89. Memorandum of a Conversation Between Dr. Carlos Piad and the Director of the Office of Middle American Affairs (Wieland), Department of State, Washington, July 10, 19581
- Unification of Cuban Opposition
Dr. Piad reported receiving a telephone call last night from Dr. Antonio Varona stating that a unity pact among the entire Cuban opposition was about to be signed. Dr. Varona, who resides in Miami, had just returned from Caracas where he had a 30-minute radio conversation with Fidel Castro. The signing will take place in a few days,2 with Castro signing for the 26th of July; Dr. Varona for Prio’s PRC (Autentico); Dr. Jose Miro Cardona for the Civil Institutions, and Lincoln Rodon for the Democrats, among others.
Dr. Piad said the re-unification of Castro’s group with the other opposition elements was effected without the knowledge of the so-called 26th of July leaders in the United States. He opined that Mario Llerena, Ernesto Betancourt or any other 26th of July leaders in the United States were not invested with any real authority in the movement.
Asked what would be the next move, Dr. Piad said it was his personal opinion that the united opposition would be forced to get behind a stronger person than Judge Urrutia for provisional President. Urrutia is a Santiago judge selected by Castro to be his candidate when he broke with the Cuban Liberation Junta last December. Piad said he considered only three persons worthy of being considered for the provisional presidency, namely, Felipe Pazos, Dr. Jose Miro Cardona, or Dr. Varona.
Dr. Piad said that rumors were current in Habana that the Embassy was involved in a plot to stage a coup in which there would be a change in power but without anybody getting hurt, i.e., a “staged” affair which would put Fidel Castro on the sidelines. He expressed the opinion that if Fidel Castro had heard this rumor he would be reluctant to forfeit an advantage he had in holding the Americans.
He also said that a Col. Gajate, highly respected Navy leader, who was forced to resign from his post by Batista, was scheduled to visit the Embassy within the next few days. He did not know for what reason.