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December 2, 1961

Top Secret Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Resolution on Arms Delivery to Cuba

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

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of CC BCP Politburo


To: First Secretary of CC BCP

Comrade Todor Zhivkov




Minister of Foreign Trade


Re: Granting to the Republic of Cuba German model weapons and credit free of charge.




On 22 November, this year, comrade Manuel Lopez, a representative of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Republic of Cuba visited our country and made additional clarifications on the following requests, put forward to us by the Cuban party:


1. The requested 50,000 Mauser carbines––German model, 7.92 caliber are not for their needs but for the needs of the revolutionary movements in the Latin American countries. He stated that Cuba relies on our help for the execution of this undertaking and the required quantity of carbines should be granted free of charge at a Cuban port.


2. Taking into consideration the country’s enormous defense expenses and serious financial difficulties, comrade Lopes demanded that the loan be extended for a 5-year period in exchange for our purchase of special equipment.[1] He clarified that there was a mistake made in their initial request for “deferred payment until 1963.” He also informed us that the loan request does not refer to our signed contract from this September for the export of special equipment for 1962.


The Cuban request for Mauser carbines can be satisfied for up to 35,000, whose value amounts to about $400,000 USD. They can be delivered from the 50,000 Mauser carbines that have been disposed by the Ministry of National Defense and were granted to the Ministry of Foreign Commerce for export in 1962 to the underdeveloped socialist countries.


As of 1 October  of this year, a signed contract for the export of special equipment to the People’s Republic of Cuba exists amounting to $7,130,000 USD. As a result of the initial agreement with the Cubans, it is expected that an additional quantity of special equipment will be bought, valued at approximately $2,000,000 USD. The credit shall represent about $1,500,000 USD­­, from the stipulated amount ––on condition of a 2/3 credit for a 5 year term, starting from 1 January 1963.


Keeping in mind the above-mentioned,




1. 35,000 Mauser carbines free of charge from the surplus ones disposed of by the Ministry of National Defense and submitted for export to the Ministry of Foreign Commerce to be delivered to the Republic of Cuba.


2. To permit the government delegation to extend a loan amounting to $1,500,000 USD for a 5-year term, starting on 1 January 1963 during the negotiations for the signing of a protocol for the export of special equipment to the Republic of Cuba in 1962.


I ask for your instructions.


/G. Kumbiliev/





[1] ”Special equipment” was a term used in the official documentation for ”arms delivery”.




In a report to First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, Todor Zhivkov, the Minister of Foreign Trade, Georgi Kumbiliev, reviews Cuba’s need for weapons and credit. Kumbiliev relays a weapons request for Latin American revolutionary movements and an extension of financial assistance to Cuba. Kumbiliev advises Zhivkov to respond to the Cuban government’s requests and consider providing surplus Bulgarian weapons free of charge and extending a 5-year-term loan to Cuba starting 1 Jan 1963.


Document Information


Central State Archive of Bulgaria (TsDA), Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis 64, a.e. 291; translated by Vanja Petkova, edited by Dr. Rositza Ishpekova. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group.


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