837.00/3421: Telegram

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

1. My despatch 1472, December 31.1 Killing of Rubiera was followed by murder on January 3 of ex-policeman Cepero who warned Major Ortiz—see despatch No. 1441, December 8.2 Police yesterday arrested several oppositionists, among them a member of student directorate known as Dr. Hernandez whose real name was Alvarez.

The Embassy received numerous requests to insure safety of person[s] in hands of the police. Without making official representations, in each case brought to my attention I informally conferred with Government officials expressing hope that lives would be respected.

Last night I personally called on the Secretary of State in regard to Hernandez and was assured there was no cause for apprehension in this or other cases. Hernandez or Alvarez died shortly after midnight in a hospital to which he had been brought with a bullet in his head. Ferrara3 this morning explained that he had ascertained last night that no person named Hernandez was under arrest.

These killings of prisoners have deeply stirred public opinion and have strengthened belief that no person under arrest is safe from official vengeance. I have asked for appointment with the President and shall endeavor to use my personal influence to discourage further acts of this kind.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1932, vol. v, p. 564.
  3. Orestes Ferrara, Cuban Secretary of State.