211. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to All Posts in Latin America0

1755. Depcirtel 1661.1 Under Presidentʼs guidance highest officials this Government in past few days have been carefully and deliberately reviewing problems posed by Castro regime.

We have concluded that its complete subservience to Sino-Soviet bloc as evidenced by repeated statements of regime itself culminating in May 1st statement,2 complete crushing freedom in all aspects of Cuban life, including refusal to permit self-determination through free elections and hundreds of executions without trial, and presence of massive quantities of bloc armaments, leave no doubt that regime has become base in this Hemisphere for extracontinental power and constitutes threat to peace and security of Americas. There is no question of bilateral dispute between Cuba and U.S. U.S. has on contrary shown long restraint but considers that threat to Hemisphere as whole must be reduced and eventually removed. We believe that this requires recognition by all governments in Hemisphere of the danger and appropriate action to reduce and eventually eliminate danger.

While we do not wish to miss currently favorable psychology in Latin America, neither do we wish to give appearance of rash or precipitate action. We also realize differences in situations in each country and wish to leave you maximum discretion in carrying out following instructions. We recognize that governments will require time to consider action proposed and have no thought of requesting meeting of consultation unless assured that sizable majority are agreed upon program of this nature.

Decision has been made to seek as promptly as possible inter-American program to condemn, isolate, and weaken Castro regime and assist other governments to counter its subversive activities. Take earliest occasion to present orally to President or Foreign Minister, pursuant to helpful consultation recently held in your capital and Washington, outline of action set forth below which USG believes Organ of Consultation should adopt as resolution in response threat posed by Castro regime as clearly demonstrated in recent events, particularly continued intervention Sino-Soviet [Page 512] bloc through Cuba in hemispheric affairs and proclamation by Castro placing Cuba clearly in Sino-Soviet bloc.

Finding that:
International communist movement has come to dominate the political institutions of Cuba, extending to this hemisphere the political system of the Sino-Soviet bloc.
Government of Cuba has surrendered Cuban independence to extracontinental powers of Sino-Soviet bloc.
Government of Cuba has been carrying on interventionist and subversive activities against other states of hemisphere and has attempted to destroy integrity of inter-American system.
Foregoing constitutes type of situation denounced by American States in Resolution 93 of Tenth Inter-American Conference3 and Declaration of San Jose.4
Within meaning of Article 6 of Rio Treaty5 this constitutes aggression which is not armed attack and a situation endangering peace of America.
Government of Cuba has violated principles of representative democracy set forth in OAS Charter6 and Declaration of Santiago7 and deprived Cuban people of these rights, creating situation which seriously aggravates international tensions and has become danger to peaceful relationships in hemisphere.
Foregoing shows that Cuban Government has violated its basic obligations under OAS Charter and deprived Cuban state of its place as respected member of OAS.
Condemn Cuban Government for its acts of intervention and subversion against other American states, attempts to destroy integrity of inter-American system and imposition upon Cuban people of a total-itarian regime subservient to extracontinental powers and alien ideologies.
Apply following measures to Cuba pursuant to Article 8 of Rio Treaty:8
Breaking of diplomatic and consular relations;
Suspension of economic relations, including trade in all items except medical supplies.
Establish joint naval-air patrol of Caribbean area for surveillance purposes designed to help identify shipments of arms and personnel from Cuba to other countries for support of subversive activities and insurrectionary movements, and assist affected states in preventing such intervention in their territory. COAS, with the advice of Inter-American Defense Board, to prepare immediate plan for organization and coordination of this patrol for implementation by governments.
Charge COAS with immediate establishment of an ad hoc committee, composed of representatives of 5 to 7 governments to observe carrying out of measures specified in paragraphs 3 and 4 above, to assist governments in this connection, to observe development of situation in Cuba, and to keep Council appropriately informed.
Establish Committee for Defense of Freedom (in tradition of Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense) to identify techniques used by Castro-communist movement to undermine and destroy principles of inter-American system, to expose such techniques to governments and peoples of American states, and to devise and recommend methods required to counteract them.

You should endeavor find out how much of foregoing action program government to which you are accredited is prepared to support. You should also estimate or discreetly ascertain what would be governmentʼs attitude toward proposing or attending meeting Foreign Ministers to which Cuba and/or Dominican Republic would not be invited. If your government is one which still maintains diplomatic and consular relations with Castro regime and you believe there is any possibility of government severing these relations, in your discretion you should urge that it do so at early opportunity. Castro May 1 address identifying Cuba as part of Sino-Soviet system and dismissing any intention of holding elections appears offer ample justification.

Report reactions promptly.

Department informing Washington and OAS Ambassadors.

For Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Santiago, La Paz, Quito. Recognizing delicacy of making approach of this nature to government to which you accredited, you should use your discretion in what sections to emphasize, bearing in mind government will know we are consulting all American governments. Advise Dept. of your handling this matter.

Trip mentioned Depcirtel 17359 would be related to situation at time trip made.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/5-861. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drated by Achilles and W.G. Bowdler of ARA/RPA. Cleared in L by Chayes and Whiteman and by Bowles and in substance by Rusk. Also cleared in Defense by General Polk, and in the White House by Goodwin and in substance by President Kennedy. Repeated to Rusk at Oslo as Tosec 19, to USUN for Stevenson, and to the Consulate at Cuidad Trujillo.
  2. Document 171.
  3. See Document 189.
  4. Resolution 93 of the Tenth Inter-American Conference is also known as the Declaration of Caracas of 1954; see footnote 4, Document 202.
  5. See footnote 6, Document 202.
  6. Article 6 of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, signed at Rio de Janeiro on September 2, 1947, provides that if the inviolability or the integrity of any American state is affected by an aggression that is not an armed attack, or by a situation that might endanger the peace of America, the Organ of Consultation will meet immediately to agree on necessary measures to assist the victim of aggression, or to maintain the peace and security of the continent. (A Decade of American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents, 1941-1949, p. 228)
  7. For text, see ibid., pp. 230-242.
  8. See footnote 5, Document 202.
  9. See footnote 7, Document 202.
  10. Dated May 5. (Department of State, Central Files, 120.1520/5-561)