519. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Rubottom) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Policy Planning (Smith)1


  • Soviet Electronic Tracking Station in Cuba

I am grateful for Mr. Morgan’s memorandum of May 112 stating that there is considerable anxiety in the Pentagon lest the USSR openly or secretly install an electronic tracking station in Cuba.

To date we have no information which would indicate that the Soviets have undertaken such an activity. In the light of the increased close relations maintained by the Government of Cuba and the Soviet Bloc and of the leading positions which Communists and their sympathizers have reached in the Cuban armed forces, intelligence services, and other Cuban agencies, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Soviets would find sympathy if they wished to undertake a covert operation of this type.

At this stage, it might be suggested to Defense officials concerned about this problem that through the USIB they levy on the entire intelligence community a requirement to be alert for any information which might indicate that the Soviets are actually interested in such a project.

Should concrete information be developed that the Soviets have actually initiated work on such a project in Cuba, it would appear to be a matter which would come within the purview of the Rio Treaty, and we would consider in the light of the circumstances prevailing what action would be warranted on multilateral or other basis.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 67 D 548, Cuba 1959–1961. Secret. Drafted by Hill and Devine and initialed by Mallory for Rubottom.
  2. Not printed. (ibid.)