The Ambassador in Cuba (Braden) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 9.]
Subject: Claims of United States Nationals.
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 4756 of December 16, 1944. In view of the recent change of Government,19 I did not feel that I could send a formal note to the present Government embodying the strong, but very valid, observations contained in the Department’s instruction. I decided, however, that it was necessary to put on the record a full denial of the arguments which had been put forth by the former Minister of State in his note No. 2466 of October 4, 1944.20
To meet this situation, I have written note No. 2, January 2, 1945, to the present Minister of State; I enclose a copy for the information of the Department. It will be observed that I express, in my note, appreciation for the sympathetic consideration which this matter has received from Dr. Grau and other members of his Government. At the same time, I refute the arguments of the former Government in a memorandum attached to my note.
I regret to say that I am not very optimistic that this important question will receive prompt attention from the Government of Dr. [Page 959] Grau. I believe that the President has the best of intentions and that when he talks with me he has every wish to meet the legitimate requests of the United States Government. Unfortunately, however, his Administration is extremely unbusinesslike and he does not have the ability to delegate to responsible Cabinet Ministers the authority to carry out important tasks such as the one relating to the settlement of claims of United States nationals.
During my luncheon meeting with President Grau and Ambassador Belt21 on December 28, it was suggested that I prepare a memorandum showing the present status of all questions pending between this Embassy and the Cuban Government. Such a memorandum was prepared and copies were given to President Grau, Foreign Minister Cuervo Rubio, and Ambassador Belt on December 30, 1944. The following paragraph with regard to claims is quoted from that memorandum:
“5. Claims of United States Nationals.
President Grau is in agreement that claims which have been the subject of favorable decisions by the Cuban Supreme Court should be paid promptly by the Cuban Government. The President is likewise in agreement that claims admitted by various departments and agencies of the Cuban Government should be paid so promptly as possible. With regard to claims which have not received final approval of the Cuban Government, the President agreed as to the desirability of submitting these to a Mixed Commission.”
I would respectfully suggest that the Department take every possible occasion to impress upon Ambassador Belt the importance of setting up the machinery for the settlement of these claims so promptly as possible.
- President Fulgencio Batista was succeeded in office by Ramón Grau San Martin on October 10, 1944.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Guillermo Belt, Cuban Ambassador to the United States.↩
- Manuel Fernandez Supervielle.↩
- See instruction 4506, September 26, 1944, to Habana, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vii, p. 910.↩
- Not printed, but see instruction 4506, September 26, 1944, to Habana, and despatch 8058, October 16, 1944, from Habana, ibid., pp. 910 and 912, respectively.↩