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Mr. LANZA. All government officials in Cuba have to take courses to be trained in Marxist-Leninist philosophy and doctrine.
Mr. SCHULTZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have no further questions.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Suarez, what information do you have about military activities of the Soviet Union in Cuba?
Mr. LANZA. Sir, we are not specialists in that field. I would like to say that it is common knowledge that Cuba is really an armed camp, that there is a very large stock of weapons, and some of these weapons are certainly very sophisticated. And, although over there in that country this is referred to as defense, we know very well that these weapons have a tremendous fire capability. Just before I left, I have heard that there was more and more of these new and sophisticated weapons.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Suarez, do you have information as to what submarine or other naval activities the Soviets are carrying on in Cuba, what facilities, if any, they have been constructing?
Mr. LANZA. No, only what I have read in the United States newspapers, American newspapers.
Ir. PEPPER. Do you have any information as to whether, Americans in any considerable numbers are going to Cuba to be indoctrinated into communism?
Mr. LANZA. Sir, when we were in Mexico, I saw some of the Americans that were on their way to Cuba. Among them were some of the members of the Black Panthers. I know also, because it is common knowledge, that some of them were being trained in addition to getting, taking courses in political philosophy and doctrines, that some of them were being trained in urban guerrilla warfare and sabotage methods, but I do not have a personal knowledge of it. It is common knowledge that this is happening. It is also common knowledge that in Cuba there were camps, military camps, where Latin Americans were trained for these purposes.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Suarez, have you any information as to whether, with Castro's cooperation, the Soviets have recruited any of the communist Cubans and employed them in their surveillance or spy activities in this country?
Mr. LANZA. I do not have that knowledge, sir.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Suarez, do you have any information as to whether the Cuban diplomatic representatives in countries where they operate are actually serving or do serve also as intelligence agents of the Soviet Union and communism in general, as well as the government of Castro in Cuba?
Mr. LANZA. Without any doubt, yes, sir.
I want to thank Mr. Suarez for his testimony. First, to make a comment about it, reading his statement, it is a perfect example of the old story of the revolution, begun with high ideals, being corrupted by those in power. He has given a very good example of it.
Also I want to commend him for his care in which he qualifies his statements when he says, "I do not have personal knowledge of it" or "I do not know.” This gives the rest of his testimony more of the ring of truth when he says, “This I do know.” In fact, the whole testi
mony has the density of truth to me, and there are a number of specific examples here which are not the kind of thing you make up.
The question I wanted to ask relates to the guerrilla warfare in South America. He stated that this went on at least up until October 1967, when Che Guevara was killed, and he points out that during this period of time the Russians were not supporting Castro's guerrilla warfare program in South America because they were aiding Brazil, were aiding Colombia and other South American governments at the time Castro was undercutting.
What is the situation now? Is guerrilla warfare still being fomented by Castro in South America or has that program ended, and if it is still being fomented, how is that affecting relations with Russia? I am sorry for such a long question.
Mr. LANZA. Thank you very much for your kind words, sir. If I may, I would like to point out that you really interpreted very well when you said that the revolutions are often corrupted, they are damaged by their leaders. I thank you for expressing the fact that what I have said has a ring of truth in it.
Now, speaking of this contradiction in policies or this conflict in policy between Cuba and the Soviet Union, around 1965 or so, when the guerrilla warfare was intensified in Latin America, I would like to say that there was something to it: there was a certain coolness between the two governments because they were apparently pursuing two different purposes.
Now, as to the Cuban Government itself, they believed and they had the great hopes that this small guerrilla warfare and small wars could become great wars, big ones. At the same time, you must remember that the United States was heavily engaged in the Vietnam conflict and, for that reason, they were distracted from events in this hemisphere.
The guerrillas failed throughout Latin America for several reasons. In the first place, they did not get any support from the rural populations. They had expected it, but they did not get it. Also, from the guerrilla point of view, there must have been a very poor approach to the way in which they were trying to gain over the population. Of course, everywhere in the world
you see changes in policy and in the way that things are conducted. The reasons could be, or the methods could be objective or subjective, and here I am using the language of the revolution.
Now, the tactics have sort of switched now from the urban areasI mean from the rural areas to the urban areas, and now the guerrillas seem to be operating within the cities, within cities throughout Latin America. Also, the continuation of this guerrilla warfare might be another form of distracting the attention of the Cuban people themselves; this may be another way of getting public opinion on their side.
As to the question or the comments you asked me to make on the relationship now between Cuba and the Soviet Union with respect to i guerrilla warfare, I may say that I really do not know much about that subject. I do not know enough on that subject to make a worthy comment. As a matter of fact, I was surprised to learn of the Soviet operation, or the Mexican operation done by Russia, the sending of Mexican communists to Korea.
I would say, generally speaking, that Cuba is engaged now in Bolivia and also in the activities of the Tupamaros in Uruguay, because
the activities of the Tupamaros are very much a copy, this is a faithful repetition of the techniques used at the beginning of the Cuban revolution.
I also want to say that I am sorry I talk for such a long time.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Zion.
Mr. Suarez, you stated that the economy under Batista was in pretty good shape, and yet you felt obligated to join a revolutionary movement in opposition to Batista. Castro, since the mid-forties, had been known as a student activist, a troublemaker. Weren't responsible people like you able to find some other alternative, some other leader that might have been more responsible to correct the problems rather than Fidel Castro?
Mr. Lanza. Thank you, sir. Truly we could say that the economy at that time, that the economic situation could be classified as being in pretty good shape. This is true. But we could also say that there were needs for reform in Cuba. One of the worst things was the corruption that was prevalent amongst the government people.
But I would like to say that there was not only corruption in the Batista government but in other governments prior to Batista. It is also true that Fidel Castro was known as a troublemaker or, if I may use a Cuban word, a revotoso. I met him when he was at the University of Havana, and he was truly an energetic man of rebellious nature. But he certainly was very rebellious against Batista, as were many
Now, I would like to add that we did search for other leaders. We wanted to find some people of enough prestige that could carry on an effective opposition to the Batista regime, but I must say that those were not easily found; they were not found.
Fidel Castro represented at the time the man, the figure who could carry on an effective movement against the regime. He was actually the outstanding leader. It is said that there was an overwhelming majority against Batista which averaged 90 percent or so, and I would say that some of them were not pro-Castro; they were more against Batista than anything else. But I would say we were Fidelistas; I was in favor of Fidel Castro. Mr. Zion. During this time in the
fifties, there was a wealthy pharmacist and real estate owner named Dr. Juaquin Garcia Mara, who was supplying pharmaceutical products for the revolutionary forces. I wonder if you knew Dr. Garcia Mara.
Mr. LANZA. No, sir, I have never heard that name. No, I don't think his name is well known in Cuba.
Mr. Zion. Did you know Fidel's younger sister, Juanita ?
Mr. Zion. She testified before this committee that in her opinion her brother Fidel put up the total economy of Cuba as sort of collateral to Russia in exchange for arms and ammunition. I wonder if Señor Suarez feels this is true.
Mr. LANZA. It is true that he practically hocked the economy of Cuba to Russia. I believe that the total debt to Cuba amounts to $3 billion.
Mr. Ziox. Is that to Cuba?
Ir. Laxza. I am sorry--the Cuban debt to the Soviet Union. This $3 billion is due to the Soviet Union—the major part--and also to vther countries. He also said, I believe, that the debt that Cuba has to the Soviet Union and to other nations is not much for weaponry but for other forms of aid, that the weapons that they got from the Soviet Union were in the nature of grants and gifts rather than anything else.
Mr. Z10x. J. Edgar Hoover has charged that the Cuban delegation to the United Nations is a major center for espionage here in the United States. I wonder if Señor Suarez, of his own knowledge, could substantiate that.
Mr. LANZA. If Mr. Hoover says it, he must have good reasons for saying it. But I do not have personal knowledge of this.
Mr. Zion. And then one final question, please, sir: Since Fidel has now become indebted to many other nations, primarily to the Soviet Union, what sort of obligation do you think he has? What is he expected to do in exchange?
Mr. LANZA. It is a well-known fact that the Soviets never cancel their debts: they might postpone payment, but they are always going to be asking that some payment be made. But I don't think this is the type of debt that Cuba will ever be able to pay.
I am sure that within the next 10 years or even more there will be no changes in improving the Cuban economy.
Mr. Zrox. My question was really to lead to whether or not they might be expected to have offensive Soviet weapons or provide ports for Soviet atomic submarines, et cetera.
V!r. LANZA. I believe that Cuba has to make some special concessions. I believe in the possibility and even the probability that will be the case. There have been other occasions in which Cuba has paid in that form for the aid that they have received. We could mention the case of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Russian troops. There is an example in which Cuba praised the action taken by the Soviets. We could interpret that as a form of payment.
Mr. Ziox. I thank the gentleman very much for his testimony. You have been very helpful, sir.
Mr. PEPPER. Mr. Schmitz. Mr. SCHMITZ. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Suarez, for your testimony. I have a few questions here about Fidel Castro's early activities, and my questions basically revolve around when he became a communist. You said you met him in 1953 at the University of Havana, and you stated you were not a student at that time. Was Fidel Castro a student at that time, or why was he at the university?
Mr. LANZA. In 1953 the University of Havana was a center of unrest and political activity. It is well known that by then Fidel Castro already had some political aspirations. There was a lot of activity at the university. A lot of this activity was by the youth or the young men who were going to the university there, especially by one association called the FÈU-the letters T-E-U. This means the "Association of University Students.” Now, these people were very active in politics and also in political turmoil.
The truth is that he was interested in politics since the very beginning. I do believe he was a student at the university, and I do believe
that he attended classes. Also I know that in 1952 he ran for political office, which shows that he was interested in politics at that time.
Mr. Schmitz. When you met him in 1953, were you aware of his activities in Bogota, Colombia, in 1948!
Mr. LANZA. I was aware then and it was common knowledge-at least it was said that he had participated to an extent, which I do not know, in the 1948 events in Bogota, which started with the death of Dr. Guytan. However, I do not know, to this moment, what his actual participation was and whether it was of any importance.
Mr. Schmitz. Do you know that he was arrested at that time in Colombia ?
Mr. LANZA. No, sir.
Mr. Schmitz. For the record, I believe he was arrested, along with a communist by the name of Rafael del Pino. Do you know Rafael del Pino?
Mr. LANZA. Sir, I do know del Pino; I know of him, and he is a relative of Fidel. I think he is Fidel's brother-in-law or some relative; I believe that there is some "in-law” relationship. But I would like to point out that I did not know that they had been arrested. As I understood it, they were there and they were allowed to leave Colombia.
Mr. Schmitz. The one I am referring to was a communist who was arrested in Bogota. He is today an American citizen held captive in Cuba. That is the one I am referring to. He married an American wife and took on American citizenship and went to Cuba and has been arrested, and for obvious reasons he is being kept there because he is quite familiar with Fidel Castro's early activities.
Mr. LANZA. Yes, sir; I am referring to the same person. This same person, as far as I know, was arrested when he landed in a small plane in Cuba. This is the person. It is known that he and Fidel were close when they were both very young.
Mr. SCHMITZ. One of Fidel Castro's brothers-in-law is named Rafael Diaz Balart, and you are not referring to him; is that right?
Mr. LANZA. No; Diaz Balart is another person. He is a person who participated in an uprising against Batista in the early days. This man is dead now, and I have a great respect for him.
Mr. Schmitz. Mr. Suarez, on page 6 of your testimony, you state: “However, as communism gained power, liberal and centrist members of the new Government lost influence.” What year would you estimate that communism attained working power over the Cuban Government?
Mr. LANZA. I would say that by the end of 1961 they acquired complete strength and complete domination; I mean they were in chargeafter the Bay of Pigs.
Mr. SCHMITZ. When did they have working control? Let me ask the question this way: If the communists took over for control purposes in 1962, why were they teaching courses in Marxism-Leninism in 1959 to the armed forces ?
Mr. LANZA. Because as soon as the dependence on the Soviet Union started, these courses were instituted.
Mr. SCHMITZ. But at that time, they didn't have control of the government ?
Mr. LANZA. During the first 6 months they had no control; they did have influence, especially in the armed forces.
Mr. SCHMITZ. In 1961, ali civilian government officials and employees were required to take courses in Marxism-Leninism. Why did the