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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 17, 1962

LETTER FROM SWISS AMBASSADOR TO CUBA (STADELHOFER) TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE SWISS FOREIGN MINISTRY (MICHELI)

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

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    Stadelhofer describes a short meeting with Fidel Castro. However, since the conversation took place at an event directly next to the table reserved for members of the government and since President Osvaldo Dorticós and Minister of Industries, Ernesto "Che" Guevara, were listening in, he had to refrain from addressing issues of importance.
    "Letter from Swiss Ambassador to Cuba (Stadelhofer) to the Secretary General of the Swiss Foreign Ministry (Micheli)," November 17, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, 2001 (E): 1976/17, Politische Auswirkungen nach der Rede von Präsident Kennedy vom 22. Oktober 1962. Letter from Stadelhofer to Micheli, 11/17/1962. Translated from German by Stephanie Popp. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115438
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115438

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[Handwritten note:] Mr. Head of Department

Embassy of Switzerland

Havana, November 17, 1962

In Cuba

B.44.USA. – Std/p

SECRET

Mister Ambassador P. Micheli

Secretary General of the Swiss

Foreign Ministry

Berne

Mister Ambassador,

In reference to the possibility that was mentioned on 22 October in the form of a question to Ambassador Lindt, I am taking the liberty to supplementary report to the earlier quick exchange of messages that I first went to the Foreign Ministry on the 24th of the previous month, without, however, being able to relay anything. Everybody, who would have come into consideration to arrange talks with Fidel Castro, was at the Presidential Palace for an urgent meeting. The following day, on 25 October, I had the conversation with Foreign Minister Roa that you already know about, where I, while noting that I was acting on my own initiative, cautiously mentioned a few points, which might be interesting to address if a meeting were to materialize. On Friday, 26 October, the Chief of Protocol, whom I had visited formally for a different matter, mentioned that he had been asked by Dr. Roa to pick me up from the Embassy with his car and to bring me to the location of the talks, should the situation arise. Afterwards, in accord with your instructions, I took no further steps.

On the occasion of a big reception that took place on 7 November at the Soviet Embassy, I was able to, after the Russian Ambassador introduced me to First Deputy Chairman Mikoyan, talk for about 5 minutes with Fidel Castro. Since the conversation took place directly next to the table reserved for members of the government and since President [Osvaldo] Dorticós and Minister of Industries, [Ernesto] Che Guevara, were listening in, I had to refrain from addressing issues of importance. On his own initiative, Fidel Castro told me that he wanted to see me either immediately after the Soviet reception if it ended early or otherwise in the next few days and he asked if he should come to the Quinta Avenida (location of the Embassy) or to the new residence. So far, no such visit has occurred and until proven otherwise, I am not expecting one. The Cuban Prime Minister was, meanwhile, extremely polite and made, like Mister [Anastas] Mikoyan had done before, some very flattering remarks about our country.

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