598. Memorandum from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy, January 171

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  • Cuban Coordinating Committee—Progress Report

1. The Brigade

The Committee held another meeting on the Brigade Wednesday morning at which the advantages and disadvantages of various courses of action were discussed. Mr. Cottrell’s office will circulate a draft paper in the next day or so which will discuss these courses of action and which will include his recommendation. At this moment he and Bob Hurwitch seem to be leaning in favor of not doing anything very special for the Brigade. At most, it would be retained as a military reserve unit (periodic meetings) of the U.S. Army which other Cuban refugees could join if they wished. In addition, the original Brigade members would receive certain special benefits over and above those already being given to Cuban refugees. These benefits, in so far as possible, would have an obvious connection to their invasion experience (e.g., special health benefits) and probably would not irritate other Cuban refugees.

I want to sleep on this one some more, but my initial reaction is that it is a sensible approach.

2. The Miami Office

The Committee discussed the Miami office on Wednesday afternoon. John Crimmins was introduced to the Committee as the chief of the office. My first impression of him was a favorable one. While he gives a physical appearance of being somewhat dull, he is not. At the meeting, he struck me as being alert and sound. He is certainly not “mousy.”

The Committee heard descriptions of present U.S. Government activities in Miami (a fact sheet will be available shortly).

The duties of the new Miami office were not discussed in depth. The general consensus of the Committee was that Mr. Crimmins should act as a sort of chief of mission, coordinating and giving general policy direction to agency representatives in Miami (e.g., Defense, CIA, Justice, [Typeset Page 1567] HEW). [Facsimile Page 2] This consensus, however, was not unanimous. The CIA representative did not view Mr. Crimmins’ work in a broad sense and obviously was reluctant to see him getting involved in CIA business. He preferred to interpret paragraph 5 of NSAM 213 in a narrow sense (“The coordinator will name a full time representative who will open an office in Miami to represent the U.S. Government in relations with Cuban refugee organizations and coordinate in implementation of all federal programs being carried on in the area relating such programs to state, local and private programs”).

The entire Miami situation still needs a lot more study.

3. OAS Resolutions

On Tuesday morning, the Committee drew up a revised list of possible actions which might be taken by the OAS against Cuba. Ward Allen, the OAS specialist in State, plans to have a paper out on the subject on Thursday.

4. Some Timings

(a) EXCOMM—Mr. Cottrell is aiming to have the following papers ready for an EXCOMM Meeting by about Tuesday of next week—a general policy paper, a paper on proposed U.S. action in the OAS, a paper on our policy toward the Brigade, and an outline of remaining subjects to be handled.

(b) Defense Contingency PlansDOD will have a revision of the Cuban Invasion Plan (Plan 316) ready for the Committee in about 3 weeks. The plan will include an annex covering the use of Latin American forces, in conjunction with U.S. forces, in an action against Cuba.

(c) Miami Office—Mr. Cottrell plans to open the Miami office before February 1st. Space problems are now being investigated.

Gordon Chase
  1. Progress report of the Cuban Coordinating Committee: the Brigade; the Miami Office; OAS resolutions. Top Secret. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Countries Series, Cuba, General, Vol. VII (B), 1/63.