103. Telegram From the Embassy in Cuba to the Department of State 1

79. Delivery of T–28 trainers will come up again as soon as all hostages have been released.

I believe it is incumbent upon us to review our arms policy program with Cuba. Since March 12 of this year, I fear GOC believes US responds instantly to the complaints and desires of revolutionary factions to the exclusion of any GOC feelings. Relationships between Cuba and the US are becoming more and more strained under the present US arms policy towards Cuba Embtel 486 [846].2

I have pointed out in Embtel 633 that Batista is under impression that actions of US (since suspension of guarantees March 12) have been helpful to rebels. Batista spoke of our allegedly intervening in the affairs of Cuba by interfering with their purchasing arms from outside nations Embtel 49.4

The Army, Air Force and Navy missions are encountering antipathy from their Cuban counterparts. Our military service mission chiefs give following examples of unilateral actions which they believe are fostering anti-US feeling:

[Here follows a list of examples furnished by Colonel Lynn, Captain Williamson, and Colonel Dysinger.]

In a memo to me from Dr. Marquez Sterling, leading opposition presidential candidate, he states the political situation is perhaps the most dangerous one through which the island of Cuba has passed. He goes on to say that the disunited groups of the insurrection, incapable of victory for the time being, are sufficiently well organized to throw the country into disorder until it is led into anarchy under which they believe they could impose themselves. He goes on to say, and I quote: “If this occurred there would be an elimination contest between the several revolutionary sectors for predominance and power. The arms struggle would not cease but would become worse. The country would be at mercy of most criminal elements and its economy assaulted. It is possible that what occurred in 1933 would occur again.“5

I do not believe that we should take any further steps which will assist the 26 July movement for only beneficiaries of such policy in the end could well turn out to be the Communists.

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Since suspension of guarantees on March 12 Department has been opposed in [to] selling to GOC, and as a result has been an encouragement to 26 July movement. Because we do not approve of dictators, let us not unwittingly give aid to those in league with communism. I am deeply concerned over the evidence of communism in the Raul Castro group.

I recommend (A) we make immediate delivery of all communications equipment (B) that the T–28s be delivered immediately upon release all hostages (C) that our arms policy program be reviewed and be reconsidered in the light of events as they exist as of this time.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7–1658. Confidential; Priority.
  2. Document 65.
  3. Supra .
  4. Document 94.
  5. Text of Marquez Sterling’s June 30, 1958, memorandum was sent to the Department as an enclosure to despatch 68 from Havana, July 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7–1858)