CHAPTER XV
SECRET MEETING

THE THREE TOP chiefs of the Army and the Navy had to be briefed on the results of the last interview with Ambassador Smith, to prepare them for possible adversities.

In mid-December I brought the Chiefs of the Joint Commands, the Army and Navy to Ciudad Militar. One night I held a conference with them behind closed doors, leaving other responsible chiefs and officers in the anteroom. I warned them that not even the most trusted should be told the gist of our conversation. Because of the touchiness of the situation, aggravated by the progressive decline of the Armed Forces, I gave them my impressions. I told them we should try to change the Administration, that we should meet very frequently and discuss every new event. Until this time I had not known that the Joint Chief of Staff had had discussions with superior officers who were dissatisfied; he had been imprudent in speaking of the difficulty faced by the Army in fighting guerrillas trained in Communist tactics.

Despite the recommendation of secrecy, I was informed the next day that Gen. Tabernilla Dolz had commented on the conversation to other officers. Informed of the meeting held by the Joint Chief of Staff and aware of the mission with which he had entrusted General Cantillo, I summoned him and his son "Silito" to my private office.*

____________________
*
"I do not remember in any of the meetings or appointments expressly ordered by the President of the Republic, Gen. Batista, that we were asked to find a solution to the serious problem confronting us by his need

-98-

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