The Consul at Santo Domingo (Edwards), Temporarily in Charge of the Legation in the Dominican Republic, to the Acting Secretary of State

No. 439

Sir: I have the honor to invite the Department’s attention to the present status of the very active and rather wide spread propaganda in behalf of the restoration of Dominican independence which is being directed by Dr. Francisco Henriquez y Carvajal, Provisional President at the time of the American intervention.

It is known that Dr. Henriquez left Santiago de Cuba on February 15 last for Havana whence he was to sail for Paris with the purpose of bringing to the attention of the peace conferees the present political status of the Dominican Republic, its right to the consideration of the world and to the restoration of its independence.

Several “juntas” have been organized throughout Cuba, including in their membership many prominent Dominicans and friendly Cubans. Several Cuban newspapers evince their sympathy with the movement by the publication of laudatory articles and editorials. A considerable fund has been raised in Santiago de Cuba and other cities to defray the expenses of the “delegación especial”, the head of which it is understood, of course, will be Dr. Henriquez. It is, indeed, reported that the Doctor is now in Paris, although I have not been able to secure a confirmation of the report.

While I venture to assume that the Department is fully aware of this movement and has kept in touch with its progress, it may be interesting to relate what are said to be the arguments the Doctor will use in presenting his appeal. While eulogizing President [Page 99] Wilson and lauding his efforts in behalf of the weaker nations he will declare that the reasons set forth in the Proclamation as a justification for military intervention and the consequent American occupation of the Dominican Republic were not the true reasons but merely used for the sake of expediency and to hide the real purpose. This purpose finds its explanation in military strategy and necessity. The United States having resolved to declare war on Germany anticipated the declaration by strengthening their position in the Caribbean in order to better guard the approaches to the Panama Canal and to prevent the establishment of submarine bases or the possibility of Germany’s finding other aid in this region. In view of the tremendous magnitude of the issues at stake in the great War, the United States may reasonably claim justification for their action, and on such score would undoubtedly receive the sympathetic support of the world.

However, now that the war has concluded in a victory for the United States and the overwhelming and definite defeat of Germany, all danger to the former in the region of the Caribbean and the Panama Canal has disappeared and such reasons as may have justified the occupation of the country no longer exist.

Therefore, in conformity with the President’s expressed declaration concerning the rights of smaller nations, the United States should now withdraw its military forces and restore the country to the government of its own people.

I have [etc.]

Clement S. Edwards