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November 16, 1962

Telegram from Polish Embassy in Havana (Jeleń), 16 November 1962

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Of Special Significance

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Ciphergram No. 16889


Dispatched from Havana on 11.16.1962 at 22:30 and received at 11.17 at 16:00

Came to the Decoding Department at 11.17 at 17:45



From: Ambassador JELEN


/-/ Michałowski









[Anastas] Mikoyan, whose arrival was expected today, was however postponed. Now they are saying that he may come either on Saturday or Sunday.


The Soviet embassy is confirming that there are serious divergences. They are not providing any specifics. The tone of their statements, however, is rather pessimistic. They are expressing fears that the announcement of shooting down American planes, an announcement that was included in the letter to U Thant from November 15, could cause grave complications if it were carried out. They are also saying that besides the reconnaissance flights there are also provocative ones which are at low altitudes.


As far as who possesses the [IL-28] bombers, there are diverging opinions.

Some Cuban interlocutors who are close to the leadership think that the divergences are much more serious than they thought, but they are not giving any specific examples.


My impressions:


The Cuban side stiffened their position, but they have not yet closed the doors for carrying out inspections (the letter to U Thant rejects “one-sided inspection” of Cuba). The example of stiffening their position is also the postulate to include Puerto Rico and the area of the Panama Canal into the area of non-nuclear sphere (Brazilian proposition [to denuclearize Latin America]).


There are two opposing views as to the prospects of Latin America that emerged in the talks with Mikoyan: the second Havana declaration – the thesis of the conference of the 81 communist parties. The differences in views as far as these matters were rather deepened.


In case Cuba continues to maintain a stiff position, then from the Cuban point of view and its interests, Cuba is threatened by losing a historic chance of merging the US and USSR guarantees.


There are divergences within the Cuban leadership regarding all issues that had been considered thus far. They are expecting an internal discussion, if conditions allow, following the conclusion of negotiations.



Jelen discusses various issues of the Cuban Missile Crisis: Mikoyan's visit; the shooting down of American planes; IL-28 bombers; etc.

Document Information


Szyfrogramy from Hawana 1962, 6/77 w-82 t-1264, Polish Foreign Ministry Archive (AMSZ), Warsaw. Obtained by James G. Hershberg (George Washington University) and translated by Margaret K. Gnoinska (Troy University).


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