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The President’s Daily Brief, 8 June 1966


The President’s
Daily Brief

1. South Vietnam
The political situation remains uneasy. The Buddhists are keeping up the pressure on the government. Tri Quang has started another hunger strike.

In a Saigon press conference today, Tam Chau reiterated that the "non-violent" struggle to topple Ky and Thieu would continue. He reportedly said Buddhists would "participate" in the proposed elections "if the government resigns." Chau has an appointment to see Ambassador Lodge on 9 June.

In Hué and Da Nang, the streets are still blocked by altars, and nothing effective has been done about removing them. This is also the case farther north in Quang Tri, where the chief Buddhist monk appears to be in virtual control.


The Saigon government is making some senior military command changes, the the significance of which is not yet clear. One involves the Saigon area commander, who is taking over the Third Corps.   other shifts are in store, perhaps including the ministers of defense, interior, and information.

2. Panama
The country has been quiet throughout the day. However, there is still a chance of more trouble tomorrow when funeral services will be held for victims of earlier rioting in Colon.

3. Soviet Bloc
Soviet crop prospects are good, thanks in large part to an early spring in the European part of the country and to abundant moisture supplies in the major winter grain areas. The outlook now is that the heavy imports of grain required in 1963 and 1965 will not be necessary this year.

In Eastern Europe, winter grain prospects have improved substantially since early March, and the outlook for spring-planted grains and a number of other crops is favorable. Eastern European grain import needs, however, are likely to remain near the 1965 level of 9 million tons, with the free world supplying about two thirds.

4. Soviet Union
Satellite photography continues to find more Soviet ICBM silos under construction. On the basis of our latest count, we believe the Russians will have an operational ICBM force of nearly 700 launchers by mid-1968. This will be more than triple the size of their ICBM deployment; it has been standing at some 220 launchers since late 1964.

5. Cuba
We expect that Castro will set off a particularly heavy propaganda barrage against the US when he finds out that he will not be able to send his athletes by ship to the Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico. He might even retaliate by not permitting the 2,000 US citizens and relatives still in Cuba to leave the island via the airlift to Miami.

6. Congo
The huge Union Minière mining concern is going to defy Mobutu on moving its headquarters to Leopoldville. All companies doing business principally in the Congo are supposed to do this by 1 January 1967.

Mobutu has threatened that companies failing to comply will be "nationalized." It is not clear what he means by this, but there appears to be little doubt that the Belgians are wrong in thinking that he is bluffing in the matter and can be safely crossed.