30. Telegram From the Embassy in Cuba to the Department of State 1
524. Catholic Church now openly and actively sponsoring same objective as ours—a peaceful solution.
Papal Nuncio2 informed me eve March 10:
- If present Harmony Commission is unable to make progress Church may suggest present Commission retire.
- Then Church may appoint committee of Bishops consisting of Archbishops of Oriente, Matanzas, and Las Villas.
- Castro’s life was saved by Perez Serrante, Archbishop of Oriente, some years ago. Church hopes Castro still has sense of obligation.
- Archbishop of Oriente will exert full pressure persuade Castro agree to peaceful solution.
Two factors in situation are disturbing:
- Efforts of Harmony Commission do not yet have full confidence and support from all principal non-revolutionary groups. We believe Commission should have concentrated on obtaining such support.
- Influence of 26 July movement appears to have increased alarmingly within recent weeks. This renders more difficult reaching of any understanding with Batista.
Castro rejected peace negotiations through non-political Harmony Commission (Embtel 523, March 113). Castro repeated demand that [Page 53] GOC allow Cuban newspaperman visit Sierra Maestra doubt [re-doubt?].
Present political situation is delicate, difficult and unpredictable.