The Ambassador in Cuba (Messersmith) to the Secretary of State
[Received 4:36 p.m.]
95. Department’s telegram No. 140, August 30, 5 p.m.59 The emergency in the Cuban financial situation to which Ambassador Martínez Fraga refers in his telegram to the Department does not in my opinion exist. That the Cuban Government will have a difficult budgetary problem and that Cuba will face an increasingly difficult economic situation is clear but in this respect her problem does not differ materially from that of many countries. The Department will find in the Embassy’s financial report for the fortnight ended August 17 (No. 26)60 a full picture of the present budgetary and financial situation including the Secretary of the Treasury’s suggestions to the President for overcoming the expected budgetary deficit. These suggestions did not include a possible loan from the United States.
I have been of the opinion that our Government will in due course wish to consider with Cuba measures of economic cooperation which may be found after full study to involve some measure of financial assistance direct or indirect. It is, however, my opinion that any decisions of our Government can only be reached after full and frank conversations and exchange of information with the Cuban Government.
An immediate loan is not necessary and in my opinion it would be a mistake to grant any loan now or to discuss such a loan. I believe that we can appropriately say to the Cuban Government that we will be prepared to discuss problems of economic cooperation after it has taken the steps needed to establish its credit firmly.
No official of the Cuban Government has discussed with me such a loan and I am not aware to what degree the Ambassador may be interpreting the viewpoint and desires of the Cuban Government.
Air mail despatch follows.