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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 28, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM POLISH EMBASSY IN HAVANA (JELEń), 28 MAY 1962

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

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    Jelen discusses the new ambassador to Cuba as well as economic relations between Poland and Cuba and other economic concerns, like food shortages in Cuba.
    "Telegram from Polish Embassy in Havana (Jeleń), 28 May 1962," May 28, 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/115744
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 Ciphergam No. 7922

Dispatched from Havana on 05.28.1962 at 20:30 and received at 05.29 at 06:25

Came to the Decoding Department at 05.29 at 09:30

To: [Director General Jerzy] MICHALOWSKI, Immediate, Very Urgent, Eyes Only

From: [Ambassador Boleslaw] JELEN1

I had a talk with the USSR Ambassador [Sergey] Kudryavtsev today (at his place).

K.[udryavtsev] informed me that he was recalled [back to Moscow] to work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Cuban government had already granted an agreement to his successor [Aleksandr] Alekseyev. K. is leaving next Friday or Sunday and therefore he will not be able to pay farewell visits, but he said that he would pay a visit to Fidel [Castro] and [President Osvaldo] Dorticos [Torrado]. The new ambassador (who is currently in Moscow on an official visit) is to arrive on Friday along with an agricultural delegation which is headed by [Sharof] Rashidov (deputy member of the CPSU Presidium [and First Secretary of the Uzbek Communist Party]). Alekseyev has been here since 1959, initially as a press correspondent and subsequently as the employee of the embassy for the matters of national military defense. He was then a counselor for cultural affairs (within the internal system [of the Soviet] embassy this means a Third Councilor).

On the one hand, the sudden departure of K., and the selection of a new ambassador on the other, point to the fact that this change is not normal. At the same time, it is noteworthy that after the changes within the leadership of ORI [Organizaciones Revolucionarias Integradas took place] at the end of March, there were many Soviet measures which meant to show [Soviet] support for Castro’s policy and strengthening of their economic aid.

K. informed me that he had a talk with the [Cuban] president regarding deliveries of coke, emphasizing the gravity of the situation in this area and its political significance. He [Kudryavstev] insisted that the matters be taken care of with our involvement, that is, that 35 thousand tons of coal be delivered to Poland to be turned into 22 thousand tons of coke. K. notified me that he asked Moscow to make all efforts to help the Cuban side.

Overall, [although] K. emphasized his support for Fidel’s policy, he expressed concern about the stagnation within the party organization and [possible] political repercussions connected with people’s moods caused by food shortages. He assesses [that] US tactics [are] aimed at [creating] internal repercussions [that are brought about by] economic difficulties.

Received by: […]2

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

[2] Comrade Gomulka, Comrade Cyrankiewicz, Comrade Gierek, Comrade Jedrychowski, Comrade Kliszko, Comrade Loga-Sowinski, Comrade Ochab, Comrade Rapacki, Comrade Spychalski, Comrade Zambrowski, Comrade Zawadzki, Comrade Jarosinski, Comrade Strzelecki, Comrade Czesak, Comrade Winiewicz, Comrade Wierna, Comrade Michalowski, Comrade Birecki, Comrade Krajewski.