The Cuban Missile Crisis
Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Murrow) to Director of Central Intelligence McCone


Washington, December 10, 1962.

We should soon reach a decision regarding the use of Cuban exiles in broadcasts beamed to Cuba. The following is suggested for your consideration.

On the assumption that United States policy toward Cuba will continue to be one of exerting economic pressures and making Soviet support as expensive as possible, it is recommended that Cuban exile broadcasts urging economic sabotage and passive resistance could play a valuable role. This recommendation also assumes that CIA can exercise a certain guidance and control over these broadcasts.

The following considerations would be involved in such a program:

1. The Cuban individuals and groups doing the speaking should be carefully selected for their reputation and credibility with the people in Cuba. Students should do the speaking to students; labor leaders to labor, teachers to teachers, etc.

2. The Cuban audience should be urged to act with care and cautioned against open rebellion. The program would be based upon work slowdowns, purposeful inefficiency, purposeful waste, and relatively safe forms of sabotage. Specific examples of the activities urged would be putting glass and nails on the highways, leaving water running in public buildings, putting sand in machinery, wasting electricity, taking sick leave from work, damaging sugar stalks during the harvest, etc.

3. The program would be strictly attributable to the Cuban exiles with no open participation by USIA or other government agencies. If real results were achieved, the Voice of America could report these as evidence of opposition to the Castro regime through interviews with refugees and extracts from letters.

The advantages of such a program would be: 1) it would lend direct support to the U.S. economic pressures; 2) provide the Cuban exile community, now straining at the bit in inactivity, an outlet for their energies with a potential for real accomplishment; and 3) give the opposition inside Cuba a purposeful line of action not tied to open revolt.(1)

Edward R. Murrow

1 In a December 11 memorandum to Murrow, McCone replied that in light of the discussion at the Executive Committee meeting (see Documents 241 and 242) the CIA would resume non-attributable Cuban exile radio broadcasts on or about December 14. (Kennedy Library National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Intelligence Material, Vol. III) Back

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, Intelligence Material, Vol. III. Secret.

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