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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • February 28, 1962

    Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Record of Conversation with Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires Jorge Calvimontes, Prague

    Bolivian Chargé d’Affaires Jorge Calvimontes opened a February 1962 meeting at the Foreign Ministry by asking whether or not Czechoslovakia was willing to provide assistance for “Kid’s Town,” a children’s art exhibit which was his pet project.

  • June 01, 1962

    Prague Embassy Views of Radio Free Europe

    In Dispatch No. 743, the Prague Embassy views RFE as “doing a job of good quality” but offers suggestions for improving the broadcasts

  • June 12, 1962

    Record of a Conversation about the Results of Cooperation and Further Coordination of Intelligence and Counterintelligence Activities between the MVD of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the KGB under the USSR Council of Ministers

    Discussion about potential exchange of intelligence and assistance between the two intelligence agencies.

  • June 15, 1962

    Letter to Minister of Interior Lubomír Štrouga, 'Jaroslav Mercl – Proposal to Send Him to British Guiana'

    A letter sent on behalf of the Head of 1st Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior regarding a proposal to send Jaroslav Mercl to British Guiana to make a confidential probe "of a political character, including the preparation for the opening of diplomatic relations between both countries after British Guiana gains independence."

  • July 02, 1962

    Agreement about Cooperation between the Committee for State Security under the USSR Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

    The two delegations outline ways to unite their security apparatuses in the fight against subversive activity. Bilateral measures to be taken include the implementation of material and informational exchanges on hostile individuals and the sharing of news on the form and manner of unfriendly activity.

  • July 24, 1962

    Czechoslovak Embassy in La Paz to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Economic Policy Report

    Czechoslovakia was beginning to appreciate the political impact of US aid programs under the Alliance for Progress. The 1962 Czechoslovak report goes on to explore the many conditions of US aid under Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress, which included "a complete break in commercial intercourse with Cuba and the commencement of a strong opposition strategy against the labor movement."

  • October 24, 1962

    Cable no. 319 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Vladimir Pavlíček)

    This cable sent to Prague confirms the decision by President John F. Kennedy to blockade Cuba, based on talks between Cuban Foreign Minister Raul Roa and Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Aleksandr Alekseev. Despite no orders for the American warships to stop Soviet ships, Alekseev was preparing in anticipation for "dangerous provocations." Cuba canceled all PanAm flights, while at the same time allowing Czech and Soviet flights to proceed.

  • October 25, 1962

    Cable no. 323 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Pavlíček)

    The cable states Cuba has alerted its armed forces to maximum combat readiness. Cuba's government had already taken the precautions of arresting known counterrevolutionaries in all aspects of society, with all important factors monitored. General aura of the country is one of tenseness, but the people continue about their lives as normal. There is a sense of strong revolutionary unity in the wake of this blockade, especially after a speech given by Castro. Cable concludes with a message that the first Soviet ship arrived on the basis of not carrying any military hardware.

  • October 26, 1962

    Report on “Extraordinary Measures” Regarding Czechoslovak Organizations

    This concerns the status of Czechoslovak domestic organizations at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Included in the report are the Revolutionary Trade Union Movement, Central Council of Labor Unions, Czechoslovak Union of Youth, and the National Front.

  • October 27, 1962

    Cable no. 326 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Pavlíček)

    The cable concerns a conversation between Vrana and Pinner the night before, about Castro's conviction of an impending invasion of Cuba by the United States and associated mercenaries. Prague is told if that event comes to pass, all classified documents in the embassy will be burned. Emergency measures are being prepared, and tensions are evidently high.

  • October 27, 1962

    Report to CPCz General Secretary Antonin Novotný

    The report to Novotny details the happenings of the Cuban Missile Crisis at that time. Great Britain feels out of the loop and hurt by not being consulted by the United States before it took action, while Kennedy is not backing down on the blockade until the missiles are removed. According to the message, it is unclear whether there are nuclear missiles in Cuba at all; an American army colonel admits to the UN that no traces have been found, despite hundreds of photographs taken. In Czechoslovakia, the situation is unchanged; troops are still on alert and awaiting combat orders, with morale running high. There are even some volunteers willing to go to Cuba and aid their Latin comrades.

  • October 28, 1962

    Cable no. 328 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Pavlíček)

    Pavlicek informs Prague that Cuban anti-aircraft forces fended off and shot down a group of U.S. jet bombers, which were assumed to be on a mission to examine the missile bases in Cuba. He also intercepted a message from Washington that if Cuba does not leave a free zone for American personnel to land and inspect the bases, there will be "further action." The bases are not to be dismantled, and an invasion by the United States is to be anticipated.

  • October 28, 1962

    Cable no. 330 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Pavlíček)

    Pavlicek writes of the negotiations between Khrushchev and Kennedy and of the Cuban people's reaction to them, which is mixed. Among the higher ranking intelligentsia, there is a suspicion that Cuba's defenses will be weakened. Among the lower-level staff, Khrushchev is met with trust and understanding. The Czechoslovak Press Agency is to publish the events in favor of the Soviet Union, portraying it as forcing the United States to negotiate.

  • October 28, 1962

    Cable no. 332 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Pavlíček)

    Pavlicek writes of a breakthrough with the UN Secretary General and Cuba with regards to ending the crisis; Castro is willing to enter into settlements to resolve the crisis peacefully, on the condition that Cuba's sovereignty and security not be infringed by the United States. Preparations are being made for Cuban foreign minister Raul Roa to fly to the UN Security Council meeting.

  • October 28, 1962

    Report to Czechoslovak Communist Party (CPCz) General Secretary Antonin Novotný on European Military Situation

    This report to Antonin Novotny details the European military situation at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Most NATO troops were on combat alert, but no increased activity or suspicious movements were reported. The Czechoslovak Armed Forces were at combat ready status to repel any attack by NATO.

  • October 28, 1962

    Report to CPCz General Secretary Antonin Novotný

    Further reports from Pavlicek indicate despite soft rhetoric from the United States indicating a willing to negotiate, aggressive preparations against Cuba continued. In particular, there was a large reinforcement of air force bases in Florida and Key West, as well as an announcement of increased intensity of air reconnaissance over Cuba. By the time of this message, there already have been exchanges between Cuban anti-aircraft guns and U-2 recon planes. However, there are no significant measures observed among military installations in Europe, with Czechoslovak troops maintaining maximum combat readiness. Very few instances of insubordination and dissent are found.

  • October 29, 1962

    Telegram from Mexican Embassy, Prague

    The Mexican ambassador to Czechoslovakia says in this telegram that Czechoslovakia repudiates the United States' blockade of Cuba, declares its support for Cuba, and supports the declaration by the Soviet delegate at the Security Council.

  • October 30, 1962

    Cable no. 335 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Pavlíček)

    Pavlicek reports there is an apparent rift between Cuban Foreign Ambassador Roa and Soviet Premier Khrushchev on the orders to dismantle the missile sites. Roa believes the people will not understand and misinterpret this step by the Soviets, as well as the Soviet Union losing international prestige. Fidel Castro plans to make a speech on public television to clarify the whole situation. Castro also made clear his paranoia about the United States not holding up to their promises and was convinced an invasion was still imminent.

  • October 30, 1962

    Cable no. 336 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Pavlíček)

    Cable 336 reinforces the notion by Pavlicek that the press is inadequately reporting on the Soviet Union's side of the crisis. The newspaper Revolucion in particular has poor coverage, which has sparked outrage among the Cuban population. The purported reason is preoccupation with other stories and a lack of adequate understanding of the entire crisis.

  • October 30, 1962

    Cable no. 337 from the Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana (Pavlíček)

    In Cuba, Castro's 5 Points speech has caused discontent among the populace. According to Pavlicek, this is because the Cuban people and leadership do not understand the steps taken by the Soviet Union and instead believe the Soviets have "backed away" from the USA, resulting in the weakening of Cuban defenses. The perspective the Cuban people are taking is not a global one but a nationalistic one. There is a great sense in unease at the Czechoslovak Embassy as a result of this discontent.