405. Telegram 1840 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State1

1840. For ARA/LA/CAR Director Burke from Ambassador. Subject: Terroristic Measures Aimed at Haiti—Ambassador’s Message for FBI Director. Ref: (A) P-au-P 1818; (B) P-au-P 1816.

1. Unless you perceive objection, request Dept pass following message from me to FBI Director Kelley.

2. Begin text. As your are undoubtedly aware, in the past several months U.S.-based opponents of Haiti’s Government have stepped up subversive operations in Haiti. In May booby-trapped packages were despatched by air freight from Miami to senior persons in the govt. One of these packages exploded in the Pan American warehouse in Port-au-Prince only minutes after being unloaded from the aircraft. Two weeks ago an American named Ralph Harrington was killed when an explosive device he was examining in his hotel room in Port-au-Prince blew up. Harrington, evidently commissioned by persons in Miami, had apparently planned to set off explosions at strategic points in the Haitian capital. Harrington’s woman companion, who survived the explosion, was found to be without responsibility in the affair and returned yesterday to her parents’ residence in Ohio where the FBI plans to interview her. The FBI has already interrogated a third U.S. citizen implicated in this affair.

3. The Government of Haiti, understandably, is concerned over these cases of terrorism contrived on U.S. territory and aimed at Haiti. President Duvalier of Haiti is anxious for all relevant information about the perpetrators, especially if leads point to Haitians resident in the United States.

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4. I would be most grateful for your assistance in ensuring that the investigations now being carried on are pursued vigorously and that such information as may be developed be made promptly available so that I may pass it on to the Government of Haiti. End text.

  1. Summary: Isham requested assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating subversive actions against the Haitian Government carried out by U.S.-based opponents of President Duvalier.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D740263–0349. Confidential; Immediate. In telegrams 1727 and 1816 from Port-au-Prince, September 5 and 17, the Embassy reported more fully on the September 4 explosion that killed Ralph Harrington. (Ibid., D740245–1036 and D740260–1039) In telegram 206412 to Port-au-Prince, September 19, the Department reported that the FBI had identified a Florida-based anti-Duvalier figure, Bernard Sansaricq, as the likely ringleader of the group responsible for the Harrington incident. (Ibid., D740263–0290) In telegram 224694, October 11, the Department informed Port-au-Prince that FBI personnel would travel to Haiti to assist in the investigation of the blast. (Ibid., D740290–0006) In telegram 249427, November 12, the Department reported that the FBI was considering establishing a regular communication channel with Haitian authorities. (Ibid., D740326–0244) In telegram 2283 from Port-au-Prince, November 22, the Embassy concurred with the establishment of such a channel. (Ibid., D740339–0677) Telegram 1818 from Port-au-Prince has not been found.