The beginning of the Republic's end
Fulgencio Batista (Left) Carlos Prio Socarras (Right)
nine years ago today democracy ended in Cuba when General Fulgencio
Batista carried out a
coup d’état against the democratically elected President of Cuba, Carlos
Prio Socarras. Professor Jaime Suchlicki, of the Cuban Studies
Institute analyzed the conditions and circumstances that led to the 1952 Batista dictatorship.
“ Cuba intended to restore normal relations with countries toward which the former Cuban Government had had an attitude of hostility. He mentioned Spain and the Dominican Republic in particular. He said he thought the United States should recognize promptly; that it was in our interest that the situation should develop in an orderly way. I reminded Dr. Campa that our Government had not been consulted about the coup d'etat and that Cuba could not expect automatic recognition from us.”
On March 14, 1958 the State Department in a telegram to the U.S. Embassy in Cuba requested that the export license for 1,950 M-1 rifles for the Cuban Army awaiting shipment be suspended. This was done because the State Department felt that the Cuban government had failed to "create conditions for fair elections."
On March 17, 1958 Fidel Castro's future candidate for provisional president, Manuel Urrutia, along with a delegation of other supporters in exile of the July 26th movement, met with officials at the State Department. They lobbied the U.S. government and argued that arms shipments to Cuba were for hemispheric defense, and they claimed that Batista using them against Cuban nationals was in violation of the conditions agreed to between the two countries. On the same day the Cuban Government presented to the U.S. Embassy in Havana a formal note protesting the delay in the shipment of M-1 rifles to the Cuban Army, and warned that it would weaken the Cuban government and lead to its possible downfall.
“Department has considered possibility its actions could have an adverse psychological effect GOC and could unintentionally contribute to or accelerate eventual Batista downfall. On other hand, shipment US combat arms at this time would probably invite increased resentment against US and associate it with Batista strong arm methods, especially following so closely on heels of following developments:
- Government publicly desisted from peace efforts.
- Government suspended guarantees again.
- Batista expressed confidence Government will win elections with his candidate and insists they will be held despite suspension guarantees but has made no real effort to satisfy public opinion on their fairness and effectiveness as possible means achieve fair and acceptable solution.
- Batista announced would increase size arms and informed you he would again undertake mass population shift Oriente, and otherwise acted in manner to discourage those who supported or could be brought to support peaceful settlement by constructive negotiations.
|Ambassador Earl E. T. Smith|