The United States and Cuba: Business and Diplomacy, 1917-1960

By Robert F. Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ELEVEN

From Batista to Castro: The
Twenty-Five-Year Honeymoon

I

For twenty-five years American relations with Cuba followed the pattern established in 1934. A few modifications were made in some of the economic arrangements, but the basic programs remained the same. The period from 1934 to 1959 was relatively free of problems in the area of United States-Cuban relations. An occasional disturbance might arise, as when several sailors desecrated the Martí Monument in Havana, but such did little to disturb the existing pattern of relations. Beneath the surface, however, there were unsolved problems in the economic, political, and social life of Cuba which were either given superficial attention or were ignored entirely. These had helped to produce the eruption in 1933, and would come to the surface again in 1959. During the intervening period the United States Government and American businessmen expressed satisfaction over the situation in Cuba. As a 1956 publication of the Commerce Department stated:

This intimate economic relationship is so much the outgrowth of mutually helpful association that many of the problems that have plagued less close relationships in other areas have largely been avoided in Cuba. 1

American exports to Cuba increased steadily after 1934. By 1937 the State Department could report:

The rate of recovery in the trade between the United States and Cuba during the agreement [Reciprocal Trade

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