125 Jewish Enterprises Looted in Havana Riots; No Anti-semitism Noted

Between 125 and 150 Jewish-owned shops and stores in Havana have been looted and sacked by the mob in the rioting in the Cuban capital that has followed the collapse of the Batista regime, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today.

Most of these establishments were in the Prado section of the city where roving mobs turned their wrath against establishments identified in their opinion with the Batista government.

Information received here from the city of Santiago where Fidel Castro’s anti-Batista revolutionary movement enjoys its greatest support, established that a number of Jews in Santiago were among Castro’s supporters and an undetermined number of Jewish youths were enlisted in his 26th of July revolutionary movement. One Jewish volunteer was reported killed in action against the former government forces as a member of Castro’s brigades.

While numerous shops owned by Jews in Havana were smashed and looted, there seemed to be no evidence of organized anti-Semitism as a factor. Castro’s supporters were reported here today to have facilitated the departure through strife-torn streets of hundreds of American Jews.

A be Aronovitz, former Mayor of Miami and one of the Americans who witnessed the battles in Havana and later was evacuated to the United States, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he was very conscious of the dangerous potentialities facing Jews in the chaos. He expressed relief at the absence of anti-Semitism as such. He estimated that 95 percent of the Americans evacuated on the steamer City of Havana were Jews.

He said that his contacts with Cuban Jewry led him to believe that Castro had no desire to inject anti-Semitism into the scene and that the rebel leader was anxious to avoid such a development among his followers. Meanwhile, it was reported here that Cuban friends of Israel are hoping for early diplomatic recognition of the new Cuban regime by Jerusalem.

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