« PreviousContinue »
or charges and the vessels which may carry same shall not be subject to payment of port, tonnage, anchorage or other fees, except in case said vessels shall be discharged without the limits of said areas; and said vessels shall not be discharged without the limits of said areas otherwise than through a regular port of entry of the Republic of Cuba when both cargo and vessel shall be subject to all Cuban Customs laws and regulations and payment of corresponding duties and fees.
It is further agreed that such materials, merchandise, stores and munitions of war shall not be transported from said areas into Cuban territory.
ARTICLE VI. Except as provided in the preceding Article vessels entering into or departing from the Bays of Guantanamo and Bahia Honda within the limits of Cuban territory shall be subject exclusively to Cuban laws and authorities and orders emanating from the latter in all that respects port police, Customs or Health, and authorities of the United States shall place no obstacle in the way of entrance and departure of said vessels except in case of a state of war.
ARTICLE VII This lease shall be ratified and the ratifications shall be exchanged in the City of Washington within seven months from this date.
In witness wbereof, We, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this lease and hereunto affixed our Seals.
Done at Havana, in duplicate in English and Spanish this second day of July nineteen hundred and three. [SEAL.]
H. G. SQUIERS. (SEAL.]
José M. GARCÍA MONTES I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the foregoing lease, do hereby approve the same, by virtue of the authority conferred by the seventh of the provisions defining the relations which are to exist between the United States and Cuba, contained in the Act of Congress approved March 2, 1901, entitled "An Act making appropriation for the support of the Army for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1902.” WASHINGTON, October 2, 1903.
MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT OF CUBA TO CONGRESS.
Mr. Squiers to Mr. Ilay.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
Habana, April 11, 1903. SIR: Confirming my telegrams" of the 7th and 9th instant relative to the President's message, I now beg to inclose a translation of that document.
My telegrams covered all that is of special importance to the United States, excepting so much as relates to sanitary questions. The execu
tive discusses some of the difficulties wbich are now under consideration and to which I have referred in my reports on the sanitary condition of Santiago.
The third legislature opens to-day and it is a pleasure for me to address to the con. gress the message required by law, giving an account of the acts of the administration and the general condition of the Republic, and mentioning some laws that, in my judgment, it is advisable to enact.
During the time transpired since November last the administration has given special attention to maintenance of public order throughout the island, so as to keep that order in the same satisfactory conditions now existing. To this end the administration has been seconded by the local authorities and governors of provinces with such energy that but a few occurrences of small importance and others of no importance are to be recorded. Exception must be made, however, of the happenings brought about by the general strike that occurred in this city during the second half of the month of November last-strike originated by differences between workmen of a few factories and the owners. The happenings mentioned are well known. They assumed such importance shortly as to concern the public, and forced the authorities to repress, with the salutary energy which the circumstances demanded, those who, overstepping the limits of a pacific demonstration, tried to stamp on it another character with acts of violence and excesses.
Order having been reestablished without delay as an effect of the measures taken, and because the good sense and prudence of our people contributed thereto in a high degree, the courts of justice proceeded to initiate the prosecutions necessary to clear up the things which occurred. It is their duty to apply the law to those who are found guilty of punishable acts.
The rural guard has, in the discharge of its duties, acted with the activity and circumspection that have always characterized its services and has performed some service of genuine importance to the tranquillity of certain districts. It is to be hoped that with the reorganization now going on in conformity with the law of October 18 this important security corps will be able to effectively answer the lofty object to which it is destined, avoiding in the future the deficiencies now noted, due to the limited number of men available for vigiling the extensive territory of the island.
Due to the magnitude and importance of the reform, and the natural objections it is necessary to obviate in order to carry out the work with probability of good success, it has not been possible to hasten the preliminary work of reorganization.
It is also indispensable that attention be given as quickly as possible to a necessity genuinely worthy of consideration and more urgent, since it refers not only to the rural guard, but ihe artillery corps as well. I refer to the reform to which the legislative power is now giving attention with the interest the subject merits. It is necessary to enact substantive penal laws and laws of procedure of a military character, that will revoke the incomplete and deficient provisions now governing, since the application of these provisions give rise to fretful questions of authority that the very precepts of them make insolvable, in addition to their being inadequate for the maintenance of a strict discipline in the armed forces of the Republic.
Ways of communication have been and are the object of special attention on the part of the executive, interested in improving them day by day until, as soon as possible, the perfection attained in other countries is reached here.
New routes have been established for interior correspondence, negotiations for the Republic's entrance into the Universal Postal Union have been completed, and special treaties have been prepared with countries that, like the United States of North America and Mexico, demand special consideration in the exchange of correspondence on account of their manifold relations with this country.
With respect to the telegraph service, endeavors have been made, and with success, . to utilize the system of lines we received in very bad condition on the inauguration of the Government of the Republic. Pains have been taken to improve their general condition; several branches which were almost unserviceable have been repaired, and new lines have been built so as to place in communication with the rest of the island regions which, until now, have not enjoyed such an advantage. This, notwithstanding a complete reconstruction of the present telegraph lines is indispensable to secure satisfactory communication and permit the establishment of modern scientific improvements in an appropriate manner and without greater expense. With respect to this particular extensive reports that set forth the necessities requiring attention in order to bring about a good telegraph service are now in possession of the house of representatives.
The great number of employees of this service are selected carefully, and this will be productive of positive benefits to the public and the administration. It is but just to mention that the majority of the subordinate employees receive a compensation that is very small in comparison with the delicate and highly responsible work required of them, and that in some instances there is a real lack of employees to perform the service, a service that is assuming greater proportions daily.
The followiug matters connected with sanitation merit special mention, namely: The organization of the superior sanitary board; the decision to temporarily continue allotments to various ayuntamientos for the purpose of sanitation and street cleaning; the measures taken to fight the disease which attacked cattle, and the measure adopted against Mexican arrivals by reason of the existence of the bubonic plague in the important port of Mazatlan.
The obligations of the executive department and the public services it is called upon to oversee and direct can not be properly managed until there is a law organizing and regulating them, or if the existing law is unconstitutional. Such a case occurs with respect to the services of sanitation in general, for the reason that this matter is now governed by order number 159, series of 1902, the provisions of which can not be harmonized with the precepts of the constitution. The superior sanitary board, created by the said military order, with powers of a legislative and executive character, armed with a power that extends its jurisdiction throughout the island, and with authority sufficient to create subordinate organisms and take upon itself the direction and administration of others, has become a sort of department of sanitation, with powers that are extraordinary and of such nature that they do not fit in with the system established by the constitution for the exercise of the executive power. For this reason it has been necessary to the orderly running of that branch to place it under the direction of the department of government, as was directed by the decree of January 2 last. It has also been necessary to rely on the efforts and good will of the board in order to avoid daily difficulties and friction over attributes in the decision of matters.
If it is not possible for the superior sanitary board to constitutionally discharge its duties governing itself strictly by the military order referred to, neither is it possible that the services of that branch of the public administration be performed without a central control to unify them, or without an allotment, necessary and permanent, with which to duly carry them on.
The Congress is aware of the fact that with respect to sanitary matters the Republic of Cuba has recorded in the appendix of Cuba a provision obliging the Government to give special attention to matters of public health. In order to faithfully discharge that obligation the executive made known in a message of November 3 last the immediate urgency of enactment of a sanitary law, for the reason that there was no fixed rule to which it could adjust its acts and resolutions, and the petition then made that Congress at once adopt the measures recommended in order to definitely fix the organization which should be given to such an important branch of the public administration must be repeated.
The executive has the satisfaction of announcing to the Congress that the disease which broke out among cattle in the month of January last with such alarming character has abated in such manner as to make it possible to assure that it will have no appreciable consequences other than the relatively small loss suffered during the early period of the invasion of the disease. The technical commission appointed to study the disease diagnosed the ailment as "carbunclo sintomático," and adopted such efficacious measures, under the authority of the superior sanitary board, that to the same, without doubt, is due the good results obtained. Up to the present time the expenses incurred have not amounted to half the allotment granted for the purpose by the executive.
The frequent and alarming reports received from the neighboring Republic of Mexico with regard to the appearance of the epidemic known as the "bubonic plague” in Mazatlan, made it necessary to adopt rigorous quarantine measures against arrivals from the ports of that Republic. The reports mentioned were rectified later on to the effect that the epidemic was localized to Mazatlan and that the strict application of the quarantine rules would suffice to prevent the importation of that and other diseases existing in the said Republic, and it has been decided to annul the prohibition contained in the decree of February 1, enforcing only such measures as are counseled by prudence, in view of the continuous commerce with the Mexican nation.
The Republic of Cuba has been recognized by all nations excepting Turkey, Morocco, and Liberia, and I have the pleasure to announce to the Congress that during the period transpired since the establishment of the new Government the smallest incident has not occurred that could unfavorably affect our international relations.
From the month of November to date foreign diplomatic representation in Cuba has been increased by a minister plenipotentiary of Salvador, a minister resident of His Majesty the King of Italy, and a chargé d'affaires of the Chinese Empire. The early arrival of Ecuador's diplomatic representative has been announced, and the Government has official advices to the effect that Germany will send shortly a diplomatic representative. The consular corps in Cuba consists of seventy-eight agents, consuls and honorary consuls.
The Republic has three legations with full personnel established at present, namely, at Washington, Mexico City, and Madrid. The Paris and London legations will be established soon. Twenty-four independent consulates, and one attached to the Madrid legation, are in operation and it is the purpose of the Government to accredit diplomatic representatives or consular representatives, as the nature of our relations may demand or the duties of international courtesy counsel, in all those countries in which we have any political or economic interest to look after, be it either to strengthen with those countries ties of friendship or broadlen our commerce.
During the present legislature I expect to submit to the approval of the Senate two postal treaties with the Republic of Mexico. We have other treaties under study: One of extradition, proposed by the United States; another, commercial, proposed by Great Britain; another, extradition, proposed by Belgium; and another, of relations, proposed by the French Republic. Various governments have indicated a purpose to make various kinds of international agreements with Cuba.
Our Government having been invited to participate in an International Sanitary Congress, and also a Customs Congress, to be held in Washington and New York, respectively, it was considered advisable to send delegates to both. The congresses were held, the first on December 1 and the second on January 2. We have likewise been invited to attend an International Agricultural Fair in Rome and a Medical Congress in Madrid. No decision has yet been adopted in these matters.
The Universal Exposition at St. Louis will open in 1904. I have already had the honor to report the same to Congress in a previous message, urging the advisability of voting the appropriation necessary for Cuba to worthily take part in said exposition.
His Majesty the King of Belgium has addressed us a courteous invitation for the Cuban Republic to be represented in the International Exposition at Liege, which will be inaugurated in April, 1905. I consider it advantageous to our country to participate there also with our products, for we should avail ourselves of every occasion to exhibit to the world how advanced are our industries and intellectual culture.
It is extremely satisfactory that the friendly relations between the people of the United States and of Cuba continue to be most binding and cordial. And this flattering fact is much more pleasant when we remember the noble action, resolutely favorable to Cuba, of the illustrious president of that great Nation. It is sufficient to recall the obstacles his indomitable will has overcome to secure the ratification of the treaty of commercial reciprocity by the Senate of his country, and his firm intention to call the Congress to a special session in order to approve it definitively. Furthermore, the sympathies, the respect, and the just consideration which day by day and more and more we inspire in the American people by our exemplary conduct as an independent people, conscientious in its obligations, responsibilities, and rights, contribute powerfully to make secure the cordial understanding between the two nations.
It is to our interest to worthily cultivate those sentiments of the American people, and we can do it in no more certain a way than by acting frankly, promptly, and correctly in the fulfillment of our obligations to the Washington Government, be this to grant what we should or refuse what we consider it unjust to concede.
The agreement which under article 7 of the constitutional appendix was made with the President of the United States, fixing the places we are to lease for naval and coaling stations, has already been submitted to the Senate for its approval. I do not hesitate to call the attention of the Congress to the difference between what has been agreed upon and the purpose of the Washington Government to obtain two more places-Nipe and Cienfuegos-in addition to Guantanamo and Bahia Honda for the establishment of such stations.
The constant energy of that Government to secure the first two stations can only be compared with the efforts made by the Cuban Government not to cede more than the two stations previously mentioned. As it is not possible to elude the obligation assumed in consequence of the seventh article of the Platt amendment, accepted by us, the executive believes that the agreement made, by which there is fixed for naval or coaling stations a part of the bay of Guantanamo and likewise a part of Bahia Honda, is the most favorable that could have been made. Therefore, the executive did not hesitate to recommend its prompt approval, so that it could proceed immediately to make the additional agreement establishing the consideration of the lease and all other conditions and particulars which should regulate the possession of the areas of land and water designated in Guantanamo and Bahia Honda.
We are now busy with the matter of the Island of Pines and are hopeful that the negotiations will result satisfactorily to us. The permanent treaty of which the eighth article of the constitutional appendix speaks remains to be made. By the letter of that article it is obligatory that all the clauses of the appendix be inserted in that treaty. This once done it does not seem necessary that the American statutes known as the Platt amendment should continue to appear in the constitution of the Republic of Cuba, therefore the executive understands that without prejudice to making immediately the agreement on coaling and naval stations and the one relative to the Island of Pines, it is to our interest to make the permanent treaty as soon as possible, which will consist of the clauses of the said amendment inserted integrally, and the above-mentioned special agreements made in the fulfillment of articles 6 and 7 of the constitutional appendix. In this manner the terms of the political relations between Cuba and the United States will have been clearly established, and a problem definitely solved for us which, until it is solved, is susceptible of maintaining our minds in a state of some uncertainty, for the very reason of not knowing to a certainty what might be the final result of the negotiations.
The confidence shown in the stability of Cuba's institutions and prosperity by the investment of capital of private enterprises in the construction of different railways is really a flattering sign for Cuba. One of these enterprises, the Cuba Company, has connected by railroad the capital of the province of Santiago with the capital of the nation, Santiago with Habana, building 671 kilometers of railroad to the east of Santa Clara. Therefore we have Pinar del Rio, the capital of the most westerly province, connected by rail with Santiago. This same enterprise is building a branch from Alto Cedro to Nipe, which will place that fine bay in connection with Santiago de Cuba and the Sancti Spiritus branch; it being the purpose of this enterprise to extend its railroad system and contribute with its own resources to the development of agriculture and the vast and fertile region that extends all along its lines.
Another new enterprise, the Cuba Eastern Railroad, after fulfilling all the requirements of the law, has been authorized to build a standard-gauge railroad that, starting from Boquerones on the bay of Guantanamo, will be extended 63 kilometers to the northeast of said bay. This company has been incorporated with a capital of $2,000,000.
The Insular Railway Company, which obtained a concession for various important lines in the province of Habana, is building a branch toward Mariel and has already reached Buena Vista with its grade work.
The Western Railways of Habana began during the first half of January the extension of its principal "line from Pinar del Rio to San Luis, which, within a very few months, will be united by railway with Habana. It is the purpose of this same railroad, so stated by its president, to carry its line up to the rich district of San Juan y Martinez as soon as the 17-kilometer branch in question is finished.
The Marconi Wireless Company secured a short time ago, and without privileges of any sort, authorization to place in operation in Cuba a system of telegraph without the use of wires.
Signs like these, as I have said before, are those that show the confidence of foreign capitalists in the high qualifications of the Cuban people to govern themselves.
The condition of the treasury continues to be satisfactory.