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

507. For Rubottom. At conference with President Batista November 15 he stated approximately 100 ill-equipped soldiers are guarding the isolated aquaduct at Yateras and are bait for rebels who would like to capture aquaduct for propaganda purposes.

Batista suggests following alternatives:

US sell adequate arms to GOC troops for defense of aquaduct at Yateras.
GOC withdraw troops, leaving civilian personnel. But aquaduct must be provided with radio communication to naval base and to army headquarters at Guantanamo City. There are many GOC troops in surrounding area subject to emergency summons.
If US will not agree to numbers one and two above, GOC will leave the soldiers for protection even though they are poorly equipped and are a [?] sacrifice.

In the light of recent events which include loss of American lives, sabotage of American property, extortion of Americans, kidnapping of Americans, and the fact that the GOC is the only recourse for protection, please advise what reply I am to give the President.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/11–1658. Confidential; Priority.
  2. In telegram 267 to Havana, November 17, the Department indicated that alternatives 1 and 2 were unacceptable and instructed the Ambassador to inform President Batista that the U.S. Government desired the third alternative. (ibid., 737.00/11–1758) In telegram 517 from Havana, November 18, Smith reported that he had so informed Guell. (ibid., 737.00/11–1858)