58th Anniversary of Defeat of U.S.-Led
Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba
• 71st Anniversary of Jeju Island Uprising in Korea
76th Anniversary of Heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
58th Anniversary of the Defeat of the
U.S.-Led Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba
The Cuban Homeland Is One Where Cubans Won the Right to Control Their
Own Destiny and to Construct Their Own Future
Proclamation for All Times
- Yudy Castro Morales -
71st Anniversary of Jeju Uprising
Massacre Underscores Long History of Resistance to
Aggression Against Korea
76th Anniversary of Heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
and Organized Resistance Against Nazism
During the Darkest Hour
• Zog Nit
Keynmol, Yiddish Song of the Jewish Partisan Movement
58th Anniversary of the Defeat of the
Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba
The Cuban Homeland Is One Where Cubans Won the
Right to Control Their Own Destiny and to Construct Their Own Future
The people of Cuba celebrate the 58th anniversary of the first great
defeat of U.S. imperialism in Latin America at Playa Girón. The
ceremony paying tribute to the heroes and martyrs responsible for the
victory against the mercenaries takes place outside the museum in
Ciénaga de Zapata which holds historical treasures from the
On April 19 the Cuban people celebrate the victory of
Girón when they defeated the invasion of U.S.-financed and led
mercenaries sent to attack Cuba in what is known as the Bay of
Pigs. In the days preceding the U.S.-sponsored Bay of Pigs
invasion in 1961, bombing runs were made on airports in Santiago
de Cuba, San Antonio de los Baños and Havana. In a gathering
outside Havana's cemetery after the funeral of those killed in
the raids, the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro spoke
to a crowd who were armed in preparation for what everyone knew
was coming: an invasion. "This Revolution is not defended with
mercenaries," he said in reference to the pilots hired with U.S.
money who had conducted the bombings. "This Revolution is
defended by men and women of the people."
"Who has the weapons?" asked Fidel Castro to the crowd
now-famous intersection of 23rd and 12th streets. "Are they in
the hands of the exploiters?" The people raised their guns above
their heads and shouted "NO!" "Are the working people a majority?
Is it democratic to have a revolution in which the working people
have the weapons? Fellow workers and farmers, this is the
socialist and democratic Revolution of the working people, with
the working people and for the working people!"
Fidel inspecting weapons during fight against Playa Girón
The invasion failed on a massive scale with the entire
mercenary force captured or killed.
Nearly 60 years later, Cuba has prevailed despite all
terrorist actions launched by the United States. Scores of
bombings of cane fields, towns, and even hotels; the bombing of a
Cuban airliner with the loss of life of all on board. Hundreds of
assassination attempts on Cuban leaders -- 638 on Fidel Castro
alone; military, economic and biological warfare carried out
against the Cuban population -- all these and more in failed
attempts to destroy the Cuban Revolution. The crippling all sided
financial and commercial blockade of Cuba is an act of war which,
to date, goes unpunished.
Despite enormous odds, despite the continued overt
of the U.S. imperialists only 165 kilometres away and the
enormous social problems that have resulted, the sovereignty and
independence of Cuba remain intact. Unlike the situation which
prevails in the imperialist heartlands, the Revolution continues
to provide health care, education and housing as rights and not
privileges. Food staples continue to be subsidized by the state
and the Cuban people are proud of the homeland they themselves
established and defend.
Speaking on the occasion of May Day 1961 after the
Playa Girón, the legendary leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel
Castro said that the type of homeland that the imperialists speak
of is a homeland of the parasites who live off the labour of the
majority, of the few who exploit the many. The new Cuban
homeland, he said, is one where Cubans had won the right to
control their destiny and the right to construct their own future
that would of necessity be better than that of the past.
Referring to the U.S. administration under whose
Bay of Pigs invasion was launched, Fidel Castro ended his May Day
speech 58 years ago with the defiance that has characterized Cuba
to this day. "If Mr. Kennedy does not like socialism, well, we do
not like imperialism!" Fidel said, setting a line of march which
guides Cuba to this day.
On this occasion, on the eve of May 1 when once again
working class and people of Cuba will express their determination
to defend their homeland, which they fight for to be truly of the
people, by the people and for the people, the Communist Party of
Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends its revolutionary greetings to
the Cuban workers and people and their leadership. Whatever
political beliefs others may have about the Cuban Revolution, the
right of a people to determine their own destiny and the fact
that this right continues to be exerted by a small island in the
face of the most powerful nation on earth, commands respect and
tremendous admiration. Against all odds, Cuba has maintained its
independence and way of life, showing the entire world that it
can be done because it must be done. It is a matter of principle,
if the people are to be truly free with a democracy of their own
choosing. It must be done if peace is to be preserved in the
Americas, and if grinding poverty, illiteracy and disease are to
be ended. Cuba has shown the world it can be done. It has shown
the world, and continues to show the world, the true meaning of
internationalism and humanitarian aid which are designed to
address the needs of the people, not self-serving imperialist
aims. This is the path that will change the world in a manner
that favours the peoples, not a minuscule few.
Cuban militia raise their guns in celebration of victory at Playa
Giron, April 19, 1961.
1. Dwight D. Eisenhower's
State Department imposed the first trade embargo on Cuba on
October 19, 1960 to defeat the Rebel forces which had
successfully ousted the Batista dictatorship in Cuba. President
John F. Kennedy expanded the embargo to cover U.S. imports from
Cuba and made it an all-sided blockade on February 7, 1962.
A Proclamation for All Times
Fidel addressing militia fighters in Havana on the eve of Bay of Pigs
Invasion, when he
proclaimed the socialist character of Cuba’s revolution, April 16, 1961.
Even with the open wounds of the recent bombardment and
with the threat (later the certainty) of another attack,
Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz proclaimed, 58 years ago, the
socialist character of the Revolution.
To that act of defining principles, ensued a
Girón, or what
amounts to the same thing, a socialist victory that reaffirmed
the irreversible course of a country. Since then, Cuba has
continued, in an unbroken line, writing that history, not without
setbacks, not without errors; aware that this proclamation, more
than a road map, was also a daily challenge of coherence.
And that coherence is to have proclaimed, just a few
a new constitutional text that looks to the future and even
consecrates the irrevocability of socialism "as a viable
alternative," as Army General Raul Castro Ruz, First Secretary of
the Central Committee of the Party, would say in his speech on
If defining [the Revolution] as socialist, 58 years ago,
a idealistic endeavour, today the international context is no less
complex because, as the Army General warned, "the current United
States Government and its hegemonic ambition towards the region
pose the most urgent threat of the last five decades to the
peace, security and well-being of Latin America and the
Nonetheless, and I return to his words, we defend
"because we believe in social justice, in balanced and
sustainable development, with a fair distribution of wealth and
guarantees of quality services for the entire population; we
practice solidarity and reject selfishness; we share not what we
have left over, but even what we are short of.
"We repudiate all forms of social discrimination and
organized crime, drug trafficking, terrorism, trafficking in
persons and all forms of slavery; [...] we believe in people's
democracy, [...] we seek to promote the prosperity of the
country, and because we are convinced that a better world is
This conviction, which is in essence a concise summary
social project, was reiterated on Tuesday [April 16], as we
commemorated one more anniversary of the Proclamation by the
Commander in Chief at the downtown corner of 23rd and 12th, in
Vedado in our capital, on April 16, 1961.
The ceremony was attended by members of the Central
Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, First Secretary of the Party in
Havana, and Reynaldo García Zapata, President of the Provincial
Assembly of People's Power in the capital; as well as Reserve
Colonel Víctor Dreke, President of the Association of Combatants
of the Cuban Revolution in Havana, along with representatives of
the Party, the Government and mass organizations.
71st Anniversary of Jeju Uprising in Korea
Jeju Massacre Underscores Long History of Resistance to
Aggression Against Korea
Activists protest at the U.S. naval base on Jeju
Island, south Korea, June 20, 2017, to oppose the arrival of warships
from the U.S., Canada and south Korea for military exercises.
The Jeju Massacre was instigated by the U.S. Military
Government in Korea on April 3, 1948, on Jeju Island. It started
more than two years before the U.S. began the Korean War under
the cover of the UN flag. It was only in 2008 -- sixty years
later -- that the true scope of the crimes committed in Jeju
began to come to light when mass graves were uncovered at the
Jeju airport, and still the events are not well known. Today,
Jeju Islanders continue the tradition of militant defiance by
rejecting the deep-water U.S. naval base being built there.
With the third inter-Korean Summits and summits between
DPRK and the U.S., it is important to look at unfolding events
from the actual historical context, not the Cold War outlook
imposed by the U.S. to justify the division of Korea and all the
crimes it has carried out there. By doing so, warranted
conclusions can be drawn about why Korea was divided, what is the
source of tension on the Korean Peninsula, and the necessity to
reunite Korea and defend the cause of international peace.
TML Weekly is publishing below an excerpt from
article by U.S. veteran and peace activist S. Brian Willson,
entitled "U.S. and South Korea Assault an Idyllic Island: Not For
the First Time," published on his blog on June 21, 2012.
"U.S. and South Korea Assault an Idyllic Island: Not
the First Time"
- S. Brian Willson
One of the darkest, virtually unknown chapters of U.S.
intervention occurred in the southern portions of Korea prior to
the Korean War. In 1945, a Joint U.S. Army-Navy Intelligence
Study reported that the vast majority of Koreans possessed a
strong desire for independence and self-rule, and were vehemently
opposed to control by any successor to the hated Japanese who had
ruled them since 1910. A subsequent U.S. study reported that
nearly 80 per cent of Koreans wanted a socialist, rather than
Despite the conclusions of these internal documents,
President Harry Truman, after the Japanese surrender in August
1945, imposed a purportedly temporary partition at Korea's 38th
Parallel, dividing a 5,000-year homogenous culture. He then
commanded U.S. General Douglas MacArthur to "govern" the people
living south of the 38th Parallel. In October 1945, needing a
trusted Korean with "an [U.S.] American point of view" to be the
U.S. strongman, MacArthur flew 71-year-old Korean-born Syngman
Rhee from the U.S. to Seoul on MacArthur's personal plane. Rhee,
a Methodist who had lived in the United States for 40 years, was
to be a surrogate ruler of Korea that was largely Buddhist and
Left: From one illegitimate act to another, U.S. General Douglas
MacArthur (left), after the U.S. divided Korea, imposes Syngman Rhee
"president" of the southern part. Right: Rhee
in turn holds bogus elections in May 1948 to codify the division.
Rhee unilaterally chose to hold separate elections in
"legally" create an artificially divided Korea, despite vigorous
popular opposition throughout the Peninsula, north and south of
the 38th Parallel, including residents of Cheju Island (now
called Jeju, hereafter identified as such). What is referred to
as the April 3 (1948) uprising on Jeju in response to these
elections, actually lasted into 1950, and is the single greatest
massacre in modern Korean history. The Jeju uprising in 1948 may
be seen as a microcosm for the impending Korean War.
A CIA National Intelligence Estimate concluded that
so unpopular that the newly established Republic of Korea (ROK)
would not survive "without massive infusion of U.S. aid."
The U.S. Embassy described the repression in response
Jeju opposition to Rhee as a "scorched earth" campaign of
"extermination." Secret protocols placed all Korean Constabulary,
police, ROK forces, and paramilitary units under USAMGIK's
(United States Army Military Government In Korea) control.
Mass imprisonment of suspected communists begins on Jeju Island in
1948, to quell the people's refusal to submit to foreign dictate.
CIA documents concluded that politics under the USAMGIK
Rhee regime were dominated by a tiny elite class of wealthy
Koreans who repressed dissent of the vast majority, using
"ruthlessly brutal" policies similar to those of the previous
Japanese machinery hated by most Koreans.
Depiction of the beginning of the Jeju Massacre on April 3, 1948, by
artist Kang Yo Bae based on witness statements -- click to enlarge.
Then-U.S. Military Governor of Korea, John Reed Hodge,
briefed U.S. Congressional Representatives that "Cheju was a
truly communal area that is peacefully controlled by the People's
Committee." Despite this understanding, he commanded three U.S.
military officers (among others) -- Colonel Harley E. Fuller,
Captain John P. Reed, and Captain James Hausman -- to advise and
coordinate the "extermination" and "scorched earth" campaign.
Koreans who had collaborated with the hated Japanese occupiers
now served in the U.S.-trained Korean Constabulary and police.
Right-wing paramilitary units became a brutal element of Rhee's
security apparatus. U.S. advisers accompanied all Korean
Constabulary and police (and additional ROK units after 1948) in
ground campaigns; U.S. pilots flew C-47s to ferry troops,
weapons, war materiel while occasionally directing bombings; and
U.S. intelligence officers provided daily intelligence.
Additionally, U.S. Navy war ships, including the USS Craig,
blockaded and bombed the Island, preventing supplies and
additional opposition forces from arriving, while preventing
flight of boatloads of desperate Islanders.
Hodge's successor, General William Roberts, declared it
of "utmost importance" that dissenters "be cleared up as soon as
possible." The repressive Japanese organization, "National League
To Provide Guidance" (Bo Do Yun Maeng), was expanded by the Rhee
regime. Used to systematically identify any Koreans who had
opposed Japanese occupation, the League now worked to identify
those who opposed the de facto brutal U.S./Rhee rule. Thousands
were murdered, jailed, and tortured, and many dumped into the sea
as a result.
Some of the legion of children orphaned by the Jeju Massacre,
shown here attempting to flee to safety.
The Governor of Jeju at the time admitted that the
of the Island's 300,000 residents led to the murder of as many as
60,000 Islanders, with another 40,000 desperately fleeing in
boats to Japan. Thus, one-third of its residents were either
murdered or fled during the "extermination" campaign. Nearly
40,000 homes were destroyed and 270 of 400 villages were
levelled. One of Roberts' cohorts, Colonel Rothwell Brown,
claimed that the Islanders were simply "ignorant, uneducated
farmers and fishers," a weak excuse for repressing those who,
Brown asserted, refused to recognize the "superiority" of the
U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and George Kennan,
of the State Department's Policy Planning, agreed in 1949 that
suppression of the internal threat in south Korea, (i.e.,
Koreans' passion for self-determination), with assistance of the
newly created CIA, was critical to preserving Rhee's power, and
assuring success of the U.S.'s worldwide containment policy. The
1949 Chinese Revolution made repressing the neighbouring Koreans'
passion for self-determination indispensable for success in the
emerging "Cold War," complementing successful U.S. efforts using
CIA covert actions to thwart any socialist movements in Europe
following World War II.
The Jeju Islanders' resistance inspired similar uprisings on the
mainland that were met with similar brutal repression by
U.S.-backed forces, in the name of containing communism. Shown here are
scenes of repression in Jeosu in 1948.
The 1949-50 National Security Council study, known as
laid out U.S. aims to assure a global political system to "foster
a world environment in which the American system can survive and
The Korean War that lasted from June 1950 to July 1953,
an enlargement of the 1948-50 struggle of Jeju Islanders to
preserve their self-determination from the tyrannical rule of
U.S.-supported Rhee and his tiny cadre of wealthy constituents.
Little known is that the U.S.-imposed division of Korea in 1945
against the wishes of the vast majority of Koreans was the
primary cause of the Korean War that broke out five years later.
The War destroyed by bombing most cities and villages in Korea
north of the 38th Parallel, and many south of it, while killing
four million Koreans -- three million (one-third) of the north's
residents and one million of those living in the south, in
addition to killing one million Chinese. This was a staggering
international crime, still unrecognized, that killed five million
people and permanently separated 10 million Korean families.
Recovery of human remains found in a mass grave near Jeju Island
Airport in 2008.
Following the Korean War, Dean Acheson concluded that
saved us," enabling the U.S. to implement its apocalyptic
imperial strategy laid out in NSC-68. In Korea, this meant that
the U.S. consistently assured dictatorial governments for nearly
50 years, long after Rhee was forced out of office at age 85 in
1960. Since 1953, the U.S. and south Korea have lived under a
Mutual Defense Treaty, Status of Forces Agreements, and a
Combined Forces Command headed by a four-star U.S. general. The
fact is that despite claims to the contrary, Korea has never
assumed sovereignty since the U.S. imposed division of Korea in
1945. The U.S. has possessed more than 100 military bases and
nearly 50,000 troops on Korean soil, and even today has dozens of
bases and 28,000 troops stationed there. For decades, the U.S.
maintained its main Asian bombing range south of Seoul.
76th Anniversary of Heroic Warsaw Ghetto
Uprising, April 19-May 16, 1943
Defiance and Organized Resistance Against
Nazism During the
Painting of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, by unknown artist.
During World War II, resistance against the Nazis was
organized in many ghettos across eastern Europe as the people
armed themselves with smuggled and homemade weapons and fought to
the death for freedom. Reports indicate that between 1941 and
1943, underground resistance movements were formed by about 100
Jewish groups, with the most famous attempt by Jews to resist the
Nazis in armed fighting being the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. This
uprising took place from April 19 to May 16, 1943, when residents
of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw in Nazi-occupied Poland staged an
armed revolt against deportations to extermination camps.
A commemorative memorial dedicated after the war which stands upon the
remains of the bunker at 18 Mila Street in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The Nazis established ghettos in cities throughout
Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. The Warsaw ghetto was the largest
in Poland, established shortly after the Germans invaded in
September 1939. More than 400,000 Jews in Warsaw, the capital of
Poland, were confined to an area of the city that was little more
than 2.5 square kilometres. In November 1940, this ghetto was
enclosed by a wall that was more than three metres high, topped
with barbed wire, and closely guarded to prevent movement between
the ghetto and the rest of Warsaw. The Nazis controlled the
amount of food that was brought into the ghetto, and disease and
starvation killed thousands each month.
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, more than 250,000
from the Warsaw ghetto alone were deported or killed.
In July 1942, Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi
corps known as the Schutzstaffel (SS), ordered that Jews be
"resettled" to extermination camps. The Jews were told they were
being transported to work camps; however, word soon reached the
ghetto that deportation to the camps meant death. Two months
later, some 265,000 Jews had been deported from the Warsaw ghetto
to the Treblinka extermination camp, while more than 20,000
others were sent to a forced-labour camp or killed during the
An estimated 55,000 to 60,000 Jews remained in the
ghetto. When reports of mass murder in the Treblinka killing
centre leaked back to them, a surviving group of mostly young
people formed an organization known in Polish as the Zydowska
Organizacja Bojowa (ZOB), which means Jewish Fighting
Organization. The ZOB issued a proclamation calling for the
Jewish people to resist going to the railroad cars. On January
18, 1943, when the Nazis entered the ghetto to prepare a group
for transfer to a camp, with a small number of weapons smuggled
in by the anti-Nazi Polish Resistance, a ZOB unit ambushed them.
After a few days, the troops retreated and the Nazis suspended
deportations from the Warsaw ghetto for the next few months. This
small victory inspired the ghetto fighters to prepare for future
resistance. The ZOB expanded to incorporate members of
underground political organizations. The Polish resistance forces
provided training, armaments and explosives. Mordecai Anielewicz,
23 years old, was appointed commander. The fighting organization
was unified, strategies were planned, underground bunkers and
tunnels were built, and roof-top passages were constructed. The
Jews of the Warsaw ghetto prepared to fight to the death.
On April 19, 1943, Himmler sent in SS forces under the
command of SS General Juergen Stroop to continue the
deportations. The ghetto population, however, did not report for
deportations. Instead, the ghetto fighting organizations had
barricaded themselves inside buildings and bunkers, ready to
resist the Germans while the rest of the population, targeted
deportees, refused to present themselves for deportation. Seven hundred
and fifty fighters, far
outnumbered in terms of manpower and weapons, fought the heavily
armed and well-trained Nazis. After three days, German forces
began burning the ghetto, building by building, to force Jews out
of hiding. Resistance continued as the Germans, with
their collaborators, tanks and heavy artillery, reduced the
ghetto to rubble, block by block, destroying the bunkers where
many residents had hidden. Not until May 16 was the revolt
crushed and the ghetto brought firmly under Nazi control. On that
day, as an ultimate act of revenge, the Germans blew up Warsaw's
The Great Synagogue
on Tłomackie Street in Warsaw, built between 1872 and
was destroyed by the Nazis on May 16, 1943.
General Stroop reported after the destruction of the
that 56,065 Jews had been captured; of those, 7,000 were deported to
the Treblinka killing centre, and the remainder sent to
forced-labour camps and the Majdanek camp. It is believed that
the Germans lost several hundred men in the uprising. Some of the
resistance fighters succeed in escaping from the ghetto and
joined partisan groups in the forests around Warsaw.
The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising inspired revolts in
camps and ghettos throughout Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. On
August 2, 1943, some 1,000 Jewish prisoners at Treblinka seized
weapons from the camp's armoury and staged a revolt. Even though
many were recaptured and executed, several hundred inmates
Group portrait of members of the Kalinin Detachment (part of Tuvia
Jewish partisan group) on guard duty at an
airstrip in the Naliboki forest in Poland.
Yitzhak Zuckerman, one of the leaders of the uprising
in the Warsaw Ghetto,
said of its significance, "I don't think there's any real need to
analyze the Uprising in military terms. This was a war of less
than a thousand people against a mighty army and no one doubted
how it was likely to turn out. This isn't a subject for study in
a military school. Not the weapons, not the operations, not the
tactics. If there's a school to study the human spirit, there it
should be a major subject. The really important things were
inherent in the force shown by Jewish youth, after years of
degradation, to rise up against their destroyers, and determine
what death they would choose: Treblinka or Uprising. I don't know
if there's a standard to measure that."
1. Barbara Harshav, ed., trans., A
Surplus of Memory: Chronicle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,
(Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford: University of California Press,
1993), p. xiii.
Zog Nit Keynmol, Yiddish Song of
the Jewish Partisan Movement
Jewish Partisan unit near Krasnik, Poland, circa 1943.
Hirsh Glick, a young poet and partisan, inmate of the
Vilnius Ghetto, composed this song in 1943, inspired by news of
the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It was written to the music of "Those
Aren't Clouds but Thunderclouds"
by Soviet composers
Dmitri and Daniel Pokrass. It became an iconic song of the
To hear the song sung by Paul Robeson
at the 1949 Moscow Concert (live) in Yiddish, click
Zog Nit Keynmol
Though leaden skies obscure blue days;
The hour we have been longing for will still come,
Our steps will drum -- we are here!
From green palm-land to distant land of snow,
We arrive with our pain, with our sorrow,
And where a spurt of our blood has fallen,
There will sprout our strength, our courage.
The morning sun will tinge our today with gold,
And yesterday will vanish with the enemy,
But if the sun and the dawn are delayed --
Like a watchword this song will go from generation to generation.
This song is written with blood and not with lead,
It's not a song about a bird that is free,
A people, between falling walls,
Sang this song with pistols in their hands.
So never say that you are walking the final road
Though leaden skies obscure blue days.
The hour we have been longing for will still come --
Our steps will drum -- we are here!
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