DR. CASTRO'S latest bombshell is an assertion made on Monday that the United States attack on "Socialist" Cuba could start a third world war.
He went on to say that his Government is taking over all the private schools, most of which are run by the Church and that in future only selected foreign priests would be permitted to preach in the country (of Cuba's 700 priests some 500 are of Spanish birth or extraction).
"Foreign priests can start packing their bags", said Dr. Castro, accusing them of "injecting the poison of the counter-revolution into the schools."
In seizing the private schools, the regime does not intend to indemnify the owners except those who are acquitted of conspiracy against the Government. Two major prelates imprisoned by the Castro regime during the Cuban invasion attempt have been released, But many priests are still being held in Cuban prisons. The police have freed coadjutor Archbishop Diaz y Cia of Havana and Auxiliary Bishop Bon. Masvidal of Havana, rector
of Villanueva University. The arrest of Archbishop Diaz had not been reported previously.
Both were in prison for three days. It is reported that both prelates are still being kept under close surveillance and that restrictions have been placed on their activities.
Reports state that many Cuban churches have been closed by the government and those still open arc guarded by militia.
A community of Discalced Carmelite nuns has received permission to leave their cloister, resume civilian attire and return to their families, One of the nuns was said to have been cloistered for 30 years, The Argentinian Foreign Ministry has denied the report that the Cardinal Archbishop of Havana had sought political asylum in the Argentinian Embassy in Havana.
Dr. Castro has meantime been awarded a Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union for his dedication to the "struggle of the peoples for freedom and independence." The chairman of the International Lenin Peace Prize Committe said: "With out sparing his strength or very life, Fidel Castro did everything to rally the peoples of Cuba to the struggle against the reactionary dictator Batista "The Government led by Castro carried out a number of deep progressive reforms . . The People of Cuba demonstrated their determination to defend their right to a peaceful life when, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, they routed armed aggressors."