The New York Times
January 1, 1958

Batista Pledges Uncurbed Vote
New Year's Message Vows Freedom to Opposition--6 Bomb Blasts in Havana

HAVANA, Dec. 31 (AP)--President Fulgencio Batista promised today freedom from Opposition political parties and urged Cubans to settle their political differences in the general elections June 1.

General Batista extended New Year's greetings to the island's 6,000,000 people in a nation-wide broadcast.  He expressed hope for "continued rising prosperity and happiness in all Cuban homes.

The President said Cubans had demonstrated "a deep desire to live in peace according to Christian principles."  He added that "civic controversies" could be solved in a "democratic and peaceful vote."

No mention was made of a message to the country by Fidel Castro, rebel leader, urging that no public New Year's celebrations be held because of General Batista's rule.

The President pledged "fell guarantees" for all Opposition parties in the Presidential campaigning.  He has announced that he will peacefully turn over the Presidency to the winner next June.

Although the New Year's message did not mention the suspension of Constitutional guarantees, it is generally believed that they will be restored in time for the election campaign.  The present suspension expires Jan. 28.

The President and his family planned to greet the New Year at Camp Columbia, near Havana.

One Hurt in Bakery Blast

Special to The New York TImes

HAVANA, Dec. 31--Six bombs exploded late today in Havana as the public prepared to celebrate New Year's Eve.

A man was gravely wounded in an explosion that rocked a bakery on Tenth of October Street.

A youth was arrested as he attempted to place a bomb in a midtown theatre.

Slight property damage resulted from explosions in scattered places.  One occurred on the sixth floor of the Masonic temple in midtown Havana.  A bomb was tossed into a stairway on Galiano Street, and there was a blast in a near-by cafe.

Other bombs went off in downtown Havana and in the suburb of Los Pinos.

Revolutionary groups have been distributing circulars the last two weeks threatening those who attend New Year's celebrations.  However, large hotels and night clubs reported heavy reservations.