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Document Creation Date: 
December 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
March 23, 2005
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Publication Date: 
May 2, 1961
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PDF icon CIA-RDP82R00025R000100130007-4.pdf220.56 KB
Approved For Release 2005b4I4 ~ CIA-RDP82R00025R000 C 61- 2 May 19 61 :ORANDUM FOR THY R ECT: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Cuba-_ Department of State - I May 1961 1. Secretary Rusk started off by stressing the subversive influence of Cuba throughout South America, the increasingly id Communist-type internal controls, and the actual growing military threat. These all contributed to the decision to assist the rebels' invasion. He stated there were three areas of error- - an overestimate of the internal resistance to Castro and of the hope for uprising; an underestimate of Castro's armed strength; the decision by the rebels to try and hold the territory at the beachhead Instead of getting inland to join the guerrillas. Secretary Rusk pointed out that legal means of co tairing Communism were not adequate. He said the Government's estimate of the resistance to Castro was not based on refugees' stories as their reports had been largely discounted. He said all aspects of the project had been thoroughly considered by the appropriate members of the National Security Council and there were no hasty last-minute decisions. 3. Senator Fu Lbright questioned whether Cuba could actually be a military threat to the U. S., and Secretary Rusk said with jet fighters and missiles in Cuba it could exercise a blackmail power. Senator ' l ri ht asked if a Russian base in Cuba wasn't similar to I I and Secretary Rusk said theirs would be used for subversion and ours was to maintain peace. Senator Fulbright said he doubted whether there was a military solution to Cuba, and Secretary Rusk said the invasion Approved For Release 2005/04/19: CIA-RDP82R00025R000100130007-4 25X 25X1 Approved For Release 2005/04/19 6 -*bP82R00025R000100130007-4 not intended its a military solution but was to give the oppor- tunity for popular uprising. Senator Fulbright said he doubted if even that would have solved anything. 4. Senator Hickessslooper asked if we could have stopped the Cuban refugees from trying an invasion if we had wanted to, and Secretary Rusk said we could have. The Senator asked if we should not have taken stops to insure success once we decided to start, and Secretary Rusk said the rebels were briefed that no U. S. arms would be used to back them up. Senator l ickenlooper asked what support we can now expect in Latin America, and Secretary Rusk said that while Mexico and Chile would not take evert action in our favor their governments support us and that the general reaction is not too bad; in fact, some places like Brasail are somewhat better. Senator Hickeenlooper asked who decided the time and the place of the landing, and Secretary Rusk said he would leave the details to Mr. Dulles but the decision was mad.* at the White House on the unanimous recom- mendation of senior advisers. 5. Senator Church asked about what the Russians were supplying in the way of arms, and Secretary Rusk said he would leave this to Mr. Dulles to answer. He pointed out that the protest riots in South America were not popular demonstrations but smallish organised riots except in Uruguay. He pointed out that time was not on oar side in Cuba although Castro himself is a somewhat tarnished figure in Latin America. 4. Senator Morse asked if there was any opposition to ecemesdaatton to go ahead with the invasion, and Secretary said there were vigorous discussions. H. said It was that he or Secretary Bowles had opposed the project, aid Senator lF ulbright's memorandum opposing the operation 7. Secretary Rusk said he would leave to CIA questions on whether MIG'ss were present and what sort of training was done for the rebels and by whom. He said training, supplies, and money were supplied by the U. S. to the rebels and the Navy a crooned the invasion but the planes were flown by Cubans although on* soldier of fortune had flown in the invasion in violation of policy. S. senator Aiken asked if the Department of State know the facts an training and the rest of the operation, and Secretary Rusk said the appropriate State officers were fully informed from 2 Approved For Release 2005/04/19 : CIA-ROP8~R00025R000100130007-4 Approved For Release 2005/04/19 : CIA-RDP82R00025R000100130007-4 beginning but that possibly in the future mesas could be worked ca bring aaU the Department of ats's re$oerca$ into the picture. 9. There was snuck general ssntirment that we must find forwar *am* way to cope with Castro and the Cuban situation, a 15cnitors t.,ausche, Symington. and kckenlooper Were particularly in favor of strong action of some sort but no specific proposals were put Committee members present at the briefing re: J. W. 'e right (D. , Ark. ), G John J. Sparkman (D.. Ala.) Mike Mansfield (D.. Hebert H. H'urpbrey {D. , Minn. e (D. , y'raank J. Laausche (D.. 4 Ado) Albert Core (U. , Tenn. Frank Church Jet.. Idaho) Stuart Symington (D., Mo. oorke E. Hicksnlooper (IR.. Iowa Alexander Wiley (It.. W. Aiken M- , Vt. ) a arr soya (R., Kansas ) J. Williams {R. , Del.) Officer. or* Secretary Rush; Dr Cc:aagare$*i al R.1ations Alexa , Legi eta s ooston I LAWRFNCT R. HOUSTON rul Connie ?GC: LRH:jeb Distribution DUCt xG DDIS 'W"H OGC/LC chrono subject Approved For Release 2005/04/19 : Cl ys. Assistant