Plots to Rankle Castro - From Fake Photos to Airfares

At the height of the cold war, American military strategists recommended a string of bizarre events intended to harass Cuban President Fidel Castro or get him overthrown, newly released documents show.

Some 1,500 pages of Pentagon memos show that military strategists cooked up plans to fake photos of Castro "with two beauties in any situation desired;" to simulate the downing of American planes or the sinking of a US ship to provide the pretext for a Cuban invasion; or to distribute valid one-way airline tickets to Mexico City or Caracas, Venezuela, "to create unrest and dissension amongst the Cuban people."

The memos were generated between 1962 and 1964, when US policy makers were preoccupied with the threat they thought Castro posed.

One plan, called "Operation Dirty Trick," was intended to pin the blame on Castro in the event that the Feb. 20, 1962, Mercury-Atlas flight of astronaut John Glenn, America's first orbital flight, ended disastrously. The objective was to prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans.

The classified military documents were released by the Pentagon at the instigation of the Assassination Record Review Board, an agency responsible for making available any records related to the assassination of President Kennedy.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.