The publication Foreign Relations of the United States constitutes the official record of the foreign policy of the United States. The volumes in the series include, subject to necessary security considerations, all documents needed to give a comprehensive record of the major foreign policy decisions of the United States together with appropriate materials concerning the facts that contributed to the formulation of policies. Records in the files of the Department of State are supplemented by documentation from other government agencies involved in the formulation of foreign policy.

The basic documentary diplomatic record printed in the volumes of the series is edited by the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, Department of State. The editing is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and in accordance with the following official guidance first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925:

There may be no alteration of the text, no deletions without indicating the place in the text where the deletion is made, and no omission of facts which were of major importance in reaching a decision. Nothing may be omitted for the purpose of concealing or glossing over what might be regarded by some as a defect of policy. However, certain omissions of documents are permissible for the following reasons:

To avoid publication of matters that would tend to impede current diplomatic negotiations or other business.
To condense the record and avoid repetition of needless details.
To preserve the confidence reposed in the Department by individuals and by foreign governments.
To avoid giving needless offense to other nationalities or individuals.
To eliminate personal opinions presented in despatches and not acted upon by the Department. To this consideration there is one qualification: in connection with major decisions it is desirable, where possible, to show the alternative presented to the Department before the decision was made.

[Page IV]

Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, Volume V

The initial research, compilation, and editing of this volume took place in 1980 and 1981. Before selecting documents, the editors developed a research plan based on the topics to be included and on official records and other documentation in the Department of State and at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library at Abilene, Kansas.

The documents printed in this volume and in a microfiche supplement present the record of basic U.S. policies toward South America, Central America, and the Caribbean area, and of the major incidents in U.S. relations with the nations in the region. The documentation on multilateral issues and regional U.S. policies focuses on U.S. concerns in the years 1958–1960 over economic development problems, political instability, the Castro regime in Cuba, Communist activity, the U.S. role in hemisphere defense, and the role of the Organization of American States in promoting stability and peace in the region. The good will trips by President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, and Dr. Milton Eisenhower, which reflect these concerns, are documented in some detail. U.S. relations with Cuba and the U.S. attitude toward the regime of Fidel Castro are extensively documented in volume VI.

In selecting documents for this volume, the editors concentrated on National Security Council and Cabinet meetings, NSC and Department of State policy papers and memoranda that set forth policy options. The editors also selected finished intelligence reports (such as National Intelligence Estimates and intelligence briefings to the NSC) on which policy decisions were made, communications with foreign governments and international organizations, and policy recommendations and analyses sent by U.S. missions abroad to the Department of State.

Because the focus of the volume is on major diplomatic aspects of U.S. policies toward the region, the editors did not document the U.S. military assistance program, intelligence activities, or detailed aspects of economic and cultural relations. They did not, therefore, seek expanded access to foreign affairs records of agencies outside of the Department of State, the White House, and the National Security Council.

The editors had complete access to the records of the Department of State including all the central indexed decimal files of the Department of State and the various special decentralized files (lot files) relevant to the volume. At the Eisenhower Library, the editors gave particular attention to the Ann Whitman file, with its master collection of National Security Council records, Cabinet papers, and other important Presidential records. The editors reviewed other pertinent records at the Eisenhower Library, including papers of Secretaries of State John Foster Dulles and Christian A. Herter, and records of the [Page V] President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. The editors believe that no documentation at the Eisenhower Library relevant to the subject matter was overlooked or withheld. A complete list of the files consulted in preparing this volume is on pages XIIIXX.

This printed volume includes compilations on U.S. relations with Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Compilations on relations with the remaining Central and South American and Caribbean nations (except Cuba) are included in the microfiche supplement. Compilations on bilateral relations in this volume and in the microfiche supplement include the texts of telegrams from the Department of State to posts in the region containing instructions and policy guidance; telegrams from posts to the Department of State containing reports, analyses, and recommendations; the texts of policy memoranda and reports; and memoranda of conversation between U.S. and foreign officials. The printed volume includes a narrative summary of each compilation that appears in the microfiche supplement, and each summary includes references to specific documents. The printed volume and the microfiche supplement will have separate indexes.

The editors of the volume are confident that the documents printed here and in the microfiche supplement provide a comprehensive and accurate record of U.S. diplomatic policies toward the Caribbean, Central America, and South America region. The declassification review process for the documents originally selected for this volume, outlined in more detail below, resulted in withholding from publication approximately 3 percent of the manuscript of the printed volume and 4.4 percent of the microfiche supplement.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Incoming telegrams from U.S. missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the Editor in Chief and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Obvious typographical errors are corrected, but other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an omission in roman type. Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate text that has been omitted because it deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or because it remained classified after the declassification review process (in italic type). The amount of material [Page VI] not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. The source footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President and/or his major policy advisers read it.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in this volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and summarize and provide citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when applicable to supplement the official record.

Declassification Review Procedures

Declassification review of the documents selected for publication was conducted by the Division of Historical Documents Review, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Department of State. The review was made in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the criteria established in Executive Order 12356 regarding:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; and
a confidential source.

Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and appropriate foreign governments regarding documents of those governments. The principle guiding declassification review is to release as much information as is consistent with contemporary requirements of national security and sound foreign relations.

N. Stephen Kane supervised the planning and compilation of this volume under the direction of Paul Claussen. Former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon supervised the final preparation of the volume for [Page VII] publication. Mr. Kane compiled the sections on general policies regarding Latin America, hemisphere defense, economic and technical assistance, political developments in Central America and the Caribbean, and relations with Colombia. Carl N. Raether compiled the sections on trips to Latin America by the Vice President, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, and the President, as well as on U.S. relations with Honduras and Panama. Evans Gerakas prepared compilations on Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru. Other compilations were prepared by Edith James (Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela); Delia Pitts (Mexico); Aaron D. Miller (Argentina, Nicaragua); and Nina J. Noring (Dominican Republic, Haiti). Bret D. Bellamy prepared the lists of sources, abbreviations, and names. Althea W. Robinson and Rita M. Baker performed the technical editing. Barbara A. Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Paul M. Washington, Chief) oversaw production of the volume. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian Bureau of Public Affairs

April 1991