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

1. Following is latest information based on reports from Bowdler and Moa Bay Company representatives tonight, June 30.

[Page 121]

Total 43 Americans, 3 Canadians now missing and known or presumed held by Cuban rebels.

Last word from Wollam is message that approximately 11 a.m. yesterday Cuban Army aircraft strafed and bombed rebel encampment at which he and two persons seized at Moa Bay were. Reported no casualties and requested urgent action avoid repetition. I immediately consulted Guell and assured appropriate orders had been issued.

No further from Wollam.

No word from Vice Consul Wiecha who departed GTMO Naval Base approximately 2:45 p.m. yesterday June 29 to attempt contact rebel group holding Naval personnel.

I have seen text of letter dated June 282 addressed to me by four persons taken by rebels at Moa Bay. Original not received. Text indicates rebels require our agreement cessation US military aid to GOC and cessation use GTMO Base for refueling and arming Cuban aircraft before releasing persons abducted. In note to wife of same date Schissler of Moa Bay Company indicates group separated and he not yet seen Wollam. Also said appeared he and others would be held indefinitely and that if rebel requirements not met other Americans would be captured. General del Rio Chaviano commanding Southern Oriente Province arrived at Moa Bay today at head army force which will apparently total 300. Indicated would take no aggressive action for present.

Bowdler reports some American families Oriente Province becoming anxious and considering departure.

Bowdler instructed endeavor inform Wollam include White and Poll in any arrangement for release of captured persons.

Understand sizeable group US press representatives arriving GTMO Base from US tomorrow. Trust they aware of personal risk if they leave base and endeavor contact rebel forces.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7–158. Official Use Only; Niact.
  2. Not found.