On May 17, 1959, the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, signed at La Plata Rebel Army command in the Sierra Maestra mountain range, in eastern Cuba, one of the most transcendent measures adopted after the January 1 victory, as it benefited more than 100,000 families.
Land possession was one of the biggest problems that afflicted the country, according to Fidel Castro’s defense speech in 1953 at his trial just after the Moncada Barracks assault, which transcended with the name of History Will Absolve Me.
At that time, the best soils in Cuba were in the hands of foreign companies, among which the United States owned around 1,340,000 hectares.
That is why, one of the first actions adopted by the revolutionary Government was the delivery of land title to the people who worked it, which also vindicated the farmers’ struggles and figures such as Niceto Perez, one of the leaders of that sector, who was assassinated on May 17, 1946.
The first Agrarian Reform Law set 402 hectares as the maximum amount of land a person could possess, and ordered the establishment of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform to implement the measures adopted; which dealt a severe blow to the large estate and put an end to sharecropping and eviction.