25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

February 13, 2023

February 16, 1998

From speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at January 25 ceremony concluding the visit of Pope John Paul II.

“Cuba does not know fear; it despises lies, it listens with respect, it believes in its ideas, it steadfastly defends its principles, and has nothing to hide from the world.

“If that solidarity you proclaim is extended throughout the earth, and the abundance of wealth that humans are capable of producing with their skills and labor are equitably shared among all human beings currently inhabiting the planet, a world without hunger or poverty could really be created; a world without oppression or exploitation, without humiliation or contempt, without injustice or inequalities.”

February 16, 1973

Intense debate continues over New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s proposal for a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole for persons who sell certain illegal “hard drugs” or commit a violent crime after taking such drugs.

A less publicized but very dangerous aspect of the bill would also demand life terms for “conspiracy to sell or possess any quantity of a dangerous drug.” This section would greatly facilitate police frame-ups of political activists.

Rockefeller has also called for 100 new judges to help the state prosecute the large number of addicts who could be rounded up under his proposed law. To solve the problem of addiction it is necessary to attack the social conditions that drive people to seek an escape from reality. We can’t look to the capitalist government for solutions.

February 16, 1948

The 200-man Wage Policy Committee of the United Rubber Workers meeting Feb. 8 voted to demand a sliding scale cost-of-living bonus, in addition to a basic wage increase of 30 cents an hour. The Packinghouse Workers presented a similar demand.

An important decision of the Wage Policy Committee was to serve the wage demands on the entire industry. The policy was laid down to confront the rubber corporations with the solid and unified power of the entire union of more than 200,000 members. The policies adopted by the Rubber Workers point the way for the kind of program which the CIO as a whole should adopt. The sliding scale cost-of-living bonus can be made a national rallying-cry of the entire CIO.