136. Telegram From Secretary of State Rusk to the Department of State1

Secto 6. Daily Summary Cable. Secretary saw Foreign Ministers Argentina, Chile and Mexico morning of January 22. Argentine Foreign Minister Carcano maintained view it would be inadvisable press for sanctions and favored Charter amendment permit expulsion Cuba. He said most Argentina could do is abstain on sanctions and comply if approved. He stressed OAS unity theme and argued Central Americans should not force other countries accept sanctions. He said Argentina not committed to sticking with Brazil, but showed no indication shift in direction of strong resolution based on sanctions or explicit statement endorsing suspension.

Chilean Foreign Minister Martinez, while making no new comment on substance although opposing sanctions, appeared eager to take lead in bringing positions of reluctant and negative countries more nearly [Page 295]into line with that of US and others. He said he was holding a meeting this group immediately following the Secretary’s call and would inform Secretary its outcome. He emphasized that since Chile had not taken public stand it is in good position to assume leadership in such conciliation efforts. Furthermore, he claimed Chile not subject to same internal pressures as other countries, mentioning specifically Brazil. Hoped to achieve, if not unanimous, at least nearly unanimous support for resolution which would strengthen rather than weaken OAS system.

Secretary emphasized (1) importance that as part of responsibilities under system, Governments not believing themselves to be so directly affected support Rio Treaty action requested by other Governments directly in line of Castro’s Communist fire; (2) intense interest US public opinion Cuban problem and its inability understand why OAS should be reluctant take definite stand on issues as well as possible effect this would have on ability US support OAS; and (3) that in view of current trend Soviet policy on Berlin essential that free world in no way indicate to Khrushchev any weakening of determination to resist, and that therefore what occurs at eighth MFM in relation Communist threat has impact on that situation.

Most notable development in conversation with Mexican Foreign Minister Tello was latter’s unequivocal assertion that Mexico prepared support clear pronouncement incompatibility between Communist Government which Cuba has become and Inter-American principles and agreements. Otherwise, repeated several of now familiar Mexican juridical arguments against Rio Treaty action. Suggested nevertheless that US advisers and Ambassador Sanchez Gavito join forces to endeavor to work out general resolution containing specific points for some of which Mexico might be able to vote favorably.

Haitian delegation issued statement which, as explained in backgrounder to French press representative, was interpreted to mean that Haiti intends give no support to even moral sanctions on Cuba and that its attitude at this meeting will conform strictly to that of the Mexican delegation. Foreign Minister later made completely ambiguous statement to informal meeting of 14 described below.

In informal meeting called at US instance of 14 countries which voted for holding MFM all except Uruguay and Haiti either pressed for or expressed willingness endorse immediate application diplomatic and economic sanctions. Uruguay urged need to work out action commanding wide support. Haiti took equivocal position it would study proposals in light of principles non-intervention and self-determination. Repeating basic US position in support strong action, Secretary said there were indications other six countries seeking work out formulas which would bring two groups closer together, beginning with what [Page 296]now appears clear consensus that Communist character and alignment Cuban Government incompatible with OAS principles and agreements.

Brazilian Foreign Minister in intimate conversation late January 22 shows deep concern re difficulty attaining common agreement and gives indications willingness take more direct approach. For example, he broached idea possible call on Cuba at this MFM to state whether Cuba will confirm standards such as those listed in Brazilian2 (unsatisfactory) providing now for application sanctions after 60 or 90 day waiting period. He also indicated acceptance possible removal Cuba from IADB by this MFM; prohibition movement arms from Cuba to OARS; and possible creation special committee IADB or subordinate directly to COAS intensify protection against Castro-Communist infiltration particularly in Caribbean area.

US inscribed at eighth place in order of speaking.

Cuba (inscribed at fifteenth place) requested meeting Secretariat use one of meeting rooms to mount “exhibit” which will be open to press and other delegations immediately after “FonMin” Dorticos speaks.

Substance above may be used in general terms for Congressional briefings as appropriate.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 371.04/1-2362. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Mexico City, Port-au-Prince, and USUN. Received at 1:20 p.m.
  2. The source text here indicates an omission and states that a correction will follow. No corrected copy has been found, but on the transmission copy, the relevant passage is “Brazilian formula and then (if action unsatisfactory)”. (Ibid., Conference Files: Lot 65 D 533, CF 2038)