United States. Dept. of State. Office of Public Co.

Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 50, Apr- Jun 1964) online

. (page 38 of 84)
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exports have fallen drastically — from more
than $800 million in 1958 to less than $500 mil-
lion in 1963. The lines of trade have been com-
pletely redrawn. In 1958, substantially all im-
ports came from free- world sources; last year,
85 percent came from the bloc. It is perhaps
pertinent to point out that Cuban exports to
Latin America fell from $24 million in 1953 to



an estimated $8 million in 1962, while Latin
American exports to Cuba fell from $78 million
in 1958 to an estimated $6.7 million in 1962.

Restrictions on Shipping and on Vital Goods

In order to exploit Cuba's economic vulnera-
bility we have developed programs of common
action on two levels :

First, to restrict the availability of free-
world shipping to Cuba ;

Second, to limit the categories of goods that
may be available to Cuba.

In order to make these policies effective, we
have sought the cooperation of the other major
industrialized coxmtries of the free world, and
particularly our NATO allies. We have ob-
tained considerable, although not complete,
cooperation.

For example, the number of calls by free-
world vessels at Cuban ports dropped 60 per-
cent in 1963 as compared to 1962, and there are
reasonable prospects that, over 1964 as a whole,
there will be a further drop.

Realistically, we must recognize that the re-
striction of free- world shipping, while useful, is
of only limited utility. Shipping under the
control of the bloc could transport the goods
that Cuba requires, although at the cost of a
considerable reorganization and disruption of
schedules and charters.

Much more important is the denial of those
categories of goods that are most vital to the
opei-ation of the Cuban economy. This in-
cludes industrial goods, transport equipment,
and critical materials. Not only is Cuba wholly
dependent on a large and continuing import of
consumer goods if it is to maintain more than
a subsistence economy, but its limited industrial
plant, including the sugar industry, is based on
Western equipment that is rajiidly becoming
worn out and obsolete and on Western trans-
port equipment that is rapidly falling apart. It
is important, therefore, that the West sliould
not bolster the economy by providing spare
parts and replacements.

This was the reason, for example, tliat the
administration took sucli a strong position
against the recent sale of 450 buses to the Castro
government- — 400 of wliicli are to be used in
Habana. Those 400 additional buses will al-



742



DEP^UITMENT OF STATE BULLETIN



most double available public transport in the
city that dominates Cuba's economic life.
Without those buses the efficiency of the Cuban
economy and the level of Cuban morale would
bo further impaired.

The sale of Western locomotives to Cuba, for
instance, would have an even {j:reater impact.
Movement of su



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 50, Apr- Jun 1964) → online text (page 38 of 84)