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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 11, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO CUBA ALEKSEEV TO THE USSR MFA

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    Alekseev reports on a conversation with Raul Castro where Castro reinforces the strength of the Soviet-Cuban relationship.
    "Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Alekseev to the USSR MFA," September 11, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, copy courtesy of NSA; translation by Mark H. Doctoroff https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111768
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Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Alekseev to the USSR MFA, 11 September 1962

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CIPHERED TELEGRAM

In a conversation with me on September 11 of this year, [Cuban Defense Minister] Raoul Castro, noting the publication in the Soviet press of the TASS report, announced that it had been met with great enthusiasm by the Cuban leadership as timely and well-argued. Castro said that this report will be regarded by the whole Cuban people and supporters of the Cuban Revolution in other countries as a reliable shield against the aggressive intrigues of the American imperialists.

Castro also asserts that the thesis put forth in the report allows opponents of direct intervention in the United States itself--including Kennedy--to put up more decisive resistance to pressure from the aggressive forces. Regarding this, he, nonetheless, is allowing a sharp increase in anti-Soviet propaganda in the USA and in countries under its influence.

Raoul Castro believes that N.S. Khrushchev's conversation with [U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart] Udall on the Cuban question, during which the government of the USA was warned without any hint of propaganda about all the consequences which could result from its treacherous actions towards Cuba, is even more important. In Castro's opinion, the public announcement, as a consequence of this warning, will force the USA ruling circles to search for new means of strangling the Cuban revolution.

Castro considers as very important the part of the announcement which deals with the American bases around the USSR, and also the USA's Sixth and Seventh fleets in foreign waters and its effort to convince public opinion that this is the inalienable right of the USA.

The use of this line of argument to explain Soviet assistance to Cuba will be very easy for ordinary Latin Americans and for the people of the USA itself to understand.

Raoul Castro asserts that in the course of the developing situation the Americans are trying to isolate Cuba from the Latin American countries and to intensify the small-scale provocations against Cuba allegedly carried out by irresponsible elements of the Cuban counter-revolution, the apparent shelling of populated areas and foreign ships bound for Cuban ports from the sea.

Today's pirate attack on Cuban and English ships in the Caribbean area, in Castro's opinion, is aimed at frightening certain capitalist countries and to give the governments of NATO a pretext to forbid its ships to visit Cuban ports.

According to a dispatch by the Chairman of the Institute for Agricultural Reform C.R. [Carlos Rafael] Rodriguez, the crews of Japanese fishing boats who are now in Cuba, citing the danger, posed the question of leaving for their homeland right after the first attack on Havana.

C.R. Rodriguez announced that he had just spoken with Fidel Castro, who optimistically evaluates the developing situation and asserts that the Americans, following N.S. Khrushchev's conversation with Udall and the publication of the TASS dispatch, will have to reject attempts to organize direct aggression against Cuba.

F. Castro, according to Rodriguez, with great enthusiasm greeted these acts as a manifestation of genuine friendship for Cuba from the Soviet government and personally from N.S. Khrushchev, and expressed for this his sincere thanks.

Rodriguez recounted that the TASS declaration had been received with great enthusiasm in the factories, in peoples' estates, establishments and military units, where demonstrations and meetings are spontaneously conducted as a sign of gratitude to the Soviet Union.

Rodriguez believes that the publication of the TASS dispatch increases the authority of the Soviet Union in the eyes of the Cuban and other Latin American peoples and helps those not insignificant elements which are attracted to the unruliness of the revolutionism of our Chinese friends understand the difference between a truly revolutionary policy and a policy of revolutionary phrases.

In Rodriguez' opinion, in Cuba for a long time already Chinese representatives have had no opportunities to cultivate any Cuban leaders, but the publication of the Soviet-Cuban communiqué and the TASS dispatch once and for all undermines the ground beneath their feet and guarantees the unshakability of Cuban-Soviet friendship.


11.IX.62 Alekseev

[Source: AVP RF, copy courtesy of NSA; translation by Mark H. Doctoroff.]