
in charge there, sent word that Del Pino had left angrily -- he had left
angrily. He had reacted like a spoiled child, many believed. He had become
upset because he had been forced to train, and he had left. The fact is
that he left and that he knew secrets. This posed a very serious problem
for us. Many people thought: No, he wouldn't do that. At any rate, we tried
to get him to come back, to persuade him to return because he knew secrets.

The act of deserting while possessing secrets is very grave, and we were in
the final phase. We were acting clandestinely. He knew about the ship and
about some arms caches. Of course, as a result of the arms distribution
system, there were arms in places no one knew about. This was very
compartmentalized. I believe on that occasion we should have...[changes
thought] We could not change the boat. Nothing could be done about that.
Days went by. We should have changed everything. The boat had been
delivered. We were in the final phase.

A week before the departure date, in the evening, we received news that the
police arrived at Pedrito Miret's house; there were arms there and at the
house next door. The two houses fell. The people were underground. The
departure day was the next Sunday. We had people who had to present
themselves to the government secretariat on Monday because they had been in
jail. We had to mobilize everything because of this: Two houses had fallen.
But because of the houses that fell, we would not pinpoint who the informer
was. Two or three men had become suspects.

We adopted special measures. We began going around in pairs. No one could
speak on the phase. We established a systematic and collective watch at
that moment. We proceeded to move the arms that according to the
information the potential informers had were more at risk and we had to
move immediately. We had to transfer the arms to a place between Mexico and
Tuxpan, in bags, at hotels.

We began to transfer the arms that were most at risk. And, I repeat, I
believe we had already lost a few days because it was thought that because
of certain circumstances, etc., the spoiled child would return to the fold.
I remember I was on my way between [words indistinct] I had a sort of
command post there to order the search of those houses. There was Comrade
Candido and another comrade, who both worked very hard. Well, I remember I
was waiting one day and these comrades arrived. They were discouraged,
bitter, because they had reached a house called Kuomintang 22 -- I still
remember it -- where they should have found about 25 pistols and
machineguns. They arrived there in the afternoon, or at noon, but the
police had arrived in the morning to pick up the weapons. There was a
competition to see who got to the houses first: the Mexican police, the
federals, or us. We arrived at some places before they did. At other
places, they arrived ahead of us. We were there in a clandestine situation.
It was under these conditions that we had to prepare our departure and the
transfer of all the arms. There was danger, but fortunately we were able to
secure counterintelligence information -- intelligence, the comrades called

The fact is that we knew the information Batista had without knowing who
had provided it. We knew what information Batista had. What had happened? A
traitor had given information. This was obvious. But he had sold it in two
parts. He did not sell it in one piece. The deal was for $25,000, but since
there was mutual distrust, the traitor was to deliver part of the weapons.
Once this was established, he was to get $5,000. Then he was to get
$20,000, and he would give all the information he had. This was their
formula for not cheating each other. Show and they give you. And since I
have credit, you give me and I deliver. We knew the exact moment when he
delivered one part. The other part was going to be delivered the following
week, including the ship. This was the most-important thing he saved.

And while he was giving out the two parts of the information, the delivery,
etc., we left Tuxpan. The weapons, which we had put in safe places, the
safest places, and the one we had saved from betrayal, made it possible to
bring still more weapons, because we had a certain amount of weapons we
could bring. We left Mexico under those conditions. That was the first
major treason that endangered all that effort. The revolution in the end, I
do now know; I think we would have persisted if they had occupied the ship
and all the things. When I say I think, I am not saying that I am not sure;
I am just phrasing it that way. It would have been very difficult for us
not to have persisted in any case. However, it was a tremendous,
unforgettable moment. The enemy knew that the ship had left and what its
name was. It looked for it all over the Caribbean; well, around Cuba. We
followed a course on the Granma; we got as far away as possible. The Navy
and Air Force were looking for us; they did not see us; and we arrived,
despite all that.

We still did not know for sure; we did not have enough facts to rule out
anyone. We had some suspects naturally, including this one; he was among
the top suspects. However, we had no evidence. The war broke out; the
revolution triumphed; and one day, during a counterrevolutionary activity,
this gentleman, Rafael Del Pino, landed in a light plane and was captured,
He fell right into our hands. He was captured and convicted for being a
counterrevolutionary -- not as a traitor; we had no evidence. Years went
by, and in the end, after several years, it was still pending. We continued
to investigate; and the man began to talk, until -- it appears he was
demoralized or something like that -- he told the story of how he committed
treason. Well, he was not even tried. It was not even necessary. He had
arrived I do not know how many years ago with the [incomplete sentence as
heard]. How did he end up? He committed suicide. He committed suicide.
[repeats himself] He lacked the courage to withstand prison. His name was
Rafael Del Pino. Exactly the same as that individual, and with some similar

It is possible that if he had come, he would have even fought. However, he
had the soul of a traitor; he had the blood of a traitor; and he sold for
22, [rewords] $25,000. He is among the great traitors of history.

The second great historical traitor was Eutimio Guerra. We have spoken
about him more than once. And he only got rid of a few [words indistinct].
The story of Eutimio and how we escaped from Eutimio's treachery is not
complete even in those books GRANMA publishes. It has not really been
explained. Maybe some day I'll have the time to tell the full story,
because the comrades who have written about it don't have all the details,
especially about the more subtle elements -- how we gradually exposed the
traitor. Even luck helped us a little. However, despite all our suspicions
and how we were getting close to the truth, we almost did not escape. One
day there was even a big downpour which made the troops that had left to
complete the siege withdraw, and one of our new recruits took a prisoner;
he saw someone and he had orders to take prisoners, so he did.

And afterwards, I asked him questions and began gathering information. On
that day I came to the conclusion Eutimio was a traitor.

No one...[changes thought] The people looked more surprised than you are
now when I was telling the story. But how, Eutimio? How? Because Eutimio
was our guide, our eyes and ears, the one who came and went. A peasant we
found there in the area of the Sierra Maestra, in the place of
the...[changes thought] near La Plata, around there. There were also some
contradictions, some struggles there, because there were squatters against
this landowning company. He was our guide. He lived with us. He was a man
who even by his sense of smell [words indistinct]. He had such a sense of
smell that even if we were 100 meters behind him on the road he would know
it. He had exceptional abilities. He participated with us in the first
combat. He left us in the next place.

Eutimio was cynical. I will not tell anecdotes about that now. One day I
will tell the whole story, with all the little details and subtleties. He
even slept next to me with two grenades and a pistol and asked where the
sentry was. However, he had instructions to kill me if he could not finish
off the group. Actually, he did not dare. That is the way we went. I went
and gathered a number of very subtle details until I saw the full picture.

I explained to the others. We have to move out of here. We were waiting for
some comrades so we could take El Alto. Moreover, I argued with Che that we
had to move ahead by 15 minutes. We had to rest 15 minutes, I believe it
was. He said: But what's 15 minutes? Yes, but I estimated. 1 had seen the
troops moving very far away. 1 had asked the peasant what movements he had
made the day before and all those things. I estimated, we arrived. We moved
ahead 15 minutes, and we took El Alto. And because of the 15 minutes, we
were not locked in around where Eutimio was taking them because he knew us.
They were going to attack them from below and they had occupied El Alto. We
were able to catch them also, in due time, with all their evidence and all
their things.

All of that left a bitter aftertaste. It was also a lesson we learned from
Eutimio. Later, there was no way; Later we were betrayed by some but there
was no way to catch up because all the measures, after that time that we
escaped, the enemy was never again able, because the measures we took were
traitor-proof measures.

However, what we had done from the first were traitor-proof measures. There
was no way to catch us, because of the measures we took as a result of that
lesson we learned from you, Eutimio. I say this after more than 30 years
have gone by of revolutionary struggle.

This is the third traitor. However, this was the biggest traitor of the
three. I will explain why. Because Del Pino had joined our movement out of
-- as he said -- friendship, because he liked the people, and he liked
action. This was the other Del Pino, this one's predecesor, the one who
sold us for $25,000 -- that kind of tie, not so much ideological. There was
action. He was happy to participate in the epic of the revolution. However,
he was with us for some time. He betrayed a handful of men who were
organizing a movement, an expedition.

Later we found Eutimio. How many days did we maintain relations with
Eutimio? We met him there in the mountains. He joined us, helped us. He was
very useful. However, possibly that traitor, the first, the Del Pino man,
if the incident had not happened, would have come in the Gramma.

It was not something he planned ahead of time. Instead, he reacted and
left. Naturally, even before that he had a high level, a very grave fault.
Everyone has secrets. However, he did not plan that ahead of time. [Words
indistinct] premediation to sell out. He sold out afterward. He betrayed a
handful of men. Eutimio betrayed a guerrilla group of 20-odd men there.
Naturally, they were already representing a national cause. We had met him
several days before, we can say. Weeks. He was with us. He left the camp
after the clash at La Plata and he fell prisoner of (Casillas), of Army
troops. When he was taken prisoner, they threatened to kill him -- and they
would have killed him -- or they offered him everything: rank, honors,
money. He placed himself at the service of the Army. In that dilemma, he
lacked the courage to face death and accepted the proposition the Army made
to him. Beginning with that moment, he was a fearsome enemy because of what
he knew. He took the Army three times to where we were. The first time he
took them to that place, we ambushed them, a group of paratroopers. The
second time he sent the Air Force. The third time, the fourth time, about
four times, the Army almost arrived. We didn't, we had not realized it. The
third time was the last that I narrated before, in Altos Espinoza.

Whom did Eutimio betray? He betrayed a handful of guerrillas, a budding
movement, some people he met there. Despite ourselves... [changes thought]
The truth is we always considered him a great traitor. Despite this, we
took care of Eutimio's family. The children were raised with the
revolution, and they are with the revolution. They were innocent. It was
not their fault. What he requested, he even requested it when we went to
execute him. [sentence as heard] What the family requested was that the son
die without him requesting it. The family did not have to request this of

Now then, this other treason [referring to Rafael Del Pino] is of another
nature. It involves an individual who has been with the revolution for 28
years, who has participated in combats in defense of the country against
imperialism, against the Giron mercenaries. He was proud of that; he lived
from that; he wrote; he received honors, awards, medals, cars. He
effectively provided other services at other times, almost all our pilots
have provided internationalist services in Ethiopia, Angola, and they have
been there for years. But he practically lived for that. And he now goes to
the ones who sent the mercenaries. He liked to speak about the comrades
killed in Giron, his eyes misty when he was experiencing one of these
crises. He spoke of the dead comrades, and he went over there where the
ones who killed them, who sent the mercenaries live. And, and [repeats
himself], he goes to join an administration that is even worse than the one
that sent the mercenaries, one that has threatened us more.

He took all that he could take there because we know something about what
he had done over there, about what he has taken there. The Yankees are
happy. Of course, they expected to find more than what he took. He took
documents, papers, and information. He had everything planned. He said he
was bringing much information. He arrived with the goods up front, the
information, all the possible data he knew about here, about Angola,
details. They almost did not want to trust the guy initially. Finally the
guy gives information and stuff. Therefore he has sold the homeland, the
information, the country's security for some dollars in that tacit
agreement between a traitor to the revolution and imperialism in that
imperialist market where traitors are bought and sold.

This one does not betray a handful of people. First, he betrayed all his
comrades of the Air Force, all of those with whom he has been living for

He is a relative not only of his half-brother, his brothers, his sister,
his nephews, his uncle -- because a man is a brother of all those men with
whom he has spent all his life in a common cause and struggle. One's family
is simply one's brothers in action, in the struggle, in the revolution for
an objective, an ideal. You can be a brother for 30 years yet betray your
brothers. He betrayed the brothers. He betrayed FAR, which gave him the
opportunity to distinguish himself, which honored him. He wrote that
himself in some of the papers I saw. He expressed his infinite gratitude of
how an undisciplined guerrilla group was turned by the ministry, the
revolution, the FAR Ministry, into strong, systematic, expert, and
organized combatants. There's a great deal of admiration in all those
written pages. He betrayed the Armed Forces. He betrayed the party, all
those militants, hundreds of thousands of party militants. He betrayed all
the people who honored him with distinctions, who trusted him. He betrayed
10 million Cubans at the most meritorious and glorious moment of his
homeland, of Cuba, when having just carried out his great deed.

This type of person is disgusting. He was that type of person. I am
meditating on this. We should learn from the traitors. We must learn
because we will have them. We have to look at this cold-bloodedly and cure
ourselves as we did with the first small traitors. We should take vigorous
measures, adopt an antitraitor policy. We should, as we said, be immunized.
Our policy should be traitor-proof. The enemy has tried to obtain political
gain from him especially political gain. When they cannot get any more
information out, they will be made to speak like parrots to say whatever
they wish. They have given false figures, false figures. [repeats himself]
They have exaggerated what he has said concerning casualties in Angola.
They are bound to be...[changes thought] Oh, well, the story has just
started. Where will it end? It is not possible to be on this side and then
wake up the next day on the other side. But he used premeditation. That is
the aggravating factor. This is the type of reflection I believe is
advisable regarding this case, but no one should get discouraged. It should
serve to strengthen the spirit, the discipline, the exigency, the loyalty
to the revolution and the principles.

The family and the mother are worthy of recognition. They have maintained a
civic and courageous attitude. They have suffered a lot with this, but he
should have also thought of the relatives. He did not think about them. The
other son has maintained an excellent and honorable attitude and enjoys the
revolution's full trust. He continues flying. We trust men. There is also a

I do not know, but I understand there is a letter indicating that they
wanted to change the name. A name. It's logical. Well, he took the 2-year
old daughters what becomes of her? He took the 15-year old son. We have a
good example here. They kidnapped the boy. They illegally took him from his
home. He did not have the paternal authority to take him. He is there in
the United States. He, the shameless individual who speaks so much about
human rights, did not even allow his mother to talk to her son over the
telephone. They are keeping him in isolation.

They have not allowed the Cuban consul to visit him. They said: Let the
child, who is under the influence of his father and all those people there,
decide. The father is earning money and buying things.

They have not allowed the boy's mother to have access to her child by
telephone. No contact was allowed with the Cuban authorities. There have
been no signs of a willingness to meet. This is revolting. They are two of
a kind: the traitor and the empire he serves. There you have a good example
of how the empire acts: unscrupulously.

Perhaps we should meditate on these things. They are linked. The political
and ideological weakness, the laxity [reblandecimiento], the corruption,
and the immoral behavior come together and lead to a path: the path of

We will continue our battle just as we have continued all our battles: and
trusting men. You can't do otherwise. Nothing can be done, a revolution
cannot be carried out, if men are not trusted. This is what 1 tell the UJC

I want to express the full, absolute, and total trust as those I am talking
about deserve. Full confidence in our fighters, our officers, our
top-ranking officers, our generals, and our pilots. We know they are made
of solid stuff. There will be no division among party members, the comrades
of the Central Committee, and the government comrades.

The toughest demand and the strictest exigency against everything that is
incorrect are in no way opposed to the spirit of trust and brotherhood
among the comrades. What we have to do is line up all the fighters and

We know that we are now a people with very high moral and political
standards. These are not only words. Actions have proven this. The 300,000
compatriots who fulfilled internationalist missions within our Armed Forces
have proven this. They were 300,000 -- which, when compared with the
country's population, says a lot. The tens of thousands of civilian workers
and teachers...[changes thought] not only those who fulfilled their
missions but those who are willing to fulfill a mission. That's our people.
We must have full confidence in them. I repeat again: the trust in men.
This bitter treason should not harm this trust.

The treason of that one man did not damage trust in the rest of the
comrades who came here in the Granma, and the treason over there did not
damage the other comrades' trust in the peasants. We did not conclude that
the peasants were traitors. They were our allies, our strongest allies, and
many joined us and died.

What we should say as a remembrance of all these struggles is this traitor
we mentioned betrayed all those who died in the Moncada, the Granma, the
Sierra, the internationalist missions. All those comrades who were the
pilots at Giron; he betrayed them.

We are loyal to our dead. We are loyal to our cause, ideals, and dreams.
Our cause, ideals, and dreams are based on the trust that we have in men.
Men who are doing their work with us every day. Men who escort us. They are
loyal men. They are men of convictions. Men who take care of us. Men who
bring this tea here. Men who fixed everything.

Let us take the measures, and let all these cases be a lesson to be more
disciplined, to be more watchful, and to be more demanding. Let us adopt
all the formal mechanisms that must be adopted. However, let us not lose
our confidence in men. Let us remember the key to everything in the
historical process is man's honesty and the moral values that he
represents. Let us hope our trust in the comrades and in men will never be

Forgive me for having talked so much, but I was going to invite newsmen to
ask any questions on this topic or any other. I will try to answer.

Before starting this question-and-answer period, I would like to invite the
youths, the students, the comrades of the party, the comrades of the
committees, the peasants, and the women to speak up about these things.

Let us confront the enemy. The enemy feels he did a great thing. There are
great benefits to be gained from this. Let us show the enemy our strength,
pull [preceding word in English], and morale. I urge you to speak up. I
urge you to say something and analyze and meditate on these two cases or
any other case that may appear. Let us be the insurmountable barrier
between some men: between the weak and the strong, between the cowardly and
the courageous, and between the traitorous and the loyal. We must meditate
and make others meditate on this so our condemnation will be reflexive and
our morale will become higher than ever.

I am ready to listen to any questions. We will have a meeting early
tomorrow. If you think we have been here for too many hours and do not want
to ask any questions, then we will end the session.

I think perhaps I have been very thorough. You may always wonder what
happened. Perhaps, there were some mistakes here and there. One cannot have
understood things that are now understandable. When something fails, what
truly failed is honesty and loyalty. However, I think we must... [changes
thought] even a formal order, even if there is trust. I have trust in the
comrades. That is all right. We must take care of all those details.
Perhaps there will be questions. We will continue to be attentive to those
that may arise to try to answer them. We will continue to take the floor.
We have meetings all these days. There will be thousands of comrades there
early tomorrow morning. But with this case out of the way, we will be able
to concentrate tomorrow on the interesting topic: What have we done this
year? What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What is left to do?
Keeping a record of what we are doing each year. This is a new working
style, I would say. We will hold meetings with party comrades and the UJC.
We will have debates, analyses, and ideas to continue advancing this
battle, a battle that we will win. No one doubts that.

We have to go to sleep. We have work to do tomorrow. Thank you.