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1523. Re Cuba. At mtg with U Thant this evening Stevenson received SYG's message to President in regard to his negots with Castro and delivered President's reply (transmitted separately).(1) Stevenson pointed out reference to attitude other American states toward assurances against invasion of Cuba was based on our understanding their position and should not be understood as committing other govts whose attitude would presumably be relected in early OAS mtg.
SYG said it would be extremely helpful to him in working out desired arrangements with Castro if Pres could publicly suspend quarantine on Oct 30. He pointed out that he is constantly being belabored by Sovs and Cubans with claim they have complied with his appeal of Oct 25 and that US has not. He felt that US naval units could be left at present stations but would simply not exercise right of search during SYG's two-day visit to Havana. If he should report on his return to New York either that he had not been able to establish adequate inspection or that inspection had revealed Sov failure to comply with their commitments, quarantine could be at once resumed. On other hand if his report was favorable and satisfactory verification arrangements established, suspension would become definitive.
It was also suggested that, without any public announcement, US reconnaissance flights over Cuba might be suspended during his visit there. It was pointed out that any incident caused by such flights during his visit would be extremely embarrassing to him.
In reply to our insistence that verification arrangements must be approved and in place before blockade suspended, SYG said that he simply did not believe there was any likelihood that Sovs would launch missiles on US during next two or three days. He felt it would obviously be suicidal for them and for Cubans if this were done. He expressed grave concern at call-up yesterday of Air Force Reserves and, without explicitly saying so, left impression he thought some of US actions have been excessive. In reply we explained in considerable detail very grave and important character of threat with which we had been confronted.
Stevenson mentioned possibility of Castro as useful gesture of good will restoring body of U-2 pilot.
Stevenson also suggested SYG might, if opportunity occurred, sound out Castro on ceasing his subversive activities in other countries. Stevenson emphasized however that this should not be connected in any way with present situation, which it would undoubtedly complicate but might simply be broached as an important matter to be dealt with in future. Narasimhan expressed view that Castro would almost certainly raise question of US subversion in Cuba and this would give SYG opportunity to respond in manner Stevenson suggested. He also thought Castro might raise question of Guantanamo. Stevenson urged again that all of these matters be firmly excluded from present negot since their introduction into it might cause serious delay and complication.
In closing, SYG said he hopes to leave about 10:00 am Oct 30 either on Brazilian Varig Airline Caravel or on Mexican DC6B.
Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.3722/10-2862. Confidential; Priority; Limited Distribution. Received in the Department of State at 10:09 p.m.