240. Memorandum from Ambassador Willauer to Rusk, January 271

[Facsimile Page 1]


  • Meeting of Task Force on Cuban Case

1. I chaired a meeting this morning attended by Mr. W.P. Bundy of Defense, Mr. Tracy Barnes of CIA, and General Gray and two other officers from the Joint Chiefs.

2. I fully briefed Mr. Bundy on the political problems as we now see them and their interrelationship with the operational problems.

3. Mr. Bundy advised that there is a meeting at the White House on the Cuban matter scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow. As of possible usefulness on this meeting, we prepared our task group’s recommendation for Presidential orders or determinations now needed. They are as follows:

A. Formally reconstitute a special group, pursuant to NSC 5412. (Such a group has in the past consisted of appropriate senior officers of the Departments of State and Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs.) Charge this group with urgent responsibility in the Cuban situation, and specifically to set up a Task Force to:

(1) Prepare plans on a national basis to get an acceptable new Cuban Government, including plans for use of US forces as necessary. Continue and expand existing activity under 5412 direction, and prepare fall-back plans to preserve existing assets. (An informal Task Force chaired by Ambassador Willauer has already done much preliminary work.)

(2) Prepare plans for accompanying political action. (Much has been done on this already.)

(3) Consider the degree to which action against the present Dominican Government can and should be combined with action in the Cuban situation.

[Facsimile Page 2]

B. Appoint a high-level Presidential emissary to explore at once the degree of support that can be obtained from other Latin American governments so that they might, in or out of OAS, support action to remove Castro, or at least reject any attempt to condemn such action. This emissary to report within one month, via the Secretary of State, to the Special Group.

[Typeset Page 595]

C. Initiate action for an early Presidential speech, to prepare the way for Latin American support of necessary action, specifically by stating firm US opposition to aggressive dictatorships in Latin America, whether of the Right or Left; and most particularly when they are acting for, or in concert with, the International Communist Conspiracy, as is the case with both Castro and Trujillo.

  1. Recommendations from meeting on the Task Force on Cuba. Top Secret. 2 pp. DOS, INR/IL Historical Files, Cuba Program, Jan 21, 1961.