Swan Island DX Association
More of the Swan Island Story
A collection of articles on the Internet that mention Radio Swan
|U.S. propaganda war preceded exile landing at Bay of Pigs|
By Don Bohning. [email protected] . Published Sunday, April 30, 2000, in
the Miami Herald
Newly declassified documents on the Bay of Pigs invasion reveal a monumental CIA propaganda operation that began almost a year before a CIA-trained force of exiles landed on Cuba's southern coast on April 17, 1961.
The documents speak of success in distributing propaganda inside Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America in the months leading up to the invasion. They outline plans for using seized newspapers and radio stations on the island if the invasion force was able to occupy Cuban territory. And they reveal that the CIA took direct control of radio broadcasts after becoming disillusioned with infighting among Miami exile groups that had been conducting them.
Directed by David Atlee Phillips, who also headed the CIA propaganda effort in the overthrow of Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz seven years earlier, the propaganda effort included leaflet drops, pre-recorded radio programs made by Cuban exiles and distributed to about 40 stations around the Caribbean, and recruitment, training and infiltration into Cuba of ``small provocateur teams.''
After all the preparations, the invasion ended in defeat in about three days of bloody fighting.
The centerpiece of the propaganda effort was Radio Swan, a medium-wave CIA station broadcasting from a tiny island in the western Caribbean that was later used as a transfer point for supplies sent to Honduran-based, U.S.-backed rebels fighting Nicaragua's Sandinista government in the 1980s. The island has since been turned over to Honduras, settling a longstanding ownership dispute.
Details of the CIA propaganda operation are contained in the Taylor Report, the work of a board of inquiry formed immediately after the Bay of Pigs by President John F. Kennedy and chaired by Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor.
Portions of the voluminous report were declassified in May 1977 and other segments in later years, but the entire document was not declassified until last week through the efforts of the National Security Archive, a Washington-based nonprofit foreign policy center.
``This is a key document to help understand an episode that continues to reverberate in U.S.-Cuba relations,'' said Peter Kornbluh, who directs the archive's Cuba project and obtained the document's release.
Included in the Taylor Report is a six-page summary of testimony by Phillips to the Taylor Commission along with a ``Propaganda Action Plan'' formulated in support of the invasion by the U.S.-funded Brigade 2506 and a brief history of Radio Swan.
The station became operational May 17, 1960, two months after President Eisenhower approved the effort to rid Cuba of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. It operated through a commercial front in Miami known as the Gibraltar Steamship Corp.
But Phillips, who died in 1988, said in his testimony to the Taylor Commission that the propaganda effort was much more far-reaching than Radio Swan.
Phillips said taped programs produced in Miami by Cuban exiles were air-expressed to ``about 40 stations in five countries around the Caribbean.''
``We [also] had WGBS in Miami, a very powerful medium wave station. We had a medium wave station in Key West, and we broadcast from a series of other stations from countries all around the Caribbean,'' Phillips said.
Small propaganda teams were also recruited, trained and infiltrated into Cuba, carrying printing presses, radios and other equipment.
``They successfully published a clandestine newspaper in Havana and a . . . [words deleted] carried out the only really successful political action that occurred in Havana before D-Day, which was a student strike.''
There was, as well, a leaflet campaign with ``16 straight propaganda drops and seven more . . . combined with supply drops.''
As the invasion drew closer, Phillips said, two teams were available that were ``capable of going into Cuba to take over captured radio stations or captured newspapers. We had a radio propaganda transmitter which went in with the Brigade and we had trained the men to operate it.''
The history of Radio Swan noted that Castro began jamming it almost immediately but ``was successful only in the city of Havana.''
``Scores of letters were received from all parts of Cuba to show that the station had listeners,'' the document said. ``As late as March 1961, a survey was made to determine the extent of the listening coverage. An inexpensive ballpoint pen was offered to those listeners who would write in to the station. The reply was immediate: almost 3,000 letters from 26 countries. This barrage of mail included significant amounts from all parts of Cuba.''
But the station had its problems as well, the document noted.
``Although great numbers of Cubans still listened to the station, its credibility and reputation began to suffer as the result of statements representing the selfish interests of the Cuban groups producing the various programs.
``In the first place, these groups talked overmuch about their activities in Miami and the hard fight they were conducting along Biscayne Boulevard. Naturally, the Cubans who were suffering under the Castro dictatorship within Cuba resented this.
``Secondly, the Cuban programs became a fulcrum where the individual political ambitions of Cuban exiles in Miami were presented to the other Cubans in Miami, forgetting the all-important target audience.
``Finally, each program fought with the other for `scoops.' As time passed and the Cubans found their sources of information were no better than the next fellow's, the program producers began to exaggerate in order to give their broadcasts a touch of sensationalism. They made statements which were obvious lies to the listeners.''
Efforts to achieve the proper control failed, the document said, so on March 27, 1961, Radio Swan management sent a letter to program producers terminating their programs.
They were replaced by a programming schedule ``implacably under CIA control.''
Anti-cuban radio propaganda used as an instrument of activities and operations by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States- 1960-1980.
By: Dr. Jacinto Valdes-Dapena
U.S. propaganda against the Cuban Revolution did not begin on January 1, 1959. Even while Cuban liberal sectors were sympathetic to the struggle of the revolutionary forces against the Batista tyranny, important news media such as Life and Time magazines took the opinion that the armed insurrection movement was inspired and managed by international communism, even before 1959. It was precisely this kind of U.S. media propaganda that placed the Cuban Revolution squarely within the scenario of the Cold War... even before the Rebel Forces, the July 26th Movement, The March 13 Revolutionary Directorate and the Popular Socialist Party had taken political power.
The Revolution, whose strategy was contained in the History Will Absolve Me speech, had not yet begun to institute its first acts when the U.S. launched a veritable flood of propaganda denouncing the trials of the war criminals, cases that were legally documented, proven and sentenced according to the laws dictated by the Revolution. This war, which is still going on in a systematic and uninterrupted fashion, makes use of all propaganda methods and techniques in order to destroy the political, economic, social, legal and ethical fundamentals of the Cuban nation. Tactics vary, depending on changes in scenario; the situation determines the tactics to be used but the strategy has remained the same since 1959.
All of 1959 was marked by an intense class struggle with political, economic and ideological overtones. U.S. diplomacy, which had attempted to abort the Revolution during the last months of 1958 with a solution recalling mediation, and which literally led to the collapse of the Revolution of 1930, proposed to neutralize the Cuban Revolutionary process by using political forces of a national capitalist nature that were organically linked to powerful U.S. capital; this had been put in place to oppose the dictatorship and establish a reform government that would favour U.S. economic interests, thereby guaranteeing stability and security for the development of U.S. plans for the investment and growth of capital.
The U.S. Embassy in Havana used all contacts and support within the country in order to promote a conspiracy that would overthrow the Revolution. Among its working objectives were political figures that had made up the first Council of Ministers of the Revolution, the bourgeoisie (landowners, sugar industry, import businesses, industrial bourgeoisie not involved in the sugar industry), traditional politicians who had not participated in the dictatorship and had revealed themselves to be well disposed to collaborate in the electoral dirty business and did not agree with the use of armed conflict as a solution to the crisis that Cuban society found itself in, bur rather espoused “civic dialogue”: this was a phenomenon known as “politicking.”
All the leaders of social, economic and cultural associations making up what Marx and Engels defined as “civil society” in The German Ideology, were targets for these activities.
Certain sectors of the middle class were subject and susceptible to this type of influence; others that had actively fought against the tyranny consolidated convictions and positions within the revolutionary volcano that was Cuba at that time.
What can we say about the media: the press, the radio and the television? They certainly played an extremely important role, both as support and as an undermining agent in the revolutionary tide which was impetuously and audaciously tearing down the foundations of a hundred years of imperialist domination on the island.
One by one the enemy’s plans were smashed; the Revolutionary Government cleaned out its ranks when Fidel Castro was appointed Prime Minister in February 1959.
The revolutionary organizations July 26th Movement, March 13th Revolutionary Directorate and the Popular Socialist Party began to coordinate their activities in defence of the Revolution. The Rebel Forces began to forge new organizational structures that would permit them to be battle-ready in those new and complicated days to come.
The CIA was not able to organize any effective counter-revolutionary organization from within Cuban society; the national bourgeoisie and their allies were unable to construct an organized counter-revolutionary opposition.
The Agrarian Reform of 1959 defined territory and positions: one was either with the Revolution or against the Revolution. The disaster of the Trujillo Conspiracy in August 1959 and the traitorous movement headed by Hubert Matos in October of that same year were excellent proof of how strong the Revolution was and how weak the enemy’s manoeuvres were.
Faced with all this evidence, the EisenhowerAdministration decided to commit all its strength into the operations that had been in the works since before 1959: annihilate the Cuban Revolution which, from its birth, was the finest example of the historical confrontation between Cuba and the United States.
When declassified documents were published in the U.S. and interesting documents on the subject of Cuba-U.S. relations during 1959 were pulled together by Cuban historians, it became obvious that the Eisenhower Administration was convinced by this date that the only way to orchestrate a Cuban political and military collapse would be by an armed attack from outside. Because of these documents declassified in recent years by the U.S. government, the Revolution’s theory during the last forty years of confrontation has been clearly substantiated: complex under-cover operations to overthrow the Cuban Revolution have been a reality.
On March 17, 1960, President Eisenhower approved a programme of covert operations against Cuba. Propaganda, especially radio propaganda, was fundamental for the development of these activities.
We must ask the following question: why does radio propaganda acquire such a high priority ranking?
We must agree with the criteria of David Wise and Thomas B. Ross who state: “The appearance of transistor radios in the 50’s intensified one of the most sinister, hidden and less known aspects of the use of electronics in the Cold War. This is the war of the spoken word, taking place in the air waves and used by combatants who are thousands of miles apart and who will never meet each other.”
They continue: “The low cost transistor has given this hidden war a whole new importance. Thousands of people in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia who cannot read, can still be reached with this propaganda method, used by both sides.”
In appreciation of the modus operandi of radio propaganda, the authors conclude: “U.S. radio activities include the full range of public programming, open, well-known and announced by the Voice of America, including CIA top secret transmissions in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. Between them there is a series of radio operations; black, grey, secret and semi-secret. Radio Swan of the CIA never tried to cover up much, due to the fact that it was involved in Bay of Pigs operations...”
It is not foolish to consider, moreover, that the use of radio propaganda for subversive activities was already being intensely and professionally developed against the socialist nations and that USIA had the experience and feasibility studies backing up this decision to use radio propaganda. Operation PB Success against Guatemala in 1954 was an irrefutable demonstration of this operational idea.
In the ideological war of the 50’s and 60’s, where radio propaganda played a central part, U.S. government perception was that this was as important a strategy as the arms race. In President Kennedy’s words on July 7, 1962, speaking to a group of CIA specialists: “As military measures are turning more deadly, and a growing number of nations have access to these, subversive war, the war of guerrillas and other confrontational forms will acquire greater importance. As thermonuclear weapons become more powerful and the opportunities to use them become further reduced, subversive war takes on an increasingly important role.”(1)
In a conference given in the Central Political Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior in 1999: “Of course, it was particularly the use of radio –rather, the use of radio transmitters– that has been most effective, because of its ability to reach the listener directly, and it is precisely this means by which most of the propaganda enters, and it is for this reason that the system has been designed, if we can call it that, made up of a number of radio stations, both legal and illegal, all pointing at our country.”(2)
The programme of undercover operations approved by President Eisenhower on March 17, 1960 defined in detail how to use radio propaganda against Cuba from that moment on. The most important aspects were:
According to declassified CIA documents, Radio Swan became the voice of Cuban counter-revolution both inside and outside of Cuba. These sources also claim that by the end of 1960 the station began to lose credibility as a result of declarations and viewpoints stated by the various groups having programmes. It appears that the squabbles between the various organizations, the absence of a proper message and the use of flimsy and nonsensical information, easily discernible by the audiences, contributed towards the weakening of the station’s public image. Audiences quickly discovered that false information was being transmitted. On one occasion, it was said that there were 3,000 Soviets in a park in Santiago de Cuba, and to show up the lack of coordination among the various transmitting groups, there were programmes that said that militia members who became counter-revolutionaries would be considered to be heroes, while in other programmes they said that they would be hanged...
As the time for the landing of Assault Brigade 2506 drew near, according to the plan set up by Operation Pluto, the CIA took complete control of all the station’s transmissions in order to offer tactical support to the invaders.
From March 27, 1961, Radio Swan only broadcasted information about psychological warfare as it related to Operation Pluto and the counter-revolutionary organizations in Cuba. During the landing of the mercenaries at the Bay of Pigs, information was broadcast as tactical support for the mercenaries: monitoring by stations in Latin America and the Caribbean and by international news agencies revealed that a completely erroneous vision of the facts was being presented.
Once the U.S. special services realized that Operation Pluto was about to fail on the Cuban coastline, the station immediately changed its message in order to give information about the defeat of Assault Brigade 2506, indicating that Soviet armament had deterred the advance of the mercenaries and that these were now on their way to the Escambray Mountains to begin a guerrilla war, joining rebels already operating in the region.
Days later, the station returned to its normal programming, after it had transmitted on a 24 hour schedule during the Operation. It offered news about counter-revolutionary activities but avoided making any comments that would be interpreted as inciting rebellion. In October 1961, it transmitted in short- and medium-wave, from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 12:15. Programming consisted of news and commercials. In this research, there was access to important OSE considerations regarding anti-Cuban radio broadcasts coming from the U.S. directed against Cuba in the 1960-1961 period.
In a report dated April 7, 1961, an expert states: “Last year the Spanish Voice of America radio station returned to the air. From March of that year, as we have already informed, our Navy Intelligence Bureau (G-2 Naval) had information about U.S. Naval vessel and plane operations on Swan Island, territory belonging to Honduras. Unemployed persons from the Cayman Islands have been contracted and taken to that island to work on the CIA project called “Independent Radio Cuba”.
“At the beginning of May, 1960, the programme “For Cuba and By Cuba” went on the air, transmitted from U.S. territory, and recorded in Miami, transmitted by phone to WRUL studios in New York and from there re-transmitted towards Cuba five times a week at 9 p.m. Andres Vargas Gomez, a traitor and a thief, is the man behind this project; once the editorial material was written, he supervised the transmissions, insulting and lying to our nation and its Revolution which is as Cuban as the palm trees. This programme is the soap-box for loud mouthed individuals like the Leyva brothers, Humberto Medrano, Sergio Carbo, Jose Ignacio Rasco, Nino Diaz, Pepito Rivero, Ricardo Lorie and others.”
“Since August 1960, the so-called Swan Radio is on the air appearing to be operated by a supposed commercial company, the Gibraltar Steamship Company, based in New York; this is nothing more than a cover for the CIA. They set it up in Swan Island in a short period of time, bringing in equipment and the logistics to ensure the broadcasts against Cuba. It seems that the CIA needs more than their clandestine transmissions and their programmes from Radio Santo Domingo, WRUL and VOA.(...) Every evening Swan Radio broadcasts four (4) hours in Spanish and the recordings are made in the U.S., flown in twice a week to Swan Island. (...) Swan Radio spreads lies and rumours about our people and our revolutionary leaders.” (...) Swan Radio is also a CIA communications medium to keep in touch with the terrorist groups that lurk in the Escambray while they flee from our militia members and revolutionary forces that are personally lead by our Prime Minister Fidel Castro Ruz.”
To underline the connection of the station with intelligence activities, the report goes on: “Swan Radio encourages people to turn into traitors, and at the same time coded transmissions send orders to the secret agents of Yankee intelligence who are living in Cuba.”
The expert goes on to note that radio programmes are prepared in Florida to be broadcast to Cuba from the Old Channel of the Bahamas, using the so-called Independent Radio Cuba programme to deliver instructions on how to sabotage the island. Independent Radio Cuba is a private enterprise with six transmitting stations in Florida and Louisiana.
Coincidentally, it is noted that in the port of Matias de Galvez in Guatemala, a ten-kilowatt radio station was set up and its broadcasts are directed towards Belize on announced frequencies. It is possible that the station also transmits to Cuba since “it could also help out if an invasion on Cuban territory were to be announced, given the fact that because of its strength and geographical position, broadcast signals can readily enter Cuban territory. It also adds the following information: “the chauffeur of the Guatemalan puppet Miguel Ydigoras drives to the port of Matias de Galvez twice a week to take tapes recorded by a Cuban in Guatemala City.”(3)
Messages broadcast by Swan Radio are part of the general picture of Psychological Warfare. The following examples are interesting.
On October 26, 1960, in the programme, National Liberation Hour, broadcast by Swan Radio at 8:30 p.m., directed by Enrique Huerta, with the collaboration of Angel del Cerro, Pepita Riera and Luis Conte Aguero, information was revealed about the actions of Operation Peter Pan, organized by the U.S. government as one of its elements of Psychological Warfare against the Cuban nation. The text was:
ATTENTION CUBANS! REMEMBER HOW A FEW DAYS AGO DURING THIS SAME PROGRAMME, LIBERATION HOUR, WE TOLD YOU ABOUT MANY OF THE LAWS THAT WERE TO BE INSTITUTED LATER BY THE GOVERNMENT, LIKE FOR EXAMPLE THE URBAN REFORM, WE TOLD YOU THAT THEY WERE GOING TO DO IT AND THEY DID, SO NOW WE ARE TELLING YOU THIS: THE NEXT LAW WILL BE THAT THEY WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR CHILDREN AGED 5 TO 18 YEARS OLD, THEY WILL TAKE THEM AWAY TO INDOCTRINATE THEM AND WHEN YOU GET THEM BACK THEY WILL HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO A MATERIALISTIC BEAST AND SO FIDEL WILL BECOME THE SUPREME MOTHER OF CUBA.
The same programme also broadcast this, in an effort to sow the seeds of panic in the people:
FIDEL IS PLANNING TO GATHER TOGETHER 10,000 MOTHERS AND CHILDREN TO PEACEFULLY INVADE CAIMANERA AND AMONG THIS GROUP THERE WILL BE PRENSA LATINA JOURNALISTS SO THAT WHEN SOLDIERS DO ANYTHING, WHETHER IT WILL BE TO THROW BOMBS OR WATER, PICTURES WILL BE TAKEN AND THE ENTIRE WORLD WILL KNOW WHAT THE PICTURES ARE SHOWING”... ”THAT IS WHY WE ARE TELLING YOU THE MILITIA MEMBERS THAT YOU MUST LEAVE THE RED TYRANNY, YOU MUST RISE UP, BECAUSE IF YOU DO NOT, WHEN THE TYRANNY FALLS, ALL THE DEAD WILL BE AVENGED”
Supposed broadcasts and agents in Cuban territory are included in the programme Freedom Lightening from the Navy Diary, on October 27, 1960, directed by Jose Antonio Rivero, announcers Arturo Artalejos and Alberto Gandero. The following message reads: BOAC IN EXILE TO BOAC IN THE ESCAMBRAY. I WROTE THE NIECE’S MESSAGE, TO PANCHO VILLA IN THE ESCAMBRAY THEY ARE PREPARING ANOTHER MESSENGER PIGEON THAT WILL BE WELL-LOADED.”
When the Mercenary Brigade invasion began, Swan Radio sent a message that was meant to be an announcement for the entire fifth column, that Operation Pluto had broken out. The message read: “ALERT! ALERT! LOOK CAREFULLY AT THE RAINBOW. THE FISH WILL SOON BE COMING OUT. THE BOY IS AT HOME. VISIT HIM. THE SKY IS BLUE. PUT THE INFORMATION IN THE TREE. THE TREE IS GREEN AND BROWN. THE LETTERS ARRIVED WELL. THE LETTERS ARE WHITE. THE FISH WILL SOON BE OUT. THE FISH IS RED”
What follows are war bulletins prepared by the Psychological Warfare group, directed by David Phillips.
Bulletin No. 1 April 17.
Before dawn, Cuban patriots from the cities and from the mountains began a battle to liberate our country from the despotic government of Fidel Castro and to liberate Cubans from the cruel repression of international Communism.
This struggle continues in the glorious tradition of Jose Marti. The uprising of the Cuban people against the tyrannical oppressors has only one aim: the final recovery of Cuba’s freedom.
Today’s historical act is the result of many months’ planning and the efforts of Cubans who at one time had risked their lives in the struggle against tyranny. These patriots today shoulder the ongoing task of saving the revolution which is being cynically betrayed. They represent all walks of life and social groups.
In the course of many months, contacts have been made with the Cuban military community by means of several revolutionary organizations, and today these silent combatants are carrying out missions assigned by the revolutionary commandos.
In their undying desire to ensure freedom, the Cuban people are arming themselves in order to wipe out the despicable foreign oppressor; they are inspired by the dream of an inevitable victory and are convinced that other nations who aspire to the freedom of this hemisphere will join and support the struggle, both morally and materially, in this critical time. There has never been such a just cause.
Bulletin No. 2 April 17.
The Cuban Revolutionary Council issues a communiqué about the successful landing of military equipment and personnel in the area of the Bay of Pigs in Matanzas Province.
Overcoming any armed resistance offered by Castro followers, large amounts of food and weapons reached internal resistance forces that are now engaged in active combat.
For several months different revolutionary groups that are now associated with the Cuban Revolutionary Council have been distributing revolutionary material and equipment at selected sites in Cuba.
The remote and sparsely populated area of the Zapata Swamp has been used as an area for the hiding of weapons and equipment that will later be used by resistance fighters in the Escambray and other similar regions.
Wherever the members of the CRC are found actively engaged in these dramatic events taking place in Cuba, their statements shall be communicated to the press solely by the CRC spokesman, Dr. Antonio Silio.
Bulletin No. 3 April 17.
The Cuban Revolutionary Council announces that the principal battle against Castro will take place in the next few hours. Today’s action consisted mainly of efforts to supply and support the forces that have been mobilized and trained on Cuban territory in the past few months. The powerful army of invisible patriot-soldiers has received their instructions to deliver the final blow that will liberate their beloved homeland.
Our combatants in every city and town will receive, in a manner known only to them, the message that will unleash the tremendous wave of internal fighting against the tyrant. The spokesman of the CRC stated: “I predict that before tomorrow morning, the island of Cuba will rise up en masse in a coordinated wave of sabotage and rebellion that will sweep away all traces of Communism from our country.”
Evidently, details of the event to come cannot be made public at this time. However, we can reveal that the patriots have been instructed to cut lines of communications, destroy transportation systems and mobilize against Castro.
In addition, we expect that before dawn, the Cuban patriots will be attacking the dwindling numbers of militia who have not yet come over to our side. Our information from Cuba indicates that the majority of militia in the countryside has deserted the Castro cause.
According to the press release of April 16, our clandestine radio station has been delivering instructions to the insurrectional movement throughout the island. In a coded message, yesterday’s broadcast said that “the fish will soon rise up.” It is common knowledge that the fish is a Christian symbol of resistance. When the fish appears in a vertical position it symbolizes that internal rebellion is in full swing. The fish will arise tonight!
Bulletin No. 4 April 18.
Peasants, workers and militia are joining the freedom fighters and assisting in the expanded area liberated by the revolutionary commandos.
The Cuban Revolutionary Council announces that the Cuban freedom fighters in the area of Matanzas are being attacked by Soviet armoured tanks and Mig planes which have destroyed a large amount of medical supplies and equipment.
This humanitarian materiel was intended to break the chains of Communism. The Cuban Revolutionary Council is deeply grateful for the countless messages of support and encouragement that are arriving from all over the world. This international solidarity is convincing proof that nations who espouse freedom are rejecting the Communist regime of slavery that Castro has forced on the Cuban nation.
Bulletin No. 5 April 19.
Despite the continuous Soviet Mig, armoured tank and artillery attacks, the Cuban Revolutionary Council has concluded the first planned phase of its military operation in the south of Cuba.
This phase included the successful establishing of guerrilla troops in the Escambray Mountains.
Many of our forces from the area of the Bay of Pigs have moved north of Cienfuegos; this has allowed them to reinforce the patriots who are engaged in combat in the mountains.
We can also reveal that additional guerrilla units have infiltrated Matanzas Province. The heroic actions of a small force resisting the Soviet tanks, artillery and aerial attacks during the past 24 hours has made this possible.
Bulletin No. 6 April 19.
The Cuban Revolutionary Council would like to make an emphatic and immediate statement in response to surprising uninformed public announcements.
The statement indicates that “several thousand” Cuban patriots fell in combat in southern Cuba. This is a statement that will no doubt please Castro but it will discourage the Cuban people who are anxiously awaiting the moment when the chains that tie them to Communism will be smashed.
The recent landings in Cuba have been constantly, but incorrectly, described as an invasion. In reality, it was a landing of supplies and support for our patriots who have been fighting in Cuba for months now and whose numbers are in the hundreds, not in the thousands.
Unfortunately, we admit to tragic losses in action today in a small force that courageously resisted the Soviet tanks and artillery fire while being attacked by Migs in a heroic action that allowed as many as possible from the landing force to reach the Escambray Mountains.
We did not expect to defeat Castro immediately or without setbacks. It is also true that we cannot expect to confront Soviet weapons sent by the Soviet advisors with no losses whatsoever. We will do it and we will survive!
The struggle for the freedom of six million Cubans continues! In this context it is important to point out some characteristics of these activities, by Swan Radio, on the occasion of the landing of the Mercenary Brigade at the Bay of Pigs. David Phillips had chosen “the fish” as a symbol to represent the counter-revolution because it had been the resistance symbol for Christians in Roman times. In a cable sent to the CIA station in Miami on March 27, 1961, Phillips stated that it was time to inform Jose Miro Cardona, president of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, that the fish would become the CRC symbol.
The religious theme had been used earlier by the CIA in its Psychological War. The first publication by the Revolutionary Democratic Front “Rescue, depicted Fidel as the Anti-Christ; also, Phillips’ delegate at the CIA station in Miami “Douglas Gupton” was connected to Catholic leaders in Florida and Central America in order to coordinate a unified Church response to the Revolution.
In August 1960, David Phillips had contracted a public relations agency in New York, Lem Jones Associates, to take charge of publicity for the activities of the counter revolutionary organizations directed and controlled by the CIA in its Operation Pluto.
The bulletins published herein to demonstrate the events of the invasion, were put together by the Psychological Warfare Group, under Phillips. The CRC really had no hand in this: the leaders were ensconced at a site near Miami, incommunicado with the outside, awaiting the creation of a beach head in Cuba so that they might organize a Cuban provisional government. Then they would have a pretext to ask for U.S. military intervention and thus legitimize direct military aggression against Cuba under the cloak of the OAS.
David Atlee Phillips was the kingpin in the Psychological War against Cuba, both in this phase and later on. Just who was this CIA employee?
In the book The CIA and the Media. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. House of Representatives. Ninety-fifth Congress. First and Second Sessions. December 27, 28, 28, January 4, 5 and April 20, 1979, published by the U.S. Government Press in Washington, 1978, a speech by Phillips as representative of the Retired Intelligence Officers Association is published. It spoke of CIA activity in social communications media. It states:
“From 1954 to 1975 I was a professional intelligence officer. Before that I was a free-lance journalist abroad for several years, editor and owner of an English language newspaper and at the same time an intelligence operative.”
He never speaks of his participation in the Psychological War against Cuba and his presence in intelligence before the year 1959.
According to information sources, Phillips was recruited as an under cover agent of the CIA in 1950 in Chile; in 1954 he took part in the CIA group that promoted the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 (Operation PB Success). Between 1958-1960 he was the illegal CIA officer in Havana, using a job in a public relations agency as his cover, obviously monitoring the revolutionary struggle against the tyranny and working on several tasks related to intelligence and political-ideological subversion. He participated in the preparations for an assassination attempt on the Commander in Chief in the second semester of 1961, an attempt frustrated by Cuban State Security. He was the director of plans for Psychological Warfare against Cuba in Operation Pluto of 1961 and Operation Mongoose in 1962. He was active in paramilitary operations launched on the Cuban coast from station JM Wave and he is considered to be the founder of the counter revolutionary and terrorist organization Alpha 66. In 1963, he was involved in anti-Cuban activity from the CIA station in Mexico City. In 1965 he was chief of the CIA station in Santo Domingo, participating in activities against the revolutionary movement headed by Francisco Caamano Deno; later he was chief of the CIA Taskforce for Chile, organized the assassination attempt plan against the Commander in Chief in Chile in 1971, directing CIA undercover activities against the Allende government. He was appointed chief of the CIA Western Hemisphere Division in 1975. He was retired after the Watergate scandal.
Swan Radio was a part of the system of anti-Cuban radio broadcasts designed by the U.S. government to wage the Psychological War, part of the group known as Radio Cuba Libre (Radio Free Cuba) under the direction of Roman Pucinski, expert in Psychological Warfare in the U.S. Strategic Services Office during World War II and having a distinguished service record in the Cold War developing political-ideological diversion activities against the USSR and Poland, promoting dissident groups in those countries.
According to researcher Luis Andres Betancourt in his book Swan Radio: The Voice of the Pigs: “The network designed by Pucinski covered Swan, WROL, WGBS in Miami, WKWF in Key West, WWL in New Orleans, WMIE which survives today as the counter revolutionary WQBA “la cubanisima,” Radio Santo Domingo and Radio Americas. It was also used by naval and air units and specialized personnel acting under cover of the Coast Guard, the Geodetic Survey and other U.S. agencies.”
Something to remember in the radio activities developed by Swan Radio was the connection with the radio station of the CMQ Company, owned by the brothers Goar and Abel Mestre. The Revolutionary Government of Cuba decided to shut down the station on September 13, 1960 due to the positions taken by its owners to boycott the Revolution.
CMQ was one of the main sources of manpower for Swan Radio: Enrique Huertas, Luis Conte Aguero, Angel del Cerro, Carlos Castaneda, Pepita Riera, Luis Aguiar Leon, just to name a few. It is not surprising that David A. Phillips, journalist and public relations expert, was present during selection processes: this man’s presence in Havana was not always confined to the noble profession of journalism.
The planning of radio broadcasts against Cuba in the period before the Bay of Pigs invasion required the cooperation of the National Security Council, the Intelligence Community and the President John F. Kennedy in the Cuban work carried out by the USIA.
In this respect, the outgoing USIA director Henry Loomis wrote a report for Edward Murrow, the next appointed USIA director. On 10 February 1961, Loomis delivers the balance sheet on Cuban activities developed by the USIA. With respect to resources utilized: USIA
The CIA has also used portable transmitters.
PRIVATE RADIO STATIONS
Last year a monitoring expert from the VOA visited Cuba and obtained complete exact information about the reception of medium and short-wave transmissions, city by city. It was determined that besides WGBS, stations in Atlanta, Nashville and New Orleans have sufficient reception in certain areas, especially late at night.
Due to the above-mentioned, the CIA and the USIA share work against Cuba in the following fashion:
This has been, briefly, the report of the out-going USIA director. After the Bay of Pigs defeat the Kennedy administration, in 1962, designed a coherent system of subversive activity to destroy Cuba’s socialist revolution using violence, having demonstrated the vulnerability of the fundaments of U.S. national security doctrine, the invalidity of its geopolitical thesis of geographic fatalism, and having smashed the Monroe myth around which U.S. policies of domination in the Americas revolved.
After the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy strategy includes two points: developing Operation Mongoose from the end of 1961 until October 1962, and the Multiple Track Programme of 1963 that is cut short by Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas on 22 November 1963.
Operation Mongoose was a programme made up of measures that Cuban counter revolutionary organizations proposed to carry out, subordinated to counter revolutionary structures abroad that were directed by the CIA, the unfolding of political activities, military plans, acts of sabotage and the intensification of intelligence. An outstanding feature has been Psychological Warfare; radio propaganda was its most important arm. General Edward Lansdale was appointed head of Operation Mongoose. At CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia, William Harvey assumed the headship of Force W, responsible for the direction of the anti-Cuban operation. A special unit was established in Florida to carry out the covert CIA operations against Cuba: JM/Wave, which would become in practice, responsible for Operation Mongoose, as a special CIA directive. Theodore Shackley was the head and Gordon Campbell, his lieutenant.
In January 1962, the Operation Mongoose working group put together what can be called the central doctrine of its project, pointing out that the “aim of the U.S. is to help the Cubans overthrow the communist regime within the island and to install a new government with which the U.S. could peacefully coexist.”
“Project Cuba,” as it later came to be known, assembled the following:
The original Mongoose project included thirty-three tasks expressed in seven plans that followed subversive lines (organizational, political, economic warfare, Psychological Warfare, espionage and activities for eventual military aggression against the island). Mongoose’s plans and tasks were to be accomplished in structured phases as follows:
It should be noted that the confrontation of the State Security agencies whose essential strategy was outlined in strategic and political terms by the Commander in Chief and the revolutionary direction, backed up by the people-revolution-defence triad, as well as the outcome of the October Crisis in 1962, put an end to Operation Mongoose.
After this event, the United States had to re-think its programme of anti-Cuban subversive activities without giving up on their determination to militarily invade the island, as Fidel Castro stated in the Central Report to the First Congress of the Cuban Communist Party.
With its Multiple Track Programme of 1963, the administration of John F. Kennedy proposed the annihilation of the revolution by means of a military invasion of Cuba, making use of a brigade of Cuban counter revolutionaries trained by the U.S. Army and the subversive structures created for that purpose, in order to destabilize Cuban Socialism by re-establishing diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S..
What were the goals, aims and directions delineated by Mongoose to carry out the operations of a psychological war and which would have to be supported by USIA and CIA propaganda, an important element of which was the radio propaganda to which we have been referring above in this report?
The partially declassified Mongoose document contains 10 acts of Psychological Warfare, 5 of which still remaining in CIA secret files.
Activities to be developed should mainly be:
personalities from the U.S. and Latin America
The aims of Psychological Warfare by means of propaganda in general would be:
The methods to be used along with these propagandistic activities are:
In all these activities, U.S. federal agencies will play an important part, and the CIA and USIA particularly will be key in the promotion of Psychological Warfare. On July 20, 1962, the USIA draws up a balance sheet of its anti-Cuban activities, underlining that its goals consist in utilizing all social communication measures to mobilize Latin American public opinion against the Cuban government while highlighting Cuba’s economic disaster that resulted from its totalitarian characteristics and its total dependence on the dictates of the USSR and China.
Short-wave radio broadcasts are incredibly important to these plans so that communications will remain open with the people of the island and will undermine their support of and confidence in the Revolution.
The fundamental themes underlying the USIA actions are clearly to be appreciated when reading this report.
On an economic level, we can see emphasis on:
Referring to the refugee situation:
In regards to the subject of the worker in the revolution:
Referring to students and intellectuals, the USIA recognizes that this constitutes the most difficult area to target. The report states that, paradoxically, this is the group which is least susceptible to the call of logic and reason. It points out that here there is such a strong element of emotion that the USIA has not been able to find any way to penetrate it. Some of the subjects which have been used on these groups are: a rejection of supposed mass executions, immediate and chronic economic problems, attacks on the Church and social structures, militarizing tendencies on the work force and other limitations on individual liberties. These have not had a noticeable impact. It states: “the Messianic attraction of Castro on the intellectuals and students unleashes a gut response that cannot be subdued.”
Three of the nine hours broadcast daily in Spanish on VOA deal directly with Cuba. There are 14 programmes, including newscasts, commentaries, drama, sports and news about Cuba, matters relating to agriculture and history, all following the goals set by Psychological Warfare.
When this document is analysed and criticized, one cannot leave out an aspect that reveals the inability of the USIA to present a coherent and logical message to its Cuban audience. This is the opinion of the USIA expert when referring to the intended psychological operations:
“in all psychological planning special attention must be paid to the avoiding of any information, as much as possible, that would point towards a return to the state of affairs existing in Cuba prior to the Revolution. All information used must be directed to remind the common people that the anti-Castro movement is designed to develop programmes that will encourage the social and economic hopes of the Cuban people” (4) (8)
It is recommended to use all kinds of diplomatic, economic and psychological pressure in order to topple the government of Fidel Castro without the obvious participation of the United States. At the time of the October Crisis, the U.S. government drafted a special plan to use radio broadcasts on October 20, 1962. Kennedy himself instructed the USIA to significantly increase its capacity for transmissions to Cuba, their frequency, broadcast times and the number of stations broadcasting directly to Cuba. In this plan, the USIA director outlined the strategy to be followed during the crisis about these criteria and measures:
WGBS, Miami. Transmitting 2 hours a day in Spanish WMIE, Miami. One special programme late at night and early in the morning. WSB, Atlanta. WWL, New Orleans. WKWF, Key West. Transmitting in Spanish late at night. WRUL, New York. Transmitting to Cuba; after VOA, this is the station with the largest audience in Cuba. In a crisis it is recommended that programmes should run 24 hours a day. Armed Forces Radio in Guantanamo. Radio Americas - Known earlier as Swan Radio.
During the October Crisis, the USIA developed its goals in three directions: to gain support for the blockade measures, to create conditions that would ensure the populace’s acceptance of any measures adopted by the U.S. government, to stimulate the people’s social apathy towards and non-collaboration with the Revolution.
These were totally unattainable goals. There had never been such a brilliant statesman as Fidel Castro during those shining days in October, backed by the unconditional total support of a nation that was ready to die in a nuclear holocaust rather than lose their independence, sovereignty and dignity.
According to the propaganda lines drawn up by the USIA on October 22, the subjects to be developed by the media were:
aggression and subversion on the Latin American continent and to subjugate the Cuban people;
The document pointed out that no message can be issued without following these lines approved by President Kennedy.
Even when a detailed description of these subjects appears lengthy, all of them are included to demonstrate, yet again, that in U.S. propaganda is a state policy associated with its national security interests.
On December 10, 1962, the USIA presented a work memo to the CIA referring to the using of émigrés in their broadcasts. The agency suggests the CIA follow these contents in their radio broadcasts to Cuba:
The USIA recommends that groups and individuals participating in radio broadcasts be selected according to their prestige and credibility on the island, their occupational profile as spokespeople and the audience to whom the messages are being directed.
A call for open rebellion must be avoided; messages should provoke work stoppages, promote economic inefficiency, the squandering of resources and other sure forms of sabotage. For example: throw glass shards and nails on the highways, waste water in public buildings, throw sand on industrial equipment, waste electrical energy, damage sugar cane crops, request medical certificates to avoid working, etc...
The émigrés programmes would be presented as an autonomous emigrant activity without the participation of the USIA or any other government agency. Depending on concrete results, the USIA would use this information to publicize the existence of opposition in Cuba.
On March 19, 1963 the Vice-Director of Planning (Covert Operations) of the CIA sent the CIA Director the design for a programme to harass the Revolutionary Armed Forces and increase their unrest. The design is based on the following premises:
1. There is no possibility of internal army revolt in Cuba;
2. Actual policy excludes the public use of U.S. Armed Forces for intervention in Cuba;
3. Cuba is in no position to break relations with the USSR in order to establish relations with the U.S.;
Faced with this dilemma, the head of covert CIA operations proposed the so-called “tactical pincer strategy” consisting of an economic strangulation of the country in order to weaken and undermine the government at the same time as efforts are made to identify and establish communications channels with elements of unrest, non-communists and potential dissidents within the government power centres. In the latter case, it is proposed to prioritize key officers in the armed forces and the militia. It is not accidental that these plans coincide with the time of Operation Am-Lash, whose main agent was the traitor Rolando Cubela Secades.
To carry out this task, the CIA proposes to intensify the radio broadcasts together with other propaganda activities in order to try to establish access routes to officers and heads of the militia.
On December 29, 1962, in a speech delivered at the Orange Bowl in Florida, President Kennedy made statements that foreshadowed CIA policy of searching out support points within policy making centres in Cuba. Kennedy stated:
"... I believe that these are the principles of the great majority of Cuban people today, and I am confident that throughout the length and breadth of the island of Cuba, in the government itself, in the army and the militia, there are those who support faith in freedom, who have seen with disappointment the destruction of freedom on their island and are determined to restore freedom so that the Cuban people can have self-government. "
In 1963, in the U.S. Congress session on the “U.S. ideological offensive on international communism”, the existence of the Cuban Freedom Committee was revealed; according to declarations by witnesses “it was organized at the end of 1960 by U.S. citizens alarmed by the influence and direction of communism, as evidenced by the communists in the government of Cuba”. The CFC was operating Radio Cuba Libre, a non-profit private organization, according to its founders.
Experts in radio propaganda affirmed that Radio Cuba Libre was a cover organization created by the CIA just before The Bay of Pigs invasion. Mariada Arensberg, a militant in the CFC, testified before Congress: “The CFC is convinced that radio is the strongest propaganda weapon available in these Cold War times.” (5)(9)
This committee broadcast 15 hours daily to Cuba through WGBS, WKWF in Florida, WWL in New Orleans, Radio Santo Domingo and Radio Americas (a name used after the Bay of Pigs by the subversive station Swan Radio). These revelations coincide with the evaluation of Luis Adrian Betancourt in his book on Swan Radio. It is revealing to see the list of the advisory council of the CFC with all its connections to the U.S. government.
Information about the members of the Advisory Council to the CFC:
(The CTC headquarters are on 1737 H Street, N.W. Washington D.C., USA.)
Years later, revelations by the U.S. government pointed out that some of the CTC members were working for the CIA in the political-ideological diversion operations. One of the branches of anti-Cuban radio broadcasts dealt with counter revolutionary fake or pirate stations.
The first stations pretending to transmit from the Escambray Mountains and Oriente Province appeared in 1961. Between 1960 and 1970, 8 pirate stations were registered transmitting from Florida on ham radio bands during different times. According to experts, the broadcasts were of doubtful technical quality and very unprofessionally done.
In the seventies, the pirate stations dwindled to 4 but by the eighties, 14 of them were detected in operation. Since 1985, the fake stations pumped up their activities, coinciding with the creation of the subversive Radio Marti in 1985. In the eighties, the following were identifies: Voice of CID, Alpha 66, Radio Cuba Libre, Radio Antorcha Marti, Abdala, Radio Revolucion and the Voice of Progressive Youth, Cuba, transmitting from the U.S.. In 1985, the pirate Radio Caiman was registered transmitting from Guatemalan territory.
To avoid being controlled by the FCC, some of the fake stations have used legal station outlets in the Dominican Republic (Radio Clarin) and Venezuela (Ecos del Orbe), as well as El Salvador.
Among the goals of these fake stations, we find:
In the case of Radio Caiman, the fake station tried to capture a young listener audience by playing the music of songwriters living on the island. Experts agree that there is a connection between information broadcast by the fake stations and the interests of the U.S. special services.
Beginning with the Johnson administration, the activities of radio propaganda against Cuba began to recede until new aggressive tendencies sprang up in the eighties conforming to the changes in strategy of U.S. foreign policy, under the Presidency of Reagan.
Various factors played a part in Johnson policy:
1. The repeated disasters of CIA schemes against Cuba
2. The consolidation of the Cuban Revolution in political terms and in matters of national security
3. The military presence in Indochina, acquiring a strategic dimension for the U.S.. Vietnam becomes the scenario in the next few years of the greatest military disasters experienced by the U.S. Armed Forces in its entire history
In a report presented by the Ministry of the Interior in a Seminar on Ideological Diversionism, 1974 (pp.29), it is stated: “As part of this process, a reorganisation of stations takes place: Swan Radio is closed down; two official programmes remain, “Date with Cuba” on the Voice of the United States and “Sunday News Radio” on Radio New York, these being basically ideological programmes, taking the position of “objective information,” abandoning the aggressive and flimsy arguments of previous years. “The clandestine radio stations appear occasionally and generally coincide with some subversive activity being carried out.” (...) ”One example of this new trend is seen in the “New Wave Show” on Radio America, created in 1967, which encouraged the Cuban youth to organize clubs, suggesting extravagant names to them."
Coinciding with this type of programming, a surge in youth groups and areas of concentrations of young people with anti-social tendencies was seen, under the influence of enemy activities.”
At the close of the Carter administration, substantial changes are being made in U.S. policy towards Cuba: one of its main trends is promoting subversive propaganda in order to destroy the Revolution from within and without
Bay of Pigs Report
by Jared Wiener
Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar became the dictator of Cuba in 1952. The United States had been kind to Batista. Shortly after, Fidel Castro, became the leader of an underground antigovernment group. After leading several failed uprisings, and being arrested for leading those revolts, Castro finally lead a successful rebellion against Batista. In 1959, Castro became the Premier.
At first, Castro was very conservative, but after he realized how much power he had gained, he started abusing it, being very hostile to both the Cuban people, and the United States. The United States, who had been very good to Cuba, but the U.S. started to get angry when, in 1960, Castro seized American oil refineries, sugar mills, and electric utilities. In the early 60s, he also started to welcome communism and formed close ties with the USSR.
In 1959, when Castro became premier, the Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA) started planning an invasion near Guantánamo Bay, a US naval base in Cuba, in the Bay of Pigs, in southern Cuba. The CIA set up a small sub-organization with the sole purpose of planning the invasion. Despite the propaganda, intelligence planning, counterintelligence planning, and paramilitary planning, the mission still failed.
In February 1962, the Inspector General wrote a document called "The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation." This was deemed top secret until 1997. Inside it tells many reasons for the failure. Why didn't the CIA think of these problems ahead of time?
Before Castro's reign over Cuba, a man named Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was the Premier from 1952 to 1959. Castro was against Batista's ideas, so he joined an underground anti-Batista group. Fidel Castro went up through the ranks of the group, until he was the leader. He led several rebellions, and was arrested for them. Seven years later, he led a rebellion that was successful, and overthrew the Batista administration. Since he was the leader of the group, he became the new dictator of Cuba.
At First, he was a very conservative dictator. He was liked by the Cuban people, and by other countries, including the United States of America. This did not last long, when he soon realized how much power he had. He immediately seized American-owned properties in Cuba. This made him lose the United States as an ally.
However, Khruschev's United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), stayed as an ally, and influenced Castro to gradually change Cuba in to a communist state. This also scared the Pentagon, because a communist country not far from the coast of Florida was created.
Shortly afterward, a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down over Sverdlovsk, Russia. The pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was taken hostage by the United Soviet Socialist Republic, and interrogated. After the U-2 crash, Nikita Khruschev used the incident to sabotage the summit, the meeting between the leaders of United States, France, the United Kingdom, and the United Soviet Socialist Republic, which began in Paris.
The United States had to come up with an excuse, so the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a statement saying that the plane was on a joint United States Air Force (USAF), and National Aeronautical and Space Administration mission. This mission was observing weather patterns around Lake Van, Turkey on May 1, 1960.
Before the famous U-2 spy plane incident in 1960, there was one in 1958, involving the United States and the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Ambassador Menshikov handed a memo to Secretary of State Alan Dulles saying that the United States violated Soviet Air space. It claimed (in its English form, it was written in Russian) "According to precisely established data, on March 2, 1958, at 4:05 hours Moscow time, an American military jet aircraft, having appeared from the direction of the Sea of Japan, violated the state border of the Soviet Union in the area of the settlement of Velikaya Kema and penetrated into the airspace of the Soviet Union, remaining over its territory for a considerable period of time. Thereafter, the aircraft left in the direction of the Sea of Japan, in the area south of the Olga Bay."1 Secretary of State Alan Dulles replied, "The President read the Soviet aide-memoire which had been delivered to us yesterday protesting an alleged invasion of Soviet Airspace in the Far East on March 2. The President indicated a strong view that such infractions should be discontinued. He thought we should reply to the Soviets by saying we are not aware of the matter referred to but that strong measures were being taken to prevent any reoccurrence.
"The President expressed the view that any such operations carried a danger of starting a nuclear war by miscalculation. He said that his military advisors had pressed upon him the necessity of retaliation of there seemed to be a movement of Soviet planes toward the United States. The President felt that the Soviets might have the same attitude and might misinterpret an overflight as being designed to start a nuclear war against which they would react. "The President instructed General Goodpaster to communicate with the appropriate US officials in this sense."1
On April 21, 1958, a messenger working for the Soviet Embassy to the United States of America delivered a note to the United States Government. This note said that the response of the United States was unsatisfactory, and also said that the Soviets expected that the United States would court-martial, and hopefully punish the guilty of the violation of the Soviet airspace.
This was the airspace violation that happened the first time, before the major U-2 incident. The had many things in common, both over the USSR, both with U-2 planes, but, the first one was before Cuba became a communist state, because the Castro regime was yet to overthrow the Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar administration. This change in government would occur in one year.
The 1960 U-2 spy plane incident there was more at risk, because the Soviets had allied with Cuba, just ninety miles off the coast Florida. If the Soviets believed that the Americans wanted to start a nuclear war, like the Americans feared that the Soviets believed, the Soviets could perform an air strike on Florida, or possibly even on Washington, D.C. This was a possibility because Khruschev referred to the incident to the Supreme Soviet in Moscow, as an "aggressive act." 1
In a telegram sent from Moscow to the United States Department of State, sent at 7:00pm Moscow time and received at 1:34pm Washington, D.C. This stated that the Soviets did not know at that time under what article of the United Nations Charter they would bring the plane incident before the United Nations Security Council, because they were still questioning Francis Gary Powers. Powers was the pilot, who parachuted out of the plane before it was shot down and landed safely, but under captivity of the Soviets.
Khruschev later told the Supreme Soviet in Moscow that Powers was alive and that the USSR Government had recovered parts of the plane, along with developed film that the camera on-board the airplane took. Also, as a result of the interrogation of Francis Powers, Khruschev said in his speech to the Supreme Soviet that Powers' route was from Peshawar airfield in Pakistan, and his landing destination was Bodo airfield in Norway.
"In response to the speech, the Department of State issued a statement on May 7 admitting that while the inquiry ordered by the President established that 'insofar as the authorities in Washington are concerned there was no authorization for any such flight as described by Mr. Khruschev,' such a flight over the Soviet Union to gather information was probably undertaken, and it justified such activities necessary 'given the state of the world today' and that the Soviet Government's rejection of the President's 'open skies' proposal in 1955."1
On May 10, the United States Embassy in Moscow sent a note to the Soviet Government requesting permission to interview Francis Gary Powers, the pilot of the U2 plane. "On the same day, the Soviet Foreign Ministry delivered a note to the Embassy replying to the U.S. note of May 6. The Soviet note protested 'aggressive acts of American aviation' and warned that 'if similar provocations are repeated, it will be obliged to take retaliatory measures."1 President Eisenhower decided, in response to this note from the Soviet Government, to cut off all activities that the Soviet Government may view as provocative.
Eisenhower left for the summit conference by plane on May 14, 1960, and arrived in Paris on May 15, 1960. President Charles de Gaulle received a copy of France from Nikita Khruschev of the United Soviet Socialist Republic, demanding that President Eisenhower denounce all U-2 flights over the Soviet Union as provocative, and also demanded that Eisenhower renounced all U-2 flights over the Soviet Union all together. Eisenhower agreed with Khruschev and announced that there would be no more U-2 flights over the USSR in his administration.
That was not enough for the Soviets. On May 18, Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko asked the United Nations Security Council to consider the question of "aggressive acts by the United States Air Force against the Soviet Union, creating a threat to universal peace."1
Francis Gary Powers was tried, and later convicted of espionage by the Military Division of the Supreme Court of the USSR.
Fidel Castro, in order to create tension with the United States of America, seized all American-owned properties. Castro seized American oil refineries, sugar mills, and electric utilities. If the United States Government wasn't mad enough from the United Soviet Socialist Republic/United States U-2 Spy Plane Affair, Castro's actions made the United States Government even angrier.
On April 18, 1961, Two messages were sent, one from Premier Khruschev to President Kennedy, the other is the reply from Kennedy to Khruschev. Both were about the attempted Bay of Pigs Invasion, not long before the time these messages were written. These were published in the New York Times, on April 19, 1961.
"Mr. President, I address this message to you at an hour of anxiety fraught with danger to world peace. An armed aggression has begun against Cuba,"4 began Khruschev's letter. He wrote in this letter that he knew that the Cuban exiles that invaded Cuba were trained in the United States. Nikita Khruschev also wrote that he knew that the United States of America owned the planes that bombed Cuba. "Once recently we (The United Soviet Socialist Republic, and the United States of America) exchanged views through our representatives. We spoke about the common desire of both sides to make joint efforts to improve relations between our countries and avert the danger of war.
"Your statement of a few days ago to the effect that the United States would not take part in military operations against Cuba produced the impression that the top echelons of the United States are aware of the consequences of aggression against Cuba to world peace and to the United States itself.
"How are we to understand what is really being done by the United States now that the attack on Cuba has become a fact?" Nikita Khruschev wrote this to President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs Invasion. In my opinion, Khruschev wrote this to President John F. Kennedy to make him feel guilty, and try to patch up American/Soviet Relations. I believe this is why Nikita Khruschev wrote this letter to President John F. Kennedy, and my theory is also capable of being the right answer because later in the letter, Khruschev writes, "I earnestly appeal to you, Mr. President, to call a halt to the aggression against the Republic of Cuba. The military techniques and the world political situation are now such that any so-called 'small war' can produce a chain reaction in all parts of the world.
"As to the Soviet Union, there should be no misunderstanding of our position: we shall render the Cuban people and their Government all necessary assistance in beating back the armed attack on Cuba.
"We are sincerely interested, in a relaxation of international tension, but if others aggravate it, we shall reply in full measure. And, in general, it is hardly possible to handle matters in such a way as to settle the situation and distinguish the conflagration in one area and kindle a new conflagration in another.
"I hope the United States Government will take into account these considerations of ours, prompted as they are by the sole concern for preventing such steps which could lead the world to a military catastrophe."
Khruschev in the previous paragraphs is trying to threaten the United States, almost as if the United Soviet Socialist Republic was a bully beating up and threatening the United States, using peer pressure, for beating up a friend of the United Soviet Socialist Republic's, Cuba. This appears in several places in Khruschev's letter. This appears the most blatantly in the last paragraph, "I hope that the United States Government will take into account these considerations of ours, prompted as they are by the sole considerations of ours, prompted as they are by the sole concern for preventing such steps which could lead the world to a military catastrophe." Here, the "military catastrophe" represents a schoolyard brawl.
Another example of this metaphor is in the paragraph, "I earnestly appeal to you, Mr. President, to call a halt to the aggression against the Republic of Cuba. The military techniques and the world political situation now are such that any so-called 'small-war' can produce a chain reaction in all parts of the world." Here the symbolism states that if a small fight between the United States of America, and the United Soviet Socialist Republic were to occur, other kids in the schoolyard, or countries in this case, would help out the bully, the United Soviet Socialist Republic, fight against the little weakling, the United States of America.
However, the bully, the United Soviet Socialist Republic, is giving the United States of America a chance to avoid a fight. "It is yet not too late to prevent the irreparable. The Government of the United States still can prevent the flames of war kindled by the interventionists on Cuba from spreading into a conflagration which it will be impossible to cope with." Here, the bully is giving the United States a chance to avoid the fight. The "flames of war kindled by the interventionists" is actually according to the symbolism, the fight that was started because the United States won't intervene between Cuban-Soviet relations.
The paragraph says "the flames of war kindled by the interventionists on Cuba from spreading into a conflagration which it will be impossible to cope with." The fact that they say it will be "impossible to cope with" means that the bully will torment the underdog every single day, until the United States finally surrenders.
"We are sincerely interested in a relaxation of international tension, but if others aggravate it, we shall reply in full measure. And in general, it is hardly possible to handle matters in such a way as to settle the situation and distinguish the conflagration in one area and kindle a new conflagration in another." This is the bully's way of telling the underdog that if anyone helps out the United States of America then the United Soviet Socialist Republic will ignite its rage against the underdog, and have a very brutal fight.
President John F. Kennedy wrote back to Premier Nikita Khruschev. "Mr. Chairman: You are under a serious misapprehension in regard to events in Cuba. For months there has been evident and growing resistance to the Castro dictatorship.
"More than 100,000 refugees have recently fled from Cuba into neighboring countries. Their urgent hope is naturally to assist their fellow Cubans in their struggle for freedom. Many of these refugees fought alongside Dr. Castro against the Batista dictatorship; among them are prominent leaders of his own original movement and government.
"These are unmistakable signs that Cubans found intolerable the denial of democratic liberties and the subversion of the 26 of July Movement by an alien-dominated regime. It cannot be surprising that, as resistance within Cuba grows, refugees have been using whatever means are available to return and support their countrymen in the continuing struggle for freedom. Where people are denied the right of choice, recourse to such struggle is only the means of achieving their liberties.
"I have previously stated and I repeat now that the United States intends no military intervention in Cuba. In the event of any military intervention by an outside force we will immediately honor our obligations under the inter-American system to protect this hemisphere against external aggression.
"While refraining from military intervention in Cuba, the people of the United States do not conceal their admiration for Cuban patriots who wish to see a democratic system in an independent Cuba. The United States Government can take to action to stifle the spirit of liberty.
"I have taken careful note of your statement that the events in Cuba might affect peace in all parts of the world. I trust that this does not mean that the Soviet Government, using the situation in Cuba as a pretext, is planning to inflame other areas of the world. I would like to think that your Government has too great a sense of responsibility to embark upon any enterprise so dangerous to general peace.
"I agree with you as to the desirability of steps to improve the international atmosphere. I continue to hope that you will cooperate in opportunities now available to this end.
"A prompt cease-fire and peaceful settlement of the dangerous situation in Laos, cooperation from the United Nations in the Congo and a speedy conclusion of an acceptable treaty for the banning of nuclear tests would be constructive steps in this direction.
"The regime in Cuba could make a similar contribution by permitting the Cuban people freely to determine their own future by democratic processes and freely to cooperate with their Latin-American neighbors.
"I believe, Mr. Chairman, that you should recognize that free peoples in all parts of the world do not accept the claim of historical inevitability for Communist revolution.
"What your Government believes is its own business; what it does in the world is the world's business. The great revolution in this history of man, past, present, and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free."
This reply also carries the same theme in its symbolism. This is the attempted comeback of the underdog to the bully. This is particularly obvious in the paragraph, "While refraining from military intervention in Cuba, the people of the United States do not conceal their admiration for Cuban patriots who wish to see a democratic system in an independent Cuba. The United States Government can take no action to stifle the spirit of liberty." This paragraph symbolizes the underdog, the United States of America is trying to stand strong and say that Cuba's citizens want to come to the United States of America and change their government to democratic like the United States', but then, the United States tries to not insult the bully by saying at the end of the letter, "What your Government does is its own business." But, then again, to stand strong, the United States replies, "what it does in the world is the world's business", but is does not necessarily say it is the United States' business.
Castro/Khruschev relations are very good, as obvious above, but Khruschev and his United Soviet Socialist Republic were shielding the Republic of Cuba, partially because it had no defense, and strategically, it was a very valuable place, just ninety miles of the coast of Florida, in the United States of America. Although, the letters above were written just afterward the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and later, Khruschev will use Cuba to his advantage, and setup nuclear weapons on the small island. Needless to say, this was a very valuable island to Khruschev.
On February 21st, 1998, The New York Times reported that the Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation was released under the Freedom of Information Act to the National Security Archives, a non-profit group that collects and publishes declassified Government documents. Inside the article, it quoted several paragraphs of The Inspector Generals Survey of the Cuban Operation.
The Inspector Generals Survey of the Cuban Operation was the internal document inside the Central Intelligence Agency explaining the failure. The document was written by the Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency, and was kept in his files in the Agency's building in Washington. It was released under the Freedom of Information Act on February 21st, 1998, to an organization on the World Wide Web called the National Security Archives. This organization is a non-profit organization that through its web page gives the public, such as myself, Government documents, some of which, used to have been top secret.
As it says in the introduction of this document, "This is the Inspector General's report on the Central Intelligence Agency's ill-fated attempt to implement national policy by overthrowing the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba by means of a covert paramilitary operation."2 It also says that the purpose of this document is "to describe weaknesses and failures disclosed by the study, and to make recommendations for their correction and avoidance in the future…It does not describe or analyze in detail the purely military phase of the effort…In preparing the survey the Inspector General and his representatives interviewed about 125 Agency employees of all levels and studied a large quantity of documentary material."2
The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation states that President Dwight Eisenhower authorized the following by approving a paper entitled "A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime":
"a. Formation of a Cuban exile organization to attract Cuban loyalties, to direct opposition activities, and to provide cover for Agency operations.
b. A propaganda offensive in the name of the opposition.
c. Creation inside Cuba of a clandestine intelligence collection and action apparatus to be responsive to the direction of the exile organization
d. Development outside Cuba of a small paramilitary force to be introduced into Cuba to organize, train and lead resistance groups."
The concept was for the Cuban exile council to serve as cover for the United States Government by acting as a group of American businessmen. When the United States Government went along to plan and doing actions making the actions themselves publicly known, but since there was cover, "the hand of the U.S. Government would not appear"2 because of the Cuban exile group, which would later form a group called FRD.
This document states that the reason for invasion of Cuba by the United States of America was a way to stop communism from spreading to the Western Hemisphere, near the United States, a world power and a Democracy. The United States Government felt it was a danger to National Security, which eventually it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The history of the Bay of Pigs, or for now the Cuban Operation, began in 1959, shortly after Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was overthrown by Fidel Castro. The Central Intelligence Agency needed a way to accomplish a second revolution in Cuba, this time a Democratic revolution. The Central Intelligence Agency developed a Branch of the Western Hemisphere Division, a division of the Central Intelligence Agency, which handled Intelligence efforts on the Western Hemisphere of the earth. This branch was named Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four, or WH/4 as an abbreviation.
WH/4 was an expandable task force in charge of the Cuban Operation, and involved in the all the aspects as mentioned in the previous list on page 14. Each aspect of the operation had a different are to work from. The recruiting center for the Cuban Exile group was in Miami, with a second on in Cuba. The propaganda aspect was located in several different areas across the continent. For example, there was one powerful "gray" radio station in Massachusetts, there was another radio station posing as a legitimate commercial station on Swan Island. A television show in Spanish was created in Miami, and several written publications were created including a newspaper named Avance, and even an Anti-Castro comic book!
Inside Cuba a clandestine intelligence group was created with the sole purpose of being responsive to the Cuban exile group. Out side Cuba there was a small paramilitary group with the plan to enter Cuba when deemed necessary to organize, train, and lead resistance groups.
The Central Intelligence Agency decided they needed to capture the island to save the United States of America from attacks by Communist nations. This plan was known as The Bay of Pigs. In the internal CIA document, "The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation", the Inspector General refers to the mission as "the Central Intelligence Agency's ill-fated attempt to implement national policy by overthrowing the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba by means of a covert paramilitary operation."2
The actual Bay of Pigs Invasion begins in the year 1959, and ends with the Cuban victory on April 19, 1961. The Invasion became official on March 17, 1960, when President Eisenhower authored a paper titled, "A Program of Covert Action Agency Against the Castro Regime". This authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to undertake the following:
"a. Formation of a Cuban exile organization to attract Cuban loyalties, to direct opposition activities, and to provide cover for Agency operations.
b. A propaganda offensive in the name of the opposition.
c. Creation inside Cuba of a clandestine intelligence collection and action apparatus to be responsive to the direction of the exile organization.
d. Development outside Cuba of a small paramilitary force to be introduced into Cuba to organize, train, and lead resistance groups."2
Eisenhower also approved the budget for the operation, which totaled
$4, 400,000. This included "Political action, $950,000; propaganda, $1,700,000; paramilitary, $1,500,000; intelligence collection, $250,000."2
The plan was to train Cuban exiles, which would serve as a cover for action by the Central Intelligence Agency, which became known by the public. All Central Intelligence Agency personnel that had any contact with the Cuban public would have a separate identity as an American businessman. This would hide all United States Government involvement.
In August 1959, the Chief of the Paramilitary Group attended a meeting to discuss the creation of a paramilitary group, to be used in Latin American crisis situations. He setup a small, proprietary airline for future use. At this time, Cuba was only one of may possible targets.
On January 18, 1960, the Western Hemisphere Division (WH) of the Central Intelligence Agency created a sub-division, Branch 4, (WH/4). WH/4 was an expandable task force to run the Cuban Operation. At this time, Western Hemisphere Division, Branch four was looking for office space, warehouses, recruiting and training centers, safe sites, a communications center, and bases in the Miami, Florida area. This property would be used for the movement of persons, material, and propaganda, into or out of Cuba. At the same time, the Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four was negotiating for a training site in Panama.
The Bay of Pigs operation starts in 1959, however, "Formal U.S. Government adoption of the project occurred on 17 March 1960, when, after preliminary preparations by the agency, President Eisenhower approved an Agency paper titled 'A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime' and thereby authorized the Agency to undertake this program."2 Several sub-programs were set up. The propaganda team was set up to release propaganda offensive of the Castro administration. The US government also recruited Cuban exiles, to set up an organization to "attract Cuban Loyalties, to direct opposition, and to provide cover for Agency operations 2 The government also set up a clandestine intelligence organization to work alongside the Cuban exile organization. Outside Cuba, the government set up a "small paramilitary force to be introduced into Cuba to organize, train, and lead resistance groups.
"The Cuban exile council would serve as cover for action which became publicly known. Agency personnel in contact with Cuban exiles would be documented as representatives of a group of private American businessmen. The hand of the U.S. government would not appear.2" This was the plan for the Invasion, that did not accomplish its goal, instead embarrassed the Kennedy Administration.
"In 1959, the Chief of the Agency's Paramilitary Group attended a meeting [Blacked out] to discuss the creation of a paramilitary capability to be used in Latin America Crisis situations."2 Cuba was considered a crisis situation in Latin America. Cuba, however, was only one of many possible targets. The chief of the Paramilitary Group began a group of staff studies for the WH (Western Hemisphere Division.) The WH setup the paramilitary staff. The chief also setup a small airline for future use. In January 1960, the WH setup WH/4, an expandable sub-division to run the operation. The initial WH/4 consisted of forty people. Eighteen were at the WH/4 Headquarters, twenty at Havana Station, and two at the Santiago Base.
WH/4 negotiated for a training center in Panama. The officers searched Miami, Florida, for office space, warehouses, safe sites, recruiting centers, a communications center, and bases for "the movement of persons, materiel, and propaganda into or out of Cuba."2
The CIA WH/4 division started to setup radio outlets in Massachusetts, and two others that were blacked out in the "Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation". The division also worked out that a powerful "gray" station on Swan Island, could be setup in two months. Another propaganda operation besides the radio station was setup after the CIA confiscated a Cuban Newspaper, and arranged for a special propaganda anti-Castro edition to be published.
"In the last months of 1959 the Special Group, composed of representatives of several departments and agencies and charged by NSC 5412 with responsibility for policy approval of major covert operations, considered several agency proposals for exile broadcasts to Cuba. During January and February of 1960 the Director of Central Intelligence informed the Special Group of Agency planning with regard to Cuba, and on 14 March an entire meeting was devoted to discussion of the Agency's Program."2
"The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is reported to have said that forces totaling 50,000 men were ready if needed and that the first of them could be ready within four hours after receipt of orders." 2
One problem may have been that the Central Intelligence Agency did not pay enough attention to the operation, thus not giving it the time it deserved, thus, making it perfectly clear why the operation failed, right? Wrong. Section B, Paragraph 15 of the Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation clearly states, "The project to unseat Castro had become a major Agency activity with the highest policy sanction, engaging the full-time activity of the personnel of a rapidly expanding operation in higher Agency echelons and entailing frequent liaison with other agencies and departments of the Government."2
"Late September 1960 saw almost simultaneous occurrence of the first maritime operation and the first air drop over Cuba. The former was successful. The latter, the first of a series of failures, resulted in the capture and execution of a paramilitary agent on whom the project had set a great store."2
There were more successful maritime operations; most of them took place in late 1960, before severe winter weather began to make them almost impossible. Another problem was that the project only had one boat regularly available during this time, and creating a resistance in a clandestine fashion with only one boat takes a very long time. This sense of impossibility was increased when word got to the division that Castro's army was strengthened with thirty to forty thousand tons of Bloc arms, and the fact that Cuban Government internal security was being heightened. The sense of impossibility, however, wore off when the Nicaraguan Government offered the Central Intelligence Agency Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four an airstrip and docking facilities. This brought the United States 250 miles closer to Cuba from Guatemala.
Why did the operation fail? The problem may have been financial. "The Activities described to the President continued at an accelerated rate, but the financial approach was relatively cautious in the early weeks.
"Propaganda activity had gotten off to an early start and had developed rapidly. After an initial shakedown period Radio Swan had gone on the air first with anti-Trujillo, then with ant-Castro broadcasts. Radio programs were also originating from Miami and [Blacked out]. The newspaper Avance in Exile was being published by the end of the summer, and a second paper and a weekly magazine were planned…
"By the end of August the FRD had a lawyer team set for a Latin American propaganda tour and was ready with its first broadcast on Radio Swan, which was reported to be getting world-wide reception with many listeners in Cuba. An anti-Castro comic book was being reprinted, and a Spanish-language television program was being prepared in Miami.
"At the end of August WH/4 Branch was reporting that a machine run search had failed to find any bilingual Agency employee suitable as a Radio Swan announcer. (This search went on for some time. On 28 December the branch reported finding a candidate, but an 18 January 1961 that he had backed out.)" 2 On November 29th 1960 President Eisenhower gave a general go-ahead signal to the Western Hemisphere Division of the Central Intelligence Agency and reaffirmed it on January 3rd, 1961, but turned it down shortly afterward. This caused the cancellation of a proposed propaganda drop.
There were some financial problems with Radio Swan. To publicize it, which served a double purpose to enhance its cover as a legitimate commercial radio station, it needed to advertise.
Bohemia Libre, weekly propaganda magazine, was budgeted at $300,000 but it actually cost about $35,000 an issue. It did not do well, because it had bad luck selling advertising, and even missed an issue because it could not sell enough advertising to produce the magazine, for that week. Additional funding had been requested several times. However, despite the hardships it went through, its circulation was 126,000, second to Reader's Digest in the Spanish-Language field.
Propaganda played a major role in the Bay of Pigs Operation. The exile periodical Avance, whose plant in Havana was seized by Castro, was being prepared. The Government purchased a boat for anti-Castro marine broadcasts, and the Swan Island radio station, was on the air with test signals by May 17th.
The budget for the operation was estimated at $4, 400, 000. $950,000 was assigned for political action, the propaganda division received $1,700,000; paramilitary received $1,500,000; and finally the last $250,000 went toward intelligence collection.
The Agency did not stick to their plan budget-wise. On July 1st, 1960, The Western Hemisphere Division of the Central Intelligence Agency estimated costs for the next four weeks at $1,700,000 and for the fiscal year they estimated $25,000,000. On August 19th the Western Hemisphere Division requested an additional $10,000,000 and all $10,000,000 was obtained!
On November 4th, 1960, WH/4 decided to change the focus of the operation by expanding the paramilitary unit and running the operation on more conventional military lines. This caused recruiting efforts to be increased at the Guatemala base where 475 trainees were stationed. The breakdown was 101 air trainees, 370 paramilitary trainees, and six specialists that included doctors, dentists, and chaplains. After a long chain of events, this lead to WH/4 needing more funding. Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four reported it only had $2,250,000 left in the fiscal year. Another estimate was given and the Bureau of the Budget granted WH/4 another $28,200,000.
That was the large scale, but there were, however, financial problems on a smaller scale. To publicize Radio Swan, and to enhance its cover, the radio station took out ads in local newspapers. In the next few weeks, Radio Swan received a total of $330 in gifts.
On 24 March 1960 the project was approved by the director of Central Intelligence in the initial amount of $900,000 for the rest of Fiscal Year 1960. However, only two weeks later, on 7 April, WH/4 Branch reported that 85% of the $900,000 had been obligated. By 30 June an additional $1,000,000 was obligated. "2
This money was needed, for Western Hemisphere Division Brach Four grew considerably from January 1960, when it had just forty employees, to April 16, 1961, when it became one of the largest branches in the Clandestine Services division, with 588 employees. This statistic does not include the air operations personnel, because they worked for the Development Projects Division (DPD), which was a lot of people.
Earlier in the document, the Inspector General wrote about a group of agents posing as American businessmen. Now, it goes in to more detail. These project political action officers; created a group known as Frente Revolucionario Democratico (FRD) was agreed upon on May 11, 1960.
Propaganda played a major role in the Bay of Pigs Operation. The exile periodical Avance, whose plant in Havana was seized by Castro, was being prepared. The Government purchased a boat for anti-Castro marine broadcasts, and the Swan Island radio station, was on the air with test signals by May 17th.
Propaganda was not the only aspect developing at this time. $25,000 worth of sterile arms was sent to the Panama training base, which had been open since May 11th. A Miami Base was opened May 25th in the Coral Gables business district under the cover of a New York career development and placement firm, and was backed up by a Department of Defense contract. On June 15th, a communications site with military cover, was setup at the former Richmond Naval Air Station, which was being leased by the University of Miami. Safe houses were also purchased in the Miami area.
By June, the American press was beginning to "nibble" at the operation, especially Radio Swan, the Swan Island radio station, implying that it was not completely legitimate.
In July 1960, the air training program got underway when the Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four began screening Cuban recruits to be pilots, and negotiating with the Defense Department for twelve AD-5s and the Navy for seventy-five instructors and maintenance personnel. By mid June, twenty-nine Cuban Exiles had arrived at the Panama training facility to begin training in small-unit infiltration.
In August 1960, the President was briefed with the following briefing paper: "The initial phase of paramilitary operations envisages the development, support and guidance of dissident groups in three areas of Cuba: Piper del Rio, Escambray and Sierra Maestra. These groups will be organized for concerted guerilla action against the regime.
"The second phase will be initiated by combined sea-air assault by FRD forces on the Isle of Pines coordinated with general guerilla activity on the main island of Cuba. This will establish a close-in staging base for future operations.
"The last phase will be air assault on the Havana area with the guerilla forces in Cuba moving on the ground from these areas into the Havana area also."2
The finance aspect was running off schedule, much farther away from the original estimates. The Western Hemisphere Division estimated operating expenses for four weeks, beginning July 1st at $1,700,00, and approximately $25,000,000 for the fiscal year. On August 19th the Division added an additional $10,000,000, and was received. Half of the total $35 Million was for paramilitary expenses and about two million dollars was for propaganda.
Anti-Castro Regime Propaganda broadcasts and newspapers had taken off early and developed quickly. Besides from Radio Swan, there were also anti-Castro radio shows originating from Miami and from another undisclosed location. By the end of the summer, Avance in Exile, the propaganda newspaper, was being published, and two more were being planned. An anti-Castro television program in Spanish was being prepared in Miami, and even an ant-Castro comic book was being printed.
A computer-ran search for a bilingual Western Hemisphere Division employee capable of being a radio-swan announcer had failed to find one. However, on December 28th, it found one, but he backed out January 18th 1961. The computer did not find another match.
During the Bay of Pigs Invasion, there were many problems with the actual plan, and this is what caused the failure. Frankly, I feel that this plan was very good, and don't know where the fatal mistake was if I hadn't read about it, because it wasn't very obvious. The Inspector General suggested these conclusions on page 143 of the Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation:
"1.The Central Intelligence Agency, after starting to build up the resistance and guerilla forces inside Cuba, drastically concerted the project into what rapidly became an overt military operation. The Agency failed to recognize that when the project advanced beyond the stage of plausible denial it was going beyond the area of Agency responsibility as well as Agency capability.
"2.The Agency became so wrapped up in the military operation that it failed to appraise the [blurred] of [blurred] realistically. Furthermore, it failed to keep the national policy-makers adequately and realistically informed of the conditions considered essential for success, and it did not [burred] sufficiently for prompt policy decisions in a fast moving situation.
"3.As the project grew, the Agency reduced the exiled leaders to the status of puppets, thereby losing the advantages of their active participation.
"4.The Agency failed to build up and supply a resistance organization under rather favorable conditions. Air and boat operations showed up poorly.
"5. The Agency failed to collect adequate information on the strengths of the Castro regime and the extent of the opposition to it; and it failed to evaluate the available information correctly.
"6.The project was badly organized. Command lines and [blurred] controls were ineffective and useless. Senior Staffs if the Agency were not utilized; air support stayed independent of the project; the role of the large forward [blurred] was not clear.
"7.The project was not staffed with top-quality people, and a number of people were not used to the best advantage.
"8. The Agency entered the project without adequate [blurred] in the way of [blurred], bases, training facilities, [blurred][blurred], Spanish-speakers, and similar essential ingredients of a successful operation. [Blurred] these been already in being, such time and effort would have been saved."2
In the weeks before the actual invasion, the Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four hastened their pace in the preparations. On March 12th, 1961 the LCI "Barbara J" launched and recovered a sabotage team against the Texaco refinery in Santiago, Cuba. Beginning on March 13th, and ending on March 15th, the project chiefs worked on a revised plan that they presented to the President on March 15th.
Although the planning was going along smoothly, it was taking to long for the Cuban exiles to wait, and several went AWOL. "In late March the [blacked out] ostensible owner of the Swan Island radio station, thanked all the sponsored of political programs and advised them that no more tapes would be required; purpose of this action was to clear the way for a unity program during the action phase of the operation."2 Although the mission was being prepared and almost ready, the Guatemala Camp was accepting trainees as late as the week of April 4th.
Flights over Cuba were suspended on March 28th. The Government gave two reasons for the suspension. "(a) That the aircraft were needed to move the strike force from Guatemala to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, for embarkation on the invasion ships; (b) that the Agency wished to avoid any incident, such as a plane being downed over Cuba, which might upset the course of events during the critical pre-invasion period."2
Three Cuban airfields were raided by eight B-26s on April 15th, and resulted in destroying about half of Castro's air force, which was estimated by post-strike photography.
Attacks were not the only aspect of the invasion that was increasing. Propaganda efforts were increased. Before D-Day, Radio Swan as well as other propaganda outlets were broadcasting eighteen hours a day on medium wave, and sixteen hours a day on short wave. "Immediately after D-Day, these totals were increased to 55 hours and 26 hours, receptively. Fourteen frequencies were used. By the time of the invasion a total of 12,000,000 pounds of leaflets had been dropped on Cuba." 2
Late on April 16th, the eve of D-Day, the air strikes planned to destroy the rest of Castro's air force were called off.
"The invasion fleet which had assembled off the south coast of Cuba on the night of 16 April included two LCIs owned by the Agency, a U.S. Navy LSD carrying three LCUs and four LCVPs, all of them pre-loaded with supplies, and even charted commercial freighters. All these craft participated in the assault phase, except for three freighters which were loaded with follow-up supplies for ground and air-forces. These vessels were armed with 50-caliber machine guns. In addition, each LCI mounted two 75-mm. Recoilless rifles.
"In addition to the personal weapons of the Cuban exile soldiers, the armament provided for combat included sufficient numbers of Browning automatic rifles, machine guns, mortars, recoilless rifles, rocket launchers, and flame-throwers. There were also five M-41 tanks, 12 heavy trucks, an aviation fuel tank truck, a tractor crane, a bulldozer, two large water trailers, and numerous small trucks and tractors." 2
A total of 1,511 men fought in the invasion, all of them were on the invasion ships, except for one airborne infantry company comprised of 177 men. The entire brigade included five infantry companies, one heavy weapons company, on intelligence-reconnaissance company, and one tank platoon.
"These troops had been moved by air on three successive nights from the Guatemala training camp to the staging area in Nicaragua where they embarked in the ships which had been pre-loaded at New Orleans. The ships had moved on separate courses from Nicaragua, under unobtrusive Navy escort, to the rendezvous 40 miles offshore in order to avoid the appearance of a convoy. From there they had moved in a column under cover of darkness to a point 5,000 yards to the landing area, where they met the Navy LSD. These complicated movements were apparently accomplished in a secure manner and without alerting the enemy." 2
Three follow-up ships were scheduled to arrive in Cuba, one from Nicaragua was supposed to come
Inside the March 23rd 1998 issue of Newsweek, the cover story was called "The Bay of Pigs Redux". "The Bay of Pigs Redux" was a story about a plan that the Central Intelligence Agency conceived of, that was strikingly similar to the Bay of Pigs Invasion Plan, except it was to overthrow Saddam Hussein, instead of Fidel Castro.
The article's writers, Christopher Dickey, Evan Thomas, and Gregory L. Vistica decided to not write anything about the real Bay of Pigs Invasion, just about the $20 Million operation that President Bush started after the end of the Persian Gulf War.
The Central Intelligence Agency sent a man whose code name was "Bob". "Bob" spoke fluent Arabic, and new how to wear a turban that looked right, so he blended right into Iraqi society. He came to Iraq January 1995, armed with an AK-47, a computer that he operated from his temporary home in Salah ad Din, Iraq, and knowing that Ahmed Chalabi, an MIT-trained banker that was convicted of embezzlement of tens of millions of dollars in a Jordanian court, was the operation head.
So far, everything sounds ok, right? So far it is. This is about to take a change for the worse, and become more and more like the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961. While he was there, "Bob" allied with Kurdish exiles because the Central Intelligence Agency had betrayed them in the past, and made arrangements for these exiles fight alongside the United States Government against Saddam Hussein. The Kurds were willing to fight Hussein because they were trying to build a homeland in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey, and if they could defeat Iraq, they could receive some land. Does any of this sound familiar yet? It could be because this is exactly what happened at the beginning of the preparations for the Bay of Pigs Invasion, except it was with Cuban exiles instead of Kurdish exiles trying to build a homeland in the Middle East!
This all ended in 1996, when the Iraqis found out about the operation, they sent out a group of tanks that killed the resistance fighters. The tanks killed the fighters, and The United States Government gave word to stop the operation.
In conclusion, I think that the Inspector General Lymon Kirkpatrick was right when he said that the Central Intelligence Agency should have done more research on the Cubans' weaknesses and strengths before invading, so that the Central Intelligence Agency Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four could have possibly defeated the Fidel Castro regime of the Republic of Cuba. I think the United States should have also done more to help relations with the United Soviet Socialist Republic, because they may have helped out, since the Republic of Cuba was an ally, rather than fight the United States of America.
That was not the end of tense moments between Cuba and the United Soviet Socialist Republic and the United States of America. For exactly two weeks beginning on October 15, the Cuban Missile Crisis existed. On October 15, a U-2 spy plane piloted by Richard Heyser revealed SS-4 nuclear missiles in Cuba all aimed at various points in the United States. The missile silos were disguised as trees, or at least the communists tried to disguise them as trees.
On October 16, the next day, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was informed of this sighting during breakfast. He called a meeting of EX-COMM, his twelve most important advisors. According to EX-COMM, Khruschev would retaliate no matter what action they took. Still, Kennedy called a blockade to begin at 10 am Eastern Daylight Time on October 24th 1962.
President John F. Kennedy was able to talk Khruschev into disabling the missiles on October 26th , but on October 27th, Khruschev demanded to renegotiate terms. On October 28th, 1962, Khruschev had agreed to remove all missiles from the Republic of Cuba.
In the next several years, the CIA still had a tense time with the USSR, and the Republic of Cuba. In the internal memo" Views of a Cuban Official on the future of Cuban-United States Relations, it says that the United States would be able to intervene without any consequences if the Vietnam War escalated and all the other powers concentrated on Vietnam, not Cuba.
In 1964, the Cuban exiles planned a March on Washington. The would begin in front of the Pan-American Union Building then march to the Lincoln Memorial where they would conduct a rally. This is described in Planned March on Washington by Cuban Exiles on 21 July 1964 at Start of OAS Sessions on the Cuban Problem.
As of March 1968, The USSR was still giving Cuba economic aid. This went on despite Castro's attacks on Soviet policies. If Soviet economic aid was cut-off, the Cuban economy was in such bad condition, it would cause an economic crisis in Cuba. This is described in Continued Soviet Economic Aid to Cuba and Public Soviet Attacks on Castro's Interference in Other Communist Parties.
The United States Policy was to isolate Cuba from the rest of the free world on December 12th, 1963. The United States' plan was to replace the Castro regime and replace it with an administration that would be fully compatible with the United States of America. "In the last analysis, however, there are only two courses which would eliminate the Castro regime at an early date: an invasion or a complete blockade. Both of the se actions would result in a major crisis between the US and the USSR (in Cuba and/or Berlin) and would produce substantial strains in the fabric of US relations with other countries-allied as well as neutral. To a greater extent than in any of the courses discussed above, OAS support would be important, if not critical, in reducing the risks and in increasing the practical and political effect of an invasion or a blockade."3 This is described in Document 24, Cuba-A Status Report.
Despite the embarrassment and the Cuban Missile Crisis that came later, I personally think that the United States Government should stop trying to destroy and spend millions of dollars trying to destroy Communism, and instead, learn to live with it.
I personally think Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick said it best in The Inspector General's Survey of the Cuban Operation when he wrote, "Furthermore, it is essential to keep in mind that the possibility of an invasion was doomed in advance, that an initially successful landing by 1,500 men would eventually have been crushed by Castro's combined military resources strengthened by Soviet Bloc-supplied military materiel."
The United States organized, financed and
Bay of Pigs invasion led to 176 Cuban deaths and over 300 wounded
THE mercenary Bay of Pigs invasion, in April 1961, left a count of 176 deaths, more than 300 wounded and 50 maimed for life, for which reason it constitutes Point Four of the Cuban people’s claim against the government of the United States.
"On March 17, 1960, I ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to begin to organize the training of Cuban exiles, principally in Guatemala."
The above words were stated by President Dwight Eisenhower and appear in recently declassified documents constituting authentic evidence of the participation of the U.S. government and the CIA in the organization and financing of covert plans to do away with the Cuban Revolution, presented to the court by witness Tomás Diez Acosta, a researcher at the Cuban History Institute.
Eisenhower was referring to the March 16, 1960, covert action program against the Castro regime and approved by him, with the warning that, in whatever circumstances, the CIA should be prepared to swear that the U.S. president knew absolutely nothing about it: "Our hand must not be seen in anything that is done."
But statements made by Diez Acosta, based on information contained in official volumes of U.S. government foreign policy and published by the State Department, as well as photocopies of other declassified documents, leave no room for doubt.
After a meeting with President Fidel Castro (who visited the United States in response to an invitation in April 1959), Richard Nixon, then vice president, dictated a memorandum in which he informed Eisenhower: "Castro is incredibly naive in relation to communism or is under its discipline. He should not be considered, falsely, as a frenzied rebel in the Bolívar style, for which reason one has to work accordingly."
Leaving aside the description given to Simón Bolívar, which is not relevant to this trial, "working accordingly" meant destroying the Revolution by building up opposition on the island. Richard Nixon admitted this in his book Six Crises. In December 1959, Colonel J. C. King, head of the CIA’s western hemisphere division, recommended in a report to the agency’s general director to "seriously consider Castro’s elimination."
The covert action program approved by Eisenhower consisted of four fundamental premises: to create a responsible, attractive and unified Cuban opposition; to develop a propaganda offensive in the name of the opposition via Radio Swan; to create a secret intelligence and action organization within the country that would respond to the Cuban opposition in exile; and to train an adequate military force outside of Cuba which would be infiltrated into the island and enjoy full logistical support.
The witness recounted how, by January 1960, the Western Hemisphere Division’s WH4 task force for covert warfare against Cuba, composed of 40 officers (18 in the central station and two in Santiago de Cuba), was in place.
By April 1961, when the Bay of Pigs mercenary invasion took place, the cost of its actions was in excess of $46 million USD, and a total of 588 officers were involved in them.
A few days after assuming the presidency in January 1961, John F. Kennedy met with the CIA leadership to receive information on the plans against Cuba and recommended that the Pentagon make an in-depth study of the program, which was later described as positive.
By April 6, the trained brigade’s strength was 1390 men.
U.S. ARMS AND PERSONNEL
Division General Samuel Rodiles Planas was another witness to appear before the court. In his statement, he testified that the equipment utilized in the invasion belonged to the U.S. army: warships, landing craft, Sherman tanks, artillery armored cars, 57- and 75-millimeter cannons and mortars, among others.
He also referred to the presence of U.S. National Guard pilots like Thomas Willard Ray, Frank Leo Baker, Ryley W. Shamburger and Wade Carroll Gray, crew members of two B-26 planes brought down by the revolutionary artillery.
Rodiles Planas additionally testified to the death of over 30 persons and over one hundred wounded among the police and militia 116 battalions.
Division General Néstor López Cuba, wounded at the front while leading the advance of the Cuban tanks, spoke of the death of many of his comrades and of others who were mutilated and burned by napalm.
Eva Rodríguez Córdoba, who was 16 when the invasion took place, moved everyone present in the courtroom. She told how mercenary planes, machine gunning the population, forced people to take cover in the hills, where she had to give birth without any other assistance than that of another Cuban woman who, crawling among the scrub, was looking for her son. Eva’s child was a blue baby and currently, aged 38, suffers from a mental disorder.
Another witness whose declarations confirmed CIA participation in the plans of aggressions and subversion against Cuba was Benigno Pérez Vivanco, who received military training from the agency in Guatemala and Panama, from 1960-61. In March 1961 he arrived in Cuba from Key West with the mission, alongside other infiltrators, of introducing 14 tons of arms destined for counterrevolutionary organizations. After being taken prisoner, Benigno cooperated with the state security forces.
PLANES WITH A CUBAN FLAG
To conceal its part in the invasion and confuse the revolutionary forces, the United States masked the fighter planes with the Cuban flag. Thus men like Israel López Pupo were initially taken in. He was hit by shrapnel over the right eye, which cost him his sight; as well as on his left hand, which subsequently had to be amputated. That strategic objective, which U.S. ambassador Adlai Stevenson lied about in the UN, was to try and convince the world that it was an internal rebellion by pilots from the Revolutionary Air Force.
After the military defeat at the Bay of Pigs, the U.S. government began to create the conditions for other actions. It had developed a strategy consisting of 32 concrete tasks, the objective of which was to prepare the conditions for internal subversion on the island; plus number 33, designed to incapacitate the sugarcane workers via chemical warfare, as witness Tomás Diez Acosta testified, consistently basing his evidence on U.S. declassified documents.
In addition, in response to a proposal by Robert Kennedy, then U.S. attorney general, Operation Mongoose, which contemplated infiltration, sabotage and acts of terrorism on the island, was drawn up and approved, with no expenses spared, according to Diez.
TRICKERY: A WEAPON INSEPARABLE FROM IMPERIALIST AGGRESSION
Remarks by Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada
A POLICY'S SECRET
lf one were to believe what some of the media say, one might come to the conclusion that not only the blockade against Cuba does not exist but that Cuba is blockading the United States.
For some weeks now there have been stories floating around about the supposed steps taken by Washington to "relax" the blockade and, specifically, to allow the sale of food and medicines to Cuba. Meanwhile, they avoid showing any proof, analyzing the facts, reasoning. However, they repeatedly voice, as if thev were proven facts, what are nothing short of deliberately invented and propagated untruths.
This is not the first time this has happened. Neither is it fortuitous: It is a reflection of the workings of the disinformation apparatus which is an organic part of the system that dominates today's world. Thirty years ago, when the current technological revolution had only just begun, before he was appointed National Security Advisor, Brzezinski pointed out the advantages of the new media for making it possible to "manipulate the emotions and control the thinking by effectively exploiting the latest communications techniques."(1) Nobody had met Dolly the sheep yet but imperialism's theoreticians were dreaming of cloning thought and of turning human beings into robots.
At given intervals, and with unfailing regularity, similar machinations are heard about U.S. behavior. Throughout the last decade they have never stopped inventing lies while, in fact, all along they haye been passing laws like Torricelli and Helms-Burton and other measures which tighten the blockade and apply it with greater stringency. They are two sides of the same coin. Continuing the aggression against Cuba entails spreading confusion to divide and weaken public opinion which rejects this aggression.
The struggle against lies is an essential component of solidarity with Cuba. Hiding the truth, distorting it, falsifying facts and language have been an integral part of U.S. aggression.
The above in no way implies any criticism of the people of the United States. Quite the contrary. Throughout history, Cuba's enemies in that country have made untruth one of their essential tools, precisely because they know that the U.S. population is not prepared to allow their country to be turned into a synonym for evil and injustice. The Vietnam war will always serve as irrefutable proof that "you can't fool all of the people all of the time" and that when the moment of truth arrives, there is no force that can overcome the power of the people.
The complexity of the Cuban case originates in the depth of its roots and in the fact that it has been such a long conflict whose origins go back to the time when both nations were born, and which continues down to this era where the powerful have the most sophisticated media to control people's hearts and minds. As early as 1805, when Florida still belonged to Spain, Jefferson came up with the idea of making Cuba a part of the United States. From then on, the behavior of U.S. leaders towards our struggle for independence was guided by a hidden motive which Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the Father of our Homeland, revealed in 1870: "To gain control over Cuba the secret of its policy."
Every now and again they deplored the "excesses" committed by the colonialists while allowing them to build and arm their war ships and obtain arms and war supplies in North America. They also strove to prevent other nations -- not only their European rivals but Bolivar and the sister republics on this continent as well -- from intervening in the conflict and cruelly hounded patriotic émigrés. It was a cold and calculating policy whose evil intent was denounced with great clarity by José Martí.
In 1989, the Liberating Army had already spread the war across the whole island and a Spanish defeat was imminent. Then, the United States decided to intervene. Then Congress passed the Joint Resolution in which it affirmed that "the people of Cuba are and by right must be free and independent." This document is the paradigm of a way of doing politics, of a style of managing relations with Cuba which is still in effect today. These words deceived many Cubans of the time and they have led several generations of U.S. citizens to believe that their government played a noble and selfless role in the Republic of Cuba's creation. In fact, it has been just the opposite.
The United States had ambitions of taking possession of Cuba, and to achieve that aim pressured the American nations not to spread either there or to Puerto Rico the emancipation movement which had liberated the rest of the continent. On several occasions they offered to buy Cuba from Spain. They maneuvered with European powers to prevent them snatching her from Spain and proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine. They refused to recognize the belligerence of the Cubans and for thirty years persecuted anyone who tried to help them. The decision to intervene in our war of independence in 1898 was simply the culmination of this policy -- whose essence was in fact to deny Cuba its right to freedom -- and the Joint Resolution is its cynical and dishonest expression.
The military occupation, the imposition of the Platt Amendment, the appropriation of Cuba's most important natural and economic resources, the successive interventions and the creation of a corrupt, vassal state which included several periods of bloody tyranny, were the real goals behind that Resolution. But it still shows up in many U.S. texts and in the rhetoric of its politicians and that of its annexationist spokesmen as evidence of its generous solidarity.
That perverse distortion of fact, that deliberate manipulation of language, that unseemly cult of the lie, has always been the guiding force behind the empire's policies.
AN INDISSOLUBLE CONSPIRACY
Official U.S. documents, partially and selectively released in 1991, reveal how and when the current clash between Washington and the Cuban Revolution began. They prove the utter falseness of the varied and changing excuses that U.S. diplomacy has employed over the course of four decades to try to justify its animosity towards Cuba (2).
In them the reader can find irrefutable evidence that this hostility predated any radical measure adopted by the Revolutionary Government. Strictly speaking, it began to rear its head when the popular movement led by Fidel Castro was still fightinq to gain power.
The Eisenhower administration made not a few attempts to prop up Batista's dictatorship to the end, to cheat the people of their victory and to protect the dictatorship's henchmen, including its worst criminals. As 1958 progressed, the attention paid to the Cuban situation by the United States National Security Council increased. lts meetings were held more often until, in the last week of December, they were a daily occurrence. On the 23rd, when the Batista regime was at the point of collapse, U.S. leaders were striving to find some formula that would derail the imminent popular victory. The then-head of the CIA summed up the discussion in these words: "We must prevent Castro's victory." Significantly, three days later this official would receive instructions from President Eisenhower not to show -- not even to the National Security Council -- any secret reports concerning Cuba.
The confidential messages sent by its Embassy in Havana on January 1, 1959 and on the following days show Washington's determination to help the agents of the defeated tyranny to escape. Shortly afterwards, anti-Cuban propagandists spent all their time vilifying the legal proceedings that the Revolution had started against those assassins and torturers who had been unable to escape. Torrents of lies were poured forth in defense of these executioners by the same media that had maintained complete silence in the face of their atrocities.
In the last years of the century, Washington has made a big show of an imaginary fondness for human rights -- outside its frontiers, of course -- and uses the theme as part of its arsenal of slanders against Cuba. The historical truth is that this question was the origin of the first dispute between the two countries when the Cuban government was still predominately composed of moderates and conservatives, many of whom figured later and prominently in the counterrevolutionary organizations created by the CIA. But the United States continued on the side of Batista and his band of criminals and against the Cuban Revolution, with the masterminds of the worst crimes and against their victims. Washington rejected all the requests for extradition which were sent by the government led by Miró Cardona -- the same character who two years later would chair the "Council of Government" which the CIA intended to set up at the Bay of Pigs -- and led to the removal, in fact, of the bilateral extradition treaty which existed at that time.
The alliance commitment to Batista and his henchmen was a central aspect of U.S. policy. It was so firmly rooted that it still persists four decades later. Today these Batista henchmen, their allies and their descendents are the backbone of the counterrevolutionary exile comunity, as is so tellingly demonstrated by the list of the heads of the so-called "Cuban American National Foundation."
Today still, the two legislative regulations which are the definitive tools of anti-Cuban policy are, in their origin, content and aim, of an unmistakably and definitely Batistian character: the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Law and the 1996 Helms-Burton Act. The key element of both of them is a date: the first of January, 1959. The former provides for special conditions for Cubans who reached U.S. territory -- but only if they arrived on or after that day. lts subversive and destabilizing intent is obvious. The law seeks to encourage risky, illegal and disorderly emigration from Cuba in order to slander and distort her image. However, it is also an obvious fact that, more than anything else, it granted an exclusive advantage to Batista's followers at a time when it discriminated against Cuban émigrés who were until 1958 the second-biggest group of immigrants from Latin America, surpassed at that time only by Mexico.
The Helms-Burton Act, in its turn, shows how in 1996 Bastistian revanchism continues to be the basis of and motivation for anti-Cuban policy. The return of property lost on the first day of January, 1959 to its previous owners -- it harps on this insistently, it is the sine qua non for ending the blockade and the political and economic war against Cuba. lt is hard to imagine better proof of the endurance of the Batista-Washington conspiracy.
The first chapter in the unending economic aggression against Cuba happened long before is generally said to have happened -- and it is indissolubly linked to the Batista tyranny and the support that Washington continued to give him long after the date of his overthrow.
Before taking off for the North, the murderers and embezzlers, in what was truly an act of armed robbery, stole 424 million dollars worth of the gold and dollars which the National Bank kept to ensure the stability of our currency. Not one cent was given back. That brutal, absolutely inexcusable plundering -- it was one of the hardest blows to the Cuban economy -- happened before the government which replaced the tyranny had been installed in Havana, and it took place with the connivance or the cooperation of the U.S. authorities. They helped the thieves to flee and welcomed them to their country. The worst violators of human rights, the most hardened criminals Cuba has endured, have remained in the United States and nobody has ever bothered them. And the resources and wealth produced by the Cuban people by dint of their many years of labor and sacrifice ended up in U.S. banks and are still there today. This was, incidentally, the foundation of many fortunes, which grew even greater afterwards, fed by the uncountable benefits they have extracted from U.S. taxpayers through the federal budget and from the secret funds of the CIA -- which the empire's propaganda holds up as proof of the "ingenuity" and the "enterprising skills" of the so-called "Míami Cubans."
In the face of this unheard-of looting, the most conservative elements in the provisional government reacted with the greatest restraint and trusted in Washington's understanding. They limited themselves to asking for a loan to save the Cuban peso from its inevitable collapse. They sent delegations to ask for help from their friends. A book published in 1991 by the Department of State tells what happened. In February 1959, the U.S. National Security Council reviewed the affair. The veredict was very simple: listen to the Cubans but give them and promise them absolutely nothing.
When, several months later, in May 1959 the Revolutionary Government established the only possible compensation for the former landowners by passing the Agrarian Reform Law -- more generous, incidentally, than that imposed by General MacArthur on occupied Japan after the World War Two -- even the United States' own ambassador in Havana recognized, and he communicated this to his government, that in those circumstances Cuba had no alternative.
The elimination of large landholdings and distributing the land to the peasants was the event that led to the U.S. deploying economic aggression and to Washington's decision to launch a military attack as well. It was a necessary measure, essential for the country's development, an elemental fair measure which had the backing of all of society and was also a mandate of the 1940 Constitution, which had not been complied with up to that time. It was also something that rested exclusively with our sovereignty. The United States, with no right whatsoever to do so, demanded full immediate, cash payment for the land expropriated, aware of the fact that it was arbitrary, unreasonable and impossible because of Cuba's financial situation for which, to top it off, U.S. authorities were responsible because they had appropriated the money stolen from Cuba.
With the passage of time they have invented, one after the other, the most varied explanations for their inexcusable behavior. All are untrue. It was not differences over ideology, political systems or international positions which started the overt aggression against Cuba. Neither was it the cynical and fraudulent rhetoric about "democracy" and "human rights" -- terms which at the time were considered to be swear words -- that motivated them to attack Cuba with the servile complicity of the worst puppet states in the Americas. The basis of the conflict unleashed in 1959 was imperial arrogance and the foolishness to believe that they could easily impose their aggression. The same arrogance and similar foolishness explain the conflict forty two years later.
Once the Agrarian Reform Law was passed, they began to plan other hostile acts, including the removal of the Cuban sugar quota. On June 24, 1959 in a memorandum sent to Eisenhower, the Secretary of State, Christian Herter, voiced his concerns regarding this because, in his own words, it would constitute a measure of "economic warfare."
Of course, our sugar quota was completely eliminated and this decision was followed by uncounted attacks of an economic, trade and financial nature. They have not stopped up to this day. That slap in the face, so accurately describes by Mr. Herter, is now something long past, one of the first steps in an all-out, total war against the Cuban economy whose length and intensity is without precedent. Official propaganda refers to it simply as an "embargo" -- a hypocritical, false word used with malice aforethought to mask reality. It is an obvious case of an institutionalized lie, deliberately and carefully used by a government with the obvious aim of leading people into error and which has been echoed by not a few journalists, academics and politicians.
THE FABRICATED "OPPOSITION"
Along with the economic war, the United States unleashed political aggression and propaganda which is also without precedent. From the first year they also began preparations for something they called the "Cuba Program" which would lead, first off, to the mercenary invasion at the Bay of Pigs but which went far beyond that and which is still in effect today.
A CIA document dated October, 1961 was declassified in February, 1998. Its author was Mr. Kirkpatrick, the Agency's Inspector General. Its topic: to evaluate something that under the name "A program of covert action against the Castro regime" had been officially approved by Eisenhower on March 17, 1960. Kept secret for more than 26 years, the document published at last turns out to be interesting, even though some information is left out and some questions are still left in the shadows. At times it displays a kind of revealing eloquence.
On the very first page, the Inspector General makes it clear that "The history of the Cuban project begins in 1959" and reminds the reader of its crucial elements: a) the creation of a Cuban exile organization ... to direct the opposition activities and to provide cover for the agency's operations; b) a propaganda offensive on behalf of the opposition; c) the creation inside Cuba of a clandestine apparatus for action and intelligence-gathering. This would be responsible to the leadership of the exile organization; d) developing a small paramilitary force outside Cuba and then sneaking it into Cuba to organize, train and lead the resistance groups."
To sum up, this meant deliberately fabricating, organizing, financing and leading the Cuban so-called "opposition." According to Kirkpatrick, "the concept was classic." Although naturally, as the Inspector General noted, "the hand of the United States government was nowhere to be seen."
But it was a generous hand. In just a few months it spent more than 46 million dollars. A large part of this went to prepare for the invasion that was defeated at the Bay of Pigs, but some of it was also used to set up and finance newspapers and magazines and radio and television programs and to carry out anti-Cuban propaganda tours by lecturers who were their employees. The Inspector General supplies some specific facts. The heads of the exile counterrevolutionary organizations asked for a budget of half a million dollars per month, although the CIA agreed to pay them only $131 thousand, for salaries and personal expenses. This did not include, of course, the cost of paramilitary activities. The magazine called "Bohemia Libre" cost the CIA 35 thousand dollars a week. The radio station Radio Swan, set up by the Agency, reached a point where it was broadcasting 55 hours a day on medium wave and 26 hours per day on short wave, using 14 frequencies.
But the CIA was not content to organize, finance and lead the operation down to the last detail to overthrow the Cuban Revolution. Driven by unbounded optimism it went way beyond that. Apart from the mercenary forces and the countless operatives, it had "carefully chosen" and thoroughly trained 239 individuals whom it intended to use to organize the intelligence and security services of the regime which it would impose in Cuba. It took the trouble to itemize which of them should begin this work inmediately and which of them would form a back-up group. No one should be amazed. Similarly, the Agency had chosen the people to form the future Cuban government and had also drawn up five lists of minor officials.
There is nothing strange about the fact that information of this kind may now be public knowledge. It does not mean that a spirit of openness and "transparency" has taken up residence in the official dispatches from Washington, nor have they penetrated deep into the secret vaults of Langley. On the one hand, there have been not a few efforts made by U.S. institutions and private citizens to obtain, even to a limited degree, some level of freedom of information. On the other hand, what is released is always controlled, restricted, is only part of the truth and this is only allowed when quite a few years -- sometimes decades -- have gone by, as is the case with the material mentioned above. It is perfectly natural that, within the usual limitations, the United States should admit that it devoted time to fabricate the "Cuban opposition" in exile and inside Cuba. Because what they previously did in secret is now something they publicly and openly proclaim and even declare it, with legal force, in the Torricelli and Helms-Burton Acts. One can read every now and again in reports from AID, for example, what they have given to small counterrevolutionary groups on one side or the other of the Florida Strait. Of course, we will have to wait until the 21st century is a bit further along to learn what the CIA is doing now. But it is at least known that AID paid out more than 8 million dollars between 1996 and 2000 for these purposes and to date has promised another $5 million for 2001.
Neither the CIA nor other tools in Washington's service have ever let up in their aggression against Cuba. Operation Mongoose and the revelations of the Church Commission are notorious, as are others that have come to light. Others, many more, are kept secret. The United States has spent many millions of dollars over the last 42 years to fabricate a counterrevolutionary opposition both inside and outside Cuba, to set up radio and television stations, to publish books, magazines and newspapers, to promote international meetings and tours, to buy politicians, academicians and journalists -- to hurl at Cuba what is, all in all, the biggest, most intense and all-encompassing aggression in the field of ideas and propaganda.
Official yankee discourse is the source of much anger when, with great effrontery, it claims that its policy is inspired by a desire to promote "human rights" and "democracy."
Those who govern the United States have been and are responsible for the worst crimes against and the grossest and most systematic violations of the human rights of every single Cuban. They have a moral debt that they cannot pay. They are guilty of genocide against an entire nation, one they have always tried to annihilate.
And when it comes to democracy, Washington is not fit to give lessons to anybody. There would not be the time nor the space to even mention the irrefutable facts which prove how the U.S. plutocracy, from the initial expansion of the Thirteen colonies down to the present day, and both within its own borders and out to the furthest ends of the Earth, has been and is the greatest enemy of freedom and justice, the main opponent of the very idea of government by the people.
In 1958 they tried to choose those who would replace Batista. From 1959 on they have devoted their efforts to recruiting, choosing and training those they seek to impose as the rulers of Cuba, their officials, their employees, and even their executioners. This has been and continues to be the essence of the policy towards Cuba -- treating her like one of their colonies, a colony under a tyranny: imposing an imported tyranny on her, one fabricated created by them and for them. That would be the old annexationist dream come true and the absolute, final and everlasting denial of any notion of democracy. Cuba would have no government of its own because our native land would have ceased to exist.
A TRUCELESS WAR
After stripping her of her financial reserves, then depriving her of petroleum supplies and abolishing her sugar quota, all of which measures constitute an economic war, the United States totally eliminated trade with Cuba through a decision taken by President Kennedy on February 3, 1962. They say doing that is just a "trade embargo" when it is, in fact, a blockade and not just a trade blockade but an econornic and financial one and one that is part of the economic war that had been going on since 1959.
After the presidential order, Washington laid down a series of rules and regulations contained in Part 515 of Title 3l of the Federal Regulations Code. These completely abolish any kind of exchange between Cuba and the United States. But they were never limited to direct bilateral trade between the two. From the very first moment and in a detailed and specific way they have included any product which might have any part made in or coming from one of the two countries, even though it might now be a part of something belonging to a third country. They have extended its application to any natural or legal person from the U.S. or who has connections with the U.S., even though that person lives in another part of the world. They also forbid Cuba to use the dollar in its dealings with others.
Not a few commentators have made allusions to the extraterritoriality of the actions taken by the United States, as if this had sprung from the Torricelli and Helms-Burton Acts, ignoring the fact that the previous regulations had always had that characteristic. It is true that both laws intensified this unacceptable violation of international law and they made it worse when they are given the parliamentary seal and presidential approval. But the provisions which preceded these two laws and their application had always entailed infringing the sovereignty of other countries.
The United States has used unceasing and numerous types of threats and blackmail against other countries, their companies and their citizens -- even though they have no relationship to U.S. capital, products or services -- to prevent or frustrate their ties with Cuba. To put it another way, Washington has done everything possible so that other countries also put an end to all trade with Cuba. To achieve this aim, it has not only used legal regulations but has also had recourse to all kinds of methods, including extortion and reprisals. Year after year at the United Nations, Cuba, armed with incontrovertible proof, has denounced these illegal acts which take up a great deal of the time of U.S. diplomats and other agents all over the world.
But the conduct of the United States has been extraterritorial since the first day, and every day and every night of these 42 years. Crudely and criminally extraterritorial, since its whole purpose is to subjugate Cuba, a country that does not belong to it and which it will never be able to enslave.
There were not a few occasions when other governments rejected the U.S. attempts to impose its will on activities carried out in territories that were under another's jurisdiction. Some parliaments and governments of countries affected passed laws specifically designed to counteract yankee interference. What was at that time called the European Economic Community -- forerunner of what is now the European Union -- protested more than once.
The disagreements with some states became bitter. The question was discussed even in the Organization of American States and on July 29, 1975 a resolution was passed by the majority -- without Washington's vote -- which gave its members a free hand when it came to relationships with Cuba.
It was in this context and as a result of international protests that the United States found itself obliged to modify the provision which forbade the so-called U.S. subsidiaries located abroad to do business with Cuba. From August 21, 1975 on, they could do so if they obtained a special license from Washington.
Although arrogating the power to grant or deny permission to trade with Cuba to companies located outside their jurisdiction was, obviously, objected to by other states, at least this decision allowed trade, mostly in food and medicines, to develop. In 1991 it amounted to 700 million dollars.
But in 1992 the Torricelli Act brought it to halt. Washington no longer authorized these sales, thus obliging companies incorporated in other countries to respect the U.S. "embargo" and to ignore the laws of the states where they were located. It also imposed a new and serious punishment: ships which carried Cuban goods or third-country goods to or from Cuba could not enter U.S. ports for six months after they had been in Cuban ports (previously they had been forbidden to unload or load goods in the United States; now they were not even allowed to enter the United States, for any reason whatsoever, even in a case of an emergency arrival, and that constitutes a brutal attack on the laws of navigation).
The Torricelli Act closed off any possibility for Cuba to acquire food and medicines, no matter in which country of the world they were made, if there was a U.S. citizen connected with the company that produced them.
In spite of that, from 1992 on, U.S. propaganda has pointed to this law as one which authorizes exporting medicines to Cuba from the United States. Neither more nor less. They have shamelessly repeated this tactless lie for eight years. And some politicians, academicians and journalists have echoed this lie, without even blushing.
The other ingredient of the Torricelli Law is something called Track Two, in which they openly declare rendering financial, material or any other kind of assistance to the so-called members of the "Cuban opposition." In this way they formalize in the wording of a law what they had been doing, in a more or less hidden way, since 1959.
It is hard to find another such example of interfering insolence. Washington has taken upon itself the supposed right to do something in Cuba that is illegal in the United States. One of the loudest outcries stirred up by that display of bad taste and stupidity which they call an electoral campaign over there is, in fact, the allegation that some candidates accepted contributions of foreign money.
They gave the name "Cuban Democracy Law" to this outrage against international law. Encouraged by then-candidate Bill Clinton, president Bush signed the document that had been sponsored by the Democrat Torricelli with the backing of the Republican right and the annexationist mob. All together, rolling round in the same dunghill.
In yet another example of the boundless cult of the lie, U.S. propaganda machine coined a new phrase in 1992 which it repeats everywhere. They call their crime "a people-to-people policy." As well as depriving Cubans of food and medicines, they also want to snatch their independence away from them. And while they add to their lack of respect for other countries, they are also insulting human intelligence. Do they really think that there is as much ignorance in the world as that stored up and poured out by U.S. politicians?
That law was inspired by the slimiest opportunism. Now that the socialist camp had disappeared, now that Cuba was facing the most difficult and complex period in her history, having lost her main markets, all her credits and essential supplies in one fell swoop, and now she was standing all alone with no allies, the imperialists thought that the hour had come to bring about the downfall of the Revolution by means of hunger and disease, by spreading pain and suffering, through genocide.
Our heroic people was able to hold out against these tremendous trials and tribulations. Solidarity grew and international rejection of yankee overbearing increased. On four consecutive occasions between 1992 and 1995, and with an overwhelming majority that has continued to grow since then, the United Nations General Assembly condemned the blockade and completely isolated Washington.
How did it respond to this outcry from the entire world? By intensifying its aggression, by multiplying the outrage, by falling into a frenzy of overbearing. They passed what Helms and Burton christened, no more and no less: the 1996 Law for Cuban Democratic Freedom and Solidarity (Freedom Law). It was sponsored by the ultra-right and president Clinton signed it, using as an excuse the distortion of the events which took place on February 24 of that year -- lying, without blinking, about the unceasing provocations against Cuba for which Washington alone was responsible.
THE FESTIVAL OF TRICKERY
By passing that law Washington gave itself over to a systematic campaign of lies which knows of no limits and has no equal. They have lied about every part of it, from the reasons it was signed to the contents of its wording and the steps they have taken for its painstaking application.
That document has only been widely published in Cuba. In the rest of the world, including the United States, people are only allowed to learn about a dishonestly toned-down version.
Thus they have led many to believe that the Helms-Burton Act consists of only two titles, one of which is suspended and the other which only functions at half measures. Nothing could be less true. lt consists of four titles, all of which have been in force since August 1, 1996 and which can only be repealed or modified by another law and this has never been contemplated.
The first title deals with strengthening what they call "sanctions" against Cuba. In essence, it broadens and reinforces all the blockade's measures contained in the Federal Regulations Code, lays down additional ones and gives the force of law to all of them, codifies them in such a way that they cannot be changed or abolished except by a legislative act.
Title two clearly lays down that the blockade and the economic war will -- continue even if they manage to destroy the Revolution -- until all the -- property under public ownership or belonging to the Cuban workers and peasants has been returned or paid for in full. And as if that were not enough, it describes in detail the plan to take over Cuba, not forgetting to mention the control mechanisms which will ensure the total subjection to Washington of a country which, to all intents and purposes, would have ceased to be independent.
The third title is the one most talked about. Its usefulness is that every six months, like someone observing an obligatory ritual, it makes people believe that the Helms-Burton Act does not exist. The essential part of this title is to establish some supposed "rights" for the former owners and a "legal responsibility," enforceable in yankee courts, for those who are the present and real owners. That "right" has been granted equally to the whole mob of thieves and exploiters of Cuban origin and that "responsibility," according to this law, has been taken on by those who make use of or have made use of these properties in any way whatsoever -- in other words, not only foreign investors and the Cuban State, but also each and everyone of the inhabitants of the Republic of Cuba. This monstrosity has been in effect since August 1, 1996 and will not cease to be so until a contradictory law decides otherwise.
President Clinton could have postponed the application of title three but he did not do so. The deadline for doing so was July 16, 1996. On that day the National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, announced that the President had decided not to use this prerogative and that, as a result, the title would come into effect and no executive order could suspend it. The President limited himself to using an additional power it gave him, that of imposing a six-month suspension on initiating any court proceedings.
But this in no way changes the essential part of what is operational, effective cumulatively since August 1, 1996. Every time the President imposes a six-month suspension on starting court proceedings, he is in fact confirming that the Law, and specifically its Title Three, remainS in effect, since it is the law itself that is the source of his twice-yearly power. And he has used it only and exclusively to avoid the chaos that would ensue if the annexationist mob were to invade the federal courts with lawsuits for that which they have been given a "right," which is confirmed twice a year. What will happen if at a given moment it occurs to another President not to do it? Who guarantees that such a thing will not happen some day? What will be the consequences, if as some people have already suggested, Congress decides to take this prerogative away from the President?
Title Four is confined to denying U.S. entry visas to people who invest in Cuba and to their relatives. This reprisal has been used several times, and the State Department has set up a special administrative unit whose job is to seek out and collect information to make it easier to apply this measure.
When the Helms-Burton Act was passed it caused a few diplomatic setbacks which Washington has been able to smooth over with a combination of pressure and wiliness and with the docile assistance it has received from some foreign officials. Thus, the initial steps taken by the European Union to take the problem to the appropriate bodies of the World Trade Organization led to an "understanding" which was announced with great display of pomp and which one of the parties complied with and the other completely ignored.
Europe committed itself to suspending its case with the WTO and it met its commitment. In exchange, the United States promised to take the necessary steps to make just minor changes to Titles Three and Four -- the other two were not even mentioned -- but has done absolutely nothing. The Administration has taken no steps in this direction. They have not done so, in spite of the fact that since then, they have passed other pieces of legislation which extend the blockade and affect European interests. The most recent of these, section 211 of the 1999 Budget Law, is in violation of international agreements on trademarks and patents and is aimed at prejudicing the interests of a Cuban-French joint venture.
Meanwhile, the United States government has been careful to stick to the letter of the Helms-Burton Act in all its ramifications. Its officials give regular account to the Congressional committees, either openly or confidentially, as the case may be, of the measures implemented. These include the reprisals against foreign companies or citizens, supplying financial and material resources to the small counterrevolutionary groups and using illegal methods to gather information about Cuba's economic and trade activities. As proof of the decisive importance which, for legal purposes, the return of confiscated property has, the Department of State is developing a special program to organize and support émigrés who used to own land, housing, factories or any other property which they hope to repossess at the point of Yankee bayonets.
In January, 1997, in strict compliance with the provisions of the Helms-Burton Act, the United States government launched a noisy publicity campaign around what it presents as a supposed offer of economic aid to bring about what it referred to as a "democratic transition" in Cuba. Its spokespeople promoted it as if it were an alternative to the economic war and were something other than the evil intent of that law. A reading of this plan, which we published and explained in full here in Cuba, made it obvious that this crude machination was, moreover, an insult to all Cubans whom they thought they could bribe with this nasty trickery.
Suffice it to read Title Two of this odious legislative provision. There, as clearly as is possible, it prohibits any kind of assistance to Cuba until the Revolution is crushed and it even makes any fake economic cooperation afterwards conditional on the return of their property to the Miami mob and the ex-exploiters.
What happens is that the text of the law itself, more exactly in clause f) of section 202, entrusts the President with carrying out this lying maneuver. Lying on the law's command. Do you want a better example of a lack of morality and cynicism?
The answer, as always, must be sought in Washington. In its eagerness to obey the plans of Helms and the annexationist mob they have turned deceit into their permanent mode of conduct. Similar announcements were made in March of 1998 and in January of 1999. Our people is perfectly well aware of the obscenely false nature and the bottomless evil of these repeated maneuvers.
Once again, now that the Agriculture Law has just been passed by the U.S. Congressm they are talking about "authorizing the sale of food and medicine" to Cuba. The first thing that must be said is that if the senators and representatives contemplated the possibility of removing the prohibition on the sale of food and medicines to Cuba it is, quite simply, because they know better than anyone that this kind of trade had been totally banned and that what the government had been saying all these years was a complete lie. But no one has explained how all that will change now, as long as the bulky tangle of prohibitions and restrictions, which for years has made any trading relationship between the two countries impossible, remains in effect.
It is surprising that anyone could wrongly interpret the latest legislative monster, since in the text itself, in the most explicit manner possible, it puts it on record, more than once, that all anti-Cuban legislation remains intact. All you have to do is read paragraph 2 of section 908, significantly entitled "rules of interpretation," where it states that "nothing ... is to be interpreted as if it alters, modifies or in any other way affects... any other legal provisions concerning Cuba.'
So there is no change whatsoever in the strict regulations which today ban financial, economic or trade flows and transport between the two countries, as well as other activities universally associated with any negotiations for exchanging goods and services. Just recently a federal grand jury began proceedings against several U.S. businessmen accused of trying to violate these prohibitions.
Can it be conceived that, while all this is going on, direct sales from the United States to Cuba might exist? If only that were the case, why do they persist in persecuting Cuban trade all over the world, violating the sovereignty of other countries? Why do they keep on punishing U.S. citizens, accusing them of carrying on, through the offices of third parties, something that they make believe can be carried on directly?
The hypothetical sales to Cuba would have to be authorized, one by one, with specific licenses, subject to rigorous congressional monitoring. Payments would have to be made in cash and in advance. No U.S. public or private financing would be allowed, nor any by foreigners living in the United States, nor by U.S. subsidiaries or branches abroad. Anyone violating these provisions would be punished by the penalties already in force (up to 10 years in prison and one million dollars fine for each violation.)
Since all of the parts of the blockade are still being applied, exporters should also verify the "end use" of every medicine or medical product. Not satisfied with these additional restrictions on trade, they have turned the prohibition on travel to Cuba into a law, in a clear violation of the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens.
It is obvious that, in practice, Cuba could not purchase any good in the U.S. market nor any that originates directly or indirectly from the United States.
But there is something even worse. It should not be forgotten that now that the new law has been passed, all other unilateral sanctions have been eliminated and new rules have been established to regulate and control future sanctions, in the event that some time in the future Congress should decide to impose them on some other country. The United States is entering then, as they say, a new era, in which it has stopped acting on its own against countries which it wants to punish. At the same time, however, it is ratifying the blockade against Cuba and extending it.
Cuba is left as a case apart, the only exception, as if it were not part of this world. Any attempt anyone wanted to make to sell something under such conditions would be useless. And that is how it has been with the many fruitless efforts made by Cuba to buy medicines, or even essential parts for equipment for surgery on children, after President Clinton, in March of 1998, promised to "give up" the procedures which supposedly would allow us to buy them.
Any attempt made now, apart from being completely useless, would have serious legal consequences. It would imply accepting the fact that Cuba belongs to another planet, that special, totally discriminatory rules have to apply to her. This would mean acknowledging that this treatment is quite normal and would make the blockade eternal. Those who drafted such odious legislation did it knowing that Cuba, like any other self-respecting state, would never accept anything of the kind. And as if that were not enough, to demonstrate that they were not at all interested in relaxing the blockade, Congress simultaneously passed, as part of another law, an amendment which strips Cuba of the funds arbitrarily frozen in the United States as a result of the blockade. The theft of these resources and their delivery to the annexationist mob in Miami rips to shreds the lie about the alleged "relaxation." Who would dare to send cash, with no guarantee whatsoever to a country whose government is capable of appropriating what does not belong to it and sharing it out among its cronics?
It is really shocking that some people are determined to describe what happened as a step towards softening the U.S. economic war against Cuba. The truth is that the blockade, now harsher than ever, is still untouchable.
All of this after the Senate had twice -- once in 1999 and then again this -- year passed a Law which removed those sanctions against all countries, including Cuba, and then the House Appropriations Committee passed an identical Law and overturned the proposal to exclude Cuba and then later, in a full session of the same House, with 301 votes in favor, they declared themselves in favor of removing the mechanisms which prevent us from buying food and medicines in the United States. These proceedings will go down in history as a telling example of the corrupt and anti-democratic nature of the U.S. political system.
The final wording of the Agricultural Law contradicts the opinion clearly expressed over and over by the majority of the legislators. Far from following the original intentions of those who sought a rapprochement with the Cuban market, it denatures them in such an indecent way as to reduce them to some kind of macabre jest.
As of now, the Cuban people will be the only one which is still denied access to food and medicines by the U.S. government that will continue to commit the crime of genocide. Since this is a terrible crime, abhorred by all decent people, Washington also finds itself obliged to deploy all of its powerful disinformation machine to hide the truth and to spread confusion.
Deceit and lies, the main products exported by the United States, will continue to flood the planet. But there will be fewer and fewer people who let the wool be pulled over their eyes.
Trick will be defeated. Those who try to turn people into tame machines will fail. Evil and injustice cannot be imposed forever.
Cuba shall prevail. We Cubans know how to hold our ground, we shall save our homeland and we shall turn it into an even freer, more beautiful and more just homeland. Anyone who is struggling in the world to win the future can count on Cuba's solidarity and friendship, ever onward until victory.
Brief History of Radio Swan
Radio Swan was a
radio station broadcasting from
Swan Island off
Honduras. It was
intended to provide both anti-Castro
Cuba during the
1960's, and serve as a way to communicate with the strike force during the
Bay of Pigs
invasion. Jammed by Castro in
Havana, it was
nevertheless heard all over the remainder of Cuba, the
apparently parts of the
Radio Swan began broadcasting on May 17 of 1960 on two frequencies: 50kW at 1160kHz mediumwave, and 7.5kW at 6000kHz shortwave. At first program slots were sold to various groups, who proceeded to argue and talk about issues that interested them more than they interested actual Cubans.
A year later, in March of 1961 and before the Bay of Pigs, the station stopped accepting tapes from those groups and instead began to broadcast just news, increasing its power and the quantity of frequencies on which it broadcast. Secret messages were broadcast during the invasion.
After the Bay of Pigs, Radio Swan changed its name to Radio Americas. It continued to broadcast news with an anti-Castro tilt at various times during the day until May of 1968, when it shut down.
Web Exclusive: 02.28.02
It took all of seven days to shut down the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence -- roughly the same amount of time that anyone actually knew it existed.
Controversy over OSI originally heated up following a New York Times story suggesting the office might spread false reports to the foreign press or run "black" propaganda campaigns. After taking a beating over this -- as critics barked that the U.S. shouldn't lie to the rest of the world -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld pulled the plug. Indeed, it was all over so quickly, the debate over OSI didn't really progress far enough for anyone to bother asking whether office would actually have been very good at duping anyone.
A look back at some of the low points of U.S. psychological warfare, however, suggests that this might have been by far the more salient criticism. Consider the CIA's embarrassing forays in Cuba, well described in Jon Elliston's book Psywar on Cuba. By March of 1960, a little over a year after Cuban rebels seized power from dictator Fulgencio Batista, the CIA had developed plans to overthrow Castro. The propaganda war would span more than three decades, and employ traditional and nontraditional means of molding Cuban public opinion, including posters, newspapers, rumor campaigns, and radio and television broadcasts via planes, boats and submarines. The result was a chain of "psy-ops" blunders:
Radio Swan: The CIA enlisted a group of anti-Castro exiles and gave them programs on Radio Swan, a covert operation run under the guise of a steamship company. The station attempted to spread some real whoppers, including a claim that Castro's government spiked popular drinks with a secret chemical that would cause people to develop communist ideas. The Cuban newspaper El Mundo commented on the station's programming, "The latest stories on Radio Swan would make us laugh. . .if it weren't for the infamy and poison they distill." It was, of course, no mystery to Cubans or Castro as to who was hiding behind the curtain. On December 26, 1960, Castro told the UN that the United States had "set up a very powerful broadcasting station. . .which it has placed at the disposal of war criminals," i.e., the CIA.
Annihilation of the armed bands
THE initial phase of the presentation of evidence related to U.S. aggression against Cuba carried out by counterrevolutionary groups in the 1960s concluded on July 8, after more than 80 witnesses testified.
The central proof concerning the origin of the military means used by these bands lies in the fact that a large percentage of them (150,000 pounds of arms, munitions and equipped flown in) fell into the hands of the revolutionary government.
Those facts were ratified by those whom the court referred to as "capital witnesses," including Generals Raúl Menéndez Tomassevich and Orlando Lorenzo Castro, Retired Colonel Víctor Dréke and other high-ranking military officers involved in the fight against bandits.
As a result of the capture and annihilation of close to 1000 bandits in the Escambray from January through March 1961, U.S. President Eisenhower’s planned mercenary invasion of Cuba, via Casilda in Trinidad, was thwarted, as Retired Division General Raúl Enrique Menéndez Tomassevich told the court.
The witness, who directed the fight against bandits at the national level from 1961 to 1963, explained that Fidel’s strategy obliged the invading mercenaries to transfer the airborne landing to Ciénaga de Zapata and guaranteed that the rearguard would remain free of enemy forces.
They were no longer able to depend on counterrevolutionary support for the action and the virtually organized beachhead collapsed underneath them. "One month later," he recalled, "the Bay of Pigs invasion was wiped out in less than 72 hours."
Nevertheless, at that stage (1961-63), the armed bands led by Julio Emilio Carretero, Tomás San Gil and Eduardo Ramírez committed a total of 71 murders to which he was witness, "first, because of the information I received and second, through the large number of interrogations of captured bandits that I carried out.
"For that reason," he affirmed, "I am absolutely sure that these bands were encouraged, directed and armed by the U.S. government. In terms of arms alone, they received these by air, land and sea."
"From 1961 to 1965, when I was appointed chief of the Central Army’s General Staff," Tomassevich continued, "there were 299 armed bands operating and they murdered 549 persons, including combatants and the civilian population. A further 200 persons were maimed."
In 1965, the CIA gave up establishing armed centers of concentration on the island and in 1966, with the help of Cuban counterrevolutionaries resident in the United States, began to organize small groups.
Tomassevich illustrated, among various landings, the one effected via Monte Barreto—an area of Miramar now occupied by the Neptuno and Tritón hotels—where two mercenaries directed by Tony Cuesta made an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro. Tony Cuesta was captured and served a prison term.
AMMUNITION CRATES MARKED ‘MADE IN USA’
Brigadier General Orlando Lorenzo Castro, who headed the Escambray A Special Region, after the death in combat of its first chief, Manuel (Piti) Fajardo, revealed how large quantities of arms and munitions were dropped by parachute from U.S. aircraft.
"They were dropped at various points of the Escambray," he explained, "some of which we came to control. The first of the consignments we intercepted was dropped in Salto de Hanabanilla. The crates that arrived in this manner clearly stated ‘Made in USA’."
Lorenzo Castro’s allegations also uncovered fresh evidence related to the murder of literacy teachers Conrado Benítez and Manuel Ascunce Domenech, and campesinos Helidoro Rodríguez and Pedro Lantigua.
"I’d seen Conrado a few days earlier, he was a child. After torturing him, they killed him. When I heard about it, I immediately sent detachments to the area where they killed him, which was precisely in an impenetrable location called La Tinajita. Within a few days, a number of bandits were captured and told us how they had perpetrated the crime."
In the case of literacy teacher Manuel Ascunce, "whom I loved like a son," Lorenzo stated that just before his death, he’d given him a lift in his jeep, as he often did.
"When we reached the place, Pedro Lantigua and he were still strung up and it wasn’t easy to get them down. They had been knifed to death."
He also stated that in a location known as Los Portillos, an armed band machine gunned and slaughtered an entire family, both parents and children; and another one, that of Fidel Claro and his wife, experienced a similar fate, with the exception of one of their sons who managed to escape.
Fidel Claro’s son, of the same name, never became what he most wanted to be: a pilot. And he has motive enough to blame U.S. imperialism for that. At 15 years of age, he was told in school that his father and stepmother had been murdered.
When he arrived, "The entire house had been machine-gunned," he recounted. "They were attacked while they were asleep. My stepmother, who was five months pregnant, was found with her belly shot to pieces. My nine-year-old brother remained traumatized for life. Although miraculously he wasn’t killed, the psychological wounds inflicted had an irreversible effect on him.
"After the funeral, my brother and I were left with no alternative. Fernando never went back to the artillery school. Both of us joined the struggle. I gave up my spot in the Mariel School of Aviation. I no longer had it in me to study. I never got to be a pilot," this witness recalled. He concluded his evidence by saying that he and his family "recognize the U.S. government as responsible for the victims, because they armed and financed the bands."
Witness Emilio Hernández, who had responsibilities in the central region, presented more details concerning the crime against the Claro family: "After killing the pregnant woman, they pulled out the fetus and tore it apart. We counted around 400 bullet holes in the house."
Marcelo Martínez was head of the 63rd battalion in the fight against bandits. He recounted that, on one occasion in 1961, on a farm near Cabaiguán, a plane dropped approximately 30 packets containing grenades, mortars, foodstuffs, communications equipment, pistols and holsters, "some of which we recovered, and for that reason I can affirm that they were of U.S. origin."
Other witnesses denounced the murder of their brothers, like Antolín Valenzuela and Rafael Pisco; of their children, like Julio García, Cresencia Contreras and Manuela Santana; of their husbands, like Consuelo Téllez, who was left with two small children; or of their fathers, like Elsida Padrón, who was only six when he saw her father killed and her home and school burned down.
The court also heard and accepted visual evidence of injuries suffered by Hedelto Sotologo, Lorenzo Martínez and Manuel Bombano, among others.
RADIO SWAN, A CIA STATION
All the propaganda and basic messages reaching the counterrevolutionary groups were received via Radio Swan, stated Aníbal Veláz, at that time head of State Security in Las Villas province.
"Radio Swan is a CIA station, that is totally proven," he added.
Alberto Delgado Delgado, a member of the Cuban security force, was an alleged enemy agent in Operation Transfer. "This plan allowed us (substituting for the CIA) to make the bandits believe that we were going to get them out of the country," the witness testified. "Once in the hands of the revolutionary troops, they were taken prisoner." In that way they succeeded in capturing many of the main band leaders, such as Maro Borges and Emilio Carretero who, as a result of the revolutionary offensive, were fleeing and seeking a way to leave the country.
Veláz testified how, during that operation, the infamous bandit Cheito León, Alberto Delgado’s killer, told Carretero (supposedly out of the country) to send him a message via Swan Radio as a guarantee that he really was in the United States. This is irrevocable proof that Radio Swan, operating from U.S. territory, was at the counterrevolutionaries’ disposition.
CIA STRATEGY DATING BACK TO BEFORE 1959
Prior to 1959, the CIA penetrated the forces that would afterwards turn against the Revolution. The U.S. intelligence services began to train the so-called Escambray Second National Front, headed by Eloy Gutiérrez Menoyo, once the victory of the Sierra Maestra rebels was imminent.
This fact was confirmed in the statement given by Víctor Dréke Cruz, who had various responsibilities in the fight against bandits in the early 1960s and subsequently during the Bay of Pigs mercenary invasion.
According to Dréke, the CIA strategy was to penetrate the Escambray area via the bands which constituted its armed wing. William Morgan, a U.S. citizen who belonged to the Second Front but joined the revolutionaries in 1959, and who was supposedly involved in combating those armed bands utilized by the U.S. government, took advantage of his position in the ranks of the militia to organize the counterrevolutionary groups.
Dréke relates that the bands’ initial actions were directed at the theft of arms from garrisons in the areas, aided by other persons who didn’t support the Revolution or who were confused. After the siege of the Escambray mounted by the militia, U.S. imperialism changed its tactics and directed the armed bands to split into smaller groups. Combating them became more difficult.
They began to intimidate campesinos and townspeople through kidnap, rape and murder. Terror was unleashed.
From that time on, sectors and subsectors of the militia were formed to operate from various points, and the revolutionary struggle likewise changed its tactics.
The witness told the court that thanks to unified action between the state security combatants and the militia, the fight could be concluded.
Víctor Dréke’s evidence was followed by the testimony of Gaspar Delgado. His father Iginio was shot dead by Francisco Navarro’s band on June 22, 1963, and his body machine-gunned in the northern area of Yaguajay.