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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 05, 1963

FROM THE JOURNAL OF A.I. ALEKSEYEV, 'RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH RAUL CASTRO RUZ, MINISTER OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, 22 AND 23 FEBRUARY 1963'

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

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    After delivering a speech at the Soviet embassy, Raul Castro critiques the Chinese diplomats who remained seated during a toast to Khrushchev, and Alekseyev informs him of the publication of divisive Chinese news articles.
    "From the Journal of A.I. Alekseyev, 'Record of a Conversation with Raul Castro Ruz, Minister of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Cuba, 22 and 23 February 1963'," April 05, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, f. 0104, op. 19, p. 124, d. 3, ll. 83-84. Obtained by James G. Hershberg and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/177838
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Top Secret Copy Nº 1

5 April 1963

Outgoing Nº 121

from the journal of

A. I. ALEKSEYEV

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with Raul CASTRO RUZ, Minister of the

Armed Forces of the Republic of Cuba

22 and 23 February 1963

Meetings and conversations with Raul Castro took place  in connection with the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the Soviet Army and Navy in Cuba.

On 22 Castro was present at a rally in Cde. Pavlov’s group where he made a welcoming speech. After the rally a banquet was held during which Raul proposed toasts to Cuban-Soviet friendship, to the CPSU, to the Soviet government, to the armed forces, and to N. S. Khrushchev personally.

On 23 February Raul Castro made a speech at a ceremonial meeting held by the Ministry of the Armed Forces of Cuba and the Soviet Embassy. He spoke much about the unselfish aid to Cuba from the Soviet Union and declared for the first time that as a result of the resolution of the Caribbean Crisis Cuba had received a breather and a period of the relatively peaceful development of socialism, which actually has something in common with our assessment of the October events in Cuba. Raul also read excerpts of Marshal R. Ya. Malinovsky’s speech at the 22 February ceremonial meeting in the Kremlin, which was met with the thunderous applause of all present. In conclusion he proposed a toast in honor of N. S. Khrushchev. All the participants of the meeting stood at this point and greeted N. S. Khrushchev with thunderous applause which lasted a long time. The Ambassadors of the PRC and DPRK on the presidium sat and did not applaud, which evoked the sharp displeasure of all present, and of Raul Castro personally.

In a conversation with me Raul Castro said that the behavior of the Chinese made a depressing impression on Fidel and the other Cuban leaders.

Then I told Raul about the divisive articles which were recently printed in the Xinhua bulletin directed at driving a wedge into the Chinese-Soviet [SIC] friendship. In particular, I informed him that, in spite of our agreement with Fidel not to place reports in the Cuban press about the withdrawal from Cuba of a unit of the Soviet specialists, the Chinese have printed a report of the American agencies about this question in their 22 February bulletin. I also said that a provocative report was printed in the bulletin about our deliveries of MIG aircraft to India.

Raul made several sharp remarks against the Chinese and declared that these actions harm the Chinese themselves and only increase the position of the CPSU in the eyes of the Cuban leadership.

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA (A. ALEKSEYEV)