Editorial Note

By an exchange of notes, signed at Habana, June 26 and July 11, 1952, and entered into force on the latter date, the United States and Cuba agreed that for the present time United States armed forces missions in Cuba would perform the functions of a Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), in accordance with provisions of the United States-Cuban Military Assistance Agreement. The notes were transmitted to the Department of State under cover of despatch 76, from Habana, dated July 14, 1952 (737.5 MSP/7–1452).

In airgram A–273, to Habana, dated February 9, 1953, the Department informed the Embassy that the Department of Defense recommended the establishment in Cuba of a MAAG consisting of 3 officers and 4 enlisted personnel at a cost of $53,000 for an 18-month period, and instructed Ambassador Beaulac to initiate negotiations with the Cuban Government to determine the amount of local currency it would provide to cover United States administrative and operating costs in connection with the proposed MAAG (737.5 MSP/2–953).

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In despatch 1309, from Habana, dated February 19, 1953, Ambassador Beaulac stated that he had “serious objection” to initiating negotiations for the establishment of a separate MAAG in Cuba for the following reasons: (1) the United States was committed not to establish a separate MAAG in Cuba, (2) there was no need for such a group, (3) there were already 38 military personnel in Cuba, in addition to those attached to the Embassy, and a separate MAAG would increase liaison problems and thus retard rather than expedite the MDAP program, and (4) because pressure on Cuba to accept a MAAG might jeopardize the chance of obtaining full military cooperation from Cuba (737.5 MSP/2–1953).

In airgram A–238, to Habana, dated March 20, 1953, the Department informed the Embassy that the Defense Department, after having recalculated its original estimate with respect to the size of a MAAG for Cuba, now recommended a complement of one officer and one enlisted man, and a local currency requirement of $11,700. The Department instructed Ambassador Beaulac to obtain the Cuban Government’s consent to the assignment of a MAAG to Cuba, and to provide the necessary amount of local currency (737.5 MSP/2–1953).

In a note dated June 1, 1953, the Cuban Ministry of State indicated that the Cuban Government, at the present time, was unwilling to provide the local currency required to maintain a separate MAAG in Cuba, because MAAG functions were adequately being performed by the Chief of the United States Air Mission in Cuba, Colonel Fred G. Hook, Jr., who was acting as Chief of MAAG. A copy of the Cuban note was transmitted to the Department of State under cover of despatch 1918, from Habana, dated June 9, 1953, not printed (737.5 MSP/6–953).

The Department’s airgram A–31, to Habana, dated July 27, 1953, contained a Defense Department message in which Defense stressed the necessity of establishing a separate MAAG in Cuba for the purpose of executing its statutory responsibilities with respect to the military assistance program, requested the Embassy to press for the local currency requirement, and recommended that if the Cuban Government continued to decline the United States should consider the indefinite suspension of the Cuban program (737.5 MSP/6–953).

Department of State records indicate that no separate MAAG was established in Cuba during 1953 or 1954.