Cuban Missle Crisis
Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State


Moscow, October 23, 1962, 5 p.m.

1042. Policy. Embtel 1041.(1) Embassy translation follows of Khrushchev's letter of October 23 to President. Kuznetsov informed me letter would not be published "for time being."

Begin Text. Mr. President.

I have just received your letter, and have also acquainted myself with text of your speech of October 22 regarding Cuba.(2)

I should say frankly that measures outlined in your statement represent serious threat to peace and security of peoples. United States has openly taken path of gross violation of Charter of United Nations, path of violation of international norms of freedom of navigation on high seas, path of aggressive actions both against Cuba and against Soviet Union.

Statement of Government of United States America cannot be evaluated in any other way than as naked interference in domestic affairs of Cuban Republic, Soviet Union, and other states. Charter of United Nations and international norms do not give right to any state whatsoever to establish in international waters control of vessels bound for shores of Cuban Republic.

It is self-understood that we also cannot recognize right of United States to establish control over armaments essential to Republic of Cuba for strengthening of its defensive capacity.

We confirm that armaments now on Cuba, regardless of classification to which they belong, are destined exclusively for defensive purposes, in order to secure Cuban Republic from attack of aggressor.

I hope that Government of United States will show prudence and renounce actions pursued by you, which would lead to catastrophic consequences for peace throughout world.

Viewpoint of Soviet Government with regard to your statement of October 22 is set forth in statement of Soviet Government, which is being conveyed to you through your Ambassador in Moscow.(3)

/s/ N. Khrushchev. End text.

Original of letter being airpouched today.


1 Dated October 23. (Ibid., Central Files, 611.3722/10-2362) Back

2 Document 44, and see footnote 4, Document 46. Back

3 For text of the Soviet statement, see The New York Times, October 24, 1962. Back

Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Secret; Niact; Elite; Eyes Only. The source text is a translation done at the Embassy in Moscow and received in the Department of State at 11:56 a.m. Kohler had been handed the letter at a meeting with Kuznetsov at 3 p.m. Moscow time. A copy of the Russian-language text is ibid.

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