CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE DELEGATION OF THE ROMANIAN WORKERS PARTY AND THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION IN PITZUNDA, 15 MARCH 1964 (EXCERPTS)
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get citationKhrushchev and Mikoyan discuss the Cuban Missile Crisis in this excerpt from a conversation with a Romanian delegation in Pitzunda, Georgia (now Abkhazia). They discuss the Sino-Soviet Split, and Khrushchev complains that "the Chinese qualified us as adventurers, while on other issues they call us cowards," and explains his reasoning for defending Cuba."Conversations between the Delegation of the Romanian Workers Party and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Pitzunda, 15 March 1964 (excerpts)," March 15, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANIC, fond C.C. al P.C.R. – Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 29/1964, f. 172-238; Document 11 in Romulus Ioan Budura, coordinator, Politica Independenţă a României şi Relaţiile Româno-Chineze 1954-1975: Documente [Romania’s Policy of Independence and Romanian-Chinese Relations 1954-1975: Documents], Bucureşti, Ministerul Afacerilor Externe, Arhivele Naţionale, 2008, p. 247. Translated for CWIHP by Larry L. Watts. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116567
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Transcript of Conversations between the Delegation of the Central Committee of the Romanian Workers Party and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Pitsunda, 15 March 1964
Cde. Nikita S. Khrushchev: … The imperialists, at the present moment, fear our force. This is an additional confirmation of the thesis elaborated at the XXth Congress that imperialism, at the present moment, is no longer the single all-powerful force. Given that, we could maintain revolutionary Cuba even in the ribs of the USA.
Cde. Anastas I. Mikoyan: And Johnson said that he did not intend to attack Cuba, although they are close and could do want they want. They not only did not attack Cuba, but they felt obligated to explain to us why they do not attack it.
Cde. Nikita S. Khrushchev: In connection with Cuba, the Chinese qualified us as adventurers, while on other issues they call us cowards. However these two notions are mutually exclusive. They consider that the sending of Soviet missiles to Cuba was an adventure. What does that [allegation] mean when we decipher it? They consider that it could have led to the beginning of a nuclear war. What must be done to preserve revolutionary Cuba? I personally believe that there was only one possibility, that of bringing missiles into Cuba. We transported tens of thousands of men there. Now we have less, but still many. We transported artillery, tanks. We have many armed forces there. This made the Americans abstain from an attack against Cuba and Fidel Castro now understands this. If we had not gone on this adventure, as China calls it, Cuba would not exist.
Up until the moment when the communiqué appeared that Khrushchev and Kennedy reached agreement on Cuba, the Chinese said nothing. When we reached agreement with Kennedy, after the exchange of letters, then the Chinese began to call us cowards. Why over-estimate American imperialism? They base themselves on the following judgment: the Soviets will withdraw the missiles from Cuba and Kennedy, immediately, will attack Cuba. Now they are unhappy that the peril has dissipated! What, are we talking about an understanding between a socialist country and a capitalist one! That is not regulated through letters, but through [the balance of] our forces.