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December 11, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-12-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Wednesday, December 11, 1974

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

Vote: Let us leave lettuce

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r{HIS SEMESTER, as every semester,
the University Housing Council
(UHC) will be voting on whether or
not the dorms should continue to
boycott lettuce and grapes. (Wine is
included in the general boycott, but
in my two years in the dorm, wine
did not flow from the cafeteria.)
Students can vote to continue the
boycott at the same time they early-
register for winter classes at Water-
man Gym, starting Wednesday, De-
cember 11.
Boycott pressure from the consum-
er generated the first agricultural
workers' union in California. Though
progress is slow, the only way the
migrant workers are ever going to
see an improvement in the condi-
tions under which they work, a un-
ion, and some decent pay is if the

consumers bring economic pressure
to bear upon the men in charge.
All the letters to the Editor, the
well-meaning speeches, and the pro-
mises on the part of the bosses to
change the situation for the migrant
worker are nice, but useless. The
place to effect change has proven to
be the market; only by refusing to
buy and eat the products in ques-
tion can we demonstrate our solidar-
ity with the migrant workers who
are not getting a fair deal.
THE STUDENT VOTE is binding,
that is, whatever the students
vote UHC will put into practice. So
take the extra two minutes at regis-
tration -- you'll have to stand in line
for at least that long - and vote to
continue the boycott.



Phi05-OPHA ,
Dit. Pubishers-Hall Syndicate

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Norma lizing



re la tions:


Rocky in, accountability out

down on Congressional consider-
ation of Nelson Rockefeller's fitness
for the vice-presidency. We now have
an appointed veep to go with our ap-
pointed president: a matched set.
Only weeks ago, Rockefeller's dom-
ination was challenged by strong
statements about his past perform-
ance in public office and about the
way his wealth (and his family's)
has been used in campaigning, and
in wooing government officials. Ov-
erwhelming confirmation from the
Senate is puzzling, as is the praise
"highly qualified," that is being bast-
ed on him. Testimony in confirma-
tion hearings has pulverized the
credibility of all that.
Perhaps one hand does wash the
other in Washington. Rockefeller
disclosed in testimony that in the
past 17 years he has made contribu-
tions, gifts and loans to the tune of
$2 million to present and former pub-

lic servants. The Rockefeller family
pitched in $25 million for political
campaigns over the years. Buying
political clout is a repugnant con-
cept, and apparent unconcern in the
Congress about a third generation
robber barons being second-in-com-
mand in our own banana republic is
doubly disgusting.
receive the next heir apparent,
it is appropriate to question just how
common the practice of mutual back-
scratching is in our nation's capital.
It seems more than likely that a Con-
gress which cannot perceive Rocky's
shadiness has depths that are as
murky as his.
It is clear that "government of
and by the people" is, to federal law-
makers, a handy catchphrase to haul
out for elections and merely gib-
berish when real power is concerned.

Rectitude and responsibility

Mills is stepping down from his
position as chairman of the House
Ways and Means Committee comes
as no surprise.
His actions during the last few
months lead one to believe that his
health has deteriorated to the point
where he can no longer maintain his
duties effectively. For most of the
year he was absent from his post be-
cause of a back ailment, which fore-
ed him into the hospital and out of
Ways and Means Committee control.
His condition became known be-
cause of an incident involving a now-
famous Washington stripper who was
found in his company in a car driv-
ing along the Tidal Basin in the early
News: Dan Biddle, Dan Blugerman,
Cindy Hill, Cheryl Pilate, C u r t
Smith, Dave Whiting
Editorial Page: Paul Haskins, Marnie
Heyn, Debra Hurwitz, Wayne John-
son, Steve Ross
Arts Page: Ken Fink
Photo Technician: Steve Kagan

morning hours.
7N THE PAST, the media would
probably have hushed this affair.
Representative Mendel Rivers was
an alcoholic, a fact not revealed un-
til his death, though it impared his
ability to perform his professional
duties. The Mills affair was publiciz-
ed because the post-Watergate press
has decided to 'go after' public of-
ficials more aggressively and Mills'
actions were so out of character.
According to an article in Sunday's
Detroit Free Press, the reason for
Mills' dramatic change in behavior
may be physiological. According to a
doctor, Mills is suffering from a spin-
al ailment which causes behavior
changes and could require the use
of painkillers.
Unfortunately this incident has
been used to degrade Mills, who for
most of his career, was the leading
government expert on taxes. How-
ever, it has brought out the fact that
he is physically unable to perform as
chairman of his committee.

Editor's note: This is the conclud-
ing article of a two-part series.
The Bay of Pigs incident and the Cub-
an missile crisis bring out another his-
torical debate to which international
journalists and historians still devote
considerable newsprint: was John F.
Kennedy a liberal, humanitarian politic-
ian, or the "coldest of the cold war-
riors?" What was Kennedy's role in the
Bay of Pigs invasion?
When John F. Kennedy entered t h e
White House in January, 1961, the Bay
of Pigs operation was already being pre-
pared under the code name "Must Go,"
furthermore, thousands of voluntary
warriors and mercenaries were training
for the attack in the jungles of Guate-
mala and Nicaragua. Officially, Wash-
ington was only going to provide air sup-
port for the invasion, but many of the
Cuban trainees thought they would re-
ceive full military backing from the
U.S., and therefore allowed the C.I.A.
to do the planning for them. Many his-
torians now claim that if the "rebels"
and mercenaries had planned their own
invasion, the attack would have been
more carefully executed and would have
had greater chances for success.
Arriving at the White House in early
1961 Kennedy consulted his advisors who
were divided on the issue of whether
military intervention in Cuba was a
worthwhile gamble. The C.I.A. and the
Pentagon, perhaps still confident from
their successful Guatemalan invasion
(June, 1954) thought a similar plan might
work in Cuba. The State Department
was against military intervention, and
Kennedy, having decided to give ita try,
was caught between going too far and
not going far enough. After the spectac-
ular failure of this operation, Kennedy
chose not to send the Marines in, and
admitted America's involvement on July
24. The day after making this admis-
soin, Kennedy announced the economic
embargo, and the Cold War entered a
new phase, at least in Latin America.
According to one New York Times ar-
ticle, the operation cost the U.S. 45 mil-
lion dollars.
THUS KENNEDY, and through Amer-
ican pressure, most of Latin America,
refused to help or trade with a socialist
dictator, while givnig aid and assistance
to "classic" (i.e. capitalist) dictator-
ships elsewhere in Latin America. The
Cuba case, and more recently the Chil-
ean tragedy, show America to be the
defender of economic interests rather
than "the defender of democracy" in
many cases. Some evidence indicates,
however, that negotiation with Castro
would have been easier under the Ken-
nedy administration than when Johnson
became president. A kind of Kennedy
idealism is also evidenced by Spanish-
American relations: Vazquez Montalban
writes "There has been no lack of ob-
servers who consider the moves towards
liberalization which took place in Spain
starting in 1962 to be a consequence
of pressure exerted by the Kennedy ad-
ministration. It is as possible as it is
impossible to prove . . . The deepest
and darkest secrets are those of the bed-
room and those of behind-the-scenes poli-
tics; therefore, Kennedy took his "idea
of Spain" to the grave with him.
FROM THE END of the Bay of Pigs
incident until the present, the influence
of the Soviet Union in Cuba has increas-
ed continuously, except possibly during
the era immediately following the mis-
sile crisis. Between November, 1960, and
November 1961 this incra wes-

(O.R.I.), which according to certain
sources represented another step towards
"hard-line Communism" and another
step away from the original revolution-
ary program. All this happened after the
Bay of Pigs invasion; it is worth noting
that only a few months earlier Cuba and
America still had diplomatic relations.
The "Russian Betrayal"
As mentioned in the previous article,
many Cubans considered that the Rus-
sians had betrayed them by removing
the missiles which caused the 1962 crisis.
Even Fidel had some bitter words about
his Russian "friends;" some university
students went so far as to raise the
chant, "Nikita, Nikita, lo que se da, no
se quita!" Which means, roughly, "Ni-
kita, Nikita, what you give you can't
take back!" While the incident was ano-
ther black mark on the record of 'U.S.-
Soviet relations, tensions had also de-
veloped between Russian and Cuba. An
independent-if-socialist Cuba could have
been in a better position to negotiate an
end to the trade embargo, but the John-
son administration, in the Caribbean as
in Asia, wanted to "hold the line against
Communism." And the economic em-
bargo was beginning to take hold . ..
Starting in 1963, Cuban sugar produc-
tion, with the help of Soviet technology,
began to increase rapidly. If Cuban sug-
ar exports increased considerably in
1963, so did Cuban efforts to export the
revolution. Ernesto "Che" Guevara left
Cuba in 1965, after having served as
Fidel's Secretary of Industry, and in
1967, he was in Bolivia directing guer-
rilla actions. It was in Bolivia that "Che"
was captured, tortured, and killed; he
thus becomes a legendary figure. In
Cuba, 1968, was declared "The Year of
the Heroic Guerilla Fighter."
PARADOXICALLY, many sources
choose 1968 as the date when Cuba stop-
ped trying to create new revolutions; ac-
cording to the International H e r a d
Tribune, "it is openly conceded by U.S.
officials that since 1968 Havana has
abandoned her efforts to export the re-
volution." Elsewhere in the same news-
paper, the statement can be found that
since 1968, thererhas been a "tightening
of the Soviet grip on every aspect of
Cuban life . . ." Castro, it seems, was
being converted over to a "peaceful
coexistence" point of view, whether he
liked it or not.
The 1968 elections, and the victory of
the virulent anti-Communist Richard Nix-
on, are viewed with some concern in
Cuba. It was well known that Nixon had
many ties with the Cuban community in
America, and that he had, in 1960, call-
ed the Castro regime "an intolerable
cancer." Veiled threats were made by
Nixon when he spoke of Cuba: ". . . We
will keep and reinforce the economic
blockade," and look for "other ways..."
The Cuban response was predictable:
closer ties with Russia. When Russian
tanks occupied Czechslovakia Castro
didn't protest ... would he have if Che
had been alive and still in the Cuban
OTHER EVENTS shaped the course of
Latin American history: in 1970, Salva-
dor Allende was elected president of
Chile, and a campaign of "democratiza-
tion" took place in Cuba; 2 million
workers vote for union delegates. While
visiting Chile in 1971, Fidel declared that
there is more than one road to economic
development." The declaration would not
be surprising or even notable if it had
not come from the mouth of the bearded
revolutionary who was once a kind of
Robin Hood in the eyes of the world.

ferred Ford to Nixon, which isn't sur-
prising. The past year has provided num-
erous indications that a "normalization"
of relations might be in the making;
Nixon's departure was only one of these
IN LATE 1973 and in January of 1974,
the Cuban government issued indirect
indications that it was ready to consider
making contacts with Washington if the
U.S. first agrees to end the economic
boycott. Included in these indications
were comments that a settlement of the
Guantanamo base issue and the recogni-
tion of Cuba as a sovereign state would
be matters for negotiation. Since that
time numerous other signs of improve-
ment have appeared:
January 29: Breznev visits Cuba; the
two countries are in favor of a closer
diplomatic, political, and economic rela-
tionship. The Soviet leader takes the oc-
casion to criticize "exportation of the
February: Millionaire Cyrus E a t o n
visits Cuba, declares that the situation is
favorable for a renewal of relations.
February 26: Argentina ships g o o d s
made in American factories to Cuba,
some claim that the embargo has tech-
nically, if not officially, ended.
March 27: Monsignor Agostino Casar-
o, representative of the Vatican, visits
July: Pat Holt, fact-finder for the
State Foreign Relations Committee, vis-
its Cuba and is given the "red carpet"
September 27: Two U.S. senators (Jav-
its and Pell) visit Cuba; meanwhile, Cas-
tra criticizes U.S. policy in Chile.
November, 1974: The organization of
American States (OAS) votes in favor
of continuing the economic embargo
against Cuba, America abstains from
ALTHOUGH THE OAS vote against
Cuba's re-entry into the "American fam-
ily" seems to be a step backwards, and
many consider it a detrimental factor for
the future of the Organization, other in-
dications show that America is ready to
end its hostile position. The Senate Sub-
committee on Foreign Relations recent-
ly published a report which stated,
among other conclusions, that the "Cub-
ans are on the verge of making their
system work . . ." and that, according
to certain figures, Cuba has the highest
per capita gross national product of all
Latin American countries, with the pos-
sible exception of Venezuela. Coming
from a Senate subcommittee, this is a
way of admitting that America's polic.
ies of isolating Cuba, and thereby mak-
ing economic failure accomplish what
military might couldn't, is a failure.
Vazquez Montalban once wrote that
though the Cuban "exportation of the
revolution" was a failure, Cuba now ex-
ports "a model of social improvements
that are not within the reach of most
Latin American countries." Some of
these "social improvements" are t h e
-Educational improvements which in-
clude giving Cuba the lowest rate of il-
literacy in all of Latin America.
-In 1959, Cuban laws decreed that
rent prices be lowered 50 per cent, and
that in general, rent prices should not
exceed 10 per cent of the family income.
Cuban housing continues to be the lowest
priced in Latin America.
-Between the years 1958 and 1973, the
number of hospitals quadrupled in Cuba.

TO TALK ONLY about the favorable
points of Cuba would be misleading, es-
pecially since post-revolutionary Cuba
is often considered to be a kind of "Rus-
sia in the western hemisphere" by a
large sector of the American public.
Indeed, Castro's Cuba has many of the
characteristics of what some call "bar-
racks socialism." One criticism is that
the regime has eliminated illiteracy, but
has also taken away the right to read
whatever one chooses. As one French
journalist put it, "the press is extreme-
ly boring, and the state-run publishers
focus their efforts almost totally upon
the production of school books." Shortly
after the Bay of Pigs incident, Fidel
explained that there would be no more
elections in Cuba, that the revolution was
the people's means of expressing itself,
and that in his country there were elec-
tions every day, not just every four
years. Some time after the Bay of Pigs
incident, the country's prisons were still
fill, and according to Hugh Thomas,
there are now more political prisoners
in Cuba than there was when Batista
was in power. There are signs, however,
that Cuba may be changing . . .
The creation of a system of popular
representation called "Poder Popular,"
which is supposed to establish a kind of
democratic structure that Fidel h a s
long hoped for, may be an indication of
a certain degree of liberalization within
the limits of Cuban socialism. Castro's
speeches themselves reflect a desire for
communication between the government
and the people: he has tried to make his
public appearances become dialogues
with the crowd, and he has even made
a number of important decisions during
these discussions.
ON JANUARY 2 of this year, Cuban
Vice Prime Minister Raul Castro an-
nounced that experimental elections
would take place in the Cuban province
of Matanzas; on June 30, Cuba had its
first elections since 1950. The meaning
of these elections is less important than
it might seem: Cuban "democracy" may
be similar in nature to the type of
"democracy" which exists in the Soviet
Union. Some claim that the only real
communication which takes place be-
twveen the regime and the people takes
place through Castro's public discussion-
speeches, and that the regime has pro-
vided no system of succession for the
after-Castro era. Indeed, Castro's rela-
tion with the people falls in the category
of "baudillismo," a kind of hero-wor-
shipping which is typical of Spain and
Latin America. The hope remains that
the Cuban revolution, unique in nature
and inspired by years of struggle for
Cuban independence, will choose a dif-
ferent path than the ones traced by the
Soviet Union and China, and that Cuban
socialism will some day be {pore hu-
mane and less authoritarian than the
other "socialist models."
Much evidence points to the conclus-
ion that the American economic em-
bargo not only failed to weaken and de-
stroy the Castro regime, but also made
Cuba seek protection by forming close
alliances with Russia, and provided a
number of dictatorial reactions by the
Cuban government. One Spanish mag-
azine expresses the problem this way:
"Some have even gone so far as to say
that if America's reaction to the Cuban
revolution had not been as violent, this
revolution would have been more open
and liberal." If nothing else, America's
economic and diplomatic policy concern-
ing Cuba is outdated and inefficient.
More and more people in the Congress,
the State Department, and elsewhere
in the government seem to be realizing




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