CHAPTER XXXIII
NON-EXISTENT OR DELAYED EVIDENCE

CMQ, the most important radio and television station, was the main attraction in the country whenever Eduardo Chibás, chief of the "Ortodoxos," was on the air. He continued his vociferous denunciations, backed with facts and figures. The Government tried hard to cast doubt on his revelations.

Nothing was too preposterous. The scandals were so evident that the truth could be mixed with lies without changing the validity of the statements. It was said that President Prío had flown to Merida for discussions with the Caribbean Legion. This proved untrue; yet a short time later Prío did fly to Guatemala.

The frequent exchange of visits among the Communists and Leftists made political trips from Havana to Central America very commonplace. Prío and his group were almost as well known in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Guatemala as they were in their own country. Economic transactions resulting from these contacts had never been made public knowledge and Chibás revealed them sharply and fully.

It was rumored that Aureliano Sánchez Arango, founder of the Communist cell at the University--which included Julio Antonio Mella and Rubén Martínez Villena, Minister of Education in Carlos Prío's Administration--had acquired great forest tracts in Central America and was making a fortune in the lumber trade. Shipments of lumber were smuggled in through the port of Batabanó and others on the Pinar del Río coast. On the eastern coast smuggling activities were led by the Babun brothers. The lumber included mahogany and cedar as well as the more common varieties.

Eduardo Chibás denounced Sánchez Arango as the front for Prío in his shady deals and as the proprietor of extensive

-228-

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