US & World

JFK documents highlight secret anti-Cuba operations

April 1959: Fidel Castro, premier of Cuba, addresses the American Society of Newspaper Editors during a meeting in Washington, USA.
April 1959: Fidel Castro, premier of Cuba, addresses the American Society of Newspaper Editors during a meeting in Washington, USA.
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It was the late summer of 1962.

The previous year, the U.S. invasion of the Bay of Pigs, meant to topple the communist regime of Fidel Castro, had been an embarrassing failure.

The administration of President John F. Kennedy had turned instead to a Plan B to destabilize Cuba and hopefully take down Castro: Operation Mongoose.

A National Security Council memo released Thursday as part of the JFK assassination documents details a meeting to discuss possible clandestine operations aimed at sabotaging and destabilizing the Cuban regime.

Members of the Kennedy family at the funeral of assassinated president John F. Kennedy in Washington D.C on Nov. 24, 1963. From left: Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and John Kennedy.
Members of the Kennedy family at the funeral of assassinated president John F. Kennedy in Washington D.C on Nov. 24, 1963. From left: Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and John Kennedy.
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Among those present at the meeting, which took place on Sept. 6, 1962 — just six weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis – included National Security Advisor McGeorge "Mac" Bundy; Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; Air Force Gen. Edward Lansdale, who led clandestine operations against Cuba; and Edward R. Murrow, the famous broadcast reporter who was serving at the time as the director of the U.S. Information Agency, and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Gen. Marshall Carter.

Here are some of the possible operations against Cuba. Some are only alluded to, others given a bit more detail. It is not known which, if any, were actually put into practice:

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