217. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

227407. Subject: Soviet Brigade in Cuba.

1. (S-entire text)

2. We have recently received intelligence information which confirms the presence of a Soviet brigade-type unit in Cuba. In response to this development, the following points will be made to Soviet Embassy, Washington on Aug 29. You should arrange to make same demarche at FonOff Aug 30.

Marshall Shulman informed Bessmertnykh on July 272 that we would regard the presence of organized Soviet combat units in Cuba with deep concern.

—Our concern is not theoretical. We know that there are Soviet combat forces in Cuba.

—We regard this as a serious matter which cannot help but burden our relations.

—The Secretary sees the meeting with the Foreign Minister in New York as an early opportunity to have comprehensive discussion on the trends in our relationship of which this deployment is one significant element.

3. We will be making a similar approach to the Cubans in Havana.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 15, Cuba: Soviet Brigade, 9/19–30/79. Secret; Cherokee; Niact Immediate; Nodis. Printed from a copy that indicates the original was received in the White House Situation Room. Drafted by Newsom; cleared in substance by Daniel O’Donohue (PM), James E. Goodby (EUR), and Viron P. Vaky (ARA); cleared by Walter Slocombe (DUSD/PP), Anthony Lake (S/P), Brezezinski, and Bremer; approved by Newsom. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, [no film number])
  2. In telegram 195589 to Moscow, July 27, the Department summarized Shulman’s conversation with Bessmertnykh. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D790343–0066)