Obama’s Back Channel to Cuba: Events Leading to Historic Breakthrough Revealed in Updated Book (in Spanish)


Washington, DC, December 18, 2015 – On the first anniversary of the historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuban relations, the National Security Archive announced that the book,
Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana, has been released in Spanish under the title, Diplomacia Encubierta con Cuba: Historia de las Negociaciones Secretas Entre Washington y La Habana. The book was published last week in Mexico by Fondo de Cultura y Economica.

The Spanish edition follows the November publication by the University of North Carolina press of the updated, paperback edition of the book, written by Archive Cuba Documentation Project Director Peter Kornbluh and American University Professor William M. LeoGrande. The revised edition contains a comprehensive, new, 15,000 word epilogue revealing how the Obama administration and the government of Raul Castro secretly negotiated a historic detente between the two nations, and bringing the history of back channel diplomacy through to the raising of the U.S. flag over the Embassy in Havana.

According to Kornbluh, “The story of back channel diplomacy between Washington and Havana, which dates all the way back to the Kennedy era, is now complete.”

As a timely and immediately relevant history, Back Channel to Cuba has received significant acclaim. Last year, the editors at Foreign Affairs called it an “exhaustive and masterful diplomatic history” and picked it as a “best book of the year.” On November 19, 2015, in a ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin room of the Department of State, the American Academy of Diplomacy gave the book the Douglas Dillon award for best diplomatic history.

Para seguir: http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/20151218-Back-Channel-to-Cuba-Published-in-Spanish

OBAMA’S SECRET DIPLOMACY WITH CUBA New Revelations

backchannelpaperbackcoverWashington D.C., August 13, 2015 – On the eve of Secretary of State John Kerry’s historic trip to Havana tomorrow to raise the American flag over the newly reopened U.S. Embassy, the National Security Archive today distributed a ground-breaking article revealing key details of the behind-the-scenes political operations and secret negotiations that have led to the normalization of diplomatic relations.

The article appears in the September issue of Mother Jones magazine and was written by Archive analyst Peter Kornbluh and American University Professor William M. LeoGrande. The article is adapted from the revised edition of their book, Back Channel To Cuba: the Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana, to be published by the University of North Carolina Press in October 2015.

Among the new revelations:

Prior to the ultra-sensitive talks conducted by the Obama White House to restore normal diplomatic relations, two of Hillary Clinton’s top aides conducted a two-year secret dialogue with Cuban Foreign Ministry officials focused on exchanging imprisoned U.S. citizen Alan Gross for the “Cuban Five” spies who were serving lengthy jail sentences in the United States.

The secret talks between White House officials and Cuban negotiators close to Raul Castro came to an impasse in June 2014 over the administration’s demand that, in addition to Gross, Cuba release a CIA asset who had passed intelligence to the U.S. in the 1990s that led to the arrest of the Cuban Five spy network. Continuar leyendo “OBAMA’S SECRET DIPLOMACY WITH CUBA New Revelations”

Declassified Diplomacy with Brazil: National Security Archive Hails Obama Administration Decision to Assist Brazilian Truth Commission


Declassified Diplomacy with Brazil
The Obama administration advanced the principle of international openness, accountability and support for human rights this week when Vice President Joe Biden transferred to President Dilma Rousseff a set of newly declassified U.S. government documents relating to Brazil’s military dictatorship, which held power from 1964 – 1985.
Visiting Brazil for the World Cup soccer competition, Biden announced that the Administration would conduct a further review and release of still secret U.S. records to help to the Brazilian Truth Commission; the commission is investigating human rights abuses under military rule and due to issue its final report at the end of 2014.
(…)
The United States covertly supported the military coup that deposed President Joao Goulart on April 1, 1964, and maintained close ties to Brazil’s military rulers during the dictatorship. American diplomats, intelligence operatives and military personnel reported routinely, and in detail, about regime policies – and abuses. The Archive has obtained the release of portions of this critically important historical record through the Freedom of Information Act, and has posted a number of files relating to the U.S. role in the 1964 coup that brought the dictatorship to power (…)

National Security Archive June, 20, 2014

U.S. Covert Intervention in Chile: Planning to Block Allende Began Long before September 1970 Election

U.S. Covert Intervention in Chile: Planning to Block Allende Began Long before September 1970 Election
Nixon Alerted in Advance to Date of Coup, Retired CIA Operative Writes in Foreign Affairs
Archive Commends Long-Awaited Release of State Department Compendium of Records on U.S. Involvement in Promoting Chilean Coup
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 470

Posted May 23, 2014
For more information contact:
peter.kornbluh@gmail.com

The Pinochet File
By Peter Kornbluh, The New Press, Updated edition (September 11, 2013)

Washington, DC, May 23, 2014 – Covert U.S. planning to block the democratic election of Salvador Allende in Chile began weeks before his September 4, 1970, victory, according to just declassified minutes of an August 19, 1970, meeting of the high-level interagency committee known as the Special Review Group, chaired by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. “Kissinger asked that the plan be as precise as possible and include what orders would be given September 5, to whom, and in what way,” as the summary recorded Kissinger’s instructions to CIA Director Richard Helms. “Kissinger said we should present to the President an action plan to prevent [the Chilean Congress from ratifying] an Allende victory…and noted that the President may decide to move even if we do not recommend it.”

The document is one of a compendium of some 366 records released by the State Department as part of its Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series. The much-delayed collection, titled “Chile: 1969-1973,” addresses Richard Nixon’s and Kissinger’s efforts to destabilize the democratically elected Socialist government of Salvador Allende, and the U.S.-supported coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power in 1973. The controversial volume was edited by two former officials of the State Department’s Office of the Historian, James Siekmeier and James McElveen.

“This collection represents a substantive step forward in opening the historical record on U.S. intervention in Chile,” said Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Chile documentation project at the National Security Archive, and is the author of The Pinochet File (…)

In the aftermath of General Augusto Pinochet’s arrest in October 1998, the National Security Archive, along with victims of the Pinochet regime, led a campaign to press the Clinton administration to declassify the still-secret documents on Chile, the coup and the repression that followed (…) The release of the records comes amidst renewed debate over the CIA role in supporting the military coup in Chile.

The Kissinger-Nixon transcript is reproduced in the 2013 edition of The Pinochet File. http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1969-76v21