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The US, USSR and Cuba

by: Amaris Mae

The US, USSR and Cuba PSC 2484

Amaris Mae
GPA 3.75
Latin American Policy
Cynthia McClintock

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About this Document

These notes cover the issue of Cuba in foreign policy for the US in the 1960s. It includes outside text notes (in blue) and lecture notes (in black).
Latin American Policy
Cynthia McClintock
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amaris Mae on Tuesday February 10, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 2484 at George Washington University taught by Cynthia McClintock in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 124 views. For similar materials see Latin American Policy in International Studies at George Washington University.

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Date Created: 02/10/15
The US USSR and Cuba The CIA Bares Its Bungling in Report on bay of Pigs Invasion 1961 Bay of Pigs asco Had laid the blame for the disastrous invasion of Cuba on the agency39s own instructional arrogance ignorance and incompetence Almost none of the CIA of cers were able to speak Spanish CIA39s leaders believed that it was Kennedy39s failure to approve an attack on Cuba39s air force to coincide with the landing of commandos that caused the death or capture of nearly all 1500 raiders The plan wasn t supposed to show America s hand in it Group of exiled Cuban leaders supported by a CIA cadre were to build momentum to topple Castro who had taken power 16 months earlier The budget for this mission multiplied from 44 million to 46 million quotComplex and bizarre organizational situation39 that was doomed to fail Lines of communication and control from Miami key West Nicaragua and Guatemala Possible that the CIA did not fully explain the details of the raid to Kennedy Also Kennedy didn39t have people arguing and defending themselves all in one room against one another He spoke to the of cials separately so there was never any questioning Kennedy called off the air strike but the Cuban of cers never got that message so they didn39t know they were going into it blind Ships in the Night Cuba the White House and the Bay of Pigs Richard Bissell coordinated Success 1954 But also cast his future into doubt with the Bay of Pigs invasion Could have succeeded Allen Dulles Ike s CIA director quotBay of Pigs was approved because the CIA and the White House assumed they were speaking the same language when in fact they were speaking in utterly different tongues Assistant Secretary of InterAmerican Affairs underJFK was Mann preceded by Rubottom Allen Dulles Director of the CIA and asked to meet with the president early 1960 Program prior to Bay of Pigs Referred to by the media later as Kennedy39s secret war on Cuba Although this is under Eisenhower Kennedy inaugurated in 1961 Planes were attacking economic targets in Cuba Provoked the US embassy to warn that the population was becoming arouse against the United States In response to this Dulles recommended attacking sugar re neries in Cuba covertly In March 1960 they came together under the WH4 Branch 4 of the Western Hemisphere Division to plan Bay of Pigs quotTheyquot white house staff CIA dulls Bissell king Eisenhower Nixon state department treasury department pentagon Bay of Pigs was to be accompanied by OAS sanctions on Cuba Lots of similarities between Guatemala and Cuba planning Both picked native leadership to fall back on To incite a revolution Both were led by the deputy directors The director of the CIA was mostly shut out of this process For Guatemala it was Wisner39s project Bissell must have helped but it wasn t his obsession For Cuba it was Richard Bissell39s project He reported to Allen Dulles but the brie ngs were not intensive or details Esterline the man put in charge of the WH4 was one of Bissell39s three main subordinates The other two were his military aid Col Jack Hawkins and Col Stanley Beerli in charge of air operations Bissell was also to report to a Special Group such as Rubottom and his successor Mann but they played an advisor role And as they would be out with the president they had lame duck status so he didn39t consult them as much After October the plan shifted from in ltration to amphibious invasion Because resupplying in ltration had failed up to that point So on October 315i he decided that the catalyst he needed would be the exile group trained in guerilla warfare as Cuba was weak in guerilla warfare The Special Group was noti ed about a week later not approval or disapproval Meanwhile a revolt is brewing in Guatemala under the new President Ydigoras And Kennedy wasn39t planning for any of this He had been warned on the campaign trail about the situation in Cuba He chose to ignore it until he got into of ce Noted as a quotbig mistakequot by Rust The original plan greatly stressed air force January 7th document Only required 750 men on the ground It recommended that quotoperation be abandoned if policy does not provide for use of adequate tactical air supportquot Kennedy was informed of the plan on the 28th Furthermore the plan was only to succeed if followed by uprising or large scale desecrations Mann thought this was unlikely Bissell thought the opposite Kennedy would have preferred gradual in ltration into Cuba rather than a full edged invasion essentially the plan that was had until the fall of 1960 October meeting CIA told him it was no longer possible and was right by the spring of 1961 the Cubans would not have accepted the shift Remember that when Kennedy was a senator on the Foreign Relations committee he came down hard on Castro saying the US should aid his overthrow Bissell claimed you couldn39t plan what happened after the operation You can never plan phase 2 according to Helms too Bissell had some ideas for phase 2 He was hoping the exiles could be on the beach for about a month And ght back the Castro regime the whole time Then they could a stalemate and the US could recognize them as the government Or b the OAS would call a cease re and enforce free elections What is striking is that the CIA officials did not discuss their scenarios of the second phase even among themselves They also didn39t account for Kennedy assumed that he would do anything and everything to overthrow Castro the way Eisenhower would have quotI think all of us committed the error of saying there is always the guerrilla option without planning itquot Bissell But they did use the guerilla option to reassure the president that the mission could not fail So they created a two track plan Track 1 an internal collapse of the Cuban regime after the successful establishment of the beachhead Track 2 meant for Kennedy that if this collapse did not occur the invaders could melt into the countryside and become guerrillas for the CIA it meant US intervention And it was over this debate that the canceling of air strikes became relevant The president never planned on intervention But the CIA did that s why the CIA didn39t account for Phase 2 They didn39t necessarily need public support even if 75 of the population backed Castro many were apathetic and would side with the winner The JFK Cuban Missile Crisis Tapes Summer of 1973 Watergate On July 16th Butterfield revealed that Nixon had installed the tape system The next day the JFK library disclosed that audio recording of presidential meetings and telephone conversations had also been made during the Kennedy administration During the 1962 missile crisis D tente really began at a speech in 1963 at AU Encouraged a heroic view of the Cuban missile crisis Heroic view did not last in wake of opposition to the Vietnam War Also uncovered new details about quotKennedy39s secret war against Cubaquot And in 1990s it was seen that Khrushchev never sent the missiles to Cuba as a threat to the US But rather as a defensive move to protect the Cuban allies JFK39s covert war on Cuba clearly instigated the Cuban missile crisis However the tapes prove that Kennedy used every political tactic and ounce of intelligence to prevent hostilities He actually distrusted the military And horri ed by the thought of nuclear war Proven in the ExComm decision process what the tapes are from Tapes prove that Khrushchev also resisted pressure from his ally Castro to further hostility Some say that the tapes aren39t accurate because Jack and Bobby knew they were being tapes and their colleagues didn39t However they were under heavy stress as well And manipulating a conversation of 15 people is difficult Furthermore the Freedom of Information Act wasn39t a thing yet so Kennedy thought these tapes were for himself alone Truman initiated the concept of quotcontainmentquot The words quotcold warquot and quotiron curtain39 soon entered American vocabulary Truman doctrine US interests are international 1947 Marshall Plan 13 billion dollars to Greece and Turkey 1947 1951 Berlin39s West became united in 1948 Truman convinced Britain and France to merge with him in Berlin Truman ordered the air lift 1949 the blockade to berlin was lifted 1949 NATO was established To provide for a collective defense Any attack on nation was an attack on all 1949 USSR tested its rst atomic bomb shattering the American nuclear monopoly that had existed since the end of WWII 1957 US launched Sputnik Creation of the space committee in the Senate LBJ was later put in charge of this much to his dismay as it had no control of NASA lCBMs Russia had those now too Cuba 19611962 In 1959 Fidel Castro ousted Batista a brutal military dictator with close ties to US business Initially Castro seemed a heroic gure to many Americans But then he executed hundreds of Batista supporters And then didn39t set a date for free elections Seized American property with compensation Suppressed freedom of expression and political opposition Cuba also became increasingly dependent on Soviet military and economic assistance JFK was super critical of the administration Eisenhower for not avoiding communist Cuba Administration was in fact already supporting ClA efforts to sabotage and destabilize the new Cuban regime VP Nixon also promised to upgrade US military forces and resist Soviet expansionisms 1961 Khrushchev praised the Cuban revolution and declared that armed efforts to achieve national liberation form colonialism and imperialism were quotsacred wars39 which deserved the support of the Soviet Union and the world socialist movement Contributed to Kennedy39s inaugural address Eisenhower briefed JFK in the interim period from election to inauguration about Bay of Pigs didn39t think it would even make the front page of the newspaper 1500 exiles of Brigade 2506 landed at Cuba39s Bay of Pigs on April 17 1961 0 Two days of US backed air strikes had destroyed barely 150 of Castro39s combat aircraft so the in facers were expose do air attacks Plans unraveled Kennedy canceled further airstrikes was still hoping the US might not be blamed Cuba was angrier than before vowed to stick to communism Meanwhile Cubans in Miami turned against Kennedy for not committing air forces And he had to accept all the blame Bobby became obsessed with getting rid of Castro Attorney general 1961 Khrushchev believed Kennedy young and inexperienced and was not threatened by him Was planning on getting more concession at the convention in Vienna And JFK learned that Soviets would only respect American toughness So he aimed the Jupiter missiles at Russia in turkey and Italy Construction of berlin wall later that summer In 1961 Chee Guevara Castro s number 2 man approached Richard Goodwin a member of Kennedy39s Latin American task force about possible negotiations with Castro Kennedy interpreted this as a sign of weakness and turned up the CIA heat on Castro Operation Mongoose It became one of the largest operations in CIA history Bobby was insisted that the Bay of Pigs had to be expunged He also established close ties with antiCastro groups and invited their leaders to his home Richard Bissell ClA director of operations considered RFK a fanatic on Castro Then again this is the dude that had the idea for Bay of Pigs so like he just lost his power hungry scheme and is probes a bit bitter about it Bobby seemed to de nitely want Castro dead unclear whetherJFK wanted the same thing But bobby was vocal enough that those in the CIA would be confused about whether or not they should assassinate Castro Once again it seems an issue of whether people think Bobby is speaking for himself or saying what his brother wants to but shouldn39t 1962 JFK implemented a full economic embargo against Cuba And pressured LA countries to break off with Cuba Meanwhile Operation Mongoose was to incite a revolt so the US could justify intervention Cuban and Soviet agents however had in ltrated antiCastro exile groups and were aware of these covert operations quotFrom the Cuban perspective the October crisis was just one of memberquot Cuban Missile Crisis US Caribbean crisis USSR October Crisis Cuba As much about berlin as Cuba to the Americans Thought this was Khrushchev threatening nuclear blackmail over the berlin Issue Meanwhile the Soviet Leader was very concerned about covet operation in Cuba by the Americans that would overthrow Castor and threaten his own hold on power Didn t want to lose Cuba ln reaction to the Jupiter missiles aimed at him after the conference in Vienna in 1961 he decided to deploy missiles to Cuba quotA little of their own medicinequot Castro was enthusiastic agreed on a ve year defense plan eld by soviet missiles was agreed upon Crushed had badly underestimated the symbolic importance of historic American power in the Western hemisphere He also failed to take Castro39s shrewd advice to deploy the missiles openly as legitimate act of bilayer diplomacy as the US had done in Turkey Instead the Soviet duplicity and secrecy virtually guaranteed that he US would conclude that Khrushchev39s motives were aggressive rather than countering the moves in Turkey and Italy Khrushchev39s experts told him that the missiles could be disguised as coconut palms The Russian ambassador was named Anatoly Dornan and he assured Robert Kennedy that missiles would not be placed in Cuba why would they ever believe this In October n on the 22 Kennedy announced he knew that Cuba had missiles But he did not mention the secret war against Castro The Soviet Interests in Latin America Other than Cuba the rest of Latin America was sonly allocated 56 of the aid extended by the Soviet Union to all nonCommunist developing countries from 1956 1978 Their main focus was in Europe Latin America barely supplied 1 of Soviet imports and absorbed less than 14 of Soviet exports Prior to the 19505 foreign trade played only a very subsidiary role in the inwardlooking Soviet economy Stalin Also Moscow saw little pointing promoting political ties with an are so in the shadow of the US and its 1823 Monroe Doctrine Prewar the USSR had ties to only two countries in LA Mexico and Uruguay When the USSR became an ally in WWII the US launched a huge propaganda campaign to encourage LA countries to connect with Moscow After Khrushchev announced in 1956 that the USSR was abandoning its bipolar view of the world and willing to engage in trade with developing nations not mooched changed in regards to Latin America Which had recently been vindicated in the 1954 overthrew of Arbenz in Guatemala Krucschve39s drive for a quotpeaceful coexistencequot with the US Elites in Latin America didn t want ties with communism and the USSR HOWEVER after the late 19505 these factors diminished Foreign trade has clearly assumed greater importance to the USSR quotin recent yearsquot USSR quotwantsquot to increase trade with Mexico With whom it already had good relations Author argues that the USSR has a genuine economic interest in expanding trading links with Latin America Destroyed the myth of geographical fatalism the idea that LA was not useful because it fell under the shadow of America Fidel Castro won on the 26th ofJuly Took the USSR by surprise In October 1958 Khrushchev referred to quotthe tragic fate of Guatemala and the heroic but unequal struggle of the Cuban peoplequot Cuban Communist party encouraged the communist parties in Chile to unite and overthrow Batista 1961 an institute of Latin America was established in Moscow quotHas expanded to become the most proli c researching center devoted exclusively to Latin Americaquot Four USSR categories for Latin American regimes 1 Revolutionary democratic of socialist orientation 2 Capitalist yet progress 3 Capitalist liberal bourgeois 4 quotright wing39 reactionary military dictatorships In the 19605 the USSR rapidly realized that its relation with Cuba drastically altered its relation with other LA countries The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis greatly damaged the USSR s relationship with other countries Further undermined by Castro s outspoken advocacy of guerilla warfare and his stated policy of support for such endeavors in LA 19705 the con ict between Soviet interests as a superpower and its revolutionary vanguard were contained ln 19705 Havana launched its own successful diplomatic imitative to establish its own ties with LA government In most LA countries the communist parties are quotnowquot accepted as part of the poHUcalscene Decrease tension between east and west due to d tente the SALT accords and the Helsinki conference Since the 19505 the USSR has been trying to convince Latin American countries that quottrade with the eastern bloc should be a major element in LA counties39 drive for economic independencequot In the cold war climate of the 19505 only Peron39s Argentina showed any sign of seeing the merits of this argument However in the 19805 anticommunism sentiment is a larger obstacle Prior to the 19605 economic relations between the USSR and LA was sporadic and limited to a few countries Principally Uruguay and Argentina 40 million rubles to 459 million rubbles 19551958 By 19705 Moscow secured usual mostfavorednation status trading agreements with a majority of South American countries Lique Argentina Peru Brasil Colombia nada M xico Personal contacts also improved 1975 Mexico signed an agreement with Comeon and trade with both Argentina and Brazil reached a peak in 1981 Both countries refused to take a part in the grain embargo initiated by President Carter one sanction against USSR action in Afghanistan USSR has a trade de cit with virtually all of its Latin American partners except Venezuela Primary purchase of the USSR is agriculture Except tin in Bolivia USSR cannot undermine the Latin American dependence on American goods USSR technology isn39t as good their industrial processes not as developed EXCEPT energy supplies Found a surplus of oil in 19505 this encouraged trade by Latina American nations Most successfully with Brazil Trade of arms is also a way to reduce the soviet trade de cit


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