Lot 81 - Fidel Castro letter to Nikita Khrushchev
Fidel Castro letter to Nikita Khrushchev - a thanks for support and plea for arms
An autographed letter from Fidel Castro to Nikita Khrushchev, 3 pages, measuring 8" x 11", dated May 27 1960, the contents of which helped establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, following the Cuban Revolution.
The cover page is written on Fulgencio Batista's stationery and is not in Castro's hand. The body of Castro's message is written on the new "Instituto Nacional De Reforma Agraria" stationery.
The letter reads in full:
"I thank you in the name of the Revolutionary Government of Cuba for your repeated and prompt statements in favor of our revolution, which have been very highly regarded and appreciated by our people. I am also very grateful for the special message reported to me by Mr. (illegible), as well as the invitation extended to me to visit the Soviet Union, which, when I make it, as soon as possible, will satisfy one of our great desires. For our part, we hope your visit to Cuba will be a great event in our country. The widespread and impassioned coverage received by our revolution in the Soviet Union, the numerous publications in our favor in magazines and newspapers, together with all the other acts...and so many other reasons, which together with the...and fair commercial treaty...your interest in understanding our requests for supplies in any order, and so many other acts for which I extend my personal thanks to the Soviet People, and which the people of Cuba will show you during your subsequent visit. I wish you the greatest success in your relentless struggle for peace and friendship among all peoples of the world."
An exceptionally rare piece of Post-Revolutionary Cuban history, which led to Russia's politico-military stake in Cuba.
Up until 1960, the US had followed a policy of non-intervention in Cuba. This ended on March 4 1960 when the French munition ship Le Coubre blew up in Havana, and the Cuban authorities denounced the US for an (unproven) overt act of sabotage. That same month, President Eisenhower authorized the CIA to organize, train, and equip Cuban refugees as a guerrilla force to overthrow Castro. On July 6 1960, President Eisenhower announced that the balance of Cuba's 1960 sugar quota for the supply of sugar to the US was to be suspended. The immediate loss to Cuba was 900,000 tons of unsold sugar valued at about $100,000,000. The Russian Government came to the rescue, cementing the Soviet Cuban bond. Ernest Hemingway had said "I just hope to Christ that the United States doesn't cut the sugar quota. That will really tear it. It will make Cuba a gift to the Russians." The Soviet Unions assumption of responsibility of Cuba's economic welfare gave the Russians a politico-military stake in Cuba. Increased arms shipments from the USSR and Czechoslovakia enabled Castro to rapidly strengthen and expand his forces. Cuba also now had Russian military support. On July 9, three days after President Eisenhower's sugar proclamation, and just 6 weeks after this letter was written, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev announced "The USSR is raising its voice and extending a helpful hand to the people of Cuba...speaking figuratively, in case of necessity, Soviet artillerymen can support the Cuban people with rocket fire."
End Date: 2012-05-24 19:30:00