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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 18, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM POLISH EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON (DROZNIAK), 18 OCTOBER 1962

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

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    Drozniak forwards a report from US Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs [Edwin M.] Martin. Martin says that the Americans are well-informed of the military situation in Cuba, that Cuba does not possess nuclear weapons (nor will they be likely to because the USSR did not give such weapons to China, so why would they give them to Cuba?), that the level of the Cuban economy is twenty-five percent lower than the period before Fidel Castro came to power and Cuba is much more economically dependent on the USSR, and finally that any military invasion or complete blockade of Cuba would be considered an act of war by the USSR.
    "Telegram from Polish Embassy in Washington (Drozniak), 18 October 1962," October 18, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Szyfrogramy from Waszyngton 1962, 6/77 w-86 t-1312, 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/115755
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Ciphergram No. 15384

Dispatched from Washington, D.C., on 10.18.1962 at 16:00 and received on 10.19.1962 at 2:00

Came to the Decoding Department on 10.19.1962 at 2:30

To: [Foreign Ministry Director Eugeniusz] MILNIKIEL1

From: [Ambassador Edward] DROŻNIAK2

Our [cable] 786.

[This report has been compiled based on] the statements made by Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs [Edwin M.] Martin:

They [the Americans] are well-informed, especially about the military situation in Cuba. They [the Cubans] do not possess missiles which are able to deliver nuclear weapons. The [US] administration believes that the USSR does not want [to unleash] a [world] war over Cuba, or even begin such a war in Cuba. The USSR has been opposed to providing China with nuclear weapons for years [and therefore] all the more it will not provide Cuba with such weapons. The military aid issued to Cuba is insignificant. The level of Cuban economy is twenty-five percent lower than prior to the period when [Fidel] Castro came to power. Cuba is currently much more dependent economically on the USSR than it was previously dependent on the United States. They are not expecting a quick collapse of [the] Castro [regime]. The situation in Cuba, in light of Castro’s open declaration of Cuba’s dependence on Moscow, is a big blow to communism in Latin America. The United States is going to continue to fully isolate Cuba, among other things, by exerting further pressure on the nations of Latin America. [The United States] is closely following the developments in Cuba.

Currently, they are excluding the possibility of a military invasion or a complete blockade of Cuba [because this] could be considered as an act of war by the USSR. A military action in Cuba could cause a military action in Berlin. They are not going to recognize a [Cuban] government-in-exile either. They are counting on an emergence of the opposition government in Cuba. If they recognized the [Cuban] government-in-exile, they would lose their rights to their [military] bases in Guantanamo. There are about two hundred Cuban immigration groups which are all different and at odds with one another. There are those among them who would like to start a war between the United States and the USSR.

[1] Eugeniusz Milnikiel (1905 -1969), former Polish ambassador to Great Britain (1953 -1956).

[2] Edward Drożniak (1902 – 1966), Poland’s ambassador to the United States (1961-1966).