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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Cuban Missile Crisis

Documents concerning the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962--a major confrontation that brought the Soviet Union and the United States close to war over the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba. The documents are drawn from countries all around the world and discuss armament and military supplies sent to Cuba, troop training, security issues in the region, and relations with the US. There are many items of correspondence during the crisis itself, including letters between Soviet representatives in Cuba, the US, the UN, and the USSR Foreign Ministry. See also Cuban Foreign Relations, and the related collections in the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project. (Image: Executive Committee of the National Security Committee during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Participants include President John F. Kennedy, Dean Rusk, and Robert McNamara in the White House Cabinet Room. (NARA 595950))

  • October 22, 1962

    Telegram from the Brazilian Delegation at the Annual Conference of CIES (Celso Furtado), Mexico City (Part II)

    Furtado, in a follow-up telegram to his earlier message, recalls the impression that the American government considered the speech of Kennedy as an ultimatum to the USSR on the Cuban question.

  • October 22, 1962

    Telegram from TROSTNIK (Soviet Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky) to PAVLOV (General Isa Pliev)

    Malinovsky warns Pliev of possible a American landing in Cuba and directs him to make preparations, a joint effort between Cuban and Soviet troops.

  • October 22, 1962

    Telegram from the Brazilian Embassy in Washington (Campos)

    A report from the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. about several meetings and consultations between the principal members and organs of the government (Kennedy, Johnson, etc.), especially of the Department of State and the Pentagon.Campos believes that an elaborate decision of great significance is in progress and that this decision may refer to Berlin or to Cuba or to the situation of the conflict between India and China.

  • October 22, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet representative to the UN Zorin to Soviet Foreign Ministry

    Zorin transmits the US’s letter to the UN security council regarding Soviet weapons in Cuba. Zorin states that the US’s letter is a means to legitimize the US blockade on Cuba. Soviet representatives to the UN had a preliminary discussion with the Cuban representative about the possibility of submitting an examination of the issue of US action against Cuba before consulting with other members of the Council on the time for convening the meeting.

  • October 22, 1962

    Cable from Federal Republic of Germany Embassy, Washington (Knappstein)

    An analysis of American decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the economic blockade, as well as of American perceptions of Soviet intentions during that time period, by the West German Ambassador to the United States.

  • October 22, 1962

    Amintore Fanfani Diaries (excepts)

    The few excerpts about Cuba are a good example of the importance of the diaries: not only do they make clear Fanfani’s sense of danger and his willingness to search for a peaceful solution of the crisis, but the bits about his exchanges with Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlo Russo, with the Italian Ambassador in London Pietro Quaroni, or with the USSR Presidium member Frol Kozlov, help frame the Italian position during the crisis in a broader context.

  • October 22, 1962

    Meeting between General Charles de Gaulle and Dean Acheson, Elysee Palace, Paris

    General Charles de Gaulle and Dean Acheson discuss installation of U.S. blockade around Cuiba and Soviet missiles, as well as the political goals of each.

  • October 22, 1962

    Manlio Brosio Diaries (excerpts)

    Diary entries from Manlio Brosio, an Italian foreign service diplomat, from his time as Ambassador to Paris during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • October 22, 1962

    Carlos Lechuga, Record of contacts at the UN Cuban Ambassador

    Carlos Lechuga's record of contacts of the UN Cuban Ambassador from 22 October 1962 to 11 January 1963.

  • October 23, 1962

    Soviet Report on American Secrecy Efforts

    Report on US secrecy prior to President Kennedy's October 22 speech announcing the discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba and the start of a US blockade. Also describes press conference by Robert McNamara.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Embassy, Havana

    A telegram from the Mexican Embassy in Cuba describing that the government of Cuba had given the order to be at battle stations to all its armed forces in anticipation of an air attack against Cuba by the United States.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Foreign Ministry to Mexican Embassy, Rio de Janeiro

    A telegram from the Mexican Foreign Ministry to the Mexican Embassy in Brazil describing a United States resolution was approved. The resolution contains two fundamental points: that Soviet bases in Cuba will be dismantled, and that authorization was given for member states to adopt individual or collective measures including the use of armed force. The resolution was voted for in parts and Mexico, Brazil, and Bolivia abstained from voting on the second part. The impression of the Mexican Foreign Ministry is that the present international situation is of great seriousness.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Embassy, Guatemala City

    A telegram from the Mexican Embassy in Guatemala commenting on the speech made by U.S. President Kennedy. The Mexican Embassy says "President Kennedy’s speech tells us that the giant finally woke up and that it will abandon its paralysis and lack of foresight, for a state of arms at the ready and alertness. Guatemala in its great anticommunist majority is prepared as a democratic country to align with our brothers of America."

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Embassy, Santo Domingo

    A telegram from the Mexican Embassy outlining that the Government of Cuba has turned a dangerous situation into, in their eyes, a peaceful one by allowing an aggressive Russian base with nuclear weapons in Cuba, as well as by measures for public force to suppress possible disorders.

  • October 23, 1962

    Message from Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos to Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos

    A message from Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos to Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos. President Mateos expresses his concern with the possibility of weapons of aggression existing in Cuba. President Mateos hopes Cuba has not yet acquired these weapons, but that if it in fact has, he says that Mexico hopes "those bases are not used in any form whatsoever and the offensive weapons are withdrawn from Cuban territory."

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Brazilian Foreign Ministry to Brazilian Delegation at the OAS, Washington

    Brazilian officials are suggesting the Brazilian government vote for the part of the North American resolution that prescribes the arms embargo and the inspections of ships that demand ports in Cuba.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Brazilian Embassy in Washington (Campos), 1 p.m., Tuesday

    Suggestion for a decision to internationalize the Cuban crisis would permit Cuba and the Soviet Union to "save face", diminishing the dangerous possibility of direct confrontation.

  • October 23, 1962

    Roger Robert du Gardier, French Ambassador in Havana, to Maurice Couve de Murville, French Foreign Minister, Telegram number 538-540

    A discussion of the public's reaction to the Cuban crisis and the propaganda and speeches concerning it.

  • October 23, 1962

    Telegram from Swiss Foreign Ministry to Swiss Embassy in Havana (Stadelhofer)

    A telegram from the Swiss Foreign Ministry in Berne to the Swiss Embassy in Havana that describes the difficult and complex diplomatic situation presented by the Cuban crisis.

  • 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.