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November 21, 1962

Cable from Japanese Embassy in Havana to Tokyo

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Transmitting from Havana 11/21/1962 11:51

Received in Tokyo 11/22/1962 07:20


To Foreign Minister Ohira from Ambassador Yaguchi


Re: The Cuban Situation


1. The reason why the Mikoyan-Castro talks are making slow progress is possibly related to Castro’s feeling betrayed by the Soviets, which bypassed Cuba in negotiating with the US regarding the incident. (This situation can be said to be a massive debacle for Soviet diplomacy.) Mikoyan’s efforts to persuade Castro will bear fruit sooner or later because the Soviets intend to tide over this crisis by all means and they hold the oil supply route which is so vital for the Cuban economy.


2. According to other diplomatic sources, there seems to be a bitter discrepancy inside the revolutionary government. On one side are far right wing people you might call “neo-communists” who worship Stalinism and tend to have a way of thinking similar to the Chinese communists. The Castro brothers belong to this group. On the other side are people who tend to take Moscow’s leadership philosophy as a model. Secretary General of the Communist Party [Blas] Roca, Director of Agricultural Reform Bureau [Lazaro] Pena, and the Secretary General of the Central Labor Association belong to this faction. They are old-type Communists who are in an ideological confrontation with the former group. Yet there is little likelihood of the break-up of the revolutionary government or Castro turning pro-Soviet because of this in-house discord. At a dinner party on the 18th [of November] hosted by Mikoyan, the Castro brothers didn’t show up, although Foreign Minister [Raul] Roa, Industry Minister [Ernesto “Che”] Guevara, and Chief of the Militia Army [Emilio] Aragones attended. Some view this as a clear proof of ill feelings that the Castro brothers keep [toward the Soviets].        


3. The whole nation is totally exhausted after a series of tense events over the last four and a half years (the revolution, its failure, and this crisis).      


4. Castro will oppose any kind of base inspections. He may accept it on the condition of the normalization of the US-Cuban economic relations. Even in that case, the US side would not accept the demand, which means it is unlikely to realize base inspections after all.


This cable has been transferred to the [Japanese] Embassy in the US. Please pass this to the [Japanese] Embassy in the Soviet Union if necessary.

A brief, but expansive, report on the situation in Cuba. It includes: the Mikoyan-Castro talks, the various groups within the revolutionary government and Castro's opposition of any kind of base inspections.

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Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (“Cuban Domestic Policies and Situation: 1959-1975” file), Tokyo. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Masaki Hirata.


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