File No. 837.00/1101
The Secretary of State to Minister Gonzales
Washington , February 17, 1917—6 p.m.
Your February 16, 11 p.m. Navy Department received this morning radio from commander of Petrel at Santiago stating that revolutionists have placed two ships with explosives to block harbor by sinking in case of approach of Federal war vessels. Leader revolutionary forces stated he would sink these vessels unless United States forces guaranteed no Federal ship would enter.
As it is essential for protection of foreign interests that channel should be kept clear Navy has sent radio to commander in chief of fleet to send necessary ships to aid Petrel and to instruct commander of Petrel to warn Federal ships not to enter under existing conditions and to prevent their entry.
You are directed to inform Cuban Government of the above and state wishes of this Government that Federal ships shall not attempt to enter at this time.