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Cuba Moves to Seize Refugees’ Bonds, Washington Hears

The Cuban Government moved today to confiscate a large sum of American cash placed on deposit in Havana as bonds for refugees who have been allowed to enter the island republic, republic, it was learned from an official source.

In a bold move, carefully concealed until this moment, the Government was scheduled to introduce into the Cuban Senate at four o’clock this afternoon a bill that would confiscate between 75 and 100 percent of the bonds of refugees who have remained in Cuba six months or more. The bill is retroactive and would throw into the Cuban Treasury virtually all the bonds for thousands of European refugees.

Each refugee entering Cuba on a temporary visa is forced to put up a $500 bond. Many of these bonds have been advanced by American organizations and individuals. Under the agreements reached between these organizations and the Cuban Government, these bonds were to have been returned when the refugees left Cuba.

State Department officials declined to comment at this time on the action of the Cuban Government, but it is known that the State Department has exhausted every unofficial recourse in an attempt to avert the confiscation. Involved is the money of Americans from every section of the country who have contributed funds.

One Government official, who would not allow his name to be used, said: “It seems that this action of the Cuban Government, if put into effect, would be incompatible with Cuba’s membership in the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees.”

Dr. Jose T. Baron, Charge d’Affaires at the Cuban Embassy, said he knew nothing of the proposed confiscation, and then added: “Of course, you know aliens must comply with our laws.”

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