Former Cuban Official Asks U.S. Aid

If the United States is a true champion of democracy, it should give aid to elements both inside and outside Cuba seeking to re-establish free government, Gerardo Canet, former vice-president of the Cuban Development Bank, said last night. He and his wife addressed an informal gathering at Cabot Hall.

"Although it is hard to admit I want marines fighting Cubans, the United States needs to help in all ways," he declared. This means not only military aid to exiles, but moral support for all Cubans.

The Canets worked actively to overthrow Batista from 1954 on, and served under Castro until October, 1940. At that time, according to Mrs. Canet, they left Cuba with their two children rather than continue alongside Communists in the government.

"I want my children to decide for themselves whether they should be democrats or Communists," said Canet. He asserted that "a trained minority of Communists and their allies have imposed their ideas over the whole Cuban people, but not by persuasion."

Canet declared that Castro knew from the beginning the eventual course he wanted the revolution to take. When asked about the possibility of U.S.-Cuban reconciliation in the past, he expressed doubt that "there was any opportunity, from the very start of the revolution, that Castro could have been persuaded to discuss common problems."


Mrs. Canet described the work she and her husband did in Cuba after 1948 when they returned from graduate studies at Harvard. A Ph.D. is marine biology, Mrs. Canet worked to improve Cuba's fishing yield by searching for new shrimp beds. Mr. Canet was active in the surveying and developing of Cuba's natural resources.

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