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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 21, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM POLISH EMBASSY IN HAVANA (JELEń), 21 NOVEMBER 1962

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

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    In a meeting between Mikoyan and the heads of diplomatic posts of socialist countries, there is a discussion of various issues relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
    "Telegram from Polish Embassy in Havana (Jeleń), 21 November 1962," November 21, 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/115786
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Dispatched from Havana on 11.21.1962 at 2:00 and received at 11.21 at 13:45

Came to the Decoding Department at 11.21 at 16:00

To: Krajewski

From: Ambassador JELEN

A meeting between [Anastas] Mikoyan and the heads of diplomatic posts of socialist countries took place today. M[ikoyan] informed [us] about the results of “the work with Cuban comrades” so far.

A joint Cuban-Soviet draft was submitted to U Thant (its content is the same as in our report to [Deputy Foreign Minister Jozef] Winiewicz in our dispatch from the 15th [of November]) and is based on the exchange of letters between Khrushchev and Kennedy, as well as Fidel’s 5 points.

The withdrawal of the bombers [from Cuba, which is to take place] within the period of one month following the lifting of the “blockade,” is necessary in order to appease the Caribbean nations. The result will be the lifting of the blockade.

There is some progress towards obtaining the guarantee [for US non-invasion of Cuba in the future?]. The US aims to postpone the issue and this is why this will be the issue over which they will fight right now (M.[ikoyan] stated that there were different opinions on this issue within the US administration). This is related to the issues of inspection and American [reconnaissance] flights over Cuba.

Castro’s disclaimer regarding inspections that were proposed until now is well-founded. There is currently a new draft put forth by U Thant [which proposes that inspections should be carried out by] a group with a headquarters in New York which carries out inspections if needed in the Caribbean. The draft seems interesting.

Fidel’s warning about shooting down the planes was a correct one and it was made following consultations with Khrushchev. The effect until now [is] that the number of flights has significantly decreased. In two cases, they opened fire without hitting the targets. [Mikoyan] thinks that these were American planes that were sent in order to test the veracity of [Castro’s] warning.

[They assess] the role of U Thant [as] positive, the Cuban issue will be a test for him as a secretary general.

The Brazilian proposition of the non-nuclear zone is significantly flawed, as it foresees the denuclearization of an area which remains under the jurisdiction of Latin American nations, and it does not include the denuclearization of US bases in Latin America.

He assesses the overall development of the Cuban issue as a success. The withdrawal of the newly introduced strategic weapons is to recognize the existence of Cuba as a socialist country and to give it guarantees. Cuba will also end up having enormous defensive means.

To the question of the Hungarian [ambassador, János Beck] regarding an internal confusion [within the Cuban leadership], M[ikoyan] replied that he was not surprised. The new [Cuban] party is still in the making and their cadres are still young. [He said] that in Russia the Treaty of Brest[-Litovsk] also caused a proportionally greater confusion. M[ikoyan] further gave the sense that the concept of “no war, no peace” emerged in Cuba.