154. 1/3/1961

“[JAN 3, 1961] President [Dwight D.] Eisenhower meets with advisers at 9:30 a.m. to discuss steps to take on Cuba, including the breaking of diplomatic relations in response to Cuba’s demand that U.S. official representation in Cuba be cut to 11 people. Turning to discussion of planned covert action against Cuba, [National Security Advisor] Gordon Gray quotes…as describing the Cuban exiles in training as the best Army in Latin America and General [Lyman L.] Lemnitzer [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] agrees. Regarding the trend of public opinion in Cuba, Assistant Secretary of State [Thomas C.] Mann argues that support for [Fidel] Castro has gone down from approximately 95% to about 25 to 33%. During the meeting, President Eisenhower offers that he would move against Castro before the 20th (of January) if the Cubans provided him a really good excuse. Failing that, he says, perhaps the U.S. ‘could think of manufacturing something that would be generally acceptable.’”

“The Bay of Pigs Invasion/Playa Giron: A Chronology of Events,” The National Security Archive, NSArchive2.gwu.edu

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