No Wonder Castro is Still in Power

Recently declassified documents show America’s cock-eyed schemes to topple Castro — including a phony attack on U.S. forces, by U.S. forces.

Two weeks ago, the Assassination Records Review Board assigned to look into President Kennedy’s assassination finished its work declassifying documents. Not all the documents dealt with the death of Kennedy. For your enjoyment, the MoJo Wire is posting an original memo that details a number of plans to topple the government of Cuban president Fidel Castro.

The 1962 memo, which reads like a bad brainstorming session between two over-zealous College Republicans, was sent by Brigadier General William Craig, a “Department of Defense Representative.” Whether or not Craig was an important figure isn’t clear. (A Nexis search doesn’t turn up any mentions of his name.) But the memo’s recipient, Air Force Brigadier General Edward Lansdale, definitely wasn’t just shuffling papers. Lansdale is considered one of the fathers of “psychological operations” and orchestrated U.S.-friendly coups in both the Philippines and South Vietnam.

It’s unclear whether any of these anti-Castro operations were ever attempted. Here are a few of our favorites, complete with juvenile names like:


Operation NO LOVE LOST


Operation FREE RIDE




Operation BINGO (Most boring name. Also most disturbing plan.)


Operation GOOD TIMES (No relation to the sitcom.)

View the full memorandum.


What's going to happen next as the headlines grow crazier and more disconcerting by the day. But we do know the job of an independent, unrelenting press is more important than ever—and the ongoing commitment of MoJo readers to fight for a democracy where facts matter and all can participate is absolutely vital.

If you feel the urgency deep in your bones like we do, please consider signing up as a monthly donor during our fall pledge drive to support Mother Jones' fair and fearless reporting for the long haul (or make a one-time gift if that works better for you). The headlines may fade, but the need to investigate the powerful never will.