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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Cuban Foreign Relations

 Documents on Cuban's international relations, focusing on its relationship with the Soviet Union, China and the United States. See also the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Image, Zhou Enlai and Che, 1965)

  • March 01, 1965

    Statement of Raul Castro Ruz Pertaining to Cuba’s Minister of Industry, Ernesto "Che" Guevara

    In a conversation between Kliszko and Raul Castro, a referral was made to the position assumed by the Minister of Industry in Cuba, Ernesto Guevara, at the economic seminar of Afro-Asian countries in Algeria in February 1965. Castro stated that he was not prepared to discuss the essence of the issue, e.g. the extent of aid from socialist countries to developing countries, but he felt Guevara's comments were extreme and out-of-place at the seminar.

  • March 03, 1965

    Bulgarian Embassy, Havana (Kulbov), Information Regarding The Latin American Communist Parties’ Conference

    First Secretary of the Bulgarian Embassy to Cuba A. Hubenov describes a Latin American communist party conference held in Havana, November 1964. The parties secretly discussed their struggle against imperialism and the expansion of communist revolutions in Latin America and Cuba's assistance to that struggle. Conference deliberations included a discussion of the Sino-Soviet split and the fear of factions within the communist movement.

  • March 20, 1965

    Minutes of Conversation between Cuban Defense Minister Raúl Castro and Polish Leader Władysław Gomułka, Warsaw, 20 March 1965

    During his visit in Poland, Castro relates Cuba's position on a conversation taken place in Moscow and why it may be of interest to the Cubans. Gomulka raises the issue of the missiles. In Gomulka's opinion two factors were decisive: contradictions which arose within the socialist camp and the policy which was conducted by Khrushchev. Gomulka is assured that US is capable of conducting a war with Cuba by way of conventional weapons, it does not have to use nuclear weapons. It is clear that the socialist camp and the USSR cannot defend Cuba in any other way but by using nuclear weapons. If a conflict is meant to be, then it will be a nuclear conflict, there is no other way. Gomulka further raises a question whether to go into a nuclear war or not. Castro disagrees with a manner nuclear weapons were withdrawn from Cuba by Soviets. Khruchshev explained that he did not have time. Per Gomulka, Khrushchev conducted a policy which was not thought-out and which was all-out. Gomulka further discusses his talks with Chinese and Vietnamese comrades re: nuclear weapons issue.

  • March 22, 1965

    Conversation between Raul Castro Ruz, and a member of the Polish Politburo, Cde. Zenon Kliszko

    During a trip from Orneta to Katowice, Raul Castro and Zenon Kliszko had conversation on the following topics: (1) assessment of the position of the Italian Communist Party, (2)assessment of the position of the Romanian Workers’ Party, (3) the UPSR and other Communist Parties in Asia, and (4) the Matter of a Former Member of the National Leadership UPSR – J. Ordoqui. For the Polish side, the program of the Italian Communist Party is not clear, particularly with regard to the question of establishing a uniform workers’ party.

  • March 25, 1965

    Conversation between Raul Castro Ruz, and a Member of the Polish Politburo, Zenon Kliszko

    The conversation between Castro and Gomulka took place on the initiative of Castro. Parties discussed the following topics: (1) relations between the UPSR and the PUWP, (2) the issue of the legalization of the Cuban Revolution, (3) the Situation in Vietnam, (4) Cuba and the Current Situation in Latin America, (5) the position of the PUWP with regard to the conference of 81 parties, and (6) the attitude of the socialist camp towards Cuba.

  • March 26, 1965

    Minutes of Todor Zhivkov – Raul Castro Meeting in Sofia

    Zhivkov lays out his perspective on the place of Bulgaria within the Communist Camp. He also talks about the Balkans and the rift between Bulgaria and Romania. Both leaders discuss the Chinese accusations of Soviet Revisionism. Raul Castro talks about the strength of the communist movements in Latin America and the prospects for successful social revolutions in Venezuela, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Brazil.

  • April 05, 1965

    Note of Polish-Soviet Talks in Warsaw on 5 April 1965

    Exceprts from Polish-Soviet talks on 5 April 1965 that concern the Cuban issue. Brezhnev discusses the recent visit by Raul Castro, that they have very good relations and that the Cuban leaders are worried about the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Cuba. Kosygin discusses the fact that China is becoming more isolated and what that does for relations between Asia and Latin America.

  • April 09, 1965

    Czech Record of Talks with the Deputy Chairman of the Cuban Revolutionary Government, Raul Castro

    Meeting between Raul Castro, Bohumir, Lomsky, and Langer. Castro informed Lomsky that internal danger has been eliminated, and contra-revolutionary and anti-government groups operating directly in Cuba have been broken up and practically destroyed. They evaluated the strategy of the cuba's defense, revised operational plans, and carried out number of changes. They originally approached the CSSR with a plea for a shipment of 200 pieces of 30 mm double cannons. The current situation, however (especially the situation in the DRV), is forcing them to ask for 30 mm cannons again.

  • April 16, 1965

    Czechoslovakian Report on Visit of Cuban Delegation and Talks with Minister of National Defense, Bohumir Lomsky

    Report on visit of Cuban Delegation in Czechoslovakia and conversation on 16 April 1965. This document contains information about visit of the Czechoslovak military delegation in Cuba on 30 March - 9 April 1965. There are attachments to the document: draft of the resolution, the report, report on important conversations in connection with the visit. The visit occurred at the time of heightened acts of aggression of the USA against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and thus it was regarded as highly important in Cuba. It contributed to strengthening of Cs. Cuban friendship and to strengthening of the friendship in arms of our armies.

  • May 25, 1965

    Memorandum of Conversation between Senior Cuban Communist Carlos Rafael Rodriguez and Czechoslovak Communist Party (CPCz) official Vladimir Koucky, Prague, 25 May 1965

    Rodriguez met with Koucky to clarify misunderstandings which could possibly arise because the reasons were not explained for Cuba’s positions on issues of the international communist movement, and for speeches and statements of some leading Cuban comrade.

  • October 29, 1965

    Note of Soviet-Polish Talks in Bialowieza Forest (Belarus) on 29 – 30 October 1965

    Excerpts from the Soviet-Polish Talks in Bialowieza Forest (Belarus) on 29 – 30 October1965. Discussions center mostly the trade of certain resources and products, especially those which Cuba is having difficulty obtaining, and an international conference they would like to hold.

  • February 02, 1966

    Information on Latin America and Cuba: Delivery of Weapons to Cuba and Latin America

    In a coded telegram to the Central Committee of the German Unified Socialist Party, Dimo Dichev, Head of the International Relations and Foreign Policy Department of the BCP Central Committee, reports on Bulgaria’s military assistance to Cuba and national liberation movements in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

  • February 11, 1966

    Bulgarian Politburo Resolution on Expanding Relations between the Bulgarian and the Cuban Communist parties

    In a memo, Dimo Dichev, Head of the International Relations and Foreign Policy Department of the BCP Central Committee, reports unsatisfactory relations between Cuba and Bulgaria. Dichev suggests political, agricultural, pedagogical and journalism exchanges to show an initiative to bolster relations.

  • February 21, 1966

    Bulgarian Politburo Resolution Regarding Expanding Relations between the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Cuban Communist Party

    In a memo, Dimo Dichev, Head of the International Relations and Foreign Policy Department of the Bulgarian Communist Party Central Committee, reports unsatisfactory relations between Cuba and Bulgaria. Dichev suggests political and journalism exchanges to show an initiative to bolster relations. Dichev proposes exchanges between specific Cuban and Bulgarian newspapers and magazines.

  • March 31, 1966

    Embassy, Havana, Report on the State of the Cuban Communist Party

    In a report on the Cuban Communist Party, Bulgarian Embassy counselor S. Cohen discusses strengths and concerns with the Cuban goverment. The Cuban revolutionary movement debunked the theory of geographically determined fatalism, but also displays a strong dependence on the Latin American liberation movement (e.g. Jose Mari, Simon Bolivar) for inspiration instead of socialist principles. Cohen reports negative developments including the Cuban government’s growing ambition to rule the Third World revolutionary movement and strong belief in the Cuban armed struggle as a template for all national liberation movements. The Cuban delegation strongly endorsed armed struggle as the only means of socialist advancement at the Tricontinental Conference recently held in Havana. Bulgaria must remain close with the Cuban government to help it develop economically and mature politically.

  • June 08, 1966

    CC BCP Secretariat Secret Resolution Regarding Training Cuban Security Officers in Bulgaria

    The Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party approves the Cuban government’s request to train Cubans in counterintelligence, but not sabotage.

  • January 17, 1967

    Memorandum from Bulgarian Communist Youth Union to BCP Politburo Regarding Competing Cuban and Bulgarian Candidacies to Host the IX World Youth Festival

    Georgi Atanasov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Dimitrov Communist Youth Union, reviews the selection process for the 9th World Youth Festival host location. Cuba and Bulgaria both are candidates. Atanasov explains Cuba’s campaign and Bulgaria’s concern that strong support for its candidacy will sour its relations with Cuba. Atanasov contemplates problems with Cuba’s candidacy and ways to prevent a diplomatic disagreement.

  • January 26, 1967

    Letter from Bulgarian Embassy, Havana

    Petar Marinkov, Third secretar at the Bulgarian Embassy to Cuba, informs the Bulgarian ambassador about meetings with Cuban officials on youth communist leagues. Marinkov’s reviews negotiations centered on Cuba’s non-participation in established youth leagues and festivals. Cuban youth leaders hope to host youth festivals and incorporate military training for armed liberation movements into youth festival activities.

  • July 04, 1967

    A Report from the Mexican Embassy in Havana, 4 July 1967

    A visit of Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin from 26-30 June 1967 prompts this report from the Mexican Embassy in Havanna to the Secretary of Foreign Relations in Mexico City. They discuss: the position assumed by the Cuban Government and Communist Party in relation to Latin America, the Middle East and Vietnam, the internal administration of Cuba and the political operation in Cuba.

  • October 05, 1967

    Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Meeting Regarding Bulgarian-Cuban Relations

    In a memorandum to the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo, Gero Grozev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, critiques the Cuban Communist Party and its approach to building socialism. Grozev describes Cuba’s increasingly poor relations with European communist parties, interference in Latin American affairs, and misunderstanding of Marxist-Leninist principles. Grozev continues describing Cuban leaders as committed functionaries unaware of their mistakes. To correct Cuba’s mistakes socialist countries should increase contact with the Cuban government and help it develop economically and mature politically.