837.00/2002: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Representative on Special Mission in Cuba (Crowder)

55. Your Number 30, February 16, 8 p.m. The plan reported by you which contemplates a mutual agreement between the candidates for the Presidency at the recent election to voluntarily withdraw as candidates and leave their respective electors unpledged, is not one in which this Government should participate, or as to which it desires to express an opinion. This is not to be construed as an expression of criticism of the plan outlined provided its legality is clearly established, and it represents the unforced desires of the Cuban people. The United States is only concerned that elections in Cuba shall be [Page 677] honestly conducted and decided in accordance with the election laws which the Cuban people have duly enacted. Thus only will the people of Cuba gain a respect for their own institutions and confidence in the processes of republican government.

The people of Cuba should not be permitted to feel that we claim any voice in their selection of a president or other public official, or that this Government expects them in any way to be influenced by any preferences on our part as to candidates. We shall endeavor not even to feel a preference and scrupulously to refrain from expressing one.