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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 22, 1962

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN CUBA, 'CUBAN FOREIGN MINISTER RAúL ROA GARCíA DISCUSSES THE CURRENT SITUATION'

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    The Cuban Foreign Minister addressed the following issues in a talk: Cuban-Uruguay relations, Cuban-Mexican relations, Asian-African-Western European relations, Cuban-Soviet-US negotiations in UN, anti-imperialism and anti-revisionism, and the Cuban Embassy's work in China.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'Cuban Foreign Minister Raúl Roa García Discusses the Current Situation'," December 22, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-03157-01, 39-42. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120118
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[…]

Foreign Telegram Received (62)

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

On the evening of the 21st, Foreign Minister Raúl Roa García had the following discussion with Ambassador Shen Jian:

1.  The relationship between Cuba and Uruguay. After the Cuban militia shot a refuge, the Uruguay Foreign Minister said privately that the time had come to break diplomatic relations with Cuba. Later, Foreign Minister Roa sent a note to the Uruguayan chargé d'affaires to tell him the true story. A member of the Executive Committee of the Uruguayan government said that this is a police matter and is not a reason to break diplomatic relations with Cuba. Foreign Minister Roa believes, that at least for the time being, they can't find an excuse to break diplomatic relations. The young man who was killed had sought refuge in the Uruguayan Embassy in January, ​​but often left and returned to the Uruguayan Embassy, thereby violating the law on refugees. When the Uruguayan Embassy made trouble, the charge was present when the body was taken away and was allowed to take photos. The charge asked Roa’s office to suppress the news and did not report it to the Uruguayan government, the Uruguayan government investigated, the Uruguayan charge finally made his report. Now the Uruguayan government has allowed its charge to take a vacation.

2.  Cuba’s relations with Brazil and Mexico. Brazil’s position on Cuba is the best of all the Latin American countries. The Mexican government has apparently maintained its diplomatic relations with Cuba but is in fact damaging the relationship. Mexico is not issuing visas to Cuban citizens or even to Cuban diplomats stationed in Mexico. They are preventing Latin Americans from going to Cuba via Mexico and returning home via Mexico. Although the Mexican government is surreptitiously creating problems, it will still be difficult for them to break diplomatic relations. The relationship between Bolivia and Cuba depends on the relationship that Brazil and Chile have with Cuba. In the Chilean National Assembly, the leftists speak with a loud voice and there was strong pressure from public opinion. was great. That prevented a break in diplomatic relations between Chile and Cuba. At least for the present, Cuba has managed to maintain its original position in Latin America. Cuba’s policy is to maintain the relations with the five countries. If one country breaks off diplomatic relations, a chain reaction will follow. Therefore, Cuba has put up with some difficulties so as not to give these countries a pretext to break off diplomatic relations with Cuba. If they are really determined to break with Cuba, the responsibility for that will rest entirely with them.

3.  Cuba's relations with Asian and African countries and Western European countries. Cuba has developed relations with independent Asian and African countries to enhance its international status. A series of countries in Asia and Africa support U Thant’s mediation during the Cuban crisis. Cuba uses this to carry out its work. These countries did not express their support for Cuba, but expressed their hope for peace. Because of the belligerence of the United States, these countries must be peaceful and beneficial to Cuba. Cuba also makes use of contradictions between the United States, Britain and France, so that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries do not break diplomatic relations with Cuba.

4.  On Negotiations at the United Nations involving Cuba, the Soviet Union and the United States. The United States wants to resist convening the Security Council. Cuba believes that not convening the UN Security Council will not harm Cuba. Cuba hopes to put this issue aside and not confine it to the Security Council. Cuba has made demands based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Cuba agrees with the statement by revolutionary organizations and governments. The Cuban permanent representative to the United Nations has sent a letter to the President of the UN Security Council. Cuba will use all this to again attack the United States. U Thant will present the written opinions of Cuba, the Soviet Union and the United States to the President of the UN Security Council. The United States also favors this plan. If the Security Council is not convened, it will be U Thant’s fault. Because U Thant suggested mediation by the Security Council, this phase will be finished before the 24th.

5.  On opposing imperialism and opposing revisionism. Foreign Minister Roa said: "The joint statement of the united revolutionary organizations and of the ministerial meeting, we said that we want peace, but we cannot surrender. The road to surrender is the very same road that leads to war. If it is said that a war was avoided during this crisis, it is also true that peace was not achieved." "We feel that the outstanding issues among the socialist countries should be discussed and resolved at the meetings of the various parties. In the face of our enemies the imperialists, we hope that the socialist countries will unite."

6.  The work of the Cuban Embassy in China. Foreign Minister Raúl Roa García said that it seems that our embassy in China is doing good work. They work day and night to promote our relations. You treated Ambassador Santos with great respect, and particularly Comrade Chen Yi. Comrade Chen Yi and Ambassador Santos had several interesting and important conversations. Our Chargé d’affaires wrote to me that at the entrance of the Cuban Embassy, ​​the sight of millions of Pekingers parading by was very moving. Comrade Petrossu is older and originally wanted to retire. He was mentally worn down because of his family affairs. He was asked to go to China as a counselor and was willing to go immediately. He said that this had been his dream for many years. He seems to have recovered his spirit of hard work in China. The Cuban embassy in China has very active and everyone there works together well. Cuban visitors to our Embassy have been very complimentary about it.

[Chinese] Embassy in Cuba

December 22, 1962