January 28, 1963
Hungarian Embassy in Havana (Beck), Report on 'Relations Between Cuba and the Socialist Countries Since the [Cuban Missile] Crisis'
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
The Embassy of the Hungarian People’s Republic TOP SECRET!
47/ 1963/ top secret Written: in four copies
Typed by Elemérné Vajda three to Center
one to Embassy
Havana, 28 January 1963
Subject: The relations between Cuba and the socialist countries since the crisis.
Since the Caribbean crisis a by-stander has not been able to see any change in the relations between Cuba and the socialist countries. I could characterize the pre-crisis situation in the following way: The Cuban leadership /the party and government/ was on the right track to form such a relationship with the Soviet Union and the other countries as was between us and the Soviet Union for example.
The crisis and its solution, however, brought up a lot of facts from the Cuban side that make it possible to achieve this only through a longer and more crooked development, in the long run. It has turned out that within the layer of Cuban leaders the number and, most of all, the influence of those who may be really called Marxists and communists is smaller than we believed. We can feel the impact of various nationalist or petit-bourgeois opinions and of the practical standpoints and measures originating from them. I would like to mention only a few phenomena: instead of the economic building work, they still pay the most attention to “world revolution,” that is, as the Cubans put it, to the Latin American revolution; the organization of the party needs a long time undoubtedly, but its dragging-on results only from the fact that the importance and role of the party is underestimated; there has not evolved yet a form of collective leadership that can really be called collective; cooperation with the socialist countries is one-sided in the most different fields, it consists mainly of help provided to Cuba.
Before the crisis, the Cuban leaders at most different levels, beginning from the Prime Minister and the president of the republic [Fidel Castro] talked to the ambassadors of socialist countries, even if rarely, but always completely frankly and openly. It was so in the case of the delegates of different ranks visiting Cuba. These conversations did not only make the acquaintance with the Cuban situation possible, but for the Cuban leaders also the acquaintance with foreign opinions and examples, the lessons that could be learnt from them, etc.
Since the crisis Cuban leaders at all levels have avoided us and the delegations arriving from the socialist countries. If there is a conversation, it is far from being as rich in information as before, conversations are formal and empty.
But the main fact is that, without the socialist camp, mainly and first of all, the Soviet Union, revolutionary Cuba cannot go on existing even for days. The leaders are aware of this and, even if in a wavy line, they are leading the country in the direction to become a real and organic part of the socialist camp. Despite all the conflicts, individual opinions concerning the Caribbean crisis, or the divergence in various matters, they are on the side of the socialist camp and the Soviet Union. The elimination of nationalist and petit-bourgeois phenomena, however, will be achieved only by a long development.
So basically there has not been, nor can be expected, any change in the relationship of Cuba and the socialist camp.
to Comrade Foreign Minister János Péter
Hungarian Ambassador to Cuba János Beck summarizes the current relations between Cuba and other socialist nations. The Cuban Missile Crisis revealed problems in Cuba—weak communist party, a focus on world revolution rather than economic development—and stalled relations between Cuba and socialist countries.
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