November 12, 1962
Telegram from Polish Embassy in Havana (Jeleń), 12 November 1962
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Of Special Significance
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Ciphergram No. 16645
Dispatched from Havana on 11.12.1962 at 24:00 and received at 11.13 at 13:45
Came to the Decoding Department at 11.12 at 16:30
Krajewski, EYES ONLY
From: Ambassador JELEN
This information is based on the conversation on with [Raul] Valdes Vivo who is the editor-in-chief of Hoy [Today] during the absence of [Blas] Roca. He is in constant contact with the party leadership, he comes from the old PSP [Popular Socialist Party] apparatus. Here’s his view on the situation:
The missiles were installed at the Soviet initiative. They were quickly transported [to Cuba]. The installation took place without the camouflage; this was not understood by those who were in the know or the witnesses. During the preceding talks, they bilaterally considered all possibilities and the most far-reaching ramifications, as well as the variant of a possible withdrawal in exchange for an analogous idea of the US with taking into consideration the Turkey option. The variant which was adopted, when it came to the withdrawal, was perhaps the only one which was not considered bilaterally; it caused a surprise and future fears.
The prolonging of negotiations facilitates increased demands on the part of the US. The [Cuban] leadership believes that the withdrawal took place too suddenly. The IL-type of airplanes was the possession of Cuba and they could not be withdrawn only with the decision made by the USSR.
The most difficult issue is not just the inspection of Cuba. The principle could be adopted but on conditions that are not humiliating for Cuba – the formula for the inspection, its extent, its duration and composition (they could possibly accept a composition of Latin countries maintaining relations with Cuba or neutral nations). The crux of the problem is [to obtain] guarantees, including the guarantee given by the USSR, the latter requires the explanations and specifying the appropriate form. They are awaiting a reply to the memo delivered to [Anastas] Mikoyan. The point is also to insure the delivery of conventional weapons and the degree of Soviet involvement in case of a possible military action carried out by the countries of Latin America, [including] a direct attack carried out by the US.
Fidel is embittered by the position of the PRC. The Warsaw Pact countries reacted immediately after 22 October while the PRC [reacted] only after 28 October when the USSR announced the disassembly [of the missiles]. After 22 October the Warsaw Pact announced the state of emergency for the armed forces; the PRC could have also shown [force] toward the offshore islands [i.e., Nationalist-controlled islands such as Matsu and Quemoy (Mazu and Jinmen)], but instead it exacerbated the situation [on the border] with India, something that does not help Cuba.
The anti-Soviet moods have both widened and deepened. Even though the old communist apparatus best understands the line of the USSR, it had to unconditionally support Fidel in order to strengthen unity and counter the anti-Soviet tendencies. Among the [Cuban party] leadership, it is Fidel who shows the biggest understanding for the Soviet position and for the school of thought of the old cadres.
Jelen reports on his conversation with Raul Valdes Vivo, who is the editor-in-chief of Hoy [Today] during the absence of Blas Roca.
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