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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 31, 1962

GROMYKO CABLE TO AMBASSADOR ALEXEEV TO HAVANA OF OCTOBER 31

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    Gromyko instructed Alexeev to present to Fidel Castro the Soviet draft protocol which should be used as a basis for negotiation at the UN. The Protocol concerns issues such as the removal of blockade, the renunciation of invasion against Cuba, the respect of Cuban sovereignty, the termination of subversive activity against Havana, the reestablishment of diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba, and the Guanatanamo base.
    "Gromyko Cable to Ambassador Alexeev to Havana of October 31," October 31, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian Federation (AVP RF) https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114510
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Gromyko cable to Amb.Alexeev to Havana of October 31

Meet comrade F.Castro, make a reference to instructions from Moscow and give him the draft of Protocol, which in our view, should be introduced as a basis for negotiations between representatives of Cuba, USSR and US with the participation of U Thant, UN Acting Secretary General on the issue of defusing the dangerous situation around Cuba (The draft is sent separately).

Tell comrade F.Castro that, in our view, as a result of negotiations in New York it would be important to use UN prestige and influence to bind the US administration by clearly formulated commitments in order to lift Cuba's blockade and to renounce officially preparations and carrying out of military invasion against Cuba.

In our draft there are included the following main commitments on the part of the US:

a) to raise blockade, declared against Cuba on October 24, and to withdraw American troops from the south-eastern area of the US, which have been sent there in connection with the US actions against Cuba;

b) not to carry out invasion - either on the part of the US, or other countries of the Western hemisphere;

c) to respect sovereignty of Republic of Cuba, inviolability of its borders, including its air space and territorial waters, not to interfere into Cuban internal affairs;

d) to stop any subversive activity  against the Republic of Cuba, including efforts to organize an invasion of mercenaries, to infiltrate spies and saboteurs;

e) to re-establish diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba and not to put obstacles for free trade and other economic ties between Cuba and other countries;

f) about the Guantanamo naval base. The part of the US commitments in the draft is set somewhat high, but it is done in such form in order to find support of the public and those circles in the US who favor an agreement on settlement of the conflict. On the other hand, we proceeded in a way so what our proposals did not give a pretext to the US aggressive circles to ruin negotiations because of immoderation of our demands.

Tell comrade F.Castro that the provision regarding the Guantanamo naval base is formulated by us in the form of US commitment to hold negotiations with the Cuban government regarding evacuation of that base. But we also take into consideration the possibility that the US reject the articles of the Protocol about the Guantanamo base even in the above mentioned wording. We consider that if the liquidation of the naval base is set as a sine qua non it can be used by the US aggressive circles in order to delay or ruin the negotiations and to preserve in this way the dangerous situation created around Cuba. In our opinion, a negotiation impasse should not be created in connection with this issue, as far as the struggle for elimination of the Guantanamo naval base undoubtedly will require great efforts and time from Cuba and its friends.

If in the course of future negotiations in New York Americans do not agree to accept all the provisions, which formulate their commitments, and do not go any further of reestablishing the situation which had existed prior to October 24, in such a case we have envisioned a special article 16 which forces talks on issues, regarding normalization around Cuba and other questions mentioned in the messages from Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers N.S.Khrushchev, of President Kennedy and comrade F.Castro's statement of October 28. This article regards the question of negotiating the Guantanamo naval base evacuation too, though it is not mentioned directly.

Article 14 of the Protocol regarding commitments of Cuba to observe UN Charter principles, including the principle of noninterference into internal affairs of other countries, among them those of the Western hemisphere, is set according to statements, made by comrades F.Castro and Dorticos.

Article 17 foresees the introducing of this Protocol to the Security Council. It is done reckoning on the Council to adopt resolution in connection with the agreement between Cuba, USSR and the US on measures of normalizing situation in the Caribbean. There should be envisioned in the resolution that the Security Council approve the agreement, take into consideration commitments of the USSR, US and Cuban governments, mentioned in the Protocol, fix those commitments in its resolution and declare that is proceeds from the understanding that the Parties would adhere to their commitments. Such a resolution of the Security Council would bind in a greater measure the US administration by commitments towards Cuba. In the resolution there should be also named the neutral countries which would appoint the observers to ascertain the implementation of commitments on dismantling and withdrawal of weapons, mentioned in the Article 9 of the draft.

Tell the Cuban comrades that we proceed from the understanding that representatives of Cuba and the USSR will act in the closest contact and in concord. Therefore it would be correct if representatives of Cuba and the USSR jointly introduce the draft of the protocol as a basis for negotiations with the US representatives and with U Thant's participation.

If the Cuban comrades do not have objections in principle regarding provisions of the draft, it would be desirable to give urgently the corresponding instructions to the Cuban representative at the UN.

Tell comrade F.Castro that until receiving answer from the Cuban comrades we'll not give instructions to our representatives at the UN, though we are going to handle them the text of the draft in order to fulfill the instructions rapidly in case of F.Castro's consent.

Cable on implementation of these instructions.

A.GROMYKO