These Are The Awful Ideas America Had For Invading Cuba In The '60s

These are actual plans from the 1960s that can be found in the U.S. National Archives.

The Obama administration may have normalized long-fraught relations with Cuba over the past few months but there was a time when the U.S. government proposed crazy pretexts to invade the Caribbean Island.

After the death of former Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, Gizmodo dug out a list of all of the horrible, ridiculous plans the U.S. actually crafted to justify intervention in Cuba, all from from the U.S. National Archives. 

Here is a look at some of the wildest ideas:

Doctor Castro's Photos

Doctor Castro

Photoshop had not yet taken the modeling world by storm, but the U.S. government thought they could edit Castro's photos to demonize him. The doctored photos would have shown Castro leading a decadent life. The plan was called "Operation Good Times."

"Prepare a desired photograph, such as an obese Castro with two beauties in any situation desire, ostensibly within a room in the Castro residence, lavishly furnished, and a table brimming over with the most delectable Cuban food,” the planning document reads.

The photo was to be captioned, "My ration is different."

Stage REAL Attacks On Miami and Washington

Some people in the establishment thought that if they could attack and kill real people in Cuba and somehow blame it on to Cuba, they could legitimize their imperial advances into Cuba.

The attack was to target Cuban refugees scattered on roads across Miami.

“We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington,” one document from 1962 reads. “The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated.) We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government.”

Orchestrate Attacks on American Airport

Another document detailed plans of blowing up empty American warships, engineering riots at Guantanamo Bay, and well, blasting a CIA drone to make it look like Cuba had attacked a civilian aircraft.

“An aircraft at Eglin [Air Force Base] would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area,” the 1962 plan says. “At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.”

Drop One-Way Plane Tickets

One-way tickets could be dropped to other Latin American countries like Mexico, under Operation Free Ride, to create unrest and mass exodus from Cuba. 

Use The American Space Program


There was also Operation Dirty Trick: a plot to blame Castro’s government if the 1962 Mercury manned space flight carrying John Glenn crashed. The U.S. proposed it would blame the Cubans for downing the rocket with electronic interference.

“The objective is to provide irrevocable proof that, should the MERCURY manned orbit flight fail, the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba,” one document explained. “This is to be accomplished by manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans.”

 Troll Cuban Pilots

Taking inspiration from the atmosphere prevalent in playgrounds, authorities believed they could demoralize Cuban pilots by calling them names.

“Argument could go, ‘I’ll get you you Red son-of-a-gun,’ and call by name if appropriate,” one document read. “Would be real trouble for Castro pilots in actual weather conditions.”

Other ideas included diminishing trust in the Soviet oil supplied to Cuba, sabotaging Cuban communications equipment and terrorizing Cuba with sonic booms.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Wikimedia Commons

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