First Published: Progressive Labor Vol. II, No. 9, September 1963
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Progressive Labor Movement has come under direct attack from the U.S. Government, in connection with the student trip to Cuba.
Several of the students who took part in the trip to Cuba were openly members of the Progressive Labor Movement. Of the five students subpoenaed so far, four are members of the PLM. In addition, Milton Rosen, chairman of the PLM, Mort Scheer, vice-chairman and several other PL members have been subpoenaed by a Federal Grand Jury in New York in connection with the trip. Each was instructed to bring “the records of the Student Committee for Travel to Cuba” (the group which sponsored the trip this summer) with him to the Grand Jury hearing.
Below, we print the press statement issued by the Progressive Labor Movement answering the latest government attacks:
The frantic attack now being directed against the Progressive Labor Movement by the Kennedy administration and its stooge Un-American Committee, clearly shows their fear of the rising tide of resentment in this country against the Administration. It shows their fear of the increased struggle for freedom and jobs by the Negro people and other sections of the workers.
Kennedy’s cowardly attack against the students who went to Cuba, which was reported in the press on August 2, 19 6 3, reflects the Administration’s utter failure to deal with the pressing problems confronting U.S. workers. Kennedy’s red-baiting – like that of HUAC – attempts to divert attention from continuing widespread unemployment and from racism which is growing in all its forms despite – or because of – the meaningless platitudes, doubletalk, and hypocrisy of the President. The attack against the students and the PLM is a smokescreen designed to obscure Kennedy’s war of genocide against the people of south Viet Nam and continued threats and provocations against the successful socialist revolution of Cuba.
Kennedy and his klan particularly fear honest reporting on Cuban development by the students who went on the trip this summer –students of varied political persuasions – because such honest reports contradict the admittedly managed news of his Administration. Such honest reports from the students give the lie to Kennedy, and give the American people a chance to learn of the success of the Cuban revolution and the overwhelming support which the Cuban people give to the communist leadership of Fidel Castro and the United Party of the Socialist Revolution.
The United States government is mortally afraid the Marxist-Leninist ideology of revolution may spread from Cuba to other Latin American countries – and perhaps even to the U.S. And so the reactionary Kennedy administration has erected a wall – a Kennedy Curtain – between this country and Cuba, thus denying the basic right of free travel to all citizens of the U.S. This “wall” was smashed by the studentsí recent visit.
For those students on the trip who were members of the PLM, the visit to Cuba reinforced their socialist convictions as they saw socialism in action wiping out unemployment, racism, and guaranteeing individual liberties for the working people.
The students of the PLM are more resolved than ever to call for socialist solutions to the problems facing U. S. workers. This is exactly what brings the vicious onslaught from the Kennedy clique. The Administration is not worried about a few students – it is worried that the ideas of socialism and revolution may spread from a few students to a few thousand and a few million young people, workers as well as students, black and white. In that sense, Kennedy’s attack on the students, as well as the travel ban itself, is an attack on all U.S. working men and women.
The PLM will continue to expose this frame-up attempt, and will try to show the nature of this attack as a smokescreen to cover the Kennedy Administration’s total failure to provide jobs, equality and peace for the people of our country.