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October 23, 1962

Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to Cuba A.I. Alekseev to USSR Foreign Ministry



Raul Castro has announced that in response to Kennedy's threat, the Cuban government would make a decision regarding the mobilization of all subdivisions of the popular militia.


All in all, 350,000 persons will be mobilized.

The full mobilization of this group will take 72 hours.

The forces of the military units in this group (105,000 persons) have been brought to military readiness, and are occupying departure positions.

The mass labor organizations are devoting all their energy to helping the army and to replacing workers in businesses.

The mobilization will prove to be a new and heavy burden for the Cuban economy, given that the maintenance of the army will cost the country up to one million pesos per day, not counting losses from reductions in production connected with the transfer of significant numbers of workers to the army.

Tomorrow at 12:00 noon, Fidel Castro will deliver a television and radio address to the Cuban people.

Commenting on Kennedy's speech, Raul Castro said that it was undoubtedly aimed at American voters and at the Latin American governments that still have diplomatic ties with Cuba.

Castro thinks that, under this pressure, a whole series of these governments, if not all of them, will break off relations with Cuba.

The Cuban government, said Castro, is firmly and resolutely behind the nation's military spirit and the unity of its people in its resistance to the aggressor.

The Cuban leaders are awaiting the Soviet government's reaction to Kennedy's announcement, and are placing their hopes on the wisdom of our decisions.

Castro said that the USSR, which is surrounded by American bases, has strong arguments to marshal in response to Kennedy, and may enter negotiations with him. With regard to the UN observers who are now being sent to Cuba by the USA, we as a sovereign nation will never admit them onto our soil.

A complete calm and certainty dominate Cuba's leading officials and army commanders, just as they do the popular masses.

To avoid provocations, the troops have been given orders to open fire on enemy airplanes and ships only in cases when the enemy has initiated attack first.

According to Castro, the Americans have denied Cuban workers access to Guantanamo base.

All American civilian planes have been prohibited from flying over Cuba and from approaching its shores.

A radio interception has also been received which prohibits American ships from conducting negotiations with the bases on open channels.

All new facts will be immediately communicated.

[Source: AVP RF; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen.]



Alekseev transmits that Cuba’s army has mobilized and the subsequent affect on Cuba’s economy because of Kennedy’s recent speech. Cuba waits for the Soviet Union’s opinion on the recent events.

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AVP RF; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; translation by John Henriksen


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