202. 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.

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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, Special US-USSR File, 1962. Confidential. A draft with Bundy’s handwritten revisions, also dated November 21, is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence (Cuba), Vol. II, 11/20/62-12/14/62.
  2. Document 196.
  3. In a statement at his press conference on November 20; see footnote 7, Document 196.
  4. Printed from an unsigned copy.