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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China and Latin America and the Caribbean

This collection features materials on China's foreign relations with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean during the Mao period. The majority of documents are about Sino-Cuban relations and China's perspectives on the Cuban Missile Crisis. The collection includes embassy cables sent from Chinese diplomats in Latin America and records of conversation between Chinese and various leaders from the region.Image: Zhou Enlai Greeting Che Guevara.

  • July 14, 1956

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with Former President Árbenz of Guatemala and His Wife [Mrs. Árbenz]

    Mao and Jacobo Árbenz discuss continued efforts to wage revolution in Guatemala. Topics that they touch on include: Guatemala's relations with her neighbors, Sino-Guatemalan friendship, and their common opposition to the "paper tiger" of American imperialism.

  • September 02, 1958

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with Brazilian Journalists, Murilo Marroquin de Souza and Mme. [Maria da Graca] Dutra

    Mao shares his views on education with journalists from Brazil.

  • September 02, 1958

    Mao Zedong, 'Fight for National Independence and Do Away with Blind Worship of the West'

    Brazilian journalists Mariudim and Mme. Dotere speak with Mao about the prospects of stemming imperialism in Latin America, and countering Western influence. The reestablishment of diplomatic relations between China and Latin American countries, particularly Brazil, was also discussed.

  • January 12, 1959

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Summary of Conversation between Chairman Mao and Governor Sampaio of Brazil'

    President Mao Zedong exchanged views with Governor Sampaio on Chinese development, the role of Asia, Africa, and Latin America vis-a-vis the West, and Brazilian foreign policy. Mao also describes his personal studies of the English language.

  • May 15, 1959

    Record of Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with Chilean Politicians (Excerpt)

    Mao discusses the value of teaching and his personal experiences as an instructor.

  • May 08, 1960

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with Guests from Latin America

    Mao discusses the economic development of China and Latin America as well as ongoing anti-imperialist struggles around the world with a visiting delegation from Latin America. He expresses support for their efforts and calls for unity.

  • November 18, 1960

    Memorandum of the Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and Cuban Revolutionary Government Economic Delegation

    A discussion of Cuba's economic import/export and production capacities and other factors of the economic situation in Cuba.

  • November 19, 1960

    Memorandum of Conversation between Mao Zedong and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

    A diplomatic meeting of a global communist delegation. Many topics are discussed, including: the domestic situation in Cuba, especially the economic situation (for example: sugar sales); American influence and counter-revolutionaries; and comparison to the domestic situation in other Latin and Central American countries, such as: Peru, Colombia, Brazil, etc.).

  • November 21, 1960

    Memorandum of Conversation between Vice-Chairman Zhou Enlai, Party Secretary of the Cuban Popular Socialist Party Manuel Luzardo, and Member of National Directory Ernesto Che Guevara

    A diplomatic conversation covering China-Cuba relations, especially economic situations and the aid China is giving to Cuba.

  • December 20, 1960

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with an Ecuadorian Cultural Delegation and Cuban Women's Delegation

    Visitors from Ecuador and Cuba note that China has a long literary heritage, which should be used to advance socialism. They express surprise at the fact that Chinese artists continue to copy Western art and music. Mao agrees that more people should study their own heritage and culture.

  • February 11, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'Memorandum of Conversation between China’s Ambassador to Cuba, Shen Jian, and Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro'

    A diplomatic meeting between Fidel Castro and Shen Jian (from China) in which they discuss the Cuban revolution, US-Cuban relations and imperialism.

  • March 04, 1961

    Cable from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Chairman Mao's Conversation with Cuban Women's Delegation and Ecuadorian Cultural Delegation'

    The Cuban women's and Ecuador cultural delegations questioned Mao Zedong's opinions on distinguishing the different categories of revolutions, such as the People's Revolution and Colonial Revolution; different approaches of revolutions, such as the Cuban Revolution versus Latin American revolution; and how to protect physical cultural resources.

  • April 19, 1961

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with a Cuban Cultural Delegation

    Mao expresses support for the Cuban struggle against American imperialism.

  • April 19, 1961

    Memorandum of Chairman Mao Zedong and Cuban Cultural Delegation

    A diplomatic meeting between China's Chairman Mao Zedong and Cuba's Cultural Delegation Education Minister. They discuss educational and cultural affairs of both Cuba and China.

  • October 12, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation between Chinese Ambassador to Cuba Shen Jian and Member of the Cuban Integrated Revolutionary Organizations Emilio Aragonés

    Shen Jian and Emilio Aragonés discussed the Sino-Indian border disputes, in which both questioned the attitude of the USSR toward India. The other talking points include the attitude of the socialist world toward Yugoslavia and the revolutionary movements in Latin America.

  • October 13, 1962

    Memorandum of the Conversation between China’s Ambassador to Cuba Shen Jian and Cuban Finance Minister Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Havana

    A conversation between China’s Ambassador to Cuba Shen Jian and Cuban Finance Minister Ernesto “Che” Guevara. They discuss the situation of the Cuban economy given recent U.S. blockades, as well as the various situations in other countries like Yugoslavia, Argentina and Guatemala.

  • October 24, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Instructions on Issuing a Statement to Support Cuba'

    A plan from the Chinese Foreign Ministry office to distribute a postition statement to various press outlets regarding the situation of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • October 24, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'Report of a Conversation with Cuban Interior Minister'

    The Cuban Interior Minister is telling the Chinese embassy officials about U.S. combat readiness and active troop deployments to Cuba/Guantanamo.

  • October 24, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'A Brief Report of Recent Activities in Cuba'

    A report from the Chinese embassy in Cuba regarding the situation in Cuba. They report on: Castro's speech in response to Kennedy's statement from 22 October, and the Chinese embassy praises Castro; the economic situation in Cuba, including businesses, gas stations and hospitals; and the fact that the Cuban government has told United Arab Airlines and Holland Airlines that they can no longer land passenger aircraft in Cuba.

  • October 25, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'A Cuban Leader Talked about Domestic Mobilization'

    A report on the meeting between Huang Wenyou and Joaquin Ordoqui. They discuss two main issues: the fact that the oil supply and general economic conditions in Cuba are tough, but the Cuban people still remain positive; and the American mobilization for invasion and war against Cuba, especially given the fact that Kennedy recently took a hard line against Cuba in a meeting with Gromyko (a Soviet official).