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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 23, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM SOVIET DELEGATE TO THE UNITED NATIONS V. A. ZORIN TO USSR FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    Zorin relays the events of the UN Security Council meeting, transmitting the speeches made by the US and Cuban delegates. US delegate Stevenson tried to justify US actions against Cuba and proposed the American draft resolution. Cuban delegate Inchaustegui demanded the immediate recall of the US measures. Zorin says although some Africa and Asian countries realized the illegality of US actions, however, they were not determined to take any concrete steps. Zorin also sends the proposed draft of a new resolution.
    "Telegram from Soviet delegate to the United Nations V. A. Zorin to USSR Foreign Ministry," October 23, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian Federation (AVP RF), Moscow; copy obtained by NHK (Japanese Television), provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen, Harvard University https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111917
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On 23 October at 4:00 p.m., under the chairmanship of the USSR delegate, a meeting of the Security Council took place, on the agenda of which was our issue of the violation of the UN Charter and the threat to peace on the part of the USA.
Attention paid to this meeting was enormous: the assembly hall was filled to capacity, and virtually all the representatives of the Anglo-American bloc of the UN were present.


On approving the agenda we made a declaration in which made note of the false nature of the USA's address to the Security Council, which was a clumsy attempt to conceal the USA's aggressions. We declared that, in reality, there were some pressing issues to be brought before the Council by the USSR and Cuba: concerning violations of the UN Charter and the USA's threat to peace, and concerning USA aggressions against Cuba.


After that the agenda was approved without objections from the Council members.


The text of the Soviet government's declaration on Cuba was distributed as an official UN document, and also as a press release.


The first to speak was Stevenson (registered on the list of speakers yesterday, at the time of Kennedy's radio speech). In his long speech, which was marked by demagoguery and hypocrisy, Stevenson tried in various ways to justify the unprecedented actions of the USA government, the naval blockade of Cuba imposed by the United States, and the acts of piracy on the open sea. Unable to adduce any facts with which to prove the presence of a Cuban threat, Stevenson instead fell into a lengthy description of the post-war history of international relations, attempting to depict in a distorted manner the foreign policy of the Soviet Union and the other socialist states. In conclusion he formally presented the American draft resolution (relayed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by teletype on 22 October). We will teletype the full text of Stevenson's speech to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The next speaker was the Cuban delegate Garcia-Inchaustegi, who delivered a clear speech exposing the provocative actions of the USA against Cuba, and declaring the steadfast determination of the Cuban people to take up arms, if necessary, to defend their revolutionary achievements. The Cuban delegate demanded the immediate revocation of the measures announced by Kennedy. Characteristically, the Cuban's speech was greeted with friendly applause from the audience.


We will teletype the full text of the Cuban's speech as well.


After that we gave a speech with a declaration in accordance with your number 1197, and introduced a draft resolution. An account of the speech was transmitted by TASS. We are teletyping the full text to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The next meeting has been set for tomorrow, 24 October, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.


In the course of the day we have had conversations with a series of delegates from African and Asian countries, including delegates from the United Arab Republic, Ghana, Ceylon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and others. All of these countries share a serious anxiety about the situation created by the USA's actions. All of them recognize the clear illegality of the USA's actions. They do not yet, however, show sufficient determination to take any concrete steps. Thus, for example, the delegate from the United Arab Republic initially made much of the unofficial Council draft resolution calling for the respective parties to remove the blockade and to end arms stockpiling in Cuba. When we categorically rejected this proposal because it essentially replicated one of the USA's basic ideas--revoking the blockade after the cessation of arms deliveries to the Cubans--the neutral parties prepared another draft resolution.


This draft makes the following stipulations:


1. To call upon all interested parties to abstain from any actions which could directly or indirectly aggravate the situation, and to work towards returning the Caribbean area to the condition it was in before 22 October;


2. To request that the acting Secretary General immediately discuss with the interested parties direct measures to be taken for removing the current threat to the general peace.


3. To call upon the interested parties to carry out this resolution immediately, and to cooperate with the acting Secretary General in the fulfillment of this aim.


4. To ask the acting Secretary General to report to the Security Council on the fulfillment of the second point.
We remarked that even this draft is not fully satisfactory, in part because it does not even indicate (in clear and unambiguous terms) that the USA's declared blockade of Cuba must be immediately ended.


This evening, after the Security Council meeting, the delegates from neutral Asian and African countries will hold a meeting to discuss the general policy that it would be most advisable for them to follow with regard to this issue. In the course of tomorrow's meeting we will decisively defend the position laid out in our draft resolution, and will exert pressure on the neutrals to do the same.

23.X.62 V. Zorin

[Source: Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian Federation (AVP RF), Moscow; copy obtained by NHK (Japanese Television), provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen, Harvard University.]