Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 13, 1962

FROM THE JOURNAL OF S.M. KUDRYAVTSEV, 'RECORD OF CONVERSATION WITH FIDEL CASTRO RUZ, PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, 16 MARCH 1962'

This document was made possible with support from the Blavatnik Family Foundation

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    Kudryavtsev and Castro discuss diplomatic normalization between the USSR and Ecuador and a CPSU CC letter directed at restoring global unity of the Communist movement, and a report from Inchaustegui suggests renewed US attacks against Cuba.
    "From the Journal of S.M. Kudryavtsev, 'Record of Conversation with Fidel Castro Ruz, Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba, 16 March 1962'," April 13, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, f. 0104, op. 18, p. 121, d. 3, ll. 196-202. Obtained by James G. Hershberg and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/177823
  • share document

    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/177823

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

English HTML

SECRET. Copy Nº 1

13 April 1962

Outgoing Nº 133

FROM THE JOURNAL OF

S. M. KUDRYAVTSEV

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with Fidel CASTRO RUZ, Prime Minister

of the Republic of Cuba

16 March 1962

I met with Fidel Castro at my apartment.

  1. In accordance with instructions [I] had I familiarized Fidel Castro with the CPSU CC letter of reply to the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Workers Party.

Having read this document carefully, Fidel Castro said that he completely agreed with the important theoretical positions and arguments advanced in it. He is especially pleased that in this document the CPSU CC again stresses the need to rally together the socialist camp and strengthen the unity of the world Communist movement. Fidel Castro stressed, it seems to me that the way which was proposed by the CPSU CC to settle the differences which have arisen is absolutely correct. We also think that a settlement of the differences with the Albanian Party of Labor [APT] can be sought only on the basis of an unconditional recognition by the Albanian leadership of the political platform of the 81 Communist Parties in 1960. I completely agree, Fidel Castro noted further, with the point of view of the CPSU CC expressed in this document that it is necessary to rise above the existing differences and halt any actions which would harm the unity of the Communist movement. Fidel Castro continued, the question is correctly raised of the leaders of the Communist Parties having their own special views, not making open statements to the detriment of our unity, and displaying great tact. Fidel Castro stressed, I personally have always held to this point of view and today I am convinced that time needs to be given to be judges of who is mistaken.

Then Fidel Castro said that he very highly appreciates the unusually patient and tactical position which the CPSU CC has taken and continues to take to this day during all the time since the moment differences arose with the Albanians.

Fidel Castro continued, this document gives an excellent and unusually accurate orientation in such important questions as the question of peaceful coexistence, disarmament, the problem of a peace treaty with Germany, etc. This is very important not only for me but for the entire leadership of the United Revolutionary Organizations of Cuba to know. Fidel Castro stressed, these questions were always clear for me personally, and I have no doubt in the correct policy and general line of the CPSU, which has enormous theoretical and practical experience behind it of building socialism, and now communism.

Fidel Castro continued, in our young party, which in the process of creating a Marxist-Leninist party, there are of course still people who sometimes do not correctly understand these questions at all. This occurs not by virtue of their conviction, but as a consequence of the fact that they do not have sufficient experience and theoretical training, do not have sufficient orientation, particularly on questions of our differences with the APT. It is true that a number of documents on these questions sent [by] the CPSU CC and the conversations [with] Cdes. Matyukov and Adzhubey have given us much help. However, all the same persistent and laborious work is required to explain the actual state of affairs.

Fidel Castro stressed, I should say that I am very pleased with the desire of the CPSU CC to settle the differences which have arisen. Cuba, possibly more than any other country, is interested in the elimination of these differences and the restoration of unity. Fidel Castro continued, if this were a matter of just the incorrect position of the APT, then this would be part of the trouble and not worry us so much. But we well understand that China has Albania’s back and more serious and dangerous differences inside the socialist camp are coming for the cause of the Communist movement. Therefore, said Fidel Castro, I especially welcome the position of the CPSU CC directed at restoring the unity and cohesion of all the Communist and worker’s Parties and the socialist camp as a whole.

At the end of the conversation on this question Fidel Castro again stressing the importance of the letter of reply of the CPSU CC, addressed a request for him to be permitted to acquaint the entire National Leadership of the ORO [United Revolutionary Organizations] with is, after which he would immediately return it to us. Fidel Castro stressed, it seems to me that the familiarization of the National Leadership with the CPSU CC letter would substantially help the senior comrades correctly understand the most important theoretical and practical questions of the world Communist movement.

For my part, I promised Fidel Castro to report to the CPSU CC about his request and inform [him] of the results.

  1. In the course of further conversation I told Fidel Castro that the Soviet government would like to confidentially consult with him about the following question.

Arosemena, the President of Ecuador, through Go[n]zalo Almeida Urrutia, a member of the government, has proposed beginning confidential discussions on economic questions in Mexico between the USSR and Ecuador during which the question of the normalization of diplomatic relations might be touched upon. Almeida Urrutia, a confidant of President Arosemena, has been authorized for such discussions from the Ecuadorean side. The Ecuadoreans are expressing a desire for the Soviet ambassador in Mexico or another person be authorized from the Soviet side.

I continued, the Soviet government prefers to give a favorable response to this overture and would like to know your opinion on this question in advance.

Fidel Castro said in reply that, in his opinion, it is advisable to give a favorable response to Arosemena’s overture and to hold discussions with his representatives on both economic questions as well as on questions of the normalization of diplomatic relations with Ecuador. Fidel Castro noted, it seems to me that it wouldn’t be a bad thing in the course of these discussions to offer Ecuador impressive economic aid for the size of this country, which in reality wouldn’t be so burdensome for the Soviet Union, considering that Ecuador is a small country and its needs in aid are insignificant compared to, for example, Brazil. Such an offer by the Soviet Union, stressed Fidel Castro, would strengthen not only the positions of Arosemena himself, but most of all the progressive forces of the country. On the whole this would assist the fight against internal reaction.

Fidel Castro continued, the positions of Arosemena have considerably weakened recently, and it is becoming harder for him to resist his extremely reactionary associates. Judging from available information, at the present time matters are leading to a coup d’état in Ecuador which the reactionary hierarchy is preparing against Arosemena and his to some degree benevolent policy toward revolutionary Cuba.

Fidel Castro noted, we know that the progressive forces of Ecuador are actively preparing to repel a possible attack by the reactionaries. Underground partisan detachments are being created in the country right now which are well trained and armed.

Returning to the question of possible discussions between the Ecuadorean and Soviet sides Fidel Castro said that, of course, these discussions could have a twofold reaction. However, both the first as well as the second will meet the interests of Cuba. Fidel Castro noted, the discussions with the Soviet Union might, on the one hand, lead to the strengthening of the position of the progressive forces in Ecuador and meet the interests of Cuba as the whole. Fidel Castro noted, the discussions with the Soviet Union might, on the one hand, lead to the strengthening of the position of Arosemena. This would meet both the interests of the progressive forces of Ecuador as well as the interests of Cuba, inasmuch as Arosemena, in spite of enormous pressure from the Americans and reactionary associates inside the country, has pursued and is pursuing a benevolent policy with respect to Cuba and is resisting the supporters of a break of relations with the Cuban government.

At the same time, continued Fidel Castro, the discussions between Arosemena and the Soviet Union might hasten a coup d’état in Ecuador inasmuch as domestic reaction is aware that Arosemena’s receipt of aid from the Soviet Union will strengthen not only his personal positions, but most of all the positions of the progressive leftist forces of the country. However, noted Fidel Castro, such an outcome ought not to be feared inasmuch as the interests of the Soviet Union will not suffer. A revolutionary struggle will more rapidly begin in Ecuador in which the progressive forces are well-prepared. The spread of the revolutionary struggle will create an even more difficult situation for American imperialism and impede their aggressive designs with regard to Cuba.

Thus, stressed Fidel Castro, any act of the Soviet government directed at the development and strengthening of its relations with the countries of Latin America will be useful and meet the interests of Cuba.

  1. Then the discussion turned on the report of Inchaustegui, the Cuban Representative to the UN, which he sent to Minister of Foreign Affairs Raul Roa from New York by telephone. Fidel Castro expressed great concern about this report, noting that the discussion between Inchaustegui and Raul Roa was conducted in a uniquely enciphered form, and represented the transmission of information which, as far as Raul Roa could understand, was received by Inchaustegui from the Soviet friends.

The sense of the report sent by Inchaustegui, continued Fidel Castro, comes down to the US allegedly preparing to organize a new armed attack against Cuba in the very near future with the aid of one of the Central American countries and the forces of the external counterrevolution. Stevenson’s refusal to give any assurances regarding whether the US plans to attack Cuba in the course of the Security Council discussion of the Cuban question allegedly further increases the worry of the Soviet friends about whether the Kennedy government is preparing some new dangerous provocation against Cuba.

Considering that it was impossible in the telephone conversation to precisely determine the original nature of this report and the individual details, Fidel Castro asked me to inform him and President Dorticos about the question of whether the Soviet government has any information deserving of confidence about the intentions of the ruling circles of the US to make a new attack in Cuba, and also to clarify what the Soviet friends said to Inchaustegui in New York.

I told Fidel Castro in reply that we here in Havana do not yet have any information which would give reason to exhibit concern. I continued, various information is made available to us about the training of the external counterrevolution at bases in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and in the US. However, this is ordinary information which is also known to the Cuban government.

I promised Fidel Castro to pass his request to the Soviet government and immediately inform him on receipt of a reply.

  1. At the end of the conversation in accordance with instructions [I] had I informed Fidel Castro about the invitation to representatives of the ORO to the Soviet Union for familiarization with the experience of agricultural, political, and Party work, and also to rest and to send Cuban comrades to the USSR for study in Party schools and in courses. I said, considering the requests of a number of fraternal Parties of the capitalist countries and guided by the principle of proletarian internationalism, the CPSU CC has decided to organize in Moscow:
  1. a school to train and retrain the highest level of the senior officials of Communist Parties of the capitalist countries for a period of two years;
  2. courses to train and retrain the middle level of the senior officials of Communist Parties with one-year and six-month courses.

Both in the school and in the courses it is proposed to organize lessons on the main questions of the Communist, worker’s, and national liberation movements, party-building, philosophy, political economics, the problems of building socialism, and Communism. The school and the course begin their work on 1 September of this year.

I continued, the CPSU CC would like to find out your opinion about where the ORO leadership prefers to send their comrades: the CPSU CC VPSh [Higher Party School], where the comrades from the Communist and worker’s Parties of the socialist countries will study, or in a newly-created school. I said further that in 1962 two, six, and four places could be respectively presented in the newly-created school for the one-year and six-month courses.

Fidel Castro asked that the CPSU CC be passed his gratitude for the invitation and the help in training Cuban Party cadre. He said that they would consider the question of the selection of candidates at the next meeting of the ORO leadership, after which they would report their final decision. When he did this Fidel Castro, stressing that he was expressing his own personal point of view, declared that for Cuba it was obviously more useful for the Cuban students to study in a school and in courses designed to train the cadre of the fraternal Parties of capitalist countries. Fidel Castro promised to report his final decision concerning this question after considering it at the meeting of the ORO leadership.

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA (S. KUDRYAVTSEV)

RUSSIAN (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

222

СЕКРЕТНО. Экз. №1

13 апреля 1962 года

Исх. № 130

ИЗ ДНЕВНИКА

С.М. КУДРЯВЦЕВА

ЗАПИСЬ БЕСЕДЫ

с премьер-министром Республики Куба

Фиделем Кастро РУС

22 марта 1962 года

            Сегодня вечером в посольстве нами был устроен прием по случаю вручения Фиделю Кастро Ленинской премии мира. На приеме присутствовали: Фидель Кастро, Дортикос, Рауль Кастро, Эрнетсо Гевара, Блас Рока, Рауль Роа и все другие члены правительства и Национального руководства Объединенных революционных организаций, а также видные представители кубинских общественных организаций, послы социалистических, латиноамериканских и ряда западных стран. 

            Фидель Кастро просил меня проинформировать Москву о том, что кубинское правительство решило назначать посла Кубы в СССР Чомона на пост министра связи. После введения Чомона в состав Национального руководства ОРО, заметил Фидель Кастро, он останется на Кубе и примет практическое участие как в деятельности партии, так и в управлении государством. 24 марта мы, продолжал Фидель Кастро, намерены объявить в печати о назначении Чомона министром связи. В ближайшее время он возвратится в Москву для нанесения прощальных визитов.   

            Со своей стороны обещал передать это сообщение в Москву. 

            Сославшись на нашу прошлую беседу, в ходе которой он, Фидель Кастро, выражал беспокойство по поводу телефонного сообщения из Нью-Йорка Инчаустеги о готовящейся против Кубы агрессии, сказал, что, видимо, кубинский представитель при ООН передал по существу выступление советского представителя в Совете безопасности 15 марта. Советский представитель, ссылаясь на американскую прессу, привел факты подготовки Соединенными Штатами вооруженного вторжения на Кубу. В этом выступлении, в частности, советским представителем

223

была приведена выдержка из журнала «Тайм» от 16 марта, в которой сообщалось, что за последнее время в Гуантанамо высадилось 800 солдат морской пехоты и что численность морской пехоты достигает по меньшей мере 1100 человек. Кроме того, численность военных моряков доведена до 2 тысяч человек. В Пуэрто-Рико дислоцирован батальон морской пехоты, готовый, как указывается в журнале, «двинуться по первому зову». Флот США, тепер легально располагающийся вблизи Гуантанамо, снабжен реактивными истребителями типа F-4H, который базируется на авианосцах .

            Фидель Кастро поблагодарил за информацию, заметив, что в последнее время действительно отмечается некоторое увеличение военных контингентов на американской базе в Гуантанамо. Однако каких-либо крупных и серьезных передвижений, которые говорили бы о неминуемой близости военного вторжения, пока не наблюдается.

            Необходимо отметить, что прием проходил в необычайно теплой и сердечной атмосфере. Фидель Кастро оставался на приеме в течение четырех часов. Прощаясь с нами, он взволнованно просил заверить ЦК КПСС и Советское правительство в том, что он оправдает своей деятельностью оказанное ему доверие вречеием премии Великого Ленина, идеи которого он будет достойно проводить в жизнь. 

            ПОСОЛ СССР В РЕСПУБЛИКЕ КУБА                          (С.КУДРЯВЦЕВ)