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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 03, 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, 25 MARCH 1963'

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

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    Fidel Castro decides on dates for his visit to the Soviet Union, discusses publicity and a potential hunting trip with Khrushchev, and requests that the details of the trip remain secret.
    "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, 25 March 1963'," June 03, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, f. 0104, op. 19, p. 124, d. 3, ll. 113-114. Obtained by James G. Hershberg and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/177847
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Top Secret Copy Nº 1

3 June 1963

Outgoing Nº 192

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

25 March 1963

I met with Fidel Castro today and in accordance with instructions from Moscow [Tsentr] I presented him with possible alternatives of his flight to Moscow.

F. Castro agreed with the first option, noting that the report about the departure ought to be given after the aircraft is in Soviet airspace.

We selected with him the approximate date of his departure from Havana at 26 April.

Castro expressed a wish that the plane be held in Murmansk until 28 April, explaining that he would like to familiarize himself with Murmansk and visit several military units and ships of the fishing fleet.

I think that this desire of Castro’s is connected with his fear that in the short time remaining we will not be able to organize a proper welcome for him in Moscow.

Fidel said that it would be good if the information about his trip were published in Soviet newspapers before his arrival in Moscow. He added that a report about his trip to the USSR would be published in the Cuban press at the end of March [or] the beginning of April. It will be pointed out in this report that he has accepted N. S. Khrushchev’s invitation to visit the Soviet Union during 1963. In Castro’s words, such a report is necessary in order to avoid any misinterpretations or speculations of the bourgeois press afterwards about his supposedly unexpected and mysterious departure for Moscow.

Further in the course of the conversation Fidel Castro asked that a draft of his program in the USSR be drawn up in order to provide 10-15 days for work and talks and 15-20 days for treatment, vacation, hunting, and trips throughout the country.

I expressed regret to Fidel that he would not be able to vacation together with N. S. Khrushchev in Pitsunda. To this Castro replied that he was thinking about this, but all the same decided not to disrupt N. S. Khrushchev’s vacation. He also expressed the hope that he might be able to spend several days with N. S. Khrushchev at his dacha to hunt.

Replying to my question, Castro said that he would take a small group of military and economic advisers with him, and also representatives of the ORO National Leadership; however, he could not specify exactly who and in what quantity.

Fidel Castro asked me to fly with him.

In the course of the conversation Fidel Castro warned me several times that the plan and date of the trip remain strictly secret.

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