Was Khrushchev really pro Western

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Text documents on the topic: Cuba

Excerpts from Fidel Castro's speech on April 16, 1961

Castro first proclaimed the socialist character of the Cuban revolution on April 16, 1961. The day before, there had been a bomb attack on Cuban air force bases by the Cubans in exile, who had been trained by the Cubans. The next day, on April 17, 1961, the Cubans in exile launched the Bay of Pigs invasion.

"[...] What the imperialists cannot forgive us is that we have come here. What they cannot forgive us is the dignity, honesty, courage, ideological steadfastness, willingness to make sacrifices and the revolutionary spirit of the Cuban people and the fact that ours is a socialist revolution. We defend this socialist revolution with these rifles (applause). We defend this socialist revolution with the courage with which our anti-aircraft gunmen perforated the aggressor's planes yesterday! We do not defend them with mercenaries; we defend them with the men and women of the people!

Is it the millionaires who hold the gun? (Exclamations: "No!")

Is it perhaps the sons of the rich who bear the arms? (Exclamations: "No!")

Could it be the land overseers who hold the guns? (Exclamations: "No!")

Who is it that bears the gun? (Exclamations: "The Cuban people!")

What are the hands that raise these weapons? (Exclamations: "The hands of the people!")

Are they the hands of sons of masters? (Exclamations: "No!")

Are they hands of the rich? (Exclamations: "No!")

Are they the hands of exploiters? (Exclamations: "No!")

What are the hands that raise these weapons? (Exclamations: "The hands of the people!")

Aren't they the hands of workers? aren't they peasant hands; are they not hands hardened by work; aren't creative hands; is it not the simple hands of the people? (Exclamations: "Yes!")

And who is the majority of the people? Is it the millionaires or the workers (Exclamations: "The workers!"); the exploiters or the exploited (Exclamations: "The exploited!"); the privileged or the common people? (Exclamations: "The common people!")

Do the privileged people carry the guns? (Exclamations: "No!")

Do common people carry arms? (Exclamations: "Yes!")

Are the privileged people in the minority? (Exclamations: "Yes!")

Are the common people in the majority? (Exclamations: "Yes!")

Is a revolution in which common people take up arms a democratic revolution? (Exclamations: "Yes!")

Comrades workers and peasants! This is the socialist and democratic revolution of the poor, with the poor and for the poor! (applause) And for this revolution of the poor, because of the poor and for the poor, we are ready to give our lives! [...] "

Source available on the Internet on the website of the Cuban government at: www.cuba.cu/gobierno/discursos/2001/ale/f160401a.html


Excerpt from the tape recordings of the ExComm meeting on October 18, 1962

The secret tape recordings known as "Kennedy Tapes" from 1962 were arranged by President John F. Kennedy himself. Among other things, he had the deliberations of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (ExComm) recorded, the participants of which met for many hours almost every day during the Cuba crisis.
On the morning of October 18, 1962, analysts discovered that the Soviets had apparently also installed ICBMs in Cuba. This encouraged hardliners to advocate a military strike, while others, such as George Ball, Undersecretary of State at the State Department, warned of the consequences of such an escalation.

Robert McNamara: "If there is a strike without a preliminary discussion with Khrushchev, how many Soviet citizens will be killed? I don't know. It'd be several hundred at absolute minimum."

McGeorge Bundy: "Killed, as in casualties?"

McNamara: "Killed. Absolutely. We're using napalm, 750-pound bombs. This is an extensive strike we're talking about."

Bundy: "Well, I hope it is."

McNamara: "I think we must assume we'll kill several hundred Soviet citizens. Having killed several hundred Soviet citizens, what kind of response does Khrushchev have open to him?
It seems to me that it just must be a strong response, and I think we should expect that. And, therefore, the question really is are we willing to pay some kind of a rather substantial price to eliminate these missiles?
I think the price is going to be high. It may still be worth paying to eliminate the missiles. But I think we must assume it's going to be high - the very least it will be will be to remove the missiles in Italy and Turkey. I doubt we could settle (the problem) for that. "

Douglas Dillon: "Well, I think they'll take Berlin."

George Ball: "Mr. President, I think that it's easy sitting here to, to underestimate the kind of sense of affront that you would have in the allied countries within - even perhaps in Latin America, if we act without warning, without giving Khrushchev some way out . Even though it may be illusory, I think we still have to do it because I think that the impact on the opinion and the reaction would be very much different.
A course of action where we strike without warning is like Pearl Harbor. It's the kind of conduct that one might expect from the Soviet Union. It is not conduct that one expects of the United States. And I have a feeling that this 24 hours (warning) to Khrushchev is really indispensable. "

President John F. Kennedy: "And then if he says: 'Well if you do that, we're going to grab Berlin.' The point is, he's probably going to grab Berlin anyway. " [...]

McNamara: "I suspect the price we pay to Khrushchev will be about the same, whether we give him the advance warning or don't give him the advance warning. The advance warning has the advantage of possibly giving him an out that would reduce the requirement that we enter with military force. That's a bare possibility, not great. It has the advantage George has mentioned of causing less friction with the rest of the world.
It has some disadvantages: a reduction of military surprise, but the disadvantage of that is not very great.
It carries with it, however, I believe, the great disadvantage that once you Start down that course he outmaneuvers you. [...] "

The transcripts of the tape recordings from the ExComm consultations are available in English on the Internet at: www.whitehousetapes.org/transcripts/jfk_2_pub/24_oct18.pdf (excerpt from p. 538/539)

Excerpts from the tape recordings can be heard on the Internet on the website of the George Washington University: www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/audio.htm


German translation:

Robert McNamara: "If there is a military strike against Khrushchev without warning, how many Soviet citizens will be killed? I don't know. It would be at least several hundred."

McGeorge Bundy: "Dead, that is, fatality?"

McNamara: "Dead. Exactly. We use napalm, 300 kilogram bombs. We are talking about a major military strike."

Bundy: "I hope so."

McNamara: "I believe that we have to assume that several hundred Soviet citizens will perish. After we have killed several hundred Soviet citizens, what options does Khrushchev have?
It seems to me there can only be one strong reaction, I think we should know that. So the question is whether we are willing to pay a fairly high price to get rid of these missiles. I think the price would be high. It might still be worth paying such a price to get rid of the missiles. The absolute minimum would be the withdrawal of the missiles from Italy and Turkey. But I doubt that we can solve the problem on these terms. "

Douglas Dillon: "Well, I think they will conquer Berlin."

George Ball: "Mr President, from the way we sit here, we could easily underestimate the extent of the affront we would cause in our allied states, and perhaps even in Latin America, if we acted without warning and left Khrushchev with no way out. Even if it were illusory, we have to do it because I think the effect on the public and the response would be completely different. An attack without warning would be like Pearl Harbor. Such behavior might be expected from the Soviet Union. But it is not the course of action that is expected from the United States. I feel like Khrushchev needs a 24-hour advance warning. "

President John F. Kennedy: "And when he then says: 'Well, if you do that, we will conquer Berlin.' The point is, he'll probably take Berlin anyway. " [...]

McNamara: "I believe that what we will do in return for Khrushchev will remain the same, whether we warn him or not. The advantage of the warning is that we may offer him a way out that will reduce the need for military intervention for us. That is a minor one Opportunity, not a big one, it has the advantage that George mentioned, there would be less cause for friction with the rest of the world.
However, it has some disadvantages: A reduction in the military surprise effect, but this disadvantage is not very significant. However, it comes with the major disadvantage, I believe, that if we take this route, he could outmaneuver us. [...] "



Excerpt from televised address given by President John F. Kennedy on October 22, 1962

"Good evening my fellow citizens,

[…] Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere. [...]

The characteristics of these new missile sites indicate two distinct types of installations. Several of them include medium range ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead for a distance of more than 1,000 nautical miles. Each of these missiles, in short, is capable of striking Washington D. C., the Panama Canal, Cape Canaveral, Mexico City. [...] Additional sites not yet completed appear to be designed for intermediate range ballistic missiles - capable of traveling more than twice as far - and thus capable of striking most of the major cities in the Western Hemisphere, ranging as far north as Hudson Bay, Canada, and as far south as Lima, Peru. [...]

This urgent transformation of Cuba into an important strategic base [...] constitutes an explicit threat to the peace and security of all the Americas. [...] Our own strategic missiles have never been transferred to the territory of any other nation under a cloak of secrecy and deception. [...] But this secret, swift, and extraordinary build up of Communist missiles - in an area well known to have a special and historical relationship to the United States and the nations of the Western Hemisphere, in violation of Soviet assurances, and in defiance of American and hemispheric policy - this sudden, clandestine decision to station strategic weapons for the first time outside of Soviet soil - is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo which cannot be accepted by this country, if our courage and our commitments are ever to be trusted again by either friend or foe. [...]

To halt this offensive build up, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. [...] Should these offensive military preparations continue, thus increasing the threat to the hemisphere, further action will be justified. I have directed the Armed Forces to prepare for any eventualities. [...] It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union. [...]

I call upon Chairman Khrushchev to halt and eliminate this clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace and to stable relations between our two nations. I call upon him further to abandon this course of world domination, and to join in an historic effort to end the perilous arms race and to transform the history of man. He has an opportunity now to move the world back from the abyss of destruction-by returning to his government's own words that it had no need to station missiles outside its own territory, and withdrawing these weapons from Cuba-by refraining from any action which will widen or deepen the present crisis - and then by participating in a search for peaceful and permanent solutions. [...]

The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are - but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world. The cost of freedom is always high - but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission.

Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right - not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved. "

Source available on the Internet at: www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/kencuba.htm


German translation:

"Good evening, my fellow citizens,

[…] In the past week, clear evidence has corroborated the fact that a number of offensive missile launchers are currently being prepared on this subjugated island. The purpose of these bases can only be to create a nuclear attack capacity against the Western Hemisphere. [...]

The characteristics of these new missile launchers reveal two clearly distinguishable types of systems. Some of them include medium-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead over a distance of over 1,000 nautical miles. Each of these missiles is able to hit Washington D.C., the Panama Canal, Cape Canaveral, Mexico City […]. Other unfinished facilities appear to be dedicated to long-range, medium-range missiles - over twice as long - capable of reaching most of the major cities in the western hemisphere, from the far north of Hudson Bay in Canada all the way down south to Lima in Peru. [...]

This rapid transformation of Cuba into an important strategic base [...] poses an explicit threat to the peace and security of all American states. [...] Our own strategic missiles have never been brought into the territory of any other country under the guise of secrecy and deception . [...] But this secret, rapid, and extraordinary deployment of Communist missiles - in an area known for having a special and historic relationship with the United States and the nations of the Western Hemisphere - in violation of Soviet promises and under Disregard for American and Western Hemisphere politics - this sudden, secret decision to deploy strategic weapons outside of Soviet territory for the first time is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo that the United States cannot accept if both friend and foe are ever to believe in our courage and commitment again. [...]

To put a stop to offensive armament, a strict quarantine will be introduced for all military attack equipment brought into Cuba by sea. All ships destined for Cuba, regardless of their nationality or what port they come from, will be returned if it is found that they have offensive weapons on board. [...] If these offensive military preparations continue and the threat to the hemisphere increases, further measures will be justified. I have instructed the American armed forces to prepare for any eventuality. […] It will be our country's policy to regard every nuclear missile launch from Cuba against any nation in the western hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States that requires a full retaliation against the Soviet Union. [...]

I appeal to Chairman Khrushchev to end this secret, careless and provocative threat to world peace and stable relations between our two countries.I also appeal to him to abandon this pursuit of world domination and to participate in a historic effort to end the dangerous arms race and change human history. He now has the opportunity to save the world from the abyss of annihilation by referring to the words of his own government that there is no need to deploy missiles outside of his own territory, by withdrawing these weapons from Cuba and by abstaining from any measure that would exacerbate the current crisis - and finally by participating in the search for peaceful and lasting solutions. [...]
The course we have now chosen is fraught with risk, like all paths - but it is the course that most suits our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world. The price of freedom is always high, but we Americans have always paid it, and one path we will never choose is the path of surrender or submission.

Our goal is not the victory of power, but the upholding of law. Not peace at the expense of freedom, but both: peace and freedom in our hemisphere and - we hope - everywhere in the world. God willing, we will achieve this goal. "

The German translation of the entire speech is available on the Internet at: www.peterhall.de/cuba62/docs/doc2.html


Excerpts from the correspondence between Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy during the hot phase of the Cuban crisis at the end of October 1962

All correspondence during the Cuba crisis is available in English on the Internet at: www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/volume_vi/exchanges.html (from letter no. 60)

Letter from Nikita Khrushchev to John F. Kennedy, October 26, 1962

"Dear Mr President,

I received your letter on October 25th. From your letter I get the impression that you have some insight into the situation that has arisen and a sense of responsibility. I appreciate that.
So far we have publicly shared our views on what was going on around Cuba, and each of us has put forward our own interpretation and interpretation of what happened. It is therefore obvious, in my view, that continuing the exchange of views at this distance - even in the form of secret correspondence - would probably not add anything to what both sides have already said to each other.
I think if you really care about the world's well-being, you will get me right. Everyone needs peace: both capitalists, provided they have not lost their minds, and all the more communists - people who not only appreciate their own lives, but above all the lives of peoples. We communists are fundamentally against wars between states and have advocated the cause of peace since we existed. We have always viewed war as a calamity, not a game or a means of achieving certain ends, and much less an end in itself. Our goals are clear and the means to achieve them is work. War is our enemy and a calamity for all nations.
This is how we, the Soviet people, and other peoples with us, see the question of war and peace. I can say this with certainty, at least for the peoples of the socialist countries, as well as for all progressive people who are for peace, happiness and friendship between states.
As I can see, Mr President, you too are not lacking in concern for the fate of the world, in understanding and in correctly assessing the nature of a modern war and its consequences. What advantages would a war bring you? They threaten us with war. But you know very well that you would get at least what you would have done us in response; You would face the same consequences. And that must be clear to us - the people who hold the power, trust and responsibility. We must not indulge in carelessness and petty feelings, regardless of whether elections are coming up in one country or another. These are all temporary phenomena; but should a war actually break out, it would no longer be in our power to contain or end it; because that is the logic of war. I have fought in two wars and I know that a war does not end until it overran towns and villages, bringing death and destruction everywhere.
I assure you, on behalf of the Soviet government and people, that your conclusions about offensive weapons in Cuba are completely unfounded. From what you have written to me it appears that our interpretations diverge on this point, or rather that we define one or the other type of military means differently. In fact, the same weapon types can be interpreted differently in reality.
You are a military man and I hope you will understand. Take a simple cannon, for example. What kind of weapon is it - an offensive weapon or a defensive weapon? A cannon is a defensive weapon when it is used to defend borders or a fortified area. But if one draws artillery together and supplements it with a corresponding number of troops, then the same cannon has become an offensive weapon, because it prepares and clears the way for the advance of the infantry. The same is true of nuclear missiles and any of these types of weapons. You are mistaken if you believe that any of our weapons in Cuba are offensive weapons. However, let's not argue about this point. I am obviously unable to convince you of this. But I tell you, you, Mr. President, are a military man, and you have to understand: how can you conduct an attack - even if you have an enormous number of missiles of different ranges and explosive power in an area - if you only use these weapons? These missiles are a means of annihilation and destruction. But it is impossible to carry out an attack with the help of these missiles - even with nuclear missiles with an explosive force of 100 megatons; because only people - troops - can advance. No weapon can be offensive without people - whatever explosive power it may have. [...]
We want something completely different: namely, to compete peacefully with your country. We discuss with you; we have differences on ideological issues. But according to our conception of the world, questions of ideology as well as economic problems should be settled by means other than military; they have to be resolved in a peaceful conflict - or as one interprets it in capitalist society - through competition. Our premise was and is that the peaceful coexistence between two different socio-political systems - a reality in our world - is of crucial importance and that it is indispensable in order to ensure lasting peace. These are the principles we hold to.
You have now announced pirate measures of the kind practiced in the Middle Ages when raiding ships sailing in international waters; and you called it a 'quarantine' around Cuba. Our ships will likely soon reach the area your Kriegsmarine patrols. I assure you that the ships currently on their way to Cuba have the most harmless, peaceful cargoes on board. Do you really believe that we are doing nothing but transporting so-called offensive weapons, nuclear and hydrogen bombs? Even if your military may assume these are special types of weapons, I assure you that they are the most common types of peaceful goods. [...]

Why did we give this military and economic aid to Cuba? The answer is: we did it for purely humanitarian reasons. [...]
If the President and Government of the United States gave assurances that the United States would not itself participate in an attack on Cuba and prevent others from doing so; if you called back your Navy - that would change everything immediately. I am not speaking for Fidel Castro, but I believe that he and the Cuban government would probably announce a demobilization and call on the Cuban people to start their peaceful work. Then the question of weapons would also be superfluous; because where there is no threat, weapons are just a burden for every people. That would also change the approach to the question of not only destroying the weapons you call offensive weapons, but all other types of weapons as well. [...]
Mr President, I appeal to you to carefully consider where the aggressive pirate measures that you have stated the United States intends to carry out in international waters would lead. You yourself know that a reasonable person simply cannot agree that he cannot grant you the right to do this. However, if you did this as the first step to unleash a war - well, then obviously there is nothing we can do but accept this challenge from you. If you have not lost control of yourself and clearly see where this could lead, then, Mr President, you and I should not be pulling the ends of the rope in which you tied the knot of war; because the harder you and I pull, the tighter this knot gets. And there may come a point at which the knot is tied so tight that the person who tied it can no longer untie it; and then you have to cut the knot. I don't need to explain to you what that would mean; because you yourself know exactly what devastating armed forces our two countries have.
So if your intention is not to tighten the knot and doom the world to the catastrophe of thermonuclear war, then let's not just relax the forces operating at the ends of the rope, but also take steps to make this one To untie the knot. We are ready for it. [...] "

Source: Bernd Greiner, Cuba Crisis, Nördlingen 1988, pp. 319-323.


Letter from John F. Kennedy to Nikita Khrushchev, October 27, 1962

Dear Chairman,

I have read your letter of October 26th with great care and welcome your declaration of intent to seek an immediate solution to the problem. The first thing that must be done, however, is to cease work on the offensive missile bases in Cuba and to disarm all weapons systems in Cuba that can be used offensively, and do so under reasonable United Nations precautions. […] As I understand your letter, your proposals - which I understand are generally acceptable - contain the following key elements:

1) They would agree to withdraw these weapons systems under the appropriate observation and surveillance of the United Nations and undertake, provided appropriate security precautions, to prevent further imports of such weapons systems into Cuba.

2) For our part, we would agree - after the United Nations have taken suitable precautions to ensure compliance with these obligations - a) immediately lift the quarantine orders that are currently in force; and b) give guarantees against an invasion of Cuba. I am confident that other countries in the western hemisphere would be willing to do the same.
If you direct your agents to do this, there is no reason why we should not be able to get these agreements through within a few days and get them out to the world. The effect that such clarification would have in relieving tensions in the world would enable us to work towards a comprehensive agreement on 'other armaments', as you suggest in your second letter you published. I want to reiterate that the United States is very interested in easing tensions and ending the arms race; and should your letter indicate that you are ready to engage in talks on easing the tension on the Warsaw Pact and the Warsaw Pact, we will be more than happy to consider any pertinent proposal with our allies.

But the first essential step - let me emphasize this - is to stop work on the missile bases in Cuba and take action to defuse these weapons, under effective international guarantees. Continuing this threat or delaying talks on Cuba by linking these issues with broader security issues of Europe and the world would certainly intensify the Cuba crisis and seriously jeopardize world peace. For this reason, I hope that we can soon come to an agreement along the lines set out in this letter and in your letter of October 26th.

Source: Bernd Greiner, Cuba Crisis, Nördlingen 1988, pp. 381-382.


Nikita Khrushchev's answer to John F. Kennedy, October 27, 1962

"Dear Mr President,

[…] In your statement, you expressed the view that the main objective is not just to reach an agreement and to take measures to prevent our ships from colliding and thus worsening the crisis which, as a result of such clashes, trigger a military conflict that would make any negotiation superfluous, because then other forces and other laws would come into play - the laws of war. I agree with you that this is only the first step. The main task to be done is to normalize and stabilize peace between states and peoples. [...]

You want to guarantee the security of your country and that is understandable. But Cuba wants the same; all countries want to keep their security. But how should we, the Soviet Union, our government, evaluate your actions, which is expressed in the fact that you surrounded the Soviet Union with military bases, surrounded our allies with military bases; Literally set up military bases around our country; and have your missile equipment stationed there? It's not a secret. American figures in charge publicly state that this is so. Your missiles are in Great Britain, in Italy and aimed at us. Your missiles are in Turkey.

You are concerned about Cuba. You say this worries you because it is only 150 kilometers off the coast of the United States of America. But Turkey borders on our country; our guards patrol back and forth and can see each other. Do you think you have the right to demand security for your country and to demand the withdrawal of the weapons you call offensive, but not to grant us the same right? You have devastating missile weapons, which you call offensive, stationed in Turkey, literally very close to our country. How can the recognition of our equal military strength be reconciled with such unequal relations between our big states? It is incompatible. [...]

I therefore propose the following: we are ready to withdraw from Cuba the weapons that you consider offensive. We are ready to do this and to make this commitment in the United Nations. Its representatives will issue a statement that the United States, for its part, is withdrawing its weapons from Turkey in view of the concerns and unease in the Soviet Union. [...]

Why would I like to do that? Because the whole world is worried now and expects us to act carefully. It would be the greatest joy for all peoples if we announced our agreement and the settlement of the controversy that has arisen. I attach great importance to this agreement in that it is a good start and, in particular, it could make it easier to reach an agreement to ban nuclear tests. The question of the tests could be solved in parallel without connecting one to the other, since they are separate questions. However, it is important to reach an agreement on both issues and thereby give humanity an extraordinary gift and also to please them with the news that an agreement has been reached on the cessation of nuclear tests and, as a result, the atmosphere will no longer be poisoned. Our position and yours are very close on this issue. [...] "

Source: Bernd Greiner, Cuba Crisis, Nördlingen 1988, pp. 326-328.


Excerpt from the telegram sent by Anatoly Dobrynin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow on October 27, 1962

The Soviet ambassador tells his superiors about his secret meeting with Robert Kennedy, the US attorney general and brother of the US president. It is mainly about the secret plan to withdraw missiles from Turkey. The letter was classified as a "Top Secret" document. German translation:

“'[…] The most important thing for us,' emphasized Robert Kennedy, 'is to get the approval of the Soviet government as soon as possible to cease its work on building the missile bases and to take measures under international observation that make the use of these weapons impossible In return, the government of the is ready to undertake, in addition to lifting the so-called quarantine measures, not to undertake an attack on Cuba and to vouch that other countries in the western world are ready to make the same promise - the - Government is certain on this point. '

'What about Turkey?' I asked R. Kennedy.

"If this is the only obstacle to realizing the agreement I have already discussed, then the President sees no insurmountable difficulties in solving this problem," said R. Kennedy. 'The greatest difficulty for the President is the public discussion of the Turkey issue. It was officially decided by the Council to station missiles in Turkey. If one were to announce a unilateral decision by the President to withdraw missiles from Turkey now, it would damage the whole structure of and the American leadership role in it. There are many differences of opinion within - as the Soviet government is well aware. In short, if such a decision were announced now, it would be a serious ordeal for them. Nevertheless, President Kennedy is ready to come to an agreement with N. S. Khrushchev on this issue. I believe, 'said R. Kennedy,' that we will need four to five months to withdraw these missiles from Turkey. If the existing work processes within the structure are taken into account, this is the minimum time that the government needs to carry out this project. When Premier N.S. Khrushchev agrees with my remarks on the question of Turkey, 'added R. Kennedy,' we can continue the exchange of views between him and the President with him, R. Kennedy, and the Soviet ambassador as interlocutors. Nevertheless, the President cannot say anything about Turkey in public, 'repeated R. Kennedy. R. Kennedy warned that his comments on Turkey were top secret; apart from him and his brother, there are only two or three other people in Washington who have been informed. [...] "

Source: .
The entire telegram is available in English on the George Washington University website at: www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/621027%20Dobrynin%20Cable%20to%20USSR.pdf


Excerpts from the "Platt Amendment", a Cuban constitutional amendment from 1902

Under pressure from the American government, a text was included in the new Cuban constitution, named after Senator Orville Platt, which relativized Cuba's newly won independence. This secured extensive rights.

"I. That the government of Cuba shall never enter into any treaty or other compact with any foreign power or powers which will impair or tend to impair the independence of Cuba, nor in any manner authorize or permit any foreign power or powers to obtain by colonization or for military or naval purposes or otherwise, lodgement in or control over any portion of said island. [...]

III. That the government of Cuba consents that the United States may exercise the right to intervene for the preservation of Cuban independence, the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty, and for discharging the obligations with respect to Cuba imposed by the treaty of Paris on the United States, now to be assumed and undertaken by the government of Cuba.

IV. That all Acts of the United States in Cuba during its military occupancy thereof are ratified and validated, and all lawful rights acquired thereunder shall be maintained and protected.

V. That the government of Cuba will execute, and as far as necessary extend, the plans already devised or other plans to be mutually agreed upon, for the sanitation of the cities of the island, to the end that a recurrence of epidemic and infectious diseases may be prevented, thereby assuring protection to the people and commerce of Cuba, as well as to the commerce of the southern ports of the United States and the people residing therein. [...]

VII. That to enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, and to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain specified points to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.

VIII. That by way of further assurance the government of Cuba will embody the foregoing provisions in a permanent treaty with the United States. "

Source on the Internet on the website of the "Modern History Sourcebook" available at: www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1901platt.html


German translation:

"I. That the government of Cuba will never enter into a treaty or any other arrangement with any foreign power or powers that affects or could result in prejudice to Cuba's independence, and will never in any way permit any foreign power or powers will gain control of any part of said island through colonization or for military, naval or other purposes. [...]

III. That the government of Cuba consent to the United States exercising the right to intervene to protect Cuba's independence, to maintain a government protecting life, property and individual liberty, and to comply with the United States' obligations under the Paris Treaty towards Cuba, which are now taken over and fulfilled by the government of Cuba.

IV. That during the United States military presence in Cuba, all United States laws are ratified and in effect, and that all legitimate claims acquired under them are to be upheld and defended.

V. That the government of Cuba will implement and, if necessary, expand plans for the sewer system of the cities of the island with the aim of preventing a renewed outbreak of epidemic and contagious diseases, or plans that have yet to be jointly agreed, so that both the people and the trade of Cuba will be able to do so as well as the trade of the southern ports of the United States and the people living there. [...]

VII. That the government of Cuba will sell or lease land to the United States for naval and coal stations in certain locations yet to be agreed with the President of the United States in order to help the United States maintain Cuba's independence, defend its people, and its own Enable protection.

VIII. That the government of Cuba will anchor the preceding provisions in an open-ended contract with the United States for the purpose of further guarantee. "



Telegram of October 27, 1962 to General Issa A. Pliyev

Order from the Soviet Defense Minister Malinovsky (code name "Trostnik") from Moscow to the commander of the Soviet armed forces in Cuba, General Pliyev (code name "Pavlov"). The need to issue such an order illustrates how close the world was on the verge of nuclear war these days.

Available on the George Washington University website at: www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/621027%20Ciphered%20Telegram%20No.%2020076.pdf


Exchange of letters between Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro on October 28, 1962

One day after an American U-2 reconnaissance aircraft was shot down over Cuba by Soviet SAM surface-to-air missiles, the two heads of state, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, exchanged the following letters expressing their concerns and convictions. German translation:

"Dear Comrade Fidel Castro,

Our message to President Kennedy on October 27th makes it possible to resolve the conflict on your behalf, i.e. to protect Cuba from an invasion and to prevent a war from breaking out. Kennedy's response, which you apparently also know, offers guarantees that the United States will not invade Cuba with its own forces, nor will it allow its allies to invade Cuba. In this regard, the President of the United States responded positively to my messages of October 26th and 27th, 1962. [...]

Against this background, I would now like to recommend that you do not allow yourself to be carried away by emotions in view of the current change in the crisis and show steadfastness. I understand your outrage over the aggressive behavior and violations of the most basic principles of international law by the United States.

But right now it's not the law, it's the unreasonableness of the militarists in the Pentagon (Ministry of Defense, editor's note). With an agreement within reach, the Pentagon seeks an excuse to torpedo it. That is why it organizes these provocative flights. Yesterday you shot down one of the planes while you didn't shoot them down before they flew over your area. The aggressors will instrumentalize such a step for their own purposes.

Therefore I would like to give you the friendly advice to show patience, steadfastness and steadfastness again and again. However, should an attack occur, it will of course be necessary to repel it by all means. But we must not allow ourselves to be carried away by provocations, because the immoderate militarists of the Pentagon are trying - after a solution to the conflict is now within reach, which obviously promises protection from an invasion of Cuba in your interests - to thwart the agreement and you to initiate actions which could later be construed against you. I ask you not to give them an excuse to do so.

For our part, we will do everything possible to stabilize the situation in Cuba, to protect Cuba from an invasion and to provide you with everything possible for the peaceful construction of a socialist society.

Greetings to you and the whole leadership,

N. Khrushchev "

Source on the Internet in English on the website of George Washington University available at: www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/19621028khrlet.pdf


"Dear Comrade Khrushchev,

I have just received your letter. [...]

Regarding the air defense measures we have taken, I would like to make the following clear: You write: 'Yesterday you shot down one of the planes, while before you did not shoot them down when they flew over your area.' In the past, there have been isolated violations of the airspace without a specific military purpose or real danger from the flights.

This time it wasn't. There was a risk of a surprise attack on certain military installations. We decided not to sit back and wait for a surprise attack with the reconnaissance radar turned off while potentially dangerous aircraft could fly over these targets with impunity and destroy them completely. In view of all previous efforts and costs, we thought we could not tolerate this, especially since it would weaken us militarily and morally. For this reason, on October 24th, the Cuban armed forces mobilized 50 anti-aircraft batteries - our entire reserve - to support the positions of the Soviet armed forces. In order to avert the risk of a surprise attack, it was necessary to give the Cuban artillerymen an order to fire. The Soviet command can provide you with further reports on what happened to the downed plane.

In the past, violations of the airspace were carried out in secret. Yesterday the American government tried to make the right to violate our airspace at any time of the day or night an official practice. We cannot accept this, as it would be tantamount to renouncing a principle of sovereignty. Nonetheless, we agree that at this point in time we must avoid an incident that could seriously jeopardize the negotiations. We will therefore give the Cuban batteries the order not to fire on planes - but only for the duration of the negotiations and without thereby revoking our declaration published yesterday on the decision to defend our airspace. It should also be taken into account that incidents may accidentally occur in the current tense situation.

I would also like to inform you that we refuse to inspect our territory on principle. I greatly appreciate your efforts to keep the peace, and we fully agree on the need to fight for that goal. If it is achieved in a just, stable, and clear manner, it would be of priceless service to humanity.


Fidel Castro "

Available on the Internet in English on the George Washington University website at: www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/nsa/cuba_mis_cri/19621028caslet.pdf


Treaty between the and the on the limitation of missile defense systems of May 26, 1972

The treaty was the most important result of the negotiations on nuclear arms limitation (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, SALT for short) between the and the USSR that had been taking place since 1969. The technology of anti-ballistic missiles (anti-ballistic missiles, systems for short) endangered the "balance of terror" between the superpowers, as they questioned the mutual destructive power of one another. In 2002, the unilaterally resigned from the contract.

Available on the Internet on the website of the Hessian Foundation for Peace and Conflict Research at: www.hsfk.de/abm/back/docs/abm_dt.html


NATO double decision of December 12, 1979

Officially, the document is called "Communique of the Foreign and Defense Ministers of the States on the occasion of the special session on the conditional decision on the stationing of medium-range weapons". The double decision led to the growth of the peace movement in many Western European countries. At the end of 1981, the disarmament negotiations between the and the USSR, named in the treaty, began in Geneva. When they remained inconclusive until the end of 1983, the German Bundestag approved the stationing of new medium-range missiles in the Federal Republic on November 22, 1983.

Source available on the Internet on the website of the German Historical Museum at: www.dhm.de/lemo/html/dokumente/NeueHeraushaben_vertragNATODoppelbeschluss/index.html