We remember Milton S. Hershey (1857-1945) and his town in Cuba

We remember Milton S. Hershey who was born in Derry Township, Pennsylvania on this day in 1857. Over time, he built the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing plant.  Hershey died in 1945.

In 1916, Hershey built a town in Cuba:

On a piece land east of Havana, he built a large sugar refinery and an adjoining village — a model town like his creation in Hershey, Pa. — to house his workers and their families.

And he paid his workers in Cuban pesos worth 100 real “centavos”!

He named the place Hershey.

The village would come to include about 160 homes — the most elegant made of stone, the more modest of wooden planks — built along a grid of streets and each with tidy yards and front porches in the style common in the growing suburbs of the United States.

It also had a public school, a medical clinic, shops, a movie theater, a golf course, social clubs and a baseball stadium where a Hershey-sponsored team played its home games, residents said.

The factory became one of the most productive sugar refineries in the country, if not in all of Latin America, and the village was the envy of surrounding towns, which lacked the standard of living that Mr. Hershey bestowed on his namesake settlement.

It was more than a town named after Mr. Hershey. It was also a very profitable sugar company.  I guess that those were the days when Cuba was “the sugar king” of the world.

By the way, Mr. Hershey’s property was confiscated.

We will wait longer to see how these investors will be compensated. It should be one of the issues that demands immediate attention from whatever the new Trump approach is for Cuba. It did not get proper attention from the Obama administration.

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