File No. 837.00/1090
Habana, February 15, 1917—5 p.m.
Department should understand contingencies. General and widespread doubt exists of army’s loyalty and the demonstrated disaffection in Santiago and Camaguey is not reassuring. Gómez organized this army when he was President and number of its officers took part in liberal revolt of 1906. Zayas told me 75 per cent of the army would come to him when called.
The test and crisis will come when the President’s forces are brought against Gómez in Camaguey Province. In Gómez forces are several hundred deserters from the army. If Gómez should gain advantage through failure of Government’s forces to fight loyally, I believe there would undoubtedly be uprising of liberals in Habana of sufficient strength to place President and Governor in peril. The rural guard force appears loyal but it is scattered throughout country.
At this time the published result of yesterday’s election has not affected the situation.
Grinding in number of sugar mills stopped by order of Gómez but no cane destroyed. His object is to recruit men thrown out of employment.
The President’s nearest friends, even some Cabinet members are not confident and I know many of them would be glad of almost any compromise. All of them doubt the army and are apprehensive of result of uprising here. There is no sign of uneasiness among Americans. On the other hand if army stands test of fight against Gómez forces there would be strong tide turning to President.