837.00/4605: Telegram

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

9. My telegram No. 5, January 10, 7 p.m. and No. 7, January 11, 7 p.m. As the Department is aware it would be a hopeless task to get all of the opposition groups to agree on a program: there are too many differences of opinion among them: for instance the Mendieta group is interested in elections while some of the other groups would rather pin their faith in a revolution or the hope that we will intervene and put them into power; in fact they are very indignant that we have not done so. I have made no attempt at drawing the groups together on a program.

Batista asked me 3 days ago what we wanted done for recognition. I said “I will lay down no specific terms; the matter of your government is a Cuban matter and it is for you to decide what you will do about it”. (Having in mind our reiterated declarations as to our position on recognition.)

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The night before last Batista had an interview with Mendieta in which they discussed in great secrecy the possibility of Grau’s leaving the Presidency and either Dr. Presno or Dr. Costales Latatu assuming that office provisionally. They agreed either of these two men would be acceptable.

Last night Batista decided that things were going so badly that he would force Grau’s resignation at once but he was persuaded not to take precipitous action by some of his friends.

Batista is to see Mendieta again this afternoon for the purpose of discussing the possibility of the formation of a new government. They have decided that either Mendieta himself or Costales Latatu should assume the Presidency.

I do not mean the state of any of this is a certainty especially as the attitude of Guiteras and his naval and military adherents is unknown; also in view of what may eventuate out of the troubles of the Electric Light Company this evening or the troubles of the Habana Electric Railway (my telegrams No. 10 and 11, January 13, 6 p.m.;8) also in view of the fact that there is a labor congress of 5,000 persons now going on at Habana.

I have taken no part in these conversations but am keeping informed of what is going on.

  1. Neither printed.