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Digital Archive International History Declassified


  • April 25, 1961

    Conversation between Prince Souphanouvong and Vice Premier Chen Yi while in Hangzhou

  • April 26, 1961

    From the Journal of S.M. Kudryavtsev, 'Record of a Conversation with Prime Minister Fidel Castro Ruz and President Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado, 22 April 1961'

    Kudryavtsev delivers the text of Khrushchev's reply to Kennedy's April 18 message, and Dorticos and Fidel Castro praise the text of the message and Soviet support for Cuba. Kudryavstev infroms Castro of the granting of the Cuban governments request for various military equipment, including aircraft and specialists, from the Soviet Union.

  • April 26, 1961

    Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Sergey Kudryavtsev and Che Guevara

    A record of a conversation between Soviet Ambassador to Cuba Sergey Kudryavtsev and Che Guevara, recorded in Kudryavtsev's diary. They discuss the U.S. policy toward the revolutionary government of Cuba. Guevara says that U.S. President Kennedy's recent speech, in which he said the U.S. would not take direct military action in Cuba, was an effort to portray the U.S. in a positive light on the eve of Cuban discussions in the UN, and to ameliorate opinions of the U.S. in other Latin American countries.

  • April 27, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'NATO strategy. Conversation between our Ambassador in London and Lord Home'

    Letter recounting a meeting between the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the British Foreign Secretary regarding NATO’s weapons development. Nuclear weapons should never be employed unless absolutely necessary and instead serve as an intimidation tactic to deter Soviet aggression. The necessity of increasing NATO’s arsenal of conventional weapons to match that of the Soviets was also stressed.

  • April 28, 1961

    State Department Telegram 798 to US Embassy Tel Aviv

    Israelis have been informed of the details of US visit to Dimona.

  • April 28, 1961

    Memorandum by General Staff of Defense (SMD) for Minister of Defense Andreotti, 'Chief of staff's visit to the US'

    Report of the head of the Italian defense department’s recent trip to the United States. Of importance was the discussion of NATO’s long-term plan (ten to fifteen years), the strategic defense of the Balkans, the maintenance of the United States’ NATO forces in Europe, and the need to push development of conventional weapons to avoid having to employ nuclear weapons.

  • April 28, 1961

    From the Journal of S.M. Kudryavtsev, 'Record of a Conversation with Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba Fidel Castro Ruz, 13 April 1961'

    Kudryavtsev and Fidel Castro discuss several points of business, including Soviet support Cuba against American aggression, an upcoming agricultural exchange between Cuban students and Soviet specialists, the establishment of a communications network that bypasses New York, and plans for the Cuban Minister of Public Works to visit the Soviet Union. Castro expresses optimism that the US will not launch a direct miliary invasion of Cuba, but is wary over smaller acts of terrorism and sabotage by the US and counterrevolutionaries.

  • April 29, 1961

    4th Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security to the People’s Armed Police Divisions of the Public Security Department, 'Investigative Report by the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture on the Outflow of Border Residents'

    The 4th Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security distributes an investigative report, conducted by the Public Security Office in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, which cites reasons and proposes solutions for the outflow of border residents into North Korea.

  • April 30, 1961

    Czechoslovak Intelligence Reports Correspondence with Czechoslovak Embassy, Havana, Regarding Purported Assassination Plot against Fidel Castro and Coup Plot against Cuban Government

    Czechoslovak Intelligence reports on a possible assassination plot against Castro and a possible coup against the Revolutionary Government in Havana. The document details the plot being planned by individuals in Havana including smuggling explosives into a public celebration for 1 May. Microfilms containing information on the plot including the organizers and place of action. It is obvious from this correspondence that the planned assassination and coup against Castro are part of the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

  • May 01, 1961

    Deputy Assistant Secretary Meyer Memorandum of Conversation, 'Visit to Israeli Reactor'

    Armin H. Meyer discusses the US visit to Dimona with Mordechai Gazit.

  • May 01, 1961

    Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Philips Talbot to Secretary of State, 'Ben--Gurion Visit and Israel’s Reactor'

    Ambassador Harman requests that the US visit to Dimona be delayed until after Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and President Kennedy meet in New York on May 30th.

  • May 01, 1961

    Memorandum by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Procedure for the decision to use nuclear weapons'

    In the use of nuclear weapons for a purpose other than response to an attack, NATO members must reach a majority agreement rather than a unanimous vote. Furthermore, this majority vote must include the United States.

  • May, 1961

    Cable, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry Public Security to the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'On the Negotiations with Korea concerning Illegal Border Crossings into Korea by Ethnic Korean Peoples'

    The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Security expresses concern at the growing number of illegal border crossing among ethnic Koreans of Chinese nationality into North Korea.

  • May 01, 1961

    Memorandum by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Political consultation'

    This letter outlines the problems NATO faces as relations between member and non-member countries are complicated by conflicting interests. Not only is NATO struggling externally to play the field between free and communist countries in forming its alliances, but also internally to reconcile the different objectives of imperialist and non-imperialist countries and form a cohesive defense strategy.

  • May 01, 1961

    Note, 'US strategic orientations; consequences on NATO strategy'

    The document presents the argument that nuclear weapons can and should be employed even in cases where they are not absolutely necessary because the cost of developing and maintaining conventional weapons is too high. Therefore, NATO should consider raising its ‘nuclear threshold’ to allow more atomic weapons to be developed in Europe and in the United States.

  • May 02, 1961

    Memorandum by General Staff of Defense (SMD) for Minister of Defense Andreotti

    Document announcing the official abandonment of the policy of massive retaliation as a "deterrence" strategy. Opinion of the Italian senior minister of defense regarding the need for a more flexible NATO defense strategy in order to respond to any type of act of aggression is also presented.

  • May 05, 1961

    Memorandum by Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy, 'Visit to Israeli Reactor'

    The Israeli Embassy has confirmed the visit by two American observers to the Dimona nuclear facility for May 18.

  • May 05, 1961

    Cuban Intelligence, 'Report on subversive groups that the CIA sent to Cuba clandestinely in order to prepare conditions that would allow for a mercenary invasion'

    A military intelligence report on the operations of the CIA in Cuba and other Latin American countries. It is also a report on subversive groups that the CIA sent to Cuba clandestinely in order to prepare conditions that would allow for a mercenary invasion.

  • May 05, 1961

    Record of Conversation between Soviet Union Deputy of Foreign Affairs Pushkin and Ambassador Liu Xiao

  • May 06, 1961

    State Department Telegram 5245 to US Embassy United Kingdom, forwarding message from President Kennedy to Prime Minister Macmillan

    In this telegram, President Kennedy expresses doubts about aiding the French nuclear program to British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. He maintained that such an action would shake NATO and signify a "major reversal" in U.S. opposition to "Nth country programs,"subsequently increasing Germany's desire to acquire nuclear weapons.