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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Cuban Missile Crisis

Documents concerning the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962--a major confrontation that brought the Soviet Union and the United States close to war over the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba. The documents are drawn from countries all around the world and discuss armament and military supplies sent to Cuba, troop training, security issues in the region, and relations with the US. There are many items of correspondence during the crisis itself, including letters between Soviet representatives in Cuba, the US, the UN, and the USSR Foreign Ministry. See also Cuban Foreign Relations, and the related collections in the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. (Image, Castro and Khrushchev, 1960)

  • October 22, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to the USA Dobrynin to the USSR MFA

    Dobrynin sends the results of a meeting where Rusk invites him to his home and asks him to deliver a message to Khrushchev and text of JFK’s message to be transmitted over TASS.

  • October 22, 1962

    Telegram from the Brazilian Embassy in Washington (Campos)

    A report from the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. about several meetings and consultations between the principal members and organs of the government (Kennedy, Johnson, etc.), especially of the Department of State and the Pentagon.Campos believes that an elaborate decision of great significance is in progress and that this decision may refer to Berlin or to Cuba or to the situation of the conflict between India and China.

  • October 22, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet representative to the UN Zorin to Soviet Foreign Ministry

    Zorin transmits the US’s letter to the UN security council regarding Soviet weapons in Cuba. Zorin states that the US’s letter is a means to legitimize the US blockade on Cuba. Soviet representatives to the UN had a preliminary discussion with the Cuban representative about the possibility of submitting an examination of the issue of US action against Cuba before consulting with other members of the Council on the time for convening the meeting.

  • October 22, 1962

    Cable from Federal Republic of Germany Embassy, Washington (Knappstein)

    An analysis of American decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the economic blockade, as well as of American perceptions of Soviet intentions during that time period, by the West German Ambassador to the United States.

  • October 22, 1962

    Amintore Fanfani Diaries (excepts)

    The few excerpts about Cuba are a good example of the importance of the diaries: not only do they make clear Fanfani’s sense of danger and his willingness to search for a peaceful solution of the crisis, but the bits about his exchanges with Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlo Russo, with the Italian Ambassador in London Pietro Quaroni, or with the USSR Presidium member Frol Kozlov, help frame the Italian position during the crisis in a broader context.

  • October 22, 1962

    Meeting between General Charles de Gaulle and Dean Acheson, Elysee Palace, Paris

    General Charles de Gaulle and Dean Acheson discuss installation of U.S. blockade around Cuiba and Soviet missiles, as well as the political goals of each.

  • October 22, 1962

    Manlio Brosio Diaries (excerpts)

    Diary entries from Manlio Brosio, an Italian foreign service diplomat, from his time as Ambassador to Paris during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • October 22, 1962

    Carlos Lechuga, Record of contacts at the UN Cuban Ambassador

    Carlos Lechuga's record of contacts of the UN Cuban Ambassador from 22 October 1962 to 11 January 1963.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Embassy, Havana

    A telegram from the Mexican Embassy in Cuba describing that the government of Cuba had given the order to be at battle stations to all its armed forces in anticipation of an air attack against Cuba by the United States.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Foreign Ministry to Mexican Embassy, Rio de Janeiro

    A telegram from the Mexican Foreign Ministry to the Mexican Embassy in Brazil describing a United States resolution was approved. The resolution contains two fundamental points: that Soviet bases in Cuba will be dismantled, and that authorization was given for member states to adopt individual or collective measures including the use of armed force. The resolution was voted for in parts and Mexico, Brazil, and Bolivia abstained from voting on the second part. The impression of the Mexican Foreign Ministry is that the present international situation is of great seriousness.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Embassy, Guatemala City

    A telegram from the Mexican Embassy in Guatemala commenting on the speech made by U.S. President Kennedy. The Mexican Embassy says "President Kennedy’s speech tells us that the giant finally woke up and that it will abandon its paralysis and lack of foresight, for a state of arms at the ready and alertness. Guatemala in its great anticommunist majority is prepared as a democratic country to align with our brothers of America."

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Embassy, Santo Domingo

    A telegram from the Mexican Embassy outlining that the Government of Cuba has turned a dangerous situation into, in their eyes, a peaceful one by allowing an aggressive Russian base with nuclear weapons in Cuba, as well as by measures for public force to suppress possible disorders.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Brazilian Foreign Ministry to Brazilian Delegation at the OAS, Washington

    Brazilian officials are suggesting the Brazilian government vote for the part of the North American resolution that prescribes the arms embargo and the inspections of ships that demand ports in Cuba.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Brazilian Embassy in Washington (Campos), 1 p.m., Tuesday

    Suggestion for a decision to internationalize the Cuban crisis would permit Cuba and the Soviet Union to "save face", diminishing the dangerous possibility of direct confrontation.

  • October 23, 1962

    Roger Robert du Gardier, French Ambassador in Havana, to Maurice Couve de Murville, French Foreign Minister, Telegram number 538-540

    A discussion of the public's reaction to the Cuban crisis and the propaganda and speeches concerning it.

  • October 23, 1962

    Cable from Washington (Schiff) via The Hague (CELER), 23 October 1962

    The Hague receives a cable from Washington reporting on the developing crisis in Cuba. There is talk of a "New Foreign Policy Move" by the government, though the British and French Embassies do not have any idea what is happening. The cable closes with a report that Kennedy has convened a special session of the National Security Council and cabinet, and is expected to make a statement later that day.

  • October 23, 1962

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 23 October 1962

    The letter discusses a speech made by Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Cuban Minister of Industry, in which he addressed the Young Communists' Union. He emphasized the need to improve the solidarity among the communists and the necessity of work (trabajo is mentioned in the speech six times) to improve the country. Boissevain notes that while the Young Communists were motivated to harvest coffee berries, almost all of them are on guard duty.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Polish Embassy in Washington (Drozniak), 23 October 1962

    In a conversation with Charles Bartlett (a journalist who had befriended President Kennedy), Drozniak learns more of the Cuban Crisis situation and of US-USSR relations, including that the steps taken to address the crisis (the quarentine of Cuba) were implemented by Kennedy in the atmosphere of great pressure from the public opinion.

  • October 23, 1962

    Soviet Marshal Andrei Grechko, Commander of the Warsaw Pact, telegram to Hungarian Minister of Defense Lajos Czinege

    Major Golovány writes to Hungarian Minister of Defense Lajos Zzineage and proposes the Hungarian military prepare for combat readiness in response to the President Kennedy’s increasing provocation towards Cuba.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from TROSTNIK (Soviet Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky) to PAVLOV (General Isa Pliev)

    Malinovsky instructs Pliev to establish a two-way radio connection.