383. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Meeting re Haiti—4:30 p.m., 21 May 1963—Cabinet Room


  • The President and most of the Principals
State presented a paper2 on the situation advocating the return of our Ambassador, leaving the Embassy with the Charge, and play the relations with the Duvalier Government on a very low key and await developments.
McCone suggested that this looked like the Cuban policy in July 1959 which gave the Soviets an opening into Cuba. I3 therefore advocated that we conduct a complete diplomatic relationship but that it be on an informal basis. The President agreed, ordered Ambassador Thurston recalled, and reserved the decision as to whether he should be returned or another Ambassador returned.
The aid program apparently involves only $3 million or $4 million for airport construction, the administration of which is in the hands of Pan American.
CIA was asked to explore the exile group possibilities and to determine what action, if any, should be taken. [7 lines of source text not declassified] I pointed out that most insurgents were political has-beens or influential Haitians who desire to regain property that has been lost through expropriation or otherwise.
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI/McCone Files, Job 80-B01258A, Meetings with the President, 4/1/63-6/30/63. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by McCone on May 27.
  2. Document 382.
  3. The “I” refers to McCone.