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

500. Guell informed me today:

GOC determined to preserve law and order, as best they can, and to have honest elections.
New Cabinet to make public announcement that GOC will conduct “pure” elections with guarantee that everyone will have opportunity to vote.
Although not yet definite, Guell states he thinks new Cabinet will make public announcement:
That GOC will invite world press to witness elections.
That UN will be asked to send representatives Cuba to observe elections.2

[Page 51]

Above is in accordance with suggestions Embtel 4743 except GOC to invite UN observers instead of OAS representatives. Such actions will be helpful in indicating GOC effort to hold honest elections in favorable atmosphere.

GOC not yet informed by Campa of steps taken as outlined in Deptel 462.4

I asked Guell to tell Batista action necessitated by consistent pressure from Congress and that basic friendly attitude of US to GOC had not changed.

Guell stated publicity this action could be very damaging to GOC effort preserve law and order and that Batista would probably desire to have personal exchange of views within next week.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/3–458. Secret; Niact.
  2. In telegram 501 from Havana, March 4, Smith reported Batista’s request that the plans to invite U.N. observers to witness the elections “be kept completely secret”. (ibid.)
  3. Document 15.
  4. Document 22.
  5. In telegram 502 from Havana, March 4, Smith said he had subsequently been informed by Guell that Batista “fully understands the situation” and if the shipment of arms was embarrassing to the United States, he was prepared, with the concurrence of the U.S. Government, to purchase arms from private sources in the United States. (Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/3–458)