united in the common cause of human liberty. It took France nearly three quar-
ters of a century after the Revolution to realize the democratic aspirations of its
social organism in its political institutions. Spanish America has still greater
problems than France to solve to realize its aspirations. How great the debt of
gratitude we owe to the late King Edward of England, who saw in the soul of
France the same democratic aspirations as those treasured by the English race,
although differently expressed, and made the Entente possible, which has saved the
world for democracy. If we Americans could see into the soul of the Spanish
American people, we would find the same ideals and aspirations in the common
cause of democracy which should unite us in mutual confidence and respect.
146 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
CUBA'S PLACE IN PAN AMERICAN TRADE
BY SENOR PORFIRIO A. BONET, COMMERCIAL ATTACHE TO THE LEGATION OF CUBA.
(Read at the Afternoon Session of Tuesday, June 3)
Report of the Cuban Legation read by the Commercial Attache at the Pan
American Commercial Congress on June 3, 1919.
The report published by the Secretary of Finance of the Republic of Cuba
on March 1, 1919, gives as the total of the exportation of Cuba during the year
1918 the sum of $413,325,251, and as the total of the importations the sum of
$297,622,215. These figures show a total foreign trade of $710,947,466.
Though the importations and exportations of bullion are included in these
figures, the importation did not exceed $2,989,120, nor the exportations reach
a higher amount than $6,441,749. These figures, as compared with those of 1917,
after deduction of bullion, shows an excess in value of importations for 1918
over importations of 1917, of $38,547,788, and an increase in the exportations of
$50,855,402; with this noteworthy circumstance, that in the columns of expor-
tations, not only value but volume increased, while in importations the prices
increased more than the volume.
Taking into consideration the anojnalous situation created by the recent
war in all the spheres of commerce, the irregularities of mercantile relations
and the difficulties of transportation this as an exceptionally brilliant showing
and establishes a new record in the continuously ascending scale of Cuba's for-
The commercial relations 'of the Republic of Cuba with the United States
have also reached, during this past year, the high-tide mark, and it does not
seem, judging by every indication, that the situation will change in the near fu-
ture, but rather 'that the volume and price of our commerce with the United
States will continue to increase, due allowance being made for commerce with
Europe when normal relations with the belligerent countries are completely re-
The proximity of Cuba to the United States has so simplified and facili-
tated every aspect of business between the two countries that many of ' the prob-
lems confronting the other Latin American countries are found to be absent
when review is made of the necessities of Cuba 'at the present moment.
Our banking relations with this country, that have reached a high degree
of perfection, though they are still susceptible of certain modifications that will
surely make credit more expansive and at the same time offer 'profitable invest-
ment to American capital, are almost equal to those of any great State in the
Union. There has never been a day ' in the history of Cuba at which a larger
amount of money has been in circulation than at the present moment. The credit
institutions of Cuba will surely be reorganized and modernized within a short time
and a convention with the United States on the circulation of the American cur-
rency in Cuba now used as legal tender on a par basis with Cuban gold would
seem to be a general convenience. It is believed that such a convention might
well establish the route to be followed with the other Pan .American 'countries
in order to attain as soon as practicable the monetary unity' of this hemisphere.
In the meantime those who are called 'upon to study the problems of com-
mercial relations of Cuba and the United States would do well to examine these
suggestions for at the present time there already exists a monetary union 'be-
tween Cuba and the United States that would only necessitate diplomatic sanc-
tions for certain particulars, rather of form than of 'substance, in order to be
similarized to the Latin union, the Scandinavian union and other monetary con-
ventions existing at present or that have existed before now.
We have said that insufficiency of transportation during the war and this
is certainlv a well known fact hindered trade to a great extent between Cuba
and the United States. It still continues to be one of the difficulties that are
encountered for a more ample and free development of 'our commercial relations.
We have noticed that the republics of South and Central America are
extremely interested in the establishment of new steamship lines that would per~
feet 'the system of communications between those countries and the United
States. It would seem that certain of the ports of Cuba might be utilized for
exchanges between North and South America and the countries of the Atlantic
and the Pacific, on account of 'their exceptional situation and their many facili-
ties already greatly developed. This is a point we strongly recommend to those
who study at present such assistance to maritime communications. The Gov-
ernment of Cuba has always looked with special favor on every reasonable
project intended to further these views.
Considerable economy in prices of articles exported to Cuba from the
United States might be derived, in many cases, from a more practical and in-
telligent routing of merchandise. We would also subscribe to suggestions generally
made by Pan American commerce to the commerce of the United States with
regard to credit, packing and marking. These suggestions have been made,
mostly, as a result of pre-war experience in trade with the United States as
compared to trade with Europe and there is every reason to believe that they
will be taken into consideration more seriously than ever, in view of European
competition that will soon endeavor to reestablish its previous supremacy in the
New World markets.
From the enormous development of the relations of the United States
with Europe and especially the necessities of European countries and the vast
credits extended to European nations by the United States during the last war,
it is to be surmized that this country will give special 'attention. to its commerce
with the European continent. However, the moment is also very favorable for
the United States to assure the advantages already gained in Latin America
where the field is at present open and so large as to admit of its retaining and
consolidating its present situation without aspiring to establish in any way a
monopoly. On the other hand, we would invite our Latin American sister Re-
publics to realize that the utility derived by Cuba from commerce with the United
States has been as important as the political advantages that have resulted for
her from the friendship of this great country.
At the 'present moment we have no special suggestions for this conference
other than those expressed in this memorandum, but stand ready to cooperate in
every way to a general plan that may be evolved from its labors for the bring-
ing together of the various commercial interests of Latin America. We are in-
deed at the beginning, so to say, of a new era in which each of our countries
should keep in mind the interest of the others and prepare to work 'out their
problems in, absolute harmony. There is such a variety of resources in all the
Pan American States that the various 'nations, commercial policy should not
come into conflict at any time. On the contrary they should tend to strengthen
the concept of the Pan American spirit as it was expressed by Mr. MacAdoo
during the First Financial Conference and by His Excellency the Secretary of
State, Mr. Lansing, at the Second Pan American Scientific Congress.
The Pan American Union publishes from time to time official statistics
regarding Latin America. The members of the Commercial Conference are
referred to those publications for general knowledge of the actual situation in each
one of the Republics, economically and commercially considered, as well as for
data regarding geographical, climatological and other conditions. It is interesting
to bring to your notice certain facts about Cuba that might otherwise be over-
looked. They may serve as a key to the points advanced in the above paragraphs.
Taking into consideration the area of Cuba that comprises 44,164 sq. m.
(114,385 sq. kilometres) and her population that in 1914 was 2,467,883. though it
is expected that the census about to be taken will show a population of very near
three million inhabitants, the island's foreign trade and the volume of her products
can be justly called wonderful.
Comparative statement of the total value of the exportation* of Cuba, in
dollars of the national currency, from January 1st to December 31st, including
bullion, in tlve years 1917-1918.
United States $293,997,619 $257,446,699
Other American countries 9,428,079 8,445,260
Spain 6,775,875 13,546,199
France 5,656,957 11,616,630
United Kingdom 95,817,266 73,563,756
Other European countries 495,154 1,339,460
All the other countries 1,154,301 887,506
Total... $413,325,251 $366,845,510
SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
Statement of the value in dollars of the importations during the same years
Other American countries
Other European countries
All the other countries . . .
The principal exports of Cuba are sugar, tobacco, fruits and minerals. The
sugar crop of 1917-1918 produced 3,473,184 tons of sugar, the value of which was
estimated at $342,094,099 including the value of 174,642,257 gallons of mollasses.
This great result was obtained by 198 Sugar Centrals.
The sugar crop of 1918-1919 is just about finished and is calculated to pro-
duce around four million tons of sugar. Both of these great crops were sold
to the United States and the allied governments in the late war and constituted a
great asset on the side of the Allies.
Examining the official reports of the Department of Finance we can acquire
an idea of the things that Cuba sells and those that she buys. We have given
above the total foreign commerce of Cuba for the year ending December 31st,
1918. We now compare that result with the preceding ten years of foreign trade
as published by the Pan American Union. In these statistics are found the
articles imported and exported by Cuba.
TEN-YEAR TABLE OF FOREIGN TRADE.
The imports by countries for the last five fiscal years were :
Argentina . *
Total $135,810,590 $134,008,138 $128,132,090 $201,023,670 $261,377,234
The imports by classes for the last five fiscal years were :
Earth, stones and manu-
Stones and earths
Mineral oils, bitumens,
Glass and crystal ware
Earthenware and por-
Metals and manufactures
Gold, silver and plati-
Iron and steel
Copper and alloys
All other metals
Chemicals, drugs, paints
and perfumeries :
Primary products ....
Paints, etc., varnishes
Chemical products ....
Oils, soaps, etc
Fibers and manufactures
Vegetables, fibers ....
Wool, hair, etc
Papers and manufac-
Papers and cardboard.
Books and prints
Wood and other vege-
Wood and manufac-
Animal and animal prod-
Hides, skins and
Manufactures of leather
watches and clocks..
Foods and drinks :
Beverages and oils
Articles free of duty...
Total $135,801,590 $134,008,138 $128,132,090 $201,023,670 $261,377,234
Cuba produces or can produce in large quantities many farm products that
the United States consumes. At the same time Cuba consumes all kinds of
American manufactured goods except those exclusively used in cold climates.
Demographic reports show that the death rate in Cuba is lower than in any
other country in the world. A. Hyatt Verrill, in his book on Cuba says that:
"Although Cuba is best known and is most to be recommended as a winter resort
yet in midsummer it has its attractions, and many visitors find Cuba far more
admirable in summer than in winter. At this season it is hot in the large coast
towns, it is true, but in the interior it is pleasant, and nowhere in the island
does the temperature score into the nineties as it does in New York and our
northern towns. Moreover in the summer, tropical fruits are at their best,
flowers deck the country with a riot of color and the miles of Poinciana trees
form masses of living flame, a gorgeous scene never dreamed of by those who
have seen the tropics only in the winter season."
P0REIGK COMMERCE 1917
Very efficient railroad service obtains throughout the island. The extent of
the railroads is about 2600 miles. The first Cuban railroad was put in opera-
tion in 1837, twelve years in advance of Spain, the mother country. Many fine
roads have been built throughout the island and a plan for a general highway
system is now being studied by Cuba's best engineers.
As a country for immigration, Cuba has already been appreciated by many
Americans who have established themselves there and are doing good business.
But the majority of immigrants still continues to come from Europe. The island's
population is now about 50 persons to the square mile. But the country can
easily support sixteen million people without ceasing to be an agricultural country.
The latest statistics on immigration are the following:
Spain . 34,795 14,292
Hayti 10,135. 10,640
Jamaica 7,889 9,184
North Americans 1,013 771
Porto Ricans 895 395
England and Smaller Antilles 567 255
Mexico 526 244
South Americans 233 31
Central America 197 249
China 3 237
France and French Antilles 173 118
Hollanders (Curacao) 26 100
Sundry from the Antilles 195 37
The financial condition of the Government of Cuba is excellent and the
bonds of the Republic are always very highly quoted in New York and in
One of the great advantages for American bankers and merchants and
people doing business with Cuba consists in the fact that they can easily control
their own interests, Havana being but 52 hours from New York, via Key West,
and less than three days by sea. These circumstances have favored business to a
large extent and encouraged tourists to visit the country. Telegraphic service
and a perfect telephone system allow of reaching almost any point of Cuba from
Havana, and cables for the United States, Europe and South America can be
sent even from the interior.
There is a feature that should not be left unmentioned. Cuba is an es-
sentially progressive country and takes and buys, none but the best and up-to-date
articles of all kinds. From the giant machinery of the stupendous sugar factories
to the electric cars, self-communicating telephones, and the lighting system and
port facilities, Cuba has the best that money can buy, and in doing business with
her these circumstances should be kept in mind.
152 SECOND PAN AMERICAN COMMERCIAL CONFERENCE
TRADE OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
BY SENOR MANUEL DE J. CAMACHO, CONSUL GENERAL OF THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC IN NEW YORK
On account of the limited time at my disposal I must confine myself to giving
you a brief sketch of the commerce of the Dominican Republic which I have the
honor to represent.
My greatest desire has been to see realized the lofty and useful labor of the
Pan American Union for strengthening the commercial relations among the coun-
tries of the American Continent, and it is a source of pleasure to me that this
great ideal should be approaching its attainment more and more every day. In
so far as my country is concerned, I state with pride that today, more than ever,
it perceives the changes which for some time past the commercial relations between
the United States and the Dominican Republic have undergone. The volume of
business now being done between the two countries indicates that commercial
cordiality has united in a close embrace the merchants and manufacturers of this
country and the Dominican importers, and this feeling of commercial sincerity
exists today without doubt, because the American exporter and manufacturer has
come to realize exactly the great volume of business which the different Spanish
American countries offer, and on the other hand, because they have felt the need
of correcting the estimation in which American products were held in many
Latin American countries.
Now the American exporter and manufacturer offers liberal terms to the
importers of Latin America; and it is also true that in the Dominican Republic,
as well as the majority of the countries which make up the American Continent,
they have come to recognize the worth of American merchandise. This, coupled
with the sincere desire for mutual cooperation, certainly furnishes an excellent
basis for the betterment of commercial relations of Pan America. Many European
countries used to offer very liberal and long terms to Dominican importers, while
in this country they required cash payment, or, at the most they granted a very
short term which offered no advantages. This state of affairs, however, has
almost disappeared, and today exporters and manufacturers offer terms of sixty,
ninety and one hundred and twenty days, and even five months for some mer-
chandise. The former condition obtained several years ago, because there was no
knowledge in this country as to the responsibility or honesty of Latin American
merchants, and on account of the lack of that cordiality which prevails now.
To show the volume of business at present carried on by the United States
and the Dominican Republic, it is sufficient to point out that four or five years ago
the Dominican ports were visited only by three or four steamers monthly, of not
more than 3,000 tons, from New York with cargo and a few passengers.
At present this number is three or four times larger, and instead of the
former three or four monthly steamers, there come to the Dominican Republic
eleven, twelve, thirteen, and even fifteen steamers every month, not counting
those which come by way of Porto Rico. These steamers return to the United
States loaded with sugar, cocoa, coffee and other Dominican products. This detail
only reinforces what I have already stated with regard to the commercial cordiality
existing between the United States and the Dominican Republic, but in spite of
this cordiality there are yet some problems which the Dominican merchant would
like to see solved, and one of them is the need in the Republic for finding admit-
tance for its tobacco into the United States, that is to say, that the Dominican
product should not pay the high duties that are imposed upon it for importation
into this country.
In certain regions of the Dominican Republic 1 they cultivate and produce
tobacco as good as the best from Vuelta, Abajo, Cuba. This is shown by the fkct
that several tobacco dealers in Cuba import Dominican tobacco, because they know
its superior quality. It should not be doubted, however, that in the same way
that the commercial relations between the Dominican Republic and the United
States have been made closer in such a cordial manner, the day will come also
when the Dominican tobacco grower will be able to export his product to the
United States without having to pay any higher duties than those who buy the
tobacco from Cuba or other countries. Dominican tobacco has been sold for a