All Jewish Activities in Cuba Suspended by Police Ban on Meetings

The Jewish colony here is very much perturbed over the action of Brigadier Frederico Rasco, military commandant of Havana, who prohibited all gatherings, conferences and even directors’ meetings of the Jewish institutions here without any exceptions. At the same time permits are issued to non-Jewish organizations to hold public meetings.

The prohibition of Jewish meetings was first issued May 16, when the Jewish colony prepared to hold a protest meeting against the anti-Jewish persecutions in Germany. It later become known that that prohibition was a result of reported intervention by the German Minister in Cuba, who asked the government to suppress the protest demonstration.

Recently a number of Jewish institutions in Havana, among them the Zionist organization, the Jewish Center, the Jewish Women’s Society, the Tuberculosis Committee and the Union of Representatives of all Jewish organizations, asked the government for permits to held their annual elections of officers, but the military commandant refused to allow any Jewish gatherings without giving any reasons.

A Jewish delegation was told by the government that the Jewish meetings are prohibited because it was feared that they may be turned into anti-Hitler protests, which the Cuban government is determined to prevent.

The Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Orestes Ferrara, who has often intervened in behalf of the Jews, is now on the way to London as Cuban representative to the world economic conference. Several Jewish leaders have appealed to General Herrera, Cuban War Minister and acting Foreign Minister, asking him that prohibitions of Jewish meetings be rescinded. General Herrera promised to intervene with the military commandant concerning the Jewish request.

Despite this promise, the military commandant, however, refused to allow the Tuberculosis Committee to meet to hold its annual elections of officers.

The Jewish population is concerned over the situation created. All contact between Jewish leaders for consultations are impossible because of the state of martial law according to which no three persons may gather without a special permit.

The correspondent of the J.T.A. was promised an interview with Brigadier Rasco in order to secure information concerning the new attitude toward the Jewish Community.

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