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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 20, 1962

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN CUBA, 'CUBAN GENERAL STAFF’S MILITARY INTELLIGENCE DEPARTMENT TALKED ABOUT AMERICAN AIR INTRUSION'

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    A report from the Military Attaché of the Embassy in Cuba to the Foreign Ministry and Military Intelligence Department discussing present concerns with American imperialism actions (flyovers, troops stationed in Guantanamo, etc.); also the Sino-Indian border problems.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'Cuban General Staff’s Military Intelligence Department Talked about American Air Intrusion'," November 20, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00342-09, 11-12. Translated by Zhang Qian. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115082
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[...]

Cuban General Staff’s Military Intelligence Department Talked about American Air Intrusion

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military Intelligence Department,

On the morning of the 20th [of November] the head of the military intelligence department of the Cuban general staff [perhaps Pedro Luis Rodríguez—ed.] talked about [the following]:

From the 1st until the 15th of this month, American air intrusion reached 247 sorties. In some cases, [intruding] height was merely 2,000 meters. Often [American airplanes] traverse Cuba, either from east to west, or from south to north. After the publication of [Fidel] Castro’s letter to [UN Secretary-General] U Thant on the 15th [of November], American air intrusion has apparently decreased, with only two or three sorties a day. At an altitude between ten thousand and twenty thousand [meters], [American airplanes] (mainly U-2) dare not go further and hide near Mariel Harbor, Pinar del Rio Province, conducting scouting. On the 19th [of November], an American F-8U intruded into San Diego’s airspace but was driven away by anti-aircraft forces.

Guantanamo has now 15,000 American troops. No substantial change appears with respect to the maritime blockade. Argentina, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, have all sent warships to participate [in the blockade]. American naval maneuvers are mainly maintenance and supply operations.

The present concern is that American imperialism [will] invade [Cuba] with the Latin American puppet countries’ troops and Cuban counter-revolutionary mercenaries, which will be politically beneficial to American imperialism.

Castro’s two letters to U Thant are historical documents, standing for the Cuban people’s current will and the firm position to defend revolution: as long as American planes make intrusions into [Cuba’s] territorial air [space], [Cuban people] will shoot them down. Today, Americans could claim that missiles and bombers are aggressive weapons; tomorrow, they too could say that cannons, even submachine guns, are aggressive weapons. Cuban people improve quickly in terms of their understanding, capable of identifying the right from the wrong: it is not missiles that American imperialism fears; it is the Cuban revolutionary model that [it] fears.

He is very concerned about the Sino-Indian border problem. He said that this time once again, [Indian leader Jawaharlal] Nehru’s mask of peace and neutrality was stripped off. Like [Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel] Nasser, the lips say one thing, while the heart thinks another.

On the 14th of November, the Cuban armed force sent an instruction, requiring that troops and civilians all keep military secrets. It is now conducting education via papers, magazines, television stations, and radios.

Military Attaché of the [Chinese] Embassy in Cuba

20 November 1962