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

863. Deptel 505 and Embtel 856.2 Pursuant to Deptel 505 and phoned instruction from Snow,3 I took up matter of military missions today with Minister of State Agramonte and expressed desire to do likewise with President or Prime Minister if possible. I spoke of missions’ origin and functions and stated that in our view missions had conformed to non-intervention policy followed by US and had done nothing to warrant their withdrawal. I gave him copy of Department’s statement No. 35 of January 154 which he had not previously read. I said that at time of arms suspension last March US had considered withdrawing missions but decided, after due consideration, interests of US, any future Cuban Government best served by retaining them as an organization, even though from that time they ceased to carry on normal advisory functions to Batista Government. I urged GOC consider impartially acts of missions in light of Department’s statement, but otherwise made no plea for their retention.

Agramonte agreed that missions entitled to an impartial judgment, and said careful consideration would be given. He said main criticism of missions was that they had “trained” Batista’s forces.

I told Minister that in view of attacks on missions by Castro and other officials, we were prepared to discuss dates and terms for their withdrawal, in accordance with mission agreements, if this was what Cuban Government wished. Dr. Agramonte said he would have to consult the President before making any answer on this matter.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.58/1–2059. Secret; Niact.
  2. Documents 229 and 231.
  3. No record of this conversation has been found.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 228.