The Cuban Connection in Puerto Rico
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE SITUATION
WITH REGARD TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE GRANTING OF
INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES, VERBATIM RECORD OF THE
ONE THOUSAND AND FIFTEENTH MEETING, HELD AT HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK, ON
FRIDAY, 15 AUGUST 1975, AT 3 P.M., CHAIRMAN: MR. SALIM (UNITED REPUBLIC
SPECIAL COMMITTEE DECISION OF 1 NOVEMBER 1974 CONCERNING PUERTO RICO
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that a draft resolution is ready for submission, and I call on the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to introduce it.
Mr. AL-HUSSAMY (Syrian Arab Republic). We have worked hard to have a final, text to submit to the Committee, and on behalf of the delegations of Congo, Cuba, Iraq, Mali and my own delegation I have the honour and the pleasure to present to the Committee a draft resolution on the item before us. As the text is very clear, I shall simply read it to the Committee:
"The Special Committee,
"Having considered the question relating to its resolutions of 28 August 1972 and 30 August 1973 concerning Puerto Rico, as approved b y the General Assembly in its resolutions 2908 (XXVII) of 2 November 1972 and 3163 (,XXVIII) of 14 December 1973, respectively,
"Taking note with appreciation of the report of the Rapporteur submitted in accordance with its resolution of 30 August 1973,
"Having heard the statements of representatives of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, the Puerto Rico Peace Council and the Puerto Rican Independence Party,
"Reaffirming that, in conformity with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, all peoples have the right to self-determination and independence and that by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development,
"Taking into consideration the relevant documents and resolutions on Puerto Rico approved by non-aligned Governments and countries during the Ministerial Meeting held at Georgetown in 1972, the Fourth Summit Meeting at Algiers in 1973, the Conference of Developing Countries on Raw Materials held at Dakar in February 1975, and the Third Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Nations held at Havana in March 1975,
"Conscious of the need to accelerate the study of all pertinent aspects of the situation with respect to the procedure for the implementation of resolution 1514 (XV) concerning Puerto Rico,
"1. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in accordance with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960;
" 2. Reaffirms its resolutions of 28 August 1972 and 30 August 1973 concerning Puerto Rico;
" 3. Urges the Government of the United States of America to abide, unconditionally and without reservations, by the provisions of resolution 1514 (XV) in order that the Puerto Rican people may be able to exercise their right to self determination and independence, and to refrain from taking any measure which might obstruct the exercise of, or endanger, the right of the Puerto Rican people to self-determination and independence;
"4. Requests the Government of the United States to refrain from carrying out, directly or indirectly, through the Territory's administration, any act of political persecution against persons, parties, organizations and/or institutions of the Puerto Rican people active in the liberation of their country, or any actions that might weaken the full development and national integrity of the Puerto Rican people;
"5. Recognizes the national liberation movement of Puerto Rico as representing the legitimate aspirations of the Puerto Rican people struggling for independence, in accordance with paragraph 1 above;
"6. Considers it advisable to send a fact-finding mission to Puerto Rico as soon as possible and preferably in early 1976 and requests the Government of the United States to extend its co-operation in order to facilitate the dispatch of a mission;
"7. Decides to keep the question under continuous review."
That is the text of the draft that we agreed upon after thorough consultations
with most of the representatives in this Committee. I hope and believe
it will have the support of all of them.
UNITED NATIONS Consideration OF THE STATUS OF PUERTO RICO, A CHRONOLOGY: 1953-1975
[Prepared for the Library- of Congress, Congressional Research Service by Marjorie Ann Browne, Analyst in International Organization, Foreign Affairs Division, August 22, 1975.]
Chapter 11 (articles 73-74) of the United Nations Charter contains the teat of the Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories which established a principle of accountability of states for the administration of dependent territories under their jurisdiction. Between 1946 and 1953, the United States, pursuant to article 73(e) of the Charter, transmitted information to the U.N. Secretary General on Puerto Rico. A General Assembly resolution in 1953 removed Puerto Rico from the list of non-self-governing territories to which article 73(e) applied, due to its new commonwealth or associated status with the United States.
The adoption in 1960 by the U.N. General Assembly of a Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples marked the beginning of a new U.N. role with regard to non-self-governing territories. A Special Committee to implement the Declaration was created by the General Assembly in 1961 and has acted to stimulate more rapid movement toward independence and self-determination for non-self-governing territories.
More recent consideration of the status of Puerto Rico within U.N. forums did not occur until 1964, after the Cairo Declaration by Non-Aligned Countries called on the Special Committee of 24 on Decolonization to consider the situation in Puerto Rico in relation to the 1960 Declaration. The Committee of 24 took note of the Declaration in its report to the General Assembly. Cuba's Foreign Minister in October 1965 requested that the question be placed on the agenda of the Special Committee. This request was forwarded to a Working Group of the Committee in 1965 and again in 1966 when the Committee failed to consider it due to lack of time. In 1967 the Committee. held a brief debate on the issue as a part of the Working Group's report. Between 1967 and 1971 the issue did not come under consideration in any form.
In 1971 Cuba requested that the question be placed on the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly at its 26th session. The General Committee's rejection of this request was upheld by a General Assembly vote.
1972 marked the start of more substantive consideration within the Special Committee of the question of Puerto Rico. The Committee decided for the first time to discuss the question. A resolution was adopted recognizing
the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in accordance with General Assembly resolution (XV) of 14 December 1960
and instructing its Working Group to submit a. report relating to the procedure to be followed by the Special Committee in implementation of the 1960 Declaration.
In 1973 the Special Committee, for the first time, granted a hearing
to two Puerto Rican groups during its consideration of the application
of the 1960 Declaration with respect to Puerto Rico. The debate ended after
approval of a resolution which called on the Committee's Rapporteur to
collect information on the question and called on the U.S. Government to
refrain from any measures which might obstruct full and free exercise by
Puerto Ricans of their right to self-determination and independence.
Only a brief consideration of the question was held in 1974 when the
Committee heard from representatives of two Puerto Rican groups and from
the Cuban representative. It adjourned further consideration until 1975,
when it heard from representatives of three Puerto Rican groups. After
several days of discussion, the Special Committee voted to postpone further
consideration of the question until 1976.
September 1, 1953. The U.N. Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories, by a vote of 12 in favor to none against, and 3 abstentions, adopted a resolution which tools note (1) that the people of Puerto Rico had achieved a new constitutional status with internal self-government; (2) that the information before it indicated that Puerto Rico may be considered as falling outside the scope of article 73(e) of the U.N. Charter; and (3) that the U.S. Government considered that it is no longer necessary or appropriate for it to transmit information on Puerto Rico under article 73(e). This resolution was passed in the light of information transmitted by the United States with respect to the establishment of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (General Assembly. Official Records: Eight Session. Supplement No. 15 (A/246:i))
November 5, 1953. General Assembly Committee 4 (Trusteeship, including Non-Self-Governing Territories), by a vote of 22 in favor to 18 against, with 19 abstentions, adopted a draft resolution on the cessation of the transmission of information under article 73 (e) on Puerto Rico. (A/2 556)
November 27, 1953. The U.N. General Assembly, by a vote of 26 in favor, to 1(i against, with 18 abstentions, adopted Resolution 748 (VIII) which 1) considered that the Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories in Chapter 11 of the U.N. Charter no longer could be applied to Puerto Rico and 2) considered it appropriate that the transmission of information under article 73(e) should cease with the regard to Puerto Rico. (U.N. Yearbook, 1953)
Those voting in favor: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Israel, Liberia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Uruguay.
Those voting against: Australia, Belgium, Burma, Byelorussia SSR Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Mexico, Poland, Ukrainian SSR Union of South Africa, USSR, Yugoslavia.
Abstentions: Afghanistan, Argentina, Denmark, Egypt, France, Iceland, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Yemen.
November 27, 1961. The U.N. General Assembly created a Special Committee of 17 members to examine the application of the 1960 General Assembly Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (G.A. Res. 1:114 (XV)) and to make recommendations on the progress and extent of its application. The Committee was enlarged to 24 members in late 1962 and has frequently been referred to as the Special Committee of 24. The functions of the Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories were transferred to the Special Committee of 24 by the 1953 General Assembly.
October 10, 1964. The Second Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held in Cairo, adopted a Declaration on a Program for Peace and International Cooperation which drew "the attention of the Ad hoc Decolonization Commission of the United Nations to the case of Puerto Rico and calls upon that commission to consider the situation of these territories in the light of Resolution 1514 (XV) of the United Nations." (A,/5763)
November 18 and 29, 1964. The Special Committee considered a report of its Working Group which took note of the Cairo Declaration. The U.S. representative opposed approval of the report because it referred by inference to a territory on which the General Assembly had already taken action. Sentence 2 of Paragraph 4 of the report read as follows
Reference was also made by members of the Working Group to the Declaration adopted by the Conference of Non-Self-Aligned Countries, which has been circulated as a document of the General Assembly (A/5763), and which in the last paragraph of section I, entitled "Concerted Action for the Liberation of the Countries still dependent; elimination of Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism and Imperialism", draws the attention of the Special Committee to certain territories. (A/AC.109/L.172)
November 20, 1964. A U.S. amendment to delete the above cited sentence was rejected by the Committee by a vote of 16 votes against to 7 in favor, with 1 abstention.
In favor: Chile, Denmark, Italy, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Australia.
Against: Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Poland, Sierra Leona, Syria, Tunisia, USSR, Tanzania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria.
The Report as a whole was approved by a vote of 15 in favor to 3 against, with 6 abstentions. (A/AC.109/SR.317; A/5800)
In favor: Iraq, Ivory Coast, Mali, Poland, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tunisia, U ,14S I; , Tanzania, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India.
Against: United Kingdom, United States, Australia.
Abstaining: Italy, Madagascar, Venezuela, Chile, Denmark, Iran.
October 1, 1965. Cuba's Minister for Foreign Affairs requested the Special Committee to place the question of Puerto Rico on its agenda.
October 7, 1965. There was a brief discussion in Special Committee over the circulation of the Cuban letter as an official document. The U.S. representation
indicated that the letter should not have been circulated since in accordance with the 1953 Assembly resolution the territory to which the letter referred was n„r within the competence of the Committee. The Committee did not discus the Cuban request which had been forwarded to the Working Group for its future consideration. (A/6000 A/AC.109/SR. 389)
October 10, 1966. The Special Committee approved proposals in paragraph 10 of the Working Groups report, subject to the reservations which had been expressed during debate. The Working Group in paragraph 10 had agreed that the question of inclusion of Puerto Rico, as requested by the Cuban letter of October 1, 1965, "required further detailed study and that in view of the lack of time at this session, it should make such a study at an early date during the next session of the Special Committee." (A/AC.109/L.355; A/AC.109/SR.471)
April 19, 1967. The Special Committee took up a report of its Working Group which had referred to it the question of including Puerto Rico and the Comoro Archipelago on the list of territories to which the Declaration is applicable. After some debate the Special Committee decided, by an unrecorded vote of 19 in favor to 8 against, with 1 abstention, to adjourn further debate sine die. (U.N. Yearbook, 1967; /6700 (Part 1)). The proposal had been sponsored by Syria, supported by Tanzania., and opposed by the United States and Australia.
January 11, 1971. The United States and the United Kingdom withdrew- from membership on the Special Committee.
August 17, 1971. The Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations submitted a request for inclusion on the agenda of the 26th session of the General Assembly of an item: "The colonial case of Puerto Rico". Attached to the letter was an explanatory memorandum stating that the people of Puerto Rico had an inalienable right to independence and that the United Nations had the unavoidable duty to take all necessary steps to ensure that those people achieved the full exercise of their national rights. (A/8441).
September 23, 1971. The General Committee of the General Assembly, by a vote of 10 in favor to 5 against, with 8 abstentions, recommended to the Assembly that "The colonial case of Puerto Rico" not be included in the agenda of the 26th session. (A/BUR/SR.192).
The vote was unrecorded but a survey of the statements made on the item indicates the following positions:
In favor of rejecting the request: United States, Costa Rica, Finland, Philippines, France; United Kingdom, Japan, Greece, China, Belgium (according to press reports).
Opposed to rejection: Bulgaria, Hungary, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, Sierra Leone; USSR (according to press reports).
Abstentions: Jamaica, Ireland, Zambia, Venezuela, Cyprus;
Absent for the vote: Sudan (opposed rejection)
September 24, 1971. The General Assembly, by a vote of 57 to 26, with 38 abstentions, adopted the recommendation of the General Committee not to include the item on its agenda. (U.N. Yearbook, 1971)
In favor: Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada., Ceylon, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia,, Fiji, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Khmer Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia,
Luxembourg, Madagascar, 'Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Netherlands,
New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United Mates, Uruguay, Zaire.
Against: Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Byelorussia SSR, Chile, Congo, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Hungary, Iraq, Libyan Arab Republic, Mali, Mongolia, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, Poland, Romania, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukrainian SSR, USSR, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia.
Abstaining: Argentina, Bahrain, Barbados, Bolivia, Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cyprus, Dahomey, Egypt, El Salvador, Gabon, Gambia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Kuwait, Laos, , Mexico, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Upper Volta, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.
June 6, 1972. The Special Committee, without objection, agreed to discuss the question raised by the letters of Cuba and of the United States concerning the inclusion of Puerto Rico in the list of Territories to which the 1960 Declaration is applicable. (A/AC.109/PV.783; A/AC.109/L.795)
August 18, 25, and 28, 1972. The Special Committee discussed the question as a<,reed in June. (A/AC.109/PV.883; A/AC.109/PV.884; A/AC.109/PV.888)
August 25, 1972. Iraq introduced a draft resolution in which the Special Committee recognized the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in accordance with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, and instructed its Working Group to submit to it a report, at an early date in 1973, relating specifically to the procedure to be followed by- the Special Committee for the implementation of General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) with respect to Puerto Rico. (A/AC.109/L.837)
August 28, 1972. The Special Committee, by a vote of 12 in favor to none, against, with 10 abstentions, adopted the above draft resolution. The vote was:
In favor: Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, India, Iraq, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Syrian Arab Republic, USSR, Tanzania.
Abstaining: Venezuela, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia.
November 2, 1972. The Cuban U.N. representative, in explanation of the General Assembly vote on the question of the Implementation of the 1960 Declaration, indicated that a vote in favor of the resolution was a vote recognizing the inalienable right of the Puerto Rican people to independence.
General Assembly resolution 2908 (XXVII) contained 18 operative paragraphs none of which referred to Puerto Rico by name or to inclusion of certain entities on the list of Territories. Operative paragraph 3 approved the report of the Special Committee on its work in 1972 and its program of work for 1973. Only three of the five pages devoted to the work of the Committee in the lengthy report dealt with the question of the inclusion of Puerto Rico on the list of Territories. (General Assembly. Official Records. Twenty-Seventh Session. Supplement No. 23 (A/8723/ Rev.l)) General Assembly resolution 2908 (XXVII) was adopted by a vote of 99 in favor to 5 (U.S.) against, with 23 abstentions. The roll call vote can be found in the U.N. Yearbook for 1972.
November 6, 1972. The Cuban representative submitted a letter to the U.N. Secretary-General on the question of Puerto Ricans held as "political prisoners" is the United States. (AC/.3/631)
November 27, 1972. U.S. Representative Jewel Lafontant replied in Committee III (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the General Assembly to the November 6letter from Cuba. She indicated that those individuals identified in the Cuba letter were in fact in prison "after trials by jury and with careful attention to due process of law" for "specific criminal acts, including murder, arson and armed assault". (U.S. Mission to the U.N., Press Release USUN-144 (72))
February 23, 1973. The Special Committee referred the question of "Special Committee resolution of 28 August 1972 concerning Puerto Rico" to its Working Group for consideration and recommendations.
August 16, 1973. The Special Committee began consideration of the report of the Working Group which referred the question back to the Committee, along with requests for two groups to be heard. The Committee, without objection, decided to tale up the item. (A/AC.109/PV.938)
August 22, 1973. The Special Committee, by a vote of 12 in favor to none against, with 12 abstentions, granted the request of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party and the Puerto Rican Independence Party for hearing. Statements in explanation of vote on the resolution which was introduced by Chile and supported by Iraq, Mali, and Syria, identify the following pattern of votes.:
Abstentions: India, Iran, Ethiopia. (A/AC.109/PV.942)
August 30, 1973. The Special Committee by a vote of 12 in favor to 2 against, with 9 abstentions, adopted a resolution introduced by representatives of the Congo and the Syrian Arab Republic, and supported by representatives Iraq and :Mali. The operative paragraphs of the resolution follow:
1. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in accordance with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960;
2. Requests the Government of the United States of America to refrain from taking any measures which obstruct the full and free exercise by the people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, as well as of their economic, social and other rights, and in particular to prevent any violation of these rights b
y bodies corporate under its jurisdiction;
3. Requests its Rapporteur, with the assistance of the Secretariat, to collect all pertinent information on the question, including the views of all the parties concerned, for the purpose of facilitating its consideration of the question in 1974;
4. Decides to keep the question under continuous review. The note on the resolution follows
In favor: Bulgaria, Chile, China, Congo, Czechoslovakia, India, Iraq, Mali, Syrian Arab Republic, USSR, Tanzania, Yugoslavia.
Against: Ethiopia, Iran.
Abstaining: Afghanistan, Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Venezuela. (General Assembly, Official Records: Twenty-Eighth Session. (Supplement No. 23 (A/9023/Rev. 1))
October 30, 1974. The Special Committee began consideration of the report of its Rapporteur on the question of Puerto Rico, as requested by its August 30, 1973 resolution. The first part of the report, according to the Rapporteur, related to previous action taken by the United Nations in relation to Puerto Rico. The second part contained information relating to the constitutional and political development of Puerto Rico. Part three contained views on the question, as received from the parties concerned. (A/AC.109/L.976)
The Special Committee, on October 30 and November 1, received oral statements from representatives of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party and of the Puerto Rican Independence Party. (A/AC.109/PV.983-984)
November 1, 1974. The Special Committee, without objection, agreed to "resume consideration of the item during its first session in 1975." (A/AC.109/ PV.985)
August 13, 1975. The Special Committee renewed for 1975 consideration of the question of Puerto Rico. It adopted, without objection, the petitions of three groups to be heard.
August 14, 1975. Representatives from the Puerto Rican Independence Party, the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, and the Puerto Rican Peace Council began their statements to the Special Committee.
August 15, 1975. Representatives of Cuba, supported by the Congo, Iraq, Mali, and Syria, introduced a resolution which would recognize the small movement for the independence of Puerto Rico as "representing the legitimate aspirations of the Puerto Rican people." The text also recommended sending a fact-finding mission to the island, preferably early in 1976, and requested the U.S. Government "to extend its cooperation."
August 20, 1975. The Special Committee, by a vote of 11 in favor, to 9 against, with 2 abstentions, voted to postpone further consideration of the Puerto Rico question until 1976.
In favor: Afghanistan, Australia, Chile, Denmark-, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Tunisia.
Against: Bulgaria, Congo, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Iraq, Mali, Syria, USSR, Tanzania.
Abstaining: Trinidad and Tabago, Yugoslavia.
Not Participating: China.
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE
SITUATION WITH REGARD TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE GRANTING
OF INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES: MEMBERSHIP LIST, 1962-74
[Prepared for the Library
of Congress, Congressional Research Service, by Roslyn D. Roberts, Research
Assistant, Foreign Affairs Division, August 19, 1975.]
MEMBERSHIP IN 1962
Australia. Representative: Sir James Plimsoll. Alternate: J. D. L. Hood.
Cambodia. Representatives: Koun Wick, Nong Kin-my, Soon Vocunsai. Alternate: Caimerom Measketh.
Ethiopia Representative: Tesfaye Gebre-Egzy. Alternates: Kifle Wodajo, Girma Abebe.
India Representative: C. S. Jha (Chairman). Alternates: A. B. Bhadkamkar, M. Rasgotra, K. Natwar Singh.
Italy. Representatives: Livio Tbeodoli, Paolo Tallarigo. Alternatie: Ludovico Carducci-Artensisio, Vittorio Ivella, Vincenzo Zito.
Madagascar. Representative: Louis Rakotomalalo. Alternates: Remi Andriamahoro,Henri Jux Ratsimbazzfy, Gabriel Rakotoniaina.
Mali. Representative: Sori Coulibaly (Vice-Chairman). Alternate: Mamadou Traore.
Poland. Representative: Bodhan Lewandowski. Alternate: Kazimierz Smiganowski.
Syria. Representative: Najmuddine Rifai (Rappcrteur).
Tanganyika. Representatives: V. K. Kyaruzi, A. Z. Nsilo Swai. Alternate: Christopher P. Ngaiza, John S. Malecela, Abbas Skyes.
Tunisia. Representative: Taieb Slim. Alternates: Mahmoud Mestiri, Chedly Ayari.
USSR. Representative: A. V. Zorin. Deputy Representatives: P. D. Morozov, V. I. Oberemko.
United Kingdom. Representatives: Sir Patrick Dean. Alternates: C. T. Crowe, Sir Hugh Foot.
United States. Representative: Jonathan B. Bingham. Alternate: Robert O. Blake.
Uruguay. Representative: Carlos Maria Velizquez. Alternate: Aureliano Aguirre.
Venezuela. Representative: Carlos Sosa Rodriguez. Alternate: Ignacio Silva Sucre.
Miso Pavicevic. Alternates: Miroslav Kreacic,
During 1962, the Special
Committee established: a Sub-Committee on the questionnaire, a Sub-Committee
on Petitions, a Sub-Committee on Southern Rhodesia, and a number of drafting
Subcommittee on the questionnaire
Members in 1962: India, Mali, Syria, Hungary, Yugoslavia.
This Sub-Committee ceased
to exist after the draft questionnaire prepared by it had been adopted
by the Special Committee on 29 March 1962.
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1962: Australia,
Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Poland, Tunisia, Venezuela.
Subcommittee on Southern. Rhodesia
Members in 1962: India Mali, Syria, Tanganyika, Tunisia, Venezuela.
On 17 December 1962, the General Assembly decided to enlarge the Special
Committee by seven new Members, to be nominated by tile President of the
Assembly. Those nominated were Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, Iran, Iraq, Ivory
Coast and Sierra Leone.
MEMBERSHIP IN 1963
Australia. Representative: D. O. Hay. Alternates: J. D. L. Hood, Dudley McCarthy.
Bulgaria. Representatives: Detcho Stambolicv, Malin Molcrov, Barouch M. Grinl>erg.
Cambodia. Representative: Voeunsai Sonn (Second Vice-Chairman).
Chile. Representatives: Daniel Schweitzer, Humberto Diaz Casanueva. Alt rnate: Hiss Leonora Kracht.
Denmark. Representative: Aage IIessellund-Jcnsen. Alternates: Kjeld l~c~nensen, Poul Boeg.
Ethiopia. Representative: Tesfaye Gebre-Egzy. Alternates: Kifle 1Vod:ij.,, Girma Abebe.
India. Representative: B. N. Chakravarty. Alternates: A. B. Bhadkaml<:,r, K. Natwar Singh (Rapporteur, after 16 September 1963).
Iran. Representative: :VIchdi Vakil. Alternates: Hassan Za hedi, Mohied 7 >iu Nabavi.
Iraq. Representative: Adnan M. Pachacbi. Alternates: Burhan M. Nouri, Miss Faiha Ibrahim Kamal, Anis Zaki Hassan.
Italy. Representatives: Vittorio Zoppi, Paolo Tallarigo. Alternates: LudoN ico Carducci-Artenisio, Vincenzo Zito.
Ivory-Coast. Representative: Arsene Assouan Usher. Alternates: Simeon Ake,
Madagascar. Representatives: Louis Rakotomalala, Gilbert Ratsitohlra, Remi Andriarnaharo, Mrs. Lucile Ramaholimihaso.
Mali. Representative: Sori Coulibaly (Chairman). Alternates: Mamaclc,cl Traore, Ahmadou Baba Dicko.
Poland. Representative: Bohdan Lewandowski, Alternate: Kazimierz Smig;cnowski.
Sierra Leone. Representative: Gershon B. O. Collier. Alternate: Donald 1;. George.
Syria. Representatives: Salah El Dine Tarayi, Najmuddine Rifai (Rapportcur, until 16 September 1963), Izzet Oubari Hassan Muraywid, Tarek Jabri.
Tanganyika. Representatives: Chief Erasto A. M. Mang'enya, A. K. E. Shab:c, Sebastian Chale. Alternates: C. Y. Mgonja, J. B. Mkatte.
Tunisia. Representatives: Taieb Slim, Mahmoud Mestri, Chedly Ayari, Sadc~lc Bouzayen.
USSR. Representative: N. T. Fedorenko. Alternate: V. A. Brykin.
United Kingdom. Representative: Sir Patrick Dean. Alternate: C. E. Kin,.
United States. Representative: Sidney R. Yates. Alternates: Richard F. Pedc rsen, Robert O. Blake.
Uruguay. Representative: Carlos Maria VelAazquez (First Vice-Chairman Alternates: Auerliana Aguire, Matao Marques Serc.
Venezuela. Representatives: Carlos Sosa Rodriguez. Alternate: Leonardo Di:iz Gonzalez.
Yugoslavia. Represenataive: Miso Pavicevic. Alternates: Miroslav Krcacic, Sreten The, Alexandar Bozovic.
During 1965, the Special Committee re-established its Sub-Committee
( cl Petitions and established a Working Group and Sub-Committees on Southern
Rhodesia, Aden and British Guiana.
Subcommittee on Petitions
Members in 1963: Australia, Ethipoia, India, Madagascar, Poland, Tuni-ire
(Chairman), Venezuela, (Vice-Chairman).
The Working Group in 1963 consisted of a 4-member Bureau (the officer
of the Special Committee) and the representatives of Bulgaria, Iraq, Italy,
and Sierra Leone.
The Bureau consisted of the following officers of the Special Committee:
the Chairman (representative of Mali), the First Vice-Chairman (representative
of Uruguay), the Second Vice-Chairman (representative of Cambodia), the
Rapporteur (the representative of Syria until 16 September 1963 and thereafter
by the representative of India who was elected Rapportcur in place of the
representative of Syria).
Subcommittee on Southern Rhodesia
Members in 1963: Mali (Chairman), Sierra Leone, Syria, Tanganyika, Tunisia:,
Subcommittee on Aden
Members in 1963: Cambodia (Chairman), Iraq, Madagascar, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.
Subcommittee on British Gwiana
:Members in 1963: Chile, Iran, Mali (Chairman), Sierra Leone, Syria.
MEMBERSHIP IN 1964
Members and representatives in 1964:
Australia. Representative: D. O. Hay, Alternate: Dudley McCarthy.
Bulgaria. Representative: Milko Tarabanov, Matey Karasimeonov, Ivan Peinirdjiev.
Cambodia. Representative: Voeunsai Sonn (Second Vice-Chairman). Alternate Thoutch Vutthi.
Chile. Representative: Carlos Martinez Sotomayor. Alternates: Javier 111anes, Miss Leonora Kracht.
Denmark. Representatives: A. Hessellund-Jensen, IIans R. Tabor. Alternates: Kjeld Mortensen, Skjold G. Mellbin.
Ethiopia. Representative: Tesfaye Gebre-Egzy. Alternates: Girma Abebe, Avelework Abebe.
India. Representative: B. N. Chakravarty. Alternate: K. Natwar Singh (Rapporteur).
Iran. Representative: Mehdi Vakil. Alternate: Mohieddin Nabavi.
Iraq. Representative: Adnan Pachachi. Alternates: Alauddin 11. Aljubouri, Abdul Hussein Alisa.
Italy. Representative: Piero Vinci. Alternates: Ludovico Carducci Artenisio, Vincenzo Zito.
Ivory Coast. Representative: Arsene Assouan Usher. Alternates: DIoise Aka, Julien Kacou.
Madagascar. Representative: Louis Rakotomalala. Alternates: Gabriel Rakotoniaina, Rene G. Ralison.
Mali. Representatives: Sori Coulibaly (Chairman). Ahmadou Dicko, Mrs. Jeanne Rousseau.
Poland. Representative: Kazimierz Smiganowski. Alternate: Jan Slowikowski.
Sierra Leone. Representative: G. B. O. Collier. Alternate: George ColeridgeTaylor.
Syria. Representative: Rafik Asha. Alternate: Adnan Omran.
Tunisia. Representatives: Taieb Slim, Mahmoud Mestiri, Sadok Bouzay en, 1lohamed Gherib.
U.S.S.R. Representative: N. T. Federenko. Alternate: P. F. Shakhov.
United Kingdom. Representatives: Sir Patrick Dean, Lord Caradon. Alternate: C. E. King.
United Republic of Tanzania.' Representatives: Chief E. A. Mang'enya, C. Y. Mgonja, Mohammad Ali Foum, A. B. C. Donieli, E. P. Plwaluko.
United State. Representative: Sidney R. Yates, Mrs. Marietta P. Tree. Alternates: Dwight Dickinson, Christopher Thoron.
Uruguay. Representative: Carlos Maria Veldzuquez (First Vice-Chairman). Alternate: Mateo Marques Sere.
Venezuela. Representative: Carlos Sosa Rodriguez. Alternate: Leonardo Diaz GonzAlez.
Yugoslavia. Representative: Danilo Lekic. Alternate: Milos Mclovski.
During 1964, the Special Committee continued its Sub-Committee on Petitions
and its Working Group. It re-established its Sub-Committee on Southern
Rhodesia and its Sub-Committee on Aden. It established a Sub-Committee
of Good Offices on British Guiana. It also established three other Sub-
Committees (SubCommittees 1, II and 111) to examine conditions in other
territories and certain other items.
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1964: Australia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Poland, Tunisia
(Chairman until 20 May 1964), Venezuela (Vice-Chairman until 20 May 1964
and Acting Chairman thereafter).
The Working Group in 1964 consisted of a 4-member Bureau (the officers of the Special Committee) and the representatives of Bulgaria, Iraq, Italy and Sierra Leone.
The Bureau consisted of the following officers of the Special Committee:
The Chairman (the representative of Mali), the First Vice- Chairman (the
representative of Uruguay), the Second Vice-Chairman (the representative
of Cambodia), the Rapporteur (the representative of India).
Subcommittee on Southern Rhodesia
Members in 1964: Mali (Chairman), Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Syria, Yugoslavia.
Subcommittee on Aden
Members in 1964: Cambodia (Chairman), Iraq, Ivory Coast, Venezuela,
Yugoslavia. Subcommittee of Good Offices on British Guiana
Members in 1964: Mali (Chairman), Tunisia, Uruguay.
Members in 1964: Denmark, Ethiopia (Chairman), Mali, Syria, Tunisia,
USSR, United Republic of Tanzania, Yugoslavia (Rapporteur). Subcommittee
Members in 1964: Australia, Cambodia (Chairman), Chile, India (Rapporteur);
Iraq, Poland, Sierra Leone, United States. Subcommittee III
Members in 1964: Bulgaria, Iran (Rapporteur), Italy, Ivory Coast, Madagascar,
Uruguay (Chairman), Venezuela.
MEMBERSHIP IN 1965
Members and Representatives in 1965:
Australia. Representative: Patrick Shaw. Alternate: Dudley McCarthy.
Bulgaria. Representatives: Milko Tarabanov, Matey Karasimeonov, Barul Grinberg, Ivan Peinirdjiev.
Cambodian Representative: Huot Sambath (Second Vice-Chairman). Alternates, Thoutch Vutthi, Chhuan Samber.
Chile. Representative: Javier Illanes. Alternate: Hermon Sanchez.
Denmark. Representative: Hans R. Tabor. Alternate: Skjold G. Mellbin.
Ethiopia. Representative: Tesfaye Gebre-Egzy. Alternates: Girma Abebe, Ayelework Abebe.
India. Representative: Cs. Parthasarathi. Alternates: Brajesh C. Mishra, K. Natwar Singh (Rapporteur).
Iran. Representative: Medhi Vakil. Alternate: Moshen S. Esfandiary.
Iraq. Representative: Adnan Pachachi. Alternates: Alauddin H. Aljubouri, 5, Saleem.
Italy. Representative: Piero Vinci. Alternates: Ludovico Carducci-Artenisio, Vincenzo Zito.
Ivory Coast. Representative: Arsene Assouan Usher. Alternates: Moise Aka, Julien Kacou.
Madagascar. Representative: Louis Rakotomalala. Alternate: Gabriel Rakotoniaina.
Mali. Representatives: Seri Coulibaly (Chairman), Mamadou Moctar Thiam, Mrs. Jeanne Rousseau.
Poland. Representative: Bohdan Lewandowski. Alternate: Jan Slowikowski,
Sierra Leone. Representative: G. B. O. Collier. Alternates: George Coleridge Taylor, G. E. O. Williams.
Syria. Representative: Rafik Asha. Alternates: Adnan Nachebe, Rafic Joucjati
Tunisia. Representatives: Taieb Slim, Sakok Bouzayen, Mohamed Gherih.
USSR. Representative: N. T. Fedorenko. Alternate: P. F. Shakhov.
United Kingdom. Representative: Lord Caradon. Alternate: F. D. W. Brown.
United Republic of Tanzania. Representatives: J. W. S. Malecela, Mohammad Ali Foum, A. B. C. Danieli, E. P. Mwaluko.
United States. Representatives: Mrs. Marietta P. Tree, Mrs. Eugenic M. Anderson. Alternates: Dwight Dickinson, Christopher Thoron.
Uruguay. Representative: Carlos Maria VelAsquez (First Vice-Chairm: n). Alternate: Mateo Marques-Sere.
Venezuela. Representative: Carlos Sosa-Rodriguez. Alternate: Leonardo Diaz Gonzdlez.
Yugoslavia. Representative: Danilo Lekic. Alternate: Miles Melovski.
The Special Committee has a Sub-Committee on Petitions and a Working
Group. In addition to these it has a Sub-Committee on Southern Rhodesia,
a Sub-Committee on Aden, a Sub-Committee of Good Offices on British Guiana
and Sub-Committees I, II and III which examine conditions in other territories
and certain other items.
Subcommittees on petitions
Members in 1965: Australia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar (Vice-Chairman),
Poland, Tunisia, Venezuela (Chairman).
In 1965, the Working Group of the Special Committee of 24 consisted of the Bureau (the officers of the Special Committee) and the representatives of Bulgaria, Iraq, Italy and Sierra Leone.
The Bureau consisted of the following officers of the Special Committee:
The Chairman (the representative of Mali), the First Vice-Chairman (the
representative of Uruguay), the Second Vice-Chairman (the representative
of Cambodia), the Rapporteur (the representative of India).
Subcommittee on Southern Rhodesia
Members in 1965: Mali (Chairman), Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Syria, Yugoslavia.
Subcommittee on Aden
Members in 1965: Cambodia (Chairman), Iraq, Ivory Coast, Venezuela,
Subcommittee of good offices on British Guiana
Members in 1965: Mali (Chairman), Tunisia, Uruguay.
Members in 1965: Denmark, Ethiopia (Chairman), Mali, Syria, Tunisia,
USSR, United Republic of Tanzania, Yugoslavia (Rapporteur).
Members in 1965: Australia, Cambodia (Chairman), Chile, India, Iraq,
Poland, Sierra Leone, United States.
Members in 1965: Bulgaria, Iran, Italy, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Uruguay
MEMBERSHIP IN 1966
Members and Representatives in 1966:
Afghanistan. Representative: Abdul Rahman Pazwak. Alternates: Ghulan Ghaus Waziri, Mohammed Mirza Sammah.
Australia. Representatives: Patrick Sahw, Dudley McCarthy. Alternate: B. B. Hickey.
Bulgaria. Representatives: Milko Tarabanov, Matey Karasimconov, Dimiter Sabev.
Chile. Representative: Jose Pinera, Vice-Chairman. Alternate: Javier Illanes.
Denmark.3 Representative: Hans R. Tabor. Alternate: Skjold G. Mellbin.
Ethiopia. Representatives: Tesfaye Gebre-Egzy (until May 1966), Lij Endalkachew Makonnen (from July 1966). Alternates: Girma Abebe until May 1966), Berhane Deressa, Miss Kongit Sinegiorgis.
India. Representative: G. Parthasarathi. Alternates: Brajesh C. Mishra, K. Natwar Singh (until March 1966), C. R. Gharekhan.
Iran. Representative: Mehdi Vakil. Alternate: Mohsen S. Esfandiary.
Iraq. Representative: Kadhim Khalaf. Alternate: Ala'uddin H. Aljubouri, Rapporteur.
Italy. Representative: Piero Vinci. Alternates: Ludovico Carducci-Artenisio, Vincenzo Zito (until June 1966).
Ivory Coast. Representative: Simeon Ake. Alternates: Julien Kacou, JeanMarie Kakou Gervais, Joseph Laga (until September 1966).
Madagascar. Representative: Louis Rakotomalala. Alternates: Gabriel Rakotoniana, Andviranampy Ramaholimihaso, Mrs. Lucile Ramaholimihaso.
Mali. Representatives: Seri Coulibaly (until 1966), Moussa Keita (from May 1966), Mrs. Jeanne Rousseua (until June 1966), Mamadou Moctar Thiam.
Poland. Representatives: Bohdan Lewandowski (until July 1966), Bohdan
Tumcrrowicz (from September 7S>(~Gi). Alteriiates: Eugeniusz Wyzner, Jan Slowikowski, Wladyslaw Nenentan.
Sierra Leone. Representative: Gershon B. O. Collier, Chairman. Alternates: G. E. O. Williams, Frank P. Karefa-Smart.
Syria. Representative: George J. Tomeh. Alternates: Rafic Jouejati, Adnan Nachabe.
Tunisia. Representatives: Taieb Slim, Mongi Sahli, Amor Fezzani, Hamdan Ben Aissa, Mohamed El Memmi.
USSR. Representative: N. T. Fedorenko. Alternate: P. F. Shakhov.
United Kingdom. Representative: Lord Caradon. Alternate: F. D. W. Brown.
United Republic of Tanzania. Representatives: J. W. S. Maleccla, Vice-Chairman, Ali Mohammad Foum, Idi Mtwinga.
United States. Representative: Mrs. Eugenie M. Anderson. Alternate: Richard h:. Johnson.
Uruguay. Representative: Pedro P. Berro. Alternates: Mateo Marques-Sere F elipe Montero.
Venezuela. Representative: Pedro Zuloaga. Alternates: Leonardo Diaz Gonzalez (until July 1966), Tulio Alvarado (until October 1966), Gilberto I. Carrasquero Miss Clemencia Lopez.
Yugoslavia. Representative: Danilo Lekic. Alternate: Dimitar Janevski.
During 1966 the Special Committee held meetings between 8 March and 18 May and between 6 July and 30 November at United Nations Headquarters, New York; and between 23 May and 22 June at the following cities in Africa: Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania; Mogadiscio, Somalia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Cairo, United Arab Republic and Algiers, Algeria.
The Special ommittee has a Sub-Committee on Petitions and a Working
Group In addition to these it had Sub-Committees in 1966 on: Aden South
West Africa; Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland; and Equatorial Guinea.
Sub-Committees I, II and III, which examine conditions in other territories
and certain other items,4 were maintained in 1966.
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1966: Australia, India, Madagascar (Vice-Chairman), Poland, Syria,
Tunisia, Venezuela (Chairman).
Working Group of the Special Committee of Twenty-Four
In 1966, the Working Group of the Special Committee of Twenty-four consisted of the Bureau (the officers of the Special Committee) and the representatives of Bulgaria, Ethiopia, India and Italy-.
The Bureau consisted of the following officers of the Special Committee:
the Chairman (the representative of Sierra Leone), the Vice-Chairman (the
representatives of Chile and the United Republic of Tanzania), the Rapporteur
(the alternate representative of Iraq).
Subcommittee on Aden
Members in 1966: Afghanistan, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Venezuela, Yugoslavia
Subcommittee on South West Africa
Members in 1966: Denmark, Ethiopia (Chairman), India (Rapporteur), Ivory
Coast, Poland, Tunisia, Venezuela.
Subcommittee on Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland
Members in 1966: Afghanistan, Bulgaria (Rapporteur), Iraq, Italy, Madagascar,
Mali, Uruguay (Chairman).
Subcommittee on Equatorial Guinea (Fernando Poo and Redo Muni)
Members in 1966: Chile, Denmark, Mali, Poland, Sierra Leone (Chairman).
Syria (Rapporteur), United Republic of Tanzania.
Members in 1966: Denmark, Ethiopia, Mali, Syria (Rapporteur), Tunisia,
USSR, United Republic of Tanzania (Chairman), Yugoslavia.
Members in 1966: Afghanistan, Australia, Chile, India (Rapporteur),
Iraq (Chairman), Poland, Sierra Leone, United States.
Members in 1966: Bulgaria, Iran (Rapporteur/Acting Chairman), Italy,
Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Uruguay, Venezuela (Chairman).
MEMBERSHIP IN 1967
Members and Chief Representatives in 1967:
Afghanistan. Representative: Abdul Samad Ghaus. Alternate: Mohammad Mirza Sammah.
Australia. Representative: Patrick Shaw. Alternates: Kenneth Henry Rogers; B. B. Hickev.
Bulgaria. li'epresentatives: Milko Tarabanov; Dimiter Sabev.
Chile. Representative: Jose Pinera. Alternate: Javier Illanes.
Ethiopia. Representatives: Lij Endalkachew Makonnen; Ato Kifle Wodajo. Alternate: Miss Konjit Sinegiorgis.
Finland. Representatives: Max Jakobson; Matti Cawen; Paavo Keisalo.
India. Representative: Gopalaswami Parthasarathi. Alternates: B. C. Mishra; C. R.. Gharekhan.
Iran. Representative: Medhi Vakil. Alternates: Mohsen S. Esfandiary, Rapport eur: Farrokh Parsi.
Iraq. Representatives: Kadhim Khalaf (until July 1967), Vice-Chairman; Adnan Pachachi (from August 1967). Alternate: Salim A. Saleem.
Italy. Representative: Piero Vinci. Alternates: Ludoviei Cardueei-Artenisio; Massimo Castaldo; Alessandro Grandi.
Ivory Coast. Representative: Simeod Ako. Alternate: Kouanie Koffl.
Madagascar. Representative: Louis Rakotornalaha. Alternates: Gabriel Rakotoniaina; Raymond Raoelina.
Mali. Representatives: Moussa L6o Keita; Mamadou Moctar Thiam; Yaya Dialdt6; Mamadou Diarra.
Poland. Representatives: Bohdan Tomorowiez; Jan Slowikowski.
Sierra Leone. Representative: C. O. E. Cole. Alternates: Gustavus 1;. O. Williams; Ambrose P. Genda (until March 1967) ; M. O. Cole (from September 1967) ; F. P. Karefa-Smart.
Syria. Representative: George J. Tomeh. Alternates: Rafic Jouejati; Adnan Nachabe; Abdallah El-Attrash.
Tunisia. Representatives: Mahmoud Mestiri; Ahmed Chtourou; Mahamed Fourati (from May 1967) ; Hamdan Bed Aissa (until July 1967) ; Hadi Drissi.
USSR. Representative: N. T. Fedorenko. Alternate: P. F. Shakhov.
United Kingdom. Representative: Lord Caradon. Alternates: C. P. Hope; J. D. B. Shaw.
United Republic of Tanzania. Representatives: J. W. Malecela, Chairman; M. A. Foum; Idi Hamisi Mtingwa (until July 1967).
United States. Representatives: Mrs. Eugenie M. Anderson: Seymour M. Finger (until 9 February 1967); H. Garcia (from 5 December 1967). Alternate: Richard E. Johnson.
Uruguay.s Representative: Pedro P. Berro. Alternates: Mateo Marques Sere (until August 1967) ; Felipe Montero.
Venezuela. Representatives: Manuel Perez Guerrero, Vice Chairman; German Nava Carrillo. Alternate: Gilberto I. Carrasquero.
Yugoslavia. Representatives: Anton Vratusa (from July 1967); Danilo Lekic (until June 1967). Alternate: Dragoslav Pejic.
During 1967, the Special Committee held meetings between 9 February and 19 April at United Nations Headquarters, New York; from 29 Mav to 1 June at Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; from 3 to 9 June at Kitove, Zambia; from 12 to 21 June at Dares Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania; and from 22 August to 5 December at United Nations Headquarters, New York.
The Special Committee has a Sub-Committee on Petitions and a Working
Group. In addition to these, Sub-Committees I, II and III (see below) were
maintained in 1967. Matters pertaining to certain other Territories, not
referred to in Sub-Committees I, II and III, were taken up at plenary meetings
of the Special Committee.
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1967: Australia, Chile, India, Madagascar (Vice-Chairman) , Poland, Syria (Chairman), Tunisia.
Working Group of Special Committee of Twenty-Four
In 1967, the Special Committee of Twenty-Four decided to enlarge the Working
Group's membership by one. The Working Group, therefore, consisted in 1967 the Bureau of the Special Committee (the officers of the Special Committee) at
the representatives of Bulgaria, Ethiopia, India, Italy and Mali.
The Bureau consisted of the following officers of the Special Committee: t
Chairman (the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania), the Vice Chairmen (the representatives of Iraq and Venezuela), the Rapporteur (t
alternate representative of Iran).
Members in 1967: Ethiopia (Chairman), Finland, Mali, Syria (Rapporteur
Tunisia, USSR, United Republic of Tanzania, Yugoslavia.
Members in 1967: Afghanistan, Australia, Chile, India (Chairman), Ira
Poland, Sierra Leone (Rapporteur), United States.
Members in 1967: Bulgaria, Iran (Chairman), Italy, Ivory Coast, Madagascar
Uruguay, Venezuela (Rapporteur).
MEMBERSHIP IN 1968
Members and Chief Representatives in 1968:
Afghanistan. Representatives: Abdul Rahman Pazhwak; Abdul Samad Ghau Rapporteur (from 10 June 1968); Aman-Ullah Hasrat (from September 1968 Mohammad Mirza Sammah (until August 1968).
Australia. Representatives: Patrick Shaw; Kenneth Henry Rogers; J. R. Kels Alternates: W. G. T. Miller; M. J. McKeown; J. A. Benson.
Bulgaria. Representatives: Milko Tarabanov; Dimiter Sabev.
Chile.e Representative: Jose Pinera. Alternate: Jorge Huneeus.
Ecuador.e Representatives: Leopoldo Benites; Teodoro Alvarado Garaicoa.
Ethiopia. Representatives: Lij Endalkachew Makonnen; Kifie Wodaj Alternate: Miss Konjit Sinegiorgis.
Finland. Representatives: Max Jakobson; Matti Cawen; Tapani Brotheru Paavo Keisalo (from June 1968).
Honduras. Representative: Humberto Lopez Villamil. Alternate: Mrs. L Bertrand de Bromley.
India. Representative: G. Parthasarathi. Alternates: B. C. Mishra; S. M. Chadha- C. R. Gharekhan Rapporteur (until June 1968).
Iran. Representative: Mehdi Vakil. Alternate: Mohsen S. Esfandiary.
Iraq. Representative: Adnan Pachachi. Alternates: Adnan Raouf, Vic Chairman; Salim Abdelkader Saleem (until September 1968).
Italy. Representative: Piero Vinci. Alternates: Massimo Castaldo; Alessand Quaroni.
Ivory Coast. Representatives: Simeon Ake; Koffi Kouam6; Julien Kacou (from September 1968).
Madagascar. Representatives; Louis Rakotomalala (until June 1968); Blai Rabetafika; Raymond Raoelina.
Mali. Representatives: Mamadou Boubacar Kante; Mohamed Mahmoud Ou Aly (from October 1968); Mamadou Diarra. Alternates: Oumar Ba; Issag COUI1baIV.
Poland. Representatives: Bohdan Tomorowicz; Jan Slowikowski.
Sierra Leone. Representatives: Christopher O. E. Cole (until August 1968 M. O. Cole.
Syria. Representative: George J. Tomeh. Alternates: Rafic Jouejati; Dia-All El-Fattal; Abdallah El-Attrash; Issa Awad; Miss Bushra Kanafani (from September 1968).
Tunisia. Representatives: Mahmoud Mestiri, Chairman; Ahmed Chtourou; Mohamed Fourati; Hichem Ayoub; Hedi Drissi; Radwan Foudhaily.
USSR. Representative: Y. A. Malik. Alternate: P. F. Shakhov.
United Kingdom. Representative: Lord Caradon. Alternates: D. H. T. Hildyard; J. D. B. Shaw.
United Republic of Tanzania. Representatives: Akili B. C. Danieli; M. A. Foum.
United States. Representative: Seymour Maxwell Finger. Alternates: Richard E. Johnson (until September 1968) ; John Eaves, Jr.
Venezuela. Representatives: Manuel Perez Guerrero, Vice-Chairman; German Nava, Carrillo, Alternate: Gilberto Carrasquero (until March 1968).
Yugoslavia. Representative: Aston Vratusa. Alternates: Zivojin Jazic; Dragoslav Pejic.
The Special Committee has a Sub-Committee on Petitions and a Working
Group. In 1968, in addition to these, Sub-Committees I, II, and III and
the Sub-Committee on Fiji were maintained, and another, the Sub-Committee
on Oman, was established. Matters pertaining to territories which were
not referred to its Sub-Committees were taken up at plenary meetings of
the Special Committee.
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1968: Chile (until October 1968) (Vice-Chairman), Ecuador (from
25 October 1968), India, Italy, Madagascar (Chairman), Mali, Poland,
Working Croup of Special Committee of Twenty-Four
In 1968, the Working Group of the Special Committee of Twenty-four consisted of the Bureau of the Special Committee (the officers of the Special Committee) and the representatives of Bulgaria, Ethiopia, India,7a Iran, Italy, and the United Republic of Tanzania.
The Bureau consisted of the following officers of the Special Committee:
the Chairman (the representative of Tunisia), the Vice-Chairmen (the alternate
representative of Iraq and the representative of Venezuela) and the Rapporteur
7. (the alternate representative of India until June 1968; the representative
of Afghanistan from June 1968).
Members in 1968: Chile (until October 1968), Mali, Sierra Leone (Chairman),
Syria (Rapporteur), Tunisia, USSR, United Republic of Tanzania, Yugoslavia.
Members in 1968: Afghanistan, Australia,, Ethiopia, Honduras, India,
Iraq (Chairman), Poland, United States.
Members in 1968: Bulgaria, Finland, Iran (Chairman), Italy, Ivory Coast,
Subcommittee on Fiji
Members in 1968: Bulgaria, Chile (until October 1968) (Chairman), Finland,
India, United Republic of Tanzania.
Subcommittee on Oman
Members in 1968: Iran, Iraq, Mali, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela.
The Sub-Committee did not meet in 1968.
MEMBERSHIP IN 1969
Members and Chief Representatives in 1969:
Afghanistan. Representatives: Abdur-Rahman Pazhwak; Adbul Samad Ghaus,a Rapporteur; Mir Abdul Wahab Siddiq; Abdul Ahad Nasser-Ziayee.
Bulgaria. Representatives: Milko Tarabanov; Luben Penteheve (from May 1969); Dimiter Sabev (until March 1969); Dimitar S. Stanoev (from March 1969).
United Republic of Tanzania. Representatives: Salim A. Salim (from 2 June 1970) ; C. S. M. Mselle; Ismat Abdulwahid Steiner.
United States. Representative: Seymour Maxwell Finger. Alternate: Frederick II. Sacksteder. Jr.
Venezuela: Representatives: Andres Aguilar; Germdn Nava Carrillo. Alternate Pedro E. Coll.
Yugoslavia. Representatives: Lazar Mojsov; Zivojin Jazic; Aleksander Psoncak; Radomir Zecevic.
On 17 December 1970, the President of the General Assembly nominated Fiji. Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago to fill three of four existing or imminent vacancies on the Special Committee.
The Special Committee has a Sub-Committee on Petitions and a Working
group. In addition to these Sub-Committees I, II and 111 and the Sub-Committees
on Fiji and on Oman were maintained in 1970. Territories which were not
referred to its sub-committees were taken up at plenary meetings of the
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1970: Ecuador, India, Italy, Madagascar, Mali, Poland (Chairman),
In 1970, the Working Group of the Special Committee consisted of the officers of the Special Committee and the delegations of Bulgaria, Iraq, Italy, Madagascar, the United Republic of Tanzania and Venezuela.
The Bureau consisted of the following officers of the Special Committee:
the Chairman (the representative of Sierra Leone), the Vice-Chairman (the
representatives of Ecuador and Iran) and the Rapporteur (the representative
Members in 1970: Ecuador, Mali, Sierra Leone, Syria (Chairman), Tunisia,
USSR, United Republic of Tanzania, Yugoslavia (Rapporteur).
Members in 1970: Afghanistan (Rapporteur), Ethiopia (Chairman), Honduras,
India, Iraq, Poland, United States.
Members in 1970: Bulgaria, Iran (Rapporteur), Italy, Ivory Coast, Madagascar
(Chairman), Norway, Venezuela.
Subcommittee on Fiji
Members in 1970: Bulgaria, Ecuador, India, Norway (Chairman), United
Republic of Tanzania.
Subcommittee on Oman
Members in 1970: Iran, Iraq, Mali, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela.
MEMBERSHIP IN 1971
Members in 1971: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Poland, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, USSR, United Kingdom United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Venezuela, Yugosalvia.
Chairman: German Nava Carrillo (Venezuela).
Vice Chairman: Barouh Grinberg (Bulgaria), Rafic Jouejati (Syrian And) Republic).
Rapporteur: Yilma Tadesse (Ethiopia).
On 20 December 1971, the President of the General Assembly nominated China, Indonesia, and Czechoslovakia to fill three of the four existing vacancies on the Special Committee, with immediate effect.
The Select Committee has a Sub-Committee on Petitions and a Working
Group. In addition, Sub-Committees I, II, and III were maintained in 1971.
Territories not referred to Sub-Committees 1, II, ar III were taken up
at plenary meetings of the Special Committee.
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1971: Ecuador (Chairman), India, Madagascar, Mali, Poland,
Syrian Arab Republic.
In 1971, the Working Group of the Special Committee consisted of Ecuador,
India, Madagascar, Sweden, and the United Republic of Tanzania, and the
officers of the Special Committee.
Members in 1971: Mali, Sierra Leone, Syrian Arab Republic (Chairman),
Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, USSR, United Republic of Tanzania (Rapporteur),
Members in 1971: Afghanistan (Chairman), Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Iraq,
Members in 1971: Bulgaria, Iran, (Chairman), Ivory Coast, Madagascar,
Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago (Rapporteur).
Special Committee on Apartheid.
Members in 1971: Algeria, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukranian SSR.
Chairman: Abdulrahim A. Farah (Somalia).
Vice Chairman: M. D. Polyanichko (Ukranian SSR); Raoul Siclait (Haiti).
Rapporteur: Uddhav Deo Bhatt (Nepal).
On 19 January 1971, the President of the General Assembly informed the
Secretary-General that he had appointed Guatemala as the fifth of seven
new members authorized by an Assembly decision of 8 December 1970 enlarging
the Committee. Two of the seven authorized seats remained unfilled in 1971.
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1971: Algeria (Chairman), Guatemala, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Philip-
pines, Somalia, Ukrainian SSR.
Subcommittee on information on Apartheid
Members in 1971: Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Hungary, Malaysia (Chairman),
Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and Tobago.
Members in 1971: Abdulrahim A. Farah, Chairman of the Special Committee
(Somalia); M.D. Polyanichko, Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee (Ukrainian
SSR) ; Raoul Siclait, Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee (Haiti); Uddhav
Deo Bhatt, Rapporteur of the Special Committee (Nepal); Ahmed Oucif, Chairman
of the Sub-Committee on Petitions (Algeria); Yeop Adlan-Rose, Chairman
of the Sub-Committee on Information on Apartheid (Malaysia).
MEMBERSHIP IN 1972
Members in 1972: Afghanistan, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, i6 Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Madagascar,l6 Mali, Sierra Leone, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, USSR, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.
On 8 December 1972, the General Assembly confirmed the nomination of Chile and the Congo to fill two of the three existing vacancies on the Special Committee.
Chairman: Salim A. Salim (United Republic of Tanzania).
Vice-Chairmen: Frank O. Abdulah (Trinidad and Tobago), Ilja HuHnsky (Czechoslovakia).
Rapporteur: -Mohammed Hakim Aryubi (Afghanistan).
The Special Committee has a Sub-Committee on Petitions and a Working
Group. In addition, Sub-Committees I, 11 and III were maintained in 1972.
Territories not referred to Sub-Committees I, 11 or III were taken up at
plenary meetings of the Special Committee.
Subcommittee on petitions
Members in 1972: Bulgaria,
Ecuador (Chairman), India, Indonesia, Mali (vice-chairman), Sierra Leone,
Syrian Arab Republic.
In 1972, the Working Group
of the Special Committee consisted of Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Sweden
and Tunisia, and the four officers of the Special Committee.
Members in 1972: China, 111ali,
Sierra Leone (Rapporteur), Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia
(Chairman), USSR, United Republic of Tanzania, Yugoslavia.
Members in 1972: Afghanistan,
Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Fiji (Rapporteur), India (Chairman), Indonesia,
Members in 1972: Bulgaria,
Iran (Chairman), Ivory Coast, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.
MEMBERSHIP IN 1973
MEMBERSHIP IN 1974
Syrian Arab Republic
Trinidad and Tobago
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
United Republic of Tanzania
Syrian Arab Republic
Trinidad and Tobago
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
United Republic of Tanzania
[From Puerto Rico Libre, January 1975]
A YEAR OF COLONIAL CRISIS
Below are highlights of news published in Puerto Rico Libre! during 1974. This I bird's-eye-view shows a colony in the throes of increasing economic crisis and the response to that crisis from the workers movement and independence forces. 1974 also stands out as a year of growing support for Puerto Rican independence from all over the United States.
January: Energy Crisis Hits Puerto Rico-fuel prices skyrocket. Despite major shortages, Public Law No. 4 authorizing ELA to regulate export of oil is ignored. Students at Inter-American University at Hato Rey On Strike after riot police launch brutal attack on San German campus, injuring 80 students.
February: 4,400 Truckers On Strike for higher wages, solidarity strikes throughout the island. Federation of Teachers on Strike for the first time on the island, demanding higher wages and collective bargaining rights for all public employees. General Strike in Department of Transportation and Public Works, demand higher wages, collective bargaining. Police Intervention at University of Puerto Rico, five wounded in demonstration against Rector. Inmates Seize La Princesa Prison, penitentiary stormed by police three days later.
March: Claridad attacked by Terrorists, five wounded. Hernandez Colon Announces West Coast Site for Superport, U.S. Navy wants Mona; New Penal Code Submitted to Legislature calling for institutionalized repression; Puerto Rico Office at U.N. Opened.
April: Sen. Jackson Terms Puerto Rico "War Booty" belonging by "right of conquest" to U.S. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Leaks Chlorine Gas, hospitalizing five.
May: AMAX, Kennecott, to Sign Deal for Puerto Rican Copper, say sources close to Governor. Puerto Rican Solidarity Day Committee Issues Call for National Demonstration at Madison Square Garden, October 27, in support of Puerto Rican Independence. U.S. Environmentalists, including Barry Commoner, Oppose Puerto Rican Superport.
June: Super-Sellout Revealed by independence movement, show plans for takeover of entire island by U.S. heavy industry; 97 Indian Tribes Support Puerto Rican Independence at International Indian Treaty Council.
July: Dept. of Resources Chief Cruz Matos Fired for opposition to mining contract with ADIAX, Kennecott.
August: E LA Monitoring Independence Activities, reveals Gov. Hernandez; Cuban Unemployment in P.R. Zero, reveals Puerto Rican Labor Department, while island official rate hits 12%.
September: Light-Bill Boycott Becomes Island-Wide, protesting high electricity rates for Puerto Ricans, low rates for U.S. corporations. National Black Support Committee for Puerto Rican Independence Formed. Leading Congressional Black Caucus Members Support Puerto Rican Independence.
October: 20,000 Demand Independence for Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden-6,000 from all over country; 5,000 Rally in San Francisco and Los Angeles for Puerto Rican Independence. Independence Leaders Speak at U.N., accuse U.S. of genocide. ILWU, Local 6, Supports Puerto Rican Independence.
November: Workers Strike Against AAA, leaders jailed then released; National Guard mobilized against strikers. Pro-Independence Daily Starts Publication Claridad becomes daily after 15 years of uninterrupted weekly publication. FOMENTO Announces Plan to Begin Superport Construction by end of next year.
December: Bombings Against U.S. Corporations during AAA Strike; Puerto
Rican Socialist Party Member Arrested on Bombing Charges in attempt to
link independence movement with bombings, 75 more arrests to conic say
CARLOS FELICIANO JAILED AFTER FOUR-YEAR FIGHT
NEW YORK, December 13.-After years of fighting what the Committee to Defend Carlos Feliciano terms "a government frame-up", Carlos Feliciano, leading member of the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico was forced to begin serving a four-year sentence today for alleged possession of a pistol and explosives.
Judge Fraiman, the presiding Judge of Feliciano's 1973 trial, refused to delay sentence and sent Carlos to prison after Feliciano's petition to have his appeal heard by the New York State Court of Appeals was turned down. In remanding Carlos to custody, he ignored the 17 months Carlos had already served awaiting trial because of excessive bail.
Attorney William Kunstler announced that he would file an immediate appeal on the inequality of Carlos' sentence under the discriminatory bail system.
"Although Carlos did go to jail, his sentence must be seen as a victory"
said a representative of the Defense Committee. "Originally up on charges
that would have jailed him for life, Carlos was declared the victim of
a police conspiracy and declared innocent in one trial, and declared innocent
of major charges in another. The sentence he is serving now is the result
of a compromise verdict, and is minimal."
Observers feel that the political defense of Carlos Feliciano by thousands
across the country was instrumental in this victory.
FBI ARRESTS PSP MEMBER ON BOMBING CHARGE
PONCE, Dec. 14: In an attempt to discredit the independence movement which has been actively supporting the controversial strike by workers of the Waterworks and Sewer Authority (AAA), a member of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP), Delfin Ramos, was arrested here today by the FBI on charges of possessing explosive material and is being held on $100,000 bail.
The FBI and the local police agency have been searching the homes of PSI' members in the Ponce area during the last 11 days to find evidence which would link the PSP with the bombing of U.S. companies and military installations which occurred during the strike of the AAA workers.
Although a search of the Ramos house earlier this week found no explosives and constant vigilance has been maintained since that day, FBI agents claim to have found explosive material when they entered the house during the absence of the Ramos family today.
The complaint against Ramos cited seventy-five others involved in the
bombings and police say more arrests are pending.
[From World Magazine, May 3, 1975}
WORLD FOCUS ON FREEDOM FOR PUERTO RICO
[Following is the text of remarks by Anthony Monteiro at the Preparatory
Meeting in Solidarity with Puerto Rican Independence, held in Havana, Cuba,
March 30-31. Monteiro, executive secretary of the National Anti-Imperialist
Movement in Solidarity with African Liberation, was a member of the U.S.
delegation, which included Helen Winter and Roque Ristorrucci, American
Committee of the World Peace Council; and Arthur Kinoy and Frances Beal,
Committee of Solidarity with Puerto Rico. The International Conference
of Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico is scheduled for September
5-7 in Havana.]
(By Anthony Monteiro)
Allow me, first, on behalf of the delegation of the United States Peace Council, to express our gratitude to the Cuban Movement for Peace and the Sovereignty of the Peoples, and the Cuban people for the extraordinary hospitality extended to us in these past days. Their cordiality has made possible this truly historic meeting.
Comrades: The U.S. colonial domination of Puerto Rico attests to the barbaric character of the present ruling circles in our country. The facts-which I need not repeat-shatter the demagogy of U.S. imperialist propaganda to the effect that the imperialism rooted in the U.S. is somehow different, somehow democratic and peaceful. The Puerto Rican case is without question that of a classical colony. here the world's peoples witness examples of perhaps the most savage oppression in our hemisphere. This shameful oppression originates in our country, is carried out by the imperialism based in the U.S. For this reason, comrades, we of the U.S. delegation wholeheartedly endorse this preparatory meeting and the proposed Congress for Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico. This meeting and the proposed Congress which place the independence of Puerto Rico on the top of the agenda of humanity's aspirations is evidence of the universality of the struggle which is now being waged by the Puerto Rican people. Also created is the opportunity for the broadest popular opinion of our planet to express itself for Puerto Rican independence. Therefore, we are today initiating a tremendous worldwide mass movement which can enrich and speed the implementation of UN Resolution 1514, and the UN Resolution calling for the de-colonization of Puerto Rico. The decisions of governments can now become the property of the peoples.
But we welcome, and recognize as quite appropriate, the initiative of the World Peace Council. For, in oily opinion, the global struggle for peace is the point of intersection of the most noble aspirations of all the people. The struggle for and attainment of détente and peaceful coexistence are strategic to the process of liquidating the remaining remnants of colonialism, of defeating fascism and militarism, of creating a positive international environment for the acceleration of the struggles for democracy and social progress. It is however, also true that the realization of détente as an irreversible process leading to peaceful coexistence between states with differing social systems is possible only as colonial oppression is terminated. Hence, national freedom and global peace are parts of a single whole. Colonization, and the colonial domination of Puerto Rico in particular, is therefore a threat to world peace, as well as a violation of international law and contemporary norms guiding the relationships between peoples.
The new correlation of world forces, which is made possible in the first place by the strength and growing unity of the world system of socialist states, headed by the mighty Soviet Union, creates extraordinarily favorable circumstances for the independence struggle within Puerto Rico and building international solidarity with the Puerto Rican people. U.S. imperialist domination of Puerto Rico is today incompatible with this new global correlation of forces. Moreover, the elevation of the Puerto Rican independence struggle further weakens U.S. colonization of Puerto Rico and is providing the decisive link that will break the chain of U.S. colonial oppression of Puerto Rico. The world embraces the just and noble struggle of the Puerto Rican people.
Comrades, allow us to be quite frank. This meeting is decisively important to the people of the United States. The actions of the U.S. people are important. Because it is U.S. imperialism that imposes colonial domination on the Puerto Rican people, the fulfillment of our responsibility is fundamental.
U.S. imperialism seeks to preserve colonialism in Puerto Rico as a strategic beachhead in the policy of neo-colonial containment of the Latin American liberation process. In fact, this neo-colonial aggression is an attempt to roll back the historic gains of the Latin American peoples, and in the first place, to liquidate socialism in Cuba, the first land of freedom on our hemisphere. This policy orients upon the militarization of Puerto Rico as a step to the militarization of the entire continent, as a base for counter-revolution, reaction and anti-Communism. U.S. imperialism plans to utilize Puerto Rico as a staging area for the liquidation of popular democratic governments of the continent as in Santo Domingo. This policy is evidenced in its most criminal and brutal expression in the overthrow of the Popular Unity Government in Chile, and the murder of Dr. Salvador Allende.
The Ford-Rockefeller-Kissinger Administration is proposing to the Congress a criminal $105 billion "defense" budget. This proposal has outraged the overwhelming majority of the people of the United States. This new budget is proposed at a time of deep economic crisis in our country, of the quickening deterioration of the standard of life of the working people. Therefore the opposition is intense. The hatred of the proposed war budget will he mobilized at a Conference to be held this coming weekend in Chicago, Ill. called by the National Conference for a Drastic Cutback in the Military Budget.'
But it is obvious that a significant portion of the war budget is for the deepening of colonialism in Puerto Rico and to strengthen the military presence there of U.S. imperialism. In this sense, then, the U.S. people's intense opposition to thin war budget is objectively a special point of opposition to U.S. colonialism and aggression against Puerto Rico. The opposition to the military budget must become a conscious opposition to colonialism in Puerto Rico. The peace demands of the U.S. people therefore must embrace the independence demand of the Puerto Rican people.
In our country two million Puerto Rican people share with 40 million Black, Chicano, Native American and Asian American people a. common racial and national oppression inside the U.S. These two million, who suffer the worst exploitation and racist oppression in our country, are there because they were driven from Puerto Rico. However, 42 million racially and nationally oppressed are united in a. common struggle against racism and for national freedom. This anion of aspiration creates a brotherhood and sisterhood that links itself to the quest for the independence of Puerto Rico. This lays the basis certainly for a common struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico.
The working people of the United States are experiencing an historic economic crisis. A corporate monopoly imposed crisis. The same corporations that are ravaging the Puerto Rican nation burden the U.S. people with an economic depression. Here lies the objective basis for the U.S. working people to embrace the cause of Puerto Rican independence. The $9 billion investment in Puerto Rico is a direct manifestation of this crisis as well as a manifestation of the effort to maintain the super-exploitation of the workers of the USA. In fact, this investment which today burdens Puerto Rico with a crisis of horrific dimensions is a two-edged sword. It exploits and is the basis of the oppression of the working people of other countries, as well as of the super-exploitation of the Puerto Rican workers on the island of Puerto Rico and those in the barrios of the major U.S. cities. It is also the source of the terrific unemployment and degradation of the Puerto Rican people on the island and in the U.S. It is the source of the growing unemployment and inflation which is being experienced by the entire U.S. working class.
Today, a vast movement of women has emerged in our country. A movement in which the women of the nationally oppressed Black, Chicano, Native American, Asian and Puerto Rican peoples play a mounting role. These nationally oppressed women recognize through their real life experience the effects of genocide and sterilization.
Just as there is forced sterilization of Puerto Rican women in Puerto Rico, so in the Black communities, the Puerto Rican barrios and the Indian reservations of the United States, sterilization is a policy of the government. It is a hated, racist. policy which is genocidal and geared to the oppression, in particular, of non-white women in the U.S.
Just as the women and men of our country oppose it in the U.S., they must and do oppose it in Puerto Rico.
The crisis of capitalism in the U.S. leads to the rapid corrosion of the political system of our country, releasing a terrific wave of repression which is symbolized by Watergate that is the attempt by neofascists in the top echelons of government to destroy bourgeois democracy in the U.S. Many whose only crime is to struggle for justice are placed in jail. Many in our country learned the true nature of our government through the case and struggle for the freedom of Angela Davis. Those lessons are today applied to the struggle for the freedom of the nationalist political prisoners of Puerto Rico. The struggle that freed Angela Davis and other political prisoners in our country is a base for mounting a struggle to free the Puerto Rican nationalist prisoners, for ending political repression in Puerto Rico.
As we approach the 200th anniversary of the Revolutionary War of Independence of the U.S. from England, we are demanding an end to U.S. colonization of Puerto Rico.
Comrades, our people are quickly coming to recognize that freedom is indivisible. The indivisibility of freedom and justice is a fundamental law of our age. This recognition is becoming part of the consciousness of the U.S. people. For this reason, many today recognize the cause of Puerto Rico as our cause, as the basis for the extension of our liberty. In fact, many see the organic character of our peoples struggles.
We are certain that the independence movement in Puerto Rico will be successful. We are certain that the peoples of Puerto Rico and the people of the USA will be joined in a common struggle for Puerto Rican independence.
Let us say, comrades, the U.S. people and the U.S. working class are quite capable of fulfilling its duty to the people of Puerto Rico and of the world.
We assure you we will quicken the pace of our efforts to meet our historic
responsibility. To our comrades and to the people of Puerto Rico, of Chile,
Cuba, and all of Latin America, to the fraternal peoples of Vietnam and
Cambodia, of Korea, to the peoples of the Mid East, Africa and to the peoples
of all continents, we, the U.S. peace movement, pledge our enhanced activity
in our common cause of liberation, these actions, our dear comrades will
be our common witness of the death of U.S. imperialism.
[Following are excerpts of remarks by Juan Marinello, president of the Movement
for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples.]
My mission this morning will be limited to expressing, on behalf of the Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples, the satisfaction and gratitude with which we, in liberated Cuba, welcome the representatives of international entities of the greatest importance and personalities of outstanding prestige, congregated for the most noble of purposes, that of proclaiming the right of the people of Puerto Rico to its full and true independence and of working in close union in order to achieve it.
The struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico, dream and hope of Sim6n Bolivar and Jose Marti and the task of men like Betances, Hostos and Albizu Campos, has shown as no other the unchangeable malignity of an anti-human regime and the immortality of the popular will destined to defeat it.
As the best witnesses, the Puerto Rican comrades, shall be the ones to offer us the somber picture of their stricken country. They shall tell us about an economic structure which has been advancing, with no respite, towards the miserable exhaustion of the whole of the Island's population.
They will inform us that in a country of nine thousand square kilometers, imperialism has invested nine thousand million dollars, that is, one million per square kilometer; they will tell u5 that in such a small territory Yankee monopolies have invested more capital than in all of Latin America and only less than in Canada; they will show us, with bulky evidence, that such a modest space occupies fourth place among U.S. export markets. And as the main strategic line, that of turning the island-occupied territory-into the great bridge for their trade supremacy on the continent.
The ruthlessness of foreign domination in Puerto Rico reaches such a point that the oil companies have carried the industrial processes that cause mass intoxication to the island, while transferring the non-polluting operations to the United States. To this monstrous lack of sensitivity we must add the campaign to sterilize Puerto Rican women, which has already reached an enormously high percentage. The systematic attack against health and life offers us the latest measure of the perverseness attained by imperialist actions.
We have always believed that the Puerto Rican case is the final proof of how closely the struggle for peace is linked with the struggle for national independence. There it can be seen that the subjection of an entire people is for the sole purpose of dominating all the peoples by means of economic penetration or war, which are two different faces of the same policy.
Undeniably, and in the face of all hindrances, detente and peaceful coexistence progress and succeed. The growing peace consciousness which wins more and more supporters every day, the liberation struggle of the colonized peoples and the firm and clear peace policy of the socialist camp, with the Soviet Union in the vanguard, have produced the change toward detente. This breakthrough in our efforts impels us to fight harder than ever against the remaining war threats and dangers.
If all the peoples have an equal responsibility in the task of defeating
the warmongering oppressors, decisive collaboration is to be expected from
the peoples of the United States. The day will come, when the magnitude
of the effort carried out there in support of the Vietnamese people will
be measured with precision and justice. We are sure that, continuing this
beautiful task, our brothers and sisters in the United States will carry
out decisive action for the liberation of Puerto Rico.
WORLD SOLIDARITY AGAINST COLONIALISM
[Following are excerpts from a message of the World Peace Council to
the solidarity conference.]
The World Peace Council has struggled ceaselessly, on the basis of its principles, for the elimination of all forms of colonialism and racial discrimination.
The World Peace Council, together with the support of the National Committees in more than a hundred countries throughout the world, has been giving special attention to the Latin American peoples' struggle for their full sovereignty and for the retrieval of their natural resources in the hands of transnational companies, and it condemns the existence of colonies under the domination of the United States, Great Britain and Holland, such as Puerto Rico, Surinam, Belize, Aruba, Curacao, Malvina Islands, Martinique, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Santa Lucia, Antigua, Bermuda, Virgin Islands and others, and also calls for the elimination of the colonial enclave called the Panama Canal Zone.
In the particular case of Puerto Rico, the World Peace Council has offered and continues to offer its support of the Puerto Rican people's struggle for their independence.
It has been pointed out how Puerto Rico, as a national entity, has been deprived juridically, politically, economically, socially, culturally, and territorially, of its legitimate right to self-determination, and as a sovereign country, of the right to be a part of the world's community of nations.
We have censured the manner in which, through the fiction of a "Free Associated State," it is being deprived of the few rights it had as a nation.
We have indicated how imperialism has tried to erase its aboriginal cultural elements by penetrating the culture through the imposition of foreign educational systems which do not adjust to their idiosyncrasy.
Figures have clearly shown how the U.S. companies sack the country's riches, distort its economy and exploit its workers by maintaining them under a colonial status in which their wages ore inferior to those of U.S. workers.
The World Peace Council has denounced the violation of human rights and demands the freedom of Latin America's oldest political prisoners, Lolita Lebron, Andros Figueroa, Irvin Floras and Rafael Cancel Miranda, Puerto Rican patriots who fight for their country's independence.
We are now firmly convinced that the time has come to extend this solidarity
to higher levels, uniting it in a huge world public opinion movement that
will make effective the implementation of the decolonization demands approved
by the U N with regards to the colonial situation of Puerto Rico.
PUERTO RICAN ADDRESSES CONFERENCE OPENING SESSION
[Speech made by unidentified Puerto Rican, introduced as president of the Puerto Rican Observer Delegation, at opening session of Nonalined Countries coordinating bureau conference held at Atlantic Hotel, Santa Maria del Mar, Havana Province.] The speaker may be Fermin Arraiza
Mr. President, members of the Nonalined Movement executive bureau. First of all we again express our gratitude for the hospitality and courtesy of the fraternal revolutionary Cuban people and we reaffirm our gratitude for their consistent attitude in the fraternal revolutionary struggle of our peoples which goes back more than a century.
On behalf of the martyrs and heroes of that joint struggle and of the heroes and martyrs from the joint struggle in all the countries of the world represented here, and the national liberation movements in all continents, we want to make a solemn call on this conference, as a solemn beginning in the agenda of the Nonalined Movement, for the immediate future: Puerto Rico today requires with increasing urgency the active solidarity of the world's anticolonialist forces.
Our liberation struggle is growing in all sectors of revolutionary action for independence and recovery of our national patrimony. But U.S. imperialism, defeated economically and militarily in its different fronts of aggression against the world, wants to deploy toward Latin American by consolidating fascism in Chile and colonialism in Puerto Rico. Fascism in Chile is the base of operations of U.S. imperialism against the southern cone countries, just as colonialism in Puerto Rico-with military, economic and political control-is, along with the colonial enclave in the Panama Canal Zone, the strategic base of operations for Yankee imperialism against all of Latin America.
The Washington government plans to consolidate a militarized police in the Puerto Rican colonial administration. It expands the presence of its armies and military bases. It introduces new forms of political espionage through the CIA and the FBI. It is getting ready to implement a depopulation plan in Puerto Rico by expanding the forced exile of Puerto Ricans to U.S. ghettos and to U.S. feudal farms. At the same time, it develops plans for massive sterilization of the female population as a method of colonialist genocide. And finally, it seeks by all means to defeat the people's resistance in order to folly carry out the plundering of the big mineral deposits such as copper, nickel, manganese and others in the hands of transnational companies.
Our anticolonialist struggle is more than a century old, first against Spanish control and then against U.S. control. In Puerto Rico, just as in any colony, there is an institutionalized state of war. We, as all the peoples in colonies, have exercised our historic right to a liberation war. However, the specific details of the brutal colonial domination of our people have forced us to develop a struggle strategy in which victory of the liberation war goes hand in hand with the fundamental survival of our political and revolutionary organization in all sectors.
If U.S. imperialism has attempted to do anything, it has been to break the balance of the Puerto Rican liberation forces in order to be able to break the balance of the people, the working class, the nationality. That is why there is continuous provocation to break the balance of political mass action which we develop within the precarious colonial legality. At the same time, terrorist attacks are undertaken by the colonial extreme rightists against our militants and our political and labor work centers. These attacks are led by fascist mobs which are fronts for the CIA and the U.S. Army. While all this is happening with impunity, attempts are being planned against the principal leaders of the liberation movement and against the principal labor and political leaders in the vanguard actions of the masses.
So far we have survived all the imperialist plots to defeat our struggle. Our commitment with out people and with the world liberation movement is unconditionally sealed at the risk of our own lives. But the liberation of Puerto Rico, which is our task and one which we proclaim as our exclusive right to carry it out, requires the active, firm and determined solidarity of all of mankind's progressive and liberating forces.
The existing brutal disproportion between the colonial forces of aggression and our national liberation forces requires the rest of mankind that are in solidarity with liberation of peoples to compensate for this imbalance with their material support and militant effort to help develop the national liberation war in Puerto Rico with all the possible physical and material means of each country.
The elemental action of historic justice for condemning the Yankee colonial crime against Puerto Rico in all of humanity's forums is becoming increasingly imminent. Each day the political states which now are free and defeated colonial control have the commitment, along with the political and revolutionary states in the entire world, to make theirs the demand for independence of Puerto Rico as a matter of inviolable, unrenounceable and unavoidable principles. It is becoming increasingly urgent to openly defeat the blackmail which the Yankee government wants to impose on the rest of the world's countries, threatening with some sort of sanctions if the colonial domination of Puerto Rico is discussed or denounced.
That Washington desperation in its obsession with imperialist domination of Puerto Rico responds to the real fact that the independence of Puerto Rico will violently shake the bases of U.S. economic, political and military domination over the Caribbean and in Latin America and the internal basis of economic exploitation which the United States employs against its own people. In the face of that blackmail which Yankee imperialism wants to impose on the rest of the world's countries trying to buy silence with threats, mankind's commitment is to raise Puerto Rico's independence to the top of the agenda of world liberation, without lessening solidarity with the fraternal peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America who still suffer from the colonial aggression, but equalizing assistance to Puerto Rico along with that provided to the rest of these fraternal peoples. Because just as the independence of these peoples will help ours, our independence also will help the other fraternal peoples.
Puerto Rico's independence is, perhaps, one of the strategic objectives of the world liberation force and of the world'. anti-imperialist forces, because the proclamation of our independence could be the spark that will start the victorious struggle for the second and true independence of the exploited and discriminated people of the United States of America.
Cuba has been a vanguard in the international struggle of solidarity for independence of Puerto Rico. The Nonalined Movement, the United Nations, and the movement of the forces for peace and sovereignty of peoples have reiterated on several occasions the Puerto Rican people's inalienable right to independence, to the release of their political prisoners, to the preservation of their natural resources and to the demilitarization of their territory and protection of their territorial and national integrity.
We now must demand internal inspection of Puerto Rico by the international community to see the situation of colonial domination and exploitation which our people are suffering. We must develop, based on that internal inspection of the colonial illegality, a decolonization program which must begin with a direct and concrete demand from the Washington government to make an immediate and unquestionable transfer of sovereign powers to the Puerto Rican people.
We must draft a detailed and broad plan on concrete decolonization measures which must begin with a demand for demilitarization of the Puerto Rican territory, dismantling of all the U.S. military and nuclear bases, and of all types-bases of aggression against Latin America, Indochina, the Mideast and Africa; and ordering the removal of its intervention troops and its repressive agencies such as the CIA and the FBI; and guaranteeing the necessary measures for indemnization and control of capital that are indispensable for the transition from colony to republic.
We now must raise solidarity with the independence of Puerto Rico to a superior level, to a new phase. It is imperative that declarations of solidarity with independence for our people from this and other progressive forums in the world become part of the foreign policy of each political, independent, liberated, progressive and revolutionary state. Cuba has done it that way fulfilling the historic mandate of Marti and Betances and responding with honor to the solidarity of Puerto Rican patriots who gave their lives in the Cuban independence war, with the liberation of the Caribbean as the immediate objective and then continue their program for liberation of Puerto Rico.
Cuba has done it for the brotherhood of the Caribbean, for the socialist and revolutionary brotherhood which makes Cuba in solidarity with the liberation of the world's peoples. Cuba has done it on principles. Amid the blockade and isolation which imperialism has tried to impose on it, Cuba has responded with David's sling against Goliath, with the accurate blow of unconditional solidarity with the independence of the Puerto Rican people.
This, among all the great achievements of this revolution, has earned for Cuba the respect of even U.S. imperialists. Today we request the rest of the world's countries to follow the example of Cuba, to make theirs the cause of independence of Puerto Rico, to assume the political commitment at the level of state and government to help our struggle, to make real the right to help, to make a declaration of solidarity and promise of support.
We assume, on behalf of our people in legitimate representation of the Puerto Rican National Liberation Movement, the historic commitment of responding, before and after our independence, with the same solidarity that today we request, within the capabilities of our people.
Once more we want to cite at this conference, as we have done in other progressive forums of mankind, the historic judgment of the immortal commander Guevara: Puerto Rico is the acid test for antiimperialists. He understood in his profound historic vision-as an unswerving revolutionary, man without faults, and citizen of the world-that the struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico raises for the other antiimperialist peoples and governments the challenge and the threat of the haughty Yankee imperialists as a decisive test of the principles which define the fighters for independence of peoples.
Once more we want to call attention to the significant fact that there is not a single area in the problems to be discussed here and there is not a single topic here which is not dramatically represented and in existence in the colonial situation of our people. There is no foreign trade law more unequal than the ones Washington has imposed on Puerto Rico and the same holds for its coastal shipping laws, imposition of its merchant marine, and all its commercial laws. There is no greater risk for the preservation of the natural resources of a people than the risk Puerto Rico is facing with the threat of exploitation of its mining and marine resources, including oil near our coasts.
There is no greater indiscriminate commercial speculation on the part of transnational companies than the speculation by these monopolies with the economic life of our people, to the point that a working people like ours is maintaining in constant production a direct Yankee capital investment of $9 billion. We do the work and the Yankees take the benefits. We are their second biggest market in America and fifth in the world, all this makes us think increasingly more deeply on how the struggle of our people must be backed and the struggle of other peoples against colonial oppression.
We, and all national liberation movements represented here, must be part of all groups and structures of this Nonalined Movement-such as the solidarity fund-so that its benefits can be extended to all members of the Nonalined Movement in proportion to the needs of each state and each national liberation movement.
Once more we express our brotherhood and unconditional solidarity with
the fraternal Palestinian, Indochinese, South African peoples, and all
who at this time are waging in Latin America and in the entire world a
heroic struggle against colonialism, apartheid, Zionism, fascism and neocolonialism.
In the hope that the independence of our people also will be your historic
patrimony and that this is increasingly shown more firmly, we reaffirm
our reciprocal solidarity and our will to fight as the legitimate representatives
of the national liberation movement of our people. Fatherland or death.
We will win.
PUERTO RICAN SOCIALIST: COLONIAL GOVERNMENT IN CRISIS
The Puerto Rican colonial state is going through a total crisis as a result of the worsening effect of the world capitalist crisis, aggravation of that crisis in the United States, and the colonial relationship of Puerto Rico with the United States. Fermin Balthazar Arraiza, head of the Puerto Rican Socialist party observer delegation to the third nonaligned countries coordinating bureau meeting has made this statement during a press conference.
He said the economic bases upon which the Puerto Rican colonial government was established and the new version made in 1902 through the so-called associated free state are now going through a process of social, political and economic decomposition of every type. He charged that the Puerto Rican colonial government plans, and is already carrying out, a speed-up consolidation of the repressive apparatus and expansion of U.S. military detachments on the island.
He explained that in his country an institutionalized colonial war exists as in any- world colony and there is also a liberation war. Arraiza stressed that the international community has the duty of bringing to the forefront the decolonization agenda in the case of Puerto Rico.
Referring to the fact that the recently concluded nonalined countries
coordinating bureau meeting was held in Cuba, the Puerto Rican revolutionary
leader said: [begin recording] Cuba has been vanguard for the national
liberation movements, the first socialist state in this hemisphere and
truly the (?first) free state in this hemisphere. And it is really symbolic
that it was selected [for the meeting] and it was about time. We believe
that after this experience all nonalined countries always will understand
that Cuba will be a bastion of defense for their demands and objectives.
Specifically in our case in the case of Puerto Rico's national liberation
movement and of all the world's national liberation movements, Cuba has
been one of the [words indistinct] which sets an example for the nonalined
movement, and I believe this is an act of justice that will help to the
development of the nonalined movement in all its objectives.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF SOLIDARITY WITH PUERTO RICO
A preparatory meeting for the International Conference of Solidarity
with the Independence of Puerto Rico will be held in Havana 30 and 31 March
to form an international preparatory committee and outline the lines of
work of the conference. Representatives of international organizations
and national peace committees of different countries of the world will
begin arriving in Havana this week.
DELEGATIONS ARRIVE FOR PUERTO RICO SOLIDARITY MEETING
The first delegations have arrived in Havana to participate in the international conference of solidarity with the independence of Puerto Rico to be held 30-31 March.
Alfredo Varela, vice president of the Argentine Council for Peace Roberto Prieto, member of the permanent council of the Latin American Workers Trade Union Unity Organization; and Oscar Alamanera representing the Peruvian Movement for Peace, have arrived in an Aeroflot flight from Lima, Peru. (Georges Pellet), member of the national politburo of the French Movement for Peace, also arrived in a Cubana de Aviacion plane at the Rancho Boyeros air terminal.
These delegates were welcomed at the international airport by Comrades
PCC Central Committee Members Clementina Serra and Sara Pascual, both secretariat
members of the Cuban Movement for Peace and Solidarity with Peoples.
PUERTO RICO SOLIDARITY MEETING CONTINUES IN HAVANA
The preparatory meeting of the International Conference of Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico today continued holding its working session at the Atlantico Hotel of Santa Maria del Mar, Havana Province.
The event, which is being attended by representatives of diverse international democratic organizations and committees for peace of countries of all continents, has, among its objectives, the task of establishing the international committee charged with organizing the conference of solidarity with Puerto Rico which will be held next September in Havana at the initiative of the World Peace Council.
In today's morning session, the representatives of the continental organization of Latin American students, the Afro-Asian-Latin American Peoples Solidarity Organization, Spanish Committee for Peace, the Movement for the Peace and Sovereignty of Korea, the Guyanese Committee for Peace and the Pan-Indian Council for Peace addressed the participants. In their speeches, all the delegates referred to the situation of brutal colonial domination to which Yankee imperialism is subjecting the fraternal Puerto Rican people, and expressed the disposition of their respective organizations to do their best in making the international conference of solidarity- with the Puerto Rican people a success.
In his opening speech, Comrade Juan Marinello, member of the PCC Central
Committee and president of the Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the
Peoples, stated that Puerto Rico is an example of the insensible and insatiable
nature of North American imperialism, as well as a lesson and warning to
all peoples; and referred to the failures of the imperialist plans in Puerto
Rico. Closing, he pointed out that socialist Cuba offers its fraternal
hand to Puerto Rico in the attainable dream of a free Puerto Rico in a
free America and in a free world.
THE VENCEREMOS BRIGADE
The continuing investigation of the Communist Threat to the United States through the Caribbean brought to light a facet of activity involving United State and foreign nationals which may affect the internal security of the United States for many years to come.
Specifically, it dealt with the degree of involvement of the General Directorate of Intelligence (D.G.I.), the Cuban equivalent of the Soviet KGB, in the infiltration of deep-cover agents into the United States, and the establishment of a vast network for the collection of intelligence of military, political, industrial, and economic nature directly affecting the security of the country.
As previously reported, the subcommittee had followed with great interest the activities, in the United States and Cuba, of the members and veterans of the "Venceremos" Brigade. The investigation has been a continuing one. It was begun at the time of the Brigade's inception in 1969 for the alleged purpose of helping the Communist regime of Cuba in its sugar harvest by bringing in U.S. volunteers.
There had been good reason to believe that the Venceremos Brigade had
been created for the purpose of acting as a screen and tool of the Cuban
intelligence apparatus. This has now been confirmed by a careful analysis
of much new evidence, based on a variety of sources. This evidence points
to the conclusion that the Venceremos Brigade is one of the most extensive
and dangerous infiltration operations eAr undertaken by a foreign power
against the United States.
The Venceremos Brigade was brought into being through the clever manipulation of a small group of U.S. leftist radicals, prominent among whom were some of the leaders of the SDS "Weatherman" faction. The creation of the Brigade stemmed from three basic priorities of the D GI:
1. The need for factual and current information on every asps t of activity in the United States. This was deemed essential in guiding the D GI in its long range plans to infiltrate a number of Cuban "illegals" into the United States in response to pressure from the Soviets.
2. The desire of the Cubans to turn to their own advantage any manifestation of dissent toward the established order in the Free World, especially when directed against the United States. This entailed exposure of selected individuals, representing a broad spectrum of revolutionary-terrorist groups in the United States, to carefully staged meetings with leaders of international revolutionary movements brought to Cuba under the auspices of the African-Asian-Latin American Peoples Solidarity Organization, commonly known as the "Tricontinental."
3. A show of solidarity toward North Vietnam and the Viet Cong, acting
not only as a conveyor belt for anti-war propaganda but actually using
the Brigade as a means to collect information useful to the North Vietnamese.
The involvement of the D GI in the genesis of the Brigade was so blatant that the name of one of its UN Center officers was openly mentioned in a letter to the leadership of the SDS Weatherman faction. When active recruiting for the Brigade began in the fall of 1969, the DGI had to rely on a cadre formed mainly by New Left activists who had made one or more trips to Cuba. The results of the interviews were then reviewed by the D GI United Nations Center, which gave final approval. This procedure is still followed whenever a Brigade is being recruited.
Those selected for the Brigade undergo preliminary indoctrination at the hands of the cadre who, under the guise of assessing the involvement of the recruit, elicit information on a variety of subjects that are of great interest both to the DGI and the KGB.
Brigade members usually are transported to Cuba by passenger aircraft or converted freighter. The return trip is usually by converted cattleboat to Canada, although the 7th Brigade broke with this precedent and returned to the United States by air via Barbados. Every time a Brigade traveled to or from Cuba on a freighter, the D GI placed a number of its officers on board in order to take advantage of any situation that might allow them to manipulate and establish control over the Americans.
Venceremos Brigade activities are of such great importance to the DGI that they are controlled by a special section of the Political and Economic Intelligence Division, ranking on a par with similar sections on the UN, the U.S. Department of State, and U.S. political parties. The Brigade section is under the direct supervision of the Deputy Director of the DGI, Ramon Oroza Naveran, known under the nom de guerre of "Demetrio."
Demetrio personally supervised the creation and subsequent activities of the Brigade, and he assigned such priority to the project that all other DGI operations were held to be subordinate to the collection of intelligence from the members of the Venceremos Brigade.
Practically every Cuban national attached to the Brigade camps, right
down to the food service and maintenance personnel, is a member or a co-opted
member of the DGI. These DGI operatives are so skilled in their impersonations
that few Brigade members are aware of their true identities. In fact, so
many DGI personnel are needed to staff these camps that nearly all other
operations must be suspended when the camps are active. Even maintenance
and clerical personnel of the Directorate are pressed into service, as
numerous photographs obtained by the Subcommittee indicate.
DGI Subservience to KGB Directives
However extensive the involvement of the Cuban General Directorate of Intelligence may be in this and other operations, one needs to bear in mind the underlying factor of the subservience of the DGI to its supervisory organization, the KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti) of the Soviet Union.
Early in 1969, as revealed in testimony before the Subcommittee by Orlando Castro Hidalgo, a former DGI officer stationed in Paris, the Directorate issued new directives regarding relations with the Soviet Union. This stemmed from the fact that the Soviets had used oil as a blackmail weapon to bring the Cubans to heel. (Evidence of this is to be found in a lengthy philippic delivered by Raul Castro on January 24, 1968, during a secret session of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.)
Ironically, the details of the whole affair are contained in a booklet, published by the Cuban government and brought to the United States by a returning member of the Brigade. The booklet is entitled "Information from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba on Microfaction Activities"Instituto de Libro-Ediciones Politicas, Havana 1968.
As a result of a new agreement, the DGI was ordered to collect intelligence which was of little intrinsic value to Cuba but of very great interest to the Soviet Union. Immediately afterward, the number of DGI personnel stationed in Cuban embassies in Western Europe was increased sharply.
It was in this context that the KGB advisor to the DGI, Vitalyi Petrovich
Semionov, insisted on the priority of establishing a good network of illegals
in the United States instead of confining the Directorate's interest to
the activities of the anti-Castro exiles. The DGI was eager to comply.
Cuban Illegals in the United States
At this point, it is important to go into some detail regarding the need of the Communists for factual and current information for the purpose of training "illegals" and situating them in the United States.
At the outset, the DGI infiltration candidates were handpicked members, well prepared, of long standing party allegiance, with extensive experience in intelligence matters. For better security, they had not been allowed to travel outside Cuba, and, as an additional precaution, they had never had personal contacts with prisoners. All were college trained and virtually all of them were fluent in English. To round out their training, they were to receive an 11 month training course in the Soviet Union. The initial group of illegals consisted of approximately 30 officers selected in 1970.
In addition to the extensive training that an illegal, who is to establish residence in the United States, has to undergo, there are other needs to be considered. Most important of all is establishing a new identity with corroborating evidence as to his person, family background, education, business, etc. The period of "incubation" can take 5 or 6 years or even longer.
Soon after the Soviets made the proposal, the DGI found out that it was totally unprepared, because of a lack of the necessary data, to embark on this operation. To furnish covers for illegals entailed a monumental task of collection and analysis of information that its agents attached to the UN Center in New York could not accomplish without inside assistance.
To remedy this, Demetrio, after having observed the attitude of American
left-wing visitors to Cuba, came to the conclusion that the young Americans
were an easy and accessible source of the information needed. Consequently,
a plan was devised and the Venceremos Brigade was brought into existence.
The Venceremos Brigade in Cuba
As stated before, the Directorate was able to obtain the information needed through a program that brought the young students into constant contact with DGI agents working under cover.
In fact, every waking moment of the Brigade members while in Cuba was supervised and controlled by the Cubans, who used physical labor to soften resistance, criticism and self-criticism sessions, minority caucuses, and rap sessions skillfully directed in order to assess the political attitude of the Americans and at the same time collect the necessary- intelligence.
To this should be added the fact that the Cubans used various means such as questionnaires, diaries, recorded interviews, speeches, and others to build individual files on each member of the Brigade. Among other things, the DGI formed a committee of Brigade members for the collection and transmission to Cuba of telephone directories from a variety of areas in the United States. A telephone directory can be a simple and ready source of corroborating evidence, even in a cursory background investigation. The importance of a telephone directory in intelligence operations is such that it is a crime in Cuba to mail a telephone directory out of the country.
Another committee was formed to collect technical books on industrial research, with heavy emphasis on university departments working under a contract for the Department of Defense. Other committees were to report on the Latin community in the United States, the Cuban community in the United States, and the activities of U.S. citizens overseas. This last committee was to report the type of business, duties of embassy personnel, and other related matters.
In addition to the military-university research contracts, the DGI expressed interest in the University structure as related to its connections with the government and private corporations. Even the financial aspects of the contracts appeared to be of interest to the Cubans.
A committee was formed to report on the University of California (Berkeley) research programs relating to nuclear weapons; Los Alamos proving grounds; the Lawrence lab; a new biological lab near the naval base the research on storing of bacteria, and survival in case of plague; an other related topics.
DGI agents showed interest in information on the ABM system instruments, MIRV, and the missile guidance systems of our Polaris submarines, the NASA Apollo program, and the NASA center near the university, a moving target indicator, a tunnel detector, and a helicopter project to be used in Vietnam.
The thoroughness of the Cubans was such that in addition to the few
subjects described above, they also collected information on the Brigade
members, including rumors, accusations, degree of intoxication when alcohol
was served at parties, sexual relations, and other intimate data.
The Cubans were thus able not only to assemble a complete profile of
a potential agents but gathered enough intelligence to satisfy both their
own needs and those of their Soviet mentors.
Recruitment of Potential Agents
Usually out of a 200-member Brigade, 30 to 40 individuals were thought worthy of special consideration. Of these, 4 or 5 were recruited as contacts and, if future proficiency was consistent, they were developed as agents.
The questions submitted to Brigade members about trips to Europe and the need to know about the activities of U.S. citizens overseas were based on an immediate and real need: contact with potential agents. With a false U.S. passport, the recruited agent travels to Europe and then to Cuba for a 2 to 3 month training period, and then returns to the United States by the same route.
The contact in Europe is usually made after a lapse of a year or more, and after careful observation of the recruited agent by Soviet KGB agents to weed out U.S. counterintelligence agents.
Since the Cubans did not want the Brigade members to know that one of
their number had been selected for a clandestine operation, it was necessary
to isolate the individual for training and instructions. For short-term
training, the selected Brigade member would be hospitalized and later spirited
out of the hospital or, if this was not possible, kept in isolation for
the length of time needed to impart the necessary instructions.
Targets in the U.S.
There are good reasons to believe that the D GI considers Operation Venceremos a highly successful venture in practically every respect. There were serious problems, mainly in the disciplinary field, but these were offset by the wealth of information gathered and the objectives attained. The self-perpetuating structure of the Brigade is an indication that the Cubans intend to keep a tight control on the organization, especially in view of the recent moves to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Again, it is most interesting to note that the D GI has had an extremely keen interest in the legislative and executive branches of the United States government. One of its objectives is to obtain not only information but also a base of influence.
Of paramount importance to the DGI is the influence that can be brought to bear on the matter of resuming relations by political and economic groups which favor such resumption.
In this context, the DGI, ever ready to exploit any available source
to advance its objectives, has sought to enlist the help of the National
Lawyers Guild to create a pressure group in the United States. A letter
to members of the Washington, D.C., chapter announcing the names of the
selected delegates for a trip to Cuba contained the following statement:
The recommending committee was overwhelmed by the number of qualified
and desirable applicants. The process used to select the delegates and
alternates was difficult, and of course, subjective to some degree. The
first criterion was determined by the Cubans themselves. They asked that
the Guild send men and women who would be able to serve them as contact
and resource people in Washington during the upcoming period of transition
in Cuban-U.S. relations; they desired a delegation which would have a broad
background in governmental, professional and legal work. They (sic) Cubans
stressed that the delegates should have a solid history of professional
experience in the legal field, which is the reason why the selection was
weighted towards lawyers rather than legal workers or students.
The letter closed with the word "Venceremos."
As the 8th contingent of the Venceremos Brigade prepares to leave for Cuba sometime in March of 1975, the number of veteran Brigade members who came under IJGI control totals nearly 2,000. Although many of the members have dropped out completely, there is enough overt activity in the United States to indicate that the National and Regional Committees are determined to have a hand in directing the movement for "political and social change."
In Marxist jargon "political and social change" is a euphemism for revolution.
The veterans of the Brigade left no doubt as to their intentions when they
printed a leaflet in California to recruit new members. It stated:
We call ourselves Venceremos Brigade. Senator Eastland calls us "Human Missiles" because the message we bring with us is a call for solidarity among all the people who are fighting the common enemy: U.S. Imperialism.
The struggle in the Cuban canefields, on the front lines in Vietnam;
in the world communities at home and against the war machine in our country
is the same.
In view of the inherent danger to the security of the United States
engendered by the activities of the "Venceremos Brigade" and its mentor
and director, the Cuban General Directorate of Intelligence, the staff
of the subcommittee is in the process of preparing a comprehensive report
on the Brigade to be released in the near future.
PROPOSAL OP CUBAN REVOLUTION
Shortly before his death in battle, Jose Marti (leader of the Cuban independence movement) wrote that he embraced the chance to give his life in the struggle, and "with the independence of Cuba, to prevent the United States' extending itself throughout the Antilles and pouncing with this added force upon the countries of our America."
Marti died, and his hopes for true Cuban independence remained unfulfilled
for sixty years, as United States' imperialism relentlessly carried out
Marti's prophecy in Cuba and the entire Latin American continent. The United
States rapidly became the center of world-wide imperialism, all the while
increasing its economic penetration and domination of Third World countries,
particularly those in Latin America. Cuba is the first Latin American country
to break out of U.S. domination and control. Since our movement to destroy
American imperialism from the inside is inextricably linked with Third
World liberation movements, we should understand in what ways the Cuban
Revolution serves as an example for these struggles, and we should be prepared
to offer it the most concrete support possible. This proposal contains
a position on the Cuban Revolution, a call to support a North American
brigade to cut sugarcane in the 1970 Ten Million Ton harvest as a means
of demonstrating our solidarity, and a call for a national educational
program on the Cuban Revolution.
I. Description: Political Background
North American intervention in the Cuban War of Independence against Spain (sometimes called the "Spanish-American War") forced Cuba to move from the domain of Spanish colonial power to the status of neo-colony of the United States. Under the protection of such varied means as outright military intervention, the Platt amendment, tariff agreements, and the sugar quota arrangement, the U.S. imperialists systematically carried out their domination of Cuban society. No other Latin American country had its economy penetrated so quickly and so thoroughly. The imperialists controlled the best land, all the mines, the greater part of the sugar industry, public services, the most efficient industries, the electric power industry, the telephone service, the railroads, the most important businesses and the banks.
This period of American domination of Cuba (1902-1958) corresponds to the base of development of monopoly capitalism in the United States, and the mechanisms of exploitation and control of Cuba were an expression of this process. Cuba was a potential market for U.S. surplus capital and manufactured goods, as well as a source of raw materials. Thus Boorstein puts it: "It was the (American) monopolies that geared the Cuban economy to sugar, dominated its resources, suffocated its industry with the goods they pumped in, and drained out its foreign exchange for luxuries." This economic domination had its political consequences in the "pseudo-republic" with its bourgeois, neocolonial parliamentary system. These two forces, economic and political domination by the imperialists, are the roots of the Cuban revolutionary struggle, and define the logic of the Cuban revolutionary process. Sartre describes the nature of the Cuban political superstructure (so familiar today in all the Third World)
. in the midst of that almost total dependence, what could the politicians who governed you have done? For the country, nothing. Their impotence came not from their vices but from their servitude; and their vices, on the other hand, were born from their impotence . . . In other words, THE BOURGEOIS DEMOCRACY WAS NOTHING MORE THAN A FLAT JOKE IF IT WERE NOT FOUNDED UPON NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY. And that sovereignty would continue to be an empty abstraction so long as it was not the concrete consequence of ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE. The first objective of the revolutionary struggle were already manifesting themselves, revealing a more radical and imperative finality . . . . the economic imperialism of the Foreign Power necessarily created its own accomplices in the very countries it was crushing .... representatives of foreign imperialism on their own soil; to fight for the independence of the Cuban economy, for the sovereignty of (the) State and for the honesty of (the) ruling officials, was first to fight against them."
In order to be politically and economically independent and to be able to develop the Cuban economy for the benefit of all the Cubans, to re-distribute wealth, the Cuban revolutionaries had to seize power (through armed struggle and the defeat of Batista's army), and destroy the domestic bourgeoisie and its international bosses, American capitalists with interests in Cuba (through class struggle and the expropriation and nationalization of the productive forces). As Fidel said, speaking of Cuba's historical position in Latin America:
". . . We are the first people of this continent to abolish the exploitation of man by man! It is true that we were the last to begin (to gain independence and free slaves), but it is also true that we have gone further than anybody else. We have eradicated the capitalist system of exploitation; we have made the people the true owners of their future and their wealth. WE WERE THE LAST TO BREAK THE CHAINS OF THE COLONY, BUT WE HAVE BEEN THE FIRST TO THROW OFF THE CHAINS OF IMPERIALISM."
In the early years of the Revolution, power was consolidated and guaranteed by the arming of the people (in people's militias) and the enlargement of the Rebel Army. The armed force of the Revolutionary Government was their chief class weapon against internal enemies (counter-revolutionaries) and foreign imperialists and their agents. At the same time, efforts were begun to develop the Cuban economy. Speaking to workers at a May Day rally, Fidel said:
"How many were there who could understand that a revolution did not mean that the people would simply enter an era of wealth, but that it meant that they would begin to create that wealth, begin to lay the groundwork for that era of wealth? . . . There wasn't even a political organization that represented the will and effort of all the people. That is why we speak of the triumph of the rebellion instead of the triumph of the revolution."
The Cubans see work as the battle of their new war-the war of a Revolution in power against underdevelopment, and they see the Party as the vanguard of that struggle. During the Revolutionary War the guerrillas were vanguard which, through the process of armed struggle, created the subjective conditions necessary for victory (the consciousness that victory was possible by violent means), and developed the strategies which led to that victory. After the socialist revolution changed the objective relations of production in Cuban society, the Party became the vanguard which created the subjective conditions necessary for the development of a communist society, and developed the policies for the economic changes leading to an economy of abundance. The change in consciousness comes from participation in the struggle to develop the economy, and from an understanding of that process. As Che said:
"Every worker, on every level, becomes a soldier for the economy, . . . their vanguard (is) the party, composed of the most advanced workers, of the advanced men who move along bound to the masses and in close communion with them . .
To build communism, a new man must be created simultaneously with the material base."
Selection of party members in Cuba is unique in the socialist world. All potential party members must be nominated from the base; in every work-place there is a workers' assembly in which nominees are chosen for the party nucleus of that work-place. The party retains the right to review and evaluate each nominee's qualifications and make the final choice of admission, and it presents its justifications for acceptance or rejection at another public workers' assembly. Che:
"Our aspiration is that the party become a mass one, but only when the
masses reach the level of development of the vanguard, that is, when they
are educated for communism. Our work is aimed at providing that education.
The party is the living example; . . with their acts they must lead the
masses to the end of the revolutionary task, which means years of struggle
against the difficulties of construction, the class enemies, the defects
of the past, imperialism."
Internationalism is fundamental to the Cuban revolution. The Cubans understand this from their own point of view: (Che) "If (a revolutionary's) eagerness becomes dulled when the most urgent tasks are carried on a local scale, and if he forgets about proletarian internationalism, the revolution that he leads ceases to be a driving force and it sinks into a comfortable drowsiness which is taken advantage of by imperialism, our irreconcilable enemy, to gain ground. Proletarian internationalism is a uty, but it is also a revolutionary need. This is how we educate our people."
They also understand that imperialism must be, destroyed before communism can really exist in any country: "Humanity comes before one's own country", quoted Fidel, and "communism cannot be built in one country in the midst of an underdeveloped world."
The Cubans have taken the position that in the Third World, armed struggle
is the fundamental road to the seizure of power, and that all other forms
of struggle must be subordinated to it. They also understand the importance
of a revolution from within the heart of imperialism: the imperialists
will be destroyed by the combined revolutionary movements from within and
outside. Che's call for two, three, many Vietnams includes a call for the
of a Vietnam within the very boundaries of the imperialist Mother Country:
the United States.
Economic policy in the early years of the revolution was based on the
conviction that readjusting economic priorities and releasing idle labor
and resources gave unlimited opportunities for economic growth, and that
to break out of the condition of neo-colonialism meant to industrialize
and to diversify agriculture. Therefore, the first two important goals
were seen as import-substitution and the development of a heavy industrial
base. These policies required heavy investment of foreign reserves in raw
materials, factories, the building of an economic infrastructure, the training
of skilled personnel, and construction, which placed a severe strain on
the Cuban economy. Pressure on reserves (foreign exchange as well as labor
and resources) forced the Cubans to re-evaluate their policies. According
to Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, their conclusions were that strong dependence
on foreign trade could not be ended in a short period. Further, as a tropical
country, Cuba had many agricultural products (sugar, dairy and meat products,
citrus fruit, coffee, tobacco) which she could offer o other socialist
countries (and increasingly, to non-socialist countries) who in turn were
capable of providing a stabilized market with good prices. This meant that
sugar, primarily, meat and dairy products, and citrus fruits would provide
the bulk of foreign exchange making industrial development possible, in
addition to solidifying their own subsistence base. This focus on agriculture
aims at a mechanized agriculture, which will produce capital for re-investment,
while at the same time freeing labor for other activities. The early stages
of industrial development are viewed as deriving from the focus on agriculture:
industries required by a technologically advanced agricultural development
(fertilizer, cement, electricity, agricultural equipment), and industries
which agriculture generates (based on agricultural by-products and processing).
The Ten Million Ton harvest of 1970 is thus crucial in Cuba's economic
development: it will be the turning-point on the road toward sustained
economic growth. The revenue from this harvest will enable Cuba to mechanize
and improve the agricultural sector and advance the expansion of her industrial
SUMMARY: POSITION ON THE CUBAN REVOLUTION
As participants in an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist movement, we fully support the Cuban revolution on the basis of the following:
(1) The Cuban socialist revolution has brought about a re-distribution of wealth and created an economic policy aimed at developing the economic basis (abundance) for a communist society.
(2) Cuba is in the vanguard of an effort to revitalize socialism, and create a new socialist man, having clearly learned a great deal from the shortcomings of socialism as practiced in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The gradual elimination of money, the use of moral incentives, mass participation in the military and political processes, the building of mass consciousness, authentic measures to destroy class differences and to prevent the emergence of a new bureaucratic class-all are part of Cuba's experiment in the creation of a new socialism.
(3) Cuba has developed a new concept of internationalism, expressed in the Second Declaration of Havana: "the duty of every revolutionary is to make the revolution." Che's call for "two, three, many Vietnams" is a strategy for the defeat of imperialism, and the guiding concept for a new International centered in the Third World and linked to New Left struggles in the advanced capitalist countries.
(4) Since Cuba is the first liberated territory in the Americas, it
is under constant attack by the U.S. Government. As North Americans dedicated
to the destruction of imperialism, it is our obligation to oppose our government's
policies in the most effective concrete way possible.
II. Support of a North-American Brigade To Cut Cane in the 1970 Sugar
Harvest Political Purposes of the Brigade
(1) We politically, morally and materially support Cuba in the critical sugar harvest of 1970 with its goal of 10 million tons.
(2) To educate people about imperialism and about the international revolution against imperialism. This will be accomplished through a well-developed education and propaganda program. The program will aim at developing an understanding of U.S. imperialism, not only in its most blatant militaristic aspects (as in Vietnam), but also its role in distorting and impeding economic development throughout the Third World.
(3) To help develop a working unity among participants (students, dropouts, blacks, chicanos, white working class youth, GI's) based on concrete, practical tasks.
(4) To strengthen our organizational capacity. The carrying out of this program on a national level, with the cooperation of other groups, will force us to confront problems of internal organization as conditions of struggle become more difficult. This will include the further development of a serious and disciplined revolutionary cadre and base, already in the process of being formed. We can learn no mechanical lessons from Cuba, but we can gain general inspiration, ideological clarity and political growth.
(5) To gain a practical understanding of the creative application of
communist principles on a day-to-day basis. The New Left in the advanced
capitalist countries has in the last decade clearly defined itself within
the tradition of socialist and communist struggle begun a century ago.
The American mass media and educational system have made the word communism
into anathema; this experience will help us to develop ways of combating
III. Support of an Educational Program of the Cuban Revolution
The N.O., along with REP and the New England Free Press shall be encouraged
to distribute literature on the Cuban revolution, including speeches of
Che and Fidel, and articles describing and analyzing the Cuban Revolution.
Chapters shall be encouraged to develop political education sessions on
the Cuban Revolution, which can be coordinated with the recruitment of
brigade members in the chapters.
[From Puerto Rico Libre, Mar. 15. 1975]
NATIONAL CONFERENCE FUNDS SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION
The Founding Conference of the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee (P.R.S.C.), held on March 1 and 2, 1975, unanimously adopted a political statement and bylaws, approved five national campaigns for 1975 and elected a 20-member National Board.
Calling the Conference "an historic occurrence in the history of the solidarity movement with Puerto Rican independence in the U.S.," Alfredo L6pez, Executive Secretary of the Puerto Rican Solidarity Day Committee (P.R.S.D.C.), the organizational predecessor of the P.R.S.C., opened the Conference.
L6pez' political report emphasized the importance of developing an organization like the P.R.S.C. right in the heart of imperialism, and urged the delegates to give careful consideration to the political statement, which, when approved, would become the political constitution of the P.R.S.C.
His speech was punctuated with loud applause, an affirmation of the delegates' desire to found the organization and get on with the day-to-day work of organizing the solidarity movement.
The Conference, which took place at the Newark, N.J. campus of Rutgers University, was attended by over 125 delegates and observers from all around the country. :Most of the delegates were white North Americans; and at least 50% were women. The Conference noted the lack of participation of third world people, and a commitment was made by the whole assembly to broaden the organization racially and nationally.
Frances Beal, Arthur Kinoy, Antonio Rodriguez and Irwin Silber, National Board members of the P.R.S.D.C., chaired the plenary sessions and participated in the Conference.
Among the Conference participants
was Ruth Reynolds. Ms. Reynolds, who received a standing ovation when she
was introduced, is the only North American to ever be jailed for supporting
the Puerto Rican independence movement. She was imprisoned in Puerto Rico
for several years following the Nationalist-Partyled insurrection in 1950.
According to the political statement adopted by the Conference, the "primary goal" around which the Committee will be organized is "support for the national liberation of Puerto Rico and the self-determination of the Puerto Rican people."
The statement, written by the Conference Convening Committee of the National Board in an attempt to give a context and focus to the work of the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee, had beed circulating among the various committees and supporters of the P.R.S.D.C. for several weeks prior to the Conference. After animated debate in workshops and recommended changes, it was unanimously approved by the full body on the first day of the Conference, and used as a basis for further discussions of by-laws and national campaigns.
The last section of the statement, which deals particularly with the founding of the P.R.S.C., points out that "the development of a mass movement around Puerto Rico . . depends on our ability to link up the struggle of the Puerto Rican people with . . . present and long-term interests of many sectors of the American population . . ."
To do this, the document goes on to state, "the issue itself must be integrally tied to the day-to-day reality of people-in this country. Every opportunity must be taken to expose the rhetoric of the U.S. government about Puerto Rico and show how the government's strategy in Puerto Rico also affects North Americans, by constantly demonstrating that both people have the same enemy: U.S. imperialism. People can and will understand that the Puerto Rican struggle will profoundly affect objective and subjective conditions in this country, and that the liberation of Puerto Rico will signify a tremendous step on the road to basic social and economic change in this country."
The document proposes that
within the broad movement of solidarity with Puerto Rican independence,
there must be an organization capable of giving leadership to all the forces
involved by providing an anti-imperialist analysis of Puerto Rico's relationship
to the U.S. and developing a strategy which can effectively mobilize and
sustain the larger movement. This organization must be funded on the understanding
that the imperialist strategy in Puerto Rico is not a " `policy error,'
an `oversight,' . . . but . . an inherent function of the system of imperialism.
This means that we will not be satisfied with Congressional reforms, politicians'
promises, or imperialist `solutions' !"
P.R.S.D.C. board member Antonio Rodriguez, a Mexican leader of the Los Tres Defense Committee in Los Angeles and C.A.S.A. (Centro Autonomico de Accion Social), prefaced the presentation of the five 1975 national campaigns with a moving declaration of solidarity between the Mexican and Chicano peoples and the Puerto Rican people.
The five national campaigns proposed by the Conference Convening Committee were presented to the body by Rosa Borenstein of the Central Staff of the P.R.S.D.C. Each campaign was discussed in a separate workshop and reports recommending additions and changes were presented to the closing plenary session, which adopted the campaigns. The plenary mandated the newly-elected National Board to develop national work plans for their implementation.
The campaigns adopted in final form by the Conference are the participation of the P.R.S.C. in the "International Conference in Solidarity with Puerto Rican Independence," which will be held in Cuba during the fall; support for the workers' movement in Puerto Rico as well as particular struggles of Puerto Rican workers in the U.S., like those of migrants, which are clearly linked to the strategy of
imperialism; against the political repression by U.S. government agencies of the Puerto Rican independence movement and the Puerto Rican people in general; in support of the unconditional freedom of the "Five Puerto Rican Political Prisoners," arrested during the 1950's and currently the longest-held political prisoners in the western hemisphere, and other Puerto Rican political prisoners like Carlos Feliciano; and against the genocidal population policies used by the U.S. against the Puerto Rican people.
Local committees which have already initiated work on some of the campaigns, such as support for workers' struggles, anti-repression, and sterilization, will continue that work and adapt it to the national guidelines.
Some of the concrete ideas put forth by the Conference body for the implementation of the campaigns include setting up an ad hoc committee which will select and organize a representative delegation from the United States to the International Solidarity Conference; the production of literature about the intervention of U.S. repressive agencies in Puerto Rico, the histories of the Five Political Prisoners, documentation on sterilization and other genocidal programs used against the Puerto Rican people; and speaking tours for leaders of the Puerto Rican workers' movement and women's movement.
A motion from the floor called for the P.R.S.C. to develop a national
project that would relate the colonial case of Puerto Rico to the 1976
bicentennial campaign being run by our government, which was unanimously
accepted, and was recommended to the National Board for study and implementation
In his closing remarks, Alfredo Lopez listed four organizational objectives
for the P.R.S.C. in the coming pear. They are the "consolidation of the
National Board into an active and collective leadership of the solidarity
committee;" the doubling of both the membership and number of committees
of the organization by March, 1976 (in the by-laws adopted by the P.R.S.C.,
membership is open to individuals only, there is no organizational membership);
that local committees and National Board members make the bulletin, Puerto
Rico Libre! "the educational and organizational tool" of the P.R.S.C.;
and that the committee make itself financially self-sufficient. These objectives
were unanimously approved.
The new at-large members of the National Board elected at the Conference are
Ells J. Baker, civil rights activist; Amiri Baraka, Chairman, Congress of Afrikan People; Frances Beal, Third World Women's Alliance; Clyde Bellecourt, American Indian :Movement; Ben Chavis, Vice-Chairperson of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression; Walter Collins, Southern Conference Educational Fund; Dave Dellinger, antiwar activist; Rev. David Garcia, Priest-in-Charge, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, N.Y.C.; Corky Gonzalez, Crusade for Justice; Jim Haughton, Fight Back!; Phil Hutchings, black activist; Arthur Kinoy, Interim Committee for a Mass Party of the People; Mary Kochiyama, Asian-American activist; Beverly Leman, women's movement and anti-war activist; Antonio Rodriguez, C.A.S.A.; Owusu Sadukai, African Liberation Support Committee; Irwin Silber, Guardian editor; Annie Stein, People Against Racism in Education; and Jose "Che" Velazquez, member of the Central Committee of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Each local committee coordinator is also a member of the National Board. The stated hope of the P.R.S.C. is that, with the development of many new committees, the coordinators represented on the Board will outnumber the at-large members.
The Conference, united and determined to meet its 1975 goals, ended in the early evening of Sunday, March 2 amid jubilant cries of "Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!" and "Independence for Puerto Rico Now!"
(Puerto Rico Libre! will be publishing news of the various national
campaigns in its coming issue, as well as information about membership
and new committees. If you would like, you may write directly to the P.R.S.C.
national office for more information.)
PUERTO RICO LIBRE!
Puerto Rico Libre! is published monthly by the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee, an organization which supports the national liberation struggle of Puerto Rico and self-determination for Puerto Rican people. National Board of the P.R.S.C.: Ells J. Baker, Amiri Baraka, Frances Beal, Clyde Bellecourt, Ben Chavis, Walter Collins, Dave Dellinger, Rev. David Garcia, Corky Gonzalez, Jim Haughton, Phil Hutchings, Arthur Kinoy, Mary Kochiyama, Beverly Leman Antonio Rodriguez, Owusu Sadukai, Irwin Silber, Annie Stein, Jose "Che" Velazquez.
Puerto Rico Libre! is produced by the National Staff of the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee: Maggie Block, Rosa Borenstein, David Burd, Bill Henning, Sally Hamann, Lally Lopez, Liz Mestres, Vicki Wheeler.
Subscription rates for 12 monthly issues of Puerto Rico Libre! are $5.00 for individuals, $15.00 for institutions. To subscribe to Puerto Rico Libre!, to obtain free samples copies, or information on membership in P.R.S.C., write to:
The Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee, P.O. Box 319, Cooper Station,
New York, N. Y. 10003, Tel: (212) 673-0540.
IN SOLIDARITY-THE CONFERENCE IN NEWARK
It might seem an exaggeration to say that the Founding Conference of the Puerto Rico Solidarity Committee rivaled the National Day of Solidarity in importance.
The Garden action was a more dramatic event. But the fact remains that, at the Newark Conference, we met what is a fundamental historic need. We formed an organization of people living in the United States, whose principle of unity is support for the National Liberation of Puerto Rico. It is the first time in the history of our struggle that such a broad membership organization has been formed.
People from all over the country were present and, the fact that forces with such diverse political perspectives could obtain and maintain a unity around certain principles is, in itself, an achievement.
But the Conference was not satisfied with that achievement in itself. We learned, in the very experience of the Conference, how to do certain crucial political things.
We learned to analyze and base our political and organizational projections on that analysis. All of the five projections for the year-the International Conference in Havana, support for the workers' movement, support for the struggle against repression and repressive activities support for the freedom of Puerto Rican political prisoners, and support for the struggle against genocidal population policies-all of these come out of the analysis of the moment in which Puerto Rico-and Yanqui colonialism-live. They are projections which seek to make our support for the Puerto Rican struggle most concrete . . . most helpful. They are also based on where-at this moment-colonialism is weakest and where we can best contribute to its defeat.
The International Conference-an event which will concretize the growing international support for the national liberation struggle-comes at a time when making that support concrete is fundamental. Our Conference understood that, after we have concretized growing North American support, through the 27th campaign, we must take part in concretizing the international support.
This all comes out of the analysis which was made of imperialism's international situation in the discussion document. Nobody at the Conference doubted that an international conference is totally possible-that the world is objectively anti-imperialist.
Just as important, of course, are the organizing projections of the Conference. This is not "a staff of people with a yearly action" as New York coordinator Julie Nichamin pointed out in her remarks. Ours is a membership organization, with bases, leadership, political perspective; with by-laws and scientifically arrived-at work plans.
In this light the goals of duplicating committee chapters, financial self-sufficiency of our organization and development of a consolidated national leadership through the National Board, arc answers to basic needs.
Of course, the development of Puerto Rico Libre!, as an educational and organizing tool for our committee must be seen as a major priority of the year's work.
We could not write this column without mentioning the newly-elected
National Board. Represented on the board are people from just about every
area of the country, every tendency of political thinking and every sector
of the population. But the representation is not merely reflective. This
is representation in quality, life experience . . . these are leaders of
wide sectors of the population, leaders in the real anti-imperialist movement.
It should be noted that a large number of Afro-American brothers and sisters have been elected to the board, which is a continuation-and a deepening-of one of the most important projections of the campaign which built the Garden action, the development of black solidarity with Puerto Rican independence.
Differences were expressed, discussion heated, but on approval of the
basic questions-consensus was finally achieved. Our organization has been
strengthened greatly by this Conference: it has learned how in this moment
when unity is crucial, unity is achieved.
STOP AT SPRINGBOARD!
Each year about this time, the United States government sponsors a massive military exercise in and around the waters of Puerto Rico called "Operation Springboard." The exercise involving units from all branches of the U.S. military as well as from some of the different NATO countries, has traditionally been a routine affair. This year however, "Operation Springboard" will be met with a counter-operation: an educational and organizing campaign called "Springboard to What?"
The G.I. movement which grew out of the anti-war and anti-racist struggles among U.S. enlisted people in the late '60's has developed as an openly antiimperialist movement in the 70's, organizing among the enlisted ranks around U.S. foreign policy, domestic repression against labor and Third World peoples, as well as other key issues.
In the Southeastern U.S., the G.I. Movement is represented by the Defense Committee of Tidewater, Va., Jackson, N.C., and Charleston, S.C.; the Fort Bragg G.I. Union; and the Black Military Resistance League. These groups have organized the anti-"Springboard" campaign.
"Springboard" is a readiness training exercise. This year the combined forces of 20 U.S. Navy ships from Norfolk, Charleston and Mayport Florida, 10 British vessels, 3 U.S. submarines and 5-75 U.S. and Dutch Airforce planes, along with units of Marines from Camp LeJeune, N.C. are spending the last week in January and the months of February and March practicing such arts of modern warfare as anti-submarine and anti-air warfare, spotting for gunfire support, fire control, and on-land gun shoots. Recent reports indicate that the aircraft carrier the USS Independence will be included in the maneuvers.
The U.S. East coast forces participating in "Springboard" make up 10/0 of the total U.S. military strength. Combined with U.S. forces already stationed in the Caribbean, they have been in the past and could in the future be used against armed uprisings in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, and Puerto Rico.
Military installations in Puerto Rico occupy over 13 % of the island's best farmland. This includes the U.S. Naval Station at San Juan, Fort Buchanan, Fort Allen, Sabana Seca, the West Annex, the U.S. Army Reserves, the Puerto Rican National Guard, and the giant naval complex at Roosevelt Roads.
"Rosey Roads" is one of the largest military installations in the world, covering 37,000 acres of land with a value conservatively estimated at $300 million. This base and the allied facilities of the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range (Culebra, Vieques, etc.) is one of the most complete training and testing areas in the world. Several major commands are located there which plan and implement cruises to Africa, South America, and the entire Caribbean area, forcing Puerto Rico into the role of an important base for U.S. imperialism overseas.
"Springboard" holds nothing good in store for rank-and-file G.I.'s. Each year enlisted people are forced to work long, back-breaking hours with machinery that is pushed far past its capacity for safe operation. The combination of fatigue and poor safety conditions results in injuries and even deaths.
Resentment against these oppressive conditions combined with a basic distrust of the political motivations for U.S. foreign policy are making more and more G.I.'s look for a political explanation for the purposes of "Springboard '. "Springboard to What?" is intended to offer just such an explanation.
The Defense Committee, Ft. Bragg G.I. Union, and the Black Military Resistance League are circulating a petition to "Stop Springboard". Addressed to the Congress of the United States, it reads in part:
"We the undersigned active-duty men and women, military families, and private citizens are opposed to the military training exercise called `Operation Springboard.' `Operation Springboard' is part of our training in providing fire support for suppressing rebellions in countries like Puerto Rico. . . The struggle of the Puerto Rican people to take control of their own country is just like the struggle of enlisted people or U.S. civilian workers to take control over their own lives. As working people ourselves, we support the struggle of the people of Puerto Rico for their independence, and call on you to take whatever actions are necessary to STOP OPERATION SPRINGBOARD!"
The petition campaign is being accompanied by distribution of 7,000 16-page pamphlets on the history of Puerto Rico, the colonial plans for the "Superport", the independence movement on the island, and the political significance of "Operation Springboard."
Meetings are being set up among G.I.'s to discuss the campaign, and to present the slide-show "A Superport Means No More Puerto Rico", made available by the Puerto Rican Solidarity Day Committee.
On January 25, members of the Committees, the G.I. Union, and the League sponsored a rally in Norfolk, Virginia calling for self-determination for Puerto Rico and an end to "Operation Springboard".
"Springboard to What?" promises to be the most massive educational and
organizing campaign yet carried out among U.S. Service-people in support
of self-determination for the Puerto Rican people, and is a reflection
of the growing anti-imperialist sentiment among North American G.L's. Anyone
wishing to help in the campaign can get in touch with The Defense Committee,
Box 9870, Norfolk, Virginia 23505.
PRSDC MEMBERS VISIT PUERTO RICO
In mid-January, six members of the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee were the guests of the Central Committee of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party during a 2-week visit to Puerto Rico. This was the first visit of North Americans to the island officially organized by the P.S.P. The group, composed of individuals who did outstanding work during the campaign to mobilize for the October 27, 1974 rally at Madison Square Garden, included Roger Geller from Boston, Frank Christopher from Los Angeles, ana Biberman, Rosa Borenstein and Julie Nichamin from New York and Ted Glick from Washington, D.C.
The group traveled throughout the island, making special stops at the petrochemical complexes in the Ponce area; the U.S. marine base, Camp Garefa, on Vieques, an island off the east coast of Puerto Rico; Anasco, the newly-proposed west-coast site for the superport; and the mountainous mining region where Kennecott Copper and American Metal Climax are trying to lay stakes near the cities of Lares and Jayuya, historic landmarks in the struggle for Puerto Rican independence.
Wherever the group went they visited with representatives of the independence movement, learned about the movement's history and saw how the people are organizing themselves for the recovery of their national sovereignty. From the very successful 10-year old movement to stop the exploitation of copper and other mineral resources in the mining area, to students organizing at the island's only technical university in Mayaguez, to a visit with Antonio Cruz Colon, an independentista who spent 22 years in prison for his participation in the Nationalist-led uprising in Jayuya on October 30, 1950, the group was constantly impressed by how deeply and firmly the independence movement is supported by the majority of Puerto Ricans, and how visible it is.
As one member of the group, Frank Christopher, said: "The independence movement is inescapable. Everywhere, every day, the commercial press, radio and TV quote leaders of the independence movement and follow their actions and the movement's closely. Building walls, highway embankments, all public places are plastered with movement posters and murals. A well-organized government couldn't do a better job in advertising its programs and campaigns."
Before the group left for Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico Libre! editors asked
each person to answer five questions while they were on the trip. The questions
and excerpted responses follow.
What was the purpose of your trip?
JULIE NICHAMIN. W e visited Puerto Rico to try to get a firsthand understanding
of the conditions on the island. It is one thing to read about a country,
and another to sec it with your own eyes. We wanted to be able to gain
a more profound vision of the problems of the colonial economy: irrational
production, unemployment, inflation, wanton pollution of the environment,
and the effects of a sustained cultural aggression directed at the Puerto
Rican people and culture by U.S. imperialism. And we wanted to do this
by visiting the necessary places-the petrochemical industry sites, the
mining zone, the proposed site for the superport, sites of U.S. military
bases-and by talking to the people themselves.
What were some of your impressions of Puerto Rico?
DANA BIBERMAN. In many ways Puerto Rico is an exaggerated microcosm of the U.S. The gulf between rich and poor is much wider; the destruction of natural resources by chaotic industrialization is much more prevalent; the effects of consumerism are more blatant when seen in a poor, underdeveloped country.
ROGER GELLER. It is extremely difficult to single out one aspect or area of the trip as having made the greatest impression on me. It was clear that the effects of U.S. imperialism pervade the entire fabric of the economic and social structure of Puerto Rico. The capital-intensive economy and its resulting phenomenally high unemployment rate was one of the most constant and most obvious reminders of imperialism. The destructive effects of this economic exploitation on the environment, especially in the area of the petro-chemical complex in Ponce, and on the society, in terms of thousands of people, deeply in debt with no prospects or work, in impoverished condition, while land speculators and U.S. businessmen take advantage of tax incentives and loopholes and rake in the dollars cannot be adequately described . . .
Underlying this desperate economic condition, there was also the impression
of a growing understanding of the need for change, fundamental societal
change, among the Puerto Rican people. Through all of the workers we spoke
to, through the wall paintings and political events we witnessed, there
was ample evidence of a growing class consciousness and awareness of the
need for independence.
What were your impressions of the Puerto Rican independence movement?
ROGER GELLER. The independence movement visibly demonstrates its historical and mass base on a very wide scale . . . . The Puerto Rican people themselves seemed to applaud the independence movement. This was most obvious riding on the buses from San Juan to Mayaguez [Jan. 11 rally] where people on the roadside demonstrated their support and appreciation for those going to the rally for independence. Whenever we identified ourselves, North Americans who support the movement for independence, we were warmly welcomed . . . The fishermen in Cabo Rojo, the united front against exploitation of the mine zone, the community people who attended the San Juan funeral of a victim of the Mayaguez bombing, all contributed to the clear impression that independence is not simply the desire of a few political militants but rather a broad-based sentiment of the masses of the Puerto Rican people.
DANA BIBERMAM. . . Puerto Rico has a very long history of independence
struggle; this nationalism and independentista sentiment runs deep in most
of the people. This depth of sentiment along with the rapidly strengthening
organized liberation forces, place the independence movement, as a whole,
well in the forefront of Puerto Rican society. There is a tremendous sense
tat the independence forces are actually contending for power.
What was the most important thing you learned from your visit?
TED GLICK. I was very impressed by the independence organizations, especially the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. The way in which strong, disciplined, honest, democratic, humanly-based organization can make all the difference in the world between a lost opportunity and a major stride forward in the advance towards socialist revolution really impressed me.
ROSA BORENSTEIN. The most important thing that I learned, or rather
had reinforced for me, was that the Puerto Rican nation will not allow
itself to be destroyed by the aggressive actions of U.S. imperialism. This
was most vivid on the evening of January 11. That night, just before the
annual rally commemorating the birth of Eugenio Maria de Hostos, a turn-of-the-century
Puerto Rican leader, and the founding of the Movimiento Pro-Independencia
(M.P.I., forerunner of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party), a bomb went off
in a local Mayaguez restaurant, killing several people and wounding many
others. Instead of frightening away the people, 7,000 strong, who had come
to the rally, the bombing seemed to have made the independentistas more
determined to continue with their activity. The rally went on. The leaders
of the P.S.P. spoke in the open town square, easy targets for any provocation.
The fearlessness and determination of the people and their leaders showed
me that the independence struggle is not an intellectual notion, but a
real force that is expressed in the actions and character of thousands
of Puerto Ricans.
ROGER GELLER. The most important lesson of the trip was that the movement
for independence is very real and very important to the survival of Puerto
Rico. The solidarity movement in the U.S. is now more than an abstract
expression of anti-imperialist politics, it is an alliance with the life
and death struggle of the people of Puerto Rico.
How would you apply what you learned in Puerto Rico to the development
of the solidarity movement in the U.S.?
ROGER GELLER. To apply this understanding-how vital the independence movement is to the survival of the Puerto Rican people-to the work of local solidarity committees requires an understanding of the primary needs of the Puerto Rican people, an understanding of the day-to-day oppression of U.S. imperialism. This is translated into material support for the Puerto Rican labor movement with concrete support work which the workers themselves feel is necessary; it includes an understanding of the methods of repression used against Puerto Rican militants and the political and material support we can give to combat it; it demands the appreciation of the different levels of the political struggle, contacts with the different independence forces, and support for all of those sectors. It means practical work with direct contact as a true meaning of solidarity.
TED GLICK. For one thing, I can speak much more concretely about what I saw and not just from an intellectual perspective. I can relate the things I learned about Puerto Rico to the United States reality and help to build more of an understanding of the need for mutual support among the two peoples. I can use my slides to make Puerto Rico something more than a speech. I can more honestly and clearly speak about what is happening to the people down there, talking about specific examples of individual people we met. Basically, I can convey much more of a sense of the importance and urgency of that struggle and why my people should support it because . . . 1 was touched by . . . the lives of the many people I met.
ROSA BORENSTEIN. I believe that the Puerto Rican people have given us a great example for how we can and must build a solidarity movement. Like the Puerto Rican movement for independence, we must incorporate people from all sectors of the society into support for the struggle. The people that we met constantly stressed to us that the success of the independence movement in Puerto Rico has been predicated on the ability of the various forces and organizations of the movement to unify their front against imperialism. Although it would be misleading to state that the Puerto Rico independence movement is entirely united, we could clearly see how the degree of unification that exists has strengthened the movement. For instance, several unions have joined together into a new federation called the United Workers Movement, the M.O.U. The M.O.U. not only struggles to better the immediate conditions of workers, but calls for independence from U.S. imperialism, as a key factor in the long-range betterment of the Puerto Rican working class. This new organization has its allies in the people's organizations that have sprung up to protest the superport and mining projects. They reinforce one another's specific struggles, and the general struggle for independence.
Many different people, from many different sectors of the population
can be drawn into supporting Puerto Rican independence in the U.S. as well,
whether these people are outraged at the ecological damage done by the
U.S. colonialists or the genocidal population plans, their support for
independence will both broaden and make more effective the solidarity movement
G.I. resistance has surfaced on U.S. Navy ships in Puerto Rico which are participating in Operation Springboard (see p. 3) according to the G.I. organization, the Defense Committee, located in Charleston, S.C.
A sit-down strike was carried out in mid-February by two fire-technicians (F.T.'s) aboard a Charleston-based destroyer when the weapon fire the men were directing killed a cow on the island of Vieques. Only when the captain promised that he would no longer ignore the presence of livestock, which the men knew to be valuable to Puerto Rican families, did the two F.T.'s return to work.
On another destroyer, sailors denounced the attitude of their captain who steamed directly over a fishing net despite repeated warnings of the navigator.
The ships have been the site of political action against Operation Springboard and in support of independence for Puerto Rico mounted by G.I. support groups in the eastern U.S.
Over 50 people from the East Coast and Puerto Rico participated in a joint conference of the National Lawyers Guild and the Puerto Rican Socialist Party on Feb. 8 in New York City. The objectives of the conference were to define perspectives for and areas of anti-colonial legal work, and to establish a working relationship between the participants.
The conference was divided into four workshops dealing with repression, military occupation, the sterilization campaign against Puerto Rican women, and labor. Each workshop outlined programs of work all within the context of affirming the sovereignty of the Puerto Rican people and opposing all forms of U.S. colonial domination over Puerto Rico.
Some examples of workshop proposals were to begin litigation for the
release of the Puerto Rican Nationalist political prisoners; to organize
and hold a seminar on the Agricultural Workers Association; to immediately
file a Freedom of Information Act request on the use of the "time-capsule"
birth control device, DepoProvera, in U.S. drug companies' experiments
in Puerto Rico; and demanding an Environmental Impact statement from the
United States Government in regard to the use of Puerto Rican islands for
Navy target practice and the use of the Puerto Rican national territory
by the military in general. For further information contact Rick Wagner
of the Center for Constitutional Rights, 853 Broadway, New York, N. Y.
[From Grapes of Wrath, Jan. 1, 19751
Each year about this time, the United States government sponsors a massive military training exercise in and around the waters of Puerto Rico. The exercise, called "Operation Springboard", usually involves units from all branches of the U.S. military, as well as from some of the different NATO countries. The operation, while a major event in the military calendar, has traditionally been a fairly routine affair. This year, however, the training event will be met by a counter-operation: and educational and organizing campaign called "Springboard to What?"
The GI Movement which grew out of the anti-war and anti-racist struggles among U.S. enlisted people in the late '60's has matured and developed as an openly anti-imperialist movement in the '70's. Although much fewer in numbers, active-duty and civilian organizers are daily carrying out agitation, propaganda, and organizing among the enlisted ranks around the issues of U.S. foreign policy, domestic repression against labor and Third World people, male supremacy, anti-gay discrimination, job safety, military democracy, and freedom of speech and political association for GI's. In the Southeastern U.S., the GI Movement is represent-,d by the Defense Committees of Tidewater (Va.), Jacksonville (N.C.), Charleston (S.C.), the Ft. Bragg GI Union (N.C.), and the Black Military Resistance League, an organization of Black GI's, vets, and civilian supporters that concentrates its energies on organizing Black GI's. It is these groups that have organized the anti-Springboard campaign.
"Springboard" is a readiness training exercise. This year, about 20 naval ships from Norfolk, Charleston, and Mayport, Florida will operate with 10 British vessels, three U.S. subs, 50-75 planes from the Dutch and U.S. Air Forces, and units of Marines from Camp LeJeune, N.C. These combined forces will spend the last week in January and the months of February and March practicing such arts of modern warfare as anti-submarine and anti-air warfare, spotting for gunfire support, fire control, and on-land gun shots. The exercise has traditionally included an amphibious Marine assault and paratrooper landing on the island of Vieques, but this more dramatic aspect of the operation has reportedly been cancelled this year.
"nosey Roads" is one of the largest military installations in the world, covering 37,000 acres of land with a value conservatively estimated at $300 million. This base, and the allied facilities of the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Range (Culebra, Vieques, etc.), is one of the most complete training and testing areas in the world. Several major commands are located there which plan and implement cruises to Africa, South America, and the entire Caribbean area, forcing Puerto Rico into the role of an important base for U.S. imperialism overseas.
In addition, the bases located in the Southeastern US-Norfolk, Bragg, and LeJeune in particular-make up 10°0 of the total US military strength, and constitute the primary "strike force" that would be used in the event of US aggression in the Mid-East, the Mediterranean, southern Africa, and the Caribbean.
How have these forces been used in the past?
Puerto Rico-1952: US troops used to crush the Nationalist Rebellion.
Guatemala-1954: US amphibious units and fire-support back up a rightwing government threatened by a popular revolt. The US has major economic investments in that country, expecially by the United Fruit Company.
Cuba-1959, 1961: Two efforts which involved military aid and support for an amphibious landing, conducted under the mistaken impression that the Cuban people were about to "rise tip" against their own government. The Cuban revolutionary example was beginning to make too big an impression on the people of other Latin American countries, and was seen as a threat to US political, financial, and military control of that area.
Panama-1964: Military support to help break a nationalist rebellion. Washington was worried it might lose control over "its" Canal Zone.
Dominican Republic-1965: An amphibious landing in support of a puppet government being threatened by a popular rebellion. Again, heavy economic investment by US corporations, especially the United Fruit Co.
Chile-1973: US ships taking part in the annual Unitis cruise just "happen" to be steaming off the coast of Chile during the recent brutal military coup. The US had extensive investments in Chile, especially by ITT, Anaconda, and other mining companies.
Puerto Rico-197?: Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States. 80%e of the economy is controlled by US corporations-which pay no taxes on the island leaving the majority of the people desperately poor and oppressed. The desire of the Puerto Rican people to determine their own destiny has generally taken the form of the struggle for independence, which places them on a head-on collision course with the US military.
The desire on the part of Pentagon planners and the ruling class they represent to maintain this ability to intervene militarily in the internal affairs of other countries forms the basis for "Operation Springboard."
But "Springboard" holds nothing good in store for rank-and-file GI's. Each year during this exercise, enlisted people are forced to work long, back-breaking hours with machinery that is pushed far past its capacity for safe operating. The combination of fatigue and poor safety conditions results in injuries and even death. Resentment against these oppressive conditions combined with a basic distrust of the political motivations for US foreign policy are making more and more GI's look for a political explanation for the purposes of "Springboard." "Springboard to What?" is intended to offer just such an explanation.
The Defense Committees, Ft. Bragg GI Union, and the Black Military Resistance League have begun circulating a petition to "Stop Springboard." The petition addressed to the Congress of the United States, reads in part:
"We the undersigned active-duty men and women, military families and private citizens are opposed to the military training exercise called `OPERATION SPRINGBOARD.' `Operation Springboard' is part of our training in providing fire support for suppressing rebellions in countries like Puerto Rico . . The struggle of the Puerto Rican people to take control of their own country is just like the struggle of enlisted people or US civilian workers to take control over our own lives. As working people ourselves, we support the struggle of the people of Puerto Rico for their independence, and call on you to take whatever actions are necessary to STOP OPERATION SPRINGBOARD!
The petition campaign is being accompanied by distribution of a 16-page pamphlet, in English and Spanish, that explains the history of Puerto Rico, the colonial plans for the "Super-Port", the independence movement on the island, and the political significance of "Operation Springboard". 6400 of these pamphlets are being distributed among the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and airwomen taking part in "Springboard". Meetings are being set up among GI's to discuss the campaign, and to present the slide show, "The Super-Port Means No More Puerto Rico", made available by the Puerto Rican Solidarity Day Committee. On January 25th, members of the Committees, the GI Union, and the League will join with other progressive forces in Norfolk, Virginia to hold a demonstration and rally calling for self-determination for the uerto Rican people and an end to "Operation Springboard". The main speakers at the rally will be an active-duty member of the Defense Committee/ Tidewater who took part in last year's "Springboard", and Jose Navarro, member of the political Commission of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Petitioning and distribution of the pamphlet will then continue in Puerto Rico itself by active-duty GI's and civilian supporters.
In short, "Springboard to What?" promises to be the most massive educational and organizing campaign yet carried out among US servicemen and women in support of self-determination for the Puerto Rican people, and is a reflection of the growing anti-imperialist sentiment among northamerican GI's.
Anyone wishing to help us in this campaign should get in touch with
us as soon as you can.
QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO LIBRE!
[From Direct from Cuba, Oct. 30, 19701
VENCEREMOS BRIGADE IMPOSES ITS RHYTHM
(By Joaquin Andrade)
The first and second time they came to Cuba, they tested the edge of their machetes. They became enthusiastic and returned to tell their experiences in the U.S., to show their calloused hands, their sun-tanned arms and faces and the straw hats they had kept as souvenirs. That small group of young men and women then lived through the great experience: "We now have the absolute certainty that American propaganda lies shamelessly".
This time the Brigade averages 18 years (an obvious fact in the camp) and comes for different reasons: some have been discriminated against and don't forget, others were locked up in reform schools because as children they belonged to Chicano or Puerto Rican gangs; and others instinctively reject wars and violence.
The 406 members of the third Venceremos Brigade come from the four corners
of the United States and are working in the citrus project of the Revolution
in the Isle of Pines.
COMPANERO IN THE CAMP
At 5:00 A.M. the "de pie" (on your feet) is heard and the colorful kerchiefs,
shirts, headbands begin to move. Eight hours of hard work await them, almost
as hard as their day in New York, Alabama, Buffalo, or California, but
the "nigger" there is the comrade here; the "dirty Indian" of the reservation
becomes a friend; the "chicano" or Puertorican of the slums becomes a Latin
American brother. Eight hours of fertilizing, sowing, picking fruit under
the hot, tropical sun but they are volunteers, and although there's no
time for smiles because the effort is too great, from time to time they
can breathe deep, take a small break, dry their brow, and drink water.
IMPOSING THEIR VISION
The first impression of the camp can be disconcerting for an unprepared observer: Evelyn, an eighteen-year old black girl dresses with African robes: Ramon, a young Cheyenne Indian has long braids, and Rene, a black Puerto Rican, has an enormous head of hair ("Why should I cut it? This is my natural hair, so why should I accept the esthetic concepts of the whites? They tell me 'this' is beautiful and 'that' is ugly and it invariably turns out that what is ugly is my race . . .").
The first impression fades rapidly, as if the multicolor dresses, strange
hairdos headbands, beards,-and the enthusiastic look of the big boy who
runs to greet the group of small Vietnamese-were imposing its vision of
So far, more than 1,300 Americans have come to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade. The first were the 260 courageous pioneers who broke the blockade; the second group consisted of 650 young men and women, and the third consisted of 406 who worked in the Isle of Youth during the month of September.
The original idea to create the Brigade started with a group of young
Americans who visited Cuba for the Tenth Anniversary of the Revolution;
they proposed the idea to Fidel of sending no more than 25 young people
to contribute their technical skills. The suggestion was analyzed and finally
Fidel and the Americans proposed the creation of a "Venceremos" Brigade
to participate in the Harvest of the Ten Millions.
Official circles in the United States began to get uneasy. Some senator
suggested that drastic measures be taken to prevent the Brigade members
from becoming dangerous agitators upon their return to U.S. soil. But the
youngsters were not intimidated: three brigades have come to date and more
are expected in the near future.
They attend lectures, on Central-America (specifically on Guatemala) and on Argentina Brazil, Uruguay and Chile. They know very little of what is happening south of the Rio Bravo. Exclamations are heard when a Guatemalan comrade tells them how many children die every year in his country or when a young Brazilian tells them the life expectancy of the northeast of his country, when they find out that political prisoners are savagely tortured with the advice and training of American agents. "The most useful part of trip, up to now, has been the lectures", commented a Puerto Rican, "We are really learning". And they ask constantly, with great eagerness: Susan wants to clear up some confused points of Marighela's "Mini-manual of urban guerrilla"; Bob would like to know how the Tupamaros function and organize themselves because "we could do the same in many cities of the United States"; a blond long-haired young man worries about "What actions could we carry out to cooperate with Latin American revolutionaries in their struggle against Yankee imperialism?".
Undoubtedly many of the young people of the Venceremos Brigade have gathered fundamental experiences during their brief stay in the Isle of Pines.
The Cuban Prime Minister opened a parenthesis to publicly thank the 400 members of the Venceremos Brigade, made up of young North Americans from 25 states of the union and by young Puerto Ricans (the 400 were present on the reviewing stand).
Fidel Castro announced that the brigade, which worked in the Isle of Pines citrus groves to the south of Havana province, has worked well in the fertilization, planting, picking and irrigation of the fruit. The brigade also built a childcare center.
The Cuban leader then outlined a new task for the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution: saving electricity.
After Fidel Castro offered figures on the increase in the resumption of electricity in recent years, both in industry and dwellings since in Cuba all current is generated by thermoelectric plants, the increase has meant greater petroleum expenditures.
He announced that despite the new plants in Cienfuegos and Nuevitas (in the central and eastern parts of the country, respectively), the western region will continue to confront deficits, especially during the peak evening hours of greatest consumption.
Fidel Castro said that the industrial sector must take specific electricity-saving measures to aid the success of the program.
Fidel Castro ended his speech by expressing his condolences to the people of Egypt and the Arab peoples for the death today of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The Cuban Prime Minister called Nasser "one of the most outstanding leaders and one of the figures of greatest authority in the Arab world." He said that his death at this time "is a severe blow for the revolutionary movements."
Fidel Castro declared: "We want to publicly express our profound sorrow
to the people of the United Arab Republic and to the Arab peoples, and
convey to them our condolence and solidarity."
[From the Venceremos Brigade Bulletin]
EASTLAND "INTERNAL SECURITY" REPORT-VB CONDEMNS NEW WITCH HUNT
The Venceremos Brigade was the primary target of a special report from Senator James O. Eastland's Subcommittee on Internal Security made public April 16 in Washington. The Brigade released the following statement concerning the Subcommittee's findings:
"The Venceremos Brigade must comment on the special report issued last week by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Internal Security, titled, `Investigation of the Communist Threat to the United States Through the Caribbean'. What follows this inflammatory title is an avalanche of crude, factually outrageous, and slanderous charges against the Brigade, concluding by labeling it a `tool of (the)
Cuban intelligence apparatus', and `one of the most extensive and dangerous infiltration operations ever undertaken by a foreign power against the United States'.
At a time when 75% of the U.S. public supported by members in Congress itself favor an end to the blockade against Cuba, it is logical that diehards without integrity would resort to the most shameful tactic-a full-scale witch hunt-frantically trying to give new credence to the present criminal U.S. policies. For them, the tattered image of the communist threat from Cuba is the grand justification for continuing both the economic embargo and an imposed ignorance about Cuba in this country.
Twenty-two years ago, in the name of `national security', Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were murdered, countless other innocent people imprisoned or driven from their homes and jobs, and the entire nation thrown into a state of fear and suspicion. Common working people were suddenly elevated to the title of nuclear spies, allegedly gaining access to the top military secrets of the U.S. government, as agents of an international conspiracy. This was certainly one of the most tragic and shameful periods of American history.
Ever since then, some tottering reactionaries in the U.S. Senate have tried to revive those old days. In the Subcommittee's report, they dredge up a new version of the `nuclear spy theory', complete with code names, intelligence officers posing as waiters, and indoctrination sessions for naive `political dupes'. Behind this is supposedly a vast network of over 2,000 U.S. citizens accused of `infiltrating' their own country in the service of Cuba's `intelligence directorate.' These fantastic lies and distortions must be completely exposed. The Venceremos Brigade grew out of the movements of the sixties: the millions who demonstrated their outrage at the massive U.S. military invasion of Indochina, and the disastrous failure of the `Great Society' to guarantee even the most minimal human and civil rights to the nation's racial minorities. It was activists from these movements who traveled on the first Venceremos Brigade in 1969, demonstrating once more their repudiation of our government's aggressive foreign policies by breaking the U.S. blockade against Cuba. It is no accident that Cuba-a country that was sending medical brigades to Vietnam while the U.S. was sending bombs-made a strong impression upon these visitors.
This beginning is a far cry from what the Subcommittee would have us believe that the Venceremos brigade was a vicious scheme plotted by `Cuban intelligence' experts, and implemented `through the clever manipulation of a small group of leftist radicals.'
What is the real reason for the whole train of absurd charges leveled against the Brigade? Over the last few years, the Brigade has sent 2500 young people to Cuba, who have returned to the U.S. to tell their friends, neighbors and co-workers what they saw in socialist Cuba. The Brigade, with the support of many groups, has organized large public events in 14 major U.S. cities-such as EXPO-CUBA and CUBA CHILE '74. For the first time, thousands of Americans have received a glimpse of what Brigade members saw for themselves in Cuba: not the nation of disguised spies pictured by the Subcommittee, but a nation united by the common goals of providing a decent life for al] its people; eliminating all forms of racial and economic injustice; and pursuing a foreign policy based upon cooperation, and respect for the sovereignty of nations. The Brigade activities, by contrast, have also exposed the brutal nature of U.S. foreign policy-from he carpet-bombing and kidnapping of children in Indochina; to the hiring of mercenaries for the Bay of Pigs fiasco; to the open plotting of the barbaric fascist coup in Chile.
It is no wonder that those in Congress who have most staunchly defended these criminal policies would now abuse their legislative powers in a cynical attempt to discredit the work of the Venceremos Brigade, and spread still another series of lies about the Cuban people.
The nature of the Subcommittee's sham investigation is further revealed by the fact that not one of the criminals who have publicly claimed credit for terrorist actions against the Venceremos Brigade has ever been found worthy of `investigation'-let alone termed a `threat to internal security'. Those responsible for the 1973 bombing of a national trade union center at New York's EXPOCUBA, the bombing of a church during a 1974 Cuban film festival in Los Angeles, or the recent terrorist raids and racist threats against the families of Brigade organizers in the South have never been arrested, tried or punished. These bandits have committed true crimes, and they are the ones who constitute the real threat to the security of the U.S. people. We demand that the silent complicity be ended, and these criminals be brought to justice.
For our part, the Venceremos Brigade will continue to respond to the growing interest of the U.S. public in the Cuban Revolution, and will continue its efforts to present an accurate picture of the achievements of the Cuban people, to strengthen the ties between the U.S. people and the people of Cuba, and to oppose all forms of U.S. aggression."
To Our Readers: We urge you to use all means at your disposal to publicly
protest the witch-hunt tactics being pursued by the Eastland Subcommittee
including newsletters of your own, newspapers, magazines, letters to the
editor of local press, and a strong letter of protest to the Subcommittee
itself. (Address: Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security, c/o Sen. James
0. Eastland, Washington, D.C. 20520.) We would appreciate receiving a copy
of any statements you make, as well as your suggestions for additional
ways to effectively expose and denounce the Subcommittee's `investigation'.
Thank you for your support. Venceremos!-Eds.
[From the Daily World, Apr. 30, 19751
VENCEREMOS GROUP NAILS UNIT'S SLANDERS
NEW YORK, April 29.-The Venceremos Brigade to Cuba was the primary target of a special report by Sen. James 0. Eastland's Judiciary Subcommittee on Internal Security, made public recently in Washington. The Venceremos Brigade, which has broken the U.S. government's blockade of Cuba by sending over 2,000 U.S. citizens to the island since 1969, denounced the report as an "avalanche of crude, factually outrageous, and slanderous charges against the Brigade."
The Subcommittee report slanderously labeled the Brigade as a "tool of Cuban intelligence."
The Brigade declared:
"At a time when 75 percent of the U.S. public, supported by members in Congress, favor an end to the blockade against Cuba, it is logical that diehards without integrity would resort to the most shameful tactic-a full scale witch-hunt frantically trying to give new credence to the present criminal U.S. policies.
"What is the real reason for the whole train of absurd charges leveled against the Brigade? Over the last few years the Brigade has sent 2,500 young people to Cuba, who have returned to the U.S. to tell their friends, neighbors and coworkers what they saw in socialist Cuba. The Brigade, with the support of many groups, has organized large public events in 14 major U.S. cities-such as EXPOCUBA and CUBA CHILE '74.
"For the first time, thousands of Americans have received a glimpse of what Brigade members saw for themselves in Cuba: not the nation of disguised spies pictured by the Subcommittee, but a nation united by the common goals of providing a decent life for all its people; eliminating all forms of racial and economic injustice; and pursuing a foreign policy based upon cooperation, and respect for the sovereignty of nations.
"The Brigade activities, by contrast, have also exposed the brutal nature of U.S. foreign policy-from the carpet-bombing and kidnapping of children in Indochina to the hiring of mercenaries for the Bay of Pigs fiasco; to the open plotting of the barbaric fascist coup in Chile.
"The nature of the Subcommittee's sham investigation is further revealed by the fact that not one of the criminals who have publicly claimed credit for terrorist actions against the Venceremos Brigade has ever been found worthy of `investigation.' let alone termed a `threat to internal security.'
"Those responsible for the 1973 bombing of a national trade union center at New York's Expo-Cuba, the bombing of a church during a 1974 Cuban film festival in Los Angeles, or the recent terrorist raids and racist threats against the families of Brigade organizers in the South have never been arrested, tried or punished.
"For our part, the Venceremos Brigade will continue to respond to the
growing interest of the U.S. public in the Cuban Revolution, and will continue
its efforts to present an accurate picture of the achievements of the Cuban
people, to strengthen the ties between the U.S. people and the people of
Cuba, and to oppose all forms of U.S. aggression."
BACKGROUND OF PUERTO RICAN TERRORISTS
FILIBERTO OJEDA RIOS
Date of Birth: 1933
Place of Birth: Barrio Rio de Naguabo, Puerto Rico
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Filiberto Ojeda Rios is an excellent trumpet player and has played with various orchestras of renown, such as the Miguelito Miranda Orchestra in 1955 ; with Vicentico Valdes Orchestra from 1958 to 1960 in New York; and with the Sonora Poncena de Quique Lucas Orchestra in Ponce in 1963.
Filiberto Ojeda Rios entered the University of Puerto Rico in 1948 at age 15 but, because of an argument about his career, he left home to dedicate himself to music. After a lengthy stay in New York, he returned to Puerto Rico in 1955, married to Blanca Iris Serrano and had two sons.
Upon his return to Puerto Rico, he went to live with his father and returned to the University of Puerto Rico while, rat the same time, was employed by the Miguelito Miranda Orchestra. After only three months stay, Ojeda returned to New York with his family.
According to Puerto Rican police authorities, Filiberto Ojeda Rios went to Cuba in 1961 with his family, and,became a member of the Cuban D.G.I.
In 1963, Filiberto Ojeda Rios was assigned a secret mission to Puerto Rico. His mission involved U.S. military bases on the Island. As a cover, he used his occupation as a musician and found employment with the Orchestra of Quique Lucas "La Sonora Poncena". At that time, he took up residence in the Calle Hoare de Santurce and used the name of Felipe Ortega. Upon completion of his mission, he returned to Cuba the same year.
While in Cuba, he established close contacts with Narciso Rabell Martinez who, at the time, was acting as unofficial Ambassador of Puerto Rico in Cuba. It is believed that when the wave of terrorist firebombings and arsons in American supermarkets in Puerto Rico began in 1967, Filiberto Ojeda Rios supplied the technical expertise for the preparation of the explosive devices.
In 1968, Narciso Rabell and Roberto Todd Pagan returned to Puerto Rico and joined the Socialist Workers Party in Aguadilla, which, at the time, was under the leadership of Wilson Cortes Burgos. Other members were: David Feliciano, Ramon Vargas, Billy Cajigas, Manuel Lopez Lopez, Pablo Luis Gonzalez Arce, and Rafael Capella Rivera.
Immediately afterwards, following a plan elaborated in Cuba in which Fidel Castro was alleged to have participated, Filiberto Ojeda, Roberto Todd, and Narciso Rabell created an armed section within the Socialist Workers Party, and named it M.I.R.A. (Movimiento Independentista Revolucionario Armado).
Todd and Rabell, trained the M.I.R.A. members in the handling of explosives
for terrorist attacks. M.I.R.A. carried out an extensive terrorist campaign
in December of 1969, in the resort area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a
result of these terrorist attacks, most of the group was arrested with
the exception of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, who is still at large after having
HISTORY OF TERRORIST GROUPS OPERATING IN PUERTO RICO
ARMED COMMANDOS FOR LIBERATION (C.A.L.)
The existence of this clandestine organization, composed of the most radical elements of the MPI and other leftist organizations, was publicly announced for the first time on February 22, 1968. On that date a communiqué was distributed stating the aims and objectives of C.A.L., namely:
1. To obtain the national liberation through armed action.
2. To end with the monopolistic control of industry and commerce in P.R. by American owned firms.
3. To expel all U.S. companies from Puerto Rico.
They promised to burn one hundred million dollars worth of U.S. property.
From that date on they claim to have carried out more than 45 terrorist
actions causing an estimated loss of over 15 million dollars.
Brief summary of the investigation of the ,fire at Woolworth's store,
stop 18, Santurce, on September 19, 1969
Based on the fire concentration, two points of ignition were found in the first floor and one point of ignition device were found in the search of the scene. The investigation performed by our agents failed to uncover any lead or to develop a suspect of causing this fire.
The Armed Commandos for Liberation claim credit for this action.
Brief summary of the investigation of the fire at Barkers, Caparra Shopping
Center, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, on January 9, 1970
At 8:30 P.M., January 9, 1970, a fire broke out at Barker's store in Santurce totally destroying the store.
An analysis of the scene revealed that the fire started in the rear end of the building, in the hardware storage area and also in the shoe storage area. No traces of incendiary devices were found. However any incendiary device initiated by acid could have been used without leaving any trace.
The electric system was carefully inspected. A series of short circuits was found in the hardware and shoe storage area. However we can not affirm they were responsible for this fire.
An investigation conducted by our agents developed some leads and a suspect was found. However lack of evidence prevented us from presenting charges.
The Armed Commandos for Liberation (C.A.L.) claims the credit for this
NESTOR RISCOLDO NAZARIO TRABAL
Date of Birth: November 25, 1949
Place of Birth: Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Residence: Calle Loiza, #1807, Santurce, Puerto Rico
Member Gf the Secretariat of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party
M.I.R.A. (MOVIMIENTO INDEPENDENTISTA REVOLUCIONARIO ARMADO)
Organized during the latter part of the year 1966 and the beginning of 1967 in Havana, Cuba by Narciso Rabell Martfnez, Roberto Todd Pagan and a third unknown person. It is believed that Dr. Fidel Castro participated in the organization of M.I.R.A. together with Todd and Rabell.
Early in the year 1967, Roberto Todd Pagan and Narciso Rabell Martinez arrived from Cuba and joined the Workers Socialist Party (P.S.O.). The P.S.O. was headed by Wilson Cortes Burgos with central headquarters located in the city of Aguadilla. In 1968 they started training their members in explosives, terrorism and sabotage techniques. Rabell and Todd incorporated M.I.R.A. into the P.S.O.
On February 1969 M.I.R.A. planted explosive devices at Government Development Bank, Howard Johnson Hotel and Police Traffic Station of Police of Puerto Rico. A week later, an explosive device went off at the Selective Service Office in Isabela, Puerto Rico. In connection with these incidents were arrested Wilson Cortas Burgos, David Feliciano Feliciano, Pablo Luis Gonzalez Arce, Ram6n Vargas P6rez, Rafael Capella Rivera, Narciso Rabell Martinez, and Roberto Todd Pagan. Rabell Todd, Cajigas and Lopez were charged with conspiracy and the others were charged with violations of the Explosives Law of Puerto Rico.
Recently Rafael Capella Rivera, Wilson Cort6s Burgos, David Feliciano Feliciano, Ram6n Vargas P6rez, Billy Caigas and Manuel Lopez Lopez were tried and convicted in Superior Court in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and no sentence has been imposed as yet. No date has been set on the trial of Narciso Rabell Martinez and Roberto Todd Pagan to be held in San Juan. Todd Pagdn, while free on bail, went underground and his whereabouts are unknown. Pablo Luis Gonzalez Arce became a witness for the prosecution and was granted immunity.
M.I.R.A. has organized cells in Bayam6n and Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and in New York City. At the end of 1969 they planted explosive devices in different hotels in the Metropolitan Area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In connection with these bombings William Pintado Burgos, Jose Antonio Castillo, Carlos Fonseca and his wife, Adelina Ramirez were arrested. Arrest orders were also issued for Roberto Todd Pagan and one Ruben (last name unknown) who was later identified as Filiberto Ojeda, a Puerto Rican who is a resident of Cuba and a Cuban undercover agent.
At the beginning of 1970 a series of explosions and fires occurred in the Metropolitan Area. of San Juan as well as in the Eastern Area of Puerto Rico. Confidential informants indicated these incidents were instigated by Todd and Ojeda who were operating clandestinely in Puerto Rico. At the beginning of 1970, Police discovered that Todd and Ojeda were operating a sabotage network in Puerto Rico which included lawyers and other persons who were providing the network with hideouts, money, and legal advice.
During the Police investigations, arms, explosives and a mimeograph machine were seized from discovered hideouts. It has also been determined, that the M.I.R.A. group planned to assassinate government functionaries, destroy electric power stations, and assault radio stations, with the help of some members of the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico.
The main purpose of M.I.R.A. is to overthrow the legally constituted
government of Puerto Rico, through force and violence, in order to establish
in Puerto Rico a Cuban type Communist form of government.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE PARTIDO SOCIALISTA OBRERO (P.S.O.) (SOCIALIST
The Partido Socialista Obrero was organized March 29, 1968, in a meeting held at the residence of David Feliciano Feliciano, Barrio Guerrero, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Most of its members are teachers by profession.
On May 11, 1968, the creation of this party was publicly announced at
a meeting sponsored by the Puerto Rico Socialist League, at the public
plaza, in Lares.
1. Wilson Cortes Burgos
2. David Feliciano Feliciano
3. Rafael Capella Rivera
4. Billy Cajigas Soto
5. Ramon Vargas Porez
6. Manuel Lopez Lopez
7. Pablo Luis Gonzalez Arce
8. Juan Inos Crespo Rolddan
9. Nostor Veldzquez Diaz -
Fourteen (14) sympathizers.
II. ACTIVE MEMBERS
To seek and bring about the independence of Puerto Rico and the creation
of a socialist government through an armed revolution of the workers masses.
To attack American owned firms in Puerto Rico and to teach the people to
fight the FBI, CIA and Police.
IV. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Wilson Cortes Burgos, Secretary General
David Feliciano Feliciano, Secretary of Organization
Billy Cajigas Soto, Secretary of Political Action
Pablo L. Gonzalez Arce, Secretary of Workers Affairs
Nestor Velazquez Diaz, Secretary of Youth
Manuel Lopez Lopez, Secretary of Propaganda
Hector Rodriguez Rodriguez, Secretary of International Affairs
Narciso Rabell Martinez
Roberto Jose Todd Pagan
Juan A. Corretjer Montes
None. The PSO held its meetings at public places or in the house of
one of its members.
The group was supported by
its own members and sympathizers who pay monthly dues. Additional funds
were obtained through public collections, donations and the sale of party
VIII. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
The PSO established relations with the government of Cuba and the Dominican
Republic Communist Party. The Secretary of International Affairs works
off New York seeking funds and support for the organization.
IX. SECURITY MEASURES
Members of the PSO were organized
in cells, composed of no more than three members each. They also adopted
an alias or code name.
X. POLICE INTERVENTION WITH
On April 29, 1969, eight members of the PSO Were arrested in Aguadilla by members of the Puerto Rico Police and charged with violations of the Explosives Law and Conspiracy.
On July 2, 1970, Wilson Cortes, Rafael Capella, Ramon Vargas P6rez and David Feliciano were found guilty of violation to the Explosives Law. Manuel Lopez Lopez and Billy Cajigas Soto were found guilty of Conspiracy. No sentence has been imposed as yet. Pablo Luis Gonzalez Arce acted as a witness for the prosecution during the trial and was granted immunity.
On May 1, 1969, Narciso Rabell
Martinez and Roberto J. Todd Pagan were arrested by Police Agents in Santurce
and charged with violations to the Explosives Law and Conspiracy. No date
has been set yet for the trial.
XI. PRESENT ACTIVITIES
PSO members, according to
our source, are reorganizing under a different name, however their goals
and means remain unchanged.
EVOLUTION OF THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT OF PUERTO RICO "PILOT PLAN,"
ORGANIZED AND DIRECTED BY
DR. ANA LIMA CORDERO
On February 26, 1967 the Executive Committee of the Pro Independence Movement (PIM) met on the second floor of the "cafeteria Hollywood" in Rio Piedras. Dr. Ana Livia Cordero-Garces proposed a plan before the committee to begin preparing the people for the fight towards the Independence of Puerto Rico. Such a plan is known by the name of "Pilot Project" and is carried on in the following manner:
1. Twelve (12) young men are trained for a period of Fifteen (15) months.
2. They are provided with clothing, food, shelter and $25.00 a month for their personal expenses.
3. Their training will encompass learning to drive a car, learning to repair typewriters and mimeograph machines, how to operate tape recorders and other similar equipment.
A meeting with the 12 candidates was scheduled so as to provide them with instructions concerning the project.
This project will be sponsored by persons who do not belong to the Pro Independence Movement, but who financially support it; their names were not disclosed. Some of them donated the money for shelter, others for the personal expenses, and some donated the food and clothing to be used.
The project was approved by the committee and they offered to back it up.
During March of 1967 the "Claridad" newspaper, informer of PIM, began to publish articles requesting volunteers for the project. Those showing a desire to participate in the project wrote to Dr. Ana Livia Cordero c/o PIM, 1142 Ponce de Le6n Ave., Rio Piedras.
On April 9, 1967 a meeting was held in the residence of Juan Francisco Rene-Marquez at lst. St., Villa Nevarez, Rio Piedras. It was agreed upon to begin the course of instruction on April 10, 1967 and the following candidates were selected:
1. Luis Manuel Santiago Martinez
2. Ramon Malave Gonzalez
3. Efrain Negron Rodriguez
4. Iris Jackson Moya
5. David Pagan Borrero
6. William Pintado Burgos
7. Raul Mayo Santana
8. Hans Vicente Cardona
9. Samuel Aviles Aponte
10. N6stor M. Sanchez Ortiz
11. Carlos Alberto Ocasio Rivera
12. Juan Manuel Rivera Negron
The following persons will act as instructors:
1. Dr. Ana Livia Cordero Garces
2. Attorney Lorenzo Piñero Rivera
3. Prof. Manrique Cabrera
4. Prof. Juan Angel Silen Acevedo
5. Santos Colon Aponte
6. Cesar Andreu Iglesias
7. Dr. Carmen Rivera de Alvarado
8. Juan Francisco Rene Marquez
9. Howard Slanton
10. Silvia Echegaray Bonilla
Said course of instruction began on April 10, 1967 at the residence on Road 873, Kilometer 19.5, Barriada Tortugo, Rio Piedras. This residence is the property of Mrs. Francisca Rodriguez-Betancourt who lives at 1124-54 St. SE, Reparto Metropolitano, Rio Piedras. The house was leased to Dr. Cordero for $135.00 per month. The house is described as follows:
Two-story house. Lower story is made of concrete and the upper story consists of wood framing and zinc roof. It is painted blue and has a terrace with aluminum curtains. The second story is used for meetings and as living quarters for the young men. The first floor is used for typing work.
This group utilizes a white, Ford, panel truck as a means of transportation. This panel truck is the property of Dr. Cordero.
During the following days instruction on different subjects will take place. Among the subjects covered there will be self-defense (Judo & Karate) taught by professor Santos Co1on-Aponte. The course of instruction will end in January 1968.
In a meeting held in the office of attorney Juan Herndandez-Valle in Bayam6n, P.R., Dr. Cordero exposed a new plan of revolutionary work for the group. The plan encompasses the following:
1. In this "movement" there will be no talks about politics with the populace.
2. Poor families living in slums will be interviewed so that they can express their problems and this way attempt to have them revolt against the government or demand a solution to their problems.
3. During the visit of government officials to the slums, the residents will be impelled to perform acts of violence against the government officials.
4. A group of individuals having a violent-nature will be organized, so as to face any police intervention.
5. This group will not use means of protest such as boycotts, public meetings, marches, etc.
6. It was suggested that the name of Revolutionary Movement be used
in reference to the group.
In a meeting held on October 12, 1967 at the residence of the parents of Efrain Negron, Barrio Cedro Abajo, Naranjito, Dr. Ana Livia Cordero & Miguel Hernandez-Mathews expressed that their group has decided to extricate themselves from the Pro Independence Movement (PIM). That attorney Juan Mari-Bras had accused 5 members of PIM Youth of being agents for CIA, that the PIM was infiltrated by such agents and that Juan Mari-Bras himself was an agent,
The young men expelled from the PIM were:
1. Rubon Alvarez Rodriguez
2. Antonio Perea
3. Rafael Rosado
4. Wilfredo Nuñez Laureano
The town of Vega Baja was selected to start the revolutionary work.
This new organization has the aim of creating a leader out of each member. Those that are ready have begun forming smaller groups to go and live among the poor people with problems so that at the same time that they give a helping hand they also indoctrinate them in revolutionary ideas.
To carry on such a task, groups were organized in the following places.
1. Barrio Bucarabones-Toa Alta
2. Calle Marina, Barriada Juana Matos-Cataño
3. Calle Los Pinos, Barriada Juana Matos-Cataño
4. Barrio Guaraguao-Bayamon
5. Barrio Sabana-Vega Baja
6. Proyecto Central, Barrio Tortugo-Rio Piedras
This organization does not have a specific place to hold their meetings for two reasons:
1. Not to be discovered by agents.
2. To force the militants to participate directly in their work.
On February 21, 1968 it was announced that the first ten volunteers had completed their training phase and were already living in the community.
This group or movement was given close surveillance for 24 hours between February and March 1968 until Dr. Cordero and most of its members (21) were arrested for various violations of the law on February 28, 1968.
On April 4, 1968 the case was seen in District Court and twelve (12) members of the group were declared guilty. They appealed to a Superior Court.
Other members arrested in Bayamon were set free after trial in the District Court of Bayamon.
During he months following the arrest the movement becomes very inactive and the majority of the members, specially the professionals who acted as instructors, failed to attend the meetings. The members were accusing each other and decided to dissolve the group. Antonio Dfaz-Royo, who was one of the founders and a strong column in the movement, decided to quit due to friction arising between himself and Dr. Cordero.
The majority of the members start to use marihuana and there is a sexual lack of respect among the members, resulting in three weddings.
On May 24, 1968 Dr. Ana. Livia Cordero and 4 members of the group are arrested for aggression towards the police while an investigation of the place was being performed. They were absolved three months later.
During the month of June 1968 the majority of the members declare before the Civil Rights Commission that they are persecuted by the Police.
During the month of July the movement is at the border of being dissolved due to economic reasons and they even terminate the lease of the house in Barrio Tortugo. They write about a thousand letters to the Black Power of the U.S. and they are visited by negro leader James Rufus Forman and his wife Constance Ramilly.
During the first part of August, Lydia Milagros Gonzalez arrives from Europe and joins Dr. Ana Livia Cordero in an attempt to reorganize the group.
Presently the movement is completely active and has improved its economic situation.
Their new plan consists of introducing their leaders into Christian
Groups no matter what religion the group holds. Once inside the Christian
Group they attempt to have control over it and to indoctrinate the members
with revolutionary political ideas.
COMMUNIST PARTY OF PUERTO RICO
Was organized in Puerto Rico in the year 1932, by Alberto E. Sanchez,
a leader and member of the Communist Party in the United States.
The first members who joined the organization were:
1. Juan Saez-Corales
2. Etanislao Soler
3. Luis Vergne
4. Juan Santos-Rivera
In 1932, Alberto E. Sanchez received a monthly salary of $200.00. Also printed communist matter published in English and Spanish language, sent from Venezuela by a Supervisor of the Communist Party of United States.
Its goal is:
1. To obtain the independence of Puerto Rico.
2. Laborers improvement under the base of "uniform distribution fruitfulness and uniform prosperity for all".
In 1950, the group consists of approximately 150 members.
In 1959 the Committee of Anti-American Activities of the House of Representatives of United States require the appearance before this Committee, of the following members of this Party:
1. Jose Enamorado-Cuesta
2. Manuel Arroyo-Zeppenfeldt
3. Cesar Andreu-Iglesias
4. Ramon Diaz-Cruz
5. Juan Saez-Corales
6. Juan Emmanuelli
7. Gertrudis Melendez-Perez
8. Consuelo Burgos de Pagan
9. Pablo M. Garcia-Rodriquez
10. John Peter Hawes
11. Eusebio Ruiz-Martinez
12. Juan Santos-Rivera
13. Cristino Perez-Mendez
At that time, they refused this summons.
Now, this group consists of approximately 40 registered members and sympathizers.
Up to this moment, we don't have any record of violence activities of
Juan Mari Bras
Julio Vives Vazquez
Angel M. Agosto
Pedro Baiges Chapel
POLITICAL COMMISSION (POLITBURO)
Manuel de J. Gonzalez
Raul Gonzalez Cruz-deceased
Fermin B. Arraiza
SECRET PARTY STRUCTURE (TERRORISM-ORGANIZATIONAL PENETRATION-ARMED
President (Julio Vives Vazquez)
Secretary General (Juan Mari Bras)
Information and Propaganda-Manuel de J. Gonzalez
Cultural and Political Indoctrination Affairs-Alberto Marquez
International Relations-Pedro Baiges Chapel
Student Affairs-Nestor Nazario Trabal
City and Municipal Affairs-Fermin B. Arraiza
Labor Affairs-Angel M. Agosto
Finance- Reinaldo Torres
Francisco Perez Gandia, Julio Davila, Migdalia Ramos, Pedro Santana Ronda, Luis Medina, Felix Cortes, Carlos Delgado, Ruben Berberena, Osvaldo Romero, Maria de los Milagros Perez, Jose Medina, Angel Gandia, Juan Reyes, Joaquin Parrilla, Felipe Cirino, Librado Saez, Felix Ojeda.
Ivan Rivera, Firmo Velazquez, Ruben Arcelay, Alejandro Sella, Carlos Paraliticci, Violeta Nazario, Lorenzo Pineiro Rivera, Juan Raul Mari Pesquera, Cruz del Carmen Rodriguez, Rene Rodriguez, Luis Adorno, Edwin Melendez, Reinaldo Torres, Angel Lopez, Damaris Martinez, Luis F. Coss, Radames Acosta, Ramon Arba, Roy Brown, Nestor Nazario, Rafael Baerga y Luis Escribano.
Luis Nazario, Lolita Aulet, Benjamin Ortiz Belaval, Dixie Bayo, Carmen
Noelia Lopez, Luis Corchado Juarbe, Karl Fromm, Ruben Soto, Alberto Marquez,
Raul Gonzalez, Doris Pizarro, Lucia Romero, Julio Vives Vazquez, Antonio
Gaztambide, Alberto Perez, Julio Muriente, Pedro Grant, Gervasio Morales,
Florencio Merced, Jenaro Rentas, Fermin Baltazar Arraiza, Pedro Baiges,
Angel Agosto, Flavia Rivera, Manuel de J. Gonzalez, Juan Mari Bras.
PUERTO RICO SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE - FIDEL CASTRO ATTENDS CLOSING CEREMONIES
Havana Domestic Service in Spanish at 2014 GMT on 8 September 1975 begins live coverage of event being held at the Pedro Albizu Campos rural secondary school of Guines, Havana Province, to mark the end of the International Conference of Solidarity With the Independence of Puerto Rico and also to dedicate the school.
As the broadcast begins the Cuban national anthem and the Puerto Rican national song are played. Staff announcer Manolo Ortega then reports that Commander in Chief Fidel Castro is presiding over the event. Others sitting at the presiding table are President of the Republic Osvaldo Dorticos, Puerto Rican Socialist leader Juan Mari Bras, Cuban vice prime minister and ministers, P CC Central Committee members, sons and grandchildren of Pedro Albizu Campos, Noel Colon, chairman of the Puerto Rican peace movement, other leaders of the Puerto Rican independence forces and Cuban leaders of mass organizations.
Announcer Ortega reads the apparent full text of the declaration of the international conference on solidarity with the independence of Puerto Rico.
Noel Colon presents the Puerto Rican flag to the school principal.
President Dorticos is then introduced and begins speaking.
[Speech by President Osvaldo Dorticos to close International Conference on Solidarity With the Independence of Puerto Rico and dedicate the Pedro Albizu Campos rural secondary school in Guines, Havana-live]
Comrade Fidel Castro, first secretary of the PCC and prime minister of the Cuban Revolutionary Government, comrades of the presidency, comrade delegates to this conference, comrade professors and students of this school: The holding of this International Conference of Solidarity With the Independence of Puerto Rico, which we close today with this event drenched in emotion [laughter] in this school that brings back the beloved memory of Pedro Albizu Campos, has gone well beyond the most optimistic predictions. For the Cuban people, for the Cuban Revolutionary Government, the mere fact that our country has hosted this event, whose practical and historic significance and importance nobody will dare ignore, is a very high honor and a reason for profound satisfaction besides.
Nothing could be more reasonable and natural than to have held this event on Cuban territory. Throughout history the ties between the Puerto Rican and Cuban peoples have been forged under exceptional conditions. The struggles of both have always been part of a common process. In the wars of independence of Cuba and Puerto Rico against Spanish colonialism, those ties became a reality in the significant coincidence of the calls to arms of Lares and Yara, and in the condition of being part of a common and just cause-which had its most evident expression in the visionary concept of Jose Marti on the role of the Antilles in the future of Latin America, when the Cuban revolutionary party was founded to attain, with the joint efforts of all good men, the total independence of the Cuban island and foster and aid that of Puerto Rico-as well as in the participation of illustrious Puerto Ricans, great fighters for the independence of their fatherland, in the Cuban war of independence.
Illustrious sons of Puerto Rico joined the forces of the Cuban mambises. They participated in the 10-year war as part of the mambises forces. In recent days we read with great emotion the long list of names of Puerto Ricans who fought in the wars of independence of our fatherland. We are deeply moved by the memory of Maj Gen Juan Ruis Rivera, who participated in many important actions of the history of our struggles for independence, such as the invasion of Las Villas Province by Maximo Gomez, the quelling of the uprising at the Varona ponds and the Baragua declaration. What a great lesson was given by the illustrious Puerto Rican, the exceptional personality of the 19th century, Ramon Emeterio Betances, who devoted his life and his work to the independence of the Antilles and joined the Cuban revolutionary forces. What a unity of ideal and revolutionary action was expressed in the example set by Eugenio Maria de Hosto, whose literary work is part of the brilliant history of the Latin American ideal. He was an illustrious Puerto Rican who became a true and determined fighter for the independence of Cuba.
When the Cuban revolutionary party founded by Jose Marti was established, when its platform was unanimously announced by the Cuban and Puerto Rican emigrants on 10 April 1892, the Puerto Rican section of the party was created. Jose Marti's newspaper, PATRIA, whose secretary was Puerto Rican Sotero Figueroa, proclaimed that Puerto Rico and Cuba would be one in the future, just as the calls to arms of Lares and Yara had been one in the past. Today they are one in the preparation, as the Cubans and the Puerto Ricans were one in jail and exile yesterday. They will be one in the action to accelerate the common freedom with renewed effort.
When the real and true independence of Cuba was frustrated by imperialist meddling under the cover of the false republic, when the hope for Puerto Rican freedom was temporarily halted by North American military occupation as a result of the so-called Spanish-American War-which Lenin termed an imperialist war in one of his more creative theoretical works-in the overall course of the struggles of both peoples for real independence, those ties were renewed, and when the Puerto Rican push for independence was one day reinvigorated and reborn under the heroic leadership of Pedro Albizu Campos, it did not have to wait for Cuban solidarity, and the Cuban national junta for the independence of Puerto Rico was established in 1927 under the presidency of an imminent thinker of our fatherland, Enrique Jose Varona.
Since then, profound and close relations have united the revolutionary and humane actions of Cubans and Puerto Ricans. During the decade of the thirties, a very important period of the Cuban process, the Puerto Rican cause was alive in our fatherland as a combative and emotional reality. The Cuban solidarity never ceased to exist. However, the practice of this solidarity reached different qualitative levels when our fatherland attained its real and definitive independence through the revolutionary triumph, while Puerto Rico remains a colonial enclave.
This colonial status has continued in existence to date through different forms of the process of North American imperialist domination which began during the Spanish-American War when Yankee imperialism occupied the Puerto Rican territory militarily on 25 July 1898. The brilliant demonstration of international solidarity given by this conference which we are closing today begins precisely from that reality. Puerto Rico today is a country that has not attained independence and which, since the military occupation and the illegitimate transfer to Yankee domination authorized by the Paris treaty, finds itself to date subjugated to colonial status under the imperialist domination of the United States of North America.
The different periods of that criminal and dramatic history of imperialist and colonial possession by the imperialist administrations of the United States constitute nothing else but a change in methods which have been successively implemented following the same essential domination in varied forms in an attempt to avoid the constant contradiction that exists between the national will for Puerto Rican independence and the will of North American imperialist domination aimed at covering up the shameful reality with shy modesty.
There are several juridical forms of the colonial history of Puerto Rico. The Foraker law, which provided for typical colonial forms of civilian administration, the regime regulated by the so-called Jones law of 2 May 1917, which deprived the Puerto Ricans of their citizenship by imposing North American citizenship on them, the establishment of the associated free state, and finally the plebiscite of 1967-these are some of the happenings that express in chronological order the same colonial and imperialist domination.
It is therefore important to point out the essential characteristics, which cannot be hidden, that show Puerto Rico's position as a country dominated by an imperialist power, as a dependent and colonized country which, to use the language of UN Resolution 1514, still has not attained independence. Economic, political, cultural, institutional and juridical details which form the colonial status of that sister country have been explained to the participants in brilliant and analytical speeches in the course of this conference. I believe, however, that a practical way to bring about development of a vigorous solidarity with the Puerto Rican cause is to carry out the most exhaustive clarification of this situation internationally, because despite the growth of world solidarity, which has been confirmed by the attendance at the conference and the messages of support generated by the conference, we must not ignore that in some parts of the world, consciences-victims of the policy of isolation concerning Puerto Rico and of a campaign of deception do not have deep enough knowledge of the Puerto Rican drama. It is therefore not a waste of time to expose to world public opinion the shameful existence of those elements of colonial domination.
In the economic area, the magnitude of U.S. capital investments, which exceed 813 billion-equivalent to more than 81 million per square kilometer-shows the dominating penetration of monopolistic imperialism. This capital controls more than 80 percent of the manufacturing industry and 85 percent of commercial retail sales. It operates almost all maritime and air transportation. It employs 81 percent of the labor force, controls the means of communication, possesses more than 60 percent of the housing construction industry, controls 60 percent of banking operations and, finally, controls 90 percent of industrial export products. Furthermore, Puerto Rico is the number two market for the United States in the American hemisphere and fifth in the world. In this way, the structure of dependence is strengthened through this commercial trend.
Puerto Rico-with its 10 U.S. military bases which occupy more than 10 percent of the arable land, training centers for the imperialist armed forces with their arsenals of thermonuclear armaments, its fields converted into laboratories for chemical and bacteriological warfare tests during the Vietnam war, and a territory for the organization of expeditions for invasions-is a true strategic and military enclave for imperialism in our continent.
This colonialist domination has also been manifested through a growing transcultural process, a case of a colonialist culture strongly resisted by the Puerto Rican popular and national will. A top scientific bibliography already exists which, in an alarming indictment, deals with this process of transculture or colonialist cultural penetration. The many manifestations of this phenomenon in the lives of families, customs and other vital signs of culture have been noted in those studies. All this process has been aimed at depriving the Puerto Rican people of the national right to strengthen the essential characteristics which consolidate national coherence as an element of resistance in the face of colonialist penetration.
This drama. for the survival of the Puerto Rican people's authenticity in the face of the U.S. assimilating penetration has taken on exceptional importance in connection with the problem of language. Replacement of the Spanish language was initially attempted through the establishment of English as a mandatory language, until in 1949, strong opposition forced a change. It was then established that teaching would be done in Spanish. However, as has been explained during this conference, the new decision has not been carried out completely, and the teaching of the Spanish language presents a situation of real inferiority, not only by the decision not being fulfilled in practice but also through the prestige given to private institutions which teach in English and to factors of privilege and exceptions given to the teaching in English in such private school. In other words, good education is associated with the use of English and with the use of U.S. methods and textbooks, and education in Spanish is identified with the least educational effectiveness. If to this we add that in Puerto Rico English is employed by the highest social classes as a technological and financial language and constantly used by the mass communications medias, and there is real effort to give prestige to English and make the national language, Spanish, inferior, the degree of the imperialist and colonial crime becomes obvious, since this shows an attempt to destroy an element essential to the vital expression of a people-their own language.
However, as proof of the persistence of the Puerto Rican people and the will for resistance and aspirations for independence of a people, it is true that neither the legal and administrative decision which ordered teaching in English nor the current use of contemporary massive instruments of cultural penetration has broken the Puerto Rican authenticity. Spanish continues to be the colloquial language and the means of communication for the people in Puerto Rico. Spanish is the vehicle for the most valuable literary creations. Puerto Rican men and women express themselves in Spanish in their daily lives and also in their demands for independence and in their revolutionary language. They have been unable to take their language away from Puerto Ricans, just as they have been unable to take away their desire for and ideal of freedom. [applause]
To all these manifestations of colonial domination which allow us to declare here categorically that Puerto Rico is a true U.S. colonial enclave on this continent, we must add the juridical considerations which support such a statement, despite all the deception and strategies practiced and yet to be practiced. This is important, because an attempt is being made to deny the colonial status, arguing the existence of the so-called associated free state and the 1967 plebiscite. There is also reference to an alleged situation of independence under the framework of a decision seemingly made by the people.
The establishment of the associated free state, it has been said repeatedly during; this conference and in statements preparatory to the conference, has not essentially affected the typically colonial status of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Government on 30 June 19.10 enacted law number 600 which authorized a referendum to accept or reject a constitution, but within the limits established by that same law. And what that law established was the conversion of the 1917 .Jones law into the law on relations between the United States and Puerto Rico. It maintained in effect the structure of the colonial administration and established the organization of the local Puerto Rican Government. And although it appeared to be nominally eliminating colonialism, it established a legalistic and fraudulent way by which to make it appear to the world that there was a status agreed upon by the people being ruled-in other words, the establishment of colonialism with the consent of the colonized. The truth is that the associated free state perpetuates an administration that is less autonomous than the one Puerto Rico gained in 1897 with the autonomous charter granted by colonialist Spain.
With the associated free state of Puerto Rico, the colonial and imperialist power maintains its exclusive jurisdiction over sectors struggling for national independence or dependence, citizenship, foreign relations, defense, immigration and emigration, foreign trade, currency, maritime and air transportation, radio and television communications, labor-employer relations, housing, forestry reserve, public health and others. Thus it is obvious that Puero Rico is a classical dependent territory that has not achieved its own government.
The famous plebiscite held in 1967, in which only 75 percent of the electorate participated, was characteristic of the colonial dominion, because in it only the two annexitionist formulas were offered-that is, associated free state or the complete integration into a state. The threats and pressures of an economic nature that were made in case the independence formula triumphed, which was not offered in this referendum, which was held without consulting the people, made this hypocritical and pharisaical attempt of hiding the cruel and painful colonial reality a pseudojuridical masquerade that cannot undergo the most superficial analysis of institutional formulas and of the legal structure of dependent and colonial legal structure.
The decisions adopted in the United Nations dismissed the validity of that plebiscite. This explains why today new forms are being tried, which the U.S. Government is attempting to present as relations between freely associated countries. With this objective in mind, the ad hoc committee was created to study the social, political and economic relations between the United States and Puerto Rico and to examine specific areas of those relations existing between a power of an imperialist metropolis and it colony. Such a committee and its report, which were just mentioned in the final declaration that was read here, lacks the power to make a decision and represents only a new maneuver that provides no substantive reform in the colonial structure.
The conclusion that must be therefore derived from the analysis of the elements malting tip the colonial situation of Puerto Rico is that it constitutes one of the cases of survival of a territory dependent and subjugated to the domination of a metropolis, and that the cause of the independence of Puerto Rico does not admit the least doubt of its legitimacy.
Thus, it is not a case of a matter subject to juridical clarification in the light of international rights, much less in the light of the present day revolutionary concept in the context and meaning of real political and economic independence of a nation.
Puerto Rican independence therefore constitutes an impatient demand for real progress in the action to which the United Nations is obligated and, mainly, a cause, an objective of struggle that demands the international solidarity of the peoples. The history of the handling of the Puerto Rican case in the United Nations, in which the progressive forces attained victory, is current, and we must refer to it, especially because of the participation that the Cuban evolutionary Government had in it through a conduct that will not be changed and that will never be regretted. [applause]
On 14 December 1960, the UN General Assembly approved Resolution No. 1514, which was called the decolonization charter. In it the organization declare that, among other things, the subjugation of peoples to domination or foreign exploitation constitutes a degeneration of the fundamental rights of man, is contrary to the UN Charter and compromises the cause of peace and international cooperation. The declaration also proclaims that immediate measures will be adopted in territories under fiduciary administration, in non-autonomous territories and any other territories which have not attained independence, in order to transfer all power to the peoples of these territories without conditions or exceptions.
In 1961 the General Assembly created a special committee to supervise the implementation of Resolution No. 1514, the so-called UN decolonization committee.
In 1964 the second conference of chiefs of state and government of nonaligned countries, which was held in Cairo, brought to the attention of that committee the Puerto Rican case and asked that the situation of that territory be examined in accordance with Resolution 1514.
After numerous vicissitudes of the treatment of this issue in the United Nations and after the plebiscite of 1967, it was not until 1971. that, at the request of the Cuban Revolutionary Government, the Puerto Rican case was formally included in the General Assembly agenda.
In 1972 the decolonization committee approved a resolution in which it recognized the inalienable right of the Puerto Rican people to independence in accordance with Resolution No. 1514. The report submitted by the committee was approved later on by the General Assembly.
When a new resolution was adopted in 1973, in which the inalienable right of the Puerto Rican people to self-determination and independence was rearmed, the U N resolutions and decisions were supported by the conference of chiefs of state and government of Nonalined countries which was held in Algiers.
What took place in the debate in connection with Puerto Rico in the decolonization committee during 1974? The Puerto Rican participation in the debate through a detailed report and the Cuban confirmation of its position favoring the immediate independence of Puerto Rico, demanding the adoption of efficient and rapid measures that would guarantee that the Puerto Rican territory would be given assurances of the full implementation of the principles contained in Resolution No. 1514, created the conditions needed to revive the theme in 1975
During the current year the committee reopened the case. A draft resolution was introduced. In it was reaffirmed the inalienable right of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence, the recognition of the representative institutions of the people struggling for Puerto Rican independence, the petition to the North American Government to abstain from carrying out any acts of persecution and repression against the Puerto Rican fighters, the sending of a mission to Puerto Rican territory and the decision to keep the issue under permanent study. By means of a ruse contained in a procedural motion, the U.S. Government attempted and achieved a, halt in the debate until 1976. It has been attempted to point to this action as a victory of North American imperialism. However, what has become notoriously and publicly evident is that to carry out this tactical move the U.S. Government was forced to exert humiliating pressures aimed at avoiding a majority vote against it. Suffice it to say that this can be verified by reading the 21 August special report carried by the New York Times.
Today we can confirm, as a result of the splendid expression of solidarity which this conference has provided, that such an alleged diplomatic victory is a mere incident in a process of vigorous struggle which not only has as a, tribune the United Nations but also international forums of such high representation as this conference and as the conference of foreign ministers of nonaligned countries in Lima a few days ago. It is also not forgotten that the UN debate will continue, that the movement of international solidarity is gaining special significance and begins, effective today, a phase of growth, strength and systematic support.
It is often forgotten that aside from the support contained in international juridical standards and peoples' promotion of international solidarity, political, social and mass progressive forces of the world, and states-as in the Lima, Algiers and Cairo conferences of Nonalined countries-have declared their solidarity formally and solemnly.
The cause of independence of Puerto Rico basically rests with the never-ending will for struggle of its true protagonist-the Puerto Rican people: the same people who, through their best sons, proclaimed the Lares cry of independence against Spanish colonialism; the same people who were represented in the independence struggle in the Antilles by those exceptional fighters who identified themselves with the Cuban revolutionary struggle during the independence war, participated with Jose Marti in organizing the Cuban revolutionary party and continued the fight for independence of the Antilles in our 1895 war; the people of Sotero Figueroa of Rios Rivera, of Betances and Hostos, the people (of Puerto Rico; the same people who, with sacrifices of lives, of blood, waged unforgettable struggles on their own territory; the people of the 1950 revolution; they people of Lolita Lebron [applause]; the people of so many heroic and unselfish .fighters; the people exemplary represented in the life, work, heroism and martyrdom of Pedro Albizu Campos [applause]; the Puerto Rican people who today, are with us and form the prestigious, large and distinguished representation of Puerto Rico at this conference [applause] as a perfect demonstration that the struggle continues, is renewed, is gaining encouragement and will win, and, fo>r that reason, deserve the tribute of our recognition and the irreversible commitment of our solidarity.
We are aware of developments in this conference. Its result, in participation and representation, has surpassed the most optimistic expectations.
The presence of representatives from international organizations, national organizations, prominent personalities from the socialist countries, Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, Western Europe, Africa, Mideast, Asia and the Pacific, demonstrates that this conference has been able to give a vigorous response to solidarity. This solidarity constitutes-and this is its most significant importance-the beginning of a new phase of international struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico.
The messages of support received strengthen the conviction of that hope and that purpose. We do not have the least doubt that the commitments of solidarity agreed upon here during this conference are, for all men, women and organizations present, true decisions for real militant action. And this event already makes it possible to proclaim that all situations of isolation of the Puerto Rican people have definitively ended, and that what has been declared and agreed upon here constitutes a platform of struggle for the sister people's in all walks of life for unrestricted support for the Puerto Rican people in their struggle for independence. [applause]
To the men and women of the sister nation of Puerto Rico who have represented their people at this event, we tell them to go home assured of the consistency of this solidarity, of the profound seriousness of this solidarity, above all, encouraged to continue the struggle under the most consistent unity of the Puerto Rican people's liberation movement. [applause]
The success of this conference is brilliantly confirmed in the content and projections of the final declaration. This declaration summarizes the foundations of all types which guarantee the legitimacy of the cause of Puerto Rican independence. It denounces the dramatic conditions under which the Puerto Ricans live and calls for concrete international solidarity in support of the united Puerto Rican national liberation movement which is moving ahead and represents its people.
Just as the declaration proclaims, this conference has been held in the midst of a. historic situation in which the balance of forces, the process of international détente, the accelerated process of people's decolonization, the imperialist defeat in Vietnam and the advances of the world's democratic forces give new perspectives to the Puerto Rican cause. To the peoples of Latin America the independence of Puerto Rico is an unavoidable condition for attaining the common historic objective. It is in this way that, within the different problems of the struggle being waged by each of our peoples, the duty of militant solidarity with Panama's recovery of the canal, and the denunciation of and combat against the Chilean fascist crime and for the attainment of Puerto Rican independence become a single cause. [applause]
On behalf of the Cuban people, their Communist Party and the Cuban Revolutionary Government, we wish to take this singular opportunity, before the delegates who participated in this conference, to declare with the authority afforded to us by the history of our permanent solidarity conduct with the Puerto Rican cause and the historical identification of the revolutionary processes of the two nations, that Cuba resolutely reaffirms those feelings of solidarity and integrally ratifies its pledge of unlimited support for the Puerto Rican cause. [applause]
In some official or semiofficial declarations there has been an attempt to show the Puerto Rican problem and Cuban solidarity as a significant impediment to U.S.-Cuban relations. The Cuban Revolutionary Government cannot accept involvement in the Puerto Rican cause and our unyielding duty of solidarity with it as a controversial bilateral issue between the United States and Cuba.
The Cuban Revolutionary Government starts from the premise that Puerto Rico is a Latin American nation subjugated to colonial domination and is not a domestic problem of the United States. [applause]
The mandate of history, the integrity of our revolutionary firmness, our condition of being Latin American nation unite us forever to the cause of Puerto Rico, and if in the course of the struggle for this cause a united movement for independence and liberation, which is recognized by this conference, emerges, the Cuban Revolutionary Government-after its position has been clearly explained by Comrade Prime Minister Cmdr Fidel Castro [applause] in connection with the problem of relations with the United States-loyal to principles, hereby reaffirms its solidarity with the Puerto Rican cause with the same deep-felt brotherhood and profound sense of historic unity that exists between the two peoples and with -which Jose Marti founded the Cuban revolutionary party to fight for Cuban and Puerto Rican independence. [applause]
In closing this conference, we express our firm conviction-without ignoring the difficulties of the struggle and the dangers which may arise from new maneuvers, threats and pressures-that from this event will emerge not only the growth of the international solidarity that is being demanded, but also a strengthening of the renewed will for struggle of the united sister people of Puerto Rico.
With the memory of Puerto Rican independence heroes who one day, not
forgotten by history, proclaimed the independence proclamation; with loyalty
to the tradition of Latin American revolutionary thinking born ill the
common desire for freedom for the great Latin American homeland of Bolivar,
and to the theoretical, strategic, clear and visionary concepts and leadership
actions of Jose Marti, we proclaim aloud today to the world's conscience.
Long live free Puerto Rico! [applause]
FINAL DECLARATION TEXT
[Text of final general declaration of International Conference of Solidarity With the Independence of Puerto Rico read as part of ceremonies to close the conference and dedicate the Pedro Albizu Campos school in Guines, Havana read live by staff announcer Manolo Ortega]
[Text] On the eve of the 107th anniversary of the Lares independence proclamation, an expression of the vigor of Puerto Rican nationality and the date on which the first republic was proclaimed, the International Conference of Solidarity With tile Independence of Puerto Rico has been held in Havana, Cuba. This great conference was held from 5 to 7 September. A total of 291 delegates and 34 observers participated, representing numerous social and cultural institutions; liberation movements; sponsoring committees; committees for peace; and labor, youth, student, women's, peasants, and religious organizations from 79 countries and 18 international organizations, making a total of 325 participants from different social and political circles.
The growing international solidarity with the struggle of the Puerto Rican people for their independence, of which this conference is an eloquent, demonstration, comes at a historic time of momentous importance fur the cause of the peoples. The world's balance of forces favors those who struggle for peace, national independence, democracy, social progress and socialism, and it is becoming increasingly unfavorable to imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism and international reactionaries.
The growing development of socialist countries, the fall of the colonial system, the historic victories of the Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian peoples against U.S. imperialist aggression, the successes of the liberation movements in the former Portuguese colonies of Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and also in Angola, the advances of democratic forces in Western Europe and other developed capitalist countries, and especially the fall of fascism and the beginning of the construction of a new society in Portugal, the development and consolidation of the Cuban revolution, the advances of the anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of Latin America, the positions adopted by several governments of the American continent in defense of their natural resources and against domination by transnational companies, the development of the nonaligned countries' movement, ratification of the principles of peaceful coexistence between states having different social systems, the process of international détente reflected in the result of the European Security and Cooperation Conference held in Helsinki, and the strengthening of the militant cooperation of the anti-imperialist forces-all are realities characterizing the current international situation. These events pave the way for new prospects in the people's struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, fascism, racism and reactionaries, to attain full national liberation.
But imperialism, which has not changed its aggressive nature, still retains its economic and military power. It is trying to reconquer its lost positions and maintain the dominions it still has by systematically opposing the struggle of the peoples. This is noted in the Mideast, where the United States supports the expansionist policy of the Israeli ruling circles who refuse to withdraw from the occupied Arab territories or to recognize the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to establish their national authority on their own territory; we see it in Chile with its support of the fascist dictatorship which it helped to seize power; we see it in Portugal in the offensive of reactionary forces and imperialists who are trying to choke the young democracy; in Angola, the imperialists and their allies are working to frustrate the anticolonialist struggles and are striving to eliminate the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the vanguard of the liberation struggle of those African people; in Cyprus, the imperialist intervention is attempting at all costs to sabotage independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity: in Korea, the aspiration of its people for peaceful and independent reunification is obstructed by the occupation of South Korea by U.S. imperialism and its policy of aggression; and in southern Africa, the world's imperialist system maintains the racist regimes which oppress the African majorities.
All this shows the need to develop and intensify the anti-imperialist struggle everywhere. This is a historic moment in which international solidarity is reaching new and broader possibilities and is deeply encouraged.
In connection with the struggle of the peoples subjected to colonialism in all its forms and manifestation,, the mighty anti-imperialist forces throughout the world recognize the unavoidable duty to increase their support for those who are fighting courageously for national liberation and their rights to full sovereignty and independence. These fundamental principles demand the most active solidarity of all fighters for peace in the world.
Colonialism constitutes continuous aggression against the peoples it has subjugated and a factor opposed to the development, consolidation and stabilization of peace.
The national territory of Puerto Rico is the most important colonial possession of U.S. imperialism. The delegates helped to show the different aspects of colonial domination imposed by the United States on that Caribbean Island. They also reaffirmed their solitary willingness to support the Puerto Rican people's independence struggle.
In 1898, the U.S. imperialists invaded that small Caribbean territory with their military forces and snatched the rights to autonomy, which the people had gotten from Spain after a long struggle. Since that time the U.S. Federal Government has exercised the most absolute dominion over that nation. The U.S. Government retains and exercises direct control over the colonial administration in virtually all areas of fundamental authority. These include, among others, defense and foreign relations, immigration and emigration, communications and international transportation, even labor-management relations and commerce.
The so-called associated free state is a disguise with which Yankee imperialism tried to cover tip the typically colonialist nature of its armed intervention in Puerto Rico. The puppets in the colonial administration lack authority and their powers are limited to the appointment of subordinate employees and to attention to minor functions at the provincial and municipal levels.
The FLA [Associated Free State] was established in 1952 at the imposition of the U.S. Government, which, through law no. 600 of the Congress in Washington, placed the Puerto Rican people in the position of accepting the small reforms which the establishment of the ELA entailed for maintaining unchanged the situation existing up to that time.
Based on the establishment of the ELA, the U.S. Government notified the United Nations in 1953 that it would cease to provide to the world organization information on Puerto Rico which the United States is bound to provide by Article 73-C of the UN Charter. The United States claimed that the territory had attained its own government. This disguise helped it to obtain from the UN General Assembly, by a slight majority, an exemption from the stipulated requirement to report on its' colony.
But 20 years later, in August 1973, the UN decolonization committee approved a resolution, ratified in December of that same year by the General Assembly, which recognizes the inalienable right of the Puerto Rican people to self-determination arid independence in the light of Resolution 1514 of 14 December 1960.
The Puerto Rican case is the most flagrant case of colonialism-along with that of the Panama Canal Zone, the Falkland Islands [as heard] in Argentina, Belize, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and other Latin American territories.
The UN decision which inserts the case of Puerto Rico into the decolonization program of that world organization, as well as the growing solidarity with that just cause from the international community and especially by the socialist countries and the movement of nonaligned countries, represents an important victory of the Puerto Rican people in their struggle for independence.
Faced with the unmasking of the colonial reality in Puerto Rico, the U.S. imperialists, with the servile collaboration of their colonial officials, again are trying to deceive the Puerto Rican people and the world, making it appear that they are going to reform relations between the Washington government and the so-called associated free state through a new bilateral pact.
To this end they created several years ago an ad hoc committee composed of seven North Americans and seven Puerto Rican colonial officials and collaborators. This committee recently submitted to the President of the United States a draft for a pact of permanent union between Puerto Rico and the United States. The pact would maintain intact the structures of Yankee colonial domination and would prop them up, paving the way for annexation of the island as an incorporated U.S. territory.
To support these attempts, imperialism has maneuvered to the extent of gaining postponement of the debate and voting on the colonial case of Puerto Rico at the UN decolonization committee.
We denounce the imperialist propaganda of the U.S. Government which is trying to confuse world public opinion by presenting its relations of domination and exploitation with Puerto Rico as relations between freely associated states. We expose to world public opinion the colonial case of Puerto Rico where the direct U.S. colonial domination shows itself clearly without subterfuge and is always growing in all spheres of national life.
Puerto Rico is of extraordinary economic importance for U.S. imperialism. U.S. investments in the entire world, excluding Puerto Rico, amounted to $110.24 billion in 1974. That same year, its industrial and commercial investments in Puerto Rico amounted to $6,112,000,000. In other words, direct investments in Puerto Rico represented 5.5 percent of its total investments throughout the world, excluding the United States. Direct investments in Puerto Rico were 20.9 percent of those in the rest of the underdeveloped countries and 40.3 percent of the total in Latin America. The profits generated by such investments amounted to $1,345,000,000 in 1974. They obtain more profit from that small Caribbean island than from the European Common Market and half of the profit which they get from all of Latin America. The profits obtained by companies in different branches of industry was as follows: In the chemical industry, 34 percent of investments; in oil refining, 25 percent; in electronic and electrical equipment, 21 percent; in clothing, 24 percent; and in metals manufacturing, 25 percent of investments.
The rich minority of the population-20 percent-controls 51 percent of the national income. The poor receive only 5 percent of that income. It is no coincidence that a great portion of the population needs public assistance. This makes the Puerto Rican economy dependent, deformed, inflationary, and dissociated from national needs. Puerto Rico produces what it does not consume and consumes what it does not produce.
More than 2 million Puerto Ricans, or 40 percent of the Puerto Rican population, have been forced to emigrate to the United States, where they are concentrated in the ghettos of the big eastern and midwestern cities. These immigrants are one of the most oppressed, discriminated against and abused sectors in the United States. They receive the lowest salaries. They work under highly onerous working conditions. And they stiffer, along with Afro-Americans, Mexicans, Asians, Indians and other minorities, from opprobrious political, social, economic, cultural and racial discrimination in the United States. Therefore, everything stresses the need for close unity between Puerto Ricans and the. working class and the progressive and democratic forces in the United States for the liberation of Puerto Rico and, at the same time, development of the democratic and revolutionary struggle in the United States itself.
The colonial government intensifies the massive sterilization of women through the so-called family planning programs. About 35 percent of the female population of childbearing age have been sterilized already. Thus, along with the plans for massive emigration and the indiscriminate entry of foreigners who are enemies of the people, an attempt is being made to replace the population so as to dissolve Puerto Rican nationality.
U.S. imperialism uses Puerto Rico as a field for experimentation on techniques for sterilization and contraception which it later employs in other areas of the world. Puerto Rico is also a big military fortress for U.S. imperialism. More than 10 percent of the arable land is used for such mean,. The United States maintains there atomic armaments which endanger international peace and the security of peoples.
The CIA, U.S. Peace Corps, FBI and different agencies of the imperialist intelligence community prepare operations in Puerto Rico, repress the patriotic forces and promote or support counterrevolutionary groups from other countries forces specialized in repression are trained there. This extraordinary U.S. military force constitutes a constant threat to the national liberation movement, and to the countries in Latin America struggling to gain economic independence, full sovereignty and defense of their natural resources. The invasions of the Dominican Republic and the frustrated invasion in Playa Giron in Cuba were perpetrated from there. Venezuela has suffered the threats of U.S. military forces in that island. Asia, Africa and even Europe also feel that threat. The defeat of colonialism in Puerto Rico and the total liberation of its people will be an event of profound justice which will allow the breaking up and dismantling of one of the most strategic military fortresses of U.S. imperialism. It will also be a valuable contribution to the cause of world peace.
All means of mass communication, educational programs and institutionalized churches, and many forms of social structure, and a preschool family education imposed by the United States serve the colonizing purpose of North Americanizing the Puerto Rican people. The people have been subjected to a process aimed at the destruction of their Latin American roots and culture. In this way, an attempt is being made to erase their nationality. Nevertheless, in the face of this alienating force, the Puerto Rican people have developed a strong and tenacious struggle for the preservation of their cultural values. In the midst of oppression, a cultural tradition is maintained which increasingly satisfies the people's firmness and their full originality. Participation of the workers, youths and students is growing.
The conference also exposed the dramatic situation being endured by Puerto Rican people in public health, which is extremely deficient and expensive, and this vital service is out of the reach of the people. There is also the chaotic status of housing and the environmental conditions of life which are becoming increasingly worse as a result of the pollution that is growing with the installation of highly toxic plants and factories in the island without the required conditions, something the metropolis does not allow on its own territory.
During 77 years of U.S. domination, the Puerto Rican people have maintained uninterrupted their struggle for national liberation. Today the independence movement is facing a new escalation of repression aimed at its leaders, followers and political, labor and student organizations, through the use of the most varied arms, murders, terrorist attacks, fabrication of criminal cases and campaigns to discredit the leadership and ideology of the revolutionary patriotic forces. In this way a futile attempt is being made to crush the liberating conviction and action of the masses.
International solidarity with the independence of the Puerto Rican people has taken big steps forward in recent years. These steps have been manifested in concrete events. Among these are the annual celebration of 23 September [the Lares revolt in 1868] and the support obtained in international forums. This solidarity has been fully reflected at this international conference and in its preparatory work which gained the support of broad and representative sectors of Latin America and the world. The preparation for the international conference and formation of sponsoring committees in many countries, especially in Latin America, and giving solidarity with the fraternal Puerto Rican people a magnitude or organization and scope never before reached.
Men in government, parliamentarians, political, labor and youth leaders, peasants, workers in the arts, culture, sciences and education, and religious figures have declared themselves in favor of Puerto Rican independence. All these concrete, broad and massive actions have placed world solidarity with the struggle of the Puerto Rican people at a point never before reached.
This international solidarity will have greater chances for successful results with the broad and united participation of all anti-imperialist and anticolonialist forces of the Puerto Rican people. This combination of internal and external factors constitutes a fundamental basis for a victory in this noble cause.
The conference is the beginning of a higher phase of international solidarity with the Puerto Rican people's struggle. This phase is integrated with the entire anti-imperialist, anticolonialist process for national and social liberation, peace, democracy, progress and socialists that is being developed in the world.
The participants in this conference consider it their unavoidable duty to maintain and increase world support and aid for the independence movement and Puerto Rican people. The delegates express their intention to hold a second international conference of solidarity with the independence of Puerto Rico within the next 3 years. They urge the international preparatory committee and existing national sponsoring committees to devote themselves to work in the future to fulfill this objective.
They urge the strengthening of events of solidarity which traditionally are held on 23 September-anniversary of the Lares cry for independence. They urge expansion of the denunciation of U.S. military enclaves in Puerto Rican territory and work toward putting an end to the campaign of massive sterilization of Puerto Rican women. They likewise urge intensification of initiatives to demand from U.S. authorities the immediate and unconditional release of the patriots Lolita Lebron, Oscar Collazo, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores and Andres Figueroa Cordero and other Puerto Rican political prisoners. [prolonged applause]
The conference expressed the need for the U N decolonization committee meeting next year to be preceded by an intense world campaign of solidarity with the independence struggle of the Puerto Rican people.
The participants believe it is highly important that the general declaration of this international Conference of Solidarity With the Independence of Puerto Rico be delivered to the UN secretary general, to the chairman of the decolonization committee and to other U N subordinate organizations concerned.
The participants in the conference unanimously call for intensifying throughout the world the actions for Puerto Rican independence within the spirit of the contents of this general declaration.
Our conference adheres to the positions regarding Puerto Rico adopted during the meeting of the nonaligned countries coordinating committee held in Havana in March 1975 and during the fifth nonaligned countries foreign ministers conference in Lima in August 1975.
Our conference reaffirms its rejection of the colonial administration pretension to represent the Puerto Rican people. The Puerto Rican people are represented by their patriotic, proindependence and revolutionary forces [applause] which forge their movement for national liberation. [prolonged applause]
The scheduling, organization and development of this conference in which the progressive, democratic and peace-loving forces of the world have been broadly represented demonstrate that the just cause of the Puerto Rican people is deeply embedded in the conscience of the world.
The delegates to this conference express to the Cuban people and Revolutionary Government [applause], to the Communist Party [applause] and its first secretary, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro [applause] their deep gratitude for their fraternal hospitality, which is an expression of their unwavering solidarity with the great cause of people's liberation. [applause]
W e have seen the Cuban people enthusiastic, united and full of energy, building the new society. [prolonged applause]
The liberation of the Puerto Rican people will be the realization of a great dream of the American heroes Simon Bolivar, Ramon Emeterio Betances, Hostos, Jose Marti and Pedro Albizu Campos. [prolonged applause] The Puerto Rican people's will for liberation will not be lacking, just as the international solidarity-which this conference again has reaffirmed and which will broaden and intensify in the historic reality of a world where colonialism is totally obsolete and untenablewill not cease to be present.
Long live a free, independent and sovereign Puerto Rico! [prolonged
applause] Havana, Cuba, 7 September 1970.
[From the Daily World, Sept. 9, 19751
PARLEY HAILS WORLD AID TO PUERTO RICO STRUGGLE
(By Portia Siegelbaum)
HAVANA, Sept. 8.-The international conference in solidarity with the independence of Puerto Rico opened Friday in the Havana Libre Hotel with the participation of some 300 delegates from 75 countries and 16 international organizations.
Dr. James Marinello, president of the international preparatory committee
for the conference, inaugurated the event, which is being held under the
auspices of the World Peace Council. He pointed out that the current meeting,
which was agreed upon last March at a WPC-sponsored gathering in Santa
Maria del Mar in Cuba, was testimony to the wide extent of world solidarity
with the struggle for Puerto Rican independence.
CLOSE TIES TRACED
He traced the close ties between Cuba and Puerto Rico, going back to the revolutionary party founded by Jose Marti for Cuban independence and also for the liberty of Puerto Rico.
U.S. domination of Puerto Rico he emphasized, is marked by an unchanging determination to use it for military purposes.
The conference, he announced, will conclude with a ceremony in which the name of Pedro Albizu Campus is given to a secondary school in Cuba's countryside.
He wound up with a declaration that "only those who are near-sighted or malicious would deny that we are living in a time of détente," and he stressed the role of the socialist countries and of all progressive and peace forces.
The liberation of Puerto Rico, he stated, is a struggle that has no
frontiers, adding, "We are living in a great time, a time of Vietnam and
VETERAN LEADER HAILED
The ovation that greeted his speech grew in intensity with the surprise appearance of Jose Enamorado Cuesta, now in his 90's, one of the founders of the Puerto Rican peace movement, who in the name of the Puerto Rican peace movement and the Communist Party of Puerto Rico presented his country's flag to Marinello.
Ismael Ramaya, secretary of the international preparatory committee, reported on the founding of support committees all over the world and on distribution of information concerning Puerto Rico, including the production of the film, "Puerto Rico" by the Cuban Film institute, with the cooperation of Tirabuzon Rojo of Puerto Rico.
Noel Colon Martinez, president of the Puerto Rican Peace Council presented
a detailed and historical analysis of Puerto Rico's colonial status.
Delegations have arrived in Havana from 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and from the U.S. and Canada, from eight European socialist countries, 13 west Europe Countries, 17 from Africa and the Middle East, and nine Asian countries.
The U.S. delegation of 20, one of the largest, includes Helen Winter, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party, USA; Grace Mora, head of the Puerto Rican Commission of the CPUSA; Piri Thomas, author; Judge John Carrol; Vernon Bellecourt, of the AIM and others.
In addition to Martinet and Cuesta, the Puerto Rican delegation includes Pedro and Laura Albizu Meneses, children of Pedro Albizu Campus, Juan Mari Bras, of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, and Franklin Irrizary, of the Puerto Rican Communist Party, and many representing the trade union movement, the Federation of Puerto Rican women, etc.
At the conclusion of Friday morning's session, a special ceremony was
held to greet a Cuban postage stamp issue honoring the conference.
[From the Daily World, Sept. 10, 1975]
PARLEY SETS BASIS FOR WORLD FIGHT FOR A FREE PUERTO RICO
(By Portia Siegelbaum)
HAVANA, Sept. 9.-The International Conference in Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rvco, which wound up yesterday morning, represented the broadest forces to date to come out in support of independence for Puerto Rico. The conference, which began last Friday, had 91 delegates and 34 observers representing numerous social and cultural institutions, liberation movements, sponsoring committees and trade union, youth, student, women's, peasant and religious organizations from 79 nations; 18 international organisms, making a total of 325 participants from diverse social and political forces.
A draft of the general statements from the conference was approved Sunday night in the grand salon of the Havana Libre Hotel, where for three days delegates have been describing the exploitation of the Puerto Rican people as well as, in some cases the exploitation and domination of the delegates' own countries by U.S. imperialism.
All pledged to give their solid support to the Puerto Rican people's
EXPOSED AT UN
Although the U.S. government recently stalled a decision on the colonial status of Puerto Rico in the UN decolonization committee, delegates to the conference here pointed out that in its desperate attempt to hang on to Puerto Rico, the U.S., through its heavy-handed methods, exposed itself to world condemnation.
Only last week at the ministerial conference of non-aligned countries in Lima, Peru, a letter was revealed, sent by the U.S. charged affairs in Tanzania to that, country's foreign minister threatening that its support for the Cuban resolution on Puerto Rico in the UN decolonization committee would be regarded by the U.S. as an "unfriendly act."
here at this conference this
letter was referred to by a delegate from Great Britain, the Labor MP Peter
Snaps, as an example of how the imperialist powers and capitalist media
ignore or try to cover up the machinations of the U.S. He said that only
the British Communist Party newspaper, the Morning Star, reported the letter.
U.S. DELEGATION'S STATEMENT
One of the largest delegations to the international conference came from the U.S. The statement by this delegation, as presented by Doren Weinberg, president. of the National Lawyers Guild, on the first day of the conference, declared:
"We come before you today as representatives of the people of the oppressor nation to join in the struggle against the oppression visited by our government against the people of Puerto Rico . . .
"This conference is the result of the growing strength of the independence forces, within Puerto Rico and the new relationships of forces, which exists in the international arena today. The movement of non-aligned countries for control of their resources, the growth of socialism in the world, the struggles of people for peace: and social justice, and above all the growth and continuing victories recorded by national liberation movements since the end of World War II.
"After referring to the recent
statements by U.S. government leaders indicating their determination to
obstruct the natural aspirations for the Puerto Rican people, the U.S.
delegates' statement continued:
"We are sensitive to the fundamental responsibility of the people of the U.S. in this struggle, but we must be clear that it is a fundamental responsibility in two respects.
"As representatives of solidarity forces within the colonizing country, we are in a position to lend concrete assistance in the realization of the aspirations of our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters and as representatives of the progressive anti-imperialist forces of our own country we point out the concrete and organized relationship of the Puerto Rican struggle to the most basic aspirations of the working people and national minorities of the U.S.
The statement added that while in the U.S. the people are told to put up with unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and cutbacks in social services to solve the. economic crisis, "it is evident that our enemy is a common one."
"The participation of minority groups is particularly significant in this growing movement, and this is reflected in the U.S. delegation to this conference, which includes representatives of the two million Puerto Ricans and 15 million Mexicans living in the U.S., of the Afro-American community, which has an especially sharp understanding of the racism inherent in the U.S. exploitation of Puerto Rico, and of native North American people who were the first. victims of U.S. colonialism and genocide."
The U.S. delegation's statement concluded:
"Our efforts in support of
the Puerto Rican people against our common enemy will contribute materially
to the success of our own struggle. It is becoming clear that the building
of a movement in solidarity with the independence of Puerto, Rico is not
merely a moral commitment out of sympathy with the colonial people. Rather
it is an essential step in the liberation of the working people and oppressed
national minorities of the U.S. from their own misery of exploitation."
UNION ACTIVITY VITAL
They pointed out that while
gains have been made in building this solidarity movement in the U.S.,
much broader and deeper participation is necessary, and that particular
attention must be paid to those among the rank and file of the trade unions.
The final statement of the conference, unanimously passed by all the delegates expressed the intention to hold a second International Conference of Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico within the next three years, issue a call to strengthen the intensity of the solidarity campaigns which traditionally take place Sept. 23, anniversary of the Cry of Lares, to increase the denunciation of the danger of the U.S. military enclaves in Puerto Rico, to work to halt the mass sterilization campaign that is being carried out there, to setup the initiatives to demand the unconditional and immediate release of Lolita Lebron, Oscar Collazo, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores and Andres Figueroa Cordero, to precede next year's meeting of the UN Decolonization committee with an worldwide campaign of solidarity, and to submit the general declaration from this international conference to the UN Secretary General, to the president of the Decolonization Committee and to other pertinent auxiliary organs of the U.N.
Osvaldo Dorticos, president of Cuba, delivered the closing address,
at the ceremony yesterday in which a secondary school in the countryside
was named after Pedro Albizu Campos.
[F'rom the Daily World, Sept. 13, 19751
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is agitated because an International Conference in Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico, with representatives from 79 countries, held its recent sessions in Cuba.
He called it "a totally unwarranted interference in our domestic affairs."
With imperialist arrogance, Kissinger wants to forbid even discussion about the independence of Puerto Rico. When the UN Decolonization Committee recently held its discussion about Puerto Rico, the U.S. denounced it and boycotted the sessions.
Such hypocritical pretense is exposed by U.S. imperialism's own record, from waging war in Korea and South Vietnam to invasion of Cuba. U.S. imperialism even now maintains on U.S. soil bands of Cuban terrorists pledged to overthrow the Cuban government.
U. S. imperialism has special institutions designed for interference in the affairs of other countries. The CIA, for example, is responsible for assassination of political leaders, subversion, overthrow of governments and even murder of populations by poison.
The CIA, Nixon Administration, Pentagon and multinational corporations conspired to destroy Chile's Popular Unity government by organizing and backing the fascists.
Kissinger, delighted by the fascist coup in Chile, today is "encouraged" by rightist advances in Portugal. U.S. imperialism is "working in closest harmony with our European allies," he stresses, in interfering in Portugal's internal affairs. Aid i, held in abeyance to help Portugal's reactionaries just as in Chile's case.
The record makes clear U.S. imperialism's interference with the democratic process and its violation of the right of self-determination of peoples and nations.
On the question of interference in the domestic affairs of others. Kissinger
talks out of two sides of his mouth.
[From World Magazine, Sept. 20, 1975]
LIBERATION FOR PUERTO RICO AND PUERTO RICANS
(By Grace Mora)
Puerto Rico is a colony of U.S. imperialism in a very special sense. The three million people living in Puerto Rico and over two million Puerto Ricans in the United States are victims of a special hind of imperialist operation. It is a colonialism that reaches across the Caribbean into the barrios, the urban and agricultural slums where Puerto Ricans are forced to live in the United States. The same U.S. corporations oppress and exploit Puerto Ricans in both lands. The colonial conditions in Puerto Rico force the people into the barrios and slums of U.S. cities and farm areas. The Puerto Rican people in the United States-together with Black Americans and Chicanos-are the backbone of a community of 40million victims of special oppression and exploitation.
In The Colonial Plunder of Puerto Rico, by Gus Hall, general secretary of the U.S. Communist Party, Hall refers to a report written 25 years ago on El Fanguito, the slums of San Juan, by the late William Z. Foster, for many years the CP's national chairman. Foster called El Fanguito "the most wretched of slums." Hall went on to say that, if anything, El Fanguito had grown more wretched, noting that now the big tourist hotels pour their raw sewage into the lagoons on which the slums are perched.
These conditions can easily be classified as one of the horrors of imperialism. But this is only one aspect of the exploitation. Now that the post-World War II rush of U.S. corporate investment in Puerto Rico-to exploit the cheap labor power-is ended, unemployment, is reaching disastrous proportions-currently over 35%.
United States government agencies control all political, economic, and social activities. Congress exercises exclusive jurisdiction over foreign relations, citizenship, the armed forces and military recruitment, foreign commerce, customs, transportation, exchange notes, post offices, television and radio, etc., etc., etc., Congress decades how many acres of sugar Puerto Ricans may plant on their island and how much of it they can refine, and how much can be exported. U.S. agencies have absolute censorship rights-they can prevent anything from coming into the island, including books, magazines and newspapers. They control freight rates. All sea traffic must be in U.S. ships. (Sounds like England and the American colonies prior to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War.)
Federal judges are appointed by the President of the United States. The language of the people of Puerto Rico is Spanish, but it is not permitted in these courts!
U.S. imperialism has turned Puerto Rico into a military staging area. This was the launching pad for the expeditionary forces to Cuba, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. This is the base for the nuclear strike force, poised to devastate any area in the Americas. The United States has refused to sign any nuclear treaty that would include Puerto Rico as a nuclear-free zone. The U.S. military has forced the inhabitants of whole islands to move so that they could move in, they have used other islands for target practice.
At the eastern tip of the island is the Ensenada Honda Base known as Roosevelt Roads. The U.S. Naval Command in the Caribbean and Antilles is established there and Puerto Rico is the seat of the Tenth Naval District of the U.S. Navy. Roosevelt Roads has a center for atomic submarines and guided missiles, as well as installations for aircraft carriers with thermonuclear missiles.
The islands of Vieques and Culebra are important military sites for naval operations. The inhabitants of these two islands have been deprived of the greatest part of their means of subsistence and many of them have been forced to leave. The people of Culebra have put up an extended militant struggle against the militarization of their island.
On Puerto Rico's southern coast there is a radar base and a training camp fur the U.S. National Guard and Reserve units. There is another training camp in this area, Fort Allen (Saunas). In San Juan, there is Camp Buchanan, transit center for U.S. military troops. A powerful radio station operates under CIA supervision in southwest Puerto Rico, from which information is transmitted to and received from all of Latin America. On the north coast there are several satellite tracking stations as well as other communications and electronic espionage installations.
A low-key birth control movement began in Puerto Rico in the 1930s. Between 1940 and 1950, many private clinics were operating solely to sterilize women. In 1949, the government began recommending sterilization, and created a program of specialized clinics that sterilized 50 women a day. By 1950, 7,000 women had been sterilized. In 1965, the Puerto Rican Department of Health carried out an island-wide study on the relationship between cancer of the uterus and female sterilization and found that 34% of Puerto Rican women between the ages of 20-49 had been sterilized. The New York Times on November 4, 1974, reported that 19 free sterilization clinics opened up that year "operating a top capacity program of about 1,000 sterilizations per month." Puerto Rico has the highest incidence of sterilization in the world. A 1968 study by Puerto Rican demographer Dr. Jose Vasquez Calzada demonstrated that 35.3% of Puerto Rican women of childbearing age had been sterilized. Studies by Columbia University demographer Harriet Presser show that Puerto Rican women are the youngest in the world to be sterilized; almost two-thirds of the women are between the ages of 20-49, with 92 % under 35 years of age!
Here in the United States, we have to deal with the second aspect of the Puerto Ricans liberation struggle. What of the two million Puerto Ricans that have been forced to migrate to the U.S.? And do they, in fact, "escape"?
No way. They are super-exploited here. Here they must deal with racism, live in rat-infested tenements, send their children to inferior schools that are more like institutions with teachers who act more like guards-teachers who ridicule their language and customs, and ignore their heritage.
Half of the two million-1,125,000-live in New York City. It is estimated that 240,000 live in New Jersey; 125,000 in Pennsylvania-100,000 in Philadelphia; 110,000 in Connecticut; arid 110,000 in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Although the large majority are concentrated on the east coast of the United States, there is a large concentration of 170,000 Puerto Ricans in the midwest, approximately 125,000 of whom live in Chicago; and there are 80 000 more in other parts of the country. The migration of Puerto Ricans to the U.S. increases when the level of unemployment in the U.S. decreases; the migration decreases when unemployment decreases in Puerto Rico. The majority who migrate are those who are being relegated to marginal status in the labor force by the U.S. monopolies in Puerto Rico.
The current population of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. is young: 86%, are under 40; 48.6 % are 17 or younger 31.7 % are nine years old or younger. The median age is 19.
In the public school system of New York State, 9.1% of all students are Latin, with less than 1% of the teachers being of Hispanic origin. While 23% of New York City's public school pupils are Puerto Rican, only 0.1 % of the teachers are Puerto Rican. Some 86% of the Puerto Rican students in New York City are below average reading levels. In New York City, where Puerto Ricans are one-forth of all pupils, only 4,418 of 105,000 "non-English speaking" students of Latin background had any kind of bilingual instruction in the last year of school. A five fold increase in bilingual classroom teachers, from about 800 at present to 48,000, is needed to give these students help.
Puerto Rican children in New York City schools have the system's worst dropout rate-57% compared with 46% for Black youth and 29% for others.
In 1970, only seven Puerto Ricans graduated from Boston public high schools, two of whom went on to college. Many Latin students in that city are found to be up to six years behind in reading.
Within the New York school system there does not exist an efficient bilingual program that will enrich our history and develop our culture and language. Schools in general are inadequate. Many teachers are racist and/or insensitive to the needs of our children. Puerto Rican holidays are ignored, assuming that we should embrace U.S. culture and language. We are taught to honor U.S. "heroes," overlooking many Puerto Rican patriots who have contributed much to the history and civilization of Latin America.
"The students do not understand the English language." This statement artificially blows up the language problem which, in the main, applies only to the recently-arrived Puerto Rican child, and which, in the absence of discrimination and segregation, could be eradicated in a few weeks or months. This problem is projected as the general problem of all Puerto Rican children, thus the "language barrier" myth becomes the main prop of discriminatory practices in the schools. Also, the clear effect of discrimination and segregation are rationalized as expressive of a "tendency to keep apart from the rest of the children" and to persist in "talking Spanish." So it's that Puerto Rican children do not like to mix with the rest of the children, and not discrimination that keeps them apart.
Characterizing the Puerto Rican child as "restless, shy, undisciplined" is a very convenient method of distorting the real problem of poverty and discrimination, transforming it into a subjective, psychological question.
Keeping all this in mind, and the fact that the median age in the Puerto Rican population is 19, we must ask, how do they find jobs? How do they enter the work force in order to support themselves? What are their chances of finding meaningful jobs? Part of the answer to these questions is that they do not become part of the work force, they do not find meaningful jobs, and statistics prove that together with their Black brothers and sisters, the unemployment rate for these youths is close to 50%. (The Young Workers Liberation League and Youth United for Jobs committees, with the support of the Communist Party, can be influential in organizing these youths in the struggle to demand jobs for all, to further the struggle for unemployment benefits for those youths that have never been employed.)
The labor force of Puerto Ricans residing in the city's major poverty areas, according to a recent survey, total approximately 44,000 men and women, or 51% of the Puerto Rican population 16 years of age and over. About 39,000 men and women are employed, and more than 4,000-or nearly 10% are unemployed.
Puerto Rican workers are the most deprived of all workers residing in New York City's major poverty neighborhoods. They are far more likely than others to be unemployed or to hold low-paying jobs. Typically, they hold blue-collar or service jobs requiring relatively little skill. They are greatly handicapped in the competition for employment by poor educational background: on the average, Puerto Ricans 25 years of age and older have not gone beyond the eighth grade, while the majority of the area's residents in the same age group have completed high school or gone beyond. Lower educational attainment, unfavorable occupational attachments, and concentration in industries with relatively large seasonal fluctuations in employment combine to make for high unemployment among Puerto Rican workers.
An outstanding characteristic of the industry distribution of Puerto Rican workers from the city's poverty neighborhoods is their concentration in manufacturing; two out of every five of these workers hold a factory job.
The average income of Puerto Rican workers in New York is lower than Blacks or whites. Over half of the Puerto Rican men who work fulltime earn less than $100 a week. As a result, Puerto Rican family incomes have fallen far below citywide averages. Two-thirds have incomes of $6,000 and under.
One out of every three Puerto Rican families is headed by a woman, and the average size of the Puerto Rican family is larger than for the rest of the population. One-third of Puerto Rican families have five or more members.
Many women work in the apparel industry, which has higher seasonal fluctuations than other industries, and accounts in part for the higher unemployment rate. Thirty-six percent of teenaged Puerto Rican females work. Puerto Rican women are the most oppressed sector of the Puerto Rican minority; they are oppressed as women, as members of an exploited class, and as members of an oppressed nationality.
The status of women in Puerto Rico is a colonial one; they still live in semi-feudal conditions. This colonial oppression follows the Puerto Rican woman who migrates to the United States. Her new home does not alleviate her triple oppression. On the contrary, it intensifies it. As a member of an oppressed national minority, under the impact of the most brutal national chauvinism, her economic, politic and social status is determined by the policies of the ruling class towards minorities as a whole. There is a special ideological approach on the part of U.S. imperialism toward the Puerto Rican woman. Volumes of chauvinist, sexist slander against Latin women are printed by spokesmen of the ruling class.
Lait and Mortimer, authors of New York Confidential, once said, in referring to East Harlem, "In little Spain, sex is cheap, selling it is precarious and competition is not only voluminous, but perilous, for the girls will fight with knives over a prospect." This degrading concept of the Puerto Rican woman is part and parcel of the ideological approach by U.S. imperialism towards Latin women. The ruling class uses this approach to foment racism in the minds of white workers in the U.S., and as a dividing tool to suppress and exploit Latin women on the job.
According to government statistics, 200,000 Puerto Rican women are on welfare. This is not by choice, but necessity. As members of a national minority raised in a semi-feudal position in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican woman receives an inferior education, and her ability to secure a well-paying job in the best of times is slim. With the high rate of unemployment today, it is all but impossible. It's interesting to note that the government is always prepared to release figures on how many Blacks and Puerto Ricans are on welfare, but rarely reveal that the majority of persons on welfare are white.
Of the 200,000 Puerto Rican women on welfare, the great majority are
mothers, and with this comes the problem of day care centers, which are
almost nonexistent in the poor communities. The struggle for more-and free-day
care centers is a constant one in the Black and Spanish-speaking communities.
WHAT MUST BE DONE?
In the interest of the working class and of the struggle against national oppression, there is a need for special emphasis on organizing the unorganized. Many of the Puerto Rican workers are employed in the lowest-paying unorganized industries. It is necessary to give greater attention to the organizing of rank-and-file movements among Puerto Rican workers, especially in unions with bureaucratic, collaborationist class leaderships as in the garment industry.
We must begin to develop the Centro Obrero Latino-American, an organization which embraces Puerto Rican and other Spanish-speaking workers. We must begin to build a united movement in the Puerto Rican community a movement that rejects non-working-class petty-bourgeois radical concepts, a movement built on the basis of mass activity, mass involvement, especially in the fields of electoral and economic struggles.
We must promote unity of the working class in general. We must develop rank-and-file caucuses of Puerto Rican workers. This can be done through Centro Obrero Latinoamerico. In many state, Puerto Rican workers are concentrated in heavy industry-steel, auto electrical.
It is a mistake to view the two million Puerto Ricans in the United States as "temporary visitors." It is true that some travel back and forth, reflecting the economic trends. But most are a part of U.S. life, a part of the U.S. working class. They are part of the 40 million suffering under the special systems of racial and national oppression. They are a part of the larger Spanish-speaking community.
The struggle for equality in the Puerto Rican community is closely related to the struggle for Black liberation. We must do more in finding ways and creating conditions for a closer unity between these two movements.
The struggle against the system of national oppression sustained by the fomenting of chauvinism is closely related to the other economic struggles of the working class and trade union movements. We must begin the work of convincing workers and the trade unions that, in their own interest, in the interest of class unity, they have to take up the struggle against discrimination. Racism is the main weapon used to divide the working class. Unity of all workers is key to advancing their common struggle for a better life, a struggle which will eventually culminate in the establishment of socialism.
And, finally, the U.S. working class, the democratic and progressive
forces, must be reached and convinced that Puerto Rico as a nation has
the right to be free Puerto Rico is testimony to the hypocrisy of the U.S.
bicentennial celebration. The people of the United States, cannot, in all
conscience, celebrate their independence while the U.S. government holds
Puerto Rico in bondage. As Karl Marx stated, "No nation that oppresses
another can ever be free."
[From the Guardian, Sept. 24, 1975]
U.S. DELEGATION TO HAVANA
Following are the names of the members of the U.S. delegation to the Havana Conference on Puerto Rico.
Frances Bead, Third World Women's Alliance, New York City, Puerto Rican
Solidarity Committee (PRSC) ; Vernon Bellecourt, American Indian -Movement;
Margaret Burroughs, director of the DuSable Afro-American Museum, Chidago;
John Carrol, Criminal Court judge, New York City; James Early, coordinator
of' the PRSC, Washington, D.C.; Carlos Feliciano, Committee to Free the
Puerto Rican Political Prisoners; Arthur Kinoy, Interim Committee for a
Mass Party of the People; Alfredo Lopez, executive secretary PRSC and member
of the Political Commission of the U.S. branch of the Puerto Rican Socialist
Party (PSP) ; Rosemary -.Mealy, Third World Coalition of the American Friends
Service Committee, Philadelphia; Florencio Merced, member of the Political
Commission of the PSP Central Committee; Tonv Monteiro, Anti-Imperialist
Movement in Solidarity with African Liberation; Grace Mora, member of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party (CP), head of its Puerto Rican
Commission; Julie Nichamin, New York coordinator of PRSC; Ro Reilly, executive
director of the U.S. Support Committee for the International Conference,
Mass Party of the People; Antonio Rodriguez, secretary general of the Centro
de Accion Social Autonoma (CASA) , Los Angeles; Bill Scott, United Auto
Workers, Local 664,. Tarrytown, N.Y.; Piri Thomas, author and playwright:
Irwin Silber, executive editor, the Guardian; Doren Weinberg, president
of the National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco; Helen Winter, political secretary
of the CP.
[From the Daily World, Sept. 25, 1975]
PUERTO RICO CONFERENCE DECLARATION GIVEN UN
(By Amadeo Richardson)
UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., Se[:pt. 24.-Representatives from the recent international conference in solidarity with Puerto Rican independence yesterday .officially turned over a declamation adopted at the conference to UN member nations and the UN Committee a on Decolonization.
At an afternoon press conference, two of the four representatives from the conference told reporters that they had chosen Sept. 23, date of the "Grito de Lares," the national holiday of Puerto Rico, to bring the colonial status of the Caribbean island to the attention of the UN.
The representatives were Donren Weinberg of the National Lawyers Guild, and Jose Antonio Franco of the United Church of Christ, in Puerto Rico. They stated that the General Declaration passed at the conference held in Havana, Cuba, gave new impetus and represented a new international commitment to the cause of Puerto Rico independence.
They said that copies of the' general declaration, which reaffirms the colonial status of Puerto Rico, were beefing delivered to Kurt Waldheim, UN secretary general, and Sellim A. Sallim of Tanzania, president of the UN Decolonization committee.
Additional copies were presented to the Venezuelan Delegation, which
this month heads the group of Latin . American countries at the UN, and
to Ambassador Peter Florin of the German Democratic Republic, which this
month represents the group of Socialist Nations at the UN.
CUBA'S CONTRIBUTION LAUDED
Both Weinberg and Franco hailed the contribution of Cuba to the success of the conference. Weinberg noted the participation of the Socialist countries and expressed his gratitude to the GDR, who helped draft the final declaration.
They drew the attention of reporters to a Sept. 9 press conference of
U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who had denounced the conference
and the host country, Cuba, as having; meddled in the "internal affairs"
of the U.S. It was noted that Kissinger's allegations received a rebuttal
from Dr. Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado, President off Cuba, who at the Havana
conference declared that Cuba did not regard the cause of Puerto Rico "a
mere bargaining matter in the bilateral controversy between the United
States and Cuba."
EVIDENCE OF VIOLATION
The speakers also pointed out that the attempt to define the Puerto Rican question as an "internal affair"' of the U.S. was evidence of the continued violation of the Puerto Rican peoples ~ right to self-determination.
Franco, alluding to Kissinger's statement as a false interpretation of détente, declared that the Havana conference presented a clear vision of détente, since the threat of war is a threat to the' independence struggle of Puerto Rico as well as the rest of the Latin American i countries.
He noted that 10 percent of the land in Puerto Rico was being used for nuclear arms purposes, which makes thee island a "nuclear outpost" of U.S. aggression. He noted that Puerto Rico had been repeatedly used as the launching pad of invasions against Venezuela, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and other Latin American nations.
Weinberg added that détente would help to create a more favorable situation for the struggle for Puerto Rican independence.
Franco noted the participation of the Communist Party of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, and others from Puerto Rico including labor, student and religious leaders, including; a Roman Catholic bishop.
He stressed the role of religious figures.
"Religion has been used to give the `benediction' to U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico," he said, but added that there was a growing sentiment among Puerto Rican Christians in favor of self-determination and independence.
Weinberg, summing up, stated that the conference outlined concrete tasks,
including the struggle in the US. He said that the commitment obtained
from the over 325 delegates had paved the way to hold a second international
conference within three years.
[From the Daily World, Sept. 26, 1975]
PUERTO RICO STATUS HELD TO BELIE "BICENTENNIAL"
By Terry Sanchez
NEW YORK. Sept. 25.-More than 300 people at the "Grito de Lares" celebration here Tuesday were urged to place the struggle for Puerto Rican independence high on the agenda of the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial activities.
The call was issued by Florencio Merced, member of the national political commission of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP), the main speaker at the celebration. He also urged that the "Grito de Lares" celebration next year be a united event, bringing together all Puerto Rican independence forces in the U.S.
The activity commemorated the anniversary of the 1868 uprising in Puerto Rico against Spanish colonialism, which has become the symbol of the struggle of the Puerto Rican people for their independence and self-determination.
Specially invited to the celebration, held at St. Mark's Church, were the U.S. delegates to the International Conference in Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico held in Havana Sept. 5-7. Among them were Doren Weinberg, president of the National Lawyer's Guild and spokesperson for the U.S. delegation; Grace Mora, member of the central committee of the Communist Party, U.S.A., and chairperson of its Puerto Rican Commission; Fran Beal, chairperson of the Third World Women's Alliance; Piri Thomas, author; and Carlos Feliciano of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party.
Addressing the standing-room-only crowd, Merced pointed out that this year's "Grito de Lares" anniversary was being celebrated in an "important and encouraging context."
"On the international solidarity level," he said, "our struggle has achieved gains of singular and particular meaning. During this "Grito de Lares" here and in Puerto Rico we are living a moment of clear and broad international offensive.
"This," he stressed, "reflects the hard struggle, full of sacrifices, being waged in our country for independence."
Merced emphasized the support given to the Puerto Rican people by the people of Cuba, stating that "their solidarity goes beyond that of a government or Party position; we are talking about a Party and a government that are carrying out the sentiments of the Cuban people who have made of our struggle their struggle."
Describing the overwhelming support received at the Conference from all parts of the world, Merced stressed the importance of the backing of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries to the Puerto Rican independence struggle.
He spoke of the need for Puerto Rican revolutionaries to clearly identify their allies, pointing out that the Soviet Union has never hesitated to vote in favor of the Puerto Rican struggle at the United Nations.
Merced emphasized the need for united support within the U.S. to the Puerto Rican struggle, regardless of political differences.
The main task ahead, he said, is to integrate the broad forces in this country that still have not been incorporated into the Puerto Rican struggle.
Other speakers Tuesday were the Rev. Jose Antonio Franco, a member of
the Puerto Rican delegation to the Conference, and Doren Weinberg.
[From World Magazine, Sept. 27, 1975]
THE WORLD AGREES: INDEPENDENCE FOR PUERTO RICO
(By Ellen Perlo)
"I spent three days in the future." Grace Mora said about her trip to Havana as a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Conference of Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico. Ms. Mora is chairperson of the Puerto Rican Commission of the U.S. Communist Party. "Here we are fed propaganda about all the shortages in Cuba, about rationing and not enough shoes or fancy dresses, but that is all irrelevant. It is a matter of priorities, and in Cuba the first tasks were to get the, country running, to build up agriculture, to build socialism. They have wiped out illiteracy; there is no racism: there are no class differences-all are equals; all are companeros. And the children are given everything, the children are the future."
She continued, "Let me tell you about the youth. About 100 pioneers came into the conference one day, and a 10-year-old boy made a speech about Puerto Rico that made the skin on my arms tingle. With great emotion he referred to `solidarity with Puerto Rico, our sister nation.' A 10-year-old boy!!!"
Ms. Mora contrasted what she saw in Cuba with conditions in Puerto Rico, where there is 30% unemployment; where 13% of the arable land is controlled by U.S. military bases; where 34% of women of child-bearing age have been sterilized; where the CIA, the FBI, the green berets and other imperialist agents are trained for aggression against other countries, especially other Latin American countries.
Unemployment, the cost of living, inflation-all are worse than in the United States, she said. "Puerto Rico is a colony," she said, "and colonial conditions prevail there." The contrast between Cuba and Puerto Rico, between a socialist country and the colony of an imperialist aggressor, was especially sharp, she said, because of the historically close relationship of the two island countries whose struggles were parallel for so many years.
"In the Caribbean," she said, "Puerto Rico and Cuba are called the two wings of a bird."
This affinity made Havana the logical place to hold the International Conference of Solidarity with the Independence of Puerto Rico, held from September 5 to 7. There were 325 participants-291 delegates and 34 observers-from 79 countries and 18 international organizations. Representatives came from every continent, with broad groups from Africa, Asia, Western as well as Eastern Europe, and from Latin America. Many Caribbean countries sent delegates, and Ms. Mora reported that all participants spoke as one against the colonial status of Puerto Rico and for the need to struggle for worldwide support in solidarity with the independence struggles of the peoples of Puerto Rico.
The conference was opened by Juan Marinello, Chairperson of the Cuban Committee for Peace and Sovereignty of the People. He was followed by Noel Colon Martinez, Chairman of the Puerto Rican Peace Council and spokesman for the Puertorican delegation. The official speeches were followed by two days of reports by conference participants-each delegation spokesperson spoke for 10 minutes.
What was the content of the presentations, I asked, and Ms. Mora went down the list: How U.S. imperialism related to their countries how it intervened in their internal affairs; the impact of imperialism worldwide; the importance of supporting the independence of Puerto Rico and its designation as a nuclear-free zone in the Caribbean; the need for detente in the interests of world peace. Spokes-person for the U.S. delegation was Doron Weinberg, San Francisco attorney who is president of the National Lawyers Guild.
In the coming period, Ms. Mora said, the prime task of the members of the delegations to the conference will be to educate the people in their countries about conditions in Puerto Rico.
"Millions of people do not even realize that it is a colony. And the U.S. delegation has a special responsibility, as representatives from the oppressor country, to reach broad masses of people, especially working people and to point out that it is in our interests, in the interest of world peace and détente, for Puerto Rico to be demilitarized. And to be demilitarized, Puerto Rico must be independent. It must no longer be the launching pad of U .S. aggression, the base from which to attack other countries especially in Latin America, as it has been in the past.
"It was from Puerto Rico that troops were sent to Santo Domingo in 1968: the invasion of Playa Giron in Cuba took off from there; it was the training ground for CIA agents sent to Chile, and Portugal. The United States has atomic weapons there."
The general statement of the conference, which received a standing ovation by the delegates, defined the present situation, indicated the new forces that are lining up to change the status quo, and projected a course of action for the next three years, until the next conference. Of special importance was the emphasis on the setbacks suffered by imperialism and the development of the international process of détente, against aggression and war. The statement says:
The growing development of the Socialist countries, the collapse of the colonial system the historic victories of the peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos against U.S. imperialist aggression; the successes of the liberation movements in the former Portuguese colonies, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Angola; the progress of democratic forces in Western Europe and other capitalist countries, and especially the collapse of fascism and initiation of the construction of a new society in Portugal; the development and consolidation of the Cuban Revolution, the progress of the anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of Latin America, the positions adopted by several governments of Latin America in defense of their natural resources and against the domination of the transnational corporations, the development of the non-aligned countries movement, ratification of the principles of peaceful coexistence among states with different social systems, the international process of détente which was reflected in the outcome of the Conference of European Sobriety and Cooperation held in Helsinki; and the strengthening of the militant unity of the anti-imperialist forces, are all realities that characterize the present international situation .
What can we do, here in the United States, to support the struggle for independence of Puerto Rico?
" We must educate the American people and the U.S. working class as to the actual status of Puerto Rico," she said, "and to the fact that it is in the interest of world peace for Puerto Rico to be independent. We must point out that especially on the eve of our bicentennial, celebration of our independence is hypocritical when we hold Puerto Rico in bondage. And it is also very important to put out literature in Spanish.
"We must form countrywide committees to work with the U.S. Support Committee. We should send delegations and petitions to Congressmen in Washington, directing them to pressure the government to support the resolutions in the United Nations against colonialism and for investigative teams to go to Puerto Rico to determine its status. This year, the United States was successful in having the resolution tabled, but if we start working now to build up support here, next year, when the resolution is brought up again, it will pass."
The next conference will be held within three years, at which time there will be reports from the countries around the world as to the progress made in support of the struggles for the independence of Puerto Rico.