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Full text of "Cuba and United States policy."

/ 



8111MSEH35 

G97 2. 91063 D791CU LAC COP. 2 




THE 

NETTIE LEE BENSON 

LATIN AMERICAN COLLECTION 

of 

The General Libraries 

University of Texas 

at Austin 

PRESENTED BY 
Mary Gardner 



t^ new 



and 



By Theodore Draper 




This supplement is published by special arrangement with the British 
magazine Encounter. Copyright (c) 1961 by Encounter. 



Cuba and 

United States Policy 

CONTENTS 

About the Author 4 

Foreword 5 

Cuba and United States Policy 6 

Invasion in the Wings ♦ 8 

Point of No Return . 9 

FRD and CIA 11 

Issues and Implications 13 

The Fusion 15 

Signs of Change 22 

Behind the Invasion - * 24 

The Morning After 28 

The Day of Reckoning 30 

Appendix 35 



This New Lkadu i Publitbed weekly (except July *od Augutti bi-weekly) by Tho American 
Labor Cuufcrence an Internal Sou at Affalri, Inc. Publication Office : 34 N, Cry»lnl Street, Enil 
StrbtuUburj, Pj. EJiUrli] and Baecuttn fifflrtl 7 B, 15lb Sirni, New York 3, N. Y. 



I 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Theodore Draper has spent the last 25 years as a journalist, 
historian and editor who has specialized in international affairs 
and American foreign policy, with extended excursions into the 
history of the American labor movement in general and the 
American Communist movement in par- 
ticular. He has worked in and written 
about France, Germany, Morocco, Haiti, 
Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Re- 
public, Cuba and other countries. 

The author of four books, his first, 
The Six Weeks 9 War — a study of the 
French defeat of 1940— appeared in 
1944. His second, The Battle of Ger- 
many, published in 1946, was the of- 
ficial history of the 84th Infantry 
Division, the unit with which he served 
in World War II. When the project on Communism in American 
Life was formed by the Fund for the Republic, Draper was 
asked to write the history of the Communist party of the United 
States from its beginnings to 1945, His first volume in this series, 
The Roots of American Communism, came out in 1957; the 
second, American Communism and Soviet Russia, was issued 
in May of last year. He plans to start working on the third 
and final volume, dealing with die period 1930-45, next fall. 




FOREWORD 

Much has happened in Cuba and in Cuban-United 
States relations since the publication of Theodore 
Draper's first supplement, "Castro's Cuba: A Revolu- 
tion Betrayed?" in The New Leader of March 27, 1961. 
The abortive invasion of April 17 has, of course, raised 
new problems—but old ones have also reappeared in one 
form or another more sharply than ever* 

Draper's previous supplement was mainly devoted to 
the period before Fide! Castro came to power in January 
1959. The present supplement deals chiefly with the 
period after he came to power. The two, therefore, com- 
plement each other and may be read independently or 
together. 

Information concerning the price of reprints, which 
applies to both pamphlets, appears on the back cover. 



Cuba and 

United States Policy 



By Theodore Draper 



The ill-fated invasion of Cuba last April was one oi those rare 
politico-mil itary events — a perfect failure. So many things went wrong 
that it was relatively easy to fix the blame on anyone or anything connected 
with it. So far, the organization responsible for the operation, the Central 
Intelligence Agency (CIA), has come in for the largest share of criticism. 
But experience should warn us that the "intelligence failure 1 ' is usually 
the initial stage of a post-mortem. "When a fiasco is really pure and complete, 
something deeper and more fundamental has probably been responsible. 
I do not think that the Cuban invasion is going to be an exception to the rule. 

There were two sides to the failure, Cuban exile politics and United 
States policy. The first Cuban exiles to take refuge in the United States 
early in 1959 were the former Batistianos. Numbering only a few thousand, 
they succeeded mainly in giving Fidel Castro a propaganda point to score 
against the United States for harboring them. They were no serious threat 
to Castro's regime. They were thoroughly discredited, morally and political- 
ly. They were leaderless, since not even the most hardened and highly placed 
of dictator Fulgcncio Batista's former henchmen dared to wish him back 
in power. They were, above all, utterly without support in Cuba itself. 

Then came the frightened rich. Some of them were a step ahead, or 
behind, of Castro's newly formed Ministry for the Recovery of Illegally 
Acquired Property. Some simply preferred the rather less revolutionary 
atmosphere of Florida. Almost all had backed or belonged to parlies of 
the Right, respectable or otherwise. Some had held their noses or bad 
averted their eyes during the dictatorship, and a few had even contributed 
to Fidel's cause in the past. 

The main exodus came the following year. It started in the spring, speeded 
up in the summer, and took on the proportions of a mass flight by the end 



of 1960. Among the spring refugees were the older politicians of the pre- 
Batisla period, such as the former Premier, Manuel Antonio do Varona, 
and the former Minister of Education, Aureliano Sanchez Arango; some of 
them were urged on by the threat of physical violence, as in the case of 
Sanchez Arango. The large-scale expropriations that summer induced a large 
portion of the business community, big and small, to go. The purge of the 
universities and secondary schools drove out hundreds of teachers. The 
Communist take-over of the trade unions added many of their formerly pro- 
Fidelista officials to the stream. Professionals and intellectuals fled in in- 
creasingly large numbers. And, finally, Castro's own 26lh of July Movement 
began to send a flow of disillusioned members and sympathizers to the 
United Slates, among them the former Minister of Public Works, Manuel 
Kay, the former Minister of Finance, Rufo Lopez Fresquet, and the former 
President of the National Bank of Cuba, Felipe Pazos. 

By 1961, over 100,000 political emigres had gathered in the United States. 
And this number was only a fraction of those who had tried to get out hut 
could not. If all who wanted to leave had been able to do so, the figure 
might easily have reached a quarter of a million, an incredible percentage 
for a small island with a total population of 6.5 million. The emigration 
was top-heavy with businessmen, professionals and intellectuals, but skilled 
and semi-skilled workers were conspicuous in the later slages of the out- 
pouring. Nevertheless, the Cuban exiles were hardly representative of Cuban 
society as a whole* 

Politically, the world of the exiles seemed like a crazy quilt. A staggering 
number and variety of orgardzaciones, movimientos, asociaciones, comites t 
frentes, juntas, uniones — and these categories do not exhaust ihe list — pro- 
liferated in Miami, The fragmentation, however, was less bizarre and alarm- 
ing than it seemed because so many of the groups were little more than 
cliques of self-appointed leaders. In the profusion and confusion, three main 
tendencies could be distinguished — the traditional Right, Center and Left — 
within which there were, of course, many different forms and shades. 

In general, the Right had benefitted from the old order in Cuba and was 
less opposed to it than disappointed that it had not lasted longer. It was 
passionately anti-Communist, but cast its net so far and wide that some 
of President Kennedy's closest advisers could be — and, indeed, were — 
caught in it. The Center chiefly came out of the 1944-1952 pre-Batlsia 
regimes of Ramon Grau San Martin and Carlos Prio Socarras, with their 
peculiar mixture of promise and disappointment. Unlike the Right, its most 
responsible leaders had rejected and even conspired against Batista, but 
they had also rejected and in some cases had conspired against Castro as 
Batista's successor. The Left was mainly distinguished by its concern for 
social as well as political reform. It was almost entirely drawn from the 
former ranks of the 26th of July Movement which, in ihe course of 1959, 
had split into pro- and anti-Communist segments. 

Into this turmoil arid strife among the thousands of desperate and im- 
patient Cuban exiles, a catalyst injected itself, both of its own volition and 
by invitation. 



1. INVASION IN THE WINGS 



Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon has let it be known that he 
advocated training Cuban guerrilla forces to overthrow Castro as early 
as April 1959. In that month, Castro and Nixon spent three hours together 
in Washington, as a result of which Nixon wrote a three-page memorandum. 
Evidently he called Castro not a Communist hut a "captive" of the Com- 
munists, and,, therefore, even more dangerous. Since only the conclusions, 
hut not the text, of Nixon*s memorandum have been "leaked," it remains 
to be seen what Castro could have told Nixon to have justified such drastic 
action. Whatever it was, it was not enough to convince the other policy- 
makers, and American policy continued to be cautious and indecisive. 

Rut what would have happened if Nixon's recommendation had been 
accepted? In the spring of 1959, the hulk of Cuban exiles in the United 
Stales were repentant or unrepentant Batistianos. The internal situation in 
Cuba was still fluid, whatever Fidel Castro's personal position may have 
been. The vast majority of Cubans as yet were admittedly under his spell. 
Hie Cuban Communists had already made great headway but they had 
run into resistance in Castro's own movement — as we now know, within 
his Cabinet — the full potential of which could not yet be determined. On 
his return to Cuba in May, Castro found such dissension in his own ranks 
on the issue of Communism, and it was so openly expressed in the organ 
of the 26th of July Movement, Revotucioti, that he considered it necessary 
■to make a major speech on May 8 in which he went to great pains to dis- 
sociate himself from "Communist ideas." 

A Cuban guerrilla force in the spring or summer of 1959 would necessarily 
have been organized with the maLerial at hand, and that material was almost 
exclusively composed of ex-Batista officers and soldiers. It would have been 
forced to invade a Cuba which was only beginning to show signs of dis- 
illusionment with Castro and which, in any case, still infinitely preferred — 
and perhaps always will prefer — him to Batista. And even if an invasion 
would have been "successful," it could only have been the first stage of a 
military occupation, wholly dependent on American arms, if not more, 
and faced with the hostility of the great majority of Cubans. 

One can only marvel at this proposal of April 1959. If Fidel Castro wanted 
the United States to do anything, it was Lo ally itself with the Balisciaiios in 
its midst. He had defeated them when they were in power, and he had least 
to fear from them when he was in power. In his eagerness to overthrow Castro 
Nixon could think of nothing better than a military operation, and he was 
limited, whether he knew it or not, to the means at hand. His military 
"solution" was, in effect, political abdication. It was rejected, and better 
judgment prevailed, Yet, a residue of Nixon's thinking remained, and it 
always hovered in the wings as an alternative policy if I he situation continued 
to deteriorate. 

Much remains obscure and controversial about Castro's trip to the United 
States in the spring of 1059. Castro's propagandists have made a great deal 





ol the fact that he was not invited by the American government and that 
no American offers of aid were made to him. The truth is, as several of 
lis closest associates were aware, that Castro had made it known he did 
not want an official invitation and was not interested in offers of aid. What* 
ever Castro may have said to Nixon, his public statements, speeches and 
interviews in the United Stales were among his most "democratic'* utterances. 
After his departure, the Eisenhower Administration decided to send a new 
ambassador to Havana, Philip W. Bonsai, with instructions of a conciliatory 
nature. But Castro would not see him for almost three months and then 
brushed him off publicly as a person of no importance. 

2. POINT OF NO RETURN 

The real point of no return in Cuba was passed in the fall of 1959, long 
before any overt American action was taken against the Castro regime. 
It was marked by the arrest of Hubert Mates, a school teacher by profession, 
who had brought the first plane-load of arms and ammunition from Costa 
Rica to Castro's besieged forces in the Sierra Maestra mountains in March 
1957. Matos fought through the rest of the rebellion, rose to the highest 
rank of Major, and was entrusted after the victory with the military leader- 
ship of Camaguey province. He was, therefore, in an exceptional position 
to know what was going on, and he began in the spring of 1959 to question 
why Communists were being put into leading positions in provincial and 
town administrations at the expense of 26th of July members. 

When an epidemic of such replacements broke out in the rebel army itself, 
he decided to demonstrate his opposition. After vain efforts to discuss the 
matter with Castro, Matos* protest took the form of a resignation, which he 
sent on October 19. His case was not an individual aberration. A majority of 
the Camaguey army leaders, the head of the 26th of July Movement in the 
province, and others resigned with him. The scandal of the increasing Com- 
munist take-over in Camaguey was an open one, and opposition to it in the 
Army and the Movement had been building up for months. 

Matos was arrested at home (not "trying to escape," as one canard has it) 
on October 20. Castro rushed to Camaguey and cracked down on the dis- 
senters. The repercussions of this incident might have been less explosive in 
Castro's own top leadership if he had not insisted on charging Matos with 
"treason." The charge was too much for a group within the Cabinet, which 
had itself been watching with increasing misgivings the curious favoritism 
shown lo Communists. One minister, Faustino Perez, the former head of 
the Havana underground, refused to sign the Cabinet resolution denouncing 
Matos as a traitor. Toward the end of October, six Cabinet members came 
together for a private discussion — President Osvaldo Doitioos, Minister of 
Education Armando Hart, Minister of Public Works Manuel Ray, Minister 
of Transportation Julio Camacho, Minister of Communications Enrique 
Oltuski and Faustino Perez of the Ministry for the Recovery of Illegally 
Acquired Property. They agreed among themselves about the Communist 
danger, but one or two of them, probably Dorticos or Hart or both, reported 



the tenor of the discussion to Castro. He came to the Cabinet meeting the 
next day determined to force a showdown and insisted that anyone without 
full confidence in him did not belong in the Cabinet* Perez and Ray ex- 
pressed their views firmly* Oltuski and Hart spoke up more ambiguously. 
Perez had presented his resignation before the meeting and Ray did so 
afterward. Half-hearted efforts were made to change their minds, but they 
were permitted to go on November 26. At the same time, Major Ernesto 
"Che" Guevara replaced Dr. Felipe Pazos as head of Cuba's National Bank. 

Matos' trial was held in December, I have read about 90 published pages 
of the record, including all of the most important testimony by Fidel Castro* 
and I suspect that the Matos trial will go down in recent Cuban history 
as the equivalent of the "Moscow trials" of the 1930s. Not a semblance of 
treason, in any meaningful sense of the term, was proven, or even charged* 
against Matos. He was merely accused of having been worried about the 
Communist advance, and it was contended that his resignation could have 
been so contagious that the regime might have been endangered. So it might 
have been, and so it is, in every system which provides no means for 
peaceful change and in which even the most passive forms of resistance 
take on a significance unthinkable in anything resembling a democratic 
order. Matos was condemned to 20 years' imprisonment. It contrasted oddly 
with the 15 years — of which he had served only 20 months — to which Fidel 
Castro had been sentenced by the Batista dictatorship for leading a full-scale 
attack on an Army barracks. 

The implications of Matos' punishment were boldly exploited by the 
Communists. Early in February 1960, Juan Marineilo, president of the 
Partido Socialista Popular (PSP), the official Cuban Communist party, 
for the first time publicly equated anti-Communism with treason: "He who 
raises the flag of anti-Communism raises the flag of the traitor/* In the 
same month, Soviet Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan signed the first Soviet- 
Cuban agreement in Havana, amidst an official reception that betokened 
more than trade relations. In March, Bias Roca, the PSP's General Secretary, 
associated his party with the Government and orientation of Fidel Castro, 
and offered the Communist program "to illuminate the road toward the 
historically inevitable transition to Socialism." 

Bias Roca J s boasts provoked a reply from the popular writer and radio 
commentator, Luis Conte Agiiero, whose personal and political ties to 
Castro had been extremely close, but who now voiced the fear that the 
Communists were "achieving their purpose, pulling us instead of inarching 
by our side." Immediately, Conle Agiiero was crushed. 1 The pro-Castro press 



1. A writer in tlio Trotskyist paper, the Militant. lias chided me lor sliedOJiiB a tew symuatuein; 
lean" for Conte Agiiero. How little this Trotakyist has learned from the history of h ' 9 . l 9" vn 
movement t In the first years of the Bolshevik regime. Trotsky helped to crush the Kronstadt rebellion, 
the Social Democrats and opposition groups within the Bolshevik party. When lus turn came* lie was 
dcfetiHi-'LesB. The irony ia that the Trotaliyists c;in expect as short shrift in Cuba as they got m 
Soviet Russia, and it will be because the issue was not Conte Agiiero but the way he was silenced. 

Indeed, the Cuban delegation at the First Latin American Youth Congress in Havana m the summer 
of 19G0 issued a long denunciation of the Trotakyist delegates from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru 
and Paraguay. It used the following language: "The project of the manifesto presented by the 
TialskyiKlR repeals in its observation* on the Cuban revolution the same counterrevolutionary 
calumnies that issue daily from the imperialist arsenal by the mouthpieces of the United htatea Mate 
Department" (Revvluctdii, August 5j Iy<i0). 






attacked him so violently that he decided to go off the air. An organized 
crowd of demonstrators prevented him from making a farewell appearance. 
Castro himself devoted a four-hour television program lo ridiculing, insulting 
and denouncing him. Conte Agiiero took the hint and sought refuge in a 
foreign embassy on his way out of the country. 

These were episodes in what had become, for Fidel Castro, a second 
civil war. In the first, he had represented a democratic cause, and it had 
required a civil war against Batista's dictatorship. In the second, he repre- 
sented a totalitarian alliance with the Communists, and it required a civil 
war against the democratic elements in his own movement Castro waged the 
second civil war as ruthlessly as the first, striking down all those who stood 
in his way and leaving them only the alternatives of following him blindly 
or fighting back in a second underground. 

3. FRD AND CIA 

IN THE SPRING of 1960, the Eisenhower Administration made the decision 
which it had refused to make the previous spring and which led directly 
to the invasion attempt the following spring, For months, a strong if not the 
dominant wing of Cuban exiles had been seeking American support for every 
conceivable means of overthrowing Castro, including the arming and train- 
ing of an invasion force. The exiles at this time were still predominantly 
representative of the Right with little desire or ability to organize a demo- 
cratic underground or to wean the masses of Cubans in Cuba away from 
Castro. After a year of resisting this pressure, the Administration, influenced 
by the course of events in Cuba, agreed to help organize a force of Cuban 
cx i]es — not necessarily to use it but to have it ready. The implementation 
of this decision, requiring the greatest secrecy, was entrusted to the Central 
Intelligence Agency. It need not be imagined that the Administration had to 
look for Cuban exiles to carry out its plan; plenty of exiles were perfectly 
satisfied with it and displeased only with the delay. 

The first problem was which Cubans to work with. The initial choice fell 
on a group known as the Movimiento dc Recuperation Revolucionario 
(MRR), of which the Secretary General was a former captain of the rebel 
army in his late 20s— Manuel Artime. In the spectrum of Cuban exile poli- 
tics at that time, the MRR stood somewhat left of center. It was, however, 
a relatively small group incapable of uniting the mass of exiles. To over- 
come this weakness, a united front was fostered, and the Frcnte Rcvolucionario 
Dcmocratico (FRD) was formed by five groups early in June I960. 2 In ef- 
fect, the FRD represented the Center of the exile world at a time when the 
Right was still unduly prominent and the Left had not yet arrived in large 
numbers. Since Artime was put in charge of the FRD's military activity, he 
remained the chief link lo the CIA. 



2. T 



lc Five groups were: Movimiento de Rescate Revohtcwnario, bended by Manuel Antonio de 
Varona: Movimiento DemocrAtko Lrhtiano, of Jose Ignacio Raaco; Movimiftito de Recwperacitn 
Revolucionario, of Manuel Artime; Asociacidn Mmtecnsti, oE Justo Carrillo; and CM frrntr 
National Democr&tko (Trinle A), of Aureliano Sanchez Arango. 



Ih 



11 



But the FRD also seemed unwieldy to the CIA. It was headed by a five 
man Executive Committee, each with equal power, each jealous of his own 
status and distrustful of the others. The CIA made known thai it preferred 
to deal with a single president or chairman of the Coirirnittee, and this de- 
mand precipitated a crisis in the FRD. One of its strongest personalities, 
Aureliano Sanchez Arango, had heen complaining for some time about the 
very thing that outraged some of the Cuban leaders in the invasion attempt 
six months later — the treatment of the FRD as if it were an appendage of the 
CIA, subject to the latter's orders and incapable of living a life of its own. 
"The brief history of the relations between the FRD and the organism as- 
signed to deal with Cuban questions is the history of an incessant series of 
pressures and impositions," were the first words in a confidential memoran- 
dum submitted by Sanchez Arango to the FRD on September 30, 1960. His 
protest went unheeded, and he took his organization out of the FRD. 

Rut the other leaders o£ the FRD were satisfied with the arrangement, or 
at least not sufficiently dissatisfied to change it, "Tony" Varoua was named 
"coordinator" of the remaining four groups* and the FRD became more de- 
pendent lhan ever on the CIA. The split in the FRD presents the Cuban- 
American problem in essence without any of the lurid details associated with 
the later invasion. Too many Cuban exile politicians of the Right and 
Center, with the notable exception of Sanchez Arango, were content to accept 
the dictation of the CIA, just as the CIA was content to dictate to them. 

For the amenable Cuban politicians, the arrangement was most convenient. 
At one stroke they solved most of their financial and organizational problems 
outside the stresses and strains of the Cuban community. The best of these 
politicians were free of any taint of the Batista dictatorship, but their own 
pasts identified them with regimes that by their corruption had prepared the 
way for Batista, and they were hardly the symbols of a new Cuba determined 
to get something better than Batista or his predecessors. 

On the American side, the Eisenhower Administration was, at best, cau- 
tious and indecisive; at worst, it played into Castro's hands. Such an ad- 
ministration was attracted, in time, to a military "solution" of the Cuban 
problem — tightly controlled from above, with a minimum commitment to any 
program that might disturb the sensibilities of the Cubans or the Americans 
who had benefit-ted most from the status quo ante. For this purpose s the 
Eisenhower policy needed Cuban exiles who had not been compromised by 
the Batista or Castro regimes, but were not compromised by anything very 
different from the pre-Batista regimes either. 

Yet the Eisenhower Administration was not capable of carrying out even 
this course consistently or successfully. The invasion force of Cuban exiles, 
which the CIA undertook to organize, did not reflect the political complexion 
of the FRD. Since the military operation was ostensibly a "non-political" 
one, former members of Batista's Army were readily admitted on the ground 
that their training and availability made them desirable. Most of them were, 
in fact, typical of the career officers and conscripts who had made up Batista's 
Army, which had heen in large part the pre-Batista Army, and had not fought 
very hard for him. But the sadists and 



■ 









criminals" among them had enabled 



Castro to make the entire Army a by-word of shame and to disband it amidst 
a popular sigh of relief. Even on this unselective basis, moreover, the so- 
called invasion force did not amount to much. It numbered, I have been 
told, less than 1,000 until January 1961- In effect, the Eisenhower Adminis- 
tration dawdled along without a serious political or military policy for a 
revolution that was plunging from stage to stage at breakneck speed. 

4. ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS 

WHILE this setup was able to withstand Sanchez Arango's walk-out, it 
was threatened from another direction. By the summer of 1960, a 
different kind of Cuban exile began to arrive in the United States. Jose 
Miro Cardona, the Cuban Premier in the first six weeks of Castro's rule. 
sought asylum in July, and Manuel Ray, the former Minister of Public Works, 
went underground in May and left Cuba the following November. Except 
for his past association with the Castro regime, Miro Cardona was not noted 
for a radical social outlook, but Ray and others were unrepentant critics of 
Cuba's former political and social order. They were representative of that 
portion of the 26th of July Movement which had taken Castro's original pro- 
gram of democratic social reform seriously, had believed in him, and had 
reluctantly come to the realization that he was heading inexorably toward a 
form of Communist totalitarianism. They were not willing to repudiate all 
that had been done in Castro's first months in power, but neither were they 
willing to tolerate at any price the surrender of all political and intellectual 
freedom. They organized the Movimiento Revolutionario del Pueblo 
(MRP) and their first manifesto stated: "To fight against the "fidelismo- 
comunista* faction is not to fight against the Revolution for which thousands 
of Cubans gave their lives, but to redeem it from those who have betrayed it " 
The influx of this group for the first time made the Left a serious rival 
of the Right and Center in the Cuban emigration. It did not take long f or 
the other two wings to wake up to the threat and to launch a major political 
offensive at the newcomers. The issues may seem theoretical, but the impli- 
cations were not 

Was the revolution betrayed? For the Right and a portion of the Center 
the answer was emphatically, No. They took the position that Fidel Castro 
and his closest aides had never been anything but, or anything better than, 
Communists, and that his revolution had always been Communist in char- 
acter. They treated the 26th of July Movement as if it had been and was 
a branch of or a cover for the official Communist party. They condemned any- 
one who had ever belonged to the Movement, and especially anyone who 
had occupied a post of some responsibility in Castro's government, as unfit 
for decent Cuban political intercourse. 

I cannot pretend that I am a neutral bystander in this controversy because 
I have already written at some length on it. It has seemed to me that the 
merest acquaintance with Castro's statements and promises before he took 
power demonstrates that he has used his power for altogether different ends. 
Like many arguments, however, this one may go on forever because the op- 

13 



12 



posing sides tend to talk about different things. One side is really concerned 
with the inner intentions of Fidel Castro and his closest associates, especially 
his brother, Raul, and his political mentor, Guevara. I would not rule out the 
possibility that Fidel always knew where he was going, and the likelihood 
is much greater for the other two. But from the available evidence I strongly 
doubt it, at least in Fidel's case, and I am mildly amused that his enemies 
on the farthest Right should attribute to him a political consistency and in- 
tegrity that he has done little to deserve. Whatever the answer to this ques- 
tion may prove to be, it will at most tell us something about Fidel, not about 
his entire Movement. 

For the 26th of July Movement was never homogenous, and the larger it 
grew in 1957 and 1958 f the less homogeneous it became. It included those 
who merely wished to restore the constitution of 1940 and those who de- 
manded "a real social revolution." It attracted those who admired and those 
who detested the United States. It took in fervent anti-Communists and ar- 
dent fellow-travelers. To hold this conglomeration together, Castro bad 
progressively moderated bis program and propaganda. By 1958, be had 
voiced little more than the traditional aspirations of the socially conscious, 
democratic-minded Ctiban middle and working classes. He may not have been 
sincere, but many of those who followed him undoubtedly were. 

Those who insist that Castro has led a Communist revolution from the 
start have never thought through the implications of their position. The over- 
whelming majority of Cubans of all classes were admittedly pro-Castro in 
January 1959. If they wittingly supported a Communist revolution and 
knowingly preferred a Communist regime, the anti-Communist cause in 
Cuba was lost at the outset. But no one, least of all Fidel Castro, has even 
intimated that this was the case. He took special pains in the first months of 
his regime to assure the Cuban people that he was not a Communist; the 
organ of the 26th of July Movement conducted a war of words with the 
organ of the official Communist party; and the anti-Communists in bis 
Cabinet made no secret of their views. All this may have been a blind, but 
it was a blind made necessary by the non-Communist character of the 
revolution. Whatever may have been Castro's personal intent, it should 
not be confused with the entire anti-Batista rebellion which was much 
larger and broader than even the 26th of July Movement. 

Nevertheless, Castro's ex-associates in exile were met with a furious cam- 
paign which accused them of something called Fidelismo sin Fidel. It is 
not clear how Fidelismo can exist without Fidel, since he has always been 
the essential charismatic ingredient that made it possible. And it is not clear 
what Fidelismo is, since it has been several different things in its relatively 
brief life. In its public expression, the Fidelismo of 1958 was only distantly 
related to the Fidelismo of 1960, and even less to the Fidelismo of 1961. 
But whatever Fidelismo sin Fidel may mean, it served the purpose of making 
the break with Castro's regime by Ray, Pazos and the rest of the MRP 
seem superficial and untrustworthy. If Fidelismo was just the same or just 
as bad as Communism, it made them seem just the same or just as bad 
as Communists, with or without faith in Fidel. And yet, paradoxically, 

14 



~ 




they had broken with Fidel precisely because they had believed him when 
he used to say that Fidelismo and Communism were intrinsically different, 
and because they had refused to follow him into Communism* 

These controversies were not altogether theoretical. They were intimately 
related to a practical question of crucial importance— whether the under- 
ground in Cuba or the exiles in the United States should constitute the 
primary front in the struggle against Castro. For some, the underground 
came first, and the role of the exiles was mainly to assist and support it. 
For others, the exiles came first, and the underground had virtually no place 
in their plans. This choice between the underground and the exiles was one 
of the chief dividing-lines between the Left and the Right. The Left in- 
variably stressed the underground, the Right was almost exclusively in favor 
of the exiles, and there were elements of the Center in both camps. Those 
with an underground orientation could not hope to be effective in Cuba 
With the same type of program and propaganda that might appeal to many 
exiles in the United States. The underground had to live and work among 
Cubans who in the great majority had once believed in Castro and who were 
most likely to turn against him because he had disappointed them. Many 
of the exiles had never had any faith in Castro to lose, and he was just as 
obnoxious to them before taking power as after. 

Thus the war against Castro was inextricably bound up with the war 
among the exiles, and theoretical issues were inextricably bound up with 
practical implications. A debate over the "revolution betrayed" was also 
a dispute over the overthrow of Ca&tro primarily by forces in Cuba or by 
forces in the United States. A decision to organize a relatively small, tightly 
controlled, professionally led invasion force was an expression both of 
American policy and of Cuban exile politics. 

5. THE FUSION 

» A eanwhile, in Cuba itself another turning point was reached. I have 
|Yl already suggested that a decisive step was taken in the fall of 1959 
with the arrest of Hubert Matos in October, the replacement of Ray, Perez 
and Pazos in November, and the cruel punishment of Matos in December. 
American policy played a relatively minor role in this period. The crisis 
came from within Castro's own 26th of July Movement and had been brewing 
from his first month in power. It was generated not by the United States 
but by die Communists, or rather by their sponsors and protectors in the 
Cuban government. 

The next major step came in the summer of 1960. Although it was far 
more closely related to actions taken by the United States and has received 
much more publicity, it was but another stage in a continuous process rather 
than an impulsive, unpremeditated beginning. 

The final rupture between Cuba and the United Stales was precipitated 
in June 1960 by the Cuban demand that three U.S.- and British-owned oil 
refineries in Cuba process two bargedoada of Soviet crude oil. The com- 
panies refused, and their refineries were quickly taken over. In July, after 



15 



hesitating for months, the Eisenhower Administration suspended the 700,000 
tons that remained of Cuba's total 1960 sugar quota of about 3 million 
tons. Cuba retaliated with a decree expropriating all enterprises and proper- 
ties wholly or partially owned by U.S. citizens or companies. Most of this 
expropriation was carried out in August, the rest in September, 

These events cannot be understood by themselves, and the "cause*' of 
the wholesale expropriation of American property was only superficially 
the oil and sugar disputes. The Cuban government had not been paying 
the three companies for over two years and had piled up a huge debt of 
$16 million for oil imports and $60 million for previous refining. The com- 
panies had given up hope of ever getting their money back and expected to 
be taken over anyway. 3 Indeed, the oil companies accounted for only a small 
portion of the U.S. credits extended to the Castro regime, the total of which 
amounted to over $200 million. 

As for the sugar quota, the Cuban attitude had been stated by the clair- 
voyant Guevara early in March 1960: "There is some talk about lowering 
the Cuban sugar quota, indeed, of suspending it altogether. The sooner the 
better. For Cuba, it is a symbol of colonialism. We shall be better off with- 
out imperialist yokes." After that, it was a tussle between the Castro regime 
and the Eisenhower Administration to see which could maneuver the other 
into providing the best alibi and bearing the most blame for lowering or 
suspending the quota. I doubt that the Eisenhower Administration came off 
best in this contest, but I am also skeptical that more adroit tactics would 
have changed anything fundamentally. 

Moreover, Castro's wave of expropriation did not stop with American- 
owned companies. On October 13, 1960, at one blow, Law No. 890 na- 
tionalized 376 all-Cuban enterprises, including 18 distilleries, 5 breweries, 
4 paint factories, 61 textile factories, 16 rice mills, 11 movie theatres and 13 
department stores. Some, as in the case of the well-known Bacardi company, 
had supported Castro against Batista. The Castro regime expropriated over 
3 million acres of U.S.-owned land, but soon afterward also expropriated 
almost as much Cuban-owned land. The expropriation of foreign properties 
was clearly only a part of a much larger transformation, and the latter 
cannot be accounted for by the refusal of three oil companies to refine 
some Soviet oil or the suspension of 700,000 tons of the sugar quota, the 
total elimination of which none other than Guevara had demanded "the 
sooner the better." 

Nationalization had never been in Castro's program, except for the electric 
and telephone companies, and by 1958 he had even changed his mind, or 
at least said he had, about them. In the fa]l of 1960, he nationalized on a 
scale that had appeared inconceivable that very spring. No one reading the 
Cuban press or speaking to anyone in the regime could have anticipated it. 
If this was the transition from the "bourgeois-democratic" to the "proletarian" 
stage of the revolution, the Cuban proletariat had little or nothing to do 






3. The Cuban case was based on the Mineral Fuel Law of 1938, which, re 
refineries to process Cuban crude petroleum. The companies replied that Em's law 
oil taken from Cuban soil. 



14 



uired foreign' owned 
referred only to 









with it; The Castro Movement had never considered itself socialist, and had 
never, therefore, advocated socialism or conducted any socialist education. 
Nor had the official Communists been demanding nationalization or in- 
timating that the time had come for socialism in Cuba. The Cuban trade 
unions were certainly not the repositories of socialist faith. First came 
"socialism," and then the proletariat was told how lucky it was to have it. 
Such transition as there was took place wholly in the top leadership of 
Castro's regime. The bellwether, as always, was Guevara. At the end of 
July 1960, he informed a youth congress in Havana that the Cuban revolu- 
tion was "Marxist." He reiterated this thought in an article published in 
the official organ of the Cuban armed forces, Verde ORvo, in October, Then, 
on November 7, at a celebration in Havana of the Bolshevik Revolution, a 
trade union leader, Jose Maria de la Aguilara, ventured that it was time to 
say without fear "that we are marching inexorably towards socialism in our 
country." These brief and isolated statements exhaust the references to 
"Marxism" or "socialism" in 1960. They indicate that something was going 
on in the top echelons of the Castro leadership, but as usual, Fidel Castro 
himself waited for the right occasion before committing himself, a very 
different matter from the naive notion that the occasion caused him to 
commit himself. 

The summer of 1960 also introduced a new stage in Soviet-Cuban rela- 
tions. In July, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened to retaliate with 
Soviet rockets if Cuba were attacked, a commitment which he later qualified 
as "really symbolic." By the end of the month, Fidel Castro announced the 
arrival of the first automatic rifles from Czechoslovakia, By November 8, 
he exulted: "We have acquired arms, much arms, much more of them than 
the mercenaries and the imperialists have imagined." Guevara made another 
long pilgrimage to the East in October-December 1960 and on his return 
explained, with his usual brutal candor, what had motivated the Soviet bloc 
to sign up for large quantities of Cuban sugar. The Soviets produced so 
much sugar themselves that they did not need any from Cuba, he saia\ but 
they were willing to give the Cubans advantageous terms for "political" 
reasons. 4 

And economic aid was not the only thing the Soviets were willing to 
give for "political" considerations. At a parade in Havana on January 2, 
1961, the full range of arms shipments from the Soviet bloc was put on 
display— heavy tanks, 55 mm. and 105 mm, cannon, truck-drawn field 
artillery, mortars, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns, anti tank guns and 
automatic weapons. On March 4 Castro declared that "Cuba can obtain 
mountains on mountains of Communist arms," and "Cuba now has more 
thousands of tons of arms than a year ago." These weapons, and the training 
that went with them, had obviously resulted from more "political" agree- 
ments reached many months before. 

The "politics" of the trade agreements and amis shipments was internal 
as well as external. This aspect of the new situation can also be traced back 



4. Obra Revofarienari&t 1901, No. 2. 



U 



to the summer of 1960. In August 1960, at the Eighth Congress of, .-the PSP, 
General Secretary Bias Roca set forth the perspective of "complete union," 
of "fusion," of all the revolutionary forces "in a single movement." At the 
end of October, as the first installment of fusion, the youth divisions of 
the PSP and the 26th of July Movement merged to form the Jovcnes Rebeldes 
(Young Rebels), In December, at the meeting of the Communist parties in 
Moscow, Guevara mentioned the prospect of a "united party" in Cuba, 

To help the merger along, Bias Roca and Fidel Castro said mea culpa 
to atone for their old sins against each other. The Communists had to live 
down their former contempt for Castro's assault on the Moncada Barracks 
in 1953 as a "petty-bourgeois putsch." At the Eighth Congress, Bias Roca 
made amends by giving Fidel credit for seeing the possibilities of, and taking 
the practical steps toward armed struggle to overthrow the Batista dictator- 
ship. 

Fidel had a similar problem. Once upon a lime— on May 21, 1959, to 
be exact — he had distinguished his revolution from capitalism and Com- 
munism, the one because it "killed people with hunger," the other because 
it suppressed their liberties, "the liberties which are so dear to man." The 
human being, he bad proclaimed, was being sacrificed in both the capitalist 
and Communist states, and Cuba intended to make its own "autochthonous" 
revolution, as distinctive as its music. These words, and others like them, 
were characteristic of his first mouths in power; a proud and even arrogant 
Castro used to insist that the Cuban revolution had its own superior ideology. 
For the Communists the memory rankled, and something had to be done 
before a "complete union" could be sanctified. 

On February 1 of this year, the Italian Communist organ, rUnUa, pub- 
lished an interview with Castro of unusual significance. One of the questions 
asked by its correspondent in Havana, Arminio Savioli, was: "Major, what 
is your opinion of the Partido Socialists Popular, the party of the Cuban 
Communists?" 

Castro replied: "It is the only Cuban party that has always clearly pro- 
claimed the necessity for a radical change of structure, of social relationships. 
It is also true that at first the Communists distrusted me and us rebels. It 
was a justified distrust, an absolutely correct position, ideologically and 
politically. The Communists were right to be distrustful because we of the 
Sierra, leaders of the guerrillas, were still full of petty-bourgeois prejudices 
and defects, despite Marxist reading. The ideas were not clear to us, though 
we wanted with all our strength to destroy tyranny and privileges- Then wo 
came together, we understood each other, and began to collaborate. The 
Communists have given much blood, much heroism, to the Cuban cause. 
Now we continue to work together, loyally and fraternally." 

This new note of ideological inferiority was struck again in a carefully 
prepared speech by Castro on March 25, The occasion was also typical of 
the new era. The International Organization of Journalists, a Communist 
group with headquarters in Prague, recently awarded its annual prize to 
Revolution, the organ of the 26lh of July Movement, or what remains ol 
it. In celebration of the event, Hoy, the official Cuban Communist organ, 




sponsored a banquet for more than 2,000 people in honor of Revolution 
at which the Premier was the main speaker. One passage harked back to the 
past in the same curiously apologetic and even guilty way. 

"The Revolution was beginning," Castro recalled. "It was a process that 
had to go on for a long time; it had to go on step by step. It was weak 
in its origins; it was above all weak in the ideological sphere. The leaders 
of the Revolution had great support among the people, the Revolution in 
itself had an extraordinary amount of sympathy, for what it had cleared 
away, not for what it had done; but, ideologically, the Revolution was weak." 

And, in a public address in Havana on March 13, in the presence of 
Premier Castro, the Cuban Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Faure Chomon, 
declared: "We and the Communists will march together." He added: "The 
students of tomorrow will say how the people of Cuba made itself Com- 
munist, and we will see how all the peoples of Latin America shall be 
Communist." 5 

There has always been but one real party in Castro's Cuba, the Com- 
munist PSP, but it was not good form until recently to show too much 
deference or attribute too much prominence to it publicly. All that has 
changed since the summer of 1960. The old-time Communist leaders, Bias 
Roca, Juan Marinello, Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, Anibal Escalante, Lazaro 
Pena and the rest, all products of the school of Stalinism for a quarter of 
a century, formerly content to work in the background, have stepped forward 
to claim their due. The members of the PSP's Euro Ejecutivo, or Politburo, 
have been busy addressing a new type of audience — of Government em- 
ployes. 6 The former Communist head of the Cuban Confederation of Labor 
(CTC), Lazaro Pena, has again visibly emerged as the strong man of its 
top leadership- 17 Verde Olivo was always considered the most openly Com- 
munist of the official Government organs, hut now the popular magazine, 
Bohemia, is running it a close second. A feature article on Juan Marinello 
referred to him and Bias Roca as "pupils of the greatest university of all: 
the marvelous university of Marxism-Leninism." 9 

One more sign of the times in Cuba was the fate of a book. The well- 
known bookshop in Hanava, Libreria Venecia, had ordered copies of 
Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zkivago in a Spanish translation published in 
Buenos Aires. The books arrived, but the owner of the shop, Ricardo del 
Campo Gordon, received a notice that they had been seized as counter- 
revolutionary literature. He no longer sells books in Cuba, Until a hw 



5. Bohemia. (Havana), March 19, 1961. 

6. Revoh(ci6n, March 24, 1961, for example, devoted a column and a half to a talk on economic 
n-laniiintr by Carlos Rafael Rodriguez to the officials and employes of the National Institute of 
Sports, Physical Education and Recreation, at which its Director General presided. Another column 
and a half reported a lecture by Anibal Escalante, Executive Secretary of the PSP, <m "The Cuban 
Revolution, Its Character and Tts Development" to employes and officials of the Ministry of Finance. 

7. Bohemia, March 26, 1961, carried an article on the CTC, accompanied by photographs of six 
leaders. The picture of Lazaro J-Vria led atl the rest, At tlie recent May Day parade in ifavana, 
he marched in the first line, next to Minister of Tndiialries Guevara, President Dorticis, Premier 
Castro and Bias Roca, in that order, 

S. Bohemia, March 20, 1961. (The owner and editors of the original Bohemia went into exile 
and now puhYtsh Bohemia Libre in New York and Caracas.) 

9. Far mqre interest in (his incident was displayed in Mexico, where the press reported it widely, 
than in the United States or Europe, though an interview with Ricanlo del Canino Gordon appeared 
in Avance (Miami), April 21, 19G1, 



IS 



1? 



months ago, observers in Havana were impressed with the open display of 
books like The God That Failed and Milovan Djilas' The New Class. But 
the purge of this "subversive" literature has almost been completed, and 
now the visitor is impressed by the place of honor given to the works of 
Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung and Khrushchev in the bookshop of the Govern- 
ment-owned Imprenta National in the lobby of the hotel Habana Libre 
(formerly the Hotel Hilton) . l0 

Early this year, also, a major change in agricultural policy was introduced. 
Hitherto, the so-called cooperatives had received the most attention and 
publicity. They are now being swiftly overtaken by another innovation, 
Granjas del Pueblo or People's Farms, closely modeled on the Soviets' 
sovkkos or slate farm system. They are such deliberate imitations that, 
according to Premier Castro in a speech on January 21, Cuba is importing 
1,000 Soviet instructors for the granjas and sending 1,000 Cuban farm 
youth to Russia to learn Soviet agricultural methods. A report on May 17 
by Captain Antonio Nunez Jimenez, Executive Director of the Agrarian 
Reform Institute (INRA), revealed that the cooperatives bad already taken 
second place to the granjas in area; the granjas now cover 6,567,426 acres 
or 29.16 per cent of all productive land, and the cooperatives only 2,664,000 
acres or 11.83 per cent of the productive land. The cooperatives are still 
ahead in manpower, 122,448 to 96,493, but at the present rate of growth, 
the granjas will soon forge ahead in this respect, too. In any event, the 
cooperatives are so tightly controlled by INRA that they could and probably 
will be easily transformed into granjas whenever the Castro regime pleases 
to go all the way. 

And Castro's Cuba even has its equivalent of the Stalin-Hitler pact of 1939. 
Rumors of a deal between Castro and his arch-enemy, Generalissimo Rafael 
Leonidas Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, began to spread last year. One 
Dominican radio station suddenly started to specialize in pro-Castro and anti- 
United States propaganda. Then, in a speech on January 6, the deal was con- 
firmed by Guevara who publicly referred to Trujillo as "now our friend." 11 
Indeed, Trujillo intends to give Castro some competition as the exemplar 
of Caribbean socialism. On May Day, the official Dominican Radio Caribe 
announced that Trujillismo was "the vanguard of socialism" and claimed 
credit for having taken that road before Cuba. 

As one of this year's winners of the Lenin Peace Prize, Fidel made a speech 
on May 19 in which he showed how far he had travelled politically by burst- 
ing out: "Glory to our Jose Marti! Glory to Vladimir Ilyitah Lenin!" 

One reason for these developments was suggested by Castro himself in 
his interview in rUnita. He was asked: "What has the Socialist camp con- 
tributed to the Cuban revolution?" To which he replied: "My boy, what 
would have happened to us if Khrushchev had not sent us oil, if he had 
not bought our sugar? And if the Czechoslovaks had not sent us the arms to 
defend ourselves? And machines, spare parts, technicians?" 12 



10. Fritz Rene Allemann, "Die Revolution der Bnrtigeii," Dc Motictt, April J96I, 

11. Obra Rcvalucwttaria, 1961, No. 2. 






20 



The economic agreements, the arms shipments and the piecemeal political 
fusion were not separate, unrelated events; they were interconnected aspects 
of a single* simultaneous process. Of the three, the last undoubtedly signifies 
the most. As long as Castro maintained even a nominal political independence 
in Cuba, his foreign relations might be distinguished from his internal po- 
litical position. This distinction has been fading to the vanishing point. "What- 
ever the nascent "united party" may be called, it will merely be an enlarged 
version of the official Communist party. It will, in effect, represent the in- 
duction of the top-ranking Fidelistas into the PSP, It would not be too 
surprising to learn, judging from Castro's obeisance to Communist ideology, 
that this step has already been taken. 

I cannot suppress the feeling that the new self-critical Fidel is totally out 
of character. Whatever may be the reasons for submitting to the ideology of 
the party, he can hardly transfer his mystique to it, and it still needs him 
at least as much as he needs it. Yet Castro's newborn humility before the 
Communists is not merely a pose. He enjoyed the greatest advantage over 
them in the years of struggling for power, less and less after winning power. 
While they were still timidly advocating "clean, democratic elections" to 
get rid of Batista, 13 he celebrated force and force alone. But in that period, 
his political program betrayed little originality; it was, if anything, less 
radical than that put forward by Grau San Martin in 1933. Since Castro took 
power without a real ideology, a real army or a real party, he could con- 
ceivably have survived without them only by making his power consistent 
with his promises, and thus holding his original backing together. But this 
is precisely what he chose not to do. 

In the Communist-style state which he established in Cuba in less time 
than it took the Bolsheviks in Soviet Russia — 80 per cent of the Cuban 
workers are now employes of the state — a new ideology, a new army and 
a new party were urgently needed. For all his old boasts that the Cuban 
revolution was unlike any other and needed no ideology, army or party, 
Castro has turned to all three for survival, and they are painfully familiar 
and not at all the seemingly fresh, innocent experiments that so enamoured 
sympathetic observers in the past* 

Fidel Castro must certainly be ranked with the greatest pseudo-messiahs 
of the century, but no one is likely to mistake him for a creative political 
thinker, For a long time, he has been dependent on the superior intellect 
of Guevara who r unlike his nominal chieftain, never wastes words unneces- 
sarily and should always be taken seriously. Guevara once told Mme, Simone 
de Beauvoir that he would "spend hours explaining a complex economic 
problem to Fidel," who would then successfully boil it down to half an hour 
on television the next day. This is the inestimable gift of the popularizer 



32. The price Cuba has paid for the Soviet bloc's economic "aid** brings to mind the words 
recently spoken by the great Peruvian revolutionary, Victor Raul Haya de la Torre, now the object 
of indecent abuse in the official Cuban press: "You ask me what difference is there between our 
getting a loan from Russia or from the United States? Imperialism in its economic form— in the 
movement of capital— is the? same: both must be paid for. But the political consequences are different. 
The economic imperialism of totalitarianism brings totalitarianism with it. The economic imperialism 
of democracy allows us to keep democracy." 

13. Declaration of the National Committee, signed by Marinello and Bias Roca, June 28, 1958. 



21 



and demagogue, not the genius of an original social revolutionary, and both 
Castro's strength and weakness explain his usefulness and subservience to 
the Communists. 

There is room for argument about the reasons for the virtually complete 
symbiosis that has taken place between the Communists and top Fidelistas. 
It may he debated whether this is a good or bad thing. But the willful blind- 
ness still flaunted on this subject passes understanding. The assurance last 
September by Paul Johnson in the British weekly, New Statesman, that "in 
the future perspective of the Sixties" Fidelismo and Communism were "na- 
tural enemies" seemed a somewhat excessively hazardous way of insisting 
that there were differences between the two, and one was tempted to admire 
his recklessness without taking too seriously his literary extravagance. But 
much ha3 happened since last September, as I have indicated, and one never 
expected to see such obstinate refusal to face reality turn up in the same place 
again. Bias Roca had thought the time had come to send forth auguries 
of "complete union" and "fusion." Fidel had swallowed his pride and had 
genuflected before the Communists' ideological superiority. Faure Chomon 
had put not only the people of Cuba but all the peoples of Latin America 
in the Communist camp. Yet, the leading editorial in the New Statesman of 
April 28, 1961, could brush aside the belief that Cuba "is already a center 
for Communist subversion" as a "wild over-simplification." 

One wonders what would convince the New Statesman that Castro and 
the Communists have all but in name achieved the "complete union" that 
Bias Roca called for. And if it were convinced, would it make any differ- 
ence? The implication of all this sensitivity about Fidel's dalliance with the 
Communists is that there might be something sinful about it. But, somehow, 
it never turns out that way. Whatever relations Fidel has had with the 
Communists, his sympathizers and apologists have had no trouble justifying 
or explaining them away. What the New Statesman will say if it changes its 
mind about the "wild over-simplification" remains to be seen. 14 

6. SIGNS OF CHANGE 

IN the summer and fall of I960, while great changes were taking place 
in Cuba, the United States was preoccupied with the election campaign 
and change of administrations. The new Administration was far from a 
free agent, as a result of the extreme anti-Castro position assumed by 
John F. Kennedy in the campaign and of the actions taken by his predecessor, 
especially the rupture of diplomatic relations in January 1961. Nevertheless, 



14, The self-righteousness cf some British publications on the Cuban question has lonff been one 
of the more amusing curiosities of the recent past. After the United State* had declared an, embargo 
on all arms to Cuba in March 1P58 — an action which undoubtedly hastened Batista's downfall, even 
if |t was not basically responsible for it — Great Britain stepped into the breach as ona of Batista's 
mum arms suppliers. British planes and tanks were delivered to Batista's forcea precisely during 
the period of the American embargo, and questions were raised about them in the House of Commons, 
Anion jr the British magazines which did not bother to protest, Of erven to comment, on this phase 
Bomewhat nearer home, of the struggle against Batista were Time and Tide and the New Statesman. 
ine latter published a report on Cuba on the eve of Batista's downfall by "A Latin American 
I or respondent who wrote these whimsical words: '"Fidel Castro Is as opportunistic as Batista." 



71 



a re-examination of United States policy vis-a-vis Cuha wns under- 
taken. 

On one level, changes occurred. The most notable, on the Cuban exile 
side, was the formation in March 1961 of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, 
headed by Dr. Jose Miro Carrlona. While the former American policy had 
favored the centrist FRO, the new Revolutionary Council was based on 
both the FRD and MRP, a distinct shift to the left. The Council's Declaration 
of April 9, 1961, clearly reflected this political shift. "We are not, nor could 
we be counterrevolutionaries," it asserted. "We were revolutionists who 
fought against the previous regime, which had impoverished the whole 
country for the benefit of a minority lusting for gold and power. It is with 
the same convictions that we now oppose the present regime, which has 
betrayed our country and plunged it into chaos.'* 

Another passage stated: "Let there be no mistake. During the immediate 
post-revolutionary period some ideals of the people, which were a part of 
the national goal, were achieved. It will be necessary to incorporate them 
into the provisions of the Constitution. There will be no going back to a 
past which we all oppose — neither Communism nor reaction." 15 

The second evidence of a change was the so-called White Paper on Cuba 
issued by the State Department. This document defined the "grave and 
urgent challenge" of Castro's Cuha as follows: "The challenge results from 
the fact that the leaders of the revolutionary regime betrayed their own 
revolution, delivered that revolution into the hands of powers alien to the 
hemisphere, and transformed it into an instrument employed with calculated 
effect to suppress the rekindled hopes of the Cuban people for democracy 
and to intervene in the internal affairs of other American Republics." 

'J*he U.S. document also interpreted the "betrayal" in the same sense as 
the Declaration of the Revolutionary Council: "The positive programs 
initialed in the first months of the Castro regime — the schools built, the 
medical clinics established, the new housing, the early projects of land 
reform, the opening up of beaches and resorts to the people, the elimination 
of graft in government— were impressive in their conception; no future 
Cuban government can expect to turn its back on such objectives. But so 
far as the expressed political aims of the revolution were concerned, the 
record of the Castro regime has been a record of the steady and consistent 
betrayal of Dr. Castro's pre-revolutionary promises; and the result has been 
to corrupt the social achievements and make them the means, not of libera- 
tion, but of bondage-" 

On paper, the line had clearly veered to the left. The change was taken 
seriously not only by the Left-wing MRP but by the Right-wing Cuban 
exiles who immediately stepped up their campaign against the "revolution 
betrayed" and Fidelumo sin Fidel. The organ of the extreme Right, Diario 
de la Marina> went into paroxysms of rage and vituperation not only against 
the ex-Fidelisias but against the "Jeflists in the State Department" and "the 



15. The full text in English wai published in the New York Timet, April 9, 1961, 



31 



socialists in Washington." 18 All those groups which had been left out of 
or would not come into, the Revolutionary Council, many of them on the 
Right, met together at the end of March 1961 and formed a Junta Revoht- 
cionana de Liberation National, with Aureliano Sanchez Araneo as Secre- 
tary General. 

The practical implications of the Declaration of the Revolutionary Council 
and the White Paper of the State Department were, indeed, incompatible 
With the Right-wing policy of a small, professionally trained, tightly con- 
trolled invasion force to "liberate" Cuba from the outside. As late as 
January 1961, Dr. Miro Cardona, after predicting that a "general uprising" 
was fast approaching, was asked: "But is that enough? Will there have 
to be an invasion?" To which he replied: "After the uprising, there will have 
to be a military decision on whether to help the people with a mass invasion 
or with a continuation of the infiltration by specially trained men. It is im- 
possible at this point to decide whether a mass invasion will be necessary." 1 ' 7 
This emphasis on the internal uprising as the primary front in the anti-Castro 
struggle was a fundamental tenet of the Left wing, 18 

But what to do with the relatively small, professionally trained, tightly 
controlled invasion force that had been inherited from the Eisenhower Ad- 
ministration? In January 3961, recruiting started once more and about 
500 more men were added, for a total of less than 1,500. Again, little 
political differentiation was made in the selection of recruits. This very lack 
of discrimination, however, was indirectly responsible for influencing the po- 
litical composition of the force. Many former members and even officers of 
the rebel army were available in the emigration. But most of them would not 
fight alongside former members of Batista's Army and police, and certainly 
would not serve under them. 1 have been told that the ex- Batistianos made up 
only about 15 per cent of the total but that their percentage went up sharply in 
the leadership. In one of the Guatemalan camps with about 300 men, it has 
been reported, one ex-Batistiaiio officer was enough to cause 230 to go on 
strike. Nevertheless, the invasion force was broadly representative of the 
entire exile community— from Batistianos to the sons of Varona and Miro 
Cardona, from professional military cadre to idealistic young professionals. 

7. BEHIND THE INVASION 

THE preparation for an "invasion" of Cuba was divulged in the Guate- 
malan paper, La Mora, as early as October 30 of last year, and it was 
then described as "well under way." The alarm about rtie Guatemalan camps 
was first raised in the United States by a most unlikely source — the director 






16. Diario de la Marina (Miami Beach) March 18, 1961. Also see the peat three issues for more 
or tii£ Sflnic - - 

17. U,S. News & World Report, January 23, 1961. 

18. One figure who cannot be » easily classified is Dr. Aureliano Sanchez AratiM, a long-tune 
SS S« ns fi b ? th B . at u sta i a Vl Castro. , He also had taken the position that the ami-Castro under- 
ground came first, and he had broken with the FRD on the issue of subservience to the CIA But 
*tJS£w ■ f i°,{ mv ? l ttI P' *»rabngfl with anyone who had ever served under Castro, and he has 
3 iSK ,rv J r t t\ t h ^ 1S T.°l tbe n *ev?lutiDa betrayed." In hi 3 latest phase, he believes that 
distinctions of Left and Right have lost their usefulness in the present CubaJi situation. 

24 



and staff of the Hispanic American Report, published by the Institute of 
Hispanic American and Luso-Brazilian Studies at Stanford University* After 
some hesitation, the U.S. press went after the story and succeeded in making 
the camps an open secret without being able to dig out some of the vital 
details. Some of the figures, guessed at or planted, were ludicrously inflated, 
and they later contributed to the public misconception of the entire op* 
oration. 

But the Cuban exile leaders had been wrestling with their consciences 
about the relatively small force in the camps for a long time, and they knew 
how politically explosive it was. Before the negotiations for the Revolu- 
tionary Council could be consummated, a hitherto unpublished agreement 
entitled, "Confidential Bases of Unity Between the Frente Revolttcionario 
Democfdtico and thn Movimiento Revolttcionario del Pueblo" (see Appendix, 
page 34) dated March 22, 1961, and signed by A. de Varona and M. Ray, 
was reached, Tts second section, "Insurrectional Struggle," reads: 

1. The Council which is formed as a consequence of this agreement 
must give maximum priority to the aid of the combatants who are al- 
ready inside Cuba fighting against the Communist oppressor. 

2. No person who held an objectionably responsible position with 
the criminal dictatorship of Batista can he admitted into any armed 
force which may be organized outside of Cuba. Because of the very 
harmful effect that any apparent utilization of these elements can 
have, both organizations agree that they must share the responsibilities 
of preventing even the use of these persons in the recruiting offices. 

3. The military commands of all the revolutionary forces which 
may be organized outside of Cuba must be in the hands of Cubans 
who give full guarantee to the President of the Council and to both 
groups (which sign this document) with respect to their integrity 
and understanding, their responsibilities and functions in a democratic 
society, their full deference to the authority of the Revolutionary 
Council during the insurrectional struggle and to the Civil Government 
of the Republic. 

4. The Revolutionary Council must immediately assume the responsi- 
bility that these criteria should fully prevail in the forces which are 
being organized. 

This document dearly embodied a point of view which made the under- 
ground in Cuba the primary front and sought to remove any possible taint 
of Balistismo from the invasion force organized outside of Cuba. In prin- 
ciple^ there was no reason why Castro should not be opposed by forces in- 
side and outside Cuba, as Batista had been opposed. But the two forms 
of opposition could work against each other as well as with each other. 
Priority to the outside force could have a negative effect on the underground, 
which might be encouraged to wait for "liberation" from the outside. The 
inclusion of Batistianos in the invasion force would not sit as well with the 
Cubans in Cuba as with some of those in exile. And lime political orientation 

25 



necessary for the underground struggle differed drastically from the political 
oullook or lack of it, characteristic of ihe invasion force. 

Jhe Revolutionary Council and Hie White Paper represented one side of 
the new Kennedy Administration's policy, the invasion force the other side 
n " e ; er ;l le lw f™ did «**■ ^ tf-c 12 days that elapsed between the 
bases Confideneiates signed by Varona and Ray and the decision to send 
the invading force to Cuba, nothing had changed and, in so short a time, 
nothing could have changed. A real change of policy would have required 
a sharply reversed attitude toward the underground and a complete over- 
hauling of the invasion force. But on April 4, when President Kennedy and 
his chief advisers apparently made the final decision on the expedition, 
time was the one thing that could not be reversed or overhauled A few 
more months of the Soviet bloc's "mountains on mountains" of arms to 
Luna made any new, long-range plan appear to be increasingly difficult and 
dangerous Many of the Cuban exiles had been gripped by what may be 
called a deadline fixation." They were persuaded, and bent on persuading 
everyone else, that if Castro were not overthrown by March or April— or 
June, at the latest— he could never be overthrown. 

This frantic desperation that time was running out, combined with an in- 
tense conviction that there would never be a better time, may have been 
contagious. The notion thai the "United States gathered together a few 
mercenaries for the invasion ludicrously misses the point. The Cuban 
exiles themselves exerted a tremendous pressure for quick action, and their 
only apprehension was of the lengths to which the United States might *o 
to help them. In the training camps, a similar mood prevailed, and the option 
seemed to be to use the force, such as it was, or to disband it. In effect, 
without starting over again, the Kennedy Administration was basically 
limited to the policies and instrumentalities of the Eisenhower Administra- 
tion, 

Only one important change seems to have been made in the old plan 
which apparently had provided for "air cover" by American planes while 
the Cubans secured a beachhead. President Kennedy decided against any 
direct American participation in the attack, including aerial support, and 
reiused to change his mind after the exile pilots had lost control of the air 
on the second day of the invasion. The American policy seems to have been 
to train, finance and equip the exiles, but to require them to do their own 
fighting. This was not very different, in substance, from what the Soviet 
bloc has done on a vastly greater scale for Castro's forces. 

In the end, however, the Cuban Revolutionary Council served as a fig 
leaf for the invasion. Maximum priority was given to the outside invasion 
force, not to the Cuban underground. Object ion able personnel were admitted 
and not weeded out oF the invasion force. The Council was not in command 
of the situation, and its members were humiliated by those who were. 

On the surface, two different lines were pursued simultaneously, one for 
Ihe Revolutionary Council, another for the invasion force, lie former im- 
plied that some re-examination had taken place in the Kennedy Administra- 
tion; the latter amounted to an expression of modified Nixonism. The difier- 

26 






ence between these two lines is the key to what was wrong wilh the con- 
ception, as well as the execution, of this invasion. 

The invasion force was given such absolute priority that the anti-Castro 
forces inside Cuba were virtually ignored. The inversion of the two was 
a crucial factor. By putting the invasion first, the Intelligence Agency could 
only guess at how far the popular rebellion against Castro had gone or what 
it was capable of doing. It was apparent, even from the speeches that Castro 
and Guevara had been making, that the Castro regime had been slipping in 
popular support for months, especially in the middle and working classes. 
But the opposition knew that it had made the least headway among the 
peasantry, the teenagers (all of whom carried weapons), a portion of those 
whose existence was wholly dependent on the all-embracing state machine, 
an indeterminate propaganda-drenched group in all classes and, of course, 
the committed Communists and hero-worshipping Fidelistas. The process 
of disenchantment could not be forced artificially and, in the nature of a 
repressive state, even those closest to Fidel had appeared to be loyal to him 
before their defection. A policy which called for an outside invasion first 
and an internal rebellion afterward could never be sure of any rebellion. 

Not only did the invasion come as a surprise but it discouraged the anti- 
Castro forces inside from doing anything until its nature and extent had 
become clear, and by then it was too late. No one would risk his life for an 
invasion that could not succeed because it was too small, or for an in* 
vasion that could succeed by itself because it had the full backing of the 
United States — and the latter was the first impression. Thus the invasion 
plan made the first stage of the battle a purely military one on a very 
limited terrain— a beachhead. It enabled Castro to concentrate overwhelming 
forces at a single point for a knockout blow. 

The other course would have been to put the rebellion first and to hold 
an invasion in reserve to support an already existing popular movement, as 
Miro Cardona had explained in January 1961 and as the Bases Confideneiates 
had implied in March. But the leaders of the Revolutionary Council were 
not strong or self-confident enough to insist in practice on what they had 
agreed in principle. Some went along with the invasion because they had 
for many months given it their blessings, and others because they did not 
wish to open themselves to the charge that ihey had stood in the way of 
a possible victory. The two operations— -the political, exemplified by the 
Revolutionary Council, and the military, represented by the invasion force 
■ — were kept so far apart lliat at least one portion of the Council knew little 
about the details of the invasion. 

The situation in Cuba had been building up to some kind of popular 
explosion, but it could not be synchronized with the "deadline fixation," 
both Cuban and American. There was, of course, no guarantee that there 
would ever be a large-scale popular rebellion against Castro; the existing 
policy, however, had for many months not even encouraged one, politically 
or practically; and there were no guarantees about anything else + As long 
as the United States did not wish to be dragged into full-scale intervention, 
the priority for the anti-Castro forces in Cuba was a matter of necessity, not 

27 



<rf choice. The Eisenhowei AdminisfralioT, had not given the underground 
priority and the Kennedy Administration ruled out full-scale intervention 

let short of the Castro regime's collapse at the first blow from the out- 
side, the invasion rccjuired a spontaneous outburst of papular support or an 
evei-.inereasing measure of American support. An invasion force which 
succeeded in overthrowing Castro without a demonstrative show of popular 
support could onljr have ruled Cuba in a state of perpetual civil war or as 
a thinly disguised American occupation. At best it would have postponed 
another outbreak of Fidelismo for a few months or years. At worst, it could 
have made Cuba into another Algeria. The alternative policy was formulated 
in the liases Confidenciales, but never really put into practice It i* late 
but not too late. 

8. THE MORNING AFTER 

Failure, as well as success, can bring out fundamental attitudes and 
, J™ n0 = all°fi«her clear in the course of the struggle, and the failure 
ot Cochinos Bay has brought them out in many quarters more sharply than 
ever before, r J 

President Kennedy's first reaction expressed a determination not to 
accept the defeat as final and an intention to rethink the whole problem posed 
by Cuba, Perhaps the most significant feature of his speech on April 20 was 
the suggestion that the parts played by arms and politics to such a crisis 
urgently needed re-examination. If he seriously follows up his remark that 

too long -we have fixed our eyes on traditional military needs,- more may 
have been gained from the Cuban defeat than lost 

cJ^A ^ft™ ha ™ ^en somewhat inhibited from making political 
capital of the Cuban setback, despite the President's willingness to assume 
full responsibility font, because of its peculiarly bipartisan ancestry. If 

he Cuban venture had proved a success, the Republicans might not have 
been able to resist pointing out that the Democrats had merely carried out 
what they had prepared for them, as Nixon did not fail to point out in 
the case of the first American astronaut 

Eisenhower's sense of fair play and national interest made him a model 
of m d»«tioi; |W t Ins difficult moment, but Nixon could not altogether resist 
temptation. The former Vice President hinted broadly that "more power" 
should have been committed in Cuba to compensate for the mistaken in- 
elhgence estimates. This divergence may reflect more of a difference be- 
tween Eisenhower and Nixon than between Kennedy and Eisenhower. It has 
been credibly reported that Nixon once argued in favor of landing American 
forces in Cuba if the exiles could not make it on their own, and that Eisen- 
hower vetoed the proposal 

Among the Cuban exiles, the defeat has had the effect of intensifying all 
those divisions winch existed before. The Right and Center have been over- 
come by pessimism bordering on despair, and publicly or privately express 
their belief m direct US. intervention as the only salvation. On [he other 
hand, the anh-Castro Left which had never believed in the precedence given 

2B 



to an armed invasion under U.S. auspices has been confirmed in its view 
and holds it more strongly than ever. Because of this post-invasion schism, 
the Cuban Revolutionary Council has fallen apart. 

The invasion also provided Fidel Castro with the occasion for officially 
confirming the "socialist" character of the Cuban revolution. He actually 
did so for the first time on April 16, the day before the invasion, in a rather 
casual, mocking reference to the "imperialists": "That is what they cannot 
forgive — that we should be here under their nose and that we have effected 
a socialist revolution under the very nose of the United States.*' 

In his speech on May 1, however, he made the pronouncement somewhat 
more formally: "Our deeds have signaled to the world the birth of a 
patriotic democratic and socialist revolution." What he meant by "socialist" 
he made sufficiently clear by hailing support from "the powerful socialist 
world, headed by the great Soviet Union and the People's Republic of 
China." Since May 1, the "socialist revolution" in Cuba has become de 
rigueur for all means of communication in Cuba. 

Che Guevara once invented the theory, since repeated by innumerable 
epigoni, that the United States was responsible for Castro's actions or "re- 
sponses," and presumably the latest coincidence between the frustrated in- 
vasion and Cuban "socialism" fits this pattern perfectly. A French writer, 
Claude Julien, has written a book in behalf of the view that the United 
Stales forced Castro to betray his own revolution to the Communists and 
Soviet Russia. 19 

It is not necessary to exculpate the United States of all blame or even 
a large share of the blame for the recent history of Cuba to feel, as I do, 
that this thesis is mistaken, profoundly mistaken, Fidel Castro and his 
inner circle have never been innocent victims of circumstances; ihey have 
always been the engine of this revolution in perpetual motion; they have 
leaped at one pretext or another to do what they wanted to do; they have 
incessantly increased their power by taking the initiative against their 
enemies and relentlessly pressing the advantage. A revolutionary leader does 
not betray the fundamental character of his revolution because American 
oil companies refuse to refine Soviet oil or because the United States sus- 
pends a sugar quota that has been attacked as "a symbol of colonialism." 
If he is really committed to a new social order different from capitalism and 
Communism, he does not resist the one by capitulating to the other with the 
speed of a push-button operation. 

By wailing for the opportune occasion, every aggressive action can be 
made to appear in a defensive light, but history teaches us to look into 
the more obscure past for the deeper causes and motivations of such im- 
mediate and far-reaching "responses.** In this case, as I have suggested, 
ihe decisive moves were made behind ihe scenes in 1959, and only their 
consequences were pul on public display in 1960 and 1961, 

No, Castro and his group have not merely been reacting to American 
moves, as if they were American puppets manquis, as if the United States 






i9 - La Revolution Cubaine, Jultiard, 196t. 



29 






always pulled the stnng. which forced them to do what they did not want 

rJr ^ g ,V ller f ^ did »<* ™it to go- This interpretation of the 
Castro revolution does not even do justice to its leader; it deprives him of 

S TV™ ^ ° Wn r o,ution - ™ ere ™y be »°" tha " one way 
J°fS C^tro betrayed the democratic revolution, and one of them 
» to blame the United States, but the betrayal is still no less a betrayal. I 
beheve th»t the truth must be sought elsewhere, in the inner life and 
dynamism oi Fidelismo. 

9. THE DAY OF RECKONING 

Only THE ingenuous can still believe that Fidel Castro walked into a 
<J*S£ "?P W *"' he &?* "P ll ' e democratic road because the 

o»„^.TfiT Md j! del , wa,kcd 'oward each other, each with his eyes 
open each filing a need m the other. The "trap theory" attributes a gullibility 
to F,del which „ a^ain hardly fair to him. Official American offers migk 

dearly understood preference for private rather than government forms of 

™lii V fc li V 7 W ° UW haVC "XtoBpMtoi little eke The $16 million 
credit which the oil companies extended to Castro's Cuba did not save them 
rom expropriation, and five or ten times that amount would not have bought 
Uiem an indulgence. External circumstances influenced the Castro regime's 
methods and timing, but they did not determine its nature and direction. 

'nJh^JTT' ^1 f Ui Ca " °" Iy with 4e S leatest diffi «% com- 
prehend the dynamism of this revolution, ft was not made by a revolutionary 
party which had struggled for years to formulate an ideology and create an 
SET l . der Ve! L fl ™ 12 =»* ^ --de their way to the S era 

Maestro mountains in December 1956-Iess than five years ago! -and in- 
creased m number to only 300 in May 1958-little more than three years 
bcredlrTT 7 °™ Batista ' s T " Army and police was somewhat 
incredible, a most miraculous, and for them the miracles have not ceased. 

It does not seem more far-fetched that Cuba should set off a Latin Ameri- 

an revolution than that the tiny group in the Sierra Maeslra should have 

set off a Cuban revolut.on To this must be added the conviction that the 

revota t; r .'* : a T tb0 * & ™ ]]y ViCt0rI ° US With0ut a ^tin American 

ha of It tr ln ,h n " nked Stat6S - an ^entuality to which Fidel 
has ot late made frequent allusions, only half in jest 

but the sprnt o Fidehmo cannot be fathomed without talcing it into account: 
ine ideological and organizational vacuum of Fidelismo has been filled 

rl-.TT/T ^ '" ,l,r "' lla9 heta ^en a new confidence and im- 

petus by Fidehmo. As a result of, this interpenetrate, Cuba has begun 
to resemble every other Communist state in its essential political, economic 
and ideolog.cal conformation; the "humanistic" improvisations of Castro's 
hist year m power may soon seem just as far away as the Soviet's New 

30 






Economic Policy of the 1920s seemed from Stalin's forced collectivization 
in the 1930s. 

Whether the United States was wise to have suspended the sugar quota 
when it did is less important, in the long run, than that the suspension was 
the answer to a Fidelista prayer. The technique used to bring about the 
break of diplomatic relations — a 48-hour demand for a drastic reduction 
of U.S. Embassy personnel — was similar. The dictate faced the United 
States with the choice of bowing to an ultimatum or going a step further 
and getting the inevitable over with quickly. Short of utter capitulation, I 
cannot conceive of any U.S. policy that would have satisfied the souls of 
Fidel, Raul and "El Che." 

For those who desire, condone or ignore the Communist conquest of 
Cuba, the recent invasion presents no difficult problem. They can gloat over 
the failure or enjoy an orgy of Schadenfreude. Some can do so, however, 
only by deceiving themselves about the reality of Communist influence in 
Cuba. But the day of reckoning must come. At the present rate of Fidelhkt- 
Communist fusion, they will soon have to recognize that reality or risk 
making laughingstocks of themselves. And if they do not go along to the 
bitter end, they too will know what it means to be "betrayed" by Fidel 
Castro; he may even ridicule them on television if they should make nuisances 
of themselves complaining of ihcir disillusionment. 

"Non-intervention" also presents them with no great problem. As long 
as the only intervention is by definition United States, everything becomes 
absurdly simple. But the Cuban revolution has never been that simple. It 
has never been contained within the borders of Cuba. In 1955, Castro used 
Mexico as the training ground for his invasion force. He set up an or- 
ganization in the United States to collect funds and recruit volunteers. In 
March 1957, President: Jose Figueres of Costa Rica sent the first arms to 
Castro's forces in the Sierra Maestra. To overthrow Batista, Castro accepted 
aid wherever he could get it* If the same stringent rules were applied to him 
as some are trying to apply to his present enemies, Batista might still be 
in power. 

Since 1959, Castro has been intervening flagrantly throughout Latin 
America. In November 1960, young anti-Castro Cubans broke into the Cuban 
Embassy in Lima, Peru, and forced the Charge d'Affaires to give them a file 
of documents marked "Strictly Confidential." Photostats of these documents 
have been published, and the then Secretary of the Embassy Andres Quintin 
Noas, now in exile, has confirmed their authenticity. One letter, dated Octo- 
ber 4, 1960, from Ambassador Luis Ricardo Alonso to Raul Castro, reported 
the payment of $15 ? 00O (427,500 Peruvian soles) to eight professors, 16 
newspapers and magazines, 15 labor unions and 10 political organizations, 
and another $15,000 to the Communist party in 13 Peruvian cities and 
towns. All the names and amounts were carefully recorded. As a result of 
this evidence, Peru broke diplomatic relations with Cuba. 

Intervention can take many forms — from the Castro regime's vicious war 
of nerves against the admirable Administration of Governor Luis Munoz 
Marin in Puerto Rico to the Soviet bloc's huge investment of arms and 

31 



manipulation of a servile Cuban Communist party. Much of what passes 
for non-intervention" in the Cuban civil war is, in practice, an acceptance 
of unilateral Soviet intervention. 

For those who do not desire or cannot ignore the Communist conquest 
oi Cuba, the present situation poses difficult and complex problems. The 
invasion was indefensible in conception as well as execution, but much of 
the criticism has been transmuted into support or apologetics for Castro's 
regime. In the end, the most unfortunate result of the fiasco may be that 
the guilt arising out of it has sought an outlet in tolerance for and subtle 
identification with an onrushing totalitarianism. I have never heard an 
argument m favor of the Cuban dictatorship— from the uselessness of elec* 
lions to the mistreatment of the Cuban peasants who constituted about 
one-third of the nation— which could not be applied with slight modifica- 
tions to virtually every other country. Some of the criticisms of the in- 
vasion require at least as much criticism as the invasion itself, 20 

I cannot separate the politics of arms from the arms of politics. The 
politics of the arms that went into the invasion of Cochinos Bay made the 
iailure a costly defeat and would have made the success a Pyrrhic victory. 
But to say this and no more is to doom in advance the prospect of any 
future anti*Castro opposition, even the most democratic. These arms were 
used badly, but any politics in Cuba today demands arms. Castro cannot 
be overthrown except by force, just as there was no other way to overthrow 
Batista. When Castro sentenced Matos to 20 years' imprisonment, he served 
notice on all opposition to go underground and fight force with force or 
submit without a struggle. As long as there are men and women in Cuba 
who believe in civil liberties, representative government, land reform instead 
of boviet-style state farms, freedom of expression, association with the 
democratic West, and free trade unions, there will be an underground and 
despite the present setback, it will revive and grow. If no one else will 
provide the necessary conditions for its growth, .Castro and the Communists 
will do so. 

But no anti-Castro movement can resist Russian tanks and Czechoslovak 
machine guns with sympathy alone. It would be more humane and more 
honesty to advise any movement not to resist than to resist with bare hands. 
Castro s democratic opponents have the right and the duty to obtain arms 
where they can as Castro did and as other revolutionary movements have 
done. ITie TJmlcd States can help, but a democratic Cuban opposition worthy 
of the name will accept arms or other assistance only on its own terms 
Whatever the United States or any other power does or docs not do must 
influence the situation in Cuba; the United States could remove its influence 

quarrel with it. But it T a £a L£h fJ&Jr &dd^tejL nti ' in ; MI0 2 appoal - I ^ uld have no 
references to the character^ lh~ C.ltJl ?L , be ^i r s such curious sriueamislmess in its 

increase in the nower of tbe locS Simraun^^rfv' 11 *J wfi I cll,ll fr J" * 9 . explanation of the "slwp 
detaching the Castro "Ze fm X SmS i. d S ?i ClL . E,,lllb,hty j n itB recommendations for 

32 



only by disappearing. Some forms of "non-intervention" are nothing more 
than acquiescence in someone else's intervention; and some forms of "inter- 
vention" are so wrong and futile that they amount in their practical effect 
to non-intervention. 

In and through Cuba, I fear, we are reliving many of the problems that 
plagued us in the era of Hitler and Stalin. Hitler never permitted us to 
forget the crimes of the Versailles Treaty, the weaknesses of the Weimar 
Republic and the millions of unemployed. The Bolsheviks never permitted us 
to forget the dark Tsarist past. The Lider Maximo never permits us to forget 
the evils of imperialism, the misdeeds of previous democratic governments 
and the poverty of the Cuban peasants. But the avenger of Versailles, the 
grave digger of Weimar and the savior of the unemployed was also a demonic 
nihilist who inflicted such degradation on his own people and infamies on 
other peoples that they cannot even now be uttered without sickening us. 
The absolute power of one party degenerated into the absolute power of 
one man, and that man degenerated into a psychopathic executioner of 
millions, among them his own comrades. The totalitarian disease in Germany 
and Russia did not strike in all its virulence at once; it crept up on its 
victims in stages; it came sugar-coated as national liberation and economic 
development. In the end, however, one thing mattered more than all else — 
the capacity for evil of these all-embracing, insatiable, suffocating tyrannies 
grew with their accretion of power. Each generation, it seems, must learn 
the lesson in its own way. Unfortunately, this lesson is always an expensive 
one. 



▲ A 



33 



APPENDIX 



CONFIDENTIAL BASES OF UNITY BETWEEN THE 

'FHENTE REVOLUCIONARIO DEMOCRATIC©' AND THE 

'NIOVIMIENTO REVOLUCIONARIO DEL PUEBLO'* 

I, FUNDAMENTAL ORGANIZATION OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 

1. The person designated to preside over the Revolutionary Council will select 
freely the members of the Council indispensable for the tasks in exile; the others 
will be selected in Cuba, inasmuch as the Revolutionary Council should be formed 

■L p r?r ia , e u ut al r > ! a i ts majoritjr - hy pei,s ° na ***** *> ™* wh en the 

[present] regime Mb and who, for reasons of security, cannot be designated now. 

2. Once the Communist tyranny collapses, the Council of Ministers of the Pro- 
visional Government will be formed by members witfc portfolio to carry out the 
excliiave function of government and by six to ten members without portfolio who 
jointly with the members with portfolio, will exercise the legislative function 

3. These members without portfolio will be designated by the President of the 
Revolutionary Council who will select them from lists of three names submitted 
by each revolutionary group. 

4. This Revolutionary Council will assume the functions of the Provisional Govern- 
ment when it moves to Cuba. 

II. INSURRECTIONAL STRUGGLE 

1. The Council which is formed as a consequence of this agreement must give 
maximum priority to the aid of the combatants who are already inside Cuba Ugh tine 
against the Communist oppressor. 

2. No person who held an objectionably responsible position with the criminal 
dictatorship of Batata can be admitted into any armed force which may be or- 
ganized outside of Cuba. Because of the very harmful effect that any apparent 
utilization of these elements can have, both organizations agree that they must share 
office™ 5 S Prevenling even the use of *•» P^ns in the recruiting 

JlJ^ffT 7 COmn ! anc i s °[* l \ the , evolutionary forces which may be organized 

Prudent of * T* l ! * ^ ° f CubaM * h ° give Wl ^-anlee to the 
President of the Council and to both groups (which sign this document) with 

respect to their integrity and understanding, their responsibilities and functions in a 
democratic society, their full deference to the Authority of the Revolutionary Council 
during the insurrectional struggle and to the Civil Government of the Republic, 

4. The Revolutionary Council must immediately assume the responsibility that 
these criteria should fully prevail in the forces which are being orga^d 

HI. AGRARIAN REFORM 

Both groups declare that they will take steps to reach an agreement within tlie next 
two weeks on the effective form of prohibiting latlf^dia, „ a consequence I wS 

mi I'alTnM 7™" Tr *" estflbl ^ W * "Old harmful conflicts at the 
imitation of the Provisional Government. 

New York, March 22, 1961 



For the FRD 
A. de Varona 



For the MRP 
M. Ray 



' Unofficial translation. 



34 



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