837.00/3757: Telegram

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

195. At 1 p.m. the Céspedes Cabinet resigned and President Céspedes left the Palace to go to his own house. Very little disorder took place. Immediately thereafter the Committee of five members of the revolutionary group took possession of the Palace as the executive power of the Cuban Republic. The members of the Committee are the following: Sergio Carbo …; José Miguel Irizarri, a radical of the extreme type who is a law partner of General Menocal’s son-inlaw; Professors Guillermo Portela and Grau San Martín of the University of Habana, both of whom are extreme radicals; Porfirio Franca, a supposedly conservative business man of good reputation who is being used as window dressing.

Immediately before the transfer of power at the Palace I had the conference with the political leaders referred to in my telegram No. 194, September 5, noon. I explained to them my own view of the situation and suggested that through consultation among themselves they determine whether they can devise any plan to prevent the utter break-down of government which in my judgment is inevitable under the present regime. They agreed to do so although with some reluctance on the part of General Menocal and arranged to return to the Embassy at 5 o’clock to advise me of their decisions.