95. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (McElroy)1


  • Cuba
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are seriously concerned with the current status of negotiations for the recovery of U.S. Servicemen kidnapped in Cuba and urge that the following courses of action be undertaken at once:
Remove the restrictions which have been placed on military assistance to the Cuban Government.
Formally request the Cuban Government to effect the recovery within 72 hours of the American citizens and service personnel being held hostage by the Castro insurgents.
Inform the Cuban Government that the United States Government is prepared to offer whatever assistance may be required. The Cuban Government should also be informed that should the Cuban Government be unable to effect the release of the American hostages within the time specified that the United States Government desires the concurrence of the Cuban Government to initiate operations with U.S. forces to recover the American hostages.
Concurrent with a, b, and c above, notify the Castro rebels that, unless the hostages are released within 72 hours, the United States is prepared to intervene.
Concurrent with the above, commence transfer of a U.S. Marine Regimental Landing Team (RLT) to the Guantanamo Naval Base.
It is recommended that you forward a memorandum substantially the same as that contained in the Appendix hereto to the Secretary of State.2

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

N. F. Twining
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: Lot 63 A 1770, McElroy Letters. Top Secret.
  2. Not printed. No record has been found that such a memorandum was sent to the Secretary of State.