1964-1968, Volume XXXI, South and Central America; Mexico|
Released by the Office of the Historian
1. Editorial Note At a White House reception for Latin American representatives on November 26, 1963, President Johnson announced that relations within the Western Hemisphere would be "among the highest concerns of my Government." Acknowledging that the Alliance for Progress had its share of problems, Johnson pledged to "improve and strengthen the role of the United States," thereby making the program a "living memorial" to the late-President Kennedy. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, Book I, pages 6-7) In a December 3 memorandum for the President, Director of Central Intelligence McCone addressed an important aspect of this pledge to "improve and strengthen" the Alliance: personnel. Citing "our recent conversations" on the subject, McCone observed that the Alliance had become so "deeply enmeshed in administrative problems" that no man "could be expected to take over the responsibilities of directing the program, overcome the obstacles that would confront him, and give the program the forward motion you desire." What the administration needed was a "special assistant" to the President or a "special deputy to the Secretary of State," a man "with the experience to envision the program, the stature to speak with conviction with all the Latin American countries and who additionally holds the complete respect of the Congress." McCone recommended former Secretary of the Treasury Robert B. Anderson for the job with Thomas C. Mann, then Ambassador to Mexico, assuming the role of administrator. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, Alliance for Progress) Anderson evidently declined the appointment, forcing the President to consider other candidates for the top position, including Mann himself. (Ibid., Recordings and Transcripts, Transcript of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Robert Anderson, December 5, 1963, 2:14 p.m.) In a telephone call to Mexico City on December 9 Johnson offered Mann the position as "kind of an Undersecretary" of State for Latin America-an offer that, he suggested, should not be refused. (Ibid., Transcript of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Thomas Mann, December 9, 3:30 p.m.) Mann arrived in the United States on December 10 and met the President at the White House the following day. (Ibid., Presidentís Daily Diary) On December 14 Johnson announced that Mann had agreed to "undertake the coordination and direction of all policies and programs of the U.S. government, economic, social, and cultural, relating to Latin America." Johnson later announced that Mann would exercise this role not only as the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs-a position he had held during the second Eisenhower administration-but also as Special Assistant to the President and United States Coordinator of the Alliance for Progress. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, Book I, pages 56, 65, 88) To accommodate Mannís appointment, Assistant Secretary Edwin M. Martin was appointed Ambassador to Argentina, and Teodoro Moscoso, the former U.S. Coordinator of the Alliance, was named to represent the United States on the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress (CIAP). Mann assumed his new responsibilities on January 3, 1964. 2. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann)
1. Editorial Note
At a White House reception for Latin American representatives on November 26, 1963, President Johnson announced that relations within the Western Hemisphere would be "among the highest concerns of my Government." Acknowledging that the Alliance for Progress had its share of problems, Johnson pledged to "improve and strengthen the role of the United States," thereby making the program a "living memorial" to the late-President Kennedy. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, Book I, pages 6-7) In a December 3 memorandum for the President, Director of Central Intelligence McCone addressed an important aspect of this pledge to "improve and strengthen" the Alliance: personnel. Citing "our recent conversations" on the subject, McCone observed that the Alliance had become so "deeply enmeshed in administrative problems" that no man "could be expected to take over the responsibilities of directing the program, overcome the obstacles that would confront him, and give the program the forward motion you desire." What the administration needed was a "special assistant" to the President or a "special deputy to the Secretary of State," a man "with the experience to envision the program, the stature to speak with conviction with all the Latin American countries and who additionally holds the complete respect of the Congress." McCone recommended former Secretary of the Treasury Robert B. Anderson for the job with Thomas C. Mann, then Ambassador to Mexico, assuming the role of administrator. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, Alliance for Progress)
Anderson evidently declined the appointment, forcing the President to consider other candidates for the top position, including Mann himself. (Ibid., Recordings and Transcripts, Transcript of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Robert Anderson, December 5, 1963, 2:14 p.m.) In a telephone call to Mexico City on December 9 Johnson offered Mann the position as "kind of an Undersecretary" of State for Latin America-an offer that, he suggested, should not be refused. (Ibid., Transcript of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Thomas Mann, December 9, 3:30 p.m.) Mann arrived in the United States on December 10 and met the President at the White House the following day. (Ibid., Presidentís Daily Diary) On December 14 Johnson announced that Mann had agreed to "undertake the coordination and direction of all policies and programs of the U.S. government, economic, social, and cultural, relating to Latin America." Johnson later announced that Mann would exercise this role not only as the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs-a position he had held during the second Eisenhower administration-but also as Special Assistant to the President and United States Coordinator of the Alliance for Progress. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, Book I, pages 56, 65, 88) To accommodate Mannís appointment, Assistant Secretary Edwin M. Martin was appointed Ambassador to Argentina, and Teodoro Moscoso, the former U.S. Coordinator of the Alliance, was named to represent the United States on the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress (CIAP). Mann assumed his new responsibilities on January 3, 1964.
2. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann)/1/
Washington, February 19, 1964, 11:32 a.m.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Thomas Mann, Tape F64.13, Side B, PNO 4. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume. A memorandum of this telephone conversation, prepared in Mannís office, is ibid., Papers of Thomas C. Mann, Telephone Conversations with LBJ, January 4, 1964-April 30, 1965.
Mann: Yes, sir?
President: Are we going to call in these Latin American ambassadors for the Alliance for Progress meeting?
Mann: Yes sir, we have it tentatively scheduled for about the 15th.
President: About the 15th?
Mann: Of March.
President: Thatís the American ambassadors in this Hemisphere.
Mann: Well, itís a number of things. We thought we would have a ceremony at the Pan American Union, you would-
President: Yeah, but Iím talking about, weíre inviting to come to Washington the American ambassadors in this Hemisphere.
Mann: Oh, yeah, the American. I thought we would do that at the same time.
President: Thatís what Iím saying.
Mann: And combine that-we got a budgetary problem, but I think we can find the money-and get them all up here at that time and make a big shindig, and launch your Alliance program with a good speech.
President: All right. Now what is that? The anniversary of the
Mann: Itís the third anniversary of Kennedyís-
President: Announcement of it?
President: Third anniversary of Kennedyís announcement of the Alliance.
Mann: And itís also the occasion for creating the, launching this new CIAP, this inter-American thing with SantamarŪa.
President: Itís also the occasion for the launching of this CIAP-
Mann: CIAP thing-
President: SantamarŪaís the head of. Colombia. What do you call that? The Wise Men? Is that what theyíre called?
Mann: No, thatís a different group. I would call this the Inter-
American Alliance for Progress Committee.
President: The Inter-American Alliance for Progress Committee. Thatís made up of five people?
Mann: Itís made up of seven people, counting SantamarŪa, the President.
President: Seven, counting SantamarŪa, the President. They raised hell about us not giving him enough attention here. I donít know how much more we could give him. We had him in here, and we had him, had his picture made and everything else. I couldnít put him on my knee and bounce him./2/
/2/ Carlos Sanz de SantamarŪa arrived in Washington on February 3 for consultation with Department of State and AID officials. No evidence was found to indicate when Sanz visited the White House or to identify the newspaper that criticized his reception.
Mann: I think he was happy and I hadnít even heard of any criticism on that.
President: Well, I did. I saw the papers, said that we ignored him, and paid no attention to him and so forth, didnít emphasize it enough. Your New York Times sources over there.
Mann: Well, he had a little press conference, and I heard him, and after, as he came out of your office. It was all very complimentary to you personally and to the Alliance, and-
President: Have you talked to Admiral today? Has he sawed off any more pipe down there?/3/
/3/ Admiral John D. Bulkeley, commander of the Guantanamo Naval Base. For documentation on the Guantanamo water supply incident, see the compilation on Cuba in Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, volume XXXII.
Mann: [Laughter] I havenít talked to him today.
President: Anything, is everything all right in Guantanamo?
Mann: Everythingís going fine.
President: Did you read your New York Times State Department on Cuba this morning? And how you screwed up things good?/4/
/4/ Reference is to an article by Max Frankel criticizing the administrationís decision to reduce assistance to 5 of the 19 countries that maintained trade with Cuba. Information on the decision is ibid.
Mann: Well, Iíll give you some bright stories. I had an hour and a half yes-
President: The answer is "no," I guess, to my question.
President: I guess the answer is-
Mann: No. [Laughter]
President: All right. Read it on the second page this morning, Ďcause you have to know what theyíre saying about you.
Mann: I read that. Let me give you some bright news.
President: All right.
Mann: Yesterday, I spent an hour and a half before the House Subcommittee on Latin American Affairs. I think that the Republicans were happy. This morning, I spent another hour, just at random in the Congress. We talked largely about Panama, and they asked for additional meetings, and it went very well. So weíre working hard on the Hill like you want us to, and I think weíre going to make a lot of progress up there. I donít know what you can do with some of these left wing fellows and two or three newspapers. I think-
President: Why in the hell donít you tell that guy that you all leak to over there all the time, the State Department-you got one named Szulc and one named Raymont, is it?
Mann: Thatís right, and a guy named Kurzman.
President: -and-that you all work like a sieve to-why donít you say: "Now you and Herbert Matthews/5/ didnít handle this Cuban situation in such an excellent fashion yourself. Now for Godís sakes give me a little chance. I just been here two months. Let me, give me a little chance to retrieve some of the work you all did"?
/5/ Tad Szulc and Henry Raymont, correspondents, and Herbert L. Matthews, editor, of The New York Times. Dan Kurzman was a foreign correspondent with The Washington Post.
Mann: [Laughter] Iíll try that line on them. Okay, sir.
President: I think that we got to get something to show that we got better feeling and more respect in the Hemisphere than ever before. So you better propagandize some folks along that line. And I guess that we can have a dinner for the ambassadors from America, the ambassadors from the Hemis-our ambassadors to the Hemisphere, their ambassadors to us, and probably the OAS ambassadors.
Mann: And the seven people in CIAP ought to all be there, I think, and maybe even the ten Wise Men, if we could.
President: Well, what would that be? 65? 70?
Mann: That would run you close to 70 or 80.
President: Well, but the wives, you see, 140. Canít take care of 125. Weíll try to give a dinner like that for them.
Mann: All right. Wonderful. And I-
President: I want you to dance with some of those short, fat women again. Old Mennen Williams was the only guy that delivered for me last night. Salinger went home./6/
/6/ According to the Presidentís Daily Diary, Johnson held a White House reception, February 18, for members of the House of Representatives. (Johnson Library)
Mann: [Laughter] Iím the worst dancer, but-
President: Larry OíBrien.
Mann: -Iíll even do that for you, Mr. President.
President: Well, all right. Anything else now on Panama?
Mann: No, everythingís quiet down there. The [unintelligible] arenít going to do much until we get back from Los Angeles./7/ I had a talk with SŠnchez Gavito this morning and told him to keep everything buttoned down until we got back.
/7/ Johnson and Mann were in Los Angeles February 20-23 for meetings with President Lůpez Mateos of Mexico.
President: I donít think weíre going to do anything until after that election down there.
Mann: I doubt it myself.
President: I wouldnít encourage them much. I think weíre doing all right. Just let them have that problem: they did the invading and they did the aggression. And letís see how they-Iím not one that believes that a fat Communist is better than a lean one.
Mann: No, Iím not. I think weíre going to have to have a lot of steady nerves on some of these problems.
President: I sure would. And I would, though, have a planning group awful busy with the World Bank, and the Export-Import Bank, and the Alliance for Progress, and the health organizations, and the 480ís. And I see now weíre trying to figure out how to give Mexico some food. And I saw in one of the briefing papers that she wanted water, and we might not be able to give her water, but we could give her food. I donít know. I donít want to be giving away, but Iíd damn sure have some things on my Santa Claus list, and coordinate them and then when I did something, Iíd make them, Iíd have a quid pro quo.
Mann: Well, thatís what weíve been-
President: I think that you have turned a flop in Mexico. I think youíve got them where instead of confiscating everything now, theyíre trying to promote private enterprise, arenít they?
Mann: Thatís our hope, and theyíre drifting in that direction. They do have a lot of problems, have to stay with this thing day by day, but Iím not pessimistic about Mexico. Theyíve got a good President coming in, and-
President: What other places in the Hemisphere have you got problems? Argentina? Brazil?
Mann: Mr. President, this Hemisphere is in worse shape than
Iíve seen it in 20 years. Weíve got problems in Bolivia right now. The cabinet-Paz is the only man there that can hold things together-and his whole cabinet is splintering in all directions because they want to be president four years from now.
President: Well, can we get in there and do something to help him before it goes to hell?
Mann: Weíre working on that this morning, and weíre coming up with some ideas on that. Weíve got a possible revolt and military, against the military fellow in Honduras.
President: Yeah, Honduras.
Mann: Weíre watching that. We got Peru and Argentina about to expropriate oil properties. Brazil is sick. Goulart is irresponsible. Nearly everywhere we look we have problems, but Iím sort of optimistic. I think what we did in Panama and Guantanamo is going to help us a lot in the Hemisphere. We need time, we need about-
President: Why donít you try to sell this New York Times on the problem that you need help, and that this thing you picked up, pretty sick, and that you canít do it just by being a floor mop and youíve got to have a little steel in your spine. If you donít theyíll shove you to death. Theyíll be like a country dog. And see if you canít get The Washington Post and New York Times to quit taking the line they are.
Mann: Iím going to try it, but those fellows are basically hostile to everything you believe in, Mr. President.
Mann: The guys that write the stories are. You know I spent, I had lunch over with the whole staff of The Washington Post, and they, in essence, this same pitch. And I was told later that Mrs. Graham/8/ after the lunch said that they ought to give us time to see what we could do. What you have is a half a dozen very far left wing guys like Kurzman, who are pretty stupid people really. They donít know anything about Latin America, they donít speak the language, never been there, but theyíre full of theories. And these guys are crusaders, and how you deal with a crusader is, I think, the toughest problem of all. But I think weíre going to have to work on Mrs. Graham.
/8/ Katharine M. Graham, president of the Washington Post Company.
President: Mrs. Graham doesnít have any authority; she wonít exercise it. She claims sheís the best friend I got, and they murder me every day. That Friendly/9/ runs that paper.
/9/ Alfred Friendly, managing editor of The Washington Post.
Mann: Well, let me talk to Manning and see if we canít plot something out. Iíll get together with him, and see if we, do the most effective thing we can.
President: I think you ought to lay the groundwork and say that now we, we need some help on American policy, and we donít think that youíre doing your God-damned country a bit of good, and we wish youíd try to help us a little.
Mann: All right, sir.
President: OK. Bye.
3. Memorandum for the Record/1/
Washington, February 19, 1964.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, OAS Resolution (Arms Cache), Vol. II, Memos, 11/63-9/64. Secret; No Distribution. Drafted by Chase on February 22.
/2/ On February 18 Rusk called Mann to discuss the upcoming meeting: "The Sec said he thought Bundy believed the Cabinet people should be there but the Sec said he thought it was something which should be worked out beforehand. The Sec said he thought it should be discussed below the Cabinet level. He said when you got it to the Cabinet level, it didnít lift it to Cabinet level but brought it back into the seminar business. Mann said he would talk to Bundy." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Calls 2/11/64-2/29/64)
McGeorge Bundy; Ralph Dungan; Gordon Chase
The group discussed the problem of OAS action resulting from the Cuban arms cache discovery./3/ (Stateís staff paper of February 19 is attached.)/4/
/3/ On November 28, 1963, the Venezuelan Government announced it had discovered a large arms cache on the coast of the ParaguanŠ Peninsula; that an internal investigation had determined that the arms were of Cuban origin, intended for use in a guerrilla operation to seize power in Caracas before the Presidential elections of December 1; and that evidence against Cuba would be presented to the OAS, thereby justifying retaliatory measures under the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, the so-called "Rio Treaty" of 1947. Regarding the initial response to the discovery of the arms cache, see Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XII, Documents 169-171. For text of the Rio Treaty, see 4 Bevans 559 or Department of State Bulletin, September 21, 1947, pp. 565-567.
/4/ Attached but not printed.
1. Timing and Form-The OAS investigating team is expected to submit its report to the C/OAS on about February 24./5/ Mr. Mann said that while the Venezuelans are anxious to get an MFM under way as soon as possible, we want to slow up the pace. Among other things, we want to give the public some time to digest the OAS report; also, we can use the time to work the corridors and have as many OARís as possible on our wave-length by the time of the meeting. Mr. Mann added that the odds are presently better than even that we will get involved with either an extended or a brief MFM.
/5/ The report was submitted to the COAS and made public on February 24. At a news conference on February 27 Rusk said that the report should lead the OAS to act in such a way that Castro would clearly understand that subversion "will not be acceptable in the hemisphere." (Department of State Bulletin, March 16, 1964, p. 408)
2. Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine-Mr. Mann, noting that Castro is probably going to be with us for some time, said that we ought to think seriously about doing something fairly drastic to prevent further Cuban subversion. He suggested that we add a paragraph to our draft OAS resolution which will warn Castro that if he continues with his subversion, we will retaliate with force under the Rio Treaty. Such a paragraph will do two things: First, it will make clear to the Russians and Cubans that we regard subversion as "armed aggression." Given time to digest this message the Russians may be encouraged to control Castro. Second, it will provide a juridical umbrella for any future forceful retaliation we have to take. The group went on to discuss the Mann proposal at some length.
(a) General Taylor wondered whether this doctrine could have world-wide application.
(b) The Attorney General, in the first instance, expressed doubt on several scores. First, how do you define subversion? Second, subversion is hard to prove even when, on rare occasion, we have the evidence; for every witness we could find to support a charge of subversion, Castro would come up with four who would say there was no subversion. Third, retaliation by force is no simple matter; our decision-making experience of October, 1962 made this clear. Finally, time-lag is a problem; the arms cache occurs and three months later, after the research is completed, we retaliate-this is somewhat unrealistic. Alexis Johnson wondered how we know if a particular act of subversion is Castro-inspired.
(c) Mr. Bundy said that, generally speaking, the Mann proposal has merit and noted that it represents a thickening and variation of the "Kennedy Doctrine", expressed in President Kennedyís Miami speech of November 18./6/ He added, however, that we should be careful about how much we thicken the Doctrine in the context of the arms cache discovery; our response must be appropriate to the crime. Generally speaking, we should keep the language of the resolution general and flexible and not tie ourselves down to a particular course of action in the event of further Castro subversion. But even general and flexible language will be useful; it will probably serve as a deterrent of sorts and will tend to put the President in a stronger position if and when we do have to resort to forceful action. Mr. Bundy added that we should continue to explore and study the "eye for an eye" doctrine.
/6/ On November 18, 1963, in an address before the Inter-American Press Association in Miami President Kennedy announced the so-called Kennedy Doctrine: "The American States must be ready to come to the aid of any government requesting aid to prevent a take-over linked to the policies of foreign communism rather than to an internal desire for change. My country is prepared to do this. We in this hemisphere must also use every resource at our command to prevent the establishment of another Cuba in this hemisphere." (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, pp. 872-877)
(d) The group agreed that we should try to get "warning-type" language into the OAS resolution. If we succeed, it will strengthen our juridical position; if we fail, we lose little and may even gain politically. The group further agreed that the language should be cognate to a possible Presidential statement on the same subject to the U.S. public and to a stern, private warning to the Russians that Cuban subversion could lead to a very dangerous situation. In the latter regard, Mr. Bundy thought that, if we do the job right, the Russians may well take us seriously.
(e) The Attorney General said that we had to concern ourselves not only with preventing the export of subversion from Cuba but also with the problem of responding in the event "another Cuba" occurs in Latin America. Mr. Bundy said that a study last spring indicated that it was extremely difficult to plan for this sort of eventuality which can come in innumerable shapes and sizes, not all of which clearly call for a U.S. response. At the request of the group, he agreed to distribute copies of the study./7/ Mr. Bundy added that it might also be worthwhile to study our capabilities to respond (e.g. a "snuff-out" force).
/7/ Reference is presumably to a May 25, 1963, memorandum from Bundy to the President printed in Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XII, Document 167. Bundy distributed copies of the memorandum to Robert F. Kennedy et al. on February 21, 1964. (Ibid., Document 168, footnote 3)
3. Surveillance Involving Force-The group generally did not favor an OAS resolution which calls for a surveillance system involving the stopping and searching of selected vessels on the high seas (the "force" option). The measure would not be very effective and would probably give us as much trouble as it would give Castro. On the other hand, a resolution which calls for a surveillance system involving the stopping and searching of vessels in territorial waters (the "non-force" option) appears to be the appropriate response to the arms cache issue. Also, with such language as an umbrella, we can work out measures whereby U.S. forces can assist other OARís in their territorial waters.
General Taylor dissented; he favored the "force" option. It would act as a deterrent to the Cubans and would give us a reprisal capability.
4. Cuban Reaction-The group agreed that, in response to OAS charges, the Cubans will take the public line that the OAS ought to investigate U.S. overt and covert aggressions against Cuba. The Cubans have already started peddling this line.
5. Proclaimed List-The group agreed that we should consider laying a basis in the OAS for possible proclaimed list action. Mr. Bundy noted that it would be nice if other OARís took proclaimed list action also. It would not only make the measure more effective in impeding Free World commercial ties with Cuba, but would also demonstrate to the Free World that the U.S. is not alone in its concern over Cuba. Mr. Fowler added that the proclaimed list action should be prospective and should not include the freezing of assets.
One stumbling block to a proclaimed list is the Soviet Bloc dimension-i.e. can we blacklist Free World firms which trade with Cuba while not blacklisting Soviet Bloc organizations which trade with Cuba? Mr. Johnson and Mr. Behrman felt that this appeared to be an impossible hurdle. Messrs. Bundy, Mann, and Fowler felt that the apparent inconsistency was bearable; in this regard, Mr. Fowler noted that we expect more from our friends than our enemies.
6. Salability of a Tough OAS Resolution-Mr. Mann felt that with careful planning and great determination, we may well be able to get a tough resolution out of the OAS. The group then discussed the consequences of getting beaten in the OAS; Mr. Bundy noted that going in tough and getting licked may not be so unbearable from certain points of view.
Mr. Bundy pointed out that we should be under no illusions about the coming OAS action. As tough as our resolution may be, the chances are very good that we will still be living with Castro some time from now and that we might just as well get used to the idea. At the same time, we should probably continue our present nasty course; among other things, it makes life a little tougher for Castro and raises slightly the poor odds that he will come apart and be overthrown.
7. Venezuelan Leadership and Noise-Level-The group agreed that while the Venezuelans should publicly lead the fight, we will have to give them plenty of support. In this regard, USIA is geared up to do an intensive selling job in Latin America if it is deemed desirable; the U.S. Government will have to determine the size and shape of the noise-level to be produced during the period which follows the submission of the OAS report.
4. Memorandum for the Record/1/
Washington, February 21, 1964.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, OAS Resolution (Arms Cache), Vol. II, Memos, 11/63-9/64. Secret; No Distribution. Drafted by Chase on February 27.
The group met to follow up their discussion of February 19 regarding OAS action resulting from the Venezuelan arms cache discovery. (Attached is a copy of the discussion paper.)/2/
/2/ Attached but not printed.
1. The Venezuelan Position-After a status report by Mr. Allen, the group discussed the Venezuelan position.
(a) Ambassador Stewart said that the Venezuelans are prepared to take very strong Rio Treaty action, up to and including invasion; they are especially anxious to quarantine Cubaís export of subversion. He went on to admit, however, that the capability of the Venezuelan Foreign Office to sell a tough OAS resolution to other Latin American countries is not great. We will have to do a major share of the selling.
(b) Ambassador Stewart said that the Venezuelans might agree to a surveillance system whereby U.S. ships could shadow suspect vessels into Venezuelan waters. He had some doubts as to whether or not the Venezuelans would allow us to seize a suspect vessel in territorial waters; they might, if it were clear that Venezuelan forces could not arrive at the scene in time to make the seizure themselves.
2. Surveillance System-With the exception of General Taylor, the group favored the "non-force" option. Mr. Vance favored the "non-force" option because it is a more flexible system. Mr. FitzGerald noted that the arms shipment to Venezuela was a deviation from Castroís normal mode of procedure; he is unlikely to ship arms in the future. General Taylor commented that we should be clear that neither the "force" nor the "non-force" surveillance system will be very effective. He likes the "force" option because it gives us a reprisal capability.
The group agreed that the OAS resolution should include language which will allow us to search suspect vessels and aircraft for subversives as well as for arms.
3. Economic Sanctions and Warning to Castro-The group agreed that the OAS language should be as general as possible in encouraging OAS countries to take action against Free World traders who deal with Cuba. General language is more likely to get OAS approval. The group agreed that, in warning Cuba that it had better not continue its subversion, the OAS language should also be general and flexible.
4. Noise-Level-The group agreed that a high noise-level in Latin America will be needed to obtain a tough OAS resolution. At the same time, it is desirable to keep the noise-level low in the U.S.
The general shape of the noise-level we want to get across is that Cuba is not solely a U.S. problem, but is a genuine Hemispheric problem. A confident but outraged Hemisphere is banding together to take further measures against Castro. The arms cache incident is a grave demonstration of what we have been saying for some time.
5. Action Items-The group agreed that a series of actions should be taken:
(a) The State Department should write a fresh draft of the OAS resolution and send it to Palm Beach to the Secretary so that the Secretary might get the Presidentís approval in principle./3/
/3/ Rusk was in Palm Springs, California, February 20-23 for a meeting between President Johnson and President Lůpez Mateos of Mexico.
(b) State should explore the problem of how the OAS meeting ties in with the Alliance for Progress meeting in March. This situation must be handled carefully.
(c) Mr. Chase should write a paper by February 24 which discusses the action against Cuba we want the OAS to take, and the results we expect to achieve by getting the OAS to take such action. Mr. Chase should clear his paper with Mr. Crimmins.
6. USIS Film-The group watched a USIS film about the arms cache, which will be shown on TV in Latin America. The general consensus was that it is a very convincing piece of work.
5. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Rusk in Palm Springs, California/1/
Washington, February 22, 1964, 4:15 p.m.
/1/ Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-8 VEN. Secret; Limdis. Drafted by Crimmins and U. Alexis Johnson, cleared by Allen, and approved by U. Alexis Johnson.
Tosec 13. For the Secretary from Alexis Johnson.
1. Text working draft OAS Resolution contained immediately following telegram/2/ represents outcome two White House meetings chaired by Bundy and attended by Attorney General, Vance, General Taylor, State (Johnson, Bunker and Amb. Stewart), USIA and CIA. Mann and Commerce and Treasury representatives participated first meeting.
/2/ Telegram Tosec 14 to USDel Palm Springs, February 22. (Ibid.)
2. Text developed ad referendum to you and, if you approve, for you to seek approval of the President to use text as basis for further discussions with Venezuela with view arriving at agreed text which they would take as basis for initiating soundings of OARs.
3. Following is background of critical parts of resolution:
a. Article 2, warning:
We wanted here to seek umbrella for possible future unilateral action and at same time provide ourselves maximum flexibility with respect nature our response to further Castro actions. Judgment is that it will be most difficult to get two-thirds vote for this blank check and we would be prepared negotiate back from this initial position. This article places emphasis on future action and is not designed provide basis for response of general OAS concern in instant case. Concept is also to provide basis of expressed OAS concern for considering approaches to Soviet Union urging they exercise restraint on Castro.
b. Article 3, surveillance:
We examined closely the question of an alternative which would permit search and seizure, involving the use of force, of OAS member states flag vessels (including Cuba), on the high seas. There was agreement that this alternative would not do anything more in a practical sense (i.e., in stopping arms shipments) than the language in the above draft and would be much more difficult to get agreement on. Wish to note that under either method chances actual apprehension of vessels carrying arms or subversives not good, and in fact it is doubtful Castro will revert at least for some time to technique used exceptionally in Venezuelan operation. Therefore, effect this article essentially psychological. It would be viewed as a further tightening measure, and the fact no further arms shipments occurred could be interpreted as result establishment surveillance system.
c. Article 6 on economic measures:
After examining variants, which included recommendation specifically calling for "proclaimed list" action by member states, we agreed on generalized formula presented in draft. This language does not commit us or others (who we estimate would be reluctant go so far) to establishment "proclaimed list", but would provide basis for such additional action and measures by us and other OAS countries as we may decide to take to discourage free-world trade with Cuba.
4. White House meetings produced following additional conclusions:
a. Aggrieved party, Venezuela, which is prepared propose strong measures, should float draft resolution, with US prepared move in firm support Venezuelan initiative. So long as possible, US should not be in lead.
b. USIA would proceed with large-scale effort in Latin America through its Latin American outlets to publicize Investigating Committee report (which is to be released 24th). (USIA is distributing dramatic non-attributed TV show on report.) Decision based conviction that high noise level effort needed in order develop Latin American support for even a minimum package.
c. On US domestic side, issue should be placed in low key, with no major statements coming out of Washington. Basic theme US public position would be that, as we have consistently maintained, US itself not threatened by Cuba; real Cuban threat is subversion directed against Latin America; therefore problem is one for entire hemisphere, particularly for the Caribbean basin countries directly threatened; and action to meet threat must be decided upon in common.
d. We should withhold decision on whether issue should be handled in Meeting of Foreign Ministers or in COAS acting provisionally as Organ Consultation until we have clear idea of Latin American line-up on action to be taken.
Text conclusions Investigating Committee also being transmitted septel./3/
/3/ Telegram Tosec 15 to USDel Palm Springs, February 22. (Ibid.)
Foregoing also discussed with George Ball. I will be available in Dept after 10 a.m. Sunday for telcon if you desire./4/
/4/ Rusk called U. Alexis Johnson on February 23 to report his decision "to check out the draft resolution further with the lawyers before he shows it to the President." (Memorandum from Chase to Bundy, February 24; Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, OAS Resolution (Arms Cache), Vol. II, Memos, 11/63-9/64)
6. Draft Paper Prepared by Gordon Chase of the National Security Council Staff/1/
Washington, February 24, 1964.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, OAS Resolution (Arms Cache), Vol. II, Memos, 11/63-9/64. Secret. Chase forwarded the draft paper to Bundy under cover of a February 24 memorandum in which he noted the draft was cleared by John Crimmins and asked if Bundy wanted it circulated to the participants of the Friday meeting. No record of Bundyís response or a final version of the paper has been found.
OAS Action on Venezuelan Arms Cache-U.S. Objectives and Expectations
The following is a discussion of the action against Cuba we want the OAS to take as a result of the discovery of the Cuban arms cache in Venezuela. It is also a discussion of the results we expect to achieve by getting the OAS to take such action.
1. U.S. Cuban Policy in General-The bare minimum objective of our Cuba policy is a Cuba which poses no threat to its neighbors and which is not a Soviet satellite. In moving towards this objective we have rejected the options of unprovoked U.S. military intervention in Cuba and of an effective, total blockade around Cuba-primarily because they would risk another US/USSR confrontation. Instead, we are engaged in a variety of unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral actions and pressures, both offensive (e.g. economic denial and covert programs) and defensive (e.g. counter-subversion program) which stop short of invasion or blockade.
It is not at all clear that these measures short of military intervention/blockade will lead to our minimum objective. About the most that can be said is that we appear to be moving in the right direction. A tough, nasty, but no invasion/blockade policy, as opposed to a softer policy, is most likely to protect the Hemisphere from Castroís aggressive intentions and probably lays the best groundwork for bringing about any of the eventualities which would constitute a removal of the Soviet satellite from the Hemisphere-such as an overthrow of the Castro regime or a Soviet decision to quit Cuba. From a domestic political viewpoint, a tough but no invasion/blockade policy, fortuitously, is one policy which the American people appear prepared to support at this time.
2. The Opportunity Afforded by the Arms Cache Discovery-While the discovery, four months ago, of three tons of Cuban arms is not considered to be sufficiently provocative to lead us to risk a US/USSR confrontation and to take decisive action against Cuba via military intervention/blockade, the discovery of the arms cache does provide us with an excellent opportunity to make further progress in tightening up and extending our present policy towards Cuba. In working towards this end we must be careful to move in those areas where we want to move, and not necessarily in those areas where false logic would appear to dictate that we move. For example, since the crime is a matter of arms, it does not necessarily follow that we must do something flashy and expensive (politically and financially) about arms, especially since our best estimate is that the likelihood of further significant arms shipments from Cuba is small.
In taking advantage of the arms cache discovery and the concomitant OAS attention, there are two areas in which we can profitably move with energy in the shoring up and extension of our isolation policy and in the strengthening of our anti-subversion program.
3. Further OAS Action to Isolate Cuba-Appropriate OAS action on the arms cache issue can take us a long way in our effort to shore up and extend our present isolation policy. Specifically, the following is what we want:
(a) We want the OAS resolution, in flexible and general language, to provide a basis for possible unilateral U.S. action to reduce Cuban/Free World commercial relations (e.g. the drastic measure of a proclaimed list); more importantly, we want the resolution to encourage as many OARís as possible to join us in our effort. At present, one of the major obstacles to our efforts in the field of economic denial is the non-OAS Free World argument that the U.S. is the only country in the Western Hemisphere which is really concerned about Cuba. To counter this argument, we must demonstrate clearly that the Hemisphere regards Cuba as a threat, that the Hemisphere supports the isolation policy, that the Hemisphere looks with disfavor upon traders who do business with Castro, and that the Hemisphere intends to take appropriate action against such traders.
If we fail in this effort to get OAS support, we will probably be faced with a continuation of the serious deterioration which has already begun with respect to our economic denial program. On the other hand, if we succeed in our effort, the chances are considerably enhanced that we will be able to break the growing Cuban/Free World commercial ties. Assuming we can get appropriate OAS language and follow up, it is conceivable that the U.S., Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador will all take some kind of action (not necessarily the same in each country) which will make it clear to Free World traders that they canít have it both ways and that they must choose between Cuba, with a population of 6,000,000, and selected OAS countries whose populations total about 230,000,000. In selling this proposal to the OARís we will point out, inter alia, that they will not be forced to sacrifice much in real terms since there will be relatively few Free World traders who will ultimately choose the Cuban market in such circumstances. Indeed, only Cuba will be seriously hurt.
Assuming the OAS passes a resolution which meets this problem, we will be in a position to follow it up immediately by proposing to willing OARís that they meet with us to devise means of implementing the OAS decision-e.g. the circulation of lists of Free World Cuban traders among OAS countries.
(b) We want the OAS resolution to encourage further steps within the Hemisphere to isolate Cuba. First, we want the remaining five OAS countries which maintain diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba to sever such relations. Such a step will be dramatic evidence of Cubaís isolation and to some extent will hinder Cubaís subversive operations by denying Cuba the use of its overseas missions for this purpose. Importantly, it will be a clear sign to other Free World countries that the Hemisphere, expressing itself through the OAS, feels strongly about Cuba. It will also be a heavy psychological blow to Castro who has tried persistently and energetically in the past several months to establish "normal" relations with many Free World countries. Second, we want the suspension of all trade (except food and medicines) between Cuba and the OARís. While trade between Cuba and the OARís is small, such action will again demonstrate Cubaís isolation and
OAS solidarity on the matter of Free World trade with Cuba. Third, we want a general call to Free World countries to cooperate with us in our
4. Further OAS Action to Counter Castro/Communist Subversion-Appropriate OAS action on the arms cache issue can also take us a long way in our effort to strengthen our counter-subversion program. Specifically, the following is what we want:
(a) We want the OAS resolution, in flexible and general language, to warn Castro that the OAS will not stand by idly if he continues his subversive efforts. This resolution will be cognate with a possible Presidential statement along similar lines to the U.S. public and with a stern, private warning to the Russians that Cuban subversion is leading to a highly dangerous situation. Hopefully, such a resolution will have two main results. First, it will deter Castro from further subversive actions; among other things, the Russians may find it in their interest to control Castro more closely. Second, it will provide a juridical umbrella for and pre-position the OAS and/or the U.S., to use force against Cuba in the future if it is deemed desirable to do so.
(b) We want the OAS resolution to call for the establishment of a surveillance system which will permit the stopping and searching in territorial waters of all vessels suspected of carrying arms and subversives; a similar air surveillance system will also be established. While there are some negative aspects to such a resolution (few, if any, arms will be found), there are good reasons for having it. First, since an arms cache is involved, we must, at a minimum make a bow towards the problem of controlling arms shipments. Also, the resolution will be viewed as a tightening measure, and the fact that no further arms shipments occur can be interpreted as a result of the establishment of a surveillance system. Second, it will possibly deter Castro somewhat from sending men and arms to Latin America. Third, it will provide a peg on which to hang closer and more effective bilateral cooperation which may be called for in the future. For example, the U.S. and Venezuela may want to work out an arrangement whereby U.S. vessels can enter Venezuelan waters to assist in the seizure of a suspect vessel. Fourth, while it will give us an instrument to harass Castro marginally, it has no significant escalation implications.
(c) We want the OAS resolution to call for the suspension of all air and sea communications between Cuba and OAS countries-ie. that ships and aircraft of OAS countries will not go to Cuba, that Cuban aircraft and ships will not be permitted in OAS country ports or airfields and that ships and aircraft of non-OAS countries will not be allowed to stop at an OAS country port or airfield if proceeding enroute to or from Cuba. This action will have some most desirable effects. It will considerably increase Cubaís difficulties in exporting subversives, especially if the Cuba/Mexico air-link is cut. In addition, it will probably be effective in reducing even further the number of Free World ships which still call at Cuban ports.
(d) We want the OAS resolution to encourage further steps within the Hemisphere to counter Castro/Communist subversion. We want a condemnation of the Castro regime for its aggressive acts against Venezuela. Also, we want a renewed call for alert against Castro/Communist subversion and an endorsement of the Lavalle Committee recommendations outlining specific measures on control of travel, funds, and propaganda for subversive purposes.
5. Priority Listing of U.S. Objectives-The following is a summary listing of the major actions we want. They are listed in order of their importance in furthering the objectives of present U.S. policy towards Cuba.
(a) OAS words and action to stop the rapid deterioration in our economic denial program.
(b) Warning to Castro regarding future subversive action, with the threat of meaningful retaliation.
(c) Breaking of air and sea communications with Cuba.
(d) Breaking of diplomatic and consular relations.
(e) Establishment of a surveillance system.
It should be noted that the actions most important to us may not be the most difficult to get. For example, the economic sanctions may not be as difficult to get as the breaking of diplomatic relations.
6. Tactics-It is impossible to predict how many of the above mentioned actions we will get until we have an opportunity to publicize the arms cache issue and to reconnoiter the OAS landscape. Our general objective is to obtain as much of the total package as possible. To this end, our tactics will include the following elements.
(a) To the extent possible, we will keep Venezuela in the lead. We will be close behind the Venezuelans, however, supporting them with great determination and energy.
(b) A high noise-level will be needed in Latin America to obtain our objective. To this end, the USIA will proceed with a large scale effort to publicize the investigating committeeís report.
(c) A fairly high noise-level will be desirable in non-OAS Free World countries to gain their acceptance of OAS decisions, particularly in the economic field. The general theme we will convey is that a confident but outraged Hemisphere is banding together to take further measures against Cuba. We have been telling the truth all along about the Cuban threat to Latin America and the arms cache discovery proves it. As appropriate, we will distribute the USIS film to non-OAS Free World countries.
(d) Domestically, the arms cache issue will be played in low-key. The general theme will be that the U.S. is not directly threatened and the real Cuban threat is subversion directed against Latin America. While we intend to aid the Hemisphere as much as possible in the fight against Cuban subversion, the control of subversives is and must necessarily be primarily the responsibility of the target countries.
A low-key posture in the U.S. will be very difficult to maintain if an MFM is scheduled in Washington. Therefore, if an MFM is to be held, we will consider carefully whether or not it should be held elsewhere.
7. Practical Results-Assuming we are entirely successful in obtaining all the OAS action we want, we must be clear as to what the practical results will be, and what they will not be.
(a) There will not be an immediate overthrow of the Castro regime and an immediate and complete cessation of Castro/Communist subversion in Latin America.
(b) There will be a juridical umbrella for the use of force against Cuba in the future, if deemed desirable.
(c) There will be, at a minimum, a delay in an upswing of the Cuban economy.
(d) There will be an increased burden placed on the Soviets to support the Cuban economy.
(e) There will be a further political isolation of Castro. Psychologically, this will wound Castro deeply.
(f) There will be a substantial impediment put in the way of
Castro/Communist subversive activities in Latin America.
/2/ Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
7. Paper Prepared by the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann)/1/
Washington, February 25, 1964.
/1/ Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, ARA/LA Files, 1964: Lot 66 D 65, Venezuelan Arms Cache. Limited Official Use. Copies were sent to Dungan, Sorensen, Chayes, Whiteman, Bunker, Allen, and Crimmins.
I would like a re-examination of paragraph two of the draft resolution with a view to determining whether the lawyers can strengthen this paragraph under either of the two following separate theories:
1. UN Article 51 says in substance that nothing in the Charter affects the right of individual or collective self-defense in the case of armed attack.
I recall that in the past some people have construed this article to limit the right of self-defense to cases in which there has been an armed attack. I seem to recall that there is respectable authority (McDougal of Yale)/2/ which takes the opposite view, i.e., that the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense is not so limited. If the second line of authorities are followed we could simply have the resolution declare in substance that in the event of a situation comparable to the Venezuela one, the American States would have the right to resort to the use of armed force, individually or collectively, in the exercise of their inherent right of self-defense.
/2/ Myres S. McDougal, professor of law at Yale University.
2. Why canít we capitalize on the fact that there has been an aggression by Cuba against Venezuela which falls within the purview of Article 6 of the Rio Treaty? More specifically, why canít we have this paragraph invoke the sanctions of Article 8 of the Rio Treaty (which include the use of armed force) and then suspend the actual use of armed force-suspend the pushing of the button-on some theory such as, for example, the repetition of the same kind of aggression against another country? If the answer to the second question is that we cannot make the future employment of armed force dependent on some future event, then why canít we invoke and simply suspend in an effort to give the United States a clear right to act in the future without specifying future contingencies?
The trouble with paragraph 2 of the present draft is that it adds nothing to our existing legal rights to act in the future-nothing to our existing rights under the Rio Treaty. What we should be seeking is to capitalize on the Venezuelan situation so as to improve our legal posture./3/
/3/ Chase explained in a February 26 memorandum to Bundy that "the Secretary and Tom Mann want the wording strong enough so that it gives the U.S. a release in order to act unilaterally, if necessary. Abe Chayes, however, takes the position that the present wording (which will be tough enough to sell in the OAS) does not give us that release." (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, OAS Resolution (Arms Cache), Vol. II, Memos, 11/63-9/64) Chayes offered new language for the second paragraph in a February 28 memorandum to Mann that "would provide a firmer legal basis for future individual or collective action against Cuba than the present draft." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, ARA/LA Files, 1964: Lot 66 D 65, Venezuelan Arms Cache)
8. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann) to Secretary of State Rusk/1/
Washington, March 2, 1964.
/1/ Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, ARA/LA Files, 1964: Lot 66 D 65, Cuba 1964. Secret. Drafted by Mann and cleared by Chayes subject to several points concerning the second paragraph of the draft resolution. In a March 2 memorandum to Mann, Chayes warned that "legal arguments will be made by the opponents of the paragraph, both in and out of the OAS, against my view that this paragraph provides a legal basis for future individual or collective action." He also emphasized "the risks in using substantial international political capital to obtain approval of this paragraph when the result may be both to expose a major division within the OAS and to stimulate immediate demands for U.S. armed intervention against Cuba." (Ibid.)
Attached for your approval is a draft OAS resolution dealing with the recent aggression by Cuba against Venezuela./2/ If, as we anticipate, this draft is acceptable to Venezuela, it would be presented as a Venezuelan rather than a United States initiative. We would, however, have to support it strongly in order to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority.
/2/ Attached but not printed.
The draft resolution would do the following: (1) condemn Cuba for its aggression against Venezuela; (2) authorize in advance the taking of necessary measures individually and collectively, including the use of force, against Cuba if it commits aggression of comparable gravity against another American state; (3) recommend that the American governments cooperate in establishing systems of air, sea and land surveillance to prevent clandestine shipment of arms and men from Cuba to their countries; (4) require break in diplomatic and consular relations, suspension of all trade except in food and medicines, and suspension of all air and sea transportation except for humanitarian reasons; (5) provide an umbrella for unilateral action to further the trade embargo; (6) call upon free-world countries to take measures to help the American governments in their efforts to isolate Cuba; and (7) reaffirm the COAS recommendations on measures to counteract Castro-communist subversion. By far the most meaningful part of the resolution is paragraph 2.
Even if we succeed in getting the two-thirds majority for the resolution as a whole there is a possibility that both Mexico and Brazil, perhaps joined by others, would refuse to go along. By committing ourselves to strong support of this resolution we would be accepting not only the risk of a division in the OAS family but the possibility that the countries opposing would refuse to be bound by the two-thirds majority. To some extent these risks can be minimized by working quietly with Venezuela, in advance of setting a date for the OAS meeting, to obtain firm agreement with 13 countries to support a particular resolution. This preliminary work should be done so that we can know in advance what will come out of the OAS meeting.
There is a good chance-provided we take in the beginning strong and decisive leadership in favor of a resolution of this kind-of obtaining the thirteen votes needed for a two-thirds majority under the Rio Treaty.
The critical problem involves paragraph 2 of the resolution. This paragraph in effect says that in the event there should be another aggression by Cuba against an American Republic similar to the recent aggression against Venezuela, the United States would have advance Rio Treaty authorization to move militarily against Cuba itself without the need for calling another OAS meeting. On the other hand, it would, however, leave the United States free to make this decision in the light of all the circumstances existing at the time. It should be noted, of course, that if evidence comes to light of further Cuban aggression and intervention in other American states, the paragraph will give strong impetus to those seeking prompt, decisive military action against the Castro regime. Pressures for action can be expected to be all the greater during an election year.
We should not support this kind of provision unless we are prepared to follow through. The hope is that the risk of escalation in case of United States military action against Cuba would be decreased by saying to the USSR, in essence, immediately after the proposed OAS action, that they should either take the necessary steps to prevent Castro from engaging in further adventures of a subversive character in other American Republics or, if they cannot control Castro, to disengage. Obviously, others are better able than I to judge this aspect of the problem.
The other operative paragraphs in the draft resolution will by themselves have significant beneficial effects, but it is not expected that they will be decisive in bringing about an overthrow of Castro in the foreseeable future. They may, however, constitute good trading material for getting a two-thirds vote on paragraph 2.
If the draft resolution is satisfactory, I recommend that we try to meet with the President today or tomorrow to obtain his approval. Then we will be in a position to send it to President Betancourt who is awaiting our views on the measures which should be taken before initiating consultations./3/
/3/ According to Ruskís Appointment Book he met Mann and Chayes on March 3, at 9:37 a.m. (Johnson Library) Although no substantive record of the meeting was found, a notation on this memorandum indicates that the draft was "overtaken." On March 2 Rusk briefed the President on the draft resolution: "Our big problem there is how far to go in relation to the number of votes weíll get, but we got a good strong resolution, and we think [if] the Venezuelans float that, we can do work in capitals, and come up with a pretty good result on that." (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Dean Rusk, March 2, 1964, 11:35 a.m., Tape F64.15, Side B, PNO 1) An uncorrected transcript of the conversation is ibid.
9. Summary Record of the 523rd Meeting of the National Security Council/1/
Washington, March 5, 1964, 4:55-5:30 p.m.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Meetings, Vol. 1, Tab 4. Secret. Drafted by Bromley Smith. The time of the meeting is from the Presidentís Daily Diary. (Johnson Library) The first item of record, "Secretary McNamaraís Trip to South Vietnam," is printed in Foreign Relations, 1964-1968, vol. I, Document 71. FitzGerald also drafted an account of the meeting, portions of which are cited in footnotes below.
Secretary McNamaraís Mission to Vietnam; OAS Action on Venezuelan Arms Cache
[Omitted here is discussion of Secretary McNamaraís trip to South Vietnam.]
2. OAS Action on Venezuelan Arms Cache
Secretary Rusk said that as a result of the proof of Cuban efforts to subvert the government of Venezuela by shipping arms into that country, we must take stronger action against Cuba than any we have taken so far. He summarized the attached paper, "OAS Action Against Cuba," and the draft resolution which it contains./2/ He made two points:
/2/ Attached but not printed.
a. There is some question as to whether we can get a two-thirds vote in the OAS for the resolution. Venezuela will not be voting.
b. Paragraph 2 of the resolution is a warning to Cuba. It does not mean that if another incident such as the Venezuelan arms cache occurred, we would be forced to act against Cuba./3/
/3/ According to FitzGerald: "He [Rusk] said that paragraph 2 as drafted is designed as a blank check for OAS or individual member action in the event of further Cuban aggression; that it does not require U.S. action but does constitute a solemn warning both to Castro and the Soviet Union. He pointed out that if we go all out to get this resolution and fail it will have unfortunate effects." (Memorandum for the Record, March 6; Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80-B01285A, Meetings with President Johnson)
Assistant Secretary Mann commented that the Latin American states go along with us, as they did in the missile crisis, when the U.S. appears ready to use military measures, but there is strong domestic pressure in the various Latin American countries opposing lesser actions against Cuba. Elections in the various Latin American countries make this problem more difficult. Unless we find out by prior questioning that the Latin American states will support a meaningful OAS resolution, we should oppose the convening of the OAS on this issue./4/
/4/ On this point, FitzGerald wrote: "The Secretary of State pointed out that Venezuela is taking a very hard position, i.e. talking about an invasion of Cuba. The President said that it seemed to him that this would only stir things up."
The President said we should begin now to find out how the Latin American states feel toward this resolution and then decide what we should do. Let the Venezuelans begin the sounding out, we will support them, and when we know who would support us, we could make a firm decision.
Secretary Dillon expressed his concern about paragraph 2 which he felt was very strong and might force us to act. He suggested that the draft resolution be changed from "should be taken" to "authorizes the member states to take action" in the event that the government of Cuba continues its aggression against other American states./5/ The President agreed to the suggested change.
/5/ FitzGeraldís memorandum reads: "Mr. Bundy agreed with Secretary Dillonís point. Governor Stevenson asked whether under this resolution, in the event of new aggressions by Castro, a meeting of the OAS would have to be held prior to action. He was advised that, although a meeting would be held, action could be taken at once without recourse to such a meeting."
Mr. Mann said that paragraph 2 gives us jurisdictional authority to move troops in the event of further Cuban subversion actions without going back to the OAS for approval. Secretary Rusk doubted that the OAS would give us this kind of a blank check.
Mr. Mann said we would have to twist arms to get the required thirteen votes for the resolution. What we are looking for is authority in advance from the OAS to act quickly and unilaterally. The issue today is not armed warfare but subversion. The UN Charter talks only of armed aggression, and Article 6 of the Rio Treaty defines aggression somewhat broadly. What we need to meet the existing situation is authority such as stated in paragraph 2.
The President agreed that we should try to get advance authority so that we do not have to go back to the OAS in the event of another action by Castro.
In response to Mr. Bundyís question, Mr. Chayes, as the State Department Legal Adviser, pointed out the legal differences between the statement approved at Punta del Este/6/ and paragraph 2 of the resolution.
/6/ Reference is to paragraph 3, Resolution II, Final Act of the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Punta del Este, Uruguay, January 22-31, 1962. (Department of State Bulletin, February 19, 1962, pp. 278-282) Documentation on the meeting is in Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. XII, Documents 136-145.
The President suggested that we say this is what we did at Punta del Este and this is what we should now have authority to do so that we can act in an emergency. We should find out how far the Latin American states will go.
Ambassador Thompson said the resolution created a problem. The Russians would read the resolution to mean that we are no longer committed not to invade Cuba if there is a repetition of an act such as the shipment of arms to Venezuela by Cuba./7/
/7/ FitzGerald wrote: "Mr. Bundy pointed out that this pledge was always subject to Cubaís good behavior and that we would indeed expect the Soviets to help in maintaining that good behavior."
Mr. Mann pointed out that our technique would involve convincing Venezuela to accept our draft as their own and do the sounding out with the other Latin American states as if it were their resolution. The Speaker asked what we would do if we failed to sell the resolution. Mr. Mann repeated his view that we should not call an OAS meeting if we could obtain approval of only a mushy resolution.
Mr. Bundy called attention to the problem involved in paragraph 4 of the resolution calling for the suspension of trade and the suggestion that U.S. shipments of lard to Cuba be allowed. The President saw nothing inconsistent.
Mr. Bundy expressed grave doubts about the wisdom of obtaining support of about thirteen small states if the six large states opposed the resolution. Secretary Rusk said the small countries threatened by Castro are important. The big Latin American states are far away from the threat, and, therefore, consider the threat less important, but we have a responsibility to protect the small nearby threatened countries.
Mr. Mann summarized his understanding that he was author-ized to proceed to find out what countries would support the draft resolution./8/
/8/ On this point FitzGerald wrote: "The President said to move ahead with the present resolutions and to have the State Department canvass OAS members concerning the acceptability of these resolutions and report back to him." (Ibid.)
/9/ Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
10. Editorial Note
On March 16, 1964, the Johnson administration began a concerted effort to reaffirm the ideals of the Alliance for Progress while establishing its own policy on Latin America. At noon that day the President delivered a major address before an audience of U.S. and Latin American diplomats. The ceremony, held at the Pan American Union, marked the third anniversary of the Alliance as well as the inauguration of the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress (CIAP). Although Johnson noted that the program owed much to the "vision" of his predecessor, he vowed that U.S. support for the Alliance would not diminish in the wake of Kennedyís assassination. As a sign of his personal interest, the President declared that the recent appointment of Thomas C. Mann "reflects my complete determination to meet all the commitments of the United States to the Alliance." (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, Book I, pages 381-384) The same day the Department of State announced that Mann would assume direct responsibility for economic assistance to Latin America as an Assistant Administrator of the Agency for International Development. To allow Mann the freedom to exercise full authority in Latin American affairs, the relevant operations in both agencies would be reorganized, merging the Bureau for Latin America (AID) with the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs (State). (Department of State Bulletin, April 6, 1964, page 540)
March 16 was also the first of a 3-day conference for U.S. Ambassadors and AID mission directors in Latin America. Mann had summoned these officials to Washington for consultation on the administrationís policy, in particular, the Alliance for Progress. Most of the conference, which included sessions on regional as well as bilateral affairs, was considered off-the-record. Nevertheless, the day after the conference ended, The New York Times published an account of a closed session in which Mann allegedly suggested abandoning Kennedyís policy to deter Latin American dictators. The article, written by Tad Szulc, reported that Mann had emphasized the difficulty in classifying political leaders as either "good" or "bad," citing, for example, such authoritarian presidents as Adolfo Lůpez Mateos of Mexico, VŪctor Paz Estenssoro of Bolivia, and Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay. According to Szulc, Mann argued that the administration should be guided by practical not moral considerations: promoting economic growth while protecting U.S. business interests; and avoiding intervention in internal affairs while continuing to oppose communism. Senators Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minnesota) and Wayne Morse (D-Oregon) were reported to have reacted to Mannís remarks by insisting that the United States "fight for the preservation of democracy in Latin America as part of the Alliance." (The New York Times, March 19, 1964)
The Johnson administration reacted swiftly to The New York Times article. In a telephone conversation with Mann and President Johnson the morning of March 19, McGeorge Bundy mentioned "the trouble about that Szulc piece." The discussion continued as follows:
"Mann: Well, Iím going to do something on that.
"Bundy: I assumed you would be going to.
"Mann: Yeah, weíre going to do something on that. This is also very distorted.
"Bundy: I have no doubt of it. [Laughter] That I-the time Szulc writes a straight story will be the news.
"Mann: I talked both to [Senator Ernest] Gruening and to Morse this morning and theyíre not worried about it.
"Bundy: Good. Well, I guess that-just a moment-anything else, sir?
"President: Do we have some Ambassador you reckon is talking to Szulc or do you have enough Departmental people in there doing it?
"Mann: I think a lot of this-I think this came from, probably from somebody in the AID side of the Department, but I canít be sure. We had a big group and you donít get-If you donít talk about these things and you donít have any coordination, the Bureau doesnít function. You talk, then they distort. But this is a gross distortion of what I said on-I said essentially the same thing that Morse said: that we were in favor of democracy-
"President: I hope you let him know that before he makes a speech.
"Mann: Iíve already called him. Iíve already called him, and he said he does know that. I called Gruening too. Theyíre both not worried about it. Iím going to have a talk about the whole problem, which is a very complex problem, but this is just a [unintelligible] job as Iíve ever-slanted, distorted-
"President: OK, my friend." (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation among President Johnson, Thomas Mann, and McGeorge Bundy, March 19, 1964, 11:27 a.m., Tape F64.18, Side A, PNO 4) The portion of the conversation printed here was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume.
Later that afternoon Richard I. Phillips, press spokesman for the Department, issued the following statement: "United States devotion to the principles of democracy is an historical fact. United States policy toward unconstitutional governments will as in the past be guided by the national interest and the circumstances peculiar to each situation as it arises." (Circular telegram 1730, March 19; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 1 US) In spite of this denial, the position attributed to Mann by The New York Times soon became known in the press as the "Mann Doctrine."
11. National Security Action Memorandum No. 297/1/
Washington, April 22, 1964.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Latin America, Vol. II, 6/64-8/64. Confidential.
The President has today approved determinations with regard to military aid to Latin America.
In administering these funds and planning future programs, the President wishes to insure that our policies, MAP and otherwise, are directed toward the following general objectives:
1. Military expenditures by the host country which are consistent with and proportionate to expenditures for social and economic development.
2. The maintenance of a military establishment in the host country which is realistic in terms of our estimate of its potential missions.
3. The establishment of elite units which might be used in U.N. peace-keeping assignments.
4. Continued emphasis on civic action and internal security missions, the latter to be realistically defined.
5. Definition of a clear relationship between military internal security missions and police functions and a rational pattern of U.S. funding for same.
6. Emphasis in training and by other means on the role of the military in a modern democratic society.
7. Avoidance of sophisticated and expensive prestige equipment in our grant or sale programs except where specifically justified. In this connection, host country purchase from other sources of non-essential prestige equipment is to be actively discouraged.
The President desires, by 1 August 1964, a brief analysis and report on the military situation in each country and the changes, if any, to which our policies are being directed. These reports should measure the existing situation against the above general objectives and other relevant factors. The reports should be prepared under the general direction of the Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs with the cooperation of other agencies./2/
/2/ In a July 28 memorandum to Bundy, Sayre explained that the reports had encountered difficulty within the bureaucracy, and suggested extending the deadline to September 1. Bundy agreed. (Ibid.)
12. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann)/1/
Washington, May 5, 1964, 6:45 p.m.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Thomas Mann, Tape F64.26, Side A, PNO 4 & 5. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume. An informal memorandum of the conversation, prepared in ARA, is ibid., Papers of Thomas C. Mann, Telephone Conversations with LBJ, January 4, 1964-April 30, 1965.
[Omitted here is discussion of a proposal to send Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to Chile.]
President: What do you think about the Szulc article this morning?/2/
/2/ The article reported that Teodoro Moscoso had resigned from the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress in order to return to private life in Puerto Rico. Szulc wrote: "His resignation comes at a time of growing disillusionment in Latin America and among Latin-American officials of the Alliance in Washington over present conduct of the program by the United States. The consensus in those quarters is that the program as conceived by President Kennedy no longer exists, and that Washington seems to have returned to its unilateral approach to problems of the hemisphere." (The New York Times, May 5)
Mann: [Laughter] Those fellas are really on a vendetta, you know. Theyíve got their knives out, and itís the most biased reporting Iíve ever seen. If I were outside of government-the American election and so forth-I would answer in proper Texan style. But Iím not in a position to get into a donnybrook right now, because I think it might be disruptive.
President: How are we doing-
Mann: What do you think I should be doing about this?
President: How are we doing in Latin America in your judgment?
Mann: Oh, I think weíre making good progress. Weíre making good progress, better than I think anybody could have hoped for. The Brazilian development. Colombiaís going well-I just got a report today from [unintelligible]: everybodyís happy, the Presidentís very delighted, happy the way everythingís going. The Mexicans are happy-I got a message today from Lůpez Mateos. Central Americaís going good. Chile and Brazil have problems. But this is the bleeding-heart, left wing group; theyíre just mad.
President: Well, now what are we doing to hurt them?
Mann: I donít know, but any [laughter]-Well, I think itís pretty hard to figure out a way to hurt them effectively. I think weíre getting a broader base with the press, a better understanding, but these two New York Times twins are [unintelligible]. I donít think they like anything thatís happened since November 22nd. And itís pretty hard to convince them. I havenít figured out a way to gag them yet.
President: Do they ever come talk to you?
Mann: Oh, I see them occasionally. I havenít seen them lately. Iím not sure itís a good idea to see them because you start to talk, theyíve made up their mind.
President: Where do they get their stuff? Schlesinger?
Mann: I would think so. I would think there and in this club of left-wing reporters.
President: Do you have any people leaking it on you over in the Department?
Mann: Well, I-Yes, weíve had two or three that we think are out now and weíve got only one left, and I think maybe Moscoso. I only have one guy that I donít trust, and I think he-
President: Iíd get rid of him.
Mann: Well, weíre going to. Weíre going to-I already told
President: The quicker, the better.
Mann: Yes, sir.
President: Now, what did Moscoso-why did he quit?
Mann: Well, this I donít know. I had a very friendly telegram from him today saying that he didnít expect this news to break so soon, he had expected to talk to me and to you-but I donít really trust him myself. Iím not sure what he hopes to-
President: You call me in the morning.
Mann: Iíll call./3/
/3/ According to the Presidentís Daily Diary Mann attended an afternoon meeting on May 6 between the President and the Panamanian Ambassador. (Johnson Library) No record has been found, however, to indicate whether Mann telephoned Johnson in the morning-or later in the day.
13. Memorandum for Record/1/
Washington, May 11, 1964, 4:45 p.m.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, Alliance for Progress. Secret. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. Bundy wrote "OK" on it. The meeting was held in the Cabinet Room.
The President opened the meeting by offering a welcome to the Ambassadors who were seated around the Cabinet table. He said that this group of advisers might well be more effective than his regular Cabinet, and he then read or paraphrased the attached statement./2/
/2/ Not found. During a telephone conversation Johnson had asked Mann to prepare a "page" for the meeting. Mann replied: "All right. I think the scenario is that youíre going to open up with a couple of things. Weíve primed two or three of them to set the right tone." Both men agreed that this might avoid a "gripe session," which would inevitably leak to the press. (Ibid., Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Thomas Mann, May 11, 12:50 p.m., Tape F64.26, Side B, PNO 3)
At the close of his statement the President announced that he was proposing the appointment of The Honorable Walt W. Rostow to replace Mr. Teodoro Moscoso as the American Representative on CIAP.
The President initially asked that this announcement be kept private, because he had not had a chance to discuss it with Mr. Rostow, who was airborne-but while he was making the announcement, Acting Secretary Ball was called to the telephone and reported that Mr. Rostow had accepted the Presidentís proposal. The announcement was greeted with obvious pleasure by the Ambassadors.
The first reply to the Presidentís remarks came from Dr. Sanz de Santamaria, who described his recent swing through Central America. He said that he conceived of CIAP as a political motor for the promotion of the Alliance. He had found a very affirmative response in every country from Mexico to Panama. All were trying to do their part. He particularly praised the efforts of coordination of the Central American nations. He believed that they had made great progress in integration, and that their effort compared favorably with the achievement of the European nations over a similar period of time.
Dr. Sanz said that he made it a practice to emphasize that the Alliance for Progress was not simply another name for AID, and that AID was merely one agency for the work of the Alliance, and that indeed the Alliance must never be conceived of as an effort by the U.S. alone.
Dr. Sanz reported that in some countries he found that the people were not yet interested in the Alliance. The Governments and the larger business interests were actively engaged, but the Alliance had a need for the people as a whole and for political action.
Dr. Sanz reported that he had repeatedly been asked whether he himself believed in the Alliance for Progress and that his standard answer had been a strong "Yes." He has explained that he had talked to President Johnson, Secretary Rusk, and Secretary Mann, and he knew of their own personal commitment to the Alliance, commitments reemphasized again by this meeting.
Dr. Sanz praised the appointment of Walt Rostow. He said that this was a very intelligent appointment which would be received with favor in Latin America and he emphasized the importance of this appointment in the light of the very great service which Teodoro Moscoso had rendered to the Alliance.
Dr. Sanz said that it was his practice to discuss needed improvements frankly both with the U.S. officials and with officials in Latin America. He was proud that in Mexico he had been invited to speak as if he were a Mexican. He had done so, and he believed that much could be accomplished in both directions by this kind of candor. He believed that in the case of the U.S. there was a need for the reduction of red tape, and for an ability to make decisions promptly even if the decision was negative.
The President asked if Mr. Mann found it difficult to say "No," and Mr. Mann promptly defended himself, while agreeing that the criticism offered by Dr. Sanz was justified.
Dr. Sanz said in conclusion that he was asked in Latin America why the U.S. insisted on a development program when the U.S. itself had never had such a program. Dr. Sanz said that his answer was that it was not the United States but the Latin American countries themselves which had requested such programs, and that when resources were limited and choice was necessary, it was entirely natural that a lending or granting agency would need to know how a given proposal fitted into the general program of the country concerned.
The President said that Dr. Sanz had made a very constructive statement. We agreed with it, and the President could say that however long he was in the White House, he was going to be at work on the Alliance. There was not a man living that cared more than he
did, and no one more competent to work for the Alliance than Tom Mann. The President agreed that there was too much red tape and
he believed it could be cut down. We were going to act for the Alliance and we were glad to have the help in this work of such men as Dr. Sanz.
The next speaker was Dr. Francisco R. Lima of El Salvador. He spoke briefly and made four points: (1) that at Geneva there was
a significant difference between the hopes of the Latin American countries and the position of the United States delegation; his Government hoped that the U.S. could take a more sympathetic position;/3/ (2) that the assignment of sugar quotas was a matter of the greatest importance to Latin American countries, and that his Government hoped for part of the Cuban quota. The President interjected that his Government was not alone. (3) That coffee prices should go up, and that the housewife should be brought to accept the need for higher coffee prices. The President interjected that producers always had believed in high prices, but that consumers were not so easily persuaded. (4) That concern with the U.S. balance of payments was interfering with relations between the U.S. and countries of the Hemisphere.
/3/ Reference is to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which met in Geneva, March 23-June 16.
At the Presidentís request, Ambassador Mann replied briefly to Ambassador Lima saying that sugar quotas were under careful review, that the U.S. expected to pass legislation supporting the coffee agreement, and that in cases where transactions having a very minor effect on the balance of payments were impeded by restrictions growing out of this problem, it should be possible to make arrangements that would prevent delay or obstruction on this account.
Ambassador Correa of Ecuador emphasized the concern of his country with the fate of the IDA legislation./4/ The President responded by saying that this was one of the many great problems we have this year, that we were working very hard on it and that we were worried about it too, and that he proposed to discuss it with the Legislative Leadership. The President telephoned on the spot to Mr. Lawrence OíBrien and asked for an up-to-date report on the legislative account. A little later in the meeting he received a telephone answer from OíBrienís office and reported to the meeting that the current estimate was that there would be 215 votes in the House for the measure, which would probably be just enough.
/4/ Reference is to a bill authorizing an increase in the U.S. contribution to the International Development Association, a World Bank affiliate. The House approved the legislation on May 13; the President signed the bill into law on May 26. (78 Stat. 200)
The Ambassador of Uruguay remarked that trade also was very important, that we should work at the increase of trade as a part of the whole program, and that we were not yet working on it as we should.
Acting Secretary Ball, in response, emphasized the concern of the U.S. with the expansion of trade and, with a reference back to the earlier comments of Ambassador Lima, he remarked that there was real hope for progress in the UNCTAD meeting in Geneva during the last five weeks of hard work. He himself hoped that there would be answers that would not be too disappointing to the assembled group.
Mr. Ball pointed out that we face a real problem in framing our policy on tariff preferences. This was a problem on which we ought to work together. The U.S. has to trade with all the world, and if the U.S. should introduce tariff preferences specifically for Latin America, we would be one step further along on the road toward the creation of a series of closed trading systems, in place of the traditional target of a single world-wide open system.
The President said that we ought to list some of our common interests and work on them some more. He reemphasized his conviction that the Latin American future was the American future, that "your welfare is our welfare."
The Ambassador of Chile remarked that some of the criticism which the Alliance for Progress was now receiving was the result of understandable impatience. In order to launch the Alliance for Progress we had set it at a very high pitch, and the things said at the beginning may have made the overall task seem easier than in fact it is.
The President entirely agreed with this point and said that in his view we had indeed started off on a very high pitch and that we must now show leadership in getting the real difficulties better understood.
The Ambassador of Chile continued that we had nevertheless accomplished a good deal, although there was a natural tendency for each of us to suppose that he was doing everything and that the other fellow wasnít doing enough. The President agreed, remarking that is his experience the other fellow always thought it was the President of the United States who wasnít doing his part. The Ambassador of Chile replied that in the U.S. press it always appeared that it was the U.S. that was doing the work and no one else was doing enough. The Ambassador recognized that we all had bureaucratic problems. He thought that CIAP was a good way of meeting responsibility, but that it had taken too long to get organized. Nevertheless, most of our countries had prepared or were preparing development programs, and programs for tax reform and agrarian reform, and while we should not relax, we need not feel frustrated either. The Latin American countries were doing better. The weakest point was in the private sector. The conditions for a perfectly stable private sector were very complex, and in his judgment only two countries in the world could meet all the desired standards: the U.S. and Switzerland. He did not think Latin American countries could turn Swiss overnight. The Ambassador felt that Latin America faced a heavy requirement for political and social reform, and such programs commit governments and they have to go on forward with them.
The Ambassador pointed out that annual debate of public funds available for the Alliance put the whole case in suspense and created an element of doubt and concern.
The Ambassador of Venezuela conveyed the apologies of President Betancourt./5/
/5/ Bundy inserted the following phrase by hand: "for his inability to attend the meeting in response to the Presidentís invitation."
The President concluded the meeting by emphasizing the need for optimism and enthusiasm in supporting the Alliance. He remarked that if you want to lose an election all you have to do is predict that you will lose it. If you want to lose a baseball game, all you have to do is announce your doubts. The President believed that we had come a long way and we should emphasize our success and do all that we can to create the appearance of success as well, since the appearance would reinforce the reality. The President reemphasized his complete confidence in Secretary Mann, who was going to be the one "Jefe" here in Washington for the Alliance. The Ambassadors should think of him as a friend, that if they would work with us we would keep at the improvement of the Alliance. But if we should predict its failure, the Congress would make it a failure. The program was surrounded by outsiders who liked to criticize and editors who looked for diplomats whom they might quote in a critical vein, and the President believed it of great importance that we should do our best to build up the Alliance, not tear it down./6/
/6/ After the meeting the President invited the participants to the East Room, where he delivered an address and signed 12 loan agreements under the Alliance for Progress. Earlier that afternoon Johnson discussed the address with Mann: "I think we need some facts in there about what weíve done the last 6 months. We ought to know if weíve done anything worthwhile, in the achievements, and we ought to point them out, not defensively but rather positively, so that we can show that we havenít been asleep, and-This damn Schlesinger is going all over the world denouncing us. I saw a cable yesterday, it had been circularized to everybody, about how our whole policy on Latin America had changed, and how weíd abandoned the Alliance. And so I think we ought to answer him by saying: ĎWeíre building this big waterworks here, and weíre doing this road here, and weíre doing this here-all this has been done in the last 90 days.í" (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Thomas Mann, May 11, 12:19 p.m., Tape F64.26, Side B, PNO 2) For text of Johnsonís remarks, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-64, Book I, pp. 677-681.
14. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson/1/
Washington, May 19, 1964.
/1/ Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL CUBA. Secret. Drafted by Allen and approved by Bunker.
With reference to the NSC decision of March 5 to seek support for a resolution which, inter alia, would authorize future use of force against Cuba in the event of further subversion, I recommend that you now authorize the Department to agree to the milder alternative along the lines of the enclosed,/2/ in view of the impossibility of obtaining the necessary two-thirdsí support for a stronger text and in view of the desirability of obtaining as broad support as possible for any action to be taken./3/
/2/ Attached but not printed.
/3/ A note on the memorandum indicates this recommendation was "approved by the President at lunch with Secretary 5/19/64." According to the Presidentís Daily Diary Johnson met his Tuesday Luncheon group-Rusk, McNamara, and Bundy-on May 19 at 1 p.m. (Johnson Library) No substantive record of the meeting has been found. The Department circulated the revised text of the draft resolution on May 21, pending Venezuelan approval. (Circular telegram 2171; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-8 VEN) The Venezuelan Government subsequently agreed to the proposed revision, but continued to insist on taking action at a meeting of Foreign Ministers rather than the OAS Council. (Circular Telegram 2214, May 28; ibid.)
Consultations undertaken by the Venezuelans and ourselves with the other American Republics on the March 5 text have shown considerable opposition to the "blank check" concept in paragraph 2 under which, as you recall, the OAS would not authorize the use of force against Cuba at any time in the future without going back to the OAS, should there be a repetition elsewhere of the type of subversive campaign Castro undertook against Venezuela last fall. From the point of view of public opinion both at home and abroad, it seems to us highly desirable that there be as broad support as possible for some meaningful action against Cuba, including, if possible, Mexicoís vote. Therefore we believe it desirable to revise the basis of the idea involving the possible use of force to one of individual and collective self-defense and embody this concept in a separate resolution on which we have some hope for virtually unanimous agreement. The other provisions of the March 5 draft concerning surveillance around Cuba, severance of diplomatic and economic relations, suspension of air and surface transportation and appeal to other free world countries for cooperation, would then be put in one or more separate resolutions, but would be in the form of recommendations rather than as binding decisions as provided in the earlier draft.
The revised draft would still offer the advantages of clearly establishing the doctrine that Castro-type subversive activities constitute "aggression" and that, under the right of self-defense, some action could be taken by us in support of an aggrieved state at its request in the future without awaiting recourse to the OAS.
/4/ Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.
15. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann)/1/
Washington, May 26, 1964, 1 p.m.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Thomas Mann, Tape F64.27, Side A, PNO 6. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume. An informal memorandum of this conversation, prepared in ARA, is ibid., Papers of Thomas C. Mann, Telephone Conversations with LBJ, January 4, 1964-April 30, 1965.
Mann: Yes, sir?
President: I have been looking at the amount obligated by the Alliance program and itís quite disturbing. Itís only about 60 percent of what theyíve appropriated.
Mann: Uh huh.
President: And I thought that I better talk to you and the Director of the Budget and see if we canít get something done that will get that money obligated, because you donít, Passmanís/2/ just going to take it away from us.
/2/ Congressman Otto E. Passman (D-Louisiana), chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.
Mann: Well, I think-We testified up there the other day where weíre going to have it all obligated by the end of the fiscal year, but Iíll check on it again to make sure.
President: Well, they estimate that theyíre going to do it faster, but I just think you ought to call in some people there and approve some loans.
Mann: Well, weíll do that.
President: You know what you got now? You got May the 15th, 59 percent of the Alliance loans obligated.
Mann: Well, I think it may be higher than that right now.
President: Well, this was May the 15th, 59 percent.
President: April the 30th, you only had 45 percent.
Mann: Yeah, we got a slow start.
President: Now, they estimate that theyíre going to get up there, maybe 90 some-odd percent. But if you get it the last month, heís going to start hearings on it in the next few days and heís going to look at what you got now. And everyday that you wait you just cost you money. And Iím not going to fight for it if they donít go on spending when they got it.
Mann: All right. I got it. Weíll spend it. Iíll make sure we get it all obligated.
President: Letís get another ceremony and sign some more and letís get those ambassadors in here in another month.
Mann: All right.
President: Get them back. You get with Rostow and you all get some plan and some new ideas and some new programs that we can announce for some of the rest of them. And sometime in the next 30 days letís get them back in.
Mann: Will do.
President: All right.
/3/ Mann forwarded a memorandum to the President on June 15 in which he reported that 80 percent of the funds appropriated for the Alliance for Progress had already been obligated; the remainder would be committed within 1 month. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, Alliance for Progress, Vol. I) No evidence has been found that Johnson invited the Latin American Ambassadors to the White House for a second signing ceremony for the Alliance.
16. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mann)/1/
Washington, June 11, 1964, 7:05 p.m.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and Thomas Mann, Tape F64.31, Side B, PNO 5 and Tape F64.32, Side A, PNO 1 & 2. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume. Although the Presidentís Daily Diary indicates that Johnson placed the call, the tape does not include a salutation. (Johnson Library) The recording otherwise appears to document the entire conversation. An informal memorandum of the conversation, prepared in ARA, and incorrectly dated June 12, is ibid., Papers of Thomas C. Mann, Telephone Conversations with LBJ, January 4, 1964-April 30, 1965.
Mann: I just got back from the Hill talking to Cooley about sugar with Charlie Murphy./2/
/2/ Representative Harold D. Cooley (D-North Carolina) and Charles S. Murphy, Under Secretary of Agriculture.
President: What are our problems now? You got the Kubitschek problem in Brazil. What are the hot ones? You got an election in Chile.
Mann: We got an election in Chile in September.
President: All right.
Mann: We got this Foreign Ministers meeting which will probably take place in July on this Cuban, Venezuelan accusation against Cuba.
President: Are you, have you got that worked out where youíre going to get the kind of resolution that you want?
Mann: Well, weíre going to get, I think, a fairly good one. Weíre having trouble with Mexico; Chile, because of its elections in September, probably going to vote against it; but we think that Brazil and Argentina will come along. Weíve been working on, haggling over words. Bunkerís working on it almost full time. I was talking, when you called, with the Mexican about it. Trying to get him to-
President: Who do you talk to? Who do you mean, the Mexican?
Mann: SŠnchez Gavito.
Mann: Heís their OAS ambassador.
President: Is he pretty difficult?
Mann: No, heís on our side, but heís having trouble at home
because of politics down there. Their basic problem is Lombardo Toledano and CŠrdenas and trying to keep the party from splitting./3/ Itís an internal problem with them. Theyíre fiddling with words that everybody can live with and-
/3/ Vicente Lombardo Toledano, founder and leader of the Partido Popular Socialista (PPS), and LŠzaro CŠrdenas, former President of Mexico (1934-1940), who remained active on the left wing of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).
President: When does that come up?
Mann: We think the first, within the first-it will be after the elections which in Mexico, which I believe are, itís on a Sunday, I think the 6th of July, the 5th of July.
President: Any question about the Mexican election?
Mann: No, no, thereís no question at all there. Theyíve had some disturbances-you know the Commies are growing up in Mexicali, thatís a serious problem for us, Mr. President-but I think weíre making progress.
President: How-Did you get Hayden/4/ to agree to what you want to do on that water?
/4/ Senator Carl T. Hayden (D-Arizona).
Mann: Weíre still waiting for word from him, but the Secretary is going to see him again tomorrow.
President: He told me, Hayden told me, yesterday that he had agreed to go along with the State Department.
Mann: Well, I think what heís doing is waiting on some kind of a political commitment from your office about the central Arizona project.
President: Thatís right, but he told me heíd agreed to go along with you all on the other one. I want to be sure itís satisfactory before I agree with him.
Mann: Well, I think maybe thatís where we are, thatís the last word I had at noon today, that-Iíll talk to the Secretary about it in the morning if I may-
President: You be positive about that and tell him that he already told me heíd go with the Secretary. The Secretary ought to tell him that the President says that "you told him youíre going with us."
Mann: I think he may infer back: "Yes, but this is a package deal, and whereas-"
President: He never has made it conditional that way, never has put it on that basis. Heís just said: "Iíve already helped you, now you help me."
Mann: All right. Well let me-Iíll see the Secretary in the morning. Iíll tell him that itís not conditional and-
President: No. No, thatís right. Iím trying to-
Mann: We have a lot of potential problems. For example, Uruguay has five presidents, as you know, and theyíre just in a hell of a mess because they canít manage their affairs very well; their growth rate is now down below their birth rate. The Kubitschek thing is bad. Weíll get some flak on that for two weeks, but the general trend, we think-after June 15 they can no longer do this, the law, their power to designate new people, expires then. We are urging them to set up an appeals procedure for Kubitschek and all of the others, so theyíll have a chance to be, for their day in court, to be heard. Thereíll be charges against them and so forth-I donít think it will get anywhere-but I would think the Brazilian thing would get better starting in about two weeks. I think it will look pretty good in thirty days.
President: You got any more hot spots?
Mann: Weíve got lots of headaches.
President: Whatís happening in the Dominican Republic?
Mann: Well, they just reached an agreement with the Monetary Fund, and weíre now negotiating with them on trying to get them to take the self help measures that they have to take. Theyíve got lots of problems. It takes them 7 cents-which is absurd-to produce sugar, and the world price is now around 5 and futures are about 4.5. So they have to fire a lot of people, and get more efficient, and increase agricultural production. And theyíve got to find a way to hold elections. And weíve come to-some of them are really, Mr. President, are, you wonder sometimes whether theyíre capable of governing themselves. But things are moving along pretty well. Weíve got problems nearly everywhere. Costa Ricaís in trouble. Their, they claim thereís a 35 percent loss of foreign exchange in their coffee exports and, I think itís sugar, and weíre going to work on that because the President will be up here to see you and weíll fill you in on that before he gets here. Panama is rocking along. They havenít started talking yet but they will resume the next week. Illueca,/5/ I think, is coming in on Monday back from Panama.
/5/ Jorge Illueca, principal Panamanian representative in the negotiations to revise the Panama Canal Treaty.
President: What do we hear from our Ambassador down there?/6/ Is he doing all right?
/6/ Jack Hood Vaughn.
Mann: think heís done a fine job, and you made a good selection, I say that without qualification. Heís exercised good judgment, heís been calm, and heís been tough when he had to be tough. Heíll be up this week. By the way-early next week-weíll have about seven ambassadors. You said you wanted to meet with them. Any time next week youíre ready, weíll send about seven over there.
President: Yeah. All right. You just stay after Jack, make him give you a date, just hound him every day, Ďcause we just-The ones that raise the most hell get the most sugar.
Mann: All right. [laughter] Iíll stay on the phone-
President: Youíre too good and too nice. So you just, you just give him hell. Just tell him every day, you got to call him the next day and get your date so youíll know what youíre doing-
Mann: All right, will do.
President: And then you get me a briefing paper so I can tell me what I can say to them. And-what can I say that weíve done in this Hemisphere now thatís improved the situation? What have we got that we can point to with pride besides pointing to with alarm?
Mann: Well, weíre going to send you over a memo with, itís in preparation now, on the Alliance side./7/ Where weíre weaker than any other place, Mr. President, is on trade. AID thing is going good, as you know, thanks to you. Weíll hear more complaints, I think, on trade, about sugar and coffee and things that they need to live, to sell in order to live. But I think on the whole that-
/7/ See footnote 3, Document 15.
President: Can we say that these 6 months are better than the last 6 months before we came in?
Mann: I think we can. I believe-
President: Well, how or why are they better? How are they better now than they were-
Mann: Let me give you about twelve points on the AID side, and weíll scratch around and find some other general points on-
President: From March though, if youíre just making a general statement, from March to November, the period in November to now, whatís the difference?
Mann: All right. Let us think about that.
President: I guess weíll say Brazil, Brazil, say thatís the best thing, isnít it?
Mann: No, I was thinking of things you could say.
President: No, no, Iím just talking about in my own mind.
Mann: Oh, well, the Panama thing went very well, Mr. President. The Guantanamo thing has gone well. The whole Cuban thing, in my opinion, has gone well.
President: The Brazil thing went all right.
Mann: Brazil is the most important thing outside of Cuba thatís happened in the last 20 years in Latin America-in spite of the difficulties, in spite of the excesses, and there have been excesses, stupidities, the pendulum swung too far back and now weíve got to push it back toward the center. Weíre going to win this election in Chile, things look good, weíve done a hell of a lot of work on that. And-
President: Now, what have you got? A Communist running?
Mann: Well, we have a socialist running with Communist support, but the Communists are stronger than the socialists, and if he wins we think the Commies, heíll be a prisoner of the Commies, cause theyíre much, much better organized and much more disciplined.
President: What about our candidate? Heís not the incumbent is he?
Mann: No, our can-the candidate we hope will win is a Christian Democrat, and heís being supported by the conservatives, the liberals, and, of course, the Christian Democrats, which is a new party. Weíre not telling anybody this, but weíve been taking polls, and even allowing for inaccuracies, the margin of inaccuracies, it looks pretty good. Frei, the Christian Democrat, comes up with 52 percent; Allende, the Communist-socialist candidate, with 36; and a third candidate, who represents the Radical Party-which is not radical at all, but itís more anti-clerical, which weíre keeping in the race so, because we think all of his votes would go to Allende-heís running about 7 percent; and the other 5, I think itís 5 remaining, 5 or 6 percent undecided. So weíre not doing bad, weíve picked up a lot of steam in the last, a lot of support for Frei in the last 6 weeks.
President: What are our danger spots?
Mann: Well, thatís the-
President: Chile election?
Mann: Thatís the biggest one, I would say, with the fact of the Communist element in it.
President: And the Dominican-
Mann: The overflights over Cuba.
President: What in the world can we do to minimize that? We canít go around them. We canít circle the island. We got to go over it. And-
Mann: I think weíll get, Iím hoping weíll get some good resolutions, which would be very helpful on the domestic front, and also of real value to us.
President: Is trade going up much between the British and the Cubans?
Mann: Well, it has in terms of British exports to Cuba, and French exports.
President: They told me when they were here that theyíd been 55 million, theyíd cut them to five, but theyíd be up on account of the buses. Now what, how much are they up to?
Mann: Well, what really happened, I donít have the figures in my head, but I know itís up quite a bit, Mr. President, because theyíve been buying all this sugar, and theyíve got these, Cubaís got the convertible currencies to buy anything they want. I think itís about two hundred million dollars a year that Castro made last year, and we expect him to make about the same this year as a result of the increased price of sugar. Now sugar prices are dropping, this is a very temporary phenomenon, sugar prices are dropping and heís just, heís not going to have the money to buy this kind of stuff much longer. So I donít think that the prognosis, the medium and long term prognosis, is bad. Itís good.
President: You getting any reports of the things inside Cuba? Whatís happening?
Mann: Well, not really anything new that-
President: Is there any dissatisfaction?
Mann: Yes, we figure about 25 percent of the people-the job holders, the office holders, especially the young people in the country who are better off than they ever were before-are totally in favor of Castro. We think he can count on about 25 to 30 percent of the people. We think there are about 25 to 30 percent of the people who are opposed to him, and the middle ground there, the 40 to 50 percent, are just sort of apathetic. And thatís the way itís been for the last year or so, and there isnít much change in that, because his hard core of support is built around the people who hold jobs.
President: Would you say that our economic isolation policy has been a complete failure?
Mann: No, sir. I think itís been largely successful. I-
President: How? When the French and British are all trading with him?
Mann: Well, heís had these dollars and theyíve sold him some things, and thatís hurt us. But on the, if-the alternative would be to let the bars down and let them extend credits and that sort of thing. And weíve been very successful in keeping this limited to a number of isolated transactions. And this is a hell of a lot better than taking him into our bosom.
President: How are we going to get rid of him?
Mann: Itís going to take some time.
Mann: I think itís going to have to come from-I really donít think that, unless somebody kills Castro, or he dies, or the army is split in the very top command where they turn on him, the army especially, that the people themselves can get rid of him. As long as that army is loyal to him, heís going to be there until he dies. And when he dies, nobody knows whatís going to happen, because heís got the same power to mesmerize people that Hitler had, and we doubt that anybody else has got, can project this same kind of image. The only other way to knock him off would be to go in there with force from the outside, and this could happen, either as a result of our reactions to his shooting at our planes that are doing this photographic stuff, or as a result of collective action which weíre working on in this Venezuelan thing, whereby he tries again what he did in Venezuela, and if at that time you decide you want authority, the legal basis to go in, and you want to go in, I think we could get it. The main objective we hope to get out of this meeting is to say that subversion, communist subversion, is an aggression which is not an armed attack within the meaning of article six of the Rio Treaty, get them to accept that, so that if we have another act of subversion, weíll have a good legal basis of going to the OAS and saying now you agreed that this was the law, and here are the facts, and this is what we ought to do. Because the biggest problem, as you know, that we had in the Bay of Pigs, was this doubt on the part of the lawyers and others that we had any right in international law to do anything, and we hope to clear that up considerably.
President: So that for the subversion by importing arms to other countries to be considered aggression, that would justify our moving.
Mann: Thatís what we-if he does it again. But we would have to go to the OAS and prove the facts. They didnít want to give us a blank check.
President: Well, youíve got a statement there, say I ought to say at a press conference that I donít intend to invade Cuba, just as Kennedy didnít.
Mann: Well, sir, if I were you, I wouldnít make a statement like that, because who can tell whatís going to happen tomorrow? Suppose he shoots tomorrow and-
President: Well they say Khrushchev is saying that he hadnít seen us repeat Kennedyís pledge and we ought to do it.
Mann: Well, I would send, I wouldnít make a public statement, Iíd have the Secretary of State say that if he behaves himself, doesnít commit any aggressive acts against other Republics, and doesnít shoot at any of our planes, or doesnít give us cause to do anything, that everythingís going to be all right in terms of war and peace.
President: You tell, in the morning you call Mac Bundy, heís not here, but you call him, and tell him I was talking to you last night, and youíd like to know what heíd propose to say in that statement and then you tell him why you donít think it ought to be done.
Mann: All right.
President: Now, whatís the problem in Uruguay?
Mann: Well, Uruguay. They have this silly political system, Mr. President, where theyíve got five presidents of the country and, I think, itís seven mayors of Montevideo, the capital city, and itís a little tiny place, and graft and corruption is growing. They have an executive thatís almost paralyzed because there isnít any one president. The people are beginning to talk about the need for strong leadership, but nobodyís done anything about it yet. And in the meantime their expenses are too high, theyíre paying too much, theyíre spending more than theyíre earning on social security and a number of other things, and just having a hell of time making ends meet. And the result of this is a deterioration in confidence, the private sector is not investing in job-producing industries, and production is not going up. They actually had a slight decrease in their national GNP rate last year as compared with a fairly high birth rate, I think about two and a half per cent. And we are going to-[1 second sanitized by the Johnson Library under the donorís deed of gift]-a skull session to see what it is we can do-because I see this one coming in some months ahead-and what it is we can do to get that economy rolling again. But when you have to work with five heads, a five-headed animal, a government, it isnít always very easy to do, because they donít, they fight like cats and dogs between themselves, they canít agree on anything. Thatís a major problem. Weíve got these, the possibilities of oil expropriations in Argentina and in Peru, but we think weíve got those dampened down in Peru. We may have trouble in Argentina though, and it may come this month.
President: What are they going to do? Expropriate some of our oil companies?
Mann: It wonít be an expropriation. It will be a compensation for the amount of money they put in, which will satisfy some of the companies. Those that invested a lot of money and didnít find oil, near as I can find out, they would be happy to get their money back. Then you have other companies like Standard of Indiana and Tennessee Gas and, I think, Cities Service, those three, made an investment and hit it pretty big, and theyíre not about to think about, theyíre not about to be satisfied with just getting their money back. So I told the Minister of Defense of Argentina the other day that we would not buy that, we thought the Hickenlooper Amendment would apply, and his reply was that they could not renegotiate those contracts. I suggested they might sit down and do whateverís fair and reasonable. He said they couldnít do that, it was too hot a political issue, but they could go through a procedure of opening this to bids, putting the concessions, the oil fields, up for bids, and then making the terms and conditions so that the same companies that own them now would end up owning them. Now this looks like to me itís gonna be hard to do, and we decided this morning that I would call in these three companies and talk to them directly, and get their ideas, the ones who would be hurt the worst. I think Standard of Jersey and that crowd are going to be happy about it, but the others are not, and I think you canít, canít, without those guys.
President: Whoís that? Standard and Tennessee Gas?
Mann: I think Tennessee Gas, Cities Service and Standard Oil of Indiana are the ones who would be hurt the worst if they didnít get-if they tried just to return their investments with interest. And I donít think we can buy that, because if you apply that formula to Venezuela, where we have four billion dollars in assets, theyíll try to go back and say: "Well, youíve already recovered your initial investment, so you ought to get out." We have to be very careful about the precedent.
President: These damn coal men are really murdering me, because we donít give them some of this substantial increase. They think that we ought to quit adding, importing that Venezuela oil all the time. Can we do anything like that?
Mann: Mr. President, I think thereís too much oil coming in from Canada. Their production-I worked out this exemption, overland exemption thing, about 4 years ago./8/ We had a deal with them at that time that they would ship us in about 50,000 barrels a day mostly in the Pugent Sound area, and theyíre now up to over 300,000 barrels a day or around there, especially in Humphreyís state. I have to talk to Marlin/9/ about this. The Venezuelans are getting awfully nervous about this. The Ambassador was in to see me yesterday protesting.
/8/ Mann was Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs in April 1959 when the United States agreed to give Canada and Mexico an "overland exemption" to the oil import program. For documentation on that program, see Foreign Relations, 1958-1960, vol. IV, pp. 579-594, 608-609.
/9/ Marlin E. Sandlin, chairman of the Pan American Sulphur Company, Houston, Texas.
President: What am I going to do about coal though if you and Marlin take all the God-damned oil that Canada and Venezuela produce? Iíve got all my people here thatís starving in these coal areas?
Mann: Well, weíll have a look at the coal industry. I think theyíre doing pretty good. Iíd like to look at the figures, I-
President: No, theyíre not. Theyíre in here this week, all of them, and just saying "you cost us 4,000 jobs by raising the oil quota on residuals."/10/ And Iím going to appoint a committee, put you on it with McNamara, and make them redo it and do something for coal. We ought to help some of the people of West Virginia and Pennsylvania and Illinois, as well as help the people of Venezuela and Canada. I donít mean just help them to the exclusion but give them some help.
/10/ The Johnson administration amended the oil import regulation on March 6, raising the maximum level for residual fuel oil to the eastern United States (District I). (29 F.R. 3200, 3207) The President attended a National Coal Policy meeting on June 5 to discuss the concerns of the coal industry, including representatives from management, labor, and transportation. (Presidentís Daily Diary; Johnson Library)
Mann: Well, Iíd rather give them help any place except at Venezuelaís cost. Maybe we can do, maybe we can find something in the Near East or something. Let us look at it, and see what we can do.
President: OK. All right. Bye.
Mann: Thank you.
17. Memorandum From the Presidentís Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, June 16, 1964.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. V. No classification marking.
Walter Jenkins has told me of your quite proper concern over the Sunday Star story about Bob Sayre joining my staff./2/ The story, which must have come from some State Department gossip, is a damaging distortion of a move which was made to deal with a real problem. That problem is that Ralph Dungan and Tom Mann really have not communicated easily together, so that Latin American business has kept coming through my desk./3/ I was either doing things myself or playing liaison officer between the two of them. This I just did not have time enough to do without help, so about six weeks ago I told Ralph that I thought we ought to add to the NSC staff a relatively junior officer (like Dave Klein for European affairs) who would be available to us here, and who would be acceptable to Tom Mann, too. I should add in candor that both Ralph and I knew that this arrangement would in fact reduce his direct involvement in Latin American affairs, although I told him that I for one would be glad to have him continue to keep a hand in when he felt like it.
/2/ The article reported that Sayre had assumed responsibility for Latin American affairs at the NSC and suggested that he would be "much more closely oriented to the State Department view of events" than Dungan and Richard M. Goodwin had been under President Kennedy. (Washington Star, June 14, 1964)
/3/ Bundy also raised the communication problem with the President on April 14, citing criticism that would result if Dungan left, i.e. "another good White House man goes west." Johnson replied that his standing in the public opinion polls was such that "Ralphís leaving me wouldnít hurt me really politically." (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of telephone conversation between President Johnson and McGeorge Bundy, April 14, 1964, 12:50 p.m., Tape F64.23, Side B, PNO 1) In an April 28 memorandum to Bundy, Chase warned of a possible consequence if Dungan departed: "I, for one, do not favor Tom Mannís implied proposal that White House/State contact take place solely or substantially through his office (it probably bothers Tom somewhat that he does not now control everything that ARA says to the White House)." (Ibid., National Security File, Country File, Latin America, Vol. I, 11/63-6/64)
Sayre was recommended by Crockett/4/ and Mann for this job, and while I was wary at first, I found him very good in our interview, and I found that Ralph had a very high opinion of him. He has been over here for several weeks now, and he has already proved his value in a number of ways. The most conspicuous example is Tom Mannís speech on our recognition policy./5/ Because of his friendly relations with Mann and his own sensitive eye for the politics of the matter, Sayre was able to get amendments made which made that speech entirely safe at home and successful in Latin America.
/4/ William J. Crockett, Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration.
/5/ Mann delivered the speech, "The Democratic Ideal in Our Policy Toward Latin America," on June 7 at the University of Notre Dame. (Department of State Bulletin, June 29, 1964, pp. 995-1000)
I have spoken to Ralph about this unsatisfactory story, and neither he nor I think it is something we should make an issue over, since it was way on the inside of a Sunday paper. Of course, Tom Mann himself is a Special Assistant to the President, but de facto he is now working with our staff in the same way that other Assistant Secretaries do.
Unfortunately, there does exist a real-but manageable-problem of Ralphís own state of mind. I have told Walter Jenkins that in my own judgment the best thing we can do for Ralph is to make it clear to him that he will be in line for one of the jobs he wants after the election, if all goes well. The two things which he has in mind are the Ambassadorship to Chile and a relatively senior U.S. appointment at the World Bank./6/ He is highly qualified for either one, in my judgment. Meanwhile, I am doing all that I can to keep in good harness with him, given the difficult fact that as long as Tom Mann is No. 1 on Latin America, it simply will not be practicable for Ralph to play the role there which he had in the last administration.
/6/ Dungan was eventually appointed Ambassador to Chile; see Document 271.
18. Memorandum From Robert M. Sayre of the National Security Council Staff to the Presidentís Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
Washington, June 23, 1964.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Latin America, Vol. II, 6/64-8/64. Confidential. According to the Presidentís Daily Diary the meeting was held in the Cabinet Room, June 18, 12:10-1:10 p.m. The attendees included: the President, Lincoln Gordon, Jack Vaughn, W. Tapley Bennett, Aaron Brown, Covey Oliver, John Bell, Tom Mann, Ralph Dungan, Robert Adams, Anthony Solomon, and William Rogers. (Johnson Library)
Mr. Mann believes the meeting between the President and six of our Ambassadors in Latin America went well because:
1. The group includes two or three of our best Ambassadors in Latin America and
2. The Ambassadors were prepared to discuss general trends and prospects, and raised specific country problems to illustrate the general trend.
I would add a third point-that in three of the countries (Brazil, Panama, and the Dominican Republic), there are active and serious issues in which our own interests and security are deeply involved.
The President received in his night reading material before the meeting a brief status report on the Alliance, a few lines of biography on the Ambassadors with whom he was not well-acquainted, and three or four sentences on the current situation in each of the six countries concerned./2/ During the meeting, the President asked each Ambassador what he regarded as the key problems in his country and the Hemisphere, and what he thought should be done about them. Most of the talking from the Ambassadorsí side was done by Lincoln Gordon (Brazil), Jack Vaughn (Panama), and W. Tapley Bennett (Dominican Republic), in each of whose country we have some pretty tough problems.
/2/ A report prepared by Sayre that fits this description was forwarded to Bundy under cover of a June 18 memorandum. (Ibid., National Security File, Country File, Latin America, Vol. II, 6/64-8/64)
The President had an oral briefing by Mr. Mann on the Alliance for Progress a few days before the meeting./3/ The extent to which this may have contributed to the meeting with the Ambassadors is hard to say.
/3/ Evidently a reference to the telephone conversation between Johnson and Mann on June 11; see Document 16.
Although no specific effort was made to brief either the President or the Ambassadors concerned, each had fairly well in mind the general problems in the area. The Department has just completed an intensive review of Brazilís debt situation, and the requirements for financial assistance in which Ambassador Gordon participated fully. The same is true in Panama and the Dominican Republic, although we are not as far along in either country toward decisions as we are in Brazil.
19. Information Memorandum From the Presidentís Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, June 26, 1964.
/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, OAS Resolution (Arms Cache), Vol. II, Memos, 11/63-9/64. Confidential. According to a June 25 memorandum from Chase to Bundy this information memorandum was drafted by Chase. (Ibid.)
1. A meeting of OAS Foreign Ministers (MFM), probably lasting three or four days will start in Washington on July 21 to consider action against Cuba on the Venezuelan arms cache issue. The following is meant to bring you up to date.
2. The OAS countries are likely to discuss and take action on the following three resolutions when they meet on July 21.
(a) Resolution I recommends that member states cooperate in surveillance to detect the subversive movements of men and arms between Cuba and Latin America. The resolution also recommends that OAS countries, which still maintain diplomatic and air relations with Cuba, break such relations. It goes on to require member states to suspend all sea and commercial relations (except food and medicines) with Cuba.
We can live with this resolution and there is a very good chance that it can be passed with a strong majority; at present, only Chile and Mexico, both of which have domestic political problems, are opposed. It is quite possible, moreover, that, by the date of the MFM, Mexico may change its mind and decide to abstain or, conceivably, to vote favorably.
(b) Resolution II issues the warning and establishes the principle that the OAS regards subversion as aggression and that future acts of Cuban subversion will trigger an immediate OAS meeting to agree on measures to be taken against the guilty party. The resolution goes on to say that the above OAS procedure does not limit the right of the victim of such aggression and the right of other states, at the victimís request, to take appropriate measures inherent in the right of individual or collective self-defense.
As the resolution now stands, we can live with it and can probably get a substantial majority to vote favorably (e.g. all but Chile and probably Mexico). However, we may get some heat at the MFM to weaken the resolution in two ways. First, most of the OARís would like to generalize the warning language so that it pertains to subversion by both the left and right. We prefer the language to pertain more sharply to Cuba-so Cuba will feel the heat directly and unequivocally and so there will be no chance (although already unlikely) that the resolution will be turned against us because of our own "rightist" subversive activities against Cuba. Second, Chile would like to limit the right of individual and collective self-defense in the event of subversive aggression. We and most other OARís oppose the Chilean position.
(c) Resolution III urges non-OAS Free World countries to cooperate with the OAS in its economic denial program against Cuba. It also recommends that OAS countries take necessary measures to achieve non-OAS Free World cooperation in this area. This resolution should pass easily. At present, there seems to be little opposition.
3. If we get the three resolutions as they now stand, with the majorities which we now estimate, we will have done fairly well. While we will not be able to point to an imminent overthrow of the Castro regime and to a complete cessation of Castro-Communist subversion in Latin America, we will be able to point to some movement towards a number of intermediate objectives, achieved without excessively straining the unity of the OAS.
First, Cuba will be further isolated. The break in the remaining commercial and sea relations and further possible diplomatic breaks, at a minimum, will hurt Castro psychologically. Second, the spread of Cuban subversion will be impeded. The warning resolution might inhibit Castroís will to spread subversion while the establishment of a surveillance system and the isolation measures will make it physically somewhat more difficult to move subversive men, funds, and arms between Cuba and Latin America. Third, the warning resolution will give us some juridical basis for and pre-position the OAS to use force against future Cuban subversion, if it is deemed desirable to do so. Fourth, Cubaís economic difficulties will be increased marginally by the break in commercial and sea relations with the OAS. To the extent we decide to use Resolution III as a lever, multilaterally if possible, on non-OAS Free World countries to reduce commercial relations with Cuba, Cubaís economic difficulties will be further increased. Fifth, the economic burden to the Soviet Union will be increased marginally-to the extent that we can continue to force Cuban commercial activities into abnormal, uneconomic channels.
20. Memorandum of Conversation/1/
Washington, July 16, 1964, 6:50 p.m.
/1/ Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 3 IA. Confidential. Drafted by Margolies and approved in S on July 29. The time of the meeting is taken from Ruskís Appointment Book. (Johnson Library)
1. Position of Mexico and Chile
The Foreign Minister expressed the intention to modify the first resolution by making certain measures, e.g. breaking of diplomatic relations and severance of air traffic, mandatory rather than discretionary.
The Secretary said that there were two questions involved: first, whether there were enough votes for the adoption of the resolution with the mandatory provisions and second, whether the consequences of adopting the resolution as proposed by the Foreign Minister would be in the best interest of the hemisphere.
The Secretary said, and Mr. Mann confirmed, that both Chile and Mexico were adamantly opposed to the Venezuelan proposal for mandatory language. It appeared likely that their strategy would be to take the resolution up paragraph by paragraph, registering their opposition to the points which they opposed, which would without any doubt include the requirement for the break in diplomatic relations. There was a possibility that Mexico, at any rate, would abstain when the entire resolution was voted on.
The Secretary said that if the resolution were adopted with mandatory language, this would confront Mexico and Chile with the necessity of complying with the resolution, or of taking issue with the OAS. Given the depth of feeling on this issue in both countries, it was possible that this could lead to an open break between them and the rest of the American system.
The Secretary said that he thought that it would be desirable to weigh carefully the consequences that might ensue from such a development, both with respect to the future of the American system and with respect to the impact on opinion at home.
Mr. Mann said that he thought that the mandatory language proposed by the Foreign Minister would be well received in the United States. He added that his experience with Mexico had persuaded him that the Mexicans did not respond well to pressure, but were open to reason. He thought it very possible that if left to their own discretion the Mexican Government would voluntarily break relations with Cuba, as the Brazilians have recently done, after the new President took office at the end of the year.
The Secretary said that his principal concern was the situation in Chile. He would have been able to face the risks with equanimity last January. However, with the Chilean elections so close, it was possible that the OAS action could play into the hands of the Communists in Chile and damage the election prospects of Frei. He thought that this required very careful consideration.
The Secretary said that he thought it would be well for both to talk with the Chilean Foreign Minister and the Mexican delegation. He planned to ask the Chileans whether they might take some constructive step toward accomplishing the objective sought, such as downgrading the level of their representation.
The Venezuelan Foreign Minister said that Venezuela had a serious domestic problem that he would like to emphasize. His government was committed publicly to seeking mandatory language in the resolution. If they backed down, it would be regarded at home as retreat. The Communists had recently renewed their terrorist campaign of bombing and shootings in Venezuela because of the OAS meeting. If the Venezuelan Government appeared to retreat before such conduct, it would invite further terrorist conduct.
The Venezuelans expected the OAS to do something about Cuban aggression. If the OAS failed to take effective action, this would discredit the Leoni administration and discredit the OAS in Venezuela.
The Secretary said that he felt that the OAS had made much progress on the Cuban issue since 1960. He thought that the resolution, even if certain sanctions were recommended rather than required, would represent further progress. He noted in particular that the second resolution would be a major advance in dealing with Cuban aggression in the future and would have a deterrent effect.
The Foreign Minister said that he did not share the Secretaryís view on the second resolution. Assistant Secretary Mann said that he would explain our position in detail at a later time.
The Secretary said that a possibility to be considered was that of taking action in two stages. At the current meeting, certain sanctions could be recommended, and the OAS Council could be instructed to review compliance and to report to the Foreign Ministers at a subsequent meeting at which time mandatory language could be approved if considered appropriate. This would allow for an interval of several months during which the Chilean election would be over and the new Mexican Administration would take office. He said this was not advanced as a U.S. Government position but as an idea to be considered.
2. Line Up of Votes
The Foreign Minister said that he considered fourteen votes necessary to satisfy the two-thirds requirement. Ambassador Bunker said the precedents supported the view that only thirteen were required, and promised to furnish the Foreign Minister with a memorandum explaining the position.
The Foreign Minister said that he thought there were at least thirteen votes in favor of his position for mandatory requirements:
Assistant Secretary Mann said that our information on Bolivia was different and Bolivia appeared to be opposed. The Foreign Minister said his report on Brazil was based on the Brazilian Foreign Ministerís recent statement to the press.
The Secretary said that he favored keeping the meeting of the Foreign Ministers private, without the press and television, so that they could better arrive at a satisfactory solution. The Foreign Minister agreed.
The Secretary congratulated the Foreign Minister on Venezuelaís impressive showing of courage and support of the democratic process in the December elections.
He said that he believed it would be useful to reflect further on what had been discussed, to take further soundings and meet again soon to continue the discussion./2/
/2/ The Secretary met Iribarren on July 20. Iribarren reported that his government could not budge on mandatory sanctions and President Leoni had instructed him to ask that the United States support Venezuela on this issue. Rusk said that Iribarren "could rest assured that the United States Government would support the Venezuelan position." (Memorandum of conversation, July 20; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 3 IA)
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