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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 28, 1962

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN CUBA, 'THE CHILEAN ECONOMIC ADVISOR JAIME BARRIOS DISCUSSED THE CUBAN SITUATION'

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    A conversation with the Chilean economic advisor. They discuss: American plane shot down over Cuba, possible invasion of Cuba and the mass mobilization needed to support Cuba.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'The Chilean Economic Advisor Jaime Barrios Discussed the Cuban Situation'," October 28, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00342-05, 7-8. Translated by Zhang Qian. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115142
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[...]

The Chilean Economic Advisor Jaime Barrios Discussed the Cuban Situation

To the Foreign Ministry,

The Chilean economic advisor, Jaime [Barrios] (now serving in the president’s compound), told to Chargé d’Affaires Huang,

Yesterday, Cuban troops shot down an American airplane in Pinar del Rio.

Three proposals have so far been put forth, respectively from [Nikita] Khrushchev, [John] Kennedy and Fidel [Castro]. But our attitude is firm: Fidel’s second declaration was reflected well among the masses, and today’s statement (referring to the five conditions) is also very important, to which the detailed reactions are yet to emerge. Cuba’s sovereignty must be guaranteed, and the Cuban people have the right to decide their own matters. Yet we also need to be discreet and firm in practice.

The danger of a US invasion remains, but the US wanted to realize its goal by negotiating, which is clearly shown in the US declaration. Khrushchev, too, expressed the wish to negotiate. Therefore, if the rocket weapons are to be withdrawn, it should be traded for the withdrawal of the missile bases in Turkey and the return of Guantanamo. This is, if the negotiation succeeds, a good thing. But the US will not agree. The United States will bomb the Soviet Union base, and after that it will say that it has achieved its goal, and claim [to be the] winner itself. It is a good opportunity for the US to invade Cuba; the situation depends on the development of events in the next few days.

He said he did not know the news of Khrushchev with respect to the unconditional withdrawal of bases. He said, if the withdrawal is conditional, our government will not be shocked; but if it was a surrender-like withdrawal, then it becomes a blow to the Cuban people, Latin American people, the socialist camp and the strength of the people of the world, while feeding the arrogance of imperialism.

The world’s people are standing with Cuba. But the present development of the people’s movement is slow in some countries, such as in Chile which still needs the masses to take actions. Some countries’ declarations remain on paper, with no sign of struggle. What the Cuban people need is active support, such as mass mobilization; because if there is no action, the crime of those who hold power will not be stopped.

He spoke with considerable discretion today.

Special Report.

[Chinese] Embassy in Cuba

28 October 1962