141. Information Memorandum from Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer) and Acting Legal Adviser (Brower) to Secretary of State Rogers1 2

Cuban Hijacking Agreement

At a meeting late yesterday afternoon, the Cuban negotiators informed Ambassador Masnata that, Cuba is prepared to accept the latest U.S. proposal provided the U.S. agrees to two changes in Article 1: elimination of the word “forcefully” in the first paragraph and the phrase “except in the case of minor offenses” in the second paragraph.

We suggest for your consideration that we reply to the Cubans that although we attach considerable importance to both items, we are prepared in the spirit of compromise and in the mutual interest of arriving at an early agreement to accede to the Cuban proposal that the word “forcefully” be eliminated if Cuba agrees that the phrase “except in the case of minor offenses” be retained. We are at your disposition to discuss this further.

We regard the speed—less than a week—with which Cuba has replied to our proposal as indicating the continuing high priority it attaches to this question.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970-73, AV 12. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Hurwitch and Feldman. Rogers wrote “OK” and initialed the memorandum. He also asked Eliot: “Is this acceptable to the Justice Dept?”
  2. Meyer informed Rogers that Swiss Ambassador Masnata reported that the Cubans were ready to accept the latest U.S. proposal on the hijacking agreement with two changes in the draft. Meyer suggested that the United States accept one change and that the Cuban Government agree to accept the U.S. language on the other.