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DOCUMENT  0179


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WILL REDS TAKE OVER?
(1954)

[REF:  Dare Magazine, Vol. 1 No. 11, March 1954, pp 5-11]

BLOODY CUBA
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[NOTE: The following, partial news article, was overlaid upon bloody corpses used as a header for the main article.  Since it contained some pertinent information, it is being placed here as is]

Seek Outlawed Reds as Bombs Shake Havana

Havana, Nov. 11 (UP) Bomb explosions through
this tropical capital last night and early today less
than 24 hours after the Cuban government had
outlawed the Communist Party.

At lease three blasts were heard during the night,
and unexploded bomb was found suburban Vedado.
No casualty or serious damage were reported immediately.

One bomb, described by police as "moderate powerful,"
set off in a park a block from home of Interior Minister
[original article cut] Ra..  O. Hermida.

[original article cut]...exploded bomb, a [original article cut]

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[Main article follows]

WILL REDS TAKE OVER?

By next week there could be a Soviet-controlled communist government within 90 miles of U.S. shores.  That's the distance from key West to Cuba, currently the bloodiest and most unstable nation in the West Indies.

[To see a full size photo, right click and VIEW IMAGE]

Raid on a Communist Newspaper .. Yield Portraits of Communist Leaders

Gen. Fulgencio Batista who took power nearly two years ago in an army coup still maintains his position precariously.  He has attempted to solidify his power by swift and strong action against communists and other opposition elements, but the fact remains that the Reds are the most solidly organized and military effective threat to the stability of today's Cuban government. 
1953 New York Protests against Batista
[To see a full size photo, right click and VIEW IMAGE]

Since the 52 coup the Reds have quietly been gathering strength and sympathy from disgruntled labor groups, unhappy Liberals, and even rightist extremists who would do anything to see the Batista government displaced.
Eddie Chibas Injured During Batista 1952 Coup


Key to the success or failure of the Communist attempt in Cuba is the sugar situation.  Sugar provides 4/5 of Cuban exports, 3/4 of products handled by Cuban railroads, 2/3 of government revenues, 1/3 of all the employment of the Cuban people.  But for Cuba, the sugar situation is none too sweet.  The slightest drop in world market prices causes havoc on the island, gives the Communists their chance.

Constant agitation by students and Liberals for a democratic constitution, the right to elect a president of their choice, have been the surface manifestations of underlying discontent.  Demonstrations are always suppressed, sometimes with bloody results.  But under the surface Communist cells are active among workers and peasants, furnish the real threat to Batista's continuing political existence.

Before Batista took complete power in his own hands, Communists were vociferous in Cuba.  Dr. Juan Marinello, Communist chief, ran for the Presidency in the last election, while numerous Communist delegates were in the Cuban Congress.

What makes situation so difficult for U.S. State Department is that Cuban democracy's only hope lies with liberalization of politics and social reform, yet much of Cuban property is in U.S. hands.  Some American interests, vitally concerned with Cuban stability, prefer to see strong-man Batista in power than to entrust government with liberal coalition which might be weak with Communists.  U.S. can't quite decide which policy to follow.

Many things contribute to Cuban political instability.  1/3 of the lower middle class lives off government pay-3% of the people own and control Cuban economy.  Their conservative policies make it hard for the country's economy to expand.

Back of all this is the turbulent Cuban history of periodic revolutions and upheavals.  Batista's own rise power is a case in point. Earlier Uprising

In 1933 Batista was a sergeant in the Cuban Army employed as court shorthand writer.  He decided politicos and Army chieftains who had just ousted "butcher-dictator" Machado were incapable of governing.  Batista's men took control after bloody fighting. 
Police Storm Building 1933 while  Army Tries to Quell Disturbances

Once, Batista stepped from power long enough to permit democratic elections.  He was defeated, exiled himself to the United States.  On his return, he seized power, promising democratic elections and a square break for the poor.  But Batista is not prone to risk power at a general election unless he is sure of winning.  That he is not sure of his popularity with the Cubans is proved by the fact he has kept postponing the elections, for one reason or another.  Many impartial observers are certain that if Batista's future were left up to the popular will, he would no longer occupy the presidency.

So in Cuba, like other Latin American countries, the struggle is between the dictators and the Communists.  U.S. interest in having a stable democratic government in Cuba is imperiled.

[To see a full size photo, right click and VIEW IMAGE]

Havana Continues as a Tourist Attraction Despite the Violence ...


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