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Statement by the President Restating United States Policy Toward Cuba.

January 26, 1960

SECRETARY HERTER and I have been giving careful consideration to the problem of relations between the Governments of the United States and Cuba. Ambassador Bonsal, who is currently in Washington, shared in our discussions. We have been, for many months, deeply concerned and perplexed at the steady deterioration of those relations reflected especially by recent public statements by Prime Minister Castro of Cuba, as well as by statements in official publicity organs of the Cuban Government. These statements contain unwarranted attacks on our Government and on our leading officials. These attacks involve serious charges none of which, however, has been the subject of formal representations by the Government of Cuba to our Government. We believe these charges to be totally unfounded.

We have prepared a re-statement of our policy toward Cuba, a country with whose people the people of the United States have enjoyed and expect to continue to enjoy a firm and mutually beneficial friendship.

The United States Government adheres strictly to the policy of nonintervention in the domestic affairs of other countries, including Cuba. This policy is incorporated in our treaty commitments as a member of the Organization of American States.

Second, the United States Government has consistently endeavored to prevent illegal acts in territory under its jurisdiction directed against other governments. United States law enforcement agencies have been increasingly successful in the prevention of such acts. The United States record in this respect compares very favorably with that of Cuba from whose territory a number of invasions directed against other countries have departed during the past year, in several cases attended with serious loss of life and property damage in the territory of those other countries. The United States authorities will continue to enforce United States laws, including those which reflect commitments under Inter-American treaties, and hope that other governments will act similarly. Our Government has repeatedly indicated that it will welcome any information from the Cuban Government or from other governments regarding incidents occurring within their jurisdiction or notice, which would be of assistance to our law enforcement agencies in this respect.

Third, the United States Government views with increasing concern the tendency of spokesmen of the Cuban Government, including Prime Minister Castro, to create the illusion of aggressive acts and conspiratorial activities aimed at the Cuban Government and attributed to United States officials or agencies. The promotion of unfounded illusions of this kind can hardly facilitate the development, in the real interest of the two peoples, of relations of understanding and confidence between their governments. The United States Government regrets that its earnest efforts over the past year to establish a basis for such understanding and confidence have not been reciprocated.

Fourth, the United States Government, of course, recognizes the right of the Cuban Government and people in the exercise of their national sovereignty to undertake those social, economic and political reforms which, with due regard for their obligations under international law, they may think desirable. This position has frequently been stated and it reflects a real understanding of and sympathy with the ideals and aspirations of the Cuban people. Similarly, the United States Government and people will continue to assert and to defend, in the exercise of their own sovereignty, their legitimate interests.

Fifth, the United States Government believes that its citizens have made constructive contributions to the economies of other countries by means of their investments and their work in those countries and that such contributions, taking into account changing conditions, can continue on a mutually satisfactory basis. The United States Government will continue to bring to the attention of the Cuban Government any instances in which the rights of its citizens under Cuban law and under international law have been disregarded and in which redress under Cuban law is apparently unavailable or denied. In this connection it is the hope of the United States Government that differences of opinion between the two governments in matters recognized under international law as subject to diplomatic negotiations will be resolved through such negotiations. In the event that disagreements between the two governments concerning this matter should persist, it would be the intention of the United States Government to seek solutions through other appropriate international procedures.

The above points seem to me to furnish reasonable bases for a workable and satisfactory relationship between our two sovereign countries. I should like only to add that the United States Government has confidence in the ability of the Cuban people to recognize and defeat the intrigues of international communism which are aimed at destroying democratic institutions in Cuba and the traditional and mutually beneficial friendship between the Cuban and American peoples.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Restating United States Policy Toward Cuba. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235033

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