Plan to Doctor Cuban Sugar Depicts Control Problem
an excerpt from the New York Times article - April 28, 1966, front page

   Following is the fourth of five articles on the Central Intelligence Agency. The articles are by a team of New York Times correspondents consisting of Tom Wicker, John W. Finney, Max Frankel, E. W. Kenworthy and other Times staff members.

Special to The New York Times

   WASHINGTON, April 27—On Aug. 22, 1962, the S.S. Streatham Hill, a British freighter under Soviet lease, crept into the harbor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, for repairs. Bound for a Soviet port with 80,000 bags of Cuban sugar, she had damaged her propeller on a reef.
   The ship was put in drydock, and 14,135 sacks were off-loaded to facilitate repairs. Because of the United States embargo on Cuban imports, the sugar was put under bond in a customs warehouse.
   Sometime during the lay-up, agents of the Central Intelligence Agency entered the customs shed and contaminated the off-loaded sugar with a harmless but unpalatable substance.
   Later, a White House official, running through some intelligence reports, came upon a paper indicating the sabotage. He investigated, had his suspicions confirmed and informed President Kennedy, much to the annoyance of the C.I.A. command.
   The President was not merely annoyed; he was furious, because the operation had taken place on American territory, because it would, if discovered, provide the Soviet Union with a propaganda field day, and because it could set a terrible precedent for chemical sabotage in the undeclared "back-alley" struggle that rages constantly between the West and the Communist countries.
   Mr. Kennedy directed that the doctored sugar not leave Puerto Rico. This was more easily ordered than done, and it finally required the combined efforts of the C.I.A., the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, customs agents and harbor authorities to dis-intrigue the intrigue.
   The Soviet Union never got its 14,135 sacks of sugar; whether it was compensated for them has not been disclosed.