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  • September 12, 1962

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 12 September 1962

    A letter from Gideon Boissevain, the Dutch Ambassador to Cuba reporting to Amsterdam. The letter primarily concerns the press coverage in Cuba of the rising crisis. Particular attention is paid to the Soviet guarantees of Cuban security and the American responses to the discovered missiles. In Cuba there is fear of an invasion by the United States making use of foreign legionnaires, despite Kennedy's claims there is no plan for an attack on Cuba.

  • September 21, 1962

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 21 September 1962

    In this letter to Amsterdam, Dutch Ambassador to Cuba Boissevain remarks on how the American blockade of Cuba can effect Dutch trade in the Caribbean. He compares the situation to the one faced Japan and the Yellow Sea in the early 20th Century: Japanese control of the sea north of Shanghai strangled international shipping, and the British Navy was unable (or unwilling) to keep the Japanese in check. Boissevain decries the blockade of Cuba as foolhardy and says Washington risks losing the support of NATO over this.

  • October, 1962

    Dutch Prime Minister Jan E. de Quay, 23-26 October 1962

    Short diary entries from Dutch Prime Minister Jan E. de Quay during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • October 19, 1962

    Minutes of the Council of Ministers, The Hague, 19 October 1962 (excerpt)

    The meeting of the Council of Ministers at The Hague revolved around the ongoing naval blockade of Cuba by the United States. The Dutch Assistant Secretary of State related that while the Americans are remaining firm on the Cuban situation, his visit to President Kennedy revealed he was very tense and was looking for a solution. The Foreign Ministry has yet to give an definitive stance on Cuba, but the primary concern for the Dutch Government was freedom of the sea and free flow of trade. The Minister of Justice concludes that while the government has no power to stop ships from going to Cuba, it does have the power to bar arms shipments.

  • October 23, 1962

    Cable from Washington (Schiff) via The Hague (CELER), 23 October 1962

    The Hague receives a cable from Washington reporting on the developing crisis in Cuba. There is talk of a "New Foreign Policy Move" by the government, though the British and French Embassies do not have any idea what is happening. The cable closes with a report that Kennedy has convened a special session of the National Security Council and cabinet, and is expected to make a statement later that day.

  • October 23, 1962

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 23 October 1962

    The letter discusses a speech made by Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Cuban Minister of Industry, in which he addressed the Young Communists' Union. He emphasized the need to improve the solidarity among the communists and the necessity of work (trabajo is mentioned in the speech six times) to improve the country. Boissevain notes that while the Young Communists were motivated to harvest coffee berries, almost all of them are on guard duty.

  • October 24, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 24 October 1962

    The cable reports on Castro's speech, which does not offer much in news. The President of Brazil Goulart has instructed Ambassador to Cuba to investigate on the "offensive weapons."

  • October 24, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Washington (Van Roijen), 24 October 1962

    This cable comes from Dutch Ambassador to the United States J. Herman van Roijen, regarding the subject of Cuba and the discovered Soviet missiles. Van Roijen reports on the current status of negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, noting that the Soviets are willing to dismantle the missiles in Cuba if the Americans would do for "obscolescent bases near Soviet territory." The State Department fervently denied that any such tradeoff would happen or was even being considered.

  • October 24, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 24 October 1962

    A short cable from the Dutch Embassy, reporting that a general mobilization order has been made by Castro, who will make a speech later in the day. The Havana airport is on lockdown.

  • October 24, 1962

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 24 October 1962

    In this letter to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Boissevain speaks about Cuban attempts to move native members of the diplomatic staff and housekeeping staff to provide information concerning their employers. A report is given about the French embassy. The gardener for the Dutch Embassy is reported to have been visited by government officials and was subject to beatings when he refused to give information about his Dutch employers.

  • October 25, 1962

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 25 October 1962

    Boissevain relates the Cuban response to the crisis. In a speech, Castro does not deny the placement of nuclear weapons, and claims this kind of denial has been heard more from Khrushchev. The impression is one of building missile silos which look like "ground-to-ground" launch sites from the air. The Cuban government is satisfied with the developments from the UN Security Council regarding the issue, as evidenced by the Havana airport being reopened for international flights.

  • October 25, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Washington (Van Roijen), 25 October 1962

    Van Roijen relates in this cable the details of a meeting with the US State Department's Bureau of Western European Affairs. With regards to Cuba, the Soviets assured the United States that they would not supply Cuba with offensive military weapons and even detailed the ranges of the missiles shipped. The construction of the bases was done in such haste that no attempt to conceal them was made, indicating the construction was on a time limit. These along with several other factors (the 1961 Berlin crisis, internal pressure within the Soviet Union) had convinced the administration that the Soviets had the fixed determination to confront the US.

  • October 25, 1962

    Minutes of the Council of Ministers, The Hague, 25 October 1962

    A record of the meeting of the Dutch Council of Ministers at The Hague. The Prime Minister talks of the need to give a Dutch standpoint to the crisis, which has yet to be delivered. Minister of Home Affairs suggests that whatever action the United States adopts, the Dutch should comply for the sake of Western solidarity. The question of NATO is brought up, specifically if it should be included in an official Dutch position on Cuba.

  • October 26, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns, The Hague, to Dutch Embassy, London, 26 October 1962

    This cable from Foreign Minister Luns refers to a personal letter received from British Foreign Minister Lord Home, regarding the stance of the United Kingdom in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The letter is one encouraging support to the United States at the UN Security Council, and that such a crisis would have repurcussions not only for the Caribbean but for Europe as well. Luns later sent a reply of thanks, indicating continuing solidarity with the Western World and promises to keep in closer touch with the British.

  • October 26, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Washington (Van Roijen), 26 October 1962

    Van Roijen relates the current situation in Washington and the American view on the crisis. The removal of the missiles was a non-negotiable issue for the Americans, as Secretary of State Dean Rusk declared their removal was absolutely essential. In the mind of American statesmen, the missiles in Cuba was directly connected to the 1961 Berlin crisis, as it was a new Soviet technique. The hurried construction of the bases was reported to go on, meaning time is of the utmost essence. The Americans were not above considering force to resolve the crisis, although this was relegated to a worst-case scenario.

  • October 27, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Washington (Van Roijen), 27 October 1962

    Van Roijen relates that the U.S. State Department has great interest in learning about the mood in Cuba, particularly Havana. Van Roijen asks the Minister of Foreign Affairs to forward all of Boissevain's correspondences including his personal letters to him.

  • October 27, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Washington (Van Roijen), 27 October 1962

    Van Roijen writes again about the current situation in Washington just as the Cuban Missile Crisis is drawing to a close. The White House issued a statement regarding a proposal by Khrushchev. The statement's tough stance is attributed to Khrushchev's morning message which was completely different in content and tone to the personal message sent to Kennedy. The personal message amounted to admitting humiliating defeat by the Soviets with no mention of withdrawal of the U.S. missiles in Turkey. Van Roijen concludes that Kennedy made the right response to the previously offered Soviet deal, and kept the door open for consultation. The Cuban threat is almost "disappeared."

  • October 29, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 29 October 1962

    Boissevain writes after the conclusion of the crisis the Cuban response to the Tripartite Agreement. Fidel Castro proclaimed that no guarantee would be sufficient until all of the following had ceased: the naval and economic blockade, American aid to anti government forces and espionage, piracy from the United States and Puerto Rico, American military flights over Cuba, and dismantling the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay.

  • October 29, 1962

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 29 October 1962

    Boissevain speaks on the domestic situation in Cuba immediately after the end of the Missile Crisis. There are many counterrevolutionary groups who worry that current UN supervision of dismantling of the Soviet missile sites will preclude a U.S.-led invasion of Cuba, and perhaps might be the prelude to a normalizing of relations between Cuba and the United States. Raul Castro gives a speech saying the dismantling of the Soviet missile sites is a run-up to new Cuban demands, especially toward the evacuation of the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo. Raul goes on to address his brother Fidel, with assurances unity from the people, and obedience to any orders he issues. This raises the fear of what future demands Fidel may raise in the aftermath of this crisis.

  • October 31, 1962

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 31 October 1962

    Boissevain writes about a conversation between Cuban Foreign Minister Raul Roa and Brazilian Ambassador Luis Bastian Pinto. The conversation revolves around Castro's Five Points, and Roa claims they are not aimed at the United States but rather the Soviet Union whose concession to remove the missiles greatly disturbed Castro. The Brazilian Ambassador though the Cubans asked too much, while Roa said these points are negotiable.