224. White House Special Staff Note1

From State:

Background of Cuban Revolutionary Leader.—Fidel Castro’s past history indicates that, while motivated by certain ideals, he also has a predilection for violence, relentlessness, and direct independent action to attain his ends. He had participated in several riots and abortive invasions prior to his landing in Oriente Province a year ago. Castro had contacts with Communist-front groups during his university days and there have been continuing reports of possible Communist affiliations on the part of some of his top leaders. However, there is no present firm indication that Castro is a Communist-sympathizer or that the Communists hold a dominant position in his organization. Castro seems to be nationalistic and somewhat socialistic; and although he has criticized alleged US support for Batista, he cannot be said to be personally hostile to the US. Whether this is through conviction or expediency remains to be seen. Castro says he wants only to return Cuba to the path of democracy. It is difficult to believe, however, that he will be satisfied with any political solution in Cuba which does not assign him a prominent position.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Confidential. No drafting or clearance information is given on the source text, which bears the handwritten initials “DE”.