Haiti


380. Intelligence Memorandum, OCI No. 0558/69, Washington, February 20, 1969.

CIA provided an assessment of Haiti’s security apparatus and their potential for controlling events in the event of President Duvalier’s demise.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. Prepared in the Office of Current Intelligence and coordinated with the Office of National Estimates and the Clandestine Services, Central Intelligence Agency.


381. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Trueheart) to the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Washington, April 29, 1969.

Deputy Director Trueheart reported that at an April 15 meeting, CIA briefed the 303 Committee on covert support to a group of prominent anti-Duvalier Haitian exiles. CIA mentioned concerns over disclosure of the covert program “as the result of possible prosecution by the Department of Justice of two Haitians formerly affiliated with the coalition and four United States citizens for violation of certain U.S. laws in connection with their individual unauthorized participation in the abortive 20 May 1968 invasion of Haiti.”

Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, 303 Committee, January–June 1969. Secret; Eyes Only. Attached but not published is an April 17 memorandum for the record, which indicates that Kissinger, Johnson, Helms, and Haig attended the meeting. (Central Intelligence Agency, ODCI Files, Job 80–R01284A) The issue of disclosure was again discussed on April 17 at a regular weekly meeting between CIA and Department of State officials. (Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Latin America General, 1969–70)


382. Intelligence Note From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to Secretary of State Rogers, No. 334, Washington, May 1, 1969.

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) reported that in an apparent effort to win a resumption of aid from the United States, President Duvalier had “cracked down” on Haitian Communists. According to INR’s analysis, “the communists in Haiti are few in number and constitute no real threat to the regime.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–7 HAI. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. On April 17 Nachmanoff sent a memorandum to Kissinger which concluded that Duvalier seemed “to expect better treatment (aid) from this administration than he received from previous administrations.” (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I)


383. Memorandum for the 303 Committee, Washington, May 27, 1969.

With Assistant Secretary Meyer’s concurrence, the memorandum recommended the termination of covert U.S. support for anti-Duvalier Creole broadcasts and the phasing out of support for the exile Haitian Coalition.

Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, 303 Committee Reports, 1969–70. Secret; Eyes Only. Sent to Johnson under a covering memorandum from Meyer. According to the minutes of the 303 Committee meeting, June 17, the Committee approved the termination. (Ibid.)


384. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, June 19, 1969, 11:30 a.m.

Foreign Minister Chalmers met with Secretary of State Rogers to discuss President Duvalier’s crack down on alleged Communists in Haiti. At the end of the conversation, the Foreign Minister reiterated Haiti’s desire to purchase ammunition in the United States and thanked the Secretary for U.S. “efforts to block persons trying to use U.S. soil to launch invasions of Haiti.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 HAI. Confidential. Copies sent to S, U, J, C, D, INR/OD, S/P, WH, CIA, ARA, J/PM, Amembassy Santiago, Amembassy Port-au-Prince. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates that complete distribution was made by CMS on 6/25/69. Also present with Secretary Rogers were Ambassador Claude G. Moss, Assistant Chief of Protocol Marion Smoak, and Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs Edward T. Long. INR Intelligence Note No. 484, June 20, observed, “In twelve years the exiles have been unable to launch a well organized invasion and their future prospects do not appear any brighter. Not only do they lack effective support in Haiti, but the contenders for power there can be expected violently to oppose any attempt by exiles to enter the field upon Duvalier’s passing. (Ibid., POL 15–1 HAI)


385. Central Intelligence Agency, Office of National Estimates, Latin American Staff Note No. 7–69, Washington, July 1, 1969.

CIA produced an estimate on the future Haiti following President Duvalier’s demise and concluded that should the country destabilize, the United States would stand to gain nothing through intervention.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, O/NE Latin American Staff Notes, Job 79–T00968A. Secret; O/NE Distribution Only.


386. National Security Study Memorandum 70, Washington, July 22, 1969.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger tasked the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, CIA, and the Agency for International Development with preparing a study of U.S. policy toward Haiti, with a focus on the post-Duvalier period.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–161, NSSMs, NSSM 70 [1 of 4]. Secret.


387. Letter From the Ambassador in Haiti (Knox) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Port-au-Prince, April 16, 1970.

Ambassador Knox wrote to Assistant Secretary Meyer with concerns about the U.S. policy of “coolness and correctness” toward Haiti.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 HAI–US. Secret; Official-Informal. A stamped notation on the letter indicates it was received in ARA on April 20. A handwritten notation in the upper right of the cover page reads, “cc: to RAH and then ARA/CAR to draft reply.”


388. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, April 24, 1970, 3:30 p.m.

National Security Council staff member Vaky reported that the Haitian Coast Guard had revolted against President Duvalier.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–161, NSSMs, NSSM 70 [1 of 4]. Secret. Sent for action. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates Kissinger saw it. In telegram 062133 from Port-au-Prince, April 24, the Department of State informed the Embassy that Bonhomme had requested air cover from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The Department informed Bonhomme that the “U.S. position is it cannot intervene but, as GOH aware, OAS is available as normal resort when member country feels there is a problem of international concern.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9)


389. Letter From President Duvalier to President Nixon, Port-au-Prince, April 25, 1970, 12:30 p.m.

President Duvalier indicated that members of the Haitian Coast Guard had mutinied and then, in an act of piracy at sea, had attacked an American vessel. He called on the “United States Air and Naval forces stationed at Guantánamo to take action to render the pirate vessels unable to cause further arm.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 HAI. No classification marking. Translated by the Division of Language Services; transmitted by telegram 468. In telegram 434 from Port-au-Prince, April 25, the Embassy reported that the Haitian Foreign Office had alleged that three American citizens had been captured by rebel Haitian Coast Guard cutters. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I)


390. Telegram 439 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State, April 25, 1970, 2355Z.

Foreign Minister Chalmers told Ambassador Knox that mutinied Coast Guard cutters were likely heading to Cuba and requested preventative measures by the U.S.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I. Confidential; Limited Official Use; Immediate. Repeated to Santo Domingo and CINCLANT. In an April 26 Memorandum for the Record, the National Military Command Center reported that U.S. Naval forces had “positively identified the vessels sailing toward Guantánamo Bay.” Upon docking there, the crewmen had reportedly requested “political asylum or refuge.” (Ibid.)


391. Telegram 65668 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Haiti, April 30, 1970, 2242Z.

President Nixon responded to President Duvalier’s April 25 letter, which detailed the Coast Guard mutiny and Haitian allegations of piracy. President Nixon indicated that the ships had arrived at Guantánamo Naval Base and that they were en route to Puerto Rico, where they would be made immediately available for repatriation to the Government of Haiti.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 HAI. Limited Official Use; Immediate. Drafted on April 29 by Robert C. Felder (ARA/CAR/H); cleared by Long, Vaky, S/PRS, and S/S; and approved by Hurwitch.


392. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, June 2, 1970.

National Security Council staff member Vaky forwarded a copy of NSSM–70 Study on Haiti for President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger to review in preparation for the June 11 Review Group Meeting. The cover memorandum, which is printed here, briefly describes NSSM–70 study’s key points.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–45, Senior Review Group Meetings, Haiti and Cuba 6/11/70. Secret. Sent for action. Attached but not published is the attached January 8 NSSM 70 Study on Haiti. The memorandum was not initialed by Vaky. The Senior Review Group did not meet on June 11; Kissinger decided to ask for agency positions on the options and present them to the President. (Memorandum from Vaky to Kissinger, October 14; ibid., Box H–222, NSDM 94)


393. Telegram 814 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State, July 1, 1970, 2005Z.

Ambassador Knox reported that the Government of Haiti had delivered a formal note calling on the U.S. Government to take action against Haitian exiles, who were allegedly preparing to attack Haiti from the United States.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 HAI. Confidential.


394. Memorandum From the Special Executive Secretary (Eliot) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, July 9, 1970.

Haitian Ambassador Bonhomme requested an interview with President Nixon to discuss Haitian exile attacks. Bonhomme had repeatedly requested such meetings, but his request had been refused each time. Executive Secretary Eliot recommended against granting the interview, arguing that “We do not believe any important interest would be served.”

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I. Confidential. Attached but not published are the Department of State’s suggested reply and the Haitian note of June 30.


395. Intelligence Note From the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, No. RARN–34, Washington, August 20, 1970.

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) reported that President Duvalier had made conciliatory gestures toward the United States, probably in response to Ambassador Knox’s efforts to improve U.S.-Haiti relations.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I. Secret. It was drafted by Summ and Schimel (INR). Kissinger’s initials appear next to the subject line.


396. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, October 31, 1970.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger forwarded a summary of NSSM 70 Study on Haiti to President Nixon, noting the key points of the study and recommending that Nixon authorize him to issue an NSDM approving multilateral and humanitarian assistance to Haiti.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–220, NSDM 94. Secret. Sent for action. Attached but not published are Tabs A, B, and C. Tab A is an undated Analytical Summary; Tab B is NSSM 70 Study on U.S. Policy Toward Haiti; and Tab C is the agency positions (State, OEP, Defense, JCS and CIA). President Nixon initialed his approval on November 6. NSDM 94, November 13, is printed as Document 397.


397. National Security Decision Memorandum 94, Washington, November 13, 1970.

President Nixon reviewed NSSM 70 and decided to encourage increased multilateral assistance and expand U.S. humanitarian assistance to Haiti.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–220, NSDM 94. Secret. Copies sent to the Secretary of Defense, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Directors of the Offices of Emergency Preparedness and Management and Budget.


398. Telegram 96 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State, January 29, 1971, 1955Z.

The Embassy reported the rumor that President Duvalier planned to step down and cede power to his son Jean-Claude. Duvalier was reputedly suffering from prostate cancer.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I. Confidential. Repeated to Santo Domingo. In Intelligence Information Cable, TDCS 314/00796–71, January 29, CIA reported that Duvalier planned to travel to Europe for surgery after installing his son as President. (Ibid.)


399. Telegram 264 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State, March 23, 1971, 2045Z.

Ambassador Knox analyzed the “cool and correct” policy toward Haiti, concluding that it had failed to achieve U.S. objectives for the country.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 HAI–US. Secret.


400. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, April 22, 1971.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger reported that President Duvalier had died and informed President Nixon he was calling a Washington Special Actions Group (WSAG) meeting to assess the situation.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I. Secret. The minutes from the April 22 WSAG meeting are printed as Document 401.


401. Minutes of Washington Special Actions Group Meeting, Washington, April 22 1971, 11:15–11:46 a.m.

[9 pages not declassified in time for publication]

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–115, Washington Special Actions Group. Secret; Nodis.


402. Telegram 745 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State, July 20, 1971, 2000Z.

In an evaluation of President Jean-Claude Duvalier’s first 90 days in office, the Embassy concluded that the new government had made an effort to maintain “an open, progressive image” and intended to cooperate with the United States. The Embassy recommended considering modest requests for bilateral assistance and the abandonment of the “cool and correct” policy toward Haiti.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 HAI. Confidential; Limdis. In a September 9 information memorandum, the ARA/NSC/IG advised its members that they would meet at the Department on September 15 to consider modification of U.S. policy toward Haiti and modest requests for bilateral assistance. (Ibid., Department of State, NSC–IG/ARA Information Memos, 1971, Lot 76 D 325) For a summary of the group’s report, see Document 404.


403. Telegram 3364 From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State, October 9, 1971, 1610Z.

Secretary of State Rogers met with Foreign Minister Raymond to discuss Haiti’s need for foreign assistance. During the conversation, Rogers indicated that he was encouraged by reports he had received, but made no commitments regarding economic assistance to Haiti.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 HAI. Limited Official Use. Repeated to Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo.


404. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon, Washington, November 2, 1971.

Secretary of State Rogers reported on the recommendations of the September 15 Interdepartmental Group for Inter-American Affairs (IG/ARA), which included modifying U.S. posture toward the Haitian Government to adopt a more normal stance and normalization of bilateral assistance.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 785, Country Files, Latin America, Haiti, Vol. I. Secret. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it. In a January 10 memorandum to William D. Broderick, Director of ARA/CAR, David A. Ross of ARA/CAR observed that Knox favored the “the re-establishment of a military mission to Haiti” as part of a more normal relationship with that country. Ross cautioned that U.S. interests in Haiti did not “warrant such close involvement with Haitian politics or such intimate association with the new Duvalier regime.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 HAI–US)


405. Intelligence Note From the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, RARN–2, Washington, January 24, 1972.

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) provided an assessment of President Jean-Claude Duvalier’s new government and concluded that closer relations with the United States indicated “a turn away from the old attitudes of suspicion and self-isolation.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 HAI. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. Drafted on January 20 in INR/American Republics by Godfrey and Pace.


406. Briefing Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Caribbean Countries (Broderick) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Washington, March 13, 1972.

Director of the Office of Caribbean Countries Broderick provided Assistant Secretary Meyer with a current overview and assessment of U.S. policy toward Haiti, in anticipation of a March 14 meeting with an official visit by Haitian officials.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 HAI. Confidential. Sent through Hurwitch. Drafted on March 13 by Ross; cleared by ARA/CAR, ARA–LA/CAR, LA/DP, and AA/LA.


407. Telegram 615 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State, May 20, 1972, 1530Z.

Ambassador Knox reported that he met with President Duvalier and cabinet members Luckner J. Cambronne and Adrien Raymond, and they discussed bilateral assistance, given the new administration’s first year record.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 15–1 HAI. Confidential; Limdis. Repeated to Bogotá.


408. Telegram 1036 From the Embassy in Haiti to the Department of State, August 14, 1972, 1920Z.

Ambassador Knox indicated that in spite of many shortcomings, Haiti had “perhaps the best government it could have in the existing circumstances.”

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 HAI–US. Confidential.