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

1843. Embtel 1792.2 President Dorticos made principal speech at ceremony at Habana University January 30 marking close of “Marti Week”. Cultural Attaché Rylance attended, and reports that speech, while ostensibly praising Marti, used quotes and other references which were in some cases even distorted, in order to achieve strongly anti-American slant. This view borne out by published texts of speech.

Dorticos pointed out that Marti lived “in exile” in United States, learned at first hand our outlook toward Latin America and our intentions towards that area, particularly the Caribbean. Said he both guide and prophet. Said Marti bore witness to beginnings of economic and social system constituting grave threat to Latin America. Said Marti wrote that United States was trying to force war between Cuba and Spain in order to gain possession of Cuba under pretext of intervention. Claimed that Marti wrote that Pan American Conference of 1889 clearly showed that Latin America must stand united against aggressive and expansionist schemes of United States. Quoted Marti as maintaining that the Caribbean nations should stand as bulwark of freedom against another. Said that Marti wrote that a country should sell to more than one purchaser for self-preservation, “and when we say now that we are disposed to buy and sell with all countries, they say we are communists”. Added that neither was Marti a communist when he said that Latin America should arrange for United States to know realities of Hemisphere, in order to avoid American disdain. Concluded that Cubans could now state that no one disdained their nation, which known to whole world.

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In opinion Embassy officers who have followed his public statements, this is the strongest and most thoroughgoing anti-American speech Dorticos has made. It casts doubt on sincerity of his statements in reply to President Eisenhower that GOC desires improved relations with United States.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611. 37/2–160. Confidential; Priority.
  2. See Document 440.