The Catholic Worker Movement

More About Cuba

By Dorothy Day

The Catholic Worker, February 1963, 1, 4.

Summary: Rues the nationalism and waste of resources that continues in our relations with Cuba–“out next door brothers.” Says she will continue to write in the light of faith about all that contributes to “a heartwarming zeal for the common good.” Keywords: war, pacifism (DDLW #800).

As we go to press this February it seems that the Cuban crisis of last October is still upon us. Congressmen and Senators are pressing for an investigation into Russian strength in Cuba and refusing to believe the president’s assurances that the situation there is not endangering the U.S. This morning the radio news is that President Kennedy is authorizing a report from the Central Intelligence Agency as to the continuing buildup of

Russian strength there. In view of the published history of CIA activities in various parts of the world as well as in Cuba, we will have little confidence in its truthfulness.

A Cuban visiting our office recently warns us of Communism influencing our President. He evidently regarded Mr. Kennedy’s attempts at peaceful co-existence with Cuba as danger signals. We heard one man in the street in a city bus loudly demanding the impeachment of the president. Our Cuban visitor who had been living in the country the last two years also spoke darkly of Communist infiltration in the guise of charity and action for social justice.

There is no pledge in writing that the U.S. will not invade Cuba and the press and radio in various parts of the country are demanding a “showdown.”

The most interesting report to come out of Cuba recently is I.F. Stone’s story of his ten day visit in the last three issues of his weekly news letter (5618 Nebraska Avenue, N.W. Washington 15 D.C. Ask for the Cuban issues.)

With the dreadful threat of nuclear war hanging over us we can only, in the pages of the CW try to present other writings which will deal with these problems in the light of the Faith. Entering on a new era in the history of the world as we are, the nuclear era, it is impossible to liken what is happening to any other period or situation such as that of Russia and little Finland in the late Thirties. Just the same it is good to keep in mind the truth that men in their emotions of fear and pride remain the same. Men speak still of humiliations, and national honor and so on.

In the next issue of The Catholic Worker we hope to print a long article on Castro and Cuba written by Fr. Herve Chaigne, O.F.M. entitled The Cuban Revolution: A Mirror of Our Times, which originally appeared in Issue No. 3, 1962, of Freres du Monde, a Franciscan Review edited by Fr. Olivier Maillard in Bordeaux, France.

I promised an article on Robert Williams, American exile Negro in Cuba. I wrote the

article but gave it to Liberation to print last month. We will reprint it in a later issue so that all our readers also may see it.

There is still much which I wish to write about Cuba and why we are so mightily interested, though we are both pacifist and utterly opposed to all state control. It is because the zeal and enthusiasm of the young in Cuba increases our hope for man – that he can undergo a great transformation, that he can be converted to a heart warming zeal for the common good. Of course I see the tragedies that inevitably accompany every great change, and more so when those changes are brought about by wars. I hate the arms buildup in Cuba as I hate it in my own country, the waste of intelligence, the waste of resources. Incredible sums are poured into destruction that should be used for schools, hospitals, the development of new and better institutions. I hate to think of prisoners still in Cuban prisons, and of the “shanty towns” which have sprung up in the gardens of the embassies where fugitives full of fear are also imprisoned. As I drove past one embassy and caught a glimpse of this and my companion, a Cuban, slowed down her car, we were angrily waved on by an armed guard. I hate to see women especially proudly bearing arms.

These things, and these things only, I found to criticize and condemn, but I shall continue to try to write of all the good which is happening – to build up understanding and the knowledge which leads to recognition that the Cubans are our next door brothers, and knowing them, will love them.