159. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Caribbean and Mexican Affairs (Wieland) to the Deputy Director of the Office (Little)1


  • Rivero Aguero

I would like your view on the following:

Considering that Rivero Aguero may be sincere in suggesting to Ambassador Smith2 that he plans to announce publicly soon his intention to call a constituent assembly in Cuba, what do you think of suggesting to him the following alternative?

Rivero Aguero might be persuaded to address a letter to Batista, to be made public, requesting Batista to convoke an election for delegates to such an assembly for 30 or 60 days following Rivero’s inauguration.

In such a letter Rivero could authorize Batista to draw up a decree with the concurrence of Batista’s successor. This would give Rivero Aguero a chance to determine whether he could assure constitutional guarantees, etc., prior to such an election. An assembly so elected could be convoked to meet within 30 days after the election and provisions could be made for the assembly to draft a new constitution within a 90-day period.

I note that Rivero Aguero told the Ambassador that he was not interested in remaining in office for any long period. If so, there may be a possibility that he can become the key to a peaceful solution if he would be willing to take the suggested step. Of course, no matter how willing he might be to do this, he would undoubtedly want to sound out responsible opinion in advance, even if action of this kind might have some pacifying effect. I don’t see much chance for his remaining in office for even a year, as he appears to imply in his talk with the Ambassador, unless he converts himself into a public hope by some such means as I am suggesting here. I notice also that Rivero Aguero says he may visit the United States around the end of the year. It might be that prior to coming, he could sound out some opinion on this idea and send a letter from here to Batista, accompanied by a public announcement of his action.3

  1. Source: Department of State, CCA Files: Lot 70 D 149, Rivero Aguero. Confidential. Drafted by Wieland and addressed also to Leonhardy.
  2. See Document 154.
  3. No reply to this suggestion by Little has been found.