I. F. Stone Tells Pro-Cuba Rally U.S. Must Not Block Reforms
Warning to Counter-Revolutionaries
Cuban counter-revolutionaries will be "completely unable" to restore pre-revolutionary conditions, unless they resort to "the bloodiest war this hemisphere has ever seen," I. F. Stone, Washington news commentator, told a Boston Fair Play for Cuba rally of some 200 persons in Boston last night.
Declaring that the time had come "to start saying harsh things," Stone charged that the United States can no longer prevent Cuban efforts to introduce needed agrarian reforms, as it has on "three great occasions" in the past. "In 1933, in particular," Stone continued, "We pulled off about as unneighborly a job as any in our history."
Stone emphasized that the reform program, sparked by Che Guevera, "a really wonderful human being," was "no more left wing than the reforms of the American Federalists." Both groups, said Stone, recognized that only the monopoly latifunda-lsts benefit from maintaining a sizeable group of "shiftless poor--that way the rich can keep them from shifting to industrial work."
Later Stone emphasized what he called the "basically moderate nature of the Castro government." Sen. Eastland has called Raul, a '100 per cent Communist'--but I don't know how they got that figure, unless they have some sort of political thermometer which they put under his armpit."
Calling on the American people to appeal reasonably to the state department ("after all, those people aren't engaged in some malevolent conspiracy"), Stone concluded by declaring that "in helping Cuba, we can help our own country. Here's the chance to give the world an object lesson in U.S. capabilities."
A second speaker, Rober Taber, former CBS correspondent in Cuba and now executive secretary of the newly formed National Fair Play for Cuba Committee, declared that opposition to state department Cuban policy "constantly on the rise.
Taber also emphasized that the Committee has a "long way to go. In fact, I've met people just recently who think that Cuba belongs to the United States." The speaker hoped that President-elect Kennedy was "only kidding" when he offered during the campaign to support Cuban counter-revolutionaries.