The Ambassador in Cuba (Braden) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 7—3 p.m.]
A–2051. Reference Department’s airgram 2232, September 17, 2 p.m.36
As Article XII of Agreement for Military Cooperation signed June 19, 1942 refers only to Batista Airport at San Antonio de los Banos, Embassy is of the opinion that claims resulting from explosion in Habana Harbor on February 6, 1943 can be considered under the Act of January 2, 1942 as amended April 22, 1943.
As joint Cuban-American Claims Commission contemplated by Article XII of Military Agreement of June 19, 1942, has never been set up and as informal conversations with a high official of the Ministry of State have indicated that changes contemplated by Department’s undated instruction no. 187537 would be difficult for Cuban Government to accept because of their unilateral nature, Embassy recommends that negotiations on this point be dropped and that claims be handled under Acts of Congress referred to above. Embassy contemplates no great difficulty for claims resulting from our activities at Batista Airport, particularly if cases are considered expeditiously and payments are made promptly. As Department has pointed out in its instruction no. 1875, the regular legal remedies (including, presumably, diplomatic processes) remain open to claimants who do not wish to follow procedure provided by these Acts of Congress.
As most of the problems originally contemplated for solution by means of a supplementary agreement have now been resolved by direct negotiations with Cuban authorities, Embassy does not now contemplate negotiating supplementary agreement referred to in Embassy’s despatch no. 2314 of February 26, 194336 and the Department’s undated instruction no. 1875. The question of uniformed Cuban personnel proceeding to the United States without passports and visas (see Embassy’s airgram 1884, September 8, 9:50 a.m.36) can doubtless, if authorized by Department, be handled by exchange of notes.