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and private holdings. By the time all American properties had been seized, the total amount had come to some $2 billion, according to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission and the Department of Commerce, which have carefully studied all of the claims filed by U.S. citizens and corporations. Relations with the United States became increasingly strained and, on January 3, 1961, diplomatic relations were formally severed.

Three months later the United States supported an ill-conceived invasion of Cuba by refugee groups. The Bay of Pigs invasion was an unbelievable military disaster and, in aiding this ill-fated undertaking, the United States was guilty of indirect intervention and of violating article 15 of the OAS Charter.

In January 1962, the Western Hemisphere foreign ministers, meeting at Punta del Este, Uruguay, adopted a strong anticommunist declaration and, by the required two-thirds vote, excluded Cuba from the Organization of American States. This represented another attempt to isolate the Cuban Government from the inter-American system with a view toward bringing the Castro regime to its knees.

Following the Cuban missile crisis of October 1964, President Kennedy proclaimed a blockade against the shipment of all offensive weapons to Cuba, a move which was actively supported by most of the Latin American states. The final major effort to fatally cripple the Castro government was taken by the OAS foreign ministers meeting in Washington during July 1964. At this gathering Cuba was declared guilty of aggression against Venezuela and the foreign ministers, by a 15-to-4 vote, recommended the severance of all diplomatic relations and the suspension of trade and sea transportation. Thus, by the end of 1964 all of the Western Hemisphere republics, with the exception of Mexico, had taken steps to economically and politically isolate Castro's Cuba.

In addition to action taken in concert with our Latin neighbors, the United States also took a number of legislative and executive steps on its own to destabilize the Cuban economy and thereby bring about Castro's fall. Included in these measures were an embargo on all trade with Cuba; the virtual prohibition of all financial and commercial transactions with Cuba; and the suspension of Cuba's mostfavored-nation and preferential tariff status. The July 29, 1975, San José decision, to permit each of the member nations of the OAS to resume relations with Cuba notwithstanding, these restrictions remain in effect.

The embargo against Cuba was originally conceived as a way of undermining the economic viability and political durability of the Castro regime. Thirteen years after it was initially imposed, however, it seems safe to say that, from both an economic and political point of view, the desired effects have not been achieved.

The failure of the embargo to economically undermine the Castro government can be seen in the fact that there has been a significant rise in Cuba's GNP during the era of the embargo, from $2.7 billion in 1961 to an estimated $6.1 billion in 1974. In the period since the beginning of the revolution, Cuba's output of goods and services has tripled to an annual rate of almost $1,000 per capita, approaching that of Venezuela. In addition, Cuba's foreign trade also rose by 60 percent, from 1.733 billion pesos (1 peso equals $1.21) in 1964 to 2.541 billion pesos in 1973.


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Furthermore, an increasing amount of Cuba's foreign trade is with nonsocialist states and, last year, Cuba had a foreign trade surplus for the first time since the 1959 revolution. Testimony before congressional subcommittees reveals that Cuban trade with such countries as Canada, West Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan is steadily increasing. In one 4-year period alone Japanese exports to Cuba increased by more than six times. Furthermore, Cuba has received almost $3 billion in credits from nonsocialist countries.

From a political point of view, the embargo has also been a monumental failure. After 16 years under the leadership of Fidel Castro, it would appear that the Cuban Revolution is here to stay. The impressive social and economic progress which has been made since 1959 seems to have won the loyalty of the vast majority of the Cuban people. Based on my visit to Cuba and on my prior studies, I believe that most Cuban citizens are much better off socially and economically than they were before the revolution. They have, to be sure, paid a heavy price for these achievements in terms of the imposition of totalitarian political controls. But in view of the fact that those who were most likely to oppose the regime went into exile, it seems safe to say that those who remain by and large support the revolution. There seems to be a basic philosophy binding the Cuban people together something akin to the frontier spirit of the American West or the sense of oneness which brought Americans together during the Great Depression-and there is a great will to succeed against outside obstacles. Surely this is greatly aided by the absence of enormous gaps in the wealth and poverty of the Cuban people such as existed prior to the revolution. It is, therefore, most unlikely that Cuba will be starved into submission and the Cubans take pride in the fact that, through their struggle and sacrifice, they have been able to ride out the U.S. embargo and the political and economic ostracism imposed against them by the United States and the OAS.

In a variety of different ways the revolution has managed to promulgate programs which have effectively eliminated many of the inequities that once characterized the Cuban economic and social structure.


Important advances, for example, are being made in agriculture. Through the agrarian reform laws enacted after the revolution and a massive readjustment in land tenure over the past 16 years, we were told agricultural production is steadily increasing for almost every commodity. Prior to 1959, 70 percent of the arable land was in the hands of only 7 percent of the population. Today, after the enactment of the second agrarian reform law in 1963, 187,000 peasant families now own their own land, equaling 30 percent of the nation's arable land. Prior to the revolution there were only about 8,000 tractors in Cuba; today there are more than 52,000-the majority of which are of Soviet manufacture. In 1959 there were 20,000 hectares of land devoted to citrus fruit production. At the present time there are 100,000 hectares for such purpose and, by 1980, INRA estimates that 200,000 hectares will be used for citrus fruit production-a valuable commodity for Cuba's foreign trade.

Advanced agricultural techniques are being employed as is the use of fertilizers. Farm life is increasingly mechanized and, during the last

harvest, 25 percent of the sugar cane was mechanically cut. INRA's planners expect that, by 1980, 60 percent of the cane will be cut and transported by machines. At the Agrupacion Genetica Matanzas, an experimental farm in Matanzas Province, I saw a new breed of cattle being developed through the crossbreeding of a Holstein with the Cebu. The farm's director, José Llanuza Gobel, anticipates that this will result not only in a sturdier breed and one more adapted to the Cuban climate but also one which will produce more milk.


In 1958, prior to the revolution, there were 800,000 schoolchildren at all levels. Today this figure is 3 million. Since 1970 some 380 boarding schools, for 500 students each, have been constructed, with a total capacity of 190,000 students. The Cuban Government hopes to build an additional capacity of 80,000. Fifty percent of the children in the mid-level-grades 7 to 13-are in boarding schools.

At the Escuela Vocacional Lenin in Havana we saw a modern and very advanced school for 4,500 boarding students from the 7th to 13th grades. This is one of a number of such schools throughout the country which select only the most qualified applicants for preuniversity training. Although the school tries to develop the students' professional goals, it also strives to give them well-rounded educations by including courses in the arts. Each student studies both Russian and English and they must know how to operate a third generation computer. The typical school day runs from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and, in addition to their academic studies, each student works 3 hours daily in a factory near the school, such as one which assembles radios and computers. The children receive all for free-texts, shoes, clothes, meals, recreational and athletic activities, and transportation. One hundred percent of the graduates go on to college and the Ministry of Education plans to develop a boarding school of a similar nature for 500 students in each 500 hectares in the country.


The shortage of adequate housing continues to be a problem in Cuba. We were told, for example, that young married couples usually move in with family or friends for the first couple of years of their marriage until housing becomes available.

Nevertheless, advances are being made. Throughout our journey we saw nothing which could be described as a slum and the amount of new housing construction is considerable. The Alamar housing project outside of Havana is a prime example of the efforts being made to cope with Cuba's housing shortage. Started in 1971, 167 buildingscomprising 4,600 housing units have been completed. Twenty thousand persons now live in Alamar and when completed in 1985 there will be 150,000. There will be seven day-care centers for children from the ages of 45 days to 5 years; seven semiboarding schools-five for 900 students and two for 1,200; three markets and commercial centers (barber shops, beauty parlors, pharmacies, etc.); a textile factory employing 300 women and a policlinic with a capacity to care for 30,000 people.

A branch of the University of Havana will be located at Alamar and the students will work 1 day and study the other, primarily in the fields of civil engineering and architecture.

The apartments are bright, open and very pleasant. We visited the two-bedroom apartment of a family of four which had previously lived in just one room. The cost of their apartment is $2,000 pesos which is paid for by having the State deduct 6 percent of the husband's salary each month until the total is reached at which time no further payment is required.

In addition to the light industry and the commercial centers, policlinics, and day-care centers, Alamar will eventually have very extensive athletic facilities for the residents. This is not just the large pool such as you have at apartment complexes in suburban Virginia and Maryland but basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, tracks, baseball diamonds, and soccer fields. Alamar is just one of 24 such housing projects, of varying sizes, which are to be constructed in the Province of Havana.


Prior to the 1959 revolution there were 22,000 hospital beds as compared to the 44,000 now available. In the same period there were 6,000 physicians for 6 million inhabitants and now there are 10,000 physicians for 10 million Cubans a particularly impressive figure considering the fact that about one-half of the country's physicians fled after the revolution. The average citizen makes 4 visits to a doctor each year and by 1985 the Ministry of Health anticipates this figure will rise to 6 visits, or 60 million total visits for the entire nation. Polio, malaria, diphtheria, and infantile tuberculosis have been eliminated. Infant mortality was 60 to 65 per 1,000 before the revolution and is now 28 per 1,000. In 1959, school age mortality was 5 per 1,000 and in 1974 the figure had dropped to 0.5 per 1,000 children.

Health care in Cuba is free to everyone, regardless of the nature of the assistance to be provided or the illness. Throughout the country there are a series of policlinics-equivalent to health maintenance centers in the United States-which provide a wide range of services, from general practitioners to psychiatrists. Quality medical training is being provided to make up the deficit for the loss of Cuba's physicians after the revolution. Modern equipment-much of it of Eastern European manufacture-is being installed in the policlinics and other medical facilities.

One of the most impressive institutions which we visited was the Hospital Psiquiátrico de la Habana. Not only have tremendous physical improvements been made at this mental institution over the past 15 years but, even more importantly, a very progressive program has been developed at the hospital for the care and treatment of the patients. The hospital's director, Dr. Eduardo B. Ordaz, has dedicated himself to the welfare of his patients and to helping them to become independent, self-assured and productive members of Cuban society. Although established in 1853-and some of the original hospital buildings still exist-the dormitories, dining facilities, commissary, workshops, and medical facilities are modern, bright and very pleasant. After visiting the hospital in May, Senator George McGovern reported that it would compare favorably with first rate psychiatric facilities in this country. I must say in all candor, however, that it is

much better than a number of similar facilities which I have visited over the past several years in New York.

The Havana Psychiatric Hospital is not just a storage facility in which patients are warehoused and ignored. The really unique feature of the hospital is that it takes those chronically ill patients who have been rejected by everyone else and works with them to help them return to society. It is an active therapy center in which the vast majority of patients are employed-and paid a wage-in making shoes, building furniture and toys, painting, maintaining the hospital grounds as well as a large park in another part of Havana, serving in various administrative jobs and so on. The therapy makes every attempt to minimize the distinction between patients and the rest of society and it is difficult to distinguish between patients and staff. Occupational therapy is widely used and a patient gradually progresses through the rehabilitation program until he is released.

I was quite moved by my visit to the hospital and believe that persons involved with mental health in the United States could learn a great deal from the facility. Shortly after my return to Washington, I contacted the National Association for Mental Health and the New York State Commissioner of Mental Hygiene and proposed that a group of American professionals in the mental health field undertake a visit to the hospital. Dr. Ordaz and the Ministry of Health would welcome such a visit and my office will lend full assistance to any mental health professionals interested in making the journey.


The foregoing are offered as concrete examples of the important progress which the Cuban economy and society have made since 1959 and in more than a decade of sacrifice necessitated by the embargo imposed by the United States. Clearly the Cuban people are better fed, better housed, better clothed, better educated, and are healthier than before the revolution or the imposition of the blockade. There is no unemployment, very little crime, and no drug problem. During a visit which I made to Cuba as a journalist in 1964 I noticed large numbers of soldiers on almost every corner armed with rifles and machine guns. Now one hardly sees any military personnel or police.

Not only have we failed to cripple the Cuban Government and bring the Castro regime to its knees but it is truly anachronistic for us to maintain an embargo against a nation only 90 miles away while, at the same time, resuming diplomatic and economic relations with the People's Republic of China which is 9,000 miles away. Furthermore, in view of the fact that the embargo has been lifted on thirdcountry subsidiaries of American firms at a time when there is substantial unemployment in the United States, it seems rather incongrous to have foreign workers producing cars for Cuba when thousands of auto workers in Michigan, Ohio, and New York are out of work. In essence, the original justification for the embargo is no longer valid and prompt and affirmative action should be taken to remove it. The fact is that it is the United States, not Cuba, which is being isolated by the imposition of these sanctions.

Presumably, the original justification for the embargo was to destabilize Cuba both economically and politically. Whatever else the embargo may have produced, it has clearly not resulted in the

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