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Gerry Hemming

Gerry P. Hemming

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It would be interesting to try to organize all the information that GPH "distributed" to various people. Having become the recipient of some interesting "mail" from Hemming I can only believe that others received the same courtesy. Most of that received by me was rather point specific. Some has led to further investigation and confirmation. Other bits and pieces remain somewhat elusive to my simple mind and without being able to confirm them it remains in my speculation pile.

Hey Jim - I would have to concur. If you were aware of Hemming's style - he never sent an email without having a host of people on blind copy. I myself was blindcopied on numerous occasions.

I once offered to head to NARA for him and collect his files - I had perused them briefly when I was there once. However - what I was somewhat amazed to discover was that NARA searches for Gerry Patrick Hemmming and various derivations - failed to cover some 235 hits by simply using his initials GPH. 93 are made to and from SAC, MM.

Declassified FBI files show that the agency had an informer within Interpen. His code name was MM T-1. In one document dated June 16, 1961, it said that MM T-1 had "been connected with Cuban revolutionary activities for the past three years." One document dated 12th May, 1961, claims that Allen Lushane of Miami, Florida "had made a trip to Texas to recruit Americans for some future military action against the Government of Cuba." The document adds that the "first training camp was established by Gerald Patrick Hemming with Dick Watley and Ed Colby running the camp." In an interview that he gave to John M. Newman on January 6, 1995, Hemming claimed that the FBI informer was Steve Wilson.

What your impression with respect to that paragraph?

- lee

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Lee,

Just for the record, a couple of INTERPEN guys I have spoken with believed it was GPH himself who was the FBI informant.

As a personal observation, I believe GPH had one of the keener intellects I have encountered. We didn't always see eye to eye and at times there was some acrimony, like many years ago when via the immense generosity of Mary Ferrell, I was able to speak with Roy Hargraves just before his passing.

Gerry liked to control the flow of information and was the master of mixing fact with fiction. If one was prepared to sift through his offerings, one would recognize that there were nuggets of gold everywhere.

I know you and he became close and I believe his passing is a great loss to those who seek the truth about what happened in Dallas. He may not have had anything to do directly with what went down but over the subsequent years, I do believe he was able to ascertain an element of the conspiracy which I submit weighed heavy on him personally.

Beyond all of that, I liked him very much. Along with his gruff manner, he was capable of great personal charm.

FWIW.

James

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Lee,

Just for the record, a couple of INTERPEN guys I have spoken with believed it was GPH himself who was the FBI informant.

As a personal observation, I believe GPH had one of the keener intellects I have encountered. We didn't always see eye to eye and at times there was some acrimony, like many years ago when via the immense generosity of Mary Ferrell, I was able to speak with Roy Hargraves just before his passing.

Gerry liked to control the flow of information and was the master of mixing fact with fiction. If one was prepared to sift through his offerings, one would recognize that there were nuggets of gold everywhere.

I know you and he became close and I believe his passing is a great loss to those who seek the truth about what happened in Dallas. He may not have had anything to do directly with what went down but over the subsequent years, I do believe he was able to ascertain an element of the conspiracy which I submit weighed heavy on him personally.

Beyond all of that, I liked him very much. Along with his gruff manner, he was capable of great personal charm.

FWIW.

James

Thanks for that post James - sincerely - his photo [which I thank you for providing] is sitting up on the wall above my bar. My kids pix were on his screensaver. When I learned of his passing I heard his voice saying clearly, 'What's going on Lee?' in my ears as if he was in the next room [it's diminished since then]. I'm not ashamed to say that I took his death pretty hard - I enjoyed every opportunity that I had to speak with him, and always looked forward to the chance - bit more than a 6 pack in the fridge and a full pack of cigarettes at hand. One time we ploughed on to 2:30am. He was a lot like my 'Time Machine' as Ray Bradbury would have seen it. I told him once one of my great regrets was failing to take advantage of the opportunity to head over to Summit to visit Alfred Brooks - WWI vet who met defeat at the hands of the red baron, whom I had the fortune of meeting on a few occasions. He died before I acted. It was a great pleasure for me to have had the time I had to speak with Hemming, and a huge regret that I never managed to take advantage of his offer for a free recorded interview and to meet him in person.

I also believe that in all likelihood he was MM-T1, however, that he was running with other groups as well, including the Agency and possibly even MI - ONI at a min - some of this is a bit beyond me in terms of understanding the relationships between the departments and the passage of time. He stayed in prison after being burned in that drug running gig and turned down an offer by the Ohio syndicate to get an early release for concern over being under their thumb.

No matter what folks may say about him, I liked, respected and admired the man an awful lot - he was born the same year as my Father - maybe that had something to do with the friendship I felt for him. I would agree with everything you have stated - and I do believe that his conscience was suffering. I do not believe that he was in Dallas - nor that he was the individual seen carrying a rifle that day that in some way matches his physical description. Hemming just wasn't that stupid. Hall must have been among the folks that got sold out - perhaps this is where the great divide occurred.

All this being said, I think Jim Root's point is well taken - I don't see any harm in posting Gerry's emails - they are tame compared to the conversations we used to have anyway. : ) One of my profs in Political Science was a graduate from Oxford - if you didn't know your sh*t - better to keep your mouth shut. Hemming made me stupid every time we spoke - just in realizing how little I actually knew [names, dates, places, events]. I'll never forget him - never - that's for sure. Sucks that we never managed to finish the game of chess we started - I was whuppin' him because he mistook his queen for a bishop. : ) I really was looking forward to a day when I could make it down to Fayetteville and get a case of Carlsberg - video interview or no.

When I get a chance I will go and dig and get some emails together for posting on a separate thread...

Rice Krispies.

- lee

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Declassified FBI files show that the agency had an informer within Interpen. His code name was MM T-1. In one document dated June 16, 1961, it said that MM T-1 had "been connected with Cuban revolutionary activities for the past three years." One document dated 12th May, 1961, claims that Allen Lushane of Miami, Florida "had made a trip to Texas to recruit Americans for some future military action against the Government of Cuba." The document adds that the "first training camp was established by Gerald Patrick Hemming with Dick Watley and Ed Colby running the camp." In an interview that he gave to John M. Newman on January 6, 1995, Hemming claimed that the FBI informer was Steve Wilson.

Something to ponder here. Justin J. Wilson, aka Steve Wilson was an ex Marine who served between 1953 and 1957. He also served with the US Army receiving an honorable discharge in April of 1961. He served ten months which is kind of curious in itself.

A few days later, Wilson was in Miami and mixing with the anti-Castro crowd. Is it possible that Wilson was involved with "Cuban revolutionary activities" for the three years before 1961?

James

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..as in MI?...off the books...ten months is more than curious. (Peter Lemkin)

MI did spring to mind as did the words 'on assignment'. Speculation of course.

It is also worth mentioning that the T designation means that identities MUST be protected.

James

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..as in MI?...off the books...ten months is more than curious. (Peter Lemkin)

MI did spring to mind as did the words 'on assignment'. Speculation of course.

It is also worth mentioning that the T designation means that identities MUST be protected.

James

When the Interpen boys names are mentioned, it is inevitable that at some point the topic will turn to aircraft, or, if you are a studious researcher, you would hope that it would.....Keeping in mind that whole thing about Merida and the Rorke-Sullivan affair,......does anybody still have their Smitty Smart Book for VFR Pilots....lol.

There is an interesting factoid that never seems to get mentioned regarding aviation parlance, amidst all the talk of DC-3's and such. See below

deadheading - a term used when a pilot or a flight attendant is transported by another plane to a location where she/he will fly a future flight. The deadhead crew may be transported in any cabin including coach with the passengers on the flight, or on a jumpseat in the cockpit or galleys of the plane.

I saw this a few minutes ago, I couldn’t help thinking of Alexander Rorke Jr., and the whole conundrum regarding Merida,

http://www.justluxe.com/lifestyle/aircraft...ture-225906.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadheading_(aviation)

Edited by Robert Howard

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In April 1976 you published an interview with Gerry Hemming in Argosy Magazine (pages 59-68 in On the Trail of the JFK Assassins). In the interview Hemming claims that he was approached as leader of Interpen “more than two dozen” times to assassinate JFK. He also named Loran Hall as one of the people who were possibly involved in the assassination. He also claimed to know Oswald who he says he thought was on the “Naval Intelligence payroll.”

What was your impression of Hemming? One source with intelligence connections told me that he was a CIA paid disinformation agent. Do you think this is a possibility?

My take on Hemming is mixed. I don't think he was a paid disinformation agent. However, he was someone whose credibility I certainly did not swallow whole-hog, especially the more I got to know him. (In my earlier, more innocent days when I did the Argosy interview, I was more gullible). Gerry just "knew too much" and along too many different avenues, to have stayed alive if it was all factual. So it was always difficult to sort out truth from fiction with Gerry. And he may have had a personal grudge against Hall, whom I doubt very much had direct involvement other than the FBI setting up him & Howard at Sylvia Odio's as scapegoats. I thought what he said about meeting Oswald in 1959 was most likely accurate.

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In April 1976 you published an interview with Gerry Hemming in Argosy Magazine (pages 59-68 in On the Trail of the JFK Assassins). In the interview Hemming claims that he was approached as leader of Interpen “more than two dozen” times to assassinate JFK. He also named Loran Hall as one of the people who were possibly involved in the assassination. He also claimed to know Oswald who he says he thought was on the “Naval Intelligence payroll.”

What was your impression of Hemming? One source with intelligence connections told me that he was a CIA paid disinformation agent. Do you think this is a possibility?

My take on Hemming is mixed. I don't think he was a paid disinformation agent. However, he was someone whose credibility I certainly did not swallow whole-hog, especially the more I got to know him. (In my earlier, more innocent days when I did the Argosy interview, I was more gullible). Gerry just "knew too much" and along too many different avenues, to have stayed alive if it was all factual. So it was always difficult to sort out truth from fiction with Gerry. And he may have had a personal grudge against Hall, whom I doubt very much had direct involvement other than the FBI setting up him & Howard at Sylvia Odio's as scapegoats. I thought what he said about meeting Oswald in 1959 was most likely accurate.

Applied logic such as this could cause one to be forever banned from the forum or else become labeled themselves as being a CIA/disinformation agent.

100%

Tom

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I'm very sorry to hear Gerry has passed away. I think he truly had the gift of the gab at the tip of his fingertips (reading his writings and having the odd online convo is my only experience) plus an amazing intelligence. Often I think he was just playing. Rather contemptuously too, at times. I don't think he really gave a xxxx about anyone's opinion of him. Why should he? A lot of what he had to say is intriguing. A lot is amazingly slithery. (I've had to forgive him (within me) re Che', for example, before I could really read what he was saying). Some of his views were very sharp. His apparent stand on the death penalty and coscientious objection are great. What to make of it. I think he knew more than what he apparently let on. However, I think he HAS told us. But told us what? I used to get E-mails at certain points possibly following a post. They were usually CC'd. Many seemed to be rather pointless but on the whole seemed to point to places to go and have a cuppa.

I wish he had written much more. Always enjoyed his acerbic gruff style, underneath seemed to be a good heart. Whatever,

Rest in Peace, Gerry.

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In April 1976 you published an interview with Gerry Hemming in Argosy Magazine (pages 59-68 in On the Trail of the JFK Assassins). In the interview Hemming claims that he was approached as leader of Interpen “more than two dozen” times to assassinate JFK. He also named Loran Hall as one of the people who were possibly involved in the assassination. He also claimed to know Oswald who he says he thought was on the “Naval Intelligence payroll.”

What was your impression of Hemming? One source with intelligence connections told me that he was a CIA paid disinformation agent. Do you think this is a possibility?

My take on Hemming is mixed. I don't think he was a paid disinformation agent. However, he was someone whose credibility I certainly did not swallow whole-hog, especially the more I got to know him. (In my earlier, more innocent days when I did the Argosy interview, I was more gullible). Gerry just "knew too much" and along too many different avenues, to have stayed alive if it was all factual. So it was always difficult to sort out truth from fiction with Gerry. And he may have had a personal grudge against Hall, whom I doubt very much had direct involvement other than the FBI setting up him & Howard at Sylvia Odio's as scapegoats. I thought what he said about meeting Oswald in 1959 was most likely accurate.

Dick

Just to keep all this information together:

Gerry sent me an email that said Oswald's trip to Russia was false flaged as a Naval Intelligence operation. In the same email he said that Edwin Walker was a part of the team which helped insert Oswald into Russia.

My first personal contact with Hemming came after I asked him about an early 1950's connection to Edwin Walker. I had corrected or expanded upon a post that he had made dealing with some training he had received during the Korean War. When he asked me about my information I stated that the event would have put Hemming into a very small group of people that had been personally trained by Walker. He confirmed that he had been part of this group. After this information was confirmed by Hemming he would occassionally send unsolicited emails that provided avenues which connect some piece of information that I had posted to some additonal person or event.

For myself it was his close personal connection to General Walker as well as the high probability that he had met Oswald that made Gerry Hemming unique in my mind.

Jim Root

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Since I was unsure where to post this, I chose the Gerry Hemming page. I grew up within 5-6 blocks of the home once rented

by Gerry Hemming and Dick Whatley in Grapeland Heights. I am a firm believer in the version of events described by Marita

Lorenz and E. Howard Hunt whom I once personally saw at a likely CIA safe house occupied by anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami also

frequented by Frank Sturgis. A person named Robert W. Morris, the father of Robert J. Morris also lived in Grapeland Heights, Miami,

using an address part of which Oswald accidently wrote on his P.O. Box Application in Dallas: "3610 North...." instead of

"1026 North Beckley" Morris lived at 3610 North West 15th Street and my conclusion is that Oswald spent some time there in Miami.

Was Robert Morris, really Maurice Bishop. (I was told that Cubans always pronounced "Morris" as "Maurice" by a Cuban expert.

This is the html version of the file http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/IDEAS/pdf..._Paper_LSE3.pdf.

The Shadows of the Cold War over Cuba.The roots of the American diplomatic reaction to Castro’s nationalism, 1956-1958.Vanni Pettinà,Humanities and Social Sciences Research Centre (CCHS-CSIC), Madrid.vpettina@ih.csic.es(please do not distribute or cite.)Abstract.Scholars have addressed the problem of the Eisenhower Administration’s opposition to Castro’snationalist movement during the 1956-1959 Cuban insurrection following two main perspectives.Some authors have perceived it in terms of a response to the threat that Castro’s radical programposed to American interests in Cuba, while other scholars have claimed that, in the fifties,Washington did not have a clear view of the differences between nationalism and socialism. Inboth cases, Washington’s opposition to Castro would have naturally evolved into support forFulgencio Batista’s dictatorship. By contrast, this paper argues that the intersection between theCold War and the decolonization process played a crucial role in changing the US’s perception ofLatin American nationalism. Specifically, the Soviet Union’s ability to interact with developingareas’ nationalism pushed the Republican administration to perceive it as a device for Sovietexpansionism. During the fifties, this perception influenced Washington’s diplomatic strategy inthe Latin American context, driving the Eisenhower Presidency to adopt a hostile position towardnationalist governments or nationalist inspired political movements.

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2IntroductionIn January 1959, after two years of guerrilla warfare against Fulgencio Batista’s army, the 26of July Movement’s leader, Fidel Castro, entered triumphant into Havana City. Castro’s victory notonly meant the end of Batista’s regime but it also brought the beginning of an unexpected socialistrevolution just off the coast of Florida1. The conversion of his nationalist insurrection, originallyaimed to overthrow a dictatorship and to restore the 1940 Constitution which had been treaded outby Batista’s coup in 1952, deeply shocked the Dwight Eisenhower Republican Presidency. In 1960,after the revolution had taken its definitive path toward socialism, the Administration decided tosever its diplomatic relations with the new revolutionary Government. However, even if formal tieswere broken in 1960, American diplomacy had been critical of Castro’s movement almost since1957. Existing literature has mainly tried to tackle this problem using a local perspective. Somescholars have focused on the issue represented by the US’s determination to defend its historicaleconomic hegemony in Cuba from Castro’s radical nationalism2. Other scholars have addressed theproblem in terms of Eisenhower’s inability to clearly differentiate between communism andnationalism, the latter of which essentially represented Castro’s ideological source during theinsurrection3. This paper will argue that the Eisenhower’s reaction to Castro was part of a broaderprocess that, in the early fifties, affected the Republican Administration’s perception of nationalismon a global scale. Particularly, it argues that Soviet post-Stalinist leadership was able to create aperception of superiority regarding its capacity of interaction with nationalist elites in decolonizedareas but also in developing countries, such as Latin American ones. In this context, during theEisenhower years, a sense of failure to cope with the quest for modernization pursued by nationalistleaders of the decolonized and developing areas of the world took over the RepublicanAdministration. This perception rapidly transformed itself into a defensive policy of containment ofthe nationalist phenomena worldwide. In Asia, the Middle East and North Africa the effort to averta merge between progressive nationalism and communism produced either increasing militarysupport for conservative leaderships or more economic aid to nationalist elites4. In Latin America, it1For a general overview of the history of the Cuban insurrection see Hugh Thomas, Cuba or The Pursuit of Freedom,London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1971; Jaime Suchlicki, Cuba: from Columbus to Castro and beyond, WashingtonD.C., Brassey’s INC; Marifeli Pérez-Estable, The Cuban Revolution: origins, course, and legacy, New York, OxfordUniversity Press, 1999;2Morris H. Morley, Imperial State and Revolution: the United States and Cuba, 1952-1986, Cambridge, CambridgeUniversity Press, 1987.3Jules R. Benjamin, The United States and the Origins of Cuban Revolution. An Empire of Liberty in an Age ofNational Liberation, Princeton (N.J.), Princeton University Press, 1990, p. 158.4Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War. Third World Interventions and the Making of our Times, New York,Cambridge University Press, 2007; Salim Yaqub, Containing Arab Nationalism. The Eisenhower Doctrine and theMiddle East, Chapel Hill and London, The University of North Carolina Press.

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3produced a radical departure from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s policy of non intervention and italso brought support to local dictatorships. Marines no longer landed on Latin American shores, butCIA covert operations substituted them while the Republican Administration flirted with manyregional caudillos. In Cuba, the result was that, even if the American diplomats were split over thepossible alternatives to Batista’s dictatorship, nobody, as a State Department officer once reported,“wanted Castro to get in”5.The roots of the debate.To date, histories of the US-Cuban relationship have offered different explanations forAmerica’s opposition to Castro’s movement, even before his nationalist insurrection took the pathto socialism. Some authors have stressed that the US’s opposition to Castro was basically aprosecution of Washington’s traditional policy in Cuba. This, since the Cuban independence in1902, had been broadly based on the defence of the steadily growing American economic interestsin the country. Given the fact that Castro’s radical nationalism would have threatened themaintenance of this kind of hegemony, the American response since the beginning of theinsurrection would have been one of clear opposition6. This kind of interpretation derives from awell consolidated historiographical tradition that we could probably label as the “revisionist”paradigm. Inspired by such authors as William Appleman Williams and strengthened in hispositions by the drama of American involvement in the Vietnam War, revisionism has painted avery critical portrait of American foreign policy. Mainly focused on the issue of the responsibilitiesfor the beginning of the Cold War, it has interpreted American foreign policy as having been drivenby a constant, aggressive, quest for economic and political hegemony7. Applied to the LatinAmerican context, the revisionist paradigm has firmly associated American aggressive behaviourwith the proactive defence of its narrowly economic interests8. Thus, for the period we areconcerned with, revisionist authors have claimed that both protection of the American trade and ofits financial interests abroad would have soon led Washington to a direct clash with Latin American5Morley, Imperial State and Revolution , p. 63.6Morris H. Morley, Imperial State and Revolution: the United States and Cuba, 1952-1986, Cambridge, CambridgeUniversity Press, 1987.7William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, New York, The Free Press, 1972; Geir Lundestad,“How not to Study The Origins of the Cold War” in Odd Arne Westad (ed.), Reviewing the Cold War. Approaches,Interpretations, Theory, London and New York, Frank Cass, p. 66; Melvyn P. Leffler, “The interpretative wars over theCold War, 1945-60”, in Gordon Martel (ed.), American Foreign Relations Reconsidered, 1890-1993, London and NewYork, Routledge, 1994, pp. 106-124.8James F. Siekmeier, Aid, Nationalism and Inter-American Relations: Guatemala, Bolivia, and The United States1945-1961, Lewiston (N.Y.), The Edwin Mellen Press, 1999: Jan Knippers Black, Sentinels of Empire. The UnitedStates and Latin American Militarism, Westport, Greenwood Press, 1986.

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4countries’ road to development. This, since late 1930’s, had been deeply rooted in industrializationprocesses and imposing protectionist tariffs9. Indeed, according to Matthew Loayza, during theEisenhower Administration (1953-1961) this type of confrontation reached one of its peaks.Eisenhower’s conservative approach to fiscal measures, his hostility toward “political aid” and hisbet on “trade not aid” as guidelines for Latin American economic development brought theRepublican Administration to a harsh conflict with the economics of nationalism and hence withnationalism as political phenomena tout court10. Likewise, this perspective would explain not justthe support given by American diplomacy to Fulgencio Batista, but it would also shed some lighton CIA involvement in the 1954 Guatemalan coup that led to the overthrew of Jacobo Arbenz’sgovernment and to the installation in power of General Castillo Armas11. Given the fact thatArbenz’s agrarian reform meant a direct threat for the United Fruit Company’s tropical fruitplantations, strongly concentrated in Guatemalan lands, the CIA would have decided to interveneagainst the nationalist government12. In the end, dictators such Fulgencio Batista or Carlo CastilloArmas would have represented a useful tool to contain the spread of nationalism and whereby todefend American interests abroad.The same sort of liaison that seems to connect the Eisenhower Administration’s opposition toLatin American nationalism with its support for dictatorships has been underlined by Stephen G.Rabe13. But unlike revisionism, Rabe has suggested in one of his latest books that a possible sourcefor this approach could have been the inability of American diplomacy to distinguish betweenprogressive nationalism and communism14. Regarding the Cuban scenario, Jules Benjamin has putforward a similar interpetation. According to Benjamin, the conservative elements inside theRepublican Administration were eager to support Batista’s dictatorship as a result of their inabilityto draw a distinction between Castro’s progressive nationalism and communism15.It is clear that both interpretations underscore an important factor in the shaping ofEisenhower’s Latin American policy and therefore of its Cuban derivative. The overt conflict with9Marcello Carmagnani, América latina de 1880 a nuestros días, Barcelona, Oikos-Tau, 1975, pp. 16-17. Tulio HalperinDonghi, Historia Contemporánea de América Latina, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1969 (The Contemporary History ofLatin America, Durham, Duke University Press, 1993), pp. 295-296; pp. 323-333.10Matthew Loayza, “An ‘Aladdin’s lamp’ for free enterprise: Eisenhower, fiscal conservatism, and Latin Americannationalism, 1953-1961”, Diplomacy and Statecraft, Vol. 14, No. 3 (September 2003), pp. 83-105.11Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán had been elected Guetemalan president in 1950 on the basis of a nationalist-reformistprogram and assumed the presidency in 1951.12Stephen Schlesinger, Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit. The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, HarvardUniversity, 1999, pp. 65-173. A different interpretation of the events, more focused on the political issues that led toCIA involvement into Arbenz’s overthrown, has been given by Piero Gleijeses, Shattered Hope. The GuatemalanRevolution and the United States, 1944-1954, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1991, pp. 294-342;13Stephen, G. Rabe, Eisenhower and Latin America, The Foreign Policy of Anticommunism, Chapel Hill and London,University of North Carolina Press, 1988.14Stephen, G. Rabe, U.S. Intervention in British Guiana: A Cold War Story, Chapel Hill, University of North CarolinaPress, 2005.15Jules R. Benjamin, The United States and the Origins of Cuban Revolution. An Empire of Liberty in an Age ofNational Liberation, Princeton (N.J.), Princeton University Press, 1990, p. 158.

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5nationalism was a main feature of the Republican Administration and the process of“authoritarization” that effectively took place in Latin American during those years was probablyone of its main consequences. In fact, there is an evident link between the opposition to progressivenationalism, and Washington’s support for dictatorships which would come to characterise theUnited States’ Latin American policies during the early Cold War. Nonetheless, the explanationsgiven in order to account for the sources of this policy do not seem completely satisfactory.Firstly, the economic centred perspective fails to address the fact that Eisenhower’snomination in the 1952 July primaries had symbolized the victory of the Republican moderate andinternationalist front, as opposed to that of Senator Robert A. Taft, that represented the moreconservative sectors of the party16. In this sense, both in terms of domestic and foreign economicpolicies, the new Administration was probably closer to its democratic antecedents than to theRepublican most conservative hardcore17. During the first federal budget scheme discussion at theWhite House, Taft ferociously accused Eisenhower of simply continuing the Democrat’s highpublic spending policy, especially in the field of foreign aid18. Indeed, in 1957, by analyzing thedomestic economics of the Republican Presidency, the New York Times concluded that theAdministration had ultimately increasingly embraced the domestic policies of the New Deal. In theelectoral campaign, Eisenhower had championed the idea of a radical cut to the federal budget.However, even if during his first term some decrease occurred, his last federal budget proposal for1962 fiscal year was around 84.6 millions of dollar, only 4 million less than Truman’s last budget in195319. But, the considerable difference is that the Truman’s budget reflected the costs produced bythe Korean War and that Eisenhower’s one was a peace time budget. Even more interesting is thefact that the Republican Administration used as its main tool for cutting the budget the reduction ofmilitary expenditure20. At the end of 1960, the American National Defense Spending was only onemillion dollars more that in 195121. In the end, far from reducing the federal budget, Eisenhower’spolicies resulted in an extension of social security to sectors of the population previously excludedand, more importantly, maintained the foreign aid flow at the same high level as DemocraticAdministrations22. At the same time, it is true that, as underlined by revisionists, Eisenhowerstressed the need to resort to trade liberalizations in preference to governmental aid, as a device for16Steve Neal, The Eisenhower’s Reluctant Dynasty, Garden City, New York, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1978;Stephen E. Ambrose, Eisenhower. Soldier and President, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1983.17“President Tries Middle Way on the Budget”, The New York Times, 3 May 1953, p. 3, Section 4; Burton I. Kaufman,Trade and Aid. Eisenhower’s Foreign Economic Policy, 1953-1961, Baltimore and London, The John HopkinsUniversity Press, 1982, pp. 12-13.18John W. Sloan, Eisenhower and the Management of Prosperity, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence (KA), 1991,p. 79.19Sloan, Eisenhower and the Management..., p. 74.20Sloan, Eisenhower and the Management...., p. 81.21Samuel Huntinghton, The Common Defense, New York, Columbia University Press, 1961, p. 281.22“Eisenhower Embraces more of the New Deal”, The New York Times, 13 January 1957, p. 7.

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6the economic development of third world countries. But, in many cases, this policy led him moretoward national business discontent than to a clash with nationalism. Commenting on these “tradenot aid” policies, and referring to the views of the President and of his Treasury Secretary, GeorgeHumphrey, the NYT reported that “they think it is our national interest to lower tariffs. They want ourtrade policy to be based on the national interest instead of the interest of particular groups or interest”23.Eisenhower had to fight long and hard in order to see the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act beinggranted an extension in time by the Congress. The norm, that had represented the end of theHawley-Smoot protectionist peak, had been enforced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934. AfterEisenhower’s election, it had been the object of bitter criticism from many small and medium sizeAmerican businesses linked to the Republican party. Concerned about the increasing internationalcompetition that marked the fifties, small national enterprises were keen to see the enactment of aprotectionist policy24. In spite of this opposition and making use of his extraordinary personalpopularity, the ex Army General was able to make Congress extend the tariff legislation throughouthis two presidential terms. Thanks to this norm the pace of American foreign trade policy was kepton the liberal gear, avoiding many conflicts with Latin American countries over a new wave ofAmerican protectionism. In this context, as we will see below, the main divergence with LatinAmerican Governments grew around the issue of the reduction of US economical aid rather thanover the problem represented by the intrusiveness of American private capital25.If the above possibly helps to modify the image of an ideological ultra-liberalist RepublicanPresidency, as suggested by revisionists, a quick analysis of some of its Latin American policies iseven more revealing. In 1952, after a revolutionary process the Nationalist RevolutionaryMovement (Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario, MNR) took power in Bolivia. By followingits strongly nationalist program the MNR, led by his charismatic leader Victor Paz Estenssoro,decided to enact agrarian reform and to take over the foreign ownership of the mining enterprises26.After some hesitations and having analyzed the possible communist connections of the revolution,the Republican Presidency decided to support the new government with an 18.4 million dollar aid23“Trade and Aid: President’s Dilemma”, The New York Times, 10 May 1953, p. 1, Section n. 4.24“Hull The Father of Tariff Policy”, The New York Times, 11 December 1955, p. 17. The Reciprocal Trade AgreementAct first approved in 1934, granted the president a three year period to negotiate trade agreement with other countries.The president had the faculty to decide a 50% tariff reduction on the new agreement and another 50% tariff cut on theexisting rates, Kaufman, Trade and Aid. Eisenhower’s Foreign………, pp. 16-17.25The most representative cases of this phenomena are probably Brazil and Cuba, where throughout the thirties and theforties the economic bilateral cooperation with the US had strongly increased. The beginning of the Cold War and theshift of US aid toward Asia and the Middle East created many reasons of complaints in both countries. Stanley E.Hilton, “The United States, Brazil, and the cold War, 1945-1960: End of the Special Relationship”, The Journal ofAmerican History, Vol. 68, No. 3, 9 Dec., 1981, pp. 599-624; Charles D. Ameringer, The Cuban democraticExperience. The Auténtico Years, 1944-1952, Gainesville, University Press of Florida, 2000.26American capital owned the 25% of the Patiño Mines Enterprise, “Tin Mining Rate is now an Enigma”, The NewYork Times, 7 January 1953, p. 52.

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7plan27, nine million dollars of which was entirely assigned to the support of the agrarian reform28. Inthis sense, what made the difference in Bolivia was the very peculiar ideological orientation of theMNR. During the thirties, the nationalist Bolivian movement had flirted with Hitler’s Germany,sharing many of its ideological assumptions29. If during WWII this had constituted a problem fordiplomatic relations between Washington and La Paz, in Cold War days it was considered anefficient anticommunist fence. Washington looked at Latin American political features through anideological lens rather than narrowly focusing on the interest of its national enterprises. In fact, inspite of revisionist interpretations, the 1954 Guatemalan golpe was also supported by CIA agentsfollowing an ideological interpretation of the events. Just immediately before the coup was carriedon, paraphrasing some concepts expressed by John Foster Dulles during a news conference, theNYT had underlined very clearly the reasons for which American opposition to Arbenz’sgovernment was based:It becomes more evident daily that Guatemala has a basic misconception of the causes of UnitedStates concern over her. Most officials seem unable to realize that this concern is rooted in theCommunist problem. (...) Most officials here appear to have convinced themselves that if the troubleover the United Fruit Company could be straightened out, everything else would fall neatly into place.They are mistaking effect for cause, and no amount of pointing this out has made them see it. Even if aworking agreement between the fruit company and the Government were to be reached tomorrow,nothing would be changed unless the agreement was accompanied by steps to halt the Communist’stightening grip on the land reform Administration, worker-peasant union and the Government’spropaganda machinery30.Not only was the Eisenhower Administration not simply following the interests of Americanenterprise, but in Guatemala’s case it clearly clashed with them. After Arbenz’s overthrow, theEisenhower Administration accused the United Fruit Company land concentration of being one ofthe most serious responsible for the social unrest that had favoured communist infiltration inGuatemalan nationalist revolution. The most important national newspapers recorded theunevenness of the in-fight between the Administration and the company and finally, in the summerof 1954, the Justice Department sued the United Fruit Company for violating the Sherman AntiTrust Act and the Wilson Tariff Act31.27Kenneth Lehman, “Revolutions and Attributions, Making Sense of Eisenhower Administration Policies in Boliviaand Guatemala”, Diplomatic History, Vol. 21, no. 2, (Spring 1997).28“Bolivia Land Reform is aided by U.S. Loan”, The New York Times, 11 January de 1953, p. 12; Cole Blasier, TheHovering Giant. U.S. Responses to Revolutionary Change in Latin America, 1910-1985, Pittsburgh, University ofPittsburgh Press, 1985, p. 88.29Loris Zanatta, “The Rise and Fall of the third position. Bolivia, Perón and the Cold War, 1943-1954”, DesarrolloEconómico, Vol. I, no. se., 2006, p. 2; Halperin Donghi, Historia contemporánea....., p. 429.30“Guatemalans Fail to Grasp Concern of U.S. Over Reds”, The New York Times, 26 May 1954, p. 1 and p. 13.31“United Fruit President Says U.S. Seek To Penalize Company for Its Good Work”, The New York Times, 4 de Julio1954, p. 10.

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8This short analysis shows that there is not a clear economic incentive that seems to justify thedeepening phase of confrontation between the Eisenhower administration and Latin Americannationalism during the fifties. The Republican administration was neither particularly radical in itseconomics policies nor blindly followed the interests of its national companies. In this sense, duringthe Eisenhower Administration the clash with Latin American nationalism represented a real issuebut it followed a political path and was part of a broader context in which Washington was gettingincreasing worried about the possible connection between developing Third World nationalism andthe Soviet Union’s foreign policy.From the “Break-Up of the Colonial Empires” to the Cold War, the new global powersversus nationalism.The problem concerning the American reaction to Latin American nationalism during thefifties needs be addressed from a global perspective. In fact, the Eisenhower Administrationperceived the Latin American nationalist movements as part of a tricky and broader politicalprocess that, during the fifties, was running all through the decolonized and developing world. Fromthe American perspective, the critical points were represented by the interconnection between thisnew wave of nationalism and the bipolar conflict scenario. Indeed, in Asia, Africa and LatinAmerica the quest for modernization articulated by nationalist elites was dangerously interactingwith the Competitive Coexistence policy launched by the post-Stalinist Soviet leadership. Duringthe fifties, Washington had to face an increasing number of crises that took place on the peripheryof the World and that seemed to underscore the American uneasiness about dealing with them. InEgypt in 1955 and 1956, in Vietnam almost in the same period, but also in Guatemala and in Cubain 1954 and 1956-1959, the Eisenhower Administration gave the impression of being unable toavert a strong interaction between nationalist movements and Soviet foreign policy. In this sense,this paper argues that the interconnection of three different processes during the early fiftiesincreased the American difficulties at dealing with third world nationalism. This scenario quicklydrove the Eisenhower Administration to adopt a critical view of decolonized-developing countriesnationalism on a global scale and, therefore, in Latin America. The first two elements of thisprocess are structural or, as Fernand Braudel would have argued, “longue durée” historicalprocesses: the emergence of anti-colonialism nationalism as a consequence of the Europeanimperial collapse and the directly connected issue of the transformation of the United States and theSoviet Union into global contending powers. The third, relevant “short term conjuncture” is the

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9“cooling” of the Cold War after Josef Stalin’s death and the consequent transformation of thebipolar conflict in a struggle between competing models of modernization.Two American documents are pivotal for the understanding of the American perception ofthese processes: the very well known National Security Council 68 (NSC68), drawn up in 1950, anda less notorious Central Intelligence Department (CIA) paper, tilted The Break-up of the ColonialEmpires and its Implications for U.S. Security, published in 1948. For a better understanding of thehistorical meaning of the two documents we should set apart, for a moment, the chronologicalperspective and analyze these sources on the basis of their political hierarchy.In 1950, Paul Nitze, Director of the State Department Policy Planning Staff, delivered a reportto the democratic President Harry Truman that would be remembered in history as NationalSecurity Council 6832. The document was conceived as a comprehensive strategic analysis of thefactors that had driven the international system toward the bipolar conflict and of the challenges thatAmerica would have to face in the next decades. The central part of the document affirmed:Within the past thirty-five years the world has experienced two global wars of tremendous violence. Ithas witnessed two revolutions -the Russian and the Chinese- of extreme scope and intensity. It hasalso seen the collapse of five empires -the Ottoman, the Austro-Hungarian, German, Italian, andJapanese- and the drastic decline of two major imperial systems, the British and the French. Duringthe span of one generation, the international distribution of power has been fundamentally altered. Forseveral centuries it had proved impossible for any one nation to gain such preponderant strength that acoalition of other nations could not in time face it with greater strength. The international scene wasmarked by recurring periods of violence and war, but a system of sovereign and independent stateswas maintained, over which no state was able to achieve hegemony. Two complex sets of factors havenow basically altered this historic distribution of power. First, the defeat of Germany and Japan andthe decline of the British and French Empires have interacted with the development of the UnitedStates and the Soviet Union in such a way that power increasingly gravitated to these two centers.Second, the Soviet Union, unlike previous aspirants to hegemony, is animated by a new fanatic faith,anti-thetical to our own, and seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world. Conflicthas, therefore, become endemic and is waged, on the part of the Soviet Union, by violent or non-violent methods in accordance with the dictates of expediency. With the development of increasinglyterrifying weapons of mass destruction, every individual faces the ever-present possibility ofannihilation should the conflict enter the phase of total war33.This document mirrors the end of the first part of what British historian Eric Hobsbawm haslabelled the “short century”, mainly monopolized by European imperial powers, and the shifttoward its second part in which Washington and Moscow would have been the new protagonists.From the American point of view, the document underscored the assumption of a global perspectiveregarding the perception of foreign policy issues. Nitze considered the European imperial collapseon the Atlantic side and the Japanese eclipse on the Pacific one, as the main causes of the newbipolar shape assumed by the international system. In Nitze’s view, this structural and systemic32Ernest R. May (ed.), American Cold War Strategy, Interpreting NSC 68, Boston, New York, Bedford-San Martin’s,1993.33NSC68, Analysis. I. Background of the Present Crisis, May, American Cold War…,

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10transformation together with Soviet expansionist ideology now made Washington responsible forworld order. Henceforth “a butterfly wing shake” in Asia or North Africa would provoke seriousconsequences in Washington.Nitze had mainly focused his analysis on the military threat that the Soviet atomic bomb,(finally achieved by USSR scientists in 1949), posed to American hegemony. However, nuclearequality and the dramatic improvements achieved by both powers in terms of massive destructivecapacity almost excluded the likelihood of a military resolution of the conflict between them. In1953, the Soviets tested their first hydrogen bomb and in 1954 Eisenhower clearly underlined howthe probability of a nuclear war had decreased:This concern is based, of course, on the general belief that, while Moscow may not be willing to riskall-out nuclear holocaust to achieve its ends, it has not surrended to its desire for world domination-itsbelief that in the twentieth century “all roads lead to communism”. To achieve that goal without all-out war, the Kremlin has available a variety of means of infiltration: military, political, economic, andpropaganda34.In fact, the strategic problem represented by what would come to be known as MutualAssured Destruction dilemma suddenly changed the nature of the challenges and progressivelypushed the bipolar conflict toward the peripheries of the world. It was here that what James Mayallhas defined as the third wave of the nation-state building process, was quickly taking form35. It is inthis context that the CIA 1948 document assumes a central importance. In fact, The Break-up of theColonial Empires and its Implications for U.S. Security identified the decolonization process andthe Soviet ability to interact with it as the main future main challenge to western hegemony. In thedocument, American intelligence analysts stressed the risk that recently decolonized countries ornationalist movements still struggling for independence could adopt a pro-Soviet orientation:The growth of nationalism in colonial areas, which has already succeeded in breaking up a large partof the European colonial Systems and in creating a series of new, nationalistic states in the Near andFar East, has major implications for US security, particularly in terms of possible World conflict withthe USSR. This shift of the dependent areas from the orbit of the colonial powers not only weakensthe probable European allies of the US but deprives the US itself of assured access to vital bases andraw materials in these areas in event of war. Should the recently liberated and currently emergentstates become oriented toward the USSR, US military and economic security would be seriouslythreatened36.The second interesting point was that the CIA, already in 1948, regarded the anti-colonialismmovement as a vector capable of transforming the bipolar conflict into what Odd Arne Westad has34“Infiltration a Danger in <Coexistence Policy>”, The New York Times, 12 January 1954, p. 5.35James Mayall, Nationalism, in Richard W. Bulliet (ed.), The Columbia History of the 20thCentury, New York,Columbia University Press, 1998.36CIA FOIA, The Break-up of the Colonial Empires and its Implications for U.S. Security, 9/3/1948, estimateinternational estimate, indexf199400566, Case Number SC-1999-00005, Confidential, p. 1.

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11defined as the Global Cold War37. Moreover, the American intelligence agency considered that theinjection of independence and nationalist movements into the broader scenario represented by theEast-West conflictive relationships, in the end, could strongly benefit the Soviet Union expansioniststrategy:The colonial independence movement, therefore, is no longer purely a domestic issue between theEuropean colonial powers and their dependencies. It has been injected into the larger arena of worldpolitics and has become an element in the broader problems of relations between Orient and Occident,between industrialized and “underdeveloped” nations, and between the Western Powers and theUSRR. (…) The USSR is effectively exploiting the colonial issue and the economic nationalism ofthe underdeveloped areas as a means of dividing the non-Soviet world, weakening the WesternPowers, and gaining the good will of colonial and former colonial areas38.In conclusion, American intelligence had correctly forecasted what, in the next thirty years,was going to represent the focus of the Cold War: the struggle between the East and the West forinfluence and control of the decolonized and developing world. In this sense, the nationalist issuewas the political vector that globalized the Cold War.Even if the CIA had warned that decolonization and nationalism could represent a realadvantage for the Soviet Union, in 1948 the path that Third World and developing nationalism wasgoing to follow was still not clear. In fact, as underlined by Westad, the NSC51 had shown that atthe beginning of 1950 Washington still believed that the best way to avert communist infiltration ofnationalist movements was to cooperate with them39. However, throughout the fifties, thisperception started changing, as Moscow gained some advantage in interacting with the developingworld. The launch of Peaceful Coexistence during Georgy Malenkov’s “collective premiership” andits strengthening during the Nikita Khrushchev years represented an important strategic move.Worried about the expensiveness of Stalin’s foreign policy in terms of poor domestic commoditiesproduction, the new Soviet rulers seemed eager to use Third World nationalism as a way to reducethe costs of the foreign policy while sustaining its ambitious objectives. During the 1955 PartyPlenum, Khrushchev openly criticized Soviet involvement in Korean war, stressing both itsexpensiveness and its lack of clear utility40. Probably started as a policy aimed at reducing the costof Stalin’s foreign policy, under Khrushchev the Peaceful Coexistence quickly transformed itselfinto a different project: Competitive Coexistence. The difference was substantial because, if thePeaceful Coexistence had only a rhetoric flavour, under Competitive Coexistence Khrushchevwould have really tried by means of economic and political cooperation to orient developing37Westad, The Global Cold War…,38CIA FOIA, The Break-up of the Colonial Empires and its Implications for U.S. Security, 9/3/1948, estimateinternational estimate, indexf199400566, Case Number SC-1999-00005, Confidential.39Westad, The Global Cold War..., p. 114.40Vladislav M. Zubok, A Failed Empire. The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev, Chapel Hill, TheUniversity of North Carolina Press, 2007, p. 101.

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12nationalism toward the Soviet Union. The reaction of the American political establishment, bothDemocratic and Republican, highlights how seriously Washington spotted the new Soviet strategy.In 1953, the leader of the Democratic majority in the American Congress, William F. Knowland,defined the Coexistence Competition as the Soviet Union’s “Troy Horse” in the developing world41.Then, 1955, during a gathering with Illinois manufacturers, John Foster Dulles underlined thereasons that made Moscow more competitive in terms of interaction with the developing world:The Soviet rulers have an advantage in that they find it easy to neglect the needs of their own peopleand have trained a large number of scientists and technicians whom they can send abroad “as a symbolof promises which are alluring”42.Likewise, in 1956, the democratic candidate at the presidential elections, Adlai Stevenson,epitomized the kind of preoccupation that the Soviet “peaceful offensive” was generating in theAmerican political establishment. As the New York Times reported:Stevenson calls a “tragic irony” that the United States, which has always stood for peace, freedom andindependence should have come to be regarded as a threat to peace, and enemy of nationalistaspirations; whereas the Soviet Union, which had always stood for oppression and tyranny, shouldbecome identified with the struggles of the oppressed and former colonial people43.In the US, the Cold War ‘thaw’ Malenkov and Khrushchev pursued was evidently regardedwith suspicion and considered only a tactical change in a strategic plan that kept expansion as itsfinal purpose44. In this sense, the point made by Stevenson is particularly useful for understandingof our problem. Washington, which since the time of the Woodrow Wilson administration hadplayed an important role in shaping the decolonization process, was now rapidly shifting toward amore conservative approach to the issue. For Stevenson, the Soviet peaceful offensive wasproducing a powerful and attractive call for nationalist elites, generating, at the same time, theimpression that Washington had forgotten its anti-colonialist policies. Stevenson’s remarks wereprobably right. In fact, there were many reasons that justified the growing American uneasinessregarding its relations with nationalism. It is obvious that, as is well illustrated by John LewisGaddis, the necessity to preserve the alliance with European powers, at the same time colonialmetropolis and key partners in the struggle against the Soviet Union, represented an obstacle forestablishing a constructive relationship with anti-colonial movements and decolonized countries. In1956, during a news conference and using that easy speaking tone that had made him so popular,41“Views on Coexistence Idea in Washington”, The New York Times, 17 November 1954, p. 3.42“ Dulles Condemns <Guile> of Soviet on Aiding Underdeveloped Areas”, The New York Times, 9 December 1955 pp.1 and 8.43“Policy for US? Stevenson’s View”, The New York Times, 22 April 1956, p. 1, Section n. 4.44“Soviet is Pushing <Coexistence> Line”, The New York Times, 14 March 1953, p. 4.

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13Eisenhower summarized the complexity of elements that was hampering the American diplomaticinteraction process with nationalism in one of the “hottest” area of developing world, the MiddleEast:My view on Middle East has been very clear. I think. I believe that this is one of the strategicallyimportant areas of the World. I believe that its safety, access to it; are both very important; first of allto western Europe. And because they are to western Europe that means to the whole free world.Consequently, we must do everything, first to preserve the peace, and we are going to preserve peaceonly as we give all the people in that area opportunity to achieve their legitimate aspirations,economically, socially, and politically. Now, this becomes a very easy thing to say: it becomes a verydifficult thing to do because of the antagonism and cross antagonism. They are not always runningeven the one direction. They seem to cross here and there. It is very difficult thing45.In this sense, a good example of what Eisenhower had labelled as “antagonism and crossantagonism” was the Egyptian scenario where, in 1955, the Republican Administration had to dealwith his nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Facing increasing requests from Nasser in order toreceive military supplies, Washington had to balance his response taking into account Britishopposition46. At the end, Nasser turned to the Soviets in order to obtain his military equipment. Asimilar problem occurred in the early fifties in Vietnam. In this context, Washington had to choosebetween supporting France’s imperial ambitions in order to maintain its loyalty in terms of ColdWar struggle or Ho Chi Minh quest for independence47. As is well known, Washington chose tosupport France and the result was a quick shift of Vietnamese nationalism toward the communistblock.However, if the “European” factor represented an American handicap, the Soviet Union couldcount, on its side, on some other proactive advantages that were going to widen the gap betweenWashington and Moscow when it came to interacting with the developing Third World. When,during the fifties, the inexorable process of imperial collapse gave life to an increasing number ofnew nations in Asia and in Africa, the focus of the nationalist elites rapidly switched from the issueof political independence toward the quest for economic independence and, therefore, to the sourcesfor achieving it. As underlined by Alain Touraine, the new anti-colonialist nationalists conceivedindependence not simply as a rupture of the colonial chains but also as a process of modernizationwhereby economic emancipation from its metropolis came to be perceived as a cornerstone of thedecolonization process48. In this context, industrialization was considered the only practicable wayto fix the gap between the third developing and the developed world. Around the issue of economic45“The Transcript of Eisenhower’s News Conference on Foreign and Domestic Issue”, The New York Times, 5 April,1956, p. 10.46Aleksandr Fursenko, Timothi Naftali, Khrushchev’s Cold War. The inside Story of an American Adversary, NewYork and London, W. W. Norton & Company, 2006, p. 65.47Gaddis, We now Know: rethinking Cold War History, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1997, p. 157.48Alain Touraine, Come liberarsi del liberismo, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 2000.

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14modernization, Asian and African newly independent countries met with Latin American republicsthat, even if freed from Spanish imperial domination since 1815, had been generally unable tomanage a model of economic development apt to create a stable and shared national welfare. Thepolitical manifestation of this ideological encounter was, in 1955, the Bandung Conference and,later, the foundation of Non-Aligned movement. The concurrent presence in this political body ofYugoslavia, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Ghana and, in the sixties, Cuba, offers a picture of the politicalarch that developing nationalism, driven by the common quest for modernization, had been able toconsolidate extending its range from East Asia, running through the Mediterranean Sea, the MiddleEast and North Africa, finally reaching Latin America.In terms of a capacity to interpret the developing nations’ quest for modernization, the Sovietshad some crucial advantages. First of all, it should be considered that until Walt Whitman Rostow’sproposal for a non-communist road to modernization, Washington had no clear model to sell49.During the Truman and the Eisenhower Administrations, the target of the American propaganda hadbeen the issue of democracy. The main tools of the American effort to underscore the Stalinisttotalitarian barbarisms had been the Voice of America, a radio station transmitting worldwide, andthe United States Information Agency50. These kind of operations had been very successful in theEuropean context, where the democratic question represented, after the tragic totalitarianexperience, a crucial issue. Nevertheless, this sort of propaganda was not able to meet the needs ofthe developing world. And, in fact, in this context the Soviet Union’s conversion from a mainlybackward country, whose economy had been largely based on agricultural production, into aleading industrial power able to launch rockets and satellites was in itself a very powerful passport.Indeed, as underlined by Eric Hobsbawm, the main attraction of the Soviets model was the mostgifted invention achieved by its social scientists during the twenties and the thirties: a scientificmethodology for economic modernization51. In 1955, two leading Kremlinologists clearlysummarized the problem of the competition between West and East in terms of industrializationmodels:The communist appeal in underdeveloped areas is still formidable. In particular, it holds an attractionfor those groups of the population who prefer drastic industrialization “from above” to the gradualist,evolutionary tradition of the West (…). For these groups, it is the USSR and China, not the Westernindustrial countries, which- to borrow a phrase from Marx- present to other underdeveloped areas animage of their own future52.49Westad, The Global Cold War..., p. 33; Michael E. Letham, Modernization as Ideology. American Social Science and“Nation Building” in the Kennedy Era, Chapel Hill and London, The University of North Carolina Press, 2000.50Laura A. Belmonte, Selling the American Way. U. S. Propaganda and the Cold War, Philadelphia, University ofPennsylvania Press, pp. 50-70.51Eric J. Hobsbawm, I Rivoluzionari, Torino, Einaudi Editore, 2002, p. 68.52“Current Communist Strategy in Non industrialized Countries”, Problem of Communism, September-October 1955,n. 5, Vol. IV, United States Information Services, Washington D.C.

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15In 1955, the CIA had issued a special report on Soviet bloc economic activities whichalarmingly underlined the rapid expansion of the its economic ties with many developing countries:Soviet Bloc countries, especially the USSR, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, havegreatly expanded their offering of capital equipment and technical aid to Certain Free World countries.The most extensive bloc programs are with Afghanistan, India and Indonesia; stronger economicrelations are fast developing with Yugoslavia and Egypt; in addition to Egypt, other Arab states,notably Syria and Lebanon, have been object of the recent concerted trade activities53.Thus, during the fifties the strengthening of Khrushchev’s leadership in the Kremlin brought,on one hand, important and partially successful efforts to increase light commodities production inthe Soviet Union. On the other hand, these reforms and the very same process of de-Stalinizationstrengthened Soviet Union’s capacity to promote its model and to fulfil the aid compromises signedwith third world countries54. As underlined by Zubok, Khrushchev was able to restore the pre-Stalinist ideological romantic internationalism in the Soviet foreign policy that had beenundermined by Stalin’s stress on Russian chauvinism55. This change quickly had its consequencesin terms of Soviet credibility and hence of foreign policy projection capacity. Between 1953 and1956 Soviet trade agreements with developing countries increased from 113 to 20356. The value ofSoviet trade with Third World countries increased from 850 million dollars in 1954 to 1.44 millionsin 195657. In this same year, during the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchev restated theimportance of this strategy and proudly underlined its achievements:Although they do not belong to the socialist world system, these countries can nevertheless draw on itsachievements to build independent national economies and raise the living standards of their people.Today they need not go begging to their former oppressor for modern equipment; they can get it in thesocialist countries, free of any political and military obligations58.It could be argued that the Soviet shift was, in the end, based on very fragile premise, that is,its structurally limited production capacity. But, in the fifties, the internal improvement caused byKhrushchev’s reform process and the launching of his ambitious Third World policy definitivelyshook the feeling of security that had marked the United States after the end of World Word II.And, in this process, the flirtation between Moscow and the developed world played a major role.53CIA FOIA, Special Survey of Select Soviet Bloc Economic Activities in Certain Free World Countries (September1955), Pub Date, 4/23/1955, Case Number CSI-2000-00019, Secret, p. 3.54Zubok, A Failed Empire. The Soviet..., p, 96.55Zubok, A Failed Empire. The Soviet..., p, 104.56Kaufman, Trade and Aid…, p. 64.57Idem.58Pravda, February 15, 1956, cit. in Communism in the Underdeveloped Countries, Soviet Economic Expansionism,“Problem of Communism”, July-August 1958, n. 4, Vol. 7, p. 31, United States Information Services, Washington D.C.

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16Shadows of the Cold War over Latin America.The American diplomatic response to Fidel Castro’s insurrection between 1956 and 1959epitomizes the sort of problems that the Eisenhower Administration had while interacting withnationalist movements in the broader context of the Global Cold War. As we will see, the Americandiplomats could clearly draw a difference between Castro’s nationalism and communism. However,they believed his movement could easily been infiltrated by communist forces and hence been usedas a device for Soviet expansionism. In fact, in the Latin America scenario, Washington found thatMoscow was using similar tools and a similar strategy when it came to nationalism as those used inother developing areas of the world. Therefore, the Eisenhower administration perceived the LatinAmerican context and hence the Cuban one, as part of a broader picture where the Soviet Unionwas constantly playing the nationalist card in order to achieve more influence. In fact, in LatinAmerica, the Eisenhower Administration rather than opposing nationalism for the threat itrepresented to its economic interests in the region, was increasing getting worried about its possibleconnection with the Soviet Union expansionist foreign policy.In October 1958, just a few months before Castro conquered the last Batista’s last strongholdin Cuba, the Central Intelligence Agency issued a 109-pages report focused on the problem ofsocialism in Latin America. In the first part of the document, American intelligence analystsunderlined the destabilizing role that the powerful association between nationalism and socialismwas playing in international affairs. The most striking aspect of the paper was the connection thatthe CIA established between developing nationalisms in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Economicindependence, modernization and industrialization processes had created a common base for aworldwide nationalist movement that crossed the entire developing world, offering Moscow anunmatched opportunity to extend its influence. The following fragment is considerably long but,given its importance, it seems useful to quote it almost entirely:Out of the varied and complex situations in the underdeveloped areas of the Free World, two mainforces are developing, the growth of which is leading to profound political and economic changes. Thefirst and more important of these forces is nationalism, the intensity of development and politicalmanifestation of which depend upon the conditions prevailing in a given area. The second force issocialism which embodies the aspiration of the people for industrialization and a higher standard ofliving and which connotes certain economic measure, principally economic planning andnationalization, to effect this goal. Socialism additionally has political overtones, and, as nowdeveloping in Asia and the Middle East, not only complements nationalism but is developingconcurrently with it. This complementary nature is evident in the political sphere where thenationalistic desires for freedom from foreign political and economic influence coincides withsocialism’s broad goal of man’s emancipation. It is also evident in the economic views held bynationalists in many of the underdeveloped countries. The main thread running through these

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17nationalist views is that socialism offers the means whereby the resources of a country can bemobilized for rapid industrialization without jeopardizing the country’s independence throughacceptance of foreign economic aid” Yet it is noted that many of the elements which are contributingto the concurrent development of nationalism and socialism in Asia and the Middle East are alsopresent in Latin America. The area is generally underdeveloped; the great majority of the people livein ignorance and poverty. The strong anti-USA sentiment is akin to anticolonialism in Asia and theMiddle East, in which the US is blamed for Latin America’s general backwardness and lack ofindustrial development in major areas.(....) The indigenous Communist parties are fanning this anti-USsentiment and calling for a “Democratic Front of National Liberation” to effect liberation fromgovernments supported by ”US imperialism” or regimes responsive to “New Style U.S. colonialism”.The USSR is intensifying its economic program in Latin America in efforts to detach these countriesfrom the United States. The spectre thus appears of nationalistic and socialistic regimes eventuallyarising in Latin America which would, as in Asia and the Middle East, advocate a third force if not apro-soviet neutralist position in the Communist-Free Word conflict”59.The CIA then identified two broad axes in the Soviet strategy in Latin America. The first onewas the economic offensive that Khrushchev had launched on the continent at the beginning of1956. In fact, in January 1956, Nicolai Bulganin, Malenkov’s successor to the post of Soviet PrimeMinister and Khrushchev’s trusted aide, had formally launched an offer for economic assistance toLatin American countries60. The Soviet initiative seriously concerned the EisenhowerAdministration, more for the political meaning caused by its timing than for its real, practicaleffectiveness. In fact, since the end of World War II, Washington had faced increasing complaintson the behaviour of Latin American leaders, troubled by the decline of US aid to the continent.During the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration, Latin America had been the main focus ofAmerican international aid. Through Export-Import Bank loans, Washington had got involved inmany development plans all around the continent61. This trend was first reversed during HarryTruman Administration. Between 1945 and 1950, under the Four Point Program for technicalassistance only 2% of total US aid went to Latin America62. For the 1951-1953 fiscal years, of atotal amount of $188.835.000, $163,521,922 went to Asia, $75,500,000 to Middle East and only amere $37.592.500 to Latin America63. In an editorial column published in 1949, the prestigiousCuban intellectual, Herminio Porter Villa, epitomized the view point of many Latin Americansregarding the perception of US’s foreign policy in the continent:59Retrospective Collection, CIA Digital Reading Room, CIA Declassified Documents, Library of CongressWashington D.C., Operation General Intelligence Aid, CSHB-F 52-890-2, (Est. Pub Date) Principal aspects ofsocialism in Latin America, October 1958; published 13/02/2001, Secret.60Bevan Sewell, “A Perfect (Free Market) World? Economics, the Eisenhower Administration, and the SovietEconomic Offensive in Latin America”, Diplomatic History, Vol. 23, No. 5 (November 2008), pp. 841-868, p. 855.61William H. Becker, William M. McClenahan Jr., The Market, The States, and the Export-Import Bank of The UnitedStates, 1934-2000, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 32-39.62Leslie Bethell, Ian Roxborough (eds.), Latin America between the Second World War and the Cold War, 1944-1948,New York, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 22.63“Where U.S. has sent Economic and Military Aid since the World War II”, The New York Times, 1 March 1953, p. 3,Section 4. “Point 4 Cost for 2 Years is Placed at 276 Million”, The New York Times, 12 January 1953, p. 10.

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18(...)la actual política exterior norteamericana se ha alejado muy mucho de la que Roosevelt puso enpráctica en cuanto a las relaciones de los Estados Unidos con la América Latina y ha olvidado todaslas promesas que se hicieron durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial acerca de la colaboración en la luchacontra el totalitarismo que había conducido al fomento de empresas industriales, agrícolas, mineras,etc. En los países latinoamericanos, que respondían a conveniencias estratégicas de los EstadosUnidos, se continuaría en la paz para estimular la industrialización y el desarrollo económico integralde todos los países. Inclusive, los ofrecimientos y hasta los acuerdos de la Conferencia de Chapultepecrelacionados con estas cuestiones o se han convertido en letra muerta o han sido simplementearrojados por la borda.....Las república latinoamericanas ya no somos, ni tan importantes ni tanpopulares, ni tan necesarias, ni tan dignas de disfrutar de un bienestar adecuado, como fuimos o como,por lo menos, se nos decía que éramos de 1933 a 194564.In a memorandum sent to the American Ambassador in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian foreignminister, Raul Fernandes, also complained about the US’s approach to the aid problem. Fernandesscored a point when he wondered why Brazil, that had been militarily involved against the Axispowers in both the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, was not receiving the same amount of aid asGermany, Italy and Japan did under the Marshal Plan scheme65.In 1956, Adolfe Berl, ex Assistant to the Secretary of State during the TrumanAdministration, again denounced the aid problem in Latin America, underlining that under theEisenhower Administration aid had dramatically decreased to an astonishing 1% of the totalamount66. Finally, as observed by Bevan Sewell, the Soviet economic offensive was probablyineffective from a material point of view, due to the low quality of the material offered and to thesmall lending capacity of Moscow67. But it was able to hit a critical political point in the broadercontext of intercontinental relations. As we saw, during his electoral campaign Eisenhower hadcompromised itself to cut the federal budget. But, once in power, the Republican Administrationhad not been able to deliver on it. The President had to fight hard to persuade the Republican Partythat, for security reasons, cutting the budget or reducing taxes were unfeasible:“I see, so far, nological reason for reducing taxes, and I really believe it would not be in the good interest of America toreduce them at the moment”68. The issue of international aid had played a central role in determiningthe Administration’s incapacity to cut the budget. For the 1957 fiscal year, the Administration hadplanned for $3.500.000 aid plan but it had been forced to increase it to $4.500.000 to meet itsagreements in turmoil regions in Asia and Middle East69. An articulated aid plan aimed to supportLatin American development was not possible given Eisenhower’s budget limitation and, in fact,was not going to occur until John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s “Alianza Para el Progreso” initiative.64Bohemia, “Política Interamericana”, 2 de Enero 1949, núm. 1, p. 19.65Hilton, “The United States, Brazil…, p. 605.66The New York Times, 8 April 1956, p. 27.67Sewell, “ A Perfect (Free Market) World? Economics…,68“Transcript of the President’s News Conference on Foreign and Domestic Matters”, The New York Times, 26 April1956.69“Eisenhower Joins Dulles in Pushing Foreign Aid Plan”, The New York Times, 1 May 1956, pp. 1 and 12.

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19Finally, the Soviets had launched a provocation aimed to underscore Washington’s inabilityto deal with Latin American’s quest for modernization, and even more importantly, they wereshowing the America’s inability to play in the complex and globalized decolonization anddeveloping chessboard. All this was happening at a time when many Latin American economieswere going through a complicated stage of readjustment due to the lack of internal and externalcapital to finance the consolidation of their industrialization processes. Increasing internationalcompetition in terms of primary production was adding even more problems to the traditionalcommodities price instability. Indeed, in 1953, a fall of international prices for main exportingcommodities caused waves of inflation that undermined the fragile position achieved by the thinLatin American middle class70. In fact, a nationalist phenomena that had its origin in 1929economic international crisis was a trend that was replicated in the 1950s. After 1929, the focus onstate control of economic processes and the strong bet on industrialization had become central tomany new political parties or movements that had flourished between the end of the twenties andthe beginning of the thirties. Nationalism had its main point of reference in the United NationsEconomic Commission for Latin America (ECLA or, CEPAL, using his more well known Spanishacronym), created in 1948 led by the prestigious Argentinean economist Raul Prebisch. ECLAprescribed industrialization as the only way for Latin American republics to develop and achieve areal independence. In fact, Prebisch, and generally speaking new nationalist elites of the fifties,considered that political independence achieved in the nineteenth century had been frustrated byeconomic reliance on a production model mainly based on primary exports71. This issue had itspolitical counterpoint. In fact, nationalists accused the rich exportation oligarchy of using itseconomic power to monopolize the political system and thereby avoiding social and politicalreforms72. In 1953, John Cabot, Assistant to the Secretary of State for Latin America, had warnedthat social unrest was on the increase in the continent. Cabot criticized the American inability tofoster modernization and reforms and warned that in the continent liberal elements were rapidlyshifting toward communist positions. As the New York Times reported:70“South America is Beset by Internal Inflation as World Prices Fall”, The New York Times, 7 January 1953, p. 47 and72.71Frederick Stirton Weaver, Latin America in the World Economy, Oxford and Boulder, Westview Press, 2000, p, 127.72Antonio Annino, “Ampliar la Nación”, Annino Antonio, Luis Leiva Castro, Xavier François Guerra (coord.), De losimperios a las naciones: Iberoamérica, Zaragoza, IberCaja, 1994, p. 550; Marcello Carmagnani, América latina de1880 a nuestros días, Barcelona, Oikos-Tau, 1975, pp. 16-17. Tulio Halperin Donghi, Historia contemporánea deAmérica Latina, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1998, pp. 295-296. Alan Knight, “Democratic and Revolutionary Traditionsin Latin America”, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 147-186, 2000. Jaques Lambert, AméricaLatina. Estructuras Sociales e Instituciones Políticas, Barcelona, Ediciones Aires, 1973. Dietrich Rueschemeyer,Evelyne Huber Stephens, John D. Stephen (eds.), Capitalist Development and Democracy, Chicago, University ofChicago Press, 1992, p. 185; John J. Johnson, Political Change in Latin America. The emergence of the middle sectors,Stanford, Stanford University Press.

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20Social reform is coming in Latin America, and may come by evolution or revolution. Reactionaryelements, he said, do not want social reform, but are willing to tie down the safety valve and wait forthe boiler to burst. Liberals element faced with such opposition have become increasingly susceptibleto communist influence73.Cabot’s views led directly to the second point that the CIA had highlighted as a cornerstone ofSoviet strategy in Latin America: the “United Front of National Liberation”. This policy ofinterclass alliance seemed to perfectly fit with Cabot’s warnings. Liberal elements in LatinAmerican societies, facing conservative opposition to reforms, were beginning to be sensitive tocommunist influence. In this sense, the testimony of General C. P. Cabell, Deputy Director of theCIA between 1953 and 1962 and Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff between 1951 and 1953, infront of a Senate Committee that investigated the modalities through which the Americandiplomacy had treated the Cuban insurrection, is of particular interest. During his session, Cabellaffirmed that, in Latin America, the CIA had been constantly concerned about the capacity thatcommunists had developed in order to infiltrate nationalist movements through a precise strategy,that is, the national liberation strategy:The so call national liberation strategy seeks to offset Communist numerical and political weaknessthrough international organizational support and clandestine techniques of infiltration and coordination. Theimmediate objective of the strategy is to provoke political or revolutionary actions by sympathetic nonCommunist, but politically influential elements, for the purpose of establishing an environment within whichthe Communist Party is free to organize and expand(..)It is within such a framework that the Communiststhen hope to achieve the so-called peaceful transition to socialism which will find a temporary alliance withthe national bourgeoisie within a new government of national unity gradually replaced by a communistcontrolled “people’s democracy”. (..) The program of Communism in Latin America is designed to developunity of action around popular issues such as antipathy to dictatorship, inflation, a desire for greaterindustrialization, nationalization of resources and wider and more stable markets74.The roots of this Soviet strategy were long and had been improved over the years. Karl Marxhad not maintained a stable position regarding nationalism. At the beginning, he had labelled it as areactionary ideology but, then, he positively evaluated the German Zolverein and the ItalianRisorgimento considering them steps toward the industrialization process and, thereby, to theformation of an industrial proletariat in those countries75. With Lenin, when the theoretical debateswitched from the production models to the means to achieve power, the Soviet approach toward73“Cabot Points Way in Latin America”, The New York Times, 18 March 1953, p. 47.74Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-Sixth Congress, First Session, Communist Threat to theUnited States trough the Caribbean, hearings before the subcommittee to investigate the administrations of internalsecurity act and other internal security laws, part. III, testimony of General C.P. Cabell, Deputy Director, CentralIntelligence, Agency, November 5 1959, United States Government Printing Office, Washington 1960. Library OfCongress, Washington D.C.75Shlomo Avieri, “Marxist and Nationalism”, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 26, No.3/4 (Sept.,1991), 637-657,p. 644.

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21nationalism radically changed76. Lenin considered the colonized world as the West’s weak point,the place where capitalism’s contradictions would have suddenly exploded and thereby decided tofocus Soviet attention on these areas77. Reputing that communist parties were still too weak to leadthe initiative, Lenin proposed at the Second Comintern Congress (July 1920) the possibility oftactical alliances with the anti-imperialist bourgeoisie. The Soviet leader had to challenge theopposition of many local communist parties. The most relevant critics to the Soviet leader camefrom M. N. Roy, the Indian Communist Party Secretary, that asked for massive support to the localcommunist parties and rejected the option of tactical alliances. In 1922 during the Fourth Congressof the Third International, the “United Anti-Imperialist Front” strategy was officially adopted as themain tool of Soviet foreign policy in colonized world78. It plainly affirmed that in the colonial worldthe main objective of communist parties was to support the anti-imperial struggle, cooperating withthe progressive bourgeoisie. During 1940, the Bulgarian communist Georgi Dimitrov improved themodel, shaping the new People’s Democracy concept. Dimitrov recovered Leninist positions,stating that where communist parties were not ready to take the power a sort of compromise had tobe found with agrarian, industrialist or commercial bourgeoisie79. Needles to say that this sametactic had represented the main device through which Moscow had absorbed, in the months thatfollowed the end of WWII, many Eastern countries into the new Soviet block80. In colonial areas,this tactic was basically carried on during the thirties and interrupted only briefly after World WarTwo, when Soviet initiative in some cases rested on military activities, as in Korea. But, after theend of the war in Korea, Moscow had gone back to it, as interestingly underlined by the Bureau ofIntelligence and Research at the State Department:Beginning in 1948, armed struggle became an increasingly important revolutionary tactic in Asia andin 1948 it was proclaimed the main force of struggle. The defeat of Communist effort to take overSouth Korea by force brought to about the abandonment of this policy of violence in favour of themore long-term tactic of infiltration and manipulation of “temporary allies”. The Communistscontinue to follow, in the main, the tactics on revolutionary activity in under-developed areas laiddown by the Comintern before the war-tactics which stress the importance of exploiting localnationalist movement, but only on a selective basis where their activities can be useful in weakening76Roger E. Kanet, The Soviet Union and the Colonial Question, en Roger E. Kanet (ed.), The Soviet Union and theDeveloping Nations, Baltimore and London, The John Hopkins University Press, 1974, p. 5.77Francis Fukuyama, El fin de la historia y el último hombre, Barcelona, Editorial Planeta, 1992, p. 151.78William T. Shinn Junior, “The National Democratic State: A Communist Program for less Developed Areas”, WorldPolitics, Vol. 15, No.3, (Apr. 1963), pp.377-389, p. 379; Margot Light, The Soviet Theory of International Relations,New York, St Martin’s Press, 1988, pp. 80-90.79Fernando Claudín, The Communist Movement. From Comintern to Cominform. Part Two, The Zenith of Stalinism,New York and London, Monthly Review Press, 1975, p. 461.80Hugh Seton-Watson, The East European Revolution, Boulder and London, Westview Press 1985, pp. 169-171; withspecial attention to Hungary see, for example, Peter F. Sugar and Ivo J. Lederer, Nationalism in Eastern Europe, Seattleand London, University of Washington Press, 1969, pp. 299-301.

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22the established authority. The point is stressed that these nationalist movements can be only“temporary allies” to be jettisoned when they have served their purpose81.At the 19thCongress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (October 1952), the “Anti-imperialist United Front or its other label, the “National Liberation Front” was officially adoptedalso for the American continent. Indeed, in 1952, for the first time the INR identified the “NationalLiberation Front” strategy as a device for Soviet expansionism also in the Latin Americancontinent: “The Latin American Communist Parties, which are a part of the “colonial and dependentsector” of the Communist world picture, have for the past several years pursued a “nationalliberation front” program82”.This broader context, for instance, helps to understand why, in Guatemala the increasingconnection between the Arbenz’s nationalist government and the Guatemalan communist party wasnot perceived and challenged by the Eisenhower administration as a local crisis. Washington knewperfectly well that Arbenz was not a communist, even if he was associated with the fledglingGuatemalan Communist Party, the PGT. In fact, a 1953 NSC paper had recognized the difference,stating that the Guatemalan president simply considered communists as temporary allies in hisinternal struggle83. But, from the American point of view, what Arbenz thought was not important.What really mattered for Washington was the fact that communists were eager to exploit Arbenz’snationalist movement to expand their influence in the country and, possibly, in the region. Indeed,the Guatemalan issue simply reinforced the American perception of the problem, establishing acrucial precedent for the future. In an remarkable document titled “Comment on <Lessons ofGuatemala>”, one CIA officer stated that:It is quite true that Communism in Latin America thrives on poverty, economic maladjustment, anti-Americanism and desire for national independence. (…) This tactic, which aims at the completeisolation of the United States, calls initially for Communist “penetration” of power groups and strata(even if bourgeoisie) opposed to the United States. (..) The implied exploitation of nationalismdefinitely strengthens the tactics of the CP movement in Latin America. (..) This is exactly whathappened in Guatemala84.81Record Group (RG) 59 National Archives (NARA) Washington D.C., Records of Component Offices of the Bureauof Intelligence and Research, 1947-1963, LOT87D33.82Brtish National Archives, Foreign Office Department, American Department, General, A 1015/13, 1953, Communismin Latin America. Department of State, Intelligence Report No. 5180.12. Communism in the Other American Republics,Quarterly Survey, October-December, 1952, p. 10 Scret.83Rabe, Eisenhower......, p. 46.84CIA FOIA, Comment on “Lessons of Guatemala” by Daniel James, SS-2003-0002, published 8/19/1954, p. 1. Secret.

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23The Cuban Case.In 1952, the Prío Socarrás Government was overthrown by a coup carried on by GeneralFulgencio Batista. The coup dramatically brought a period of more than ten years of uninterrupteddemocracy in Cuba to an end. But, given the gentle chaos that had marked this democraticexperience until 1952, the overthrown of the Socarrás Presidency went almost unopposed by Cubancivil society. In an article published only a few days after the coup, The New York Times journalist,Herbert Matthews, pictured the sense of liberation with which many Cubans had received theinterruption of the democratic course:The attitude of a majority of the Cubans toward Maj. Gen. Fulgencio Batista‘s coup March 10 seems tobe a mixture of confusion, resentment and hope. Putting it into words that they might say: “we shouldhave had elections, as planned, on June 1. It is too bad this happened, but the Prio regime was prettydisgraceful and maybe Batista will carry out his promises to make things better and then restoredemocracy. Since the damage is done, let’s wait and see what comes next85.During the first years of the Batista’s regime, the economic situation constantly bettered. Thedictator carried on a vast plan of diversification of the Cuban economy that since 1955 had began toproduce interesting results86. Moreover, the strong alliance that Batista kept with the main Cubantrade union, the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC), averted major challenges for his regime.In fact, a document published by the CIA in 1957 identified these two factors as the main sources ofthe stability that marked the first stage of the dictatorship: “Batista’s ability to cope with threats tohis regime has stemmed largely from economic prosperity that Cuba has enjoyed for the pastseveral years, the continued loyalty of most key personnel within the armed forces, the support ofthe Confederation of Cuban Workers (Confederación de Trabajadores de Cuba-CTC), and the lackof public confidence in the leadership of opposition political groups”87.Notwithstanding the initial welcome, Batista was unable to accomplish his promises. Thepolitical repression carried on by Cuban police increasingly stirred up social unrest. Initially limitedto the student opposition, mainly rooted in the University of Havana, the hostility to the regimerapidly spread through the country. The brutalities committed by the police against the oppositionand Batista’s determination to keep power until 1958, quickly threw the country in a state of openconflict. In 1956, the young Fidel Castro landed on Cuban shores leading a small guerrilla force.85The New York Times, “Cubans Are Confused, Resentful But Hopeful Over Batista’s Coup”, 17 April 1952, p. 3.86Julio Alvarado, La Aventura Cubana, Madrid, Artes Gráficas y Ediciones, S.A., 1977.87CIA, Country: Cuba, Report Title: Political Dynamics, NIS Series Number: 78, Chapter Number: 5, Section Number:53, Box Number: 297, Volume Number: 19. Publication Date: 01-Jun-57. Confidential, p. 53-3.

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24The group was ambushed by the Cuban Army and almost defeated. Castro took shelter in themountains of Sierra Maestra where he started a guerrilla warfare that in a short time grew inintensity. In the meanwhile, the Movement of Civic Resistance (Frente Cívico Revolucionario,FCR) led the urban side of the insurrection, causing increasing damage to the regime’s stability.Given the general mobilization that marked the Cuban political scene at the end of 1957, thechances for Batista’s regime to survive were minimal. In May 1957, a report issued by the StateDepartment Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the INR, plainly underlined it:MIE 30-57, which surveyed the political situation in Cuba through about mid-April 1957, gave theBatista regime only an even chance to survive through 1958. This estimate was based on theweakening of the Batista government by growing military unrest, particularly among lower echelonpersonnel; the inability of Administration to suppress the Fidel Castro movement; the intensificationof antigovernment sets and ruthless counterterrorist activities; the repeated suspensions ofconstitutional guarantees; the shifting of revolutionary activity to the capital; and the cooperationbetween insurrectionists and some wealthy businessmen and professionals88.While Batista was drowning in the contradictions of his regime and Fidel Castro was seeinghis victory draw nearer, Earl T. Smith, the American Ambassador in Cuba, and William Wieland,chair of the Middle American Affairs Desk at the State Department (MID), were steadily divergingover the possible diplomatic alternatives to Castro’s victory. Smith argued that a feasible alternativeto Castro was not possible at that moment and hence argued it important to maintain Washington’ssupport to Batista’s regime. Wieland, observing the complete lack of support that the regime had inCuban society, tried to strengthen the moderate middle class sector that in those years stillrepresented a crucial ally for Castro89.But, even if American diplomacy dramatically fell apart on the issue of whether or not fullsupporting Batista’s regime, it shared an imperturbable common position regarding the opportunityfor avoiding Castro’s victory. The source of their opposition to the young rebel leader was neithereconomic nor motivated by the fact that Castro was considered a communist. From the Americanpoint of view, the real issue was represented by the seductive power and the infiltration capacitiesthat the communist could exercise over his political movement. In 1957, this was considered only apossibility but, during the 1958, the American diplomacy appreciated a constant increase in theinteraction between the 26 of July Movement and the Cuban communist party, the PSP. Theexistence of this relationship during the Cuban crisis represented the main source of the Americanopposition to Castro. But, as we will see, the ambiguous nature of this connection preventedWashington from a direct action as occurred in Guatemala in 1954.88National Archives (NARA) RG 59 Washington DC, Intelligence and Research. Division of Research for AmericanRepublics. Special Paper No. 132. (INR) LOT75D242 CU22 17 May 1957, Secret, p.1.89José María Cuesta Braniella, La Resistencia Cívica en la Guerra de Liberación de Cuba, La Habana, Editorial deCiencias Sociales, 1997.

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25Facing the same Senate Committee that after the 1960 revolution was investigating thediplomatic strategy employed by the American diplomats during the insurrection, Ear T. Smith haddeclared that:After I had been in Cuba for approximately 2 months, and had made a study of Fidel Castro and therevolutionaries, it was perfectly obvious to me as it would be to any other reasonable man that Castrowas not the answer; that if Castro came to power, it would not be in the best interests of Cuba or in thebest interests of the United States90.During the same session, Smith had also affirmed that the reason why he considered Castrounfit to rule Cuba was that he had regarded him as a Marxist since the beginning of theinsurrection91. However, Ambassador Smith was not being truthful about the sources of his earlyhostility to the guerrilla leader92. A small diplomatic accident that occurred in the summer of 1957between the Ambassador and Daniel M. Braddock, military Attaché at the Cuban Embassy inHavana City, is revealing. In this respect, on 22 of July 1957, Braddock had written a special reportfor the Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. In his telegram, Braddock had manifested hisdisagreement with the contents of some reports, previously issued by Smith, and related toideological inspiration of the 26 of July Movement. In these analyses, Smith had explicitly rejectedthe eventuality of Castro’s communist affiliation. Now Braddock wanted the State Department toknow that, contrary to what had been stated by the Ambassador, he had been informed by someinfluent Cuban army officers that Castro was a communist:Regarding paragraph 2 of Fidel Castro Comments USARMA is in disagreement. Personal contactswith Barquin elements reveal that they not desire any contact or affiliation with Castro whomeveryone except the US Embassy claims is a communist93.90Communist Threat to the United States Through the Caribbean. Testimony of Earl T. Smith, Hearings Before theSubcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of theCommittee on the Judiciary United States Senate, eighty-Sixth Congress, Second Session, Part 9, August 27, 30, 1960,p. 689.91Communist Threat to the United States Through the Caribbean. Testimony of Earl T. Smith, Hearings Before theSubcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of theCommittee on the Judiciary United States Senate, eighty-Sixth Congress, Second Session, Part 9, August 27, 30, 1960,p, 692; in a book published in 1962, (The Fourth Floor. An Account of Castro Communist Revolution, Washington DC.US-Cuban Press), the Ambassador restated this thesis.92The best explanation leads to a comparison with the Senate Commission created by Senator Patrick McCarran that in1949 investigated the “Loss of China”. The investigation marked the beginning of McCarthyism and was clearly used todelegitimize State Department officers accusing them of being communists. In this sense, Smith’s statements almostresponded to the same scheme. In the Commission, Smith accused Castro of being communist and affirmed thatWilliam Wieland, chair of the Middle American Affairs Desk at the State Department (MID), had helped him to get thepower due to his communist sympathies; Eric Paul Roorda, “McCarthyte in Camelot: The “Loss” of Cuba,Homophobia, and the Otto Otepka Scandal in the Kennedy State department”, Diplomatic History, Vol. 31, No. 4,(September 2007), pp. 723-754; William J. Gill, The Ordeal of Otto Otepka, New Rochelle NY, Arlington House, 1969.93Telegram DA Intelligence Report R-68-57, quoted in NARA RG59, Washington DC, 737.00/10-457, Department ofState Instruction, From Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to AmEmbassy La Habana, Fidel Castro Ruz, Secret, 4October 1957.

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26In October, with a striking delay, the Secretary of State requested a clarification of thestatement released by Braddock that, if confirmed, would have obviously been alarming. On 8 ofOctober, probably after an unpleasant meeting with the military Attaché, the Ambassador answered:The Department requested a clarification of a statement by the Army Attache (DA Intelligence ReportR-68-57) which seemed to indicate that the Army Attache was in a disagreement with the rest of theEmbassy on the subject of whether or not Fidel Castro Ruz is a communist. The Embassy does notknow whether Castro is or is not a communist; it has received no satisfying evidence to date that he is.Those who support Castro say, and those other opposition group that are associated with him, stoutlymaintain that he is not. The Army Attache has no different view from the rest of the Embassy in thisregard and did not intend to convey by the statement in question that he regarded Castro ascommunist94.Again in 1958, Smith wrote to the State Department refusing the idea of a Castro’s possiblecommunist membership:It will be noted that, although there have been numerous accusations by both the Cuban Governmentand the Colombian Government in 1948 that Castro is a Communist, there is no direct evidence in thefiles of this office to substantiate this claim95.The State Department worked with similar data. Throughout 1957 the INR had constantlymonitored the problem connected to Castro’s possible communist affiliation. Notwithstanding theaggressive campaign launched by the Batista Government in order to convince Washington that the26 of July Movement was Marxist inspired, the INR had stated his inability to confirm thataffirmation:The Batista Government has constantly charged that the 26 of July Movement is Communist-inspired.In spite of the efforts to substantiate these allegations, however, the DRA has been unable to confirmcommunist infiltration in the movement or among its leadership96.The INR still had some doubts about Castro’s brother, Raul, and the Argentinean physicianErnesto Guevara, but even in these cases it had not been able to confirm a clear interaction withcommunists. However, even if the information managed by the MID excluded the communistinspiration of 26 of July Movement, Wieland was outright opposed to the eventuality of a Castro’svictory. During his testimony in front of the same Senate Investigation Committee, the MIDdirector had been very clear regarding this point:94NARA RG59, Washington DC, 737.99/10-857, Foreign Service Despatch, From AmEmbassy La Habana, to TheDepartment of State, Fidel Castro Ruz, Secret, 8 October 1957.95NARA RG59 Washington DC 737.00/3-1058 Foreign Service Despatch, From AmEmbassy, Habana to theDepartment of State, Washington. Fidel Castro Ruiz; Documents Concerning Him and His Activities: Appraisal, Secret.96NARA RG59, Washington D.C., Records of Component of Offices of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research 1947-1963, Lot 75D242 Box 15, INR Ambassador Hugh S. Cuming; DRA Robert A. Stevenson; Background Information onthe Cuban Political Situation, Confidential, 7 April 1958, p. 1.

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27Chairman Eastland. Were you favourable to Castro during the revolution in Cuba?Mr. Wieland. No sir.Chairman Eastland. Did you know Castro was Communist?Mr. Wieland. No, sir.Chairman Eastland. Why were you against him at first?Mr. Wieland. Because I regarded Mr. Castro as a very irresponsible, radical demagogue who was adangerous man, and certainly represented no good to the United States or to Cuba, sir97.Like the Ambassador, Wieland did not consider Castro a possible alternative to Batista’sregime. But unlike Smith, the chair of the American Desk thought that a third way between thedictatorship and Castro was a feasible alternative. In fact, since the end of 1957, Wieland had beenworking on an exit strategy for the Cuban impasse. In this context, the chief of the American Deskhad tried to foster the forging of a broad alliance between the moderate sectors of the insurrectionistband to exclude or, at least, to reduce as much as possible Castro’s influence. The MID correctlyconsidered the insurrection sector as a heterogeneous political body and hence decided to threw hissupport behind its moderate elements98. However, as we have seen, even for the MID the oppositionto Castro was not based on the belief that he was a communist.A similar point could be made regarding the other possible source for the Americandiplomatic opposition to Castro, that is, the economic threat represented by his program. The kindof information received by the American Embassy and the MID about Castro’s political programwas not sufficient to identify what sort of threat it could have brought against the American assetsin the country. In many cases these informations had been simply reassuring. In this resepct, theonly “official” source was represented by the defence harangue delivered by Castro while facing thetribunal that, in 1953, was judging him for the Moncada barrack assault99. In that occasion, theleader of the 26 of July Movement had only touched upon the issue of a moderate agrarian reformand the need to regulate public utilities companies. Lacking official information, the MID held acertain number of meetings with some Cuban relevant political and economic actors. In 1957,during one of these gatherings, Joaquín Meyer, a representative of the Cuban Sugar StabilizationInstitute in Washington100, reported a conversation held with Felipe Pazos, the Cuban NationalBank ex-director, prestigious international economist and, since 1957 summer, a Castro supporter:97SISS Hearings, State Department Security, The Case of William Wieland, Washington D.C., 1962, p. 104.98NARA RG59 Washington DC 737.00/11-2157 Office Memorandum, United States Government. To ARA-Mr.Rubottom, Form MID Mr. Wieland and Mr. Stewart. Possible United States Courses of Action in Restoring Normalcyto Cuba, Secret.99The 26th of July 1953, Fidel Castro had assaulted Moncada Cuban Army Barrack in the Oriente Province. Castro waseasily defeated by the Army and, after a process, jailed in the Pine Island Prison. He was released in 1955 thanks to anamnesty law promulgated by Fuglencio Batista.100The Sugar Stabilization institute had been founded by President Gerardo Machado in the twenties. It had grew inimportance after Fulgencio Batista’s 1937 land reform.

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28His economic ideas, according to Dr. Pazo’s, are not extremely nationalistic as sometimes depicted inthe press. Castro recognizes the importance of foreign investment and would only encourage nationalindustries which Cuba can legitimately support. Dr. Meyer mentioned that he still has his ownreservations about Castro, but that the word of Dr. Pazos came as a fresh breath of spring to him101.On February 1958, the American Consul in Santiago de Cuba wrote a report to the StateDepartment assuring that Castro was receiving political and economic support by many wealthyCuban families: “The Castro movement has an unusual appeal to all sectors of Cuban society eitherlegitimate or convenient. Monetary support for Castro and his movement comes from the wealthierclasses102”.In a CIA special report issued in November 1958, the American intelligence confirmedthe lack of clarity of Castro’s political program besides some references to the agrarian reform andthe regulation of public utilities.Castro’s lack of clarity about his objectives, beyond the elimination of Batista, has raised doubts abouthis long-range intentions among many non-26 of July opposition leaders who at the moment supporthim. Castro’s infrequent pronouncements reflect no well-developed program, although they indicatedefinite concern for agrarian reform and the regulation of public utilities103.The CIA was not able to raise more information over Castro simply because these information didnot exist.Immediately after Castro’s entrance into Havana City, the INR admitted its inability todraw a clear picture of 26 of July Movement in terms of its political program due to the nebulouspolitical background of the members of the movement:The lack of convincing information (i.e. “hard intelligence”) about the character and motivation of itsleaders proved a grave handicap. Though the Department did obtain additional information concerningthem, by the end of the Batista regime, it had not been able form more than tentative conclusionsabout the top rebel leaders. The fact that most of them were youths with nebulous political andrevolutionary backgrounds, and many had in the past some connection with persons and groups ofdubious ideologies and moral concepts made the task of assessment particularly difficult. There wasalso the virtual isolation of Castro and the others leaders of the Movement during the militarycampaign104.Finally, the best description of Castro’s political profile came in January 1959 from a StateDepartment paper that while confirming that he was neither a communist nor an ideological anti-101NARA RG59 Washington DC, 737.00/11-1457. Department of State, Memorandum of Conversation. Participants:dr. Joaquin Meyer, Washington Representative, Cuban Sugar Stabilization Institute; Mr. Terrance G. Leonhardy, MID.Cuban Political Situation, p. 1. Confidential.102Foreign Relation of United States (FRUS) Vol. VI 1958-1960 Cuba p. 30, RG59, 737.00/2-2158. Foreign ServiceDespatch From AmConsul Santiago to The Department of State, Washington. Fidel Castro, 26 of July Movement.Confidential.103Retrospective Collection, CIA Digital Reading Room, CIA Declassified Documents, Library of CongressWashington D.C., Special National Intelligence Estimate, The Situation in Cuba, SNIE 85-58, 24 November 1958, n.292, p. 2.104NARA RG59 Washington DC, 611.37/1-1559, State Department. Draft White Paper on Cuba, Official Use Only.

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29American defined him as nationalistic and somewhat socialistic105. This sketch confirms what onceunderlined by the Italian historian Antonio Annino: during the insurrection struggle Castro’sdiscourse had been politically vague but ideologically very clear106. Indeed, what was known by theAmerican diplomacy at that time was that Castro’s guerrilla movement did not have an articulatedpolitical program but that his ideological perimeter was deeply rooted in a kind of progressivenationalism that Washington, since the early fifties, had started to perceive as a threatening variablein the Cold War scenario. In this sense, if the ambiguity of Castro’s political program wasconsidered to be a problem, the attractiveness of communism and, even more, communistinfiltration of his nationalist movement were reputed to be the real dilemma. In fact, regardingCastro, the MID was seriously concerned over the possibility that communists could infiltrate hismovement and that, once the regime was gone, they could strongly benefit from the situation ofgenerated chaos. In fact, during 1957, the State Department had come to the conclusion that Castrowas neither a communist nor too radical in his economic views but that his insurrectional activitywas giving to the communists a chance to expand their influence over the country. WilliamWieland, wrote this down in a report to Roy Rubottom, Under Secretary of State for LatinAmerican affairs, at the end of 1957:In addition to endangering the safety of our citizens and investment, the breakdown of the democraticprocess in Cuba not only sets a bad example for the rest of the hemisphere, not to mention the world,but also provide a fertile ground for a resurgence of communist in the island. The communists, for themost part, are biding their time in the current crisis, letting other resort to violence, but in event of thebreakdown of authority they would intensify their activity107.Just in these same months, the Socialist Popular Party had begun to increase his pressure onCastro’s group in the Sierra Maestra. The PSP had been initially very hostile toward the 26 of JulyMovement and Fidel Castro himself. Communist leaders had at first labelled the young rebel leaderas a bourgeoisie adventurist and during the first year of the insurrection the PSP had played animportant role in boycotting his insurrectional initiatives108. But, during 1957 the PSP had shiftedits position towards a more flexible one. Some communists joined the guerrilla force and in thesummer of the 1958 a communist group commanded by Félix Torres opened a new small guerrillafront in the Yaguajay area, very close to where Raul Castro had opened a second insurrectionary105Library of Congress RG59 State Department Records, Staff Summary Biographic Supplement. Fidel Castro, CubanRevolutionary Leader, January 9 1959, p. 2. Confidential.106Antonio Annino, Dall’Insurrezione al Regime, Politiche di massa e strategie istituzionali a Cuba, 1953-1965,Milano, Franco Angeli Editore, 1984, p. 71.107NARA RG59 Washington DC 737.00/11-2157 Office Memorandum, United States Government. To ARA-Mr.Rubottom, Form MID Mr. Wieland and Mr. Stewart. Possible United States Courses of Action in Restoring Normalcyto Cuba, p. 1, Secret.108Ramón Bonachea, Marta San Martín, The Cuban Insurrection 1952-1959, New Brunswick, New Jersey, TransactionBook, 1974, pp. 220-221.

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30front109. The lack of official Cuban documents does not allow to determine if the change in PSPstrategy was a product of a direct Soviet input. At the same times it is not completely clear whatdetermined Castro’s decision to partially open the insurrection to the communist participation. So,as far as it is known, from the communist point of view the switch was mainly produced by Castro’sguerrilla increasing strength. The PSP started to perceive the guerrilla as an effective political actorin the Cuban environment and as the possible future alternative to Batista’s regime. At the sametime, Castro seemed to need the communists in order to strengthen his presence in terms of tradeunion organization and as an ally against the moderate sector of the insurrection110. But, again, as itwas occurring in many other parts of the developing world, nationalism and socialism seemed tocomplement themselves. In November 1958, a Special National Estimate paper, issued by the CIA,perfectly pictured the state of the relationship between Castro and the communists. The PSP, theCIA stated, had been previously excluded both from the 26 of July Movement and from the FCR.But, nationalism and opposition to dictatorship were becoming powerful point of contact betweenthe 26 of July Movement and the Communist party. Indeed, the CIA considered that the PSP wasstrongly riding both issues in an effort to infiltrate the insurrection:Fidel Castro’s control over his far-flung guerrillas is not so firm that he can prevent Communistinfiltration even if he should so desire. A few alleged Communist sympathizers hold moderatelyimportant positions in the movement, especially among the troops led by Raul Castro. SomeCommunists have undoubtedly penetrated its lower levels and its organization in Mexico. Moreover,the nationalistic and anti-dictatorship line of the movement is a horse which the Communists knowwell how to ride. If the revolution fails to make headway against the Batista regime, both Castro andthe FCR will be under increasing pressure to accept any help they can get111.In the last months of the insurrection, communist pressure on Castro’s movementconsiderably increased and one of its top leaders, Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, had been sent to theSierra Maestra to join the 26 of July guerrilla. Even if the core of the movement dislikedcommunists due to the strict collaboration that they had held with Batista’s governments during the1940’s, throughout 1958 the PSP become part of the opposition to the regime112. In December1958, Christian Herter, Assistant Secretary, sent a top secret memorandum directly to Presidentstating that:We also know that the communists are utilizing the Castro movement to same extent, as would beexpected, but there is insufficient evidence on which to base a charge that the rebels are Communists109Ibidem, p. 221.110Annino, Dall’insurrezione al regime...,111Retrospective Collection, CIA Digital Reading Room, CIA Declassified Documents, Library of CongressWashington D.C., Special National Intelligence Estimate, The Situation in Cuba, SNIE 85-58, 24 November 1958, n.292, p. 3.112Thomas G. Patterson, Contesting Castro. The United States and the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, New York,Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 185-186.

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31dominated. Hence there seems to be not basis for invoking the Caracas Resolution of 1954 whichwould call OAS to action113.Like Guatemala in 1954, independently from what Castro was planning in his mountainshelter in the Sierra Maestra, in Cuba in 1957-1958, what mattered for American diplomacy wasthat his nationalist movement could be used as a device for communist expansion in the island. InCuba, Washington did not have sufficient proof to clearly demonstrate that Castro’s movement wasactually controlled by communists. And, in fact, this lack of information prevented a directintervention under the Caracas Resolution that, adopted in 1954 by the Organization of AmericanStates, had represented the legal frame for the American intervention in Guatemala. Therefore, theRepublican Administration did not follow the Guatemalan path but its response to Castro during theinsurrection was equally strongly negative.Conclusions.It is a matter of fact that since the end of 1957, Castro and the PSP’s contacts had effectivelygrown closer. In this sense, the information that American diplomats possessed was punctual andsubstantially precise. But, the judgments expressed both by the CIA and INR and on which theAmerican strategy was based on, gave to Castro a somewhat passive role in the relationship. ForAmerican diplomats, during the insurrection stage of the Cuban crisis, the main problem wasrepresented by the possibility of an infiltration of the 26 of July Movement by the communists.However, unbeknownst to the Americans, Castro was playing a central role in the strengthening ofthis alliance. The young rebel leader was probably using the communists exactly as they were doingwith him. Crucially, the substantial difference between his alliance before 1959 and his move tocommunism later on was probably given by the fact that, during the insurrection, for Castro, thecommunists were still only an internal ally. In other words, the 26 of July Movement leader wasplaying the communist card in order to gain the entire control of the insurrection, not yet to shelterhis revolution with the Soviet mantle. In an interview released to the CNN in 1998, Fidel Castro,recalling the days of the insurrection, probably gave one of the more acute evaluations of theAmerican strategy toward his movement ever made:Como te decía, creíamos que teníamos derecho a hacer eso y que seríamos respetados; la vida nosdemostró cuán equivocados, realmente, estábamos. Entonces digo que no fuimos nosotros los que nos113Retrospective Collection, CIA Digital Reading Room, CIA Declassified Documents, Library of CongressWashington D.C., Department of State, Washington, Memorandum for the President, Subject Cuba, 23 December 1958,p. 3.

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32introdujimos en la guerra fría; realmente, la guerra fría, Estados Unidos, o el gobierno de EstadosUnidos, la trajo a Cuba114.Castro was right, throughout the fifties, the Cold War literally fell upon on Latin America. Hisdecision to use the communist card in the internal front immediately connected the insurrection tothe global enviroment, where since the end of the World War II, Moscow and Washington weredisputing over the nationalist issue. Even if Washington had traditionally maintained a friendlyposition toward the decolonization process and developing nationalism, during the early fifties theAmerican perception of the problem had started to change deeply. This alteration was mainly aconsequence of the improved Soviet capacity to interact with decolonized and developingnationalism. In fact, regarding this issue, Moscow could count on a certain number of advantages.First of all, it did not have to deal with allies simultaneously involved in the Cold Was struggle and,as colonialist powers, in the decolonizing process. Yet more importantly, it was the very samehistory of Soviet industrial development that seemed to meet the modernization quest articulated bynationalist elites better than the Western one did. Finally, Leninism had produced a useful interclasskind alliance that was skilfully pursued on over time and applied in many different contexts,including decolonized areas and Eastern Europe after WWII. In Latin America, the combination ofboth factors, the economic and the political offensive, seriously increased American concerns aboutits capacity to keep Soviet influence out of the continent. In fact, Washington quickly adopted adefensive response regarding Latin American nationalism. In this sense, the EisenhowerAdministration’s reaction to Arbenz’s nationalist Government and to Castro’s insurrection shouldprobably be read as a sign of the American weakness in the continent rather than as a brutal exerciseof its rough hegemony. Incapable of articulating a broad aid plan for the continent andoverwhelmed by a feeling of uneasiness to cope with the nationalist quest, Washington forced itselfto address the problem only in terms of security. Politics was set apart, and the Eisenhoweradministration’s policy in Latin America completely discarded the non-interventionist policypursued by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman.The Cuban case perfectly mirrors this problem. Facing a nationalist insurrection, Washingtonlet the Castro’s movement to shift progressively toward an alliance with the communists. Castrowas considered a passive factor, a mere vector for the communist expansion in the island and in theregion. As we have underlined, the PSP had a clear strategy toward the 26 of July Movement butthe reverse was also true and the American diplomacy could have try to interact with it instead ofsimply excluding the possibility of a dialogue. But, as Castro said the Cold War had suddenly fell inLatin America and, hence, in Cuba.114Fidel Castro, Guerra Fría. Alerta para un Mundo Unipolar, Melbourne, New York, La Habana, Ocean Press, 2006,p. 15.

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Here is another article I might purchase shortly. It is $30 unfortunately. Anyone have access to a library

with this jounal? "Diplomatic History - Sept 2007"

McCarthyite in Camelot: The “Loss” of Cuba, Homophobia, and the Otto Otepka Scandal

Monday, May 21 2007, 12:00pm - 1:30pm

McCarthyite in Camelot: The "Loss" of Cuba, Homophobia, and the Otto Otepka Scandal in the Kennedy State Department

By Eric Paul Roorda

Eric Paul Roorda is a Professor of History and Political Science, Bellarmine University, and Co-Director, Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies, Mystic Seaport. He is the author of The Dictator Next Door: The Good Neighbor Policy and the Trujillo Regime in the Dominican Republic, Duke University Press, 1998, winner of the Herbert Hoover Book Award and the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize from the Association of Social Historians and American Foreign Policy; and Cuba, America and the Sea, 2006.

Otepka was the chief of the State Department Office of Internal Security, which was the creation of the anti-communist Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS). In 1961, Kennedy tried to gain control over the State Department security program, and ended up firing Otepka, which caused a scandal and Senate hearings. The dispute demonstrates the bureaucratic struggles fought between the legislative and executive branches to control United States foreign policy. This study examines the homophobic assumptions of the senators on the SISS, their staff, and various newspapers and magazines around the country. These critics equated the culture of the Foreign Service with homosexuality, and homosexuality with Communism. The analysis also emphasizes the social setting of Havana between the 1930s and the 1950s as a determining factor in shaping the attitudes and personal actions of the most prominent figures in the SISS "loss" of Cuba hearings, which triggered the Otepka scandal.

This presentation is cosponsored by the Working Group on Ethnicity and Difference, Latin American Institute, the American History Colloquium, and the LGBT Studies Program.

.

Click here for flyer

Location: Rolfe Hall 4302

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I was clearing out my inbox and came across this reply from Gerry Hemming. I thought I'd share considering has sicne passed away.

Good to hear from you John.

I have never seen any documentation RE: Raul [originally and erroneously spelled "Raoul" in the French style] as being of "Portugee" ethnicity.

I knew Raul under his true name of Robert Emmett Johnson. He was an assassin & facilitator both for the late dictators Somoza (1950s) and after his demise, went to work for "Generalissimo" Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. He was an ex-World War II "China Marine" attached to O.S.S. Detachment 202 aiding Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalists.

During early 1980 I met with him and his wealthy Salvadorean clients at the Airport Inn near MIA. They were offering USD $200,000 for the assassination of Salvadorian Arch-Bishop Oscar Romero -- and quickly added a list of 27 other targets which included priests, labor leaders, and government officials.

I declined, and explained that all of my operators had just finished up fighting the Farabundo Marti guerrillas after escaping from the war in Nicaragua during July 1979, where they were mecercenary combat team leaders. I further explained that at that time they were deeply involved in the lucrative drug smuggling trade, and a quarter milliom dollar$ was considered by them as "Chump-Change" ["small potatos"]; and moreover, they (as a team) routinely carried more cash than that in their boots while flying or operating the mother ships.

Just before Robert died during 1992, he was working with the Croation resistence in the Balkans. [He died of throat cancer].

He did pen a few articles/books under a pen name for Trujillo, and later for Soldier of Fortune Magazine during 1975-'76.

Cheerio, and I think it would be easier for you to write directly to me at: GPHemming@aol.com

Gerry Patrick Hemming

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I was clearing out my inbox and came across this reply from Gerry Hemming. I thought I'd share considering has sicne passed away.

Good to hear from you John.

I have never seen any documentation RE: Raul [originally and erroneously spelled "Raoul" in the French style] as being of "Portugee" ethnicity.

I knew Raul under his true name of Robert Emmett Johnson. He was an assassin & facilitator both for the late dictators Somoza (1950s) and after his demise, went to work for "Generalissimo" Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. He was an ex-World War II "China Marine" attached to O.S.S. Detachment 202 aiding Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalists.

Gerry had a lot to say about Robert Emmett Johnson on the Education Forum. You can find some of the quotes here:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKjohnsonRE.htm

There is also a thread on Johnson here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6927

Even though he is dead I was warned by a well-informed researcher that it is not a good idea to say bad things about him.

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Gerry and I became close friends for a period spanning a little over a decade. Of the 100's of hours that we talked to each other, two especially stand out in my mind, although there were many memorable converstions. The first of the two took place on the morning of 9/11/2001. Gerry phoned me at my home in San Diego, CA from his home in Fayetteville, NC. It was approximately 5:50am PST. I had woken up at about 4:30am and was unable to return to sleep. So, I got up, made a sandwich and turned on ESPN2 NBA Classic Games (or some such name) while I ate. After I finished I dozed off on the couch with the game still on TV. At about 5:50am my then girlfriend came down stairs from our bedroom to give me my cell phone which had been ringing next to my side of the bed. She said she had ignored it so it went to voice mail, but whoever it was kept calling back (she never answered my phone before this). Finally, she had answered it so it woiuld stop ringing and it was Gerry. He said, "Let me talk to monk, it's Gerry" -- So she came down and handed me the phone and said who it was. I took the phone and said, "Hey Gerry, what's up?" He said, "What are you doing? Do you have the TV on?" I said, "I couldn't sleep so I'm watching an old basketball game, why?" He said, "Turn to CNN because in about 10 minutes they're going to have this on their station--a plane just hit the World Trade Center." -- I said, "No xxxx?" He said, "Yeah, and they think it was probably Bin Laden" -- This was before it had been reported on the news. I changed the channel to CNN first and kept switching to HLN and NBC, CBS, ABC, etc., until it came on CNN around 6:00.

The second conversation of great significance, took place as I was boarding a helicopter with my fiance to get married "barefoot on the beach" on Catalina Island on January 7th 2005. I called Gerry, who had agreed to be my best man even though from a distance. I called him again during the ceremony so he could hear everything. Privately, he was a lot more sentimental than he came across publically.

I was clearing out my inbox and came across this reply from Gerry Hemming. I thought I'd share considering has sicne passed away.

Good to hear from you John.

I have never seen any documentation RE: Raul [originally and erroneously spelled "Raoul" in the French style] as being of "Portugee" ethnicity.

I knew Raul under his true name of Robert Emmett Johnson. He was an assassin & facilitator both for the late dictators Somoza (1950s) and after his demise, went to work for "Generalissimo" Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. He was an ex-World War II "China Marine" attached to O.S.S. Detachment 202 aiding Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalists.

Gerry had a lot to say about Robert Emmett Johnson on the Education Forum. You can find some of the quotes here:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKjohnsonRE.htm

There is also a thread on Johnson here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=6927

Even though he is dead I was warned by a well-informed researcher that it is not a good idea to say bad things about him.

Edited by Greg Burnham

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