Plot to Invade the
Am Embassy Report 4434
State Department Report 4434 dated 17 October 1947]
[NOTE: The original report
some errors in spelling of names. The names were
left as in the
original report unless indicated in brackets]
AMERICAN EMBASSY, HAVANA, CUBA
(V. LANSING COLLINS)
17 OCTOBER 1947
PLOT TO INVADE THE
DETAILED REPORT OF OPEN
PREPARATIONS IN CUBA BY
DOMINICANS TO INVADE THE
AND REMOVE TRUJILLO FROM
The Secretary of State,
Washington, D. C.
I have the honor to submit information gathered by this
Embassy on an
unsuccessful attempt to organize the invasion of the
during the summer of 1947, and the extent to which Cuban
were involved–as well as our own implication.
This plan to stage an amphibious and air attack, using
tactics and equipment, had a fair chance of success.
preliminary plans for the invasion were carried out with
efficiency to assure the revolutionaries of plentiful
modern arms and munitions, fast planes, and a small but
However, bad staff work, divided leadership, overwhelming
ambitions and an untimely Cuban political crisis doomed the
The scale of the attempt to overthrow President TRUJILLO,
open preparations during the Rio Conference, and the patent
of several governments for the Habana convention, have best
described as "this incredible venture."
An E. Phillips Oppenheim could do the story justice, but
factual account, minus the alarums and side issues, presents
parallel to the old tales of filibustering in the
Many of the important facts, especially the involvement of
and the reasons for some events, will only come to light
passage of time, and can only be given now in speculative
Current developments were reported to the Department during
of July, August and September 1947 by frequent detailed
This dispatch is confined to the principal features of the
attempt. Notes on the personalities involved are given
enclosure. Information on the material of the invasion
being sought and will be submitted subsequently. So
possible, this dispatch is written objectively and without
Origin of the Attempt
The inception of the attempt goes back several years.
Specifically it stems from the organization in Habana, Cuba,
of the Dominican Revolutionary Party. Its raison
d'etre was the
rise to power of Trujillo some 17 years ago and the
continuance of his
regime. Very broadly its "intellectual" background (as
is used in the Caribbean) is the fetish of revolution which
frequently manifest in feverish form.
Increasing numbers of Dominican political exiles formed
dissatisfaction years ago. Leadership by a few men
made them into
units of resistance to Trujillo. Formation of the
Revolutionary Party in 1941 had two avowed purposes: the
of a democratic regime in the Dominican Republic, and active
cooperation for the triumph of the United Nations in the
war. The Party was organized in sectional form in Cuba
Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo); in the United States (New
Mexico (Mexico City); in Venezuela (Caracas) and in Puerto
Juan and Mayaguez). Its leaders at that time included
were recently prominent. They were: Dr. J. I. JIMENEZ
Dr. Ramon DE LARA, Juan BOSCH, Dr. Romano PAREZ CABRAL,
Dr. Luis F. MEJIA. The objects, doctrine and statutes
organization were drawn up, and far as known continued to
although in 1943 the Habana branch operated under the name
Dominican Anti-Nazi Democratic Union.
It was apparently realized that no overt attempt would be
change the Dominican Government while the war was on.
attempts to drum up sympathy and fervor continued through
years. A good job of public relations work must be
granted, not a
little aided by growing international resentment of Trujillo
methods. Installation of sympathetic governments in
was also important. These included Cuba, Venezuela and
Guatemala. The Peruvian Government was also
through the influence of its Ambassador here who has lived
in Cuba many
years as an exiled Aprista and who on several occasions
struck the key
note of the whole mentality when he argued that the
violation of a few
inter-American treaties was nothing compared with the
establishing a democracy. The revolutionaries were
their operations took such open form as broadcasts from the
station CMQ. These broadcasts from the Cuban radio
made by Juan Bosch. He, over the years, appears to
have been the
most energetic and to have done most to further the cause
newspaper writing, books, articles, broadcasting and general
It has been noted that trouble among the leadership
Although by 1944 the organization and the party appeared to
solid, there had been lack of coordination and leaders
own course wherever they might be. Matters reached a
the leaders laid aside other activities and buried their
hold the scattered exiled groups together. This early
spelled doom to the invasion attempt. Lack of
discipline and an
ineffective chain of command proved fatal.
By 1944 the party felt sufficiently strong to predict that
as soon as
the war was over an armed revolution would take place in the
Republic. Juan Bosch then indicated that in the
the United Front was complete and ready, that they counted
on aid and
arms from elements of the Dominican Army. It was
that a considerable quantity of arms was stored in another
American country. Members of the Revolutionary Party
Republic would participate in the revolution.
That the organization and activities of the Revolutionary
strong and promised to be effective is revealed by the files
period. Trujillo was described as frightened and
One significant despatch may be mentioned (Ciudad Trujillo
No. 4, June
6, 1944) which in summary stated that President Trujillo was
Dr. Grau's election in Cuba because he did not like
dislike was apparently caused by President Batista's failure
political activities of certain Dominican exiles.
ascendancy to the Presidency was no alleviation, because
activities continued. Juan Bosch became secretary to
Carlos PRIO SOCARRAS, and a Dominican Freedom Committee was
the Cuban Congress under Eddy CHIBAS, then the mouthpiece of
Grau. The two vice presidents of this organization
Senator Tony VARONA, still very close to President Grau, and
COSSIO del Pino, now Minister of the Interior. Bosch
was able to
see Grau frequently, and apparently on intimate terms.
must have been active, but progress was well exemplified by
activities of Bosch, which were well reported.
of Haiti is said to have mortgaged his home and to have
$25,000. Romulo BETANCOURT, President of the
Revolutionary Junta, an old friend of Bosch, invited him to
country where plans were laid.
The Revolutionary Party grew strongest in Habana.
centers aided and abetted, leaders in Cuba appeared to be
effective. This cannot all be attributed to the local
so much as to the fertile ground in which the plant was
cultivated. Trujillo is reported to have placed agents
party to keep informed. Habana remains the principal
center up to
With the end of the war, final plans for a revolt could be
One very favorable circumstance was present. The
countries in and
bordering the Caribbean had grown rich during the
money was available from generous sources. But cash,
touchstone of such an attempt, was not enough.
Trujillo had built
up his defenses and arms were needed. During1946 it
possible to foresee that ample armament supplies would
from war surplus not too tightly controlled in the United
from lend-lease equipment in friendly countries. And
was. Juan RODRIGUEZ GARCIA, wealthy Dominican
late in the game, made available a reported $600,000.
By January 1947, leaders of the movement meeting in
that preparations for an invasion were under way. It
at that time (Caracas despatch No. 9694, January 28, 1947)
delay in starting it before this time was no doubt due to
difficulties and desire to see that no detail was overlooked
might endanger success." There was ample warning that
was afoot and in February the President of Haiti was
feared that an attempt on the Dominican Republic would in
one manner or
another involve Haiti, which would suffer.
Report had it
that the revolutionaries already had considerable quantities
arms, a few aircraft, three vessels, etc. Subsequent
showed that they had no such quantities of material, but
that they had
no such quantities of material, but that they were actively
armament was clearly shown in March, the following month,
when the FBI
ascertained that Dominican exiles were purchasing arms in
New York for
use in a revolution. In April, it was alleged that two
aircraft had been flown to Cuba from the United States for
the use of
revolutionaries. These planes did not subsequently
appear and the
report was undoubtedly false.
Most people appeared to have forgotten about an invasion of
Dominican Republic during June and the first half of July
the diversional interest of a threatened invasion of
Rumors of increasing preparations in the Dominican Republic
armed invasion against the Government of Romulo Betancourt
thinking about the Caribbean theater that first reports from
Cuba of an
imminent invasion of the Dominican Republic were discounted
upon as a possible smoke screen for the Venezuelan affair.
Final Preparations and
Information which during this period care to the attention
Embassy indicated that an attempt towards an invasion of the
Republic was rapidly taking shape within Cuba. Efforts
to verify rumors and reports and it became clear that they
Act drafted electing a Dominican Central Revolutionary
Juan Rodriguez Garcia, Rolando MASFERRER, Angel MORALES,
FERNANDEZ, Manuel CALDERON, Jose R. ALFORSECA, Enrique C.
Gregorio GARCIA, Feliciano MADERNE, Aristides SARABIA,
MAINARSE, Rafael MAINARDI, Alexis LIZ, Luis CASTILLO, Manuel
CASTRO, Luis W. BORDAS, Cruz ALONSO and Antonio MORALES.
Act of Acceptance agreed among Messrs. Rodriguez
Morales, Bosch, Jimenez Crullon, and Leovigildo Cuello to
serve as the
Central Revolutionary Committee, They considered it their
"bring about in the Dominican Republic an armed revolution,
immediate purpose of which shall be the overthrow of the
Rafael L. Trujillo and the establishment of a revolutionary
which shall organize the life of the Dominican people on the
political and economic liberty and social justice and which
collaborate in the struggle for the establishment of
democracy in all
countries of America."
Act of Constitution of Central Committee signed by members
Statutes of Central Revolutionary Committee adopted by
Minimum Program and Constitutional Statutes of the
Government voted and signed by members of Dominican Central
Revolutionary Committee: Morales, Rodriguez, Bosch, JIMENEZ
Ambassador Norweb, during a cal on the foreign Minister,
there were many reports that Cuba was being used at the base
revolutionary activity. The Minister stated that,
though he had
heard such rumors, Cuban authorities had investigated and
there were no
preparations or arms.
Information sent to the Department indicated men were
eastern Cuba. The Minister of foreign Affairs
maintained he was
still unaware that anything was happening.
Additional information submitted showing Director General
Sports of the
General Directorate of Sports, Ministry of Education
The same day a telegram from Consul STORY at Santiago de
that forces were assembling at Antilla and that high Cuban
officials were involved.
Embassy investigations revealed that the revolution had
airplanes, including two Lockheed Vega Ventura bombers, two
C-78's, and two Douglas C-47's. It was rumored also
that a larger
bomber, a B-24, was expected. It was apparent by this
recruiting was going on openly, that men were being taken to
Cuba and that a number of Government personalities were
The matter was rapidly becoming an open secret.
At this time unexpected publicity occurred. Two
members of the
revolutionary forces, recruited in Puerto Rico, deserted,
way to Miami, and talked to the press.
Press reports of the invasion army permitted the Dominican
to make charges; which it did. The Dominican
Washington stated that a 3000-man army of Communist
poised in Cuba to invade the Dominican Republic. It
clear that President Trujillo had his sources of
working. It was assumed, both by the Embassy and the
revolutionaries, that spies had been planted in the
ranks. It may be mentioned at this time that while the
Government knew in general what was going on, it made many
which were quite incorrect, naming names and places.
matter in retrospect, it must be said that their
intelligence was much
poorer than had been believed.
At this time a decisive turn of events took place. The
manner of recruitment, transport of men in Cuban Government
general activity which was taking place, made a great many
of what was going on. The "revelations" carried in the
Florida press, and the charges of the Dominicans made some
necessary. It was learned by the Embassy that the
Chief of the
Cuban Army had become concerned over the number of armed men
Cuba, who could easily create a threat to domestic
The Chief of Staff was reported to have given the
short time to leave Cuba or to be disbanded.
preparations went forward. The Habana press, with one
did not carry the stories from Miami and as far as the local
were concerned, the attempt had never been reported.
The Ambassador, in response to instructions, saw the Foreign
on July 27 and stated that it was hoped that no action would
which would disturb the peace of the Western
Minister admitted that the Government was aware of what was
and that the Government was following activities in order to
any abuse of hospitality. Significantly, it also
appeared that he
had exchanged telegrams with the Foreign Minister of the
Republic. This he subsequently denied to the press.
The invasion scare was now really on. Vessels were at
men were being transported from the training ground at
Antilla, vessels ready to participate. It was stated
President Grau gave the movement until July 30 to leave
Money was being gathered by Mario SALABARRIA, Chief of
Investigations Section of the National Police, and
Estimates of the number won went up 5,000. The Foreign
was playing hide-and-seek with the Ambassador.
The Ambassador saw President Grau, who told him that
measurer would be
taken. To remove any revolutionary activity from Cuba.
The Departure of Vessels from Antilla was reported in the
It was popularly assumed either that the effort had been
that the invasion was taking place. Naval Base at
which had been making observations, lost track of the
The Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Chief of
Police and Juan
Bosch denied reports that revolutionaries were being trained
A B-24 aircraft, which had arrived at Rancho Boyeros on July
seized by the Cuban Army, and, together with the two
Venturas, was removed to the Army field at Camp Columbia.
Intelligence began to pour in from all sides, including
Haiti. The Caribbean at last seemed to be convinced
something was afoot. The Dominican Government stated
invasion was on its way.
During this period a lull took place, due largely to a lack
information. It appeared to the Embassy that the
invasion definitely was not off because preparations
Assassination of Alfonso FOLS, reportedly an agent of
attempted in Habana on August 5. The Cuban Government
to obtain release of an LCI proved to be a considerable
the revolutionaries. It is also known that disunity of
had grown, that there were fears about the United States'
that something would have to be done fairly soon. It
from investigations of the FBI and Customs services of the
States that attempts to obtain aircraft were continuing.
The Ambassador received from the British Minister a copy of
a deposition made by four British
Minister a copy of a deposition made by four British seamen
secret despatch No. 4270, August 14, 1947). This
provided some of the first documentary evidence of just what
happening and revealed that the expeditionary force had gone
Confites. Knowing this, the Naval Operating Base at
thereafter kept activities under observation.
Two P-35 type aircraft observed on Cuban Navy Field.
Documents of the Dominican Central Revolutionary Committee
to the Department (despatch 4282 of August 18.) The Cuban
Minister denied his Government had received through official
any formal protest from the Dominican Governments.
Genovevo PEREZ Damera, Cuban Chief of Staff, stated that
there were no
armed groups of forces which might be preparing to invade
Republic in any territory under his jurisdiction.
appears, was literally true because Cayo Confites is
Navy Command. The Foreign Minister's statement was the
Four Lockheed F-5 (P-38 type) planes observed.
substantial quantities of armament and munitions were
reported on the
property of the Minister of Education.
The men on Cayo Confites, sleeping on the sand, contending
mosquitos, poor food and inaction, were becoming
appeared that the timetable of the invasion was upset and
were ready before the aircraft. Planes were being
brought in, but
they were not equipped for warfare. Bomb racks,
machine guns and
radios were being sought frantically.
While the troops on Cayo Confites had been training, and
munitions for them were now plentiful, the action of the
Cuban Army in
holding seized planes held matters up. A pilot had
brought in a
P-38 type to Camp Columbia by mistake. It had been
Manolo Castro, Director General of sports, on whom the
aircraft preparations fell, went to the Palace and had a
conference with officials there. This resulted in the
a C-47 plane and the P-38 type plane. The latter was
flown to the
Navy field at Mariel on September 4.
The original purchase of munitions and the recruitment of
largely done by the Revolutionary Committee aided by
the move to Cayo Confites had been made, aircraft
maintenance of the force of troops appears to have fallen
shoulders. The long delay apparently exhausted the
far Chest and subsequent costs and preparations were mainly
paid for by
Revolutionaries decided not to use the B-24 and Vega Ventura
held by Army, and they were busy buying other planes in the
States. One B-25 arrived and three more were expected.
The leaders had been making heroic efforts to hold their
together and complete preparations. They appeared to
succeeding. An additional vessel had been observed at
Confites (making three). Regular trips to the harbor
assured supplies of food and water. There were reports
to move forces to another acre agreeable location.
pilots and mechanics were conditioning aircraft at Mariel
them daily. It appeared that if the force could be
another three weeks, success was assured. Apart from
the Cuban Government was lending every assistance. The
being controlled, even though some reports were
ominous. The air
striking force promised to be large enough to do immediate
extensive damage to Ciudad Trujillo.
A group departed to seek support of Haitian President.
This date found General Perez in Washington.
On the same day, a battle between rival factions in the
Police, costing six lives, was broken up by the Army.
Major Mario Salabarria appeared to be the principal
President Grau asked General Perez to return at once, and he
Washington in an American Army plane. This was the
the "untimely political crisis", mentioned at the beginning
General Perez arrived at 3:25 a.m. and quickly took the
hand. He summoned the military court and brought
Salabarria and other members of the police force.
At a press conference General Perez stated that groups
formed to carry
out personal vengeance would not be permitted in Cuba.
General's steps to restore order were applauded in the
An Army detachment took possession of Salabarria's
The President appointed an Army Supervisor for the National
The Army seized some 13 truckloads of arms and munitions on
a farm said
to belong to Aleman, Minister of Education. General
informed the press that he believed the arms were to be used
conspiracy against the Army. Minister Aleman issued a
that General Perez was acting in accordance with the
Army raided the Hotel Sevilla, Habana, which was used by
revolutionaries as headquarters. Firearms and
Generals Perez, Quarejeta and Cabrera conferred with
with Minister Aleman present. Embassy reported Army
probably disarm revolutionaries. Revolutionaries left
Revolutionaries arrived at Cayo Santa Maria. Army and
alerted throughout Cuba. Vice Consul, Nuevitas,
blocks, and added that Army had seized revolutionary ship
BERTA and had
disarmed a number of revolutionaries.
General Perez, in an interview with the press, after seeing
Grau and the Navy Chief of Staff (Aguila Ruiz) denied
reports of a rift
between the Army and Navy and said (quite correctly) that
nothing on Cayo Confites". Virtually all the American
returned to the United States. Revolutionary leaders
made a last-minute unsuccessful attempt to organize a
suicide air raid
on Ciudad Trujillo using Cuban pilots.
Habana newspaper Prensa Libre reported 1500 men, besieged on
Confites by Cuban Army and Navy, had appealed to Senate for
to leave with arms. (This was the first press
Revolutionary ships sighted at Cayo Guinches under
observation of Cuban
Navy frigate. General Perez arrived at Camaguey.
conferred with Generals Querejeta and Cabrera.
After his return to Habana, General Perez conferred with
and labeled as "absurd", rumors that he would be
of revolutionary force in two LCI's made unsuccessful
attempt to reach
Haiti for attack on Dominican Republic.
Troop movements from Camaguey to Nuevitas reported.
Some 270 revolutionaries who had been abandoned at Cayo
arrived at Camp Columbia (Habana) from Nuevitas under Army
escort. Bulk of revolutionary force aboard two LCI's
at Nipe Bay.
Army Investigator of Warianeao incident informed press that
expeditionary force had been seized. Revolutionary
Nipe Bay under naval escort. Manolo Castro arrested at
illegal export of arms.
Army announced 800 revolutionaries landed at Antilla.
Chibas accused President Grau of having "betrayed the cause
Bulk of invasion force (725 men), including General Juan
Rodriguez Garcia arrived in Habana and were detained at Camp
Chief of Cuban Navy announced revolutionary ships had been
seized by Government.
All revolutionaries ordered released by court except 26 held
$5000 bail (bond was provided and all were subsequently
General Rodriguez denied coup had been planned against Cuba;
that two LCI's had tried to make last minute dash to Santo
were intercepted by Cuban Navy; said that arms at Aleman's
his own; failed to charge any Cuban official but admitted
had been "tolerat".
General Perez and Navy Chief Aguila Ruiz failed to answer
summons to testify before investigating magistrate.
Supreme Court ruled that, in accordance with the
should try the case against Aleman and that Urgency Court
cognizance of charges against others involved.
Participation of the Cuban
Short of a declaration of War, Cuba lent every aid to the
of the invasion. Until late September 1947, when the
Staff of the Army suppressed the plot, assistance was active
way from the Palace down to truck drivers. Perhaps the
method of relating the facts is to describe the
participation of the
principal Government agencies involved.
The implication of the Navy was deep. Beginning with
captains who condoned very frequent arrivals and departures
it went so far as a port captain signing a letter stating
water was for "official" purposes. (The original is in
Embassy safe.) A Cuban Navy coastguard vessel was in
Nipe Bay at
the time the force embarked for Cayo Confites.
vessels were at Nuevites and complacently made visits to
The leading craft purchased by Cubans for the
revolutionaries had been
cleared by the Navy to the Embassy. the Commodore even
recommended Mr. Cruz Alonso to the Naval Attache, at the
time when the
U.S. Customs was detaining a landing craft at Baltimore
which had been
purchased by Cruz Alonso and was clearly for the invasion.
The Navy permitted use of its flying field at the Mariel
Naval Base by
the revolutionary aircraft. It was there that the P-38
aircraft were worked on in preparation for an attack, and
flown by American pilots.
Concerning the Navy, the most categoric statement of its
was made by Rolando MASFERRER in an interview published in
periodical Bohemia in its issue of October 12. He
"The Army and the Navy cooperated with us. For
example, the three
37 mm. cannon installed on the AURORA and their mounts, as
well as the
bombs and all the material stored on the Finca "America"
us by the Navy, following an interview held by us with
AGUILA RUIZ and at which Commander Gejate was present.
surplus war materials of our Navy from the last war.
of its adherence to the Dominican revolutionary movement is
that bazookas seized by the Army as well as the mounts for
guns were taken in a Navy truck driven by a sergeant to the
"America" in the presence of Commander Gajate. In
high-powered explosives which we had were given to us by the
Navy. At Mariel we had, under the custody of the Navy,
explosives, six P-38 fighters and three bombers, as well as
boats which had been acquired in the United States. I
that one of the PT's required the change of an engine.
of our force proceeded to the base and changed the engine
for a new one
purchased in Miami. Commodore Aguila Ruiz furnished us
information concerning Dominican naval strength. There
doubt that the Navy behaved with fervent loyalty to the
cause of the
Gasoline of 100 octane was purchased for revolutionary
use. (Cuban Navy planes do not use this.)
Manolo CASTRO Director of Sports
The role played by this man was so large that it is treated
from the Ministry of Education. As a Cuban Government
he worked very actively to organize the effort and towards
the end his
full time was occupied with that of getting the air striking
ready. Sufficient information must be available from
investigations of the FBI and the U.S. Customs Service to
little amplification. Be it said in summary that the
Palace was used at one time for bomb storage. Castro
aircraft, recruited pilots, bought munitions, armament,
equipment, and, in short, engaged in a multitude of
activities in a
desperate effort to ready the air force. He almost
succeeded. He operated with the full knowledge of the
Jose Manuel ALEMAN, Minister of Education,
was one of the prime movers in the attempt.
History may reveal-but probably will not--the amount of
funds used for
the invasion. Quite apart from the use of Government
training centers, and of equipment such as trucks to
transport men and
supplies, there were large direct expenditures.
obtained on Government voucher, and following the depletion
original revolutionary war chest, the Minister is reported
furnished all food and supplies for the force on Cayo
Confites, at one
time stated to cost a minimum of $60,000 per month.
participation in money has been announced in millions; how
much no one
knows at present.
Masferrer has stated, "We decided that Manolo Castro would
(aircraft) in the United States. With money furnished
Jose Manuel Aleman, he was able to buy six P-38 fighter
B-25's as well as six Douglas transports."
On the Minister's farm property, the present ownership of
which has by
curious coincidence become obscure, 13 truckloads of
As previously pointed out, the Army's role in the whole
matter is not
clear. Its sins, as far as implication of the Cuban
concerned, are those of omission rather than
the Army finally suppressed the movement, and while during
it seized planes that did not land safely at friendly
fields, it was
certainly aware of what was happening. It knew of the
that took place. General Perez observed the training
Holguin. The Army forced the departure of the force
and Antilla to Cayo Confites. Had the Army been imbued
deep desire to maintain domestic tranquility, to keep down
to suppress revolutionary organizations, it could have acted
rather than in September.
The police, like the Army, are implicated by inaction rather
action. Through the period of recruiting (a recruiting
run rather openly in Habana), and as regards the carrying of
similar matters, the police condoned the affair. What
principal police officials played is not clear at this
Major Salabarria, head of the Special Investigation Section
National Police, who precipitated the Marianao affair, was
rather closely, even to the point of engineering a train
June 28 to get funds for the revolution. A train
in cash to cover sugar central payrolls was to have been
held up, but
the plan miscarried, and another was robbed instead, with a
poor haul of $7,000. Open direction of provisioning
for the force
on Cayo Confites was undertaken by Captain AGOSTINI, Chief
Large quantities of arms were brought into Cuba, both
through regular channels with the knowledge of customs
Much equipment was addressed to the Director of
Sports. A few of
the events are amusing, such as the surprise of an employee
Sevilla Biltmore Hotel to find that when a case of
broke open contained machine guns.
Customs officials of the ports of Nuevitas and Antilla were
the plot and permitted almost daily arrivals and departures
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The statements made by the Foreign Minister during the hue
and cry over
the invasion provide a unique chapter in diplomatic history
sidelight on Autentico politics in Cuba. Diplomatic
severe case of double talk and blindness, appeared to have
him. When the Dominican Government first charged than
was being organized in Cuba, it seemed that no one had ever
it. When the Cuban Government's good offices to
attempt were requested, the invasion was a myth. These
could be understood, even when the affair was a topic of
every chief of mission. However, even the local press
stomach the Minister's denials of having received a note of
other communications from the Dominican Government. It
possible that the Minister was strictly correct. He
received no note--his Chargé in Ciudad Trujillo may have
received it! However ridiculous this patent effort to
made him, he persisted therein until Trujillo sent a direct
Grau which Trujillo released had difficulty reaching the
Minister. The Minister, he was told, had just left for
mysteriously the twenty-minute journey required hours.
The Foreign Ministry made no protest ever daily American
Navy observation flights over or near Cayo Confites.
The length to which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs went in
the invasion was illustrated by the pressure from the Cuban
Washington to secure release of the landing craft detained
Customs Service at Baltimore. That Embassy and the
requested its release could not have been unaware of its
On August 25, the Ambassador, accompanied by Mr. Joseph R.
Treasury Representative, called upon the Foreign Minister to
assistance in determining if any aircraft had been illegally
from the United States. this approach was made under
from the Department. The Ambassador made clear that
information desired was purely for customs purposes and to
whether there had been violations of law within the United
States. The Minister promised to put the competent
touch with Mr. Dillon and facilitate his task.
There followed from August 25 until the beginning of October
conferences, appointments and broken appointments, that can
described as the most complete run-around. Mr. Dillon
exactly no where through these channels. It was
that the Foreign Minister did not wish any United States
see the aircraft in question. It appears inconceivable
Ministry did not know that we were aware of the number and
plane held at each field. His completely negative and
un-cooperative attitude has continued.
Mr. Dillon was able finally to gather the evidence required
through an entirely different channel.
Little need be said concerning the participation of
Grau. His long friendship with some of the leaders;
participation of at least one Cabinet Minister (a favorite);
intelligence from the Cuban Army, Navy and Secret Police;
local newspaper stories, all showed that the Government was
implicated. The responsibility must finally be laid at
of the Chief of State. There is little doubt that Grau
extended his blessing and support to the plot.
Presumptive Implication of
the United states.
In the rapid confusion of events the position of the United
a curious one. We made an effort to remind the Cuban
of its international commitments and of the dangers of so
venture (see despatch No. 4235 of August 4 reporting a
with the Minister of State). But it became
difficult, and at last impossible, to get the ear of any
member of the Government: at least in Habana. While
were seized with diplomatic deafness, the invasion leaders
their ears in our direction; were in fact using every art to
information of our attitude; and in our silence their
thinking read assent. Meanwhile the other
Republics watched and listened with interest. For them
it was an
interesting test case, both of that might be expected from
States in such circumstances and of how much the plotters
away with. The origin of the material, the presence of
technicians, the probably well-founded suspicion the funds
movement were collected in the United States from Americans
interests in the Dominican Republic, and our apparent
contributed to the impression that the enterprise had our
approval; that the package, though delivered from Cuba, was
"Made in USA". Thus by circumstantial evidence some of
responsibility was laid at our door.
The term "apparent inaction" is used because outsiders were
of our efforts to make representations on the one hand, and
other to avoid moral commitments; nor of the closeness with
followed every development. For many weeks this
Embassy saw the
finest kind of staff work, daily correlated, between
Army, the Navy, the Intelligence Group, the Treasury and our
Relations officer; very effectively aided by the
investigations made by
Commodore Battle at Guantanamo. Members of the
community throughout the island were also helpful and
All information was pooled, screened, analyzed, and
interpreted to our
best ability. Thus we kept ghostly step with the
and no development could have caught us unawares.
In retrospect, four things stand out from our daily
observation of the
attempt. First, the invasion could have been
Second, there was a change of character, leadership and
spirit from one
of idealism to one of materialism and the strong hand.
there is the deep implication of the Cuban Government.
there was widespread presumption of our own implication.
Of munitions, aircraft and men there were plenty. The
of Cuba gave every aid. Sympathies were with the
Enthusiasm was high; even while being brought under arrest
the troops--after two months of privation on a barren
wished to fight. It is quite possible that had a
showing been made in an invasion, substantial support would
given within the Dominican Republic. The invasion was
hair's breadth of taking place and possibly would have
Its failure was due primarily to an accident of time.
police affray on September 15 at Marianao not occurred, it
likely that preparations would have continued and the Army
have intervened. But apart from this contretemps,
contributed to failure. It may be mentioned in review
leadership was poor and divided. Coordination of
and aircraft was poor. Particularly bad were the
procurement. The munitions, arms and aircraft should
ready by the time recruitment started. As it was, men
two months on Cayo Confites began to be a disciplinary
problem of the
first order. The aircraft were never finally put into
condition. Plans were too grandiose. Highly
military aircraft requiring special fittings, bomb racks,
and armament difficult to obtain posed problems. An
of cargo planes from which bombs might be rolled out the
have been ready in a matter of days rather than weeks.
too much loose talk and publicity. The support of the
not first assured. This was of especial importance
the principal Cuban Government official concerned, Minister
an enemy of General Perez. It may even be said that
President Grau was a tactical error, for although he is by
no means a
broken reed, yet when the crucial moment came he either
could not or
would not deliver.
The character of the leadership and spirit deteriorated from
idealism of the Dominican exile leaders into what can be
almost gangsterism, one would not deny that General Juan
wished to regain his confiscated properties in the Dominican
Republic. However, his contribution of over half a
dollars to the cause could not be called a good risk.
inspired by what appears to be a disinterested hatred of
his works, was probably not thinking deeply in materialist
neither were some others. But Bosch, who with the
men went to eastern Cuba with large supplies of arms and
landing craft already arranged for, gradually found--along
Dominican leaders--that he was being taken over by the
All the later preparations in Habana--recruitment, the
aircraft, hiring of pilots--were entirely in Cuban
Recruitment in Cuba was by the MSR, a revolutionary and
inclined group of men. Juan Bosch became a virtual
Cayo Confites. Dominican exiles stated in Habana in
September that many of the Dominicans (there were only about
130 on the
island) felt that the invasion should be called off; one
bad enough but 15 men as bad or worse than Trujillo would be
to inflict upon the Dominican people. Just before the
Cayo Confites, Rolando Masferrer, head of the MSR, had
assumed command and it was reported to the Embassy,
maintained by a virtual reign of terror. The suicidal
Masferrer still to attack the Dominican Republic with only a
the force and without aircraft demonstrates the lengths to
men might go.
The motivation of the Cubans can always be laid in part to
quixotic idealism, to an ingrained fetish of revolution, to
a hatred of
Trujillo; but the participation of such men as Jose Aleman,
and Salabarria can only finally be explained in terms of
self-seeking. Some were to be given properties,
another was to be
a collector of customs, another was to be Minister of
The cooked goose promised to be rich with gravy.
in jest but probably true, was the statement that there were
persons at one time on Cayo Confites who expected to be the
President of the Dominican Republic. How the change
certain outraged liberalism to the materialism of the
what-is-there-in-it-for-me brand contributed to success or
less germane to the outcome of the story than the fact that,
plot to overthrow Trujillo developed, the knights in shining
unhorsed by that type of buccaneer which seems always to
in the Spanish ____.
The role played by the Cuban Government should sound a
concerning the usefulness of its high [unreadable]
party to the Habana Convention of 192_, a member of the
a participant uttering high-sounding phrases at the Rio
their attacking the "economic imperialism" of [not clear]
legislation--was at one and the same time breaking its
obligations, preparing to disturb the peace of the
plotting against the life of a government with which it
diplomatic relations. The more one reflects on what
place, and the more the evidence accumulates, the more one
convinced that the burden of responsibility falls upon the
Cuba. Furthermore, the general popularity of the
attempt, the public disregard and the almost complete press
of any of Cuba's obligations, is striking. Than too,
of certain other government that the breaking of a couple of
was of no moment when there was a chance of getting rid of
again illustrates the difference in the concept of moral
between the American and the Latin mind.
Our own Government, in the circumstances, had a delicate and
role to play. Looking back, it is hard to see what
omission might have been avoided. The policy of
inaction, while generally misinterpreted, kept us reasonably
the melee and, it is to be hoped, did not diminish our moral
the inter-American community. Looking forward, we can
this experience by establishing a tighter control on the
export of war
surplus and war material, and by losing no opportunity to
For the threat of a revolution or invasion of the Dominican
not dead. So long as Trujillo continues to be
will fan the flames of hope. It will not be so easy
Much money was spent. The material very likely may not
released by the Cuban Army. President Grau's term of
drawing to a close. Other governments may not be so
hospitable. However, plotting continues. A
crop is promised in Cuba in 1948. Venezuela lacks no
oil. Money may be found. The impresarios are
still on the
stage. the curtain may yet rise on a hit show.
R. Henry Norweb
1. Notes on principal personalities involved.
2. Newspaper photographs of principal personalities.
3. Photographs taken on Cayo Confites.
File No. 800
October 17, 1947
Enclosure No. 1
ATTEMPTED INVASION OF THE
Lie. Angel MORALES, President of the Central
Committee, former Dominican Ambassador in Washington, former
President of the League of Nations Assembly, former Vice
the Dominican Republic prior to Trujillo's regime.
only been in Cuba since the summer of 1947.
Juan BOSCH, about 45, writer and contributor to leading
publications. Resident of Cuba for the past seven or
years. Close friend of Presidents Betancourt of
Grau of Cuba. Bosch once edited a newspaper controlled
President Grau. Bosch is also close tot he Minister of
Carlos Prio Socarras. Bosch has received continued
support from Prio principally through "botellas". He
is a member
of the Central Revolutionary Committee which was led by
Juan Isidro Jimenez Grullon, clever and able writer who with
led the Dominican revolutionary activities in Cuba for the
or nine years. Resident of Cuba since 1937.
his appeal to leftists groups in Cuba and has on occasion
to the Communist daily Hoy. He is considered to be an
man and an able one. He is a member of the central
Committee which was led by Morales.
Juan RODRIGUEZ Garcia, 60, one of the heavy financial
backers of the
expedition, who was slated to be President of the Dominican
the movement succeeded. Rodriguez has been living in
about six months. He held the title of
Commander-in-Chief of the
Revolutionary Army and it was understood that he was a large
in the Dominican Republic until about two or three years
ago, when he
was forced to flee. Rodriguez was a member of the
Revolutionary Committee which was led by Morales.
Rodriguez had a
son who accompanied him named Jose Rodriguez who was
graduate of the
Harvard Law School and who is understood to be an able and
Dr. Leovigildo CUELLO, 58, doctor of medicine, graduated
universities of Santo Domingo and Paris. Dr. Cuello is
particularly well know in Cuba. He was a member of the
Revolutionary Committee led by Morales.
Dr. Enrique "Gotubanama" HENRIQUES, born in the Dominican
raised in Cuba and possibly a Cuban citizen. Dr.
married to the sister of the Minister of Labor, Carlos Prio
Socorras. he served as liaison between the
Prio. Although Dr. Henriques is married to the sister
Minister of Labor, Carlos Prio Socorras. He served as
between the revolutionaries and Prio. Although Dr.
been close to the Movimiento Socialista Revolucionario, a
group of Marxist taint, many of whose leaders were formerly
with the Communist Party, his sympathies are believed to
have been with
the Dominicans and not with the other members of the
Socialista Revolucionario (Castro, Masferrer and Fernandez)
latter took the leadership of the revolutionary movement
away from the
Felix Buenaventura Sanchez (known as "El Dominicano"),
46, a Dominican exile who was sent to Haiti on or about
1947 in an attempt to persuade the Haitian Government to
revolutionary forces to land in and transit Haiti.
traveled under a Venezuelan official passport and went
see the Venezuelan charge in Port-at-Prince upon his
may be a Venezuelan and not a Dominican but it is known that
Haiti in somewhat of a hurry as President Trujillo had a
price on his
Irundino VILELA, believed to be a Dominican or a Cuban,
mission to Haiti on or about September 15, 1947 and is
believed to have
been a propaganda expert. It is reported that he
carried with him
a considerable quantity of propaganda material of one kind
and that he was supposed to start an anti-Trujillo movement
Dr. Luis F. MEJIAS and Dr. Eduardo VICIOSO, Dominican exiles
living in Venezuela, visited the revolutionary forces on
Confites. Considered to be important members of the
movement. Upon their return to Caracas they published
a report in
the Venezuelan press that President Grau was 100 percent
President Ramon GRAU San Martin, knew all about the
attempt and authorized the cooperation of the Cuban Army and
Rafael GONZALEZ Munoz, Cuban Minister of State.
Jose Manuel ALEMAN, 42, former Minister of Education,
Minister without Portfolio. Aleman is the leader of
political group and one of President Grau's close
was the Minister entrusted with the organization of the
movement and his complicity was complete. Aleman is
one of the
gangster-type young revolutionaries in Cuba and his name has
connected with the Movimiento Socialista
Revolucionario. It is
clear that Aleman contributed funds, both personal and
that he used the Ministry of Education trucks to transport
revolutionaries and that he was in constant touch with the
the movement. A large cache of arms destined for the
revolutionary movement was located on the finca "America",
his property. Aleman's complicity was so obvious that
a motion of
censure in the Cuban Senate resulted, something which his
enemies had hoped to do for some time. Following the
motion of lack of confidence, Aleman was forced to resign as
of Education on September 30, 1947 and following his
resignation he was
immediately appointed Minister without Portfolio by
Grau, who continues to base reliance on Aleman.
Carlos PRIO Socorras, Minister of Labor, was unquestionably
the revolutionary movement. Both Juan Bosch and Dr.
Henriques are close friends of Prio. While Prio
probably did not
take an active part in the details of the movement, there is
doubt that he was fully aware of what was going on.
Manolo CASTRO del Campo, 38, formerly President of the
Estudantil Universitaria, Director General of National
Sports in the
Ministry of Education and a member of the Movimiento
Revolucionario. Castro is a true revolutionary,
President Grau. He is one of the group of persons who
to Grau in 1933 and for whom President Grau has felt that he
had to do
something. When the purchase of aircraft in the United
the revolutionary group was not working out satisfactorily
Reinaldo RAMIREZ Rosell, Castro took over the job.
Castro was one
of the most active of the revolutionary group both in Cuba
and in the
United States. He was arrested at Miami in late
and charged with illegal export of munitions from the United
States. Very courageous, Castro is intensely
Rodriguez CRUZ ALONSO, owner of the Hotel San Luis in
of the revolutionary plotters. Cruz Alonso's hotel in
the headquarters of the plotters for a long time and Cruz
very active in purchasing material. He is reported to
to Argentine at one time and it is known that he went to the
States in the summer of 1947 to purchase landing
failure to obtain sufficient landing craft is one of the
causes of the
failure of the expedition because of the expedition's
transportation. Although Cruz Alonso was one of the
purchasing agents, it is believed he was materialistic in
and that he had a good job lined up in the Dominican
Republic if the
Dr. Reinaldo RAMIREZ Rosell, head of Aerovias Cubanas
was one of the purchasing agents for the expedition in the
States. Dr. Ramirez was supposed to purchase a number
aircraft. Although he was successful in obtaining
apparently over-charged the revolutionaries and fell out of
was succeeded by Manolo Castro. Ramirez has an
reputation in Cuba and is regarded as a complete
all the revolutionary movement, Ramirez is one of the few
made some money out of it.
Colonel Fabio RUIZ Rojas, Chief of the Police, currently on
leave. Ruiz was one of the young revolutionaries of
1933 and was
put in the police force to keep him out of trouble. A
Ruiz was an active collaborator with the revolutionaries and
his bro-there Iran Ruiz to Haiti on or about September 15,
the mission to request the Haitian Government to allow the
Revolutionary force to disembark and transit Haiti.
Iran Ruiz was
accompanied by Lieutenant Rene DE CARDENAS of the National
the two were traveling under police orders.
General Genovevo PEREZ Damara, 38, Commanding General of the
Army, is one of the important figures of the Dominican
attempt. Although many of the revolutionaries claimed
General Perez was brought in on the plans of the
as long as a year ago, there appears to be considerable
nevertheless that when the movement actually got started, he
kept informed of all the details. Whether this was an
on President Grau's part or stemmed from the fact that Grau
Minister of Education Aleman, who is a known enemy of Perez,
immaterial. In any event General Perez began in July
place obstacles in the way of the revolutionaries.
General Perez favored the plot at first and then realized
implications or whether he acted solely in a spirit of pique
at his enemies is possibly immaterial; the fact remains that
Perez, of all the Cuban figures involved, was the only one
from the whole incident with more power than before.
Perez was a
veterinary student under Grau in 1933. After he
entered the Army,
President Grau advanced him very rapidly since 1944.
Peres has been close to President Grau and apparently in
control of the Army.
Jose Enrique CAMEJO y Argudin, former Cuban Charge
d'Affaires in Haiti,
now in the Cuban Foreign Office, a member of the mission to
Haiti on or
about September 15, 1947. Camajo carried an official
introduction from President Grau to President ESTIME of
Haiti and was
Grau's representative in the group which want to
also had a tommygun in his luggage and traveled on a Cuban
Commodore Jose Aguila Ruiz, Commanding officer of the Cuban
close to the revolutionary movement. Supplies,
aircraft were openly landed at Cuban Naval Bases and Cuban
vessels carried supplies for the revolutionaries.
commodore Aguila Ruiz knew all about the movement from the
and possibly was kept better informed then General Perez as
details of the revolution.
Captain Jorge Felipe Agostini, naval officer and Chief of
Police of the Palace. Agostini acted as principal
between President Grau and the revolutionaries.
in Spain, was a Batista officer in the Navy but through
General Perez was able to work himself into the good graces
Jose Rufemio FERNANDEZ Ortega, doctor of medicine, former
the National Police, veteran of the Spanish Civil War,
member of the
Movimiento Socialista Revolucionario, one of the three or
leftists (Masferrer, Castro, etc.) who took the leadership
revolutionary movement away from the Dominican group.
used to be a close friend of Major Mario SALABARRIA, Chief
Special Investigations Section of the National Police.
He was one
of the chief plotters and incidentally was with Castro when
arrested in Miami in October 1947.
George OSAWA, American-born Japanese, who claims to be a
medicine. Possibly a former Japanese naval officer,
Cuban citizen. He was jailed from 1938 to 1941 for
medicine without a license, and later interned throughout
the war as a
Japanese agent. An opportunist and gangster, Osawa
the movement through his friend Dr. Enrique Henriques.
Dr. Rolando MASFERRER, director of weekly publication
"Tiempo en Cuba", leader of the Movimiento Sosialista
30 years of age, veteran of the International Brigade in
Spain, one of
the leaders in the field of the movement. Intensely
nationalistic, anti-United States, Masferrer was ostensibly
read out of
the Communist party in August 1945.
Rogelio CAPARNOS [Caparros], also of the weekly "Tiempo en
Cuba". A close friend of Masferrer, Member of the Movimiento Socialista
Major Mario Salabarria,, formerly head of the Special
Section of the National Police, reportedly a man of honest
but extremely rough methods. He fought in the Spanish
War. Salabarria was close to the Movimiento Socialista
and Manolo Castro, is clearly implicated in the
for which he raised men and money. Salabarria came
prominence several years ago when he accused the Minister of
of dishonest dealings in a rice deal with Ecuador.
the dismissal of that Minister of Commerce. Salabarria
avenged the assassination of a police officer friend with
and ready tactics when he and his men shot the friend's
slayers, as well as others in the general vicinity.
has been referred to as the "Marianao Incident" and was not
with the revolutionary movement in any way except that it
General Perez with an excuse to round up all arms and
in Cuba. Thus Salabarria contributed to breaking up of
Alejandro DEL VALLE, approximately 35, black sheep of a
family, was raised in Spain. He claims to have fought
Abyssinian war, and took an active part in the revolutionary
movement. He was one of the emissaries to Haiti on or
September 15, 1947.
Major Feliciano MADERNE, officer in the National Police, and
Cuban Army officer, was recently catapulted into prominence
accused President Grau and Minister Aleman of complicity in
revolutionary movement. His accusation is presently
Senate of Cuba. It appears unlikely that Major Maderne
very much longer unless he is extremely careful.
Romulo BETANCOURT, President of the Venezuelan Revolutionary
believed to have been at all times interested in the
Although it was reported that the Minister of Foreign
opposed to any Venezuelan participation, official Venezuelan
of the movement appears certain. For example, Felix
Sanchez is known to have traveled on an official Venezuelan
passport. A large group of Venezuelans are known to
among the revolutionaries at Cayo Confites. Members of
Dominican Central Revolutionary Committee traveled back and
between Habana and Caracas during the entire period of the
Luis Augusto DUBUC, believed to be close to the
Revolutionary Junta of
Venezuela, was sent by President Betancourt to Cuba on or
September 25, 1947 to find out what was happening to the
movement in Cuba. The Venezuelan Ambassador in Cuba
took Dubuc to
see President Grau and it is reported that they were both
displeased with the results of the interview - probably
President Grau told them that the movement was going to be
There is no evidence that any American officials or
prominence (other than soldiers of fortune or small business
anxious to sell surplus war material) participated in the
The following is a list of the soldiers of fortune who are
have participated; it should be stressed, however, that as
very lenient passport requirements between Cuba and the
today, the names given by these men may have been entirely
Louis C. DELL, formerly Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force,
General Chennault's "Flying Tigers", was apparently involved
export of military aircraft to Cuba in the summer of
1947. It is
known that Ramirez Rosell did business with him.
Carl KNIGHT, a Miami aviator, formerly a lieutenant in the
Force. Is known to have purchased a B-24 from the War
Administration and to have immediately resold it to Ramirez
Chester H. PICKUP, apparently aided Ramirez Rosell in
in the United States and is known to have flown a B-24,
knight from the War Assets Administration, from Florida to
Frank (Francis) ADKINS was apparently close to Ramirez
Rosell in the
summer of 1947; was sent to Los Angeles to buy P-38's.
Adkins came to Cuba where he was the leader of the aviators
participating in the revolutionary movement.
Luis M. BORDAD, formerly of the Dominican Republic, but
resident of Santuros, Puerto Rico; served in the Marine
the war and is known to have aided Ramirez Rosell in the
aircraft in the United States. Bordas accompanied
Adkins on the
mission to Los Angeles to purchase a P-38 in the summer of
Hollis Burton SMITH, approximately 25, resides at Palisades
Jersey, was apparently hired by the Dominican revolutionary
New York to manufacture explosives for the
this connection his name has been clearly connected with
Smith manufactured explosives in New Jersey before coming to
Cuba. Reportedly, three tons of explosives were flown
Cuba. After the failure of the expedition, Smith
returned to the
United States and was immediately arrested by the United
The following persons are believed to have actually been in
the revolutionary forces. Most of them are believed to
pilots or members of ground crews. Again it should be
that the names given may have been fictitious.
Louis TANASSY (Tannessy), 35, who gave his address as 3209
86th Street, Jackson Heights, Long Island, New York.
Arthur ROSCOE, 26, who gave his address as 6910 Las Tilos
Hollywood, California. Roscoe bought a P-38 to Cuba on
August 15, 1947, is known to have been one of the
his return to the United States, however, he told the press
that he was
from Chicago, Ill.
Loren C. SNOW (Loren Snarr), 25, gave his address as Club
Pedro, Coral Gables, Florida.
Frank D. OERGES (Frank Dergel) (Frank Oreal) (Frank O'Neal),
gave his address as 557 West Stacker Street, Glendale,
Fraili MATABANY (Frank Matasvage) (Frank Matasavage), 31,
gave his address as 140 Chancelord North, New Jersey.
Michael CULLEN (Callas), 38, gave him address as Box 14,
Steve KURSTAY (Kostey), 31, gave his address 220 Almond
Street, Catasunque, Pa.
John MAYER (Meyer), 24, gave his address as 6218 Lagores,
Donald KOHN (Kohin), 23, gave his address as 1413 Broce
Ave., Glendale, Calif.
Peter ETHIER (Ethler), 26, gave his address as Chappaque,
Lyman MIDDLEDITCH, 32, gave his address as Highlands, N. J.
Buck Templeton and Jessie MAYS known to be mechanics
attached to the
revolutionary force who left in a huff and went back to the
States before the collapse of the expedition.
John ALEXANDER, a pilot who flew a P-38 from Florida to Cuba
23, 1947. Joined the revolutionary forces but later
argument and returned to the United States before the
failure of the
Robert ELLIOTT, known to have gone to the United States
failure of the expedition, his home is known to be Los
James T. LAWYER (Sawyer), 25, of New York City, and Rupert
other Americans, known to have assisted the revolutionary
Robert L. BROWN, American pilot for Linea Aeropostal
know to have flown a plane from the United States to Cuba,
orders from Manolo Castro.
Aside from clear implication of Dominicans, Cubans,
Americans in the revolutionary movement, there are
indications that the
Government of Guatemala was implicated. There were a
Guatemalan volunteers and it has been rumored that some of
the arms and
munitions came from Guatemala. After the expedition
Masferrer accused President AREVALDO of Guatemala of
involved in the shipment of arms to Cuba. He said that
arrangement had been made by Cruz Alonso.
Strangely enough, the Peruvian diplomatic representatives in
Ciudad Trujillo were both extremely interested in the
revolutionary movement, although from a different point of
Peruvian diplomatic representative in Habana favored the
is reported to have been extremely annoyed when it
failed. On the
other hand, the Peruvian diplomatic representatives in
is known to have been close to President Trujillo and
gave him any information he received regarding the progress
There is considerable rumor to the effect that PERON was
the revolutionary movement. Felix Buenaventura Sanchez
Alejandro Del Valle told the press after the failure of the
revolutionary expedition that Peron was interested in
regime of Trujillo and offered its financial support.
however, told the press that President Aravalo of Guatemala
obtained arms from Argentine for the revolutionaries.
event, it appears quite probably that MOLINART, Special
Ambassador to the inaugural ceremony at Ciudad Trujillo and
Argentine Emissary to Central America and the Caribbean for
ten months, was extremely close to President Trujillo, while
he was in
Ciudad Trujillo. It is said that Molinari advised
Trujillo on all
phases of policy, and Ambassador Butler has re-ported that
probably drafted some of Trujillo's notes. Strangely
same information was at a later date. Both stories,
might have come ordinally from the same source.
President Trujillo has claimed that the revolutionary
dominated by Communists. There is little evidence that
number of Communists participated.
The Movimiento de Liberacion de America, a Cuban Communist
organization, recruited for the revolutionary movement; and
a number of Venezuelan Communist volunteer; in the
has it, however, that there volunteers caused
trouble and were disbanded.
Gustavo MACHADO, Communist member of the Venezuelan
Assembly and Communist candidate for the presidency of
Venezuela, had a
conference with Gilberto VIERA, head of the Communists in
which conference it was decided that Machado should join the
expeditionary force to ensure proper Communist influence in
Government of the Dominican Republic if the expedition
Whether or not Machado actually came to Cuba is not known.
VLansing Collins, jr/dts
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