U.S. Senate Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, of the Committee on the Judiciary.
Tuesday, May 6, 1960
Testimony of Salvador Díaz-Versón
(Through an interpreter)
Senator DODD. Will you take the chair and give your name and address?
Mr. SOURWINE. What is your full name?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Salvador Diaz-Verson y Rodriguez.
Mr. SOURWINE. What is your business or profession?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Newspaperman and writer.
Mr. SOURWINE. Were you ever in the army?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I was Chief of Military Intelligence from the year of 1948 until March 10, 1952.
Mr. SOURWINE. Were you ever Chief of Criminal Investigations and the investigation of communism in Cuba?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir; in the year of 1933 for the first time, and in 1948 until 1952 in an official capacity, although since the year of 1928 I have dedicated myself to study to investigate Communist activities in America.
Senator KEATING. Since what year?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. 1928 on.
Mr. SOURWINE. Were you a supporter of Batista?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Since the 10th of March of 1952 when Batista had the coup d'etat, I lived for 2 years in Miami as an exile.
Mr. SOURWINE. During Batista's regime?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, Sir.
Mr. SOURWINE. Were, you ever a supporter of the Castro movement?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Never. I was a member of the Carlos Prio movement, and I also refused to participate in any meeting with Fidel Castro.
Mr. SOURWINE. Is it true that the Castro regime destroyed files on Cuban Communists?
Senator KEATING. Just one minute before you answer that.
You have never been at any time a supported of Batista, is that correct?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir.
In 1933, when Batista took the power, a group of revolutionaries that had join, we joined the 4th of September movement, of which movement Batista was a member. But that reunion did not last but 5 months and 22 days. We immediately opposed him.
Senator Keating. And what was in that year?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. 1934.
Senator KEATING. And you have ever since 1934 opposed Batista; is that correct?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. When Batista first established his first connection with the Communists in 1934, I opposed him.
Senator KEATING. Have you always since that time opposed him?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir, affirmatively.
Senator KEATING. And you think- that any efforts of his to return to Cuba would not be in the interest of the Cuban people; is that correct?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. You make reference to the present time?
Senator KEATING. Yes.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Negatively. The Cuban people would never support the Batista regime again.
Senator KEATING. And you personally would never support it again?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. No, Sir.
Senator KEATING. I want to make a comment.
I think that we should make it very clear at the outset of testimony that we do not want, to call any witness who is a supporter of Batista or who feels that his return to Cuba would be of interest to the Cuban people.
One or two of the other witnesses have been rather equivocal in that matter. I think we should avoid calling witnesses in this proceeding that are not ready to testify under oath unequivocally that they are opposed to the, Batista regime.
We have plenty of evidence, I believe, without calling such witnesses -- I do not think that they add anything to the proceedings, because they could well be shown to have a bias. And I think the testimony of this witness has been made considerably more weighty by his unequivocal testimony that lie is opposed to the return of Batista in any shape or form.
Mr. SOURWINE. Is it true that the Castro forces destroyed files on Cuban Communists?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. SOURWINE. How many such files?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I had privately an archive which comprised 250,000 cards of Latin American Communists and 943 personal records. This was the result of my trips all over Latin America visiting country by country, what were the conditions of communism, and what numbers of Communists there were in each plaice. That archive was stolen and destroyed by the Communists on January 26, 1959.
Senator KEATING. When you say stolen and destroyed by the Communists, can you be more specific?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Do you want the name of the persons that, went there, the ones that did it?
Senator KEATING. Were you there at the time?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. No; I was not present at that moment. I had an employee who took care of the archives. A group of four men armed with machineguns arrived.
Senator KEATING. When was this?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. January 26, 1959. They gagged the employee, they destroyed the furniture, and they took what was inside the metal files. The neighbors, because, it was an apartment house, saw from the balconies that it was a truck of the 7th military regiment. They testified, and it was published in the newspapers of January 27 of 1959 in Havana.
Senator KEATING. Where were you then?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I was working at that time in the newspaper Excelsior, where I was in charge of redaction, of writing.
Senator KEATING. When did you come to this country?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. The 19th of March of 1959.
Mr. SOURWINE. I show you a list of names which you gave the committee, and I ask if you can, of your of knowledge, state that each of the individuals here listed has been indicated in the official files as Communists?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, Sir; all of those names represent persons well known by me to be Communists with a long history, but I wish to request permission of the Senators to state that from this date that I gave this report to the present time, the situation in Cuba has changed extraordinarily, and that new situations have been created.
If you will permit me briefly, I will make an explanation.
We, the investigators of social problems of the Communists, have already established that Cuba is now a socialistic Soviet republic. And we haven't established that this capriciously, but because the Communists have a bible, which is a book entitled "Leninismo," written by Stalin, which is a consulting book to all the Communists in the world to establish socialist regimes. It appears here that there are two types of revolutions, a bourgeois revolution and a socialist revolution, and Stalin stated perfectly which one was one type and which is the other type.
In accordance with those studies, through investigations which are not mistaken, because they are laboratory studies, a professional group, as specialists in this study of communism, we have arrived at the total conclusion that in Cuba, there now exists a regime socialist Soviet. And I have written, compiled a booklet of sociology that I am mailing to all the universities in Latin America where, after I have explained the technical studies of the Communists, I explain in sketches how the Soviet regime operates now in Cuba. I can leave the Senators a copy. It is written in Spanish.
Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Chairman, I ask that this be received, subject to the ruling that its printing be withheld subject to the committee's determination.
Senator DODD. Yes.
(Booklet referred to was placed in the subcommittee files for reference.)
Mr. SOURWINE. In regard to this list, at the time you gave it to the committee, it was secret and we accepted it with that classification.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I can repeat it publicly -- I can repeat them now if you so desire, Senators.
Mr. SOURWINE. I don't think it is necessary for the witness to repeat them. I just want to know if the witness has any reason why the list should not be printed in the public press?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I have not. I will be satisfied if it is published.
Mr. SOURWINE. I ask that this list go in the record, then.
Senator DODD. It may go in.
(The list referred to with the explanation made by the witness at the time, is as follows:)
EXHIBIT NO. 8
PRESENT IMAGE OF THE OFFICIAL LEADERSHIP OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN CUBA
The Communists have everywhere two linages of leadership: One that they show to the public, and the other that acts underground [or -- "one visible; the other invisible"].
The "underground" is the one that operates at La Cabaña [prison], with Ché Guevara, Carlos Rafael Rodríguez, Raúl Castro, and others. The public and official one is the following:
Juan Marinello Vicente Valéds
Blás Roca Calderio Edith García Buchaca
Anibal Escalante Dellunde Leonides Calderio
Manuel Luzardo César Escalante Dellunde
Joaquín Ordoquí Flavio Bravo
Lázaro Peña Osvaldo Sánchez
Carlos Rafael Rodríguez María Núñez
Ladislao González Carvajal Clementina Serra
Ursinio Rojas Jacinto Torres
Salvador García Agüero Mirta Aguirre
Nicolás Guillén Ramón Nicolau
Arnaldo Milián Felipe Carneado
Felipe Torres Oscar Ortíz
Ramón Calcine Honorio Núñez
Silvio Quintana Leonel Soto
Romérico Cordero Joel Domenech
José Luis González Virgilio Zaldívar
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. If you will please permit me, I am about to finish.
Twenty-four hours ago there was constituted in Havana the First International Communist Anti-American, the official newspaper for the Communist Party. It says:
The Cuban revolution starts a new era with the liberation of the people of America.
The names appear of the delegates of all the Latin American countries that attended that, meeting, and the text of the call which is being made to all the people of America to destroy the democracies of America.
I can also deliver to the Senators this copy, which is a copy of an official newspaper of the Government Of Cuba dated yesterday. This new International has as its objective to have all the people of America be against America. At this time in Havana is operated an office to which I made reference in the executive session, where there were delegates of all the Latin American countries and some of Europe and Asia. Now that organization turns out to be an international entity to organize the student body, laborers, intellectuals, farmers, and politicians against North America.
The basic objective of this movement and the strategic object of the revolution in Cuba is to call up the people of America, and I can guarantee, Senators, that on my last trip through Latin America I found a lot of propaganda and agitation against the United States.
The Soviet Union is fundamentally preoccupied with the propaganda because it is the first weapon at the present time. The television and radio have wrought a psychological revolution to our countries and the Soviet Union is taking good advantage to set the people of Latin America against North America.
Within the United States, in each capital, in each city, there is a movement under the name of "26th of July", by agents of the Communists, and enemies of the United States.
In Miami money is collected to buy weapons for Castro, stating that it is to attack the United States.
At a baseball game where I was two Sundays ago, they discussed the members of the "26th of July" publicly.
Senator KEATING. Who discussed it and where was the baseball game?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Orange Bowl, Miami, in the bleachers.
Senator KEATING. Was it where Havana was playing in the International League?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. No; they are not official baseball games. A group of members of the "26th of July" discussed that in case of war between Russia and the United States, they would be with Russia.
Senator KEATING. Were they U.S. citizens or Cuban citizens?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Cubans, residents in the United States.
In this same newspaper --
Senator KEATING. Are they in this country for permanent residence?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Many of them, a great majority of them.
Senator KEATING. Were you present at that time?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir. I heard it.
Senator KEATING. State their names.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I do not know them personally. I went to the game because of my brother-in-law, Manuel Perez, that plays as a catcher, and he discussed with the group of the "26th of July." I heard the loudness in their voices and so I approached them.
Senator KEATING. When was this, 2 weeks ago?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir; 2 weeks ago.
Then I reported this to the Federal Bureau in Miami.
Senator KEATING. I did not hear the answer.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. And I reported this to the Federal Bureau in Miami, and I reported to Immigration that there was a great group of Cubans that were going to parade on the, 1st of May in Havana in a demonstration against the United States. In this paper there is a photograph of Miami, of the club "26th of July" collecting money for weapons for Fidel. And that is being done in many cities in the United States.
Senator KEATING. Do you know how those people got here?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Many of those persons are Cuban immigrants that came many years ago or some years ago that left because of the, political problems in Cuba. But when Fidel came to the United States, copying what was done by Marti, he, went to look at the immigrant groups. He organized them in clubs. He sent them pamphlets, books, and other propaganda. He hypnotized them, suggested to them in the same manner that the Senators may recall Hitler used in the last war to push the movement of propaganda, that they were against the United States.
In the newspaper Hoy, official organ of the Communist Party in Cuba, a communication dated in Miami, signed by Alberto Lopez y Lopez, under the name of a maritime federation, Latin America, where re ratifies to the Confederation of Laborers of Cuba his membership in the union to them.
This is proof of how, within the United States, there are groups working in favor of the Communists and against the United States.
This is briefly what I wanted to say. If the Senators whish to question me ---
Mr. SOURWINE. What is this newspaper that you showed us first?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Revolucion.
Mr. SOURWINE. I do not want to offer the newspapers for the record, but I think they should be left with the committee and the committee can decide later.
Senator DODD. Very well.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Can I ask permission in relation to this newspaper to say 2 days ago there was here a Communist photographer who sent information injurious to the Senators. For instance, it says Senator Eastland said that he would give $35 to each of us, and he called us a word "Esbirro" which in Cuba is all offensive word, and he prepared false combinations of photography --
Mr. SOURWINE. Wait a minute.
Who is "he" who prepared anything false?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. The photographer that was here working for days.
Senator DODD. Is he here at the hearings?
Mr. SOURWINE. The headline says "Criminals in the United States."
Senator KEATING. Which one does he refer to there?
Mr. SOURWINE. The headline says "Criminals in the United States," does it not?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yankees. The photography showed persons who have appeared before this committee to testify.
Senator KEATING. Does he call Senator Eastland a Yankee in there?
Is that the word you meant, the dirty word?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Composite photography shows Cubans who have testified who belong to the Batista regime, and persons who are against Batista. They put them together in a composite picture to make it appear that they were all in accord.
The newspaper pictures speak for themselves. I can leave them here.
Mr. SOURWINE. If you would, leave the papers with the committee.
Senator KEATING. And we want to warn these photographers that we don't want any more of these composite pictures .
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. The newspaper Hoy announces the expropriation of land of Americans in Cuba.. When this news was published -- when this information was published, the United Fruit did not know then that they had taken their lands away, and Dr. Galdos Marino, who is the Intellectual director of the expropriation of American property in Cuba, is now in Washington, D.C., in a conference of agricultural reform, and several known Communists in Cuba have recently obtained permission to come to or live in the United States.
In the days of Galdos Marino -- he is one of the Cuban Communists, well-known in his fight against America. He publishes articles mostly every day against the United States. However, he obtained a visa, and he is in Washington now.
Senator KEATING. Is he here in an official capacity?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Possibly; yes.
Senator KEATING. Representing the Government of Cuba
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Undoubtedly he is.
Senator KEATING. Is he one of the delegates who is attending, a conference here?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir.
Senator KEATING. He is representing the Government of Cuba and is a known Communist in Cuba; is that right?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir: affirmatively.
Mr. SOURWINE. Are you going to let us have that newspaper, Hoy?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes.
One of the matters which I wish to just mention briefly is Prensa Latina , which has been spoken about here.
I am president of the Inter-American Organization of Newspaperman Against Anti-Communism, which has its headquarters in Lima, Peru, and has a membership of 826.
Mr. SOURWINE. You translated that, as "Newspapermen Against Anti-Communism." Perhaps he meant newspapermen against communism?
It seems from the witness' testimony so far that he would hardly be a member of a group of newspapermen against anticommunism.
The INTERPRETER. I am requesting the witness to write the name of the organization.
He, wrote "Inter-American Organization of Anti-Communist Newspapermen."
Mr. SOURWINE. Thank you.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. It has a membership of 826 members in Latin America. And it was established Prensa Latina in the month of June of 1959.
We investigated who were going to be the correspondents in all the countries of America, and we found that there were Communists in 72 percent of their number.
Later the agency Prensa Latina has followed totally the newspaper code written by Tass. That says no information can be made without and political objective and that propaganda should be directed always towards an objective.
Prensa Latina organized in March of 1960 a congress of Soviet newspapermen in Havana which was participated in by delegates of all the news agencies from behind the Iron Curtain, including China.
While this congress was taking place, they inaugurated a 4-hour daily program of radio in Spanish toward Latin America. And now there are 14 shortwave stations transmitting from between noon to 2 a.m. from Havana propaganda in favor of the Communists and against North America. And you call hear it in all extraordinary way, because the Communists give it to clubs and reunion groups; they put it on the radio, and thus they make certain that the other non-Communists must hear the program, too, and the propaganda.
In the propaganda the Communists have advanced much more than the United States. And with this I am extraordinarily preoccupied.
Senator KEATING. Preoccupied means worried, does it not?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I am worried, because during the 32 years I have studied Communists I have been able to confirm how communism advances while our countries do not wake up.
Within 48 hours from next Sunday there are going to be elections in Panama. And it is quite sure that the Communist, Party in Panama will win the elections. And there is panic now in Panama between the persons who are non-Communists, thinking that on Sunday, when the success of the Communist Party in Panama may be known, that there may be grave disorders.
And that is a worry, too, of the people of Guatemala.
And that is the worry of Honduras, where the active members got together, and they asked the President, Dr. Ramon Villeda Morales, for arms to defend themselves against Communists, because the propaganda of the Communists is covering all over Latin America.
Mr. SOURWINE. It should also be emphatically the worry of the United States?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. We, the democrats of America, we see the United States as the leader of the democracies in the Western Hemisphere. And when we see that here within the country the Communists increase, and letters are published like the one yesterday which was published by the Washington Post from an alleged Communist, that says that in the United States there are lynchings, liberty is restricted, and talks in favor of Castro, creating confusion, I see that there is an underground movement working all over this country, while we, the democrats and the anti-Communists, we are inferior.
Senator KEATING. Inferior?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir.
Senator KEATING. What do you mean by "inferior"?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. There is no organization in the United States nor in Latin America which is dedicated to the defense of the, democratic regime, to educate the child in school that he is living in liberty, and that the capitalist regime is the only economic system that already has its own revolution, like the system of corporations. There is no feudal capitalism now. However, there are newspapers, books, television, conferences at universities against the democracy, against the capitalist system, against the liberty which the Western Hemisphere is enjoying, while in Cuba the propaganda is controlled by the Government, and it is brainwashing the brains of the Cubans. And the Cuban, when he doesn't hear things about Cuba, can hear foreign matters, communism, because the radio channels of 16, 19, 25, and 31 meters are covered by communist programs.
We, the democrats, we have no means to counteract this campaign and take the poison which is being put in to the Cuban brain. That is why I said that we are, inferior.
Mr. SOURWINE. Did you know Carlos Rafael Rodriguez?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez was the brains behind the Communist Party, and at the present time he is professor of the University in Havana.
Mr. SOURWINE. Was he connected with the 26th of July movement?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Two months after Castro was in the Sierra Maestra -- he went to the Sierra Maestra, and he was the one that made the first agrarian reform that was dictated by Fidel Castro while at Sierra Maestra. And he is one of the most influential personalities presently in the Soviet Republic of Cuba.
Mr. SOURWINE. What call you tell us about American Communists visiting Cuba since Castro took over?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. There is a great interchange of North American Communists visiting Havana. In that newspaper that I gave you there is a delegation of North Americans participating in that which I have called the first American Internationale.
Senator KEATING. Thy are listed in this newspaper, the Americans that were attending this?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir; affirmatively.
Senator KEATING. Is this a Communist meeting?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir, a Communists, to such an extent that the great majority of the delegates at the time of being identified -- it says president, secretary of such a country.
Senator KEATING. Should we not have their names in the record?
Senator DODD. Which paper do you refer to?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I am making reference to the newspaper Revolucion. I will mark them myself.
Senator DODD. Very good.
Mr. SOURWINE. Read the names.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Here it is, Waldo Frank. This is the only name that appears in this.
Senator DODD. Did you say Waldo Frank?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir.
Senator KEATING. Is he the one who wrote the article?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Waldo Frank was delegated for the United States to this Communist meeting.
Senator DODD. When was this meeting?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. On the 4th of May, 2 days ago. There participated all the important Communist figures, in America.
Senator DODD. Does it appear that he is chairman of the committee known as "Fair Play for Cuba in the United States"?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. No, sir; it doesn't appear like that.
Senator DODD. I think it ought to appear in the record that they recently had a one-page advertisement in the New York Times, and among other names was the name of Waldo Frank as chairman of a Committee, for a Fair Deal in Cuba.
Senator KEATING. If it is the same Waldo Frank, which I assume.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Before this congress, there were formed in all the Latin American countries, including the United States, a Committee of Friends of the Cuban Revolution, which were the advance committees of this congress, which took place 48 hours ago. Waldo Frank represented in New York the organization Friends of the Cuban Revolution.
Senator KEATING. Is Waldo Frank the only representative of the United States at this conference?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. In this organization, yes. But I can assure you, Senators, that when I reach Miami, I will send you the complete report of my records of the North Americans which are in connection with and working with Fidel Castro, the names that I know.
Mr. SOURWINE. I think the committee would like to have that.
Senator DODD. Yes.
Mr. SOURWINE. And we should have that in the record if it can be supplied.
Senator DODD. By all means.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I solemnly promise to send it to you.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you know about visits to Cuba, since Castro took over, by open leaders of the Communist Party in the United States, such as William Foster?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir; I know. But I would not risk at this time giving you the names without having in mind the history.
I know, for instance, the movement which is taking place now in Cuba among the American Negroes, and I am compiling the data of the invitations that Castro is making to the American groups in the United States to go to Cuba with their expenses paid. And I have the names of several known American Communists that have gone to Cuba, but I don't have them with me and I don't want to rely merely on my memory.
Mr. SOURWINE. Will yon furnish those names to the committee?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir; I promise to send them to you as soon as I reach Miami.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you have information about Soviet propaganda published in New York and shipped to Cuba?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. No, sir.
Mr. SOURWINE. What can you tell us about the shipment of propaganda?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I have, no knowledge of propaganda, I don't remember of propaganda from New York to Cuba.
Mr. SOURWINE. What can you tell us about Soviet propaganda coming into Cuba from anywhere?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Havana is invaded by Communist propaganda. It comes from Mexico. It comes from Mexico, and it comes from Moscow, in proper Spanish, and books like this one from a common library. It costs $5, but they sell it for 50 cents, because the idea is that a lot of people can buy it.
Mr. SOURWINE. Who is Lazaro Pena Gonzales?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Lazaro Pena Gonzales was a long-time member of the Communist Party. He was secretary of the Federation of Laborers of Cuba, and is presently vice president of the World Syndical Union (World Federation of Trade Unions).
Mr. SOURWINE, Did he make a recent trop to Russia?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. He has traveled in recent years frequently to Russia.
Mr. SOURWINE. What is the connections with the Castro government?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Publicly, none. Castro's new Communist system in Cuba has eliminated from the first plane many of those old-time figures of communism, substituting for them persons who are not so worn.
Mr. SOURWINE. Who is David Salvadore?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. David Salvadore is a member of the Communist Party. He participated within the Communist Party, and he was supported by the Communist Party to own the Federation of Cuban Labor. But presently he has a crisis.
Mr. SOURWINE. I did not get the last word, presently what?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, he has a crisis. He has lost much of the faith that the Communist Party had in him, and he has been discarded.
Mr. SOURWINE. Who is Antonio Nunez Jimenez?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. He is one of the five supreme Soviets in Cuba. He is the director of the agrarian reform, in Communist talk, the supreme Soviet of the central government.
Mr. SOURWINE. What can you tell us about an organization known as the American-Caribbean Junta?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. The Soviet Union created in 1946 at the end of the last war, an organization which was named "Junta of Latin American Liberation," which had its headquarters in Prague, and which had a delegate from each of the Latin American countries. Later it was divided. There was created a junta or council of the Central American and the Caribbean with headquarters in Mexico, and presently if now functions in Havana. At the same time they created a Council of Liberation of South America, which was divided into the Pacific zone and the Atlantic zone. That Council of Liberation of Central America and the Caribbean is what took the place of the old Secretariat of the Caribbean which was owned by the Communists.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you say that this Junta of Liberation, which was formed and controlled by Moscow, was responsible for placing "Che" Guevara next to Castro?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. "Che" Guevara was put in by the junta, and the importance of "Che" Guevara in the Castro government reveals that it has a great protection from outside.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you know of any connection that "Che" Guevara had with a radio station under the name of "Red Star"?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. The Red Star had a very brief life. It came into life in Santa Clara, Cuba, on the 26th of December of 1958, and it closed the 2d of January of 1959. Through the station "Che" Guevara spoke from Santa Clara on a 20 meter frequency and, at Havana, Carlos Franqui, who is now the director of the Revolucion newspaper.
Mr. SOURWINE. Carlos Franqui also spoke?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. He was in person responsible for the Red Star in Havana. I have the tape, I can give you the tape now of his broadcasting.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you have information respecting a file on Raul Castro which was in the records of the Cuban Intelligence, Service?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Of Raul Castro, no, sir. I remember from all the investigation that he was a Communist agent.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you remember telling us in the executive session about the three steps toward communism in Latin America?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir. That is why, when I first started to speak, I explained that that step bad already been advanced.
Mr. SOURWINE. Now, in executive session you told us about Communist control in the armed forces of Cuba.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. The armed forces of Cuba, are not Cuban, they are Communist. Cuba has no army now, and it has to be outside of the mutual defense pact, because the armed man will answer to communism and not to the Cuban security.
Mr. SOURWINE. Are you saying there are no non-Communists in the Cuban armed forces today?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Everything is Communist in Cuba, The army receives indoctrination, films, Communist films, Communist books, professors of Marxism, so that that army is completely Communist.
Mr. SOURWINE. What can yon tell us about Communist control in the civil government of Cuba?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. The Government, what is known as the, Government in all democratic ways, the President and the Council of Ministers, Secretaries, are dependent oil the supreme Soviet. They change a president, they remove a minister, they remove the whole government, because of the orders of the supreme Soviet. It is a government by front, where there is no legislative power, nor executive power, it has not sufficient power, and the judicial power has been annulled by the courts of the revolution.
Mr. SOURWINE. Are you going so far as to say that there are no persons in official positions in the civil government of Cuba except Communists?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. There are none. The last one that was there was the minister of credit, and a month ago he was thrown out of power.
Mr. SOURWINE. Is there Communist control of labor in Cuba today?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Completely.
Mr. SOURWINE. How Strong is Communist influence among the campesinos, the farmers?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. It was very strong, because the Communists expected [promised] that they were going to receive the land. But as the months went by there has been disappointment among certain sections of the farmers. Now there is in Cuba -- the laborers, intellectuals, farmers, all of them are apparently satisfied with Castro, because he who is not is accused of being counterevolutionary, and they will take his property away, and jail him.
In my case I was against Batista, and I am well-known in Cuba as a person who was against Batista. The mere fact, of protesting the Communist presence provoked them to take all my property away. They took my home. They took my passport. And I have been a man without a country, because they accused me of being antirevolutionary, because I attacked communism.
So then there is terror in all the social planes of Cuba. Yesterday they called me by telephone from Miami to inform me that the family of my wife that resided in Havana were jailed in vengeance because I had come to testify before the U.S. Senate. And at this time I don't know what has happened to them.
Senator DODD. Who did you say this was, your wife's family?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Brothers and uncles of my wife, that had nothing to do with me.
Mr. SOURWINE. You say they live in Havana?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes sir; they do.
Mr. SOURWINE. And they have been arrested and put in jail since you came to testify before this committee?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir, as soon as my name appeared in the newspaper Revolucion that I was here.
Senator DODD. I suppose that the, intention was to get you not to testify any further, and I think you should be commended for going ahead with your testimony. And I know I speak for all the members of the subcommittee when I say we are grateful to you for continuing appearing here today.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Thank you, sir.
Mr. SOURWINE. What can you tell its about Communist control over student groups in Cuba?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Some years back the Communists changed the tactic of having the laborers as an advance, and now they use the students. At the University of Havana they have all executive power, because the federation which controls the students is in the hands of the, Communists to such an extreme that courts have been created locally within the university to judge and purge, the students that, may act anti-Communist. They accuse them of being antirevolutionaries, and then expel them from the university, and then they are delivered to the outside courts to be tried.
This is not a mere supposition, this is now. There have been judged and expelled seven students, and they are now in jail in military forts in Havana.
They celebrated during the month of February this year an international congress of Cuban youth in Havana, and on the 19th of June of this year they have earmarked another big congress where there will participate youth from Asia and from Africa. The youth is the advance of the Communists now into all Latin America.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do I understand correctly that you stated that seven students were thrown out of the University of Havana and put in jail for no other offense than being anti-Communists?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir; that is correct.
Mr. SOURWINE. Do you remember referring to what you called the armed Communist brigade?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir. But after that the militia men surged forward, and they are all over the country now.
Mr. SOURWINE. What can you tell us about Communist control of the press in Cuba?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. That is one of the matters of most interest in the history of Cuba.
In Cuba now there is only one newspaper that defends the democratic system, which is the Diario de la Marina. There are two newspapers which are not yet government owned but which have been cowed greatly, which are Prensa Libre and Crisol. The rest of the newspapers are under the power of the Government. And in Cuba everything which is done by newspapermen is propaganda, it is not information. There is no information as to what is going on; there is propaganda of what the Government wants.
The, same thing happens with the television, and the same happens with the radio.
The Diario de Marina, when it published an editorial giving its opinion, if the opinion is not in favor of Castro, they place below a marginal note where they say, "What appears written above is not the truth."
When President Eisenhower had a news conference with reference to Cuba just a few weeks ago, the AP cable had 3 inches, and the marginal note against the cable was 14 inches. There are articles against the cables and the opinion in favor of democracy. Besides, there is a law which punishes by 1 to 10 years the newspaper which says anything against the revolution.
And there is another law that specifies that all who have been convicted of antirevolutionary activities will lose all their property, including their wearing apparel. There are very few newspapermen who are brave enough to say anything.
In Miami there are 82 newspapermen and in New York there must be 6 or 8.
Mr. SOURWINE. You mean Cuban newspapermen?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Yes, sir; Cuban newspapermen.
Mr. SOURWINE. What call you tell us about Ernesto de la Fe?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Ernesto de la Fe is in jail, the big subject of torture. Ultimately we knew that he had been wounded on the head, and his faintly has not been able to see him since November of 1959. There is a great hate against Ernesto, like the one that existed against Lieutenant Castaño who was shot, and against me, who was able to escape with life.
Mr. SOURWINE. Is there anything that you feel would be of interest to the committee that you feel would be of interest to the committee that you want to tell us before you go?
I want to explain that the committee's interest is in what this means to the United States, what does this situation portend for our own country?
Is there anything else that you want to tell us that we have not asked you about?
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Well, I believe that the United States, its people and its Government, have not yet comprehended that we are at war now, where the propaganda has made Russia advance, and we have lost, democratic force. And the, only hope of the Latin American countries is the activity of the United States of America, because the problem of Cuba is not now a local problem of a people, it is a continental problem, I would say world problem. And the same thing that is affecting Cubans now, the empire of the Communists in Cuba, should affect the people of North America within a very few years, if measures are not taken in due time. That is my belief and the product of my last 32 years of study of the Communists in America.
Senator DODD. Mr. Diaz-Verson, I want to say to you that the committee is grateful to you for appearing here. We understand that it is not easy for one who has friends and relatives in Cuba, and undoubtedly some retaliation will be visited on them. You have already told us the news that members of your wife's family have received retaliatory treatment. And so we appreciate the fact that you have come here and given us the benefit of your knowledge about present conditions in Cuba.
I might say for the record that the purpose of these hearings, which we have explained, and I think it might be well to explain again, is to make a public record of the information that has come to the attention of the subcommittee.
We want to get it on the public record so that it will help the Congress from a legislative standpoint, and that is the purpose of holding these hearings.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. I feel very proud to be able to participate in the investigation and the record to be used for legislative purposes.
Senator DODD. Thank you.
You may be excused.
Mr. DIAZ-VERSON. Thank you.
(The following communication from Mr. Diaz-Verson was later received by the subcommittee and ordered translated from the Spanish and printed in the record:)
[Translation by the Library of Congress]
To the Internal Security Subcommittee of the Senate of the United States of America, Washington D.C.:
SIRS: In accordance with the promise given to your subcommittee to appear before it to testify in public hearing on the 6th of this month of May, and under the oath rendered by me, I am hereby completing the data which I could not supply during my testimony because they were not at that time properly fixed in my recollection.
Following an inflexible law of Leninism, when the proletarian régime of Cuba was established, measures were taken so as not to confine the social, political, and economic movement to a single country, but to extend it to the other countries of the Western Hemisphere. And this is how we saw Havana become transformed into a city of international agitation, while committees, groups, and representatives of all Communist Parties of the world being installed there.
As early as February 10, 1959, Eugene Dennis and Robert Thompson dispatched to the Communist régime of Fidel Castro a message from the Communist Party of the United States of North America, notifying it of its endorsement and solidarity, which was published by the Red press throughout America [the American Continent]. Later, on the 26th of that same month of February, Jack Williams wrote, on behalf of the Communist Youth of the United States, to the Cuban Communists, notifying them of his [their] identification and union; and on June 16, in joint meeting, the Committees of the Communist Party of the United States again confirmed, in writing, to Fidel Castro their endorsement and solidarity, which [agreement] was published by the Red press of the American Continent.
And so, during all of 1959, the visits of Communist delegates of the United States and the communications and relations between the two homogenous groups were repeated [continued].
On April 2, 1960, a meeting took place at the Cuban Consulate in New York of 75 North American Communists, according to the Prensa Latina, to sign a pact of unity between North American and Cuban Communists.
Prior thereto, in December 1959, the Communist régime of Fidel Castro appointed as Director General of Tourism the Cuban Communist leader Baudilio Castellanos, who initiated contacts with Negro groups of the United States asking them to come to Cuba as tourists and commissioning the former boxing champion of the world, Joe Louis, and William Rowen, former Assistant Police Commissioner of New York. to agitate among the Negroes of the United States and to invite them to go to Cuba. The press throughout the world published on January 4, 1960, AP cables, with a Havana dateline, reporting this action taken by the Castro régime designed to promote Negro tourism [tourist travel] to Havana in order to indoctrinate these people in revolutionary activities against the government of this nation.
The unification between Cuban and North American Communists is not a secret, since it has been published throughout the Communist press of the American Continent and the Socialist countries.
Recently, on April 6, the Communist Youth of North America [USA] met in Philadelphia and appointed a committee to go to Cuba and to deliver to their Cuban comrades a song recorded in English language and 100 medial books, according to Havana's Red newspaper, Hoy, of April 8, p. 4, col 8.
But the same thing has been happening all over America. Communists of the entire Western Hemisphere are living in Havana, together with Communists from Asia, Africa, and Europe; and all activities of these delegates, and of their agents in their respective countries, were concentrated, as a firm and unified scheme, attacking and discrediting the United States of North America.
The treacherous joint work of International Communism against the United States has already produced a strong loss of face and a broad wave of disrespect for the country of Washington.
During the past 30 years, while traveling and studying all over Latin America, I felt certain that the United States was being feared and respected in every country.
"The United States cannot permit a Communist régime in America," millions of people were crying out. "The United States cannot permit anybody to harass it." "The United States will crush anyone daring to oppose it" -- was what the people of South, North, and Central America were repeating over and over again.
But all this has been willed out. Those words are no longer being repeated, because respect for North America has been lost due to the constant and never-ending work of the Communists, because they see how the Colossus of the North is being insulted in Cuba, without anything being done: because they see how a North American Ambassador (Mr. Bonsai) is being harassed and mistreated, without anything being done; because they see how our good friends can be attacked without receiving the punishment which they deserve.
And that which has up to now been provoking the loss of respect for the United States, will also provoke, within a short time, the loss of all land, business, and money invested by the North Americans in Latin America.
As the Soviet Union knows that its only great opponent in the struggle for world domination is North America alone, it has mobilized all its resources for the purpose of weakening its moral and ethical [sic] forces, discrediting it in Latin America; but, hearing in mind that there is a Mutual Military Aid pact, the Soviet Union has proceeded to the destruction of the professional armies of the entire Continent. Thus it has managed to destroy the armies of Bolivia and Cuba, and is now acting to destroy the armies of Venezuela and of the remaining countries of America. In Brazil, Argentina, and other countries, large Communist cells have been discovered in the ranks of the military.
From the Russian base of the Caribbean -- that is what the Island of Cuba now is -- only 90 miles from the coasts of North America, slogans [or, badges,] arms, and money are being shipped to the rest of the Continent for the purpose of promoting agitation against the United States, while, tinder the pretext of commercial [exploitation], work is already being done in the field of nuclear [energy].
Inside the United States, 500,000 Latin Americans, their majority being Cubans, are making up the Fifth Column, which attacks the United States, aids in discrediting it, and collaborates with the enemies of Democracy, and this is being done in full view of everybody, without any attempt to hide, because they speak Spanish which the majority of the North Americans do not understand.
And while this is going on, bellicose preparations are made to promote in Havana, among other things, an anti-U.S. revolution in Puerto Rico by making use of the Puerto Rican Communist leaders Enamorado Cuesta, Ramón Mirabal, and Carmen Rivera.
Hundreds of Communists coming from Cuba visit universities, labor centers, farm groups, and professional and intellectual organizations all over America, inviting them to unite with Cuba against North America.
But the fight is going even beyond that. In 1942, the Academy of Science of the U.S.S.R., upon orders of the Supreme Soviet, designated Professors Kotovski, Miroshevski, and Rubzov to manufacture a new History of the Colonial and Dependent Countries of Latin America; it was printed in the Spanish language and is being used as textbooks in many of our countries.
In Cuba, the Communists Carlos Rafael Rodríguez, Sergio Aguirre, and Jorge Castellanos wrote a new "History of Cuba," which is now also being used as textbook in that country.
At the University of Quito [Ecuador] courses in Marxism are given based on the text of Manuel Augustín Aguirre, professor of economics, and in all our universities, including those of North America, classes are being given in Socialism and Marxism, without balancing them with [classes in] democratic objective.
If fact, we are already in World War III; but neither the United States nor the democracies of America have as yet comprehended that this is a conflict that is different from the previous ones, and that, rather that the atomic bomb and guided missiles, it is propaganda which s going to conquer and dominate the human beings of the free countries.
Formerly there was neither radio nor television, and the armed forces had to resort to violence in order to impose their objectives by force. Now, under the leadership of experts and intellectuals, invisible armies are going to intrude into the homes, speaking to the human beings and conquering them without firing bullets or resorting to appreciable acts of violence. And man is going to cease being free, to be transformed into a slave through complicated psychological machinery, the product of propaganda.
But while every night all of Latin America is listening on the 16, 19, 25, 31, 42, 46, and 60 meter bands [channels] to the Spanish-language broadcasts from Peking, Radio Poland, Radio Moscow, Radio Prague, and other stations from behind the Iron Curtain, and sees on its televison screens local programs inbred with Communist ideologies, and hears local radio programs with "Red" Hours, it has not at any time an opportunity to hear radio broadcasts or view television programs designed to wipe out the effects of Communism and to reestablish the truth about democracy, freedom, and our social and economic systems.
[Soviet] Russia gives to its agents powerful assistance. It gives them passports when theirs are seized. It gives them money when they need it. It gives them arms when they require them. They are being defended and aided in all their activities that follow strictly the ironclad Communist line [of policy]. However, we Democrats, we true anti-Communists, we get no protections from any power of from any group; and take my own case, for instance, in which the Red dictatorship of Cuba seized my passport and turned me into a man without a country and deprived me of the ability to travel and to attend anti-Communist congresses -- get no assistance whatever, and under the laws of the Free World, my deportation has been ordered because I have no passport, and meanwhile, in Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, and other capitals of the American continent, groups of anti-Communist newspapermen, intellectuals, and professional men are becoming desperate because they see how Communism is making progress and they are unable to detain it, as nobody helps or protects us, while Communism is gaining strength day by day.
The language difference, and the ignorance on the part of North American officials of our people's psychology, have aided [Soviet] Russia's progress in America; and today the situation is grave, difficult, and complex. That is why it is necessary to act with speed, without losing time, in order to prevent our children, yours and ours, from becoming slaves of Soviet Russia's imperialism.
If your committee should desire further information on any of the points which I have made here, I am ready to supply if and to collaborate in whatever may be useful in serving the cause of freedom and democracy of America.
Mr. SOURWINE. There has come to the committee a statement issued by the AFL-CIO Executive Council on May 4 on the subject of Cuba. And it is suggested that it might be offered for the record if the chair pleases.
Senator DODD. Yes, I have read it. I think it should be in the record, and it is so ordered and will be made a part of the record.
(The statement of AFL-CIO Executive Council was marked "Exhibit No. 10" and reads as follows:)
Exhibit No. 10
Statement on Cuba by the AFL-CIO Executive Council, May 4, 1960, Washington, D.C.
Since the fall of the Batista dictatorship in Cuba, the AFL-CIO has expressed in several occasions its complete support of the Cuban people's efforts to rebuild the political and economic structure of their country on the basis of social justice, freedom, civic morality, and human rights. We have also offered our cooperation to the Cuban labor movement in whatever action might be required to maintain it truly independent and democratic, free of Communist influences, and solely responsible to the will of its members.
In the early months of the Fidel Castro regime, we shared with other true friends of Cuban democracy the misgivings caused by the initial excesses of the revolution; but we also shared the hope that democratic processes would soon be restored, so that the many, long-overdue economic reforms would get underway. The Cuban people could then utilize the resources of their country for improving their social and economic conditions and strengthening their democratic institutions.
Events in Cuba have taken, however, quite a different turn. The latest manifestations of the Castro regime have revealed unmistakable signs of a definite trend toward a totalitarian state. This is based upon the technique of regimentation and militarization of the masses to a degree comparable to the practices prevailing under Fascist of Communist regimes.
The Cuban Confederation of Labor has become a mere appendage of the Government under complete control of pro-Communist elements imposed from above without consideration of the will of the rank and file.
Loyalty to democratic principles and opposition to communism has been branded by the Castro government as synonymous with counterrevolutionary activity, punishable with discharge from the job, immediate arrest, and loss of property.
The right of collective bargaining has been abolished. As in countries behind the Iron Curtain, Cuban workers are no longer free to change jobs without Government approval. Hiring and firing have become the prerogative of the Government. The quest for economic improvement, a legitimate trade-union activity, has been banned.
Cuban Government spokesmen have asserted that the people will not be given, in the foreseeable future, the right to choose their leaders through the process of democratic elections. The courts have been submitted to the arbitrary will of the executive. The right of habeas corpus has been indefinitely suspended.
The Communist party is the only political party which is free to operate today in Cuba. Opposition newspapers have been forced to close. Democratic journalists, who distinguished themselves in opposition to the Batista regime, have been forced into exile for insisting upon their right to criticize the pro-Communist policy of the present Government.
These actions on the part of the Castro regime in Cuba have shocked the democratic public opinion of the Western Hemisphere, particularly those sectors which rejoiced over the victory of the revolutionary forces in January 1959, and have consistently supported the economic reforms and other social objectives once proclaimed by the revolution.
The Cubans, our traditional friends, are being subjected to an intensive violent campaign of hatred and scorn against the United States. This propaganda of hate, organized with the official sanction of the Castro government, has been extended to other countries of Latin America with the obvious purpose of causing suspicion and enmity toward the United States. This has been aggravated by the repudiation, on the part of the Castro regime, of the treaties which are the foundation of out inter-American system. These treaties bind the countries of the Western Hemisphere to respect the other's sovereignty and pledge them to unite against aggression and internal Communist subversion.
The disruptive activities of the Cuban Government can no longer be lightly dismissed as outbursts of inexperienced, youthful leaders wept by the upsurge of economic nationalism. They have all the earmarks of a well-planned strategy designed to make Cuba an advanced outpost of the Soviet Union's drive to infiltrate the New World.
The AFL-CIO has consistently advocated that dictatorships have no place in the world, particularly in out inter-America system. We have consequently urged time and time again, the Organization of American States (OAS) to isolate the dictatorship of the Dominican Republic and similar regimes which do not emanate from the freely expressed will of the people. We have also urged the OAS to take firm steps to prevent these dictatorships from endangering the peace of the Western Hemisphere.
We call upon the American family of nations, through the instrumentality of the OAS, to be alert to the danger that the Castro regime and other dictatorships represent to democratic stability and the peace and progress of the Americas. The OAS has in its charter sufficient provisions to enable it to take collective measures to protect the peaceful democracies from the aggressive designs of the dictators and from the subversive actions of international communism.
The AFL-CIO sends the Cuban people renewed expressions of support for their aspirations of economic reforms capable of bringing higher standards of living, social justice, national economic independence and democratic freedoms.
We also send the fraternal assurance of solidarity to the free trade unionists of Cuba, now fighting to rescue their labor movement from the presently imposed pro-Communis, totalitarian control. We are with them with the same spirit and determination that has inspired the AFL-CIO to oppose dictatorship and totalitarian rule of every color and kind, in every part of the world.
Senator DODD. The witnesses that have not been heard will come back Monday at 10:30 a.m.
(Whereupon, at 4:35 p.m., the committee adjourned, to reconvene at 10:30 a.m., Monday, May 9, 1960.)