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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Cuban Foreign Relations

 Documents on Cuban's international relations, focusing on its relationship with the Soviet Union, China and the United States. See also the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Image, Zhou Enlai and Che, 1965)

  • December 03, 1958

    Cuban Communist Party Official Lazaro Peña, Report to the Italian Communist Party (PCI), 'Information on the Political Situation in Cuba'

    A report supplied by the Foreign Section and Cuban comrade Lazaro Peña, Director of the Latin American syndicate, on the political situation in Cuba. It describes the July 26th movement, Cuban relations with the United States, and the Cuban Popular Socialist Party.

  • March 24, 1959

    Resolution of the 42nd Meeting of the Czechoslovak Communist Party Politburo, Regarding Talks with Representatives of the People’s Socialist Party of Cuba

    This presents evidence of Czechoslovak-Cuban relations forming in 1959, which includes the somewhat sensitive issue of Prague’s attempting to grasp the relationship and balance of power within Havana’s rulers between Fidel Castro’s “July 26th” movement and the traditional, pro-Moscow communist party, the People’s Socialist Party (PSP).

  • September, 1959

    Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPCz) Politburo Resolution (with enclosures) on Arms Transfers to Cuba, September 1959

    Czech government decision in late September 1959, to approve sending what was euphemistically described as “special technical supplies” or “special technology” (but in truth were weapons, specifically 50,000 submachine guns and ammunition) to Havana, using a neutral Swiss firm as a cut-out to conceal the transaction, especially from American eyes.

  • January 01, 1960

    Italian Communist Angelo Franza, Memorandum of Conversation with Cuban Communist Antonio Nunez Jimenez and note by PCI Official Giuliano Pajetta

    A memorandum of a conversation between PCI official Giuliano Pajetta and Antonio Nunez Jimenez, Director of the Cuban National Institute for Agrarian Reform [INRA] and member of the Cuban PC (Popular Socialist Party [PSP]). They discuss the various problems relating to the internal and external politics in Cuba and the solidarity that the PCI can provide to the Cuban liberation movement.

  • April 28, 1960

    Excerpts of the Memorandum of the Conversation between Mao Zedong and Blas Roca Calderio, the Party Secretary of the Popular Socialist Party of Cuba

    A diplomatic conversation between Chairman Mao and Calderio from Cuba. They discuss the China-Cuba relations, economic aid to Cuba and Cuba's relations with other Central American and Latin America countries.

  • May 17, 1960

    Report of the Czechoslovak Politburo Regarding Military Assistance to the Cuban Government, 16 May 1960, and CPCz Politburo Resolution, 17 May 1960

    This includes further orders of weapons shipment to the Cuban revolutionary government under the guise of "special materials." Also included is a short profile on Raul Castro, member of the Cuban delegation, as well as the details of his stay in Czechoslovakia.

  • June, 1960

    Central Committee Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Resolution Regarding Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

    In Resolution NO. 136, the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party establishes diplomatic relations with Cuba; sets the goal of establishing and expanding political, economic, and cultural relations with Cuba; and proposes an invitation for Raul Castro to visit Bulgaria. The resolution includes a report drafted by Minister of Foreign Trade Georgi Kumbiliev, on behalf of Todor Zhivkov, to Prime Minister Anton Jugov. Kumbiliev reviews Cuba's interest in a trade agreement with Bulgaria and provides background information about Cuba's trade agreements with other socialist countries, specifically Cuba's export of sugar and import of petrol and agricultural machines.

  • June 16, 1960

    Report of the Governmental Delegation Visiting Argentina and Cuba

    The document includes excerpts from a Bulgarian delegation's report on their visit to Latin America in 1960. The excerpt covers the delegation's visit to Cuba. Avramova and Agnelov report Cuba's desire to establish diplomatic and cultural relations with Bulgaria. Cuba's interest paramountly involve trade. Avramova and Angelov summarize meetings with important government officials, particulalry Ernesto Guevara, head of the National Bank, and Raul Castro, Minister of Armed Forces. Topics include: the development of the revolution against the Batista government, post-Batista power struggles, geographical fatalism and US influence, Cuba's challenges (e.g. illiteracy, the lack of specialists), land and agricultural reform, construction, industrialization. The delegation recommends the establishment of official relations with Cuba and an invitation for Raul Castro to visit Bulgaria.

  • June 30, 1960

    Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Resolution Regarding Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

    Resolution of the Bulgarian Communist Party to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba. A report is presented which describes current Cuban economic and trade relations with the Soviet Union, as well as Poland and Czechoslovakia.

  • August 04, 1960

    Report by Czechoslovak Embassy, Havana, on July 1960 Visit of Czechoslovak Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Jiri Hajek to Havana

    The report details a meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Hajek with Cuban Foreign Minister Raul Roa. After a dinner banquet which is attended by all members of the Cuban foreign ministry and the Czechoslovak embassy, Hajek and Roa pay a visit to Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Chairman of the Cuban National Bank. Conversations ranged from Cuba's international status to ways of thwarting American aggression. It is noted that Guevara was highly paranoid of an American attack on Cuba.

  • October, 1960

    Documents Regarding Impending Visit to Czechoslovakia of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, president of the Cuban National Bank

    These concern preparations by the Czechoslovak government for the visit of Ernesto "Che" Guevara on 23 October 1960. The primary topics of discussion are economic assistance to Cuba and advice on raw material production, as Cuba was in the process of nationalizing its economy.

  • October 27, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 27 October 1960

    A.M. Puzanov informs Ri Jeong-sik of the visit of E. Guevara and the Cuban economic mission to Moscow.

  • October 27, 1960

    Notes on Swiss Agreement to Represent US Interests in Cuba if US-Cuban Diplomatic Relations Are Broken

    An agreement from the Swiss government to represent U.S. interests in the Cuban crisis, "if Cuban-US diplomatic relations are broken."

  • October 29, 1960

    Information on the VIII Congress of National Socialist Party of Cuba

    In a secret supplement to information from the VIII Congress of the People's Socialist Party, Bulgarian delegates Abramov and Tellalov summarize answers that Blas Roca, the Cuban delegation head, provided the congress. Roca claimed that socialism is the end goal of the revolution, but it is not publicly discussed. He explained the Communist party's involvement in the revolution and July 26th Movement. Abramov and Tellalov also describe the reestablishment of relations and disagreements between Cuba and Yugoslavia, including discussions about weapons. Fidel Castro met with socialist country representatives and described Cuba's plans to nationalize enterprises, particularly American. During the congress Castro described the evolution of the July 26th Movement and the consolidation of Communism in Cuba. Abramov and Tellalov endorse Castro's leadership and review the Cuban military's strengths and weaknesses. There is a brief mention Sino-Soviet relations.

  • November 18, 1960

    Memorandum of the Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and Cuban Revolutionary Government Economic Delegation

    A discussion of Cuba's economic import/export and production capacities and other factors of the economic situation in Cuba.

  • November 19, 1960

    Memorandum of Conversation between Mao Zedong and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

    A diplomatic meeting of a global communist delegation. Many topics are discussed, including: the domestic situation in Cuba, especially the economic situation (for example: sugar sales); American influence and counter-revolutionaries; and comparison to the domestic situation in other Latin and Central American countries, such as: Peru, Colombia, Brazil, etc.).

  • November 21, 1960

    Memorandum of Conversation between Vice-Chairman Zhou Enlai, Party Secretary of the Cuban Popular Socialist Party Manuel Luzardo, and Member of National Directory Ernesto Che Guevara

    A diplomatic conversation covering China-Cuba relations, especially economic situations and the aid China is giving to Cuba.

  • January, 1961

    Report to Czechoslovak Communist Party Central Committee (CPCz CC) on Consideration of Cuban Arms Requests

    The report concerns requests from Cuba for shipment of arms from Czechoslovakia, along with providing advisors to the Cuban military. Among the arms being transferred are Czechoslovak fighter planes, automatic rifles and ammunition, mobile artillery, and anti-aircraft guns. Clearly the Cuban desires for arms were fueled by fears of American attack, which would come to fruition in the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion.

  • January 11, 1961

    Record of Conversations between Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Sergey Kudryavtsev and Che Guevara

    A record of two conversations between Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Sergey Kudryavtsev and Che Guevara, recorded in Kudryavtsev's diary. They discuss economic relations and financial trades, especially the Cuban purchase of Soviet gold. They also discuss how mobilization in Cuba has led to a decrease in the activity of the counterrevolutionaries, as well as the possible military intervention from the United States.

  • January 12, 1961

    Cuban G-2 (military intelligence), “Report on mercenary camps and bases in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Florida” (forwarded to Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado)

    A military intelligence report from the Cuban G-2 service, outlining the miltiary capabilities of nearby Latin American countries, as well as the miltiary situations (uprisings) in many of those same countries.