Jump to content
The Education Forum

Freeport Sulphur Company and the Bay of Pigs invasion


Douglas Caddy
 Share

Recommended Posts

This was posted by Lee Shepherd today on Facebook:

In 1959, Cuba’s Nicaro nickel-and-cobalt operation, abiding at Moa Bay, was the fourth-largest in the world. The Nicaro nickel plant, through various subsidies cost American taxpayers $100,000,000. The rest of the money came from a group of American steel companies and major automobile makers. Nickel is required in order to meet defense needs for this critical metal. The Batista Government like the Prio Government both made lucrative deals with Freeport Sulphur Co. to grant tax exemptions and other privileges (Time Magazine ’58). The tax break led to charges that the U.S. Ambassador to Cuba and Langbourne Williams of Freeport had made a special deal with Batista. The contract would eventually lead Freeport into a Senate investigation and a confrontation with President Kennedy over the issue of stockpiling...... (Whitney, the Ambassador, & Batista's Tax Break for Freeport Sulphur In the September 12, 1960 issue of The New Republic). Kennedy asked Congress to look into the war-emergency stockpiling program, stating it was "a potential source of excessive and unconscionable profits." He said he was "astonished" to discover that the program had accumulated $7.7 billion worth of stockpiled material, exceeding projected needs by $3.4 billion. Kennedy also pledged full executive cooperation with the investigation.

After the revolution by the Castro brothers, Allen Dulles reported that the Freeport Sulphur Company…would close down their operations in the country because the new government had demanded a tax on all facilities. Since the deal was negotiated under Batista's regime, one can also see how this must have stuck like a craw in the throat of Castro's revolutionaries as they took control. The Castro government wanted to end the special tax exemption. Freeport wanted to keep it. Atomic Energy Commission Chairman John McCone (post CIA Director) explained that [Freeport’s] Moa Bay plant was integrated as part of the firm’s New Orleans, La. refinery in the U.S., and could not operate alone. Undersecretary of State [Douglas] Dillon also said the refinery in Louisiana could not operate independently.” (Dr. John Newman pg. 58) Cuba performed what they characterized as an "intervention," a temporary measure of stepping in and taking control of the mining facility, rather than outright nationalization. This was reported as Cuba trying to leave the door slightly open for some sort of negotiated settlement. But Freeport considered the takeover a battle cry and wanted to invoke international law to protect its rights to the plant. The United States ending up attempting to invade Cuba under the ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation. One of the planners of the BOP, as well as an advocate for assassinating Castro, was Admiral Arleigh Burke. Burke later become a director of Freeport Sulphur. The controversy flowed over into 1963, and Press Secretary Pierre Salinger stated that the Kennedy administration planned to make stockpiling an issue in the 1964 campaign. As we know, JFK didn't live long enough to fulfill that promise….

Image may contain: sky, mountain, outdoor and nature
 
 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, Douglas Caddy said:

This was posted by Lee Shepherd today on Facebook:

In 1959, Cuba’s Nicaro nickel-and-cobalt operation, abiding at Moa Bay, was the fourth-largest in the world. The Nicaro nickel plant, through various subsidies cost American taxpayers $100,000,000. The rest of the money came from a group of American steel companies and major automobile makers. Nickel is required in order to meet defense needs for this critical metal. The Batista Government like the Prio Government both made lucrative deals with Freeport Sulphur Co. to grant tax exemptions and other privileges (Time Magazine ’58). The tax break led to charges that the U.S. Ambassador to Cuba and Langbourne Williams of Freeport had made a special deal with Batista. The contract would eventually lead Freeport into a Senate investigation and a confrontation with President Kennedy over the issue of stockpiling...... (Whitney, the Ambassador, & Batista's Tax Break for Freeport Sulphur In the September 12, 1960 issue of The New Republic). Kennedy asked Congress to look into the war-emergency stockpiling program, stating it was "a potential source of excessive and unconscionable profits." He said he was "astonished" to discover that the program had accumulated $7.7 billion worth of stockpiled material, exceeding projected needs by $3.4 billion. Kennedy also pledged full executive cooperation with the investigation.

After the revolution by the Castro brothers, Allen Dulles reported that the Freeport Sulphur Company…would close down their operations in the country because the new government had demanded a tax on all facilities. Since the deal was negotiated under Batista's regime, one can also see how this must have stuck like a craw in the throat of Castro's revolutionaries as they took control. The Castro government wanted to end the special tax exemption. Freeport wanted to keep it. Atomic Energy Commission Chairman John McCone (post CIA Director) explained that [Freeport’s] Moa Bay plant was integrated as part of the firm’s New Orleans, La. refinery in the U.S., and could not operate alone. Undersecretary of State [Douglas] Dillon also said the refinery in Louisiana could not operate independently.” (Dr. John Newman pg. 58) Cuba performed what they characterized as an "intervention," a temporary measure of stepping in and taking control of the mining facility, rather than outright nationalization. This was reported as Cuba trying to leave the door slightly open for some sort of negotiated settlement. But Freeport considered the takeover a battle cry and wanted to invoke international law to protect its rights to the plant. The United States ending up attempting to invade Cuba under the ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation. One of the planners of the BOP, as well as an advocate for assassinating Castro, was Admiral Arleigh Burke. Burke later become a director of Freeport Sulphur. The controversy flowed over into 1963, and Press Secretary Pierre Salinger stated that the Kennedy administration planned to make stockpiling an issue in the 1964 campaign. As we know, JFK didn't live long enough to fulfill that promise….

Image may contain: sky, mountain, outdoor and nature
 
 
 

The more you know the full picture, the more you know how little you know.

The huge financial losses of organized crime in Cuba after 1960 was not as big a factor in the "get Castro" agenda as much as we have all been led to believe. The Mafia wasn't the only riches indulged entity who lost out big time after that gold mine profit island takeover. And throw in slave wage, low tariff and taxes sugar barons as well.

JFK's talk of eliminating the oil depletion allowance was as threatening to the richest men on Earth ( Texas Oil ) as the massive money losses were to American organized crime in Cuba.

The extreme JFK hating bond between them was understandable and so obvious.

The devilish shared interests of all the JFK threatened and hating groups was a true Frankenstein monster. To this day, I feel the American people don't understand how powerful these alliances were, especially in united total and aggressiveness.

Edited by Joe Bauer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Joe Bauer said:

The more you know the full picture, the more you know how little you know.

The huge financial losses of organized crime in Cuba after 1960 was not as big a factor in the "get Castro" agenda as much as we have all been led to believe. The Mafia wasn't the only riches indulged entity who lost out big time after that gold mine profit island takeover. And throw in slave wage, low tariff and taxes sugar barons as well.

JFK's talk of eliminating the oil depletion allowance was as threatening to the richest men on Earth ( Texas Oil ) as the massive money losses were to American organized crime in Cuba.

The extreme JFK hating bond between them was understandable and so obvious.

The devilish shared interests of all the JFK threatened and hating groups was a true Frankenstein monster. To this day, I feel the American people don't understand how powerful these alliances were, especially in united total and aggressiveness.

Both the Mafia and CIA wanted to go back to the days of Batista when the Mafia's casinos in Havana washed the CIA's dirty money derived from the sale of drugs. It was a joint venture between the two.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This issue about Freeport Sulphur is dealt with in Greg Poulgrain's new book, JFK VS Allen Dulles: Battleground Indonesia.

What many people do not realize is that it was the large US corporations who were the ones who essentially yelled and screamed at Ike and Dulles to do something about Castro.  This was due to his land reform proposals and his nationalization programs.  He hoisted them on their own petards.  He knew they were undervaluing the price of land and businesses under Batista. So when he then started to purchase the properties and businesses at Batista cost, that is when they decided to scream at the White House to do something about it.  So Ike started up the secret war against Cuba with Nixon as the showrunner.

Freeport Sulphur, later Freeport McMoran, is an utterly essential piece of the puzzle which, like many things, Jim Garrison first discovered and then Gaeton Fonzi pushed further.  Lisa Pease then did a two part article on the subject.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Yes it is.

But in addition, He added a whole long new last chapter.

That chapter is in my opinion the best explication ever of what really happened on the night of October 1, 1965. That whole episode has been a kind of deep mystery for decades.  Greg's explanation is the best I have ever read.

 

You may want to just get the e book.

Edited by James DiEugenio
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Jim! I just ordered the ebook. Listened to a bit of your interview with Poulgrain and Len last night, and it rekindled my interest in the case. A keynote in the whole matter of JFK's anti-neocolonialism and what Dulles was all about.

For anyone interested in listening, this is the direct link:

http://www.blackopradio.com/pod/black1019.mp3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Freeport Sulphur was essential because you need a lot of Sulphur to make Yellow Cake;  "...an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores."

In those days, Sulphur was still extracted from natural deposits so if you planned on enriching Uranium, Freeport was pretty essential to the entire process, because you needed a lot of Sulphur. (In the 1970s, oil refineries started removing Sulphur in the refining process and this "waste product" eventually replaced the Sulphur derived from traditional extraction methods.)

I forget the actual specifics, but say if you wanted to produce 1 lb of Highly Enriched Uranium, you might need something like 10 tons of Sulphur. If the AEC wanted to audit an enrichment plant that says they only produced 1 lb of HEU in June of 1962, one of the things to check is the amount of Sulphur they purchased and how much Sulphur they have left over. 

If the HEU plant is honest, they should be able to show that they bought 10 tons of Sulphur and produced 1 lb of HEU.

If the HEU plant is showing they bought 30 tons, but are only showing 1 lb of HEU, then the AEC is probably going to ask where the 2 lbs of missing HEU are.

The HEU plant could of course fix its books so it only shows a purchase of 10 tons to match the 1 lb of HEU output, but then the AEC, or any Auditing firm, that asks the Sulphur Seller for the invoice from the HEU plant sale, is going to see that the HEU plant actually bought 30 tons, enough for 3 lbs of HEU.

The way to get around this is to make sure the buyers and sellers books match. The HEU plant and Sulphur seller might conspire to show a purchase/sale of 10 tons, when in fact the purchase/sale was for 30 tons. 1 lb of HEU goes where it supposed to go and 2 lbs go out the back door.

Coincidently, an HEU plant called NUMEC* and a Sulphur supplier called Freeport Sulphur were both controlled by one family. Those books should be pretty easy to fudge.

Cuban nickel mines make for a nice story though.  

 

*NUMEC formed from San Toy Mining, whose only source of income (when merged into Apollo Steel in 1957) were 4 properties it leased to ASARCO (World largest smelter at the time.) 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...