tv Reel America Cuba - The Battle of America - 1960 CSPAN July 8, 2021 9:28am-10:21am EDT
converged on washington, d.c. in may of 1971. more than 7,000 of them were arrested in a single day. tonight on american history tv, we look back 50 years at the forces that collided on the capitol streets that spring with a journalist. he is the author of "mayday 1971, the untold history of america's biggest mass arrest." that's at 8:00 p.m. eastern, here on american history tv on c-span3. on november 2, 1960, a "new york times" television reviewer wrote, an exciting new voice, provocative, sensible and challenging, came to television last night. dr. albert burke, former director of studies at yale university, next on reel america, we bring you that broadcast with educational television pioneer albert burke. using footage and interviews from cuba, he argues poverty,
racism and economic exploitation by u.s. corporate interests in pre-revolutionary cuba led to the popularity of castro who promised to make life better for his supporters. ♪♪ >> chapter one in the battle of america. chapter one was the battle of cuba. it was finished on january 8, 1959 here in havana. the kind of history these people began writing here was not intended to stop here. as the men who led this revolution see it, there are 19 more chapters to follow. one for each of the countries in south america where conditions are ripe for this. this is revolution. as revolutions have gone throughout the world since the end of world war ii, this one in cuba holds no special honors or
distinctions. revolutions have gone until this one. the cuban revolution is very special. it is special for several reasons. all of them are pretty much a mystery to this fellow. john q. american here. who is particularly wrapped up in that cuban revolution. he doesn't really understand what happened in cuba back in january of 1959. despite the fact that no other person on this planet has a greater number or variety of ways to read about, hear about, see about and know about things, the tons of news print he read through and the untold hours of air time he listened through about turmoil and unrest around him for years, none of that prepared him for today's cuba. he is confused. particularly so because, like thousands of other americans, he has been in cuba. as a matter of fact, he was there vacationing only a few
weeks before that scene you saw on the screen a moment ago happened in havana. when he was there, there wasn't much to suggest to him that things would go as they have gone in that island country. what john q. american didn't see in cuba when he was there and what happened in cuba is tonight's cuba, the battle of america. main street in almost any large city in any country south of the border. as it happens, this is one of the main streets in havana, cuba. modern hotels, gambling casinos, exotic restaurants, department stores and office buildings. this is tourist alley. well-known to most american visitors to cuba. to most american visitors, this is cuba. it is all of cuba they usually get to see. it isn't cuba at all, of course. it's a transplanted bit of the united states from the air
conditioned hotels to the table linen and silver serving dishes in the restaurants. most of what you see on your screen was built by americans in fact. in havana's case, much of that transplanted bit of north america was built by a special group of americans who have given too many of the cuban people a somewhat peculiar picture of what life in america must be like. john q. there had a whale of a time in havana in december of 1958. several weeks before castro reached that city. i'm albert burke. i will try to tell you how and why this was the case. he lost quite a bit of money at the gaming tables and the casinos along tourist alley. many of which will built by american racketeers with the profits of the crime syndicate headquarters in new york and chicago, which run most of the bookie operations, dope pedaling, numbers and policy
rackets, abortion mills, prostitution and poker houses here in the states. he enjoyed the excellent food served in the exotic restaurants along tourist alley and many of them were built by the same men with the same kind of money. although he doesn't go for that kind of thing himself, he wanted that kind of feminine companionship, havana was famous throughout south america for the quality of its red light district, located a few blocks away from tourist alley. this is a business enterprise which has been set up and run by the same racketeers who shared their hard earned cuban pesos and american dollars with a number of cuba's government officials for the privilege of providing such services to the vacationing public. all that was part of the transplanted bit of the united states in cuba that made john q.'s vacation there a delightful interlude. but left the visiting cuban
peasant with a peculiar idea about what the american way of life must be like on the mainland a short 90 miles away. tourist alley is, of course, not the whole picture of american dollars invested in the cuban economy. but it has always been the most spectacular part of that picture in cuba. there are tourist alleys all over south america. for a dangerously long time they have been the most important blocks to john q. american's understanding what really went on south of or border, what life was really like there. john q. is accustom to the foam rubber mattress, tiled bathroom life. he rarely moves away from this wherever he goes in the world. there isn't much of that kind of world in africa, in asia or in south america, except in the tourist alleys that have been set up to cater to those few of the world's two and three-quarter billion people who can afford to live that way.
from tourist alleys wherever they are, it's been very hard to see the seeds of the kind of revolution that spilled over much of the world since the end of world war ii and most recently in cuba. very few americans are prepared now to see those seeds over all of south america as castro's right hand man in havana saw them as he described the revolution as chapter one. they see those seeds sprouting in 19 other south american countries where conditions are ripe for castro's kind of revolution. what are those conditions? the pope put his finger on the most important part of them in his radio message to cuba's first national catholic convention last year. 500,000 cubans gathered to hear the holy father tell them that, and i quote, the face of the
world could change if true charity were to rule. this is the charity of the christian man who knows that his wealth has a social function and that it's his duty to give what is above his own needs to those who are deprived of the necessities of life. what pope john was talking about was a kind of south america that can be seen a short distance away from any tourist alley in any other south american country. the visitor is always impressed by places like republic square and streets like the avenue of the ninth of july. some of the best paved, clean and beautiful streets in the world are there. they are lined with the smartest shops and hotels. the visitor rarely sees or hears about the belt of misery.
more than a million argentines live under conditions of filth and poverty which few north americans alive today have ever known and even fewer would understand. this gulf between the rich and the poor in every country south of the border is the stuff revolutions are made of. not the kind that were known in every south american country before january of 1959, but this man's kind, which as revolutions have gone in the world since 1945, is not particularly unusual. but in cuba and in latin american, mr. castro's revolution has been very unusual. castro offered cuba's miserable ones, the poor, most of whom are peasants, he offered them a better deal, a better life than they had known before. this group with their families make up about half the cuban
population. he told this group in effect that his revolution would make what pope john meant by christian charity a reality for them. this revolution of castro's was the first in cuban history to base its policies and power on the peasant. his was one of the very, very few revolutions in modern south american history that was not fought between power groups, between the military, between the upper classes. in all other revolutions, the peasant, the poor took no real part. they couldn't have cared less who won or lost. because their lives never changed anyway. castro told that group that the revolution he headed was for them. he gave them a sense of political power. he gave them to understand what political power meant and what could be done with it. they flocked to his support. today, almost two years later,
they are his main support. despite an active growing opposition from the upper and from the middle classes and from the workers in the cities. they are still very solidly with him as the backbone of a revolution knew to the western hemisphere. these are the conditions that give men like castro's right hand man the confidence he felt when he said it was chapter one this the bigger revolution to come in south america. he wasn't just batting his gums about this was pointed out by this man. at that time, he was a candidate for the presidency of brazil. during that visit to cuba, he said that he would follow the example set by castro in his country if he was elected. he also said that brazil had many problems like those in cuba. problems of corruption, problems of inflation. he said there was a long overdue need for basic reforms.
three weeks ago, he won brazil's presidential election with a landslide majority. if his opinions about the cuban revolution have not changed since that visit, chapter two in the battle of america may be written with or without a revolution in south america's largest nation. whatever happens to castro in cuba or to his revolution in the future, whether castro stays on as the maximum leader or whether his revolution fails, cuba will never be the same again. it will never go back to things as they were. south america will never be the same again either. pope john warned that the gulf between the rich and the poor had to be bridged. the continent to the south of us will never be the same again because the word has gotten around that that gulf can be
bridged. that for the many better lives are possible. schools to learn to read and write are possible. that one does not have to age quickly and die young because of hard work and hunger and disease. that better houses to live in than mud huts and packing cases with tin roofs, these things are possible. this word has gotten around. the trouble is though that this word is not being spread by christian men who practice a christian charity as pope john suggested. it is being spread by revolutionaries who practice a very different method as suggested by the men who offered these goods and services to mr. castro. these are soviet jet fighters. they point up a problem which concerns and disturbs all americans right now. the problem of a communist-controlled or
influenced military base in the americas. there are reports that in addition to the building of air fields for planes like these, soviet technicians are at work in cuba building hard missile launching sites which could cover every part of the united states. there are reports, too, about soviet and communist chinese technicians building submarine pens for possible future use by the submarine fleets of the two major communist powers. reports and rumors which we here have looked into and which we would like to have you look into, too. after a short time out. what we heard about the activities of russias and chinese have come to us from men like ray robinson who was a pilot for cubana airlines. he was a first lieutenant in the united states air force before that. a short time ago, he told our
man in miami about soviet mig planes, missiles and submarines in cuba. >> how many migs did they have there? >> at the time i was there, the last count was around 35. they might have more. there has been shipping in and out. >> have you seen the russians and czechs? >> yes, i have. i have seen them on quite a few occasions. i have seen red chinese. >> what about these rumors of rocket bases and so forth in cuba. what have you heard about them? >> i understand at the present time that they have actually started construction in that area. i've never seen it myself. i have reports from reliable
sources they were there. air fields for larger aircraft. >> you hear anything about the rumors of submarine bases being built? >> yes, we have. we have heard many rumors. many of the people there will talk about it and believe they are starting construction. >> the reports go on with neil mccaully next. he was an american who fought for castro, was given a farm in cuba for his services and then pulled out of cuba to escape the communist takeover there. he said -- >> there are a number of people there who came from behind the iron curtain. there are a number of russians and probably more chinese communists. there's an assortment of czechs
and poles and hungarians. the russians are the most conspicuous. they always go in groups of three or four. they have to have secret policemen or communist party member among the group. they don't mix with the people at all. they wear these heavy suits in the tropics. they are out of place. they just look foreign there in cuba. >> have you met any of them? >> well, i met an agricultural team. >> what do you think these people are there for? are they just agricultural technicians? do you think they have more important duties? >> i'm sure there's a good infiltration of secret service -- secret policemen or
intelligence agents mixed into this group. there are, of course -- certain that they are political organizers, too. >> ray and neil were talking about in those interviews was the problem of cuba right now as most americans see it. this is the problem of a communist-controlled or communist-influenced military base in the americas. which poses a direct head-on military threat to our homes, factories and our future. these are the obvious things that concern and disturb us about a cuba in which the only organized political party allowed to operate today in cuba is the communist party. these are the obvious things about today's cuba. but they are not necessarily the most important things. certainly not in an age of intercontinental air power.
♪♪ intercontinental ballistic missile power. these are soviet rockets. especially missile carrying nuclear submarines. which mr. khrushchev informed the world in a speech two weeks ago were operational and part of the ussr submarine fleet. the soviet union and communist china are just as aware as we are of the enormous importance of the missile carrying sub as a moving, hard to spot, missile launching platform. no base on land, whether cuba or anyplace else, can compare with this in today's kind of warfare. this does not mean that military bases on land have no value
anymore. but it does mean that cuba is not particularly important to a communist russia or to a communist china as a military base. you see, the leaders of those two communist powers have other bigger and much more important goals in mind than just a military foothold on an island in our front yard. cuba is particularly important to the soviet union and to communist china in other ways. about which john q. american there -- that means all 180 million of us -- knows little or nothing. mainly because it's very hard for him or for anyone else to see men like these from the tourist alleys south of the border. these men seldom if ever get into the hotels, bars or gambling casinos of those alleys. but these men and what move them to the revolution they pulled off successfully there almost
two years ago, makes that island, the island of cuba, particularly important to both of the communist powers. what is there about those men and their revolution in cuba that's so special? something that this fellow is supposed to have decided about 43 years earlier as he tried to make another revolution stick and work in russia. the man addressing this crowd is the father of his country, the first communist governed country in history. lennen had to face a problem. his problem was that russia was supposed to be only one of many states that would explode in revolution after the first world war. there was supposed to be a rising of workers and peasants all over the world to lead to a communist world. this didn't happen. he is supposed to have decided at that time that the best way to bring about a communist
future for the world would not be by concentrating on revolutions in the advanced industrial nations, but by working for revolutions in the colonies in what were called the spheres of influence of the empire powers, that is britain, france, belgium, netherlands and portugal and the rest. he is supposed to have phased that decision in these words, and i quote. peking and calcutta in asia. well, the experts on soviet affairs have never been able to get together about this statement. some say lenin did make it and some say he didn't. but this doesn't really matter. because another soviet leader did say much the same thing only a few years ago. this man, shortly before he died back in 1953. stalin said that the way to victory for communism in the world lay in an alliance of the soviet union's interest with the former colonial and oppressed
people's of the world. his statement has been around much longer than this man's, but both statements lead to much of the kind of history that has been made by the communists since the end of world war ii in asia. what the statements have to do with men like these, we'll get into in a moment. >> those statements also lead directly out of the past to these men who by fidel castro's own definition are among the world's former colonial and oppressed peoples. now, according to that definition, cuba was first made a colony of and oppressed by spain. this was in the early 1500s. well, the spanish-american war put an end to spanish rule in their island country. but cuba then became what amounted to a colony of and was oppressed by the united states and this was in the late 1800s. according to castro, this
situation lasted until about january the 8th, 1959, which is when his revolution reached havana to finish chapter one in the battle of america. this may not be history as you know it from your american history books, but it's the kind of history these men believe which is now being written into new cuban textbooks for the primary and secondary schools in their country. it was a kind of history that this man wanted to see end. juan had one burning ambition when he joined castro in the mountains back in 1956 and his ambition was to see cuba free. that is free of a government and a way of life that allowed what this man called foreign interests and big landowners to take cuba's best farmlands away from cuban farmers to be worked for the benefit of people outside of cuba. what he had in mind,
particularly, was seven companies that owned about 5 million acres of cuban farmland which turned out agricultural products that few cubas used and profits that few cubans saw. those seven companies had their home offices in the united states and those 5 million acres were about half of all the land under crops in cuba. they were paying dividends to american investors way off in the united states. this was colonialism to juan. and so this man fought for what he called freedom and for land reform in his nation of mostly farmers. his friend nunes here had worked for several years as a mechanic in the guantanamo naval base and this is the naval base off in eastern cuba. nunes was one of eight children born to peasants who owned no
land, who made their living cutting cane for one of the 161 sugar-grinding mills on the island. until nunes was 15 years old, it reached all the way from -- to the general store in the village. it was home. it was a squat usually windowless, airless shack made of left over palm tree lumber. it was home to hundreds of thousands of cuba's peasants who lived and worked their lives away under conditions that were the rule in europe about 1,000 years back. these were primitive farming conditions under which the peasants aged fast and died young. nunes was 15 years old when his father died at the ripe old age of 36. his father was helped to an early death by a variety of infections and diseases that still effect most of his people. that is outside the cities. there were health services in
cuba and there were good ones, too, in the cities but they didn't quite reach down to the level of this man and his family. hunger reached down to the level of this man, though. nunes knew hunger every year of his life, even when his parents both had jobs during the sugar time. during the very long off sugar season when there was no other work of any kind to be had, things would get pretty desperate for these people. nunes joined fidel castro back in 1956 and he had one burning ambition by that time which was to see cuba free. free of governments that did little or nothing for the bulk of cuba's people, the farming peasants, and free of a way of life that kept them out of the 20th century. nunes worked up this burning ambition while he worked at the american naval base at guantanamo bay, which like most of tourist alley in havana, was a transplanted bit of united states in cuba.
at gaut mow nunes saw the 20th century up close, he saw it in decent housing, good schools, good medical care and good wages. he heard about the good life, he saw it in american moving pictures and on television and nunes was converted. nunes took to the hills with castro to fight what he called economic reform. what he meant was the kind of economy that spelled the good life for americans. and this meant industrial development for cuba that could give them what you see on your screen. it meant a drastic overhaul of cuba's farming set up which kept farmers back in the middle ages. nunes had no idea how this could be done. he only knew that it had to be done. and his friend jose martinez here agreed with him. jose joined castro in 1956 too because at that time, jose had
one burning ambition, and that was to see cuba free. free of governments and a way of life that allowed what this man called foreign interests. to dig up and haul out of cuban mines such things as chromite, manganese, copper and nickel. jose was a miner. and although he received pretty good wages working for a cuban branch of an american company in the united states, he resented the fact that cuba's mineral riches were not being worked in cuba to make more jobs and better lives possible for his people. instead, cuba iron ore was shipped off to places like the tide water plants of the bethlehem steel company in baltimore, maryland, and way off there cuban ores were made to make more jobs and better lives possible for americans. jose martinez wanted to see economic reform in cuba too, that is the kind that would
force foreign users of cuban minerals and ores to mine them and process them in his country. as he saw cuban history, ever since the year 1511, foreigners, first spain, then the united states, had been pulling minerals and ores out of cuba with little or no benefit to his people. it was time for a change and jose fought his way into havana with castro to bring about that change. and it was change that interested pedro jimenez here, too. pedro's interest in change was not quite the same as the others. this man had a burning ambition too, and that was to see cubans treated as dying need human beings. that is as the equals of all other men. and right now, there is no subject about which practically all of the world's peoples around europe and north america are more sensitive. just as pedro here is sensitive
about racial prejudice. sensitive people like pedro have changed the whole political map of the world since 1945 in revolutions which have just about wiped out the empires and the spheres of influence of west europeans. and in that kind of world, people like pedro have made cuba particularly important to communist east europeans and to the communist chinese. because, you see the kind of world these men live in is shot through with the need for land reform. this is the very thing juan fought for in cuba. the world these men live in desperately needs economic reforms, industrial development to change the world from the poor agricultural place it is to the better, more industrialized place it could be. just as nunes and josé martinez fought for this in cuba. in that kind of world, nunes and
jose have made cuba particularly important to a communist russia and china. because those are the kinds of interests which not too long ago, joseph stalin said, the soviet union should line up with in order to bring about a final victory for communism over the noncommunist west. because john q. american doesn't live in that kind of world, he doesn't see the kind of cuba these men fought over in revolution for which reason he doesn't really understand how serious a threat to his way of life, the kind of cuba they helped to set up has become. somehow, despite the fact that no person on this planet has a greater number or variety of ways to read about, to hear about, to know about things, there hasn't been much in the tons of newsprint that john q. american has read through and the uncountable hours of time he's listened through to help him know how and why the words
land reform have been and still are the stuff that revolutions are made of. he hasn't read much about how and why the kind of economic reforms that iberis and martinez want to see for cuba is so hard for cuba and so hard for the rest of the world to get. and unfortunately for millions of other americans just like him, there hasn't really been much passed onto him through all of those ways he has to know about things which would disprove the idea that he really is a better human being than cubans or indians or chinese or negroes, among others. after all, compare his kind of life with theirs. if those people had mines that were just as good as his, and if they can do things just as well as he can, why haven't they done what he's done to live so well? well, let's get into that one
after we have a short time-out. about two months ago, i spoke to a half dozen young people from different parts of south america who were in the soviet union as students here at the university of moscow. their tuition was free, their transportation was paid. all of them were from small towns and villages in their respective countries. when they finished their studies in this place, they intended to head back to those towns and villages. how did they feel about this opportunity? very grateful, they told me. what kind of program was it that put them in that university in the soviet capital? it was a special program that began two years ago in communist china and last year in the ussr to educate and train young ecuadorians and the rest in the ideas and the ways of marx and communism and a variety of
especially selected subjects. those young people trained here, sent back to their villages and towns, wait for the day to do the things that have to be done to stabilize any revolution. if and as castro's revolution goes well and with communist help, the next 19 chapters of the battle of america are written. the students trained there will have their chance to step into power in their countries and there isn't much doubt about this. this will happen for very much the same reason that cuban communists are moving into power in cuba now. you see, fidel castro could fight a revolution without people trained in economics and in finance, and in problems of transportation and communications, without training in running businesses and industries and agriculture. but castro could not stabilize his revolution without such people. when i asked those young south
americans at the university of moscow this summer what courses they were taking, interestingly enough, they were studying economics, finance, problems of transportation, communications and the rest. it's an important characteristic of revolutions that they leave political, social and economic vacuums. because the people who run revolutions find that they cannot trust the people they revolt against and in order to make their futures secure, they use very effective methods to make sure that people like these will not endanger the revolution. this fellow on your screen may have been trained in some important field of government work but to these men, he's the enemy. and in dealing with such enemies, the way you are about to see -- what you are about to see is the stuff that vacuums which follow revolutions are made of.
♪♪ you're witnessing an execution, an execution of a former military commander in cuba. he's been given a choice of giving the command for his own execution. and so enemies disappear in revolutions. it's an important characteristic of the vacuums created by revolutions. it's an important characteristic of vacuums as any good physics textbook will point out, that vacuums can be filled and filled easily. who was there in cuba? among those castro and his revolutionaries could trust, and by that, i mean not from the upper or the middle classes or from the workers either.
those groups had been in with the government castro threw over. among the farming from those small towns and villages, who could step in to fill the vacuum after castro came to power? where were the noncommunists people from those small towns and villages to fill that vacuum? in other words, what force have we prepared? what force are we thinking about preparing now as the soviet union and communist china are now preparing those young south americans in special schools. what force have we prepared against the day of revolution that was written all over cuba to see for years as it was written all over asia and africa to see for years and as it is written all over south america today to see too outside tourist alley, that is. those training programs for
south america students in moscow and peking are communism's investment in the future and this is the future that mr. stalin laid out through places like cuba as the way to a communist future for the world and this is the same future which they assure the whole world will someday be theirs. what investment have we made? or are we thinking of making to see to it that that future will not be theirs? is this to be our investment against a communist future in the world? this is a meeting in miami, florida, in that city's park. this is a group of cuban exiles who call themselves the alliance for liberation. these people have one burning ambition today and that burning ambition is to see cuba free, but this time, free from castro. there are all kinds of cuban
groups like these, most of them dis united, disorganized but intensely wholly committed to counter revolutions against castro. [ speaking foreign language ] >> when communists were sent to teach in the school i reported this to fidel. this was last march, i then realized that fidel, too, was a communist. i had to go underground and took refuge in the brazilian embassy in havana. after three months i was transported to brazil and then came to the united states. i'm a member of the anti-communist christian front and the alliance for liberation.
i am ready to join those who are already fighting castro. >> this is dr. antonio verona. he was speaker of cuba's senate, then he was prime minister. today he is an exile and a counterrevolutionary and his group is called the altetico party. this man headed cuba's development bank where he saw receipts for money sent to agents working for castro and the communists in the other countries of south america. he escaped from cuba and today is with the democratic revolutionary front. and this doctor, once minister of cuban education. he was a front anti-bautista man. today he's preparing to fight castro. this is a captain who left medical school only to learn about castro's plans to move cuba into the communist world. he heads a group called the counter revolutionary movement
of revolutionary recovery. the doctor who went to school, then college with fidel castro today is the brains behind the christian democratic movement. the fastest-growing counter revolutionary movement in cuba. and pedro the former head of castro's air force. he was the first cuban official to defect. he came to the united states by sailboat and warned the united states investigating committee about a communist takeover in cuba. to back up the hopes of those counter revolutionary groups, tools like these are being collected, second-hand weapons of all kinds, which are loaded into small boats like these for increasingly dangerous trips to cuba. taking in supplies and bringing out refugees and fugitives from castro's police. in this way, many exiles have gone back to cuba to fight and many of those exiles have died, many more will. at this point, john q. american,
you and i, face a problem. are those highly emotional, disorganized, many interested counter revolutionary cuban forces with no clear-cut program to meet the problems of the cuba that those men fought under castro to correct. are those people armed with the latest weapons, weapons like these, put in their hands where they practice the use of these weapons, not far from miami, florida. are men like these with this kind of training later to be carried out of the united states in american ships, are these men and these weapons to turn cuba into a battleground again? the question is, are those groups you saw and the methods
you saw there to be our investment to keep the battle of america from going communism's way in the other 19 countries south of the border? the question is is this an effective answer to communism anywhere in the world? how does this solve the problem of land reform? how does this solve the problem of economic reform? of industrial development. how does it solve the problem of race prejudice? as these things are the stuff revolutions are made of in today's kind of world. let's go to mr. mccully again to get a view of this. >> do you think that the united states should intervene or just what do you think is the solution? >> well, i don't have a solution. this is a tough problem. i'd like to see some steps taken, i don't know what the united states can do as far as
aiding the cuban people and ridding themselves of the communist dictatorship. i think something more has to be done than we did in hungary. we have to give these people some sort of help, but just what help, i can't say. >> what about the possibilities of the cubans within cuba and the ex aisles from outside doing something, do you think they have much of a chance? >> frankly, i don't think they have much of a chance. the situation gets worse as time goes by. the chances of overthrowing castro diminish with time. the russians are getting a stranglehold on cuba now. they're sending in there -- the arms, the equipment, the planes, the tanks, everything castro needs to put down any popular rebellion. >> there's more to come on this subject in just a moment. we live in the world of the juan
deprado's and the josé martinez. it's a world of exploding populations desperately in need of land and economic reforms, in agriculture and in setting up industries and a world sensitive to the point of explosion about the idea held by too many white-skinned people that they are somehow better than dark-skinned people. these are some of the more important things revolutions are made of today, but communists didn't create them. these problems showed up in human affairs before the first bolshevik was out of diapers and these problems would be around to spark revolutions in human affairs if every communist on earth very conveniently were to kick the bucket and die off this minute. communists didn't create the stuff today's revolutions are made of, but they have fed on that stuff. from russia to cuba. the russian revolution was not a
communist revolution in 1918, but it became one, and nothing did more to keep the communists in business in that country about 40 years ago than the idea that was tried then by this country and others in europe to deal with the stuff of revolution there by backing russian counterrevolutionary groups with bullets. more than three years of bullets and counter-revolution in russia did not destroy communist there for two reasons, first, the bullet hasn't been made yet that can shoot our way out of the kind of problems that exist in the world of men like juan desprado and the martinez's. second, that was the easy answer to problems that have no easy answer. cuba is not russia. with today's weapons that country, that island, could not only be overrun, it could be
wiped out in minutes, but cuba is like russia in the sense that bullets and counter-revolution are no better solution today for the problems of land reform, economic reform and exploding populations than they were 43 years ago in russia. look hard at history as it happened, particularly during the past 15 years. 15 years and some $90 billion after world war ii despite all the military packs, cut away coat and striped trouser diplomacy. despite military assistance, technical assistance, economic aid and point for programs communists have fed on the stuff that make revolutions. from taken over other people's revolutions right into cuba here in the western hemisphere for
two reasons, first, the dollar hasn't been printed yet that can buy our way out of the kind of world the juan desprados live in and second bullets and counter-revolutions are still the easy answer to problems that have no easy answer. there are no easy answers to deal with the stuff revolutions are made of. there are no easy answers to communism, there's only hard work. hard work by each individual thinking and voting american who must work hard to understand that the key to the survival of our way of life today lies in dealing with the kind of world those men live in. not just understanding it, but willingness to work in it, away from the tourist allies and the child bathroom kind of life to defend america. and not just in the battle of
america which mr. castro has in mind for south america, but in the battle of the world which communism has in mind for this whole planet. this means hard work to face head-on and deal head-on with the problems of exploding populations, land reform, economic reform, but most important the demand by human beings everywhere, even here at home, for dignity. to do this by other means than bullets and blank checks passed around by blank minds. until we do this, it will not be communism that wins the world, it will be democracy that loses it. i am albert burke, we haven't finished with this subject. we will be back. but thank you for being with us tonight. and goodnight.
weekends on c-span 2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents america's story and on sundays book tv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span 2 comes from these television companies and more. including comcast. >> do you think this is just a community center? no, it's way more than that. comcast is partnering with 1,000 community centers to create wifi enabled lift zones so students from low income families can get the tools they need to be ready
for anything. comcast along with these television companies supports c-span 2 as a public service. >> tens of thousands of anti-vietnam war protesters converged in washington, d.c. in may of 1971, more than 7,000 were arrested in a single day. tonight on american history tv we look back 50 years at the forces that collided on the capital streets that spring with journalist lawrence roberts he is the author of "may day 1971: the white house at war, revolt in the streets and untold history of the america's biggest mass arrest." that's at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on american history tv on c-span 3. >> next on american history tv, international spy museum historian vince houghton discusses attempts by the u.s. government to overthrow or assassinate cuban leader fiddle