60. Editorial Note

President Johnson raised the issue of Cuban subversion in Latin America at the Glassboro Summit with Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin. According to the official record of the afternoon session on June 25, 1967, the President said “he wished to inform Mr. Kosygin of an extremely important matter. He said we had direct evidence of Cuba’s encouragement of guerrilla operations in seven Latin American countries. This was a form of aggression and was dangerous to peace in the Hemisphere as well as in the world at large. He pointed out that Soviet-manufactured arms coming from Cuba had been seized in Venezuela in July 1966 and in May 1967, with seven Cubans having been captured in this latter incident. He also wished to point out that on March 13 of this year, Castro openly stated his support for this type of activity. The Government of Venezuela had stated its determination to put an end to such operations. Our Ambassador to the OAS and some of his colleagues from the Organization were now investigating in Venezuela the evidence of those activities. The President emphasized that he therefore strongly felt that Castro should be convinced to stop what he was doing. Mr. Kosygin did not comment on this statement.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 US) For the complete memorandum of conversation, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XIV, Document 235.

That evening Johnson gave former President Eisenhower the following account of this discussion with Kosygin: “[I] told him there were 6 or 7 hot spots; that they’re using Soviet material, Cuba was; that we caught a bunch of them the other day in Venezuela; that they were giving us hell in the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, and Bolivia, and half a dozen places; that this is a very serious matter, Soviet equipment and Castro-trained people.” Johnson said Kosygin “ought to realize that we thought this was very serious and we were going to have to take action—the OAS was going to take action.” The President then asked Kosygin for a response. According to Johnson’s account, Kosygin “said he couldn’t comment now, but he was leaving for Cuba tomorrow, and he would bear these things in mind in talking to them. Acted like he was a little upset with Castro. Didn’t say so.” (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 25, 1967, 9:44 p.m., Tape F67.13, Side A, PNO 1) An uncorrected transcript of the conversation is ibid.