23. Summary Record of the 536th Meeting of the National Security Council1

Ninth Foreign Ministers Meeting; Cyprus, Mainland China

Secretary Rusk reported on the recent meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of American States, which was convened to deal with Cuban subversion in this Hemisphere, especially the shipment by Cuba of arms to Venezuela. Secretary Rusk summarized the Resolution adopted by the Foreign Ministers. The major advance is the agreed definition of “subversion” as “aggression”. Secretary Rusk made the following points:

The United States did not press Mexico to break its air link to Cuba because this is the last remaining airline operating between Havana and the mainland.
The clause in the Resolution calling on non-OAS States to join with States in the Hemisphere in taking measures against Cuba is of major importance.
Chile, Uruguay and Bolivia may comply with the Resolution and break relations with Cuba. What Mexico will do remains in doubt.2
An important achievement was to handle discussion in the meeting so that it did not become a United States versus Latin America contest. Emphasis was kept on the threat to Venezuela arising out of the shipment of arms by Cuba.
The United States avoided arm-twisting.
We hope the message contained in the Resolution will get through to Castro, as the Punte del Este Resolution did not.
The meeting was a success from our point of view. It was impossible to obtain unanimous agreement on the Resolution but Brazil, contrary to earlier meetings, played a constructive role.3

[Omitted here is discussion on Cyprus and Laos.]

Bromley Smith 4
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Meetings, Vol. 2, Tab 9, 7/28/64. Top Secret. The time of the meeting is from a memorandum dictated by McCone on July 29. According to McCone, Rusk “forecast that the resolution will have an important effect on Castro and intimated, but did not express, the thought that there would be a change in Castro’s attitude as a result of the resolution. He [Rusk] seemed highly satisfied with the resolution.” (Ibid., John McCone Memoranda, Meetings with the President, 1/4/64–4/28/65) President Johnson, who joined the discussion at 12:46 p.m., may have missed the Secretary’s report on the OAS resolution, which was first on the agenda. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary)
  2. Although Mexico refused to sever its ties to Cuba, the other countries later announced suspension of relations in accordance with the OAS resolution: Chile (August 11), Bolivia (August 21), and Uruguay (September 8).
  3. The final act of the meeting of Foreign Ministers, including the text of the OAS resolution, is in Department of State Bulletin, August 10, 1964, pp. 179–184.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.