837.00/1641: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Cuba (Long)

60. Your 78, March 27, 4 p.m. Department will immediately take up the situation created by President Menocal’s approval of amendments. Owing to the fact that you will probably receive visits from Miguelista leaders, Department deems it important to advise you without delay of this Government’s policy in case [Page 10] followers of Gomez should declare their intention of withdrawing from approaching elections. You are authorized to outline this policy in following terms:

“The withdrawal of any political party from participation in an election, be it national or local, is regarded by this Government not only as undemocratic, but as tending to undermine the foundations of popular government. Such withdrawal would, in the view of this Government, mean that the leaders of the party thus counseling their followers to abstain from exercising the political duties of citizenship have in reality urged them to withdraw from the political life of the country. Such a proceeding would be regarded in the United States as a grave injustice to the Cuban people, and would place any party adopting such a policy not only beyond the pale of the political life of the country, but as indicative of their incapacity to participate in a fruitful and constructive way in the development of democratic institutions. The withdrawal of any element from the national elections will in no way influence the policy of the United States to regard the result of a fair election as expressive of the national will. This Government will therefore expect all citizens of Cuba, whatever their political affiliation, to accept and abide by the results of such an election. Any other attitude on the part of the Cuban people, or any section thereof, would not only be destructive of the best interests of the Island but would seriously menace the orderly political development of Cuban institutions.”