297. Telegram 75341 from McCone, September 111

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Priority [less than 1 line not declassified]. Eyes Only [less than 1 line not declassified] from [less than 1 line not declassified].

1. Havana radio charges that two cargo ships, outward bound from Cuba, one Cuban and the other British, were attacked 11 Sept off Northern Coast of Cuba. We have info that an exile group called Alpha-66 (based in Puerto Rico) probably did the job. Student exile group in Miami last weekend publicly announced intention to attack bloc ships moving in and out of Cuba. There is growing mood of frustration among refugees and danger of unilateral operations and incidents is likewise growing.

Assume you noting in press the Soviet statement issued 11 Sept making sweeping charges that US preparing Cuba invasion and warning that “if this attack is made, this will be beginning of unleashing of war.” Implications of the 4,000-word statement under study. Will advise you further.

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2. Ref your request that BNE examine implications of defensive equipment. Following is prelim BNE statement:

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“Whole question Sov motivations, including possible reasons why Sovs might consider installation MRBMs, being examined in SNIE being drafted for USIB next week. BNE still persuaded that costly crash operation to install SA–25 is more reasonably explained by other than desire to hide later buildup and that Sovs likely to regard advantages of major offensive buildup not equal to dangers of US intervention. Cuba leaking like sieve from ground observation alone. Thus sudden crackdown on refugee flow and legal traffic would be strong indicator of possible desire to undertake further military buildup in secret.”

  1. Exile group attacks two outward bound cargo ships from Cuba; BNE statement re Soviet motivations for MRBM installation. Top Secret. 2 pp. CIA, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80–B01285A, Box 4, DCI–DDCI Cables—Cuba, 4 Sept–21 Sept 1962.