12/31/12 - Cuba-L Historical Document - Telegram From the Embassy in Cuba to the Department of State
Havana, December 31, 1958--6 p.m.
663. Reference: Deptel 399. Following Embassy comments numbered to correspond with Department's telegram.
(1) Government believed in control more of province than Kieffer indicated. Army offensive has recovered number of small towns and cities in past three days. Rebels still control much of province, particularly mountainous areas, and capable causing disturbances in all but principal cities.
(2) As Department aware, Guevara is extreme leftist and anti-American, and sometimes reported to be Communist. Cienfuegos background questionable, with considerable evidence he Communist much of which supplied by Kieffer. American newsmen who interviewed Cienfuegos [less than 1 line not declassified] he not Communist. No evidence rebel forces Las Villas operating under Communist orders. DR and Segundo Frente troops believe not Communist influenced. Marinello in hiding and whereabouts unknown. [less than 1 line not declassified] DR source stating Guevara attempting to install local Communist leaders as civilian heads of towns occupied by rebels and DR hard pressed to offset such activities. Difficult to assess allegations accurately, since GOC [Government of Cuba] attempting to discredit revolutionary movement with charges it Communist. As example, police in plainclothes today distributing pamphlets in Habana allegedly from Communist youth calling on people to support general strike.
(3) Communists undoubtedly profiting by distributed and unsettled situation and endeavoring infiltrate opposition groups with some success.
(4) Embassy had not been advised of any Kieffer allegations, has not sent anyone into area, and does not plan to do so.
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