811.24537/11–2245: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Cuba (Norweb)

708. Reurtel 755 Nov 22. Our Nov 5 draft was prepared after taking into careful consideration our peculiar geographical relationship with Cuba and the security interests of that country. The reciprocal and bilateral nature of the provisions of the proposal should relieve President of any preoccupation as to national prestige or sovereignty.

It may be pointed out that while many problems of hemispheric defense involve the same basic principle of cooperative undertakings and result in uniform treatment there is, in each case, the need to take into account unique local conditions.

President Grau may be assured that the only mutual concessions proposed to Cuba are those (1) which are considered vital to hemispheric security and (2) which are only those which have been proposed to—or willingly granted by—other American Republics.

In fact, an almost identical Agreement is currently in force with Brazil.28 Its provisions, and even its existence are extremely confidential. We are pledged not to disclose either except by agreement [Page 914] Brazil FonOff. Latter now authorizes you, at specific request of Berle,29 to inform Grau confidentially of Brazil–U.S. Agreement. (Make clear Grau’s personal responsiblity for this confidence.) Our Nov 5 draft proposal does not establish any reciprocal rights which Brazil has not granted. This includes the Joint Commission formula.

In the event Cuban negotiations or agreement were to be made public (urdes 608 Nov 29)30 no mention can be made of Brazil, unless we have obtained clearance with latter for publication.

Irrespective of the Brazilian case, please reiterate to Grau the mutuality and reciprocal nature of our proposal.

Dept believes that it might prove helpful to remind Grau that a year ago he agreed in conversation with Ambassador Braden to cooperate in mutual security measures including use of airfields. It is proving embarrassing here that these promises have not been implemented.

Please discuss this question further with President as soon as possible (without awaiting counterproposal urtel 790 Dec 8),30 basing your discussion on the original draft of Nov 5, stressing its reciprocal features.

Agenda for Rio Conference31 is strictly limited. We would consider it entirely out of order for this or any subject beyond Chapultepec treaty32 to be brought up there.

It is hoped that progress can be made in obtaining Grau’s acceptance, at least in principle, within a very short time in order to meet time schedule Dept’s instruction 238, Nov. 16.30

  1. Agreement signed at Rio de Janeiro, June 14, 1944, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 561.
  2. Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Ambassador in Brazil.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. For documentation concerning this Conference, to negotiate treaties of mutual assistance, which was postponed after being scheduled for October 20, 1945, see pp. 154 ff.
  6. The Act of Chapultepec, Final Act of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, signed at Mexico City, March 8, 1945; for text, see Department of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) No. 1543, or 60 Stat. (pt. 2) 1831. For documentation on this Conference, see ante, pp. 1 ff.
  7. Not printed.