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September 16, 1957 - Image 7

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Monday, September 16, 1957-Page -

CUBA'S Y IJ G NTELCTUAj

By DAVID A. MUNRO
oNE AFTERNOON last Novem-
ber a group of students at the
Universidad de Oriente sauntered
down to the highway that passes
the campus and flagged down a
passing bus. Most of them stood.
joking, in front of it to prevent
it from proceeding while or.e a
lettering artist with a black brush,
wrot "Abajo Batista" on its sides.
On the front, in smaller letters,
letters, he wrote "Arriba la revo-
lucion" and signed it with the
cryptic initials, "F E U, U de O."
This meant Federacion Estudantil
Universitaria, Universidad de Ori-
ente.
The -paining party stopped the
next bus and the next. Bored driv-
ers waite in their seats while the
students redecorated the vehicles.
Inside the university the signal,
no more than a whisper, spread
from classroom to classroom. By
common consent the students left.
The University authorities, who
could not do otherwise, announced
that there would be no further
classes that day or the next. Thus
a revolution was signaled.
On November 30 came the first
climax. These same young men,
asith others-grimmerarmed, ui-
formed as the °26 de .ulio" arma-
attempted to seize the city of
Santiago de Cuba, home of the
University and seconad city of the
islana.
Two days later, with Santiago
calmed, or at least cowed, under
the carbines of a crack U.S.-train-
ed regiment flown in from distant
Habana, Fidel Castro landed onS a
wild shore nearby with his follow-
ers from Mexico.
Ano some of our University stu-
dents, who had fought the unsuc-
cessful engagement at Santiago,
successfully made their way
though the roadblocks and pick-
ets, the traps and the snipers, to
join Castro in the high Sierra
Maestra mountains. One of the
most daring and successful guer-
illa operations of all time was on.
0 F COURSE the guerilla army'
in the hills needed supporting
organizations in the city. And
there began those internal pro-
cesses that so regularly smark the
growth of revolutions.
Food was needed, and the mer-
chants and the women banded to-
tether to collect it. Medicines were
needed, and the doctors and the
women accumulated it. Money was
needed, and clothes and arms and
transportation
Santiago, capital of the prov-
ince, became a city with a clandes-
ine purpose and with an elaborate
underground to meet it. At its core
were the women, wives of the im-
portant men of the city, women
with servants in their homes and
time on their hands, women with
sons or brothers or husbands in
the mountains.
Thus the pattern of revolution
in C;ba began to take shape. Uni-
versity students in the vanguard,
yes. Mddleclass (and frequently
middle-aged) women in the sup-
porting ranks, yes. Wide public
support among the literate, the
alert, the educated, the urban,
spreading out from Santiago to
the province and to the whole
nation.
BUT THIS still leas a whole
section of the society unmoved
sad untouched. Below a certain
point in the Cuban socio-economic
scale the revolution has no mean-
ing. To some, this is simply the
coloring.
The whites, say some whites,
take all the risks while the blacks
sit back to take all the advantages
when the battles are won.
An instructor in the Univer-
sity's English Language Insti-
/ute, David A. Munro has just
returned from one year as asso-

eiate professor of English at
Oriente University in Santiago,
Cuba. lie has contributed sini-
lar articles concerning the Cu-
ban situation to the pages of
T heDaily.

' ' o T e -. circumstances. The young me-
Tuey-'re Staling Tii ir Llves chanica engineer, enrolled at the
(closed) Univrsidad de Oriente or
the closed) Universidad de Ha-
On Reawaken n (it H o me ban, cannot realistically look to
the sugar industry, or even the
still-rich sugar capitalists, for that
future job.
He can't realistically expect to
get that future job at all, for the
scattering of service industries,
even the new Texaco refinery,
never have and cannot now take
up the slack.
And the opportunity in public
industry lies under the shadow of
Old Spain. For the graft system,
so legitimate a Hispanic heritage,
has been successfully moving up
taking over from the American
system, upon which the Cuban
government was so carefully
modeled after the liberation.
Thus, there is little chance that
well-trained Cuban highway engi-
neers can correct the dreadful
highway deficit, or even get jobs
in the highway departments.
* There is similarly little chance for
the sincere Cuban teacher, equip-
ped only with his sincerity and
his ability.
* Thus a kind of creeping incom-
. petence takes over, rotting the
public serviced. Able and well-
strained men are often not wanted
in the jobs for which they are
trained precisely because they are
able and well-trained; their pres-
ence would show up the entrench-
ed cadre of incompetents.
The answer of able young Cu-
bans, especially the engineers, is
UNIVERSIDAD DE ORIENTE-The Santiago school is the scene of peace and quiet now, closed for to cross the water to the United
the duration since last November, when Cuba's students struck in protest of the government. States where the economy is
booming and where there is little
difficulty in being rewarded for
But a little closer observation ispulated for their own and the directed against people, and they dfilty
shows that revolutionary vs. non- nation's destruction. are only occasionally well enough ability.
revolutionary society is not sharply Put the stareotypir goes the placed so that they knock out a NDER TIS selt-pespetuatig
rut, van on thae blurred race lines other way, too. The s cial classes water-main or an electric power
a5 they exist in Cuba. from which the Army recruits are nexus. But they do say to Haban, coadiiong, the ptetialities of
It only seems so because color tau iht that the revolutoaries are Do not 1lrate. ont go out. Cuba, including its human re-
is saughly correlated with socis gente maa,literally 'aearg"bad Cuba s in travail and in mourn- sure, remain undeveloped.
eca osnic position. people but here includag the ing." Thus the direction of the Cuba fails even to cash in prop-
And the fact is that this is a meanings of sick peope, vicious revolation and its tone is almost erly on the sugar industry, though
middleclass revolution, properly peole. p .ope afflict j swith some wholly in the hands of the revolu- it produces 80 per cent of the
and logically led by university stu- social infirmity which makes them tonaries, worlds "export sugar. Already
dents, properly and logically sym- a public menace. This brings us back to the Uni- other producers have outstripped
bolized by Fidel Castro, young son vezsity students, joking among Cuba in modern methods of har-
of a wealthy planter (29 years 'HIS SEEMS quite logical to themselves as they paint slogans vesting and extraction.
old when he set foot on Cuba to T the mind of Cuba's bottom on the buses, and to student lead- And Cuba has neglected most of
"liberate" it), and darling of stu- classes. Doesn-t the present be- er Fidel Castro. What has so pro- the industries that could have
dents everywhere down to the nign dictatorship give all these foundly moved these mddleclass been based on sugar. They include
five-year-olders in pre-primario.-jobs including maintaining a people that they stake their lives plastics, detergents, special chemi-
But there exists in Cuba a large standing army of 40,000? Haven't and their treasure to win freedom cals, paper, cattle food.
cas below those who go to tandineharnay efp4e,111? hen-and freedom not from any for- In mining, a few American cam-
Ssools, tose who have salaried island alway provided the jobs, ten devils but from one of their panies are scratching the rich sur-
jobs, those who do not live on always protected and sold the su- own? faces of Cuba. They spend much
jios tiooesswatofttoheulivet ptygax cane, always kept business Hiesweatingrout the pety ex-
drdorMsofthebc onrweemudnercae lasketbsns THE ANSWER of Cuban econo- actions of greedy officials and
roads and lack of radio (because It can therefore be only hateful mist is "stagnation," a stat- their companies are cautious about
there is no electricity) have sealed and perverted people who burn nation unfortunately imposed up- any major investment. Neither
them off frosm the id s 'nd the aid cane telecrcoys on a people accustomed to the big Americans nor Cubans have ex-
mthe cane, bomb the electric sys- money, to an expanding economy plored Cuba's potential sea-x-
Bust mans have cos e to the ease of normal army life and even to a labor shortage. traction industries.
citie. They h se brought with s They do not react with the The official United States posi-
thesms their level of ignorance of Naturally, each stereotype pro- self-abnegation of older, caste- tion has been no help to Cuba,
politics and sanitation, their un- duces a Sort of moral sanction for rdder societies to whom hopeless- either. Sugar is largely controlled
skS She e ping the other out, for the mur- ness and futile struggle are felt by New York financial interests.
world, but have left behind their der of Cuban by Cuban, and for to be the inevitable order of things. And Cuba is kept in a state of
countrymanos self-respet and a general bloodthirstiness unlike They react with the violence of a abject fear that its quota (there
dignity .the comparative impersonality of frontier people who run up against is a world cartel) will be cut. Every
This is the unleavened lump of international warfare. sudden restriction and curtail- Cuban government has thus had
resistance. It is composed of peaple It is heightened, insofar as there ment. . to have American approval or it
who are non-revolutionary be- is a racist basis for the mutual The restriction upon this society, could not survive.
casieO they are non-political, of animosity, by the fact that Presi- the "stagnation,".is a matter of Presidents of Cuba are in a
people little awareof bow to better dent Batista is a mestizo. record. In 1925 a Cuba with 3,000,- sense resident managers for out-
their station by either the orderly 5000 people produced over 5 million side interests, and the concern of
procesesatn democracy or the oal- BUT THERE are also moderat- tons of sugar for the first time in these interests is limited to their
lective action of revolution, in'- tar profits. It does not include the
is year extension of democracy to the
HIS SOCIAL csugar populace. And this is a point of
Tep .ril) view with which the Eisenhower
tiparnee administration is in sympathy.
its arut
t NATURALLY, this leaves the
Batista government with its
hands tied. It has no popular sup-
port and therefore no way, even if
t wanted to find a way, of escap-
g the graft system.
In fact Batista, an ex-army seo-
ant who seized power, never has
hibited any love for democracy.
t it is only through 'the exer-
e of democracy that Cuba can
d the popular support necessary
get out from under the graft
stem.
The young intellectuals, there-

a ore, chiefly want a reawakening
lice t home. On this they have staked
A their lives. Later, when they can
beta say that Cuba has recaptured its
beco self-respect, they can look for a
;con solution the one-crop country
situation.

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