Cuba - United States
Secret Diplomacy Documents
A selection of documents dating from 1961 to 1977 chronicling secret diplomacy between the United States and Cuba. Includes documents from the Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, and Carter Administrations, Department of State, CIA, Justice Department, and Kennedy secret White House audio recordings.
Highlights from the Material include:
Kennedy Approves Secret Meeting between Envoy and Castro
Seventeen days before his assassination a recording made in the White House's Oval Office captures a conversation between President Kennedy and his national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, discussing the Castro regime's overture to have a meeting in Havana with a Kennedy Administration envoy. Kennedy's conclusion was that he approved, if it could be assured that it could be denied that that the meeting ever took place. Memorandums document the process in arranging for a meeting between William Attwood, a deputy to UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson. This initiative waned after Kennedy's assassination.
Kennedy Speech Writer and Advisor Meets with Ernesto "Che" Guevara
A memo dated August 22, 1961, written by JFK speech writer and advisor Richard N. Goodwin conveys to the President details about his chance meeting with Guevara in Uruguay.
Castro Offers to Aid LBJ's Campaign
The notation of a verbal message from Castro to LBJ given through ABC news reporter Lisa Howard. The document in part records Castro's message as, "Please tell President Johnson that I earnestly desire his election to the Presidency in November though that appears assured. But if there is anything I can do to add to his majority (aside from retiring from politics), I shall be happy to cooperate." Further the message contains Castro's assessment of the juncture of U.S. domestic politics and U.S./Cuba relations.
Frank Mankiewicz Secret Intermediary to Cuba
Frank Mankiewicz's career included serving as Robert F. Kennedy's press secretary, George McGovern's presidential campaign strategist, and the president of National Public Radio (NPR).
In April of 1974 Mankiewicz called Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to inform him of an upcoming trip to Havana to interview Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Kissinger used this as an opportunity to have delivered to Castro a handwritten letter. On his return Mankiewicz delivered a handwritten letter and a box of Cuban Cohiba cigars to Kissinger from Castro. Mankiewicz's efforts lead to Kissinger's deputies and Fidel Castro's representatives having a meeting at La Guardia Airport on January 11, 1975.
Jimmy Carter Presidential Directive
A Presidential Directive signed by President Jimmy Carter dated March 15, 1977, stating, "I have concluded that we should attempt to achieve normalization of our relations with Cuba."
Letter from Fidel Castro to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 11/06/1940
Castro first reached out to an American President when he was 14-years-old. In the letter Castro congratulates President Roosevelt on his recent re-election, and asks FDR to send him a $10 bill. There's an interesting discrepancy in the letter: in 1940, Fidel was 14 years old, however he states in the letter that he is 12-years-old.
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