515. Memorandum of Discussion at the 443d Meeting of the National Security Council, High Point Relocation Site, May 5, 19601

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

Mr. Dillon believed the situation in Cuba had shown no improvement, although our plans were proceeding on schedule and rather favorably. Castro’s May Day rally had apparently been less successful than expected. During this rally cheerleaders were necessary in order to whip up the enthusiasm of the crowd. Castro has continued and even extended his attacks on Latin American leaders such as Betancourt and Kubitschek. We make sure these attacks, which are broadcast on the Cuban radio, reach the ears of the Latin American leaders who are attacked. Finally Mr. Dillon reported that a Federal Grand Jury had indicted Shergalis and at least one other person for the recent flight into Cuba.

Mr. Dulles said he understood that Cuba had proposed Cardona as Cuban Ambassador to the U.S. [2 sentences (2½ lines) not declassified] Mr. Dillon wondered whether it would be to our interest to expedite the appointment of Cardona as Ambassador to the U.S. since he appeared to be favorable to the U.S. Mr. Dulles said he understood that we intended to delay any action on Cardona but he thought it [Page 909] would be desirable to expedite his appointment as Cuban Ambassador to the U.S. However, he thought Cardona might not accept the appointment unless Castro agrees to attempt to bring about better relations with the U.S.

Mr. Gray said he had seen a report that the Cuban Government wanted to discuss the purchase of the Nicaro nickel facility. Mr. Dillon said after investigation we had discovered that our legal position with respect to the Nicaro facility is not as sound as we had thought it was. It appeared that we entered into the Nicaro operation without any formal agreement between the U.S. and Cuba. The concessions we received from Cuba were based on a 1953 decree by Batista. Since our legal position is not good, we are ready to talk about selling Nicaro. The President said he thought Nicaro existed before 1953. Mr. Dillon said Nicaro existed in Cuba before 1953 but that the 1953 decree provided special tax concessions. Mr. Stans asked what the Cuban Government would use for payment if it bought Nicaro. Mr. Dillon said he supposed the Cuban Government would attempt to pay for the facility with Cuban bonds. Mr. Dillon then added that a group of the wives of political prisoners held by Castro had recently been diverted from picketing the White House to an appearance before the Peace Committee of the OAS. This group had staged an effective scene in the OAS and had then met with a group of Chilean students about to go to Cuba.

Mr. Gray, referring to Nicaro again, said it seemed to him that acceptance of Cuban bonds in payment of this facility would tend to solidify Cuban policy. Mr. Dillon said that while Cuba would probably prefer to use Cuban bonds in payment, we might not accept them.

The National Security Council:2

Noted and discussed recent developments with regard to the situation in Cuba.

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

Marion W. Boggs
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Boggs.
  2. The following paragraph constitutes NSC Action No. 2228. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)