CUBA - A STATUS REPORT

Created: 12/12/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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believe that apathy and resentment are nowin Cuba. But while apathy and resentment mightCastro's problems, they do not represent ato him or his regime. In short, we believewith Blocertain amount of Free Worldlikely to weather his present difficulties. He isto intensify his subversive activities inwhere the fragile political situation increases

the potential of his limited subversive capabilities.

sum, our present policy can beone of low risk and low return: we are unlikelya direct confrontation with the USSR or tostrains with allied or neutral nations. Onband, we are still far from accomplishing ourtoppling the Castro regime and of eliminatingefforts against friendly Latin Americanis not to sayontinuation of our presentnot resulturther deterioration in it is to say that under our present policybe able to hang on for several years. During thisCastro's example or through his direct efforts,efforts in Latin America will be vastly complicatedneutralized.

Possible Future Courses of Action

6. Since it appears that current US programs at their present levels are not likely, barring unforeseen events such as 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

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

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to making maximum use of CIA's resources and policy authorization. Consideration should be given to expanding and Intensifying the category of sabotage and harassment, at least for the next year. The importance of incapacitating the critical power plants and oil refineries in the Havana, iltanzas, and Santiago areas of Cuba has been generally recognized. However, hazardous operational conditions around these Installations, and concern over the political repercussions of the capture of commandos sent on these missions, have inhibited mounting maritime raids. f 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 all

maritime raids US and urge the

Cuban exile nd air strikes against targets in Cuba from British to do likewise for Bahanan territory.

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Advantages

increase number of raids having somepsychological effect; would dramatically highlightof the regime to cope with these raids and tend

to demoralize the armed forces.

In addition to some economic damage, would cause the Cuban government to divert its manpower and other resources from pressing economic problems.

Couldumber of "wait and see" Latin American countries to support stronger unilateral andmeasures against Castro.

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Disadvantages

ould raise "noise level" and increase risk of incidents on high seas in which US Navy night become involved.

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Actions uncontrolled by US both as to tiding 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.

b. Authorization to conduct CIA or autonomous group controlled air strikes against selected major economic targets such as the power plants and oil refineries.

Advantages

ame as for a. above and, in addition, would cause major damage to the Cuban economy.

Disadvantages

ame as for a. above and, in addition, could cause 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

9. The main emphasis of overt US programs against Castro is to complete the economic, political andisolation of Cuba from Latin America and the free world and to build defenses against Castro/Communistln Latin America. These measures have been largely responsible for/Castro's current economic distress, but additional 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 the US continues to

regard the Castro regime as intolerable, and that there can be no rapprochement with Castro. Such statements should be designed to stimulate antl-Castro/Cosmunist dissident elements in the armed forces to carryoup.

Advantages

ould 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 in taking more forceful action against Castro.

Statement would have favorable effect on anti-Castro Cuban population and exile community and encourage them to intensify resistance against Castro regime.

Disadvantages

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

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b. By an interplay of diplomatic pressure and political warfare to cause the Kremlin to conclude that Cuba hadiability and disengagement would be in the best Soviet interest. The President and hiscould 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 inacesavlng way to withdraw gracefully from Cuba without serious long-term damage to its prestige.

Advantages

The advantages of inducing the USSR to disengage from Cuba are obvious.

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Disadvantages

oviets night attempt to engage the US in protracted

Cut K egotiatJons wlth us bargaining concessions in

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Srf.! p critlcal ^sues such as Berlin, East-West trade, etc.

n.. *' There isonsiderable opportunitythe economic noose around Castro. Moreagainst countries that trade with or shipcould be imposed. We are particularly concernedcurrent trade and shipping practices of Canada, theand

Advantages

orces greater dependence on the Soviet Bloc with consequent increased drain on Soviet resources.

econ0micleading to greaterfor coup and increased disaffection on part Cuban population.

Disadvantages

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

actical difficulties in applying sanctions,against friendly countries, might prove embarassing to the United States.

ongteroi basis, forcing Cuba into closer economic integration with the Soviot Bloc would not be advantageous for the US if other measures do not topple Castroreates permanent satellite).

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d. Seek to obtain OAS endorsement for blanket authority under the 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, these actions would be designed to humiliate Castro at home 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

(1) In 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.

Disadvantages

CD failure effectively to implement OAS decision might discredit OAS, embarass US and enhance Castro prestige.

ight cause Castro to commit impulsive act such

as attackatin American country which could lead to

US involvement and possible confrontation with Soviets.

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

Advantages

ould further isolate Castro and damage his prestige at home.

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defeat for Castro in Latin America.

demoralize and weaken revolutionaryLatin America.

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 tbat these actions have genuine OAS support and participation, they will be that much more effective. In the 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 in any of the courses discussed above, OAS support would be important, if not critical, in reducing the risks and in increasing the practical and political effect of an Invasionlockade.

Add under "Advantages"

f, inhip were discovered carrying Cuban to Latin Araorica, there would be substantial OAS (and possibly general free world support for stronger action lgamst Cuba.I

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