553. Memorandum of a Meeting Between the President and His Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Gray), Newport, Rhode Island, July 12, 1960, 2:12 p.m.1

1. I first discussed the Record of Actions of the NSC meeting2 of 7 July with the President. I told him that there had been considerable interagency discussion about the item on the new program for Latin America. I said I felt that the best way to resolve the question of the Record of Actions on this point was to simply have it conform with the [Page 1008] President’s statement as it had appeared.3 Otherwise, there was no problem with the Record of Actions except that I wanted to make certain on one point. This was the question of whether there was or was not a decision to proceed at some time with full across-the-board economic sanctions against Cuba. The President expressed the view that he was perhaps somewhat at odds with Secretary Anderson on the point because he was not at all sure that economic sanctions would have any real effect on the Castro regime. I pointed out to the President that this was a debatable point but there was another point which needed to be considered which was quite unrelated to the effect on Castro and this was the posture of the United States in the world as well as in other Latin American countries. I said that there were those who believed strongly that at some point we must take strong action against the Cuban dictatorship if only to demonstrate that we would not permit ourselves to be vilified and attacked, our property ex-appropriated, etc.

In any event the President said that he wanted the Record to show that a study should be made as to whether a proclamation was needed for actions which might be taken and a list of actions should be prepared but should not reflect any decision that the actions would be taken.

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries. Top Secret. Prepared by Gray on July 14. Also published in Declassified Documents, 1985, 1983.
  2. See footnote 8, Document 545.
  3. See Document 550.