840.48 Refugees/3023: Telegram

The Ambassador in Cuba ( Braden ) to the Secretary of State

704, For Bonsal. Department’s 633, August 12, 4 p.m. Please see Embassy’s despatches Nos. 678, 680 and 700 of August 10, [11] and 12 respectively regarding present status refugees now at Tiscornia.23

80% of 200 Spanish citizens referred to were legal residents of Cuba, nevertheless they were subjected to unusual examination in being fingerprinted, photographed, et cetera. Spaniards entering Cuba enjoy certain preferential treatment as apart from other tourists or immigrants.

Embassy has at no time failed to keep question of Guiné and Sao Thomé refugees actively before the Cuban authorities. Within the past week representatives of the Consulate General and Embassy have separately inspected Tiscornia and have been struck by the generally good and sanitary conditions prevailing at the camp together with the liberty enjoyed by refugees within camp boundaries. For conditions prevailing 3 months ago please see despatch number 43, May 26, 1942.24

It is realized that majority of these individuals have now been detained too long but I am satisfied that had it not been for the present political crisis and excepting those under suspicion most of them could have been released last week as the Prime Minister had agreed with me to do. We shall of course pursue this matter actively so soon as the new Cabinet takes office.

  1. None printed. The reason for detaining refugees was stated to be that apparently many had come with false Cuban visas. A list was given of persons who had been released and had left Cuban territory. (840.48 Refugees/3021, 3027, 3028)
  2. Not printed.