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Department Seal

Volume X
Cuba, 1961-1962



Cuba, 1961-1962

331. Memorandum for the Record

Washington, April 26, 1962.

//Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI Files: Job 91-00741R, Box 1, Mongoose Papers. Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by McCone. The memorandum apparently records a meeting of the Special Group (Augmented).



1. General Lansdale reported on the activities as per the attached report./1/ McCone expressed dissatisfaction with progress; stated nothing had been accomplished in putting Cubans in the Army for training and that no actions had been taken on matters decided two weeks ago. (In other words, I was very disagreeable.) McCone finally recommended more action; acceptance of attribution if necessary; establishment of training facilities; training of guerrillas and a more dynamic effort in the infiltration of both agents and guerrillas.

/1/Not found attached. An apparent reference to Document 328.

Action: A meeting should be arranged between McCone, Lansdale, and Harvey, immediately upon Harvey's return.

2. The Attorney General requested copies of the Daily Reports on the Opa Laka interrogation. General Taylor instructed Lansdale to prepare a summary of the reports, paying particular attention to specific items of information on complaints which were recurring in successive interviews.

3. General Taylor requested that Mr. Harvey attend the next meeting and report on agent activities.

4. General Taylor suggested that McCone review the memorandum summarizing "Communist Indoctrination of Latin America"/2/ with the President at the earliest opportunity.

/2/Not found.

5. NPIC made a most interesting presentation of the last Corona flight.

Action: McCone agreed to arrange briefing for the President at the earliest convenient time; also briefing for Macmillan when he is here, at a convenient time.

John A. McCone/3/


/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

332. Memorandum From the Director of the Joint Staff (Riley) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Lemnitzer)


Washington, May 1, 1962.

//Source: Department of State, ARA/CCA Files: Lot 66 D 501, Mongoose Operations. Top Secret; Special Handling; Noforn.


Blockade of Cuba in reprisal for Soviet Actions in Berlin (S)

1. This paper is submitted in response to a request by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, to determine the forces that would be required for an effective blockade of Cuba. Such a blockade might be ordered separately or in reprisal for Soviet actions in Berlin.

2. In view of the geographic location and insular nature of Cuba, together with the paucity of pro-Bloc air bases and effective resupply air routes, it is considered that a blockade which would preclude the export and import of the vital commodities necessary to the Cuban economy could be accomplished by maritime forces. Therefore, if directed to institute a blockade of Cuba, CINCLANT would initially put twelve (12) destroyers on perimeter patrol stations or eleven (11) destroyers on blockade stations for the control of specific harbors. These would be augmented by two (2) surveillance aircraft on air patrol stations. Fighter aircraft would be on call at Key West and Guantanamo and available to proceed to the assistance of the surveillance aircraft or destroyers in the event that the blockading forces were attacked by Cuban aircraft.

3. Detailed plans and instructions for the conduct of a blockade of Cuba are in existence. A sketch of the basic concept of the perimeter blockade stations is appended for information./1/ It is considered that an effective blockade can be readily accomplished with existing naval forces. (See Tab A for force totals.)

/1/Not printed.

Herbert D. Riley/2/

Vice Admiral, USN

/2/Printed from a copy that indicates Admiral Riley signed the original.

Tab A

Blockade Forces: 12 Destroyers

Station: Perimeter Patrol

Backup for Sustained Effort: 12 Destroyers for rotation

Blockade Forces: 2 Surveillance Aircraft

Station: Air Patrol

Backup for Sustained Effort: 10 Surveillance Aircraft

Blockade Forces: 1 Fighter Squadron

Station: On call at Key West (existing)

Backup for Sustained Effort: None required

Blockade Forces: 1 Fighter Squadron

Station: On call at Guantanamo (existing)

Backup for Sustained Effort: None required

Total forces required: (For sustained effort)

24 Destroyers

12 Surveillance Aircraft

2 Fighter Squadrons

333. Memorandum From the Chief of Operations, Operation Mongoose (Lansdale) to the Special Group (Augmented)

Washington, May 3, 1962.

//Source: Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 65 D 438, Mongoose. Top Secret; Sensitive. An attached distribution list indicates that seven copies of the memorandum were prepared. Copies were sent to Robert Kennedy, Taylor, Johnson, Gilpatric, Lemnitzer, and McCone. One copy was kept by Lansdale.


Operation Mongoose, 27 April-3 May

The following are the significant highlights of Operation Mongoose for the week:

CIA. Mr. William Harvey has returned from his field trip and is to give his report directly to the Special Group.

In taking measure of where we stand on our tasks, I believe it pertinent to note that CIA now has largely solved its difficult organizational and personnel staffing problems which impeded sound planning and actions as the project was launched. CIA is now moving ahead with the intelligence collection needed to construct appropriate political, psychological and resistance operations to win our goal. In my opinion, CIA deserves to be commended for this difficult regrouping and "re-tooling"; the somewhat disappointing score in attempted operations during this period should consider this.

Now that CIA is ready to move into the fuller operational phase we require, we must recognize that there is inevitably the risk of visibility and audibility. CIA must undertake practical projects, such as paramilitary training, on a more intensive scale, as basic to fulfilling assignments inside Cuba. Such projects must be backed with firmness from the policy level, in the face of possible adverse events of times, if we are to succeed. Also, such projects are going to require further help from Defense; the Defense staff is awaiting definite requests from CIA.

Brigade Prisoners. State reports that the Families Committee has decided to work for the release of the prisoners as a body instead of in small groups or individuals and has signed a three-months contract with John Price Jones to try to raise the $62-million ransom. James Fusca remains as a personal advisor to the Committee chairman.

Studies. The series of planning papers noted in my report last week are nearing completion by the several Departments and Agencies; for example, Defense has just completed its part of the Blockade study./1/ I plan to collate these papers and forward to the Special Group (Augmented) as each series is completed.

/1/Document 332.

334. Memorandum by Director of Central Intelligence McCone

Washington, May 4, 1962.

//Source: Central Intelligence Agency DCI Files: Job 91-00741R, Box 1, Mongoose Papers. Secret; Eyes Only. The meeting was apparently a meeting of the Special Group (Augmented).



General Lansdale reported in writing, as per the attached./1/ Harvey made a long oral report, summarizing all actions taken. No additional actions were authorized at this time.

/1/Not found attached. An apparent reference to Lansdale's May 3 report, Document 333.

Defense was questioned about taking Cubans into the army and advised that efforts to do this should be accelerated. Harvey reported on two television intrusions into Cuba and the purpose of this was questioned by the group.

Action: This should be examined and an explanation made as to (a) exactly how it is done, and (b) the value from the standpoint of our purpose.

Lansdale and Harvey were questioned re possible contact with top people in the Cuban government. There is a growing feeling that we should find a way to make such contacts to determine the possibility of a schism existing between various factions in the Castro regime.

Action: McCone should discuss with Helms and Harvey to see what positive steps can be taken in this direction.

John A. McCone/2/

/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

335. Telegram From the Embassy in Brazil to the Department of State

Rio de Janeiro, May 3, 1962, noon.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/5-362. Top Secret; Eyes Only; No Distribution.

2577. Eyes only Secretary and Martin. Reference: Deptel 2979./1/ After some delay because his and my travels Brasilia and Rio, finally able discuss reference telegram subject privately with Foreign Minister Dantas May 2. He reports that Ambassador Bastile Pinto saw Fidel privately immediately after Easter. Following Dantas' instructions, he said that GOB had followed closely apparent internal crisis between Barbudos and old line communist party group. Said that GOB had taken well known line at Punta del Este because it envisaged possibility of Cuban evolution direction of nationalist socialism not linked to Soviets, and thought Fidel likely leader that direction. Whole idea GOB proposal statute of limitations was to leave such an alternative open to Cuba instead of Soviet Bloc as only option. GOB therefore wanted to know whether and how Brazil might be useful, since the only significant channel left for Cuba to West.

/1/Document 326.

Fidel's response was a statement of cordial appreciation of the conversation. He admitted increasing dificulties between him and party group. He welcomed opportunity for this discussion with Ambassador and would present concrete suggestions soon.

Above completes report on Havana conversation. Dantas commented that Fidel would have difficulty in formulating precise suggestions, and he could not tell from report whether and when something would be forthcoming. He reemphasized what he had told Secretary concerning impossibility return to pre-revolutionary status quo based on Miami refugees but barely possible evolution toward nationalist type of socialism cut off from Soviet bloc in which some ex-Fidelist refugees might be willing participate.


336. Memorandum by Director of Central Intelligence McCone

Washington, May 7, 1962.

//Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80-B01285A, Box 6, DCI Meetings with the President, 1 December 1961-30 June 1962. Secret; Eyes Only. Filed with materials relating to McCone's meetings with the President, which suggests that he used the memorandum to brief President Kennedy on Operation Mongoose.


Operation Mongoose

1. Three controlled resistance teams equipped with communications equipment now in Cuba.

2. Five or six additional teams are expected to be infiltrated during May.

3. [2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

4. Extensive penetrations into Cuban-Latin American activities. Legal travelers into Cuba from innumerable Western European and Latin American countries are being used.

5. [3 lines of source text not declassified] In addition the Opa Laka interrogation center is producing about 200 intelligence reports each week which are of value and some 300 Cuban agents in Miami are assembling substantial quantities of important intelligence from the refugee colony.

6. Regular U-2 missions are run over Cuba. 90% to 95% of all Cuban territory has been photographed. 14,000 frames have been carefully studied by the interpretation center during the past three weeks to verify Order of Battle information. Every report of construction, armament locations, gossip about missiles, etc., is immediately studied and, if necessary, new photographs taken to verify our dispute.

John A. McCone/1/

/1/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.

337. Memorandum for the Record

Washington, May 14, 1962.

//Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80-B01285A, Box 11, DCI (Helms) Chrono, Jan-July 1967. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Sheffield Edwards, CIA Director of Security. The memorandum was sent to Attorney General Kennedy on May 15 under cover of a memorandum from Lawrence R. Houston, General Counsel of the CIA, in which Houston noted that the memorandum printed here was prepared at Kennedy's request, and set forth the facts on which Edwards and Houston had briefed the Attorney General on May 7. A handwritten note by Richard Helms on the copy of the covering memorandum found in CIA files reads: "Sen. Kennedy read this on 8 March '67." An August 16, 1963, memorandum from Helms, then Deputy Director for Plans, to McCone concerning Sam Giancana concluded that the May 14 memorandum prepared by Edwards was the only written information available on the CIA relationship with Giancana. (Ibid.)


Arthur James Balletti et al--Unauthorized Publication or Use of Communications

1. This memorandum for the record is prepared at the request of the Attorney General of the United States following a complete oral briefing of him relative to a sensitive CIA operation conducted during the period approximately August 1960 to May 1961./1/ In August 1960 the undersigned was approached by Mr. Richard Bissell then Deputy Director for Plans of CIA to explore the possibility of mounting this sensitive operation against Fidel Castro. It was thought that certain gambling interests which had formerly been active in Cuba might be willing and able to assist and further, might have both intelligence assets in Cuba and communications between Miami, Florida and Cuba. Accordingly, Mr. Robert Maheu, a private investigator of the firm of Maheu and King was approached by the undersigned and asked to establish contact with a member or members of the gambling syndicate to explore their capabilities. Mr. Maheu was known to have accounts with several prominent business men and organizations in the United States. Maheu was to make his approach to the syndicate as appearing to represent big business organizations which wished to protect their interests in Cuba. Mr. Maheu accordingly met and established contact with one John Rosselli of Los Angeles. Mr. Rosselli showed interest in the possibility and indicated he had some contacts in Miami that he might use. Maheu reported that John Rosselli said he was not interested in any remuneration but would seek to establish capabilities in Cuba to perform the desired project. Towards the end of September Mr. Maheu and Mr. Rosselli proceeded to Miami where, as reported, Maheu was introduced to Sam Giancana of Chicago. Sam Giancana arranged for Maheu and Rosselli to meet with a "courier" who was going back and forth to Havana. From information received back by the courier the proposed operation appeared to be feasible and it was decided to obtain an official Agency approval in this regard. A figure of one hundred fifty thousand dollars was set by the Agency as a payment to be made on completion of the operation and to be paid only to the principal or principals who would conduct the operation in Cuba. Maheu reported that Rosselli and Giancana emphatically stated that they wished no part of any payment. The undersigned then briefed the proper senior officials of this Agency on the proposal. Knowledge of this project during its life was kept to a total of six persons and never became a part of the project current at the time for the invasion of Cuba and there were no memoranda on the project nor were there other written documents or agreements. The project was duly orally approved by the said senior officials of the Agency.

/1/The sensitive operation referred to was described more explicitly in a report prepared by the Inspector General of the CIA on April 25, 1967. According to the report, "CIA twice (first in early 1961 and again in early 1962) supplied lethal pills to U.S. gambling syndicate members working on behalf of CIA in a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro." (Ibid., DCI Files: Job 85-00664R, Box 8, HS/CSG2679, Project Amlash) The body of the report, which was based largely upon interviews with CIA officials with knowledge of these abortive attempts to assassinate Castro, indicates in fact that three such attempts were made, the first in late February-early March, a second in late March-early April, and a third attempt in April-June 1962. The Inspector General's report on these attempts to assassinate Castro was supplied in 1975 to the Senate Select Committee To Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities and the details are summarized and supplemented by additional testimony taken by the committee in the interim report on Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, published by the committee in November 1975, pp. 79-85. Documentation generated by the committee in the course of its investigations is in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 233, JFK Collection.

The JFK Collection also contains a record of a conversation on November 9, 1961, between President Kennedy and Tad Szulc of The New York Times during which Szulc reported that President Kennedy asked him: "What would you think if I ordered Castro to be assassinated?" Szulc indicated that he felt that would be a terrible idea and Kennedy responded, "I'm glad you feel the same way." (Ibid.; see the Supplement)

2. Rosselli and Maheu spent considerable time in Miami talking with the courier. Sam Giancana was present during parts of these meetings. Several months after this period Maheu told me that Sam Giancana had asked him to put a listening device in the room of one Phyllis McGuire, reported to be the mistress of Giancana. At that time it was reported to me that Maheu passed the matter over to one Edward Du Boise, another private investigator. It appears that Arthur James Balletti was discovered in the act of installing the listening device and was arrested by the Sheriff in Las Vegas, Nevada. Maheu reported to me that he had referred the matter to Edward Du Boise on behalf of Sam Giancana. At the time of the incident neither this Agency nor the undersigned knew of the proposed technical installation. Maheu stated that Sam Giancana thought that Phyllis McGuire might know of the proposed operation and might pass on the information to one Dan Rowan, another friend of McGuire's. At the time that Maheu reported this to the undersigned he reported he was under surveillance by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who, he thought, were exploring his association with John Rosselli and Sam Giancana incident to the project. I told Maheu that if he was formally approached by the FBI, he could refer them to me to be briefed that he was engaged in an intelligence operation directed at Cuba.

3. During the period from September on through April efforts were continued by Rosselli and Maheu to proceed with the operation. The first principal in Cuba withdrew and another principal was selected as has been briefed to The Attorney General. Ten thousand dollars was passed for expenses to the second principal. He was further furnished with approximately one thousand dollars worth of communications equipment to establish communications between his headquarters in Miami and assets in Cuba. No monies were ever paid to Rosselli and Giancana. Maheu was paid part of his expense money during the periods that he was in Miami. After the failure of the invasion of Cuba word was sent through Maheu to Rosselli to call off the operation and Rosselli was told to tell his principal that the proposal to pay one hundred fifty thousand dollars for completion of the operation had been definitely withdrawn.

4. In all this period it has been definitely established from other sources that the Cuban principals involved never discovered or believed that there was other than business and syndicate interest in the project. To the knowledge of the undersigned there were no "leaks" of any information concerning the project in the Cuban community in Miami or in Cuba.

5. I have no proof but it is my conclusion that Rosselli and Giancana guessed or assumed that CIA was behind the project. I never met either of them.

6. Throughout the entire period of the project John Rosselli was the dominant figure in directing action to the Cuban principals. Reasonable monitoring of his activities indicated that he gave his best efforts to carrying out the project without requiring any commitments for himself, financial or otherwise.

7. In view of the extreme sensitivity of the information set forth above, only one additional copy of this memorandum has been made and will be retained by the Agency.

Sheffield Edwards/2/

/2/Printed from a copy that indicates Edwards signed the original.

338. Priority Operations Schedule for Operation Mongoose

Washington, May 17, 1962.

//Source: Department of State, ARA/CCA Files: Lot 66 D 501, Operation Mongoose, Phase I. Top Secret; Noforn; Special Handling. Prepared by Lansdale. No covering memorandum indicating distribution has been found. The document is stamped to indicate that 12 copies were prepared. A handwritten notation indicates that the source text was Martin's copy. According to a brief memorandum prepared by McCone, the Special Group (Augmented) accepted the schedule on May 17 "for review, study and decision at the meeting on Thursday, May 24." (Central Intelligence Agency, DCI Files: Job 91-00741R, Box 1, Mongoose Papers) See the Supplement. No record of the May 24 meeting has been found.

A May 30 memorandum from Martin to Johnson, prepared by Hurwitch, establishes that the schedule of assigned tasks in the schedule printed here was distributed to the concerned agencies, but it was not discussed in advance by the operations group of project officers, such as Hurwitch and Craig. Martin felt that a number of the tasks assigned to the Department were "too vague," and he added that "in the absence of specifics it is not possible to calculate the risk and the cost to the United States of a particular action." He made reference to task #1, calling for action to be stimulated within the OAS. Such action, he noted, "could well place an intolerable strain upon the inter-American machinery, and could thus result in a net advantage for Castro." Martin concluded that assigned tasks should be thoroughly discussed within the operations group before submission for policy consideration to the Special Group (Augmented). (Ibid.)


21 May-30 June 1962

Political Task: 1. Obtain some special and significant action within the OAS organization against the Castro-Communist regime. (State)

Purpose: To produce material for psychological impact on Cuba.

Considerations: Members of OAS need to be inspired to push some special action through. Current events offer a number of opportunities for exploitation through such OAS bodies as the Commission on Human Rights, the Peace Committee, the Council of Jurists, and the Children's Institute, as well as the Special Consultative Committee on Security.

Political Task: 2. Activate key public leaders in Latin America to make timely and strong statements about the Castro-Communist threat to the Hemisphere, the failures of the regime towards Cuban workers, students, farmers, and freedom. (State)

Purpose: To produce material for psychological impact on Cuba.

Considerations: Under the Ambassador's initiative, each Country Team by now has the means to generate more open and active commitment of Latin American political, intellectual, labor, youth, religious, and military leaders. One significant action in each Latin American country, for hard impact on Cuba, is a minimum need.

Political Task: 3. [6-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

Purpose: To produce material for major psychological impact on Cuba, undermining the power and prestige of the hierarchy of the Castro regime.

Considerations: [1 paragraph (24 lines of source text) not declassified]

Political Task: 4. Develop a suggested platform of Cuban political-economic objectives for possible adoption by Cubans in freeing their country. (State)

Purpose: For the guidance of Operation Mongoose personnel, particularly in the selection and readying of agents to ensure that they are committed to acceptable political beliefs before introduction into Cuba.

Considerations: There are a number of statements of Cuban political objectives, including drafts by State and CIA. What is needed now, and promptly, is a single working document for the guidance of U.S. operational staffs.

Political Task: 5. Assure that optimum values are obtained from the CRC and Cuban refugee groups in the U.S. (CIA)

Purpose: These Cuban external groups have a vital role for propaganda impact inside Cuba. We must have purposeful, singleness of guidance and monitoring of their activities to support the project.

Considerations: CIA and State both have had roles with the CRC and others. Cuban leaders also make contact at a number of high offices of the U.S. government. For the good of the U.S., the Cuban refugees, and our project, there must be coordinated management. The Director, Central Intelligence, should have this responsibility, particularly with leaders of the stature of Dr. Jose Miro Cardona.

Psychological Task: 6. Steer psychological-propaganda Working Group for day-to-day Cuba operations. (State)

Purpose: To assure full consideration of material, as collected, in terms of special psychological-propaganda use against the Cuban regime, and to inform the public.

Considerations: This has been a normal State-chaired working group. It needs to be sharply geared to the project's operations, including consideration of declassifying material for operational use. Defense should be added to the membership. It is possible that USIA should assume leadership.

Psychological Task: 7. Make strong, repetitive theme on radio broadcasts to Cuba of the overwhelming disapproval throughout the Western Hemisphere of the Castro-Communist regime, along with sympathy for the captive Cubans. (USIA)

Purpose: To undermine Castro's psychological basis of control over the Cuban people and the lower echelons of the regime's bureaucracy.

Considerations: This is to make full use of material produced by actions in the Western Hemisphere.

Psychological Task: 8. Give fullest play into Cuba (and the Western Hemisphere) of Cuban refugees and defectors as dramatic witness against the Castro-Communist regime. (USIA)

Purpose: To undermine Castro's psychological basis of control and to build the tone for anti-Castro actions in the Western Hemisphere.

Considerations: Note the inclusion of defectors in this task; it is still a CIA task to produce the defectors. Also, this task includes exploitation of Dr. Miro Cardona's intensely moving statement at the end of the Armstrong Circle Theater drama "Anatomy of Betrayal."

Psychological Task: 9. Ready the "Voice of Cuba" for radio broadcast. (CIA)

Purpose: To provide a ready capability for giving a "voice" to encourage resistance elements inside Cuba and to undermine the morale of the Castro regime.

Considerations: Initially, this would be for brief news broadcasts of local events inside Cuba, simulating a location in Cuba, but actually located off-shore. A plan of how best to do this, with the proposed program format, is needed to obtain policy decision.

Psychological Task: 10. Ready a propaganda action, for balloon delivery. (CIA)

Purpose: To provide a ready capability for low-risk propaganda dissemination inside Cuba.

Considerations: A plan of how to do this, including types of propaganda content (with thought given for delivery of symbolic gifts, such as scarce foods or medicines, as well as leaflets), is required for decision. It is noted that USIA has a brief recording of Castro's broadcasts, sharply contrasting his promises when he took power with what he said when he admitted his Communist affiliation; these could be put on cheap plastic discs and into leaflets.

Psychological Task: 11. Deliver copies of Time magazine, with Blas Roca cover story, into Cuba. (CIA)

Purpose: To make the truth available to the Cuban people about the Communist regime.

Considerations: This is seen as smuggling in copies, for passing from hand-to-hand. The smuggling could be done by third-nationals.

Psychological Task: 12. Intensify psychological effort at Guantanamo. (Defense)

Purpose: To make fullest possible use of the existing Cuban labor population on the base.

Considerations: Activities include sports broadcasts, in Spanish, over the base radio station on ball games, news broadcasts using regular wire service news, and making Spanish-language periodicals and literature available for reading on base. USIA has a number of selected titles, published in Mexico and Rio, for stocking base libraries. Also, USIA has a number of VOA "backgrounders" and refugee interviews on tape which could be used for radio broadcasts to Cuban employees on the base.

Psychological Task: 13. Create musical and visual symbols to express anti-regime sentiments. (USIA)

Purpose: To provide catchy expressions of popular resistance against the Communist regime.

Considerations: New words to a favorite song, a new tune, a visual symbol for wall-painting, a hand symbol as easy to do as "V for Victory," are the types of expressions sought. USIA should call on CIA for assistance, since some thought has been given to this already.

Psychological Task: 14. Select a sabotage operation. (CIA)

Purpose: To make a psychological impact upon the regime and public, which symbolizes popular resistance to the regime and which causes talk encouraging to resistance.

Considerations: CIA should select a feasible sabotage operation, a "showy" one against the regime, but not against the people, and present a specific proposal for approval.

Intelligence Task: 15. Make a special effort to step-up the infiltration of teams. (CIA)

Purpose: To exploit recent experience in order to ensure that there is adequate coverage inside Cuba to permit the firm end-of-July intelligence estimate required for further decisions.

Considerations: Feasibility depends on CIA's judgment, both operationally and for depth of intelligence required. The schedule was for 14 teams, 2 singleton agents, 14 third-country residents, and 20 third-country legal travellers by the end of May.

Intelligence Task: 16. Intensify use of third-country collection for specific psychological information which can be exploited in propaganda. (CIA)

Purpose: To provide material for operations putting pressure on the Castro regime inside Cuba, and for use on the OAS-UN opinion stage.

Considerations: Really current "inside" news tips can do most to undermine the regime's morale and interest the Cuban public. Classification may be a problem but this use must be pressed as a priority.

Intelligence Task: 17. Intensify the exploitation of the intelligence potential which exists on the base at Guantanamo. (Defense)

Purpose: To take the fullest possible advantage of this open U.S. "listening post" on Cuban soil.

Considerations: ONI can call upon CIA for assistance. A communication link to Miami would permit use of extensive CIA background information available there and leads for further exploitation, not only for positive intelligence, but also for counter-intelligence. A number of further steps are possible.

Intelligence Task: 18. Get ready for air re-supply missions. (CIA)

Purpose: To have a ready capability for re-supply of agent teams inside Cuba when needed.

Considerations: Since the Air Force has readied a capability for this task and since it is still desired that CIA mount such operations with Cuban or Latin American personnel, an acceptable means must be found promptly. CIA, with Defense assistance, as a priority will review feasible means of mounting these operations, and recommend the most practical method for a policy decision.

Military Task: 19. Develop a real dual-purpose capability of intelligence teams in building up the agent pool for infiltration. (CIA)

Purpose: To assure that skills needed for guerrilla operations are present inside Cuba, so that paramilitary actions can be initiated when the decision is made.

Considerations: While CIA is currently carrying out this task, it is worth CIA taking a further hard look at its training program to anticipate needs. If larger groups of action types are to be trained for possible introduction in September, it is known that at least 3 months "lead time" is required for minimum selection and training. That means now. It is possible that Defense can be of far more help than called upon at present. Also, it is possible that further policy guidance might be required.

Military Task: 20. Induct Cubans into the U.S. Armed Forces for training. (Defense)

Purpose: To fulfill Cuba exile leadership desires and to build up a potential reserve for possible future military action inside Cuba.


Economic Task: 21. Tighten effect of sanctions by increased effort to enlist further participation by NATO nations, Mexico, Japan, and others. (State)

Purpose: To further restrict Cuba's economy.


Economic Task: 22. Penetrate black market operations in Cuba for economic sabotage. (CIA)

Purpose: To worsen Cuba's economic situation.

Considerations: For instance, gangster elements should offer a possible means to accomplish this task, particularly in Cuban cities. This could be a test mission for alleged resistance cells, without undue risk to "noise level."

Economic Task: 23. [4 lines of source text not declassified]

Purpose: To obtain policy approval for creating economic chaos inside Cuba.

Considerations: Cuba's economy is the Castro-Communist regime's greatest vulnerability and is open to much greater exploitation.

339. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Goodwin) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Martin)

Washington, May 24, 1962.

//Source: Department of State, ARA/CCA Files: Lot 66 D 501, Cuban Project-1962. Top Secret.



The growing evidence of strains within the internal power structure of Cuba seems to me to offer an opportunity for a tentative probe designed to test the possibility of splitting the Castro revolutionaries from the old line communists (those who did not participate in the early stages of the revolution).

I will not bother to summarize the intelligence information which you have seen. My judgment of that information is that there is strain between the revolutionaries and the old-line communists; a strain based much more on rivalry for power than on ideological differences. The key figures in this struggle are probably Raul Castro and possibly Che Guevara, although Che is very much behind the scene. I would guess that these people fear that the old-line communists, with tacit Moscow-backing, are trying to moderate the power of Fidel and consequently of their group, and that they have transmitted these fears to Fidel.

Although it would be foolish to speculate that these relations are at the breaking point, I have always felt that putting an end to Soviet control in Cuba would more probably come (if it comes at all) from a split in the top leadership than from a popular revolution. Of course, the greatest obstacle to this is the complete dependence of Cuba on the Soviet Union for subsistence and the undoubted feeling that were the Soviet Union to be antagonized Cuba would have no place to go for support.

Therefore, I would suggest an approach to Castro along the following lines: that whatever our past policies we are sympathetic to the original stated aims of the Cuban revolution--social reform and an end to dictatorship--and we are confident that the questions of property which emerged from the revolution can be amicably negotiated; that the reason for our concern is and has been the Soviet control over Cuba which we have always believed is inimical to Castro's own desires and to the aims of the revolution; that were Castro to disengage himself from the communists we would be willing to re-establish normal commercial relations with his revolutionary government and welcome participation in Inter-American efforts including the Alliance for Progress.

This is a brief summary of the sort of approach I believe we should consider. There are two critical items in this proposal:

1. The content of the approach: It must be moderate and face-saving for Castro. It must work to eliminate all fears that we would try to throw out Castro and his revolutionaries or would insist on return of properties, etc. It must offer a way to disengage with dignity and with minimum fear of the consequences. This deserves a great deal of thought including the possibility of some multi-nation guarantee offered to Castro. Once he has broken we would, of course, reconsider this policy.

2. The method of approach: The best method, I believe, would be through a European embassy or through the Cuban Ambassador to the UN, who we have reason to believe is loyal to Fidel and not to communism. Of course, the Cubans should not be able to prove a US initiative but the contact must have credibility. I like the UN idea because of our capacity to monitor communications between New York and Havana.

I strongly believe that our contacts should not be through other Latin American nations. The temptation to play internal politics with such a "mediation" role now or in the future will be enormous. In addition, Latin American sincerity and concepts of security are notoriously poor. I believe we would be really asking for trouble, in the form of future exposure, were we to rely on Latins for this project; especially the Brazilians.

340. Memorandum From the Chief of Operations, Operation Mongoose (Lansdale) to the Special Group (Augmented)

Washington, May 31, 1962.

//Source: Department of State, ARA/CCA Files: Lot 66 D 501, Operation Mongoose, Phase I. Top Secret; Sensitive; Noforn; Special Handling. An attached distribution list indicates that seven copies of the memorandum were prepared. Copies were sent to Robert Kennedy, Taylor, Johnson, Gilpatric, Lemnitzer, and McCone, and one copy was kept by Lansdale.

[Here follow operational details relating to intelligence, economic pressure, propaganda, and an incident at Guantanamo.]

Fracturing the Regime has been given priority attention by CIA. A senior case officer has been assigned full-time to this specific action, and has preferential use of CIA assets. Of 24 desirable defection targets, CIA has found several who seem vulnerable [1 line of source text not declassified].

Priority Operations Schedule of 21 May,/1/ seeking some positive actions in behalf of our project during the next several weeks, has brought a very healthy response from CIA and USIA. The CIA determination to meet the challenge has surfaced four policy-type questions which I note for you on behalf of CIA:/2/

/1/Document 338.

/2/This copy of the memorandum, which is marked as Johnson's copy, was annotated by Johnson in the margin as follows: after item 1), relating to Task 7: "OK State"; after item 2), relating to Task 10: "No" and an illegible word; after item 3), relating to Task 19: "further planning" and Johnson wrote in "about 10" in place of the word "some" in the first line of the text; and after item 4), relating to Task 23: "submit plan."

1) Task 7, "Voice of Free Cuba," is almost immediately feasible, if the Group will approve CIA arranging with Navy for use of a submarine. CIA has firm plans for worrying the Communist regime through broadcasts which would appear to come from local dissident groups actively planning to harass the regime.

2) Task 10, CIA is prepared to disseminate leaflets on Castro's failure to the Cuban population via balloon with a view of increasing instability of the Communist machine. The technique is tested and CIA has plans to operate from a surface ship in international waters. The Group is asked to approve the idea, including Navy support. This could be operating in time to exploit the 26 July anniversary of Castro's attack upon government forces at Santiago de Cuba in 1953, for "the revolution" he has now betrayed.

3) Task 19, CIA believes it can recruit some 20-man teams for possible use in beefing up resistance groups within Cuba. Group approval is asked for Defense support in training, holding, logistics. The "noise level" hazard is noted, but this special project could be almost unnoticed if timed with proposed U.S. military enlistment of Cubans.

4) [4 lines of source text not declassified]

Other Tasks.

I note here that CIA does not feel it has the operational means to undertake Task No. 22, black-market activities, at this time. Further that Task No. 11, Time magazine dissemination, would require operational facilities not now available. I accept indefinite deferral of Task No. 22 and scrubbing of Task No. 11 on this basis.

The Department of State reaction, to my effort to get the U.S. into priority actions towards our project's goals, has been disappointing to me thus far. Apparently, my schedule of targets for special efforts is accepted only as it may fit into long-range, existing programs already under way. If this is the theory of our project, I believe that the project then becomes only a special reporting device and not a special U.S. effort to win the goal of helping the Cubans recapture their country from a gang of Communists.

341. Memorandum for the Special Group (Augmented)

Washington, May 31, 1962.

//Source: Department of State, ARA/CCA Files: Lot 66 D 501, Operation Mongoose. Top Secret; Noforn; Special Handling. No drafting information appears on the source text, but internal evidence suggests that the memorandum was prepared by Lansdale, as Chief of Operations.


US Policy in the Event USSR Establishes a Base(s) in Cuba

1. At the 22 March meeting, Mr. Robert Kennedy asked the Special Group (Augmented)--what would be an appropriate course of action for the United States to take in the event that the Soviets establish a military base in Cuba.

2. The Department of Defense is most desirous that a considered response to this question be prepared by each agency concerned, for the establishment of a Soviet military base(s) of any kind in Cuba would increase our national vulnerability and defense costs as forces would have to be developed or shifted to meet this threat from the South./1/ At the same time, it is logical to assume that a Soviet military base in Cuba would result in further economic, managerial and technical assistance for Cuba which would virtually assure, for the foreseeable future, the continuation of the Cuban-Communist base of operations for espionage, sabotage and subversion throughout the entire Western Hemisphere.

/1/CIA Information Report no. K-3,216,423, dated May 31, circulated a report of a possible Soviet submarine base being built on the coast of Cuba in Oriente Province. (Ibid.)

3. Since the Special Group (Augmented) has assumed that overt US military force will have to be used to end Communist control of Cuba, Mr. Kennedy's question is particularly pertinent. For should the Soviets choose to exercise their option of establishing a military base under a Soviet flag in Cuba, it is possible that this would act to prevent any future US decision to intervene with US military force, just as the Soviets have refrained from applying military force against countries on which US bases are established.

4. Furthermore, establishment of a military base(s) in Cuba would cost the Soviets very little in terms of world public opinion. For example, they could explain that they were simply taking a page from our book, and would remove their base(s) from Cuba if we would remove ours from Berlin, Turkey or Formosa.

5. Consequently, I believe national security considerations require that all participating agencies prepare a written response to Mr. Robert Kennedy's question. I recommend that these responses be prepared in time for presentation at our next meeting.

342. Memorandum From the Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Anderson) to Secretary of Defense McNamara


Washington, June 5, 1962.

//Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 66 A 3542, Cuba 342.18. Top Secret.


Cubans in the US Armed Forces (U)

1. Reference is made to a memorandum by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, dated 21 May 1962,/1/ on the above subject, in which it was requested that the necessary detailed plans be developed to implement the President's instructions that selected Cuban refugees be inducted into the US Armed Forces.

/1/Not found.

2. The attached plan,/2/ which follows the basic planning guidance provided, has been developed. The plan requires the lowering of current induction standards to permit induction of those individuals who have dependents and who do not possess the required facility in the English language. These individuals will be organized into Cuban units through basic and advanced individual training and at the end of that time will either be selected for further special forces type training, integrated into regular units or separated for the convenience of the government./3/

/2/Not printed.

/3/The attached plan envisioned that approximately 3,000 Cuban refugees in the 17-35 age bracket would volunteer for induction and training, and that 1,500 of that total would meet the reduced standards for induction.

3. The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that the success of the plan is dependent upon overcoming the difficulties previously encountered. Although the lowering of induction standards will permit many to serve who otherwise would be ineligible and the Cuban unit type organization with special forces training may serve to stimulate greater interest, there still remains the problem of motivation for service in the US Armed Forces. Since no definitive objective for utilization of trained Cuban personnel has been established, it is anticipated that there still will be a distinct loss of interest when these personnel come to the full realization that they are not being trained specifically for return to Cuba.

4. Implementation of the attached plan will entail expenditure of funds which have not been budgeted for the coming fiscal year. The training of the Cuban refugees is considered an additional mission and, as such, will not contribute to the accomplishment of prior missions for which Service manpower ceilings have been authorized. It is, therefore, requested that necessary funds and personnel spaces be provided to implement the program, and that those Cubans inducted under this plan not be charged against current Service ceilings. Since the Army is best equipped to provide the type training envisioned, it is anticipated that primary responsibility for implementation of the plan will be placed with that Service./4/

/4/A June 6 covering memorandum from Lieutenant Colonel Sam Wilson (USA) to Brigadier General George S. Brown, Military Assistant to Secretary McNamara, indicates that Lansdale had already discussed the plan with Gilpatric. The status of the project, Wilson noted, would be reported to General Taylor in the Special Group on June 7, and Taylor would then pass the information to the President "in view of latter's strong personal interest in this undertaking." (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 66 A 3542, Cuba 342.18)

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

GW Anderson

343. Notes on an Operations Group Meeting

Washington, June 7, 1962.

//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/6-762. Secret. Prepared by Hurwitch.

1. Lansdale accepted procedure of holding similar meetings for purpose of discussing plans and projects before submission Special Group.

2. Lansdale and to greater extent General Craig harbor notion that we can order other nations do our bidding. When we point out reluctance certain governments follow our lead, they urge a major psychological and political campaign within the country among labor, student and political groups to "force" the government to change its mind.

3. General Craig, particularly, remains convinced that Department is emphasizing "long range goals in the hemisphere" as compared to "priority for Cuba." (Craig has just been promoted to Major General and will probably be transferred next month.)

4. Task 19/1/--guerilla training of intelligence teams--requires careful consideration, with the Secretary, before reaching a decision.

/1/For the tasks cited in the notes, see Document 338.

5. Task 5--U.S. relations with the CRC--remains a State responsibility, reversing Lansdale's original proposal.

6. Unconfirmed rumors brought by four recently-arrived Cuban refugees tell of a mid-June uprising in Cuba. To safe-guard against a premature uprising on the off-chance that there may be some truth in the stories, Dr. Miro plans to make a declaration/2/ characterizing the reports as rumors, urging the Cuban populace to be patient and await the day of liberation resulting from unified action. DOD is reviewing its contingency planning and reaction time in the event an uprising occurred. We have informed Lansdale that on the basis of information to date there appeared little likelihood of an uprising of proportions that might make U.S. military intervention politically feasible; i.e. a nation-wide revolt that seriously threatened the regime, where the opposition held areas and called for assistance.

/2/A handwritten addition by Hurwitch at this point reads: "from Costa Rica".

344. Memorandum for the Record

Washington, June 8, 1962.

//Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI Files: Job 91-00741R, Box 1, Mongose Papers. Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by Walter Elder, McCone's Executive Assistant. Elder's memorandum apparently records the June 7 meeting of the Special Group (Augmented).


General Lansdale made an oral report on this subject. He also, with certain support from the Attorney General, requested more active participation by the Department of State. The meeting agreed that the Department would furnish real support, appoint a full-time senior officer, and present action proposals.

There was also some discussion of contingency planning against the possibility of widespread revolt in Cuba. General Craig, on behalf of the Department of Defense, said that there were contingency plans for use of US forces.


345. Memorandum From the Chief of Operations, Operation Mongoose (Lansdale) to the Special Group (Augmented)

Washington, June 8, 1962.

//Source: Department of State, ARA/CCA Files: Lot 66 D 501, Mongoose Operations. Top Secret; Sensitive; Noforn; Special Handling. An attached distribution list indicates that seven copies of the memorandum were prepared. Copies were sent to Robert Kennedy, Taylor, Johnson, Gilpatric, Lemnitzer, and McCone. One copy was kept by Lansdale.


Status of Requested Studies, Operation Mongoose

At your 26 April meeting, I noted that several studies were in preparation, as had been requested in connection with Operation Mongoose. The following is a report on the status of each study.

Blockade of Cuba.

Defense was asked to determine how a blockade could be imposed on Cuba, if it were decided to do so. CIA was asked to estimate the effects of such a blockade on Cuba.

The Defense and CIA studies have been completed and are attached hereto./1/ The Defense representative notes that the blockade study was submitted in response to a stated problem, and that it is neither a Defense nor JCS recommendation for the United States to undertake this course of action. If such a course of action were decided upon, it would be an act of war.

/1/Not found attached. The CIA study has not been found. For text of the Department of Defense response, see Document 332.

Cubans in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Defense plan for taking Cubans into the U.S. Armed Forces,/2/ on a more liberal basis than in the past, is being submitted separately, through appropriate channels.

/2/See Document 342.

An apparent reference to the memorandum listing principal organizations and personalities within the Cuban exile movement sent on May 3 by McCone to General Taylor. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Subjects, Exiles 1/62-10/62)/3/

/3/List of Cuban Anti-Castro Organizations.

Task completed. The Director, Central Intelligence, provided copies to members.

Security Committee, OAS.

A continuing task, in which the Department of State has noted that it will keep Operation Mongoose informed of significant developments as they occur. The Special Consultative Committee on Security submitted its initial General Report to the Council of the OAS (COAS), 1 May./4/ The COAS distributed copies to OAS member governments, with a request for observations within forty-five (45) days.

/4/For text of the initial report of the Special Consultative Committee, submitted to the Council of the OAS on April 30, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, pp. 361-366.

Evidence on Supporting Military Facilities in Cuba.

This task arose during a discussion of the reported construction of underground hangars, storage sites, etc., in Cuba. Defense and CIA were tasked with undertaking joint analysis of all such reports. The joint analysis was initiated promptly and continues. Results are reflected in the daily and weekly summaries published by CIA for Operation Mongoose.

Census of Hemisphere Travellers to Cuba.

In progress. Action has been taken to stimulate and systematize reporting; one of CIA's Operation Mongoose officers made a field trip to all Central American countries, Colombia, and Venezuela for this purpose; remaining Latin American visits are in progress. CIA is collecting and assessing information for a meaningful report.

"Patrol Posts" in Caribbean, with Particular Reference to Haiti and Dominican Republic.

Completed. Based upon Cuban capabilities, the likely nature of the threat, actions taken by the U.S. to offer assistance, and status of U.S. forces in the Caribbean, Defense recommends no further action at this time to establish "Patrol Posts." Defense points out that the requirement for a facility in Haiti, presented to State of 6 March 1962,/5/ would facilitate the establishment of a "patrol post." In an interim reply of 20 March 1962/6/ State indicated the underlying problems with respect to U.S. policy toward the Duvalier regime. Defense reports that State is conducting an analysis of this policy question.

/5/Letter from Gilpatric to Rusk, March 6. (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 66 A 3542, Haiti 370.02)

/6/Letter from Johnson to Gilpatric, March 20. (Ibid.)

U.S. Policy in the Event USSR Establishes a Base in Cuba.

As noted at the 7 June meeting, this is still open. Mr. Gilpatric asked that the Defense paper,/7/ reminding the members of the question raised by Mr. Robert Kennedy 22 March, be distributed. The Defense paper is transmitted herewith.

/7/Document 342.

[end of document]


Department Seal Return to Foreign Relations of the U.S., Vol. X, Cuba.

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