300. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • President Gerald R. Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Cuba.]

Kissinger: You know we have been talking with the Cubans. You know we said we are willing to move on the basis of reciprocity. I said we would get in touch with them, but I have now said the next move is up to them.

President: I saw the Southern Airways going down to pick up their money.

Kissinger: Maybe I could meet with the Foreign Minister if he comes up for the UN session.

President: It would be all right if they have made some moves and if you do it privately.

Kissinger: It might leak.

President: Maybe not. They have been good so far, but it would be better if it is private.

Kissinger: The other issue is third-country trade with Cuba. We now have little reason for it. We could either change the rule or grant item-by-item exceptions. There are 21 pending.

President: Can we do it without fanfare?

Kissinger: There will be some.

President: I think it is better to change the rule than do it one by one.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Cuba.]

  1. Summary: Kissinger noted recent contacts with Cuban officials, and he discussed with Ford the possibility of private exchanges at a higher level.

    Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversation, FordKissinger 8/7/1975. Secret; Nodis. All brackets are in the original except those indicating text omitted by the editors. The meeting took place in the Oval Office.