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

32. Embtel 39.2 Dept has no intention accede to Raul Castro’s proposed demands as reported in Wollam letter. Dept feels would be premature issue any type ultimatum calling for concerted action with GOC and that such action might at this time preclude any possibility obtaining release sailors and marines without threat to their lives.

Ambassador instructed urgently consult with GOC and to exert all possible effort obtain its concurrence in plan outlined Deptel 31.3 This should not necessarily result in publicity for Castros if normal precautions taken by GOC and U.S. Naval personnel involved. Dept does not consider that direct contact with Fidel in effort obtain release kidnapped Americans constitutes or implies recognition. Wollam as U.S. Consul carrying out internationally recognized protective functions of his position. Utmost importance attached to having direct report from Wollam on relationship Raul and Fidel Castro and ability Fidel Castro enforce orders on other elements within territory his operations. If Wollam unable arrange promptly for meeting of Castro brothers, he should make immediate effort contact Fidel Castro.

Also evaluate urgently seriousness of Raul Castro implied threat effect further seizures of Americans and what steps Embassy envisages taking to guard against this.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7–958. Confidential; Niact. Drafted by Rubottom, cleared with Wieland and Snow, and approved by Snow who signed for Herter.
  2. Supra.
  3. See footnote 3, supra.