UNITED STATES SENATE
Committee on Foreign Relations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 1959
STATEMENT ON CUBA BY SENATOR J. W. FULBRIGHT
MR. President, the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics
convene in Santiago this week to consider tensions in the
Caribbean. These tensions are due in large part to the Cuban
revolution and to the accession to power of Dr. Castro. Whether
one likes Dr. Castro or whether one approves his policies, it
cannot be denied that as of this moment he has the support of
the majority of the Cuban people.
Dr. Castro has also become a symbol for many of the people
of the Caribbean area. His leadership of a political and social
revolution in Cuba the catalyst element that stirs demands
for change throughout the Caribbean.
Whence this revolution goes -- to the right or to the left –
when it stops -- and who will get hurt are of vital Importance
to the United States, not only because our economies are closely
related but because of the geographic proximity of Cuba and the
United States. Although what goes on in Cuba and the Caribbean
is of great importance to us, the attitude and policies of the
United States toward Cuba are of even greater significance to
Cuba. The United States is so big and so strong as compared with
Cuba, and Cuban sensitivities to American intervention are so
great that almost anything we do may be misunderstood and self-
defeating. There is great need for patience and understanding
on our part, because mutually peaceful end productive relationship
between the United States and Cuba in the future will depend
not only upon the ability and responsibility of Cuban leaders,
but perhaps even more upon our understanding of the forces at
work in Cuba and our patience -- and sometimes – firmness –
in dealing with those forces.
I know there are many in this country who have suffered
losses as the result of recent events in Cuba. And when American
property holders in Cuba are threatened with expropriation,
it is easy for them to believe the Cuban government is dominated
by comunists. I do not know whether Dr. Castro is a communist
or whether his government is dominated by communists.
W might remind ourselves, however, that several decades
were seized, chaos reigned, and Mexico for years was unable to
attract private American investment. At that time many Americans
confused a rising social consciousness and a Mexican nationalism
with communism. But today Mexico is a great and good friend.
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