7. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cuba1

384. Embtel 369.2 Ambassador from Rubottom. Action proposed re delivery GOC 20 armored cars and other arms requests in my memorandum January 17 to Secretary3 (copy forwarded Embassy Jan 17) approved.

Your discretion you may inform Batista cars “on schedule” and delivery may be expected within period March 4 to June 4 stated original offer by Department of Defense. Suggest you emphasize it necessary he cooperate in creating conditions that would minimize adverse reaction in US and elsewhere against US Government as well as his own. Your emphasis might stress mutual nature problem resulting from adverse criticism US Congress and public and on this basis appeal for his cooperation reduce effect to minimum by such action as (1) restricting official publicity arrival shipment, and (2) limiting use to training and other inconspicuous tasks. If you think appropriate you [Page 14] should also indicate to Batista that reaction in Congress and other influential sectors of US to use this equipment will perforce be important factor governing approval future requests for equipment purchases.

FYI shipment cars will be contingent upon our prior review positive steps taken by GOC create favorable conditions for June elections, i.e., restoration constitutional guarantees, etc. Approval of memorandum by Secretary subject condition that foreign affairs committees Congress would be informed prior any shipments.

Re pending requests small arms suggest you defer informing Batista now our decision to approve in favor staggered approval and later notification GOC on basis priorities established on three most pressing items in following suggested order: (a) 10,000 hand grenades (Emb. Desp. 410);4 (b) 100,000 projectiles (Embtel 222)5 and (c) 3,000 75 mm. shells (Embtel 216).6 Desire your comments this procedure including suggestions on spacing these approvals. End FYI.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/1–1158. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Leonhardy, cleared with Little and Wieland, and approved by Rubottom who signed for Herter.
  2. Document 4.
  3. Document 5.
  4. Dated November 19, 1957. (Department of State, Central Files, 737.5614/ 11–1957)
  5. Dated October 16, 1957. (Ibid., 737.561/10–1657)
  6. Dated October 16, 1957. (Ibid.)