837.00/1745: Telegram

The Chargé in Cuba (White) to the Secretary of State

197. The President’s promised statement was issued in an extra edition of the Official Gazette yesterday evening and was published in last night’s and this morning’s papers. It follows rather closely first three pages of Minister Céspedes’ version as communicated to Legation in Mr. Long’s personal letter of July 16.31 The main [Page 20] points of last two pages of Céspedes’ note are incorporated in earlier part of statement which also says that Executive power did not intervene in making code and cannot intervene in [its] application, this is function of electoral boards and law courts and all Cubans are called upon to fully use these means of settling all electoral complaints. The President states he cannot and should not accept responsibilities which the Electoral Code does not impose on him but he will firmly carry out the duty imposed upon him of maintaining order, obliging every one to respect the rights of others and, in so far as legitimately depends on him, to see to the free exercise of their electoral boards and tribunals called upon by the Code to assure the rights of all.

The proclamation then states that the action of the Conservative Party in forming coalition with Zayas is an earnest hope of good faith in the coming elections and states that the Government [has] no other direct interest in the present elections than that they should take place in perfect peace and legality so that the one obtaining most votes should win without complaints and protests. The [President] calls [it] the duty of all to vote at coming elections, confident in the guarantees of the law as regards the electoral operations and in the protection of the Government and tribunals as regards the security of persons and goods.

The Department’s instructions number 117 [167], August 25, received today. General Guerra informed me this morning he hopes Assembly which meets at 2 p.m. will decide to go to polls. He personally favors it but many Liberals from provinces are opposed. I showed him confidentially portions of the statement which the Legation will give to the press this evening for publication tomorrow morning in accordance with your 143, August 26, 7 p.m. He made a few notes of it to communicate personally and confidentially to two or three of the more turbulent Liberal leaders before today’s Assembly. Liberal press seems more favorably inclined towards going to polls and I feel confident that Assembly today will decide to do so.

  1. Mr. Long was then in the United States; no copy of his personal letter has been found in Department files.