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VENEZUELA Havana in Spanish to the Americas March 11, 1967–E
(Feature: "Havana Cuba radio comments.")
(Excerpts) The Venezuelan press and Yankee news agencies have unleashed a scandalous press campaign around the execution of Julio Iribarren Borges aimed at creating an atmosphere of hysteria throughout the American Continent and blaming it on the Cuban revolution. The campaign, replete with intrigue and slander against Cuba, has used as a point of departure the statements made in Havana by Venezuelan revolutionary leader Elias Manuit Camero, who is president of the national leadership of the Venezuelan National Liberation Front and its armed forces.
Manuit Camero, whose statements were published by Havana's Granma, the Cuban Communist Party organ, said that the Venezuelan Revolutionary Organization which he heads assumed all responsibility for Julio Iribarren Borges' execution. Manuit Camero also pointed to the link between Iribarren Borges and the Venezuelan dictatorship. Leoni's Press has been noisy, though neatly organized, in divulging the statements made by the Venezuelan dictatorship which is trying to link the Cuban revolutionary government with the events in Caracas.
The Venezuelan regime is trying to label Iribarren Borges' death a "political crime.” The Venezuelan Regime's Press points out that Iribarren Borges had served as a technical official, scarcely involved in Venezuelan politics. However, it is true that Julio Iribarren Borges had close connections with the shady general police administration (digepol). Iribarren Borges' accounts and reports were useful to Leoni's repressive forces in murdering countless workers. As director of social security, Iribarren Borges was intimately linked with labor and was able to supply the government with data, making possible the Digepol's repressive action against them. (Passage omitted.)
Venezuela, its regime, and its press for a long time have been involved in the deplorable task of serving yankee imperialism and the American Continent's native obligarchies. Its main objective is to create difficulties for the Cuban revolution. If we look at the statements made by Venezuelan officials and the articles appearing in the subsidized press, we can see that every single incident occurring in Venezuela—which are really a product of the intensive revolutionary struggle which jolts the very foundation of the dominant obligarchy in the country-is being used to establish a close link with the Cuban revolution.
The failures of this sort of campaign are of public knowledge. The Cuban revolution is here, firm and vigorous, it has come to stay. The people are well acquainted with the background of farcical maneuvering. The people, whom we address, are aware of something that is much more important. They know that they carry within themselves the force which today gives thrust to the revolution in Latin America. For many years they have kept count of their martyrs murdered by the Digepol. Imperialism trains these murderers to operate throughout the continent. The people are only too well acquainted with the repressive forces' terror tactics practiced on them in some cases for over a generation. Day after day they have watched their wealth shipped out of the country while their children and they starve to death. Hence, they have decided to take up weapons to change the state of affairs and penalize those who up to now believe themselves to be all powerful
[Prepared by USIA Special Projects Office, 1518 Federal Office Building, Miami, Fla. 33130)
MAY 25, 1967.
UPDATE ON CUBA No. 3—The Political SCENE Castro Defiant After Being Caught Red-Handed in Venezuela
The capture in Venezuela of Cuban army officers, while infiltrating the country, announced in Caracas on May 12, appeared to have jolted the Castro regime. One of the Cubans, First Lieutenant Antonio Briones was killed by Venezuelan army units and Second Lieutenant Manuel Gil Castellanos and a militiaman, Pedro Cabrera, were captured. There was supposed to be a fourth man in the party, identified as Lieutenant Pico, who drowned during the landing that took place on a deserted beach some 130 miles east of Caracas. Shortly after their capture the two prisoners were presented at a news conference in Caracas and admitted they had left Santiago de Cuba with a small group of Venezuelan guerrillas.
Although the Havana radio and press reported news dispatches about the aborted landing, it was not until 6 days after the Caracas announcement that the Castro regime replied to charges that Cuba is actively intervening in the internal affairs of Venezuela. On May 18, a 5,000-word statement issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba admitted that Cuban “revolutionaries” have helped to infiltrate guerrillas into Venezuela. In the same statement, the committee not only expressed its “solidarity with that altruistic, revolutionary and heroic action," but also defiantly proclaimed as “morally right” and “of vital necessity" a policy designed to "stimulate and increase to the maximum the solidarity and assistance to revolutionaries, wherever they might be, who are fighting or willing to fight against imperialism.”
The document denied that the three Cubans, mentioned by Caracas, were on the "active" list of its armed forces. It added, however, that they have been “engaged in other revolutionary activities.” The statement said that Cuba was not only “disinterested in evading responsibility” for the actions of its ufficials, but also that “the Cuban Revolution does not need to ask permission or forgiveness to fulfill its duty of solidarity with all revolutionaries in the world, among them those of Venezuela."
After asserting that “our party and our people, therefore, do not shirk from their revolutionary responsibilities,” the statement said: “we are being accused of wanting to subvert the established order in this continent and we, in effect, proclaim the historic necessity that the peoples subvert the order established by imperialism in Latin America and the rest of the world. We are being accused of preaching the revolutionary overthrow of the established Latin American governments and we, in effect, believe that all oligarchies and guerrilla governments should be swept away by revolutionary struggle. We are being accused of supporting revolutionary movements and we, in effect, are giving and shall give help every time it is being asked for, to every revolutionary movement that is fighting against imperialism in every part of the world.”
The statement then added that Cuba would "redouble" her defense effort and said that “even a total blockade will be unable to destroy the revolution.” The statement also criticized the United Nations which, according to the Central Committee, “has not served, absolutely, to provide small nations with the least security, since it has been, generally, an instrument for endorsing the crimes and villainy of imperialism." This was the reason, the statement added, why Cuba has not signed, “as a matter of principle," the nuclear test ban and the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
The Havana document was equally critical of the Moscow-sponsored principle of peaceful coexistence which, it stressed, can be applied only when peace is enjoyed by large and small countries alike. "European security, peaceful coexistence and such idyllic phrases are meaningless for the Vietnamese and others subject to U.S. aggression,” the statement emphasized.
PARTY STATEMENT ON VENEZUELA
(Summary of Cuban Communist Party Central Committee communique on "charges and maneuvers by puppet regime of Venezuela and its Washington masters”)
“We will not-repeat-not refuse to fight. We will help and continue to help all those who fight against imperialism anywhere in the world,” stresses part of a communique by the Cuban Communist Party in reply to the fallacious maneuver by the puppet regime of Leoni which has once again made Cuba the target of its scandalous lies by which it tries to deceive the world and thereby divert public opinion away from the tremendous problems it faces in the nation.
The communique of our party belies Lackey Leoni when he tries to involve the Cuban Army in alleged invasions of Venezuelan soil. On this point the statement says textually: "His statements also contain a number of lies. None of the three Cuban youths who are mentioned are members of the Cuban regular army.
"Antonio Briones Montoxto, 27, when he was almost a teenager took an active part in the clandestine struggle against Batista, later serving in various fields of the revolution, but he never belonged to Cuba's regular army.
“Manuel Gil Castellanos, 25, because of his age could not-repeat-not take part in the guerrilla war and hence was never in the Cuban regular army.
“Pedro Cabrera Torres, 29, once a peasant, was in the army somewhat over a year between 1961 and 1963 (as heard) when he ceased to belong to it."
Referring to this question, the party central committee statement says that if the report were true that Cuban Youth Antonio Briones Montoxto fell from two gunshots to his head has been buried in the Machurucuto Cemetery because he helped the Venezuelan revolutionaries, our party and our people are utterly in solidarity with his altruistic, revolutionary, internationalist, and heroic gesture.
The communique also goes on to deny the question of the alleged Soviet-made rifle supposedly confiscated and points out that such weapons supplied to Cuba by the Soviet Union are kept under perfect control by the armament section of the army and none of the weapons is missing.
The document emphasizes that in pointing out these truths, no pretension is made to evade responsibility because so far as the aims of imperialism and its policy of repression of the revolutionary movement pursued against Cuba are concerned it is neither necessary to invent any lie nor to herald any truth.
The party communique also underscores that the justification of the actions by the revolutionaries lies in the very existence of imperialism, further on it says that the question before the peoples is: Either capitulate before imperialism or resist and fight.
Elsewhere in the statement, the central committee of the party asserts that we are helping and we will continue to help all those who fight against imperialism anywhere in the world.
În another part of the statement the central committee of the party points out that the concept of peace can only be honored if it is universal and reminds the puppets further on that against the revolutionary struggle, the imperialists' conventional, chemical, bacteriological, or nuclear weapons will be of no avail.
The statement concludes by saying that between the peoples of Venezuela and Cuba there will never be war, no matter what the OAS and its master decide in Washington.
(Statement released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.)
HAVANA, May 18.—The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba released the following statement early this morning:
As our people have been able to learn from the cables released by all the international press agencies-cables that have been published in textual form by our newspapers—the lackey government in Venezuela, following the evident instructions of its masters in Washington, is trying to unleash a hysterical, violent, aggressive, and belligerent campaign against our country. They are using such really shameful terms as "naval and air blockade," "ultimatum,”. "collective armed attack," "economic boycott of the countries trading with Cuba,” and so forth. This means that they are threatening and are trying to intimidate our country in the crudest fashion.
What has caused this fit of belligerent hysterics, these frightful threats, and these outrageous cries of war? Is it perhaps that the illustrious rulers of Latin America are getting excited about supporting the dominican people, who are still under the occupation of the Yankee soldiers? Are they demanding a halt in the occupation of the Panama Canal and punishment for the massacre committed not-repeat-not long ago against the people of that country by the U.8. soldiers?
Are they condemning the barbaric and brutal air raids on North Vietnam and the genocide being committed against the people of South Vietnam? Are they protesting against the United States for the insolent participation of its special forces in the repression of the revolutionary movements in Latin America and demanding the closing of the military schools that have been set up in Panama and the United States itself by imperialism in order to train thousands of butchers (matarifes) of the oligarchic armies in the technique of pursuing and exterminating the revolutionary fighters?
Are they demanding that the territory of the Guantanamo Naval Base be returned to Cuba-territory from which, from time to time, they fire on our soil and murder Cuban guards? Are they condemning, even though belatedly, the Giron invasion, which was organized by the Central Intelligence Agency with bases in Nicaragua and Guatemala, or the bombing of our cities by Yankee planes