Cuba 1948

By | December 16, 2021

Population. – The census of June 1943 found a population of 4,778,583 residents (41.7 per sq. Km.), Divided as follows between the various provinces:

The population of the main cities was as follows: Havana, 673,376 residents; Holguin, 171,997; Camaguey, 155,827; Santa Clara, 122,241; Santiago, 120,577; Sancti Spíritus, 104,578.

Economic conditions. – All the main crops are recovering; that of sugar cane in 1947 gave 56,772,000 quintals, forecasting a record of 58,768,000 quintals for 1948 ; the corresponding figure for tobacco is 322,050 q. in 1945-46. The production of coffee reached 768,478 q. In 1946-47, but since 1946 its export has been forbidden. Livestock in 1945: cattle, 3,884,000; sheep, 144,400; goats, 84,700; horses, 283,400; mules, 24,500; pigs, 669,400. In mining production, chromite and manganese have become more important than iron ores, which were prevalent until a few years ago.

Commerce. – Between 1940 and 1946 both the value of imports (from 105.9 to 307.2 million dollars) and that of exports (from 147.7 to 475.8 million) increased sharply.

Finance. – The figures from the financial statements from 1940 to 1946 are shown below:

At December 31, 1946, the public debt amounted to 77.2 million (of which approximately 70 consolidated) and the foreign debt to 89.9 million. The strong export surpluses of the war and post-war period allowed the increase in the availability of gold and dollars from 25 million pesos in December 1939 to 873 million in April 1948, of which 279 consisted of gold. The gold parity of the peso communicated to the International Monetary Fund (in which the republic participates with a share of 50 million dollars) is the same as the dollar of gr. 0,8886713 of fine. There is no exchange control. The government levies a tax on foreign currency remittances which has been stable at the rate of 2% since 1945. As of April 30, 1948, the circulation, consisting of the old metal coins expressed in pesos, silver certificates of deposit issued under a 1933 law and US dollars, which have full liberating power in the country, amounted to 532 million; at the same date, deposits with commercial banks rose to 574 million, of which 475 at sight. There is no issuing bank. For Cuba 2016, please check

History. – Mariano Miguel Gómez was replaced by Vice President Federico Laredo Bru, who granted an amnesty, allowing the return of the exiles (but ex-president Gerardo Machado died in Miami on March 28, 1938), while the problem of political refugees worsened and racial: many of these were banned from landing. The vast plan of reforms in all fields, outlined in the “three-year plan” of July 1937, was referred to the Constituent Assembly, whose convocation was requested by many parties. The elections, if they gave the government a lower majority than expected, were held with regularity which increased the prestige of F. Batista. Chaired by their direct opponent, R. Grau San Martín, the assembly approved the new constitution in 1940.

It proclaims the full sovereignty of the Cuban people; assigns executive power to the president, who cannot be re-elected; he appoints the ministers responsible to Congress. This is made up of a Senate of 54 members (6 per province) and a Cámara de representantes (one for every 35,000 residents), With partial renewals every two years. The provisions of a social nature concern: equality of rights between Whites and Blacks and of remuneration between men and women; minimum wages, one month of paid holidays, 44 hour week, unemployment insurance, etc.

Elected president, from 10 October 1940, F. Batista had to give seats to various groups that supported him, fight against senior military leaders, face a difficult financial situation aggravated by the long resistance of parliament to the new taxes and by the difficulty of placing him at advantageous prices. sugar (by value, about 70% of exports) to the United States and (due to the shortage of ships) to import the most necessary products, including food. These difficulties increased further during the course of the Second World War, despite the granting of loans for public works and the execution of important military works by the United States; and, with the rising cost of living, they helped determine the course of domestic politics.

To the United States, and to “continental solidarity”, Cuba, which hosted the Second Inter-American Conference of Foreign Ministers (July 1940) in Havana, gave all its support: by declaring war on Japan, Germany and Italy already the 9 and 12 December 1941, breaking diplomatic relations with the French government of Vichy (November 1942), concluding military agreements with the United States (September 1942 and February 1943) for the construction of naval air bases (in addition to that of Guantánamo) and with Mexico (October 1942) for the campaign against German submarines; and intensifying the action against the propaganda of the totalitarian conceptions of the state, already begun in 1940, and against the activity of German and Spanish agents (expulsion of the consul G. Riestra and the commercial attaché Br. Álvarez García, 1941; by Count Cuba de Bailén, 1942). In October 1942 Cuba, the first among the Latin American republics, established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union; he was among the signatories of the original Declaration of the United Nations, on January 1, 1943, and in February he concluded a treaty of friendship with China.

The parliamentary elections of March 1942 still gave the government a majority; but in the preparations for the presidential election, despite the fact that already opposition parties (including the Communists) entered the ministry, since Batista could not be re-elected, disputes arose; the Grau was elected on 1 June 1944.

Assuming power on 10 October, while Batista was leaving for a “pleasure trip”, the new president presented a program of reforms: social, creating a Ministry of Labor but restricting trade union action to labor relations; agricultural, for crop diversification; tax and strict control, in the administration. In September, while visiting the United States, he had given assurances about foreign policy; but the congressional elections had not been in his favor. So in November, he had to face the hostility of the army and the police, carrying out a harsh “purge”; for the whole following year he stood amidst conspiracies, political crimes and ministerial crises, for the support of the Socialist Popular Party (Communist) and the students, united in demanding a break with Spain and recognition of the Spanish republican government in exile. Instead, the Spanish credits were “thawed” (April 1945). But the Grau obtained better prices for sugar from the United States, while a terrible drought further aggravated the conditions of agriculture and workers (sugar rationed and the export of coffee had to be suspended) and tried to oppose the excessive nationalism that it aimed to impose ever more severe restrictions on foreign technicians and capital. The government was strengthened in the supplementary and administrative elections of 1946; economic conditions remained difficult, due to the hurricane that devastated the western part of the island on 7 October.

Cuba, considering the conditions of the peace treaty with Italy excessively harsh, stipulated a separate one, approved by the Italian Constituent Assembly on November 21, 1947.

The elections of June 1, 1948 brought the candidate of the Republican and Auténtico parties, Carlos Prío Socarrás (born July 14, 1903) to the presidency.

Cuba 1948