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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 29, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTRY (KOCA POPOVIC) TO YUGOSLAV EMBASSY IN HAVANA (VIDAKOVIć)

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

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    A telegram from the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry (Koca Popovic) to the Yugoslav Embassy in Havana (Vidaković) about the proposal sumitted to the United Nations concerning the Cuban crisis - Guantanamo closure, nuclear base installations, denuclearization of Latin America, etc.
    "Telegram from Yugoslav Foreign Ministry (Koca Popovic) to Yugoslav Embassy in Havana (Vidaković)," October 29, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AMIP), Belgrade, Serbia, PA (Confidential Archive) 1962, Kuba, folder F-67. Obtained by Svetozar Rajak and Ljubomir Dimić and translated by Radina Vučetić-Mladenović. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115473
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FPRY

Sending: Cabinet of Koca Popovic

Received:

No. confidentially 435141

Taken into process:

Date: 29.X 1962

Completed:

Telegram

D D D

Embassy of FPRY – Havana

Vidakovic,

Yours 232, 233, 234, 236

Our assessments and suggestions have proved realistic, which can be seen from the fact the agreement was reached on approximately that basis.

We are being informed from New York that U Thant is leaving on Tuesday, what you have surely been informed about in the meantime.

As far as future behavior and actions of the Cubans are concerned we seemed to find best as follows, that you should express your statement as your personal opinion.

Independence, security, sovereignty and integrity of Cuba are fundamental. The only reliable guarantee for that is international - the UN. In that framework the suspension of Guantanamo is legitimate.

In setting out these proposals two things are extremely important: the way and the tone. In setting out these demands, resolutely but calmly, they should highlight the necessity and readiness for negotiations and settling all contentious issues. Nobody has doubts about their readiness to defend themselves at any cost, which they showed fully. At this moment, they should show common sense and constructiveness.

Secondly, the relations among LA countries shouldn’t be antagonized unnecessarily, because they are their [i.e., the Cubans’] safest and the most important support in the long run.

They should show greater respect for difficulties of some of the most well-intentioned LA governments which tend to resist, as much as they can, the powerful pressure of the USA.

Going through all the troubles and the outcome of the recent crisis, they have achieved, or they can achieve and consolidate, a number of issues with the right policy. They have consolidated their existence as an independent country. Possibilities of the aggression, blockade and interference by the USA could be significantly reduced or eliminated. The importance of their country remains, but with new contents: not as a means of struggling among the big ones, but as an independent political factor of special importance to LA. Therefore, it is more important to work out and convey a suitable and constructive policy. The content of this policy shouldn’t be otherwise than consistent non-alignment with equal and very developed connections with a very wide range of countries, that by no means isn’t or shouldn’t be in opposition with the irrefutable right to its socialistic direction of development. In that context, the internal consolidation, both economic and political, is of utmost importance.

We insist on the style and tone, which they might find especially difficult. Until recently they have enjoyed the “privilege” of being very loud as a part of being directly involved in the dispute among big ones [i.e., powers—ed.]. The price is very high.

The matter of armament. It will depend on negotiations. It’s quite normal they keep the full right on all defensive weapons. Anyway they can’t deal with the USA on their own. They could have been offensively armed only as a USSR base, i.e. as a means of struggling among the big ones. That proved fictions in the world division and the balance of power. So, the main point is that they, without their own weapons “equal to American ones,” should be protected by international mechanisms as well as by their own policy which would attract active support of a great number of nations, what the highest guarantee is against and the means of repulsing a possible repeat of American aggression.

This is the line of your action. We are quite aware that this neither can be nor should be stated in full of each partner, nor can it bring quick results. Following this line of our action we are offering the greatest help to them. They should also help themselves with their own attitude, making our support easier.

P.S. Of course, we are not asking their recognition for our great engagement in recent hard days. We have been fully engaged in the most useful and realistic way. Doing that we have shown again our great friendship towards them. The fact that our activity was in the service of the general cause of peace keeping doesn’t change anything. From their side we are expecting better understanding of our positive and constructive policy as a whole and especially towards them

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