Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cuba's Immense Trade


The Total of Its Exports Reaches an Extraordinary Figure.

The trade of Cuba is simply astounding when compared with that of other nations and is only to be explained on the ground that everything raised on the island is for export, and all are articles of the first commercial importance. The exports of Great Britain per capita are $32.70, of France $18.64, of Germany $16.89; of the United States $13.92, of Spain $10.67 and of Cuba $50! Of course it is ridiculous to say that Cuba is proportionately richer than the countries named, even admitting the high character of all her products, but rather it shows how Spanish exactions rake the island over and gather up every item of value in order to raise a revenue out of all proportion to the number of people subject thereto.

The area of Cuba is 45,000 square miles, with a population of 1,631,687. Of this population about 65 per cent is white and the balance colored and Chinese. The annual taxes raised from those people is about $26,000,000, of which over $6,000,000 goes to support the 20,000 Spanish soldiers who are kept upon the island in order to keep it in subjection. Besides all this Spain has saddled upon the island a public debt of $135,000,000. The annual income of the inhabitants is placed at about $80,000,000. The yearly production of tobacco is placed at 300,000 bales. The exports of Cuba are: To Spain, $4,361,331; to France, $698,216; to England, $450,705; to the United States, $57,024,513, and to other countries small amounts, running the total exports up to $64,721,936.

From this it will be soon that the United States furnishes almost the exclusive market for Cuban products, yet the table of imports into Cuba show what a small hold we have upon Cuba in return. Out of a total importation into Cuba of $35,303,055, the United States gets only $9,886,328, while Spain sells her goods to the amount of $11,695,806, and England, which only buys $450,705 from Cuba, sells her $8,410,590. In one year the United States bought from Cuba 1,500,000,000 pounds of sugar, value $45,040,333; over 16,000,000 gallons of molasses, value $1,790,624, and over 16,000,000 pounds of tobacco, value $10,484,604. The character of the imports into Cuba from the United States were meat and dairy products, iron and steel manufactures, breadstuffs, coal and wood and its manufactures. — Atlanta Constitution.

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