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Q: American Business Presence in Cuba at the time of the 1959 Revolution ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: American Business Presence in Cuba at the time of the 1959 Revolution
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: pace-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 06 Jan 2003 10:41 PST
Expires: 05 Feb 2003 10:41 PST
Question ID: 138308
What American companies had a presence in Havana during the 50s? Also,
what companies pulled out in 1959, or which did Castro try to

Request for Question Clarification by juggler-ga on 06 Jan 2003 11:25 PST
Would a list of 46 American companies that lost Cuban assets as a
result of Castro's revolution be acceptable? The list includes the
dollar value of the assets lost.

Clarification of Question by pace-ga on 06 Jan 2003 11:52 PST
The list of the companies would help. As far as the dollar value is
concerned, I am more interested in the extent of the physical presence
these Amercian companies had in Cuba during the 50's (their ad
presence, makret share, all pre-Castro), and what companies were left
after Castro came to power. Hope this helps, and thanks again.

Request for Question Clarification by juggler-ga on 06 Jan 2003 13:51 PST
My research indicates that dozens of American companies had a presence
in Cuba in the '50s. Virtually all of their assets were nationalized
by Castro. Unfortunately, it would be massive, complicated project to
produce ad presence and market share figures for all American
companies that were doing business there pre-Castro.

As an answer, I could provide the aforementioned list of 46 American
companies that lost assets to Castro. I could also give you an idea of
the market share and presence of a couple of American companies with
the biggest role in the Cuban economy.  Would this be acceptable?

Clarification of Question by pace-ga on 06 Jan 2003 15:35 PST
Thanks, that sounds great. One question, though: are most of those
companies currently in existance today?

Request for Question Clarification by juggler-ga on 06 Jan 2003 15:45 PST
Yes. Most, if not all, of the U.S. companies are still in existence.
Are you still interested?

Clarification of Question by pace-ga on 06 Jan 2003 16:49 PST
Yes, please.
Subject: Re: American Business Presence in Cuba at the time of the 1959 Revolution
Answered By: juggler-ga on 06 Jan 2003 17:59 PST

By June 1972, the United States Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
in Washington, D.C. had certified 5,911 claims by Americans for
property seized by the Castro regime in Cuba. Of all the claims, 30
United States companies held 56.85% of the total value.

The web site lists 46 American companies and the value
of their Cuban assets seized by Castro's government.

Most of the companies listed by are major American
corporations (Coca-Cola, Ford Motor, General Electric, etc.) that are
still operating under the same name. A few of the companies have
merged into other companies or have changed their names. FW Woolworth,
for example, changed its name to Venator a few years ago, and then
changed its name to Foot Locker a few years after that.

Two of the biggest and most important American-owned companies in Cuba
during the '50s were the Cuban Electric (owned by Boise Cascade ) and Cuban Telephone Company, aka
"CUTELCO" (owned by ITT Corporation ).

From the web page "Telecommunications in Cuba" by John Spicer Nichols
and Alicia M Torres:

"On 3 March 1959, the Cuban government "intervened" (also called a
"temporary" take over) in the management of Cuban Telephone Company
and revoked a rate increase authorized by the previous government. The
revolutionary government also lowered the electrical power rates
charged by US-owned Cuban Electric Company. Finally, on 6 August 1960,
Castro announced to a cheering crowd in the Havana sports stadium that
he had nationalized US$132.9 million in CUTELCO assets from ITT,
US$267.6 million from Cuban Electric (a subsidiary of Boise-Cascade),
and US$85.1 million from United Brands (formerly United Fruit), as
part of a total of US$2 billion seized from US companies."
"Telecommunications in Cuba"

Both Cuban Electric and CUTELCO were monopolies. Each company had 100%
market share in its respective industry (electricity for Cuban
Electric and telephone for CUTELCO).

Cuban Electric Company is described as having been an American-owned
monopoly on a number of web page including "Cuban History" from

Cuban Telephone (CUTELCO) is also described as having been a monopoly
according to a number of sources.

See CubaNet News:
"Cuban telephone system, which had been expropriated from the ITT
Corp. of New York in 1960,"
Also see "Information Technology in  Cuba"

search terms: "united states companies", "american companies", cuba,
cuban, seized assets, property, claims, "Foreign Claims Settlement

I hope this helps. If anything is unclear, please use the "request
clarification" feature. Thanks.
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