In 1955, a prescient view of Cuba's future

Below are excerpts from a speech Rafael Díaz-Balart delivered to Cuba's congress in 1955. He opposed the law that granted Fidel Castro amnesty for attacking the Moncada army barracks. Mr. Díaz-Balart died in Miami last week.

L et it be very clear that I am decidedly in favor of any measure in favor of peace and brotherhood among all Cubans, from any political party or no party at all, whether in, for or against the government.

But an amnesty must be an instrument of pacification and brotherhood; it must be part of a process of moral disarmament of passions and hatreds; it must be a piece in the mechanism of well-defined rules accepted by the different protagonists of the process that a nation is living through. And this amnesty that we have just voted on, unfortunately, is all the opposite. Fidel Castro and his group have declared, repeatedly and heatedly, from the comfortable cell in which they find themselves, that they will leave that jail only to continue to prepare new violent acts, to continue to utilize all available means in the search for the total power to which they aspire.

They have refused to participate in any process of pacification and threaten members of government and opposition alike who seek the road of peace, who work in favor of electoral and democratic solutions that will place in the hands of the Cuban people the solution to the drama that our homeland is currently undergoing.

They do not want a national solution of any kind; they do not want democracy or elections or brotherhood. Fidel Castro and his group want only one thing: power, and total power at that. And they want to achieve it by means of violence, so that total power may allow them to thoroughly destroy every vestige of the Constitution and the law in Cuba, to install the most cruel, most barbaric tyranny; a tyranny that would teach the people the true meaning of tyranny, a totalitarian, unscrupulous, thieving and murderous regime that would be very difficult to overthrow for at least 20 years.

Fidel Castro is nothing but a fascist psychopath who, in power, would make pacts only with the forces of international communism, because fascism already was defeated in World War II, and only communism would give Fidel the pseudo-ideological garb to murder, rob, violate all rights with impunity and destroy outright the entire spiritual, historic, moral and judicial heritage of our republic.

But the country's public opinion has been mobilized in favor of this amnesty. And the principal government leaders have not had the clarity of mind and the staunchness necessary to see and decide what is most convenient for the president, government and, above all, for Cuba. I think they are doing a disservice to President [Fulgencio] Batista, his ministers and counselors, who have been incapable of remaining firm under the pressure from the newspapers, radio and television.

I believe that this amnesty, so imprudently approved, will bring days, many days of mourning, pain, blood and misery to the Cuban people, even if those very people do not realize it at this moment.

I pray to God that the majority of that people, and the majority of my fellow representatives here present, may be right.

I pray to God that I may be wrong.


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