Cuba


195. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, January 31, 1969.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger advised President Nixon that the new administration could expect correspondence from Cuban exiles. Noting the potential for embarrassment, Kissinger recommended that such correspondence be referred to the Department of State.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. 1. Confidential. Written in an unknown hand in the upper right hand corner reads, “Shown to A. Nachmanoff 2/3/69.” Under the recommendation is a note in President Nixon’s handwriting which reads,“I disagree. State has handled this with disgusting incompetence. The careerists are Pro Castro for the most part. Possibly Allen could handle these on a controlled discreet basis–showing at least some sympathy for their plight.”


196. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, February 7, 1969.

In reference to a February 6 memorandum from Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon, President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger noted that progress had been made with Cuba in dealing with the problem of aircraft hijacking. According to Kissinger, in 1961, Cuba had proposed an agreement to deal with hijacking that closely resembled the agreement that the U.S. had now proposed to Cuba. That proposal had been rejected by the United States.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. I. Confidential. Sent for information. Attached but not published is a February 6 memorandum from Rogers to Nixon.


197. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, March 11, 1969, 2:45 p.m.

The Swiss Ambassador to Cuba, Alfred Fischli, met with Secretary of State Rogers to discuss Swiss representation of U.S. interests in Cuba.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL CUBA–US. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by J.F. Fitzgerald (ARA/CCA) and approved in S on March 14. In LA Staff Note 1–69, January 27, CIA concluded, “Except that it is in our hemisphere, the Cuban government is not substantially different from many Communist governments with which the U.S. has far better relations.” (Central Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence Office Files, Job 79–T00968A) In a March 17 memorandum to Kissinger, which reported on the March 11 meeting between Fischli and Rogers, Vaky observed that “other recent Cuban actions reflect a more moderate attitude toward the U.S. than has been the case, and there definitely appears to be an overall pattern suggesting a bid for a détente.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. I)


198. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, April 4, 1969.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger informed President Nixon that Secretary of State Rogers had requested authorization to determine the meaning of a message from Castro, indicating a desire for détente with the United States.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. I. Secret; Nodis. Sent for action. A notation in the upper right corner of the memorandum reads, “OBE.” An unsigned message in President Nixon’s handwriting, at the bottom of the memorandum below Kissinger’s recommendation, reads, “A very, very cautious probe only, which I will be.” Attached but not published at Tab A is an April 3 memorandum from Rogers to Nixon. Attached to the memorandum is a typewritten note, which reads, “Back from the President. Please note that Presidential note does not seem to be completed.” An attached note in Haig’s handwriting reads, “Means keep me posted!”


199. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, April 11, 1969, 5 p.m.

In a meeting with Under Secretary Johnson, Swiss Ambassador Felix Schnyder reported on Ambassador Fischli’s discussions with Cuban officials, particularly concerning hijacking. According to Schnyder, the Cuban Government had indicated that the problem might be dealt with through informal measures, as opposed to a formal agreement.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. I. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Fitzgerald. On April 16, Nachmanoff forwarded a copy of the memorandum of conversation to Kissinger, who signed an April 18 memorandum to the President summarizing it. (Ibid.)


200. Memorandum Prepared for the 303 Committee, Washington, April 26, 1969.

The memorandum discussed the feasibility of covert operations against Cuba, including historical background, an overview of current operations, and a discussion of additional options for covert actions

Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Cuba 69–70–71. Secret; Eyes Only. In an April 28 covering memorandum to Johnson, Meyer indicated that ARA and INR found the main thrust of the memorandum acceptable. Meyer recommended that Johnson endorse it. During a weekly meeting with the Department of State, April 25, CIA indicated that “Kissinger had asked the Director to study the feasibility of stepping up action programs against Cuba, with the emphasis on the covert actions, and also to discuss the use of Cuban exiles.” (Ibid., Latin America General, 1969–1970)


201. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Trueheart) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Washington, May 5, 1969.

Deputy Directory Trueheart forwarded an excerpt from the minutes of the 303 Committee meeting, May 1 on the feasibility of cover operations against Cuba.

Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, 303 Committee, January–June 1969. Secret; Eyes Only.


202. Abstract of Research Memorandum RSE–39 From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes) to Secretary of State Rogers, Washington, May 9, 1969.

This abstract is a summary of an Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) paper on USSR-Cuba relations, which also focused on U.S.-Cuban and U.S.-Soviet relations and possible Soviet reactions to a warming of U.S.-Cuba relations. The study concluded that the USSR would favor improved U.S.-Cuban relations.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL CUBA–USSR. Secret.


203. Paper Prepared at the Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, undated.

CIA prepared a study on the feasibility of covert economic warfare against Cuba.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Box 207, Agency Files, CIA, Vol. I, January–December 31, 1969. Secret; Sensitive. Attached to a covering May 15, 1969 memorandum from Karamessines to Kissinger. Attached but not published is a 2-page summary titled, “Denial to Cuba of Free World Sugar Market.”


204. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Richardson) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, June 16, 1969.

The Department of State provided President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger with a study on possible steps toward recognition of a provisional Cuban Government in exile.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. I. Top Secret; Nodis. Attached but not published are the following: a June 16 memorandum outlining the possible program to develop and recognize a Provisional Government in Exile for Cuba and a list of potential Cuban exile leaders, with individual biographical information (Tab A).


205. Study Prepared in Response to National Security Study Memorandum 32, Washington, July 2, 1969.

The Interdepartmental Group for Inter-American Affairs outlined three Cuba policy approaches: (1) the Castro regime’s forceful elimination; (2) a continuation of the policy of isolating Cuba; or (3) a move toward constructive change through the use of incentives and disincentives.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–39, Meeting Files, Senior Review Group Meetings, NSSM 32–Cuba, 9/23/69. Secret. In the margin next to paragraph 1 on U.S. interests, Kissinger wrote, “Tactical nukes?” The study was prepared in response to a National Security Study Memorandum from Kissinger, March 21, 1969. (Ibid.)


206. Memorandum From Dave McManis of the National Security Council Staff to John Howe of the National Security Council Staff, Washington, August 1, 1969.

National Security Council staff member McManis reported on Soviet submarine operations in the Caribbean, including the presence of a tender, which could support up to eight conventionally powered submarines.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. I. Secret; Sensitive. The word “Thanks,” followed by Haig’s initials, appears on the upper right corner of the page. Attached to McManis’s message is an August 1 CIA memorandum, which notes that “There is no evidence to support the rumors that have circulated in recent years to the effect that there are Soviet polaris-type submarine bases in Cuba.” On July 20, the National Military Command Center reported that 7 Soviet Navy ships had entered Havana Harbor. (Ibid.)


207. National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 85–69, Washington, September 2, 1969.

The estimate examined the situation in Cuba, Cuban relations with the Soviet Union, and the possibility of a change in United States-Cuban relations.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, NIC Files, Job 79–R01012A. Secret; Controlled Dissem. The Central Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State, Defense, and NSA participated in the preparation of this estimate. The Director of CIA submitted this estimate with the concurrence of the USIB with the exception of the representatives of AEC and FBI who abstained on the grounds that it was outside their jurisdiction.


208. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, September 23, 1969.

National Security Council staff member Vaky reported that the Cuban Government had announced an anti-hijacking law.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. I. Confidential. Sent for information. A note indicates that Kissinger saw the memorandum on September 26. Attached but not published is the wire service story.


209. Minutes of an NSC Review Group Meeting, Washington, September 23, 1969, 2:10–3:15 p.m.

The Review Group met to discuss NSSM 32 and U.S. policy toward Cuba.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–111, SRG Meetings Minutes, Originals [2 of 3]. Secret. The July 2 IG paper was sent to Kissinger under a July 3 covering memorandum from Meyer and is published as Document 205. The Annex mentioned in paragraph four of page three was not found.


210. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Cole) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, September 25, 1969.

President’s Special Assistant Cole informed President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger that President Nixon had seen a press report indicating that developments in Latin America could lead to improved U.S.-Cuban relations. Nixon instructed that the Department of State be informed: “absolutely not.”

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. I. No classification marking. Cole signed Ken above his typeset signature. Haig passed the instruction to Eliot by telephone and asked Vaky to do the same, but not to do so in writing. (Memorandum from Haig to Vaky, September 25; ibid.)


211. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, November 12, 1969.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger forwarded a memorandum from Secretary of State Rogers, requesting an exchange of notes with the Cuban Government to return captured hijackers on a reciprocal basis. Kissinger recommended approval of the Secretary’s recommendation.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. II, 1970. Confidential. Sent for action. Nixon approved Kissinger’s recommendation on November 13. For the full text of Tab A, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E–1, Global Issues, 1969–1972, Document 125. Tabs B and C were attached but not published.


212. Memorandum of Conversation, Washington, December 22, 1969, 10:15–10:35 a.m.

In an unscheduled visit to the Office of the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs, Juanita Castro Ruz (Fidel Castro’s sister) expressed concern over efforts by Cuban exile organizations to launch attacks against Cuba.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 30–2 CUBA. Limited Official Use. It was drafted by Matthew D. Smith (ARA/CCA/M).


213. Telegram 23858 From the Department of State to All ARA Diplomatic Posts, February 17, 1970, 1640Z.

Responding to ongoing public and official debate over the possibility of reintegrating Cuba into the Organization of American States and the hemispheric community, the Department of State ordered its diplomatic posts to reaffirm to the Foreign Ministers of each of the countries in the Western Hemisphere that no change in U.S. policy was contemplated.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL CUBA–US. Secret. It was drafted by Crimmins, Hurwitch, and Funseth; cleared by Meyer, Bowden (EUR/SOV), Gardiner (INR/DDG), Jova, Feldman, and Vaky; and approved by Johnson. It was repeated to Belgrade, Bonn, Bucharest, Budapest, London, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Rome, Sofia, USUN, and Warsaw. In intelligence brief INRB–26 from Cline to Rogers, February 5, INR analyzed increased pressure to reintegrate Cuba into the OAS. (Ibid., POL CUBA–LA)


214. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer) to the Under Secretary of State (Johnson), Washington, March 23, 1970.

Assistant Secretary Meyer forwarded a memorandum requesting that the 40 Committee approve a continuation of radio broadcasts to Cuba. Meyer recommended approval of the program.

Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, 40 Committee Reports, 1970–71. Secret. Attached but not published is a March 14 memorandum for the 40 Committee, which details the radio broadcast program. According to a March 30 memorandum for the record, during its March 25 meeting, the 40 Committee unanimously approved continuation of CIA’s radio broadcast capability against Cuba was unanimously approved. (Ibid.)


215. Memorandum for the Record, Washington, March 25, 1970.

In a meeting that included President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger, President Nixon asked Director of Central Intelligence Helms what policy toward Cuba he would recommend. Helms advised the President to continue the policy of isolation and economic sanctions.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Files of the Executive Registry, DCI Helms, Job 80–B01285A. Secret.


216. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, April 28, 1970.

National Security Council staff member Vaky reported that the Miami-based Cuban exile organization, Alpha–66, had launched an unsuccessful raid against Cuba. Vaky recommended that a meeting of the Washington Special Actions Group be convened to consider contingencies for responding to potential attacks against Guantánamo.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. II, 1970. Secret. Sent for action. On May 4, Kissinger responded affirmatively to Vaky’s suggestion of a WSAG meeting. Attached but not published are Tabs A, B, and C. Tab A is an April 22 memorandum and Tab B is an April 24 telegram to the White House Situation Room. Tab C is an April 22 telegram from COMNAVBASE GTMO to CINLANTFLT.


217. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, April 30, 1970.

National Security Council staff member Vaky provided President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger with new intelligence, which suggested that Alpha–66 was planning another raid on Cuba.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. II, 1970. Secret; Sensitive. A note on the upper right of the page, which bears Kissinger’s initials, reads, “No formal action. Have discussed with Pres.” Attached but not published at Tab A is an April 29 CIA Intelligence Information Cable, TDCS DB 315/02156–70. Tab B is Document 216.


218. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, May 11, 1970.

National Security Council staff member Vaky reported on improved Soviet-Cuban relationships, particularly noting warm military to military relations and an increase in Soviet naval deployments to Cuba. Vaky recommended that he and President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger meet with National Security Council staff member Hal Sonnenfeldt to discuss the situation.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. II, 1970. Secret. Sent for action. Kissinger initialed for approval on May 19. A copy was sent to Sonnenfeldt. A note bearing Kissinger’s initials appearing on the upper right corner of the cover sheet reads, “Do memo for Pres. re Soviet strategic forces in Caribbean, May 19, 1970.” In a May 20 memorandum, Vaky asked Dave Young of the NSC Staff to schedule the meeting. An unsigned note on the bottom of the memorandum reads, “Noon 5/23?” No record of the meeting has been found. (Ibid.)


219. Information Memorandum Prepared in the Department of State, Washington, undated.

This Department of State memorandum, sent to President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger, reported on Soviet naval and aircraft deployments to Cuba.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL CUBA–USSR. Secret. Sent to Kissinger on May 15, 1970 under cover of a memorandum from Eliot to Kissinger. (Ibid.)


220. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, May 18, 1970.

National Security Council staff member Vaky forwarded to President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger a revised memorandum to President Nixon on Cuban exile activities, requesting that authorization to discourage exiles from taking actions that might be counter-productive to U.S. interests.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. II, 1970. Secret; Sensitive. The memoranda are uninitialed copies and there is no indication they were sent. Tabs A and B are attached but not published. In a May 25 memorandum to Kissinger, Vaky noted that Treasury had been investigating the activities of Alpha–66 since July 1969. A handwritten note by Haig, June 3, at the bottom of the memorandum reads, “Pete–Let’s take it easy–this will evoke strong Pres. reaction. Pete, please call me. Al.” (Ibid.) A Department of State official met with Cuban exiles, May 15, to discourage them from taking actions against Cuba. (Memorandum of conversation, May 15; Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 30–2 CUBA) In a July 10 memorandum to Mitchell, Helms stated, “I had the distinct impression from the President one day a couple of months ago that he rather favors some anti-Castro activity by this ALPHA 66 group.” (Central Intelligence Agency, Executive Registry, Job 80–B01285A)


221. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, May 28, 1970.

President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger recommended that President Nixon approve a recommendation by Secretary of State Rogers to enter into an agreement with Cuba for the reciprocal return of hijackers.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. II, 1970. Secret. Sent for action. President Nixon initialed his approval on June 11. On June 12, Kissinger informed Rogers of the President’s authorization. Tabs A through C are attached but not published. Tab A is a May 15 memorandum from Rogers to the President. Tab B is an undated proposed memorandum of understanding between the United States and Cuba. And Tab C is a November 12, 1969 memorandum from Kissinger to Nixon containing a Presidential authorization to send the note. (Ibid.)


222. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, June 17, 1970.

National Security Council staff member Vaky summarized the key points of a CIA memorandum on Cuban-Soviet relations and the establishment of a naval facility at Cienfuegos.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 780, Country Files, Latin America, Cuba, Vol. II, 1970. Secret. A note on the document indicates Kissinger saw it. Attached but not published is a June 3 CIA intelligence memorandum, OCI 1367–70. (Ibid.)


223. Memorandum From the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State, to the Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs (Hurwitch), Washington, August 14, 1970.

The Assistant Legal Adviser reported that Cuban exile leader José Elías de la Torriente was planning to recruit Cuban exiles for military action against Cuba and recommended that the Department warn de la Torriente that such activities might violate U.S. criminal laws.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 30–2 CUBA. Confidential. Forwarded by Assistant Secretary Hurwitch to ARA/CCA on August 14. According to an August 31 memorandum of conversation, Matthew D. Smith and Ronald D. Godard of the ARA/CCA Miami Office met with de la Torriente to reiterate the U.S. Government position on violation of U.S. neutrality law. (Ibid.) In a September 17 memorandum to Kissinger, Viron P. Vaky reported that Alpha 66 had unsuccessfully attempted to infiltrate Cuba, resulting in the capture of five Cuban exiles. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 782, Country Files, Latin America, Soviet Naval Activity in Cuban Waters, Vol. I, Cienfuegos)