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Jews in Havana Fear Violence; Seek Reassurance from Castro Regime

Jewish stores in Havana were attacked today by mobs following the fall of the Batista government, while leaders of the Jewish community there were seeking reassurances from representatives of the new regime which brought Fidel Castro into power.

A number of Havana Jewish families, including children, arrived by air in Miami this morning. They reported that the atmosphere in Havana was tense when they left the city, and that the Jews there are afraid that hot-headed Gastro partisans might rise violently in the streets against segments of the population whom they have in the past charged with backing the Batista regime. A number of prominent Havana Jews were among those against whom such charges were voiced.

Representatives of the Castro forces who have been active in Miami soliciting aid for Castro, and are known to be friendly to Jews, left for Havana today by plane. They expected the Castro forces to enter Havana at any time during the day. It was hoped that these representatives would act to check any anti-Jewish action on the part of uncontrolled elements during the transitional chaotic period.

It was known here that Castro supporters in Havana had sought contributions from leading Jews in Havana during the civil war and received no response. In the chaos that was expected to prevail until the city returned to a normal life, some of these supporters–it was feared–would incite the mobs against Jews under the pretext that the latter refused to help finance the Castro revolution.

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