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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, 1919

Cuba,   pp. 1-84 PDF (31.1 MB)

Page 1

Assistance of Major General Enoch H. Crowder, U.S. Army, in Revision of
the Electoral Laws-Agitation of Cuban Liberals for Supervision of Elec-
tions by the United States
837.00/1504a: Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Charge in Cuba (Bingham)
WASHINGTON, January 15, 1919, 6 p.m.
Strictly confidential. During Mr. Gonzales' visit to Washington,
he had an extended conference with the Acting Secretary of State
and the Chief of the Latin American Division in regard to the
present and future political situation in Cuba. The Acting Sec-
retary of State in this conference instructed Mr. Gonzales, immedi-
ately upon his return to Havana, to inform the President of Cuba
that in the opinion of the Government of the United States it was
of the utmost importance that the Government of Cuba should forth-
with proceed to take active steps for the reformation of the present
Cuban electoral laws and should establish an adequate census in
order that the register of voters should be corrected in time for the
next presidential election.
Mr. Gonzales was also instructed to impress upon the President
the great importance of giving immediate assurances to the public
that the next presidential elections would be conducted in a free
and fair manner and Mr. Gonzales was directed to endeavor to
obtain from the President of Cuba a request that the United States
should send a commission to Cuba to aid in the supervision of the
elections. At the same time Mr. Gonzales was instructed to obtain
from the President a further promise that he would make a public
statement as soon as possible along the above lines.
Mr. Gonzales expressed himself as concurring with the Depart-
ment in its view that these steps were absolutely necessary to secure
peace in Cuba.
In view of the cablegram which the Navy Department has re-
ceived from the Naval Attache at Havana, stating that serious
trouble is anticipated within the next few days, the Department
believes that it would be inexpedient to await the arrival of Mr.
Gonzales in Cuba in order to communicate the above suggestions
and desires to the President of Cuba.

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