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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958–1960
Volume VI, Cuba, Document 499


499. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mallory) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Rubottom)11. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4–660. Secret. Drafted by Mallory.

  • SUBJECT
  • The Decline and Fall of Castro

Salient considerations respecting the life of the present Government of Cuba are:

1. The majority of Cubans support Castro (the lowest estimate I have seen is 50 percent).

2. There is no effective political opposition.

3. Fidel Castro and other members of the Cuban Government espouse or condone communist influence.

4. Communist influence is pervading the Government and the body politic at an amazingly fast rate.

5. Militant opposition to Castro from without Cuba would only serve his and the communist cause.

6. The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship.

If the above are accepted or cannot be successfully countered, it follows that every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba. If such a policy is adopted, it should be the result of a positive decision which would call forth a line of action which, while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible, makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.

The principal item in our economic quiver would be flexible authority in the sugar legislation. This needs to be sought urgently. All other avenues should likewise be explored. But first, a decision is necessary as to the line of our conduct. Would you wish to have such a proposal prepared for the Secretary?22. Rubottom initialed the “yes” space provided on the source text.

LDM

1 Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4–660. Secret. Drafted by Mallory.

2 Rubottom initialed the “yes” space provided on the source text.