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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 01, 1962

MIKOYAN CABLE TO CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE CPSU ABOUT HIS CONVERSATION WITH US PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN STEVENSON

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    Mikoyan reported his conversation with US Representative to the UN Stevenson. The issues discussed include: An American non-aggression commitment against Cuba, the removal of the "quarantine", the methods for control of dismantling and dispatching of missiles, the normalization of relations between the US and their Latin American allies with Cuba, the liquidation of the US base in Guantanamo, the US proposal to remove ground-air missiles from Cuba, and the preliminary agreement between the US and the USSR over the issues to be discussed by the Security Council.
    "Mikoyan Cable to Central Committee of the CPSU about his conversation with US Permanent Representative to the UN Stevenson," November 01, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian Federation (AVP RF) https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114509
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MIKOYAN CABLE TO CC OF THE CPSU ABOUT HIS CONVERSATION WITH THE US PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO UN A.STEVENSON

We raised the question that it was necessary to write down in from of a protocol the important provisions that are contained in the exchange of messages between N.S.Khrushchev and Kennedy taking into account statement by Fidel Castro. Americans by all means were evading discussion of this question and trying to bring the whole thing to the organization of control over dismantling and withdrawal from Cuba of the Soviet missiles. Nevertheless in the course of conversation they were obliged to answer our questions relating to settlement of the Cuban problem in general and disclosed some of their positions that seem interesting for further negotiations. To save space in this cable we omit our remarks during the conversation. You may learn them from the transcript of conversation which is sent separately.

l. Though reluctantly, Americans agreed with the necessity to fix in documents the corresponding commitments, including the nonaggression commitment against Cuba. In their opinion these documents must include: statement by the Soviet Union on the completion of the missiles' evacuation; the US statement saying they are convinced of the withdrawal and give corresponding non-aggression guarantees to Cuba; possibly also a statement by U Thant.

Statement by the Soviet government must be the first.

Texts of these statements will be coordinated in advance. It is foreseen that a corresponding statement will be made by the Government of Cuba. All these statements must be presented to the Security Council. Unwillingness of the Americans to sign a protocol, apparently, can be explained in addition by the following thing: they do not want to put their signature side by side with the Cubans.

Americans underlined their readiness to include in their statement provisions based on correspondent wording from Kennedy's messages over the issue of non-aggression guarantees for Cuba. When we mentioned that in the American press there has appeared a statement by D.Rusk in the sense that Kennedy's statement is not a non-aggression guarantee to Cuba, Stevenson assured us that D.Rusk had not said it, but the press gave an erroneous interpretation of his speech.

Stevenson and McCloy confirmed that the US are ready to give a non-aggression guarantee to Cuba as it had been mentioned in Kennedy's letter, if an inspection in some form confirm that Soviet “offensive" armament is really removed from Cuba. Stevenson and McCloy were affirming that the campaments where the Cuban exiles had been training for invasion to Cuba, were currently closed.

2. During the conversation we were resolutely demanding to remove the so called ”quarantine", underlining that its continuation in no way can help to create a suitable atmosphere for solution of the Cuban problem and may only complicate the situation. In this regard we noted that the Soviet Union had complied with the request from U Thant about a temporary suspension of armaments' supplies to Cuba, but the US had not stopped their "quarantine" for at least some time, as it had been suggested by U Thant.

McCloy and Stevenson were evading a clear answer to the question of ending the "quarantine'', having limited themselves to a reference that to the Soviet vessels going to Cuba would be applied the same procedure as it was on October 25 regarding tanker "Bucharest" without an inspection on board, but with the help of hail-request by radio.

It's illustrative that in response to our statement that in case of dropping the practice of “quarantine" and giving our vessels the possibility to visit Cuba without any obstacles some 10-15 days will be needed to dispatch all armaments called offensive by the Americans - McCloy and Stevenson said that in their opinion it's hardly possible from the technical point of view to carry out the mentioned volume of work in such a short period of time. According to McCloy, at least a month would be needed for that.

3. There has been a detailed discussion of methods for control of dismantling and dispatching of missiles. Apparently, feeling weakness of their position and taking into account objections on the part of Fidel Castro to permit verification on the Cuban territory, McCloy and Stevenson declared in the course of discussion that the American side would be ready not to insist on verification methods foreseen in the message to N.S.Khrushchev and was ready to look for some new methods that would in essence give the Americans a possibility to be certain of carrying out our commitment to withdraw weapons.

To our specifying question what new methods he was meaning, McCloy said: the US could limit themselves to the continuation of their flights which give them confidence that there has not resumed in Cuba an installing of dangerous for them kinds of armaments. If Castro is against the ground verification, continued McCloy, another thing could be done - a transfer of the lists of armaments withdrawn from Cuba, when they would be removed, and of the corresponding information, which however would not reveal Soviet technological secrets. Approximately we do know how many missiles nowadays are situated in Cuba. In this case we could manage without ground verification. We are glad, - said McCloy, - that today our plane had not come under fire when it had been flying over Cuba. As far as we know, the anti-aircraft missiles in Cuba are in the hands of your people, not the Cubans, though it's possible that there is some Cuban personnel.

McCloy received a very firm response that the US have no right to overfly Cuba and nobody can guarantee security of such unlawful flights.

4. We raised the question of normalizing relations between the US, their Latin American allies and Cuba. We also asked what is their attitude to U Thant's plan for UN presence in the Caribbean. Americans flatly declined whatever inspection of their territory and declared: "You will have to trust our word".

At the same time Stevenson said that the US aspire to normalize situation in the Caribbean, but under the condition of Castro's cooperation. We could in some form elaborate mutual guarantees, acceptable to Castro and his neighbors. If Castro is afraid of them, they are afraid of him too. I consider, said Stevenson, that after the Cuban crisis is settled the tension in this region would be lessened.

In this regard we put the question in this way: "Castro may ask me if the US are going to re-establish diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba? May be you intend to do so not immediately, but some time later?". Stevenson said that he was not able to give an answer to that question as far as it is a part of the OAS competence. But maybe we can consider the possibility of organizing correspondent regional arrangements~ giving the necessary confidence to the countries of the Caribbean. I hope that steadily we will succeed in eliminating antagonism between Cuba and its neighbors.

At the same time Stevenson made an observation that currently the antagonism between Cuba and its neighbors is instigated by "subversive actions in this region, may by, undertaken mutually.

McCloy noted that "Cuba is the breeding ground of infection and Venezuela is an example of it".

It was clear that in the nearest future the US are not going to re-establish diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba.

5. Stevenson and McCloy stated that the US refused pointblank to discuss the question of liquidating American base in Guantanamo.

6. In the course of conversation McCloy attempted to broach the subject of an eventual evacuation from Cuba of the Soviet antiaircraft missiles "ground-air". We have resolutely warded off this probing, declaring that such a question could not be raised and that we had sold these weapons to a number of countries, including the United Arab Republic and Indonesia. McCloy made an observation that "they are good machines against attacks from air space".

7. McCloy and Stevenson agreed that it would be good for Soviet and American delegations to try to reach preliminary agreements over the issues to be discussed by the Security Council.

8. McCloy and Stevenson expressed satisfaction over the exchange of opinions and Stevenson underlined that the USSR and US positions "are not so far from each other". Both of them were inquiring if I would have a stop on my way back. I said in response that for the time being I don't plan to do so, but if the cause would require, I assume it possible.

02.11.62

A.MIKOYAN