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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 01, 1962

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN CUBA, 'A CUBAN LEADER TALKED ABOUT THE SITUATION (CONTINUED)'

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

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    A conversation with Joaquín Ordoqui in which UN Secretary-General U Thant, the U-2 spy plane, US military preparation for war, and Cuba's need for political and economic aid were discussed.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'A Cuban Leader Talked about the Situation (Continued)'," November 01, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00342-05, 17-18. Translated by Zhang Qian. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115118
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[...]

A Cuban Leader Talked about the Situation (Continued)

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

A complementary report of the conversation with [Joaquín] Ordoqui:

1)  Before [he] arrived in Cuba, [UN Secretary-General] U Thant had indicated that he would bring over 100 journalists with him. Fidel decided not to let them in; Cuba rejected [U Thant’s proposal] by expressing the inability of Cuba to host so many people.

2) Someone (referring to the Soviet Union) observed that the five conditions raised by Cuba made the situation more complicated. But Fidel [Castro] indicated that the Cubans too wish the problem could be simpler, [asking] why would [people] want things to become complicated? [Fidel said,] the problem now is that it is no longer a military question, but a political one.

3) Insurgents and militias are both in a high spirit. Cuba shot down a U-2 [on 27 October], but did not announce it. The [body of] pilot Maj. [Rudolf] Anderson was found after [the] crash with his corpse divided into two. Cuba was prepared to ship it back to the US. Out of [the wreckage] of the airplane Cuba found some documents. The US took more aerial photographs of Cuba than there are [pictures] of the American film star, Marilyn Monroe. The US also tries to find information everywhere, probing if Cuba has had atomic bombs. Rumor goes that they [the US] asked 6 countries’ ambassadors, including the Japanese ambassador who answered, “perhaps not.”

4) The US is still preparing for war. Along the coast of Key West anti-aircraft missiles have been deployed, and troops are still under mobilization. The danger of an invasion remains, but it is less imminent. If the US did want a war, they would have blown up the Soviet missile bases a long time ago. A nuclear war does not at all need an announcement. [The US] did not make an announcement before they dropped atomic bombs in Japan, whereas this time  Kennedy is kicking up a fuss by making many statements, which looks like deceit and blackmail. The US is not prepared for a big war. So far it could only mobilize 6 divisions, one airborne unit. If a war against Cuba is to start, these troops are far from enough. Unless [the US] uses nuclear weapons to destroy Cuba, there is nothing to be feared. Fidel has a clear vision: even if Cuba is to be completely destroyed, socialism will prevail anyway. Fidel said, “If the US wants a war, we will give them one. [yaoda jiuda] Once the war begins, the US too won’t have a good time.” Cuba could attack the US fleet with the weapons it now has. Of course, we [the Cubans] are unable to destroy their entire fleet, but we could shatter a part of it. The Guantanamo base is now being besieged by us, completely.

5) We understand well that [if we were to] be weaker towards imperialism, it would immediately be bloated with pride. [Therefore, we] should be firm and knock down its arrogance. Cuba needs military and political aid, in particular, from socialist countries, without which Cuba’s survival is impossible.

[Chinese] Embassy in Cuba

1 November 1962