570. Memorandum of Executive Committee meeting by McCone, December 61

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McCone gave a very brief intelligence resume, commenting on the subjects treated in the Check List of 6 December, and significant items of interest resulting from further study of recent photography.

Secretary Rusk reported that Mikoyan had stated he had extreme difficulty in Cuba, that Castro refused to see him for nine days, that he had made his arrangements with the greatest of difficulty, and when he threatened to leave, Castro immediately stated he was prepared to make an arrangement with the Chinese Communists. Rusk therefore [Typeset Page 1520] felt the Soviets may be inclined to leave substantial forces in Cuba to forestall a ChiCom takeover.

Note: There is an important cable covering Rusks’s comments which I should get and read.

Stevenson then reviewed the negotiating procedure and strongly recommended that a revised draft of the U.S. position as outlined in the attached mimeographed statement be tabled prior to receipt of the Soviet position. Both Stevenson and McCloy felt this was a preferential negotiating approach. They readily forecast that we would not reach a common agreed position with the Soviets, and in the final analysis we would have to file an independent position with the Security Council to parallel the Soviet’s independent position, and when this was done, our statement could be much “harder” than the attached. There was considerable debate, with Rusk opposing this procedure but with the President somewhat persuaded by the Stevenson-McCloy arguments.

The President raised inumerable questions concerning the limitations placed on U.S. action in the event of Cuba-supported insurgency in Latin American countries, Soviet takeover of Cuba, ChiCom takeover, substantial increase in the number of MIGs, our actions in the event of the establishment of a Soviet submarine base, et cetera.

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The President also raised questions as to what our latitude would be for action in the event of a civil war in Cuba, or the establishment of a new legal government in Cuba which has our support. He then asked what rights we would have if the Soviets blockaded Berlin or took over Berlin. The answers to all of these questions were inconclusive; the indications were that actions by Castro, the Soviets, or the Chinese of the type indicated would give us latitude to act irrespective of the no invasion commitment, and if the Soviets broke existing agreements in connection with Berlin, obviously agreements with respect to Cuba and elsewhere would be out.

There was considerable discussion concerning proposed changes in the position paper; finally agreed upon the wording as indicated by the changes that are written in pencil.

John A. McCone
  1. Intelligence briefing; Mikoyan visit to Cuba; UN negotiations; U.S. actions in event of Cuba-supported insurgency or civil war in Cuba; position paper. Top Secret. 2 pp. CIA, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80–B01285A, Box 6, DCI Meetings with the President, 1 July 1962–31 December 1962.