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Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 15, 2016
Document Release Date: 
September 5, 2002
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February 7, 1950
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PDF icon CIA-RDP79-01090A000200050006-9.pdf542.85 KB
Approved ~!!f Release 2002/10/21 : CIA-RDP79-0 0A000200050006-9 I 2X1 GENF.rAL: Additional ratifications of the QAS Charter, ex r soon, should stipulate action by other American republics (p. 2). NCRTHERN AREA: In Mexico, the government's handling of the taxi-- driveerst strike may make future control of labor more difficult (p. 2). In Martinique, termination of ECA flour shipments will result in Com mr - nist agitation and increased popular discontent (p. 3). In Guatemala, the pro-Communist CTAL has made a gain in labor (p. 3). CENTRAL AREA: In Colombia., Liberal Party collaboration with Conserva- tives now appears possible (p. 3). SOUTH M AREA: In Argentina, recent favorable developments do not necessarily mark any basic change in Peron 'a attitude toward the US (p. 4). Peru's payments on US commnercial debts will be postponed (p. 4). SPECIAL SUBJECTS The Current Sltuation in Cuba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 DOCUMENT NO. _ NO CHANGE IN CLA S. LI DECLASSIFIED C AS3. CHANGED r0: I'S 5 C NEXT REVIEW DATE: State Dept. review completed Y/eel ' Contributions 70-FE.- CIA 7 February 1950 RUTH: H 0 DATE REVIEWER: 25X1 Approved For Release M-2/10/21 : CIA-RDP79-0109OA000200050006-9 Approvedr Release 2002/10/21 : CIA-RDP79-0'I'Q90A000200050006-9 cCRE 25X1 l eekly Contributions,, (CIA Viorking Paper) 25X6 7 February 1950 1, GENERAL: Additional Ratifications of OAS Charter x cted Soon S16ce on y ercan repub ics have ratvI .ed the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) up to the presents it is significant that several Latin American nations are now either completing ratification or are about to initiate this process. Brazil and Honduras are expected shortly to c!eposit their instruments of ratification with the Pan American Union, which would bring the total number of ratifying states to five; Colombia has conr- pleted the first steps toward ratification; most of the other Latin American countries plan to present the Charter to the next session of their respective legislatures. Inasmuch as the OAS has been function- ing only on a provisional basis since 1948, each actual 'atlfication of the fundamental document of the CAS strengthens the irttei American system. Ratification by most of the major American republics,?par- ticularltiy by the US, would probably stimulate others to take similar action, MEXICO: Taxi Drivers' Strike e recent s e n Mexico City of Club Unioc de Chcferes del Distrito Federal, affiliate of Lombardo Toledano e s Communist- oriented UGOCM illustrates e manner .ic .. Co'nnunist a rs a ce advantage of legitimate grievances to further tL it own ends, The drivers of both Club Unico and the government-?L'por:,sc-ed CTM had been protesting the same grievances, including the high price of gasoline and the issuance of an a cessive camber of cab licenses, and the strike settlement by the government was made in favor of the. taxi drivers. However, the police had previously used tear gas and rrns in breaking up an assembly of the strikers (with 2 killed, 22 wr aided, and over 300 jailed) and had taken over by force the offices of ...1.". related unions, Such action resulted in public protests against .',e use of violence by the police,, with countercharges that the dritc~r z strike was a Communist maneuver, ;'While it is granted that the UrX-' as wel.1 as other pro-Communist groups took advantage of the situat on by inciting the strikers and later claiming public sympathy, labe`..Iag the strike as merely a Communist maneuver would be misleading in z: taw of both the legitimate grievances involved and the fact that over 2OOO chauffeurs of Club Unico prior to striking led a pi"llTrirra ? e to the Shrine of Guadalupe. 'While Communism made no notable gains from the events the unfortunate police methods have brought public criticism on the gavi.n,- ment. Future repetitions of such measures may jeopardize the govex'.rr. nt's ability to keep labor in line. 25X6 Approved For Release 222&UMC TA-RDP79-01090A00020005000G-9 25X1 Approved Release 2002/10/21 SaW- P79-01 A000200050006-9 Weekly Contributions, (CIA Working Paper) 7 February 1950 3. MARTINIQUE: PossibleARitation Over Increased Cost of Bread percent rise in the cost of bread, vhicn appears 25X1 inevitable by the end of March, may provide the Communists with the means of stirring up considerable popular discontent. The present. low cost of bread cannot continue because currently substantial ECA flour shipments to the area will be terminated shortly and because local bread subsidization funds soon will be exhausted, The local govern- ment will probably try to mitigate popular dissatisfaction by post- poning the rise in the price of bread until after the metropolitan French government has increased the minimum wage under the new collective bargaining law presently being enacted. estimates, however, that the Communists can be relied on to ma olitical issue out of the situation and will probably attack the US for having stopped EGA flour shipments. OUATKNALA: Communists Gain in Labor The recent action oa leftist Federacion Sindical de Guatemala (FSG) in deciding to affiliate with the CTAL places the majority of Guatemalan workers within this pro-Communist labor corn federation led by Lombardo Toledano. (Guatemala's other major labor syndicate, the CTG , has long been a CTRL affiliate.) The decision of FSG to join the CTAL was probably designed to unify the forces of labor in the coming presidential campaign and possibly to secure aid from the nos nist CTAL. stimates that the election of a leftist successor to Arovala, rm expires in March 1951)? who would continue to tolerate Communists as Arevalo has done, is the most important immediate Communist objective with respect to Guatemala. Continued tolerance of Communists in Guatemala --- the country of middle America most friendly to them - would help to maintain at least some Communist influence in other countries of that area. COLOMBIA: Liberal Collaboration With Conservatives Possible ra ex-pres n A onso ro"pez' political pronounce- ment on 27 January may well be a trial balloon sent up in collusion with conservative President-elect Laureano O6mez in order to determine whether Lopez can carry the Liberal Party with him on a policy of constructive criticism in return for the lifting of the state of siege. The Lopez statement, which analyzes political relations between the Liberal and Conservative parties, is the first important Liberal pronouncement which the government has allowed to be published since the declaration of the state of siege. Criticism of the Con- servatives is sufficiently violent to safeguard Lopez from charges of having gone over to the opposition. Lopez points out. however, that he considers collaboration between the parties necessary to peace, at the ,ame time warning against collaboration by only a segment of the Lrt-,tral ,,arty. 25X1 Approved For Release 2002/10 P7D 9-01090A000200050006-9 at 0 ApprovedWr Release 2002/10/21 : CIA-RDP79- OA000200050006-9 SECRET Weekly Contributions, (CIA Working Paper) 7 Februarq 1950 The Liberal Party directorate has become discredited to some exten Despite con- tinued rumors of subversive plans of-Liberal elements he army, the two months since the presidential election have shown that civilian Liberals are not willing to engage in civil war. Hence, Lopez may now be able to secure Liberal acceptance of his leadership. The Conservative administration, on the other hand, has shown its deter- mination to maintain the state of siege (and the concomitant suspension of Congress) as long as the Liberals continue in their intransigent attitude. It is possible that, when both parties have weighed the disadvantages of their respective positions, the Conservatives may offer, and the Liberals, under Lopez' leadership, may accept an exchange of Liberal "constructive opposition" for termination of the state of siege ----- a development which would be favorable to the US interest in stability and democracy in Colombia. 6. ARGENTINA: Indications of Bid for US Assistance tees- modification in is ZM-fe Oilfields Administra- tion) usually antipathetic attitude toward the US petroleum companies appears to be a move by Peron to ease the adverse situation for US business in Argentina -- which thus far has been a deterrent to improved US-Argentine economic relations. YPF's recent approval of certain sterling purchases of crude, gasoline, and other supplies by the US companies marks a reversal of its formerly negative reaction to their urgent requests for supplies. Since this change in attitude immediately followed a discussion between US Ambassador Griffis and President Peron concerning petroleum and other problems adversely affecting US Argentine economic relations, particularly those that could be relieved without use of dollar exchange, it suggests that Peron may take action on additional commercial problems to encourage US collaboration and possible financial assistance. Such a concession, however, cannot be interpreted as indicating any fundamental improve- ment in Peron's position vis a vis the US 17kly, 20 Dec 49). 7. PERU: Payment of US Commercial Debts Postponed A recent decree CL1STd'1.DU43.i1~~_~ing the Lilt profits f;to from the revaluation profits of gold and foreign exchange holdings of the Central Bank, in effect, makes funds available to pay Argentina - rather than to pay US commercial arrearages as the Klein commission had recommended. The fact that the government has disregarded a large debt to the US in favor of a relatively small current debt to Argentina will adversely affect US-Peruvian commercial relations and is the first indication that the present Peruvian regime may be less pro-US than previously appeared. 25X1 Approved For Release 2002TTO CIA-RDP79-01090A000200050006-c~' Approved Foelease 2002/10/21 : CIA-RDP79-010000200050006-9 SECRET Weekly Contributions, (CIA Working Paper) Situation Memorandum 6-50 The Current Situation in Cuba 7 February 1950 (Summary -- The PrIo administration remains strong. The economic outlook is somewhat more favorable, Despite losses during the past year, the Commnu:ists retain considerable Influence in Cuba. The armed forces are, as a whole, loyal to the administration and are strong enough to maintain. the authority of the state under ordinary circumstances. Military officials have taken a serious view of recent events in the Caribbean and are planning to improve Cuba's air potential. Cuba's foreign policy remains unchanged. -- US security interests are not seriously affected by domestic developments in Cuba but the recent reports that Trujillo is plotting against Frio, coupled with the almost universal antagonism to Trujillo in Cuba, contribute to the long standing ill-feeling and suspicion between the two countries.) Political moo administration remains strong. A recent change of cabinet will not alter the situation. It is true that there is widespread dis- approval of Prfo due to such factors as his weak leadership; his tolerance of gang killings; mediocre government officials; mismanagement of public funds; and his nepotism. Moreover, the alliance between the President's party (Autantico) and the Republican Party is, in effect, broken. Never- theless, the Autgnticos have fairly strong support from the Democrats and Liberals; the registered voting strength of the Autgntico Party has increased in the past year (the spoils system tends to insure this and the army's loyalty will tend to render ineffective any plotting Wkly, 10 Jan 50) against the administration in the immediate future. ere ore, estimates that President Prfo+s administration will remain strong ng coming months and that the Autsntico Party and its allies have a good chance to win the congressional and municipal elections of June 1950, Economic economic outlook is somewhat more favorable. It is true that adverse factors still persist., Mang Cuban industries continue to suffer economic reverses and a radical improvement in this respect is unlikely; labor troubles are frequent; business interests oppose the government's equivocal and pro-labor economic policies; and wealthy Cuban investors., fearing to invest money in Cuba, continue to send it abroad. Also, govern- ment revenues for 1949 were about 20 percent below those for 1948; the mismanagement of public funds continues; and it is possible that government efforts to obtain a foreign loan will fail. It is encouraging, however, that there are fairly good prospects for the sale of most of the 1950 sugar crop at favorable prices, and retail tradej, the building trades, 25X1 Approved For Release 2002/10/21 : CIA-RDP79-0109OA000200050006-9 wxffllrl- 5 Approved Felease 2002/10/22 RDP79-01 A000200050006-9 ECTLET Weekly Contributions, (CIA Working Paper) Situation Memorandum 6-50 -- 2 - 7 February 1950 and some secondary industries may be expected to be fairly prosperous in coming months. Therefore, it is estimated Cuba will continue to be in a moderately sound economic position for some time, and that adverse eco- nomic factors in themselves will not seriously affect the political stability of the country. Subversive he Communists retain considerable influence in Cuba. It is true that they'have lost some political strength and labor influence during the past year. The Communist Party (PSP), however, is still an important oppo- sition element to the Autenticos and has significant influence among sec- tors of the labor movement, including the port and transport workers. In addition, Communist propaganda continues to be fairly efficient and Communist leaders have considerable local influence and prestige. It is estimated that there will be no substantial decline in the present Commtr- nist potential in Cuba in coming months. Two revolutionary gangs, the MSR and UIR,, were declared illegal by the Urgency Court in November, but the gangs continue to have support from important official sources and it is estimated that they will continue to constitute a considerable political factor with possible influence on governmental stability. Military a armed forces are, as a whol.a, loyal to the administration and are strong enough to maintain the authority of the state under ordinary circum- stances. It is true that there appears to be some discontent and a feeling of insecurity among some of the army officers, and the possibility that a few are plotting a coup cannot be entirely discounted, However, the Prio government can be expected to invoke measures designed to insure army loyalty. Military officials have taken a serious view of recent events in the Caribbean and are planning to improve Cuba's air potential. Air corps training has been intensified, all aircraft are to be put in operational condition, and the air corps wishes to buy radar equipment for defense and to buy new heavy bombers and near type US fighters. As of 7 October, only 23 out of 67 Cuban military aircraft, including naval, were in operational condition and the Cubans possessed only 9 tactical aircraft (none in opera- tional condition) while the Dominican Republic had 24 tactical aircraft, 11 in operational condition. It is estimated that Cuban concern over preparations for defense will continue as long as reports are circulated that Trujillo is plotting the overthrow of the Prio government (See International). Approved For Release 2002 -RDP79-01090A000200050006-9 6. 25X1 25X1 Approved FoKelease 2002/10/21 : CIA-RDP79-01 000200050006-9 ZSECRMow- situation memorandum 6-50 Weekly Contributions (CIA Working Paper) 7 February 1950 International u a1s foreign policy remains in general unchanged. The Cuban government supports the US as against the USSR in inter- national matters but economic relations between Cuba and the US remain difficult? Bilateral discussions will be held shortly on matters about which agreement had previously been impossible, including the proposed Cuban tariff increase on imports of US textiles, and radio broadcasting problem r. It is estimated that there will be no substantial change in Cubans attitude visa via the US regarding economic problems in the immediate future. The Caribbean Legion continues to use Cuba as one of its headquarters? but activities in Cuba against the Dominican Republic are chiefly in the form of propaganda at present. The Cuban government stoutly affirms its right to give asylum to exiles but is apparently giving little aid to the Legion. Cuban policy toward the Dominican Republic remains unchanged, and the almost universal public antagonism to Trujillo continues. Relations between the two countries are somewhat less inflammable than a few weeks ago as a result of the present OAS investigation of the Caribbean situation. How- ever'. there are frequent reports in Cuba that Trujillo is actively plotting the overthrow of the Pro government, and that government is taking a serious view of Trujillo+s possible menace to Cuba and to the inter- American system. The Cubans will, of course, continue to regard the Trujillo dictatorship as dangerous; estimates that the Cuban govern- ment will try, nevertheless, to adhere to established inter-American principles in its relations with the Dominican Republic, Approved For Release 1 : CIA-RDP79-01090A0002000500p6-9