65. Telegram From the Embassy in Cuba to the Department of State1

846. For Rubottom. I feel it duty of Embassy point out that, under present US arms policy toward Cuba, relationships between Cuba and US becoming more and more strained and that the only beneficiaries of this policy in the end may turn out to be the Communists.

Re Deptel 7152 under which I have asked Cubans withdraw all MAP-trained personnel, equipment from use against rebels Oriente. Already evident that GOC extremely reluctant take such action. They feel it would result in decimation Air and Navy forces capability as they are now constituted and severe weakening of ground forces. 75 percent pilots in Cuban AF have received MAP training in US schools of one type or another and virtually all AF technicians and key support personnel, both officers and enlisted men, have received MAP training in US schools, as have Deputy Chief of AF and most unit commanders. Practically total combat power Cuban Navy is MAP supported. In Army percentage with [is] relatively small but individuals occupy key positions and are indispensable.

It has been policy of missions tour assimilation of MAP-trained personnel throughout respective services in order that training they have received be passed on for general improvement of services, [sic]

Line of action proposed Deptel 715 (if carried to final conclusion) could not help eventually destroying existing US-Cuban military relationships—current status of which leaves much to be desired in that

Cuban Government has been obliged purchase non-standard arms equipment from sources other than US.
Cuban AF is presently negotiating for purchase some 20 “Sea Furies” presumably from Great Britain.
For first time since current mission establishment has been in operation, key Cuban military personnel have spoken in manner to indicate cancellation of mission contract is receiving active discussion. Cuban Army liaison officer recently stated that only reason mission contract has not already been cancelled was propaganda value to rebel organizations.
We have received indications that Cuban AF will decline training spaces offered in US for immediate future, largely as manifestation of its resentment toward current arms policy.

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In brief Deptel 715 requires GOC accept requirement that MAP-trained Cubans may not fight in defense their own country to which these personnel have sworn allegiance but may only fight in “hemispheric defense”. It is extremely doubtful that this position will be acceptable to the GOC now or ever.

In conclusion believe requirements set forth in 715 cannot be accepted by GOC and predictable results of trying obtain GOC concurrence will be:

Refusal of GOC accept propositions laid out in 714 [715] or similar propositions given GOC informal note.
GOC will be forced continue buying military equipment from countries other than US with resulting decrease US influence over period of years.
Weakening of goodwill between US and GOC.
Possible cancellation of US mission contracts by GOC.

Suggest I be granted authority recommend to GOC their sending supplementary note stating they have not violated intent of agreement because they consider current actions as contribution to hemisphere defense since they are (1) combatting elements in league with communism (2) protecting lives and public and private property—including US-owned (3) attempting prevent violent overthrow GOC rather than change GOC through free and open elections.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.5–MSP/6–1659. Secret; Niact.
  2. Supra.
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