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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • March 19, 1963

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 19 March 1963

    Boissevain writes of the continued presence of Russian military and economic advisors in Cuba, which are causes for concern. The ongoing question is for how long they will remain in Cuba and when do they leave. Boissevain says that last week approximately 1,000 advisors left the country, but with some note of resistance. However, the departure for them is a great relief for the average Cuban and Russian alike.

  • June 07, 1963

    Meeting Minutes, Council of Ministers of the Netherlands, 'NATO Council in Ottawa and Visit to President Kennedy'

    The Council of Ministers report on the NATO council meeting in Ottawa, which Minister of Foreign Affairs Luns and Minister of Defense Visser attended. Luns spoke privately with President Kennedy about the attitude of the French and the possibility of an independent German nuclear arsenal. Visser visited weapons centers in the United States and emphasizes the need to accept American leadership in the defense of Europe.

  • July 01, 1963

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 1 July 1963

    The cable concerns a noon meal held at the Dutch Embassy, with Fidel Castro as the guest of honor. The primary topic of discussion at the meal is the status of the Cuban economy and the industrialization process, along with trade and commercial relations with the Soviet Union.

  • July 08, 1963

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 8 July 1963

    Boissevain writes of a conversation Fidel Castro had with his wife, namely about how some ideals cannot translate into reality. Castro is interested in pursuing an agreement of some kind with the United States, and seeks to use Boissevain as the middle man. Boissevain is hesitant about any kind of deal with Castro, and asks for instructions on how to proceed.

  • July 08, 1963

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 8 July 1963

    Boissevain writes in continuation of the previous cable regarding Castro's desire for a mediator in an agreement with the United States. The Swiss or Czech ambassadors are offered as alternatives by Boissevain. Castro also notes that the Cuban debt to the Soviet Union is far to large, although he still wishes to continue revolution, creating this impasse between Cuba and the United States.

  • July 09, 1963

    Cable from Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns, The Hague, to Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 9 July 1963

    Dutch Foreign Minister Joseph Luns responds to Boissevain's two cables regarding Castro's proposal for an agreement with the United States. Luns is wary of Castro's request to use the Boissevain as the mediator, and urges caution and reserve. He asks Boissevain to keep him updated of any future developments, should Castro make a future proposal.

  • July 24, 1963

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Boissevain), 24 July 1963

    Boissevain reports on Fidel Castro. During a banquet held by the Egyptian ambassador, Castro speaks to Swiss Ambassador Masset of a decision to nationalize the former building of the U.S. embassy, currently in use by the Swiss embassy acting as U.S. representatives. Castro is noted as having "the air of one who is boasting to a trusted friend about how he has crossed an opponent." Boissevain thinks it best to keep on Castro's good side and requests an illustrated work of the Netherlands to be sent as a gesture of goodwill.

  • August 02, 1963

    Meeting Minutes, Council of Ministers of the Netherlands, 'Position Regarding NATO Multilateral Nuclear Force'

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Luns gives the new Marijnen cabinet a sketch of the multilateral NATO nuclear force situation so far. He is now of the opinion that the Netherlands should not join a multilateral NATO nuclear force. Minister of Defense De Jong says the Dutch government will need to take a position near the end of the year.

  • August 16, 1963

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Reinink), 16 August 1963

    Reinink writes to Amsterdam on the current situation in Havana. There is positive press about the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, it's more a case of lip service to the Soviet Union than genuine enthusiasm from the Cuban Socialist Party. The "new communists" especially have strong reservations about the treaty, and have cast aspersions on Nikita Khrushchev for reaching an agreement with Washington. More than half of the party leadership share this opinion, according to Reinink. Cuba's leadership is now more falling in line with China and Mao Zedong than with the Soviet Union.

  • September 19, 1963

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana, 19 September 1963

    This letter concerns Cuba's political and economic isolation. Castro has attempted to repair relations with the capitalist countries to no avail, and the author relates his/her own experiences with Castro. Che Guevara, Cuba's Minister of Industry, approached the author and staff asking for economic assistance in the form of trade. The author relates how he has submitted a request to a high standing industry in the Netherlands if supplies can be shipped to Cuba.

  • October 02, 1963

    Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Paper Regarding Dutch Participation in Talks Regarding a Multilateral Nuclear Force'

    Paper presented at 4 October 1963 meeting of the Dutch Council of Ministers. The paper lays out the reasons for declining to participate in the Multilateral Force so far, but argues that due to changes in the situation – principally a turn on the part of the British toward participation – the Netherlands now should move to participate in the talks. The paper lists the (political) advantages of such participation.

  • October 04, 1963

    Meeting Minutes, Council of Ministers of the Netherlands, 'Discussion of NATO Nuclear Force'

    State Secretary of Foreign Affairs De Block, standing in for Minister Luns, presents his ministry’s paper on Dutch participation in talks regarding the MLF. The paper lays out the reasons for declining to participate so far, but argues that due to changes in the situation the Netherlands now should move to participate in the talks. Objections from the Ministers of Defense and Finance as well as concerns over resistance in parliament lead most of the discussion to be tabled until the following meeting.

  • October 09, 1963

    Memorandum, Dutch Joint Chiefs of Staff, 'Regarding the Military Desirability of the Creation of a NATO Multilateral Nuclear Force"

    Memorandum presented at 11 October 1963 meeting of the Dutch Council of Ministers. The memorandum is highly critical of the military merits of the proposed NATO Multilateral Nuclear Force, and argues that even if the MLF is created, the Netherlands should decline to participate.

  • October 11, 1963

    Meeting Minutes, Council of Ministers of the Netherlands, 'Dutch Participation in Multilateral Nuclear Force Talks'

    Minister of Defense De Jong presents a memorandum from his joint chiefs of staff, the tenor of which he supports, which serves as the basis for an extended discussion. The memorandum is highly critical of the (military) merits of the MLF, but De Jong takes care to bracket his critique as coming strictly from the point of view of the Ministry of Defense. De Jong stresses that neither troops nor financial means can be made available for participation in the MLF. State Secretary of Foreign Affairs De Block proposes the formula: “to take part in the discussions on the clear understanding that it does not commit them [the Dutch] to participate in such a force.” Prime Minister Marijnen brings up a number of counterarguments to both military arguments against and political arguments in favor of the MLF.

  • November 01, 1963

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Washington (Van Roijen), 1 November 1963

    Van Roijen writes to Amsterdam from Washington on a meeting between him and U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk. Rusk says there are now no more Soviet military personnel stationed in Cuba, although there are still technicians and instructors remaining. The belief is those too will soon leave after training the Cuban forces has completed. Rusk notes the icy relations between Moscow and Havana now, notably regarding Castro's refusal to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

  • November 11, 1963

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Pos), 11 November 1963

    R.H. Pos, the Dutch Ambassador to Cuba, writes home to Amsterdam reporting on attempts at espionage in the Dutch Embassy. The gardener reported to the Embassy staff that he was invited to take a seat in an automobile used by the Cuban secret service. He was asked by the Cuban government to observe which Cubans and foreigners frequent the Dutch Embassy. He refused them point blank, which the Dutch Embassy thanked.

  • November 22, 1963

    Meeting Minutes, Council of Ministers of the Netherlands, 'Talks Regarding a Multilateral Nuclear Force'

    The Council accepts the proposal of Minister of Foreign Affairs Luns to inform the involved governments that the Netherlands is making preparations for participation in the Multilateral Force talks. The Ministers of Defense and Finance object that the existing defense budget and conventional forces ought not to be slighted as a result.

  • February 14, 1964

    Meeting Minutes, Council of Ministers of the Netherlands, 'Multilateral Nuclear Force'

    The Council decides to participate in the NATO Multilateral Force test ship (the Mixed-Manning Demonstration, or MMD). Among the arguments that persuade the Minister of Defense is the danger of shifting the center of gravity to the German Federal Republic and the concomitant risk of giving Russia the impression that the whole project is a guise for providing the Germans with nuclear weapons.

  • March 17, 1964

    Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Pos), 17 March 1964

    Ambassador Pos forwards a letter detailing an exchange between First Secretary of the Embassy Reinink and Fidel Castro.

  • June 15, 1964

    Cable from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Reinink), 15 June 1964

    First Secretary of the Dutch Embassy in Cuba, K.W. Reinink sends a cable to Amsterdam concerning a talk with Fidel Castro. Among the issues discussed are Dutch-Cuban relations, Cuban industrial development, the economic conditions of Cuba and the sugar trade.