Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Eugene Desvernine of the Division of Caribbean Affairs


Participants: Señor Dr. Oscar Gans, Ambassador of Cuba
ARA—Mr. Miller1
CRB—Mr. Desvernine

The Ambassador stated that during his recent visit to Cuba he had conveyed to his government the concern of our government regarding the Caribbean situation, as expressed to the Ambassador in a recent conversation by Mr. Miller.

The Ambassador said that on instructions of his government he could again express assurances that Cuba would not become involved in any movement against the Dominican Republic or any other government. The Ambassador said that current rumors to the contrary are without foundation. He said that the only Cuban who is now connected with groups hostile to the government of the Dominican Republic is Eufemio Fernández. He described Fernández as a man who is honest and scrupulous in money matters, but a psychopathic case obsessed with the idea of combating oppression everywhere/The Ambassador said that Fernandez and President Arévalo have had a falling-out, but he admitted that Fernandez has been making periodic trips to Guatemala.

In commenting on reports of the Figueres-Arévalo-Prío axis in the Caribbean, the Ambassador stated that such reports where unfounded. He remarked that the possibility of collaboration between Figueres and Arévalo was very dim, since Figueres and Arévalo distrust each other. He admitted that at the time Costa Rica was invaded by the “Calderonistas” from Nicaragua,2 Cuba had furnished arms to Figueres in order to combat the communists. When Arévalo heard of this, he made an urgent plea to Cuba for arms on the ground that he had to defend himself against a reportedly imminent domestic coup. Ambassador Gans remarked that the Cuban government has also suspected [Page 461] that Arévalo made this plea at that particular time in the hope of preventing any arms aid by Cuba to Figueres.3

  1. Edward G. Miller, Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs.
  2. Documentation on this subject is contained in the compilation on the position of the United States with regard to civil war in Costa Rica and incidents there involving armed forces from Nicaragua in Foreign Relations, 1948, volume ix .
  3. The text of a memorandum of conversation by Mr. Desvernine, dated September 30, concerning a meeting involving the same three principals read as follows:

    “The Ambassador said that during his recent visit to Cuba he had ascertained that no revolutionary activity against the Trujillo or Somoza Governments is being currently undertaken. He quoted Eufemio Fernandez as stating that any attempt to embark on any move of this nature for a period of at least one year would be absurd and out of the question.” (810.00/9–3049)