837.00/4596: Telegram

The Personal Representative of the President ( Caffery ) to the Acting Secretary of State

7. Next to the last paragraph my telegram No. 5, January 10, 7 p.m. Last night I discussed the situation at some length informally with Grau and Batista. After much hesitation Grau stated that to his mind the important issue of the day is that of fair elections. He then said in effect: “I believe that I can guarantee fair elections if I remain in the Presidency but if the opposition are convinced that I cannot do so I will be willing to give place to a non-political successor to be chosen by me from a panel of three names to be selected by the opposition on condition that one of the names at least must be acceptable to me. I would be willing to consent to a division of the Cabinet between ourselves and the opposition groups.”

I thought it best not to pursue this conversation further last night in order to give Grau time to think this over and also because I am not convinced … that he would be allowed to resign by his Cabinet or the student leaders in the Palace. I shall wait for further news from Grau.