392. Telegram 235 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State1

235. 1. Summary: Foreign Minister sent me note February 11 stating GOH had information landing in Dominican Republic only diversion preparatory to “real action” against Haiti probably on February 10, 11 or 12 keyed to GOH elections. Expected 18 men from DR and 3,000 men of Haitian origin from Cuba to land in northwest near Port-de-Paix. Requested reinforcement of U.S. air and sea patrols around Hispaniola, surveillance of Haitian exile activities in U.S. and communication of any information affecting GOH national security.

2. Begin text: I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that according to certain confidential information reaching His Excellency the President for Life of the Republic, the landing in the Dominican Republic of the small Communist force under the direction of Francisco Caamano Deno is only a diversionary maneuver. The real action will take place against Haiti during the month of February and especially the 10, 11 and 12 in order to exploit the various feelings resulting from the legislative elections for the choice of 58 deputies. According to these same sources 18 men would come from the Dominican Republic and 3,000 men of Haitian origin, disguised as fishermen would cross the Windward Passage, that is to say would come from Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey to land in the northwest near Port-de-Paix.

With a view to defending the Caribbean zone against armed undertakings of Communists supported by the Marxist government of Fidel Castro, which has modern arms available, the GOH asks the USG:

A. To reinforce air and sea patrols around the island of Hispaniola;

[Page 1025]

B. To watch the activities of alleged Haitian exiles in American territory in accordance with the Neutrality Act;

C. To be good enough to communicate to it any information affecting the national security. End text.

3. I shall inform Foreign Minister we have passed on his information to Washington.

  1. Summary: After receiving reports that an invasion by Haitians exiles was imminent, the Haitian Government requested that the United States share intelligence and reinforce its air and sea patrols in the region in order to meet the alleged threat.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1970–1973, POL 23–9 HAI. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Santo Domingo. In Document 328 the Embassy in Santo Domingo informed the Department of reports that a guerrilla band had landed in the Dominican Republic. In telegram 234 from Port-au-Prince, February 11, Knox noted that the Haitian Government was greatly disturbed by the guerrilla landing in the Dominican Republic, adding that in view of “recent incidents here concerning my personal security I can quite appreciate feelings of GOH.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1970–1973, POL 23–9 HAI) In telegram 26257 to Port-au-Prince, February 12, the Department indicated it had seen no evidence of suspicious activities around the country’s north coast or among Haitian exiles in the United States. (Ibid.) In a March 1 aide mémoire to the Department, the Haitian Embassy in Washington reiterated the Haitian Government’s request for U.S. assistance in monitoring any unusual activities around Hispaniola or among Haitians in the United States. (Ibid.)