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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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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).

  • October 27, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, 'Report on Conversation with the Third Secretary of Cuban Embassy'

    Chinese embassy in Ghana discusses the situation in Cuba. Ghana proposes African-Asian delegation to inspect Cuban military establishments; also says the U.S. will attack Cuba at 9:30 pm on the evening of 27 or 28 October 1962, but does not identify the source of this information.

  • October 27, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy, Havana, 'Report on Conversation with Cuban Official Joaquín Ordoqui'

    Chinese embassy in Cuba discusses with a Cuban official the likelihood of a U.S. invasion and war. They also discuss the mobilization preparations and Castro's position on fighting a war with the United States.

  • October 28, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'The Chilean Economic Advisor Jaime Barrios Discussed the Cuban Situation'

    A conversation with the Chilean economic advisor. They discuss: American plane shot down over Cuba, possible invasion of Cuba and the mass mobilization needed to support Cuba.

  • October 31, 1962

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

    A report from a conversation with Joaquín Ordoqui. Two major topics are discussed. First: The Brazilian president, Joâo Goulart, sent his aide, Gen. Albino da Silva to Cuba, indicating that the Brazilian government is willing to mediate in the hopes of solving the Cuban problem, that the US is also willing to maintain relations with Cuba, and that [the Brazilian government] wants Cuba to return to the Organization of American States. And second: When negotiating with [UN Secretary-General] U Thant, we made Cuba's position crystal clear. Fidel [Castro] told him [U Thant] that an inspection, regardless of its form, would not be approved [by Cuban leaders], nor would it be approved by the Cuban people.

  • October 31, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'Cuban Foreign Ministry Officials Talked about the Situation'

    A conversation between Huang Wenyou, Head of Socialist Country Division of the Cuban Foreign Ministry José Fuxá and Cecilio Martinez (previously the first secretary of the Embassy in China) in which they discuss Cuba-Chinese relations of support and negotiations.

  • November 01, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'The Cuban Foreign Trade Minister Expressed Thanks to China'

    A conversation between Chargé d’Affaires Huang Wenyou and Cuban Foreign Trade Minister, Alberto Mora Becerra. They discussed China-Cuba relations (Chinese support of Cuba) and an incident in which Chinese comrades forced a Norwegian ship to go to Cuba.

  • November 01, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'A Report on Fidel Castro’s Televised Address'

    Castro delivered a televised nationwide speech and talked about the following issues: the published part of the memorandum of the conversation between Cuba and UN Secretary-General U Thant, Castro explained that the weaponry shipped away by the Soviet Union did not belong to Cuba, and Castro praised the fighting spirit demonstrated by the Cuban people during this period.