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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 27, 1979


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    Telegram, in response to the President of the USA, regarding the issue of the Soviet military personnel in Cuba
    "CPSU CC Politburo Decision with Brezhnev-Carter Hotline Correspondence," September 27, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, f. 3, op. 89, d. 69, ll. 128-30,134-45; translation by M. Doctoroff
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Proletariats of all countries, unite!
Communist Party of the Soviet Union. CENTRAL COMMITTEE

To Comrades Brezhnev, Kosygin, Andropov, Gromyko, Suslov, Ustinov, Ponomarev, Rusakov.

Extract from protocol No. 169 of CC CPSU Politburo session of 27 September 1979

About a response to the President of the USA regarding the issue of the Soviet military personnel in Cuba

1. Approve the draft of Com. Brezhnev, L.I.'s response to the President of the USA J. Carter on the given issue (attachment 1). Send this response after coordinating it with Com. F. Castro. Transmit the response via the direct line Moscow-Washington.

2. Affirm the draft instructions to the Soviet Ambassador in Havana (attachment 2).

3. Assign the MFA USSR and the [General] Department CC CPSU to prepare a draft of information for the leadership of the fraternal parties of the Socialist countries (except Romania) taking into account Com. Gromyko's conversations with C. Vance in New York and in accord with the exchange of opinions which has taken place in the Politburo, and submit it to the CC CPSU.



[attachment 1]

Re: Point V, Prot. No. 169
Top Secret
Attachment 1

Dear Mr. President,

My colleagues and I have familiarized ourselves with your appeal.

First of all, I must openly tell you, Mr. President, that we are extremely surprised by the openly hostile to the Soviet Union campaign which has been launched in the USA with the active participation of the Administration, for which the United States has absolutely no real reasons and no legal basis. It seems to us that the only result of the swelling of this artificially created campaign can turn out to be a real loss to the relations between our countries and to the stability of the peace, the importance of which we discussed in Vienna. We are sorry that despite it all you maintain the made up version of the Soviet military unit which is supposedly located in Cuba.

My advice to you: drop this version. We have a military training center in Cuba, which has existed there for more than 17 years. It carries out its training functions in accord with an agreement with the Cuban government. It does nothing more and can do nothing more. You can be entirely calm about that. In a conversation with A.A. Gromyko, Secretary of State C. Vance, himself, also remarked that the Soviet Union had done nothing which contradicts the 1962 agreement, and the Soviet military personnel which is stationed on Cuba does not present any sort of threat to the United States.

(I repeat, there is a military training center in Cuba; it will exist. We do not have any intention of changing its status as such a center. We are informing you of this in order to show good will, since this entire issue relates entirely and exclusively to the competence of two sovereign states -- the Soviet Union and Cuba.)

[Along the margins of the above paragraph the following is written: "Conditional, taking into account the possible opinions of F. Castro."]

But if that which is going on now in the United States around this issue is an attempt which is motivated by some other considerations, then we can only express our regret about that.

It seems to us that any sort of other thoughts should recede before the significance of the Soviet-American relations, in which now the important place is occupied the Treaty on Limitation of Strategic Arms (SALT-2).

Let us, Mr. President, proceed from the results of the exchange of opinions on the key issues of Soviet-American relations and problems of world politics which we had in Vienna and which I value highly.

In general, Mr. President, I wanted to tell you one thing: it makes sense to remove this artificially contrived issue without spoiling the atmosphere, showing restraint and consideration.

I think that such an approach would correspond to our mutual interests.
With respect.


27 September 1979

[attachment 2]

Top Secret


Dear Mr. President,

I am sending this message, sincerely hoping that you and your colleagues will favorably regard the constructive proposals aimed at resolving the new problem which has arisen in the relations between us, which Secretary Vance made to Minister Gromyko. The presence in Cuba of a brigade of Soviet troops, which we consider to be combat troops, causes deep and serious concern an the part of the American government and American society. This concern was not caused artificially. The quickest possible resolution of this problem by mutual agreement will prevent the unfavorable development of our mutual relations and will allow both our countries to continue the course toward which we are striving--to broaden the bounds of American-Soviet cooperation.

Mr. President, both you and I have worked intensively-- you longer than I--to achieve an agreement on SALT-2. It would be a tragedy for our countries if this work for peace would be today threatened as a result of the fact that both our governments could not resolve the problem which has caused on one side a feeling of deep concern.

On parting in Vienna, we agreed to openly inform each other when necessary, and I am writing to you specifically in the spirit of that openness and our common adherence to the establishment of more stable mutual relations.

Jimmy Carter
His Excellency James E. Carter
President of the United States of America
The White House, Washington

Copy of Issue No. 93