APPI:NDI(IICS On the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba Since the text of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba arrived after the completioll of this book, comment is included in the appendix. (English Translation, Center for Cuban Studies, N.Y. 1976) Although Article 4 of the constitution proclaims that " . . . all power belongs to the working people who exercise it directly or through the Assemblies of People's Power. . . " the constitution actually institutionalizes and perpetuates the dictatorship in much the same manner as the Cons.itution of the Soviet Union promulgated by Stalin. A few examples: [Article 66:] . . . State organs are based. . . upon the principles of. . . unity of power [and the totalitarian Lenin-Stalin principle of] democratic centralism... [Article 5:] . . . the socialist State. . . consolidates the ideology and rules of living together and of proper conduct in Cuban society. . . directs the national economy. . . assures the educational, scientific technical and cultural progress of the country... [Article 38:] . . . education is a function of the state. . . educational institutions belong to the state. . . [which promotes] communist education and training of children, young people and adults. . . [Article 52:] . . . citizens have the freedom of speech and the press [in keeping with] socialist society [but the exercise of that right is vested in the statel...press, radio, television, movies and other organs of the mass media are exclusively state property. . . [Article 19:] The wage system of Cuba is based upon the. . . socialist principle of 'From each .ar`~ordino rm hi~ ~hili.~, i each according to his work...' _...O ~v I11O c1ulIlty ~ LU Following the Russian pattern, the Constitution of Cuba " . . . basing ourselves on the. . . proletarian internationalism. . . of the Soviet Union. . ." (Preamble) is a hierarchically structured pyramid in which the absolute power of the state, through its chain-of-command is imposed from the top down over every level of Cuban society (homes neighborhoods, municipalities, provinces etc.) '` . . . decisions of superior state organs are compulsory for inferior ones. . . " [Article 66:] Starting from the local, municipal and provincial Assemblies of People's Power, the Council of Ministers and the Council of State, supreme power is ultimately personified in a 176 single dictator: The President of the Council of State. [Article 1()5:] [Decisions of Local Assemblies of People's Power can be] . . . revoked, suspended or modified . . . by the. . . Municipal and Provincial Assemblies of Pcople's Power. [Article 96:] [The Council of Ministers can] ...revoke or annul provisions issued by. . . heads of central agencies and the administrative bodies of the local organs [Municipal and Provincial Assemblies] of People's Power... [Article 88:] [The Council of State can, in turn,] . . .suspend the provisions of the Council of Ministers and [even the] Local Assemblies of People's Power which in its opinion run counter to the Constitution. . . or the general interest of the country.. ." The prerogatives of the President of the Council of State match the absolute power exercised by Stalin: [Article 91:] . . .The President of the Council of State is Head of the Government and is invested with the power to: . . . organize, conduct the activities of, call for the holding of and preside over the sessions of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers . . . control and supervise. . . the activities of the ministries and central agencies of the administration . . . assume the leadership of any ministry or central agency of the administration ...replace.. the members of the Council of Ministers [Article 88] . . . represent the state and the government and conduct their general policy. . . The totalitarian character of the constitution is best summarized in this extract from its Preamble: WE adopt the following Constitution. . . to carry forward the triumphant Revolution [initiated] . . . under the leadership of Fidel Castro [who] established the revolutionary power...and started the construction of socialism under the direction of the Communist Party... Chronology 1959-1975 Jan. 1, 1959 Batista flees Cuba: Revolution begins. Jan. 4 Manuel Urrutia Lleo appointed President of Cuba. Armed Student Directorio seizes and refuses to evacuate the Presidential Palace, the seat of government and the University of Havana campus because Castro unilaterally appointed his "Provisional Government" without consulting allied anti-Batista fight 177 l l ,1 1 11., Illg gl'OII]~.~. .lan 1 () Jan. 28 Feb. 16 April 5 May 8 May 17 ~i 1 1 ! , l ll 1 1 , , .lune 3 June 9 Jltly 7 J~~ly 18 July 26 I labeas corpus suspended. C'apital punishment decreed. People's Socialist Party (PSP-Communists) pledges allegiance to Castro. Miro Cardona resigns and Castro appoints himself Premier. Censorship of press, radio, television etc. begins. Strikes prohibited. Castro government assumes unlimited power. Council of Ministers can decree laws and change constitution at will. Agrarian Reform Law (National Institute of Agrarian ReformÑINRA) makes illegal ownership of more than 5 caballerias (I caballeria = 33 ~/2 acres) of land. INRA institutes state farms on Russian model. Law 43 giving INRA dictatorial powers reads: ". . . the INRA will appoint administrators and the workers will accept all orders and decrees dictated by INRA. . . " Pedro Luis Diaz, Commander of the Air Force and close friend of Castro, protests growing influence of Communists and leaves Cuba. Resolution 6, gives Castro unlimited power to spend public funds without being accountable to anyone. Article 25 of Fundamental Law further extends death penalty for "acts hostile to the regime" Urrutia resigns. The Communist Dorticos appointed new Presiclent of Cuba Thc day after he resigns, Castro before a delirious mass demonstration of 500,000 people withdraws his resignation as self appointed Premier of Cuba. The carefully staged proceeding was a cheap publicity hoax. 178 Scl~t. 3() ()ct. 1 3 Oct. 20 Oct. 27 Nov. 30 Nov. 26 Dec. 27 Jan. 1, 196() Feb. 13 March 1 6 April 20 C'uba sells 3,300,000 tons of sugar to Rllssia Article 149, regulating private schools and education, prohibits teaching of subjects not taught in public schools, state dictates curriculum. Castro's close friend and second-in-command, Major Hubor Matos, Military Commander of Province of Catnaguey' resigns in protest of communist infiltration of Cuban government. Arrested by order of Castro and after fake "trial", sentenced Dec. 14 to 20 years imprisonment. Sentence stirred dormant resentment in armed forces and also civilians who revered Matos, as hero of the Revolution. Nationalization of oil property begins. I 0th Congress of Cuban Confederation of Labor (CTC). Communist candidates endorsed by Castro are defeated. A little later, officials freely elected by rank-and-file are dismissed by order of Castro and replaced by Castro's appointees. The democratically elected Secretary, David Salvador, is sentenced to 30 year prison term. Ernesto Che Guevara (who knows nothing about finance) appointed President of the Bank of Cuba. I.aw 680 tightens press, radio, television, etc., censorship. Vise-President of Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, Anastas Mikoyan, inaugurates Soviet exhibition in Palace of Fine Arts Commercial treaty signed by Mikoyan and Castro grants credit of $100,000,000 and exchanges Cuban sugar for Soviet armaments. Establishment of Central Planning Body (JUCEPLAN) to manage economy. Blas Roca, veteran communist leader appointed Director of JUCEPLAN. Instituto Superior de Educacion established to indoctrinate tcachers with Marxist-Leninist principles. 179 Al:'il 22 Ma! 7 May 8 June 3 , . 1 July 15 Sept. 28 October Oct. 13 Nov. 7 (,ala ( clebration of Lenin's birthday. Formal diplomatic relations with Russia established. C ommandante Rolando Cubela (later mortal enemy of Castro) President of the Federation of University Students (FEW) orders expulsion of anti-communist students from the University of Havana. Death Penalty decreed for misappropriation of funds. Law 851 decrees nationalization of property. In successive months the property of the Cuban Telephone Co., Cuban Electric Co., three oil companies (Standard, Shell and Texaco) and 21 sugar refineries are nationalized. (By the end of 1960, the state expropriated 11,287 companies, equal to two-thirds of Cuban industry. By March 1961, nationalization totaled 88010 of industrial production and 55¡70 of agricultural production. Most of the faculty of Havana University resigns in protest over communist party takeover. Organization of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) to spy on citizens even in their homes. " . . . a strike is a counter-revolutionary act in a socialist republic. . ." (Castro). ". . .The destiny of the unions is to disappear..." (Guevara). "...the Minister of Labor can take control of any union or federation of unions, dismiss officials and appoint others. . . " (law 647) With nationalization of 376 additional firms and Urban Reform Law (including housing) Castro proclaims the completion of the first phase of the Revolution. Gala parade in celebration of anniversary of Russian Revolution with participation of thousands of Russian, Chinese and "socialist" countries' technicians and "advisers. " 180 N:~~. 22 Nov. 30 Dec. 31 Jan. 1, 1961 Jan. 3 Jan. 4 Jan. 21 .1 an. 29 Feb. 10 Feb. 23 April 17 (hlban Government predicts th.tt in 19(i1, production ol potatoes, beans, poultry, eggs, corn, and cotton "will have quintuplet)." Actually, "production between 1958-1963 decreased by 500/0 (Rene Dumont) Cuba and China sign trade agreement. China buys 1,000,000 tons of sugar and extends $50,000,000 credit to Cuba. Castro creates Higher Council of Universities headed by Minister of Education to rule universities. 2nd anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. U.S. severs relations with Cuba. " . . . any counter-revolutionary activity (as defined by the dictators) by any worker, either in the public or private sector, will be sufficient cause for immediate dismissal and additional punishment for criminal acts under the law. . . " (law 934) 6 complete factories arrive from Yugoslavia. 100 due to be delivered by Russia. Cuba sends 1000 children to Russia to learn how to become obedient communists. Educational collaboration with Soviet ambassador to Havana, Yuri Gavrilov, and Czechoslovak ViceMinister of Education, Vaslav Pelishek, to teach Cuban educators methods used in communist lands. Cuban Ministry of Education will train teachers in Minar del Fri'o, a communist school, how to become good Marxist-Leninists. Stepped up campaign to mobilize hundreds of thousands of "volunteers" to cut cane and do other important work. Guevara appointed Minister of Industry (which he knows nothing about) "Bay of Pigs" invasion by unofficial U.S.-sponsored forces. 181 May I Dec. 2 March 8, 1962 C astr () proclaims that C uba has hecome the f h-st Socialist Republic in l.atin Anlerica. Th`~l~s`~'uls parade carrying Inlgc portraits ol Caslro, Jose Marti', Khrusllchev, Mao, Lenin, Marx and Engels. On behlg awarded the Lenin peace prize, Castro exults: "GLORY TO THE GREAT JOSE MART:!" "GLORY TO THE GREAT VLADIMIR II.S ICII LENI N! " Castro delivers his "I am a Marxist-Leninist Communist" speech. A forerunner of the Communist Party of Cuba, the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI) is organized. March 12 Law 1015 decrees rationing of most foods and other necessities. July l anc~ther version l~l the luturc poll-Castro Ct~nlmunist ['arty of ( uba (C}'( ) Oct. 4 Nov. Second Ayratian Retorn, restricts ownership oi land to five caballerias. I ol the first time in Cuba compulsory military service is decreed in preference to volunteer service in militia. Feb. 14, 1964 Castro takes personal charge of INRA. Summer, 1965 To combat absenteeism and enforce work discipline the government announces plans to issue in August and September, identification cards which all workers must show as condition for employment. . . " . . . thereby guaranteeing full compliance with directives established by the Revolutionary Government as far as labor is concerned . . . " Ministry of Labor institutes forced labor in Province of Pinar del Rio' for "...employes who committed transgressions in lulfilllnellt of their functions.. Aug.-Sept. Drive against political and social dissenters stepped up. FI Libertario, organ of the Liberation Association of Cuba (anarcho-syndicalist) forced to suspend publication. Workers threatened with loss of jobs if they do not "volunteer" to work without pay. Students housewives and others told they will lose benefits it they do not "volunteer" their services. Agricultural cooperatives transformed into state farms. Spring, 1963 Compulsory service for 15 to 17 year-old "delinquents" decreed to provide a labor force for a wide range of agricultural and civic projects. Formation of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution (PURS) 182 July 4 Oct. 3 The much vaunted militia, "The People in Arms" is practically liquidated as an independent force. Nationwide disarmament of the militia is decreed. Militia officers and civilians are commanded to turn their weapons in by Sept. Ist or face severe penalties. Members of the military reserve and communities for the Defense of the Revolution must also comply. Havana Longshoremen refuse to load meat for Italy because of meat shortage in Cuba. 200 arrested and later released with only stern warnings for fear of further complications. Militarily orgarlized labor camps established to rehabilitate "delinquents." Havana University is again purged. Writers and artists sent to penal camps, ostensibly to "purify the Revolution. " March, 1966 Rolando Cubela (former favorite of Castro) sentenced to 25 years at hard labor for conspiracy to assassinate Castro because he betrayed the Revolution. Aug. 22-26 12th Congress of the CTC adopts resolution stating that: " . . . the labor movement directed and guided by the Communist Party, must effectively contribute to the mobilization of the masses in fulfilling of the tasks assigned by the Revolution and strengthening MarxistLeninist theory . . . " 183 1967 Oct. 8 Jan. 28, 1968 March 13 Aug. 2 Aug. 17 Oct. 22 Organizatior1 ot the Vanguard Worliers Movement. Likc the Stal~hanovites in Russia, the Vanguard Workers are expected to set the pace and initiate speedup of their fellow workers. In c~change Vanguard Workers get special privileges. A program of Youth Reeducation Centers established for youngsters under 16 found guilty of minor offenses. They are to perform "a full day's work" and get military training. Che'Guevara killed in Bolivia guerrilla campaign. Castro asserts his domination over the Communist Party. Anibal Escalante, a prominent communist, is sentenced to 15 years at hard labor for plotting to subordinate Castro to the discipline of the Party. He was accused of the typical Stalinist crime of "microfactionalism. " Castro introduces the "Great Revolutionary Offensive" by nationalizing 58,000 trades, shops and services. Young people are mobilized, military fashion, for agriculture and sugar production. Castro defends the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The Minister of Labor, Jorge Risquet, announces introduction of 'ilabor card" recording acts of indiscipline, work record, etc. A "social-security law" providing incentives for workers who demonstrate "exemplary" behavior is decreed. Those who exhibit "communist work attitudes, " renounce overtime pay, are not absent without authorization, exceed work quotas and enthusiastically perform "voluntary" labor become eligible for special benefits. Jan. 2, 1969 Castro introduces rationing of sugar! July 9 Sept. 24 1970 Sept. Arrnando Hart (prominent member of Casto's ruling junta) praises Soviet achievements under Stalin and urges C ubans to follow Stalin's example. The whole labor force is mobilized Imilitary fashion) for harvesting the 10 million ton sugar crop while the rest of the economy is neglected. The campaign fails and Castro himself takes the blame for setting back the rest of the economy to the lowest levels since the Revolution, declaring that: "...1 want to speak of our own incapacity in the overall work of the Revolution. . tour responsibility to must be noted . . . especially mine. . . Our apprenticeship as directors of the Revolution has been too costly. . . " A series of drastic measures to strengthen weak labor discipline enacted by the Labor Ministry and CTC bureaucracy. Sanctions against absentees include denial of right to purchase goods in short supply (new housing, repairs, loss of vacations and other privileges. In extreme cases offenders can be sent to labor camps etc. There is a dossier for each worker which every worker is obliged to show, detailing his work record. Less than half of the workers participate in rigged union elections. Castro's henchmen screen all candidates. In some locals there was only one candidate on the ballot. March 1971 Dissident poet Herberto Padilla arrested on trumped up charges of "counter-revolution" for writing critical poetry and articles about Cuban dictatorship. Later, in true Stalinist fashion Padilla "repents his sins" and is "rehabilitated." The case aroused world-wide protests. Castro praises "revolutionary achievements" of the military totalitarian Junta that seized power in Peru. 184 Dec. 1972 Creation of the super-centralized Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers. Between 1972 and 1975 the institutionalization and 185 ! ~,. l ~' . .t 1 , : reorganization of the Revolution was being implcmented. I\lid-1971 Reform of the judicial system. Courts and all legal bodies dominat.] and completely responsible to the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers. There is no independent judiciary. The Prime Minister, the Prcsident of the Republic, other ministers, and the members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba are exempt from the jurisdiction of the regular courts. April May Aug. 2 November Militias ("People in Arms") abolished. Liability of 18 year olds for "crimes" against the economy, abnormal sexual behavior, etc., etc., applied to 16 year old "offenders." Creation of the Youth Army of Work (AYW), a paramilitary organization controlled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR). 13th Congress of the CTC endorses and promises to carry out the dictatorial policies of the Regime. December Law 1257 decrees creation of regular, conventional army complete with ranking system and discipline of great military powers. May 8, 1974 With the establishment of the People's Organization of Popular Control (PCP) an experiment in "decentralization" and "direct democracy" designed to promote mass participation in Local, Regional administration is initiated in Matanzas Province (to be extended to rest of Cuba in 1976). The system patterned after the fake Russian "soviets" actually reinforces the dictatorship. July 2 Castro proclaims 3 days of mourning for the death of the fascist dictator of Argentina Juan Pero'n. With Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (Dec. 1975) the institutionalization of the Revolution was substantially completed. The permanent, legally sanctioned, totalitarian apparatus intlicts itself on future generatiorls. 186 Lilossarv ALC MLCE CNT IWMA I.ibertarian Fedcration of Cuba L ibertarian Movcment of Cuba in Exile National Confederation of Labor (Spanish AnarchoSyndicalist) International Workingmen's Association (Abbreviations of Cuban organizations with date of founding) CDR CTC EJT FAR INRA JUCEPI AN OPP ORI PCC PSP PURS SMO SS UMAP UNEAC UJC Bibliographical Notes Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, 1960 Confederation of Cuban Workers, 1939 Youth Army of Work, 1973 Revolutionary Armed Forces, 1961 National Institute of Agrarian Reform, 1959 Central Planning Board, 1960 Organs of Popular Power, 1974 Integrated Revolutionary Organizations, 1961-1963 Communist Party of Cuba, 1965 Socialist Popular Party, 1925-1961 United Party of the Socialist Revolution, 1963-1965 Compulsory Military Service, 1963 Compulsory Social Service, 1973 Military Units to Aid Production, 1964-1973 National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, 1961 Young Communist League, 1962 A full bibliography of writings on the background of the Cuban Revolution and the Revolution itself would easily fill several volumes. It is therefore necessary to list such works in English as seems best for the general reader. Interestingly enough, the sources are the speeches and writings of Castro and members of his inner circle (official government publications, periodicals, newspapers etc.) Another excellent source is the works of the pro-Castro friendly critics. Both the Cuban officials in the process ot justifying their dictatorial measures and the friendly critics in trying to account for the degeneration of the Revolution inadvertently supply valuable information about the nature of the Cuban Revolution. 187 ()lficial Sources t I C astro s speeches and writings are easily availableÑa convenient compilation is The Selected Works ~Jf Fidel Castro: flevo/utionar Struggle; Rolando Bonachea and Nelson P. Valdes (M. I.T. Press Cambridge, 1971ÑE7irst ot three volumes.) Johrl C,crassi, Venceremos! The Speeches and Writings of Che Guervara (New York, 1968.) Che' Guevara, kpisodes of the Revolutionary Slruggle (Book Institute, Havana, 1967.) An invaluable, intimate first-hand account ot the early struggles of Castro's guerrilla band in the Sierra Maestra. Cramna Weekly Review (Lnglish Language Edition)Ñof licial organ of the Communist Party of Cuba. Good for current events, official notices, proclamations, etc. Other Background and Source Materials Cuban Studies Newsletter; published twice yearly by the Center for Latin American Studies; University of Pittsburgh. Contains many informative articles, theses and other writings. The University of Miami's Center for Research on Caribbean Studies; also the Cuban Economic Research Project, an excellent research staff manned by Cuban specialists. Yale University's Anlilles Program. Center for Cuban Studies, New York. United Nations publications. Background to Revolution; a collection of essays on Cuban history leading to the Cuban Revolution. A good general survey by competent authorities (Edited by Robert F. Smith, New York, 1966). Jaime Suchlicki, From Columbus to Castro, New York, 1974, also his excellent collection of essays by ten specialists, (University of Miami, 1972). Suchlicki's works are particularly important because he participated in the Revolutionary Students' Movement in his native Cuba. Although Hugh Thomas' massive history The Pursuit of Freedom has been widely acclaimed, his atrocious work on the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) should be borne in mind when reading his Cuban volume. Personal Accounts Jules Dubois' Fidel Castro; (Indianapolis, 1959). Dubois, late correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, interviewed and was on very cordial terms with Fidel Castro and associates. An excellent account of events from Castro's landing in Cuba, to the fall of Batista, plus interesting biographical data. 188 I Icrbert Matthews, New York Thnes correspondent who first i'~ncrvicwed C astro in the Sierra Maestre, was welcomed to Cuba sc~eral times since then. Matthews has written extensively on the C uban Revolution. Among his writings are: f idel Castro; (New York, 1959) and Cuba in Revolution; (New York, 1975). Though strongly biased in favor of Castro, the latter work contains valuable information. Rufo Lopez Fresquet: My First Fourteen Months With Castro; (New York, 1966) and Andre's Suarez, Castroism and Communism: 1959-1966; (MIT Press, Cambridge, 1967). Both Fresquet, former Minister of the Treasury in Castro's cabinet, and Sua'rez, the Assistant Minister of the Treasury, broke with Castro because they disagreed with his pro-communist policies. Their revelations contribute greatly to an understanding of the Cuban Revolution. Under the intriguing title, Does Your Father Eat More Than Castro? (New York, 1971), Barry Reckord, a Jamaica dramatist, describes the daily life of ordinary Cubans, and in so doing, tells more about the effects of the Cuban Revolution than any number of abstract statistical studies. The same is true of the journalist, Joe Nicholson Junior's Inside Cuba (New York, 1974.) Critical Studies Fidel Castro's Personal Revolution: 1959-1973 (New York, 1975); an anthology edited by James Nelson Goodsell, is a good general survey. Adolfo Cilly's Inside the Cuban Revolution (New York, 1964), although passionately pro-Castro, is nevertheless a penetrating critique. In his Castro's lRevolution: Myths and Realities (New York, 1962), Theodor Draper dispels the euphoria surrounding both the character and achievements of the Cuban Revolution. A realistic analysis. His Castroism: Theory and Practice (New York, 1965) develops his themes more fully. K.S. Karol's Cuerrillas in Power (New York, 1970)ÑKarol, a Marxist-Leninist writer who was welcomed to Cuba by Castro, was later excommunicated for his critical insights and revelations about the unfavorable features of the Cuban Revolution. His work constitutes an able political history of the Cuban Revolution, fal superior to Huberman and Sweezy's Socialism in Cuba (New York, 1969). Maurice Halperin's The Rise and Decline of Fidel Castro (University of California Press, 1972) deals primarily with the complex relations between Castro and the Soviet Union and foreign affairs. His observations on the sitl~ation in Cuba itself enhance the work. Halperin taught at the University of Havana for six years and in Russia for three years. His is one of the better works. The analytic books of Rene' Dumont: Cuba: Socialism and 189 )tn'l'/~'pn]t'lll (Nc~` Noll`. 197()) anti /.\ Cubu St)`ic//i.sl'' (New York, 1')74), ;Il~Ll tl~c ll`IillStt\\iliglV li'NC.\rL'llCti work o' (.tlll~clo \1cNa-Lago, ( ~t/'U il' r/7e /97().`i (tJni~crsity oi Ne`~- I\lexico, It)74) 1~a~c alicaLiy been iiiNCU\NCLI tIIILi IlCCLt 110 fUrtllCr COllllllelll. 190 Ac~ Ac' Ace Aco Adv. Agra Agra, ana Agric~ Agric~ ana~ .llilit post ]5 pre- R See a, Ert Aguirre, Ahoru (r A lar~na Alba (jo~ ALC, see C ub:~ Alerta (ne Algcria, g Alonso, 11 Al\arcz C'c Alvarez y E Anarchists, I iberta (ALC) Anarcho-syn in Cuba, 4 main princ in Spain, s, del Trab; Andre, Arma~ Antorcha, La, Arbenz Guzmi Arcirivo Socia' Argentina anarcho-sync "Caudillismc Castro and, i See also Fede; tine; Peron, Armed forces under Batista,
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