CUBA: The Case of the Colonos

The U.S. needed Cuba's sugar and would pay for it. Since July, the U.S. had boosted the price about 20% *—something like $30,000,000 in Cuban pockets. Then President Ramón Grau San Martin announced that his Government would take the increase, use it to subsidize food imports so that Cubans might get their rice, beans and jerked beef cheaper.

To sixty-year-old Nicolás Rodriguez Díaz, on his farm in western Cuba, and to some 50,000 colonos (sugar planters) like him, it was startling news. At the cockfight in town, and over a glass of country wine in the bodega afterward, he and fellow...

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