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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • December, 1962

    Ivan Budinov, Minister of Foreign Trade, Report to Todor Zhivkov, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Report on Granting a Credit to Cuba

    In December 1962 Minister of Foreign Trade Ivan Budinov reported to Bulgarian Prime Minister Todor Zhivkov that Bulgaria's 1963 export plan will include the sale of munitions on credit to Cuba. Budinov notes that both the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia are extending similar credits to the Cuban military. Budinov's report includes the amount of expected sales, proposed credit to extended, and a list of prospective munitions for sale. Budinov asks the Council of Ministers' to approve of the proposal.

  • April 09, 1963

    Bulgarian Government Decision for a Long-Term Credit to Cuba

    The Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party confirms provision of food and credit assistance to Cuba in 1962.

  • August 13, 1963

    Central Committee Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Secret Resolution Regarding Arms Supply to Cuba

    The Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party authorizes the creation of a Bulgarian delegation to negotiate a protocol on delivering “special equipment” (military arms/weapons) to Cuba in 1964. The Central Committee’s resolution includes a suggested amount of aid.

  • August 29, 1963

    Hungarian Embassy in Sofia, Report on Bulgarian-Cuban Relations

    Hungarian Ambassador to Bulgaria Karoly Prath summarizes developments on Bulgarian-Cuban relations gathered from Hungarian-Bulgarian diplomatic contacts. Bulgarian-Cuban relations were not adversely effected by the Cuban Missile Crisis. The relationship is dominated by economic development (e.g. the expansion of trade, specialist exchanges, Bulgarian loans to Cuba, the root causes of Cuba's economic difficulties). Prath also discusses Bulgarian concerns over the influence of China on Cuba.

  • January, 1964

    Information of the Bulgarian Embassy in Havana Regarding the Situation in Cuba in 1963

    The Bulgarian Embassy in Havana reports to the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on political, economic, and cultural developments in Cuba circa 1963. Cuba is politically united, but is experiencing economic hardship after the “Caribbean Crisis” primarily because of the US embargo. In the report, embassy staff reviews developments between socialist countries and Cuba throughout 1963. Some examples include communist aid to Cuba after Hurricane Flora and Cuba’s stance on Sino-Soviet relations. Bulgaria’s show of solidarity resulted in concrete political, economic, and cultural cooperation. Embassy staff notes the drawbacks and benefits of Bulgaria’s relationship with Cuba.

  • February 16, 1964

    Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Resolution on a Visit of Cuban State Delegation to Bulgaria

    The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party resolves to expand Bulgaria's relationship with Cuba. The Politburo proposes an official visit and Bulgarian exhibition.

  • February 25, 1964

    Foreign Ministry Report on Bulgarian-Cuban Cultural Relations

    Deputy Minister Gero Grozev advises the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Committee for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries on cultural relations with Cuba. Based on the current political situation Grozev argues that Bulgaria should postpone developing a cultural center in Havana.

  • March 03, 1965

    Bulgarian Embassy, Havana (Kulbov), Information Regarding The Latin American Communist Parties’ Conference

    First Secretary of the Bulgarian Embassy to Cuba A. Hubenov describes a Latin American communist party conference held in Havana, November 1964. The parties secretly discussed their struggle against imperialism and the expansion of communist revolutions in Latin America and Cuba's assistance to that struggle. Conference deliberations included a discussion of the Sino-Soviet split and the fear of factions within the communist movement.

  • February 11, 1966

    Bulgarian Politburo Resolution on Expanding Relations between the Bulgarian and the Cuban Communist parties

    In a memo, Dimo Dichev, Head of the International Relations and Foreign Policy Department of the BCP Central Committee, reports unsatisfactory relations between Cuba and Bulgaria. Dichev suggests political, agricultural, pedagogical and journalism exchanges to show an initiative to bolster relations.

  • February 21, 1966

    Bulgarian Politburo Resolution Regarding Expanding Relations between the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Cuban Communist Party

    In a memo, Dimo Dichev, Head of the International Relations and Foreign Policy Department of the Bulgarian Communist Party Central Committee, reports unsatisfactory relations between Cuba and Bulgaria. Dichev suggests political and journalism exchanges to show an initiative to bolster relations. Dichev proposes exchanges between specific Cuban and Bulgarian newspapers and magazines.

  • March 31, 1966

    Embassy, Havana, Report on the State of the Cuban Communist Party

    In a report on the Cuban Communist Party, Bulgarian Embassy counselor S. Cohen discusses strengths and concerns with the Cuban goverment. The Cuban revolutionary movement debunked the theory of geographically determined fatalism, but also displays a strong dependence on the Latin American liberation movement (e.g. Jose Mari, Simon Bolivar) for inspiration instead of socialist principles. Cohen reports negative developments including the Cuban government’s growing ambition to rule the Third World revolutionary movement and strong belief in the Cuban armed struggle as a template for all national liberation movements. The Cuban delegation strongly endorsed armed struggle as the only means of socialist advancement at the Tricontinental Conference recently held in Havana. Bulgaria must remain close with the Cuban government to help it develop economically and mature politically.

  • January 17, 1967

    Memorandum from Bulgarian Communist Youth Union to BCP Politburo Regarding Competing Cuban and Bulgarian Candidacies to Host the IX World Youth Festival

    Georgi Atanasov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Dimitrov Communist Youth Union, reviews the selection process for the 9th World Youth Festival host location. Cuba and Bulgaria both are candidates. Atanasov explains Cuba’s campaign and Bulgaria’s concern that strong support for its candidacy will sour its relations with Cuba. Atanasov contemplates problems with Cuba’s candidacy and ways to prevent a diplomatic disagreement.

  • January 26, 1967

    Letter from Bulgarian Embassy, Havana

    Petar Marinkov, Third secretar at the Bulgarian Embassy to Cuba, informs the Bulgarian ambassador about meetings with Cuban officials on youth communist leagues. Marinkov’s reviews negotiations centered on Cuba’s non-participation in established youth leagues and festivals. Cuban youth leaders hope to host youth festivals and incorporate military training for armed liberation movements into youth festival activities.

  • October 05, 1967

    Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Meeting Regarding Bulgarian-Cuban Relations

    In a memorandum to the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo, Gero Grozev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, critiques the Cuban Communist Party and its approach to building socialism. Grozev describes Cuba’s increasingly poor relations with European communist parties, interference in Latin American affairs, and misunderstanding of Marxist-Leninist principles. Grozev continues describing Cuban leaders as committed functionaries unaware of their mistakes. To correct Cuba’s mistakes socialist countries should increase contact with the Cuban government and help it develop economically and mature politically.

  • December 07, 1967

    Report to Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo on Preparations for Todor Zhivkov’s Proposed Visit to Cuba

    Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivan Bashev proposes a list of Bulgarian government officials to visit Cuba during an official state visit in early 1968.

  • August 15, 1968

    Information from Bulgarian Ambassador in Havana Stefan Petrov to Bulgarian Leader Todor Zhivkov on the Domestic and Foreign Policy of Cuba

    Bulgarian Ambassador to Cuba Stefan Petrov analyzes Cuba’s domestic and foreign policies in an informational report to Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov. Petrov criticizes Cuban Communist Party policies and claims they are incompatible with Marxism-Leninism (e.g. Cuba’s focus on conflict between imperialism and national liberation rather than socialism and capitalism). Cuba has adopted an anti-Soviet attitude and believes Cuban leadership is the vanguard of communism. Petrov reviews Cuba’s conflicting relations with Latin American communist parties and Cuba's support to guerilla movements in the region. Petrov notes that Bulgarian-Cuban relations remain positive.

  • August 04, 1970

    Reports Regarding Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov’s visit to Cuba, July-August 1970, at Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Session (including excerpts from Zhivkov-Fidel Castro memorandum of conversation)

    The Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo report includes three main documents: a protocol and resolution with notes, a top secret information note, and a top secret protocol from 30 July 1970. The first section includes the Politburo's approval of the delegation's negotiations with Cuba, proposals to restructure economic partnership, and the Bulgarian delegation's statements on miscommunication between Cuba and Bulgaria. The second section, top secret information note, summarizes important exchanges during the Bulgarian visit to Cuba (e.g. Zhivkov's discussion on the importance of economic cooperation (COMECON) to the development of socialism). The third section, the top secret protocol, includes portions of a conversation between Bulgarian delegation and Cuban Politburo members. Castro summarizes ideas exchanged during the state visit.

  • December 15, 1970

    Memorandum Regarding Bulgarian-Cuban Relations

    In a memorandum, Konstantin Tellalov, Head of the Foreign Policy and International Relations Department of the Central Committee of BCP, and Foreign Minister Ivan Bashev evaluate Cuban-Bulgarian relations. Tellalov and Bashev contextualize Cuba's development both nationally and internationally. Cuba's primary concerns are related to its economy (re: housing, rationing, embargo). Cuba's leadership continues to display a limited understanding of Marxism-Leninism, scientific planning (central planning), and the importance of COMECON. Taking into consideration the Bulgarian delegation’s recent visit to Cuba, they stress the importance of Cuba's success and the need for a radical, all-embracing commitment to relations.

  • May, 1972

    Report on Fidel Castro’s Visit to Bulgaria and Bulgarian-Cuban relations

    The report details Bulgaria’s preparations for a Cuban delegation and the visit itself. The author offers both praise and criticism of Cuban leadership. There has been positive progress in Cuba in recent years, yet underlying problems remain (e.g. the economy lacks planning). The Bulgarian government devised the visit as an opportunity to teach the Cuban delegation about building state socialism. The report includes an overview of the Cuban delegations visit. Discussions during the visit involved Cuban economic growth and barriers, China, Romania’s non-interventionist policies, Nixon’s 1972 visit to Moscow, and economic and scientific cooperation (particularly between Bulgaria and Cuba).

  • December 31, 1975

    Todor Zhivkov, Reports to Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo on his Visit to Cuba

    Todor Zhivkov reports his impressions of his recent visit to Cuba. The report is a rough outline of topics ranging from advancements in the Cuban revolution since 1959 to prospective ways to improve Bulgarian-Cuban relations. In the report Zhivkov presents his assessment of the Cuban Communist Party congress. Party documents show a maturing understanding of Marxism-Leninism and a new clarity in the Cuban Communist Party as a whole. Zhivkov’s report includes examples of Cuba’s self-criticism and Zhivkov’s own criticism of Cuba’s leadership. Some topics of discussion include: cultural and economic specialist exchanges, the price of sugar, Cuba’s increased collaboration with Soviet Union and other socialist nations, and economic subsidies and aid.