AFRICANGLOBE – Declassified documents from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library revealed that former Secretary of State, Henry A. Kissinger, devised secret plans to launch air strikes on Cuba in 1976
The New York Times published declassified documents from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library which revealed that former Secretary of State, Henry A. Kissinger, devised secret plans to launch air strikes on Cuba in 1976.
The documents were declassified following a request from researchers at the National Security Archive.
This significant revelation appeared on page A12 of the October 1, edition of the New York paper.
The documents explain how Kissinger convened a group of senior officials to work on possible retaliatory measures against Cuba for deploying military forces to Angola, following a request from the country’s government.
The New York Times revealed that the officials outlined plans to attack ports and military installations in Cuba, including a plan to send marine battalions to the United States Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, illegally occupied by the U.S. since 1902.
The plan concocted by the former Secretary of State, during President Gerald Ford’s term in office, suggested the use of dozens of combat aircrafts and the mining of Cuban ports.
The New York Times added that the group warned that the United States could seriously risk losing its naval base in Cuba, which was vulnerable to counterattack from the Cuban armed forces.
They also estimated that it would cost 120 million dollars to reopen the Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico, a possible location for the repositioning of destroyer squadrons.
Kissinger also drafted proposals for an eventual military blockade of Cuba’s coastline, despite warnings that such moves would most likely lead to a conflict with the then Soviet Union, a key Cuban ally at the time.
“If we decide to use military power, it must succeed,” Kissinger stated in one meeting, according to the declassified documents.
“There should be no halfway measures. If we decide on a blockade, it must be ruthless and rapid and efficient,” Kissinger outlined, almost 40 years ago. The memos show that Donald H. Rumsfeld, who was Secretary of Defense from 1975-1977 under President Ford, and again under President George W. Bush, was also present at the meeting when Kissinger ordered the contingency plan against Cuba.
Both Kissinger, now aged 91, and Rumsfeld, aged 82, declined to comment following the publication of the recently declassified documents.
Kissinger’s plans, prepared during the 1976 U.S. presidential election, went nowhere because the democrat Jimmy Carter won the election.
The documents quoted by the New York Times appear in the book Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana, written by U.S. researchers William M. LeoGrande, a professor at the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., and Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive’s Chile Documentation Project and of the Cuba Documentation Project. (PL)
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