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Letter to Secretary Ribicoff Concerning Assistance to Exiled Cuban Scholars and Professional Leaders.

March 17, 1961

Dear Secretary Ribicoff :

I have studied and am in full accord with your recommendations of tangible assistance for Cuban scholars and professional leaders who have temporarily tied their country and are now living here in the United States. Immediate action should be taken on behalf of your proposals, and every possible personal encouragement given to this courageous and remarkable group.

I want to make unmistakably clear that we believe in a free Cuba. The presence in this country of two-thirds of the faculty of the University of Havana, as well as many more educational and professional leaders from the island, attests that an essential part of a free Cuba is now here with us. In community with them, we know that "only the mind cannot be sent into exile."

I will appreciate receiving by July x a report on the progress made in this program and the opportunities it opens up in teaching, medicine, economic development work, and other fields for the benefit of all of the Western Hemisphere.



Note: Secretary Ribicoff's recommendations, made in response to the President's request of February 3 (Item 19), were included in a letter dated March released with the President's reply. Secretary Ribicoff recommended that a grant be made to the University of Miami for (1) the creation of research and teaching opportunities for exiled scholars, (2) for the provision of specialized programs for exiled doctors, lawyers, and judges, including intensive instruction in the English language, and (3) for the maintenance of a roster of academically trained refugees for the use of U.S. colleges and universities seeking additions to their faculties and of Federal agencies in need of assistance on Latin American projects.

John F. Kennedy, Letter to Secretary Ribicoff Concerning Assistance to Exiled Cuban Scholars and Professional Leaders. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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