Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Addresses State Council on Drug Trial
Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000013677
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA1207050389
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-89-133          Report Date:    13 Jul 89
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       26
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       12 Jul 89
Report Volume:       Thursday Vol VI No 133


City/Source of Document:   Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Addresses State Council on Drug Trial

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro Ruz, at the Council of State meeting in
Havana on 9 July--recorded]

Source Line:   PA1207050389 Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in
Spanish 0030 GMT 12 Jul 89

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro Ruz, at the Council of State
meeting in Havana on 9 July--recorded]

1.  [Text] Comrades of the State Council:

2.  We are witnessing a unique situation and for this reason the State Council
has found it necessary to adopt a very important decision.

3.  Realizing that this had to be done, I reached the conclusion over the
course of the process--and most particularly in its final stage--that it was
necessary that all State Council members be present during this historic
decision. For this reason, we made special efforts to enable Comrade Almeida
[Juan Almeida Bosque] and Comrade Robaina [Roberto Robaina Gonzalez], who were
in Pyongyang, to urgently travel back to Cuba and be ready to participate in
the meeting of the State Council.

4.  Comrade Fernandez [Education Minister Jose Ramon Fernandez] had been
designated to attend the inauguration of the Argentine president and we decided
to make a change and replace him with another comrade so that he could attend
this meeting. Therefore, all the members of the State Council are present.

5.  I will need to speak somewhat at length to refer to certain background
data; to sort of recount what has happened; to give my points of view on the
way you have expressed yours; and also to perhaps contribute some elements that
may be helpful in adopting a final decision with regard to this case.

6.  I feel that this case has been characterized by its exceptional honesty. I
do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that there has never been a
judicial process that involved such large participation, so much information,
so much clarity, and so much equitability. I think that never before have so
many people been able to express their views in a process like this. Possibly,
there has never been so honest a process. I think it is advisable to make a few
remarks about this.

7.  This has been an extremely brief trial, but the measures that were adopted
for this trial to be carried out with full objectivity and full justice have
also been exceptional. I must say that even though the court was a special
military court--and military activities are characterized by discipline--there
was at all times absolute respect for the criterion of the court and of the
members of the court.

8.  I was in close contact with the prosecutor. I was also in contact with the
tribunal members throughout the process, but had no influence whatsoever on the
decision they eventually made. Once the hearing had concluded I asked the
tribunal members about their views--first, out of respect for those dignified,
serious, and responsible comrades; and second, because we believed that it was
most important to hear what they thought about everything they had ascertained
and learned throughout the trial.

9.  They came to a decision with absolute freedom. Logically, we could exert
our influence on the prosecutor and his views because he is part of the state,
and he has to make sure that the law is enforced because that is his mission.
However, the tribunal's mission was to judge and decide, and the tribunal
members took into consideration the prosecutor's request, but they freely
decided what sentence should be issued based on the gravity of the case.

10.  They decided to reduce the number of death sentences.  They even decided
to increase the sentence, from 25 years to 30 years, for one of the defendants,
Miguel Ruiz [Poo]. They decided to reduce the sentence of one of the convicted
persons--from the 15 years that the prosecutor requested to 10 years. This
viewpoint prevailed throughout the process.

11.  We never tried to exert any influence on the investigators or their
viewpoints; and we did not try to exert any influence on the witnesses or the
defendants. Therefore, this trial has been characterized by truly exceptional
cleanliness. Also, and you know about this, during the exchange of views we had
at the Politburo, Central Committee, Executive Committee, and Council of
Ministers I said that the ultimate decision would be made by the State
Council--regardless of what the Politburo and Central Committee members

12.  The State Council had to exert its constitutional rights and make the
ultimate decision if the final decision came under its jurisdiction, meaning,
if a death sentence might be issued or when a death sentence had been issued
against several of the accused. Thus, it was clearly stated that the ultimate
decision of what should be done would not depend on the Politburo, or the
Central Committee, or the Council of Ministers; and that the State Council
would be absolutely free to carry out its duties.

13.  You are the best witnesses to the fact that no one talked with any of the
State Council members; that I have not talked with any of them about their
views; that Comrade Raul nor any other vice president of the State Council have
even talked about the decision that must be made in today's meeting in a truly
free way. Not all the State Council members are members of the Politburo, but
those who are, knew that they were completely free to decide. Not all are
members of the central committee; we have here several comrades who are members
of the state council, but not members of the central committee. Not one of them
was asked about his opinion; not one was asked to state his views in advance,
so we have respected--to the smallest detail--the principles of equity and
justice; and you have stated your views accordingly.

14.  It was also our idea that if all has been divulged--at the honor tribunal
and the trial sessions--then we also had to divulge what each one of us said
here. Thus, the people would hear what each of us said and how the state
council meeting was carried out. I believe that this will give the people the
opportunity to learn about all the views, arguments, and criteria--although
there is another issue that we have reasserted throughout this process. We said
that the decision we adopted would not be determined by public opinion or polls
of people's opinion.

15.  It could happen that most of the population had an opinion and we might
have to adopt another opinion.  Comrade Carlos Rafael [Rodriguez] talked about
that this evening, when referring to a leader's responsibility.  A leader
cannot think only about today or the near future; he must think in the long
term, meaning what is most convenient for our homeland, our people, or the
revolution--not today or tomorrow, but 10, 50, even 100 years from now. If it
were a matter of basing our decisions on simple polls, then no meeting or state
council decision would be necessary.

16.  We know about other opinions and we know that the people think, but it is
my duty to say that this does not represent a determining factor in
circumstances like this.  It is best for us to coincide with what the people
think, but it does not necessarily mean that we have to do what the people want
or what the people think. Our duty is to judge these events with a lot of
serenity, calm, reflection, and cold blood.

17.  I think I am pretty well informed on the events that occurred. As Raul
explained, I spent over 150 hours at the MINFAR [Ministry of Revolutionary
Armed Forces] alone since the main people responsible for these events were
arrested. I have much information about what was discussed at the honor
tribunal and the oral hearing; about everything that was publicized, and the
publicity was very extensive. Only a few things were not publicized because
they were too unpleasant. These are things that have to do with moral matters
that could affect innocent people and turn out to be too scandalous. We decided
that those things would not be publicized.

18.  Errors were made, particularly in Ochoa's case. There were violations of
certain revolutionary principles, and there were errors on an international
level that could have done our country a great deal of damage; these errors
involved very sensitive issues that were analyzed at the court of honor and the
oral proceedings, but were not published because they could have created
further problems and difficulties, even though they would have had no impact on
the decisions that had to be made.

19.  There are certain quite important issues that must be raised, issues that
concern the revolution's history and struggles, its internationalist spirit and
missions, which were not mentioned because the comrades wanted to be brief.
Brevity was necessary because there was not much time available.

20.  One of these issues is what the Cuban people may think of our sending
thousands, tens of thousands of our soldiers on internationalist missions under
the leadership of an irresponsible, uncontrollable chief, under the leadership
of a chief capable of any adventure? I believe it is very important to explain
this point, because a mistake in that direction could make the Cuban people
lose confidence in the party directorate, and in the FAR [Revolutionary Armed
Forces] directorate. This is not, nor can it be the case [with our chiefs]. All
the military unit chiefs and the mission chief are necessary elements, but it
must be clear that, in fulfillment of these internationalist tasks, it is
impossible, it is inconceivable to delegate to any military chief--regardless
of how brilliant and capable he may be--the power to make important strategic
or tactical decisions in fulfillment of those missions. Not even if he were a
Clausewitz [Prussian general], the famous theoretician in military strategy, or
a Bonaparte, the famous warrior who is said to have been very capable in his
time and his era, our party and our revolution would not delegate such power to
its mission chief. On each of these important internationalist missions, in
which the lives of thousands of men are at stake, these powers are and have
been exercised, I repeat, they are and have been exercised by the party's
directorate and the FAR High Command. The lives of our people's sons, our
fighters, are so important that they cannot be placed in any hands but those of
members of the party directorate and the FAR High Command.

21.  The world has witnessed brilliant generals, who have won wars at the cost
of many lives, of the sacrifices of many men. One characteristic of our
revolution, since the days of Sierra Maestra, is its achievement of many great
victories, not the way those famous generals achieved victories, but by making
a minimum of sacrifices and experiencing a minimum of losses. A general might
say: I am going to win that battle at the cost of many thousands of lives. This
has never been the revolution's philosophy or doctrine. The revolution did not
take shape based on a military academy or reading history books or books on
strategy and tactics. Our revolution took shape alongside our men, during the
days when we were just a handful. We had this kind of experience for many

22.  This is why I say that all the missions--those in Angola, Ethiopia,
everywhere--have been the responsibility of the party leadership and the FAR
High Command. If anything went wrong, we would have been responsible for
that--absolutely responsible. We were not going to blame any military commander
or leader for that. It could not be any other way. There is a tendency
throughout the world to credit individuals for achievements.  Often I am
credited with all the revolution's achievements and people speak about Castro's
achievements and Castro's decisions when referring to the achievements of the
people and of the leadership as a whole. I prefer being made responsible for
setbacks rather than for achievements. During wartime there is also a tendency
to see the merits of the commander and to forget the merits of the soldiers,
the sergeants, the lieutenants, the captains, and others.

23.  The last phase of the Angolan War was truly heroic, extraordinarily
heroic. We know very well each person's merits during those heroic deeds. We
have not forgotten for one second what our pilots did. They carried out
thousands of missions and played a decisive role in Cuito Cuanavale. We have
not forgotten our sappers, who laid thousands of mines and dismantled enemy
mines. We have not forgotten our infantry men, our tank personnel, our
artillery men, the antiaircraft defense units, the explorers, and the
engineers, who also performed heroic deeds. We are special witnesses of their
efforts and merits because, at that time like today, we have spent a lot of
time with the staff and have worked long hours for nearly 1 year during which
time the last phase of the Angolan War ended in victory.

24.  This is why it is impossible not to consider this aspect when discussing a
case like this. What were the circumstances under which those events took
place? Amid a war, amid a war on which our country gambled--we might
say--everything. It sent its best weapons and 50,000 men to that war. If you
want to have an idea of what 50,000 men represent, let us multiply this figure
by 24. That gives us 1,200,000. It would be like the United States sending
1,200,000 men to a theater of operations, or like the Soviet Union sending
1,400,000 men.

25.  The USSR is 28 times larger than Cuba, and this small country--which had a
military mission in Ethiopia and another military mission in the Congo, with a
relatively large number of men--was able to send 50,000 men to a territory that
is more distant from us than Moscow--and one must not be guided by the map but
by the flight time between Cuba and Angola. Consider the distance. Our
revolution, with its internationalist spirit, its combat morale, its capacity
for mobilization, was able--I repeat--to make a great effort. We sent this last
reinforcement exclusively with our own means, such as when the internationalist
mission began in Angola. Our ships were the ones to carry the men and
equipment. On this occasion, we alone sent reinforcements with our ships and
our aircraft. We sent the required number of men and the means to solve the
problem in that country.

26.  It was precisely when this great deed was being accomplished--the biggest
internationalist feat Cuba has carried out--that these shameful and hateful
actions took place. I asked the comrades on the General Staff to put together a
file of the messages we sent to Angola during that period--the critical period.
Of course, they put together over 100 messages which I had addressed to Ochoa.
I decided to go over all that material in order to become familiar with what
was happening there at every instant and to compare it with everything that
they were doing here, everything they were doing here in connection with this

27.  Ochoa was named chief of the mission in Angola during early November 1987.
Everybody knows that Comrade Polo [Division General Leopoldo Cintra
Frias]--this is the nickname I gave him--had been in Angola for many years.
When the situation became more complex, the High Command comrades thought that
it would be inconsiderate to send Comrade Polo back to Angola and so they
decided to send Ochoa. The situation was not very critical; it was getting
worse but was not very critical.

28.  I traveled to the USSR to attend the [celebration of] the 70th anniversary
[of the Soviet revolution] in those days.  The anniversary that year occurred
on the date 7 November. I returned 2 to 3 days later, and between the 7th and
the 15th, the situation grew extraordinarily worse because of the increasing
South African onslaught and the danger that the concentration of Angolan troops
in Cuito Cuanavale would be destroyed or annihilated.

29.  At that moment, it was decided to send our best pilots as reinforcements.
We decided to reinforce the troops on 15 November 1987. Everybody was asking us
to help overcome that situation, which was very critical. Everybody was asking
us to do something. We ourselves understood that even though we were in no way
responsible for the errors that had led to that situation, we could not sit
still and allow a military and political catastrophe to occur over there. It
was for this reason that on 15 November 1987 we decided to reinforce the troops
in Angola and to take adequate steps to resolve that crisis.

30.  At that time, we already had Ochoa as chief. However, we understood that
the most adequate man for that mission was not Ochoa. He was not the most
adequate man for the mission because of his character, lack of sufficient
knowledge about the Angolans, and of relations with the Angolans. We looked for
a solution which, to my judgment, was quite correct. Perhaps it would have been
humiliating for Ochoa to be replaced by Polo; perhaps it would have looked like
his qualities or capabilities were underestimated. What we decided to do then
was to send Polo as chief of the Southern Front. The Southern Front is where
the bulk of our forces were going to be accumulated, where combat would be
held, and where the main operations would be carried out. We left Ochoa as
chief of the mission and assigned Comrade Polo the task of heading the Southern
Front because of its importance.

31.  We therefore established direct contact with the Southern Front to
exchange news and information and to send the High Command's instructions
directly to the Southern Front.  Nevertheless, we complied with the rules. 
Cables were sent to the chief of mission with instructions on what to do. The
cables were later sent to the chief of mission and to the chief of the Southern
Front. The cables were initially sent to Ochoa, but were later sent to Ochoa
and Polo. I believe it is very important for all the State Council members to
know about it, and you do, but--above all--it is important for the people to
know how all the missions have been carried out.

32.  I carefully went through the messages because I wanted to assess Ochoa's
level of corruption--which we now know about--and his moral degeneration, [not
to mention] the fact that when he went there he already had drug trafficking in
mind; Jorge Martinez Valdez had already made a series of contacts and was
already trying to get his Colombian passport. Ochoa knew all about this. How
could this have exerted an influence on Ochoa's behavior? I sincerely believe
that this had already exerted an influence on Ochoa's behavior.

33.  When I considered the material that I was looking over, I realized that he
deserved some criticism for the way he carried out his mission. I am obviously
referring to the criticism that every chief must face. That is always
necessary. There will always be problems and it will always be necessary to
analyze everything and say: This was not done correctly; this should have been
done this way instead. Any General Staff will always provide reasons for

34.  I have been scrutinizing those messages, but I do not want to expand on
this too much because it is not a matter of telling a story; it is a matter of
reviewing what happened at the time and analyzing events to ascertain the
gravity of what was being done in other sectors. It was known that Ochoa did
not like to write reports during his missions. He was too lazy to write
reports-- that is the truth. There were complaints--and he was always
reproached for this--that he seldom sat down to dictate a report during every
mission that he carried out.

35.  I remember that I sent him a cable on 2 December, when he had been there
only 3 weeks. I will read paragraphs of the cables I have here, which contain a
lot of material.  There are more cables, but I will only read the essential
ones so that the problem will be better understood. In one of the paragraphs ,
I asked him if he had sent some information regarding the instructions sent on
the 30th; I was told that nothing had arrived, that he generally sent little
information. I hope that such a custom will not prevail in this situation. That
is what I told him on 12 December [date as heard.]

36.  There is something else. Even though Ochoa was not in charge of directing
the troops in southern Angola, where most of our men and our weapons were
located, he did play a key role because he was in Luanda. The war was being
waged by two Armies, the Angolan and the Cuban Armies, and many issues had to
be coordinated with the Angolans, many problems had to be solved. A Center for
the Direction of Operations [Centro de Direccion de Operaciones, [CDO] was
established at which Soviet advisers, Cubans, and Angolans worked.

37.  Obviously the Cubans, as can happen under any circumstances, did not
always agree with the CDO's decisions.  Ochoa was supposed to be there. One
day, amid the crisis, it was reported that agreements had been reached at the
CDO when the situtation at Cuito Cuanavale was critical. The report involved
the movement of certain units, which were being taken from Cuito and Menongue
because a new situation had arisen in central Angola caused by UNITA [National
Union for the Total Independence of Angola] actions supported by South African

38.  In a cable dated 20 December, there is a paragraph where Ochoa is told: I
am very angry over your unexpected, inexplicable ideas that clash with my
concept of the struggle in the south against South Africa, which is fundamental
in solving the problems created in Angola.  On 21 December I sent another
lengthy message. I believe that the release of all this material should be
authorized when the history of this problem is written.  The time for that has
not yet come. However, in one paragraph I told Ochoa: I am unable to fully
understand the reasons for your failure to attend the CDO meeting, which I have
inferred from your cable. Important decisions were made at that meeting and
Ochoa, apparently, was not present. This was on 21 December; complications in
Cuito persisted, and our airplanes flew missions every day.

39.  At about this time, a certain theory emerged--the theory was Ochoa's--that
the South Africans had withdrawn, that there was no longer a crisis situation
in Cuito, and that certain troop movements could be made. This was on 2 January
1988. I rejected this, Ochoa's first strategic proposal. I must also add that
during his entire tenure as chief of mission, he made four strategic proposals,
and they were all rejected. I have maps and plans with arrows pointing out
directions; his four proposals were rejected by the General Staff. On four
occasions he made strategic proposals, and none was accepted. One of these
proposals involved Cuito, another involved the central part of the country,
another involved advancing through the south, and yet another--made toward the
end of his term as chief of mission--involved the establishment of positions.
All four were rejected.

40.  This one--and you can see the paragraph of a message sent on 12 January
1988--was his first proposal. In the message I told him: The situation in Cuito
Cuanavale has not been resolved as yet, despite the optimistic signs you
report. If the 58th and 10th Brigades are transferred from Menongue to Cuanza,
only Cubans would be left in Menongue to make their way toward Cuito if the
58th Brigade suffered serious problems with its logistical mission. As long as
South Africa's intentions are not totally clarified, there must be no thought
of moving the 58th and 10th Brigades.

41.  We could participate with the tactical group in the direction of Cuemba.
This would force us to place another tactical group at the bridge crossing and
to place the third group in Bie. None would be left in Huambo and we would be
endangering the troops in two directions in the south.

42.  Aside from the measures to be adopted in Luena, a difficult situation had
also arisen in Luena, which grew worse after the idea was adopted to remove the
two FAPLA [People's Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola] from Menongue.
One has to be very careful about taking steps that may destabilize what we have
created in the south. Of course, there are other instructions here.

43.  This was on the 12th. And do you know what happened on the 13th? A strong
attack. It was the 13th or the 14th but this has to be precisely determined. It
was an extremely heavy South African attack east of the river, along a very
extensive front defended by three Angolan brigades--the 21st, the 59th, and the
25th--with a 5-km distance between the brigades. I must make it clear that up
to the moment of the attack we did not have a single man in Cuito. That was
when the crisis arose and the first thing we sent was advisers--experts in
artillery, tanks, and other weapons--to help the Angolans to use those combat
means at that time. We had not yet sent any units. The problem was very serious
because there were 200 km of woods between Menongue, where our troops were
located, and Cuito Cuanavale.

44.  In view of this situation --the enemy having attacked and dislodged the
21st Brigade from its positions and threatening the two other brigades--we
decided on the 14th to send a tactical group with a tank battalion, artillery,
and the other weapons to cut directly across those two 200 km and reach Cuito
Cuanavale. That was the day... [changes thought] The telegram I mentioned was
sent on the 12th.

45.  The force advanced and we sent a telegram on the 17th, which read in some
paragraphs as follows: Here are some ideas about the defense of Cuito. You must
analyze and try to either apply them the way we suggest or with any changes you
may want to suggest. With the reinforcement from the tactical group and the
10th Brigade, that brigade advanced with our tactical group from Menongue to
Cuito. With the reinforcement from the tactical group and the 10th Brigade we
do not intend to cross the Cuito River to the east. The defense ring east of
the river must be reduced, by withdrawing the 59th and 25th Brigades to well
fortified positions closer to the river. These two brigades must cover the east
flank in order to allow the 8th Brigade to resume its mission of carrying
supplies. The 8th Brigade was Angolan.

46.  Currently--we told them on 17 January--the positions of the 59th and 25th
Brigades are very unsafe. They risk having their lines broken in the direction
of the position where the 21st Brigade was located. We must stop running these
risks. This was on 17 January, when what we might call our battle to readjust
the lines east of the river began. Cuito Cuanavale... [changes thought] The
true Cuito Cuanavale lies west but there were a number of brigades east of the
river which depended on a bridge and we began fighting on the 17th to readjust
the lines. I must point out that when we sent the tactical group we asked the
president, we asked the Angolans... [begins again]. Actually, we asked the
Angolans--this was supposed to be handled through the Angolan General Staff--to
allow us to assume responsibility for defending Cuito.

47.  Our Air Force was already playing a decisive role. We had already sent a
tactical group by land. We had already committed our forces in that battle. We
asked the Angolans to give us the responsibility for that battle. Our mission
received instructions and reported that we were already responsible for the
defense of Cuito. On 26 January 1988, we sent a cable. We sent cables almost
every day. I have just selected some. In a portion of a cable we told him: I do
not understand what is being done in Cuito. Who has the highest authority in
Cuito?  Often you do not bother to explain to us what is being done, despite
the fact that we are not inflexible in our points of view and that we are
always prepared to hear your opinion.

48.  Those instructions were sent on the 17th and by the 26th nothing had been
done. It was exasperating. It was decided that Ochoa should travel to Cuba. He
arrived in Cuba on 31 January. We called him specifically to discuss the
situation in Cuito and everything that had to be done there. He left for Angola
on 4 February, and he arrived there on the 5th. He was supposed to immediately
exert efforts and overcome any resistance--if there was any--from our Angolan
allies or from other advisers in order to readjust the frontlines. Days went by
and the frontlines were not readjusted.

49.  Meanwhile, we kept sending resources to Cuito Cuanavale. Listen to this:
From here we were able to guess what was going to happen. On 12 January, I told
him that the situation was not clear, that the danger was not over. On the
14th, the enemy launched a big offensive. In Angola the theory was that the
enemy had already withdrawn. Ochoa returned to Angola on the 5th. He had
instructions to readjust the line of battle east of the river, the line that
was 18 km east of the river, almost beyond the reach of our artillery, with a 5
- km gap between brigades. Almost 1 month went by and the lines had not yet
been readjusted. He returned on the 5th with the task of solving that problem.
On 14 February, Saint Valentine's Day, the South Africans launched their big
offensive. It was carried out against the 59th Brigade. The attackers broke
through the lines and marched along the 5-km gap between the 21st and 59th
brigades. The attackers began to surround the 59th Brigade. A very difficult
situation emerged. They could have gone as far as the bridge and cut off three
entire brigades.

50.  This situation was prevented as a result of a violent counterattack by a
combined Cuban-Angolan tank company. The enemy had to use more than 100
vehicles against this counterattack. This counterattack stopped the enemy.
However, the company lost the seven tanks it had and 14 Cubans died as a result
of this action which, of course, was nevertheless not in vain because it
prevented a catastrophe and gave the 59th, the 25th, and the 21st brigades time
to retreat.

51.  On the 15th we sent Ochoa a message: We are awaiting news and more
detailed information on what happened on the 14th east of Cuito. We want a
report on Cuban casualties, and, if possible, on Angolan casualties, from the
three brigades that retreated. We also want a report on the possible loss of
equipment, artillery, etcetera.  Further on I told him: Following the errors
that have been committed and the time that has been wasted in making
adjustments for the defense of Cuito, it is now necessary to have a cool head.
One consistent attitude of yours has been to underestimate possible enemy
actions.  We must be more alert and more aware to avoid surprises and errors. 
I will not hide from you the fact that here we are bitter over what happened,
because it had been foreseen and words of caution were issued on several
occasions. We insisted on the readjustment of the frontlines for almost 1
entire month. What happened forced, of course, a readjustment.

52.  On the 20th I sent him another message informing him: We have not received
an answer to two important questions: How many tanks are in good enough
condition to move east of the river? How many Angolan tanks are in good enough
condition to move to the west? I am asking this because we are considering the
suitability of reinforcing the east side with some Angolan tanks that have
stayed west of the river so that the small force east of the river will have at
least 10 or 12 tanks. You must be fully aware of the dangerous situation that
exists east of the river. If the enemy breaks through the lines of defense, the
Angolan forces will find themselves with their backs to the river and will face
casualties from drowning, attacks, and the prisoners could be countless.  This
would be a catastrophe. If this happens, it will be very difficult to defend
Cuito, and the political and moral consequences for the Angolan Armed Forces
and the Angolan Government would be terrible.

53.  The bridge that joined the east with the west had been destroyed. The
enemy used unmanned aircraft [aviones automaticos] to destroy the bridge. On 21
February, we sent him another message which, among other things, stated: We
cannot understand why things were going so slow in Cuito Cuanavale. A complete
week has passed since the 14 February events, and, with the exception of only
two battalions from the 21st brigade, we still have not gone to the west of the
river. According to our estimates, approximately 3,500 Angolan soldiers remain
on the other side of the river and a large amount of equipment has to be
transferred to the west. The worst part is that, according to news received
today, the bridge has been rendered totally useless because several sections
have been destroyed, making the bridge virtually impossible to cross. We were
also informed that three rolls of rope are going to be sent to Cuito tomorrow,
Monday.  What will happen if tomorrow the enemy breaks through the lines and
uses all its strength against the river area?

54.  We have lost many days and cannot understand how our instructions or
simply our points of view are conveyed to our people in Cuito. We do not know
who the person responsible for receiving and implementing our instructions is.
We do not even know if our instructions or points are view are known over
there. Something is wrong with the line of communications for passing on our
orders. I am basing my instructions on your information that whatever happens
there is our responsibility.

55.  It also seems to us that adequate precautions are not being taken in the
area. The area commanders are not aware of the political, military, and moral
consequences that a disastrous confrontation with the forces that are to the
east of the river could cause. These forces would not even have a few ships to
do something comparable to what the British did with its fleet in Dunkirk.
Under these conditions, I believe that Polo should remain in Cuito until the
most serious problems are resolved. I sent him an urgent message giving him
these orders.

56.  It is my belief that the formula proposed in the message I sent yesterday
should be adopted without any hesitancy, that is, a heavily fortified defensive
position using an amount of soldiers not to exceed the size of a brigade, which
should be maintained at the eastern section of the river. The lines of defense
should be widespread and the available tanks should be positioned at the
rearguard. I hope that tonight the artillery, the scant transportation vehicles
available, and the remaining personnel from the 21st and 8th Brigades will
start to be passed to that side of the river. We insisted and insisted that the
equipment be passed to this side, that all the artillery be sent to the east
side of the river, that our lines be reduced there, and, in short, that all the
necessary measures that had to taken under those circumstances were in fact

57.  Polo, in fact, went there and solved the problem. He adjusted the lines,
and, from that moment on, all South African attacks came up against the
defensive position along the east side of the river. As soon as they began to
get near, they would be hit by artillery--which was located to the west and
could be supplied with ammunition more easily --they would encounter
antiaircraft attacks, they would walk onto mined fields, and they several times
crashed headlong into the defensive position which they were never able to
conquer. During this period we had almost no casualties. The casualties were
minimal and the enemy crashed against our positions.  Cuito Cuavanale became a
trap for the enemy.

58.  What was happening at that time? Martinez was taking steps to put his
travel plans in order. He was getting his passport. He was making contacts at
that time. Well, how long did this critical situtation last [in Angola]?

59.  General Lorente was sent to Cuito Cuanavale on 6 March. He was to take
command of the Southern Front in Lubango. On 6 March, our forces were ordered
to advance south along the right flank. The most important of all strategical
operations had begun while the enemy was launching attacks in Cuito Cuanavale.
I must also note that all these actions carried out in Cuito Cuanavale took
place under constant bombing of South African long-range artillery, which fired
thousands of projectiles at that location during the months Cuito Cuanavale was
under siege. All the actions I mention were carried out amid the incessant
bombing of South African artillery.

60.  However, we had already successfully prevented the enemy from occupying
Cuito Cuanavale, stopped them, wore them out, and had begun our advance toward
the right flank. The order to advance was issued on the 6th [corrects himself],
rather on 10 March; the troops started to march south. That was also a very
important and critical period, because our scouting parties began to fight
against South African scouting parties. There were a number of clashes, and I
recall that we waged another battle during that period: in Cuito Cuanavale it
was to readjust the lines of battle; in the south we were going against Ochoa's
idea that infantry or scouting parties should advance on foot.

61.  After analyzing certain aspects of the terrain, including the lack of
water and the long distances involved, we advocated using vehicles in our
scouting operations-- that is, that we should not send troops 50 or 60 km from
their bases without a vehicle being at least 8 or 10 km away from the troops in
the scouting parties, because traveling in vehicles offers advantages and
disadvantages. I argued that we should seize both the advantages of exploring
on foot and in vehicles. At any rate, that is another long story.

62.  Regarding this period, I will refer to something that was happening in
June. What was happening in June? June was a critical month. Our troops were
approaching the border. Our closest airfields were in Lubango and Matala, 250
km away. They were hardly being used then; they could not be used. That is why
on 22 March we began to build an airport in Cuito Cuanavale [corrects himself],
rather in Cahama. That was on 22 March. We sent Ochoa a very brief cable that
read as follows: What is needed and how long would it take to make the Cahama
runway operational for fighter planes if we worked at full speed? The battle
then began. Polo took control of the undertaking and collected all the
equipment he could.  We sent him new equipment from Cuba, including trucks,
bulldozers, and haulers, that is, all the means necessary to build this aiport
rapidly and at full speed, which was another great accomplishment. We built it
in a few weeks. The airport's first runway was ready and a second one was being
built by June. In June, it was already operational. I will further elaborate on
the airports later because an important issue pertains to the airports.

63.  What was the situation on 7 June 1988? I have a cable that summarizes
everything. I was hesitant as to whether I should read it because it contains
some plans we had at that time. However, I believe that I will read it because
it demonstrates that the peace process had advanced significantly and had
become irreversible. We had received word about a possible massive South
African surprise air attack against our advance units. I sent a cable to Ochoa
and Polo: News of a possible South African surprise air attack against Cuban -
Angolan troops should not be underestimated. It made some sense. Our troops
must heavily protect their shelters. Antiaircraft units must be in a state of
maximum alert, particularly at dawn, at dusk, and during the daytime. Study
possible defensive actions by placing Air Force planes on guard duty in Cahama.
Be ready to counterattack with as many aircraft as possible to completely
destroy Ruacana water reservoirs and transformers. This must be implemented as
soon as possible after an attack.

64.  Plans also should be prepared to hit (Ochicata) and nearby air bases as a
response to the attack and according to the size of the enemy action. The
Cahama group and everything that is available will have to be used for this. 
Do not wait for orders--just look at the powers he had--to carry out the action
if there is a strong enemy attack against our troops. Our attack must be sudden
and quick. I reiterate the need for the troops to be on maximum alert and
protected; make maximum use of antiaircraft weapons. The Pechora de Matala
Regiment should get there as soon as possible, preferably at night so that
there can be groups in Humbe and Cahama. Keep the tactical group at this point.
The Tchipa personnel should be particularly on the alert. The planned movements
should be carried out bearing in mind these risks.  Decisive events may soon be
taking place. I repeat: Decisive events may soon be taking place. This was on 7

65.  That same day, I wrote Jose Eduardo [Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos
Santos]. There was always--and this is something I must stress--there was
coordination, an exchange of letters, between Jose Eduardo and myself.  There
was close coordination. Every step taken by our troops was reported to him.
Every strategic operation was coordinated with the Angolans. I had already sent
him other letters on this issue.

66.  I told him: Dear Comrade Jose Eduardo: As you know, our intelligence
services have received reports that the South Africans are planning a massive
surprise air attack against the Angolan-Cuban troops in southern Angola.  There
is a certain logic to this report, if we take into consideration the despair of
the South Africans in the face of the defeats and failures they have sustained,
both in the military as well as in the diplomatic fields. They might try their
luck in changing the correlation of forces by using their Air Force so they
will sustain the least possible number of white casualties. Early this morning,
we sent a message to Ochoa and Polo warning them not to underestimate the
reports. We told them to place all the forces on a state of maximum alert, to
take all security measures, and to have our aircraft ready to take off and
repel the attack.

67.  We notified the Soviets of the intelligence reports indicating that there
could be a quick and immediate response to any sudden, surprise, massive air
attack launched by the enemy. We were warning everyone of the danger of the
possibility that we might have to launch a strong attack in northern Namibia.
All possible measures were taken to protect the personnel and the technical
equipment; all air defensive measures were taken.  As the troops advanced
toward the south, more and more groups were being sent from Cuba, full
regiments with antiaircraft rockets. Therefore, we became completely superior
in antiaircraft rockets and we became superior in air attacks. What happened?
What happened [repeats himself]? The South Africans began to move forces. At a
certain time they tried--just like they were doing in Cuito with their
artillery--to begin shooting cannons.

68.  One day--I believe it was on the 26th, yes, 26 June-- they launched 200
missiles against Tchipa, where our forces were. We then sent a cable to Ochoa
and Polo: We must respond to today's artillery attack against Tchipa.  We
believe that the first step must be a strong air attack against the camp,
military installations, and South African personnel in Calueque and its
environs. We must do the best we can to prevent the loss of civilian lives. If
the enemy's artillery can be located, strike it harshly. Other kinds of attacks
must also be prepared in the event that circumstances dictate other types of
responses. As a possible future step, we must decide whether to strike the
military bases first and leave the Ruacana hydroelectric complex for later, or
vice versa. Troops should also be on the alert against any land attack against
Tchipa. Let us know what you plan to do with the 85th Tactical Group, and under
what conditions you would send it to Tchipa.  You must accelerate the
construction of shelters in Cahama and the new landing strip. This happened on
the 26th.

69.  The attack against Calueque took place on the 27th, and it was quite a
destructive attack. We were waiting to see what would happen next. I sent Ochoa
and Polo a cable on 27 June: Within the next few hours or days, we must be on a
maximum state of alert, awaiting any possible response from the enemy. You must
be ready to strike hard against the enemy bases in northern Namibia. In other
words, you must have a response ready in the event of a massive enemy air
attack. In this regard, you must analyze how, with more forces, you could
annihilate the enemy. There must always be a point at which you will simply use
the most available means. The Ruacana hydroelectric complex will not change
location. Therefore, it will be there when it is its turn, sooner or later,
depending on the various situations that might arise.  However, it is logical
to believe that if the enemy action is serious, we must first attack the
military targets.

70.  We have given them our initial response. Now it is up to them to decide
what to do and if they should continue the escalation.

71.  On the 27th the South Africans raised a big fuss over the attack, but they
restrained themselves militarily. Our response had been quite strong. We felt
that the hydroelectric complex was going to acquire strategic importance. They
did not have water from Calueque, but they had water from Ruacana. We had
drafted the plans according to the situation. We would hit them at one or the
other point, depending on the enemy action. This was on 10 June.

72.  In September or October, when it is said that we were engaging in all
those black market operations, what happened? Had peace arrived? Peace had not

73.  Here we have a message dated 10 October 1988 in which I told Ochoa and
Polo: The negotiations have reached an impasse. The South African demands are
unacceptable.  Because great concessions had been made in Brazzaville, we took
an inflexible position in New York. Although there is talk of new meetings in
Brazzaville, we must not lend too much importance to the matter. We must
prepare for the impasse, although I do not think the South Africans want to
resume hostilities. We must remain alert, especially to guard against the risk
of air attacks. We must prepare for rainy season. Just as we told Ochoa and
Polo, the frontline units must remain in Calueque and Ruacana. The brigade in
Donguena and the brigade located between Tchipa and Ruacana must be withdrawn.
A joint Cuban-Angolan unit can remain in Tchipa. The remainder of the troops
must retreat to the Cahama-Xangongo line. The antiaircraft units must be
deployed along the Cahama-Mucope-Humbe- Xangongo line. We must not lose time.
Our aircraft must be prepared to support the frontline units in Calueque,
Ruacana, and Tchipa. The Calueque and Ruacana Dams must be blown up if the
enemy attacks our frontline units. We did not leave many troops there, as
supplying them was difficult, and it was almost rainy season.  Frontline units
remained there, but they were instructed to blow up the dams if they were
attacked. The political work must be directed at increasing the troops' combat
readiness and at preparing for the impasse. According to reports by Western
diplomats, the South Africans have concentrated large military forces in
Namibia. We must try to confirm this. Our duty is to be prepared for any
outcome. This struggle will be won by the side that has the best ability to

74.  These messages will give you and the people an exact idea of what was
happening in Angola all those months, both in the initial phase of the crisis
and in the final phase. All of those messages I am referring to discussed the
fighting in the south and the movements of Cuban personnel--Cubans mixed with
Angolan and SWAPO [South West African People's Organization] fighters. 
Sometimes they were Cuban-SWAPO units, and at other times they were
Cuban-Angolan units when we expected decisive, large battles.

75.  In fact these large battles did not occur because our troops were quite
strong. The enemy realized that we were very powerful and had taken security
measures such as the construction of the airport and the reinforcement of our
available air strength and antiaircraft weapons. I believe that this was the
key to success, the achievement of the fundamental objectives without
sacrificing thousands of lives. If great battles had to be waged, they were
waged because there was no other alternative. The idea, however, was to achieve
objectives with the minimum number of casualties, which we were successful in
doing. The idea was to always be in a state of readiness, always foreseeing all
dangers, and situations that might arise.

76.  At that time, comrades, we must not forget that when these things were
happening, when thousands of projectiles struck Cuito Cuanavale--because the
siege of Cuito Cuanavale lasted many months--when the men were preparing for
decisive actions, when approximately 40,000 Cuban troops were mobilizing in the
south and preparing for that decisive battle, Martinez was meeting here with
some Colombian drug traffickers, later with some Mexican drug traffickers, and
finally with de la Guardia's people, and the people in his group, organizing
drug trafficking operations. In April and May he was meeting with Escobar in
Colombia. In June--which is the time to which these cables refer, this was the
time of the Calueque events--they were waiting for a ship with 2 tons of drugs,
a ship that was supposed to arrive 2 months after the meeting.

77.  It is impossible to forget this. It is difficult for us to forget this
because we experienced this drama, these risks, this struggle; we lived it day
by day. We received the news of every man that fell during a battle or during a
mission-- people who died in battle, or in a mine field, or in an accident. We
heard about this every day. We felt responsible for each of those men's lives.
We felt responsible for all of those men, for each one of them, for the 50,000

78.  We were virtually in charge of the government [not further identified] in
1988. We were in charge of the government from mid-November until the end of
that year. We devoted all our time, all our time [repeats himself] to that
struggle, to the war. It could not have been otherwise. We had to take
responsibility for whatever happened there. Even the revolution was at stake
there, because if this was a decisive battle against apartheid representing a
defeat of large proportions, it was also a battle for the revolution, which
could have meant a huge defeat for the revolution no matter how noble, just, or
altruistic our cause. I think that even the revolution was at stake in that
battle. We did not even attend to government affairs; at least I did not attend
to them. The central government was also working on this. I devoted at least 80
percent of my time to this battle. We set aside fundamental matters in view of
the graveness of the situation that had arisen there.

79.  There is no doubt--and this will be historically documented for the glory
of our fatherland, our party, and our heroic combatants--that a situation that
had seemed hopeless was mastered and peace was attained. This is precisely why
it happened: Because the efforts of the party and the Armed Forces High Command
were completely devoted to this task. If it became necessary to send a ship, to
load a ship, the High Command took less than 2 hours to get that ship ready. If
it became necessary to deploy a group of missile experts, they would do it. We
must point out that we had a wonderful commodity: our people's enthusiasm, our
people's heroic spirit, our people's generosity. These are the same people who
today demand justice. All of them went there--workers, peasants, those who were
part of the Armed Forces reserves, conscripts who volunteered. Each combatant
who went to Angola went there as a volunteer.

80.  At the same time that we were inscribing the most glorious page in our
history, the most shameful page in our history was being written precisely by
the chief of the military mission in that country. There is a factor that must
be analyzed here, by which I mean the history of the black market deals,
allegedly made to help the troops.  Gentlemen: Do you believe that it is
possible to help an army of 50,000, to build an airport in 6 or 7 weeks by
collecting kwanzas at the candonga [black market]? Who would believe that
story? That is the most ridiculous thing one could ever hear. Here is a message
that was once sent: What would be required and how long would it take to
convert the Cahama landing strip into a runway for fighter planes if we worked
at full speed? That was just a question. Just tell us what is necessary and how
long it will take and we will send all that we have here, as we did so that the
Cahama [landing strip] could be built.

81.  If it is a matter of building the Catumbela and Cabo Ledi [landing
strips], we will also use every means and resource the country has available,
because the country gave top priority to the war in Angola. We even sent candy
to the soldiers. There was not a single day that I did not ask the High Command
how many tons of candies, cookies, or chocolate had been sent to the soldiers,
how were the soldiers doing, what kind of nylons [as heard] they had, how were
they sleeping, what kind of mattresses they had, what kind of food they ate. 
Everything the country had was available to them. How many bags of cement?
Sixty thousand.

82.  I still remember when the High Command asked about the ship, how many bags
were on each ship, when the ship was leaving, and whether or not there was
enough paper for the bags that had to be sent to Angola. We also asked how many
ships were leaving, as well as many questions pertaining to Angola. We
wondered: Would it be better to send asphalt from Cuba or buy it in Portugal,
Europe, anywhere where we could get it faster, paying for it what we could.

83.  If everything we had was available for that front, for the battle, and if
I said: We must set up an ice cream factory in southern Coppelia, then we set
up an ice cream factory in southern Coppelia so that the troops could have
everything they needed. Right, that was our concern-- Did they have medicine,
equipment, shoes, everything?  This was the High Command's main concern. We
were worried about the material needs of the troops, and we were willing to
send the entire resources of the country to Angola, what we had and what we did
not have [as heard].

84.  How can one fight a war by gathering kwanzas? That was simply a pretext to
cover up the theft of money and resources. This, unfortunately, is the truth;
it is very sad, but it is the truth--the front's needs were used as an excuse.
In the zones of operation, they were authorized to barter, but not to engage in
black market activities.  The zones of operations were the cattle areas.
Peasants had their herds there. However, because of the war, they had no
resources. Peasants were not interested in money; they were interested in
obtaining merchandise.

85.  Consequently, the command was authorized to barter in that area. It was
legal and the Angolans knew that; everyone knew that. Bartering could be
carried out on the battlefront. In the south, troops bartered sugar, salt, or
any other foodstuff for other things that the peasants had. We did not steal a
single lamb, goat, or cow from any peasant in the area. We paid for everything,
but we paid in the only way we could--with merchandise. What Ochoa did, in a
subtle way, was to barter, using the excuse that he had to solve problems or
meet needs. He did this based on the idea that he was authorized to do it in
the zones of operation.

86.  This probably did not draw too much attention. It is understandable that
some officers would be confused if he told them that his bartering was to cover
troops' needs or to build the airport. Had he truly done that, he still would
have been wrong. It was incorrect to have engaged in black market activities.
It was incorrect to have sent an officer, or a captain to carry sacks and sell
them for kwanzas on the black market. It would not be so bad if this money was
to be used in the war, but that was not actually the case. Saying that this was
done to help the troops was merely a pretext. It is possible that Ochoa turned
in a few kwanzas, but in an amount insufficient even to build a square meter of
the airport. We know how an airport is built and how it is built during a war. 
The airport was used as a pretext to engage in more operations. We saw how the
money from these operations wound up in Cuba, and, from Cuba, in an account in

87.  There is no justification for this. How could we get involved in black
market operations there, even if it were for the troops' sake? How could we get
involved in the black market if we were receiving $20 million per year for
technical civilian cooperation? This cooperation was being paid for at a very
high price. We had thousands of men over there. We received $20 million for
civilian, not military, cooperation. Nothing was ever paid for the military
cooperation. We had thousands of workers there, including teachers and doctors.
The country received approximately $20,000, charging a good price...  [corrects
himself] $20 billion... [corrects himself] $20 million. That was a low price;
foreign experts in Angola charged four or five times more than our experts

88.  However, considering Angola's economic problems and the difficulties it
faced in 1983, in the wake of Cangamba and after Cangamba [not further
identified], when Jose Eduardo [Dos Santos] visited Cuba, we asked him not to
pay us anything for the technical cooperation. We told him that we would
continue to offer technical cooperation. In the past 6 years, we have not
received $120 million to which we were entitled. [This shows] how a country
makes sacrifices in its internationalist efforts.  This shows how sacrifices
were made in the area of technical cooperation. I am not speaking of
sacrificing a life; I am not speaking of the blood of our nation's children,
which cannot be repaid with any amount of money in the world. If we were even
donating civilian cooperation, how can it make any sense to have engaged in
black market operations in Angola? This cannot be explained. This has no
justification whatsoever.

89.  Well, later on, things were happening here. There was this business
concerning the account in Panama--this is very important; this is very serious.
How was the Panama account opened? It was opened with ill-gotten money. The
Panama account was opened with stolen money. The $200,000 Martinez had was
ill-gotten money. Money was stolen from the Nicaraguans, and money was kept
there; that was how the account was opened. Money was stolen from the Angolans,
for they handed over money to buy communications equipment.  The communications
equipment was obtained at a lower price and they [the defendants] kept whatever
was left and placed that money in the account in Panama. They stole from Angola
on the black market, but they also stole from Cuba. If they were trading cement
for anything there, that cement still belonged to Cuba.

90.  Moreover, when one is at war, a sack of cement cannot be sold, because one
does not know when cement might be needed to build fortifications, bridges, and
so on.  Cement is a strategical resource. It should not be sold.  Sugar was
sent from Cuba and exchanged for certain things. Some sugar was indeed
delivered, because that was the way to cover up certain activities, but
proceeds from the rest were pocketed. In other words, they robbed Nicaragua and
Angola in two ways: through communications equipment and the black market. They
also robbed Cuba, because the products involved belonged to Cuba. Therefore,
the bank account in Panama was the result of four robberies.

91.  There is something else: We did not know why Ochoa sent arms from Angola
to Panama. We asked ourselves: That is strange. Why did he send, among other
things, rifles to that country... [corrects himself]. Excuse me, I meant to say
from Angola to Nicaragua. We asked ourselves: What does that mean? We were
unable to come up with an answer. However, we recently received a report from
the Sandinist People's Army [EPS] explaining why Ochoa sent those arms. You
will fully understand why.

92.  I hope that I will cause no harm to the Nicaraguans by revealing certain
information contained in this report pertaining to arms operations. The
confidential report reads as follows: In early 1987, Ochoa told the EPS chief
of General Staff that he was fully capable of supplying any Western military
equipment--his deviousness is obvious here--that the EPS might need to
strengthen military operations against mercenary forces. He apparently managed
to obtain certain pieces of small equipment. When he did so, Ochoa claimed that
he was able to supply any Western weapon required.

93.  The reports adds: In this context, on 12 March 1986, Major General Joaquin
Cuadra Lacayo agreed with Division General Arnaldo Ochoa, who was Cuba's FAR
representative in Nicaragua at the time, to purchase 100 German-made M-79
grenade launchers and 12,000 projectiles. Ochoa accepted the order. The report
continues: Maj Gen Joaquin Cuadra Lacayo, through the EPS finance office,
handed over $120,000 to Ochoa's assistant, Jorge Martinez Valdes, who was a FAR
captain at the time. On 5 March 1987, Martinez received another $41,000, that
is, a total of $161,000.

94.  The EPS report states: Months later, following Ochoa's instructions,
Martinez told Maj Gen Joaquin Cuadra Lacayo that the transaction was canceled,
because prospective suppliers were facing problems delivering that order in
Nicaraguan territory. This agreement never materialized, and Maj Gen Joaquin
Cuadra Lacayo understood that the deal had been temporarily suspended when
Martinez told him that it was impossible to honor the deal, that the advance
payment had been lost, and that he could not return that payment due to
problems inherent to this kind of transaction.

95.  The report adds: On 22 September 1988, Arnaldo Ochoa, in his new capacity
as head of the Cuban military mission in Angola, told the EPS through Brigadier
General Nestor Lopez Cuba--who replaced Ochoa as head of the Cuban Military
Mission in Nicaragua--that Ochoa would send the following weapons from Angola
to Nicaragua: Fifty Yugoslav AK rifles, 200 rifle magazines, 50 magazine clips,
50 bayonets, 50 belts, 50 accessory containers, 50 oilers, 4 60-mm mortars,
2,664 50-mm mortar shells, 560 antipersonnel grenades, and 2,016 40-mm
ammunition for M-79 grenade launchers. Nicaragua received all these armaments
in 1988, which the EPS believed Ochoa had sent them in partial compensation for
having failed to honor the aforementioned agreement.

96.  We must add that 2,016 grenades must cost a lot on the arms market--on the
arms black market. They can easily charge $100 each. Thus, 2,016 grenades can
cost about $200,000. Mortar shells are also expensive. To tell the truth, the
value on the black market of the weapons he sent was equal to or perhaps even
more than the money Ochoa received for them.

97.  This report ends with the following paragraph: We were never informed by
Ochoa or Martinez that the money was safe and had been deposited in a bank
account in Panama. We had already given it up as lost. The report says: We were
never advised that money had been placed in a bank account.

98.  Everything is very clear here. What happened? They were given $120,000 and
then $41,000. The initial $120,000 was given to the supplier, who, at the end,
told them he could not carry out the operation and returned $75,000, leaving
them with a $45,000 loss. But, the would-be supplier did return $75,000 which,
when added to the $41,000, amounted to the $116,000 they had in the account.
What did they think up then? They got the idea of obtaining in Angola--I do not
know if they requested this materiel, if somebody gave it to them, or if they
stole it--mortar shells and M-79 grenades; they sent the arms to Nicaragua to
partially fulfill the commitments they had made; and they kept the money. They
kept $116,000 from this operation and they had about $40,000-$50,000 they had
to return to the Angolans. They then had about $160,000 in the account, and
they increased the amount to $200,000 by adding money obtained from their black
stockmarket operations.

99.  We can clearly see where the money came from. They were stealing from
everybody to increase their bank account. The money had not yet come from

100.  It is not necessary for me to repeat information everybody knows, such as
the operations carried out by Martinez, his trip to Colombia, and the meeting
with Escobar. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that one of the most serious
actions--I would say even more serious than the story of the account in Panama
and the origins of the money deposited in that account--was to have sent a
Cuban Armed Forces officer to Colombia with a false passport and placed him in
enemy hands. This occurred when we were on the verge of decisive battles in
Angola. We were risking everything over there; we were risking the revolution.
This action was extremely serious.

101.  What other action is so serious? It was not precisely discussing and
organizing plans for the shipment, initially in commercial ships and later in
planes, of large amounts of drugs through Cuba. He conspired to do all this,
but he never managed to carry out any of these operations. This is what is so
serious: Knowing that a mafia had been formed in the Interior Ministry's
[MININT] MC Department [department in charge of contravening U.S. embargo] that
was drug trafficking, he joined this mafia and asked for its cooperation in
everything: to help Martinez travel to Colombia, to help Martinez ignore all
MINFAR regulations, and to help Martinez come and go whenever he wanted and
without anybody's knowledge.

102.  He also asked him for cooperation to engage in large-scale drug
operations. He joined the group and, in the end, wound up receiving $50,000
from the group from the last drug-trafficking operation. He requested $100,000
and was given $50,000. It is very serious that a hero of the republic, a member
of the Central Committee, a division general, a chief of the most glorious
mission being carried out by the country abroad, should join that mafia, that
group of gangsters, without immediately reporting it, but instead joining this

103.  One asks why this group became so bold? This group started out with
operations that were spaced out; they were cautious. In 1988, the group
suddenly carried out 50 percent of the operations in 4 months. In a single
month, it engaged in five or six operations. Why?  Undoubtedly, when these
people saw Ochoa return from Angola--Ochoa, who was on his way to becoming the
commander of the Western Army; Ochoa, who demanded as a defense necessity that
the DAAFAR [Antiaircraft Defense and Revolutionary Air Force] and the Western
Navy be assigned to him, as is the case in the eastern region--these people
must have felt they were the people with the most impunity in the world. It
must have stimulated and encouraged them a lot that a member of the Central
Committee, a hero, a division general, and a man with Ochoa's prestige was
involved in this. I believe this is extremely serious.

104.  Despite the difficulties, Ochoa did not let up; he did not let up in his
plans. He had plans to carry out operations until April 1989. We learned this
from all the evidence we have gathered. He persisted in the idea of large-scale
operations. He persisted in the idea of using a merchant ship to go to the
northern coast carrying 10 tons, which would later be picked up by boats. He
talked a lot with Tony de la Guardia. Tony de la Guardia, who had been
cautious, conducting spaced-out operations until 1988, told him that it was
impossible to carry out that large operation with the boatmen--who are not very
serious people, who come and go, who immediately begin enjoying any money they
collect--and that it was impossible to transfer 10 tons of cocaine. He argued a
lot with Tony de la Guardia about all these problems. He insisted a lot on it;
it was an idea, which if we look at it, was totally crazy.

105.  I tried to figure out how much was needed to obtain the sum he mentioned.
In his fantasy, he spoke of billions. I tried to figure out how much was needed
for him to obtain $4 billion, which he said he was going to obtain and then
invest in Cuba from abroad. This is what our prosecutor called a big plan, a
big money-laundering operation. I figured he needed to have 400 ship voyages at
$1,000 per kilo. He needed 400 ship voyages and 8,000 boat voyages, supposing
that each boat carried 500 kg--these figures reminded me of the foreign debt
figure--to amass $4 billion. It was a fantasy and there was a lack of reality.
But those were his ideas. What is serious is that he harbored these ideas while
he knew he was going to assume responsibility for the Western Army.

106.  Naturally, when Ochoa returned from Angola, very few things about him
were known. However, I must stress that if there is one institution that knows
what people are doing, it is MINFAR, because it has the means and the necessary
organization to control the men. I already explained before how the operations
in Angola were disguised as war necessities and how he had confused his closest

107.  When Ochoa came here, he began to discuss business.  Everytime he met
with Raul, he wanted to talk about business. He was constantly given the same
advice: Do not do it. He kept talking about allegedly serious business deals. 
Sometimes he would say some foolish things.  Everyone took it as a joke,
because he had made a habit of talking seriously and of joking. Whenever he
said anything foolish, the people laughed. MINFAR and Raul would tell him: Just
go about your military tasks and forget about business. That is not your task
or mission.  You must devote yourself to your military tasks; that is what you
must do.

108.  However, when it came to the drug problem, Ochoa told one, only one, of
these officers. He told only one officer about that grave and serious activity
that caused repulse, scandal, indignation, and concern. It is quite possible
that if he had told four officers about this, it would have been inevitably
known, because MINFAR has its organization--the military counter intelligence.
I know for a fact how military counter intelligence works. Ochoa talked with
only one officer. Very little was known about Ochoa, just some moral aspects
and no criminal aspects.  At any rate, these were not penal crimes but moral
crimes. Reports about Ochoa's behavior were starting to come in from various

109.  The more serious thing is that he told only one officer about the drug
involvement. He had corrupted this officer and won him over for this bad cause.
The rest of his actions or his plans were supported by the Tony de la Guardia
group. However, at one time he said this group was not capable, that they were
stupid, that he was going to act on his own, etc. However, he insisted on
carrying out the big operations with drugs up until this group practically
disintegrated. In other words, he insisted on this from 1986 through nearly the
middle of 1989, and that is the truth of the matter we have been able to

110.  As someone said here, the Tony de la Guardia group is a different case.
Tony de la Guardia is not a hero, a member of the Central Committee, a division
general, or someone who had Ochoa's responsibilities. Tony de la Guardia's case
is extremely grave. I do not mean to say it is not as grave as Ochoa's case.
What I am saying is De la Guardia's case is different from Ochoa's case; it has
very grave conotations and is very treacherous and dangerous. If Ochoa was not
able, did not have the time, was not successful, or did not manage to carry out
any of his drug operations, these people had already carried out some of them.
When Martinez visited Escobar, Tony de la Guardia and his group had been
carrying out drug operations for 1 and  years.

111.  All of this has been publicly debated, and it has been proven. They
claimed they had noble purposes. All of them claimed noble purposes. Ochoa said
he wanted to solve the development problems--that has nothing to do with what
he did with the money--and the others said they wanted to help the country. To
help the country in that way--as they have said--was to stab a knife in the
back of the country. All of you have referred to that topic here. There is no
reason for me to expand on this point.  Later I will refer to this for other

112.  Tony de la Guardia formed a totally repulsive gang within MININT. How it
was formed is truly incredible, inconceivable, and very difficult to explain.
How was all this possible? They were very secretive, of course. They knew what
they were doing was very serious, but the way they carried out their actions
was also very treacherous.  The fact is that the cancer was formed. How was it
discovered? It was discovered through the Ochoa case.

113.  Who could imagine Ochoa would be involved in this type of activity? Who
could imagine a MININT department was involved in these activities? However, it
was already being investigated. Why was it being investigated?

114.  As has already been proven, these people apparently carried out very few
operations--only five in 1987.  These operations were spaced out and held every
2 or 3 months. In 1988, they carried out two successful and three foiled
operations. In 1989, I believe they carried out nine operations, one of which
was a marijuana operation near the northern coast of Pinar del Rio.

115.  Campaigns against Cuba had been ongoing, as Comrade Chomy [not further
identified] has recalled. Naturally, our first reaction--accustomed as we were
to all the lies, defamations, and slanders we have heard in this 30-year
span--was simply to reject them as another invention, another lie by the United
States, and not to pay any special attention to them.

116.  Chomy recalled that some time in February 1988, there was a big campaign
against us with charges and statements that even mentioned Raul. They made
charges against him, which really angered us.

117.  At that time, we were already in the phase of making contacts for these
Angolan negotiations, and Cuba was actively participating in the Angolan peace
negotiations.  Therefore, a few comrades had made contacts with U.S. 
representatives during these events. I recall that I instructed Vice Foreign
Minister Comrade Alarcon to strongly protest to one of the U.S. officials about
the anti-Cuban campaign being implemented. I have the report here. If you want,
I will read a small part of it: the part that says what Alarcon told the U.S.
high official when he protested the charges against Cuba and the charges and
attempts made to mix Raul in this rubbish.  I am only going to read a paragraph
and will say a very harsh word, because I have no other choice but to say it. 
I did not say these words, but I told Alarcon to say them.

118.  The paragraph in Alarcon's report says: Following instructions from the
commander in chief, I told this official--I am not going to give his name--that
those who promoted and implemented these charges against us were sons of
bitches. This was the diplomatic word used in the conversation between Alarcon
and the U.S. official. It reflected our anger over this campaign which we
believed to be totally slanderous. They were partially slanderous because they
used names of persons who are government leaders. In this case, since we were
involved in the Angolan negotiations, we believed this was an ill-intentioned

119.  The U.S. State Department officials stated that these campaigns were not
being carried out by the State Department but that the reports had come from
the Justice Department. They stated they really had nothing to do with this
campaign and did not want us to believe it was an ill-intentioned campaign
carried out by the State Department or the U.S. Government.

120.  Today we know these gentlemen had been carrying out operations since
early 1987; they had been operating for more than a year. Although everything
seems to point to the fact that the first air shipment was made in April 1987,
they had begun preparatory trips to coordinate these operations since January.

121.  I thought the reason for the charges against Raul was the presence of an
Armed Forces officer during a meeting with Escobar. Whoever Martinez
represented during the meeting with Escobar was left up in the air. However,
from what he said, it would be surmised--without his clearly specifying that he
represented this or that person--that he acted in such a way that he was a
representative of the Cuban Government.  We have evidence that at the meeting
there, they believed Martinez was a Cuban Government envoy, although they were
not sure.  They were not certain of this. However, Martinez attended the
meeting, thus leaving that up in the air. I thought the presence of an officer
was the cause for those charges. Afterwards, when we were studying the trial,
and when we later were studying the documents, I realized that these charges
were being leveled even before Martinez visited Colombia.

122.  This is perfectly logical and clear. Why? If these people met the plane
together with the so-called Ruiz--a relative of Miguel Ruiz Poo--in Santa
Clara, which is a military base; if the first cocaine shipment was unloaded at
the Varadero airport, and they went to the small military area at that airport;
and if the landing of a plane had to be authorized by the antiaircraft defense,
one sees all these things are possible, perfectly possible.

123.  If these people arrived there and reported they were going to receive
someone, perhaps a prominent businessman, or if they said someone very
important for their activities at the ministry is arriving and requested the
FAR's cooperation, it is logical for the FAR to immediately provide such

124.  The plane could have landed in Holguin, Guantanamo, or any other place.
Flight permits are automatically granted; in fact, we do not know how many
planes fly over our country. Procedures must be followed and authorities must
be notified. When these people notified others that they had to welcome
someone, perhaps a prominent businessman, and that a plane was going to land,
they were automatically given the permit. Who was going to think these bandits
were actually requesting landing permission for a plane trafficking or bringing

125.  However, if they came, they did not come through the Rancho Boyeros
airport; they came through Santa Clara on the first trip and landed in the
military area on the second trip. Thus, it is logical for the Yankees to think
that the Armed Forces had to know something about that operation and, with evil
intentions of course, had to involve Raul's name in this problem. Those charges
were made long ago, based on the activities by Tony de la Guardia's group.

126.  Before we continue, it is also necessary to reflect on this.  What was
the U.S. attitude? Today, we already know the United States had the names of at
least two people, which is something these two people have already admitted in
their own testimony. One of them was Tony de la Guardia and the second was
Miguel Ruiz Poo. They themselves said they had recordings of the talks held in
Panama between one of their agents and Mr Ruiz Poo. It is possible they may
have had more names of officers involved in this activity. If they saw the
coastguard and the various movements, perhaps they thought this activity was
authorized by the government.

127.  More than the accusation itself, what is irritating is the idea that this
country could sell itself for the few miserable dollars Tony de la Guardia and
his group collected.  For a group of people it could be enough, but for a
country it is something insignificant. It is tiny. It is complete filth. The
U.S. Government's opinion on the Cuban revolution does not matter. It is not
possible that they believe Cuba could solve any problem with that filth. How
much did they collect the 1st year? A million and something dollars. The 2d
year they collected another million and something. The 3d year they had a
higher rate, perhaps 3 million.

128.  It is estimated that these gentlemen collected approximately $3.5
million. They still owed them money, which I suppose always happens in this
kind of activity.

129.  What does $2 million represent for a country that exports billions of
dollars in sugar, nickel, farm and industrial products, etcetera? We are
talking about billions of dollars per year. Consequently, regardless of what
the Americans think of the revolution, it is not possible for them to have
believed that this country could be sold for 4 [figure as heard] miserable

130.  I know that the country cannot be sold for any amount of money. It is
unfeasible and unacceptable to have a revolution that is dependent on drug
trafficking. Even it if were thousands of millions of dollars, it would be
unacceptable for a revolution in this hemisphere, 90 miles away from the United
States, that maintains itself on its principles, morals, and seriousness to do
this. If they want to, let them accuse us of being revolutionaries, of helping
revolutionary movements, and of carrying out internationalist missions. Let
them accuse us of whatever they want to in the revolutionary area. But to think
that this country is a country of such little ambition that it would try to
solve its problems with that miserable money is almost an insult to the common
sense and intelligence of the leaders of our country and revolution.

131.  What the Americans did was not right. They could have somehow sent a
message to us. They could have said: We have the names of two people who are
involved in drug trafficking. But they kept quiet. If it was a charge made at a
trial, we would not have paid much attention to it, because those are charges
made by criminals who are going to be convicted. These criminals are offered
anything, and they will make any statement, so that is not serious.

132.  Since we have talks, the Americans could have perfectly well and
discreetly told us: Listen, this was not a charge in any court, this is no
propaganda: We have proof that two Cuban officers are involved in these
operations, and this is how they are doing it. The truth is that they could
have tested us had they acted this way. I do not think they would have burned
any agent. Perhaps they will claim we were going to ask how they knew. Well,
they did not have to burn any agent. All they had to say was: We have reliable
reports that these two people are involved in this and are carrying out their
operations this way.  This would have been discovered a long time ago. I do not
know how long they had the names of those involved. However, they had Ruiz
Poo's name very early in the game. They had known for a long time that the
planes carrying drugs were landing in Varadero and that the drugs would then be
shipped by boat.

133.  We are not trying to blame the United States now. That is not our
intention. However, I can cite an example that occurred not long ago. Through
intelligence information, Cuba got word that a group of reactionaries in a U.S. 
state--I do not recall the exact details right now--were considering an attempt
on Reagan's life. They were considering an attempt on Reagan's life, and we got
the information. However, the information we had was not too clear. To make it
clearer, we would have had to conduct an investigation in the United States.
However, not 48 hours had passed, not even 24 hours had passed, when I had
already ordered the Interior Ministry to report to U.S. authorities that there
were certain people in a southern state who were considering an attempt on
Reagan's life during an upcoming visit he had planned to that state. We
reported this to them immediately. We did not waste a minute investigating or
confirming this. We did not care that Reagan was a sworn enemy of our
revolution and that he had a very aggressive policy against Cuba. We believed
that it was a basic duty to report such a serious matter.

134.  I think the only two times we made a kind gesture toward Reagan was when
he was wounded, and we expressed our concern and rejection over what happened
to the U.S. Government, and on this occasion, when we learned that people were
plotting against the U.S. President's life.  We did not hesitate. We did not
disclose this.  We are mentioning this now. This must have happened 2 or 3
years ago. It is being mentioned now because we have no other choice than to
recall this precedent.

135.  In the same way that we conveyed that information to them, they could
have conveyed the information that they had available on this drug trafficking
in a confidential manner, as we did with them. That is what really hurts us. In
spite of everything and all the secrecy, we began to investigate this drug
trafficking. What prompted the investigation? It was prompted by this campaign,
by rumors that reached us through our friends and through what was mentioned in
these drug-trafficking circles that there were Cuban officials cooperating with
them. In fact, they even said that some Cuban officials had stolen certain
amounts of drugs, certain shipments, from the drug traffickers.

136.  On the one hand, we saw the campaigns by the United States. On the other
hand, we heard rumors on what drug-trafficking leaders had said, rumors that
reached us by diverse means, without mentioning names, of course.

137.  To this situation is added a 6 March 1989 cable. What did the cable say?
It said: Two drug traffickers declared themselves guilty of transporting over 1
ton of cocaine through Cuba, with the alleged assistance of officials and
military men of that country, the Miami office of the Federal District Attorney
reported today.

138.  Reinaldo and Ruben Ruiz admitted their guilt on the 17 counts presented
against them and they could face a life sentence, a spokesperson for the
District Attorney's Office stated.

139.  The two men who were indicted in February 1988 transported the cocaine in
an aircraft from Colombia, which made stopovers in Panama, Cuba, and Haiti, the
charges read. The band was infiltrated by secret agents who posed as buyers and
who made audio and video recordings of their meetings with the drug leaders,
the District Attorney's Office explained.

140.  In dozens of recorded hours of meetings that the court admitted as firm
evidence, Reinaldo and Ruben Ruiz declared they had broad, high-level contacts
in Cuba and boasted of smoking Cuban cigars that, according to them, were from
Fidel's drawer.

141.  The dossier gives details of the cases in which Ruben Ruiz had flown from
Cuba to Colombia...[corrects himself] had flown from Colombia to the military
airport in Varadero, Cuba, carrying 1,000 pounds, 500 kg, on each flight. On
the next occasion, in April 1987, the drug was unloaded by military personnel,
taken to a dock, and loaded on a ship named ``Florida,'' which was escorted by
Cuban coastguard vessels until it left Cuban territorial waters, the dossier

142.  Of course, when I saw this, especially the part about the drawer, I had
the slight impression it was another lie--especially, gentlemen, because I have
not smoked for 4 years. Therefore, there cannot be any cigars in my drawer. I
no longer smoked by 1987. The way the report was phrased, it appeared to be
what I was talking about earlier: A prisoner who is condemned is lost and will
say what they want him to say.

143.  In any event, this was a little bit like what happened to me when I
realized Eutimio Guerra was betraying us in the Sierra Maestra. What they said,
the rumors that reached us, the news concerning what mafia leaders had said,
and the previous campaigns with all these details appeared a little strange.
Then I spoke to Interior Minister Comrade Abrantes and told him an
investigation had to be carried out.

144.  I confess I was far from imagining there could be an entire gang inside
the ministry doing this. But I said there is someone involved in this; someone
is doing something; there is even someone who actually might be swindling these
drug traffickers. I reached the conclusion that this had to be investigated; it
could not be dismissed as a simple rumor, as mere slander; it had to be
investigated. This happened in mid-March. It must have been a few days after
this cable arrived.

145.  This does not mean press agency reports are serious ones, as a rule.
Sometimes--this was an exception--they tell the truth.

146.  I was just reading a UPI report that states that a small aircraft was
being chased by Coast Guards and that it entered Cuban territory, that MiG
planes had taken off to prevent the Coast Guard planes from entering our
waters. This is what a wire report said. That is a big lie, and the Americans
themselves should know the truth, because they were told about this. Three
small aircraft almost crashed. Their flights are not very easy, because they
fly by night with their lights switched off and at low altitudes.

147.  However, the truth is that 2 nights ago, a small plane was being chased
by Coast Guard planes that entered our national territory. Two MiG-23 aircraft
immediately took off to intercept the small plane and to chase it; it was
flying from north to south. Two more planes took off because the first two had
run out of fuel; it was nighttime and the planes were even given the order to
open fire on the small airplane. Three orders had been given to open fire on
small aircrafts that were taking very irregular flight paths.

148.  That is what happened. The planes took off and chased the small aircraft.
Then two more planes took off and the small aircraft flew across and got away.
I do not know at what altitude it was flying; it was approximately 2200 [not
further identified]. The Border Guards were instructed to report what had
happened at that hour of the night. Now look at how evil these people are. Just
look at how evil they are and how they wage their campaign: The wire report
says that the planes took off to intercept the Coast Guard planes and that the
small aircraft flew into our national territory because it felt protected while
flying over Cuba.

149.  These are things we must discuss with the Americans, and we have
exchanged some notes on this. Actually, we have exchanged more than notes;
there are reports and something has been said. We must have discussions to see
how we will handle this kind of situation. We were serious when we said what we
did about the planes violating our airspace. That statement was very serious. 
Of course, we want to take all measures because we do not want any innocent
person or the wrong person to suffer the consequences. This requires very
precise pilot training to prevent any such accidents from taking place.

150.  Therefore, this will have to be regulated in some way.  Some means of
communications between the United States [and Cuba] will have to be found in
this common battle. We say common, because actually many times-- the Americans
know this, and I have explained this in some interviews--these planes were
overflying [our territory] and were ordered to land; and they scoffed at the
order to land. They were not shot at, but the decision on whether to shoot into
the air at one of those planes that was not obeying was a very difficult
decision. The pilot might be a drug trafficker, a journalist, a U.S. senator--
lost somewhere over there--or a private citizen who, when ordered to land, does
not want to land in this hell the U.S. propaganda has portrayed.

151.  In other words, we have always thought about this, but we have told them
on more than one occasion: We cannot tolerate this situation, which now, of
course, it is completely intolerable. We cannot allow our airspace to be
mocked. For many years, the United States has been mocking our airspace. While
the drug traffickers mocked our airspace to do their business, the United
States sent their planes to spy on Cuba and to violate our airspace.  So there
have been two violations--one by the drug traffickers and the other by the
United States. It has been a long time since airspace violations have occurred
involving the use of this special U.S. plane. However, violations by groups of
drug traffickers are frequent.  Often, these are not technical violations
because they fly along the flight paths and fulfill all requirements. It is
very difficult to search a small aircraft using a flight path to determine its
cargo. However, when planes stray from the flight path or deviate from the
required altitudes, it is possible to detect any irregularity, and of course,
that must end.

152.  Are we anxious to fire at those planes? No, we are not anxious to do so.
Our pilots have been very cautious.  However, if we want the country's
sovereignty to be respected, if we do not want them to mock our laws, we will
have no other alternative but to fire at aircraft that violate our airspace in
strange and very irregular ways.  Of course, we would take measures to ensure
that under no circumstances will a plane which is obviously carrying civilians
be involved in an accident of this kind.

153.  I have already commented on how propaganda works in the United States.
They were already accusing us or trying to suggest that we had offered
protection and that our fighter planes had been deployed to keep U.S. Coast
Guard planes away. This has created a very irregular situation that must be
regulated in one way or another.

154.  I said this reminds me of when we discovered a traitor. I said: We must
investigate this and, sure enough, an investigation was begun in mid-March. I
have an important report here.

155.  They gave the first task to radio--how do they call it?--radio
counterintelligence to monitor all communications from Miami and Colombia and
to monitor planes and ships. What did counterintelligence discover?  It is
contained in this report.

156.  It states: Beginning on 16 March 1989, radio direction-findings
[ubicaciones radiogoniometricas] indicated that the callsign The Fat One
[gordo], which is frequently used by a network out of Miami and by vessels, was
detected northwest of Havana, near the coast; therefore, that became the target
of priority attention.

157.  On 27 March, during his radio conversations with Miami, The Fat One said
he could not carry out any activities until after the 5th [month not given]. On
27 March 1989, The Fat One changed his call sign to 13. I am only reading the
paragraphs that give you an idea of what was going on.

158.  The reports says: The first results indicated that the O was in Havana--O
means objective. It says the O was in Havana, northwest of El Morro [an area in
Havana]. The Intelligence Department discovered someone was transmitting from
that area.

159.  After that discovery, there was a change in the behavior of the
objective. At that time, call signs 35 and 20 came into the picture. There were
constant changes in frequencies, and the radio transmissions were very brief,
thus making our investigations more difficult. Despite that, we succeeded in
determining the transmissions originated in various points in the western end
of Havana, especifically within the area between the Almendares River and
Barlovento. Barlovento is the area between 5th and 7th Streets and 62 - 66
Miramar...[corrects himself] the area from 5th to 7th Streets--these are two
areas--to 210 Miramar, the Triton Hotel. [sentence as heard]

160.  The report continues: During that period, we noticed an increase in their
methods to disguise their transmissions.  On 23 April 1989, call signs R-1
northern Matanzas Province and R-2 in Florida State established radio contact.
During their conversations, they hinted that an operation would take place in
which drugs would be dropped from a plane. We decided to send our units to
Hicacos Peninsula.

161.  The report adds: The drug operation began at 2200 on 23 April 1989. The
drugs were dropped from a plane named Tocayo. According to the radio
conversations, the plane dropped 25 packages in an area near Key Cruz del
Padre.  The drop took place at about 0500. One of our units located R-1 no
farther than 20 km northeast of Punta Hicacos. At 1245 on 24 April 1989,
another drug operation began in the same area. This time, the operation was
coordinated by callsign 130 in Florida State, call sign 57 on board the plane,
and call sign 125 between Varadero Beach and Key Cruz del Padre.

162.  The radio counterintelligence reached the following conclusion in their
report: In light of the information obtained through the radio transmissions
and the radio direction-findings, it is clear the activities carried out by The
Fat One and the other call signs are linked to drug trafficking. In addition,
the radio transmissions reveal that the drops take place in Cuban territory and
jurisdictional waters.

163.  This is the conclusion reached by counterintelligence in a report sent to
the ministry on 25 April, to which we must add two reports from 24 April
describing each of these events. Moreover, through radio counterintelligence
and by intercepting communications, they were able to have an idea of what was
going on. A meeting was held on 27 March...[corrects himself] April, at the
MININT high command--with all this information in hand--to investigate what was
going on. In other words, to proceed to seize some of the boats. However, what
happened? Tony de la Guardia attended this 27 April meeting. His group was
already aware of radio-counterintelligence operations in Varadero and the 27
April meeting, which gave instructions to various directorates on this matter.
Tony de la Guardia attended this meeting. He was asked some questions regarding
the radio, about the messages being sent. Of course, he responded negatively to
the questions.

164.  The radio-counterintelligence operation was working so accurately that
the radio was located precisely in the zone mentioned in the report. The radio
was located precisely in this area, although they moved around and sometimes
went out in a boat off the coast. They they did not remain in a fixed point,
but Amado Padron's offices were located precisely in this zone. Therefore, an
investigation was under way, and the culprits immediately realized the
investigation was being conducted, so they suspended all operations. They
suspended all operations.  My question is: Would we have discovered through
this investigation what was happening and who was involved if the Ochoa problem
had not happened? The fact of the matter is May passed calmly, June was passing
by, and no results had been obtained from the investigation we had ordered. We
discovered [Fidel pounds on the table] the problem of Tony de la Guardia's
activities precisely while we were conducting an investigation on Ochoa's
activities. We were far from supposing these two activities could be linked.

165.  We acted very carefully regarding Ochoa, with all the necessary
cautiousness, starting from reports on moral matters, linking them to other
reports that had been received at various times. We added all that and were
clearly able to see that various irregular activities were going on. We had
already decided to appoint him chief of the Western Army after he had returned
from Angola.

166.  These reports and analyses led to the postponement of Ochoa's designation
to the post. He could not be designated unless some of these issues were
cleared up and explained. We had to be very careful. When MINFAR informed me of
these activities, particularly the moral ones, they were indicative of such
deterioration that they precluded Ochoa's designation as chief of the Western

167.  Nevertheless, there was still hope that an in-depth discussion could be
held with Ochoa with a view to correcting the irregularities. At the time, I
considered all of his achievements, his rank, and his position as a hero of the
Republic of Cuba. I thought of the speculation that would be unleashed
worldwide, the scandal that would ensue if, because of these problems, Ochoa
had to be stripped of his medals, degraded, fired, expelled from the Armed
Forces, or incarcerated.

168.  At that time, there was nothing as serious as what was learned later.
Investigations had to be carried out very carefully, because some people had to
be interrogated.  How could we interrogate some of his collaborators, some of
those who worked with him, like Martinez, the others? It could become evident
an investigation was being carried out. If any of those moral issues were
serious, anything could happen, because when there is moral deterioration, all
ethics are lost, and when all ethics are lost, one cannot trust anyone, because
all principles have been lost. A revolutionary is a revolutionary by virtue of
principles, by virtue of ethics.

169.  We were not going to arrest Ochoa just so he would not escape and then
conduct an investigation. That cannot be done, and it is generally not done
with anyone. We must admit that counterintelligence worked very hard and very
carefully to obtain information without Ochoa suspecting that he was being
investigated. That type of investigation normally requires authorization, as he
was a member of the Central Committee. In other words, in our country there are
principles and norms that are complied with in dealing with people. One cannot
humiliate a person and imprison him because there are rumors about him. That is
not and cannnot be the style of the revolution.

170.  However, that became a headache for us, because of the precedent set by
people who were corrupt and later fled, and became heroes of the other side;
then they became parrots and repeated everything the imperialists put in their
mouths. That was the main problem we had that week and to which Comrade Raul
has referred.

171.  We continued to gather information, then we decided to have the first
conversation--which I believe was on 29 May [year not specified]--with him.
Raul had a very serious 3-hour conversation with him. Raul had notes with him,
he had everything, and he talked about a number of things that had been
confirmed up to that moment and other things that had not been confirmed.  He
was warned, he was told why he was not going to be appointed. We waited for him
to react, to cooperate, to show concern, to tell the truth. Actually, he was
very evasive in that conversation.

172.  A few days went by, and we knew he felt very depressed over the
conversation, that he was ashamed. Then he reacted, and there is a second
conversation. That was on 2 June. I thought that inasmuch as he had requested a
private meeting with the minister, he was going to speak and be frank. The
previous meeting was with three comrades: Raul, Furry, and Ulises. He wanted a
private meeting, and we thought he was probably ashamed to speak, but he was
going to speak out.

173.  While this was going on--and although we had evidence--it was decided not
to speak about those serious moral charges, because two things could happen
when you speak to a man about that. He might shoot himself, and we thought that
would be so unfortunate that we decided not to include the topic in his
conversation with Raul. So we decided to set that aside, and we were going to
speak about everything else. Why? It is almost impossible to make an
arrangement with an individual when you tell him: Look, we know this. We
decided to cope with that problem only in an indirect manner, with an attitude
of rectifying what he was doing.

174.  I must admit that at that moment--although we were aware of a number of
irregularities--we were unaware of others. For example: The money in Panama,
the account, nothing of that was known at that time. Elements of judgment are
gathered in a very careful and shrewd manner. We were always wondering what to
do with him: Leave him in the Armed Forces? What task could be assigned to him?
What would his reaction be?  At the time of the first meeting, we were still
considering leaving him in the Armed Forces, giving him treatment [as heard],
giving him an opportunity.

175.  I remember that on the eve of the second meeting, I told Raul--a group of
comrades used to meet to analyze the problem; very few problems have been so
carefully analyzed--ask him if he has any accounts abroad. Judging from all the
other elements, I started to think that he must have an account abroad. Raul
asked him: Do you have any? Ah, yes, but a very small amount. But how much do
you have? Just a little something [una boberia], he said. That was the answer
he gave. I cannot even remember, he said, a little something. All of this
happened between the 29th and the 2d, between 29 May and 2 June.

176.  We got together on 11 June. No, the 10th was a Saturday.  We got together
on Friday. On Friday I knew that the comrades from the MINFAR, the MINFAR's
High Command, who were studying this situation had reached the conclusion that
Ochoa's activities were grave and that there was no other alternative but to
arrest him.

177.  We asked Polo to return from Angola. We wanted him to give us some
information about all this. We wanted to know whether he knew anything about
it. That same day, 11 June, was the day of the 14 hours--I am not sure if it
was 14 hours . We met for 14 hours. 11 June was a very important day. On that
day, we examined some of the operations in which Comrade Diocles Torralba was
involved. Torralba was closely linked--not with those operations we were
examining--but closely linked to other activities, especially through the De la
Guardia brothers.

178.  While investigating those operations, we came across some of the
activities in which Mr Diocles Torralba was involved. The people we questioned
said various things, such as: This and that was done; they often said vague
things. During the search at Hidalberto's [not further identified] house, we
discovered Diocles was living there and discovered some of the activities in
which he was involved.

179.  On 11 June, we examined a series of documents proving Torralba's
involvement in some of those activities.  Those documents were irrefutable and
unquestionable evidence of the immoralities in which Ochoa and one of the De la
Guardia brothers were involved.

180.  We found out that one girl who had attended one of the parties was
disguised as an internationalist combatant, as a MININT member. We found out
they sent her to Luanda, where she stayed almost 1 month before returning to
Cuba.  This happened in September 1988. In February 1989, the girl began
talking about certain things. That was one of the clues leading to our
discovery of important activities.

181.  The decisive day, however, was 11 June. On that day, I met with some
comrades of the MINFAR at my office.  They had already decided what had to be
done. I requested more facts to formulate an opinion. We learned important
facts from our conversation with Polo. We were unaware of those facts. On that
same day, we received several intelligence reports about deals involving money.
On that same day, we received information about the bank account in Panama.

182.  I then asked each comrade to give me their opinion, as we did here today.
Each of the chiefs gave their opinions and views. They said that regardless of
the consequences, we had to do something then. I agreed with them, and we
unanimously decided to arrest Ochoa immediately. We had been watching him
closely 24 hours a day, but that was very difficult. Sometimes he disappeared
for 2 hours around the area of Santa Fe. We thought perhaps he could get on a
boat or something, because nobody knew what he could do. The activities in
which Ochoa was involved were already very serious. It was necessary to arrest
him. There was no possible justification.

183.  It was absolutely necessary to arrest him and try him for his involvement
in those activities. We knew the situation was not easy. We know what happens
when such a high-ranking official is arrested. We knew the kind of campaign
this action would spark. However, we decided to face all those things.

184.  What we could not imagine is what we later discovered.  Our subsequent
discoveries surprised everybody. The new discoveries began with a letter, which
did not specifically address the topic, but did hint toward Jorge Martinez'
involvement in drug trafficking. That letter discussed a book on the mafia.
There was also a very small card related to a hotel in Colombia, in Medellin. 
That is how we began investigating the drug link.

185.  We arrested Patricio and Tony de la Guardia for the operations carried
out in Angola and for their link with Ochoa. We arrested the De la Guardia's
for their participation in ivory and diamond smuggling. That is why we arrested
them. We realized they were not only involved in hosting big parties or things
like that but also in illegal activities such as smuggling. That is why we
arrested the two of them. We arrested each of the De la Guardia brothers at the
same time but in different ways. We arrested one brother at a certain hour and
the other brother at another hour. We adopted all the necessary measures so
none of them would take off.

186.  We proceeded to arrest them, and the investigation began. This occurred
on...[unidentified speaker prompts him: ``12 June''] On 12 June, we arrested
them, and on the following night, we already had the main information about the
drug case. This is what I can report about these events; I have provided it so
you can have a broader perspective--not only you but, if we are going to
broadcast this event, all the people--of the case.

187.  Now, we have to get to conclusions. We have to broach the subject for
which we are meeting. All I have said about the subject up to now has been to
provide more facts on which to make a judgement. It is true our decision is
important; it is true our decision has to do with human lives and is a decision
that cannot be taken rashly. I do not believe any one of us will take it
rashly.  We are all very conscious of the importance of this decision, because
it is a function attributed to the State Council in the Constitution.

188.  The perspectives that lie ahead of us have to be taken into account,
which I believe has already been stated here. We have to be aware of the impact
the decision made here will have on our future.

189.  Did Ochoa have a chance to save himself? I mention Ochoa because he is
the most important person in this case. Did Ochoa have a chance to save
himself? Yes, Ochoa really had the opportunity to save himself. I have given
this a great deal of thought. He was given many opportunities, at least several
opportunitites. Ochoa could have saved himself in the first conversation he
held with Raul if he had been frank, open, sincere, responsible, and truthful.

190.  Just imagine if on 29 May, Ochoa had told Raul everything--what he did,
the activities, the money, the account there, what these individuals were
doing. This would have been so important and worth taking into account! Of
course, Ochoa could not have remained in the Armed Forces, but had he rendered
this service, we could have even discussed whether to take him to court or not.
Just imagine! We could have discussed it. If this man had come and opened his
heart, told everything, and rendered the country the service of saying this
gang existed, he could have spared us the surprise. This could have been
discussed if the man had been truly repentant.  It would not have come to the
point of discussing whether or not to execute him. That was one opportunity.

191.  I have asked myself many times: Had he done this, what could have been an
appropriate action to take regarding a man who did something like that? We
would have had to take this very much into account. It would have been possible
to release him from prison, to recover the money, to learn everything. There
was a real opportunity at that moment. We would have had to take his attitude
into account.

192.  He had another opportunity the second time he talked with Raul. He
himself said he came close to confessing everything but did not dare or did not
have the moral fortitude to confess, and he did not. This was a second

193.  He had a third opportunity on the day he was arrested.  He could have
said: Let me talk; I will explain everything. He could have done so a few hours
after his arrest, or the next morning. He could have said: I am going to
cooperate; I am going to explain everything I have done, all of the terrible
things I have done. If he had confessed before anybody, if we had not had to
discover what they had done, we could have had the option of sparing his life
and giving him the harshest possible sentence save for capital punishment.

194.  He did not have this attitude. He did not cooperate in any way. We had to
inquire, investigate, and work hard to discover everything without Ochoa's

195.  All of this was discovered. His involvement in drugs and his complicity
with this de la Guardia gang was discovered. All the operations they had been
carrying out were discovered. And all, or almost all--I think we learned the
major part--of the facts were discovered. However, I believe that by then it
was certainly too late to have avoided the most severe penalty.

196.  We were all impressed at the honor court. This does not mean we have
changed our viewpoints. However, we believe he was honest and courageous. We
were even satisfied he had acted in that manner. Although I felt a point of no
return had been reached, it could serve to leave something to the closest
relatives. It could serve to leave some sort of positive image amid that drama,
amid that painful incident. But at that point, in those circumstances, and at
that moment, we had no alternative. We faced a situation with no alternative.
However, at least we saw his testimony was positive, that it contained a
vestige of the qualities that had earned him the honors of a hero, why he
received his stripes, why he became a member of the party's Central Committee,
why he was a division general of our Armed Forces. I think that day he was
sincere. I think that day he sincerely repented. I think he was, of course,
courageous. Our people admire courage.

197.  Above all, our people appreciated the contrast between the attitude
assumed by Ochoa at the honor court and the attitude of the others, the ones
who had organized the mafia inside MININT. They appreciated it. Our people
suffered. We all suffered a lot with the testimonies of other MINFAR officers.
I particularly was indignant, irritated, hurt to see how those men had
destroyed their careers--men who had studied in the academies and received
their ranks for their service. I told myself: If they had had other superiors,
these men would not have been corrupted as they were. This is not an excuse for
whoever commits a certain wrongdoing, but at least it helps to explain and
perhaps even mitigate it.

198.  But it hurt us to see that situation. The honor tribunal had 2 days, 1 of
them very sad, this was the day when many people testified, and 1 day of glory.
This latter day was when the members of the honor tribunal spoke with great
eloquence and force, as well as with great pain, but firmness. However, Comrade
Ochoa's attitude, as was said here by Comrade Carlos I believe, influenced the
honor tribunal's opinion. Of course, that could complicate the solution to the
problem, not change it. It could produce a contradiction between what the
tribunal did, what the Council of State said, and the people's opinion.

199.  I have already mentioned the firm opinion that this matter could not be
decided by public inquiry nor anything like that. Thus, the difficulties a
determined situation can have, is something that must be analyzed from another
angle, politically. Ochoa was sincere in front of the honor tribunal, but he
was not sincere with the judicial tribunal, he was not. He was different. He
was another man. He was empty. He did not want to assume the responsibility, he
lied. He said he ignored Tony de la Guardia's activities. Tony de la Guardia
and Ochoa spoke frequently in Angola. In 1988 Tony de la Guardia made six trips
to Angola and on all of the trips he spoke with Ochoa about this matter.
Martinez was a frequent contact for this group, and Ochoa denied that he knew
about Tony de la Guardia's activities.

200.  He said that he was leaving that, he said he was looking for a foreign
friend to give him all the contacts and forget about this. He said that since
he just wanted to help the country, all he wanted was his friend to carry out
the big operations and then invest the money as if it were capital from a
foreigner, a foreigner's property to be invested in tourism; as if the country
needed that type of money.  What the nation needs is arms to build all it can
build with the capital offered, capital that has nothing to do with drug

201.  Martinez' argument, as much as Ochoa's, was that they had the account in
the name of the friend and later changed it because the friend could die. If
you consider that a foreign friend can die, that a foreign friend can die
[repeats himself], and you have to take measures with an account that has
$200,000, I ask myself: Why can the friend not die if the account had $500
million, $1 billion, $20 million, or $50 million? Here we have been talking
about the foreign friend and we have not mentioned him.  We know that the
foreign friend... [changes thought] We have the opinion... [changes thought] We
have tried not to involve people who we believe were tricked into these
activities. It was not the foreign friend who led Ochoa to these activities, it
was Ochoa who insisted to the foreign friend that these activities had to be
carried out. This is why we have been careful with some names and why they have
not been released to the press. There is no other reason for this.

202.  Anyway, there are strange statements saying they did not want anything
more to do with that. It has been proven that during the first 3 months of
1989, Martinez travelled to Panama to make contact with his associates, with
his friends, to carry out drug trafficking plans.  Something else, until April
of this month, Ochoa had been insisting on a big operation, or big operations,
of a ship with 10 tons of drugs. He wanted the ship to stop on the north part
of the island and then load the drugs onto launches. Actually, he did not have
the same seriousness, the same honesty, during the oral hearing.

203.  I believe a series of serious arguments have been discussed here.  They
have been serious and solid arguments to explain why we do not have an
alternative in this case.  Who would be able to believe in the revolution? Who
would be able to believe in the seriousness of the revolution if, for such
serious faults, the most severe penalties established by the nation's laws are
not applied? As has already been stated, all of these events have the elements
of treason. What is treason? Treason is to sell your country, and they sold the
country. Treason is to put the nation in jeopardy, and they placed the nation
in serious jeopardy. Treason is to undermine the nation's morals and the
revolution's prestige. They have been doing things that undermine the
revolution's morals and prestige. They weaken it in every sense.

204.  Here, the revolution and the laws dictate capital punishment for spies. A
CIA agent can be shot. I ask myself: Could a CIA agent cause the damage that
these gentlemen were causing? A CIA agent can get information on the economy,
something military, or something. I ask myself: Could 10 CIA agents cause the
damage these people were causing? Could 50 CIA agents cause this damage? Could
they expose the country the way these people were exposing the nation? CIA
agents are judged and shot. If an exemplary punishment is not imposed in this
case...[changes thought] Someone said: Who else could deserve this punishment?

205.  I ask myself: How can we guarantee discipline in our armed forces and in
the Ministry of the Interior if the chief of an army, the chief of tens of
thousands of men in battle, in war, takes the luxury of devoting a single
second of the time dedicated to his duties to these activities? What can we
demand from a military chief?  What can we expect from future heroes and future
chiefs? What can we expect from bosses, men who put themselves above the law
and morals? What can we expect from men who put themselves above the nation?  I
think that one of the things that gives us the most pride is our officers' and
military chiefs' modesty; the honesty of our officers and military chiefs. We
are proud of their conduct, of which we had proof during the honor tribunal.
What could we say to the future chiefs, the future heroes if an action of such
great severity is not punished with the most severe penalty our laws establish?

206.  Our army is characterized by its discipline, by its unconditional loyalty
to the revolution, to the principles of the revolution, and to the Communist
Party of Cuba [PCC].  This is one of the things that most satisfies us about
our army and our chiefs. We can say that with his insolence, Ochoa put himself
above the laws because he was a hero, a general, and a member of the PCC
Central Committee.  It would be an ill-fated and demoralizing precedent if we
do not apply the most severe penalties. For others like Martinez, who
consciously did what he did, we would not be showing that there are actions
that cannot be approved, such as doing these things under the pretext of
carrying out orders. If we do not punish the two main people from the Ministry
of the Interior, how could we rebuild the Ministry of the Interior? How could
we regain that institution's prestige, a prestige which has been seriously
damaged by these events. How could we someday hope to have discipline in an
institution which is so fundamental for the nation, a nation in revolution, for
a nation that is 90 miles away from the United States? How could we have
discipline in that institution?  How could we speak of rectification? Who would
speak of rectification again if the most incredible joke played on the
principles of the process of rectification are not punished? Like someone here
said, when we were in the middle of that battle, the battle of rectification,
the most atrocious things are done. They laughed, they made fun of the
principles. Remember what was said on 19 April 1986? Then all of this happens
from 1987 to 1989. What future could the process of rectification have if a
simple prison sentence is issued? Would it be enough to constitute an example?
Would it be enough to save and preserve the values we are protecting?

207.  In every sense, we must examine the great damage suffered by the nation.
We have to examine the political damage. We have to review many cables and
declarations. We have to see how they impute the whole government without
excluding anyone. We have to examine more than just what they placed in danger,
the revolution's prestige and credibility. However, this has already been
stated. We are going to recuperate the prestige and credibility and it will be
stronger than before. We are going to recuperate it and make it stronger, not
by virtue of the actions committed by those sanctioned, we are going to
recuperate and make it stronger despite their actions. This is based on how the
nation gave face to what they did.

208.  Many people in the world are astonished. Some people say we have given
this too much importance. The problem is that in many parts of the world this
does not have much importance. Embezzling, robbery, indiscipline, impunity, and
dirty dealings do not have any importance in some places. However, to us it has
great importance and we have given it the importance it deserves. Of course, as
has been said, we will turn this setback into a victory. This will depend on
the attitude the nation takes, as well as on the measures taken. It will not
just depend on the sanctions, it will also depend on what happens after the
sanctions. Here I am referring to all of those who may be potential followers
of this conduct.

209.  No, I do not believe that the process of rectification is going to lose,
it is going to win. As Raul said; he said a peasant said that the rectification
process can now advance 10 years. I think rectification will now be understood
more. The PCC is now going to have more force to demand and impose rules. It
will also have more force to sweep away with everything that smells rotten.  So
then, basing ourselves on the revolution's credibility and prestige, I think
that the punishment should be exemplary and the sanctions should be the most

210.  Among the damages done, they were weakening our defenses considerably.
They were morally disarming us, as we have already said. They were handing the
enemy on a silver platter the opportunity to gather proof to discredit Cuba.
What would revolutionary Cuba be like without international credibility?

211.  What would revolutionary Cuba be like without prestige? What would
revolutionary Cuba be like facing the imperialist enemy without morals? What
would we be like facing that enemy that hounds us so much, that enemy that
wanted to place us on the bench of the accused with regards to human rights.
They were not able to get a sanction against the nation because of our morals,
prestige, and Cuba's credibility. These men attacked all of this. They said
they were going to help the nation collecting $2 million, which they in fact
pocketed, squandered, and used to corrupt everyone. They used $2 million to
corrupt many people with their genial way of helping the revolution. They
themselves did not believe they were helping the revolution for a single

212.  The nation spends no less than $1 billion in defense. It spends over $1
billion on the Revolutionary Armed Forces alone. Calculate how much all the
steel, wood, iron rods, and material resources we invest to prepare the
operations sector and defense sector are worth. They are worth over $1 billion.
The nation spends 500 times more than what these miserable people were
collecting.  The nation spends this amount of money with great sacrifice, and
these people, for $2 million, were weakening the nation's defenses, selling the
nation. I have not included in this figure the hundreds of millions the nation
spends on the Ministry of the Interior. This money is used for internal order,
as well as for state security. The nation spends hundreds of millions on
security and these miserable people were corrupting and scorning us with a few
miserable dollars. The damage they have done to the national economy...
[changes thought] Who knows how much damage they have done to the national
economy. The prosecutor spoke about this in his concluding statements.
Varadero, what reputation would Varadero have in the world as a result of this
mafia's activities?

213.  The nation which has some of the best possibilities with regards to
tourism, the nation that has the most immediate possibility to obtain the
needed resources, especially in convertible currency, has tourist possibilities
that could yield $500 million, $800 million, $1 billion every year, and this
mafia, with their filth in drugs, was placing the country in danger. They were
throwing everything to the ground. One of the things tourism likes is the
security and tranquility they can find in our fatherland. What damage have they
done to legitimate activities, legitimate and clean commerce carried out by the
nation? They have made a mess, they have compromised things.  They have
involved activities that have nothing to do with them, activities that are
legitimate and clean. Someday, we will have to see the level of damage done to
the nation's legitimate activities. We will have to see the damage done to
honest activities of a commercial nature. There are activities that are morally
unobjectionable. How much damage have they caused our enterprises abroad?

214.  They have caused terrible damage to the Ministry of the Interior. You
could almost say that they have morally destroyed the Ministry of the Interior.
The Ministry of the Interior must be reconstructed. It has to be rebuilt.  Let
us say that the accused alone are not responsible, this is the truth. Let us
say that the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior has some culpability,
and this has to be said now, because of its insensibility with regards to the
conduct of these men whom everyone knew were potentates. Everyone knew they
spent and flaunted money and that they lived differently than everyone else. It
is incredible! In the trial, it was stated that one of the men had 10 cars.
That man, Amado Padron, almost certainly had been mentioned to everyone here:
He was mentioned here; they talked about him there. They probably heard the
same thing of the de la Guardia brothers.  People heard about their lives and
their conduct. The ministry was insensitive, despite the efforts we have made
in the ministry, despite the efforts we have made [repeats himself] and despite
the guidelines the ministry has, it was insensitive.

215.  The ministry, among other things, was told--and it was stated in the
report to the Third Congress--that they had to be unblemished because they are
the ones who have to demand respect for the law and adequate conduct from the
others, from the ones who have to clash in the streets with others. It was
proposed that there not be clinics for the combatants of the Ministry of the
Interior because this would separate them from the people. They were to go to
the clinics the people go to. There were already Ministry of the Interior
clinics in Pinar del Rio and other provinces, we said to return them. It was
proposed that they not have restaurants nor recreation areas. In some places,
these installations were already being built. We said: Return them, turn them
over to the people. There was also military commerce. We listened to the
complaints and said: Cease military commerce. One of the serious problems in
the Ministry of the Interior was that they tried to equate themselves with the
armed forces.  The armed forces have different tasks, different missions, and
different functions. Do not believe that the measures adopted were little

216.  These measures were taken to make certain that the Ministry of the
Interior did not separate itself from the people. The times I spoke about this
were not few. If I heard about a party that cost several thousands, what were
we to do with the responsible person? I said: No, I do not want a scapegoat.
What I want is for this never to be repeated again. Unfortunately, it was not
to be like so.  This gang corrupted people; they made many gifts, and not just
trashy gifts, to use the expression the people use.  They have been doing it
for some time. Why was Tony de la Guardia and the entire group of the CIMEX
[State Enterprise for Import Export] Corporation removed?  Because they had
established a style. They imported all the imitation jewelry they could find.
They imported white-walled tires, crystal of a certain type, little telephones,
tape recorders, video cassette records in the cars, all kinds of things. They
were removed from there.

217.  Those people should never have been in the MC with the prerogatives they
had at that point, much less organize multinationals under the pretext of
breaking the blockade. That was prohibited. [pounds podium 3 times] That was
conducted by not following precise and concrete instructions that were given to
the ministry. All kinds of resources appeared in the hands of a small group of
discredited people. Not only did they give away costume jewelry, color
television sets, video cassette recorders, but they even gave away yachts that
were valued at tens of thousands of dollars. They stole those yachts or lost
them with the boatmen as their accomplices. The owners were delighted to
collect from their insurance. The yachts were sold and resold here, or given
away as gifts.  Who knows how many people received gifts from this gang.

218.  They created a system of relationships, of friendships that corrupted
and, in my opinion, created a neutralizing effect which has caused terrible
damage to the Ministry of the Interior. The ministry has such large functions
to carry out. There is now a climate of bitterness. This is not the moment to
forget the extraordinary services that the men and women of the ministry gave
to the revolution during these 30 years; these are services that the country
has needed, needs, and continues to need until who knows when. It is not a time
to forget the heroism, courage, and the sacrifice made by so many men of the
Ministry of the Interior. They rendered so many services to the country,
especially the men of the state security organs, not to mention the services of
the firemen, or the services the national police have given to the country. 
Like it was said during the oral trial: How difficult is it going to be, and
how much time will it take to rebuild the trust and the abilities of some of
the organs of the Ministry of the Interior? However, we will rebuild them, I do
not have the slightest doubt about that.

219.  There are some who have compared the FAR to the Ministry of the Interior,
and I say that is very unjust. We must reiterate it whenever necessary. There
is no possible comparison between the role of one institution and the role of
another, although they are both important.  The Ministry of the Interior was
created from the rebel army. The Ministry of the Interior was created from the
FAR. The Ministry of the Interior is the son of the rebel army, and, first of
all, we must put each institution in its place. Especially now, the FAR has to
again help the Ministry of the Interior. I say that the comparison is unjust,
because I am saying this with my heart in my hand. If there is an institution
that has been demanding in this country, if there is an institution that has
had standards, if there has been an institution that has been, par excellence,
an educating institution in this country, it has been the FAR. If there is a
comrade who has been a struggler and demanding, that comrade is Raul. [pounds
on podium three times] That is why we must indignantly deny the suggestion that
comes from the enemy [which is] that if there was change in the Ministry of the
Interior, there must also have been change in the FAR. That is an intrigue of
the enemy. If we have discovered this cancer, it is precisely because of the
FAR. [pounds on podium three times] If today we have many cadres with which to
help the Ministry of the Interior, it is because of the cadres we have in the

220.  Our FAR is comprised of two essential, fundamental institutions that are
basic to our revolution and that have different problems, of a different
nature. There was really no Mafia in the Armed Forces. Two different groups
were involved in these activities. When it came time to say things, they had to
be said clearly.

221.  How much time have all of us had to dedicate these past few days to this
problem? How much time has Raul had to spend on this? How much time have I had
to spend on this problem. What was I doing? What did I devote myself to? I made
an enormous effort in all areas through the Executive Committee of the Council
of Ministers.

222.  I had begun to develop plans for transportation in the capital, which was
then at about 25,000 trips a day and is now at 30,000 trips a day. I didn't
even want to hear about it. I didn't want to hear about the result of the work
done on transportation in the capital until it was already super-consolidated.
There was no need to talk.  What we needed to do was to get it done. We were
committed to programs for constructing bus terminals, central markets [mercados
concentradores]. We were committed to raising the productive and constructive
ability of the Construction Ministry. We were committed to radically change and
sweep away bad habits, negative habits that were created in that institution.
We had committed ourselves to the recovery of water resource management and to
promote the construction of dozens of dams. We were committed to fulfilling
plans for the drainage of sugarcane plots, engineering systems for the rice
industry, construction programs for cattle processing centers, construction
programs for pig and poultry processing centers. We all dedicated ourselves to
increasing the production of food in our country, to resolve very important
problems in every area, to inaugurate hospitals, child care centers,
polyclinics, to carry out a vast number of programs in all areas of
construction and agriculture. We committed ourselves to organizing contingents
that now have the productivity that no other construction group has in any
other country.  They work longer hours than workers do in any other country to
confront our underdevelopment and problems during the most difficult times, at
a time when we have had less resources in convertible currency.

223.  We have even had problems in receiving supplies that were constant for
almost 30 years from the socialist area.  We have also begun to have
difficulties [pounds table] as a result of the changes and reforms they have
applied.  This makes it more difficult to obtain the supplies agreed upon for
each year.

224.  Conditions have been more difficult. We have all devoted ourselves to
that work. We have been taken away from all that work. We have been forced to
take a month off from this work. We suspended the meeting of the executive
committee, three meetings, to dedicate ourselves to this problem because we
feel it is important.

225.  I thought that this year I would be able to devote much more time and be
more dedicated to all these tasks. Last year, as I said, I had to devote almost
the entire period from mid-November 1987 to October 1988 to the war in Angola
until we achieved peace there, when our combatants returned victorious and
laden with laurels. Just when we were trying to intensify the ideological
battle, when a great enthusiasm for work developed throughout the country, a
great exhilaration for work, just when we all dedicated ourselves to preparing
the people for the war; we had to put it all aside to dedicate ourselves to
these gentlemen, these rich little boys [senoritos], who lived the sweet life.

226.  I talked about the contingents. How embarrassing it is that there are
people dedicated to that! How embarrassing that there were people living like
they did while others worked 14, 15, and 16 hours daily! The workers are
forming, developing our country. They are creating a true miracle in the
difficult moments of socialism. As it was said here, these are moments when
socialism is being questioned, and in which they want to send it to the trash
heap of history. Our country and process are a model not only of honesty,
seriousness, and truthfulness, but it also tries to follow its own path, its
own way of building socialism, while being aware that we are 90 miles away from
the empire [sentence as heard]. With more pride, trust, and certainty than ever
we fly the flag of socialism.  They were threatening us with a terrible stain.
They were threatening to drown us in mud and discredit. But the revolution is,
was, and will be a serious matter. The revolution knows how to face all these
problems like it should. What does the life of the gentlemen have to do with
our working class? The habits of these gentlemen and the habits of our workers
are two different worlds.  We cannot rest until we have one single world--and
not the world of the bourgeois, and the small bourgeois, but the world of the
working class, our workers, our farmers.  [pounds on podium twice]
These...[rephrases] Our workers do not go around thinking about shoddy goods, a
few cents, and luxuries. I have not seen that in any of those men who I admire
so much. They wake up at dawn and work until 2200 and 2300 in the evening.

227.  I recall a precedent that occurred in the Sierra Maestra.  We still had a
column, or two columns. We had made a long trip toward the east. While being
very far from La Plata area, we received news about an outbreak of bandits
among people in the 26 July movement, among some combatants who were isolated.
They had robbed a store and committed several crimes; and that concerned us
terribly. We said: That is not possible. If this is tolerated, permitted, and
continues, this could be the death of the revolution. We walked countless
hours, whole days. We carried out an extraordinary march. We sent Camilo
[Cienfuegos] ahead of the soldiers so he could try to arrest all those people.
So, we arrested the principal culprits. How painful it was to judge them!  Some
of them had been our guides. They had helped us, they had brought us food.
However, the distance of the troops, the poor judgement of some people there,
and irresponsibility, led them to commit actions which, under those
circumstances, were very serious--acts of assault, robbery. We had to judge
them, and we did. We sentenced them to the highest punishment, and we executed
them! I remember that, and it still hurts me.  Those humble comrades of ours,
some of them had several brothers in the troops, but they continued with us in
the column. Tell me whether or not that was difficult for us. I remember that
man who was called ``the teacher'' because he used to pretend to be one. He
rendered some services. We received the news that had been [word indistinct]
women, and saying he was Che.  He was arrested. The same tribunal judged him
and executed him immediately. We were not trigger-happy people. A whole story
could be told about how many people our victorious army executed throughout the
war, and there were very few. I do not think that any other revolution in the
world, under war, has executed fewer people in that amount of time.

228.  What kind of crimes had been committed by those, and I dare call them
comrades? The revolution was not as developed yet as it is today. It did not
have it norms and everything it has now. They made a mistake which under other
circumstances would not have been so serious, but under those circumstances, it
was extremely serious. No other alternative remained but to apply the highest
punishment. What did those combatants do in comparison to the things these
gentlemen have done, in comparison to the things done by Ochoa, de la Guardia,
and his group? What was the seriousness of that action in comparison to this
one? Today, we find ourselves in exactly the same (?situation). Those are such
serious things--and things of this nature could threaten the future of the
revolution--that there is no other alternative but to apply drastic punishment,
exemplary punishment.

229.  Various international personalities have addressed us expressing their
concern, asking, urging that capital punishment not be applied to the accused.
Naturally, we have also received messages from the relatives; this is probably
the most difficult of all. Raul, spoke about that with much sorrow--when the
children, brothers, parents address us asking us to not apply the maximum
punishment, asking the Council of State to commute the sentence.

230.  It is difficult for them to understand what they are asking of all of us,
not just me. Because there are many who think that I am the one who decides
whether or not one thing or another is done. I am not avoiding responsibility.
If I was the only one who had to decide on this, if the Council of State
president had that authority, I would adopt exactly the same decision. This is
not a matter of avoiding responsibility. This is a collective decision. The
world does not even know that; they think that the president of the country has
the prerogative of pardoning. Everyone says: Now Castro will have to decide one
thing or another. That is what is said abroad. Even in our country, many people
think the decision is mine.

231.  In reality, it is logical for these relatives, beloved ones, children,
and closest relatives to ask what they are asking. However, they are asking for
something which is beyond our prerogatives. They are asking for something which
is beyond our duties. We hear of some cases, precedents. There was a time when
the revolution could have been generous, and it was generous, without causing
great damage to itself. Today, we cannot be generous...[rephrases] Today the
revolution cannot be generous without causing great damage to itself. The
revolution, always noble and generous, will never discriminate against the
children of the responsible persons.  We also suffer for those children. Like
Raul said, that while thinking about this, one day he caught himself crying.

232.  In conclusion, comrades, I believe there has never been a cleaner process
in history, in our country. When I say history, I am talking about any history;
and when I talk about our country, I will say that there has never been a
process with more participation by everyone. I have already explained how the
whole process took place, and how there was not the slightest influence on the
decision of the judges, tribunals, and witnesses, or the accused, or anyone
else. Furthermore, although it was our responsibility to make the final
decision, here in this Council of State, practically all the comrades who hold
important leadership posts in the country were consulted. First of all, I asked
the opinion, one by one, of the Politburo members. The answer of each one of
the Politburo members--it was not a one by one meeting, but in a meeting with
all of them--their answer, unanimously, was that the most severe punishment
should be applied to those who were principally responsible for these actions.
Afterward, I asked the opinion of the executive committee, and of the Council
of Ministers, one by one.  Only two of them thought that the most severe
punishment should not be applied--they used various arguments. We consulted the
members of the Central Committee. Of the 162 members present, 10 argued against
the application of the most severe punishment. They analyzed it, and for
different reasons, arguments...[does not complete sentence] Eleven of them said
that they would support whatever decision the Council of State would take; and
141 of them said that the most severe punishment should be applied. I must
clarify that this was not done in 1 day. It was done at different times while
the process was going on. I have already explained, and we were happy, that
there were different opinions.  Once the oral trial was finished, and the
sentence handed down by the special tribunal was published, we requested that
all the delegates of the National Assembly [of the People's Government] meet,
because it is our higher organization, since we are representatives of the
National Assembly. Out of the 402 delegates present, which was the total sum of
the number that met in each one of the provinces, one person said he was in
favor of commuting the death sentence, and 401 said they were in favor of the
ratification of the sentence by the Council of State. Furthermore, many said
that more of the accused should have been given capital punishment. There were
many who thought that. Many even complained that one 15-year sentence proposed
by the prosecutor was reduced to 10 years.

233.  I believe that the military tribunal was generous. I believe that almost
all the accused could have been sentenced to capital punishment. However, I
also think that the tribunal was just in its decision.

234.  We could add that it was a wise decision. It is better that a lot of
people complain that the sentences were not drastic enough, than to have them
some day complain that they were too drastic. However, I think the decision was
very wise. I think our tribunals have simply sent out a warning; undoubtedly,
if actions of this nature would ever be repeated, the measures would be much
more drastic.

235.  It is difficult to think that some men are going to die as a result of
all this, and as a result of our very own decision. Yes, it is difficult, it is
bitter. This could not be pleasant for anyone. However, I also think about
others who have died. I think about those who fell in order to build a decent
country, and not those who fell today [pounds table twice], but those who fell
120 years ago. I think about those who fell at that time in order to create a
republic where justice and law would prevail--a decent republic where there
would not be corruption, impunity, dishonesty, embezzlement. They fell for an
honorable, respectable country. They fell in two wars of independence, and they
have fallen throughout this century.  They are the ones I think about, the
many, and many valuable comrades who fell. I also think about the loved ones
who lost them. I think of those who have died carrying out internationalist
missions, honorable internationalist missions. It is on behalf of them, that we
do not have any other alternative but to do what we are doing. It is on behalf
of the ideals and of the fatherland that they loved, that we feel obligated to
be severe.

236.  Therefore, comrades, I believe that with the points of view having been
amply expressed, I add myself to the opinion that all of you have expressed
this afternoon.

237.  In any case, although we have heard that opinion, I ask that we
officially vote.

238.  Those in favor of the ratification of the sentence handed down by the
military tribunal raise your hands. [video shows Council of State members as
they vote]

239.  Those opposed [raise your hands].

240.  By unanimity of the Council of State, the sentence of the special
military tribunal is ratified. The session has ended.