338. Priority Operations Schedule for Operation Mongoose0


21 May-30 June 1962

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Task Purpose Considerations
1. Obtain some special and significant action within the OAS organization against the Castro-Communist regime. (State) To produce material for psychological impact on Cuba. Members of OAS need to be inspired to push some special action through. Current events offer a number of opportunities for exploitation through such OAS bodies as the Commission on Human Rights, the Peace Committee, the Council of Jurists, and the Childrenʼs Institute, as well as the Special Consultative Committee on Security.
2. Activate key public leaders in Latin America to make timely and strong statements about the Castro-Communist threat to the Hemisphere, the failures of the regime towards Cuban workers, students, farmers, and freedom. (State) To produce material for psychological impact on Cuba. Under the Ambassadorʼs initiative, each Country Team by now has the means to generate more open and active commitment of Latin American political, intellectual, labor, youth, religious, and military leaders. One significant action in each Latin American country, for hard impact on Cuba, is a minimum need.
3. [6-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] To produce material for major psychological impact on Cuba, undermining the power and prestige of the hierarchy of the Castro regime. [1 paragraph (24 lines of source text) not declassified]
4. Develop a suggested platform of Cuban political-economic objectives for possible adoption by Cubans in freeing their country. (State) For the guidance of Operation Mongoose personnel, particularly in the selection and readying of agents to ensure that they are committed to acceptable political beliefs before introduction into Cuba. There are a number of statements of Cuban political objectives, including drafts by State and CIA. What is needed now, and promptly, is a single working document for the guidance of U.S. operational staffs.
5. Assure that optimum values are obtained from the CRC and Cuban refugee groups in the U.S. (CIA) These Cuban external groups have a vital role for propaganda impact inside Cuba. We must have purposeful, singleness of guidance and monitoring of their activities to support the project. CIA and State both have had roles with the CRC and others. Cuban leaders also make contact at a number of high offices of the U.S. government. For the good of the U.S., the Cuban refugees, and our project, there must be coordinated management. The Director, Central Intelligence, should have this responsibility, particularly with leaders of the stature of Dr. Jose Miro Cardona.
6. Steer psychological-propaganda Working Group for day-to-day Cuba operations. (State) To assure full consideration of material, as collected, in terms of special psychological-propaganda use against the Cuban regime, and to inform the public. This has been a normal State-chaired working group. It needs to be sharply geared to the projectʼs operations, including consideration of declassifying material for operational use. Defense should be added to the membership. It is possible that USIA should assume leadership.
7. Make strong, repetitive theme on radio broadcasts to Cuba of the overwhelming disapproval throughout the Western Hemisphere of the Castro-Communist regime, along with sympathy for the captive Cubans. (USIA) To undermine Castroʼs psychological basis of control over the Cuban people and the lower echelons of the regimeʼs bureaucracy. This is to make full use of material produced by actions in the Western Hemisphere.
8. Give fullest play into Cuba (and the Western Hemisphere) of Cuban refugees and defectors as dramatic witness against the Castro-Communist regime. (USIA) To undermine Castroʼs psychological basis of control and to build the tone for anti-Castro actions in the Western Hemisphere. Note the inclusion of defectors in this task; it is still a CIA task to produce the defectors. Also, this task includes exploitation of Dr. Miro Cardonaʼs intensely moving statement at the end of the Armstrong Circle Theater drama “Anatomy of Betrayal.”
9. Ready the “Voice of Cuba” for radio broadcast. (CIA) To provide a ready capability for giving a “voice” to encourage resistance elements inside Cuba and to undermine the morale of the Castro regime. Initially, this would be for brief news broadcasts of local events inside Cuba, simulating a location in Cuba, but actually located off-shore. A plan of how best to do this, with the proposed program format, is needed to obtain policy decision.
10. Ready a propaganda action, for balloon delivery. (CIA) To provide a ready capability for low-risk propaganda dissemination inside Cuba. A plan of how to do this, including types of propaganda content (with thought given for delivery of symbolic gifts, such as scarce foods or medicines, as well as leaflets), is required for decision. It is noted that USIA has a brief recording of Castroʼs broadcasts, sharply contrasting his promises when he took power with what he said when he admitted his Communist affiliation; these could be put on cheap plastic discs and into leaflets.
11. Deliver copies of Time magazine, with Blas Roca cover story, into Cuba. (CIA) To make the truth available to the Cuban people about the Communist regime. This is seen as smuggling in copies, for passing from hand-to-hand. The smuggling could be done by third-nationals.
12. Intensify psychological effort at Guantanamo. (Defense) To make fullest possible use of the existing Cuban labor population on the base. Activities include sports broadcasts, in Spanish, over the base radio station on ball games, news broadcasts using regular wire service news, and making Spanish-language periodicals and literature available for reading on base. USIA has a number of selected titles, published in Mexico and Rio, for stocking base libraries. Also, USIA has a number of VOA “backgrounders” and refugee interviews on tape which could be used for radio broadcasts to Cuban employees on the base.
13. Create musical and visual symbols to express anti-regime sentiments. (USIA) To provide catchy expressions of popular resistance against the Communist regime. New words to a favorite song, a new tune, a visual symbol for wall-painting, a hand symbol as easy to do as “V for Victory,” are the types of expressions sought. USIA should call on CIA for assistance, since some thought has been given to this already.
14. Select a sabotage operation. (CIA) To make a psychological impact upon the regime and public, which symbolizes popular resistance to the regime and which causes talk encouraging to resistance. CIA should select a feasible sabotage operation, a “showy” one against the regime, but not against the people, and present a specific proposal for approval.
15. Make a special effort to step-up the infiltration of teams. (CIA) To exploit recent experience in order to ensure that there is adequate coverage inside Cuba to permit the firm end-of-July intelligence estimate required for further decisions. Feasibility depends on CIAʼs judgment, both operationally and for depth of intelligence required. The schedule was for 14 teams, 2 singleton agents, 14 third-country residents, and 20 third-country legal travellers by the end of May.
16. Intensify use of third-country collection for specific psychological information which can be exploited in propaganda. (CIA) To provide material for operations putting pressure on the Castro regime inside Cuba, and for use on the OAS-UN opinion stage. Really current “inside” news tips can do most to undermine the regimeʼs morale and interest the Cuban public. Classification may be a problem but this use must be pressed as a priority.
17. Intensify the exploitation of the intelligence potential which exists on the base at Guantanamo. (Defense) To take the fullest possible advantage of this open U.S. “listening post” on Cuban soil. ONI can call upon CIA for assistance. A communication link to Miami would permit use of extensive CIA background information available there and leads for further exploitation, not only for positive intelligence, but also for counter-intelligence. A number of further steps are possible.
18. Get ready for air re-supply missions. (CIA) To have a ready capability for re-supply of agent teams inside Cuba when needed. Since the Air Force has readied a capability for this task and since it is still desired that CIA mount such operations with Cuban or Latin American personnel, an acceptable means must be found promptly. CIA, with Defense assistance, as a priority will review feasible means of mounting these operations, and recommend the most practical method for a policy decision.
19. Develop a real dual-purpose capability of intelligence teams in building up the agent pool for infiltration. (CIA) To assure that skills needed for guerrilla operations are present inside Cuba, so that paramilitary actions can be initiated when the decision is made. While CIA is currently carrying out this task, it is worth CIA taking a further hard look at its training program to anticipate needs. If larger groups of action types are to be trained for possible introduction in September, it is known that at least 3 months “lead time” is required for minimum selection and training. That means now. It is possible that Defense can be of far more help than called upon at present. Also, it is possible that further policy guidance might be required.
20. Induct Cubans into the U.S. Armed Forces for training. (Defense) To fulfill Cuba exile leadership desires and to build up a potential reserve for possible future military action inside Cuba.
Economic 21. Tighten effect of sanctions by increased effort to enlist further participation by NATO nations, Mexico, Japan, and others. (State) To further restrict Cubaʼs economy.
Penetrate black market operations in Cuba for economic sabotage. (CIA) To worsen Cubaʼs economic situation. For instance, gangster elements should offer a possible means to accomplish this task, particularly in Cuban cities. This could be a test mission for alleged resistance cells, without undue risk to “noise level.”
[4 lines of source text not declassified] To obtain policy approval for creating economic chaos inside Cuba. Cubaʼs economy is the Castro-Communist regimeʼs greatest vulnerability and is open to much greater exploitation.
  1. Source: Department of State, ARA/CCA Files: Lot 66 D 501, Operation Mongoose, Phase I. Top Secret; Noforn; Special Handling. Prepared by Lansdale. No covering memorandum indicating distribution has been found. The document is stamped to indicate that 12 copies were prepared. A handwritten notation indicates that the source text was Martinʼs copy. According to a brief memorandum prepared by McCone, the Special Group (Augmented) accepted the schedule on May 17 “for review, study and decision at the meeting on Thursday, May 24.” (Central Intelligence Agency, DCI Files: Job 91-00741R, Box 1, Mongoose Papers) See the Supplement. No record of the May 24 meeting has been found.

    A May 30 memorandum from Martin to Johnson, prepared by Hurwitch, establishes that the schedule of assigned tasks in the schedule printed here was distributed to the concerned agencies, but it was not discussed in advance by the operations group of project officers, such as Hurwitch and Craig. Martin felt that a number of the tasks assigned to the Department were “too vague,” and he added that “in the absence of specifics it is not possible to calculate the risk and the cost to the United States of a particular action.” He made reference to task #1, calling for action to be stimulated within the OAS. Such action, he noted, “could well place an intolerable strain upon the inter-American machinery, and could thus result in a net advantage for Castro.” Martin concluded that assigned tasks should be thoroughly discussed within the operations group before submission for policy consideration to the Special Group (Augmented). (Ibid.)