1st Edition

The Nixon Administration and Cuba Continuity and Rupture

By Håkan Karlsson, Tomás Diez Acosta Copyright 2021
    294 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents a detailed analysis of the U.S. policy that was adopted toward Cuba by the Richard M. Nixon administration between January 20, 1969, and August 8, 1974. Based on governmental, as well as other, sources from both the U.S. and Cuba, this book examines the rupture where the policy of “passive containment” was complemented with a policy of “dirty war.” President Nixon attempted to reestablish a confrontational and violent path of action, and once again, Cuba was exposed to a “dirty war” consisting of different forms of aggressive terrorist activities. Since the conditions for this violent route had changed dramatically both in the U.S. and in Cuba, a policy characterized by a continuity of the economic and psychological warfare came to be the central one for the Nixon administration. This book is unique since it is written from a Cuban perspective, and it therefore complements and enriches the knowledge of the U.S.–Cuban relationship during the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, and the policy adopted by the Nixon administration. It is of relevance to everyone interested in the issue, and especially for students and researchers within the disciplines of history and political science.

    PART I

    The Context 1

    1 From Saigon to Havana 3


    The Nixon Administration’s Policy toward Cuba 35

    2 “A Very, Very Cautious Probe Only” 39

    3 CIA’s Covert Operations and the Use of Cuban Exiles 44

    4 The Anti-Cuban Policy of the U.S. 53

    5 Debate in the U.S. National Security Council 71


    The CIA and the Secret Economic War against Cuba, and a New “Missile Crisis” (1969–1970) 79

    6 The Cuban Exiles in the CIA Plans 80

    7 The “Crisis” of the Soviet Nuclear Submarines 98


    Other Secret Actions toward Cuba 115

    8 Psychological Warfare: Radio Broadcasts 118

    9 Pirate Warfare: Harassment of Fishermen 123

    10 Biological Warfare: The African Swine Fever 133

    PART V

    The Decline of the Counterrevolutionary Groups 145

    11 The Failure of the Torriente Plan 146

    12 The Crisis of the “Mother Ships” 154

    13 Assassination Plots toward Fidel Castro 174


    The U.S.–Cuba Agreement on the Hijacking of Aircrafts, Sea Vessels and Other Offenses 181

    14 Air and Sea Hijackings: A Double-Edged Sword for the U.S. 183

    15 The Failed Negotiations between Cuba and the U.S. 199

    16 The Agreement of 1973 211


    The Debacle of a President 221

    17 Debates in the Congress (1973–1974) 225

    18 Continued Terrorism 236

    19 Watergate: Nixon’s Fall and the Cuban Connection 245


    Håkan Karlsson (born 1962) is Full Professor of archeology at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He has worked with archeological, anthropological and historical investigations approaching different aspects of Cuban cultural heritage for more than 15 years.

    Tomás Diez Acosta (born 1946) obtained licentiate in political science and doctor of philosophy in history from the University of Havana, Havana, Cuba. He is Professor and researcher at the Instituto de Historia de Cuba, and he has published over 20 books about the relations between Cuba and the U.S.