Memorandum of Conversation, by Harvey R. Wellman of the Office of Middle American Affairs



  • Revolutionary Activities of Cuban Exiles in the United States
  • Participants: Ambassador Concheso
  • Mr. Wellman, MID

Ambassador Concheso said that after he had made arrangements at the suggestion of President Batista to return to Cuba on July 27, he had received a cablegram1 from the Minister of State, who did not [Page 898] know of his plans, also requesting that he return on that date. The Ambassador said that he thought the instructions from the Minister of State might be related to the seizure by the Cuban Navy in Habana during the past week of arms and munitions brought into Cuba from the United States. He said that his Naval Attaché had reported this seizure to him.

The Ambassador said that President Batista was surprised at the freedom which Prio and his associates have in the United States. He recalled that he had been unofficially in contact with the Department of State regarding the activities of the Cuban exiles subsequent to the Dallas and Forth Worth incidents and the Mamaroneck arms seizure. He was therefore aware of the action and investigations of United States law enforcement agencies.

Since the Ambassador had referred to United States obligations to enforce its neutrality laws, Mr. Wellman observed that the United States Government also must be careful not to bring legal action against a distinguished ex-President of a friendly country in the absence of clear proof of violation of United States laws. Ambassador Concheso said that he recognized this and observed that he had not been asked to make any official representations to the Department of State on this matter.

Ambassador Concheso expressed the conviction that Prio is supplying the funds for the purchase of arms and munitions and also for recruitment. Since the Ambassador referred to the Caribbean Legion2 in this connection, Mr. Wellman observed that there appears to be no evidence that any considerable group of persons has been recruited either in Mexico or in adjoining countries for an expedition against Cuba.

Ambassador Concheso expressed the opinion that Prio was crazy (loco) in wanting to bring about a “Bogotazo” in Cuba.3

Ambassador Concheso stated that the recent visit of ex-President Arevalo to Cuba where he saw President Batista had caused concern to the Governments of Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and, Venezuela. He said that he had been with Ambassador Sevilla-Sacasa4 when President Somoza had phoned the Ambassador expressing concern. He said that he would find out more about the meeting of Batista and Arevalo when he went to Cuba.

  1. Not identified.
  2. A group of political exiles and military men from countries in the Caribbean area with the alleged aim of overthrowing certain dictatorial governments in the area.
  3. Former Cuban President Prio Socarrás was arrested by U.S. authorities in 1954 for allegedly violating neutrality laws by conspiring to export arms to Cuba. Documents pertaining to this subject are in files 437.1183 and 737.0111 Reg. for 1954.
  4. Nicaraguan Ambassador to the United States.