(U.S., Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States 1961-1963, Volume X Cuba, 1961-1962 Washington, DC)
Washington, January 18, 1962.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/1-2062. Top Secret;
Sensitive. An attached distribution list indicates that 14 copies of the
program review were
prepared. Copies were sent to the President, Robert Kennedy, Taylor, Rusk for Johnson, McNamara for Gilpatric, McCone, Murrow, Woodward for Hurwitch,
General Craig for the JCS, Helms, and Wilson. Three copies were kept by Lansdale.
THE CUBA PROJECT
The U.S. objective is to help the Cubans overthrow the Communist regime from within Cuba and institute a new government with which the United States can live in
II. Concept of Operation
Basically, the operation is to bring about the revolt of the Cuban people. The revolt will overthrow the Communist regime and institute a new government with which
the United States can live in peace.
The revolt requires a strongly motivated political action movement established
within Cuba, to generate the revolt, to give it direction towards the object,
capitalize on the climactic moment. The political actions will be assisted by economic warfare to induce failure of the Communist regime to supply Cuba's economic
needs, psychological operations to turn the peoples' resentment increasingly against the regime, and military-type groups to give the popular movement an action arm
for sabotage and armed resistance in support of political objectives.
The failure of the U.S.-sponsored operation in April 1961 so shook the
faith of Cuban patriots in U.S. competence and intentions in supporting
a revolt against
Castro that a new effort to generate a revolt against the regime in Cuba must have active support from key Latin American countries. Further, the foreignness (Soviet
Union and Bloc) of the tyranny imposed on the Cuban people must be made clear to the people of the Western Hemisphere to the point of their deep anger and
open actions to defend the Western Hemisphere against such foreign invasion. Such an anger will be generated, in part, by appeals from the popular movement within
Cuba to other Latin Americans especially.
The preparation phase must result in a political action organization
in being in key localities inside Cuba, with its own means for internal
communications, its own voice
for psychological operations, and its own action arm (small guerrilla bands, sabotage squads, etc.). It must have the sympathetic support of the majority of the Cuban
people, and make this fact known to the outside world. (It is reported that the majority of Cubans are not for the present regime, but are growing apathetic towards
what appears to be a hopeless future or the futility of their status.)
The climactic moment of revolt will come from an angry reaction of the
people to a government action (sparked by an incident), or from a fracturing
of the leadership
cadre within the regime, or both. (A major goal of the Project must be to bring this about.) The popular movement will capitalize on this climactic moment by initiating
an open revolt. Areas will be taken and held. If necessary, the popular movement will appeal for help to the free nations of the Western Hemisphere. The United
States, if possible in concert with other Western Hemisphere nations, will then give open support to the Cuban peoples' revolt. Such support will include military
force, as necessary.
III. Estimate of the Situation
Our planning requires sound intelligence estimates of the situation re Cuba. The latest National Estimate (SNIE 85-61) of 28 November 1961/1/ contains operational
conclusions not based on hard fact, in addition to its intelligence conclusions; this is a repetition of an error in the planning for the unsuccessful operation of last April.
/1/See Document 271.
The planning indicated herein will be revised, as necessary, based on
the hard intelligence estimate of the situation by the U.S. Intelligence
community. A new
National Intelligence Estimate (NIE 85-62 on Cuba), due on 23 January, apparently has been postponed until 7 February./2/
/2/Not issued until March 21. See Document 315.
It is recognized that one result of the Project, so far, has been to
start the collection of Intelligence on Cuba in depth, to provide facts
on which to base firm estimates
IV. Initial Phase (30 Nov 61-81 Jan 62)
A. Establish a U.S. mechanism for the project
Status: The President's directive of 30 November 1961/3/ was implemented
by creating a U.S. operations team, with Brig. Gen. Lansdale as Chief of
and with tasks promptly assigned. His immediate staff are Mr. Hand and Major Patchell. Representatives of Secretaries and Agency Directors are:
State--Woodward (Goodwin, Hurwitch)
Defense--Brig. Gen. Craig
B. Intelligence Support
Status: CIA made a special survey of U.S. capabilities to interrogate
Cuban refugees in the USA (1,700-2,000 arriving per month) and on 16 January
program increasing the staff at the Opa Locka Interrogation Center in Florida from the present 2 people to 34. CIA will build up agent assets (positive intelligence
assets inside Cuba are very limited and it has no counter-intelligence assets inside). Special intelligence assets will be exploited more fully. The Cuba Project needs far
more hard intelligence in depth than is presently available. CIA will require further assistance from Defense and other U.S. organizations in this intelligence effort, and
is submitting specific qualifications for personnel on 19 January.
C. Political platform for peoples' movement inside Cuba.
Status: State has sketched in a broad outline./4/ CIA is to produce
the firm platform statement of aims for which the Cubans who will operate
inside Cuba are willing
to risk their lives, and upon which popular support can be generated.
/4/An apparent reference to Document 288.
D. Nucleus for popular movement
Status: To date, CIA has been unable to produce the necessary political
action agents for this purpose. Upon re-evaluation of its capabilities,
CIA now hopes to
complete spotting and assessing eight to ten Cuban political action agents by 15 February, from among Cubans available in the United States. The minimum need for
the Project to be effective is 30 such political action Cubans and CIA is tasked to make a priority search for them among Cubans in the U.S. and Caribbean area.
E. Deployment of nucleus
Status: CIA is tasked to select 20 localities within Cuba where political
action groups can be established. Initial selection and plans for establishing
groups are now due 1 February. Havana, and localities in the provinces of Camaguey and Las Villas will receive priority consideration, according to present
intelligence. Planning on this must be adjusted as firmer intelligence is acquired.
F. Diplomatic actions
Status: State is concentrating on the OAS Meeting of Foreign Ministers,
which opens 22 January, hoping to get wide Western Hemisphere support for
resolutions condemning Cuba and isolating it from the rest of the Hemisphere. A companion resolution, to offer OAS relief directly to the suffering Cuban people
(similar to U.S. relief to Russia, 1919-20) is being considered, as a means to reach the Cuban people sympathetically without going through their Communist
government. The OAS meeting is to be supported by public demonstrations in Latin America, generated by CIA, and a psychological campaign assisted by USIA.
The major task for our diplomatic capability is to encourage Latin American
leaders to develop independent operations similar to this Project, seeking
revolt of the Cuban people against the Communist regime. This is yet to be initiated by State and must be vigorously pressed.
G. Economic warfare
Status: This critical key to our political action Project is still in
the planning stage under State leadership. State is basing future economic
actions, including plans for an
embargo on Cuban trade, on the outcome of the forthcoming OAS meeting. Meanwhile, State has chaired an Economic action group, which agreed on developing
13 actions. 15 February is set for a report on implementing plans, so that actions can be initiated. CIA was unable to undertake action to sabotage the sugar harvest,
which commences about 15 January, and upon which Cuba's one-crop sugar economy depends. (Sabotage of transport, mills, sugar sacking and cane fields was
H. TV intrusion
Status: Equipment to enable TV intrusion of Havana TV broadcasts has
been reactivated on a small vessel under CIA control. CIA plans to attempt
intrusion on 22
January during Castro's forthcoming speech and parade demonstrations.
I. Special sabotage support
Status: State has explored, with negative results, the feasibility of
pre-emptive action with respect to tanker charters (most Bloc shipments
to Cuba are carried in
Western bottoms). CIA has initiated action to contaminate POL supplies for Cuba, although visible results (stoppage of some Cuban transport) are not expected until
mid-1962. [5 lines of source text not declassified]
J. Military actions
Status: Defense has been tasked with preparing a contingency plan for
U.S. military action, in case the Cuban people request U.S. help when their
making headway. This contingency plan will permit obtaining a policy decision on the major point of U.S. intentions, and is looked upon as a positive
political-psychological factor in a peoples' revolt, even more than as a possible military action. Defense also has been tasked with fully assisting State and CIA, as
commitments of Defense men, money, and materiel are required.
K. Major elements of the population
Status: Both State and CIA are continuing to explore their capabilities
(with results largely negative to date) for mounting special group operations
focused upon dynamic elements of the population, particularly [1 line of source text not declassified] through Labor contacts to reach the workers. Other elements
include enlistment of the youth and professional groupings. Special consideration is to be given to doing this through Latin American operational contacts. This is vital
to the success of our political action nucleus when CIA can put it into place.
Status: As reported to the Special Group last week, there has been a
period of a realistic second look at CIA capabilities to mount the required
operations against Cuba, and a subsequent start in "tooling up." After this second look, CIA has concluded that its realistic role should be to create at least the illusion
of a popular movement, to win external support for it, to improve CIA operational capability, and to help create a climate which will permit provocative actions in
support of a shift to overt action. This outlook, although arrived at thoughtfully within CIA, is far short of the Cuba Project's goals. CIA must take yet another hard
look at its potential capabilities, in the light of the following tasking, to determine if it cannot make the greater effort required.
V. Target Schedule
Task 1: NIE 85-62 on Cuba due 7 February (CIA).
Task 2: By 15 February, Opa Locka Interrogation Center to be made an
effective operation for collection and processing of intelligence (CIA
with support of
Defense, State, I&NS, FBI).
Task 3: Intelligence collection from Cuban refugees elsewhere than Miami
area. CIA to survey other refugee points ([less than 1 line of source text
etc.) and on a priority basis to ensure maximum coverage of all such source points. 15 February target date.
Task 4: CIA to continue its re-examination of intelligence assets, with
priority on agents inside Cuba, and report on capability by 15 February.
Also included is
coverage of intelligence through third country sources, particularly those having diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Task 5: CIA to submit plan by 1 February for defection of top Cuban
government officials, to fracture the regime from within. The effort must
be imaginative and
bold enough to consider a "name" defector to be worth at least a million U.S. dollars. This can be the key to our political action goal and must be mounted without
delay as a major CIA project.
Task 6: CIA to complete plans by 1 February for Cover and Deception
actions, to help fracture the Communist regime in Cuba. Defense, State
and FBI are to
collaborate on this.
Task 7: By 1 February, CIA to submit operations schedule for initiating
popular movement within Cuba. This must include localities selected inside
of selected Cubans, their infiltration, activity assignments, and political platform. One section must deal with the "underground," assess its true status and plans to use
Task 8: State to follow up the OAS meeting by having U.S. Embassies
in Latin America exploit all opportunities to enlist local sympathy for
the Cuban people and to
increase hostility towards the Communist regime in Cuba. State to submit report on results of this assignment by 13 February, so further planning can be
Task 9: By 15 February, State to submit an inventory of operational
assets in the Caribbean area, including capabilities of local governments
or groups to mount
operations on their own, to help achieve the Project's goals. Plans for early use of such capabilities are due by 19 February.
Task 10: CIA to submit operational schedule for using assets in the
Caribbean area to achieve the Project's political action goals. The objective
of working on
dynamic elements of the Cuban population (such as workers, farmers) is underscored. Due 19 February.
Task 11: State to prepare recommendations to the President on U.S. trade
with Cuba, as follow-up to OAS meeting. (If the minimum result of the meeting
agreement to condemn Cuba as an accomplice of the Sino-Soviet Bloc and adoption of a general statement that Cuba presents a threat to the peace and security of
the Hemisphere, State is prepared to recommend to the President that remaining trade between the U.S. and Cuba be barred.)
Task 12: State to plan, with Commerce and other U.S. agencies, on how
to halt the diversion of vital items in the Cuban trade. Due date 15 February.
of other OAS nations, particularly Canada and Mexico, is to be explored by State.
Task 13: State with Commerce and others involved, to plan on how to
make "positive list" items to Latin America be subject to the same licensing
applied to such shipments to other parts of the free world. Due 15 February.
Task 14: State to obtain from Commerce proposal to amend present export
controls of technical data (petrochemical, communications equipment) so
that Cuba is
treated the same as the Sino-Soviet Bloc. Due 15 February.
Task 15: State by 15 February to submit recommendations on issuance
of transportation order (T-3) under authority of the Defense Production
Act of 1950/5/
forbidding U.S.-owned vessels to engage in trade with Cuba.
/5/Enacted September 8, 1950. (64 Stat. 798, et seq.)
Task 16: State plan due 15 February on feasible extension of U.S. port
treatment now given to Bloc and Cuban vessels to charter vessels of Bloc
(Treasury to advise on this).
Task 17: State to report by 15 February on feasibility of harassing
Bloc shipping by refusing entry into U.S. ports (statedly for security
reasons), if vessels have called
or will call at Cuban ports.
Task 18: [2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
Task 19: State to report by 15 February on possibilities for obtaining
the discreet cooperation of the National Foreign Trade Council to urge
U.S. shippers to refuse
to ship on vessels which call at Cuban ports. (Commerce to assist on this.)
Task 20: State to report by 15 February on possibilities to obtain the
discreet cooperation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association
Manufacturers to influence U.S. firms having subsidiaries abroad to adhere to the spirit of U.S. economic sanctions. (Commerce to assist on this.)
Task 21: CIA to submit plan by 15 February for inducing failures in food crops in Cuba. [1 line of source text not declassified]
Task 22: State to report by 15 February on status of plans to gain cooperation
of NATO allies (bilaterally and in the NATO forum, as appropriate). Objective
persuade these nations to take steps to isolate Cuba from the West.
Task 23: State to report by 15 February on status of actions undertaken
with Japan, which has comparatively significant trade with Cuba, along
lines similar to those
with NATO nations.
Task 24: CIA to submit plan by February on disruption of the supply of Cuban nickel to the Soviet Union. [3 lines of source text not declassified]
Task 25: USIA to submit plan by 15 February for the most effective psychological
exploitation of actions undertaken in the Project, towards the end result
awakening world sympathy for the Cuban people (as a David) battling against the Communist regime (as a Goliath) and towards stimulating Cubans inside Cuba to
join "the cause."
Task 26: CIA to submit by 15 February its operational schedule for a
psychological campaign to provoke a relaxing of police state control within
Cuba. This is to
include effective means of publicly indicting "peoples' criminals" for justice after liberation of Cuba (not only individual top officials, but members of the Vigilancia,
Task 27: CIA and USIA will report on progress as of 15 February in developing
identification of the popular movement inside Cuba, as with songs, symbols,
Task 28: By 15 February CIA will report on plans and actions for propaganda
support of the popular movement inside Cuba. Included will be exactly what
planned for use by the movement inside Cuba, and feasibility of using smuggled food packets (such as the "I Shall Return" cigarette packets to Philippine guerrillas in
World War II) as morale boosters in generating the popular movement.
E. Military Action
Task 29: Defense to submit contingency plan for use of U.S. military
force to support the Cuban popular movement, including a statement of conditions
Defense believes such action would be required to win the Project's goal and believes such action would not necessarily lead to general war. Due 28 February.
Task 30: CIA to submit by 15 February its operational schedule for sabotage
actions inside Cuba, including timing proposed for the actions and how
they affect the
generation and support of a popular movement, to achieve the Project goals.
Task 31: CIA to submit specific requests to Defense for required support
by Defense as early as possible after its plans firm up. Requests for all
major needs are
expected by 23 February.
Task 32: Defense will submit plan for "special operations" use of Cubans enlisted in the U.S. armed forces. Due 28 February.
VI. Future Plans
By 20 February, it is expected that sufficient realistic plans for individual
tasks will have been received, and initial actions started, to permit a
firm time-table to be
constructed. Since the President directed that the Chief of Operations conduct the Project through the appropriate organizations and Departments of the
Government, and since these U.S. organizations are mainly in the initial inventory and development of capabilities phase concerning assigned tasks, a precise
operations timetable as of today would be too speculative to be useful.
CIA has alerted Defense that it will require considerable military support
(including two submarines, PT boats, Coast Guard type cutters, Special
C-54 aircraft, F-86 aircraft, amphibian aircraft, helio-couriers, Army leaflet battalion, and Guantanamo as a base for submarine operations). Also, CIA apparently
believes that its role should be to create and expand a popular movement, illusory and actual, which will create a political climate which can provide a framework of
plausible excuse for armed intervention. This is not in conformity with the Presidential directive now governing Project tasking. Actually, the role of creating the
political climate and plausible excuse for armed intervention would be more properly that of State and Defense, if such an objective becomes desirable.