837.613/11: Airgram

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

A–613. With reference to the diversification1 and public works programs, I received a visit from the Prime Minister,2 the Minister of Agriculture3 and López Castro, during which López Castro gave me the following summary of pending matters as of his departure last week from Washington:

[Here follows summary of matters concerning diversification with respect to peanuts, beans, and corn, and to agricultural machinery.]

2. Public Works.

Central Highway: Necessary equipment assured and no further action by the Cuban Government is required at this juncture.
Materials and Equipment for Sim Storage Warehouses: López Castro states that there are now lacking only the Cuban “Certificates of Necessity”, which the Comisión de Fomento Nacional will obtain from the Cuban Export and Import Agency in accordance with established procedure.
I would appreciate receiving the Department’s instructions as to whether materials for these projects obtainable under “Certificate of Necessity” procedure will form part of Cuba’s present allocations; whether separate allocations will be granted; or whether they will be furnished under some other procedure as, for example, from “distress stocks”.
Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo Aqueducts: López Castro understands that the necessary priorities will be assured on or after April 1 (I should appreciate information on this).
Supplementary Roads: López Castro is much disappointed at his failure to make progress with our military authorities in connection with obtaining some of the Army equipment which was used in the construction of Batista Airport. The Embassy is in touch with Colonel Covell’s office and is trying to work out a satisfactory arrangement, but the question of payment for this equipment is one which seems not yet to have been resolved.

López Castro also spoke about the possibility of obtaining certain used tires from San Julian or La Fe (It was not quite clear which); the Embassy is seeking further information on this point.

Finally, López Castro asked whether it would be possible to purchase any of the used equipment imported for the Nicaro Nickel Company. [Page 246] The Embassy has written Mr. Norcross at Nicaro, asking if there is any such equipment available.

  1. For correspondence on the diversification program, see pp. 223 ff.
  2. Ramón Zaydin.
  3. Joaquín Martínez Sàenz.