695. Memorandum from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy, July 21

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  • Cuba—Recent Events

Here is a summary of recent Cuban developments which will bring you up to date.

1. Cuban Protest Note—Overflights

On June 24, the Czech Ambassador delivered a note to the Cuban Coordinator, which protests various exile activities and which threatens action against low-level and high-level reconnaissance flights. Attached as Tab 1 are the pertinent documents—(a) the note, (b) a CIA analysis of the note and of the significance of three U–2 abortions, (c) two cables which were sent to the President and (d) the most recent analysis of the three U–2 abortions which concludes (see last two pages) that the MIG 21’s were coincidentally, rather than intentionally, near the U–2’s.

State is now drafting a reply to the Cuban note. Among other things, the draft will probably reaffirm our intention to surveil Cuba in the absence of on-site inspection.

2. Return of Two Cuban Militiamen

On July 1, we returned the two Cuban militiamen whom exile raiders had captured on June 10. I understand that the President wanted them returned promptly. (Pertinent cables are attached as Tab 2.)

3. American Students in Cuba

Despite our warnings, on June 20, about sixty American students went to Cuba via Prague. It is expected that the group will remain in Cuba for a month. Attached as Tab 3 are some pertinent cables as well as a couple clippings from the New York Times.

Abba Schwartz tells me that this group unsuccessfully tried to go to Cuba from Canada in December, [illegible in the original]. Abba suspects that some of the leaders of the group may be Communist-oriented and the FBI is doing a check. When the group returns, their passports will be picked up. The prosecution question is one for the [Typeset Page 1788] A.G. to decide. I have asked Justice to keep us informed of their thinking on this one.

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4. Blocking Action against Cuba

State and Treasury are pretty well cranked up to institute the blocking controls against Cuba. Present planning calls for the announcement of the controls during the week of July 8.

5. Ejection of Cuba from IMF

A State/Treasury memorandum to the President probably will be coming over next week which recommends that the President authorize action to eject Cuba from the IMF. State and Treasury are still undecided as to whether it is feasible to have Cuba ejected by the end of this year or whether we will have to initiate action this year and shoot for final ejection action at the annual IMF meeting in Tokyo in the fall of 1964.

6. Cuban Subversion

John Crimmins has started to crank up the Subversion Subcommittee; it has been dormant for the past few weeks as John has settled into his new duties. By mid-July, John hopes to finish a number of cables, prepared in coordination with the country desks, which will request our Embassies in Latin America to urge upon host governments a series of anti-subversion actions.

My initial negative attitude about State chairmanship of the Subversion Subcommittee is somewhat dissipated now. John Crimmins strikes me as more of a zealot about subversion than most people in State. There is reason for hope that he will provide the initiative and digging which the field needs.

7. Future of Cuba

Bob Hurwitch tells me that a Presidential statement is being drafted regarding the future of Cuba. The plan is to present the statement to the Standing Group at its meeting during the week of July 8. If the Standing Group and the President approve, the statement will be taped and held for delivery on July 26.

8. Free World Shipping to Cuba

While we aren’t getting any public heat on this one yet, State and Maritime Administration are working on ways to further restrict Free World shipping to Cuba without exacerbating our relations with Yugoslavia. There are several possibilities—e.g. partial extension of NSAM 220, denial of U.S. port services to appropriate vessels, and publication in shipping lists of the names of the owners of vessels engaged in the Cuban trade. (Maritime says owners are skittish about this sort of publicity.)

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9. Miscellaneous Papers

Attached as Tab 4 is a letter from Ambassador Barbour (Israel) describing another Castro effort towards rapprochement.

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Attached as Tab 5 is an interesting Rostow memorandum noting that there is a gap between a U.S. air strike on Cuba and an invasion of Cuba and recommending that we do some political contingency planning to cover the gap. After the air strike, proper political moves might eliminate Castro and obviate the necessity of actually conducting the invasion.

Gordon Chase
  1. Recent events in Cuba. Top Secret. 3 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Countries Series, Cuba, General, Vol. X, 7/63.