CUBA: Patience Sorely Tried

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What the U.S. will do is insist—through the OAS, the U.N., the World Court—on just treatment for U.S. citizens and property in Cuba. There is plenty to insist about. Last week confiscatory taxes forced Freeport Nickel Co. to halt construction on its $119 million Moa Bay nickel mine, a project that would have employed 1,000 Cuban workers fulltime and poured some $4,000,000 a year into Cuba in the form of wages, salaries and local expenditures. Freeport thus joins dozens of other firms that have been harried by sanctions or intervention. Among them: Otis Elevator, Abbott Laboratories, International Telephone & Telegraph, Bethlehem Steel.

The virtue of the U.S. policy of forbearance is that it demonstrates once again that the days of unilateral U.S. intervention in the affairs of its smaller Latin neighbors are past. The U.S. has earned much good will by its patience. But there comes a time when a nation must win respect, as well as good will, if it intends to be a leader. That time had not yet arrived, as the U.S. made clear last week. Yet patience was wearing thin. Said Secretary of State Herter: "Circumstances might arise which would require us to break off relations. I hope those circumstances never arise."

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