837.00/3828: Telegram

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

231. The A.B.C., in many ways the best organized and most energetic political organization in Cuba, published this morning a very long proclamation making entirely plain its hostility towards the present regime in Habana. The following are the salient features:

“Less than 30 persons gathered together in the military camp appointed by their own responsibility and without previous consultation five individuals to exercise the Executive Power of the Republic. These five individuals in turn, after several interviews which had as object the attempting to obtain the support of the political parties of the nation for this committee, designated one of their own initiative and without the agreement of anyone else, a President who is one of the members of the committee and likewise a Cabinet.

“The military mutiny which took place can never be justified by history since there can be proved beyond doubt that the Government of Dr. Céspedes was essentially a Government of public opinion. A crisis of juvenile impatience has led to an unjustifiable act of violence against that Government with disastrous results for our political future. The attempt has been made to show that the Government of President Céspedes was not a spontaneous product but the result of mediation of the American Ambassador. The argument is good for demagogues to use because there is nothing that can incite the anger of a Latin American people more thoroughly than to wave the flag of North American imposition. But the falsity of this argument is notorious. The outstanding leaders of the opposition parties suggested the name of Dr. Céspedes which was accepted unanimously because of his qualities of integrity and patriotism and his impartiality in political strife.

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“This recent mutiny results in the placing of one class against another and took place contrary to the desires of the entire country. It was the result not of national desire but of the impatience of a tiny minority and far from preventing intervention it inevitably creates the danger of intervention.

“While the A.B.C. is positively opposed to any form of foreign intervention it is determined to oppose with equal energy those who have provoked the possibility of the intervention through their stupidity and inability.”

In a formal statement issued this morning General Menocal in behalf of his political party states “We decline all present and future responsibility which may be derived from the formation of the Government.”

In an interview which I had last night with Colonel Mendieta he advised me that in the course of the day he and his fellow leaders of the Unión Nacionalista would issue a public statement condemning the present regime and opposing its continuation in power.

The discipline of the Army is daily slipping and rivalry and dissension between the various sergeants is on the increase. A large number of the deposed officers still remain at the National Hotel although a 24-hours’ truce, expiring this evening at 6 o’clock, has been agreed upon. It is my hope that before the expiration of that period some arrangement will be made which will permit the officers to leave the hotel with guarantees.