73. 3/17/1960

“MAR 17, 1960: At an Oval Office meeting with high-ranking national security officials, President [Dwight D.] Eisenhower approves a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) policy paper titled ‘A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime.’ The CIA plan involves four main courses of action: (i) form a moderate opposition group in exile whose slogan will be to restore the revolution which [Fidel] Castro has betrayed; (ii) create a medium wave radio station to broadcast into Cuba, probably on Swan Island, south of Cuba; (iii) create a covert intelligence and action organization within Cuba responsive to the orders and directions of the exile opposition; and (iv) begin training a para-military force outside Cuba and, in a second phase, train paramilitary cadres for immediate deployment into Cuba to organize, train and lead resistance forces recruited there. During the meeting, Eisenhower states that he knows of ‘no better plan’ for dealing with this situation but is concerned about leakage and breach of security. He argues that everyone must be prepared to deny its existence and only two or three people should have contact with the groups involved, agitating Cubans to do most of what must be done. The President tells [Director of CIA] Mr. [Allen W.] Dulles that he thinks he should go ahead with the plan and the operations but that ‘our hand should not show in anything that is done.’”

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

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