362. Memorandum From Robert Pastor of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) and the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Aaron)1


  • US Policy to the Caribbean (U)

Attached at Tab A is a summary of a number of conversations I had with Caribbean leaders at the Black Music Association.2 The most interesting was with Henry Forde, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Barbados, and in my opinion, one of the most impressive and intelligent leaders in the Caribbean. We were quite right to put our faith in Barbados rather than to approach Grenada directly. In addition, I spoke with the Jamaican Minister of Finance, and had a rather unpleasant exchange with the Deputy Minister of Grenada, Bernard Coard. My conversation with Coard confirmed my view that we should maintain a cool and distant policy toward Grenada. (C)

Forde is very eager to play a leading role in criticizing Cuba, and I believe we should provide him with as much information as possible, particularly on Cuba’s arms buildup.3 Barbados has a good deal of credibility in the Third World. Criticism by Forde could in fact be more effective in inhibiting Castro than from the US. Forde also requested that we send the US Navy to Bridgetown from time to time, that we beef-up our intelligence-gathering operations in the Caribbean, and that we look for a face-saving way out of the Naval facility negotiations. I think all of these are good ideas, which I intend to pursue with Vaky.4 (C)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 6, Barbados, 1/77–1/81. Confidential. Sent for information.
  2. Attached but not printed. The Department sent the text of Pastor’s summary of the conversations to Bridgetown on June 16; see Document 323.
  3. Brzezinski marked this sentence and wrote in the margin, “do so.”
  4. In a memorandum to Brzezinski on July 6, Pastor reported that Hewitt had sent the summary at Tab A to several Caribbean posts without Pastor’s permission. Pastor feared that the summary, which had been leaked to the Washington Post, would “unquestionably” hurt Forde’s political standing, adding, “I sent it to State because I thought the information would be very useful to those who spend all their time on Caribbean matters.” He commented, “I do not intend to make that mistake again.” (Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, North/South, Pastor, Country, Box 2, Folder: Barbados, 4/77–5/80)