January 28, 1957, page 41


Tonight at 8:30

Cuba's troublesome wave of sporadic bombings, sabotage and bloodshed spread into its third month last week. Strongman Fulgencio Batista was still undisputed boss of the island. but a few more months of terrorism might well bring the hour when other army officers could gravely inform him that--"for the good of Cuba"--he must step down. To head off that hour, Batista acted. He broadened the existing partial suspension of civil rights to cover the entire island, extended the decree another 45 days. Then he sent censors to newspapers, cable offices, radio and television stations to place a total ban on news of civil violence.

But many a Cuban, though he could no longer read about the bombs, could still hear the noisy blasts they made. Three nights out of six, explosions ripped the Havana air at exactly 8:30 p.m., leading thousands to conclude that they had better stay home evenings. Apparently by plan, several bomb setters touched off blasts within earshot of the tourist-packed Hotel Nacional. In the eastern province of Oriente, where a few score irregulars (who last month invaded Cuba under Rebel Leader Fidel Castro) were still fighting from hideouts in the Sierra Maestra range, four small army garrisons were attacked. In the resulting fighting, 28 soldiers and insurgents were reported killed. And every day saboteurs up and down the island set new fires in fields of ripened sugar cane, Cuba's main source of income.