CHAPTER X
DOUBTS AND CHANGES IN COMMAND

PANIC WAS GROWING among the commercial interests and, apparently, in several important sectors of the Armed Forces. The leaders seemed enthusiastic, although the political parties appeared skeptical, but all hoped that the immediate danger would pass. When the electoral legislation was promulgated and voting procedures set in motion, commercial classes felt relieved, as did also the workers and the diplomatic world. The plantation owners, ranchers, tenant farmers and others in the agricultural economy, under pressure from the rebels, did not feel easier because they no longer believed in the success of the Armed Forces.

Military affairs went from bad to worse. Within the ranks, rumor went around that order and power would be weakened when the new President took over. It was whispered that, when I retired from the supreme command, the Army would split up and that chaos would ensue. This argument was used by some officers to excuse their disloyalty, stating that they should request that I head a military junta or accept the supreme command of the Joint General Staff. They would not continue fighting for a doomed government. This was clearly only a ruse for conspiracy.

With the elections over, hope vanished that the violence of the terrorists would diminish. Sabotage ran wild, people were slain and wounded by the rebels. Government forces were unable to stop them.

The military operations carried out in the Sierra Maestra and

-80-

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