26 October 1962 / Enciphered cable from Havana, from Alekseyev on the discussion with Fidel Castro and Dorticos
To Comrade N.S. Khrushchev
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, Ilyichev, Ponomarev, Shelepin, Gromyko, Malinovskiy, Kuznetsov]
From: Washington No. 49201 Time: 6:40 Date: 27/X/1962
Special No. 1664-1665
S P E C I A L
F. Castro and Dorticos called me to the command post and reported that they had received an open telegram from the news agency Prensa Latina, which indicated American assault landings or bombings of the country’s military installations were imminent.
The telegram also signals that Kennedy had presented an ultimatum to U Thant on the elimination of the so-called “offensive weapons” bases in Cuba. In an hour, U Thant should be speaking with Incháustegui. The results of the conversation will be reported to us.
Analyzing the American press and the statements by US officials, the friends have concluded that, most likely, a surprise air strike will take place against the military installations photographed by the Americans.
Castro and Dorticos believe that the progression of the debates in the Security Council, in particular the position of Comrade V.A. Zorin and Incháustegui that completely contested the “evidence” presented by Stevenson was incorrect. They feel that this position hampers the future actions of the USSR and Cuba.
They are of the opinion that it would have been better to have seized the opportunity and accuse the US of violating Cuban airspace, and attack the US policy of creating bases of an “offensive nature” in the countries bordering the USSR.
The friends are surprised that the American officials are almost completely ignoring Comrade Pavlov’s group, presenting the matter as though all of the military hardware is in the hands of the Cubans.
Notwithstanding, they feel that the Americans know far more about the personnel than the hardware.
The friends conclude from this that the Pentagon’s plans are to polish off Cuba, and to give no formal right to the USSR to interfere in the conflict.
Castro reported that in recent days, especially today, a significant number of American airplanes have been noted flying over military installations and taking photographs. For now, the friends do not give permission to bring them down, so as to not sabotage the negotiations.
At the petition of Dorticos, the issue of a secondary assignment to New York for Minister R. Rao is being considered.
The friends requested that the Soviet Government be informed immediately of their concerns and, if possible, to receive some sort of orientation on the evolving situation.