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Materials from the 40th Anniversary Conference
Havana, Cuba
10-12 October 2002

The tip of a Soviet R-12 (SS-4) medium-range missile, now a museum piece, points into the Havana sky
The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
A National Security Archive Documents Reader
Edited by Laurence Chang and Peter Kornbluh
Ordering information for this book is available at the W.W. Norton & Co. website. Or by phone:
800-233-4830 (U.S.)
717-346-2029 (Outside U.S.)

Follow this link for a list of US and Soviet veterans of the Cuban Missile Crisis attending the conference.

Images from the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Listen to audio clips on the Cuban Missile Crisis from the Kennedy White House.

Read the press release from 10 October 2002, including images from the early period of the crisis and a list of US and Soviet veterans attending the conference.

Read the press release from 11 October 2002, 1:00 PM, including documents from the period before the crisis and U-2 and US Navy low-level photos of Soviet MRBM's and nuclear warhead bunkers from 14-23 October 1962.

Read the press release from 11 October 2002, 5:00 PM, including documents and photographs from the height of the crisis on 27 October 1962.

12 October 2002

1:00 PM EST
For more information, contact:
Thomas S. Blanton or
Peter Kornbluh 202 / 994-7000
  • Cuban missile crisis not over in 13 days; Soviet tactical nukes in Cuba until Nov. 20
  • New documents detail Cuban-Soviet arguments on missile pull-out, UN inspections
  • Cuban November order to fire on US planes provoked Khrushchev to pull tacticals
  • British ambassador predicted long-term victory for Castro in Cuba
Havana, Cuba, 12 October 2002, 1 p.m. - During the third session of the historic 40th anniversary conference on the Cuban missile crisis, participants including Cuban president Fidel Castro and former US secretary of defense Robert McNamara discussed newly declassified documents showing that the crisis did not end after the famous "13 days," but continued at a high level until late November, in large part because of Cuban rejection of Soviet concessions. The documents show that the Soviet nuclear-armed tactical weapons in Cuba stayed there after the missiles were withdrawn, and may even have been intended for Cuban custody.

Documents released today included verbatim Soviet records of the contentious meetings between top Soviet leader Anastas Mikoyan and top Cuban leaders including Fidel Castro and Che Guevara during Mikoyan's trip to Cuba in early November; Soviet orders first preparing the tactical weapons for training the Cubans and then, on November 20, ordering their withdrawal; and a prophetic summary of the crisis written by the British ambassador to Cuba, who predicted that the crisis could ultimately rebound to the benefit of the Castro regime and the long-term survival of communism in Cuba.

The conference is meeting at the Palacio de Convenciones in Havana, Cuba. Most participants are housed at the Hotel Palco next door. Phone: 011-53-7-337235. Fax: 011-53-7-337236. The conference room itself is closed to the press but the organizers are holding daily press briefings each afternoon summarizing the discussion and releasing key documents addressed that day.

The National Security Archive co-organized with Cuban institutions the highly successful 40th anniversary Bay of Pigs conference last year in Havana; this year, the Archive is also working in partnership with Brown University's Watson Institute. Peter Kornbluh directs the Archive's Cuba project.

Documents highlighted in today's session include:

USSR, Memorandum of Conversation between Mikoyan and Cuban Leaders, TOP SECRET, November 5, 1962 (Evening).

USSR, Telegrams from Malinovsky to Pliyev, TOP SECRET, Early November (circa 5 November) 1962.

USSR, Ciphered Telegram from Mikoyan to CC CPSU, TOP SECRET, November 6, 1962.

Cuba, Order, TOP SECRET, Authorizing Anti-Aircraft Fire, November 17, 1962.

Cuba, Order, TOP SECRET, Rescinding Authorization to Initiate Anti-Aircraft Fire November 18, 1962.

USSR, Instructions from CC CPSU Presidium to Mikoyan, TOP SECRET, November 22, 1962.

Hungary, Embassy, Havana, Telegram, TOP SECRET, “The Essence of Soviet-Cuban Divergences of Opinion,” December 1, 1962.

Great Britain, Dispatch, CONFIDENTIAL, British Ambassador in Cuba to Foreign Office, “The Cuban Crisis – Chapters I and II,” November 10, 1962 (with minutes from FO’s American Department as cover).

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