837.00/3880: Telegram

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

254. Doctor Carlos Saladrigas, Acting Secretary of State in the Céspedes Government and one of the most influential and prominent members of the ABC, called to see me this afternoon. He told me that in view of the present emergency Dr. Martínez Saenz had been made dictator of the party and that the ABC was cooperating with the Menocalistas and the other parties opposed to the present government [Page 436] for the purpose of forcing a compromise and the creation of a national government of concentration. He told me that if the student group refused to compromise and preferred to attempt to drive the Republic to disaster his party and those associated would have no other alternative than immediate military action. He further told me that a rapid and effective organization of themselves and commercial groups was being made for the purpose of protecting themselves against the possibilities which they foresaw in the continuation of the present regime. Organization of commercial and financial interests is likewise progressing rapidly in other parts of the Republic. He stated that they would make every effort to force a national compromise upon the present regime in the true interest of the Republic but he expressed himself as being extremely pessimistic and feared that since the students neither have any grasp of the dangers which confront the Republic nor the slightest conception of the unselfish friendship which the United States has displayed for Cuba during the Roosevelt administration they would be unwilling to agree to anything other than their own complete retention of control of the Government.