Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State.
Habana, August 28, 1906.
Sir: In continuation of legation despatch No. 160, of the 25th instant, relative to the insurrection, I have the honor to report that the general situation is somewhat improved. Although Pino Guerra continues active in Pinar del Rio, and a considerable number of insurrectionists are gathered in Santa Clara Province, conditions in the provinces of Mantanzas and Habana are much better and as yet there has been no disturbance in Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba.
Regarding the number of men in the field, it is generally said that Guerra has about 2,000 well mounted and moderately well armed, the government forces opposing him numbering about 1,200 and being daily increased.
It is difficult to say how many insurrectionists there are in Santa Clara. The Government claims that they number about 1,000, but unofficial reports give them several hundred more.
In this connection I beg to inclose copy of decree No. 370, of the 25th instant, providing for the increase of the government forces, and copy in translation of a note from Secretary O’Farrill, No. 680, of the 28th instant, conveying information as to the relative numerical strength of the Government and the insurgents.
Yesterday the President issued a proclamation (translation inclosed) granting amnesty and promising nonmolestation to all insurgents [Page 458]who will lay down their arms. The Government believes that many of them are anxious to return to their homes and will avail themselves of this opportunity, but I think it useless as yet to venture an opinion as to the probable effect of the proclamation.
I beg to advise the Department that neither Luis Perez nor Carlos Mendieta, the latter being now under arrest, have ever been actually in arms against the Government, the insurrectionist leader in Santa Clara Province being General Guzman.
In closing I beg to say that I have been reliably informed that Cuban bankers are refusing loans to planters and cattle raisers which, naturally, further complicates the present situation.
I have, etc.,
Chargé d’ Affaires ad interim.