528. Memorandum of Discussion at the 447th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, June 8, 19601

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

Mr. Dulles believed that Khrushchev’s agreement to visit Cuba was intended as a device to exploit Cuban hostility to the U.S. He did not know whether Khrushchev would actually come to Cuba but if he did come, the date might be July 26, the anniversary of the revolution. Khrushchev is probably waiting for invitations to visit other Latin American countries before setting a date for his visit to Cuba. Sino-Soviet Bloc trade missions and technicians are arriving in Cuba in large numbers. Two major U.S. oil companies, Esso and Texaco, as well as British Shell, have informed the Cuban Government that they will not process Soviet crude oil. The dependents of the U.S. employees of these companies have been evacuated. Cuba will probably take over the Cuban refineries belonging to these companies with a propaganda blast against the U.S. Cuba appears to be granting visas indiscriminately to Bloc nationals. The Bloc is probably preparing to supply arms to Cuba through Czechoslovakia. Castro may recognize Communist China at any time and it is reported that Chou En-lai has accepted an invitation to visit Cuba. Cuban labor and student delegations are visiting Peiping while a number of Cubans are in Communist China for training in military operations and agrarian reform.

President Dorticos visited Venezuela despite Betancourt’s efforts to discourage him. Throughout Latin America the reception of Dorticos on his recent visit was correct but cool. Mr. Dulles felt that on the whole Latin American countries found Castro’s meddling distasteful but were hesitant to criticize him because he appears to have some following in each Latin American country.

[Page 944]

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

Mr. Dillon said that the visit of President Dorticos had been unsuccessful. Dorticos had received a very cool reception. Despite this, the newspaper, Revolucion, in Havana had been printing stories about the triumphal progress of Dorticos, whose reception was alleged to have been more enthusiastic than that of President Eisenhower. The State Department was taking steps to send copies of these articles to the countries visited by Dorticos. The President asked whether any photographs of Dorticos’ reception had been obtained. Mr. Allen said that a number of photographs of Dorticos’ visit showed wide-open spaces where crowds were expected.

Mr. Dillon said that the sugar legislation, the one real weapon we have against Cuba, had been reported out of committee but was in unsatisfactory shape. However, since the legislation had been reported out of committee, Khrushchev had accepted an invitation to visit Cuba. He was hopeful that Representative Cooley would recede from his present position in the light of Khrushchev’s move.

The President wondered whether the U.S. would be able to tolerate the situation if the Soviet Union should have the temerity to conclude a mutual security treaty with Cuba, a development which might take place in view of Castro’s anxiety to make a deal with the USSR.

Mr. Gray then noted that an unfortunate error had been made by some officer in the Caribbean Command, who had sent an uncoded message which quoted classified State Department documents which referred to “possible U.S. moves against Cuba.” There was no indication as yet that Cuba had picked up this message, but it was not unreasonable to suppose that Castro has the message and is waiting for the dramatic moment to reveal it to the world. Mr. Dillon agreed that an unfortunate lapse of security had taken place. The message, quoting classified State Department documents, had been sent out over ordinary Western Union wires. The President said he was very much concerned about security leaks. He felt it might be necessary to determine the persons responsible for such leaks and bring them to trial. Mr. Douglas said a complete investigation was underway. The President said we should always try to forgive one mistake but someone should be made to pay for breaches of security. We were perhaps getting too soft in condoning such breaches. In making this statement he also had in mind speeches being made by various officials. Ten years ago a number of generals who had recently been making speeches would have been discharged from the service.

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

The President said that during the last few months there had been an epidemic of difficulties—Cuba, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Turkey, and Indonesia. It was discouraging to try to help various countries achieve [Page 945] stability and then find that the countries which received the most assistance became the most unstable. Mr. Dillon believed that education and improvement in the standard of living would not necessarily produce conservatism or stability.

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

Marion W. Boggs
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Prepared by Boggs on June 15.