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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 25, 1962

POLITICAL LETTER FROM AMBASSADOR MAX TROENDLE TO SECRETARY GENERAL PIERRE MICHELI

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    A political letter from Ambassador Max Troendle to Secretary General Pierre Micheli describing aspects of the Soviet position on the Cuban crisis and how "It seems that on Cuba, the Soviets want to avoid meeting the American challenge, that they want to negotiate, talk, and not to face a showdown."
    "Political Letter from Ambassador Max Troendle to Secretary General Pierre Micheli," October 25, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Schweizerisches Bundesarchiv, 2300 (E): 1000/716, Moskau, Politische Berichte und Briefe, Militärberichte, 1962. Political letter from Ambassador Max Troendle to Secretary General of the Federal Foreign Ministry, Pierre Micheli, 10/25/1962. Translated from French by Stephanie Popp. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115442
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EMBASSY OF SWITZERLAND

Moscow, October 25, 1962

IN THE USSR

B.12.1.(132). – AN/cm

Political letter Mister Ambassador Pierre M I C H E L I

Secretary General of the Federal Foreign Ministry

Berne

Cuba

Mister Ambassador,

I have the honor to herewith give you for your information, the text of the declaration of the Soviet government of 23 October.

In addition to the commentaries that I have already cabled to you, I am adding that this declaration demands that the Cuban crisis be submitted to the Security Council. The editorial of Pravda of 23 October is even more insistent on this subject: “In this decisive moment, the United Nations are seriously being tested. The question is, whether they will fulfill the mission that was given to them by the people and whether they will justify it, otherwise they will suffer the fate of the League of Nations and will face the widespread contempt of the peoples. There is no third way.”

The 25 October telegram from Khrushchev to Bertrand Russell (annex 3), which is being broadcast, concludes by recognizing the benefits of a summit meeting.

It seems that on Cuba, the Soviets want to avoid meeting the American challenge, that they want to negotiate, talk, and not to face a showdown.

* * *

Going back to the declaration of the Soviet government, you will find that its legal argumentation is solid. But it is vitiated, since it keeps silent about the discovery of medium range missiles in Cuba, which was the cause of the American decision.

It also seems, from the meager echoes of the public opinion that I could gather, that the Soviet population does not understand why the crisis has suddenly worsened. It [trans. note: the Soviet population] is aware of an imminent danger, but for it [trans. note: the danger is] inexplicable. As a consequence it seems more depressed than exalted.

* * *

I am under the impression, as I have already told you, that the Caribbean is not a terrain favorable to the Soviet Union and that it will refuse the fight. This impression is shared by the majority of Western diplomats. Moscow will seek to win the second round in Berlin, this is in my opinion probable. But on this point, the opinions of my colleagues differ much.

Please accept, Mister Ambassador, the assurances of my distinguished consideration.

[Trans. note: Ambassador Max, handwritten:] Troendle

Referred to annexes

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