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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 27, 1960

NOTES ON SWISS AGREEMENT TO REPRESENT US INTERESTS IN CUBA IF US-CUBAN DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS ARE BROKEN

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    An agreement from the Swiss government to represent U.S. interests in the Cuban crisis, "if Cuban-US diplomatic relations are broken."
    "Notes on Swiss Agreement to Represent US Interests in Cuba if US-Cuban Diplomatic Relations Are Broken," October 27, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Swiss Federal Archives, Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland, www.dodis.ch, doc. 14974. Translated from German by Stephanie Popp. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115432
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1833

Secret

Friday, October 28, 1960

Potential assumption of representation of the United States of America’s interest in Cuba

Foreign Ministry. Petition of October 27, 1960 (Enclosure).

Based on the petition of the Foreign Ministry, the Federal Council has decided:

The Foreign Ministry is authorized to:

1. Inform the American State Department through our embassy in Washington that the Federal Council is willing to take over the representation of American interests in Cuba in the case of a break in diplomatic relations between the United States of America and Cuba.

2. At the same time, point out to the American State Department that it goes without saying that the Federal Council can, should the situation arise, only take on the observation of American interests in Cuba, after the Cuban government has previously given its approval.

Protocol excerpt to the Foreign Ministry (5 copies) and to the Federal Chancellery for execution.

Verifying accuracy of excerpt,

the Secretary:

[Illegible signature]

Berne, October 27, 1960

o.840.USA.Cu.

- CR/st

Distributed

p.B.24.Am.2.

Secret

To the Federal Council

Potential assumption of representation of the United States of America’s interest in Cuba

On 26 October, the American State Department sounded out our Chargé d’Affaires in Washington [most likely referring to Ambassador August Lindt], if Switzerland would possibly be willing to represent the American interests in Cuba. Even though the Americans do not want to take the initiative, a break in relations between the two states has to be considered a possibility. Currently, there are about 4,000 American citizens in the country, whereas in the case of a break in relations, there would probably hardly be 1,000 left. The majority of American companies have, by the way, already been seized.

On 21 October, the Federal Council has approved our petition to take over the representation of the [West] German interests in Cuba, should the German Federal Republic break off her relations with Cuba. Traditionally, we have never turned down such mandates, even if they entailed – as was regularly the case – certain disadvantages and inconveniences. Such a disposition is, in our opinion, also to be taken in respect to the American entreaty.

We are taking the liberty to petition the Federal Council to authorize the Foreign Ministry to:

1. Inform the American State Department through our embassy in Washington that the Federal Council is willing to take over the representation of American interests in Cuba in the case of a break in diplomatic relations between the United States of America and Cuba.

2. At the same time, point out to the American State Department that it goes without saying that the Federal Council can, should the situation arise, only take on the observation of American interests in Cuba, after the Cuban government has previously given its approval.

Federal Foreign Ministry.

Protocol excerpt to the Foreign Ministry (5 copies) and to the Federal Chancellery for execution.