[ Main Site Menu ] [ Back to Anti-Batista  Menu ] [ Index to Site Documents ]

Cuban Rebels in Action 1958

[REFERENCE: Man's Magazine, April 1959, Vol. 7, No. 4, pages 24-25, 86-90 ]
Page 4
MAN'S was bird-dogging the "Miami Underground" story (page 24) long before Castro's partisans began openly to turn Miami and environs into a revolutionist's supermarket.  In fact, as MAN'S goes to press, exploits reading like Dumas, Conrad and London pop up daily in the nation's newspaper:
"FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - An arms laden plane and 22 persons were seized here today amid gunfire when police interrupted loading operations at an abandoned airfield."
"MIAMI, FLA. - Three Cubans, two of whom wheeled their fleeing munitions packed car into a crowded dog track, were captured after a shooting chase of 12 blocks."
"OCALA, FLA. - An alert road patrolman intercepted an auto convoy of arms for Cuban rebels early today and eight persons, including a Miami soldier of fortune, were arrested after a two-county chase."
"Underground" byliner Jack Kofoed knows Florida and Cuba as well as he knows his wife after 35 years of marriage.  A Miami Herald columnist, Jack has seen the rebels in action in Cuba and Florida!

Page 24
[To see a full size photo, right click and VIEW IMAGE]

[caption] EDITOR'S NOTE: As MAN'S went to press, rebel troops conquered Cuba.  This story reveals, in part, how Fidel Castro's small insurgent group overthrew Strong Man Batista's regime.

by Jack Kofoed

FICO SAT in the sunshine of Miami's Bayfront Park, smoking a cigarette.  He wore rope-soled canvas shoes called alpargatas and a soiled white guayabera shirt hung outside his pants.
Fico is a friend of mine.  I met him years ago at the Havana jai alai fronton, which stands in a maze of narrow slum streets, crowded, smelly and brawling with noise.  He seemed acquainted with everybody, but what he did for a living I never knew.

After Batista had unseated Dr. Carlos Prio Socarras as president of Cuba, Fico left Havana hurriedly and settled in Miami.  He speaks English well, and since there are 45,000 of his countrymen, most of them anti-Batista, in Dade County there is no opportunity to become lonesome.  Saloons along Miami Avenue are not as cozy as the bodegas he frequented at home, and he missed his favorite goat stew, chilindron; but after all, you can't have everything.

When Fico arrived, there was only a splinter anti-Batista underground in Miami.  It began to grow, stimulated by rebel leader Fidel Castro's first attacks against the government.  Once Fidel led 80 followers from a diesel-powered yacht to the sandy beach at Nicaro.  There they were met by gun-blasting soldiers, and only 20 rebels lived through the barrage.  His 26th of July assault on the Moncada barracks proved equally disastrous.  Both times Castro was captured and pardoned by Batista.  But he became a symbol, not only to countrymen in Cuba, but to those Cubanos who had gone, either voluntarily or through duress, to Miami.

page 25

 [caption] Gunrunners caught in boat headed for Cuba include ex-Brooklynite Antonio Lopez (rt.).

Machine-guns riddle an Army car in
Havana...A farmer in Pinar del Rio
shoots a cop...An incendiary bomb
fires an Oriente sugar field...And
behind it all are the American-based
gunrunners who have turned the
world's winter playground into
a menacing cloak-and-dagger city.

[caption] Arms recovered from the cruiser Harpoon
are sorted after cutter intercepted ship at sea.


[caption] Handcuffed in pairs, members of the Cuban
underground are taken to Miami on charges of smuggling.

In the years that have passed, the Miami underground developed into an incredible network of intrigue, turning the world's largest winter playground in the gaudiest cloak-and-dagger city in the hemisphere.  Members work in every possible way for Castro, raising money and shipping arms, ammunition, food and medicine, as well as recruits, to him.
Expatriated Cubans, particularly those who have not become citizens, take great risks.  The latter can have their visas revoked, and be sent back to face Batista's wrath at home.  They know that, but regard Castro's rebels as freedom fighters, likening them to the Hungarians who died under Russian machine-gun fire in the gutters of Budapest.

"A big day for us, this," Fico said, jabbing at me with his cigarette.  Having covered stories now on the front page of my paper, the Miami Herald, I knew exactly what he meant . . .

A Cubana Airlines' DC3 took off from Guantanamo carrying eight passengers and a crew of three.  The first leg of the journey to Moa Bay is only a 15-minute run.  When the plane was airborne, three men, pistols in hand, rose from their seats.  One stood guard over the other passengers, the others went to the cockpit, and gave orders to the pilot.  Looking into the threatening muzzles, there was nothing the pilot could do but obey.

He was ordered to fly over the Sierra Maestra range and set his wheels down on an airstrip controlled by the rebels.  Castro, having strengthened his ground forces, wanted to add to his incipient air force.  The DC3 could be equipped with makeshift bomb racks, and the improbable dream of bombing Havana might be made a reality.  Almost simultaneously, guerrillas attacked an army outpost, killing half a dozen soldiers in a sharp,

continued Page 86

brief fight, then slipping back into the hills.

The success of the kidnaping set off a spate of others.  A few days later another Cubana Viscount turbo-jet warmed up on its strip at Miami International Airport.  Seven Americans boarded the plane for a flight to Varadero Beach.  Mingling with them were four Cuban rebels, who apparently had been based in Miami for some time.

Their pattern was the same as in the previous coup.  When safety belts had been unloosened, cigarettes lighted, and a stewardess began serving daiquiris, the four rebels brandished their automatics and ordered the pilot to fly to the Castro-occupied province of Oriente.  Though there are no witnesses to testify, the pilot must have protested.  Landing on a rough, badly-lit airstrip in the mountains would be hazardous.

Shrugs, palms of hands upward.  Quien sabe?  Who knows?  We take chances every day.  What does another amount to?  So, the pilot lined up his plane for the approach, misjudged the strip, and crashed into Nipe Bay.  Result: 17 lives lost.

Miami's rebels are hard men, not easily discouraged.  Many must die if their objective is to be achieved.  What difference if death comes in a plane or on the battlefield?  It's too bad if innocent people go, too, but in war everyone is expendable.

Havana lies 250 miles from Miami, across the blue-green waters of the Caribbean.  It was a sophisticated, Continental city, where gambling and sex were flaunted.  Today, since Castro's shadow fell across it, it is neither gay nor carefree.  And one reason why the shadow persists lies in the Miami underground.

A little grocery store on the West Side, a Spanish restaurant on Miami Avenue, a motel on Miami Beach may be important revolutionary action centers.  The bus boy who removes dishes from your table in a hotel dining room, the taxi-driver who takes you to the airport, the woman who waits on you in a shop - may be leaders in the movement.

Machine-gun bullets rip through a military intelligence car in Havana . . . a farmer in Pinar del Rio fires a .45 automatic pistol at a threatening police lieutenant . . . an incendiary bomb burst sends flame roaring through fields of sugar cane in Oriente.

Guns, ammunition and explosives are the muscle and sinew of revolution.  Even the toughest guerrillas can't wage war with knives and machetes.  In the business of getting weapons, the rebels look at Miami as a housewife regards a supermarket.  It is the funnel through which supplies, purchased in different parts of the United States, are poured.  Private planes are air lifted from isolated airports, carrying every pound allowable.  Speed boats take off all the way from Fort Lauderdale to tiny islets near Key West, not only with weapons, but recruits for Castro's small army.  Individuals fly on regularly scheduled airlines, weapons strapped to their bodies . . .
"It's kind of funny," said Fico.  "I mean, how much we do, and how little people around town know about it.  ‘Batista! Castro!' they say.  ‘We've got enough troubles of our own without worrying about those Cubans!'  So, it's only when they read about police picking up machine guns in an apartment, or the Border Patrol capturing one of our boats, that they even give us a thought.  But, we have mucho trouble just the same, with the FBI, Border Patrol, local police, and others on our tails.

"There are plenty of Batista secret police here, too.  Sometimes even citizens who don't know anything about us get us in jams.  Like a taxi-driver, suspicious because his fare's bags were so heavy.  He told a policeman, and we lost 40 automatic pistols.  Still, we get through about 90 per cent of what we send."

That is doubtful.  The Border Patrol estimates 50 per cent, so the real truth probably lies between those figures.  Whatever it is, the job has been amazing.  There have been few occasions when Fidel Castro's men ran short of ammunition.

Occasionally stories creep into the papers . . . stories flame-lit with drama.  They represent only a minute bit of what goes on day after day in the luxury capital of the world.  One concerned the 60 foot cabin cruiser Harpoon, hired for a gunrunning expedition.  It was an old boat.  As a cover, while loading, the rebels painted its hull.  Some observant soul noticed that, while standing high in the water when loading began, the Harpoon settled deeper and deeper as its cargo of guns and ammunition was loaded.  So - too late to forestall the cruiser's departure - a tip was passed along to the Border Patrol.

The 32 men aboard wore arm bands marked "Comando Calixto" or "OA."  The first was for a revolutionary who died in an attack on the Presidential Palace in Havana; the second for "Organizacion Autentico," a political party headed by former President Carlos Prio Socarras.  The cargo was made up of mortars, antitank guns, ammunition and supplies, all vital needs for Castro's guerrillas.

The filibusters (gunrunners) were aware of the danger they faced.  If the Harpoon outrode American hunters, more ominous danger lay ahead when they made a landing on the Cuban coast.  There, the underground would face no fines, not short prison terms.  Security police shoot first, ask questions, if any, afterward.  There were times when they hanged filibusters to the nearest trees without even a drumhead court-martial.

Realizing this, the men aboard the Harpoon were tight as fiddle strings as the cruiser cut a path through the quiet waters.

Suddenly a searchlight silhouetted them against the blackness.  A voice shouted: "Keep on course . . . keep on course!"  The cutter Douglas C. Shute slid alongside, but the rebel helmsman paid no attention to the order.  He spun his wheel, slamming the Harpoon into the bank.

Below deck men frenziedly smashed port holes and tossed contraband into the water.  Others poured up on the deck, screaming in frustrated anger.  One man pointed a Tommy-gun at Inspector Raymond D. Bond, pulled the trigger . . . but the weapon jammed.  Another attempted to blow up the gas tank with the detonator of a hand grenade.  It exploded in his hand, ripping off a couple of fingers.

For a moment it was touch and go.  There were only seven agents against 32 filibusters, but cooler heads among the rebels prevented carnage.  Some talked about making a break when they landed at Fort Lauderdale, but a large number of police were on hand when they landed, so the attempt was never made.  This was not the first catch of its kind made by the Border Patrol.  Ten months before they descended on Big Pine key, and took another cruiser, Philomar III, with 30 men, listed as reinforcements for Castro, and a considerable amount of arms aboard.

Page 87
When the excitement was over, the prisoners did not resent their arrest, and considered their capture an incident of war.  They took the position that they were patriots, and doing no more than any patriot should.  They were heartbroken at having failed in the adventure, but determined to try again.

Most boats used for filibustering are rented, often from owners who know nothing of the purpose for which they will be used.  Some are purchased outright, like the Corinthia, which was used in a ghastly fiasco, an attack on the Cuban coast in which most of the men she carried were shot by troops lying in ambush.

Failures, trouble from without, sometimes treason from within their circle, even deaths, have not deterred supporters of the revolution.  All Cubans in Miami are not sworn enemies of the Batista government.  Some think the stocky, one-time sergeant has done much for the country.  The majority, though, contribute money and support to Castro.

Originally Castro found his weapons in hit-and-miss fashion.  Maids in the homes of Army officers or police officials were bribed to tip off rebels to the time when families would be absent.  Then they'd break in and steal whatever side arms they could find.  This furnished only a trickle of what was needed.  When the situation became desperate, hit-and-run attacks were staged on armories or barracks, where rifles and Tommy-guns were in large supply.  These raids alerted the government so success became more and more difficult to achieve.

As political arrests increased, thousands of Cubans fled to Miami.  The majority are by no means rich.  They work at a variety of jobs at average, or less than average, salaries.  Some own restaurants or stores.  There are a few wealthy men like former President Dr. Carlos Prio Socarras, who was overthrown by Batista in 1952.

Handsome, mustachioed Prio, who lives in the penthouse of Miami Beach's Vendome Hotel, is credited with being the bankroll of the underground.  The ex-president denies this, but when brought to rial for violating the National Security Act several years ago he pleaded nolo contendere, and was fined $9,000.  In February, 1958, Prio was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for the same offense, which allegedly, in his case, meant smuggling arms and troops.

"The good doctor is important to us," Fico said, " but we do not want him for president again when we win.  Many of us do not want Castro either . . . Who do we want?"  He shrugged his shoulders.  "Who can tell?  We are funny people.  You see what goes on around here.  You know."

Though all out for the revolution, Miami's Cuban are split into several organizations, divided in aims and ideas as to how to help the revolution:  One, the "26 of July" movement, is named after the day the guerrilla leader made his dramatic attack on the Moncada barracks.  Another is the "Directorio Estudiantil,"composed of students and intellectuals; the "Autentico Party,"is Dr. Prio's pet.

Leadership is not always decided by wealth, social standing or previous political prominence.  Among section groups, which do the gunrunning, one is led by a bus boy.

There is no strength in division, and Castro's supporters are beginning to realize this.  Many believe the failure of a general strike followed by all-out war, announced a year ago, was partly due to contradictory intelligence Castro received from Miami followers.

Page 88

Being emotional, the Cubans sometimes act without thinking.  They staged several street demonstrations in Miami against police orders.  Some hotheads beat up a legislator, Rodolfo Masferrer Rojas, and Justo Luis del Pozo, son of Havana's mayor, while they were visiting the city.

"That was foolish," said Fico.  "It makes us look like hoodlums, and we are not hoodlums.  It attracts attention to us, and we do not need attention.  Many of us are here on temporary visas - we can be sent back to Cuba; and you know what happens to us then."  He made a slitting motion across his throat.

Most Miami-based Cubans are beginning to realize that.  Of late there have been no public demonstrations, though many of the more fanatical rebel supporters openly claim the United States gives aid to the Batista government.

These, then, are the people who have turned Miami into the hemisphere's most conspiratorial city.  They gamble a million dollars a year on getting supplies to Castro, and "gamble" is the proper word, since they have no idea of how much will actually get through.

Buyers negotiate with arms dealers in New York, Washington, Hartford and Los Angeles . . . Mls, carbines, Thompson sub-machine guns, automatic pistols, shotguns, .75 mm. anti-tank guns and grenades are wanted most.  Purchasing agents are busy, on a smaller scale, in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Costa Rica and even Europe.

World War II Army machine guns are purchased ostensibly as souvenirs.  These were deactivated under government supervision by welding the barrel of the gun to the receiver, or operating mechanism, and plugging the barrel.  This is an easy problem to lick.  The government weld is broken, the barrel replaced, and the gun turned into a deadly killer.

The Cubans also alter electrically operated machine guns, designed for use in aircraft.  Tripods, triggers and rifle butts are welded on, which, users say makes the weapon more defective than the BAR.

There has been a marked increase in business for Miami firearms shops, and in most instances sales are legal.  It is lawful for a traveler to carry three hand guns, or rifles, out of the country; one person making several trips, with ammunition strapped under his clothing, can supply a 10-man fighting unit for a week.

All weapons are not earmarked for Castro's mountain fighters, or even for Fifth Columns scattered throughout the Sugar Republic.  Plans have been laid not only for the next battle, or the next campaign, but the future.  Underground training schools are set up in rural provinces, where recruits are taught to assemble and use smuggled arms.

"A isn't a factor," said Fico.  "Middleaged farmers and young boys get the hang of it in a little while.  Why, I even know one old woman who can put together three rifles while she boils a pot of rice.  These people are not fussy about what they get.  Anything which shoots when the trigger is pulled will do.

There is little difficulty buying weapons, much in getting them through.  The rebels have adopted some of the techniques of Prohibition-era bootleggers.  They establish "drops" where guns can be deposited, to be picked up later.

Shipments move from originating points by trucks, automobiles, house trailers and rental trailers.  If from New York or Hartford, they are stored in warehouses in Savannah or adjacent communities, until broken into small lots to be transported, usually by private car to Miami.
Here they are kept in homes, motel rooms, garages or barns while details for getting them out of the country are perfected.  Security is essential, and while security is excellent for such loosely knit organizations, the FBI, other government agencies or local police often find out what is happening.

For example, customs agents learned that 200 M-1 carbines had been bought in Alexandria, Virginia, moved out and stored in Savannah.  In the dark of night three Cubans loaded those guns in two cars and a trailer and headed for Miami.  They took turns driving, and they drove fast.  It wasn't until they had reached Pompano Beach, on the Florida Turnpike, that the agents, by that time reinforced with Florida Highway Patrolmen, caught up with the caravan, arrested the men, and confiscated the carbines.

There is danger from money-hungry rebels and unscrupulous dealers and gangster, who want to get their hands on rebel loot, as well as from U. S. law enforcement authorities and the Cuban secret police.  There have been members of the inner circle, entrusted with large sums with which to buy guns, who made deals with sellers to raise their prices and then split the difference with the traitors.

Even the underworld has, on occasion, edged into the act.  Two rebel agents named de la Torre and Madariaga left Miami on a buying trip carrying $248,000.  Because of the nature of these transactions, cash on the barrel-head is the only accepted method of doing business.  A hoodlum named Gene Norris convinced the Cubans he could make a better deal for them than anyone else.  After roundabout journeys through several states, de la Torre and Madariaga were held up at gunpoint in a Fort Worth, Texas, motel and robbed of every dollar they had.

Later, when Norris attempted to pick up the money from a cache where he had hidden it, he was shot to death by Texas Rangers.

The cloak-and-dagger Cubans have come to accept such hazards and unhappy results as inevitable parts of their program.  There must be waste and losses in war, and the only yardstick of the underground's success is the percentage of supplies which get through.

There are many secret meeting places which, of necessity, must be changed from time to time.  One, used for a long time, was an abandoned private airport west of Fort Lauderdale.  Castro sympathizers gathered there, sometimes in large numbers, without arousing suspicion.  They flew model airplanes as a cover, and the mild funmaking brought no police to investigate.  Actually, a rebel plane landed and took off from the strip at regular intervals, bringing instructions from the Man of Sierra Maestra, and taking back reports and money.

In October, three F51 fighters were destroyed by gasoline bombs at Broward International Airport.  The owner said they were to have been converted into executive type aircraft.  That didn't sound reasonable.  Single seaters such as F51s equipped with bomb racks, could be made over only at excessive cost.  Edward Bethune, a young soldier of fortune who left the rebel forces because of illness, said Castro planned to drop bombs on Havana; and authorities suspected the F51s might have been a part of this plan, just as the captured Cubana passenger plane undoubtedly was, too.

Personable, outspoken Jose Aleman owns the Trade Winds apartments on Miami Beach.  He also owned- before selling it to the city of Miami-the Miami Stadium and an enormous amount of other property left him by his father, the late Cuban Senator Aleman.  Young Jose is one of five men heading the "Directorio Estudiantil" (Students Council).  He has helped many refugees make a new start in Miami but strenuously denies having anything to do with gunrunning.

Exiles stay at the Trade Winds for undetermined periods.  One afternoon last June, Dade County deputy sheriffs slammed patrol cars to a noisy stop in front of the apartment house.  They burst into most of the units, when denied keys, and found 4,300 rounds of ammunition, 900 sticks of dynamite, two Tommy-guns and navigational charts covering waters between the United States and Cuba.  Three young Cubans, on guard duty, were arrested.  Jose denied knowing anything of the cache.

To show how widespread are the meeting places and "drops," 500 rifles were seized at a house on NE 110th St., a $25,000 cache packed in oil drums on a downtown pier, 600 sticks of dynamite on SW 18th St., 34 machine guns and 83,000 rounds of ammunition on 27th Avenue and phosphorous bombs in an apartment on SW 5th St.

There is a feeling of sympathy here for men who risk so much for an ideal.  Unless some hotheaded rebel, frantic at having failed in his mission, violently resists arrest, officers handle their prisoners gently.  When gun runners are brought to trial, and convicted, federal judges temper justice with mercy.  The men of the Harpoon were given only 60 days . . . and credited with time spent awaiting trial . . . plus a $200 fine each.

The case of slender young Hector Duarte Hernandez points up this attitude.  Duarte, one of the few who lived through the futile attack on the Presidential Palace in Havana, escaped to Miami.  Cuban police were anxious to get their hands on him, and demanded extradition.

The young man was brought before Federal Judge George Whitehurst.  His attorney pointed out that sending Duarte back would be equivalent to passing a sentence of death.  Judge Whitehurst denied the plea for extradition and, instead, levied a $300 fine for illegal entry.

Perhaps this tolerance stems not only from sympathy for people fighting for what they conceive to be their rights, but to the fact that Florida's Gold Coast has a tradition for gunrunning which goes back many years.  When Cubans were fighting for independence, and the Spanish Governor-General, Weyler, was earning the title of "Butcher" because of his atrocities, American feeling ran high.  Then, as now, the government did what it could to prevent the smuggling of weapons.
Napoleon Broward, who later became governor of Florida, owned a speedy tug called Three Friends.  Broward was sentimental and practical.  He wanted to help the patriots, but was not averse to turning a tidy profit while doing it.

He'd take the Three Friends up New River to Fort Lauderdale and anchor by the railroad bridge.  A train would puff to a stop on the trestle, cases of arms and ammunition were lowered to the tug, and then he'd head south.

The Florida keys consist of innumerable small wooded islands, sandbars and reefs, which in any age make a haven for filibusters.  Revenue cutters and Spanish ships of war chased Broward countless times, but he knew the keys as he knew his own engine room, and always eluded them.  The governor-to-be was hauled into Federal court on many occasions, but no prosecutor was able to make a case against him.

Page 90
The Three Friends rotted and sank years ago in the St. John's River near Jacksonville, but Napoleon Broward, long in his grave, is still an inspiration to men who run guns - Cubans and Americans.

For not all those who are a part of, or become involved in, filibustering activities of the rebels are Cubans.  Having spent time in Cuba, and written much about it, men from all parts of the United States and Canada have sent his writer letters asking how they could join Castro's forces.  Most were from disillusioned young veterans who had not "found" themselves after getting out of service, or from old timers with a row of hash marks on their sleeves who craved more action.  Some wanted to know how much Castro would pay for experienced machine gunners and riflemen.  Many were idealists like sons of American Navy personnel at Guantanamo Bay, who joined up, but the chances of even such dedicated souls getting to the Sierra Maestra are small.
A Miami pipe fitter named Bill Leonard was arrested in Oriente Province when he strolled into a police station and asked for a pass that would get him within Castro's lines.  He wanted to visit a friend, Charlie Ryan, who was fighting with the guerrillas.  Asking for such a pass in a hotbed of rebel activity was akin to requesting a license to rob banks.  When the astonished police recovered their poise, and searched the pipe fitter, he was lucky to get away with his life.

Leonard carried a small tear gas gun and a knife, protection in that troubled area, he explained, but the police didn't buy his explanation for quite awhile.  After consultation with the American consul, they let Bill go, first warning him never to come back.

"Americans who want to join us," said Fico, "feel themselves to be modern Lafayettes, but they sometimes do things as foolish as some of our people.  You never can figure out some men.  Like Cesar Vega.  Cesar was one of those captured on the Philomar.  Do you know what he did before that ill-fated voyage?  Senor Vega gathered a few friends and invaded a little dot of an island called Cay Sal, near the Cuban coast.  It belongs to Great Britain, and Cuba does not give a peso for it but Cesar thought it a great gesture to capture the cay for our country.

"It took the British about 10 minutes to capture him and throw him out, but to some of our hotheads that was a fine and patriotic thing to do.  That kind of thinking does us harm."
While a combination of Cubans, guns and raw emotions supplies most of the fuel for current action in Miami's underground melodrama, there are other factors poised to set off more revolutionary clamoring.  Haiti has had bloody uprisings, but Haiti is poor and cannot afford to buy on the scale of Castro's backers.  The Dominican Republic is restless, but those who seek Trujillo's overthrow are not yet strong enough to appear in the open.  The ousted dictator of Colombia, Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, has returned there, and a nervous government is hopeful of blocking a new revolt.  These and other countries are present or future possibilities as filibusters and potential customers of arms' salesmen.  These fellows congregate in Miami.  Whether or not there is anything imminent, they find it easier to keep their ears to the ground here than anywhere

Ousted politicos of nationalities other than Cuban, like Marco Perez Jimenez kicked out of Venezuela, settle down for varying periods.  Perez bought an estate on Miami Beach and hired off-duty policemen on three shifts to protect him and his property.  So far none of these politicians in exile has been attacked successfully, because they are too well guarded.

In the meantime the guarded politicos hope for coups which will take them back to power while they mull away time in sun-drenched Miami, where during the winter season, horses race at Hialeah . . . Joe E. Lewis tells his funny blue stories at the Eden Roc . . . long-legged beauties relax in the sun at cabana clubs.  And not one in a thousand tourists even dreams of the international melodrama being played under their nose.

Fico threw away his cigarette, stood up, and stretched lazily.  "What goes on here," he said, "will go on until we get what we want, which is freedom for Cuba.  But when that times comes, and we can cease our activities, Miami will still be the center of foreign intrigue.  Other Latins have seen what we have done in spite of all handicaps.  When Cuba finds peace, there will be other rebels from the Dominican Republic, Haiti and maybe a dozen other countries who will try to copy us.  You can bet every peso you have Miami will be a revolutionary center for years to come.  In the meantime, though, there is much for us to do . . . and no matter how your people try, no matter what the obstacles you put in our way, we'll get to Castro what Castro wants."
A plane flew overhead flying a banner advertising a night club.

"I wish it was flying over the Presidential Palace, with a bomb in its belly," said Fico.  "Maybe we'll see that pretty soon!"

End of Page

Copyright 1998-2014 Cuban Information Archives. All Rights Reserved.