Just finished reading “Liberal Fascism”. Funny ( not really) that we Cubans also need some revisionist history about our recent history. Castro was and is an admirer of Mussolini. My grandmother was a member in the 1930’s of a fascist organization; labeled by all Cuba and here, as “of the right”. The ABC was founded by Dr. Joaquin Martinez Saenz, a fascist enamored with Mussolini. My grandmother, who was in her 30’s at the time, was married to a wealthy MD and had bombs and guns hidden in her house and participated in street violence.
Cuba: A New History
by Richard Gott
Oxford University Press 2004
The Cuban Republic, 1902 – 1952
A third conspiratorial movement, that labeled itself ABC for security reasons, was formed in September 1931, with an emphasis on “youth” and the need for a clean break with the past. Although Machado himself had followed in the footsteps of Mussolini, the principal right-wing force that opposed him had been drinking from the same well. The ABC had some of the characteristics of the Spanish Falange, but their political lineage seemed closer to the Italian Futurists and to Mussolini. They were led by Joaquín Martínez Sáenz and Carlos Saladrigas, both middle class lawyers, and Jorge Manach, a French-educated writer.
The ABC’s Manifesto-Programme, issued early in 1932, was consciously based on the Italian fascist programme of 1919. A national-socialist programme of the radical right, it was hostile to US business interests, supportive of producer cooperatives and state control of public services, and an advocate of “Cubans First”. Its fascist flavor was indicated by its plan to withdraw the vote from illiterates, inevitably aimed in Cuba against blacks. No one ever revealed what ABC stood for, but the Communists with some justice suggested that it meant Asociación Blanca de Cuba, the Association of Cuban Whites.
The ABC’s practice was more significant than its ideology, for all student groups in the early 1930s were subject to foreign influences of one kind or another, and few were able to adjust them to Cuban reality. Many individuals moved seamlessly from one group to the other, and the ABC would sometimes work with the Directorio Estudiantil. Ideologically at odds, the anti-Machado movements, on the left or the right, were all enamored of violence, believing that the tactic of terror against the government – against its buildings and its servants – was their only effective weapon. In their use of terror, they were at one with contemporary movements in Europe; they were also consonant with the revolutionary struggles of Cuba’s past. The ABC may have hoped that this would provoke American intervention; Guiteras’s Unión Revolucionaria and the Directorio Estudiantil, would have fiercely rejected such an outcome.
“Hostile to US business interests, supportive of producer cooperatives and state control of public services” and that made the ABC a radical right revolutionary organization?