Cuba: Lay Those Rifles Down, Boys

Everybody ought to have a gun, Fidel Castro maintained — until lately. At a 1960 rally in Havana, he explained that "This is how democracy works: it gives rifles to farmers, to students, to women, to Negroes, to the poor, and to every citizen who is ready to defend a just cause." Weapons ranging from Czech submachine guns to Belgian FN automatic rifles were handed out to 50,000 soldiers, 400,000 militiamen, 100,000 members of the factory-guarding popular defense force, and to many men, women and children in Cuba's 1,000,000-strong "neighborhood vigilance committees." Now Castro no longer wants all those guns...

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