28 October 1962 / Extract from Protocol No. 63 of the Meeting of the TsK KPSS: Instructions to the Soviet Ambassador for a dialogue with Castro
Communist Party of the Soviet Union. CENTRAL COMMITTEE
To Comrades Khrushchev, Mikoyan, Gromyko
Extract from protocol No. 63 of the meeting of the Presidium of the TsK KPSS
from 28 October 1962
Instructions to the Soviet Embassy in Cuba for a dialogue with F. Castro
Approve the draft instructions to the Soviet Embassy in Cuba for a dialogue with F. Castro (attachment: special folder).
[Translator note: “special folder” – особая папка – is the highest level of classification for a document subject to archival]
SECRETARY of the TsK
to Paragraph IV of Protocol No. 63
You are to immediately meet with Fidel Castro and, citing instructions from Moscow, tell him the following:
Dear Comrade Fidel Castro,
We are sending to you, for purposes of orientation, information that we have received from Washington from our Embassy:
“Today an embassy representative met with a source who stated that the missile bases in Cuba would be bombed and there would be assault landings there. The source said that Castro might just as well make a statement that he is prepared to dismantle and remove the missile launchers if President Kennedy gives his guarantee that he will not invade Cuba. I can verify, he added, that if Castro made this kind of statement, it would be met with a welcome response by the government and military circles of the US.
In the evening, the source once again called the embassy representative and asked to meet with him immediately. In their conversation, he said that he is empowered by the highest powers in the US government to make the following proposal:
‘Have Fidel Castro make a public statement that he is prepared to dismantle and remove from Cuban soil the long-range missiles, and will no longer receive them, if the US provides a guarantee to not attack Cuba. In this case, Castro will be prepared for the dismantling to be done under the supervision of neutral UN observers. If the Soviet government concurs with this proposal, then the US government recommends that a discussion of the proposal take place as soon as possible, in New York, with Zorin, U Thant, and Stevenson.’
The source explained that the US will not raise objections to Cuba having defensive missiles, namely surface-to-air missiles and coastal anti-ship missiles.
The embassy representative asked what will become of the American troops currently concentrated in the southern US, threatening Cuba. It would be more appropriate if these troops were withdrawn under the control of UN observers.
The source responded that the President can give a tacit guarantee that he will pull back the American troops from the southern US that are currently concentrated there against Cuba.
The source asserted that he is truly authorized by the highest powers to convey that proposal.”
Tell Fidel Castro that we are asking him to regard this material with absolute confidence, as the source is well known to us, and it comes on behalf of one in a very high position in the US.
The proposal conveyed by the source in the conversation with the embassy representative is one that we feel is most reasonable. As such, we have already adopted proposals to that effect and have disclosed them in a message to President Kennedy on 28 October, with which you are most likely already familiar. We must tell you, however, that this was done prior to receiving the document that we are now telling you about.
We believe it would be quite useful for you to make a statement, as they are suggesting here, or more precisely, express in your own words what we have already stated in our 28 October message, since our position laid out in that message has already been accepted by Kennedy. This would help handcuff the aggressive forces of the Pentagon that are so eager to unleash war and attack Cuba, and in so doing, create better conditions in the United States for those forces that resist it.
Moreover, as we have already told you and repeat once again, it is now time to back away from using weapons against aircraft flying over Cuba. It’s time to be patient, since the aggressive forces are doing everything now, sending their planes, to provoke a clash. The law is on your side, but for the time being, the near-war situation – and therefore, the legal bearings of the matter – does not play the role it otherwise should in normal conditions. The main thing is to not to provoke the forces who are in a position to unleash a war against Cuba – and that would lead to a world war – into military actions. The US is rattled by the missiles, and they need to see that nothing is being done to bring them into a combat state; even better, that we have given our officers the instruction to dismantle them.
From the document we have briefed you on, we know that the United States – subject to the condition they have delivered – will not only not attack Cuba themselves, but will also ensure their allies refrain from attacking as well. To that end, we have received the assurance from those on whom the fulfillment of that assurance depends. And this, moreover, is contained in President Kennedy’s statement, which he made publicly and with which you are no doubt familiar. This was also conveyed to us via confidential channels, apparently so we would regard it with great confidence.
We advise a statement by you over the radio in connection with our message to Kennedy, and Kennedy’s response to our message, and we are providing instructions to our representatives to the UN that they actively support your proposal of eliminating the dangerous situation surrounding Cuba.
Report when it has been carried out.
Familiarize Comrade Pavlov with this telegram.