Minister of Foreign Affairs Karlo Lukanov advises the Prime Minister Anton Yugov to invite Fidel Castro to visit Bulgaria in addition to his scheduled trip to the Soviet Union, where he is schedule to receive the International Lenin award.
October 18, 1962
Resolutions by Bulgarian Communist Party Organizations in Havana
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
Today 18.10.1962 [18 October 1962] the annual survey-election meeting of the party organization at the embassy and the trade representation of P R Bulgaria in Havana was held.
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The following agenda was voted unanimously.
1. Survey report and financial account of the primary party organization.
2. Election of committees according to the resolution and the motions.
3. Election of a new bureau.
On the first item of the agenda the floor was given to the party secretary comrade [ANTON] MECHKUEV.
After the delivery of the report and the financial account by comrade Mechkuev there were the following statements:
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We all know about the activities of the organization. The report gives a lucid picture about the activities of the organization, the office and the employees. The assessment in the report that the activities are big and extensive and the role of the organization has increased is correct. The year under review was strenuous, as it was last year. Each of us was assigned a lot of tasks and responsibilities. We have been working in an atmosphere of constant threat of aggression and we fulfilled our duties for the development of our multi-faceted relations and for rendering assistance to Cuba. On the tasks of expanding our relations, we strove maximally to publicize the activities of our people, government and party, as well as the declarations of the Soviet government. If we review the way the communists and the specialists worked, we will see that the conclusion in the report is correct.
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Comrade Michev ignored the opinion of the collective body and found himself a captive of dogmatism. He substituted the specific scientific analysis of the processes and the phenomena in Cuba with ready, prepared schemes. The most eloquent example is the case with his information about the foundation of the United Revolutionary Organizations. In his information he claimed that this was the United Party of the Socialist Revolution. Comrade Nikolchev and the other comrades objected to the claim that it is a party, rather than a union of [movements and parties]: the “July 26th” movement, the People’s Socialist Party and the Revolutionary Directory “March 1.st” He did not accept this opinion, this truth. In a memorandum from 21 October 1961 he wrote: “The united revolutionary organizations, i.e. the United Party of the Socialist Revolution.”
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In this way he wanted to submit the real process to the existing dogmatic schemes. This could mislead the Party and the Government if they accepted his information as true.
Another fact about not knowing the situation, which if posed for discussion in the collective body, could have been avoided, was the invitation of comrade Fidel Castro to Bulgaria by the Prime Minister comrade Anton Yugov. How was it done so that an invitation came about for a visit, is a secret to us until this day. To me, sending such an invitation, which happened at the recommendation of the ambassador, is a proof for his not knowing the situation.
Was it possible for Fidel Castro to go to Bulgaria? Absolutely not!
Remember what was the situation after the Playa Giron [Bay of Pigs]. Constant threats of direct aggression. The countries from Latin America broke diplomatic relations with Cuba. Proclaiming of the socialist character of the revolution threw the American imperialists into panic. The envoy of Kennedy, Adlai Stevenson, went about the countries in Latin America in order to exert pressure on the ·marionette governments. He was preparing the conference of the Organization of American States (OAS) whose most important goal was the expulsion of Cuba from this organization. The counter-revolution was raging. An attempt was made for the upsetting of the campaign for liquidation of illiteracy. The teachers were intimidated with the hanging of the young [volunteer] teacher Manuel Ascunce Domenech [in November 1961]. The newspapers constantly published schematic maps of the camps abroad, where the counter-revolutionary elements were trained. The revolutionary government was taking prompt measures for rearming the army. Under the Revolutionary government there were so many problems with food supplies and provisions, a result of the big drought, and all sorts of complicated and pressing problems. In such an atmosphere could the leader of the revolution, who during those months delivered speeches incessantly at rallies in the country, mobilize the people and prepare them for a life-and-death struggle against possible direct aggression?
Long before that, Fidel Castro declared that until he consolidated the victory of the revolution, he would not go out of the boundaries of the country.
It would barely be necessary to quote other facts in order to prove the absurdity that Fidel would leave Cuba and would go on a visit, at that first to Bulgaria of all socialist countries. If Fidel goes on a visit, it will be first to the Soviet Union, a good opportunity to be decorated with the Lenin award.
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I am inclined to think that the sending of such an invitation is a question of courtesy but from the letter of the ambassador from 2 October it is obvious that it was not a question of courtesy. He concludes his letter with the following sentence: “We will advise you in due time about the date of this visit.”
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The resolution includes a summary of the annual survey and election meeting of Bulgarian Communist Party organizations in Cuba. The resolution documents the meeting agenda and statements by Bulgarian officials Michev and Hubenov.
In his comments, Michev summarizes the international climate in which Bulgarian organizations assisted Cuba. Hubenov’s comments follow. He discusses the political atmosphere in Cuba and disagrees with Michev’s comments on developments of political unity in Cuba. (Michev's comments are not included in the translation.) Hubenov also argues that the Bulgarian government is uninformed of the political situation in Cuba—its invitation for Fidel Castro to visit Bulgaria exemplifies the problem. Hubenov reviews the international impact of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the resulting isolation of Cuba in Latin America, and Castro’s inability to leave Cuba when the revolution’s success is threatened.
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