CASTRO, FIDEL

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CASTRO, FIDEL - Castro Strikes Back at Batista Loyalists Just Months After Assuming Power: 'The Provisional Revolutionary Government is obligated... to ensure the quick reintegration of said illegally obtained goods and assets to the National Patr
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CASTRO, FIDEL - Castro Strikes Back at Batista Loyalists Just Months After Assuming Power: 'The Provisional Revolutionary Government is obligated... to ensure the quick reintegration of said illegally obtained goods and assets to the National Patr

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CASTRO, FIDEL. (b.1926). Cuban revolutionary and communist leader. Historic DS. (“Fidel Castro R[uz]” and initialed “F.C.” five times). 6pp. Small folio. Havana, July 7, 1959. Countersigned by the Minister of Misappropriated Asset Recovery, FAUSTINO PEREZ (“Faustino Perez” and initialed “F. Perez” five times, 1920-1992). To Cuban President MANUEL URRUTIA Y LLEO (1901-1981). In Spanish with a partial translation.

 

…the Fundamental Law prohibits the confiscation of chattel and real estate, but authorizes the confiscation of those of The Tyrant… and his collaborators, be they natural persons or legal entities responsible for crimes committed against the National Economy and the Public Finance and those that have illegally enriched themselves under the protection of the Public Power...

 

The investigations conducted by the Ministry of Recovery of Misappropriated Goods and by the Ministry of Public Works…have evidenced that diverse natural persons who have maintained ostensible ties directly or indirectly with The Tyranny and have been protected by said relations and have received protection that the Usurper Power granted them, constituted numerous corporations through which they obtained public contracts for public works and public services and conspired with the corresponding officials, monopolized the major part of the public works projects realized during the tenure of the disastrous regime, through prices so excessive and with profit margins so fraudulent that the works constituted situations which are considered scandalous and which transcended public knowledge...

 

The Provisional Revolutionary Government is obligated not only to ensure the quick reintegration of said illegally obtained goods and assets to the National Patrimony, but also to impose the corresponding legislative sanctions on those who directly or through corporate entities did profit and gain so scandalously through the protection of the Tyranny that governed through terror and crime...

 

The Cuban State has available the right to confiscate and adjudicate all of the goods which constitute the Patrimony…related to the previous article….the dissolution of the corporations and companies will be registered in the Registry of companies and businesses…the Ministry of Public Works will proceed to occupy and utilize said equipment for public works projects….It is declared that all Public Works contracts are hereby rescinded.

 

Fidel Castro’s political activities began while studying law at the University of Havana in 1945, where he developed an anti-imperialist philosophy and joined the University Committee for the Independence of Puerto Rico as well as the Committee for Democracy in the Dominican Republic. The following year, his criticism of Cuban President Ramón Grau landed him on the front page of several Cuban newspapers. In 1947, increasingly drawn to the socialist cause, he joined the newly formed Partido del Pueblo Cubano orParty of the Cuban People, which was highly critical of government corruption. Following death threats from Grau’s supporters, he began to cultivate a group of armed associates. His involvement in anti-Grau and anti-imperialist protests continued despite the constant threat of arrest and physical danger. Notwithstanding pressure to leave the university, Castro completed his studies in 1950, becoming a lawyer and providing legal aid to Havana’s poor. Three years later, on July 26, 1953, Castro, his brother Raul and other rebels attacked the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba, touching off the Cuban Revolution that eventually brought him to power.

 

Although the Castro brothers were captured and imprisoned, Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista released them in 1955 when he relented to international pressure to free political prisoners. The rebels fled to Mexico and from 1956 to 1959, they waged a guerrilla war against Batista’s army, reportedly with limited support from local CIA station chief, Bill Patterson. On January 1, 1959, Batista fled in the wake of rebel victories, and Castro assumed the role of Cuba’s prime minister on February 16, 1959. On January 7, the United States officially recognized the new Cuban government, but immediately thereafter, the first of 550 of Batista’s associates were arrested, tried and executed by Castro.

 

Almost immediately, Castro’s government created the Ministerio de Recuperación de Bienes Malversados (Ministry for the Recovery of Misappropriated Assets), charged with carrying out the Agrarian Reform Law of May 17, 1959. Under the new law, private property, including farms and businesses, was appropriated by the state. Within the year, the new regime had nationalized private property valued at more than $25 billion (including Castro’s own family plantation). The nationalization of all foreign-owned property in August 1960 led to the United States’ support of a counter-revolutionary insurgency, culminating in the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion (conceived under the Eisenhower administration and approved by Kennedy). It was followed by the imposition of a full diplomatic and commercial embargo on Cuba in 1963 as Castro’s true dictatorial intentions became clearer.

 

Our document authorizes the confiscation of property belonging to Batista – referred to as The Tyrant and the Usurper Power – and his collaborators. Included is a list of 107 companies, including casinos, construction companies, real estate agencies, airlines, architectural firms, manufacturers, and import/export businesses. During his dictatorship, Batista provided incentives for U.S. investment in Cuban construction projects, most notably the many hotels and casinos built by American mobster Meyer Lansky with his associates Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel. In exchange for cash and other favors, Batista relaxed gaming laws and provided government dollars that helped Havana grow into a gambling center that made Batista, Lansky and their associates immensely rich at the expense of ordinary Cubans. This pervasive corruption fuelled the Castro-led revolution and it is the aftermath of these business ventures that is detailed in our document.

 

Perez, a guerilla fighter in Castro’s July 26 Movement, became a doctor after the revolution but served in various governmental positions. Urrutia began his career as a lawyer and was a leader in the resistance against Batista. After the revolution, he was selected as the July 26 Movement’s choice for president, with hopes that he would be given legitimacy by the United States. However, after a mere six months in office, Urrutia clashed with Castro, and resigned his post nine days after signing this document, subsequently immigrating to the U.S. 

 

File holes in the left margin. Bearing the blind-embossed seal of the Republic of Cuba on each page and the blue paper seal of Cuba on the last page. In fine condition. A rare and historic document from the tragic beginning of present day Cuba’s history. Extremely rare in this format.

 

Item #18440  

 

 


This autograph will be auctioned live on May 23, 2018. For more information and to place your bid click the "BID NOW!" button above.
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