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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1934. The American Republics

Cuba,   pp. 93-188 PDF (33.6 MB)

Page 98

  The night before last Batista had an interview with Mendieta in
which they discussed in great secrecy the possibility of Grau's leaving
the Presidency and either Dr. Presno or Dr. Costales Latatu assuming
that office provisionally. They agreed either of these two men would
be acceptable.
  Last night Batista decided that things were going so badly that he
would force Grau's resignation at once but he was persuaded not to take
precipitous action by some of his friends.
  Batista is to see Mendieta again this afternoon for the purpose of
discussing the possibility of the formation of a new government. They
have decided that either Mendieta himself or Costales Latatu should
assume the Presidency.
  I do not mean the state of any of this is a certainty especially as the
attitude of Guiteras and his naval and military adherents is unknown;
also in view of what may eventuate out of the troubles of the Electric
Light Company this evening or the troubles of the Habana Electric
Railway (my telegrams No. 10 and 11, January 13, 6 p. m.; 8) also in
view of the fact that there is a labor congress of 5,000 persons now
going on at Habana.
  I have taken no part in these conversations but am keeping informed
of what is going on.
837.00/4606: Telegram
TAe Personal Representative of the President (Caffery) to the Acting
                        Secretary of State
                                HABANA, January 14, 1934-3 a. m.
                                              [Received 6: 39 a. i.]
  12. My 9, January 13, 5 p. m. Situation is very grave. However,
Mendieta tells me he is willing to assume the Presidency (provisionally
of course) at once but only if he knows in advance that the United
States will recognize him. Situation is such that some steps must be
taken tonight, Sunday, to secure change in the government very soon
thereafter. Batista tells me he will support Mendieta.
  I respectfully request at once authority to recognize Mendieta in the
Presidency. If this is not done Batista will probably turn definitely
to the left with definite disaster for all our interests here (or declare
himself military dictator).
  Mendieta, of course, would like to unite all the opposition but
obviously there is no time to discuss that now.
   'Neither printed.

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