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

182. Embassy understands from CAS that Miro Cardona was requested by Department official to ask rebels to guarantee they would not again attack Moa and Nicaro properties. Cardona agreed to comply with request.2 [less than 1 line not declassified] reports 26 July contact is in process of informing Raul Castro but final approval is subject to Fidel Castro.

If the foregoing is true, it would appear to be based on an assumption by Department that GOC is likely to fall and that there is strong possibility of 26 of July succeeding GOC. Embassy does not concur. In [Page 186] our opinion 26 of July lacks support of majority people of Cuba. We believe that before Batista regime were to fall, army elements will move in to forestall victory of 26 July elements. Embassy believes these preliminary negotiations are not in the best interests of US.

Request Department advise Embassy whether reported negotiations with Cardona imply new policy decision toward Cuba.3

Embassy is preparing position paper4 on current political situation and before final policy decision is reached we would appreciate paper being reviewed and considered.

Smith
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/8–758. Confidential; Priority.
  2. See Document 118.
  3. Telegram 108 to Havana, August 8, replied that a copy of the memorandum of conversation with Miro Cardona (Document 118) had been forwarded, and that no mention had been made of rebel attacks on Moa Bay, only on Nicaro. It had been subsequently learned that Miro Cardona was advising Castro through Caracas radio to stop further raids on Nicaro. Department officials considered the discussions with Miro Cardona did not constitute negotiations or a request for action. There had been only an expression of hope that further raids on Nicaro might be avoided. The telegram did not directly respond to Smith’s query as to whether the talks with Miro Cardona implied a shift in policy toward Cuba. (Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/8–858)
  4. Infra.