438. Editorial Note

The draft statement to be issued by the President underwent further revision as a result of telephone conversations between Secretary Herter and Assistant Secretary Rubottom at 6:20 and 6:40 p.m. on January 25 and between Herter and Goodpaster at 8:55 and 9:10 a.m. on January 26. (Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations) A revised text as sent to the President in the evening of January 25 is in Department of State, Central Files, 611.37/1–2560. A copy of this revised text, with further handwritten changes apparently made by the President, is in Eisenhower Library, Project “Clean Up” Records, Cuba.

The final, approved statement was released to the press at the President’s news conference held in the Executive Office Building at 10:31 a.m. on January 26. For the transcript of the press conference, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960–61, pages 125–134.

In his statement, the President expressed his concern at the deterioration of U.S. relations with Cuba, “a country with whose people the people of the United States have enjoyed and expect to continue to enjoy a firm and mutually beneficial friendship.” The President restated U.S. policy toward Cuba, which included:

Strict U.S. adherence to the “policy of nonintervention in the domestic affairs of other countries, including Cuba.”
Continued enforcement of U.S. laws, “including those which reflect commitments under inter-American treaties.” The President noted the number of invasions mounted from Cuban territory directed against other countries, “in several cases attended with serious loss of life and property damage in the territory of those other countries.”
U.S. concern regarding the tendency of Cuban Government spokesmen, including Prime Minister Castro, “to create the illusion of aggressive acts and conspiratorial activities aimed at the Cuban Government and attributed to United States officials or agencies.”
U.S. recognition of the right of the Cuban Government to “undertake those social, economic, and political reforms which, with due regard for their obligations under international law, they may think desirable.”
In cases where the rights of U.S. citizens under Cuban or international law have been disregarded, U.S. commitment to seek solution of disagreements through ‘diplomatic negotiations” or “other appropriate international procedures.”

The President concluded his statement as follows: “I should like only to add that the United States Government has confidence in the ability of the Cuban people to recognize and defeat the intrigues of international communism which are aimed at destroying democratic [Page 768] institutions in Cuba and the traditional and mutually beneficial friendship between the Cuban and American peoples.” (Ibid., pages 134–136)