AN INTERVIEW WITH CHE

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Tue Oct 31 14:47:32 MST 2000


http://www.monthlyreview.org/961che.htm

Volume 13, Number 4

Monthly Review

September 1961

Cuba and the U.S. by Che Guevara

The questions below were submitted, in writing, to Comandante Guevara by
Leo Huberman during the week of the invasion; the answers were received
the end of June.—The Editors

(1) Have relations with the U.S. gone “over the brink” or
is it still possible to work out a modus vivendi?

This question has two answers: one, which we might term “philosophical,”
and the other, “political.” The philosophical answer is that the
aggressive state of North American monopoly capitalism and the
accelerated transition toward fascism make any kind of agreement
impossible; and relations will necessarily remain tense or even worse
until the final destruction of imperialism. The other, political answer,
asserts that these relations are not our fault, and that, as we have
many times demonstrated, the most recent time being after the defeat of
the Giron Beach landing, we are ready for any kind of agreement on terms
of equality with the Government of  the United States.

 (2) The U.S. holds Cuba responsible for the rupture in  relations while
Cuba blames the U.S. What part of the blame, in your opinion, can be
correctly attributed to your country? In short, what mistakes have you
made in your dealings with the U.S.?

Very few, we believe; perhaps some in matters of form. But we hold the
firm conviction that we have acted for our part in accord with the
right, and that we have responded to the interests of the people in each
of our acts. The trouble is that our interests, that is,
those of the people, and the interests of the North American monopolies
are at variance.

(3) Assuming that the U.S. means to smash the Cuban
Revolution, what are the chances of its getting help from the O.A.S.
group?

Everything depends on what is meant by “smash.” If this means the
violent destruction of the revolutionary regime with the help—likewise
direct—of the O.A.S., I believe there is very little possibility,
because history cannot be ignored. The countries of America understand
the value of active solidarity among friendly countries, and they would
not risk a reversal of such magnitude.

(4) Does Cuba align itself in international affairs with the neutralist
or Soviet bloc

Cuba will align herself with justice; or, to be less absolute, with what
she takes for justice. We do not practice politics by blocs, so that we
cannot side with the neutralist bloc, nor, for the same reason, do we
belong to the socialist bloc. But wherever there is a question of
defending a just cause, there we will cast our votes—even on the side of
the United States if that country should ever assume the role of
defending just causes.

 (5) What is Cuba's chief domestic problem?

It is difficult to assess problems with such precision. I can mention
several: the “guerrillerismo” which still exists in the government; the
lack of comprehension on the part of some sectors of the people of the
necessity for sacrifice; the lack of some raw materials for industries
and some non-durable consumer goods, resulting in certain scarcities;
the uncertainty as to when the next imperialist attack will take place;
the upsets in production caused by mobilization. These are some of the
problems which trouble us at times, but, far from distressing us, they
serve to accustom us to the struggle.

(6) How do you explain the growing number of Cuban
counter-revolutionaries and the defection of so many former
revolutionaries?:

Revolutions function by waves. When Mr. Huberman asked this question,
perhaps it was accurate, but today there are fewer
counter-revolutionaries than before Giron Beach. The
counter-revolutionary attack increased slowly until it reached its
climax on Giron Beach; then it was defeated and fell drastically to
zero. Now that it is again attempting to raise its head and inflict new
harm, our intention is to eliminate the counter-revolutionaries.

The defections of more or less prominent figures are due to the fact
that the socialist revolution left the opportunists, the ambitious, and
the fearful far behind and now advances toward a new regime free of this
class of vermin.

(7) Can the countries of Latin America solve their problems while
maintaining the capitalist system, or must they take the path of
socialism as Cuba has done?

It seems elementary to us that the way of the socialist revolution must
be chosen, the exploitation of man by man must be abolished, economic
planning must be undertaken, and all means of assisting the public
welfare must be placed at the service of the community.

(8) Are civil liberties, Western style, permanently finished while your
government is in power?

This would depend on what civil rights were referred to—the civil right,
for example, of the white to make the Negro sit in the rear of a bus;
the right of the white to keep the Negro off a beach or bar him from a
certain zone; the right of the Ku Klux Klan to assassinate any Negro who
looks at a white woman; the right of a Faubus, in a word, or perhaps the
right of a Trujillo, or Somoza, or Stroessner, or Duvalier. In any case,
it would be necessary to define the term more precisely, to see if it
also includes the right to welcome punitive expeditions sent by a
country to the north.

(9) What kind of political system do you envisage for Cuba after the
present emergency period of reorganization and reconstruction is over?

In general terms it may be said that a political power which is
attentive to the needs of the majority of the people must be in constant
communication with the people and must know how to express what the
people, with their many mouths, only hint at. How
to achieve this is a practical task which will take us some time. In any
event, the present revolutionary period must still persist for some
time, and it is not possible to talk of structural reorganization while
the threat of war still haunts our island.


--

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222



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