508. Memorandum From the Secretary of State to the President1

SUBJECT

  • Further Report on Status of Possible OAS Action on Cuba

Active endeavors are continuing to impress upon Latin Americans the nature and seriousness of Communist penetration of Cuba and other disruptive activities of the Cuban Government. Successful presentation of the problem to the OAS calls for not only the careful documentation of a “case” on the Communist and other issues,2 but developing measures likely to be effective in eliminating the danger and convincing a substantial number of Latin American governments that these measures are required. Work is progressing on all these aspects.

There are a variety of specific issues, beginning with the extensive International Communist influence in Cuba, which go beyond those of an essentially Cuban-United States character and which are of importance to international action. Our public posture to date has been well received in Latin America. While many Latin Americans have grave doubts about Castro, the fact remains that such views have not reached the point where we can count on the Latin American support which would be necessary for successful action in the OAS. Among the reasons for this are the tendency to identify the problem as a solely United States-Cuban controversy and the Latin American inclination to underestimate the extent of Communist penetration which even our National Intelligence Estimate3 does not establish as constituting the [Page 900]“domination or control” called for by the pertinent Caracas Resolution.

A memorandum setting forth in greater detail the information summarized above is enclosed.4

Christian A. Herter
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles–Herter Series. Secret. Signed by Herter and initialed by the President. Also published in Declassified Documents, 1983, 252.
  2. The President wrote in the margin at this point: “This has been almost a zero!”
  3. Document 491.
  4. Not printed.