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Security Archive Documents Reader (New York: New Press, 1992); Robert Smith Thompson, The Missiles of October: The Declassified Story of John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992); Mary S. McAuliffe, ed., CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis (Washington, DC: CIA History Staff, October 1992); Gen. Anatoli I. Gribkov and Gen. William Y. Smith, Operation ANADYR: U.S. and Soviet Generals Recount the Cuban Missile Crisis (Chicago: Edition Q, 1994); and Dino A. Brugioni, Eyeball to Eyeball: The Inside Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis, updated ed. (New York: Random House, 1990, 1991, (1992?]). The volume of Foreign Relations of the United States covering the crisis, previously scheduled for publication in 1993, had still not appeared as of the end of 1996, but should include additional declassified U.S. documentation when it appears; mention should be made, however, of a FRUS volume that appeared in 1996 compiling Kennedy-Khrushchev correspondence and communications during the Kennedy Administration: U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. VI: Kennedy-Khrushchev Exchanges (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1996). The National Security Archive, a non-governmental research institute and declassified documents repository located at the Gelman Library at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., published a microfiche collection of declassified documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1992 and maintains files of additional documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act that are available for scholarly research. 2
In Cold War International History Project Bulletin 1 (Spring 1992), see Raymond L. Garthoff, “The Havana Conference on the Cuban Missile Crisis," pp. 2-4; in Cold War International History Project Bulletin 3 (Fall 1993), see Mark Kramer, “Tactical Nuclear Weapons, Soviet Command Authority, and the Cuban Missile Crisis," pp. 40, 42-46; and James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn, and David A. Welch, “KRAMER VS. KRAMER: Or, How Can You Have Revisionism in the Absence of Orthodoxy?" pp. 41, 47-50; in Cold War International History Project Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), see Philip Brenner and James G. Blight, “Cuba, 1962: The Crisis and Cuban-Soviet Relations: Fidel Castro's Secret 1968 Speech," pp. 1,81-85; Alexander Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, “Using KGB Documents: The Scali-Feklisov Channel in the Cuban Missile Crisis," pp. 58, 60-62; Raymond L. Garthoff, intro., “Russian Foreign Ministry Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis," pp. 58, 63-77; Vladislav M. Zubok, “Dismayed by the Actions of the Soviet Union': Mikoyan's talks with Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership, November 1962," pp. 59, 89-92, 93-109, 159; Mark Kramer, “The `Lessons' of the Cuban Missile Crisis for Warsaw Pact Nuclear Operations,” pp. 59, 110, 112-115, 160 (see corrected version in this issue); Jim Hershberg, “Anatomy of a Controversy: Anatoly F. Dobrynin's Meeting With Robert F. Kennedy, Saturday, 27 October 1962," pp. 75, 77-80; and Georgy Shakhnazarov, “Fidel Castro, Glasnost, and the Caribbean Crisis," pp. 83, 87-89. 3
Although it appears that verbatim records of meetings of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) Politburo may not exist for this period, the declassification of notes of Kremlin discussions concerning the 1956 Polish and Hungarian Crises, taken by V.M. Malin, prompts hope that similar materials may soon become available in Moscow. A full report on the Malin notes on the 1956 crises, translated, introduced, and annotated by Mark Kramer, appears elsewhere in this Bulletin. 4 For Kennedy-Khrushchev correspondence, see FRUS, 1961-1963, vol. VI: Kennedy-Khrushchev Exchanges, cited above, which includes many exchanges during the missile crisis declassified by the U.S. government in 1991 in response to a Freedom of Information Act filed by the National Security Archive; these were first published in a special Spring 1992 issue of Problems of Communism. Correspondence between Castro and Khrushchev during the crisis was published in November 1990 in the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma; an English translation can be found in an appendix of Blight, Allyn, and Welch, Cuba On the Brink, 474-491. 5 On the Soviet military during the crisis, see Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, cited above; Soviet military evidence on the crisis was also presented in a conference in Moscow in September 1994 organized by the then-head of the Russian Archival Service, R. Pikhoia. 6 See Alekseev to Foreign Ministry, 7 September 1962, in CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 63. 7
Telegram from Gromyko to Foreign Ministry, 19 October 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 66-67. 8
James G. Hershberg, “Before The Missiles of October’: Did Kennedy Plan a Military Strike Against Cuba?" in Nathan, ed., The Cuban Missile Crisis Revisited, 237-280, a slightly revised version of an article that appeared in Diplomatic History 14 (Spring 1990), 163-198. 9
“Notes Taken from Transcripts of Meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, October-November 1962, dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis (handwritten notes were made in 1976 and typed in 1993),” released under the Freedom of Information Act, copy made available by National Security Archive. 10 Historical Division, Joint Secretariat, Joint Chiefs of Staff, April 1981, “Joint Chiefs of Staff Special Historical Study: The Joint Chiefs of Staff and US Military Responses to the Threat of Castro's Cuba,” pp. 11-12; the report, formerly Top Secret, was declassified on 7 May 1996 and released under the Freedom of Information Act; a copy was made available courtesy of the National Security Archive. 11
In correspondence between the JCS and the National Archives in 1993, subsequently obtained and made available to CWIHP by William Burt of the National Security Archive, the JCS acknowledged that in August 1974, the Secretary, JCS had decided to destroy systematically all transcripts of JCS meetings between 1947 and 1974, as well as subsequent meetings after a six-month waiting period. (August 1974 was, coincidentally or not, the month that Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency in part, many said, due to his failure to destroy the Watergate tapes.) This reason given for this action was that the transcripts “did not constitute official minutes of the meetings but were merely working papers reflecting the reporter's version of events.” In 1978, the JCS communication to the National Archives noted, “The practice of recording the meetings terminated in August of 1978 and all materials were subsequently destroyed."
The only exception to this destruction of records, it was reported, was that the JCS History Office took “notes (approximately 30 typed pages) from selected transcripts relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis and various other crises through the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war”—hence the notation on the top of the Cuban Missile Crisis notes in which the McNamara quotation appears that they were “handwritten notes were made in 1976 and typed in 1993."
The letter from the JCS to the National Archives reads as follows:
The Joint Staff
January 25, 1993
Dear Mr. Hastings:
This responds to your letter seeking information concerning the destruction of recorded minutes of the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff referred to in an article by the Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff History Office which you forwarded me as an enclosure.
The minutes of the meetings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were recorded in various forms from 1947 to 1978. In August of 1974 the Secretary, Joint Chiefs of Staff determined that the transcripts generated did not constitute official minutes of the meetings but were merely working papers reflecting the reporter's version of events. Accordingly, the Secretary ordered the destruction of virtually all transcripts over six months old after screening for historical significance. He also directed that all future minutes/transcripts, with minor exceptions, would be destroyed at the six month point. The practice of recording the meetings terminated in August of 1978 and all materials were subsequently destroyed. However, it should be noted all of these actions were taken prior to approval of the first Joint Chiefs of Staff records disposition schedule by the Archivists of the United States on 11 December 1980.
The Joint Staff History Office did take notes (approximately 30 typed pages) from selected transcripts relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis and various other crises through the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war. The Joint Staff concurs with your determination that these notes are records under File Number 00-1 of JAI 5760.2F and will accession them into the National Archives at the appropriate time.
Any further questions you have regarding this matter may be directed to Mr. Sterling Smith on (703) 697-6906.
/s/ EDMUND F. McBRIDE Chief, Documents Division
Joint Secretariat 12
Telegram from Dobrynin to Soviet Foreign Ministry, 23 October 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 70-71. 13 Interview with Georgy Kornienko, cited in Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), 260, 266. 14 Khrushchev Remembers, intro., commentary, and notes by Edward Crankshaw, trans, and ed. by Strobe Talbott (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970; citation from New York: Bantam Books paperback ed., 1971), 555. 15
Mikoyan-Castro conversation, 4 November 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 96; see also the Cuban version printed in this Bulletin. 16
See excerpts from Gromyko-Kennedy conversation printed below; the document released by the Russian Foreign Ministry archives omits the section of the record dealing specifically with the Berlin question, but the American record appears in U.S. Department of State, FRUS, 1961-1963, vol. XV: Berlin Crisis 1962-1963 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1994), 370-376. On the Berlin-Cuba connection, see Thomas A. Schwartz, “The Berlin Crisis and the Cold War,” Diplomatic History 21:1 (Winter 1997), 143-144. 17 Khrushchev to Kennedy, 28 September 1962, FRUS, 1961-1963, vol. VI: Kennedy-Khrushchev Exchanges, 152-161. 18 Dobrynin to Foreign Ministry, 19 October 1962, published in this issue. 19
Telegram from Gromyko to CC CPSU, 19 October 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 66-67. 20 Mikoyan-Castro conversation, 4 November 1962, CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), 97. 21 For Dobrynin's own recollections of the crisis, see Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow's Ambassador to America's Six Cold War Presidents (1962-1986) (New York: Times Books, 1995), 71-95. 22 Much of this documentation was declassified as a result of Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the National Security Archive and is available for research there. Many of the most important documents on the negotiations should appear in forthcoming FRUS volumes dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis and U.S.-Soviet relations during the Kennedy Administration 23 Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes, trans, and ed. by Jerrold L. Schecter with Vyacheslav V. Luchkov (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1990), esp. 161-183. 24 See fn. 4, above. 25 See Blight, Allyn, and Welch, Cuba On the Brink, passim. 26
See Zubok, “Dismayed by the Actions of the Soviet Union': Mikoyan's talks with Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership, November 1962," CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995). 59, 89-92, 93-109, 159, for records of Mikoyan-Cuban talks on 3-5 November 1962, and Gribkov and Smith, Operation ANADYR, 189-190, 191-199, for Mikoyan's conversation with Castro on 12 November 1962. 27 Khrushchev to Castro, 30 October 1962, English translation in Blight, Allyn, and Welch, Cuba On the Brink, 485-488.
RUSSIAN DOCUMENTS and submarines belonging to the USA and (Source: Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian ON THE
to the Cuban counterrevolutionaries. Federation (AVP RF), Moscow; copy obCUBAN MISSILE CRISIS
M. Zakharov tained by NHK (Japanese Television), pro
S. P. Ivanov vided to CWIHP, and on file at National I. BEFORE THE CRISIS:
14 September 1962 Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; trans14 SEPTEMBER-21 OCTOBER 1962
lation by John Henriksen, Harvard Univer(Source: Central Archive of the Ministry of sity.) M. Zakharov and S. P. Ivanov to Defense (TSAMO), Moscow; copy provided N.S. Khrushchev, 14 September 1962 to CWIHP by R. Pikhoia at September 1994 Cable from USSR Ambassador to the
Moscow Conference, and on file at National USA A.F. Dobrynin to Soviet Foreign Personal memorandum to N. S. Khrushchev Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; trans
Ministry, 19 October 1962 lation by John Hendriksen, Harvard UniThe USA is conducting intensive air versity.)
At a closed conference taking place on and naval patrols around Cuba, giving spe
16 October for the editors and leading corcial attention to the reconnaissance of So- Cable from USSR Ambassador to the respondents of the American press, radio, viet vessels.
USA A.F. Dobrynin to Soviet Foreign and television, to provide information on the The head of the Cuban counterrevolu
Ministry, 15 October 1962 evaluation of the current international situtionaries, Juan Manuel Salvat, announced
ation and the USA's official position in it, in a press conference on September 7 that According to separate confidential re- President Kennedy spoke. This speech was any vessel sailing under a Communist flag ports, the piratic raids by the so-called “Al- given exclusively for the personal edificain Cuban territorial waters, regardless of its pha 66" group on the Cuban coast and on tion of those present, and it was denied all nationality, will be considered a military tar- several vessels near Cuba are being carried publication rights. get and subject to attack without warning. out not from a base on the American main- The content of the President's speech
At present, Soviet vessels approaching land, but rather directly from the sea, from came down to the following. the island of Cuba are systematically sub- American landing ships carrying the corre- The government's duty is to seek out jected to air-patrols by USA planes. In Sep- sponding cutters. The crews of these cut- global solutions to the global problems factember of this year as many as 50 cases were ters are dispatched directly onto these ships ing the USA. There was once a time when recorded of Soviet vessels being air-pa- by helicopters in the possession of the Cu- war could be seen as an acceptable extentrolled. The patrols were carried out at criti- ban members of the group “Alpha 66,” who sion of politics, but nuclear war in its excally dangerous altitudes (50-100 meters). are based in Miami, Puerto Rico, and the treme form cannot be seen as such, since it With the aim of ensuring the safety of Yucatan.
would lead to huge destruction and the loss our vessels from acts of piracy on the part The American ships carrying these cut- of millions of lives in the countries taking of Americans and Cuban counterrevolution- ters maintain a constant readiness for mili- part in it. The USA must learn to accept aries, we ask to authorize the following: tary action, and meticulously care for the and live in the current conditions of direct
1. On every transport vessel bound for technical condition of the cutters, perform- confrontation between the USA and the Cuba with personnel and arms for one unit ing repairs in the case of damage. During USSR, and between Communism's strivings (of a formation), to place for self-defense, this time, the American instructors on these for expansion and the USA's strivings to above and beyond each ship's own arma- ships direct the training, both tactical and support the sort of alignment of forces that ments, two 23 mm. anti-aircraft combina- otherwise, of the Cuban crews who carry allows the free nations to thrive, and that tion gun-mounts with a reserve supply of 2 out operations directly on the cutters. allows the USA in particular to safeguard complements (2,400 missiles) for each gun- This sort of tactic allows the Ameri- its own interests. In similar situations earmount. These gun-mounts are found on the can forces to assert that the cutters belong- lier, the result of such confrontation has alarms of the airborne-landing forces, and they ing to the “Alpha 66” group are not acting ways been war—but now the question is are a powerful strategic tool both for air tar- from a base within USA territory, but from how we can get through this period without gets at distances of up to 2,500 meters at some "unknown bases.” As far as the Ameri- war and, especially importantly, without heights of up to 1,500 meters, as well as for can vessels carrying the cutters are con- nuclear war. light-armoured naval targets at distances of cerned, the Central Intelligence Agency of Some sort of crisis relating to Berlin is up to 2,000 meters. On practice shootings the USA, which to judge from all available clearly brewing now, and we will have to the gun-mount has penetrated armour-plat- information is directing all these operations, see whether we can surmount it without reing 25 mm. thick. The gun-mount requires is counting on the fact that detecting and course to military action. There are no signs a three-man crew. All in all it is necessary identifying this sort of vessel will not be that the Russians are preparing to soften their to arm 34 vessels.
easy, since there is a lively traffic of Ameri- demands with regard to Berlin; they want 2. To confirm instructions given to the can vessels between Florida and the Ameri- us either to get out of there, or to share with captain of the vessel and the head of the can base Guantanamo in Cuba.
them our rights in West Berlin. They would military echelon regarding the defense of
like to start a chain reaction that would ultitransport vessels crossing the sea against
15.X.62 A. DOBRYNIN mately lead to the elimination of American acts of piracy committed by airplanes, ships,
positions in West Berlin and many other places. The USA is determined not to let this understand that the military equipment happen. It cannot be allowed to occur. The which they are supplying to Cuba, or can West's presence in Berlin and its access to supply in the future, would make little difthe city represent, as before, vitally impor- ference if the USA were to consider itself tant interests, and no concessions with re- forced to take military action against it. They gard to them can or will be made to Soviet have enough experience as well in East pressure, whatever form that pressure may Germany and the Eastern European countake. The problem now consists of the fact tries to recognize the limits of their capacithat we both have locked horns (in confron- ties to revitalize and strengthen the Cuban tation-ed.].
economy, especially bearing in mind the Nuclear war may be an irrational phe- distances involved. Meanwhile the Latin nomenon, but there is more to it than this, American countries have taken measures since recognizing it as irrational does not towards isolating Cuba and condemning to necessarily signify being saved from it. If failure the Communists' attempts to spread both sides come to the negotiating table with their system throughout the other countries an absolute certainty that the other side will of the Western hemisphere. in no circumstances have recourse to nuclear There can be no talk of a recognition war, then that would be one of the surest by the United States of some Cuban govpaths toward such a war, because one side ernment in exile, since that step could free or the other could go one step further and the current Cuban regime from the obligaapply a pressure beyond what the other side tions fixed by treaty toward Guantanamo is able to put up with, and for all intents and base and American citizens in Cuba. purposes we would be heading for catastro- There can be no deal struck with the phe.
USSR regarding its renunciation of bases In government circles there is a feel- in Cuba in exchange for the USA's renuning that we quite possibly have some diffi- ciation of bases in other parts of the world cult weeks and months ahead of us due to (in Turkey, for example). It is necessary to Berlin, and that a crisis of the first order may treat Cuba in such a way as to advance our arise before Christmas.
cause in the general battle into which the With Cuba the situation is different. USA has been drawn. The strategy and tacBerlin is a vitally important issue for both tics of the USA should be defined by consides, and the fundamental positions of both siderations of the defense of its vital intersides with regard to it remain inflexible. ests and its security not only in connection Latin American is another vitally important with the Cuban situation, but also in conregion. Berlin and Latin America are two nection with other more serious threats. dangerous regions. No (U.S.) military ac- The preceding is communicated by tions concerning Cuba could be or should way of information. be undertaken until there are signs of overt Cuban aggression against the countries of
19.X.62 A. DOBRYNIN the Western hemisphere. Cuba should be and is now under close observation, and the USA (Source: Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian has been kept informed of what is happen- Federation (AVP RF), Moscow; copy obing there. The USA's policy consists, as be- tained by NHK (Japanese Television), profore, in ensuring that the maintenance of vided to CWIHP, and on file at National Cuba be as expensive as possible both for Security Archive, Washington, D.C.; transthe USSR and for Castro's regime. It ap- lation by John Henriksen, Harvard Univerpears unlikely that the USSR could afford sity.) to invest funds in Cuba that would be sufficient to meet Cuba's actual and long-term Cable from Soviet Foreign Minister needs. Only the USA alone had a billion- Gromyko on 18 October 1962 meeting dollar trade with Cuba before the Castro with President Kennedy, 20 October revolution.
1962 (excerpts) According to the American government's calculations, there are currently in During the meeting with President Cuba around five thousand Russian military Kennedy at the White House on 18 October specialists. One must suppose that the Rus- I transmitted to him, his spouse and other sians are sufficiently experienced people to members of his family regards from the head
of the Soviet government N.S. Khrushchev and from Nina Petrovna.
Kennedy expressed his gratitude to N.S. Khrushchev for the regards.
Further I said that I would like to give an account of the Soviet government policy on a number of important issues.
Now I would like to expound the Soviet government's position on the Cuban issue and the USSR's assessment of the actions of the USA.
The Soviet government stands for the peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems, against the interference of one state into the internal affairs of others, against the intervention of large states into the affairs of small countries. Literally, that is the core of the Soviet Union's foreign policy.
It is well known to you, Mr. President, the attitude of the Soviet government and personally of N.S. Khrushchev toward the dangerous developments connected with the USA administration position on the issue of Cuba. An unrestrained anti-Cuban campaign has been going on in the USA for a long time and apparently there is a definite USA administration policy behind it. Right now the USA are making an attempt to blockade Cuban trade with other states. There is talk about a possibility of actions of organized policy in this region under the USA aegis.
But all of this amounts to a path that can lead to grave consequences, to a misfortune for all mankind, and we are confident that such an outcome is not desired by any people, including the people of the USA.
The USA administration for some reason considers that the Cubans must solve their domestic affairs not at their discretion, but at the discretion of the USA. But on what grounds? Cuba belongs to the Cuban people, not to the USA or any other state. And since it is so, then why are the statements made in the USA calling for an invasion of Cuba? What do the USA need Cuba for?
Who can in earnest believe that Cuba represents a threat to the USA? If we speak about dimensions and resources of the two countries - the USA and Cuba - then it is clear that they are a giant and a baby. The flagrant groundlessness of such charges against Cuba is obvious.
Cuba does not represent, and cannot represent, any threat to the countries of Latin Giving an account of the Soviet government America. It is strange to think as if small position frankly as well, I would like to Cuba can encroach on the independence of stress that nowadays is not the middle of either this or that country of Latin America. the XIX century, is not the time of colonial Cuban leaders and personally Fidel Castro partition and not the times when a victim of have declared more than once in front of aggression could raise its voice only weeks the whole world and in a most solemn man- and months after an assault. American ner that Cuba does not intend to impose their statesmen frequently declare that the USA system, that they firmly favor the non-in- is a great power. This is correct, the USA is terference of states into the internal affairs a great power, a rich and strong power. And of each other.
what kind of power is the Soviet Union? The people who call for an aggression You know that N.S. Khrushchev was against Cuba allege that, they say, it is not positively impressed by your realistic statesufficient to have those statements of the ment during the Vienna meeting about the Cuban government, though those statements equality of forces of the two powers—the are supported by deeds. But by that what- USSR and USA. But insofar as it is so, inever aggressive action or adventure can be asmuch as the USSR is also a great and justified. Solutions of almost all the inter- strong power it cannot be a mere spectator national issues are results, you know, of while there is appearing a threat of unleashstatements, dictums, or negotiations be- ing a large war either in connection with the tween states, in the course of which corre- Cuban issue or (with a] situation in whatsponding governments give an account of ever other region of the world. their positions on either these or those ques- You are very well aware of the Soviet tions, as for example takes place now dur- government attitude toward such an action ing the conversations that we have with the of the USA, as the decision about the draft USA administration. But does the USA ad- of 150 thousand reservists.2 The Soviet ministration not believe the statements of government is convinced that if both of our the Cuban government? Really, is it not countries favor a lessening of international convincing when the Cuban government tension and a solution of unsettled internaofficially declares its aspiration to settle all tional problems, then such steps should be disputed questions with the USA adminis- avoided because they are intended for sharptration by means of negotiations? In this ening the international situation. regard may be quoted the well-known state- If it came to the worst, if a war began, ment made by Mr. (Oswaldo] Dorticos, certainly, a mobilization of an additional 150 President of the Republic of Cuba, during thousand reservists to the USA armed forces the current session of the UN General As- would not have significance. And undoubtsembly, a statement of which the USA Presi- edly you are very well aware of this. For dent is undoubtedly aware. 1
the present is not the year 1812 when NaThe Cubans want to make secure their poleon was setting all his hopes upon the own home, their independence. They ap- number of soldiers, of sabres and cannons. peal for reason, for conscience. They call Neither is it 1941, when Hitler was relying on the USA to renounce encroachments upon his mass armies, automatic rifles, and upon the independence of Cuba, to estab- tanks. Today life and and military equiplish normal relations with the Cuban state. ment have made a large step forward.
The question is: Is it worthwhile to Nowadays the situation is quite different and whip up a campaign and organize different it would be better not to rely on armaments sorts of hostile activity around Cuba and at while solving disputed problems. the same time inimical actions against those So far as the aid of the Soviet Union to states which maintain good relations with Cuba is concerned, the Soviet government Cuba, respect its independence, and lend has declared and I have been instructed to Cuba a helping hand at a difficult moment? reaffirm it once more, our aid pursues exIs it not a destruction of international law, clusively the object of rendering Cuba asof the UN principles and purposes? sistance to its defensive capacity and devel
Is it possible, Mr. President, for the opment of its peaceful economy. Neither Soviet Union, taking into account all of this, industry nor agriculture in Cuba, neither to sit cross-handed and to be a detached land-improvement works nor training of the onlooker? You say that you like frankness. Cuban personnel carried out by the Soviet
specialists to teach them to use some defensive types of armaments, can represent a threat to anybody. Had it been otherwise, the Soviet government would never be involved in such aid. And such an approach applies to any country.
The example of Laos convincingly illustrates this. If the Soviet Union were conducting another policy, not the present one, then the situation in Laos would be different. For the Soviet Union and its friends seem to have more possibility to influence the situation in Laos than the USA. But we were trying to achieve an agreement because we cannot step aside from the main principles of our foreign policy designed for lessening international tension, for undoing knots of still existing contradictions between powers, for the peaceful solution of unsettled international problems. And in this regard our policy is unvarying.
Here is the position and views of the Soviet government on the Cuban issue. The Soviet government calls on you and the USA administration not to permit whatever steps are incompatible with the interests of peace and the lessening of international tension, with the UN principles which have been solemnly signed both by the USSR and the USA. We call on you to ensure that in this issue too the policies of the two largest powers pursue the object of peace and only of peace.
Having listened to our statement, Kennedy said that he was glad to hear the reference to the settlement of the Laotian problem. We believe, he continued, that the Soviet Union really acts precisely in the way which you are describing, and just as the USA the USSR is endeavoring to comply with its commitments.
Regarding the Cuban issue I (Kennedy) must say that really it became grave only this summer. Until then the Cuban question had been pushed by us to the background. True, Americans had a certain opinion about the present Cuban government and refugees from Cuba were exciting public opinion against that government. But the USA administration had no intentions to launch an aggression against Cuba. Suddenly, Mr. Khrushchev, without notifying me, began to increase at a brisk pace supplies of armaments to Cuba, although there was no threat on our side that could cause such a necessity. If Mr. Khrushchev addressed me on this issue, we could give him