309. Telegram From the Embassy in Cuba to the Department of State 1

1425. Representatives of 30 of the 34 US sugar mills in Cuba and representing 34.68 percent of 1958 Cuban sugar crop, have visited Embassy discuss effects Agrarian reform law on their individual companies. While all agree effect will vary company to company, all deeply concerned (1) about alleged adverse effect law will have on their interests and on Cuba’s overall economy; (2) that net result will be a substantial loss production sugar next few years; (3) that above is certain without stand-by administration cases to meet increased demand for sugar or to compensate for failure in Colono productions; (4) gloomy outlook for a prompt, just and cash compensation as previously provided in Cuba’s constitution of 1940; (5) general feeling that Cuban mill-owners and Colono current protest to Castro will be useless; (6) real fear that in addition to provisions present law future regulations and interpretations thereof by present Leftist Directorate may become so onerous as to be real confiscation rather than a just [Page 512] expropriation; (7) what effects drastic application of law here will have on US sugar legislation. Each individual presenting case in writing which when received will be forwarded Department.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 837.16/5–2359. Official Use Only; Priority.