April 3, 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, 6 March 1963'
This document was made possible with support from Blavatnik Family Foundation
Top Secret Copy Nº 1
3 April 1963
Outgoing Nº 98
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
6 March 1963
At the invitation of Raul Castro I spent the entire evening of 6 March at his home together with his family. The atmosphere during the meeting had an unofficial, friendly nature. The discussion touched upon the most varied subjects. Raul talked much about the beginning of his revolutionary activity, the first stage of the Cuban revolution, Fidel, and his comrades-in-arms.
Raul said in particular that Fidel himself was first to become acquainted with Marxism. He began to give him Marxist literature to read beginning about 1949. Later he closely followed his political development.
The negative statements of Raul against the Chinese in connection with their second article from the journal “Red Banner [Krasnoye Znamya]“ in reply [to] Togliatti published here in the Xinhua Agency bulletin called attention to themselves. Having familiarized himself with this article in the presentation of American agencies, Raul was struck, as he said, by the crude tone of the statements cited. The crude actions of the Chinese against the USSR, in Raul’s words, are the best propaganda in favor of the CPSU among the Cuban people. They also are exerting their influence on several leaders and only help the final determination of the position of the Cuban leadership on the question of the Soviet-Chinese differences. Raul Castro even said that, considering the sentiments of the people, he would not fear the publication of these articles in the Cuban press in order to expose the Chinese as dissenters. However, he immediately stipulated that the popular masses are not familiar with the entire history of these differences and it is hard for them to catch the falsification of events by the Chinese, and therefore it is better not to do this.
Saying further that he understands all that harm which they are bringing to the world Communist movement, at the same time Raul expressed his satisfaction concerning the Chinese tactic in Cuba, noting that it is going counter to the wishes of the Cuban leadership, helps the Cubans determine their positions, and [helps] Fidel Castro overcome his indecisiveness.
For my part I told Raul the content of the Chinese article in detail, especially noting the cases of falsification and attribution of absurd positions to us. I told Raul to not be too lazy to read this article in full in order to convince himself of the moral degradation of its authors.
USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA (A. ALEKSEYEV)
Raul Castro recounts his and Fidel's early revolutionary sentiments and bemoans provocative Chinese activity undermining the world Communist movement.
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