US had plans to bomb Cuba in 1976

Fidel Castro

Raf Sanchez (The Telegraph) reports that, in a rage against Fidel Castro for his defiance of the United States, Henry Kissinger lobbied for an attack on Havana in 1976. Kissinger was described as “apoplectic” with the Cuban leader, after he sent troops to Angola in 1975. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:

Henry Kissinger drew up secret plans to “smash Castro” with air strikes against Havana in apparent fit of rage at the Cuban leader’s defiance of Washington, according to documents made public yesterday. The usually unflappable secretary of state, who advised both Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, reportedly lost his famous sense of calm after Fidel Castro ordered Cuban troops to support the Left-wing government of Angola in 1975.

Kissinger was described as “apoplectic” with the Cuban leader and furiously denounced him as “a pipsqueak” during meetings with Ford in the Oval Office, according to research by the National Security Archive. “I think we are going to have to smash Castro,” Kissinger told the president during a February 1976 meeting, adding that he didn’t think the attack could be carried out before the US elections later that year.

Three weeks later the question of confronting Castro was still on Kissinger’s mind. “I think sooner or later we have to crack the Cubans,” he told Ford. “I think we have to humiliate them.”

The plans drawn up by the secretive Washington Special Actions Group ranged from ramping up political pressure on Havana to punitive air strikes against Cuba.

The group noted that an attack on Cuba, a decade after the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of a nuclear exchange, risked bringing the US into confrontation with the Soviet Union.

Unlike the 1962 confrontation, where the Soviets eventually withdrew their weapons under pressure from John Kennedy, “a new Cuban crisis would not necessarily lead to a Soviet retreat,” a planning document warned.

[. . .] Washington feared that the Cuban intervention in Angola would soon expand into Namibia and Rhodesia under the “domino theory” of Communism’s spread. Six months after Kissinger drew up the plans to strike Cuba, Gerald Ford lost the November 1976 election to Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. The plans were shelved and never carried out.

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