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


Washington, November 26, 1962, 9:28 p.m.

1379. For Stevenson and McCloy. Subject: New York Negotiations (urtels 1941, 1942, 1943).(1) Following amplifies and supplements Secretary's conversation with McCloy today:

1. We understand from reftels and Stevenson telecon that Soviets have expressed reservations or queries on four points:

(a) they have asked reason for reference to Acting Secretary General's letter of October 28(2) (purpose is to underscore international character of undertakings);

(b) reference to fact that Soviet undertakings unfulfilled;

(c) recapitulation of Soviet "concessions" taken pursuant to Kennedy-Khrushchev correspondence; and

(d) inclusion of our overflight reservation. We understand further you preparing some textual changes for our consideration.

2. While concurring in your acceptance of phrase "had not been capable of fulfillment," we strongly believe that at your meeting with Mikoyan tonight you should continue to press Soviets on basis Deptel 1359(3) and urtel 1941. Mikoyan has well deserved reputation of being hardest bargainer in Kremlin's stable of tough negotiators. We should not consider any textual changes at least until Soviets have received a considered reaction from Moscow to our declaration, and we have been presented with draft of Soviet declaration. We assume that for bargaining purposes at least Soviets will submit draft declaration which includes some or all of Castro's demands and other unacceptable elements drawn from their protocol.

3. Suggest following points might be stressed with Mikoyan:

(a) We prepared for prompt wind-up in Security Council;

(b) Draft declaration is most we can do--and more than was originally promised--in light of Cuban refusal to permit UN verification or safeguards. Alternatively, we prepared to substitute Presidential press statement of November 20;(4)

(c) Soviet protocol categorically unacceptable;

(d) Question of discussing outstanding issues with Cuba is outside framework US-USSR transaction pursuant to Kennedy-Khrushchev correspondence;

(e) In absence of agreement on UN verification, reservation re use our own resources to check compliance absolutely essential. We not seeking to humiliate Soviets nor asking them to formally agree to our overflights; we are merely making a frank statement of our intentions lest some dangerous miscalculation should occur; and

(f) U Thant proposal unacceptable and no inspection of US could be made without inspection USSR.

4. Hope you can probe Mikoyan re his talks in Havana.

5. Re urtel 1943, we believe it important that US have opportunity to review SYG report before it submitted to SC. We are concerned, for example, that he might include proposal he made to us on Caribbean security zone which he gave to Soviets, although it was unacceptable to us. Believe Yost should discuss this with Narasimhan with view making appropriate arrangements.(5)


1 Document 210 and footnote 1 thereto. Telegram 1943 from USUN, November 26, in which the Mission suggested it was important to review U Thant's report on Cuba before he submitted it to the Security Council, is in Department of State, Central Files, 737.56361/11-2662) Back

2 For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, pp. 446-447. Back

3 Document 207. Back

4 For text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, pp. 830-838. Back

5 The Mission reported that U Thant told one of their members that he did not contemplate any report on Cuba to the Security Council at this time. (Telegram 1972 from USUN, November 27; Department of State, Central Files, 737.56361/11-2162) Back

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.56361/11-2662. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Drafted by Sisco, cleared by U. Alexis Johnson and with Rusk in substance, and approved by Cleveland.

127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.