CUBA - A STATUS REPORT

Created: 12/12/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

ITIVE

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

LBJ LIB

. 3 Case * i

Document

MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT: tatus Report Current US Policy With Respect to Cuba

1. Current US policy is to isolate Cuba from the

dCi'""SUnder Present Policies

osition within Cuba appears to be eroding gradually and recently he has been forced to adopt increasinalv

maKniried'bvth. Castro regime have been astro's own ineptitude and by the US policy of

da^PTrom au^jgWtic down-ftjaWaing and de-

SECSET SEJWITIVE

J' We.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 believe with Blocertain amount of Free World, iy*eather "is present difficulties. He isto intensify his subversive activities inwhere the fragile political situationpotential of his limited subversive capabilities.

,oourpolicy 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 neutral nations. On the other hand, we are still far from accomplishing our objectives of toppling the Castro regime and of eliminating Castro's subversive efforts against friendly Latin American regimes.

Sayontinuation of our present policy will not resulturther deterioration in Castro-s

l *! Say that under our Present policy Castrorttl*haDgor several years. During thisxan,Ple or through his direct efforts, our own efforts in Latin America will be 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 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 probably involve a

Jigh!!rleVel" and riSk of confrontation with the Soviets than those presently in effect.

A. Covert Actions

to operate

The current covert action program, ift the pace originally envisioned, will come

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semRtive

close to malting uxlni use of CIA's resources and policy

InnC?.SlderaUOn should be *iven to "Pending and intensifying the category of sabotage and harassment

least for the next year

targets/ may be more effectively Attacked from the air under acceptable risk conditions.

8 ot actlon together with their advantages and disadvantages are submitted for consideration:

raiastfTRs against targetsJom and urKe th* British to do likewise for Bahaman territory.

increase number of raids having some economic

GffeCt; inl

inability of 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.

Disadvantages

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

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SEJrTET SBfSXTIVF.

)

SECflET SEJfSlTIVE

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.

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/Communistin 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 advantaees and disadvantages.

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

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SECflET EjpClTIVE

SECRET SENSITIVE

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

Advantages

Would 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.

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 inacesaving 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.

EpiTIVE

Disadvantages

a, might attempt to engage the US in protracted

cJhZlc negotiations with US bargaining concessit in

There is atUl considerable opportunity conomic noose around Castro, More severe Shi BainSt countries that trade with or ship to Cuba could be imposed. we are particularly concerned with

^ SMPPinff PraCtiC6SCanada'Advantages

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

economic chaos leading to greaterdisaffection on part Cuban

Disadvantages

Public and official reaction from free world and other countries affected by US economic sanctions and pressures.

ficultlesapplying sanctions, partic-to^nev. embarasslng

lon?term basis, forcing Cuba into closer economic integration with the Soviet Bloc would not be

S if otherdo not topple Castroreates permanent satellite).

EMsITIVE

d- Seek to obtain OAS endorsement for blanket

o search and "ize selected Cuban and OAS member registry vessels at will, to include

sfifTVstensibleais

measure will be to quarantine covert arms, equipment and

Jhcsk acJions would fee 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 meaLret agalns? Cuba.

Advantages

advanta*es implied in the text5ave favorable psychological effectnstrating firm OAS position

Disadvantages

!ffectlZSly t0nt OAS decision might discredit OAS, embarass US and enhance Castro prestige.

as?aiSe ?astro to commit impulsive act such? a!in Anerlcan country which could lead to US involvement and possible confrontation with Soviets

. - -

e* OAS-wide or bilateral agreements with Latin tobefor Joint measures,

Into Latin Wr^rnVrmS^sea, ornto Latin America. Because of the urgency of the threat

Venezuela and Colombia should be given first priority^ dvantages

prestigero

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rapeSr

Add under "Advantages'

sarinst Cubn.)

SECKT SENSITIVE

sychological defeat for Castro in Latin America, in LatinMd Weaken revolutionary elements

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

ction suggested above will increaseroblems and might thereby hasten his downfall To the extent that these actions have genuine OAS support and participation, they will be that much more effective In

owever- two courses which

would eliminate the Castro regime at an early date- an

a coraPlete blockade. Both of these actions would

Cuba and/or Berlin) and would produce substantial strains

L ?frelationaother countries-allied as 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 inhe practical and political effect of an invasioniockade.

Original document.

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