Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Castro Letter to U Thant

Moscow TASS in English to Europe 1501 GMT 20 November 1962-L

(Text) Havana--Prime Minister of Cuba Fidel Castro sent a message to U.N.
Acting Secretary General U Thant, emphasizing that the Cuban Government in
no way obstructs the talks aimed at a peaceful settlement of the crisis in
the Caribbean.

Quite a different matter is out attitude toward the threats and insults to
which the U.S. administration resorts, Castro writes. The United States
reduced the whole matter to the problem of the IL-28 intermediate range
bombers stationed on Cuban territory.

These planes belong to the Government of the Soviet Union. They were
shipped to Cuba to defend our country in case of aggression. In view of
their slow speed and low ceiling, and taking into consideration modern
antiaircraft weapons, these plans should be classified as obsolete.

It is quite obvious that the position of the U.S. administration, which
calls for the removal of these planes, can only be explained by searching
for a pretext to maintain tension, continue the crisis, and carry through
its policy of force. Nevertheless, if the Soviet Government deems it
expedient to remove these planes for the successful progress of the talks
and a solution of the present crisis, the Revolutionary Government of Cuba
will create no obstacles in the way of such a decision.

At the same time, the letter goes on to say, high-ranking officials of the
U.S. administration declare that war planes of their country will continue
to violate the sovereignty of Cuba and to invade our airspace.

These aggressive actions are in crying contradiction to the standards of
international law and the U.N. Charter. Cuba has the lawful and irrefutable
right to defend its territory from any intrusions. We warn once again that
any war plane violating our airspace, flying in range of out antiaircraft
weapons, will run the risk of being shot down.

If any incident should take place during one of these arbitrary actions
directed against out country, the responsibility for this will rest
exclusively with the U.S. Government.

We are ready, Cuba's Prime Minister declares, to discuss most sincerely
such a solution which would lead to the ultimate relaxation of the present
international tension . . . (TASS ellipsis) Cuba will never obstruct a fair
and honest solution acceptable to all. Cuba is simply defending its
sovereignty, its people's self-determination, the legal equality of all
states, both large and small, and the right of each people to work, to
follow the road of progress, to live in peace, to respect other countries,
and enjoy their respect.

No one should entertain illusions over the inevitable results of U.S.
policy, because the government of that country, despite the clear-cut
position of the Soviet Union and Cuba's decision to strive for an enduring
peace, continues its enforcement actions against our country.