8. Telegram From the Station in the Congo to the Central Intelligence Agency1
0731 (In 36351). Ref Dir 44012 (Out 55588):2
1. Although Congo political situation chaotic and it difficult predict eventual outcome, Embassy and Station believe Lumumba moving left and Commie influence increasing. Unless he stopped near future, believe he will become strongman, eliminating moderate opposition and establishing regime under influence if not fully controlled by Commies. Thus believe fall Lumumba would assist Western objectives.
2. Lumumba faced by mounting but apparently uncoordinated and disorganized opposition in parliament and streets. Opposition appears based on tribal jealousies, fear that Lumumba plans play strongman role eliminating opposition leaders and belief held by many Congolese that he pro-Communist or under Communist control. However [Page 15] tribal and personal jealousies and lack political acumen opposition leaders preventing concerted action and organized effort defeat govt in parliament. Per Embtel sent Wash 3593 (anti-Lumumba forces endeavoring embarrass govt and even considering coup d’etat or assassination. Station counseling [Identity 1] and other contacts adhere legal means ousting Lumumba. Urging them to coordinate efforts and obtain sufficient votes topple govt in senate.
Reminding [Identity 1] and others that if they act prematurely it will give Lumumba opening to move against opposition, perhaps arresting leaders and or attempting eliminate senate. Also illegal overthrow would force hand United Nations.
3. Most opposition groups favor some form confederation in place present federal system. This development appears stem from fear of Lumumba and tribal loyalties. View this situation we forced go along with confederation approach if wish work against Lumumba. However, decentralization has many disadvantages such as opening way for Soviets to penetrate one govt at a time, possibility of paramilitary and subversive ops directed against other provinces from Lumumba controlled orientale, possibility of increased anarchy (if this be possible) resulting from division responsibilities which would open way for Communist penetration. Many problems would merely be transferred from Leop to provincial capitals where it would be more difficult for KUBARK and ODYOKE to follow them.
4. View situation Station recommends following steps which coordinated with Ambassador4 be taken shore up Western position Congo:
A. Use all Embassy and KUBARK contacts particularly [Identity 1] to influence senate to act as balance wheel to Lumumba, Gizenga and other who appear favor bloc. This respect senate would take position against bloc intervention or other acts inimical Western position.
B. Launch extensive [less than 1 line not declassified] campaign ([less than 1 line not declassified] meetings) by assisting local political groups with the funds and guidance to take anti Commie line and oppose Lumumba.
C. Expand political action operations seeking out and recruiting additional political leaders with view to influencing opposition activities. Would try avoid premature action and organize efforts to mount a no confidence vote in one or both houses of parliament. Presently believe senate offers best chance win such vote. Immediate goal would be replace present govt with more moderate coalition headed by [Identity [Page 16] 1]. He appears be only opposition leader with hope of rallying opposition groups.
D. Attempt infiltrate govt with KUBARK controlled assets such as [name not declassified] to obtain political intel and try limit influence Commies and incompetent Congolese officials, many of whom fail realize gravity situation and do not understand steps taken by them leading Congo to chaos and opening way for future Commie takeover.
E. Bring about call constituent assembly once opposition organized with view writing constitution acceptable majority on basis desires and Congo mores.
F. Cultivate and attempt recruit members current govt to keep foot in Lumumba camp. Although believe would be better oust him, do not want become tied irrevocably to opposition, if it not able achieve goals. Also would use such assets to try moderate Lumumba govt and obtain political intel.
5. Recognize above campaign involves large expenditures and offers no guarantee success. Even if campaign successful our work only beginning as political and economic chaos will continue forseeable future. Also wish stress Lumumba and company well organized, opposition disorganized, Station faced with problem finding, developing and recruiting [less than 1 line not declassified] and political action assets, few if any of opposition appear understand parliamentary methods needed change govt. However, all Station efforts concentrated this campaign on crash basis as political pot may boil over any time and action necessary now.
[Omitted here is further discussion of the proposal.]
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 3, [cryptonym not declassified] Ops. Secret; Rybat; [cryptonym not declassified]; Priority. Received at 1737Z. The identity designation for a specific individual is valid for a single document only and is not consistent throughout the volume.↩
- Requested specific suggested plan which might oust Lumumba. [Footnote in the original.] This CIA telegram has not been found.↩
- OCR/CB notified of reference. [Footnote in the original.] This CIA telegram has not been found.↩
- A handwritten notation on the original reads: “have been/when?”↩