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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 19, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM SOVIET FOREIGN MINISTER A.A. GROMYKO TO THE CC CPSU

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    Gromyko expresses satisfaction at the current American policy of economic embargo toward Cuba and the administration’s current preoccupation in West Berlin
    "Telegram from Soviet Foreign Minister A.A. Gromyko to the CC CPSU," October 19, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, copy courtesy of NSA; translation by Mark H. Doctoroff. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111777
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Telegram from Soviet Foreign Minister A.A. Gromyko to the CC CPSU, 19 October 1962

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Making Copies Prohibited
Copy No. 1

CIPHERED TELEGRAM
To the CC CPSU


Everything which we know about the position of the USA government on the Cuban question allows us to conclude that the overall situation is completely satisfactory. This is confirmed by official announcements of American officials, including Kennedy, in his discussion with us on October 18, and all information which reaches us via unofficial channels and from representatives of other countries.


There is reason to believe that the USA is not preparing an intervention in Cuba and has put its money on obstructing Cuba's economic relations with the USSR and other countries, so as to destroy its economy and to cause hunger in the country, and in this way creating dissatisfaction among the population and prompting an uprising against the regime. This is based on a belief that the Soviet Union will not over a long period be able to provide Cuba with everything it needs.
The main reason for this American position is that the Administration and the overall American ruling circles are amazed by the Soviet Union's courage in assisting Cuba. Their reasoning is thus: The Soviet government recognizes the great importance which the Americans place on Cuba and its situation, and how painful that issue is to the USA. But the fact that the USSR, even knowing all that, still provides such aid to Cuba, means that it is fully committed to repulsing any American intervention in Cuba. There is no single opinion as to how and where that rebuff will be given, but that it will be given--they do not doubt.


In these last days the sharpness of the anti-Cuban campaign in the USA has subsided somewhat, while the sharpness of the West Berlin question has stood out all the more. Newspapers bleat about the approaching crisis vis-?-vis West Berlin, the impending in the very near future signing of the agreement with the GDR, and so on. The goal of such a change in the work of the propaganda machine is to divert somewhat public attention from the Cuba issue. All this is not without the participation of the White House.


Even the rumor to the effect that the Soviet Union has made it known that it can soften its position on the Cuban issue if the West will soften its own position in West Berlin was basically intended to mollify the public vis-a-vis Cuba.
The wide publication of the results of an election survey conducted here by the Gallup (sic) Institute showing that the vast majority of Americans are against an American intervention in Cuba serves this same goal. In this regard, we have to note that the leadership of the institute in the past traditionally were more sympathetic to Republicans. Therefore, its publication in this case deserves special attention. This was not done without the encouragement of the White House either; in this way a nudge was given to the extremist groups in Congress which support extreme measures.
Also deserving of attention is the fact that Congress has now "gone on recess." This suggests that the pressure on Kennedy from the extreme groups in Congress will be less during the recess.


The position of the USA allies, particularly the British, also played a role. They did not support calls for the unleashing of aggression against Cuba, although they equally approved of other anti-Cuban steps of the USA.
It is not possible, of course, to be completely insured against USA surprises and adventures, even in the Cuba issue; all the same, taking into account the undeniable objective facts and the corresponding official public statements, and also the assurances given to us that the USA has no plans for intervention in Cuba (which undeniably commits them in many respects), it is possible to say that in these conditions a USA military adventure against Cuba is almost impossible to imagine.

19/X-62 A. GROMYKO