379a. Editorial Note

In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon’s administration considered whether it should continue President Lyndon Johnson’s administration’s policy of covert support for Haitian exiles. In April 1969, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) briefed the 303 Committee on U.S. Government covert assistance to prominent Haitian exiles residing primarily in the United States, Canada, and the Bahamas. The program had been initially approved by the 303 Committee in July 1965 and consisted of Creole-language radio broadcasts to Haiti that were against Haitian President François Duvalier to offset the inflammatory propaganda broadcasts from Radio Habana. According to the CIA, since August 1968, the broadcasts had been irregular due to the loss of facilities in New York and efforts were being made to locate new facilities. The CIA stated that covert support to the Haitian Coalition cost $135,000 annually. The CIA also noted that the program might be inadvertently disclosed due to the prosecution of two Haitians formerly affiliated with the Haitian Coalition, who had participated in an unauthorized and abortive invasion of Haiti in May 1968.

A May 27 memorandum to the 303 Committee, recommended termination of U.S. Government support for the anti-Duvalier broadcasts and a phasing out of support for the exile Haitian Coalition, on the basis that the program could interfere with the Embassy’s efforts to move toward establishing a dialogue with Duvalier and enable the U.S. Government to exert constructive influence over future events. Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Charles A. Meyer concurred in the recommendation. In June 1969, the 303 Committee approved the termination of covert U.S. support.