The Ambassador in Cuba ( Caffery ) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 6.]
Sir: With reference to previous reports concerning liquor smuggling from Cuba to the United States, I have the honor to transmit herewith a clipping20 from this morning’s El País reporting that Colonel Despaigne, the new Secretary of the Treasury, has taken measures to prevent liquor shipments to such ports as Puerto Barrios, Belize, Cozumel, and others where alcohol shipments are likely to be transshipped and smuggled into the United States. It will be observed that Colonel Despaigne considers such shipments as “evading the smuggling treaty between the United States and Cuba.” It is reported that a shipment of 38,000 cases of alcohol on the vessel Manzanillo, destined for Cozumel, and shipments of 20,000 cases of alcohol [Page 405] on the Nosa Prince and 22,000 cases on the Belize, destined for Honduras, were not permitted to leave Habana yesterday.
In connection with the foregoing, I am enclosing two copies of a self-explanatory memorandum21 prepared at my request by Consul General Cameron, together with the enclosures thereto.
This voluntary action on the part of the Cuban authorities in preventing shipments of liquors obviously destined for smuggling into the United States should prove of much assistance in our efforts to prevent such smuggling. I trust that, in view thereof, every effort will be made to reciprocate by preventing arms and explosives from being smuggled from Florida ports for Cuban destination. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of this if terrorism is to be put down and law and order maintained by the Cuban authorities.