Havana, May 17.- Cuba on Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of its first Agrarian Reform Law, with farmers, workers and youth doing voluntary work in construction sites and farming areas nationwide. The first Agrarian Reform Law was signed by Cuban leader Fidel Castro at La Plata Rebel Army headquarters on May 17, 1959, just four months after the triumph of the Revolution.
The law sought to break up large landholdings and redistribute them to those who worked them, to cooperatives, and the state.
The agrarian reform limited landholdings to 993 acres, expropriated large estates, distributed expropriated land to peasants and nationalized large cattle ranches.
Over 100,000 rural families then became the legitimate owners of their land.
"Cuba has started a new era that will be of extraordinary splendor if we leave greed behind and commit ourselves to work for the happy future ahead," Fidel Castro wrote in a message addressed to the Cuban people before signing the Agrarian Reform into law. (Raquel Maria Garcia Alvarez /Prensa Latina)