Front Cover
 Cuba in brief
 The organization of American...

Title: Cuba
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00081447/00001
 Material Information
Title: Cuba
Physical Description: 39 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Pan American Union
Publisher: Pan American Union
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Publication Date: 1949
Subject: Description and travel -- Cuba   ( lcsh )
History -- Cuba   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Cuba
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00081447
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 19095685

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Cuba in brief
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20-21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    The organization of American States
        Page 40
Full Text


Area: 114,500 square kilometers (44,208 square miles) Population: 5,129,686*
Capital: Habana Population: 740,733** Language: Spanish
Principal Products: Sugar, cattle, tobacco, vegetables, fruits, minerals, wood,
henequen, honey, asphalt.
Principal Exports: Sugar, molasses, alcohol, leaf tobacco, cigars, bananas, pine-
apples, yarns, alcoholic beverages, sponges, coffee, manganese, chrome, iron, copper,
Principal Imports: Cereals, pork, and lard; pharmaceuticals and chemicals; cotton
and jute; iron and steel manufactures; coal.
Unit of Currency: Peso, equivalent to the U. S. dollar.
Climate: The climate is semitropical, the temperature being uniformly warm, al-
though the nights are considerably cooler than the days. The extreme range of the
thermometer on the island is 450 F. to 1000 F. The rainfall averages 54 inches a year,
and the rainy season runs from May through October.
Chief Physical Characteristics: There are several mountainous regions in the
island, with some peaks reaching elevations of about 8,000 feet in the eastern section.
A large proportion of the area is level enough for agriculture and the land is very
fertile. Most of the rivers are too short and swift for navigation. A salient topo-
graphical feature is the great irregularity of the coastline and the great number of
islets that fringe it.
Means of Approach: Cuba is within easy reach of the United States, and numerous
steamship lines ply regularly between the various ports of the two countries. Fruit
company boats also connect Cuba with the Central American republics and Panama,
where connections can be made for any of the South American countries. Pre-war
European services have not yet been fully resumed. The island is connected by direct
airplane services with the United States (via Miami, Tampa, New York, New
Orleans and Chicago), Mexico (via Mirida, Yucatan), Panama, the Antilles, and
northern South America. The airport at Camagiey is a center of connection for
Independence Day: May 20, 1902 National Hero: Jos6 Marti
National Flag: The Cuban flag consists of three horizontal dark blue stripes sepa-
rated by two white stripes; on the side next to the flagstaff is an equilateral triangle
in red with a white star in its center.
Coat of Arms: The arms of Cuba are formed by an ogive shield divided into
three sections. The upper section crosses the shield horizontally and occupies one-
third of the space; it contains two rocky capes facing each other with a golden key
suspended between them, signifying Cuba's strategic position as the key to the Gulf
of Mexico. Beyond, above the ocean, appears the rising sun of liberty. The lower
left section of the shield contains a segment of the blue and white stripes of the
Cuban flag, while the right section reveals a typical Cuban landscape: a royal palm,
in a verdant valley, with mountains in the distance. The vertical axis of the shield
rests against a fasces, surmounted by a red liberty cap displaying a single silver star.
The shield is wreathed on one side by a branch of oak and on the other by a branch
of laurel.
National Flower: Mariposa, a white, orchid-like flower.

*Cuba Econdmica y Financiera, Direcci6n General del Censo, May, 1949.
** Official estimate for December, 1946.

(Revised Edition, 1949)


CUBA, the westernmost and largest
island of the Greater Antilles, lies in
Sthe Caribbean Sea about 100 miles
south of the tip of Florida and 130
1 miles east of the Yucatin Peninsula in
Mexico. With a territory of 44,208
square miles, it comprises more than
half the land area of the West Indies,
and is roughly the size of the state of
Virginia. The long, narrow island runs
in an east-west direction for 760 miles,
with a width varying between 25 and
120 miles. It is one of the most densely
populated of the American republics,
having about 116 inhabitants to the
square mile.
About one quarter of the island is
mountainous, the most rugged part
lying in the southeastern end, where
the land rises in places to an elevation
of 8,000 feet. The highest peak on the
island is Pico Turquino, with an alti-
tude of 8,400 feet. The numerous
fertile valleys and plateaus are ideal for
the production of many tropical crops.
At least half of the area is level enough
to be suitable for machine agriculture.
Cuba's coastline extends for 2,500 miles,
with many deep, pouch-shaped bays
that make excellent natural harbors.
Outstanding are the harbors of Santia-
go, Habana, and Guantinamo. Most
of the rivers run in a north and south
direction, and are generally short, rapid
streams, navigable, if at all, for short
distances only. The longest is the Rio
Cauto, which flows westward for 100
miles through the Province of Oriente
into the Gulf of Guacanayabo, and is
navigable for about one-half of that
The numerous keys and islets that
Cover Illustration: Portico of Habana's modern
Corporacion Nacional de Asistencia Puiblica (Na-
tional Public Welfare Authority), designed and built
by architects Nicolas R. Arroyo and wife Gabriela.
(Courtesy of Nicolds Arroyo.)

surround the Cuban coast are usually
low-lying and covered with mangrove
trees. There are few inhabitants on
any of these islands, with the exception
of the Isle of Pines, which is by far the
largest and has several towns and vil-
Although Cuba is situated just south
of the Tropic of Cancer, its climate
can hardly be called tropical in charac-
ter. It is remarkably moderate and
uniform, due to the influence of the
prevailing winds and the equalizing
effect of the surrounding ocean. The
temperature in Habana may drop to a
minimum of 500F. in the cool season
and sometimes registers as much as
98F. in the hot, while the average
temperatures for the interior and south-
ern coast are slightly higher. The rain-
fall is ample for agricultural needs, the
greatest precipitation occurring in the
western part of the island, which is
closer to the hurricane track. The
rainy season runs from May to Novem-
ber, and the mean average rainfall is
54 inches a year.

The island of Cuba was discovered by
Columbus on his first voyage to the
New World. On October 28, 1492,
he arrived at the northern coast of an
island of great natural beauty bearing
the indigenous name of Cuba. Colum-
bus, who exclaimed "This is the most
beautiful land that eyes have seen"
called it Juana, after the heir to the
throne of Castille and Aragon, the
son of Ferdinand and Isabella; but
during the years that elapsed before the
island regained its aboriginal name it
was known successively as Fernandina,
Santiago, and Ave Maria.
In 1511 Diego Velazquez was sent
to Cuba from nearby Hispaniola, which


Cuban Tourist Commission
f had already been settled, to subdue the
2, natives of Cuba and colonize the island.
By 1515 he had established seven settle-
S_ ments there, including Santiago at the
eastern end, which served as the cap-
ital of Cuba until 1556, and Habana,
LATIN which was first founded on the southern
AMERCA shore and moved to its present site in
While Habana enjoyed considerable
importance as a cross-roads of trade
flowing between Spain and her colonies,
through the system, for several centu-
ries, of maritime convoys, the interior
of the island remained relatively un-
developed for many years. Some copper

Pan American Airways
Jutting northward between the Gulf of Mexico
to the west and Habana Bay to the east is
Cuba's modern capital, the gateway to the
West Indies. The white domed capitol towers
above the other buildings in downtown Habana.

was mined and cattle were raised on
large estates granted by the Crown. In
time the settlers came to concentrate
their efforts on the production of two
crops for which the soil of the island
was particularly suited: sugarcane and
tobacco. When the supply of Indian
labor ran low, Negro slaves were im-
ported to tend the plantations.
As Cuba prospered, the coastal towns
attracted the unwelcome attention of
the freebooters in that area. Santiago
and Habana were taken and held for
ransom repeatedly by English, Dutch,
and French pirates during the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries, in spite of the
massive fortifications built by the Span-
iards. But the people of Cuba suffered
from other causes than piracy. In 1672
an English force of 1,000 men attacked
Santiago and stripped it of all its port-
able wealth; and in 1762, when Spain

was at war with Great Britain, a strong
British force beseiged Habana for two
months. On August 14, 1762, the city
surrendered, and the island was held
by the British until July 6 of the fol-
lowing year, when it was returned by
treaty to Spain.
There were various reasons why
Cuba was so far behind the other His-
panic republics in achieving its political
independence. After the occupation of
the island by the British in 1762-63,
Cuba had been treated more liberally
by Spain and therefore had less cause
for complaint than some of the other
colonies. A revolutionary movement
had less chance of success on an island
than on the mainland, particularly as
the Spanish navy held this key to
Spain's possessions in the New World
very strongly.
However, as in other parts of Spain's
domain in the New World, oppressive
and arbitrary policies gradually paved
the way for Cuban rebellion and the
island's eventual emancipation from the
mother country. The Cuban struggle
for independence was long and painful.
It was waged intermittently for eighty
years. One of the first efforts for the
liberation of Cuba was made in 1850
by Narciso L6pez, a Venezuelan who
had been a General in the Spanish
Army, and tried an uprising in the
island, but being unsuccessful, escaped
to the United States. In New Orleans,
L6pez organized a small army com-
posed of Cubans and Americans, and
left with them secretly for the north
coast of Cuba. After successes and
defeats L6pez was made prisoner by
the Spaniards and was hanged in Ha-
bana in September, 1851.
The struggle for liberty took definite
form in 1868, when on the 10th of Oc-
tober, in the town of Yara, Carlos Man-
uel de C6spedes, a prominent lawyer
and sugar planter of Bayamo, with a
group of patriots, issued a proclama-

tion of independence from Spain. This
proclamation is known as the "Grito
de Yara". The conflict entered the
phase of the Ten Years War, during
which the island was ravaged from end
to end. Cespedes, who in 1869 had
been proclaimed President of the Re-
public in arms, died in 1874, and after
his death has been considered by the
Cubans as the Father of the Country.
Realizing that they could not hope
to attain their ends by peaceful means,
a well-organized separatist party in
1892, inspired and headed by Jos6 Marti,
considered as Cuba's Apostle, began to
lay careful plans for a revolution. By
1895 all was ready for the conflagra-
tion, that broke out in the town of
Baire. with the so-called "Grito de
Baire," and in various parts of the
island, under the leadership of such
patriots as Jos6 Marti, Maximo G6mez,
Antonio Maceo, Calixto Garcia, Juan
Gualberto G6mez and Bartolom6 Mas6.
The Cuban patriots fought with tenac-
ity for three years against superior
Spanish forces. Marti was killed on
May 19, 1895, and Maceo on Decem-
ber 7, 1896. Calixto Garcia died in
Washington, D. C., while on a mission,
in November, 1898. The final phase
of the struggle culminated when on
February 15, 1898, the United States
battleship Maine, lying in Habana har-
bor to protect the American residents
in the city, was destroyed by an explo-
sion of unknown origin.
The United States then entered the
conflict, and within one hundred days
Cuba, as well as the Philippine Islands
and Puerto Rico, had been freed from
Spanish dominion. By the Treaty of
Paris, signed on December 10, 1898,
Spain relinquished all rights over Cuba.
There followed a three-year period
under a military government estab-
lished by the United States in Cuba,
during which greatly needed recon-
struction of the devastated land was

Clifford Adams
Habana's shops, restaurants, night clubs, thea-
ters, and sport centers make it one of Latin
America's liveliest cities.

begun, as well as the work required
to prepare it for sovereign status. A
constitution was adopted by the Cubans
on February 21, 1901, and several
months later the Constituent Conven-
tion also adopted the provisions known
as the Platt Amendment, which defined
the relations to be maintained between
the United States and Cuba after the
latter had assumed complete control
of its affairs. Was abrogated in 1934
On May 20, 1902, the lone star flag
was raised for the first time on free
Cuba, and Tomis Estrada Palma, one
of the leaders of the revolutionary
movement, took office as first President
of the Republic of Cuba.

Constitution and Government
Some of the more interesting provi-
sions of the Cuban Constitution of
1940, which replaced that of 1901, are

as follows: the right of asylum granted
to political refugees; the separation of
the Church from the State, and pro-
hibition of State subsidies to any cult;
the right to organize political parties
freely, provided they are not based on
distinctions of race, sex, or social class;
and provision for the use of that direct
democratic procedure, the popular ref-
erendum. The Constitution guarantees
state protection for the family and
makes it a primary concern of the State
to provide free, lay instruction. As re-
gards elections, universal, equal, and
secret suffrage is guaranteed for all
Cuban citizens in the national and pro-
vincial elections. Any one who fails to
vote in an election or referendum, ex-
cept when prevented by reasons recog-
nized by the law, will be liable to
penalty and becomes ineligible to hold
office for two years thereafter.
The form of the government is demo-
cratic, republican, and centralized, and
its functions are divided into the three
classic powers: legislative, executive,
and judicial.
The legislative power is exercised by
the national Congress, composed of a
Senate, with 54 members (nine for
each of the six provinces), and a
House of Representatives, with one
member for every 35,000 inhabitants
or fraction thereof greater than 17,500.
Both the Senators and Representatives
are elected for four years by popular
vote, and one-half of the membership
of the House is renewed every two
years. Congress convenes automatically
twice a year on the third Monday in
March and September for a period of
not less than sixty business days in each
of the two sessions, nor more than a
total of 140 days a year. Special ses-
sions may, however, be called by the
The President and Vice President of
the republic are elected every four
years, and a citizen may not be re-

elected to the presidency until eight
years after his term has expired. Eligi-
bility includes the following points: the
candidate must be at least 35 years of
age, in full enjoyment of civil and po-
litical rights, and a Cuban citizen by
birth; if not a citizen by birth, he must
have served at least ten years in the
wars of Cuban independence; and he
may not have been an active member
of the armed forces of the country dur-
in the year immediately preceding the
date of his nomination. The President
is assisted in the performance of his
duties by a cabinet of ministers in the
following departments: State, Justice,
Interior, Treasury, Agriculture, Com-
merce, Labor, Education, Communica-
tions, Public Health and Social Wel-
fare, National Defense, and Public
Works. There may also be as many as
four ministers without portfolio. One
member of the Cabinet is appointed
Prime Minister, and he presides over
Cabinet meetings in the absence of the
The Ministry of the Treasury handles
all fiscal matters for the government,
and has charge of immigration, the
customs, and the National Lottery.
Besides the promotion of agriculture
in all its aspects within the republic,
the Ministry of Agriculture has charge
of the National Observatory and of the

Cuban Tourist Com

A wide, curving boulevard,
the Malec6n belts the cap-
ital along its northern
edge. The sea-wall monu-
ment is dedicated to the
United States battleship
Maine, which was de-
stroyed in Habana harbor
in 1898.

"Conde de Pozos Dulces" School of
Forestry at Cienaga, in the Province of
Matanzas. The Ministry of Commerce
controls both foreign and domestic
commerce, the National Board of
Trade, food prices, trade mark regis-
tration, and commercial insurance.
The Ministry of Labor has jurisdic-
tion over all matters relating to the
enforcement of labor legislation. One
feature of its work to which special
attention is given is the management
of the elaborate system of maternity
care provided in all the provinces of the
republic for working women and wives
of insured workmen.
The Ministry of National Defense
comprises the Army and the Navy.
The armed forces number about 20,-
000 men. Both the Army and the
Navy are well organized and equipped.
There is an efficient Air Force. In the
Military Academy, at Managua, and
the Naval Academy, at Mariel, officers
are trained. The Navy has several
cruisers, frigates, patrol and escort ves-
sels, and some gunboats. During the
last world war the Cuban Navy aided
with patrol and convoy, and one of its
unit sank a German submarine.
The judicial power is exercised by
the Supreme Court, the Superior Elec-
toral Court, and the other courts and
judges authorized by law. The Con-


stitution also created the Tribunal of
Constitutional and Social Guarantees,
a body that passes on the constitution-
ality of laws, decrees, and other legis-
lation. One article of the new Con-
stitution provides for a judicial pro-
fession, admission to which is by com-
petitive examination, and no one may
serve as a judge in the courts of the
land who has not become a permanent
member of the National Judiciary.
Therefore the independence of the ju-
dicial power is guaranteed.
The republic is divided into six
provinces, each under the control of a
governor elected by direct popular vote
for a period of four years. The provin-
cial government is vested in a council,
which meets at least every two months
in the local capital. Within the provin-
ces the territorial unit is the munici-
pality, an autonomous entity, corre-
sponding approximately to a township,
with a mayor and a council in charge
of the local government.
Cuba maintains an Ambassador to
the Organization of American States

and to the Government of the United
States in Washington and a consulate
general at New York; also has con-
sulates at Washington, New Orleans,
Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Bos-
ton, St. Louis, Los Angeles, San Fran-
cisco and other important cities of the
United States and its possessions. The
United States maintains an Embassy
and a consulate general in Habana, a
consulate at Antilla, and vice consulates
in several other important cities.

Provinces Cities
Each of the six provinces into which
the republic is divided extends clear
across the island from north to south,
and has a good-sized capital, as well
as one or more good ports on one or
both of the coasts. The Central High-
way, which runs almost the entire
length of the island, connects all the
provincial capitals and also many
smaller towns. An official estimate as of
December 31, 1946 showed the follow-
ing population figures for the provinces
and their capitals:

Province Population Capital Population

Pinar del Rio............... 428,888 Pinar del Rio.............. 80,718
Habana ................... 1,295,225 Habana ................... 697,081
Matanzas ................... 393,414 Matanzas .................. 77,912
Las Villas ................... 1,005,743 Santa Clara ............... 127,235
Camagiiey................... 511,839 Camagiiey................. 164,333
Oriente ................ ...... 1,416,741 Santiago................... 125,087

With its many coastal indentations
forming good natural ports of entry,
Cuba has earned the name of "Isle of a
Hundred Harbors," and of these at least
fifty are of some commercial impor-
tance. Nearly every one of them is con-
nected with an important town several
miles inland, the reason for this curious
type of development harking back to
conditions that prevailed in the early
days of Cuban settlement and exploita-
tion. Transportation by land in those

times was both costly and difficult, so
each large town that was the focal
point of an agricultural or mining dis-
trict had its own seaport; the urban
center itself was built at some distance
inland as a protection from the raids
of the pirates who infested Caribbean
waters during the sixteenth and seven-
teenth centuries, and harassed the pros-
perous coastal towns.
The westernmost province is Pinar
del Rio, with its capital of the same

name lying in the center of the most
famous tobacco-producing area in the
world. This region, known as Vuelta
Abajo, extends only about ten miles
from north to south and about thirty
miles east and west. The land is flat,
and it is pre-eminently an agricultural
region, growing coffee, sugarcane, and
pineapples, besides its well-known to-
bacco. Cattle are also raised extensively
in Pinar del Rio, and there .are large
asphalt deposits in Mariel and Bahia
Honda on the northern coast. Mariel,
the present seat of the Cuban Naval
Academy, lies on the land-locked bay
that used to be the favorite port of the
filibusters smuggling arms and muni-
tions into Cuba to aid the patriots on
the eve of the Spanish American War.
The Province of Habana is east of
that of Pinar del Rio. The smallest in
area of the six provinces of the repub-
lic, it is the most densely populated.
It contains nearly one-third of the in-
habitants of the island, the city of
Habana alone having more than half a
million people. The wealth of this sec-
tion lies mainly in commerce and in-
dustry. It is best known for its cigar
and cigarette factories, although its
fisheries are also important and some
agriculture is carried on, especially the
growing of tobacco.
Habana, the capital of the province
as well as of the republic, has felt the
impact of foreign influences and its
development has been so vitally
affected by powerful economic forces
,that as it stands today it is not at all
typical of the country as a whole. It
presents, nevertheless, a dazzling pic-
ture to the visitor who, if he so desires,
can seek out in the older sections, with
their narrow, crooked streets, the sur-
viving landmarks of Spanish tradition
that have been crowded back by the
wide, landscaped boulevards and im-
posing buildings of the modern city.
Prominent among the monuments of

Jos6 Marti, Cuba's "ap6stol," is one of the
continent's immortal figures. This sculpture of
his head, done by the prominent Cuban sculp-
tor Juan Jos6 Sicre, is in the patio of the
Supreme Court in Habana.

the past are the massive forts on either
side of Habana's deep, sheltered har-
bor: the Morro, whose guns protected
the city from piratical raids from 1597
on, now used as a lighthouse and signal
station, and the old fort known as La
Fuerza, built between 1558 and 1577,
after the sacking of Habana by the
pirate Jacques de Sores, which demon-
strated the inadequacy of the city's
defenses. At present this former treas-
ure house, where millions in gold,
silver, and precious gems were stored
in the past, is utilized as a barracks.
The Cathedral of Habana, built in
1656-1724, besides having an impres-
sive native limestone exterior of Latin-
Gothic style, contains many art treas-
Habana's proudest building is the
new capitol, erected in 1929 at a cost

of $20,000,000. The rest of the city
keeps pace, with its superb modern
hotels, elaborate club buildings, beau-
tifully laid out streets and parks, and
fine residential sections. During the
Dance of the Millions, as the period
of Cuba's second great sugar boom
(1920) was called, the section adjacent
to Habana on the northern shore be-
came the fashionable suburbs of Ve-
dado, Miramar and Almendares, and
many sumptuous mansions were built
Thirty-five miles from Habana,
across the island, is the small town of
Bataban6 on the southern coast, today
famous for its sponges and its fishing, but
of special historical interest as the orig-
inal site of Habana, which was estab-
lished here in 1515 and moved, name
and all, to its present location in 1519.
Within the jurisdiction of Habana Prov-
ince is the Isle of Pines, thought by some
to be the inspiration for Stevenson's
Treasure Island. It was not used much
during the early years of Cuba's develop-
ment except as a base of operations by
pirates, and later as a resort of smug-
glers. Subsequently, the Spaniards used
it as a penal colony, and today the
Cuban Government maintains a model
penitentiary there. Much of the surface
of the island is covered by impenetrable
swamp, the home of millions of birds
and other forms of wild life. A small
portion is fertile and produces excellent
grapefruit for export, while its medicinal
springs attract many visitors. It is
ideally suited to be a tourist resort, with
its good roads and hotel facilities, its
healthful climate, excellent beaches,
and the fine hunting and fishing it
East of Habana Province comes Ma-
tanzas, an agricultural region specializ-
ing in sugarcane production. There are

For further information on Habana, see the
booklet on that city published by the Pan Amer-
ican Union.

also some asphalt mines at Cirdenas
and Marti, two towns on the northern
coast. The capital, Matanzas, Cuba's
only free port, lies in the palm dotted
Yumuri Valley, famed for its beauty.
This is one of Cuba's oldest towns, and
at present it is popular as a resort be-
cause of its excellent climate and beau-
tiful surroundings. In the vicinity is
located the Hermitage of Montserrat, a
healing shrine visited by many pilgrims
from all over the island; and at Bella-
mar, nearby, are beautiful subterranean
caves. On a peninsula running north-
east from Matanzas is the exquisite
Blue Beach at Varadero, one of the
finest of all Atlantic beaches, and an
increasingly popular resort not only
for the Cubans but for visitors from
abroad. Cirdenas, a little to the east,
is a thriving modern city, with a strange
source for its water supply-two sub-
terranean rivers. It boasts a fine old
The Province of Las Villas, formerly
known as Santa Clara, lies east of
Matanzas, and is an important sugar
producing region. It also possesses valu-
able deposits of gold, copper, iron, and
asphalt. The capital, Santa Clara,
while one of the oldest cities in the
island, combines very gracefully the
spirit of modern progress with the his-
toric memories of the colonial epoch to
which its beautiful old churches be-
Among the more important towns in
this province are Sancti Spiritus, in the
east, producing pottery and "yarey"
hats, and the thriving commercial port
of Cienfuegos on the southern coast.
The latter is a pleasant, healthful place,
preserving to a greater extent than any
other in Cuba the atmosphere of Old
Spain in spite of its active social life
and its modern sports. Near here is
the Atkins Institution of the Arnold
Arboretum, maintained by Harvard
University for research and experimen-

I iii *Ia g
I Il Ii Ig

I 'I II*
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Pan American Airways
For centuries the Prado has been Habana's
favorite promenade. The laurel-shaded avenue,
extending from Central Park to the harbor,
points directly across to the Morro Castle. This
solid stone castle, which once protected Ha-
bana from Pirates, now houses the Military
Academy of the Cuban Army.

station in tropical plants, especially fruits
and vegetables, and for the training of
students in tropical agriculture.
Another interesting city on the south-
ern coast of the Province of Las Villas
is ancient Trinidad, perched a thousand
feet above the sea in a cool and beau-
tiful mountain locale. One of the first
cities to be founded by Diego Velaz-
quez, in 1514, Trinidad enjoyed for
several centuries a reputation for great
wealth, and was an important center
of activity in colonial times. Hernin
Cort6s stopped here to take on supplies
and volunteers when he sailed from
Santiago in 1519 on his expedition to
Mexico. Today the town is rather in-

Cuban Tourist Commission

accessible by land, the only means of
approach being the railroad that
threads a difficult course through the
The next province is Camagiiey, one
of the richest in the island, because of
its fertile soil, valuable hardwood
forests, and important mineral deposits.
This is essentially the cattle-raising dis-
trict of Cuba, and on its rolling plains
excellent pasturage is afforded about
one-third of all the herds in the coun-

Courtesy of Dr. de Varona




The colonial crafts of wrought iron and
stained glass have been kept alive in
Cuba. Examples of late 19th and early
20th century work can be seen today in
the entrance to a home in Trinidad
(upper right), a glass panel in a Mat-
anzas hotel (upper left), a window in
Casa de las Cadenas in Guanabacoa
(lower left), and a gate in El Vedado, a
suburb of Habana.

try. In addition, it is noted for its
sugar production, which is almost 30
percent of the total national output.
The capital, which was known orig-
inally as Puerto Principe but is now
called Camagiiey, lies about 500 feet
above sea level on an interior plateau,
having been moved there from its orig-
inal site where the present port of
Nuevitas stands, on the north coast. It
was so exposed to the pirates there that
a year after its establishment, in 1515,
the settlers decided to move their town
inland. In 1665, however, after it had
become prosperous, it was attacked and
looted by the pirate Henry Morgan,
in spite of its remoteness from the sea.
Of all Cuban cities this one presents,
perhaps, the oldest aspect, as it is full
of narrow, crooked streets and ancient
buildings. With more places of wor-
ship than any other town in the island,
it is known as the "City of Churches."
Oriente, the easternmost province,
has the largest area of them all and is
the most mountainous. Although much
of its land is devoted to agriculture (it
is the leading sugar-producing prov-
ince), the greatest wealth of this region
lies in the mineral deposits. There are
also vast forest resources that have
hardly been touched. The capital, San-
tiago, once the capital of the island as
well, is as colorful a city as any in
Cuba, with its many-hued, red-roofed
houses set dramatically against a group
of verdant hills overlooking an island-
dotted harbor. The great cathedral on
the heights dominates the scene, and
across the bay looms the mass of the
oldest Morro built in the New World,
which defended the city with more than
usual success from the buccaneers of
long ago.
Since its settlement in 1515 by Diego
Velazquez, Santiago has played an im-
portant part in Cuba's history. Here
dwelt Padre Bartolom6 de las Casas,
the defender of the oppressed Indians

of the New World. Here also lived
Hernin Cort6s while he amassed his
fortune, playing a prominent role in
the city's affairs before he embarked
for the mainland to begin the conquest
of Mexico. In the old days Santiago,
in addition to being a stronghold and
the wealthiest town in Cuba, was a
center for the arts. The first school in
the island was established here in 1522,
and the town is justly proud of having
been the scene of the debut of Adelina
Patti, one of the world's most applauded
singers. It is also the birthplace of
Cuba's illustrious poet, Jos6 Maria
About ten miles from Santiago is
El Cobre, whose copper mines are the
oldest worked by the white man in the
New World. Another attraction for the
visitor here is the exquisite shrine of
Our Lady of Cobre, the patroness of
Cuba, and the recipient for more than
three centuries of many costly gifts from
the faithful who flock there to worship
and be healed.
East of Santiago lies GuantAnamo
Bay, with its splendid harbor five miles
wide and ten miles long, where the
United States maintains a naval base.
This was the scene of the most active
fighting that took place in Cuba during
the Spanish American War, when the
American forces landed here and
routed the Spanish soldiers who were
supposed to protect Santiago. The
surrounding country, which is a rich
coffee-producing area, is one of the
most scenic in the republic.
Baracoa, the most easterly of Cuba's
ports, has the distinction of being the
first town established in the island by
the Spaniards (1511). In spite of being
a fascinating spot for the explorer, the
hunter, the angler, or the naturalist, it
is probably the least visited and most
isolated of all Cuba's ports today.
In the southwestern part of Oriente
Province is Manzanillo, an important

seaport nestling in the curve of Gua-
canayabo Gulf, which is formed by the
sweep of a promontory jutting out
boldly into the ocean from the southern
shoreline of the island. Manzanillo
derives its importance from being the
outlet for an active agricultural and
dairying district, the center of which
is Bayamo, twenty-five miles inland.
This little town has historic interest be-
cause of the part it played in Cuba's
wars for independence and the fact
that Tomis Estrada Palma, Cuba's
first President, was born there.
Not far away the island's largest and
most important river, the Cauto, emp-
ties into the Gulf. About fifty miles of
its length is navigable for small steam-
ers, and a sightseeing trip on this fine
stream rewards the traveller with a
vivid panoramic view of tropical
jungles teeming with rare plant and
animal life.

National Economy
AGRICULTURE.-Cuba is essentially an
agricultural country. Its location, just
inside the tropical zone, insures im-
munity from severe winter weather, so
that vegetables can be grown all the
year in the unusually fertile soil. Some
of the cereal crops that cannot be pro-
duced successfully in Cuba, such as
wheat, rye, oats, and barley, are im-
ported from the United States in ex-
change for sugar, tobacco, henequen,
coffee, citrus fruits, winter vegetables,
and cattle products. About 4,870,000
acres (or 21 percent of the farm land
territory) were under cultivation in
1946 and about twice as much was
used for pasturage.
The dry season, from November
through April, plays an important part
in Cuban agriculture. During these
cool, dry months, crops ripen and can
be gathered free from danger of the
cold, rainy days so common in the Gulf
States in December. However, in spite

of the advantages of a mild climate, a
year-round growing season, and fertile
soil suitable for the production of a
great variety of tropical fruits and
vegetables, Cuban agriculturists fell
into the habit of specializing in sugar
and tobacco, to the neglect of necessary
food crops.
Much progress has been made in the
government's diversification program
by the introduction of new farming
methods, distribution of improved va-
rieties of seeds, irrigation projects, and
so on. Cuba is now either self-sufficient
in, or exporting the following products
that it formerly had to import to meet
domestic requirements: beef, dairy
products, coffee, corn, poultry, and
eggs. The chief agricultural deficiencies
are rice, wheat flour, lard, beans, and
About one-half of all the cultivated
land in Cuba is devoted to sugarcane,
and the country exports more sugar than
any other nation in the world. The cane,
introduced early in the sixteenth cen-
tury by the first Spanish governor of
the island, is now grown in all of the
provinces, but the greatest producers
are Oriente and Camagiiey, in that
order, which account for more than
half the total crop of the country. The
1946 output of sugar amounted to
4,476,000 short tons, and rose to records
of 6,448,000 short tons in 1947 and
6,675,000 short tons in 1948. A small
percentage of the cane is grown by the
sugar mill companies themselves, but
the traditional method of organizing
production is what is known as the
colono system, whereby an individual
rents a parcel of land from the central
company, engages laborers to cultivate
the fields and cut the cane, and receives
a certain amount of sugar, or its value,
on each 100 pounds of cane he delivers
to the mill.
Two thirds of Cuba's agricultural in-
come is derived from sugar. Hence,

the importance to Cuba of world sugar
markets, particularly that of the United
States, which takes from half to three
quarters of Cuba's sugar output. Un-
der the quota system started in 1934,
Cuba was allotted 28.6 percent of the
United States market. During World
War II, quotas were suspended. How-
ever, the 1948 Sugar Act provided a
variable quota which reduced Cuba's
share of the United States. market to
42 percent in 1948 and will no doubt
require still further adjustment. The
act does provide, however, that at no
time during the period which it covers
(1948-52), will Cuba enjoy less than
28.6 percent of the United States
Cuba's second most important crop,
tobacco, is indigenous to the island. It
was used by the native Indians as a
medicine and also as incense in their
religious ceremonies. Tobacco may be
grown in every province, but Pinar del
Rio, the greatest producer, puts out
about 40 percent of the total crop, and
includes the small area known as the
Vuelta Abajo, where tobacco of such
excellent flavor is grown that it has no
peer anywhere else in the world.

Fruit ranks third in importance in
agricultural exports of Cuba, and dur-
ing the past decade exports averaged
more than $3,000,000 in value an-
nually, of which roughly 95 percent
were shipped to the United States. The
most important items on the list of
fruits grown for export are bananas,
pineapples, avocados, and grapefruit.
The production of winter vegetables
is also an important industry, and most
of the well-known vegetables of the
United States are grown in Cuba, both
for local consumption and for ship-
ment to the United States during the
winter and early spring, before the
Florida and Gulf States crops come
into competition. The value of this
class of exports in 1945 totalled $846,-
Coffee production in the island has
fallen back into a relatively minor place
in importance, as a result of increased
production in other countries and the
expansion of the Cuban sugar industry.
Introduced early in the 19th century by
refugees from a revolution in Santo
Domingo, coffee was cultivated on a
large scale up to the time of the aboli-
tion of slavery in 1878. Thereafter

"Bohlos," as small straw-thatched homes are called in Cuba, are dwarfed by the rocky hills of
Viiiales Valley, in Pinar del Rio. Tobacco is the chief crop of this westernmost province.
Cuban Tourist Commission

production declined so that coffee had
to be imported to meet domestic re-
quirements; but during recent years it
has been stimulated by the government
to a point where the annual crop
amounted to 718.567 quintales in the
crop year 1947-48 (the quintal equals
101.4 pounds), or slightly more than
the amount consumed in the island.
Rice and beans are two important
items on the Cuban diet, the per capital
consumption of the former being about
110 pounds a year (as compared with
only about 6 pounds in the United
States) and of the latter about 35
pounds, divided among black beans,
red kidney beans, navy beans, and
chickpeas, in that order. Cuba pro-
duces only about two-thirds of the
beans it consumes and 10 percent of
the rice; the rest is imported, prin-
cipally from the United States, Chile,
and Mexico.
Henequen, an important source of
vegetable fiber, was introduced from
Yucatan into Cuba, where it does very
well. Since it can be cut and de-fibered
best in the wet season, while sugarcane
must be harvested during the dry, hene-
quen is an especially good crop for pro-
duction in Cuba. Coordination of the
two operations tends to solve the sea-
sonal unemployment problem and re-
duce costs. Production of henequen
fiber in 1947 amounted to about 15,000
metric tons of which one-third was
made into rope for domestic use, and
the rest purchased by the United States
for the use of the armed forces.
Kenaf, a fibre native to India, has
been successfully introduced in Cuba,
as part of a cooperative technical col-
laboration program with the United
States Department of Agriculture. Its
development has not reached the com-
mercial stage but promises to be of un-
usual importance. Twine bags, burlap.
carpeting, electric cables and hooked
rugs are among the possible uses. Cuba

alone requires about $20,000,000 worth
of sugar bagging yearly.
The mild climate permits pasturing
the year round, and the young animals
are never subjected to loss from the
cold sleets and driving storms that take
such toll of herds in northern latitudes.
During the past ten years the livestock
industry has made remarkable progress.
going from an import basis to a net-
export basis, although pork and lard
are still imported. A livestock census
taken in 1945 showed 3,884,158 cattle:
1,001,874 horses, mules, and asses: 669.-
373 hogs; 114,386 sheep; and 84,654
The semitropical climate is not well
suited to hog production, which is also
hampered by the high cost of grain
feed. There is only a small domestic
market for pork meat, and the island
finds it more profitable to import about
60 percent of the lard it consumes, in-
stead of trying to produce enough hogs
to supply its total needs.
Four modern packing plants in Ha-
bana slaughter cattle for that city's
requirements; another operates in Ca-
magiicy, killing for local use as well as
for canning and jerking beef. The
annual cattle slaughter in the island
in the past five years has varied between
600,000 and 800,000 head.
Dairying on a commercial scale is a
comparatively recent development, but
it has made great strides in the past
fifteen years. Canned milk, cheese, and
butter, formerly imported in large
quantities, are now exported. Poultry
is extensively produced, mainly in
small flocks raised by individual farm-
ers for home consumption and for use
in trade for other produce in the near-
est town.
The flora and climate of Cuba are
well suited to bee culture, and the
apiaries, most of which are located
in the Province of Pinar del Rio, pro-
duce enough bees-wax and honey for

Courtesy of Dr. de Varona
Unhurried Trinidad retains the charm of a Spanish colonial city. It was founded in 1514, near
the southern coast of Las Villas Province.

home consumption and an export busi-
ness, which in 1945 totalled more than
Forests originally covered almost the
entire island and were rich in mahog-
any, cedar, rosewood, and many other
fine woods. During the period of ex-
pansion of the sugar industry after the
First World War, the clearing of forest
lands for sugar plantations was con-
ducted in such a short-sighted fashion
that of the forests covering nearly half
of the island's area in 1919, only about
one-fourth remained twenty years later;
and now instead of exporting lumber,
Cuba must import to meet domestic
needs. The government is taking steps
to preserve the existing forests, which
cover about 9 percent (2,500,000 acres)
of the national territory, and to re-
forest the wastelands, of which there
are between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000
acres available. The nurseries of the
Ministry of Agriculture have distrib-
uted more than 1,200,000 young fruit
and lumber trees since the initiation of
its reforestation program.

One of Cuba's most important forest
products at present is charcoal, which is
prepared by small farmers in the moun-
tain and swamp areas and used in the
cities as the principal fuel for cooking.
The royal palm, that stately and dec-
orative feature of the Cuban country-
side, is a very useful plant, for it satis-
fies many of the needs of the poorer
people. Their straw-thatched huts are
built with the aid of the leaves of the
palm; swine are fattened with the oily
nuts; boards, brooms, and wrappings
for tobacco bales are made from other
parts of the tree; and the buds are
INDUSTRY. Industrial production
began to make some progress after the
passage in 1927 of the Cuban Customs
Tarriff law, the purpose of which was
to protect national manufacturing en-
terprises by raising the import duties
on articles that were already being (or
could be) fabricated in Cuba. The
war, also, stimulated the growth of
manufacturing in the island, not only
along the lines of war materials pro-

The waters of the Rio Cafias, a tributary of the Rio Cauto, are held back near Santiago de Cuba.
Behind the Charco Mono Dam is the mountainous landscape typical of Oriente Province.
Cuban Tourist Commission

duction, but also to meet the demand
for consumer goods that could not be
secured from abroad because of general
economic dislocations.
As part of its diversification program,
the Government passed laws in 1945
aimed at encouraging the establishment
of new industries by exempting them
from payment of import duties and
taxes, as well as from certain internal
taxes, the definition of a "new indus-
try" being any enterprise making raw
materials into finished or semi-finished
goods that were not produced in Cuba
prior to August 14, 1945. New indus-
tries also enjoy certain privileges and
exemptions in the assessment of profit
taxes and import duties on tools and
At the present time-aside from the
processing of sugar and tobacco, which
lead all other industrial activities by
a wide margin-Cuban manufacturing
includes the following items: textiles
and textile products; shoes; paints and
chemicals; pharmaceuticals and toilet
goods; wooden furniture; soft drinks,
beer, and liquor; processed foods;
plastic specialties; and some iron and
steel articles. The number of industrial
concerns in 1945 totalled 3,490, with
a combined capital investment of about
Sugar has dominated Cuban econ-
omy for three-quarters of a century,
and because of the unpredictability of
the foreign market, the country has
had to contend for many years with a
complex problem affecting almost all
phases of the national life. Formerly,
when sugar production was much
larger, the grinding season continued
for about five months, but to prevent
overproduction and still keep the mills
running at capacity during the grind-
ing season-for the sake of efficiency
and economy-it has been found neces-
sary to restrict this period to about two
or three months of the year. This has

produced a chronic state of unemploy-
ment for nine or ten months of the year
among that third of the country's la-
borers who are engaged in the sugar
There were 173 active sugar mills
in the republic in 1946, whose capital
investment of $1,050,000,000 is divided
among stockholders of different nation-
alities as follows: United States, $600,-
000,000; Cuban, $220,000,000; Spanish,
$150,000,000; and Canadian, English,
French, and Dutch, in descending order
for the remaining $80,000,000. Pro-
duction for the 1947-48 crop year was
estimated at 6,000,000 tons.
Diversification in the manufacture of
sugarcane by-products is advocated as
a means of helping to stabilize this all-
important industry in Cuba. Such
products as sirups, confectionery, alco-
hol, cellulose, and plastics could be
produced on a larger scale than at
present. The war intensified manu-
facture of both beverage alcohol and
of carburante, the blended motor fuel
made from alcohol and gasoline. In
1944, 85,000,000 gallons of molasses
were used for the former and 35,000,-
000 gallons for the latter; and con-
sumption has increased since the re-
quired ratio of alcohol to gasoline in
carburante was raised from 65% and
35%, to 75% and 25%. Molasses is
also a raw product used to make
glycerin, acetone, acetic acid, yeast,
ether, and carbon dioxide.
Cuba's second most important in-
dustry is the growing and processing of
tobacco, which has flourished since
colonial times. The preparation of the
leaf, and the manufacture of cigars,
cigarettes, and pipe tobacco, takes
place in 27 large factories and num-
erous smaller ones, chiefly during the
latter part of the sugar dead season,
from October to January. The to-
bacco trade, which was nearly ruined
by the depression in 1931, received

such a stimulus during World War II
that it set up an all-time record with
$105,356,000 worth of production in
1945. Roughly half of the crop is
The fishing industry has an annual
value of $2,000,000, and there is room
for considerable expansion. The long
Cuban coastline, with its myriad pro-
tected inlets, provides ideal breeding
and fishing grounds the year round,
and the government is now considering
ways of encouraging the intensification
of fishing to supplement the country's
food supply. Sponging is an important
industry off Surgidero, the port of Bata-
ban6, on the southern coast.
The dried beef industry, which plays
a major part in the island's food supply,
is growing; and canning factories have
recently been established for preserv-
ing tomatoes, pineapples, and other
fruits and vegetables, as well as fish

The production of cotton and rayon
socks and stockings is a growing local
activity, while the manufacture of
shoes, luggage, saddles, and other
leather articles has been important for
many years. Skins from the local alli-
gators are made up into shoes and
It has been suggested that the min-
eral wealth of Cuba, so far exploited
to a comparatively slight degree, may
some day exceed the island's agricul-
tural output in value. The Cuban
subsoil is rich in iron, copper, bitum-
inous products, and gold; and the
island made an appreciable contribu-
tion of much needed manganese,
chrome, nickel, and tungsten to the
United States war industries. It is not
thought to be economically practical to
work the manganese deposits in normal
times, but Cuban chromium is of such
high quality that its production is a
growing industry and all of the output

in 1945-46 (300,000 tons) was mar-
keted in the United States. Large
quantities of asphalt are found in all
grades, from a remarkably pure, clear
liquid form up through various degrees
of consistency to the hard, dry, vitreous
type that resembles bituminous coal
and makes an excellent fuel. Experts
believe that when the demand for oil
from abroad increases to a point where
the capital needed to drill deeper wells
is forthcoming, rich deposits will be
opened up in Cuba that will rival in
amount of production the best petro-
leum fields in other parts of the world.
COMMERCE.-With its concentration
on the production of sugar, the Cuban
economy is naturally very sensitive to
changes in the foreign trade situation
of the republic. In contrast to that of
some nations that are more self-suffi-
cient in national production, Cuban
prosperity depends on the volume of
the island's export trade, which in turn

depends on the demand for sugar
Although in the past few decades the
republic has made considerable prog-
ress in diversification of its industrial
and agricultural production, it still ex-
ports almost one-half of its national
production and imports nearly two-
fifths of the goods consumed in the
The net effect of World War II on
Cuban foreign trade was an increase in
both exports and imports to levels that
had not prevailed since before the
1930-33 depression. Imports, which
rose from about $103,000,000 in 1940
to $519,890,402 in 1947, were necessar-
ily limited by the short supply of con-
sumer goods abroad; but exports in-
creased from $127,000,000 to $746,-
502,325 during the same period.
Cuba and the United States have
for many years been bound together
by the natural law that impels neigh-









5 1- ,4
J ^


boring nations with complementary
needs and products to set up commer-
cial intercourse. In the early years of
the Cuban Republic the fact that the
United States provided a vast and con-
venient market for raw sugar was a
determining factor in the remarkable
growth of the sugar industry of the
island, and over the years the two
countries have entered into various
reciprocity treaties with the object of
promoting Cuban-American commerce.
Before the last war the United States
was taking 67 percent of Cuba's ex-
ports and providing 78 percent of its
imports; by 1944, chiefly as a result of
the loss of European markets, these
figures had increased to 81 and 89 per-
cent respectively. Other areas gaining
from Europe's loss of Cuban trade were
several of the Latin American repub-
lics, principally Argentina, Chile, Ecua-
dor, and Mexico.
The principal classes of commodities
imported in 1947, and the percentages
they represented of the total imports
valued at $519,890,402, were as fol-
lows: Foodstuffs and beverages, 34;
machinery and apparatus, 13; pharma-
ceuticals and chemicals, over 9; metals
and metal products, over 8; rayon and
vegetable fibers and their manufactures,
over 8; earths, stones and manufactures,
7.5; cotton and manufactures, over 7.
Of the exports, valued at $746,502,325,
sugar and its derivatives accounted for
88.8 percent; tobacco for 4.5; food-
stuffs for 2.6; and earths and minerals
for 1.5.
Prior to World War II the tourist
trade was an important source of in-
come to the republic, ranking third
after sugar and tobacco. In 1937 the
number of visitors from other countries
totalled 178,496, and they spent $15,-
159,200 in the island. By the year
1947 the number of foreign visitors
had dropped to 94,206. The National
Tourist Corporation of Cuba is now

planning to develop this trade on a
greater scale than ever before, with
such attractions as a new National
Museum, a large national airport, a
Tourist Zone on the outskirts of Ha-
bana, hotels, scenic highways, new pub-
lic beaches, tennis courts, etc.
The retail trade of the country is
characterized by a large number of
small business enterprises, whose ap-
proximate daily sales average $28. As
measured by the gross sales tax receipts
for 1945, total sales of merchandise in
the 60,000 commercial establishments
of the country came to $1,260,000,000
in 1944; private salaries and wages paid
during the year amounted to about
FINANCE.-Cuba had no currency of
its own prior to 1915, but utilized a
variety of Spanish, American, and other
foreign coins. On October 29, 1914,
the government passed a law establish-
ing a gold standard for the republic,
with a monetary unit, the gold peso,
of the same weight and fineness as the
United States dollar, and silver and
nickel coins of lesser value. Cuban
coins are used in denominations of $20,
$10, $5, gold; $1, 40, 20, and 10 cents,
silver; and 5, 2, and 1 cent, nickel.
United States currency is legal tender
in Cuba and is in general use.
On March 4, 1949, the Directors of
the new National Bank were sworn in.
This is a bank of issue and rediscount,
provided for by Cuba's constitution. It
is hoped that it will provide the basis
for a sounder economic structure for
the country by helping to stabilize the
currency, making credit more freely
available for industry and commerce,
and promoting confidence in the na-
tional banking services.
Government revenues totaled about
$346,800,000 in 1948 and expenditures
under the regular budget aggregated
$104,300,000. Total currency in circu-
lation as of November 1948 amounted

to $583,000,000 with the per capital
circulation of currency in the hands of
the public (as distinguished from money
in the banks and the Treasury) esti-
mated at $40. Cuban banks showed
combined deposits amounting to $553,-
000,000 in November 1948.

The first-class letter rate from the
United States to Cuba is 3 cents per
ounce or fraction thereof; the rate
from Cuba is 2 cents. Daily airmail
service is maintained between the two
countries, the letter rates being 10
cents per half-ounce from Cuba and 8
cents from the United States. There
are 630 combined postal and telegraph
offices, with 20 branch offices, distrib-
uted throughout the republic. The
telegraph system covers the country
with more than 9,000 miles of lines.
Cuba is in direct touch with the rest
of the world by ocean cable service out
of the ports of Habana, Manzanillo,
Santiago, and Guantinamo, main-
tained by All America Cables, West-
ern Union, and the Cuban Submarine
Telegraph Company. Radio-telegraph
service is available through the Mac-
kay Radio and Cuban Trans-Atlantic
Radio. The Inter-American Telecom-
munications Office has its headquarters
in Habana, and acts as a center for
the dissemination of information on
radio and telegraphic communications
in the Americas. There are more than
100 radio broadcasting stations in the
island, 17 of them equipped with
powerful short-wave transmitters.
The Cuban Telephone Company
maintains both a local service through-
out the island and international con-
nections with all points in the United
States, Canada, Mexico, and with
some other foreign countries. In 1948
there were about 93,426 telephones.
With its strategic geographical posi-.
tion, the island has become a very im-

portant airline junction. The outbreak
of World War II paralyzed passenger
steamship services and accelerated the
development of aviation in the Amer-
icas. Since the cessation of hostilities,
moreover, an additional impulse has
been given to this mode of transporta-
tion by the revival of tourist travel.
Pan American Airways operates num-
erous daily flights, that take a little over
an hour, between Miami and Habana,
and others between Miami and Cama-
giiey. National Airlines has a six hour
and fifteen minute flight from New
York to the Cuban capital, via Tampa
or via Miami. Expreso A6reo Inter-
americano, Cuba Aeropostal, and Serv-
icios A6reos also operate between Ha-
bana and Miami. Aerovias "Q" oper-
ates between Habana and Key West.
Linea Aeropostal Venezolana flies be-
tween New York and Habana in five
hours. Chicago and Southern operates
between Chicago and Habana, with a
flight of four hours between New Or-
leans and Habana. Planes of Braniff
International Airways make the flight
from Houston to Habana in five hours.
Compafiia Mexicana de Aviaci6n runs
flights between Habana and Mexico
City, via M6rida. Compafifa Cubana
de Aviaci6n operates between Habana
and Madrid, via the Azores. KLM
(Royal Dutch Airlines) runs between
Habana and Amsterdam, via Canada
and Scotland, and also between Ha-
bana and Netherlands Guiana, via
Jamaica. British South American Air-
ways has established flights between
Habana and London, via the Azores
and Lisbon. TACA (Transportes
A6reos Centro Americanos) operates
between Habana and Central Amer-
ican countries.
Domestic passenger, airmail, and
freight service is maintained within
Cuba by the Compania Cubana de
Aviaci6n, a subsidiary of Pan Ameri-
can Airways. Its runs connect Habana

with Cienfuegos, Camagiiey, Manzan-
illo, Santiago, Guatinamo, Antilla,
Preston, Cayo Mambi, and Baracoa.
Domestic traffic west of Habana, in
Pinar del Rio Province, utilizes the
Mexican line's service, while the Isle
of Pines and the central portion of the
republic east of Habana are served by
the Expreso AMreo Inter-Americano.
There are maritime shipping connec-
tions between several Cuban ports and
the outside world, notably the United
States, England and Spain. There are
also connections with other Latin
American countries, since Habana is an
important stop for both United States
and European vessels bound for points
further south.
About 2,430 miles of roads and high-
ways are maintained by the govern-
ment (1947), and the Central High-
way, extending 700 miles (almost the
entire length of the island), forms the
backbone of the national road system.
This highway, completed in 1931 in the
face of great terrain difficulties, met
such a need that parts of it have be-
come badly worn, and the Cuban De-
partment of Public Works started in
1943 an extensive program which in-
cludes not only repairs but the con-
struction of by-roads and highways from
the Central Highway out to isolated re-
gions of rural Cuba. Bus lines operate
daily services over this road system,
which has provided greatly improved
transportation facilities for the prod-
ucts of the country, and attracts many
visitors interested- in motoring to the
scenic and historic points that the
roads now connect. There are plans
to link Cuba with the Pan American
Highway system, by running ferry serv-
ices from Key West to Habana and
from the Isle of Pines to YucatAn, in
As part of a nation-wide program to
modernize the urban centers of the
republic, plans for Habana include the

construction of a network of boulevards
to relieve traffic congestion in the
downtown sections, which will enhance
the beauty of the capital and will be
a great convenience in traversing the
long distances that separate the busi-
ness districts from the suburbs.
At the close of Spanish rule, Cuba
had 1136 miles of public railroad lines,
and 965 that were privately owned,
the latter mainly by large sugar com-
panies, for operation between their
plantations and ports also owned by
the companies. Most of the railroads
were English-controlled, and nine-
tenths of the entire system was in the
western half of the island. To develop
the eastern provinces, where the great-
est volume of sugarcane is now grown,
a new line was built during General
Wood's administration. This was the
Cuba Railway, running from Santa
Clara to Santiago, which was inaug-
urated in 1902. As a result, the eastern
half of Cuba was opened to settlement
and agriculture, and the country's
wealth and resources were greatly in-
The island has more than 9,300 miles
of railroads (about two-fifths of them
public service and the rest private
lines) (1947), and the two principal
systems, the United Railways of Habana
and the Consolidated Railroads of
Cuba, together cover practically the
entire length of the island. Santa
Clara, about midway, is the junction
between these two main lines, and
many branches radiate north and
south. A good deal of railroad ac-
tivity naturally centers around the city
of Habana, where there is a $3,000,-
000 terminal station, with the most
modem appointments.

Public Health
Cuba was the first country in the
world (1909) to give cabinet status to
the head of its Public Health Depart-

ment. In 1940 this became the Min-
istry of Public Health and Social Wel-
fare, and at present it has supervision
over 51 official hospitals, caring for
about 12,475 patients, and numerous
dispensaries. The budget for the Min-
istry in 1947 amounted to $12,000,000.
Outstanding triumphs of public
health in Cuba have been the eradica-
tion of yellow fever in 1908 (as a result
of the discovery, by the Cuban scien-
tist Carlos Finlay of its. transmission
through the mosquito), plague in 1914,
and smallpox in 1923. Cholera has
not been present on the island for
nearly a century, and typhus fever
has been identified only recently in
sporadic form in the interior. Because
the regulation requiring the reporting
of communicable diseases is not always
observed, it is difficult to determine ac-
curately the incidence of diphtheria,
but it is considered to be comparatively
high. On the other hand, the dipth-
theria death rate is very low, and the
island has never had a serious epidemic
of this disease. Malaria is still an im-
portant cause of death, especially in
the Provinces of Oriente, Camagiey,
and Pinar del Rio, but effective work
to combat it is being carried on and the

death rate has dropped considerably.
In many areas the disease has been
controlled, and Habana proper, for
example, is relatively free from it.
Infantile gastro-enteritis, intestinal
parasitosis, and typhoid fever, together
with tuberculosis, leprosy, and venereal
diseases, still remain as problems re-
ceiving increasing attention.
The National Tuberculosis Council
has established many tuberculosis dis-
pensaries, sanatoriums, and hospitals
throughout the republic, and carries
on extensive educational work. A
special School of Public Health and
Tropical Medicine functions under the
Finlay Institute, a public health in-
stitution named in honor of Dr. Carlos
J. Finlay, the Cuban scientist to whom
the world is indebted for the correct
theory on the transmission of yellow
Two important new health institu-
tions are the National Institute of Hy-
giene and the Children's Bureau in the
Ministry of Public Health. The former
serves as a central laboratory for health
research and the preparation of thera-
peutic products, whereas the Children's
Bureau carries on a well-rounded pro-
gram in school hygiene, including pre-

Cienfuegos fishermen bring in a day's catch. The country's third most important commercial city,
Cienfuegos has a magnificent 20-mile-long bay.


vention and control of infectious dis-
eases, periodic physical examinations
and treatment, and promotion of good
health and physical development
among school children.
Plans have been drawn for a Na-
tional Hospital, with capacity for 1,000
beds, in the vicinity of Vedado, while
a beautiful new Military Hospital ac-
commodating 600 patients, completed
in 1944, is the latest word in scientific
appointments. Each of the provinces
outside of that of Habana, is to have
a new hospital whose services will be
supplemented by clinical centers in
every town of at least 30,000 inhabi-

Labor and Social Welfare
The Constitution of 1940 contains spe-
cific provisions for the regulation of
wages, hours, employment of women
and minors, occupational organizations,
industrial relations, cooperatives, social
insurance, and restrictions on the em-
ployment of aliens. The law regulates
the system of collective bargaining, and

designates judicial officials to preside
over commissions appointed to settle
disputes between capital and labor.
There is a workmen's compensation
law, which provides benefits, to be
financed entirely by the employers, for
occupational diseases and industrial ac-
Native Cubans are entitled to a pre-
ponderant share not only of positions
but of the payroll as well; naturalized
Cubans with families born in Cuba are
given preference in employment over
other naturalized Cubans, and over
Maternity insurance was introduced
in 1937 and has developed into the
principal branch of Cuban social se-
curity. Pensions are provided for in-
sured women and for wives of insured
men, and maternity hospitalization is
afforded in special centers located in
various parts of the island. Other
aspects of social security are the special
funds for retirement and pensions of
various classes of employees: teachers,
the police, the army, court workers and

Cuba's economy is
based on sugar. The
cut stalks are hauled to
"centrals," where they
are ground, boiled, and
refined. The country
holds first place as a
sugar producer and ex-

To keep its industries
going. Cuba must im-
port coal.

other government employees, port and
maritime laborers, and railroad and
streetcar workers.
The cooperative societies established
by residents from given regions in Spain
(especially Asturias and Galicia) were
founded late in the 19th century to
look after the needs of Spanish im-
migrants to Cuba, but they have de-
veloped to such a point that today the
larger ones provide their members-
including many Cubans-with the fa-
cilities of a social club, educational
opportunities, and free medical care.
They have magnificent buildings in
Habana, and maintain some of the
finest hospitals, clinics, and schools in
the country.
The National Confederation of
Labor stands out as the most powerful
group of its kind in Cuba and the only
organization that is really national in
scope. It has done much to improve
working conditions and is particularly
active in its efforts to relieve distress
among workers in the sugar industry
during the dead season. Indicative of

the vitality of the Cuban labor move-
ment is the million-dollar headquarters
building for the Confederation, which
received the combined support of work-
ers, business men, and the government
itself. This structure provides an audi-
torium seating 4,000; public libraries,
assembly halls, and many other facili-
ties, all with the latest equipment.
The Escuela Profesional de los Dul-
ceros y sus Similares de la Provincia de
la Habana (Confectionery and Allied
Trades School), founded and support-
ed by the workers' union in this field,
is primarily interested in preparing and
orienting workers in the confectionery
and similar fields. This is the only
school of its kind. It is endeavoring
(1949) to raise a building fund through
appeals for public contributions.
The official social welfare program
of the nation is closely tied in with that
of public health, as they are both under
the supervision of the Ministry of
Health and Social Welfare. A special
Department of Social Assistance has
charge of asylums, the visiting nurse


service, special schools for nurses, the
central eugenics service, the national
child and maternity welfare commis-
sion, and many other public welfare
institutions. The Corporaci6n Nacional
de Asistencia Piblica (National Public
Welfare Authority) is directly in charge
of all beneficent institutions, both
official and private, and it also promotes
the program of the vocational schools
of the country. The number of these
institutions is 59, and they care for
about 4,900 persons. Correctional
schools and the provision of scholar-
ships for worthy children from poor
families are some of the concerns of
the Children's Bureau.
A large part of the proceeds of the
National Lottery, which is administered
by the Ministry of the Treasury, goes
into the establishment and support of
a long list of public welfare institutions;
in the ten-year period 1934-1944 these
funds have totaled more than $43,000,-

EDUCATION.-Under early Spanish rule,
elementary and secondary education in
Cuba was limited. The curricula of
seminaries and convents included phi-
losophy, Latin, and a few elementary
subjects. The only other opportunities
outside the university were in private
and charitable institutions.
With the creation, in 1793, of the
Real Sociedad Econ6mica de Amigos
del Pais de la Habana (The Royal Eco-
nomic Society of Friends of the Coun-
try, sometimes known as the Patriotic
Society), a new era in the educational
system got under way. Responsible to
royal authorities for the education of
the island, the Society took inventory,
founded several desperately needed
schools, and urged the government to
adopt educational reforms. The first
public elementary and secondary
schools in Cuba were established under

a law of 1842. This legislation was
followed by a series of general educa-
tion laws.
Today, the administration of Cuban
education is highly centralized. All
learning and cultural work in the Re-
public, with the exception of agricul-
tural education, are under the Ministry
of Education. The Minister is chairman
of the National Council on Education
and Culture (Consejo Nacional de
Educaci6n y Cultura). This advisory
body, established in 1940 in accordance
with the new Constitution, has control
over almost all education, except insti-
tutions of higher learning.
Children from four to six years of
age may attend kindergarten. Com-
pulsory education begins at the age of
six and lasts eight years. Most of the
elementary schools are public; many of
them are coeducational. Reading, writ-
ing, and arithmetic are often combined
with such subjects as civics, natural
history, Cuban history, geography, and,
in the last three grades of the six-year
course, English. During the academic
year 1945-46, there were 511,812 stu-
dents enrolled in over 6,000 public
schools in the six provinces; 257,991
were boys, and 253,821, girls. Offi-
cially authorized private schools; that
is, schools whose curricula are approved
by the government, had 63,052 students
registered in 1944-45; and there were
7,686 enrolled in unaccredited schools
throughout the Republic, bringing the
total private school registration to 70,-
738. There are more than 600 private
primary schools.
Graduates of primary schools have
the choice of taking additional ele-
mentary work in escuelas primaries su-
periores (junior high schools), or of
attending institutes of secondary educa-
tion. The 21 academic secondary
schools, called institutes, are located in
the provincial capitals and other large
cities. In 1944-45 the total enrollment

was 23,395, of whom more than half
(13,289) were boys. Institutes offer
a six-year curriculum divided into two
courses; one, a four-year course, is
general and almost the same for all
students; an additional two-year course
admits students to university studies.
In preparation for vocational careers,
students may attend normal, industrial-
technical, commercial, agricultural, and
art schools. In 1944-45 there were
3,816 students enrolled in commercial
schools; 2,476 were boys. Each prov-
ince has a normal school for primary
teachers; in addition, there are special
normal schools for kindergarten teach-
ers in Habana and Santa Clara, and a
rural normal school at Rancho Boyeros,
in Habana province. Normal school
courses generally take four years and
lead to the degree of normal teacher.
In 1944-45, 3,507 students (393 boys
and 3,114 girls) were registered in
normal schools. Over 600 girls were
enrolled in normal schools for kinder-
garten teachers. That year almost
2,000 were enrolled in escuelas del
hogar (schools of rural economy).
These are free boarding institutions
where academic, practical, and physical
education is offered. Satisfactory com-
pletion of the three-year curriculum
leads to the degree of rural teacher of
economy, arts, and domestic science.
Teachers in institutes of secondary edu-
cation, technical, and normal schools
must be university graduates, and must
have a doctorate degree in their special
Technical education is offered in gov-
ernment-supported technical-industrial
schools and schools of arts and crafts.
Combining theory with practice, these
institutions train students in all fields,
from soap manufacture to radio and
electrical communications. The course
takes three years. Over 400 boys were
enrolled at the General Jos6 B. Alemin
Industrial School in 1944-45, and en-

uuu.n 2 -934 uomm-on
Playgrounds, parks, and swimming pools for
children come under the supervision of the
Ministry of Education. Habana's seesaw set
has its own amusement park in the Zoological

rollment at the Rosalia Abreu School,
which trains women to earn their living,
was about 110. A photographic and
film shop was installed in the Jos6 B.
Alemin school in January 1949 to pre-
pare students to work in the Cuban film
Fine arts instruction is offered at the
San Alejandro Academy's advanced
four-year course in drawing, painting
and sculpture; while a preliminary
course is given at the affiliated Elemen-
tary School of Fine Arts. In 1944-45
there were 366 students enrolled at the
San Alejandro National School of Fine
Arts. The Ministry of Education di-
rects Cuba's six schools of fine arts.
Almost 2,000 students were registered
at schools of arts and crafts in the prov-
inces of La Habana, Matanzas, and

Besides its excellent General
Library, the University of Ha-
bana has special libraries in
the various schools.

Courtesy University of Habana

Oriente. That year journalism was
taught to about 65 men and 35 women
at the Escuela Profesional de Perio-
dismo "Manuel Mdrquez Sterling", es-
tablished in 1942.
The Instituto Civico-Militar (Civic-
Military Institute), on a beautiful mod-
em campus in the rural district of
Ceiba del Agua, about 30 miles south-
west of Habana, provides home life and
a well-rounded education for orphans
and children whose fathers died while
on civil or military duty. Here over a
thousand boys and girls between the
ages of six and eighteen receive the best
of modern instruction, from the first
grade through vocational training.
In all public and private teaching
centers, Cuban literature, history, and
geography, as well as civics, are taught
by Cuban-born teachers; textbooks by
native-born authors are used in the
teaching of these subjects. Although
religion is not taught in public schools,
private schools are permitted to include
religious courses in their curricula.
The University of Habana, founded

in 1728 by Dominican monks, has been
an autonomous institution since 1937,
when a new university constitution was
adopted. Grants from the National
Government, however, contribute to its
support. Since the enlargement of its
facilities, the University has the follow-
ing 12 schools: Philosophy and Letters,
Education, Sciences, Engineering and
Architecture, Agricultural and Sugar
Engineering, Law, Social Sciences and
Public Law, Commercial Sciences,
Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and
Veterinary Medicine. In 1944-45 the
enrollment was 8,175. Formerly the
University was housed in the old San
Juan de Letrin Convent in Habana,
but since 1902 it has boasted one of the
most picturesque campuses of any of
the world's centers of learning, on the
heights of a Habana suburb overlook-
ing the Gulf of Mexico.
In October 1946 another institution
of higher learning came into being in
Cuba. Located within sight of the
Gulf of Mexico, just outside the Ha-
bana city limits, La Universidad Ca-

t6lica de Santo Tomds de Villaneuva
(Catholic University of St. Thomas of
Villanova) was opened by American
Augustinian Fathers from Villanova,
Pennsylvania. There are five schools in
this co-educational university: Philoso-
phy and Letters, Education, Law, Bus-
iness, and Bachelor of Arts. Since only
the University of Habana is authorized
to grant titles and confer degrees, its
official professors must pass upon the
examinations of students attending the
Catholic University. The curriculum
of the new university, therefore, paral-
lels that of the University of Habana,
except for the addition of certain
courses in English and religion.
The number of Cuban universities
became three the following year, when
on October 10, 1947, the University of
Oriente, in Santiago, opened its doors.
Over 200 students were enrolled the
first year in the schools of Education,
Law, Commercial Sciences, Philosophy,
and Chemical and Industrial Engineer-
the Constitution declares that "culture
in all its manifestations is of primary
interest to the State", arts and science
are largely in the hands of private cul-
tural associations. Cubans, by the
handful or in large groups, in post
World War II organizations or in soci-
eties dating from the colonial period,
keep in touch with the world's intel-
lectual, political, and artistic currents.
Ever since its founding in 1793, the
Sociedad Econ6mica de Amigos del
Pais has been in the vanguard of cul-
ture; first, under Spanish rule, it oper-
ated as an official government body and
later it continued as a private institu-
tion. The association's library, as old
as the Sociedad itself, was the first pub-
lic library in Cuba and one of the earli-
est in America. All of the nation's
cultural and political life is recorded in
its invaluable collection of some 200,-

000 books, documents and manuscripts,
housed in a new building that was com-
pleted in 1948. But the Sociedad Eco-
ndmica is famous for more than its li-
brary and for being the founder of the
nation's public library service. Designed
to promote cultural and material prog-
ress, the Sociedad has set up and di-
rected numerous schools; it awards
prizes to teachers for excellence in their
profession and to students for scholas-
tic achievement; it sponsors lectures
and expositions; it publishes historical,
scientific and literary works, including
its magazine Revista Bimestre Cubana;
it seeks to improve working and living
conditions through social welfare work;
it encourages the construction of high-
ways and railroads; and it has served as
adviser to the government on such eco-
nomic matters as international trade
and financial agreements, and patent
laws. In every phase of Cuban life,
the Sociedad has given aid and ad-
The cultural attainments of Cuban
women keep up with those of the men.
Two groups were joined to form their
main association, The Lyceum and
Lawn Tennis Club. Everything from
bridge lessons to supporting the Uni-
versity's School for Social Service comes
under the club's activities. Its socially
conscious members sponsor a night
school, give lectures, art exhibits and
concerts. The year of its creation, the
Lyceum founded a library; in 1942
they opened it to the general public;
and in 1946 they made of it the only
circulating library on the island. An
estimated 11,000 volumes were con-
tained in the general library early in
La Sociedad Pro-Arte Musical, which
brings internationally-known artists to
Habana, is also supported by women,
most of whom are members of the Ly-
ceum. Besides presenting concerts, op-
eras, and programs of dance and drama,

the Pro-Arte Society established a
School of Ballet.
The high level of Cuban culture is
reflected in the nation's learned soci-
eties. La Academia de Ciencias Midi-
cas Fisicas y Naturales, de la Habana
(the Academy of Medical, Physical and
Natural Sciences) has been very active
since its beginning in 1860. A special-
ized library of over 110,000 volumes, a
Museum of Natural History with its
unique paleontological collection, and
an anthropological museum are among
the Academy's resources. Countless his-
torical and documentary works by for-
eign as well as Cuban authorities are
published by La Academia de la His-
toria de Cuba (Academy of History of
Cuba). Established the same year
(1910), La Academia Nacional de
Artes y Letras (The National Academy
of Arts and Letters) carries out its
work through divisions of literature,
music, painting, sculpture, and archi-
tecture. It seeks to stimulate artistic
and literary production by means of
annual contests, lectures, concerts, and
by publishing original critical and cre-
ative works. To the list of prominent
Cuban cultural organizations must be
added the Academia Cubana de la
Lengua, the Sociedad de Folklore Cu-
bano, and the Ateneo de la Habana.
Outside the capital, cultural institutions
include the Pro-Arte societies in Ma-
tanzas and Santiago. Los Amigos de
la Cultura Cubana (Friends of Cuban
Culture) sponsors concerts, lectures,
and art exhibits in Matanzas; it also
provides the city with two public li-
Libraries of private associations, like
those mentioned above, are vital to
Cuba's cultural life, but they are by no
means the only ones. The National Li-
brary, housed temporarily in the Fort-
ress on the Malec6n, contains about
250,000 volumes; it was founded during
the United States occupation of the

island. The Municipal Library of Ha-
bana, with a collection of about 28,000
volumes, is the only library in Cuba
that has branches. Important also is the
general library of the University of Ha-
bana, which has 80,000 volumes. Sev-
eral of the university schools and clubs
like the Centro Gallego and Centro
Asturiano have their own libraries.
Elsewhere in Cuba there are good li-
braries, among them the Public Library
of Matanzas, the Marti Library of the
Provincial Government in Santa Clara,
and the Elvira Cape de Bacardi Mu-
nicipal Library in Santiago.
Cuban lovers of art and history will
have a new National Museum, it is
hoped by 1950. The present Museo
Nacional, about ten blocks east of the
capitol in Habana, contains a fine col-
lection of relics of native cultures and
of the wars of independence. Its paint-
ings include original works by such
European masters as Rubens, Titian,
Gova, and Watteau, as well as many by
modern foreign and Cuban artists. Two
other good museums in the capital are
the Colonial Museum of Habana, in
Cathedral Plaza, and the religious mu-
seum inside the Cathedral. The Ba-
cardi Municipal Museum in Santiago,
of which the public library is a part;
the Oscar Rojas Museum in Cirdenas,
Matanzas; the museum in Camagiiey;
and the Naval Academy museum in
Mariel, Pinar del Rio have some of the
island's most interesting exhibits.
LITERATURE.-After 1800, when the
first true Spanish American letters made
their appearance during the struggle
for independence, Cuba's contribution
to literature was considerable. Indeed,
Jos6 Maria de Heredia is one of the
most representative figures of the revo-
lutionary period, even though Cuba re-
mained a Spanish colony almost 60
years after his death in 1839. A soldier,
journalist, lawyer, historian, and above
all, a lyric poet, he allied himself early

with the cause of freedom, and as the
result of his revolutionary activities,
spent a good part of his life outside his
native land. As a writer, Heredia
straddles two literary periods, neo-clas-
sicism and romanticism. His poems,
although classical in form, are essen-
tially romantic in their emotional in-
tensity, subjectivity, and melancholy.
His truly romantic love of nature can
be seen in such impassioned poems as
Nidgara, written during his political
exile in the United States.
Romanticism, with its spirit of free-
dom and individualism, swept through
Cuba in the 19th century, as it did
everywhere in the Americas. Caught
up by the movement were such writers
as Gabriel de la Concepci6n Vald6s,
known as "PlAcido", whose poetry ech-
oes the revolutionary protests against
injustice and oppression. Gertrudis G6-
mez de Avellaneda, who was not only
an outstanding lyric poetess but a dram-
atist and novelist as well, wrote most of
her work in Spain; yet the inspiration
of her youth was Cuba, "the land I
love the best".
Toward the end of the 19th century,
the romantic era gave way to the mod-

ernist movement, whose Cuban expo-
nents include Julian del Casal and Jos6
Marti. Casal, cut off from the real
world by his illness, sought refuge in a
world of fancy. Secluded among ob-
jects of oriental art, imaginary wander-
ings, and delicate sensory perceptions,
he infused in his perfectly rhymed verse
the symbolism and love of macabre de-
tails characteristic of the French mod-
ernist poetry of the period.
Jos6 Marti, at once a poet, journalist,
patriot, revolutionist, and national hero,
is one of Latin America's greatest fig-
ures. To Cubans, he is el apdstol, a
saint, the symbol of the nation's aspira-
tion. Marti's dream of a strong, inde-
pendent, and justice-loving Cuba was
combined with his vision of a united
America. A keen judge of the United
States, where he spent many years, he
wrote on every phase of North Ameri-
can life-its literature, art, politics, and
labor. His scores of essays, ranging
from one of the earliest appreciations
of impressionism in art to "Darwin and
the Talmud", are not limited to the
Americas. Marti was killed in the up-
rising against the Spanish forces in
Cuba in 1895. His revolutionary zeal

A symbol of the nation's grati-
tude to Carlos J. Finlay, one
of the greatest figures in mod-
ern medicine, stands in Ha-
bana near the hospital in
which Dr. Finlay developed
his revolutionary theory on the
transmission of yellow fever.
The marble monument is the
work of Juan Jos6 Sicre.

In "The Balcony," Cundo Ber-
mnfdez presents in oils his view
of Habana life.

j he Museum of Modern Art

permeates his essays, articles, and let-
ters, whose originality of thought and
perfection of style make them literary
The long line of brilliant militant
philosophers, which culminated in Jos6
Marti, began at the turn of the last
century, when scholars like Jos6 Agus-
tin Caballero were breaking away from
the traditional teachings of the Church.
Empiricism and advanced social ideas
mark the writing of Fl6ix Varela, who
has been called the molder of the Cu-
ban conscience. Another liberal writer
was Jos6 Antonio Saco, a historian, ed-
ucator, and politician, whose most im-
portant work is La Historia de la Es-
clavitud (The History of Slavery).
These six volumes, the last two of
which appeared after the author's death
in 1879, contain a forceful condemna-
tion of slavery and the slave trade.
Jos6 de la Luz y Caballero influenced
Cuban thought through his writing, and
even more directly through his teach-
ing. Philosophic Enrique Jose Varona,
a patriot, writer, historian, and edu-

cator, stands high on the list of Cuba's
eminent figures. His centenary year,
1949, has been declared by the Cuban
Government the Year of Varona, a time
for his country and the rest of the
world to appreciate how far-seeing and
clear-thinking was this 19th century
In 1948 Cuba celebrated the cen-
tenary year of Manuel Sanguily, a bril-
liant orator, writer and patriot, who
took a prominent part in the revolu-
tion against Spain. Sanguily was one
of the orators of the revolutionary pe-
riod who, next to Marti, exerted the
greatest influence on the Cuban pa-
The novel came into its own in Cuba
during the first decades of the 20th
century. Historical novels painting the
life of colonial times were written by
men like Raimundo Cabrera. The so-
cial novel, fighting for social justice and
championing the cause of the "under-
dog", sprang into life everywhere. Car-
los Loveria, author of such stimulating
novels as Juan Criollo and Los Ciegos

(The Blind), is considered one of Cu-
ba's most dynamic novelists. Among
the other notable writers are Lino No-
vis Calvo, author of Pedro Blanco, el
Negrero (The Slave Trader) and of
numerous short stories; Carlos Monte-
negro, a short story writer and novelist,
whose books include Hombres Sin
Mujer (Men Without Women); and
Enrique Serpa, whose Contrabando
made literary history in 1937. Although
Alfonso Hernandez Cati, author of
widely read novels and short stories,
spent many years in Spain, he belongs
to his native Cuba's large group of writ-
ers, that includes Jos6 Antonio Ramos
and Luis Felipe Rodriguez. La Sangre
Hambrienta (Hungry Blood), consist-
ing of three short novels, and Enser del
Alma (Utensil of the Soul), a volume
of short stories, by the novelist, jour-
nalist, and short story writer Enrique
Labrador Ruiz were published in
The first decades of this century saw,
throughout the Americas, the flowering
of excellent national literary reviews,
including Revista bimestre cubana and
Cuba contempordnea. The appearance
of Avance, in 1927, introduced an es-
sentially critical literary movement.
Contributors to this magazine, like
Jorge Mafiach, Juan Marine!lo, Fran-
cisco Ichazo, and Fl6ix Lizaso, occupied
in the political world different and an-
tagonistic positions, which are reflected
in their writings. Toward 1940 a new
group of writers, searching for modern
literary technique, found expression in
the magazine Origines.
Poetic feelings toward the Negro were
awakened by the abolition of slavery
that had taken place in several Ameri-
can countries during the 19th century.
The poetry of Nicolas Guill6n, whose
Cuba Libre appeared, in 1948, in an
English translation by Langston Hughes
and Ben Frederic Carruthers, best ex-
presses the primitive Negro mind in the

modern world. Regino Pedroso and
Emilio Ballegas are also poets con-
cerned with Afro-Cuban themes. Euro-
pean and international influences in
Ballegas' writing, however, place him in
another group of outstanding contem-
porary poets, that includes Eugenio
Florit, Mirta Aguirre, and Angel Aug-
ier. Mariano Brull is even more di-
rectly an offspring of the modernist
Literary criticism was well represent-
ed in the 19th century by the essayist
Enrique Pifieyro, who was also an im-
portant historian and biographer. Lead-
ing contemporary literary critics are
Emilio Gaspar Rodriguez and Jos6
Maria Chac6n y Calvo. Jorge Mafiach
has won continental fame for his essays,
especially as an art critic. One of
Cuba's most versatile writers today is
Fernando Ortiz, editor of the Archives
of Cuban Folklore, author of numerous
historical studies, and authority on pres-
ent-day social and political problems.
His scholarly studies of his country's
African background are among his most
important works. History is being writ-
ten today by prominent authors like
Emilio Roig, who was named historian
of the city of Habana, Herminio Portell
Vila, Emeterio Santovenia, and Ramiro
Guerra. Notable biographers are San-
tovenia, C. MArquez Sterling, J. E. Ca-
sasts, and Juan M. Dihigo.
The development of public and pri-
vate international law in Cuba since
the end of the last century hinges about
the name of Antonio SAnchez de Busta-
mante. Professor of law at the Uni-
versity of Habana, this well-known
jurist is one of the judges of the Per-
manent Court of International Justice,
and director of the Revista de derecho
international, official publication of the
American Institute of International
Law. Jos6 Agustin Martinez, who
edits the Revista penal de la Habana,
was one of the codifiers of the present

criminal code of Cuba. Cosme de la
Torriente, former president of the
Cuban Delegation to the League of
Nations, and editor of Revista de la
Habana; and Luis Alberto Baralt,
lawyer and educator, also play a vital
part in Cuban letters.
Science in Cuba has always been
closely linked to literature. About the
time Carlos J. Finlay published his rev-
olutionary theory on the cause of yellow
fever, Felipe Poey Aloy distinguished
himself as one of the world's top-rank-
ing naturalists; Ictiologia Cubana
(Cuban Ichthyology), the monumental
work that Poey left unedited, was pub-
lished by the Cuban Government. An-
other naturalist of world fame is Carlos
M. de la Torre, who discovered impor-
tant fossils dating back to the primitive
inhabitants of the island.
PLASTIC ARTs.-The development of
a national art was long retarded by the
same factors that hampered social and
political growth in Cuba. The Sociedad
Econdmica de Amigos del Pais has
been closely linked with the history of
arts since the Society's foundation. It
was instrumental in the establishment,
in 1818, of the San Alejandro Acad-
emy, which for more than a century
provided artistic inspiration and guid-
ance to the country.
Under the Republic, the San Alejan-
dro Academy clung to its earlier tech-
niques, especially that of Spanish aca-
demic realism. Dissatisfaction with the
school's traditional tendencies was first
voiced in the years following 1920. The
dissenters were students who had stu-
died in European centers and had taken
an interest in the new movements that,
beginning with post-impressionism,
sprang from French art.
In 1927 Revista de Avance appeared
in Habana. (See Literature.) The
critical spirit of this magazine was soon
caught up by the new group of artists,
who that same year founded the Aso-

ciaci6n de Pintores y Escultores (Asso-
ciation of Painters and Sculptors).
This organization sponsored the first
four exhibitions of modern art in Cuba,
and for some time continued to be the
most progressive art center in the coun-
try. Later independent artists began
to arise, creating various forms of artis-
tic expression, all far-removed from tra-
ditional modes. The Asociaci6n de
Pintores y Escultores, its name changed
to Circulo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts
Club), gradually became, for the most
part, a haven for conservative artists.
Progressive painters and sculptors now
reach the public through the Lyceum
and Lawn Tennis Club. Almost no-
where else does the school of modern
Cuban artists exhibit its work.
Pioneers in the new movement, like
Eduardo Abela, Victor Manuel, and
Antonio Gattorno, were followed by
Fidelio Ponce de Le6n, who paints in
a bizarre intuitive style, Amelia PelAez,
preoccupied with cubist still-lifes, and
Carlos Enriquez, whose luminous land-
scapes reveal an ardent sensibility for
all forms of Cuban life. This is the
vanguard, and a legion of important
painters with international prestige now
advances across the contemporary
scene: Wilfredo Lam, painter of fan-
tastic figures and jungle scenes; Mario
Carreiio, whose intense, tropical-flavored
murals in duco depict rural and Cuban-
Negro life, Felipe Orlando, who paints
in an ingenious, delightful style; Ren6
Portocarrero and Cundo Bermidez,
both reproducing the beautiful baroque
interiors of colonial Cuba; restless Ma-
riano, painter of gaudy, aggressive
cocks; Luis Martinez Pedro, bridging
the gap between extreme realism and
utter surrealism with his steady pencil;
and, among the younger artists recently
joining the ranks of progressive painters,
Roberto Diago and Osvaldo.
Outstanding in the field of sculpture
are Juan Jos6 Sicre, an early exponent

Cuban Tourist Commission
The Blue Beach at Varadero, in the Province of Matanzas, is among the Atlantic's most popular

of the new movement in his country,
who created numerous monuments
both in Cuba and elsewhere in the
Americas, and Teodoro Ramos Blanco,
who has skilfully introduced Negro
themes into Cuban sculpture. Alfredo
Lozano, Roberto Estopiiiin, Jos6 Ni-
fiez Booth, and Manuel Rodulfo are
other notable sculptors who follow the
varied paths of their art.
During the past five years, several
American nations have held one-man
shows and group exhibitions of modern
Cuban painting. At present, many of
the leading artists are represented in
museums and private collections
throughout the continent.
Toward the end of 1948, the most
progressive artists in Cuba joined to-
gether to set up the Agrupaci6n de
Pintores y Escultoras Cubanos (Group
of Cuban Painters and Sculptors),
known as the APEC. This association
is aimed at protecting the interests of

artists and obtaining both official and
private support of the plastic arts of
the country.
ARCHITECTURE.-The sweeping Cu-
ban revolution changed not only the
political order of the island but the
habits and tastes of the people as well.
Architects, who throughout the colo-
nial period had derived inspiration
from stone and masonry styles popular
in Spain, especially Andalusia, ab-
ruptly started copying in brick the
wooden structures that were in vogue
in the United States at the turn of the
century. That the results were disas-
trous from the aesthetic point of view
was soon apparent to Cubans them-
selves, who began to experiment with
various foreign styles in an effort to
arrive at one satisfactory to local tastes
and conditions. Architects like Emilio
del Junco, Miguel Gast6n, Rafael de
Cirdenas, Nicolis Arroyo and his wife,
Gabriela Men6ndez, Eduardo Montou-

Cuban Tourist Commission
Habana's Prado is gay at night.

lieu, and Max Borges, Jr., have suc-
ceeded. Theirs is a functional, flexible
style; their homes are as pleasant to
look at as to live in. In artists like
these the country finds designers of
homes and cities that fit in with the
climate, the atmosphere, the country
that is Cuba.
Music.-Two great music traditions
-European and African-met in Cuba
upon terms more or less equal from the
points of view of distribution among
the population and of opportunity to
develop both independently and
through mutual influence. Nearly pure
European survivals are found in city
concert halls and conservatories, and
nearly pure African in some iiaigo
rituals. But what has distinguished the
bulk of the production has been the
mixture of both traditions.
There is a rich oral tradition of folk-
lore, clearly Cuban in character. The
written or fine art of music has always

had moderate support. During the last
three decades, it has undergone an
especially vigorous growth. The world
at large, however, knows Cuban music
chiefly through the popular idiom,
where oral and written, folk and con-
cert traditions blend in many diverse
ways, and European melodic forms are
mixed with the finger-drumming and
other playing of percussion instruments
inherited from Africa.
Service to the church or to the
wealthy (for their entertainment) was
the main occasion for professional mu-
sic during colonial days. In the twen-
tieth century this has given way respec-
tively to the concert-society and the
In his excellent survey, La Misica
en Cuba, Alejo Carpentier traces the
history of professional composition of
music in Cuba from the late baroque
European stlye of Esteban Salas in the
eighteenth century, through the "Cuban

classicism" of Raffelin and Juan Paris,
the "nationalism" of Saumell, the "ro-
manticism" of Espadero to the emer-
gent "cosmopolitanism" of Ignacio
Cervantes, Laureano Fuentes and Gas-
par Villate.
In the 1920's, two remarkable com-
posers appeared-Amadeo Roldin and
A. G. Caturla-both disciples of Pedro
Sanjuin, Spanish composer and teacher
temporarily resident in Havana. Their
brilliant utilization of folk and popular
lore identified them with the "Afro-
Cuban" movemert-a cultural rather
than a political concept.
A second Spanish composer and
teacher, Jos6 Ard6vol, later gathered
together and taught, in the Grupo
Renovaci6n Musical a younger genera-
tion of composers noted less for their
"Cubanism" as defined in non-musical
terms than for their austere devotion to
"universality" in pure musical form.
Among these may be mentioned Julian
Orb6n, Hilario GonzAlez, Harold Gra-

matages, and Edgardo Martin. Inde-
pendent of any group are Carlo Bor-
bolla and Gilverto Valdis.
The folk music of Cuba received very
little scholarly attention until the con-
temporary research of Fernando Ortiz,
Harold Courlander, and Richard A.
Waterman. Authoritative reports are
gradually becoming available, as are a
few scientific recordings.
The history of Cuban popular music
is still for the most part unwritten, al-
though it dates from Teodora Gin6s, a
sixteenth century musician of Santiago,
whose charming La Md Teodora is
popular in modern arrangement. The
Habanera, world-popular early in the
century, is now seldom heard except as
a revival. Better known are the
danz6n, rumba, conga, son, guajira, and
punto. Modern popular composers
heard on radio and disc are Eduardo
Sinchez de Fuentes, Eliseo Grenet, Er-
nesto Lecuona, Gonzalo Roig, Moises
Sim6n, and Jorge Anchermann.


BARBOUR, THOMAS. A Naturalist in Cuba. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 1945. 317 p.
CHAPMAN, CHARLES E. A History of the Cuban Republic; a Study in Hispanic American
Politics. New York: Macmillan. 1927. 685 p.
CLARK, SYDNEY. All the Best in Cuba. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co. 1946. 235 p.
FERGUSSON, ERNA. Cuba. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1946. 308 p.
LANKS, HERBERT CHARLES. Highway Across the West Indies. New York: Appleton-
Century-Crofts, Inc. 1948. 197 p.
ORTIZ, FERNANDO. Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar. New York: Alfred A.
Knopf. 1947. 312 p. Trans. from Spanish by Harriet de Onis.
ROBERTS, W. ADOLPHE. Lands of the Inner Sea: The West Indies and Bermuda. New
York: Coward-McCann. 1948. 301 p. Invitation to Travel Series.
A reading list will be supplied on request to the Columbus Memorial Library, Pan American
Union, Washington 6, D. C.


Secretary General Assistant Secretary General

The Organization of American States is composed of 21 members: Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United
States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
In the words of the Charter of the Organization, the American republics developed
their association "to achieve an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity,
to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity,
and their independence."
Such have been the purposes to which the American republics have devoted their com-
bined efforts since 1890, when the First International Conference of American States, in
session at Washington, created on April 14 the central office that in time became known
as the Pan American Union. April 14 is celebrated each year as Pan American Day.
The Union began by collecting and distributing commercial information about the mem-
ber countries. Each successive Conference increased its duties, until the ways in which it
now furthers cooperation among American nations and individuals are manifold.
Parallel with this expansion was the growth of the American system for preserving peace.
Many boundary disputes inherited from colonial days were settled by arbitration, and
treaties of increasing efficacy were made for the peaceful solution of inter-American
controversies. The Rio de Janeiro treaty, which went into effect in 1948, provides for
safeguarding peace by assuring joint action in case of aggression against an American
republic from any source whatever. It was successfully invoked the same year, resulting
in the peaceful settlement of a controversy between two neighboring countries.
The Ninth International Conference of American States, held at Bogot& in 1948, was
called especially to reorganize, consolidate, and strengthen the inter-American system. In
the Charter signed at Bogot& the American republics gave their association the new name
of the Organization of American States. The Charter sets forth the principles and pur-
poses that the experience of sixty years has taught them are good: and it defines the
agencies by which these purposes are to be put into effect. Thus all activities of the
Organization, political, economic, and cultural, are bound into a coordinated whole.
The Council of the Organization of American States meets in permanent session at
Washington to forward the Organization's work between conferences. On this Council
every republic is represented by one member, each with equal voice and vote. The Pan
American Union is the central office, or secretariat, of the Organization. Within the
United Nations, the Organization of American States is a regional agency.
Through persevering effort the American republics have succeeded, in spite of many
setbacks, in gradually building an international system in which peace, justice, fair dealing,
and cooperation are the guiding principles.
For more detailed information concerning the Organization of American States, address
the Pan American Union, Washington 6, D. C.


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