30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Cuba and Caribbean

Oct 11, 2002 | News
Havana, Cuba, 11 October 2002, 5 p.m. - During the second session of the historic 40th anniversary conference on the Cuban missile crisis, participants including Cuban president Fidel Castro and former US secretary of defense Robert McNamara discussed newly declassified documents showing that events were spinning out of control at the height of the crisis, with the danger of an accidental or deliberate nuclear exchange even greater than policymakers believed at the time. US intelligence never located the nuclear warheads for the Soviet missiles in Cuba during the crisis, and only 33 of what photography later showed was a total of 42 medium-range ballistic missiles.
Oct 11, 2002 | News
Havana, Cuba, 11 October 2002, 1 p.m. - During the first session of the historic 40th anniversary conference on the Cuban missile crisis, participants including Cuban president Fidel Castro and former US secretary of defense Robert McNamara discussed newly declassified documents showing that US president John F. Kennedy, in meetings with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's son-in-law Adzhubei in January 1962, compared the US failure at the Bay of Pigs to the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. JFK also assured Adzhubei that the US "will not meddle" with Cuba, but at the same time, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing "cover and deception plans" that included planned pretexts for a US invasion of Cuba. The President's brother, attorney general Robert F. Kennedy, simultaneously was leading discussions with the CIA and Pentagon about covert operations (codenamed Operation Mongoose) on the proposition that "a solution to the Cuban problem today carries 'the top priority in the United States government….'"
Oct 10, 2002 | News
Havana, Cuba, 10 October 2002 - Senior surviving veterans of the Cuban missile crisis arrived today in Havana for a historic 40th anniversary conference co-organized by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. At an airport arrival ceremony, Cuban vice president Jose Ramon Fernandez greeted former US secretary of defense Robert McNamara, JFK speechwriter and counsel Theodore Sorensen, JFK aide and Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Gen. William Y. Smith (USAF), JFK aide Richard Goodwin, CIA analyst Dino Brugioni, and other US veterans and scholars. Also attending the conference as honored observers are several members of the Kennedy family spanning three generations. Earlier this week, a distinguished delegation of Russian veterans arrived in Havana from Moscow, including former deputy foreign minister Georgy Kornienko, missile deployment planner Gen. Anatoly Gribkov, former defense minister Dmitry Yazov, and KGB officer Nikolai Leonov.
Oct 1, 2002 | News
Washington, D.C., 1 October 2002 – The National Security Archive at George Washington University announced today that the senior surviving veterans of the Cuban Missile Crisis will gather in Havana, Cuba, next week to discuss new evidence and lessons learned from the moment when the world came closest to nuclear war 40 years ago.  Leading Cuban historical actors will host participants such as secretary of defense Robert McNamara, JFK speechwriter and counsel Theodore Sorensen, and JFK aide and Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., among others.  From Russia, deputy foreign minister Georgy Kornienko, missile deployment planner Gen. Anatoly Gribkov, KGB officer Nikolai Leonov, and others will participate.
May 15, 2002 | News
Washington, D.C., May 15 – The National Security Archive at George Washington University today posted on the Web a declassified Presidential Directive, signed by Jimmy Carter, which stated: “I have concluded that we should attempt to achieve normalization of our relations with Cuba.” The directive, dated March 15, 1977, shortly after Carter took office, is believed to represent the only time a President has ordered normalization of U.S. relations with Castro’s Cuba to be an explicit foreign policy goal of the United States. On May 12, 2002, Carter became the first U.S.
Apr 1, 2002 | Briefing Book
NEW BOOK based on Unprecedented Access to Cuban Records; True Story of U.S.-Cuba Cold fear Clash in Angola presented in Conflicting Missions Washington D.C.: The National Security Archive today posted a selection of secret Cuban government documents detailing Cuba's policy and involvement in Africa in the 1960s and 1970s.
Apr 30, 2001 | News
In his new exposй of the National Security Agency entitled Body of Secrets, author James Bamford highlights a set of proposals on Cuba by the Joint Chiefs of Staff codenamed OPERATION NORTHWOODS. This document, titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba” was provided by the JCS to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, as the key component of Northwoods. Written in response to a request from the Chief of the Cuba Project, Col. Edward Lansdale, the Top Secret memorandum describes U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S.
Mar 23, 2001 | News
Havana, Cuba: Documents released this afternoon on the second day of an historic meeting of former adversaries in Havana highlight missed opportunities for U.S.-Cuban rapproachment following the failure of the U.S.-sponsored invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.
Mar 23, 2001 | Briefing Book
Havana, Cuba: Documents discussed on the second day of an historic meeting of former adversaries in Havana show that CIA officials believed that the Cuban people would welcome a U.S.-sponsored invasion and spontaneously rise up against the Castro regime.  CIA officials also expected that Cuban military and police forces would refuse to fight against Brigade 2506, the CIA's 1400-man mercenary invasion force.
Mar 22, 2001 | News
Havana, Cuba: British documents released on the first day of an historic conference on the Bay of Pigs show that CIA Director Allen Dulles hoped that British refusal to sell military items to Cuba would force the Cuban government to request arms from the Soviet bloc, providing a pretext for U.S. intervention.

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