The Braga Brothers collection is one of the richest archival sources on the modernization and expansion of the Cuban sugar industry in the 20th century preceding the rise to power of Fidel Castro. As the archive of a large North American company that did business in Cuba, it provides insights to the unique commercial relationship that once existed between Cuba and the United States.
The principal holdings in the collection are the records of the Czarnikow-Rionda Company. Present publication is continuation of Latin American History and Culture Series 7 that included correspondence of the officers of the company for the years 1897 thru 1920. Series 8 contains selected subject files of Manuel Rionda (1921-43) and a short collection of correspondence of Aurelio Portuondo (1933-35).
Much of the series is taken up with the operations of the company's Cuban sugar estates-Manati, Francisco, Cespedes and Tuinucu-as well as independent plantations that sold their sugars through Czarnikow-Rionda. Discussions of American tariff policy as well as attempts to regulate world sugar production figure prominently in Rionda's correspondence. Also contained are materials created by the public relations firm of Ivy Lee to promote public sentiment in favor of lower sugar tariffs.
The collection holds broad scholarly appeal, especially because of the emphasis of the company's office on tracking not only the economic and financial situation in Cuba but the social and political ones as well.
Part 1: Manuel Rionda y Pollledo. Subject Files 1921-1943
Part 2: Aurelio Portunondo Correspondence, 1933-1935
Complete Collection: 102 reels