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 DIRTY TRICK

 

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

 

Operation GOOD TIMES (No relation to the sitcom.)

View the full memorandum.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate