Category: History

Vodka Ain't Good for Cuba Libre
by Dr. Robert A. Galloso

Chapter two

Paving the road to absolute power

The tyrant-to-be created a “movement” with the name of “26 de Julio” ( 26 of July, date of the Moncada assault) and the propaganda machine began to grind. His flag was the shape of a college banner with two fields, horizontally divided at the center of the banner. The colors of the fields were red and black, traditional colors of the anarchists. The red represented the blood that will be shed and the black the mourning that it would bring about. The number 26 was placed on top of both fields right in the middle of the banner. He moved to Mexico where a farm was given to him to openly prepare for an “invasion of Cuba”. He started to raise funds in the good old USA (Lenin had already said that the capitalists countries would provide the rope for the Communists to hang them with). Money was raised in other places too, but the biggest sums came from the USA. Weapons, supplies and ammunition also began to move freely from there to the “rebels” in Cuba. Everything was going well for the tyrant-to-be. Most of the people of Cuba had been deceived to think that this mad man was their salvation, not realizing that, in this case, the cure was going to be worse than the political illness that affected the country. The tyrant-to-be and a group of followers, eighty one including his brother and a new addition, a former member of Peron’s Rapid Response mob, who had just “embraced Communism”, the Argentine Che Guevara, arrived in the island on December 2, 1956, on board a yacht named “Gramma”. Guevara, an adventurer with a degree in Medicine, had never been gainfully employed. He saw an opportunity to make fame and fortune with this group and joined them. The fatidical trio was to be running things, with the tyrant-to-be as the “Comandante Supremo” (supreme commander), an absolute ruler of the whole show. After some small skirmishes with the army they escaped, at least most of them did, to hide in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra, where Celia Perez, partner in the conspiracy and girl friend of the “Comandante”, had already prepared everything to receive and hide the group. The area was a rough, inaccessible terrain, with a dense forest. It was an ideal hide out for this “leader” who was always willing to shed the last drop of everybody else’s blood to achieve his personal goals of grabbing power at whatever price.

After the “Gramma” landed and those who came in it went to the mountains, things began to drastically change in the island. Acts of terrorism ensued little by little, ever increasing in number and violence. The usual stuff: bombs, throwing chains at the electric lines, assassination of military personnel, bomb scares, arson, etc. etc. This campaign of violence, threats and rumors brought the desired, planned for and much needed repression from the government that, until them, had an unwritten policy of “living and letting live”. This is what the tyrant-to-be needed to make his “movement” grow to help further his personal goals. The people began to blame the government for their problems. The climate was set for the final blows. Contributions from the people started to pour in. A “war tax” was levied on landowners and businesses by the terrorists in the area where they were operating. However, there was one other most important ingredient that had to be added: PROPAGANDA (the art of fooling everybody lying about the nature of the movement). This is the blood that nurtures all these types of so called “popular movements”. Propaganda at the national level was handled through what was called “Radio Bemba” (rumors and disinformation initiated by the “movement” and orally passed along the people from one to another). Leaflets were also occasionally distributed. Propaganda at the international level took off praising the “movement patriotic motives (sic)” thanks to the liberal, left winged media and the proverbial “useful fools” that the Communists always have relied upon to do their dirty work for them. The most notable one was Herbert Mathews, who went to the Sierra Maestra on February 17, 1957, to interview the tyrant-to-be. Mathews claims in his book “The Cuban Story”, N.Y. 1961, that “It was an accident that my interview with the tyrant-to-be … should have proved to be so important.”, but we believe that this movement must have been prearranged and meticulously planned before hand. It was no accident that they chose Mathews to do that interview. They knew who he was and his connection with the NY Times. In the same book he made another disclaimer saying: “ I am not accepting for myself, or the NY Times, either blame or credit for having started him on his meteoric rise to fame and power”. However, if you consider what it costs to advertise in that newspaper because of its powerful impact on the USA and world audiences, it will not take an advertising pro or a genius to realize what that “advertising” meant to the tyrant-to-be and his “cause”. Reality is that he became one of his staunchest supporters and admirer, even many years after his bloody tyranny was strangling the people of Cuba. Of course, Mathews was not one of the useful fools. He knew what he was doing. He had done it before in the Spanish Civil War. (We remember reading that there was a sign that appeared somewhere in New York City buses after the tyrant had taken power, that read “I got my job through the New York Times”, with the picture of the tyrant in it, alluding to the support that the paper and Herbert Mathews had given to his “cause”. The absolute control of the fight against Batista was falling more and more in the hands of the emerging despotic dictator. He was the only one calling the shots despite the fact that there were other groups and leaders fighting and struggling against the dictatorship. He managed to displace them and did all he could to eliminate them. Anyone disagreeing with him was quietly but inexorably “eliminated” one way or the other.

Writing the details of how the propaganda campaign unfolded, how deception paved every inch of the way that lead to “victory” would take a whole book by itself. Suffice it to say that Goebels would have been very proud of working with the tyrant-to-be and his clique. Propaganda is something the Communists have always excelled at and this campaign was no exception. They manipulated every bit of information and disinformation, including the staging of fake demonstrations. The most notorious one was the Mothers of May demonstration, when the USA Ambassador visited Santiago de Cuba. There the demonstrators posed as mourning mothers, dressed in black, whose children had allegedly been murdered by the Batista government. Most of them, if not all were no mothers at all. In the opinion of the writer, the most important “battle” of the movement was the propaganda campaign, effectively designed and managed from beginning to end. It was the one that took them to victory. It is one that still goes on today. Lies, disinformation and deception were the movement weapons then and the tyranny uses them today all the time. The “Embargo Myth” is probably the biggest one they have right now. It has been going on for as many years as the embargo has been on and they still use it as a crutch to reason their economic failures and everything else. But we shall talk about the embargo later on.

There was another ingredient that had to be clinched yet. This may sound unbelievable to the average American reader but do not rely on our words to ascertain its credibility. You should read the book “The Fourth Floor” by Earl T. Smith to check out what we are saying. We have taken it from that book, so it is no “Cuban exile hype or fabrication”. The government of the USA had to be onboard to allow the “tyrant-to-be” to take over without “bothering him” with election commitments, etc. And they got it. The USA “pushed for the tyrant” as the exclusive and indisputable head of the new government after the USA government forced Batista out of power. There was never a mention of a transition government and reinstatement of the constitution, with free elections in a short period of time, which had been his captivating and deceiving platform until he took power. You do not have to believe what we are saying. Just read the book and decide by yourself. Mr. Smith called it “The Fourth Floor” because that was the floor of the State Department where the decision making for Latin American affairs was enthroned.

We do not wish to enter into the details of how the American government “helped” the tyrant-to-be to become the absolute ruler of the island. Never mind that eventually they wanted to get rid of him and supported the Bay of Pigs effort just to forsake it at the last moment and let it fail. That is History that you can read yourself at countless sources. We are giving here only a brief outline of the realities of what took place then and what has taken place all along during his long lasting tyranny.

Finally, under pressure from the American government Batista resigns and leaves the country after midnight on December 31, 1958. But the tyrant-to-be still had a few things to do to assure his absolute control of the country. He remains holed up in the mountains for a few days while his gang “secures” the cities. (Bear in mind that his weapon was a rifle with telescopic sight. Some still say that it was never fired anyhow.) He had to dismantle and destroy the army, at least most of it before he would “descend from the mountain”. Never mind that some of its top officers were in prison for trying to remove Batista; that very few of the officers and soldiers left were “bad and sinister” defenders of the dictatorship. He had to destroy the army and kill as many of its members as possible. Beginning on January 1st, 1959, he and his gang started to use the “Paredon” (word meaning the firing squad) to eliminate any and all “obstacles” to their plans, mostly military personnel. Some civilians went down too. Kangaroo courts started to function but were not a “pre-requisite” to murder anyone with a firing squad. Although he did not arrive in Havana until January 8th, his hordes of “rebels” (many pot smoking guys with medals and crosses hanging from their necks) were busy day and night shooting people. Nobody knows, or would ever know, for certain how many people were “executed”, as they called it, during the first few days. While the Kangaroo courts were “openly and publicly” operating, many were being put to death only on ”somebody’s” oral orders of somebody. Che Guevara said to someone (he has written a book about it too) that “it was necessary to instill in the people the terror of the firing squad to keep them under control”. Thousands of innocents were murdered by the firing squads in a few weeks. The masses, unreliable and voluble as they always have been, were “approving and applauding” all these killings. They swallowed the lies and misinformation of the tyrant and his gang. All this was the effect of “Mass Psychology” (psychology of the crowd), phrase coined by Freud to refer to a phenomenon as old as humanity. Remember that the same crowd that received Jesus with palms leaves and flowers when He entered Jerusalem for the last time, were asking the Romans a few days later to crucify him.

There is a side note that must be inserted here. It has to do with the tyrant first longwinded speech, pronounced at his arrival in Havana. It is in part funny, amidst the immense tragedy and bloodshed that ensued after January 1st, 1959. It is the recognition of the only truth he has ever told the people of Cuba. First of all, he repeated Lenin’s trick of having a dove perched on his shoulder while he was making that speech. The dove, as it was in Lenin’s case, had been previously forced fed “birdshot” to make the poor thing stay put on his shoulder all the time, unable to fly away. Well, low and behold, the dove retaliated by soiling his uniform, a sign of what she thought of him and his speech.

As for the truth he said in that speech full of lies and deceptions, you may judge it by yourself. The tyrant said that his “revolution was as Cuban as the royal palm (national tree of Cuba)”. This was true because the royal palm is not a native plant of Cuba. It was brought in from Africa. So, to be honest, we have to admit that, he told the truth to the Cuban people at least once. His so-called “revolution” was not Cuban at all but imported from the Soviet Union.

How wise would have been for the Cuban people to heed the “wisdom of the dove”!

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