400. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon, Washington, April 22, 1971.1 2
THE WHITE HOUSE
April 22, 1971
MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT
FROM: HENRY A. KISSINGER [HK initialed]
SUBJECT: Duvalier is Dead
Last night our Ambassador to Haiti was summoned to the Presidential palace and informed by Duvalier’s son of the death of his father. Two specific requests were made of the United States:
-- That the United States provide naval surveillance in the waters surrounding Haiti to prevent Cuban vessels from carrying out any invasion attempt against the country.
-- That appropriate moves by the United States are taken to frustrate any external groups from mounting attacks against Haiti.
Duvalier’s son, Jean-Claude, stated that his father had died at 10:00 p.m., but confirmed that he had been ill for some time and that his death had been anticipated.
The constitution of Haiti had been changed in January to provide that Jean-Claude, Duvalier’s 21-year old son will succeed to the Presidency.
We had anticipated the possibility of Duvalier’s death earlier and initiated appropriate contingency planning. I am convening a Senior WSAG at 11:15 this morning to complete preparation of options available to you in response to the Haitian request. The Haitian government has not formally announced Duvalier’s death.
- 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.↩
- 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.↩