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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 23, 1963

FROM THE JOURNAL OF A.I. ALEKSEYEV, 'RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH CARLOS RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ, MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL LEADERSHIP OF THE ORO, 22 FEBRUARY 1963'

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    Fidel Castro accepts an invitation to Moscow, and Rodriguez laments the timing of a Soviet memorandum to Castro regarding trade talks.
    "From the Journal of A.I. Alekseyev, 'Record of a Conversation with Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, Member of the National Leadership of the ORO, 22 February 1963'," March 23, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, f. 0104, op. 19, p. 124, d. 3, ll. 79-80. Obtained by James G. Hershberg and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/177836
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Top Secret Copy Nº 1

23 March 1963

Outgoing Nº 80

from the journal of

A. I. ALEKSEYEV

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with Carlos Rafael RODRIGUEZ member of the

National Leadership of the ORO

22 February 1963

I met with Rodriguez, who said that the last letter of N. S. Khrushchev of 20 February had made a strong impression. In Rodriguez’s words, Castro is accepting an invitation and will probably go to Moscow at the end of March or the beginning of April. The resolution of military questions outlined in the letter also evoked very great satisfaction from Fidel Castro. And, in general, the recent letters of N. S. Khrushchev have evoked great enthusiasm from the Cuban leadership; moreover, they returned the previous faith in the Soviet Union, which had been shaken during the Crisis, to some of them.

Then Rodriguez said that the speech of Marshal Malinovsky in the Kremlin regarding Cuba, a report about which was sent by telegraph agencies today, made an enormous impression on the Cuban leaders.

Then, touching on the memorandum of Cuban-Soviet trade talks recently sent to Fidel Castro, Rodriguez said that it seems to him that sending this memorandum at the present time is a mistake. He characterized sending the memorandum as a tactical mistake, saying at the same time that the patient position of the Soviet government with regard to Cuba after the Crisis had already done its part. It remained only to put an end to the individual recidivists who were left from the past, and inasmuch as Cde. Khrushchev’s letters had put an end to the vacillations of individual leaders with respect to the policy of the Soviet Union, this would have happened naturally through and by the will of the Cuban leadership itself.

Noting further that there is nothing tragic in what happened, Rodriguez said that in general all the leaders have correctly understood the concern of the Soviet government, but in itself the moment for sending the memorandum was chosen unfortunately, inasmuch as there was no longer a need for it. Rodriguez stressed that Fidel Castro’s trip to the USSR will be a much more successful propaganda of the strength of Soviet-Cuban relations and the unselfishness of the Soviet aid than the standard [dezhurnye] speeches of Cuban leaders, even if they were spoken by hundreds.

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA /A. ALEKSEYEV/