298. 12/18/1963

“NSC [National Security Council], ‘Travel Controls-Cuba,’ December 18, 1963. This memo, written by the NSC’s Latin American specialist Gordon Chase to national security advisor McGeorge Bundy, reveals that the Attorney General’s proposal has been overruled at the State Department. At a meeting on December 13, to which Justice department officials were not invited, State Department officials from the Latin American division successfully argued that lifting the ban would compromise U.S. pressures on other nations in the hemisphere to isolate Cuba and block students from traveling there. In addition, according to Chase, Abba Schwartz believed that Lyndon Johnson could not politically afford to lift the ban because it would ‘make him look unacceptably soft.’ The State Department’s attention turns to steps the government can take to prevent U.S. students from violating the ban and traveling to Cuba.” [Con Embargo]

“Robert F. Kennedy urged lifting travel ban to Cuba in ’63: Document 3: NSC, ‘Travel Controls-Cuba,’ December 18, 1963,” The National Security Archive, nsarchive2.gwu.edu, April 23, 2009

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