President Coolidge’s Reply to the Remarks of the Cuban Ambassador (Torriente) on the Occasion of His Reception, December 13, 1923

It affords me unusual pleasure to receive the letter accrediting you as Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba near the Government of the United States. Of the distinguished men who have represented your Government at Washington, you are the first to be given the high rank of Ambassador. This designation is a happy commentary upon the rapid growth and friendly character of the relations existing between our countries.

I value highly the appreciation which you so cordially express of the assistance rendered by the United States to Cuba during the latter’s struggle for independence. It is the desire of our people to see that independence safeguarded and Cuban prosperity assured.

It is true, as you state, that differences of opinion have arisen regarding the position which the United States occupies with respect to Cuba. But I am sure that as regards the fundamental aspects of this position, our statesmen are in accord.

In your remarks, you have referred to the time when you served with forces of this country for the realization of a common ideal. It is gratifying indeed that you are to cooperate with us now in the furtherance of our common desire for better understanding and mutual aid. You can count upon the ready support of this Government in your efforts to that end.

I have not failed to note the hope expressed by you, on behalf of His Excellency President Zayas, that the friendly advice which has been given to him from time to time by this Government be continued. I take this opportunity to assure you that this Government, [Page 854] as ever, entertains the highest solicitude for the welfare of Cuba. It will gladly continue to be of service by means of the friendly counsel and advice which has invariably been given with a view to assisting the Cuban people to maintain an independent existence and to discharge their international obligations.

In accepting the letters of recall of your predecessor, the statesman who now conducts the foreign affairs of Cuba, I wish to express the appreciation entertained by this Government for his conspicuous abilities and friendly collaboration.

I beg you to assure His Excellency the President of Cuba of my best wishes for his personal welfare and for the prosperity of the Cuban Nation. To you, Mr. Ambassador, permit me to extend a cordial welcome and the expression of my earnest hope that your sojourn in Washington will be most pleasurable.