Fidel Castro sent this letter to Khrushchev, who mistakenly interpreted its meaning as an appeal for a Soviet nuclear first-strike.
Havana, October 26, 1962
Dear Comrade Khrushchev:
From an analysis of the situation and the reports in our possession, I consider that the aggression is almost imminent within the next 24 or 72 hours.
There are two possible variants: the first and likeliest one is an air attack against certain targets with the limited objective of destroying them; the second, less probable although possible, is invasion. I understand that his variant would call for a large number of forces and it is, in addition, the most repulsive form of aggression, which might inhibit them.
You can rest assured that we will firmly and resolutely resist attack, whatever it may be.
The morale of the Cuban people is extremely high and the aggressor will be confronted heroically.
At this time I want to convey to you briefly my personal opinion. If the second variant is implemented and the imperialists invade Cuba with the goal of occupying it, the danger that that aggressive policy poses for humanity is so great that following that event the Soviet Union must never allow the circumstances in which the imperialists could launch the first nuclear strike against it.
I tell you this because I believe that the imperialists' aggressiveness is extremely dangerous and if they actually carry out the brutal act of invading Cuba in violation of international law and morality, that would be the moment to eliminate such danger forever through tan act of clear legitimate defense, however harsh and terrible the solution would be, for there is no other.
It has influenced my opinion to see how this aggressive policy is developing, how the imperialists, disregarding world public opinion and ignoring principles and the law, are blockading the seas, violating our airspace and preparing an invasion, while at the same time frustrating every possibility for talks, even though they are aware of the seriousness of the problem.
You have been and continue to be a tireless defender of peace and I realize how bitter these hours must be, when the outcome of your superhuman efforts is so seriously threatened. However, up to the last moment we will maintain the hope that peace will be safeguarded and we are willing to contribute to this as much as we can. But at the same time, we are ready to calmly confront a situation that we view as quite real and quite close.
Once more I convey to you the infinite gratitude and recognition of our people to the Soviet people who have been so generous and fraternal with us, as well s our profound gratitude and admiration for you, and wish you success in the huge task and serious responsibilities ahead of you.
Cuban Missile Crisis
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