Sunday, September 27

Tuesday, May 16

More photos taken in Havana by Walker Evans. Did I mention that he was hanging out with Ernest Hemingway at the time? There had to have been drinking involved.
Things were not going well for President Machado- who Time labeled “dictator”. Machado had been democratically elected, but had run for a second term (against his earlier promise not to, surprise!) of 6 years. The political unity he had brought to Cuba was disintegrating, despite (or maybe because of) the dollars he brought into the country from tourists attracted to the drinking, gambling, and prostitution he encouraged. (spoiler alert- he doesn’t make it to ’34)
He had a visitor in May- one tall, distinguished looking American statesman by the name of Sumner Welles. Sumner Welles was an interesting character throughout the first half of the 20th century. A member of the East coast elite, he had made statecraft his business. I was ready to dislike him right away, but it turns out he opposed many of America’s military adventures in support of our business interests. He may have been one of the good guys, even if he was stinking rich.
Oh well, where else are you gonna find people who can do this kind of work? He tried to get Machado to come to a compromise with his political opponents, instead of just plopping them in jail, but this only ended up weakening his position. Welles may have known diplomacy, but he didn’t know much about running a dictatorship.

For ever and anon, the daily 1933 page is here.

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