499. NSC Executive Committee record of action, November 61

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1. The President revised and approved a private letter to Premier Khrushchev regarding the Cuban situation, which was later delivered to the Soviet Ambassador here.

2. Following a discussion of what should be told to the press about the current status of the Cuban negotiations, the President decided no official comment should be made tonight about our efforts to get the Russians to withdraw the IL–28 bombers from Cuba.

3. The Acting Director of USIA and the Chairman of the FCC recommended that two 50-watt medium-wave radio stations, one operated by the USIA and the other by the Navy, begin broadcasting to Cuba this weekend. The President approved the recommendation. He also agreed that the airborne TV operation should not be initiated at this time.

4. The President authorized the following air reconnaissance mission for tomorrow:

a. Three U–2 flights over Cuban ports;

b. Six low-level flights over the IL–28 field and Cuban ports other than Havana.

5. The President asked that recommendations be prepared promptly as to our course of action in the event a U.S. reconnaissance plane is fired upon or shot down in Cuba.

6. The President called attention to refugee reports being widely printed in the press alleging that the Soviets are hiding missiles in Cuban caves. Upon being informed that the sources of the reports were unable or unwilling to substantiate their stories, the President asked that this fact be brought to the attention of appropriate news editors.

McGeorge Bundy
  1. Approved letter to Khrushchev; IL–28 bombers; broadcasts to Cuba; air reconnaissance mission; refugee reports on Soviet missiles hidden in Cuban caves. Top Secret. 1 p. Kennedy Library, NSF, Executive Committee, Meetings, Vol. II, 17–24.