File No. 837.156/135.
The Secretary of State to the American Minister.
Washington, February 8, 1913.
The War Departments report, now received, points out:
- The bridge project is in conflict with a carefully studied and very desirable plan of harbor improvement projected by a board appointed during the Provisional Government and approved by the Provisional Governor on November 19, 1909.
- The bridge project, apart from the objections already made by the Navy Department, is declared to be wholly objectionable from the standpoint of the interests of both Governments, principally for the following reasons: The height above the water is insufficient to permit the passage of the wireless masts of large steamers which must be expected to use the port of Habana after the opening of the Panama Canal. The placing of a bridge-pier in the now too small entrance to the harbor will endanger navigation and will prevent widening the channel, which must be effected in the not distant future. The land grant of the concession takes part of the existing military reservation which is required for military uses, including the field of fire required for the fortresses. New defenses for Habana harbor may be required on this reservation and consequently it is imperative that it should not be alienated from the possession of the State.
When communicating the foregoing to the Cuban Government you will say that this Government is so firmly convinced that the project is inadmissably detrimental to the vital interests of both Governments that it confidently expects that the responsible Cuban authorities will not permit its execution, whatever may be the technical difficulties now in the way thereof.