Jones: Who discovered Cuba, so-called? I mean, he came to exploit a beautiful people like the Jamaicans in the Caribbean, populated by the Arawak Indians, and they were totally annihilated by the Christian– white Christians that came to exploit them. Well, anyway, Columbus discovered Cuba, found it to exploit it, on October 28, 1492, on his first trip to the New World. In colonial times, Cuba followed the usual pattern of the West Indies, a search for mineral wealth, decimation – the means destruction – of the native population, all killed off of one million Ciboney – C-i-b-o-n-e-y – Indians living on Cuba when Columbus arrived, virtually all were dead by 1600. In other words, in 108 years, a million Ciboney Indians had been murdered by the good Christians that came with Christopher Columbus. USA also prides itself that Christopher Co– Christopher Columbus found USA, and the same has been done wherever the white Christian has gone. They destroyed the Indians in USA.
Anyway, all were dead by 1600. Importation of black slaves, exploitation of land and resources, raids by pari– pirates were the tune of the day. That’s Christian Spain that did this– this act, and the same was true of the British in USA.
On July 15, 1895, a rebel junta in exile, a military group in exile, in New York, proclaimed Cuba a republic. The Spanish-American War followed. The US fought the Spanish, and Spain was forced to withdraw from Cuba. Then the USA established a military occupation government, that they uh, aggressively took over Cuba, which on May 20, 1902 relinquished power to an elected Cuban government, headed by Tomas Estrada Palma, P-a-l-m-a. “Tomas” is the word in Spanish, spelled T-o-m-a-s, and his middle name E-s-t-r-a-d-a. Tomas Palma. However, Cuba remained a trusteeship, that is, a colony of the USA for 20 years, experiencing corresponding interference in Cuban affairs all the time by the USA.
What is the size of Cuba? 44,218 square miles. Just a little over half the size of Guyana, including the Isle of Youth, that’s including it, which is uh, the Isle of Pines formerly. It was a prison, total– that island was used for a prison, political prisoners, where they were tortured under the auspices of the puppet of USA, Fulgencio Batista, who was a dictator and did the will of USA. A fascist.
What is the population of Cuba today? Nine and half million, much, much larger than Guyana, with much less territory. European, mostly Spanish, 73 percent. Mulatto, mixed with Spanish and black, 15 percent. Totally black, twelve percent. Also, there’s a sprinkling of Orientals. Mostly those who still go to church are Roman Catholic. The church is still free.
A council of ministers govern. In actuality, in the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is a necessary stage in any revolution, Dr. Fidel Castro is the prime minister, and other leaders of the Communist Party govern the Republic of Cuba. On the local level, neighborhood organizations distribute various goods, provide services, and promote education and involvement on a personal level. Popular tribunals, or Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, composed of neighbors and residents of a small local area, have the power to discipline any local offense. Lawyers are not in style in Cuba, they consider them, like all socialists, to be parasites who breed on differences between people. The committees, the neighborhood popular– As I said, the popular tribunals are Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, carry out any anti– uh, deal with any anti-social conduct.
Sugar was uh, and is still unfortunately the backbone of Cuba’s economy, though they are diversifying, and they have developed cattle to a h– highly refined degree, in spite of USA’s horrible economic boycotts against them, which still exist to this day, and all other subtle ways of destroying them, where the CIA messed with the meteorological factors, weather, seeded their clouds, give them excessive rain to destroy their cur– their cu– their sugar crop on one occasion. And another, they poisoned their pigs. That’s just to mention a few, and then many, many assassination attempts on Dr. Castro. But sugar and sugar products such as rum still earn over 80 percent of the country’s foreign exchange, and Cuba is usually the world’s biggest producer and exporter of sugar. Son of [Angel Maria Bautista Castro y Argiz] a well-to-do sugar planter, a rich capitalist, and [Lina Ruz Gonzalez] a servant, whom his father later married but was living with in illegal relationship at the time, after the death of [María Argota y Reyes] his first wife, Fidel Castro was born, as they say, illegitimate, which is not allowed to be referred to now. Since the referendum and the new constitution, no one can be called illegitimate. That’s a beautiful thing here in Guyana.
Fidel Castro was born in 1926, educated as a child by the Jesuits and the Christian Brothers. He received his advanced education at the Collegio Belen – B-e-l-e-n – in Havana. That’s the capital, H-a-v-a-n-a. At the university, he first began to develop the political outlook. He was associated with a number of political groups, and also went to the Dominican Republic that is now under the throes of US interference after electing a left president [Juan Bosch], who is being more and more stripped of his power, because of the military being threatened and the CIA interfering in the Dominican Republic. When Dr. Castro went to the Dominican Republic and Colombia to protest, he traveled about, involving himselves in the labor class struggles of various countries.
In 1948 he married Mirtha – M-i-r-t-h-a – Diaz – D-i-a-z, last name Balart – B-a-l-a-r-t. She was a daughter of a conservative rich person, a conservative family. His own leanings towards the left led him to work with the Ortodo– doxo, Ortodoxo – O-r-t-o-d-o-x-o – Party, which opposed the fascist Batista that had been put in power by the US monopoly capitalists. He was a member of the Assembly, but after the Batista coup, the overthrow of 1952, he turned from the traditional political structure to armed struggle, the concept of Marx-Leninism. Armed opposition. In 1956, he led a small band of exiled students and professionals from Mexico– Mexico to the Sierra Maestra – S-i-e-r-r-a capital M-a-e-s-t-r-a – Mountains in Cuba.
From then until 1959, he was continuously engaged in guerilla warfare with the government. He is a man of great personal charm, character and energy, and he’s a charismatic leader, I suppose, by capitalistic labels, who has support of all the Cubans, for all practical purposes, even the capitalist almanac, oh, reveals that, they admit that. People may complain to the bureaucracy– of the bureaucracy or the red tape, but Castro himself receives no blame, although there’s mild bureaucracy compared to US capitalism. A big man over six foot tall, he has a commanding physical presence and is renowned widely known for his speech-making ability, sometimes speaking for eight hours non-stop.
In 1964, with the USA in the lead, the Organization of American States, which is a puppet uh, organization in many respects of USA, though it’s becoming more and more independent, though only capitalist nations or oligarchical right-wing nations are involved in the OSA [OAS], but the OSA voted political and commercial sanctions against Cuba to try to starve them to death economically. No hemispheric countries were to conduct any trade or other relations with Cuba. For many years, the USA had supplied 90 percent of Cuba’s imports. After the blockade, Cuba turned to the Soviet Union and Eastern European Communist countries to buy goods. No one thought they could survive.
When the nation of Bangladesh was formed in 1971 and ’72, and starvation and malnutrition were widespread, the US government refused to send aid until Bangladesh agreed not to trade with Cuba. That’s how fierce the hatred and passion against Cuba under Castro, that they allowed several tens of thousands to die before any food would be sent to Bangladesh, until Bangladesh – B-a-n-g-l-a-d-e-s-h – a province formerly of India that US capitalism helped to break away, until they agreed to not recognize Cuba, they would not even give them any food when they were starving to death. Moreover, as you know, Dr. Castro went into prison in the court against Batista. He was first arrested in the early ‘50s, he defended himself – he’s a lawyer – no lawyer would represent him, and his parting stain– statement before they took him away to the Isle of Pines to be a political prisoner, was “History will absolve me.” And history did.
Now we will have the film about Dr. Castro and his interview with the sell-out Barbara Walters, much of which, his real interview of substance, has been deleted. He takes a mild manner in this interview, obviously because he’s trying to uh, get the capitalist to be more inclined to recognize Cuba and to do commerce with Cuba. So he doesn’t say all the things he’d like to say. But now that– the television program will begin in the theater pavilion.
Mike Prokes, come to the radio room, please. Several have asked that this go out, Barbara Walters interview, so you can listen to it, and we’ll put it in subdued tones, but I know the ones that want to sleep, they’ll go to sleep and will not pay any attention to it. But you can hear his words and her words, and you can get an idea of the man, because we have these two important medical doctors, guests coming all the way here, just to see Jonestown.
Let us begin the television program, please.
Radio, television people, would you go please to the pavilion, so that you can turn the set on for those that are gathered to observe it. (Pause) Please? (Pause) PA crew, please, will you report immediately so they can get on with it? (Pause) It’ll be– It’ll begin now.
[During the course of the televised interview Barbara Walters conducted with Fidel Castro, Jones interjects commentary on several occasions. The commentary is short and unintelligible, as it competes with the audio of the interview. Jones also speaks over the closing credits of the program, then adds the following]
(Quiet voice) He has a freedom– his people, freedom to eat, freedom from want, freedom from fear that they won’t have a doctor, medical care, freedom from the terrible violence that’s in every US street, freedom from racism, freedom from drugs, freedom from fear of being mugged tonight in your sleep as we have here. That is freedom that USA would know nothing about. And USA doesn’t even have the freedom of speech, because if anyone listens, they consort, they conspire to destroy you. They’re not satisfied until they get the last ounce of your blood, like with Huey Newton. So, so much for your freedom, Barbara Walters. We’ll take Dr. Castro’s freedom.
Turn off the PA system, please.
Uh, who wants freedom to eat Wheaties, yes, or watch commercial TV, interrupted every three minutes with some stupid ad that’s enough to drive you crazy. (Pause) Freedom from fear is the most important thing on earth. That socialism alone can provide.
[End of tape]