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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 27, 1962

CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION PRESIDIUM PROTOCOL 62

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

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    Protocol 62 illustrates how it was Khrushchev who raised the stakes during the missile crisis and dictated a new letter to Kennedy indicating he would only remove the missiles from Cuba in exchange of the United States withdrawing its military bases from Turkey and Pakistan. The Pakistan demand would later be dropped, however and the US would only agree to remove its IRBMs from Turkey.
    "Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Presidium Protocol 62," October 27, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, F. 3, Op. 16, D. 947, L. 43-44. Translated and edited by Mark Kramer, with assistance from Timothy Naftali. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115085
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Present: Brezhnev, Kozlov, Kosygin, Mikoyan, Polyansky, Suslov, Khrushchev, Shvernik, Grishin, Demichev, Ilichev, Ponomarev, Shelepin, Malinovsky, Gromyko, Grechko, Zakharov, Ivanov, Kuznetsov, Malin, Chernukha, Serov.

Cde. Fomin’s telegram from Rio de Janeiro No. ___ of 25.X.62.[1]

Adopt measures.

Cde. Pavlov’s telegram from Trostnik No.__/II of 27.X.62.[2]

Affirm Cde. Pavlov’s proposal

Informational report concerning telegrams about Cuba.

Cde. Malinovsky

The informational report indicates the complexity of the situation

I. About further steps concerning Cuba

Khrushchev, Mikoyan,

Malinovsky, Gromyko,

Brezhnev, Kozlov, Ponomarev,

Grechko, Kosygin, Suslov

The correspondence with U Thant can hardly be a restraining mechanism in conditions when negotiations have begun. They will not embark on an invasion, but it is impossible to make a guarantee.

Could they attack us right now?

I think they will not bring themselves to do it.

Of course, it is impossible to make a guarantee.

Kennedy’s dramatic speech on radio and television, it was not out of bravery.

They are heaping all the blame on us, they had decided to settle accounts with Cuba, but now, in my view, they have reassessed this decision.

The steps we had undertaken until this were correct.

Further steps.

We will not eliminate the conflict if we do not give satisfaction to the Americans and do not tell them that our R-12 missiles are there.

I think that we should not be obstinate.

Did we commit a mistake or not?

This can be assessed later on.

We must take into account that the US did not attack Cuba.

And if we receive in return the elimination of the [US] base in Turkey and Pakistan, then we will end up victorious.

We agree to verification when we pull out the missiles.

All the comrades speak in support of Cde. Khrushchev’s proposal.

Continuation of the discussion concerning Cuba

The letter to US President Kennedy

Gromyko, Khrushchev,

Mikoyan, Malinovsky,

Kozlov, Suslov, Brezhnev,

Kosygin

Dictation of the text of the letter to US President Kennedy is under way.

Cde. Khrushchev is dictating it.

Discussion of the text of the letter to US President Kennedy.

Affirm the text of the letter.

Entrust it to the US ambassador in the USSR

Broadcast the letter on the radio at 5:00 p.m. on 27.X.62 and publish it in the press.

On the letter to F. Castro

Ponomarev, Khrushchev

[1] Translator’s Note: Andrei Andronovich Fomin (1918-1983), the Soviet ambassador in Brazil, was conveying the Brazilian authorities’ ideas for a peaceful settlement of the crisis. For a detailed, insightful review of Brazil’s role during and after the missile crisis, see James G. Hershberg, “The United States, Brazil, and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Part 1),” Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Spring 2004), pp. 3-20; and James G. Hershberg, “The United States, Brazil, and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Part 2),” Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Summer 2004), pp. 5-67. See also translated Brazilian documents elsewhere in this issue of the CWIHP Bulletin.

[2] Translator’s Note: “Pavlov” was the pseudonym used here for Aleksandr Ivanovich Alekseev (1913-1998), the Soviet ambassador in Cuba at the time. (Alekseev had been elevated from embassy counselor to ambassador in the summer of 1962, replacing Sergei Kudryavtsev, whom Fidel Castro had grown to dislike. Upon taking over as ambassador in mid-August, Alekseev became a key figure both before and during the crisis.) Alekseev’s cable of 26/27 October conveyed Fidel Castro’s proposal that the Soviet Union announce that Soviet weaponry on Cuba (including the missiles) was under exclusive Soviet control. Castro thereby hoped to preclude a US attempt to portray the confrontation as one solely between the United States and Cuba. The pseudonym “Pavlov” in some other contexts was used for General Pliev, and confusion can at times result. The term “Trostnik” was the codename for Havana.