Khrushchev counsels Castro to stand firm and not respond to provocative American overflights of Cuban airspace.

Letter from Nikita Khrushchev to Fidel Castro
October 28, 1962

Dear Comrade Fidel Castro:

Our message to President Kennedy of October 27, allows for a solution of the problem in your favor, defending Cuba from an invasion, from an outbreak of such a war. Kennedy's answer, which you obviously know, offers U.S. guarantees that they will not only not invade Cuba with their own forces, but that they will not allow their allies to do so. The President of the United States has thus responded favorably to my messages of October 26 and 27.

We have just drafted our response to the President's message. I will not write it here since it is being transmitted by radio.

Because of this we would now like to advise you, in this turning point of the crisis, not to get carried away by your feelings: show firmness. It must be said that we understand your profound indignation at the aggressive actions of the U.S.A and at its violation of the fundamental norms of international law.

For the time being, however, it is not law that rules but rather the lack of sense of the militarists in the Pentagon. Since an agreement is in sight, the Pentagon is looking for a pretext to thwart it. This is why it organizes provocative overflights. Yesterday, you shot down one of them, yet previously you did not when they flew over your territory. That step will be used by aggressors to their advantage, to further their aims.

Because of this we would like to advise you, in the spirit of friendship, to show patience, firmness and more firmness. Naturally, if there is an invasion, it will be necessary to fight it with everything. But one must not allow oneself to fall for provocations. Now that a solution is being found -- one that is in your favor and that guarantees against an invasion -- the unbridled militarists in the Pentagon want to frustrate the agreement and provoke you into taking actions that could be used against you. we ask you not to give them a pretext for this.

We on our part will do everything to stabilize the situation in Cuba, to defend Cuba. from invasion and to assure you the possibilities for the peaceful construction of the socialist society.

We send you, and your entire collective direction, our greetings.

N. Khrushchev

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