Department Seal

FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES
1961-1963
Volume X
Cuba, 1961-1962

DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Washington

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Cuba, 1961-1962

151. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)

Washington, April 19, 1961, 1:12 p.m.

//Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report. Top Secret; Flash; Limited Distribution; Exclusive. Repeated to CTG 81.8.

JCS 994392. Bumpy Road. Exclusive for Adm Dennison and Adm Clark from Gen Gray.

1. Direct DD to take personnel off the beach and from water to limit of their capability. We are anxious to save people as long as you can do so. We are extremely reluctant to become engaged but as long as we have some prospects of saving significant number of people to make hazards worthwhile, save the people.

2. Use CEF boats and craft as practicable. Provide air cover. If DD fired on they are authorized to return the fire to protect themselves while on this humanitarian mission.

3. Report when on the way and frequently thereafter.

4. If in your judgement there are substantial numbers that can be evacuated inform us ASAP, so that we can announce here that US will assist in evacuation. Naval commander in full charge of evacuation. Instructions to that effect are being sent by CIA to CEF commander. God be with you./1/

/1/At 1:45 p.m. Dennison ordered Clark to comply with the instructions in JCS 994392. (CINCLANTFLT telegram 191845Z to CTG 81.8, April 19; ibid.)

152. Telegram From the Commander of Special Task Group 81.8 (Clark) to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)

USS Essex, Caribbean, April 19, 1961, 1:57 p.m.

//Source: Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials. Top Secret; Emergency; Exclusive. Repeated to JCS, COMCARIBSEAFRON, COMKWESTFOR, and COMNAVBASE GTMO.

191857Z. Bumpy Road. Exclusive for Dennison, Gray, Smith, McElroy, O'Donnell from Clark. Bumpy Road.

1. AD-5W unable track Castro aircraft to and from bases. Observed unidentified jet following my returning CAP to seaward for about 20 miles then returning.

2. Castro B-26 orbiting over beach, probably gun spotter. I am initiating air to air combat over beach area./1/

/1/In response to this message, Dennison sent an order at 2:16 p.m. to the Commander of the air unit based at Key West, and the Commander of the naval base at Guantanamo: "Be prepared provide fighter assistance to CTG 81.8 on his request." (CINCLANTFLT telegram 191916Z to COMKWESTFOR and COMNAVBASE GTMO, April 19; ibid.)

153. Telegram From the Commander of Special Task Group 81.8 (Clark) to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)

USS Essex, Caribbean, April 19, 1961, 2:17 p.m.

//Source: Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials. Top Secret; Flash; Exclusive. Repeated to JCS, COMCARIBSEAFRON, COMKWESTFOR, and COMNAVBASE GTMO.

191917Z. Bumpy Road. Exclusive for Dennison, Gray, Smith, McElroy, O'Donnell from Clark. Bumpy Road. CTU 81.8.3 reports following intercepted:

CEF ship Commander reported to his 2nd in command "that Blue Beach was lost and no troops were on Blue Beach. Men fled into woods." CTF 81.8.3.2 passed yacht with 200 people on board possibly from beach. Report is that nothing left to salvage on the beach and that Castro is waiting on the beach./1/

/1/In light of the apparently hopeless situation on the beach, Clark reported to Dennison at 2:57 p.m. that he had ordered his air and surface units to fire only in self defense. (CTG 81.8 telegram 191957Z to CINCLANTFLT, April 19; ibid.)

154. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)

Washington, April 19, 1961, 3:10 p.m.

//Source: Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials. Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Limited Distribution; Exclusive. Repeated to CTG 81.8.

JCS 994409. Bumpy Road. Exclusive for Adm Dennison and Adm Clark from Gen Gray.

1. Based on report from CEF Commander ashore that he was destroying communications CIA has assumed he has taken to the woods.

2. CIA has ordered their shipping to disperse and proceed to various ports. Blagar and LCU's have been ordered to point CC. Request you assume operational control at CC and take action as feasible to salvage ships and cargo./1/

/1/At 7:27 p.m., the JCS amended this order to read: "Retain operational control of LCU's only." The CIA had directed that the crews of the LCUs be transferred to the Caribe and remain under CIA control. (JCS telegram 994463 to CINCLANT, April 19; ibid.)

155. Telegram From the Commander of Special Task Group 81.8 (Clark) to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)

USS Essex, Caribbean, April 19, 1961, 3:45 p.m.

//Source: Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials. Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Exclusive. Repeated to JCS, COMCARIBSEAFRON, COMKWESTFOR, and COMNAVBASE GTMO.

192045Z. Exclusive for Dennison, Gray, Smith, O'Donnell, McElroy from Clark. Bumpy Road.

1. Final report from CTU 81.8.3 "saw nothing to indicate any chance of evacuation. Beach appears completely held by light Castro forces."

2. My destroyers are clear of beach and rejoining CEF ships./1/

/1/At 3:20, Clark reported: "CTU 81.8.3 straddled by shore battery. Ordered withdrawal full speed." (CTG 81.8 telegram 192020Z to CINCLANTFLT, April 19; ibid.)

156. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)

Washington, April 19, 1961, 8:42 p.m.

//Source: Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials. Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Limited Distribution; Exclusive. Repeated to CTG 81.8.

JCS 994464. Exclusive for Adm Dennison and Adm Clark from JCS. Bumpy Road. Direct one destroyer to remain off beach during night outside of shore based gun range. Destroyer boat to patrol off beaches to pick up any evacuees. Destroyer keep boat under radar control. Destroyer depart area one hour before sunrise. Report results of search during night and on completion of patrol./1/

/1/At 5:10 p.m. Burke pressed Clark for more information: "Dammit, make lots of reports. We need data. Even negative helps." (CNO telegram 192210Z to CTG 81.8, Exclusive for Clark from Burke, April 19; ibid.)

Realize this is most difficult and hazardous assignment but it is necessary./2/

/2/The JCS informed Dennison at 8:52 that existing instructions with respect to air and surface protection remained in effect, but there was no further requirement for an air CAP in the beachhead area. Dennison was directed to instruct his naval units in the area, with the exception of CTG 81.8, to resume normal operations. (JCS telegram 994465 to CINCLANT, April 19; ibid.)

157. Memorandum From the Attorney General (Kennedy) to President Kennedy

Washington, April 19, 1961.

//Source: Kennedy Library, President's Office Files, Countries Series, Cuba, General, April 1961. No classification marking. A covering note indicates that the Attorney General sent the memorandum to the President through Presidential Special Assistant Kenneth O'Donnell. (Ibid.)

The present situation in Cuba was precipitated by the deterioration of events inside that state. The news that 100 Cuban pilots were being trained in Czechoslovakia, the information that MIGs and other jet planes had already been shipped to Cuba and that these shipments were expected to continue, that thousands of tons of military equipment had arrived each month in Havana, were all matters of consternation. Cuba it was realized was swiftly becoming a major military arsenal for all of the activities of the Communist Bloc in the Western Hemisphere. For these arms were sent to Cuba not only to keep Castro in power but to provide the necessary tools for Communist agitators in other South American and Central American countries to overthrow their governments. A hundred jet fighters based in Havana and roaming the skies around Florida and Central America will have major repercussions. The psychological effect, let alone the military result of this show of power could conceivably be catastrophic.

The alternative to the steps that were taken this past week would have been to sit and wait and hope that in the future some fortuitous event would occur to change the situation. This, it was decided, should not be done. The immediate failure of the rebels' activities in Cuba does not permit us, it seems to me, to return to the status quo with our policy toward Cuba being one of waiting and hoping for good luck. The events in the last few days makes this inconceivable.

Therefore, equally important to working out a plan to extricate ourselves gracefully from the situation in Cuba is developing a policy in light of what we expect we will be facing a year or two years from now!/1/ Castro will be even more bombastic, will be more and more closely tied to Communism, will be better armed, and will be operating an even more tightly held state than if these events had not transpired.

/1/The Attorney General underscored the first sentence of this paragraph by hand, and added the exclamation point.

Our long-range foreign policy objectives in Cuba are tied to survival far more than what is happening in Laos or the Congo or any other place in the world. Because of the proximity of that island our objective must be at the very least to prevent that island from becoming Mr. Khru-shchev's arsenal. In our concern over the present situation, we must not lose sight of our objective.

There are three ways that that can be accomplished: Number (1) to send American troops into Cuba; Number (2) to place a strict military blockade around the island of Cuba; Number (3) to call upon the nations of Central and South America to take steps to insure that all arms from outside forces (both American and Russian) are kept out of Cuba.

You have rejected Number (1) for good and sufficient reasons (although this might have to be reconsidered). Number (2) has the same inherent problems as Number (1) although possibly not as acute. On the other hand, it is a drawn-out affair which would lead to a good deal of worldwide bitterness over an extended period of time.

The only way to carry it out successfully would be to be able to demonstrate to the governments of Central and South America that because of the MIG fighters, the tanks and equipment provided by the Communist bloc, that the whole hemisphere is in danger. From my limited knowledge of the situation I suppose it would be most difficult to get them to agree to concerted action.

As for Number 3 and to some extent, Number 2, if it was reported that one or two of Castro's MIGs attacked Guantanamo Bay and the United States made noises like this was an act of war and that we might very well have to take armed action ourselves, would it be possible to get the countries of Central and South America through OAS to take some action to prohibit the shipment of arms or ammunition from any outside force into Cuba? At the same time they could guarantee the territorial integrity of Cuba so that the Cuban government could not say that they would be at the mercy of the United States.

It seems to me that something along these lines is absolutely essential. Maybe this is not the way to carry it out but something forceful and determined must be done. Furthermore, serious attention must be given to this problem immediately and not wait for the situation in Cuba to revert back to a time of relative peace and calm with the U.S. having been beaten off with her tail between her legs.

What has been going on in Cuba in the last few days must also be a tremendous strain on Castro. It seems to me that this is the time to decide what our long-term policies are going to be and what will be the results of those policies. The time has come for a showdown for in a year or two years the situation will be vastly worse. If we don't want Russia to set up missile bases in Cuba, we had better decide now what we are willing to do to stop it.

158. Notes on Cabinet Meeting

Washington, April 20, 1961.

//Source: Yale University, Bowles Papers, Box 392, Folder 154. Personal. Drafted by Bowles. A handwritten notation on the source text indicates that the notes were written in May 1961. The President's appointment book indicates that the meeting took place between 11 a.m. and noon. Those listed as participants included the President, the Vice President, Bowles, Dillon, McNamara, Attorney General Kennedy, Postmaster General Day, Udall, Freeman, Secretary of Labor Goldberg, Secretary of Commerce Gudeman, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Ribicoff, David Bell, Director of the Bureau of the Budget, John Macy, Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, and Jerome Wiesner, Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. (Kennedy Library, President's Appointment Book)

NOTES ON CUBAN CRISIS

Cabinet Meeting on Thursday, April 20th, the first day immediately after the collapse of the Cuban expedition became known.

I attended the Cabinet meeting in Rusk's absence and it was about as grim as any meeting I can remember in all my experience in government, which is saying a good deal.

The President was really quite shattered, and understandably so. Almost without exception, his public career had been a long series of successes, without any noteworthy set backs. Those disappointments which had come his way, such as his failure to get the nomination for Vice President in 1956 were clearly attributable to religion.

Here for the first time he faced a situation where his judgment had been mistaken, in spite of the fact that week after week of conferences had taken place before he gave the green light.

It was not a pleasant experience. Reactions around the table were almost savage, as everyone appeared to be jumping on everyone else. The only really coherent statement was by Arthur Goldberg, who said that while it was doubtful that the expedition was wise in the first place, the Administration should not have undertaken it unless it was prepared to see it through with United States troops if necessary.

At least his remarks had an inherent logic to them, although I could not agree under any circumstances to sending troops into Cuba--violating every treaty obligation we have.

The most angry response of all came from Bob Kennedy and also, strangely enough, from Dave Bell, who I had always assumed was a very reasonable individual.

The discussion simply rambled in circles with no real coherent thought. Finally after three-quarters of an hour the President got up and walked toward his office. I was so distressed at what I felt was a dangerous mood that I walked after him, stopped him, and told him I would like an opportunity to come into his office and talk the whole thing out.

Lyndon Johnson, Bob McNamara, and Bob Kennedy joined us. Bobby continued his tough, savage comments, most of them directed against the Department of State for reasons which are difficult for me to understand.

When I took exception to some of the more extreme things he said by suggesting that the way to get out of our present jam was not to simply double up on everything we had done, he turned on me savagely.

What worries me is that two of the most powerful people in this administration--Lyndon Johnson and Bob Kennedy--have no experience in foreign affairs, and they both realize that this is the central question of this period and are determined to be experts at it.

The problems of foreign affairs are complex, involving politics, economics and social questions that require both understanding of history and various world cultures.

When a newcomer enters the field and finds himself confronted by the nuances of international questions, he becomes an easy target for the military-CIA-paramilitary type answers which are often in specific logistical terms which can be added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided.

This kind of thinking was almost dominant in the conference and I found it most alarming. The President appeared the most calm, yet it was clear to see that he had been suffering an acute shock and it was an open question in my mind as to what his reaction would be.

All through the meeting which took place in the President's office and which lasted almost a half hour, there was an almost frantic reaction for an action program which people would grab onto.

[Here follows the remainder of Bowles' notes; see Document 166.]

159. Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Lemnitzer)

Washington, April 20, 1961.

//Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD (C) A Files: FRC 71 A 2896, Cuba 381 (Sensitive). Top Secret.

The President has asked that the Defense Department develop a plan for the overthrow of the Castro government by the application of U.S. military force. The plan should include:

1. An appraisal of the strength of the Cuban military forces.

2. An appraisal of the probable behavior of the Cuban civilian population during the period of military action.

3. An analysis of alternative programs for accomplishing the objective; e.g., a complete naval and air blockade vs. an armed invasion.

4. For the recommended program:

a. A detailed statement of the U.S. forces required.

b. A timetable and a description of the specific actions considered necessary to accomplish the objective.

c. An estimate of the potential U.S. and Cuban casualties.

d. An estimate of the time required to accomplish the action.

e. A list of contingencies which we should be prepared to face during the action.

f. A detailed statement of the U.S. air, ground, and sea forces available for action elsewhere in the world during the period of the Cuban operations, and an appraisal of the extent to which such forces could cope with potential military conflicts in Laos, South Viet-Nam, and Berlin.

The request for this study should not be interpreted as an indication that U.S. military action against Cuba is probable.

By what date may I expect to receive a draft of your report on this subject?

Robert S. McNamara/1/

/1/Printed from a copy that indicates McNamara signed the original.

160. Memorandum From the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Coerr) to Secretary of State Rusk

Washington, April 20, 1961.

//Source: Department of State, ARA Files: Lot 62 D 24, Cuba--Misc. March-April 1961. Confidential.

SUBJECT

Today's Developments Relating to Cuba

Cuban developments continue in the headlines. The Castro Government claims complete victory over the invading forces. The Revolutionary Council has announced that at the cost of tragic losses sustained by a holding-action unit, the bulk of its forces has fought its way into the Escambray and linked up with other Freedom Fighters there. This latter announcement is also being broadcast by a new radio station in the Escambray mountains.

There is no further word as to the fate of the invading forces defeated at Cochinos Bay.

World reaction and press comment, as reported by incoming cables, continue adverse. Nehru, Nasser, and others charge the US with responsibility for events in Cuba and for violation of the principle of non-intervention. Anti-US demonstrations are reported from many cities on both sides of the Iron Curtain. There has as yet been no serious loss of property or American lives. Latin American demonstrations have for the most part been carried out by Communist and pro-Communist groups, have not yet elicited any general response from the rest of the population and have been fairly effectively controlled by local security forces.

President Kennedy delivered a forceful speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He made clear our sympathy for Cuban patriots struggling against a Cuban dictator, reminded listeners that we had not intervened, but warned "our restraint is not inexhaustible"./1/ In plain language he called upon the free nations of the Hemisphere to face up to their responsibilities. The President's speech was most timely and useful and may be expected to provoke immediate and wide-spread reaction.

/1/Kennedy further amplified the warning: "Should it ever appear that the inter-American doctrine of non-interference merely conceals or excuses a policy of nonaction--if the nations of this Hemisphere should fail to meet their commitments against outside Communist penetration--then I want it clearly understood that this Government will not hesitate in meeting its primary obligations which are the security of our Nation." For text of the President's address, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961, pp. 304-306.

I am informed that IO will brief you fully on UN developments relating to Cuba.

At the OAS, discreet soundings were made as to the possibility of Council action appealing for humanitarian treatment of prisoners taken by the Castro regime. Little encouragement was received on this score, as it appeared inevitable that any such move would only lead instead to a wide-ranging discussion of the entire Cuban problem. Word is expected tomorrow as to whether or not the Secretary General of the OAS might himself undertake such action. Steps are also being taken to attempt discreetly to focus public attention upon the prisoners and to interest the International Red Cross and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on their behalf./2/ The Human Rights Commission meets tomorrow at 10:30 am to discuss the possibility of a message to the Castro Government appealing on humanitarian grounds for information on battle casualties and prisoners and expressing the hope that international practices will be observed.

/2/An instruction was cabled today to the Consul General at Geneva to communicate with the International Red Cross regarding this matter. [Footnote in the source text.]

There are continuing indications of a wave of general repression in Cuba including the arrest and other harassment of US citizens. Confirmation is being sought of a Habana radio broadcast late today that Henry Raymont, UPI Bureau Chief there, had been executed.

161. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)

Washington, April 20, 1961, 7:46 p.m.

//Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report. Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Limited Distribution; Exclusive. Repeated to CTG 81.8, COMCARIBSEAFRON, COMKWESTFOR, and COMNAVBASE GTMO. In a telephone conversation with Commander Tazewell Shepard on April 21 Admiral Burke indicated that this order originated with President Kennedy, who was "deeply anxious" to rescue CEF survivors. (Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials)

JCS 994569. Bumpy Road. Exclusive for Adm Dennison. Info RAdms Clark, Smith, McElroy and O'Donnell from Gen Gray.

1. Following is in order to indicate continuing US support for the counter revolutionary committee and for a Free Cuba.

2. Take charge CEF ships and personnel and get them safely to Vi-eques. Navy on-scene commander can relay message to CEF ships via me.

3. Conduct destroyer patrol off Blue Beach tonight for possible evacuation of survivors and instruct CO he is authorized to ground his ship if it will facilitate mission. Use of amphib ship and craft authorized in addition to DD if desired. Repeat patrol tomorrow night approaching area within sight of land but outside gun range prior darkness. Provide air cover. Rules of engagement during patrols same as before.

4. Mallard's boss has directed CEF ships to divert to Vieques. They may require logistic support in addition to protection.

162. Editorial Note

According to a memorandum for the record prepared by Admiral Burke, Secretary of Defense McNamara met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretaries of the Services on April 21, 1961, to assess the impact of the Bay of Pigs failure. McNamara noted that the outcome of the operation had been a shock to the government and to the allies of the United States. He anticipated that there would be recrimination and "a tendency to have off with the heads." It was critical, he emphasized, for the military services to accept appropriate responsibility and to avoid backbiting. McNamara stated that there were important lessons to be learned from the exercise, and he noted that the President was going to establish a high-level committee to reexamine the entire operation and make recommendations. McNamara felt that one lesson to be drawn was that military operations should be run by military personnel. Another lesson, he felt, was that the government should never start anything unless it could be finished, or the government was willing to face the consequences of failure. And he felt that the United States had to develop a coherent national policy concerning indirect aggression.

In assessing the specific implications of the Bay of Pigs, McNamara stated that a plan for an invasion of Cuba would have to be drawn up, although he added that an invasion was "unlikely." In the context of this plan, he noted that it was necessary to examine the type of air and naval blockade that would facilitate a fast invasion of Cuba, as well as the requirements necessary to a more deliberate invasion. General Lemnitzer observed that the daily U-2 flights over Cuba had been resumed, and he emphasized the importance of the information obtained. If the CIA lost its nerve as a result of the Bay of Pigs, Lemnitzer felt that the JCS should provide what support was necessary for the rebels in Cuba through Admiral Dennison's command. (Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials)

163. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Rostow) to President Kennedy

Washington, April 21, 1961.

//Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 65 A 3464, China-Cuba, 1961. Top Secret. A note on the source text reads: "For: Secretary McNamara and Mr. Gilpatric Only."

SUBJECT

The Problem We Face

1. Right now the greatest problem we face is not to have the whole of our foreign policy thrown off balance by what we feel and what we do about Cuba itself. We have suffered a serious setback; but that setback will be trivial compared to the consequences of not very soon regaining momentum along the lines which we have begun in the past three months.

[Here follows Rostow's assessment of the existing lines of U.S. foreign policy and his recommendations concerning reestablishing initiative and momentum.]

9. As for Cuba itself, I have little background and little wisdom. There are, evidently, three quite different threats which Cuba poses, which are now mixed up in our minds and in our policy. There is the military question of Communist arms and of a potential Soviet offensive base in Cuba. If we are not immediately to invade Cuba ourselves, we must decide whether we shall permit Castro, so long as he remains in power, to acquire defensive arms; and we must decide what the touchstones are between defensive arms and the creation of a Communist military base threatening to the U.S. itself. I assume that evidence of the latter we would take virtually as a cause of war, although we should bear in mind what the placing of missiles in Turkey looks like in the USSR. Second, there is the question of Cuba as a base for active infiltration and subversion in the rest of Latin America. Here, evidently, we must try to do more than we are now doing, and we should seek active hemispheric collaboration--wherever we can find it--in gathering and exchanging information on the networks involved and on counter-measures. This is, however, essentially a covert, professional operation. The more we talk about it--the more we overtly seek to pressure Latin American nations to join with us--the less likely we shall be able to get their cooperation in doing anything useful. Third, there is the simple ideological problem. Cuba is a Communist state, repressing every value we treasure. But on that ground alone we are prevented by our treaty obligations from acting directly and overtly. On the other hand, we are overtly also committed beyond sympathy to the support of those Cubans fighting for freedom. Here, how we proceed--what is to be done overtly and covertly--is a most searching question. I have no advice to give except this: Let there first be a first-class and careful intelligence evaluation of the situation inside Cuba, of Castro's control methods; of the nature and degree of dissidence of various groups; of recent trends and their pace; and an assessment of vulnerabilities.

10. As I said to the Attorney General the other day, when you are in a fight and knocked off your feet, the most dangerous thing to do is to come out swinging wildly. Clearly we must cope with Castro in the next several years--perhaps sooner, if he overplays his hand and gives us an acceptable legal and international basis. But short of that, we must think again clearly and cooly in the light of the facts as they are and are likely to be. We may emerge with a quite different approach to the Castro problem after such an exercise, or we may proceed with more of the same. But let us do some fresh homework.

11. In the meanwhile, what we must do is to build the foundation and the concepts, in Latin America, the North Atlantic Alliance, and the UN, which would permit us, next time round, to deal with the Cuban problem in ways which would not so grievously disrupt the rest of our total strategy.

[Here follows Rostow's recommendation that the President make a speech outlining "urgent action items" at home and abroad.]

164. Editorial Note

On April 21, 1961, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly completed debate on the Cuban agenda item and considered the several draft resolutions submitted during the debate. (For summaries of these resolutions, see footnotes 1-4, Document 148.) The Representatives of Romania and the Soviet Union elected not to press for a vote on their respective draft resolutions. The seven-power draft resolution, submitted by Latin American members and supported by the United States, was then adopted by a vote of 61 to 27 with 10 absentions. The Mexican draft resolution was adopted by a vote of 42 to 31, with 25 absentions. (U.N. doc. A/4744, April 21, 1961) In its report to the General Assembly on April 21, the First Committee recommended adoption of both draft resolutions. (Ibid.) The General Assembly acted on the report at its 995th plenary meeting, also on April 21. A compromise was effected under which the seven-power draft resolution was adopted, minus the key operative paragraph that would have referred the matter for action to the Organization of American States. (U.N. doc. A/RES/1616 (XV)) The Mexican draft resolution was not adopted.

165. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)

Washington, April 21, 1961, 9:19 p.m.

//Source: Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials. Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Limited Distribution; Exclusive. Repeated to CTG 81.8. In a telephone conversation with Dennison on April 22, Burke explained that this telegram was cleared by McNamara and the President, and that the President was directing the rescue operation personally. (Transcript of a telephone conversation, April 22; ibid.)

JCS 994676. Bumpy Road. Exclusive for Adm Dennison and Adm Clark from Gen Gray. CIA advises that there are 3 UDT men with complete gear aboard Marsopa./1/ They request they be introduced nite of 22nd April in vicinity of burned out patrol craft in effort to make contact with CEF personnel./2/ The UDT personnel plus any CEF personnel should be retrieved nite of 23 April. Suggest provision for additional small boats and rafts on nite of 23 April in case CEF group is contacted. Request comments so that CIA may be advised.

/1/Code name for the Blagar.

/2/At 5:47 p.m. on April 21, the JCS informed CINCLANT that information had just been received that several hundred CEF personnel had seized a Cuban patrol boat and had run it aground on the west side of the Bay of Pigs while trying to escape. Dennison was instructed to search for and protect the CEF personnel on the patrol boat. (JCS telegram 994644 to CINCLANT, April 21; Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials) Shortly thereafter Burke informed General Gray that he had just learned that the patrol boat had been sighted, but it was burned out and no CEF survivors were visible. (Transcript of a telephone conversation, April 21; ibid.)

[end of document]

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Department Seal Return to Foreign Relations of the U.S., Vol. X, Cuba.