London Socialist Historians Group Seminar - all welcome
Killing Communists in Havana: 1947 and the Start of the Cold War in Latin America
13 October 2014, 17:30 - 19:30 - Institute of Historical Research
Seminars are in the Olga Crisp Room  at the IHR Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1 . Free without ticket.
The Cold War started early in Cuba, with anti-communist purges of the trade unions already under way by 1947. Corruption and government intervention succeeded in removing the left-wing leaders of many unions but, in those sectors where this approach failed, gunmen linked to the ruling party shot and killed a dozen leading trade union militants, including the general secretary of the sugar workers union. Part of the objective of this attack was to increase productivity and restore profitability in the difficult post-war economic climate and the failure to achieve this would ultimately lead to Batista's coup d'etat in 1952.
Based on material from the Cuban archives and confidential US State Department files, this paper will examine the activities of the US government, the Mafia and the American Federation of Labor, as well as corrupt Cuban politicians and local gangsters, in this early episode of the Cold War.