Kissinger Contemplated Attacking Cuba in 1976

Aerial attacks and mining the harbors: In the mid-1970s, the U.S. apparently planned a military strike against Cuba. That the attack never took place is thanks to the election of a Democrat as U.S. president.

The U.S. apparently planned aerial attacks and intended to mine the island nation’s harbors in the mid-1970s. According to a book published last Wednesday, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger considered bringing Cuba to its knees by force of arms in 1976. Kissinger is said to have ordered military contingency plans drawn up after the Cuban dictator intervened in the Angolan civil war the previous year. The report is based on previously classified documents in the National Security Archives from the Gerald Ford presidential era (1974-1977).

According to the book, air attacks and the mining of Cuba’s harbors were planned. “I think we are going to have to smash Castro,” Kissinger told then-President Gerald R. Ford. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld also attended the meeting of high-ranking military officers held on March 24, 1976.

Kissinger was “apoplectic” over the fact that Castro was supporting the rebel movement in Africa, The New York Times book authors said. Prior to that date, Kissinger had worked toward improving the shaky bilateral relations.

Kissinger’s plans for attacking Cuba in 1977 were halted with the election of Jimmy Carter to the presidency.

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