No. 14
                 April 20, 2019

Important Anniversaries

• 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

A Proclamation for All Times

- Yudy Castro Morales -

71st Anniversary of Jeju Uprising in Korea

Jeju Massacre Underscores Long History of Resistance to
U.S. Aggression Against Korea

76th Anniversary of Heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Defiance 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 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

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 battle.

On April 19 the Cuban people celebrate the victory of Playa 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 at the 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 invasion.

The invasion failed on a massive scale with the entire mercenary force captured or killed.

Nearly 60 years later, Cuba has prevailed despite all the 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.[1]

Despite enormous odds, despite the continued overt aggression 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 victory of 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 auspices the 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 the 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.

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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 days ago, 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 April 10.

If defining [the Revolution] as socialist, 58 years ago, meant 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 Caribbean. "

Nonetheless, and I return to his words, we defend socialism "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 fight 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 possible."

This conviction, which is in essence a concise summary of our 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 Committee 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.

(Granma, April 16, 2019. Translated from the original Spanish by TML)

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71st Anniversary of Jeju Uprising in Korea

Jeju Massacre Underscores Long History of Resistance to U.S. 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 the 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 an 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 For the First Time"
- S. Brian Willson (Excerpt) -


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 capitalist system.

Despite the conclusions of these internal documents, U.S. 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 Confucianist.

Left: From one illegitimate act to another, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur (left), after the U.S. divided Korea, imposes Syngman Rhee (right) as "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 1948 to "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 Rhee was 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 to the 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 and 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 was 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 repression 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 "American Way."

U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and George Kennan, head 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 NSC-68, laid out U.S. aims to assure a global political system to "foster a world environment in which the American system can survive and flourish."

The Korean War that lasted from June 1950 to July 1953, was 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 "Korea 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.


(Edited slightly for style by TML. Photos: U.S. National Archives, Yang Jo Hoon, D.H. Song, Anti-war kayakers)

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76th Anniversary of Heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 19-May 16, 1943

Defiance and Organized Resistance Against
Nazism During the Darkest Hour

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 Jews from the Warsaw ghetto alone were deported or killed.

In July 1942, Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi paramilitary 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 deportation process.

An estimated 55,000 to 60,000 Jews remained in the Warsaw 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 Great Synagogue.

The Great Synagogue on Tłomackie Street in Warsaw, built between 1872 and 1878,
was destroyed by the Nazis on May 16, 1943.

General Stroop reported after the destruction of the ghetto 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 extermination 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 escaped.

Group portrait of members of the Kalinin Detachment (part of Tuvia Bielski's 1,200-person
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, later 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]


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.

(Photos: Yad Vashem Archive, Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation)

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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 resistance movement.

To hear the song sung by Paul Robeson at the 1949 Moscow Concert (live) in Yiddish, click here.

Zog Nit Keynmol

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!

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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