The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.62/No.37           October 19, 1998 
October 1962: SWP Says, `U.S. Hands Off Cuba'  
Below we reprint a statement published on the front page of the Militant on Oct. 29, 1962, during the October "missile" crisis. The statement was issued by the Political Committee of the Socialist Workers Party. The following week the Militant reported on demonstrations that took place worldwide protesting Washington's war moves against Cuba, sponsored by the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and other groups. During this period, the socialist newspaper also countered the U.S. news blackout on the revolutionary Cuban government's response to the U.S. war threats by reporting on statements by Cuba's then-prime minister Fidel Castro and reprinting the October 8 speech to the United Nations General Assembly by Cuban president Osvaldo Dortico's.

President [John] Kennedy's blockade of Cuba brands him as aggressor before the eyes of the world. He has violated the rights of Cuba, the Soviet Union, and other countries. He has invited military retaliation in self-defense by his order to the armed forces to fire upon ships of other nations which refuse to submit to search and seizure. He has subjected the American people to the gravest danger of nuclear war - graver danger than in any of the previous crises precipitated by the bipartisan brinkmen in Washington.

Kennedy has not only violated the rights of the Cuban, Soviet, and other peoples, he has brazenly disregarded the wishes of the American people. A majority of Americans don't want to go to war over Cuba. That fact has been amply demonstrated through current opinion polls taken by Gallup, Newsweek magazine, and other agencies.

Instead of heeding these popular sentiments, as is his duty as president, Kennedy is trying to change peoples' minds by deceiving them. He has trumped up scare charges that Cuba has become a missile threat to the United States and the rest of the Western hemisphere. He seeks thereby to conceal the truth about relations between Cuba and the United States in order to trick people into supporting his policy of aggression.

Cuba is not a threat to the people of the United States in any way. All the Cubans want is to be left free from attack while they concentrate on completion of the socialist revolution in their country. The working people there have taken national affairs into their own hands, and they are running things in their own interests. They have abolished capitalism and set out to build a planned economy. They are eliminating unemployment, building homes for all, looking to the health and education of everybody. They have effectively outlawed Jim Crow. They are trying to build a new, good life such as the workers of that land never before knew.

When the Cubans abolished capitalism they also put an end to exploitation of their country by American monopoly corporations. In putting human welfare above corporate profits, the Cuban revolutionists committed an unpardonable sin in the eyes of the capitalist rulers of the United States. If the Cubans aren't stopped, workers in other Latin American countries will begin to follow their example and the idea that the workers should run national affairs will make headway here in this country. To prevent that forward step by the workers, the big capitalists, who run the United States through their Democratic and Republican puppets, are determined to smash the Cuban revolution.

They have long been trying to strangle Cuba with an economic embargo. Last year they used counterrevolutionaries for an invasion attempt that was beaten off by the Cuban masses. These attacks, both economic and military, forced the Cubans to turn wherever they could for help, as was their right as a nation. From the Soviet Union and other countries they secured economic aid and military equipment with which to defend themselves against attacks organized by the imperialist warriors in Washington.

Now the parties of Kennedy and Eisenhower, who share responsibility for the hostile acts that forced the Cubans to arm in self-defense, resort to a new smear campaign. They try to make defensive measures taken by a little country of seven million people appear as a threat to the security of the powerful USA. They surround tiny Cuba with a mighty armada in preparation for further acts of aggression calculated to restore American capitalist domination over that island. They issue ultimatums to Soviet-bloc countries on a comply-with-our- order-or-fight basis. They take the people of the United States and the world to the brink of a general nuclear war in their bitter determination to smash Cuba's socialist revolution.

To save mankind from a nuclear holocaust, the working people need to lead a political fight to take the war-making power out of the hands of the imperialist madmen in Washington. Let the people vote on life-and-death questions of foreign policy! Let the voice of the real America be heard, the voice of the toilers of hand and brain who want to live at peace with the rest of the world.

Support public demonstrations against the Cuban blockade!

Halt Kennedy's insane drive toward war!

Hands off Cuba!

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