CUBA: The Reluctant Democrat

By order of President Fulgencio Batista, Cuba prepared this week to take a turn toward democracy. The suspensions of constitutional guarantees that have deprived Cubans of freedom of speech, press, assembly and habeas corpus for virtually the entire 14 months of Fidel Castro's rebellion lapse this week, and Batista's Cabinet announced they would not be reimposed. Instead, all Cuba except rebel-ridden Oriente province is to retrieve its freedom, and even Oriente will recover one constitutional right—free assembly.

The reason was simple political necessity, not any miraculous conversion to democracy. The Cuban constitution required a regular presidential election; prevailing public opinion held...

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