Center for Defense Information
1500 Massachusetts Avenue NW - Washington. DC 20005
3 October 1996
The Honorable Dan Burton
Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere
2411 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515-1406
Dear Mr. Burton:
In response to your letters of September 27, 1996, the following information is submitted:
Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll, Jr. U.S. Navy (Ret.), Deputy Director of CDI, was invited by the Chief of Staff of the Cuban FAR, to visit Cuba in order to inform himself and professional associates of the status of Cuban military forces. That visit was conducted during 5-9 February 1996.
As part of the visit, his group met with General Rosales del Toro, the FAR Chief of Staff on two occasions. During these discussions, the visiting group was made aware of the deep concern within the Cuban Ministry of Defense regarding repeated overflights/intrusions into Cuban airspace by aircraft operating from Miami, Fla. As if to emphasize this concern, the visiting group was asked what they thought the consequences would be if Cuban forces shot down the intruding aircraft. It was stressed that Cuban forces possessed the capability to take this action.
A TV cassette containing relevant remarks by General Arnaldo Tomayo is attached. Also, a TV cassette produced by Cuban authorities after the shoot down is provided herewith.
Upon return to Washington, some members of the visiting group participated in informal debriefings at the State Department (Office of Cuban Affairs) on 20 February 1996. This was followed by a debriefing at CDI of cognizant DIA officers on 23 February 1996. It should be noted that because the debriefings covered all of the highlights of the five day visit, information concerning the Cuban statements about the possibility of a shoot down was only one item in a long list of Cuban complaints. Admiral Carroll cannot recall that representatives from either agency were either surprised or alarmed by this latest report of long standing Cuban complaints concerning the overflights.
The Honorable Dan Burton
3 October 1996
As a product of filroing in Cuba, CDI produced two 28 minute television documentaries for distribution as part of its TV series, America's Defense Monitor. The episode entitled "Ending The Cold War Freeze in Cuba" contains scenes taken during the discussions at the FAR headquarters, including General Tomaya's remarks. The film and a transcript is provided herewith.
The trip to Cuba was jointly sponsored by CDI and the Center for International Policy (CIP). Ambassador Robert E. White, President of CIP participated in all activities in Cuba and the State and DIA debrieflngs noted above. It is possible that his observations and records may complement or amplify those of Admiral Carroll. He may be contacted at CIP. A copy of the complete delegation in Cuba is attached.
This constitutes a joint reply by Admiral Carroll and me to your letters of 27 September 1996. If we can provide any further assistance, please contact me at any time.
John J. Shanahan
Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.)
February 5-9, 1996
· Edward Atkeson, Major General, United States Army (RET.)
· Eugene J.Carroll, Jr., Deputy Director, Center for Defense Information; Rear Admiral, United States Navy (REI.)
· William Lanagan, Brigadier General, United States Marine Corps (RET.)
· Jack Mendelsohn, Deputy Director, Arms Control Association; former Deputy Assistant Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
· Ralph Weymouth, Vice Admiral, United States Navy (RET .)
· Robert E. White, President, Center for International Policy; former ambassador to Paraguay and El Salvador
· Stephen S. Sapienza, Investigative Journalist, America's Defense Monitor, PBS stations
· Ira M. Shor, Senior Producer, America's Defense Monitor, PBS stations
· Glenn Baker, Writer/Producer, America's Defense Monitor, PBS stations