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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 04, 1962


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    Alekseev sends the results of a meeting with Cuban leadership, the Cubans were expressing discontent because of the fact that Soviet government had not consulted them on a number of issues.
    "Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to Cuba A.I. Alekseev to USSR Foreign Ministry," November 04, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen
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4 November 1962

Today talks were conducted between A.I. Mikoyan and Comrades Fidel Castro, O. Dorticos, R. Castro, E. Guevara, E. Aragonez, and C.R. Rodriguez, as well as myself.

Comrade Mikoyan conveyed warm, fraternal greetings from the Presidium of the CC CPSU and N.S. Khrushchev to the Cuban leaders. He expressed a lofty appreciation of the Cuban revolution, and support for the rebuff to the interventionists; he spoke about our support for Cuba; and he remarked that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was delighted by the courage and fearlessness displayed by the leaders of Cuba's revolution in these perilous days, and the readiness of the Cuban people to hold firm. Then Comrade Mikoyan said that when the Central Committee learned of the misunderstanding arising in Cuba of several issues and decisions made by us, they came to the conclusion that it would be impossible to clarify these issues by way of mere correspondence. The Central Committee made the decision to send Comrade Mikoyan to Cuba to clarify to our friends our position, and to inform them of issues that are of interest to them. Comrade Mikoyan remarked that he naturally did not have any intention of exerting pressure; his task was simply to explain our position.

Knowing our Cuban friends, A.I. Mikoyan said, I am sure that they too will agree with this. It could of course turn out such that even after the explanations there will be certain points on which our points of view will remain different.
Fidel Castro declared that he has already informed the Cuban comrades present at the talks of the issues raised by him yesterday before Comrade Mikoyan, and made a short resume of these issues.

A.I. Mikoyan remarked that Fidel Castro spoke yesterday in detail and with sincerity, and asked whether the other comrades wanted to add anything to this, whether they had other remarks to make.

O. Dorticos asked for an explanation of why N.S. Khrushchev approved the proposal made by Kennedy to declare that there would be no attack on Cuba on the condition of the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba, even though the Cuban government had not yet at this time expressed its own opinion on this proposal.

C.R. Rodriguez put a question to Comrade Mikoyan-- where does the Soviet leadership see the essence of victory, does it consist in military success or in diplomatic success? We believed, Rodriguez noted, that we could not yet talk about victory, since the guarantees from the USA were ephemeral.

Then A.I. Mikoyan, developing arguments made in N.S. Khrushchev's letters to Fidel Castro, and also from the discussion of the issue in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, offered additional arguments with the aim of driving away any doubts from the minds of our Cuban comrades. He spoke moreover of the main points of his talks with U Thant, McCloy, and Stevenson.

We will send a full record of the conversation to Moscow via diplomatic mail. Further information on certain new points touched on in Mikoyan's explanations will be provided by separate telegram.

The talks lasted seven hours, more than five hours of which were taken up by Comrade Mikoyan's explanations. Our Cuban comrades listened with attentiveness to A.I. Mikoyan, were interested in details, and sustained the general feeling of cordiality and trust.

We agreed to continue the talks in the same composition tomorrow, on 5 November, at 2:00 in the afternoon local time.


Note: For English translations of the Russian records of conversations in Havana between Mikoyan and Castro and the Cuban leadership on 3-5 November 1962, see Vladislav Zubok, "`Dismayed by the Actions of the Soviet Union': Mikoyan's talks with Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership, November 1962" (plus accompanying documents), CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 59, 89-92 and 109, 159.