837.00/3830: Telegram

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

233. My 231, September 11, noon. In addition to the statements of hostility and determined opposition to the present regime announced this morning by the A.B.C. and the party headed by General Menocal and the similar statement which is to be published this afternoon by the Unión Nacionalista, the fourth largest political organization, the O. C. R. R., likewise will issue this afternoon a similar statement. As the result of these public declarations of opposition the political situation [Page 423] is crystallizing noticeably. The attitude thus taken makes it evident to the public that the organized political strength of the Republic which itself represents the large majority of the Cuban people is opposed to a continuation of the present regime. Under these conditions I desire once more to emphasize that in my judgment it would be highly prejudicial to our interests to intimate in any manner that recognition of the existing regime was being considered by us. Every effort is being made and has already been made, through fictitious reports inserted in the local press, to create the impression that the Government of the United States is on the verge of recognizing the group headed by Grau San Martín as the provisional government of Cuba. Headlines appeared in the morning newspapers that President Roosevelt intended to afford immediate financial assistance to Grau San Martín and that recognition by the United States would be obtained within a few hours or days. In view of the campaign of misrepresentation and distortion of the truth which is being conducted by the group now in power and which is causing both consternation and resentment on the part of the powerful parties opposed to the existing regime, I feel it would be to be issued by you making unmistakably plain the attitude of the Government of the United States in view of the conditions which now exist in Cuba.

In accordance with my telephone conversation with you 2 days ago I venture to suggest a statement along the following lines:

“The chief concern of the Government of the United States is, as it has been, that the Cuban people solve their own political problems in accordance with the desires of a majority of the Cubans. The Government of the United States believes that only through a provisional government which responds to the will of the majority of the Cuban people can stability be obtained and assurance be given that national elections can be held under the jurisdiction of such government with such full and ample guarantees of impartiality, the fairness as to make possible the successful inauguration of a new permanent and constitutional government of Cuba. It would seem unnecessary to repeat that the Government of the United States has no interest in behalf of or prejudice against any political group or independent organization which is today active in the political life of Cuba. In view of its deep and abiding interest in the welfare of the Cuban people and the security of the Republic of Cuba it cannot and will not accord recognition to any government in Cuba other than a legitimate and constitutional government unless conclusive evidence is presented that such government effectively represents the will of a majority of the people of the Republic, that it is capable of maintaining order and of guaranteeing the protection of ‘life, property and individual liberty’ and finally that such government is competent to carry out the functions and obligations which are incumbent upon any stable government.”

[Page 424]

The impression is very general today that the Grau San Martín regime is evanescent. Of the four Cabinet members appointed yesterday Chibas and Finlay have refused to serve and I am likewise advised that Barquin will not take office. A complete Cabinet was to have been announced this morning and such announcement has now been postponed until 10 o’clock tonight. There seems to be very little probability that any Cubans of standing or reputation will accept office. I wish to emphasize again that conclusive evidence has now been presented to my satisfaction that the existing regime represents only the student, a few radical agitators and a small number of insignificant radical groups which have no political importance or following whatever.

The longer the present regime continues in power the more dangerous the situation becomes. For over a week no government department has been able to function and all semblance of order and discipline in the Army is vanishing rapidly.