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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 1960

CENTRAL COMMITTEE BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY POLITBURO RESOLUTION REGARDING ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH CUBA

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    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.
    "Central Committee Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Resolution Regarding Establishment of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba," June, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive of Bulgaria (TsDA), Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis 6, a.e. 4203; translated by Assistant Professor Kalina Bratanova, edited by Jordan Baev. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116334
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CC BCP Politburo Resolution No. 136/30 June 1960

Re: Establishment of diplomatic relations with Republic of Cuba

[…]

VIII. Regarding the establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Comrade Todor Zhivkov reports.

Gives one’s consent to establish diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Cuba and to announce the latter in the press after coordinating it with the Cuban government. The Foreign Affairs commission at Politburo should work out concrete measures regarding the establishment and expansion of political, economic and cultural relations between our country and the Republic of Cuba. Raul Castro should be invited to visit our country.

[…]

To

The Prime Minister

Comrade Anton Jugov[1]

Report

By Georgi Kumbiliev – minister of foreign trade

Re: the establishment of trade relations with Cuba.

Comrade Prime Minister,

For some time now Cuba has been showing an interest in signing a trade agreement with our country.

The USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia and others among the socialist countries have already signed trade agreements with Cuba. This year the USSR is going to buy 425 000 tons of sugar, and in the next four years – a million tons a year. The USSR has granted a 100 000 000 dollar loan to Cuba at a 2.5% interest rate. Czechoslovakia and some other socialist countries have already come to an agreement on the construction of different enterprises in Cuba.

A Cuban economic delegation led by [Antonio Núñez] Jiménez, the director of the National Institute for Agricultural Reform, is at present in the Soviet Union. The delegation is negotiating and it has already been declared that it has signed an agreement for the supply of petrol and petrol products from the USSR. It has also signed a joint communiqué on the trade-economic relations etc. The same delegation will also visit other countries from the socialist bloc – Poland, the GDR and others, where it will also negotiate. Cuba is interested in being emancipated from its economic dependence on the USA. Hence it is necessary to ensure the export of sugar on the one hand and the import of petrol and petrol products, agricultural machines and others, e.g. goods with which it has so far traded with the USA.

Since the ideas of the Cuban revolution and the socialist community are close, the USSR and other socialist countries view the development of trade and economic relations with Cuba as a support for the Cuban revolution. For the time being Jiménez’s delegation is not expected to come to Bulgaria. We consider it appropriate to invite the delegation to visit our county after signing the trade agreement.

Preliminary research has shown that we could export to Cuba some of our goods.

With a view to the development of trade relations with Cuba, it is necessary to sign a trade agreement with Cuba, under which our country could eventually ascertain preferential treatment in terms of either duty tariffs or on the foreign trade regime.

Under these circumstances the question about our import from Cuba arises, which is practically harder to solve. If the delegation comes to our country it will by all means want us to buy certain amounts of sugar from Cuba, in return for which we would export our goods. Yet we do not import sugar for satisfying our own needs. The preliminary research made by the Ministry of Foreign Trade regarding the opportunities for importing raw Cuban sugar and after processing it in our plants re-exporting it, showed that it is not economically profitable due to the high freight and processing costs and other [factors]. It would be more profitable if the sugar, after being processed were left for the internal market, while the Foreign Trade Ministry would export the respective quantity of our sugar. One way or other, we must be ready to buy some sugar; the latter is very important for Cuba’s economy, especially taking into account the great quantities of residual substances of sugar.

I suggest that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs entrusts the Bulgarian ambassador in Warsaw to invite the Cuban delegation to visit our country as well. It should be explicitly declared that if the delegation has the authority to do it, we are ready to sign a trade agreement and to buy certain quantities of sugar, exporting our goods in return.

Depending on the answer, we will announce the negotiation delegation members and a draft version of the delegates.

Regarding the establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Comrade Todor Zhivkov reports.

1. Gives one’s consent to establish diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Cuba and to announce the latter in the press after coordinating it with the Cuban government.

2. The Foreign Affairs commission at Politburo should work out concrete measures regarding the establishment and expansion of political, economic and cultural relations between our country and the Republic of Cuba.

3. Raul Castro should be invited to visit our country.

[1] CC BCP Politburo member since 1938, Minister of Internal Affairs (1944-1949), Deputy Prime Minister (1949-1956), Prime Minister (1956-1962).