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421. Telegram From the Interests Section in Cuba to the Department of State1

170. Subj: Cubans and NPT.

1. USINT Chief and First Secretary (Glassman) made courtesy call on Soviet Chargé Narlen Manasov and Political Counselor Aleksander S. Seletsky, September 20. In course of tour d’horizon, USINT officers inquired whether Soviets had urged Cuba to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Manasov, a veteran of six years here, said that Soviet Embassy here had never rpt never made approach to Cubans on NPT; he did not comment on approaches elsewhere.

2. Manasov recalled that Cuban UN Perm Rep Alarcon had some time ago set forth position that Cuba would not sign NPT until Guantanamo base removed, Panama Canal problem settled, and U.S. embargo on Cuba lifted. (FYI on Panama Canal treaties, Manasov remarked that, in his personal opinion, treaties were best that could be negotiated at present time. He said that Cubans definitely support treaties.) With regard to Treaty of Tlatelolco and its Protocols, asserted that lack of Soviet and Cuban adhesion stemmed in part from fact that U.S. maintained right for its warships carrying nuclear weapons to transit Panama Canal, implying that this would be special privilege.

3. British Ambassador told USINT Chief, during recent call, that during visit early this month of British MP Eldon Griffiths, latter pressed Cuban Vice-President Carlos Rafael Rodriguez for GOC to sign NPT. Rodriguez reportedly stated that Cubans would not sign NPT as matter of principle while it had powerful nuclear neighbor with which it has serious differences. Implication, consistent with Alarcon’s reported position, was that change in this position in long term is possible when major problems with U.S. have been resolved.

4. Action requested: Department and ACDA requested to forward available information on bases of Soviet and Cuban objections to Treaty of Tlatelolco and its Protocols. Also request background on any conditions, other than those cited above, which Cubans have posed for signing NPT.

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  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770345–1044. Confidential. Sent for information to Mexico City, Moscow, Panama, and London.