The Perfect Squeeze: Julio Lobo's Manipulation of "The Good Neighbor Policy": Background information when reading The Sugar King of Havana

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The Sugar King of Havana

The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Tycoon

by John Paul Rathbone

The Sugar King of Havana
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2010, 320 pages
    Jul 2011, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

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Beyond the Book:
The Perfect Squeeze: Julio Lobo's Manipulation of "The Good Neighbor Policy"

In The Sugar King of Havana John Paul Rathbone describes one of the most successful and cunning business moves of Julio Lobo's career - a manipulation of FDR's Good Neighbor Policy which, according to Eduardo Kaplan of The Wall Street Journal, "placed [Lobo] in a different league."

As part of the Good Neighbor Policy, FDR enacted The Jones-Costigan Act in May of 1934. This act set up an agreement between the U.S., its sugar-producing "insular territories" (such as Hawaii and The Philippines) and overseas sugar producers - Cuba (headed by Lobo) being of particular importance here. Among other things, this agreement allowed Washington to assess the sugar needs of the US and institute a quota system in which each country would be assured a certain amount of that market. In theory this act would benefit the United States because it would protect its domestic farmers' interests and also prevent other countries, specifically Cuba, from overproducing sugar (as...

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