The Ambassador in Cuba (Crowder) to the Secretary of State

No. 1217

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegram No. 114 of October 20th, 1 P.M.,27 directing me to forward a copy of my note to the Cuban Foreign Office pursuant to the Department’s instruction No. 543 of September 24th and a copy of the Cuban Government’s reply thereto with reference to the negotiation of a supplementary extradition convention between the two countries.

In compliance with the Department’s instruction I transmit herewith, as enclosure No. 1, copy of my note No. 556, dated September 30, 1925, on this subject, addressed to the Secretary of State of Cuba.27 I likewise transmit herewith, as enclosure No. 2, a copy of Dr. Céspedes’ note No. 1027, dated October 7, 1925,27 in reply to my note.

It was readily apparent to me after studying Dr. Céspedes’ note that the negotiation of the treaty was being unduly delayed because of the exchange of formal written correspondence. I therefore requested an interview, and on the morning of October 15th I had a long discussion with Dr. Céspedes and Dr. Gutierrez, his legal adviser, after which I sent the Department my telegram No. 123 of October 15, 3 P.M.27

This morning I had a further conference with Dr. Céspedes, who now consents to the elimination of paragraph 20 of Article II of the Cuban counter-draft, which formed a part of enclosure No. 127 of my despatch No. 1176 of September 11, 1925, and which read:

“20. Embezzlement, this being understood to be the defraudation made by one person against another by means of deceit.”

This was the point referred to in my telegraph No. 123 of October 15, 3 P.M., in the following words:

“It (the Cuban Government) insists further that the word ‘estafa’ be inserted in the Spanish text as the equivalent of embezzlement understanding as such obtaining money, valuable securities or other personal property by false devices.”

Dr. Céspedes finally expressed the belief that the present extradition treaty covers under fair construction the offense sought to be [Page 28] made extraditable by said paragraph. I therefore request that the Department disregard so much of the previous correspondence as refers to that point, and of course the references thereto in Dr. Céspedes’ note No. 1027 of October 7, 1925, which forms enclosure No. 2 of this despatch.

In considering this question Dr. Céspedes stated he felt it might be necessary for him to submit a note to the Embassy with reference to the Protocol Amending the Spanish Text of the Extradition Treaty of April 6, 1904,28 in order that there might be no possibility of any doubt arising in Cuba of the inclusion of “estafa” as an extraditable offense. “Estafa” is a broader term than our words “embezzlement” or “larceny” and broader also than the phrase “obtaining money, etc. under false pretenses”, and he expressed his agreement that it would be difficult to find an exact English equivalent for the qualified estafa which he wished to make an extraditable offense. He further said that he was: of the opinion that the crime of qualified estafa could be made to appear as extraditable by changing the punctuation of paragraph 6 of Article II of the Protocol, where he apparently felt that the first two commas should be semicolons, as they are in the English text of the original treaty, and perhaps by changing other obscurities of the Spanish text arising out of improper punctuation.

I transmit herewith, as enclosure No. 3, a draft of the proposed Additional Extradition Treaty29 in a form which according to the oral understanding arrived at with Dr. Céspedes is agreeable to his Government and which appears to me to be closely in accord with the views expressed by the Department. I should be pleased to receive the Department’s comment on this draft.

I have [etc.]

E. H. Crowder
  1. Not printed.
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  6. Foreign Relations, 1905, p. 280.
  7. Not printed.