8. Editorial Note

In conjunction with the delivery on January 3, 1961, of the note notifying the Cuban Embassy of the U.S. decision to terminate relations between the two countries (see Document 7), the White House released a statement by President Eisenhower. Eisenhower made reference to the note received earlier in the day from the Cuban Government, which he stated “can have no other purpose than to render impossible the conduct of normal diplomatic relations with that Government.” It was, he added, a “calculated action on the part of the Castro government” and “the latest of a long series of harassments, baseless accusations, and vilification.” Accordingly, he had instructed Secretary Herter to return a note stating that the United States “is hereby formally terminating diplomatic and consular relations with the Government of Cuba.” He stressed that this move did not affect U.S. friendship and concern for the people of Cuba who were, he said, “suffering under the yoke of a dictator.” (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-61, page 891)

On January 4 White House Press Secretary James C. Hagerty issued a supplementary statement concerning the Guantanamo naval base: “The termination of our diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba has no effect on the status of our naval station at Guantanamo. The treaty rights under which we maintain the naval station may not be abrogated without the consent of the United States.” (Department of State Bulletin, January 23, 1961, page 104)