Pact of Caracas (July 20, 1958)

After the treacherous coup of March l0, which interrupted the normal democratic process of the nation, the Cuban people have opposed the tyranny with heroism and determination. Each and every form of defiance has been used in these six bloody years, and all sectors of Cuba have patriotically opposed Fulgencio Batista's dictatorship. The Cuban people, in their struggle to be free, have shed much blood. demonstrating that they have a never-ending love for freedom.

Ever since the long-gone days of student parades and demonstrations, when the first martyrs fell, up to the recent battles, such as the one at Santo Domingo in Oriente Province, in which the dictatorship suffered a crushing defeat, leaving on the battlefield its dead, wounded, and a large amount of equipment, much blood has been shed and numerous efforts made to free the enslaved fatherland. Labor strikes, three military conspiracies, and courageous protests by all the civic institutions have aided the heroic armed struggle in Santiago, Matanzas, Havana, Cienfuegos, and Sagua la Grande. In the cities sabotage and other revolutionary tactics have tested the indomitable spirit of a generation loyal to the immortal words of our national anthem: "To die for the fatherland is to live!"

Rebellion has spread over the whole nation. In the mountains new battle fronts have been created; in the plains guerrilla columns constantly harass the enemy. Today thousands of soldiers, in Batista's largest offensive to date, are being faced by courageous rebels who are defending, inch by inch, the free territory at the Sierra Maestra. One third of Oriente Province is under the control of guerrilla column number 6. In the plains, guerrilla column number 2 is fighting throughout the area between Manzanillo and Nuevitas. In the central region of Santa Clara, the Directorio Revolucionario has been fighting bravely. There have been battles in the Escambray Mountains and the surrounding area. Members of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano and the 26th of July Movement have also been fighting in this region. At Cienfuegos and Yaguajay, revolutionary guerrillas are fighting hard. Small guerrilla forces are operating in Matanzas and Pinar del Rio. In each corner of Cuba, a struggle to the death is taking place between freedom and dictatorship. Abroad many exiles are aiding in the effort to free the fatherland.

Aware that the coordination of human efforts, resources, civic forces, of political and revolutionary sectors of the opposition, including civilians, military men, workers, students, professionals, businessmen, and citizens in general is necessary to overthrow the dictatorship through a supreme effort, we pledge our united efforts. Hereby we agree to create a large revolutionary, civic coalition, made up of all of Cuba's sectors. We pledge our best and patriotic efforts to that goal because united we shall oust the criminal dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and give Cuba peace, returning democracy to the people--the two blessings which can lead our people toward greater progress, development, and freedom. We are aware of the need to act in a united manner. Our fellow citizens demand it.

This unity of the Cuban opposition forces is based on three main points:

1. Adoption of a common strategy to defeat the dictatorship by means of armed insurrection, reinforcing--as soon as possible--all the fronts and arming the thousands of Cubans willing to fight for freedom. The popular mobilization of all labor, civic, professional and economic forces, culminating in a great general strike on the civilian front; while, on the military front, action will be coordinated throughout the country. From this common determination, Cuba will emerge free, and the painful spilling of blood will come to an end. Victory will be ours in any case, but it will be delayed if our activities are not coordinated.

2. Guiding our nation, after the tyrant's fall, to a normal state of affairs, a brief provisional government will be formed to establish full constitutional and democratic rights.

3. A minimum governmental program will be formed to guarantee the punishment of those who are guilty of crimes, workers' rights, fulfillment of international agreements, public order, peace, freedom, as well as the economic, social, and political progress of the Cuban people.

We ask the government of the United States of America to cease all military and other types of aid to the dictator, and also reaffirm our defense of our national sovereignty and the nonmilitary, republican tradition of Cuba.

To our soldiers, we say that the moment has arrived to deny their support to the tyranny. We trust them because we know that there are decent men in the armed forces. In the past hundreds of officers and enlisted men have paid with their lives, imprisonment, exile, or retirement from active duty because of their love of freedom, and there must be many others who feel the same way. This is not a war against the armed forces of the Republic but against Batista, the only obstacle to the peace desired and needed by all Cubans, both civilian and military. We urge workers, students, professionals, businessmen, sugar plantation owners, farmers, and Cubans of all religions, ideologies, and races to join this liberation movement which will overthrow the infamous tyranny that has soaked our soil with blood, decimated our best human resources, ruined our economy, destroyed our republican institutions, and interrupted the constitutional and democratic evolution of our country, thus bringing about a bloody civil war which will come to a triumphant end only with a revolution backed by all the people.

The hour has come when the intelligence, patriotism, courage, and civic virtues of our men and women--especially those who feel deeply the historic destiny of our nation, its right to be free and to adopt the democratic way of life--will save the oppressed fatherland. Our great future is assured by our history and our natural resources and the people's capacity to sacrifice. We call on all the revolutionary organizations and the civic and political forces of our nation to support this declaration of unity. Later, as soon as possible, we shall hold a meeting with every representative delegate to discuss and approve all the points of our pledge.

Fidel Castro (26th of July Movement); Carlos Prío Socarrás (Organización Auténtica); Enrique Rodríguez Loeches (Directorio Revolucionario); Justo Carrillo (Agrupación Montecristi); Manuel A. de Varona (Partido Revolucionario Cubano Insurreccional); Angel Santos (Resistencia Cívica); Lincoln Rodón (Partido Demócrata Independiente); David Salvador, Angel Cofiño, Pascasio Linares, Lauro Blanco, José M. Aguilera (Unidad Obrera); José Puente, Omar Fernández (FEU); Dr. José Miró Cardona (Coordinador General).