Mr. Olney to Mr. Taylor.

No. 592.]

Sir: I inclose copy of dispatch, No. 167, of the 7th instant, from the consul-general at Habana, setting forth the arrest and detention [Page 646] “incomunicado” (contrary to the provisions of the protocol of 1877) by the military authorities at Cienfuegos of an American citizen, Antonio Suarez del Villar.

This is sent to supplement the Tolon case, and to show the difficulty the consul-general finds in presenting remonstrances well grounded as to facts and law.

I am, etc.,

Richard Olney.
[Inclosure in No. 592.]

Mr. Lee to Mr. Rockhill.

No. 167.]

Sir: With respect to the Department’s instruction No. 99, of September 22, and inclosures, from the vice-consul at Cienfuegos, relative to the arrest of Antonio Suarez del Villar, a citizen of the United States, 1 transmit herewith for the information of the Department a copy of a communication I addressed to the Governor and Captain-General on the 3d instant and his answer thereto.

I am, etc.,

Fitzhugh Lee,
[Subinclosure 1 to inclosure in No. 592.]

His Excellency the Governor Captain-General of the Island of Cuba.

Excellency: I have the honor to call your attention to the arrest of Mr. Antonio Suarez del Villar, a citizen of the United States, at Cienfuegos.

Mr. Casanova, the vice-consul at that place, addressed a communication on the 10th of September to the general in chief of the second army corps, asking that this citizen be given all rights he is entitled to under the protocol of the 12th of January, 1877, between Spain and the United States.

To this General Pin replied by referring him to your excellency as the superior authority, because, as he said, he had no jurisdiction in the matter.

This citizen was at the date of the report of the vice-consul, namely, September 12, still “incomunicado,” in which condition he has been kept up to said date, seven days. This is contrary to existing laws and treaties, unless in the position you have assumed that a state of war or siege suspends them.

My Government insists that your position in this matter can not be maintained; that the question has already been settled by precedents, and that no state of war or proclamation of martial law can deprive American citizens of the rights now possessed in accordance with treaty stipulations.

I am further instructed to ask that the vice-consul at Cienfuegos be recognized in the enjoyment of all rights of local complaint granted to the “consuls of the most favored nation, and. in particular to those of Germany.”

I take this opportunity, etc.,

Fitzhugh Lee,
[Subinclosure 2 to inclosure in No. 592.—Translation.]

To the Consul-General of the United States, present.

Sir: As soon as I was notified that Mr. Antonio Suarez del Villar, of Cienfuegos, and arrested according to my information for just cause, alleged his citizenship of the United States of America, I ordered the transmission to this city of the proceedings instituted in order that in view thereof and subsequent to the proper steps, as provided by our laws, I may decide accordingly, which proceedings can not possibly be waived, to the end that the clauses of the protocol of the 12th of January, [Page 647] 1877, may be applied to those entitled to same, and that the resolutions adopted in consequence should have due legal force.

I have the honor to inform you as above as an answer in part to your communication of the 2d instant.

God guard you many years.

Valeriano Weyler.