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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 16, 1962


This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    A cable describing the situation in Havana, Cuba after the US Blockade. It especially points out the economic results, like what product goods and commodities are available, and transportation networks.
    "Cable from Japanese Embassy in Havana to Tokyo," November 16, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (“Cuban Domestic Policies and Situation: 1959-1975” file), Tokyo. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Masaki Hirata.
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Transmitted from Havana 11/16/1962 16:25

Received in Tokyo 11/17/1962 09:49

To Foreign Minister Ohira from Ambassador [Rokuzo] Yaguchi

1. [ . . . ] [sic]

2. [ . . . ] [sic]

3. After the incident, most Soviet soldiers have disappeared from the streets and the outstanding activities by the Chinese communists have also not been spotted.

4. Inside the local stores, you can see only small amounts of commodities available. They are made in Communist China, Czechoslovakia, or Hungary. Large amounts of food, other than weapons, used to be imported from the Soviet[s]. But it seems now that there are only a few items available, such as salted fish.

5. Because of the suspension of exit application procedures, applicants cannot find a hopeful way out [of Cuba]. (Before the incident the number of official emigrants with government permission reached five or six thousand. They were to be stripped of all their possessions in defecting.)

6. The following are the findings of military importance on the situation on the Isle of Pines. They are provided by some influential Japanese coming from the island.

a.   The island had been placed under a strict wartime system since the outbreak of the incident. Checkpoint gates were established all over the town. Various kinds of arms and ammunition were brought in from outside. The volume was unbelievably huge. But for the last few days, the system has seemed to loosen slightly.

b.   The population of the island has reached nearly 20,000, which is twice the number as before the incident.

c.    Around 2,000 prisoners, except for political offenders, have been released and joined the lowest class militias. The jailhouses are all packed with political offenders brought from other states.

7. There is only one means of transportation available connecting this country to foreign ones: Cubana Airlines offers one flight a week between Mexico City and here. (Departure schedules are not been publicly announced until the eve of the departure. The reason is said to be that they suffer from severe shortage of components and the maintenance of the aircrafts takes time.)

This cable has been also transferred to [Japan’s] Embassies in the US and Mexico.