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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 01, 1962


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    Kuznetsov sends the results of a meeting between Castro and U Thant, regarding UN representatives, the blockade and U Thant’s report to the UN.
    "Telegram from Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister V.V. Kuznetsov to USSR Foreign Ministry," November 01, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, Moscow; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen, Harvard University
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On 31 October U Thant, after his return from Cuba, informed us of the results of his trip.

1. According to U Thant, his main task was to ask whether Fidel Castro would give his consent to the establishment in Cuba of UN groups monitoring the dismantling of Soviet military installations. Castro's response was negative. Castro said that Cuba was a sovereign, independent state, and that if it allowed UN monitoring on its territory, it would be a humiliation for the Republic. If the Soviet government gives its consent to the monitoring, then such monitoring should be carried out outside the borders of Cuba's territorial waters.

2. U Thant then asked Castro whether he could leave his own representatives behind in Havana for contact with the Cuban government. Castro said that it would be better to maintain such contact in New York through the new Cuban delegate to the UN, C[arlos]. Lechuga (who arrived from Cuba with U Thant) and through the minister of foreign affairs, Roa, who would soon arrive in New York.

3. U Thant met in Cuba with the Soviet ambassador and a Soviet general, who informed him that the dismantling of military installations had begun on 28 October and would be finished by 1 or 2 November.
On his return to New York, U Thant informed Stevenson of the dismantling, and appealed to him to cease the "quarantine," for which there seems, even from the American point of view, to be no need. Prolonging the "quarantine" will put the Cuban people in a difficult situation.

4. U Thant addressed a request to Castro to return to the USA the pilot of the U-2 airplane that had been shot down over Cuba, if that pilot was still alive. Castro said that the pilot was dead, but that he would send his body back to the USA, if the UN would take care of the transportation matters. Castro also said that the Cuban government would be continuing to act as it had been up to this point with regard to American planes violating the air space of Cuba. U Thant has communicated this to Stevenson.

5. U Thant asked Castro what he imagined the future role of the UN to be in the Cuban affair. Castro answered that the Cuban government would carry on negotiations within the framework of the UN only on the basis of the five principles laid out in Castro's statement of 28 October, and on no other basis. U Thant has communicated this to Stevenson.
Stevenson told U Thant that he would pass all this on to President Kennedy today.

6. We asked U Thant what further steps he intended to take. U Thant said that on the next day, 1 November, he would inform the members of the Security Council, each one separately, of the results of his visit to Cuba, but that he was not prepared to call a meeting of the Council before 6 November (the day on which the national elections will be held in the USA).

U Thant said as well that he considered it expedient to begin the next day to work out the details of the monitoring of Soviet vessels bound for Cuba by representatives of the International Red Cross. He asked to select a representative from among ourselves. In response to our question as to how U Thant envisaged, after his visit to Cuba, the monitoring of these vessels, he said that such monitoring would have to be carried out not in Cuban ports, but on the open sea.


[Source: AVP RF, Moscow; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen, Harvard University.]