Sunday, July 22, 2018

CUBA 1960 Chronology: Year of Agrarian Reform"

Below you will find a chronology of events in 1960 in Cuba. Although the information is significant, the importance is the way that events unfolded. This chronology has not been published before. I am the sole author of this document. Please do not use without attribution [write to me]. I hope you find the information useful.
CUBA 1960 Chronology: Year of Agrarian Reform"
Jan 1 - Fidel Castro led a group of students in climbing the Sierra Maestra mountains to "renovate" the energies of the revolutionary movement, and to "begin" a new revolutionary struggle: that of agrarian reform."
The Peoples' Republic of China, expresses its "solidarity" with the Cuban government.
Jan. 6 - Fidel Castro states that one can be a Catholic and a
revolutionary and that counter-revolutionary views should not be permitted to hide behind religion.
Jan. 10 - State Department protests the takeover of some American companies without "adequate" cash compensation.
Jan. 11 - the Cuban government rejects the State Department's diplomatic note "because it lacked seriousness." In January i960, the Cuban NET GOLD RESERVES amounted to only $49.4 million dollars. Thus, even if the Cuban government wanted to pay cash compensation it could not afford to do so.
Jan. l4 - Vice-president Nixon declares that "Cuba will have to pay cash compensation or face the consequences."
Jan. 18 - Fidel Castro calls Vice President Nixon's statement "insolent and threatening."
Jan. 19 US Ambassador Philip Bonsal is recalled to Washington, D.C.
Jan. 20 - the US Secretary of State calls Castro's speech of Jan. 18 "insulting".
Jan. 21 - Fidel orders the Ambassador of Spain to leave the country immediate­ly after the ambassador stated over a TV program that the communists were attempting to destroy 'democracy' and 'Christianity' in Cuba.
Jan. 21 - The Soviet press agency Tass established a news agreement with Prensa Latina; each side provides would provide news analysis to the other, thus challenging the monopoly exercised by UPI and AP.
Jan. 22 The US ambassador to Cuba, the US President and members of the State Department discuss American policy toward Cuba.
Jan. 26 - The State Department issued a statement on US policy towards Cuba. It said the following: 1) the US adheres to the policy of NONINTERVEN­TION 2) The US does not approve of illegal acts originating in US territory against Cuba 3) The US views "with increasing concern" the speeches by Cuban authorities which create the "ILLUSION OF AGGRESSION" which does not facilitate good relations 4) The US government "recognizes the right of Cuba to pass any laws it deems necessary but believes Cuba is obligated to pay adequate, prompt, cash compensation" to foreigners.
Jan. 28 President Dwight Eisenhower states in public: " I should like only to add that the U.S. Government has confidence IN THE ABILITY OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE to recognize and defeat the intrigues of international communism in Cuba and the traditional and mutually beneficial friendship between the Cuban and American people."
Jan. 28 - Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticós declares that both sides (the governments of the U.S. and Cuba) have made mistakes and that Cuba is willing to negotiate all matters dealing with the U.S." The U.S. government did NOT reply to the Cuban initiative.
Jan. 28 Five sugar mills were burned in Camaguey province by counterrevolutionaries. Three sugar mills were burned in Oriente province.
Jan. 30 12,500 tons of sugar cane were burned as a US plane dropped white phosphorous on the fields.
Feb. 4 - Anastas Mikoyan Soviet Deputy Premier, arrived in Cuba heading a Russian industrial exposition which has traveled throughout the US and Mexico.
Feb. 5 The US government declined a Brazilian offer to mediate between Cuba and U.S.
Feb. 5 - US President asked the US Congress for special powers to cut the sugar quota to Cuba.
Feb. 6 - Fidel Castro opened the Soviet Industrial Exposition by noting the "great achievements" of the U.S.S.R.
Feb. 13 The Cuban government signed a trade agreement with the Soviet Union.
Feb. 14 President Eisenhower declared that the trade agreement with the Soviets could be interpreted as a Russian invasion of the US sphere of influence and a challenge to "hemispheric security"
Feb. 18 American citizen Robert E Forst died when flying an airplane that exploded in mid-air while going over Cuban territory (without permission).
Feb 20 Cuba government signed a commercial agreement with East Germany.
Feb. 22 - Cuban Foreign Minister personally delivered a diplomatic note to Washington expressing interest to renew conversations.
Feb. 23 - Fidel Castro in a speech calls on the United States government to abstain from any unilateral action that might destroy the relations between both nations. The State Department declares " it will negotiate but "without any conditions. That is, the US government would not agree on cutting the sugar quota or abstaining from cutting it. To the Cubans, this meant that the U.S. planned to cut the sugar quota.
March 4 Explosion of the- munitions ship La Coubre in Havana harbor, causing 70 deaths, over 2-- wounded.
All radio and television stations create a network to transmit all major government acts and speeches.
March 6 - Fidel Castro declared that it was possible that the CIA was behind the La Coubre explo­sion as a way of stopping Cuba from arming itself against any invasion.
March 7 - The US State Department publicly calls Castro's allegations "shocking and without foundations."
Mar. 9 The Havana liberal newspaper El Mundo was confiscated by the government.
March 11 US citizen arrested at Havana airport attempting to hijack an airplane
March 13 - Fidel Castro sent a diplomatic message to the State Department saying that Cuba had no proof of American sabotage, but that Cuba had the "right to wonder whether those who want to destroy our revolution by economic means will stop short of other means."
March 14 The State Department declared in a position paper that the Cuban revolution seemed to have moved closer to communism. [At the time the Central Intelligence Agency had reports that contradicted the State Department]
March 16 - Law No. 757 established the Junta Central de Planificación (JUCEPLAN) with the mission to plan the economic development of the island.
March 17 THE U.S. PRESIDENT TELLS THE CIA TO BEGIN THE TRAINING OF CUBAN EXILES IN ORDER TO OVERTHROW CASTRO. [Note: the training of exiles actually began, at least, one month earlier]
March 18 - Brazil's government offers to mediate. The U.S. government turned down the offer again.
Mar. 19 - US Ambassador Philip Bonsal again returns to Cuba after having participated in discussions to plan the creation of an exile military force to invade the island.
March 21 - US Secretary of State at a press conference asserts that the Cuban government was dominated by Communist sympathizers.
March 22 H.L. Runoquist and Wm. Skergalen died after their small planes were shot in Cuban airspace. The two were involved in sabotaging sugar mills.
March 25 - Cuba protests the charges made by the Secretary of State (Two days previously the State Department announced that a new agency had been set up to control air flights of small planes in the southern US. But information had to be provided on a voluntary basis. Airplane sabotage from
US territory continued.)
March 27 - An elementary school for 800 students is established in the Sierra Maestra in memory of Jose A. Antonio Echeverria (who died on March 13, 1957, during the attack of the Presidential Palace).
March 31 Cuban government signed a commercial agreement with Poland.
April 8 In a letter to the Federation of Chilean University students, President Eisenhower accused Fidel Castro of BETRAYING THE IDEALS OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION.
Apr. 9 Fidel Castro stated at a press conference that the American president, a reactionary, has no right whatever to judge the Cuban revolution for that is an internal matter that concerns only Cubans.
Apr. 18 Nicaragua government breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba. [At the time the CIA began preparations for the training of Cuban exiles there].
Apr. 19 President Osvaldo Dorticós refutes President Eisenhower and asks him why he was not concerned with the destiny of Cuba when Batista ruled as a ruthless dictator. "Where was Mr. Eisenhower when napalm was dropped on
Cuban peasants? Where was Mr. Eisenhower when the press was not allowed to express its views?" Dorticos denounced the US government for putting pressure on Cuba in order to defeat the country's hopes for social justice.
The first Soviet oil tanker arrived to Havana.
Apr. 20 The State Department in a public statement called the Cuban government a "dictatorship."
Apr. 21 Fidel Castro answered the State Department by noting that almost everyone on the island supported the government and that the problem was that the U.S. government only represented the interests of the minority: "To
them, democracy is to respect the interests of a minority. Dictatorship, to them, is to defend the needs and demands of the majority of the people."
Apr. 22 Honduras broke relations with Cuba.
Apr. 25 The Cuban Foreign Minister charges that the CIA HAS BEGUN THE TRAINING OF EXILES IN GUATEMALA. (This was true.)
Establishment of the Banco de Comercio Exterior which becomes the only exporter and importer of goods. The state begins to control foreign trade.
Apr. 28 - Guatemalan government denied any military training was taking place and ended diplomatic relations with Cuba. [The Guatemalan government lied].
May 1 Fidel Castro charged the US government with recruiting counterrevolutionaries to overthrow the revolutionary government. At the time the CIA had organized, funded and coordinated the Frente Revolucionario Democratico en el Exilio - made up of 5 exile groups: the Movimiento de
Recuperación Revolucionario (middle class, Havana based, Catholic); Rescate Revolucionario (some old Autánticos); Democratico Cubano (small Christian demo­cratic group, young); the Asociacion Montecristi (anti-communist
a profession­al group, closely connected to the Autánticos); and the Frente Nacional Triple A and the CIA (a split-off from the Autánticos). [Note: The old Ortodoxos were not as involved in this effort].
May 5 The headquarters of the University Students Federation at the University of Habana was blown up by a huge bomb placed by counter-revolutionaries.
May 6 - Jacques Monard [Ramón Mercader - a Spaniard] - the man who killed Leon Trotsky in Mexico, arrived in Havana after more than 20 years in prison. the Mexican President, Adolfo Lopez Mateos, at the time, was a CIA asset.
May 8 Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USSR were formally established.
May 12 Ernest Duke, American pilot, shot over the city of Havana as he was dropping incendiary bombs.
May 13 The workers of the pro-Francisco Franco newspaper Diario de la Marina refuse to print the newspaper after an editorial openly supported the US position against the revolutionary regime. The 100 years old Spanish conservative newspaper was closed. Its facilities were to be used to print literary classics and children's books. The paper was symbolically "buried" by thousands of Cubans. In 1895 the paper celebrated the death of José Martí.
May 16 Cuba and Czechoslovakia established diplomatic relations. The same day the Catholic Church in Havana issued a pastoral letter declaring that communism was at "doorstep." [Meaning the doorstep of the United States].
May 28 - All economic and military aid to Cuba was cancelled by the U .S. government.
June 1- First Cuban delegation arrived in Moscow. The USSR announces the selling of oil to Cuba.
June 6- Foreign oil companies in the island informed the Cuban government that they do not intend to refine Soviet crude oil.
June 6 The U.S. State Department again called the Cuban revolution "communist."
June 6- Paraguay broke diplomatic relations with Cuba.
June 9 - Fidel Castro declared in a speech that the U.S. government was "paving the way for a military invasion by calling the revolution 'communist."
June 11- Cuban government orders foreign oil refineries to process state oil purchased from the USSR. (A clarification note: On May 17 the National Bank of Cuba, run by Che Guevara at the time, sent each US oil company in
Cuba a letter. The letter informed them that the trade agreement reached with the Russians involved the exchange of Cuban sugar for Russian crude oil. The letter went on to state that the US refineries in Cuba could still buy some of their supplies abroad but that 300,000 tons of Russian crude oil would be furnished to them since it would save Cuban capital. In other words, oil refineries had to BUY some oil from the Cuban state at the CHEAPER rate than what they paid to their own subsidiaries. But by June 11, the companies REFUSED to refine the crude oil.
June 15 Two FBI agents and US embassy employees were arrested at a private home accused of conspiring against the Cuban government. All were declared persona non grata and sent to the United States.
June 27- Fidel Castro at a speech states that "whomever 1s anti-communist is, by definition, a counterrevolutionary."
June 28 U.S. refineries in Cuba were asked to refine the Soviet oil and once again refused to do so.
July 1 - The Cuban State "intervenes" all US and British oil refineries. ('Intervention" is NOT confiscation. It means that the state takes over the administrative aspect of the enterprise but the company remains private. The profits still go the private owners.)
July 5 - THE U.S. PRESIDENT CUTS THE QUOTA OF SUGAR ALLOTED TO CUBA FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR. That is, Cuba can not sell 700,000 tons of sugar to the
United States.
José Miró Cardona, former Prime Minister of the revolutionary government, seeks asylum in the Argentine Embassy.
July 6 - Cuban government issued Nationalization Law, giving the Cuban state the power to take over all foreign, including American assets.
July 8 - Fidel Castro calls the cutting the sugar quota an act of "economic aggression. " He promised that the revolutionary regime would take over all US property on the island if Cuba permanently lost its share of the quota.
July 9 - the USSR agrees to buy whatever Cuban sugar the U. S. refused to buy.
July 10 - At a mass meeting outside the Presidential Palace, Che Guevara thanks the USSR and declares that "Cuba is a glorious island in the center of the Caribbean, defended the rockets of the greatest power in history."
July 17 - Havana Cathedral holds mass "to remember all the victims of communism."
July 25 First commercial treaty between China and Cuba was signed.
July 26 - Fidel Castro states that the Andes will be the future Sierra Maestra of Latin America. He states that the conditions for social revolution are also present in Latin America.
July 30 - The First Latin American Youth Congress held in Havana. Student activists from the hemisphere met in the island.
August 6 - Cuban government nationalized 36 sugar mills, the Telephone Company, all property of US capital. These properties amounted to $800 million.
August 7 - Catholic Church issues another pastoral letter denouncing communism Cuba.
Aug. 15 - The Organization of American States at a meeting in Costa Rica issues a declaration condemning Cuba for its radicalism, the takeover of foreign property and charged that Cuba was controlled by international communism. The statement was prepared by the United States government.
Aug. 16 Cuba celebrates the anniversary of the death of Eduardo Chibás.
Aug. 17 - Arrival of first Soviet Ambassador to Cuba.
September 2 - The Cuban revolutionary government calls the biggest rally ever held in the country. The rally is in answer to the OAS declaration. The Cuban revolutionaries issue a counter document, known as the First Declaration of Havana.
September 3 - The government of Taiwan broke relations with Cuba as Havana established formal diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.
September 4 - Cuban government withdrew from the Inter-American Defense Treaty and also from the Military Pact it had with the United States.
September 8 - Three US embassy personnel are declared persona non grata for engaging in counter-revolutionary activities and expelled.
Sept. 14 - Fidel Castro arrived in New York to attend the 15th Assembly of the United Nations. There he denounces the US for preparing a military invasion of Cuba. The US delegate denied the charges.
Sept. 15 - Cuban private corporations began a lockout/boycott of the government, hoping to overthrow it. But the government confiscates their holdings instead.
Sept. 16 - Cuba and Hungary established diplomatic relations.
Sept. 17 - All U.S. banks are nationalized in Cuba.
Sept. 18 - Ernesto Che Guevara announced that Cuba has received weapons from Czechoslovakia.
Sept. 26 - Fidel Castro delivers an historic speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations. He enumerated all the economic and military aggressions committed against Cuba since 1959. He also defined his political and social program, announcing that by 1961 Cuba will eradicate illiteracy. He demanded US withdrawal from Guantanamo Base and urged the US government to leave behind it the "philosophy of war and plunder."
The same day Soviet weapons began to arrive in Cuba.
Sept. 28 - Fidel Castro returns to Havana and gives a speech about his trip to the U.N. While he speaks at Revolution Square [Plaza de la Revolución], several bombs explode. The idea occurs to him during the speech to create some institution to defend the revolution against the reactionaries, so the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution are formed. [Note a similar measure was taken by the French revolutionaries under Maximilien Robespierre in 1791]
October 6 - Four US citizens apparently working for the Us government landed in the north coast of Cuba and were captured and imprisoned.
Oct. 7 - Cuba and Bulgaria established commercial relations.
Oct. 11 - U.S. citizen captured in Escambray mountains, he was part of a counterrevolutionary guerrilla group.
Oct. 13 - All Cuban and foreign banks nationalized. (The Canadian banks were purchased.) 182 foreign enterprises were confiscated. Thus by mid-October, a large portion of the means of production was already under state control. (376 Cuban enterprises were nationalized too).
Oct. 14 - Urban Reform Law establishes that all dwellings then rented will become state property, although owners will keep receiving rents until they die. People paying rent will end up as owners (rents became amortization payments).
Oct. 19 - the US PROHIBITS THE SHIPMENT OF ALL GOODS TO CUBA, medicine excepted.
Oct. 20 - any US property remaining in Cuba was nationalized.
Oct. 21 - the Association of Rebel Youth was created. (Later it will become the youth section of the Communist Party.)
Oct. 21 US Ambassador Bonsal was recalled to the U.S. Bonsal never returned.
Oct. 26 - Cuba and Rumania established diplomatic relations.
Oct. 28 - Che Guevara left Cuba for a commercial and diplomatic tour of the USSR, Eastern Europe and China.
Nov. 7 - 700 Russian technicians arrived to Cuba.
Nov. 12 - Major Rolando Cubela, head of the Federation of University students, in a public speech charges the Catholic Church with having "esbirros con sotanas" (i.e. torturers passing as priests) within its ranks. [Years later Cubela will be known as AMLASH - a covert CIA agent within the
Cuban government. Cubela was a member of the Directorio Revolucionario that fought against Fulgencio Batista. He was NOT a member of the 26th of July Movement. After 1959 he did not play a significant role in the revolutionary regime].
Nov. l4 - The C.I.A. charges that at least 12 Russian ships have unloaded weapons in Cuba since July 1960.
Nov. 16 - The Cuban government puts on trial American mercenaries that had been captured since 1959.
Nov. 22 - The People's Republic of China agrees to send 600 technicians to organize agricultural cooperatives.
Nov. 30 - China promises to purchase one million tons of sugar in 1961 and grants Cuba a credit worth $60 million for a five year period
Dec. 2 - Cuba and North Vietnam established diplomatic and commercial relations.
Dec. 15 - Cuba and Albania established diplomatic ties.
Dec. 16 - President Eisenhower cancels the Cuban sugar quota for 1961.
Dec. 17 - Cuba and Hungary established relations.
Dec. 20 - Che Guevara announces to the Cuban people a large industrialization program that he said would make the country an industrial nation in ten years.
Dec. 23 - All major newspapers had been confiscated by then.
Dec. 27 - The Ambassador of the People's Republic of China arrives in Havana.
Dec. 30 - Peru broke diplomatic and commercial relations with Cuba.
NOTE -- Throughout December, all military forces in Cuba were placed at readiness expecting an invasion from the U.S.- believed to be imminent. This was the end of Eisenhower administration. The Kennedy administration would come to office in January 1961. The Cuban government assumed that during the transition there might be a military invasion since the Central Intelligence Agency was training Cuban exiles in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.