330. Telegram From the Embassy in Cuba to the Department of State 1

45. Mexico’s telegram 33 to Department repeated Habana 3.2 While opposition in Cuba to Castro Government exists and may be growing, Castro continues to enjoy support of large majority of Cuban people and I believe any armed attempt to overthrow government in near future would both strengthen such support and would fail.

Opposition consists chiefly of (1) adherents of former regime including some displaced military elements (2) members of upper and middle classes whose property interests are gravely threatened by Castro’s revolutionary program although Castro has strong support professional intellectual classes. A potential third opposition force consists of disappointed revolutionary groups who have been left out by the dominant 26 of July movement together with some elements of the movement who are concerned over radical trend of Fidel Castro.

First two of these opposition groups have armed military components both in Cuba and in other countries. The third may also have. In mountains of Pinar del Rio, Las Villas, Camaguey and Oriente armed men (mostly ex-soldiers) are hiding out, waiting out, waiting for opportunity to strike at Castro. According to best information available to us, these armed groups are much smaller than indicated in reference telegram and probably number not over 200 men in any of these [Page 554] provinces at present time. We have no information that there is any integrated command. They do not apparently enjoy peasant support. Government control has not been challenged anywhere.

As Department knows this Embassy has given closest attention to evidences of communist infiltration. These are cause for deep concern. Presence of appreciable number of Communists in armed services is confirmed [less than 1 line not declassified] but they are outnumbered by militant anti-Communists. Relatively little Communist infiltration of regular police, and Communists have not taken over control of security agencies, [less than 1 line not declassified] numerous rumors that Soviet military experts are present, but found no basis therefor. Seven Communist Chinese newspapermen now in Cuba for no good purpose; some may be advisers on land reform though we have had no indications of this. Lavandeyra reported [less than 1 line not declassified] as instructor at Army Cultural School and probably Communism; have no information that he has more important status.

Communist Party exists openly in Cuba and is active in many fields. GOC’s attitude has been one of benevolent tolerance except in few instances where Communist objectives clash with those of 26 of July, when latter has reacted strongly. Castro has not concentrated on this subject to extent desirable.

Of as much concern to Embassy as avowed Communists are revolutionary leaders who while denying they are Communists follow a course which we believe favors Communist objectives and stimulates anti-Americanism.

Embassy believes Fidel Castro, whose authority is supreme, is no Communist, and it is not prepared at this time to submit a finding that revolutionary government is headed in direction of Communism though on this point it is keeping in mind, [sic]

I strongly recommend that for present we continue policy of friendliness toward Castro and GOC, using our influence in every way to guide him towards sounder economic ground, and that we give no encouragement of any kind to movements aimed at overthrowing Castro. Latter is very strong as of now reflecting as he does hopes and aspirations of majority of Cubans rather than any foreign ideology.

Bonsal
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7–759. Secret. Repeated to Mexico City.
  2. In this telegram, dated July 3, the Embassy in Mexico City indicated that a “reliable, well-informed Cuban source” had said that an anti-Castro revolution would be carried out sometime prior to the mass rally scheduled later in the month to commemorate July 26. The Embassy noted that opposition to Castro was reportedly gathering “final momentum” as a result of increased Communist infiltration of the armed forces, police, and the security apparatus. (ibid., 737.00/7–359)