Lyle Franklin Lane

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Lyle Franklin Lane
Lyle Franklin Lane.jpg
United States Ambassador to Uruguay
In office
17 October 1979 – 22 July 1980
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Lawrence Pezzulo
Succeeded by Thomas Aranda, Jr.
United States Ambassador to Paraguay
In office
9 September 1980 – 21 May 1982
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Robert E. White
Succeeded by Arthur H. Davis, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1926-09-19)September 19, 1926
Tacoma, Washington
Died December 26, 2013(2013-12-26) (aged 87)
Los Angeles, California
Resting place Albuquerque, New Mexico
35°10′08″N 106°22′54″W / 35.16895°N 106.38155°W / 35.16895; -106.38155
Nationality United States of America
Spouse(s) Jaclyn Fuller
Children Thomas G. Lane, Timothy F. Lane, Christopher D. Lane
Alma mater University of Washington (1950)
George Washington University (1969)
Occupation Diplomat

Lyle Franklin Lane (September 19, 1926 – December 26, 2013) was a United States Diplomat.

Among his overseas posts Ambassador Lane served as the first Chief of Mission of the United States Interests Section in Havana (heading the return of U.S. diplomats to Cuba in 1977), United States Ambassador to Uruguay, and United States Ambassador to Paraguay.


A career diplomat, Lyle Lane joined the United States Foreign Service in 1952. His overseas postings include:

Ambassador Lane also served as International Affairs Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Atlantic Command (CINCLANT) and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT).

Ambassador Lane received degrees from University of Washington (B.S. 1950) and George Washington University (M.S. 1969). At U.W. he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity.

Ambassador Lane was married to Jaclyn Fuller of Seattle, Washington.


The US broke diplomatic relations with Cuba on January 3, 1961, formally due to a disagreement about staffing levels at the respective Embassies.[1] U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated at the time, "There is a limit to what the United States in self-respect can endure. That limit has now been reached". Protective powers were appointed to represent each country in the capital of the other. The US was represented by Switzerland in Havana, and the Cubans by Czechoslovakia in Washington. These offices, sections of the respective embassies, were staffed by Swiss and Czechoslovak diplomats.

US and Cuban Interests Sections staffed by actual US and Cuban diplomats were mutually agreed upon in 1977 after the Carter Administration took office and decided to seek normalization of relations with Cuba. US officials replaced the Swiss in the US Interests Section in Havana on September 1, 1977. Both under the Swiss and later with US staff, the Section has occupied the former United States Embassy building on Havana's Malecon which was designed by Harrison & Abramovitz architects and originally entered into service in 1953. When relations were broken in 1961, the building was occupied, and its contents safeguarded, by the Swiss Embassy personnel who handled US Interests in Cuba on behalf of the US Government as the protecting power until the arrival of the US staff in 1977.

The Swiss staff included some of the Foreign Service National employees who were working at the US Embassy when relations were broken. Sixteen years later, when the US Government resumed its presence, many of them remained and resumed their direct employment. Most of the local hires employed by the Swiss also continued their employment. New hires were obtained through CUBALSE, the Cuban Government enterprise that serviced diplomatic missions.

The initial American staffing of the Section consisted of ten State Department Officials and a plain clothes US Marine guard detachment. By mutual agreement, the Cubans had an equal number of staff in Washington. Lyle Franklin Lane was the first Chief of the Interests Section in Havana.

Our Man in Havana Finds Some Things the Same:
HAVANA, Aug. 31 (AP) The first United States diplomat to set up shop in Cuba in more than 16 years toured the old American Embassy today and found it a storehouse of 1950's nostalgia

— September 1, 1977, New York Times,[2]

Scholarly U.S. Diplomat; Lyle Franklin Lane:
In describing Lyle Lane, who opened Washington's first permanent diplomatic mission in Havana in 16 years yesterday, colleagues and friends spoke foremost of his discretion

— September 2, 1977, New York Times,[3]


External links[edit]


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Lawrence Pezzulo
United States Ambassador to Uruguay
Succeeded by
N. Shaw Smith
Preceded by
Robert E. White
United States Ambassador to Paraguay
Succeeded by
Arthur H. Davis, Jr.