September 23, 1981

For more than 20 years, the Cuban people have been controlled and manipulated by a totalitarian Marxist-Leninist dictatorship dedicated to promoting armed violence and undermining the interests of the Free World. The standard of living of the Cuban people has deteriorated since 1975 as the Cuban leadership has broadened and intensified these efforts, sending tens of thousands of troops to Africa, bringing violent revolutionaries and terrorists from dozens of countries to Cuba for training, and stepping up its subversion in Latin America.

Cuba's extensive international troublemaking is made possible by, and is all the more dangerous because of, its alliance with and dependence on the Soviet Union, which provides Cuba with massive economic and military support in exchange for Cuban promotion of Soviet interests. Cuba's Communist leaders have kept the Cuban people ignorant of this campaign of international violence by systematic manipulation of information. The regime in Cuba, like all totalitarian regimes, has in large measure governed the Cuban people through its control of the media. The Cuban revolution, in fact, has often been described as a revolution through the media.

One of the boasts of the Cuban Government is that the Cuban media never lie. The Cuban media, however, have lied throughout the two decades of the revolution, they lie today, and will continue to lie to the Cuban people. The truth about the costs borne by the Cuban people as a result of their government's grandiose international involvement and repression of basic human rights has been shrouded in lies and half-truths. The truth about underdevelopment and mismanagement despite massive Soviet subsidies and direction of the economy is not known in Cuba.

Cubans, like all peoples, yearn for the truth. Even Cuba's leaders rely on the Western press and wire services, the Voice of America, and BBC for factual, unbiased information about the world they live in. But these sources, because they cover events around the world, cannot satisfy the Cuban people's thirst for reliable information about their own country.

This administration has decided to break the Cuban Government's control of information in Cuba. It will do this by supporting establishment of Radio Broadcasting to Cuba. In Spanish, it will be called Radio Marti, after Jose Marti, the father of Cuban independence. This radio service will tell the truth to the Cuban people about their government's domestic mismanagement and its promotion of subversion and international terrorism in this hemisphere and elsewhere. It will tell the Cuban people that these activities cost in terms of living standards for them and their children and will correct the false image they have been given of Cuba's international reputation.

Note: Mr. Allen read the statement on behalf of the President at approximately 4:40 p.m. during a briefing for the press in Room 450 of the Old Executive Office Building.