CUBA-A STATUS REPORT

Created: 12/12/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

4. We believe that apathy and resentment are nowpread ln Cuba. But while apathy and resentment mightlicate Castro's problems, they do nothreat to him or his regime. In short, we believe that Castro, with Blocertain amount of Free World help,s likely to weather his present difficulties. Be Is also likely to intensify his subversive activities ln Latin America, where the fragilo political situation Increases the potential of his limited subversive capabilities.

6. /in sum, our present policy can be characterized as one of low risk and low return: we are unlikely toirect confrontation with the USSR or to engender political strains with allied or neutraln tho other hand, we are still far from accomplishing our objectives of toppling the Castro repime and of eliminating Castro's subversive efforts against friendly Latin American regimes. This is not to sayontinuation of our present policy will not resulturther deterioration In Castro's-position; It is to say that under our present policynight be able to hang on for several years. During this time, through Castro's example or through his direct efforts, our own efforts in Latin America will bo vastly complicated or even neutralized.

Possible Future Courses of Action

6. Since it appears that current US programs at their present levels are not likely, barring unforeseen events suchs the sudden death of Castro, to result in the earlyof the Castro/Communist regime, it would seem timely, to examine what additional covert and overt measures can be taken to quicken the pace of events. The possible future courses of action which follow are less risky than either an invasion or blockade, but would probablyubstantially higher "noise level" and risk of confrontation with the Soviets than those presently in effect.

A. Covert Actions

.7. The current covert action program, if permitted to operate at the pace originally envisioned, will come

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.to making maximum use ofpolicy

authorization. Consideration should bc given to expanding and intensifying the category_of^sabotage and'harassment, at least for the next year.":

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However, hazardous operational and concern over the'political

repercuss ions

_ have inhibltecTmounting.maritime raids.umber of these targets, however, may be more effectively" attacked from the air under acceptable risk conditions.'.

8. Two courses of action together with their advantages and disadvantages are submitted for consideration::

a. Relaxation of the present policy banning

Indepondonl millmtmffmtmhmtmffmtmwlvsmtmtmwmwsmffm Cuban maritime raids and air strikes against targets in Cuba

Advantages

V

ight cause Soviet reaction In Berlin or elsewhere

Actions uncontrolled by US both as to timing and selection of targets, possibly striking at Soviet vessels and Installations.

US Government would be charged with complicity since American territory being used as base. . *

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b. Authorization to conduct

air strikes against selected major economic targets such as the power plants and oil refinerle

Advantages

ame as for a, above and, in addition, would caus> major damage to tho Cuban economy.

Disadvantages

ame as for a. above and, in addition, could causa revulsion against Cuban exiles and possibly US if target missed and sizeable number of Innocent people killed.

B. Overt Actions by Other US Agencies Supported by CIA as appropriate

he main emphasis of overt US programs against Castro fia to complete the economic, political andIsolation of Cuba from Latin America and tbe free world ^nd to build defenses against Castro/Communistin Latin America. These measures have been largely responsible for Castro's current economic distress,dditional effective economic warfare measures could be taken. These are cited below together with their advantages and disadvantages. ,

a. President Johnson could issue an early policy declaration on Cuba making clear that tbe US continues to

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elements in the armed forces to carryoup.

Advantages

Vould leave no doubt in minds of dissident Cuban military elements that anti-Castro efforts have the official blessing of the US Government.

Wouldalutory effect on those Latin American leaders who haveillingness toositive US lead ln taking more forceful action against Castro.

Statement would have favorable effect on anti-Castro Cuban population and exile community andhem to Intensify resistance against Castro regime.

Disadvantages

ight be considered to Involve the President too directly in operational matters.

b. By an Interplay of diplomatic pressure and political warfare to cause the Kremlin to conclude that Cuba hadiability and disengagement would be ln the best Soviet interest. The President and biscould place the Soviets on notice via diplomatic channels and in private confidential discussion that US rapprochement with Castro is excluded from consideration, and that the existence of the Castro regimeerious impediment to detente with the USSR, The US could offer to assist the Soviets inacesaving way to withdraw gracefullywithout serious long-term damage to its prestige.

Advantages

The advantages of inducing the" USSR to disengageare

s

Disadvantages

Soviets might attempt to engage the US in protracted

diplomatic negotiations with US bargaining concessions ln

Cuba for US concessions on other critical issues such as

Berlin, Bast-West trade, etc.

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c. Thera la etill considerable opportunityightening the economic noose around Castro. More severe US sanctions against countries that trade with or ship to Cuba could be Imposed. We are particularly concerned with the current trade and shipping practices of Canada, the UK, Spain and Japan.

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Advantages

Forces greater dependence on the Soviet Bloc with consequent Increased drain on Soviet resources.

Increased economic chaos leading to greaterfor coup and increased disaffection on part Cuban population.

Probable adverse public and official reaction from free world and other countries affected by US economic sanctions and pressures.

Practical difficulties in applying sanctions,against friendly countries, might prove embarassing

to the United States.

a longterm basis, forcing Cuba IntoIntegration with the Soviet Bloc would notfor the US if other measures doreates permanent satellite).;

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Seek to obtain OAS endorsement for blanket authority under tbe Rio Treaty to search and seize selected Cuban and OAS member registry vessels at will, to include the use of force if necessary. The ostensible purpose of this measure will be to quarantine covert arms, equipment and personnel shipments from Cuba to Latin America. In fact, -however, those actions would be designed to humiliate Castro at borne and abroad and to infuriate and provoke him into Irresponsible actions which the US, if it so desired, could use as Justification for more forceful measures against Cuba.

Advantages

n addition to advantages implied in the text above, it would have favorable psychological effect on Cuban leaders and people, demonstrating firm OAS position against Castro regime.

Add

f, in fact,il? tore diccovc rod carrying.ta Latin America, ttere Vould to"cesaxal froo vartd capport-forCuha.}tact such

tnkAtlnr-tihica cculd leadrad pcwith Soviets.

s. OAS-wide or bilateral agreements with Latin American governments could be negotiated for joint measures, to detect and prevent arras smuggling by land, sea, or air into Latin America. Because of tbe urgency of the threat, Venezuela and Colombia should be given first priority.

ould further Isolate Castro and damageat* u-

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Psychological defeat for Castro ln Latin America.

Would demoralize and weaken revolutionary elements

in Latin America.

Disadvantages

Measure is mainly defensive and does little to hasten removal of Castro.

Might Involve risk of Soviet retaliation in Berlin, or elsewhere.

In Conclusion

10. The courses of action suggested above will increase Castro's problems and might thereby hasten his downfall. To the extent that these actions have genuine OAS support and participation, they will bc that much more effective. In tbe last analysis, however, there are only two courses which would eliminate the Castro regime at an early date: an invasionomplete blockade. Both of these actions would resultajor crisis between the US and the USSR (in Cuba and/or Berlin) and would produce substantial strains in the fabric of US relations with otheras well as neutral. reater extent than ln any of the courses discussed above, OAS support would bo important, if not critical, in reducing the risks and in Increasing the practical and political effect of an Invasionlockade.

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