Department Seal

Volume X
Cuba, 1961-1962



Cuba, 1961-1962

76. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Lemnitzer) to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)


Washington, April 1, 1961.

//Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report. Top Secret; Limited Distribution. The source text is marked "Draft" and is Enclosure A to JCS 2304/26, April 1. The covering memorandum of JCS 2304/26 indicates that the Joint Chiefs approved SM-363-61 on April 1 and forwarded it to CINCLANT. (Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials)


"Bumpy Road"


Your memo Special C0029/61, dated 28 March 1961, Subject: "CIA Operation Crosspatch"/1/

/1/Document 73.

1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have reviewed the contents of the reference memorandum and have concluded the following:

a. The assignment of an additional destroyer as escort for the convoy is approved.

b. The disposition and employment of LANTCOM forces in the general area is considered normal and will insure the readiness of your command in case of an emergency.

c. The Joint Chiefs of Staff letter of instruction for the subject operation is now before the Secretary of Defense for approval. That letter, which is also addressed to you, provides for informing CINCONAD of his requirements.

d. Your rules of engagement are approved. It was also noted that no mention was made of Soviet submarines. Your current instructions in regards to Soviet submarines will apply for attack. In the event the convoy is shadowed or closed by a surfaced submarine, it will be treated under the rules for engagement as a surface ship. If the convoy is shadowed or closed by a submerged submarine;

(1) Request submarine identify itself.

(2) If identity refused, repeat request stating its actions considered hostile and attack will be made if identity not given.

(3) If identity still refused, assume submarine is attacking force and attack with all authorized means available until submarine retires, surfaces and identifies itself (thereby coming under rules of engagement for surface ships), or the submarine is destroyed.

2. It will be noted that the nickname "Bumpy Road" has now been applied to the CIA Para-military Plan. This nickname is assigned with the concurrence of CIA.

3. You will be kept informed of any changes in requirements and/or schedule for the subject operation resulting from the final review.

77. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State

Moscow, April 1, 1961, 5 p.m.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/4-161. Confidential; Priority.

2362. Eyes Only Secretary. [Here follows the account of the discussion between Chairman Khrushchev and Ambassador Thompson on Laos and the Congo; the full text of this telegram is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, volume V.]

Turning to Cuba he [Khrushchev] could not agree with our policy there. Each country should be free to choose its social system. They did not agree, for example, with Yugoslav internal policies but this did not prevent them from having good relations with that country. He said President had indicated that financial aid would be given to aid in overthrow of present Cuban Govt. Bands of emigres had been formed and threats made against Cuban Govt. He said Soviet Govt would openly support Cuban Govt and would give them economic aid. He pointed out Soviet Union had no base in Cuba and only base there belonged to US. He then went on to question our policy of having bases all around Soviet Union.

[Here follows discussion unrelated to Cuba.]

Reverting again to Cuba he asked why we did not establish diplomatic relations with that country and try to resolve our problems with it peacefully. He made clear Cubans had not put him up to this but he was merely speaking his own mind.

[Here follows discussion unrelated to Cuba.] I went on to say that I thought what bothered us particularly about Cuba was its use as a base for attempts on overthrow of other Latin American govts. When he disputed this I said I had heard Cuban pilots were being trained in Czechoslovakia in flying jet planes. Cuba would never be able attack US and therefore these presumably were designed for use against other Latin American countries. I said we had been most patient with Castro. In first place we had cut off supply of arms to Batista and although there had been differences of opinion in US about Castro we had been fully prepared accept his govt. However he had made most violent statements against us and had confiscated our assets there without compensation and finally had insisted on reducing our Embassy to handful of people. We had tried to be patient but he had given us no choice. Khrushchev replied Castro said we were using Embassy to harbor spies and Castro was not Communist. He said he had not heard of any training of jet pilots but if he were Castro he would buy jet planes since these were necessary to prevent arms being dropped to counter-revolutionaries from planes flying from US. He thought that in one case we had even admitted this. I said we had taken strict steps to prevent such activities although there had I believed been one case in which a plane had gotten through. In concluding Khrushchev said we should continue to be patient and should try to improve our relations with Cuba.

[Here follows discussion unrelated to Cuba.]


78. Editorial Note

According to a memorandum for the record prepared by Naval Commander G.A. Mitchell, Secretary of Defense McNamara was briefed on April 2, 1961, on the proposed rules of engagement that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had approved on April 1 in SM-363-61, Document 76. McNamara had reservations about the latitude allowed by the rules:

"On 2 April the Secretary of Defense was briefed on the Bumpy Road situation and advised as to the approved rules. He was further advised by the JCS that after the President had made a firm 'go ahead' decision, these rules should be submitted to the President for his approval. The Secretary of Defense felt that the rules were allowed too much interpretation at lower level and stated that the JCS should study the matter further." (Mitchell's memorandum is undated but covers developments dealing with the rules of engagement for Operation Bumpy Road through April 20; National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Box 12, Cuba, Paramilitary Study)

79. Editorial Note

On April 3, 1961, the Department of State released a 36-page pamphlet entitled "Cuba." This "White Paper" was initially drafted in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs but was extensively revised in the White House by Arthur Schlesinger, with the assistance of Richard Goodwin. President Kennedy carefully reviewed the final draft. The White Paper charged that Premier Castro had instituted a "repressive dictatorship" in Cuba, had delivered his country "to the Sino-Soviet bloc," and was mounting an attack on the entire inter-American system. The United States called upon Cuba, in the White Paper, "to sever its links with the international Communist movement" and "to restore the dignity" of the original Cuban revolution. "If this call is unheeded, we are confident that the Cuban people, with their passion for liberty, will continue to strive for a free Cuba." (Department of State Publication 7171, Inter-American Series 66, April 1961) There is extensive material relating to the preparation of this paper in the Kennedy Library, Papers of Arthur Schlesinger, Cuba (White Paper).

President Kennedy was asked to comment on the White Paper on Cuba during a press conference on April 12. He was asked whether the White Paper meant that he considered Fidel Castro a Communist. Kennedy replied: "I would not want to characterize Mr. Castro except to say that by his own words he has indicated his hostility to democratic rule in this hemisphere, to democratic liberal leaders in many of the countries of the hemisphere who are attempting to improve the life of their people, and has associated himself most intimately with the Sino-Soviet bloc, and has indicated his desire to spread the influence of that bloc throughout this hemisphere." (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961, page 259)

80. Editorial Note

On April 4, 1961, the Joint Chiefs of Staff considered, approved, and forwarded to Secretary McNamara JCSM-210-61, a plan of logistic support for the Zapata operation. The plan included a detailed concept of development for the later phase of the operation and programmed covert military support for the concept. (Chronology of JCS Participation in Bumpy Road; Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials)

From 6 to 8:18 p.m. that evening, President Kennedy met at the Department of State with members of the Joint Chiefs and others involved in planning the Zapata operation. The President's appointment book does not indicate the participants in the meeting, but notes taken on the meeting establish that Senator William Fulbright was invited to participate. (Kennedy Library, President's Appointment Book) According to summary notes on the meeting prepared by General Gray on May 9:

"This meeting was held in the State Department and Senator Fulbright was also present. Senator Fulbright spoke out against the plan. The President again indicated his preference for an operation which would infiltrate the force in units of 200-250 and then develop them through a build up. Colonel Hawkins from CIA expressed the belief that landing small groups would merely serve to alert Castro and they would be eliminated one by one. He indicated that a group of 200 was below the critical number able to defend themselves. Mr. Rusk expressed opposition to the plan but Mr. Berle and Mr. Mann expressed general approval. Mr. McNamara also expressed approval of the general concept. The President indicated that he still wished to make the operation appear as an internal uprising and wished to consider the matter further the next morning." (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report)

After the conference with the President on April 4, Secretary McNamara requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff reconsider the rules of engagement for the Bumpy Road operation to ensure that the United States would not become overtly engaged with Castro's armed forces. (Memorandum for the record, prepared by Mitchell; National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Box 12, Cuba, Paramilitary Study)

81. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Schlesinger) to President Kennedy

Washington, April 5, 1961.

//Source: Kennedy Library, President's Office Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Security, 1961. Secret.



1. When you asked me after the meeting yesterday/1/ what I thought about the Cuban proposal, I am afraid that I did not give a properly ordered answer.

/1/See Document 80.

2. My brief answer is that I am in favor of a continuation and expansion of the present approach to Cuba--i.e., quiet infiltration of anti-Castro exiles into Cuba and subsequent support through air drops. The beachhead operation, with the landing and recognition of the provisional government, would represent, however, a change of phase in our Cuban policy. If entirely successful, it would have the highly beneficial result of getting rid of the Castro regime. If we could achieve this by a swift, surgical stroke, I would be for it. But in present circumstances the operation seems to me to involve many hazards; and on balance--and despite the intelligence and responsibility with which the case for the action has been presented--I am against it.

3. The following considerations concerning the beachhead operation seem to me vital:

a) No matter how "Cuban" the equipment and personnel, the US will be held accountable for the operation, and our prestige will be committed to its success.

b) Since the Castro regime is presumably too strong to be toppled by a single landing, the operation will turn into a protracted civil conflict.

4. If these assumptions are true, it seems to me that the operation involves the following hazards:

a) The protraction of the struggle and the commitment of American prestige (especially if we proceed to recognize and supply a provisional government) will create increasing pressure on us to guarantee the success of the operation through ever more intense and overt involvement. It will seem increasingly intolerable to subject ourselves to the humiliation of a defeat in Cuba. If the landing fails to trigger uprisings behind the lines and defections in the Militia (and the evidence that it would do so is inconclusive), the logic of the situation could well lead us, step by step, to the point where the last step would be to dispatch the Marines.

b) The protraction of the struggle will give the Soviet Union a magnificent opportunity to wage political warfare. Cuba will become our Hungary; and, since our pretensions to international good behavior have been greater than those of the Russians, we would be more damaged by Hungary than they were (and they were considerably damaged). The situation is made to order for the Communist agitprop apparatus. Jose Marti Brigades and no doubt Abraham Lincoln Brigades will be recruited to support Castro, not just from beyond the Iron Curtain, but in Western Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. There will be demonstrations and riots around the world on the model of the movement for Loyalist Spain in the late Thirties. There will be resolutions in the United Nations, with testimony by prisoners or Castro agents about the US preparation of and responsibility for the action.

(I must say, however, that I question the view that this operation would have serious substantive effect on Soviet policy, in Laos or elsewhere. My guess is that the Soviet Union regards Cuba as in our domain and is rather surprised that we have not taken action before this to rid ourselves of Castro.

(I also think that the operation would be more easily accepted in Latin America, where there is spreading knowledge about the nature of the Castro regime, than in Western Europe, Africa or Asia, where it will seem gross, unprovoked and bullying imperialism.)

c) As the struggle protracts itself and as the political campaign mounts against the US, our government--and you--will have to meet penetrating questions about our role in the affair. We will have either to evade the questions and thereby tacitly plead guilty; or deny involvement; or declare ignorance. Each course presents obvious difficulties. If we admit involvement, we admit action taken in violation of the basic characters of the hemisphere and of the United Nations. If we justify such violation by pleading a higher law, we place ourselves thereafter on the same moral plane as the Soviet Union. If we deny involvement, few will believe us; and we invite a repetition of the U-2 episode, which made us look absurd before the world.

Whatever we do, the effect will be to spoil the new US image--the image of intelligence, reasonableness and honest firmness which has already had such an extraordinary effect in changing world opinion about the US and increasing world confidence in US methods and purposes.

d) And there is the Fulbright point: our responsibility for the post-Castro regime. The eyes of the world will be upon us, and we cannot afford a post-Castro mess. On the basis of the documents/2/ they have submitted to us containing their ideas for the future, I rather share his doubts as to the competence of the exile leaders.

/2/The reference is unclear.

5. These hazards would be outweighed, in my judgment, by the advantage of getting rid of Castro

a) if the operation could be swift and surgical

b) if support were forthcoming from our allies, both in Latin America and in Europe

c) if the danger to the US were visible and overwhelming.

Conditions (a) and (b) seem doubtful. Of (c), it can only be said that it is not self-evident to many people (including the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee).

The counter argument would be: why not wait? Every month Castro is making himself more unpopular both through the hemisphere and in his own country. Every month more people through the world are coming to understand the nature of his regime. Opinion has changed tremendously in the last six months; it will change even more in the next six months, if Castro is not made a martyr. The combination of internal discontent and external isolation will doom his regime.

The counter argument to this, of course, is that time will permit a military build-up and a perfection of internal control which will make Castro invulnerable to anything but a major invasion. In the meantime, he will prosecute his campaign against the hemisphere. The counter argument to that is that the measures which increase his invulnerability will also increase his unpopularity; that the more he tries to totalitarianize and terrorize Cuba, the more he makes Communism an object of hatred through the hemisphere; and, if he uses his military strength against any other state, he gives us the excuse we need for collective intervention.

I am not sure that this debate permits a categorical judgment on the question whether time would run for or against us in Cuba.

6. The consequences of abandonment remain to be considered. Abandonment would conceivably suggest a US failure of nerve. It might seem to place a premium on the defiance of Castro; it would certainly dishearten those in Latin America who have exposed themselves by demanding action against Castro; it would certainly disillusion the brave men we have gathered in Guatemala; it would confront us with the problem of demobilizing and resettling these men. The fact that the expedition was conceived, prepared and then called off at the last moment would increase Castro's prestige and power.

These are all powerful points. They weigh very heavily in my mind on the side of going ahead. However, I hesitate to say that we should do something simply because we have seemed to commit ourselves to doing it which, if we were starting fresh, we would not do.

On balance, I think that the risks of the operation slightly outweigh the risks of abandonment. These latter risks would be mitigated somewhat if we could manage a partial rather than a total abandonment (i.e., if we could put the men into Cuba quietly).

We might also be able to make some diplomatic capital out of the abandonment. We might have Thompson say to Khrushchev, for example, that we have discouraged an invasion of Cuba; that this shows our genuine desire to compose differences; but that K. should tell his friend to behave, because our patience is not inexhaustible and we cannot hope to restrain the Cuban patriots indefinitely. Conceivably we might be able to turn abandonment to some diplomatic advantage within the hemisphere too.

Arthur Schlesinger, jr.

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

Washington, April 5, 1961.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4-561. Confidential. Drafted by Coerr and by William I. Cargo, Director of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs. Cleared in substance by Cleveland in IO.


Suggestion that we support Miro Cardona, President of the Cuban Revolutionary Council, at the UN


The above suggestion has been made with a view to gaining publicity favorable to the Cuban Revolutionary Council and to blunting the attack that Cuban Foreign Minister Raul Roa is expected to make against the United States in the UNGA.

Although the basic UN concept is that the UN is an organization of states, UNGA procedures would permit a hearing of Miro Cardona by Committee One if proposed by a member of that committee and approved by its majority vote. Most nations, however, including the Europeans and the Afro-Asians--and very probably the Latin Americans--would almost certainly fear the precedent of giving a hearing to a minority dissident group and many could be expected to vote against the proposal. The Soviet bloc and extreme neutralist group would probably oppose. While Committee Four has heard individual petitioners under specific Charter provisions, Committee One has heard non-governmental persons only rarely. We would face almost certain defeat if we were to support a hearing for Miro Cardona.

The United States has privately opposed the hearing of representatives of the FLN in connection with the Algerian question; and soon will again oppose a hearing for North Korean representatives, in Committee One. U.S. support for a hearing of Mir# Cardona might well weaken our position on this kind of an issue.


That we do not support a hearing for Miro Cardona. (Should you approve this recommendation we will support other means of doing it.)/1/

/1/The source text is stamped to indicate that Rusk initialed his approval on April 4. April 5, the date typed in the heading of the document, is probably the date on which Rusk received and approved the recommendation in the memorandum.

83. Editorial Note

At 8:30 a.m. on April 5, 1961, Secretary of Defense McNamara and General Lemnitzer met at the White House with CIA officials Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell, and General Cabell in advance of the meeting called by President Kennedy to continue consideration of the Zapata plan. McNamara and Lemnitzer discussed with the CIA officials the proposed rules of engagement for the projected operation against Cuba. "It was agreed that the rules should definitely spell out the President's desire that if United States forces were required to protect CEF ships from damage or capture the operation would be aborted and the CEF ships directed to a port to be designated by the JCS." (Memorandum for the record, by Mitchell; National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Box 12, Cuba, Paramilitary Study)

President Kennedy met later with the participants in the 8:30 meeting and with unspecified representatives from the Department of State. The President's appointment book does not indicate either the time or the participants in the meeting. (Kennedy Library, President's Appointment Book) According to summary notes on the meeting prepared by General Gray on May 9:

"There was a very small meeting with the President where only Secretary McNamara, General Lemnitzer and representatives of State and CIA were present. At this meeting the general idea of fake defections and preliminary strikes were discussed. The President indicated approval of the general idea but indicated that everyone should consider further measures overnight and there would be another meeting the following morning." (Ibid., National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report)

84. Editorial Note

At 9:15 a.m. on April 6, 1961, President Kennedy convened another meeting at the White House to discuss the projected Zapata operation against Cuba. According to the President's appointment book the meeting lasted an hour and a half, and was attended by Rusk, McNamara, Dulles, Berle, Mann, and Coerr. (Kennedy Library, President's Appointment Book) Although Bissell is not listed in the appointment book, Gray's notes indicate that he attended and made the principal presentation for the CIA. Gray was also there, and it is probable that Lemnitzer, Burke, and Cabell attended as well. According to summary notes on the meeting prepared by General Gray on May 9:

"At this meeting Mr. Bissell presented the plan to arrest Mas Farer, to seize a B-25 aircraft known to be operating against Cuba and also to seize one or more small boats being used by counter-revolutionaries. All of this intended to show US disassociation with former Batista followers. Mr. Bissell then gave an outline of the planned defection of a pilot on D-3, coupled with air strikes and a D-2 guerrilla landing. This would then be followed by a guerrilla uprising on D+5 in Pinar Del Rio. The President indicated that the council should not be informed ahead of time. Mr. Rusk, when queried by the President, stated that he felt that this plan was as good as could be devised, but that we should now take a look at other questions that might arise. One would be what would the US do in the event there was a serious call for help? Second, what might the Soviets do? The President indicated that Mr. Macmillan had been informed of the prospect. The President questioned whether or not a preliminary strike wasn't an alarm bell. The President also asked as to the last date on which he could delay or cancel the operation, and he was told 16 April. He wanted to know what he could do if the operation was called off and was told by Mr. Bissell that the plan was to divert the force to Vieques. At the end of the meeting the President gave the following guidance: continue planning, spread the convoy, provide additional air protection for the Miami area, increase press conferences for Cardona, limit air strikes to essential targets, and diversionary landing was OK. In summary, the President indicated a desire to use the force but he wanted to do everything possible to make it appear to be a Cuban operation partly from within Cuba but supported from without Cuba, the objective being to make it more plausible for US denial of association with the operation although recognizing that we would be accused." (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report)

85. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Lemnitzer) to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison)


Washington, April 7, 1961.

//Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Country Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report. Top Secret. In a memorandum for the record summarizing the changes in the rules of engagement for the Bumpy Road operation, Commander Mitchell noted that this memorandum was drafted in response to a memorandum sent from the CIA to General Gray on April 7, modifying the U.S. naval support requirements. The modifications called for destroyers to provide area coverage, rather than convoying the CEF ships, from 0600 on D-2 to the transport area. The requirement for U.S. naval air cover was changed to provide an additional day of air protection, from 0600 to sunset on D-2 and D-1. D-Day was changed to April 17. Mitchell noted that CM-179-61 was dispatched by special courier to Admiral Dennison on April 8. He added that the naval task group assigned to screen the Cuban Expeditionary Force was already at sea and had made an anti-submarine sweep of the area off Nicaragua. (Ibid.)


"Bumpy Road"


a. CM-152-61 Dated 24 March 1961, Subj: CIA Operation Crosspatch/1/

b. CINCLANT Memo Serial Special 00029/61 Dated 28 March 1961/2/

c. SM-363-61 Dated 1 April 1961/3/

/1/Not found.

/2/Document 73.

/3/Document 76.


/4/A handwritten note in the margin at this point reads: "Deleted from this copy, GAMitchell, Cdr. USN" Mitchell drew a box around the first five enclosures listed to indicate that they had been deleted from the copy included in the Taylor Report. Another copy of CM-179-61, with all of the enclosures attached, is in the Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials.

A. DD Support

B. LSD Support

C. Combat Air Patrol

D. Navigational Reference Points

E. Individual Ship Movement Schedule (Code Name)

F. Instructions for DD Escort and CAP

1. Reference a requested certain naval support for the subject para-military operation. Due to required changes in concept of movement of surface units, the requirements for U.S. Naval support as set forth in reference a are superseded by those contained in Enclosures A, B, and C hereto.

2. Enclosures D and E contain the required navigational and individual ship movements information for the ships of the Cuban Volunteer Force.

3. It is necessary to take precautions to assure that U.S. support of the Cuban Volunteer Force is not apparent and that support for this operation be undertaken so that the United States may plausibly deny participation. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to modify the instructions for the escorting destroyers and the combat air patrol. Accordingly, the specific "rules of engagement" as set forth in references b and c are superseded by the instructions contained in Enclosure F hereto.

4. D-Day is now scheduled for 17 April 1961.

L.L. Lemnitzer/5/

/5/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

Enclosure F/6/

/6/Top Secret; Limited Distribution.


/7/Commander Mitchell subsequently summarized the changes in the rules of engagement, outlined in Enclosure F, as follows:

"The changes to the rules pointed out the necessity for avoiding any sign of U.S. participation. The U.S. naval air cover was to be flown in such a manner that the planes did not appear to be covering the CEF ships. During daylight hours the escorting destroyers were to maintain maximum practicable range ahead of the CEF ships and to use courses and speeds so that they provided protection but didn't appear to be screening the CEF ships. During the hours of darkness the destroyers could close the CEF ships to provide adequate protection. The destroyers were not to approach within 20 miles (instead of the previous 3 miles) of Cuban territory and, as soon as the San Marcos (the LSD) had withdrawn from the transfer area for the landing craft, the destroyers were to withdraw to join the U.S. naval task group (about 125 miles from Blue Beach). The rules of engagement were modified so that U.S. naval units would not open fire on Cuban ships or aircraft until they opened fire (or opened bomb bays and started a bombing run) (Note: Sea Furies and T-33's do not have bomb bays) on the CEF ships. In essence, the U.S. protecting forces could only open fire if the CEF was attacked. (Instead of opening fire when a Cuban ship or aircraft made a threatening move.) If the U.S. forces intervened to protect the CEF ships, the operation was automatically cancelled. U.S. forces were then to take all steps short of firing on the CEF ships to cause them to withdraw to a port to be designated by the JCS." (Memorandum for the Record, Rules of Engagement Operation "Bumpy Road"; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Taylor Report)

1. The US destroyers providing the area coverage of the Cuban Volunteer Force ships will take the following precautions to avoid overt association with ships of the Cuban Force:

a. During daylight hours they will maintain maximum practicable range ahead of the ships of the Cuban Force and maintain a patrol using courses and speeds so as to provide protection but not appear to be screening the Cuban Force ships.

b. During the hours of darkness the US destroyers are permitted to take station with respect to the Cuban Force ships to provide adequate protection.

c. US Naval support will not be used to support the landing operation. The US destroyers covering the transport ships of the Cuban Force will not close within 20 miles of the target area. After withdrawal of the San Marcos from Point Oldsmobile, the US destroyers will withdraw to Point Packard and rejoin the US Naval Task Group.

2. The surface and subsurface special rules of engagement are as follows:

a. Prior to the rendezvous of the Cuban Force ships:

(1) If intervention by US forces is required to protect the Cuban Force ships from att-ack or to prevent their capture, the US forces will intervene as necessary to protect the Cuban Force ship(s).

(2) This intervention will cancel the landing operation and the US destroyers will take measures short of firing on the Cuban Force ships, to cause them to withdraw to a port to be designated by the JCS upon receipt of the report of intervention.

(3) Subsequent to the intervention and withdrawal, the US destroyers will maintain close escort of the Cuban Force to provide protection and witness compliance with the withdrawal order.

(4) U.S. forces will open fire only if the Cuban Force ship(s) is attacked.

b. After rendezvous of the Cuban Force ships at 1730 R, D-1 Day and until convoy has moved to a point within 20 miles of the objective area, a DD commanding officer will:

(1) Place his ship between the convoy and any suspicious or Cuban surface craft sighted.

(2) Warn the craft not to approach within gun range of the convoy.

(3) If the surface craft persists in closing the convoy, the DD will intervene as necessary to protect the Cuban Force ships, then follow instructions set forth in paragraph 2a(2) and (3) above.

c. Intervention by US destroyers after Cuban Force convoy has moved to a point within 20 miles of the objective area will be limited to that required to assist the San Marcos at her request.

3. The combat air patrol mission pilots and air controllers will be instructed as follows:

a. The CAP will take station so that it will not give the appearance of covering the ships of the Cuban Force.

b. The "rules of engagement" are as follows:

(1) Any unidentified aircraft approaching within radar range of the Cuban Force ships and closing will be investigated.

(2) If investigation reveals the aircraft to be Cuban, the investigating aircraft will make successive close passes ensuring that the Cuban aircraft is aware of his presence.

(3) If Cuban aircraft maintains course to close the Cuban Force ship(s) CAP will continue to make close passes in an attempt to divert.

(4) If Cuban aircraft insists in closing and attempts to take position to attack the Cuban Force ship(s), the CAP aircraft will open fire if the Cuban aircraft commences to fire on the Cuban Force ship(s) or if it opens its bomb bays and commences its bomb run.

86. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Schlesinger) to President Kennedy

Washington, April 10, 1961.

//Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, General, 1/61-4/61. Secret.


Cuba: Political, Diplomatic and Economic Problems

1. Introduction. The operational planning for the Cuban project seems much farther advanced than the political, diplomatic and economic planning which properly should accompany it. As a result, preparations to deal with the political, diplomatic and economic repercussions of the operation are inadequate. Unless we speed these preparations, we run the risk that a successful military result may be to a considerable degree nullified by seriously adverse results in the political, diplomatic and economic areas.

2. What is at stake. In the days since January 20, your administration has changed the face of American foreign policy. The soberness of style, the absence of cold war cliches, the lack of self-righteousness and sermonizing, the impressive combination of reasonableness and firmness, the generosity to new ideas, the dedication to social progress, the tough-minded idealism of purpose--all these factors have transformed (to use that repellent word) the "image" of the United States before the world. The result has been to go far toward restoring confidence in the intelligence, maturity and restraint of American leadership. People around the world have forgotten the muddling and moralizing conservation of the Eisenhower period with surprising speed. The United States is emerging again as a great, mature and liberal nation, coolly and intelligently dedicated to the job of stopping Communism, strengthening the free and neutral nations and working for peace. It is this reawakening world faith in America which is at stake in the Cuban operation.

3. U.S. vulnerabilities. I do not mean to suggest that the use of force to protect a reasonable national security interest would necessarily have an adverse effect on the world per se. If force is used efficiently and effectively, and if the threat to national security is demonstrable and convincing, the controlled use of force for limited objectives might well enhance respect for the United States. To define these conditions, however, calls immediate attention to one of our main vulnerabilities in the Cuban affair. In the first place, however "Cuban" the operation will seem to be, the U.S. will be held accountable for it before the bar of world opinion: our own press has seen to that. Beyond this, there is an obstinate fact: A great many people simply do not at this moment see that Cuba presents so grave and compelling a threat to our national security as to justify a course of action which much of the world will interpret as calculated aggression against a small nation in defiance both of treaty obligations and of the international standards we have repeatedly asserted against the Communist world. It is only necessary to remark that the people who fail to understand the pressing necessity for this action include the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (and that he has said that the only members of his Committee whom he thinks would support the action are Senators Dodd and Lausche--which perhaps suggests the kind of people to whom the idea will automatically appeal).

4. In short, many people in the United States and probably most people outside the United States will--unless countermeasures are put into immediate play--see a vast gap between what they regard as the minor threat presented by a tiny nation of 7 million to the great United States and the massive response (i.e., the instigation of civil war and the overthrow of the government) proposed by the United States. To say that the Russians are doing worse in Laos is true but irrelevant, since we profess to be acting according to higher motives and higher principles than the Russians. Because the alleged threat to our national security will not seem to many people great enough to justify so flagrant a violation of our professed principles, these people will assume that our action is provoked by a threat to something other than our security. Given the mythology of our relationship to Latin America, they will assume that we are acting, not to protect our safety, but to protect our property and investments. In short, for many people the easiest explanation of our action will be as a reversion to economic imperialism of the pre-World War I, Platt-Amendment, big-stick, gunboat-diplomacy kind.

It need hardly be said that the apparent revival of these strains in American foreign policy--and especially their revival in connection with the most dramatic foreign policy initiative of the new administration--will jeopardize the new "image" of the United States and will threaten to wipe out the great gains of the last two and a half months.

5. How the USSR will exploit the situation. We can consider the meas-ures necessary to prevent this outcome better if we first speculate about the Communist reaction to a landing in Cuba.

The first Communist effort will be to nail down the already existing impression that such a landing is sponsored by the U.S. In doing this, the Communists have already had the indispensable assistance of the American press. They will be able to make their case almost entirely by quotations from U.S. sources. No matter how ostensibly "Cuban" the operation in fact is in personnel and in equipment, most of the world--our friends as well as our foes--will assume (on the basis of American press reports) that it is American in its conception and in its preparation.

If the landing succeeds in setting off uprisings behind the line and in stimulating defections from Castro's militia, and if the regime collapses with reasonable speed, then the political damage will be minimized. But if it settles down to a protracted conflict, then we can be certain that the world Communist agitprop apparatus will swing into full and vigorous action.

6. The Communists will be able to count, first, on a generalized sympathy for the underdog against the bully, for David against Goliath--as in such past cases as the Boers vs. Britain or Finland vs. the USSR. Even some of our friends will derive a certain satisfaction from watching Castro defy the great United States.

The Communists will next seek to use the alleged U.S. initiative to bolster the Marxist interpretation of history. They will portray it as an effort on the part of the greatest capitalist nation to punish a small country for its desire to achieve political and economic independence. Throughout the underdeveloped world, they will try to persuade local nationalists to identify Castro's cause with their own struggles. There will be particular emphasis (already visible in official Cuban propaganda) on Castro as the defender of the colored races against white imperialism.

The first stage in this will be the fomenting of riots and demonstrations. American Embassies will be attacked and American diplomats (and other American personnel) mobbed. The underdeveloped countries will be urged in the United Nations to defend their own future freedom of action by defending Castro; we can expect to be placed on the defensive in the U.N. for some time and to be subjected to a series of harassing debates and resolutions. Ex-colonial nations everywhere will be called on to identify their own problems with those of Castro.

Nor will Soviet agitational operations be confined to Asia, Africa and Latin America (though they will probably be most profitable there). The assault against Castro will add fuel to the fires of anti-Americanism throughout Europe. It will be the latest scandal of St. German des Pres (Sartre of course hailed Castro's Cuba; even Raymond Aron's recent series of pieces after his Cuban visit, published in Figaro in February, were relatively measured and would not lead people to think that drastic action against Castro was necessary to save the west). The people who have been crowding Trafalgar Square to protest the bomb will be crowding it again to shout for Castro and denounce the U.S. as the last stronghold of imperialism.

We can doubtless weather the public opinion storm. The second stage will be operational. Funds will be collected for Castro around the world. No Russian troops need be sent to Cuba; but volunteers will quickly appear from Western Europe, from Asia and especially from Africa, organized in Jose Marti Brigades and even probably in Abraham Lincoln Brigades. U.S. efforts to intercept shiploads of such volunteers will heap further coals on the anti-American conflagration. One ship sunk, and there will be new mobs, new demonstrations, new riots and new brigades.

The model for this operation, of course, will be the Spanish Civil War; but the added dimension of imperialism vs. nationalism will mean that the whole thing is even more made to order for Soviet exploitation. The objective will be to portray the Soviet Union as the patron and protector of nationalists, Negroes, new nations and peace and to portray the Kennedy Administration as a gang of capitalist imperialists maddened by the loss of profits and driven to aggression and war. If this strategem is permitted to succeed, it will abolish all the progress we have made in recent months to win the confidence of the new nations. Even political leaders in other lands who understand our problem and sympathize with our objective will hardly be able to ignore the surge of public anger in their own countries.

7. Countermeasures to nullify the Communist offensive. Our problem is how to protect the post-January 20 impression of the United States as a mature and liberal nation, opposed to imperialism and colonialism and dedicated to justice, peace and freedom.

The operational contribution to this effort--i.e., Cubanizing the operation and doing nothing which would be inconsistent with a spontaneous Cuban effort--has been worked out with skill and care. But the supporting political and diplomatic measures seem still in a highly rudimentary stage.

8. The United States line. The impending Stevenson speech in the United Nations represents our first effort at a political-diplomatic counter-offensive. The essential elements of this speech are (a) that Castro is threatened, not by Americans, but by Cubans justly indignant over his betrayal of his own revolution, (b) that we sympathize with these patriotic Cubans, and (c) that there will be no American participation in any military aggression against Castro's Cuba. If our representatives cannot evade in debate the question whether the CIA has actually helped the Cuban rebels, they will presumably be obliged, in the traditional, pre-U-2 manner, to deny any such CIA activity. (If Castro flies a group of captured Cubans to New York to testify that they were organized and trained by CIA, we will have to be prepared to show that the alleged CIA personnel were errant idealists or soldiers-of-fortune working on their own.)

If this--or something like it--is the general line we are prepared to take and stick to, then the State Department should prepare a definitive statement of this position.

That statement should be communicated first to the information officers of our government likely to be confronted with questions about the Cuban operation--Salinger, Murrow, Tubby, White, Sylvester. A meeting of these officers should be convened in the next few days.

At an appropriate moment, the statement should be communicated to United States Ambassadors, and especially to those in the new nations.

What about the Senate Foreign Relations Committee? What about the House Foreign Affairs Committee? What about Senators and Congressmen in general? Someone should begin to think what they should be told.

A Committee for a Free Cuba should be organized with impressive liberal names to backstop the Revolutionary Council and offset the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

9. Diversionary measures. Some thought should be given to possible diversionary measures which might offset the Soviet propaganda offensive. The arrest of Masferrer was a good stroke./1/ Could not something be done against the Dominican Republic in the next few days?--some new call for action against the Trujillo tyranny? Can we not affirm in some striking way our support for some progressive government in Latin America, like Venezuela? Can we not do something in Africa or Asia which will counteract the Soviet claim that we are unregenerate imperialists? Could something be brought before the United Nations in the next ten days which would permit us to take a strong anti-imperialist position?

/1/On April 8 agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation took into custody Rolando Masferrer, a former pro-Batista Cuban senator and head of a private army.

10. Protection of the President. The character and repute of President Kennedy constitute one of our greatest national resources. Nothing should be done to jeopardize this invaluable asset. When lies must be told, they should be told by subordinate officials. At no point should the President be asked to lend himself to the cover operation. For this reason, there seems to me merit in Secretary Rusk's suggestion that someone other than the President make the final decision and do so in his absence--someone whose head can later be placed on the block if things go terribly wrong.

Someone should start thinking about press conferences.

Q. Mr. President, can you tell us about the reported invasion of Cuba this morning?

A. We are doing our best to get the exact facts. So far as I can tell at present, a number of opponents of the Castro regime have landed on Cuba. I understand that the Revolutionary Council is trying to make contact with these people.

Q. Sir, according to the newspapers, the rebel forces were trained in American camps and supplied by American agencies.

A. There have been many thousands of Cuban refugees in Florida in these last months. I have no doubt that many of them have been determined to do what they can at the earliest possible moment to restore freedom to their homeland. They have the sympathy of American citizens in this effort--just as the forces of Castro enjoyed similar sympathy three years ago when they were conducting their rebellion against Batista. I suppose that, just as the Castro forces got money and arms from sources in the United States, these new rebels may well have too. But, so far as I can tell, this is a purely Cuban operation. I doubt whether Cuban patriots in exile would have to be stimulated and organized by the United States in order to persuade them to liberate their nation from a Communist dictator.

Q. Mr. President, have you any plans for the recognition of the Revolutionary Council as a provisional government?

A. None at this time.

Q. Mr. President, is CIA involved in this affair?

A. As I said a moment ago, I imagine that elements in the United States helped these opponents of Castro, as they helped Castro himself in 1958. I can assure you that the United States Government has no intention of using force to overthrow the Castro regime or of contributing force for that purpose unless compelled to do so in the interests of self-defense. [Hardly satisfactory: it is imperative that a better formula be worked out before your next press conference.]/2/

/2/Brackets in the source text.

Q. Mr. President, would you say that, so far as Cuba is concerned, the U.S. has been faithful to its treaty pledges against intervention in other countries? Would you say that it has resolutely enforced the laws forbidding the use of U.S. territory to prepare revolutionary action against another state?

A. ????

11. Protection against involvement. A great danger is that U.S. prestige will become committed to the success of the rebellion: that, if the rebellion appears to be failing, the rebels will call for U.S. armed help; that members of Congress will take up the cry; and that pressures will build up which will make it politically hard to resist the demand to send in the Marines. If we do this, then our intervention will become blatant and obvious and the political consequences almost irreparable. We will have presented the Soviet Union with an American Hungary.

The first protection against step-by-step involvement is to convince the Cuban leaders that in no foreseeable circumstances will we send in U.S. troops. U.S. prestige will not be publicly committed to the success of the operation until we recognize a provisional government; so we must tell the Revolutionary Council that it cannot expect immediate U.S. recognition; that recognition will only come when they have a better than 50-50 chance of winning under their own steam; that this is a fight which Cubans will have in essence to win for themselves. These points must be made clearly and emphatically; my present impression is that the exiles expect recognition as soon as they land in Cuba.

When senatorial voices are raised demanding overt U.S. intervention, our people must be primed to oppose this demand.

12. Support of Free Cuba. If this operation should succeed, the United States will acquire full responsibility for post-Castro Cuba. The eyes of the world will be fixed on Cuba, as they were never fixed, for example, on post-Communist Guatemala. We simply will not be able to afford another Castillo Armas. If the post-Castro regime begins by devoting its first attention to owners of expropriated properties and to foreign investors; if it kicks the ordinary people off the beaches and out of the hotels; if it tries to turn back the social and economic clock--such things would triumphantly document the Soviet contention that the American motive in overthrowing Castro was to make Cuba safe again for American capitalism.

I personally do not have great confidence in the competence of the Revolutionary Council. Their statements and manifestos do not up to this point exhibit much realistic understanding of the social and economic problems they would encounter in post-Castro Cuba. Their approach seems essentially legalistic; they are thinking in terms of the assurances of liberties to the professional and business classes. They have done very little to reassure the lower classes that the social and economic gains of the Castro period will not be reversed.

If we are not going to be cursed throughout the underdeveloped world as unregenerate imperialists, post-Castro Cuba will have to be at least as progressive as Betancourt's Venezuela. The Revolutionary Council must be made to understand this. Above all, we must begin thinking very quickly of a man sufficiently astute, aggressive and influential to go to Habana as U.S. Ambassador and make sure that the new regime gets off on a socially progressive track.

13. Emergency economic program. The civil conflict will probably create much disorganization and havoc. The exact economic state of post-Castro Cuba cannot, of course, be predicted. But economics somewhere should be at work on a series of relief and reconstruction programs pegged at various levels of need; and someone should be checking the immediate availability of the commodities necessary to meet the requirements. Someone else should be drafting the necessary legislation. We ought to have a look at these things in the next week or so.

In addition, another group of economists should be working on a long-range development plan for Cuba to serve as a guide for the post-Castro government. The main sketch for such a plan should be ready by May 1.

Arthur Schlesinger, jr./3/

/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

87. Operation Order From the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (Dennison) to the Commander of Special Task Group 81.8 (Clark)


Norfolk, April 10, 1961.

//Source: Naval Historical Center, Area Files, Bumpy Road Materials. Top Secret; Limited Distribution; CO Eyes Only/By Hand. The order was signed for Dennison by Vice Admiral Fitzhugh Lee. Special Task Group 81.8 was commanded by Rear Admiral John E. Clark. The Task Group was composed of: Carrier Unit 81.8.1, USS Essex (CVS-9); Destroyer Unit 81.8.2, commanded by Captain G. M. Slonim, composed of USS Waller (DDE-466), USS Conway (DDE-507), USS Cony (DDE-508), USS Eaton (DDE-510), USS Bache (DDE-470), USS Beale (DDE-471), and USS Murray (DDE-576); Convoy Escort Unit 81.8.3, commanded by Captain R. P. Crutchfield, composed of USS Eaton (DDE-510) and USS Murray (DDE-576); Amphibious Support Unit 81.8.4, commanded by Commander R. Cousins, composed of USS San Marcos (LSD-25); and Replenishment Unit 81.8.8, com-manded by Captain P.K. Blesh, composed of USS Elokomin (AO-55).

[Here follows the text of Operation Order 25-61, Annex A, and Appendix I to Annex A. The operation order outlines the units involved in the operation, the overall situation and intent of the operation, the type of friendly and unfriendly forces involved, and the tasks to be undertaken. Annex A briefly outlines the Concept of Operations, including the stipulation that "U.S. Naval vessels and aircraft will not enter Cuban Territorial Waters or airspace (three mile limit)." Appendix I to Annex A presents, in outline form, with scheduled times listed, a detailed Table of Events from the point at which the Cuban Expeditionary Force was scheduled to embark to the transfer to landing craft off the coast of Cuba.]

Appendix II to Annex A


1. DD's assigned to provide area coverage of the CEF will avoid overt association with the CEF ships/1/ as follows:

/1/The ships of the Cuban Expeditionary Force were identified in Operation Order 25-61 as Blagar and Barbara J, which were described as ex-U.S. Navy LCIs, SS Caribe, SS Atlantico, SS Houston, and SS Rio Escondido, identified as WW II Liberty hulls, but it was subsequently established that they were not. The LCIs would be flying Nicaraguan ensigns and the merchant ships would be flying Liberian ensigns.

(a) During daylight hours. Maintain maximum practicable range ahead of CEF ships and use patrol courses and speeds to provide protection but not appear to be screening the CEF.

(b) During hours of darkness. DD's may take station with respect to the CEF ships to provide adequate protection.

(c) DD's will not be used to support the landing operation and will not close within 20 miles of the objective area. After withdrawal of TG 81.8.4 from Point Oldsmobile/2/ all DD's will proceed to join CTG 81.8.

/2/Appendix III to Annex A gives the coordinates for the codeworded reference points listed in the operation order. Point Oldsmobile is 22-01.5N, 81-02W.

2. Surface and sub-surface rules of engagement as follows:

(a) Prior to rendezvous of CEF ships at Point Zulu:/3/

/3/The coordinates for Point Zulu are not given in the operation order.

(1) If intervention by US forces is required to protect the CEF ships from surface attack or to prevent their capture, US forces will intervene as necessary to protect the CEF ship(s).

(2) This intervention will cancel the landing operation and TG 81.8 ships will take measures short of firing on CEF ships to cause them to withdraw to a port to be designated by the JCS upon receipt of the report of intervention.

(3) Subsequent to intervention and withdrawal, TG 81.8 DD's will maintain close escort of the CEF ships to provide protection and witness compliance with the withdrawal order.

(4) US forces will open fire only if CEF ship(s) is attacked.

(b) After rendezvous of CEF ships at Point Zulu on D-1 Day and until convoy has moved to a point within 20 miles of the objective area, a DD commanding officer will:

(1) Place his ship between the convoy and any suspicious or Castro surface craft sighted.

(2) Warn the craft not to approach within gun range of the convoy.

(3) If the surface craft persists in closing the convoy, the DD will intervene as necessary to protect the CEF ships, then follow the instructions set forth in paragraph 2 (a) (2) and (3) above.

(c) Intervention by TG 81.8 DD's after the CEF convoy has moved to a point within 20 miles of the objective area will be limited to that required to assist CTU 81.8.4 at his request.

3. The CAP pilots and air controllers will be instructed as follows:

(a) CAP will be stationed so that it will not appear to be covering the CEF ships.

(b) Air rules of engagement are as follows:

(1) Any unidentified aircraft approaching within radar range of CEF ships and closing will be investigated.

(2) If investigation reveals the aircraft to be Castro's, the investigating aircraft will make successive close passes ensuring that the Castro aircraft is aware of his presence.

(3) If Castro aircraft maintains course to close CEF ship(s), CAP will continue to make close passes in an attempt to divert.

(4) If Castro aircraft commences firing on the CEF ship(s) or opens its bomb bays and commences a bomb run, CAP will open fire.

Robert L. Dennison/4/

Admiral, U.S. Navy

/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

[Here follow Appendix III to Annex A, which outlines reference points; Annex B, which deals with communications; and Annex C, which briefly summarizes intelligence relating to the operation.]

88. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State

New York, April 10, 1961, 8 p.m.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4-1061. Confidential; Priority.

2803. Cuba. Padilla Nervo/1/ (Mexico) came to see me Sunday to report that he had been asked to join in co-sponsoring an African-Asian resolution on Cuba along with Morocco, UAR and Indonesia. He told me his FonMin had approved Mexican sponsorship if US did not object. He did not seem to be very much involved in the matter, but advanced several arguments as to why a res like the Chile-Ecuador res of 4 Jan 1961/2/ would be desirable.

/1/Luis Padilla Nervo, Permanent Representative of Mexico at the United Nations.

/2/See Document 10.

In first place, he insists that OAS does not exclude in any way access by an American state to UN before OAS consideration. He said this view is universally shared. He said also that if any res called for peaceful solution they would have to vote for it even if they did not cosponsor. The idea that such a res admitted the existence of a dispute which we denied, he said, would appeal to few in view of recent newspaper reports of American encouragement for counter revolutionary activities.

Finally, he made the point that if the res is not adopted by UN, Cuba can come back over and over again as they already have done, and if a res were adopted, the next step would be in the OAS.

He handed me a draft of a res which we are transmitting by separate telegram./3/ When I demurred to operative para 1, he suggested that perhaps it would be more acceptable if UN merely expressed the hope our difficulties with Cuba would be resolved by peaceful means.

/3/The Mexican draft resolution was transmitted to the Department in telegram 2804, April 10. The operative paragraphs of the resolution read as follows:

"1. Recommends to the Governments of the Republic of Cuba and of the USA that they make every effort to resolve their differences by peaceful means;

"2. Urges member states to refrain from any action which might aggravate the present tension between the two countries." (Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4-1061)

Finally, he suggested for our consideration the appointment of a GOC/4/ of Latin American states either named by the Pres of GA or including same ones named by Costa Rican conference, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil and Chile./5/

/4/Good Offices Committee.

/5/See footnote 5, Document 52.

At our meeting today I told him that we were still strongly opposed to any res for the familiar reasons, and he assured me he would talk to his FonMin tonight and implied in circumstances they would not co-sponsor an ASAF/6/ res but if one were submitted anyway, they would probably have to vote in favor. He added while he still believed in validity of his arguments, he would state forcibly to FonMin Tello US was strongly opposed to any res and said he would let us know the result of his conversation.



89. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State

New York, April 11, 1961, 9 p.m.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4-1161. Confidential; Priority.

2821. Cuba. Yost met with Freitas Valle (Brazil), Amadeo (Argentina), Sosa Rodriguez (Venezuela), Padilla Nervo (Mexico), Fabregat (Uruguay), Schweitzer (Chile), Araujo (Colombia)/1/ to discuss Cuban item.

/1/U.N. Representatives Cyro de Freitas-Valle, Mario Amadeo, Carlos Sosa Rodriguez, Luis Padilla Nervo, Enrique Rodrigues Fabregat, and Daniel Schweitzer. Araujo was not listed by the United Nations as a Representative of Colombia.

Sosa Rodriguez said Guinea, without as far as he knew any LA co-sponsor, had planned table res this afternoon. Res was based on Chile-Ecuador SC draft./2/ He had asked Guinea delay submission to which Guinea had agreed. Sosa Rodriguez said LAs did not want to be faced with ASAF res and wanted be in position ask ASAFs to delay because LAs had res of their own. Rodriguez considered debate so explosive that he could not imagine it being conducted completely without res. He said LAs needed firm ground on which to stand in event Cuba or socialists presented res which because of reasonableness and conformance with Charter LAs would be unable to oppose.

/2/See Document 10.

Freitas Valle said he had visited Roa (Cuba) who was almost voiceless, running fever, very nervous and planning to speak Thurs. Roa told Freitas Valle he did not intend propose res but Cuba prepared negotiate with US. Roa told Padilla Nervo Brazilian Pres had sent message to Cuban Pres to effect Brazil would not allow anything to be done against Cuba (it was not clear in what context this was meant whether in UN or outside UN). Freitas Valle said he had proposed to Roa he might wish to return to SC and find out if new US admin had changed position re Cuba but Roa had demurred. Freitas Valle said Roa said Cuba did not want problem in OAS as this organization dominated by US. Freitas Valle's impression was Roa was nervous and discouraged and desirous negotiate with US.

Padilla Nervo said LAs did not want reasonable res conforming to Charter presented by socialists as either to vote for or against it would align LAs on Cuba or US side which would produce unfavorable reaction with local public opinion. He said LAs did not want to pass judgment on situation but wanted res in order to block item being passed to SC. Furthermore, lack of res in debate would be attributed to US with unfavorable reactions LA public opinion. Schweitzer pointed out that res would give focus to debate and give speakers something to lean on.

Amadeo told group he had given text of proposed LA res to Yost./3/

/3/The text of the Argentine draft resolution was transmitted to the Department in telegram 2808, April 10. (Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4-1061)

Yost reiterated US did not desire res because it served to dignify Cuban complaint and said he had sent text given him by Amadeo to Dept for comment. He said in view LAs feeling res unavoidable US desirous consult closely with LAs. He said we expected specific comments on Amadeo draft tomorrow morning. In general, we were concerned about paras referring to Cuba and US./4/ We anxious to find language which in no way limited controversy to US and Cuba because we considered situation encompassed entire hemisphere. Sosa Rodriguez agreed problem belonged in OAS but each nation must have access to UN. Yost agreed to meet with group 10:30 tomorrow morning with specific comments Amadeo text.

/4/Numbered paragraphs 3 and 7, which concerned USUN in the resolution transmitted in telegram 2808, read as follows:

(3) "Deeply concerned by the present situation existing between Cuba and the United States of America;" and

(7) "Urges all other members to refrain from whatever action that could aggravate the existing tension between Cuba and the United States of America." (Ibid.)

Comment: Dept suggested res/5/ had not arrived in time for Yost to take up with LAs at mtg.

/5/See Document 90.


90. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations

Washington, April 11, 1961, 9:26 p.m.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4-1161. Confidential; Verbatim Text. Drafted in ARA/RPA by Jamison and in IO/UNP by Sisco. Cleared by Coerr and Cleveland. Pouched to all posts in the American Republics.

1981. Re Cuba. On basis Pedersen-Sisco telecon, we understand that 12 LAs which have diplomatic relations with Cuba have caucused and have agreed that a resolution on Cuban situation should be submitted. It our further understanding that if LAs submit resolution Padillo Nervo would not join with Afro-Asian effort directed towards resolution contained urtel 2804./1/ Department, of course, regrets that it has not been possible convince LAs to refrain from submission resolution on this matter, despite your efforts and those which have been made in capitals. In light foregoing therefore, you requested see Amadeo and other key selected LAs with view to (a) assuring that no resolution submitted by LAs before full consultation with us; and (b) obtaining their agreement any resolution should be along lines described Deptel 1913./2/ As indicated Deptel 1913, we believe any resolution on this matter should be addressed to fact that Communist tyranny imposed on people has driven thousands of Cubans, many of them original supporters of Castro's revolutionary regime, from their homeland. Cuban people have been and continue to be subjected to destruction and violation of their human rights and liberty which repressive dictatorship in Communist mold cannot tolerate. In short, if there is to be a resolution, it should put this whole matter in proper perspective by focusing on root cause of difficulties.

/1/See footnote 3, Document 88.

/2/Dated April 4. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.37/4-461)

Following is suggested redraft Argentine draft resolution. As you will note from changes contained therein, we have sought wherever possible to retain Amadeo's language. Changes are designed to expose falsity assumption dispute is basically bilateral and to emphasize above described approach. While we recognize that proposed changes may go further than some of LAs may be willing to go, we believe revised resolution should be put to Amadeo in first instance.

"The General Assembly,

Having heard the statements by the Minister of State of Cuba, by the Permanent Representative of the United States of America, and by others;

Taking into account the communication addressed by the Secretary General of the OAS to the Secretary General of the United Nations, dated 7 November 1960;/3/

/3/U.N. doc. S/4559.

Deeply concerned by the present tensions in the Western Hemisphere which are largely the product of extracontinental intervention;

Noting that the OAS has condemned emphatically the intervention or threat of intervention by extracontinental powers in the affairs of the American Republics;

Noting the conditions of tyranny in Cuba in which freedom and justice have been denied to Cubans and human rights violated;

Noting that many thousands of Cuban citizens have sought and gained refuge from tyranny imposed by their government in close alignment with extracontinental totalitarian powers, and that these Cuban citizens understandably seek the establishment of conditions of freedom and justice within Cuba;

Considering that the Member States of the United Nations have the obligation to find solutions to their controversies through negotiation and other peaceful means prescribed in the Charter of the United Nations, and that this should be done in accordance with principles of freedom and justice for all concerned;

Taking also into account that the Organization of American States aims, amongst other objectives, to promote the solution of conflicts between their members through peaceful means and to achieve a system of individual liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man;

1. Expresses the hope that the Member States of the Organization of American States will provide all the necessary assistance to reach a solution of the problems conforming with the principles and purposes of the Organization of American States and the Charter of the United Nations;

2. Urges all other members to refrain from whatever action that could aggravate the existing tensions in the Western Hemisphere."


[end of document]


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