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Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • September, 1959

    Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPCz) Politburo Resolution (with enclosures) on Arms Transfers to Cuba, September 1959

    Czech government decision in late September 1959, to approve sending what was euphemistically described as “special technical supplies” or “special technology” (but in truth were weapons, specifically 50,000 submachine guns and ammunition) to Havana, using a neutral Swiss firm as a cut-out to conceal the transaction, especially from American eyes.

  • May 17, 1960

    Report of the Czechoslovak Politburo Regarding Military Assistance to the Cuban Government, 16 May 1960, and CPCz Politburo Resolution, 17 May 1960

    This includes further orders of weapons shipment to the Cuban revolutionary government under the guise of "special materials." Also included is a short profile on Raul Castro, member of the Cuban delegation, as well as the details of his stay in Czechoslovakia.

  • January, 1961

    Report to Czechoslovak Communist Party Central Committee (CPCz CC) on Consideration of Cuban Arms Requests

    The report concerns requests from Cuba for shipment of arms from Czechoslovakia, along with providing advisors to the Cuban military. Among the arms being transferred are Czechoslovak fighter planes, automatic rifles and ammunition, mobile artillery, and anti-aircraft guns. Clearly the Cuban desires for arms were fueled by fears of American attack, which would come to fruition in the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion.

  • February 15, 1961

    From the Journal of S.M. Kudryavtsev, 'Record of a Conversation with Prime Minister of Cuba Fidel Castro Ruz, 21 January 1961'

    Fidel Castro discusses the conditions of the Cuban economy and militia and expresses his belief that Cuba-United States relations are heading in a positive direction.

  • April 18, 1961

    Record of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (CPCz) Politburo regarding Cuban Requests for Arms and Ammunition, 6 April 1961, with Attached Resolution on Same Subject

    The record and attached resolution concerns the final decision by the Politburo of the Czechoslovak Communist Party to send arms and "special technology" to Cuba. Among the arms shipped are 2 mobile artillery batteries, 50 million 7.92 mm bullets, and military specialists to aid the Cuban military in the construction of anti-aircraft defenses on Cuban territory. This would prove to be fruitful for the Cubans in the coming Bay of Pigs Invasion.

  • December 02, 1961

    Top Secret Bulgarian Politburo Resolution on Arms Delivery to Cuba

    A proposal from the Minister of Foreign Trade, G. Kambuliev, for the donation to Cuba of 35,000 automatic rifles, recently decommissioned by the Bulgarian military.

  • January 11, 1962

    From the Journal of S.M. Kudryavtsev, 'Record of a Conversation with Raul Castro, Minister of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Cuba, 16 December 1961'

    Raul Castro discusses the enlargement of the Cuban army and navy and Cuba's aim to strengthen ties with Latin American countries in the wake of the upcoming OAS conference of ministers of foreign affairs.

  • October 05, 1962

    Handwritten Note for the Record by Colonel General S.P. Ivanov

    Ivanov takes notes on a conversation with Khrushchev regarding the progress of weapons en route to Cuba.

  • October 15, 1962

    Cable from USSR Ambassador to the USA A.F. Dobrynin to Soviet Foreign Ministry

    Dobrynin reports confidential intelligence of "piratic raids by the so-called 'Alpha 66' group on the Cuban coast and on several vessels near Cuba are being carried out not from a base on the American mainland, but rather directly from the sea, from American landing ships carrying the corresponding cutters."

  • October 18, 1962

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to the USA Dobrynin to the USSR MFA

    Dobrynin sends statements issued by Kennedy, Rusk, Taylor and Martin in a closed briefing for American media where they discussed the gravity of the Cuban issue.

  • October 23, 1962

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

    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.

  • October 27, 1962

    Robert F. Kennedy, Memorandum for Dean Rusk on Meeting with Anatoly F. Dobrynin

    Robert Kennedy relays the results of a meeting with Dobrynin regarding the shooting down of an American plane over Cuba and the presence of long-range missiles there.

  • October 28, 1962

    Memorandum from S. P. Ivanov and R. Malinovsky to N. S. Khrushchev

    Malinovsky and S.P. Ivanov report the shooting down of an American aircraft, which had taken surveillance pictures of the disposition of troops on Cuba.

  • October 28, 1962

    Cable from USSR Ambassador to Cuba Alekseev to Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Alekseev transmits the details of a meeting with President Dorticos, who relays the feeling of the Cuban people regarding Soviet withdrawal of missiles.

  • October 28, 1962

    Cable from USSR Ambassador to Cuba Alekseev to Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Alekseev transmits the details of a meeting with President Dorticos, who relays the feeling of the Cuban people regarding Soviet withdrawal of missiles.

  • October 29, 1962

    Record of Conversation between Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Kuznetsov and UN Secretary General U Thant

    Kuznetsov’s record of a conversation with U Thant discussing the dismantling of Russian weapons and the American quarantine.

  • October 31, 1962

    Cable from Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko to USSR Ambassador to Cuba A. I. Alekseev

    Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko cables the Soviet Embassy in Havana that the Soviet leadership had decided to allow UNSG U Thant and his representatives to visit Soviet launchers sites in Cuba and verify that the launchers are being dismantled.

  • November 03, 1962

    Notes of Conversation between A.I. Mikoyan and Fidel Castro

    Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Alexeev reports on the conversation between Mikoyan and Fidel Castro. The Cuban leader expresses his disappointment that the Cuban leadership was not consulted on the issue of withdrawing Soviet weapons from Cuba and on the Cuban Missile Crisis in general, and emphasizes the negative impact it has had and confusion it has caused on the Cuban people.

  • November 04, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation between Castro and Mikoyan

    Mikoyan discusses the Soviet decision to exclude the Cubans from negotiations with the US, regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis, with Cuban leadership.

  • November 05, 1962

    Conversation between the Cuban Leadership and Mikoyan

    During Mikoyan's visit to Cuba, the Cuban leadership explains its position following the Missile Crisis. Fidel Casto suggests that, while the Cuban leadership still believes that the Soviet Union is sincere in its desire to protect the Cuban Revolution, mistakes had been made during the crisis. The Soviet decision to withdraw the weapons should was based on the exchanges between the Soviet leadership and US President John F. Kennedy, not on the previous agreements between the USSR and Cuba. Castro suggests that the USSR could chose to go back on its security guarantees to Cuba in order to safeguard the peace, but that the Cubans will resist American agression nevertheless. The document only contains the Cuban responses to Mikoyan, without the Soviet leader's answers.