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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 24, 1962

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN CUBA, 'REPORT OF A CONVERSATION WITH CUBAN INTERIOR MINISTER'

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

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    The Cuban Interior Minister is telling the Chinese embassy officials about U.S. combat readiness and active troop deployments to Cuba/Guantanamo.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'Report of a Conversation with Cuban Interior Minister'," October 24, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00342-05, 5-6. Translated by Zhang Qian. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115148
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Foreign Ministry and Military Intelligence Department,

This afternoon, [Cuban] Interior Minister Binianyiluo [sic] visited [us] and talked about the following items:

On the morning of the 22nd [of October], Cuba received the information that Washington had been actively deploying, and the US would take strong measures. In the afternoon, combat readiness was ordered by the Americans. But Cuba did not expect those measures that appeared in [John] Kennedy’s speech. Now Cuba has adopted all necessary measures. Raúl [Castro] has left for Oriente Province.   

Yesterday, a US airplane crashed in the Guantanamo Base. Both sides are on alert now. The most dangerous military gathering point of US is Puerto Rico—there are two aircraft carriers, ships on which helicopters could land, and amphibious vessels that could transport fifteen thousand troops—socialist countries’ ships normally all come from that direction.

The US navy commander made an order, thanking Latin American countries (such as Argentina) for faithful assistance. The US demands that between naval units, the radio contact, for the purpose of confidentiality, should be used as little as possible. This is a practice that is only adopted when the situation is tense. The US force involved in the blockade is estimated to be of between 30 and 40 thousand personnel.     

At 9 o’clock this morning, two ships arrived. No accidents occurred. Now several other Soviet ships are heading towards Cuba. The situation will definitely become tense if Soviet ships and US warships meet each other head on. [Let’s] see what, in the end, the US will do. The development of the situation and which strategy the enemy will adopt will be clearer within next 48 hours.

Special report.

    

Embassy in Cuba

24 October 1962