“Crusade for a Christian Civilization”, N. 2, April-June 1980
TEXT OF THE TELEGRAM OF THE AMERICAN TFP TO PRESIDENT CARTER ON CUBA
The various incidents of refugees seeking asylum in the Peruvian and Venezuelan embassies in
for many weeks now are symptomatic of an acute spiritual and material malaise affecting sectors of the Cuban population. Those so affected could be a majority of the people, a considerable minority or even a small one. But the fact is that they are forced to do so by an extreme degree of isolation, oppression, and misery. The situation is such as to trouble and shock our generous American people, awakening noble impulses of fellowship and concern. Havana
The gravity of this situation became dramatically clear in the last few days when the tyrant — Fidel Castro — taking an apparently liberal attitude which he has obstinately avoided for a long time now, gave permission for all those who are discontented to leave the beautiful island he has turned into the greatest prison in the history of the
. Discontent runs so high that, in just a few hours, some 10,000 Cubans sought asylum in the Peruvian embassy alone. Americas
When we consider these facts, we must remember that, in general, for every desperate person who manages to flee there are many others equally desperate, who do not flee simply because they cannot. So, there are innumerable Cubans unable to flee who deeply yearn for a change in their situation.
All that has happened so far is much more meaningful than the most perfect public opinion poll, however impartial, well-equipped, and specialized the pollster might be.
Thus, our people unexpectedly find themselves facing a situation that is not only troubling but also dramatic to the highest degree. This puts your Administration, if you permit us to say so, in a juncture which tests the whole credibility of American intentions toward other countries.
This credibility has already suffered considerable damage among the nations friendly to the
in the United States Near Eastand the Middle Eastbecause of the unexpectedness of the diplomatic moves by which we change our policies and friends. The kind of attitude we take toward could reinforce or shake our credibility with all the countries and peoples of the Cuba , whose immense majority feel united to the Cuban people by religious, historical, and ethnic links that we must consider if we are not to err very gravely. Americas
Your Administration has, in fact, carried on a continuous action in the Latin American countries to eliminate or soften the dictatorial regimes established in many of them. Freeing peoples from oppressive governments was the principle invoked with missionary-like zeal for this manifold and insistent action. Although this policy was applauded by broad sectors of Latin American opinion, none of them gave it more outstanding support than the Communists and their fellow travelers, that is, the sectors most influenced by the worst enemies of our country.
Sensational and scandalous evidence of the existence of an inhumane and tyrannical police state now surfaces in
. All the disorders the U.S. Government alleges for its political interventions in Central and Cuba South Americaseem petty in comparison to it. As you have alleged — not without reason — there are indeed, in many instances, serious cases of oppression, moral or physical torture in those countries. In , however, the facts show that it is not merely a question of serious cases. The whole nation feels morally and physically tortured and oppressed. Therefore, a question arises: If we did so much to alleviate individual situations, how much more should we do to alleviate the situation of a whole country? Cuba
Certainly, it was noble of you to open our doors to the Cuban refugees. The hope thus raised in those unfortunate people cannot be suppressed by practical difficulties that now arise. For such difficulties are small in comparison to the extent of the resources that
has granted us. BUT IT IS NOT ONLY A QUESTION OF 10,000 PEOPLE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. THE ENTIRE CUBAN NATION — if you allow us to repeat, Mr. President — IS BEING TORTURED, AND, IT IS THE NATION AS A WHOLE WHICH MUST BE KEPT IN MIND. Providence
The question as to how far we should go in
, which in the rigor of logic flashes in the mind of every aware American, leads us to present you with a suggestion. A suggestion, by the way, as moderate as it could be in view of your previous actions. It is that the United States call on all the governments of the Americas to support us in a demand that Cuba grant free entry to experts enjoying the confidence of the public in the three Americas. Having free access to the unfortunate island, they would be able to carry out there a free, wide-ranging, technical and humane investigation of what really happened there so that the world may know the facts and look for ways to prevent their recurrence. Cuba
We do not foresee that those in power in
can comfortably appeal to the only principle in whose name they could resist this measure, the principle of non-intervention. In fact, their notorious intervention in the Cuba Caribbeanand Central Americaand their continuous relationship with all the communist parties in South Americamake a force of permanent intervention in all of these areas. Cuba
Furthermore, the Cuban leaders themselves boast of having intervened in
Africa. They officially abandoned the principle of nonintervention and affirmed a right to send an expeditionary force to faraway Africato free the overseas Portuguese provinces from alleged abuses of authority by their mother country.
We do not believe that those who control
can invoke the principle of non-intervention in relation to the present scandal in Cuba without losing credibility in the eyes of world opinion. This loss of credibility is the terrible price they would have to pay for their contradiction. But what a terrible price we will have to pay for our contradiction, Mr. President, if this time we abstain from intervening in Havana after such a long and tediously wordy series of interventions in other countries of this hemisphere. In these nations we have put out certain fires. In Cuba , are we going to let them burn the whole house down and go unpunished? Cuba
We ask you, Mr. President, to see in these arguments and this suggestion a desire to collaborate with your Administration. We are moved, not by any political designs of our own, but by an impulse of our Christian and patriotic hearts in the face of a situation distressing to us and certainly to millions of other Americans as well.
By appealing to you, respectfully suggesting that you take a path we earnestly desire, we mean to express our wholehearted wish for unity with our country's authorities. Please accept, Mr. President, our respects and best wishes for success to the advantage of Christian grandeur in