CUBA: Castro's Brain

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Acquisition of these powerful big brothers—who might or might not in a pinch come to Castro's aid—did not stop Che from training his first line of defense, a civilian militia reported to be 350,000 strong. Needing a guerrilla-warfare textbook for the militiamen, Che wrote one. Excerpts: "The great exasperation of the enemy army will be that of not finding anything solid to come up against; everything will be a gelatinous mass, moving, impenetrable, that goes on retreating and, while wounding on all sides, does not present a solid front."

In his book, Che also talks of the effect of the Cuban revolution on the rest of Latin America: it "breaks down all of the barriers of the news agencies and spreads its truth like a blast of gunpowder among the American masses who are anxious for a better life." Cuban diplomats across the hemisphere are hard at work spreading Che's "truth" and Communist propaganda. Allied with anyone who will cooperate, from Communists to sincere social work ers, they organize July 26 movements, show films of revolutionary progress, lend a hand in subversive plots, campaign for support among the backland peasants. In Venezuela last week, cops set out to arrest the leader of the July 26 movement after clashes of pro-and anti-Castro rioters and fatally shot him in a doorway. In Argentina, intelligence agents confronted the Cuban ambassador with documentary proof of his complicity in a plot by followers of ex-Dictator Juan Peron to overthrow President Arturo Frondizi; the agents also found his diplomatic pouch stuffed with Che's pamphlets on guerrilla warfare and instructions on how to bomb bridges. Brazil also expelled an intriguing Cuban embassy attache.

Outmoded Words. Against so clear a danger to the security of the hemisphere from Cuba-based and Communist-in spired infiltration, the U.S. and other Latin American states must take steps. But what steps? Cancellation of Cuba's sugar quota was probably a violation of the article in the charter of the Organization of American States that bars economic intervention; it may also prove ineffectual. Russia has promised to purchase the entire quota cut at only $24 million less than the artificially high price the U.S. used to pay. Communist China has promised to buy 500,000 tons more. But Communist bargains, involving overpriced goods, usually turn out to be poor bargains. Che has increased Cuba's foreign exchange reserves from $50 million to $196 million, largely by the simple device of refusing to pay his U.S. bills. The Soviets are keeping Cuba supplied with oil at prices running $14 million a year less than the price of the Venezuelan crude it replaces, though the high cost of transport must in the end be paid by Cuba. Economic sanctions, so long as Castro's popularity lasts with his people, may even increase their fervor for a time.

After years of inactivity in the face of growing pressure for social aid, the U.S. is now switching its policy in Latin America. It began last week when Roy Richard

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