638. Telegram 2422 from Moscow, March 271

[Facsimile Page 1]

Following is Embassy translation Note No. 17/USA delivered by messenger on March 27:


No. 17/USA

MFA of USSR states following on instructions Soviet Government.

On night March 17, 1963, Soviet Cargo Vessel “L’GOV”, which was in Cuban Port Isabela La Sagua, was fired on from cutter which approached vessel from direction of sea. Ship was fired upon with several bursts from heavy-caliber machine gun;

On March 19, heads of counter-revolutionary Cuban organizations declared at press conference, organized in capital USA, Washington, that Soviet vessel fired on by their group. They also declared US not preventing such activity their part, and that groups will continue attacks.

US Department of State published statement same day, which, while not denying that Soviet vessel fired on by Cuban counter-revolutionaries, not only did not condemn this sort provocation in area of [Typeset Page 1651] Caribbean Sea, but contained statements which in fact encourage bandit activities.

Surely clear that, without material support of US Government and without supplying of American weapons and ships, group of traitors [Facsimile Page 2] to Cuban people, sheltering on territory USA would not be able undertake these kinds provocation. American officials have repeatedly acknowledged fact counter-revolutionary groups are financed by US and enjoy its full protection.

By offering Cuban counter-revolutionaries territory and material means for organizing piratical attacks against Republic Cuba, USA is actually bringing about dangerous aggravation situation in area Caribbean Sea and throughout world.

Completely evident Government USA bears full responsibility for actions of Cuban counter-revolutionaries, including attack they committed against Soviet vessel “L’GOV”. Encouragement such actions by USA is not only crude violation generally accepted norms international law regarding freedom navigation and basic principles UN Charter, but also contradicts agreement between Governments USSR and USA on settlement of crisis in area of Caribbean Sea.

Soviet Government protests to Government USA piratical attack on Soviet vessel “L’GOV” and expects Government USA will take decisive measures prevent similar provocative actions in future.


Decontrolled following publication by Soviet Government.

  1. Transmits text of note from Soviet Government re attack on Soviet cargo vessel in Cuban port. Official Use Only. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, NSF, Countries Series, Cuba—Subjects, Exile Activities.