504. Memorandum From Edward E. Rice of the Policy Planning Staff to the Assistant Secretary of State for Policy Planning (Smith)1


  • Cuba and the Dominican Republic

I hope and assume we are readying, for possible use, means for overthrowing the Castro regime; one should always have two strings to one’s bow. The same applies to Trujillo’s regime.

I want to suggest, should it appear in the national interest to set off such operations, that consideration be given to timing them in a way which gives recognition to their interrelationship. The political damage resulting from a US involvement in Cuba could be minimized by our first or simultaneously helping overthrow a hated dictator.

I am inclined to the view that overthrow of the Trujillo regime, accompanied by assumptions or evidence of US involvement, might have some helpfully sobering influence on the Castro regime, though I am not convinced such would surely be the case. Moving in on both regimes simultaneously would be useful in preventing Castro from trying to participate in or take advantage of Trujillo’s overthrow.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/PNSC Files: Lot 62 D 1, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Secret. Drafted and initialed by Rice. Also initialed by Smith.