22. Editorial Note

On January 19, 1961, President Eisenhower and President-elect Kennedy met at the White House, together with their principal advisers, to discuss various foreign policy concerns. According to a memorandum prepared by Clark Clifford, who was helping to organize the transition for Kennedy, Eisenhower brought up the issue of Cuba briefly, in a discussion devoted to the problem of Laos:

“President Eisenhower said with reference to guerrilla forces which are opposed to Castro that it was the policy of this government to help such forces to the utmost. At the present time, we are helping train anti-Castro forces in Guatemala. It was his recommendation that this effort be continued and accelerated.” (Memorandum by Clifford, January 24; Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, White House Correspond-ence, 1/61-11/63)

Robert McNamara also prepared a memorandum for the President-elect in which he summarized the discussion at the meeting. His summary of the discussion on Cuba reads as follows:

“President Eisenhower stated in the long run the United States cannot allow the Castro Government to continue to exist in Cuba.” (Memorandum from McNamara to Kennedy, January 24; Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 65 A 3464, 381 Cuba, 18 Jan. 61)