Editorial Note

On March 10, 1952, General Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar led a coup d’etat against the regime of President Carlos Prío Soccarás which resulted in the latter’s deposition and the formation of a new government by General Batista, who became President of Cuba on April 4, 1952. The coup and related events were reported in despatch 1472, from Habana, dated March 11, 1952 (737.00/3–1152), and more extensively in despatch 1693, from Habana, dated April 10, 1952 (737.00/4–1052). Additional pertinent documentation is in Department of State file 737.00 for 1952.

The notes of the Secretary’s staff meeting, held at 9:30 a.m. on March 11, 1952, read in part as follows: [Page 868]

“3. Mr. Miller reviewed some of the details of the revolution in Cuba. He explained that this revolt came as a complete surprise to the U.S. Batista is basically friendly toward the U.S. and undoubtedly his government will be no worse than Prio’s probably better. Batista may have considerable trouble with the trade unions. Mr. Miller explained that Prio had a corrupt government and gave in almost completely to labor demands. The Secretary asked whether we were going to consult with our other Latin American neighbors to determine what should be done in this case. Mr. Miller felt that we should wait and see what happens before we commit ourselves.” (Secretary’s Staff Meetings, lot 63 D 75)