232. Briefing papers used to brief President-elect Kennedy, November 181

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Briefing Papers used by Mr. Dulles and

Mr. Bissell—President-Elect Kennedy

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17 March 1960—President authorized Agency undertake covert action program to replace Castro government with one more devoted to true interests of Cuban people and more acceptable to U.S. in such manner avoid appearance of U.S. intervention.


Four major courses:

a. Creation of unified Cuban opposition.

b. Creation of mass communication facilities for propaganda offensive.

c. Creation of intelligence and action organization within Cuba.

d. Development of paramilitary force with necessary logistical support for military operations on Island.


Government-in-exile as cover and manpower source.

Developed under ostensible private U.S. interests. Unilateral operations to complement group activities.

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We consider requests for support from any anti-Castro (and non-Communist non-Batista) group or individual inside or outside Cuba with demonstrable capability. On 22 June 1960 at Mexico City five prominent anti-Castro groups declared opposition to Castro. [Facsimile Page 3] Group called Democratic Revolutionary Front (FRD).


a. Radio

Major radio mechanism is Swan Island, medium and short-wave broadcasts, 6½ hours of each daily. Under commercial cover. Anti-Trujillo and anti-Castro. Conclusive evidence of effectiveness throughout Cuba, except central Havana, where jammed. Constitutes practically a “Radio Free Cuba.”

b. Other Radio

WRUL: 30 minutes, week day on short wave.

Guatemala: 30 minutes daily on short wave.

WMIE (Miami): Two daily broadcasts on medium wave.

Nicaragua: Clandestine short-wave broadcasts to begin soon.

Seaborne: Irregular clandestine broadcasts.

c. Publications

[less than 1 line not declassified] tabloid from Florida, 17,000 copies weekly circulated in Latin America, including 5,500 mailed into Cuba.

[less than 1 line not declassified] magazine from U.S. resumed publication 7 October in 130,000 copies. ABC certified audit shows a second issue order of 150,000.

[less than 1 line not declassified] weekly newspaper from New York is [Facsimile Page 4] being published in 7,000 copies.

[less than 1 line not declassified] weekly newspaper from Miami.

Other Propaganda Efforts

Assisted in stimulating riotous anti-Communist religious demonstrations on 17 July.

Assisted in issuance of [less than 1 line not declassified] condemning drift toward communism.

Three million leaflets awaiting air drop and sea infiltration.

Special operation in New York during UNGA, including “Caravan of Sorrow” from Miami, student demonstrations, and defection of a Castro agent.

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An instructor cadre of 25 was trained secretly in the Canal Zone and thereafter placed in Guatemala for instruction of up to 500 men in paramilitary operations.

Radio training—21 operators in training in Guatemala for use with paramilitary teams.

Air training—39 pilots for tactical air force at training base in Guatemala with B–26 and C–46 aircraft.

Dissident Groups

Checking and evaluating 12 groups inside Cuba for development unilateral assets. Two air drops of supplies and equipment.

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The initial phase of paramilitary operations envisages the development, support and guidance of dissident groups principally in three provinces of Cuba: Pinar del Rio, Las Villas, and Oriente. These groups will be organized, trained, and led by Agency’s Cuban assets for concerted guerrilla action against the regime. It does not now appear that such action alone will be successful in sparking a successful revolt.

The second phase would be initiated by a combined sea-air assault by FRD forces on Cuba coordinated with general guerrilla activity. This will establish a close-in staging base for future operations.

The last phase, if needed, would be air assault on the Havana area with the guerrilla forces on Cuba moving on the ground into the Havana area.

A contingency plan for overt U.S. military intervention includes planning for the coordinated use of Agency assets.

Maritime ex- and infiltrations started 28 September, with five successes to date.


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Ten provocations identified and contained.

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Staybehind acts—4 in Havana area completed, one used exclusively for ex- and infiltration duties. Two in place in Santiago de Cuba area.

Twenty-two W/T sets cached for staybehind.

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  1. Covert action program to replace Castro government. Secret. 6 pp. CIA, DDO/DDP Files: Job 64–00352R, Box 4, US Govt—President, Memoranda, Letters, Reports re CIA Relations with President and Cabinet.