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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 05, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM POLISH EMBASSY IN HAVANA (JELEń), 5 FEBRUARY 1962

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

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    Jelen continues his reporting on the eighth meeting of consultation of foreign ministers in Punta del Este by discussing diplomatic relations between Central and South American countries and their opinions on the American sanctions against Cuba.
    "Telegram from Polish Embassy in Havana (Jeleń), 5 February 1962," February 05, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Szyfrogramy from Hawana 1962, 6/77 w-82 t-1264, Polish Foreign Ministry Archive (AMSZ), Warsaw. Obtained by James G. Hershberg (George Washington University) and translated by Margaret K. Gnoinska (Troy University). https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115740
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Ciphergram No. 1675

Dispatched from Havana on 02.05.1962 at 20:30 and received at 02.06.1962 at 13:35

Came to the Decoding Department at 02.06.1962 at 15:40

To: [Aleksander] KRAJEWSKI1

From: [Ambassador Boleslaw] JELEN2

The following conclusions can be derived from the conversations with some of the members of the Cuban delegation and the texts of the adopted resolutions at [the Eighth Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers] in Punta [del Este]:

The United States was not able to obtain the sanctions to the extent initially proposed by Colombia. Even though the US has not achieved the maximum, it achieved quite a bit, including obtaining new tools which could be exploited in their future anti-Cuban actions.

All of the resolutions (see the enumeration according to our claris 27) were adopted unanimously with Cuba voting against them. The unanimous vote pertained also to the political part of resolution IV3 (only its legal and executive part in points 3 and 4)4; as a result the entire resolution was adopted by a majority vote of 14 countries.

The connection between the principle of self-determination and the form of the so-called free elections has been achieved through resolutions I [Communist Offensive in America], III [Special Consultative Committee on Security Against the Subversive Action of International Communism], and IV [Holding of Free Elections].

The Security Commission [Resolution II] was initially thought out as one comprising of the members who were designated by the Inter-American Defense Committee. However, adopting a formula of selecting its members through the process defined in point 2-a of Resolution II5 seems to tone down the original resolution. At the same time, points 1 and 2-c6 of this resolution may give the Committee far reaching powers.

Resolution VIII, point 2,7 opens up the possibility of further reaching economic sanctions than the suspension of non-existing arms trade.

The members of the Cuban delegation state that only Brazil showed a commendable position. They are expressing their disappointment with the attitude of Mexico [in handling] the problems at the conference.

The first opinions within the diplomatic corps regarding the Second Havana Declaration proclaimed on 4 February, express fears that it can further exacerbate the already worsening relations between the government of Latin America[n nations] and Cuba in the future.

[1] Official in the Polish Foreign Ministry. In 1950-1951, he served as the Vice-Chair of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee of the UN General Assembly. In 1965-1970, he served as Poland’s ambassador to Brazil.

[2] Poland’s ambassador to Cuba (1961-1965).

[3] The reference here should be to Resolution VI not Resolution IV, as it is Resolution VI – The Exclusion of the Present Government of Cuba from Participation in the Inter-American System – which was adopted at Punta del Este by majority vote of 14.

[4] Points 3 and 4 of Resolution VI state, respectively: 3. That this incompatibility excludes the present Government of Cuba from participation in the inter-American system. 4. That the Council of the Organization of American States and the other organs and organizations the inter-American system adopt without delay the measures necessary to comply with this resolution. Source: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/intam17.asp#b4.

[5] Resolution II, point 2-a, states: “The Council of the Organization shall select membership of the Special Consultative Committee on Security from a list of candidates presented by the governments, and shall define immediately terms of reference for the Committee with a view to achieving the full purpose of this resolution.” Source: http://www.oas.org/consejo/meetings%20OF%20consultation/actas/acta%208.pdf.

[6] Resolution II, point 1 and 2-c, respectively state: 1. To request the Council of the Organization of American States to maintain all necessary vigilance, for the purpose of warning against any acts of aggression, subversion, or other dangers to peace and security, or the preparation of such acts, resulting from the continued intervention of Sino-Soviet powers in this hemisphere, and to make recommendations to the governments of the member states with regard thereto. 2-c. The Special Consultative Committee on Security shall submit to the Council of the Organization, no later than May 1, 1962, an initial general report, with pertinent recommendations regarding measures which should be taken. Source: http://www.oas.org/consejo/meetings%20OF%20consultation/actas/acta%208.pdf.

[7] Resolution VIII, point 2: To charge the Council of the Organization of American States. in accordance with the circumstances and with due consideration for the constitutional or legal limitations of each and every one of the member states, with studying the feasibility and desirability of extending the suspension of trade to other items, with special attention to items of strategic importance. Source: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/intam17.asp.