6. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • The Vice President
  • The Secretary of State
  • The Sercretary of the Treasury
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Attorney General
  • The Secretary of Commerce
  • The Director of Central Intelligence


  • PRC Meeting on Cuba

Within the context of the Policy Review Memorandum on Latin America (PRM/NSC–17),2 the President has approved the holding of a separate meeting of the Policy Review Committee by March 9, 1977, devoted to the question of strategies for negotiations with Cuba with the purpose of normalizing relations. A paper should be prepared by the State Department (no more than 15 pages) in coordination with the Departments of Defense, Treasury, Commerce, Justice, and the Central Intelligence Agency. The paper should address itself to four sets of questions:

1. Interests. What are U.S. national and particular interests in a resumption of relations with Cuba, and what interests argue against normalization? These interests should be weighed in terms of their intrinsic importance to the U.S. and in terms of the order, from a tactical perspective (vis-a-vis Cuba and domestic groups in the United States), which they should be advanced in negotiations.

2. Issues. The issues which should be discussed from the Cuban perspective, include: the embargo (total embargo; food and medicines), ending of acts of aggression (Cuban terrorist activities), counter-claims (injury due to embargo), trade relations, and the Guantanamo Base. From the American side, the issues include: human rights (U.S. political and other prisoners, American citizens in Cuba, Cubans with families [Page 14] in the U.S., Cuban political prisoners, visitations); compensation for expropriated American assets; Guantanamo Base; Cuba’s international political and military activities (including Puerto Rico); and Soviet-Cuban military ties. The common issues of discussion include the anti-hijacking agreement, fisheries jurisdiction, and resumption of normal diplomatic relations. The paper should include a discussion of the most desirable order in which the U.S. should raise these issues, and the most feasible order, given possible Cuban positions.

3. Forum. What is the best mechanism or forum to discuss these issues from the perspective of U.S. interests?

4. Options. The paper should include a discussion of alternative negotiation positions and time-tables for discussing these issues.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Brzezinski Office File, Country Chron File, Box 7, Cuba, 2–5/77. Secret. Copies were sent to the U.S. Representative to the UN, the Secretaries of Agriculture and Labor, the Director of OMB, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, the Administrator of AID, the Director of ACDA, the Chairman of the JCS, and the Special Trade Representative.
  2. Scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XV, Central America.