305. Telegram 295722/Tosec 240257 From the Department of State to Secretary of State Kissinger in Paris1

295722/Tosec 240257. Memorandum (S/S 7524690). For the Secretary from Sisco.

1. In separate message you are receiving our recommendation for a concrete proposal to make to the Soviet Union on Angola. I believe it is essential, and Schaufele and Rogers agree, that we make a strong démarche to the Cubans to put them on notice of the seriousness with which we view the present situation. Among other things, I believe we are utterly vulnerable with the Congress if we have not made any serious approach to the Cubans.

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2. Following message has been cleared both by Schaufele and Rogers. Rogers feels that it ought to be sent immediately through the Swiss Embassy in Havana. Hope I can get prompt approval:

Begin text:

The Government of the United States calls attention to the fact that the Cuban Government has in recent weeks intervened with combat troops in the civil war in Angola.

Cuba has done this for no evident legitimate purpose of the Republic of Cuba. Rather, it is doing so to carry out the policies of a non-Western Hemisphere power in a part of the world far removed from Cuba.

The fact that Cuba is prepared, to this end, to organize its own military forces in a major deployment across thousands of miles of ocean to take sides in a war between rival forces in Angola raises profound apprehensions about Cuba’s intentions toward other countries in this hemisphere and throughout the world.

The Government of the United States has made clear, in recent public statements, that hostility to Cuba is not a permanent aspect of its foreign policy. It has been prepared to improve its relations reciprocally with the Republic of Cuba. But Cuba’s actions in Angola cannot fail but seriously to jeopardize the prospects for an improvement in Cuba’s foreign relations with the United States and with other nations committed to the principles of non-intervention and mutual respect.

We call on Cuba to cease sending any more combat troops and weapons to Angola. We call on Cuba to stop immediately the intervention of the Cuban troops now on Angolan soil in the internal conflict in that country, and to withdraw those Cuban troops forthwith. And we call on Cuba to lend its full support to initiatives for a ceasefire, to search for an African solution to the conflict and to the efforts for peaceful negotiations among the warring factions in Angola. End text.

Approve message.

As amended.


  1. Summary: Sisco transmitted a proposed statement to the Cuban Government that would highlight the seriousness with which the U.S. Government viewed Cuban involvement in Angola.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P850012–2147. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted and approved by Sisco and cleared by Rogers, Schaufele, Ortiz, and Barbian. Kissinger was in Paris attending the Conference on International Economic Cooperation, December 15–17. In telegram Secto 24102, December 16, Kissinger told Sisco and Ingersoll that he was “disturbed by the apparent tinges of panic evident in the tone” of telegrams on Angola, and he instructed them to take no action until after he had discussed the situation with Ford on December 18. (Ibid., P840083–0668) That discussion is recorded in a memorandum of conversation published as Document 153 in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Volume XXVIII, Southern Africa. Cuban involvement in the Angolan conflict was not discussed. In telegram Tosec 240270, December 16, Ingersoll and Sisco assured Kissinger “that the Angola business is in fact being pursued by all those principally concerned in the Department in a calm, sober, dignified, rational and professional manner.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P850012–2140) In a November 24 speech in Detroit, Kissinger had stated with reference to Cuban involvement in Angola that “a policy of conciliation [with Cuba] will not survive . . . armed intervention in the affairs of other nations.” (Department of State Bulletin, December 15, 1975, p. 844)