465. Telegram From the Embassy in Mexico to the Department of State1

4484. Department pass to American Republic Collective Vienna for USIAEA. Subject: Cuba Formally Declines to Adhere to Treaty of Tlatelolco.

1. (C) Summary: The Government of Cuba has formally requested that OPANAL—the executive organ of the Treaty of Tlatelolco—inform Latin American signatories of the Treaty that Cuba does not now find it possible to adhere to the Treaty (which requires formal renunciation of the nuclear weapons option.) The Cubans spell out conditions which would permit them to consider Treaty adherence. These conditions incorporate earlier Cuban stances, albeit stated in extremely broad and far-reaching terms: dissolution of bilateral and multilateral military and security treaties between the United States and the Latin American States, the “return of territory occupied by U.S. military bases” in Latin America and the dismantling of these bases, the termination of “militarist and aggressive” policies in Latin America made possible by the U.S. “colonial presence,” and the ending of threatening U.S. military maneuvers and efforts to create intervention forces in the hemisphere. End summary.

2. (C) The Cuban note, inexplicably dated December 29, 1979, was delivered to OPANAL by the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City in the second week of March. (OPANAL Secretary-General Ambassador Hector Gros Espiell believes that delivery of the note may have been held up as a result of the furor over the Soviet Afghan invasion.)2 The Cubans request that the text of the note be circulated to all Treaty of Tlatelolco signatories. (Distribution will be made the week of March 17.)

3. (C) The Cuban note responds to the call by the OPANAL General Conference in Quito, April 14–17, 1979, for Cuban adherence to the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Ambassador Gros Espiell stated that, to his knowledge, the Cuban note constitutes the first instance in which Havana has formally communicated its conditions for adhering to the Tlatelolco Treaty. Given the far-reaching nature of Havana’s stated conditions, which go beyond anything that could reasonably be achieved even in the unlikely event of a U.S.-Cuban bilateral rapprochement, Ambas[Page 1145]sador Gros opined that Cuba wished to send a clear message of intransigence to the other Latin American States. (Gros remarked on the interesting contrast between the tone of the Cuban note and Moscow’s praise of the Treaty of Tlatelolco at the February Vienna INFCE review.)

[Omitted here is the body of the telegram.]

8. Comment: The Cuban note will certainly disappoint the GOM which is pressing for French notification of Tlatelolco Protocol One during President Lopez Portillo’s visit to Paris in May and a Brazilian waiver to allow entry into force for that country during Lopez Portillo’s scheduled July visit. The Soviet reaction is also of some interest since the Cuban note could be read as an implicit rebuke of Soviet signature and ratification of Tlatelolco Protocol II. In light of the Cuban note, we would expect that the GOM and other States of the region would become increasingly interested in the state of safeguard negotiations on the Soviet-supplied nuclear power plant being constructed near Cienfuegos, Cuba. (Drafted: Jon D. Glassman)

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, D800132–0007. Confidential; Priority. Sent for information to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Moscow, the Mission in Geneva, Vienna, and all Consulates in Mexico.
  2. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 25, 1979.