810.20 Defense/1913

The Cuban Secretary of State ( Cortina ) to the American Chargé in Cuba ( Briggs )2


Mr. Chargé d’Affaires: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s notes dated the 15th and 29th of December last, in the first of which, pursuant to Resolution XV of the Second Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the American Republics,3 concerning reciprocal aid and cooperation for the defense of the Nations of America, which established that the signatory countries would negotiate complementary agreements for the organization of cooperation for defense, the Embassy states that your Government would like to negotiate forthwith concerning certain aspects of military cooperation, to wit:

The stationing of detachments of the Aviation Corps of the United States, each one of which consisting of technicians (seven sub-officers and eight soldiers), in certain establishments of separate airfields. The object of these service detachments would be to facilitate the operation of aircraft.
The extension of the permit, without any limitation as to the number or type of the aircraft or the personnel transported, for the aircraft which may fly over and land on Cuban territory. In connection with this, there would not be the usual notice served through the diplomatic channels, but only the notification required for technical reasons, probably directly to the airport in question, except in cases of emergency or in cases of military need.
Permission is sought for the use of Cuban landing fields, together with their facilities, such as repair shops, radio, telephone, service installations, et cetera.
Permission to the military personnel, armed and uniformed, or otherwise required, to circulate without any restriction in connection with the personnel of rationing and shelter, aircraft service, and the [Page 254] receiving and sending of necessary communications. This would include permission for the use of the roads adjacent to the ports, and for making arrangements for the shelter, work and rationing of the personnel for account of the Government of the United States, as may be necessary, when it is required that the flights stop at any given airport.
Permission to take photographs of Cuban territory in connection with the compilation of aerial navigation charts.

The second note states the airports in which it is desired to station the above-mentioned air forces, to wit: La Fé, in the Province of Piñar del Río; Rancho Boyeros, in the Province of Habana; and in Camagüey.

I take pleasure in advising you that the Government of Cuba, inspired by the lofty sentiments of cooperation and alliance which joins the Cuban Nation with the United States of America in the present war, engaged in the territorial defense of America and of every one of the American nations, as well as of the principles of democracy and of the liberty of the peoples, has accepted the suggestions of your Government which were transmitted by the Embassy in the abovementioned notes.

In this connection, in order to facilitate the cooperation required, we believe it advisable that your Embassy designate a representative to call at the Ministry of National Defense, and get in touch with the representative of said Ministry, for the purpose of carrying out the agreement for cooperation4 requested in the notes under reference, which my Government is disposed to conclude on the terms proposed.

I avail myself [etc.]

José Manuel Cortina
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Chargé in his despatch No. 3276, January 15; received January 17.
  2. Held at Habana July 21–30, 1940; for correspondence, see Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. v, pp. 180 ff.; for text of Resolution XV, see Department of State Bulletin, August 24, 1940, p. 136.
  3. The Military Attaché in Cuba indicated in a memorandum of January 14, 1942, that there did “not appear to be any arrangements to discuss with the Minister of National Defense”. (810.20 Defense/1913)