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

614. Andres Carrillo Mendoza who is personally known to me came to the chancery today to see me as an emissary from Haydee Santamaria Hart, who claims to be very close to Fidel Castro. She is presently in Miami. Mrs. Hart feels that I am the only one who could persuade President Batista at this time to agree to a meeting between a group from the 26th of July Movement and a group representing the GOC. Carillo on behalf of Mrs. Hart requested that I approach Batista to bring about such a meeting and that I, as Ambassador, act as mediator between the two groups.

I informed Andres Carrillo that I would not act as mediator and that I did not believe that US Government wished to intervene through mediation. I added that in view of the seriousness of conditions in Cuba I felt I had no right to turn down any possible avenue for a peaceful solution.

Therefore, I told Mr. Carillo to inform Mrs. Hart as follows: That the US Government was thoroughly cognizant of the situation in Cuba and was deeply concerned. It was my suggestion that either Betancourt, a registered representative, or Mrs. Hart, if she is a resistance representative, approach the State Department directly. When asked by Carillo as to who should be contacted in the State Department, I suggested William Wieland because it is my understanding that Betancourt has had previous conversations with Wieland.

Andres Carillo is returning to Miami on December 17 to convey the message to Mrs. Hart.

When I asked Carillo if this approach to me was made with the knowledge of Castro, Carillo said he did not believe it was.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/12–1658. Secret; Priority.
  2. In telegram 626 from Havana, December 22, the Embassy indicated that Carillo, after returning from a meeting in Miami with Haydee Santamaria Hart, again expressed his group’s interest in helping arrange a meeting between Batista and Castro representatives to discuss a truce. The Embassy noted that since Hart was allegedly close to Castro, the “peace overtures may be significant.” (ibid., 737.00/12–2258) No reply by the Department to either telegram 614 or 626 has been found.