569. Memorandum of Discussion at the 454th Meeting of the National Security Council, Newport, Rhode Island, August 1, 19601

[Here follows discussion of matters unrelated to Cuba.]

In Cuba, Mr. Dulles said, the most pressing question was the enigma of Castro’s health. He had no definite information on this point. He believed, however, that Castro was not well and that he was under the control of the communists from the physical standpoint. In other words, it was probable that Castro was no longer his own master. [4 sentences (9 lines) not declassified]

Mr. Gray asked whether there was any speculation that Fidel Castro’s illness had been caused by a bullet. Mr. Dulles said there was no confirmation of this. Mr. Douglas said that it had been reported that Castro was shot on July 29. Mr. Dulles said that such an occurrence was not impossible.

Secretary Anderson asked whether the counter-revolutionaries in Cuba would not make greater progress if Guevara took over, inasmuch as it is Castro not Guevara who has the great popular appeal. Mr. Dulles agreed that if Fidel disappeared, the popularity of the revolution would be decreased. Secretary Anderson asked whether there was any merit in the idea of getting the Latin American Ambassadors to Cuba to assure Castro that he would be accorded asylum in the event he found himself in danger. Perhaps we could fly Castro out of Cuba and get him on our side.

Secretary Dillon reported that there had recently been a quiet rapprochement between Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Castro is now opposed to any anti-Trujillo action in the OAS because he fears that similar proceedings will subsequently be taken against Cuba. Accordingly, we may find Cuba and the Dominican Republic acting together in the OAS.

[Page 1040]

[3 sentences (7 lines) not declassified] Cuba has called off the “Congress of the Hungry” and the Youth Congress is not getting on too well.2

[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 August 4.
  2. This discussion of Cuba, as well as other subjects discussed during the briefing by Dulles, constitutes NSC Action No. 2277. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)