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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 10, 1977

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN ETHIOPIA A.P. RATANOV AND CUBAN AMBASSADOR IN ETHIOPIA JOSE PERES NOVOA

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    Memorandum of conversation between Soviet Ambassador in Ethiopia A.P. Ratanov and Cuban Ambassador in Ethiopia Jose Peres Novoa concerning Mengistu’s request to Castro that Cuba supply arms to Ethiopia
    "Memorandum of conversation between Soviet Ambassador in Ethiopia A.P. Ratanov and Cuban Ambassador in Ethiopia Jose Peres Novoa," February 10, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 73, d. 1637, l. 85; translated by Mark H. Doctoroff. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111626
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Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador in Ethiopia
A.P. Ratanov and Cuban Ambassador in Ethiopia Jose Peres Novoa,
10 February 1977

TOP SECRET, Copy No. 2
From the diary of "30" March 1977 RATANOV, A.P. Issue No. 129

RECORD OF CONVERSATION
With the Ambassador of Cuba in Ethiopia JOSE PERES NOVOA
10 February 1977

During a conversation which took place in the Soviet Embassy, Jose Peres Novoa reported that on 8 February he had visited Mengistu Haile Mariam at the latter's request.


Mengistu requested that the Ambassador pass on to Fidel Castro a verbal message in which the PMAC requests Cuba to provide assistance to the Ethiopian People's Militia via deliveries of small arms. In this regard Mengistu declared that the Americans had already refused to provide spare parts for tanks, [and] had suspended deliveries of spare parts for all kinds of weapons, and that the PMAC expects the USA, after the events of 3 February to apply even harsher sanctions against Ethiopia. At the same time the USA is providing military assistance to Sudan, [and] Kenya, and is encouraging officials of the these and other countries to act against the Ethiopian regime.


The PMAC, reported Mengistu, intends to follow Cuba's example of creating in factories and agencies, and in villages, committees for defense of the revolution, which will act in close contact with detachments of the people's militia, which are formed under the supervision of urban and rural associations. However, the effectiveness of these measures will depend on whether the PMAC has available and at its disposal the necessary quantity of weapons.

USSR AMBASSADOR IN ETHIOPIA
/s/ A. RATANOV

[Source: TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 73, d. 1637, l. 85; translated by Mark H. Doctoroff.]