Only one month before the Cuban Missile Crisis brought 12 days of fear upon the world, eight high-ranking U.S. intelligence officials gathered at an undisclosed location to plot their next steps in removing Fidel Castro from power.
When these people met on Sept. 14, 1962, the U.S. still had no idea that Russian missiles were stockpiled in Cuba. Operation Mongoose, in which officials schemed to assassinate, discredit or trigger an uprising against the Cuban communist leader, still dominated these meetings. But on this day, General Edward Lansdale, the head of Mongoose, and General Marshall Carter, deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, didn’t pitch National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy on exploding cigars and conch shells.
Instead, they focused on Canada.
“General Carter said that CIA would examine the possibilities of sabotaging airplane parts which are scheduled to be shipped from Canada to Cuba,” reads a now declassified memorandum about the meeting.
Since July, the …
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