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Minister Barrett to the Secretary of State. No. 73.]


Bogota, April 19, 1906. Sir: Replying to your No. 16 of March 19 in regard to the additional duty of 8 cents imposed on foreign flour, in which you say, “ It would appear that the figures given by you state the duty in Colombian currency. If so, the equivalent in American gold might be stated for greater convenience," I have the honor to observe that this 8 cents is gold valuation and not what might be termed ordinary Colombian currency.

In fact all customs duties in Colombia are stated practically in gold. I have, etc.,


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Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State. No. 157.]


Habana, Cuba, August 21, 1906. SIR: I have the honor to report that, as foreshadowed in legation No. 1478, of February 27, 1906,4 an armed uprising against the Government exists in the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Habana.

The strength of the insurrectionists in Pinar del Rio is said to be between 1,000 and 1,500 men, under the command of Col. Pino Guerra, a liberal member of the present Congress and a veteran of the war of independence. In the province of Habana about 250 men are under arms, under the leadership of Gen. Quintin Banderas (colored), who also served in the revolutionary army. Both of these bands are daily receiving new recruits.

The Government relies chiefly upon the rural guard, in which, it must be confessed, there is some disaffection. In one instance a detail of about 30 men sent against the insurrectionists deserted to them. It is commonly reported that this disaffection extends to nearly onehalf of the entire guard, and for this reason, as well as on account of the necessity for increasing the armed forces, the President, on the 20th instant, issued a decree, translation inclosed herewith, providing for the immediate recruiting of some 2,000 men, most of whom will be veterans of the last war, who will form a force which may be relied upon.

Up to the present time the insurgents have confined themselves to marauding, the cutting of telephone and telegraph wires, and other petty acts. Several minor encounters have taken place (the outcome of which has not been divulged by the Government), but no serious fighting has as yet been reported. I was yesterday informed by good, but not official, authority that the town of Consolacion del Sur, near Pinar del Rio, the capital of Pinar del Rio Province, has been invested by the insurgents, who compelled the small garrison of rural guards there stationed to entrench themselves in the town church.

The Government has made many arrests and seems to be acting with energy and determination. Among those in custody are Generals Carlos Garcia Velez, ex-minister to Mexico, Demetrio Castillo Duany, José de Jesus Monteagudo, and Mr. Juan Gualberto Gomez; these last three Liberals.

a Not printed.

Gen. José Miguel Gomez, the central figure in the last uprising, is this morning reported, on good authority, to have taken the field against the Government.

Doctor O'Farrill, now acting secretary of government, informed me yesterday that the Government feels fully able to cope with the situation, and while I believe the outbreak to be more serious than the Government cares to admit, I also believe public opinion throughout the island to be clearly against any disturbance of the public order, and can see no reason why the Government should not crush the revolt with the resources at its disposal.

I confirm on the overleaf my telegrams of yesterday and to-day, and inclose herewith pertinent clippings from the Habana Post and Daily Telegraph of this date. a




The Honorable President of the Republic has issued the following decree:

HABANA, August 20, 1906. In view of the abnormal state of affairs existing at present in some localities, and acting under clause 1 of article 68 of the constitution, which authorizes the President of the Republic to issue such orders and decrees that may be deemed necessary for the government of the state, and circumstances may so demand, and also in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 17 of article 68, authorizing the President to take whatever measures may be necessary for the preservation of public order and safety, on the advice of the secretary of state and justice, ad interim of Government, and after consultation with the Cabinet, I hereby decree:

AUGUST 20, 1906. ARTICLE 1. To increase the strength of the rural guard to 2,000 more members, their personnel to be appointed by its chief brigadier, and said members shall serve in the various regiments at present constituting the rural guard.

ART. 2. Said personnel shall be provided for from the appropriation made for the rural guard, according to the regulations in force, and said expense and other contingencies necessary for the execution of this decree to be paid out of the national treasury.

ART. 3. The secretary of government shall give the necessary instructions for the execution of this decree, and shall report his action to Congress immediately upon the reconvening thereof.


Secretary of State and Justice ad Interim of Government.

Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State.

(Telegram- Paraphrase. ]

HABANA, August 24, 1906. (Mr. Sleeper states that the insurgents are in possession of the towns of San Juan y Martinez and San Luis, Province of Pinar Del Rio. He says they have threatened to blow up bridges and burn property of Western Railway (English) if company continues to transport government troops.)

a Yot printed.

Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram -- Paraphrase. )

HABANA, August 25, 1906. (Mr. Sleeper reports that the President has prevailed upon Secretary O'Farrill to retain the portfolio of state and justice; that Montalvo is acting secretary of government until return of Ruis Rivera from Central America, who has been cabled for; and that the insurgents have evacuated San Juan y Martinez and San Luis. Mr. Sleeper states that the general situation is unchanged.)

Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State.

No. 160.)


Ilabana, lugust 25, 1906. SIR: In continuation of legation dispatch relative to the insurrection, I have the honor to advise the department that the situation remains practically unchanged, no serious or important engagements having as yet taken place. Both the Government and the insurrectionists are busily engaged in perfecting their organization. The Government hopes to be in a position to assume the offensive within two weeks, by which time the armament recently ordered from the States will have arrived and the militia, now being recruited, will have been sent to the front.

In interviews yesterday and to-day with the secretary of state and the secretary of the treasury, the latter sharing, with the secretary of public works, the direction of military affairs, I took occasion to urge upon them the necessity of acting with the greatest energy and of making every effort to suppress the outbreak in the shortest possible time, and pointed out that it was essential for the Government to have in the field not only enough men to assume active operations against the insurgents, but enough to garrison the towns, keep open the lines of communication, and to protect foreign interests, particularly American lives and property. They both agreed with me that the situation needed to be dealt with energetically, and assured me that the Government was doing everything in its power to control the situation; that it could and would, if necessary, put 20,000 men in the field, and that it confidently expected to crush the rebellion in two months' time.

Business of the wholesale houses with the interior has fallen off, stocks have gone down, and commerce everywhere has been affected. Many merchants and planters are fearful that present conditions will continue until the beginning of the next grinding season-December-and such continuation would, of course, be exceedingly serious. Confidence is expressed by both the Government and many prominent bankers, however, that the revolt will have been put down before that date.

The President has prevailed upon Mr. O'Farrill to withdraw his resignation as secretary of state and justice, and he will retain that portfolio in the present cabinet. The secretary of public works is to

act as secretary of the interior until the return of Gen. Ruiz Rivera, who has been cabled for from Central America.

I confirm on the overleaf my telegrams of the 24th and 25th, and inclose herewith clippings from the Daily Telegraph of this date.a I have, etc.,


Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.- Paraphrase. )

HABANA, August 28, 1906. (Mr. Sleeper asks to be advised if the following is satisfactory reply and advice to send to Americans requesting protection of property: “ In all cases of damage, destruction, or seizure of property against the will of the owner by agents of the Government or other parties, a complaint stating the facts and containing a list of the property so damaged, destroyed, or seized should be made to the court having jurisdiction, a copy of said complaint being forwarded at the same time to this legation. Wherever possible a statement in case property is damaged or destroyed and a receipt in case property is appropriated, subscribed to by the person or persons responsible for such damage or destruction or making such appropriation should be procured.”)

Chargé Sleeper to the Secretary of State. No. 162.]


Ilabana, August 28, 1906. Sir: In continuation of legation despatch No. 160, of the 25th instant, relative to the insurrection, I have the honor to report that the general situation is somewhat improved. Although Pino Guerra continues active in Pinar del Rio, and a considerable number of insurrectionists are gathered in Santa Clara Province, conditions in the provinces of Mantanzas and Habana are much better and as yet there has been no disturbance in Camaguey and Santiago de Cuba.

Regarding the number of men in the field, it is generally said that Guerra has about 2,000 well mounted and moderately well armed, the government forces opposing him numbering about 1,200 and being daily increased.

It is difficult to say how many insurrectionists there are in Santa Clara. The Government claims that they number about 1,000, but unofficial reports give them several hundred more.

In this connection I beg to inclose copy of decree No. 370, of the 25th instant, providing for the increase of the government forces, and copy in translation of a note from Secretary O'Farrill, No. 680, of the 28th instant, conveying information as to the relative numerical strength of the Government and the insurgents.

Yesterday the President issued a proclamation (translation inclosed) granting amnesty and promising nonmolestation to all insur

a Printed ante.

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