837.00/1626: Telegram

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

63. Amendment to electoral law referred to in Legation’s telegram number 43, February 13, 4 p.m., and Department’s telegram number 31, February 20, 5 p.m., seemed to have been abandoned until yesterday when Conservatives, for the first time, publicly announced their intention to pass modification of electoral law presenting to president of Senate draft of amendment which would allow coalition between Zayas and Conservatives thus enabling Zayas Liberals to vote for Conservative presidential candidate. Other Liberals threaten to retire, also remain away from Congress if such law were forced through, leaving responsibility on Conservatives. Conservatives probably will make another effort to pass project on Friday and if successful House will have opportunity to act on it Monday. Sub-Secretary of State, however, informs me it is his opinion that [it] will be impossible to obtain a quorum before April 1st.

  • Article 1. Article 120 Electoral Code will be understood to be drawn up in the following terms:

    Article 120. The same person shall be able to be nominated for the same office by more than one party inscribed as a national party in the register of political parties unless the office is one not subject to the rules of proportional representation. Otherwise than in the preceding case no person shall be able to appear on the official ballot as candidate for the same office on two different tickets nor for more than one office on the same ticket nor shall he be able to sign an acceptance of more than one nomination for the same office. In case he should [be proposed as a] candidate on two or more tickets he should ratify the acceptation of one of the nominations that has been made. If he does not do so it is understood that he renounces being a candidate.

  • Article 2. This law will take effect from its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic.3

If above plan succeed[s] it is expected Nuñez will leave Conservative ranks and align with José Miguel Gomez. Rumor is current among Conservatives that Crowder, after finishing law, but before leaving here, was informed such an amendment might become necessary, it being proposed that the change be made at that time, but Crowder preferred to avoid further delay; the inference being that he made no objection to the amendment.

  1. Law published Mar. 26 (file no. 837.00/1546).