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

814. Embtel 774.2 Yesterday Braddock, Gilmore and I met with Roa, Boti and Pazos to explore pending questions. I brought up generally tense atmosphere in US-Cuban relations due to statements, actions and attitudes of revolutionary leaders and suggested it was up to Cuba to take initiative in improving situation. Roa felt it should be evident from his speeches and from ovation I received at ball park recently that neither Cuban Government nor Cuban people unfriendly to US. Pazos thought some statement might be made in connection with ASTA meeting assuring US of friendly attitude GOC.

I stated that adequate provision for compensation and expropriated American property continued to be of major concern to US and delivered note as instructed.3 Cuban officials optimistic that evaluations on American properties would be realistic, taking advantage of latitude agrarian reform law offers in compensating for rations and [Page 623] improvements. Pazos stated while payment in bonds necessary, there was legal authority and precedent for paying American owners in dollar bonds.

I said that INRA provincial representatives had taken certain actions against American properties that seemed arbitrary and extralegal. Roa, Boti and Pazos said same thing had been experienced by many Cubans and showed no sympathy for this kind of action by INRA. They urged me submit memoranda setting forth the pertinent facts in these cases, which I am doing today for cases of Cuban American Sugar Mills Co., Francesco Co. and Cuba Colonial Land Co.

On electric and phone company problems, I was assured both companies would be given early opportunity present cases at high level.

Talk was generally friendly and regarded by Cubans as first of series. I was impressed by Roa’s unrealistic appraisal of impact his UN speech and by Pazos constructive attitude.

Detailed report of conversation follows.4

Dr. Pazos subsequently phoned Embassy officer to call attention to Law 588 approved October 7 which regulates expropriation procedure and provides judicial review. He expressed opinion this law will result in satisfactory valuations and stressed only difference from preexisting legal procedures is shortening of time of appeals. Embassy transmitting text and analysis law soonest.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.37/10–1359. Confidential; Priority; Limit Distribution.
  2. Supra.
  3. See footnote 6, supra.
  4. Airgram G–63 from Havana, October 14. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.37/10–1459)
  5. Sent in despatch 602 from Havana, October 15. (ibid., 611.37/10–1559)