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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 22, 1961

FROM THE JOURNAL OF S.M. KUDRYAVTSEV, 'RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA FIDEL CASTRO RUZ, 21 FEBRUARY 1961'

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

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    At a screening of the film "Two Hours in the USSR," Kudryavtsev informs Fidel Castro that after analyzing the remnants of the US rockets handed over to the Soviets by the Cubans, Soviet scientists have determined that Soviet rocket technology is superior to that of the Us.
    "From the Journal of S.M. Kudryavtsev, 'Record of a Conversation with Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba Fidel Castro Ruz, 21 February 1961'," March 22, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, F. 0104. Op. 17, P. 118, D. 3. ll. 86-87. Obtained by James G. Hershberg and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/188139
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from the journal of

S. M. KUDRYAVTSEV

Top Secret. Copy Nº 1

22 March 1961

Nº 88

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba

Fidel CASTRO RUZ

21 February 1961

Today we held a public showing of the film “Two Hours in the USSR [Dva chasa v SSSR”], which Fidel Castro, Nunez Jimenez, Havana Mayor Llanusa, many ministers of the Republic of Cuba, the diplomatic corps, and also representatives of the broad public of the capital, the press, radio, and television attended.

in a brief conversation held during a break between the two main parts of the film I informed Fidel Castro in accordance with instructions [I] had that we had received the remnants of the rockets and that they are of certain interest for Soviet scientists and demonstrate the great lag of American rocket technology behind the rocket technology of the Soviet Union.

In reply Fidel Castro said that he was genuinely glad that the Cuban government could pay the Soviet Union with something good, even to a minimal degree, for its enormous aid and support. Fidel Castro noted, I was especially glad that handing over the remnants of the rocket to Soviet scientists confirms the Soviet superiority in the field of rocket construction. This is important not only for the USSR, but also for us Cubans. We are very glad that we were able to help the Soviet Union in this question and that the remnants of the rocket are of definite interest to Soviet scientists.

In the course of further conversation Fidel Castro spoke very highly of the film “Two Hours in the USSR”, stressing that it had made a very strong impression. Fidel Castro continued, it seems to me that we ought to organize a showing of it not only in Havana, but at least in the capitals of six provinces. While he was doing this Castro immediately gave instructions to the leadership of Cuban film to decide about a request to organize a showing of this film in the capitals of six provinces.

The rest of the conversation with Fidel Castro had a general nature.

AMBASSADOR OF THE USSR IN THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA

(S. KUDRYAVTSEV)