25 October 1962 / Cable from Zorin to the TsK KPSS
Copy No. 12
[Translator’s note: Distribution for this cable is as follows: Brezhnev, Voronov, Kirilenko, Kozlov, Kosygin, Kuusinen, Mikoyan, Podgornyy, Polyanskiy, Suslov, Khrushchev, Khrushchev, Shvernik, Grishin, Rashidov, Mazurov, Mzhavanadze, Shcherbitskiy, Demichev, Ilyevich, Ponomarev, Shelepin, Gromyko, Malinovskiy, Kuznetsov, Lapin, Orlov, Pushkin, Semenov, Sobolev, Firyubin, Podtserob, Smirnovskiy, Tsarapkin, Copy, 10th Department, Press Department, File]
From: New York No. 48999 Time: 10:00 Date: 26/X/1962
Spets. No. 2016-2019
On 25 October at the Security Council, Stevenson, who appeared first, read aloud Kennedy’s response to U Thant’s address, in which Kennedy welcomed U Thant’s initiative and authorized Stevenson to discuss with U Thant the issue of conducting talks to settle the situation in the Caribbean Sea (a copy of Kennedy’s response was sent via teletype).
For our part, we read the response from Comrade N. S. Khrushchev to U Thant’s address, which was sent to U Thant before the proceedings began.
During the meeting, as well as afterwards, we were approached by representatives from many Afro-Asian countries, who remarked on the vital importance of the message from the head of the Soviet government for the preservation of peace in the Caribbean region and the world over.
Stevenson’s speech at today’s session, in spite of his efforts to again affirm that Cuba is allegedly in possession of offensive weapons and that it creates a threat to the western hemisphere, was defensive in nature. He stated that the US has supposedly not been looking for a pretext for raising the Cuban question, that the US has not objected to deliveries of defensive weapons, and that what they [the United States] are hoping to achieve is to carry out “limited” actions to frustrate the introduction of any nuclear weapons into the western hemisphere. Unable to refute our accusations of US violations of the UN Charter, Stevenson stated that the US could not dawdle over the performance of scheduled measures in expectation of a Soviet veto in the Security Council. He further stated that the US went to the Security Council even before the Organization of American States came into effect and gave its approval for the “quarantine” measures. Stevenson attempted to present the matter as not a case of supposedly unilateral actions by the US, but as the coordinated actions of the Organization of American States.
In our appearance, we showed that all of Stevenson’s assertions were groundless, underscoring that, as the discussion in the Security Council confirmed, the US had no justification whatever for the aggressive actions they have undertaken, creating the threat of nuclear war. We asserted that the aggressive path on which the US has embarked has been met with a rebuff by the general public and the majority of the UN members. It is this in particular that has prompted the US to now consent to the talks. We ridiculed the maneuver Stevenson undertook at the meeting to exhibit photographs doctored by American intelligence agencies, which were intended to serve as the “overwhelming” evidence of the presence of nuclear missiles in Cuba. We qualified this maneuver as an effort to distract the Security Council from the crux of the matter, specifically, the aggressive acts by the US that violate the UN Charter and create a menace to peace.
In response to Stevenson’s efforts to ask if we had sent nuclear weapons to Cuba, we referred to the relevant provisions from the 11 September TASS announcement (copies of our speeches were sent via teletype).
The efforts by the US representative to turn the Council into a tribunal of low-grade American propaganda fell flat with the other Council members.
The OAR [United Arab Republic] representative Riad and Ghana representative Quaison-Sackey made note of the special significance of U Thant’s address and the responses from Comrade N. S. Khrushchev and Kennedy, stressing that as a result of this exchange of messages in the Council, a new situation has emerged. Riad and Quaison-Sackey suggested discontinuing the Council session in order to allow the parties concerned, with the cooperation of U Thant, to engage in the necessary discussions, bearing in mind that the Council sessions would reconvene, depending on the outcome and progress of the discussions.
This recommendation was supported by the Chilean representative Schweitzer.
The OAR and Ghana recommendation was adopted by the Security Council with no objections. During the declaration of the decision, as a Council representative, I stressed that the Security Council could be reconvened by a Council representative depending on the progress of the talks. Thus, none of the proposed resolutions (neither ours, nor the American, nor the neutral [resolution]) were voted on, remaining in the Security Council’s portfolio.
We received your [message] No. 1221 when it had already been predetermined that, because of the commencement of talks between the parties concerned, the discussion of the matter in the Council did not conclude, and the matter remains in the Security Council’s order of business, it being understood that the council sessions can be reconvened at any time, depending on the progress of the talks. At that time, it is our understanding, introducing the matter for consideration for the XVII session of the General Assembly would be premature, since the matter remains in the Council’s order of business, and we will always have the ability to demand its introduction into the Assembly, if the possible new discussion ends inconclusively.
After the session, U Thant informed us that tomorrow, 26 October, he proposes to begin discussions with us, the Cubans, and the Americans. He will be meeting individually with each delegation. We will report our thoughts on this meeting separately.
25/X.62 V. ZORIN
(see next page)
NOTE: No. 1221 (Reference No. 29447) dated 25/X.62 from Comrade Gromyko gave a series of instructions on introducing the topic “On the violation of the United Nations Charter and danger to the peace by the United States of America” for consideration at the XVII Session of the UN General Assembly.