531. Telegram 1795 from USUN, November 151

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Dept pass White House. Eyes Only for the Secretary. Re: Cuba.

UN working paper transmitted ourtel 1780 brings out difficulties effecting implementation undertakings concerning either short-term verification or long-term safeguards. SYG’s latest proposal for one-shot final verification in Cuba by group of non-aligned Ambs has today been rejected by Castro. SYG’s first inclination was to submit UN working paper to Cubans as alternative proposal. We have however told him this paper creates very serious problems for us and that we wish to discuss it fully with him before he submits it to others. He has agreed but hopes to receive our views by tomorrow at latest.

UN working paper is based on SYG’s conviction that either one-shot verification in Cuba or long-term safeguards are feasible only if elements of reciprocal inspection are introduced. Proposed UN observation group seems to us however open to following serious objections: (1) definition of Caribbean would presumably include part of continental U.S. as well as Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, (2) freedom of movement for such group in those areas would be hardly acceptable, (3) presence of nuclear weapons in whole Caribbean area, including above-mentioned U.S. territories, would presumably be forbidden, (4) bombers such as IL–28’s would not be covered, (though exclusion all bomber aircraft from LA countries on Caribbean would be in any case unfeasible), (5) activities UN observation group would presumably be subject to SC veto, (6) UN observation group composed of reps Asian, African and European non-aligned states, as well as some LA’s, would inject considerable [Facsimile Page 2] long-term external influence into Caribbean area, would detract from prestige OAS and would probably be unacceptable most LA’s.

Some of shortcomings UN working paper could be corrected by redrafting but it is difficult to see how any UN group acceptable to Castro with broad mandate to “normalize” situation in Caribbean could be other than buttress to Castro and could fail to create for us and LA’s many of problems suggested in preceding paragraph. Better alternative would seem to be LA denuclearized zone as envisaged in Brazilian res but this is already encountering serious LA opposition and we doubt that zone with requisite inspection system could be established at best for several months.

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McCloy suggests bringing up in connection with long-term safeguards entire elimination from Cuba of SOV military personnel as essential element of forward SOV military base. Reciprocity might be provided by U.S. and LA willingness to permit inspection on their territories limited to ensuring there are no refugee training camps preparing for attack on Cuba. This might alternatively be considered as possible quid pro quo for one-shot verification in Cuba. We are however very seriously concerned whether any inspection inside U.S. or LA Caribbean countries (except in connection with nuclear free zone insofar as latter are concerned) would be politically tolerable from viewpoint domestic opinion in U.S. and LA.

We should appreciate receiving soonest Dept’s reaction to UN working paper. If UN observation group of this kind unacceptable and LA denuclearized zone proves impracticable for immediate future, we should also have for discussion with SYG and SOVs clear picture of character both of one-shot verification and long-term safeguards which Dept considers necessary and feasible under existing circumstances, as well as price we would be willing to pay for such verification and such safeguards.

  1. Mission comments on UN working paper on safeguards and verification. Top Secret. 2 pp. DOS, CF, 737.663.61/11–1562.