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Cuba and the Council on Foreign Relations

Out of the shadows, a little-known but powerful organization has stepped out this new millennial year advocating a more accommodating stance with the communist regime of Fidel Castro.

This new age of reconciliation is being ushered in by this organization in a comprehensive report that, among other things, advocates accommodation instead of confrontation with the totalitarian regime of Fidel Castro.(1) The report suggests easing the embargo, military-to-military “confidence-building” measures, and the lifting of the travel ban for American tourists who want to visit Cuba, the Workers’ Paradise of the Caribbean.

A strong case against these ill-conceived proposals and the fallacies of their arguments have been made by at least two scholars, by Everett E. Briggs in “Cuba: Not the Time to Change U.S. Policy”(2) and by University of Miami professor Jaime Suchlicki in “American Tourists would boost Castro.”(3)

Suffice to say, these ill-conceived proposals, rather than opening Cuba to “democracy,” would instead help to fortify Castro and his successors. Rather than establishing a transition to a constitutional republic, these proposals would make it easier for communist successors to, at best, change names, call themselves “social democrats,” and consolidate power once the Castro brothers are finally out of the picture. Needless to say, the pain and suffering and exploitation of the Cuban people will continue in the island prison by their “new” masters.

But what is this organization that has proposed these seemingly innocuous measures for “improving” U.S.-Cuban relations? It is the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a prestigious, New York-based, globalist organization founded in 1921 with the mission of world interdependence.

Today, its stated mission on its Web site sounds benign enough, but is it? In 1975, a former CFR member, Adm. Chester Ward, wrote that the CFR stated goal was “submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful, one-world government.” Furthermore, according to the respected admiral, “this lust to surrender the sovereignty and independence of the United States is pervasive throughout most of the memberships.”(4)

The CFR is no ordinary club or think tank, like Cato or the Heritage Foundation. You can voluntarily join any of these latter organizations, whose memberships are open to all. You can attend educational seminars and even contribute to their overall objectives via member surveys and other give-and-take exchanges in open meetings.

But that is not the case with the CFR. The CFR membership is open to the privileged few who are asked to join this exclusive club by invitation only. Because the vast majority of individuals who join this organization are wealthy individuals, dues from ordinary Americans are more of an inconvenience and a hindrance for the advancement of the goals of the organization than any financial benefit they may contribute. The organization, instead, depends on big donations and endowments from powerful vested interests.

The Council on Foreign Relations, in fact, remained in the shadows for decades after its inception, although a brainchild of this organization is none other than the United Nations. In fact, one of the most controversial documents to come out of members of the CFR in the U.S. State Department is Freedom From War. This 1960s document posits that “no state should have the military power to challenge the progressively strengthened UN Peace Force,” implicitly including the U.S. (5)

Were it not for two other salient features, the CFR would have remained all but secret for most of its existence. One of these features is the publication of a rather boring-looking but tremendously influential journal, Foreign Affairs – in fact, the most influential, trend-setting journal in the area of international relations.

The second feature is the disconcerting fact that this little-known, elitist organization boasts among its members 10 percent of high government officials in active public service, at any one time, in both Democrat and Republican administrations during the last 40 years. Certainly, this pervasive presence in the corridors of political power should be of interest to any civic-minded citizen.

Why are most Americans unaware of this organization? Consider the fact that David Rockefeller, chairman of the CFR from 1970-1985, admitted, “We’re grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government.”

David Rockefeller and Fidel Castro shake hands, c. 2000. Photo credit: Wally McNamee/CORBIS

He spoke these words in 1991 in Germany while addressing a sister organization, the Bilderbergers. In 1995, David Rockefeller would also extend a warm welcome to Fidel Castro at the U.N.’s 50th Anniversary.(6)

The Rockefellers have helped fund and direct not only the CFR but also the United Nations and the Trilateral Commission. As to the globalist goals of the CFR, perhaps, we should note the words of CFR member Richard N. Gardner, who in a 1974 Foreign Affairs article titled “The Hard Road to World Order” wrote, “In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up rather than the top down. It will look like a great ‘booming, bussing confusion,’ to use William James’ famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”

In the Clinton administration, Gardner was an advisor on the U.N. as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and would later serve as U.S. Ambassador to Spain.

The Washington Post ombudsman, Richard Harwood, described the CFR as “the nearest thing we have to a ruling establishment in the United States.”(7)

I am not a “conspiracy theorist.” Nevertheless, as an American I am concerned and disturbed that an internationalist organization whose goal is the erosion of national sovereignty, as to create a one-world government, step-by-step, has permeated so much of our government, regardless of whether it is a Democrat or Republican administration.

From 1989-1993 during the administration of George H.W. Bush, all Cabinet members were members of the CFR, except for Vice President Dan Quayle, Secretary of State James A. Baker III and HHS Secretary Louis W. Sullivan.

In the Clinton administration, from 1993-2000, even more Cabinet members were CFR members – all, in fact, except for Secretary of Defense William Perry.

In the new George W. Bush administration, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman are members of the CFR.

How many members of the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, or the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis do we find in any previous Cabinets? I cannot name one person!

Mind you, not all members of the CFR are globalists who subscribe to all of the tenets of the organization; nevertheless, the power of this organization by the sheer number of its members in public office should give Americans some cause for concern, regarding whether the public interest is best served by this arrangement, and the trust we place in such public servants.

Many distinguished Americans have joined the CFR. Among them we find Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, Vice President Richard Cheney, and even in the Reagan administration, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (U.N. ambassador) and Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger. In my view, these are individuals who have shown that they will place the interest of the nation ahead of any globalist cabal interest.

Nevertheless, lingering doubts about other members remain, and by looking at the CFR roster, the fact is that proven conservatives and constitutionalists are a very tiny minority in this exclusive club. The vast majority of the members who stand out in this organization are by far individuals who, explicitly or implicitly, by their words and/or deeds, seem to follow the main tenets of this organization, including progressively ceding more power to the United Nations at the expense of these United States. This has been the case without a doubt since the end of the Reagan administration.

Why are there any conservatives in the CFR? I suppose because of prestige or as a means to find an easier way to advance up the ladder of economic and political power. Some, no doubt, are genuine conservatives who think they can not only advance up the ladder of political power via the prestige afforded by this membership but, possibly, even change the direction of the organization. I don’t claim to know the human heart, but as a physician I do know something about human nature.

The tentacles of the CFR are so pervasive as to not only involve politicians and public servants, but even corporate members such as IBM, Capitol Cities/ABC, Archer Daniels Midland Co., Citibank/Citicorp, Time Warner, etc. Even foundations such as the Carnegie Corp. of New York, Ford, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, and the various Rockefeller foundations are saturated with leading members of the CFR. Former Archer Daniels Midland Chairman Dwayne O. Andreas belongs not only to the CFR, but also to the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderbergers.

In the media, we find Diane Sawyer (ABC), Barbara Walters (ABC), Tom Brokaw (NBC), Dan Rather (CBS), Ed Bradley (CBS), Frank Cesno (CNN), and the top echelons of these corporations such as Mortimer B. Zuckerman, chairman, U.S. News and World Report; and Laurence A. Tisch, chairman, CBS. Incidentally, former New York Times journalist Herbert Matthews, who perhaps more than any other person contributed to Castro’s ascension to power in 1959, was also a CFR member.

Even the Supreme Court has CFR members: Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven G. Breyer.

U.S. president members of the CFR have included Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

In the U.S. Senate, we find Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., Bob Graham, D-Fla., John Kerry, D-Mass., Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va.

Even in the U.S. House of Representatives, the chamber closer to the people, we find a few CFR members, e.g., James Leach, R-Ia., James A. McDermott, D-Wash., Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., is also a CFR member. The lure of power is of such magnitude that even this conservative warrior who brought down a powerful and corrupt House speaker, Jim Wright, D-Texas., and who brought about the conservative congressional revolution of 1994, succumbed to the trappings of power.

As a CFR member as well as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gingrich “delivered” the House vote on GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), although in his own testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee in 1994, he explained: “We need to be honest about the fact that we are transferring from the United States a practical level of significant authority to a new organization. This is a transformational moment. I would feel better if the people who favor this would just be honest about the scale of change. I agree this is very close to Maastrict [the European Union treaty by which European nations gave up considerable sovereignty in exchange for trade concessions] and 20 years from now we will look back on this as a very important defining moment. This is not just another trade agreement. This is adopting something which twice, once in the 1940s and once in the 1950s, the U.S. Congress rejected. I am not even saying we should reject it; I, in fact, lean toward it. But I think we have to be very careful, because it is a very big transfer of power.” (8)

In short, before we change our policy toward Cuba based on sagacious-sounding CFR reports, we should stop to pause and consider that these measures may not necessarily be in the best interest of the Cuban people or intended to aid in a “transition to democracy,” as sold to us, but rather to advance chiefly the internationalist goal of this organization. Nor does the interest of the American people often coincide with those of this organization.

After all, it is usually the American people who end up economically subsidizing failed internationalist schemes – particularly, U.N. fiascoes – when our government pours their hard-earned tax dollars into Third World black holes.

Furthermore, there is also a question of constitutionality. Our revered U.S. Constitution and the laws pursued thereof is the supreme law of the land, not CFR-formulated ideas implemented via the U.N. in the form of binding agreements or dubious treaties.

CFR headquarters, located in the former Harold Pratt House in New York City. Photo credit: Wikipedia

The Council of Foreign Relations is located at the Harold Pratt House, 58 E. 68th Street, New York, N.Y., 10021, for those who may want to find out more about this organization. Consider it a public service. Because of CFR’s new openness, you may check out for yourself the sedate material it now makes available to the public.

For years, the nemesis of the CFR has been the John Birch Society (JBS), which has tried to shed light into the activities of this organization and which has, in turn, aroused the ire of the establishment for its “conspiracy” theories. What better way to smear the JBS than charging it maliciously with alleged transgressions, including racism and anti-Semitism, neither one of them true!

The JBS and its publication The New American have published much material on this subject and interesting books, such as “The Shadows of Power: The Council of Foreign Relations and the American Decline” (1988) by James Perloff.

Perhaps the biggest exposé of this organization is found – paradoxically, in the scholarly writings of a sympathizer, the late Yale University professor Carroll Quigley, a CFR admirer and mentor of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Quigley’s all-telling and monumental book is “Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in our Time” (1966).

You don’t have to be a member of the John Birch Society or a conspiracy theorist to recognize the fact that more Americans need to be concerned about the pervasive nature of this internationalist organization; thus, whether we are referring to a policy toward Cuba or any other country, the interests of the American public and the people of the countries directly involved should be paramount.



2. Briggs, E.E. Cuba: Not the time to change U.S. policy. The Hartford Courant, Jan. 16, 2001, .

3. Suchlicki, J. American tourists would boost Castro. The Providence Journal, Jan. 10, 2001.

4. Schlafly, P., Ward, C. “Kissinger on the Couch.” New Rochelle, N.Y., Arlington House, 1975, pp. 144-151.

5. A more controversial document never intended for public consumption was “A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations” (1962) by MIT professor Lincoln P. Bloomfield (CFR) under a contract (No. SCC 2827) with the U.S. State Department.

6. Faria, M.A. Jr.In Bed With Castro., June 6, 2000.

7. Harwood, R. Washington Post, Oct. 30, 1993 cited in An International Primer, The New American, Sept. 16, 1996, pp. 13-15.

8. Jasper, W.F. “Newtered” Congress. The New American, Feb. 3, 1997, p. 23.

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D., is an Associate Editor-in-Chief and a World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International (SNI;; Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine. He served under President George W. Bush as member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; 2002-05); Realclearhistory Author (2012-present); Founder & Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel (1996-2002); Editor Emeritus; Author, Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995), Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997), and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His website is or

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Cuba and the Council on Foreign Relations. Newsmax Media. February 15, 2001. Available from:

This article was originally posted on, February 15, 2001.

Copyright ©2001-2015 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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