The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102-138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102-138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government, including facts that contributed to the formulation of policies and records that provided supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The statute confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

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The editors of this volume, which was compiled in 1993, are convinced that it meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing. Although this volume records policies and events of more than 30 years ago, the statute of October 28, 1991, allows the Department until 1996 to reach the 30-year line in the publication of the series.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the 3 years (1961-1963) of the administration of John F. Kennedy. The subseries presents in 25 print volumes and 5 microfiche supplements a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of President Kennedy’s administration.

This volume presents documentation on U.S. policy toward countries of the Caribbean (Dominican Republic and Haiti), Central America (Panama), South America (Argentine, Brazil, Peru, and the British colony of British Guiana (later Guyana)), and regional issues such as the Alliance for Progress, Latin American security, and the threat of Cuban subversion. U.S. policy toward and relations with Cuba and management of the Cuban missile crisis are documented separately in volumes X and XI. A separate microfiche supplement to volumes X, XI, and XII presents documentation on U.S. policy toward and relations with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, and Venezuela, as well as additional documentation on Cuba.

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major foreign policy decisions and actions of the U.S. Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. The editors believe that in terms of access this volume was prepared in accordance with the standards and mandates of this statute.

The editors had complete access to all the retired records and papers of the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the special decentralized files (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President [Page V] and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts. Certain intelligence-related files maintained in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research became available to the Department historians only after this volume was compiled. Arrangements have been made for Department historians to have full and timely access to these records for future volumes. Department historians will endeavor to select documentation from these files that provides information on policy decisions during 1961-1963 as background to the policy deliberations of the Johnson administration.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have full access to the papers of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from other federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Also of special value at the Kennedy Library are the papers of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Special Assistant to the President.

Department of State historians also have access to records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Secretary of Defense and his major assistants, and to the Maxwell Taylor Papers at the National Defense University. The Chester B. Bowles Papers at Yale University were also consulted and proved useful.

Since 1991, the Central Intelligence Agency has provided expanded access to Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from those records still in the custody of that Agency. Department historians’ expanded access is arranged by the History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, pursuant to a May 1992 memorandum of understanding. This access arrangement coincided with the research of volumes for the 1961-1963 triennium. Department of State and CIA historians continue to work out the procedural and scholarly aspects of this access, and the variety of documentation made available and selected for publication in the volumes has expanded. The editors made particular use of the files of Director John A. McCone as well as finished intelligence from the registry of the Deputy Directorate for Intelligence.

All of this documentation has been made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the consent of these agencies, the assistance of their staff, and especially the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration. The List of Sources, pages XV-XX, lists the particular files and collections consulted and cited in this volume.

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Principles of Document Selection for the Foreign Relations Series

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary. Some general decisions are also made regarding issues that cannot be documented in the volume but will be addressed in a microfiche supplement or in bibliographical notes.

The following general selection criteria are used in preparing volumes in the Foreign Relations series. Individual compiler-editors vary these criteria in accordance with the particular issues and the available documentation. The editors also tend to apply these selection criteria in accordance with their own interpretation of the generally accepted standards of scholarship. In selecting documentation for publication, the editors gave priority to unpublished classified records, rather than previously published records (which are accounted for in appropriate bibliographical notes).

Selection Criteria (in general order of priority):

Major foreign affairs commitments made on behalf of the United States to other governments, including those that define or identify the principal foreign affairs interests of the United States;
Major foreign affairs issues, commitments, negotiations, and activities, whether or not major decisions were made, and including dissenting or alternative opinions to the process ultimately adopted;
The decisions, discussions, actions, and considerations of the President, as the official constitutionally responsible for the direction of foreign policy;
The discussions and actions of the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and special Presidential policy groups, including the policy options brought before these bodies or their individual members;
The policy options adopted by or considered by the Secretary of State and the most important actions taken to implement Presidential decisions or policies;
Diplomatic negotiations and conferences, official correspond-ence, and other exchanges between U.S. representatives and those of other governments that demonstrate the main lines of policy implementation on major issues;
Important elements of information that attended Presidential decisions and policy recommendations of the Secretary of State;
Major foreign affairs decisions, negotiations, and commitments undertaken on behalf of the United States by government officials and representatives in other agencies in the foreign affairs community or [Page VII] other branches of government made without the involvement (or even knowledge) of the White House or the Department of State;
The main policy lines of intelligence activities if they constituted major aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward a nation or region or if they provided key information in the formulation of major U.S. policies;
The role of the Congress in the preparation and execution of particular foreign policies or foreign affairs actions;
Economic aspects of foreign policy;
The main policy lines of U.S. military and economic assistance as well as other types of assistance;
The political-military recommendations, decisions, and activities of the military establishment and major regional military commands as they bear upon the formulation or execution of major U.S. foreign policies;
Documentation that illuminates special decision-making processes that accomplished the policies recorded in particular volumes;
Diplomatic appointments that reflect major policies or affect policy changes.

Scope and Focus of Documents Researched and Selected for Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, Volume XII

The documentation printed in this volume focuses on U.S. policy toward the American Republics of the Caribbean, Central, and South America. The guiding principle for selection was high-level interest within the Kennedy administration in policy and relations toward a specific country. This focus tends to give more coverage to countries in which there were crisis or specific problems and de-emphasizes countries that had basically good relations with the United States during the period. Documents were selected that highlight policy discussions within the U.S. Government, with particular emphasis on the highest level at which policy on a particular subject was determined, that revealed policy positions and internal differences over policy, and that summarized developments or positions regarding an issue. Records of conversations with foreign leaders both abroad and in Washington were selected to illuminate U.S. relations with those countries. Embassy reportage is limited to particularly significant cables that may have influenced or contributed to the making of U.S. policy at critical points. A number of relevant documents that conveyed finished intelligence to U.S. policymakers, in particular National Intelligence Estimates and Special National Intelligence Estimates, are included.

President Kennedy, with advice from his key advisers, made the major foreign policy decisions during his Presidency, and the editors tried to document his role as much possible. The role of White House and National Security Council Staff members in providing information [Page VIII] and advice to the President grew during this period. The editors accordingly selected memoranda that presented to the President the views and recommendations of his White House advisers. Formal approved policy papers were rare in the Kennedy administration, and internal discussions between the President and his advisers were not always recorded. The editors sought to document Presidential decisions by drawing upon the best material available.

The Department of State, which continued to play a leading role in formulating foreign policy and providing advice on foreign policy matters to the President, also played the principal role in the implementation of those policies and in negotiations on policy matters with foreign governments. While President Kennedy determined the major outlines of U.S. policy toward the American Republics and on occasion involved himself in the details of formulation and implementation of policy with respect to particular countries or issues, the Department of State and other government agencies managed the day-to-day aspects of protecting U.S. interests in the area.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically in each compilation according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Incoming telegrams from U.S. Missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not [Page IX] declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for security reasons have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. The amount of material omitted from this volume because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

A source note to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts have been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. Although the Advisory Committee does not attempt to review the contents of individual volumes in the series, it does monitor the overall process and makes recommendations on particular problems that come to its attention.

The Advisory Committee reviewed the compilation on U.S. policy toward British Guiana, as noted below.

Declassification Review

The final declassification review of this volume, completed in 1995, resulted in the decision to withhold 2.7 percent of the documentation originally selected for publication; 7 documents were denied in full. The Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency initially determined that major portions of the compilation on policy toward British Guiana should not be declassified. This declassification review decision would clearly have resulted in an incomplete and inaccurate published record. The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation [Page X] agreed and strongly recommended declassification. The issue was reconsidered at the highest levels of the Department of State and other concerned agencies. A determination was made to declassify all but those portions of documents and whole documents indicated in the text printed in the compilation on British Guiana. The Advisory Committee concurred in the decision of the Historian’s Office to publish this volume with the compilation on British Guiana as restored during the declassification appeal process.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information, which was superseded by Executive Order 12958 on April 20, 1995, and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the John F. Kennedy Library, in particular Suzanne Forbes; the National Archives and Records Administration; and other specialized repositories who assisted in the collection of documents for this volume.

W. Taylor Fain III collected, selected, and edited the compilations on the Alliance for Progress, Brazil, British Guiana, the Dominican Republic, [Page XI] and Peru; Harriet Dashiell Schwar collected, selected, and edited the compilations on Latin American security, the question of Cuban subversion, and Panama; and Edward C. Keefer collected, selected, and edited the compilations on Argentina and Haiti. David W. Mabon planned the volume and conducted the review under the general supervision of Editor in Chief Glenn W. LaFantasie. Edward C. Keefer oversaw the final steps in the editorial and publication process. Rita Baker, Deb Godfrey, and Vicki E. Futscher did the copy and technical editing and Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division oversaw the production of the volume. Juniee Oneida prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

May 1996