12/31/12 - Cuba-L Historical Document - Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cuba 
Washington, December 31, 1958 - 9:41 p.m.
404. Your 604.  Department shares Embassy's apprehensions respecting implications weakening of ability Batista Government continue exercise authority in Cuba. Department has watched with growing concern steady deterioration of Batista administration's political and military position and views with gravest misgivings any possibility of full scale civil war, destruction of established institutions of Cuba, and potential revival of Communist strength there.
This deep concern is reason US has for many months been urging GOC take steps to strengthen and broaden its political support and thus improve chances for amelioration of internal strife and permit US give greater support to GOC's course of action. Even conditional offer armored cars last January (Deptel 284 ) was based on expectation that GOC would adopt constructive political measures so that this and other US military equipment, if it were used, would contribute to resolution Cuban internal problem. Otherwise US position at home and abroad would have suffered severe damage, particularly with reference to hemisphere position, relations to other small countries and to Mutual Defense Program.
It will be recalled that GOC did not take active measures eliminate Castro challenge when it was a minor political and military factor and when GOC possessed ample military equipment to deal with it. After initial failure take adequate steps suppress rebellion, GOC has seemed determined concentrate its efforts on military and police measures to suppress revolutionary opposition while ignoring juridical, civic and political institutions of country which still appear to offer various possibilities of constructive compromise solution. This course of action has made it more difficult for US to extend more aid than it has to evidence its good will and support for GOC because basic policy considerations require us to withhold more support of military nature, at least until there is some fairly conclusive prospect of a solution which has substantial support from Cuban people. US meanwhile has continued cooperation in other spheres, e.g., atomic energy agreement, EXIM Bank credits, and negotiation double taxation agreement, inter alia. In short, US most certainly has not set out to weaken Batista but regretfully forced to conclusion that sapping of his remaining bases of strength due his own decision limit latitude of means available to US to cooperate with him.
In present circumstances any material increase in military support of present GOC action would expose US Government to widespread charges within and without hemisphere of intervention in Cuba's internal dispute, expose its citizens and interests in Cuba to reprisals from opposition elements, and damage long-range US position in Cuba by alienating many Cubans, as well as constituting policy error extremely detrimental to hemisphere relationships which are of basic importance to US. Nor does Dept believe such support would solve basic GOC problem of inducing broader national support for present regime.
Department has given most careful study to all reports coming to its attention regarding Communist infiltration of sympathy within Castro movement. Current judgment of intelligence community is that infiltration has taken place but extent and degree of influence not yet determined from evidence available. It is also clear that 26th of July Movement has shown little sense of responsibility or ability needed to govern Cuba satisfactorily and its nationalistic line is horse which Communists know well how to ride.
Department reiterates hope it has expressed frequently in past that GOC may still obtain collaboration influential and respectable elements representing majority national sectors of society in order achieve constructive political solution acceptable people of Cuba, facilitating orderly transition in order end present grave threat to Cuban economy and political stability.
Embassy's efforts in and evaluation of growing Cuban crisis deeply appreciated here.
1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/12-3158. Confidential. Drafted by Wieland, Little, and Stevenson; cleared in draft by Hill and Snow; and cleared with Murphy and Rubottom.
2. See Document 185.
3. Document 7.
CUBA-L FAIR USE NOTICE
This server contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of Cuba's political, economic, human rights, international, cultural, educational, scientific, sports and historical issues, among others. We distribute the materials on the basis of a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. The material is distributed without profit. The material should be used for information, research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/ uscode/17/107.shtml.