The Hemisphere: THE LONG, SAD HISTORY OF LAND REFORM

THIS means the great landed estates will be broken up throughout Latin America," said a top U.S. sugar broker last week, as Fidel Castro signed his agrarian reform decree. The Castro bill quickened Latin America's deep yearning to reap a better living from underdeveloped land. The Venezuelan Cabinet, for example, moved ahead with a land reform bill of its own.

The basic facts of Latin American land tenure are stark. Less than 5% of Latin America's 8,000,000 square miles is under cultivation, although two-thirds of the 190 million people live from agriculture. Population density is only 24 to the square mile (v....

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