Memorandum of Conversation, by John L. Topping of the Office of Middle American Affairs
- Cuban Government Plans to Control Communism
- Participants: The Under Secretary
- Dr. Aurelio F. Concheso, Ambassador of Cuba
- Mr. John L. Topping, MID
Ambassador Concheso had just returned from a visit to Cuba, where he had discussed this matter with General Batista. He referred to a previous conversation1 with the Under Secretary on the subject.[Page 900]
The Ambassador stated that Cuba’s new Public Order Law established control of communist activities in Cuba. (The Ambassador mentioned the “third sentence” of this Law. Presumably, he referred to the Public Order Law contained in Decree 997, published on August 7, 1953, Articles 2 and 3 of Chapter I of which contain wording making overt or covert propaganda of various kinds, including communism, illegal.) The Ambassador added that the Cuban Government planned to introduce a resolution to control communist activities at the Tenth Inter-American Conference scheduled to be held at Caracas in 1954,2 (The Ambassador first said that the resolution would be “against” communism, and later said it would be intended to “outlaw” communism.) He stated that he expected that Guatemala would oppose such a resolution. The Under Secretary concurred in this view, pointing out that it was uncertain whether Guatemala would attend the meeting, and adding that such a resolution would have a greater chance of success if support for it were obtained in advance of the Conference. The Ambassador said that he felt sure that there would be considerable support, mentioning specifically Brazil.
The Ambassador continued that the recent changes in the Electoral Code would effectively prevent the Communist Party from participating in the elections scheduled for June 1, 1954. (The Electoral Code as modified by the present administration in Law-Decree 723 of February 27, 1953, requires in Article 41 that a party registered to participate in the elections must obtain four percent or more of the total of registered voters in the country. This will make it difficult for the Communist Party to qualify.)
The Under Secretary expressed pleasure at the information supplied by Ambassador Concheso. He said he had long felt that Batista was a realistic and intelligent person, who was fully aware that it was impossible successfully to compromise with or to attempt to use communism.