220. Memorandum From Viron P. Vaky of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

[Page 1]


  • Cuban Exile Activity

As you requested, attached is a redone memo to the President on exile activity.

As I indicated to you, this activity is becoming a real problem. Moreover, since our talk there is increasing evidence that the exile community believes high levels of the U.S. Government would be or are receptive to their forays. The FBI report, attached to the President’s memo, indicating Senator Thurmond would call for U.S. support of the exiles is a case in point. I have also heard that otherwise unidentified Pentagon officials have encouraged exiles to engage in such forays.

If in fact we are to control events and if we want to avoid the risks and “surprises” that this kind of uncontrolled exile activity can present, then I think we have to get the word to the government community.

The Coordinator for Cuban Affairs has met with representatives of U.S. agencies to coordinate plans to handle the present situation. Present policy and guidance is as indicated in the attached memo to the President. Moreover, the word has been passed quietly to the exile groups that they should knock it off. However, if they are to believe it they will have to get the same word from everybody.

For this reason I have done the memo to the President as an action memo, asking that he authorize you to reiterate present guidance and policy to U.S. agencies, as appropriate. I have also suggested that word be quietly passed to Senator Thurmond not to encourage the exiles in the present juncture.

I believe we should move fairly quickly on this.


That you sign the memo to the President at Tab I.

  1. 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 on 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)
  2. Vaky forwarded to 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.