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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 30, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM POLISH EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON (DROZNIAK), 30 NOVEMBER 1962

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

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    Drozniak reports on a conversation he had with Mikoyan about some diplomatic actions during the Cuban Missile Crisis between the Soviet Union, the United States and Cuba.
    "Telegram from Polish Embassy in Washington (Drozniak), 30 November 1962," November 30, 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/115790
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Ciphergram No. 17488

Dispatched from Washington, D.C., on 11.30.1962 at 10:00 and received on 11.30.1962 at 21:50

Came to the Decoding Department on 11.30.1962 at 22:00

To: [Foreign Minister Adam] RAPACKI,1 IMMEDIATELY, BUT NOT AT NIGHT

From: [Ambassador Edward] DROŻNIAK2

[This information has been compiled based on my] conversation with Comrade [Anastas] Mikoyan, [First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union]:

[Secretary of State Dean] Rusk and [Ambassador at Large Llewellyn] Thompson, who did not talk, as well as [Soviet Ambassador to the United States Anatoly] Dobrynin, participated in the conversation with President [John F. Kennedy]. The tone [of the conversation] was relaxed, but very serious. The main topic was Cuba. They briefly broached the issue of Laos. He [Mikoyan] will have meetings (unofficial ones) with [Secretary] Rusk and [US Attorney General] Robert Kennedy. The President evaded giving a formal guarantee of [US] non-aggression as far as Cuba, referring to the [Soviet] failure to keep the promise [to allow] inspections in Cuba. Mikoyan [counter-] attacked by pointing out that Khrushchev fully carried out the substantial promises [he had previously made]. [Mikoyan said that] it was Cuba’s sovereign right to consent or not to the inspections [on its territory]. [Fidel] Castro proposed that a multilateral inspection [could be carried out in Cuba and elsewhere]. [Mikoyan] outright asked whether K.[ennedy] was reneging on his promises. The President expressed his readiness to issue yet another personal declaration regarding the [US] non-aggression [towards Cuba]. [He said that such a declaration could be made], for example, at a press conference. Mikoyan insisted that [President Kennedy’s declaration] be of a formal nature and under the auspices of the United Nations. The President stated that as long as he remained the president he would keep his personal promise of non-aggression [towards Cuba]. The issue of [obtaining] the guarantees [of not invading Cuba] will be the subject of future discussions in New York.

Besides, the president called for maintaining status quo and, while joking, asked that [the Soviet Union] does not make any revolutions in other countries. Mikoyan stated that revolutions are taking place, and will continue to take place, whether with or without the [assistance of the] Soviet Union. He gave the example of Cuba. The president also stated that he was in the midst of preparations for disassembling of [US military] bases, for example, in Turkey. They talked about the [U-2 reconnaissance] flights over Cuba. The president stated that such flights were only flying at high altitudes. But M.[ikoyan] said that such flights were no less piratical [rover] than those carried out at low altitudes.

M.[ikoyan said] that he was pleased with his visit to Cuba. Initially, he was received [by the Cuban leadership] with anxiety, because the American press stated that M.[ikoyan] would be pressing for [Cuba] to agree to inspections. Mikoyan’s statements, [which were made] still prior to his departure from New York [and which concerned the Soviet support for Castro’s five points, as well as the process of the talks [he held with the Cuban leadership], fully calmed Castro down. [Mikoyan said that the talks in Havana] were very interesting and productive. [Mikoyan came to] a complete understanding with Castro and his farewell took place in a friendly manner. M.[ikoyan] assesses Cuba’s economic situation as a very difficult one.

[1] Adam Rapacki (1909 -1970), served as Poland’s foreign minister between 1956 and 1968.

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