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FOREIGN OFFICE FILES FOR CUBA
(Public Record Office Class FO 371)

Part 3: The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
(PRO Classes FO371/162308-162436, 168135 & PREM 11/3689-3691)

Part 3 provides the Foreign Office Files for Cuba for 1962. These files contain detailed reports, memoranda and correspondence relating to events that had worldwide repercussions.  The Cuban Missile Crisis was perhaps the most alarming incident of the Cold War period, bringing the United States and the USSR into an “eyeball-to-eyeball” confrontation in the autumn of 1962. Key topics include:

  • The US blockade of Cuba.
  • Soviet military aid to Cuba.
  • Castro's speeches and the internal political situation in Cuba.
  • International reactions to the Crisis.
  • NATO discussions.
  • Activities of anti-Castro exiles and counter-revolutionaries in Cuba.
  • The treatment of prisoners in Cuban gaols.
  • The foreign policy of Cuba, including appeals to the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice.
  • Communism in Cuba.
  • Intelligence, propaganda and press information on Cuba.
  • The visit to the Soviet Union of Guevara and Aragones.

Three PREM 11 files deal with crucial material on the Cuban Missile Crisis. These cover UN Security Council discussions, detailed telephone conversations between Kennedy and Macmillan, the US blockade of Cuba, NATO deliberations, exchanges with Khrushchev, deliberations on resolving the crisis, and discussions concerning the impact on the situation in Berlin and other Cold War tensions.

This project covers the crisis in great detail - including all correspondence and reports within the British Foreign Office on the unfolding events between the
United States and Cuba. Britain was more than a bystander - she had colonial and commonwealth interests in British Guyana and the Caribbean and wished to preserve the ‘special relationship’ with America, whilst striving to maintain trade and diplomatic relations in the region.

Fidel Castro

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