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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 04, 1962


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

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    The Chinese Central Committee discusses their reactions to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the actions during that event of both the United States and the Soviet Union.
    "Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Document Notification on the Situation of Cuba’s Anti-American Struggle," December 04, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Obtained and translated by Chen Jian.
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No. 652

Top Secret

Various central bureaus, party committees in various provinces, municipalities, and autonomous zones, and party working committee in Tibet; party leadership groups (party committee) at various central ministries, commissions, government agencies, and people’s organizations, and the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army; leading members of embassies and other agencies abroad (via the Foreign Ministry and Central Committee Foreign Liaison Department):

The great victory our people have achieved in repulsing the Indian reactionaries and the great victory of the Cuban people’s struggle against the US imperialists and their lackeys are the two most outstanding events in the international struggle at present. The two events happened simultaneously during the past month. The serious struggle during the past month has examined and tested various political forces in the world. The imperialists, reactionary nationalists, and modern revisionists have all fully exposed their true faces in front of the people of the whole world. The Marxist-Leninists and the revolutionary people in various countries have fully demonstrated their strength in the struggle. More and more people in the world have raised their consciousness and ability to tell the truth through these two struggles. All of this will produce profound impact upon the international struggle in the future.

Concerning the Cuban people’s anti-American struggle, the CC has the following opinions, which are now conveyed to you. Please orally relay these opinions to county-level Party secretaries or responsible Party cadres equal or above the level of county secretary (above cadre class 17):

(1) We must fully understand the great significance of the Cuban people’s victory in this struggle. First, after more than one month’s resolute struggle, the Cuban people have maintained their sovereignty and have defended the revolution, while at the same time giving a powerful blow to the intervention and serious war provocation by the US imperialists. Second, Comrade Fidel Castro and the revolutionary forces in Cuba have stood against the huge pressure from the modern revisionists, have adhered to a correct revolutionary line of Marxism-Leninism, and have persisted in a correct stance of mobilizing the people and the masses in conducting a revolutionary struggle. Third, during this struggle, the revolutionary Cuban people have experienced a test, and the Cuban revolutionary leadership represented by Comrade Fidel Castro have greatly increased its prestige, and their experience of struggling against the imperialists and modern revisionists has been greatly enriched. After winning this valuable experience, the revolutionary forces in Cuba have not been weakened but rather have been further strengthened. The pessimistic views that the revolutionary struggle by the Cuban people has suffered a serious defeat and that Cuba’s people’s revolution has been sold out are not compatible with the reality and, therefore, are not correct.

The great victory won by the Cuban people symbolizes that Marxism-Leninism has developed an unshakable deep root in Latin America. This is an extremely important development of the international communist movement. The rich experience of the Cuban people is invaluable for the people in Latin America. The revolutionary cause of Latin America has a very bright future.

(2) The victory of the Cuban people’s struggle once again has proved that US imperialism is strong in appearance but weak in essence, and can only bully the weak but will fear the strong. First, the Cuban incident makes it clear that Kennedy has done all kinds of bad things. Therefore, we should not have any unrealistic illusion about this representative of the American monopoly capitalist class. Second, now Kennedy dares not fight a nuclear war. The United States faces great difficulty if it is to fight a nuclear war. The people of the whole world, including the American people, are against a nuclear war. Under the current situation that a nuclear stalemate has actually existed in the world, the monopoly capitalist class in the United States is unwilling to conduct a nuclear war on their own soil. Kennedy seemed to be rampant, showing a gesture as if he were to fight a nuclear [war], [but] this is no more than nuclear bluffing toward the Soviet Union. Third, only by conducting a tit-for-tat struggle will we force the US imperialists to retreat in the face of difficulty. Concessions with no principle and accompanied by humiliation will only increase the aggressor’s ambition, making him ask for a foot after gaining an inch with a bigger and bigger appetite. Fourth, what Kennedy fears the most are the revolutionary struggles by the Cuban people and the revolutionary struggles by the people in Latin America and all over the world. Only by depending upon the struggle of the people in various countries will the war and aggressive plans of the imperialists be smashed. This is the only correct way to defend world peace.

In the face of such a ferocious yet crafty enemy as Kennedy, we must follow the policy-line set up by Comrade Mao Zedong, “in a strategic sense we must despise the enemy, in a tactical sense, we must carefully study the enemy,” and then we will win victory in this struggle. The victorious struggle by the Cuban people has once again proven that this is the truth.

(3) The modern revisionists have been frightened to death in the face of Kennedy’s nuclear bluffing. Instead of “despising the enemy in a strategic sense while carefully dealing with the enemy in a tactical sense,” they carried out a policy of adventurism, using missiles and nuclear weapons as bargaining chips to engage in a game of speculation. When Kennedy used nuclear war to threaten them, they were panic-stricken and did not know what to do. They made one concession after another and fell into passivity completely. The performance of the modern revisionists during the Cuban incident represents an unprecedented humiliation and insult in the history of socialist countries.

That the Soviet Union has withdrawn missiles and bombers from Cuba is not a bad thing for the Cuban revolution. In the first place, it was a mistake that the modern revisionists decided to establish missile bases in Cuba. Their true intention was not to support the Cuban people, but to control the Cuban revolution through violating Cuba’s sovereignty. They were there not for the purpose of supporting the Cuban people in struggling against imperialism, but using Cuba as a bargaining chip in dealing with the US imperialists. If their plots were allowed to prevail, that would be extremely disadvantageous for the Cuban revolution and the revolution in Latin America. Cuba has learned a profound lesson in this incident. The most effective weapon that can be used in opposing US imperialism is not the missiles and strategic bombers that the modern revisionists have boasted [about], but the correct policy line of firmly depending upon the peoples and masses and making everyone a soldier that the Cuban revolutionary forces have consistently carried out in the past.

(4) We should sufficiently consider the difficulties facing Cuba’s revolutionary cause, and should sufficiently understand the circumstances of the Cuban comrades. The US imperialists are determined to eliminate Socialist Cuba. The tension between the United States and Cuba will continue for a long period—sometimes more tense, and sometimes less tense. Sometimes the Cuban side will even face very serious difficulties. For a certain period, Cuba still needs to depend upon Soviet support in production, trade, transportation, and arms and ammunition supply. The Cuban comrades, while sticking to revolutionary principles, have to make necessary compromises, which will not harm their sovereignty and independence, from time to time. In the struggle against imperialism, modern revisionism, and reactionary nationalism, it is inevitable that some of their policies may differ from those of ours. It is our internationalist duty to wholeheartedly support the Cuban revolution. When the Cuban comrades are persistently carrying out their revolutionary struggle, that is their biggest internationalist support to us. We should not make excessive demands on the Cuban comrades.

(5) In the past month or so, the whole [Chinese Communist] Party and the people in the whole country [of China] have received the most vivid and profound patriotic and internationalist education in the two huge mass movements—supporting Cuba’s revolutionary struggle and repulsing the Indian reactionaries. All members of the Party, and the workers, peasants, People’s Liberation Army soldiers, revolutionary and patriotic intellectuals and all other patriotic figures should tightly unite together, and should warmly embrace the Marxist-Leninist lines of the Party Central Committee and Comrade Mao Zedong. The shining greatness of Mao Zedong’s thought has been fully demonstrated in these two struggles. Under the wise leadership of Comrade Mao Zedong, we have been able to command the initiative, catch the right timing, fully realize our potential and capacity, and influence the whole situation in the external struggles of our country, thus creating a new and more advantageous environment. We must continue to study diligently Mao Zedong’s thought in practice and struggle, and raise the standard of our consciousness. Party committees at all levels should be good at directing the enthusiasm of the masses to production, daily work and study. We must hold high the three banners of the General Line, Great Leap Forward, and People’s Commune, and continue to march forward victoriously, so that we will win even greater successes on all fronts.

The above notice is internal and should be restricted to leading cadres of the Party. In external propaganda and contacts, the tone of the open statements made by Central leaders and central newspapers should be followed. It should particularly be emphasized that certainly statements of this notice should not be made openly, and please pay attention to this.

The Central Committee

4 December 1962

(This is a top secret document. It will only be distributed to the level of provincial Party committee, and in no circumstances should copies be made. After use the document should be returned to the Confidential Department of the Administrative Office of the Central Committee and should then be destroyed.)