837.00/1513: Telegram

The Minister in Cuba (Gonzales) to the Acting Secretary of State

60. At session of national convention of Liberal Party last night a motion was carried by 48 votes against 13 authorizing the executive committee to invoke American supervision 1920 presidential elections if and when in committee’s judgment circumstances should warrant it. This question has been much agitated in the party press and ranks during the last two months and party sentiment generally seems strongly in favor of it. Several months before 1916 election same motion was discussed and rejected by convention. Alfredo Zayas several times presidential nominee is chairman of and dominates executive committee thus empowered to invoke supervision. He warmly supported the motion in last night’s meeting and voted in favor of it.

A significant incident is that two of the most prominent Zayistas, Juan Gualberto Gomez and Loynaz del Castillo in referring to 1917 revolution declared they had no knowledge or inkling of it until after it had broken out thus giving authoritative confirmation of widely held belief that José Miguel Gomez and his personal supporters were wholly responsible for it and that it was intended as much a coup against Zayas as Menocal.

Cosme de la Torriente former Secretary of State but lately rather independent in politics in interview published yesterday points out that effective supervision of election by the United States would mean control of all Government machinery as complete as if American governors were sitting in the palace and would surely lead into a permanent intervention.