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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 31, 1962

CABLE FROM SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO CUBA ALEKSEEV TO USSR FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    Alekseev relays Castro’s responses to a letter from Khrushchev.
    "Cable from Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Alekseev to USSR Foreign Ministry," October 31, 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 Vladimir Zaemsky https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112640
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Met Fidel Castro and gave to him letter from N.S. Khrushchev.1


Castro read it attentively and, while doing so, made two remarks.


1. There are not [merely] some Cuban comrades who do not understand the decision regarding the removal of the special weapons, but the whole Cuban people.


2. Apparently, N.S. Khrushchev did not understand me or the translation was not correct since in the cable of 27 [26?] October I did not suggest to be the first in delivering a blow against the adversary territory during the crisis, but in the case if there were an aggression against Cuba and Soviet people would be perishing together with the Cubans.
2


I told Castro that the translation had been made correctly and, I suppose, the sense of his cable had been understood correctly in Moscow since it was clearly said there about the condition of an aggression against Cuba, but even in this case it is hardly possible to approach merely mechanically such an important issue and to use nuclear arms without looking for other means.


Castro didn't make any additional comment on the letter and said that it was necessary to read it once more and to think.
Today Castro was more composed and said that Da'Cunha, a Brazilian general, had come to see him with a personal message from [Brazilian President Joao] Goulart and suggested the good offices of Brazil in settling the conflict with the USA upon receiving from them non-aggression guarantees. Da'Cunha said that Brazil would not break relations with Cuba and would continue to trade.


He suggested to begin gradual disarmament upon receiving guarantees and to come forward with a statement about Cuba's non-interference into affairs of the Latin American countries.


Castro said that such an approach is the most correct one and therefore the Cubans had told Da'Cunha that they had been accepting such a mediation and were ready for the suggested measures under the condition that the USA accept the 5 points of the Cuban statement including that of eliminating the Guantanamo base. Castro asked what have we spoken about with U Thant and himself informed [me] about their conversation, what has already been recounted to me by Dorticos.



31/X/62 ALEKSEEV


1. Alekseev evidently refers to Khrushchev's letter to Castro dated 30 October 1962; an English translation can be found in an appendix to Blight, Allyn, and Welch, Cuba on the Brink, 485-488.


2. Castro here refers to his message to Khrushchev dated 26 October 1962, an English translation of which appears in an appendix to Blight, Allyn, and Welch, Cuba on the Brink, 481-482.


[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 Vladimir Zaemsky.]