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April 3, 1963

From the Diary of N. A. Belous, Record of a Conversation with the Hungarian Ambassador to Cuba Janos Bek, 26 March 1963

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

from the diary of

N. A. Belous


Secret Copy No ?2?

3 April 1963

No 105




with the Ambassador of Hungary to Cuba

Janos Bek


26 March 1963


I met with Janos Bek at his request.


A Cuban trade delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Lompart has been in Budapest for two months, said Bek. He is holding talks to conclude a protocol about trade between the two countries for 1963. In the course of these talks, noted Bek, a number of difficulties were encountered, as the Cubans actually requested that large trade credits be granted them which Hungary in reality is capable of doing. In particular, the Cubans requested a credit of about $8,000,000 which would actually cover all the Hungarian exports to Cuba for the current year. After detailed study of this question the Hungarian government found it possible to grant a credit of no more than $5,000,000.


As a result of a discussion of this question with the Cubans it was agreed that the Hungarian government would grant a credit of $4.5-5 million, but the Cuban side would have to deliver sugar for the amount which exceeded the Hungarian exports to Cuba.


The final coordination of trade notes for mutual delivery and signing of the protocol itself was set for 23 March. On 25 March, in Bek’s words, he received a telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary in which it reported that on 23 March, when the Hungarian side requested that the Cubans specifically indicate when they could deliver sugar to Cuba [SIC] in order that they then sign the protocol, Lompart said that he could not do this and, evidently, Cuba would not be able to deliver sugar to Hungary this year at all. The head of the Hungarian delegation declared in reply to Lompart that Hungary…[Translator’s note: page 2 is missing; text resumes and concludes with page 3]...


In the course of the following conversation Bek directed his attention to the speech of Ministry of Industry Guevara on 24 March at one of the textile mills on the occasion of the delivery of Party cards. In this [speech Guevara] underestimated the factor of material interest in building socialism, asserting that material incentive is a vestige of the past which has to be considered for now, but which will have no place in the new society being created and which ought to be oriented therefore at the consciousness of people, motivating them morally. Bek noted in this that, judging from this statement, Guevara still has a number of misunderstandings in these questions.


Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the USSR in Cuba


N. Belous




1-OLAS [Department of Latin American Countries of the Foreign Ministry]

2-CC CPSU (to Cde. Andropov)


4-to file




[Handwritten note at the bottom of page 1]: "To the archive [1 word/signature illegible] 1963. The material is informative. Chief of a Sector S. Zavo__" [remainder of signature illegible as is the signature to the left dated 9 May 1963]

Janos Bek presentsthe results of a meeting with a Cuban trade delegation in Budapest, in which trade conditions between Hungary and Cuba are discussed.


Document Information


TsKhSD, f. 5, op. 49, d. 655, ll. 31, 33, r. 9085. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg.


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Leon Levy Foundation