124. Memorandum of Discussion at the 412th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, July 9, 19591

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and the portion of discussion under agenda item 1, “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security,” concerning the annual estimate of the Soviet nuclear program and an attack on the MAAG station in Saigon.]

Turning to the situation in the Caribbean, Mr. Dulles indicated that there were further reports in concerning efforts based in Cuba against the Dominican Republic. These reports seemed to indicate that the attack might go through Haiti rather than be launched as a frontal attack on the Dominican territory. He also noted recruitment of Dominicans in Venezuela for an attack on the Dominican Republic. Most such groups appeared to be either Communist-led or Communist-infiltrated. The Organization of American States (OAS) was still in a serious quandary as to what its proper role should be. It seemed likely, however, that the majority of governments in the OAS would be willing to see the convening of a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics to deal with the general problem of the situation in the Caribbean, as opposed to a response to the Dominican Republic’s plea that it was being attacked by external enemies. Secretary Herter agreed with this latter estimate and added that steps were already being taken to convene the Foreign Ministers.

Meanwhile, continued Mr. Dulles, Fidel Castro was facing increased domestic unrest in Cuba. He seemed altogether determined to push the application of his agrarian reform law. There were even reports that he might give up the office of Prime Minister for which he regards himself as not very well suited, and concentrate on carrying out the agrarian reform. Mr. Dulles commented that he was strongly inclined to doubt that Castro would take this latter step.

[Here follows agenda item 2, “Basic National Security.”]

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by Gleason.