Mr. Storer to Mr. Hay.
Madrid , August 4, 1899 .
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt to-day of cipher telegram signed “Adee, Acting,” reading, when deciphered, as follows:
Your 33 received. Following names agree with lists here: Cartagena: José R. Nicolas, José dela Rosa, Enrique Dole, José Fonticoba. Ceuta: Carlos Garcia Sierra, Cecilio Garcia Carmenate. Burgos: Antonio Capablanca Fernandez, Julian Alvarez Salazar, Norberto Rojas Hernandez.
You will ask their release and return to Cuba, reserving others for further identification.
In a personal conversation with the minister of state this morning I called his attention to the fact that in spite of the release from prison at Burgos of the four persons described by me in my dispatch No. 37, of date July 26, there remained, according to the information had by our Government, sundry others at Cartagena, Ceuta, and possibly elsewhere. The minister said that he had been informed to the contrary; that according to the minister of justice those at Burgos were the last remaining, but if I could send him a list he would have the case examined at once without any delay. I venture here to call attention again to the statement of the petition signed Bosmeniel and others, transmitted by Mr. Quesada, that the four at Burgos “were the only Cubans now remaining in Spanish prisons.”
As intimated in my No. 37, the Spanish Government on my request [Page 700] made in general terms, without venturing to give names, immediately released from prison at Burgos four prisoners, who are now here in Madrid, supported entirely by what I give them, and under the following circumstances:
Those released from Burgos by the Spanish Government are the three named in your telegram received to-day, to wit: Antonio Capablanca Fernandez, Julian Alvarez Salazar, Norberto Rojas Hernandez, and the other whose name was not transmitted by Mr. Quesada, and was not found in the lists in the Department, but who was, nevertheless, there in prison, and is now here, to wit, Rafael Joya Mesa.
According to the story of these men, on release each was asked if he had a preference as to which seaport he should go. Either by carelessness, misunderstanding, or maladministration they were released practically as ordinary prisoners, who are turned loose with a small sum for support to their place of abode. As the amount of this sum is computed by way of mileage, these Cubans were keen enough to ask for the most distant seaport, Cadiz, without any special intention to go there.
They then spent nearly every cent in coming by rail to Madrid instead, where, until I heard of it and intervened, they subsisted by asking charity and obtaining assistance from the employees of a small, radical Republican newspaper, often suppressed by the police, whicli was making public the matter in order to provoke friction and excite sensation.
I have allowed these men daily enough to live on on condition of keeping perfectly quiet and giving no interviews to any newspapers; and Mr. Sickles is gradually with some difficulty getting from each a detailed statement in writing.
As soon as I was able to get the matter to the minister of state—who has been at San Sebastian—this morning, I obtained the ready promise that the civil governor of Madrid should at once transport these four Burgos repatriados to the seaboard and provide shipping there. At my suggestion any other prisoners falling within the treaty of Paris will be conveyed to the nearest seaport at the fitting time to take steamer, and not be allowed to wander over Spain or come to Madrid.
Your telegram having given me the names, I have at once transmitted the list to the minister of state for his examination.
I have, etc.,