"It's just not true. He's been conned by the American press," Herbert Wainer responded last night to a criticism of the lack of civil liberties and freedom in Cuba which interrupted his attack on U.S. policy toward Latin America.
His questioner was Henry Raymont, former head of UPI's Havana Bureau, who is presently at Harvard as a Nieman Fellow.
Wainer, who is editor of Student Council, a magazine published by the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, was addressing the Harvard Students for a Democratic Society in Sever Hall. He eventually admitted that there had been "personal injustices" in Cuba since the Revolution, but attributed them to "military pressure exerted on Cuba by the United States."
Insisting the Cubans believe that concern for democracy in Cuba is a mask used by those who wish to "roll back the Revolution," Wainer told his audience to support the program of the Fair Play Committee.
Lift Bans on Cuba
This program calls, he said, for lifting the trade and travel bans on Cuba, restoring diplomatic relations, and ceasing the military build-up around Cuba. This, Wainer went on, would "be a signal to Latin Americans that they can do what they want with the wealth of their own countries. The people of Latin America will do the rest."
Citing the extremes of poverty and wealth in Latin America, Wainer claimed that the people have always wanted to do what the Cubans did, but did not believe it possible. Now the Cubans have shown that it can be done.
Referring to Venezuela, Wainer stated, "Subversion is totally superfluous. You don't need to bring in Cubans. It would be like carrying coals to Newcastle."