ABSTRACT

In the early years of agrarian reform the processing of claims was severely handicapped by an almost total lack of suitably qualified and available personnel. Countless inter-community boundary lines were bitterly disputed and ill-defined, as were the dividing lines between the regional zones referred to in the Agrarian Reform Law. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the financial resources at the disposal of successive governments for implementing agrarian reform were minimal. Whilst textual references in the 1953 Agrarian Reform Decree to the specifically ‘agrarian’ components of reform were few in number, those objectives that were referred to, ‘the modernization of agriculture’ and ‘the permanent transformation of cultivation methods’, were radical and extremely ambitious. The Agrarian Reform Law had extolled the virtues of opening up the Oriente for commercial farming and designating colonization areas for land-hungry campesinos.