Learn about the beta

281. Editorial Note

On April 15, Fidel Castro arrived at Washington National Airport where he was met by Assistant Secretary Rubottom. Among those in Castro’s party were Minister of Finance Rufo Lopez Fresquet and Castro’s adviser, Teresa Casuso. For their recollections of the visit to Washington, see Rufo Lopez Fresquet, My 14 Months With Castro (Cleveland: World Publishing Co., 1966), pages 105–112; and Teresa Casuso, Cuba and Castro (New York: Random House, 1961), pages 207–216.

Sixteen briefing papers were prepared in advance of Castro’s visit; see supra . They dealt with the following subjects: “Present Political Situation in Cuba,” “Communist Activities in Cuba Under the Castro Regime,” “Authorization of Arms Shipments to Cuba,” “Extradition to Cuba from the U.S. of Alleged ‘War Criminals’,” “Organized Labor in Cuba,” “Cuba and the OAS,” “Cuban Economic and Financial Situation,” “Sugar,” “Trade Relations and Tariff,” “Problem of Rice,” “Problem of Flour,” “American Investments in Cuba,” “Summary of the Present Status of Cuban Armed Forces,” “Guantanamo Naval Base,” “Nicaro,” and “U.S.-Cuban History & Piatt Amendment.” The briefing paper on the “Cuban Economic and Financial Situation,” dated April 13, discussed Pazos’ memorandum of April 7 (Document 272) requesting economic assistance and set forth the following recommendations:

“It is suggested that we reply to a request for a balance of payments loan with a statement that we cannot consider such loans until a satisfactory stabilization agreement has been arranged with the IMF.

[Page 470]

We should make it clear that this is in accordance with our Latin American financial policy that balance of payments loans are made only after the best technical and professional advice of the IMF has been fully utilized. All Latin American countries receiving balance of payments loans have entered into such commitments with the IMF prior to obtaining loans from official U.S. sources.

“As for the need for economic development loans, we should be prepared to express a willingness to study such loans on a case by case basis taking into account the availability of private capital for these projects. We may wish to point out that policies which reduce the inflow of private capital for investment do not necessarily assure that official capital is prepared to enter its place. Also it may be suggested that Government rate-fixing authority where used will need to be exercised in such a manner as to assure the repayment of any development loans.”

A set of the briefing papers is in Department of State, ARA Special Assistant Files: Lot 62 D 24, Briefing Book for Castro Visit.