The Department of State to the Cuban Legation.
Washington , January 17, 1905 .
The Department of State has received the memorandum of the Cuban legation, dated January 12, 1905, suggesting that recommendation be made to Congress to appropriate a moderate sum for the [Page 277] relief of Luciano Arestuche and Felipe Maza é Ibarra, who are alleged to have suffered injuries at the hands of American soldiers during the period of the military occupation of Cuba by the United States.
It appears that the colonel commanding our forces at Matanzas collected from the soldiers the sum of $314.96, American money, which was paid to Arestuche for the purpose of helping him to support his family and for medical attendance. From an investigation of the case it appears to the Department that the acts of the soldiers, necessitating the amputation of the little finger of Arestuche’s right hand and destroying the use of the next finger, were the lawless acts of private individuals, for which there was no legal liability on the part of this government. The Department is willing, however, as an act of grace, to pay to Arestuche a moderate sum in addition to what he has already received, say $500. No claim in behalf of Ibarra and no evidence has ever been presented to the Department, and it is unable to indicate what action, if any, it might be disposed to take in the case.