AUGUST 27, 30, 1960

Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary



JAMES O. EASTLAND, Mississippi, Chairman






SAM J. ERVIN, Jr., North Carolina


THOMAS J. DODD, Connecticut

PHILIP A. HART, Michigan



JAMES 0. EASTLAND, Mississippi, Chairman

THOMAS J. DODD, Connecticut, Vice Chairman

OLIN D. JOHNSTON, South Carolina ROMAN L. IIRUSKA, Nebraska


SAM J. ERVIN, JR., North Carolina KENNETH B. KEATING, New York

NORRIS COTTON, New Hampshire

J. G. SOURWINE, Counsel

BENJAMIN MANDEL, Director of Research


AUGUST 27, 1960


Watch Hill, R.I.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 5:40 p.m., at the home of Arthur Gardner, Watch Hill, R.I., Senator Thomas J. Dodd presiding.

Senator DODD. Let the record show this is a hearing taking place at the home of Mr. Arthur Gardner, Watch Hill, R.I.

I should say to you, Mr. Gardner, that the purpose of our inquiry is to help us to determine whether or not there is any need for remedial legislation.

We of the Internal Security Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee are under a mandate from the U.S. Senate to concern ourselves with this type of problem.

Now, Mr. Gardner, I will have to ask you to stand and be sworn.

Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you will give at this hearing will he the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so he1p you God?

Mr. GARDNER. I do.



Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, would you state your full name, your address, and your business and profession ?

Mr. GARDNER. Arthur Gardner. My business is chairman of the board of Bundy Tubing Co., which is in Detroit, but I live in Washington.

Senator DODD. What is your legal address?

Mr. GARDNER. You want the home address or the office?

Senator DOD. Your legal address, where you have your residence.

Mr. GARDNER. Well, that is 2111 30th Street, NW.

Senator Dodd. Washington, D.C.?


Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, have you held any positions with the U.S. Government?


Senator Dodd. Would you tell us what they have been, please?

Mr. GARDNER. The first was-you mean-now, let me get this straight. I was in the Army in World War I. Is that interesting?

Senator DODD. Yes.

Mr. GARDNER. And then in World War II, I went to the War Production Board as a dollar-a-year man. After I left that, I was assistant to the Secretary, of the Treasury, John Snyder. And then 1 was appointed Ambassador.

Senator DODD. When were you appointed Ambassador?

Mr. GARDNER. 1953.

Senator DODD. 1953?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD. You were in World War II, I believe, Mr. Gardner.

Mr. GARDNER. That is right. Well, I was in this particular position, the War Production Board, because they thought I was too old to be in the thing I knew most about, which is the Tank Corps.

Senator DODD. Am I right in understanding that you held the rank of major in the U.S. Army?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I would have been-I was captain. And then the war ended.

Senator DODD. Did you serve in the Army close to General Eisenhower?

Mr. GARDNER. No; I used to go up to Gettysburg, where he was then Major Eisenhower, in command of the camp at Gettysburg.

Senator DODD. I see. Now, Mr. Gardner, you say you were appointed, as we know, Ambassador to Cuba, in 1953. Would you tell us briefly but concisely and adequately, what were the economic conditions in Cuba when you went there, in 1953?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, they had started to boom. And during the course of the time that I was there the economy rose tremendously. The building boom was sensational. If you had been in Havana 10 years earlier, as I had, and then saw it the day I left, you wouldn't recognize the city.

It was due to circumstances. But I think that the real reason for it was the feeling of definite security that the Cubans themselves had, politically perhaps not, but financially, yes. And they felt that the time had finally come when they could begin investing money in Cuba, rather than putting their money, as they had in previous years, in banks in Switzerland and New York. When I left there, it was astonishing to see the improvement, and so far as I was concerned in the entire time I was there I never heard anybody use the word "Gringo," or say "get out of- Yanqui get out," or anything like that.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, you have been quoted as referring to Cuba as the show window of Latin America.

Mr. GARDNER. I believe that.

Senator DODD. Would you tell us what you mean by that?

Mr. GARDNER. Because the relationship was so close between Cuba and the United States, we having obtained their independence for them, and basically we have always given them that preferential on sugar. It made the country feel that the bond between us was stronger than anybody else. In addition to the fact that it was only 90 miles from Key West. And I think that the majority of Cubans felt that this was the one place that they could look to for comfort and support. So that in my opinion, the other countries of the Caribbean, in fact almost all of Latin America, always expected to see us treating Cuba and working with Cuba closer than anybody else. And that is the reason I coined the expression, which has been used a great deal.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, you have said in a newspaper interview that the United States was "just 2 years late" in acknowledging that Cuba under Castro is more of a police state than it was under Batista. Will you explain this for us, and perhaps expand on it, if you can?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, during the time that I was there, the last year, Castro had landed, and was hiding in the hills. And there had been an endless number of shipments of arms and other things to Castro, which could only come from the United States. Every once in a while we were able to catch such a shipment, and stop it. But we were not very active about it. And one factor which I think was one of the most serious was that the former President, named Prio, was living in Miami. I don't know whether you know this or not, but he was arrested, convicted, and paid a fine of $5,000 for gunrunning. And he was also indicted a second time. And yet no action was ever taken on it. My personal reason for thinking t was serious was that man many times Batista would send for me and ask me why this was. I don't know whether I have gotten off the track there, but that is my answer. The 2 years were 2 years of gradually making Batista feel we were pulling the rug out from under him.

Senator DODD. Yes.

Mr. Gardner, when did you first have doubt about Castro, do you remember?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I saw a manifesto that he had printed in Mexico, which stated his principles, what he was going to do. He was going to take over the American industries, he was going to nationalize everything. I mean I don't remember the words of this particular manifesto. I have a copy of it in Washington. That, to me, meant only one thing, that this man was a radical. I couldn't tell you how much of a radical.

Senator DODD. Did you once see a picture of Castro with a telescopic rifle, boasting that he could kill a man at a thousand-

Mr. GARDNER. I heard somebody tell me that. I never saw a photograph of it.

Senator DODD. That had some influence on your judgment of him?

Mr. GARDNER. Very definitely.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, you have been quoted as saying that Washington, "pulled the rug out" from under Batista. Is this a correct quote, and, if so, what did you mean by that?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, I think it is a correct quote, I mean that Batista had always leaned toward the United States. I don't think we ever had a better friend. It was regrettable, like all South Americans, that he was known-although I had no absolute knowledge of it-to be getting a cut, I think is the word for it, in almost all the, things that were done. But, on the other hand, he was doing an amazing job, and 1 will give you a specific example.

Former presidents had built roads, and they put cement on the sand, and he made them put rock ballast in. The other people were doing it because each year they could build a new road, and get their cut. But everything we did, from the time I went there, I think encouraged Batista. Then just at the end he began to get extremely worried about this development. He had made rather insignificant efforts to send troops down to get Castro, but fighting in the mountains was not what the Cuban troops were ever taught. So that when we talk about pulling out the rug, I mean there are a number of factors that occurred repeatedly which showed that the State Department did not want to have anything to do with Batista.

Senator DODD. Well, would you say that these things that occurred also showed that the State Department was anxious to replace Batista with Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. I think they were.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, you have been quoted as saying that while you were Ambassador to Cuba in 1953 to 1957, you fought all the time, with the State Department over whether Castro merited the support or friendship of the United States. Would you explain this for us, and then perhaps more fully develop it, if you can?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, it wasn't a question of my officially writing

letters, but in my conversations, in my everyday contact with the State Department, I always stressed this point-that I felt that Batista had proved a great friend to this country, and his administration had proved a great ability to develop the country itself, and develop the friendship with us. And I feel it very strongly, that the State Department was influenced, first, by those stories by Herbert Matthews, and then it became kind of a fetish with them. I mean I don't care about it myself, although most ambassadors are asked to come and be debriefed, but they never asked me. So the only time I ever was able to get into the State Department was making special appointments, and that was only done after-maybe a year after I had actually resigned.

Senator DODD. Would it he accurate to say, Mr. Gardner, that you felt that you, were to some extent ignored?


Senator DODD. When would you say that this-

Mr. GARDNER. I think I was-

Senator DODD. Let me complete my question, please. When would you say you first had the feeling that you were being ignored or overlooked?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, right away, when I got back. It is rather petty, and I would like not to have it go-can I hold this up and tell you and see whether you think it is of any importance?

Senator DODD. Well, why don't we suspend, go off the record for a minute.

(Discussion off the record.)

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I think just that I wasn't asked to be debriefed is about as conclusive as anything, because if I in my business-

Senator DODD. Is it fair to say, Mr. Gardner, that the way that you were treated on the occasion of your visit to the State Department made you feel that you were being ignored and overlooked and circumvented?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, that is right.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, are you able to tell us who particularly you talked with in the State Department at this particular time?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I went to see Secretary Murphy, who has now resigned.

Senator DODD. Robert Murphy?


Senator DODD. Anyone else?

Mr. GARDNER. I had one conversation with Christian Herter, in which I recommended that in order to help him, and help the Cuban picture, and also help the Latin American desk, as they call it, that he should get somebody with the practical know-how, somebody with experience. I mentioned three or four men. One of them was the vice president of the American Foreign Power. He spent his whole life in countries in Latin America. I mean, I mentioned the names of people. And he said, "Well, that sounds very interesting." But he never called me in to do anything about it.

Senator DODD. Besides Robert Murphy, and Christian Herter-

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I talked to Loy Henderson.

Senator DODD. Mr. Rubottom?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, I talked to Rubottom. But he was not at all interested.

Senator DODD. You mean by that he was not interested in your views in the situation?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes. He is a nice chap, and means well, and I have nothing but high regard for him personally, but I think he was entirely off on the wrong track, and it has been proved. Without putting it down, let me just explain what I mean.

(Discussion off the record.)

Senator DODD. Did you discuss this situation-by this situation mean the Castro-Batista situation, with Robert Murphy?


Senator DODD. And what did you find his reaction to be?

Mr. GARDNER. I found he was so badly advised. We had a pleasant talk, but got nowhere. He had an idea that Batista was a gorilla.

Senator DODD. Did he think favorably of Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. No. But he felt so strongly against Batista, that anybody would have been better, I imagine, is the way he would put it.

Senator DODD. I see. During these conversations with these several persons whom you have named, did you, from time to time, tell any one of them, or all of them, that Castro talked and acted like a Communist, and should not be supported by the United States?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes. But the purpose of these conversations always seemed to be was whether Castro carried a Communist card or not. We all knew-I think everybody knew-that, his brother, Raul, was a Communist. But they seemed to argue about it as if that was important.

Senator DODD. You mean the technicality of party membership was made a matter of importance rather than his general attitude?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, that is right.

Senator DODD. I understand.

Mr. Gardner, can you tell us again specifically, if you remember, did you say this to Mr. Murphy, and to Mr. Rubottom, and to Mr. Herter, or to anyone else?

Mr. GARDNER. No, I didn't say it to Herter.

Senator DODD. Did you say it to Rubottom?

Mr. GARDNER. In a nice way-yes, I said it to Rubottom. And I talked to Loy about it. And Murphy, I did talk to him about it. I don't remember the, conversation, but that was my reason for going to see him.

Senator DODD. But you generally did discuss this matter?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, that is right.

Senator DODD. And you gave him this warning?

Mr. GARDNER. That, is right.

Senator DODD. And you felt, I take it, from your testimony, that you got, no interest, no encouragement?


Senator DODD. And no reaction which would indicate that these men agreed with you?

Mr. GARDNER. Nothing but a negative.

Senator DODD. You have been quoted, Mr. Gardner, as referring to, "Castro worship" in the State Department in 1957. What did you mean by this?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, did you read the article that, Matthews wrote, after he went up in the hills and saw him?

Senator DODD. Yes.

Mr. GARDNER. He wrote a Richard Harding Davis type of article, and he made Castro appear to he a Robin Hood, a savior for the country.

Senator DODD. Yes. But Mr. Herbert Matthews wasn't in the State Department.

Mr. GARDNER. No, but he was actually-he briefed Earl Smith-

Senator DODD. Your successor as Ambassador to Cuba was briefed by Herbert Matthews?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, that is right.

Senator DODD. Well, before we get into that, let me ask you if you know of anything else, or anyone else in the State Department, at that, time--that is in 1957-which made you feel that there was a cult of Castro worship, as you have put it.

Mr. GARDNER. Well, that may not he the right word, Senator. I meant by that that they built him up to being the Robin Hood or the savior of the country.

Senator DODD. Now, who do you mean by "they"?

Mr. GARDNER. I mean the people in the State Department, and I think 90 percent of the people in this country thought, that Castro was-

Senator DODD. I know. But we are trying to get here, a record that we can pin down, in which we can pin down our information. When you say, "they," are you referring again to the Messrs. Murphy and Rubottom, Henderson, Herter, or who are you referring to?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, now, Herter wasn't a party. I never told Herter anything, but made the suggestion about men that could he1p him.

Senator DODD. I see.

Mr. GARDNER. The other men-I mean I always found completely deaf to anything I had to say about it.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, it has been said that there was a plot, by the Castro forces to kidnap you. Do you know anything about this, and if you do could you tell us about it?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, sure. The last 3 months, somebody in-I don't know whether it was FBI or not, but that is what they said down there-I mean that was conversation-told our security people at the Embassy that he had this plot to kidnap and hold for some sort of a ransom, such as recognition of Castro, all top officers, and me particularly, on the top floor of the chancellery. The place is right on the Malecon. And then if attention wasn't paid to this, they were going to drop off one man after the other, from the balcony. I thought it was perfectly ridiculous. But the State Department, the Security Department, insisted upon my having a Marine sleep next to me every night, and go wherever we went. And we were followed whenever we went out on any kind of a trip, to go to dinner, or do anything, by a police car, with four policemen with tommyguns. It was perfectly ridiculous. They had devices to listen whether I was breathing in there. It was a comedy of the world, but you couldn't he1p it. They thought it was serious.

Senator DODD. This is approximately when, what year?

Mr. GARDNER. This is in 1957.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, we have talked about Mr. Roy R. Rubottom, Jr., who, by the way, was replaced as Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs on July 30, and who, incidentally, is scheduled to go to Argentina as our Ambassador.

Mr. GARDNER. I understand that he has just been approved, which is astonishing to me.

Senator DODD. I don't know he has been.

Mr. GARDNER. It was in the paper.

Senator DODD. I think it was committee approval. I don't think-

Mr. GARDNER. I think that is the, most remarkable thing I ever heard.

Senator DODD. Well, Mr. Gardner, if you know, can you tell us anything about Rubottom's background, or what competence he has or had for the positions which he has occupied in the State Department?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I understand that he left the Navy, and was a third secretary, or something of the sort, in Madrid. For a very short time, he was in one of the Latin American countries. And then he came to Washington, and was assistant-or I don't know what particular rank he had-in the Latin American Department. Why they put him in, I will never know. In the first place, he was in the process of learning Spanish. In the second place, I felt he had absolutely no background of experience.

Senator DODD. When you say he was in the process of learning Spanish, you mean while he was Assistant Secretary for Latin American affairs?

Mr. GARDNER. I think he probably started before. But during the time he was, he did learn it.

Senator DODD. Yes. Was he a protege of Dr. Milton Eisenhower?

Mr. GARDNER. That I never knew. I have read it in the paper. I can't understand it if he is.

Senator DODD. While you were the Ambassador to Cuba, Mr. Rubottom was the Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs, was he not?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, just the last year. I think it was just the last year.

Senator DODD. And prior to last year, do you remember what his job was in the State Department?

Mr. GARDNER. He was an assistant of some sort in the Latin American Division.

Senator DODD. Do you know what his attitude was toward Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, he was a funny fellow. We talked with him. He came down to stay in Cuba with us. And both my wife and I had long, long talks with him. And we would ask him questions, whether he didn't agree with us, and he would never answer. So I don't know.

Senator DODD. Do you know, Mr. Gardner, whether or not it was Mr. Rubottom who was principally responsible for arranging Castro's visit to the United States in April of 1958?

Mr. GARDNER. I don't know who did that. I think he must have given his consent to it.

Senator DODD. Certainly he was the Under Secretary, or Assistant Secretary for Latin American Affairs.

Mr. GARDNER. That is right. He must have.

Senator DODD. Is it fair to assume that he certainly favored the visit?

Mr. GARDNER. Oh, well, he favored Castro. There is no question about it.

Senator DODD. I see. You remember, Mr. Gardner, that the State Department announced publiely that Castro would be welcomed as a distinguished leader, and would he given an official security guard if necessary, even though his visit was unofficial. Do you remember this?

Mr. GARDNER. Very well.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, did you protest this announcement at the time?

Mr. GARDNER. No, except to my friends. I didn't go to the Department.

Senator DODD. I take it because by that time you were rather discouraged.

Mr. GARDNER. I was worn out.

Senator DODD. By your efforts to get some kind of attention in the State Department.

Mr. GARDNER. It got so bad that my wife got worried because I couldn't sleep nights worrying about the picture as it developed.

Senator DODD. Do yon know a Mr. Thomas Mann, who is scheduled to replace Mr. Rubottom?

Mr. GARDNER. I have never met him.

Senator DODD. So you do not know his attitude with respect to Cuba?


Senator DODD. I think it was reported that you have stated on at least one occasion that in your opinion the U.S. Government needs a strong man with a thorough understanding of Latin American affairs in the State Department.

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD. Well, is it fair to say that this means you do not think we have such now?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I don't know anybody in there that really knows-I know two men-one of them is now Ambassador to Costa Rica, and the other is the present Ambassador to Mexico.

Senator DODD. Robert Hill-

Mr. GARDNER. Both those men.

Senator DODD. And the Ambassador to Costa Rica?

Mr. GARDNER. His name is Whitetower.

Senator DODD. Do you know Wieland?

Mr. GARDNER. He was in the Embassy for a very short time.

Senator DODD. He was in your Embassy?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, for a very short time.

Senator DODD. What was his job?

Mr. GARDNER. I think he was in the economics section, but I am not certain. But I mean-I can tell you-I was very glad to see him go.

Senator DODD. How long was he there, sir?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, as I remember, it was only a month or 6 weeks.

Senator DODD. And was this in 1957?

Mr. GARDNER. I cant be certain of that. I know, for instance, his record, because a man named William Pawley, who was Ambassador to Brazil, had him down there, and got him out. He felt that he was much too-leaning much too far to the left.

Senator DODD. Do you know what position he had occupied in the State Department before his assignment to your office?

Mr. GARDNER. No, I never knew anything about him.

Senator DODD. And you don't know what has become of him since?

Mr. GARDNER. No. I think he is one of Rubottom's assistants. I know he is, as a matter of fact.

Senator DODD. He is still, as far as you know?


Senator DODD. In your opinion, did he play any part in Castro's rise to power in Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. I think he had a strong influence on Rubottom. But I haven't any way to prove it.

Senator DODD. I see.

Mr. GARDNER. Just because I know the way he thinks.

Senator DODD. I see. Is it true, or do you know, that shipments of military equipment to Batista were stopped on the New York docks?

Mr. GARDNER. That is true. A shipment, I only knew of one.

Senator DODD. A shipment. Is it also true that these shipments were ordered under a mutual aid pact?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD. And that Batista had paid cash for them at that time?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I can't guarantee he paid cash, but I know he had the cash to pay for them. And I know that the mutual aid pact, which represented a contract which we made with many Latin American countries, enabled us to dispose of second hand military equipment, tanks, guns, and everything else, which we could never use. And that in return for it, that we set up in each of the countries that signed this pact an Army, an Air Force, and a Navy commission, let's call it-I mean men there to train them and get them to use it.

Senator DODD. Do you know who stopped those shipments, or that shipment, rather?

Mr. GARDNER. Only the common gossip, that Rubottom was the only man who could have stopped it.

Senator DODD. Do you know of any-do you have any information concerning the shipment of arms and ammunition from the United States to Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, those are, things that I mentioned. I said they were being sent down surreptitiously almost every night. I don't believe that the Russians sent them stuff in a submarine. But I knew these shipments were being made.

Senator DODD. No. My question rather was, do you know whether arms were shipped to Castro from the United States?

Mr. GARDNER. That is what I think-from up and down the Keys, all of Florida, they were, riddled with these expeditions.

Senator DODD. From the United States?

Mr. GARDNER. From the United States.

Senator DODD. So, of course, such shipments were illegal?

Mr. GARDNER. Illegal. And that was the reason they indicted, as I told you, this fellow Prio. And he paid a fine of $5,000.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, do you know, do you have any idea why the United States allowed Castro to get arms from the United States, and would not allow Batista to have arms to preserve his government?

Mr. GARDNER. All I can tell you is that the consensus among my friends, Cuban and otherwise, is that Castro made a howl about Batista getting these arms to kill Cubans. I mean it was a lopsided idea. Castro didn't mind getting them to kill other Cubans, but he didn't want Batista. But he had the airways, and he was able to tell people that. He screamed about it.

Senator DODD. Did you ever have any indication prior to Batista's flight from Cuba on December 31, 1958, that the State Department or State Department officials knew that this was going to happen?

Mr. GARDNER. I don't think they knew.

Senator DODD. You don't think they knew? Or at least you had no indication?

Mr. GARDNER. I had no way of knowing. It wouldn't make any difference, but I know that people from the, United States went down to see Batista for New Year's, close friends, and came back to this country, and they had no idea of when Batista was leaving, or if he was leaving.

Senator DODD. You have been quoted as saying, Mr. Gardner, that you didn't know why the United States withheld from Batista help and support in his effort to carry out a normal election program, when it could have been given with such superior results from the American and the Cuban points of view.

I think you have also said Washington just didn't seem to have the slightest, comprehension of the situation.

Could you tell us perhaps in more detail what you, meant by that?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I used the expression before that Batista felt the rug had been pulled out, and that in having a proper election, and with a proper candidate, which is what we had all hoped he would have, that he had lost all interest, and apparently at that stage was to leave. I mean he figured there wasn't any hope for him.

Senator DODD. There was an election in Cuba shortly before Castro's takeover-Marquez Sterling-

Mr. GARDNER. No, he wasn't the candidate. lf he had been the candidate, the story would have been different.

Senator DODD. I See. I thought Marquez Sterling was elected.


Senator DODD. Who was?

Mr. GARDNER. I can't remember his name. He was a dummy and a figurehead and had no prestige whatever. Marquez Sterling had real prestige in Cuba. And I think he is a man of outstanding character. That was a great blow to all of us who loved Cuba.

Senator DODD. It has been said that Batista sent a regiment of troops to put down the Castro rebellion. Do you know, have you any idea, why the Batista government was incapable, on the surface, so it seems, of suppressing this rebellion, of a handful, relatively, of Castro rebels?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes. There are many reasons.

No. 1, his troops are not trained for mountain fighting. That is No. 1. No. 2 is that it is like a rabbit running under a cover, or through a field. I mean you can get up in an airplane, and you could not see them, or what they were doing. So his air force could never spot them. And then I think that, thirdly, the troops got so discouraged by the position we had taken about not giving them arms and so on that they just didn't want to fight. And when that regiment went down, and the colonel was supposed to be the toughest colonel they had, he didn't want to fight, because he took all the money that was supposed to feed the soldiers, and they had to bring them back. It was general demoralization, that they felt that Batista was finished.

Senator DODD. Was this largely because it was known or felt that the United States had abandoned Batista and supported Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD. And this was rather common knowledge in the military and other circles in Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right; everybody. There are a great many Cubans, I understand, who paid large sums to Castro, thinking that he was going to make the country over. And now they are the worst disappointed people in the world, of course.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, do you know about the incident of the killings at the Haitian Embassy?

Mr. GARDNER. Very well.

Senator DODD Would you tell us about that, please?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, there, is a code among Latin American countries, that if you want to, seek asylum, all you have to do is to go to an embassy, and the embassy is required-it didn't apply to the United States, but it applies to other countries-that the embassy will take the, man in and protect him. There were in the Haitian Embassy our own people knew it-maybe 8 or 10 of these 26 of July Movement people, and they were there for a long time. And then somebody got word to the police that they had been armed, which is against the code. And the chief of the police, who was a very tough fellow, and a very courageous man, got a group of his men and went up to the embassy, knocked on the door. He found out that the embassy employees were all out. And he said in a loud voice that he had come to arrest these men, because they had broken the code. He was shot right at the door, just killed like a dog. And the police went in and found the men all armed, and promptly killed them. They called it a slaughter. There really wasn't any slaughter. It is what, any police would have done. They would shoot through the mattress, if the man was under the mattress. And they got them all. It made a good deal of a shambles of the place.

I never understood this, but Batista not very long afterward had the whole building refurnished and put in fine shape again. That was one of the things that I talked particularly to Murphy about and he didn't believe me. He didn't believe this would happen. Half the people don't know that Batista had Castro in jail, and let him out, just out of kindness.

Senator DODD. Sometime-

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, previously.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, do you feel that your expressed attitude with regard to Castro had a part in bringing about your replacement as our Ambassador to Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. Senator, I don't know. I only know that I was very anxious to stay. I felt that if I had stayed it was encouraging to the Batista regime, which was through. They had until January. And when they had an election, I felt sure they would have as fair an election as they could have, and I think Marquez Sterling would have been the president. But they didn't seem to think that was necessary.

Senator DODD. In any event, you wanted to stay?


Senator DODD. And it was not-

Mr. GARDNER. It was a great sacrifice to me, because my wife, who had ulcers, couldn't be with me.

Senator DODD. But you were willing to stay and continue your work?

Mr. GARDNER. I wanted to stay.

Senator DODD. But you were not allowed to do so?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD. And in any event, this followed your attitude as expressed to high officials of the State Department with respect to Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD. Now, Mr. Gardner, you were succeeded as Ambassador to Cuba by Earl Smith?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD . I understand Mr. Smith was an investment broker. I don't know, and I wonder if you can tell us, what experience he had, other than this.

Mr. GARDNER. None.

Senator DODD. Did you have any diplomatic experience at all?


Senator DODD. Do you know what arrangements were made for briefing Mr. Smith with regard to taking over this important position as Ambassador to Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I imagine he spent, as I did, nearly a month going through all the departments that had any bearing on Cuba, and studying and working with them. I imagine he did that. But as I told you, the fantastic thing was that he was asked to talk to Herbert Matthews.

Senator DODD. Herbert L. Matthews, of the New York Times?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD. And he did talk to him?

Mr. GARDNER. He did.

Senator DODD. And that is where, he got a lot of his briefing?

Mr. GARDNER. I imagine that is.

Senator DODD. Do you know, Mr. Gardner, what position Mr. Smith took with respect to Castro after he replaced you as the Ambassador to Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I think Earl made a very unfortunate start.

Senator DODD. A very-

Mr. GARDNER. Unfortunate start. I wouldn't, and I didn't think he would, ever go down near where Castro was, which is the Santiago de Cuba, it is right down in the foothills of the mountains. But he did go down. And they put on a professional parade for him-the women all in black, supposedly the widows and so on of Castro people that had been killed or murdered, or whatever they talked about. And, unfortunately, the police, in order to break up the meeting, used a hose on them. The result was that he, Smith, said that in his country nothing like that would ever happen, we never treat them that way, an oratorical speech on the subject. And the Cuban Government became infuriated-that is the Congress and Batista, and they wanted to have him declared persona non grata, which very fortunately they didn't do. But I think Earl Smith had a hard time, because later on I know that he appreciated that Batista was really dong a job for the country, and that it was unfortunate that he made this trip.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, do you regard Herbert L. Matthews as an expert on Latin American affairs?

Mr. GARDNER. I do not.

Senator DODD. Or Cuban affairs?

Mr. GARDNER. Any affairs. I think his history, if you look it up-I am sure you know of it-I mean in Spain-is indicative of his character.

Senator DODD. What part, if any, do you think Herbert L. Matthews played in bringing Castro to power?

Mr. GARDNER. I don't think he did anything, physically. But his articles were such that he created a biased situation against Batista.

Senator DODD. And pro-Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. Pro-Castro, very strongly.

Senator DODD. Did Herbert Matthews ever contact you while you were the Ambassador in Cuba about-

Mr. GARDNER. I made every effort, and saw him a good many times, tried to get his friendship, because he and a man named Dubois, who worked for a Chicago paper-both of them were considered by us to be radicals. And I even arranged meetings for him. And I made it possible actually for Herbert Matthews to go down and have this interview, because he asked me.

Senator DODD. Yes. I wanted to ask you, about that. He did ask for assistance in arranging an interview with Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. He did.

Senator DODD. And this was arranged?


Senator DODD. How did you arrange it?

Mr. GARDNER. Only under the condition that when he came back he would tell me his reactions.

Senator DODD. Yes. But how could you arrange a meeting with Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I mean in those days Batista, was all for the U.S. Ambassador, no matter who he would have been. And he was very loath to do it, but he said, "All right, if you think it won't do any harm, it is all right," and he let him go down.

Senator DODD. This would indicate to be that Batista knew where Castro was, all right.

Mr. GARDNER. Oh, they all knew where he was. But they couldn't put their finger on him. He was moving every night.

Senator DODD. But certainly they knew how to get in touch with him if they wanted to.

Mr. GARDNER. There isn't any doubt about that. But I think Batista was afraid he would make a martyr of him if he dragged him out.

Senator DODD. How soon after Castro landed in Cuba did Herbert Matthews seek an opportunity to see Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. I would say, offhand, 4 or 5 months after. It wasn't immediately.

Senator DODD. And I think you started to say that you agreed to help him - or help arrange for him - to see Castro. But you made him promise that he would come back and see you and tell you-

Mr. GARDNER. Tell me.

Senator DODD (continuing). About his meeting with Castro.

Mr. GARDNER. Senator to be perfectly clear about this, the only thing I could do was help him, so that he would have a pass to go down the island, so that he could make this trip.

Senator DODD. I understand-whatever it was that he thought you could do, he wanted you to do it to help him get there?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right.

Senator DODD. And in return for this he promised he would come back and tell you about this conversation with Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. That is right. And to this day I never have seen him.

Senator DODD. He never did return and never did tell you?

Mr. GARDNER. No. It was a big shock to me, as a matter of fact.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, do you feel that Matthews' accounts of his visit to Castro, as he wrote it up, had considerable influence on the American people with respect to favoring Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. I don't think there is any question about it. I think almost all the newspapers in this country became sort of hypnotized by the thing.

Senator DODD. Do you know, Mr. Gardner, that there was abundant information available about Castro's background at that time?

Mr. GARDNER. Oh, certainly.

Senator DODD. It was well known that he had been in Colombia, and of his associations and his activities. You know this to be a fact?

Mr. GARDNER. Absolutely.

Senator DODD. And Matthews was well aware of this?

Mr. GARDNER. They all knew he was a professional rabblerouser.

Senator DODD. And a revolutionary?

Mr. GARDNER. A revolutionary-it was his business.

Senator DODD. Do you think that Matthews' stories about Castro affected the State Department's thinking about Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. I can't think of any other possible cause for their thinking what they thought.

Senator DODD. You think his articles did have-

Mr. GARDNER. Yes, they did have a great effect.

Senator DODD. Yes.

Mr. GARDNER. I think the answer we brought up a minute ago is that he was briefing Smith.

Senator DODD. Well, to put it baldly, Mr. Gardner, do you think: of Matthews as a partisan of Castro?

Mr. GARDNER. No. I think his visit to Castro was a very unfortunate thing. But I basically think that Herbert Matthews is one of these people, the do-gooder type, who the minute you mention the word-anybody as a dictator-is out to try to break him.

Senator DODD. Is this true of Communist dictators, or just other than Communists?

Mr. GARDNER. I think it is only other than Communist. He has been a foreign correspondent throughout Latin America, and so it was the natural place for him to start in his-

Senator DODD. But as far as you know his opposition to dictators is limited to non-Communist dictators?

Mr. GARDNER. I have never heard him say anything about Russia.

Senator DODD. Or about the Communist tyranny or dictatorship?


Senator DODD. In your own mind, Mr. Gardner, do you consider Castro a Communist tool, or do you think he is an important Communist himself?

Mr. GARDNER. I think he is a tool.

Senator DODD. Would you agree that insofar as the security and welfare of the United States is concerned, it doesn't make too much difference-it is not important whether he is a tool-

Mr. GARDNER. I don't think it makes any difference. The conditions that he has brought about are so hideous, that I wouldn't care what he was.

Senator DODD. Now, referring again to Mr. Herbert L. Matthews, and Ambassador Smith, do you know that after Castro established his headquarters in the, Oriente Province, Herbert Matthews saw Ambassador Smith and persuaded Mr. Smith to visit Santiago de Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. I don't think he did.

Senator DODD. You don't think he did?

Mr. GARDNER. I think Earl Smith is a very determined, self-opinionated lad. And he just made up his mind that he would like to make the trip down there.

Senator DODD. I see. And you think he did this on his own?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes. I know that two of the most important people in the Embassy were there when I left-urged him not to do it.

Senator DODD. Yes, so you told us. He had, of course, been briefed by Mr. Herbert Matthews.

Mr. GARDNER. I know. And that may have had some bearing. But I don't think Herbert Matthews told him he ought to go down there.

Senator DODD. I see. Do you now or did you know a Mr. Earl J. Williamson, political officer of the State Department?


Senator DODD. Do you know if he had anything to do with the Cuban situation?

Mr. GARDNER. Not any that I remember. I mean he was-he would get information. I don't remember just exactly what his job was.

Senator DODD. Did you know-

Mr. GARDNER. Wasn't he a legal aid?

Senator DODD. Well-

Mr. GARDNER. I don't know. I think that is what he called it.

Senator D0DD. Do you or did you know Park F. Wollam, American consul at Santiago de Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. No, I never saw him.

Senator DODD. Do you know Mr. Kirkpatrick, of the CIA?

Mr. GARDNER. Yes. He came down a couple of times to Cuba.

Senator DODD. Do you know of any activities by which he-in which he engaged in Cuba in connection with the Castro rise to power?


Senator DODD. You do not. What can you tell us, Mr. Gardner, if anything, about Russian and Communist Chinese, influence in Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. Well, there is a large Chinese colony there. At the time that I was there they were minding their own business, shopkeepers and so on. We did know that there were some Communists there. There was one particular instance. The radio station CMQ, was the biggest chain radio station there. And they had a known Communist as leader of the orchestra. And I tried very hard, and had many rows and fights with the chap who heads this organization, and his answer to me was that the orchestra had never been easier to handle, and he was making money out of it. That was his position. And the net was that we were able to persuade two or three of the higher advertisers not to use his orchestra. But that is about the story. So far as I know, there wasn't anything.

Senator DODD. Mr. Gardner, do you believe that the U.S. Guantanamo Base is safe from. Cuban aggression?

Mr. GARDNER. I do.

Senator DODD. You think it is safe?

Mr. GARDNER. I don't think he would dream of touching it.

Senator DODD. You made a suggestion, sir, that the United States operate a Spanish-language radio station at Key West, or in that area, to acquaint Cubans, better acquaint Cubans, with the position of the United States, and the attitude of the United States. Do you know why this has not been done?

Mr. GARDNER. I haven't any idea. I have been talking and talking about it.

Senator DODD. This would not be a very huge task.

Mr. GARDNER. No, they have got plenty of equipment.

Senator DODD. Who has the authority to do this, Mr. Gardner, if you know?

Mr. Gardner shakes head.)

Mr. GARDNER. I want to make very clear to you. I don't know that it should be run by the United States. I think it really ought to be done as a private thing. Shortwave, would be no good, because it is amazing the number of people that have radio sets in Cuba. And if Castro were to make a statement that nobody was to listen to the, station, every Cuban would listen. I know them.

Senator DODD. Well, sir, I don't want to detain you longer. I know you have not been feeling well.

Is there anything more you can tell us about the part America or Americans played in helping to bring Castro to power in Cuba?

Mr. GARDNER. I don't think very many Americans-I think the man, this Prio, made this statement to a man who was formerly Cuban Ambassador to the United States, who asked to go over and find out what his attitude was. We had failed to get anybody to move against him. You can get information, if you want to from Immigration or any one of the organizations why they didn't do it. But none of them would do it.

Senator DODD. Finally, sir, Mr. Gardner, what would be your recommendations as to how the United States--what our policy should be, what we should do with respect to Cuba and the Castro government?

Mr. GARDNER. I mentioned to you the radio station. If the United States took a strong position against Castro, I think you would find, without any doubt, that the Cubans themselves would perform what has got to he performed sooner or later-we have got to get rid of Castro.

Senator DODD. Well, don't you think by now already the Russian and Chinese influence there is making it more difficult for the Cuban people to get rid of Castro.

Mr. GARDNER. Well, I say I don't agree with a lot of people. I don't think they are enough indoctrinated.

These young people, it is waving a flag, and they are told what to do. It is hurrah, boys, it is a great show. He promised to give them land and then he doesn't give them the land.

Senator DODD. What do you think we ought to do? He is confiscating our property. He is causing trouble. He has created an espionage beachhead in the hemisphere.

Mr. GARDNER. I think we ought to morally support any movement of Cubans that is willing to take the job on. And I don't think there is any question that there are such people. I think we can't do it ourselves, because you know we can't send Marines down. That would be the most terrible thing in the world. But we can, under cover, support and let them know that we want to have a change.

Senator DODD. Well, all right.

For the record, I should like to say that I appreciate your helpfulness and frankness, and I am sure that the committee will as well. Many people are troubled about this Cuban situation. You are a respected man, a former Ambassador to that country. And it is, I think, valuable to the committee and to the Senate of the United States to have your views.

Mr. GARDNER. Any time. As soon as I get settled here, I will come and be glad to talk to you or anybody else about it.

Senator DODD. I would like to have it appear on the record that we held this hearing at your home, at your invitation. I wouldn't want to have it appear that we barged in on you.

Mr. GARDNER. No, certainly.

Senator DODD. And I came up because you were not feeling well, and it would be difficult for you to travel to Washington.

Mr. GARDNER. That is fine.

(Whereupon, at 6:40 p.m., the executive session was adjourned.)



AUGUST 30, 1960


Washington, D.C.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:40 a.m., in room 2300, New Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., Senator Thomas J. DODD presiding.

Present: Senators DODD; James O. Eastland, chairman; and Roman L. Hruska.

Also present: J. G. SOURWINE, chief counsel; Benjamin Mandel research director, and Frank W. Schroeder, chief investigator.

Senator DODD. Mr. Ambassador, will you rise and raise your right hand? Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing the truth, so help you. God?

Mr. SMITH. So help me God.


Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Smith, wou.ld you give the reporter your name and your address, please?


Mr. SMITH. Earle E. T. Smith; residence, 1021 North Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. SOURWINE. You are a native of Rhode Island?

Mr. SMITH. I was born in Rhode Island.

Mr. SOURWINE. A graduate of Yale University in 1926?

Mr. SMITH. I attended Yale University for 2 years, class of 1926.

Mr. SOURWINE. You had service in the U.S. Army in World War II?

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. You reached the rank of lieutenant colonel?

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. Had oversea service?

Mr. SMITH That is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. You have been an investment broker?

Mr. SMITH. Yes.

Mr. SOURWINE. A member of the New York Stock Exchange?

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. A partner in an investment firm?

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. You were special assistant in the Office of Price Management, the War Production Board, in 1941 and 1942?

Mr. SMITH. Office of Production Management.

Mr. SOURWINE. Office of Production Management?

Mr. SMITH. Which is the predecessor of the War Production Board.

Mr. SOURWINE. Yes, sir. You were appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Cuba, June 3, 1957?

Mr. SMITH. Confirmed by the Senate in May 1957.

Mr. SOURWINE. And you served until when, sir?

Mr. SMITH. Until January 20, 1959.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Smith, when you were appointed Ambassador to Cuba, were you briefed on the job?

Mr. SMITH. Yes; I was.

Mr. SOURWINE. Who gave you this briefing?

Mr. SMITH. I spent 6 weeks in Washington, approximately 4 days of each week, visiting various agencies and being briefed by the State, Department and those whom the State Department designated.

Mr. SOURWINE. Any particular individual or individuals who, had a primary part in this briefing?

Mr. SMITH. The answer is, in the period of 6 weeks I was briefed by numbers of people in the usual course as every Ambassador is briefed.

Mr. SOURWINE. Is it true, sir, that you were instructed to get a briefing on your new job as Ambassador to Cuba from Herbert Matthews of the New York Times?

Mr. SMITH. Yes; that is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. Who gave you these instructions?

Mr. SMITH. William Wieland, Director of the Caribbean Division and Mexico. At that time he was Director of the Caribbean Division, Central American Affairs.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you, sir, in fact see Matthews?

Mr. SMITH. Yes; I did.

Mr. SOURWINE. And did he brief you on the Cuban situation?

Mr. SMITH. Yes; he did.

Mr. SOURWINE. Could you give us the highlights of what he told you?

Mr. SMITH. Are you going into a special line of this, because I have prepared a statement that I would like to read to the committee, if I may have the opportunity. It is a brief statement.

Senator DODD. You. certainly may, but I think it is better for our record if we proceed with our questions, and then if you want to make any statement, of course you will have full opportunity to do so.

Mr. SMITH. Would you mind repeating the last question?

Mr. SOURWINE. I asked if you could give us the highlights of what Matthews told you.

Mr. SMITH. We talked for 2 1/2 hours on the Cuban situation, a complete review o£ his feelings regarding Cuba, Batista, Castro, the situation in Cuba, and what he thought would happen.

Mr. SOURWINE. What did he think would happen?

Mr. SMITH. He did not believe that the Batista government could last, and that the fall of the Batista government would come relatively soon.

Mr. SOURWINE. Specifically what did he say about Castro?

Mr. SMITH. In February 1957 Herbert L. Matthews wrote three articles on Fidel Castro, which appeared on the front page of the New York Times, in which he eulogized Fidel Castro and portrayed him as a political Robin Hood, and I would say that he repeated those views to me in our conversation.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did he, sir, call your attention to those articles

Mr. SMITH. No; he did not.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did the State Departinent call your attention to them?

Mr. SMITH. I don't believe anybody called attention to them. At that time I recall that I was going to be Ambassador to Cuba, and I read them with great interest.

Mr. SOURWINE. What did Mr. Matthews tell you about Batista?

Mr. SMITH. Mr. Matthews had a very poor view of Batista, considered him a rightist ruthless dictator whom he believed to be corrupt. Mr. Matthews informed me that he had very knowledgeable views of Cuba and Latin American nations, and had seen the same things take place in Spain. He believed that it would be in the best interest of Cuba and the best interest of the world in general when Batista was removed from office.

Mr. SOURWINE. It was true that Batista's government was corrupt, wasn't it?

Mr. SMITH. It is true that Batista's government was corrupt. Batista was the power behind the Government in Cuba off and on for 25 years. The year 1957 was the best economic year that Cuba had ever had.

However, the Batista regime was disintegrating from within. It was becoming more corrupt, and as a result, was losing strength. The Castro forces themselves never won a military victory. The best military victory they ever won was through capturing Cuban guardhouses and military skirmishes, but they never actually won a military victory.

The Batista government was overthrown because of the corruption, disintegration from within, and because of the United States and the various agencies of the United States who directly and indirectly aided the overthrow of the Batista government and brought into power Fidel Castro.

Mr. SOURWINE. What were those, agencies, Mr. Smith?

Mr. SMITH. The U.S. Government agencies-may I say something off the record?

(Discussion off the record.)

Senator DODD. Let it appear on the record that Ambassador Smith at this point has a statement which he feels will answer more completely some of the questions already asked, and questions which may be asked later on.

Mr. SMITH. Shall I proceed?

Senator DODD. You may resume

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, as I am not aware of the line of questioning which your committee will follow today, I have prepared the following brief statement:

First let me say that to date I have made no public statement reagarding my experiences in Cuba because I did not feel that, as a former Ambassador, it was my function to say anything which might be interpreted as critical of the administration which I had served. I have only the greatest respect and admiration for President Eisenhower, whose integrity is beyond question.

However, the establishment of a Communist regime in Cuba involves the defense and safety of this country and as you asked me to testify before you, I do so, recognizing that the welfare of the United States must transcend personal desires and reticence.

From personal experience I have learned that many very influential sources in the United States are dedicated to the overthrow of all dictatorships. They are as opposed to anti-Communist rightest dictators, who are friendly to the United States, as to the Communist dictators whom thev regard as progressive. They adopt a doctrinaire attitude toward this question which is so impractical that they ultimately unwittingly defeat themselves. If dictatorship versus democracy were the only question that faced us, it would not be difficult to make a decision. However, as we are in the midst of a struggle for survival, other considerations are pertinent.

If the policy of the United States is to bring about the overthrow of dictators in the hope that democracy will follow, then I believe that the United States must be prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to preserve law and order and revent chaos during that interim period of transition. If free and open elections are to be held, when a dictator is overthrown, a provisional government must be formed and such government needs outside support to maintain law and order. To do otherwise leaves a vacuum for the Communists to gain control. Such a vacuum did not oceur in Cuba while I was the U.S. Ambassador there. Instead, a group was ready to seize power -- a Communist group.

If we are to intervene sufficiently to bring about the overthrow of dictatorships, then we should intervene to whatever extent is required to fulfill our purpose. 0therwise, in my opinion, we must wait for the normal self-development of a people and not assist revolution. And we must be prepared to receive the criticism of supporting friendly governments recognized by the United States, although they have been labeled dictatorships. To make my point more clear, let me say that, we helped to overthrow the Batista dictatorship which was pro-American only to install the Castro dictatorship which is pro-Russian.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Smith, the pending question before you read your statement was: What agencies of the U.S. Government had a hand in bringing pressure to overthrow the Batista government, and how did they do it?

Mr. SMITH. Well, the agencies, certain influential people, influential sources in the State Department, lower down echelons in the CIA. I would say representatives of the majority of the U.S. Government agencies which have anything to do with the Embassy.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Smith, when you talked with Matthews to get the briefing before you went to Cuba, was he introduced to you as having any authority from the State Department or as being connected with the State Department in any way?

Mr. SMITH Let me go back. You asked me a short while ago who arranged the meeting with Mr. Matthews.

Mr. SOURWINE. And you said Mr. Wieland.

Mr. SMITH. I said Wilham Wieland, but Wilham Wieland also had to haye the approval of Roy Rubottom, who was then Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs. Now, to go back to this question, as I understood it, you said -- would you mind repeating that again?

Mr. SOURWINE. I asked if, when you. were, sent to Mr. Matthews for this briefing, he was introduced to you as having any official connection with the State Department or any authority from the Department?

Mr. SMITH. Oh, no. I knew who he was, and they obviously knew I knew who he was, but I believe, that they thought it would be a good idea for me to get the viewpoint of Herbert Matthews, and also I think that Herbert Matthews is the leading Latin American editorial writer for the New York Times. Obviously the State Department would like to have the support of the New York Times.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Matthews was not, as far as you know then, a consultant for the State Department or otherwise connected with the Department?

Mr. SMITH. I do not believe that he was ever a consultant or ever employed by the State Department. I believe there was a close connection, though, between the Latin American desk and Herbert Matthews.

Mr. SOURWINE. And, by "the Latin American desk" whom do you mean?

Mr. SMITH. I would say the Latin American desk would go from the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs right down to the man who presides over the Cuban desk.

Mr. SOURWINE. And who was that?

Mr. SMITH The individual who presided over the Cuban desk in himself is not important, I don't think, in what you are trving to arrive at.

I would say that Mr. Wieland and all those who had anything to do with Cuba had a close connection with Herbert Matthews.

I will go, further than that. I will say that when I was Ambassador, that I was thoroughly aware of this, and sometimes made the remark in my own Embassy that Mr. Matthews was more famihar with the State Department thinking regarding Cuba than I was.

Senator EASTLAND. Mr. Smith, when were you Ambassador?

Mr. SMITH I was confirmed by the Senate in May 1957, and was in Cuba until January 20, 1959.

Senator EASTLAND. You, were then Ambassador when Castro came to power.

Mr. SMITH. Castro landed on the shores of South Oriente in December I956, and he was still considered an outlaw in the hills, I will say, until just about the time when I arrived in Cuba, so I was in Cuba during the last year and a half of Batista's regime, during that whole period of time-

Senator EASTLAND. You were there when Batista fled?

Mr. SMITH. Oh, yes, sir.

Senator EASTLAND. Mr. Smith, we have had hearings, a great many, in Miami, with prominent Cubans, and there is a thread that runs through the whole thing that people connected with some Government agency went to Cuba and called on the chiefs of the armed forces and told them. that we would not recognize the government of the President-elect, and that we would not back him, and that because of that the chiefs of the armed forces told Batista to leave the country, and they set up a government in which they attempted to make a deal with Castro. That is accurate, isn't it, Tom?

Senator DODD. I would say so, yes.

Senator EASTLAND. That thread runs through the whole series of hearings. Do you know anything about that?

Mr. SMITH. Well, it is going to take a little while to answer that, because it is not as simple as that, Senator Eastland. You are talking now about Rivero Aguero who was elected November 3, 1958, as President of Cuba.

Senator EASTLAND. Yes.

Mr. SMITH. Let me just read, if I may, something that I wrote here that I may publish and may not -- this is part of it -- which will answer part of your question. I will have to go back over it step by step, because what you have heard, Senator Eastland, is partly true and partly untrue.

Senator EASTLAND. Yes.

Mr. SMITH. I have been asked many times what part if any the United States played in Castro and Communist rise to power in Cuba. The U.S. Goverrunent agencies and the U.S. press played a major role in bringing Castro to power.

Three front-page articles in the New York Times in early 1957, written by the editorialist Herbert Matthews, served to inflate Castro to world stature and world recognition. Until that time, Castro bad been just another bandit in the Oriente Mountains of Cuba, with a handful of followers who had terrorized the campesinos, that is the peasants, throughout the countryside.

Fidel Castro landed on the south coast of Oriente in December of 1956 from Mexico with an expeditionary force of 81 men. Intercepted by Cuban gunboats and patrol planes, Castro and a handiul of stragglers managed to ensconce themselves in the rugged 8,000-foot Sierra Maestra Range.

After the Matthews articles which followed an exclusive interview by the Times editorial writer in Castro's mountain hideout and which likened him to Abraham Lincoln, he was able to get followers and funds in Cuba and in the United States. From that time on arms, money, and soldiers of fortune abounded. Much of the American press began to picture Castro as a political Robin Hood.

Also because Batista was the dictator who unlawfully seized power, American people assumed Castro must, on the other hand, represent liberty and democracy. The crusader role which the press and radio bestowed on the bearded rebel blinded the people to the leftwing political philosophy with which even at that time he was already on record.

His speeches as a student leader, his interviews as an exile while in Mexico, Costa Rica, and elsewhere clearly outlined a Marxist trend of political thought.

The official U.S. attitude toward Castro could not help but be influenced by the pro-Castro press and radio; certain Members of Congress picked up the torch for him.

From there, to get back to your question, there were a number of times, number of oceasions when I was asked as the Ambassador if we would help the church in its efforts to establish a bridge between Castro and Batista, or if we, in any way, would support a national unity government. Such government would act as a provisional government in Cuba to maintain law and order while elections were being held.

The United States would never agree to support or would never permit me to negotiate, because it would be considered as intervening in the internal affairs of Cuba.

Batista made three big mistakes. The last big mistake he made was when he did not hold honest elections, which he had promised me on numerous and many oceasions that he would have. Rivero Aguero, the former Prime Minister of Cuba, was elected, I believe it was November 8, 1958, to succeed Batista. It is true, in reply to your question, Senator, that the U.S. Government instructed me through the State Department to say that we would not give aid and support to the Rivero Aguero government when installed because we did not feel that he could maintain effective control of the country. As far as the disintegration of the armed forees around the Batista government, the answer to your last question is that this negative action helped shatter the morale of the existing government. The responsibility for the deterioration in the morale of the army, navy, and Cuban Air Force dates back to many other forms of direct and indirect -- I use the word "intervention" advisedly.

Primarily I would say that when we refused to sell arms to the Cuban Government and also by what I termed intervening by innuendo (which was persuading other friendly governments not to sell arms to Cuba) that these actions had a moral, psychological effect upon the Cuban armed forces which was demoralizing to the nth degree.

The reverse, it built up the morale of the revolutionary forces. Obviously when we refused to sell arms to a friendly government, the existing government, the people of Cuba and the armed forces knew that the United States no longer would support Batista's government.

It is also true, and I believe that I can confirm. the story now because the following story was reported by associates of Batista. Further, I was asked by the press last winter to comment on whether we had told Batista to leave the country. At that time I refused to answer the question and referred all comments to the State Department.

It is also that, upon instructions, I spent 2 hours and 35 minutes on December 17, 1958, with Batista, and I told him that the United States or rather certain influential people in the United States believed that he could no longer maintain effective control in Cuba, and that they believed it would avoid a great deal of further bloodshed if he were to retire.

Senator EASTLAND. That was on instructions of the State Department?

Mr. SMITH. An ambassador never would have a conversation like that, sir, unless it was on instructions of the State Department.

Senator EASTLAND. Yes.

Senator DODD.W-hen you say the State Department, to be more exact, who?

Mr. SMITH. Pardon me, Senator?

Senator DODD. What human being in the Stafe Department, who in the State Department?

Mr. SMITH. Well, an ambassador receives his orders by cable and it is signed always by the Secretary of State. Whoever writes those cables I couldn't answer, but I have a part here -

Senator EASTLAND. Your judgment is it was the Latin American desk, Mr. Rubottom, wasn,t it?

Mr. SMITH. That brings up what I consider a very important point. I believe that the policies are determined in the lower echelon, and by the time the higher echelon receives them, policies have already been made, and they have to live by them.

I would like to recommend that some higher authority, such as the National Security Council of the United States, determine what our attitude toward another nation should be. Then all the actions of the State Department should be guided according to such policy as laid down by the National Security Council. I am sure the decision of the National Security Council would be arrived at from what is in the best interest of the United States.

If they believed it was in the best interest of the United States to be friendly to another power and to give aid to that power, then our actions along that line should be guided accordingly.

A decision such as prohibiting the sale of arms to a friendly nation can have devastating effects upon the government in power.

We even did not fulfill our promise to deliver 15 training planes, which had been bought and. paid for by the Batista government. In accordance with instructions from the State Department I informed Batista that delivery would be suspended, because, we feared some harm might come to the 47 kidnaped Americans. The kidnaping by Raul Castro of 30 U.S. marines and sailors, 17 American citizens, and 3 Canadians occurred at this time.

After the kidnaped Americans were returned we still refused to deliver these trainirig planes because we feared that bombs could be put on the planes even though they were strictly for training purposes.

I reiterate that decisions such as these may determine whether a government can remain in power.

Although they could buy arms and ammunition from other sources, the psychological impact on the morale of the government was crippling. On the other hand, it gave a great uplift to the morale of the rebels.

Senator EASTLAND. Let me ask you this question. As a matter of fact, isn't it your judgment that the State Department of the United States is primarily responsible for bringing Castro to power in Cuba?

Mr. SMITH. No, sir, I can't say that the State Department in itself is primarily responsible. The State Department played a large part in bringing Castro to power. The press, other Government agencies, Members of Congress are responsible.

Senator EASTLAND. Would you say that the American Government then, including all of its agencies, was largely responsible for bringing Castro to power?

Mr. SMITH. The American Government, yes, sir, and the people in the American Government.

Senator EASTLAND. Yes.

Mr. SMITH We refused to sell arms to a friendly government, and we persuaded other friendly governments not to sell arms to Cuba.

Yet on the other hand revolutionary sympathizers were delivering arms, bodies and ammunition daily from the United States. We were lax in enforcing our neutrality laws.

Senator EASTLAND. To Castro.

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir, to revolutionaries under Castro.

Senator EASTLAND. You had been warning the State Department that Castro was a Marxist?

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.

Senator EASTLAND. And that Batista's government was a friendly government. That is what had been your advice as to the State Department?

Mr. SMITH. Let me answer that this way, which will make it very clear. When I went to Cuba, I left here with the definite feeling according to my briefings which I had received, that the U.S. Government was too close to the Batista regime, and that we were being accused of intervening in the affairs of Cuba by trying to perpetuate the Batista dictatorship.

After I had been in Cuba for approximately 2 months, and had made a study of Fidel Castro and the revolutionaries, it was perfectly obvious to me as it would be to any other reasonable man that Castro was not the answer; that if Castro came to power, it would not be in the best interests of Cuba or in the best interests of the United States.

Senator EASTLAND. Why?

Mr. SMITH. Because I feared he was a Marxist.

Senator EASTLAND. That is right.

Mr. SMITH Because of his statements.

Senator EASTLAND. That is right. Now in the light of that information that he was a Marxist, that for him to come to power was not in the best interest of our country, in the light of that information -

Mr. SMITH. I want to correct something I said if I may for the record.

Senator EASTLAND. All right.

Mr. SMITH. When I said because he was a Marxist, he at that time gave every indication of being a Marxist from the statements which had been made in Mexico, Costa Rica, at Bogota (also he had been active in the FEU). I did not have the proof at that time that he was. However, there was no question that there was Communist infiltration and Communist control of this movement.

Senator EASTLAND. All right, but your advices were that it was not in the best interest of the United States for him to come to power, and in spite of that then you say that the American Government is primarily responsible for putting him in power?

Mr. SMITH. You are making the statement, sir. Are you asking a question?

Senator EASTLAND. Yes, I ask it in the form of a question.

Mr. SMITH. You made a very good statement, Senator Eastland. I don't know how I can comment on that statement.

Senator EASTLAND. Do you agree with it?

Mr. SMITH. Would you repeat that, what Senator Eastland said, please?

Senator EASTLAND. I said that your advices were that it was not in the best interest of the United States for Castro to come to power.

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.

Senator EASTLAND. And yet in spite of that, of your advices to our Government, you say that our Government was primarily responsible in bringing Castro to power.

Mr SMITH. That is absolutely correct.

Senator DODD. May I ask a question? Did you ever discuss Castro with Mr. Rubottom?

Mr. SMITH. Yes, on numerous occasions.

Senator DODD. Can you tell us what his attitude was toward Castro?

Mr. SMITH. In all due justice to Roy Rubottom, I think that Roy Rubottom was under terrific pressure from segments of the press, from certain Members of Congress, from the avalanche of Castro sympathizers and revolutionary sympathizers who daily descended upon the State Department, also their official representative, Betancourt, and Rubottom may have taken the line of least resistance.

Senator DODD. Did he ever tell you that he knew about Castro in Colombia?

Mr. SMITH. I don't believe we discussed what is known as "Bogotazo."

Senator DODD. Do you. know that he was in Bogota when Castro was?

Mr. SMITH. I did not know that.

Senator DODD. That is all I have.

Mr. SOURWINE. May I inquire?

To go back just a little bit, you spoke of the 15 training planes which were held up, and I understood you to say they were held up because this Government feared that if they were sent, there might he some harm to the kidnaped Americans?

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you mean by this that the Government of the United States was yielding to blackmail?

Mr. SMITH. No, I do not think the U.S. Government was yielding to blackmail, but I think the State Department did not want to take any action which might help the Batista government and receive the protests of the revolutionaries.

Mr. SOURWINE. Are you saying then that this was simply an excuse which was given?

Mr. SMITH. I believe the Department was happy to have a reason to justify reversing their decision. What happened was this.

The Batista government paid for these planes. They were 15 training planes which were allegedly to be used for the one and only purposes of training a few pilots taking Air Force training in the United States.

I received instructions to tell Batista that we could make delivery of those 15 planes. I recall this very clearly because I remember that it was received with great pleasure by the Government of Cuba because they felt that here was an indication that the United States was not going to be too severe. Batista reported my message to his Cabinet.

Shortly thereafter, before the planes could be delivered, the kidnaping of the Americans took place. I received instructions to notify the Batista government that the 15 training planes could not be delivered because the United States feared that bodily harm might come to the Americans who were kidnaped.

I conveyed this information to the President of Cuba, informed him that this was only a temporary suspension for the reasons outlined above. When the kidnaped Americans were returned, I sent numerous telegrams urging delivery of the training planes.

The subject was carried on for approximately 2 or 3 months, trying to obtain these training planes for the Batista government; not that the training planes themselves were so important. to the Batista government, but because of the psychological effect it would have upon those associated with the Government of Cuba.

However, the State Department refused to grant permission to have these planes released from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where they were based.

Mr. SOURWINE. Do you know, sir, whether there was any threat conveyed to the State Department by or on behalf of Castro that if these planes were sent, the kidnaped Americans would be harmed?

Mr. SMITH. I do not believe there was. To the best of my knowledge, the Castro people -- I will correct that. I was about to say the Castro people had no knowledge.

However, the, espionage system of the Castro people was so good that I could not say they didn't have knowledge of anything of such importance, hecause they seemed to know -- they knew nearly everything that was going on. They had their sples planted in the Cuban Embassy, and they had the very finest espionage system.

Senator DODD. By "the Cuban Embassy" you mean their Embassy here in Washington?

Mr. SMITH. The Cuban Embassy in Washington. I warned Gonzalo Guell, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Cuba, and I also warned President Batista that there were spies in the Cuban Embassy in Washington. I received this information from the State Department, from the Cuban desk in the State Department.

We knew that the leakages were coming from the Cuban Embassy in Washington. If you wish me to go, into details, I can tell you how the knew it.

However, the Cuban Government never took effective measures. First of all I warned the Govermnent of Cuba when De La Campa was Cuban Ambassador, later when Arroya became Ambassador I again warned him. I went even further. I told Arroya it would be in his best interests if he removed evervbody in the Cuban Embassy and obtained completely new personnel so as to be awfully sure he had divested the Embassy of the spies.

However, no steps were taken. That is where, most of the leakages came from.

Mr. SOURWINE. I think it would be interesting if you. could tell us how the State Department knew that these leaks oceurred through the Embassy?

Mr. SMITH. In March 1957 1,950 Garand rifles were on the docks and prepared to be delivered by boat to the Cuban Government. Cuban revolutionaries and sympathizers in New York had information of this. They brought a great deal of pressure to bear on the State Department to halt shipment.

The State Department issued an order canceling the shipment of these 1,950 Garand rifles -- it is not Garland -- G-a-r-a-n-d, canceling shipment. This was the beginning of when we, suspended the shipment of arms to Cuba.

The reason that the Cuban desk of the State Department felt that the leakages were coming out of the Cuban Embassy was that the revolutionary sympathizers in New York and in Washington had the numbers on those rifles. There were only two places that you could get the numbers of those rifles, and that was from either our War Department or the Cuban Embassy.

Senator HRUSKA. When you say "numbers," do you mean serials?

Mr. SMITH. Numbers on the riles, the serial numbers on the rifles. The Cuban Embassy had those serial numbers because they were advised of their shipments. It later turned out that a secretary, I believe it was the secretary to the Ambassador and also the sergeant who was in charge of the code room, were Castro revolutionaries planted in the Cuban Embassy in Washington, and they were the ones who were relaying this information to Castro.

Senator EASTLAND. Mr. Smith, you said that in justice to Mr. Rubottom that he was under pressure in this country.

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.

Senator EASTLAND But regardless of pressure, Mr. Rubottom knew that Castro was a Marxist and was unfriendly to the United States.

Mr. SmrrH. I do not believe that Rubottom believed that Castro was a Marxist, knew that he was a Marxist, and I do not believe that Rubottom knew that Castro was unfriendly to the United States. I believe that Rubottom was disillusioned as were many influential people in the United States.

Senator EASTLAND. But he had your advices as Ambassador to Cuba, the man on the site?

Mr. SMITH. Senator, I cannot unequivocally say that right from the beginning I knew that Castro was a Marxist. When I first went over there, I was instructed, not instructed but I was briefed, to the effect that we had been too close to the Batista regime, and I went to Cuba thinking that Batista wore horns and that Castro perhaps was O.K.

The Communists are too smart to infiltrate too openly at the, beginning and disclose their hand. Many times when I was in Cuba I said that the 26th of July Movement, the revolutionary movement, was a Boy Scout movement compared to the Communists, and that the Communists would apply the blotting paper to the 26th of July Movement as they saw fit, and they did sop it up as they saw fit.

Senator EASTLAND. You said you went there thinking Batista wore horns, that we, were so close to him -- what was the rest of the answer, that we were too close to him?

Mr. SMITH. I said that when I went to Cuba, I went over there with the feeling which I had received from my briefings, and nothing specific but the thought -

Senator EASTLAND. Wait just a minute now. You have answered the question. That was from briefings, that your opinion was based on briefings and information you had received through the State Department?

Mr. SMITH. I repeat, Senator, I said that nothing specific was said, but I clearly received the impression from my briefings when I was in Washington that we were too close to the Batista government, and when I went to Cuba, I felt that I had three missions.

Two of the missions I planned on arrival in Cuba. The third I assumed after I got over there. Mission No.1 was to have the United States Embassy assume an impartial stand, have it generally understood that the U.S. Embassy took an impartial view in the political affairs of Cuba.

No. 2, to assist and do everything that I could to see that the press censorship was lifted and that constitutional guarantees were again restored. And, No. 3, was to do everything that I could-without intervening in any way in the internal aiffairs of Cuba-to bring about, through Batista, free and open elections.

I was successful in step 1. I was successful in step, 2. However, the revolutionaries stepped up their terroristic activities and forced Batista to again clamp on the press censorship and to again suspend constitutional guarantees.

Then I concentrated on trying to persuade Batista to hold free and open elections. On numerous oceasions, Batista gave me his solemn word he would hold honest elections. He not only said he would hold free and open elections, but he also promised me that he would ask the world press to witness these elections, that he would ask the United Nations to send representatives to witness these elections, that he would ask the Organization of American States to send representatives to witness these elections. He failed in that promise.

I have reviewed the answers to these questions a little bit, sir, because if I answer them yes or no, I am afraid it may give the wrong interpretation.

Senator HRUSKA. Mr. Smith, in that same field you have made several references to pressure on Roy Rubottom. Could you tell us the source or the nature of this pressure?

Mr. SMITH. The pressure on Roy Rubottom came from Members of Congress who it is not necessary for me to name because you gentlemen know them.

Pressures on Roy Rubottom came from some sections of the press in the United States. Pressure on Roy Rubottom came from the representatives and sympathizers of the 26th of July Movement in the United States and particularly those in Washington.

Senator EASTLAND. What is the name that you named as one of them who is now President of-

Mr. SMITH. No, he is not. He has the same name. It is not the same man. His name was Betancourt. He was the legal official representative, registered and legally accepted of the Cuban revolutionaries in Washington.

Many of these people, who later became members of the first Cabinet of Castro were asylees in the United States. They had close contacts with members of the State Department.

To name a few: Urrutia, the first President of Cuba, Agramonte, the first Foreign Minister of Cuba, the first Prime Minister of Cuba, Miro Cardona. As a matter of fact, the first time that I met Cardona was after Batista had left the country. It was about the 4th of January of 1959 in the Presidential palace. He turned to me and said ' "I am a good f riend of William Wieland, a very good friend of William Wieland."

Also, many other revolutionary sympathizers had access to the State Department. These people brought continual pressure on the Department.

Senator EASTLAND. Do you know at the same time the Latin American desk was receiving advices from other Latin American countries of Castro's Communist affiliation?

Mr. SMITH No, sir, I did not. They never told me that. No, sir, I did not.

In my own Embassy there were certain ones of influence who were pro-26th of July, pro-Castro, and anti-Batista.

Senator EASTLAND. Who were they?

Mr. SMITH. Do I haye to answer that question, Senator?

Senator EASTLAND. Yes, I think you have to. We are not going into it unnecessarily.

Mr. SMITH. I don't want to harm anybody. That is the reason I asked.

I would say the Chief of the Political Section, John Topping, and the Chief of the CIA Section. It was revealed that the No. 2 CIA rnan in the embassy had given unwarranted and undue encouragement to the revolutionaries. This came out in tke trials of naval officers after the Cienfuegos revolution of September I957.

Senator EASTLAND. Did Castro ever win a battle?

Mr. SMITH. Castro never won a military victory. The best victories that Castro ever won were raids upon Cuban guardhouses that are spread out through the hinterland and small skirmishes with Government troops.

Senator EASTLAND. How did he come to power? First, why did Batista leave?

Mr. SMITH. Why did Batista leave?

Senator EASTLAND. Yes.

Mr. SMITH. If the United States had been completely impartial, in my opinion, Batista would not have had to leave Cuba until after the inauguration of the president-elect (Rivero Aguero).

Senator EASTLAND. He didn't have to leave. He had not been defeated by armed f orce.

Mr. SMITH. Let me put it to you this way: that there are a lot of reasons for Batista's moving out. Batista had been in control off and on for 25 years. His government was disintegrating, at the end due to corruption, due to the fact that he had been in power too long. Police brutality was getting worse.

On the other hand there were three forces that kept Batista in power. He had the support of the armed forces, he had support of the labor leaders. Cuba enjoyed a good economy.

Nineteen hundred and fifty-seven was one of the best years in the economic history of Cuba. The fact that the United States was no longer supporting Batista had a devastating psychological effect, upon the armed forces and upon the leaders of the labor movement. This went a long way toward bringing about his downfall.

On the other hand, our actions in the United States were responsible for the rise to power of Castro. Until certain portions of the American press began to write derogatory articles against the Batista government, the Castro revolution never got off first base.

Batista made the mistake of overemphasizing the importance of Prio, who was residing in Florida, and underestimating the importance of Castro. Prio was operating out of the United States, out of Florida, supplying the revolutionaries with arms, ammunition, bodies and money.

Batista told me that when Prio left Cuba, Prio and Alameia [Aleman] took $140 million out of Cuba. If we cut that estimate in half, they may have shared $70 million. It is believed that Prio spent a great many millions of dollars in the United States assisting the revolutionaries. This was done right from our shores.

Senator EASTLAND. No effort was made to stop it?

Mr. SMITH. The Batista government complained continually about the airlifts and airdrops of bodies and arms from the United States. I always kept the State Department fully informed.

But we seemed to have great trouble in enforcing our neutrality laws. I have sometimes wished that we had been half as diligent at that time in enforcing our neutrality laws as we haye been lately.

Senator HRUSKA. Mr. Smith, you mentioned the time when the United States through the press did these things and so on. Do you mean the United States officially or the press as an institution?

Mr. SMITH. Certain elements of the American press I should say.

Senator HRUSKA. The American press.

Mr. SMITH. Well, let us say world press.

Senator HRUSKA. The world press, yes, the press in general

Mr. SMITH. Certain elements of the press in general.

Senator HRUSKA. Didn't they have access to the same information that you and other people did with reference to the Marxist influences in Castro's thinking and his actions?

Mr. SMITH. There are certain influential people in the United States who are definitely antirightist dictators, but seem to look upon leftist dictators as being progressive.

Now whether that is in answer to your question or not, sir, I don't know. I do believe that too much concentration sometimes is placed upon the removal of a dictator and not enough thought is given upon what will take place afterward. I tried to cover that in the statement which I read here before Senator Eastland came in.

Senator EASTLAND. You said that you wished that we had been as zealous

Mr. SMITH. Pardon me?

Senator EASTLAND. You said that you wished we had been as zealous in enforcing our neutrality laws

Mr. SMITH. That is correct, sir.

Senator EASTLAND. In dealing with Castro.

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Senator EASTLAND. As we are at the present time.

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Senator EASTLAND. Of course when we enforce them now, we are in fact aiding Castro, are we not?

Mr. SMITH. I would say that when Castro came to power, that we were very diligent in enforcing our neutrality laws. We even moved people out of Florida; people whom the United States thought might be active in any counterrevolutionary movement.

However, when I was Ambassador to Cuba, we seemed to have great trouble in enforcing our neutrality laws.

Senator EASTLAND. I know, but enforcing those laws now is an aid to the present Government of Cuba, is it not?

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.

Senator HRUSKA. Mr. Smith, moving into another area, what was the attitude and what were the manifestations on the part of American investors in Cuba in regard to Batista and Castro prior to the time that Castro actually took charge?

Mr. SMITH. I would say that American business was for the Government of Cuba, because the Government of Cuba gave normal protection to American business.

Senator HRUSKA. What truth is there, to some representations that some of the big business investments there, investors there, paid a part of their taxes to Castro and a part of their taxes to Batista in the latter time of Batista's administration?

Mr. SMITH All right, sir; I am glad you brought that question up.

The revolutionaries under Fidel Castro demanded tribute throughout Cuba. By the fall or the late summer of 1958, they decided to also demand tribute from American business and American property holders.

As soon as I heard this, I wrote a letter to every American business in Cuba in which I clearly stated that Americans should not pay tribute, and I asked them not to give any money to the revolutionaries, that we were still doing business with a friendly government, and that as Americans we had no right to pay money to active revolutionaries who were trying to overthrow a friendly government by force.

This letter was approved by the State Department before it was sent out. Every week I regularly had a meeting in my Embassy, of some of the leading businessmen in Havana, and they assured me that the Americans were not paying money.

However, toward. the closing days of the Batista regime, I believe some Americans did pay protection money. They were paying taxes to the Batista government and were also paying taxes to the Castro people. I couldn't prove it. They wouldn't let me know.

It was unofficially reported that the revolutionaries demanded $500,000 from a large oil company. Otherwise, the rebels said, they would blow up the refinery of this of company. The American officials of the company refused to pay tribute. I give you this as an example of what took place.

Senator HRUSKA. To the extent that it might have gone on, that would be testimony to the idea that Batista's hold and control and ability to protect property was dissipating?

Mr. SMITH That is true.

Senator HRUSKA. His ability to protect was dissipating?

Mr. SMITE. Disappearing?

Senator HRUSKA. Yes, was disappearing.

Mr. SMITH. That, is correct; it was disappearing: toward the end, but now you are speaking of the last 2 or 3 months ol Batista's regime.

In the middle of November I958-I do not recall exactly the date--I went to the State Department and I informed Wieland and Rubottom that the Batista qovernment was on its last legs.

They said, "Why do you say that now?" This was a complete reversal from my previous position. My previous position had been that the Batista government was surviving. For many months I had found it necessary to counteract the slanted opinions of certain people who wanted to portray chaotic conditions in Cuba and who wanted to give the impression that the Government of Cuba would momentarily fall.

It was an uphill fight to keep reports factual.

In November, I virtually informed the Department that the Batista government could not survive much longer. They said: "Why is it going to go? Why do you say that?"

And I said, "Because, until now, the revolutionaries have been taking amateurish acts in trying to destroy the economy"-the amateurish acts were such things as burning the sugar cane, kidnaping the Argentine automobile driver, hijacking airplanes, kidnapping Americans- "but now they are getting professional advice."

They said, "What do you mean by 'professional advice?'"

I said, "Now they are learning how to destroy the economy by disrupting the main arteries of transportation."

They have learned how to blow up the correct bridges, to bomb the main highways so that commerce cannot move in Cuba.

And I said, "They obviously are receiving professional advice."

That was in November. By that time it was clearly obvious that the tide had swung the other way.

Senator EASTLAND. Who were those individuals in the State Department?

Mr. SMITH. That were doing what, sir?

Senator EASTLAND. That were slanting the news that way; that were telling falsehoods; that were pro-Castro.

Mr. SMITH. There were quite a few, Senator.

Senator EASTLAND. Who were they?

Mr. SMITH. I repeat again, Do I have to mention names?

Senator EASTLAND. Yes. We have reasons, Mr. Smith.

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir. You see my point: I do not want to get people in trouble, either.

Senator EASTLAND. Well, I know that.

Mr. SMITH. Because I do not believe that they are dangerous. If I thought they were dangerous, I would not hesitate.

Senator EASTLAND. I am not certain about that.

Mr. SMITH All right, sir.

Senator EASTLAND. We have sources of information.

Mr. SMITH. Yes.

I believe Wieland, William Wieland, and that is as far as I would like to go in the State Department. I had my own troubles in the Embassy, but I corrected it in the Embassy by neyer allowing one single cable to go out that did not have my signature.

I wrote practically every political cable that went out.

Senator EASTLAND. Who is William Wieland?

Mr. SMITH He is Director of the Caribbean Division and Director of Mexican Affairs in charge of San Domingo, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico.

At that time he had all of Central America in addition to these.

In an embassy where I served as Ambassador at that time, when I first went there, I saw the difference. Those in the economic field were pro-Batista because they were dealing with American business. Those in the political section and the intelligence section were pro-revolutionary. We could say for humanitarian reasons, or whatever the reasons may be.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Smith, you spoke earlier of the No. 2 CIA man in your mission having been caught giving aid and comfort to the Castro forces.

Would you tell us just what it was he did?

Mr. SMITH. Yes. In September I957, the Navy had an uprising at Cienfuegos, Cuba. We in the American Embassy were familiar that a revolt of some type wou.ld take place. That information came to us through the CIA, or some other source in the Embassy.

If I may divert for a minute, that is the trouble with Cubans; they talk too much. We did not know when it was going to to take place.

We finally heard that the revolt at Cienfuegos had been called off. However, the Navy in Havana forgot to notify the Navy at Cienfuegos, and they went on with the revolt while the Navy in Havana did not participate.

This revolt was squashed by the Batista government.

In the trial of the naval officers, it came out that the No. 2 man had said that if the revolution was successful, that the United States wou.ld recognize the revolutionaries.

I do not believe that the No. 2 man in the CIA intended to convoy that thought. His story to me was that he had bcon called over to interview some men believed to be doctors, hecause they were dressed in white coats, and when they advised him of the revolt that was to take place, they wanted to know what the position of the United States would be.

And he inadvertently intimated something to the effect of which I am not quite sure, that the United States might give recognition.

As soon as the Embassy learned of this, I called a meeting of the Embassy staff and laid down the law that the Ambassador, nor anyone, could give word as to whom the United States would recognize; that there were only two people in the United States that had that authority:

One was the Secretary of State and the other was the President of the United States.

The information of what had taken place was brought to me by Batista. Batista was very iridignarit. However, I explained what happened and told him-Batista-that the CIA man had done this inadvertently and had not realized what he was saying or to, whom he was talking.

Batista was cooperative and did not ask to have the man leave the country.

Senator HRUSKA. Mr. Smith, a little bit ago you made reference to the press, certain segments of the press, certainly here in America or even perhaps the world press, who are hostile to the rightist dictators but rather are receptive to leftist dictators.

Mr. SMITH. I did not use the word "receptive."

Senator HRUSKA. Sympathetic?

Mr. SMITH. I said certain influential sources in the United States who are strongly against dictatorships sometimes seem to feel that leftist dictators are progressive.

Senator HRUSKA. Are progressive.

What is your observation or appraisal of the present attitude of those people with reference to Castro?

Mr. SMITH. I note with interest that certain portions of the press who strongly advocated Castro have not yet admitted their error.

Senator HRUSKA. Have some admitted?

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir, I do not want to mention them. There is no point in my being crucified by the press, too. But there are certain very important groups who had a great deal to do with Castro's rise to power who I note even today still speak-well, this I can't say definitely, but I was told that a certain newspaper wrote an editorial saying it would be better to have the fall of the Generalissimo Trujillo in San Domingo and take a chance of having another bearded man as there is in Cuba than to Lave the present dictator remain.

I note that such papers still do not admit the error of their ways.

Senator HRUSKA. It is of interest and it is of importance, as you can appreciate, because, after all, this is a composite picture.

Mr. SMITH. Yes.

Senator HRUSKA. You indicated that yourself: that there were Members of Congress, there were the press.

Mr. SMITH That is right.

Senator HRUSKA. There were certain business interests.

Mr. SMITH. That is true.

Senator HRUSKA. There were certain people in the Government, State Department, and elsewhere.

Mr. SMITH. That is true.

Senator EASTLAND. He said more than that, Roman. He said the American Government, he would say, through all of its branches.

Mr. SMITH. When I say the "American Government," obviously, we are talking about the agencies which compose the American Government.

Senator EASTLAND. Of course, but they were primarily responsible for the rise of Castro.

Mr. SMITH. Without the United States, Castro would not be in power today. I will put it as straight as that to you, sir.

Senator HRUSKA. But the responsibility for that is a composite thing?

Mr. SMITH. Is a composite, that is correct.

Senator HRUSKA. There may have been certain quarters in which there were more virulent advocates than others, but, just the same, it is a composite thing. Without that composite nature, very likely, the result which did follow may not have happened.

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

In other words, I do not think it is fair to say that this individual or that individual or that particular agency, in itself, per se, is responsible for Castro coming to power. lt is the composite.

Senator EASTLAND. The composite of the U.S. Government, is that it, and its branches?

Mr. SMITH Composite of those elements that formed the U.S. Government.

Senator EASTLAND. That formed the U.S. Government.

Mr. SMITH. I mentioned segments of the press, certain Members of Congress, the CIA, the State Department. All of them took a hand in this, Senator.

Senator DODD. But in any composite picture, I think we all recognize that there are some influences that are stronger than others. They are never all the same.

Mr. SMITH. No. Some must share a greater part of the guilt than others

Senator DODD. And some can do more than others.

Mr. SMITH. And some are in a position to do much more.

Senator DODD. That is what I think we are driving at.

Senator EASTLAND. And the agencies of the U.S. Government could do, of course, more than Members of Congress or the press or anyone else.

Mr. SMITH. That, is true. You have all sorts of agencies.

Senator DODD. Certainly, you can say it the other way. You can say that without the U.S. Government, the other factors of the composite picture could not do anything. If the Govermnent had stood firm and said, "We will not assist Castro," the fact that there were many other elements of our society who were sympathetic to him could not have brought it about; isn't that true?

Senator HRUSKA. Conversely, if the other elements-and I take what we would consider exterior elements; lets take business and the press-for example, had the press, in its opinion-making power, been antagonistic toward Castro, no amount of formal governmental action could have overcome that massive factor.

Mr. SMITH. That is true.

Senator HRUSKA. The same thing is true with reference to implementing Castro. If and when business located and having investments in Cuba would either by blackmail or by so-called taxes support financially the Castro movement, that was something which, likewise, would be very helpful to those who in formal government circles would say, "Let us also help Castro."

Mr. SMITH Those who paid tribute at the end were doing. it for their own self-protection because they felt that if they did not do it they were going to lose their holdings.

Senator EASTLAND. As a matter of fact, now, wasn't it the impartiality of the U.S. Govermnent that brought Castro to power?

Mr. SMITH. Wasn't it the impartiality?

Senator EASTLAND. Yes.

Mr. SMITH. Senator, we are responsible for bringing Castro in power. I do not care how you want to word it.

Senator DODD. Wouldn't you want to say the partiality?

Senator EASTLAND. I mean the partiality, certainly.

Mr. SMITH. Senator, let me explain to you that the United States, until the advent of Castro, was so overwhelmingly influential in Cuba that, as I said here a little while ago, the American Ambassador was the second most important man in Cuba; sometimes even more important than the President.

That is because of the reason of the position that the United States played in Cuba. Now, today, his importance is not very great. I think there is one point I would like to bring up, Senator, and that is the recognition of Castro.

It has aIways been the policy of the U.S. Government not to be one of the first or one of the last to recognize a friendly government. It has always been the policy of the U.S. Government, before they recognized a new Government, to be sure of the following. I do not place them in order o£ their importance, but they are--

(a) If a government is Communist or too much infiltrated with communism.

(b) Whether a Govermnent will honor its international obligations.

(c) That the new Government can maintain law and order.

And we always hope that they have the support of the people.

In this case, I believe that we were very hasty in the recognition of the Castro government.

Senator EASTLAND. How long?

Mr. SMITH. Batista left in the early morning hours of January 1, I959. Several days later, a few days later, a very few days later, I was called by telephone--Rubottom told me to come to the United States.

I said I could not do it right away because at that time I was in the process of evacuating 2,000 American students and tourists. There was a complete general strike in effect. I was primaxily interested in seeing that no harm would come to any of these Americans stranded in Cuba.

I said I could not leave the country and occupy a seat on a plane as long as an American was trying to get out, so they said, "All right, when do you think you can come?"

I said I would come as soon as possible.

As soon as all the Americans had been evacuated, I flew to Washington.

We evacuated all the Americans in two or three days, the whole 2,000.

Then as soon as I arrived in Washington, they told me that we were going to recognize the new Government and I was to rush back and do it.

I think it was approximately about 5 days-the 5th, or let's say around the 6th, of January. At that time Castro had not even arrived in Havana. Castro was still out in the eastern part of the islands, wending his way toward Havana.

I am sorry that we did not take more pains in trying to insure that Castro would honor his international obligations before we recognized him.

I think we were very hasty in our recognition.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Chairman, I have a few points here that I think, for the record, would be helpful. When you were appointed Ambassador and before you took that post, did you consult with your predecessor, former Ambassador Arthur Gardner?

Mr. SMITH. We had lunch together at the 1925 F Street Club, and I believe that was the only time we met before I went down there.

Mr. SOURWINE- Did you have any instructions from the State Department with regard to seeing Gardiner or not seeing him?

Mr. SMITH. I do not believe I was told anything one way or another. I do not believe his name was mentioned in that regard.

Mr. SOURWINE. After Castro had established his headquarters in Oriente Province, were you interviewed by Herbert Matthews in the New York Times?

Mr. SMITH. After Castro had what?

Mr. SOURWINE.. Had established his headquarters in Oriente Province.

Mr. SMITH. Yes. He was already in Oriente Province. Matthews wrote his articles which appeared on the front pages of the New York Times in February 1957, and. my interview with Castro took place in the city of New York in May or June of 1957. -

Mr. SOURWINE. I was asking if you had an interview with Matthews after-

Mr. SMITH. What did I say-Castro?

Senator DODD. Yes.

Mr. SMITH Would you mind reading back what I said. I want to correct that.

Senator DODD. You meant Matthews?

Mr. SMITH. Let me correct that.

Matthews' articles appeared in the New York Times in February 1957. My interview with Matthews was in New York in May 1957.

Castro landed in the southern portion of Oriente in December 1956.

Mr. SOURWINE. I mean after you were Ambassador, and while Castro was still in Oriente Province, did you have another interview with Matthews?

Mr. SMITH. I saw Matthews a number of times when he came to Havana; he would either come to my office at the chancery or he came to see me at the residency.

Mr. SOURWINE. Do you remember a specific occasion on which Matthews suggested to you, or urged upon you, that you visit Santiago; that you go by the heart of rebel territory?

Mr. SMITH. I do not believe that we ever had a conversation along those lines.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you, in fact, visit Santiago, Cuba?

Mr. SMITH. I visited Santiago de Cuba in the latter part of July 1957.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did something occur there about which you protested?

Mr. SMITH Yes, it did.

Mr. SOURWINE. What was that?

Mr. SMITH. The rough handling of the women in the square of the city of Santiago, the women who were known as the Mothers of Santiago.

Mr. SOURWINE. That is, rough handling by the Batista forces?

Mr. SMITH. By the police.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you protest this by issuing a statement to the press?

Mr. SMITH. When I came out of the city hall, having received the keys to the city, the police were then putting the firehoses and using the clubs on the women and the press asked me for a statement.

I made the following statement:

"I regret that the people of Santiago are using my presence in Santiago to protest against their Government."

Whereupon, the press said:

"In other words, are you going to condone these actions? Is this all you have to say?"

The press demanded to know if the appointment of a new Ambassador didn't mean a change in U.S. policies. Did the U.S. approve such violence or not? Diplomatic doubletalk would not suffice.

I said that I would have a press conference later in the afternoon. This was at approximately 12:00.

I went to a luncheon, had a meeting with the approximately six or seven members of the embassy staff who aecompanied me to Santiago, and I issued the following statement, to the best of my recollection:

I repeated what I had said above: that I was sorry that the people of Santiago were using my presence to protest against their Government.

And then I added the sentence:

"And I abhor police brutality."

I also added another sentence:

That I had received a letter from the Mothers of Santiago-which I could not answer but would read with careful consideration, something along those lines.

Mr. SOURWINE. In doing this, were you acting upon instructions from the State Department?

Mr. SMITH No. I went to Santiago with the approval of the State Department and with the approval of the Batista government.

At that time I had been in Cuba approximately 2 weeks, and I felt that sooner or later, that I would have to meet up with the issue, which had us portrayed as being too close to Batista--when I say "issue," let me explain that.

I would have to meet the issue, "the issue" being that we were considered too close to the Batista government; and I was trying to accomplish step No. 1-to have the U.S. Embassy considered as being impartial. lf I was to carry out the Department's briefings to detach ourselves gradually from our past overfriendliness with Batista, this was the time to do it.

Mr. SOURWINE. When you made that protest, did you consider it an intervention in the internal affairs of Cuba?

Mr. smith. No, sir, I did not, and I explained that at great length to Batista, and Batista agreed with me that he would have done the same thing under all the circumstances.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you subsequeiffly discuss that protest with Portuondo Nunez?

Mr. SMITH. Did I subsequently discuss that protest? When I came to New York or when I went to Washington and went through New York, to the best of my recollection, it was shortly after that I stopped in at the United Nations and had a talk with Senator Lodge and then I met Nunez Portuondo at the Brook Club at 111East 54th Street, and we had about an hour's conference, in which I tried to explain to him the reasons for my statement, and we had a very friendly exchange of views.

Mr. SOURWINE. Former Ambassador Gardner has told this committee that William Wieland had a strong influence on Mr. Rubottom. I take it you agree with that?

Mr. SMITH That is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Smith, did you have anything to do with the arrangements for Castro's visit to the United States in April of 1958, to address the American Society of Newspaper Editors?

Mr. SMITH I most certainly did not.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you ever talk with Mr. Rubottom about this visit?

Mr. SMITH No, sir.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did Mr. Herbert Matthews of the New York Times have anything to do with the arrangements for Castro's visit to the United States?

Mr. SMITH. I would not know that.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you ever express yourself to the Department regarding the wisdom of this visit?

Mr. SMITH It took place before I became Ambassador. Therefore, it would not be incumbent upon me to make any remarks.

Mr. SOURWINE. From. your testimony-

Senator EASTLAND. Before you became Ambassador?

Mr. SMITH It took place before I became Ambassador.

Senator DODD. Castro's visit?

Mr. SMITH Castro's visit.

Senator DODD. That cannot be so.

Mr. SMITH. After I was Ambassador. Castro's visit took place in the spring of 1960.

(Discussion off the record.)

Mr. SMITH. Correction on that. Castro's visit to the United States took place several months after I was no longer Ambassador to Cuba.

Senator EASTLAND. He came here in April 1959.

Mr. SMITH. And I left Cuba January 20,1959.

Senator EASTLAND. That is right.

Mr. SOURWINE. From your testimony, it would appear that prior to about September or October of 1958, it was the policy of the United States to furnish arms and other supplies to the Batista government; is that right?

Mr. SMITH. Prior to when?

Mr. SOURWINE. About September or October of I958.

Mr. SMITH. Would you mind reading that question again? I am sorry I did not get that.

Mr. SOURWINE. Prior to about September or October of 1958, it was the policy of the United States to furnish arms and other supplies to the Batista government?

Mr. SMITH. No, sir; that is not correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. That is not correct?

Mr. SMITH. No, sir.

Mr. SOURWINE. Would you correct that, please?

Mr. SMITH. The policy of the U.S. Government to stop the shipment of arms to Cuba ended in March of 1958--March of 1958.

Earlier in this testimony, I spoke about the Garand rifles, the 1950 Garand rifles. That was stopped, I believe, in March 1958. From that time on, we no longer licensed the shipment of arms or permitted the shipment of arms to Cuba.

Mr. SOURWINE,. Former Ambassador Gardner told this committee that during his last year as Ambassador to Cuba, there had been an endless number of shipments of arms and other things to Castro from the United States.

You testified these shipments continued during your term as Ambassador?

Mr. SMITH. The tempo increased.

Mr. SOURWINE. And they were not suspended or curtailed when we stopped sending arms and supplies to Batista?

Mr. SMITH. The United States did stop and did apprehend certain individuals from. time to time, but according to the statement of the revolutionaries themselves, for about every one that the United States apprehended, nine would get through.

It was about a 10-to-1 ratio.

So I want to make it clear in the testimony that not all shipments got through. There was an effort made, and they did stop shipments.

Senator EASTLAND. It was not as effective as the effort now?

Mr. SMITH. That is correct, sir; nowhere near--nowhere near.

Mr. SOURWINE. Do you know whether any arms for Castro came from the American base at Guantanamo?

Mr. SMITH. The revolutionaries did steal some arms out of Guantanamo Base through the Cubans which are attached there. At Guantanamo Base there are about 10,000 people, 2,500 marines and sailors, 2,500 American dependents, and about 5,000 Cubans who work there. The Cubans would steal arms and ammunition; yes.

Mr. SOURWINE. Former Ambassador Gardner expressed the opinion in testifying before this committee that the State Department was anxious, in his words, "to replace Batista with Castro."

Do you. agree with this?

Mr. SMITH. "Was anxious to replace"? No; I do not agree with that. I think that the State Department did not believe that Batista should remain in power. However, on the other hand, I am sure that those who are on the fifth floor of the State Department did not think very highly of Castro.

Senator DODD. Who is on the fifth floor?

Mr. SMITH. The top, the top echelon. That is the mistake we made. Decisions were made on the fourth floor.

Senator EASTLAND. That is right; that is what you have said, at the lower echelons.

Mr. SMITH. And the people on the fifth floor, which is the top echelon, did not think much of Castro.

Senator EASTLAND. But you have said they did not make the policies.

Mr. SMITH I said the policies were made on the fourth floor.

Senator EASTLAND. All right.

Now how did they feel toward Castro?

Mr. SMITH. That is another question.

Senator EASTLAND. Well, how did they feel? They were pro-Castro, were they not?

Mr. SMITH. I think most of these things, in light of the events, are self-evident.

Senator EASTLAND. That they were pro-Castro?

Mr. SMITH. The word "pro-Castro," Senator, is very strong. I think that they were sympathetic to Castro.

Senator DODD. Do I understand correctly from what you tell us--let me ut it two ways: (1) The fifth floor did not know what the fourth floor was doing. Is that your position?

Senator EASTLAND. Yes; he said-

Mr. SMITH. I say it this way: I think that the fifth floor was not as interested in the affairs of Cuba, until late in 1958, as I had hoped they would be.

I have learned from experience and observation that in our system the actions by the lower echelon and those who are influential in the lower echelon form our policy, and when those higher up act upon them, the policies have already been determined by events.

That is the reason why a little earlier I said I would like, to make a recommendation that, when something as important as our attitude toward a friendly government arises, the National Security Council or some sych body determine what is in the best interests of the United States. All governmental department actions should be unified and guided according to the policy laid down from above.

Senator EASTLAND. That means you had no confidence in the fourth floor, then ?

Mr. SMITH. When you are an Ambassador, you have nothing to do with policy. You follow your instructions.

Senator EASTLAND. I understand that.

Mr. SMITH. All you can do is recommend, and I recommended plenty. I am not bashful, Senator. If you will subpoena records, you will see I recommended plenty of them, sir.

Senator EASTLAND. lt means you had no confidence in the fourth floor, doesn't it?

Mr. SMITH. At times there was disagreement between me and the fourth floor of the State Department.

Senator EASTLAND. Yes.

Mr. SMITH. Yes.

Senator DODD. Where did Rubottom-where was his office, fourth or fifth floor?

Mr. SMITH. He is the top man on the fourth floor.

Senator DODD. He is the upper, upper middle?

Mr. SMITH. No, sir. He is the Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs, and he sits on the fourth floor, and when you go to the fifth floor, that is where the Secretary of State and the Under Secretaries are.

Mr. SOURWINE. Former Ambassador Gardner told us there was no question-in his words--"that Mr. Roy Rubottom, while he was in charge of Latin American Affairs for the State Department, favored Castro."

Do you agree with this?

Mr. SMITH. Once I had made up my mind, which was obvious, that if Castro succeeded to power, that it was not in the best interests of the United States, and also not in the best interests of Cuba, I used every power within my means to try to have the State Department cooperate with the existing government and to adhere strlctly to a nonintervention policy.

I believe that Roy Rubottom, when I first went down to Cuba, would like to have cooperated with the existing regime.

He was, I repeat, under terrific pressure by Members of Congress, I repeat. He was called before a subcommittee such as this on a number of oceasions, by the press, by all these various sources that I mentioned. He told me once over the telephone. that--it was perfectly evident to him now that as far as the sympathy of the United States was concerned, it was no longer with Batista.

I think that is the best answer I can give you to the question.

Senator EASTLAND. Yet, he yielded to the pressure?

Mr. SMITH. He sure yielded, yes, sir; he said he did.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Smith, did you have, or do you have, any reason to believe that the State Department or State Department officials knew in December 1958 that Castro was coming into power at the end of the year?

Mr. SMITH. The State Department knew that Batista was through in December 1958, and as soon as Batista was through, it was obvious that only one person was going to come into power, and that was Fidel Castro.

Mr. SOURWINE. Did you know that Mr. Dulles had urged a Cuban diplomat in December 1958 to leave Cuba immediately with his entire family and without giving anyone any explanation?

Mr. SMITH. A Cuban diplomat?


Mr. SMITH. To leave?


Mr. SMITH. No, sir; I did not.

Mr. SOURWINE. Do you know of any warnings that were given anyone by the State Department, or State Department officials, to get out before Castro came in?

Mr. SMITH No; I do not thiiik we gave anybody any warnings to leave. Thirty days. before Batista left, I sent a telegram to the State Department reporting a meeting of the leading American businessmen and myself at the Embassy, and I said that Batista probably would not survive beyond January 1.

We hit the date right on the nose-the day he left.

I further went on to say that we would either have to step in and support a broadly based provisional government or Castro would take over and that if Castro took over, the only ones that would benefit would be the Communists.

Mr. SOURWINE. Mr. Smith, former Ambassador Gardner expressed the view that Castro was a Communist tool rather than being himself an active Communist.

Do you agree with that?

Mr. SMITH Castro was a revolutionary and a terrorist.

From the time that he was a university student, he was a gun-toter. I was informed by a diplomat that he had killed one nun and two priests in Bogota during the uprising in 1948.

I checked very carefully into Mr. Castro's background shortly after I was there and talked to people in Cuba who were anti-Batista but who knew Castro well; I would rather not mention their names because I do not want to get them into trouble. There were many.

There is no question that Castro was a revolutionary and a terrorist but whether he started out as a Communist or not, I doubt. I believe that the beginning of his 26th of July Movement was a leftist revolutionary movement. There are many that exist in the world. But his brother Raul was different; "Che" Guevara was different. Guevara was and is a Marxist.

I do not think there is any question or doubt about their Marxist theories.

But Fidel Castro did make a number of statements at Costa Rica and out of Mexico which clearly showed his Marxist line of thinking. He was also an active member, as a student, of the FEU (a radical group) .

I brought that to the attention on numerous occasions of various newspaper people when they came down and asked them, when they visited Castro in the hills, whether they would get Castro to repudiate any of those statements. To the best of my knowledge, he never did.

Mr. SOURWINE. Is there any doubt in your mind that the Cuban Government, under Castro, is a Communist government?

Mr. SMITH. Now?


Mr. SMITH. I would go further. I believe it is becoming a satellite.

Senator DODD. You mean a Communist satellite?

Mr. SMITH. A Communist satellite. I made a speech in Miami early last winter in which I said that I believe that there would be a mutual security pact formed between Cuba and the U.S.S.R. and the reasons for it were:

That there was no doubt that Fidel Castro was now close to the Soviets. Otherwise, he would not have been as brazen in his attacks upon the United States. It was perfectly obvious that he knew he could get support from the Soviets.

The Russians for some time have been very piqued-the word "piqued" is probably a mild word-with the fact that the United States has mutual security pacts with Turkey and Iran, which are directly on the borders of Russia.

The Chinese, as you know, do not like our mutual security pact with Formosa and are particularly indignant at our having the position we have taken regarding the islands of Quemoy and Matsu.

The logical thing for the Russians to do would be to move into Cuba which they had already done, and to take over, which they would do by a mutual security pact.

Then, when the United States objects, all they have to say is:

"We will get out of Cuba when you get out of Turkey."

Senator DODD. You are not suggesting-

Mr. SMITH. That is a speech I made in February.

Senator DODD. Yes, but you are not suggesting that the Communists will cease and desist from their activities in Cuba and Central and South America, or anywhere else, if we get out of these other places?

Mr. SMITH. Out of Turkey?

Senator DODD. Yes.

Mr. SMITH. lt would mean a great deal to them if we got out of Turkey. I am no expert on Turkey.

Senator DODD. You do not have to be an expert on Turkey, but you ought to be a little bit of an expert on the Communists to know this would not follow at all.

Every time we have retreated from one place, they have moved into new areas.

Mr. SMITH. Senator, I did not say what they would do.

Senator DODD. I know, but-

Mr. SMITH. That they would move into Cuba to retaliate with us.

Senator DODD. This is a statement being made all the time. It is not very pertinent to our inquiry today, but I think it is doing great damage in the sense it is confusing the American people.

People like you are telling the American people if we get out of Formosa, or Quemoy and Matsu, and abandon our bases in Turkey and other places, which we have there because of the aggressive conduct of the Communists, that, therefore, the Communists would cease to be aggressive.

It is one of the most sinister and, I think, damaging things that is being said and done. I am sorry to say that to you. but I must say so.

Mr. SMITH. Senator, I did not say-

Senator DODD. I do not say it is intentional, but it is confusing our people.

Mr. SMITH. Senator, I did not say that what we were doing in Formosa or in Turkey was not correct. I merely said that if you think through the Russian point of view, it was logical to assume that they would into Cuba as a retaliation for what we are doing to them. That is all I said.

Senator DODD. I do not want to argue the point.

Mr. SOURWINE. I have just ono or two more questions, sir.

Do you, or did you, know General Tabernilla, the former chief of staff of the Cuban Army?

Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.

Mr. SOURWINE. General Tabernilla has told this committee that just before he resigned his post, he conferred with you.

Mr. SMITH. That is correct.

Mr. SOURWINE. Do you remember this? Can you give us briefly the gist of that conference?

Mr. SMITH. I believe it was the day after Christmas, December 26, 1958. I received word from the military attaché that General Tabernilla, who was in charge of all the Armed Forces of Cuba, and his son, Gen. Carlos Tabernilla, who was in charge of the Air Force, and Gen. Del Rio Chaviano, who had formerly been in charge of the forces in Oriente Province, wanted to have an interview.

So it was arranged at the American Embassy.

They arrived in their police cars and they came into the Embassy residence.

General Tabernilla said he wished to talk with me alone and his son and the other general went in the adjoining room.

At the time General Tabernilla said that the Cuban soldiers would not fight any longer and that the Cuban Govermnent, per se, would not be able to last.

He stated that the purpose of his visit to me was to save Cuba from chaos, Castro, and communism.

He said he wanted to form a military junta comprised of himself, I believe the names were General Cantillo, General Soa Quesada, Colonel Casores, and an officer of the navy.

He said that they wanted to give Batista safe convoy out of the country, wanted to know whether I would support such a junta.

I said that I would report the conversation to the State Department, but that I was sure they would not give me a direct reply to give to him, and I said that would be correct, because I added:

"If we answer you directly, it would be undermining General Batista, and I can only do business with Batista hecause I am accredited to him."

General Tabernilla asked me what suggestions I had to make.

I said, "Have you mentioned this visit to me to Batista?

And he said, "No, I have not." He said, "I have not told him I was coming to seo you, but I have discussed in general our future possibilities with Batista."

I asked him what Batista said, and he replied, "He told me to come up with a plan."

I told Tabernilla he should go back and talk it over with Batista and that any suggestion coming from Batista, I would relate to the State Department. Then we could continue our exchange of views.

If you wish me to go into more detail on this meeting, I would be very glad to do it. That is generally in capsule form what took place.

Mr. SOURWINE. Was this after you had seen Batista and advised him that the American Government felt that his Government could not persist and he had to get out?

Mr. SMITH. I saw Batista on December 17, 1958, and this conference you are talking about took place December 26, 1958.

Mr. SOURWINE. So when you saw Tabernilla, you already had told Batista he ought to get out?

Mr. SMITH. I did not tell Batista he ought to get out. I would not put it so bluntly as that. I spent 2 hours and 35 minutes trying to tactfully explain that the Department believed he had lost effective control. To avoid further bloodshed, did he not think it might be in the best interests of all concerned if he retired. This had to be done without giving the impression that I was intervening.

Mr. SOURWINE. I have just two more little matters.

One, do you think the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo is in any danger?

Mr. SMITH. I think five platoons of Marines could lick the rebels. How couId the naval base at Guantanamo be in any danger?

Mr. SOURWINE. One more thing

What do you think of the proposal that a Spanish language radio station he established at Key West or some similar point to acquaint the Cubans with the U.S. position?

Mr. SMITH. I think that would he very helpful.

Senator EASTLAND. Mr. Smith, we certainly thank you. I would like to have a little executive session.

(Whereupon, at 12:30 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.)