Statement by Mr. Surrmer Welles, Assistant Secretary of State 7a

If, and when, my nomination is confirmed by the U. S. Senate, I shall go to Cuba, not as a Special Envoy of the President, but as his permanent Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary accredited to the Cuban Government presided over by President Machado.

I am a convinced believer in the policy of the “good neighbor” proclaimed by the President in his inaugural address8 and emphatically reiterated in the address delivered on the occasion of the celebration of Pan American Day.9 There is no country of the Western Hemisphere with which our relations should be closer or more friendly than with Cuba; or one, in our dealings with which, the policy of the “good neighbor” is more essential. Our historic participation in Cuba’s war of independence; our treaty relations; our geographical proximity; and finally, the very practical fact that Cuba is potentially one of the greatest customers of the American Continent for United States goods, and that she herself depends upon fair and generous treatment from the United States for her economic life, all combine to demand today, more than ever before, that the two nations join as equal, sovereign and independent partners in the consideration of those measures best adapted to further the economic and commercial interests of each one of them and of the world at large. It is almost needless to add that such consideration would serve no useful purpose were it not undertaken upon a basis of mutual respect, mutual tolerance, and common advantage.

In accordance with the policy of the Administration of encouraging reciprocal trade agreements, I look forward to undertaking detailed consideration of this vital problem at as early a date as may prove feasible to both Governments.

It will be in that spirit that I shall undertake my official duties. I go to Cuba animated by a peculiar sympathy, which I have held for many years, for the Republic of Cuba and for every element of the [Page 279] Cuban people; welcomed by a generous message from the President of Cuba; and determined, in accordance with my instructions, to further, in every way possible, the joint interests of our two countries.

  1. Issued by the Department as a press release, April 24, 1933.
  2. Congressional Record, vol. 77, p. 5.
  3. Department of State, Press Releases, April 15, 1933, p. 243.