81. Message From President Kennedy to Chairman Khrushchev0

Dear Mr. Chairman: I have been glad to get your letter of November 20, 1 which arrived in good time yesterday. As you will have seen, I was able to announce the lifting of our quarantine promptly at my press conference, on the basis of your welcome assurance that the IL-28 bombers will be removed within a month.

I am now instructing our negotiators in New York to move ahead promptly with proposals for a solution of the remaining elements in the Cuban problem. I do not wish to confuse the discussion by trying to state our present position in detail in this message, but I do want you to know that I continue to believe that it is important to settle this matter promptly and on reasonable terms, so that we may move on to other issues. I regret that you have been unable to persuade Mr.Castro to accept a suitable form of inspection or verification in Cuba, and that in consequence we must continue to rely upon our own means of information. But, as I said yesterday, 2 there need be no fear of any invasion of Cuba while matters take their present favorable course.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 77 D 163. Confidential. Another copy is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. Also printed in Claflin, The President Wants To Know, p. 222.
  2. Document 79.
  3. In a statement at his press conference on November 20; for text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1962, pp. 461-463.
  4. Printed from an unsigned copy.