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Decree of the Republica de Cuba, signed by Fidel Castro

01-17-2020 09:38 AM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: HWPH Historisches Wertpapierhaus AG

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro

842 old stocks and bonds are currently offered at the 54th Scripophily auction by HWPH Historisches Wertpapierhaus AG, and will be sold on 25 January 2020 in Wuerzburg, Germany (the auction starts at 11.00 am, viewing is from 9.00 am onwards, catalogue at www.hwph.de). You can bid live: https://connect.invaluable.com/hwph/auction-lot/Republica-de-Cuba-Fidel-Castro_427467BA2F/
The highlight of the auction is a typewritten decree to expropriate the overthrown dictator Fulgencio Batista and his followers, who had unlawfully enriched themselves during his reign. The decree is signed by Fidel Castro. Minimum bid is Euro 25,000.
Although - after the Spanish-American War - the former Spanish colony of Cuba gained formal independence in 1902, the USA (according to the Platt Amendment) retained the right to intervene in Cuban affairs and to supervise its finances and foreign relations. American business magnates like Rockefeller, Guggenheim and Morgan helped General Gerardo Machado y Morales to become President of Cuba in 1925. Machado was a nationalistic dictator, since the first day of his presidency persecuting political opponents, prompting to murder them or driving them into exile. This led to a general strike and Machado’s fall in 1933. After intensive mediation by the US special envoy Sumner Welles, the leading political parties agreed on a presidency of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada - who had nothing left to sustain the revolutionary forces in the country. Sergeant Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar took his chance to overthrow the interim government by the Sergeants’ Revolt. Therefore Batista was considered to be the „Leader of the Revolution“ and was supreme commander of the army from 1933 to 1939. Because of the ever-present US intervention threat, he first installed different pseudo-elected presidents, before he was elected president himself by an overwhelming majority in 1940. Already before this, he had significant influence on the adoption of the 1940 Constitution of Cuba. It provided for land reform, public education, a minimum wage and other social programs - and was widely considered one of the most progressive constitutions at that time. Batista quickly found interest in the versatile possibilities of capitalism, why he decided not to stand again for re-election in 1944 and settled in Florida. In 1948 he returned into Cuban politics as he was elected to the Cuban Senate in absentia, but had little political power only. Anyway, as he had become a lobbyist and the extended arm of the American mafia in the meantime, Batista had a quite pleasant life. Still seeking more power, he founded an own party in the run-up to the 1952 elections. As chances to win were minimal, he initiated a military coup three months before the elections. He succeeded and imposed an authoritarian regime with a partial suspension of the 1940 Constitution of Cuba and suppression of the opposition. This led to one of his political opponents coming onto the scene: Young lawyer Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz filed a suit against the coup, but the action was dismissed. At that point Castro considered the constitutional right to resist came into effect - and he prepared the violent overthrow of Fulgencio Batista. On 26 July 1953, an armed attack on Santiago de Cuba’s Moncada Barracks by Castro’s guerilla unit failed and Castro was sent to prison for two years. After an amnesty in 1955, he went into exile, first in the US and later Mexico, from where he returned with 82 guerrilla fighters in December 1956. One member of the „26th of July Movement“ was the Argentinean physician Che Guevara. In subsequent years, resistance movements against Batista occurred throughout Cuba and increasingly took hold of all social classes. After revolutionists have taken the city of Santa Clara on 31 December 1958, Batista and his last followers fled to the Dominican Republic on 1 January 1959 - with 40 million dollars cash in their luggage. On 3 January 1959, the liberal lawyer and politician Manuel Urrutia Lleó became president of the revolutionary government. Urrutia also had opposed Machado and Batista as already in 1957 - in his capacity as judge - he released 150 accused revolutionists in the eastern Oriente Province. By contrast, before the revolution Castro said he does not seek personal power and wants to retire into private life after the overthrow of the old regime. Since it was him guiding policy in mass gatherings and televised addresses, he de facto became new Prime Minister of Cuba. On 16 February 1959 he formally took over this position, too. Castro gradually removed the conservative-liberals from the anti-Batista movement and replaced them with pro-communist followers. Finally he also forced Manuel Urrutia to resign: In a major televised address on 17 July 1959, he accused him of treasonous actions as justification for his own intermediate resignation as Prime Minister. Urrutia should have interfered in government affairs by suspecting the government of communism without evidence - while neither the revolutionary movement would be communist nor Castro himself a communist. However, ten days before Castro signed this decree to expropriate the overthrown dictator Fulgencio Batista and his followers, who had unlawfully enriched themselves, of the embezzled commodities. Co-responsible was Faustino Pérez Hernández, commander of the rebel army and Head of the Ministry of Recovery of Embezzled Goods, which had been established while President Manuel Urrutia Lleó was taking office on 3 January 1959. In 1959 alone the Ministry seized valuables with an equivalent value of more than 400 million Pesos. After continuing expropriations of assets owned by US citizens and companies, totaling at a value of around one billion dollars, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower imposed an embargo on Cuba. Today it is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history. Despite or perhaps because of that Fidel Castro as Head of State or Government shaped the development of his country for 49 years - and became hero of the international Left as well as a symbol of resistance against the capitalism of the West.Historic shares and bonds are financial documents which no longer have any traditional economic value on any stock market. They are collectable items reflecting our financial history. For top items, such as for instance certificates personally signed by John D. Rockefeller, Thomas A. Edison, Charlie Chaplin, Wolfgang von Goethe or Richard Wager, 5-digit prices are being paid.

HWPH AG
Matthias Schmitt
Ingelsberg 17b
85604 Zorneding / Germany
Telefon: +49-(0)8106/246186
E-Mail: auktion@hwph.de
Internet: www.hwph.de

The HWPH AG is one of the leading auction houses for old stocks and bonds (Scripophily).

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