243. Memorandum from Thomas C. Mann to Rusk, February 161

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  • Proposed Transfer of Cuban Trainees from Panama Canal Zone to the United States


Central Intelligence Agency has requested the Department’s clearance of the proposed transfer on Sunday, February 19, of 32 Cuban trainees plus approximately 18 Agency training personnel from a training site in the Canal Zone to a surplus military property, the Bell Chase Naval Ammunition Depot, in Louisiana. Mr. Berle and I feel that you should be aware of and make the decision in this matter.

The 32 Cubans are the remainder of a group, originally numbering approximately 50, being trained in radio and demolition techniques. CIA states that their transfer away from the Canal Zone has become necessary and that within a 60-day period following their arrival in this country it is contemplated that all would have completed their training and been re-exported, in staggered groups, to carry out missions assigned them.

For purposes of background and perspective, it should be noted in this context that some 50 Cubans are already being trained in landing-craft operation at Vieques, and 25 more are being given tank training at Fort Knox.

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That you authorize me to inform CIA that the Department interposes no objection to the proposed transfer of personnel from the Canal Zone to the contemplated training site in the United States.

Approve DR



S—Mr. Berle

  1. Proposed transfer of Cuban trainees from Panama Canal Zone to the United States. Secret. 1 p. DOS, INR/IL Historical Files, Cuba Program, Jan 21, 1961—.