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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, Castro and Khrushchev, 1960)

  • October 24, 1962

    Soviet Report on the Situation in the US Following Kennedy's Announcement

    Report on the situation in the US following Kennedy's announcement, including how the crisis is being presented in news media, increased security measures, the mood in New York City and protests occurring in response.

  • 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 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 24, 1962

    Telegram from Yugoslav Embassy in Rio de Janeiro (Barišić) to Yugoslav Foreign Ministry

    A telegram from the Yugoslav Embassy in Rio de Janeiro to the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis and U.S.-USSR-Cuban relations. It says, the "American arguments in favor of the military blockade of Cuba are: firstly, they have solid proof that Cuba will get atomic weapons; secondly, Kennedy must take more severe measures because of the internal pressure, that’s why his option is blockade, although he is trying to transfer this issue to the UNO [United Nations Organization] in order to alleviate the pressure on himself; thirdly, transferring Cuba’s issue to the UNO he is creating a precedent against unilateral USSR actions in Berlin."

  • October 24, 1962

    Letter from Khrushchev to John F. Kennedy

    Khrushchev expresses outrage at Kennedy’s establishment of quarantine in Cuba.

  • October 24, 1962

    Chief of Staff, Bulgarian Navy, Order Regarding Naval Combat Readiness

    The Chief of Staff of the Bulgarian Navy issued an order to prepare the Navy for mobilization, citing a Bulgarian government declaration about the Cuban missile crisis. The Chief of Staff's secret order includes 19 specific commands for preparation. Commands include orders regarding necessary supplies for combat readiness, repair schedules, deployment, arming vessels, radio communication, and increased surveillance, among others. The Chief of Staff order includes reporting requirements and specific dates for execution.

  • October 24, 1962

    Report to CPSU Central Committee From Defense Minister Rodion Malinovskii and A. Epishev

    The response from the Soviet Army following the announcement of the Soviet government about the aggressive actions of the US toward Cuba.

  • October 24, 1962

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

    West German Ambassador Karl-Heinrich Knappstein in Washington, D.C. sends a report to Federal Minister Schröder about the Cuban crisis situation in both military and political terms. He discusses the presence of both American and Soviet submarines and aircraft in Cuba. He also discusses several of the diplomatic meetings that have taken place regarding the Cuban crisis - between Kennedy, Khrushchev, Rusk and others.

  • October 24, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to the USA Dobrynin to the USSR MFA

    Dobrynin relays the results of a meeting with R. Kennedy during which R. Kennedy is outraged at the “deception” of the Soviet Union by putting long-range missiles in Cuba.

  • October 24, 1962

    Record of Meeting of Fidel Castro and Military Chiefs

    Fidel Castro and his military advisors are discussing possible American mobilization of troops to Cuba (in the context of the Cuban Missile Crisis) and what Cuba would need to do to defend itself from such an invasion. A majority of the conversation is devoted to anti-aircraft and aviation preparations.

  • October 25, 1962

    Cable from Soviet ambassador to the US Dobrynin to USSR Foreign Ministry (1)

    Dobrynin relays that Russian journalist overheard information about a possible US invasion of Cuba at the press club in Washington.

  • October 25, 1962

    Cable from Japanese Embassy in Havana to Tokyo

    A description of the Cuban reaction to the announcement of the US blockade. The Cuban press reports that President Kennedy's announcement is an act of unreasonable aggression by U.S. imperialists, and overall there is intense dissatisfaction about the situation among the revolutionary government and Castro

  • October 25, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Embassy, New Delhi

    A Mexican diplomat in New Delhi is requesting more information on Brazil’s offer to mediate Cuba conflict and the possibility of Mexico joining that mediation.

  • October 25, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation between Mexican Foreign Ministry Official and Peruvian Diplomat, Mexico City

    The Peruvian Chargé d’affaires Mr. Don Carlos Pérez Cánepa, visited the Second Undersecretary [Pablo] Campos Ortiz. The Peruvian diplomat is inquiring what the Mexican point of view was regarding possible military action (in which all the republics of the continent would take part) against Cuba.

  • October 25, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation between Mexican Foreign Ministry Official and Canadian Ambassador, Mexico City

    A meeting between the Mexican Foreign Ministry official and the Ambassador to Canada. The Canadian Ambassador says that planes from Cuba landing in Canada will be inspected for weapons, no planes from the Soviet Union will be allowed to flyover or land in Canada, and questions why the Mexican government voted the way it did on the US Resolution. To which the Mexican official replied that there were concerns over the use of military force against Cuba.

  • October 25, 1962

    Telegram from the Brazilian Embassy in Havana (Bastian Pinto), 12:45 p.m., Thursday

    An attempt to assure the Secretary of State for External Relations, at Minister Roa's request, of the total falsity of the accusation that, in Cuba, there exists any offensive armament and that Cuba solely desires effective guarantees in respect to its integrity and sovereignty and is ready even to dissolve its Army.

  • October 25, 1962

    Cable from Israeli Embassy, Prague, to Israeli Foreign Ministry, Jerusalem

    A cable from the Israeli Embassy in Prague about the Cuban crisis - public panic, long lines at stores to buy basic products (oil, sugar, salt, etc.) and many denunciations of U.S. policies by Cuban citizens.

  • October 25, 1962

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

    Stadelhofer speaks with Cuban Foreign Minister Raúl Roa, who assures Stadelhofer that he is working on putting a meeting together with Fidel Castro and Swiss officials.

  • October 25, 1962

    Notes on the visit of Soviet Chargé d’Affaires, Loginov, with Foreign Minister Wahlen

    Notes on the visit of Soviet Chargé d’Affaires Loginov with Foreign Minister Wahlen and their discussion of Switzerland's "policy of peace."