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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 24, 1964

FROM THE DIARY OF A. S. ANIKIN, RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH THE CHARGE D’AFFAIRES OF THE POLISH PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC IN CUBA, YE. SIURUS, 6 JANUARY 1964

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

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    Siurus specifies how representatives of the Chinese embassy in Havana are spreading negative propaganda and the Soviet Union in Cuba. Trade negotiations with Poland and Cuban sugar exports to Britain are also discussed.
    "From the Diary of A. S. Anikin, Record of a Conversation with the Charge d’Affaires of the Polish People’s Republic in Cuba, Ye. Siurus, 6 January 1964," January 24, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 49, d. 762, (ll. 34-36, r. 9138. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117074
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[Stamp]: Declassified

from the diary of

A. S. Anikin

Top Secret Copy No 2

24 January 1964

No 047/olas

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with the Charge d’Affaires of the Polish People’s Republic in Cuba

Ye. Siurus

6 January 1964

I paid a visit today to Siurus and had a conversation with him.

1. Siurus said that representatives of the Chinese embassy in Havana are conducting broad, very active work, chiefly among Party cadre of the middle and lower ranks. Twenty-four thousand copies of a Xinhua bulletin, for example, were published until recently and distributed even to regional committees of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution. Cuban cadres at this level do not have sufficient Marxist training and tempering and the leftist views of the Chinese impress them to a considerable degree. Chinese propaganda finds favorable ground not only among the lower and middle levels of Party workers but among part of the members of the National Leadership. In their propaganda the Chinese persistently and unceremoniously attack the CPSU and distort the policy of the USSR regarding the countries of Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Characteristic of this is the fact that in their bulletins distributed in Cuba the Chinese widely use selections from the Soviet press which contain critical comments about one or another negative events. The criticism of individual events is summarized and, drawing on them, attempts are made to impose a false impression about Soviet reality. The Chinese even widely use American information agencies in their propaganda to Latin America for such a kind of publication.

Of course, the latest measures of the Cuban government about limiting the circulation of the Xinhua bulletin and its distribution according a fixed list drawn up by the Cubans should reduce the effectiveness of the Chinese propaganda. [Translator’s note: page 2 is missing. Text resumes with page 3]

…strengthening the activity of the dissident groups in the Communist parties of Latin America and in the second place has pushed the national bourgeoisie of these countries even more to the right. At the same time it is obvious that work in the direction of uniting all the national progressive forces in this region is important.

3. Siurus talked about the building of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution. In his opinion, the creation of the Party is proceeding at a very slow pace. Up to now there is no draft Program, no draft of the Party regulations, and it is already clear now that the founding Congress of the Party, planned for July of this year, will not be held.

In the conversation with me, Siurus continued, E. Guevara contended that parties do not always “make revolutions”; sometimes “the revolution makes the party.” This statement of Guevara’s, evidently reflects a certain tendency based on the fact that the Cuban revolution was accomplished without the participation and leadership of a political party and there is no reason to speed up its creation. The Cubans are not hurrying to create a political apparatus in the army.

4. My interlocutor said that right now the Cubans are insisting on a change in the nature of the commerce with Poland and, as is evident to him, even with Czechoslovakia. They are insisting on reducing the amount of the provisional sales of sugar to these countries, having reduced [the amount] for Poland to 40,000 tons a year and for Czechoslovakia to 50,000 tons a year. They proposed to convert trade to a hard-currency payment [basis]. According to preliminary drafts, in 1964 Cuba should have a favorable balance of trade with the Poles. Up to now no trade protocol for 1964 has been signed.

At the same time, noted Siurus, the Cubans are intending to expand the provisional sale of sugar to Britain. The British consul informed me that the British government has suggested that the Cubans establish aviation links between Havana and other areas of the world via Nassau. The Cubans greeted this proposal with interest since they do not exclude [the possibility] that with the coming to power of the new Mexican president, Diaz Ordaz, the Mexican government could close down the aviation link with Havana under some pretext. The outline of the deal is this: the British help develop [end of available text]

[Handwritten note at the bottom of the first page]: “To the archive. The material is informative and was used for a dossier. Desk officer of a CC CPSU sector. A. Kalinin 23.3.64.”

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