Yesterday I was listening to “Round Table” when the program analyzed, among other subjects, Operation Peter Pan, one of the most disgusting acts of moral aggression carried out against our country. Parental custodianship is an extremely sensitive topic. It was a low and disgusting blow. One of Mikhail Sholokov’s novels, which I read years later, mentioned this slander which had already been used against the October Revolution in 1917.
The architect of the operation against Cuba was Monsignor Walsh, an American Catholic priest who answered to a bishop in Miami.
The operation began in 1960. As is known, our revolution had not placed any obstacle in the way of those wishing to leave the country. A revolution should be a voluntary work of a free people. The imperialist response, among many other grave aggressions, was Peter Pan.
When Taladrid was commenting on this fact, he mentioned the name of an Economics professor, Angel Fernandez Varela. I remembered that when I was in my last year studying for my Bachelor’s degree at Belen College, a lay professor gave us lessons on one of the subjects, Political Economy. Certainly the course was not on Marxist-Leninism, which was the ideological theme invoked eighteen years later to expel us from the OAS. They were simple, quite basic, classes about Bourgeoisie political economy. What else were we, the white students who were studying there? The professor who taught two or three times a week was punctual and always present for class.
I was surprised by what I heard on “Round Table.” “Could it have been that professor?” I wondered. I called Taladrid in search of information. I checked with him since I knew he was a professor at Belen College. Luis Baez maintained likewise that I had met the professor somewhere in Havana in 1959 and that I had criticized his attitude, although I do not remember that detail.
A few days ago, Walsh was decorated posthumously for his “bravery” in the Peter Pan operation. Some years ago, he said he had received telephone calls about the initiation of the operation and had coordinated with the CIA.
By the end of May, Alvaro F. Fernandez, son of Fernandez Varela, told the online magazine “Weekly Progress” that “…some years before his death in Miami, my father met with my mother, my sister Maria, her husband and me, and told us that he had been one of the people responsible for writing the false law that provoked the hysteria of the “elimination of parental rights.” This is how I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Operation Peter Pan was a sinister game of immorality designed and dreamt up by the CIA before the Bay of Pigs invasion.
A CIA agent brought the false bill from Miami to Havana. Angel Fernandez Varela himself told “Contrapunto” magazine that he had worked for the CIA between 1959 and 1968.
Each of the 14 million children involved in the drama continued on their own traumatic course. They were children of mostly middle-class families. They were not children of landowners or rich bourgeoisie; there was no reason to drag them into that drama. By that time there, was a Yankee embassy which granted permits to enter the United States. The documents related to the Peter Pan children were sent in packages and were then filled in in Cuba with the names of the children. None of these children needed to be saved. Throughout the long years of the revolution, the departure of about one million persons was facilitated. Most of them left for the United States, the richest country that incites brain drain and the plundering of a well-educated and skilled work force.
The United States would not be in a position to do this to any other Latin American country. Who could the diabolical clandestine operation favor?
Associate professor of Political Science at DePaul University in Chicago, Maria Angeles Torres, was a Peter Pan child. Although she is not a revolutionary, she asked the CIA to declassify around 1,500 documents about Operation Peter Pan. The CIA has refused to declassify them under the pretext of national security. The matter smells so bad that they do not want to uncover it.
Despite this negative response, Professor Torres managed to get the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library to grant her access to a U.S. government document that rejected a proposal by the UN High Commission for Refugees to pay for the transportation of the parents of the children who had been sent to the United States. That material was published in the Cuban press 15 years ago.
Peter Pan was a cynical publicity ploy that would have been the envy of Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels himself.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 11, 2009