116. Memorandum From the Counselor (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger1


As you may know, Bill Rogers is going up to Ottawa this afternoon in response to a Canadian feeler that he come up to talk to Ivan Head about Trudeau’s recent trip.

I told Bill to tell Ivan that you are as committed as ever to warm and sound relations and that you have great understanding for Canadian needs to preserve their identity etc. They should also recognize, however, that we cannot take lightly what the Cubans are now in process of doing in Angola and elsewhere. Furthermore, this will have an impact on domestic opinion in the US. Trudeau should therefore recognize that there is a potential for real difficulty if there is a deliberate and demonstrative Canadian policy of courting Castro in the midst of Cuban actions in Africa and elsewhere. Moreover, the Canadians themselves, concerned as they are for international order, should give some serious reflection to the implications of Cuba getting in the habit of shipping forces into trouble spots.

I also told Bill to tell Ivan that if he has serious business, including some impending Canadian action that might create problems for us, he should continue to get in touch directly with me or Brent. (I think Ivan has been abusing the direct line to Brent with frivolous matters and Brent has not answered all his calls and I explained this to Bill Rogers.)

  1. Summary: Sonnenfeldt discussed Rogers’ impending trip to Ottawa.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Helmut C. Sonnenfeldt, 1955–1977, Entry 5339, Box 3, HS Chron—Official, Jan–March 1976. Confidential; Eyes Only. In telegram 524 from Ottawa, February 9, the Embassy reported Rogers’ February 7 meeting with Head on Trudeau’s January visit to Mexico, Venezuela, and Cuba. In a March 17 memorandum to Kissinger, Sonnenfeldt wrote that Enders had told him that the Canadians “were getting agitated about our statements on Cuba and what they implied for Canada.” Sonnenfeldt authorized Enders to tell senior Canadian officials that U.S. “statements on Cuba were not just rhetoric, that we did indeed view with deep concern any further Cuban intervention in Africa and that we meant what we said.” Sonnenfeldt commented: “Needless to say, the Canadians worry greatly about their economic relations with Cuba and possible inhibitions on them. And Trudeau is politically exposed since his trip to Cuba.” (Ibid.)