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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 23, 1964

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN CUBA, 'REACTIONS TO CHINA'S NUCLEAR TEST AND TO KHRUSHCHEV'S REMOVAL'

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

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    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba describing positive responses of Cuban officials and foreign government officials and public in Cuba regarding China's nuclear test.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Cuba, 'Reactions to China's Nuclear Test and to Khrushchev's Removal'," October 23, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 113-00395-10, 95-97. Translated by Caixia Lu. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134752
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Cable Received by the [Chinese] Foreign Ministry

Level: Urgent

From the Cuba Desk

Foreign Ministry Incoming [64] You [11336]

Reactions to China's Nuclear Test and Khrushchev's Removal

  

To the Foreign Ministry:

1. Ao-tu-ji [sic] phoned us to convey his congratulations after the test of our atomic bomb and he wished us victory from now on. In early October, Ao-Zeng [sic] told Counselor Huang: “He personally felt the 26th party conference should not have been convened and that the Soviet Union’s way of doing things was too savage. The differences between China and the Soviet Union should first be discussed between the two parties. Some issues require many years of debate and new problems will arise even as old ones are resolved.”

2. Machado, the Minister of Health visited the embassy on the night of 22 October. He took the initiative to “agree with the Ambassador’s views that it was a good thing that Khrushchev lost power”. He then said: “The Soviet Union is heading in a good direction by changing their leadership”, “The method of removing Khrushchev was not correct even thought there were reasons why it had to be done this way”, “China’s test of the atomic bomb is a sort of need”, “I think that in future, the United States will actively lobby for China to enter the United Nations, so as to use the majority to restrict China”, “China is present regardless of whether it is within or outside the United Nations, and this is acknowledged by the whole world.

3. When Ambassador Wang was welcoming Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado at the airport, Sanchez the Minister of Labour, and Cantilo, the staff of the department of Protocol, verbally congratulated us. The latter even said: “The Cuban ambassador said that China having atomic bombs is the same as us having atomic bombs. Two security workers from the Interior Ministry congratulated me in hushed tones.

4. Apart from toasting to the “atomic bomb” and China’s great leader Chairman Mao,” Jiménez also said at a banquet hosted for our experts that: “This proves that the ‘Three Red Banners’, particularly the power of the Great Leap Forward and the path of self-reliance, are correct. This event will trigger tremendous changes in the world situation, greatly encourage the Asian, African and Latin American peoples, and have a profound impact on Cuba. With China as the example, the Cuban people will strongly believe that the path of self-reliance will lead to important achievements in scientific developments.  

5. Two section chiefs of the interior ministry came to the Office of Cultural Affairs congratulated us and also said: “Khrushchev’s revisionism has done great harm to the international communist movement. He used the Soviet Union and the prestige of Lenin’s party to deceive many people. The majority of those in the interior ministry were happy about Khrushchev’s fall from power. Some who had said that China’s point of view was wrong in the past are now admitting their mistakes. The facts prove that China is correct.” And they said: “This week is the happiest week in my entire life. These two events have greater significance than the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.”  

6. The National Front for the Liberation of Southern Vietnam representative in Cuba reflected that he spoke to Cuban students, cadres and workers on the streets and there were workers who said: “In the past, we workers had the same thinking as the Chinese comrades but we did not dare to say so openly. Now we dare to.” Others said: “The Chinese mean what they say and are as good as their word, and what they said were all correct.”

7. The embassies of [North] Korea, Algeria, and [North] Vietnam were all very happy about China’s explosion of the atomic bomb. The Vietnamese comrades were especially enthusiastic. In addition, the Indonesian ambassador and Kuwaiti charge d'affaires also expressed their congratulations. The Kuwaiti charge d'affaires said: “From now on, there is a nuclear power among the Asian and African countries. Hope China can have greater developments in this area.”

8. Three pairs of Soviets who live near the Havana oil refinery were dancing and drinking until late on the 15th of this month [Friday]. In the past, they only danced on Saturdays.

9. There were changes in attitudes toward our experts. The Soviet experts of the water resources committee opened the door for our experts when they travelled in the same car recently. Some Soviet and Bulgarian experts recently took the initiative to greet our experts. An old lady from the Soviet Union [whom we did not know in the past] said to our experts: “Good day to you.” A Czech expert greeted our experts and invited them to his place but they have yet to talk in detail. 

[Chinese] Embassy in Cuba

23 October 1964