The New York Times
February 27, 1958

Cuba National Bank Is Raided by Rebels


Special to The New York Times.

HAVANA, Feb. 26--Four or five youthful rebels raided the annex of the National BAnk of Cuba today and burned a quantity of canceled checks and other documents.

Mingling with about sixty bank messengers, the group walked quietly into the clearing house department of the bank, in downtown Havana.

They drew pistols, locked the manager and several employees in an adjacent room and warned the messengers to keep quiet.  They then threw gasoline on piles of canceled checks and other papers, set them afire and walked out.

Dr. Joaquin Martinez Saenz, president of the bank, said that the damage was not great but that confusion created by the burning of checks from various banks would entail considerable work to put accounts in order.  The raid was presumably planned to sow such confusion.

The annex has never had strong police protection, since no securities or valuable documents are kept there, the banker said.  The annex is about a block form the National Bank, which is heavily guarded by soldiers.

The bank assault is part of the sabotage and terroristic campaign of revolutionary elements that seek to prevent elections set for June 1.

Hope to Create Chaos

The rebels apparently hope to create such chaos that the Government will be forced to suspend constitutional guarantees, thus making the elections impossible.

The kidnapping of Juan Manuel Fangio, Argentine champion auto racing driver, on Sunday on the eve of a race was considered part of this campaign.  The race was halted when a car skidded and struck spectators.  Seven persons were killed.

Last night a rebel group burned a warehouse and 2,000 bags of sugar of the Isabel sugar mill.  The mill, belonging to the Guantanamo Sugar Company, is near the town of Guantanamo in Oriente Province.  The rebels also set the office afire and dynamited mill machinery.

A report from Alto Songo in Oriente Province, said a group of thirty rebels burned the nearby railway station of Jutinicium early this morning.

An army corporal was killed when forty rebels assaulted the Charco Redondo manganese mine near Bayamo at dawn.  After a brief battle with soldiers guarding the mine, the rebels withdrew.  It is believed that the rebels sought dynamite stored at the mine.

Bayamo, is the field headquarters of Government troops fighting the rebels led by Fidel Castro in Oriente Province.

Grenade Thrown at Auto

Two persons were killed and one was wounded in Santiago de Cuba in Oriente, when an army patrol car opened fire after a hand grenade was thrown at the automobile.

In Oriente Province the bullet-riddled bodies of two civilizations were found near Manzanillo.  Two bodies were found at Sagua de Tanamo and one near a sugar mill.

A group of nine rebels also was reported to have hanged a man and his son near Alto Songo as informers.

In Las Villas Province, near Sancti Spiritus, the body of a youth was found.

A bomb exploded in an aqueduct at Baire, near Santiago de Cuba, leaving the town without water.

Four professors of the School of Arts and Crafts in Santiago de Cuba were arrested and lodged in jail yesterday in Havana.  Manolo Hevia, nephew of former President Carlos Hevia, now living in exile in the United States, also was arrested.  His father said he was unable to find where the police were keeping the youth, who was seized several weeks ago, tortured and severely burned about the chest and face before he was released.