Reflections by the Commander in Chief
THE EMPIRE AND ITS LIES
It was Reagan who created the Cuban American National Foundation, whose sinister involvement in the blockade and in terrorist actions against Cuba would be revealed years later, when the United States declassified secret documents, albeit full of information that had been shamefully crossed out. Had these documents come to light earlier, our conduct would not have been different.
What follow are excerpts, quoted verbatim, of the conversation between the two:
“ISIDORO MALMIERCA: We summoned you to this meeting on the express request of President Fidel Castro. He asked me to begin by expressing our appreciation for the information on the assassination attempt on President Reagan that you provided us with through director Joaquín Más. On behalf of President Fidel Castro, we also wish to express how deeply we regret this event and our sincere hope that President Reagan will recover from this attack as quickly as possible.
“WAYNE SMITH: Thank you, very much.
“ISIDORO MALMIERCA: We have been receiving information about the medical attention the President is receiving. Initially, you had also received information that the consequences of the attack did not appear to be that severe, but it seems the situation is more complicated and he is undergoing surgery.
“WAYNE SMITH: Yes. Our impression is that he has been operated on already, but over the radio they are now saying that the operation is to begin now. It is likely to be over in, say, an hour. A 3-hour surgery, I mean, is nothing simple, especially for a 70-year-old man. They say there's no danger. My interpretation of this is that there's no immediate danger. But, for a 70-year-old man, a 3-hour surgery is a serious matter. They say he is not in serious condition, that his condition is stable. We hope everything goes well. I thank you for your best wishes, your concern and President Fidel Castro's message.
SMITH: Thank you, very much. My God! This is a difficult situation. President
Kennedy was assassinated in
MALMIERCA: In some cables, I read that he was born near Denver, 30 kilometers
SMITH: I don’t know. One of my consuls here in the Interests Section told me he
had heard on the radio that it's a guy who studied in the same school he did. I
don’t know, he may have lived a number of years in
"ISIDORO MALMIERCA: They say they're three brothers, the sons of a man who's in the oil business.
SMITH: His dad, yes. He's 22 years old. He was a student at
"ISIDORO MALMIERCA: You mean speculations about the political motivations behind that.
SMITH: Yes, that could, undeniably, prompt, encourage political readings. An
attack by a white man from
“ISIDORO MALMIERCA: There have even been a number of police reports which say that he acted alone, that he has no ties to any groups...
“WAYNE SMITH: Yes, it must have been an insane or fanatical person. He got so close to the President...He was captured immediately. He took out his weapon and fired…
“ISIDORO MALMIERCA: Brady died?
“WAYNE SMITH: No.
“ISIDORO MALMIERCA: They were saying he died.
“WAYNE SMITH: Yes. There were reports to that effect, that he had died. But the latest news is that he didn't, that he's in very serious condition, but that he hasn't died. I imagine that that a 45-calibre round would have been deadly, but a 22-calibre certainly gives him possibilities... It seems the shot hit him on the head, apparently in the head...That's not good news, there isn't much hope.
“ISIDORO MALMIERCA: A shot to the head, no matter what the caliber, is something very serious.
"WAYNE SMITH: Brady is in critical condition. He may survive, but he'd be a vegetable.
“ISIDORO MALMIERCA: I do regret that we should meet because of such an unfortunate event.
“WAYNE SMITH: I thank you for your best wishes. I will immediately send out a cable telling my government of our conversation. I kindly ask that you express my gratitude to President Fidel Castro.
No comments are needed. Malmierca's
version, written immediately after the meeting, speaks for itself. Wayne Smith
is today a staunch opponent of the blockade and aggressions against
But this is not the only example of our conduct towards the President of a country which, since the days of Eisenhower, has hatched hundreds of plots to physically eliminate me.
A highly confidential report submitted in
the summer of 1984 to an agent responsible for the security of Cuban
representatives in the UN warned of a possible assassination attempt on
President Ronald Reagan by a far-right group in
The assassination was planned for an
imminent date, for Reagan's visit to
We had all of the information at our disposal. We had the names of those implicated in the plot; the day, time and place where the assassination was to take place; the types of weapons the terrorists had and where they were being kept. In addition to all this, we knew where the elements who were plotting this were meeting and had a brief account of what had been said at a meeting.
The information was given Muller at a
meeting in a building located in 37 and
We provided him with all the information, making sure the most important details, such as the names of those involved, the place, time and type of weapons to be used, were clear.
At the end of the conversation, our official informed Muller he had received instructions from the Cuban government to report the matter urgently and that we had selected him because we knew he was an expert on security matters.
Muller read out what he had written down to ensure he had not changed anything and that all of the important information was there.
He asked about the source and was told it was reliable. He said that the Secret Service would need to meet with the Cuban officials. He was told this would not be a problem.
At around four thirty in the afternoon that day, Secret Service agents met with the Cuban representatives.
The meeting was held in
The agents were two young, white men with brush haircuts wearing suits. Their chief aim was to verify what Muller had reported, as evidenced by the copy of the cable he had sent them they brought with them. When the contents of the cable were read, they were told no information was missing.
The Secret Service agents wanted to know who had provided the information and how it had come into our possession. They were told what Muller was told. They were also interested in knowing if we could elaborate on the information, and they were told that, if any new information were to arrive, they would be immediately informed.
They left their cards and asked to be contacted directly if any additional information was received, saying there was no need to use Muller as an intermediary.
The following Monday, we received news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had detained a group of people in North Carolina, against whom a number of charges had been brought, none, as is logical to assume, related to the plan to assassinate President Reagan, who traveled to that State shortly afterwards as part of his presidential re-election campaign.
Four or five days following the arrests,
at the end of the week, Muller phoned the Cuban mission to invite the Cuban
official to lunch. They had lunch at the UN delegates’ lounge. The first thing
Muller did was ask that the official convey the United States' gratitude to the
Cuban government for the information provided, confirming that an operation
against those involved had been carried out. A Cuban anti-terrorist activist
had saved the life of a
However, according to some accounts, in
his memoirs, Robert McFarlane, then Undersecretary of State under Alexander
Haig, wrote that, of all the governments that had had dealings with Fidel
Castro since 1959, Reagan's seemed the least indicated to hold talks with
Perhaps Reagan was grateful for our concern, when he was nearly assassinated in 1981, and for the warning that saved his life from imminent danger, and he expressed this gratitude through Robert C. Muller.
Reagan signed the first migratory accord with Cuba, but he could not rise above his milieu, for there were others, further to the right than he was, who would have physically eliminated him, as they did Kennedy after he faced the terrible risk of a thermonuclear war. To be sure, Reagan did change his policy towards Cuba in an electoral year, did not honor the accord he signed which guaranteed the granting of up to 20 thousand visas a year for safe trips by granting less than a thousand, and kept in effect the Cuban Adjustment Act, which has cost Cuba many lives.
These events happened to coincide with the
day in which we had convened nearly 15,000 higher education students and
university graduates for a gathering, on the occasion of the
re-opening of the
That painful incident occurred six years
ago today. Today, we know that the public was deliberately misinformed. I don't
recall any talk, that day, of the fact that, in the basements of those towers,
whose higher floors housed the banks of multinational corporations and other
offices, lay nearly 200 tons in gold bars. An order to shoot to death anyone
who attempted to get to the gold had been issued. The calculations with respect
to the steel structures, plane impacts, the black boxes recovered and what they
revealed do not coincide with the opinions of mathematicians, seismologists,
information, demolition experts and others. What is most shocking is the claim
that we may never know what actually happened. It is known, however, that a
number of people en route to
An analysis of the impact of planes similar to those against the towers, following accidental plane crashes in densely-populated cities, concludes that no plane crashed against the Pentagon and that only a projectile could have created the geometrically round hole that the alleged plane created. No passenger that perished there has turned up, either. No one in the world questioned the news about the attack on the Pentagon building. We were deceived, as were the rest of the planet's inhabitants.
When I spoke at the Ciudad Deportiva
sports complex that September 11th, I spoke of the tragedy that had
(…) We did not even consider postponing
the ceremony. It could not be postponed, despite the international tension
created by such events. I would imagine that almost everyone knows about them,
but to briefly summarize, at approximately 9:00 this morning, a Boeing
airplane, a really big one, crashed straight into one of the two New York
famous towers which make up one of the highest buildings in the world.
Naturally, the tower caught on fire because of all the fuel from such a big
airplane, and some horrific scenes began. And then, 18 minutes later, another
plane, also from an
A few minutes later, another plane crashed into the Pentagon. News arrived, in the midst of a certain amount of confusion, of a bomb outside the State Department, and other alarming events, although I have mentioned the most important.
Obviously, the country had fallen victim to a violent surprise attack, unexpected, unimaginable, something truly unheard of. And the scenes that ensued were appalling, especially when the two towers were burning, and foremost when they both collapsed, all 100 floors, spilling over onto neighboring buildings, when it was known that there were tens of thousands of people working there, in offices representing many companies from various countries.
It was only logical that
this would be a shock for the
Therefore, there were two
issues: the school and the extremely important course it will offer, and the
political and human catastrophe that had taken place over there, especially in
(…) Today is a day of
tragedy for the
Furthermore, we cannot forget the American people who put an end to the Vietnam War with their overwhelming opposition to that genocidal war. We cannot forget the American people who –in numbers that exceeded 80% of the population-- supported the return of Elián González to his homeland. We cannot forget their idealism, although it is often undermined by deception, because –as we have said often times– in order to mislead Americans to support an unjust cause, or an unjust war, they must first be deceived. The classic method used by that huge country in international politics is that of deceiving the people first, to count on their support later. When it is the other way around, and the people realize that something is unjust, then based on their traditional idealism they oppose what they have been supporting. Often these are extremely unjust causes, which they had supported convinced that they were doing the right thing.
Therefore, although unaware of the exact number of victims but seeing those moving scenes of suffering, we have felt profound grief and sadness for the American people.
We do not go around flattering any government, or asking for forgiveness or favors. We neither harbor in our hearts a single atom of fear. The history of our Revolution has proven its capacity to stand up to challenges, its capacity to fight and its capacity to resist whatever it has to; that is what has turned us into an invincible people. These are our principles. Our Revolution is based on ideas and persuasion, and not on the use of force.
(…)That has been our reaction, and we wanted our people to see the scenes and watch the tragedy. We have not hesitated to express our sentiments publicly, and right here I have a statement, which was drafted as soon as the facts were known and handed out to the international media around In the meantime, our television networks were broadcasting news of the events. This statement was scheduled to be read to the Cuban public tonight during the evening TV newscast.
I am going to move the time
up a few minutes by reading to you here and now the Official Statement from the
"The Government of the
(…)"It is not possible
to forget that for over four decades our country has been the target of such
actions fostered from within the
"Both for historical reasons and ethical principles, the Government of our country strongly repudiates and condemns the attacks against the aforementioned facilities and hereby expresses its most heartfelt sympathies to the American people for the painful, unjustifiable loss of human lives resulting from these attacks.
"In this bitter hour for all Americans, our people express their solidarity with the American people and their full willingness to cooperate, to the extent of their modest possibilities, with the health care institutions and any other medical or humanitarian organization in that country in the treatment, care and rehabilitation of the victims of this morning’s events."
Although it is not known whether the casualties are 5000, 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000, it is known that the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers and into the Pentagon were carrying hundreds of passengers, and we have offered to provide whatever we can, if necessary.
That is a country with great scientific and medical development and resources, but at some point in time it could need blood of a specific type or plasma –any other product that we could donate, we would be most willing to give-- or medical support or paramedics. We know many hospitals are short of specific technicians and professionals. In other words, we want to express our disposition and readiness to be helpful in relation to these tragic events.
(…) The hijacking of planes
–a method used against
(…) None of the problems affecting today’s world can be solved with the use of force; there is no global, technological or military power that can guarantee immunity against such acts, because they can be organized by small groups [which are] difficult to detect.
(...) It is very important
to know what the reaction of the
Nothing troubles us. Nothing
intimidates us. It would be very difficult to concoct a slanderous accusation
The days to come will be
tense inside the
(…) We would advise the leaders of that powerful empire to remain calm, to act with a cool head, to avoid getting carried away by a fit of rage or hatred, and not to start trying to hunt people down by throwing bombs just anywhere.
I reiterate that none of the world’s problems, not even terrorism, can be solved with the use of force, and every act of force, every imprudent action that entails the use of force anywhere, is going to seriously aggravate the world problems.
The way is neither the use
of force nor the war. I say this with the full authority of someone who has
always talked honestly, of someone with sound convictions and the experience of
surviving the years of struggle that
(…) We have proven that we can survive, live and make progress, and everything seen here today is an expression of unprecedented progress in all of human history. Progress is not achieved only through the manufacturing of automobiles; developing people’s minds, providing knowledge, promoting culture, and looking after human beings the way they should be looked after makes progress. That is the secret of the tremendous strength of our Revolution.
The world cannot be saved in any other way, and by that I mean the situations of violence. Let us seek peace everywhere and protect all the people from that plague of terrorism. There is another horrible plague today, which is called AIDS, for instance. There is another plague, which kills tens of millions of children, teenagers and adults in the world, that is, hunger, disease and a lack of health care and medicines.
In the political arena, there are absolutist ideas, and attempts to impose a single way of thinking on the world; this fosters rebellious attitudes and irritation everywhere.
This world cannot be saved
–and this does not have anything to do with terrorism-- if this unfair economic
and social order continues to be developed and applied; an order that is
leading the world to disaster, along a path from which there is no escape for
the 6.2 billion people living today and the future inhabitants of this planet,
suffering ever greater destruction and plunged further into poverty,
unemployment, hunger and despair. This has been proven by the masses in places
that have already gone down in history, like
The world’s most powerful
economic and political leaders now find it almost impossible to meet;
everywhere we can see that people are less and less afraid, and are rising up.
I was recently in
How enormously different is the conduct of
the Cuban government from that of the government of the
Fidel Castro Ruz