thumbnail of Say Brother; 914; Invitation From Cuba
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
We do. See it. Good evening and welcome to say brother I am 61 is Cobar tonight. We took a
close look at an issue that has divided the Cuban community in exile. The dialogue between the representation of people on exiles and the Cuban government for the release of thirty six hundred political prisoners from Cuban jails the reunification of Cuban families and the opportunity for Cuban exiles to visit Cuba in an effort to keep Boston's Cuban community an opportunity to present both sides of this issue. We have in our studio members of that community to debate issue both sides will be given an opportunity to answer questions directed at them by our guest journalists or not. Each side would also give an opening and closing statement on this issue. Our intent is to provide you the viewer with the facts and to allow you to determine who is right. In 1959 but very strong his troops see state power in Cuba. Thousands of Cubans fled the country since that time the conflict between Cuba and exiles and the Cuban government has range from political denunciation to actual
physical conflict. Many Cuban exiles have been imprisoned for their actions against the Cuban government. And this too has been a point of contention between the Cuban community outside on the Cuban government. Further the restrictions placed on travel between the United States and Cuba by both governments have not help alleviate the issue of conflict but rather have lent an air of suspicion to fabrication and exaggerations of actual events and circumstances. In late November 1978 dên be taken of Fidel Castro a committee of Cubans from the United States Puerto Rico Jamaica and Spain have gone out to discuss with President Castro and other Cuban officials the release of thirty six hundred political prisoners and the unification of Cuban families. Cuban representatives from around the world calling themselves the committee of seventy five discussed the signing of agreements which amount to a treaty between the Cuban exile community and the Cuban government although this Accords are not
agreements entered into by two sovereign states. Nor are they to be overseen by an international regulatory agency. Still the effect on the international community will be significant since the return of that committee of seventy five. Reaction to the dialogue has ranged from violent objection to jubilant elation and relief. Tonight we will discuss some of those opposing views to the invitation from Cuba. And Kirschner is currently assigned to the Boston Globe living section and was formally assigned to the glose Latino community. She's Spanish speaking and has traveled extensively in Cuba serving as an interpreter for her husband. That temple is the publisher of our monthly newsletter the citizens forum which has published many articles dealing with Cuba. Ricardo ostrich is a wholesaler of baked goods. Today's spondee community as well as a teacher of business skills. Oh I see he's bilingual training program. He is the precedent of
facts about Cuba. Maria thanda is an assistant controller at a local commercial bank. She has study economics in Cuba as well as in the U.S. all got the money. You employ us every location specialist with Boston's Redevelopment Authority. Mrs. Dumont is very active with local Hispanic community groups Dr. Miller you're currently completing his last year of residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and plans to specialize in internal medicine. He participated as a member of the committee of seventy five that went to help on November to begin dialogue. Also a member of the Executive Committee of the Cuban American Committee for an normalization of relations with Cuba. Professor Gates is currently on leave from her post as professor of social psychology at Rutgers University. She's a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Relations in Washington D.C. a member of the board of directors of our 8:0 the progressive magazine for Cuba
in the United States also a member of the committee of 74. Mauricio Bastogne is currently studying for his master's degree in urban planning at MIT. He also attended the November meeting in Havana. He is a member of Brygada Antonio myself and a member of his executive committee to begin our program tonight. This is all that the month will open with an opening statement on her side. Even my reason for being here is the facts about Cuba to enlighten the world. And my brothers and sister outside of the US inside the USA also about Antonio Maceo who is the son of the first lady mother of all land last person died of a slave due to that Satz. I am here this evening to express the feelings of the black people in RA and Boston who has not had the
initiative to come out and speak out and I want to take it out. Let the people in Massachusetts understand what Antonia muscle means to the Cubans in general the father. And like the first Abraham Lincoln to us due to the fact that it's been caught the first black man in Cuba who recognized the 7th of December international all over the island of Cuba known all over the United States. And because of that we sat here this evening to represent the facts of Cuba to enlighten the world to know the side of Cuba of yesterday on the Cuba of today. Dr. Lewis just so will make an opening statement for us on September 1970 said September 6 1979 Fidel
Castro launched an invitation to Cubans living abroad to engage in a dialogue with the Cuban government with respect to issues of concern to all Cubans for freedom of political prisoners unification of families. And the question of visits to Cuba Cubans living abroad. My opening statement concerns primarily this dialogue its implications its roots. There has been considerable amount of debate about why has Cuba launched this invitation. We feel that this invitation must be seen in the context of the process of institutionalization that has been taking place in Cuba particularly since 1970 and that in this general reordering of Cuban political and economic and social life some sort of definite policy towards the community living abroad was necessary. The Cuban community abroad had been
undergoing important changes of its own from a relatively homogeneous community that will violently actively opposed to the Cuban regime. It has been evolving and has been changing over the last few years. And right now it's a highly pluralized community very heterogeneous politically but definitely it's militancy and hostility against the regime has decreased markedly. We think that the opening the invitation of the Cuban government to engage in dialogue is a consequence at least partially of these changes within the Cuban community abroad. Also another factor must be pointed out is that the U.S. policy towards Cuba has also been undertaken undergoing changes over the last few years and at the present moment several positive steps have been taken in terms of normalizing relations between Cuba and the United States. Actually it's true with any major political decision or
different factors contribute to the taking of the decision and the timing of the decision. We feel that these that we have pointed out are the major factor but of course there's the present dialogue and the results of the dialogue mostly the liberation of political prisoners of which about 1000 have already been released since December when the agreement was signed in Havana between representatives of the community and the Cuban government and the visits and family reunification were not really going on at an accelerated speed. All these All these All these changes have of course an impact on the possibility of U.S.-Cuban relations. They diffuse the human rights issues. And finally we wanted to say was that 20 years has passed since the revolution came to power. Cubans can perhaps now become an example to other countries as a nation we have in spite of profound divisions which led to intense struggle and confrontation and no attempt
to solve the problem. And I have to interrupt you because we have to allow our reporters to direct their questions down. I'd like to start with Ms. Currie Shaiman actually direct a question to the size to my right. I'd like to ask Mr.. I asked her to present the facts about Cuba and how he feels about this dialogue that took place in the fall and winter of last year. Well we feel that the dialogue does not represent exactly the film of the Cuban exile community in the United States. They can use self call as is represented that if he doesn't say representing his representative and you could have anyone representing some issues we could have three person saying I am the representative but they are not representing exactly the couponing side community to the United States. Why would somebody from the facts about Cuba. Well on we are not consenting they have to remember facts of you know what would somebody like to participate in a dialogue. I don't think so. I don't think so why. Why would
that be. Because that goes against our concept what is freedom what is taxes mean when are you trying to make a deal like that. And could you elaborate a little more on your ask why not I think that's his broken is under tremendous pressure and he's pressed by the Soviet Union to make this kind of deal. He has some tremendous problem economically and all that you see pressure among the Cubans and what happened. He's trying to open the vault to let the president get out and how he's going to do it. Well he had to find somebody outside to instigate this type of situation to make this people be elected as a representative for the entire community with this people that are now representing almost 75 percent of the whole country in the United States will say Greece about 750000 Cubans who they go the whole country. And would you say to 75 members we representing the entire community. Well how do you feel about the results of the dialogue in the release of some of the political prisoners and the reunification of families and the
the Cuban Americans being able to travel to Cuba. I mean how do you know that's what came as a result of the dialogue. How do you feel about those. Well to begin with the first question related to prison. They said Castro said he said he only have 60 found a prison which is not true. He could cite the prison and he wanted to select. So I wanted to get the other side an opportunity to answer to your statement and we'll come back to that point later. If I may I would like to address the point of the representation that was present. First of all the committee of seventy five is just it's just a name. Actually that was over a hundred and forty people that that were present and the people world wide political various people who were ex-members of the two or five six Brigade that attacked the Bay of Pigs the acts secretary of peace that was pressing There was various clergymen there with various religious representatives some different
religious affiliations. There was people the spectrum the political spectrum was wide and varied all from the left all the way to people quite in the right. I read I can regarding myself myself somewhat in the middle of the group that when that went to or to discuss. And it was a rather open invitation. Thank you Mr. Temple. Now you have an opportunity to direct question. I'd like to direct a question I guess would be to a media career and this is that why should the United States recognize Cuber at a time in the past when Castro has been one of the greatest violator of human rights in the history of mankind on a mission with Cambodia Vietnam and the Soviet Union has killed thousands literally hundreds and thousands of people at a time when these Kuber has ten to fifteen thousand political prisoners at a time when the Castro's Cuba is still a totalitarian state from the secret police used on the order of the KGB in Russia. What is Prez's control what its people are denied their freedoms
when children are indoctrinated from cradle to the grave. To me being a representative of the communiqu Cuban community in the United States being a doctor and having an educated degree. I could compare the position of Castro's Cuba to that of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany where people were exterminated where families were broken and broken up to tempo. At a question here. It's not quite a question asked for a statement. Let me address some of the you for your grace. First of all in terms of human rights. President Carter when he in the month of December when he addressed the assembly on the World Wide assembly and human rights listed several countries that he considered as violators of human rights he did not mention the name of Cuba. He as a matter of fact mention that Cuba had set a very fine example in its releasing of all political prisoners. Well let me ask you a question. How can you say Cuba is not violating human rights with 50000 people have been liquidated since the revolution when thousands of
political prisoners in jail. I take issue with your statistics. Well it's been calm and no I mean for a few thousand people let's debate that on the other side with no way to verify what he's saying. Exactly. If Cuba had that opening statement of open mind about the human rights and everything. How come Castro never allow the International Red Cross to get into any prison where as you know in Chile you've got international reskilling going over and checking everything out and all that kind of you have to say oh that you have the same person. Now come this country. They are not working. They were recognized not allowing this type of situation in Cuba many many times allow the International Red Cross to prisoners get into a concentration camp they have showed up. But why. Because he's violating only the human rights of people. And everybody knows about it. Mr. uncharming I would like to ask you any of the people inside and have they would like the United States to deal with Cuba. Well would you be
your position if you were in a foreign policy making position. I said this and I think he's playing with that basic human feelings and I could relate to Nazi Germany and having the Jewish people in the United States being asked to travel to Germany and bring their gifts and their money. And how would they say morally about it. It is a very deep thing human feeling when you have close relatives. Money would be something that you would want to do. But on the other hand by doing that you are transcending that regime that is going to keep on oppressing those same familiaris you're trying to to help those those same relatives. I have the case of an uncle of mine that was imprisoned in Cuba for a few years and he was released from prison. He was rehabilitated which means he was forced to do things that would make him a shame himself. And after he was rehabilitated then left peace and he died two years two days after being released from prison
I think that's a very sad way. Would you deny other people the other Cubans the opportunity to visit their relatives or have they. I wouldn't deny anybody that. I think that's a personal decision to give the other side an opportunity to answer to that question. I would like to answer that. I think that the very fact that people are lining up at the travel agencies to work here in this country is proof that there's an overwhelming support in the Cuban community here for the dialogue and for travel to Cuba. A hundred thousand people are expected to go to Cuba this year and most of the people who are coming back could take the time to talk to them. Coming back with very favorable opinions. Furthermore the whole issue of keeping a hostile attitude toward Cuba is first what landed people in jail in the first place. The state of conflict between the United States and Cuba and also has done nothing to release any of the political prisoners that have been released.
In fact the political prisoners were released through a peaceful act which is a dialogue. So you have to live every day in that type of free station brainwashing and then everybody at least is not brainwashed and rehabilitation is what what is called in prisons everywhere the ability of people to get integrated into the community. That's what happens here. I think they actually put him in jail in this country struggle for it. And that's that's what you promote change. You know when you die they will have a chance to do to respond to each other. I'd like to ask Mr. ostrich how strong is the opposition to the dialogue that took place within the Cuban community. Well among the Cuban community to all the whole country they are in opposition to that dialogue because they do not represent the feeling of the Cuban people. That's to begin with. And secondly he's talking about 60 500 prisoners when we know exactly that it's over almost 50000 prisoners and then he denied the fact that he said. That some other person or they are imprisoned like those who don't want to let it go. And
Michael the only thing is he's in jail for this because he don't want to be a communist. And he wrote a letter to Castro that he wanted to quit his job and come away as a lieutenant commander of the army and then he got to the Senate to come in looking for help look for him. And then what happened was the airplane disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to them. And then what happened to a month went six. Can you tell me when you send somebody over to take a prisoner would you turn your back to the prisoner with a machine gun to your head you won't do that. Well I'm going to let this go. Ask a question. OK. We like to reply to that. I think it well you will have a chance because I was trying to clarify a point. It was my question. OK. I was trying to clarify his opposition but if you like to answer. Go ahead. No I wanted to answer because there have been several remarks about the number of political prisoners and where you can check on the gas regime honesty in terms of releasing prisoners. I think there are
many list of prisoners everybody that has a relative in prison knows who is in prison. I think by the time the release of the thirty six hundred prisoners is completed it will not be too difficult to check up if there is truly a sizable number of prisoners left in sight. Personally I tend to believe that in terms of political prisoners this figure is quite correct and that it represents roughly about 85 percent of all political prisoners in the island and they will all be released. Thank you Mr. Chairman. My question is if he's asked. Yes yes. I'm sorry. Q Thank you. Yeah I want to put my question to Ogola Dumont and that is what is the significance political significance to Castro of the Anthony the brigade and how is Castro using a black man in Cuba to his own political ends. Well in terms of them telling him I sailed in my most
believe of my black Cuban people in massive Tilsa very few has any say because they have family back in Cuba. They have used my sale as a Nihal for their own game in terms of saying we have brought this general wish to United States. The world doesn't know about. And I'm telling you my sale is known as the liberate of our country. The only black man there was others. But one of the main one that we celebrate said December the 7th. What is the political significance the Kasturi trying to use for his own political ends. That's where I think he tried to tell the world that he has trying to uplift the world people in the hemisphere of the Western Hemisphere. I wanted to ask you question does the black Cuban send sent to Africa a goal of his own will.
Because when you tell me that I have to go such place because if not I'm not going to survive to live. Is a difference when I go from I'll see Will and join the Army of the other side. I respond to that question please. I wanted to clarify something because I understand you have a member of the Antonino brigade. I'm too old for that. But again is composed of people that left Cuba as children. I participated in the process that created the brigade and we selected the name the Cuban government did not like the name we selected myself because we felt precisely that it was an important black leader that had not been clued up enough that had not been was the significance of all of which had not been underlined enough and everybody made everything after Jose Martino that we had anything against Jose Marti but we felt that Maceo should be highlighted and this is why we chose the name the Cuban government had nothing to do with this. I wanted to add something to that. On the issue you will have Africa I think we have a minute on the issue
of people in Africa Cuba wanting to help Angola in response to an invasion by South Africa. That's something that people should be very aware of. Well if it hadn't been for that South Africa I would have swallowed the New Republic long ago. People should be conscious of it. You'll have an opportunity. The former is questioned and rebottle. OK OK he's responding. A rebuttal to the question. You had an opportunity to answer before directed by Mr. Temple. Let me ask this question about going back to the dialogue. A dialogue. It's an ongoing dialogue I gather and you've already seen some results some very good results as a result of the first one. What will be the next objective for the dialogue. Do you have certain objectives in mind certain things you want to happen certain in a relationship to be established. Yeah I'm glad you bring up the dialogue again because that is the basis of our debate and it's important that we we bring some reason and we send to bear
the opposition. It's making a it's making the dialogue contingent upon the politics the internal affairs of Cuba. The dialogue is a way we approach it between the community your community there the Cuban government which has brought about three very important things has brought about. Number one the release of the political prisoners. Number two has brought about the ability of humans here to visit the island. One hundred thousand are expected to go there this year. So we have to get back to the very to the very issue of the death of the dollar. What I said is what will this mean. I think in the long run it will achieve a third which is the unification of the Cuban family the Cuban family was divided right down the middle. And now people are able to join hands together like a permanent condition with Cubans be able to travel to the United States to live. I think that the Cuban situation is very akin to the Polish situation in which
there are there is retirement to pull off from the US in Poland. There is a there is a risk freedom of a certain crowd between two countries and the Cuban-American community in this country over the years I think will will will have relations with its community its other generation in Cuba. Now is your opportunity to answer that what he was saying when I pointed out three main issues with the dialogue. How would you trust a man like Fidel Castro when he came back in 1961 62 rather he trade the prisoner of war your pick for sixty two million dollar medicine. Ok that was loaded in Havana poured in one side of the door it was loaded on the Soviet ship back in 1962. How could you treat me like that. That's one issue. Second issue he said the ruination of families. OK. The only thing that is allowed to go people will be willing to go to this paper that I am here to have to take a dual nationality passport and they have
obligate to way the Cuban laws and regulation and the system here where we suddenly to what he or she of primary alliance to Cuba and obligated to wait is law and regulation. So why not Cuba. He or she would be subject to all Cuban law may be treated solely as a Cuban by the government in Cuba. If it is called to the Army and served in the Cuban force it will have to do that. You can do that. I would like to. Our time is not up I hope. Yes it is yes. How can you answer that. I can answer that. My time place. I want to know. We are expressing dialogue. We were not interested in dialogue before to begin with. OK. So the Cuban community was not interested in dialogue to start with. We are interested in getting to gather with our relatives because of human suffering. Now in a country where the family means nothing because the children belong to the state from the moment they are born their children are taken to the fields when they are about 12. So they cannot see
their parents for a year. And this happens to boys and girls I have seen that they are bystanders to this thought we are 30 years old without knowing English and without knowing any body just because of this. Are you telling me that they really want to reunite the family that you say hypocrisy. That is my answer to you. Talk to me about that. We want a dialogue because we didn't want he once said in one second to six or to your time is up. Know it's a time when you have an opportunity to direct a question to the side. OK. Can we respond to the wealthy. Oh no question I'll ask when I was a rebuttal to your answer. I think the question I would like to ask. Don't you think that Castro's dialogue between his Cuba and the Cuban community in exile both pro and con is merely a smokescreen to prop up economically a defunct regime a regime that's economically in trouble. There are people in Cuba that want it overthrown.
And one of the people here to address that I would like to address that question. I think it's it's a very contradictory statement if the Cuban regime was so weak internally and it in so many great difficulties. Do you think that they would run the risk of accepting 100000 Cuban immigrants going back on a visit. I think that what permits the visits is precisely the origins that is more consolidated now than they did in the past. I just want to say that East Germany allows several million West Germans to visit East Germany each year to get their currency to prop up their economy because of the fascist nature of the East German regime and the Cubans that go to Cuba and the Americans that go to Cuba. I wrote a very very strict controls. They can only go here. They can't see military bases. They're very very restricted. A couple of the Americans traveled to the Bahamas are spending their money in the Bahamas. Any traveler will spend the money in the country of travel. That's that's quite obvious in
terms of some other points that have been raised the fact about trust. The facts speak for themselves. People are coming back. They're not coming back and lock and chains are coming back in one piece. Coming down just their relatives want to visit. It has to finish. And any traveler that travels to another country is bound by the laws of the country that someone coming from from the Netherlands from United States will abide by the U.S. laws serving in the Army. Let's let everybody Cybil get a turn to respond to each other statement. So will you please. Is there a time. We have the time. How much time they have. Thirty seconds. OK well there's a bunch of things that they've said that we'd like to read but as far as having cousins who are in schools I have cousins in Cuba that I've visited or in schools in the countryside. They love it and they go home every weekend. They do come. They talk freely amongst themselves.
The fridge I said Would you please respond. They do as far as the reunification of the family that's what's happened. The proof is that the dialogue has reunified the Q&A your time is up. I have been in the family. Exactly. You have an opportunity to like many other people but the people who deny the fact that they don't want to take a second citizenship and second pass will be flown out and without any possible to begin with and let it go the people or they own country with only one change of clothing. That is ridiculous. Listen for me it should be a change for the countries. Have these people go out. Like you said hundreds of thousands of people going out of the country without anything. And going back loaded with money. That's a shame that the country the system has to speak up. What do you propose that you just cut off relations completely with do according to this guy's record of time you'll have some time. OK. I think that the people that go to the country and Fidel Castro is risking these they have hostages. They're their relatives out there and these people wouldn't dare
do anything within they are wrong because they have something very deep inside that country that is going to remain in that country once they come back. So don't give me that this is not going to risk a revolution because he knows he's not going to get anything because people have something to lose in the conflict. Mr. Sherman you have an opportunity to ask a question. I'm still trying to establish. Do you want to turn your back completely here in Cuba or your relatives or friends or whatever. How would you like to resolve the situation with Cuba. I don't think so. I think they resolved the problem. We saw. First of all to release the prisoner the real prisoner of the 13000 prison they are in jail in Cuba. And then if they say to his son I'm able and so good for the people. Why do you want some lift up some of the live restrictions in Cuba. Let the people go out. And the way he said reunited is only reunited the family in one way. What about the people that think simply Cuba people age people 65 70 years old. They don't get to come to this country. And besides that one thing that you might take into consideration that I think is getting
more difficult to make it. I want to know why. Because the people I want to pick up a telephone call every day to make to make the people desperate to hear he's dealing with human feeling. He's human he's dealing with money because he want to try to feed the people with money. That's what he's doing. He doesn't care. He only won money. And this is all dictated by the Soviet Union at the minute. The cattle feel that he's a stronger and money and then open relationship with United States in order to get credit. When you're looking for then early against this you're totally against completely on his time. We are totally against them. This is something that I have something very strong because when you say that I'm going home to meet the family I've been out for 31 years in United States and I'm an American citizen and I refuse to go back to do a passport because my first time when that is 25 years ago and I think know no dual passport I live myself several more Americans like
myself is in the same predicament. I feel that he should respect our feelings when we change our citizenship and become an American to have the same equal. Returning back to Cuba. And you went to school one day. Mr. CURRY. Professor Kosala Mr. Godstone you have an opportunity to respond. Can we quantify the question of citizenship Cuba like in Spain before it has always had the principle of dual citizenship this is not an invention of the Castro regime. You could adopt a new citizenship but as a when you went back to Cuba if you care to claim that you were a Cuban citizen also. I'm sorry but that's true. That is completely true. It has. It was in the constitution of. Well it is in the Constitution. That being the principle I think it's peculiar because we for a long time had hesitations of becoming American citizens because we didn't want to relinquish Cuban citizenship because America does not recognize dual citizenship.
But even in this respect America has made the United States of America has made an exception and it doesn't consider it illegal for a Cuban national former Cuban National to travel with its Cuban passport. This has been already sort of straightened out because the two countries I have a question for any three of you. I was brought up earlier is Hubert Martos one of the political prisoners to be released. And there are going to be any other political prisoners besides Cuban prisoners that will be released. Vermonters will be released if his time is coming up anyway. But he's trying what's coming up in a year. But he will be released as one of this 600 that we know for sure because he was one of the specific things that we negotiated in the violin. We talked about with respect to other political prisoners. If you are referring to the three or four Americans remaining there I really don't know we never talked about that. Mr. Temple you have an opportunity now when one of the things you do is say
how can you say that with my release when he has had his son in Costa Rica. He made a point to the world that they are afraid that his father is going to get killed in jail. You're claiming the castle was a suicide or something. How could you say that because what might be one of the flags. You know one of the banners of the persons that have been used as a propaganda tool for propaganda he has been he is afraid he's afraid that he will reunite them. Exactly. They you know. We'll see if he's out to get journalists to direct questions to you Mr. Temple I wanted to direct your question to the side if you're in my right. Precisely so be rightly so. One thing is why is Castro placed more than 20000 Cuban troops first and goal or that is Somalia. In Ethiopia and they've even been reports that the Cuban troops fighting in Vietnam against the Chinese. What is the reason for
that. And does he have an ulterior motive of trying to cut off maybe problems at home to try to hoodwink the Cuban people and also to support the Soviet Union. Well you have to take in consideration of this if you like Castro is under control of the Soviet Union and everything he does and he has to do with it so you can tell him to do. I see how much money does a soviet union provide to Cuba every single day. It is very hard to figure. But some people forget about the million million a day or two minutes a day it is billions of years and had to pay for. I should have no more natural resources to pay back. He have to pay with human life. OK. Now the central question why has he sent his troops both white Cuban and black Cubans to fight in Angola or something totally removed from the Western Hemisphere something in Africa or something in Vietnam something even possible in Cambodia. Well Castro at the beginning that would have been said by a federal areas
to the Soviet Union delegate in Cuba. He said at the beginning on the on the Africa issue they were thinking ascending to Africa people they were not too happy with the government at the beginning and was a trial and the trial basis then eventually little by little was getting too strong. That the the fight over there the also the rebellion against the the Cuban troops over there they had to send somebody over. More and more and more to support the troops. Then what happened they found the International newspaper they found black I mean white among blacks. So they decided right away there was a Q&A with him. So he decided then to turn around and take blacks because one of the newspaper outside see a black I'm on Black Jesus he's not like what this does it is a visual thing that they have no use of that. And then another thing about for example Vietnam now that when Vietnam and China invaded Vietnam Raul Castro was called a fool from Moscow right away the same day. And that no one would broadcast in the United States or will
broadcast in Europe time and stop it. No chance to rebut. Just to clarify some of the points that were made that the opposition is focusing on the Soviet Union Russia and yet it seems contradictory that the first concrete action towards normalization of Cuba and and U.S. relations the first concrete event the release of the prisoners free travel of Cubans here to there is the first concrete step. It's been opposed by them. So on one hand there they are crying about about Soviet influence on the other hand there. They're locking the door against that very positive step that is bringing the U.S. and Cuba closer in terms of of all of the Soviet aid to Cuba. A million does not multiply up to billions a year. In any event U.S. budget and helping other countries around the world is much more than 360 million dollars a year. If Cuba and the U.S. had relations if the blockade was not in effect Cuba could deal with other international
centers. Discussion. It's your turn to ask. I think that was ok I'll tell you what I still haven't gotten a clear idea of what you expect to gain. I mean does the fact that that Cuban people who are part of this group want to go to Cuba at all or do you want to wait until the whole regime changes to the whole government. Due to the fact I speak in behalf again of a lot of Cubans here we would love to go back but not be sold that he's buying us very cheap by telling us to have to have a dual passport a passport cost $75 plus we have to pay to go over to see a family which has been 20 years away. That's four dollars is the fare for one week when he makes money fossicking was Kappos plus a thousand dollars. I wish I were American dollars
only value 72 cents. Now if that is opening the door I heard you went to France. It would be the wiser. I went to Europe and I enjoy going out with my American passport and I didn't show that he asked me to have a dual passport. I will kill them and I have been back to Cuba with an American paper. Do you feel like sometimes you has prevent other people from. I think yes this meaning to me it means a lot that it has closed the door for people like me to rebel under our skin. Oh we'll just see a family but not happy to pay the price that we are paying. And send us out naked. And now we are going back Ritmo to tell him to stay on there to keep our brother oppressed. That's why we're here. But I would like to see that he will take a little bit of consideration for people like myself who been out for 30 years to respect our citizenship as an American and not telling us how to come back into our country.
And something else I guess I would like to say something about he yourself. Call the Cuban. Call me back to Cuba butterfly. You don't like the butterfly because it forces from the swamp. You know what. We were now completely unique when we came back loaded want to fly. That's why they call them because they bring a lot of money from time to time for rebuttal. Well first the origin of the butterfly name is not that big change was the transformation of the warm which is the old the breakup name that was given to the exiles to Mariposa butterflied. I think it's fair to recall the recall goes on. But anyway that's a personal opinion. But I want to go back to the question of Cubans in Africa. I think he has been raised several times and we should glorify this. Cuba is in Africa in solidarity with the African liberation struggle and Cuba is not a White nation. Cuban is an Afro-American nation of which roughly today I would estimate about 35 40 percent of the Cuban population is black or
mulatto. I see we have strong bonds in Africa. It's not an alien thing. It's not like we are moving away from the Western Hemisphere because this is where we belong. And Africa is something alien to us. A large percentage of the Cuban population comes from Africa and and the Cuban people have said Fidel Castro has said we are an Afro-Latin country the Cuban solidarity with the liberation movement goes back to the early 60s. It's a temple you have a chance to ask a question. Yes I think the question that I want to get to is if you want to have a rapprochement with Cuba or exchanging prisoners American Travel Cubans going to Cuba to visit relatives why not catch that plan and say that Castro at the same time free the press break down people's bones in Cuba or produce more economic freedom. Stablish private investment again stablish capitalism established the basic freedoms
that the Cubans had more of under Battista and former regimes. Wouldn't this be a precondition with trying to do this in South Africa. Why don't we apply the same standards to Cuba. Your plan doesn't seem to focus on that at all. Just a very superficial level but I see where you're getting this wrong. You see the in terms of letting our political prisoners and the visits to the these working sessions that the Cuban government gave us. So you said in terms of to exchange for those concessions which would ask for more concessions. Well I'm doing it like what I'm saying is this what I'm saying is this. When the Germans and the Russians when the Russians in 1939 signed a friendship with the Soviet Union at that particular time the Germans gave a lot of concessions to the two the Russians and vice versa. What I'm saying here if you really want to start a real dialogue what did you get to the fundamental issue in Cuba the lack of freedom the lack of human dignity the fact that children are taken from their parents at early age just like in all communist countries and brainwash get right at the heart of
what is the problem with Marxism. It's inhumanity to man is too tall a terrier in nature and it's total disrespect and disregard for human rights and that's the whole central issue our reproach met with Castro's Cuba. And that I don't think you've addressed at all and I like you to do to answer that. I think we addressed the most important issue. For years we have been claiming that the most important issue was political prisoners. What has been the issue that has rallied the Cuban community behind. You know most of its spokesmen spokeswomen they have addressed this issue. We addressed that issue. This is the one that we thought had the highest priority. Well then you agree with that. But let her finish please. I'd like to say something. I think what really upsets a gentleman here is private in the press. That's he's really concerned. I'm not talking about private enterprise at all. I said that you said one of the other things that I said is human freedom. May I ask. All right. I say stop what I say.
Your question. All right. He's one of the things that he's concerned about is the establishment of capitalism and you Cuba is a socialist country I will not be a capitalist country but Cuba has said that they are willing to have even an investment by North American firms in Cuba. That was his time of investment by North American firms in Cuba. Given that Cuba controls and owns after a certain period of time the result of the factory which is very different from what other countries I have to interrupt you if we can keep the debate so we have no time for closing arguments just like I may have one that's going to fast to her it's your fault for your knowledge. In 1959 when Castro came to power I was working on the federal chemic industry. I was working in a factory and good sites to use rubber and B.F. Goodrich. They offered to Kastrup millions. The good you offered that I lost twenty five millions. And the only thing they said was this we will control the production for 20 after 20 years. We're going to give it back to the country.
We're going to give it back to the country. And that was the primary issue from a good year from footage from Firestone and Ford Company which to me the way I see it is that this dialogue is silly Castro wanting fatalistic money. He doesn't mind the capitalistic money he minds the capitalistic ideas on the free enterprise ideas. But he would love to get the door. He doesn't mind that the dark side coming from a free enterprise country and a capitalistic society. And that's that you know very interesting what we opposed in those states that we are as transcending as the sheet. And that is what I think this gentleman is trying to address is not the problem of private enterprise. It's a problem that these people in that country are going to remain on that as a state actually. All right and we are free people and I don't think that people in this country we should encourage that at all. Not only that. I could also say just today that they are. That's why you saw unions buying green from United States. And then they have one party wanting to develop any model on the web
on everything. In the meantime we supply the food to them. Of course more important how the Soviet the weapon of the food led you might say cancel the food supply. You can say what's going to happen on all the Soviet block. They want the capitalistic doing great. Because China is a part of the you know how do you how do you compare the situation in Cuba with the situation in Argentina Chile or Brazil or some of the other countries around the world where we have a year where we give aid where we have relationships or we give arms or or whatever. How do you compare that to very simple those countries the military dictatorship from the from the right. OK. You cannot compare. By no means a military dictatorship from the right from the from the left why is that. Why not. Unless you made Nazi Germany Nazi Germany let's be not states because one on one you have a dictatorship from the from the right. You have your code. You have embassies you get consulate you've got everything. Also you've got lawyers practice law you go
to court. They have rules where you can organize you can have you and you say so. I just returned from Colombia which is a democracy. If I were to remind you that Fidel Castro was released by that buys the stock went on strike many times in Iowa and he was a dictatorship. And one of the reason to stress the idea that Fidel Castro was married to a girl who was a daughter of the secretary of the government. Now try to find out anyone who's going to stick you know stick your neck for you on any communist country you know what's going to happen to you. But I think let's not lose sight of the forest for the trees. There are some very basic simulations of when two countries we establish relations and do come closer to each other. There is mutual benefit just like the U.S. and establish a relation with China brings about mutual benefits to either country in terms of trade. The U.S. stands to gain several billion dollars a year
in particular in terms of the rice industry and several other other industries that would do trade with Cuba. I think that one has to be a little dispassionate and look at the question today for what it stands for a people that has been divided for many years that now has begun as the beginning of a chance of reuniting. May I answer that. I agree with you. I'm not against that but I am against the exploitation of charging them some money to go a hundred dollars when they're not staying in a hotel that was supposed to pay for a hotel fee when they're going to stay with their family. That is what I am against very slowly and the correction of the point that we have to take aid at this point because we need closing arguments from both sides. Mr. ostrich might direct your closing arguments at this point. Well I would like to give the same to WHV for giving this opportunity to
express our opinion. And also I will confirm that this point of view from the very beginning Tony will say we don't have any human rights whatsoever in the mine and they only represent one opinion they have been imposed by the guy which they respond to. And that's why they have the freedom to travel back and forth without any problem. And the I think it will like to tell these people to be more human and try making a statement here just on the statement as we read it a little bit of human being human rights and human rights and you will see what's going to happen to them. Return that's why the facts of what you are doing them are going to get you say only for the main reason for life in the world. With the reality of what is happening to what this man you want to be able to give this up and talk to us all. Well I think that the possibility of traveling to Cuba by Cubans
Americans miles away Americans will lead to eliminate to dispel some of the myths and the fantasies that have been reading about the time that you will travel there and you will be able to see how people these difficulties but also the good things about the life there. And this is why we think it's important. Did the possibility of travel. The second point is that the conception of human rights has to go beyond the very limited frame what has been presented here. Human Rights has a right to lead is the right to lead a healthy life to have education. We think we should analyze all the different aspects of human life. There are socio economic rights there are political and civil rights. I don't think that the Cuban government those that bad in terms of seconds but I definitely think it does much better than we do in terms of the first. Human Rights. Remember that one must say you fought for liberty and justice for
all. Dictatorship and all that is so great. Q Why don't people study that. We had our closing arguments. I'd like to thank both panels. I'm Kurt Scheimer tent temple for such direct and interesting questions. I know this is a subject is self important to everybody and we just barely touched the surface tonight. And I hope that our viewing audience begin to understand the issue that is so severely divided a community just needs to be resolved through this type of dialogue among the issue would be resolved. We hope that in the near future we are able to bring you issues such as pertinent to this not only to the Cuban community but to the American community. This is not an isolated issue book it's a fact America just as much as its effect on Americans and Cubans residing in the island of Cuba. I'd like to thank again
Dr. Carter your professor Casal. Mr. Stone Mrs. Dumont. Mr. ostrich. I. Mean really. I. Do you favor continue a dialogue with the Cuban exile community on Cuba. Yes or
no indicate by a yes or no vote. Right. Say brother 125 Western Avenue Boston Mass 0 2 1 3 4
Say Brother
Episode Number
Invitation From Cuba
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-84mkmc9h).
Episode Description
Invitation From Cuba
Created Date
Asset type
Race and Ethnicity
Public Affairs
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
Production Unit: Local Programming
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 68024 (WGBH Barcode)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Copy: Access
Duration: 00:01:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Say Brother; 914; Invitation From Cuba,” 1979-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 12, 2024,
MLA: “Say Brother; 914; Invitation From Cuba.” 1979-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 12, 2024. <>.
APA: Say Brother; 914; Invitation From Cuba. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from