211f.37 C 88/1

The Panaman Minister (Alfaro) to the Secretary of State

[No.] D–145

Mr. Secretary: Through a note dated March 14 last the Minister of the Republic of Cuba in Panama applied to the Government of Panama for the provisional detention of Luis Calcaño Crossa charged with the offence of obtaining money by false pretences in the sum of $20,000 in the city of Habana to the detriment of the branch of the National City Bank of New York. Crossa was reported to be bound for the port of Cristobal where he was to land on the 16th of the said month as a passenger on the steamship Atenas.

The Department of Foreign Relations of Panama entertained the application of the diplomatic representative of Cuba, took legal action thereon, and in a note asked the Canal Zone authorities for the cooperation of their police in effecting the arrest of the fugitive and eventually delivering him to the Panaman police in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI of the treaty of November 18, 1903.34 The Executive Secretary of the Canal Zone was also informed that the fugitive was not one of those persons permitted to immigrate and [Page 519] who under Article XII have free access to the lands and workshops of the Canal and other auxiliary works, and therefore was under the control of the Government of Panama as regards his entrance into the territory of the Republic.

The Cuban Minister was informed that the necessary steps had been taken in accordance with his request to effect the provisional detention of the fugitive.

The Executive Secretary of the Canal Zone replied to the Government of Panama stating that by virtue of a cablegram from the Cuban Secretary of State, Señor Rafael Martines Ortiz, requesting that Crossa be detained, Crossa had been arrested. Later the Cuban Minister in Panama made a formal requisition to the authorities of the Canal Zone for the extradition of the fugitive, but the judicial authorities of the Zone did not take action thereon because the Cuban accused waived the formalities of extradition and was, in consequence, delivered on a warrant of the District Judge of the Canal Zone to the agents of the judicial police of Habana.

It appears, then, that in the case under consideration the Canal Zone authorities entered into direct negotiations with the Government of the Republic of Cuba, in the form that is customary with entities in their international relations.

Those facts have given occasion for the Government of Panama to present a formal protest to the Government of the Republic of Cuba which by its conduct has encroached upon the sovereignty of Panama and its international individuality.

My Government adheres to the opinions set forth in the notes which I had the honor to address to the Department of State under dates of May 24, June 25 and September 6, 1923,35 and in consequence has instructed me to present to the Government of Your Excellency, as I do by this note, the most respectful, but at the same time the most formal and energetic protest, against the manner in which the extradition of the fugitive from the justice of Cuba, Luis Calcaño Crossa, was effected.

I renew [etc.]

Ricardo J. Alfaro