246. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Views of Carlos Lechuga, Cuban Ambassador to the OAS


  • Mr. Tad Szulc, New York Times
  • Mr. Robert Hurwitch, ARA:CMA/C

Szulc said that he had recently had a three-hour luncheon conversation with Cuban OAS Ambassador Lechuga whom he had known previous [Page 625] to Castroʼs rise to power. According to Szulc, Lechuga insisted that he was not a Communist. He inquired whether there was any thinking in U.S. Official circles toward resumption of diplomatic relations with Cuba which could in turn lead to a general easing of tensions between Cuba and the U.S. He said that he and many others in high places in the Castro regime were becoming increasingly concerned over the degree of Communist influence in Cuba. The bad state of Cuban-U.S. relations left him and his friends no alternative to turning toward the Sino-Soviet Bloc for assistance. A friendlier attitude on the part of the U.S., Lechuga is reported to have said, would assist the non-Communists in Cuba and he felt confident that anti-American propaganda emanating from Cuba would cease. Szulc said he felt Lechuga had a good point and inquired as to my reaction.

I replied that I doubted Lechugaʼs sincerity. It was, I thought, more likely that Lechuga was conducting a campaign for easing tensions in order that Cuba might remain a member in good standing within the inter-American community and at the same time maintain its political-military ties with the Bloc. Accomplishment of this status for Cuba would, from Lechugaʼs standpoint probably constitute success in his mission.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/7-1361. Official Use Only. Drafted by Hurwitch on July 17.