September 12, 1962

I share the deep concern of other Arizonans about the serious situation in Cuba. Forceful action should, and will, be taken, but only a very few members of Congress are urging an immediate American invasion; most of my colleagues believe that for the present we should take stronger actions short of war. I am presently inclined to this view.

I have no doubt that we can invade and conquer Cuba anytime we are willing to pay the price. The price would include according to my information an estimated 500 to 5,000 American lives, the lives of perhaps 20,000 Cubans, higher taxes and several billions of dollars in defense funds, the loss of considerable influence in Latin America and the United Nations, and the destruction of the Organization of American States through which we have pledged ourselves to solve inter-American problems for the last 30 years.

This is a heavy price, but I will watch Cuban developments closely, and shall not shrink from direct, unilateral, military action if it appears necessary for the safety of our country.

I have asked the President and the State Department to consider the desirability and effectiveness of immediate steps along these lines:

1. Establishment and support of a free Cuban government-in-exile.
2. A total embargo on shipments of military materials and personnel, enforced, if need be, by naval action.
3. A stepped-up information and propaganda campaign directed at the Cuban people and intended to assist them in liberating themselves.
4. Direct and indirect assistance to such organized resistance groups as are now active inside Cuba.

Finally I intend to support the President in any constructive action he proposes toward ending Castro's enslavement of Cuba. I subscribe to former President Eisenhower's recent statement:

"In foreign relations, only one man has the responsibility, and that is the President. No one outside of the President can have all the information. While any good Republican has the right to offer constructive suggestions, by no means should we make Cuba or any other part of our foreign policy an object of partisan fighting in this country."

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Special Reports and Statements
by Morris K. Udall
The University of Arizona Library