138. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2
- Secretary Rogers to See Swiss Ambassador to Cuba on Monday to Hand Him U.S. Draft Proposal on Hijacking
Secretary Rogers has sent you a memorandum (at Tab A) informing you that he has asked the Swiss Ambassador to Havana to come to Washington on Monday, when he intends to give the Ambassador, for transmittal to the Government of Cuba, the U.S. response to the draft agreement on hijacking proposed by Cuba. Tab B is the text of the U.S. response to the Cuban draft. Briefly the background is the following:
After the last incidents involving hijackers of a clearly criminal nature, the Cuban Government issued a statement indicating its willingness to enter negotiations with the U.S. on the air piracy problem. In response the U.S. indicated its willingness to hold discussions through the Swiss but stressed that this represents no change in our overall policy toward Cuba. At the first meeting between Cuban and Swiss officials in Havana on November 25, Cuban officials presented a draft agreement, a translation of which is attached for your information at Tab C.
Previous attempts at negotiating an agreement with the Cubans on this problem have foundered over Cuban insistence that any such agreement also cover the return of illegal exiles, including those already in the U.S., and prohibition of any acts of piracy against Cuban territory by émigré groups. The present Cuban draft proposal continues to cover these points but provides for exemption from the provisions of the agreement for cases of political asylum.
The major differences in the draft the U.S. will propose are:[Page 2]
- --to agree to give serious consideration to extraditing hijackers instead of prosecuting them in the country in which they land;
- --to rule out retroactive action against acts of piracy thereby protecting Cuban émigrés in the U.S.;
- --to stiffen the sentence for aircraft piracy;
- --to return any funds or property obtained illegally.
Bill Timmons has no objection to the proposed agreement but recommends State consult with the leadership of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee in Congress before public announcement of any final agreement. John Dean’s office also sees no problem with the proposed draft agreement. The Justice Department concurs in the draft.[Page 4]
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. II. Confidential (GDS). Sent for information. In a December 1 memorandum to Kissinger recommending that he send this memorandum to the President, William J. Jorden of the NSC staff noted that Rogers “help[ed] draft” the U.S. draft memorandum. (Ibid.) Tab B was attached but not published.↩
- Kissinger sent the President a memorandum from Secretary of State Rogers informing the President that Rogers intended to respond to the Cuban draft agreement on hijacking. Kissinger provided background to the negotiations for the agreement.↩