To the Congress of the United States:

I commend to the Congress timely consideration of measures for maintaining diplomatic and consular representatives in Cuba and for carrying out the provisions of the act making appropriation for the support of the Army for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1902, approved March 2, 1901, reading as follows:

Provided further, That in fulfillment of the declaration contained in the joint resolution approved April 20, 1898, entitled “For the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain relinquish its authority and government in the island of Cuba, and to withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect,” the President is hereby authorized to “leave the government and control of the island of Cuba to its people” so soon as a government shall have been established in said island under a constitution which, either as a part thereof or in an ordinance appended thereto, shall define the future relations of the United States with Cuba substantially as follows:

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That the government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or other compact with any foreign power or powers which will impair or tend to impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any manner authorize or permit any foreign power or powers to obtain, by colonization or for military or naval purposes or otherwise, lodgment in or control over any portion of said island.


That said government shall not assume or contract any public debt to pay the interest upon which, and to make reasonable sinking fund provision for the ultimate discharge of which, the ordinary revenues of the island, after defraying the current expenses of government, shall be inadequate.


That the Government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the Government of Cuba.


That all acts of the United States in Cuba during its military occupancy thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights acquired thereunder shall be maintained and protected.


That the Government of Cuba will execute, and as far as necessary extend, the plans already devised, or other plans to be mutually agreed upon, for the sanitation of the cities of the island, to the end that a recurrence of epidemic and infectious diseases may be prevented, thereby assuring protection to the people and commerce of Cuba, as well as to the commerce of the southern ports of the United States and the people residing therein.


That the Isle of Pines shall be omitted from the proposed constitutional boundaries of Cuba, the title thereto being left to future adjustment by treaty.


That to enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the Government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain specified points, to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.


That by way of further assurance the Government of Cuba will embody the foregoing provisions in a permanent treaty with the United States.

The people of Cuba having framed a constitution embracing the foregoing requirements, and having elected a President who is soon to take office, the time is near for the fulfillment of the pledge of the United States to leave the government and control of the island of Cuba to its people. I am advised by the Secretary of War that it is now expected that the installation of the Government of Cuba and the termination of the military occupation of that island by the United States will take place on the 20th of May next.

It is necessary and appropriate that the establishment of international relations with the Government of Cuba should coincide with its inauguration, as well to provide a channel for the conduct of diplomatic relations with the new State as to open the path for the immediate [Page 322] negotiation of conventional agreements to carry out the provisions of the act above quoted. It is also advisable that consular representation be established without delay at the principal Cuban ports in order that commerce with the island may be conducted with due regard to the formalities prescribed by the revenue and navigation statutes of the United States, and that American citizens in Cuba may have the customary local resorts open to them for their business needs and, the case arising, for the protection of their rights.

I therefore recommend that provision be forthwith made; and the salaries appropriated, to be immediately available, for—

a. Envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the Republic of Cuba $10,000
b. Secretary of legation 2,000
c. Second secretary of legation 1,500
d. Consul-general at Habana 5,000
e. Consuls at—
Cienfuegos 3,000
Santiago de Cuba 3,000

I do not recommend the present restoration of the consulates formerly maintained at Baracoa, Cardenas, Matanzas, Nuevitas, Sagua la Grande, and San Juan de los Remedios. The commercial interests at those ports heretofore have not been large. The consular fees collected there during the fiscal year 1896–97 aggregated $752.10. It is believed that the actual needs of the six offices named can be efficiently subserved by agents under the three principal consular offices until events may show the necessity of erecting a full consulate at any point. The commercial and political conditions in the island of Cuba while under the Spanish Crown afford little basis for estimating the local development of intercourse with this country under the influence of the new relations which have been created by the achievement of Cuban independence, and which are to be broadened and strengthened in every proper way by conventional pacts with the Cubans and by wise and beneficient legislation aiming to stimulate the commerce between the two countries, if the great task we accepted in 1898 is to be fittingly accomplished.

Theodore Roosevelt.