Dorticos Torrado, Osvalso

1962 TLS as President of Cuba to artist Rockwell Kent’s agent, the controversial H. K. Thompson Jr., 2 weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis

Price: $95.00

Description:
(1919-1983) President of Cuba 1959-76. Born to a wealthy Cienfuegos family, he graduated with a law degree in 1941 from the University of Havana. He joined the Communist-controlled Popular Socialist Party and for a time was secretary to the party's leader. In the 1950s, Dorticós established a prosperous law practice in Cienfuegos. He strongly opposed the Batista government and participated in the Civil Resistance Movement, supplying rebel forces with arms and supplies. He was elected dean of the Cuban Bar Association in 1958 prior to being arrested by the Batista regime and briefly exiled to Mexico. After the success of the Revolution on Jan. 1, 1959, Dorticós returned to Cuba and was appointed Minister of Revolutionary Laws in Castro’s cabinet. In that role, he played an important role in drafting revolutionary legislation such as the Agrarian Reform Act and the Fundamental Organic Law that supplanted the 1940 Constitution. After President Manuel Urrutia’s resignation, Dorticós was appointed President of Cuba by the Council of Ministers 17 July 1959. As President, he represented Cuba at the Summit of Non-Aligned Nations in Belgrade (1961) and at the Summit of the Organization of American States in Punta del Este, Uruguay (1962). During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Dorticós gave a speech at the UN in which he (falsely) announced that Cuba had nuclear weapons which it hoped would never be used. He attended the inauguration of Argentine Peronist President Campora in 1973 along with Chilean President Salvador Allende. In addition to acting as President, Dorticós was a member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of Cuba’s Communist Party (from 1965) and president of the Central Planning Council (from 1964). Upon implementation of the Cuban Constitution of 1976, Fidel Castro became Head of State and Dorticós was displaced and named President of the National Bank and a member of the Council of State. He committed suicide in 1983, apparently brought on by the death of his wife, as well as chronic spinal disease. TLS in Spanish on 9 ¾ x 7 ½ letterhead as President of the Republic, Havana, October 3 1962 (“The year of Planning”)to H. K. Thompson Jr., New York City. President Dorticos thanks him for his August 28 letter sending the August issue of “The Independent.” Dorticos adds “Patria o Muerte/Venceremos” (“Our country or death/we shall prevail”) with his closing. Included is a photocopy of a letter in Spanish to Thompson as Rockwell Kent’s agent from the president of the Cuban Institute for Agrarian Reform sending thanks for a copy of the Independent which had an article on “The Right Wing”. H. KEITH THOMPSON JR. (1922-2002) Involved with the German-American Bund and the America First movement, as a 1940 college student he supported the FDR-Wallace ticket. At Yale in 1944 he was in the Political Union, a front for the American Labor Party. Thompson held legal posts in the Navy and was with Adm. Byrd’s 1947 Antarctic expedition. In 1948 he attended the founding of Wallace’s Progressive Party. Appalled by the Nuremburg war crimes trials, Thompson worked on cases incl. Grand-Admiral (Hitler’s designated successor) Karl Donitz. He was regarded as a Communist sympathizer in his Navy and Marine Corps days, having associated with Party members. He had a friendship with left-wing Mexican muralist David Alfiero Siquieros. Thompson wrote an article on the case in Leftist publisher Lyle Stuart’s magazine, The Independent, when Siquieros was jailed in Mexico in 1960 for openly criticizing President Adolfo Lopez Mateos and protesting arrests of striking workers and teachers; he was released in 1964. He also represented left-wing artist Rockwell Kent, and broke Kent’s blacklisting by publishers. Thompson praised Senators Joseph McCarthy and Robert Taft as opposing post-war trials of WW II German leadership, sought clemency for the Rosenbergs, and offered aid to Alger Hiss. Supporting leftist causes was an indirect means of supporting civil liberties for rightists and German WW II veterans. He became strongly anti-communist and anti-Semitic. When Dönitz was released from Spandau Prison in 1956, Thompson organized a campaign to restore his pension rights. The campaign correspondence was published in 1976 as “Dönitz at Nuremberg: A Reappraisal”. Thompson sent letters to eminent international persons seeking views on the war crimes trials, referring to Dönitz as having been jailed for performing the duty any military man would be sworn to uphold. As a literary agent, Thompson’s clients also included Cuban President Fulgencio Batista and represented an Argentine-Bolivian group selling arms to Batista when fighting Castro’s guerrillas. Another client was Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother, Marguerite, representing her in negotiations for interviews, the sale of documents, and auctioned Oswald’s letters for her. In 1968 he published a book analyzing JFK’s signature. Before his death, he was a notable donor to GOP conservatives incl. Oliver North, Jesse Helms, David Duke and Patrick Buchanan.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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