837.00/4606: Telegram

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

12. My 9, January 13, 5 p.m. Situation is very grave. However, Mendieta tells me he is willing to assume the Presidency (provisionally of course) at once but only if he knows in advance that the United States will recognize him. Situation is such that some steps must be taken tonight, Sunday, to secure change in the government very soon thereafter. Batista tells me he will support Mendieta.

I respectfully request at once authority to recognize Mendieta in the Presidency. If this is not done Batista will probably turn definitely to the left with definite disaster for all our interests here (or declare himself military dictator).

Mendieta, of course, would like to unite all the opposition but obviously there is no time to discuss that now.