Operation Mongoose: The PSYOP Papers

 
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Following the disastrous invasion at Cuba's Bay of Pigs, the Kennedy administration regrouped and initiated a massive new covert action program to trigger Fidel Castro's overthrow. Operation Mongoose, as the effort was called, was launched in late 1961 and placed under the command of Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale, an Air Force officer viewed by the president as a real-life James Bond -- a covert action specialist without peer.

Lansdale was celebrated within the Pentagon and CIA for his innovative propaganda stunts in the Philippines and Vietnam during the 1950s. A true believer in the power of psychological operations (PSYOP), Lansdale had suppressed communist rebels using not only military might, but folklore and superstition as well. He used PSYOP threats in the Philippines, where counter-insurgency forces he trained placed well-publicized bounties on the heads of rebel leaders. (Some of Lansdale's exploits are detailed in Dossier's documented feature, Psywar Terror Tactics.)

Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale
Brig. Gen. Lansdale

Lansdale brought his psywar talents to Operation Mongoose. His planning documents, now declassified, include extensive discussion of propaganda themes and delivery methods. Early in the operation, on February 20, 1962, Lansdale issued an action plan stating that "all media" would be put to use to tarnish Castro's image. (Click here to download this document.)

Details of the campaign have been seeping out for years, but now, thanks to the persistent efforts of the Assassinations Record Review Board (ARRB), the full story of secret Mongoose PSYOP is available to the public. The board was created by Congress to oversee the release of documents relating to the murder of President Kennedy. Some of its most significant recent releases have focused on the Defense Department's involvement in Kennedy-era covert action against Cuba.

In November 1997 and January 1998, documents released by the board unveiled dozens of Pentagon proposals for disinformation operations against Cuba. The documents offer up startling new evidence of the extreme measures that came under consideration for the Operation Mongoose propaganda war, and reveal some of the most deceptive and ruthless schemes ever suggested by U.S. military officials.

In late 1961, a Mongoose task force was created which brought together officials from the CIA, the U.S. Information Agency and the departments of State and Defense. The Pentagon representative was Brig. Gen. William Craig, who, as the documents show, was never short of ideas for the operation.

Part of Craig's contribution to Mongoose was divulged decades ago. In 1975, while reporting on U.S.-backed assassination plots, the Church Committee in the U.S. Senate took note of "Operation Bounty," a proposal Craig sent to Lansdale in January 1962. The plan was to offer rewards (via leaflets) to Cubans who killed government officials. Lansdale told the Senate investigators that he rejected the plan.

However, the newly released documents indicate that Craig pushed for even stronger psychological warfare measures. In one February 2, 1962 memo to Lansdale, Craig listed no less than twelve "possible actions to provoke, harass, or disrupt" the Castro government. (Click here to view the document.)

Craig schemed to pin international blame on Cuba for incidents staged covertly by the United States. The aptly named Operation Dirty Trick, for example, would have made it seem that Cuba was responsible for a failed U.S. space launch from Florida. "This is to be accomplished by manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans," Craig wrote.

Another Craig disinformation plot, Operation Bingo, called for faking a Cuban attack on the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "thus providing the excuse for use of U.S. military might to overthrow the current government."

Some of Craig's plans were more whimsical. Consider Operation Good Times, an attempt to "disillusion the Cuban population with Castro['s] image by distribution of fake photographic material." Craig proposed disseminating "a desired photograph, such as an obese Castro with two beauties in any situation desired, ostensibly within a room in the Castro residence, lavishly furnished and a table briming [sic] over with the most delectable Cuban food with an underlying caption (appropriately Cuban) such as 'My ration is different.'"

The image of a fat, satisfied Castro "should put even a Commie Dictator in the proper perspective with the underprivileged masses," Craig advised.

Most of Craig's plans never got off the ground, but other materials released by the ARRB document the anti-Castro propaganda operations that were actually conducted. On the one hand there were the overt operations, those openly supported by the United States. These included Voice of America broadcasts and State Department statements focusing on Cuba -- messages that were tailored (to the extent possible) to enhance the secret plans of Operation Mongoose.

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On the covert side, the CIA did most of the media work. The agency's secret psywar duties included the production and dissemination of anti-Castro radio programs, newsreels, books and periodicals. The Cuban Revolutionary Council, an exile political group covertly created and secretly subsidized by the CIA, served as a major conduit for the propaganda messages and materials.

The newly released documents include a remarkable file of records from an inter-agency "Psychological Operations Group" set up to advance Lansdale's plans. Lt. Col. James Patchell of the Office of the Secretary of Defense attended the group's weekly meetings, and his notes of the sessions were relayed to Lansdale. Patchell's memos reveal how officials from the State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA and the U.S. Information Agency brainstormed ways of turning the tide of public opinion against Castro.

The United States had plenty of ways to invade Cuba with information, but what was the best message to convey to the island? The officials on the Mongoose PSYOP group searched high and low for effective propaganda themes. A major concern was choosing an appropriate, convincing symbol for the anti-Castro movement. During the Bay of Pigs invasion, for example, CIA radio broadcasts to Cuba had declared cryptically that "The fish will rise very soon." The Cuban people may or may not have understood this as a call to arms, but they certainly did not follow the call.

During Operation Mongoose, Patchell reported, the CIA "decided that the 'worm' is preferable to the 'fish' and that it has been popularized by Castro and we should take advantage of it." (Castro had derided opponents of the revolutionary government as "gusanos" -- worms.) By late 1962 the CIA was pushing the slogan "Gusano Libre!" -- Free Worm! -- in its broadcasts to Cuba.

Patchell suggested using catch-phrases such as "the worm will turn" to bolster the propaganda pitch. He also recommended using bible verses to spread the message, such as this quote from the book of Isaiah: "Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched." (Click here to read Patchell's notes.)

Despite such creative planning by Craig and his colleagues in the Mongoose PSYOP group, the Cuban people did not rise up against the revolutionary government. Lansdale's project was shut down in the midst of the October 1962 missile crisis -- but the methods of Operation Mongoose remained a part of U.S. planning for Cuba.

The anti-Castro psywar, along with sabotage attacks and economic warfare, continued into 1963. According to one of the recently released documents, Lt. Col. Patchell was among those who stayed on the job. Patchell had contributed some inventive schemes to Operation Mongoose -- but none as absurd as his proposal that the United States invent a mythical anti-Castro leader.

On May 13, 1963, Patchell prepared a memo on "Future Cuban Leadership." Days earlier, the Kennedy administration's secret support of the CIA's exile front group, the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC), was terminated. Without the CRC, Patchell noted, "a vacuum has been created" in the anti-Castro movement. The solution? An "imaginary Cuban leader," Patchell suggested.

The proposal was "replete with gimmickry," Patchell acknowledged. The United States would surface reports that a daring anti-Castro rebel was eluding Cuban authorities and responsible for a range of underground activities. The fabricated fighter would become "our 'Cuban Kilroy,'" Patchell wrote. "Humorous antics could be credited to our imaginary friend and rumors of his exploits of bravery (ala Zoro) could be circulated."

Of course the imaginary insurgent would need an appropriately stirring nom de guerre. Patchell suggested "utilizing a popular name from Cuban history" or "a newly devised name." The name "should typify a person who is friendly to the Cuban people, is anti-communist, is willing to fight against the regime, and is little -- but tough." Patchell offered several options: "The Little Bull," "The Little Worm," "The Friendly Worm," "The Fighting Friend," or "The Tough Peasant." (Click here to read Patchell's "Future Cuban Leadership" report.)

This particular proposal was never put into action, but similar plans were used during the Mongoose psywar extravaganza. The CIA's Radio Free Cuba, a clandestine station transmitted from a Navy submarine which would surface near the island, claimed to originate from within Cuba.

Such claims failed to foment an anti-Castro rebellion. Reading the newly declassified records of Mongoose-era schemes, it becomes all the more evident why Cubans didn't heed the advice of U.S. propagandists. The appeals were often too divorced from Cuban culture and reality to be taken seriously, and probably only strengthened the impression that the United States was trying to manipulate sentiments from afar. Whether the bait was fish, worms, or imaginary friends, Cubans weren't biting.

 

 

The Cuba Project

In this February 20, 1962 document, CIA counterinsurgency specialist Edward Lansdale summarizes plans and objectives for the Kennedy-authorized Operation Mongoose. Lansdale outlines a coordinated program of intelligence gathering, sabotage and political warfare. Operation Mongoose, he reports, "aims for a revolt which can take place in Cuba by October 1962." Though this document (initially classified TOP SECRET/SENSITIVE) still contains significant deletions, its declassified portions graphically detail the covert war against Castro.

Note: For the purposes of coherence, the formatting of this document has been slightly altered. The content of the document remains unaltered. See document image scans for original formatting.






[document begins]



SENSITIVE                              20 February 1962

Program Review
by Brig. Gen. Lansdale

THE CUBA PROJECT

     The Goal. In keeping with the spirit of the Presidential memorandum of 30 November 1961, the United States will help the people of Cuba overthrow the Communist regime from within Cuba and institute a new government with which the United States can live in peace.

     The Situation. We still know too little about the real situation inside Cuba, although we are taking energetic steps to learn more. However, some salient facts are known. It is known that the Communist regime is an active Sino-Soviet spearhead in our Hemisphere and that Communist controls inside Cuba are severe. Also, there is evidence that the repressive measures of the Communists, together with disappointments in Castro's economic dependency on the Communist formula, have resulted in an anti-regime atmosphere among the Cuban people which makes a resistance program a distinct and present possibility.

     Time is running against us. The Cuban people feel helpless and are losing hope fast. They need symbols of inside resistance and of outside interest soon. They need something they can join with the hope of starting to work surely towards the overthrow of the regime. Since late November, we have been working hard to re-orient the operational concepts within the U.S. government and to develop the hard intelligence and operational assets required for success in our task.

     The next National Intelligence Estimate on Cuba (NIE 85-62) promises to be a useful document dealing with our practical needs and with due recognition of the sparsity of hard facts. The needs of the Cuba project, as it goes into operation, plus the increasing U.S. capability for intelligence collection, should permit more frequent estimates for our guidance. These will be prepared on a periodic basis.

     Premise of Action. Americans once ran a successful revolution. It was run from within, and succeeded because there was timely and strong political, economic, and military help by nations outside who supported our cause. Using this same concept of revolution from within, we must now help the Cuban people to stamp out tyranny and gain their liberty.

     On 18 January, the Chief of Operations assigned thirty-two tasks to Departments and Agencies of the U.S. government, in order to provide a realistic assessment and preparation of U.S. capabilities. The Attorney General and the Special Group were apprised of this action. The answers received on 15 February provided the basis for planning a realistic course of action. The answers also revealed that the course of action must contain continuing coordination and firm overall guidance.

     The course of action set forth herein is realistic within present operational estimates and intelligence. Actually, it represents the maximum target timing which the operational people jointly considered feasible. It aims for a revolt which can take place in Cuba by October 1962. It is a


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series of actions and dates, not a rigid time-table. The target dates are timed as follows:

     Phase I, Action, March 1962. Start moving in.

     Phase II, Build-up, April-July 1962. Activating the necessary operations inside Cuba for revolution and concurrently applying the vital political, economic, and military-type support from outside Cuba.

     Phase III, Readiness, 1 August 1962, check for final policy decision.

     Phase IV, Resistance, August-September 1962, move into guerrilla operations.

     Phase V, Revolt, first two weeks of October 1962. Open revolt and overthrow of the Communist regime.

     Phase VI, Final, during month of October 1962. Establishment of new government.

     Plan of Action. Attached is and operational plan for the overthrow of the Communist regime in Cuba, by Cubans from within Cuba, with outside help from the U.S. and elsewhere. Since this is an operation to prompt and support a revolt by the people in a Communist police state, flexibility is a must for success. Decisions on operational flexibility rest with the Chief of Operations, with consultation in the Special Group when policy matters are involved. Target actions and dates are detailed in the attacked operational plans, which cover:

               A. Basic Action Plan Inside Cuba

               B. Political Support Plan

               C. Economic Support Plan

               D. Psychological Support Plan

               E. Military Support Plan

               F. Sabotage Support Plan

               G. Intelligence Support Plan

     Early Policy Decisions. The operational plan for clandestine U.S. support of a Cuban movement inside Cuba to overthrow the Communist regime is within policy limits already set by the President. A vital decision, still to be made, is on the use of open U.S. force to aid the Cuban people in winning their liberty. If conditions and assets permitting a revolt are achieved in Cuba, and if U.S. help is required to sustain this condition, will U.S. respond promptly with military force to aid the Cuban revolt? The contingencies under which such military deployment would be needed, and recommended U.S. responses, are detailed in a memorandum being prepared by the Secretaries of State and Defense. An early decision is required, prior to deep involvement of the Cubans in this program.

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Distribution:

Copy No.

1. The President

2. The Attorney General

3. General Taylor

4. The Secretary of State
(through Deputy Under Secretary Johnson)

5. The Secretary of Defense
(Through Deputy Secretary Gilpatric)

6. The Director, Central Intelligence Agency

7. The Director, U.S. Information Agency
(through Deputy Director Wilson)

8. State (Mr. Goodwin)

9. Defense (Brig. Gen. Craig)

10. CIA (Mr. Harvey)

11.-12. Chief of Operations (Brig. Gen. Lansdale)


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

INSIDE CUBA



PHASE I

(March, 1962)




MARCH

OPERATION IN CUBA
a. Establish three "pathfinder" agent operations in key areas selected by CIA.

PURPOSE
Explore operational conditions and requirements. Report on potential and active resistance elements and situation for exploitation by resistance teams. Lay groundwork for bringing in additional agents and teams as conditions warrant.

CONSIDERATIONS
Agent operations must stay alive, make useful contacts and communicate accurately with CIA. Risk to the personnel is substantial due to lack of intelligence, but mission is essential to planning and operations.


PHASE II

(April-July 1962)

APRIL

OPERATION IN CUBA
a. Establish up to five more agent operations in key areas selected by CIA.

PURPOSE
Report on resistance potential and lay groundwork for additional operations.

CONSIDERATIONS
These additional teams provide current reporting on major Cuban areas, so broad political action can be planned. Risk to teams will continue high, but mission is essential.


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE II (cont.)

APRIL (cont.)

OPERATION IN CUBA
b. "Voice" of Cuban movement goes on the air.

PURPOSE
Establishes vital psychological assurance to people that a movement exists to overthrow the regime.

CONSIDERATIONS
Preferably, the "voice" should be from mobile transmitter inside Cuba. Broadcasts can be brief ones at first: identifying music, song, and short news. News to include reports on "resistance" acts, taking credit for all sabotage. As daily broadcasts are established, "criminals against people" should be named and promised swift justice, two names per broadcast. If operational judgment dictates, [3 lines deleted]. It is vital to take risks by having it inside Cuba; a second transmitter and crew should be moved in if the first is lost.


MAY

OPERATION IN CUBA
c. Re-supply agent operations as necessary.

PURPOSE
Deliver supplies to satisfy needs developed by agent operations, if valid.

CONSIDERATIONS
The agents will have to prove to local partisans that outside support is a reality. Thus, as arms, ammunition, and equipment, etc., are needed to equip resistance groups, we must be able to respond effectively to these needs. Maritime and, as feasible, air re-supply will be used. This capability will have to expand as resistance is developed.


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE II (cont.)




OPERATION IN CUBA
d. By June establish 12 more agent operations in key areas selected by CIA.

PURPOSE
Mission is the same for previous "pathfinder" operations.

CONSIDERATIONS
These will be the last agent operations infiltrated into key areas from the outside. Further expansion by "pathfinders," after these teams are in, can be done from groups inside. It is likely that some of these last "pathfinder" operations will be replacing casualties.


JUNE

OPERATION IN CUBA
e. By June, introduce three resistance teams in areas under initial "pathfinder" surveillance, if situation is favorable.

PURPOSE
This will test acceptance and use of the more highly trained teams that must guide development of the popular revolution within Cuba. This also will check emphasis and timing of program from viewpoint of Cuban situation.

CONSIDERATIONS
Very minor resistance actions by important population elements such as labor must be tried and groundwork laid for broader anti-regime program leading toward firm uprising program. Realism of political platform can be tested.


OPERATION IN CUBA
f. Establish bases for guerrilla operations.

PURPOSE
To have focal points, with some validity to stockpile for defensive needs and for future attack operations.

CONSIDERATIONS
These bases are to be selected after on-the-ground surveys by the teams inside Cuba. Some may exist already. These will also be logistical bases, for caches and stockpiling of arms and equipment to be used by the resistance, but also should be able to provide some welfare aid (such as to families of resistance members, families affected by plant shut-down and sabotage, etc.).


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE II (cont.)




JUNE (cont)

OPERATION IN CUBA
g. Establish clandestine leadership headquarters with means to communicate with all resistance elements.

PURPOSE
Organize internal direction and control of the popular movement.

CONSIDERATIONS
Leadership will have been emerging and this is about the earliest date possible to establish a clandestine headquarters. It should be of a bare, field type, in the securest area possible. This can become the meaningful source of political-psychological actions, to develop Cuban will to resist and fight.


OPERATION IN CUBA
h. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


JULY

OPERATION IN CUBA
i. By July establish up to 5 more resistance teams in areas prepared by "pathfinder" operations, as operationally feasible.

PURPOSE
Mission is the same as for the first resistance teams (A II e above).

CONSIDERATIONS
Experience of first resistance teams must be considered in preparing these additional teams for operations. Security of personnel is very important at this point, as the operation expands.


OPERATION IN CUBA
j. Basic organization of underground in vicinity of airfields and communications centers.

PURPOSE
To prepare the means of sabotage against military aircraft and key communication links of the regime's security forces.

CONSIDERATIONS
This requires ground surveys, selection of sites for caching of sabotage supplies, and recruitment of local underground, including members of military and communications employees. Popular support must be prepared by resistance teams.


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE II (cont.)




JUNE (cont)

OPERATION IN CUBA
g. Establish clandestine leadership headquarters with means to communicate with all resistance elements.

PURPOSE
Organize internal direction and control of the popular movement.

CONSIDERATIONS
Leadership will have been emerging and this is about the earliest date possible to establish a clandestine headquarters. It should be of a bare, field type, in the securest area possible. This can become the meaningful source of political-psychological actions, to develop Cuban will to resist and fight.


OPERATION IN CUBA
h. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


JULY (cont.)

OPERATION IN CUBA
k. Expand infiltration points along coasts.

PURPOSE
To obtain security for stepped-up infiltration.

CONSIDERATIONS
Original "rat-lines" need to be expanded into a functioning "underground railway" to pass more infiltrees into interior. Means of quick alerts to danger, delaying defenses, multiple routes, coastal watchers and receivers need to be organized and activated.

OPERATION IN CUBA
l. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE III

(1 August 1962)




AUGUST

OPERATION IN CUBA
m. Final check on resistance elements in Cuba.

PURPOSE
To have a final look at the situation and at the means in place before giving the signal to initiate actions leading to full-scale revolt.

CONSIDERATIONS
This is a last-minute pause, to be certain that the resistance has a possible organization in key places which will act when needed, that the significant portion of the Cuban people are in sympathy with the aims of the movement and will join in when given the chance, and that the movement will be able to gain an area of Cuba as its own against the regime's military forces, as a minimum


PHASE IV

(August-September 1962)




AUGUST

OPERATION IN CUBA
n. Symbolic work slow-down.

PURPOSE
To give workers a feeling of participation in the popular movement, without immediate reprisal.

CONSIDERATIONS
12 August is the anniversary of the overthrow of dictator Machado. The resistance should link the Castro-Communists with Machado and call on workers to lose one hour by slow-down methods on 12 Aug. to commemorate the overthrow of one dictator. Workers should be asked to give either one-hour by slow-down or one act of sabotage. The "Voice" of the movement should thank them the next day for their splendid response (to shame those who didn't participate by making them feel alone).


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE IV (cont.)




AUGUST (cont.)

OPERATION IN CUBA
o. Symbolic signs painted on walls: "Machado One"

PURPOSE
To commemorate the downfall of one remembered dictator and give a symbolic pace to the resistance.

CONSIDERATIONS
Timed with the symbolic work slow-down (A IV n above). Spaced a few days apart, the signs should have lines added to them to read:
     "Machado One
     Batista Two
     Castro Three."


OPERATION IN CUBA
p. By August, have actions to penetrate and subvert the regime.

PURPOSE
To weaken and frustrate organized actions against the popular movement.

CONSIDERATIONS
These are actions on officials of the regime, including the military and the police. Some should be defected in place. Others should be defected and helped to escape to the outside world to tell the inside story of the regime's tyranny, to evoke world sympathy with the freedom fighters.

OPERATION IN CUBA
q. Cuban paramilitary teams infiltrated to bases in the hills.

PURPOSE
To provide a trained guerrilla cadre upon which to form guerrilla units.

CONSIDERATIONS
The paramilitary teams must be capable of initiating minor harassment and reprisal actions, as well as organizing and training guerrilla units. Popular support is essential.

OPERATION IN CUBA
r. Guerrilla bands activated in key areas.

PURPOSE
To build a military striking force for the popular movement inside Cuba.

CONSIDERATIONS
Recruits will be coming in after the symbolic harassment and reprisal actions. They will be screened, organized, and trained for guerrilla action. The regime's security forces can be expected to be very active. Anti-tank and anti-aircraft tactics are necessary. Increased popular support is a must in this phase.


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE IV (cont.)




SEPTEMBER

OPERATION IN CUBA
s. Commence expanding underground to every locality in Cuba.

PURPOSE
To have a truly revolutionary organization throughout Cuba.

CONSIDERATIONS
The guerrillas are the open arm, but the popular movement must have mass support, which requires intelligence collection and clandestine activists in cities and towns throughout. They will surface when the revolt needs open support.


OPERATION IN CUBA
t. [paragraph deleted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph deleted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph deleted]


OPERATION IN CUBA
u. [paragraph deleted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph deleted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph deleted]


OPERATION IN CUBA
v. Start entry of volunteer "freedom fighters" from Latin America and elsewhere.

PURPOSE
To let the Cuban people know that they are not alone in their struggle against tyranny, by the physical presence of foreign "freedom fighters."

CONSIDERATIONS
A "Marti Battalion" might be formed for foreign volunteers. Recruits from Latin America, from refugee groups (such as Hungarians, Poles, etc.), and Americans, need a controlled means of entering the good fight. Some veterans of the Huk campaign could be a gesture and a practical one.


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE IV (cont.)




SEPTEMBER (cont.)

OPERATION IN CUBA
w. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


OPERATION IN CUBA
x. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


OPERATION IN CUBA
y. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE IV (cont.)




SEPTEMBER (cont.)

OPERATION IN CUBA
z. [paragraph deleted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph deleted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph deleted]


PHASE V

(FIRST TWO WEEKS, OCTOBER 1962)




OCTOBER

OPERATION IN CUBA
a. General strike by the Cuban workers.

PURPOSE
To make public the popular support of the militant revolt, signifying the passing from underground to open rebellion.

CONSIDERATIONS
Strike must tie-up transportation and communications. The resistance teams must have set the readiness of the workers for this defiance of the regime. Arms must be available. Military cells will be activated. Funds will be needed to help the workers hold on and to bait defections of groups.


OPERATION IN CUBA
b. Anti-regime demonstrations.

PURPOSE
Same purpose as noted above (A V a) for the general strike.

CONSIDERATIONS
The resistance teams must have set the readiness of all population elements (youth, farmers, Church, etc.) to openly defy the regime. Arms must be available, including anti-tank weapons. Military cells will be activated.


OPERATION IN CUBA
c. Declaration of the revolt.

PURPOSE
To initiate the hour of decision by calling on all Cubans for open support.

CONSIDERATIONS
Since the aims of the liberation will have been publicized previously, this is the "go signal." All Cubans and the world need to hear it.


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A. BASIC ACTION PLAN

PHASE V (cont.)




OCTOBER (cont.)

OPERATION IN CUBA
d. Open revolt by the Cuban people.

PURPOSE
To overthrow the Communist regime.

CONSIDERATIONS
This is the combat phase, fighting to take and hold ground.

OPERATION IN CUBA
e. Return of Cuban refugees who are qualified and want to help liberate their homeland.

PURPOSE
To start a more open movement back to Cuba of those Cuban refugees who are able and willing to risk their lives in overthrowing the Communist regime.

CONSIDERATIONS
Cuban refugee organizations will be tested with a "put up or shut up" proposition. Those who have the ability to contribute to the popular movement inside Cuba should be given a chance to go home and act. Their screening and infiltration will have to be controlled. It must be a joining-in, not a taking-over of the inside movement.


PHASE VI

(DURING OCTOBER 1962)




OPERATION IN CUBA
a. Establish a new Cuban government, which can be recognized by the U.S.

PURPOSE
To give legality to the moral right of the Cuban revolt.

CONSIDERATIONS
When the popular movement is holding meaningful territory in Cuba, it should form a provisional government. This should permit open Latin American and U.S. help, if requested and necessary. A military government situation will exist for the initial period and we must insist upon realism in this interim period preceding reasonable civilian control.


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B. POLITICAL SUPPORT PROGRAM




ACTIVITY
1. Use OAS and its organs.

PURPOSE
To reaffirm strong official condemnation of Communist rule in Cuba. To influence Latin American and world opinion against Communist grab of Cuba and favorably toward Cubans recapturing their freedom.

CONSIDERATIONS
OAS members must be firm and open about this being a regional concern. OAS must build support for the cause of the Cuban people against the Communist regime, by statements and reports about the police state methods and foreign domination of Cuba. This will require official and personal diplomacy with a real sense of mission, and must be an effort by Latin American as well as U.S. officials. (State responsibility, with CIA and USIA support.)


ACTIVITY
2. Use United Nations members and U.N. organs.

PURPOSE
To enlist world opinion for plight of Cuban people under domination of a foreign sponsored government. Build hostility to Communist regime and a favorable attitude to people's revolt. Develop basis for outside support of Cuban people.

CONSIDERATIONS
Statements of world leaders for humanity and justice can come from speeches and comments about misery of Cubans under Communist political-economic program. Plight of trade unionism, religion, health, education all fall within UN interest. Phony Communist maneuvers about persecution of Castro regime can open way for a challenge to a UN inquiry team from OAS states re the true status of popular support within Cuba. A challenge to hold free elections under UN monitor could be timely and place Cuban Communists on the defensive. A UN "aid for Cuban poverty and health" would be sound move to highlight situation. (State responsibility.)


ACTIVITY
3. Use US officials and news releases at Washington level.

PURPOSE
Indicate policy and commit prestige of U.S. government to appropriate support of the Cuban people vs. Communist dictatorship.

CONSIDERATIONS
Top officials of Executive and Legislative branches can keep pressure upon Castro regime by timely statements. This also supports similar attitude by leaders of other nations and helps spirit of Cubans. Developments of sympathy leading to favorable opinion about outside support for Cuban people is crucial. (State has responsibility to lead in


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B. POLITICAL SUPPORT PLAN
(cont.)




ACTIVITY
4. Use U.S. diplomats and staffs in official and other contacts.

PURPOSE
To influence attitude of political leaders favorably for the Cuban people and hostile to the Communist dictatorship. To influence key staffers of foreign leaders along same line and, as appropriate, influence leaders in intellectual and major population groups.

CONSIDERATIONS
Personal influence upon foreign officials is vital to build sympathy and support for Cuban revolution against Castro regime. Can lead to independent actions by other nations to build the case for the Cuban people. Latin American nations are most important, but NATO also important. Official attitude of Spanish government can be key to operational values in homeland ties to Spanish colony in Cuba. (State responsibility, with support by others as required.)


ACTIVITY
5. Activate Latin American leaders, government and public.

PURPOSE
Commit national prestige and power of Latin political, intellectual, labor, youth, religious, military leaders to cause of Cuban people against Communist regime. For own public impact, international support, and morale of resistance within Cuba.

CONSIDERATIONS
Timely and strong public statements will be encouraged. Maximum publicity at country of origin, other key countries and into Cuba by CIA assets. (State responsibility, with support by CIA and USIA.)


ACTIVITY
6. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


[view page 16 document scan]








B. POLITICAL SUPPORT PLAN
(cont.)




ACTIVITY
7. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


ACTIVITY
8. Use exile groups under Cuban Revolutionary Council.

PURPOSE
To maintain a significant symbol of special groupings for contact within Cuba and impact upon Latin American public opinion.

CONSIDERATIONS
Special groupings such as students, youth, professions, women are under the CRC and must be used with care and avoid political imprint of CRC to maximum.


ACTIVITY
9. Use exiles as touring teams for political action in Latin America.

PURPOSE
To give personal witness against the Communist regime and ask support for the people recapturing their freedom.

CONSIDERATIONS
Teams of students, lawyers, ex-Castro associates can tell impressive story that is newsworthy.


ACTIVITY
10. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


[view page 17 document scan]








B. POLITICAL SUPPORT PLAN
(cont.)




ACTIVITY
11. Radio programs for Cuban political activation.

PURPOSE
To inform and keep basic interests within the Cuban population.

CONSIDERATIONS
Religious programs, interviews with exile workers, students, fishermen, families to help keep Cubans in touch with the way of life they must recapture from the Communists. CIA capability for daily and special broadcasts exists, noting Swan Island station, and arrangements with private stations in Miami, New Orleans, and some 75 small outlets in the Caribbean area. [approximately one sentence redacted]


ACTIVITY
12. By October, official U.S. and Latin American policy support.

PURPOSE
To provide a positive basis for more open support of the people's revolution, possibly a foundation for military assistance upon request of recognized new government.

CONSIDERATIONS
The policy line for recognition of a revolutionary government is involved directly at this point.


[view page 18 document scan]








C. ECONOMIC SUPPORT PLAN




ACTIVITY
1. Persuade OAS, NATO and countries friendly to freedom to desist from trading with the Communist dictatorship in Havana.

PURPOSE
To build anti-regime feelings among Cuban people, by economic squeeze.

CONSIDERATIONS
The regime may be weakened as the Cuban dollar market is depleted through loss of credit line. Requires full cooperation of allies and friends. (State responsibility with CIA and Commerce.)


ACTIVITY
2. Stop trans-shipment of U.S. items to Cuba, especially via Mexico and Canada.

PURPOSE
To reduce supply of items and parts critical to the Cuban regime's economic program.

CONSIDERATIONS
Target is Cuban sugar economy, power petroleum, communications, transport. (State responsibility with CIA, Commerce, Justice.)


ACTIVITY
3. A "positive list" for Latin America subject to licensing procedures for other parts of the Free World.

PURPOSE
To reduce supply of items and parts critical to the Cuban regime's economic program.

CONSIDERATIONS
Target is Cuban sugar economy, power petroleum, communications, transport. (Responsibility of State with Commerce and CIA participating.)


ACTIVITY
4. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


ACTIVITY
5. Obtain cooperation of National Foreign Trade Council in delaying or refusing charters to vessels calling at Cuban ports, by mid-March.

PURPOSE
To reduce supplies the Cuban regime must have to keep economy going.

CONSIDERATIONS
(Responsibility of State, with Commerce and CIA participating.)


ACTIVITY
6. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


ACTIVITY
7. Obtain by mid-March the cooperation of U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers to influence U.S. firms having subsidiaries abroad to adhere to the spirit of U.S. economic boycott of Cuban regime.

PURPOSE
To harass Cuban economy.

CONSIDERATIONS
(Responsibility of State, with Commerce and CIA participating.)


[view page 19 document scan]








C. ECONOMIC SUPPORT PLAN
(cont.)




ACTIVITY
8. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


[view page 20 document scan]








D. PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT PLAN




ACTIVITY
1. Create atmosphere of a "crusade" for human liberty"

PURPOSE
To set the deeply moving tone and motivating force for the liberation of Cuba.

CONSIDERATIONS
All media. This means maximum use of spiritual appeal (such as the prayer for Cuba by Bishop Boja Masvidal who has a genuine Cuban revolutionary background), recapturing the ideal of Marti by taking use of his memory away from the Communists (even to issue of commemorative U.S. stamp), and popularizing songs by commercial recordings. (USIA and CIA responsibility.)


ACTIVITY
2. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


ACTIVITY
3. In March, commence visits of prominent U.S. and Latin American personalities to Cuban refugee camps in Florida.

PURPOSE
To demonstrate concern for plight of refugees, particularly parentless children.

CONSIDERATIONS
Mrs. Kennedy would be especially effective in visiting children refugees. (One camp near Miami has about 1,000 children who came out without their parents.) Her impact upon Latin Americans on the recent Presidential visit to Venezuela and Colombia suggests this. (USIA responsibility.)


ACTIVITY
4. Publicity for selected defectors from Castro team.

PURPOSE
To demonstrate Cuban regime's failure to live up to promises of original 26th of July movement.

CONSIDERATIONS
Feature stories, documentaries, etc. (USIA responsibility, with help of CIA, Justice, and State.)


[view page 21 document scan]








D. PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT PLAN
(cont.)




ACTIVITY
5. Publications of weekly reports with human interest stories about Cuban refugees, starting in March.

PURPOSE
To illuminate intolerable conditions in Cuba and the plight of the Cubans who remain inside.

CONSIDERATIONS
This should include supporting reports giving statistics on the numbers of refugees who have fled, and keep fleeing, to the U.S., Jamaica, Venezuela, Mexico, and Spain. (USIA responsibility, with support of others as required.)


ACTIVITY
6. [paragraph redacted]

PURPOSE
[paragraph redacted]

CONSIDERATIONS
[paragraph redacted]


ACTIVITY
7. Dramatize individual stories of Cuban refugees representative of major population groups: workers, youth, farmers, fisherman, women, church.

PURPOSE
To publicize that ordinary citizens, not just the rich, have fled tyranny.

CONSIDERATIONS
Documentaries, etc., of these refugees now at work in the U.S. (not just in refugee centers), awaiting the day they can return to strike a blow for liberty. (USIA responsibility.)


[view page 22 document scan]








E. MILITARY SUPPORT PLAN




ACTIVITY
1. Provide logistic, personnel and training support.

PURPOSE
To insure optimum implementation of the basic plan.

CONSIDERATIONS
The basic plan requires complete and efficient support of the military, to include the use of facilities and military cover. (Defense responsibility.)

[remainder of page redacted]


[view page 23 document scan]








F. SABOTAGE SUPPORT PLAN




[remainder of page redacted]


[view page 24 document scan]








G. INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT PLAN




ACTIVITY
1. Special Operations Room fully activated, by 1 March 1962

PURPOSE
To provide the Chief of Operations and the project team with current intelligence and daily developments. To provide top U.S. officials with status briefings, as useful.

CONSIDERATIONS
A maximum security room for this project will be maintained in the inner JCS security area of the Pentagon. (Defense responsibility, with support from the CIA and others as required.)


ACTIVITY
2. Caribbean Admission Center, Opa-Locka, Florida, fully activated by 15 March 1962.

PURPOSE
To collect intelligence required for the operations, to identify and earmark assets as refugees arrive, and to provide greater security against Communist agent operations.

CONSIDERATIONS
This operation, in response to early recommendation as essential by the Chief of Operations, is moving at utmost speed to become fully active by 15 March, with a new building completed and occupied, and with a staff of 42 at work. The staff is now being increased in phases, as quickly as personnel are trained, to supplement the initial staff of 9. (CIA responsibility, with support by Defense, Justice, State, USIA.)


ACTIVITY
3. Develop additional Interrogation centers in other areas, during March 1962.

PURPOSE
To collect intelligence in a Latin atmosphere, at different levels than now seem possible in the continental U.S., to spot additional assets for the operation, and to provide security against Communist agent operations.

CONSIDERATIONS
This operation, in response to early recommendation as essential by the Chief of Operations, is moving at utmost speed to become fully active by 15 March, with a new building completed and occupied, and with a staff of 42 at work. The staff is now being increased in phases, as quickly as personnel are trained, to supplement the initial staff of 9. (CIA responsibility, with support by Defense and others as necessary.)


ACTIVITY
4. Expand special intelligence and other sensitive intelligence coverage, as required.

PURPOSE
To develop increased "hard" intelligence.

CONSIDERATIONS
(Defense responsibility, in collaboration with CIA.)


[view page 25 document scan]








G. INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT PLAN
(cont.)




ACTIVITY
5. Develop intelligence potential of Cuban "colonies" in U.S.

PURPOSE
To exploit the intelligence possibilities of former residents of Cuba (including U.S. citizens) now in the United States.

CONSIDERATIONS
There are colonies in Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities which are "little Cubas." Family, Church, and business interests provoke unusual personal ties inside Cuba for some of these residents; a real potential exists for collection of intelligence not otherwise available. (Justice/FBI responsibility, with support of others as required.)


ACTIVITY
6. Develop [deleted] to provide substantive intelligence on Cuban activities.

PURPOSE
To add to the increased U.S. intelligence coverage on Cuba and to strengthen the concern of Latin American states for security.

CONSIDERATIONS
(Responsibility of Defense, with support by others as required.)


ACTIVITY
7. Periodic intelligence estimates, as required by progress of operations.

PURPOSE
To up-date NIE 85-62, so that current estimates can be considered at national policy levels.

CONSIDERATIONS
As the operations develop, there will be both increased intelligence collection and a need for as current an Intelligence Estimate as the U.S. can produce meaningfully. It is likely that a more informal method of producing an Intelligence Estimate for use at the national level (than now governing the issuance of NIE's) may have to be followed. (CIA responsibility, with support of others as required.)

 

 

Possible Actions to Provoke, Harrass, or Disrupt Cuba

On February 2, 1962, Brig. Gen. William Craig sent this memo to Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale, the commander of the Kennedy administration's Operation Mongoose. The document lists bizarre and ruthless plans to "provoke, harass, or disrupt" the government of Fidel Castro.

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[document begins]


TOP SECRET


POSSIBLE ACTIONS TO PROVOKE, HARRASS, OR DISRUPT

-CUBA-




1. Operation SMASHER:

a. Objective: The objective is to disrupt/disable military and commercial communications facilities in Cuba.

b. Concept: This to be accomplished by the clandestine introduction of a "special" vacuum tube into selected communications equipment. The tube, which is available, is virtually undetectable inasmuch as its effectiveness is due to the insertion of a chemical compound in the base of the tube. The chemical, when heated becomes a conductor, when cool a non-conductor.


2. Operation FREE RIDE:

a. Objective: The objective is to create unrest and dissension amongst the Cuban people.

b. Concept: This to be accomplished by airdropping valid Pan American or KLM one-way airline tickets good for passage to Mexico City, Caracas, etc. (none to the U.S.). Tickets could be intermixed with other leaflets planned to be dropped. The number of tickets dropped could be increased. The validity of the tickets would have to be restricted to a time period.


3. Operation TURN ABOUT:

a. Objective: The objective is to create indications to Fidel Castro that his value to the revolutionary cause has diminished to the point where plans are being made for his "removal".

b. Concept: This to be accomplished by the use of intelligence means the crecendo increasing until it culminates in Castro's discovery of the mechanism or hardware.



1

[page break]



4. Operation DEFECTOR:

a. Objective: To induce elements or individuals of the Cuban military to defect with equipment.

b. Concept: This activity when properly planned and implemented has the effect of decreasing military capability. In a totalitarian system the immediate reaction is increased security accompanied by decreased activity. It also creates havoc in security and intelligence agencies. Could be accomplished by intelligence means and promise of rewards.


5. Operation BREAK-UP:

a. Objective: To clandestinely introduce corrosive materials to cause aircraft, vehicle or boat accidents.

b. Concept: This activity, if possible should be aimed primarily toward the Soviet-provided aircraft. If properly accomplished it would degrade confidence in the equipment, increase supply and maintenance problems and seriously affect combat capability.


6. Operation COVER-UP:

a. Objective: The objective is to convince the Communist government of Cuba that Naval Forces ostensibly assigned to the MERCURY project is merely a cover.

b. Concept: It should not be revealed as to what the cover is -- this should be left to conjecture. This could tie in with Operation DIRTY TRICK.


7. Operation DIRTY TRICK:

a. Objective: The objective is to provide irrevocable proof that, should the MERCURY manned orbit flight fail, the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba.

b. Concept: This to be accomplished by manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans.


8. Operation FULL-UP:

a. Objective: The objective is to destroy confidence in fuel supplied by the Soviet Bloc by indicating it is contaminated.



2

[page break]



b. Concept: This to be accomplished by introducing a known biological agent into jet fuel storage facilities. This agent flourishes in jet fuel and grows until it consumes all the space inside the tank.


9. Operation PHANTOM:

a. Objective: The objective is to convince the Castro Government that clandestine penetration and resupply of agents is being regularly conducted.

b. Concept: This to be accomplished by use of BJ, UDT, AND JJ capabilities to create the impression that landings have been made on beaches and air drops have been made in other areas.


10. Operation BINGO:

a. Objective: The objective is to create an incident which has the appearance of an attack on U.S. facilities (GMO) in Cuba, thus providing an excuse for use of U.S. military might to overthrow the current government of Cuba.

b. Concept: This to be accomplished by the use of SNAKES outside the confines of the Guantanamo Base. SNAKES simulate an actual fire-fight and upon hearing such a sound it is entirely feasible that the immediate reaction on G'Mo would be that the base is being attacked. This would, with proper preparation, be followed by a counterattack and with adequate planning the base at G'Mo could disgorge military force in sufficient number to sustain itself until other forces, which had been previously alerted, could attack in other areas. It is envisaged that a schedule of operations similar to the following would overwhelm the Cuban military and cause its defeat:

(1) Simulated attack on Guantanamo.
(2) Word flashed to the President.
(3) President orders counterattack to include:
(a) Immediate launch of alerted aircraft whose targets are Cuban airfields.
(b) Immediate launch of counterattack down strategic lines in communication in Cuba.
(c) Fleet force standing by on alert would make way toward pre-selected targets/landing areas.
(d) Immediate embarkation of airborne troops previously alerted to pre-selected targets.
(e) Launch of additional combat aircraft to clear drop areas and further interdict lines of communication.
(f) Ships and aircraft would land/airdrop troops and secure airfields, road/rail terminals, etc.



3

[page break]



(g) Resupply and replacement activities.

Properly executed, the above could overthrow the Cuban Government in a matter of hours, providing the plan is implemented within the next six months.


11. Operation GOOD TIMES:

a. Objective: To disillusion the Cuban population with Castro image by distribution of fake photographic material.

b. Concept: Prepare a desired photograph, such as an obese Castro with two beauties in any situation desired, ostensibly within a room in the Castro residence, lavishly furnished, and a table briming over with the most delectable Cuban food with an underlying caption (appropriately Cuban) such as "My ration is different." Make as many prints as desired on sterile paper and then distribute over the countryside by air drops or agents. This should put even a Commie Dictator in the proper perspective with the underprivileged masses.


12. Operation HEAT IS ON:

a. Objective: To create the impression with Castro Government that certain dyed-in-the-wool Red pilots are planning to defect, thus causing a detrimental tightening of security.

b. Concept: It is known that many Cuban refugee pilots are personally acquainted with many of the present CRAF pilots. Accordingly, by utilizing all sources available, determine by name those pilots considered to be dedicated Castro Reds. Then by use of agents, communications, etc. inject into the Castro intelligence system the fact that these pre-designated Reds are planning to defect for monetary and/or ideological reasons. Security crackdown should help destroy Castro image and also impose unacceptable restrictions on routine training activities.


[document ends]

 

 

Operation Mongoose PSYOP Group

In this June 1, 1962 Defense Department memo, Lt. Col. James Patchell reports to Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale on the latest activities of an inter-agency "Psychological Operations Group" responsible for coordinating U.S. propaganda against Cuba. Lansdale was serving as the chief of Operation Mongoose, one of President Kennedy's covert projects to unseat Fidel Castro. The document was classified TOP SECRET/SENSITIVE and not declassified until 1998.

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[document begins]





                          1 June 1962

MEMORANDUM FOR GENERAL LANSDALE

From: Lt. Col. Patchell

Subject: Psychological Operations Group

     Meeting held at 1430 hours on 28 May 62 with Mr. Hurwitch and Mr. Simm of State, Bolton of CIA, Smith of USIA, and myself attending. Following is a summary of subjects discussed:

     (1) CIA asked State to provide a clarification of personalities and groups to be supported - this came up in connection with a discussion of CRC and newspaper stories on its change in leadership.

     (2) The Armstrong Circle Theater movie has been okayed for Spanish language publication and distribution.

     (3) On the "Eyewitness to History" program of 25 May 62 - because of the type of movie - USIA to look at carefully and determine whether useful for replay (I will be invited to attend).

     (4) CIA using theme for farmers not to produce - okayed.

     (5) On declassification of Cuba - Soviet trade agreement - CIA has been unable to obtain, but should produce soon.

     (6) CIA guidance now being prepared for psych war to list priorities as follows: (a) Cuba, (b) Latin America, (c) rest of world. Draft copies will be brought to next meeting for informal review.

     (7) On the DRE publication "White Book on University Problems" - 2,000 copies each are being printed in Chile in English, French, and Spanish. CIA to take action to make available in summary form for Latin newspapers and student publications.

     (8) On the CRC publication "Cuba Nueva" - presently going only to exile community. CIA to look into getting it into Latin America and Cuba - money appears to be no problem.








     (9) State suggested exploitation by USIA and CIA of items appearing in the FBIS daily summary. (Housing and labor -- made arrangements to put us on distribution.)

     (10) CIA brought up the unhappy impact of Moscoso's speech inferring that Cuba should be forgotten and that we should get on with the Alliance For Progress. State indicated that a correction was being made to show that Moscosco was misquoted.

     (11) State suggested that Castro's 11 April speech (which was not released until May) had many exploitable points -- corruption - failure to suggest unity - labor -- State sent to CIA for research people to work on.

     (12) Item appearing in Cuban paper concerning people who "transgress the norm" being sent to training camps - USIA to take action.

     (13) CIA after looking at symbols etc. has about decided that the "worm" is preferable to the "fish" and that it has been popularized by Castro and we should take advantage of it. Both CIA and USIA will develop further the worm idea. Lt. Col. Patchell suggested relating and associating it with biblical quotations such as "Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched" -- Isa 6624 or "As a moth doth by a garment, and a worm by the wood, so the sadness of a man consumeth the heart" - Prov. 25.20. USIA to take action.

COMMENT:

     In the two previous meetings I have developed sufficient rapport so that I can now get actions taken without too much question. This next meeting I propose to introduce a system of suspense dates so that the "we are looking into" or "we are considering" are replaced by "we will meet the suspense" -- this may be difficult at first, but feel it can be managed.

             
[document ends]

 

 

Pentagon Plan for an "Imaginary Cuban Leader"

This May 13, 1963 proposal for creating an "imaginary Cuban leader" to "serve as a focal point" for the anti-Castro movement was authored by Lt. Col. James Patchell, a veteran of Operation Mongoose who worked out of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This particular propaganda plan was never put into action, but similar ones were. Patchell's proposal was declassified in 1998.

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[document begins]



SUBJECT: Future Cuban Leadership

INTRODUCTION


     Following is a proposal for the creation of an imaginary Cuban leader. This proposal is presented primarily to fill gaps existing in the present policy study. It will become obvious that this proposal can be utilized in conjunction with current programs as well as many of those programs proposed for the future. It may be necessary to address this proposal or a similar proposal separately and in advance of the policy study; however, in the event no pressing requirement exists, it is suggested that this proposal be considered in conjunction with the policy study and handled on a closely held basis.


REASON FOR PROPOSAL

     Following are listed a number of indications that the leadership question will be addressed in the near future:

          a. With the termination of U.S. support to the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC) a vacuum has been created. Various exile groups in the U.S. and elsewhere will be vying for recognition and support in an attempt to fill this void.

          b. There has been constant pressure on the U.S. and on other Latin American countries to recognize a government in exile. This proposal could serve to lessen or eliminate much of this political and psychological pressure.

          c. This proposal could serve to reduce the bickering among exile groups and may serve to resolve some of the problems of Cuban exile unification.









          d. The proposal could emphasize the development of a native "David" in opposition to Castro, the Cuban "Goliath." This could serve the U.S. image by making Castro the "Goliath" rather than the "David" who opposes the "North American Giant."

          e. This proposal could serve to prevent the U.S. from making premature commitments to a leader or a particular exile group and could be used as a device to test exile response.

          f. This proposal could retain for the U.S. the ability to control future selections of leaders or groups (timing and political ideologies).

          g. This proposal could permit the U.S. on a progressive basis to influence the ideologies of the resistance and thus to influence the platform of a future Cuban Government.

          h. The publicity associated with the prolonged existence of a resistance in Cuba can serve to delay the furtherance of the de facto recognition of the present Cuban Regime.

OBJECTIVE

     To create an imaginary leader or image of resistance in Cuba. This image would serve as a focal point for resistance directed against Castro by Cubans or Latin Americans.

DEVELOPMENT

     An imaginary name of a resistance leader could be developed utilizing a popular name from Cuban history, a name associated with resistance in Cuba or a newly devised name. The name selected should typify a person who is friendly to the Cuban people, is anti-communist, is willing to fight against the Regime, and is little -- but tough. There is no requirement for a detailed staff study in order


2









to determine this name. "The Little Bull," "The Little Worm," "The Friendly Worm," "The Fighting Friend," "The Tough Peasant," or any such name which is acceptable and meaningful in Spanish could suffice. Over a period of several months the name could be "dropped" or leaked through U.S. officialdom, in diplomatic channels, in intelligence channels or within the Cuban exile community. Specific acts against the Regime could be credited to this individual or members of his group. Communications could be arranged between this individual and his subordinates to be picked up either by Castro's censors or by radio intercept in Cuba or in the U.S.

     After a period of time, all unexplained incidents and actions for which credit has not been seized by some other exile group would automatically be ascribed to our imaginary friend. At some point in time it could be leaked that the U.S. is, in fact, supporting this imaginary person. Similarly, other Latin American countries may, without inducement, publicly follow the U.S. pattern.

     During the course of this operation it is quite possible that the Castro Regime could indicate that the activities of this individual were terminated, that the individual was captured, that he was being pursued, or that he was an imaginary faker or fraud. Such action would only serve to further publicize the actions of the individual and so long as resistance in general continued the fame of our "Cuban Kilroy" would spread. Humorous antics could be credited to our imaginary friend and rumors of his exploits of bravery (ala Zoro) could be circulated.

     At some point in time it may be wise to indicate what this individual stands for. (It will become obvious that he is opposed to the Regime in Cuba.) It could be possible to indicate little-by-little his political platform in very general terms -- realizing that the mistique and the "generalness" connected with his operation is, in fact, the power behind the operation. Ultimately, Cubans and others may demand that he proclaim his complete political views or even that he present himself physically. Since this is not desirable,


3









arrangements could be made to have selected individuals meet with his appointed representative. His instructions and words could be relayed to the public by many means.

     As his political platform becomes more apparent within the exile groups, it may be possible to determine those willing to follow his leadership (to gain Cuban independence under his terms) or those who are unwilling to accept his leadership. The lines of controversy among exiles can be drawn more clearly. Undesirable leaders and exile groups can be eliminated from the competition through his disavowals.

     Eventually, a member of the resistance in Cuba may gain sufficient stature to assume or to be given the title of this imaginary leader. This, of course, will depend in large measure on individual leadership ability and the ability to "fill the boots" of this anti-Castro image.

     While this scheme is replete with gimmickery, its implementation could be undertaken in a relatively short period of time. Sensitivity of this scheme is such that the knowledge should be held on the tightest basis and if implemented, those proposing should not be informed. In the event the scheme is compromised, (unless knowledge is widespread) there is little need for plausible deniability; however, once used and compromised the scheme can hardly be reinstated. A major advantage is that this image can be created over a long period of time or developed rapidly without a political or economic commitment on the part of the U.S. There may be a point at which the U.S. could no longer disavow collaboration with this imaginary person. This point, however, is so distant that during any point in the intervening period it would be possible for the U.S. to disengage easily without suffering embarrassment or loss of prestige.


4









CONCLUSION

     Based on a consideration of factors indicated above, it appears that the U.S. should immediately undertake to implement this proposal, determining at 30 to 60 day future intervals what additional action should be taken to improve, reduce, or change the image during the subsequent 30 or 60 day period.


          
           James K. Patchell
           Lt. Colonel, USA


[document ends]