Mr. Hay to Mr. Storer.

No. 24.]

Sir: I inclose herewith copy of a communication from Mr. Gonzalo de Quesada, special commissioner of Cuba to the United States, transmitting a list of Cuban political prisoners held by Spain.

You are instructed to bring the matter to the attention of the Spanish Government, and to ask for a compliance with the provisions of article 6 of the treaty of peace in this and all similar cases.

I am, etc.,

John Hay.
[Page 694]

Mr. Quesada to Mr. Hay.

Sir: I beg to submit herewith two documents, the first showing 22 Cubans transported to Spanish penal colonies during the late Cuban insurrection, and the second being a petition in favor of the individuals therein mentioned.

The crimes with which all are charged are clearly political, having been committed during the insurrection and for the purpose of furthering its object.

The cases of these men are clearly embraced within article 6 of the treaty of peace with Spain. I therefore respectfully request that the State Department ask the Government of Spain to release these men, as well as all others similarly situated, although not embraced in these lists, and transport them to their homes in Cuba.

I beg that such speedy action be taken in behalf of these men as their unfortunate condition would suggest.

Very respectfully, yours,

Gonzalo de Quesada,
Special Commissioner of Cuba to the United States.
[Subinclosure 1.]

Ceuta penal colony.

Carlos Garcia Sierra. Sentenced to life imprisonment and to ten years’ hard labor. Crime: Having dynamite.
José Gil Hernandez. Same as the previous case.
Luis Alfara Pita. Sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment. Crime: Being a guide to the Cuban forces.
Angel Asenz Monroe. Sentenced as a rebel to six years’ imprisonment. Crime: Suspected of going to join the insurgents.
Felipe Hernendez. Sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment for rebellion.
Nicasio Lopez. Sentenced to life imprisonment. Crime: Being a spy.
Vicente Colon. War prisoner. Crime: Accused of killing a person in the war.
Camilo Salcerio. War prisoner. Sentenced to life imprisonment. Crime: Rebellion and being a spy.
Felipe Figueroa. War prisoner. Sentenced to life imprisonment and eight years hard labor for having threatened a Spaniard with death.
Cecilio Matias Carmenate. Sentenced to perpetual chain for answering he did not know the whereabouts of Maximo Gomez when asked by a chief of a column.
Francisco Alcolea. Sentenced to perpetual imprisonment with chain because documents were found on him, showing he was a prefect in the rebel field.
Antonio Rodriguez Ruiz. Sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment for buying ammunition for the insurgents.
Juan Gonzalez Hernandez. Made a prisoner with arms in hand. Sentenced to life imprisonment.

Cartagena penitentiary.

Enrique Dolé Morales. Sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment. Crime: Taking ammunition from the military pyrotechnic depot in order to aid the insurrection.
José de la Rosa Aquino. Same as the preceding one.
José Nicolás Guerrero. Same as the preceding one.
José Fonticola. Same as the preceding one.

Burgos penitentiary.

Antonio Capablanca. Sentenced to eight years’ hard labor for the cause assigned for those with numbers 14, 15, 16, and 17.
Norberto Rojas. Sentenced for having son in the insurrection and for being considered an auxiliary of the same.
Julian Alvarez Salazar. Sentenced to twenty years for the same cause designated for those with number 14, 15, and others.

Malaga penitentiary.

Rafael Acosta y Acosta. Awaiting trial for acts committed during his imprisonment in Ceuta.
Juan Benito Castello. For furnishing cartridges to the insurgents.
[Subinclosure 2.—Translation.]

To the Honorable Secretary of Justice:

The undersigned have the honor to state: That in consequence of the war the workmen of the pyrotechnic depot, Don Enrique, Don Jose la Rosa. Don José Nicolas Guerrero, Don Julian Alvarez, Don Antonio Capablanca, and Don José Fanticoba, were arrested on account of having furnished the army of liberation with war munitions, for which they were tried and imprisoned at Ceuta and then transferred to Cartegena, where they now remain serving a sentence which we do not believe was just on the part of Spain to inflict. Therefore, it is not just to forsake them. We have been awaiting the ratifications of the treaty of peace so that these brothers might be liberated and returned to their homes. Such has not been the case and we deplore the fact that they continue in their prison, enduring the wrath of their tormentors, on account of being the only Cubans now remaining in Spanish prisons.

Therefore, Mr. Secretary, the undersigned, aware of the most elevated sentiments of justice inspiring you, do not doubt that through your initiative and influence said prisoners shall be liberated by the Government of Spain.

Our hope lies in you, Mr. Secretary, because he who has caused the Jimenez Castellanos proclamation to become effective can also do the same with Don Ramon Blanco’s regarding our brothers who have not committed any greater crimes than others who are now free for common offenses.

In appealing to you, we are sure you will acknowledge that our wish is the legitimate expression which moves us in behalf of those wives, parents, children, and brothers shedding torrents of tears in their orphanhood and misery. They place their trust in you.

Santiago Bosmeniel
et al.