153. Telegram From the Embassy in Cuba to the Department of State1

478. Marquez Sterling, defeated Presidential candidate, has sent us following personal message through Mario Lazo and Dr. Jorge Cubas. If elections had been honest instead of fraudulent, Sterling believes he would have won. Now Sterling thinks many disillusioned youths may join 26th July movement. To stop such additional recruitments for Castro and for good of Cuba, Sterling recommends US support GOC and renew sale of arms.

If Department at this time is not willing to go that far, I do feel time has definitely come when US must make sincere effort to stop air drops of arms from Florida to rebel territory; to enforce our neutrality laws; and to give no moral aid and comfort to 26th July movement.

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Press releases from Washington reporting conversations with Betancourt and other representatives give impression in Cuba that US is giving unofficial recognition to 26th July movement activities.

When and if Department is willing to show moral support for the administration against rebels, I believe President-elect Rivero Aguero will in turn be willing to shorten his mandate and call for general elections within two years.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/11–658. Confidential; Priority.