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

56. Following from Wollam and Wiecha in reply penultimate sentence, paragraph 2 of Deptel 32:2

Raul Castro believed be final authority second front altho subject influence advisors. Believed have complete control as far as poor communications permit. Raul respects Fidel’s authority altho he aware his zone now larger and more populous. He claims had done this operation on spur of moment because necessity without consultation. This possibly indicated by Fidel’s radio message3 on release Americans. This not entirely clear and some feel Raul had at least tacit approval. I suspect but cannot prove that Raul has now received official message from Fidel and that this has had effect. Carrying out of plans for release of other Americans as promised today might be evidence of [Page 147] this especially after delays to date. This is big question. Will discuss at Embassy Friday [Saturday]4 morning.

The following was received in a message from Vice Consul Wiecha: In regard question of any rift between Fidel and Raul, most observers here, newspapermen and myself, believe that the only evidence of such disagreement is the widespread belief of all 26 members that their zone is “1000 percent” more important than the Sierra Maestra. In addition, there is a belief—probably true—that this zone is more democratic than the zone of Fidel. His is more of a one man operation while here Raul uses more of a general staff concept and he consults with commanders. In this respect at least there is a difference between the zones.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7–1158. Secret; Niact.
  2. Document 87.
  3. See footnote 7, Document 92.
  4. The next day was Saturday, July 12, suggesting that Wollam’s and Wiecha’s message was sent on Thursday, July 10.