The Cuban Missile Crisis
Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations


Washington, November 7, 1962, 2:48 p.m.

1210. Dobrynin in conversation with Thompson last night repeated arguments advanced by Kuznetsov on IL-28's. He said Soviets considered that agreement between President and Khrushchev concerned only missiles. He said IL-28 was fifteen-year-old model incapable of being sent on long-range mission and would be sitting duck for modern air defense system. He stated Soviets considered quarantine proclamation illegal and therefore could not take into consideration its list of prohibited weapons.

Thompson pointed out we did not agree with their appraisal of offensive capabilities IL-28's and observed that most Latin American countries did not have modern air defenses. He said it was clear on our side that bombers were included in the agreement on Cuba and cited specific mention of them in President's October twenty-second address(1) as well as language in President's letter to Khrushchev of October twenty-seventh.(2)

Dobrynin said Soviets had the feeling they were moving promptly to carry out agreement. He understood removal of MRBM's had started November second and was expected to be completed by November tenth. The United States had not only done nothing to carry out agreement but was endeavoring to expand its scope. Dobrynin asked when and in what form non-invasion guarantee would be made.

Thompson drew attention to fact that invasion had not taken place, and that we had facilitated Soviet ships in quarantine area proceeding to Cuba. He said negotiations on guarantee declaration were going on in New York but it appeared to him that difficulty was caused by attitude of Cuban Government. The agreement specifically provided for verification of removal of offensive weapons and Cuban Government appeared to be blocking any UN effort to carry this out. He pointed out that there appeared to be at least two phases to the problem. The first was the dismantling and removal of the weapons and the second was assurances against their reintroduction. Dobrynin asked whether US guarantee would be given at the end of phase one. Thompson replied that the Soviets could be sure that we would not invade but he did not see how any formal action on a guarantee of indefinite duration could be taken until longer-range arrangements could be agreed upon. In this connection, he inquired whether Dobrynin thought some regional arrangement such as an atom-free Latin America or a Caribbean agreement would facilitate Cuban acceptance to verification and control measures, stress-ing that he was speaking personally and had no information on what US policy would be on such matters. Dobrynin replied this possibility had been raised by U Thant when he was in Cuba and he personally thought this was hopeful approach. He inquired whether it would be possible to include Florida or part of Southeastern United States in a Caribbean arrangement. Thompson replied that while this might raise a number of problems, we had nothing to hide and he would not exclude such possibility.


1 See footnote 3, Document 155. Back

2 See Document 95. Back

Source: Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 65 D 438, Background Papers--Cuba. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Thompson; cleared by Cleveland, U. Alexis Johnson, and Rusk; and approved by Thompson. Repeated to Moscow.

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