837.00/2061: Telegram

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

55. Secretary of State Desvernine has just placed in my hands the following cablegram from General Gómez to his son sent in code but decoded by the Director General of Posts of Cuba:

“Endeavor to have congressmen not to complete quorum in Congress. Express to them that the success of my action in Washington depends on that attitude. The nonlegal proclamation of Zayas will cause [prevent?] nonofficial recognition by the Government of the United States, and accordingly I believe that our triumph is certain. Washington will not recognize Zayas officially without legal requirements.

The President has shown me telegraphic despatch circulated throughout the Island in which General Gómez advises General Pinguerra [Pino Guerra?] that new elections will be held with American supervision.

President showed me despatch from Céspedes asking instructions as to whether he should request an audience with President Harding for General Gómez. President Menocal, knowing the real purpose of his mission, was disposed to instruct Céspedes not to ask for the audience but yielded to my advice and ordered telegram sent to Céspedes saying that he would interpose no objection to the reception of General Gómez in his capacity as ex-President of the Republic although he knew that his purpose was to use the incident to strengthen the political boycott which he has proclaimed against the Government here and also his demand for a new general election.

I recommend that General Gómez be received by the Department and questioned along the lines of my March 28, 4 p.m., paragraph 2; that he be asked if he was satisfied with the decisions of the courts of Cuba as to the November 1st elections on the much-vexed question of lack of guarantees against intimidation and violence and if so why he is unwilling to trust the courts of Cuba to decide the same question as to the partial elections held March 15th. Am firmly convinced that all or nearly all apprehensions entertained by members of Liberal Party as to violence threatened in the March 15th elections were the result of Liberal propaganda and the acts of agents of that party; see my 37, March 12, 1 p.m. and March 13, 4 [8] p.m. I am satisfied that if General Gómez had cooperated with me instead of obstructing with this propaganda his entire strength would have gone to the polls and the elections of March 15th [Page 686] would have proceeded without organized disturbance and free from disorder except as it resulted from acts of irresponsible individuals of both parties. The truth is that General Gómez was dissatisfied with the chance that the Supreme Court gave him to win and would have been satisfied only with the proposition made to me by his representatives as set forth in my 38, March 13, 8 p.m., paragraph 2.