Treaty Series No. 866

Treaty of Relations Between the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba, Signed at Washington, May 29, 193477

The United States of America and the Republic of Cuba, being animated by the desire to fortify the relations of friendship between the two countries and to modify, with this purpose, the relations established between them by the Treaty of Relations signed at Habana, May 22, 1903,78 have appointed, with this intention, as their Plenipotentiaries:

The President of the United States of America; Mr. Cordell Hull, Secretary of State of the United States of America, and Mr. Sumner Welles, Assistant Secretary of State of the United States of America; and

The Provisional President of the Republic of Cuba, Señor Dr. Manuel Márquez Sterling, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cuba to the United States of America;

Who, after having communicated to each other their full powers which were found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

Article I

The Treaty of Relations which was concluded between the two contracting parties on May 22, 1903, shall cease to be in force, and is abrogated, from the date on which the present Treaty goes into effect.

Article II

All the acts effected in Cuba by the United States of America during its military occupation of the island, up to May 20, 1902, the date on which the Republic of Cuba was established, have been ratified and [Page 184] held as valid; and all the rights legally acquired by virtue of those acts shall be maintained and protected.

Article III

Until the two contracting parties agree to the modification or abrogation of the stipulations of the agreement in regard to the lease to the United States of America of lands in Cuba for coaling and naval stations signed by the President of the Republic of Cuba on February 16, 1903,79 and by the President of the United States of America on the 23d day of the same month and year, the stipulations of that agreement with regard to the naval station of Guantánamo shall continue in effect. The supplementary agreement in regard to naval or coaling stations signed between the two Governments on July 2, 1903,80 also shall continue in effect in the same form and on the same conditions with respect to the naval station at Guantánamo. So long as the United States of America shall not abandon the said naval station of Guantánamo or the two Governments shall not agree to a modification of its present limits, the station shall continue to have the territorial area that it now has, with the limits that it has on the date of the signature of the present Treaty.

Article IV

If at any time in the future a situation should arise that appears to point to an outbreak of contagious disease in the territory of either of the contracting parties, either of the two Governments shall, for its own protection, and without its act being considered unfriendly, exercise freely and at its discretion the right to suspend comunications between those of its ports that it may designate and all or part of the territory of the other party, and for the period that it may consider to be advisable.

Article V

The present Treaty shall be ratified by the contracting parties in accordance with their respective constitutional methods; and shall go into effect on the date of the exchange of their ratifications, which shall take place in the city of Washington as soon as possible.

In faith whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty and have affixed their seals hereto.

Done in duplicate, in the English and Spanish languages, at Washington on the twenty-ninth day of May, one thousand nine hundred and thirty-four.

Cordell Hull

Sumner Welles

M. Márquez Sterling
[Page 185]

[The records in the files of the Department of State regarding the negotiation of this treaty are fragmentary. In reply to an inquiry, Mr. Sumner Welles, who was Assistant Secretary of State in 1934, wrote on March 1, 1948, to Mr. Robert A. Lovett, Under Secretary of State, a letter containing the following statement:

“It is, however, hardly a matter of surprise to me that the Departmental files should contain little documentation with regard to the Treaty of 1934. When the President sent me to Cuba as Ambassador in the spring of 1933, it was agreed between us that one of the major objectives of my mission should be to prepare the way for the negotiation of a new treaty between Cuba and the United States by which the Platt Amendment might be abrogated. During the months I was in Cuba I discussed this objective with certain Cuban leaders, among them Dr. Cosme de la Torriente, who later became Secretary of State in the Mendieta Government and under whose direction the negotiations on the part of the Cuban Government for the Treaty of 1934 were carried on. There was no difference of opinion between the Cuban Government and ourselves at that time as to what the Treaty should contain, and there was actually very little disagreement as to the provisions to be included therein. I have a very clear recollection that Dr. Márquez Sterling, then Cuban Ambassador in Washington, and I sat down together in my office in the Department of State and agreed upon a text which later, with slight amendment, became the definitive text. I recollect further that the President approved without change the text agreed upon by the Cuban Ambassador and myself.” (711.37/3–148)]

  1. In English and Spanish; Spanish text not printed. Ratification advised by the Senate, May 31, 1934; ratified by the President, June 5, 1934; ratified by Cuba, June 4, 1934; ratifications exchanged at Washington, June 9, 1934; pro-claimed by the President of the United States, June 9, 1934.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1904, p. 243.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1903, p. 350.
  4. Ibid., p. 351.