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

38. Embtel 44 and Deptels 31 and 32.2 Department considers essential Wollam see Fidel most expeditious possible means and if possible arrange for brother Raul be present. Judging from Embassy’s previous communications it would appear helicopter transportation most feasible and considers Cuban Government should be willing give necessary assent in interest seeking most expeditious possible release American captives. While this not intended to be publicity stunt but geniune strong effort obtain definitive decision rebel leaders’ release captives, Department agrees natural resultant publicity unavoidable and in fact probably helpful both US and GOC.

Department confident you will obtain Batista’s assent all necessary measures as it obviously impossible for Cuban Government evade share responsibility for mass kidnappings effected in that country. This telegram also confirms Ambassador’s telephone conversation Wieland3 that Wollam, not Embassy will endeavor make suitable arrangements Guantanamo for contact Castro, re last sentence paragraph 3 Embtel 44.

Department naturally expects successful results Wollam’s approach to Fidel. As required he can reiterate Department’s position as outlined Department’s press release July 34 and its announcement on March 145 suspension of arms shipments (Deptel 13 July 36). He [Page 143] should also recall Fidel’s statement as broadcast over Radio Rebelde7 transmitting orders purporting to come from Fidel to release captives and stress to rebel leader that American patience wearing thin and increasing pressures building up for adoption strong measures against kidnappers. It difficult to exaggerate seriousness these pressures which can be relieved only by prompt release captives and assurance no further abductions nor other criminal attacks on our citizens in Cuba.

Above confirmed today’s telephone conversation Ambassador and Wieland.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7–1058. Confidential; Niact. Drafted and approved by Wieland who signed for Herter; cleared with Rubottom.
  2. Telegram 44 is supra. Regarding telegram 31 to Havana, see footnote 3, Document 86. Telegram 32 is Document 87.
  3. Wieland’s memorandum of a telephone conversation with Smith on July 10, time unspecified, is in Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7–1058. The agreement between Smith and Wieland mentioned here, however, is not included in the memorandum.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 82.
  5. See Document 36.
  6. Document 82.
  7. For text of this statement made on July 3, see Bonachea and Valdes, Selected Works of Fidel Castro, vol. I, pp. 383–384.