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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 30, 1962

CHINESE EMBASSY IN CUBA, A REPORT ON A CONVERSATION WITH TWO DEPUTY DEPARTMENT HEADS OF CUBAN GENERAL STAFF

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

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    Two department heads of the Cuban general staff (revolutionary education and film departments) spoke with the military attache to the Chinese embassy in Cuba. They discussed morale of the Cuban troops, relations with other socialist countries and the American airplane shot down over Cuba.
    "Chinese Embassy in Cuba, A Report on a Conversation with Two Deputy Department Heads of Cuban General Staff," October 30, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00342-05, 11. Translated by Zhang Qian. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115141
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Foreign Ministry and the 2nd Department of the General Staff,

On the 30th [of October], two deputy department heads of the Cuban General Staff, respectively from the revolutionary education department and the film department, talked to our military attaché. They said that [Cuban] troops were in a high spirit and on constant alarm, and that [Cuban troops] would not believe the so-called guarantee from American imperialism; instead, they believe in their own strength, the strength of the people and the support of socialist countries and all people of the world. We enquired about the response of the troops towards Fidel [Castro]’s statement, letters from [Nikita] Khrushchev and [John F.] Kennedy, and [UN Secretary-General] U Thant’s visit to Cuba. The deputy director of revolutionary education said that the general response is that [the troops] believe Fidel’s statement, believe our leader’s words. The troops were discussing Fidel’s statement, during which they did not mention Khrushchev or the Soviet Union alone, [they] instead only spoke of socialist countries; [Cuban troops] paid close heed to our country’s [China’s] statement, popular assemblies in Beijing and Tianjin metropolises.

Besides, [we] heard that on the 28th [of October] [sic] an American airplane was shot down by anti-aircraft rockets, exploded immediately with the wreckage spreading across an area of 12 square kilometers.[1]

Embassy in Cuba

30 October 1962

[1] Ed. Note: The US U-2 plan was actually downed over Cuba on the afternoon of Saturday, 27 October, not 28 October.