837.00/3810: Telegram

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

228. This afternoon Dr. Ferrer called at the Embassy to advise me that the Army officers wished to petition me to agree to have a sufficient force of American Marines landed to disarm the soldiers and the innumerable civilians who are armed and that should I agree they would at once proclaim that President Céspedes was the sole legitimated President of Cuba and undertake the recruiting and training of a new Army. I replied that I would not even receive such a petition; and that it was absurd to imagine that the Government of the United States would undertake it at the request of 200 deposed Army officers. In reply to a further inquiry whether my Government would definitely refrain from recognizing the new regime I replied that I most decidedly refused to make any such commitment. I stated that in the matter of recognition we had as yet given no consideration to the question.

My replies to these inquiries, I was later advised by a civilian present, were accurately transmitted by Dr. Ferrer to the assembled officers. Notwithstanding this fact the Directorio Estudiantil this afternoon cabled to Latin American universities the charge that I was inciting the Army officers who have taken refuge at the National [Page 419] Hotel to disturb public order in order to find a pretext for landing Marines.

In the event that inquiry is made by the press I think the following facts should be stated:

I have never spoken to any of the Army officers either individually or in assembly nor have I ever received any message from them other than the one above-mentioned. I moved to the National Hotel because the lease on my own house had expired and I expected to sail on September 14th. I had been living there 2 days before any Army officers had taken refuge there. I have not changed my residence both because my doing so would have been at once misinterpreted and also because since the hotel is owned by an American company and many Americans have been residing there I believed my continued stay was helpful in view of the complications existing.